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Weeks 2-4 June Book Haul #StackedShelves

Good morning everyone! My blogging schedule has been rocked to its core this month with additional work commitments and other crazy nonsense so I do apologise. I have been receiving some spectacular book mail in June and I now have the opportunity to sit down and showcase them all. A new hidden gem I found this month was Crystal Lake Publishing who are an epic indie publisher who focus on the darker side of writing. They sent me 4 enticing ARC’s that I am quickly making my way through.

I was also fortunate to win a competition on Bookbridgr this month. Quercus Books has just joined the ranks and they did a giveaway to celebrate. I won! I never win anything! So I received four books, a nice book bag and chocolate, which seems to have gone missing… I will be sharing all my winnings here too. Finally I have been receiving a couple of books here and there from my usual sources so thank you all for being so generous and I look forward to reading and reviewing them all. That is enough of my endless chatter. To the books!

Most Of June Book Haul


Playing With Death by Simon Scarrow & Lee Francis

Published by: Headline 

I am always interested to read an author who has tried their hand at a new genre. Scarrow is predominantly a historical fiction author by has ventured out of his comfort zone. Should be a good read 😀

Official Synopsis: Haunted by a failed undercover mission, Rose can’t shake the memory of her close encounter with a ruthless serial killer – one who could strike again without warning.

The call to investigate a suspected arson attack that’s left a man dead is a welcome distraction. It’s not the kind of case usually assigned to the FBI, but nothing about this crime is usual. As Rose digs deeper, she finds herself confronting the sort of imagination her son might see in the fantasy worlds of his video games.

But when your opponent is a killer, nothing feels like a game…


The Outcasts of Time by Ian Mortimer

Published by: Simon & Schuster

The concept of this book sounds seriously epic! I cannot wait to get into this. I am on a constant search for novels that challenge my reading style and I am sure this won’t disappoint.

Official Synopsis: December 1348. With the country in the grip of the Black Death, brothers John and William fear that they will shortly die and go to Hell. But as the end draws near, they are given an unexpected choice: either to go home and spend their last six days in their familiar world, or to search for salvation across the forthcoming centuries – living each one of their remaining days ninety-nine years after the last.

John and William choose the future and find themselves in 1447, ignorant of almost everything going on around them. The year 1546 brings no more comfort, and 1645 challenges them still further. It is not just that technology is changing: things they have taken for granted all their lives prove to be short-lived.

As they find themselves in stranger and stranger times, the reader travels with them, seeing the world through their eyes as it shifts through disease, progress, enlightenment and war. But their time is running out – can they do something to redeem themselves before the six days are up?


The Rift by Nina Allen

Published by: Titan Books

I read The Race back when my blog first began and I was pleasantly surprised. I liked Nina’s writing style, it was quirky and complex at the same time. I hope that The Rift shares the same style. Will definitely give it a go soon.

Official Synopsis: Selena and Julie are sisters. As children they were closest companions, but as they grow towards maturity, a rift develops between them.

There are greater rifts, however. Julie goes missing at the age of seventeen. It will be twenty years before Selena sees her again. When Julie reappears, she tells Selena an incredible story about how she has spent time on another planet. Selena has an impossible choice to make: does she dismiss her sister as a damaged person, the victim of delusions, or believe her, and risk her own sanity in the process? Is Julie really who she says she is, and if she isn’t, what does she have to gain by claiming her sister’s identity?

The Rift is a novel about the illusion we call reality, the memories shared between people and the places where those memories diverge, a story about what might happen when the assumptions we make about the world and our place in it are called into question.


No Mercy: Dark Poems by Alessandro Manzetti

Published by: Crystal Lake Publishing

I may have already read and reviewed this… As soon as it entered my inbox I loaded up on the kindle and dove in. 100% recommended read and my review will be up soon 😀

Official Synopsis: The Lady in Black shows no mercy to anyone; she has cold skin, a job to do, and many lovers on Earth: Despair, Loneliness, Madness, and their soldiers and killers of daily life, armed with blades, hammers, teeth, and illusions. There are strange and bloody stories that tell all about it, if you want to hear them…

Are you sure? Well, you’ve found the right place, but consider that in turning these pages you’ll be thrown forward through time, until you reach the Apocalypse—the last stop.

So, like the Lady in Black, show yourself no mercy—sit down and read these stories, listening to Janis Joplin with a bottle of Southern Comfort cradled in your arm.

Don’t worry, you’ll find both of them inside this book, along with so many other dark pleasures.


Fear The Reaper (edited) by Joe Mynhardt

Published by: Crystal Lake Publishing

Fear The Reaper really caught my eye and I had to read it. I have always had a fascination with the Grim Reaper and I thought this would suit me well. Should be an interesting experience to review!

Official Synopsis: WARNING: THIS IS NOT JUST A BOOK This is a journey into the life of Death; a journey through this world and the next on the words of twenty one of the best horror writers around. Will you follow them to stare into the eyes of the Grim Reaper? Can you handle the true story of the birth of Death, or the minute details behind catching or escaping Death, becoming Death? Dying? These are not just stories but horrific experiences of pain and death: the deaths of lonely people, famous people, entire worlds, and the death of innocence and the pain of those left behind as they wait their turn, wondering what it will be like – no one is safe from the Reaper!


Gutted edited by Doug Murano & D. Alexander Ward

Published by: Crystal Lake Publishing

An anthology of horror stories written by some of the most legendary/up and coming stars in horror fiction with haunting and graphic illustrations to accompany them… YES!

Official Synopsis: From Bram Stoker Award-nominated publisher, Crystal Lake Publishing, and the editing duo who brought you the best-selling and critically acclaimed small-town Lovecraftian horror anthology Shadows Over Main Street, comes Gutted: Beautiful Horror Stories—a disturbing journey into the beauty that rests inside the very heart of darkness.

Awe meets ache.

Terror becomes transcendence.

Regret gives way to rebirth.

Fifteen short stories and one poem span nearly every twisted corner of the horror and dark fiction genres:

A woman experiences an emotional reckoning inside a haunted house.

A father sees his daughter rescued after a cold case is solved, only to learn the tragic limits of his love.

A man awakens a vengeful spirit and learns the terrible price of settling scores.

A boy comes of age into awareness of a secret universe of Lovecraftian scale.

A young woman confronts the deathly price of existence inside a German concentration camp duringthe Holocaust.

And much, much more…


Three Days and a Life by Pierre Lemaitre

Published by: MacLehose

Crime fiction is what got me into reviewing so I am always on the look out for more dynamic and interesting pieces. TDAAL looks like it could be a great change of pace and depth from other crime novels I have been reading lately.

Official Synopsis: Antoine is twelve years old. His parents are divorced and he lives with his mother in Beauval, a small, backwater town surrounded by forests, where everyone knows everyone’s business, and nothing much ever happens. But in the last days of 1999, a series of events unfolds, culminating in the shocking vanishing without trace of a young child. The adults of the town are at a loss to explain the disappearance, but for Antoine, it all begins with the violent death of his neighbour’s dog. From that one brutal act, his fate and the fate of his neighbour’s six year old son are bound forever.

In the years following Rémi’s disappearance, Antoine wrestles with the role his actions played. As a seemingly inescapable net begins to tighten, breaking free from the suffocating environs of Beauval becomes a gnawing obsession. But how far does he have to run, and how long will it take before his past catches up with him again?


The Book of Forgotten Authors by Christopher Fowler

Published by: Riverun

Books about books have a permanent place in my heart. I like the sound and style of TBOFA and I am excited to rediscover some brilliant titles to add to my already preposterous TBR pile.

Official Synopsis: So begins Christopher Fowler’s foray into the back catalogues and backstories of 99 authors who, once hugely popular, have all but disappeared from our shelves.

Whether male or female, domestic or international, flash-in-the-pan or prolific, mega-seller or prize-winner – no author, it seems, can ever be fully immune from the fate of being forgotten. And Fowler, as well as remembering their careers, lifts the lid on their lives, and why they often stopped writing or disappeared from the public eye.

These 99 journeys are punctuated by 12 short essays about faded once-favourites: including the now-vanished novels Walt Disney brought to the screen, the contemporary rivals of Sherlock Holmes and Agatha Christie who did not stand the test of time, and the women who introduced us to psychological suspense many decades before it conquered the world.

This is a book about books and their authors. It is for book lovers, and is written by one who could not be a more enthusiastic, enlightening and entertaining guide.


The Confession by Jo Spain

Published by: Quercus

The ARC copy of The Confession is so intriguing! It caught my eye immediately, I need to read this soon. I almost dropped everything but I have a busy July so I need to stay on schedule. Review will be out as soon as I can 😀

Official Synopsis: Late one night a man walks into the luxurious home of disgraced banker Harry McNamara and his wife Julie. The man launches an unspeakably brutal attack on Harry as a horror-struck Julie watches, frozen by fear.

Just an hour later the attacker, JP Carney, has handed himself in to the police. He confesses to beating Harry to death, but JP claims that the assault was not premeditated and that he didn’t know the identity of his victim. With a man as notorious as Harry McNamara, the detectives cannot help wondering, was this really a random act of violence or is it linked to one of Harry’s many sins: corruption, greed, betrayal?

This gripping psychological thriller will have you questioning, who – of Harry, Julie and JP – is really the guilty one? And is Carney’s surrender driven by a guilty conscience or is his confession a calculated move in a deadly game?


Mend The Living by Maylis de Kerangal

Published byQuercus

This is probably not a title I would have picked up personally but in the spirit of the competition I will most definitely review this. I know it will probably make me upset but as I said before, I like a challenge.

Official Synopsis: In the depths of a winter’s night, the heart of Simon Limbeau is resting, readying itself for the day to come. In a few hours’ time, just before six, his alarm will go off and he will venture into the freezing dawn, drive down to the beach, and go surfing with his friends. A trip he has made a hundred times and yet, today, the heart of Simon Limbeau will encounter a very different course.

But for now, the black-box of his body is free to leap, swell, melt and sink, just as it has throughout the years of Simon’s young life.

5.50 a.m.

This is his heart.

And here is its story.


The Sun & the Moon & the Rolling Stones by Rich Cohen

Published by: Headline

This sounds like it could be a lot of fun 😀 insights into one of the biggest bands on earth? Go on then 😉

Official Synopsis:

Rich Cohen enters the Stones epic as a young journalist on the road with the band and quickly falls under their sway – privy to the jokes, the camaraderie, the bitchiness, the hard living. Inspired by a lifelong appreciation of the music that borders on obsession, Cohen’s chronicle of the band is informed by the rigorous views of a kid who grew up on the music and for whom the Stones will always be the greatest rock ‘n’ roll band of all time.

This is a non-fiction book that reads like a novel filled with the greatest musicians, agents and artists of the most indelible age in pop culture. It’s a book only Rich, with his unique access, experience and love of the band could write.


The Particle Zoo by Gavin Hesketh

Published by: Quercus Books

This looks great. Science based non-fiction is one of my favourite genres. I am not overly smart but I can follow most discussions about physics and the nature of reality so bring it on!

Official Synopsis: What is everything really made of? If we split matter down into smaller and infinitesimally smaller pieces, where do we arrive? At the Particle Zoo – the extraordinary subatomic world of antimatter, ghostly neutrinos, strange-flavoured quarks and time-travelling electrons, gravitons and glueballs, mindboggling eleven-dimensional strings and the elusive Higgs boson itself.

Be guided around this strangest of zoos by Gavin Hesketh, experimental particle physicist at humanity’s greatest experiment, the Large Hadron Collider. Concisely and with a rare clarity, he demystifies how we are uncovering the inner workings of the universe and heading towards the next scientific revolution.

Why are atoms so small? How did the Higgs boson save the universe? And is there a Theory of Everything? The Particle Zoo answers these and many other profound questions, and explains the big ideas of Quantum Physics, String Theory, The Big Bang and Dark Matter… and, ultimately, what we know about the true, fundamental nature of reality.

Thank you as always for stopping by to check out all the books that have been sent my way! June has been a month of ups and downs for me, so big pile of books should keep me occupied for some time. Please let me know if you are about to read any of these yourself! or if you already have 😀 and until next time, happy reading!


16 thoughts on “Weeks 2-4 June Book Haul #StackedShelves

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