Tag: Book Haul

April Book Haul

I recently discovered https://thebookshop.ie/ thanks to Books and Charms so this is where all of my money will probably be going from now on. The Bookshop.ie sells second-hands from as little as 50c (but mostly about €2) and they are based in Ireland so shipping is nice and fast for me AND if you spend €20 shipping is free. So of course I picked up a few books.

A Place of Stones by Deirdre Purcell Elaine Howlin Literary Blog
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A Place of Stones by Deirdre Purcell

An instant bestseller in Ireland and England, here is “an unputdownable story of Irish life and love” (Maeve Binchy). Molly new nothing of her real past. For all she knew, she was a true-blue Irishwoman. When she traveled to America as a rising star of the screen, she fell in love with an irresistible American, not knowing that their love could only lead to a nightmare, and the truth of who Molly really was.

Touch the Dark by Karen Chance

Cassandra Palmer can see the future and communicate with spirits-talents that make her attractive to the dead and the undead. The ghosts of the dead aren’t usually dangerous; they just like to talk…a lot.

The undead are another matter.

Like any sensible girl, Cassie tries to avoid vampires. But when the bloodsucking Mafioso she escaped three years ago finds Cassie again with vengeance on his mind, she’s forced to turn to the vampire Senate for protection.

The undead senators won’t help her for nothing, and Cassie finds herself working with one of their most powerful members, a dangerously seductive master vampire-and the price he demands may be more than Cassie is willing to pay…

Embrace the Night by Karen Chance

Recently named the world’s chief clairvoyant, Cassandra Palmer still has a thorn in her side. As long as Cassie and a certain master vampire – the sizzling-hot Mircea – are magically bound to each other, her life will never be her own …

The spell that binds them can only be broken with an incantation found in the Codex Merlini, an ancient grimoire. The Codex’s location has been lost in the present day, so Cassie will have to seek it out in the only place it can still be found – the past.

But Cassie soon realizes the Codex has been lost for a reason. The book is rumored to contain dangerous spells, and retrieving it may help Cassie to deal with Mircea, but it could also endanger the world…

A Kiss of Shadows by Laurell K. Hamilton

My name is Meredith Gentry, but of course it’s not my real name. I dare not even whisper my true name after dark for fear that one hushed word will travel over the night winds to the soft ear of my aunt, the Queen of Air and Darkness. She wants me dead. I don’t even know why…

I fled the high court of Faerie three years ago and have been in hiding ever since. As Merry Gentry, I am a private investigator for the Grey Detective Agency: Supernatural Problems, Magical Solutions. My magical skills, scorned at the courts of Faerie, are valued in the human world. Even by human standards, my magic isn’t flashy, which is fine by me. Flashy attracts attention and I can’t afford that.

Rumour has it that I am dead. Not quite. I am Princess Meredith NicEssus. To speak that name after dark is to call down a knock upon your door from a hand that can kill you with a touch. I have been careful, but not careful enough. The shadows have found me, and they are going to take me back home, one way or another.

So the running is over. But the fighting has just begun…

Rich, sensual, brimming with dangerous magic, A Kiss of Shadows is a dazzling tour-de-force where folklore, fantasy and erotically charged adventure collide.

No Rest for the Wicked by Kresley Cole Immortals After Dark Elaine Howlin Book Blog 2
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No Rest for the Wicked by Kresley Cole

In this next installment in the Immortals After Dark SeriesUSA Today Bestselling author Kresley Cole delivers a scorching tale about a forbidding vampire who lives in the shadows and the beautiful assassin who hunts him there. 

A vampire soldier weary of life…

Centuries ago, Sebastian Wroth was turned into a vampire—a nightmare in his mind—against his will. Burdened with hatred and alone for ages, he sees little reason to live. Until an exquisite, fey creature comes to kill him, inadvertently saving him instead.

A valkyrie assassin dispatched to destroy him…

When Kaderin the Cold Hearted lost her two beloved sisters to a vampire attack long ago, a benevolent force deadened her sorrow—accidentally extinguishing all of her emotions. Yet whenever she encounters Sebastian, her feelings—particularly lust—emerge multiplied. For the first time, she’s unable to complete a kill.

Competitors in a legendary hunt…

The prize of the month-long contest is powerful enough to change history, and Kaderin will do anything to win it for her sisters. Wanting only to win her, forever, Sebastian competes as well, taking every opportunity—as they travel to ancient tombs and through catacombs, seeking relics around the world—to use her new feelings to seduce her. But when forced to choose between the vampire she’s falling for and reuniting her family, how can Kaderin live without either?

Everybody Matters by Mary Robinson Elaine Howlin Literary Blog
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Everybody Matters: A Memoir by Mary Robinson

One of the most inspiring women of our age, Mary Robinson has spent her life in pursuit of a fairer world, becoming a powerful and influential voice for human rights around the globe. Displaying a gift for storytelling and remembrance, Robinson reveals, in Everybody Matters, what lies behind the vision, strength, and determination that made her path to prominence as compelling as any of her achievements.

Born in 1944 into a deeply Catholic family-the only girl among five childrenshe was poised to become a nun before finding her own true voice.Ever since, she has challenged convention in pursuit of fairness-whether in the Church, in government and politics, or in her own family.

As an activist lawyer, she won landmark cases advancing the causes of women and marginalized people against the prejudices of the day, and in her twenty years in the Irish Senate she promoted progressive legislation, including the legalizing of contraception. She shocked the political system by winning election as Irelands first woman president in l990, redefining the role and putting Ireland firmly on the international stage. Her role as UN high commissioner for human rights, beginning in 1997, was to prove an even bigger challenge; she won acclaim for bringing attention to victims worldwide but was often frustrated both by the bureaucracy and by the willingness to compromise on principle, which reveal the deep and inherent barriers to changing the status quo. Now back in Ireland and heading her Mary Robinson Foundation-Climate Justice, she has found the independence she needs to work effectively on behalf of the millions of poor around the world most affected by climate change.

Told with the same calm conviction and modest pride that has guided her life, Everybody Matters will inspire anyone who reads it with the belief that each of us can, in our own way, help to change the world for the better. 

Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

Magic is dangerous — but love is more dangerous still 

When sixteen-year-old Tessa Gray crosses the ocean to find her brother, her destination is England, the time is the reign of Queen Victoria, and something terrifying is waiting for her in London’s Downworld, where vampires, warlocks and other supernatural folk stalk the gaslit streets. Friendless and hunted, Tessa seeks refuge with the Shadowhunters, a band of warriors dedicated to ridding the world of demons. Drawn ever deeper into their world, she finds herself fascinated by — and torn between — two best friends and quickly realizes that love may be the most dangerous magic of all.

The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare Elaine Howlin Book Blog
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Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare

In the magical underworld of Victorian London, Tessa Gray has at last found safety with the Shadowhunters. But that safety proves fleeting when rogue forces in the Clave plot to see her protector, Charlotte, replaced as head of the Institute. If Charlotte loses her position, Tessa will be out on the street—and easy prey for the mysterious Magister, who wants to use Tessa’s powers for his own dark ends.

With the help of the handsome, self-destructive Will and the fiercely devoted Jem, Tessa discovers that the Magister’s war on the Shadowhunters is deeply personal. He blames them for a long-ago tragedy that shattered his life. To unravel the secrets of the past, the trio journeys from mist-shrouded Yorkshire to a manor house that holds untold horrors, from the slums of London to an enchanted ballroom where Tessa discovers that the truth of her parentage is more sinister than she had imagined. When they encounter a clockwork demon bearing a warning for Will, they realize that the Magister himself knows their every move—and that one of their own has betrayed them.

Tessa finds her heart drawn more and more to Jem, but her longing for Will, despite his dark moods, continues to unsettle her. But something is changing in Will—the wall he has built around himself is crumbling. Could finding the Magister free Will from his secrets and give Tessa the answers about who she is and what she was born to do?

As their dangerous search for the Magister and the truth leads the friends into peril, Tessa learns that when love and lies are mixed, they can corrupt even the purest heart.

Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare

Danger and betrayal, love and loss, secrets and enchantment are woven together in the breathtaking finale to the #1 New York Times bestselling Infernal Devices Trilogy, prequel to the internationally bestselling Mortal Instruments series.

THE INFERNAL DEVICES WILL NEVER STOP COMING

A net of shadows begins to tighten around the Shadowhunters of the London Institute. Mortmain plans to use his Infernal Devices, an army of pitiless automatons, to destroy the Shadowhunters. He needs only one last item to complete his plan: he needs Tessa Gray.

Charlotte Branwell, head of the London Institute, is desperate to find Mortmain before he strikes. But when Mortmain abducts Tessa, the boys who lay equal claim to her heart, Jem and Will, will do anything to save her. For though Tessa and Jem are now engaged, Will is as much in love with her as ever.

As those who love Tessa rally to rescue her from Mortmain’s clutches, Tessa realizes that the only person who can save her is herself. But can a single girl, even one who can command the power of angels, face down an entire army?

Danger and betrayal, secrets and enchantment, and the tangled threads of love and loss intertwine as the Shadowhunters are pushed to the very brink of destruction in the breathtaking conclusion to the Infernal Devices trilogy.

The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough Elaine Howlin Book Blog
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The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough

The Thorn Birds is a robust, romantic saga of a singular family, the Clearys. It begins in the early part of this century, when Paddy Cleary moves his wife, Fiona, and their seven children to Drogheda, the vast Australian sheep station owned by his autocratic and childless older sister; and it ends more than half a century later, when the only survivor of the third generation, the brilliant actress Justine O’Neill, sets a course of life and love halfway around the world from her roots.

The central figures in this enthralling story are the indomitable Meggie, the only Cleary daughter, and the one man she truly loves, the stunningly handsome and ambitious priest Ralph de Bricassart. Ralph’s course moves him a long way indeed, from a remote Outback parish to the halls of the Vatican; and Meggie’s except for a brief and miserable marriage elsewhere, is fixed to the Drogheda that is part of her bones – but distance does not dim their feelings though it shapes their lives.

Wonderful characters people this book; strong and gentle, Paddy, hiding a private memory; dutiful Fiona, holding back love because it once betrayed her, violent, tormented Frank, and the other hardworking Cleary sons who give the boundless lands of Drogheda the energy and devotion most men save for women; Meggie; Ralph; and Meggie’s children, Justine and Dane. And the land itself; stark, relentless in its demands, brilliant in its flowering, prey to gigantic cycles of drought and flood, rich when nature is bountiful, surreal like no other place on earth.

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Now I have so many books to read I shouldn’t need to buy any more for the next few months… but we all know that won’t happen.

Book Haul | February & March 2019

This year I really want to stop buying books and focus on reading the ones I have already (because it’s a lot, people!). Despite this though I did pick up a few books in February and March (I managed not to buy anything in Jan though!).

Two of the books I got came in my Books and Charms box but I did buy three. They were second hand and I had a €5 voucher so it’s not so bad.

First off let’s take a look at the books that came in my Books and Charms box. Books and Charms is an Irish book subscription box service. You can order a one-time box or a subscription and they have some other cool bookish stuff on their site too.

The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks

The Notebook (The Notebook, #1)

How far can love endure?

Noah Calhoun has just returned from World War Two. Attempting to escape the ghosts of battle, he tries to concentrate on restoring an old plantation home to its former glory. And yet he is haunted by images of the beautiful girl he met there fourteen years before, a girl who captured his heart like no other.

But when these distant memories begin to slide into reality, the passion that had lain still is ignited once more. Though so much is in their way, the miraculous force of their love refuses to fade.

Double Wedding by Patricia Scanlan

Double Wedding

Jessica and Carol, two childhood friends, are both engaged to be married. Secretly afraid her fiance is going to chicken out, Carol is insisting on a double wedding.

Jessica is appalled at the idea: she doesn’t want to share the happiest day of her life with whining Carol and her womanising boyfriend. Unfortunately for her, she has a very soft heart and is easily persuaded to agree.

Carol’s parents are separated and at loggerheads. Neither wants the other to be there. Who will win that war? Nadine, Carol’s younger sister, is wild and disruptive and drinks like a fish – hardly the ideal wedding guest.

Will Carol’s family come to blows? Will her fiance do a runner? Will they make it to the altar? And can Jessica and Carol’s friendship survive a Double Wedding?

Now let’s take a look at the books I bought. I got them in Vibes and Scribes second-hand shop in Cork. They have a second-hand books shop, a new books shop and an amazing arts and crafts shop across the bridge. They’re my favourite retailers in town!

I picked up three books by Irish writers (also all female but this wasn’t a goal) for the Irish Readathon in March. The Dolocher I picked up based on a review by Aoife from Fred Weasley Died Laughing on YouTube.

The Dolocher by Caroline Barry

The Dolocher

Victorian London had Jack the Ripper. Georgian Dublin had the Dolocher…

The Dolocher is stalking the alleyways of Dublin. Half man, half pig, this terrifying creature has unleashed panic on the streets. Can it really be the evil spirit of a murderer who has cheated the hangman’s noose by taking his own life in his prison cell, depriving the mob of their rightful revenge? Or is there some other strange supernatural explanation?

This terror has come at the perfect time for down-at-heel writer Solomon Fish. With his new broadsheet reporting ever more gruesome stories of the mysterious Dolocher, sales are growing daily and fuelling the city’s fear. But when the Dolocher starts killing and Solomon himself is set upon, he realises that there’s more to the story than he could ever have imagined.

With the help of his fearless landlady, ship’s surgeon-turned-apothecary Merriment O’Grady, Solomon goes after the Dolocher. Torn between reason and superstition, they must hold their nerve as everyone around them loses theirs. But are they hunting the Dolocher or is the Dolocher hunting them?

The Husband by Deirdre Purcell

The Husband

When city girl Marian falls for the charms of Dermot, she falls hard. So much so that she finds herself upping sticks and moving with him from Chicago to rural Ireland, the country of his origin, where he plans to take over his father’s GP practice. 
But tragedy strikes unexpectedly and Marian finds herself facing early widowhood, alone and devastated, in a strange land. As she tries to makes sense of it all, throwing herself into community activity in a bid to cope with her grief, she begins to receive menacing anonymous notes that concern her enough to bring them to the attention of local garda Jack Cantwell, who investigates.
Nothing can prepare Marian for the discovery that Dermot, the husband she loved, was not the man she thought she knew. But, as greater questions take shape – such as what she will do with the rest of her life – she must face her demons head on, if she is ever to move on and learn to trust again. 
After all, the Irish village of Glanmillish may be small, but there is plenty going on…

The Little Red Chairs by Edna O’Brien

The Little Red Chairs

The much-anticipated new novel from the literary world’s master of storytelling, Edna O’Brien.

A woman discovers that the foreigner she thinks will redeem her life is a notorious war criminal.

Vlad, a stranger from Eastern Europe masquerading as a healer, settles in a small Irish village where the locals fall under his spell. One woman, Fidelma McBride, becomes so enamored that she begs him for a child. All that world is shattered when Vlad is arrested, and his identity as a war criminal is revealed.

Fidelma, disgraced, flees to England and seeks work among the other migrants displaced by wars and persecution. But it is not until she confronts him-her nemesis-at the tribunal in The Hague, that her physical and emotional journey reaches its breathtaking climax.

THE LITTLE RED CHAIRS is a book about love, and the endless search for it. It is also a book about mankind’s fascination with evil, and how long, how crooked, is the road towards Home.

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Synopsis and book cover from Goodreads. Photos from my Instagram @elainehowlin_

December Haul

December is all about buying for other people so I didn’t do any book shopping in December but I did receive a few cookbooks and a novel that my brother’s girlfriend picked up for me. I signed up to Kindle Unlimited this month as well because they have a really good offer on at the moment. You get three months of the service for £1.99! With Kindle Unlimited you can borrow 10 books at a time from the unlimited library and I have already taken out a few which I will show you below.

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Cookbooks

The Wicked Healthy Cookbook

The Wicked Healthy Cookbook

Hi, we’re Chad and Derek. We’re brothers who craft humble vegetables into the stuff of food legend. Everything we create is a bold marriage of delicate and punchy flavours, crunchy textures, and all with knife-sharp attention to detail. We’re proud graduates of the University of Common Sense who simply believe that eating more veg is good for you and good for the planet.

THE WICKED HEALTHY COOKBOOK presents a delicious game plan endorsed by every doctor and health organisation in the world: eat more plants. Chefs Chad and Derek Sarno are among the world’s foremost authorities on plant-based cooking and here they share their secrets for making killer meals.

THE WICKED HEALTHY COOKBOOK is unlike any other book on the market, and takes the badass plant pushing moniker to a whole new level, with sumptuous recipes and equally gorgeous photographs. The chefs include must-have tips on everything from barbecuing and entertaining, to cooking oil-free (if you’re into that), to organising an efficient kitchen. Featured throughout are informational sidebars and new innovative cooking techniques, helping to ensure readers end up with all of the flavour and texture they could want from a meal, minus the guilt!

Celebrating the central role of beautiful, crave-able food for our health and vitality, Chad and Derek provide 129 recipes for everyday meals and fancy dinner parties alike and also show us how to kick back and indulge with drool-inducing recipes like Sloppy BBQ Jackfruit Sliders with Slaw, New England Style “Lobstah” Rolls, and Grilled peaches with Vanilla Spiced Gelato and Mango Sriracha Caramel. That’s all part of the plan: Shoot for 80% healthy and 20% wicked, and you’ll be 100% sexy: That’s Wicked Healthy!

Get the Book: Amazon | Book Depository


Vegan Christmas – Gaz Oakly

Vegan Christmas

Vegans and vegetarians everywhere will have the best holiday period ever with Gaz Oakley’s fantastic alternatives to the trad turkey and trimmings. Gaz is an expert in bold flavours and textures, so everyone can enjoy a spectacular centrepiece and amazing food throughout the festive season. Gaz talks you through the menus and the planning, from Christmas morning breakfast like Sweet Potato Waffles and Tofu Benedict, through to a show-stopping lunch with the likes of Ultimate Christmas Wellington, “Turkey” Roast and Festive Nut Roast Wreath served with all the trimmings: “No Pigs” in Blankets, Hasselback Potatoes and Fluffy Yorkshire Puddings – all rounded off with spectacular dairy-free puds including Boozy Tiramisu and Creme Brûlée Tarts. There are vegan versions of mince pies, Pavlova and the traditional Christmas Pudding with Custard, and even a “cheese” board for afters! And it’s not just about the big day: Gaz offers a supreme spread of party food for when you’re celebrating with guests – Mini Sausage Rolls, Sticky BBQ “Ribs” and Arancini, among many others, plus ideas for Boxing Day leftovers including Bubble & Squeak, Christmas Curry and Gyros. Packed with suggestions for the festivities and advice on how to keep cool in the kitchen if you’re cooking on the big day, Vegan Christmas Cookbook offers every solution you’ll ever need for what to cook for vegans and vegetarians at Christmas.

Get the Book: Amazon | Book Depository


BOSH! – Ian Theasby, Henry Firth

BOSH!: The Cookbook: Simple Recipes. Amazing Food. All Plants.

‘The vegan Jamie Olivers’ The TimesWant to cook ridiculously good plant-based food from scratch but have no idea where to start? With over 140 incredibly easy and outrageously tasty all plants meals, BOSH! The Cookbook will be your guide.

Henry Firth and Ian Theasby, creators of the world’s biggest and fastest-growing plant-based platform, BOSH!, are the new faces of the food revolution.

Their online channels have well over 1.8 million fans and constantly inspire people to cook ultra-tasty & super simple recipes at home. Always ensuring they stick to fresh, supermarket-friendly ingredients, BOSH! truly is “plant-based food for everyone”.

In BOSH! The Cookbook, Ian and Henry share over 140 of their favourite go-to breakfasts, crowd-pleasing party pieces, hearty dinners, sumptuous desserts & incredible sharing cocktails.

The book is jam-packed with fun, unpretentious and mega satisfying recipes, including Creamy Mac and Greens, Burrito Samosas, the Big Bhaji Burger, the World’s Best Pesto Lasagne, Satay Sweet Potato BOSH! Bowl, Spanish Beach Churros, Gooey PBJ Brownies and Salted Caramel Chocolate Crunch Tart, all easy enough to be rustled up any night of the week. It’s enough to convince the staunchest of carnivores to give plants a whirl.

Whether you’re already sold on the plant-based lifestyle or you simply want to incorporate more meat, dairy and egg-free meals into your week, BOSH! The Cookbook is your plant-based bible.

BOSH!

Get the Book: Amazon | Book Depository


15 Minute Vegan Comfort Food – Katy Beskow

15 Minute Vegan Comfort Food: Simple & satisfying vegan recipes

From the author of the bestselling 15 Minute Vegan comes 15 Minute Vegan: Comfort Food. The book shatters the notion that vegan food is cold and soulless by showing you how to create inspired comfort foods, whether you’re vegan or not. Vegan cookery expert Katy Beskow celebrates cooking for pleasure, soul and enjoyment, without having to spend hours in the kitchen. Using ingredients readily available in supermarkets, Katy’s easy recipes and instructions will have you making delicious, nutritious meals time after time. The book explores how a mindful cooking process is as comforting as the final dish, even when you have just 15 minutes to spare, and offers 100 recipes across five chapters: comfort classics (chocolate chilli, moussaka bowls); sides & bites (sweetcorn fritters, speedy samosas); social sharing (mushroom bourguignon, garden biryani); solo recipes (spicy falafel burger, cashew chow mein); and sweet comforts (cherry pot pies, jam sponge pudding).

Get the Book: Amazon | Book Depository

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Last Christmas in Paris by Hazel Gaynor & Heather Web

Last Christmas in Paris: A Novel of World War I

New York Times bestselling author Hazel Gaynor has joined with Heather Webb to create this unforgettably romantic novel of the Great War.

August 1914. England is at war. As Evie Elliott watches her brother, Will, and his best friend, Thomas Harding, depart for the front, she believes—as everyone does—that it will be over by Christmas, when the trio plan to celebrate the holiday among the romantic cafes of Paris.

But as history tells us, it all happened so differently…

Evie and Thomas experience a very different war. Frustrated by life as a privileged young lady, Evie longs to play a greater part in the conflict—but how?—and as Thomas struggles with the unimaginable realities of war he also faces personal battles back home where War Office regulations on press reporting cause trouble at his father’s newspaper business. Through their letters, Evie and Thomas share their greatest hopes and fears—and grow ever fonder from afar. Can love flourish amid the horror of the First World War, or will fate intervene?

Christmas 1968. With failing health, Thomas returns to Paris—a cherished packet of letters in hand—determined to lay to rest the ghosts of his past. But one final letter is waiting for him…


I actually listened to the audiobook of Last Christmas in Paris in November and I loved it so much I will definitely reread it in the future. My brother’s girlfriend spotted it in town for €3 and picked me up a copy. The print version is so pretty. The letters are arranged so nicely, I’m really looking forward to reading it.

Get the Book: Amazon | Book Depository

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Kindle Unlimited

Sign up to Kindle Unlimited here.

The Ladies’ Room by Carolyn Brown

The Ladies' Room

Secrets told in the church ladies’ room are supposed to stay in the ladies’ room. But that doesn’t mean that what Trudy overhears there during her great-aunt Gertrude’s funeral won’t change the rest of her life.

Trudy has a daughter in the middle of a major rebellion; a two-timing husband who has been cheating for their entire married life; and a mother with Alzheimer’s residing in the local nursing home. She doesn’t really need a crumbling old house about to fall into nothing but a pile of memories and broken knickknacks.

Billy Lee Tucker, resident oddball in Tishomingo, Oklahoma, lived next door to Gert, and in her will she leaves him the funds to help Trudy remodel the old house. That’s fine with Billy Lee, because he’s been in love with Trudy since before they started school. And just spending time with her is something he’d never ever allowed himself to dream about.

A beautiful home rises up from the old house on Broadway, and right along with it rises up a relationship. But is Trudy too scarred from what she heard in the ladies’ room to see a lovely future with Billy Lee

Get the Book: Amazon | Book Depository


Box of Frogs by Helen Harper

Box of Frogs (The Fractured Faery, #1)

One corpse. Several bizarre looking attackers. Some very strange magical powers. And a severe bout of amnesia. Madrona is not having a great week. It’s going to be okay though. All she has to do is find out who she really is, protect a soap star from being attacked by a stalker and work out why so many people seem so afraid of her. Because surely she’s a good person.

Right?

Get the Book: Amazon | Book Depository


Edinburgh Twilight by Carole Lawrence

Edinburgh Twilight (Ian Hamilton Mysteries #1)

As a new century approaches, Edinburgh is a city divided. The wealthy residents of New Town live in comfort, while Old Town’s cobblestone streets are clotted with criminals, prostitution, and poverty.

Detective Inspector Ian Hamilton is no stranger to Edinburgh’s darkest crimes. Scarred by the mysterious fire that killed his parents, he faces his toughest case yet when a young man is found strangled in Holyrood Park.

With little evidence aside from a strange playing card found on the body, Hamilton engages the help of his aunt, a gifted photographer, and George Pearson, a librarian with a shared interest in the criminal mind. But the body count is rising. As newspapers spin tales of the “Holyrood Strangler,” panic sets in across the city. And with each victim, the murderer is getting closer to Hamilton, the one man who dares to stop him.

Get the Book: Amazon | Book Depository


Pines by Blake Crouch

Pines (Wayward Pines, #1)

Secret service agent Ethan Burke arrives in Wayward Pines, Idaho, with a clear mission: locate and recover two federal agents who went missing in the bucolic town one month earlier. But within minutes of his arrival, Ethan is involved in a violent accident. He comes to in a hospital, with no ID, no cell phone, and no briefcase. The medical staff seems friendly enough, but something feels…off. As the days pass, Ethan’s investigation into the disappearance of his colleagues turns up more questions than answers. Why can’t he get any phone calls through to his wife and son in the outside world? Why doesn’t anyone believe he is who he says he is? And what is the purpose of the electrified fences surrounding the town? Are they meant to keep the residents in? Or something else out? Each step closer to the truth takes Ethan further from the world he thought he knew, from the man he thought he was, until he must face a horrifying fact—he may never get out of Wayward Pines alive.

Get the Book: Amazon | Book Depository


Synopsis and book covers from Goodreads.

What books did you get in December?

November Book Haul

This is probably my biggest book haul. In October I took part in an event called Secret Vampire in My Vampire Book Obsession which is basically Secret Santa but we play at Halloween and call ourselves vampires. My Secret Vampire lived in the US so it took a while for the books to arrive and they missed my October Haul but do not fear I will show you all of the awesome books she sent me now. I also received an ARC from Harper Collins Ireland and I visited a few more second-hand shops.


From My Secret Vampire

Sparrow Hill Road (Ghost Roads, #1)Sparrow Hill Road by Seanan McGuire

Rose Marshall died in 1952 in Buckley Township, Michigan, run off the road by a man named Bobby Cross—a man who had sold his soul to live forever, and intended to use her death to pay the price of his immortality. Trouble was, he didn’t ask Rose what she thought of the idea.

It’s been more than sixty years since that night, and she’s still sixteen, and she’s still running.

They have names for her all over the country: the Girl in the Diner. The Phantom Prom Date. The Girl in the Green Silk Gown. Mostly she just goes by “Rose,” a hitchhiking ghost girl with her thumb out and her eyes fixed on the horizon, trying to outrace a man who never sleeps, never stops, and never gives up on the idea of claiming what’s his. She’s the angel of the overpass, she’s the darling of the truck stops, and she’s going to figure out a way to win her freedom. After all, it’s not like it can kill her.

You can’t kill what’s already dead.

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository


Final GirlsFinal Girls by Riley Sager

First there were THREE.

The media calls them the Final Girls – the infamous group of survivors that no one wants to be part of.

Then there were TWO.

But when Lisa dies in mysterious circumstances, Sam shows up unannounced and angry.

Can there only ever be ONE?

All Quincy knows is one thing: she is next.

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository


BelindaBelinda by Maria Edgeworth

The lively comedy of this novel in which a young woman comes of age amid the distractions and temptations of London high society belies the challenges it poses to the conventions of courtship, the dependence of women, and the limitations of domesticity. Contending with the perils and the varied cast of characters of the marriage market, Belinda strides resolutely toward independence. Admired by her contemporary, Jane Austen, and later by Thackeray and Turgenev, Edgeworth tackles issues of gender and race in a manner at once comic and thought-provoking. The 1802 text used in this edition also confronts the difficult and fascinating issues of racism and mixed marriage, which Edgeworth toned down in later editions.
About the Series: For over 100 years Oxford World’s Classics has made available the broadest spectrum of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford’s commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, voluminous notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository


The Turning (Blood Ties, #1)The Turning by Jennifer Armintrout

I’m no coward. I want to make that perfectly clear. But after my life turned into a horror movie, I take fear a lot more seriously now. I finally became Dr. Carrie Ames just eight months ago. Then I was attacked in the hospital morgue by a vampire. Just my luck.

So now I’m a vampire, and it turns out I have a blood tie to the monster who sired me. The tie works like an invisible leash and I’m bound to him no matter what I do. And of course he’s one of the most evil vampires on earth. With my sire hell-bent on turning me into a soulless killer and his sworn enemy set to exterminate me, things couldn’t get much worse–except I’m attracted to them both.

Drinking blood, living as an immortal demon and being a pawn between two warring vampire factions isn’t exactly how I’d imagined my future. But as my father used to say, the only way to conquer fear is to face it. So that’s what I’ll do. Fangs bared.

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Grimm Fairy Tales Presents: Vampires and WerewolvesGrimm Fairy Tales: Vampires & Werewolves by Pat Shand and Mark L. Miller

Collect the Unleashed tie-in stories that feature Roman putting down the werewolf packs, and Liesel Van Helsing taking the fight to the vampires on their path to send these monsters back to the Shadowlands! Collects Grimm Fairy Tales: Vampires #1-3 and Grimm Fairy Tales: Werewolves #1-3.

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Audible amazon Harry Potter collection

Harper Collins Ireland

One Minute LaterOne Minute Later by Susan Lewis

It’s takes one minute to change everything…

Vivienne Shager has it all. A highflying job. A beautiful apartment. Friends whose lives are as perfect as her own. But on the afternoon of her 27th birthday, Vivi has a heart attack.

Now Vivi’s life shrinks back to how it begun, as she moves back to the small seaside town she grew up in. With her time running out, there is one thing she wants to know the truth about.

Some secrets are best left in the past…

Thirty years earlier, Shelley’s family home, Deerwood farm, bursts full of love and happiness. But one family member has hidden a secret for all these years. Until Vivi comes home demanding answers, and it takes just a moment to unravel the lie at their heart of their lives…

Preorder the book: Amazon | Book Depository


November Book Haul Elaine Howlin Literary Blog
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Second-Hand Shops

'Tis; a Memoir‘Tis by Frank McCourt

The sequel to Frank McCourt’s memoir of his Irish Catholic boyhood, Angela’s Ashes, picks up the story in October 1949, upon his arrival in America. Though he was born in New York, the family had returned to Ireland due to poor prospects in the United States. Now back on American soil, this awkward 19-year-old, with his “pimply face, sore eyes, and bad teeth,” has little in common with the healthy, self-assured college students he sees on the subway and dreams of joining in the classroom. Initially, his American experience is as harrowing as his impoverished youth in Ireland, including two of the grimmest Christmases ever described in literature. McCourt views the U.S. through the same sharp eye and with the same dark humor that distinguished his first memoir: race prejudice, casual cruelty, and dead-end jobs weigh on his spirits as he searches for a way out. A glimpse of hope comes from the army, where he acquires some white-collar skills, and from New York University, which admits him without a high school diploma. But the journey toward his position teaching creative writing at Stuyvesant High School is neither quick nor easy. Fortunately, McCourt’s openness to every variety of human emotion and longing remains exceptional; even the most damaged, difficult people he encounters are richly rendered individuals with whom the reader can’t help but feel uncomfortable kinship. The magical prose, with its singing Irish cadences, brings grandeur and beauty to the most sorrowful events, including the final scene, set in a Limerick graveyard. –Wendy Smith

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On Canaan's SideOn Canaan’s Side by Sebastian Barry

From the Man Booker short-listed author of The Secret Scripture comes a magnificent new novel that is the story of twentieth-century America.

Sebastian Barry returns with the extraordinary story of Lilly Bere, the youngest daughter of the Dunne family. Forced to flee Ireland with her fiancé as a teenager under threat of death from the IRA, Lilly discovers herself in America. Her rich and tragic life takes her from Chicago, where her fiancé is brutally murdered, to Cleveland where she marries and finds happiness even as she survives the Great Depression and World War II. Joyfully pregnant at forty-three, Lilly moves to Washington, D.C., her husband mysteriously disappears, and she finds work as a cook for one of the most prominent families in the country. Lilly follows the family to Bridgehampton, New York, and there she brings up her son, Ed, who at eighteen is called up to Vietnam and vanishes on his return to America. Mr. Nolan, a close friend, is dispatched to find him and returns from the Smoky Mountain wilderness not with Ed but with Ed’s young son, Bill, whom Lilly will raise and adore until tragedy strikes.
Told in the first person as a narrative of her life over seventeen days, On Canaan’s Side is the heartbreaking story of a woman whose capacity to love is enormous and whose compassion, even for those who have wronged her, is extraordinary.

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WinterWinter by Ali Smith

The dazzling second novel in Ali Smith’s essential Seasonal Quartet — from the Baileys Prize-winning, Man Booker-shortlisted author of Autumn and How to be both.

Winter? Bleak. Frosty wind, earth as iron, water as stone, so the old song goes. The shortest days, the longest nights. The trees are bare and shivering. The summer’s leaves? Dead litter.

The world shrinks; the sap sinks.
But winter makes things visible. And if there’s ice, there’ll be fire.

In Ali Smith’s Winter, lifeforce matches up to the toughest of the seasons. In this second novel in her acclaimed Seasonal cycle, the follow-up to her sensational Autumn, Smith’s shape-shifting quartet of novels casts a merry eye over a bleak post-truth era with a story rooted in history, memory and warmth, its taproot deep in the evergreens: art, love, laughter.

It’s the season that teaches us survival.
Here comes Winter.

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AutumnAutumn by Ali Smith

Autumn. Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness. That’s what it felt like for Keats in 1819. How about Autumn 2016? Daniel is a century old. Elisabeth, born in 1984, has her eye on the future. The United Kingdom is in pieces, divided by a historic, once-in-a-generation summer.Love is won, love is lost. Hope is hand-in-hand with hopelessness. The seasons roll round, as ever.
Ali Smith’s new novel is a meditation on a world growing ever more bordered and exclusive, on what richness and worth are, on what harvest means. It is the first installment of her Seasonal quartet–four stand-alone books, separate yet interconnected and cyclical (as the seasons are)–and it casts an eye over our own time. Who are we? What are we made of? Shakespearean jeu d’esprit, Keatsian melancholy, the sheer bright energy of 1960s pop art: the centuries cast their eyes over our own history making.
Here’s where we’re living. Here’s time at its most contemporaneous and its most cyclic.
From the imagination of the peerless Ali Smith comes a shape-shifting series, wide-ranging in time-scale and light-footed through histories, a story about aging and time and love and stories themselves.

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Eligible (The Austen Project, #4)Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld

This version of the Bennet family and Mr. Darcy is one that you have and haven’t met before: Liz is a magazine writer in her late thirties who, like her yoga instructor older sister, Jane, lives in New York City. When their father has a health scare, they return to their childhood home in Cincinnati to help and discover that the sprawling Tudor they grew up in is crumbling and the family is in disarray.

Youngest sisters Kitty and Lydia are too busy with their CrossFit workouts and Paleo diets to get jobs. Mary, the middle sister, is earning her third online master’s degree and barely leaves her room, except for those mysterious Tuesday-night outings she won’t discuss. And Mrs. Bennet has one thing on her mind: how to marry off her daughters, especially as Jane’s fortieth birthday fast approaches.

Enter Chip Bingley, a handsome new-in-town doctor who recently appeared on the juggernaut reality TV dating show Eligible. At a Fourth of July barbecue, Chip takes an immediate interest in Jane, but Chip’s friend, neurosurgeon Fitzwilliam Darcy, reveals himself to Liz to be much less charming. . . . And yet, first impressions can be deceiving.

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Chocolat (Chocolat #1)Chocolat by Joanne Harris

When the exotic stranger Vianne Rocher arrives in the old French village of Lansquenet and opens a chocolate boutique called “La Celeste Praline” directly across the square from the church, Father Reynaud identifies her as a serious danger to his flock. It is the beginning of Lent: the traditional season of self-denial. The priest says she’ll be out of business by Easter.

To make matters worse, Vianne does not go to church and has a penchant for superstition. Like her mother, she can read Tarot cards. But she begins to win over customers with her smiles, her intuition for everyone’s favourites, and her delightful confections. Her shop provides a place, too, for secrets to be whispered, grievances aired. She begins to shake up the rigid morality of the community. Vianne’s plans for an Easter Chocolate Festival divide the whole community. Can the solemnity of the Church compare with the pagan passion of a chocolate éclair?

For the first time, here is a novel in which chocolate enjoys its true importance, emerging as an agent of transformation. Rich, clever, and mischievous, reminiscent of a folk tale or fable, this is a triumphant read with a memorable character at its heart.

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The Thirteenth TaleThe Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield

Angelfield House stands abandoned and forgotten. It was once the imposing home of the March family – fascinating, manipulative Isabelle, Charlie, her brutal and dangerous brother, and the wild, untamed twins, Emmeline and Adeline. But Angelfield House conceals a chilling secret whose impact still resonates …

Now Margaret Lea is investigating Angelfield’s past – and the mystery of the March family starts to unravel. What has the house been hiding? What is its connection with the enigmatic author Vida Winter? And what is it in Margaret’s own troubled past that causes her to fall so powerfully under Angelfield’s spell?

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September Book Haul

It’s been ages since I done a haul post. I don’t normally buy lots of books in a month (it’s usually maybe two) but I discovered the wonders of second-hand shops and thrift stores in September and I bought some. I still didn’t go nuts with the purchasing! I managed to just buy five then I received a book from Harper Collins and my mother gave me a book.


September Haul Elaine Howlin Literary Blog

 

Little Fires EverywhereLittle Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

In Shaker Heights, a placid, progressive suburb of Cleveland, everything is meticulously planned – from the layout of the winding roads, to the colours of the houses, to the successful lives its residents will go on to lead. And no one embodies this spirit more than Elena Richardson, whose guiding principle is playing by the rules.

Enter Mia Warren – an enigmatic artist and single mother – who arrives in this idyllic bubble with her teenage daughter Pearl, and rents a house from the Richardsons. Soon Mia and Pearl become more than just tenants: all four Richardson children are drawn to the alluring mother-daughter pair. But Mia carries with her a mysterious past, and a disregard for the rules that threatens to upend this carefully ordered community.

When the Richardsons’ friends attempt to adopt a Chinese-American baby, a custody battle erupts that dramatically divides the town and puts Mia and Mrs. Richardson on opposing sides. Suspicious of Mia and her motives, Mrs. Richardson becomes determined to uncover the secrets in Mia’s past. But her obsession will come at unexpected and devastating costs to her own family – and Mia’s.

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Sons and Lovers Sons and Lovers by D.H. Lawrence

The marriage of Gertrude and Walter Morel has become a battleground. Repelled by her uneducated and sometimes violent husband, delicate Gertrude devotes her life to her children, especially to her sons, William and Paul – determined they will not follow their father into working down the coal mines. But conflict is evitable when Paul seeks to escape his mother’s suffocating grasp through relationships with women his own age. Set in Lawrence’s native Nottinghamshire, Sons and Lovers is a highly autobiographical and compelling portrayal of childhood, adolescence and the clash of generations.

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The Witches of EastwickThe Witches of Eastwick by John Updike

In a small New England town in the late 1960s, there lived three witches. Alexandra Spofford, a sculptress, Jane Smart, a cellist, and Sukie Rougemont,the local gossip columnist. Their supernatural gifts were intriguing, to say the least. Divorced but hardly celibate, content but always ripe for adventure, one day all three witches found themselves under the spell of a new man in town, Darryl Van Horne. His hot tub was the scene of some bewitching delights, but that doesn’t being to conjure the half of it.

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Labyrinth (Languedoc Trilogy, #1)Labyrinth by Kate Mosse

July 2005. In the Pyrenees mountains near Carcassonne, Alice, a volunteer at an archaeological dig, stumbles into a cave and makes a startling discovery-two crumbling skeletons, strange writings on the walls, and the pattern of a labyrinth.

Eight hundred years earlier, on the eve of a brutal crusade that will rip apart southern France, a young woman named Alais is given a ring and a mysterious book for safekeeping by her father. The book, he says, contains the secret of the true Grail, and the ring, inscribed with a labyrinth, will identify a guardian of the Grail. Now, as crusading armies gather outside the city walls of Carcassonne, it will take a tremendous sacrifice to keep the secret of the labyrinth safe.

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The Little StrangerThe Little Stranger by Sarah Waters

After her award-winning trilogy of victorian novels, sarah waters turned to the 1940s and wrote the night watch, a tender and tragic novel set against the backdrop of wartime britain shortlisted for both the orange and the man booker, it went straight to number one in the bestseller chart in a dusty post-war summer in rural warwickshire, a doctor is called to a patient at hundreds hall home to the ayres family for over two centuries, the georgian house, once grand and handsome, is now in decline, its masonry crumbling, its gardens choked with weeds, the clock in its stable yard permanently fixed at twenty to nine but are the ayreses haunted by something more sinister than a dying way of life little does dr faraday know how closely, and how terrifyingly, their story is about to become entwined with his prepare yourself from this wonderful writer who continues to astonish us, now comes a chilling ghost story.

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The Night WatchThe Nightwatch by Sarah Waters

Moving back through the 1940s, through air raids, blacked out streets, illicit liaisons, sexual adventure, to end with its beginning in 1941, The Night Watch is the work of a truly brilliant and compelling storyteller.

This is the story of four Londoners: three women and a young man with a past, drawn with absolute truth and intimacy. Kay, who drove an ambulance during the war and lived life at full throttle, now dresses in mannish clothes and wanders the streets with a restless hunger, searching. Helen, clever, sweet, much-loved, harbours a painful secret. Viv, a glamour girl, is stubbornly, even foolishly loyal, to her soldier lover. Duncan, an apparent innocent, has had his own demons to fight during the war. Their lives, and their secrets, connect in sometimes startling ways.

War leads to strange alliances. Tender, tragic and beautifully poignant, set against the backdrop of feats of heroism both epic and ordinary, here is a novel of relationships that offers up subtle surprises and twists. The Night Watch is a thrilling and towering literary achievement.

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BarrenBarren by Peter V. Brett

Each night, the world is overrun by bloodthirsty demons. For centuries, humanity survived only by hiding behind defensive wards—magical symbols with the power to repel the demons. Now, the rediscovery of long-forgotten combat wards has given them the magic they need to fight back.

In Tibbet’s Brook, the fighting wards have brought change, but the factions and grudges of a troubled past remain. Selia Square, the woman they call Barren, has long been the force that holds the Brook together. As a terrifying new threat emerges, she rallies her people once again.

But Selia has a past of her own. And in a small community the personal and the political can never be divided. If Tibbet’s Brook is to survive, Selia must uncover memories she has buried deep—the woman she once was, the woman she once loved—and retell their story.

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Synopsis from Goodreads. Photos from my Instagram @elainehowlin_