Tuesday, 20 March 2018

TEASER TUESDAY: I Stop Somewhere by T.E. Carter

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by
It is very easy to play along:
• Grab your current read and open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! 
• Share the title & author, too, so that other participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Here are my teasers this month:
“Whether or not anyone likes me—whether or not I like me—I don’t want to blame myself anymore. I only wanted to belong. I wanted so badly to be taken in—by someone, someplace. Anyone. Anyplace. I wanted it enough to screw up and lose myself, but I am still not to blame...I didn’t deserve this.”

I Stop Somewhere by T.E. Carter
Genre: Teen/YA
Published by Simon & Schuster Ltd (19th April, 2018)
Pages: 320

Trigger Warning: Rape and violent content contained and as a result of the authenticity and raw style of writing may be one to be cautious about reading particularly for anyone with very recent experience of rape.
Description:
“When the world breaks you into pieces, sometimes you find what’s left scattered among other people’s broken parts.”

Ellie Frias has never wanted to be popular, she just wants to blend in, to be accepted. But then Caleb Breward, tells her she’s beautiful and makes her believe it.

Ellie loves Caleb, but sometimes she’s not sure she likes him that much – his awkward smile, the possessive way he touches her, his harsh tone, how he ignores her one minute and can't get enough the next. And then, on one black night, Ellie discovers the monster her boyfriend really is.

The Lovely Bones meets Asking For It - this is the searing, heartbreaking story of a lost teenager, and the town she leaves behind.

My Thoughts:
I’m not going to say very much about it here. I’m almost done reading it and want to save it for my review which will be added very soon. In the meantime here are some notes I made at various stages of reading:

March 18, 2018
40.0% "I remember the rape and murder of a young girl in my town where a school has been built on the wasteland where her body was found and the poignancy of this line is heartbreaking. ‘He’ll bring his friends home and they’ll play soccer over where I am.’

“This is teen/YA that demands to be read by all ages."

March 18, 2018
43.0% "This is so incredibly powerful and so obviously written with personal experience of from either the author or someone close. I feel devastated and on the verge of howling with sheer disgust and devastation. I feel wrung emotionally and want to cry so much for Ellie and what she has gone through"

Tuesday, 13 March 2018

TEASER TUESDAY: Reflections in a Golden Eye by Carson McCullers

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by
It is very easy to play along:
• Grab your current read and open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! 
• Share the title & author, too, so that other participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Here are my teasers this month:
“An army post in peacetime is a dull place. Things happen, but then they happen over and over again.

There is a fort in the South where a few years ago a murder was committed. The participants of this tragedy were: two officers, a soldier, two women, a Filipino, and a horse.”
Reflections in a Golden Eye Carson McCullers
Genre: Novella, Literary Fiction
Published by Penguin Modern Classics
Pages: 128
Description:
'A masterpiece . . . as mature and finished as Henry James's The Turn of the Screw'.

Time Set on a Southern army base in the 1930s, Reflections in a Golden Eye tells the story of Captain Penderton, a bisexual whose life is upset by the arrival of Major Langdon, a charming womanizer who has an affair with Penderton's tempestuous and flirtatious wife, Leonora.

Upon the novel's publication in 1941, reviewers were unsure of what to make of its relatively scandalous subject matter. But a critic for Time magazine wrote, "In almost any hands, such material would yield a rank fruitcake of mere arty melodrama. But Carson McCullers tells her tale with simplicity, insight, and a rare gift of phrase."
Written during a time when McCullers's own marriage to Reeves was on the brink of collapse

My Thoughts:
After hearing McCullers novella being discussed amongst the guest writers Nina Stibbe (Love, Nina; Paradise Lodge) and Kit de Waal (My Name is Leon; The Trick to Time) on this afternoon’s BBC Radio 4 program, (‘A Good Read’), I had an overwhelming urge to hunt amongst my hoard of books to find it, and having just started reading, I’m rather eager to get on with it.

So that’s it for this week. Will say more about soon.

Tuesday, 6 March 2018

TEASER TUESDAY: The Lost Flower's of Alice Hart by Holly Ringland

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by
It is very easy to play along:
• Grab your current read and open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! 
• Share the title & author, too, so that other participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Here are my teasers this month:
“Some days Alice’s mother disappeared from her body altogether. There were no stories or walks to the sea. There was no talking with flowers. Her mother would stay in bed with the curtains drawn against the blanching light, vanished, as if her soul had gone somewhere else entirely.”

The Lost Flower's of Alice Hart by Holly Ringland
Published by Pan Macmillan (28th June 2018)
Pages: 400
Description
Flowers, fire and fairy tales are the elements that will forever shape nine-year-old Alice Hart's life, in The Lost Flower's of Alice Hart, the remarkable debut by Holly Ringland.
Alice Hart lives in isolation by the sea, where her mother’s enchanting flowers and their hidden messages shelter her from the dark moods of her father. When tragedy changes her life irrevocably, nine-year-old Alice goes to live with the grandmother she never knew existed, on a native flower farm that gives refuge to women who, like Alice, are lost or broken. In the Victorian tradition, every flower has a meaning and, as she settles into her new life, Alice uses this language of flowers to say the things that are too hard to speak.
As she grows older, though, family secrecy, a devastating betrayal and a man who’s not all he seems, combine to make Alice realise there are some stories that flowers alone cannot tell. If she is to have the freedom she craves, she must find the courage to possess the most powerful story she knows: her own.

My Thoughts at 30%
Enchanting, dreamy, mesmerising…I love this book. ‘The Lost Flower's of Alice Hart’ has introduced me to the magical language of flowers and is an absorbing heartfelt tale about grief, abandonment, loss and betrayal and about how with the love and nurturing of others any hurt can be healed, and that with time anything can be overcome.

For me this book does for flowers what Elizabeth J Church’s ‘The Atomic Weight of Love’ did for crows. Deep sigh !

Review to follow on completion.

Monday, 5 March 2018

TLC BOOK TOURS: The RainBirds by Clarissa Goenawan

The RainBirds by Clarissa Goenawan
Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: Soho Press (March 6, 2018)
Description:
Set in an imagined town outside Tokyo, Clarissa Goenawan’s dark, spellbinding literary debut follows a young man’s path to self-discovery in the wake of his sister’s murder. 
Ren Ishida has nearly completed his graduate degree at Keio University when he receives news of his sister’s violent death. Keiko was stabbed one rainy night on her way home, and there are no leads. Ren heads to Akakawa to conclude his sister’s affairs, failing to understand why she chose to abandon the family and Tokyo for this desolate place years ago.
But then Ren is offered Keiko’s newly vacant teaching position at a prestigious local cram school and her bizarre former arrangement of free lodging at a wealthy politician’s mansion in exchange for reading to the man’s ailing wife. He accepts both, abandoning Tokyo and his crumbling relationship there in order to better understand his sister’s life and what took place the night of her death.
As Ren comes to know the eccentric local figures, from the enigmatic politician who’s boarding him to his fellow teachers and a rebellious, captivating young female student, he delves into his shared childhood with Keiko and what followed. Haunted in his dreams by a young girl who is desperately trying to tell him something, Ren realizes that Keiko Ishida kept many secrets, even from him.

My Thoughts:
The cover of The RainBirds is enchanting and eye-catching, and from the description appealed to me immensely. The dream sequences are hauntingly beautiful with just a touch of magical surreal creepiness and foreboding. Think of the Japanese horror films such as The Ring’ and you’ll get a sense of the mood. However outside of these genuinely atmospheric, slightly unnerving moments the book didn’t have much hold on me and at 19% I didn’t feel invested or compelled to read any further at this time.

These are only my thoughts and so please read what others have to say from the TLC Blog Tour below.
A Bustle Most Anticipated Book of 2018
“Luminous, sinister, and page-turning all at once. I loved it.”
—Kate Hamer, internationally bestselling author of The Girl in the Red Coat and The Doll Funeral
“A beautiful mystery setup with a complex, magical love story.”
—Eka Kurniawan, award-winning author of Beauty Is a Wound and Vengeance Is Mine, All Others Pay Cash
“A beautiful, well-crafted story, Rainbirds is an exploration of grief, love and loss. Clarissa Goenawan has written a powerful debut novel that will leave readers craving more.”—Hollie Overton, internationally bestselling author of Baby Doll and The Walls
“Like the imaginary town in Japan in which it takes place, Rainbirds possesses a charm that is at once cloistered, quiet, and mysterious. Carefully crafted and paced, the novel captivates with its reflective, dreamlike tone. A promising debut from Clarissa Goenawan.”—Dee Lestari, award-winning singer-songwriter and author of the Supernova series
“Rainbirds is that rarest of debut novels—confident, transportive, and utterly enthralling. Clarissa Goenawan explores the mysteries of small-town Japan, drawing readers in with understated prose, then ensnaring with a subtle spell, exposing, grain by grain, the secrets behind a young woman’s death.”
—Barry Lancet, award-winning author of The Spy Across the Table and Japantown
“A hauntingly moving story of loss and alienation.”—Jake Arnott, internationally bestselling author of The Long Firm and The House of Rumour 

About Clarissa Goenawan

Clarissa Goenawan is an Indonesian-born Singaporean writer. Her award-winning short fiction has appeared in literary magazines and anthologies in Singapore, Australia, the UK, and the US. Rainbirds is her first novel.

Connect with Clarissa

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Clarissa Goenawan’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:

Monday, March 5th: SJ2B House of Books
Tuesday, March 6th: Reading Reality
Wednesday, March 7th: @readingbringsjoy
Thursday, March 8th: A Bookish Way of Life
Friday, March 9th: @bookishconnoisseur
Monday, March 12th: Broken Teepee
Tuesday, March 13th: Books a la Mode
Wednesday, March 14th: Spin a Tale Reviews and @spinatale
Thursday, March 15th: Book Chatter
Monday, March 19th: The Literary Llama and @theliteraryllama
Tuesday, March 20th: @athousandbookstoread
Wednesday, March 21st: @ladyofthelibrary
Thursday, March 22nd: Patricia’s Wisdom
Monday, March 26th: Write Read Life

Wednesday, 28 February 2018

WHAT’S ON YOUR NIGHTSTAND - February 2018

Is it already the end of February 😲 Where has the time gone ?

Due to my reading addiction and need to pick up the next book immediately after setting down the one I’ve just finished, I’m getting into a real situation of reviews for books received from publishers being long overdue and it’s stressing me out!  Well, I decided to read a couple I’d purchased in the belief that I wouldn’t feel review obligated and use the time to catch up. However, the last two, both in the noir’ish genre were so amazing that I just have to tell you about them. Hence, I’m still in a pickle with these late…very…now very very late reviews.

So here are my updates for this month's, Read, DNF'd (did not finish), Reading Now, and those seductive vixens tempting me to read them next.

Read:
The Feed by Nick Clark Windo (Teaser link)
Thoroughly enjoyed this one and once past the 20% mark it was extremely difficult for me to leave it for any length of time. I continually ‘itched’ to get back to it. The world building is spectacular and once into the second half, the characters absolutely came to life. It’s a clever, stunning debut and I absolutely recommend it for fans of, Station Eleven and sci Fi novels of that ilk.
I really am looking forward to this author’s next offering.
My review…yup…is in progress...my fingers are crossed here.


In Wolves’ Clothing by Greg Levin (Teaser link)
Available from Amazon for £2.97 (kindle)
Shockingly  good…not for everyone as it touches on the horror of the child sex industry. An extremely difficult read in parts but the dark humour, contained throughout the writing style, and the protagonist’s character (clearly a coping mechanism) and his selfless sense of duty, carried this difficult storyline making it a tad more palatable.

A modern twist on the 1950’s noir private detective novel, using undercover agents infiltrating the sex trafficking scene to help rescue terrified young children abducted or sold into prostitution.
Highly recommended. A slightly fuller review will follow.

My Brothers Destroyer by Clayton Lindemuth (Teaser link)
Available from Amazon for £3.99 (kindle)

Oh this one had me all over the place mentally, and babbling so much at one point in the book, but I’ll not go into that as I don’t want to ruin the story for anyone. Suffice to say that this is going to be a difficult, all too true to life read for anyone sensitive to the issues raised including animal cruelty and violence. Not sure what it says about me reading and enjoying such books, but I’m really a little pussycat and quite a nice person considering.

Anyways, back to it…I found it an highly emotive, visceral read about the wickedness and meanest attributes of human nature with men hellbent on retaliative action either for personal slights or power gains, escalating in action to the ultimate in violence to wipe out the competition or those who refuse to fall into line. This southern gothic, noir style story with brutality (extreme), juxtaposed with tenderness (incredibly tender in parts), comes wholeheartedly recommended by me.  I’ve got three other books lined up by this author, he’s totally awesome.

DNF'd:
Rainbirds by Clarissa Goenawan (translated fiction)
Gorgeous cover image, but characters and writing style lacks depth for me.
Reading this for a book tour but just unable to get into it. Bad timing ? Maybe !

Certain Dark Things by Silvia Morena-Garcia (horror fiction)
Going to give another try, but had 2 others toying with me, and I’m easily led.

Girlish by Lara Lillibridge (Memoir)
Predicted publish date:
Still mulling why I didn’t feel compelled to continue with it. May try again.

Reading Now:
12 Rules for Life by Jordon B Peterson (non fiction) (reading on and off)
Trying to decide what to read, but those unwritten reviews are haunting me.

Tempted by(in order of temptation)


Baby Teeth by Zoje Stage (fiction)
Moon Brow by Shahriar Mandanipour (translated fiction)
The Incendiaries by R.O. Kwon (translated fiction)
Frankenstein in Baghdad by Ahmed Saadawi
Trumpocracy by David Frum (non fiction)

Until next time, happy reading !


Monday, 19 February 2018

TEASER TUESDAY: My Brother’s Destroyer: Literary Noir by Clayton Lindemuth

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by
It is very easy to play along:
• Grab your current read and open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! 
• Share the title & author, too, so that other participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Here are my teasers this month:
“So I was the dumbass fessed every crush to every girl. I was the one told Deputy White we all knew he was gay as a jaybird. I was the one told my first boss his son was robbing him blind. It never settled in my head that no one else in the whole world sees red and feels electric like me, and most folks is happy with untruth, both telling and hearing.”

My Brother’s Destroyer: Literary Noir by Clayton Lindemuth
Published by Hardgrave Enterprises (16th December 2013)

Synopsis:
Baer Creighton is a gifted distiller of fruited moonshine, cursed with the ability to detect even the subtlest deception. He lives in the woods next to his house and talks to his dog Fred... until Fred goes missing. A week later, harvesting apples in moonlight, Baer watches a string of headlights emerge from a distant wood. A single truck turns toward Baer, backs in, tosses Fred to the ditch.

My Thoughts:
This is good, real good. I’ve had yet another great run on books with ‘My Brother’s Destroyer’ definitely being up there with the best of my grit-lit, mean southern gothic reads. It’s violent, raw and extremely visceral so not for sensitive souls. At 20% I’m already confident I’ll be rating it a 5* favourite.

Tuesday, 13 February 2018

TEASER TUESDAY: In Wolve’s Clothing by Greg Levin

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by
It is very easy to play along:
• Grab your current read and open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! 
• Share the title & author, too, so that other participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Here are my teasers this month:
“My suicide dream has been recurring with increased frequency of late. At least this time I awoke before the crowd shouted, “Do it!” I take it as a sign it’s going to be a good day.”


In Wolves’ Clothing by Greg Levin
Published by White Rock Press  (11 Oct. 2017)
Synopsis:
On his best days, Zero Slade is the worst man you can imagine. He has to be. It's the only way to save the Lost Girls.

During his seven years on a team fighting sex trafficking, Zero's become quite good at schmoozing with pimps, getting handcuffed by cops and pretending not to care about the young girls he liberates. But the dangerous sting operations are starting to take a toll on his marriage and sanity. His affinity for prescription painkillers isn't exactly helping matters.
When the youngest girl the team has ever rescued gets abducted from a safe house in Cambodia, Zero decides to risk everything to find her. His only shot is to go rogue, and sink deeper into the bowels of the trafficking world than he's ever sunk.

It's the biggest mission of his life. Trouble is, it's almost certain death.

My Thoughts:
Zero Slade works undercover to rescue children who have been trafficked into the sex trade. Yup a real tough, unsavoury topic for a novel and not a read for everyone especially those averse to graphic scenes of violence or child abuse of any nature. What makes this such a compelling and surprisingly palatable read is Levin’s dark noir detective style of writing, and his characterisation of Slade being an extremely flawed individual with a cynical point-of-view, and wickedly comic internal dialogue.

I have already lined up another of Greg Levin’s novels ‘Sick To Death’ to read on the strength of what I’ve read so far.