Author: fantasyst95

Reading List – November 2019

Hi everyone! I’m back, at last! You may not have even noticed I was gone, but my domain hosting was due for renewal and I needed to switch to a new contract. So, my site has been down for a couple of days but I’m almost back to where I was before I started.

There’s just the small matter of the back-up I forgot to do beforehand… Yep – stupid me forgot to back up her blog in all haste to get the contract switched over after all my blog tours but before the renewal date. Consequently, I’ve managed to recover an old one, but I have some backfilling to do to get my more recent posts online again. At least I draft and save copies of all my blog posts in Microsoft Word before I upload them because otherwise I would be doomed!

Anyway, enough of that! That’s my problem to sort out. Shall we find out what November’s reading list is looking like?

 

Imaginary Friend – Stephen Chbosky

Christopher is seven years old. Christopher is the new kid in town. Christopher has an imaginary friend.

Single mother Kate Reese is on the run. Determined to improve life for her and her son, Christopher, she flees an abusive relationship in the middle of the night with Christopher at her side. Together, they find themselves drawn to the tight-knit community of Mill Grove, Pennsylvania. It’s as far off the beaten track as they can get. Just one highway in, one highway out.

At first, it seems like the perfect place to finally settle down. Then Christopher vanishes. For six awful days, no one can find him. Until Christopher emerges from the woods at the edge of town, unharmed but not unchanged. He returns with a voice in his head only he can hear, with a mission only he can complete: Build a tree house in the woods by Christmas, or his mother and everyone in the town will never be the same again.

Soon Kate and Christopher find themselves in the fight of their lives, caught in the middle of a war playing out between good and evil, with their small town as the battleground.

 

Somehow, I had absolutely no idea that Imaginary Friend was 720 pages long until I started reading it. It was only when my percentage progress didn’t seem to be going very far that I looked into it. Naturally, I only started this at the end of my holiday and with a busy return to blogging last week, I am still trying to finish this now. I’m currently just shy of 70% through so I should have this finished in the next couple of days!

 

Howling Dark – Christopher Ruocchio

The second novel of the galaxy-spanning Sun Eater series merges the best of space opera and epic fantasy, as Hadrian Marlowe continues down a path that can only end in fire.

Hadrian Marlowe is lost.

For half a century, he has searched the farther suns for the lost planet of Vorgossos, hoping to find a way to contact the elusive alien Cielcin. He has not succeeded, and for years has wandered among the barbarian Normans as captain of a band of mercenaries.

Determined to make peace and bring an end to nearly four hundred years of war, Hadrian must venture beyond the security of the Sollan Empire and among the Extrasolarians who dwell between the stars. There, he will face not only the aliens he has come to offer peace, but contend with creatures that once were human, with traitors in his midst, and with a meeting that will bring him face to face with no less than the oldest enemy of mankind.

If he succeeds, he will usher in a peace unlike any in recorded history. If he fails…the galaxy will burn.

 

As it happens, I have actually made a very brief start on this book. I was restless on Saturday and in trying to decide what to do with myself, I picked this up and read the first chapter. I decided not to carry on reading it at that time (in favour of binge-watching three hours of Chernobyl), but if nothing else it has gotten me re-acquainted with the characters and the events from the first book. I am ready to dive into this in earnest after finishing Imaginary Friend.

 

Moroda – Lauren McNeil

Linaria is a world where dragons are revered as gods, where airships rule the skies, and where war is stirring.

For Moroda, a former Goldstone, her life of luxury ends following her father’s sudden death. When her city is destroyed by a dragon, she and her sister ally with a sky pirate and narrowly escape the carnage—only to find a vigilante from an exiled race has left a trail of destruction everywhere his growing army has travelled. With compulsion at his fingertips, he strengthens his hold over Linaria’s people by stealing the power of dragons. It’s only a matter of time before Moroda, too, is forced to submit.

With war nipping at her heels and danger lurking in her companions and adversaries, Moroda must quickly learn about herself, her world, and the dragons so intent on reducing it all to ash.

 

I have received a copy of Moroda after the author contacted me to request a review. I loved the synopsis immediately and Lauren’s author profile sold it to me as well – “My books usually contain dragons, rarely feature romance, and are typically fun and hopeful.” I can’t wait to read it and share my thoughts with you all!

 

Days of Blood and Starlight – Laini Taylor

Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love and dared to imagine a world free of bloodshed and war.

This is not that world.

Art student and monster’s apprentice Karou finally has the answers she has always sought. She knows who she is—and what she is. But with this knowledge comes another truth she would give anything to undo: She loved the enemy and he betrayed her, and a world suffered for it.

In this stunning sequel to the highly acclaimed Daughter of Smoke & Bone, Karou must decide how far she’ll go to avenge her people. Filled with heartbreak and beauty, secrets and impossible choices, Days of Blood & Starlight finds Karou and Akiva on opposing sides as an age-old war stirs back to life.

While Karou and her allies build a monstrous army in a land of dust and starlight, Akiva wages a different sort of battle: a battle for redemption. For hope.

But can any hope be salvaged from the ashes of their broken dream?

 

I loved Daughter of Smoke and Bone on holiday so if I didn’t add this to the TBR, I’d probably just end up picking it up anyway! I can tell it’s a series that I just want to binge read so I am as well taking that into consideration. Otherwise, I’ll just to try and cram it in around my other obligations and get myself in trouble when I can’t manage it all. I sincerely hope this lives up to the first book. In my experience of Laini Taylor’s books, I’m sure it will!

 

Awa and the Dreamrealm – Isa Pearl Ritchie

What if dreams are more real than waking life?

Life is already complicated enough for Awa Bryant when she starts having weird dreams – waking dreams – and strange coincidences start appearing in her real life.
She meets dreamcharmer, Veila, a quirky glowing creature who helps to guide Awa through the mysterious Dreamrealm.

At first the Dreamrealm is a glorious escape from Awa’s daily struggles but something is not right… Soon Awa discovers she has a bigger quest, and everything she cares about is at stake. Will she be brave enough to face her fears and save her friends?

 

I’m actually really looking forward to reading this book because I am not the intended audience. That might sound totally daft, but taking part in the blog tour for this book in December gives me the perfect opportunity to read something in a genre I love, but for a younger target audience. This is marketed as aimed at middle grade/young adult. It’s also comparatively short to some of the other books on this TBR, so it should be a welcome breath of fresh air.

 

The Shining – Stephen King

Jack Torrance’s new job at the Overlook Hotel is the perfect chance for a fresh start. As the off-season caretaker at the atmospheric old hotel, he’ll have plenty of time to spend reconnecting with his family and working on his writing. But as the harsh winter weather sets in, the idyllic location feels ever more remote…and more sinister. And the only one to notice the strange and terrible forces gathering around the Overlook is Danny Torrance, a uniquely gifted five-year-old.

 

I’m gradually working my way through more of Stephen King’s book, and this month I’ve taken the notion of reading The Shining. It’s probably one of his most iconic books, so it’s about time I read it, right?

I am off work for about a week and a half later this month (yay!) to use up the rest of my annual leave. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I’ll be able to get some reading done then, but I don’t want to oversubscribe myself my giving myself a longer list. If I do finish my reading then I have the freedom to choose what I pick up as well.

What are you reading this month?

 

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Sunday Summary – 3rd November 2019

Hi everyone and welcome to this week’s Sunday Summary post, albeit a little late! My contract renewal was up for my blog hosting and I did not want to renew the existing contract. Consequently, I’ve had to transfer to a different one, still with the same provider, but it has resulted in some downtime (and losses – but that’s my fault). Apologies! On the plus side, I am saving about £12 a month (they tried to bump my fees up a lot), so it’s worth it!

I hope you have all had a good week? Mine has been a busy, but rewarding one. In addition to being back to work, I have also taken part in no less than four blog tours. Not only that, but I completed Blogtober! It was… an experience. I’m glad I can say that I did it! It was a challenge, compounded by having to prepare a lot of posts in advance of my holiday. I still did it though! It just goes to show how productive I can be when I put my mind to it.

So, what posts have I been sharing this week? I started the week by sharing my Halloween book recommendations in Halloween Horrors post. From H. P. Lovecraft to Stephen King, I am sure the list has something for everyone. Then, blog tour season started on Tuesday with a review of Hallowed Ground by Paul Twivy. I really enjoyed reading this book and the author’s passion for Namibia shines through the narrative.

On Wednesday, I shared my second review of the week, this one for To Snare a Witch by Jay Raven. This is an easy to read novella, seasonably appropriate and only 85 pages long. It’s great if you are looking for a quick read! Thursday’s post was my third review of the week and shared my thoughts on The Haunting of Paradise House by Killian Wolf. Reviewing this on Halloween itself felt really appropriate.

Blogtober was officially over at that point, but there is no rest for the wicked as I had one final blog tour on Friday 1st for After Whorl: Bran Reborn by Nancy Jardine. This second book of the series suited me far better as it has far less of a romantic element.

 

Books Read

This week was understandably less active on the reading front than last. I have had a lot of blog tours to draft posts for, so I’ve only made a little progress on Imaginary Friend by Stephen Chbosky. I’m now 44% through this 720-page epic, so I’ve still managed to read around 160 pages this week. Not my best, but in the circumstances, I’m happy with it. I could have read more if I was in the mood on Saturday night, but I wasn’t. I ended up watching three episodes of Chernobyl instead…

Whilst I was trying to decide what I wanted to do with myself on Saturday, I picked up one of the books due to go onto November’s TBR. I managed to read just over a chapter of Howling Dark by Christopher Ruocchio before I decided I wasn’t in the mood to read at all. I’ll hopefully be making more progress on this next week.

I’ve listened to Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman on my commute home from work a few times this week. Having listened to Scythe not that long ago, this is really easy to get into and I am really enjoying it so far!

 

Books Discovered

I have got my hands on a few books this week, which is always exciting! I read Daughter of Smoke and Bone on holiday and absolutely loved it, so I treated myself to the next two books in the series from Waterstones.

I also received a copy of The God Game from Gollancz on Friday. Having seen it advertised on Twitter, I was selected to receive a copy to review which is really exciting!

I also bought an e-book copy of The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware, since it was reduced in the Amazon store. I added this book to the TBR a little earlier this year, intending to get my copy nearer the time I planned on reading it. I figured it made sense to pick it up whilst it was only 99p though… so I did!

 

Coming Up…

It’s going to be a little tough trying to organise blog posts for this week with my site being down for the domain transfer, but it is what it is! As soon as my blog goes live again I’ll be posting my reading list for November, whenever that turns out to be.

On Friday I’ll be sharing my next Shelf Control post. I’ll be looking in detail at the next book on my TBR and telling you what interests me about it and why I want to read it. As ever, I’ll then share my next wrap up on Sunday. I’m keeping this quite a light week on blog posts so I can relax a little from Blogtober, as well as catch up with my reading.

So that’s all from me! What have you been reading this week?

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Blog Tour and Giveaway: After Whorl: Bran Reborn – Nancy Jardine

Good morning and happy Friday everyone! Blogtober may be over but there is no rest for the wicked. Today’s post is my fourth and final blog tour book review of the week. After Whorl: Bran Reborn is the second book in the Celtic Fervour series by Nancy Jardine. If you haven’t seen my review of the first book, The Beltane Choice, you can read that post using the link here.

Thanks again to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for organizing the tours for this series.

 

After Whorl: Bran Reborn

AD 71 Northern Roman Britain

Ravaged at the Battle of Whorl, Brennus of Garrigill is irrevocably changed. He embraces a new identity as Bran, vowing to avert Roman domination of Brigantia. Though how, when he and Ineda – his healer’s granddaughter – are forced to labour for the Roman IX Legion? Trading with the usurpers provides opportunities for gathering information, but after they are attacked by a Roman patrol, Ineda cannot be found.

Distraught with her loss, can Bran find a new occupation?

The adventures of the Garrigill Clan continue…

 

Purchase Link   http://viewbook.at/heritis

 

My Thoughts…

The events of After Whorl: Bran Reborn pick up immediately after The Beltane Choice, albeit from a new perspective. Brennus is recovered from the battle at Whorl and over the course of several months is nursed back to health. In his shame for the loss of the battle, he takes on a new identity and begins a new life. The Roman threat is never that far away, however, and he is captured by them and forced into hard labour to sustain their camps.

I was promised that this second book of the series would have a greater historical fiction element compared to The Beltane Choice. The first book of the series is a romantic fiction novel as much as it is a historical one. I preferred the style and genre of this second book a lot more. I’m not that big on romantic fiction. The more subtle elements of romance in After Whorl: Bran Reborn was a lot easier to read, whilst still present. It is a nice balance for my taste.

As with the first book, the pace of the story entertains the reader without sacrificing taking the time to link back to the back-story and elements of the first book. The references are done subtly and at the appropriate time to help us follow other characters in the series. Perhaps we will get to see more of them in the next book, After Whorl: Donning Double.

I am really enjoying reading about a new era of British History. I’m enjoying how much detail is being put into the progress of the Roman invasion and what is being done by the early Celtic tribes to try to repel them! I haven’t read anything like it before, so I am looking forward to seeing how the rest of the series pans out!

 

 

Giveaway to Win x1 signed paperback of After Whorl: Bran Reborn to one UK winner; X1 kindle copy worldwide

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/33c69494296/

 

Author Bio

Nancy Jardine writes historical fiction; time-travel historical adventure; contemporary mystery thrillers; and romantic comedy. She lives in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, where life is never quiet or boring since she regularly child minds her young grandchildren who happen to be her next-door neighbours. Her garden is often creatively managed by them, though she does all the work! Her husband is a fantastic purveyor of coffee and tea…excellent food and wine! (Restorative, of course)

A member of the Historical Novel Society; Scottish Association of Writers; Federation of Writers Scotland; Romantic Novelists’ Association and the Independent Alliance of Authors, her work has achieved finalist status in UK competitions.

Social Media Links –

Blog: http://nancyjardine.blogspot.co.uk

Website:www.nancyjardineauthor.com/

Facebook: http://on.fb.me/XeQdkG & http://on.fb.me/1Kaeh5G

Twitter https://twitter.com/nansjar

Amazon Author page http://viewauthor.at/mybooksandnewspagehere

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5139590.Nancy_Jardine

 

Blog Tour and Giveaway: The Haunting at Paradise House – Killian Wolf

Happy Halloween (Hop Tu Naa) everybody and welcome to a very topical book review – The Haunting at Paradise House by Killian Wolf. I have been looking forward to writing today’s post; not only is it the last day of Blogtober, but I also consider this to be prime review day for this tour!

As always, I would like to kick off the post by thanking Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for organising the tour and inviting me to take part.

 

The Haunting at Paradise House

If you were given the chance to become a powerful sorceress, would you leave behind everything you thought you knew?

When Addison is offered the position of her dreams through a mysterious phone call, she rises to the occasion and moves to the Florida Keys to a mansion called Paradise House. Footsteps from playful ghosts, a room of killer dolls, and an all too intelligent owl lead her to the mysteries that lie within the walls, to reveal the true reason behind her invitation. When dark forces get a hold of her and her patient, Addison is left with no choice but to take extreme measures to protect the ones she loves. Will Addison be able to acquire the necessary skills fast enough in order to protect her patient, and defeat the evil entities that thrive in the mansion?

 

Purchase Links – Amazon UK     Amazon US     Barnes and Noble     Kobo

 

Trailers – 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1cRH2NEPDBU

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5x11nL-q9X4

 

My Thoughts…

The Haunting at Paradise House is a perfect read at this time of year, and really easy to pick up too! The story centres round Addison taking a new job as a nurse in Paradise House; she ends up taking on far more than she bargained for! Addison’s inquisitiveness gets her in trouble on several occasions, but she cannot leave alone knowing something is amiss. Dax, her new boss, isn’t telling her everything and has a mysterious knack of disappearing and reappearing at the most inconvenient times.

The closet full of dolls is something else entirely! I am not easily freaked out or unnerved, but reading about the dolls made me cringe. They are just so freaky but set the right atmosphere for the house and the story. If I were Addison, I wouldn’t have stuck around!

The Haunting at Paradise House is a great mix of genres. I really enjoyed the combination of the fantasy, mystery and paranormal elements of this book. It isn’t what I would describe as a typical read for me, but that didn’t matter at all. The book is well-paced and has a vast array of unique characters interwoven with a sophisticated storyline that was a pleasure to read.

I would like to see a second book as there is great potential with the characters and the ending of the book. I’ll have to keep my fingers crossed!

 

Giveaway to Win a paperback copy of The Haunting at Paradise House (UK Only)

*Terms and Conditions –UK entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/33c69494294/

 

Author Bio –

Killian Wolf is a Miami, FL native who enjoys pirates, rum, and skulls as much as she loves writing about dark magick and sorcerers. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Cultural Anthropology and Sociology and a Master of Science in Environmental Archaeology and Palaeoeconomy.

Killian writes books about obtaining magickal powers and stepping into other dimensions. She lives in England with her husband, a tornado of a cat, and the most timid snake you’d ever meet.

When she isn’t writing, you might find her at an Archaeological dig, rock climbing, or sipping on dark spiced rum while working on a painting.

 

Social Media Links –

Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/killianwolf22/

Twitter- @Killian_Wolf22

Instagram- killian_wolf

 

Blog Tour Review: To Snare a Witch – Jay Raven

Good morning readers! I hope you are having a thrilling day?

This post is my second book review and blog tour post of the week – today, I am featuring To Snare a Witch by Jay Raven. I read and reviewed a series of short stories also written by Jay Raven, called Game of Crones, earlier this year. Whereas Game of Crones is a collection of short stories, To Snare a Witch is more of a novella. At about 80 pages long, I found it to be a really easy read to get into and finish quickly.

Would you like to find out more?

 

To Snare A Witch: Book One – Bell, Book and Candle

A Chilling historical tale of lust, sorcery and devastating revenge

No female dares spurn the lecherous advances of Sir Henry Cruttendon, 17th Century England’s most reviled nobleman. To do so risks a retribution that would terrify the Devil himself.

But Elizabeth Fiennes is no ordinary woman, blessed with stunning beauty, intelligence and guile. Coming from an influential family, she believes she is safe.

What she doesn’t understand is that the Earl is determined to satisfy his lust and plans to use the wave of witch trials, fear and superstition sweeping the countryside to force her into his clutches.

And as he springs his malicious trap it triggers a chain of unholy events plunging hunter and prey into a maelstrom of deceit, terror and depravity – leaving them both staring into the face of true evil…

 

Purchase Links – Amazon UK     Amazon US

 

My Thoughts…

I’m not in the habit of reading short stories or novellas, but I have really enjoyed reading those by Jay Raven. To Snare a Witch is a novella as opposed to a short story, giving you ample time to invest in the characters whilst still keeping things short and fresh.

I read this book practically in one sitting at the beginning of the month. The Gothic nature of this tale makes it very appropriate reading for the season, as it is the eve of Halloween (or Hop Tu Naa locally) today. The themes of the dark arts and witchcraft and their history in society are all incorporated into this sinister tale of blackmail. The horror element of the tale stems from the atrocious behaviour some are willing to go to in order to manipulate others to their desires.

This book definitely has adult themes, without going into too much detail. I wasn’t perturbed by it. In fact, I went into this with a very open mind and without really knowing how this tale was going to unravel. I was definitely surprised by some of the developments (in a good way!), which kept me on my toes and wondering what was going to happen next. This was far from a fairy tale or predictable read, which I really enjoyed!

Jay Raven has written and co-authored a number of books and having read Game of Crones and To Snare A Witch, I’ll definitely be reading more of his work in future!

 

Author Bio

Jay Raven is the author of Gothic chillers and historical horror reminding readers that the past is a dangerous place to venture, full of monsters and murderous men. He blames his fascination with vampires, witches and werewolves on the Hammer Horror films he watched as a teenager, but living in a creepy old house on the edge of a 500-acre wood may have something to do with it.

If you would like to be informed of new releases, enjoy free short stories and access exclusive giveways and competitions, please subscribe to Jay’s monthly newsletter on his website at www.jayraven.co.uk

 

Social Media Links – website http://www.jayraven.com

twitter: @JayRavenAuthor
facebook: www.facebook.com/fantasywriterjayraven/

 

Blog Tour: Hallowed Ground – Paul Twivy

Hello everyone! It’s day 29 of Blogtober and I am really excited to be sharing the first of many blog tour reviews in the coming days! Today’s post is all about my first read of October – Hallowed Ground by Paul Twivy. As always, a huge thank you to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for organising the tour, of which today is the last day! If you want to read more about the book, I’ll share a full tour list at the end of the post so you can check out the other wonderful bloggers that have taken part in the tour.

Before we get into my thoughts on the book, here are the details: –

 

Hallowed Ground: The Mystery of the African Fairy Circles

This magical story is inspired by the most haunting and least explored country in the world – Namibia – with its foggy Skeleton Coast, buried goldmines, shocking secrets and awe-inspiring sand dunes.

Spread across the face of its deserts are hundreds of miles of ‘fairy circles’ : vast enough to be seen from space. They grow and die with the same lifespan as humans, yet no-one has been able to explain why or how they appear.

Then one day, three teenagers and their families arrive from different parts of the globe. Helped by bushmen, the buried possessions of a Victorian explorer, and a golden leopard, they solve the mystery of the African Circles. What will be discovered beneath the hallowed ground? And how will it change the future of the planet above it?

Purchase Links –   Amazon UK    Amazon US

 

My Thoughts…

I wouldn’t describe myself as a traveller, although I feel hypocritical saying that having just come back from holiday. I’m not the sort of person who experiences wanderlust; however, the descriptions of the beautiful, natural Namibia stirred some of that feeling in me. I much prefer to ‘explore’ from the comfort of my armchair and Hallowed Ground provided the opportunity for that. We get to experience the landscape of Namibia through the eyes of several teenagers who have moved to the country with their parents. The descriptions are vividly beautiful and awe-inspiring. The author’s love for this country really shines through in his writing.

Local culture is also a big part of the book. The story is very much told from the perspective of Western individuals, which makes it easy for the reader to see and understand this completely different attitude, way of life and the beliefs of the people of Namibia. This particularly comes into play after a mass burial site is discovered from genocide, which happened around World War II.

I enjoyed the pace of the book too. The narrative allows plenty of time to traverse the intricacies of the landscape and culture whilst still progressing with a storyline and a mystery that keeps the reader hooked. What causes the natural phenomenon of fairy circles?

I love how different theories are touched upon in the discussions for their science project, which forms only a small part of the book. More so, I liked the ending Paul Twivy gave the story. I hadn’t heard of the phenomenon until I picked up the book, but that doesn’t matter. It is all explained in an uncomplicated manner, and I did actually look into it after reading the book!

For me, Hallowed Ground was a really interesting read with a fun twist to the theory on the causes of African fairy circles and I thoroughly enjoyed the book.

 

Author Bio –

Paul Twivy

Paul Twivy studied English at Oxford University and became one of the most famous British admen. He has written comedy and drama for the stage and radio. He edited the bestseller Change the World for a Fiver. He is married with five children. He was inspired to write Hallowed Ground by his first-hand experiences of the extraordinary landscapes and culture of Namibia.

www.thefairycircles.com and https://hallowedground.co.uk

https://twitter.com/paultwivy

 

 

Halloween Horrors – Book Recommendations

Are you looking for inspiration on what to read this Halloween? If so, you have come to the right place! In today’s post, I am going to be recommending some of the spooktacular books/authors I have read.

 

Stephen King

Before I started my blog, I hadn’t read a single book by Stephen King. Stupid, foolish me. Since dipping my toe in the water with The Green Mile, I have gone on to read Pet Sematary, IT, the first two books of The Dark Tower series and listen to The Stand. I still have plenty of books of his to read, including some of the more classic horror novels, such as The Shining.

If you want to check out any of my reviews, I have linked them above.

 

Jay Raven

If you are in the mood for short stories or a novella, then either Game of Crones or To Snare a Witch may be if interest to you. I have read both of these books this year; I am reviewing To Snare a Witch in the coming days.

I enjoyed these reads for the theme of witches and their reverence/treatment by society. They are also great to pick up for a quick read, or a break from another genre.

 

H. P. Lovecraft

I bought my copy of the Necronomicon last year and whilst I am nowhere near having read the entire collection of stories, I have read a few. H P Lovecraft is an iconic writer of the horror genre and I can see why. His stories are pretty damn creepy, or outright weird…

 

My current read… Stephen Chbosky

This Halloween, or Hop Tu Naa locally, I will be continuing to read Imaginary Friend by Stephen Chbosky. I love the story centring on 7 and a half-year-old Christopher. Children are really imaginative and suggestible, so you don’t know what is true and what isn’t! It makes happenings so much more sinister! I’m currently about a quarter of the way through this read, but I’ll be making more progress with it as I can in the coming days up to October 31st.

 

Have you got any other reading suggestions or recommendations I haven’t mentioned? What are you reading this Halloween?

 

 

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Sunday Summary – 27th October 2019

Hi everyone and welcome to today’s Sunday Summary post! I have been away from my keyboard for over a week, which has been both nice and very strange. Hopefully, you didn’t notice my absence though, as I scheduled plenty of blog posts to tide you over until my return! Today’s post is going to be a fairly quick one, as I have two week’s worth of content to cover and all the mundane jobs of returning from holiday to deal with too.

Since my last Sunday Summary post, I have published a number of posts as part of Blogtober. I can’t possibly discuss them all individually, but if you want to catch up on any of these posts if you missed them they are listed below: –

 

Books Read

Since my last Sunday Summary post, I spent the week leading up to my holiday making progress with After Whorl: Bran Reborn by Nancy Jardine and Visions of Zarua by Suzanne Rogerson. Most of the week was spent on the latter book in preparation for the blog tour I took part in last Sunday. The majority of my reading has been done this week whilst on holiday. Before going away, I also made the briefest starts on listening to Thunderhead by Neil Shusterman.

My first completed book of the holiday was After Whorl: Bran Reborn, as I read the last third of the book in the first couple of days of the trip. From there, I moved on to Circe by Madeline Miller, which took me around three days to read, on and off, whilst enduring some bad weather. Later in the week, the sun came out and I managed to read Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor in less than two days. Finally, in the last couple of days of the trip, I started reading Imaginary Friend by Stephen Chbosky. As of writing this post, I am 22% through the book and hoping to make further headway with it next week.

 

Books Discovered

I have added a few books to the TBR in the two weeks since my last post. The first of these books is Violet, which I added having read a review of the book. I have also added another book to the TBR following a review by the same blogger, which is Defender by G X Todd. The review I read was for the recent third book in the series, whereas I have added the first book to the TBR.

I have also added The Flood to my TBR, I think from reading a review or seeing it on Goodreads. However, I have done my usual and not made a note of where I have seen it so I’m not 100% sure.

 

Coming Up…

I had all my posts scheduled up until my return from holiday, so I am going to be playing catch up this week to finish off Blogtober and complete the challenge! The vast majority of the posts to the end of the month are book reviews for blog tours I have signed up to… so no pressure!

Tomorrow’s post is called Halloween Horrors – I’ll be sharing some spooky reads I have enjoyed if you are looking for inspiration ahead of Halloween this week. On Tuesday I start my four-day blitz of blog tour reviews, the first being for Hallowed Ground by Paul Twivy. Wednesday’s review will be for To Snare a Witch by Jay Raven and Thursday’s post for The Haunting of Paradise House by Killian Wolf.

By then I am done with Blogtober, however, I have an additional blog tour spot on Friday 1st for After Whorl: Bran Reborn. Then, I’m taking a much-deserved break until my usual round-up of the week next Sunday!

 

What have you been reading recently? Please feel free to drop a comment below!

 

 

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Blogging and Social Media

Social media is a huge element of blogging. Regardless of the content of your blog, you need to put yourself out there to get your content noticed. Which platforms you use is entirely up to you, and maybe dependent on the content of your blog. Sounds easy, right?

In some respects, yes. With a few simple settings, new posts I publish are automatically shared to Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. All I have to do is write a brief description/summary I want to accompany the link and away it goes. I don’t even have to think about it.

It’s not all automatic though. There is a degree of effort you have to put in to maintain a presence online. Ultimately, readers are connecting with the person behind a blog, not just the content itself. A feed of links to own content can be a bit boring. Here is where I will admit that I fall down. I am not that good when it comes to proactively using social media. My feeds are pretty much as I have described above – links to my own blog.

I try to interact as and when I can, but I can honestly say I don’t really have the compulsion to use social media that much. On a personal level, I use Facebook to keep up to date with what is going on with friends and family, news and such and that is it. I am one of those ghost friends that hardly ever post. My blog has given me some purpose to post more in recent months, but it isn’t natural to me.

Even my ‘blog’ accounts aren’t all that up to scratch. I’m not at all consistent with my use of Instagram. Remembering to take pictures and create a visual medium for my blog is a conscious effort, but it’s one I am not conscious of all the time and so I lapse. I just don’t take that many photos. I change my Facebook profile picture maybe once every six months in a good year, and only when there is a change to the way I look really. Call me lazy, but I just can’t be bothered and I doubt anyone is really all that bothered about it – myself included.

Do you have any tips for me to get better with my use of social media? Which platforms do you find easiest to use and why? I’ll take all comments on board at this point!

 

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First Lines Friday – 25/10/2019

It’s Friday once again friends, so today I am sharing another First Lines Friday post! This post gives you the opportunity to sample something new without the bias of a front cover? Which book am I featuring today? Here are the first few lines from today’s featured book: –

 

When the steamboat Moselle blew apart just off the Cincinnati landing, I was sitting below deck in the ladies’ cabin, sewing tea leaves into little muslin bags and plotting revenge on my cousin Comfort for laughing at me during dinner.

I had many ways of getting back at her. Sometimes I put a few darts in her cuffs so that when her wrists swelled, which they always did when she was performing, she would have to cut the cloth later to get her arms out. Or I snipped her lace ties just a little, which kept her from pulling her corset as tightly as she liked; or I sewed a small pigeon feather into the back of one of her costumes so that when she walked across the stage the shaft scratched at her skin.

I was Comfort’s seamstress, dresser and trunk packer. And a hundred other things as well. She was the Famous Comfort Vertue. That was her stage name.

 

 

 

I found this book on Bookbub and purchased my copy in July 2017, having been blown away by the synopsis and in particular, the topic that it covers throughout. I also really enjoy historical fiction, so this was pretty much a no-brainer purchase for me!

Shall we find out what it is?

 

The Floating Theatre – Martha Conway

Floating Theatre

In a nation divided by prejudice, everyone must take a side.

When young seamstress May Bedloe is left alone and penniless on the shore of the Ohio, she finds work on the famous floating theatre that plies its trade along the river. Her creativity and needlework skills quickly become invaluable and she settles in to life among the colourful troupe of actors. She finds friends, and possibly the promise of more …

But cruising the border between the Confederate South and the ‘free’ North is fraught with danger.

For the sake of a debt that must be repaid, May is compelled to transport secret passengers, under cover of darkness, across the river and on, along the underground railroad.

But as May’s secrets become harder to keep, she learns she must endanger those now dear to her.

And to save the lives of others, she must risk her own …

A gloriously involving and powerful read for fans of Gone With The Wind and Tracy Chevalier’s The Last Runaway.

 

So, what do you think? Will you add this to the TBR? Is it on already?

 

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