Wednesday, 28 December 2016

The detective's daughter

The Detective's Daughter
Author: Lesley Thomson
ISBN: 9781471345043

Hi Everyone,

This was extremely long!  There were parts of it that seemed to have already been told, but by the end the information all came together to form the making of a good story.  I think because this was so long, and I was listening to it rather than reading, it was easy to get a little lost.  If I had been reading this I may have gone back and re-read parts.  Having said that I enjoyed the narration and ability to listen while I worked on my housework and gardening. 

The characters were interesting.  Kate Rokesmith and inspector Darnell are dead, and another character dies.  These seemed to be a lot of dead characters to keep up with, but this soon became easy as the story came together.  The son of Kate transforms into one of the leading characters... you will quickly figure this one out for yourself without me forming a spoiler.  Each character becomes connected in one way or another.  It must have been quite a small town!  I found the characters to be interesting and the mystery killer wasn't easily suspected, not too soon anyway. 

The scene, was quite a bit smaller than the character count.  I visualised all the story happening within a small range.  This may be my small town visionary, but other than the train rides my mind stayed in a small radius.  I liked the visualisation of the end scenes, they captured my imagination and had me holding my breath.

Overall, I am pleased I listened to have listened to this one on audio because of the length.  On the other hand I think I would have found it easier to follow by reading the book.  Hard decision... book or audio?


Summer, 1981: The body of Kate Rokesmith is found by the River Thames in London. Her four-year-old son is wandering nearby, traumatised and mute.

Detective Inspector Darnell cancels yet another trip he had promised his daughter Stella and heads for the scene of the crime. The murder is never solved.

Winter, 2011: It's another busy day at the Clean Slate office. Owner and head cleaner Stella Darnell is annoyed to have her routine interrupted by the news that her father has died of a heart attack. Dutifully sorting his belongings, she finds the case papers for the Kate Rokesmith murder gathering dust in his attic. Stella cannot resist the lure of bringing order to chaos. Red pen in hand, she determines to find the killer...

This was available from: Amazon, Book depository and Fishpond

It was also available at Audible and I borrowed it from our local library via Borrowbox

Happy reading

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Wild Raspberries

Wild Raspberries
Author: Connie Chappell
ISBN: 9781612965123

Hi Everyone,

Here we have a book with the ultimate love triangle!  To start with Jack/John dies.  Dan his son also dies, in a different situation.  So, we are left with...

  • A wife - she is also the dominating mother-in-law
  • The daughter in law
  • The girl friend - or rather she is practically a second wife whom Jack has been seeing for over 20 years
  • A counsellor
  • A quilt

What better way to bring out the many truths they have hidden behind their lies, than to go on a trip to the cottage that Jack purchased and left to Callie (the girl friend).  This plot plays with your mind as you untangle all the hidden events that connect all the characters.

Just as friendships seem to unravel so does another link in the web of lies.  This is one drama I wont forget in a hurry.  Some of the lies I saw coming, whereas others shocked me.  This is a well thought out plot that will leave you analysing well after the book is finished.  I don't think it is over for me even though the ladies have joined together in harmony, I still have my questions and doubts.  I want to know more about Jack/John.  How did he manage to keep his secrets so long?  Other than a deceptive husband and lover what was he really like.  And, what was Dan (the son) like?  This was touched on a little but I thought he was in the background a little too much.  I wanted to know more about him so I could understand the importance of Lizbeth a bit stronger.

Overall, I enjoyed this book.  I have spent the last of my afternoon reading to see the outcome.  It got to the climax and I was hooked for the rest of the book, unable to give it up.


Tuesday, 20 December 2016

December booktuber of the month

Hi Everyone,

So that I don't become too distracted with all the Christmas entertainment around the place, I am bringing you my choice of booktuber for this month a few days early.  I am highlighting Ermahgerd Berks because she is fresh and I like her honesty. 

As she unboxes the romance books she isn't slow in claiming she wont read them and doesn't like romance books.  Quite often Youtubers can sound like they are selling a product.  Not this young lady.  I really like that about her. 

I also like that she reads the back of the books and audios.  At times I watch unboxings and have no idea about the product, only that unboxing looks fun and all the books have beautiful covers.  I have to admit that while I watched this unboxing clip, I skipped over to check out the audio box link.  I haven't come across this particular link before (maybe you should check it out too). 

In addition to the book product that she unboxes I love the Christmas stockings that hang behind her! 

So, check out the link and clip above to see what she presents.  Her clips seem very regular, honest and she lets you know what she is actually unpacking and/or reading.

Happy reading

Monday, 19 December 2016

Jake and the gingerbread wars

Jake and the Gingerbread Wars
E. G. Foley
ISBN: 0997254939

Hi Everyone,

I couldn't wait to finish this one before telling you all about it.  Christmas is too close and I am only half way through reading this aloud with the kids; I think you should know about it before Christmas is over.  This is one that I recommend reading for Christmas.  So if you still can get a copy and start reading today.  I got my copy from Amazon in kindle format. If you have a Kindle then you can have this book too and enjoy reading it with your kids.

The kids and I all love the little elf named 'Humbug'.  And a humbug is exactly what he is.  He doesn't want to work for Santa anymore because he has been put in the kitchen with Mrs Claus.  Can you just imagine that?  We all smiled at the thought 😂.  I can understand why he has to do dishes duty when I listen to his attitude.  Really, this little elf is what is giving this book so much pleasure.

There is plenty if imagery going on in this book.  The author has done a brilliant job of showing us the gingerbread war, the fairies, and of course Humbug.  The language is also detailed and rich.  I have found that the vocabulary choice has been at an impressive level for the age of which the book is aimed.  By reading this on Kindle any child is able to find the meanings of the words that might leave them questioning.  I have done this in a couple of cases, and we are only half way through!  I always stop and look up the words when I am reading aloud to the kids with my Kindle.  It is a quick and easy way to build vocab.

As for the plot... We are loving it.  Especially with Christmas approaching.  It is creating quite a family time with the kids.  I am only half way through, I know, but my opinion is backed up by that of my children and they can 'say it as they see it' at the best of times.  Take a look at the description and see why we might just be smiling our way through this one.


Peace on Earth, Goodwill to Men…and Gingerbread Men?!After his harsh beginnings as a rough-and-tumble orphan on the streets of London, Jake Everton takes his rightful place as the long-lost heir of an aristocratic family with magical powers – his personal quest, to follow in his slain parents’ footsteps as a Lightrider in the age-old battle of good versus evil. In the fantastical nooks and crannies of the Victorian Age, Jake and his friends (including his pet Gryphon) find no shortage of adventure – righting magic-related wrongs, solving supernatural mysteries, and exploring wondrous new worlds. Now it’s Jake’s first Christmas with his eccentric magical relatives, but trouble never takes a holiday…

Santa’s Horrid Little Helper

Wanted! Humbug, the disgruntled Christmas elf.

Reward: One Christmas wish granted, courtesy of Santa.

Humbug hates being a Christmas elf. Instead of making toys, he’d rather make mischief. Angling for a new job in Halloween Town, he sets out to prove he’s frightful enough for the task by ruining Christmas for as many people as possible – until Jake and his friends capture him. The kids set out on a rip-roaring adventure to the North Pole to hand the troublemaker over to Santa and collect the reward. But the way is fraught with danger, leaving them to wonder if they’ll make it back in time for Christmas…or if they’ll even make it back alive!

This was available from: Amazon, Fishpond and Book depository

Happy reading

Friday, 16 December 2016

Once Upon a Snowy Night

Hi Everyone

With Christmas only one week away, I wanted to post this poem by one of my favourite poets - Robert Frost.  This poem can be read in many ways, with many interpretations.  With Christmas upon us it is easy to see Christmas time in the meaning, but was it so?  This is what I love about poetry. The way we can read mean into the words, dependant on our surroundings and social content of the moment.  How we can all get a different meaning or vision from exactly the same words.  And how for years after the poet places the words upon the page, we all argue what he meant.  If only I could hold a conversation with some of these writers and see what was in their heads when they wrote it.  Think about it... would they laugh at our interpretation in comparison to their initial meaning? 

To all you who get snow at Christmas, I hope you enjoy the beauty and peace it brings.  We have summer and I hope for a beautiful day where all the kids can have water fights, while we adults enjoy the company of others outside in the sun.

Happy reading

Tuesday, 13 December 2016


Author: Lesley Pearse
ISBN: 978-0-141-04601-3

Unloved, threatened.
Will anyone help her?

I finished reading Rosie a few days ago.  I couldn't find the words to review this without unfolding the story in my mind.  This book is more than a novel, it is a brilliantly sculpted story that will leave an implant on your life. 

Rosie starts with a little girl in a brutal home.  Until, Heather comes to look after the family and soon becomes part of the family.  When she disappears the story takes a new turn.  As Rosie endeavours to protect her little brother, family secrets begin to unravel and Rosie is left fending for herself, in a world that seeks to ruin her inner-being.  How she doesn't crumble shows immense strength and humanity.

I think in part she survives by finding purpose and meaning in the help and protection she gives to Donald.  The beauty they create together with nature and gardening holds Rosie together.  It can be the only reason, in my mind, that she didn't end up in an asylum like the one she worked.  All around her the people in her life took her in, only to trample on her and try to cut down her spirit.  I could have screamed many a time at the characters in this book! 

There is so much I could say about Rosie but there is no way that I can venture into it without spoilers.  I have become to passionate, and opinionated, about the characters to hold a conversion without spoilers.  If you want a book that you wont be able to put down for the Christmas season, then don't look past this one on the book shelves.  Lesley Pearse managed to take draw me in until I was almost a background character, viewing everything but not able to help.

Seriously, this book book will leave you quietly thinking, long after you are finished.


Her brutal, violent family will be
the death of her...

Without a mother., Rosie is at the mercy of her father and thuggish brothers.  Then on day a friend comes to the farm in the form of cockney housekeeper Heather Farley.

But soon enough Heather vanishes, abandoning Rosie to her fate.  Only when Thomas Farley comes t find his sister several years later, does Rosie learn the terrible truth about Heahter - and her family.

Running away from home, she finds herself pursued by the man who brought ruin on her family.  Is he out to ger her too?  Or could he have some other reason for chasing her?

This was available from: Fishpond, Book depository and Amazon

Happy reading

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Jamie's 15 minute meals

Jamie's 15 Minute Meals
Author: Jamie Oliver
ISBN: 978-0-718-15780-7

Hi Everyone,

Get a load of my tea last night!

This recipe was on page 190 of Jamie's 15 Minute Meals.  Its called 'Chicken pasta herby 6-veg Ragu'.  This is the second time I have made this... actually I think it is the third, and I have only had this book for about six weeks.  Yes, you could call it our new family favourite. 

I have tried some of the other recipes in this book and I have loved them all so far.  They are quick to make and seem to use staple ingredients.  That is, the recipes I've tried to date have not required a trip to shops.  As I have stated in past blog posts, I like recipe books that use everyday ingredients. 

These recipes are supposed to be achievable in 15 minutes... true/false.  So far, TRUE.  Well done Jamie 😀.

What does this book actually contain?
  • 260 pages of recipes
  • Beautiful pictures of each recipe
  • Good inspirational notes about nutrition and your pantry
  • Brilliantly set out index
  • Recipes for - chicken, beef, pork, lamb, fish, pasta, soups & sarnies, veggie, breakfast
  • A good ribbon book marker
  • A dust  jacket, that gets in my way but is beautiful
Overall, I am thinking that this may just become one of my most used recipe books!  Better yet, it would be good if someone else in the house used it more than me... hint, hint my dear family members.

Happy reading

Monday, 5 December 2016

Book vs movie...

Me before You

Book verse's the Movie...

I am excited to announce that I finally got to view the movie of  'Me before you'.  I have been waiting to get my hands on this one.  I went through every possible emotion while reading the book.  And... I did the same with the movie.  It isn't very often that the book and movie come along side each other in my ratings book.  This movie exceeded my expectations! 

The actors, Emilia Clarke & Sam Claflin, were perfect for the role.  The accents were catchy and drew me in even more to the characters.  They were just what I had envisioned in the book.  I found this to be amazing in itself.  How on earth did they find such perfect actors to give this book the justice it deserved.

The clothes were a main feature in the book (for me) and here they managed to set the screen alive with Lou's clothing.  Now this had to be done just right or it would have ruined the character, completely!  I give the wardrobe top marks, right down to the bumble bee tights!  Lou's selection of shoes were amazing.  The only piece of clothing that I was disappointed with was - the red dress.  The dress in the movie was lovely, but not what I envisioned.  It suited the actor and fitted in well with the scene and personalities... just not what I pictured in my little mind.  I can't even describe the gorgeous dress I had Lou dressed in for her date. 

What do I think?  Book or movie?  Hard choice with this one.  Sorry, I have always found the book to be better, but this time I am torn.  I would still read the book first and read it with tissues.  Then find a comfortable spot to curl up with the movie.  I think this one is actually best watched at home with a good drink, chocolates and warm pair of slippers.  Oh, don't forget the tissues.

Happy reading or viewing, your choice

Friday, 2 December 2016

Grandpa's shorts...

Grandpa's Cardigan and Grandpa's Shorts
Authors: Joy Watson and Wendy Hodder

Grandpa's Shorts...

They are comfy and cool,
saggy and baggy - and terribly old!
Grandpa thinks his long-lost shorts
will be just right for the beach..
But what will grandma say about them?

Grandpa's Cardigan

It is snuggly and soft, patchy and scruffy,
and just the perfect shade of grey.
But where are those missing buttons...
and what is that big hole?
It is time for a new cardigan, Grandpa!

Who out there doesn't know someone that these two books can relate to 👀 ?  I giggled all the way through 'Grandpa's Shorts' as I envisioned people and put them into characters in this book.  Grandma busy putting everything away with hope that Grandpa doesn't find his old shorts.  As for the shirt that he finds to accompany the old shorts.  This book has to be a classic!

So I couldn't resist it.  I had to buy 'Grandpa's Cardigan' as well.  This one made me laugh just as much.  Poor Grandpa goes shopping for a new cardigan while Grandma cheerfully mends his old one and sends it off the the op shop, ever so pleased to see the end of it.  After a long day shopping Grandpa takes a rest in the op shop and returns home with a new cardigan... I am sure you can guess what cardigan he returns home with. 

I love these books!!!  They are real stories.  You have to laugh while you read these, you just have to!

These were available from: Fishpond, Book depository and every bookshop in my area so keep a look out at your bookstore

Happy reading

Thursday, 1 December 2016

women and cats

Hi Everyone,

I asked my daughter for a word to look up a quote for.  She came up with cat!  Upon searching this was her favourite.  I wonder why?  We sort out the cat for a photo and I think she has the same opinion as the quote.  She is such a lovable little critter.  They both are 😊

Then I got wondering who Robert A Heinlen was (the author of the quote).  He was a science fiction writer who became influential in his field of writing.  You can find out more about Robert A Heinlen (July 7, 1907 – May 8, 1988) on the wikipedia page designated to him.

Anyway my daughter, cat and this quote have made me smile tonight.  I hope you can smile at this too and just relax in acceptance of everyone (male, female or cat) in your life today.

Happy reading