Harrogate 2018

Hi everyone,

I realised last week that I never did a blog post about our weekend at Theakstons Crime at Harrogate in July so I figured I’d do up a little post about it now that I am getting back to blogging!

img_0257

I had never been to Harrogate, but I used to spend the weekend glued to Twitter watching everyone else’s experiences when it was on in previous years. So when last year’s one was done, I immediately booked the weekend for me and my husband to go it this year, and it was the BEST weekend!

We flew over on the Thursday afternoon, so we made it over to The Old Swan that evening to get our bearings and see what was happening, and we ended up staying there until well after midnight because I managed to meet some of the lovely bloggers and authors I’ve been friends with online! 🙂

I genuinely can’t name everyone that I met, because the weekend is just a blur of people and books, but EVERYONE was so lovely. It was really nice to be able to put faces to names (or Twitter handles) as well after chatting online with them for the past few years.

Lee Child was the programme chair, and I am a HUGE LC fan, so I essentially lost my mind every time I saw him. It was impossible not to feel starstruck to be honest, and the great thing is, he’s actually a really nice man. Which made asking him for a photo that little bit easier, even though I am screaming inside! I was also lucky enough to get a proof of Past Tense, the next Reacher novel!

img_0286

We only booked one panel for the whole weekend, as when everything went on sale the majority was sold out, but I was delighted to get tickets to Matt Wesolowski’s “Write What You Know” panel on the Saturday afternoon. Again, I’m not shy in shouting about Matt on Twitter, but I couldn’t quite work up the courage to speak to him. So Karen Sullivan of Orenda Books and my crafty husband ambushed me with Matt quite unexpectedly, thereby leaving me speechless again, haha! Honestly though, it was great to be able to meet him, and he signed Hydra for me too 🙂

I didn’t feel like we missed anything by not going to all the panels, and to be honest, we spent the majority of the time outside or in the tents catching up with various authors, bloggers and publishing people. This was a great opportunity to chat with people and do a little author stalking too because I may never get the chance to meet them again. I hope I do, obviously, but you never know!

One of the absolute highlights of the weekend was FINALLY getting to meet Ellen Devonport. Yes, you read that right, I had never actually met Ellen until Harrogate this year, even thought we’ve been online friends for years!!!

img_0202
YAY! Its Ellen ❤

There was a lot to take in at Harrogate, a lot of books, a lot of activity, and plenty of banter! My husband had a great time too, beer tents are his fave, and I’ll never forget him taking Ellen’s phone and going up to loads of authors and taking photos with them for her to see when she came back! He even snagged Val McDermid! VAL MCDERMID!!!

Special mentions for meeting also have to go to the supremely gorgeous (and super tall) Jack Jordan, truly lovely Holly Seddon, my fave Tom Bale, and Elizabeth Haynes who I burst into tears upon meeting because she is the reason I started reading and I just got so overwhelmed! 😍

It was a great weekend. I’d highly recommend it if you like crime fiction, and even if not, because it is just loads of fun. I can’t condense it all into this post because there were so many great moments, and memories to last a lifetime. I can’t wait to do it all again next year….

I took enough photos though, so here’s how Harrogate 2018 went for us:

I’m sure I have more photos, but I have no idea where they are, so these will have to do 🙂

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, book people are the best ❤

August 2018 Book Haul

Hi guys,

So I’m a couple of days late with this one as I didn’t want to schedule it over the weekend, and today seemed like the best time for it to go out!

*For any of you who don’t know, this is where I list the books that have made Bibliophile Book Club their new home in the previous month. The books are usually bought books, ARC’s sent from publishers, Netgalley review books and just basically any books I get go on here.

So without further ado, here are the books that I’ve added to my shelves and Kindle over the last month:

  1. The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken
  2. The Magicians Guild by Trudi Canavan
  3. Sleeper by JD Fennell
  4. The Good Son by You-jeong Jeong
  5. Loyalty by Megan DeVos
  6. Revolution by Megan DeVos
  7. Broken Falls by Derek Flynn
  8. Before Her Eyes by Jack Jordan
  9. A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer
  10. Anarchy by Megan DeVos
  11. Empire of Sand by Tasha Suri
  12. King of Assassins by RJ Barker
  13. Cracked by Eliza Crewe
  14. Unnatural Causes by Richard Shepherd
  15. Catwoman: Soulstealer by Sarah J. Maas
  16. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K Rowling
  17. Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K Rowling
  18. Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix by J.K Rowling
  19. Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince by J.K Rowling
  20. Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows by J.K Rowling
  21. The Witch of Salt and Storm by Kendall Kulper
  22. The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides
  23. For The Missing by Lina Bengsdotter
  24. That’s Not What Happened by Kody Keplinger
  25. The Ruin by Dervla McTiernan
  26. Safe by Ryan Gattis
  27. The Chestnut Man by Soren Sveinstrup
  28. A Version of The Truth by B P Walter
  29. The Other Side of the Wall by Andrea Mara
  30. Private by James Patterson
  31. Heart of Mist by Helen Scheuerer

No automatic alt text available.

No automatic alt text available.

No automatic alt text available.

Image may contain: one or more people

Image may contain: text No automatic alt text available. No automatic alt text available. No automatic alt text available. Image may contain: 1 person Image may contain: text

Blog Tour ~ The Hangman’s Hold (DCI Matilda Darke 4) by Michael Wood Ellen’s Review

Hi everyone,

Today s Ellen’s stop on the blog tour for The Hangman’s Hold by Michael Wood and I’ll be sharing her review with you all a little further down.

About the author:

Michael is a freelance journalist and proofreader living in Sheffield. As a journalist he has covered many crime stories throughout Sheffield, gaining first-hand knowledge of police procedure. He also reviews books for CrimeSquad, a website dedicated to crime fiction.

About the book:

The Hangman’s Hold: A gripping serial killer thriller that will keep you hooked (DCI Matilda Darke Series, Book 4) by [Wood, Michael]

Your life is in his hands.

In the gripping new serial killer thriller from Michael Wood, Matilda Darke faces a vicious killer pursuing his own brand of lethal justice. Perfect for fans of Angela Marsons and Helen Fields.

There’s a killer in your house.
The Hangman waits in the darkness.

He knows your darkest secrets.
He’ll make you pay for all the crimes you have tried desperately to forget.

And he is closer than you think.
DCI Matilda Darke is running out of time. Fear is spreading throughout the city. As the body count rises, Matilda is targeted and her most trusted colleagues fall under suspicion. But can she keep those closest to her from harm? Or is it already too late?

Click HERE to order your copy now!

Ellen’s Review:

Having loved the three previous novels in the DCI Matilda Darke series by Michael Wood and being an ardent #TeamDarke member I couldn’t wait to get stuck into book four, The Hangman’s Hold. This book could be read as a standalone but personally I’d recommend you read them all – why deny yourself the pleasure of getting to know Matilda and her team?

Michael Wood has gone really dark in The Hangman’s Hold and poor Matilda’s fragile mental strength is certainly pushed to its limits. There is a serial killer who appears to be carrying out murders in the manner of a vigilante, unhappy with how the victims have seemingly got away with crimes they decide to deal with them in the old fashioned way of hanging. Matilda and her team are being pushed from every angle, superiors, the press and even the killer, and it’s clear that not everyone disagrees with the killer’s reasoning. Matilda struggles to keep her team focused at times and it was upsetting to see cracks in what has always been a great working relationship between them all.

It was interesting to see a possible love interest on the scene for Matilda, I’d like to think she deserves a little dose of happiness (especially after the events in The Hangman’s Hold). I love the friendship element that has run through this series and watching the team grow closer and probably heavier after indulging in Sian’s treat drawer!

There are some truly horrific scenes in this book, it’s definitely not for the faint hearted! My heart rate must have been through the roof at certain points and just when you think you can’t take anymore…BAM..another gut punch of a reveal. Speaking of reveals there’s an absolute humdinger but I’ll let you discover that for yourself…..

All the stars for The Hangman’s Hold and bring on book five!!

Follow the blog tour:

Blog Tour: Anarchy by Megan DeVos

Hi guys,

I’m back with another blog tour review today, YAY! I’m taking part in the blog tour for Anarchy by Megan DeVos and I also have a guest post for you all too!

About the author:

Megan DeVos grew up in Sioux Falls, South Dakota where she currently resides. She graduated from university with a bachelor’s degree in nursing, and have been working as a surgical nurse for the last two and a half years. She has always loved writing, and finally dedicated herself to it during university, where she wrote her first published novel, Anarchy.Connecting with readers worldwide has been the greatest outcome of writing, and is something she will continue to pursue during the rest of her career as a writer.

Side-note: Megan shot to fame on Wattpad, where she wrote Harry Styles fan fiction, and I AM HERE FOR THAT as I’m a huge fan of HS. Needless to say I was sold on Anarchy from the PR sheet 🙂

giphy1

About the book:

Anarchy 1

The world is different now.

There are no rules, no governments, and no guarantees that you’ll be saved.

Rival factions have taken over, fighting each other for survival with no loyalty to anyone but their own. At 21, Hayden has taken over Blackwing and is one of the youngest leaders in the area. In protecting his camp from starvation, raids from other factions and the threat of being kidnapped, he has enough to worry about before he finds Grace.

The daughter of the head of the rival camp Greystone, she is slow to trust anyone, much less the leader of those she has been trained to kill.

This is danger. This is chaos. This is anarchy.

Available NOW, click HERE to order your copy!

My thoughts:

Anarchy is the first book in the series featuring Hayden and Grace, rivals from Blackwing and Greystone respectively. Hayden is the well-respected leader of his camp, and when he meets Grace everything he has known is thrown into chaos.

Taking place in the aftermath of an event, Anarchy details the survival of those left alive and the lengths to which they will go to survive. It has a really interesting story, and it is written in such a way that it is actually impossible to put down. I read Anarchy in just a handful of sittings recently, I genuinely couldn’t stop reading.

The comparisons to The Hunger Games series are well-warranted as it has very similar ideas, but for me, Anarchy is better. There is something at its core that made me invested in the fates of the characters, a humanity and a vulnerability that the reader can empathise with.

Hayden and Grace are great characters too, and well supported with other characters along the way. I really enjoyed seeing the progression of the story told through their own chapters. The author gives a good glimpse into their emotions and it was interesting to see their growth as they met with obstacles and challenges throughout the book.

I don’t want to say any more about it because I think you should just read it. It’s a fun story. Its got passion, strength and plenty of action to keep you reading. Definitely one to add to your list if you enjoy YA and dystopian fiction! I can’t wait to read the next books in the series!

Highly recommended!

5 Tips for Aspiring Writers from Megan DeVos

1. The first tip I always give to aspiring writers is to write something you’d want to read. If it’s something you’re interested in, chances are, someone else will be as well. If you feel passionate about the story you’re creating, you’ll end up writing the best version of the story that you not only want to create, but also to read. Loving the story you’re writing keeps you motivated, and in the end allows you to create something you’ll always enjoy no matter what.

2. The second tip I have is to know where you want your story to go. This can be as vague or as detailed as you like, but knowing the general direction of your plot is important. For me, the first thing I always do is write out a general outline of the plot, including major and minor points and character development. Some writers like to have their main plot thought out and develop the rest as they go. Some like to have every single detail planned out down to the tiniest one. Some are somewhere in between. How you write it is up to you, but I think knowing what you want to accomplish with your story is essential.

3. Imagine what it would be like if you were in the story. Maybe you imagine yourself as the main character, or maybe you imagine what that character would be like if they were real and standing next to you. Imaging the characters as real people helps to understand their thoughts, feelings, and actions. Get to know them in your head. The more you think about them as real people, the easier it is to write their specific character traits, and the easier it will be for readers to connect with them and make them feel real.

4. Read your work, then reread it, then reread again. Read it until you have it stuck in your head. Knowing your story is essential to creating continuity and keeping the story flowing in a satisfying and believable way. It helps you know when to include details that will be important to the future. It helps you recognize things you may want to emphasize more, and things you maybe can lighten up on. Rereading your story as much as you can, because every time you do, you’re making your story that much better.

5.Finally, my last tip for aspiring writers is simply to write because you love it. If it’s something you truly feel passionate about, go for it! Don’t write because you feel like you should, or because of some other reason. Write because you love it, plain and simple. True passion shows through in the work, and only makes you better with each page you write. If you love it and enjoy it, that’s the most important factor of all.

Huge thanks to Megan for these brilliant tips!

Follow the tour:

Recent Reads Rapid Reviews

Hey everyone,

Since I decided to take a bit of a break from reading and reviewing back in June (read why HERE), I hadn’t really envisioned that I would read enough to post any reviews. BUT since then I have actually managed to read almost 40 books! Not many were crime/thriller as that is what I’m trying to avoid for the time being, but I’m going to be splitting the reviews into quite a few of these posts, so do keep an eye out for them over the coming weeks!

Vogue.jpg

The Vogue Factor is her candid account of life at the heart of the fashion industry, from photo shoots and celebrity interviews to the ugly truth behind the glamour – infighting, back-stabbing and the dangerous pursuit of beauty.

This is the behind-the-scenes story of an illustrious career in fashion, from receptionist to the editor’s chair. It’s a life of dazzling parties, outrageous fashion and exotic travel that most people can only dream of.
But behind the glossy photos is a hidden world of chaos and pressure, where girls as young as twelve starve themselves to fit into a sample size.

Kirstie Clements’ eye-opening account of life in fashion’s fast lane has hit headlines all over the globe. Both a celebration and a critique of this extraordinary industry, The Vogue Factor is this season’s must-have.

I have had this on my kindle since 2013. I just never got around to it and I was looking for a light read so I figured I would give it a go. I really enjoyed it. I’m not in any way fashionable, but I do love fashion documentaries and magazines. The Devil Wears Prada is a favourite film of mine too, so this book was right up my street. It is a really good glimpse into early Vogue Australia and how it all works, but it also shows the darker side of the industry as mentioned above. Far flung locations, parties, glitz and glamour made this a really fun read, and got me back into reading Vogue again!

If you want to check it out, click the link below to order your copy:

The Vogue Factor by Kirstie Clements

PJ1.jpg

Half boy. Half God. ALL Hero.


Look, I didn’t want to be a half-blood. I never asked to be the son of a Greek God.


I
 was just a normal kid, going to school, playing basketball, skateboarding. The usual. Until I accidentally vaporized my maths teacher. Now I spend my time battling monsters and generally trying to stay alive.
This is the one where Zeus, God of the Sky, thinks I’ve stolen his lightning bolt – and making Zeus angry is a very bad idea.

Percy Jackson and The Lightning Thief is book one in the series, and it was yet another book left languishing on my kindle for far too long. I needed something light, but fun, that would keep me reading without making me think too much and keep the anxiety at bay. This book was EXACTLY what I needed. YA adventure at its finest, with a great cast of characters and lots of perilous quests along the way, I couldn’t put it down. I love the movie, but the book is definitely better. Highly recommend this one, my eldest even went and bought himself a copy after I said how good it was 🙂

Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

PJ2.jpg

You can’t tell by looking at me that my dad is Poseidon, God of the Sea. It’s not easy being a half-blood these days. You mortals can’t even see the monsters we have to fight all the time. So when a game of dodgeball turned into a death match against an ugly gang of cannibal giants, I couldn’t exactly ask my gym teacher for help.

And that was just for starters. This is the one where Camp Half Blood is under attack, and unless I get my hands on the Golden Fleece, the whole camp will be invaded by monsters. Big ones.

Can Percy survive the treacherous Sea of Monsters and restore order to Half-Blood Hill?

I devoured the first book, so it goes without saying that I moved straight on to the next book in the series. Introducing some new characters with this one, I found it even more action-packed than the first one, but just as fun. Its hard not to feel sorry for Percy with all he gets dragged into, but that is the joy of being a demigod I guess. I sound like a broken record, but these books are FUN!

Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan

Confessions 1.jpg

Alexis Wyndham is the other type of Queen B—the Queen B*tch.

After years of being the subject of ridicule, she revels in her ability to make the in-crowd cower via the exposés on her blog, The Eastline Spy. Now that she’s carved out her place in the high school hierarchy, she uses her position to help the unpopular kids walking the hallways.

Saving a freshman from bullies? Check.
Swapping insults with the head cheerleader? Check.
Falling for the star quarterback? So not a part of her plan.

But when Brett offers to help her solve the mystery of who’s posting X-rated videos from the girls’ locker room, she’ll have to swallow her pride and learn to see past the high school stereotypes she’s never questioned—until now.

I downloaded this on a whim as it was (and possibly still is) free on Kindle and it sounded like the kind of easy teenage drama-y kind of read that wouldn’t require much thought. Confessions of a Queen B* reminded me a lot of Gossip Girl, and the whole idea of a blog that exposes peoples private lives for peers to see. Books like this make think high school in America would be an interesting place to see because there always seems to be a hierarchy, but then again I’m sure the same can be said of schools the world over. Confessions of a Queen B* is an easy read, a little on the predictable side, but I sTill enjoyed it, and will most probably read the next two in the series at some point when I get time.

Confessions of a Queen B* (The Queen B* Book 1) by Crista McHugh


 

Until the next one, happy reading… 🙂

 

Rapid Fire Book Tag

Hi everyone,

I haven’t done one of these posts in the longest time, and I want to find ways to keep my blog busy so I’ll be doing a few different bits and pieces in the coming weeks!

The original Rapid Fire Book Tag was posted by Girl Reading (watch here) a couple of years ago on You Tube, but I’m definitely not a vlogger so you’ll just have to read on for my answers 🙂

 

giphy2

 

E-book or physical book?

I want to say physical book, but honestly, ebook is just so much easier to read. I can lie down and not have to worry about holding it up, and if I happen to fall asleep I won’t lose my page as the kindle will shut itself off after a little while.

Paperback or hardback?

To look at, I would definitely choose hardback. They are just so pretty. But for ease of use, and size, paperback actually wins this one.

Online or in-store shopping?

I love going in to a bookshop, so this one is kind of a no-brainer. I like to see the covers, and I really enjoy looking at shelves packed full of books. The kindle store just doesn’t have the same appeal as a bricks and mortar store.

Trilogies or series?

While I was still hooked on crime/thriller books, I would have easily said series. For the likes of Lee Child, Jonathan Kellerman et al. BUT, since I have taken time away from them, I will definitely say trilogies. I have been reading a lot of YA, and trilogies are rife in the genre. A lot less commitment is required of a trilogy, plus you have a finite number of books, unlike series, which can keep going for years.

Heroes or villains?

Villains. Without a doubt. And there are so many great ones out there.

A book you want everyone to read?

Reading is so subjective, so I can’t pick one book and say you should read it. It depends on the person and what they like to read. I’ll always suggest reading Harry Potter though!

Recommend an underrated book:

Gosh, this one is a hard question. I was looking at my shelves and I couldn’t actually pick a book, because underrated to me could be widely known and loved somewhere else. I wouldn’t call Into The Darkest Corner by Elizabeth Haynes underrated, but its a book I would always recommend.

The last book you finished?

Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella. I spotted the movie on tv last week, so I rooted out my copy of the book as a nice light-hearted read.

Weirdest thing you used as a bookmark?

I don’t use weird stuff as bookmarks. I’m firmly of the belief that bookmarks were invented for a reason. I collect them, so I always have bookmarks around.

Used books, yes or no?

YES! Why not? New books are obviously lovely too, but its not always feasible to spend money on them. I am a huge fan of second hand books. I actually have a full Works of Shakespeare book from 1928, and I love it. Used books are always a good choice. I ended up with a first edition of a Harlan Coben book, without realising it, that I bought used for €2!

Top three favourite genres?

YA, fantasy and crime/thriller, in that order now too!

Borrow or buy?

Borrow when possible. I love libraries, so I will always check there first for books before I even think about buying them. I don’t borrow books off friends/family though. Because  have so many myself, but I will let them borrow from me if they see anything they want to read. Except my signed first editions! NOBODY touches those 🙂

Characters or plot?

Initially I would have said plot, but now I think characters. If you don’t engage with a character, you don’t really care whats happening in the plot, so in that sense I’ll have to go with characters.

Short or long book?

Short books. I find long books to be a little daunting while I’m reading. And then I get fixated on how long I have left, so it becomes almost a time management exercise instead, which is no fun!

Long or short chapters?

Short. I love short chapters!

Name the first three books you think of:

Snowblind by Ragnar Jónasson, Six Stories by Matt Wesolowski, Nevernight by Jay Kristoff. If you haven’t heard of them/read them, look them up. They are all fantastic!

Books that make you laugh or cry?

Cry. Which is odd, because I’m not actually a crier. But I would prefer to cry than laugh with a book. Weird, I know.

Our world or fictional worlds?

Fictional worlds. Without a doubt. I could happily live in Flourish and Blotts forever.

Do you ever judge a book by its cover?

ALL THE TIME. I am like a magpie for book covers. I love them. I’ve bought books purely for the cover more times than I care to admit!

Book to movie or book to tv adaptation?

I think I would pick book to movie, only because you can play around with it a bit more. I sound like a broken record, but the Harry Potter movie adaptations are among my most favourite movies. I know they miss out on some things, but I think it was brought to screen really well.

Series or standalone?

Series. I think. Standalones are great, but sometimes I’m left wanting more, and that’s why series are good. The character development and plots can carry on through the books, and the reader becomes more invested with each new book in a series.


 

giphy3

Blog Tour ~Before Her Eyes by Jack Jordan Ellen’s Review

Hi everyone,

Today is Ellen’s stop on the blog tour for Before Her Eyes by Jack Jordan and I’ll be sharing her review with you all a little further down!

About the author:

Jack J 1.jpg

Jack Jordan is the global number one bestselling author of Anything for Her (2015), My Girl (2016), A Woman Scorned (2018), and Before Her Eyes (2018).

To find out more about Jack, enter numerous annual giveaways to win signed copies of his books, and be one of the first to hear of new book releases and news, follow him here:

Facebook: JackJordanOfficial

Twitter: @JackJordanBooks

Instagram: @JackJordan_Author

Goodreads: JackJordanOfficial

About the book:

Jack J.jpg

She can’t see the killer
But the killer can see her…

Naomi Hannah has been blind since birth. Struggling with living in a small, claustrophobic town, Naomi contemplates ending her life. But then she stumbles across the body of a young woman who has been brutally murdered. She senses someone else there at the scene – watching her. Naomi may not be able to see the killer’s face, but she is still the only person who can identify him.

As the police begin hunting the person responsible and more victims are discovered, Naomi is forced to answer the question on which her fate hangs: why did the killer let her live?

In a town this small, the murderer must be close, perhaps even before her very eyes…

You can get your copy by clicking HERE!

Ellen’s review:

Now books are described as sleep stealers and time stealers but Jack Jordan’s….they’re food stealers! Every time I sit down to this author’s novels I am totally absorbed and my poor family have to fend for themselves or hope that I can tear myself away for long enough to prepare a meal. The same thing happened when I read My Girl so Jack is getting a bit of a reputation in our house!

Before Her Eyes is an engrossing read, from first page to last I was hooked and had to find out who the perpetrator was (getting it wrong several times along the way). The main character Naomi Hannah is blind and lives alone with her guide dog Max (LOVE Max!!), separated from her husband Dale she is lonely and feels segregated from the community due to her condition. She often contemplates suicide and after an aborted attempt stumbles across a body, from this moment on she is catapulted into a nightmare. The killer is still at the crime scene and takes great delight in tormenting Naomi; she is the perfect “witness” after all. Her life is literally turned upside down and as well as being at the mercy of a sadistic killer she has to contend with the police doubting her testimony. There is a definite good cop, bad cop scenario in Before Her Eyes; DS Marcus Campbell is desperate to help Naomi whilst  his boss, DI Lisa Elliot seems determined to see Naomi charged.

There are so many twists and turns that I was left doubting everything and everyone. At a certain points in the story I gasped out loud, no spoilers but I was NOT expecting that.

This book is definitely dark and gruesome but I love that in a story – the bloodier the better and Mr Jordan delivers in spades! I thoroughly enjoyed Before Her Eyes and have to say that Gillian Flynn needs to watch her back; there’s a new master of writing despicable characters.

Follow the blog tour:

Before Her Eyes (Blog Tour).png