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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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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August Favourites!

This month I have had quite a lot of Non-Beauty Favourites that I have been loving.

If you follow my blog on a regular basis you will know that I love Books & reading.

I would go as far as saying I prefer reading a book to watching TV, so this brings me onto my first to favourites this month which are both Book based websites.

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I love using kindle it’s a great way to take large amounts of books away with you but my true love are paperbacks.

Normally when I finish reading one I will give it to a friend or take it to a charity shop but now I’ve fallen in love with www.readitswapit.co.uk.

This is a website where you swap your unwanted books with other users. All it costs is the shipping cost for you to send your swapped book to another member.

It’s a fantastic and environmentally sound way to get new books and get rid of any unwanted reads.

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My second website & App is http://www.goodreads.com which is a website where you can track all the books you have read and get great book recommendations.

They also have a reading challenge where you can enter how many books you want to read in 2015 & it tracks your progress to let you know if you are on schedule to meet your goal or not. I entered that I wanted to read 40 books in 2015! I am currently ahead of schedule, which is good to know. The app is available for free from the app store.

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Following on in the book theme, another august favourite has been the Author Jonathan Aycliffe. I only recently heard of him but I have been enjoying his books throughout August – A great author for anyone interested in Ghost story/ Supernatural books.

I only have two beauty favourites this month. The first was the Urban Decay Naked Smoky Palette that was released this month I’ve already blogged about it, so I wont repeat myself but this is a fantastically versatile palette with something for everyone.

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My second Beauty Favourite is the Almond & Milk Hand Cream by Burt’s Bees. This is quite a thick greasy formulae s it wont be to everyone’s liking but I apply it first thing in the morning. I don’t tend to reapply throughout the day because it is so greasy but it leaves my hands feeling really soft and smells so good!!!

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My final favourite is another App. Ever since I was a child I have always found the noise of a vacuum cleaner really relaxing, same with a hairdryer or fan. This is because these sounds are white noise and mimic the sound of the womb.

Recently I’ve had trouble switching off at bed time and relaxing enough to fall asleep so I downloaded an app called ‘White Noise’ and you can set it on a timer so that once you fall asleep it turns itself off. These kinds of apps are usually targeted at Babies but they really work and I really recommend them for anyone struggling to sleep.

That concludes my favourites for August. What are your favourites? Let me know.

Love & Bubbles

The Secret Girly Girl

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June 2015 Books – Review

Hi Guys,

This is going to be a short one as I only managed to read four books in June.

I know I normally read horror or crime books but this month I felt like reading something different for a change so ended up reading three autobiographies and a romance anthology so here they are…

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Title: Fools Rush in

Author: Various

Format: Kindle

Pages: 236

Genre: Chic Lit

I have signed up for a service called BookBub (www.bookbub.com) and basically they send you daily notifications about free or cheap ebooks that are available on Amazon & ibooks. I’ve come across some really great books using this service unfortunately this book wasn’t one of them. I opted for this book because I wanted something that was lighthearted and an easy read. It was free on Kindle and so I down loaded it and now I know why it was free. It was awful. It is an anthology of romantic short stories all based around the theme of April Fools. I would say at least 90% of the stories were utter crap. They were badly written and you could easily predict the outcome. I would definitely say avoid this book – 2/5

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Title: You’re making me hate you

Author: Corey Taylor

Format: Kindle

Pages: 244

Genre: Autobiographical

Written by the lead singer of metal band Slipknot this book is heavily laced with sarcasm and just a pinch of vitriol. Corey shares with the reader all the things about people and society that piss him off (Pretty much everything) and he doesn’t hold back! This book will have you nodding your head in agreement and laughing out loud in equal measure. This is a book that everyone can relate to – not to be missed! 5/5

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Title: Bunny Tales – Behind closed doors at the playboy mansion

Author: Izabella St. James

Format: Kindle

Pages: 250

Genre: Autobiographical

I used to love watching ‘The girls next door’ a reality TV show based around the three live-in girlfriends of Hugh Hefner. I knew Holly Madison had a book coming out but it wasn’t released yet so I decided to download this book which pre-dates ‘The girls next door’ era. Izabella does not come across well in this book. She explains how she threw away a great career as a lawyer to become a girlfriend of Hefner.

She paints herself as a money hungry gold digger. A spoilt brat who was after all she could get from Hef. She also seems extremely bitter about the success of Holly, Bridget & Kendra and their TV series. I’m sure she wanted to come across as an intelligent, independent young woman but unfortunately she fails. It wasn’t a bad read but St. James did not do her self any favours writing this book. 3/5

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Title: Down the Rabbit hole

Author: Holly Madison

Format: Kindle

Pages: 332

Genre: Autobiographical

I bought this on the day of release and couldn’t put it down. Unlike Izabella’s book, this is well written and Holly comes across as Intelligent, sincere and honest (although maybe a little easily lead). Holly discusses life behind the gates of the most famous mansion in LA. What really happened in Hugh Hefner’s bedroom is also laid out in great detail. She is candid about her life as Hugh’s No.1 girlfriend and is outspoken about the verbal abuse that she suffered at the hands of the worlds biggest playboy.

She doesn’t come across as a gold digger and she doesn’t moan about how she wasn’t bought this or that (I’m looking at you Miss St. James). She also talks about life after playboy and her relationships with the other two girlfriends. I really enjoyed this book; it was full of lots of juicy details – 5/5

So those were the four books that I read in June. Have you read any of these books? What books did you read throughout June?

Love & Bubbles

The Secret Girly Girl

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