Rewind, recap: Weekly update w/e 16/12/18

It’s getting closer isn’t it? Just one week left to cram in the last minute gift shopping, ram your trolley full of groceries like the supermarkets are shutting for three months and not just thirty or so hours, and buy enough alcohol to pickle your own internal organs and those of thirty or so of your closest friends (even though you won’t consider inviting them over to share it with you …) Yep. One week today is Christmas Eve and so my Bookvent Countdown is in full swing and, even if I do say so myself, there have been some bloody cracking books on that list so far.

I’ve got to be honest, I’m not really a big lover of Christmas. I’ve no kids and the whole family things is something I’ve never been in tune with. I don’t mind the giving and all that, but I’d much rather do so at my own leisure when someone really needs or deserves a pick me up or present, rather than because convention dictates. There are some good things about Christmas though, and one of them is experiencing the many displays that people arrange this time of year. I joined Mandie and her husband (who is blog shy) on a trip to The National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire to see the Illuminated Arboretum. It was a beautifully arranged display of lights focused on the key war memorials, with all proceeds from the night going to support the memorial itself. It’s the first time I’ve been to the arboretum, but I’ve already made plans to return with Mandie over the holidays to visit in daylight and pay proper respects to the many who have given so much over the years to preserve a freedom and a lifestyle that I’m not sure we always fully appreciate.

I may have purchased a few pens and pencils while I was there too. All in a good cause.

So. Book week. Well … no bookish events for me. But I did receive some lovely bookishness. First up was a comp win from the lovely Carol Wyer, and then I received a signed copy of Longstone as well as some chocolate from LJ Ross, adding to my brilliant DCI Ryan collection. Not exactly book related (although one is a character from a book and the other a comic) but I added to my Gun-toting Groot Pop figure with a Baby Groot Bobblehead and Jack Torrence from The Shining. 🙂

Kitty cats are on holiday right now as I’m having a few quiet days to celebrate my sister’s birthday, but they both say hello. Well, Luna does. Rory was having a kip.

Not too many books purchased or obtained this week. Only preordered two, Taken by Tony Parsons, the next Max Wolfe thriller and Bad Day At The Vulture Club, Vaseem Khan’s next Baby Ganesh mystery. Love both series so I am very excited about them. No new audio and no new Netgalley. I’ve been very good. See – I can do it.

Books I have read

A Winter Beneath the Stars – Jo Thomas

Escape to snowy Sweden this Christmas in the gorgeous new novel from the author of The Oyster Catcher. Fans of Jill Mansell and Milly Johnson will love this unforgettable winter story from Jo Thomas. 

Halley has been running from her problems for years.

On a courier trip to Tallfors, deep in Swedish Lapland, everything is going to plan. Halley has her bag, with two precious wedding rings inside for delivery… until she doesn’t.

The only way to save the wedding is to team up with mysterious reindeer herder Bjorn, the one person who can lead her across the snowy tundra to be reunited with her bag.

On a journey of a lifetime beneath the stars, with only the reindeer and a bad-tempered stranger for company beside the fire, Halley realises that she will need to confront her past heartaches in order to let the warmth of love in once more…

Romantic, poignant and adventure laden, this is a Christmas romance that you will fall in love with. Stuck on a cross country reindeer drive with the stern Bjorn, courier Halley learns she things about herself she never knew as she tries to salvage both a wedding and her career. I loved this book. And it had huskies and reindeer. What else do you want? You can read my review here and order a copy of the book here

The Rumour – Lesley Kara

When single mum Joanna hears a rumour at the school gates, she never intends to pass it on. But one casual comment leads to another and now there’s no going back . . .

Rumour has it that a notorious child killer is living under a new identity, in their sleepy little town of Flinstead-on-Sea.

Sally McGowan was just ten years old when she stabbed little Robbie Harris to death forty-eight years ago – no photos of her exist since her release as a young woman.

So who is the supposedly reformed killer who now lives among them? How dangerous can one rumour become? And how far will Joanna go to protect her loved ones from harm, when she realizes what it is she’s unleashed?

We all know how powerful and destructive rumours can be. A harmless bit if gossip is seldom ever just that. Joanna is about to learn just how damaging a rumour can be as she tries her hardest to make a place for her and her son in the community of seaside town Flinstead. Gripping, tense and full of quiet menace, this book was fab and is sure to be a big hit. I’ll be reviewing later in the week but you can order a copy here.

Only a Mother – Elisabeth Carpenter


Erica Wright hasn’t needed to scrub ‘MURDERER’ off her house in over a year. Life is almost quiet again. Then her son, Craig, is released from prison, and she knows the quiet is going to be broken.


Erica has always believed Craig was innocent – despite the lies she told for him years ago – but when he arrives home, she notices the changes in him. She doesn’t recognise her son anymore. 


So, when another girl goes missing, she starts to question everything. But how can a mother turn her back on her son? And, if she won’t, then how far will she go to protect him?


Perfect for fans of Lisa Jewell, Louise Jensen, Katerina Diamond, Helen Fields and CL Taylor – a hard-hitting psychological thriller told from the fresh perspective of a killer’s mother.

I am currently about sixty percent through this book, but by the time you read this post I’ll be finished so I’m claiming it. This is an intriguing story, making you wonder about what you would do in Erica’s position. If your son had been convicted of murder but had always maintained his innocence, what would you do to protect him and to prove what you thought you always knew. I’ll be sharing my full thoughts on the book in the new year as part of the tour, but in the meantime you can preorder the book here.

Three books – not too bad I suppose. I’m on a bit of slow down from here on in for Christmas, a few tour reads to complete for January but I’ll be doing a bit of my own reading too, with books I am desperate to get to. Busy week on the blog and here is the recap.

Longstone – LJ Ross
Presumed Guilty – Jane Isaac
Bookvent Day 10
Moonlight On The Thames – Lauren Westwood
Bookvent Day 11
Staying On – CM Taylor
Bookvent Day 12
One Law For the Rest Of Us – Peter Murphy
Bookvent Day 13
Seven Days of Us – Francesca Hornak
Bookvent Day 14
Christmas Miracles at the Little Log Cabin – Helen J Rolfe
Bookvent Day 15
Taken Girls – GD Sanders
Bookvent Day 16

I’ve got a few posts lined up this week, but only three tours as I wind down for the festive break. They are today’s review, A Winter Beneath the Stars by Jo Thomas; The Songbird Girls by Richard Parker; and The Rumour by Lesley Kara. Plenty of Bookvent and book love to be shared though so hope you’ll stick with me.

Have a wonderfully bookish and hopefully stress free week everyone. I’ll see you on the other side. One last round of posts next Monday as I name my top four books of 2018 including my book of the year. Exciting times.


6 thoughts on “Rewind, recap: Weekly update w/e 16/12/18

    1. Thank you. Hope you have a quiet time yourselves. Busy old time at year end huh? Loved Thanksgiving when I was in Arizona but soooo close to Christmas it’s a lot to organise and enjoy twice in a matter of weeks.

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