WWW Wednesday: 16th October 2019

The WWW Wednesday meme is hosted by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words and is a great way to do a weekly update on what you’ve been reading and what you have planned.

WWW Wednesday

To take part all you have to do is answer the following three questions:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you’ll read next?

Currently ReadingMonstrous Heart

I’ve been having trouble trying to decide what to read over the last few days but after starting and stopping about four different books I think I’ve finally settled on Monstrous Heart by Claire McKenna. This was an ARC I received from NetGalley a few weeks ago and it’s not out for ages so should probably be further down my reading list but it just seemed the kind of book I was in the mood for. I only started on Monday so very early days but I think I’m enjoying it. I have to confess I’m a little confused about what’s going on but I am liking the writing style and am still at the intrigued stage.

On audio I started listening to Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray. Again I only started it at the weekend so not made a lot of progress but so far so good and it seems like an appropriate read for the season.

Recently Finished

The Curse of Tenth Grave (Charley Davidson, #10)When Strangers Marry (Vallerands, #1)Blood Bound (Mercy Thompson, #2)

Three books finished this week, two of which were actually from my Spooktober TBR (three down, 9 to go) so I’m pretty happy with that. First up was The Curse of the Tenth Grave by Darynda Jones. This is the tenth book in the Charley Davidson series and I forgot how much I loved these books. It’s been a good six month since I read the previous book but it was very easy to fall back into the story. My biggest difficulty has been resisting going off to read the rest of the series.

After Charley Davidson I was still in the mood for something light and fluffy so decided to go for historical romance When Strangers Marry. I did kind of enjoy it but I don’t think it was anything special. It did make a nice change to find one that’s set in New Orleans.

The third book finished was Blood Bound, the second Mercy Thompson book, by Patricia Briggs. It’s been a few months since I read the first in the series so I did have my doubts about this but really, really liked it. I think it first came out in 2007, so I was worried it would be a bit dated but it’s really not. It also made for a pretty fantastic Halloween read with ghosts, vampires, werewolves and other creatures. It’s light on the romance and also genuinely creepy in a couple of places. I’m kind of tempted to read on.

Reading Next

I’m still planning to keep plugging away at my Spooktober TBR (I’m determined I will read everything on it) and I think I’m going to try and pick up The Wych Elm by Tana French next. With the Dublin Murders starting on TV, I’m in the mood for one of French’s books. I’d also like to pick up Wayward Son by Rainbow Rowell. I’ve been really looking forward to it so not sure I’ll be able to resist for long.

The Wych ElmWayward Son (Simon Snow, #2)

Have you read any of the books on my list this week? Any others you’d recommend? As always please feel free to leave comments and links below.

Happy Reading ❤

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Teaser Tuesday: Ninth House

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by The Purple Booker. If you want to join in grab your current read, flick to a random page, select two sentences (without spoilers) and share them in a blog post or in the comments of The Purple Booker.


This week my teaser comes from Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo. I have to confess I haven’t started reading it yet as I’ve just started an ARC of another book but as I’m probably not supposed to share any teasers from that (it’s not out till April 20) I’ve decided to dip into this instead. It is a book I’ve been looking forward to so I’m sure it won’t be long till I am reading it.


My Teaser

He realised her shoulders had gone loose and easy. Her stride had changed. She looked a little less like someone gearing up to take a swing.

Pg37 Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo


BlurbNinth House (Alex Stern, #1)

The mesmerizing adult debut from #1 New York Times bestselling author Leigh Bardugo

Galaxy “Alex” Stern is the most unlikely member of Yale’s freshman class. Raised in the Los Angeles hinterlands by a hippie mom, Alex dropped out of school early and into a world of shady drug dealer boyfriends, dead-end jobs, and much, much worse. By age twenty, in fact, she is the sole survivor of a horrific, unsolved multiple homicide. Some might say she’s thrown her life away. But at her hospital bed, Alex is offered a second chance: to attend one of the world’s most elite universities on a full ride. What’s the catch, and why her?

Still searching for answers to this herself, Alex arrives in New Haven tasked by her mysterious benefactors with monitoring the activities of Yale’s secret societies. These eight windowless “tombs” are well-known to be haunts of the future rich and powerful, from high-ranking politicos to Wall Street and Hollywood’s biggest players. But their occult activities are revealed to be more sinister and more extraordinary than any paranoid imagination might conceive.

WWW Wednesday: 9th October 2019

The WWW Wednesday meme is hosted by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words and is a great way to do a weekly update on what you’ve been reading and what you have planned.

WWW Wednesday

To take part all you have to do is answer the following three questions:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you’ll read next?

Currently ReadingHow to Fail: Everything I’ve Ever Learned From Things Going Wrong

I haven’t really been in a reading mood over the last couple of days, a combination of work stress and general tiredness, so I’ve been dipping in and out of How to Fail by Elizabeth Day. As someone who is a bit of a perfectionist and therefore not able to cope will with failure (or just not being very good at something) this has been a pretty eye opening read. It’s full of anecdotes about failure from the various celebrities the author has interviewed but what I’m loving the most are the author’s own personal stories, they’re very relatable. Unfortunately my library loan is up soon so I don’t think I’ll manage to finish it but I’ll definitely be putting a hold on it so I can get it back out again (or maybe I’ll just buy it).

Recently Finished

The Secret of Cold Hill (House on Cold Hill, #2)

As always, the second I do a TBR post I seem to lose my reading mojo so only managed to finish one book this week, The Secret of Cold Hill by Peter James. I actually finished it late on Friday night but ended up reading literally nothing over the weekend (I may have gone on a bit of a netflix/movie binge watch). The Secret of Cold Hill is a classic haunted house story but the author has brought it up to date by setting it in an ultra high tech home kitted out with every gadget you could ever want. It was a completely addictive and often creepy read but I’m not sure it’s one I’ll necessary remember.  You can read my whole review here.

Reading Next

I posted my Spooktober TBR at the end of last week so I’m going to try and keep making progress on it. Given my current slumpiness I think I’m probably going to pick up the next Charley Davidson book next or maybe Victoria Schwab’s City of Ghosts.

The Curse of Tenth Grave (Charley Davidson, #10)City of Ghosts (Cassidy Blake, #1)

Have you read any of the books on my list this week? Any others you’d recommend? As always please feel free to leave comments and links below.

Happy Reading ❤

Spooktober Review: The Secret of Cold Hill by Peter James

The Secret of Cold Hill (House on Cold Hill, #2)
The Secret of Cold Hill
by Peter James is a classic haunted house story with a bit of a modern twist. It’s creepy and a little bit gruesome in places making it the perfect read for the season.

No spoilers: while this is the follow up to The House on Cold Hill it follows completely different characters so can be read as a standalone and there are no spoilers in either the blurb or my review 🙂


THE BLURB

The Secret of Cold Hill by Peter James is the spine-chilling follow-up to The House on Cold Hill. Now a smash-hit stage play.

Cold Hill House has been demolished to make way for a new housing estate. Luxury-living at its best with high specification gadgets all thrown in – part-exchange available for the right buyers.

The first two families move in, and as soon as they do, the unearthly residents of Cold Hill begin to make themselves known.

Nobody who moves into Cold Hill reaches their fortieth birthday, and the old couple that have just arrived . . . let’s just say their days are numbered.


MY REVIEW

I read the first book in this series, The House on Cold Hill, around four years ago and very much enjoyed it so was very excited when I heard there was a sequel. The House on Cold Hill, was a classic haunted house story with all that that entails and this is more of the same albeit set in the new housing estate built on the site of the original mansion. It focuses on young couple Jason and Emily Danes but brings in their new neighbours the Penze-Weedells (the only other residents in the estate)

Jason and Emily made for very likeable and relatable couple. They’re both in their late 30s, with Jason an artist whose star is rising and Emily running her own catering business. Their new home seems like the perfect place to build a better life but it’s not long before things take a turn for the creepy.

James uses all of the classic haunting tropes, there are strange noises, voices, mysterious figures and sights which can’t possibly be real. What I particularly loved though was how he welded old to new. Rather than the creaky old house, the author makes full use of the new and modern. This is a high tech home of the future with everything controlled by voice via a central command unit so as you can imagine there are a few glitches (which may not be glitches).

I also loved the use of the neighbours to bring in the usual neighbourhood rivalries and conflicts. The PWs are not the nicest of characters, wife Claudette believes herself better than everyone else and is determined to have the best while her poor long suffering husband Maurice tries to manage her expectations (think Keeping Up Appearances), but it brings a bit of much needed humour to the story and I think many people will have experienced similar neighbours. I also found myself having a little bit of sympathy for them both as they too begin to experience some strangeness.

The story itself ticks along quite nicely and definitely keeps you guessing in terms of both what’s going on and what’s real and what’s not. There are a few chilling moments, a few that are a bit bleurgh and I have to admit that it did creep me out a little at times too. It was probably not the best idea to read it in bed late at night but it was just so difficult to put down.

I do feel though that while it was a fun read for Halloween there wasn’t much that stood out about it. I did enjoy it as I was reading it but I doubt I’ll remember it for long. I also wasn’t wholly convinced by the ending, it was confusing and left me with more questions than I started with which, given the title raised expectations that the secret would be revealed, was frustrating.

It is however great for what it is. If you like a classic haunted house story I think you’ll enjoy.

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with an arc. This has in no way influenced my review.

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Spooktober TBR

I usually try to post an Autumn/Fall TBR but given how ridiculously late I am this year and how weirdly excited I am about Halloween I’ve decided to dedicate this month to all things creepy. I love all things horror (mostly books and films though) so I’m hoping to post lots of reviews, reading rec’s and ummmm… other stuff with a bit of spooky theme. Welcome to Spooktober.

Today I’m kicking things off with my Spooktober TBR. These are a mix of books that I’ve been looking forward to reading or have recently picked up on NetGalley that I’ve forced to fit the theme are perfect for the season.

So without further ado…

tim burton halloween GIF


SPOOKTOBER TBR

 

The Secret of Cold Hill (House on Cold Hill, #2)The Lost Ones

  • The Secret of Cold Hill by Peter James – I’m already half way through this classic haunted house story so including this in the list is either a bit of a cheat or an easy win 🙂 but I do love a creepy ghost story with strange noises and mysterious figures who may be corporeally challenged. It’s actually a sequel to The House on Cold Hill which I read and enjoyed but can be read as a standalone.
  • The Lost Ones by Anita Frank – I picked this ARC up from NetGalley based largely on the cover and the comparisons to The Woman in Black. I don’t read a lot of historical fiction but I’m more than happy to make an exception for something that sounds like a creepy gothic horror.

City of Ghosts (Cassidy Blake, #1)The Wych Elm

  • City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab – I don’t tend to read a lot of middle grade books but given it’s written by the wonderful Victoria Schwab (who can seemingly do no wrong) and is set in Edinburgh I couldn’t resist. This is the first book in a series though so there is a risk that if I enjoy it I’ll have to read sequel Tunnel of Bones.
  • The Wych Elm by Tana French – I don’t think this is technically a spooky read but I’m justifying it on the basis of the wych in the title. I also got this from NetGalley ages ago and have yet to read so I could do with the push. I do love Tana French but have a horrible habit of putting them off.

The LingeringA House of Ghosts

  • The Lingering by SJI Holliday – As well as being Spooktober this is also #Orentober so I couldn’t resist including the Lingering on my list. I have sooo many Orenda books on my TBR (they’re unfailingly brilliant) and this is one I bought when it first came out and have been waiting for the perfect opportunity to read.
  • House of Ghosts by WC Ryan – I mean the title pretty much explains why I couldn’t resist this when I spied it on NetGalley. Yet again it’s one that’s already out and I have yet to get around to reading but it sounds suitably creepy and is set in the past so I should be safe… well maybe.

The Dark Descent of Elizabeth FrankensteinWayward Son (Simon Snow, #2)

  • The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kiersten White – Confession time I tried to listen to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein on audio and gave up half way through. It was possibly the narrator (sorry Dan Stevens) but as soon as it got to the monster’s story I completely lost focus. I am however very excited about this reworking of the story. White is one of my fave authors and I’ve been loving her twists on classic stories.
  • Wayward Son by Rainbow Rowell – Not sure this is technically a creepy or spooky read but it’s just out, I have a copy and there’s ummm… vampires so it totally counts. I loved Carry On and I love Rowell’s writing so have been anxiously awaiting this. And, as a mood reader there’s no way I’ll be able to stick to a list that’s solely creepy ghost stories (also if I did I may never sleep again).

Blood Bound (Mercy Thompson, #2)The Curse of Tenth Grave (Charley Davidson, #10)

  • Blood Bound by Patricia Briggs – This is probably more urban fantasy/paranormal romance but with vampires, werewolves and probably some other beasties I think it fits the bill, plus I need a little bit of romance in my reading life. This is actually the second in the Mercy Thompson series so I’ve been meaning to read it ever since I finished the first book.
  • The Curse of Tenth Grave by Darynda Jones – This is also more urban fantasy/paranormal romance following as it does a private investigator who can see dead people but it’s been far too long since I read a Charley Davidson. I have an ARC of the thirteenth and final book so there’s also that for added motivation.

The Silent CompanionsMonstrous Heart

  • Monstrous Heart by Claire McKenna – This is described as a “gothic, epic, romantic fantasy at it’s very best; a tale of magic, intrigue on dangerous waters and a love story for the ages” so yep hopes are high for this despite some decidedly not so great early reviews. Fingers crossed I fall into the loved it camp.
  • The Silent Companions by Laura Purcell – I bought this a while back based on a number of rave reviews (many of which used variations of the phrase genuinely creepy gothic mystery to describe it) but yet again have had it lurking on my kindle unread. I think it’s time I rectified that… even if I can never sleep again 😮

So that’s my reading list. I am a little concerned it may be a tad too creepy (reading The Secret of Cold Hill before bed has already got me spooked) but there are hopefully a few less terrifying reads on the list. Are there any you’ve read? Any not on my list I should be checking out? Let me know below.

freddy krueger vampire GIF

Happy reading and see you on the spooky side.

Ali x

WWW Wednesday: 2nd October 2019

The WWW Wednesday meme is hosted by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words and is a great way to do a weekly update on what you’ve been reading and what you have planned.

WWW Wednesday

To take part all you have to do is answer the following three questions:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you’ll read next?

Currently ReadingThe Secret of Cold Hill (House on Cold Hill, #2)

It’s October (how did that happen) which seemed to me to be a great excuse to pick up ghost story The Secret of Cold Hill by Peter James. This is a sequel to The House on Cold Hill (which it turns out I read about four years ago) but could easily be read as a standalone, I certainly don’t remember the details of the first book and so far haven’t had any issues. I started it on Monday and am already a third of the way through and very much enjoying it. It is the classic ghost story with spooky goings on (things go bump in the night) but while the first book was set in an old house this is set in a new housing estate built on the site of the original house. Fingers crossed it manages to maintain the tension and chills.

Recently Finished

Postscript (P.S. I Love You, #2)The Princess Plan (A Royal Wedding, Book 1)Highfire

With another long weekend I managed to finish three books again this week the first of which was Postscript by Cecelia Ahern, sequel to PS I Love You. I do love Cecelia Ahern’s writing and PS I Love You was a favourite so expectations were high but this totally lived up to them. It is a tearjerker, I think I cried most of the way through the story, but it’s also hopeful. There is a slightly cynical part of me that wonders if it was deliberately playing on emotions but I loved it regardless.

After such an emotional read I decided something a little lighter and fluffier was in order so picked up the ARC I’d received of The Princess Plan by Julia London. I do love historical romance and this sounded intriguing but I’m afraid it was a major disappointment. It may just be that I’ve read some brilliant historical romances lately but I did not get on with this at all. Didn’t like the characters, thought the plot was a little silly and needed to make its mind up what it was and yeah, nope.

With the Princess Plan being a bit of a bust I decided to go for something completely different with Highfire by Eoin Colfer. This was another ARC from NetGalley and I have to confess I picked it up largely due to the author, even though I’ve never actually read any books by Colfer. It’s a pretty quick and easy read and I finished the whole thing more or less in a day but again ended up being a little disappointed in it. I’m having trouble pinpointing what the issue was and I’m currently struggling to figure out how to review it. I have no idea what to say, I have literally no feelings about it.

Reading Next

I’ve decided that as it’s October I’m going to spend the month reading mostly Halloween type reads. I’m currently in the process of coming up with a Spooktober TBR but one book that’s definitely making the list, and will likely be up next, is Wayward Son by Rainbow Rowell. I loved Carry On so have been waiting for the sequel. I’m not expecting it to be particularly creepy but who cares. I have an ARC of The Lost Ones by Anita Frank that should fit the spooky bill.

Wayward Son (Simon Snow, #2)The Lost Ones

Have you read any of the books on my list this week? Any others you’d recommend? As always please feel free to leave comments and links below.

Happy Reading ❤

WWW Wednesday: 25th September 2019

The WWW Wednesday meme is hosted by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words and is a great way to do a weekly update on what you’ve been reading and what you have planned.

WWW Wednesday

To take part all you have to do is answer the following three questions:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you’ll read next?

Currently ReadingPostscript (P.S. I Love You, #2)

I only started reading Postscript by Cecelia Ahern yesterday so I haven’t made a whole lot of progress, I’m around 15% in, but I’m really enjoying it (if you can consider crying my way through it enjoying). It’s the sequel to PS I Love You (another tearjerker I loved) and picks up about 6 years later with main character Holly moving on with life without husband Gerry. Or so she thinks, until she gets sucked back into the past by a group inspired by her story who want her help to say goodbye to their loved ones. As you would expect it’s an emotional read but the writing is so good. I do love Ahern’s books, it’s been far too long since I read one.

I haven’t made much progress with audio book Beauty Queens by Libba Bray. Things have been pretty busy so I just haven’t had the opportunity to listen to it much.

Recently Finished

The Art of DyingA Rose Petal Summer: It’s never too late to fall in lovePeriod.

Three books finished this week the first of which was  The Art of Dying by Ambrose Parry. This was the follow up to The Way of All Flesh and I think I enjoyed it more than the first book. Yet again it’s a hunt for a serial killer in Edinburgh in 1850 but while the first book was all about child birth this was all about death. I really love the combination of fact and fiction and the medical side of it is fascinating. It was also nice to be back with the characters. Yes, I guessed a lot of the mystery fairly early on but this time I was happy just to go along for the ride.

After The Art of Dying I decided to pick up library book A Rose Petal Summer by Katie Fforde. It’s been years since I’ve read a book by Fforde but I always used to really enjoy them so was looking forward to this. Unfortunately it proved to be a major disappointment and I did not like it at all. The plot is pretty much all over the place, it feels like the author tried to cram too much in, and the characters were either bland or so over the top that they were verging on ridiculous. The nail in the coffin though was how flat the romance was. Not sure I’ll be rushing back to read anything else by Fforde.

Not sure what to pick up next and a little frustrated by Fforde I decided to go for Period by Emma Barnett, a non fic book I’d spotted on NetGalley and couldn’t resist. It’s definitely an intriguing book about a subject we probably don’t talk about enough. I really liked how it looked at why something that affects half the population is such a taboo subject and the anecdotes really illustrated how it affects all aspects of life. I did however find it a little on the repetitive side.

Reading Next

I really need to pull together an Autumn/Fall TBR but until I do I’m sticking more or less with last week’s books here. These are all galleys I really need to get to soon.

American RoyalsInto the Crooked Place (Into the Crooked Place, #1)Highfire

Have you read any of the books on my list this week? Any others you’d recommend? As always please feel free to leave comments and links below.

Happy Reading ❤