New BFF: Zooloo’s Book Diary


Hello there! It’s been a while since I had a new blog friend (since May actually) but my wonderful friend Zoé who lives near the White Cliffs of Dover and blogs at Zooloo’s Book Diary helped me out here and was so kind to answer my bookish questions. If you don’t know Zoé yet, you should really do something about that ;-). She’s listed as a Nominee for Best Book Blog 2019 in the Blogger Bash for a reason you know. You can also find her on Twitter under @zooloo2008 if you want to give her a follow there.

If you enjoy horror novels you might want to take a trip down memory lane with Zoé and her friend Steph in her tab NostalgiAAARGH series. In case you’re interested, her first pick is Slumber Party by Christopher Pike!

Zoé is a busy bee, she participates in several bookish challenges, does buddy reads and you can also follow her Positivity Wave posts on Friday!

There’s plenty more to discover but I’ll let Zoé tell you herself in this next round of questions and answers:


Name: Zoé-Lee O’Farrell (but just call me Zoé)

Zoé BFF 05

Me and mum going to footy

Age: 36

Birthday: April 1st (I fully expect jokes!)

Zoé Birthday

What did you study or do you study now / what is your current job? I am currently an assistant finance manager for an arts charity. I have been here for 2 years as I relocated when we moved to Dover.

Do you have any other hobbies? When I am not reading, I love watching movies (a bit of a geek), gaming, sewing and I watch a LOT of sport! I have a season ticket for Watford football club as that is where I was born. And of course, spending time with my mini-me.

Zoé BFF 02

Your favourite color? Red is my power colour but blue is also my favourite.

red and blue

Do you collect anything (besides books)?  Sewings! I have way too many to do and like books, I want more lol

What’s the name of the book that you’ve had the longest? Have you read it? I really can’t remember, I had a huge purge a few years ago, in which I got rid of most of my books for my Kindle (let’s not go there, not my choice). I have loads of books from when I was a teenager at my mum’s, and I brought one home recently to read to Alicia, The Worst Witch by Jill Murphy. So until I can think otherwise I am sticking with that! lol

Have you ever regretted a book you purchased? A book that sounded so promising but you wished you’d have spent your money on another book after reading it? Going to be unpopular but Bram Stoker Dracula! It took me 5 months to read it before I started blogging and my god, I was pulling teeth. I do not like to be defeated by a book. I was gutted as I remembered really liking it before.


Do you listen to audio books? Yes absolutely love them! Listen in the car on my drive to and from work and when I drive home. I have so many favourite narrators now, I love them as they can bring a book to life.

Do you have a favorite genre? Horror is my fav, but I do love a good thriller for sure and you have to have a bit of fluff to mix it up.

What is the book highest on your wishlist right now? I think because I am listening to the series now on Audible it has to be Capturing the Devil by Kerri Maniscalco. It is the last in the stalking Jack the ripper series – going to be a sad day.

Stalking Jack The Ripper Fandom Wiki page: Kerri Maniscalco was born in Newburgh, New York, United States, and grew up in a semi-haunted house outside New York City, where her fascination with gothic settings began. In her spare time she reads everything she can get her hands on, cooks all kinds of food with her family and friends, and drinks entirely too much tea while discussing life’s finer points with her cats. She is the author of the New York Times bestselling novels Stalking Jack the Ripper and Hunting Prince Dracula.

How is your library organized? At the moment, alphabetically by author surname. Bar my Flame Tree Press shelf which has one by itself.

Zoé BFF 08

Do you read more ebooks or physical books? I read a mixture of both, I have a lot more ebooks though.

Do you have a favorite book? Wow, that is a tough one to think. The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe definitely and I have discovered so many amazing books lately. I think, mainly due to my fangirling, Jonathan Janz The Siren and the Spectre is up there. My list would not be complete without mentioning The Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit and the Witches by Ronald Dahl, they hold so many memories for me.

What’s the cover in your collection that you’re most proud of? Oh god, I don’t know I have so many book covers that I love! I am a book cover hoe, so I generally have to fall in love with cover first – eek sorry!

Do you have any idea how many books you own? <100, >100, >200, >300 …? I am in the 1000s with my ebooks, probably hundred ish with print copies.

What’s the title of the last book you purchased? I brought Doug Johnstone Faultlines and Breakers today and my last audiobook was The Murderer’s Son by Joy Ellis (because Rae and Eva told me to lol)

Twenty years ago: a farmer and his wife are cut to pieces by a ruthless serial killer.

Now: a woman is viciously stabbed to death in the upmarket kitchen of her beautiful house on the edge of the marshes.

Then a man called Daniel Kinder walks into Saltern police station and confesses to the murder.

But DI Rowan Jackman and DS Marie Evans of the Fenland police soon discover that there is a lot more to Daniel than meets the eye. He has no memory of the first five years of his life and is obsessed with who his real mother is.

With no evidence to hold him, Jackman and Evans are forced to let him go, and in a matter of days the lonely Lincolnshire Fens become the stage for more killings and Daniel has disappeared.

In a breathtaking finale, the truth about Daniel’s mother comes to light and DI Jackman and DS Evans race against time to stop more lives being destroyed.

What was your favorite author when you were a child? Well, I was reading adult books when I was a teenager so it was Richard Laymon and Stephen King and all the point horror books (see the Nostalgiaaah feature mentioned above) which was various authors. Other than that, it was any horror book I could get my hand on.

Quote horror

From which author do you have most books? Depending on where I am looking !! I have Laurell Hamilton Meredith Gentry series, all the Harry Potters and I have about 7/8 Jonathan Janz books. On my kindle well……all James Patterson/Stephen King books’, Wilbur Smith,  Kathy Reichs, Patricia Cornwell and Karin Slaughter….it’s never-ending. I could go on and on but I won’t!

Are there books you’ve read 2 or 3 times? I don’t generally have the time, but because I have been reading books to my little lady, we have read Matilda and The Twits by Ronald Dahl and will start on the Harry Potter ones soon.

How many books are there on your Goodreads challenge this year and how many have you read already? I went for 120 this year and apparently I am on 106 so far……………

Can you spell your name with the first letters of titles in your book case?

Zero by Marc Elsberg
On my life by Angela Clarke
Electric Woman by Tessa Fontaine
Little Sibera by Antti Tuomainen
Elemental Claim by Miranda Grant
Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine by Gail Honeymen

Zoé BFF 09


In case you missed it, here are the 5 last BFF’s (Blog Friends Forever) I posted about. You can find the tab with links to these and the previous posts on my home page.

Chloé – Review by Chloe
Alex – Alexandra Wolfe
Kelly – FromBelgiumWithBookLove
Deborah – The Reading Chick
Jonetta – Blue Mood Café

I would really really love more friends in my BFF club so give me a shout if you want to be featured! I’m especially thinking of all newbie bloggers here who we don’t know very well yet!


What to do when you’re not reading: a bookworm’s hobby: making your own bookmark #cross-stitch


Hi everyone!

I was flipping through the pages of this old (French) magazine that I was about to throw out…

Bookmark 00

… and my eyes fell on this bookmark of a cat! I love bookmarks and cats so I decided to spend a few hours making this.

Bookmark 01

I had some spare aida count fabric (where you can really see the squares well enough but I’m sure you can do this on evenweave as well). Of course I didn’t follow the instructions (that would have been to simple) because I wanted to use that end bit that was already sticking out, so it meant I ended up with a much smaller design (I almost didn’t get the cat on it is what the truth is). So if you’re going to do this, follow the instructions, it’s like baking really. 

You have to fold the corners and stitch around with a thread the same colour as your fabric to prevent fraying.

Some supervision was necessary of course

Bookmark 05

and not always helping…

Bookmark 06

I just used some (Anchor) thread in different shades of grey that I kept from another cross-stitch kit. The design was ok but I hated the back-stitch (the contours) even more than usual because they made it in very small stitches and not using the big squares at all. I kind of freewheeled it a bit ;-).

Bookmark 07

And there you go! I did another butterfly too in case you hadn’t noticed it.


Now because it’s so ugly to see the thread on the back AND because you want your bookmark to hold up and not be flimsy, I inserted a piece of white cardboard (I don’t know why that wasn’t mentioned in the magazine!). It meant I had to open one side, slide it in and stitch it back again. Maybe it’s best to do the sides once you’re done with the design.

I was wondering if I should add something else on it, like my name or something bookish, like I’m reading or something, but I didn’t want to mess it up so I did another little project… I would make a bookmark with my name on it!

There were a lot of lettres in the magazine, each with a different style… but I preferred the last one.

Of course THAT’s the moment where you forget how to spell your own name. Gah!

I wasn’t too happy with the pink either so I decided to change to purple for the next word.

And it’s finished

Bookmark 14

Bookmark 17

Bookmark 15


So what do you think? Should I add a tassle on one of these to make it better? Would you have done anything different? Let me know in the comments. If you think I completely wasted my time (tell me something I don’t know) you don’t have to say so.

If you’re looking for more bookish hobbies, here are some other ideas I posted about in the past:

Thanks for stopping by and have a great day,


WWW Wednesday (03-07-2019)

WWW Wednesdays

WWW Wednesday is a book list hosted by Taking on a World of Words, and I’m happy to participate today.

The three W’s are:
What did you recently finish reading?
What are you currently reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


What I finished reading:

I’m on the blog tour for this novel in August But. I. Could. Not. Wait. Any. Longer! And I’m so happy I didn’t wait because I absolutely loved this novel. The corporate setting was brilliant and fascinating and the time the characters spent in the elevator was quite entertaining. I highly recommend this one if you love a psychological, character-driven thriller 😉

The Escape Room by Megan Goldin 

TheEscapeRoom def


What I’m reading now:

I know I’m late to this party :-). I heard this novel is rather dark and hard-hitting, so this seems like a great read that I really don’t want to miss 😉

The Puppet Show by M.W. Craven 

Blank bookcover with clipping path


What I’ll (probably) read soon:

I read this author’s first two novels and loved them both so much that I vowed to read everything he writes. His previous books (Final Girls and Last Time I Lied) were very atmospheric and intriguing and I expect this one will be very creepy as well.

Lock Every Door by Riley Sager

Lock Every Door def

You’ve been offered a luxury apartment, rent free. The catch: you may not live long enough to enjoy it…

No visitors. No nights spent away from the apartment. No disturbing the other residents.
These are the only rules for Jules Larson’s new job as apartment sitter for an elusive resident of the Bartholomew, one of Manhattan’s most high-profile private buildings and home to the super rich and famous.

Recently heartbroken and practically homeless, Jules accepts the terms, ready to leave her past life behind.

Out of place among the extremely wealthy, Jules finds herself pulled toward other apartment sitter Ingrid. But Ingrid confides that the Bartholomew is not what it seems and the dark history hidden beneath its gleaming facade is starting to frighten her. Jules brushes it off as a harmless ghost story – but the next day, her new friend has vanished.
And then Jules discovers that Ingrid is not the first temporary resident to go missing…

Welcome to the Bartholomew…You may never leave.


So that’s it, what are you reading this week? Share your link in the comments below so that I can come and take a look !

Same book, different cover #11


I’m back with 5 new book covers to pick and choose your favorite one. This is just for fun so there are no wrong answers! OK, I’ll go first, then it’s up to you:

The Doll Factory by Elizabeth Macneal

The Doll Factory The Doll Factory 02

I choose cover number 1. The second one is too bleak and I like how many details there are to discover in first one.

Last Woman Standing by Amy Gentry

Last Woman Standing 01  Last Woman Standing 02  Last Woman Standing 03

Hmm I’m not really sure. Not cover 1 but a difficult choice between 2 and 3. I think I’ll still keep 3, the cover I have. In reality the colour really pops and I kind of like it.

The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary

The Flatshare 02   The Flatshare

Cover 2. I’m really not attracted to the first one and I don’t think I would pick it up if I saw it and didn’t know the novel.

Now You See Me by Chris McGeorge

Now You See Me 02  Now You See Me

Definitely cover 2! It’s just a nicer shade of blue and the yellow boat is an eye-catcher.

Degrees of Guilt by HS Chandler

Degrees of Guilt 02  Degrees of Guilt

Cover number 2! I love seeing this duality in a cover and I’m big on contrast so these very different sides make me even more interested. The first cover has been done before so the second one stands out more.Line

So that’s it. Tell me your thoughts! If you can’t get enough, check out Battle Of The Books #1 – #2 – #3 – #4 – #5 – #6 – #7 – #8 – #9#10#11

Also don’t forget to check out the Secret Library Book Blog where Nicki holds a book battle with some AUDIObooks 🙂


Board games based on books


Some books are turned into movies but did you know that some books are used as an inspiration for board games too?

Here are some books turned into board games. I apologize for the long list but I got a bit carried away… If you click on the title of the game it will take you to the site ‘Boardgamegeek’ where you’ll be able to find out everything about the game, how to play, ratings and even links to Amazon if you want to purchase the game.

Check these out and tell me if you’ve come across a favourite one in the comments if you like.

Discworld: Ankh-Morpork 

Terry Pratchett discworld

Martin Wallace and Treefrog Games present Ankh-Morpork, set in the largest city-state in Terry Pratchett’s Discworld. Lord Vetinari has disappeared and different factions are trying to take control of the city. Each player has a secret personality with specific victory conditions, which means that you’re not sure exactly what the other players need to do in order to win.

The action takes place on a map of Ankh-Morpork, with players trying to place minions and buildings through card play. Each of the 132 cards is unique, and “the cards bring the game to life as they include most of the famous characters that have appeared in the various books.

A team of artists have recreated the city and its residents for the cards, game board and box, with Bernard Pearson coordinating that team. Ankh-Morpork has been sublicensed to Mayfair Games for the North American market and Kosmos for the German market.

Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle introduced a character named Sherlock Holmes in his novels.

You can capture the mystery and excitement of Holmes’ London in this challenging and informative game. You, the player, will match your deductive abilities against your opponents and the master sleuth himself, Sherlock Holmes.

In Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective, you are presented with a mystery to solve, and it is then up to you to trace the threads of evidence through the byways and mansions of nineteenth century London. You will interview suspects, search the newspapers for clues, and put together the facts to reach a solution.

This is not a board game: No dice, no luck, but a challenge to your mental ability. The game has been thoroughly researched for Holmesian and Victorian accuracy so as to capture a feeling of that bygone era.

Tales of the Arabian Nights

Tales of the Arabian Nights is actually several games in one.

In the standard game, the players are characters living in the 1001 Nights universe, wandering about the map and having adventures. These adventures are designed in a sort of paragraph system, with the player to your left reading what happens to you and exposing the choices you have – choices that then lead to other paragraphs or outcomes. The characters evolve during their adventures, acquiring skills of various degrees of advancement to open up new options and various “statuses” (such as married, despondent, cursed, etc) which also affect play. The object is to become rich and come back to Baghdad.


Set thousands of years in the future, Dune the board game is based on the Frank Herbert novels about an arid planet at the heart of the human space empire’s political machinations.

Designed by the creators at Eon of ‘Cosmic Encounter fame, some contend that the game can best be described as Cosmic Encounter set within the Dune universe, but the two games bear little in common in the actual mechanisms or goals; they’re just both set in space. Like Cosmic Encounter, it is a game that generates player interaction through negotiation and bluffing.

Players each take the role of one of the factions attempting to control Dune. Each faction has special powers that overlook certain rules in the game. Each turn players move about the map attempting to pick up valuable spice while dealing with giant sandworms, deadly storms, and other players’ military forces. A delicate political balance is formed amongst the factions to prevent any one side from becoming too strong. When a challenge is made in a territory, combat takes the form of hidden bids with additional treachery cards to further the uncertainty.

The game concludes when one faction (or two allied factions) is able to control a certain number of strongholds on the planet.

Marrying Mr. Darcy

Marrying Mr. Darcy is a role-playing game where players are one of the female characters from Jane Austen’s novel Pride and Prejudice. Players work to improve themselves and become more desirable as potential wives for the available Suitors. The ladies do this by attending Events and improving their Characters, but advantage can be gained by the use of Cunning. All of their efforts are in hopes of securing the husband that will make them the most satisfied character at the end of the game.

Game play is divided into two stages: the initial Courtship Stage and the concluding Proposal Stage.

The Courtship Stage is when players try to improve their Heroine’s chances of happiness by earning points playing Character Cards, and acquiring or playing Cunning Cards. The Proposal Stage begins when Event Cards have been played. In this stage, players will roll to see which Suitor proposes to them, decide if they will marry them, and calculate their final score.

A Game of Thrones (first book of the series)

War and chaos are engulfing the lands of Westeros. The great Houses are vying for control of the Iron Throne using the old tools of intrigue and war. Yet while the war for Westeros rages, grave dangers gather in the cold North, and an ancient enemy is gaining momentum in the distant East.

In A Game of Thrones: The Board Game, inspired by the book by George R.R. Martin players take control of one of the great Houses of Westeros. Via resource management, diplomacy, and cunning, they seek to win dominance over the land. Players must give orders to armies, control important characters, gather resources for the coming winter, and survive the onslaught of their enemies. A unique phase mechanic, battle resolution, and special ordering system make for an engaging game in which all players are actively involved at all times.

Dante’s Inferno

This is a fairly complex strategy game featuring resource management and trading. The objective is to move one of your player tokens to the 9th circle and defeat Lucifer.

The Shining

“The Shining” is a game based on the Stephen King novel of the same name. One player controls the evil and sentient Overlook hotel, the other the Torrence family, winter caretakers of the haunted estate. Using ambient hedge animals, terrifying phantoms and possibly human possession, the hotel tried to claim young, psychically gifted Danny as it’s own – by killing him. But Danny and his family will not go gentle into the dark night.

This game was designed with the knowledge and assistance of Stephen King, who was one of the first play-testers. It is available for free download at

Sophie’s World

Loosely based on the book by Jostein Gaarder, Sophie’s World can best be described as a specialized game of Trivial Pursuit: Genus Edition aimed at the Philosophical and Hellenistic crowd.

Dr. Jekell & Mr. Hyde

The Gothic novel Dr. Jekell & Mr. Hyde was written by Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson. The game is still rummy at heart, with multiple suits of 5 cards each, with the twist being that the suits are designated J for Jekyll, H for Hyde, or J/H for suits that count as both Jekyll and Hyde. The unique mechanism in this version of MR is that there is a two sided card (the ‘identity card’) on the table next to the draw deck, which has Jekyll on one side, and Hyde on the other. At the start of the game, Dr. Jekyll is showing, but this can change if a “potion” card is played.

Metro 2033

Metro 2033 is based on the popular Metro 2033 universe created by Russian writer and journalist Dmitry Glukhovsky.



Tak is a two-player abstract strategy game dreamed up by Pat Rothfuss in the novel “The Wise Man’s Fear” and made reality by James Ernest. In Tak, players attempt to make a road of their pieces connecting two opposite sides of the board.



Witness is set in the world of Blake and Mortimer, a Belgian comic series started in the 1940s by writer/artist Edgar P. Jacobs. In the game, which is playable strictly by four players, you each represent one of four characters and your goal is to solve mysteries or crimes by sharing information with one another — but you are quite restricted in how you can share information!

Witness includes 64 cases for you to solve, and each case starts with an explanatory scene or image or both that someone reads or shows to the group. Each player then looks in his personal casebook to find information available only to his character. Players randomly decide who shares information first and in which direction, e.g., player A might whisper information to player B while player C talks to player D. Next, B will share both his information and A’s information to C while D talks to A.

After two more rounds of the most inefficient crime-solving system ever created, players read the conclusion of the case, which might offer additional information or another visual, then they each individually answer three questions about the case, with the group scoring one point for each correct answer for a final score ranging from 0 to 12.


Did you know about these games? See anything you like? I knew there was a Lord of the Rings game and it doesn’t surprise me there’s a Game of Thrones boardgame but I had no idea there were so many others. I like the sound of Sherlock Holmes and the game Witness most of all… anyone want to play?

WWW Wednesday (05-06-2019)

WWW Wednesdays

WWW Wednesday is a book list hosted by Taking on a World of Words, and I’m happy to participate today.

The three W’s are:
What did you recently finish reading?
What are you currently reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


What I finished reading:

The Whisper Man turned out to be a great debut novel. It was creepy alright although perhaps not the creepiest I have read (The Changeling by Matt Wesolowski is still on top of my list) but it has enough scary elements to give you the chills nonetheless.

The Whisper Man by Alex North

Blank bookcover with clipping path


What I’m reading now:

I looooved Chris McGeorge’s first novel so much (Guess Who) and nobody’s happier than me for the chance to read his second novel via Netgalley. I like it so far but the mystery is still very much a mystery even if I’m halfway through so if it doesn’t give me a hint soon I’m going to get frustrated ;-). It’s a good read but I think it’s not going to top his first one.

Now You See Me by Chris McGeorge 

NowYouSeeMe def


What I’ll (probably) read soon:

When I saw this book I knew I wanted to read it! There’s lying involved! Who’s lying? Oh I love this kind of trope. This is the last book I signed up for to review on a blog tour and I normally don’t do many reviews for book tours, so that’s how much I wanted to read it.

Forget My Name by J.S. Monroe

Blank bookcover with clipping path

You are outside your front door. There are strangers in your house. Then you realise… You can’t remember your name.

She arrived at the train station after a difficult week at work. Her bag had been stolen, and with it, her identity. Her whole life was in there – passport, wallet, house key. When she tried to report the theft, she couldn’t remember her own name. All she knew was her own address.

Now she’s outside Tony and Laura’s front door. She says she lives in their home. They say they have never met her before.

One of them is lying.


So that’s it, what are you reading this week? Share your link in the comments below so that I can come and take a look !

Same book – different cover #11


I’m back with 5 new book covers to pick and choose your favorite one. This is just for fun so there are no wrong answers! OK, I’ll go first, then it’s up to you:

Gone by Midnight by Candice Fox

gone by midnight   gone by midnight 02

I’m going for cover n° 1. I totally get cover 2 and it is much creepier but I like the psychological thriller vibe more than the creepy horror vibe so that’s why I choose the first.

Goodbye, Perfect by Sara Barnard

goodbye perfect 01  goodbye perfect 02

Oh cover 1 without a doubt. It has such lovely soft colours, so inviting!

Never Tell by Lisa Gardner

never tell 02  never tell 01

OK cover 2 because the red just screams danger and fire (and I know there’s plenty of both in the novel).

The Truth about Love and Dogs by Lilly Bartlett


Well this is a special one. The author sent them to me asking for my and also your opinion so I really want to hear what YOU have to say about this one because for me, this is the most difficult one and I don’t really know what cover to choose. In the end I chose cover 2 because with such a title (which I adore btw) I really want to see a dog on the cover to make it extra sweet. If you look closely there’s one on the first cover too but you really have to look hard (well I didn’t see it at first sight). I just think I’d pick it up sooner at the bookstore if I saw the second one.

The Girl He Used to Know by Tracy Garvis Graves

The Girl He Used to Know  The Girl He Used to Know 02

Very different covers… but I really like the first one. The first seems like a love story, the second feels like the book is tragic and sad…


So that’s it. Tell me your thoughts! If you can’t get enough, check out Battle Of The Books #1 – #2#3 – #4 – #5#6 – #7#8#9#10