Happy Friday everyone and welcome to today’s First Lines Friday post! If you want to try the opening lines of a book without the bias of a front cover, then this post is for you! Which book am I featuring today?
Once upon a time, an angel and a demon fell in love.
It did not end well.
Walking to school over the snow-muffled cobbles, Karou had no sinister premonitions about the day. It seemed like just another Monday, innocent but for its essential Mondayness, not to mention its Januaryness. It was cold, and it was dark – in the dead of winter the sun didn’t rise until eight – but it was also lovely. The falling snow and the early hour conspired to paint Prague ghostly, like a tintype photograph, all silver and haze.
On the riverfront thoroughfare, trams and buses roared past, grounding the day in the twenty-first century, but on the quieter lanes, the wintry peace might have hailed from another time. Snow and stone and ghostlight, Karou’s own footsteps and the feather of steam from her coffee mug, and she was alone and adrift in mundane thoughts: school, errands. The occasional cheek-chew of bitterness when a pang of heartache intruded, as pangs of heartache will, but she pushed them aside, resolute, ready to be done with all that.
I have just finished reading the sequel to this yesterday and I have loved it just as much as this first book! They are so easy to pick up and get absorbed into. I have read other books by this author as well, and all of them have been brilliant! They are all touching, the characters beautifully human and hilariously funny at times.
Shall we find out what it is?
Daughter of Smoke and Bone – Laini Taylor
Around the world, black hand prints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.
In a dark and dusty shop, a devil’s supply of human teeth grows dangerously low.
And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherworldly war.
Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real, she’s prone to disappearing on mysterious “errands”, she speaks many languages – not all of them human – and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out.
When beautiful, haunted Akiva fixes fiery eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?
Did you enjoy reading the first page of Daughter of Smoke and Bone? Have you read any or all of the series? I’d love to know!
Hi guys and welcome back to my blog! Today’s review is for a short story written by Allan Walsh. At 32 pages, this is a really quick read. If you are looking for something to while away a commute to work or entertain you during a coffee break – this could just be for you!
Alcus wants to be a writer. When he joins a group to have his work critiqued, things are not what he expected. Alcus soon finds himself drawn into a world of wonder. Can his writing compete against real magic?
Short stories are a great way to sample an author’s writing style without the commitment of several hundred-page long novels to wade through. My biggest make-or-break factor when deciding if I am going to like a book is the narrative style. The style of Making Magic is very easy to read and get into. It flows so easily that I read this story in no more than fifteen minutes in one sitting, attention unbroken. From beginning to end the story is consistently easy to follow.
The dabbling in and conjuring of magic allows for a lot of detailed description; at times beautiful, others sinister, as fits the story. The detail in which Allan Walsh describes the spells and conjurations makes it very easy to imagine yourself in the same room. Through Alcus’ eyes, we experience the wonder at the magic and the self-doubt he experiences in being able to match such powerful magic through the power of the written word.
Being able to communicate an idea, an image or story through words in such a way that the reader can visualise the same thing is a form of magic. Immersing yourself so deeply into a story that you don’t notice time passing by is a temporary illusion. Words can also make more permanent changes to a person’s perception.
Who knew the power of vividly hallucinating over dead trees?
Hi guys and welcome back to another book review post! Today I am sharing my thoughts with you about The Chalk Man by C. J. Tudor. I actually read this at the end of July this year, so I had to pull my copy out to refresh myself on some of the details.
I have plenty to say though about this read, so shall we jump into my review?
In 1986, Eddie and his friends are just kids on the verge of adolescence. They spend their days biking around their sleepy English village and looking for any taste of excitement they can get. The chalk men are their secret code: little chalk stick figures they leave for one another as messages only they can understand. But then a mysterious chalk man leads them right to a dismembered body, and nothing is ever the same.
In 2016, Eddie is fully grown, and thinks he’s put his past behind him. But then he gets a letter in the mail, containing a single chalk stick figure. When it turns out that his friends got the same message, they think it could be a prank . . . until one of them turns up dead.
That’s when Eddie realizes that saving himself means finally figuring out what really happened all those years ago.
First and foremost, how does this book only have 3.7 stars on Goodreads?! I demand to know because EVERY SINGLE blogger review I have read has raved about this book. And I get that too, I loved it! I think it’s a fantastic read! That I read this from cover to cover in three days is a testament to that fact. I’m pretty sure I had a good go at enthusiastically ranting about it to my parents too.
C . J. Tudor does a brilliant job of drawing you into the book from the very beginning. The dramatic events in the prologue and an accident at the fair in 1986 occur within the first 20 pages. From there, the story unravels in two timelines; continuing on from the fair in 1986 and the second thirty years on in 2016.
I really enjoy dual-timeline structured narratives. When written well, as The Chalk Man is, they interweave and spur you on to read the next chapter, and the next to see what more you can uncover. It also serves well to keep the narrative fresh. It works as a second perspective, even when you are using the same pool of characters to tell the story. I did not want to put this book down. I was captivated by the story and the unnerving events that haunt Eddie, Fat Gav, Mickey, Hoppo and Nicky from their childhood.
The re-emergence of the chalk men after thirty years is a mystery begging to be solved, especially when the murders begin. It’s a race against time to find the killer. The conclusion of the novel is brilliant and was totally unexpected! I have a bit of a gripe with thriller novels that claim I won’t see the epic plot twist. If you tell me that, I’m going to expect one! Half the fun is trying to follow the clues and make your own mind up without knowing ANYTHING about the ending. If I try to deduce the killer and I‘m wrong, or come up short, then even better! You know you succeeded in your plot twist. The Chalk Man makes no such claim so I had no idea what to expect!
The Chalk Man is definitely up there in my top reads of the year. I’ll be recommending it to anyone in the market for horror/thriller/mystery book recommendations!
If you haven’t read it already, seriously, please do! If you have, tell me what you thought of the book! I would love to hear from you!!
Hey all and Happy Sunday! It’s Sunday evening here again and the prospect of going back to work tomorrow looms. After a busy eventful stressful week, going to work will seem like a rest!
The beginning of the week didn’t get off to a great start. After switching my domain renewal onto a new contract I realised all-too-late that the latest backup of my blog was only available on my blog’s back-end dashboard – access to which naturally went up in a puff of smoke the minute I confirmed the new contract.
Then, I made a mountain out of a molehill in trying to get my blog back online. It took days for me to get it right. In my defence, I was trying my best to use what I had to rescue the recent posts on my blog, but no. It wasn’t enough. Eventually, I admitted defeat and installed everything with an old backup – from June. One of my bigger jobs this weekend has been to re-instate what’s missing. The indexing of my blog pages so I can view cached versions and my drafts of posts not available that way stored locally has been my lifesaver!
The lesson here is to make doubly, triply and quadruple-y sure you have a backup before you do ANYTHING to your blog. You don’t realise how much it means to you until it’s gone. Next time I want to renew my domain, someone do my a favour and kick me.
Consequently, last week’s Sunday Summary post was shared on Wednesday and my reading list for November on Thursday. They were later than I wanted, but at least I am getting everything back in order! Friday’s Shelf Control post went live as and when expected.
When I wasn’t having a crisis (meltdown) over my blog situation, I was trying to catch up with my reading! Reading Imaginary Friend by Stephen Chbosky has taken me far longer than I anticipated. I only finished it yesterday; nine days behind schedule! I was a fantastic book, but an epic. As I was reading an imperfect proof copy too, a good few sections were a little difficult to read because wordsweremushedtogetherlikethis. Which is fine, it’s a proof. But I think that contributed to how long it took me to read.
As well as reading Imaginary Friend, I have been sampling a couple of other books to read in between. I’ve been very indecisive about it too, so consequently I am 55 pages through Howling Dark and about 80 pages through Days of Blood and Starlight. I think the latter wins as my next read; I am conscious I need to get a shift on and a quick reading win will spur me on. It sounds like I have read more of Days of Blood and Starlight, but in terms of word count I haven’t. There is a lot more to Howling Dark per page.
I have managed a quick read today, in between restoring almost all of my Blogtober posts. I was approached by Allan Walsh to read and review his short story, Making Magic. Unfortunately, I was supposed to be reviewing this on the 4th November but with my domain being out of action and the clean-up process, I didn’t get the chance! I have read this today and a review will be going live for it next week, come hell or high water!
I have managed to listen to another couple of hour’s worth of Thunderhead this week as well. As ever, it’s my companion on the drive home from work. I like where it is going after Scythe. It’s not a repetition of the first book and it feels fresh. I’m interested to say where events are going to go.
It’s been a week of spending my Audible credits! … Okay, I only had two, but I managed to get a couple of audiobooks in the 2 for 1 sale yesterday and then I spent my last credit today. A bargain is a bargain! So, in yesterday’s sale, I bought Head On by John Scalzi. Whilst not a direct follow-up to Lock In, it includes the same characters and centres around the lives of those with Haden’s Syndrome. I really enjoyed listening to Lock In earlier this year, so it makes sense to listen to Head On too. At the same time I also got a copy of Jack the Ripper: Case Closed by Gyles Brandreth. I have quite a few books based on the murders of Jack the Ripper (that I really need to start reading!). I don’t doubt I’ll enjoy this too. Does that make me weird?!
Today, inspired by my current listen of Thunderhead, I used my last credit to buy the last book in the Arc of a Scythe trilogy, The Toll.
Thankfully this section is going to be a lot easier to write than last week. I know where I am at. I’m conscious that with Blogtober, I posted a lot of discussions posts. To that end, I am going to be sharing a couple of reviews with you in order to catch up!
Tomorrow, I am going to be sharing my thoughts on The Chalk Man with you. I read this back in July in a matter of three days. That’s how much I loved it! That probably gives you an idea of the kind of review it is going to be, but I hope you can check it out!
On Wednesday I am reviewing Allan Walsh’s short story, Making Magic. Thankfully he is very understanding about the postponement and has agreed to a review this week instead.
Friday’s post is the turn of my regular feature, First Lines Friday. I haven’t decided which book I am going to be featuring yet. This is about as spontaneous as I get! It’s as much a surprise to me at the moment, but I hope you like the book I choose to feature!
As I am working on the current posts on my blog, I am also going to keep working to restore my missing posts. You shouldn’t really notice this unless you scroll for it. I’m working backwards and restoring the more recent posts first. I’ll let you know when everything is back as it should be.
Hi guys and welcome to today’s in-depth look at the next book on my TBR in today’s Shelf Control post.
As a refresher, Shelf Control is a meme run by Lisa at Bookshelf Fantasies – a weekly celebration of the unread books on our shelves! Pick a book you own but haven’t read, write a post about it (suggestions: include what it’s about, why you want to read it, and when you got it), and link up!
For more info on what Shelf Control is all about, check out Lisa’s introductory post.
I am using Shelf Control to look in further detail at the books I have added to the TBR and then listed as keepers in my Down the TBR Hole posts. I talk about why I want to keep the featured book; it also acts as a second sweep for anything that I may have changed my mind about. I have actually deleted a few books doing this sweep. I won’t necessarily own all the books (yet), but I will have a reasonable number of them. I’ve also gone on to read a couple of the earliest books on the list, so this mini-series is proving useful!
A girl named Rose is riding her new bike near home in Deadwood, South Dakota, when she falls through the earth. She wakes up at the bottom of a square-shaped hole, its walls glowing with intricate carvings. But the firemen who come to save her peer down upon something even stranger: a little girl in the palm of a giant metal hand.
Seventeen years later, the mystery of the bizarre artifact remains unsolved – the object’s origins, architects, and purpose unknown.
But some can never stop searching for answers.
Rose Franklin is now a highly trained physicist leading a top-secret team to crack the hand’s code. And along with her colleagues, she is being interviewed by a nameless interrogator whose power and purview are as enigmatic as the relic they seek. What’s clear is that Rose and her compatriots are on the edge of unravelling history’s most perplexing discovery-and finally figuring out what it portends for humanity. But once the pieces of the puzzle are in place, will the result be an instrument of lasting peace or a weapon of mass destruction?
It was the synopsis of the book that prompted me to add this to my To Be Read pile. It sounds so unusual! For those prone to question what you read, it immediately has you asking questions like who does the hand belong to? and, what does it all mean? I get the impression that our protagonist is much the same and so I think she will be really relatable!
I also love that this series has been published already. Don’t get me wrong, I’m more than happy to wait for books, but if I don’t have to then even better. There is some comfort in knowing that you COULD binge-read something if you really wanted to!
Have you read Sleeping Giants or any other books in the series?
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.
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.
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!
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!
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?
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 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.
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.
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?
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)
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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.
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…
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!
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