Tag Archive | #Goodreads

Goodreads 2019 Book 100 ‘Zak – My Boy Wonder

Zak, My Boy WonderZak, My Boy Wonder by Deb McEwan

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Book 100 of my Goodreads Challenge 2019

Dr. Seuss was right when he said
‘Why fit in when you were born to stand out?’
Zak certainly stands out, he truly is a ‘Boy Wonder’ he is thoughtful and caring and even though he has endured countless operations since being born his smiles will still manage to melt your heart. A truly inspirational young man.

This is a heart-wrenching story, more so than any other book I have ever read because sadly it is TRUE! This is a memoir unlike any other and it has taken thirteen years for Jo to feel she has the strength and the time to share her story with us. The story of how she and her family have overcome so many obstacles when bringing a critically ill baby into the world.

The book although not terribly long is dotted throughout with images of Zak right from birth and as he grows and goes through ever more operations so his smile grows and reaches into your very soul.

The parts that stand out for me are those where Zak has undergone another major operation and awakes to ask for food. The boy always seems to be hungry but then that has to be a good sign.

You cannot help but fall in love with this young man and his family, a truly inspirational story. Very highly recommended.

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Don’t judge a book by its cover. ‘Songbird’

56 Songbird

Songbird by Julia Bell

Songbird (The Songbird Story #1)Songbird by Julia Bell

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Book 56 of my Goodreads Challenge 2019

I cannot believe it has taken me so long to get around to reading this story. It has been on my kindle since 2016. I found it to be a truly compelling story, one I found difficult to put down once I had begun reading it. I was forever striving to find out what was going to happen at the next turn of the page.

Carmen is the first opera I was really introduced to, and the mention of different opera’s within this story had me looking into booking more visits to the theatre. You would not believe the different opera’s I have been sampling over on YouTube.

This is a tragically beautiful story, with strong characters. Isabelle is such a powerful lead, although I did think I might be shocked after reading the opening line.

‘I was twenty-one years old when I sold my baby.’

My reason for giving this book just four stars was because the cover did not grab me, if it had then I am sure I would have read this several times by now.

This is a truly mesmerising, addictive and compelling read and one thing I take from this is ‘Don’t judge a book by its cover.’

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Julia Bell

56 Julia Bell

I’ve written stories all my life, but I started to write seriously over twenty years ago and now I have ten novels online. I always advertise my stories as romances with attitude, that is, they have a twist in them that often takes a reader by surprise. My romances aren’t fluffy although they have the strong, independent heroine and attractive hero. This is a summary of my novels.

Deceit of Angels – set at the end of the twentieth century.
To Guide Her Home – time travel romance
If Birds Fly Low – supernatural.
Nyssa’s Promise – paranormal.
A Pearl Comb for a Lady – a three-in-one story which follows three very unique women through two centuries of love and betrayal.
Songbird & A Tangle of Echoes – a two-book story that follows the life of an ambitious woman who commits a heartbreaking act that haunts her for many years to come.
The Wild Poppy, Broken Blossoms and When Lucy Ceased to Be – historical romances with a family theme.

Just a little about myself. I’m a member of Goodreads and ALLi and for four years I was a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association. I’ve lived in Yorkshire, England, for most of my life although I have lived in other parts of the UK too i.e. Devon, Gloucestershire and Birmingham. I have two grown children, and five grandchildren. I do hope you enjoy my novels and can spare the time to leave a review on Amazon.

Happy reading

Julia Bell


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2019 Goodreads Challenge ‘Feral Moon’

‘Feral Moon’ – Book 2 in the Dark Woods Series

by Sherri A. Wingler

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Click the image above to enlarge the teaser from ‘Feral Moon’. Check out my Goodreads Review below.

Feral Moon: Book 2 of The Dark Woods seriesFeral Moon: Book 2 of The Dark Woods series by Sherri A. Wingler

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Book 28 of my Goodreads Challenge 2019

WOW! ‘Feral Moon’ is another beautifully crafted sequel, which I have been longing to devour. It certainly does not disappoint. I absolutely LOVE this twist in the tale, of The Wolf & Red Riding Hood story.

In this, the second book from the ‘Dark Woods Series’ Ms Wingler shows us a more sensitive side to Grey. Along with his very adaptable wolf, whom Grey tells us is…

‘…sneaking out of his cage while I slept and gathering information’

There are so many moving and heartfelt descriptions throughout the entirety of this story. I found it to be a wonderful balance of violence (it is about a bad ass wolf after all) and tenderness.

‘I dropped Red’s pillow… the faint scent of peaches and rain washed over me.’

The ‘peaches and rain’ description first appeared in Book One ‘Crimson Moon
and it is a description that has stayed with me throughout both books. The image is so provocative; I can almost smell the aroma floating up from the pages as I read, simply beautiful.

Several very powerful scenes had me at times close to tears. I even at one point found my allegiance swaying over to one of the bad guys. This author certainly knows how to mess with your mind. So many things I really did not see coming, this book certainly packs a punch. I really cannot say anymore, without giving away some of the story. You will just have to grab yourself a copy and read it for yourselves.

For those of you who like modern day fairytales with a bite, then this book series will not disappoint. I’m just waiting for a print version now, to sit on my book-shelf of favourites along with Book One of ‘The Dark Woods Series – Crimson Moon’

**My heartfelt thanks go to the author, for allowing me a sneak peek of this wonderful book. It was great reading it on kindle but I am really REALLY looking forward to purchasing a print copy.

View my 2019 Goodreads Challenge –>> Here

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To get you in the mood

Happy Reading



29 Goodreads ‘A Treasury of British Folklore’

29 British Foklore 01

A Treasury of British Folklore: Maypoles, Mandrakes & MistletoeA Treasury of British Folklore: Maypoles, Mandrakes & Mistletoe

by Dee Dee Chainey

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Book 29 of my Goodreads Challenge

This is a beautiful little treasure trove of a book, split into three parts giving a wonderful and varied selection of tales from British Folklore.

Part One: Of the Land, Plants and Animals

29 British Foklore 04

An apt place to begin with short insights into the seasons and the folkloric year. For example did you know that

… a sneeze on Wednesday in Hertfordshire means a letter is coming.

Part Two: Witchcraft, Magic and Heroic Tales

29 British Foklore 03

This section also includes several ghosts and hauntings along with various versions of stories of the hauntings of the Hell Hound

Part Three: The Milestones of Life

29 British Foklore 02

This sections as expected covers births and deaths, love and marriage etc. One thing that interested me here was the prominent part that cheese seems to play in a birth ceremony often called ‘the groaning cheese’

In Oxfordshire, a ring was cut into the middle of the cheese, and the child would be passed through it for luck on their christening day.

Where to find Folklore
This wonderful list of festivals can be found at the end of the book. Each festival is listed under the month in which it is celebrated, and often includes a link for further information.

All in all a beautiful book with simple black and white illustrations dotted throughout. Great for dipping in and out of at your leisure.

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28 Goodreads ‘Underwater’

28 Underwater.jpg

I read this book as it is now titled ‘Underwater: The prequel stories to the novel ‘Thicker Than Water’ by Rachel McLean but it was originally called ‘The Flood’

The Flood: A Companion to the Novel 'Exile'The Flood: A Companion to the Novel ‘Exile’ by Rachel McCollin

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Book 28 of my Goodreads Challenge


This book is a very short story, teasing you into reading the full novel ‘Thicker Than Water’.

It is the beginning of the tale of a family having to leave their London home after a devastating storm floods the city. They are calling it ‘Hurricane Victoria’.

Jess her mother Sonia, brother Ben and his girlfriend Ruth all set out along with many others to leave the capital. The group with little food and few possessions set out walking north to seek out family in Leeds and hopefully find a safe haven. But they encounter several hardships along the way, will all the group be able to make it safe and sound?

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27 Goodreads ‘Wings of Defiance’

27 Immortal Sorrows

Wings of Defiance: Book 3 of The Immortal Sorrows seriesWings of Defiance: Book 3 of The Immortal Sorrows series by Sherri A. Wingler

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Book 27 of my Goodreads Challenge


This is Book 3 in the Immortal Sorrows Series, you really should read books 1 & 2 before this one though in order to understand what is happening.

The focus this time is on the Dark Reaper Grim (who by the way is sexy as hell) and his relationship with Gwen equally as gorgeous. She lost her best friend and is trying to come to terms with all that is happing in a world where paranormal is becoming a normal way of life for her.

I love the writing of this author so many memorable lines within each book, below is just one outstanding line I wil remember for a long time,

‘She lay the yellow rose between the graves with a heavy sigh, a splash of sunlight on the barren ground.’


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About the Author Sherri A. Wingler

Sherri Wingler is the author of Wings of Darkness, Book 1 of The Immortal Sorrows series. She lives and works (way more than full-time) in Indiana. She shares her home with her husband, Steve, way too many rescued kitty cats, two geriatric dogs, and a co-dependent Shih-Tzu named Spanky. (Without Spanky’s help, Wings of Darkness would have been finished much sooner!)

When she isn’t working in the real world, or writing stories to keep herself entertained, her spare time is spent raising money for her local Humane Society, in the hopes that she can save at least a few little critters.

Visit Sherri on WordPress by clicking HERE

Wings of Darkness

Wings of Shadow

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26 Goodreads ‘Acquainted with Butterflies

180503 Aquainted with Butterflies

Acquainted With Butterflies: A Collection of Short Stories, Personal Essays & PoetryAcquainted With Butterflies: A Collection of Short Stories, Personal Essays & Poetry by J.C. Wing

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Book 26 of my Goodreads Challenge

I absolutely fell in love with the book cover, a beautiful butterfly that stretched over the front and back once the book was opened out.

The book consists of a collection of short stories, personal essays and poetry some of which I absolutely loved. ‘Cold Feet’ was a great read something unique I had not come across before a tale of a wedding from different points of view.

I loved the poem:-

‘The Color of the Ocean’

The rays of sun, so warm and bright
a shiny ribbon of gold.
The water caresses the wet sand below
and the waves tell tales untold.

There is probably something here for everyone a light read that can be picked up and read in small snippets. From the funny short story ‘Letters to the Couch’ to stories full of suspense and horror such as ‘The Surprise Getaway’.

For me the personal essays were not really my thing, perhaps a little too intimate. But many did bring back memories of songs that were mentioned throughout. The author’s only real link with her father was their great love of music.

Worth checking out but to find out more visit JC’s blog spot http://jcwingandthegoddess.blogspot.com/

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25 Goodreads The Island Dog Squad

The Island Dog Squad by Deb McEwan

This has to be one of my favourite books of the year, I even took a couple along to this year’s UK Indie Lit Fest to display on the International Table. Deb very kindly donated some prizes in the form of the wonderful one of a kind caps as seen in the picture below.

Island Dogs 01

My Goodreads Challenge Review

The Island Dog Squad: (Book 1: Sandy's Story)

The Island Dog Squad: by Deb McEwan

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Book 25 of my Goodreads Challenge

This is a story for dog lovers both young and old. But be warned as well as it being comical, at times it is also rather heart-wrenching too. Probably advisable for readers 10+

The author’s own dog Sandy is a rescued dog, and the inspiration behind the book. The tale is told from the dog’s point of view.

After almost drowning as a pup, Sandy is initially rescued by military personnel. She proves to be a very intelligent little dog and undergoes training on the base. Sadly the poor dog ends up having some horrendous experiences. Sandy ends up on the streets almost at deaths door; she has no memory of who she is or where she came from.

Luckily Sandy is found and taken to a rescue shelter, and from there she is adopted by Ellie and Ben. She loves her people parents and just wants to settle into a new life with them. However, she begins to suffer nightmares and slowly her memories begin to return but they are not pleasant.

I love how the author interweaves mystery and intrigue into a captivating tale, along with a dog’s eye view of the world. Sandy’s thoughts on her people parents are simply adorable, particularly when she begins to learn more about them. Here is just one of her thoughts:-

‘I was to discover Ellie was a vegivore and a chocivore.’

Such great fun and very highly recommended.

As a special treat I recommend you visit Deb’s website and check out the real Sandy’s Dog Blog



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24 Goodreads ‘Sins of the Father’

Sins of the Father (Children from the Streets #2)Sins of the Father by Maria Gibbs

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a phenomenal book and I will return to write my review real soon

Note best to read Book 1 first from the series ‘Children From The Streets’ both are heart-wrenching stories inspired by TRUE EVENTS Love then both equally.

Book 24 of my Goodreads Challenge

People often say books that follow on in a series are not as good as the first, but I beg to differ. I think this could even be better than Book 1 and that was an AMAZING heartfelt story too.

A Boy from the Streets

Book 1 A Boy from the Streets is the story of twins Jose and Pedro separated at birth one taken into a life of priveledge, the other left as a Street Child in Brasil. All were children who saw and experienced things that no youngster should ever have to witness or be part of.

In this Book 2, Sins of the Father all the boys are now grown men, but the story centres around Carlos the oldest of the brothers. His story is truly heartwrenching and to try and overcome his nightmares his brother Pedro suggests he write all his experiences down. The opening line drew me in:-

‘Ghostly echoes of my past whispered across the ages.’

As the young man begins to recall in detail his past life a whole can of worms is opened up. For the first time in his life Carlos finds himself drunk and ends up in prison.

However, his family are extremely supportive and with their help and the making of a new friend things start to change. But will a face from the past throw a spanner in the works and cause Carlos to fall ever deeper into his nightmares?

You will just have to read the series to find out, but read book 1 first. Both books are VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

I own this series in paperback and they look fab on my shelf of favourites. I’ve already read book 1 three times now, I love it so much. I urge you to try it for yourselves.

Children from the Streets Pic1

Visit my Blog to find out more about ‘A Boy From The Streets’ Book 1


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23 Goodreads ‘Still Life with Rice’

Still Life With Rice: A Young American Woman Discovers the Life and Legacy of Her Korean GrandmotherStill Life With Rice: A Young American Woman Discovers the Life and Legacy of Her Korean Grandmother by Helie Lee

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Book 23 of my Goodreads Challenge 2018

I rather enjoyed this memoir although I did dip into it in small chunks, so it took a while to read. The trials and hardships that this authors grandmother faced read more like fiction than true life.

It was a little heavy going with all the drugs and religion. But thinking back now there are some horrendous images that the text conjured up and they still linger in my memory, always a sign of a good book.

A bit of a challenging read for me but I am glad I read it.

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