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WWW Wednesday logoIt’s WWW Wednesday again: had to miss last week’s post because March 21 was publication day for A Forsaken Friend, my second novel with Susan Pape, and  our blog tour – you might have seen us popping up on Twitter and Facebook – was all consuming.

But, at least, I managed to squeeze a little time for some reading. So here’s my WWW Wednesday.

What’s WWW Wednesday? It’s a fun way to share what you’ve been reading and which books on your TBR pile you hope to tackle next.

It’s currently hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Books and it’s easy to join in.

Simply answer the three questions below, post on your blog and then click here on the link to Taking on a World of Books and leave a comment and a link to your blog post for others to see.

Don’t have a blog? Just leave a comment with your responses.

And the questions are:

What are you currently reading?

What did you recently finish reading?

What do you think you’ll read next?

Here’s what my reading looks like:

Currently reading:

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak:

This one has been a fixture for several weeks and is now earmarked as an Easter Bank Holiday weekend treat.

In the Name of the Family by Sarah Dunant:

Truthfully, this isn’t the sort of book I’d normally choose because I’m not a great fan of historical fiction.

In the name of the familyFictional stories about fictional people set against an historical backdrop are fine but fiction about real people and real events doesn’t appeal. Perhaps because, as a journalist, I was taught not to put words into people’s mouths – something which, inevitably, the writer of historical fiction can’t avoid.

However, I’m clearly in a minority and other members of my bookshop book club over-ruled my preference for a French crime thriller and opted for In the Name of the Family as this month’s read.

Halfway through I’m not exactly hating it – it’s well-written and Dunant’s research is impeccable – but I’m not converted either.

What the blurb says:

In the Name of the Family – as Blood and Beauty did before – holds up a mirror to a turbulent moment of history, sweeping aside the myths to bring alive the real Borgia family; complicated, brutal, passionate and glorious.

Here is a thrilling exploration of the House of Borgia’s doomed years, in the company of a young diplomat named Niccolo Machiavelli.

It is 1502 and Rodrigo Borgia, a self-confessed womaniser and master of political corruption is now on the Papal throne as Alexander VI.

Master class

His daughter Lucrezia, aged twenty-two, already thrice married and a pawn in her father’s plans, is discovering her own power.

And then there is Cesare Borgia: brilliant, ruthless and increasingly unstable; it is his relationship with the diplomat Machiavelli which offers a master class on the dark arts of power and politics.

What Machiavelli learns will go on to inform his great work of modern politics, The Prince.

But while the pope rails against old age and his son’s increasing maverick behavior it is Lucrezia who will become the Borgia survivor: taking on her enemies and creating her own place in history.

Available to buy on Amazon.

Recently finished:

Fighting MonstersFighting Monsters by Rebecca Bradley

Rebecca Bradley is a retired police detective, who writes police procedural crime thrillers. This is the third novel in her DI Hannah Robbins series. The attention to detail is awe inspiring and gripping.

You can read my review here.

The Haunting of Hattie Hastings by Audrey Davis: Part Two

This ended on a tantalising emotional cliff-hangar. Looking forward to finding out what happens next when Part Three is published later this year. In the meantime, you can read my review here.

Ravens Gathering by Graeme Cumming

This is a hard book to pigeon-hole – a whodunit-cum-psychological thriller-cum fantasy that packed a shelf-load of surprises. You can read my review here.

Uncommon Cruelty by Liz Mistry

I read this crime thriller, the fourth instalment in a Northern noir series set in Bradford in West Yorkshire, as part of a blog tour organised by Sarah Hardy of Bloodhound Books. My review is scheduled for publication day on April 14.

Reading next:

A butterfly stoneA Butterfly Stone: The Stones of Power  Book One by Laurie Bell

Not quite sure what to expect from this YA sci-fi fantasy but I’ve followed Laurie on Twitter for a couple of years and jumped at the chance to read a preview copy of A Butterfly Stone.

I’ve had a quick peek at the opening pages and it looks magical.

A Shine that Defies the Dark by Jodie Gallegos

It was the gorgeous cover that attracted me to this Depression era romantic adventure.

A shine that defies the darkWhat the blurb says:

Gripping, romantic, and evocative of its time – A Shine that Defies the Dark is a spellbinding story of one woman who will stop at nothing to survive during a tumultuous time in American history.

After a six-year exile, Ophelia Breaux and her mother are overjoyed to return to the Louisiana bayou.

But it seems the ghosts of the epic feud that drove them away still haunt Plaquemines Parish, and with the Great Depression sweeping the nation, the two soon find they can’t make ends meet.

Seeing no other option, Ophelia’s mother takes the drastic step of sharing her bed with the town judge in exchange for a reduced rent. The judge has had a life-long obsession with Momma, and Ophelia is desperate to end this arrangement and get her away from him.

Notorious

When Remy Granger shows up, Ophelia knows it could mean more trouble—and that’s the last thing they need.

Handsome and dangerous, he’s the first boy she ever kissed, and a member of the most notorious family in southern Louisiana—but he’s also got an opportunity for fast money in rum running.

Ophelia goes all in, and it turns out she may have a knack for the business.

But she’s going to have to run even faster if she wants to save Momma… dodging the cops, rival gangs, and her traitorous heart at every turn.

Available to buy on Amazon.

Lord of the Flies by William Golding

Lord of the FliesThis didn’t really hit the spot 20-or-so years ago when I first read what many people regard as a modern classic. But it’s the book of the month in my primary book club so it will be interesting to see if my opinion has changed.

What the blurb says:

A plane crashes on an uninhabited island and the only survivors, a group of schoolboys, assemble on the beach and wait to be rescued.

By day they inhabit a land of bright fantastic birds and dark blue seas, but at night their dreams are haunted by the image of a terrifying beast.

In this, his first novel, William Golding gave the traditional adventure story an ironic, devastating twist.

Savages

The boys’ delicate sense of order fades, and their childish fears are transformed into something deeper and more primitive.

Their games take on a horrible significance, and before long the well-behaved party of schoolboys has turned into a tribe of faceless, murderous savages.

First published in 1954, Lord of the Flies is now recognized as a classic, one of the most celebrated of all modern novels.

Available to buy on Amazon.