What I’ve been Reading this Last Week

Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve had a few spare ‘rare’ moments where I’ve picked up a book and a novella for reading. When I was asked if I wanted to review Let Them Eat Dirt by B Brett Finlay and Marie-Claire Arrieta, it was not a book I could turn down. I have always been interested in Science especially diseases, microbes and health since my biology teacher at school introduced me to cells! I do think in another lifetime I would have entered a career in the Science field. As a matter of fact it was only a couple of years ago that I had to stop doing my Open University degree in the Sciences due to limiting funds.

I have also been catching up on a little novella by Australian author Bridgett Leslie called Twelve Bells. If you love reading as much as I do but have limited time, novella’s are wonderful short stories that are perfect to fill a little gap.

 

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Book Review: The Reflections of Queen Snow White by David Meredith

I was approached by the author David Meredith to have a look at his ebook The Reflections of The Queen Snow White, to see what I thought of it and to write a review on my findings. The book cover is a beautiful painting of an older Queen Snow White looking into a pond, the artwork is by Matt Hughes and is just stunning, but don’t be fooled by the pretty cover. A pretty cover does not mean a nice and fluffy fairytale! 


Book Description


On the eve of her only daughter, Princess Raven’s wedding, an ageing Snow White finds it impossible to share in the joyous spirit of the occasion. The ceremony itself promises to be the most glamorous social event of the decade. Snow White’s castle has been meticulously scrubbed, polished and opulently decorated for the celebration. It is already nearly bursting with jubilant guests and merry well-wishers. Prince Edel, Raven’s fiance, is a fine man from a neighbouring kingdom and Snow White’s own domain is prosperous and at peace. Things could not be better, in fact, except for one thing:

The king is dead.

The queen has been in a moribund state of hopeless depression for over a year with no end in sight. It is only when, in a fit of bitter despair, she seeks solitude in the vastness of her own sprawling castle and climbs a long disused and forgotten tower stair that she comes face to face with herself in the very same magic mirror used by her stepmother of old.

It promises her respite in its shimmering depths, but can Snow White trust a device that was so precious to a woman who sought to cause her such irreparable harm? Can she confront the demons of her own difficult past to discover a better future for herself and her family? And finally, can she release her soul-crushing grief and suffocating loneliness to once again discover what “happily ever after” really means?

Only time will tell as she wrestles with her past and is forced to confront The Reflections of Queen Snow White. 

My Review

I have always loved the story of Snow White so I jumped at the chance to read and review this great looking short story/novella. It is based after the fairytale ending of Snow White and Prince Charming living together happily ever after. 

In this story Snow Whites Prince Charming is dead. She is overcome with grief and depression and one day comes across the magic mirror that her evil stepmother once had. She discovers through the mirror that she is a strong person and can get through this depression. 

This novella is not a nice fairytale, so if that is what you are looking for, this is not for you. It contains emotional abuse and violence and is a rather dark story. Quite disturbing in fact. Its a really thought provoking book and took me through many emotions, one minute I was upset and the next minute I felt angry. 

The Reflections of Queen Snow White is a story I am happy to keep on my Kindle for many years to come. It is definitely one I will be coming back to read again. It is very well written, the descriptions are excellent. My only criticism is that I finished too quickly!

I gave The Reflections of Queen Snow White by David Meredith 4 out of 5 stars

Kindle Edition 155 pages
Published 2nd October 2013 by David Meredith

Read With Me




Disclaimer: All the views and opinions expressed are my own. Book cover image and book description from Goodreads for purpose of this review onlyI am also a part of the Amazon Affiliate scheme so if you click on a link to Amazon and buy, I will recieve a little bit back, so thanks if you do.

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

Book Review: Rooted and Four Other Disturbing Stories

I was given an ebook copy of Rooted and Four Other Disturbing Stories by Shane Hall to read and review for my blog. A word of warning is that the short stories are not for the faint hearted!  
Product Description

“Inside are five brief and unsettling stories based on the dark, unknown corners of humanity and beyond. Five paranormal terrors await, from an impossible video rental store run by a smiling teenage girl, to the corners of reality where humans are locked away, and even to a sunny parking lot where a person who looks just like you is walking closer and closer”
My first thoughts were that the cover is very haunting and disturbing. Perfect for letting us know what type of book it’s going to be. 
I read the book in only an hour, I didn’t know the stories were going to be that short, but it was a very good scary hour. The stories are very well written, nuggets of pure gold in the horror/psychological universe. I re-read a couple of them after I finished to make sure I captured the whole picture of the story.
The first story Vivian’s Video is just plain weird, I really loved it! Next up comes How to Satisfy the Keymaker, this was my least favourite and one of the shortest. Then came John Adams Two. This one was the best, imagine meeting yourself in the car park? What would you do? The last two stories are called A Friend in the Depths and Rooted. 
I love that the stories are original. They show great talent from a new author, and I can’t wait to read more from Shane Hall. It’s a short book that I will read again one day when I am looking for a quick scare. Perfect for quick reading under the covers before bedtime, a note to parents, not suitable for children.
I have given Rooted and Four Other Disturbing Stories 5 out of 5 stars.
Rachel xx

*Disclaimer: I received this book in exchange for a honest review. All views and opinion’s expressed are my own.

Short Story Review – Edward’s First Love

I was asked by the lovely Jay Moussa-Mann if I would like to review her short story Edward’s First Love. I thought it would be a good challenge for me to review a short story as I rarely read them and have never written a review on one before. 
When I first read Edward’s First Love I thought how moving the story actually is. It’s about one of the founders of the Stockton-Darlington railway, called Edward Pease. Edward was a woollen manufacturer from Darlington who realised that a railway line from Darlington to Stockton was needed for future improvements to the industries. The night the line was due to open in 1825 something happened in Edward’s life, meaning it would never be the same again.
                       

It is a beautifully written Victorian tale that shows huge sadness, and no matter what you are doing at present, or what you have going on in life, your priorities can change immediately.
“They will come tomorrow, presenting it to the world, to the people. There will be excitement and joy and wonder. Is it wrong that I care no longer for this venture?”
There are lovely comparisons between locomotives and how the author describes the situation Edward is in. I don’t want to spoil you with too much of the details of what happens in the story, but before, Edwards first passion was locomotives, and his goal of creating the Stockton-Darlington line was all of a sudden very unimportant.
image taken from http://shortstorysunday.com/2015/01/18/edwards-first-love-by-jay-moussa-mann/
I believe the authors purpose of writing this short story is to tell us that there are more important things in our everyday lives than materialistic things. This is the message I received from reading through it. 
It is a worthwhile read, if you have some spare time. It’s one of those stories that engages you and gets you thinking. I have read it a few times over to fully understand the whole picture.
I hope you will enjoy reading it as much as I did.  Edward’s First Love
Rachel xx
*Disclaimer: I was given a copy of Edward’s First Love to review free of charge, all the opinions expressed are my own.

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