A Place to Read

Blackberry and Wild Rose by Sonia Velton

I ventured into another historical novel and Chose Blackberry and Wild Rose because the story sounded intriguing, and it certainly was.

This post contains affiliate links and if you click through and go on to purchase something, I may earn a little money at no extra cost to you. Thank you for supporting my blog.

Blackberry and wild rose, bookcover. Dark backgroun
By: Sonia Velton
Narrated by: Heather LongBeth Eyre
Length: 9 hrs and 43 mins
Unabridged Audiobook
Release date: 10-01-19
Language: English
Publisher: Quercus

I listened to the book on Audible and I found the recording really good. There were complaints in the comments that the two women sounded similar, but I could distinguish them straight away, even if I’d stopped listening and came back to the story.

The Blurb

For fans of Jessie Burton and Tracy Chevalier, a rich historical debut set among the Huguenot silk weavers of Spitalfields in the late 18th century.

When Esther Thorel, the wife of a Huguenot silk weaver, rescues Sara Kemp from a brothel she thinks she is doing God’s will. Sara is not convinced being a maid is better than being a whore, but the chance to escape her grasping madam is too good to refuse.

Inside the Thorels’ tall house in Spitalfields, where the strange cadence of the looms fills the attic, the two women forge an uneasy relationship. The physical intimacies of washing and dressing belie the reality: Sara despises her mistress’ blindness to the hypocrisy of her household while Esther is too wrapped up in her own secrets to see Sara as anything more than another charitable cause.

It is silk that has Esther so distracted. For years she has painted her own designs, dreaming that one day her husband will weave them into reality. When he laughs at her ambition, she unwittingly sets in motion events that will change the fate of the whole Thorel household and set the scene for a devastating day of reckoning between her and Sara.

The price of a piece of silk may prove more than either is able to pay.

My Review on Blackberry and Wild Rose.

This story had so many elements, the history of the Huguenots and the Spitalfieds silk, along with the revolution of the journeymen. The relationship between two very different women and how their lives became intertwined. The battle of the sexes and how women were rarely listened and often abused. The differences between those who had money and status and those who didn’t. And the different romantic storylines.

The relationship between the two main characters was the main focus of the story. Two women who both felt repressed by men but also one by the other.

I could not work out where the story was going to end, it built up slowly but was always interesting. The ending was climactic and satisfying. It was both sad and happy in different ways.

Overall, I found this a very interesting listen (read) and I think I am fast becoming an historical novel fan. I think I even learned a little about weaving silk.

You can also buy the book on Amazon.

Or you can support my bookshop here

bookworms monthly linky
A Place to Enjoy, Shopping

Summer Sale, Bringing some Offers for my Readers

I am an affiliate for quite a few programs and lately I’ve seem some great Summer Sale offers that I’d like to share with you. All links are affiliate so if you see something you like and click through to buy then I may earn a little money. This is at no extra cost to you, so thank you for supporting my blog.


You may be thinking it’s a little late for sunglasses, or you may be planning on a trip to a sunnier climate. I love a good bargain when it comes to sunglasses and now Hawkers have a great sale on with styles to suit everyone.

These are pretty and reduced from £29.99 to just £19.99.

summer sale, sunglasses

Craft Stash

There are some fabulous bargains to be had at Craft Stash but you have to be quick as the sale is only on for a week.

Buy 1, get the 2nd for only a penny! Use code PENNY at the checkout.

Up To £5 Off selected Magazine Kits

25% Off Selected Pens, Pencils & Art SuppliesWith code: BTS

Up To 40% Off Clairefontaine

Centre of Excellence

I’m a big fan of The Centre of Excellence for all sorts of educational courses and they have some special offers on kids courses at the moment.

You can use my code RAISIEBAY466 for 70% off any of the courses. But they also have a lot of children’s courses on sale for £29.99.

There are also some fabulous animal courses that you could use my discount code on.

Start Right

It is the time of year when parents are looking for back to school shoes and you may be able to find some in the Start Right Summer Sale. You’ll need to be quick though and there are not many sizes left. Start Right are a still a good place if you are looking for school shoes though, and if you need to buy online they sell foot measuring gauges. You can also get free delivery on school shoes and sign up to the newsletter for a discount and special offers!

Dotty Fish

If you are looking for Baby Shoes then Dotty Fish are absolutely adorable. They currently have a summer sale on their gorgeous sandles. But that’s not all, you can get 20% off accessories with the code GIVEME20 and Free UK Delivery.

summer sale sandles for babies,

The Pen Shop

Maybe you are looking for a special pen for a special person or you would like to treat someone with a back to school or university gift. The pen shop has a sale on.

Parker IM Black Chrome Trim Fountain Pen and Ball Pen Set – Was £63.00 Now Only £36.00!

Cross Calais Black Fountain Pen – Was £42.00 Now Only £33.60!

Cross Beverly Translucent Red Fountain Pen – Was £42 Now Only £33.60!

Free Delivery on order over £20!

Thanks for reading, I’ll keep looking for offers for you.

A Place to Read

The Memory Shop by Ella Griffin – book review

I wanted something nice to read on holiday, so I put away the thrillers and horror books and settled on a nice story, with my favourite kind of narrator, one with an Irish accent. The book I chose was The Memory Shop by Ella Griffin.

This post contains affiliate links so if you click through and purchase anything I may earn a little money at no extra cost to yourself. Thank you for supporting my blog.

By: Ella Griffin
Narrated by: Deirdre O’Connell
Length: 13 hrs and 30 mins
Unabridged Audiobook
Release date: 05-10-17
Language: English
Publisher: W. F. Howes Ltd

The Blurb

Daydreamer Nora has inherited all of her grandmother’s worldly belongings.

Nora dreads seeing her beloved grandmother’s possessions go, but she’s determined that item by item, memory by memory, she will find the perfect new owners.

When she opens The Memory Shop in the front of her grandmother’s house, the community is gradually drawn inside, and Nora begins transforming the lives of those around her through the objects she pairs them with.

My Review of The Memory Shop

I listened to the book on Audible. I always advise people to listen to a sample first to make sure you are happy with the narrator. The story was perfect for my holiday, it was a gentle, heart warming story, tinged with sadness. I felt for all of the characters in the story and I thought Ella Griffin did an amazing job linking the stories together and showing you the other side. I don’t want to give too much away, but the main character, Nora, helps a lot of people which has a knock on effect to other people in their lives. Nora does give thought into what she is selling to whom and why, but she doesn’t really know the effect the purchases are having on the person’s life.

Nora’s life doesn’t start off too well when she finds her long standing boyfriend in bed with her best friend and business partner. Going off to Ireland to sort out her grandparents estate comes at just the right time.

The ending was lovely with all the little pieces being tied up together like a beautiful gift from Nora’s Memory Shop. I really enjoyed this book and it was a lovely holiday read. Perfect to pick up at any time and continue the story.

You can also buy The Memory Shop on Amazon.

bookworms monthly linky
A Place to Read

The Other Emily by Dean Koontz

I haven’t read any of Dean Koontz for a long time but I quite fancied the idea of a bit of sci-fi mixed with horror so The Other Emily caught my eye. This post will contain affiliate links.

The Other Emily, Dean Koontz
By: Dean Koontz
Narrated by: MacLeod Andrews
Length: 10 hrs and 2 mins
Unabridged Audiobook
Release date: 23-03-21
Language: English
Publisher: Brilliance Audio

The Blurb

A decade ago, Emily Carlino vanished after her car broke down on a California highway. She was presumed to be one of serial killer Ronny Lee Jessup’s victims whose remains were never found. 

Writer David Thorne still hasn’t recovered from losing the love of his life, or from the guilt of not being there to save her. Since then, he’s sought closure any way he can. He even visits regularly with Jessup in prison, desperate for answers about Emily’s final hours so he may finally lay her body to rest. Then David meets Maddison Sutton, beguiling, playful, and keenly aware of all David has lost. But what really takes his breath away is that everything about Maddison, down to her kisses, is just like Emily. As the fantastic becomes credible, David’s obsession grows, Maddison’s mysterious past deepens – and terror escalates. 

Is she Emily? Or an irresistible dead ringer? Either way, the ultimate question is the same: What game is she playing? Whatever the risk in finding out, David’s willing to take it for this precious second chance. It’s been ten years since he’s felt this inspired, this hopeful, this much in love…and he’s afraid.

My thoughts on the Audio Book.

I listened to The Other Emily on Audible and I thought the narrator was pretty good, apart from when he was speaking the women’s parts, but that’s understandable. He read the book in an eirie way which gave just the right amount of scariness. I found myself listening as much as I could, if it were a book it would definitely be a page turner.

My Thoughts on the Story

I do like the mix of sci-fi and horror even if it’s not for everyone. I thought some of the storyline was much like Silence of the Lambs, with just the right amount of terror in the interviews with a psychopath and the trapped in the house of horror scenes. The ending was were the sci-fi parts kicked in and it was a little baffling. I found myself from being scared to wondering what the heck was going on. If you engage fully with the story though and think about the reasons behind the plot then it makes more sense and is actually quite thought provoking.

The main character was likeable if a little weird and obsessive. The psychopath was portrayed really well, but the other characters kind of faded into the story, even the elusive Maddison, or the other Emily was not very endearing and you felt little for what happened to her.

If you want a story that will get you thinking, keep you reading (or listening) give you a scare and frazzle your brain at the same time, then this might be the story for you.

bookworms monthly linky

Are you a fan of Dean Koontz?

What have you read this month, pop along to my linky using the image above for my Monthly Book worm link up.

A Place to Read

Book Worms Monthly August Join our Link Up

Hello, Welcome to BookWorms Monthly August. Phew, the UK had a bit of a heatwave in July, perfect for getting your books out and reading in the shade.

Reading is my passion and I love to write about what I’ve read. I’m a real book worm and I have been since the day I could read. I decided to start this linky so that other book worms could Share. I’m starting monthly for now, so you have a whole month to link up your posts. You can link up to four posts, so that’s one a week. Or if you like you can link up some of your older posts.

Let’s share what we read and give other’s ideas what to read next. Tell me your reviews, you book reading lists, your author interviews, kids book favourites, Young Adult books, and even posts about your favourite authors. Anything book related is allowed and I can’t wait to read them all. I want to find all the book worms out there.

Here is last months linky to give you some idea of what book worms monthly is about. I’m trying to reach out to all the book worms out there to come and join me with their posts monthly.

Join Us for Book Worms Monthly
Book worms Monthly will be posted every four weeks, and you can join in at any time. I will share anyone who links over on my Social Media sites, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Mix (formerly Stumbleupon.) I’ll also come along and read and comment on your post. Please do share this link up with your friends.

Link up your BookWorms Monthly August book posts below.

Here is a badge to share, just use the code below if you want to put it on your blog. Or you can just link back to www.athomealot.com thanks.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

This is the bookworms monthly link up forAugust, you can see the last link up for July here.

Each month I will read through the linked up posts and add to my TBR list here: