Posted in Blog Tours & Blitzes

#BlogTour #Spotlight: Fat Girl Begone! by D. E. Haggerty (@dehaggerty)

Hi everyone!

I am so sorry that it has been so long that I have posted but I am back again with a vengeance and youAbout will get sick of me in no time!!

Today’s post is a spotlight stop on the blog tour for Fat Girl Begone! by D. E. Haggerty and this tour is being run by Bewitching Book Tours.

34683994Title: Fat Girl Begone!
Author: D. E. Haggerty
Release Date: May 1, 2017
Genre: Contemporary Romance; Romantic Comedy.
Links: Goodreads || Amazon || B&N
Number of Pages: 240

Goodreads’ Description:

I’m a total mess. My boyfriend dumped me – get this – because I diet too much. Not because I’m fat, mind you. Of course, this spurs me into the diet-fitness-revenge-plan of the century, which leads me to the gym and a scorching hot personal trainer. I even manage to make some cool new friends, including a millionaire if you can believe it.

Things are looking up! Naturally, that’s the moment my ex decides he wants me back, the personal trainer asks me out, and my millionaire male buddy decides to throw his hat in the ring. But that’s not enough drama. No, not for me. Because I’ve also lost my job and decided to start my own business.

Just call me Ms. Drama.

About the Author:

D.E. Haggerty

I grew-up reading everything I could get my grubby hands on from my mom’s Harlequin romances to Nancy Drew to Little Women. When I wasn’t flipping pages in a library book, I was penning horrendous poems, writing songs no one should ever sing, or drafting stories which have thankfully been destroyed. College and a stint in the U.S. Army came along, robbing me of free time to write and read, although on the odd occasion I did manage to sneak a book into my rucksack between rolled up socks, MRIs, t-shirts, and cold weather gear.
After surviving the army experience, I went back to school and got my law degree. I jumped ship and joined the hubby in the Netherlands before the graduation ceremony could even begin. A few years into my legal career, I was exhausted, fed up, and just plain done. I quit my job and sat down to write a manuscript, which I promptly hid in the attic after returning to the law. But being a lawyer really wasn’t my thing, so I quit (again!) and went off to Germany to start a B&B.
Turns out being a B&B owner wasn’t my thing either. I polished off that manuscript languishing in the attic before deciding to follow the husband to Istanbul where I decided to give the whole writer-thing a go.
But ten years was too many to stay away from adopted home. I packed up again and moved to The Hague where I’m currently working on my next book. I hope I’ll always be working on my next book.

Fat girl Begone! is my eleventh book.

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Excerpt:

“You should totally jump that, chica.”

It’s Monday, and I’ve just survived another Zumba class. I only hit Tara once. Okay, twice, but who’s counting? I’m still trying to catch my breath and stop my heart from jumping out of my ribcage. None of which stops me from panting after my personal trainer. Before I get a chance to respond to her comment or tear my eyes away from Gabe’s epic ass, the rest of the gang joins Tara and me.

“What are you bitches yapping about?” Oh great, Charise didn’t just say that at maximum volume or anything.

“Everly taking her personal trainer for a ride.”

Oh my god. Please tell me no one else heard Tara announce that I’m lusting after Gabe. I hear giggles and murmurs of agreement from the other exercisers exiting the group exercise room. Of course, everyone heard. Charise, Tara, Naomi, and Jessie have one volume – embarrassingly loud.

I ignore them and head to the locker rooms with my head down. Of course, I can’t help but sneak another glance at Gabe. He’s doing squats for God’s sake! I defy any woman – or man for that matter – to not look. I keep my eyes glued to those glutes as I walk in the opposite direction. My foot hits something and before I know it I’m going down.

I end up sprawled on the floor of the gym. I look down at my outfit and sigh in relief. Good. No rolls of fat are showing. Thankfully, I had put a long sweatshirt on over the loose tank I was wearing during class. A hand appears in front of my face.

“Let me help you up, babe.”

I look up to see yet another example of male perfection. Does this gym have a portal to Mount Olympus for the Greek Gods to come and go as they please? Because damn. This is one fine specimen of manhood in front of me.

“Babe?”

His voice startles me out of my perusal of his perfection. I reach out and he grabs my hand to pull me up. Only he doesn’t stop there. He pulls me flush to his body and then leans down to whisper in my ear. “It’s okay, babe. Happens all the time when girls look at me.” And crash. There goes my adulation of the man. I knew there was a reason no one believes in the Greek Gods anymore. Vanity is not attractive.

I pull on my hand until he releases me. “Thanks.”

“You okay, sweetheart?” As if I couldn’t be embarrassed enough, now Gabe’s here.

“I’m fine. Just wasn’t paying attention to where I was walking.” Out of the corner of my eye, I see the former Greek God puff out his chest as if I had paid him a compliment. I can’t help it. My eyes narrow at him, and I attempt to engage my eye lasers. Just like the two gazillion other times I’ve tried to use those lasers, they malfunction.

Gabe ignores the entire episode. “You here to do your exercise class?”

“Nope.” I shake my head. “I just put on some workout clothes and then ducked my head under the faucet to get my face and hair wet.”

My personal trainer laughs and grabs my shoulder to give it a squeeze. Why is he squeezing my shoulder? “You’re funny, sweetheart.” I wasn’t going for funny but whatever.

Someone shouts ‘Gabe’ from the other side of the gym. I look over to see the blond bimbo he was training staring daggers at me. Gabe squeezes my shoulder again. “Sorry, sweetheart, I need to get back to work. I’ll see you Wednesday, right?” I nod, and he winks before walking off.

“Looks like I’m not needed here.” I forgot Mr. Vanity was still standing here. I don’t bother responding to his obvious pout. I shake my head and walk to the locker rooms.

Thanks so much for checking in to read this spotlight tour stop for Fat Girl Begone! by D. E. Haggerty! I hope you enjoyed it, and it made you want to add it to your TBR piles!!

Until next time, happy reading!!
Kim x

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Apologies!

Hey there bookworms!

I just want to apologise about my very bad lack of blogging over the last few weeks 😦

Long story short, I have been in the process of moving house and in that process my wonderful (cough) fiancé accidentally spilled his glass of red all over my poor laptop! So…I am computer-less for the time being.

My housemate has been kind enough to loan me his for a couple of hours to get some study done (eww haha) so I thought I would come here and give you all a bit of an explanation.

I am working on getting myself a new laptop, however the funds haven’t been too good lately (moving is expensive) so I will endeavour to get myself back up and running in as little time as possible! I just ask that you be a little patient with me in the meantime 🙂 you are all amazing and I love you all!

 

Until next time, happy reading!

Kim x

Posted in Blog Tours & Blitzes, Book Reviews

#BlogTour #BookReview | Meg & Linus by Hanna Nowinski (@lang_witch)

Hey there everyone!

I was chosen to be part of the Blog Tour for the book Meg & Linus by Hanna Nowinski. My tour stop is a review so here we go!

coverTitle: Meg & Linus
Author:
Hanna Nowinski
Release Date: April 18th, 2017
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Genre: Contemporary; LGBT; Young Adult
Length: 336 pages
Format: ebook
Source: Author / tour host for review
Goodreads Rating: 3.7 / 5 stars
My Rating: ♥♥♥ / ♥♥♥♥♥
Goodreads Synopsis:
Can friendship, Star Trek, drama club, and a whole lot of coffee get two nerdy best friends through the beginning of their senior year of high school?
Meg and Linus are best friends bound by a shared love of school, a coffee obsession, and being queer. It’s not always easy to be the nerdy lesbian or gay kid in a suburban town. But they have each other. And a few Star Trek boxed sets. They’re pretty happy.
But then Sophia, Meg’s longtime girlfriend, breaks up with Meg. Linus starts tutoring the totally dreamy new kid, Danny—and Meg thinks setting them up is the perfect project to distract herself from her own heartbreak. But Linus isn’t so sure Danny even likes guys, and maybe Sophia isn’t quite as out of the picture as Meg thought she was. . . .
From crowd sourced young adult imprint Swoon Reads comes Meg & Linus by Hanna Nowinski, a fun friendship story about two quirky teens who must learn to get out of their comfort zones and take risks—even if that means joining the drama club, making new friends, and learning how to stand on your own.

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Kobo

Book Review:

*I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not alter or influence my opinion in any way*
Meg & Linus is a story about two best friends who are gay. Meg breaks up with her serious girlfriend and decides to set up Linus with the new boy who she thinks may like him. 
There are a few hiccups along the way but that is what makes it high school right?
I enjoyed this book. It wasn’t too long and not too short. There were a lot of chapters, but they were short and quick and didn’t feel as though they were dragging on. 
Character-wise I really liked Linus, I thought that he was adorable. Meg on the other hand annoyed me a little from the middle-ish section of the book. I just found that she was meddling and it was going to turn around to bite her. I know that she was heart broken and she didn’t want to wallow (not sure why??) but she begins a project to set Linus and Danny up – but she isn’t even sure if Danny is gay..I am not going to tell you if it works out, that would ruin the story.
Meg & Linus was a fun read, even with the little bit of annoyance in there..it was a good story about friendship and how it comes in all shapes and sizes and it doesn’t matter who you are, love is love.
I really liked the message – I think this was the first LGBT book that I have read, but it won’t be my last! I believe in equality whoever you are, and this book had that in spades!

About the Author:

author.jpg

Hanna Nowinski is a language enthusiast and trained translator for German and English who lives in the middle of nowhere, Germany. She has wanted to be a writer since she learned that books were made by real people. As a kid, she made up her own bedtime stories, mostly sending her stuffed animals on adventures around the world. She loves books, music, coffee, and getting way too emotionally invested in TV shows. Meg & Linus is her debut novel.

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#BookTour #Spotlight | Beyond Fate by Susan V. Vaughn (@susanvaughn1124)

cover.jpgTitle: Beyond Fate
Author: Susan V. Vaughn
Publication Date: March 24, 2017
Publisher: Inkspell Publishing
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Number of Pages: 215
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Kobo
Synopsis: 

Years of separation mean nothing when love is in the air…

Julia Diaz never wanted to fall for her friend’s older brother, especially at a college frat party. But, for some reason, her heart was stolen by Russell that night. Eight years after, she never forgot him. Now destiny has brought them together. Only this time Russell is no longer a boy. He’s a man who knows what he wants and will not be denied.

Russell Webb used to be optimistic, and fun loving until a family tragedy turned his world on its side. Putting all his focus on work, he picked himself back up, and managed to turn his grief into something resembling a life. When a woman from his past reappears, and gives him a glimpse of true happiness, he’ll do anything to secure her heart. Even face the darkness he has avoided for so long.

Excerpt:

His heart pounded as he made up the distance between them. He’d fought the urge to hold her in his arms all week. He no longer could.

“Hey! What are you doing?” Her question was lost as he pulled her against him, and covered her lips with his own. She sank desperately into his embrace for a moment, before pushing him back. “Russ, stop.”

“Why?” He grabbed one of her hands, and kissed the soft skin of her palm. She smiled, her face flushing red, her eyes flashing hazel.

“Because we are supposed to be friends, and we’re at work.” She glanced nervously around the deserted hallway.

“Nah, work’s over,” he said lightly, refusing to address the friendship statement. “It’s time for us.” He secured her hand in his, and led them toward the parking lot with single focus. “I’m taking you to dinner.”

“Wait! I have to grab my things from the music room.”

“No time for that.” He quickened his pace through the parking lot, determined to take her to dinner, not caring who witnessed his desperation. He’d waited all week for this opportunity.

“I guess you’re not giving me a choice then?” She sounded amused, not annoyed, a good sign.

“Now you get it.” He winked back at her. “I am your boss, after all.”

She sighed loudly in exasperation, and then began to giggle. It made him grin like a man who had never been happier in his life.

About the Author:

author.jpg Romance Author, Susan V. Vaughn understood the meaning of sarcasm before she could walk. Her childhood in the suburbs of Detroit was spent mainly trying to outwit her six creative siblings. When she wasn’t working on the next soul-crushing jab, she sharpened her imagination on romantic literature and day dreamed about her knight in shining armour.

It didn’t take long for this hairdresser by trade to turn her passion for reading romances into writing her own unique love stories. Susan lives her life finding laughter in all situations, and delights in marrying sarcasm with romance to create realistic falling-in-love stories in the unlikeliest of scenarios.

Susan lives on the shores of Lake Huron with her real life knight in shining armour and enjoys watching their three children learn the art of sarcasm and wit.

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Posted in Blog Tours & Blitzes

#BookBlitz | 27 Revelations by @harlow_hayes + #Giveaway

Hey there bookworms!
I was chosen to be part of the book blitz for 27 Revelations by Harlow Hayes. This book blitz is being organised by Xpresso Book Tours

coverTitle: 27 Revelations
Author: Harlow Hayes
Release Date: April 11, 2017
Genres: Adult; Contemporary
Links: Goodreads | Amazon
Goodreads’ Rating: 4.5 / 5 stars
Synopsis:
Mara Goodwin is a professional keeper of secrets, or that is what she intends to be. As a counseling psychology student at Northwestern, Mara’s ambition is unrivaled. She has the grades, the compassion, and the dedication, everything she needs to gain entry into the clinical psychology program.
However, after a traumatic experience leaves Mara in a state of mental distress, she finds herself keeping more secrets than she intended, most of them her own. Finding herself in trouble with the law, her dreams of being a therapist are jeopardized and as a consequence, Mara is ultimately forced into group therapy. While in therapy, Mara holds on to her secrets with a death grip, but when life comes full circle, her past is revealed and with it the potential to destroy her future career, her friendships, and ultimately herself.
Mara is a fighter, even if she doesn’t know it yet, but with each attempt to salvage what she can of her broken life, she is met with a consistent punch to the gut. After being pushed to the edge by meddling roommates, a persistent ex-boyfriend, and a potential new boyfriend, Mara comes to the precipice of her destruction. Yet with her destruction also comes her rebirth, and revelations of love, pain, and growth.

About the Author:

author.jpg I have loved writing ever since I was a young child in school and after years of procrastination I finally decided to go for it and write my first novel. When I’m not writing or reading I love spending time with my puppy, listening to music, and binge watching shows on Netflix.

Twitter | Website | Facebook | Goodreads

Excerpt:

“Have a seat, Mara,” she said. She directed me to an empty chair across from her desk.

The chair next to it was occupied by a firm-looking man with a serious demeanour. Dr. Bradley moved with grace across the room to her desk. She was a small woman, and when standing, I towered over her a good six inches. She had to be in her late forties, but she looked younger. She had a gentle appearance to her face, and her blonde hair cascaded softly onto her shoulders. She dressed like I used to. In heels, nice fitted skirts, and blouses varying in colour from pastels to rich reds and blues. She was nothing like the other professors, who seemed to be permanently glued to their khaki pants.

I took my seat, and the man in the chair leaned back and assessed me as if he was taking inventory. I want to punch his gut for looking so hard. He wore some gray dress pants, tennis shoes, and a powder-blue polo with a badge dangling from his neck that had a number and read Probation Officer. In his lap was a manila envelope that read MARA J. GOODWIN.

“Shall we get started, then?” Dr. Bradley spoke as she adjusted herself in her seat. “Mara, this is Officer Chad Lowe.”

I reached out to shake his hand and the roughness of it made me cringe inside. They were calloused, and pieces of dry skin were flaking away.

Dr. Bradley started to speak again so I glided back into my chair, subtly rubbing the hand he had shook on my skirts to remove any skin remnants.

“He is the probation officer that the courts have assigned you. We were meeting before you arrived to discuss whether or not you will be graduating with us and continuing your education here after the events that transpired in April.”

I tilted my head down in shame like a five-year-old being told to go to the corner.

Dr. Bradley continued. “Because I am familiar with you and the circumstances regarding the medical and legal troubles that you have had this semester, I have taken it upon myself to work with you and Officer Lowe to determine whether or not you, me, and the courts can work towards a solution that allows you to finish the counseling psychology program with us and move forward as you had planned.”

I was overcome with joy. The most I had had in a very long time. They were going let me finish my degree, even after what I had done. I was certain that the decision was made out of pity and not mercy, but I didn’t care. My body became giddy with excitement.

“However, Mara, I do believe the first question that needs to be answered is whether or not you want to finish this program.”

I leaned forward in my chair. “Yes,” I said without hesitation. “I’ve worked for this my entire life. I’m not a quitter. I want to finish, I do.”

“All right,” Dr. Bradley said as she sat up in her chair with delight. “That settles that, but there are a few things that we need to discuss before we proceed. First, Mara, you need to understand that you are the exception and not the rule. We do not condone violence in any form, and most students would have been removed immediately. Physical assault on a classmate, or anyone, for that matter, is not and never will be tolerated in this program or academic institution. However, the circumstances regarding your attack on Erin and Jason played an important role in our decision and the decision of the courts.”

I nodded my head in agreement.

“In order for you finish this program and secure your future position in the clinical psychology program you will need to agree to a few terms and conditions.”

“Absolutely. Anything,” I said.

“Officer Lowe will explain in more detail next week when you meet at his office because we are short on time today, but you will need to abide by the rules of your probation as it is set by the courts. Also, you will need to make up the clinical hours that you missed this past semester this summer and fall in order to graduate on time to be eligible to start classes second semester. Officer Lowe, is there anything else you would like to add?”

I looked over at him, sitting in the chair, fingering the pen in his hand.

“Ms. Goodwin, as Dr. Bradley has stated, I am your assigned probation officer. She has spoken highly of you and has informed me that you are tenacious, gritty, and dedicated to your studies. I trust that you will do what is necessary for you to remain a student here.” He opened the manila folder. “According to her and other character witnesses, you are a model student and your records show that you have had no previous encounters with the law, no priors and such.” He closed the envelope. “So I am hoping that you will continue being a model student and citizen. Make the right choices and things will be easy.”

“You will be required to meet with me once every two weeks to discuss your academic progress,” Dr. Bradley said.

“And according to the judge,” said Officer Lowe, “you will also be required to complete three hundred hours of community service, but the judge was lenient and arranged for your clinical hours to count towards this. You’re a lucky girl, Ms. Goodwin, very lucky.” And as the word lucky left his mouth, my smile turned to a frown. Lucky is not what I would describe the unfortunate event that got me in this mess in the first place. Dr. Bradley knew what he said struck a nerve.

“Lucky, huh?” I said as I stared at him. I could feel the hardness in my face.

“Thank you so much, Officer Lowe,” Dr. Bradley said hastily as she reached out to shake his hand. “I know Mara will be on top of things.”

“Yeah, thanks,” I said, still hearing the tension in my voice as he stood to leave.

“Thank the judge,” Lowe said. “I’ll see you in my office next week.” He walked toward the door and grabbed the door knob but paused before he opened it. “And Ms. Goodwin, there is one more thing.”

I turned in the chair so I could see him.

“You must also attend a weekly support group.”

The sweats were back. This time with a vengeance.

“Yes, Mara, I almost forgot,” Dr. Bradley said. “Dr. Moore has started a therapy group for some of the clients she’s been working with, she believes that having you there would be a nice addition.”

Group therapy? I was going to kill Dr. Moore.

“I will be in contact with Dr. Moore to make sure that you are meeting the conditions of your probation. Good luck.” He walked out and shut the door behind him.

I was glad he was gone. I needed to speak to Dr. Bradley alone.

“Dr. Bradley, I like Dr. Moore and I am glad you recommended her to me, but I don’t think I can—”

“Mara, she wouldn’t want you there if you couldn’t handle it. It’s all a part of getting you better, and now it’s part of the deal so…” She threw her hands up in defeat.

I couldn’t fight it. I couldn’t say anything. That was the deal. Not doing it wasn’t worth putting my education on the line. Finishing this master’s and ultimately my Ph.D. had been my dream for the past seven years. Besides, I had accumulated too much student loan debt, so I

needed that Ph.D. salary coming out. I stood up and made my way to the door and Dr. Bradley followed.

“Thanks again,” I said, dazed as the storm cloud seized my mind again.

She patted me on my back. “You need to heal.”

I knew she was just trying to help, but I didn’t want to hear that soppy crap. I had to go to group and share with strangers. Just more mess inserted in my life against my will. My own knowledge and seeing Dr. Moore once a week was fine. I didn’t need a third intervention. I could take care of myself. Just me in my own little corner, minding my mind, minding my own business. I didn’t need anybody.

Giveaway:

Along with this blitz, there is a chance to win a $50 Amazon Gift Card. To go into the draw, click here to go to the Rafflecopter page, and good luck!

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Posted in Blog Tours & Blitzes, Book Reviews

#BlogTour #BookReview | Black Dawn by Mallory McCartney (@MalMcCartney)

cover imageTitle: Black Dawn
Author: Mallory McCartney
Release Date: February 14, 2017
Publisher: Clean Reads Publishing
Genre: YA; Fantasy
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | BD
Goodreads’ Rating: 3.84 / 5 stars
My Rating: 
Synopsis:

The end of an Empire, the rise of a Queen

Emory Fae enjoys leading a quiet, normal life. This is until two mysterious and handsome soldiers show up at her apartment, and the life she knew is instantly whisked away. Memphis Carter and Brokk Foster come from the magical and war ridden world of Kiero, and upon Emory’s arrival she will discover she is the long lost heir to the Royal Line and is thrown into the Black Dawn rebellion with a dynamic role to ignite the rebels and reclaim her throne.

With both men being darkly woven in her past, Emory discovers hidden secrets, a power held long dormant, and will soon realise there are worse things than supernatural humans, love, loss, betrayal and a mad King.

Some things are better left in the shadows.

Book Review:

*I received this book in exchange for an honest review. This does not influence my thoughts or review in any way *

 

Black Dawn is the debut novel for McCartney, and it is also the first in a series.

I devoured this book in one sitting, I just could not get enough of it. When I reached the end, I was heartbroken! What an ending! But since finding out there will be a series, my heart has healed. Slightly.

 

This book is set in the magical world of Kiero. It is a war ridden place, taken over by a mad man claiming to be King. It is Emory’s job to defeat him and claim back her rightful throne. Sounds easy right? Except that Emory has no memory of living in this world, or how to fight or use her powers. She undergoes extensive training, coupled with the slow return of her memories she begins to gain her skills and her confidence.

 

On the sidelines, there is a bit of a love story. It was adorable, but not completely in your face, and taking away from the main story line. I love romance, and there was just enough to keep me swooning, but not enough to get in the way of what was important – the upcoming war.

 

Black Dawn was fast paced and exciting. The closer I got to the end, the more I needed to know what was going to happen. AND THEN THE ENDING HAPPENED. I cannot even describe my feelings. All I can say is COMPLETE CLIFFHANGER & I NEED THE NEXT BOOK NOW. I am hoping that the next one is being written as we speak and will be in my hands soon (I know this one was only released in February, but a girl’s gotta dream!)

 

I absolutely adored Black Dawn. Everything from the writing style to the character development, to the setting. It was all well thought out and well executed. It did take me a while to get into the flow, as each chapter is a different character. But once I understood what the story was about I couldn’t get enough of it. The only thing I will say as a slight warning, is that there is some blood and gore being described..if that is not your thing you might have to skip over some sections – having said that, it doesn’t take up too much of the book, so you all should be fine.  

 

Thank you so much for reading my review of Black Dawn by Mallory McCartney. Now that you have all heard how wonderful it is, off you go to get your own copy! I hope you enjoyed my review, and until next time, happy reading!

About the Author:

mallory mccartney.jpg

Mallory McCartney lives in London, Ontario with her husband and their two dachshunds Link and Lola. Black Dawn is her debut novel, the first in a series. When she isn’t working on her next novel or reading, she can be found dog grooming, book shopping and hiking. Other favourite pastimes involve reorganising perpetually overflowing bookshelves and seeking out new coffee and dessert shops.

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#BlogTour #BookReview | The Book of Air by Joe Treasure (@joetreas)

coverTitle: The Book of Air
Author: Joe Treasure
Release Date: April 4, 2017
Publisher: Clink Street Publishing
Format: ebook
Source: Publisher for review
Links: Goodreads | Amazon
My Rating: ♥♥♥ / ♥♥♥♥♥
Synopsis:
Retreating from an airborne virus with a uniquely unsettling symptom, property developer Jason escapes London for his country estate, where he is forced to negotiate a new way of living with an assortment of fellow survivors.
Far in the future, an isolated community of descendants continue to farm this same estate. Among their most treasured possessions are a few books, including a copy of Jane Eyre, from which they have constructed their hierarchies, rituals and beliefs. When 15-year-old Agnes begins to record the events of her life, she has no idea what consequences will follow. Locked away for her transgressions, she escapes to the urban ruins and a kind of freedom, but must decide where her future lies.

These two stories interweave, illuminating each other in unexpected ways and offering long vistas of loss, regeneration and wonder.

Book Review:

* I received this book in exchange for an honest review, this does not alter my opinion of it in any way *

We follow to stories in this book – that of Jason, a survivor of the virus, a disease that wiped out a large amount of the human race; and Agnes, a young girl in the far future living in an isolated community.

It took me a little while to get into the flow of this book. I did spend a fair amount of the beginning, quite confused about what was going on. Once I got into the two story lines it was a lot easier to follow.

Jason lives in a world where most of the population were taken by the virus. In his home there is only him and a handful of others’ who are immune. They get by as well as they can, with no electricity or running water, and very little food. Agnes lives in the future, where they study four books, including the Book of Air – Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. It is a kind of Bible to them.

As odd as believing Jane Eyre was a kind of bible was, it was an interesting idea for Treasure to come up with. It helped that I have read it, and therefore when the characters talked about things that Jane did, I followed along easily. Obviously, it is not required that you be familiar with Jane Eyre but it does make it a little easier.

What kept me enticed with the story was finding out how these two characters could be connected. They are in completely different worlds, different ages and have completely different circumstances. It was very clever how Treasure put it all together.

All through this book, in both characters’ points of view, there is a major theme of hope. This keeps you reading, to find out what happens to them in the end, and to see if having hope did them any good.

About the Author:

author

Raised sixth in a family of nine, Joe Treasure enjoyed a capriciously Bohemian childhood. Having received his educational grounding at the hands of Carmelite priests, he escaped to Cheltenham Grammar School where he excelled only in music and art. His architectural ambitions were thwarted by low grades in maths and physics. The local college of further education allowed him to pursue more congenial subjects, after which he surprised everyone, not least himself, by winning a place to read English at Keble College, Oxford. 

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Extract:

Killing a goat

A virus has wiped out most of the human population. A group of survivors have gathered in Jason’s house in rural Wales. Esther, one of Deirdre’s goats, is injured. Aleksy takes charge, helped by Abigail and Jason, who tells the story.  

Deirdre, standing at the kitchen door, held herself together, though the colour drained from her face.

‘Poor Esther. What happened? Did she wander on to the road? Stupid question. Sorry. No traffic.’

‘Bring a bucket,’ Aleksy said, ‘and a sharp knife. And a bucket. And a bowl for blood.’

‘How did you say it happened?’

‘There was a trap in the wood.’

‘And you don’t think they’re out there?’ All her feeling for the goat has risen suddenly and spilled out in this question. ‘You still don’t think they’re coming for us?’

‘An old trap, Deedee. For rabbits. Rusted and forgotten.’ She turns in the doorway and retreats into the shadows. 

Aleksy shouts after her, ‘Make sure it’s sharp, this knife.’

It knows it’s done for. When Aleksy lays it down, the legs flail, scrabbling for purchase on the flagstones, and the squealing starts. I kneel on its chest, the way Aleksy tells me, and feel it heaving against me and put more weight on it to stop its noise. It’s Abigail who brings the knife and hands it to Aleksy. She sets down the bucket, while Aleksy squats, and she hands him a plastic ice cream tub. He puts it to one side of him and then to the other, and his face goes through its routine of involuntary grimaces. He’s feeling the neck with his free hand. The knife shakes and then seems to jump forward, pulling his arm behind it. Aleksy’s grunt is lost in the grunting of the goat. And the blood is on his trousers and on the stones and spirting at last into the ice cream tub. He takes the front leg and works it as if he’s pumping water. The back legs kick and the whole body struggles under me and lies still.

I’m panting as though I’ve run a mile, and when I stand up my legs shake. 

Aleksy kneels in closer with the knife and saws an opening from the neck to the groin. 

‘Take hind legs,’ he says. ‘Hold her up, like this.’ 

I lift until only the head lies sideways on the stones. Abigail comes forward with the bucket, and the stomach and the intestines and all the neatly packed organs flop into it and rearrange themselves.

‘Now water.’

Abigail goes to the corner of the yard, where a wheelie bin, fed by a truncated downpipe, brims from the recent rain.   

Aleksy, still on one knee, looks up at me, his shoulders rising and falling. ‘Next time easier,’ he says.

‘You’ve done it before though.’

‘I watched my uncle maybe five, six times. Summers I helped on the farm.’

He helps me tie the goat by its hind legs to the stable door for the blood to drain, and I’m stirred suddenly with love for this short-legged bull of a man who knows things I don’t know. I ask him, ‘Was there fresh meat where you were… during the end times?’ The phrase comes to me from my childhood, to name a time for which there is no name. 

‘Not so much.’

He isn’t ready to talk about it, and I’m glad because neither am I. 

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