Ashael Rising by Shona Kinsella Review

Blurb

Ashael is a hunter-gatherer woman, apprenticed to Bhearra, the healer and spiritual leader of their tribe.

The Zanthar are invaders from another world who extend their own lives by stealing the life-force of everything around them. They were last seen on KalaDene 200 years ago. They have returned, looking for The Vessel, a being prophesied to hold the life-force of the land.

Iwan is a slave to the Zanthar, descendant of the folk that were taken as slaves the last time the Zanthar visited this world. He is sent out as a spy, while his mother is held hostage to ensure his compliance.

When Iwan and Ashael meet and she invites him to stay in Oak Cam, neither of them realise that she is the one the Zanthar seek. The fate of KalaDene and all of its people rests on Ashael’s shoulders.

Review

Although this book wasn’t in the genre I usually read, I really enjoyed it. KalaDene was so well-drawn, the characters were expertly crafted and the whole story was put together in a really engaging way.

I really enjoyed the human elements within this book. Ashael and Iwan’s struggles were very real and I found myself able to relate very easily to them. The pace throughout was excellent and I was thoroughly gripped as I read. The weight of responsibility on both Ashael and Iwan was clear throughout the book and I rooted for them to emerge triumphant at the end. Shona Kinsella makes it really easy for you to invest in the characters’ journey, especially with such a well-crafted world to lose yourself in.

Overall, I would recommend this book to anyone who loves well-drawn fantasy with excellent, relatable protagonists.

Bio

Shona Kinsella is a fantasy author who lives near the bonnie, bonnie banks of Loch Lomond, in the west of Scotland. She is a member of the British Fantasy Society where she writes reviews of indie books. Shona has a degree in Law from the University of Strathclyde where she learned a lot about narrative structure.; everyone loves a story.

Shona enjoys spending time outdoors and much of her writing is inspired by the environment that she lives in, at the edge of Scotland’s first national park. When she is not writing, she enjoys geocaching with her husband and children and reading as many books as she can get her hands on.

Giveaway

£20 Amazon giftcard and eCopy of Ashael Rising: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/bf633057112/?

Book links

www.unbound.com/books/ashael-rising

https://www.facebook.com/ashaelrising/

 

Author links

www.shonakinsella.com

Twitter: @shona_kinsella

Instagram: shona.kinsella

The Somme Legacy by M J Lee Review

Blurb

July 1, 1916. The Somme, France.

A British Officer prepares to go over the top on the first day of the Battle of the Somme.

March 28, 2016. Manchester. England.

Genealogical investigator Jayne Sinclair, a former police detective, is commissioned by a young teacher to look into the history of his family. The only clues are a medallion with purple, white and green ribbons, and an old drawing of a young woman.

Her quest leads to a secret buried in the trenches of World War One for over 100 years.

Who was the real heir to the Lappiter millions?

From the author of the best selling, The Irish Inheritance, comes a gripping new book revealing family secrets hidden in the fog of war.

The Somme Legacy is the second book in the Jayne Sinclair genealogical mystery series, but it can be enjoyed as a stand-alone story.

Review

I really enjoyed The Irish Inheritance, the first book in the Jayne Sinclair series, so I was really excited to pick up this one. It can be enjoyed as a standalone though, as it states in the blurb. In this book, Jayne has to try to uncover a secret buried 100 years in the past, in order to uncover who the real heir to the Lappiter fortune is. In a twisty, fast-paced story, she unearths a complex web of lies and a lot more besides…

This is yet another well-written book from M J Lee, who has managed to create a compelling story that keeps you guessing until the end. A couple of times, I thought I had everything sussed until the rug was pulled from under me! Jayne is a great protagonist: wicked smart with a passion for history and genealogy that leads her into the most unexpected cases. The books have an air of the TV show Cold Case, as Jayne delves into the past for the answers her clients crave. If you’re looking for a mystery with something a little extra to offer, I’d highly recommend this book!

Links:

 Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33657920-the-somme-legacy?ac=1&from_search=true

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B01N1SY2QR/ref=x_gr_w_bb?ie=UTF8&tag=x_gr_w_bb_uk-21&linkCode=as2&camp=1634&creative=6738

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Somme-Legacy-Sinclair-Genealogical-Mysteries-ebook/dp/B01N1SY2QR/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1488113067&sr=8-1&keywords=the+somme+legacy

 

About M.J Lee

Martin has spent most of his adult life writing in one form or another. As a University researcher in history, he wrote pages of notes on reams of obscure topics. As a social worker with Vietnamese refugees, he wrote memoranda. And, as the creative director of an advertising agency, he has written print and press ads, tv commercials, short films and innumerable backs of cornflake packets and hotel websites.

He has spent 25 years of his life working outside the North of England. In London, Hong Kong, Taipei, Singapore, Bangkok and Shanghai, winning awards from Cannes, One Show, D&AD, New York and London Festivals, and the United Nations.
Whilst working in Shanghai, he loved walking through the old quarter of that amazing city, developing the idea behind a series of crime novels featuring Inspector Pyotr Danilov, set in 1920s and 30s.
When he’s not writing, he splits his time between the UK and Asia, taking pleasure in playing with his daughter, practicing downhill ironing, single-handedly solving the problem of the French wine lake and wishing he were George Clooney.

 

Links:

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/WriterMJLee

Website: http://www.writermjlee.com

 

The Collective by RS Williams Cover Reveal

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Blurb

Matilda Peters never knew a world outside hers existed, that is until Harvey comes along and shows her something beyond her imagination. All that is on Tilly’s mind is finishing her dissertation, getting her degree, and spending time with her friends before the end of the school year.

But everything changes when she meets Gabby, an agent of a secret society, and nothing prepared either of them for the adventure they are about to endure. Under the pressures of surviving, their friendship grows and they find friends in the most unlikely of places, and betrayal just around the corner.

Will they both be able to stop him before he tears Gabby’s society to the ground?

Author Bio: Rhianne Williams, formally known as RS Williams, writes Fantasy, Adventure and Romance novels. As an avid reader Rhianne has always been in love with the written word and the emotions a good story can create.

Discovering she had a knack for creating stories as a teenager, she started work on her first story. However, at 16 the mundane adult world called her back to an admin job and Rhianne put writing on the back burner until she turned 20. Rediscovering her fascination with writing and creating Rhianne then threw herself back into her writing in 2014.

When she isn’t catching plot bunnies, typing up her creations or writing on her blog, you’ll find her in front of the television watching her favourite shows, spending time with her family and getting lost in others fictional worlds.

Author Links:

Author Page – http://www.littlenovelist.com/rswilliams

Blog – http://www.littlenovelist.com/blog/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/lilnovelist

 

 

A Country Practice by Judith Colquhoun Review

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 Blurb

A heart-warming, poignant and engaging tale about the doctors, nurses and patients of the Wandin Valley Bush Nursing Hospital, and their friends and neighbours.

A Country Practice follows the dramas, loves, secrets and dilemmas of the people in an Australian small country town. There is romance, humour and tragedy for the medical staff of the local hospital, and the rural community it serves.

A desperate woman arrives at the Wandin Valley Bush Nursing Hospital in the final stages of labour. Can Dr Terence Elliott overcome his demons to save both mother and baby?

Simon Bowen, the newest doctor in town, is frustrated at being seen as an outsider by the tight knit country people. Will he succeed in winning them around ‒ especially young vet Vicky Dean?

Vicky’s mum, Sister Shirley Dean, is courted by widowed police sergeant Frank Gilroy. But is he the man for her?

Young married couple, Brendan and Molly Jones arrive in Wandin Valley. Are they prepared for the realities of country life?

Meanwhile, a teenager in love clashes with her father and a serious car accident reveals a surprising secret about two of the town’s residents.

Based on the award-winning, international hit television serial A Country Practice, this new series of novels follows the lives and loves of the rural community of Wandin Valley, South-Eastern Australia. Set in the early 1980s it is a nostalgic look at country life, yet with all the same joys and problems we face today.

Review

If you’re looking for a book packed with everything from romance to tragedy, plus everything in between, I would highly recommend A Country Practice. Based on an award-winning Australian TV series, this book is packed with memorable characters, several engaging plot threads and a great style of writing that leaves you wanting more. In short, it’s a soap opera in book form.

What I loved most is the way the respective stories linked together; there were more than a few intriguing romances, as well as dark secrets and some new faces in Wandin Valley. I don’t watch a lot of soaps, but I enjoyed the feeling of community within this book. I liked meeting the residents of Wandin Valley, getting to know them and their respective stories. The writer has done an excellent job of weaving them all together and maintaining a good pace throughout.

This is the first book in the series and I’ll definitely be looking out for future ones!

Links

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25764168-a-country-practice?ac=1&from_search=true

www.acountrypractice.info

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Country-Practice-New-Beginnings-ebook/dp/B00Z37ROM2/

https://www.amazon.com/Country-Practice-New-Beginnings-ebook/dp/B00Z37ROM2/

https://www.amazon.com.au/Country-Practice-New-Beginnings-ebook/dp/B00Z37ROM2/

About the author: Judith Colquhoun was born in Queensland and grew up in Sydney. She studied production at the National Institute of Dramatic Art and soon after graduating, love and a job took her to Melbourne. Later, she lived in London for a time, spent many years in country Victoria and long enough in Italy to fall in love with the Mezzogiorno. She is now back in Melbourne and may even stay there.

She started writing when she was six and from the age of twenty-three has always earned her living from it in one way or another. She was a scriptwriter for far too long, writing countless hours of television for many of Australia’s most popular shows, including Neighbours and Home & Away. Her output included one hundred episodes of A Country Practice.

Judith has worked as an editor and script producer, and in Italy was a script consultant on the serial Un Posto Al Sole. She has won five Awgie Awards and in 2007 was made a Life Member of the Australian Writers’ Guild.

In 2009 she finally gave up scriptwriting to attempt a novel. Thicker Than Water, which is largely set in southern Italy, was published in 2014. It was Highly Commended in the Fellowship of Australian Writers 2014 National Literary Awards.

She has written three novels based on the stories and characters of A Country PracticeNew Beginnings, To Everything a Season and Silver Linings.

Judith is married with two children and three grandchildren.

Of Life, Deaths, Aliens and Zombies by Dario Cannizzaro Review

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Blurb

Misnomer on purpose, this amazing debut rocks nine short and amusing stories – a Zombie Apocalypse without zombies; the Vatican announcing contact with Aliens; a heroin junkie that loves poetry; a timeless love, and much more.

Ordinary characters facing extraordinary situations, dry humor, philosophical musing dressed as whimsical, offhand commentary, and a fairy-tale like writing; those are the key elements of the style of this funny and thought-provoking collection.

The collection comprehends three previously published stories (“The Galway Review”, “Trigger Warning”, “Two Thousand Words” and “Chantwood Magazine”); five new unpublished pieces; and for the first time in English, the best-selling story “Impurità”, which was Selected Work in 2012 by Apple iBooks.

Review

First thing’s first, if you open this book expecting a book written in the vein of Dawn of the Dead, that’s not what you get. What you do get, however, is a collection of stories that deal with every aspect of life, from love to sex to our appreciation of seemingly ‘perfect’ people. Coupled together with Dario Cannizzaro’s beautiful style of writing, you have a very interesting book indeed!

In general, I don’t read a lot of short story collections, but this one really grabbed me. The themes explored were thought-provoking and well-handled. Fake Plastic Trees was the standout story for me. It’s about a girl who seems perfect, but is really a bad person on the inside. She visits a clinic that can make her seem like a good person to the outside world, even if she’s still the same person she always was. This story made me think and posed an important question: how much of the images people present of themselves is real? We all like to put our best foot forward and enhance our best qualities, but how much of who we are do we really show? Other stories I enjoyed were Yet Another Zombie Apocalypse, Bathroom Love and Terrorism Marketing. Each piece in the book was carefully crafted, and the author managed to pack lots of emotion and well-drawn characters into so few words.

Overall, I commend Dario Cannizzaro for creating a well-thought-out collection of stories that deal with very deep themes. Would recommend if you want to read something totally unexpected.

***GIVEAWAY***

Enter this giveaway to win a paperback copy or one of three digital copies of Of Life, Death, Aliens and Zombies!

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/bf633057111/?

Links

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Life-Death-Aliens-Zombies-ebook/dp/B01M0MUVWD/

 iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/life-death-aliens-zombies/id1156255178?mt=11

 Barnes&Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/of-life-death-aliens-and-zombies-dario-cannizzaro/1124662613?ean=9781508045472

Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Dario_Cannizzaro_Of_Life_Death_Aliens_and_Zombies?id=1k4ZDQAAQBAJ

 KOBO: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/of-life-death-aliens-and-zombies

 

Author Bio

DARIO CANNIZZARO was born in the sun-eaten Naples, Italy in 1982. He moved to Ireland in 2011, and has called it home ever since. He started writing short stories at seven, which are shamefully lost forever, but has never stopped writing since. His works have been published in Italian and English in Literary Magazines such as The Galway ReviewTwo Thousand Words and Chantwood Magazine.

Website: www.dariowrites.com

Twitter: http://twitter.com/dariowrites/

Facebook: http://facebook.com/dariowrites/

Meet Me at Willoughby Close by Kate Hewitt Review

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Blurb

Meet Me in Willoughby Close

Welcome to Willoughby Close… a charming cluster of cozy cottages, each with a story to tell and a happy ending to deliver…

Ellie Matthews has come to Wychwood-on-Lea to find a new start for her and her daughter Abby. But, life there doesn’t start out as idyllic as she had hoped. While Ellie loves her cute cottage in Willoughby Close, the Yummy Mummies at the primary school seem intent on giving her the cold shoulder, Abby has trouble fitting in, and her boss, Oliver Venables, is both surprisingly sexy and irritatingly inscrutable.

But miracles can happen in the most unexpected places, and in small, yet wonderful ways. Slowly, Ellie and Abby find themselves making friends and experiencing the everyday magic of Willoughby Close. When Oliver’s nephew, Tobias, befriends Abby, the four of them start to feel like family… and Ellie begins to see the kindness and warmth beneath Oliver’s chilly exterior, which awakens both her longing and fear.

Ellie knows all about disappointment, and the pain of trying too hard for nothing, while Oliver has his own hurts and secrets to deal with. When the past comes rollicking back to remind both of them of their weaknesses and failings, will they be able to overcome their fears and find their own happy ending?

Discover the heartwarming magic of Willoughby Close… with four more stories of hope and happily-ever-afters to look forward to.

Review

This book was a charming read from start to finish, telling the story of two people who had to overcome their past heartbreak to find their way to each other.

Ellie moves to Willoughby Close for a fresh start with her daughter Abby, but runs into some problems along the way. The group of Yummy Mummies at the school gate don’t intend to make life easy for her and the unexpected chemistry with her sexy boss Oliver has her in a spin. Yet, Willoughby Close’s magic weaves its spell on both Ellie and Abby and they discover love and friendship in the strangest places.

I really enjoyed this book, it was a sweet, charming read with a cast of loveable characters. The chemistry between Ellie and Oliver was really well-drawn and a nice contrast to their inner conflicts that initially prevent them from going after what they want. Abby and Toby’s friendship was also well-written and I enjoyed seeing it develop over the course of the book. This book shows what happens when you embrace a new start and how love can be found in the strangest places, especially when you’re not looking for it.

Links:

Amazon UK:https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B01M4RR8EW/ref=x_gr_w_bb?ie=UTF8&tag=x_gr_w_bb_uk-21&linkCode=as2&camp=1634&creative=6738

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32934017-meet-me-at-willoughby-close?ac=1&from_search=true

About Kate Hewitt: Kate is the USA Today-bsetselling author of over 40 books of women’s fiction and romance. She is the author of the Hartley-by-the-Sea series, set in England’s Lake District and published by Penguin. She is also, under the name Katharine Swartz, the author of the Tales from Goswell books, a series of time-slip novels set in the village of Goswell. Other series include the Emigrants Trilogy, the Amherst Island Trilogy, and the Falling For The Freemans series.

She likes to read romance, mystery, the occasional straight historical and angsty women’s fiction; she particularly enjoys reading about well-drawn characters and avoids high-concept plots.

Having lived in both New York City and a tiny village on the windswept northwest coast of England, she now resides in the English Cotswolds with her husband, five children, and an overly affectionate Golden Retriever. You can read about her life at http://www.acumbrianlife.blogspot.co.uk.

Links:

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/katehewitt1

Website: http://www.kate-hewitt.com/

Giveaway:

3 Paperback Copies of A Cotswold Christmas (UK ONLY)

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/bf633057110/?

giveaway-book-cover

The Den of Iniquity by Anabelle Bryant Review

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Blurb

Welcome to the most notorious address in London…

Beneath the airs and graces of the Ton lies The Underworld – London’s most scandalous gambling hall.

The only thing darker and more debauched that the hall itself? The proprietor, Max Sinclair. As mysterious as the corners of the city he stalks, Max has vowed to take revenge against the men who murdered his mother. And The Underworld attracts London’s darkest characters – the perfect partners in crime.

But when Lady Vivienne Beaumont enters The Underworld, Max’s life becomes more dangerous than he ever thought possible.

Enter a world of lust, lawlessness and obsession with The Den of Iniquity, the first in Anabelle Bryant’s Bastards of London series.

Review

First of all, this book has the most fabulous tag-line: Welcome to the most notorious address in London. Talk about intriguing! If that doesn’t draw you in, I don’t know what will. I’ve said before that Regency romance isn’t my usual genre, but I always enjoy reading outside of my comfort zone. Anabelle Bryant has delivered another sizzling romance that kept me hooked from start to finish!

Max SInclair is the owner of The Underworld, a gambling hall where people go to let loose and spend big. However, pain lives at Max’s core; his mother was brutally murdered and he’s out for revenge. By running The Underworld, he’s hoping he can enlist the help of some of the dark characters it attracts. He doesn’t bargain, however, on Lady Vivienne Beaumont…

Anabelle Bryant’s strengths lie in creating wonderfully-drawn world and characters, and these strengths are evident in The Den of Iniquity. The descriptions of Max, Vivienne and the host of background characters are beautifully vivid and visual and I loved  being able to picture them in my head. The chemistry between Max and Vivienne was delicious throughout, as was Max’s conflict between his desire for revenge and his love for Vivienne.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. Anabelle Bryant’s signature style and flair were stamped all over it and made it a highly enjoyable tale of romance and revenge.

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2h5FK1c

B & N:  http://bit.ly/2hNKi9Q

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2hRLEiM

Bio:

Anabelle Bryant is the bestselling author of seven historical romances. Her love of writing keeps her busy in front of her laptop when not in front of a classroom or traveling, her favorite preoccupation.

Thrilled to be writing for HarperCollins, Anabelle’s Regency Rogues trilogy and Regency Charms quartet are bestselling collections. Her historical romances are high concept, character driven stories which provide a heartfelt connection between hero, heroine, and the reader, believing the emotional journey on the path to true love is the most important bond.

The Den of Iniquity is book one in her newest series, Bastards of London, an edgier look at the Regency. Anabelle enjoys hears from readers and talking all things bookish. Visit AnabelleBryant.com and see what she’s up to on Facebook and Twitter.

Social Media Links:

Website: http://www.anabellebryant.com

Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/AnabelleBryantAuthor

Twitter: @AnabelleBryant

YouTube Channel: http://bit.ly/1r0TjsY

Pinterest Boards: https://www.pinterest.com/anabellebryant/boards/