TBR Pile A – Z Part 1

I have over 600 books on my TBR pile! Here is one book per letter of the alphabet (by author surname).

A – Sarah Ashwood – Aerisia: Land Beyond the Sunset

Blurb: The mystery of other worlds is not one Hannah Winters ever dreamed she’d solve. She also never counted on meeting an elderly stranger bearing an enchanted moonstone during her evening run; a stranger claiming to have crossed from another world in search of that realm’s promised deliverer.
Her.
Protests have no sway with the visitor, and Hannah finds herself transported to Aerisia, a mysterious land beyond Earth’s sunsets. Here, Hannah is believed to be the Artan, a legendary heroine prophesied to oppose the dreaded Dark Powers. Majestic fairies, the immortal Simathe, and the peaceful Moonkind are all willing to help her discover her true identity, but Hannah’s just an ordinary college student from Earth. She doesn’t have any latent magical abilities and she’s not the Artan.
Unfortunately, her allies aren’t seeing it that way. Neither are her enemies. In fact, Hannah’s life is in jeopardy from the moment she arrives in Aerisia,which means becoming the Artan may be the only way to survive… 


B – Nicholas Bowling – Witchborn

Blurb: It’s 1577. Queen Elizabeth I has imprisoned scheming Mary Queen of Scots, and Alyce’s mother is burned at the stake for witchcraft. Alyce kills the witchfinder and flees to London – but the chase isn’t over yet. As she discovers her own dark magic, powerful political forces are on her trail. She can’t help but wonder: why is she so important? Soon she finds herself deep in a secret battle between rival queens, the fate of England resting on her shoulders…


C – Garrard Conley – Boy Erased

Blurb: The son of a Baptist pastor and deeply embedded in church life in small town Arkansas, as a young man Garrard Conley was terrified and conflicted about his sexuality.
 
When Garrard was a nineteen-year-old college student, he was outed to his parents, and was forced to make a life-changing decision: either agree to attend a church-supported conversion therapy program that promised to “cure” him of homosexuality; or risk losing family, friends, and the God he had prayed to every day of his life. Through an institutionalized Twelve-Step Program heavy on Bible study, he was supposed to emerge heterosexual, ex-gay, cleansed of impure urges and stronger in his faith in God for his brush with sin. Instead, even when faced with a harrowing and brutal journey, Garrard found the strength and understanding to break out in search of his true self and forgiveness.
 
By confronting his buried past and the burden of a life lived in shadow, Garrard traces the complex relationships among family, faith, and community. At times heart-breaking, at times triumphant, this memoir is a testament to love that survives despite all odds.


D – Katerina Diamond – The Heatwave

Blurb: One summer. One stranger. One killer…
Two bad things happened that summer:
A stranger arrived. And the first girl disappeared.
 
In the wake of the crime that rocked her community, Felicity fled, knowing more than she let on.
 
But sixteen years later, her new life is shattered by the news that a second girl has gone missing in her hometown.
 
Now Felicity must go back, to face the truth about what happened all those years ago.
 
Only she holds the answers – and they’re more shocking than anyone could imagine.
 
The heatwave is back. And so is the killer. 


E – Thomas Emson – Maneater

Blurb: Laura Greenacre is not what she seems. Her tortured past is mistaken by some for aloofness – but they don’t know about her family, her predators, and, her prey. This book is a werewolf novel. 


F – Sarah Fine – Marked

Blurb: In a broken landscape carved by environmental collapse, Boston paramedic Cacia Ferry risks life and limb on the front lines of a fragile and dangerous city. What most don’t know including her sexy new partner, Eli Margolis—is that while Cacy works to save lives, she has another job ferrying the dead to the Afterlife. Once humans are “Marked” by Fate, the powerful Ferrys are called to escort the vulnerable souls to either eternal bliss or unending fire and pain.

Unaware of Cacy’s other life, Eli finds himself as mesmerized by his fierce and beautiful partner as he is mistrustful of the influential Ferry clan led by the Charon—who happens to be Cacy’s father. Cacy, in turn, can no longer deny her intense attraction to the mysterious ex-Ranger with a haunted past. But just as their relationship heats up, an apparent hit takes the Charon before his time. Shaken to the core, Cacy pursues the rogue element who has seized the reins of Fate, only to discover that Eli has a devastating secret of his own. Not knowing whom to trust, what will Cacy have to sacrifice to protect Eli—and to make sure humanity’s future is secure?


G – Stephen Gately – The Tree of Seasons

Blurb: When Josh, Michael and Beth Lotts catch sight of some mysterious lights one summer’s evening, they are drawn into a dense forest near their home where no one dares ever go. What they find there is incredible.

The Tree of Seasons is a doorway into another world. There are four kingdoms in this world, each forever stuck in spring, summer, autumn and winter and each with its own ruler. The tree and the world it conceals have existed for hundreds of years and have never been uncovered by anyone, until now.

The Lotts find that peace has been shattered in this magical world. One ruler, who bears a remarkable resemblance to their aunt is intent on power at all costs. She causes destruction and suffering that threaten to tear worlds apart. Josh, Michael and Beth have arrived just in time to take part in the battle that the other three kingdoms have to fight in order to survive.

The Tree of Seasons is a beautiful story of good and evil and a vividly imagined portrait of a world beyond our own. 

Have you read any of these books? Which one would you read if you could only choose one? Join me tomorrow for Part 2!

Anticipated Reads – March 2021

This is a list of the books I’ll be reading and reviewing this month. I never know how many books I will get to read so there might even be more!

The Peasant’s Choice by Charis Bell

Blurb: One small choice can forever change a life.

Wilber is a quiet but loyal orphan with physical and emotional scars. He has chosen to be silent.

Frederick is a naïve but kind prince. He has chosen never to wear his crown.

One shared, tragic past explains both their choices.

Caught in the middle of all their secrets, Amber, a playful adventurer, must make a choice of her own: she must battle social status, questions of conviction and identity, and love to determine who she really is and what she really wants.

My Thoughts: I was contacted by the author to read this book for an honest review. I am excited for this book as I read another book by the same author (Ridiculously Proud: Diary of a Diva) and I absolutely loved it!


Hungry Hill by K. J. Sargeant

Blurb: The derelict farm Hungry Hill has always been viewed as something of a local legend amongst the people in the towns and villages surrounding it. They say it’s got an appetite – hence the name – a spot where unexplainable things happen and people, young girls in particular, go missing. Nothing official has ever been found amiss in the area, but Erin and her boyfriend should have heeded the warnings, as they find themselves at the mercy of the farm’s reclusive owner and his twisted nephew, Dominic.

Meanwhile, Detective Grace Buchanan is haunted by nightmares that feel like memories. Her time on the Edinburgh metropolitan has almost entirely been defined by death, twisted sights that the human mind can’t so easily compartmentalize and rationalise. So, when she’s called in to aid with the disappearance of Erin, and the many others who have vanished around Hungry Hill, she assumes the worst. Still, even those pessimistic preconceptions aren’t enough to prepare her for the true horror lurking in plain sight on that derelict farm.

As Grace attempts to find some semblance of justice in a situation that’s increasingly spiralling out of control and her nightmares become a reality, she finds herself going to extreme measures and warring with the darkness that rages inside her.

My Thoughts: I was contacted by the author to read this book for an honest review. This is obviously a horror, something I don’t really enjoy movie wise but do rather enjoy book wise. I am looking forward to this book especially as it is set in my favourite country – Scotland!


Watchers in the Night by Jenna Black

#1 of The Guardians of the Night Series

Blurb: Vampires.

They hunt in every major city, hidden by the crowds, shielded by disbelief. They are Killers, and their prey is human.

Not all vampires are Killers. The Guardians of the Night sacrifice the superior physical and psychic strength that comes with feeding on humans to protect them. But the Guardians walk a thin line, for even a single kill could leave them helplessly addicted to murder.

When detective-turned-P.I. Carolyn Mathers was left at the altar, she never once thought her fiancé had been turned into a vampire. Two years later, Gray reappears, bringing murder, mystery, and an unbelievable tale of Guardians, blood-thirsty Killers, and his own transformation with him.

And he’s been accused of murder.

A first-rate P.I., Carolyn is determined to help. Gray won’t allow what he is now to taint her — but Carolyn vows to never let him go again.

But will helping Gray mean becoming a creature of the night?

My Thoughts: I do enjoy vampire books, and I love romance too! I’m getting a J.R Ward vibe from this so I am super excited to read this book. It’s the first of four so I am hoping that I enjoy the 1st enough to read the rest.

We, The Survivors By Tash Aw : A Book Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Blurb: A murderer’s confession – devastating, unblinking, poignant, unforgettable – which reveals a story of class, education and the inescapable workings of destiny.

Ah Hock is an ordinary, uneducated man born in a Malaysian fishing village and now trying to make his way in a country that promises riches and security to everyone, but delivers them only to a chosen few. With Asian society changing around him, like many he remains trapped in a world of poorly paid jobs that just about allow him to keep his head above water but ultimately lead him to murder a migrant worker from Bangladesh.

My thoughts:

I was sceptical of reading this book as I found a previous Tash Aw book difficult to get through, but I am glad I did read We, The Survivors.
I couldn’t put the book down and ended up reading it over the weekend, the fastest I’ve read a book in a very long while.

The book is written from the view of Ah Hock (Lee) as he tells his story to a student / book writer. The story of a murder he committed.

He talks about his childhood, his jobs, his wife, and about his friend, Keong. At first, I thought that all this information about his childhood and his jobs etc were not really relevant to the story, but it was written in a way that kept me continuously interested and wanting to turn each page. It turned out that in fact, nearly everything Ah Hock talks about WAS relevant to the story and it is beautifully brought together.

The author, Tash Aw, has managed to write a great story here about one gentleman’s life, and how his life led to him committing murder. Aw has managed to develop important characters that you become to know and understand.

It’s definitely a book that I would recommend to you and once you do, I hope that you can agree with me on this…

Ah Hock should never have been friends with Keong!

100 Reasons to Read – Part 4

A list of reasons to read plus my own thoughts. I found the list originally on facebook from naturalbeachliving.com

76


Great For Self Improvement

77


Helps Your Communication

78


Can Make You Feel Any Emotion

Oh yes, I’ve laughed, I’ve cried, I’ve been soooo angry with characters choices!

79


Gives You Something to Discuss

80


Makes You Feel Good

81


Can Help You Meet New People

Honestly, reading as changed my life. I have met some of the best people thanks to my love for books. I recommend you all reach out to authors and other fans.

82


You Can Do It Anywhere

83


Improve Language Skills

84


Increases Comprehension

85


Helps With Story Telling

86


Learn How The World Works

87


Fuels Your Imagination

88


Makes You Curious

89


Improves Your Memory

90


Learn More About Language

91


Read At Your Own Pace

92


Challenges You

93


Boosts Creativity

94


Gives You Something To Talk About

The same as 79 then…

95


Helps You Tell Stories Better

96


You Can Read Aloud

97


You Can Read With A Friend

98


You Can Read By Yourself

99


There Are So Many Good Books

It makes me sad that I’ll never be able to read every single book!

100


Because You Can!

I hope you enjoyed this blog! That’s all the reasons to read but I’m sure there are more!

100 Reasons to Read – Part 3

A list of reasons to read plus my own thoughts. I found the list originally on facebook from naturalbeachliving.com

51


Variety of Options

52


Keeps Your Brain Busy

53


Can be Great For Bonding Time

I haven’t got kids but when I do, I’m going to read to them every single night!

54


Helps You Speak Better

55


Improves Critical Thinking

56


Helps You Feel Smarter

This one made me laugh. It might not make you smarter but at least you’ll feel it! ha!

57


Learn Something New

Erm…. wasn’t this not Number 1 but just worded differently? I think so…. and come to think of it, number 27!

58


Great For All Age Ranges

59


Easily Portable

One or two maybe but certainly not my 500+. This is definitely were a kindle comes in handy.

60


Helps You Sleep Before Bed

Or in my case, helps you stay awake all night but at least you end up finishing a book!

61


Find Inspiration

isn’t this the same as number 23? Again, just worded differently…

62


Helps Your Grammar

63


Builds Self Confidence

64


Improves Your Brain

Same as number 5?

65


Inspires You To Try Something New

Similar to the other inspiration ones…

66


Brightens Your Day

I do enjoy reading and I believe it does brighten your day, apart from when a character dies…. or the ending is rubbish…

67


Shows You More Than The Movie

I usually do prefer books to movies but, a very unpopular opinion, the Harry Potter Movies are better than the Books! Disagree? Let me know why?

68


Learn About Your Country’s History

69


Gives You Something to Think About

You ever finish a book that took you about a week to digest before you could even think about reading another? I have… many!

70


Makes You Wonder

I think we are starting to clutch at straws here…

71


Experience Another Culture

72


Keeps You Busy

73


Builds Self Esteem

74


It’s Entertaining

Same as number 30…

75


Stimulate Your Brain

I hope you enjoyed this blog! 25 more reasons coming tomorrow.

100 Reasons to Read – Part 2

A list of reasons to read plus my own thoughts. I found the list originally on facebook from naturalbeachliving.com

26


Increases Attention Span

I definitely agree with this one. Have you ever sat down to read a book and suddenly 6 hours have passed whilst you’ve been reading?

27


Helps You Learn a New Skill

You’ve so many books out there that can teach you things like… Dog Training, IT, Dance etc

28


Makes History Easier to Remember

I completely agree with this one again. I’ve always found history to be quite dull but when reading a book set in the past, I do remember important dates and names.

29


Helps Problem Solving Skills

Especially if you’ve been reading mystery books!

30


It’s Fun

Well…obviously!

31


Helps Spend Time off Electronics

Unless you are reading off your kindle or phone that is!

32


Increases Reading Speed

33


Teaches You Fun Facts

34


Inexpensive

Might have to disagree with this one *checks bank statement*, yep definitely disagree with this one.

35


Helps You Appreciate New Things

36


You Explore New Places

This is similar to number 2….

37


You Get To Visit The Library More

38


Encourages You To Think

39


Travel Back In Time

40


Travel Forward in Time

41


Travel to A New World

42


Increases Concentration

43


Helps With Development

44


Develops Empathy

I tell you now, I have never ever cried so much than when my favourite character died in a book. I was distraught.

45


Gives You Something To Do

46


Boosts Brain Power

47


Helps You In School

48


Takes You On A Journey

Some of these are getting quite similar now….

49


Relieves Stress

I really suffer from anxiety and I feel like reading really does calm me down.

50


Temporarily Escape Reality

I hope you enjoyed this blog! 25 more reasons coming tomorrow.

100 Reasons to Read – Part 1

A list of reasons to read plus my own thoughts. I found the list originally on facebook from naturalbeachliving.com

01


Helps You learn New Things

Words, meanings, languages, history, facts, the list is endless!

02


Go On Adventures Without Leaving Your House

You could end up anywhere: Ancient Rome, Hogwarts, The Shire, again the list is endless.

03


Expand your Vocabulary.

04


Learn From Someone Else.

05


Sharpens Your Brain

Just like exercise and any activity which needs you to use a number of areas of your brain, reading enhances your brain!

06


Relaxes You

Screams, throws book, cries, curses authors name to the wind…. Yep, relaxing!

07


Helps You Grow

Not as in, from 5ft 5 inches to 6ft but more like your skills – reading skills, writing skills, language etc.

08


You Can Try Different Genres

My go to genre is fantasy but I do love other genres and only because I’ve recently tried them.

09


Helps Your Spelling

10


Makes You Happier

This is so true! I’ve managed to get back in to reading and I feel happier and more me this last few months.

11


Increases Worldview

12


Helps You Dream Big

It’s made me want to become an Author myself… I can dream can’t I?

13


Makes You Think

14


Helps Increase Emotional Intelligence

15


Lets You Learn About New People

16


Kills Boredom

A lot of things kill boredom but I think reading a book is the best boredom killer!

17


Shows You A New Perspective

It’s pretty awesome to read a book from the eyes of a vet, a serial killer, fae, a witch… I could go on!

18


Challenges Your Perspective

19


Helps Improve Your Writing

Apparently, you should read twice as much as you write.

20


Show’s You What’s Possible

21


Helps You Focus

22


Improves Conversational Skills

If we are talking about books, yes! Anything else… nope I have zero conversational skills! Ha!

23


Inspires You

I get inspired so often when reading a book. If there is a descriptive scene then I want to draw it. How do you get inspired by books?

24


Makes You A Better Leader

I’m going to need some scientific evidence to support this one.

25


Gives You Fresh Ideas

I hope you enjoyed this blog! 25 more reasons coming tomorrow.

22 Scars by C. M. North – A Book Review

***PLEASE NOTE – THIS BLOG COMES WITH A TRIGGER WARNING***

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Blurb: Raised with apathy and spite, Amy’s life is a monotonous drone of deep despair, broken only by coffee and nights out with her best—and only—friend. She battles depression daily, fighting to keep her sanity in a world that, to her, is set on destroying her soul.

Her future is bleak, overcast with shadow and doubt; her past harbors terrible secrets that even those closest to her couldn’t begin to guess. When tragedy strikes someone she holds dear, will she succumb to the crushing weight of despair, or will she find the strength to fight—to live?

22 Scars is a story of what it takes to live daily with depression – and how the scars of a lifetime can pass through generations and beyond.

Can the past ever truly be forgotten?

Can depression ever be beat? 

My thoughts: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author via Voracious Readers Only in exchange for an honest review.

I struggled with this book to begin with… there were sentences missing words or with extra words that shouldn’t have been there. It took me a while to get used to how the book was written but after a few chapters I got in to the swing of things. I became confused in certain chapters as the characters were only called he and she and didn’t know who this he and she were until way in to the book (it’s difficult to feel for the characters when you don’t know their names). But… I persevered and I am so glad I did – What a fantastic book!
Don’t get me wrong, it was a difficult read… but it was a difficult read because of the topics – self harm, rape, death, depression.
22 Scars has really opened my eyes in to what can trigger self harm and depression and how a teenager needs a good support system to be able to push through and build resilience.

Darkness is Mine by Carla Robinson

Rating: 1.5 out of 5.

Blurb: One Friday afternoon, senior mining engineer Clay is investigating the safety of Blackwater Mine when he discovers a beautiful woman, dressed in white. Clay’s body is later discovered by the longwall crew, and his death is chalked up to natural circumstances.
However, a few weeks later, thirteen university students arrive, ready to tour the mine. When the cable to the dolly car breaks, it sends the group plummeting to the bottom of the pit.
Soon, it becomes clear that something supernatural is stalking the group, picking off students as its prey.
Trapped under two-hundred-and-fifty metres of stone, will anyone in the group be able to reach the top alive?

My thoughts: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author via Voracious Readers Only in exchange for an honest review.

I had high hopes for this book but it was filled repeatedly with too many political opinions. The author was constantly going off on tangents to speak about sexism and inequality for woman time and time again.
It seems all men are assholes in this book, and all men are righty’s were politics is concerned. It comes across like the author really hates men, and even through her characters (which are all from the views of women) she managed to make each one of them feel this way, to the point where if they liked a particular male (only the personality, never their looks) the character would be surprised at that.

‘He was just your average old white guy, who’d never stopped to consider that “young lady” was demeaning, designed often for men to scold women for behaving in a way they deemed inappropriately.’

Darkness is Mine (Carla Robinson)

If somebody called me young lady, I would not be offended. I don’t know if I just don’t get offended or whether the author gets offended by everything…

Nearly half way through the book and nothing much has happened. If this was a film, anything important that had happened so far in what I have read would happen in the first 10 minutes of the film.

There were sooooo many spelling mistakes, soooo many badly written sentences and lots of inconsistencies- for example…

‘There are no seatbelts, so don’t bother looking for them.’

Darkness is mine (Carla Robinson)

and then a couple of pages (if that) later…

‘Elodie felt her body lifting slightly out of the car, her thighs tugging against the seatbelt.’

Darkness is mine (Carla Robinson)

So which one was it? Seatbelts? No seatbelts? Who knows.

Another thing that stopped me from reading for a good hour whilst I tried to work this out, and asked my friends on Facebook about too (Math is NOT my strong point) is this little calculation….

‘They’d left with a group of sixteen, of which seven were dead. Yet there were nine people walking toward the exit’

Darkness is mine (Carla Robinson)

So, is my maths wrong…. you’d be left with 9 people if 7 died…. and if I’ve read this wrong then I apologise but maybe this needs to be explained better in the book because how the author has wrote this is that, if everything was hunky-dory there should only be 8 people walking towards the exit, right?

Two-thirds of the way through and the ‘monster’ which appeared at the start of the book has only just come in to the story again. I thought this would have been in the story throughout.

I think if we had taken all the political, anti male, I’m offended at everything snowflake crap out then the book would be 100 pages long… tops!

I really wouldn’t recommend this book.

The House of Twelve by Sean Davies – A book Review

#1 of the House of Penance Series

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Blurb: Twelve strangers wake up in a strange house with no memory of how they got there, and barely any recollection of who they are. They quickly learn that there is no way out, scarcely enough food and water to go around, and eerie music plays constantly in the background of every room. There is nothing to explain their mysterious incarceration except for a few scattered clues, a strange clock with twenty-four numbers and one single hour hand, and a leather-bound sheet of rules that makes their situation all the more fatal.

The House Rules:

Rule one: No escape. You can’t leave, plain and simple. Try to escape and you won’t like what you find on the other side.

Rule two: Make what you have last. Whatever food and water you currently find in the house is all that you will be provided with during your stay. No more will be given to you under any circumstance.

Rule three: When the music stops, someone must die. The music you can all hear in the background will cease between the hour of twenty-three and twenty-four; when this happens someone must die. Failure to comply with this rule will result in everyone’s death.

Rule four: Only one, and only when the music stops! One death, and only one death, must occur in the allotted time between the hour of twenty-three and twenty-four. Again, failure to comply with this rule will result in everyone’s death.

We hope you have a pleasant stay, and don’t forget: Redemption is the key to escape.

My thoughts:

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author via Voracious Readers Only in exchange for an honest review.

House of Twelve is a short novel and so was a quick read. What a fantastic story, and different. I like different. The twist at the end was great too!

The description of the house was on point, I could envision it in my mind. To be honest, the layout sounded like a typical terrace house from my home town which probably helped me understand the layout more. The only difference was, there was no escape from this house – the doors and windows had been completely bricked up.

I was worried about there being so many characters and not remembering who they were but it helped that each one had a personality type e.g. crazy person, slut, womaniser etc, to go with their name and therefore were easier to remember. More character development would have been nice but likely difficult as each person wakes with amnesia so a background story for each person wasn’t always possible.

I really enjoyed the twist at the end of this book. I would love to talk about it more but for me it made me actually say ‘Oh My God’ out loud, and I really don’t want to ruin it for anybody.

I think this book has a good enough premise to make it in to a movie. I’m not sure if I’ve just been watching too much American Horror Story recently or what but I could see Sarah Paulson taking the lead.

I would recommend this book and look forward to reading the next instalments in the future.

Interested in purchasing this book? Currently available for £0.99 on Kindle UK, Free on Kindle Unlimited, or £4.99 for Paperback. Follow the link below:

The House of Twelve (The Houses of Penance Book 1) eBook: Davies, Sean, Costa, Laura: Amazon.co.uk: Kindle Store

If you are in the US, the book is currently available for $1.38 on Kindle or $5.95 for Paperback. Follow this link:

Amazon.com: The House of Twelve (The Houses of Penance Book 1) eBook: Davies, Sean, Costa, Laura: Kindle Store

Thanks again for reading my review. Do you want to read this book or have you read it already? What did you think?