March brings breezes loud and shrill, stirs the dancing daffodil.


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme where every Tuesday we look at a particular topic for discussion and use various (or more to the point ten) bookish examples to demonstrate that particular topic.  Top Ten Tuesday (created and hosted by  The Broke and Bookish) is now being hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl and future week’s topics can be found here.  This week’s topic is:

Books On My Spring 2019 TBR

In the UK the Spring months are March, April and May.  Below is a list of some of the books I’m hoping to reading during those three months:

Little Darlings by Melanie Golding


The Binding by Bridget Collins

A Time of Blood by John Gwynne


Holy Sister by Mark Lawrence


Storm of Locusts by Rebecca Roanhorse
Storm of.jpg
The Furies by Katie Lowe
A Brightness Long Ago by Guy Gavriel Kay
The Poison Song (The Winnowing Flame Trilogy 3) by Jen Williams
Council by Snorri Kristjansson
Westside by W.M. Akers
What Spring reads are you looking forward to??

The Strawberry Thief (Chocolat #4) by Joanne Harris

StrawberryOnce upon a time there was a book that thought it was a regular story, it wrapped itself up in strangeness and fantasy and grew into a remarkable tale, a fairytale to enchant readers.

The Strawberry Thief was a fantastic read.  I absolutely loved it in fact I didn’t want it to finish and I can say, that to those of you looking at this as No.4 in a series and thinking there’s a lot of catching up, well, I can tell you that you don’t have to have read the previous three books – although of course I would recommend them.  I think there would be no problem at all in reading this as a standalone and I heartily recommend this book. It’s just beautiful.  Do yourself a favour and read it.

What can I say.  Picking this book up just felt right.  Comfortable and comforting.  Gorgeous writing, evocative and mysterious.  In fact a story with a mystery at its core surrounded by a heady mix of magic and motherhood – and chocolate.  Don’t forget the chocolate.

As I write this I can genuinely say that I am full of emotion.  The writing in this book was just intoxicating and I could frankly read this again, right now.

Vianne Rocher is a mother with two daughters.  One has flown the nest finding love and is living in Paris.  The other, Rosette, is still to find her voice.

Vianne now seems to have an almost comfortable life in Lansquenet-sous-Tannes.  She has finally found acceptance and her chocolaterie is popular with the locals.  But things are afoot.  Her ‘special’ daughter, Rosette, has been left a piece of land, following the death of the local florist Narcisse.  Narcisse had developed a soft spot for Rosette and left her is little forest, where the wild strawberries grow.  Of course, as you may imagine this causes uproar.  Narcisse’s daughter is outraged, naturally expecting to be bequeathed the full estate she is convinced that something is hidden in the forest and determined to get her hands on the piece of land come what may.  On top of this, it seems that Narcisse has left a confession, a compelling story that that has been left in the care of Reynaud, the village priest.  And then, to top it all, the old florist shop has a new tenant – and it seems that this new tenant is going to cause as big a stir as Vianne herself did when she opened a chocolate shop on Lent.

I won’t talk further about the plot.  It manages to twist and turn in the most delicious fashion.  On the face of it this appears to be a mystery.  Was Narcisse hiding something in his strawberry forest, why did he leave the land to Rosette and what is contained in that tantalising confession.  Two stories running parallel and both rife with the tension lent to them by the way in which the confession keeps switching hands in the most unexpected fashion.  Then we have the mystery of Rosette and her missing voice, her invisible friend and her ‘shadow’ voice.  Then, the newcomer.  The people of the village are simply bewitched by her.  Vianne needs to fight magic with magic – both of them have a way of knowing what a person needs but maybe this village is too small for two such larger than life personalities.

The other thing, there is an absolutely beautiful poignancy here.  Underlying the magic and mystery is a tantalising story of letting go, of having difficult choices, of being a mother, raising a child with love and care but then acknowledging that your child is now an adult and must be allowed to fly the nest and choose a path.

To be honest, I’m going to keep this review fairly short – which is absolutely not a reflection on the novel in any way – I adored this book.  I loved it in fact – and it’s turned me into a big ball of emotion and greed.  I can’t in fact say it any clearer than this.  Buy this book, read it and then come and tell me what you think.  I finished this story with tears in my eyes.  I was happy-sad.  Happy to read such a good book that just overwhelmed me and sad because it was all over and I wanted more.  Ooh, the book hangover!  Would I recommend this book – oh yes, without a doubt.

I received a copy, through Netgalley,  courtesy of the publisher, for which my thanks.  The above is my own opinion.

Weekly Wrap Up : 17/03/19

Posted On 17 March 2019

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Lots more rain again this week and Storm Gareth! I’ve not had a bad week all told.  I’ve tried to get ahead with some of my blog schedule.  I’ve updated the Friday Face Off list of themes and also read three books.

My books:

  1. The Strawberry Thief (Chocolat #4) by Joanne Harris
  2. The Confessions of Frannie Langton by Sara Collins
  3. The Dollmaker by Nina Allan

Next week’s reads:

  1. Holy Sister by Mark Lawrence
  2. Aching God (Iconoclasts #1) by Mike Shel

Currently reading:

  1. Holy Sister by Mark Lawrence

Upcoming reviews:

  1. The Strawberry Thief (Chocolat #4) by Joanne Harris
  2. The Confessions of Frannie Langton by Sara Collins
  3. The Dollmaker by Nina Allan

I’d love to know what you’re reading this week.

Read all About It: Wyrd and Wonder

Posted On 16 March 2019

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Wyrd and Wonder

Dragon – by kasana86

Wyrd and Wonder is an event that runs during the month of May and celebrates all things fantasy.

There are no strings attached to this event.  You can contribute as much as you like, join in with readalongs, topple your tbrs, watch and discuss movies or just generally get involved in any other way you fancy.

More details of the event can be found here and the Twitter account is @wyrdandwonder .

In terms of my books for the month I’ll be hoping to read and review:

  1. A Brightness Long Ago by Guy Gavriel Kay
  2. The Poison Song (The Winnowing Flame Trilogy 3) by Jen Williams
  3. Council by Snorri Kristjansson
  4. The Fall by Tracy Townsend

Probably more but I’m erring on the side of caution.

I’ll also be reading my final two finalists for the SPFBO competition and in fact the winner should be announced at the end of the month so that will be really interesting.  More details of the SPFBO finalists here.

On top of that I’m hoping to undertake a personal challenge – I’ve not decided exactly what yet.

I hope you all take part and I look forward to all the discussions and sharing of everything that is fantastic.


Friday Face Off : ‘Beware the moon, lads.’

Posted On 15 March 2019

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Here we are again with the Friday Face Off meme created by Books by Proxy .  This is a great opportunity to feature some of your favourite book covers.  The rules are fairly simple each week, following a predetermined theme (list below) choose a book, compare a couple of the different covers available for that particular book and choose your favourite.   Future week’s themes are listed below – the list has been updated to help out those of you who like to plan ahead – if you have a cover in mind that you’re really wanting to share then feel free to leave a comment about a future suggested theme.  I’ve also listed events that take place during the year, that I’m aware of, so you can link up your covers – if you’re aware of any events that you think I should include then give me a shout.  This week’s theme:

‘Beware the moon, lads.’ – A cover with a shapeshifter

Hopefully this week’s theme wasn’t too much of a struggle.  Shapeshifting is a fairly well used theme in the world of fantasy.  This week I’ve gone with : Bitten (Otherworld #1) by Kelley Armstrong.  I’ve only read the first in the series and that was some time ago.  I didn’t continue, not because I didn’t like the book, more because I think I had so many series on the go at the particular time – have you read this series?  Do you think I should return to it?

The covers:

The top right corner is the version that I read.

The covers I like best are:

My favourite this week is:


I also really like the simplicity of the black cover with the spots of blood.

Which one is your favourite?

Like last week I’ve added a Mr Linky here so that you can leave a link if you wish or please leave me a link in the comments so we can all visit and check out each others covers.  Thanks

I’ve updated the list and included themes through to the end of 2019 – I’ve also included events that I’m aware of so that you can perhaps link your themes up where possible (if you know of an event you’d like to share that let me know in the comments).  I also have a list prepared for 2020 and so will set up a separate page soon for forthcoming themes.  As always, if you wish to submit an idea then leave me a comment.

Next week – A cover featuring a king

Future themes: (if you’re struggling with any of these themes then use a ‘freebie’ of one of your favourite covers)


22nd March – ‘A horse, a horse, my kingdom for a horse’ – A cover featuring a king

29th March – “I thought unicorns were more . . . Fluffy.”  – A cover featuring a unicorn

5th April – ‘nomad is an island’ – A cover featuring a desert landscape

12th April – ‘Odin, Odin, send the wind to turn the tide – A cover featuring a longboat

19th April – ‘It was the best of times, it was the worst of times – A cover featuring a school

26th April “The sunrise was the colour of bad blood” – A cover featuring a sunrise/sunset

(May is the month of Wyrd and Wonder – details here, Twitter: @wyrdandwonder)

3rd May  – “How sweet to be a cloud, floating in the blue” – A cover that is predominantly blue

10th May  – “As full of spirit as the month of May” – A cover featuring a festival/party/celebration

17th May –  “The dark fire will not avail you, flame of Udûn. Go back to the Shadow!” – A cover featuring a fantasy beast

24th May – “bibbity, bobbity, boo” – A cover that features ‘magical things’

31st May –  “simples” – A favourite fantasy cover 

7th June  – “One swallow does not make a summer” – A cover that makes you think of Summer 

14th June – “Coraline opened the box of chocolates. The dog looked at them longingly.” – A cover featuring something sweet

21st June – Summer Solstice – the longest day of the year – Pagan rituals/standing stones/blazing suns – a cover with your own interpretation

28th June – “And who decided which people wore the striped pyjamas” – A cover that is striped

5th July – “The question of whether or not we are alone in the universe… has been answered” –  a cover featuring something/somebody historic 

12th July – A wrap around cover

19th July – “You can’t choose between life and death when we’re dealing with what is in between.” – A cover that is grainy or looks like ‘white noise’

26th July – “Ludo ….. down” – A cover that is Upside Down

2nd August – “There are children here somewhere. I can smell them.” A cover featuring children

9th August – “I’m disinclined to acquiesce to your request.” – A cover featuring Pirates

16th August – “The haft of the arrow had been feathered with one of the eagles own plumes” – a cover featuring feathers

23rd August – A cover that is a movie tie in

30th August – “I wandered lonely as a cloud” – a cover that is predominantly yellow

6th September “Warm September brings the fruit” – a cover that is seasonal for Autumn/Fall

13th September – Friday the 13th – unlucky for some!  A cover with ‘curse’ in the title

20th September – “Your hair is winter fire,January embers.” – A cover featuring hair

27th September – Freebie

4th October – “Feed me Seymour” – A cover that is 60s horror

11th October – ““And, though there should be a world of difference between the smile of a man and the bared fangs of a wolf, with Joss Merlyn they were one and the same.”  – a cover featuring an Inn

18th October – “It’s your favorite scary movie, remember? He had on the white mask, he stalked the babysitters.” – A cover featuring a scream

25th October – for Halloween – pick any scary cover you like

(I’m hoping that November will once again bring to us SciFiMonth – Twitter @SciFiMonth)

1st November – A cover that is predominantly grey

8th November – “big badda boom” – a cover that features an explosion

15th November – “No thinking thing should be another thing’s property, to be turned on and off when it is convenient.” – a cover featuring a robot

22nd November – A cover that is Futuristic

29th November – “When a day that you happen to know is Wednesday starts off by sounding like Sunday, there is something seriously wrong somewhere.” – a cover that is 60s sci fi

6th December – Now is the winter of our discontent, Made glorious summer by this sun of York”  – a cover that puts you in mind of winter

13th December – A cover that features a temple/or religious icon

20th December – Longest Night –  a dark and foreboding cover

27th December – the festive season – a cover that is glittery or sparkling

(2020 – January is Vintage SciFi month so I’ll be including possible themes to take that on board.)

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