#BlogTour The Witch of Willow Hall by Hester Fox #BookReview @HQDigitalUK

Happy Halloween!!! Delighted to be part of this ghostly Blog Tour – my thanks to the author and publisher, HQ for letting me be part of it all!

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The must-have historical read for the autumn, perfect for fans of A Discovery of Witches and Outlander.

Years after the Salem witch trials one witch remains. She just doesn’t know it… yet.

Growing up Lydia Montrose knew she was descended from the legendary witches of Salem but was warned to never show the world what she could do and so slowly forgot her legacy. But Willow Hall has awoken something inside her…

1821: Having fled family scandal in Boston Willow Hall seems an idyllic refuge from the world, especially when Lydia meets the previous owner of the house, John Barrett.

But a subtle menace haunts the grounds of Willow Hall, with strange voices and ghostly apparitions in the night, calling to Lydia’s secret inheritance and leading to a greater tragedy than she could ever imagine.

Can Lydia confront her inner witch and harness her powers or is it too late to save herself and her family from the deadly fate of Willow Hall?

‘Steeped in Gothic eeriness it’s spine-tingling and very atmospheric.’

Nicola Cornick, author of The Phantom Tree

‘With its sense of creeping menace… this compelling story had me gripped from the first page… ’
Linda Finlay, author of The Flower Seller
‘The Witch of Willow Hall is so spookily good I feel haunted by it. It was literally the first thing on my mind when I opened my eyes this morning. I absolutely loved it from start to finish’
Sarah Bennett, author of the Butterfly Cove series
 
Published by HQ
 
Purchase Links
 
 
 
 
 
MY REVIEW
 
Prepared to be spooked!!  I was completely entranced by the story of Lydia and her family as they are forced to move to Willow Hall after a scandal.  But the past isn’t easily outrun and soon catches up with them again!
 
Lydia is such a fascinating character. And the relationship she shares with her sister Catherine is very relatable – they bicker, there is jealousy – it’s very easy to be #TeamLydia as a reader!!  But the relationship with her younger sister Emmeline is very sweet and endearing.  
 
With very little to in this new town, the villagers tell the girls of the haunting past of Willow Hall and when strange things begin to happen around the house and outside, then things start to get a little freaky for Lydia and not all of it she is able to control.
 
Their father has moved to the area for business reasons and his business partner, John Barrett, is a little shocked to find out he has a family.  He has a past with the house and as you learn more about events from his past then things turn darker, and the significance of things happening now begin to make a little more sense.
 
With Catherine desperate to marry, and dark secrets of the family and their new home – both past and present – coming to light there is so much more that draws you into this chilling story and it was the perfect read for this time of year!  A wonderful debut!
 
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#BookReview The Coffin Path by Katherine Clements #ripxiii

About the book

The Coffin Path is an eerie and compelling seventeenth-century ghost story set on the dark wilds of the Yorkshire moors. For fans of Michelle Paver and Sarah Waters, this gothic tale will weave its way into your imagination and chill you to the bone.

Maybe you’ve heard tales about Scarcross Hall, the house on the old coffin path that winds from village to moor top. They say there’s something up here, something evil.

Mercy Booth isn’t afraid. The moors and Scarcross are her home and lifeblood. But, beneath her certainty, small things are beginning to trouble her. Three ancient coins missing from her father’s study, the shadowy figure out by the gatepost, an unshakeable sense that someone is watching.

When a stranger appears seeking work, Mercy reluctantly takes him in. As their stories entwine, this man will change everything. She just can’t see it yet.

Published by Headline Review

Purchase Links

Hive.co.uk

Waterstones

Book Depository

MY REVIEW

Creepy, chilling and compelling! That’s how I’d sum up this dark tale from Katherine Clements!

You can’t get a better setting than an old house set on the moors and that is where you’ll find Scarcross Hall, which is home to Mercy and her father. The moors are all she’s ever known and she’ll do whatever it takes to keep her family there despite the hostile surroundings, and when lambs from their flock start being found horrifically slaughtered the rumours begin again that dark times are set to follow, as they had done many years earlier to a previous family.

Things begin to go missing from her home, there are strange noises, ghostly figures watching over her – is she losing her mind or are these things really happening? With the arrival of a stranger, Ellis, he joins the family to help work on the land and this doesn’t go down too well with those already working there. He is an enigmatic character but proves his worth when times turn darker.

There are so many interesting characters to follow in this story – Mercy is a strong female who thinks she can face everything alone and doesn’t like to be proved wrong, but shows her softer side when dealing with young Sam who has his own tragic past. Her father is not a well man and has many secrets, his housekeeper Agnes doing her best to keep the household together, and the mysterious Ellis. I loved how the story flowed – the horrific slaughter of the lambs happened so randomly but the rumours of the dark past of the moors quickly filled the villagers with fear and Mercy is left to try and figure out why this is happening – is it something she’s done? Is the land cursed?

I really enjoyed this despite the unsettling feeling you got to share along with Mercy and the others. It’s full of folklore and amidst the bleak setting of the moors it really sets the story up as one where you can’t turn the pages quick enough to find out what will happen next!! A perfect halloween read!!

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The Silent Companions by Laura Purcell #BookReview

THE BLURB

Inspired by the work of Shirley Jackson and Susan Hill and set in a crumbling country mansion, The Silent Companions is an unsettling gothic ghost story to send a shiver down the spine…

Newly married, newly widowed Elsie is sent to see out her pregnancy at her late husband’s crumbling country estate, The Bridge.

With her new servants resentful and the local villagers actively hostile, Elsie only has her husband’s awkward cousin for company. Or so she thinks. But inside her new home lies a locked room, and beyond that door lies a two-hundred-year-old diary and a deeply unsettling painted wooden figure – a Silent Companion – that bears a striking resemblance to Elsie herself..

Published by  Raven Books

BUYING LINKS

About the Author

A former Waterstones bookseller, Laura is now a full time author of chilling Gothic fiction. Her ghost story THE SILENT COMPANIONS was published by Bloomsbury Raven in October 2017 and will be followed by THE CORSET in 2018.

Laura has also blogged extensively about the Hanoverian monarchy. Her biopic novels QUEEN OF BEDLAM and MISTRESS OF THE COURT are the first in a series covering the lives and loves of the Georgian era queens.

Twitter – @spookypurcell

MY REVIEW

If you are looking for a stunning, chilling read then look no further! I was drawn to this by the exquisite cover – it’s beautiful – and the story inside was just as beautiful in the most creepy, unsettling manner! It’s one of those books that makes you sleep with one eye open and noticing anything out of place.. did I really leave that cupboard open? I don’t remember putting that there……. seriously spooky!!

This book is set in the 1600’s and 1800’s and centres around a mansion named The Bridge, and features two women – Elsie who is in an asylum unable to speak as she recovers from a traumatic event, and Anne whose diary we read from back in the 1600’s when the Silent Companions are introduced to the household. The Dr at the asylum is completely fascinated by Elsie and her silence and gets her to write down what she can’t say and this is when we get to ‘hear’ her story of what happened after she ended up living at The Bridge after the death of her husband. The distressing events that then follow her time living there are expertly crafted and written in such a way that you are experiencing the isolation, the fear, the terror and every alarming event with the character. 

Elsie only has her husband’s awkward cousin for company when she moves to The Bridge. Or so she thinks. For inside her new home lies a locked room, and beyond that door lies a two-hundred-year-old diary and a deeply unsettling painted wooden figure – a Silent Companion – that bears a striking resemblance to Elsie herself… Even the locals are wary of the house so refuse to work there and Elsie wants to try and understand why there is such fear of her new home. The events she witnesses leave her wondering if she is losing her mind but help explain the terror of those living nearby.

As the pasts of both characters reveal disturbing events you are often unsure how the story will play out, and there were a number of shocking twists that took my breath away! I’m not normally a big fan of spooky stories (yes I’m a wimp!) , but this was so well written and beautifully set out that I was gripped and I loved the dark vibes and the many creepy moments!

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