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


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 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

Point Horrors – Re-connecting!

Hi Guys,

I just wanted to write a post about my new collection. I have decided to start collecting the full set of Point Horror novels.

So what are Point Horrors?

Point Horrors are a collection of Books released throughout the 90’s. They are Horror/ supernatural stories aimed at Teenagers/Young Adults.

When I was in high school these books had a real cult following and it was so hard to check them out of the school library because so many people wanted to read them.

As soon as I got my pocket money I would go to WH Smith and spend it all on these books. They used to cost around £3.99 each. I spent most of my summer holidays reading these books and I loved them.

They were written by a core group of authors including R.L Stine (author of Goosebumps), Diane Hoh, Caroline B. Cooney and Richie Tankersley Cusick. I loved them so much I even joined a Point Horror book club!

I decided to collect them all due partly to nostalgia but also because I loved the stories. They were always well written and always drew me in.

There are well over 120 point horror books and I currently have around 40 in my collection. You guys will probably see them popping up a lot in my monthly Book Reviews as I make my way through them. They are relatively short books with most of them coming to around 200 pages but they are fantastic and well worth the read!

Did you guys ever love Point Horrors? Which were your favourites? Did you have a favourite Author? Let me know!

The Secret Girly Girl


Good Reads Reading Challenge 2015!

Hi There,

good reads

In 2015 I decided to take the Good Reads Reading Challenge. I simply went to and entered the amount of books I wanted to read in 2015. I personally chose to try and read 40 books. I ended surpassing my goal and reading 43 which I am really proud of.

Most of the books I read were supernatural/ghost stories but I did throw a few Non-fictions and chick-lit in along the way.

I am going to set another reading goal again this year and I think I’m going to aim for 40 books again. I’m not going to increase it purely because I know that I am going to be focusing a lot of time into expanding my business this year.

For anyone who is interested I will list the books I read this year along with their genre and the marks out of 5 that I awarded them below:


  1. The Ghost Hunters – Neil Spring (Ghost story) 4/5
  2. The Evil inside (Horror) 4/5
  3. Hell House – Richard Matheson (ghost story) 3.5/5
  4. What’s your number? (chick-lit) 4.5/5
  5. Accidentally Demonic – Dakota Cassidy (supernatural) 3.5/5
  6. 50 ways to hex your lover – Linda Wisdom (supernatural) 3/5
  7. Roald Dahl’s book of ghost stories – Various (ghost stories) 3/5
  8. Three winter ghosts – Gary sargent (ghost story) 3/5
  9. The woman in Black – Angel of death – Martyn Waites (ghost story) 4.5/5
  10. The wrong knickers – Bryony Gordon (Chick-Lit) 5/5
  11. Apartment 16 – Adam Neville (Horror) 3.5
  12. Forensics: The anatomy of crime – Val McDermid (Non-Fiction) 5/5
  13. Finger Lickin’ Dead – Riley Adams (Crime) 4/5
  14. Working Stiff – Rachel Caine (Supernatural) 4.5/5
  15. The haunting of hill house – Shirley Jackson 3/5
  16. Bellman & Black – Diane Setterfield (Victorian) 3/5
  17. Agatha Raisin and the vicious vet – M.C Beaton (Crime) 4/5
  18. No one gets out alive – Adam Neville (Horror) 4.5/5
  19. House of small shadows – Adam Neville (horror) 3.5/5
  20. The call of the weird – Louis Theroux (Non-Fiction) 4.5/5
  21. Fools Rush in – Various (Chick-lit) 4/5
  22. You’re making me hate you – Corey Taylor (Non-Fiction) 5/5
  23. Bunny Tales: Behind closed doors at the playboy mansion – Izabella st James (Non-Fiction) 4/5
  24. Down the Rabbit hole – Holly Madison (Non-Fiction) 5/5
  25. Hex Hall – Rachel Hawkins (Supernatural) 5/5
  26. Ash – Malinda Lo (fairytale) 4.5/5
  27. The Harrowing – Alexandra Sokoloff (Supernatural) 5/5
  28. Whispers in the dark – Jonathan Aycliffe (Supernatural) 4.5/5
  29. The Lost – Jonathan Aycliffe (supernatural) 4.5/5
  30. Naomi’s room – Jonathan Aycliffe (Ghost story) 5/5
  31. I’m not a serial killer – Dan Wells (Thriller) 5/5
  32. Grayson Manor Haunting – Cheryl Bradshaw (ghost story) 4/5
  33. The Hunting Ground – Cliff McNish (Ghost story) 4/5
  34. Omen 4 Armageddon 2000 – Gordon McGill (Possession) 3/5
  35. The mist in the mirror – Susan Hill (ghost story) 3/5
  36. The drowning pool – Syd Moore (Witchcraft) 2/5
  37. Immortal Remains – Rook Hastings (Ghost story) 4/5
  38. A sincere warning about the entity in your house – Jason Arnopp (ghost story) 2/5
  39. The haunting of Highdown Hall – Shani Struthers (ghost story) 3.5/5
  40. The Bedwetter: stories of courage, redemption and pee – Sarah Silverman (Humour) 4/5
  41. Dolly – Susan Hill (Ghost story) 2.5/5
  42. The visitors book – Sophie Hannah (ghost stories) 4/5
  43. Gifted: Out of sight out of mind – Marilyn Kaye (supernatural) 4.5/5

As you can see I fell in love with two authors in particular this year, Adam Neville and Jonathan Aycliffe, both of who I highly recommend checking out.

Do you currently have a reading goal for 2015? Did you reach it? What were your favourite books? Let me know!

Love & Bubbles

The Secret Girly Girl