Murder In Little Shendon – A. H. Richardson

I received a free signed first edition copy of this book from the author and publicist in exchange for an honest and unbiased review of this edition.

A murder takes place in the small little village of Shendon. There is something that you should know about his murder that will make solving this crime just that little bit harder for the police trying to solve this murder; nobody liked the victim. This leave practically everyone in “Little Shendon” has a suspect, including the two tourists who are only visiting the town.

It was this concept that I loved when I was approached about reading and reviewing this book. I love murder mysteries. The joy of trying to solve and uncover the killer before they’re revealed. The adrenaline. I love it, and the fact that this book had so many possible killers with so many possible motives, giving more back stories as we were going along, just added to it all. The way that the plot was brought together, all lined up perfectly and I didn’t see it coming. I love it when a book takes me completely by surprise and I haven’t been able to guess the ending, the killer and so on. Then, when looking back on hindsight, you kick yourself not seeing how you didn’t see it coming.

My copy was only 248 pages long and for a book that wasn’t that long, there were a little too many characters introduced into this book. They weren’t all able to stay with me and I wasn’t able to remember each of them specifically, which was disappointing because I felt like I wasn’t giving them each their due respect. I know that this is meant to represent a small village, but some of the characters, including the main ones, just got lost for me possibly because of the vast amount of other characters. But, if you were to take out and reduce some of the characters, or spend some extra time building up and introducing the main characters, possibly making this book about 50 pages longer minimum, there would have been time for there to have been some great character development.

There were some editing mistakes in the copy that I received, that were present in the entirety of the book. Simple things like missing speak bubbles, simple spelling mistakes and other things, that over time did start to annoy me. There is one in particular spelling mistake that does stick out for me as it was then emphasised further by being put into italics. But when an author is so close with their work, things like these are often missed and it is understandable.

Each chapter has their own title name, which gives you a little hint at to what each chapter is going to be about. This could be a little temptation if you were going to end on that chapter, or, if you want to have a little flip through and see what Chapter the killer is going to be revealed in. Not that you would read that Chapter before it’s time, of course, but it’s still nice knowing how long you have left until all is revealed. I will admit though that this story did drag a little bit for me and I was tempted to skip to that chapter entitled “And the killer is…” Maybe it was because I was nowhere near guessing who the killer was and wanted to know who it the murder was.

So, I did enjoy the story, but it could have done with being longer to have developed more of the characters. I defiantly like the idea and the concept behind it and would have loved a whole Murder on the Orient Express ending, that’s here my head was going when I was reading the book. I loved that idea. How it was all brought together in the end was so good and clever and I’m gutted I that I missed it. I wish I could’ve rated it higher, but I’m defiantly giving it a strong 3 stars out of 5!

3 Stars

Interview With The Authors

anne and ken hicksI was lucky enough to get the opportunity to get to ask the authors of my most recent read, Mind Me, Milady – Ken Hicks and Anne Rothman-Hicks some questions I had during the course of reading the book. This was something that I’ve never done before, so it was great to be given this opportunity. Here are the questions I asked and their answers to those questions:

1) Could you tell us a bit about Mind Me, Milady and why it is a must-read?
“Mind Me, Milady is a blend of genres: the mystery of Susan’s dreams and premonitions, the thriller of the Gentleman Rapist stalking women, including the main character, and romance between Jane and Jack, who she fears might be the Gentleman Rapist because he is definitely hiding something. All in all, there is a lot going on that together makes it very rewarding for many readers.”

2) What was it like co-writing a book as a married couple?
“We have been writing together for a long time. The first joint project was a course we shared when Ken was a student at Haverford College and Anne was at Bryn Mawr. There are many benefits, especially the constant feedback. Of course, to write together successfully, we both have to put our egos aside. That is not always easy.”

3) Was there a lot of arguments, compromising or did you both agree on majority of the story and plot?
“This was a difficult book and it took us a long time to put the elements together. We had a lot of angst-filled conversations about whether particular scenes or parts of the book were moving the plot forward. In the end, we always agreed.”

4) How long did it take for you both to write this book?
“That is a difficult question since we put the book down several times and came back to it.”

5) Did you have to do much research for this book?
“There was some research, including the nature of a serial criminal, the mechanics of hypnotism, the concept of reincarnation, the history of colonial New York, and the Battle of Manhattan during the Revolutionary War.”

6) Where did you come up with the idea for this book, particularly the idea and concept of the “Gentleman Rapist”?
“We were drawn to the idea of someone who believes they lived a prior life and also wanted the story to be set in Central Park in a place that would have looked substantially similar now to the way it looked in Revolutionary times. We thought the idea of a rapist who spoke like an English Aristocrat as he wielded power, was a very creepy combination.”

7) Did you know who the Gentleman Rapist was going to be from outset, or did you change your mind while writing?
“We have a very fluid writing process. It would be hard to say when exactly we decided who would be the Gentleman Rapist. We did not start out knowing.”

8) Who was your favourite/worse character to write in Mind Me, Milady and why?
“We are both very attached to Jane, who appears in two of our other novels, Weave A Murderous Web and Praise Her, Praise Diana. Susan was the most difficult character to write because she is both assertive in her way and very in need of protection. The Gentleman Rapist was interesting, since we had never written anyone like him before.”

9) What character in Mind Me, Milady are you least likely to get along with?
Jonathan Ramsey.”

10) Are you working on anything at the moment?
We are working on our fourth book in the Jane Larson series.”

11) Which book are you most proud of writing and why?
“We are most proud of Praise Her, Praise Diana. The book deals with a very difficult topic, rape and violence toward women in its many forms. It also has many characters of whom we are very fond, including Jane, Maggie and Detective Smalley. Finally, the book contains certain despicable characters and others who are neither all bad nor all good.”

12) What made you both want to become writers?
“We were both early avid readers and started writing and dreaming at a young age.”

13) Do you both have day jobs in addition to be writers? If so, what do you do?
“Ken was a lawyer (and is now semi-retired). Anne was an editor before she became a full time writer and raised our three children.”

14) How can readers discover more about you and your work?
Here are our links:
Ken and Anne’s blog: http://www.randh71productions.com/blog
Ken and Anne’s Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Kenneth-Hicks-and-Anne-Rothman-Hicks-622272714477979

Buy links
Praise Her, Praise Diana:
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Praise-Her-Diana-Anne-Rothman-Hicks-ebook/dp/B00NVDGCIM/ref=sr_1_4?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1485443323&sr=1-4
Barnes and Nobel: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/praise-her-praise-diana-anne-rothman-hicks/1120805267?ean=9781612359441
Melange: http://www.melange-books.com/authors/hicks/diana.html
Weave A Murderous Web:
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Weave-Murderous-Web-Larson-Novel-ebook/dp/B01CDMB72W/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8
Barnes and Nobel” https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/weave-a-murderous-web-anne-rothman-hicks/1123847239?ean=2940152901085
Melange Books LLC: http://www.melange-books.com/authors/hicks/web.html
Mind Me, Milady:
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Mind-Me-Milady-Anne-Rothman-Hicks-ebook/dp/B06XWHY859/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1496868407&sr=8-1&keywords=mind+me%2C+milady
Barnes and Nobel: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/mind-me-milady-anne-rothman-hicks/1126178316?ean=9781680464382
Melange: http://www.melange-books.com/authors/hicks/milady.html

Mind Me, Milady – Anne Rothman-Hicks & Ken Hicks

​I was approached and sent a free copy of this book by the authors and publicist, in exchange for an honest and unbiased opinion of this book. 
I didn’t know what to expect from this book and I was surprised by how quickly I was able to immerse myself in this book and the world within it. The characters of Jane and Susan were strongly developed to the point that you start caring about them, which is what you want with this type of book. The same can be said with the male characters and the suspicion that surrounds them and the possibility that they could be the guilty character, the Gentleman Rapist. Not knowing who to trust. 
This book is surrounded in so much mystery, which is fantastic has it keeps you guessing right up to the last few pages. This mystery and these questions are answered in the last few chapters, which is where everything is so brilliantly brought together.
There were some editing issues in my copy where wrong names were used when talking about certain characters and so on, as though there were some last minute switches. These were just silly mistakes that could’ve been sorted with a once over, but it’s something I had to mention as it happened several times and it did begin to annoy me. But on saying that, it didn’t interfere with the story. 
I just discovered that this book is the second book in the Jane Larson series and I’m interested to read the first book.

Ready Player One – Ernest Cline

Ready Player OneThis is a book that I had once purposely avoided reading when it first came out, due to the extreme hype that surrounded this book. I was then given a few free credits to audible and decided to use one downloading Ready Player One and see what all the hype was about. After all, what was I losing? I can’t believe that I waited so long before immersing myself in this world.

Imagine a world, not far off our own, where majority of the world spend their time plugged into a Virtual Reality world, called the OASIS. The Oasis is a virtual world, which has become more like reality than reality itself. So much so, this is where children go to school, create businesses, earn a living and so on. The OASIS was created by James Halliday and just before Halliday death, he created a competition inside the OASIS that would have the power to change everything for someone. And Wade Watts dreams of winning this competition. But competition always brings out the best or the worse in others.

This book made me fall in love with audiobooks. Listening to this book instead of reading it, in my opinion made my experience of this book so much better. Instead, I got to fully emerge myself into the story, be a part of it, hear the story through Wade Watts voice. Almost emulating the OASIS in a way. This world was so easy to get into and to stay immersed inside for the entirety of the book, so much so that every time I had to knock it off, I did so with reluctance. The game references and 80’s pop culture references throughout, added something to this book. Even if you didn’t understand it all, there would be at least parts that you can connect to. It was so different from anything that I have ever heard or come across before and I loved it!

I first listened to this book last year, back before the mention of the movie adaption, while on holiday and I also finished it during that holiday. Now, after seeing the trailer to the movie and the time lapse since listening to it, I had to re-listen to it. I had no choice, obviously. This time, I listened to the entirety of the audiobook in a day and half and don’t regret it. There was no turning it off for anything, except for sleep. There was some that I had forgotten, or just not heard the first time, and I’m so glad that I listened to it again. Definitely a book I actually want to own and read physically, seeing if I have the same experience as listening to it, as if it improves or is worse. Massive 5 stars and highly recommended!!

Tell me what you think. Have you read this book, and if so, what format did you use? Are you excited about the upcoming movie adaptation? Comment below.

The Art Of Going Home – Nicole Sorrell

The Art Of Going Home.jpgI received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review of the book and as part of a Goodreads Bookclub.

When Maddie Chandler was ten years old, her twin sister, Angeline, was murdered. Her mother then goes insane, being placed into an institution and with her father being who he is, Maddie is placed into the care of Aunt Ceci, who then raises and treats Maddie as though she is her own daughter. Maddie goes through high school being blamed for her sisters death, also for being constantly told that and therefore believing that wrong sister died. So, Maddie leaves this town as soon as she’s able and leaves for college. It takes her ten years before she comes back to her home town, but sadly, she only come back to attend the funeral of her beloved Aunt Ceci. But as soon as she is back, she is forced to face her troubled past that she has hidden even from herself. There is some happiness, in the form of her old high school crush Zac, her friends and her home made family. Will she find the truth behind the murder of her sister? Is she going insane or is she really seeing her sisters ghost?

I was genuinely shocked that I enjoyed this book as much as I did, simply because I thought that I thought I wasn’t going to, I put off reading it until the last minute it had to be read for the bookclub on Goodreads. There are so many topics in this book, which was surprising as it isn’t that big of a book, such as; Mystery, Romance, Crime, Death, Paranormal, that I wasn’t sure which was the main theme of the book. There is another topic/theme, but I didn’t want to include it above, as it will give away one of the main surprises to the plot of this book, but it may be a trigger warning for some.

Some of the characters did have some strong developments, and I did like the relationship between Maddie and Zac. I even liked the relationship, or lack there of, between Maddie and her father. Even the writing was good and easy to follow and once I started reading it, it took me less than 2 days to finish it. There were so many questions left unanswered when I finished this book, which left me wanting answers and unsatisfied. On saying that, there is going to be another book coming out, so maybe that’s why there were things left unanswered, as they will be included in it’s sequel, but this book didn’t leave me wanting more and I wouldn’t rush out to buy it. So for that reason, I had to give it 2.5/3 stars out of 5.

Now if you like mysteries you may like this one. It keeps you guessing right up until the last page, with constant twists and turns. If you’ve read this book, let me know what you thought of this book. Do you agree or disagree with my rating?

2.5 Stars

Teaser Tuesday – 5/9/17

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme that is currently being hosted by @Books and a Beat. All are welcome to participate😀

Rules:
●Grab your current read.

●Open to a random page.
●Share two ‘teaser’ sentences from somewhere on that page.
●BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (You don’t want to give too much away so as to not ruin the book for others!)
●Share the title and author so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR lists if they like your teasers

what-alice-knew

What Alice Knew – T.A. Cotterell

Page 60:
“It wasn’t his answer that bugged me but his voice, which sounded as if there was a kidnapper pointing a gun at his head. I suddenly understood that what I’d taken for evasiveness was helplessness, or hopelessness, the sound of a man falling apart.”

Goodreads Description:
“Alice has a perfect life – a great job, happy kids, a wonderful husband. Until he goes missing one night; she receives a suspicious phone call; things don’t quite add up.

Alice needs to know what’s going on. But when she uncovers the truth she faces a brutal choice. And how can she be sure it is the truth?

Sometimes it’s better not to know.”

Blood Rights (Book 2) – Kyle Andrews

Blood RightsI received this eARC from the author in exchange for an honest and unbiased review of this book.

This is the second book in the Freedom/Hate series and it picks up from where the first book left off. I am going to try and give this review without giving away to many spoilers from this book, or from the first book, Freedom/Hate, but I give no promises sorry. So to be on the safe side, I am going to provide the description from Goodreads:

“It’s in our blood.”
The last words spoken by Uly Jacobs, seconds before his death was televised across the nation.

Since that day, the authorities have been hunting Libby Jacobs. She doesn’t know why they want her, or why they killed her cousin. Desperation has forced her into hiding with a group of people that she once thought of as terrorists. Living among them, she soon comes to realize that everything she once believed in was a lie.

Justin Becker was Uly’s best friend. He grew up with Libby. Once upon a time, he even loved her. Now, Justin has taken on the task of picking up the pieces of Libby’s shattered life. The first step will be finding Libby’s mother. She is critically ill, alone and lost in the broken system. Finding her will be difficult. Saving her may be impossible.

The city is changing. Collin Powers was nobody until the authorities turned him into a symbol. Now his ideas have taken root. His words are forcing people to question their beliefs. His sacrifice will push Freedom out of the shadows and give them the courage to start living up to their name.”

I loved this book!! How much simpler can I put it? I had been waiting for this book ever since I first read the first book, which I received and read in advance, so you can only imagine the wait. Again, thank you to Kyle Andrews, for sending me this sequel in advance and let me tell you, I was not disappointed! I thought that I enjoyed the first book, but then after reading this one, it not only reminded me why I loved the first book, but it also added so much more, to my enjoyment, my excitement, and to the development of the story and to the characters. Freedom/Hate left off with an ending that left me desperately wanting more! Literally. I remember emailing the author back screaming NOOOOOO!! You can’t end it like that! So you can understand my excitement to finally be sent and asked to read and review the eARC sequel of that book 😀

Blood Rights picks up exactly where it left off in Freedom/Hate, so yes, you definitely have to read the first book in order to understand and fully grasp everything that happens within this book. You wouldn’t be able to get away with skipping the first book, Freedom/Hate and starting with this book, hoping to grasp everything and picking everything up from what’s being mentioned. But that is the fun part. You get to enjoy the full extent of the series by actually reading the whole series. Oh, by the way, this is a Dystopian themed series, in case you hadn’t guessed.

You get to know more about other characters  in this book, while still keeping the main ones from the original. We still have Libby Jacobs, Collin Powers, and Justin has our three main characters, but now we get to see some extra characters through their interactions. We get to see more of Libby’s boyfriend Sim and her mother Amanda, but now we get to see them with the aftermath from previous events and see if and how that’s might have affected them. We also get to see more of Freedom this time round, the actual Freedom and not just the Hate that everyone has been lead into believing is the truth. We also get to see another side of HAND that we haven’t got to see yet, the inside and vicious side that nobody wants to see.

He did it again!! The author knows how to leave you wanting more because that’s how I’m left right now. I finished reading, what I thought was the end of a chapter and turned a page to find out it was the end of the book! NOOOOOOO!!! I need more. I just finished reading a book that was just under 500 pages, my copy, (Goodreads says 352 pages), in almost no time and I could’ve gladly and easily have read more. But OMG that ending!! How could he do that again. I love this series and really do enjoy reading it, which shocked me at first at how much, because this type of book, and this whole dystopian theme and type, which isn’t really my usual type. But it’s really well written, has some strong characters, and the story and plot is what makes me beg for another book to arrive sooner.

I definitely recommend you read both books in this series, and I mean BOTH books in this series, with one of my highest recommendations I can and have given so far! Prepare for the cliff-hanger ending, needing the next book immediately, but knowing you’ll have to wait, which is the only disappointment I faced. However, the third book is out now so, lets see how it can compare. 😀 😀 Super Excited!!! I give this book a MASSIVE 5 out of 5 stars!!!

Have you read any of these books? What are your thoughts? Have you read a book or series where the ending made you need the next book in series right away? Or if it was a stand alone book, what stand alone book do you think just needs to have a sequel? Comment below 😀

5-stars

Freedom/Hate (Book 1) – Kyle Andrews

FreedomHateI was sent a free eARC of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review of the book.

This book tells the story of Collin Powers on the run from the police and even worse, HAND, who have convinced the world that he’s a murderer and terrorist, involved with the terrorist organisation known to the country as HATE, who have been blamed for countless more deaths and destruction. Collin, in fact, belongs to the group known as Freedom, whose incentive is trying to get theirs and everybody’s else’s freedom back to them. This is why they are all being targeted and why even their groups name has been changed in the media to the HATE, making out that they are the bad guys. This book also tells the story of Libby, a school girl who has problems of her own, at home, at school, family problems, boyfriend problems, food problems and so much more. When it comes to Libby we get to see the side of the story of the people who are living under the lack of freedom. The lives of people who have no choice of what days they are allowed to go shopping, allowed to picked what food they pick or put on their shopping list, what extracurricular subjects they take in school, as everything is picked and allocated for and to them. No freedom. Then one day everything changes….

There is no question in my mind that I am going to be giving this book a great review, as I finished this book in two days and stayed up reading until 3 am because I couldn’t put this book down!!. This book was amazing and now I really can’t wait to read the next book in the series so I can find out what happens next. I’m really invested in the characters, even the secondary characters had some great development and has me rooting and hoping that they’re going to be okay, especially because there is death and violence in this book so you’re afraid that you’re favourite characters may actually die next.

There were some editing issues, but that’s a very small issue, which can be expected with an arc, and the main aspect takes a long time to get discovered, which annoyed me a little because it was pretty obvious. This book is set in a dystopian world, which I will admit always takes me longer to get into, because the logical side of my brain always kicks in and asks a million questions. That’s when I have to try and just sit back and escape to the place where I’m reading, but once I’m there and connected, it’s like I’m there.

This book was so exciting, with so much packed in, that it flew by so quickly, getting to the end before I realised that I had read 435 pages by the time I had reached the end of the book. This was made worse by the fact it was an eARC which meant that when I went to slide for another page, the book had ended. I need to read Book 2 fast! This is definitely a series that I see myself becoming hooked into.

I definitely and highly recommend this book!! Enjoy and get ready to get hooked to this brand new series. Massive 5 stars.

5-stars

My June Goal

I am doing something I have always wanted to do during the month of June. A reading goal of mine that I have had for a while now. So, I have dedicated the entirety of June to do it, which give me some time and hopefully I will be able to accomplish this little goal. So what is it? I am going to be finally reading IT by Stephen King. 
I am so excited about doing this and I so excited about what I am going to uncover and discover in this mad world. This is the book that inspired the two part film adaptation that created my fear of clowns. So how is the book going to stand up. Is it going to be scarier? Because of the size, there is definitely going to be more in the book, more details, more descriptions of everything that gives me the impression and the hope for so much creepiness and hope for such amazingness. For not only a fantastic horror story but for a great story in general. But because the book is so huge, is it going to be too much? Too much to take away from everything. From the main story, from the plot. Too much for you to remember and you get distracted and you just give up reading it. And because there’s too much, will it take away from the horror? 

As this is a book with over 1100 pages, depending on certain editions, I have also bought and downloaded the audio book of IT from audible for times when I want a little break fro, reading but I don’t want a break from the story. Because the writing in my edition is also really tiny and I suffer with migraines, I did this as a precaution. So wish me luck ☺ and hopefully this will be the month I will finally read and finish this book! 

What book/s have you always wanted to read that may have always intimidated you?