I purchased another ‘blind date with a book’ from an etsy store and this time it was from FosterLittleBookShop!
As I have said in a previous post I think it is a great way to purchase books as it allows you to reuse and gain a preloved book whilst discovering new authors and books at the same time (as well as supporting a small business!)
In this purchase you got a preloved book, beautifully wrapped, in a genre of your choice. With over 15 categories including adventure, fantasy, feel good and even childrens (10+) to choose from your sure to find something up your street. Or use it as an opportunity to expereince a new ne. I went for Crime (surprise surprise!) and for the price of only £1.50 (excluding shipping) it is great value for money!
It comes wrapped in some brown parcel paper with the genre stamped on the front with the business logo. I received the book Playing with Fire by Peter Robinson and this is a book I haven’t read which is great! I am excited to start reading it. Now with this book you can definitely tell it has been preloved but I don’t find this an issue especially with the price I paid compared to what it would cost newly printed.
Playing with Fire is an installment in Peter Robinsons Inspector Banks series. Although I haven’t read any of the other books in the series I am intrigued to see if this will make any difference with this book or if it is a book that is able to stand alone as well as within the series. From looking at the book and reading the blurb it seems to be a book that follows Inspector Banks as he is solving crimes, and this is a book that I think I will enjoy!
Overall, I would say that this purchase was great value for money and a great way to purchase a preloved book that you can enjoy!
Many thanks, Caitlin x
(PS please feel free to like, comment and share x)
I recently bought a mystery surprise book from the Etsy shop and this is what I got!
I really love the idea of getting mystery books and being able to get a new book whilst also recycling. Being able to discover different authors and explore a book which you ay not have necessarily picked up by yourself.
The Etsy shop SecretBookClub is a page that sells mystery book bundles and blind date with a book. Based in Glasgow, Scotland it is a small, independently run Etsy shop. this is another reason I love to purchase books in this way, you are able to support a small business!
I purchased the Blind Date with a used book and it came very promptly. It came beautifully packaged in some brown paper with a coloured ribbon. When purchasing this book the seller allowed you to choose what genre you would like and I picked bargain book. Which meant instead of choosing a specific genre you could receive any and it was slightly cheaper.
In this bundle you also received a drink ingredient which you could choose from tea, coffee or hot chocolate (I chose the latter). To go alongside this you got a small packet of biscuits, You also received a cute sticker, as well as a small metal bookmark. This is all purchased for the small price of £3 (excluding postage) which is incredibly good value for money. (as I picked the bargain book options, most other options were £5).
I received the book The Dangerous Kind by Deborah O’Conner. The book is a fiction thriller novel. I was really happy with receiving this book and cannot wait to read it !
“One in 100 of us is a ‘potentially dangerous person’ – someone likely to commit a violent crime. We all know them: these charmers, liars and manipulators. The ones who send prickles up the back of our neck. These people hide in plain sight, they can be teachers, doctors, holding positions of trust, of power. Jessamine Gooch makes a living tracking the 1 in 100. Each week she broadcasts a radio show that examines brutal offences, asking if more could have been done to identify and prevent their perpetrators. But when she agrees to investigate a missing person case involving a young mother, she is drawn into a web of danger that will ultimately lead to the upper echelons of power, and threaten the safety of her own family. What if the people we trust are the ones we should fear? “
I am really happy with this purchase, being able to find a preloved book to enjoy and able to support a small business at the same time is perfect. I would highly recommend buying books in this manner (whether from this specific shop or not). I allows you to reuse preloved books and discover new authors and books you may not otherwise get to enjoy!
Erica Waters, author of ‘Ghost Wood Song’, has kindly answered some questions about being an author and her book.
I reached out to Erica Waters, after reading her book ‘Ghost Wood Song‘, to see if she could possibly answer a few questions for my blog. Amazingly she responded and answered them (very much appreciated) so here are her answers;
1. What made you want to become a writer, primarily YA novels?
I have loved writing since early elementary school and have always thought of myself as a writer, from angsty middle school poetry to creative nonfiction in college. But when I was getting my M.A. in English, I took a creative writing class and fell in love with writing fiction. Soon after, I read Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke and Bone series and realized I would love to write books like those.
2. Did you have any specific inspiration or influence to write ‘Ghost Wood Song’?
One day, I was upstairs writing in my attic office when I heard someone playing a banjo. We have a few banjos in our house, but I was the only one home. When I went downstairs, the music stopped. So that got me to thinking about a connection between ghosts and bluegrass instruments, and Shady’s ghost-raising fiddle was born!
3. What did your process for writing this book look like? Did it require a lot of research?
I wrote this book fairly quickly, within about three months, but it took years of revision to get it to the form it’s in today. My research largely involved listening to music, especially bluegrass and folk. The book grew out of my connection to that music.
4. This book features a lot of big topics such as loss and love, did you find that the book required a balance between these?
Yes, it was often difficult to balance between the heavier aspects of the novel and the more lighthearted ones. Shady is dealing with tremendous grief for her father, as well as with a difficult home life, plus the scary supernatural stuff. But I also wanted to let her have some of the ordinary teen experiences, thus her relationships with Sarah and Cedar and all that drama! It was challenging to keep all those plates in the air without dropping one. I hope I succeeded.
5. An LGBTQ+ love triange is present in the book, was this a conscious decision to include different sexualities?
I’m bisexual and tend to write characters who share my sexual orientation. I do think it’s important for readers to see representations of bisexual characters written by bisexual people because public perception of bisexuals is often negative. It felt important to allow Shady to be herself, which is a sweet, determined, bighearted girl who also happens to be attracted to more than one gender.
6. At the core of this book is music, even Shady Groves name, is this something that was always the plan and with this genre of music?
Yes! In fact, the first line of this book I ever wrote was “My daddy named me Shady Grove, after the old Appalachian song.” This book is twined with bluegrass and folk and americana music in general. There’s no Ghost Wood Song without this music.
7. There are many great characters in ‘Ghost Wood Song’, do you have a favourite?
My favorite character to write was Orlando, Shady’s friend and bandmate. He’s a budding entomologist, a peacemaker, and a joker. I always felt happy when Orlando was in a scene. I find myself thinking about him a lot, wondering what he might be up to after the end of GHOST WOOD SONG.
8. Do you plan to write any more books?
Yes! I have another YA contemporary fantasy coming out in July 2021 called THE RIVER HAS TEETH, and I’m hard at work on new projects.
9. Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
My best advice is to let other people into your writing life. We love the romantic idea of the lone writer typing away on their masterpiece, but the reality involves a lot more community. Sure, the writer comes up with the idea and writes it, but there are so many other people who touch a book— critique partners, beta readers, literary agents, editors, copyeditors, proofreaders, and everyone else involved in the book’s production. If you want a book to be successful, you have to welcome those people in and let them have some ownership of the book too. Even though your books feel like a part of you, you can’t cling too tightly to them or else they’ll never make it—and you won’t either. My critique partners, agent, and editor have shaped my work so much and made me a much better writer. I’m endlessly grateful for them
I loved reading Erica’s answers and I hope you did too! I again would like to that Erica for taking the time to answer my questions, its greatly appreciated.
I have a previous post on ‘Ghost Wood Song’ if you want to hear my thoughts on the book (check it out here), but I would highly recommend reading it if you haven’t already. And if you have read this book already and loved it like I did, you probably can’t wait to read ‘The River has Teeth’ (much like me !)
Many thanks, Caitlin x
(PS please feel free to like, comment and share x)
The Magpie Society is a YA mystery novel written by Zoe Sugg and ‘Jinxed’ author Amy McCulloch.
First of all, I was really excited to read this book as I have previously loved some of Amy McCulloch’s other books and I will say I enjoyed reading it. I did find myself eagerly reading on but I will say I didn’t love how the book ended which kind of hindered the reading experience.
I liked the writing style and the switch between Ivy and Audrey viewpoint throughout the book. I feel it gave both characters depth and time to develop within the story. The use of the podcast transcripts is something I really liked, almost as if I was listening to it myself and allowing you to know exactly what the characters are reacting to. It was also interesting to learn after reading that the two authors were Audrey and Ivy in the sense that their viewpoints were written by one of the authors throughout.
I thought that a lot of the characters in the book are interesting and suited to a YA novel. The introduction of someone as new to the school as the readers are so we get to learn about the school through a character who has been there for years and one only a few weeks.
The book ended on a cliffhanger, which suggests a book will follow however I feel that the book itself didn’t answer any of the questions it set out. It was almost as if I read the full book for nothing. I like a cliffhanger but I felt like too much of the story resulted in this. For example, who the magpie Society is? This I can understand being a cliffhanger but the full premise of the story, what happened to Lola?, I feel that this should have been explained more. The book was leading up to this answer as we see Audrey and Ivy investigate and explore but we don’t learn anything else as it seemed to end right in the middle of a scene. In my opinion, I don’t think the book answered enough of its questions. Maybe if the second book was out already and I could have immediately read on it would have been ok, but I don’t think a book should rely on another that much even if it is a series.
Overall, I would say that I enjoyed the process of reading it and will likely read the second once released to find out all the answers from this book but I was left frustrated at the lack of resolution in this one. I would maybe recommend waiting for the second one to be released so you can find out more without the disappointment of waiting.
Many thanks, Caitlin Dermidy
(PS please feel free to like, comment, follow and share 🙂 )
Ghost Wood Song by Erica Waters is a YA fantasy novel that centres around a character named Shady Grove and ghosts risen through a fiddle.
“If I could have a fiddle made of Daddy’s bones, I’d play it. I’d learn all the secrets he kept.
Shady Grove inherited her father’s ability to call ghosts from the grave with his fiddle, but she also knows the fiddle’s tunes bring nothing but trouble and darkness. But when her brother is accused of murder, she can’t let the dead keep their secrets. In order to clear his name, she’s going to have to make those ghosts sing. “
I was unsure whether I would like this book when I first received it in a Book Box Club subscription but I am glad to say I was wrong. I did really enjoy this novel. It was filled with mystery, paranormal and great characters. It is a book filled with an eerie atmosphere with sprinkles of romance intertwined. I felt like I constantly had to see what was happening. The book also featured a crime that was committed and Shady Grove using the fiddle to try to find out the truth. I really liked this aspect as it is part of the typical genre I would choose of a crime and the investigators but it looked at it in a unique way. Having a teenage girl look for the truth which lay with ghosts of those lost to her world.
One thing I really liked about this book is that it dealt with some great and occasionally tough topics. It didn’t shy away. It featured an LGBTQ+ storyline with a love triangle, the topic of loss was prominent in this book, friendship was a big topic also. Loss being one of the main topic in this book as it features both with the living and with the ghosts brought to the front with Shady Grove fathers fiddle. I think the writing in the book dealt with this really well and it showed how different people can react to loss in different ways and that is ok.
I really enjoyed the writing style of Erica Waters, it allowed the reader to really feel apart of the story and feel themselves become lost in the atmosphere and setting of the book itself.
The characters in this book were charming and added to the story well. Shady Grove was a well developed character who I loved learning about and following her on her ‘quest’. However, I would say even although I liked the other characters, they didn’t have a whole ot of depth. What I mean by that is that we knew who they are but not how they became to be that. I still liked them but I love characters with backstory. But that is a personal opinion and I may think that, but you might not. So I recommend reading it and seeing what you think.
Overall, I really liked this book and would recommend it. I think a lot of readers would enjoy it as it features topics from many genres (crime, mystery, fantasy, romance etc)
I recently purchased a mystery book box from the etsy shop ABookishEmporium. This box features a mystery book as well as some reading gifts to accompany whilst you delve into the new book!
I was really excited to receive this book, I love getting a mystery book as it allows me to delve into new genres and authors. It came beautifully wrapped in a box alongside a handwritten thank you note. Once I opened the box the book was beautifully gift wrapped with bullet point detailing certain notes about the mystery book inside.
Alongside the book (which I will reveal what it was) you also received some goodies. I got two types of teabag, thoroughly minted and earl grey, as well as an iced tea flavoured with rose and elderflower (especially excited to try this!). I also got some little snacks which included a little packet of border biscuit and two packets of Mini Loaker wafers (one vanilla and the other chocolate). not only did you receive something to eat or drink whilst reading they also includes a little tealight and a beautifully scented wax melt to enjoy. There was two bookmarks also included one that featured a quote from the book Little Women and the other a floral corner bookmark.
The book I received had the bullet points as follows:
one life split in two
“tender and thought provoking”
The book was ‘Louis and Louise’ by Julie Cohen. The book is a fictional book that explores gender and stereotypes.
“If you could look at one life in two different ways, what would you see?‘
Louis and Louise are separated by a single moment in time, a strike of chance that decided their future. The day they were born is when their story began.
In one, Louis David Alder is born a male. In the other, Louise Dawn Alder is born a female.
Louis and Louise are the same in many ways – they have the same best friends, the same parents, the same dream of being a writer and leaving their hometown in Maine as soon as they can. But because of their gender, everything looks different. Certain things will happen in their lives to shape them, hurt them, build them back up again. But what will bring them back home”
I am really looking forward to reading this book and I would totally recommend this etsy store, they sell a bunch of other bookish goodies so check it out. The shop is linked at the top of the book.
I bought a ‘pamper box’, surprise gift box’ from Second Chapter Books on Etsty, and this is what I received and thought of it.
First of all, I thought this was a great purchase! I got to buy a surprise book (pre-loved) and receive some goodies all whilst supporting a small business.
When I first ordered this I wasn’t really looking for it but it popped up on my Etsy and it looked like something I would be interested in. I went to buy it and I saw that this seller has a bunch of different box options, from book only to multiple books plus surprises.
I chose the pamper self care box as I saw it included a face mask and that is something I appreciate. It was only £12 so i feel like its good value for money but there is other options that are even cheaper! When I nought this you got the option to choose the genre your book will be. (the options are romance, young adult, nonfiction, mystery/thriller and surprise me!) I think this is a great addition as if you like a specific genre you wont be diccspointed.
Personally I am a fan of mystery/thriller books so that is the genre I chose. The book I recieved (was beautifully wrapped, first off) was I Found You by Lisa Jewell. I read the back and immediatly thought this is the klind of book I would have picked and I am excited to read it.
from the blurb, the book looks as if it centres around the theme of memory loss and what happens when Lily new husband disapears, and Alice finds a man on the beach outside her home who has no memory at all. This book intruigues me and I can’t wait to delve into it.
I would highly recommend this seller on etsy and I will leave a link to it so you can look into it aswell!
A Minute to Midnight by David Baldacci is the second book that features FBI agent Atlee Pine. This novel follows Agent Pine as she tried to find out what happened one fateful night when she was 6 years old and her twin sister Mercy was taken and Pine herself was left for dead. When she oversteps her mark on an arrest she is given a leave of absence which she uses as a perfect opportunity to try to figure out what actually happened all those years ago.
I picked this book up when I was browsing one day and it caught my eye immediately, I love investigative books and this one seemed to be one that I would like. Upon reading my initial thoughts were correct.
I feel that as soon as I began reading I was gripped on the story and wanted to find out what happened to Pine and her sister. In the beginning of the book we find out Pine is visiting a criminal in a Colorado maximum security prison who she beleives knows something about what happens and he plays mind games with her which proves to be frustrating to Pine. I thought this was an interesting way to begin. As Pine already believes she has found someone who knows something the book takes off from there and with Pine being given leave of absence brings an opportunity for us to follow her journey to the truth.
As she delves back into her past her memory of that night are hazy but she meets up with people who knew her parents and family or lived in the area at the time. She uncovers shocking surprises and secrets which makes her question her parents and her own past. What did she really know about her family?
As all of this goes on a string of murders begin to occur in her hometown which as an FBI agent she helps out with. It makes you as the reader think about whether the current crimes were connected to those of the past.
Atlee Pine is a strong female FBI Agent who I found was a character I wanted to stay with and was likeable. You want to help her find the truth and seeing the main lead of the book as a female FBI agent was great! as Pine reflects on her memories of the event that lead to her sister being taken you want to help her to find the truth. The book shows how she has never really gotten over what happened that night and not knowing what happened to her twin sister was affecting her. This book allows insight into why Pine is the agent she is today!
I found this book an easy read in the sense that the book made me want to turn the pages. I wanted to find out what happened on the next page and chapter! It was a thriller full of great twists and turns which proved to be a compulsive read. The first in the Atlee Pine books, Long Road to Mercy, is for sure on my to read list after reading this! (although I would say I didn’t find I was missing anything huge without reading in the correct order but I would recommend doing so!)
I found Baldacci writing to be engaging and easy to comprehend. With a book about discovering something that happened in the past it can sometimes become a confusing read with different timelines and tenses but this book never had that problem! I like that the chapters were not too big and allowed me to see progress clearly.
I would recommend this book for sure, especially to those who like a book with twists, turns, investigations and crime!
The Lincoln Rhyme series by Jeffrey Deaver conisists of 16 novels, which were the basis for a TV series that was realeased in January 2020.
I am not going to lie and say I have read all 16 (but I will one day be able to say that). I have read two of the series that I was fortunate to have won in a competition. The two I have read, The Burning Wire and The Skin Collector, I loved and has made me add the other 14 books to my TBR list. (the list just got a whole lot longer:))
Lincoln Rhyme is a former NYPD homicide detective, forensic anaylist and crimanalist who after being injured during an investigation becomes a quadriplegic. He is now a forensic consultant who works from a state of the art lab in his own home. He works alongside Amelia Sachs who acts as his eyes as she walks through crime scenes and helps to solve the crimes they are faced with.
The Burning Wire was the fist one I read which also happened to be the 9th in the series. For this reason I was skeptical about how much I would understand or engage with the characters having missed out on the previous 8 books. I would say the main story of the killers whose weapon was electricity was one I found unique and made me want to read on but there was a sub-plot based around the Watchmaker, one of the few criminals to get away from Lincoln Rhyme which I felt a bit of background knowledge could have been useful. Saying that, I still enjoyed the book a lot and it didn’t really affect my reading enjoyment.
I found this book a page turner which is the best kind of book in my opinion. In this novel there is a killer whose unique weapon is electricity. I found this quite a different weapon of choice compared to others in different books which I liked and it felt new to me. Reading how something most of us take for granted can be turned into a weapon and seeing how Rhyme and his team tackled finding this killer was really engaging.
I have to admit I am not sure how much I loved the little bits of input about the watchmaker story line. I get that it is more of a bigger picture moment but I felt it kind of stunted the flow of the book. This could have just been due to the fact I hadn’t read previous books but I felt it took away a bit from the investigation ongoing.
I liked how we got to read this book from different points of view, I personally find this more engaging as we see differences within the characters and there perception of what is happening around them.
I was a fan on the character of Lincoln Rhyme and how even though he was a quadriplegic he is still one of the best in his field of work. How he utilises help from people and equipment was fascinating to read. I felt that this book showed some vulnerability in Lincoln which was nice to see that he wasn’t just a crime solving machine.
The second book was The Skin Collector, this is the 11th installment in the series.
This installment I also found to be a real page turner and I loved getting to read about Rhyme taking on another criminal. In this book the weapon of choice was poison, which was administered via an unvoluntary tattoo by the criminal. I also found this quite a unique way to poison someone and I hadn’t really read of that before which was intriguing. The killer leaves messages with these tattoos and we are able to read as Rhyme and his team try to find the killer and what these messages mean.
I was a fan of this book as well, and I think it gave more of an insight into Rhyme as a Character and more about how he works with his team to find out who is responsible for these crimes. This installment has links back to The Bone Collector which was the very first book in the series which I liked, even though I haven’t read the first one. I liked how even though it was the 11th in a series it is still connected to the book 10 books prior.
I felt this book gave more of an insight into Amelia Sachs as we see her connection with 19 year old Pam whom Sachs has taken under her wing. This relationship does make referals to previous books however I didn’t feel as though I couldn’t understand the relationship and I still enjoyed it!
There is also a TV series, Lincoln Rhyme Hunt for the Bone Collector, which was released in January 2020 which I haven’t watched yet but I do intend to! Comment below if you have seen it !
I feel that book books were skillfully told, with twist and turns to keep your pages turning with them. I would recommend to read these, especially to those who enjoy mystery, thriller crime books!
The Book of Hidden Things by Francesco Dimitri is his debute English novel.
It is a fantasy novel which follows 4 childhood friends as they discover more and more about the town they lived in and themselves. They have a pact where every year they meet at a restaurant in their childhood town and when Art (one of the friends) doesn’t turn up events start to mirror those of 20 years ago. He is the one member who insisted on this pact and when he doesn’t show it is worrying. The 3 friends stay in town and investigate his disappearance.
I really enjoyed this book and I loved the mystery to it. As I read I continued to wonder what was going to happen next which I think is great in a book. Although this is a fantasy book it isn’t really heavy on fantasy element. Towards the end there is more of those elements however there is more of a focus on the characters.
I thought the characters were realistic and well written but at times they are not all likeable. Which I don’t think is a bad thing. In life there are people that you like and those not so much and therefore having this in the book almost makes it more realistic. It looks at the relationship between the character in depth which is something I really enjoyed. They are not perfect and they all have flaws and do things we really hate about them. I also like this about the characters as it adds dimension to the book.
I really like this book and would recommend it to those who not only like fantasy novels but also phycological thriller and mysteries.
Many thanks, Caitlin X
(Ps please comment if you have read this book or are going to)