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Just a girl loving books, crafting, baking and new things...... hence this blogging experience!!!!!..........

Book review: Broken Humanity by Karine Vivier.

Book review: Broken Humanity by Karine Vivier.

Broken Humanity is the first novella of Author Karine Vivier that has been translated from French to English. I like reading novellas every so often for a quick beginning middle and end. So I was happy when the author asked me to read and review Broken Humanity.

Description:

What do a young girl, an ex-convict and a mother have in common? “Broken Humanity” tells the story of three characters who, somewhere along the way, have lost touch with humanity in the eyes of society. Three characters, three parallel stories, a common thread. A debut thriller.

My Thoughts:

Broken Humanity is a short novella published first in French, then translated to English by Kirsty Olivant. Firstly the translation is excellent. If I hadn’t known it was originally in French, I would totally assume it was written by a native English speaker. Of course the names and places are based in France, but that fits in with how the book was originally written. It was quite nice to read a book based somewhere other than UK or USA.

The book has three different parts, where each character has an element of ‘broken humanity’ about them. The book made me feel tense the majority of the way through! which shows that the author has a talent for writing. Personally I found that the three parts could have been made longer and the novella could have been a book. I hesitate to say this because novellas are supposed to be short and that is the authors intention. In my opinion, I would have preferred this particular plot to be lengthened.

This was a strange read for me because there wasn’t any part ( for me) that I found satisfying. The plot was full of broken souls and it was a little depressing. With the title being ‘Broken Humanity‘, I can assume that this was the authors intention and she did it well because it gave me all the feels that a well written book can give a reader.

I would recommend this book to readers who want a short tense read. It is a book that makes you realise that the quick decisions you make may have life changing effects.

Links:

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

Goodreads.

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1 Comment

Posted by on June 22, 2019 in Books

 

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Wax Seals, What a Way to finish a Letter. #Papercraft.

Wax Seals, What a Way to finish a Letter. #Papercraft.

Writing and receiving hand written letters is now considered an old fashioned thing by many. What with social media being so popular and used by practically everybody, people rarely seem to write letters anymore. Its all texts, messenger, facebook and all the other many ways to virtually contact people.

But receiving a hand written letter from a friend or family member could really brighten someone’s day. Especially with all the bills and junk mail that comes through the post box.

I have been writing letters forever and I think it’s a lovely way to communicate with those that we are apart from.

At Christmas time I discovered that I could get a wax sealing kit. Since I got my kit, I have used it so much.

I got my kit from eBay, but they are available from loads of places, Amazon, Wish, Alli Express to name just a few.

The lot I have contains 1 stamp, a spoon to melt the wax and it came with three sticks of wax.

I have since bought lots more wax and another stamp so that I can have different designs.

It is so easy, relaxing and makes great results for sealing your envelopes.

Melt the wax in the spoon, pour the wax onto your envelope and press down with your stamp! Easy.

There are so many different ways you can accentuate the envelopes with these wax seals. Here are some of the ways I have used them.

Simple on its own stamps. You can use one colour or mix them up.

Wrap your envelope in string, ribbon or twine and put the wax over the tie.

Add a shiny stone, pearl or similar. I love this effect.

Look how pretty it makes the envelope look.

Add some sparkle to the stamp, either glitter while it’s still wet. Or eye shadow or similar sparkle when it’s dry.

You can add different colours of wax on the spoon for this lovely effect. I’m still experimenting to see which colours go best together.

Or just plain simple and lovely on their own.

What’s your favourite? Have you used wax seals before?

 
 

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#10BooksofSummer (or 15 or 20)….

#10BooksofSummer  (or 15 or 20)….

10, 15 or 20 Books of summer is hosted by Cathy @cathy746books.       You can read Cathy’s original post about it here on her blog –  746books.com

This is a slightly late post as it started on June 3rd, but I did start my first book on that day, so all is ok. 😉

The idea of 20 Books of Summer is that readers choose their books to read and enjoy them, while also reviewing over the summer dates of June 3rd to September 3rd. You can choose to read 10, 15 or 20 books. I went for the easier option of 10! so, 3 months, 10 books, here goes.

Here are the books I hope to read over this time. I am adding in a mix of paperbacks and kindle reads. Two of the books will be for blog tours and the rest are ones I have chosen myself.

So here goes with my list of 10 books I hope to read this summer. ( in no particular order). The blurb can be found using the goodreads links.

In The Swim Of Things by Tracie Banister.

A lovely chick lit summer read. If you ever wanted to be a mermaid, this is the book for you. Kyra has her perfect job, a new hunky surfer boyfriend and lives by the beach she loves. When her beach is threatened. Kyra needs to fight for it. A perfect read for the summer I think. Plus I have read a few of Tracie Bannister’s books before and enjoyed them all. 

Goodreads Blurb.

 


 

Where the Dead Fall. By M J Lee.

A page turning crime thriller. With murders, detectives and hunts for killers. This is my kind of read.

Goodreads Blurb

 


 

Meet Me in Cockleberry Bay. By Nicola May.

The much awaited sequel to Nicola May’s previous best seller The Corner Shop in Cockleberry Bay will be a glorious read for me. I love all of this Author’s books and I am sure this one will be no difference. I’m looking forward to seeing what Rosa and the beloved Hot the sausage dog will get up to in this book.

My review for this will be in the blog tour hosted by RachelsRandomResources.com in July, when the book will be published. Lucky me got an early read 😊.

Goodreads Blurb

 


 

 

The Chestnut Man by Soren Sveistrup

I was sent this book my my lovely friend Irena at bookdustmagic.com. Irena and many other bookbloggers have written amazing reviews for this book. I am excited to read it, but it is so long. I hope the length is necessary to the whole plot. I’m quite sure I will love it as Irena always has great recommendations.

Goodreads Blurb

 

Time of my Life by Laura Heffernan.

Another lovely easy summer read. You can just tell by the cover that this will be a perfect read for those summer evenings.

Goodreads Blurb

You see how I am mixing up thrillers and chick lits. I like to get a mix of gory, deceptive crime thrillers which make me hunt for the criminal. Then swap that for some really easy reads that are pure escapism. 


 

 

Fixed Odds by William McIntyre

The Author of this book is a criminal defence lawyer based in Scotland. That fact alone would be enough to make me want to read this book! This book is released on July 4th and I was very lucky to get an advanced copy. I am on the blog tour for Fixed Odds when it is published.

Goodreads Blurb

 

 


 

 

Author Clare Chase is another of my recommended Authors. I have read quite a few of her books and loved them all. I would describe the previous books I have read as cosy mysteries. I have had this book on my kindle for a little while and don’t remember what it is about. I do have a feeling that I will love it though.

Goodreads Blurb

 


Broken Humanity by Karine Vivier

 

Published in January this year, this book is the debut book by Author Karine Vivier. The Author contacted me and asked if I would like to read and review her book. I like to try out new Authors, and am hoping this book will be a good one.

Goodreads Blurb


 

Will To Live by Rachel Amphlett.

You may remember this book from a previous post, whereby I got a great deal on the first 3 books in the Kay Hunter series. I have read the first books and it was fantastic. For my summer reads, I am including the next 2 books in this series. As I loved the first one, I am quite sure I will enjoy book 2 and 3 also. 

Goodreads Blurb

 

 

One to Watch by Rachel Amphlett (book 3 Kay Hunter)

The covers are awesome and look so readable don’t they! 

 

Goodreads Blurb

 

 


So that my 10 reads for summer. I think its going to be a good reading summer, with lots of good reviews to come. What books do you have planned to read this summer? Have you read any of the books I mentioned? Which do you like the sound / look of? 

Here is to a good reading summer. 

 

 
18 Comments

Posted by on June 8, 2019 in Book Spotlights., Books

 

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Something New for ChocolatePages.

Something New for ChocolatePages.

ChocolatePages began here 5 years ago. In the past 5 years, I have read and reviewed more books than I can remember. Books are still a great love and hobby of mine. But I have decided to add a little something extra to my blog.

I have a new interest and one I hope that you will find interesting and want to chat to me about.

My latest love is crafting, more specifically card making. Since I have started this hobby I have found that the snailmail / paper loving community is an imaginative, friendly and really supportive group, much like the bookish community.

As this is my blog to write about what I enjoy, I will now be including crafting along with my enjoyment of books. I hope my followers will continue to support me and embrace this addition to ChocolatePages.

Over the weeks I may show you cards and crafts I have made and received. I will also show you some techniques that I have learned along the way.

I have lots of ideas of how to bring this new element to ChocolatePages.

My name still stands for the things I love, chocolate, book pages and now paper pages!!

I look forward to sharing my passion with you.

To give you a little idea of what’s to come, here are some examples of my crafting pieces.

If any paper lovers, snail mailers or craft lovers are reading this, feel free to add any suggestions of posts you may want to read here.

 

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Book Review: Fairground Attraction by Sharon Atkinson.

Book Review: Fairground Attraction by Sharon Atkinson.

I had the pleasure of reading a book which was self published by a friend of mine. When Sharon told me she was writing a book, I was so pleased for her. Then in February this year her book Fairground Attraction was published.

It can be difficult to review a book by a friend, you want to be honest but you also want to be supportive and positive. Luckily for me, Fairground Attraction was easy for me to review as it is brilliantly written and has a fun plot with a great main character.

I love my personalised copy from Author Sharon. 😁

Description:

Do dreams come true if you believe in them hard enough, or are they just floating images we see when we close our eyes to sleep? Skye, has a vivid recurring dream, brought on by the thunderous rain filled sky. It always appears the same. A haunting, but beautiful image of a young man, working the Waltzer ride at the local fairground. She awakens each time, with the same image haunting her, not only at night but through her days too. Walking home late one night, Skye hears a voice call out her name. No one is there. Whose voice is it and how does it know her name? Is Skye overtired and letting her imagination run wild with her, or is fate waiting to work its magic?

Publication date: 19th February 2019.

 

My Thoughts:

Fairground Attraction is the first fiction book I have read by Sharon Atkinson. I know she also has written and published poetry books. After reading the flowing and beautifully descriptive writing of Fairground Attraction, I am sure that the Author’s poetry will be beautifully written.  

Fairground Attraction features main character Skye, who has a recurring vivid dream. I’m sure many of us dream about their ‘One’, but for Skye, this is different. She has never met this man she is dreaming of. Maybe she is just imagining things in her dreams? But then she hears whispers in the wind while she walks home! Is fate pushing her towards something or someone? Or is Skye just imagining what she wants…… 

Ms Atkinson writes beautifully descriptive words that flow across her pages. She writes so that we can smell the candy floss from the fair and feel the whispers of the wind in our hair. This novella shows talent from an Author who I hope will be publishing more books in her time. I most definitely will be buying her next book. 

Highly recommended if you like novellas, fiction and a hint of magical romance. 

 


 

Links:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

Goodreads.

Twitter/@sharonsatkinson

 

 

 
5 Comments

Posted by on May 25, 2019 in Books

 

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Book Review : Jane Again by J G Dow

Book Review : Jane Again by J G Dow

This is the third Jane book in the series that I have read. When I read the last book, I thought it was left ready for the next instalment so I wasn’t too surprised when Author J G Dow contacted me asking if I would like to read and review Jane Again.

Description:

Jane returns in this, the third installment of her adventures, as her life in Manchester slowly continues to evolve. All her friends are still knocking around, but circumstances do have a habit of changing, as everyone’s lives shift and progress…

Join Jane as she continues to muddle through friendship, love and family and also tries to have a bit of fun along the way; still as keen as ever for a few drinks with friends in the heart of Manchester!

Published January 28th 2019

My Thoughts:

Jane Again follows on from Jane of Manchester and Jane Once More. The book can totally be read as a standalone but if you want to really get to know Jane and her friends, family and surroundings then you should read the other books first.

Jane Again is a very easy read. As with the previous two books, I listened to this story on audio book while I did my mundane jobs like ironing, making lunches and even driving. I didn’t need to concentrate and sometimes this is just what you need from a book.

Jane is now living with Dan and together they live, work and socialise in and around Manchester. Jane shows us the lifestyle of the average British woman. She works, drinks and eats out ( a lot!). I liked hearing about all the different take outs and menu choices Jane chooses.

The book is like catching up with a friend. There is no major plot or twists. It’s life in a book told by an Author who can make words flow and make us care for Jane.

Jane Again leaves space for another book. I guess like we catch up with friends in real life, fictional friends are just as good to catch up with. I look forward to seeing what Jane gets up to next.


Links:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

Goodreads.

 
4 Comments

Posted by on May 11, 2019 in Books

 

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Book Review: Tell Me A Secret, by Jane Fallon.

Tell Me A Secret is the second book I have read by Jane Fallon. I read Sweet Revenge last year and loved it. I think that the covers alone make Fallon’s books look delightfully readable, Tell Me A Secret was no different. So before I even knew the storyline, I wanted to read it. I was lucky enough to win a copy of this book in a giveaway.

Description:

**The million copy bestselling author of Faking Friends and My Sweet Revenge is back – pre-order now!**

Holly and Roz spend most of their days together. They like the same jokes, loathe the same people and tell each other everything.

So when single mum Holly gets a shot at her dream job after putting everything on hold to raise her daughter, she assumes her friend will be dying to pop the champagne with her.

But is she just imagining things, or is Roz not quite as happy for her as she should be?

As Holly starts to take a closer look at Roz’s life outside their friendship, she begins to discover a few things that don’t add up. Who is the woman who claims to be her ally?

Perhaps it was a mistake to tell Roz all her secrets.

Because it takes two to forge a friendship.

But it only takes one to wage a war . . .

My Thoughts:

Firstly, just look at that cover!! Jane Fallon’ s books could win awards based only on her covers. They are all food or drink based and all make the reader want to dive right in. Tell Me A Secret was no different. After reading and loving Sweet Revenge, I was hoping for the same addictive writing style, great characters and a hint ( or pile) of deceit. I wasn’t disappointed.

Holly and Roz work together and are best work friends. They tell each other everything, moan together, bitch together and generally make each other’s work day a bit better. That is until Holly gets a promotion. A promotion with a trial period that she must pass. Suddenly things start to go very wrong for Holly. Someone is sabotaging her. Naturally she would turn to Roz, but is that wise!???

The characters in this book were great. We are treated to funny best ( outside of work) friend Dee. Slightly strange other work colleagues and of course main characters Holly and Roz.

Tell Me A Secret is a fun read. We have Holly to root for all the way through, and despite her many cringe worthy experiences, she doesn’t just lie down and take them. This would be a great book to buddy read with someone. It is about friendship – real and not so real. It made me think about relationships and how people could have different personas depending on who they are with, work place friendships may be different from out of work friendships. It made me think that the people we work with may not be all they seem to be. Holly certainly learned this lesson.

I loved this book as much as I loved Sweet Revenge. I am happy that I still have a few books by Jane Fallon left to read. Based on these 2, I won’t need to read the blurb of the others, I have a feeling I will love them anyway.

Highly recommended to readers who like contemporary books about friendship, lies and deceit and strong characters. Jane Fallon is quickly becoming my go-to Author when I need a break from my crime fiction. Brilliant.


Links:

Goodreads.

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

Twitter/@JaneFallon

 
8 Comments

Posted by on May 4, 2019 in Uncategorized

 

Book Review: The Teacher DS Imogen Grey #1, by Katerina Diamond.

Book Review: The Teacher  DS Imogen Grey #1, by Katerina Diamond.

This is the first book in the series of Detective Imogen Grey. I have had The Teacher on my shelf for quite a while. It was the title and the cover that drew my attention to the book.

Will I be continuing the series? Keep reading to find out!

Description:

You think you know who to trust? You think you know the difference between good and evil? You’re wrong…

The body of the head teacher of an exclusive Devon school is found hanging from the rafters in the assembly hall.
Hours earlier he’d received a package, and only he could understand the silent message it conveyed. It meant the end.
As Exeter suffers a rising count of gruesome deaths, troubled DS Imogen Grey and DS Adrian Miles must solve the case and make their city safe again.
But as they’re drawn into a network of corruption, lies and exploitation, every step brings them closer to grim secrets hidden at the heart of their community.
And once they learn what’s motivating this killer, will they truly want to stop him?
SMART. GRIPPING. GRUESOME.
This is a psychological crime thriller in a class of its own.
WARNING: Most definitely not for the faint-hearted!

Published March 10th 2016 by Avon

My Thoughts:

The Teacher follows new partners Detective Imogen Grey and Detective Adrian Miles. They find themselves paired together after both suffering from problems in their previous posts.

The two detectives are about to stumble upon some horrendous murders and are on a race against time as more murders, each as gruesome or even more gruesome than the last are committed.

The first few chapters of the book bring up many seemingly completely different and unrelated characters. It took concentration to remember who was who, as none of the characters seemed to be linked at first.

The descriptions in this book of the murders were the most gory and gruesome that I have ever read. I have read a lot of murder books!!! At times, it seemed I was only reading about killings and I wanted the plot to hurry up a bit, instead of so many people getting killed and me not knowing why or how they were linked. When I discovered the link and it all made sense who and why all the characters were linked it all seemed to click into place.

I like Detective Grey and it is for her that I will continue with this series. If book 2 is as filled with the gore, I may not continue to book 3. The murder scenes were so graphic that if this were a film, I would not watch it. This Author has a very dark imagination! Perfect for crime fiction!

The Teacher had a very high standard to follow after the recent crime books I had read. As a serial crime fiction reader, books need to be better and better to impress me. I liked The Teacher, but it won’t feature on my top ten of the year.

Have you read any Detective Grey books? Is book 2 just as gory? Let me know your thoughts.

Links:

Goodreads

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

 
9 Comments

Posted by on April 27, 2019 in Uncategorized

 

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Book Review: I Owe You One by Sophie Kinsella.

Book Review: I Owe You One by Sophie Kinsella.

Sophie Kinsella has been one of  my favourite Authors for many years. Even now, when I rarely read chick lit, (with a major preference for crime thrillers) if Sophie Kinsella publishes a book, I will get excited for it and read it as soon as I can. So, when I Owe You One came out, I knew I wanted to read it. 

Did it reach all my Kinsella expectations? Read on to see! 

place to be

 

Description:

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Sophie Kinsella, an irresistible story of love and empowerment about a young woman with a complicated family, a handsome man who might be “the one,” and an IOU that changes everything

Fixie Farr has always lived by her father’s motto: “Family first.” But since her dad passed away, leaving his charming housewares store in the hands of his wife and children, Fixie spends all her time picking up the slack from her siblings instead of striking out on her own. The way Fixie sees it, if she doesn’t take care of her father’s legacy, who will? It’s simply not in her nature to say no to people.

So when a handsome stranger in a coffee shop asks her to watch his laptop for a moment, Fixie not only agrees—she ends up saving it from certain disaster. Turns out the computer’s owner is an investment manager. To thank Fixie for her quick thinking, Sebastian scribbles an IOU on a coffee sleeve and attaches his business card. But Fixie laughs it off—she’d never actually claim an IOU from a stranger. Would she?

Then Fixie’s childhood crush, Ryan, comes back into her life and his lack of a profession pushes all of Fixie’s buttons. She wants nothing for herself—but she’d love Seb to give Ryan a job. And Seb agrees, until the tables are turned once more and a new series of IOUs between Seb and Fixie—from small favors to life-changing moments—ensues. Soon Fixie, Ms. Fixit for everyone else, is torn between her family and the life she really wants. Does she have the courage to take a stand? Will she finally grab the life, and love, she really wants? 

i owe you one

My Thoughts:

Within the first chapter of this book, I could tell it was Kinsella’s words, I was chuckling away to myself and indulged in the fact that I had the new Sophie Kinsella book in my hands and it was going to be good. 

The main character Fixie, nicknamed because of what she calls her flaw, she has to “fix” everything. In that first chapter, we are given tales of her fixing things that made me chuckle. Knowing Kinsella’s writing, these personality traits are going to be quite a thing in the book. They were, Fixie meets a man in a coffee shop, and does him a favour. This is where the title ‘I Owe You One’ comes from. 

Pretty soon on, we meet Fixie’s long time crush Ryan. I guess with most chick lit, easy reading books you can kind of tell what kind of person he will be and how the relationship will develop. Chick lit for me is easy reading, fun, light hearted and escapism. Therefore this predictability was not a problem for me. There were a couple of unexpected things that happened within Fixie’s relationships and the plot kept me reading page after page wanting to finish and see where Fixie ended up. 

The side line characters are interesting. Particularly Fixie’s relationship with her best friend Hannah. They are the perfect match for each other. This is one thing I do love about Kinsella’s books, there is always a brilliant best friend supportive role. Did you read Shopaholic? With Becky’s best friend Suze! Fantastic.  There is also the flakey character too. Fixie’s sister Nicole was exasperating, and I applaud Fixie for being so patient with her! Throughout this book, we read about fictional characters that play a movie in your head. The ‘hot’ guy, the ‘hot’ girl, neither of whom are particularly likable, then the girl you root for……and the happy ever after??…… not saying anything, but what do you think?

As with all of the Sophie Kinsella books that I have read, ‘I Owe You One’ is light hearted, fun and had me chuckling to myself. It wasn’t my favourite of her books, but I think that is probably down to my preference for thrillers at the moment. The younger me would have given this 5 stars, whereas the ‘present’ me is more 4 stars. So either way, highly recommended! 

 


Links:

Goodreads.

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

Twitter/@KinsellaSophie

www.sophiekinsella.co.uk

 

 

 
4 Comments

Posted by on April 20, 2019 in Books

 

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Book Review: Twisted by Steve Cavanagh.

Book Review: Twisted by Steve Cavanagh.

Steve Cavanagh is fastly becoming one of my new favourites in crime thrillers and this is only the second book I have read of his. You may remember I reviewed Thirteen last year. I actually voted Thirteen as my favourite book of 2018! So when Twisted came out, I grabbed as fast as I could. Thank you very much to Netgalley and publishers Orionbooks for my copy of Twisted. I did a little dance of glee when I received it.

book bound

Description:

BEFORE YOU READ THIS BOOK
I WANT YOU TO KNOW THREE THINGS:

1. The police are looking to charge me with murder.
2. No one knows who I am. Or how I did it.
3. If you think you’ve found me. I’m coming for you next.
After you’ve read this book, you’ll know: the truth is far more twisted…

twisted

My Thoughts:

The description of this book does not give too much away. The title gives you an idea… but not of the plot. So I prefer to keep this review vague on the plotline and only tell you my thoughts.

It is Amazing! A gripping, page turning, very clever and very twisty read.

I went in blind only with the expectations of it being so good after reading Steve Cavanagh’s last book. This was a good thing to do. Just when I thought I knew what was going on….bam… something else.

Twisted is a standalone book by the author who wrote the Eddie Flynn series. I haven’t read the Eddie Flynn books, but you can bet I’m going to read them now.

There are gory murder parts, characters to root for and to hate. And twists that will make you dizzy and addicted to this authors stories.

This book is different in a way I haven’t read a book before. If you are on Twitter you may have seen the Authors Wife tweeting about ‘who is JT LeBeau?‘. I think I read somewhere that Mrs C helped Mr Cavanagh with his inspiration for this book. So thanks also to the Authors Wife.

Twisted is written by an amazing imaginative Author, with a mind for very dark plots and evil twisted characters.

I want to use the word Twisted so much whole writing this. The title of this book is perfect. This is a book of twisted characters, a twisted plot and a twisted book of thrills. As the Twitter hashtag says #ThisBookisTwisted.

My recommendation…. go read now!


Links:

Goodreads

Twitter/@SSCav

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

www.stevecavanaghauthor.com

 
4 Comments

Posted by on April 13, 2019 in Books

 

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