Emily Wilde’s Encyclopedia of Faeries by Heather Fawcett with thanks to @orbitbooks and @Tr4cyF3nt0n #CompulsiveReaders #bookreview #EmilyWildesEncylopediaofFaeries #blogtour #readers

Blurb

Enter the world of the hidden folk – and discover the most whimsical, enchanting and heart-warming tale you’ll read this year, featuring the intrepid Emily Wilde. . .

Emily Wilde is good at many things: she is the foremost expert on the study of faeries; she is a genius scholar and a meticulous researcher who is writing the world’s first encylopaedia of faerie lore. But Emily Wilde is not good at people

So when she arrives in the hardscrabble village of Hrafnsvik, Emily has no intention of befriending the gruff townsfolk. Nor does she care to spend time with another new arrival: her dashing and insufferably handsome academic rival Wendell Bambleby

But as Emily gets closer to uncovering the secrets of the Hidden Ones – the most elusive of all faeries – she also finds herself on the trail of another mystery: who is Wendell Bambleby, and what does he really want? To find the answer, she’ll have to unlock the greatest mystery of all – her own heart.

My thoughts…

‘Emily Wilde’s Encylopaedia of Faeries’ is a delight if you’re looking to immerse yourself into the world of the fantastical! This book is a faeries/fae folk fest for the reader. It’s premise lies around a research project for Emily Wilde to create the first ever ‘Encylopaedia of Faeries’ and highlight to the world her expertise, professionalism and passion for all things faerie. I adored Emily’s character and her thirst and dedication for knowledge, but also her flaws as a human and dealing with humans – her character is steeped in discipline, research and documenting but she has cute personality traits that really come for the forefront when dealing with a colleague and academic rival: Wendell Bambleby. His character is also a delight to read, slapdash, smart, frustrating, dominant and funny; an enjoyable presence in the book and a match to Emily’s foibles. These two complex and competing characters are charming and drive the pace of the novel. A book written as a series of journal entries with notes from Wilde, with the odd interjection from Bambleby when Wilde was incapacitated. This style works really well and helps the reader understand the world of the novel and how Emily operates.

The setting is great, not one I expected – the tundra is icy and as inhospitable as several of the characters Wilde and Bambleby meet. It’s certainly not the typical Fairy Dell of my literacy remembrance. The landscape is harsh, cold and barren, like the fae folk that inhabit it – captivating, cruel and sinister.

One more highlight to mention are some of the supporting characters – always a favourite, the animal sidekick! In this book, a dog named Shadow. Shadow is Emily’s old, shaggy enormous black boarhound and I loved him. The other noticeable side character is of the faerie world, called Poe, who’s a brownie and such fun to read.

A delightful story of the ‘other’ – full of stories, charming descriptions and packed with amusing dialogue. A recommended witty adventure beautifully peppered with romance and drama.

Also, it’s worth noting that this is the first book in an intended series from Fawcett.

Please buy from independents if you can XX

It’s my turn on the #BlogTour for #TheStarsUndying by Emery Robin with thanks to @orbitbooks and @Tr4cyF3nt0n #CompulsiveReaders

LOYALTY, LEGACY AND BETRAYAL…

Blurb

Princess Altagracia has lost everything. After a bloody civil war, her twin sister has claimed not just the crown of their planet Szayet but the Pearl of its prophecy, a computer that contains the immortal soul of their god. Stripped of her birthright, Altagracia prepares to flee the planet – just as Matheus Ceirran, Commander of the interstellar Empire of Ceiao, arrives in deadly pursuit. Princess Altagracia sees an opportunity to win back her planet, her god, and her throne . . . if she can win over the Commander and his distrustful right-hand officer, Anita.

But talking her way into Commander Matheus’s good graces, and his bed, is only the beginning. Dealing with the most powerful man in the galaxy is almost as dangerous as war, and Altagracia is quickly torn between Matheus and the wishes of the machine god that whispers in her ear.

For Szayet’s sake, and her own, Altagracia will need to become more than a princess with a silver tongue. She will have to become a queen as history has never seen before – even if it breaks an empire.

‘Takes the larger-than-life figures of the ancient world and recasts them against a backdrop of drowned worlds and interstellar empires with extraordinary verve’ -Emily Tesh

‘Beautifully written, with poise and wit and grand epic sweep, The Stars Undying has everything I want from a space opera’ – AK Larkwood

My thoughts

This is a book with an epic galactic scope drawing on the Empires of Ancient Rome and Egypt to rewrite the timeless story of Cleopatra, Mark Anthony and Caesar. In Robin’s version we have an epic story following the reworked and reimagined Gracia, Ceirran and Anita.

With themes of grief, love, persuasion, identity, religion, power, truth and fiction this book is presented, in the author’s words as ‘queer work and gender liberation work’ and is a world of stars, space, moons and planets.

The narrative splits between two perspectives: Ceirran and Gracia. The story jumps back and forth as the reader enters the space opera and its inevitable dramas. It’s a hefty book but it’s certainly been written with passion. The world is detailed, richly crafted and full of political and strategic challenges and perspectives. It is a minefield of names, so some help from maps/character lists and a genre-based glossary would have been welcomed.

You can tell the author enjoys words and creating richness and rhythms in their writing, although at times confusing to wade through, there are moments of beautifully crafted lyricism. It was the character dynamics that shone for me, and out of a deep setting and world came some very human behaviours and emotions, albeit from some unreliable narrator perspectives.

Although heavy with world-building and politics, this is a book that will suit the reader who’s looking for something a little different – who’s happy to open their mind to the space opera retelling of an ancient story with modern queer representation.

Do check out The Stars Undying

Delighted to be a part of the #blogtour for #anindiscreetprincess by Geogie Blalock with thanks to @RandomTTours #readingcommunity

Blurb

Before Princess Margaret, before Duchess Meghan, there was Princess Louise: royal rebel. As the fourth daughter of the perpetually in-mourning Queen Victoria, Princess Louise’s life is more a gilded prison than a fairy tale. Expected to sit quietly next to her mother with down-cast eyes, Louise vows to escape the stultifying royal court. Blessed with beauty, artistic talent, and a common touch, she creates a life outside the walled-in existence of the palace grounds by attending the National Art Training School—where she shockingly learns to sculpt nude models while falling passionately in love with famed sculptor Joseph Edgar Boehm.
But even as Louise cultivates a life outside the palace, she is constantly reminded that even royal rebels must heed the call of duty—and for a princess that means marriage. Refusing to leave England, she agrees to a match with the Duke of Argyll, and although her heart belongs to another, she is determined to act out her public role perfectly, even if her private life teeters on the brink of scandal. But when a near fatal accident forces Louise back under her mother’s iron rule, she realizes she must choose: give in to the grief of lost love or find the strength to fight for her unconventional life.

Blog Tour

My thoughts

‘An Indiscreet Princess’ by Georgie Blalock was an unexpected delight – throwing the reader into the world of royalty and its gilded cage; a theme that has continued to this very day and often daily in our current news. 

Set during the reign of Queen Victoria and based on facts about her daughter Princess Louise, ‘An Indiscreet Princess’ fictionalises the fascinating life of a royal born woman with desires to exist beyond the formality and expectations of her ‘royal cage’ and the dominance and majesty of her formidable mother. 

Blalock has created a fascinating story of an artistic woman who attempts to break the mould of her sovereign birth and reach for her dreams – principally the desire to pursue her artistic talents and attend the National Art Training School. I loved Princess Louise’s control, persistence and careful manipulation of her royal life and duties to taste artistic success, friendships and ultimately love. 

It’s also heart-breaking to read of the sacrifices she would need to endure. I really enjoyed the portrayal of Queen Victoria – what a character study! There were so many people I recognised, in particular, the amazing Mr. Brown – the Queen’s indefatigable Scottish servant and most loyal friend. It brought back memories of the fabulous Judi Dench and Billy Connolly film, ‘Mrs. Brown’. 

At the heart of the story is the love between Princess Louise and the unattainable love of her life – sculptor Joseph Edgar Boehm. This relationship has been discussed by historian Lucinda Hawksley (The Mystery of Princess Louise) and therefore the focus of the novel, creating a fascinating account of what their relationship might have been like. 

I would highly recommend this book to readers who enjoy fictionalised historical figures; it’s a real dip into lives of royalty in an accessible and creative way. It’s also beautifully told by Georgie Blalock.

A delightful delve into a defiant daughter’s desire for living a life of her own in a hopelessly trapped and gilded cage. 

A book of sacrifice, determination and passion. 

The Author


Georgie Blalock is an amateur historian and movie buff who loves combining her different passions through historical fiction, and a healthy dose of period piece films. When not writing, she can be found prowling the nonfiction history section of the library or the British film listings on Netflix.

Georgie writes historical romance under the name Georgie Lee.

Please visit http://www.georigeblalock.com for more info about Georgie and her writing.

It’s my turn on the #blogtour for #HalfaSoul #TenThousandStitches and #LongShadow – a Regency Faerie Tales series by @OliviaAtwater2 with thanks to @Tr4cyF3nt0n

I’m delighted to be a part of the Regency Faerie Tales series, consisting of a trilogy of novels: ‘Half A Soul’, ‘Ten Thousand Stitches’ and ‘Long Shadow’. With thanks to @Tr4cyF3nt0n at Compulsive Readers for the invite and @orbitbooks for the review copies.

Do keep scrolling for the blurbs and some bookish chat…

Regency Faerie Tales by Olivia Atwater

The Blurbs

HALF A SOUL

It’s difficult to find a husband in Regency England when you’re a young lady with only half a soul.

Ever since she was cursed by a faerie, Theodora Ettings has had no sense of fear or embarrassment – a condition which makes her prone to accidental scandal. Dora hopes to be a quiet, sensible wallflower during the London Season – but when the strange, handsome and utterly uncouth Lord Sorcier discovers her condition, she is instead drawn into dangerous and peculiar faerie affairs.

If Dora’s reputation can survive both her curse and her sudden connection with the least-liked man in all of high society, then she may yet reclaim her normal place in the world. . . but the longer Dora spends with Elias Wilder, the more she begins to suspect that one may indeed fall in love, even with only half a soul.

TEN THOUSAND STITCHES

Faerie godfathers are supposed to help young ladies find love. Unfortunately, no one told Lord Blackthorn that.

Effie has most inconveniently fallen in love with the dashing Mr Benedict Ashbrooke. There’s only one problem; Effie is a housemaid, and a housemaid cannot marry a gentleman. It seems that Effie is out of luck until she stumbles into the faerie realm of Lord Blackthorn, who is only too eager to help Effie win Mr Ashbrooke’s heart. All he asks in return is that Effie sew ten thousand stitches onto his favourite jacket.

Effie has heard rumours about what happens to those who accept help from faeries, but life as a maid at Hartfield is so awful that she is willing to risk even her immortal soul for a chance at something better. Now, she has one hundred days – and ten thousand stitches – to make Mr Ashbrooke fall in love and propose. . . if Lord Blackthorn doesn’t wreck things by accident, that is.

LONG SHADOW

Proper Regency ladies are not supposed to become magicians – but Miss Abigail Wilder is far from proper.

The marriageable young ladies of London are dying mysteriously, and Abigail Wilder intends to discover why. Abigail’s father, the Lord Sorcier of England, believes that a dark lord of faerie is involved – but while Abigail is willing to match her magic against Lord Longshadow, neither her father nor high society believe that she is capable of doing so.

Thankfully, Abigail is not the only one investigating the terrible events in London. Mercy, a street rat and self-taught magician, insists on joining Abigail to unravel the mystery. But while Mercy’s own magic is strange and foreboding, she may well pose an even greater danger to Abigail’s heart.

My thoughts…

HALF A SOUL

This is the first book in a Regency Faeries fantasy series by Olivia Atwater – each book is a stand-a-lone set in Regency England, but one where faeries and magic exists. So, imagine Jane Austen merged with the fae folk who live at the bottom of your garden 😉

In ‘Half A Soul’ our protagonist, Dora, has a problem – and that problem began when a faerie came to claim her soul as a young girl. Fortunately, her sister was on hand with a pair of iron scissors, although a little late – in the nick of time to avoid complete disaster. The outcome: Dora lives her life with half of her soul missing; it’s the half where her emotions come from, so that does have its drawbacks. Regency society, as always, demands young ladies find husbands and this has proven challenging for Dora but not her delightful sister.

In the wider world England is protected by the Lord Socier – who happens to be rather brooding, but with hidden depth and feelings. His role is challenging enough but when children begin to be afflicted by an unusual plague, the role of protector becomes even more difficult, and this is how our love interests meet.

‘Half a Soul’ is a charming, fun read that dives you into a world of faerie escapism set within the popular literary Regency period, I’d recommend ‘Half a Soul’ simply because it’s lots of fun and enables you to escape reality for a few hours. It’s also my favourite of the three reads.

TEN THOUSAND STITCHES

This book follows the life of Effie, who is suffering from ‘Insta Love’ for the dashing Mr. Benedict Ashbrooke. Effie is a great character, who’s a skilled at stitching and embroidering, but socially has a problem with finding love with Mr. Ashbrooke – she’s a maid. So, here sets up the dilemma for the book – mixed into this is the delightful Lord Blackthorn from the faerie realm, who embroils Effie in the fae world, of selling souls and mischievous business – who generally tries to help in the only way he knows. It’s fun, light-hearted and a gentle read with some depth in terms of themes – the poor, servant classes and workhouses.

LONG SHADOW

This book opens with yet another problem – this one’s rather a big drama, as young, marriageable ladies in England are mysteriously dying! The books ties in more to ‘Half a Soul’, as our protagonist is Abigail – the daughter of Lord Sorcier and Dora. The problem seems routed in the court of Lord Longshadow.

Abigail soon finds an ally to help her investigate these dark events, it’s a young woman called Mercy – who’s a ‘street rat’ and a self-taught magician’. The pair set out and work together to find out what’s going on and who’s to blame. Along the wat Abigail and Mercy find out that they are falling for each other too.

This book has some great themes and world building, although a slower pace than the first two, it’s still fun to read with some more serious themes pushing through.

The tour closes today with my post but do check out all the fabulous bloggers on this tour and more bookish chat. Please buy from Independents if you can XX

It’s my turn on the #Blogtour for #WithFireInTheirBlood by @katdelacorte with thanks to @The_WriteReads & @penguinplatform

A simmering supernatural romance set in the crumbling Italian city of Castello, where mafia clans make the rules, dark magic pulses the streets and the sins of the past threaten to consume the present. . .

The Blurb

When sixteen-year-old Lilly arrives in Castello, she isn’t impressed.

A secluded town in the Italian mountains is not where she saw her last years of high school playing out.

Divided for generations by a brutal clan-family war, the two halves of Castello are kept from destroying each other by the mysterious General, a leader determined to maintain order and ‘purity’. . . whatever the cost.

Lilly falls in with the rebellious Liza, brooding Nico and sensitive Christian, and sparks begin to fly. But in a city where love can lead to ruin, Lilly isn’t sure she can trust anyone — not even herself.

And then she accidentally breaks Castello’s most important rule: when the General’s men come to test your blood, you’d better not be anything more than human…

My thoughts

The city of Castello seems to be falling apart and far removed from civilised society – almost like a dystopian Brigadoon (although not appearing every 100 years) through the clouds. It’s to Castello that our protagonist Lilly arrives, relocated with her father from Maine, and she immediately senses something very strange is lurking in the city. Graffiti sprawls on the city walls ‘All witches burn’ and ‘The Saints Live’ but without any Wi-Fi Lilly feels isolated. The opening pages bombard the reader with mysteries and questions and seemingly shifts the setting into the past. It’s clear Lilly’s life has already been challenging and her arrival in Castello looks set to be a rocky ride.

After arriving at school Lilly meets an eclectic bunch of students, from the over enthusiastic, to the withdrawn and the openly hostile. She learns quickly that The General is in control and dictatorship rules. The Sign sprawled on the wall at the school from Dante’s Inferno is a big alarm bell: Abandon all hope, you who enter here’.

This is a YA fantasy read, so you have all the usual threads and angst you’d expect. I did find myself drifting on several occasions – I’m not of a YA age, but I do read and review many YA books. For me, the characters seemed so adrift and Lilly was very irritating at times, particularly how she was drawn to several people at once, and seemed to be easily swayed – maybe she’s just an open relationship kind of girl. I liked the character of Nico, although he was kept to the sidelines, but I assume he’ll play a key part in the next in series.

Overall, this book creates a great fantasy setting, where control, fear and manipulation rule. There’s an undertone of Romeo & Juliet in terms of the warring families.

Do check it out if you enjoy angst ridden drama, with multiple love interests, in a supernatural fantasy setting with a mystery at its core.

The Author

Kat Delacorte was eleven years old when her family moved from the United States to a small town in central Italy. She soon began writing stories about her new friends developing superpowers, and she hasn’t looked back since. She graduated with a BA in History from Columbia University, and lives in Venice, Italy.

It’s fabulous to be a part of the #BlogTour for the brilliant #ThePartyHouse #ThePartyHouseBook by @Lin_Anderson @panmacmillan @RandomTTours with thanks x

I’ve been going through a bit of a reading slump recently – too many distractions thinking about my career changes; coming out of Covid and completely changing direction, ending a business established in the late 1990s; a divorce, securing a home, dealing with my daughter leaving home, caring for a relative with dementia with the daily impact on the family, and finally dealing with palliative care for my beautiful dog, the most loyal and loving of companions. I thought living alone would result in extra reading time but found that I just couldn’t focus on my books. Books have always been my therapy, escapism, my adventures, and discoveries. So, finding I was too distracted to focus was so frustrating. Time passed and I tried not to worry and do other things; I’d started to settle again, dipping in and out of my favourite books, and suddenly there’s a book that comes along and just drags you back in, fuelling that reading passion – ‘The Party House’ was that book for me.

Thank you to Lin Anderson for coming my way at the right time. Do please keep scrolling for some more book chat…

The Blurb

Devastated by a recent pandemic brought in by outsiders, the villagers of Blackrig in the Scottish Highlands are outraged when they find that the nearby estate plans to reopen its luxury ‘party house’ to tourists.

As animosity sparks amongst the locals, part of the property is damaged and, in the ensuing chaos, the body of a young girl is found in the wreck. Seventeen-year-old Ailsa Cummings went missing five years ago, never to be seen again – until now.

The excavation of Ailsa’s remains ignites old suspicions cast on the men of this small community, including Greg, the estate’s gamekeeper. At the beginning of a burgeoning relationship with a new lover, Joanne, Greg is loath to discuss old wounds. Frightened by Greg’s reaction to the missing girl’s discovery, Joanne begins to doubt how well she knows this new man in her life. Then again, he’s not the only one with secrets in their volatile relationship . . .



My Thoughts

Ian Rankin said, ‘The Party House is a real page-turner’ and I must completely agree. This was a one sitting read (albeit with a few snack breaks for stamina and energy) and I kept reading until the early hours and the final page. It was worth the lack of sleep.

Admittedly, I’d blocked out the plot and the guilty pretty much in my head quite early on, (over 35 years reading is a huge part of that) however, it didn’t matter at all; I enjoyed the journey so much. I loved Anderson’s choppy chapter structure and alternative point of views. This really drove the narrative pace and make the “oh, just one more chapter” a breeze – lol!

I’m always a fan of thriller reads set around unusual houses or wild locations and ‘The Party House’ is a great setting for the mysteries, the dramas, and relationships: both locals and outsiders. The setting is the Scottish Highlands – perfect for wilds, mountains, lakes and deep forests plus, there’s a kilt or two along the way!

There’s also a psychological spiral running through the central murder mystery and this relationship really hooked me in. With layers of grief, animosity, tempers, power, trust and relationships – both damaged and complex; I’d highly recommend ‘The Party House’ as a small community is unwrapped in the midst of a new relationship. Buried secrets are raised when a past mystery is shockingly revealed.

I’m off to buy more novels by Lin Anderson…

The Blog Tour

Lin Anderson

Lin Anderson is best known as the creator of the forensic scientist Rhona MacLeod series of crime thriller novels, and for her part in founding the annual ‘Bloody Scotland’ crime writing festival.

‘The Party House’, published on 4th August 2022.

There are 16 novels and one novella in Lin Anderson’s Forensic Scientist Rhona MacLeod Series – follow the below Amazon link for more purchasing information.

Please buy from Independents if you can XX

It’s great to be a part of the #BlogTour for #QuartertoMidnight by @KarenRoseBooks @Headlinepg with thanks to @RandomTTours

Only a secret witness could catch this killer…

A ‘Quarter to Midnight’ is the first book in a new series by Karen Rose and features the Burke Broussard Private Investigation Agency. Rose has many successful published novels: the Baltimore Novels, beginning with ‘You Belong to Me’; the Cincinnati novels, that open with ‘Closer than you Think’ and the Sacramento novels, starting with ‘Say You’re Sorry’. ‘Quarter to Midnight’ begins the New Orleans series. Many thanks for the tour invite, it’s great to be joining this tour today.

The Blurb

Rocky Hebert walks into his death at quarter to midnight one New Orleans night. His son Gabe cannot accept the official verdict of suicide and enlists the help of the Burke Broussard Private Investigation Agency to discover the real cause of death.
PI Molly Sutton knows what it’s like to lose a father in tragic circumstances and will go to any lengths to crack the investigation, as she tries to fight off her growing feelings for Gabe.
They soon realise Rocky was working on an investigation of his own; one that threatened to expose the deep corruption going all the way to the top of the police department. And that the key to the puzzle lies with a young witness to a murder that happened years earlier: Xavier Morrow.

Just what did Rocky know? And who might have shut him up?
As they get closer and closer to the truth, they realise that the killer is not going to stop at Rocky. And that Xavier is in very real danger. Someone will go to any lengths to protect what he witnessed that night coming out…

My Thoughts…

This is the first book in Karen Rose’s New Orleans series set from the Burke Broussard Private Investigation agency and focuses on one particular employee Molly Sutton, an investigator and past US Marine, so not someone to be underestimated. She is tasked to Gabe Hebert – pronounced “Ay-bear” in the New Orleans way and the suspicious death of his father. Firstly, this is a big book (not uncommon for Karen Rose novels), my review copy is 591 pages – but don’t let that dissuade you from picking it up – once you begin, you don’t really notice (a few drops in pace maybe could have been avoided by tightening up, just my opinion) and the pages do turn swiftly.

The prologue introduces us to our victim and we’re into the drama when the smell of ‘death’ alerts us that something significant is going on and Rocky Hebert (Gabe’s father) is in deep, deep trouble. Rocky has recently retired from the New Orleans police department, but his retirement is not going well, but he’s planning ahead in the event of the worst-case scenario.

The central story is about the corruption that lies with power and links to an old murder case, where a witness still needs silencing. Molly Sutton is soon hooked into the case and is trying to deal with the attraction she feels towards Gabe as they try and uncover what really happened to Rocky. This leads them into very dangerous territories where knowing who to trust is hard and dangerous.

I love the setting of the atmospheric city of New Orleans with its vibrancy, flavours and people, but there’s also the swampland that lurks and lures around the edges. At the heart of this story is how corruption bleeds into the city and lives of its people. How people will abuse power for control and riches, but this is balanced by those who are out for truth and justice. As with other Karen Rose reads this is a mystery, suspense romance read and the relationship between Molly and Gabe grows within the emotional drama of the investigation.

A recommended read from me for those who enjoy a modern romance mystery with depth.

The Blog Tour

The Author

Karen Rose


Karen Rose was introduced to suspense and horror at the tender age of eight when she accidentally read Poe’s The Pit and The Pendulum and was afraid to go to sleep for years. She now enjoys writing books that make other people afraid to go to sleep.
Karen lives in Florida with her family, their cat, Bella, and two dogs, Loki and Freya. When she’s not writing, she enjoys reading, and her new hobby – knitting.

Please buy from Independents in you can XX

Wow, look at this fabulous #ThePhantomoftheOpera #GraphicNovel from @ComicsTitan – it’s stunning!

I still remember the first time I saw the live stage show of The Phantom of the Opera in London as a teenager. Over thirty years later, it still fascinates and achingly pulls on the heartstrings. The tragically disfigured and mysterious phantom haunts the lair beneath the Paris Opera House and whose passionate obsession with Christine Daae leads to tragedy. The sheer scope and drama of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s orchestrations drawn from Gaston Leroux’s novel ‘Le Fantome de I’Opera’ haunt the pages of this amazing new graphic novel. It’s a stunning book that beautifully captures the essence of the story and the heart of the musical adaptation. I loved it, and found the illustrations absolutely do justice to the quality of the original. If you’d like a look inside to see for yourself, please do keep scrolling…

TITAN-COMICS.COM

From the original libretto of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s world-famous, multi-award-winning musical that has been playing continuously around the world for over 33 years comes this fully authorized graphic novel adaptation.

In 1881 the cast and crew of a new production, Hannibal, are terrorized by the Phantom of the Opera, a mysterious, hideously disfigured man who lives beneath the Paris Opera House. Hopelessly in love and obsessed with one of the chorus singers, the Phantom will stop at nothing to make her the star of the show, even if that means murder.

Relive every moment and every song of the classic stage musical – from the legendary chandelier crash, to Christine’s first visit to the Paris catacombs and the Phantom’s lair. Open your mind, let your fantasies unwind and let this book take you back to the wonders of The Phantom of the Opera.

A look inside…

Paris, 1905
Angel of Music
The Phantom of the Opera is here, inside my mind…
Then my world was shattered…
An example of the principle character art.

Please click on the below link and find out more:

https://titan-comics.com/c/1524-phantom-of-the-opera-collection/

Absolutely delighted to be a part of the #BlogTour for #ColdColdBones by @KathyReichs @simonschuster – with thanks to @RandomTTours #readers #newbook #TemperanceBrennan 

THE BLURB

Sometimes, revisiting the past is the only way to rescue the present . . .


Winter has come to North Carolina and, with it, a drop in crime. For a while, temporarily idle forensic anthropologist Tempe Brennan is content to dote on her daughter Katy, finally returned to civilian life from the army. But when mother and daughter meet at Tempe’s place one night for dinner, they find a box on the back porch. Inside: a very fresh human eyeball.

GPS coordinates etched into the eyeball lead to a Benedictine Monastery where an equally macabre discovery awaits. Soon after, Tempe examines a mummified corpse in a state park, and her anxiety deepens.

There seems to be no pattern to these random killings, except that each mimics in some way a killing that a younger Tempe witnessed, analysed, or barely escaped.


Who or what is targeting her, and why?


Helping Tempe discover the answers is Detective Erskine ‘Skinny’ Slidell, retired but still volunteering with the CMPD cold case unit – and still displaying his gallows humour. But as the two infiltrate a bizarre survivalist’s lair, even Skinny’s mood darkens.


And then Tempe’s daughter Katy disappears.


Electrifying, heart-stopping and compulsive, this is Tempe’s most personal and dangerous case yet …

Publishing 21st July, 2022

MY THOUGHTS

Temperance Brennan ‘Tempe’ is back in Kathy Reich’s latest crime thriller novel, ‘Cold, Cold Bones’.

I’ve been reading this series since the release of ‘Deja Dead’ back in 1997, so the anticipation was high for this latest outing with the Brennan, our forensic anthropologist, and the team.

This is an atmospheric read that immerses the reader, not only in the investigation, but into life in North Carolina during a frigid winter. Once again, Brennan is dragged up front and centre into the crime via a shocking discovery – actually on her doorstep this time. It’s, as usual, a gruesome discovery – a fresh human eyeball! But this eyeball houses a further mystery etched into it: the co-ordinates to a Benedictine Monastery and another shocking discovery.

Reich’s always plots meticulously, with creativity, and rather a lot of drama. There’re several crime threads that are worked into the overarching narrative, and it’s fun piecing all the layers together.

What you also always get with Reichs is Tempe’s family life and relationship dramas added to the mix and in her true style there is someone close to Brennan at risk in ‘Cold, Cold Bones’. Brennan’s daughter Katy is a part of the mystery and eventually dragged completely into danger! The race to find answers speeds up the pace into the final pages.

It’s great to see new characters and, of course, characters than have been with us throughout the series. One of my favourites is Ryan, now long-term boyfriend of Brennan. He’s a great ‘other-half’ both in terms of the investigation, but also in terms of their relationship and it’s development through the books.

As always, I do recommend this series for those who enjoy a good thriller and crime mystery read with drama!

BLOG TOUR

Kathy Reichs

About the Author

Kathy Reichs’s first novel Déjà Dead, published in 1997, won the Ellis Award for Best First
Novel and was an international bestseller. Kathy was also a producer of Fox Television’s
longest running scripted drama Bones, which is based on her work and her novels. Kathy
uses her own dramatic experiences as a forensic anthropologist to bring her mesmerizing
thrillers to life. One of very few forensic anthropologists certified by the American Board of
Forensic Anthropology, Kathy divides her time between Charlotte,
North Carolina, and Montreal, Québec.

Please buy from Independents if you can XX

It’s lovely to be on the #BlogTour for #LastTimeWeMet by #EmilyHoughton @penguinrandom with thanks to @RandomTTours #readers #newbook

The Blurb

ONE PROMISE
Aged thirteen, best friends Eleanor and Fin are inseparable. They are convinced that it will always be this way. But to be sure, they make a pact to always be there for each other. And of course, they’ll get married if they’re both 35 and single.

TWO DECADES
Eleanor and Fin haven’t spoken in fifteen years. They live on different continents, but more than an ocean separates them. Everything has changed since the last time they met.

CAN THEY STILL KEEP THEIR WORD?
So, when newly single Fin reappears, there’s no way they can keep their promise. Is there?

My Thoughts…

The ‘Last Time We Me Met’ makes an enduring, emotional and entertaining read from the pen of Emily Houghton. It’s a contemporary romance using the trope of friends to lovers and centres on Eleanor and Finley.

Characters drive this novel, and the lives of our characters is built over the pages, back and forth through the timeline and across differing points of view. I really enjoyed this shifting of time and perspective from Houghton. From their days as youngsters to adulthood, wishes and pacts are not fulfilled; life wasn’t as either expected and the reader is drawn into how things change, why they do and how people can reconnect through the challenges life throws at them. The supporting characters are carefully drawn and work well to bolster the narrative and its themes.

I found this book emotional at times, and I connected with the dementia storyline. Its themes of friendship, misunderstandings, alcoholism, grief and love merge into an enjoyable read. Yes, it may be predictable – but it’s as it should be.

I’d happily recommend this book to people who enjoy this genre.

Check out the fabulous bloggers on this tour:

The Author – Emily Houghton

Emily Houghton

EMILY HOUGHTON is the author of Before I Saw You. She is an Essex girl at heart, but now spends most of her time between London and Suffolk. Emily worked in digital product management at Tesco and Barclays for seven years, and it was during a sabbatical from work, travelling around India, that her first book was born; the first draft is still written on her phone!

After a whirlwind few months, Emily quit her corporate job to live her dream of writing full-time. A true Gemini at heart, she’s got many interests and is a trained spin and yoga teacher. She has a curiosity for life and a passion for all things well-being, one day hoping to create her own retreat space with a lot of dogs! Her writing, while centering around love stories, often touches on deeper emotional themes such as self-love, healing and the power of finding yourself.

Emily says: “Last Time We Met is a story of love, loss and enduring friendship. How sometimes the things that aren’t said are the words we need to hear the most; and how forgiving others is nowhere near as important as forgiving ourselves.”

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