#Tuesdaybookblog #Bookreview Uprooted by Naomi Novik #fantasy

My book group chose Uprooted by Naomi Novik as the January read and I’m so happy they did!



Agnieszka loves her village, set deep in a peaceful valley. But the nearby enchanted forest casts a shadow over her home. Many have been lost to the Wood and none return unchanged. The villagers depend on an ageless wizard, the Dragon, to protect them from the forest’s dark magic. However, his help comes at a terrible price. One young village woman must serve him for ten years, leaving all they value behind.

Agnieszka fears her dearest friend Kasia will be picked at the next choosing, for she’s everything Agnieszka is not – beautiful, graceful and brave. Yet when the Dragon comes, it’s not Kasia he takes.

My review

Wow! Wow! Wow!

I loved this book from the very first page and didn’t want it to end. It’s the first book I’ve read by Namoi Novik and she is definitely an author I will be looking to read more of. As I stated above this was a book group choice and we had the biggest turnout ever for it (about 20 of us). Some loved it like me, some had a few issues but they all seemed to have enjoyed it.

Uprooted is a very easy read, the type of book you can devour in a day given the opportunity. I tried to stretch out the reading to savour it, but there were very few breaks in scenes so once I started reading, the book has its hooks in me and refused to let go.

This is a standalone novel, and I felt it worked perfectly as one. The title works on several levels and I love the simple, but brilliant cover design.

The magic was beautifully imagined; it was the star of the book for me. The woods were genuinely creepy and their menace was felt throughout the story.

The only downside for me was that I didn’t feel an emotional connection with the characters. I liked them, rooted for them, but was not immersed in the characters as much as I was their story.

A few times I felt Agnieszka was a little too naïve. She also discovered the means to defeat the enemy too easily. Her magic’s instinctive yes, but sometimes it felt a little too convenient.

This doesn’t detract from a masterful story. I will be recommending this book to everyone and can’t wait to read it again.

5 epic stars

Have you read it, and if so what did you think?


A question for readers and writers:

This is the second book I’ve read this year that uses very few scene breaks. The action flows along so smoothly and without pause that even if you want to stop reading you can’t. I always thought shorter scenes with cliff hanger endings were the best way to hook your reader and keep them engaged. But those breaks do give the reader a chance to put the book down.

I want to know what you think about the two different techniques. What do you apply to your writing?  And readers, which type of books do you prefer?

#Tuesdaybookblog Kill Me Again by Rachel Abbott #Thriller #audio #bookreview

Kill Me Again by Rachel Abbott

Narrated by Lisa Coleman



When your life is a lie, who can you trust?

When Maggie Taylor accepts a new job in Manchester, she is sure it is the right move for her family. The children have settled well although her husband, Duncan, doesn’t appear to be so convinced.

But nothing prepares her for the shock of coming home from work one night to find that Duncan has disappeared, leaving their young children alone. His phone is dead, and she has no idea where he has gone, or why. And then she discovers she’s not the only one looking for him.

When a woman who looks just like Maggie is brutally murdered and DCI Tom Douglas is brought in to investigate, Maggie realises how little she knows about Duncan’s past. Is he the man she loves? Who is he running from?

She doesn’t have long to decide whether to trust him or betray him. Because one thing has been made clear to Maggie – another woman will die soon, and it might be her.

My Review

Well first off I didn’t even realise this was book 5 in the DCI Tom Douglas series until I went to review it on Goodreads. There is no hint of this fact on Amazon UK, but it really didn’t matter to the reading experience, which was excellent. It shows great skill on the writers part that you can pick up her books and read them as standalones, although I do prefer to read books in order.

The premise of Kill Me Again had me intrigued, the story was engaging, the twists were unexpected and I really couldn’t stop listening to it.

There were one or two moments when I found it hard to agree with Maggie’s actions and I would’ve gone to the police sooner rather than risk my children, but overall the story worked.

The ending took me by surprise and I would definitely recommend this to anyone who enjoys a good thriller. I’m looking forward to reading the previous books in the series, starting in order this time.

My rating 5 stars.

#Sundayblogshare My fantasy map making plans – I need your help!

As I’ve decided to rename my new book series – Silent Sea Chronicles – I think it’s time to get serious about the map making business.

Personally, I don’t take much interest in a map when I start reading a book, but plenty of other people do. As I approach the final stages of editing Book 1 – The Lost Sentinel with a view to publishing in the next few months, I need to focus on how I want my world to look on paper rather than just how it appears in my head. My beta-reader suggested a map could really help the reader visualise the Silent Sea, so I’m taking her advice and sitting down to plan this out over the next few days.

I’ve bought ‘Fantasy Map Making’ by Jesper Schmidt on the kindle. The book only has 1 review in the UK, but I know what that’s like!


So far I like the style of the book and it’s already got me thinking about my wish list for the map I want to create. Hopefully I’ll be able to review the book in the future and give this author a boost, we’ll see how it goes.

My lovely beta-reader gave me a book as a late Christmas present (thanks Lou). Journeys of Frodo – An Atlas of J.R.R.Tolkien’s The Lord of The Rings. It’s been years since I read the books, but I’m looking forward to studying this account by Barbara Strachey published in 1981.


I am a complete novice when it comes to maps, so this is going to be interesting!

I would like to ask your advice on what to do, what books to read, what software I can use etc. Any tips will be a big help.

Thanks and enjoy the rest of your weekend.

#Bookreview Paper and Fire by Rachel Caine #fantasy #YAFantasy

My first book review of the year and it’s a 5 star read!

Paper and Fire by Rachel Caine




With an iron fist, the Great Library ruthlessly controls the knowledge of the world, forbidding the personal ownership of books in the name of the greater good.

Jess Brightwell has survived his introduction to the sinister, seductive world of the Library, but his life and the lives of those he cares for have been altered for ever. Embarking on a mission to save one of their own, Jess and his band of allies suddenly find themselves hunted by the Library’s deadly automata and forced to flee Alexandria.

But Jess’s home isn’t safe any more. The Welsh army is coming, London is burning, and soon Jess must choose between his friends, his family, or a Library willing to sacrifice anything and anyone in the search for ultimate control . . .

My Review

This will be a short and sweet review for the second book in the Great Library series. As with the first book I was drawn in from the start. The story picked up a few months after book 1 ended and was pretty much straight back into the action. The characters were further developed with a few surprises, and plenty of doubts about who can be trusted. You discover a lot more about this alternative world history and the library’s hold over everything as it’s all about to come crashing down.

As I read this book, I found myself constantly wishing they would make it into a film. I could picture the action so clearly in my head, that I was desperate to see it on the big screen.

I loved this book as much as the first and highly recommend the series. As far as I’m concerned the writing is flawless and additive.

There are very few scene breaks in the book, so the story flows along and carries you with it. Many times I wanted to stop reading (I need sleep after all) but the book just wouldn’t let me. I had to keep reading to find out what happened next; I wasn’t disappointed.

Now I have the long wait until book 3 is released. Ahh…

I hope I’ve encouraged you to give this a try. Plus here’s the link to my review of book 1 Ink and Bone. It was my favourite read in 2015. Both books are 5 star reads, you can’t go wrong!

Buy Paper and Fire now on Amazon uk or Amazon US


2017 has started out brilliantly for books. I have a 5 star audio review coming up and another fantasy book which so far is another 5 star read.

Blog update, #Giveaway and New Book News

I’ve been very busy this week editing my next book, The Lost Sentinel, which I’m hoping to publish in the next few months.


There are still a couple of days left to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway for Visions of Zarua, my debut epic fantasy.  It’s an international giveaway and all you have to do follow me on twitter etc. It’s all set up via BrizzleLass who reviewed the book in December.

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Don’t forget, Visions of Zarua is still free to read on kindle unlimited UK and US.


I’m still editing The Lost Sentinel, but I wanted to share the blurb to see what people think. It’s a work in progress, so any comments will be gratefully received.

The Lost Sentinel

Silent Sea Chronicles

Book 1


The magical island of Kalaya is dying, along with it’s Sentinel. With the Kalayan people turning their back on magic, can Tei help the exiles find their new Sentinel before it’s too late?


Tei’s always hidden her magic to avoid persecution from the Assembly who govern Kalaya. She lives happily as a tailor’s daughter until an old friend of her father’s visits bringing news they’re in danger. They flees for the Turrak Mountains where other exiles of magic have made their home. On the journey, an enemy attack leaves her father wounded. He sees her into the care of two exiles, Rike and Garrick, and on his deathbed makes a shocking confession that changes Tei’s life.

Tei must put her trust in these strangers, especially when mysterious masked riders seem determined to stop her reaching Turrak.

Struggling with self-doubt, Tei joins the exiles in the search for their lost Sentinel. But the masked riders want the Sentinel too, and time as well as hope is running out.

Can the exiles save the island magic and reunite the Kalayan people before ignorance destroys them all?


Are you intrigued? Let me know.

Additional question – 8/1/17 I changed the series title from Bloodlines Trilogy to Silent Sea Chronicles. Blood seems to feature so often in books that I wanted to go for something more original. Any thoughts on Silent Sea Chronicles?


I’m taking a bit of a break from social media for now, just so I can get The Lost Sentinel ready for publication. I’ll still post the odd book review and photo, and respond to all comments, so keep in touch.

And a belated Happy New Year to everyone!