Book Review – The Venetian by Shani Struthers

I first heard of British based Author Shani Struthers when I read ‘The Haunting of Highdown Hall’ the first book in her Psychic Surveys series and really enjoyed it.

I automatically downloaded other books in the series but came upon ‘The Venetian’ when looking for books in my Kindle unlimited subscription.

the ventianAs the title would suggest, this book is set in Venice.

The book starts by introducing us to Rob & Louise, a married couple visiting Venice for a romantic weekend away.

While exploring the city one night they go for a meal, only to meet another couple.

The couple offers to take them over to Poveglia a small island off of Venice said to have a haunting history of plague victims and an Asylum for the Mentally ill, but does this mysterious couple have an ulterior motive?

The book then takes you back in time to 1938 to Charlotte, an English woman who has moved to Venice to be at the side of her husband Doctor Enrico.

When Enrico is offered a work placement working with his Uncle at the Mental Asylum on Poveglia, the couple moves to the island to take care of the patients and start married life together.

Soon Charlotte begins to suspect that the treatments being carried out on their patients may be more sinister than she first thought.

The book flips between the years but soon their fates collide with malevolent repercussions.

This book had me on the edge of my seat throughout I couldn’t put it down.

While reading the book I did a little research and found that Poveglia does in fact exist and that it was a place of quarantine to plague victims in 1805 and that in 1922 an Asylum for the mentally ill was opened on the island but the asylum shut it’s doors in 1968 (although the Asylum still remains standing).

The fact that this book is so richly woven in fact just made it all the more spooky.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves a great ghost story!

I gave this book 5/5 – It was fantastic!

What books are you currently reading? Let me know!

The Secret Girly Girl

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Re-discovering my love for reading….

Back In January 2017 I set a goal of reading 40 books throughout 2017.

Unfortunately at the close of the year I had only read 36.

I put a lot of pressure on myself to read a large amount of books to the point that I didn’t enjoy reading nearly as much as I usually do, It felt forced.

I was so intent on finishing a book that I didn’t enjoy the journey the book was taking me on.

So 2018 is going to be about enjoying the journey, and getting back to reading books for the right reason – to relax and escape into another world of my choosing.

I’m going to set realistic monthly goals and make sure that I set at least one hour aside each day to read books that I will enjoy.

We’re 3 weeks into the new year and already I’ve read some great books by Authors that I know and love.

None of the books have felt like a chore, infact I couldn’t put them down.

2018 is going to be my time to re-discover my love of reading

 

The Secret Girly Girl

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Let your books do the talking!

As you have probably seen on my blog I am an avid reader. But when I’m busy with work I don’t always have time to sit down for a couple of hours and read a book. So in February I decided to sign up to Audible so that I could listen to books while I commute to work and also while I’m working.
Audiobooks by nature are pretty expensive, and you are normally looking at paying around £19.99 for a recent audiobook in the current book chart.
Audible offer a monthly subscription service where you pay £7.99 for one book a month. This may seem like not that much but many books can have a listening time of 45 hours while others are just 5 hours so it is worth having a look and trying to get a book that gives you value for money.
Also Audible often offers you the chance to buy 3 extra credits (that’s 3 books) for £18.00.
Audible is also owned by Amazon so you often find that if you have the Kindle book then Audible will offer you the Audiobook version for even cheaper.
I have signed up to www.bookbub.com and they send you emails everyday letting you know what books are either on offer or are free on the kindle store.
So I’ll get the book for free on kindle and then just buy the Audiobook for a couple of pounds – there are plenty of ways to get cheaper audiobooks, they also offer a 30 Day free trial too so you get your first book for free and only get charged for your second book after 30 days.
I am really enjoying listening to a variety of books while on the go and it helps the work day pass quicker. I wanted to let you know what I’ve been listening to for the last few months so here are my top picks…

 
The Bride of Casa Dracula – Book 3 of The Casa Dracula Series
Length: 8hrs 1min
Plot: Milagro de los Santos is marrying the man of her dreams – he just happens to be a vampire. As the plans for the wedding are coming together Milagro has to navigate various obstacles from an over zealous friend to the ancient vampire council – will she ever get to marry Oswald?
Thoughts: I have read the first two books on Kindle and really enjoyed them. I had this on kindle but decided to get the audio version and really enjoyed it. I would say this is supernatural chick-lit but is lighthearted and well written.
Rating: 7/10

 
Ellie Jordan Ghost Trapper: Ellie Jordan Book 1
Length: 8hrs 19mins
Plot: Ellie Jordan is a paranormal exterminator, her job is to release earthbound spirits into the hereafter. She comes across an evil ghost and soon realizes maybe she has bitten off more than she can chew.
Thoughts: This is a great book for fans of the paranormal. I liked this book so much that I have already purchased the Audio Book for book 2.
Rating: 8/10
 

The Housewife Assassin’s Hand Book – Book 1.
Length: 5hrs 59mins
Plot: Donna stones husband is killed in cold blood hours after she has given birth.
Donna becomes an undercover (assassin) housewife hell bent on avenging her dead husband.
Plot: This book was so well written, I enjoyed the mix of comedic moments with tense situations. I will definitely be getting more books in this series.
Rating: 8/10
 

Rosecliff Manor Haunting – Addison Lockhart: Book 2
Length: 5hrs 1min
Plot: Addison is a paranormal investigator with a sixth sense. When she becomes haunted by dreams of Vivian & Grace, twin girls who met their demise nearly 40 years earlier, Addison becomes embroiled in the mysteries of Rosecliff Manor.
Addison comes face to face with something much darker than she could have ever expected, can she save the souls of the little girls?
Thoughts: I had read Book 1 in this series and loved it so I knew that there was a high chance I’d enjoy this too. I loved it. I will be getting more in this series in the near future.
Rating: 9/10
 

Single Woman Seeks Revenge – By Tracy Bloom
Length: 8hrs 36mins
Plot: Suzie is an Agony aunt for a magazine, when she is cruelly dumped by text.
She decides to tell the women who write to her exactly what they should be doing to those who treat them mean. Soon Suzie is on a mission to take her revenge against her old flames that have done her wrong. But will she get so caught up in revenge that she won’t see that true love has been right in front of her all along?
Thoughts: I loved this book. It’s a must for any fan of Bridget Jones.  A funny rollercoaster that leaves you with the warm fuzzies.
Rating: 9/10
 

My Not so perfect life – Sophie Kinsella
Length: 11hrs 58mins
Plot: Katie moves to London to become a highflying executive only to find that once she gets there London isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Working for Demeter the boss who has everything. Style, a high powered job, a loving family and the respect of her peers. Suddenly Katie is fired and she has to go back home, her tail between her legs. She begins working for her father on his Glamping venture. When Demeter comes to stay Katie disguises herself to get close to her, But is Demeter’s life really all that wonderful?
Thoughts: Written by the woman who brought us Confessions of a shopaholic this was everything I hoped it would be. Funny, cringe worthy and heart warming in equal measure. I couldn’t turn it off!
Rating: 10/10
 
I am loving listening to books I wouldn’t necessarily read, but are great for getting through the work week! I have downloaded a number of other audiobooks so I will do a Part two soon. What books are you currently reading?  Let me know!
 
The Secret Girly Girl
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  New Book & a new perspective

I wanted to put together a blog post to let you know about the book ‘Swallow This’ By Joanna Blythman.


I started reading this book around three weeks ago and it has really changed my outlook on food.

This book is the inside scoop on what really goes into our food.

All the hard to pronounce chemicals that we see on our ingredients lists but cant even pronounce are demystified in this tell all book.

I am usually a huge junk food fan, snacking on crisps and chocolate to give me energy and relying on Coffee to get me through the day but this book changed my perspective of food.

Instead of looking at what I ate as a whole I have started to look at my meals (and snacks) as the sum of their parts (including their chemical & manufacturing processes) and many foods I have found myself not wanting to eat because now I know what is in them.

I had no idea that store bought sandwiches and vegetables are packed in gas contained packaging to stop the decomposition process so they last that few days longer.

So I decided to try eating foods that are less processed.

Over the years I have swapped back & forth between eating meat and being vegetarian. I always seem to go back to being vegetarian because I end up not really enjoying meat all that much, so I decided to cut out meat because I don’t really miss it anyway.

The first action I have taken is to sign up to a weekly Organic Vegetable box. I decided to go with Abel & Cole (www.abelandcole.co.uk).

They had an introductory offer in which you get first Box for half Price and then your Fourth box also half price (Plus a free bottle of organic Prossecco). I will be taking delivery of my fourth Box on Friday!

I really like Abel & Cole because they allow you to change the contents of your box weekly and remove items that you won’t use. Each week is different and all the vegetables are organic and seasonal.

 

I order the Large Very Veg box, which is usually around £26.00 a week. This contains 8 packs of vegetables. A mixture of Veg, salad and root vegetables.

The day before my box is delivered I search for recipes online for fun things to cook, I print off the recipes and buy any other ingredients I may need, then I am ready to cook as soon as my box has arrived.

I used to cook quite a bit but never from scratch. I always bought store bought, ready to cook potatoes and bagged veg but having all these fresh vegetables that are organic and full of nutrients has inspired me to cook every day.

I have used my veg box contents as the main focus of my meals.

Here are just a few things I have made:

courgette Bolognese

Home made Tomato & Red Pepper salsa & Guacamole.

Mushroom Stroganoff
Spicy Carrot Soup

Creamy Courgette Lasagne

Mushroom Spinach & Potatoe Pie

What’s more, I have had so much fun doing it too!

I would Highly recommend this book to everyone who is interested in knowing what they are really eating and You should check out the various Organic boxes of Meat, Fruit & Vegetables by Abel & Cole too!

 

The Secret Girly Girl

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