New BFF: Fictionophile

BFF

Happy hump day! Today on the blog I want to give a warm welcome to my new BFF, Lynne, who blogs at Fictionophile. Her blogging resumé is most impressive! She started her blog in 2007, she’s posted over 200 reviews on Netgalley AND earned 6 badges. And what we’re probably all going to be a bit envious of is the fact that she is pre-approved on NG by 9 publishers.

Lynne is also the founder of the cover-love series. It’s actually through these series that I found her and they’re forever linked in my mind. If you’ve not checked it out yet, you really need to see them. She’s already featured 54 differently themed covers and whether it’s hearts, keys, broken wine glasses or other, every single time I find it amazing to see so many similar – and yet very different – covers together. OK, I’m rambling again so I think I’m going to let Lynne do the talking from hereon. Here it is:

QandA

Name: Lynne

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Age: 62

Birthday: February 12th

What did you study or do you study now / what is your current job? I am retired from my job as the fiction cataloguer for the Halifax Public Library system.

Librarian

Do you have any other hobbies? Besides blogging, I like gardening, word games, crocheting and other crafts.

Your favourite color?

Green

Green, the many hues of nature.

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Do you collect anything (besides books)? I collect mugs with a bookish theme,

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also starfish which I have displayed around my summer cottage.

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What’s the name of the book that you’ve had the longest? Have you read it?

It would have to be “Jane Eyre” and yes, I’ve read it several times. (I also own four different editions of this book)

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?

I’ve purchased a book thinking it was a new title by one of my favourite authors, only to find that it was a book I already owned issued under a different title.

Do you listen to audio books?

I tried recently but found that it just wasn’t for me. I’d rather read the printed word.

Do you have a favorite genre?

I’m torn. If you asked me last year and for many years before that, I would have definitely said ‘Mystery/Thriller’. Now that genre shares the favourite spot with ‘Up-lit’.

What is the book highest on your wishlist right now?

The Craftsman” by Sharon Bolton

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Devoted father or merciless killer?

His secrets are buried with him.

Florence Lovelady’s career was made when she convicted coffin-maker Larry Glassbrook of a series of child murders 30 years ago. Like something from our worst nightmares the victims were buried…ALIVE.

Larry confessed to the crimes; it was an open and shut case. But now he’s dead, and events from the past start to repeat themselves.

Did she get it wrong all those years ago?
Or is there something much darker at play?

How is your library organized?

Alphabetically, by author’s surname. I can’t help it, it is a carry-over from my career in libraries.

Do you read more ebooks or physical books?

For sure I read more e-books. I would estimate that of the last 300 books I’ve read, only two of them have been actually books. I have been known to buy the actual book AFTER reading it digitally, just so that I could have a favorite title in my collection.

Do you have a favorite book?

For me, that question is akin to picking a favourite child. Impossible. I will say that Jane Eyre is my favourite classic, “A man called Ove” is a recent favourite, and I have SO many favourites in the mystery/thriller genre, that you would have to get more space on this blog to list them all. LOL. I have listed some of my favourite reads here.

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What’s the cover in your collection that you’re most proud of?

Probably “The forgotten garden” by Kate Morton – and I love the classics in my collection which have gilt trimmings.

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Do you have any idea how many books you own? <100, >100, >200, >300 …?

I used to have thousands, now probably only about 1200 or so. I’ve been trying to purge in case we move to a smaller place with fewer bookshelves.

What’s the title of the last book you purchased?

The trouble with goats and sheep” by Joanna Cannon.

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England,1976.

Mrs Creasy is missing and The Avenue is alive with whispers. As the summer shimmers endlessly on, ten-year-olds Grace and Tilly decide to take matters into their own hands.

And as the cul-de-sac starts giving up its secrets, the amateur detectives will find much more than they imagined…

Who was your favorite author when you were a child?

I remember my favourite book was “Tom’s midnight garden” so I’d have to say Philippa Pearce.

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From which author do you have most books?

I have large collections of several authors, but the author I have the most books from is probably Ruth Rendell. Including some of her novels written under the name Barbara Vine, I have 51 of her titles in hardcover. (42 Ruth Rendell pictured here in the top photo – 9 Barbara Vine on another shelf in the bottom photo)

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Are there books you’ve read 2 or 3 times? Yes. I’ve read ‘Jane Eyre’ several times, also ‘The shell seekers’ by Rosamunde Pilcher, and ‘A man called Ove’ by Fredrik Backman. There are a few more, but I can’t think of them at the minute.

How many books are there on your Goodreads challenge this year and how many have you read already?

My Goodreads challenge this year is 100 books. I’m reading my 40th title now.

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

Life after life” by Kate Atkinson
“The Yellow house” by Patricia Falvey
No great mischief” by Alistair MacLeod
No mark upon her” by Deborah Crombie
Entry Island” by Peter May

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I’m going to leave you with one of Lynne’s favorite quotes:

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In case you missed it, these are the BFF’s (Blog Friends Forever) I posted about before :

Martina – The Mystery Corner
Liis – Cover to Cover
Anne – Inked Brownies
Danielle – Books, Vertigo and Tea
Drew – TheTattooedBookGeek
Jillian – Rant and Rave About Books
Meg – Magic of Books
Betty – Bookish Regards
Anais – Zeezee with Books
Nicki – Secret Library
Donna – Chocolatenwaffles’ Blog
Chitra – Books & Strips
Annie – The Misstery
Dee – Novel Deelights
Stephanie – Teacher of YA
Tina – Reading Between the Pages
Savanah – Off-Color Lit
Delphine – Delphine’s Babble on Some Good Reads
Lisa – Rambling Lisa’s Book Reviews
Alex – Coffeeloving Bookoholic
The Readers Bay
Kathy – Books and Munches
Diana – A Haven for Book Lovers
Norrie – Reading Under The Blankie

I don’t want my BFF club to be complete just yet! There’s still room for plenty more so give me a shout if you want to be added! It’d be very appreciated!

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A whole lot of bookmarks

discussion-post

Hi everyone!

A little while ago I saw an awesome post on Facebook where someone in one of the group’s I’m a member of listed over 400 different bookmarks for sale. I was fascinated with all these different designs and at first I wanted to make a few myself and post another DIY post. I googled and youtubed a lot but I couldn’t really figure it all out and really, I don’t think it’s worth all the hassle. Don’t get me wrong, it would be cool if I could make my own bookmarks but I’m not sure they would look anywhere as good as these.

Margret, the woman in question, lives in The Netherlands and makes them herself out of a paper napkin or tissue paper. She sells them for only 1 euro a piece. Can you buy a cool bookmark for that money in the store? I think not. Shipping to me was only 2,80 euro as well so I thought I’d go for it.

The most difficult thing in the end was choosing really (and not going totally overboard). I’ll show you which ones I picked out 🙂 but first here’s how they arrived. I already loved receiving this little package, especially the design on the envelope! She also wrapped them carefully so they would get here in perfect condition :-).

I’m sure there’s something for everyone in the almost 500 different designs but I could only cut it down to 6 which I still think is a pretty good achievement given how undecisive I am normally in life. I chose a few cute ones, one because it has a cat on it and one because it has pink on it. You know me 🙂

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They look really professional too, the front is laminated and the two sides are neatly folded with a raised edge. The paper used isn’t really heavy cardboard but it’s not too flimsey either.

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You can see that two magnet strips were used. You have to clip only one page between them so they’re definitely strong enough :-).

So there you go… isn’t it fun to open your book and see this adorable little mouse?

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So what do you think about these?  Which one would you advise me to use first? Do you have a favorite type of design? Anyone who has tried to make their own bookmark? I’m curious so, come on and let me know!

Sunflowers in February by Phyllida Shrimpton #BookReview

Sunflowers in February def

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Lily wakes up one crisp Sunday morning on the side of the road.

She has no idea how she got there. It is all very peaceful. And very beautiful. It is only when the police car, and then the ambulance, arrive and she sees her own body that she realises that she is in fact . . . dead.

But what is she supposed do now?

Lily has no option but to follow her body and sees her family – her parents and her twin brother – start falling apart. And then her twin brother Ben gives her a once in a deathtime opportunity – to use his own body for a while. But will Lily give Ben his body back? She is beginning to have a rather good time . . .

amazon uk amazon com

review-2

star three and a half

It must be karma because while I was finishing this novel, something very sad happened to someone at work. One day he’s there, the next he’s not.. gone in the blink of an eye, much like Lily in this novel.

I’m not one to believe in an afterlife or staying around on earth (although I did really love the movie Ghost) but I actually found some comfort in the story as I imagined my colleague following everyone around and still being near. Sometimes you just find it in unexpected places when you need it. If you are struggling with feelings of grief, having difficulties letting a loved one go, then this is a nice novel to lose yourself into and draw some strength and positive thoughts from in the end.

Sunflowers in February touches subjects as spirituality and life after death but all in a charmingly funny way. It’s a book about trying to hold on – and Lily is quite literally holding on to her old life by claiming her brother’s body – but also about letting go. I had some problems with Lily’s selfish choice to take what wasn’t hers and putting her brother in her own shoes. She also didn’t make much of an effort either acting like a boy. Imagine your brother squeeling over a pair of shoes, ahum. So sometimes she did irritate me a little bit and I thought I would do better (not that I’ve ever tried mind). If it was an effort at being hilariously funny then it was maybe somewhat cheeky and humourous but not in a laughing out loud kind of way but I felt the story didn’t need it really or it was perhaps not something I was looking for in that moment so that’s probably why I also liked the story more towards the ending. In the final part she’s more reflective and appreciative of everybody and you can feel the warmth of her family and her friends even though they don’t know she’s there.

Overall, this was a light and humurous read which started out from a horrific situation but was beautifully turned around and left me with a heart-warming and satisfying feeling.

I received a free copy of this novel from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion.

WWW Wednesday (02-05-2018)

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?

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What I recently finished :

I saw the title and I seriously got little hearts in my eyes, I wanted to know more! This novel is not what I thought it was going to be about (there’s lies and then there’s LIES) but I loved it and it turned out into a cracking read!

Everything Is Lies by Helen Callaghan

Everything is Lies

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What I’m reading now:

This is book 6 in the Tracy Crosswhite Series, a series I’m trying to follow because the detective team is just so wonderful. I loved The Trapped Girl (book 4) but found book 5 a little less riveting, perhaps because it had a military setting which is less my thing. So far I’m following two investigations and nothing military in sight so I think we’re good.

A Steep Price by Robert Dugoni

A Steep Price

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What I’ll (probably) read soon:

I really look forward to reading this one. A mysterious disappearance, that calls for Detective Inge. Pff.. I really need another detective name. Anyway, did you know that Rosie Walsh also writes as Lucy Robinson? Well I haven’t read any of her novels under that pen name either but I know she’s a well established author so this must be good!

The Man Who Didn’t Call by Rosie Walsh

The Man Who Didn't CallImagine you meet a man, spend seven glorious days together, and fall in love. And it’s mutual: you’ve never been so certain of anything.

So when he leaves for a long-booked holiday and promises to call from the airport, you have no cause to doubt him.
But he doesn’t call.

Your friends tell you to forget him, but you know they’re wrong: something must have happened; there must be a reason for his silence.

What do you do when you finally discover you’re right? That there is a reason — and that reason is the one thing you didn’t share with each other?

The truth.

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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 !

The Fear by C.L. Taylor #BlogTour #Extract

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Sometimes your first love won’t let you go…

When Lou Wandsworth ran away to France with her teacher Mike Hughes, she thought he was the love of her life. But Mike wasn’t what he seemed and he left her life in pieces.

Now 32, Lou discovers that he is involved with teenager Chloe Meadows. Determined to make sure history doesn’t repeat itself, she returns home to confront him for the damage he’s caused.

But Mike is a predator of the worst kind, and as Lou tries to bring him to justice, it’s clear that she could once again become his prey…

About

Cally Taylor was born in Worcester and spent her early years living in various army camps in the UK and Germany. She studied Psychology at the University of Northumbria and went on forge a career in instructional design and e-Learning before leaving to write full time in 2014.

She started writing short stories in 2005 and was published widely in literary and women’s magazines. She also won several short story competitions. In 2009 and 2011 her romantic comedy novels (as Cally Taylor) were published by Orion and translated into fourteen languages. HEAVEN CAN WAIT was a bestseller in Hungary and China and HOME FOR CHRISTMAS was made into a feature film by JumpStart Productions. Whilst on maternity leave with her son Cally had an idea for a psychological thriller and turned to crime. She has also written a Young Adult thriller, THE TREATMENT, which was published by HarperCollins HQ.

C.L. Taylor lives in Bristol with her partner and young son.

Connect

Sign up here to join the CL Taylor Book Club for access to news, updates and information that isn’t available on the web, as well as exclusive newsletter-only competitions and giveaways and the books that CL Taylor thinks will be the next big thing. You will also receive The Lodger for free when you sign up.

http://www.cltaylorauthor.com
http://www.twitter.com/callytaylor
http://www.Instagram.com/cltaylorauthor
http://www.facebook.com/callytaylorauthor

Purchase

amazon uk

Extract

A scene where Chloe is on holiday with her brother and her parents.

Jamie’s laughter carries across the pool, over a frantic father–son table tennis match and across to the sun loungers. Chloe plucks at her dress. It’s too tight across the bust and sweat is pooling between her breasts. Still, at least Jamie’s firing his water pistol at their dad now, rather than her. She glances at her mum, lying on the sun lounger beside her. She’s wearing oversized sunglasses and a black swimsuit with a sarong swathed around her hips. She hasn’t looked up from her book once in the last hour.

Chloe has never really understood her mother – with her constant migraines, lack of interest in Chloe’s life and her permanently exhausted expression – but she does now. She’s dead inside too. There’s no point talking to her about what’s been going on in her life. Even if she could find the words, what could her mum do? At best she’d tell Chloe that everyone has crushes and she should find a nice boy her own age to go out with. At worst she’d tell her dad and the police about Mike. What does her mum know about love anyway? She might have loved her dad once but there isn’t any evidence of that now. They never kiss or touch each other. They barely speak other than about the kids. Chloe can’t even remember the last time they smiled at each other. Their relationship couldn’t be more different to her relationship with Mike. Correction. The relationship she used to have with Mike. Even her dad had commented on the fact he hadn’t dropped round the house for a while.

Chloe shifts on her sun lounger and sits up. She plucks at the thin material of her dress, clinging to her thighs. The second she lets go, it sticks to her skin again. She’s so hot and uncomfortable she feels sick. In another world she’d rip off her dress and jump in the pool with her knees tucked up to her chin and feel the sweet relief of the water washing over her. But it’s not another world. It’s this world, where she’s fat and lumpy and she’d rather die than let anyone see her in a swimsuit.

‘I’m going to get a Coke,’ she says. ‘Do you want anything?’

Her mum shakes her head.

‘All right. I’ll be back in a bit.’

***Don’t miss the other bloggers on the blog tour***

The other stop today of the blog tour is Bookie Wookie‘s blog !

The Fear

The Fear by C.L. Taylor #BookReview

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Sometimes your first love won’t let you go…

When Lou Wandsworth ran away to France with her teacher Mike Hughes, she thought he was the love of her life. But Mike wasn’t what he seemed and he left her life in pieces.

Now 32, Lou discovers that he is involved with teenager Chloe Meadows. Determined to make sure history doesn’t repeat itself, she returns home to confront him for the damage he’s caused.

But Mike is a predator of the worst kind, and as Lou tries to bring him to justice, it’s clear that she could once again become his prey…

amazon uk amazon com

review-2

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What a great great read! I also really can’t imagine a more aptly chosen title for this novel. All of the characters in this novel have something to fear, literally or figuratively. I loved how all this fear spat from the pages! Mike for example fears getting caught, being arrested and going to jail, although he quite literally fears for his life a few times in this novel as well. I thought it only served him right! For Lou it’s a whole other story. She feared him in the past when – as a young teenager – she was led on by him and ended up held captive in France. Although 18 years have passed since she came back from France, her fear has never really completely died. It’s awful to see how she still suffers the consequences after all these years, unable to hold onto a stable relationship. Even thinking of taking the ferry and going to France for a weekend with her new beau is enough to set her off fleeing and breaking all contact with him.

I admit it is quite a disturbing topic to read about but her story was told in a very touching and gripping way and I couldn’t tear myself away from these pages. I’ve never read about grooming in such a compelling, realistic and detailed way. Her feelings of love for him and his claims of love for her were equally hard to read and made me sad and angry but made me flip the pages to see how she ‘escaped’ him and how she had a change of heart. When things didn’t work out as she thought, the romantic weekend getaway nothing but wishful thinking, I felt my heart go out for her once again. My feelings were just as jumbled up as Louise’s. As if that’s not enough, there’s the horrifying realisation when she comes back in her hometown that he’s now interested in thirteen year-old Chloe. The further into the story, the more I rooted for Louise to really do whatever necessary to stop him, and with her determination becoming clearer and clearer with every page I turned, I was a whole cheering team on my own.

The route C.L. Taylor takes is unforeseeable and quite twisty. Nothing is premediated but everything that happens is formed more or less by sort of lucky or unlucky coincidences. It’s not made up of gasping out loud moments but The Fear was still a very surprising read from start to finish with lots of moments that could be pivotal for the rest of the story. You might have some ideas how this story is going to pan out but you might not expect how brilliant it’ll be.

This story reeled me in right from the start, it was a story full of emotion, love, hate and everything in between, with great characters, fast-paced and with the kind of action I can’t get enough of. The Fear gets 5 stars from me on Goodreads and Amazon!

I received a free copy of this novel from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion. Check back tomorrow because it’s my stop on the blog tour and I have an extract to share! 

Same book, different cover #4

battle-of-the-books

 

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

The Teacher’s Secret by Suzanne Leal

Teacher's Secret 01 Teacher's Secret 02

Cover 1! I really like how the title is written in a more childlike handwriting it’s not so crowded either.

Our Kind of Cruelty by Araminta Hall

Our Kind Of Cruelty 01  Our Kind Of Cruelty 02  Our Kind Of Cruelty 03

Cover nr. 2 but I have inside knowledge that justifies my choice. You see the female character in this novel has a thing for eagles, even wears an eagle as a necklace, and he was her eagle, so I find it perfectly chosen. I don’t even know what it is on that first cover.. ropes? I don’t see any reference there and the third one even less… it looks too couply but it’s a story that starts after a break-up so no.

Until You’re Mine by Samantha Hayes

Until You're Mine 02 Until You're Mine 03 Until You're Mine 01

Cover 1. It’s the only one that really makes me feel something when I look at the cover.

Educated by Tara Westover

Educated 01  Educated 02

This is a difficult one, but I’ll go for cover 1. I had to take a second look to notice that person standing on the mountain there, such a clever idea!

I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh

I let You Go 01 I let You Go 02 I let You Go 03

Cover 3 really catches my eye. It feels like I could have seen the first one already somewhere else… the third one is simply more special and original and the book is so easy to identify when it has that cover.

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