Books · Monthly Tags

January 2021 – Monthly Book Wrap Up

January 2021 - Monthly Book Wrap Up

Welcome to the January Book Wrap Up!

I can’t believe that January is gone and it’s time for a January Wrap Up. To be quite honest, it doesn’t feel like 2020 is over yet. I don’t feel like we are now in a new year. However, I’m quite excited to see what February has to bring.

Rating Stats

I read 7 books in total. I ended up giving 1 5-star rating, 5 4-star ratings and 1 3-star rating.

Books I read in January:

~ To read my book reviews – click on the book titles! 🙂

1. Last One to Die by Cynthia Murphy – ★★★★★

A girl moves to London, and some girls she meets end up attacked and murdered. When she realises that they all look a lot like her, she knows she’s in danger as well.

If you love YA thrillers, with horror elements and supernatural moments, don’t miss this one. This trope is now on my books. It might even be my favorite genre if my next reads are good as well. Cynthia Murphy as an author is also now on my list. I will make sure to read the next book she writes! I couldn’t recommend it enough!

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK | Amazon US

2. Our Little Cruelties by Liz Nugent – ★★★★

Three brothers, and one of them is now dead. Through the years they were all rivals, and now we get to know their secrets, and why one of them was murdered.

Our Little Cruelties is the perfect thriller to make you wonder how dysfunctional your family is. It is gripping and dark from the very first pages, and keeps this atmosphere until the very end. I loved it and I definitely suggest you pick it up.

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK | Amazon US

3. Keeper by Jessica Moor – ★★★★

When a body of a woman is found dead in a river, the police assumes it’s a suicide. But the women from the refuge center where she worked think it’s a murder. A thriller about a crime investigation, and domestic violence victims.

Beautiful fast-paced thriller that you can’t put down, with amazing plot twists and topics so unfortunately common and infuriating! I definitely recommend it, you won’t be able to forget Keeper easily.

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK | Amazon US

4. The Push by Ashley Audrain – ★★★★

When Blythe has her first child, she hopes history won’t repeat itself and she gives Violet all the love! But something is not right and Blythe is the only one that can notice. When even her husband doesn’t believe her, and awful things start happening, her whole life is in jeopardy. Blythe will try anything to save her marriage, and get Violet to love her…

I stayed up all night, flipping pages and I loved that! The short chapters and the many plot twists are what made The Push unputdownable for me. The Push was a very interesting and dark psychological thriller. Extremely fast-paced and full of plot twists. If you are looking for something to keep you on your toes, look no further.

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK | Amazon US

5. The Glass House by Eve Chase – ★★★

The Glass House tells a lovely tale about how secrets can connect two completely different families. And also how fate can reunite them. Written in two different timelines and different characters, we slowly uncover all the secrets people have kept over the years.

The Glass House was a very good book, and I enjoyed it a lot. However, it lacked some mystery elements, which was the main reason I picked it up. I still enjoyed the family drama and secrets element, but it lacked suspense, and I could predict all the plot twists. The writing was beautiful though, and it kept me entertained until I finished it.

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK | Amazon US

6. Badass Habits by Jen Sincero – ★★★★

If you want to form new badass habits, or replace your old bad habits, this is definitely the book you need! Through a step-by-step guide over 21 days, you will be in a completely different mindset and will be ready to tackle anything coming your way.

I only went in with the intention to start drinking water more consistently, and I managed to achieve so much more! I feel like a completely different person and a much healthier one.

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK | Amazon US

7. We Played With Fire by Catherine Barter – ★★★★

Maggie has witnessed impossible things. But no one believes her, and now her family has taken her away to spend the winter upstate in a remote, freezing farmhouse.

Bored and angry, Maggie and her younger sister Kate start to play tricks: rapping on the floorboards above their parents’ bedroom, cracking their toes under the table, and telling tales about noises in the night. Then the house starts to make sounds of its own. Neither Maggie nor Kate can explain it, but it seems as though someone – or something – is trying to speak to them…

The perfect eerie book to give you the shivers and transport you to a 19th century. Imagine an old house full of candles and knocking sounds coming out of nowhere. If you love horror and ghost stories of the past, pick up We Played With Fire today!

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK | Amazon US

And that is my January Wrap up! How was your January Wrap Up? How many books did you read? Let me know! I love reading your comments! 

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Books · Monthly Tags

My Top 10 Books Of 2020

My Top 10 Books Of 2020

Hello, lovely people!
Today on Diary of Difference I will cover my top 10 of 2020. Let’s be honest, 2020 wasn’t what we expected, and I am so glad that it’s almost over. But if there is one thing I am grateful for, it’s the opportunity 2020 gave me to read more books – in fact the most I’ve ever read in one year – 125. These top 10 are from all the books I read in 2020. There will be another post coming soon about my Top 10 books published in 2020, so keep an eye for that in the next few days.

Without further delays, let’s get into my top 10 of 2020.

10. A Clock of Stars by Francesca Gibbons

Genre: Middle Grade, Fantasy
Why I Loved it: It was my favorite middle grade fantasy of the year, and the writing style reminded me when I was first reading the Chronicles of Narnia. I loved the adventure, and I loved the two sisters saving the kingdom. Beautifully written, with amazing lessons for people of all ages. Couldn’t recommend it enough!

Synopsis:

Imogen loves adventures. But her little sister finds Marie always disturbs her and is such a burden. One day, Imogen sees a shadow moth in the garden and starts to follow it. Then her sister finds her, and closes the gate behind them.

Suddenly, they are trapped and it’s all Marie’s fault. But on the other side of the gate, there is a new world, different to theirs. A world where they meet Miro, a boy dressed in weird clothes, claiming he is the prince of this kingdom. A kingdom, where dangers lurk at night.

Link to the Full Review

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK | Amazon US

9. Postscript (PS, I Love You #2) by Cecelia Ahern

Genre: Fiction, Romance
Why I Loved it: I didn’t know that PS, I Love You had a sequel, until there was a readalong on bookstagram that I decided to join in on. I loved the first story, and reading the second book after so many years was truly a wonderful experience, especially because I could share this experience with the other readers on the readalong as well.

Synopsis:

When Holly lost her husband Gerry, he left letters for her to read after his death, all of them signed with PS, I Love You. These letters helped her go through the process of grief, get back on her feet and start to love again. 

Now, years later, a mysterious club wants to meet her. And if Holly can find the courage to discover more, she’ll learn what living fully truly means. 

Link to the Full Review

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK |Amazon US |

8. The Hidden Beach by Karen Swan

Genre: Romance, Fiction
Why I Loved it: This was my first book by Karen Swan, and I jumped in thinking it will be a cute romance story. But it became something much more than that. It taught me so much about Stockholm, it had mystery and thriller elements, and it was the perfect summer read. This is also the book that made me fall in love with Karen Swan’s writing, and read more books by her this year.

Synopsis:

In the oldest part of Stockholm, Bell Everhurst is working as a nanny for an affluent family. Hanna and Max Von Greyerz are parents to 7 year-old Linus, and 5-year old twins Ellinor and Tilde, and Bell has been with the family for over two years.

One early Spring morning, as she’s rushing out to take the children to school, she answers the phone – and everything changes. A woman from a clinic she’s never heard of asks her to pass on the message that Hanna’s husband is awake.Bell is confused. She clearly just saw Max walking out of the house a few minutes earlier, but the woman mentioned Hanna by name…

When she gets hold of her employer, the truth is revealed: Hanna’s first husband fell into a coma seven years earlier, following a terrible accident. He has been in a Persistent Minimally Conscious State since and there was very little hope of further improvement. But now he’s awake. And life is going to change for them all.

Link to the Full Review

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK |Amazon US |

7. Shiver by Allie Reynolds

Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Why I Loved it: I chose to read it because it was a locked-room type of mystery set in a ski resort, featuring snowboarding professionals. And then, I fell in love with the characters, the plot and the plot twists, and it’s definitely my favorite winter read this year!

Synopsis:

When Milla is invited to a reunion in the French Alps resort that saw the peak of her snowboarding career, she drops everything to go. While she would rather forget the events of that winter, the invitation comes from Curtis, the one person she can’t seem to let go.

The five friends haven’t seen each other for ten years, since the disappearance of the beautiful and enigmatic Saskia. But when an icebreaker game turns menacing, they realise they don’t know who has really gathered them there and how far they will go to find the truth.

In a deserted lodge high up a mountain, the secrets of the past are about to come to light.

Link to the Full Review

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK | Amazon US

6. The Shattering: Prelude to Cataclysm (World of Warcraft #8) by Christie Golden

Genre: Fantasy, Adventure
Why I Loved it: I used to play World of Warcraft a lot in the past, and I was familiar with the lore, but never really read the books. The Cataclysm was my favourite expansion, so I decided to try and read Thrall’s story. And the adventure, world building and the characters didn’t disappoint at all, and hooked me in so fast. I am looking forward to reading all the books in the series one day, once I buy them.

Synopsis:

The Shattering: Prelude to Cataclysm by Christie Golden is the eighth book in the World of Warcraft series. The series covers the lore of the characters that are featured in the popular video game World of Warcraft.

The Shattering has a focus on the events that happen before the Cataclysm, and the events that actually lead to it, from various character’s perspectives, from both the Horde and the Alliance. We get to see the character’s perspectives, choices and how even small things have a big impact on what’s about to happen.

Link to the Full Review

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK |Amazon US |

5. The Nothing Man by Catherine Ryan Howard

Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Why I Loved it: A wonderful thriller that gave me the chills. I also loved the “book within a book” concept, and it was so well executed. If you can only choose one thriller, let it be The Nothing Man. It is truly amazing!

Synopsis:

I was the girl who survived the Nothing Man.
Now I am the woman who is going to catch him…

You’ve just read the opening pages of The Nothing Man, the true crime memoir Eve Black has written about her obsessive search for the man who killed her family nearly two decades ago.

The Nothing Man starts when Jim is at work, walking through the supermarket, and he notices that a girl has a book with the name “The Nothing Man” with her. His heart starts racing – because he knows what it means. The Nothing Man is a mysterious man that has assaulted and killed many people in the area, and even after twenty years, no one has found him yet. But Jim knows the truth – because he is the man who did all these crimes. 

Link to the Full Review

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK |Amazon US |

4. Daisy’s Vintage Cornish Camper Van by Ali McNamara

Genre: Contemporary, Fiction, Romance
Why I Loved it: If you know me, you’ll know I love travelling, Camper Vans and postcards. And this book has it all. When I saw the cover, I was so excited about how cute it is. And then I read it, and it was everything I ever wanted and more. Perfect summer read that I recommend to everyone!

Synopsis:

When Ana inherits a camper van from her best friend, she needs to go to Cornwall to get it. A nice sea air and fish and chips are enver a bad choice. 

But when she arrives, she realises that the camper van is in a much worse state than she imagined.

The fixing will take longer than she anticipated. 

On top of this, Ana finds a series of unsent postcards dating back to the 1940s, hidden in the van. This is a sign and Ana wants to make sure the postcards are delivered. 

And while the camper van is restored and Ana is helping other people be happy, she may eventually notice she is finding her way back to happiness again. 

Link to the Full Review

Purchase Links:
| Amazon UK |Amazon US |

3. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Why I Loved it: The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo has been on my TBR for the longest, and I somehow kept postponing it. But as soon as I started reading it, it hooked me in, and I couldn’t let it go. The characters are so well written, and the mystery and thriller elements are so good as well. A true classic, and I wish I read it way sooner!

Synopsis:

Lisbeth Salander can dig the deepest secrets of her targets. She is often underestimated because of her looks, but loves nothing more than to prove people wrong.

Mikael Bloomkvist is a disgraced journalist and when tasked to investigate him, Lisbeth finds nothing but integrity.

When his investigation of a mystery that happened a long time ago comes to a dead end, he needs help. And who could do that better, than the same person who investigated him. 

Link to the Full Review

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK |Amazon US |

2. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Genre: Fantasy, Magic, Romance
Why I Loved it: The world building and the storytelling were from another world. I fell in love with the magic, and I loved that circus so much! This book is probably my most annotated book I have ever read, and I feel special pride saying that, as I only annotate quotes that make me think, or make me admire something a lot.

Synopsis:

Two people, brought up in different circumstances, have been getting ready for the challenge all their lives. They can’t avoid it, they are bonded to it. Their task is to be better than the other person, be a better magician, be a better illusionist. Their destiny is magical and dangerous, and the circus is their arena. 

Link to the Full Review

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK |Amazon US |

1. The Toll by Neal Shusterman (Arc of a Scythe #3)

Genre: Young Adult, Science-Fiction, Fantasy
Why I Loved it: I loved the first two books of the Arc of a Scythe series, and the Toll was the ultimate perfect ending to such a trilogy. A masterpiece, that invented such a world, and ended it so well. Neal Shusterman became one of my favorite authors with this series, and it’s truly no surprise The Toll made my number one spot in my top 10 of 2020.

Synopsis:

In order to not spoil anything for anyone, I will put the Synopsis for the first book (Scythe) here:

In a perfect world, where immortality exists, the only way to die is to be gleaned by a scythe. Citra and Rowan are both living different normal lives, when they both have separate encounters with Scythe Faraday that will change their lives. They are both chosen to be his apprentice, a role neither of them wants to have.

They have no choice, but to learn the art of gleaning – a word that has replaced killing many centuries ago, as it sounds better. Citra and Rowan are on their way to find out about the world of scythes, and what it takes to be one, and take on the terrifying responsibility of choosing their victims.

In a  perfect world though, corruption still exists, and Citra and Rowan will have to join forces to defeat it. But one day, they are told that one of them has to kill the other…

Link to the Full Review

Purchase Links:
| Amazon UK |Amazon US |

And there we have them – my top 10 books I read in 2020!

What are your top 10 books? Or your number 1 favorite for this year? I would love to hear it! If you made a blog post as well, please share it with me in the comments. <3

Until next year,
Ivana x

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Books · Monthly Tags

December Book Haul – 2020

December Book Haul - 2020


Hello, you beautiful people!
My December Book Haul was HUGE! And by huge – I mean 33 books in total. It was the holiday season, so there were a lot of giveaways and gifts I received, apart from my usual hauls and the books I received from authors and publishers. You can find all my hauls on my Instagram highlights, and here I will share only a few of the books.

Without further delays, let’s get into the books I’ve received in December:

1. Last One To Die by Cynthia Murphy

Huge thanks to the team at Scholastic UK for sending me a copy of this book. The bookstagram tour for this book is starting in January, and I can’t wait to read it along some amazing bookstagrammers!

Synopsis:

One of Us is Lying meets This Lie Will Kill You but with a chilling supernatural twist that will keep you guessing until the very end . . .

Young, brunette women are being attacked in the city of London.

16-year-old, Irish-born Niamh has just arrived for the summer, and quickly discovers that the girls being attacked look frighteningly similar to her.

Determined to make it through her Drama Course, Niamh is placed at the Victorian Museum to put her drama skills to the test, and there she meets Tommy: he’s kind, fun, attentive, and really hot! . . . Nonetheless, there’s something eerie about the museum.

As the two strands of present-day serial attacker and sinister Victorian history start to collide, Niamh realises that things are not as they seem. Will she be next?

Packed with voice-driven whodunit storytelling, and a retro slasher-movie feel reminiscent of cult classics Scream and Urban Legend, this dark, pacy, and irresistibly-creepy debut really has something for everybody!

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK | Amazon US |

2. Witched Steeped in Gold by Ciannon Smart

Thanks to the Hot Key Books team, I was able to get an uncorrected proof of this amazing book and add it to my December Book Haul list. I am so excited for this one, and hope to read it very soon!

Synopsis:

Divided by their castes. United by their vengeance.

Iraya has spent her life in a cell, but every day brings her closer to freedom—and vengeance.

Jazmyne is the queen’s daughter, but unlike her sister before her, she has no intention of dying to strengthen her mother’s power.

Sworn enemies, these two witches enter a precarious alliance to take down a mutual threat. But revenge is a bloody pursuit, and nothing is certain—except the lengths they will go to win this game.

Deadly, fierce, magnetically addictive: this Jamaican-inspired fantasy debut is a thrilling journey where dangerous magic reigns supreme and betrayal lurks beneath every word.

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK |
Amazon US |

3. Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell

I was so lucky to win a giveaway and receive a hardcover copy of Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell. I have heard only amazing things about this book, and I am looking forward to reading it!

Synopsis:

Drawing on Maggie O’Farrell’s long-term fascination with the little-known story behind Shakespeare’s most enigmatic play, HAMNET is a luminous portrait of a marriage, at its heart the loss of a beloved child.

Warwickshire in the 1580s. Agnes is a woman as feared as she is sought after for her unusual gifts. She settles with her husband in Henley street, Stratford, and has three children: a daughter, Susanna, and then twins, Hamnet and Judith. The boy, Hamnet, dies in 1596, aged eleven. Four years or so later, the husband writes a play called Hamlet.

Award-winning author Maggie O’Farrell’s new novel breathes full-blooded life into the story of a loss usually consigned to literary footnotes, and provides an unforgettable vindication of Agnes, a woman intriguingly absent from history.

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK | Amazon US |

4. Meet Me in Hawaii by Georgia Toffolo

After reading Meet me in London, and falling in love with the story and the characters, I heard Georgia Toffolo is releasing another book. Set in a different location, but featuring one of the friends, I have to read it! And the teamat Mills & Boon were kind enough to send me an ARC copy as well.

Synopsis:

Malie Pukui doesn’t believe in happy ever after. After a tragedy caused her to flee her family and friends in Devon she found a fresh start in Hawaii. Here, working at a surf school, she can give back to those in need and try to overcome the greatest loss in her life.

Moved around foster homes throughout his childhood, Todd Masters has worked hard to be able to offer a brighter future to young disadvantaged children. Now he has his own charitable foundation working with a surf school in Hawaii, a job he loves, but he still can’t put his past behind him.

When Malie rescues Todd from the sea a spark ignites between them, and the two wounded souls find a common ground. But amidst the surf, sunsets and sizzling kisses, can Malie let go of her past and risk something she’d locked away forever… her heart.

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK | Amazon US |

5. The Summer Job by Lizzy Dent

I heard so many amazing things about The Summer Job, and I was lucky enough to get my hands on one of the ARC copies. I am so looking forward to this one, and I believe it will be a perfect summer beach read!

Synopsis:

Have you ever imagined running away from your life?

Well Birdy Finch didn’t just imagine it. She did it. Which might’ve been an error. And the life she’s run into? Her best friend, Heather’s.

The only problem is, she hasn’t told Heather. Actually there are a few other problems…

Can Birdy carry off a summer at a luxury Scottish hotel pretending to be her best friend (who incidentally is a world-class wine expert)?

And can she stop herself from falling for the first man she’s ever actually liked (but who thinks she’s someone else)?

A snort-out-loud romcom for fans of The Flatshare. 

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK | Amazon US |

6. Away With the Penguins by Hazel Prior

Oh, I am so excited for this one! From the cover, to the synopsis, to how kind the author was to me on Twitter, I somehow feel it in myself that this book will be a gem. It’s one of those books you attach to a certain moment in your life, and they always have a special place in your heart.

Synopsis:

Veronica McCreedy is about to have the journey of a lifetime . . .

Veronica McCreedy lives in a mansion by the sea. She loves a nice cup of Darjeeling tea whilst watching a good wildlife documentary. And she’s never seen without her ruby-red lipstick.

Although these days Veronica is rarely seen by anyone because, at 85, her days are spent mostly at home, alone.

She can be found either collecting litter from the beach (‘people who litter the countryside should be shot’), trying to locate her glasses (‘someone must have moved them’) or shouting
instructions to her assistant, Eileen (‘Eileen, door!’).

Veronica doesn’t have family or friends nearby. Not that she knows about, anyway . . . And she has no idea where she’s going to leave her considerable wealth when she dies.

But today . . . today Veronica is going to make a decision that will change all of this.

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK | Amazon US |

7. The Castaways by Lucy Clarke

I am so excited for The Castaways. I love survival thrillers and people deserted on islands, and this seems like a book that I will enjoy. Can’t wait to find out. I am so thankful tot he team at Harper Collins and LoveReading UK, for sending me an ARC copy to read and review.

Synopsis:

A Secret Beach. A holiday of a lifetime. Wish you were here? Think again.

It should be like any other holiday.

Beautiful beaches.
Golden sunsets.
Nothing for miles.

You’ll never want to leave.
Until you can’t…

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK |

8. The Spiral by Iain Ryan

I received this book from the team at Bonnier Zaffre, and I am participating in a readalong on bookstagram that starts on 27th December. The giveaway will last until the beginning on January, so let me know if you have a copy of this book and want to join as well. I have some cards to send you, and I will add you to our Instagram chat group.

Synopsis:

Erma Bridges’ life is far from perfect, but entirely ordinary. So when she is shot twice in a targetted attack by a colleague, her quiet existence is shattered in an instant.

With her would-be murderer dead, no one can give Erma the answers she needs to move on from her trauma. Why her? Why now?

So begins Erma’s quest for the truth – and a dangerous, spiralling journey into the heart of darkness.

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK | Amazon US |

9. The Man I Didn’t Marry by Anna Bell

A very heart-warming romance I believe, and I am looking forward to diving into this one.

Synopsis:

What happens when the man she married can’t remember her?

Ellie has the perfect life: a happy marriage, a gorgeous daughter and a baby on the way. But when her husband Max develops amnesia, he forgets everything about the last five years . . . including their relationship.

Now the man she said ‘I do’ to has become a stranger, and she has no idea why. Yet Ellie is determined to reconnect and find her Max again – he has to be in there somewhere, right?

As they get to know one another afresh, Ellie finds herself seeing Max clearly for the first time. But then she discovers that before his memory loss, Max was keeping a huge secret from her. Will their new beginning prove to be a false start, just as it seemed they might fall in love all over again?

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK | Amazon US |

10. Game Changer by Neal Shusterman

I am in love with the Arc of Scythe series by Neal Shusterman. See the review of Scythe HERE. And when I was contacted by the publisher to read and review Game Changer, I couldn’t say no. The synopsis seems intriguing, and I am looking forward to reading this one.

Synopsis:

All it takes is one hit on the football field, and suddenly Ash’s life doesn’t look quite the way he remembers it.

Impossible though it seems, he’s been hit into another dimension—and keeps on bouncing through worlds that are almost-but-not-really his own.

The changes start small, but they quickly spiral out of control as Ash slides into universes where he has everything he’s ever wanted, universes where society is stuck in the past…universes where he finds himself looking at life through entirely different eyes.

And if he isn’t careful, the world he’s learning to see more clearly could blink out of existence…

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK | Amazon US |

And that’s a wrap up for my December Book Haul. I can’t wait to dive into all of these books! What’s your December Book Haul? I would love to know what books you acquired last month! Let me know in the comments.

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Books · Monthly Tags

November Book Haul – 2020

November Book Haul - 2020

Hello, you beautiful people!
My November Book Haul was HUGE! And by huge – I mean 30 books. It was my birthday last month, so I have received a lot of books from my family, friends, as well as my followers. There were also many giveaways that I won as well. I can’t express how grateful I am to be able to read books I love. I decided to only feature 8 books in this post, but all the other books can be found on my Instagram profile, under the highlights section.

Without further delays, let’s get into the books I’ve received in November:

1. The Coffinmaker’s Garden by Stuart MacBride

Huge thanks to the team at HarperCollins as well as the team at LoveReading UK, for sending me a copy of this book. This book is coming out on 7th January 2021, so keep an eye for it!

Synopsis:

A village on the edge…
As a massive storm batters the Scottish coast, Gordon Smith’s home is falling into the North Sea. But the crumbling headland has revealed what he’s got buried in his garden: human remains.

A house full of secrets…
With the storm still raging, it’s too dangerous to retrieve the bodies and waves are devouring the evidence. Which means no one knows how many people Smith’s already killed and how many more he’ll kill if he can’t be found and stopped.

An investigator with nothing to lose…
The media are baying for blood, the top brass are after a scapegoat, and ex-Detective Inspector Ash Henderson is done playing nice. He’s got a killer to catch, and God help anyone who gets in his way.

November Book Haul - 2020

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK | Amazon US |

2. This Is Not A Ghost Story by Andrea Portes

Thanks to the Harper360 team, I was able to get an uncorrected proof of this amazing book and add it to my November Book Haul list. I am so excited for this one, and hope to read it very soon!

Synopsis:

I am not welcome. Somehow I know that. Something doesn’t want me here.

Daffodil Franklin has plans for a quiet summer before her freshman year at college, and luckily, she’s found the job that can give her just that: housesitting a mansionfor a wealthy couple.

But as the summer progresses and shadows lengthen, Daffodil comes to realize the house is more than it appears. The spacious home seems to close in on her, and as she takes the long road into town, she feels eyes on her the entire way, and something tugging her back.

What Daffodil doesn’t yet realize is that her job comes with a steep price. The house has a long-ago grudge it needs to settle . . . and Daffodil is the key to settling it.

November Book Haul - 2020

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK |
Amazon US |

3. Together By Christmas by Karen Swan

In the summer, I participated in a blog tour for The Hidden Beach by Karen Swan, and that was the first ever book I read by her. And I fell in love. Then, I read The Greek Escape, and it was amazing too. So when I had the chance on a blog tour for Together By Christmas, of course I did it. And guess what? I loved it! Read my review HERE!

Synopsis:

When Lee first came to Amsterdam, it was with a newborn baby and a secret. Five years later, her life is approaching normal: her career as a celebrity photographer is flourishing, her son Jasper is growing up, and they are enjoying the run-up to Christmas with their tight circle of close friends.

But all this changes one morning when Lee finds a book in the basket of her bicycle – and scrawled inside it, a desperate message. Who left it for her, and why? Lee feels compelled to help and tracks down the book’s author, Sam. With an instant, undeniable connection it seems they might have a shot at a real future together.

Until her past comes calling. As the snow falls and ice thickens on the city’s canals, the secret Lee has never told resurfaces. Suddenly everything she holds dear hangs in the balance. Christmas is a time for being together – but what if the truth means she ends up alone?

Escape to the snow-covered streets of Amsterdam in this deeply romantic read, featuring twists, turns and characters you’ll fall in love with.

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK | Amazon US |

4. Return to Virgin River by Robyn Carr

After reading Virgin River back in January, the team at Mills and Boon asked me if I want to Return To Virgin River, just in time for the start of Season 2 of the Netflix TV Show as well, and I just couldn’t say no. I already read this book, and loved it! You can find my review HERE.

Synopsis:

Kaylee Sloan’s home in Southern California is full of wonderful memories of the woman who raised her. But the memories are prolonging her grief over her mother’s recent death. A successful author, Kaylee hoped she could pour herself into her work. Instead she has terrible writer’s block and a looming deadline.

Determined to escape distractions and avoid the holiday season, Kaylee borrows a cabin in Virgin River. She knows the isolation will help her writing, and as she drives north through the mountains and the majestic redwoods, she immediately feels inspired. Until she arrives at a building that has just gone up in flames. Devastated, she heads to Jack’s Bar to plan her next steps. The local watering hole is the heart of the town, and once she crosses the threshold, she’s surprised to be embraced by people who are more than willing to help a friend–or a stranger–in need.

Kaylee’s world is expanding in ways she never dreamed possible. And when she rescues a kitten followed by a dog with a litter of puppies, she finds her heart opening up to the animals who need her. And then there’s the dog trainer who knows exactly how to help her. As the holidays approach, Kaylee’s dread turns to wonder. Because there’s no better place to spend Christmas than Virgin River.

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK | Amazon US |

5. Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams

This is a book I received from one of my followers, Tom. Tom – thank you so much! You have no idea how much this gift means to me, and I hope that you continue to enjoy my blog posts and reviews! I am really looking forward to reading Queenie!

Synopsis:

Queenie Jenkins is a 25-year-old Jamaican British woman living in London, straddling two cultures and slotting neatly into neither. She works at a national newspaper, where she’s constantly forced to compare herself to her white middle class peers. After a messy break up from her long-term white boyfriend, Queenie seeks comfort in all the wrong places…including several hazardous men who do a good job of occupying brain space and a bad job of affirming self-worth.

As Queenie careens from one questionable decision to another, she finds herself wondering, “What are you doing? Why are you doing it? Who do you want to be?”—all of the questions today’s woman must face in a world trying to answer them for her.

With “fresh and honest” (Jojo Moyes) prose, Queenie is a remarkably relatable exploration of what it means to be a modern woman searching for meaning in today’s world.

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK | Amazon US |

6. Quite by Claudia Winkleman

The amazing HQ Stories team reached out to me and sent me this book. I don’t usually watch the telly, but I have heard of Claudia Winkleman before, and I do love her personality! I am QUITE excited to see what this book brings!

Synopsis:

Funny, moving and truthful… Quite

Claudia Winkleman’s warmth, humour, no-holds-barred attitude and smoky eye have made her the favourite broadcaster of millions and a much-loved household name.

In this, her first ever book, Claudia invites us all into her world. She shares her observations on topics such as the importance of melted cheese, why black coats are vital, how it’s never okay to have sex with someone who has an opinion on your date outfit, how nurses are our most precious national treasure, and why colourful clothing is only for the under 10s (if you’re reading this sporting a bright red jumper and you’re 9, great! If you’re older, sorry).

This is a love letter to life – the real, sometimes messy kind. Quite celebrates friendship, the power of art, the highs and lows of parenting, and of course, how a good eyeliner can really save your life.

Heartfelt, wry and unmistakably Claudia, this book gets to the heart of what really matters.

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK | Amazon US |

7. The Elephant In The Room by Holly Goldberg Sloan

The team at Piccadilly Press were so kind to send me a copy of The Elephant in the Room. It comes out in March 2021, and it tells a story about a girl called Sila and her mum. It also features travels to Turkey. And honestly, I am so excited to dive into it! A lovely addition to my November Book Haul.

Synopsis:

It’s been almost a year since Sila’s mother traveled halfway around the world to Turkey, hoping to secure the immigration paperwork that would allow her to return to her family in the United States.

The long separation is almost impossible for Sila to withstand. But things change when Sila accompanies her father (who is a mechanic) outside their Oregon town to fix a truck. There, behind an enormous stone wall, she meets a grandfatherly man who only months before won the state lottery. Their new alliance leads to the rescue of a circus elephant named Veda, and then to a friendship with an unusual boy named Mateo, proving that comfort and hope come in the most unlikely of places.

A moving story of family separation and the importance of the connection between animals and humans, this novel has the enormous heart and uplifting humor that readers have come to expect from the beloved author of Counting by 7s.

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK | Amazon US |

8. Our Little Cruelties by Liz Nugent

This is a book I received by the team at Penguin Random House, Penguin Ireland in particular, in preparation for the blog tour I’ll be joining in January. This is a mystery thriller, and I am so excited to start the new year with an intense read. Keep your eyes peeled for this one – it will be a gem.

Synopsis:

This story begins with a funeral. One of three brothers is dead, mourned by his siblings. But which one? And how? And, most importantly: why?

William, Brian, and Luke are each born a year apart in a lower middle class Catholic family in 1960s Dublin. William, the eldest, rises to the top of the heap in the film industry as a successful movie producer. Luke, the baby of the family, surprises everyone by morphing into a worldwide pop star. Brian, the compliant middle son, is the eternal adult in the room: the helpful, steady one, the manager of finances and careers.

But none of them is actually quite what he seems. Wounded by childhood, they have betrayed one another in myriad ways, hiding behind little lies that have developed into full blown treachery. With an unnerving eye for the complexities of families, Nugent delves into the secret life of a deeply troubled household and provides stunning insights into the many forces that shape us from childhood.

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK | Amazon US |

9. The Forty Rules of Love by Elif Shafak

This is actually one of the books my boyfriend gifted me for my birthday. But the reason it’s special is because this book was recommended to me by my dear friend from Macedonia, who also used to be my teacher in high-school. As soon as she told me about it, I couldn’t stop talking about it as well. And that’s how my boyfriend ended up buying it. So it holds a special place in my heart, and I am sure I will love it, because my teacher never fails to recommend gems to me that touch my heart and mind.

Synopsis:

Discover the forty rules of love…

Ella Rubinstein has a husband, three teenage children, and a pleasant home. Everything that should make her confident and fulfilled. Yet there is an emptiness at the heart of Ella’s life – an emptiness once filled by love.

So when Ella reads a manuscript about the thirteenth-century Sufi poet Rumi and Shams of Tabriz, and his forty rules of life and love, her world is turned upside down. She embarks on a journey to meet the mysterious author of this work.

It is a quest infused with Sufi mysticism and verse, taking Ella and us into an exotic world where faith and love are heartbreakingly explored. . .

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK | Amazon US |

10. Ready Player Two by Ernest Cline

I loved Ready Player One and I can’t wait to read the second book as well. I will actually be reading it this month too. In all honesty, I am a little afraid that it might not deliver, because the first book finished quite well. I didn’t expect a sequel, and I was surprised when it was announced. I just hope that the quality is as good as it was in the first book.

Synopsis:

Days after winning OASIS founder James Halliday’s contest, Wade Watts makes a discovery that changes everything. Hidden within Halliday’s vaults, waiting for his heir to find, lies a technological advancement that will once again change the world and make the OASIS a thousand times more wondrous – and addictive – than even Wade dreamed possible.

With it comes a new riddle, and a new quest – a last Easter egg from Halliday, hinting at a mysterious prize. And an unexpected, impossibly powerful, and dangerous new rival awaits, one who’ll kill millions to get what he wants. Wade’s life and the future of the OASIS are again at stake, but this time the fate of humanity also hangs in the balance.

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK | Amazon US |

And that’s a wrap up for my November Book Haul. I can’t wait to dive into all of these books! What’s your November Book Haul? I would love to know what books you acquired last month! Let me know in the comments.

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Books · WWW Wednesday Tag

WWW Wednesday – 4th November 2020

WWW Wednesdays (3)

WWW Wednesday – 4th November edition. The first week of November is going well for me, and hoping for even better one next week.

WWW Wednesday is a weekly tag revived by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words. It’s quite simple. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to this week’s edition – the first Wednesday in November!

The Three W’s are:
1. What are you currently reading?
2. What did you recently finish reading?
3. What do you think you’ll read next?

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What are you currently reading?


I am currently reading Starve Acre by Andrew Michael Hurley. This week, I am part of the TandemCollective bookstagram readalong, and it’s ending tomorrow. Unsurprisingly, I am currently enjoying it a lot – it’s very eerie and spooky, but in a very slow, but intense way. I keep having that feeling when your stomach slowly twirls. It’s amazing, and I can’t wait to see how it finally ends!

Synopsis:

The worst thing possible has happened. Richard and Juliette Willoughby’s son, Ewan, has died suddenly at the age of five. Starve Acre, their house by the moors, was to be full of life, but is now a haunted place.

Juliette, convinced Ewan still lives there in some form, seeks the help of the Beacons, a seemingly benevolent group of occultists. Richard, to try and keep the boy out of his mind, has turned his attention to the field opposite the house, where he patiently digs the barren dirt in search of a legendary oak tree.

Starve Acre is a devastating new novel by the author of the prize-winning bestseller The Loney. It is a novel about the way in which grief splits the world in two and how, in searching for hope, we can so easily unearth horror. 

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK |Amazon US |

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What did you recently finish reading?

I recently finished Secrets She Kept by Cathy Gohlke and wow, this book is so emotional and wholesome! My full review will be up in a few days on the blog, so keep an eye out for it. I read this book so fast, and I loved it so much!

Synopsis:

The secret a mother was forbidden to share . . . the consequences a daughter could not redeem—but will risk everything in her attempt.

All her life, Hannah Sterling longed for a close relationship with her estranged mother. Following Lieselotte’s death, Hannah unlocks secrets of her mother’s mysterious past, including the discovery of a grandfather living in Germany.

Thirty years earlier, Lieselotte’s father, ascending the ranks of the Nazi party, demands a marriage for his daughter to help advance his career. But Lieselotte is in love—and her beloved Lukas secretly works against the Reich. How far will her father go to achieve his goal?

Both Hannah’s and Lieselotte’s stories unfold as Hannah travels to Germany to meet her grandfather, who hides wartime secrets of his own. Longing for connection, yet shaken by all she uncovers, Hannah must decide if she can atone for her family’s tragic past, and how their legacy will shape her future.

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK |Amazon US |

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What do you think you’ll read next?

I think I’ll be starting The Silent Stars Go By by Sally Nicholls next. It is a book I really want to read, and it came alongside some goodies, that I have to admit, I am very eager to open and see what they will unravel. I will be sharing this experience on my Instagram Stories, so keep an eye for that.

Purchase Links:
 Amazon UK

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How does your WWW Wednesday looks like? Was your first Wednesday in November productive?

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