Posted in Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Gothic Fiction, Historical Fiction, Literary Fiction, Mystery, New Books, Paranormal, Romance

The Belladonna Maze Sinéad Crowley 5* #Review @SCrowleyAuthor @SineadCrowley @HoZ_Books #literaryfiction #dualtimeline #gothic #fantasy #mystery #romance #histfic #TheBelladonnaMaze #IrishFiction #supernatural #BookReview

An old house can hold many secrets. Hollowpark in the west of Ireland certainly does. At the heart of the gardens is an intricate maze, named after a deadly poison, Belladonna. If you know the way through, it’s magical, a hiding place and playground like no other. If you don’t, it’s a place of fear and sinister riddles, where a young girl once went missing and was never seen again.

Grace comes to Hollowpark as a nanny for young Skye FitzMahon. Soon the mysterious past of Hollowpark has seduced her. Who is the woman she sometimes glimpses in an upstairs window? Or the apparition who keeps showing up unexpectedly, pleading, ‘Find me.’ And how can she fight her growing attraction to Skye’s father?

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from the publisher.

My Thoughts…

Beginning with a telling incident in The Belladonna Maze in 1825, this story alternates between the nineteenth century and 2007. It is an absorbing medley of literary fiction with gothic and supernatural elements.

Lyrical and full of vibrant characters and vivid imagery, the story weaves its magic on the reader, immersing them in the maze and its secrets. It reads like a contemporary fairytale, and the reader is never sure what is fact and what is fantasy. Belladonna is known for its hallucinatory effects.

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Crime, Detective, Family Drama, New Books, Paranormal, Psychologist, Suspense

The Secret Voices M.J. White 4* #Review #CoraLael @wurdsmyth @HeraBooks @MJWhite13 @rararesources #CrimeFiction #Supernatural #Detective #TheSecretVoices #BlogTour #BookReview

They said they’d keep me safe.
They said, ‘It’s okay, Hannah. You know you can trust me.’
They lied.

When eight-year-old Hannah Perry goes missing in the small Suffolk village of St Just, the community is rocked. Heading up the investigation is Acting DS Rob Minshull, but he’s out of his depth in a case that seems to mirror the disappearance of a young boy, seven years ago. That search ended in
unimaginable tragedy…and Minshull is praying that history won’t be repeated.

But with an investigation full of dead ends, and a kidnapper taunting the police with sinister deliveries of Hannah’s belongings and cryptic notes, the young girl’s life hangs perilously in danger.

Until Dr Cora Lael enters the picture. A psychologist with a unique ability, Cora’s rare gift allows her to sense emotions attached to discarded objects. When she is shown the first of Hannah’s belongings, she hears the child’s piercing scream.

With few leads on the case, could Cora prove Hannah’s only hope? And as time runs out, can they find Hannah before history repeats itself…?

Don’t miss the crime thriller debut from the bestselling women’s fiction author, Miranda Dickinson.

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I received a copy of this book from the publisher.

My Thoughts…

This book is a well-written police procedural with a supernatural twist that adds extra depth to the plot and introduces the complex character Cora Lael. When a young girl goes missing, the case has echoes of a previous abduction that ended badly. Rob Minshull, the acting senior investigating officer, wants to succeed but isn’t confident he will. The local community and media want a positive result and quickly blame the investigators when the case escalates.

The first in a series, this story introduces the main protagonists well, telling the story from Cora and Rob’s perspectives. The missing girl, Hannah, also has a viewpoint that shows what her life is like and how courageous she is. Hannah’s point of view invests the reader in the investigation and intensifies the suspense.

The plot is twisty and suspenseful, and Cora’s unusual gift and how it impacts her adds originality to the story. It’s a compelling read and a promising start to the series.

M.J. White (Miranda Dickinson)

MJ White is the crime pen name of the internationally bestselling author Miranda
Dickinson. To date, she has sold over one million books worldwide and has been translated into sixteen languages. Miranda has always been a huge fan of crime fiction and The Secret Voices marks the start of a new and exciting departure for her writing.

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Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Friendship, New Adult Romance, New Books, Paranormal, Romance, Travel

With This Kiss Carrie Hope Fletcher 4*#Review @CarrieHFletcher @HQStories #WithThisKiss #Romance #contemporaryfiction #supernatural #BlogTour #BookReview #fantasy

From the outside, Lorelai is an ordinary young woman with a normal life. She loves reading, she works at the local cinema and she adores living with her best friend. But she carries a painful burden, something she’s kept hidden for years; whenever she kisses someone on the lips, she sees how they are going to die. But she’s never known if she’s seeing what was always meant to be, or if her kiss is the thing that decides their destiny. And so, she hasn’t kissed anyone since she was sixteen.

Then she meets Grayson. Sweet, clever, funny Grayson. And for the first time in years, she yearns for a man’s kiss. But she can’t… or can she? And if she does, should she try to intervene and change what she sees?

Spellbinding, magical and utterly original, With This Kiss is one love story you will never forget. 

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from the publisher.

My Thoughts…

Lorelai is a theatrical character. Despite her ordinary job, she is creative and quirky, but her ability to see someone’s death when she kisses them dominates her life and makes her shy away from love. A new adult romance with a supernatural twist best describes this story. It’s an emotional journey of self-realisation for Lorelai as she comes to terms with her unusual ability. Told in the present day and from Lorelai’s past experiences, the reader gains an insight into the character and her motivations. I like the use of sensory imagery and the distinctive characterisation.

Emotional and original, this story is engaging and evocative to read.

Posted in Book Review, Espionage - Spy - Thriller, Political Thriller, Thriller

In Harm’s Way Anthony Mosawi 4*#Review @MichaelJBooks @PenguinUKBooks #BookReview #Political #spy #thriller #supernatural #suspense #InHarmsWay

SHE CAN SEE WHAT’S COMING . . . BUT CAN SHE STOP IT?

YOU DON’T TRUST HER . . .

As the head of GCHQ, Robert Watermen is trained to seek out threats – before they become dangerous. He trusts data and numbers, not people. So when he meets Sara Eden, he doesn’t know what to think.

BUT YOU NEED HER . . .

She’s not an agent. But she knows things that not even his most powerful computer systems do. And she can predict events that no one else can see coming.

THE FUTURE DEPENDS ON HER . . .

When terror strikes the capital, Robert faces a choice. Trust his instincts? Or put the fate of countless lives in the hands of a stranger . . .

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from Penguin UK – Michael Joseph Publishing via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

A balance of political suspense, high octane intelligence thriller, and the supernatural draw the reader into a world of power, secrets and terror. My second encounter with Sara Eden finds her in the auspices of Robert Waterman, head of GCHQ and former protege of Salt. With contemporary terrorist themes, Sara has a personal agenda, but her unique psychic skills make her invaluable. The action is fast-paced and balanced with mystery and poignancy. The themes are not new, but Sara, Waterman and MI5 operative Ritz are complex characters with a believable dynamic, making this an addictive read.

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Crime, Horror Fiction, New Books

Demon Matt Wesolowski 4*#Review @ConcreteKraken @OrendaBooks @RandomTTours #BlogTour #BookReview #Demon #Possession #ChillingWinterTales

In 1995, the picture-perfect village of Ussalthwaite was the site of one of the most heinous crimes imaginable, in a case that shocked the world.  Twelve-year-old Sidney Parsons was savagely murdered by two boys his own age. No reason was ever given for this terrible crime, and the  ‘Demonic Duo’ who killed him were imprisoned until their release in 2002, when they were given new identities and lifetime anonymity. 

Elusive online journalist Scott King investigates the lead-up and aftermath of the killing, uncovering dark and fanciful stories of demonic possession and encountering a village torn apart by this unspeakable act. 

And, as episodes of his Six Stories podcast begin to air, King himself becomes a target, with dreadful secrets from his own past dredged up and threats escalating to a terrifying level. It becomes clear that whatever drove those two boys to kill is still there, lurking, and the campaign of horror has just begun… 

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from Orenda Books in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

This is the first book I have read in the ‘Six Stories’ series. The story has a contemporary and distinctive podcast format that tells the story from six perspectives. The story explores a horrific crime involving children that is disturbing to read. Atmospheric and intense, it immerses the reader in events from all perspectives. It’s a seamless blend of crime, social dysfunction and prejudices with supernatural elements woven into the viewpoints. It’s a story that draws you in, one you read, even though many aspects are horrific to contemplate. It’s an addictive mix of criminal and mystical events that defy explanation.

Matt Wesolowski

Matt Wesolowski is an author from Newcastle-Upon-Tyne in the UK. He is an English tutor for young people in care. Matt started his writing career in horror, and his short horror fiction has been published in numerous UK- and  US-based anthologies such as Midnight Movie Creature, Selfies from the  End of the World, Cold Iron and many more. His novella, The Black Land, a  horror story set on the Northumberland coast, was published in 2013. Matt was a winner of the Pitch Perfect competition at Bloody Scotland Crime  Writing Festival in 2015. His debut thriller, Six Stories, was a bestseller in the USA, Canada, the UK and Australia, and a WH Smith Fresh Talent pick,  and TV rights were sold to a major Hollywood studio. A prequel, Hydra, was published in 2018 and became an international bestseller, Changeling (2019), Beast (2020) And Deity (2021) soon followed suit. 

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Family Drama, Literary Fiction, Psychological Suspense

The Last Time We Saw Marion Tracey Scott – Townsend 5*#Review @authortrace @Wildpressed @lovebooksgroup #lovebookstours #TheLastTimeWeSawMarion #FamilyDrama #Love #relationships #supernatural #MentalHealth #psychological #suspense #psychsuspense #BlogTour #BookReview #booktour

Meeting author Callum Wilde is the catalyst that turns Marianne Fairchild’s fragile sense of identity on its head, evoking demons that will haunt two families.

She is seventeen and has spent her life fighting off disturbing memories that can’t possibly belong to her.

His twin sister Marion died seventeen years ago.

When Cal and his older sister Sarah spot Marianne in the audience of a TV show that Cal is recording, they are stunned by her uncanny resemblance to Marion. They have to find out who she is, but they both soon come to regret the decision to draw her into their lives. Events spiral out of control for all of them, but whilst Cal and Sarah each manage to find a way to move on, Marianne is forced to relinquish the one precious thing that could have given her life some meaning.

The book is set in a haunting estuary landscape of mudflats, marshes and the constant resonance of the sea.

The Last Time We Saw Marion is the story of two families – but the horrible truth is that two into one won’t go…

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from the author and publisher in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

This author explores the nuances of relationships with insight and sensitivity. They investigate the lives of two families drawn together by appearance, death and something unexplainable in human terms. Sarah and Cal see a woman who is the image of their sister just before she died. Without considering the consequences, they draw her into their lives with tragic results.

A harrowing and hauntingly poignant tale that takes place in the present and past from different viewpoints. Cal and Marianne are unreliable protagonists. Does emotional instability affect their connection or something supernatural?

The setting is evocative and reflects the tumultuous family drama, Flawed and relatable characters, and the inevitableness of the journey’s tragic conclusion makes this addictive and emotional reading.

Tracey-Scott-Townsend is the author of six novels — the most recent The Vagabond Mother (January 2020) and Sea Babies (May 2019) — all published by Wild Pressed Books and Inspired Quill Publishing. Reviews often describe her novels as poetic or painterly.

She is also a poet and a visual artist. She has a Fine Art MA and a BA (Hons) Visual Studies. She has exhibited paintings throughout the UK (as Tracey Scott). She has a long career as a workshop facilitator with community groups and in schools.

Tracey is co-director of an up-and-coming small independent publisher, Wild Pressed Books, which has a growing roster of authors and poets.

Mother of four grown-up children, Tracey spends as much time as possible travelling the UK and Europe in a camper van with her husband and two dogs, writing and editing while on the road. 

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Horror Fiction, Mystery, Short stories

Whispers from The Dead of Night Lee Allen 4*#Review @_Lee_Allen_ @lovebooksgroup #lovebookstours #Halloween #horror #supernatural #mystery #Paranormal #noir #MondayBlogs #shortstories

Are you sitting comfortably, the fire crackling, a mug of cocoa in hand? Then let us begin…

A journey through fog and darkness, destination unknown…

A sexual obsession spiralling out of control…

A forbidden love…

A killer who preys on the lonely…

An investigation into a haunted monastery…

A visitation on Christmas Eve with diabolical intentions…

A night-time escape through the forest…

Seven tales of mystery and the supernatural for a winter’s evening.

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

If you are looking for a haunting story, this Halloween, these short stories are this and much more. All fall into the horror genre with a fusion of sub-genres most notably mystery and paranormal. They are impactful and vividly written like most horror heavy on sensual imagery and light on plot complexity.

They explore the gamut of human depravity and emotions and the external evil they fear and worship.
Both contemporary and historical the characters are well written, and the stories are atmospheric. The collection is diverse and quick to read, although some need closer reading for a fuller understanding.

Lee Allen

Born in South Wales, Lee Allen was writing from a young age, developing his fascination with mystery, thrillers and the supernatural.

His debut novel, Those Crimes of Passion, a crime thriller, was published in 2012. He followed this with the novella Alone, a supernatural mystery, in 2014; and a second novella, The Jack O’Lantern Men, a horror chiller, in 2015.

His short story collection, Whispers from the Dead of Night, a hybrid of horror and multiple sub-genres, was published in early 2020, preceded by downloads of two of the stories: A Deathly Shade of Pale, at Hallowe’en 2019; and ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas, at Christmas 2019.

He is currently working on several future projects, including his second full-length novel.

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Fantasy, Friendship, Motivational, Paranormal

Benevolent by Erin A. Jenson 5*#Review @ErinAJensen @lovebooksgroup #lovebookstours #RandomActsofKindness #love #fanfiction #Supernatural #Life #Motivational #BlogTour #BookReview #Benevolent

A story about the purpose of life, the healing power of fandom, and the resilience of the human spirit.

Tormented by the in-crowd at school on a daily basis, there were two things that gave fifteen-year-old Abigail Perkins the strength to keep going—her best friend, Danny Cobb; and her favorite television show, Supernatural. But the night Danny’s mother calls to say that his battle with cancer is nearing its end, and the doctors don’t expect him to live through the night, even Supernatural can’t dull the ache in her heart.

Devastated by her impending loss and crushed that Danny’s mother won’t allow her to visit him one last time, Abigail crawls into bed and cries herself to sleep that night; and she wakes to find Supernatural’s most endearing angel standing at the foot of her bed.

Told from Abigail’s perspective as she nears the end of her long life and revisits the moments that defined it, this story was inspired by the deep connection that Supernatural fans feel with the show’s beloved characters, and the show’s miraculous ability to help its fans through troubled times.

Amazon UK

100% of the net proceeds from this book will go to Random Acts charitable organization.

Random Acts inspires many amazing things around the world every day — from small acts of kindness, such as inspiring someone to buy a stranger a cup of coffee, to much bigger acts of kindness like building a school in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua.

To learn more about Random Acts visit randomacts.org

My Thoughts…

Benevolent is a lovely story full of emotion and a message that resonates. Abbie is dying, and her previous life is playing out in her mind one last time. It begins with her dearest friend who she lost too soon and her first meeting with her guardian angel.

Supernatural the iconic series is Abbie’s solace in times of trouble. Naturally, her guardian angel resembles Castiel from the series. The first chapter is heartbreaking and sets the scene for a book that claims your emotions and provokes your thoughts.

A song title heads each chapter. This is Danny’s gift to Abbie.

The writing is lyrical, and the characters are believable even though the carefully constructed world is magical. It makes you cry, smile, remember things in your life, and all these things make it enjoyable.

I purchased a Kindle copy of this book, as 100% of the net proceeds from this book will go to Random Acts charitable organization.

Erin A. Jensen

Erin A. Jensen is the Amazon International bestselling author of The Dream Waters Series. Her debut novel won the bronze medal for fantasy fiction in the 2018 Readers’ Favorite Book Awards and received honorable mention in the 2018 Writer’s Digest Self-Published e-book Awards. A part-time pharmacist and a full-time daydreamer, she lives in upstate New York with her husband and two sons

Posted in Book Review, Family Drama, Friendship, Mystery, Paranormal, Romance, Romantic Comedy

Winters’ Gift Florence Keeling 4*#Review @KeelingFlorence @CrimsonCloakPub @rararesources #BlogBlitz #BookReview #RomCom #Mystery #Supernatural #Romance #Friendship #BankHolidayMonday #WintersGift #MondayBlogs

A heart warming, feel good romantic comedy. 

‘I absolutely adored this book. It gave me all the feels! A charming read full of warmth and heart.’ ***** Kim the Bookworm

Bea Winters is in desperate need of a fresh start. Being bullied at work is not her idea of fun and she longs to follow her dream of becoming a published author. When an advert appears in her local paper to work in a publishing house in the sleepy village of Bloomsdale, it sounds too good to be true.  

She strikes up an instant friendship with gorgeous aspiring author, Eddie Richards and her dashing millionaire boss Scott Summers 

But all isn’t as it seems in the sleepy village of Bloomsdale.

How does the local clairvoyant know her name? Who does the little black dog that keeps appearing belong to and why does she keep bumping into the mysterious Charlie?  

As she starts to unravel the truth, it seems that everyone in Bea’s life is keeping secrets.   An uplifting romantic comedy that will warm your heart.

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I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

Winters’ Gift offers its readers something different. Bea is a likeable protagonist flawed but easy to empathise. Her life’s not easy, especially at work. With a little supernatural nudge, she embraces an opportunity for a new life and job.

Bea’s adventures in Bloomsdale are numerous, some funny some sad as she learns the secrets of her past and a real-life family drama unfolds at the publishing house.

Vibrant characters and a lovely balance of humorous and poignant moments make this an engaging story, especially with its supernatural twist.

Florence Keeling adopted for her pen-name her Great Grandmother’s name, chosen because of the shared birthday of April Fool’s Day.  She is married with two teenage chidren.  Born and raised in Coventry, England she now lives just outside in Nuneaton.  Reflected Destinies is her first novel.

Florence Keeling also writes for children under the name of Lily Mae Walters.

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Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Crime, Historical Crime Fiction, Murder Mystery, Mystery, Noir, Paranormal, Suspense, Travel

Death In The Sound Rhen Garland 5*#Review #TheVersipellisMysterySeries @RhenWitch #VictorianCrime #BlogTour #Book Review #HistoricalFiction #MurderMystery #Detective @rararesources #DeathInTheSound #RachelsRandomResources

The year is 1900, responding to a desperate plea from an old friend, Elliott, Giselle, and Thorne, accompanied by Veronique the Labrador, travel from England to New Zealand to unravel a new and complex mystery.

For his daughter’s twenty first birthday, Millionaire philanthropist Octavius Damant orchestrates a weekend party aboard the Taniwha, a luxurious paddle steamer moored in the primordial and isolated landscape of Milford Sound.

Several high society guests are invited to their remote home for the celebrations; Sir Wesley Eade, society lawyer and his beautiful but icy mistress Lady Leonora Carlton-Cayce, Dona Carla Riva, a flamboyant Brazilian dancer, and Carolyn Nolloth, O.D’s estranged sister-in-law who has a great love of other people’s money.

But O.D is the subject of persecution; a series of anonymous letters accuse him of past crimes and threaten the life of his daughter unless he gives in to their creator’s poisonous demands.

Elliott, Giselle, and Thorne discover the odds stacked against them when an unforeseen murder is committed, and they find themselves trapped aboard the Taniwha with a killer who will seemingly stop at nothing to achieve their ends.

As the body count rises, they must unravel the clues and piece together a devilish jigsaw that includes blackmail, extortion, desire, and the reappearance of the fabulous Larkspur Diamond, a gemstone with a past as murky and blood soaked as that of the relentless killer on board.

Set in the late Victorian era, with a touch of the odd, and a twist of the macabre, “Death in the Sound” continues the crime solving, paranormal escapades of Elliott Caine, Giselle Du’Lac, and Abernathy Thorne.

Book One, “A Portrait of Death” was released in 2018.

Amazon Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

Book two, of the Versipellis Mysteries series, set predominantly in New Zealand is a late-Victorian murder mystery, with a supernatural twist. There are two prologues, one detailing a gruesome murder, the second, introducing a dark, evil supernatural element.

With a plan of the boat, at the beginning of the book, it reminds me of a Cluedo board. This murder mystery is a dark interpretation of the popular game with a paranormal twist.

The diverse investigating team, is well described, so it can be read as a standalone, but it’s so good, you’ll want to read them both.

Engaging action and lots of characters produce an absorbing, addictive story, with lots of false clues and plot twists. The writing is clear, using vivid imagery to describe the characters and setting.

Vibrant characters and dark deeds combine to produce a creepy, cleverly plotted murder mystery with exciting originality.

Rhen Garland lives in Somerset, England with her folk-singing, book-illustrating husband, approximately 4000 books, an equal number of ancient movies, and a large flock of stuffed sheep.

She enjoys the countryside, peace, and Prosecco and the works of Ngaio Marsh, Glady Mitchell, John Dickson Carr/Carter Dickson, Agatha Christie, and Terry Pratchett.

“I watch far too many old school murder mystery films, TV series, and 1980s action movies for it to be considered healthy.”

“A Portrait of Death” is a murder mystery thriller with paranormal touches set in late Victorian England and is the first book in the Versipellis Mysteries Series. “A Portrait of Death” was released in 2018.

“Death in the Sound” is a murder mystery thriller with paranormal touches set in late Victorian England and is the second book in the Versipellis Mysteries Series.

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