30 Jun 2015

MURDER ON THE MINNEAPOLIS.


MURDER ON THE MINNEAPOLIS by ANITA DAVISON

PRESS RELEASE BLURB: Flora Maguire, a young governess, is on her way home on the SS Minneapolis after the wedding of her employer's daughter. She meets the charming Bunny Harrington on deck on the first night, after having avoided the dining room, conscious of her status among first-class passengers. 

Flora finds the body of a man at the bottom of a companionway, but when his death is pronounced an accident, she is not convinced, and, having experienced her own tragedy as a child in the form of her mother's disappearance, is driven to find out the truth.

Flora starts asking questions, but following threats, a near drowning during a storm and a second murder, the hunt is on in earnest for a killer.

Time is running out as the Minneapolis approaches the English coast. Will Flora be able to protect Edward, her charge, as well as herself, and uncover the identity of the murderer? Is her burgeoning relationship with the handsome Bunny Harrington only a shipboard dalliance, or something more.

FIRST SENTENCE/ MEMORABLE MOMENT: Not applicable.

SOURCE:  An Uncorrected Proof Copy (the UK publication date for Murder On The Minneapolis is 30th June) received for review with thanks to Isobel Cairns, Marketing & Publicity Department, Robert Hale Publishers

MY THOUGHTS: An 'Edwardian Cosy'. I won't dwell on the plot for fear of spoilers but will say that with intrigue heaped upon intrigue Murder On The Minneapolis is certainly a great 'who-dun-it' that kept my attention from start to finish. However to me personally this wasn't the main appeal.

Transported back to a golden-age of travel aboard the SS Minneapolis I loved the descriptions of life aboard ship. The snobbery, the politics of class, the relationships, the meals eaten and, oh, the characters themselves.

I relished the antics of the dreadful snob that was Mrs Penry-Jones, revelled in the feisty and yet ever so feminine Flora, loved that her blood sang in her veins whenever Bunny was near and yet stood her ground when she had to.

All in all a thoroughly good read. I can't help but wonder if we will see Flora solve yet more murders in future books. I certainly hope so.


29 Jun 2015

THE 'CRIMES' THAT 'TAKE THE BISCUIT'.

WARNING: Whilst I endeavour to keep Monday Media family friendly I feel it only right to point out that some of the newspapers featured do have links to articles of a more adult nature. TT 

Taking the biscuit: An ironic twist of 'To surpass everything else that has happened; to be worse than anything. IE: His last comment really took the biscuit. - Random Sayings

Jammie DodgersPolice are hunting thieves who stole £20,000 worth of biscuits from the South Wales factory that manufactures Jammy Dodgers.

Favourite headlines of the week ...

Biscuit-throwing incident recorded as violent crime.

A pair of burglars nearly froze after locking themselves in a freezer during a police raid on a Brighton Chinese restaurant. 

One of Britain's leading pianists has been forced to pull out of a concert after being dive-bombed by an angry seagull left him with a sprained finger.

Humberside police have revealed that they had received a phone call from a woman who was so shocked with her haircut she was refusing to pay and had called them to seek legal advice.

Most Politically Incorrect (but funniest?) article of the week ...

An angry dwarf who impersonated a Dalek by sticking a sucker dart to his head and threatened to 'exterminate' two carers was tasered by Hull police who 'feared for their welfare'.

And finally in the news from Europe ...

Having banned the sale of erotic literature before 10pm or after 6am in 2002 the German government have expanded the ban making it illegal to sell erotic e-books before 10pm.


27 Jun 2015

MY AURA AND ME.

Such beautiful words, don't you think?


- Courtesy of Women For One 
 FaceBook.


Becoming increasingly fascinated by crystals etc I was interested to read this post  on auras over at Sherry's Mama Diaries.


Hand over a piece of plain white paper I stared at the tip of my middle finger until .... what do you know I actually saw a colour which according to the Psychic Library site which Sherry had kindly linked up to was ....


Indigo 
- Pertains to the third eye and pituitary gland. It is the colour of deep feeling, intuition and sensitivity.

What about you, what colour is your aura? Click here to find out.

26 Jun 2015

THE OUTSIDE (THE HALLOWED ONES #2).


THE OUTSIDE by LAURA BICKLE.

BACK COVER BLURB: One girl. One road. One chance to save what remains.

The world is not what it once was. Two thirds of the population has been killed by a plague of vampires, and the survivors hide out in isolated territories - both protected and trapped by forces beyond their understanding.

Exiled from her Amish community and shunned for her refusal to adhere to the new rules of survival, Katie enters an outside world of unspeakable violence with only her two 'English' friends and a horse by her side. Together they seek answers wherever they can find them - but each sunset brings the threat of vampire attack, and each sunrise, the threat of starvation.

- An abridged version, for the full synopsis which may contain spoilers click here.

FIRST SENTENCE {Chapter One}: The hard part about the end of the world is surviving it, surviving when no angels scoop you up to fly you away to heaven.

MEMORABLE MOMENT {Page 39}: I shuddered at the sound of the squeak of fingertips on the window, the scrape of a fingernail.

SOURCE: A gift from Mr T.

MY THOUGHTS: Having previously read The Hallowed Ones, part one in this two part series, I was both delighted and yet anxious to read this. Delighted because the first book was one of my favourite reads of 2014 and anxious worrying could this possibly be as good.

Thankfully every bit as good and, depending on what you were expecting, even better.

I say depending on what you were expecting as if you were expecting this to be firstly and foremostly a vampire story you might be a tad disappointed as whilst, yes, there are vampires to me this was equally (probably even more so) a story of relationships, of survival, of faith (one of the highlights for me was Alex explaining the 'End Times' according to various religious beliefs), of science vs religion ..... and more.

Picking up shortly from the events that occurred in The Hallowed Ones (whilst there are some recaps as to what happened previously this is one of those series I recommend has to be read from the beginning) The Outside sees Amish Katie (aka Bonnet) and Englishers Alex and Ginger, not forgetting, Horace, their trusty steed, on the road throwing them (and us, the reader) into the unknown - an unknown populated by vampires (non-sparkly, 'traditional' vampires who are afraid of the light etc - and Kate on a journey that sees her horizons widened, her faith tasted beyond anything she had expected.

Like its predecessor this is a novel I could wax lyrical about for some time. I loved the mix of the scary (thankfully the not too scary) with the psychological, Alex's no-nonsense common sense with what could be thought of as Katie's blind faith.


25 Jun 2015

TEN BOOKS IDEAL FOR A BIG SCREEN/TV MAKEOVER?

Firstly my apologies for accidentally omitting my Memorable Moment from yesterdays post, The Perfect Drug by Hollie DeFrancisco. Now added, it reads ...

MEMORABLE MOMENT {Page 83}: Her perfect skin looked like a smooth opal ring with iron workings for decorations and her wings once proud  and strong were now cracking like aged stone.

And now without further ado ... today's post.

Thanks to the Literary Feline over at Musings Of A Bookish Kitty I pinched this idea  and came up with ten books I'd like to see adapted for the big screen/tv.

  • CHANGELING: DEMON GAMES: With its wonderful myriad of supernatural characters, many of whom were new to me and so I'm presuming also new to others, I thought this would make a fresh change to the usual vampire/werewolf films that are out there. AND I think the games are ideal for the 3D treatment.
  • THE HALLOWED ONES: A book about vampires, 'proper', good old fashioned vampires, set in an Amish community. Both hugely popular at the moment, I'm sure this would be a hit on the big screen. Plus, the first book in a series, it has the potential for spin-offs.
  • VIVIAN'S HEAVENLY ICE CREAM SHOP: Combining gourmet ice cream, warring families, and tempestuous love lives I think this one would make a great Sunday tea-time series for tv and especially if it featured flashbacks to the shop's heyday. Or who knows with the potential for a multi-series deal perhaps we could begin with Vivian herself running the shop followed by her grand-daughters Imogen and Anna who inherit the shop after her death.
  • THE SUMMER OF BROKEN STORIES: A nostalgic tale set in 1950's England with a child lead - once again both hugely popular at the moment. With a plot that plays with our perceptions, that contrasts the innocent story telling of a young boy with the much darker story telling of a mysterious man, there is plenty of intrigue. And then there's the wonderful quirky characters, the delightfully dotty Murky.
  • CHANGELING/STORMBRINGERS/FOOL'S GOLD: A trilogy for young adults written by Philippa Gregory who as I'm sure you know is best known for her factually based historical fiction. Combining the historical and the mysterious with a hint of the supernatural this is ideal for a teen market. 
  • KITTY HAWK AND THE CURSE OF THE YUKON GOLDFull of mystery, adventure and intrigue all in fascinating locations plus a great female role model, along with the other books in the Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency series I think this would make a perfect animated series. 
  • CLICK: AN ONLINE LOVE STORY: I admit that unlike the previous adaptations I haven't got the faintest idea of the logistics of this one. However just as Bridget Jones had her diary I'm sure this would make a great romance for a modern audience.
  • THE SNOW CHILD: Totally spellbinding, one of the most beautiful 'fairy tales' I've read in a long while, I'm sure in the right hands this would make a wonderful film.
  • THE HISTORY OF LUCY'S LOVE LIFE IN 10 1/2 CHAPTERS: A fun, novel read I'm sure this would make a great comedy.
  • OFF KEY: I love a good regional drama and with its great northern humour and its jazz backdrop (can you imagine the musical score you could add?) I'm sure this would make an ideal tv series.
Not nearly as difficult as I had anticipated (at least not as difficult as being asked to select your ten favourite books) whilst there are of course many more books that I'm sure would make great adaptations I must admit that these kind of leapt out at me.

The question being, which books do you think are ideal for a big screen/tv makeover?

24 Jun 2015

THE PERFECT DRUG.


THE PERFECT DRUG by HOLLIE DEFRANCISCO.

BACK COVER BLURB: Adelice is a demon that has lost her sense of purpose in life. Doomed to eternity with no ability to love, she finds her hopeful chance of escape. 

- An abridged synopsis, contains slight spoiler. For full book blurb please click on book title.

FIRST SENTENCE {Prologue}: The air was thick beneath the starless sky.

MEMORABLE MOMENT {Page 83}: Her perfect skin looked like a smooth opal ring with iron workings for decorations and her wings once proud  and strong were now cracking like aged stone.


SOURCE: A GoodReads win. Thank you to Hollie for not only the book but also the accompanying art work and book mark.

MY THOUGHTS: Such a magical cover, the back even more so than the front.

Thinking this sounded like a wonderful take on a demon story, I really wanted to like it. And on the whole I did but ....

A touching tale of self discovery. Engaging characters. Magical descriptions - 'Her red eyes were like crystal shards, the light of her pain danced on the surface' - poetic and yet not sickeningly flowery. Essentially a modern fairytale that held my imagination from beginning to end. 

It maybe says more about me than the author that the speech of the characters simply didn't do it for me, seeming somehow at odds with the rest of the book. The usage of words such as 'dumb ass' and 'hun' annoying, the latter positively grating on me. Sentences such as ' I'm gonnah get exactly what I've been wantin', I jus' needa be strong' somehow managing to put a barrier between me and how I related to individual characters.

Still, a poignant read, on the whole as beautifully painted as any of the authors artwork.