**Mystery Blogger Award**

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I was nominated for this award by the lovely laura over at https://snazzybooks.com/ thanks so much for the nomination Laura, and go check out her blog if you haven’t already!

What is the Mystery Blogger Award?

“Mystery Blogger Award” is an award for amazing bloggers with ingenious posts. Their blog not only captivates; it inspires and motivates. They are one of the best out there, and they deserve every recognition they get. This award is also for bloggers who find fun and inspiration in blogging; and they do it with so much love and passion. Okoto Enigma

The rules by Okoto Enigma are:
1. Put the award logo/image in your post.
2. List all the rules.
3. Thank whoever nominated you and leave a link to their blog.
4. Tell your readers three things about yourself.
5. Nominate 10-20 people and notify them
6. Link back to the creator of the award.
7. Ask nominees any 5 questions of your choice, with a weird or funny question.
8. Share the link to your best/favourite post of yours.

THREE THINGS ABOUT ME

1  I suffered a mini stroke at 48, it was the most frightening day of my life I struggled to get my words out and I couldn’t remember the names of everyday objects. Fortunately I made a full recovery after three months, but I will never forget how terrified  and frustrated I felt when I wasn’t able to communicate my thoughts with others, funny enough I didn’t forget how to swear and most of my sentences had lots of f&!ks in them 😂😂😂

2  I’ve lived in a small village just outside of Bristol my whole life. No book shops, coffee shops or a decent supermarket, and everyone knows everyone’s business! But I wouldn’t have it any other way. I live on the banks of the river Avon, our village is steeped in history where smuggling was a regular occurrence and the village was considered to be a “Den of inquity” where savages lived!

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3 I grew up in the grounds of a hospital. We lived in a “hospital house” my parents both worked for the NHS my mum as a nurse and my dad as a manager overseeing the hospital. I started mental health nursing at 18 and spent 33 years nursing. So my whole life has been pretty much based around nursing, hospitals and the workings of one.

My most popular post

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I’m not sure why or how but my Author Interview with B A Paris author of Behind Closed Doors continues to get hits most days,  long after I originally posted it, it’s still the most popular post on my blog and the most looked at post.
https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2016/02/11/author-interview-behind-closed-doors-by-b-a-paris/

My answers to Laura’s questions

1 What’s your favourite genre to read from?

Crime, crime and more crime I’ve always loved reading books In this genre.  I try and read a book of a different genre every now and then to mix it up a bit, but I soon find myself back reading crime books, fact or fiction, and there are so many fabulous crime books to read I’m spoilt for choice 😂

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2 If you had to pick only one favourite publisher to read from for the rest of your life, which would it be? (This is tricky, I know!)

Without hesitation Orenda Books, they have some amazing books and authors. I love the original plots, the writing, the covers, I could go on and on here.

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3 Is there anything about a book that instantly puts you off?

Usually the book description if I don’t like the sound of a book, it puts me off reading it.

4 How do you decide what to read next? Do you go by publication dates or just what you fancy – or a bit of both?

I read the books that I need to read for blog tours in date order, and then I alternate between a NetGalley read and a TBR book. I try not to stress about publication day reviews I’m more than happy to post reviews after publication day.

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5 What do you do if you’ve accepted a book for review and you really don’t like it? Would you still publish the review?

If I really didn’t like I book I wouldn’t post a review, I think I’ve been very lucky though and normally only review books I know I’m going to enjoy, so I’ve never had this problem YET!

I nominate

Danielle at http://booksvertigoandtea.com

Clair B at http://www.havebookswillread.com

Jen at https://jenmedsbookreviews.com/

Renee at http://itsbooktalk.com

Nikola at https://breathingthroughpages.wordpress.com

El at http://elsbookworldblog.wordpress.com

Dee at http://www.noveldeelights.com

Kate at https://thequietknitterer.wordpress.com/

Claire at http://brizzlelassbooks.com

Emma at http://damppebbles.com

I know how busy everyone is so don’t feel you have to participate just because I nominated you, and if you want to take part and I haven’t nominated you consider yourself nominated. 😀

MY QUESTIONS FOR THE NOMINEES

1  If you could meet one author who would it be? And why?

2  If you could only ever read three books in your life time, which books would you choose?

3  What makes a good read for you?

4  How many books do you have on your TBR pile? I want the whole truth and nothing but the truth to this question😂 (I’m hoping the answer will make me feel better about my own TBR pile)

5  How many books do you read in a typical month?

 

**Taking A Break**

 

 

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No weekly wrap up this week I’m afraid, I’ve decided I’m going to take a short break and step away from my blog and social media for the next couple of weeks. I will still be participating in the blog tours I’ve already agreed to, but I think I need some “Me” time. I’m still struggling to read and still haven’t managed to read a whole book yet!

At the moment I’m struggling working Monday-Friday and maintaining my blog, sharing posts etc I seem to spend most evenings just sharing posts, don’t get me wrong I love sharing the blogger love, but it just seems to be taking up a lot of my free time.

To all the bloggers who work Monday-Friday and manage to read, review and publish posts most days I take my hat off to you, I consider you all to be super human 😀

I guess only working part time and having days off in the week certainly helped me to establish my blog but at the moment I haven’t got the time or the energy. I’ve been feeling rough most of the week with a stinking cold so that hasn’t helped but don’t feel sorry for me, I just need to recharge my batteries and as Arnie said……..

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#TopFive with the book review café #crimethrillers #standalones

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Today on the book review cafe I’m sharing my top five crime books that are stand-alones, yet again there are so many brilliant books that could fit this category , but after much pondering these are the books I came up with.

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Rattle by Fiona Cummings

I actually loved this book and it’s a MUST READ for fans of crime thrillers and if you like them Dark then you are going to love it too. Rattle is a chilling and inventive debut from a very talented author, and with a serial killer (the bone collector) that made my blood run cold.

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Bloq by Alan Jones

Bloq at times is a very disturbing read, it’s also dark and full of suspense, well plotted with characters who were so realistic I shed a tear for them,I totally bought into their story.
a highly entertaining novel, that has plenty of nail biting moments to keep me captivated until the last page.

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My Girl by Jack Jordan

I found My Girl to be a chilling and captivating read. Yes it was shocking and very disturbing in parts but it did add to the plot making for a riveting read.

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 Untouchable by Sibel Hodge

Inspired by real UK police investigations this book unfortunately makes for a very credible and heart breaking read as it explores the issues of abuse and the high end of society having the money and power to cover up their atrocities. Dark and disturbing this book gripped me from the first page.

Flowers For The Dead by Barbara Copperthwaite

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Flowers For the Dead is very different to most of the crime thrillers I have read, mainly because the reader takes a terrifying and Spine-chilling look into the dark and deviant mind of a serial killer.

 You can see my reviews for these superb books here……

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2016/03/25/bloq-by-alan-jones

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2016/06/09/blog-tour-my-girl-by-jack-jordan-guest-post/

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2016/12/15/rattle-by-fiona-cummins-review-fionaanncummins-2017mustreads/

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2016/10/11/untouchable-by-sibel-hodge-review-sibelhodge/

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2015/11/16/flowers-for-the-dead-by-barbara-copperthwaite-authors-question-and-answers/

 

**Rapid Fire BookTag**

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Thank you to Nat at https://theowlonthebookshelf.wordpress.com for nominating me for the Rapid Fire Book Tag! Here are my answers…

eBooks or physical books?

Both, I like to try and alternate between the two. You can’t  beat the feel or the look of a physical book but I like ebooks for convenience especially when I go on holiday.

Paperback or hardback?

Again both! I find paperbacks easier to hold but there are a few authors whose books I can’t wait for the paperback to come out as I’m that desperate to read them so I always buy the hardback.

Online or in-store shopping?

I buy most of my books online for convenience but you can’t beat a good old nose around a book shop, I could spend hours browsing all those book shelves.

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Trilogies or series?

There are lots of crime books that I read that are part of a series, I like the way the characters develop throughout the series and that on the whole as the series develops the plots get darker and more complex

Heroes or villains?

You can’t beat a villain, the more complex the better.

A book you want everyone to read.

A Suitable Lie by Michael J Malone, superbly written with fascinating characters, and a plot that was both dark and disturbing.

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Recommend an underrated book.

Hmmm that’s a hard one there are so many books that I feel deserve more recognition than they actually get. I guess I would say My Girl by Jack Jordan as a crime thriller lover I would highly recommend My Girl it’s dark, and genuinely disturbing! and one of my favourite books of 2016.

The last book you finished.

I can’t say as it was a top secret ARC but what I can say, it was a fabulous and gripping read

Weirdest thing you used as a book mark.

Hmmmm I’m not sure I have as I’ve always got plenty of book marks to hand, in fact I could probably set up a business selling them I have so many😂

Used books, yes or no?

I prefer new books as I like to keep them pristine you won’t find any cracked spines or creased pages in my books. I do buy second hand books occasionally though.

Top three favourite genres?

Crime, psychological thrillers and thrillers

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Borrow or buy?

Buy, I rarely I borrow a book these days there are far too many sat on my TBR pile

Characters or plot?

Both, the plot has to grab me in the first few chapters and I have to be able to relate to the characters on some level or I struggle with a book.

Short or long book?

Shorter books are better for me, it means I’m able to get through more books 😂

Long or short chapters?

Short, it drives me mad when the chapters go on and on and I can’t put the book down until I’ve reached the end of the chapter even if it makes me late for something 🙈

Name the first three books you think of?

The Mountain In My Shoe by Louise Beech

Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough

A Room Full Of Killers by Michael Wood

Books that make you laugh or cry?

Cry! I enjoy a book that I become so involved in that it stirs up my emotions and leaves me a blubbing wreck.

Our world or fictional worlds?

I prefer books set in our world I’m a huge crime fan so that’s where all the books I tend to read are based.

Do you ever judge a book by its cover?

I’ve never bought a book solely based on its cover, I always read the book description first and if that tempts me I would buy the book even if it had a terrible cover.

Book to movie or book to TV adaptation?

I much prefer to read a book than watch the TV or movie adaption as I’m usually left feeling disappointed when they don’t live up to the book

Series or standalone?

Both, a lot of the crime books I read are series and I do enjoy seeing how characters develop over the series. I also love a standalone you don’t have to remember what happened to whom in previous books

I nominate –

Danielle at http://booksvertigoandtea.com

Renee at http://itsbooktalk.com

Jen at https://jenmedsbookreviews.com/

and anyone else who has the time to take part 😘

 

 

**Blogger Recognition Award**

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I am feeling very honoured and excited to have been nominated for the Blogger Recognition Award by fellow book bloggers, so thank you to everyone who nominated me. The first person who nominated me was Shanannigans at https://readsandreels.com/ so a special mention to this awesome blogger

So this is what is required of me.

RULES OF THE AWARDS

1. Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.

2. Write a post to show your award.

3. Give a brief story of how your blog started.

4. Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers.

*5. Select 15 other bloggers you want to give this award to.

*6. Comment on each blog and let them know you have nominated them and provide the link to the post you created.

I started my blog in late August 2015 when I was off work after suffering an injury at work, I was bored one day and decided to start up a book blog and created The Book Review Cafe. I never really thought about where my blog would lead, and never in a million years did I think any one would end up reading my reviews or follow it.

My two pieces of advice to bloggers

It’s ok to say “no” to a publisher or author. Don’t feel you have to accept every book you are offered, believe me if you do this from the start you won’t find yourself drowning in books. I hold my hands up here and admit this was the biggest mistake I made when I first started blogging.

Get involved in the blogging community. The book blogging community is extremely welcoming and offers support and advice. Join the fabulous group Book Connectors at https://m.facebook.com/groups/1466353170351020/ it’s a place for authors and bloggers, it was one of the first groups I joined and everyone’s so friendly and helpful.

Personally I would like to nominate everyone who runs a book blog as there really are some fantastic ones out there, but as I have to choose 15 I’m going to tag bloggers who I think haven’t been nominated yet and they all work really hard to run their awesome blogs.

Danielle at http://booksvertigoandtea.com

Jen at https://jenmedsbookreviews.com/

Kerry at http://chataboutbooks.wordpress.com

Janel at http://keeperofpages.wordpress.com

Megan at http://bookslayerreads.com

Emma at http://www.emmathelittlebookworm.wordpress.com

Anne at http://www.beinganne.com

Linda at http://www.lindasbookbag.com

Joanne at https://portobellobookblog.com/

Hayley at https://rathertoofondofbooks.com/

Cleo at http://cleopatralovesbooks.wordpress.com

Susan at http://booksfromdusktilldawn.wordpress.com

Sam at https://cluesandreviews.wordpress.com/

Claire guest blogger at https://www.crimebookjunkie.co.uk

Alison at http://www.alithedragonslayer.co.uk

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**New Beginnings**

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Today as you read this post I will be starting my new job eeeek. I’m doing something completely different and truly stepping out of my comfort zone. As many of you may know I’ve spent 33 years looking after people with mental health problems. I loved my job and the people I looked after, but when I got made redundant in January 2017 I realised it was time for a change, to try something new before it’s too late. After a few ups and downs I’m hoping today will be the start of a brighter future.

In case you were wondering I’m going to be working in an office as a “girl Friday” and although I’m terrified I’m looking forward to a new challenge and here’s hoping you really can “teach an old dog new tricks”😂

I will no longer be working weekends, bank holidays or Christmas which is amazing after doing so for many years. The downside being I will be working Monday to Friday office hours so I may not be as quick to share posts, but hopefully I will continue to do what I can to help my fellow bloggers as and when time permits.

Lorraine 😘😘

**End Of The Year Wrap Up **

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Well I for one will be glad to see the back of 2016, for many reasons this hasn’t been the best year I’ve ever had. I’m going to embrace 2017 though and make it my year to take on new challenges.

Now I’m not one for New Years resolutions I always fail at the first hurdle (usually the 2nd of January 😂), but I am hoping to do a couple of things regarding my reading and my blog

  • Read some books from my TBR pile, which I’m desperate to get through
  • cut down on blog tours, as there’s too much pressure to read a book in a limited time
  • Only request one book at a time on NetGalley (this ones going to be hard)
  • if I’m not enjoying a book, I DON’T have to finish it, after all there are far too many amazing books out there to waste time on a duff one!
  • learn to say “no” it’s ok NOT to agree to read and review every book that comes my way (my new mantra😂)
  • Read more books by authors that are new to me, I’ve already got a couple lined up…..so watch this space!

Although I haven’t compiled a list of my top reads, here are just some of the books I really enjoyed this year and would highly recommend.

My top five most read posts

You can read the reviews here……

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2016/02/11/author-interview-behind-closed-doors-by-b-a-paris/

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2016/02/08/behind-closed-doors-by-b-a-paris/

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2016/01/26/tainted-love-by-kimberley-chambers/

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2016/02/26/between-you-and-me-by-lisa-hall/

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2016/06/10/the-sister-by-louise-jenson/

My First read of 2017

My first read of 2017 is Snatched From Home by Graham Smith, this is a book that has been sat on my TBR pile for a while, it’s also by an author I haven’t read yet which means I’ve already started on my goals for 2017

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Books I’ve read to watch out for in 2017
As the end of the year approaches I would like to say a huge thank you to each and everyone of you who follows my blog and wish you all a fabulous New Year and hope all your dreams come true.
Lorraine x x x