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Best Books of the Year 2019

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Best Books of the Year 2019
As we come to the end of the year (and the decade), here's a sample of my favourite books over the last twelve months!

JANUARYThe Binding by Bridget Collins
YA Historical

An alternate history, where memories are bound into books, and reading them is taboo.
Emmett is a trainee book binder, both hated and respected in equal measure. He has to uncover the truth - has his own memories been bound, and why?

Full review

Goodreads

Amazon





FEBRUARYThe Stone's Heart by Jessica Thorne
YA Sci-Fi

In the second book of the Queen's Wing series, Bel in consolidating her position as ruler, with the help of some old friends.
Petra is a warrior and a general, and has made a name for herself. Her confidence is tested when he ex comes flying back into her life.

Full review

Goodreads

Amazon





MARCH One Summer in Paris by Sarah Morgan 
Chick Lit

Grace and Audrey have nothing in common, but a charming little bookshop in Paris brings them together. They support each other and be…

A Throne of Swans

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A Throne of Swans by Katharine Corr and Elizabeth Corr 4 out of 5

Synopsis
In a world where the flightless are ruled by those who can fly...

When her father dies just before her birthday, seventeen-year-old Aderyn inherits the role of Protector of Atratys, a dominion in a kingdom where nobles are able to transform at will into the bird that represents their family bloodline. Aderyn's ancestral bird is a swan. But she has not transformed for years, not since witnessing the death of her mother - ripped apart by hawks that have supposedly been extinct since the long-ago War of the Raptors.

With the benevolent shelter of her mother and her father now lost, Aderyn is at the mercy of her brutal uncle, the King, and his royal court. Driven by revenge and love, she must venture into the malevolent heart of the Citadel in order to seek the truth about the attack that so nearly destroyed her, to fight for the only home she has ever known and for the land she has vowed to protect.

Written in …

In The Heart of Windy Pines

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In The Heart of Windy Pines by Holly Tierney-Bedford 2 out of 5

Synopsis
From the author of Kindle Unlimited All-Star winner Sweet Hollow Women comes a new novella featuring characters from Murder at Mistletoe Manor, Carnage at the Christmas Party, and The Port Elspeth Jewelry Making Club!

Klarinda Snow is the innkeeper of Mistletoe Manor in beautiful, remote, Windy Pines, Idaho, where she brings her unique brand of hospitality to the tiny mountain town.

When she finds her inn unexpectedly fully booked on a snowy Tuesday night in November, it brings back memories of a tragedy years before. Before she knows what hit her, she and her trusty team of employees (Myrtle, Pierre, and her new night manager, Josephine), have found themselves back at the task of solving another mystery at Mistletoe Manor!

While this book can be enjoyed as a stand-alone novella, if you plan to read the books in the Windy Pines Mystery series or The Port Elspeth Jewelry Making Club, it's highly recommended you …

Taking Up Space

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Taking Up Space by Chelsea Kwakye & Ore Ogunbiyi 4 out of 5

Synopsis
As a minority in a predominantly white institution, taking up space is an act of resistance. Recent Cambridge grads Chelsea and Ore experienced this first-hand, and wrote Taking Up Space as a guide and a manifesto for change.

FOR BLACK GIRLS:

Understand that your journey is unique. Use this book as a guide. Our wish for you is that you read this and feel empowered, comforted and validated in every emotion you experience, or decision that you make.

FOR EVERYONE ELSE:

We can only hope that reading this helps you to be a better friend, parent, sibling or teacher to black girls living through what we did. It's time we stepped away from seeing this as a problem that black people are charged with solving on their own.

It's a collective effort.
And everyone has a role to play.

Featuring honest conversations with students past and present, Taking Up Space goes beyond the buzzwords of diversity and inclusion and explore…

The Blood Countess

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The Blood Countess by Lana Popović  3 out of 5

Synopsis
A historical YA horror novel based on the infamous real-life inspiration for Countess Dracula

In 17th century Hungary, Anna Darvulia has just begun working as a scullery maid for the young and glamorous Countess Elizabeth Báthory. When Elizabeth takes a liking to Anna, she’s vaulted to the dream role of chambermaid, a far cry from the filthy servants’ quarters below. She receives wages generous enough to provide for her family, and the Countess begins to groom Anna as her friend and confidante. It’s not long before Anna falls completely under the Countess’s spell—and the Countess takes full advantage. Isolated from her former friends, family, and fiancé, Anna realizes she’s not a friend but a prisoner of the increasingly cruel Elizabeth. Then come the murders, and Anna knows it’s only a matter of time before the Blood Countess turns on her, too.

The Case of the Reincarnated Client

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The Case of the Reincarnated Client Tarquin Hall 2 out of 5

Synopsis
A client claiming she was murdered in a past life is a novel dilemma even for Vish Puri, India's Most Private Investigator. When a young woman comes forward claiming to be the reincarnation of Riya Kaur, a wife and mother who vanished during the bloody 1984 anti-Sikh riots, Puri is dismissive. He's busy enough dealing with an irate matrimonial client whose daughter is complaining about her groom's thunderous snoring. Puri's indomitable Mummy-ji however is adamant the client is genuine. How else could she so accurately describe under hypnosis Riya Kaur's life and final hours? Driven by a sense of duty - the original case was his late father's - Puri manages to acquire the police file only to find that someone powerful has orchestrated a cover-up. Forced into an alliance with his mother that tests his beliefs and high blood pressure as never before, it's only by delving into the past the help…

The Queen of Nothing

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The Queen of Nothing by Holly Black 4 out of 5

Synopsis
He will be destruction of the crown and the ruination of the throne.

Power is much easier to acquire than it is to hold onto. Jude learned this lesson when she released her control over the wicked king, Cardan, in exchange for immeasurable power.

Now as the exiled mortal Queen of Faerie, Jude is powerless and left reeling from Cardan’s betrayal. She bides her time determined to reclaim everything he took from her. Opportunity arrives in the form of her deceptive twin sister, Taryn, whose mortal life is in peril.

Jude must risk venturing back into the treacherous Faerie Court, and confront her lingering feelings for Cardan, if she wishes to save her sister. But Elfhame is not as she left it. War is brewing. As Jude slips deep within enemy lines she becomes ensnared in the conflict’s bloody politics.

And, when a dormant yet powerful curse is unleashed, panic spreads throughout the land, forcing her to choose between her ambition an…

Blog tour: In The Heart of the Windy Pines

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In the Heart of Windy Pines From the author of Kindle Unlimited All-Star winner Sweet Hollow Women comes a new novella featuring characters from Murder at Mistletoe Manor, Carnage at the Christmas Party, and The Port Elspeth Jewelry Making Club!

Klarinda Snow is the innkeeper of Mistletoe Manor in beautiful, remote, Windy Pines, Idaho, where she brings her unique brand of hospitality to the tiny mountain town.

When she finds her inn unexpectedly fully booked on a snowy Tuesday night in November, it brings back memories of a tragedy years before. Before she knows what hit her, she and her trusty team of employees (Myrtle, Pierre, and her new night manager, Josephine), have found themselves back at the task of solving another mystery at Mistletoe Manor!

While this book can be enjoyed as a stand-alone novella, if you plan to read the books in the Windy Pines Mystery series or The Port Elspeth Jewelry Making Club, it's highly recommended you read those first, as this book contains spo…

Blog tour: A Christmas Hamster

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A Christmas Hamster Cam’s career and romantic prospects take a nose dive once she becomes guardian to her young nephew. She leaves a bustling Dutch city to move to a small, dull country town in England, and where once she restored magnificent old paintings to their former glory, now she operates the paint-mixing machine at a soulless hardware store. As much as she adores little Rowan, life has lost some of its sparkle. 
However, a handsome and charming customer causes her heart to flutter once more. Fate, alas, seems determined to hamper any possibility of them getting together. So what chance does a tiny, naughty hamster have of bringing happiness this Christmas?
This is a festive, light-hearted and uplifting romcom novella.

Blog tour: Eve's Christmas

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Eve’s Christmas Working for a department store where Christmas arrives in August, Eve prefers her own festivities to be low key with nothing more complicated than an oven ready turkey and frozen peas while she spends the day in her pyjamas. Unfortunately, this year her husband has invited his best friend to visit, the glamorous and sophisticated Abby, and Eve reluctantly decides that she needs to inject a little sparkle into their laid back and slightly shabby Christmas.  So the celebrations are upgraded to include champagne and canapes along with homemade gravy and organic turkey and plans are made for a Christmas that looks as though it has emerged from the pages of a glossy magazine.

But even the best laid plans can go wrong and as Eve struggles with her mini Yorkshire puddings and an interfering cat, she is suddenly faced with an unexpected guest and an explosive secret that threatens to put her vision of a perfect Christmas in jeopardy.

Blog Tour: Christmas at the Chateau

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Christmas at the ChâteauA Christmas she’ll remember forever…
Poppy is looking forward to spending her first Christmas in France at her boyfriend, Leo’s, Château. And as the snow falls softly around the dramatic castle, Poppy can’t think of anything more magical.
There are new traditions to discover, a cosy Christmas market to explore and best of all, a promise of secret treasure hunt from gorgeous Leo. Only family pressure and uncertainty about her future in France can threaten to cast a shadow over the holiday.

When the treasure hunt takes an unexpected turn Poppy knows for sure this is one Christmas she’ll remember forever.

Blog Tour: The Case of the Reincarnated Client

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The Case of the Reincarnated Client When a young woman comes forward saying she's the reincarnation of Riya Kaur, a wife and mother who vanished during the bloody 1984 anti-Sikh riots, Puri is dismissive. He's busy enough dealing with an irate matrimonial client whose daughter is complaining about her  groom’s thunderous snoring.  Puri's indomitable Mummy-ji however is adamant the client is genuine. How else could she so accurately describe under hypnosis Riya Kaur's life and final hours?

Driven by a sense of duty - the original case was his late father’s - Puri manages to acquire the police file only to find that someone powerful has orchestrated a cover-up. Forced into an alliance with his mother that tests his beliefs and high blood pressure as never before, it’s only by delving into the past the help of his reincarnated client that Puri can hope to unlock the truth.