The Classics Spin #17 ... The Spin Number Announced!

The number for the latest Classics Spin has been announced. The number is 3 which corresponds to Shirley by Charlotte Brontë on my list. Unfortunately, it was not the result I was hoping for, but at least it is a book from my own shelves and I don't have to go looking for a copy at the library; hence no reason for delay.

I loved Jane Eyre by the same author but with Shirley I've had a number of false starts, never making it past the first

The Classics Spin #17

This is my first Classics Club Spin. The reason I'm joining in this time is that I'm feeling guilty at neglecting my Classics Club list. This is a great incentive for me to read a classic over the next two months.

The rules for the spin are simple.

Make a list of twenty books that remain to be read on your Classics Club list. As a suggestion, your list can contain five

Blog Tour and Book Review: An Unquiet Ghost by Linda Stratmann

Welcome to the next stop on the blog tour for Linda Stratmann's latest Mina Scarletti novel, An Unquiet Ghost.


Brighton, 1871

Mina Scarletti, writer of horror stories but supernatural sceptic at heart, is becoming well known for unmasking those who fraudulently claim to be able to communicate with the dead. So it is no surprise to her when a young couple write to her seeking her advice.

They are George Fernwood and Mary Clifton, betrothed distant cousins with a family secret that is preventing them from getting married. Twenty years ago their alcoholic grandfather died in his bed.

Book Review: Four Respectable Ladies Seek Part-time Husband by Barbara Toner

A shortage of men due to the First World War and the flu pandemic, and the discrimination against women, is the backdrop of Barbara Toner's latest novel.

Set in a small country town in New South Wales, Australia, this wonderfully entertaining narrative comments on the social and political aspects of the time as men return from the war to resume their lives and the impact this has on the female population.


When Adelaide Nightingale, Louisa Worthington, Maggie O'Connell and Pearl McLeary threw caution to the winds in the most brazen way imaginable,

Book Review: The Good Pilot Peter Woodhouse by Alexander McCall Smith

To start off my 2018 reading year, I chose this novel based on its World War II setting and its quirky title.

Alexander McCall Smith is a prolific writer of adult and children's fiction, and non-fiction. He is the author of a number of mystery series, his most successful being The No.1 Ladies Detective Agency. He has also written several standalone novels, of which The Good Pilot Peter Woodhouse is his latest.

Synopsis - From the Back Cover

World War II. England is under threat, and everybody has a part to play, no matter how small. Val works on a farm as a Land Girl, supplying produce to the local air

Historical Fiction Challenge 2018 - My Sign Up Post

Hosted by: Passages to the Past.
Challenge period: 1st January to 31st December, 2018
Sign up: anytime during the year

All the details are available on the sign-up page.

There are six different reading levels: 20th Century Reader (2 books), Victorian Reader (5 books), Renaissance Reader (10 books), Medieval (15 books), Ancient History (25 books) and Prehistoric (50+ books).

Back to the Classics Challenge 2018 - My Sign Up Post

Hosted by: Karen at Books and Chocolates.
Challenge period: 1st January to 31st December, 2018
Sign up: by 1st March, 2018
Aim: To encourage bloggers (and others) to read more classics.

More information and how to sign up can be found here.

The challenge is to read and review at least 6 books from 12 categories. As usual I had fun searching out the titles, most of

Australian Women Writers Challenge 2018 - My Sign Up Post

Hosted by: Australian Women Writers.
Challenge period: 1st January to 31st December, 2018.
Sign Up: Throughout the year until 30th November, 2018.

Aim: To help overcome gender bias in the reviewing of books by Australian women.

Further information about the challenge and how to join can be found here.

Aussie Author Challenge 2018 - My Sign Up Post

Hosted by: Jo at Book Lover Reviews
Challenge period: 1st January to 31st December, 2018
Sign Up: Anytime during the year
Aim: To showcase the quality and diversity of the books being produced by Australian authors.

All the information and how to join is here on the sign-up page.

I've yet to successfully complete this challenge though I read many novels by Australian authors. This year I'm participating at the Kangaroo level:

2017 Reading Challenges - My Wrap Up Post

Here is my wrap-up post for the various challenges I participated in during 2017. Not a very satisfactory result overall due to reviews not being posted though I will catch up on some of them over the coming months. While 2017 was not a good year for my reviews, I'm happy to

Book Review: Remember, Remember the 6th of November by Tony Morgan

Tony Morgan's debut novel retells the events that took place 412 years ago, at the beginning of November 1605, when English Catholics, Robert Catesby, Guy Fawkes and their co-conspirators planned to blow up England's Houses of Parliament along with the King, James I, who was also James VI of Scotland.

History records that their plans were thwarted and James I reigned for another 20 years, but what if there had been a different outcome?

I don't read novels with alternate endings to what actually happened in history, but I was intrigued by the title of this one. Why remember the 6th of

Blog Tour and Book Review: Illusion by Stephanie Elmas

I'm pleased to welcome you to today's stop on the blog tour for Stephanie Elmas' wonderful book, Illusion, published by Endeavour Press and available for purchase from Amazon.


London, 1873. Returning home from his travels with a stowaway named Kayan, Walter Balanchine is noted for the charms, potions and locket hanging from his neck. Finding his friend Tom Winter’s mother unwell, he gives her a potion he learned to brew in the Far East. Lucid and free from pain, the old woman remembers something about Walter’s mother. Walter is intrigued, for he has never known his family or even his own name – he christened himself upon leaving the workhouse.

Living in a cemetery with his pet panther Sinbad to keep the body snatchers away, word soon spreads of