The Reading Head

Reviewing the latest books from our favourite authors.

Who could argue? Not me!
Reblogged from Katie Hayoz, author, reader:

Mandrean Revenge

Mandrean Revenge (Sapphire Chronicles #3) - Rival Gates

Although I haven’t read the first 2 books in the Sapphire Chronicles, Mandrean Revenge was not difficult to pick up. I found it very easy to pick up the thread of the story and understand the characters, specifically Linvin.

This book is filled with excitement, suspense and intrigue from the first page, and is well enough written for me to be able to imagine the scenery and the feelings of the characters. I loved the relationship between the Necromancer and Linvin’s  uncle especially and that between the Necromancer and Lord Mandrean made me laugh on more than one occasion.

The characters are very well presented throughout, especially those new to the series, who are well described and very believable.

Overall a great book for anyone. Enjoy

NB I received this book free for an honest review.

Alien Love

Alien Love - Stan Schatt

Alien Love is one of those books that you can really believe in. Just the kind of book for me. Stan has researched his subject matter well and that comes across eloquently in his writing.


Jack is an exceptional lead character, who is well-developed and researched, it is very easy to get to know him well and understand his thoughts and feelings. Especially those concerning his anger.


The story is well-paced, believable and will have you glued throughout. I was able to believe that we have aliens on our planet and that the American government are keeping secrets. Well it is true isn’t it?


Any sci-fi fan will love this book. Enjoy


NB I received this book free for an hones review.

Chestnut Street

Chestnut Street - Maeve Binchy

The day Maeve Binchy past away, was a sad day for the literary world, and especially her fans. So when I saw Chestnut Street was being re-released, I had to review it. Giving it a 5 star review really is a no brainer for a Binchy fan like myself.

Chestnut Street is a series of short stories, each about a different resident of the street. With Maeve’s trademark humor and attention to detail, we enter each residents life, there trauma’s, excitements, fear, etc.

Each story, like it’s subject, is completely different. The characters are so well-developed that you will think of them as your own neighbours. With the humor I can guarantee a giggle or two. Although fictional, Maeve had a skill for showing us the real world in Ireland, the customs, the people’s character’s and the amazing landscape.

There isn’t really much more I can say, as I feel a Maeve Binchy book really needs no introduction. If you’re already a fan, then this is definitely a book for you. If not, hmm, well then Chestnut Street is the perfect introduction to the Binchy world. Enjoy.

 NB I received this book free for an honest review

Guardian of the Gauntlet

Guardian of the Gauntlet - Lenita Sheridan

Sadly I didn’t enjoy Guardian of the Gauntlet as much as I’d have liked. But considering it’s Lenita’s debut book it shows a lot of potential for future books.

Everything throughout this short book is exceptionally well described, but too much so. Because of the descriptions, the story felt choppy and boring in places. The flow of the story was also fast and a little difficult to follow.

There is a lot of potential though, but the balance of description and story line needs a little more work.

Lenita is definitely an author to watch in the future.

NB I received this book free for an honest review

Mindfulness for Carers

Mindfulness for Carers: How to Manage the Demands of Caregiving While Finding a Place for Yourself - Cheryl Rezek

As a full time Carer I’m always looking out for something that will help save my sanity. Mindfulness for Carers is that something! I can’t really praise this book enough, so here are just a couple of reasons why every carer needs this book..

Firstly it’s down to earth; A lot of mindfulness books I have read are so preachy. This one is short, sharp and very much to the point. It’s written in basic english we can all understand without all the mumbo-jumbo.

Second it’s short; Carers are busy people, we don’t have time to sit and read pages and pages of extra info, we just want the facts written in a quick concise manner. Mindfulness for Carers understands this, the book is in short chapters, with short easy to scan paragraphs, so you get the info you need fast.

Third the meditations themselves are short: A busy carer doesn’t have time to sit for half an hour meditation. Cheryl understands this and so has some very fast 2 min excercises that help. And trust me they do, I tried them.

There is an audio CD/download of the meditations, sadly I can’t say anything about those, as I didn’t receive them with the book (I received free for review), but I have a feeling they will add to what is already a good buy.

So if your a carer, or even if your not, you need this book. Enjoy

NB I received this book free for an honest review

The Children of Ankh

Enlightenment: The Children of Ankh - Kim Cormack

Enlightenment The Children of Ankh is the second in this amazing series. I haven’t read book 1 but was easily able to pick up the story, so I will say that you can easily just read book 2 if you so wish.

The characters are all well-developed and easy to get to know, some likeable others not so, but they all have their individual nuances and foibles making each believable.

The plot is fast paced throughout, full of excitement and emotion from page 1. You will need those tissues handy for the sadder parts. Be ready to experience every emotion in your vocabulary from love, laughter, fear, hatred, excitement, etc. They will be strong and frequent.

What more can I say? This is a must read for anyone who loves fantasy or paranormal. Enjoy.

NB I received this book free for an honest review

Discovering the It Factor in You

Discovering the It Factor within You: Developing Your Charismatic Personality - Leesa Rowland

When I was asked to read Discovering the It Factor Within You, I agreed hoping that I would learn how to improve my life somehow; Leesa’s book definitely provided me with some useful information. And based on events since reading the book, I can honestly say she’s right!

I found the reading a little hard going at times, as the writing is what I would call heavy. To the extent that I have to admit I skimmed passed one or two chapters. One in particular where I found myself arguing with the author profusely. I’m sorry but I just didn’t agree with her point of view at all. Well we can’t all agree with everything can we?

Leesa talks a lot about her life and experiences throughout the book, illustrating her points very clearly, and I have to say thoroughly. A little too thoroughly at times, for me, but making her points really stick!

Did you realize that we all have the It factor? Nope me neither, seems it is common that most of us have it but have little idea on how to use it. The authorpoints this out repeatedly and shows us a few ways to actually bring them out in ourselves. Easy ways too. I tried a couple and landed a radio slot completely by accident! So I will vouch for this book.

Overall, a good book, a little heavy and repetitive at times but well worth checking out. Enjoy


Second Street Station

Second Street Station: A Mary Handley Mystery - Lawrence H. Levy

Choosing Second Street Station as my first mystery to review, was spot on. Set in the 19th Century this is a well paced account of murder, intrique and women’s rights.

Ingrid appears to have researched the history for this book well, everything seems accurate and even taught me one or two things about women’s rights for an essay.

As I said the story is very well paced, it will keep you guessing throughout with its twists and surprises, of which there are many! Mary is a well thought out character, who is developed enough to really feel the person she is.

You will find it difficult to find a good place to stop and put the book down I’m sure.

Anyone who enjoys a good mystery will love this book. Enjoy

NB I received this book free for an honest review.

What Happens in Cornwall

What Happens in Cornwall... - T.A.   Williams

What happens in Cornwall by T.A. Williams is a well paced insight into the life of Sam, a PHd archaeology student. Although predominantly about Sam, there are a host of other characters who’s lives are also interesting and add depth to the story.

All the characters are well developed, enabling you to feel the enormous myriad of feelings felt by Sam, as well as the excitement from Becky and Virginia, the fear induced by Miles and the life and strife of being a famous millionaire.

I loved the sub-stories weaved into the book, which not only added dimension to the book itself but also showed the authors diverse writing abilities. Not to mention his research..

The main underlying story is about Rock Island and the archaeology found there, The author researched his subject well and taught me a lot about the history of the island. I now want to visit it for myself, for the historical interest.

This book could easily keep anyone entertained and informed, so I highly recommend it. Enjoy.

NB I received this book free for an honest review.

Ill Fated

Ill Fated (The Maurin Kincaide Series) (Volume 6) - Rachel Rawlings

Ill Fated is another of those books where I think my rating would have been better if I’d read the previous books in the series. As I had trouble connecting with the characters. I was however, able to pick up the story easily which is good.

I could be wrong, but it seemed that much of the story line was pertinent to this particular book, so I wonder if this is the case throughout the series?

Rachel’s writing is exciting and kept me hooked most of the way through, once I had figured out who everyone was. Her characters appear to be well written and I can imagine Maurin to be an interesting person to follow.

With it’s twists and excitement I would certainly recommend this book to any paranormal lover, but I do recommend reading the rest of the series first. Enjoy


NB I received this book free in return for an honest review

Ignite the Shadows

Ignite The Shadows - Ingrid Seymour

The first thing to be said about Ignite the Shadow is – when’t book 2 out? I want a copy!

Ok so to say I enjoyed this book would be the understatement of the century, 5 stars just doesn’t seem enough. The book is 400 pages so I did worry I wouldn’t have time to finish it. No problem, this is such a page turner I wasn’t able to put it down, one all night reading fest and it was finished.

The story is very well paced, keeping you on your toes throughout, there is plenty of suspense along with more than a few slightly scary moments and a couple of surprising twists.

I believed everything that happened, which is a frightening thought, although I do always say the mother-in-law is a monster so who knows. Maybe I’m right!

I loved the characters and how well developed they are, especially young Marci. I really felt for her, wanting to give her a hug. She seems a lovely young girl who doesn’t deserve half of what she is going through.

Young adult or not, this is a book anyone into sci-fi and a bit of mystery will love this. Enjoy.

Just one more thing … Ingrid I need to read book 2! please.


NB: I received this book free for an honest review

Minstrels' Prize

Minstrels' Prize: Book 3 of the Minstrels' Tale Mystery (Volume 3) - Nance Bulow Morgan

If I’m honest I didn’t enjoy Minstrels’ Prize as much as I would have liked. I hadn’t read the first 2 books so maybe that had something to do with it. The story refers to previous events that I guess you really need to have read about in the other books. Because of this I struggled with the book immensely.

However, I was able to get a grasp on the main characters, and their relationship with each other. Especially how close they are and how they would die for each other if necessary. The places concerned where well describedmaking it easy for me to build a picture of where they were at any given time.

The story itself I found a bit intense, and not really believable. It was exciting though and at times kept me glued wanting more, but at other times leaving me to struggle to read on.

Who would I recommend this book too? Honestly I really don’t know, but do need to have read the first 2 books. If you do decide to give it a go… Enjoy

NB I received this book free for an honest review

Going Viral

Going Viral - Dustin Stevens

Different to what I normally read but Going Viral is a book I was able to get on with easily. This book gives the reader a good insight into the realms of book publishing. Although I think it is more likely a ‘How NOT to promote a book’.  The book also shows very well  the impact of our Internet culture, on how what we see cannot always be believed and the negative impact it can have on a young person.

Chaz D is a great character to illustrate that last point, Dustin has written him extremely well, he is well thought out and developed throughout the book. I can’t say I would like Chaz if I where to meet him, but then I guess that was the point of the book.

On a negative note: I found some of Chaz’s antics a little OTT and found him almost impossible to connect with, I really didn’t find some of it very believable.

I think this book is great for someone who loves to get their teeth into a good thriller, I might even consider it as something to show our tweens the negative side of out online world. Enjoy.


NB I received this book free for an Honest review

Becoming Ellen

Becoming Ellen - Shari Shattuck

I haven’t read the first book from the Ellen series,  so found one or 2 references in Becoming Ellen difficult to follow, but that was not a problem. I loved how the author has covered some difficult subject areas, those we all know about but most try to ignore. Sharing covered the topics very tastefully, but still with enough force to get her message across.

The story is well paced and well-developed, as are all the characters. Everything is very believable.


I am looking forward to book 3.

I know this is only a short review, but you know, that’s really all it needs. Anyone will enjoy this. Enjoy!


NB: I received this free for an honest review.

Forgotten Origins Trilogy

Forgotten Origins Trilogy - Box Set: Bloodline, Heritage, Descent - Tara Ellis, Katie Beitz, Melchelle Designs

Forgotten Origins Trilogy comprises of Tara’s 3 books Bloodline, Heritage and Descent. Sadly I wasn’t able to read the entire book s time for this review, but I did manage to read Bloodline… LOVED IT!! I am rushing to make time to read the rest!

The story is fast paced at times, and very exciting, I found myself panicking for the characters a lot, often verbally. It was entirely believable, I would think an event like this could be entirely possible.

I loved Alex’s relationship with her brother, that kind of relationship doesn’t happen often in life, so even though they are fictional it was still lovely to All the characters and the events are very well defined making it very easy for me to connect and imagine myself involved – although, I’d rather not be thanks.

The mystery is well thought out and keeps you guessing, making for a real page turner.

Overall a great read for anyone really, especially if you love a good sci-fi or mystery. Enjoy.


NB I received this book free for an honest review