Welcome to Lizzie’s little book nook


Welcome to my book nook. This is a place where you can read, relax and connect with other book lovers. It is still a work in progress so please bear with me but I would love for you to join my little nook.

This will be used as a place for all things bookish as well as a platform to help promote small businesses during these tough times!

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Book Review – Summer at Primrose Tower by Annie Robertson

This book was gifted to me by Welbeck Publishing in exchange for an honest review. I read the author’s previous novel, Christmas at Lobster Bay so I was very excited to jump into this one.

The main protagonist of this story is Jennie, a passionate florist who has just been offered an apprenticeship of a lifetime, to work alongside a renowned florist in London who is the go-to florist for the wealthy and celebrities alike. However, things don’t quite go to plan and after being fired she ends up moving into Primrose Tower with Kat, one of her clients whom she has become close friends with. She wants to start up her own business as a florist, but can her dream really become a reality?

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Book Review – The Colour Storm by Damian Dibben

I first heard of this book from a wonderful friend of mine, whom I met on Bookstagram but can now say is a true friend after meeting her in real life. I can’t deny that the first thing which attracted me to this book was the cover, I mean seriously, look at it. It is a work of art in its own right. But, after reading the blurb and discovering it was set in Italy, I was further drawn to it.

Anyone that knows me, knows I love all things Italian, especially the food, and the fact that this is set in a place I have always wanted to visit, Venice, made it just that much better.

The Colour Storm is set during the Italian renaissance, a time of art and creativity but also violence and treason. The main protagonist, Giorgione Barbarelli, or Zorzo to his friends is an artist trying to make a living doing what he does best, painting. But competition is rife which means his life and livelihood is often hanging on by a thread. He even resorts to pawning his relative’s ring to make ends meet.

However, he soon hears about a legend, the Prince Orient, which is supposedly a colour like no other, found in a mine owned by a wealthy businessman. If only he could get this colour, he knows his life would be set. But, when he goes to the house he meets his wife, Sybille instead, a quiet, seemingly timid woman. Once he has won a commission to paint a portrait of his wife, he thinks he is on course to acquiring the sought-after colour. Instead, he finds himself in a conspiracy of treachery, abuse and underlying currents of a bigger threat.

This book is set during the troubling times of the plague, so not only are we given an insight into renaissance Italy but also at the effect this disastrous illness caused and the path of chaos it left in its wake.

Zorzo is an interesting character, I like how passionate he is for his art and how far he is willing to go to reach his goals. However, we are shown his weaknesses which often betray him and gets him into trouble at times. He is a complex character, brought to life with monologues which at time feel almost Shakespearean in their manner and tone.

The aspect of this book which really wowed me was the description and use of colour. In many novels you may read about a red dress or a blue coat. But, in this the colour ascends simplicity and is brought to life with such stunning imagery and description. As you read the novel these colours almost jump out at you like a beautiful rainbow, which is testament to how vivid the author’s description is. I could go on so much about how exquisite the use of colour is in this book, but all I will say is that the way it is used brings everything to life in…well…. vivid colour. I will leave you with this quote to show you what I mean.

From light and burnt ochre , magenta, lead white and a touch of cerulean blue, he mixes a series of skin tones and starts applying them to the canvas, in blocks that mark the facets of her form where the light strikes them…

If you are interested in books set in the Venice renaissance and enjoy your art you will love this book. It was a joy reading about the greats including the incredible Leonardo Da Vinci. If you are an art fan, check this out!!

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ – a beautifully descriptive read with prosaic monologues and exquisite imagery

The colour storm is out tomorrow!!

New Podcast Episode- Speaking LITerally podcast- 1 Year Anniversary!!

Yes that’s right, Speaking LITerally has turned one and we had such a blast recording this one (we do every time but this one was especially great)

Our special anniversary podcast episode is now live on any platform you listen to podcasts on. Listen to me and my best American buddy, @azdesert_bookworm spend an hour and a half Speaking about bookish news, books we have come to love from the podcast, things we have learnt and some sneak peeks at what you can expect in the future!!

I also just wanted to say on behalf of both myself and my awesome co-host thank you for all the support and love we have gotten from the show, and here is to many more years.

We also have a very special announcement about an event we have coming up which we will be announcing in the coming days so stay tuned!!

The pictured books are actually a happy coincidence as I wanted to show the book I was reading during our first show and the book we discussed on this one and it just so happened to be the same duology!!

As always,

Much love 💘

Listen to the podcast here.

Book Tour – Airside by James Swallow

What would you do if you found a duffle bag filled with 2 million euros? This is the foundation of today’s review and book tour.

Thanks to welbeck publishing for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review, and for inviting me to take part in this book tour…

📚Book Review 📚

Airside by James Swallow

Two million in cash.
Nowhere to run.
Nothing left to lose…

Would you risk it?

This is the basis of James Swallow’s new novel, Airside.

Businessman, Kevin Tyler becomes stuck airside overnight in an airport as he gets bumped from his flight. However, this is just one thing which has gone wrong today and this may just be the last straw.

After what may have been the worse day of his life, he suddenly discovers a duffle bag full of cash, 2 million euros to be precise. All he has to do is survive the night and make sure the people who owns the money don’t catch him!!

I love going to the airport, the trepidation and excitement of a holiday, but I have also had the experience of waiting for hours due to a delay to get home. The long wait, the tension as you eagerly await the announcement that your flight is finally ready to board. However I have never had to wait airside (in the airport past security checks) overnight before.  But this is the position that Kevin is left in when he discovers his scheduled flight is overbooked and is then bumped as he is one of the only single travellers there. As the next flight isn’t until the morning he has a long wait ahead and as the beginning progresses we get a good idea and image of what this would be like. The small smattering of travellers having to wait overnight, settling down to sleep.

The first half of the novel sets the scene well. We find out more about the main character as well as some of the other people who aren’t in the airport to travel but to conduct some dodgy business transactions. As you can imagine the first part is pretty slow paced but this reflects the dragging of time perfectly. With many hours to wait there isn’t much to do except read or try to sleep. However, after going to the bathroom and discovering a large duffel bag of cash the action really starts to ramp up.

This is a tension filled, airport thriller with some raw, brutal scenes which will have you cringing and wanting to look away from the action. The authors use of description brings the scenes to life in a bleak, grey landscape of a stormy night in a German airport which is the ideal setting for what happens next.

Airside is a story of a small airport which seems insignificant but plays a big role as the setting of a seedy, underground, criminal enterprise. It is a tale of Greed, crime, desperation and of how far one man will go if given the chance to change his life completely from the mess he is currently in.

After the initial setup this novel will have you hooked, sitting on the edge of your seat desperate to know what happens and why this all came about in the first place.

⭐️⭐️⭐️💫 – a tense, slow burn (at first) thriller which depicts the dark underworld of a small airport and how far one man will go to try to change his life!!

Airside is out now!!

About the author

James Swallow is a British author. A BAFTA nominee and a New York Times, Sunday Times and Amazon #1 best-seller, he is the author of several original books and tie-in novels, as well as short fiction, numerous audio dramas and video games.

Much love 💘

Book Review – The Vanishing Triangle by Claire McGowan

I have always been interested in true crime, but I must admit I haven’t read many true crime novels so when I saw this book I was intrigued. Coming from a strong Irish background, this book instantly caught my eye, as I have always been fascinated with the history of Ireland, the good, the bad and the troublesome.

Claire McGowan is primarily known for her crime fiction and after hearing about the “vanishing triangle” she decided to write a true crime novel based on these crimes which occurred in her home country, Ireland.

You have most likely heard about the troubles in Ireland which occurred primarily between 1969 and 1998, but after that you may think Ireland to be a safe, fun country filled with friendly locals, great “craic” and if you are lucky a leprechaun. I have been to Ireland many times and since my first visit in 2001 I have seen it become a safer, more accepting country, however like all areas, it still has its dark secrets, and this is definitely one of them.

Claire investigates the mystery of 6 women who went missing between 1993 and 1998 and were never found. Many of them simply vanished in broad daylight and the lack of evidence or sign of where they may have gone is shocking. The Vanishing Triangle relates to a section in Ireland forming the shape of a triangle where these women disappeared.

What I liked about this was that the narrative wasn’t clinical or technical. Having grown up in Ireland, often nearby to the disappearance, the writer brought in her own anecdotes and experiences which made the cases more personal and interesting.

However, she doesn’t simply stop at the women named in the official search operation, she also links other potential disappearances which had a similar MO and could be considered to be connected. She discusses the life of each woman and provides the reader an insight into the events leading up to their disappearances.

I had never heard of these cases before, so it was fascinating hearing all about it. To someone familiar with these they may not find it as interesting as there is no new evidence or ground-breaking discoveries. However, what Claire does uncover to us is the dark underbelly of Ireland, the dangers that many women faced, as well as some of the many injustices they experienced, especially when the country was fiercely catholic and very strict. She also shows us how many times the police force may have dropped the ball, by losing evidence or taking too long to start looking for the missing woman or making assumptions based on their lifestyle.

Many of the events which take place will shock and unnerve you and I really enjoyed how the writer made the stark contrast between fiction and reality and clearly outlined how it would be in her crime fiction to what actually happened.

This was a fascinating read and I learnt a lot about how far behind Ireland were than us until very recently. For example, abortion was only legalised there in 2018 and up until 1993 it was illegal to be gay. I know a fair bit about the troubles partly due to my family who come from Ireland and also from my own interest in the topic, but I didn’t really know much of the other political aspects.

I know there are quite a few bad reviews out there for this book but personally I found it a really intriguing read, and for someone who hasn’t heard of the vanishing triangle it is such an eye opener to the crimes as well the judicial system in Ireland back in the 90s.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ – Claire does a brilliant job of opening the reader’s eyes to the atrocities that happened alongside the troubles and brings each woman to the light to highlight their case and what may have happened to them. This is a shocking, and unsettling read but nonetheless, one that needs to be heard and read by more people.

Book tour- The Trial of Lotta Rae by Siobhan MacGowan

It’s finally here!! Today the book blog tour for Siobhan MacGowan new book, The Trial of Lotta Rae stops at Lizzieslittlebooknook and I couldn’t be happier!!

Now usually I just post a review for all you peeps but as you may have seen I posted this a few days ago and that’s because I have a special surprise for you all…an extra special Q and A from the author Siobhan MacGowan exclusive to Lizzie’s Little Book Nook. So, grab a drink, sit back and enjoy…

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Book Review – Book of Night by Holly Black

Having read all of the Folk in the Air series by Holly Black in the last few years I was very excited about her foray into adult fantasy. There is of course always some trepidation when a YA author turns their hand to adult fiction as there is always the concern that there will be little difference in the writing. However, Leigh Bardugo has proved it can be done and a clear line can be made between YA and adult through her debut adult title, Ninth House which I also read and reviewed recently. So, without further ado, lets jump straight in…

Book of Night is about Charlie Hall. She lives in a world where shadows can be altered in multiple terrifying ways and can even be separated from their human. It is a world where dark magic although mostly hidden is still a threat to many areas and as a talented con artist and thief, Charlie is well aware to be afraid of what lurks in corners, the dark shadows which can cause considerable harm to those it seeks.

However, Charlie Hall is tough and clever, having spent her life stealing and conning her way against the elite to earn her keep, stay alive and look after her family, especially her sister. As she becomes older she tries to escape this world by becoming a bar tender, but she can’t help being sucked back into the world of shadow magic and the dangers it poses to those who alter their shadows.

Just like Leigh Bardugo did with Ninth House, Holly set her debut dark fantasy novel in the real world which made it all the darker and at times unsettling. There were a lot of side characters introduced quite early on so at first, I was spending a bit of time flicking back and reminding myself who they were (reminded me of GoT reading) but once you got the grips with who’s who it was easier to just let yourself be absorbed by the world and the story.

This was clearly an adult dark fantasy as it was much darker than the Folk in the Air series and the characters felt more complex and with mirkier pasts. I enjoyed how we were given flashbacks into Charlie’s past and how it all began as it gave us a bigger insight into her origin story and helped the reader to understand how she became this low-level con artist/thief.

The story itself was immersive and featured some shocking twists which I didn’t see coming and the world itself was a wonderful mixture of dark magic and realism to create this seedy, gritty underground world, especially surrounding the bar.

This is a tale of survival, dark magic, desperation and the levels some people will go to acquire what they desire most, and more importantly how much they are willing to sacrifice, including their own shadow.

I really hope this becomes a series as I feel like there is a lot you can do with this world and the cast of characters, and they seem to have only touched the surface when it comes to the possibilities and opportunities of the setting and the magic. I don’t think I have read many novels about shadow magic, and it was fascinating learning all about the different procedures these characters had to morph, alter and even remove it from their person.

If you are looking for a dark adult fantasy set within a realistic environment I would definitely recommend Book of Night. The writing was much more mature to suit the adult genre and the style was much darker than Folk in the Air although I felt the world creation and characters were just as superb.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ – A dark, gripping novel showing us the shocking cost of shadow magic and the dangers that magic can bring to those conducting it and others around them.

Book Review – The Trial of Lotta Rae by Siobhan MacGowan

Thanks to Welbeck Publishing for gifting me this book in exchange for an honest review. I am also honoured to take part in the book tour for this title. So, watch this space on 24th May for my stop on the tour.

The Trial of Lotta Rae instantly attracted my attention after reading the blurb, it is a historical fiction, which is a genre I have tried to explore more of this year. This particular title is set in Suffragette London. Lotta Rae, a 15-year-old girl who works in the same factory as her father to help support her family, is raped by a man who is of high standing and has connections with the government. Her family believe that justice needs to be done and so Lotta makes the brave decision of speaking up and testifying against him in court.

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Book Review – Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo

This was a book I was gifted for my birthday by my amazing Canadian Bookstagrammer friend, Sienna. It is one I have been looking forward to reading having fallen in love with Leigh Bardugo’s Grishaverse, but at the same time I was a bit worried. For an author who is well known for her YA Fantasy, it is always a risky move. There is always that concern that the fiction will either be too similar to YA or just doesn’t work. In this case, it seems I had nothing to worry about.

This is the first book in the series, and I am very happy to say that the sequel is coming, yay!! It is called Hell Bent and is release January 2023 and I couldn’t be more excited. After reading this book, the 2nd book title is perfect.

So, without further ado let’s get on with the review.

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Book Review – Anatomy: A Love Story by Dana Schwartz

Anatomy: A Love Story by Dana Schwartz

I first heard about this book at the beginning of the 2022 and I was absolutely sold on the blurb. The idea of a romance with a gothicky, medical twist, all set in 1817 Edinburgh was all I needed to know. So, when I saw there was one copy left in my local Waterstones a few weeks ago I couldn’t say no. One of the first aspect of this book which also grabbed me was the cover; I mean look at it. The artwork is so cleverly thought up. At first glance it is a heart, but as you look closer you realise it is a woman, such a beautiful concept!!

The last book I read with gothic vibes was Mexican Gothic, so I was looking forward to sinking my teeth into another gothic style novel, this time set a bit closer to home.

Anatomy: A Love Story is about a young 15-year-old girl called Hazel Sinnott. She is obsessed with learning about the body and medicine and spends her days perusing her father’s old anatomy and philosophy books from his office.

However, this isn’t 2022, this is 1817, an era where the only thing women were allowed to do, especially women in high society such as Hazel was to find a man, marry and have his children. But this is the farthest thing from what Hazel desires. She wants to become a surgeon and will do anything to achieve this. She even goes as far as to dress up in her deceased brother’s clothes and pretend to be a male in order to attend lectures lead by the infamous, Dr Beecham III. However, she is soon discovered and kicked out for being the wrong gender.

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