I was fortunate enough to get to leave my desk for a week recently and thought I’d share my holiday reading with you so that you might get inspired to buy one, or more, of the following to take on your own holiday, or, as other options are available, to just to read if you’re not having/or have already had yours!
I’m not putting my reviews here, for those please click on the links which will take you to the relevant Amazon page so you can read my mine, amongst others and can then be enticed into buying these wonderful books.
Pattern of Shadows by Judith Barrow
I was already reading this book when I left to go on holiday. It kept me going as I was dragging through that last exhausting week, those final frantic hours of finishing work, or at least getting it to a stage where no one was going to shout at me about it for a week. Getting organised, packing, you know how it is, that point where you start to wonder if all this extra stuff you have to do really makes going away worth it.
However it was with absolute joy that at last I was able to collapse onto a sun bed (in the shade of course – I burn like a sausage!) to finish this – and what a treat.
The short product description on Amazon tells us Mary is a nursing sister at a Lancashire prison camp for the housing and treatment of German POWs. Life at work is difficult but fulfilling, life at home a constant round of arguments, until Frank Shuttleworth, a guard at the camp turns up. Frank is difficult to love but persistent and won’t leave until Mary agrees to walk out with him.
I really like this description, short, sweet, enough to tempt without giving too much away.
This is Judith Barrow’s debut novel although she has had short stories, plays, reviews and articles, published throughout the British Isles and has won several poetry competitions and she has completed three children’s books as well.
The first book in a trilogy, I’ve already bought the next part, which says it all really – can’t recommend it highly enough.
Scared: Ten Tales of Horror edited by Rayne Hall
I love short stories and read them whenever I am in a place where I don’t have the ability to concentrate on a novel. On this occasion it was whilst I was travelling. These tales were a great companion and there are others in the series which will be well worth checking out. The description tells us in this collection we’ll find scary stories for almost every taste, each penned by a different author with a different writing style and a different taste in horror or suspense. I particularly like taking the opportunity to read the work different authors and here they play with “what if” scenarios which leads to a great range of ten stories from Karen Heard, Deborah Wheeler, Pamela Turner, Donna Johnson, Grayson Bray Morris, William Meikle, Rayne Hall, Liv Rancourt, Tracie McBride and Jonathan Broughton
We are all scared by different things so you will all have different favourites amongst this collection which is edited by Rayne Hall. She is an astonishingly prolific author of some forty books in different genres and under different pen names. Published by twelve publishers in six countries and translated into several languages – take the time to check out her bio.
The Customer is always… by Stuart Keane (currently free on Amazon – btw!)
This is a great novella again in the horror genre – nice holiday reading! Keane has created two excellent characters here, firstly in Vincent who works in customer service and, at 9am, already wants his shift to be over but ten long hours sit before him, tedious, boring, and repetitive. And then there’s Mr Pierce. He initially appears to be a standard customer but unexpectedly turns aggressive, then violent and demanding. I would have liked this story to have been longer (always a good sign!) because I was thoroughly enjoying it.
Keane has another novel coming out, All or Nothing, which I was looking forward to getting. The first reviews in are excellent however I’ve just found out that it’s currently with a potential publisher so it’s release is on hold. I wish Stuart Keane all the best with this new venture and I shall just have to be patient!
‘Borderline Personality Disorder sufferer and released mental patient, John Dexter, falls in love with Carla, a fresh-faced environmental student and part-time barmaid, the first time he sees her. He should walk away, he knows he should, but he doesn’t. He can’t.’
This book’s set in Southwell ‘Wheatley Fields’ and I love the thought that, should you ever find yourself there, you can follow in the footsteps of John and Carla.
The description to this exceptional book tells us it is for those who have lived through the occasionally bloody battlefields that are the relationships between men and women. This was the book that made me cry this week. I couldn’t put it down, I was so wrapped up in the characters, and when it ended I felt bereft and read nothing further that day… that just about sums it up – what else can I say other that go and get it… now.
This has been on my to-read list for quite a while and was an excellent choice to take on holiday because it is a long book so you really have the time to get into it and it did take up a good part of my week. The description tells us it ‘is a fast-paced epic story. Suspenseful and thrilling, it is a mystery that unravels over time, following the lives of a group of seemingly unconnected people, as they struggle to bring an unusually talented serial killer to justice.’ Very well written this is a complex thriller with the touch of the supernatural about it and Max China is about to release the first of two spin off novels featuring a selection of characters from The Sister the first of which is ‘The Life and Times of William Boule: Serial Killer.’ This will definitely be one to go on my to-read list.
The Paradise Trees by Linda Huber
Now I’m cheating a little with this one as I’d only just started it as my holiday was ending and back to real time and life/work getting in the way I haven’t yet finished it but I am so enjoying it I have squeezed it onto this list.
Alicia Bryson returns to her estranged father’s home in a tiny Yorkshire village. She feels burdened by his illness and her hometown brings back memories of a miserable and violent childhood. She worries her daughter, Jenny’s summer will be filled with a similar sense of unhappiness and their arrival has not gone unnoticed.
‘He had found exactly the right spot in the woods. A little clearing, green and dim, encircled by tall trees. A magical, mystery place. He would bring his lovely Helen here… This time it was going to be perfect.’
Now I am 60% through this book and I don’t know who ‘he’ is yet! I keep guessing but then changing my mind. The suspense is growing and the fact that someone is watching Alicia and Jenny is very creepy and I can’t wait to find out what happens next in this skilfully and very well written story by Linda Huber.
I would have got through more books but spent quite a bit of time editing my second novel as well so achieved quite a bit on my break. I hope you find something in this list that appeals. Please follow the links to check out the reviews if you do that sort of thing and enjoy downloading one, or more, of these gems! My reading speed will drop considerably now and I can’t wait until I get to go away again – happy days!!
Thanks for reading
You’ve got me sold on ‘Carla’ so I’ve downloaded it. Gosh, my Kindle TBR list is growing.
I can’t believe how many books you managed to get through on holiday – you must be a very prolific reader. 🙂
Oh I’m so pleased Diane – I really hope you like/love it as much as I did!! I am usually lucky if I get through one book a week but on holiday I can be absorbed reading for hours to the exclusion of all else (which is a shame for my husband ;-)) and it’s amazing how quickly you can get through them then. My choice of book is the most important part of my packing – obviously made easier now with the Kindle!!
I know what Diane means, Georgia! You must have been on a mission. I seem to be going sooooo slooooowly down my reading list at the moment! But I shall certainly add Pattern of Shadows to it. I’m quite into WW2 books at the moment. (And I’m not saying why…. Lips sealed.)
Intriguing Wendy!?! Lovely to hear from you and I really hope you enjoy Pattern of Shadows. I did seem to get through quite a few but one was a novella and another a book of short stories so it probably looks more than it is. It has slowed right down again now that I’m home of course – taken me more than a week to finish The Paradise Trees that I started at the end of the holiday!