Saturday, November 17, 2018
ABOUT MX PUBLISHING
MX Publishing is a social enterprise focussing on publishing the very best in Sherlock Holmes fiction and related historical works. We also have a division working on coaching, NLP and business books. We run MX alongside our day jobs with the help a of a team of supporters and volunteers. We’re involved in a number of projects, but have two main organisations we support, both logistically and financially. One in the UK and one in Kenya.
Happy Life Children’s Home in Nairobi, Kenya. Sharon and Steve volunteer there every xmas, fundraise, work on special projects etc). Happy Life rescues abandoned babies in Nairobi and works to get as many children as possible adopted. The remainder stay with the project through to school age and the program has about 110 children (having saved around 500 in total). In 2014 Sharon and Steve wrote the book ‘The Happy Life Story’ which the team use for fundraising and awareness around the world – especially in the USA where a lot of the fundraising comes from. In additional to sponsorship and general fundraising we also do special projects. In 2016 we funded two table tennis tables and all the associated equipment to set up a new indoor sport for the older children at the Juja Farm site. As a former county player Steve was able to then teach the teachers and children last Christmas.
Stepping Stones School is one of Europe’s leading schools for children with learning disabilities of which Steve is now a patron. Their new home since September 2016 is Undershaw, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s former home and where he wrote many of the Sherlock Holmes stories. Our main project with them is The MX New Book of Sherlock Holmes Stories. Inspired by editor David Marcum, it was originally planned to be one volume of around thirty stories in October 2015, but this quickly snowballed into a huge ongoing project.
Volumes I-VIII of the MX Book of New Sherlock Holmes Stories have come out with over 100 authors taking part. With at least 2 volumes a year, it’s the largest collection of new Sherlock Holmes stories in the world by far. All authors donate their royalties to Stepping Stones school. It’s been licensed into India and Japan too. The latest project at Undershaw we are helping funding is the creative writing centre.
I am so happy to be a part of this blog tour which is for such a wonderful cause. Thank you so much to Caroline at Bits About Books for letting me be a part of this.
I don't normally read short stories so this is a first for me, and also I have never read any Sherlock Holmes mysteries before either so another first for me!
I have to say that I have really enjoyed reading these short stories which has surprised me somewhat as other books with short stories I haven't enjoyed in the past.
I was going to pick a couple of stories to review but I just cannot pick a favourite as all of them where so good, with some fantastic writing and plot lines.
Reading these books has introduced me to some great authors who I wouldn't normally have read such as Lyndsay Faye and Arthur Hall and also stories from people who do not normally write as a profession and I am so thankful for this as I love to discover new authors to me.
I would definitely recommend these books, they would be great to read on these long winter nights beside the fire with a warm drink or even better a nice glass of wine.
Friday, November 16, 2018
Damage by Eve Ainsworth
**** 4 stars
I haven't read many young adult books but what I have read have been very good, and this book is no exception.
This was about Gabi a young teen who is dealing with her emotional issues regarding the death of her Grandfather and also of the pressure of being an adolescent.
She starts to self harm to help her deal with her emotions. She cannot bring herself to talk about this even with her best friend, so she turns to an internet chat room for help.
This was a quick and enjoyable read for me, which I felt dealt with teenage mental illness very well.
I will be reading more from this author in the future.
Thursday, November 1, 2018
Blood Wedding by Pierre Lemaitre
*** 3 stars
I was so excited to start reading this book as I had heard great things about it on BookTube.
I started it and could not put it down. I read 3/4 of it in one afternoon and then it took me 3 days to read the rest!
I got really bored with Frantz's diary entries and had to force myself to pick it up and to finish it.
The premise of the story was very good and I really did enjoy most of it, but then I felt it lost momentum and I didn't care about the characters after that and then to me the ending was very bland.
I have bought more of this authors books so I will try another one and see how I get on with them.
A fantastic storyline that just went wrong somewhere in the middle for me.
Friday, October 26, 2018
Final Girls by Riley Sager
***** 5 stars
This really was a nail biting thriller and had me engrossed and on the edge of my seat all the way through it.
The Final Girls are 3 women who have survived horrendous ordeals and are the only ones left standing at the end of it.
But someone is trying to kill them. Is it a stranger who thinks that they shouldn't have survived their attacks? Or maybe one of them is going slowly insane and attacking and killing off the others? Or is it someone they know?
This was a great debut novel from this author and if this is her first attempt then Wow! What will her future books hold for us?
This was a great original plot with fantastic flawed characters and probably my favourite thriller of this year!
Tuesday, October 23, 2018
What Nobody Knew by Amelia Hendrey
***** 5 stars!
Wow! I just could not put this book down and read it in one day. I went through a rollercoaster of emotions and I need to tell you that you will be needing the tissues close by.
A heartrending story of abuse and neglect of a young girl who just wanted someone to love and care for her, but instead she gets an abusive father and a step mother who turns a blind eye to the fathers behaviour and sometimes adds to it herself.
Her birth mother abandons her at an early age and her father gets sole custody.
He neglects her as he is slowly and surely becoming an alcoholic .
The abuse esculates as she gets older and finally culminates into a violent rape.
Then she has to find a way to put her life back together and learn to live in the world and care for herself when her step mother turns her back on her.
The writing had depth and emotion that enhanced and portrayed the story very well.
A very engaging and emotional read which I highly recommend!
A five star read for me!
Sunday, October 21, 2018
The Greatcoat by Helen Dunmore
*** 3 stars
I was a little disappointed in this book, on the cover it was likened to The Woman In Black, but unfortunately the only thing they had in common was that they were both ghost stories.
This book fell very flat for me and I only kept on reading because it was a short book.
Isabel finds an old RAF coat and then Alec a pilot and a ghost starts to visit her.
Alec is linked to the coat found in the house in which Isabel and her husband Philip a young doctor are now living.
This was more of a love story than a spooky ghost story. When Alex visits Isabel he is really visiting his lover Lizzie, but Isabel starts to have memories that she doesn't know where they have come from, which turns out to be Lizzie 's memories.
A quick read, but if you are wanting an atmospheric ghost story for Halloween then I am afraid this is not the book for that.
Friday, October 19, 2018
An Untamed State by Roxanne Gay
***** 5 stars!!
This book broke my heart as I was reading it, knowing that this does happen often in these countries.
Mireille is kidnapped in her parents home country of Haiti, but her father was adamant he would not give in to these rebels and pay the ransom for her safe return.
What Mireille went through physically, mentally and emotionally was truly shocking and sickening. What a human being can do to another human being all for the sake of money, greed and power is horrifying.
I just could not put this book down even though the storyline was disturbing, you really did feel as though you were in the cage with Mireille, watching these events unfold. I felt all kinds of different emotions racing through me as I continued on through the book.
A fantastic thriller and I will be reading the authors future books!