Tag Archives: blog tour

Orbit Tour – Book Review – Emily Wilde’s Encyclopaedia of Faeries by Heather Fawcett

“Shadow is not at all happy with me. He lies by the fire while the chill wind rattles the door, tail inert, staring out from beneath that shaggy forelock of his with the sort of accusatory resignation peculiar to dogs, as if to say: Of all the stupid adventures you’ve dragged me on, this will surely be the death of us. I fear I have to agree, though this makes me no less eager to begin my research.”

Genre: Fantasy

Number of Pages: 336

Date of Publication: 19 January 2023

Publisher: Orbit

My Review Summary: An interesting tale set in a magical place


A curmudgeonly professor journeys to a small town in the far north to study faerie folklore and discovers dark fae magic, friendship, and love, in this heartwarming and enchanting fantasy.

Cambridge professor Emily Wilde is good at many things: She is the foremost expert on the study of faeries. She is a genius scholar and a meticulous researcher who is writing the world’s first encyclopaedia of faerie lore. But Emily Wilde is not good at people. She could never make small talk at a party–or even get invited to one. And she prefers the company of her books, her dog, Shadow, and the Fair Folk to other people.

So when she arrives in the hardscrabble village of Hrafnsvik, Emily has no intention of befriending the gruff townsfolk. Nor does she care to spend time with another new arrival: her dashing and insufferably handsome academic rival Wendell Bambleby, who manages to charm the townsfolk, get in the middle of Emily’s research, and utterly confound and frustrate her.

But as Emily gets closer and closer to uncovering the secrets of the Hidden Ones–the most elusive of all faeries–lurking in the shadowy forest outside the town, she also finds herself on the trail of another mystery: Who is Wendell Bambleby, and what does he really want? To find the answer, she’ll have to unlock the greatest mystery of all–her own heart.


I was quite excited when I saw this book. I haven’t read this type of fantasy for a while and so was pleased when I was accepted onto the Tour. There was a good mixture of fantasy, friendship and romance that kept my interest. 

The writing was light and kept me engaged. There were occasions when there were more complicated goings on, but it didn’t spoil the story for me. There was a good balance of story telling and conversation with good descriptions inbetween. 

The chapters were fairly long which meant that you got a good chunk of the story before moving on. There was a good flow to it despite being written as though it was a journal (from the point of view of the main character). I enjoyed the part where the other ‘main’ character wrote a couple of chapters whilst the other character was indisposed. 

I liked the titles of the chapters. They helped with the flow of the story and gave you an idea of the timeline – even when the character was unsure herself! 

The characters were great. The main character was brilliant with her sole focus being on the science behind her adventures. I enjoyed the addition of romance. It was not the usual type of romance which was enjoyable. I also enjoyed the personalities of the villagers and how they eventually got used to the main character’s unique personality. 

The settings were excellent. I loved being in Iceland and visiting the faerie realm. The description really took you there.

Overall an interesting book that I enjoyed reading. 

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Random Things Tours – Book Review – When The Lights Go Out by Chris Curran

“A jolt and, ‘oh, god. Oh s**t,’ from the driver’s seat.”

Genre: Psychological Thriller 

Number of Pages: 384

Date of Publication: 8 December 2022

Publisher: One More Chapter

My Review Summary: A gripping tale with suspicious things happening all the time!


Who can you trust…


A group of new friends. But can she trust them?

For struggling actress Ava, landing a role with the Chimera Theatre Group could lead to her big break. And relocating to a remote country village means stepping out from the shadow of her boyfriend—despite his determination not to let her go.

Everyone in the group seems so welcoming, they’re one big happy family. But, like all families, they each have secrets. And someone in the group doesn’t want certain secrets to get out…


I wanted a change to my reading material and thought that this book sounded like something that I would enjoy. I was pleased to be accepted on to the tour and I did enjoy reading it. I haven’t been reading as much as I usually do recently, but this book was easy to read, with plenty of things going on. I was quite happy to be taken on the ride and for things to unravel in their own time. 

The writing was gripping and easy to read. I got through it faster than I thought I would and looked forward to picking it up each day. It had quite a fast pace, with lots of different things happening. These different things kept being added, and whilst most were tied up at the end, there were still a few questions that I wanted answering and character developments that I would have liked to have seen. The ending was certainly interesting. It was left very open and allowed for you as the reader to finish it in your own way. 

The chapters were fairly short, which gave the story it’s fast pace. I also felt like I had achieved something and motored through it. A couple of the chapters were split, but otherwise we just went straight through. 

The story was from the point of view of the main character and had some nice bits of description in it. There was enough detail to give you a good idea of where the main character was and what she was seeing/doing without distracting from the story and slowing it down. It was cleverly done. 

The characters were excellent. I was suspicious of all of them. At one point I wasn’t even convinced about the main character! I would have liked to have seen a bit more about the main character’s “partner”. I was interested in his behaviour and wanted to see how that would all pan out. I also wanted to see more on the main characters parents – there was obviously something more there. 

Lastly the settings. I liked the shared cottage and the different little rooms that they performed in. The size and the nature of the settings helped to add to my suspicions about the characters. The settings were well thought out and suited what was happening in the story well. 

Overall a great story and one that had me hooked from the beginning.


Chris Curran’s sixth psychological suspense novel, When the Lights Go Out, publishes on December 2nd . Chris also writes as Abbie Frost and her latest under that name is The Guesthouse. Her books have been praised in the media as: truly gripping (Sunday Express), dark, claustrophobic and full of suspense (The Courier) addictive and fun (Daily Mail), addictive (The Sun), chilling (Waitrose Magazine) thrilling (Sublime Horror)

Best selling author, Alex Lake, describes The Guesthouse as a: full of suspense…gripping mystery. And Edgar Award winner Alex Marwood calls When the Lights Go Out: wonderfully mystifying and claustrophobic; and sad and thoughtful to boot. Chris also writes short stories and has twice been shortlisted for the CWA Margery Allingham award.

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Random Things Tours – Book Review – When Cherry Lost Terry by Penny Phillips

“‘Hey, look!’ said a young antelope Ann // The day her adventure began.”

Genre: Children’s Book (aged 3-6)

Number of Pages: 48

Date of Publication: 26 April 2022

Publisher: Old Street Publishing 

My Review Summary: A clever book that takes you through the alphabet in a fun way.


“When Cherry lost Terry one day,
Where was he? Could anyone say?
Asleep in a tree?
Or down by the sea?
He couldn’t be too far away.

The animals searched high and low,
Unsure what to do, where to go.
Would Terry appear?
The story is here…
Just read it – and then you will know!

When Cherry Lost Terry is a heart-warming and funny tale of friendship and adventure told in twenty-six limericks.

There’s one for every letter of the alphabet, each featuring a different animal — from Ann the Antelope to Zack the Zebra.

With wonderfully detailed and characterful illustrations by Clare Mallison, it’s perfect bedtime reading for the 3-to-6-year-old animal lover starting out on a lifetime of reading delight.”


I thought that this sounded like a fun book to read with my son. I received a beautiful hardback copy with bold illustrations. I have come to appreciate hardback copies more when reading to my son as they are harder to break. The pages are fairly sturdy, but they are still paper so caution needs to be taken with younger children (only because I am a book snob and don’t like anyone even touching my books!).

The writing (as said above) is in the form of 26 Limericks, one for each letter of the alphabet with a bonus one at the end. It is very cleverly done with a fairly good flow to it. Some Limericks had a better flow than others, but I still enjoyed them all! I liked the picture reveal before you found out about Terry. I thought that it kept up the suspense and gave you a break from the Limericks before carrying on. There was a good mix of words used so it is able to cater for the older child, whilst still keeping a younger child’s interest.

The characters were great. I loved how all the animals were trying to help Cherry to find Terry. I also enjoyed the illustrations of all the animals which highlighted their interactions. There was such life to them!

The settings were great. They allowed for land, sea and sky animals to be involved in the search for Terry. I enjoyed the background illustrations and I liked how the Limerick was positioned on each page. The background behind the Limerick was fairly plain (there were a couple of Limericks where the background had different shades of the same colour behind it) compared to the rest of the page so that it was easy to read. The font was a good size and plain itself which also made it clear to see.

Overall an enjoyable book and one that I can enjoy with my son for the next couple of years!

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Sunday Night Reading

A shorter evening this evening as I had dinner round my parent’s house and didn’t get home till fairly late (for a school night!). I have however managed to read 2 books; The Cornish Cream Tea Bookshop by Cressida McLaughlin and Fingersmith by Sarah Waters. I am enjoying them both and could easily have carried on for much longer with both of them!

I hope that you have had a good Sunday and enjoyed my wrap up posts Sunday Salon and Sunday Post. This weekend has gone way too fast, but then again every week seems to fly by!

Tomorrow on the Blog I am on a Tour for Someone to Kiss by Jamie Anderson and it’s Goodreads Monday.

See you then!

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Random Things Tours – Book Review – The People Before by Charlotte Northedge

“It’s that flash, the lightening movement at the edge of your vision, no more than a flicker, so that you don’t know whether you’ve imagined it.”

Genre: Psychological Fiction

Number of Pages: 336

Date of Publication: 10 November 2022

Publisher: HarperCollins

My Review Summary: A story that plays with you.


What if your dream house became your worst nightmare?

Jess and her husband need a new start. So when the chance to buy a rambling old house in the Suffolk countryside comes up, they leap at it.

But not everyone in Suffolk is welcoming. The locals know a secret about the Maple House, and soon, Jess realises they’ve made a huge mistake.

Something bad happened in that house. Something nobody wants to talk about.


When I read the blurb for this I was completely taken in. I was very excited to then be accepted onto the Tour. I was in the mood for something a bit darker and this fitted the bill. It was a rollercoaster of emotions with lots of things going on that all tied up very neatly at the end. 

The writing was gripping and tapped in to some of my fears. It was cleverly written from two different perspectives. I liked the way that you went through one story then it swapped perspectives. So many different things happened, but they tied up well. The writing was clear and kept me interested throughout.

The story was split into a prologue and 3 parts (two of which were labelled with the character whose viewpoint we would be reading) with chapters that weren’t overly long in each part and were similar in length. There was a good pace to the story with lots of little bits going on. Things were dropped then gradually were explained throughout the story, which made me want to keep on reading to see how it would all turn out. Even though there were lots of little bits, I didn’t get lost or confused by what was going on.  

The characters were excellent. With the way it was written you just weren’t sure who to trust and whether what you were reading was as straightforward as it made out. I loved that we had the two viewpoints so we were able to really get to know the two main characters. So many different things kept coming to light. They were certainly complex people with secrets that they were trying to keep hidden. I was emotionally invested and was satisfied with the ending. 

Lastly the settings. I loved the house. It was a character in itself. It was cleverly written to seem both spooky and not, depending on how you were looking at it. There was enough description to give you an idea of the house, but the main focus of the story was on the characters and their thoughts, feelings and actions. 

Overall I really enjoyed this book and recommend it if you want something darker to read. 


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Random Things Tours – Book Review – Havana Fever by Leonardo Padura

“The symptoms hit him suddenly, like a voracious wave sweeping a child off a quiet shore and dragging him into the depths of the sea: a lethal double blow to the stomach, numbness that turned his legs to jelly, a cold sweat on his palms and, above all, the searching pain, under his left nipple, which accompanied every single hunch he’d ever had.”

Genre: Crime Fiction / Translated Fiction

Number of Pages: 292

Date of Publication: 15 January 2009

Publisher: Bitter Lemon Press

My Review Summary: A great murder mystery set in Cuba at a time of suffering


Mario Conde has retired from the police force and makes a living trading in antique books. Havana is now flooded with dollars, populated by pimps, prostitutes, drug dealers, and other hunters of the night. In the book collection of a rich Cuban who fled after the fall of Batista, Conde discovers an article about Violeta del Rio, a beautiful bolero singer of the 1950s who disappeared mysteriously. A murder soon follows. This is a crime story set in today’s darker Cuba, but it is also an evocation of the Havana of Batista, the city of a hundred night clubs where the paths of Marlon Brando and Meyer Lansky crossed.


I was quite excited when I was accepted onto this Blog Tour. I love a murder mystery and this one involved a library that was set in a country that I know next to nothing about. I was also interested in reading a translated text. I haven’t read many translated texts before so this is another one that I can add to my list. 

The writing was so descriptive and really pulled you in to that world. I haven’t read a book so heavy on the description for a while so it did take me a while to complete it. I enjoyed reading it though, and loved the immersive experience even if, at times, it was a bit emotional reading about what people were going through. The whole story was from the main character’s point of view, but every so often a letter would appear from a mysterious source. It took a while for me to work out who the letters were to and from, but once I did it made it all the more interesting. 

On to the chapters and there were none in this book. I have never read a book without any chapters. There were pages that indicated where there would have been a next chapter though. The story was instead split into 2 parts: The A Side: Be gone from me and The B Side: You’ll remember me. The story therefore had an uninterrupted flow until the occasional, seemingly random, letter got in the way. The letters were completely random and had nothing to do with what was happening at that time. When you get to the end of the book though you appreciate the cleverness of this format. 

The characters were great. I loved the detective and his moral compass. He had a great group of friends and it was lovely to read about his relationship with them. When times were hard they were there for each other. And times were hard in this book! 

Lastly the settings. This book was all about the settings and the atmosphere, and experience it created for me as the reader was excellent. I often read books where the characters and their conversations and actions are the main focus of the story, and to have any more detail on their surroundings would distract. This book had so much context and detail, yet it didn’t distract you from the main character and what he was trying to achieve. It was very cleverly written and I am glad that I was able to experience it. 

Overall a great book and one that I recommend if you want a different sort of murder mystery. 


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Random Things Tours – Book Review – Good Taste by Caroline Scott

“Josephine Baker had made him cry.”

Genre: Historical Fiction

Number of Pages: 432

Date of Publication: 13 October 2022

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

My Review Summary: A lovely book with a relatable main character.


You can tell a lot about a person from what they like to eat..

When Stella Douglas, author of a much-loved but not very successful biography of a forgotten cookery writer, is summoned to see her editor in London, she is dreading being told her writing career is over before it’s even started. But much to her surprise, she finds she is being commissioned to write another book – this time a history of food in England and how the English like to eat. It’s to be quintessentially English and will remind English housewives of the old ways, and English men the glory of their country. The only problem is – all English food is really from elsewhere. 

So Stella sets about inviting recipes from all corners of England, in the hope of discovering a hidden culinary gem. But what she discovers is oatcakes and gravy and lots of lots of potatoes. 

Longing for something more thrilling, she heads off to speak to the nation’s housewives. But when her car breaks down and the dashing and charismatic Freddie springs to her rescue, she is led in a very different direction…

Full of wit and life, Provenance is a story of discovery, of a modern England emerging from the past and one woman’s desire to make her own way as a modern woman. 


I was excited to be a part of this Blog Tour because I have come to realise that I enjoy reading books that have food in them. I have read a few books recently with food involved and I love the way that the food is described. For me it adds something extra to the story, something that makes it more grounded. 

The writing in this book was light, yet emotional at times. I loved the different styles of writing that together made up this story (alongside the main character narrating the story you had letters from the public telling their individual stories). There was a lot of description that made you really feel like you were there with the character. Whilst there was a lot of description, it added to the story and went well with the character and her journey. I also enjoyed that the language used was of it’s time. There were words and references that I didn’t recognise as of this present time and I liked being transported to the 1930s via the language. 

The chapters were a mix of lengths. They were generally shorter at the beginning and the end and longer in the middle. I therefore felt that I was introduced to the story quickly and the end was quickly wrapped up. I liked that at the end of some of the chapters you got to see the letters that the main character had sent in to her from the public. It broke up the story, yet added to it at the same time. You were able to see what the character was seeing and could understand the difficulties that she was having in trying to write her book. 

I loved the main character. She was very relatable and I enjoyed being on her journey with it’s ups and downs. It is quite interesting (and sad) that the things that happened to her are still happening today. I did start to feel quite nervous for her at some points and I think that that is the mark of a good writer! It was more emotional than I thought it was going to be, but I was satisfied with the ending. 

The settings were excellent. I loved the descriptions of the places and the main character’s thoughts whilst she was in those places. I enjoyed being taken round the UK and it was eye-opening to see the similarities of what people ate despite being miles apart. 

Overall a lovely book with a good mix of adventure and emotion. 


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Random Things Tours – Book Review – The Witches of Moonshyne Manor by Bianca Marais

“Half an hour before the alarm will be sounded for the first time in decades – drawing four frantic old women and geriatric crow from all corners of the sprawling manor – Ursula is awoken by insistent knocking, like giant knuckles rapping against glass.”

Genre: Fantasy

Number of Pages: 400

Date of Publication: 15 September 2022

Publisher: Mira/Harper 360

My Review Summary: A gripping tale with strong female characters.


A coven of modern-day witches. A magical heist-gone-wrong. A looming threat.

Five octogenarian witches gather as an angry mob threatens to demolish Moonshyne Manor. All eyes turn to the witch in charge, Queenie, who confesses they’ve fallen far behind on their mortgage payments. Still, there’s hope, since the imminent return of Ruby—one of the sisterhood who’s been gone for thirty-three years—will surely be their salvation.

But the mob is only the start of their troubles. One man is hellbent on avenging his family for the theft of a legacy he claims was rightfully his. In an act of desperation, Queenie makes a bargain with an evil far more powerful than anything they’ve ever faced. Then things take a turn for the worse when Ruby’s homecoming reveals a seemingly insurmountable obstacle instead of the solution to all their problems.

The witches are determined to save their home and themselves, but their aging powers are no match for increasingly malicious threats. Thankfully, they get a bit of help from Persephone, a feisty TikToker eager to smash the patriarchy. As the deadline to save the manor approaches, fractures among the sisterhood are revealed, and long-held secrets are exposed, culminating in a fiery confrontation with their enemies.


I was quite excited when I got accepted onto this Tour as I haven’t read a book about Witches in a long time. I also like to try and read seasonally and this book definitely gave me Autumn vibes. Not long after signing up for the Tour I kept seeing the book around so I had high hopes for when I started to read it. I was not disappointed. 

The writing was gripping and I was pulled into the Witches’ world. The story gradually unfolded and little things that I wasn’t expecting kept cropping up, which kept my interest. I enjoyed the pace of the story, which was created by potions being inserted at the end of a couple of chapters at the beginning and that we were able to follow the different characters as the story gradually came together. All the individual storylines were cleverly woven together and kept the journey for the reader interesting. I just wanted to keep on reading!

I liked the way that the story opened with a map of the Manor and a brief introduction to each of the Witches. It can be confusing to enter a new magical world and be confronted with all sorts of different magical abilities and terminology, but these introductions helped to clear that up right at the beginning and prepared you for the story. 

The chapters differed in length, but tended to be longer rather than short. They were labelled with a date and time so you always knew where you were and could really feel the tension when the count down began. As the chapters were longer, you were able to get a good chunk of the story before moving on. 

The characters were excellent. I loved the Witches and all their individual quirks. I also loved that the characters were strong females from an older generation. You don’t find many characters from that generation being written about, so I enjoyed reading about them. I also loved how the characters interacted with one another and the dynamics of the sisterhood. 

Lastly the settings. I loved the Manor and the grounds. The Manor was another character in itself (we were told how the Manor reacted to certain things). You felt the jeopardy and really rooted for the Witches to save the Manor. 

Overall I loved this book and highly recommend it. 


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Blog Tour – Book Review – Finding Mr Perfectly Fine by Tasneem Abdur-Rashid

“My stomach churns as I type in ‘Muslim Marriage Websites’ on my laptop and I’m not sure if it’s out of excitement or shame.”

Genre: Romantic Comedy

Number of Pages: 480 pages

Date of Publication: 7 July 2022

Publisher: Zaffre

My Review Summary: A gripping rom com with an abrupt ending.


Last week I turned 29. Along with the usual homemade Victoria sponge, helium balloon and Selfridges gift vouchers, my Mum’s birthday present to me was the threat that if I’m not engaged by my 30th birthday, she’s sending me off to the Motherland to find a fresh-from-the-Desh husband

When Zara’s Mum puts together the most archaic of arranged marriage resources (not exactly the romcom-worthy love story she had envisioned for herself), she is soon exhausted by her family’s failed attempts to set her up with every vaguely suitable Abdul, Ahmed and Farook that they can find. Zara decides to take matters into her own hands. How hard can it be to find a husband at twenty-nine?

With just a year to go, time is of the essence, so Zara joins a dating app and signs up for speed dating.

She meets Hamza, a kind British Egyptian who shares her values and would make a good husband. Zara knows that not all marriages are based on love (or lust) at first sight but struggles with the lack of spark. Particularly when she can’t stop thinking of someone else . . .

As her next birthday looms, and family pressure intensifies, Zara knows she must make a decision, but will she make the right one?


I was taken in by the cover and the blurb and was pleased to be accepted onto the Tour. I have read a few rom coms now so my expectations were in line with those. It actually exceeded my expectations until the unexpected ending. 

The writing was compelling. I just wanted to keep going. It was light and I really felt like I was there alongside the character. The style was chatty, revealing what the main character was thinking before she acted which I enjoyed. The fact that it was all from the main character’s point of view made it more tense as you didn’t know what the other parties were thinking. You could really appreciate the main character’s nerves and questions. 

The book was split into the four seasons with then fairly long chapters. I barely noticed the length of them though as I was so engrossed in the story. The story had a good pace to it helped by the splitting up into seasons. 

The characters were excellent. I loved the main character and her family members. It really gave me an insight into another culture. It highlighted the concerns that some people have and the pressure that families feel to get things just right. It was an emotional rollercoaster of a story and one that affected all the family members. Even though it was all from the main character’s point of view you could still feel the anguish and the pressure that the other family members were feeling. 

Lastly the settings. These were secondary to the narration and the characters. There was the trip to Dubai which was lightly described and some of the restaurants that they went to which was nice. All in all there was enough detail to give the story a grounding without taking anything away from what the character was thinking or feeling. 

Overall I loved this book. I just wish that it gave me more closure.

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My Blog Tour Book Has Arrived! Double or Nothing by Kim Sherwood

Book Description From Goodreads:

“The start of a brand new trilogy following MI6’s agents with a licence to kill, that blows the world of James Bond wide open!James Bond is missing…007 has been captured, perhaps even killed, by a sinister private military company. His whereabouts are unknown.Meet the new generation of spies…Johanna Harwood, 003. Joseph Dryden, 004. Sid Bashir, 009. Together, they represent the very best and brightest of MI6. Skilled, determined and with a licence to kill, they will do anything to protect their country.The fate of the world rests in their hands…Tech billionaire Sir Bertram Paradise claims he can reverse the climate crisis and save the planet. But can he really? The new spies must uncover the truth, because the future of humanity hangs in the balance.Time is running out.”

I got very excited when I received this through the post! I love what I call book props!

I am on the Blog Tour for this book on 2 September so keep an eye out for my review on here, Amazon, Goodreads, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter!

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