My Wonderful Reading Year – May 2020 #MywonderfulReadingYear #Reading #Books

Welcome to a series of posts that chart my wonderful reading year, 2020. I don’t have the time to review all the books I read and wanted I way to celebrate each one. So I’m going to do a monthly post of all the wonderful books I’ve reading that month. Short snappy reviews, simple comments about why I enjoyed them so much.
It is a scary world out there at the moment and my reading is suffering, but I keeping it up and hoping my reading mojo doesn’t disappear totally.
Sending Cwtches to all those that need one.
So welcome to my celebration of my reading in May 2020.

The first book I finished this month was the stunning When We Fall by Carolyn Kirby.  Based on the World War Two atrocity, the Katyn Massacre is a powerful story about lives that are forever altered by one defining moment in time.


Lady in Waiting by Anne Glenconner was my first non fiction read finished at beginning of May.  An honest and compelling story about her life as a friend of the royal family and a turbulent personal life.


To Catch A Mole by Marc Hamer was my next non-fiction read and is is truly a stunning and very moving read.


Next came a wonderful feel good read The Lonely Fajita by Abigail Mann. Funny and sparkling, perfect reading for me, especially at the moment.

The Lonely Fajita book cover

From sparkling, I moved onto the tense and thrilling The Soul Killer by Ross Greenwood. Part two of the DI Barton Series it is a dark and exciting sequel.


One of my favourite books this month was The Creak On The Stairs by Eva Bjorg Aegisdottir.

Creak on the Stairs Cover

My next read was Tsarina by Ellen Alpsten, a wonderful tale from the Russian court told through the life of Catherine I of Russia.

Tsarina Cover

Next came the exciting and very moving Ash Mountain by Helen Fitzgerald.

Ash Mountain Cover Image

I am determined to read a few books that have been on my to be read pile for a while and so I read the charming The Librarian by Salley Vickers next!


Well that was my book selection for May! Reading remains my safe place in troubled times and I look forward to discovering some wonderful new stories in June.



My Favourite Female Authors ~ Louise Beech #FavouriteFemaleAuthors #LouiseBeech

There are so many wonderfully talented female authors out there and I wanted to feature some of my favourites on booksaremycwtches. 

Today I’m starting with Louise Beech, an incredibly gifted writer with a remarkable ability to write books that cross genres. Her books range from normal thrillers to thrillers with a ghostly element, family drama’s and dark psychological thrillers. Her books never sacrifice character for story, because she combines the two in a delicious recipe which always gives the readers the very best of reads.

Louise Beech Author pic

Titles by Louise Beech are –

How To Be Brave


All the stories died that morning … until we found the one we’d always known.
When nine-year-old Rose is diagnosed with a life-threatening illness, Natalie must use her imagination to keep her daughter alive. They begin dreaming about and seeing a man in a brown suit who feels hauntingly familiar, a man who has something for them. Through the magic of storytelling, Natalie and Rose are transported to the Atlantic Ocean in 1943, to a lifeboat, where an ancestor survived for fifty days before being rescued. Poignant, beautifully written and tenderly told, How To Be Brave weaves together the contemporary story of a mother battling to save her child’s life with an extraordinary true account of bravery and a fight for survival in the Second World War. A simply unforgettable debut that celebrates the power of words, the redemptive energy of a mother’s love … and what it really means to be brave.

The Mountain In My shoe


A missing boy. A missing book. A missing husband. A woman who must find them all to find herself.

On the night Bernadette finally has the courage to tell her domineering husband that she’s leaving, he doesn’t come home. Neither does Conor, the little boy she’s befriended for the past five years. Also missing is his lifebook, the only thing that holds the answers. With the help of Conor’s foster mum, Bernadette must face her own past, her husband’s secrets and a future she never dared imagine in order to find them all.
Exquisitely written and deeply touching, The Mountain in My Shoe is both a gripping psychological thriller and a powerful and emotive examination of the meaning of family … and just how far we’re willing to go for the people we love.

Maria In The Moon


‘Like a cold spider, the memory stirred in my head and spun an icy web about my brain. Someone else crawled in. I remembered’

Thirty-on-year-old Catherine Hope has a great memory. But she can’t remember everything. She can’t remember her ninth year. She can’t remember when her insomnia started. And she can’t remember why everyone stopped calling her Catherine-Maria.
With a promiscuous past, and licking her wounds after a painful breakup, Catherine wonders why she resists anything approaching real love. But when she loses her home to the devastating deluge of 2007 and volunteers at Flood Crisis, a devastating memory emerges … and changes everything.
Dark, poignant and deeply moving, Maria in the Moon is an examination of the nature of memory and truth, and the defences we build to protect ourselves, when we can no longer hide…

The Lion Tamer Who Lost



Be careful what you wish for…

Long ago, Andrew made a childhood wish, and kept it in a silver box. When it finally comes true, he wishes he hadn’t…

Long ago, Ben made a promise and he had a dream: to travel to Africa to volunteer at a lion reserve. When he finally makes it, it isn’t for the reasons he imagined…

Ben and Andrew keep meeting in unexpected places, and the intense relationship that develops seems to be guided by fate. Or is it? What if the very thing that draws them together is tainted by past secrets that threaten everything?

Call Me Star Girl 


Stirring up secrets can be deadly … especially if they’re yours…

Pregnant Victoria Valbon was brutally murdered in an alley three weeks ago – and her killer hasn’t been caught.

Tonight is Stella McKeever’s final radio show. The theme is secrets. You tell her yours, and she’ll share some of hers.

Stella might tell you about Tom, a boyfriend who likes to play games, about the mother who abandoned her, now back after fourteen years. She might tell you about the perfume bottle with the star-shaped stopper, or about her father …

What Stella really wants to know is more about the mysterious man calling the station … who says he knows who killed Victoria, and has proof.

Tonight is the night for secrets, and Stella wants to know everything…

I Am Dust 


A haunted theatre
A murdered actress
Three cursed teenagers
A secret that devastates them all…

The Dean Wilson Theatre is believed to be haunted by a long-dead actress, singing her last song, waiting for her final cue, looking for her killer…

Now Dust, the iconic musical, is returning after twenty years. But who will be brave enough to take on the role of ghostly goddess Esme Black, last played by Morgan Miller, who was murdered in her dressing room?

Theatre usher Chloe Dee is caught up in the spectacle. As the new actors arrive, including an unexpected face from her past, everything changes. Are the eerie sounds and sightings backstage real or just her imagination? Is someone playing games?

Is the role of Esme Black cursed? Could witchcraft be at the heart of the tragedy? And are dark deeds from Chloe’s past about to catch up with her?
Not all the drama takes place onstage. Sometimes murder, magic, obsession and the biggest of betrayals are real life. When you’re in the theatre shadows, you see everything.

And Chloe has been watching…

There are many places that you can purchase these wonderful books from, such as Amazon Waterstones and from the publishers ebook store.

But why not consider ordering from your local indie bookshop, many of whom have kept us all supplied with books during this difficult time. So why not get in contact with yours and order one of Louise Beech’s fabulous books. 

About the author 

Louise Beech is an exceptional literary talent, whose debut novel How To Be Brave was a Guardian Readers’ Choice for 2015. The follow-up, The Mountain in My Shoe was shortlisted for Not the Booker Prize. Both of her previous books Maria in the Moon and The Lion Tamer Who Lost were widely reviewed, critically acclaimed and number-one bestsellers on Kindle. The Lion Tamer Who Lost was shortlisted for the RNA Most Popular Romantic Novel Award in 2019. Her short fiction has won the Glass Woman Prize, the Eric Hoffer Award for Prose, and the Aesthetica Creative Works competition, as well as shortlisting for the Bridport Prize twice. Louise lives with her husband on the outskirts of Hull, and loves her job as a Front of House Usher at Hull Truck Theatre, where her first play was performed in 2012.