#BlogTour THE TWELVE EVEN STRANGER DAYS OF CHRISTMAS by SYD MOORE #BookReview @rararesources @PointBlankCrime @SydMoore1 #12EvenStrangerDaysofXmas



Extremely delighted to be with you today to help kick off the Blog Tour for the fabulous THE TWELVE EVEN STRANGER DAYS OF CHRISTMAS by SYD MOORE. My thanks to the author, publisher and Rachel of Rachel’s Random Resources for putting the tour together and letting me be part of it all!

The Twelve Even Stranger Days Of Christmas


From the twice CWA Dagger shortlisted author of The Twelve Strange Days of Christmas come thirteen twelve stories to transport you to the macabre world of inexplicable phenomena.

As the dark winter nights get longer, prepare to lose yourself in the world of the strange. With a tale for each day of Christmas and a rather unlucky 13th, Christmas is not the only spirit in these pages. ‘Tis the season for sacrificial feasts, cultish communities and a train with a rather final destination. So wrap up warm and let yourself get lost in the world of the strange, the scary and the supernatural…

published by Point Blank 

Purchase Links 

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Twelve-Stranger-Christmas-Museum-Mysteries-ebook/dp/B0929TLH6Q

US – https://www.amazon.com/Twelve-Stranger-Christmas-Museum-Mysteries-ebook/dp/B0929TLH6Q 

Author Bio


SYD MOORE is the author of the Essex Witch Museum Mysteries (Strange Magic, Strange Sight, Strange Fascination, Strange Tombs and Strange Tricks) all published by Point Blank. The series was shortlisted for the Good Reader Holmes and Watson Award 2018. She has been shortlisted twice for the CWA Short Story Dagger for The Strange Casebook (2018) and The Twelve Strange Days of Christmas (2019). Her debut screenplay, Witch West, which she developed from an original idea, has been optioned by Hidden Door Productions for production in 2021. Syd is a founder member of the Essex Girls’ Liberation Front which successfully got the term ‘Essex girl’ removed from the Oxford English dictionary. She lives in Essex.

@PointBlankCrime

@SydMoore1


MY REVIEW


If you love your stories to be spooky and quirky (I do!!) then here they are!!  In this wonderful collection of 13 (not unlucky for us!) short stories, we are taken in all different directions from the alternative Seven Dwarves (now their names finally make sense!!), a very strange train experience on the C2C line (not that unusual for any of us who have taken that journey!), seaside dates, and the four housewives of the apocalypse to name but a few!!


I found this so easy to read! And so fun too! The stories are so different and that makes you just want to read them all in one sitting as you never know what you’re going to encounter next!  And some of the stories take you off into very weird tangents and I loved that! I also loved the Essex mentions in some of them! Definitely had me smirking at many observations!  And I now find myself looking at murals in more detail now!!


There’s also a visit back the Essex Witch Museum in one of the stories so that was nice to get to check back in with the characters from the Essex Witch Museum Mysteries series – if you’ve not checked that series yet, then get to it NOW! 


A book that’s perfect 12 months of the year – not just for Christmas!  Full of the weird, the wonderful, the spooky and the strange!! Loved it!!


★★★★★

#BookReviews THE WOMAN OF THE WOLF by RENEE VIVIEN/ THREE RIVAL SISTERS by MARIE-LOUISE GAGNEUR @BelgraviaB

ABOUT THE BOOK


A woman rides crocodiles like horses. A queen gives up her throne for her dignity. And Prince Charming is not who you might think . . .

The Woman of the Wolf and Other Stories, written in 1904, is perhaps the finest work by sapphic poet Renée Vivien. Blending myth, fairy story and biblical tale, Vivien creates powerful portraits of strong women who stand up for what they believe in – and of the aggrieved men who trail behind them.

Bold, defiant and suffused with a unique poetic voice, this scintillating collection of short stories offers a radical alternative to traditional lore.


PUBLISHED BY GALLIC BOOKS
PURCHASE LINK

Publisher Website


MY REVIEW

This was a strong mix of short stories, many very cutting about men, but made for a fun and thought provoking look at sexist attitudes and the roles of women from the perspective of men. And considering it was first published over 100 years ago, it is pointedly still very relevant!!

There are 17 tales in total that revolve around myths and bible tales, and all featuring a very dark humour that always appeals to me! It felt so modern and feminist, which is a little worrying that we don’t seem to have come very far over the years with a lot of the behaviours of men still prevelant!

I loved the mix of stories and they all featured many fearless, confident and resilient women, played nicely off against the weaker sex!! Stories involve a she-wolf, deception, murder, brutality, fantasy and adventure and just seemed to be the perfect length of stories. I often find with short stories that there are more misses than hits, but not with this one! The darker they got, the more I lapped them up!!

★★★★



THREE RIVAL SISTERS by MARIE-LOUISE GAGNEUR



ABOUT THE BOOK

Much acclaimed amongst her contemporaries and yet all but forgotten today, Marie-Louise Gagneur was a defining voice in French feminism. These stories, translated into English for the first time, critique the restrictions of late nineteenth-century society and explore the ways in which both men and women are hurt by rigid attitudes towards marriage.

In ‘An Atonement’, the Count de Montbarrey awakes one morning to find his wife dead, leaving him free to marry the woman he really loves. Could the Count have accidentally killed his wife? And how can he atone for his crime?

‘Three Rival Sisters’ tells the story of the rivalry between Henriette, Renée and Gabrielle as they compete for the affections of one man. But marriage does not necessarily guarantee happiness, as the sisters are about to find out.

Steeped in wit, empathy and biting social criticism, and with echoes of Charlotte Perkins Gilman and Kate Chopin, these stories show Gagneur to be worthy of renewed attention.
PUBLISHED BY GALLIC BOOKS

PURCHASE LINK
Publisher Website

MY REVIEW


Two brilliant short stories all wrapped up in one lovely book package for you – what more could you want?!

The main story is Three Rival Sisters which is a biting look at the lengths 3 sisters will go to for the love (and money!) of one man! They are all brought up to believe that love and marriage are the only things that will bring them happiness, but they soon find out that this clearly isn’t true! But their main focus is to be the one that catches the eye of the wealthy suitor, who seems only too willing to pit each sister against one another! What a catch!!

I loved how the author explored the way the women were programmed to think from a young age. What they perceived as ‘love’ was really just about wanting to cement their place in society, and the role the father played in just wanting his daughters married off. With 2 weddings taking place on one day, we see that the ‘happy ever after’ was anything but and how that affected the relationships of the sisters over the years when they got to see beyond their marriage goals, and reconnect as family once more.

And the second story, An Atonement, is a much shorter offering but still exploring the role of marriage and love through the eyes of the Count de Montbarrey who finds himself plagued with guilt when he finds his wife dead one morning, leaving him free to marry his ‘true love’. His wife had been very sick and their marriage was to please his family. With her out of the way, he soon remarries but he can’t seem to get past the feelings of remorse and regret and that leads him to take on a different role as he feels he needs to atone for his past indiscretions. At only 43 pages long, it really does pack a punch!


★★★★★

My thanks to Gallic Books for the advanced reader copies of both books in return for a fair and honest review.

#BookReview WOMEN’S WEIRD: STRANGE STORIES BY WOMEN 1890 – 1940 #20BooksOfSummer20

ABOUT THE BOOK
Early Weird fiction embraces the supernatural, horror, science fiction, fantasy and the Gothic, and was explored with enthusiasm by many women writers in the United Kingdom and in the USA. Melissa Edmundson has brought together a compelling collection of the best Weird short stories by women from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, to thrill new readers and delight these authors’ fans.
PUBLISHED BY HANDHELD PRESS
PURCHASE LINKS
Publisher Website
Amazon

hive.co.uk

MY REVIEWThis was book 17 of my 20 Books of Summer 2020.

A superbly put together collection of the weird and wonderful from long ago! Some of the stories made you completely forget how old they actually were and had such a charming way of chilling and freaking you out as you read through the 13 short stories.

As with many short story collections, some had more impact on me as a reader than others, but I really loved the mix of styles and different approaches to ‘weird’! There’s the unexplained, the ghost stories, gothic, science fiction, the after life – stories that raise the goosebumps on your arms rather than scare you silly! Although I now find myself never looking at a saucepan or gloves in the same way as before….. watch them!!! You never know!!

I loved hearing from these women and their take on the supernatural/horror genre and am glad to see there is another collection of more weirdness as I’ll be looking forward to immersing myself in those very soon!

★★★★

#BlogTour FOXFIRE, WOLFSKIN & other stories of shapeshifting women by Sharon Blackie #BookReview #RandomThingsTours #FoxfireWolfskin @septemberbooks

Hugely excited to be taking part in this Blog Tour so thank you for stopping by today! My thanks to the author, publisher and Anne of Random Things Tours for the copy of the book and letting me be part of the Tour!

ABOUT THE BOOK

‘Part rally cry, part warning, part manifesto and all parts enchanting, Sharon Blackie’s Foxfire, Wolfskin is a deeply evocative and haunting collection. Humming with the strength of our immutable voices, each story sings with the transformation that is possible when women take agency of our lives. I want to press this powerful book into the hands of everyone I know and say, listen.’ Holly Ringland, author, The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart

‘Sharon Blackie has wrought a new-old magic for our times: glorious, beautiful, passionate myths written for this critical moment in time. They show who we could have been, and they give us a glimpse of a world-that-could-be. There’s still time to make it happen.’ Manda Scott, author of the Boudicca series, and A Treachery of Spies

Charged with drama and beauty, this memorable collection by a master storyteller weaves a magical world of possibility and power from female myths of physical renewal, creation and change. It is an extraordinary immersion into the bodies and voices, mindscapes and landscapes, of the shape-shifting women of our native folklore. We meet the Water Horse of the Isle of Lewis, the huldra, the Scandinavian supernatural forest-dweller, and Baba Yaga of Slavic folklore (but will she help you or kill you?) Here too is the Snow Queen; the wild bird-woman of the Sliabh Mis Mountains; Blodeuedd, the Welsh ‘flower-faced’ woman.

Drawing on myth and fairy tales found across Europe – from Croatia to Sweden, Ireland to Russia – Sharon Blackie brings to life women’s remarkable ability to transform themselves in the face of seemingly impossible circumstances. These stories are about coming to terms with our animal natures, exploring the ways in which we might renegotiate our fractured relationship with the natural world, and uncovering the wildness – and wilderness – within.

Published by September Publishing

PURCHASE LINKS

Amazon   

hive.co.uk

whsmith

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dr Sharon Blackie is a writer, mythologist and psychologist, and an internationally recognised teacher of the mythic imagination. Her bestselling book, If Women Rose Rooted, won a 2016 Nautilus award, and laid out a haunting heroine’s journey for every woman who finds power, inspiration and solace in the natural world. She has an international following through her online communities, and the courses and workshops she offers through ‘The Hedge School’. Her first novel, The Long Delirious Blue, was described by the Independent on Sunday as ‘hugely potent’. She lives in Connemara, Ireland.

 www.sharonblackie.net.

The Enchanted Life

If Women Rose Rooted

MY REVIEW

This is a stunning collection of magical stories that are based on myth and fairy tales across Europe, and I was totally captivated by the messages portrayed and the style of writing.  I’ve often found with short story collections that they can be a little hit and miss with the impact each story has on me, but with this collection I found something positive to say about all of them – some are short and sweet, others are a little more complex and involved but they all had the effect of just making me want to read more of the lesser known fairy tales and folklore from different places,  and that’s exactly what I will be doing!

Accompanied by many striking illustrations, each story features a theme – growing old, changes in the world we live in, grief, temptation – from the point of view of the women involved and I loved how that made you look at each story so differently.  The role of a woman and how that changes over time and how others see her, and it really gives you so much to think about. 

There are also notes at the back of the book which give the outline of the original folklore story which helps give extra meaning to the story if you’ve not heard of it before, and that was invaluable! I think fairy stories have a special place in all our hearts and as we get older we end up discovering the different layers to each story that we may have missed while reading as a child which helps give them that longevity, along with the memories they also bring back and that is always a wonderful part of reading – to rediscover and learn!  Having stories re-written like these brings about a new audience and new meaning to stories, and I’m glad to have spent time reading this and look forward to reading more from this author!

★★★★★