The Dragonfly Sea by Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor- book review

The Dragonfly Sea by Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor features an unforgettable heroine set in the first part of this century set in the Island of Pate,Kenya and China at the turn of this century. Here is my review of this historicalish fiction.

On the island of Pate, off the coast of Kenya, lives solitary, stubborn Ayaana and her mother, Munira. When a sailor named Muhidin, also an outsider, enters their lives, Ayaana finds something she has never had before: a father. But as Ayaana grows into adulthood, forces of nature and history begin to reshape her life and the island itself–from a taciturn visitor with a murky past to a sanctuary-seeking religious extremist, from dragonflies to a tsunami, from black-clad kidnappers to cultural emissaries from China. Ayaana ends up embarking on a dramatic ship’s journey to the Far East, where she will discover friends and enemies; be seduced by the charming but unreliable scion of a powerful Turkish business family; reclaim her devotion to the sea; and come to find her own tenuous place amid a landscape of beauty and violence and surprising joy. Told with a glorious lyricism and an unerring sense of compassion, The Dragonfly Sea is a transcendent story of adventure, fraught choices, and of the inexorable need for shelter in a dangerous world.

Review

The Dragonfly Sea by Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor features an unforgettable heroine set on the Island of Pate, Kenya and China at the turn of this century and is vaguely based on a true-life event that was absolutely fascinating- a young girl from Kenya was offered a place to study in China after DNA analysis showed she was of Chinese ancestry. This isn’t that girl’s story, but Ayaana’s story is just as fascinating.

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Dragonfly Summer by J. H Moncrieff- Book review/Booktour

I’m so pleased to be part of the Randon Thing Tours blog tour for Dragonfly Summer by J H Moncrief- a twisty, psychological mystery.

No small town’s secrets can stay buried for long. Moncrieff digs into the treachery of memory and the power of female friendships.
Dragonfly Summer is a gripping thriller that asks: What happens when the past comes back to haunt you?
Jo Carter never thought she’d return to Clear Springs, Minnesota. But when the former journalist receives a cryptic note about the disappearance of her friend Sam twenty years before, she’s compelled to find out what really happened. During her investigation, she learns another high school friend has died in a mysterious accident. Nothing is as it seems, and Jo must probe Clear Springs’ darkest corners and her own painful and unreliable memories to discover the truth – and save herself from the killer who could still be on the hunt.
Deliciously twisty and suspenseful from the first minute to the last, Dragonfly Summer proves that no small town’s secrets can stay buried for good.

Review

 I really enjoyed this twisty psychological mystery and I’m so pleased that Dragon Summer B H Moncrieff is the first thriller I’m reviewing on my newly expanded blog.

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Chaos at Carnegie Hall by Kelly Oliver- Book review and blog tour

I’m so pleased to be part of the Racheal Random Resources blog tour for Chaos at Carnegie Hall by Kelly Olive. Historical cosy crime perfectly described as Agatha Christie meets Downton Abbey but with added humour

​Notorious spy, Fredrick Fredricks, has invited Fiona to Carnegie Hall to hear a famous soprano. It’s an opportunity the War Office can’t turn down. Fiona and Clifford are soon on their way, but not before Fiona is saddled with chaperon duties for Captain Hall’s niece. Is Fiona a spy or a glorified babysitter?​From the minute Fiona meets the soprano aboard the RMS Adriatic it’s treble on the high C’s. Fiona sees something—or someone—thrown overboard, and then she overhears a chemist plotting in German with one of her own countrymen!​And the trouble doesn’t stop when they disembark. Soon Fiona is doing time with a group of suffragettes and investigating America’s most impressive inventor Thomas Edison.When her number one suspect turns up dead at the opera and Fredrick Fredricks is caught red-handed, it looks like it’s finally curtains for the notorious spy.​But all the evidence points to his innocence. Will Fiona change her tune and clear her nemesis’ name? Or will she do her duty? And just what is she going to do with the pesky Kitty Lane? Not to mention swoon-worthy Archie Somersby . If Fiona’s going to come out on top, she’s going to have to make the most difficult decision of her life: the choice between her head and her heart

Review

There are times when you just need a nice, light-hearted book with just enough of an edge to keep you hooked and Chaos at Carnegie Hall by Kelly Oliver fulfilled this perfectly.

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The Vicious Circle by Katherine St John – Book review and Blog tour.

I’m so pleased to be part of Random Things Tours  Blog tour for The Vicious Circle by Katherine St John. Here is my review of this twisty thriller that will appeal to fans of Lianne Moriarty.





On a river deep in the Mexican jungle stands the colossal villa Xanadu, a wellness center that’s home an ardent spiritual group devoted to self-help guru Paul Bentzen and his enigmatic wife Kali. But when Paul mysteriously dies, his entire estate—including Xanadu—is left not to Kali, but to his estranged niece Sveta.
Shocked and confused, Sveta travels from New York City to Mexico to pay her respects. At first, Xanadu seems like a secluded paradise with its tumbling gardens, beautiful people, and transcendent vibe. But soon the mystical façade wears thin, revealing a group of brainwashed members drunk on promises of an impossible utopia, guided by a disturbing belief system and a charismatic, dangerously capable leader.
As the sinister forces surrounding Sveta become apparent, she realizes, too late, she can’t escape. Frantic and terrified, she discovers her only chance of survival is to put her confidence in the very person she trusts the least. 

Review

A perfect paradise? Or a perfect nightmare?

This is the perfect tagline for The Vicious Circle by Katherine St John-a twisty thriller set in a wellness centre in the middle of nowhere.

I received a copy  for a free and unbiased opinion

Sveta is the first person narrator- a former model who is desperately trying to change herself so her Fiance’s rich family will finally accept her. Things come to a head when her future mother-in-law interferes with her wedding plans but then she finds out from her former teenage lover Lucas that she has inherited her Uncle’s ( Shiva/Paul) entire estate which

ironically makes her much richer than her fiance’s family. But she has to go to Xanadu to deal with her Uncle’s ‘wife’ Kali who has inherited nothing but of course claims she has a right to the estate.

The author has created a suitably creepy place in Xanadu 

with the apparently happy people who live. The tension seeps off the pages with each new rule or mantra the people of Xanadu come up with and I just wanted to tell Sveta to run.

Kali was an intriguing character and I was never quite sure whether she was good or bad right up to the last third.

The plot races along with plenty of action,mystery and enough red herrings to make Sveta doubt everyone which ramps up the tension even more.

I enjoyed the book but I don’t think I will be booking a weekend in a remote wellness centre anytime soon!

Content warning

References to underage sex, drug use,eating disorders

Perfect for Fans of

For fans of Lucy Foley and Liane Moriarty.

About the Author

Katherine St. John is a native of Mississippi, graduate of the University of Southern California, and author of The Lion’s Den and The Siren.
When she’s not writing, she can be found hiking or on the beach with a good book.Katherine lives in Atlanta, Georgia, with her husband and two children.

The Wildest Hunger by Laura Laakso- book review and Blog Tour

I’m so pleased to be part of the blog tour for The Wildest Hunger by Laura Laakso- featuring a fearless heroine who happens to have a chronic health problem. – a rarity in urban fantasy

The oldest and gravest of the Wild Folk laws dictates that human flesh must not be consumed. When half-eaten bodies start turning up between Old London and the North, Yannia Wilde knows the killer can only be one of her kind.  Her investigation is even more complicated when her betrothed, Dearon, insists on joining forces with her and Karrion.
While Yannia tries to balance tracking down the killer with the tension between her and Dearon, and Karrion, another case in Old London draws her attention. A West Mage Council member, whom she exposed as a Leech only days before, has gone missing, and his girlfriend is found murdered in his flat. Is the Leech, a master of deception, capable of murder, or has someone framed him?
Caught in the web of Old London’s political intrigue, Yannia must learn to play the game and to choose her allegiances with care. But to catch a predator of her kind, she must also embrace her wildness and set aside everything that makes her human.

Review

I loved the first few books in the Wilde Investigations series, so I jumped at the chance at reviewing The Wildest Hunger, the fourth book in the series. Yannia the lead character suffers chronic pain making her unique in the world of super fit people who populate urban Fantasy.

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The Change by Kirsten Miller- book review

Finally, a book about angry middle-aged women with superpowers- I loved The Change, a fantasy thriller by Kirsten Miller.

Nessa: The Seeker
Jo: The Protector
Harriett: The Punisher

With newfound powers the time has come to take matters into their own hands…

After Nessa is widowed and her daughters leave for college, she’s left alone in her house near the ocean. In the quiet hours, she hears voices belonging to the dead – who will only speak to her.On the cusp of fifty Harriett’s marriage and career imploded, and she hasn’t left her house in months. But her life is far from over – in fact, she’s undergone a stunning metamorphosis.Jo spent thirty years at war with her body. The rage that arrived with menopause felt like the last straw – until she discovers she’s able to channel it.

Guided by voices only Nessa can hear, the trio discover the abandoned body of a teenage girl. The police have written off the victim. But the women have not. Their own investigations lead them to more bodies and a world of wealth where the rules don’t apply – and the realisation that laws are designed to protect villains, not the vulnerable.

So it’s up to these three women to avenge the innocent, and punish the guilty…The time has come to embrace The Change.

Review

I was in a bit of a reading slump and then I bought The Change by Kirsten Miller. I can safely say, once I started reading it, I couldn’t put this book about feminine rage down.

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Swashbucklers by Dan Hanks- Book review

I loved this sci-fi fantasy featuring a group of tired Gen Xers trying to fit in saving the world around the school run!

When Cisco Collins returns to his home town thirty years after saving it from being swallowed by a hell mouth opened by an ancient pirate ghost, he realises that being a childhood hero isn’t like it was in the movies.Especially when nobody remembers the heroic bits – even the friends who once fought alongside him.
Struggling with single parenting , Cisco isn’t really in the Christmas spirit . A fact that’s made worse by the tendrils of the pirate’s powers creeping back into our world and people beginning to die in bizarre ways.
With the help of a talking fox, an enchanted forest, a long-lost friend haunting his dreams, and some 80s video game consoles turned into weapons, Cisco must now convince his friends to once again help him save the day. Yet they quickly discover that being a ghostbusting hero is so much easier when you don’t have schools runs, parent evenings, and nativity plays to attend. And even in the middle of a supernatural battle, you always need to bring snacks and wipes

Source: My own

Review

If you ever wanted to read a book about a group of tired middle-aged parents trying to prevent an apocalypse with flair, humour and wet-wipes then Swashbucklers by Dan Hanks is the book for you.

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Ocean’s Echo by Everina Maxwell – Book review

I enjoyed this science fiction featuring two very different people packed with action, intrigue and romance. Here is my review of Ocean’s Echo by Everina Maxwell

Rich socialite, and walking disaster Tennalhin Halkana can read minds. Tennal, like all neuromodified “readers,” is a security threat on his own. But when controlled, readers are a rare asset. Not only can they read minds, but they can navigate chaotic space, the maelstroms surrounding the gateway to the wider universe.
Conscripted into the military under dubious circumstances, Tennal is placed into the care of Lieutenant Surit Yeni, a duty-bound soldier, and the son of a notorious traitor. Tennal can read minds, Surit can influence them. Like all other neuromodified “architects,” he can impose his will onto others, and he’s under orders to control Tennal by merging their minds.
Surit accepted a  promotion-track request out of desperation, but he refuses to go through with his illegal orders to sync and control an unconsenting Tennal. So they lie: They fake a sync bond and plan Tennal’s escape.
Their best chance arrives with a salvage-retrieval mission into chaotic space. And among the rubble is a treasure both terrible and unimaginably powerful.
Tennal and Surit can no longer abandon their unit or their world. The only way to avoid life under full military control is to complete the very sync they’ve been faking.
Can two unwilling weapons of war bring about peace?

Review

I loved Winter’s Orbit ( review here ) by Everina Maxwell, so I was so pleased to have my request to review Ocean’s Echo approved on Net Galley.I have to say I enjoyed Ocean’s Echo more than Winter’s Orbit-this had more science-fiction and action with just the right amount of romance for me.

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Top ten Tuesday- Unlikable characters you can’t help but love.

It’s another Tuesday and another list. This week’s Top Ten Tuesday Unlikable characters you can’t help with love.

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

A fun topic this week , so in no particular order here are the top ten unlikable characters I can’t help but love

Daniel Hawthorne from The Word of Murder by Anthony Horowitz

Hawthorne is the ex-detective working with Horowitz to produce a series of books but somehow Horowitz ends up right in the middle of solving murders rather than writing about them. Hawthorne starts off in the first book as abrasive, tight git but he slowly evolves into a man with his own tight moral code, loyal, dedicated father and a man with an elusive past but still somehow remains a tight, abrasive git!

Harriet from The Change by Karen Miller

There aren’t many middle-aged, anti-heroines in fiction today, so I loved Harriet from The Change, an ex-copy writer who embraces her inner rage to become something society is terrified of- a woman who really doesn’t care or confirm. I should disapprove of her casual love life, murders, and awful revenge but I can’t but help but admire her,

Lymond from the Lymond Chronicles by Dorothy Dunnett

Can I ever write a list with mentioning Lymond? Francis in the first book of the Lymond Chronicles, The Game of Kings, is a brash, annoying ,dangerous ,drunk traitor as well as being a terrible brother and son and this doesn’t change much in the later books. But you can’t help but love his intelligence, loyalty, wit and his love for Scotland (and his mother).

Queen Mab from the Dresden Files

I have read all the books in the Dresden files (about 20 I think) and Queen Mab pops in and out helping Dresden in his times of need and then extracting a deadly price-A terrifying surrogate mother figure of sorts but someone I can’t help but like.

Margot Cleary from The Power by Naomi Alderson

Margot is a mother of two girls in a world where young girls and women have developed the power to shock people, but she is also a politician. So, you can see why she wants to create a world where women can use their power freely. She does takes this a bit too far ( ok much too far) by almost destroying society, but she was still my favourite character in the book especially when she learns to tap into her own power.

Rebecca from Rebecca by Daphne Du Marier

Rebecca is the mysterious and dangerous woman who is the complete opposite of the conventional narrator, but she casts a strong presence in the book. Another woman who did as she pleased regardless of the cost- someone who I should despise but deep down actually like.

Damien Salvatore from The Vampire Diaries (tv and book)

So, this one might because of Ian Somerhalder’s portrayal of a Vampire who falls in love with a mortal, but Damien is a conflicted vampire and brother who can’t stop being bad even when he is trying to be good.

Thank you for reading my list

Please leave a link to your TTT,so I can read your list