#BookReview The Coming of the Spirits by Rob Keeley

About the book

The final book in the award-winning Spirits series. 

Sequel to High Spirits – Georgina Hawtrey-Woore Award winner 2018. 

Rob Keeley is back with the fifth and final instalment in his award-winning Spirits series. The series allows young people to learn more about other times, as well as the time in which they live.

“Nazis alone were dangerous enough, but Nazis with the powers of ghosts… of evil spirits…” 

Britain. The present day. The world we know. Ruled by the Nazis. 
Victorian England. Edward Fitzberranger is soon to become ill and die. But could there be another way? 
The Middle Ages. Sir Francis Fitzberranger is about to marry… but finds himself shifted in time. 

The barrier into the spirit world is finally breaking down and no one in the mortal world is safe. History must be set back on course and prophecies fulfilled. The Grand Defender is needed. 

As Ellie works with an underground resistance movement and with the spirit world too, she is about to discover her true destiny…

Published by Troubador

Purchase Links

Troubador Bookshop

Amazon UK

Book depository

waterstones

MY REVIEW

The boundary of the spirit world is broken – and what a way to finish this fun and educational supernatural series!

The action in The Coming of the Spirits is fast paced and full of intrigue as Ellie prepares to right the wrongs of history being changed by her previous encounters with times gone by! And she gets to meet up with old friends as well as make new allies as she faces up to some troubling times.

I came to this series late but have enjoyed every step along the way as the author has mixed great storytelling with learning about various times in history so well. You end up becoming fully invested in the character of Ellie as she faces challenging decisions, and I have to admit that I may have even shed a tear with certain events in this book! I loved the mix of jumping back to various timelines, with Ellie dealing with her own personal issues with her family and the scary prospect of aging 2 years every night!! Time definitely does fly in this book!

There’s so much for children to learn and take from this series in general, and it’s a perfect book for parents to enjoy with them as The Coming of the Spirits is full of pulsating action and touches of humour to lighten some serious issues and developments. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed spending time with Ellie, her family and all the characters that became her friends over the years!



My thanks to the author and publisher for sending a copy of the book my way in return for a fair and honest review.

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#BookReview A House of Ghosts by W.C Ryan

About the book

A gripping mystery with a classic feel: And Then There Were None meets The Silent Companions.

Winter 1917. As the First World War enters its most brutal phase, back home in England, everyone is seeking answers to the darkness that has seeped into their lives.

At Blackwater Abbey, on an island off the Devon coast, Lord Highmount has arranged a spiritualist gathering to contact his two sons who were lost in the conflict. But as his guests begin to arrive, it gradually becomes clear that each has something they would rather keep hidden. Then, when a storm descends on the island, the guests will find themselves trapped. Soon one of their number will die.

For Blackwater Abbey is haunted in more ways than one . .
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An unrelentingly gripping mystery packed with twists and turns, A House of Ghosts is the perfect chilling read this winter.

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Almost unbearably creepy and beautifully written’ Liz Nugent, bestseller author of LYING IN WAIT

‘A splendid tale of wartime skullduggery, featuring both kinds of spooks – perfect fireside reading’ Mick Herron, CWA Gold Dagger Award Winning author of DEAD LIONS

‘Hugely enjoyable, A House of Ghosts has the bones of a taut thriller wrapped up in the gorgeous romance of its ghostly island setting’ Jane Casey

‘Perfect for a dark and stormy evening: a truly creepy and ingenious ghost story and murder mystery with an irresistible setting’ Ragnar Jonasson

Published by Zaffre

Publication Date – 4th October 2018

Pre-order links

hive.co.uk  £9.95

waterstones  £12.99

Goldsboro Books – signed first edition  £12.99

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MY REVIEW

This is an eerie and engrossing story set against the backdrop of The First World War, and featuring the imposing Blackwater Abbey where Lord Highmount has lived for many years with his family, and has now invited a select few to join him for a weekend to contact the spirits so he and his wife can reconnect with those he has lost.


I knew very little of this book going in, other than it has a stunning and striking cover, and within a few pages I found myself captivated by the setting of this home sitting on an Island off the Devon Coast, and the mixture of characters who all found themselves heading there for a paranormal weekend. The story is mainly told from the points of view of Lord Highmount, Kate and Donovan who have their own very mysterious backgrounds of which you learn more about as the story unfolds.

Kate is such a fascinating character. Working in intelligence,she is selected by her boss to go on this weekend to gain some valuable knowledge from some of the other guests, alongside her ex fiancee! Not a ideal set up! She has a history with the Highmount family too so that makes it an even more difficult task for her to complete. She is being looked after by another interesting character, Donovan, who is also there to oversee the goings on but from the servants side of things. They find they soon have more to investigate when one of the party is killed!

Kate also has the ability to see ghosts so while she is at Blackwater Abbey she is continually seeing things that others don’t and this adds another intriguing element to the mix in this story! It really blends the mix of the supernatural, history and mystery so well together. It’s one of those books that you can form your own opinion on a variety of characters as you read, working out who is trustworthy and who to be wary of. I know I was proved wrong on a number of occasions as to who I trusted!

The seances seem to change the sceptics minds amongst them but it also sets off a chain of darker events and this keeps you with that very unsettled feeling as you read. It’s one of those books that you read that really draws you into that world, as if you’re a fly on the wall overseeing all that happens around you and I loved the escapism that this story helps create. A really enjoyable read!

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My thanks to the publisher and Readers First for the advanced reading copy in return for a fair and honest review.

RIP XIII – The Reading Challenge

It’s that time of year when I start thinking about reading some of the scarier titles on my bookshelves, and thanks to Jessie at Dwell In Possibility I have been made aware of the RIP 13 challenge! One I’d never heard of before but it sounds perfect and lots of fun!  Hosted by Readers Imbibing Peril, this is the 13th year they’ve hosted the RIP challenge and it’s as simple as this;

The purpose of the R.I.P. Challenge is to enjoy books that could be classified as:

Mystery.
Suspense.
Thriller.
Dark Fantasy.
Gothic.
Horror.
Supernatural.
The emphasis is never on the word challenge, instead it is about coming together as a community and embracing the autumnal mood, whether the weather is cooperative where you live or not.

The goals are simple. 

1. Have fun reading.

2. Share that fun with others.

There are no set targets so you can join in as much or as little as you want – that sounds like my kind of challenge! So here’s a look at some of the books I’ve picked out to hopefully pick up between now and the end of October when the challenge finishes! Click on the title for a link to the GoodReads page!

The Puppet Show by M.W.Craven

The Cliff House by Amanda Jennings

Revival by Stephen King

The Coffin Path by Katherine Clements

Julius Winsome by Gerard Donovan

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Have you read any of these?! I just hope they won’t be too dark and scary! I’m sure there may be some other additions to my list along the way – we will see where my RIP13 path takes me!

#BlogTour The Cheesemaker’s House by Jane Cable #BookReview

Delighted to be the latest stop on the Blog Tour for this fabulous read!  My thanks to the author, publisher and Rachel or Rachel’s Random Resources for letting me be part of it all

Just think, Alice, right now Owen could be putting a hex on you!

When Alice Hart’s husband runs off with his secretary, she runs off with his dog to lick her wounds in a North Yorkshire village. Battling with loneliness but trying to make the best of her new start, she soon meets her neighbours, including the drop-dead gorgeous builder Richard Wainwright and the kindly yet reticent cafe´ owner, Owen Maltby.

As Alice employs Richard to start renovating the barn next to her house, all is not what it seems. Why does she start seeing Owen when he clearly isn’t there? Where – or when – does the strange crying come from? And if Owen is the village charmer, what exactly does that mean?

The Cheesemaker’s House is a gripping read, inspired by a framed will found in the dining room of the author’s dream Yorkshire house. The previous owners explained that the house had been built at the request of the village cheesemaker in 1726 – and that the cheesemaker was a woman. And so the historical aspect of the story was born.

Jane Cable’s novel won the Suspense & Crime category of The Alan Titchmarsh Show People’s Novelist competition, reaching the last four out of over a thousand entries. The Cheesemaker’s House can be enjoyed by anyone who has become bored of today’s predictable boy-meets-girl romance novels.

“I desperately want to find out about Owen; a fascinating character… the gift here is to make you want to read on.”

Jeffrey Archer

                                                           

Purchase Links

Amazon

Waterstones

Kobo

 iBook

About the Author

Although brought up in Cardiff, Jane Cable left Wales to study at the age of eighteen and has lived in England ever since. Her father was Anglo-Welsh poet Mercer Simpson so growing up in a house full of books Jane always read – and wrote. In 2011 she started to take her hobby seriously when The Cheesemaker’s House, which became her debut novel, reached the final of The Alan Titchmarsh Show’s People’s Novelist competition. She writes romance with a twist of mystery which has been published independently and through the UK ebook giant, Endeavour Press. Jane is an active member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and a director of Chindi Authors.

In 2017 Jane moved to Cornwall and this year will become a full time author. She’s passionate about her new home, cricket, travelling and her husband of 22 years – although not necessarily in that order.

Social Media Links – 

Website: http://janecable.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JaneCable

Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/romanticsuspensenovels/

MY REVIEW

I found this to be a really enjoyable mix of drama, supernatural, history and romance – a little bit of something for everybody!

The story was inspired by a framed will in the dining room of the authors’ dream Yorkshire home, and it has led to a fascinating story full of domestic drama and eerie goings on!

Alice Hart is beginning her life again since her husband ran off with his secretary, so Alice and her dog move up to Yorkshire where their retirement property is to become her new home. It needs quite a bit of renovation but she’s willing to take that challenge on and finds a local builder to help.

She soon settles into village life and becomes a frequent visitor to a small local cafe, and becomes a little transfixed by the owner Owen. He soon becomes central to her life, but not in the way that you think! She keeps seeing him in different places, but then he’s gone! Is her mind playing tricks on her?

Life in her new home also has an unsettling atmosphere as she keeps hearing crying but is unsure where the noise is coming from. A chance discovery in the barn she is renovating soon brings some clarity to events though.

I really enjoyed the gentle pace of this story and the short chapters. It was the perfect read for a sunny afternoon, but would work just as well as a rainy day read!

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Little Pink Taxi by Marie Laval #BookReview #PublicationDay

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THE BLURB

Take a ride with Love Taxis, the cab company with a Heart …
Rosalie Heart is a well-known face in Irlwick – well, if you drive a bright pink taxi and your signature style is a pink anorak, you’re going to draw a bit of attention! But Rosalie’s company Love Taxis is more than just a gimmick – for many people in the remote Scottish village, it’s a lifeline.

Which is something that Marc Petersen will never understand. Marc’s ruthless approach to business doesn’t extend to pink taxi companies running at a loss. When he arrives in Irlwick to see to a new acquisition – Raventhorn, a rundown castle – it’s apparent he poses a threat to Rosalie’s entire existence; not just her business, but her childhood home too.

On the face of it Marc and Rosalie should loathe each other, but what they didn’t count on was somebody playing cupid …

 

Publication date;  20th February 2018

Publisher;  Choc Lit

Book Links

Choc Lit website

iBooks

Amazon UK

Kobo

Google Play Books

GoodReads

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MY REVIEW

It isn’t difficult to take this book to your heart from the first few pages of this fabulous romantic comedy! Rosalie Heart is the kind of character that is so easy to love and her Taxi firm ‘Love Taxis’ are a godsend to the community where she lives.  And what’s not to love about a bright pink taxi ferrying you from A to B?!

Those who aren’t from the community find the Taxis a little odd, and that is exactly what Marc Petersen fails to connect with as he finds himself in the area.    He is there to take over the run down Raventhorn Castle, much to the shock of those who live there – Rosalie being one of them.  It comes as a bolt out of the blue to her as it’s more than a home to her, it is her life and having grown up there she feels a deep bond to the place and knew nothing of the financial issues behind it.

Rosalie and Marc get off to a very bumpy start and that isn’t helped when she tells him of local ghostly legends – he is quick to dismiss them but soon finds himself seeing things which he can’t explain.  It doesn’t take long before he becomes seduced by the charm of the castle and the community, which surprises him as he’s from the cutthroat business world and doesn’t normally get attached to things.  With him, it’s all about the money!  He doesn’t even want to be there as he’s only tying up the loose ends of his late fathers’ dealings and still can’t understand how he ended up owning a Castle in the first place.

This book has a little bit of everything in it and that is what kept me so engrossed! There’s romance, history, a supernatural element, mystery – the perfect mix of genres!  The characters are so easy to relate to, especially Rosalie who has a heart of gold and is always putting the needs of others ahead of her own.  Her affection for the Castle is also really touching and how she’s determined to show off  to others the good that she sees and how vital her business is and how the Castle is more than just a historic setting – it’s her home.

A treat of  read! Highly recommended!

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The Hoarder by Jess Kidd #bookreview

THE BLURB

Maud Drennan – underpaid carer and unintentional psychic – is the latest in a long line of dogsbodies for the ancient, belligerent Cathal Flood. Yet despite her best efforts, Maud is drawn into the mysteries concealed in his filthy, once-grand home. She realises that something is changing: Cathal, and the junk-filled rooms, are opening up to her.

With only her agoraphobic landlady and a troop of sarcastic ghostly saints to help, Maud must uncover what lies beneath Cathal’s decades-old hostility, and the strange activities of the house itself. And if someone has hidden a secret there, how far will they go to ensure it remains buried?

Publishing Date;  February 1st 2018

Publisher;  Canongate Books

Author Twitter Link;  @JessKiddHerself

Pre-order Links;

Amazon UK   £14.99 H/B

Hive.co.uk – buy online and support your local bookstore  £10.25 H/B

Book Depository   £13.41  H/B

Waterstones  £14.99  H/B

MY REVIEW

Where do I even begin??!! I loved Himself and it made it on to my Top Books of 2017, so I’ve been so eager to read this and was lucky to have been sent an early copy from the publisher.  

  I just couldn’t put this down!! I read it in one sitting!!  That pretty much tells you my thoughts on this book!  I frigging loved it!!  It made me laugh, it made me cry, it even made me forget to breathe at times as the tension started to build and the mysteries began to be revealed!  A pretty comprehensive and perfect reading experience all wrapped up in one book!!

It starts off quite quietly as we get acquainted with Maud Drennan who has the unenviable job of ‘helping’ the prickly Mr Flood who has a serious hoarding problem.  Of course he doesn’t see it as a problem so does all he can to prove as unhelpful as humanly possible, but there is something slightly different about Maud who doesn’t flinch at the abuse he throws her way, and Cathal Flood slowly responds to her in the way where others have given up and  been forced out.  During their time together he starts to share stories and opens up to her.  Maud has her own secrets too and she becomes fascinated by the stories she hears, and the house itself begins to give up its’ secrets as she clears things out and she finds herself involved in mysteries going back many years.

Maud also shares the stories she hears with her landlady, the wonderful Renata who is agoraphobic, and the ghostly Saints that follow Maud wherever she goes, and a world of intrigue soon opens up that maybe they should have left well alone. Even the Saints warn her off from exploring more – if only she listened to them!!

All the characters in this book were so different and complex but lovable in their own special ways.  Maud had her own difficult and secretive past and that was quite obvious at times, but that helped her put on a front especially when she first entered the world of Cathal.  Renata is a delight to read about – the way she took on trying to solve the mysteries was hilarious and there were many touching scenes involving her where it was obvious how much Maud and her were devoted to each other.  And as for Cathal, despite his abuse and prickly demeanour, you get to see different sides to him through his concern for a fox, his hatred for his son and the sadness over losses he has suffered over the years.

This book had it all for me – it was so cleverly paced so there were never any dips in where the story was heading, and it just had me captivated from start to finish!  I became so attached to all the characters that I’ve not really stopped thinking about them since I put the book down so can’t wait to pick this up again and enjoy all the dark humour, mystery, supernatural twists and human drama all over again!! More please Jess!!

Thank you to the publishers and author for the advanced reading copy in return for a fair and honest review.

Himself by Jess Kidd #bookreview

THE BLURB

When Mahony returns to Mulderrig, a speck of a place on Ireland’s west coast, he brings only a photograph of his long-lost mother and a determination to do battle with the village’s lies.

His arrival causes cheeks to flush and arms to fold in disapproval. No one in the village – living or dead – will tell what happened to the teenage mother who abandoned him as a baby, despite Mahony’s certainty that more than one of them has answers.

Buy your copy;

Amazon UK

Hive.co.uk – buy online and support your local bookstore

Book Depository

Author Website

Follow the author on Twitter

MY REVIEW

I have just given myself a stern telling off for taking so long to pick this book up off my shelves!! From the dark opening, to the captivating characters, to the magical setting and supernatural goings on and the mystery at the heart of the story, this has gone straight onto my list as one of my favourite reads of 2017!!

It is going to be difficult to sum this story up in a review as it has a little bit of everything in it! Elements of mystery, violence, supernatural, magical, historical and dark wit are throughout this story and I loved every minute of it! One of those books where you are conflicted as you want to race through it and find out what happens, but you are then loathe to get to the end as you just want to stay within the world created!

The simple way of describing this story is that Mahony returns to the village to find out what happened to his mother. Did she leave the town as the villagers thought or was she murdered? His mother wasn’t well liked and you feel like many villagers aren’t being honest with their take on what happened. But Mahony gets help from Mrs Cauley – I loved her!! – who has lived in the village for many years and understands his special gift along with wanting to stick her nose in and get to the bottom of the murkier side of the village. She doesn’t suffer fools gladly and isn’t afraid to say what she thinks. Would love to read a book just about her too!!

There is a great feeling of dark humour throughout which does lend itself perfectly to lightening the mood of what is often quite a serious storyline. The story flits between the timelines of 1976 when Mahony turns up, and back to the late 1940’s and the story of his mother and how life was for her and what she got up to that enraged some of the locals so much.

Full of such fascinating characters and a truly magical storyline, I highly recommend this to everyone looking for a story that is so different and covers all genres!!

Do you get the impression that I loved reading this?! Have you read it?!  Hope you thought the same as me if you did!!

HAPPY READING!!

Watch for me by Moonlight by Kirsty Ferry #bookreview

THE BLURB

“It was the first full moon since that night. She waited and watched by moonlight, as she had promised …”

When her life in London falls apart, Elodie Bright returns to Suffolk and to Hartsford Hall, the home of her childhood friend Alexander Aldrich, now the Earl of Hartsford. There, she throws herself into helping Alex bring a new lease of life to the old house and its grounds.

After a freak storm damages the Hall chapel and destroys the tomb of Georgiana Kerridge, one of Alex’s eighteenth-century relatives, Elodie and Alex find a connection in the shocking discovery brought to light by the damaged tomb.

Through a series of strange flashbacks and uncanny incidents, they begin to piece together Georgiana’s secret past involving a highwayman, a sister’s betrayal and a forbidden love so strong that it echoes through the ages …

Publisher Choc Lit

Amazon UK  99p

Kobo  99p

Google Books  £1.19

iBooks  99p

Kirsty Ferry Amazon Page

MY REVIEW

This is another fabulous supernatural read from Kirsty Ferry that I adored from start to finish!

Elodie is returning to her past, a long way from her current high flying position in London, but it doesn’t take her long to settle back into life in Hartsford. She teams up with her friend Alex who is in the process of trying to revitalise his childhood home, Hartsford Hall, into a tourist destination and bring life back to the old house and gardens, and raise some much needed funds!

After a storm devastates the local church, Elodie and Alex find the tomb of his ancestor, Georgina Kerridge, in ruins but that is not all they find, and the past soon becomes to materialise and we get the fascinating flashbacks to Georgianas’ life through Elodie and her secrets are brought to life in amazing detail.

I really enjoyed this novel! The set up and story line were fascinating and all the characters were extremely likable so you had instant empathy with their experiences. Great mix of the historical and romance genres – the perfect blend and not too OTT on the romance front which just felt natural. I thought it was beautifully written and captured the emotions so well. Really intriguing to delve into the past this way, through touching items and how history seemed to be repeating itself.

A captivating read!!

Thank you to the author and publishers for the advanced reading copy in return for a fair and honest review!

Snow Sisters by Carol Lovekin #bookreview

THE BLURB

Two sisters, their grandmother’s old house and Angharad… the girl who cannot leave.

Meredith discovers a dusty sewing box in a disused attic. Once open the box releases the ghost of Angharad, a Victorian child-woman with a horrific secret she must share. Angharad slowly reveals her story to Meredith who fails to convince her more pragmatic sister of the visitations until Verity sees Angharad for herself on the eve of an unseasonal April snowstorm.

Forced by her flighty mother to abandon Gull House for London, Meredith struggles to settle, still haunted by Angharad and her little red flannel hearts. This time, Verity is not sure she will be able to save her…

Two parallel coming of age stories – one tragic, the other holding out the hope of salvation.

Amazon UK

Hive.co.uk – buy online and support your local bookstore

PUBLISHER  Honno Press

About the Author Carol Lovekin

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MY REVIEW

Once again, Carol Lovekin has created a novel of lyrical beauty that sweeps you along, enthralls and delights in equal measures! Having read her previous work, Ghostbird, and adored that I was eagerly awaiting the release of Snow Sisters – and I’ve not been disappointed!!

This is a story that focuses on ghosts – of the living and the dead. It also features heavily the complexities of female relationships, be they mothers, daughters or sisters and how even the bond of family blood can be tested and pushed to the limits.

At the heart of the story is Gull House – home to Verity, Meredith, Allegra their mother, and their grandmother. Their home is their world but there is a ghost from the path whose prescence soon consumes their world and her story is heartbreaking.

Having the timeline interspersed with the harrowing story of Angharad – the sad, mad girl as she was known in the village at the time – was so poignant and heartbreaking. Her suffering and torment is felt deeply by the reader as her life story and thoughts are revealed, and the connection she has to the living sisters is beautifully captured. There is much that is ugly in this story from the behaviour of the sisters’ mother, to the brother of Angharrad, but it never distracts from the overall magical/supernatural feel to the book.


The story is told in 3 parts, and I loved the switch from the past to the present with Meredith and Verity and how their lives were entwined with Gull House and that pull it had over them. The writing style is stunning once more and that really helps the characters and settings stick with me as a reader and i just adored it from start to finish!!

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If you haven’t read anything by this author before I can highly recommend this book  along with her previous book Ghostbird – click the link if you’d like to read my GoodReads review where I wax lyrical about how much I enjoyed that story too!! 

HAPPY READING!!