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review 2019-09-11 15:09
And This is Where I Leave You...
Secrets of the Chocolate House (Found Things #2) - Paula Brackston

Please note that I received this book via NetGalley. This did not affect my rating or review. 


I was hoping that this book could turn it around, but honestly I was just bored. You would think a book about time travel would be interesting, but it's really not. I think Brackston is hoping to set up Xanthe so have an epic nemesis like in her "The Witch's Daughter" series and I just cannot live through that mess again. This book doesn't hang together very well. Xanthe is not interesting at all. We have some pieces about her ability to "spin" through time, but no real information. We also have her talking to another character about this and my eyes glazed over. I wanted Xanthe to go back to Samuel and her protestations about her mother and her store just got annoying. We also have three love interests this time through and I just threw up my hands. The big bad was a laugh and a half and I just maybe snickered at the ending. Maybe next time Xanthe listens to someone. 


Xanthe is trying to stay focused on helping her mother run her antique business in the town of Marlborough. Xanthe still thinks about Samuel, the man she met back in the seventeenth century. However, Xanthe is determined to not travel back in time. She had a hard time lying to her mother and she knows that she can't say back in the past. However, on a shopping trip with her mother, a chocolate pot "sings" to Xanthe. She doesn't know why it's calling to her and why it seems so reluctant to show her it's story. When Xanthe gets a vision that Samuel is in danger, she travels back in time to find out that he is being held prisoner and soon to be hanged for a plot against the king. If this isn't enough, Xanthe's ex Marcus is running around Marlborough trying to get her to talk to him again. And of course we have Liam still wanting more from Xanthe though she's told him she's not ready for a relationship. 


I don't know, I should not have been hoping that Xanthe fail and stay back in the past. Her reasoning behind staying for her mother made me cringe a bit. I don't really see Xanthe doing what she loves, she's staying to take care of her mother and help her with her business. We hear how Xanthe is a really good singer, and I don't recall her singing that much this go round. Maybe once I think? It just seems as if all of her supposed passions are dried up. When Xanthe finally meets someone who knows about her abilities though she can't get information out of them. I started to get annoyed because it makes zero sense to me why it's not discussed. And then of course, Xanthe meets another spinner, or what I call a dark leaper (you Quantum Leap fans know what I am talking about). Honestly that is what jarred me a bit, I did start thinking about this book being a send up of Quantum Leap and then I started to see if I could find that series streaming anywhere. 


Image result for quantum leap gif


I can't even say much about other characters. The most interesting one to me is a woman that Xanthe meets in the past who won't tell her much. We sadly don't get enough scenes with her and Samuel. Liam bugs me and Marcus sucked. We have Xanthe revealing her powers to someone and I was so bored with that that I started looking up Quantum Leap gifs.


Image result for quantum leap gif


The writing read as forced to me a few times. I mean honestly this whole Samuel is in danger thing could have been tied up pretty fast. But nope, we have Xanthe jumping back and forth in time and dealing with nonsense from Marcus and going over her abilities with someone and then going back in time trying to deal with the evil leaper. Pick a story-line and stick with it please.

The flow was off and I kept going oh is she still on that with so and so? I just started to lose interest in this whole book by the 70 percent mark or so. It was a struggle to finish cause we have like 3 or 4 "endings" before we get to the dun dun dun one. 


The book jumps back and forth from our time to the 1600s in England again. The only reason why I am giving this book 2 stars though is that Brackston obviously did research on chocolate houses in that time and place and chocolate pots. I didn't even know that this was a real thing and got interested in reading about them and liked the details we are given. At times the book reads as a history book, but it didn't bother me at all. 


The ending is a cliffhanger and one wonders how Xanthe is going to get her way out of this one. 


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review 2019-09-05 06:03
Book Review: Found In Time
Found In Time - Kelly Doudna

Found In Time is set in today world. You get follow a young man named Major JJ Jackson. He seem dedicated to his country. There are special secret mission he goes on,. Everything seem to be working out find and the team come back.


What would you do if you had this technology and you wanted to keep your country safe? You get to meet some historical figures, and talk to them. How would you feel if you got stuck in a time you were not use to and had to say their and adapt?


If our enemy had found out about this technology what do you think would have happened if it could change the past or our future as we know it. This book put us in the fight to save an American President that his being attacked on American soil? What will this special team of 6 men and woman be able to depend the nation and President?


The plot is done well once you get to the adventures plus the action. It really is a thriller and science fiction with a historical fiction twist to it. Their is some violence in the book and some bad words said. The team is put in spots. There seem to be a mole or two in here. Find out by reading and how it ends. What would you do if you could travel back in time?

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review 2019-08-01 10:02
Mudlarking: Lost and Found on the River Thames - Lara Maiklem

by Lara Maiklem




This was a rather interesting book about an activity I hadn't known about before, though it seems an obvious thing to do now. Mudlarking is searching through he shore of a river, in this case the Thames, at low tide to find valuables and artefacts the higher tide might have washed along. This can include some fascinating historical pieces from buttons to jewellery in the Thames.


I enjoyed reading about the different segments of the river and how the patterns of the tides differ from one to another, as well as the bits of London history that are revealed from the various finds. The personal connection the author expresses about the river really adds character to the narrative and makes me want to get a pair of wellies and go see what I can find myself! Though I'm not sure I would be up to the task in the end.


A fascinating narrative about a too little known activity. I just hope it doesn't result in inspiring so many mudlarking tourists that the lifelong hobbyists get crowded out!

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review 2019-07-20 11:28
Mudlarking - Lara Maiklem
Mudlarking: Lost and Found on the River Thames - Lara Maiklem

I don't read a lot of non-fiction, though I go through phases where I just want to read something different, but this looked interesting when I was on Netgalley so I requested it and here we are...


For folks who don't know, 'mudlarking' is the term used to describe people who go looking for items left behind in the mud by tidal rivers, especially rivers like the Thames where people have been living for a very long time. Our author is a hobbyist mudlarker, having turned to it when she was struggling with her mental health and life stresses, and the book is based on her experiences of various parts of the river.


While it's a story of what she has found, from the macabre to the everyday, it's also set in the context of the development of London and the changes it has experienced. I didn't really come across much in terms of the historical content I wasn't already aware of, but then I've always been a history nerd so maybe I'm not quite the target audience for those sections?


In general terms, it's an interesting book and opens the doors on a hobby I hadn't really thought about before - I've been to a number of museums in London and seen stuff recovered from the river, never really thinking about who found it and how. The slightly obsessive nature of it all comes across well but it's also the one minor downfall of the book - at times it devolves into lists ('I found this and this and this...') and I found myself rolling my eyes, not to mention dropping it from five stars to four. There's also an entire paragraph that is just repeated from earlier in the same section, though that might be a formatting error along with the odd formatting in general of the ebook version I received. 


I received this book free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2019-06-15 18:24
Book Review: The Book of Lost and Found
The Book of Lost and Found - Lucy Foley

Book: The Book of Lost and Found


Author: Lucy Foley


Genre: Fiction/Family/Grief/Romance


Summary: Kate Darling's enigmatic mother - a once famous ballerina - has passed away, leaving Kate bereft. When her grandmother falls ill and bequeaths to Kate a small portrait of a woman who bears a striking resemblance to Kate's mother, Kate encounters a mystery that may upend everything she thought she knew. Kate's journey to find the true identity of the woman in the portrait takes her to some of the world's most iconic and indulgent locales, revealing a love story that began in the wild 1920s and was disrupted by war, and that could now spark new love for Kate. Alternating between Kate's present-day hunt and voices from the past, The Book of Lost and Found, casts light on family secrets and love - both lost and found. - Back Bay Books, 2015.


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