Tag Archives: boyfriend

Behind Closed Doors by Kathryn Croft. Review. 

I want to say initially that having seen some of the really bad reviews of this book on Goodreads, I really cannot understand them. I get that everyone’s entitled to their opinions but it’s really lost on me, how, if you’re a fan of psychological thrillers you couldn’t enjoy this book. 

Now that’s out of the way, I want to say a little something about Kathryn Croft. I was first introduced to her when I read her novel While You Were Sleeping last year. Kathryn started out as a self published author but was soon snapped up by publishers Bookouture, and there’s a reason for that. Kathryn is a really good author and writes fantastic psychological thrillers. She’s also a really great person and you can read my interview with her here: https://lifehasafunnywayofsneakinguponyou.wordpress.com/2016/11/27/author-interview-kathryn-croft/

As well as my positive reviews of the other two novels I’ve read by her here: 

While You Were Sleeping: https://lifehasafunnywayofsneakinguponyou.wordpress.com/2016/11/22/while-you-were-sleeping-by-kathryn-croft-review/

The Stranger Within: https://lifehasafunnywayofsneakinguponyou.wordpress.com/2017/06/29/the-stranger-within-by-kathyrn-croft-review/

Now, Behind Closed Doors is one of the novels Kathryn wrote as a self published author which means she wrote, edited and marketed that book herself. Which frankly to me makes it even more amazing! I really enjoyed it start to finish and couldn’t put it down! 

Olivia has just got divorced from her husband and moved into a flat with her 10 year old daughter Ellie. Soon after moving in, she befriends and becomes close to their upstairs neighbour Michael. But things start going downhill from there, Michael can be a little strange at times and Ellie hates his sister Chloe. To top it off, Olivia is having to deal with an ex-husband who doesn’t want to let her go, and now she’s got a stalker as well. As things start to get even weirder, Olivia doesn’t know where to turn or who she can trust anymore. Who is really out to get her? 

This novel was a real page turner. What baffled me most was that a lot of previous reviewers said the ending was obvious. I simply cannot agree, there were plenty of red herrings thrown in and just like our first person narrator Olivia, I didn’t have a clue who to trust, no sooner did I think I’d worked it out, I became suspicious of someone else. I did start to work out who it was eventually but not until about 95% of the way through, and even then I wasn’t expecting that ending! I’m still reeling and pretty certain I’ll have a book hangover for a few days while I try and process that! 

Well done Kathryn on another suspenseful, psychological thriller! 

Launching a New Book Product! 

Hi everyone, thanks for visiting my blog again! 
Just a quick post from me today to say that after a long time thinking about it I’ve decided to go ahead and launch my own book related product!! It’s really exciting but before I can proceed I need to do some research into what my potential customers would like to see and the sort of cost they would expect to pay. Subsequently I’d really appreciate it if you could take 2 minutes to take my survey 

Fireblood by Elly Blake. Review 

Thank you to Netgalley, Hodder and Stoughton and Elly Blake for my ARC of Fireblood

Fireblood is the sequel to Frostblood and if you haven’t read Frostblood you should stop here as there may be a few spoilers of the first novel. You can however read my spoiler free review of Frostblood here: https://lifehasafunnywayofsneakinguponyou.wordpress.com/2017/07/24/frostblood-by-elly-blake-review/

At the end of Frostblood the Frost King’s evil reign of terror was over when Ruby and Arcus melted the frost throne and vanished the Minax who inhabited it, but now it’s back. Ruby is haunted by dreams of the Minax and is terrified she will hurt those she loves. Not to mention the reception she’s getting from the Frost court is shall we say… frosty…. 

Despite Arcus’ warnings, Ruby travels to Sudesia with a roguish Fireblood called Kai, Ruby is sure that all the answers to the past and the future lie in the library of Sudesia. But maybe they’re not the answers she was looking for after all… 

The second book in the Frostblood Saga is a lot more fast paced than the first one, the action begins almost immediately and we are thrown into the middle of wars woven in secret and deliciously hidden secrets. Nobody is who they seem and Ruby can no longer be sure of who she is.

I cannot wait for the third book in this series now, I need to know what happens next!! 

July Wrap Up 2017 

I read 25 books this month and in the fashion of Kristin at Kristin Kraves Books I’m going to give the total pages as well: 7,736 

So here goes! I’ll not go into descriptions as there’s just too many! But I’ll give a sentence or two for each. 

Frostblood & Fireblood by Elly Blake. There are two types of people here those that fight with frost and those who fight with fire. There’s action romance and plenty of wit! 

The Wind on Fire trilogy by William Nicholson. I read these as a child and they were just as good now! The Manth people combat different evils in the search for thei home land. Dystopian. 

The Spiderwick Chronicles by Holly Black. 3 children are drawn into a magical world unseen by everyone else and battle ogres and goblins to save the world. 

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. Girl travels back in time to 18th century Scotland where she embarks on an adventure with a hunky, kilt wearing Scotsman. 

The Break by Marian Keyes. Relationship breaks down when husband goes on a break, cue Marian’s unique style of humour. 

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman. The loneliest girl in the world learns how to make friends. 

The Indian in the Cupboard by Lynne Reid Banks. Boy puts things in a magic cupboard and they come to life! 

Final Girls by Riley Sager, girl survives murder only to be targeted by another killer. 

The Girl Who Came Back by Kerry Wilkinson Girl goes missing and comes back years later, is it really her though? 

Rusticles by Rebecca Gransden beautifully put together short stories with phantasmagoric themes. 

The Word is Murder by Anthony Horowitz. Author gets installed in his own story and becomes embroiled in a murder mystery. 

Victoria by Daisy Goodwin the tale of one of the great monarchs of the 20th century. 

The Friend by Dorothy Koomson a woman is embroiled into a mystery around an attempted murder and poisonous friendships. 

The Overneath by Peter S Beagle a gorgeous collection of short stories from the author of The Last Unicorn. 

Stillhouse Lake by Rachel Caine. A woman and her family on the run become the target of a murderer. 

Storm Front by Jim Butcher a series about a wizard detective. 

Friend Request by Laura Marshall a woman becomes the victim of a stalker who appears to be an old friend who died at school. 

House of Shadows by Nicola Cormick. After the disappearance of her brother a woman finds herself embroiled in a historical mystery, a time slip between present day and Stuart England.

July Book Haul 

Where has this month gone?? Not a huge one this month and it’s going to be getting much smaller as I’m trying to read the books I have before I buy anymore, we’ll see if I stick to that though! 

So here we go! I hauled 27 books this month including ARCs. 

The Friend by Dorothy Koomson 

The Word is Murder by Anthony Horowitz 

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo 

Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo 

Frostblood by Elly Blake 

Fireblood by Elly Blake 

The Diabolic by SJ Kincaid 

Final Girls by Riley Sager 

Stillhouse Lake by Rachel Caine 

Friend Request by Laura Marshall 

The Break by Marian Keyes 

The Overneath by Peter S Beagle 

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman 

Gilded Cage by Vic James 

All Together Dead by Charlaine Harris 

Orphan Sisters by Lola Jaye 

Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon 

My Not so Perfect Life by Sophie Kinsella 

Tales From the Shadowhunter Academy by Cassandra Clare 

The Woman in Black by Susan Hill 

Above Suspicion by Lynda La Plante 

Good Friday by Lynda La Plante 

Midnight Crossroad by Charlaine Harris 

Throne of Glass, Crown of Midnight, Heir of Fire by Sarah J Maas 

Queen of Shadows by Sarah J Maas 

Forgotten YA Gems 

I decided to write this post as I’ve recently bought loads of my old childhood books to read again, it made me think about what my favourite books were and a conversation with my lovely friend (and author) Lauren McNeil made me realise that not only could I help other people remember their favourites but I could also recommend some oldie but goodie fantasy novels which may have become ‘forgotten’. So here are a few of my favourites from my official ‘YA’ time I hope you find some that you remember and maybe some new ones to enjoy too! 

The Prophecy of the Gems by Flavia Bujor was a book which stayed with my all my life because Flavia wrote this book when she was only 13!! 13 and she had a published novel, as an aspiring teen writer she was my idol! Anyway, the premise is three girls; Amber, Opal and Jade who are chosen to fill an ancient Prophecy on the fourteenth birthdays. The girls set out on a quest in a magical realm called Fairytale. Magic rules there and evil is completely unknown… meanwhile in the real world, or a parallel universe as it is known in the book, a young girl named Jo is in a coma and dreaming of three girls completing an epic quest, only armed with their magical stones. Fairytale’s fate lies with them… 

Molly Moon’s Incredible Book of Hypnotism was a firm favourite of mine growing up although I only read the first two. Molly lives in an orphanage and isn’t treated very well, when she finds a book of Hypnotism her life changes dramatically for the better and the fun really begins. 

The World of Chrestomanci by Dianna Wynne Jones. This is a 6 book series of which I read the first four and now have the last two to read. Magic, mayhem, rules about magic, parallel worlds, doppelgängers, this series has it all and it’s wonderfully magical from start to finish. 

The Wind on Fire Trilogy by William Nicholson, I’ve just finished re-reading there and they were just as awesome the second time round. The Manth people live in the shadow of the Windsinger which no longer sings after they were attacked by the Morah. But twins Bow and Kestrel set out to save the day and bring the Windsinger’s voice back. 

The Arthur Series by Kevin Crossley-Holland. If you like your action packed stories with a hint of magic and fortune telling them these are the Arthur book for you, blurring the lines between children and adult fiction these are a great alternative tale to the traditional Arthurian Legends. 

I probably don’t need to actually say that this is forgotten,  because I know there’s loads of other Le Guin fans out there but believe it or not some people genuinely haven’t heard of her or her amazing books. This is absolutely one of my favourite series. This series follows the story of the wizard Ged (same name as my boyfriend by the way complete coincidence I promise). Ged who becomes known as Sparrowhawk, is a talented magician and soon becomes an archmage. There’s plenty of good vs evil and the series has been described as on a par with Tolkien and CS Lewis. 

The Last Unicorn by Peter S Beagle is an absolute classic and really appeals to any age! It’s also an amazing film and one of my absolute favourite books and films of all time. The story of a Unicorn who believes she is the Last Unicorn in the world. Cue an epic adventure involving a bumbling magician and a King’s curse. 

The Earthaven Series by Katherine Roberts begins with Spellfall which is a wonderful story of magic and curses, kidnapping, spells and an enchanted world full of spell Lords and giant giant soul trees. The follow up book Spellspring was published 15 years later in 2016. 

The Magician’s House Series by William Corlett, three siblings find themselves in a mysterious house for the school holidays where they enter The Magician’s House and a world of magic unfolds. The children become the Magician’s students and epic adventures begin. 

Another series that perhaps doesn’t need to be listed under ‘forgotten’ especially with the new one coming out in October (yay!) but this is another of my absolute favourites. His Dark Materials what I loved most about the series is the fact that everyone has a Dæmon, a little animal which belongs to them, like their soul but on the outside. Lyra travels around her parallel world to save her friend. 

The Old Kingdom Series by Garth Nix. Surprisingly few people have read Hess or even heard of them and yet I personally consider Garth Nix to be one of the greatest authors in the genre of all time. Sabriel, Lireal, Abhorsen were all books I read when I was younger and I have since happily enjoyed Across the Wall, Clariel, Goldenhand and To Hold the Bridge.  The Old Kingdom are fantastic tales of an amazing fantasy world where evil is close and visits to death are like visits to the local shop.

Not exactly Fantasy but definitely YA the Sally Lockhart Series by Philip Pullman is another great series by this author. Set in Victorian London these are stories of mystery, penny dreadfuls, opium dens and the dark secrets of Asian culture at a time when it was pretty much unknown. Absolutely fascinating. They’re engrossing I’ll warn you! 

Finally Artemis Fowl I only ever read the first three books although I see now there have been many others. Eoin Colfer’s twelve year old millionaire, genius protagonist mixes science and futuristic technology with magic for an eclectic but fascinating story. 

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about some of my favourites and hopefully reconnected with some of yours. Please feel free to comment your own recommendations! 

The Friend by Dorothy Koomson. Review 

Wowee what a rollercoaster of a novel! I first got into Dorothy Koomson’s books when I watched the mini series The Ice Cream Girls on tv and of course read the book. Thank you to Cornerstone Publishing for the opportunity to read Dorothy’s latest novel The Friend. 

Cece moves to Brighton for her husband, she gives up her own job, takes the kids out of school and moves there for his promotion. Immediately there is resentment, her towards him for making them move when they didn’t want to, and him because he sees her life as luxurious now that she’s not out earning money. Cece is also worried because the posh private school Plummer Prep where they’ve installed their twins Ore and Oscar is the scene of a grizzly attempted murder of local ‘alpha mum’ Yvonne Whidmore. 

Meanwhile, Yvonne’s three best friends are acting shifty. Maxie, Anaya and Hazel all have something to hide from the world. They’re wrapped up in their secrets and the fact that Yvonne was always digging into their backgrounds means they all have a motive for what happened to her that night. Especially as they were the last ones to see her alive. 

Cece is thrown in right into the middle of it when an unexpected blast from the past gets involved. 

This novel is a real page turner. It’s a hefty book with the hardback having 460+ pages but reading it is a dream. Dorothy Koomson writes very well and really does keep you guessing. None of the characters I’d considered as the attempted murderer were right. Not the mention the writing itself is beautiful and really draws you into the story. It really does pose the question how well do you really know the people around you, the ones you think are your friends? 

The answer? You really don’t. As with The Ice Cream Girls Dorothy Koomson delivers a selection of highly sensitive issues with obvious care and consideration providing well researched and emotionally provoking contemporary mysteries. 

For fans of Lianne Moriarty and Nicola Moriarty.