New Book Arrivals and My Goodreads Challenge

Last year I won some great books through Twitter and Goodreads and here are some of them. They will keep me busy for a while!. I have so many books on my To-Read list that I think I am going to have to up my Goodreads book challenge. It’s currently set at 30 books which I thought was about right for me considering I have a new baby on the way, but I have currently read 4 Books this year so far! 
                               
After a lot of thinking I have decided to up my reading to challenge to 50 books for 2016. This gives me about  week to read one book. I think that’s about fair. I love the Goodreads website as it gives me encouragement to look back over what books I have read so far and also inspiration for trying new authors and books I might not have considered.
I would love to hear about your Goodreads challenges. How many books would you like to read in 2016? How do you discover new books to put on your To-Read list?
Happy Reading! 

Book Review: Every Fifteen Minutes by Lisa Scottoline

I have been doing my usual browsing through Bookbridgr (a resource for book-loving bloggers) again and found Every Fifteen Minutes by Lisa Scottoline waiting to be requested for review. 
My first impressions of the cover before I read the blurb was that it must be set in some kind of hospital setting and that it looks like a dark, tense psychological thriller. I love the little phrases placed cleverly on the front cover ‘Would you know a sociopath if you met one?’  The answer I would give would be no. From my limited knowledge sociopaths can live all around us like everyday people. This made the book even more intriguing to me and one I couldn’t wait to start reading.                         
               

Book Description:

I plan everything. I set everyone in motion, and when the moment comes, I strike.
Psychologist Dr Eric Parrish is unwittingly under threat.
Recently separated from his wife, Eric is learning to become a single parent to his seven-year-old daughter, and life is far from straightforward.
Now Eric has a new patient who could be a severe danger to others. And he must make a decision that will leave deadly consequences in its wake.
The clock is ticking, and someone is hell bent on destroying Eric’s practice, his family, his life.
But how can you defend yourself against an enemy you don’t know?
And can you ever win a game you don’t even know you are playing?

My Review:

I loved the way this book started. The first chapter is told through the eyes of a sociopath. It’s dark, tense and gives you the feeling that this book is going to be a ride of twists and turns you don’t expect. The author does not let you down at all. It was so hard to put down.
The main character in the book is Dr Eric Parrish, he is the Chief of a Psychiatric Unit at a hospital, and also has his own private practice at his house. Eric just wants to help people and his patients mean a lot to him. He is currently fighting for custody of his 7 year old daughter with his ex wife, so has lots going on in his private life. This doesn’t stop him from being there 24/7 for his new patient Max, who is needing lots of help. 
Throughout the book, Eric finds himself caught up in lots of predicaments, while he is only just trying to help those around him. As the book went on I felt a bit sorry for Eric and how nothing seems to go right for him, in his personal and professional life. From a reader’s point of view he seemed slightly clueless at times of what was happening around him, and I really felt the need to scream at him!
Overall the book was well written, gave me the chills and has the best unexpected ending of a book I have read in a long time. It’s the type of novel that left me thinking and stayed with me for a while afterwards.
I have given Every Fifteen Minutes by Lisa Scottoline 4 out of 5 stars.
Paperback Edition 496 pages
Published 19th November 2015 by Headline

Disclaimer: All the views and opinion’s expressed are my own. Book supplied by Bookbridgr for purpose of this review only. Book description taken from Bookbridgr for purpose of this review only.

Book Review: Bairdston by Robert Cook

Bairdston

I requested to read this book through Netgalley as I thought the cover looked interesting and I love to read young adult novels from time to time.

Book Description:
Karim and Salima Kufdani have survived the streets of Tangier on their own. Orphaned and alone they’ve found their own way, until a fateful night and a cafe brawl see them shipped away from everything they’ve ever known. Now in the cold, barren expanse of Scotland, Karim and Salima must learn to navigate the waters of the exclusive Bairdston School and cross a cultural divide neither ever expected to face.

Can Karim overcome the vendetta of a coach who doesn’t want him on the team? Will anyone ever accept uneducated Salima for the prodigy she really is?

A story of love, acceptance and perseverance, Bairdston asks if the principles of peace and the virtues of intelligence can ever truly light the darkest of all places.

Award-winning novelist, Robert Cook paints an irresistible portrait of teen life in a Muslim meets Western world. Bairdston is a triumphant tale that will capture readers and leave them breathless with every exhilarating page. 

My Review:
I’m not sure where to start with this book. It is rather strange!
Two Muslim teens, brother and sister Karim and Salima Kufdani are saved from the rough and dangerous streets of Morocco by Cooch and his team. They want to educate the siblings in subjects such as Martial Arts and Maths. After they have learned the basics they are shipped off to a boarding school in Scotland called Bairdston, where Cooch wants them to learn to live in a Westernised world. Learn to live, eat and play with others.
I think the book lacked a plot and all the way through I wasn’t quite sure where it was leading. I would have loved to have heard more about the siblings background, but this seemed to have been missed out.
I did however like the way the story was told from each of the brother’s and sister’s eyes and how they saw the Western world and people around them.

I have given Bairdston by Robert Cook 3 out of 5 stars

Kindle Edition
Published 7th December 2015 by Royal Wulff Publishing

MamaMummyMum


Disclaimer:  All the views and opinions expressed are my own. Book description taken from Netgalley for purpose of this review only. Netgalley kindly supplied a Kindle edition for this review free of charge.

View all my reviews

Book Review: Dead Ringers by Christopher Golden

Every so often I love to browse through all the books on bookbridgr to see what new books are out and what I like the look of. Sometimes its very hard not to request to read more than I can handle! It’s always so tempting!
What caught my eye about Dead Ringers by Christopher Golden was not only the cover which contains a weird creepy house (my favourite type of horror books) but also the authors name Christopher Golden, as I have read one of his other novels Snowblind. I was so pleased when Dead Ringers arrived in the post from bookbridgr knowing that I had been approved to read and review it.
                     

Book Description

When Tess Devlin bumps into her ex-husband, she’s furious that he seems not to know her.

And then Frank Lindbergh is attacked by an intruder in his home … an intruder who wears Frank’s face.

In the heart of the city, a mansion stands on a hill and behind its wrought-iron fence an evil force is at work, leaving everyone who comes near it hysterical with fear.

But the real terror lies inside the house. Tess and Frank have no choice but to confront a mistake made years ago. A mistake that summoned an ancient evil … and means even their own reflections could kill them. 



My Review

The book starts off with a really strange prologue with someone breaking into Frank Lindbergh’s house who looks like a mirror image of him. By the end of the creepy prologue I was hooked. Chapter one introduces you to the main character of the book – Tess Devlin and her encounter on the street with a man who happens to look exactly like her ex-husband Nick. From here on Tess’s best friend Lili also sees someone who could be her twin, and Tess herself comes face to face with her doppelganger. At this point I had more questions than answers and this is what I love about a great book!
My first thoughts were, is this book about long lost identical twins being brought together by some mystical force somehow?
I was eager to carry on with the story and find out what was going on and why everyone seemed afraid of the massive house in the middle of the city. How were Tess and Frank connected to it? and how/if they were able to put everything right.
One of the scary things about this book is identity theft, and how is easy it seemed for others to actually think they were talking to ‘Frank or Tess’ and how hard it was to tell them apart from the real people. To me this rings easily with today’s world in how easily innocent people’s identity can be stolen by identity fraud.
Overall Dead Ringers is one creepy, mystical scary story and I really enjoyed the ride. My only negative about the book is that some of the characters were not necessarily needed and we didn’t get to hear all of their background stories. The book is well written and the locations described perfectly. 
I have given Dead Ringers by Christopher Golden 4 out of 5 stars.
Paperback Edition 320 pages
Published 3rd November by Headline
MamaMummyMum


Disclaimer: All the views and opinons expressed are my own. Book supplied by Bookbridgr for purpose of this review only. Book description taken from bookbridgr for purpose of this review only.

Book Review: The Other Boy by Ian and Rosi Taylor

I was browsing through the Goodreads giveaways and came across this chilling supernatural novella so I entered and was lucky to have won a copy. Here is my honest review.
I am a huge fan of novellas and short stories. I think it takes a very special writer to get their story across in a limited number of words. Novellas are too long to be a short story but too short to be a novel. So perfect for reading in a day when you have a few spare hours. Unlike short stories novellas have more room to develop the characters and plot slightly more. 
What fascinated me about The Other Boy by Ian and Rosi Taylor was at first the mysterious yet also chilling and scary cover, then I read the blurb and thought, wow this looks like a great little read! So when I was lucky enough to win a copy I was over the moon!
                     

Book Description

Desperate to save their crumbling marriage, Will and Alice Harding retreat to an isolated cottage in the English countryside.

A landscape of standing stones and holy wells provides perfect fodder for the fertile imagination of their seven-year-old son, Toby. Toby vanishes before his father’s astonished eyes only to reappear, with an impossible explanation for his disappearance. 
Soon, Alice notices that her son is different, changing into a monstrous stranger. Her fears are compounded when a hooded figure is seen skulking around their troubled new home. Over the days that follow, Alice fears for her own sanity, as local tales of dark magic and sacrifice appear to be true. 
Will suspects that his wife is mentally collapsing as a result of his past infidelity. With their marriage stretched to breaking point, the Hardings stand to lose more than just each other, as Toby deteriorates further with every passing hour, feeding the vengeful spirit of… The Other Boy 
My Review

Husband and wife Alice and Will have moved with their 7 year old son Toby to a remote part of the countryside to have a new start and hopefully save their marriage. Creepy things start to happen when Toby goes missing in front of his fathers eyes in an empty field while they are out exploring. This is when the novella really starts kicking up a gear and gets more frightening by the minute. Folklore, magic, paganism and local tales all play a part in this novella. 
For the limited amount of words available I believe that the plot doesn’t suffer at all, although the character of Simon who is the families neighbour could have been developed more. I would have loved to have found out his background and how he came to live at Boggarts Hall by himself.
The Other Boy is a well written novella and one myself I couldn’t put down until the end. Highly recommended for that quick fix of horror, magic and the supernatural.

I have given The Other Boy by Ian and Rosi Taylor 5 out of 5 stars.
Paperback Edition 126 pages
Published 10th November 2015 by Dark Chapter Press
Rachel xx

Disclaimer:  All the views and opinion’s expressed are my own. Book Description taken from Goodreads for the purpose of this review only.

MamaMummyMum

Looking Back Over 2015

2015 has been a very up and down year for me but there are a few things that have turned the year around. It was back in March that I started my little blog up. I had a very trying January and February so decided to take my mind off things by starting blogging. I wasn’t quite sure where my niche would be in the world of blogging, so I decided to blog about what I love to do and that is entering competitions, reading any type of book and gardening. So Book Lover, Competition Addict and Gardening Enthusiast was born. I am still not 100% happy with the name so that is something I’m going to work on this year.

I have won lots of competitions throughout this year as feel so lucky to have done so, although around the summer I took a bit of a comping break due to the severe morning sickness I had and the tiredness that crept upon me. 
Which leads me on to the best part of 2015 and that was finding out I was pregnant with our first baby – a girl! 
She could arrive any day now that I’m 37 weeks so the word excitement is very understated at the moment! 
As soon as I hit my second trimester I began to feel so much better and had that enthusiasm to enter as many baby competitions as I could and I won quite a few great things. The biggest baby win was winning the toddler bed, it is so adorable with a bears face as the headboard. I went on to win lots of nappies, baby clothes, a couple of changing bag sets and various nappy rash creams and ointments. Not forgetting for me, a mum to be pregnancy pamper set, nursing bra, bump band and a maternity nightdress. 

         

Before I started my maternity leave ( which officially started yesterday!) I took my 4 weeks annual holiday due to me from work which started at the beginning of December. This was perfect for me as I had lots of time to rest up and enter all the advent competitions I could find. But unfortunately I had very little luck this year and only won a set of sauces and chutneys on a Twitter advent competition. I did better winning on the ordinary competitions throughout December. These included a set of childrens books, chocolates, a case of 9BAR energy bars, a necklace and a DVD. 

                           
            
I wish you all lots of luck and a Happy New Year.
Rachel xx

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