“Mammy, we’ve found you some ‘free’ books”

Okay. So. A while ago I tweeted that I had got an email from Amazon stating my Kindle Unlimited membership had started, thanking me and telling me that I was going to be able to enjoy countless great titles that would go straight to my Kindle. Great. Sorry, actually, what was that now?

A little detective work later culminated in my six year old and eight year old jumping around the room and telling me that they had ‘robbed Daddy’s laptop’ and ‘found a way to get me free books’ and I pretty much had an idea what had happened. Cue freak outs on the fact that our kids knew how to get past passwords and into Amazon and then a deep breath and an ‘I have to go email and get them to cancel it’ from me. But this didn’t happen. Why? Because I was left alone with the laptop that I use for writing and blogging. There was no way in hell I was going to email someone when I could get a blog post out.

Weeks on and the €8.99 has now come out of our account. So I took this as an opportunity to go online and star reading  up on Kindle Unlimited (KU). The FAQs told me it was easy to cancel and that I could use the service to take out ten books of an arsenal of up to one million titles (swoon) until the next billing date, when, obviously, if I’ve cancelled, the book disappears. So I said, well, if I’ve been billed I may as well get my money’s worth. I logged on and my first idea was to look up all those books, usually from what I call the headliner publishers, that on Kindle would cost that bit more than I’m willing to spend, would have a waiting list attached at our local library and would have prices in the bookshop are borderline crackers (sorry, but a quarter of a hundred euro for a book that’ll be read just once doesn’t sit great with me). The problem, obviously, is that all of these titles are more likely to be multiple platforms, and not exclusive to Amazon, which is what is required for a book to be eligible for KU, but, then I had a light bulb moment, went to my wish list on Amazon and began to work my way through the list to see which were on KU. As a result I grabbed the following books that I’ve been meaning to read for ever and now, with a time limit on me I have the perfect excuse!


I’m going to leave it at four, as I’ve some review copies to read, and, well, you know, a pretty full Kindle. As for my membership? I will be cancelling … although maybe not this month … Ahem. Anyhoo, I’ll keep you posted. Happy reading all!:)

The Colour of Water In July by Nora Carroll


Length: 251 pages

What they say:

It’s been a long seventeen years since Jess last saw her grandmother or visited the family cottage set on an idyllic lake in Northern Michigan. For all that time, she’s been haunted by loss—of her innocence and her ability to trust and, most of all, of a profound summer romance that might have been something more. So when her grandmother leaves the house to her, Jess summons her courage and returns to a place full of memories—and secrets.

There, she stumbles upon old letters and photographs of a time not so much forgotten as buried. As she begins to unravel the hidden histories of her mother and her grandmother, she makes a startling discovery about a tragic death that prompted her family’s slow undoing. With every uneven and painful step into the past, Jess comes closer to a truth that could alter her own path—and open a door to a different future.

The Review: I’m ashamed to say that I kept bypassing this book on my Kindle. I think from the cover I thought that this would be a heavier read than it actually was, plus I’m not fully au fait with historical fiction, and so I took a step back. Once I actually got down to it, I read it in three nights (I could probably have read in one or two sittings had it not been a hectic few days), spending each day looking forward to when the night time came so I could pick up on where the story left off.

‘There must be a precise moment when wet cement turns dry, when it no longer accepts footprints or scratched-in declarations of love, an ordinary moment, unnoticed, just like any. But in that moment, the facts of life can change.’

This is how the story begins. We jump between two stories, that of Jess, who has arrived at her now deceased gran’s cottage, in a magnificent setting, overlooking the lake at Michegan, and her Gran. We were shown tragedies through Jess and Mamie’s eyes, with the stories overlapping and yet not, such was the way we were let in on secrets and heartbreaking revelations as the story went further back through the ages to secrets that impacted on Jess and her family. I loved that the Gran’s story was told from when she was older, and so we were looking back, as far or as near as we needed.

Jess recounted her idea of what happened years ago, a story of a Summer that would never be forgotten, either by Jess or her Gran, a Summer full of love and drama. I loved the innocence that we could find in places, that peaceful, lying about, lazy carry on. The descriptions in this book were so beautiful and vivid and I could picture every family setting, every romantic scene, and then every trauma and heartbreaking event that happened. And there were many of those.

This book was like a lesson in how to do dramatic twists, with surprises, shocks and gasp out loud moments as you uncovered the reasons true love was never allowed to fluorish. The secrets and lies broke your heart and made you want to read on, the romance took your breath away, the story never disappointed. The ending was excellent, and surprisingly for me I think I’d read it again(as a teen or a child I re-read books over and over again, not so far as an adult). Thanks to Netgalley and Lake Union Publishing for the book in return for an honest review.

Rating: 4.5/5

#amreading and #outnow ! A Drakenfall Christmas by Geralyn Corcillo


Length: 203 pages

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Not long ago I was involved in a release for Catch a Falling Star by Geralyn Corcillo. In this, I told you, I had read a short story called ‘Upstairs, Downstairs and the Lift in Between’ in an romantic comedy anthology called  Love In An Elevator .

I had noted that this was the precursor to a novel and was beyond eagerly awaiting its release. Well, release day came and, alerted by the brilliant Karen Eleni, knowing and loving Geralyn on social media, and being such a fan, I felt I had to mark the arrival of a this gem somehow, knowing that I couldn’t post a review until I take part in its blog tour with H.C.L Book Tours and Author Services in November. So feast your eyes on this gorgeous cover and enjoy! Out now on Amazon and sitting on my Kindle right now!

What they say: Get ready for a Christmas treat, generously sprinkled with laughter and lavishly frosted with romance!

The magic of Drakenfall is in the air, spiced with cinnamon and mistletoe as Lord and Lady Mark and Maisy, along with their madcap staff, welcome Yuletide guests to their country estate-turned-resort.

In an uncharacteristic turn, unflappable house manager Glynis Ferry seems to be getting her duster ruffled every time she catches sight of Shaun Fletcher, the new head groom. Pippa Taylor, a whirling dervish of a domestic, works below stairs to make the magic of Drakenfall happen for everyone else. But will there ever be enough dazzle left over for her? There will if most worthy valet Kafi Diop has anything to say about it, as he tries to spin holiday enchantment every which way. But his best laid plans seem to go cataclysmically awry, even with Maisy helping out as his faithful sidekick.

And what about Kafi’s grandest of schemes, set to take flight at the Drakenfall Christmas Ball? He’s depending on guest Jamie Tovell, who’s depending on his long-time crush Lea Sinclair. But even if everything goes off without a hitch, will the secret Maisy’s been hiding from Mark all season pop up at the most inopportune moment to set everything asunder?

It’s a Drakenfall Christmas … topsy-turvy, romantic, quirky, and heartwarming!

About the Author


Geralyn’s website: geralyncorcillo.com

Geralyn’s books on Amazon

Geralyn on Goodreads

Geralyn on Facebook

Geralyn on Twitter

The Sister by Louise Jensen


Length:336 pages

What they Say:”I did something terrible Grace. I hope you can forgive me …”

Grace hasn’t been the same since the death of her best friend Charlie. She is haunted by Charlie’s last words, and in a bid for answers, opens an old memory box of Charlie’s. It soon becomes clear there was a lot she didn’t know about her best friend.

When Grace starts a campaign to find Charlie’s father, Anna, a girl claiming to be Charlie’s sister steps forward. For Grace, finding Anna is like finding a new family, and soon Anna has made herself very comfortable in Grace and boyfriend Dan’s home.

But something isn’t right. Things disappear, Dan’s acting strangely and Grace is sure that someone is following her. Is it all in Grace’s mind? Or as she gets closer to discovering the truth about both Charlie and Anna, is Grace in terrible danger?

There was nothing she could have done to save Charlie …or was there?

The Review: I had heard of this a lot in blogging circles and everyone was gushing so much I had to read it. Little did I know this was going to be one of my favourite thrillers of the year.

The story is told in first person from the point of view of Grace, who is mourning the death of her best friend Charlie. When I say best friends, it is actually more like they’re sisters, they know everything about each other and spend all their time together, however, as you’ll see in the blurb, it turns out that Grace doesn’t actually know everything about Charlie, and is constantly trying to piece together fragments of memories so that she can decipher what Charlie’s last words meant. The story moves between ‘then’ and ‘now’ and I loved that the settings moved from being dark to light, with exceptional descriptions that really put you there and it is dotted with brief flashes of humour that I really appreciated. There are many mysteries to wonder about, and many characters to suspect when things start to go wrong. The only issue I had was something in Grace’s past, which was very much built up and then turned out to be a disappointment, but aside from that I couldn’t fault this book.  A book that very much had you wondering what was going to happen next and who you could trust, I really have to say I loved this and have already bought The Gift by Louise Jensen and can’t wait to read. This book was both a pleasure and a thrill. Highly recommended. Thanks so much to Netgalley and Bookouture for this book in return for an honest review.

Rating: 5/5




A Boy Made of Blocks by Keith Stuart


Length:400 pages

Note: The cover image leads to a universal Amazon buy link for the book

What they say: Discover a unique, funny and moving debut that will make you laugh, cry and smile.

Meet thirtysomething dad, Alex
He loves his wife Jody, but has forgotten how to show it. He loves his son Sam, but doesn’t understand him. Something has to change. And he needs to start with himself.

Meet eight-year-old Sam
Beautiful, surprising, autistic. To him the world is a puzzle he can’t solve on his own.

But when Sam starts to play Minecraft, it opens up a place where Alex and Sam begin to rediscover both themselves and each other . . .

Can one fragmented family put themselves back together, one piece at a time?

Inspired by the author’s experiences with his own son, A Boy Made of Blocks is an astonishingly authentic story of love, family and autism.

A Boy Made of Blocks an astonishingly authentic story of love, family and autism. Fans of About a Boy, Us and The Rosie Project will love this heart-warming, heart-breaking & wonderfully funny debut from an exceptionally talented new writer.

The review: When I was first offered this book I have to admit, I balked, just a little. Books with autism as the main subject matter generally hurt my head, as there’s Aspergers in my family. The idea of fiction books with autism as the subject matter generally lead to me overthinking, and, I’ll be honest, worrying. Saying that, the ones I’ve read before I’ve always ended up enjoying. This was no exception.

The book opens with us learning about Alex’s marriage with Jody, which is disintegrating. It read the way I’d imagine the screenplay of ‘The Break Up’ (Jennifer Aniston and Vince Vaughan) did, with little snide comments, bickering and bitterness, and I have to admit I was torn between that awful fascination you experience when you’re let into someone’s private life (yes, I do know this is just a book), and not wanting to just experience argument after argument. But of course I’d jumped the gun in expecting the whole gun to be like this and anyway I’d already warmed to Mr. Stuart’s style.

We saw Alex’s job as an estate agent, met his friends and associates. We were presented with excellent descriptions and witty asides and at times a  gorgeously cynical narrative. These were mixed with Alex’s moments with Sam, as he tries to move past being nervous, afraid almost, of his own son. The book can read like an inspirational how to manual, as well as a how not to, and I loved it so much. His observations on Sam put us right there

‘He was like Joe Pesci in Goodfellas-small, funny, but at the flick of a mental switch, easily capable of extreme and demented violence’

and to be honest I highlighted so many quotes my Kindle began to give out (note to self, write post on Kindle pros and cons). I loved how they interacted, and seeing their story together develop. Everything in this book is so well balanced, and there are so many moments and realisations in this book, both for Alex, and for Jody. She wants everything done the way she way she wants it and forgets that because he isn’t there all day he couldn’t know the way things have to be.

‘She glances between us-the two men in her life, equally bewildering to her, I realise.’

A special mention for Matt and Claire, who I loved (good for anyone who’s a fan of chaotic, mom/ dad lit kind of stories) and actually pretty much all of the side characters. I should probably leave it here, and say just that this book had it spot on and how much I loved Sam and how many times I wanted to hug him or just say ‘yes!’ and well done, three dimensional etc Alex and Jody’s characters were, but instead I’m going to talk about Minecraft.

Minecraft has taken over our house for about the last two years. I had no idea of what it was about (Previous to marraige and kids I’d generally focused any gaming in my life purely on Street Fighter, Sonic the Hedgehog and Pac-man ) and my only dalliance with it had been at the start, when I was handed the controller, unaware of how the hell you armed yourself, or ate or anything else you have to do in Minecraft. After wandering in circles with an axe and listening to my six year old patiently trying to tell me that I was doing great, but I needed to do something, I chalked it down to experience, and handed it back.  I have learned so much from this book in terms of minecraft, and the lads have actually started offering up information since I’ve begun to ask questions that didn’t start with ‘so this is the box thing, right?’  Also I now know what that song on Youtube ‘don’t mine at night,’ actually means! But I suppose I should get back to the book. Yes, I cried in this book (sobbed hysterically actually), laughed out loud (properly!) got mad and caught my breath. It had hidden gem after gem of advice, put nice and diplomatically so shouty people out there can’t go on the warpath (parents aren’t always a great group at taking advice, take it from a mother of four!) and comments on autism. It was uplifting and heartwarming, life affirming and simultaneously terrifying! Definitely one to buy/ go on the wish list.

Thanks to Little, Brown Book Group and Netgalley for this book in return for an honest review.

Rating: 5/5


About the Author


KEITH STUART is games editor at the Guardian. He started out as writer and features editor on the highly influential magazine Edge before going freelance in 2000 to cover games culture for publications such as The Official PlayStation Magazine, PC Gamer and T3, as well as investigating digital and interactive art for Frieze. He also writes about music, film and media for the Guardian and is a regular on the Tech Weekly podcast. He is married with two sons.

He lives in Somerset.

Website: A Boy Made of Blocks


Blog Tour: Review: Gamer Girl by Glynis Astie



Gamer Girl By author: Glynis Astie

Release Date: May 31, 2016


Romantic Comedy

Length: 330 pages

Buy the Book: Note: for the week of the blog tour is only £0.99!!!

Amazon US

Amazon UK

What they day: Struck by tragedy at an early age, Meri Palmer escaped into the only world she understood. Within the virtual realm of online gaming, she lived a life filled with mythical creatures and thrilling adventures, where she was strong, powerful, clever, and beautiful—everything she believed she wasn’t in real life. As the years went by, her desire to cling to her cherished fantasyland only grew stronger. But when Meri meets Morgan, equal parts gorgeous and goofball, she begins to wonder if the time has finally come to rejoin the so-called real world. Channeling the bravery of her fairy warrior alter ego, Meri slowly lets Morgan beyond the protective walls she’s built around her heart. Just as she finds a comfortable groove in an uncertain world, Morgan succumbs to insecurities of his own, leaving her lost and confused. Through her battle to regain her equilibrium, Meri will discover that even in reality, things aren’t always what they seem. Will Meri win the battle raging in her heart and summon the will to rescue her knight in shining armor? Or will she give in to the fear and find her game over?

The Review: I’m so thrilled to be part of this blog tour-that of ‘Gamer Girl’ by Glynis Astie!

I have to admit when I heard of this book I was very excited. First off there was Ms. Astie herself, who I had encountered on social media and is so lovely, but also I love to hear of concepts that are chick lit but with a twist on them, and this sounded right up might street! Add to this the cover (how gorgeous is it, honestly!) and I jumped to review. I’ll point out straight away that while I used to pay video games, and now have sons who play video games, I’m not a gamer, and I still did really enjoy. I think it would suit all people who are chick lit fans and look for something a bit edgier although I think it will be bang on for people who do game.

But I digress. The book opens with a fantasy world where the person in the game is meeting a key character for the first time. It is a fantasy game, and we get a slight taste of what has been going on with this character to date, the people they trust, and those they don’t. An attack ensues. The descriptions in these game sequences were vivid and extremely engaging, it was like you had stepped straight into this world. Exiting it, you meet twenty four year old Meri Palmer, who is fully immersed in said game:

‘I wrenched off my headset and hurled it to the floor.’

Meri, who works in ‘the hottest new gaming company in Manhattan,’ Ludicrux Games, lives with her Grams, and we soon learn that her life hasn’t been easy (special mention here to the flashbacks of her past, that were so beautiful and touching). Despite this, she is a vibrant positive character, albeit one who is finding it hard to trust people, who has ideas of what she wants for her future. In this quirky, out there work environment that was always interesting, we are introduced to her best friend Declan, and her crush, Morgan. The characters in this were perfection, the chemistry between Declan and she brilliant, and there were so many touching moments between the two

” ‘We’re the most ridiculous pair, Meri’

‘We are indeed.’ I kissed the top of his head. ‘And I wouldn’t change a thing.'”

There was also the growth of Meri in the book, which was masterful. The romance in this book was also so lovely, and I smiled as it happened (no spoilers). There were secrets galore and the pacing meant that you began to think of them at the right time to keep you want to reading. It wasn’t a ‘BAM!’ something’s happened, kind of book, except in the fantasy pages, which, you realised quite soon, were mirroring real life, but more that you’d be lead into an idea that someone was not as they seemed and I liked this style. I’m afraid there were small parts of the book, both in the fantasy and out, that perhaps went over my head, and so I had to re-read parts, but it didn’t really impact the flow of the book that much.

The final word has to be on the comedy of the book, which was mostly very much up my street, and the references, which again, were me (also for reminding me that I have to have to read ‘Ready Player One!’). Gamer Girl was a lovely, touching  book with lashings of comedy that were so perfect it was like they were tailor made, and I will most definitely be reading more by Ms Astie in the future. Oh and did I mention it’s only £0.99 on Amazon at the moment?! Thanks so much to HCL author services for the book in return for an honest review and make sure you follow the blog tour, the details of which are below!

Rating: 4/5

About the author


Glynis never expected in her wildest dreams to be a writer. After thirteen years in the Human Resources Industry, she decided to stay at home with her two amazing sons. Ever in search of a project, she was inspired to write the story of how, in only six short months, she met and married her wonderfully romantic French husband, Sebastien. The end result became her first novel, French Twist. As this was just the beginning of their epic love story, Glynis continued to chronicle their adventures in the sequel, French Toast, and the final installment in the series, French Fry. After she finished milking her life story for all it was worth, she decided to write straight-up fiction with Gamer Girl, which infuses her beloved chick lit with a hint of fantasy. When Glynis is not writing, she is trying to keep the peace amongst the three men and two cats in her life, finding missing body parts (Lego pieces are small!), supervising a myriad of homework assignments and keeping a tenuous hold on her sanity by consuming whatever chocolate is in the vicinity.

Find her here: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Amazon


The Gamer Girl Blog Tour

October 9th

BRMaycock’s Book Blog – Book Review

October 10th

Judging More Than Just The Cover – Author Q&A
Sweet Little Pretties – Book Excerpt 1/Promo
Sylv All About Books and Films – Book Excerpt

October 11th

Novelgossip – Author Guest Post
ItaPixie’s Book Corner – Book Excerpt 2/Promo Post
Book Lover in Florida – Book Review/Excerpt 3

October 12th

Romantic Reads – A Guest Post
Steamy Book Momma – Book Promo
Authors & Readers Book Corner – Book Promo

October 13th

He Said Books or Me – Book Review
Hello…Chick Lit – Book Review/Guest Post

October 14th

Grass Monster – Book Review
Rae Reads – Book Review

October 15th

The Fiction Addiction – Book Review
These Words: A Blog – Book Excerpt 1

Book Tour Arranged By: HCL Author Services


Lying In Wait by Liz Nugent


Length: 320 pages

Note: The cover image leads to a universal buy link for the book on Amazon

What they say: From the award-winning author of the No 1 bestseller, Unravelling Oliver ‘My husband did not mean to kill Annie Doyle, but the lying tramp deserved it.’ Lydia Fitzsimons lives in the perfect house with her adoring husband and beloved son. There is just one thing Lydia yearns for to make her perfect life complete, though the last thing she expects is that pursuing it will lead to murder. However, needs must – because nothing can stop this mother from getting what she wants …


The Review: I had read Unravelling Oliver some time ago, as I had seen it nominated for The Bord Gais Book Awards, which generally drive a lot of my reading choices around this time of the year, and was pretty much as blown away as everyone else I knew (go read!). In relation to this book, if you go onto Amazon you’ll note that at the forefront is line upon line of gushing by writers and personalities who have claimed this as one of the books of the year. Since it surfaced, I have been hearing claims to this effect and, I have to admit, it is one of the problems with constantly reading reviews and being in social media book clubs, that constant calls of ‘this is the best book I’ve ever read, ever’ sometimes have you backing off, either totally, or for just enough time that you can form your own opinions (I’m the same with music, months after a song has been out I’ll start to hum it, then sing it, and tell everyone around me what a great song it is, much to their irritation!) Anyhoo, back to the point, and my point is, I’m so glad I did jump back to this book. Again, Ms. Nugent has created a book that draws you in, in such a way that this book can only be read in one sitting (or two, if your kids subconsciously decide you should be dealing with them instead;) The multiple point of views are excellent, as we begin with that line that is now infamous in blogging circles

“My husband did not mean to kill Annie Doyle, but the lying tramp deserved it.”

and continue along a path with three people, one, a person who is willing to do everything she needs to, to get what she wants, no matter how sordid or how much she hurts those around her, the second an unwitting bystander, who does not know of the past of the people around him, and who has grabbed onto a sticky truth, to try to pull himself through a life that isn’t as easy as it should be, and thirdly, a  girl, who has a belief, a belief that the sister she is searching for is alive and that she will find her. The pure grubbiness and shock factor of this book is nicely balanced by this third person’s search, with simple yet magnificent Irish storytelling showing us the everyday life of a girl who wanted something a little bit better than what was expected of her, but without losing sight of who she was.

It’s funny, that out of this book, as well as with Oliver, the one thing that jumped out at me was how peoples’ childhoods shape their life. One event invariably led to the ostracizing of a child, which led to cruelty and hurt for a myriad of other people and afterwards you find yourself with an armful of ‘if onlys’ for the characters in the story.

The ending, as you would expect, had the dial set to ‘shock.’

All in all, a great book, though one to be read without all the hype and fanfare that surrounds it, just a dark, twisted, well told book that I really enjoyed and popped in and out of my thoughts afterwards. Cannot wait for Ms Nugent’s next book! Thanks so much to Netgalley and Penguin Ireland for this book in return for an honest review.

Rating 4.5/5