2018 Goodreads 200 challenge….did I make it?? #MiniBookReviews #bookblogger #novella #200books @sherilynnauthor @HJRolfe @Dougieclaire @LanaGraceRiva @JaneCorryAuthor @KatieFforde @LBaxWrites @JonathanJanz @StephenKing

Posted December 31, 2018 by Zoé in Blog, Book Reviews, Reviews and Stuff / 7 Comments

Happy New Year!!!!! So I set my challenge, 9 novellas to read before 31st December, I think it is doable..so did I manage it. Well, you will have to check out my reviews below. Let us check out the mini-reviews.

His Eternal Promise by Sheri Lynn

His Eternal Promise by Sheri Lynn
Published by Rogue Phoenix Press on July 15, 2017
Genres: Non Fiction
Pages: 88

Carlee put everything into her family and her job over the last couple of years, sacrificing any personal life. After a rare evening out with a few girlfriends, she encounters a captivating man under inexplicable circumstances. Against all rational judgment, they share an evening of the most fulfilling and erotic sex she's ever experienced.

Maxim hasn’t wanted a woman, especially a mortal, in over a century, but he wants Carlee. He intends to keep the truth from her in order to build a relationship first, but a woman from his past complicates things forcing him to reveal the truth. He hopes Carlee chooses to keep him in her life, because he can’t leave, her life is in danger.

So if you are like me you are a sucker for vampire stories and the romance. I mean who does not love all that broody and mystery with vampires, plus the enticement of fear. Being a novella a lot of the everyday romance and build up was missed. I mean Maxim broke into her apartment after spying Carlee and Carlee abandons everything we know about stranger danger! Obviously being a vampire he is the ultimate seducer knowing exactly what Carlee wants and when, erm is it getting hot in here???

It is not just all about the sex and with only 88 pages this is a fast-paced storyline that I did not expect at all! Carlee and Maxim’s chemistry reaching boiling point and when Maxim’s past finally catches up with him and there are disastrous consequences for all involved.

Well with that ending to I am hoping that the next book is out soon!

Valentine’s Day at the Café at the End of the Pier by Helen Rolfe

Valentine's Day at the Café at the End of the Pier by Helen Rolfe
Series: The Café at the End of the Pier #0.5
Published by Orion on February 8 2018
Genres: Romance, Chick Lit
Pages: 30

Searching for love? You'll find it at The Café at the End of the Pier...

When Jo's beloved grandparents ask for her help in running their little café at the end of the pier in Salthaven-on-Sea she jumps at the chance.

The café is a hub for many people: the single dad who brings his little boy in on a Saturday morning; the lady who sits alone and stares out to sea; the woman who pops in after her morning run.

Jo soon realises that each of her customers is looking for love - and she knows just the way to find it for them. She goes about setting each of them up on blind dates - each date is held in the café, with a special menu she has designed for the occasion.

But Jo has never found love herself. She always held her grandparents' marriage up as her ideal and she hasn't found anything close to that. But could it be that love is right under her nose...?

What a cute introduction to the Café series and I did not realise the other four books were novellas…do not be surprised if I sneak those four in before the end of the year! I love this heartfelt introduction to Jo and her Grandparents Mary and Arthur.

We learn in this novella how Jo has left her shared home in Edinburgh to help take over the little Café in Salthaven. It sounds so heavenly there and I would love to go there. These types of books make me want to open my own café and move to the seaside…oh, wait I have done one of those things!

I loved the reaffirmation of love between Arthur and Mary after over 50 years, it was cute and something I can only dream of having.

I look forward to getting more invested in the series as Ms Rolfe has made me already care about these wonderful people.

Thanks also to Yvonne at Me and My books whose reviews enticed me to this series. Check out her review of Valentine’s Day here.

The Text by Claire Douglas

The Text by Claire Douglas
Published by Penguin on August 31 2017
Genres: Thriller
Pages: 40
Also by this author: Then She Vanishes

A single text changed her life. Did it end his?

Emily Latimer is furious. Her boss Andrew is being so unreasonable, as always. She fires off a text to her boyfriend, only in her haste she sends it to her whole office group.

In it she says Andrew's being difficult about letting her have time off work. That she is angry. That she hopes he dies. The next day her face burns in the office. No one believes her when she says it was a typo, she meant to say does. She hopes he does.

It's a nightmare. But it gets worse - Andrew doesn't turn up for work. And then the police come knocking. Because Andrew Burton has been murdered . . .

I loved this novella for only a short few pages we have murder and mystery and also domestic abuse all tackled and executed deliciously.

I was attracted to this because of the woman in the red coat, mainly because I want her red coat! But then the hook and the book title drew me in, I mean at some point we have all sent a text/email to the wrong person, all having consequences maybe not murder but all with fallout to resolve. This was no different.

The interesting thing about this novella, is the quick glimpse we get into Emily’s life, the mistake of the text and how it affects her life. Friends have lied to her and rows with Stuart her partner are escalating.

This book did keep me guessing to who was the killer and it the ending was extremely satisfying all wrapped up in this novella. It packs a punch and there is a lot of suspense and I just wish it was longing. I will definitely be checking out Ms Douglas other novels if this is how she writes her books!

This is still free to download on Amazon if you wish to sit back with a cuppa and dive right in!

Happier Thinking by Lana Grace Riva

Happier Thinking by Lana Grace Riva
Published by Self Published on February 11, 2018
Genres: Non Fiction
Pages: 42

Changing how you think is possible. I wasn't always so sure that was true until I experienced it myself, but I know now we don't have to just accept unhappiness. Not always anyway. This book is my collection of tips and suggestions that have helped me achieve happier thinking. It's sort of a gym for my mind. I'd love to tell you it was easier than the real gym but well… it's not really. It takes time, effort, and practice but it's absolutely well worth the rewards.

This is not a storybook, this is a book to help you try and re-wire the way you think. I must admit I suffer a bit from depression and anxiety and with the crap I have had in the last month or so I have fallen more into the negative way of thinking. This short book has helped me see that maybe things can be spun around to be positive. It reminds me of the Secret and my gratitude book so I think I am going to pick that up in the new year.

This book is not telling you anything new, however, it is trying to help you apply it in everyday life. It is like Lana is having a conversation with you rather than talking at you with this book and I did not feel in any way that this was a preachy kind of book telling you what to do and when. It is about thinking Happier!

This is a great book to keep with you and to take a moment to read when you feel the negative thoughts coming your way. It is currently free on Amazon if you wish to get a copy.

The Killing Type by Jane Corry

The Killing Type by Jane Corry
Published by Penguin on May 17 2018
Genres: Mystery
Pages: 50
Also by this author: I Looked Away, The Dead Ex


Susie and her sister have never been close. These days they barely speak. So when Danielle messages her out of the blue and begs to meet, Susie knows something must be wrong.

But what Danielle tells her seems crazy. Her husband, Simon, may be a bully, but surely he wouldn't hurt her?

Then the accident happens. And Susie is forced to rethink everything.

Who is lying?Who is telling the truth?And who, really, is the killing type?

I finished this novella before I had even realised it! It was enthralling from the start wondering what was happening with Danielle, Susie, her sister and Simon, Danielle’s husband. The next twenty minutes of my life flew.

When Danielle thinks Simon is trying to kill her and Susie doesn’t believe her, well, you know the fallout will never be good.

I would love to have read this as a full novel rather than a snappy novella as the premise was intriguing and would be so fascinating in a full feature but I did thoroughly enjoy this bitesize version. Plus that ending! It almost makes you question if Ms Corry was writing some truth in this story.

This novella has enticed me to check out Ms Corry’s other book and will be increasing my ever growing TBR list! In fact, I have the Dead Ex to read!!

This book is currently free on Amazon! (See link above)

Staying Away at Christmas by Katie Fforde

Staying Away at Christmas by Katie Fforde
Published by Cornerstone Digital on December 6, 2012
Pages: 50

Add an extra sparkle to your Christmas with this exclusive, straight to digital short story from the Sunday Times Top Ten Bestseller.

Miranda and her daughters have rented a cosy cottage for Christmas. The only trouble is, Anthony and his children are booked into the same place. In a moment of Christmas spirit, Miranda suggests they all spend yuletide together. Will the mistletoe help ease the tension and bring some cheer? Will romance blossom under the stars? Or will it be a Christmas they'd all rather forget?

Sunday Times bestselling author Katie Fforde is known for her wonderfully romantic stories, delectable heroes, and heroines we can all relate to. In Staying Away at Christmas her warmth and wit shine through in this enchanting short story. Turn on the Christmas lights, curl up on the sofa and immerse yourself in the deliciously readable world of Katie Fforde.

Anytime I see Katie Fforde on a book I know I want to read it, I have read some awesome books by her. (Wedding Season and Living Dangerously are two of my favourites.) So I just had to include her book in my challenge!

Like every novella, it was too short!! I wanted more and I knew what I would get with one of Ms Fforde’s book but nevertheless, I loved it.

A mix up with a cosy cottage booking at Christmas sees Miranda and her two daughters staying with Anthony and his son and daughter in a four-bed cottage. Anthony frosty to begin with, a daughter going missing and some mistletoe all will leave you with a smile on your face and a happy ending! Plus it is still kind of Christmas so I had to include it really!

It makes your heart melt briefly (I mean that because it is so short!) and leaves you with a smile on your face. Perfect for the festive period!

Who Does He Think He’s Fooling? by Laurie Baxter

Who Does He Think He's Fooling? by Laurie Baxter
Published by Zuzu Bailey Books Pages: 53

Tom loves Amy. Amy can't stop thinking about Tom. But neither of them knows that and right now they need to worry about their boss's latest "teamwork exercise." Oh and that little mix-up last night where Tom asked Amy out but she thought it was an April Fools' gag.

This book is a novelette-length romantic comedy.

Aaah there is a promise of another novella…so where is it!! Tom and Amy are just too cute!

I chose this book because it is all about April Fool’s Day, and what is so special about that day…it’s my birthday!!! The only thing I hate about my birthday is the pranking because mainly I was the one who got pranked!! Doh!

So Jessica, the dragon queen of the office wants to introduce a pranking day, and like Secret Santa you pick names out of a hat and that is who you have to prank that day.

This could not have come at a worse time for Tom and Amy, the night before he decided to tell Amy how he felt and she laughed in his face because she thought it was a prank. Next day things in the office are a little bit awk-ward!

What happens next is a lot of misdirection, misunderstanding and just a cute story into how one day in the office can just be crazy! It had me chuckling at the pages at everything that was happening and how cringy some of it was.

Even though this is a romantic comedy there was a twist at the end and it wrapped up this novella rather nicely. But do we know when the next one is out yet please??

This book is currently free on Amazon! (See link above)

Old Order by Jonathan Janz

Old Order by Jonathan Janz
Published by Amazon Digital Services on February 3, 2018
Pages: 52
Also by this author: The Siren and The Specter, The Sorrows, The Nightmare Girl, Savage Species, Wolf Land, The Dark Game, House of Skin, Dust Devils, The Raven

Horace Yoder thinks he's got the perfect scam. All he has to do is pretend to have been kicked out of an Amish order, get a job on a local farm and when the family is asleep steal their valuables and resell them for a tidy profit. Unfortunately for Yoder, the family has other ideas...and their plans are MUCH more sinister.

A horror novella from the author of CHILDREN OF THE DARK, this edition includes a brand-new Afterword by the author.

So hello you have seen who the author is haven’t you, no way would I pass up reading one Mr Janz books! Plus being a novella fitted right in with my challenge.

I felt like I was holding my breath for some of this novella because I just did not foresee what was going to happen. Everything seemed just a little bit too light at the beginning, hence me holding my breath wondering where we were going to go. After reading a couple of Mr Janz’ other books I knew it would not be a happy ending but everything was just so surreal.

Horace Yoder who has been disgraced from the Amish community offers to work on a local farm where all he wants to do is steal their valuables, and boy do they have some valuables.

Cue some unsettling “scenes of a sexual nature” a theft and some damn crazy and twisted activities and you have met Mr Janz!

I loved reading the new and updated afterword from the author as he discussed some of the early feedback he got for this novella, this being his first as well. Especially as this book was mistaken for an Amish romance book….not quite sure how?!

Another win in my unsettled creeped out eyes.

This book is currently available on Kindle Unlimited. (See link above)

UR by Stephen King

UR by Stephen King
on February 12, 2009
Pages: 61
Also by this author: In the Tall Grass

Reeling from a painful break-up, English instructor and avid book lover Wesley Smith is haunted by his ex-girlfriend's parting shot: "Why can't you just read off the computer like everyone else?" He buys an e-book reader out of spite, but soon finds he can use the device to glimpse realities he had never before imagined, discovering literary riches beyond his wildest dreams...and all-too-human tragedies that surpass his most terrible nightmares.

Even though this was a novella it took a little bit of time to get into and my head around the concept! I was like Wesley wondering what the hell had we stumbled upon! It was such a mind-boggling theory and near the end a terrifying one too!

After a parting shot from Wesley’s ex-girlfriend Ellen he decides to become like us and buy a Kindle which leads to some crazy events, and to be fair it would not be a book by the King himself if it was not a little out there. The Kindle is pink, not white and has a system called UR. Ok, so not even a little suspicious yet?

Alternate realities and scary insights into the future lead Wesley trying to change the events of the future, while we are made to think about what would happen if change the future. What ripples in the timeline that is set out would it cause? I watch The Flash and when he messes with the timeline it is to some devasting effects. Would it be the same here?

One thing I did love about this book the most is the nod, the subtle (not so subtle) nod to the Dark Tower series, it made me smile and made me want to pick up the series again although the last line in the last book makes me want to scream!

I am glad that the last book in my novella challenge was by the legend!

So yay me! and Happy New Year thank you for reading these snappy reviews! One more book to try and finish tonight…….

Until next time xx

About Claire Douglas

Claire Douglas always wanted to write novels and, after many years of trying to get published, her dream came true when she won the Marie Claire Debut Novel Award in 2013 with THE SISTERS.

Her subsequent novels LOCAL GIRL MISSING, LAST SEEN ALIVE and DO NOT DISTURB all reached the Sunday Times top ten bestsellers list and are published in over fifteen countries. LOCAL GIRL MISSING was the bestselling crime debut of 2018 in Germany. Her fifth thriller, THEN SHE VANISHES is due for release in Ebook end of June 2019 and in paperback August 2019.

You can find Claire on Twitter at @DougieClaire, instagram as clairedouglasauthor or visit her Facebook page clairedouglasauthor

About Jonathan Janz

Jonathan Janz is the author of more than a dozen novels and numerous short stories.

His work has been championed by authors like Joe R. Lansdale, Jack Ketchum, and Brian Keene; he has also been lauded by Publishers Weekly, the Library Journal, and the School Library Journal.

His novel Children of the Dark was chosen by Booklist as a Top Ten Horror Book of the Year.

Jonathan’s main interests are his wonderful wife and his three amazing children.

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7 responses to “2018 Goodreads 200 challenge….did I make it?? #MiniBookReviews #bookblogger #novella #200books @sherilynnauthor @HJRolfe @Dougieclaire @LanaGraceRiva @JaneCorryAuthor @KatieFforde @LBaxWrites @JonathanJanz @StephenKing