Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Review: The Halfshaft Games


The Halfshaft Games
The Halfshaft Games by Jonathan Pidduck

My rating: 4 of 5 stars



A very enjoyable humorous read. Cantankerous old Halfshaft is tricked into joining The Games, which is a fight to the death, but not if halfshaft can help it.
He is aided by Cherry a voluptuous bikini clad narcissus.
Dwarves, Trolls, Amazon women and witches are thrown into the mix as well.



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Friday, 13 September 2013

Review: The Detective's Daughter


The Detective's Daughter
The Detective's Daughter by Lesley Thomson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars



Fabulous, a great read from start to finish. A really good creepy thriller. I had trouble putting the book down.
It is not an easy read as the book jumps between time lines and characters but saying that, it is still a great book.



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Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Review: The Haunted Hotel


The Haunted Hotel
The Haunted Hotel by Wilkie Collins

My rating: 4 of 5 stars



A great eerie read. The Countess is a fabulous villainess but in some ways a victim as well. This book would be perfect to read on a dark and stormy night :)
Collins is my all time favourite classic author.



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Sunday, 1 September 2013

Review: Inferno


Inferno
Inferno by Dan Brown

My rating: 4 of 5 stars



I enjoyed it but thought it was a bit slow in places and not as dynamic as his previous books.



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Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Review: The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making


The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making
The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente

My rating: 4 of 5 stars



The author certainly has a very good imagination. After the first few pages I was hooked and enthralled.
It reminded me a little of Alice in Wonderland only on a much bigger scale.
Certainly a very enchanting read.



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Thursday, 25 July 2013

Review: The Lost World


The Lost World
The Lost World by Arthur Conan Doyle

My rating: 4 of 5 stars



I thought The Lost World was a good exciting read. It contained well rounded characters, especially Professor Challenger who is a gruff surly lion of a man.
This book contained excitement and adventure with horror and survival. A good mix of emotions.
I loved the descriptive narrative which Conan Doyle excels at.
Even though this book is over a 100 years old, it still stands the test of time.



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Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Review: The Ocean at the End of the Lane


The Ocean at the End of the Lane
The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

My rating: 5 of 5 stars



I anticipated this would be a good book, but I think I underestimated just how good it would be.
The story is told from a narrative point of view. It is beautiful, haunting, magical and poignant.
I do not want to do an indepth review as I do not want to spoil it for potential new readers.
It is definitely one of the best books I have read so far this year!



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Monday, 22 July 2013

Review: 44


44
44 by Jools Sinclair

My rating: 5 of 5 stars



I got this as a freebie and I have to say that this was a very enjoyable book and I read it in one sitting.
Abby has an accident and falls through some ice. She loses all her friends except one,Jesse, who is always there for her.
This book has some wonderful twists in it and is very nicely written.



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Review: The Pharos Objective


The Pharos Objective
The Pharos Objective by David Sakmyster

My rating: 4 of 5 stars



This is a great book for those that love action and adventure books.
Caleb Crowe is a psychic that uses remote viewing to look back into the past to aid archaeology.
His mother and sister belong to The Morpheus Initiative which is a group dedicated to remote viewing to which Caleb once belonged.
I thought it was a nice take on using psychic abilities and the book is a roller-coaster of an adventure.




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Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Review: The Jungle Book


The Jungle Book
The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling

My rating: 3 of 5 stars



I enjoyed the book very much. I did not realize that The Jungle Book was compiled of several stories. I particularly liked Rikki Tikki the mongoose.



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Thursday, 11 July 2013

Review: Nightstalkers


Nightstalkers
Nightstalkers by Bob Mayer

My rating: 5 of 5 stars



I have read all of the Area 51 books in order. This one is set apart from the others as it takes on a new direction.
This book follows Moms and her team of Nightstalkers who are dedicated to tracking down,containing and concealing, Fireflies and Rifts.
This is well written with believable characters.




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Review: The Eden Legacy


The Eden Legacy
The Eden Legacy by Will Adams

My rating: 5 of 5 stars



Great book. Well paced and a good plot. I really enjoyed it from start to finish. I have enjoyed all the Daniel Knox books so far.



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Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Review: John Marchmont's Legacy


John Marchmont's Legacy
John Marchmont's Legacy by Mary Elizabeth Braddon

My rating: 5 of 5 stars



This is a wonderful read. Braddon had a fantastic way with words.They flowed beautifully and almost poetic at times.
There are many diverse characters, including a nasty villain.
This novel includes many emotions. I had trouble putting it down and I would recommended this to anyone who loves good story telling.



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Monday, 24 June 2013

Review: The Chimera Vector


The Chimera Vector
The Chimera Vector by Nathan M. Farrugia

My rating: 5 of 5 stars



I was given the book free by the author with no obligation to review, as I am a Matthew Riley fan.
I thoroughly enjoyed the book. What was refreshing was the fact the main character is a woman, Sophia. Very rare this happens in action/adventure books. So thank you for that Nathan :-)
For me, the story was just pure escapism, sometimes riding on the edge of ridiculous but hey, if it takes me on a roller coaster ride of varying excitement, it can only be all good.
I hope this is the start of an ongoing series and I have every intention of purchasing the next book.
Thank you Nathan for a very entertaining read!





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Monday, 17 June 2013

Review: The King's Blood


The King's Blood
The King's Blood by Daniel Abraham

My rating: 5 of 5 stars



I really enjoyed this book, even better than the first one in the series.
Very well written and I can't wait to read the third book in the series.



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Sunday, 16 June 2013

Review: Blotto, Twinks and the Ex-King's Daughter


Blotto, Twinks and the Ex-King's Daughter
Blotto, Twinks and the Ex-King's Daughter by Simon Brett

My rating: 3 of 5 stars



This is the first Blotto and Twinks novel I have read and it was very enjoyable. I liked the upper crust banter and the characters were very entertaining.



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Thursday, 6 June 2013

Review: Echoes Of Bourne Valley


Echoes Of Bourne Valley
Echoes Of Bourne Valley by Rebecca Shalfield

My rating: 4 of 5 stars



I accidently came across this book whilst browsing. I was immediately drawn to it as I live in Hastings and take part in most of the events that are mentioned within. I was delighted also as I am a Section 5 drummer, and Section 5 Drummers are mentioned through out the book.
I enjoyed all the historical facts, a lot which were unknown to me about Hastings Old Town.
The story was good but I thought it was a bit disjointed at times. Maybe this was due to the formatting?
Overall a very enjoyable read.



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Monday, 3 June 2013

Review: Disenchanted


Disenchanted
Disenchanted by Robert Kroese

My rating: 4 of 5 stars



A lovely quirky fantasy book. Nicely written with a very likeable main character, Boric, your friendly wraith.
This is not a laugh out loud book but is very witty in places. I would read more by this author.



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Friday, 31 May 2013

Review: Agnes Grey


Agnes Grey
Agnes Grey by Anne Brontë

My rating: 4 of 5 stars



This was a nice read but I would of liked to have given it 3.5 stars rather than 4.
It tells the story of Agnes who goes to work as a governess to some very unruly children. She is instructed to teach them but not discipline them which makes her job very difficult.




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Thursday, 30 May 2013

Review: Dragon's Time


Dragon's Time
Dragon's Time by Anne McCaffrey

My rating: 4 of 5 stars



I kind of enjoyed it, but in some ways I didn't. I found the book very fragmented in places and confusing in others.
That said, I still think it is a highly readable book.



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Saturday, 11 May 2013

Review: Legend


Legend
Legend by Robert Doherty

My rating: 5 of 5 stars



I really enjoyed this book. Being the 9Th in the Area 51 series, it tied up loose ends. It takes you through the lives of the central characters Donnchadh and Gwalcmai from the beginning from them leaving the own planet and arriving on Earth.



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Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Review: Wuthering Heights


Wuthering Heights
Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

My rating: 4 of 5 stars



Being a literary classic and all the diverse reviews, I wasn't quite sure what to expect from this book.
I found the first few chapters heavy going and then the book grew on me.
It is a very dark story full of violence and selfishness but predominately a love story.



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Monday, 29 April 2013

Review: Ice Diaries


Ice Diaries
Ice Diaries by Lexi Revellian

My rating: 4 of 5 stars



Ice Diaries is set in the very near future after a pandemic and an ice age has left the UK devastated and under snow.
The characters are interesting and a very mixed bag.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this.



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Friday, 26 April 2013

Review: Agatha Raisin: Hell's Bells


Agatha Raisin: Hell's Bells
Agatha Raisin: Hell's Bells by M.C. Beaton

My rating: 1 of 5 stars



First off, this only has 9 pages. I am a big Agatha Raisin fan and to me this was really pointless.
There was no depth to the book. I am glad this was a freebie and not a bought item.



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Been Busy

I did not realise that such a long time has elapsed since I last blogged, shame on me lol.

We have been very busy in the garden, when weather has permitted. We have planted peas, rhubarb, runner beans, garlic, onions, comfrey, tomatoes, sunflowers, scented stocks, hollyhocks, strawberries, raspberry canes, honeysuckle, clematis, lobelia,  freesias and cucumbers since I last blogged. I think I have remembered everything lol. We also planted an alternative fruit called Inca Berries. You can eat as is or put them in salads. I have seed trays every where! Be nice if they all grow. Our potatoes are doing well. We planted 6 containers worth.

We drummed at a charity event which was in aid of the local hospice. It was a firewalk.



We also drummed last night and again tonight but I will update later on that. It is a special event.

The chickens are doing quite well. All three will eat out our hands now.






Review: The Postman Always Rings Twice


The Postman Always Rings Twice
The Postman Always Rings Twice by James M. Cain

My rating: 4 of 5 stars



I really enjoyed this short book.
This is definitely a crime noir and quite intense.
It is a good look into human emotions and I can see why it was banned in it's time.



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Review: The War of the Worlds


The War of the Worlds
The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells

My rating: 5 of 5 stars



This really is an amazing read. Set in Victorian England, cylinders land around London which have been observed coming from the planet Mars.
Martians then proceed to invade the locals.
It is so well written and I think a very important piece of British Literature.
A must read in my honest opinion!




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Monday, 15 April 2013

Review: The Dragon's Path


The Dragon's Path
The Dragon's Path by Daniel Abraham

My rating: 4 of 5 stars



This is my first Daniel Abraham book and I thought it was fabulous. An epic in its own right and I hope the next book lives up to this one.
The story is told mainly through the eyes of three main characters. The chapters alternate around the characters. You can feel the story building up slowly to what I am hoping will be a fantastic ending in the next books.




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Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Review: The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared


The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared
The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson

My rating: 3 of 5 stars



Great story but I found it over long sometimes. I wouldn't say this book was laugh out loud funny but it was amusing in places.
The book mostly alternated in chapters from the past to roughly the present but it did not distract from the overall story telling.
A pleasant enough read and well worth the 20p I paid fr it.



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Saturday, 6 April 2013

Review: The Secret Garden


The Secret Garden
The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

My rating: 5 of 5 stars



I found this book to be very endearing amongst other things and had trouble putting it down. I read it in two sessions.
I loved the descriptions of the garden and it made me feel that I would like to go out and plant my garden with lots of beautiful flowers.
I am so glad I read this book and it was beautifully written.




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Friday, 5 April 2013

Review: Lodestone Book One: The Sea of Storms


Lodestone Book One: The Sea of Storms
Lodestone Book One: The Sea of Storms by Mark Whiteway

My rating: 4 of 5 stars



I really enjoyed this book, and as a an added bonus, it was free on my Kindle.
Mismatched characters come together to help over throw The Prophet, an evil leader of the Kelanni people.
It is very well written and has a little bit of everything in it including plenty of suspense and adventure.
I am looking forward to purchasing and reading part two in the series.



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Tuesday, 2 April 2013

March Has Been and Gone


March seems to have flown by! We have had the chickens for just over four weeks now.
On Saturday we got our very first egg.  Dolly laid it, which is the blue haze.


Dolly's is the one on the left. It is small compared to the shop one on the right, but apparently her eggs will get bigger as she progresses. 

I am looking forward to Thursday as I am meeting up with my friend Denise who is over from Saudi Arabia :-) We are meeting up at an eatery called Waterfalls.

Review: Coraline


Coraline
Coraline by Neil Gaiman

My rating: 4 of 5 stars



Seeing this is predominately a children's book, I really enjoyed it.
For a child, this book would be scary and spine tingling and gripping for them.
This is definitely a book to read to my grandchildren when they are old enough to appreciate it!




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Friday, 29 March 2013

Review: Sorrow Wood


Sorrow Wood
Sorrow Wood by Raymond L. Atkins

My rating: 4 of 5 stars



This was a freebie on the Kindle and I absolutely loved it.
Predominately, it is a love story about Wendal and Reva that spans the years.
The writing is beautifully rich and the characters are presented in depth.
Definitely one to reread some time in the future.



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Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Review: The Cult Of Osiris


The Cult Of Osiris
The Cult Of Osiris by Andy McDermott

My rating: 5 of 5 stars



Another great book by Mr McDermott, # 5 in the Nina Wilde and Eddie Chase series.
This is a fast paced, action packed, roller coaster of a book.
A great read just for pure escapism!



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Monday, 25 March 2013

Not Been Well

I am just getting over a really nasty strain of a tummy bug. It knocked me for six and then some! It seems to be doing the rounds for those unlucky enough not to be able to avoid it! It was Colin s Birthday on the 23rd and it was just unfortunate that he had to cook his own Birthday dinner but he did a good job of it. We had a lovely beef casserole.

The good side of being so ill and confined to bed mean't that I got a lot of reading done. Talking of which  last week I got a book in the post which I won on Gransnet. It is called 'The Middlesteins' by Jami Attenberg. 


I was very shocked to see that the RRP was a £11.99 as it is only a paper back and not that very big either seeing it only has 273 pages! As much as I love a 'real' book, you just can't beat a Kindle for lovely cheap book prices.  The Kindle version is only £2.05, go figure!  Anyhow, I digress, it will be added to my TBR (to be read) pile.

On the Chicken front, our hens still have not laid their first eggs. Hopefully, it will be any time soon now. Colin was hoping it would of happened on his Birthday so he got a 'Birthday Egg' lol.

The weather has been absolutely dreadful and so cold. Apparently it has been the coldest and wettest March in 50 years. It would be so nice to see the sun and the first inklings of Spring!  






Review: Red Pottage


Red Pottage
Red Pottage by Mary Cholmondeley

My rating: 4 of 5 stars



I struggled with the first couple of chapters to begin with, and thereafter, the book was a joy to read.
Beautifully written and full of diversity where characters are concerned.




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Sunday, 24 March 2013

Review: Nosferatu


Nosferatu
Nosferatu by Bob Mayer

My rating: 4 of 5 stars



This was different to the other books in the Area 51 series. All the original central characters do not appear.
Saying that, I did enjoy the book even though its basically a vampire story. Will continue reading the series though.



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Monday, 18 March 2013

Review: The Mammy


The Mammy
The Mammy by Brendan O'Carroll

My rating: 4 of 5 stars



I first came across Brendan O'Carroll through his hilarious sitcom Mrs Brownes Boys. The book certainly did not disappoint. It was funny, sad and poignant. I had trouble putting the Kindle down as the story just seemed to draw me in.
I loved the way O'Carroll brought out all the different emotions amongst the family.



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Saturday, 16 March 2013

Review: The Last of the Neanderthals


The Last of the Neanderthals
The Last of the Neanderthals by Jonathan Pidduck

My rating: 4 of 5 stars



Loved it, even better than the first two in the series.
Mr Pidduck certainly knows how to spin a yarn and this certainly did not disappoint.
Full of human eating Neanderthals, a couple of sex mad old age pensioners and a humorous rip roaring yarn, a fabulous way to spend 96p!

Having read all of Mr Pidduck's books, I can see his writing has gone from strength to strength.

Looking forward to reading his next book very much.



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Thursday, 14 March 2013

Review: The Woman in White


The Woman in White
The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins

My rating: 5 of 5 stars



A wonderful book full of intriguing characters. This book has everything you need to keep you entertained; romance, intrigue, mystery and spooky mansions.
Count Fosco is larger than life and Walter Hartright is a determined hero.
The book switches narrations through different characters but it does not distract from the storyline.
I have to say that Wilkie Collins is one of my favourite Classic authors.



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Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Review: Dragongirl. Todd McCaffrey


Dragongirl. Todd McCaffrey
Dragongirl. Todd McCaffrey by Todd J. McCaffrey

My rating: 3 of 5 stars



I did enjoy reading this book but yet again I felt it contained too much waffle and not enough action. The book still had me gripped enough that I wanted to see what the outcome was.

At least the Pern books are being carried on.



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Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Snow

Last night I opened the front door to see how bad the snow was laying and saw that we had a couple of icicles hanging from our porch:


Here is a close up:


I just think they look very pretty. The camera flash lit them up nicely.


The snow drifting up against our front door.

I think we have had the worst of it now as the sun has been shining today and already the icicles have melted away.

Monday, 11 March 2013

A Week's Roundup

Last Tuesday we went over to our friends Phil and Tracy's house as Phil asked Colin to cut a tree down seeing he couldn't because of his bad back.


Colin lopping branches off.


Phil removing the branches.

It made a nice change as it has been Phil helping Colin lately, building and making the chicken coop safe from predators.

Phil also keeps chickens.


Other than that, I have not gone outside the house at all. Not even to do shopping as Colin has done that. 
I am hoping that will change  as drum practice starts up again soon. It is due mainly to having lots of anxiety attacks that make me like a hermit :-(

On the cross stitching front, I had a finish, which does not happen very often these days lol.



Yesterday was Mothers Day here in the UK. I got four boxes of chocolates including two very large boxes of Thortons! :-) My daughter Becky also brought me a lovely sterling silver Chamilia bead for my Chamilia bracelet she brought me for my birthday last year from the Jewellers Ernest Jones.



 Colin cooked a lovely roast chicken dinner so I was completely spoiled for the day.

Today we woke up to this:


Just when I thought Spring was rapidly approaching, a snow blizzard and it is still snowing as I type this. Services have been disrupted all over the place here down in my neck of the woods.