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Welcome to Lizzie’s little book nook

Hi,

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 – Mexican Gothic by Sylvia Moreno-Garcia

Tis the season to be spooky (evil witch cackle) I love October, I always read horror and thriller books, as well as hold several horror film marathons with my fiancé (this week was Stephen King)

One of my most recent reads (as well as a new buy for me) for this spooky season was Mexican Gothic by Sylvia Moreno-Garcia.

This story begins with Noemi Taboada, a socialite from New Mexico, receiving a frantic, rather frightening letter from her cousin, Catalina. The contents of the letter is so disturbing and worrying that her father insists on her departing as soon as possible to visit her at her husband’s family estate. Catalina is often known for her dramatic outbursts but even this is much worse than she is known for. However, when Noemi arrives in the run-down, ancient mansion she gets much more than she expected. She senses danger and something lurking underneath the mould infested wallpaper and before she knows it, she slowly uncovers the truth behind the Doyle’s estate. However, the longer she remains in the Doyle’s estate the deeper she becomes entwined in the estate, and the more she discovers what is really go on in this house, the harder it becomes to escape.

Mexican Gothic really takes us back to the writing style of classic gothic which I loved. Sylvia’s penmanship is stylish, brilliant, and disturbing all at the same time. As we progress through the story we are introduced to each character, from the shy but caring youngest member of the family, Francis to the stern, matriarch, Florence and of course the head of the household, Howard Doyle, Virgil’s father who seems to take a particular liking in Noemi.

Its slow burn beginning soon transforms to a nail-biting, edge of your seat, tension-filled ending which will sink its claws in and not let go of you. This is a story which will shock, repulse and surprise you at different times!

I haven’t read many modern gothic novels, but I feel like it will be difficult to beat this one. The superb character descriptions, combined with the eerie scene setting from the misty, mushroom filled cemetery to the spooky, aged house create an altogether, wonderfully spooky, and disturbing novel to read this Halloween.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ – a fantastic, gothic novel which will leave you disturbed, gripped, and chilled to your bones

Book Review – Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin

This was read in preparation for our last show which was all about book series’ (if you missed it you can listen to it anywhere you listen to podcasts or through the below link) however this novel is also perfect for the Halloween season.

Blurb

Two years ago, Louise le Blanc fled her coven and took shelter in the city of Cesarine, forsaking all magic and living off whatever she could steal. There, witches like Lou are hunted. They are feared. And they are burned.

As a huntsman of the Church, Reid Diggory has lived his life by one principle: Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live. But when Lou pulls a wicked stunt, the two are forced into an impossible situation—marriage.

Lou, unable to ignore her growing feelings, yet powerless to change what she is, must make a choice. And love makes fools of us all.

I went into this book pretty blind. Having seen it promoted and raved about all over Bookstagram I decided to get it from Waterstones one day as part of a buy 1 get 1 half price. What I didn’t realise is just how good it would be!

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Book Review- The Assembly by Natasha Brown

This was another Netgalley read and also Natasha Brown’s debut novel. So let’s start with a bit of an overview.

Blurb

Come of age in the credit crunch. Be civil in a hostile environment. Go to college, get an education, start a career. Do all the right things. Buy an apartment. Buy art. Buy a sort of happiness. But above all, keep your head down. Keep quiet. And keep going.

The narrator of Assembly is a black British woman. She is preparing to attend a lavish garden party at her boyfriend’s family estate, set deep in the English countryside. At the same time, she is considering the carefully assembled pieces of herself. As the minutes tick down and the future beckons, she can’t escape the question: is it time to take it all apart?


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Book Review – One Will Die by CT Ortega

I have previously read CT Ortega’s debut novel, The Writer and The Throne and really enjoyed it, so I jumped at the chance to review his new novel, One Will Die.

BLURB

Two different lives…
Two different hopes…
Only one will survive…

Tanel, a quiet poet born into the battle-driven clan of Mil’chama. The heavily trained boy struggles to find his way, wishing for a more peaceful existence.

Vinn, a young man tired of watching his people suffer because they’re ill-prepared to defend themselves. The warrior at heart has had enough and is ready to fight back.

As the two stand on the opposing sides of the battlefield, face to face, one of these coming-of-age stories will have an early end.

One will die at the hands of the other.


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Book Review and Book Tour – The Case of the Missing Firefly by Chris Mcdonald.

Thanks to RedDogPress for gifting me a copy of Chris McDonald’s new murder mystery novella, The Case of the Missing Firefly and for inviting me to be a part of this wonderful book tour.

Blurb

The notoriously hard-drinking, backstabbing Stonebridge Radio crew are having their Hallowe’en party on Winkle Island, rumoured to be the most haunted place in Northern Ireland. Unfortunately, Adam and Colin are there too, having accepted an easy payday from Colin’s event organising mother.

At dinner, a shocking announcement is followed by an even more shocking murder, and the theft of a priceless Firefly necklace. To top it all, thanks to a raging storm, everyone is trapped on the island.

Faced with devious radio presenters, a strange tour guide, and a rampaging murderer, Adam and Colin are back in business.

———–‐————–

This whodunit has everything you could want. From the spooky, coastal/boat setting, the building of tension and suspense to the unique and quirky characters who are all suspects. The Case of the Missing Firefly is perfect to read on a crisp autumn night under a fluffy blanket in front of the fire with a nice hot drink.

I loved the fact it was set just off the coast of Northern Ireland as it is a place very close to my heart and where my dad’s side of the family are from.

From the quiet, hardworking, elderly boss, Albert to your typical, egotistical, arrogant prime time dj, Drive Time Dave, you are introduced to a whole variety of different personalities which each lends their own spin on events and predich who they think really did it. Then you have your typical young tech nerds, Colin and Adam, who are simply meant to be there to set up the projector for the presentation. They think it will be the easiest £100 earned for 2 minutes work, but suddenly they are thrust into the middle of a murder investigation. With no police able to make it to the scene they don their detective hats and go all Sherlock and Watson to help solve the mystery.

This was an easy, quick and fun read. Although I guessed about halfway through who the murderer was, there were still a few twists I didn’t see coming which made it all the more exciting at the end.

Overall, I thought it was a great cosy murder mystery. It also happens to be the 4th in the series of the Stonebridge murders so I will certainly be looking out for the first 3. However, these can be read as standalones.

If you are looking for a fun little novella full of crime, suspense, murder and a bit of geekiness I highly recommend this book. Also I love the cover, it is very reminiscent of traditional murder mysteries.

⭐⭐⭐⭐ – a fun, cosy murder mystery novella perfect for the season

You can purchase the novella from the links below:

Available in paperback, hardback or eBook direct from Red Dog Press: https://bit.ly/missingfirefly
 
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/gb/en/ebook/the-case-of-the-missing-firefly

Google: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Chris_McDonald_The_Case_of_the_Missing_Firefly?id=jARDEAAAQBAJ&gl=GB




ABOUT THE SERIES:

Stonebridge is a small town on the north coast of Northern Ireland. Most of its inhabitants are friendly, happy people. Most of them…Because bad things happen even in the happiest of places. It’s a good thing, then, that Adam Whyte and Colin McLaughlin call Stonebridge home. Armed with an encyclopedic knowledge of detective shows, a misplaced sense of confidence and a keen desire to see justice done, these two are the closest thing the town has to saviours. Which isn’t that reassuring…



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Originally hailing from the north coast of Northern Ireland and now residing in South Manchester, Chris McDonald has always been a reader. At primary school, The Hardy Boys inspired his love of adventure, before his reading world was opened up by Chuck Palahniuk and the gritty world of crime.


He’s a fan of 5-a-side football, has an eclectic taste in music ranging from Damien Rice to Slayer and loves dogs.

Book Review – The Family Lie by P L Kane

A scream cut through the night as they watched flames engulf the woodland. Fire ripped through the trees, leaving only charred branches behind. And then they saw it… on the ashen forest floor… was a body.

Police officer, Mitchel Prescott answered the phone with a shaking hand. It was the one call he had been dreading. It was the hospital at Green Acres… his father Thomas, had died in the night.

Returning to the small town he had been avoiding since he was a child, Mitch must lay his father to rest.

When he arrives, the close-knit residents refuse to speak about Thomas’ death, other to explain he was found burnt to death in the woods and his dementia was the likely cause.

But when Mitch discovers traces of accelerant on his father’s body, he’s certain it wasn’t an accident. Then his childhood home is broken into, his father’s study ransacked, and a rock thrown through the window warning him to leave.

Mitch is convinced Thomas had discovered something that had got him into trouble… something that would threaten his entire family.

But what secret is worth killing for?


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Book Review – The Ice Coven by Max Seeck

I was gifted this book by Welbeck publishing in exchange for an honest review. I will admit I haven’t read the first book in the Jessica Niemi series, The Witch Hunter, but I feel it hasn’t hindered my enjoyment of the book.

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Book Review – The Editor’s Wife by Clare Chambers

This was another Netgalley read I was gifted in exchange for an honest review. My usual genres at the moment have been thrillers, romance or fantasy so I thought I would try something a bit different. So without further ado let’s have a bit of a blurb:


Blurb

When aspiring novelist Christopher Flinders drops out of university to write his masterpiece (in between shifts as a fish delivery man and builder’s mate), his family is sceptical.

But when he is taken up by the London editor Owen Goddard and his charming wife Diana it seems success is just around the corner. Christopher’s life has so far been rather short of charm – growing up in an unlovely suburb, with unambitious parents and a semi-vagrant brother – and he is captivated by his generous and cultured mentors.

However, on the brink of realising his dream, Christopher makes a desperate misjudgment which results in disaster for all involved. Shattered, he withdraws from London and buries himself in rural Yorkshire, embracing a career and a private life marked by mediocrity.

Twenty years on, a young academic researching into Owen Goddard seeks him out, and Christopher is forced to exhume his past, setting him on a path to a life-changing discovery.


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Book Review – Scythe By Neal Shusterman

This is a trilogy which I have seen around Bookstagram for a long time. Then my amazing brother bought me the complete set for Christmas last year and so I thought it was about time to see what all the fuss is about. So, without further ado here is my review of Scythe by Neil Shusterman

Blurb

A world with no hunger, no disease, no war, no misery. Humanity has conquered all those things, and has even conquered death. Now scythes are the only ones who can end life—and they are commanded to do so, in order to keep the size of the population under control.

Citra and Rowan are chosen to apprentice to a scythe—a role that neither wants. These teens must master the “art” of taking life, knowing that the consequence of failure could mean losing their own. 

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Book Review – All Our Darkest Secrets by Martyn Ford

This novel was another one I had the pleasure of reading through NetGalley. So thank you to Netgalley and Amazon Publishing for this opportunity to read and review Martyn Ford’s latest novel, All Our Darkest Secrets.

Blurb

He’d do anything to protect his wife. But what if that meant making the biggest mistake of all?

James Casper is one of the good guys. A DEA agent. A loyal husband. With his sights set on the man at the top of the city’s opioid crisis, James is about to make the biggest bust of his career.

Then his beloved wife Rosie does something terrible, and James must choose: report it—or help her. He knows how this works, and he tells himself he’s smart enough to get away with murder. But James’s worst enemy knows what they have done—and he won’t hesitate to use it to manipulate him.

James is dragged into a dark and dangerous world. As events spiral and loyalties are tested, he realizes there’s only one way out. And that is to be even more ruthless than the people he’s working for.

Whatever happens, no matter how far he falls, at least he’ll still have Rosie.

Won’t he?


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