Sunday Book Nook – Every Dead Thing and The Year of Less

Book Nook

Due to being off my feet for the last few months with COVID-19, I’ve been doing a lot of reading. I set myself a Good Reads challenge of 52 books for 2020, I’m already on book 62!book nook 1

No matter how bad life gets, I can always lose myself in a book. For that reason I thought I’d bring back the Sunday Book Nook posts and share some of the books I’m reading.

This week I’ve been reading The Year of Less: How I Stopped Shopping, Gave Away My Belongings, and Discovered Life is Worth More Than You Can Buy by Cait Flanders and John Connolly’s first book in the Charlie Parker series, Every Dead Thing.

The Year of Less by Cait Flanders

Book Nook 2

I saw this on fellow author, Rachel Burton’s IG a few weeks ago. The title resonated with me. I’ve been buying lots of ‘stuff’ online during lockdown, especially planning stuff, hoping it would make me productive. I look at all that stuff now and admit I probably don’t need half of it. What a waste! So the book title spoke to me. I want to start buying less.

I picked this book up on Kindle for £1.49 and it was one of my best purchases in a while. The book charts Flanders’ ‘no-spend’ journey, but also how she kicked other addictive habits. I won’t spoil it for you, but it really made me look at my own spending habits. I’ve read things like the No-Spend Year before, but that ethos always seemed too extreme for me. Flanders’ book offers a gentler no spend plan – no spending on things like magazines, clothing and books. She could buy things that needed replacing – for example if something broke or was beyond repair.

The book was a quick read and helped me get back into reading first thing in the morning instead of scrolling through social media. I’ve even implemented some of the mindful spending tips – I’ve cancelled my unnecessary subscriptions and am asking myself if I really NEED something when I buy it (for example I been agonising over purchasing a new kettle!). There are some parts of the book, especially the parts dealing with alcohol addiction, that I skimmed over, but overall this was a great read.

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Every Dead Thing by John Connolly (Charlie Parker Book 1)

oBook Nook 3

I’m going to admit I have a literary crush on John Connolly. I met him in Leeds a few years ago and was totally star struck. To me the man is a writing god! I picked up a copy of Every Dead Thing in Waterstones in 1999, went home and read the book over the next few days, curled up on the sofa under a blanket drinking copious amounts of tea (ahhh, such a happy memory).

The book drew me in completely. The characters are complex and memorable (shout out to all the Louis and Angel fans!). Charlie Parker, the main character of the series, has been with me since 1999 and will always be in my top five favourite fictional characters. The story is dark and the book weaves stories within stories. If you like gritty crime thrillers with gory serial killers, you’ll love Every Dead Thing.

John Connolly is releasing his newest book in the series, The Dirty South (which I think is book 18) in August so I wanted to go back to where it all started. I hope to be curled up on the sofa drinking tea again in a few weeks time. Can’t wait!

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What I’m planning to read over the coming weeks

I’m planning on reading The Silent Wife by Karin Slaughter – another one of my favourite crime authors (actually I’m starting it today). I’m also re-reading the Dark Hunter paranormal romance series by Sherrilyn Kenyon starting with Fantasy Lover. This was the book that got me back into romance just over 15 years ago, and what made me want to pursue writing professionally.  I might not re-read the whole series, but I’m going to go back and read at least the first 10 books.

August is a big month for new releases as the new John Connolly is out and so is the new Laurell K Hamilton book – Sucker Punch. I think this one is book 27 in the series. Another new release is from J.R. Ward in her Black-dagger Brotherhood series. I’m definitely a series reader!

What are you reading? Any recommendations for me to add to my wishlist?

Happy reading!

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Pre-order my erotic, paranormal Christmas romance, The Invitation – only 99c! Available Nov 17th.

THE INVITATION EBOOK COVER

Just in time for Christmas, my Christmas erotic romance, The Invitation is available for pre-order. The official release date is Friday November 17th.

This is one of the first stories I ever wrote and submitted for publication. Gabriel Longthorn holds a special place in my heart, and I’m so happy that his story is once again available – with a spectacular new cover.

Big thanks to the amazing, R. L. Weeks for creating this masterpiece!

THE INVITATION BANNER (1)

As always, the book will be available via Amazon for 99c and free for Kindle Unlimited readers!

Blurb:

Every Christmas, Evie dreams of attending the glamorous masquerade ball at Longthorn, home of the reclusive Gabriel. She watches from afar, wishing she could be near him. Gabriel, the man in her most erotic fantasies. Then the invitation arrives, along with a beautiful mask and dress. Her presence is requested.

Gabriel needs Evie. As king of the Shadow world, he knows only one woman can complete him, can sate both his infinite carnal lust and the ache in his lonely heart. He’s spent years waiting for Evie, and he plans to claim her, body and soul.

 

Excerpt:

Her blood thickened. Desire punched through her fear. Her breasts swelled and her nipples tightened. Moisture slicked her thighs as if she’d inhaled a potent drug that made her instantly pliant and aroused.

Her drug had a name. Gabriel Longthorn.

The man of her childhood dreams. The man of her womanly fantasies.

Time slowed and the music became a distant echo as his gaze met hers. A predatory smile spread across his chiseled face and her heart almost beat out of her chest. Christ, he was beautiful. Devastating. And she wanted to fling herself on him.

Her strong physical reaction defied explanation. She’d been around handsome men before and never felt this sexual.

Both women scowled when they realized Gabriel no longer cared what they had to say. Evie resisted the urge to glance over her shoulder. Was he really looking at her and not some stunning redhead standing behind her?

He unfolded himself from the chair in a way that was much too graceful for a man his size before moving through the crowd.

She stared. He was hypnotic. Mesmerizing. The crowd parted. All eyes watched as he purposefully strode toward her. A smile curled the edges of his lips.

Dressed in a white ruched shirt and a frock coat of the finest dark-blue velvet, he was the epitome of an old-fashioned mystical being. His white breeches pulled across his groin as he walked, leaving nothing to the imagination. Black knee-high boots completed the outfit.

He stopped inches away from her. She could smell his spicy scent as he took the champagne from her grasp and handed it to a passing guest. His ice-blue eyes stared intently into hers.

“Miss Ward. Thank you for the pleasure of your company this delightful Christmas Eve.” He bowed and took her hand. He brushed his lips gently across her skin. His breath caressed the tiny hairs and she felt that caress between her thighs, as if he’d pressed his lips against her clit.

Her breathing hitched. She chided herself for being so enthralled. He was just a man. Granted, he was unlike any man she’d ever seen—charismatic, charming, gentlemanly, not to mention studly.

Good and evil warred inside her mind. She wanted to slide her body against his, run her hand across his groin and test the weight of his cock. Would it be as impressive and thick as the outline in his breeches promised?

Pervert, the voice inside her head cried.

She gathered her wits from the gutter. “The pleasure is all mine, Mr. Longthorn. I do wonder why I received an invitation.”

He stroked the pulse point at her wrist, rubbing slow circles and stoking her arousal. “Because, Miss Ward, you have a very fertile imagination. Sometimes we all need to take a little time to dream.”

Another footman brought out a chair to match Gabriel’s. The staff was amazing, anticipating the guests’ every need. Where did he find these people?

Gabriel turned to the crowd and walked toward the raised dais. Everyone stared at them as if she were a specimen under a microscope.

As if sensing her discomfort, Gabriel smiled and addressed the guests. “Please, my honored and most noble guests, continue with the ball! There is champagne to be enjoyed, food to be savored and decadent pleasures to be tasted…”