Blogtober – Sundays in bed with…… Snowed in for Christmas

Sundays in bed with is a meme hosted by Midnight Book Girl but I came across it recently on Jill’s Book Blog. It is simply a chance to share the book that is by your bed at the moment (or that you wish was by your bed). This week the book by my bed (or on the arm of my sofa) is Snowed in for Christmas by Sarah Morgan

This is my first Christmas book for this year. I love Sarah Morgan and her Christmas book last year was one of my favourite books of the year. This one is just as good but in a very different way.

Blurb from NetGalley:
She’s snowed in with the family. The only problem? They’re not her family.

A family gathering
This Christmas the Miller siblings have one goal – to avoid their family’s well-meaning questions. Ross, Alice and Clemmie have secrets that they don’t intend to share, and they are relying on each other to deflect attention.

An uninvited guest
Lucy Clarke is facing a Christmas alone, and the prospect of losing her job – unless she can win a major piece of business from Ross Miller. She’ll deliver her proposal to his family home in the Scottish Highlands and then leave. After all, she wouldn’t want to intrude on the Miller’s perfect family Christmas.

A Christmas to remember
When Lucy appears on the Miller’s snow-covered doorstep, she is mistaken for Ross’s girlfriend. But by the time the confusion is cleared up, a storm has hit and Lucy is stuck. As everyone settles in for a snowed-in Christmas, tensions bubble to the surface and suddenly Lucy finds herself facing a big family fallout with a family that isn’t hers

I’m loving the family relationships in this book. All the character, Lucy, the Miller siblings and mum Glenda are having problems and there have been several moments when I’ve felt a lump in my throat. I absolutely the character of Nanna Jean who at 86, is not changing her attitudes towards anything. She definitely reminds me of my own mother who is a very similar age.

It’s a Christmas romance and I’m fairly sure that I know how each of the characters are going to end up but it’s how they arrive there that makes Sarah Morgan’s books so special.

In a way, I regret reading this as an ARC as I think I would have enjoyed it even more in December. Maybe I’ll have to reread it then😃

What are you reading this Sunday?

This is the second post for Blogtober 2o22.

Sundays in bed with ……. Act of Oblivion

Sundays in bed with is a meme hosted by Midnight Book Girl but I came across it recently on Jill’s Book Blog. It is simply a chance to share the book that is by your bed at the moment (or that you wish was by your bed). This week the book by my bed (or on the arm of my sofa) is Act of Oblivion by Robert Harris

The book by my bed today is The Mapmaker’s Daughter by Clare Marchant

This is a historical fiction novel set just after the restoration of King Charles II when the men who condemned his father Charles I to death are being hunted down.

Blurb from the book:
1660- Colonel Edward Whalley and his son-in-law, Colonel William Goffe, cross the Atlantic. They are on the run and wanted for the murder of Charles I. Under the provisions of the Act of Oblivion, they have been found guilty in absentia of high treason.

In London, Richard Naylor, secretary of the regicide committee of the Privy Council, is tasked with hunting down the fugitives. He’ll stop at nothing until the two men are brought to justice. A reward hangs over their heads – for their capture- dead or alive.

Robert Harris is a must-read author for me although his books don’t quite always hit the spot for me. I have high hopes for this one though. So far, the two fugitives have just arrived in Massachusetts and are finding that even in the new world, the news of their crime and reward for their capture is leading to trouble. In London, Richard Naylor has just been given the task of hunting the two men down. I love the detail and the characterisation in Harris’s novels. All of the characters feel very real especially Mary Gookin, wife of Daniel Gookin who first offers the two men a place to stay. Her reluctance to have the two men spoil her reunion with her husband and disrupt her family life feels very real to me.

What are you reading this Sunday?

Sundays in bed with …… The Mapmaker’s Daughter

Sundays in bed with is a meme hosted by Midnight Book Girl but I came across it recently on Jill’s Book Blog. It is simply a chance to share the book that is by your bed at the moment (or that you wish was by your bed). This week my book is actually by my bed as we’re in the lovely town of Buxton in the Peak District. We’ve just finished performing at the Opera House which was brilliant and will be heading home later.

Our view as we are breakfast this morning

The book by my bed today is The Mapmaker’s Daughter by Clare Marchant

This is a historical fiction novel set mainly in London in 1580, a time when England was constantly worrying about the threat of a Spanish invasion and Spanish plots to overthrow Queen Elizabeth in favour of her catholic cousin, Mary Queen of Scots. This is one from my Net Galley shelf and I need to get it read and reviewed soon as it’s due to be published on Sept 1st.

Blurb from the book:
Present day: When thirty-six-year-old Robyn Willoughby discovers an exquisite yet blood-stained Tudor map in her father’s antique map shop, desperate for a distraction from her problems, she decides to investigate. But as Robyn delves into the mystery, she finds herself caught up in a centuries-old secret – one that will change her life forever.

1569: Forced to flee Holland to escape persecution, twenty-year-old Freida Ortelius uses her mapmaking skills to start anew in London. Soon her rare talent catches the eye of Queen Elizabeth, who demands Freida’s help in fighting the Spanish threat. Freida must now embark on a deadly mission, the consequences of which will echo down the ages…

I do love a dual timeline story. This is the story of Robyn who is still recovering from the disappearance of her husband during a sailing race seven years previously and the story of Freida who creates a map for Sir Francis Drake. It’s mainly Freida’s story but the story of how Robyn pieces together the history of the map is fascinating. A great read so far.

What are you reading this Sunday?

Sundays in bed with …….. Godmersham Park

Sundays in bed with is a meme hosted by Midnight Book Girl but I came across it recently on Jill’s Book Blog. It is simply a chance to share the book that is by your bed at the moment (or that you wish was by your bed). This week the book on the arm of my sofa is Godmersham Park by Gill Hornby

I really liked Miss Austen last year by Gill Hornby and I’ve seen some good reviews about this latest novel inspired by the letters of Jane Austen.

Blurb from the book:
January 1804: Anne Sharp arrives at Godmersham Park in Kent to take up the position of governess

At thirty-one years old she has no previous experience of either teaching or fine country houses. But her mother has died and she desperately needs an independent income if she is to survive.

Her new role is awkward: she is neither one of the servants nor one of the family. A single wrong move may result in her instant dismissal.

She has just begun to settle into her position when dashing Henry Austen and his youngest sister Jane come to stay. Both take an immediate interest in the pretty, clever governess who quickly becomes drawn into the above-stairs life of the Austen family.

Despite her best endeavours, Anne finds that she is beginning to fall in love. But has her survival at Godmersham Park just become a good deal more precarious?

I love the way Gill Hornby has created a wholly believable back story for Anne Sharp who we only really know through Jane Austen’s letters to her niece Fanny who was in Anne’s charge.

What are you reading this Sunday?

Sundays in bed with ……

Sundays in bed with is a meme hosted by Midnight Book Girl but I came across it recently on Jill’s Book Blog. It is simply a chance to share the book that is by your bed at the moment (or that you wish was by your bed). This week the book on the arm of my sofa is The Dragon’s Promise by Elizabeth Lim

I hadn’t read Six Crimson Cranes but managed to request The Dragon’s Promise as an ARC. Luckily, the library had the first one which I read and really enjoyed. Then I was ready to move straight onto this sequel. I love it when you can read a complete series and I do like this new tendency to duologies. There are a few trilogies where the middle book doesn’t really do anything. Restricting a series to two books can make the writing much tighter.

Blurb from Net Galley:
Princess Shiori made a deathbed promise to return the dragon’s pearl to its rightful owner, but keeping that promise is more dangerous than she ever imagined.

She must journey to the kingdom of dragons, navigate political intrigue among humans and dragons alike, fend off thieves who covet the pearl for themselves and will go to any lengths to get it, all the while cultivating the appearance of a perfect princess to dissuade those who would see her burned at the stake for the magic that runs in her blood.

The pearl itself is no ordinary cargo; it thrums with malevolent power, jumping to Shiori’s aid one minute, and betraying her the next – threatening to shatter her family and sever the thread of fate that binds her to her true love. It will take every ounce of strength Shiori can muster to defend the life and the love she’s fought so hard to win.

What are you reading this Sunday?

Sundays in bed with …..The Dead of Winter

Sundays in bed with is a meme hosted by Midnight Book Girl but I came across it recently on Jill’s Book Blog. It is simply a chance to share the book that is by your bed at the moment (or that you wish was by your bed). This week the book by my bed (or on the sofa) is The Dead of Winter by Nicola Upson.

Blurb from the book:
Writer Josephine Tey and Detective Chief Inspector Archie Penrose gather with their friends for a Cornish Christmas but two strange and brutal deaths on St Michael’s Mount – and the unexpected arrival of a world-famous film star in need of sanctuary – interrupt the festivities. Cut off by the sea and the relentless blizzard, can Josephine and Archie prevent the murderer from striking again?

This is probably the least appropriate book to be reading just as we celebrate Midsummer as it takes place at Christmas 1938 with violent snow storms forming part of the plot. I do love this series by Nicola Upson though and so far, this is just as good as the books I have read previously.

I do sometimes wonder if Blurb writers have actually read the book. The arrival of the film star isn’t unexpected at all but is the whole reason why Penrose is on St Michael’s Mount for Christmas. It’s only a small detail but it is important and I really feel that blurbs should be accurate.

What are you reading this Sunday?

Sundays in bed with…….. An Island Wedding

Sundays in bed with is a meme hosted by Midnight Book Girl but I came across it recently on Jill’s Book Blog. It is simply a chance to share the book that is by your bed at the moment (or that you wish was by your bed). This week the book on the arm of my sofa is An Island Wedding by Jenny Colgan

Blurb from the book:
Olivia and Anthony are planning A Very Extravagant Wedding at the newest hotel on the tiny Scottish island of Mure. They’re flying in chefs, musicians and something called a living flower wall………… and no-one is allowed to even think the word ‘bridezilla’.

Flora is trying -and failing- not to let Olivia and Anthony’s wedding distract her from planning her own big day with Joel. But the couple have wildly different ideas about how to celebrate and somehow, just when their relationship should be plain sailing, everything suddenly feels very hard indeed.

And then there’s Lorna and Saif. The local headmistress and the GP desperately keeping their relationship a secret to protect his sons . But while they’re looking out for the boys, who’s looking out for them?

This is the fifth book in the Mure Island series and as usual it’s a combination of romance and heartbreak. These books are definitely on the bleaker side of romantic fiction. Yes, there is always romance but it generally comes after a lot of heart ache and even then, there may not be a happy after in store for the couples, I hope that Flora and Joel’s wedding goes OK but I have my doubts about the romance between Lorna and Saif being a happily ever after ending.

What are you reading this Sunday?

Sundays in bed with …….. The Murders at Fleat House

Sundays in bed with is a meme hosted by Midnight Book Girl but I came across it recently on Jill’s Book Blog. It is simply a chance to share the book that is by your bed at the moment (or that you wish was by your bed). This week the book by my bed (or on the sofa) is The Murders at Fleat House by Lucinda Riley.

Blurb from the book:
When a young student is found dead at a private boarding school, its elite reputation is at risk. The headmaster is determined to write the death off as a tragic accident – but Detective Jazz Hunter will soon suspect that a murder has been committed.

Escaping her own problems in London, the beautiful and isolated landscape of rural Norfolk had felt like the ideal place for Jazz to hide. But when it becomes clear the victim was tangled in a web of loyalties and old vendettas that go far beyond just one student and as the body count begins to grow, Jazz knows that she is running out of time.

All roads lead back to the closed world of the school. But Fleat House and its residents refuse to give up their secrets so easily – and as her investigation gathers pace, Jazz realises that that they are even more sinister than she could possibly have imagined.

This is Lucinda Riley’s last published novel after her death last year although she actually wrote it over a decade ago in 2006. It is her only crime novel and so is very different to her more famous Seven Sisters series. I am really enjoying it and can see that the character of Jazz Hunter could easily have become the focus of a new crime series. However, if the author had gone down the route of writing crime fiction, we might never have had the Seven Sisters books and that would have been a real loss.

What are you reading this Sunday?

Sundays in bed with ……… The Final Strife

Sundays in bed with is a meme hosted by Midnight Book Girl but I came across it recently on Jill’s Book Blog. It is simply a chance to share the book that is by your bed at the moment (or that you wish was by your bed). This week the book by my bed (or on the sofa) is The Final Strife by Saara El-Arifi

This book is a Net Galley and it has been sitting on my shelf for over six months but I finally managed to get round to reading it as it is due to be published later this month.

Blurb from Net Galley:
The Empire rules by blood

Red is the blood of the elite, of magic, of control.

Blue is the blood of the poor, of workers, of the resistance.

Clear is the blood of the servants, of the crushed, of the invisible.

The Aktibar – a set of trials held every ten years to find the next Ember rulers of the Empire – is about to begin.

All can join but not just anyone can win; it requires great skill and ingenuity to become the future wardens of Strength, Knowledge, Truth and Duty.

Sylah was destined to win the trials and be crowned Warden of Strength. Stolen by blue-blooded rebels she was raised with a Duster’s heart; forged as a weapon to bring down from within the red-blooded Embers’ regime of cruelty. But when her adopted family were brutally murdered those dreams of a better future turned to dust.

However, the flame of hope may yet be rekindled because Sylah wasn’t made to sparkle, she was born to burn.

This book was slow to get me involved but once I was used to the writing style, I was hooked and stayed up until past midnight to finish it. It’s a brilliant debut and I would certainly recommend it to any lovers of fantasy. Review to come nearer the publication date.

Sunday in bed with….. A Dangerous Engagement

Sundays in bed with is a meme hosted by Midnight Book Girl but I came across it recently on Jill’s Book Blog. It is simply a chance to share the book that is by your bed at the moment (or that you wish was by your bed). Today seems like a very good day just to stay curled up in bed with a book as it’s cold and grey. My book is currently A Dangerous Engagement by Ashley Weaver.

I read Ashley Weaver’s previous book in this series last year and really enjoyed it. The books are set in the 1920s and 30s which is a brilliant period for crime fiction.

Blurb from the book cover:
Amory Ames is travelling to New York for her childhood friend Tabitha’s wedding but with Prohibition in full swing, her husband Milo is less than enthused. Then a member of the wedding party is found murdered at the bride’s home and the happy plans take a darker twist.

When the dead man’s links to a notorious gangster come to light, the police are sure that the city’s criminal underworld is a at play, yet Amory remains unconvinced. Drawn into the glamorous, dangerous world of nightclubs and bootleggers, Amory and Milo begin to unravel the web of lies the murdered man has left in his wake, unaware that the killer is weaving one of his own.

I’m only 7 chapters in and so far everyone is in good health but there are a couple of very likely candidates for murder victim.

What are you reading on this cold, grey Sunday?