#R3COMM3ND3D2017 with #BookBlogger Karen (@karen55555) #GoBuyTheBook

I think I’ve mentioned before how wonderful this feature has been in helping me discover new book blogs.  And today I am delighted to welcome another ‘new to me’ blogger – Karen of Go Buy The Book.  Karen has kindly joined me today to share her #R3COMM3ND3D2017 reads.

#R3COMM3ND3D2017 is where book bloggers and authors get to shout about three books they love.  The only stipulation being, the books must have been published last year, in 2017.

Here are Karen’s choices…

hope to die

Hope To Die by David Jackson (DS Nathan Cody #2)
The second in the Nathan Cody series sees a serial killer targeting people in various places of worship around the city of Liverpool. I’m a big fan of crime novels set in my home city and this one ticked all of the boxes for me with many iconic locations providing an atmospheric backdrop in a gripping, well-written book. The next book in the series is due for publication in 2018.

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The Perfect Victim by Corrie Jackson (The Sophie Kent series)
This is a book that completely throws you off the scent and really makes you wonder if you can believe anything you are reading. When a woman is found drowned, journalist Charlie Swift is named as the prime suspect when it is revealed that they have been having an affair. His friend and colleague, Sophie Kent, is adamant that he is innocent but as more evidence comes to light, she begins to doubt herself. This is one of those books where you can’t bear to put it down as more and more revelations are made.

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The Chalk Pit by Elly Griffiths (Dr Ruth Galloway Mysteries #9)
I’m a big fan of the Ruth Galloway books by Elly Griffiths and this one was probably the most topical to date. When bones are found in tunnels underneath Norwich, DCI Nelson and his team fear that a serial killer may be targeting homeless people. A very well-written, emotive book that surely cements Elly Griffiths as one of the best crime writers around today.


Thanks for joining me today, Karen and for your excellent suggestions.  My wishlist has just increased by two books!  I’m 100% in agreement with you about David Jackson’s ‘Hope To Die’ as well, a brilliant series and one of my top reads of 2017.

If Karen has managed to tempt you or if you would like to find out more about her choices, please see the following amazon.co.uk links:

Hope To Die by David Jackson | The Perfect Victim by Corrie Jackson | The Chalk Pit by Elly Griffiths |

About Karen:
My preferred genre to read is crime/psychological thriller/ police procedural etc. This stems back to my teenage years when I used to enjoy watching the Ruth Rendell Mysteries on television and was prompted to work my way through the series of Inspector Wexford novels. I was truly devastated when Ruth Rendell died as it meant no more Reg Wexford! I suppose, though, my first dalliance with the genre was as a child reading books by Enid Blyton – to this day, The Mystery of the Missing Necklace remains one of my favourite stories! In recent years, I’ve also developed a penchant for genealogical fiction. Again, though, this genre tends to have a mystery aspect attached to it.

Karen’s Blog and Social Media Links:

Go Buy The Book | Twitter | Facebook |

My thanks to Karen for joining me today.  Make sure you stop by tomorrow when I will be welcoming Claire Ayres of BrizzleLass Books with her #R3COMM3ND3D2017 reads.

#R3COMM3ND3D2017 with #BookBlogger Emma Poulloura (@starcrossed89) #StarCrossedReviews

I am delighted to welcome Emma Poulloura to damppebbles today.  Emma blogs over at the fabulous Star Crossed Reviews and is here to share her three recommended reads from the plethora of books published last year (that’s 2017).

#R3COMM3ND3D2017 is where I invite authors and book bloggers to share three MUST READ titles.  The only requirement is that the books must have been published in 2017.  Easy, right?!

Here are Emma’s recommendations…

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A Song for Tomorrow by Alice Peterson
This book has a personal meaning because 2 of my brothers have CF but it is also a very inspirational book.

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What It Takes by Sonya Loveday
This is another book that will give you all the feels. It pushes boundaries and really talks about big issues.

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Playing Defense by Aven Ellis
I am a HUGE fan of Aven’s work and this book is her best yet. It’s funny, real and it has Oreos!


Thank you for joining me today, Emma and for your recommendations.  If Emma has managed to tempt you or if you would like to find out more about the books she recommends, please click the following amazon.co.uk links:

A Song for Tomorrow by Alice Peterson | What It Takes by Sonya Loveday | Playing Defense by Aven Ellis |

About Emma:
I’m 27 but still pretending I’m 23. I live with my boyfriend and our Frenchie Basil. I have 5 brothers and growing up being the only girl taught me a lot about the other sex and exactly how to get them to see things your way. I’m a chocoholic and a bit of foodie. I love to eat but only enjoy cooking when I have a lot of time. I’ve always been a girly girl who loves makeup and nails but I’m not the best at either lol. I’ve been a book blogger for 3 years now and it’s hands down the best decision I ever made.

Emma’s Blog and Social Media Links:
Star Crossed Reviews | Twitter | Facebook | 

My thanks to Emma for joining me today.  Make sure you stop by tomorrow when I welcome Karen of Go Buy The Book with her #R3COMM3ND3D2017 reads.


#BlogTour | #BookReview: Hydra by Matt Wesolowski (@ConcreteKraken) @OrendaBooks

Hydra LATEST COVER .jpg“One cold November night in 2014, in a small town in the northwest of England, 21-year-old Arla Macleod bludgeoned her mother, stepfather and younger sister to death with a hammer, in an unprovoked attack known as the Macleod Massacre. Now incarcerated at a medium-security mental-health institution, Arla will speak to no one but Scott King, an investigative journalist, whose Six Stories podcasts have become an internet sensation.

King finds himself immersed in an increasingly complex case, interviewing five key witnesses and Arla herself, as he questions whether Arla’s responsibility for the massacre was as diminished as her legal team made out. As he unpicks the stories, he finds himself thrust into a world of deadly forbidden ‘games’, online trolls, and the mysterious black-eyed kids, whose presence seems to extend far beyond the delusions of a murderess… Dark, chilling and gripping, Hydra is both a classic murder mystery and an up-to-the-minute, startling thriller that shines light in places you may never, ever want to see again.”

It is my pleasure to welcome you to my stop on the Hydra blog tour which I share with one of my very favourite bookish people, the incredible Liz over at Liz Loves Books.  If you haven’t discovered Liz’s blog yet then you must!  Hydra is the second book from the pen of author Matt Wesolowski to be published by Orenda Books.  Wesolowski’s Orenda debut, Six Stories, absolutely blew my mind last year and took it’s place proudly on my top ten (*mumble, mumble* may have been twelve) books of the year.  If you need a reminder, or if you missed my review the first time then please click HERE.  I think it’s fair to say I LOVED Six Stories.

So I was strangely apprehensive (and of course, excited!) starting Hydra.  I knew before turning the first page that the story was in a similar vein to Six Stories.  If you haven’t experienced the incredible Six Stories (you really should get yourself a copy) then let me explain.  Six Stories is a series of podcasts hosted by Scott King.  King rakes over cold cases – not to necessarily solve the mystery but to encourage new discussion and debate.  King provides his listeners with the details of a particular case but from six different standpoints.  Six different viewpoints all bringing that little bit of extra information to the front, fleshing it out for his listeners.

The focus of King’s latest investigation is the Macleod Massacre of 2014.  If there’s one way for a book to get its hook into me then that is to mention a blood-soaked spree.  I know, I’m strange.  But I’ve never shied away from the fact that I like blood, guts and gore in my books.  The reader gets so much more than that though (and it really isn’t all that gory, I promise).  This is not a book about solving a murder case – we know ‘whodunnit’ and it was Arla Macleod – it’s all about the WHY.  Why did Arla kill her family that day?  Why did she change so dramatically?  What was the cause?  And if like me, you don’t see the incredibly clever twist coming then I can guarantee it will be a revelation.  Wow!

If there is one thing Wesolowski excels at, it’s giving his reader chills.  Hydra, like its predecessor, did an excellent job of making me feel nervous and apprehensive.  The author is a master at creating a scene and dropping you slap, bang right in the action.  You live the moment with the characters which for me added extra eerieness and I was completely absorbed in the moment.  Nothing else mattered.  Incredibly atmospheric, perfectly eerie, I absolutely loved Hydra.

Would I recommend this book?  Absolutely, without a doubt.  Wesolowski is one of my very favourite authors.  He writes in a totally different, exciting and original way and I love to read his books.  I will say this though, Hydra is absolutely brilliant but I did prefer Six Stories.  There are many reviewers out there saying that this book is Wesolowski’s best yet, but I have to disagree.  It’s still better than MANY other books I have read in the past 12 months but Six Stories will always have a special place in my heart.  In fact, if you’re picking up a copy of Hydra then add a copy of Six Stories whilst you’re at it.  You won’t regret it.

An easy five out of five stars.

I chose to read and review an ARC of Hydra.  The above review is my own unbiased opinion.

Hydra by Matt Wesolowski was published in the UK by Orenda Books on 15th January 2018 and is available in paperback and eBook formats | amazon.co.uk | amazon.com | Waterstones | Goodreads |

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about the author3

Matt W Picture 1 (1).jpgMatt Wesolowski is from Newcastle-Upon-Tyne in the UK. He is an English tutor for young people in care. Matt started his writing career in horror, and his short horror fiction has been published in numerous UK- and US-based anthologies such as Midnight Movie Creature Feature, Selfies from the End of the World, Cold Iron and many more. His novella, The Black Land, a horror set on the Northumberland coast, was published in 2013. Matt was a winner of the Pitch Perfect competition at Bloody Scotland Crime Writing Festival in 2015. His debut thriller, Six Stories, was an Amazon bestseller in the USA, Canada, the UK and Australia, and a WHSmith Fresh Talent pick, and film rights were sold to a major Hollywood studio.

Author Links:Twitter | Facebook |

#R3COMM3ND3D2017 with #BookBlogger Sarah Swan (@Sarah_Swan2) #SarahsVignettes

I am delighted to welcome another fabulous book blogger to damppebbles today who is, once again, fairly new to me – the wonderful Sarah Swan of Sarah’s Vignettes.  Sarah’s blog is well worth a visit if you haven’t had the pleasure yet.  Sarah has kindly agreed to share her three #R3COMM3ND3D2017 reads.

#R3COMM3ND3D2017 is where I invite book bloggers and authors to pop over to damppebbles HQ and shout about three favourite books.  Any author, any genre – the only thing to tie the books together is that they must have been published last year, in 2017.

Here are Sarah’s choices…

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The Returning Tide by Liz Fenwick
Simply stunning! A story of love, war, loss, family and betrayal, set in beautiful Cornwall, The Returning Tide tells two interconnecting stories: one of sisters Amelia and Adele, living in Cornwall, during World War II, and, one of Lara, in the present day, living in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, and of her trip to Cornwall to trace her Great-Grandfather’s steps during World War II. It is extremely well-researched and beautifully written. If I had not known otherwise, I would have thought the author was writing from her own life experiences. The depth of feeling in telling this story increases with each turn of the page, so much so, I was in tears by the end of it. It takes a lot for a book to make me cry and this is testament to Liz Fenwick’s sophisticated, elegant, and heartfelt writing style. This is a story that will stay with me for a long time.

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Persuading Austen by Brigid Coady
A super modern day retelling of Jane Austen’s Persuasion! I think it is brave to take such a Classic and make it contemporary. Brigid Coady does this so well, sticking to the main plot points and throwing in some twists and turns which kept me reading. As I got further into Persuading Austen, I forgot that it was based on a classic, and the story took on a new form, gained it’s own identity. Brigid Coady’s writing is super – it is real and from the heart. There is so much humour too! This all allowed for the story to flow really well and I finished the book in 2 days (that’s quick for me!). Persuading Austen made me laugh out loud, cry, empathise, and sympathise. It made me happy. It made me sad. Most of all, Persuading Austen is a book which left me smiling and happy at the end of it – and what a wonderful feeling that was. I absolutely loved this book!

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The Lost Girl by Carol Drinkwater
The Lost Girl is well-crafted, extensively researched, beautifully written, and full of raw emotion. On Friday 13 November 2015, a series of coordinated terrorist attacks occurred across Paris. Suicide bombers targeted the Stade de France football stadium, and there were other bombs and mass shootings at cafes and restaurants. Over 1000 concert goers were taken hostage at the Bataclan theatre and 89 of them were shot dead. I first heard what had happened when I was scrolling through Twitter and saw lots of tweets with the hashtag #PortesOuvertes, Open Doors, from people offering help of accommodation, transport, food, water, etc. I quickly turned on the news to find out what was going on and watched in horror at poor, innocent, people desperately trying to escape the Bataclan in any way they could and listened to their horrifying screams echoing across a city which was so scarily quiet. In The Lost Girl, Carol Drinkwater writes so vividly about this night and the events surrounding it that you finish the novel feeling as though you have lived through it yourself. She is a great storyteller and writes with such depth and rich description that I became completely immersed in the story from the opening paragraph and forgot about the real world away from the book.


Fantastic recommendations, thank you so much for joining me today Sarah.  I’ve added ‘The Lost Girl’ to my wishlist.  Not a book I would normally consider (and it feels quite a way outside of my comfort zone) but the way you describe the story has me intrigued.  I want to read this book following your mini-review.

If Sarah has managed to tempt you, or if you would like to find out more about the books she recommends then please see the following amazon.co.uk links:

The Returning Tide by Liz Fenwick | Persuading Austen by Brigid Coady | The Lost Girl by Carol Drinkwater |

About Sarah:
Hello, I’m Sarah. I adore books and I am a keen photographer.

I have been reading books from a very early age and before I could read, I was always flicking through picture books – I’m sure I was born with a book in my hand!

I read a wide range of genres and I am willing to try most genres once, but I do keep going back to both contemporary and historical fiction more than anything else.

Books are a big part of my life and I started my blog, Sarah’s Vignettes, so I could share my love for them.

From an early age, I have loved taking photographs and with the advent of social media, I love sharing them with family and friends. In early 2016, I was having a conversation with a dear friend about a recent day trip and the photographs I had taken, during which she said I should share my photographs wider and write about the stories behind them. So from time to time, I post on my blog about general experiences in my life, which will be based around my own personal photographs. You will also find that most of the pictures of books on my blog are taken by me.

Sarah’s Blog and Social Media Links:
Sarah Vignette’s | Facebook | Twitter |

My thanks to Sarah for joining me today.  Make sure you stop by tomorrow when I welcome Emma Poulloura of Star Crossed Reviews to damppebbles with her #R3COMM3ND3D2017 reads.


#R3COMM3ND3D2017 with #BookBlogger Gemma Wiles (@GemmaWiles) #GemsQuietCorner

It is my great pleasure to welcome another ‘new favourite’ blogger to damppebbles today, the very lovely Gemma Wiles of Gem’s Quiet Corner.  Gemma hasn’t been blogging very long but she’s already made her mark and I, for one, love her blog.  Gemma has joined me today to share her three #R3COMM3ND3D2017 reads.

#R3COMM3ND3D2017 is a chance for book bloggers and authors to share three standout reads from 2017.  That’s it!  It’s that simple.  Three favourite reads published in 2017.

Here are Gemma’s choices…

dead woman walking

Dead Woman Walking by Sharon Bolton
Who would think a book involving peacocks, nuns and a hot air balloon could make such a corker of a read. This book just starts at a 100 miles an hour and never gives in. I love it when I’m reading a book where I just don’t have a single clue how everything is going to come together, or how it even can – and then when it does all fit together you are just sat open-mouthed, thinking WOW!

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This Love by Dani Atkins
Dani’s writing, storytelling and characters are always so beautiful. This book is essentially a book about the different types of love: family, friendships, that new love at the start of a relationship. She writes about tragedy and sadness, but when you close the book after those final pages, you’ll find you feel positive and uplifted. I’m not someone who shows their emotions much, so when a book leaves me in complete floods of tears, the author has certainly managed to work her magic.

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Perfect Remains (DI Callanch #1) by Helen Fields
In my crime reading I look for something that has strong detectives and a brutal killer (who I get a good insight into their heads and a strong POV from) which is exactly what I got in this first book of the series. The killer is probably the most clever, twisted and disturbing one I’ve come across in books this year – whilst reading it’s fair to say I’ve never felt so protective of my teeth! Gorgeous, French D.I Callanach, and strong, feisty D.I Ava Turner make a fabulous team, and I love seeing how their relationship grows throughout this book.


Awesome recommendations, Gemma, thank you so much for joining me today.  I am desperate to read ‘Perfect Remains’ and ‘Dead Woman Walking’.  Both of which I am pleased to say I have on my TBR, yay!

If Gemma has managed to tempt you, or if you would like to find out more about the book she recommends then please click the following amazon.co.uk links:

Dead Woman Walking by Sharon Bolton | This Love by Dani Atkins | Perfect Remains by Helen Fields |

About Gemma:
My name is Gemma and I’m in my early 30’s. I work nights in an adult health and social care setting, I have an 11 year old son, and I am owned by a cat called Milo!

I’ve only been blogging for a few months (started in August) but I’ve loved books ever since I was a little girl when my gran used to take me to work with her, at her cleaning job in Easingwold library. She’d do her jobs whilst I’d have the whole library to myself! I enjoy many genres: Crime, Police Procedurals, Thrillers, Mystery, and well written Romantic Comedy and Chick-Lit.

Besides books, I’m a tea addict, crazy cat lady and have slight obsessions with buying pyjamas and pretty bedding sets!

Gemma’s Blog and Social Media Links:
Gem’s Quiet Corner | Twitter |

Huge thanks to Gemma for joining me today.  Make sure you stop by tomorrow when I welcome the fabulous Sarah Swan of Sarah’s Vignettes to damppebbles with her #R3COMM3ND3D2017 reads.

#R3COMM3ND3D2017 with #Author Karla Forbes (@KarlaForbes) #NickSullivanSeries @WillandWhiting

It is my pleasure to welcome the author of the Nick Sullivan series published by Williams and Whiting, Karla Forbes, to damppebbles today.  Karla has kindly agreed to share her #R3COMM3ND3D2017 reads with us.

#R3COMM3ND3D2017 is where I invite authors and book bloggers to shout about three favourite books published in 2017.  That’s the only rule, the books recommended must have been published last year.

Without further ado, here are Karla’s choices…

Cloning the Hate

Cloning the Hate by Jeff Dowson (Jack Shepherd Thriller #3)
A fast-paced detective thriller with a few twists and turns to the plot to keep you guessing.

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The Betrayal by Kate Furnivall
This is set in occupied France just before the outbreak of WW2 and tells the story of two twins connected by love but divided by their political loyalties.

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Need You Dead by Peter James (Roy Grace #13)
I chose this for several reasons. His books are set in Brighton which is just down the road from where I live in Haywards Heath and also, I am in talks with one of his police procedural advisers, Graham Bartlett an ex-detective with Sussex Police. We are hoping to enter into a working relationship to ensure that my books have the same authenticity as Peter James.


Thanks so much for joining me today, Karla and for your terrific recommendations.  I hate to admit that I have yet to read a Peter James novel (and I call myself a crime book blogger, ha!) and I’ve had my eye on ‘Cloning the Hate’ since it was recommended back in November when I first started this feature.

If Karla has managed to tempt you, or if you would like to find out more about the books she has recommended then please see the following amazon.co.uk links:

Cloning the Hate by Jeff Dowson | The Betrayal by Kate Furnivall | Need You Dead by Peter James |

About Karla:
Karla Forbes first began writing books when she was twelve years old. Heavily influenced by Ian Fleming, she wrote about guns, fast cars and spies. Naturally, she knew nothing of her chosen subject and was forced to use her imagination to make it up as she went along. These books, half a dozen in total, ended up being thrown out with the rubbish. Several years later, she dabbled in a futuristic sitcom and a full-length horror story. Although both of these efforts were also consigned to literary oblivion, at least no one could have accused her of being in a genre rut. She began writing properly more than ten years ago and her first book, The Preacher was published on Amazon in July 2011. Twelve books in total are available to download from the Amazon Kindle bookstore. Other books will follow at regular intervals. She writes about ordinary people who find themselves in extraordinary situations and she aims for unusual but scarily believable plots with a surprising twist.

About The Nick Sullivan Series:
fallout.jpgFallout (Nick Sullivan series #1) The British Government is being blackmailed by criminals who have got their hands on a quantity of plutonium left over from the cold war. Only one man knows their identity and can prevent a catastrophe but he is on the run for a murder he didn’t commit and has no intention of being found.

As the authorities attempt to hunt him down, the clock is ticking and they are running out of time. They pin their hopes on the fact that a bunch of amateurs won’t have nuclear technology and the worst they’ll come up with is a dirty bomb. With luck, the carnage can be limited. A few people might die in the explosion but the majority will run away at the first sign of danger and the radiation will drift harmlessly into the atmosphere.

But what if the terrorists have found a way of keeping the radiation near to the ground, encouraging people to hang around breathing in death and when they invite them to their own slaughter they come willingly?
They would be dangerous then…wouldn’t they?

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The Third Wave (Nick Sullivan series #2) Charles Morgan is a small operator in the vast computer technology industry but he’s ambitious. He borrows heavily from the Mafia to finance his dreams of becoming a big player but when he fails to make the expected profit, they are quick to demand their money back. Desperate to save his own skin, he hatches a plan that will cripple the competition and propel his new product into the ranks of market leader.
Bryony Elliot is a brilliant but naive British student who has the skills he needs to bring his plans to fruition. But she is refusing to cooperate. With time running out and his creditors’ threats becoming increasingly vicious, Morgan gives up on persuasion and employs deceit instead. Unaware that she is being duped, Bryony launches a catastrophic virus attack on society. When she discovers the truth, she frantically attempts to stop the carnage she has unleashed but she is up against violent men who are intent on stopping her.
Bryony must dig deep into her mental reserves to stay alive and reverse the damage she has done but first she must conquer the fears and demons that rule her life.

For Bryony has dark secrets of her own…

sniper.jpgSniper (Nick Sullivan series #3) Flynn was one of the elite, a highly trained sniper in the British army who was proud of his skills and lived by a strict moral code. But even the best can crack when the stress becomes unbearable and now he’s on the rampage bearing a grudge and carrying an arsenal of stolen weapons.
He believes that good soldiers are being killed because governments go to war over oil. In his twisted mind, anyone who drives a gas guzzling 4X4 is the enemy and deserves to die.
As he carves a trail of terror and death across the country, the authorities are closing in. But for one man, it’s become personal.
Nick Sullivan is bearing a grudge of his own and is hard on the heels of the sniper. But when he finally hunts down his quarry, will his thirst for revenge blind him to the fact that he’s no match for a professionally trained killer?
For Flynn is the best there is. He’s a master of his craft.

the gift of death.jpgThe Gift of Death (Nick Sullivan series #4) When Nick Sullivan is sent to Uganda for a routine assignment, he doesn’t expect trouble but news of his arrival has preceded him and someone wants him dead. His enemies are powerful people and in a country where life is cheap, he is soon fighting to survive. He doggedly battles on, refusing to acknowledge the danger but when his stubbornness causes the death of an innocent woman he has no choice but to concede defeat and return to Britain.
Eaten up with guilt, he sets himself the task of finding out who betrayed him and bringing them to justice. When he finds himself thwarted by a government cover up, his thirst for revenge becomes an all consuming obsession that endangers everyone around him.

Nick Sullivan thrillers on amazon.co.uk | Karla Forbes on Goodreads |

Karla’s Social Media Links:
Twitter | Website |

My thanks to Karla for joining me today.  Make sure you pop by again tomorrow when I welcome the lovely Gemma Wiles of Gem’s Quiet Corner to damppebbles with her #R3COMM3ND3D2017 picks!


#R3COMM3ND3D2017 with #BookBlogger Nicki Maguire (@Nicki_Mags) #SecretLibraryBlog

I am delighted to welcome another fellow book blogger to damppebbles today.  The lovely Nicki Maguire who blogs over at Secret Library Blog.  Nicki has very kindly agreed to share her #R3COMM3ND3D2017 picks with us today.

I’m sure we’re all fully up to date with how #R3COMM3ND3D2017 works by now but if not, it’s an opportunity for authors and book bloggers to shout about three books they love.  The only stipulation being, the books must have been published in 2017.

Here are Nicki’s choices…

genuine fraud

Genuine Fraud by E. Lockhart
I loved everything about this quirky book. The main character fascinated me even though I didn’t particularly like her., The backwards telling of the story was so clever, really messing with my head, but not so badly that I couldn’t understand what was going on. Perfect for lovers of quirky thrillers.

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The Vanishing of Audrey Wilde by Eve Chase
This was a wonderful dual time novel set in present day and the summer of 1959. It was full of atmosphere and in both settings, but it was the 1950s part that I really loved and felt transported back to time before I was born.

the hate u give

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
I was an amazing book that I couldn’t and didn’t want to put down. It opened up a whole new world to me making me uncomfortable as I read it. I don’t normally read YA books but I’m so glad I picked this one up. It’s one of those books that everyone should read.


Many thanks for joining me today Nicki, and for your brilliant recommendations!  I thoroughly enjoyed ‘Genuine Fraud’

If Nicki has managed to tempt you or if you would like to find out more about the books she has chosen, please see the following amazon.co.uk links:

Genuine Fraud by E. Lockhart | The Vanishing of Audrey Wilde by Eve Chase | The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas |

About Nicki:
I’m Nicki a 40 something wife and mother to a 16 year old son. I live on the beautiful island of Jersey where we only have a Waterstones bookshop and a WHSmith to buy books from. Fortunately, we have a fantastic library service over here and all the charity shops sell second hand books too. Twice a year the local guide Dogs for the Blind charity have their second-hand book sales which raise thousands of pounds each time.

I’ve dabbled with blogging for years and have been reviewing books for a long time on Goodreads, Amazon and Waterstones, but wanted a central place for all my reviews. I had a book blog on Booklikes for a few years but actually started this blog last October when Booklikes looked like it was dying. It recovered but I preferred the new format on WordPress and so made this my blog home. I’m very happy here and have been made very welcome by all the lovely book bloggers out there.

Nicki’s Blog and Social Media Links:
Secret Library Blog | Twitter | Facebook |

My thanks to Nicki for joining me today.  Make sure you pop back tomorrow when I will be sharing my top reads of the year and the last #CaseClosed of 2017!

#R3COMM3ND3D2017 with #BookBlogger Rachel Broughton (@rae_reads1) #RaeReads

It is my pleasure to welcome the lovely Rachel of Rae Reads to damppebbles today.  Rae Reads is well worth a visit if you haven’t discovered Rachel’s wonderful blog yet.  I thoroughly enjoy her reviews and I’m thrilled to have Rachel join me today to share her #R3COMM3ND3D2017 picks.

#R3COMM3ND3D2017 is a chance for book bloggers and authors to champion three books published in 2017.  That’s it as far as rules go, the book must have been published in 2017.

Here are Rachel’s choices…

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The Many Colours of Us by Rachel Burton
There is such a hopeful feeling to the story that I couldn’t help but be drawn in and I loved the main characters Edwin and Julia. The writing is descriptive with a lovely emotional edge, it really is a brilliant debut.

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Letters to Eloise by Emily Williams
Emily Williams has a lovely descriptive writing style that had me continually turning the pages. Along with creating a wonderful character in Flora who is so engaging, her story definitely held an emotional hold over me.

the man who died

The Man Who Died by Antti Tuomainen (translated by David Hackston)
I loved how matter of fact the main character Jaakko is and it was so much fun going on this madcap journey with him. The story is cleverly written and at times darkly funny which I really appreciated. Highly recommended!


Thank you so much for these brilliant recommendations, Rachel.  And it’s good to see Antti Tuomainen’s ‘The Man Who Died’ popping up again.  I really must get myself a copy!

If Rachel has managed to tempt you or if you would like to find out more about the books she recommends, please see the following amazon.co.uk links:

The Many Colours of Us by Rachel Burton | Letters to Eloise by Emily Williams | The Man Who Died by Antti Tuomainen |

About Rachel:
My name is Rachel or if you like you can call me Rae and I’m married with two children. They definitely keep me busy so being a book blogger helps to keep me sane(ish) I started blogging in December 2015 and I can’t believe how fast the time has gone.

My favourite genres are romance, mystery, historical fiction & thrillers. I’ve always been a book worm so my blog is a wonderful way to share my love of reading xx

Rachel’s Blog and Social Media Links:

Rae Reads | Twitter | Facebook |

Huge thanks to Rachel for joining me today.  Thrilled to welcome Nicki Maguire of Secret Library Blog to damppebbles tomorrow with her #R3COMM3ND3D2017 reads so make sure you pop back tomorrow!

#R3COMM3ND3D2017 with #BookBlogger Karen Cole (@karlou) #HairPastAFreckle

It is my great pleasure to welcome another awesome book blogger to damppebbles HQ today – the lovely Karen Cole of Hair Past A Freckle.  I haven’t been following Karen’s blog as long as some others but I’ve become such a fan of her reviews.  I also like her blog because it has a slightly different sounding name.  (I can empathise Karen, I’m regularly asked why I chose to call my blog damppebbles!).

Karen has very kindly agreed to share her #R3COMM3ND3D2017 reads with us today.  #R3COMM3ND3D2017 is where I invite book bloggers and authors to share three of their favourite books published in 2017.  It’s that simple – three books, all published in 2017.

Here are Karen’s choices…

the man who died

The Man Who Died by Antti Tuomainen
What can I say about this book to really do it justice? The Man Who Died is my top read this year and it will be a book I’ll be talking about for years. A deliciously dark black comedy thriller, it is beautifully written and juxtaposes the laughs with moments of tension and poignant truths. I defy anybody not to warm to Jaakko Kaunismaa, a mushroom entrepreneur who discovers he has been slowly poisoned and decides to investigate his own murder. With unique (and grisly!) deaths, dry wit and touching observations, this really is one of those books I want to thrust into the hands of anybody who ventures into a bookshop. See my full review here: https://hairpastafreckle72.blogspot.co.uk/2017/10/blogtour-bookreview-man-who-died-by.html

the cardinals man.jpg

The Cardinal’s Man by M.G. Sinclair
I loved this fictional biography that follows the life of Sebastian Morra, a dwarf born into poverty who rises to become a trusted ally of Cardinal Richelieu. M.G. Sinclair vividly brings 17th century France to life, from the abject poverty of many citizens driven to the brink of starvation by the relentless Thirty Years War, to the opulence of Louis XIII’s court and the power battles and intrigue behind the throne. Starkly visceral yet beautifully written and there’s some real tension here too so this could be the ideal book for thriller lovers looking to try historical fiction! See my full review here: https://hairpastafreckle72.blogspot.co.uk/2017/07/blogtour-bookreview-cardinals-man-by-mg.html

spaceman of bohemia.jpg

Spaceman of Bohemia by Jaroslav Kalfař
With a Nutella loving giant arachnid alien, the Velvet Revolution that saw the end of Communism in Eastern Europe, childhood memories of rural Czechoslovakia and a marriage on the rocks, this is definitely the most unique book I’ve read this year! Jaroslav Kalfař blends the fabulously absurd with a riveting social history. Ultimately about a young man who must confront his past; it might be strange but this beautifully written book combines sci-fi, historical and literary fiction and is weird, funny and touching. See my full review here: https://hairpastafreckle72.blogspot.co.uk/2017/03/book-review-spaceman-of-bohemia-by.html


Thank you so much for joining me today, Karen and for your great recommendations.  I really must get myself a copy of ‘The Man Who Died’ as it’s popping up on #R3COMM3ND3D2017 fairly often.  And in all honesty, ‘grisly deaths’ are two of my trigger words!

If Karen has managed to pique your interest or if you would like to find out more about the titles she has recommended, please see the following amazon.co.uk links:

The Man Who Died by Antti Tuomainen | The Cardinal’s Man by M.G. Sinclair | Spaceman of Bohemia by Jaroslav Kalfař |

About Karen:
My name is Karen and when I’m not reading or blogging about books I’m a teaching assistant and midday supervisor in a primary school. I live in Dorset with my husband, three daughters, and a dog, cat, rabbit and tortoise. Before I had my children I was a veterinary nurse in a mixed practice. I started Hair Past A Freckle in 2013, it was originally going to be a blog about anything and everything but I found I loved being a book blogger. The name is taken from something my dad used to say, it refers to either not knowing or not caring about the time – I’m sure most people reading this will have lost track of time when engrossed in a book so it seems apt!

Karen’s Blog and Social Media Links:

Hair Past A Freckle | Twitter | Facebook |

My thanks to Karen for joining me today.  Make sure you stop by again tomorrow when I welcome the awesome Rachel Broughton of Rae Reads to damppebbles with her #R3COMM3ND3D2017 picks!


#R3COMM3ND3D2017 with #BookBlogger Emma Littlefield (@LittlefieldEmma) #OneReadersThoughts

How was your Christmas bookish friends?  I hope you had a wonderfully festive time with the people you care about, and you are now the proud owner of lots of lovely new books to read.  I can’t quite believe it’s all over for another year!  Still, New Year is on the horizon which means my ‘Top 10 Books of the Year’ post is imminent, shortly followed by my second-year blogiversary!

And, thank goodness we’re back to #R3COMM3ND3D2017 which I have sorely missed over the last couple of days.  Goodness knows how I will cope when the middle of January arrives and I wave goodbye to #R3COMM3ND3D until November 2018!  Anyway, enough of my wittering.  Today I am delighted to welcome another fabulous book blogger to damppebbles with her  #R3COMM3ND3D2017 reads.  Emma Littlefield blogs over at the wonderful One Readers Thoughts, which if you haven’t discovered yet then you must!

#R3COMM3ND3D2017 is an opportunity for book bloggers and authors to shout about three books published in 2017 which they loved,  I’m all about sharing the book love and what better way to do that than ask my bookish peers to share their most loved reads.

Here are Emma’s choices…

the last day of Emily Lindsay.jpg

The Last Day of Emily Lindsey by Nic Joseph
I thought this was a clever plot, which wove the past and present together so well that I was kept guessing until the very end. The characters were well drawn and the setting, which included a cult, completely drew me in.

the binding song

The Binding Song by Elodie Harper
An excellent debut. It was a perfect read as the nights started to draw in. There are great characters, a prison setting which made for a dark story, and a supernatural twist which made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up.


Forgotten by Nicole Trope
Whilst there a more than a few books out there with the missing children and frantic parents, I haven’t read any as well written as this. It looks at it from the points of view of the parents, police, and the abductor. It’s tense from the first page and I couldn’t put it down,


Excellent choices, thank you Emma.  I really enjoyed the atmospheric feel of ‘The Binding Song’ and would pick up another book written by Elodie Harper in a heartbeat.

If Emma has tempted you or if you would like to like to find out more about the books she has recommended, please see the following amazon.co.uk links:

The Last Day of Emily Lindsey by Nic Joseph | The Binding Song by Elodie Harper | Forgotten by Nicole Trope |

About Emma (and my favourite bio of the series so far!):
I’ve been a book blogger for about three years (with a few breaks for “blogger burnout”). I love to read, and sometimes I don’t feel like I do much else. I read a lot of books where people end up dead but anything that catches my eye will get read including non-fiction. I would live in the library if I could but the librarians might find that a bit strange.

Emma’s Blog and Social Media Links:
One Readers Thoughts | Twitter |

My thanks to Emma for joining me today.  Join me again tomorrow when Karen Cole of ‘Hair Past a Freckle’ book blog will be joining me to share her #R3COMM3ND3D2017 reads!  See you tomorrow my bookish lovelies.