A great queen loses a ring. Hundreds of years later a ring slips onto the paw of a young mole. The mole grows to be a wise and trusted leader of Gilly Wood and all the animals that live there. But a great threat is coming. Can one small mole save a whole valley? Mole sets out to do just that with friends he makes along the way and the strange thing on his paw…
The Ring Of Gilly Wood is available now in ebook and paperback now. You can purchase your copy of either using the link below.
The Ring Of Gilly Wood is an enchanting and magical read that manages to be both heartwarming and heartbreaking at the same time.
The author does a great job of making her characters and setting come to life. I loved the descriptions of the forest and wished I could visit it to meet everyone. My son felt the same and keeps asking to visit the woods opposite us to see if they are there.
There are a lot of subtle messages included into the text regarding how people should treat their friends, nature and how it’s nice to be kind to each other. I felt this would make it a wonderful book to have in schools as it could help to lead to lots of discussions.
The story is surprisingly fast and I found that I was quickly involved in the story. There are a few scenes which are quite poignant and I think some young readers might struggle with. My son is six and got upset at some parts asking me to stop reading at one point as he didn’t like it. I’m not sure what age the story is aimed at but it’s probably meant to be for slightly older children then my son anyway.
Overall I really enjoyed this book and hope that it becomes a firm hit with children. One of the other reviews I’ve read has compared it to Watership Down which I think is accurate especially for the friendships that exist between the animals. It isn’t nearly as brutal though!
This is the first book I’ve read by this author and I’ll definitely like to read more from her in the future, though I might wait a bit to share them with my son again!
Huge thanks to Rachel from Rachel’s Random resources for my copy of this book and for inviting me onto the blog tour.
About The Author:
Ruth was born on a hot August day on a farm in Sussex. Her English teacher once made her write a story about wasps after one landed on her during a lesson. She still hates wasps but she loves writing. Ruth now lives in Kent with her family and their strange dog.
One suicide. One cold-blooded murder. Are they connected? And who’s really pulling the strings in the small Swedish town of Gavrik?
Black Grimberg liquorice coins cover the murdered man’s eyes. The hashtag #Ferryman starts to trend as local people stock up on ammunition.
Tuva Moodyson, deaf reporter at the local paper, has a fortnight to investigate the deaths before she starts her new job in the south. A blizzard moves in. Residents, already terrified, feel increasingly cut-off. Tuva must go deep inside the Grimberg factory to stop the killer before she leaves town for good. But who’s to say the Ferryman will let her go?
Red Snow is available in ebook and hardback now. You can purchase your copy of both using the link below.
I heard lots of great things about Will’s debut novel Dark Pines so I was thrilled to be invited to be on the blog tour for his second book Red Snow. I was definitely not disappointed as I really enjoyed this fast paced, intriguing mystery.
The main character, Tuva, was a fascinating one whose deafness helps add an usual twist to the story. From the first pages it is evident that she is a very strong, capable women who is obviously very good at her job. I enjoyed reading about her quick mind and her even quicker wit which made me smile at times. She doesn’t let things lie or accept what other people tell her which I admired, though there were a few times I wanted to shout at her to stop!
The author cleverly uses the cold environment to help create tension throughout the book. The knowledge that snow can help cover tracks and muffle sound is mentioned at the beginning and adds an edge to the story as I felt that anything could happen at any time. There were a few points where I was certain something was going to happen so when it did I actually jumped.
The family at the centre of the story were fascinating and very mysterious. From the first mention of them with their strange hobbies and collections I was intrigued, wanting to know more about them. They also help add a chilling element to the story as they are a bit of an unknown and I wasn’t sure what to make of them to be honest, or sure what they were capable of.
The story starts of a bit slow but soon gathers pace and becomes almost impossible to put down. The author weaves fascinating information about Swedish culture into the story which I felt helped add to the story as it gave you more of a feeling of the setting for the book.
This is the first book I’ve read by this author and I’ve already ordered his debut novel. If you like clever, fast paced Swedish noir you’ll love this book!
Huge thanks to Anne Cater for inviting me onto the blog tour and for my copy of this book.
About The Author:
Will Dean grew up in the East Midlands, living in nine different villages before the age of eighteen. After studying law at the LSE, and working many varied jobs in London, he settled in rural Sweden with his wife. He built a wooden house in a boggy forest clearing and it’s from this base that he compulsively reads and writes.
Berkshire, 1944 When Will Bates offers to take ATA pilot Lilian Miles to the dance, he sends her heart into a flutter. But as their relationship progresses, Lilian can’t help but get cold feet. Deep down she’s always known that the secrets locked in her past would weigh heavily on her future happiness…
London, 2018 Helena Miles loves nothing more than digging into the back stories of celebrity families, making her perfectly suited for her job as a researcher on the hit show Where Did You Come From?. But when handsome superstar Jack Jones sweeps into her life, she unexpectedly finds herself trawling through her own family history.
As she explores her family’s past, she discovers that there are far more secrets hidden there than she ever expected… What really happened to her aunt Lilian during the war, and why can’t she open up about it now?
An inspirational tale of sisterhood and strength, perfect for fans of Tracy Rees and Kathryn Hughes.
The Hidden Women is available in ebook now and paperback on the 7th February. You can purchase or pre-order your copy using the link below.
The Hidden Women is a fabulous dual timeline mystery telling the story of some truly courageous women which I thoroughly enjoyed!
The two timelines are both very interesting and well developed which is quite unusual for me as I normally find I favour one or the other. They both feature strong, independent women which I always enjoy and I found that I warmed to both Lilian and Helen as their story develops. I was perhaps slightly more drawn to Lilian as I felt that the time period her story was set in meant she had to go against society more. I also loved the secret service she carries out whilst working with the ATA as she helps women in need which society otherwise judged and forced them into horrendous situations.
The story is told in alternate chapters between Helen and Lilian with each character’s name clearly labelled on each chapter so the reader can’t get confused over whose story they are following. I felt it was quite an easy, absorbing read that drew me in from the first pages. The mystery surrounding what happens to Lilian is hinted at early on and was very intriguing so ensured that I kept reading as I needed to find out!
This is the first book I have read by this author and I’m very excited to read more from her in the future. If you like dual timeline stories set in WW2 with an intriguing mystery about an emotional subject then you’ll love this book.
Huge thanks to Izzy from HQ Stories for inviting me onto the blog tour and for my copy of this book via Netgalley.
About The Author:
Kerry Barrett is the author of eight novels, including the Strictly Come Dancing-themed A Step in Time, and The Girl in the Picture, about a crime novelist who solves a 160-year-old mystery.
Born in Edinburgh, Kerry moved to London as a child, where she now lives with her husband and two sons. A massive bookworm growing up, she used to save up her pocket money for weeks to buy the latest Sweet Valley High book, then read the whole story on the bus home and have to wait two months for the next one. Eventually she realised it would be easier to write her own stories…
Kerry’s years as a television journalist, reporting on EastEnders and Corrie, have inspired her novels where popular culture collides with a historical mystery. But there is no truth in the rumours that she only wrote a novel based on Strictly Come Dancing so she would be invited on to It Takes Two.
When she’s not practising her foxtrot (because you never know…), Kerry is watching Gilmore Girls, reading Jilly Cooper, researching her latest historical story, and hiding her massive collection of sparkly nail varnishes from her husband.
Good evening everyone I’m excited to be on the blog tour for The Liars Girl by Catherine Ryan Howard today and to have a great guest post to share. Apologies for the late post I e caught the kids sickness bug so I’ve been a little poorly today
The Liars Girl is available in all formats now and you can purchase your copy using the link below.
Before I share my guest post with you here is a little bit about the book.
Her first love confessed to five murders. But the truth was so much worse.
Dublin’s notorious Canal Killer, Will Hurley, is ten years into his life sentence when the body of a young woman is fished out of the Grand Canal. Though detectives suspect they are dealing with a copycat, they turn to Will for help. He claims he has the information the police need, but will only give it to one person – the girl he was dating when he committed his horrific crimes.
Alison Smith has spent the last decade abroad, putting her shattered life in Ireland far behind her. But when she gets a request from Dublin imploring her to help prevent another senseless murder, she is pulled back to face the past – and the man – she’s worked so hard to forget.
Use What You Know
‘Write what you know’ is a piece of writing advice that’s been around forever. I’d like to amend it slightly, if I may, to ‘use what you know’. When it came to writing my second thriller, The Liar’s Girl, I took as much as I could from my real life and repurposed it on the pages. I started, in the prologue, with the trauma that was my Search For Somewhere To Live in Dublin: Summer 2014.
At the start of that year, I had applied to study English as a mature student in Trinity College Dublin and, one day in May, I found out I’d got in. The balloon of my joy was quickly and unceremoniously popped by the task that I now realised was facing me: finding somewhere to live in Dublin, the ninth most expensive city in which to rent an apartment in the world (as of May 2018, the internet tells me).
After a few weeks fruitless searching from my desk in Cork, I decided to spend a day in Dublin, searching in person. Pickings were slim. The first place we looked at felt like where dreams go to die, and the shower was so tiny that you’d have had to do one limb at a time. It was the same price as my Cork apartment had been – and that had been about four times the size, and brand new. Reality was hitting me. Still, I held onto my optimism and headed to the only other viable option for a viewing that day. A studio apartment that was €50 under budget in Rathmines, close to the city centre and so perfect from getting to and from college. The tiny – suspiciously tiny, in hindsight – photo on the listing showed a bright, spacious living room/kitchen with a bed(room) on a mezzanine level.
I thought, how cute and quirky.
I should’ve been thinking, Gardaí discover more skeletal remains at ‘House of Horrors’.
My mother was with me. We spoke on the phone to the landlord, who was in another part of the country. He said his caretaker, who we’ll call Joe, would show us around the apartment.
At the address stood a red-brick, Victorian terrace house on a street of same. The little garden in front was a bit shabby-looking but besides that, it was quite the impressive pile. A man was working outside, sweating profusely through the pale grey material of his shirt. The shirt had stains on it that suggested he had sweated through it many times before. When he turned to us, I saw that his lips were so dry and cracked, they were bleeding. When he spoke he mumbled, mostly incoherently; I could barely understand what he was saying.
This was Joe.
He took us into the house and walked us up and down the stairs a bit, eventually showing us into one of the units inside. It was immediately clear that the ‘unit’ was actually a bedroom originally, that an en-suite and a kitchenette had been squeezed into. It was tiny, narrow and filled with furniture. You could reach the buttons on the microwave while you were lying in the bed.
‘Handy,’ my mother commented.
I threw her a look. I could not fit my whole world into one room even if it meant I could reheat pizza without getting out of bed. But… Maybe this was as good as it got for the budget I could afford. At least it was clean, and in good condition, and in a good location…
‘Oh,’ Joe said. ‘Sorry! This is the wrong one.’
He led us back down the stairs… and out the door, down the garden path, across the road and into a crime scene—I mean, a different house.
The first word that came to mind when we stepped through the door was dirty. Everything was. The carpet wasn’t laid but, instead, ragged sections of it had simply been placed on the floor. Around the edges, the bare floorboards were stained and dusty and both they and the carpet (bits) were in desperate need of a good hoovering.
My mother and I exchanged a glance.
Joe led us upstairs. It was a similar set-up to the first house, but more, ahem, units had been packed in here. Their doors weren’t proper doors, but thin, unpainted MDF. You wouldn’t need keys to get in here, a good shove of an elbow would do the job. Moreover, the units were packed in so tightly that the door Joe was opening for us now was only a foot, at most a foot and a half, away from the ‘unit’ opposite. My neighbour and I would not be able to enter or leave our homes at the same time – they’re just wasn’t room.
Once inside, I recognised the space from the picture online. But it was dim, grim and looked like an episode of Hoarders. The very beginning of the episode. There was stuff everywhere. And then, as we advanced into it, we realised there was someone here too – a groaning someone, just now waking up in his mezzanine bed and saying, ‘Who’s there?’
Joe hurried us back out into the hall – one at a time, because of the aforementioned proportions.
After a tour of the back garden, where various appliances had been left to rust, and the accidental inhaling of several pungent and/or suspicious smells, we reconvened in the hallway. My mother was horrified that instead of post-boxes, there were just open cubbyholes, but soon that was the least it. As we said our goodbyes, the resident of Apartment no. 1 emerged – half-dressed and sporting a frankly heinous case of pink eye.
‘Someday,’ I whispered to my mother, ‘we’ll see this place again – on the news.’
You can see it, and the other gems I viewed on my traumatic property search, in the pages of The Liar’s Girl. Which I wrote here at this desk, in my lovely apartment in Dublin which I’ve happily lived in for the past four years. I found it in the end. The rest, it turns out, was research.
CATHERINE RYAN HOWARD was born in Cork, Ireland, in 1982. Her debut thriller, DISTRESS SIGNALS, was an Irish Times and USA Today bestseller, and was shortlisted for the CWA John Creasey/New Blood Dagger 2017. Before writing full-time, she was a campsite courier in France, a travel administrator in the Netherlands and a front desk agent at a hotel in Walt Disney World, Florida. She is currently studying English at Trinity College Dublin and wants to be a NASA astronaut when she grows up. Her second thriller, THE LIAR’S GIRL, will be published in March 2018.
Riley Pieterson is an adventurous girl with lots of questions. There’s plenty she doesn’t know yet; what a human brain looks like. All the constellations in the night sky. Why others can’t see her the way she sees herself.
When Riley confides in her parents – Sally and Theo – that she feels uncomfortable in her own skin, a chain of events begins that changes their lives forever. Sally wants to support her daughter by helping her be who she dreams of being. Theo resists; he thinks Riley is a seven-year-old child pushing boundaries. Both believe theirs is the only way to protect Riley and keep her safe.
With the wellbeing of their child at stake, Sally and Theo’s relationship is pushed to breaking point. To save their family, each of them must look deeply at who they really are.
A story of a marriage in crisis and a child caught in the middle, this is a beautiful novel of parents and their children, and how far we’re prepared to go in the name of love.
This Child Of Ours is available now in ebook and paperback. The ebook is currently only £1.99. You can purchase a copy of both using the link below.
This Child Of Ours is a interesting and informative book about a very current topic.
I have to admit I wasn’t sure what my view was on gender dysphoria so I found this a fascinating book. The author is careful to show both sides of the argument never persuading the reader to one particular side but letting them decide for themselves. Some of the characters reactions, especially the grandparents, are quite shocking and it brought a tear to my eye whilst reading. There is a definite divide over who believed what which made it very interesting to read about.
Riley is a very sweet character that you can’t help but fall in love with. It made my heart break to read about all the discomfort she was feeling and people’s reactions to her beliefs. The split between the patent’s beliefs helped form the main divide in opinion as they both believed separate things. It was very sad to see how much of an impact the whole thing had on her.
The pace of the novel is quite slow which gives the reader lots of time to get to fully understand the family and the issues they are facing. It is a very emotional book and there were some parts of the book that were quite hard to read about. I think this would make a great book club book as there would be lots to discuss.
This is the author’s debut novel and I’m very excited to see what she comes up with next. As the blurb mentions I felt the style was similar to Jodi Picoult so cans of hers would definitely like this too.
Huge thanks to Millie from Little Brown for my copy of this book and for inviting me onto the blog tour. If you like fascinating, emotions books that explore an interesting topic then you’ll love this!
About The Author:
Sadie Pearse lives in north London with her husband and two young children. She worked as a book editor and creative mentor before starting to write full-time. She loves travelling, reading bedtime stories, ice cream, dancing salsa, and feeding ducks.
This Child of Ours is her first book writing as Sadie Pearse. She has also written four novels as Vanessa Greene, and five as Abby Clements, with rights sold in thirteen countries.
“Anyone who wishes David Nicholls would write faster needs to grab this with both hands.” Jill Mansell
An emotional page-turner with a heart-pounding dilemma. Fans of Jodi Picoult, David Nicholls and Jojo Moyes will love We Own The Sky.
Anna and Rob were the perfect couple with their whole lives in front of them. When beautiful baby boy Jack came along, their world seemed complete.
But when tragedy strikes they are faced with an impossible choice. They have one chance to save their child, but at what cost?
We Own The Sky is available now in all formats. Purchase your copy using the link below.
What an absolutely wonderful book this was! I so enjoyed this emotional read which manages to be both heartbreaking and heartwarming at the same time
The thing that most strikes you about this book is how real it feels. We’ve all heard stories about children struggling with cancer and the author manages to convey the struggle perfectly with his compassion leaping from the page. The author sadly had his own recent cancer battle and therefore understands exactly the emotions involved.
I loved the two main characters Rob and Anna who I thought were perfectly matched for each other, despite being very different. The story of how they met and fell in love is beautifully written and I so enjoyed watching it unfold. I was very involved in the story as I was so attached to the characters and therefore felt every twist acutely.
My favourite part of the book however was the wonderful descriptions of Rob’s close relationship with his father. It’s sadly unusual to read about such a close father son relationship and I thought this one was brilliantly portrayed leading to some of the most heart warming parts in the book. Having children of my own I could well imagine the scenes described and I had a tear in my eye whilst reading them.
This story is surprisingly gripping as the reader soon warms to the characters and wants to keep reading as they want to find out what happens to them. There are a few twists and turns but it’s the love for the characters that kept me reading.
This is unbelievably the author’s debut novel and I’m very excited to read more from him in the future. My heart normally sinks when I see author’s compared to Jodi Picoult but I feel this one is definitely justified as it’s similar in style and I felt it was incredibly good!
Huge thanks to Tracy Fenton for inviting me onto the blog tour and to Trapeze books for my copy of this book which is going on my keep forever shelf! If you like gripping, emotional books then you’ll love this book!
About The Author:
Luke Allnutt is the author of Unspoken, a Kindle Single about the death of his father. His debut novel, We Own The Sky, will be published by Orion (U.K.) and Harlequin/HarperCollins (U.S.) in 2018. He grew up in the U.K. and lives and works in Prague.
A story of Family, Rationing and Inconvenient Corpses.
Life in 1918 has brought loss and grief and hardship to the three Fyttleton sisters.
Helped only by their grandmother (a failed society belle and expert poacher) and hindered by a difficult suffragette mother, as well as an unruly chicken-stealing dog and a house full of paying guests, they now have to deal with the worrying news that their late – and unlamented – father may not be dead after all.
And on top of that, there’s a body in the ha-ha.
The Convalescent Corpse is available in ebook and paperback now. You can purchase a copy of both using the link below.
I’ve heard lots of great things about Nicola Slade’s writing, so I jumped at the chance to review her latest book, The Convalescent Corpse. Despite the title and cover picture this was a surprising funny book which was hugely enjoyable!
The story takes place in 1918 towards the end of ww1 where, sadly, Convalescent homes for soldiers injured on the front were needed. The author has clearly done her research as the setting for this novel really comes to life with all the little details the author includes into the story. I felt that I was transported back to 1918 with all the fear, anguish and weariness I can imagine went with the war and having an injured loved one.
The three Fyttleton sisters were absolutely brilliant characters who I loved to read about. They were all very individual characters and were all very charming in their own way. Combined though they are a fantastic force to be reckoned with and I adored how fun and quirky they were.
The actual mystery was well paced with lots of lots of action that kept me interested. Some of the events in the novel seemed quite realistic and made me even more invested in the story. The slow discovery of the murderer was well done and I though overall this was a fabulously told story.
This is the first book by this author I have read and I will definitely be reading more from her in the future! If you like fun, quirky cosy mysteries then you’ll love this book.
Huge thanks to Rachel from Rachel’s Random resources for my copy of this book and for inviting me onto the blog tour.
About The Author:
My ninth novel, ‘The Convalescent Corpse’, published by Crooked Cat Books, 20th November 2018, is a cosy historical mystery set in WW1. First review, from best-selling novelist Lesley Cookman: ” A delightfully unusual story from Nicola Slade.There is a mystery, or rather, more than one, but what really sets it apart is the wonderful characterisation and historical detail. A triumph.”
All my novels are set in or near Winchester or Romsey in Hampshire. My first novel was a romantic comedy, ‘Scuba Dancing’, published by Transita Ltd in 2005. After that I branched out into a series of Victorian mysteries: ‘Murder Most Welcome’,published by Robert Hale Ltd, featuring Charlotte Richmond, a young widow in the 1850s. The second of the series is ‘Death is the Cure’, and Charlotte’s third adventure is ‘The Dead Queen’s Garden’. All 3 republished in 2018 by Williams & Whiting.
My contemporary cosy mystery series features Harriet Quigley, a former headmistress, and her sidekick and cousin, Rev Sam Hathaway. They appear in’Murder Fortissimo’ and ‘A Crowded Coffin’ both republished 2018 by Williams & Whiting. Harriet’s third outing is ‘The Art of Murder’ published September 2016 by Endeavour Press. My eighth novel, the award-winning ‘The House at Ladywell’ a contemporary romantic novel with historical interludes, was published by Crooked Cat Books in November 2017, in ebook and paperback.
My novels have received praise for their humour and the eccentricity of some of the characters, as well as depth and sensitivity in the writing. I live in Hampshire with my husband and with family nearby and visiting often. I’m also an artist and have had paintings exhibited in various places, including the Southampton Art Gallery and at Mottisfont Abbey.
Find out more at my blog:www.nicolaslade.wordpress.com and my website:www.nicolaslade.com and find me on Twitter @nicolasladeuk
Meet Jasper a time-traveling super-ghost with a sense of humour; can he help to solve a 400-year-old mystery? And can he stop a coven of ancient Celtic witches from returning? In these eerie, historic, amusing paranormal stories.
The Pluckley Psychic Historical Society is based in Pluckley, Kent, the most haunted village in England. Its founding members are the noted academic, historian, and Cambridge scholar Winston Hatherton, the white witch Florence Dearden, and the celebrated medium Jocasta Bradman. They are assisted by an 18th-century super-ghost called Jasper Claxton, although none of the society members are aware that Jasper is a ghost. This is the third book in ‘The Ghost from the Molly-House’ series, and this book describes how the Psychic Historical Society was set up and goes back to the group’s first two official cases in 1919, just after the end of the first world war. The first story, ‘The Jewellery Box’ involves a 16th-century jewellery box made from precious metals, which is found buried in a garden and reveals a 400-year-old mystery. The second story, ‘The Book of Souls’ is set in Huddersfield, England, at a place called Jubilee Tower or Castle Hill, which was built to commemorate the diamond jubilee of Queen Victoria and is on the site of ancient bronze and iron age settlements dating back 4000 years. An old book of spells is found, and once opened, it appears to have released something ominous. The Ghost from the Molly-House series is a collection of amusing paranormal-historical-mysteries, which will appeal to fans of antiquity, period detective novels, tales of haunted houses, and all things that go bump in the night. Although this is the third book in the series, the novel can be enjoyed as a stand-alone story in its own right.
The Pluckley Psychic Historical Society is available in ebook now. You can purchase your copy via the link below.
The Pluckley Psychic Historical Society is an intriguing, funny historical read with a wonderful main character. I don’t think I’ve read a book with a ghost as a main character and I have to say he really made the story for me. Jasper is a friendly and enthusiastic member of the society who enjoys helping solve mysteries. His enthusiasm is infectious and he often made me smile with his witty humour!
The author has clearly done his research for this book and I enjoyed finding out more about Castle Hill and it’s very interesting history. It’s always fun when real places are used in a book and I liked being able to look it up on the internet to finding out more.
The mystery was quite fast paced with lots of intrigue which helped keep me turning the pages. There is a feeling sometimes as to whether the events mentioned could happen but I felt this fitted in quite nicely with the supernatural element of the books and helped make it a fun read!
This is the third book in the Molly House series but it can easily be read as a standalone as anything you need to knock is explained. If you like intriguing historical fiction with a bit of humour then you’ll love this book.
Huge thanks to Anne Cater for inviting me onto the blog tour and for my copy of this book via Netgalley.
About The Author:
I was born in Huddersfield in England where I have lived for most of my life.
I’ve always enjoyed writing, but I actually worked for many years in Mental Health. Since I retired writing has become my full-time occupation. My fictional book genres are humour, paranormal-historical-fantasy, mysteries, and fashion.
I’m currently working on my next book ‘The Psychic Agency’. Which is the fourth in ‘The Ghost from the Molly House’ series, and will be out next year.
I don’t write horror as such, my books tend to revolve more around the paranormal, hauntings, history, and the mysterious with some humour, so you won’t find a lot of gore.
‘Liking’ my Facebook Author page is the best way to hear news about my work and forthcoming books: https://www.facebook.com/Grahame-Peace-Author you can also find me on Goodreads, Google, and Twitter, and many other book sites.
Audrey Hart is on the Isle of Skye to collect the folk and fairy tales of the people and communities around her. It is 1857 and the Highland Clearances have left devastation and poverty, and a community riven by fear. The crofters are suspicious and hostile to a stranger, claiming they no longer know their fireside stories.
Then Audrey discovers the body of a young girl washed up on the beach and the crofters reveal that it is only a matter of weeks since another girl disappeared. They believe the girls are the victims of the restless dead: spirits who take the form of birds.
Initially, Audrey is sure the girls are being abducted, but as events accumulate she begins to wonder if something else is at work. Something which may be linked to the death of her own mother, many years before.
The Story Keeper is available now in all formats. Purchase your copy using the link below.
I’d heard a lot of great things about Anna’s first novel so I was thrilled to be invited to be on the blog tour for her latest book. The Story Keeper is an atmospheric, original book that manages to be both historical and a thriller, merging both genres brilliantly.
The setting of the Isle Of Skye with the vivid descriptions of the remoteness of it and it’s rugged beauty helped add to the unsettling atmosphere in the book. This gradually increases as the story continues and helps add a chilling element to the story when mixed with the folk tales of the island.
I didn’t know much about the historical period so found the information regarding the Highland Clearances very interesting. I though it quite heartbreaking to read about the devastation these caused and how it led to the lost of some of the history of the places.
The main character Audrey is very well portrayed and I warmed to her immediately. Her refusal to tow the line and do as her father says was great to read about. She has a personal link to the Isle which adds another special element to the story as I felt much more invested in the outcome. I enjoyed reading about the folk tales which as mentioned above helps add to the atmosphere as it makes you question what is happening. Is it supernatural or is something else behind it?
The story is well paced with plenty of wonderful descriptions of life on the Isle of Skye and the stories to keep the reader interested. The pace picks up about half way through and becomes very gripping. I read this book in a night as I found it very difficult to put down.
Think is the first book I’ve read from this author and I can’t wait to read more from her in the future. If you like gripping historical fiction with a gothic feel then you’ll love this book.
Huge thanks to Anne Cater for inviting me onto the blog tour and to Tinder Press for my copy of this book.
About The Author:
Anna is a writer who, due to some fault of her parents, is drawn to peculiar and dark historical subjects. Her novels have been described as literary crime fiction or historical crime. Anna’s influences include Sarah Waters, Daphne Du Maurier, Shirley Jackson and Margaret Atwood.
Her debut novel, The Unseeing, is based on the life of a real woman called Sarah Gale who was convicted of aiding a murder in London in 1837. Her second novel, The Story Keeper, follows a folklorist’s assistant as she searches out dark fairytales and stolen girls on the Isle of Skye in 1857.
She studied English at Pembroke College, Oxford, before becoming a human rights and criminal justice solicitor. She now tries to combine law with writing and child wrangling, to varying degrees of success.
Anna loves to hear from readers, so do say hello on social media or via her website.
Two girls growing up in Mussolini’s Italy share a secret that has devastating consequences. Against a backdrop of fear, poverty and confusion during the Second World War, friendship is tested, and loyalties are divided until a chance encounter changes everything.
Their lives diverge when beautiful, daring Martina marries and moves into Villa Leonida, the most prestigious house in their Tuscan mountain village, while plain, studious Irena trains to be a teacher.
But neither marriage nor life at Villa Leonida are as Martina imagined. And as other people’s lives take on a new purpose, Irena finds herself left behind.
Decades later, a tragedy at the villa coincides with the discovery of an abandoned baby, whose identity threatens to re-open old wounds among the next generation.
The Secret is available in ebook and paperback now! The ebook is currently only £1.99 but you can purchase a copy of both using the link below.
As regular readers of my blog know I’m a big fan of dual timeline stories that are based in world war two, so I can’t believe that I haven’t come across this author before as her writing is truly superb.
The author does a fantastic job of setting the scene and I really felt like I was there in Tuscany watching all the action unfold. I’m not sure if the author has some kind of connection with Italy but she seems to have a lot of knowledge about the Italian way of life, their food and their culture. I especially loved the scenes centering around the restaurant as I felt that was a wonderful climpse into Italian life.
The story drew me on from the beginning with a very intriguing opening which immediately made me want to read more. A tragedy during WW2 is hinted at from the beginning and I liked the way the details of this was gradually revealed to the reader. Some of the details involving this were very poignant to read about and I definitely had tears in my eyes whilst reading about it.
The thing that most stuck me about this book is that it is based on a real event, The Sant’Anna di Stazzema massacre, which made it a very emotional read. I can’t believe that people would be capable of doing such horrible things and it’s definitely a book that will stay with me because of it.
This is the first book by this author I have read and I will definitely be reading more from her in the future. If you like dual timeline mysteries based on true events with some wonderful, realistic characters then you’ll love this book!
Huge thanks to Rachel from Rachel’s Random resources for my copy of this book and for inviting me onto the blog tour.
About The Author:
Katharine Johnson is a freelance writer and editor and has worked for a variety of magazines. She has a passion for crime novels, old houses and all things italian (except tiramisu). She grew up in Bristol and has lived in Italy. She currently lives in Berkshire with her husband, three children and madcap spaniel. When not writing she plays netball badly and is a room guide in a stately home. She is currently writing her third novel.
For Katharine’s latest news, writing advice, book releases and gossip follow her on twitter @kjohnsonwrites Facebook.com/katharinejohnsonauthor website/blog http://www.katyjohnso nblog.wordpress.com