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 #TheWitchesofMoonshyneManor by Bianca Marais #RandomThingsTours @RandomTTours

The Blurb

A coven of modern-day witches. A magical heist-gone-wrong. A looming threat.

Five octogenarian witches gather as an angry mob threatens to demolish Moonshyne Manor. All eyes turn to the witch in charge, Queenie, who confesses they’ve fallen far behind on their mortgage payments. Still, there’s hope, since the imminent return of Ruby—one of the sisterhood who’s been gone for thirty-three years—will surely be their salvation.

But the mob is only the start of their troubles. One man is hellbent on avenging his family for the theft of a legacy he claims was rightfully his. In an act of desperation, Queenie makes a bargain with an evil far more powerful than anything they’ve ever faced. Then things take a turn for the worse when Ruby’s homecoming reveals a seemingly insurmountable obstacle instead of the solution to all their problems.

The witches are determined to save their home and themselves, but their aging powers are no match for increasingly malicious threats. Thankfully, they get a bit of help from Persephone, a feisty ‘TikToker’ eager to smash the patriarchy. As the deadline to save the manor approaches, fractures among the sisterhood are revealed, and long-held secrets are exposed, culminating in a fiery confrontation with their enemies.

The Blog Tour

My thoughts…

This is a story of witches, in particular: a clairvoyant witch, a seductress, a botanist, one agoraphobe and an inventor… oh, there’s a missing witch as well, who’s rather outlandish – and so ‘The Witches of Moonshyne Manor’ begins… and with a rather abrupt start to the day. It’s this abrupt knocking that starts the battle for the Manor against an angry mob and man determined to regain his perceived inheritance.

Firstly, this book is littered with delightful and entertaining witches’ recipes from ‘Ivy’s Elixir of Life, Smoothies for Seniors’ to ‘Jezebel’s Full Bush Care’ – lol! They serve as great little break-up moments interspersed throughout the narrative and are very entertaining.

‘The Witches of Moonshyne Manor’ was written during once of the pandemic lock downs, in a ‘cold and dark’ Toronto and the author states that spending time with the Moonshine Manor Sisterhood was like ‘holding my hands up to a roaring fire’ and the sense of warmth does permeate in this book. What also strongly resonates is the issue of aging – and as I approach my 50th year, it’s certainly often in my thoughts… how can this be! Particularly as I’m still 18 in my mind – lol! Aging also releases the ‘I don’t give a ***k’ and this is another theme throughout the book and how women unite together to survive the ups and downs of the aging process! A friend told me recently that I’m too preoccupied with getting older, and I’ve thought a lot about that. He was right, I absolutely do and after reading this book, I’m going to focus more on living and laughing.

So, ‘The Witches of Moonshyne Manor’ actually seemed a very long book and I did drift at times, but the fun dialogue and witches’ shenanigans kept me coming back for more – it’s coming into the perfect time for this book, as nights draw in darker and fires are lit. There are links to Salem, secrets to unfold and a battle to be won by midnight on All Hallow’s Eve.

With themes of ageism, female empowerment, and the special nature of female friendship, do check out ‘The Witches of Moonshyne Manor’.

Please buy from Independents if you can xx

The Author – Bianca Marais

Bianca Marais is the author of the beloved Hum If You Don’t Know the Words and If You Want to Make God Laugh (Putnam, 2017 and 2019). She teaches at the University of Toronto’s School of Continuing Studies where she was awarded an Excellence in Teaching Award for Creative Writing in 2021.
A believer in the power of storytelling in advancing social justice, Marais runs the Eunice Ngogodo Own Voices Initiative to empower young Black women in Africa to write and publish their own stories, and is
constantly fundraising to assist grandmothers in Soweto with caring for children who have been orphaned by HIV/AIDS. In 2020, Marais started the popular podcast, The Shit No One Tells You About Writing, which is aimed at helping emerging writers become published.

It’s my turn on the #BlogTour for #KeepingaChristmasPromise by Jo Thomas – with thanks to @PenguinUKBooks @TransworldBooks @jo_thomas01 and #RandomThingsTours @RandomTTours

Published 13th October 2022

The Blurb

A Christmas to remember for a friend they’ll never forget

Four friends

Twenty-five years ago, Freya and her three best friends created a bucket list. The future seemed bright, full of hope and most importantly guaranteed . . .

One promise

Now they are travelling to Iceland in memory of the friend they’ve lost, determined to fulfil her dream of seeing the Northern Lights at Christmas.

A life-changing adventure

They didn’t count on an avalanche leaving them stranded! Handsome local, Pétur, comes to the rescue, showing them how the community survives the hard winter. With Christmas approaching, Freya and her friends throw themselves into the festivities, decorating and cooking for the villagers using delicious local ingredients.

But will the Northern Lights appear so they can honour their friend’s wish? And can Freya’s own dreams come true, this Christmas?

The Blog Tour

My thoughts

Firstly, the setting for ‘Keeping a Christmas Promise is so atmospheric and it was great to disappear into the pages and escape into remote Iceland. Nordic, culture, food, community, grief and friendship are at the heart of this delightful and emotional winter read. A setting that perfectly holds up the dramas of this thoroughly enjoyable Christmas themed book. Yes, I know… I mentioned the Christmas word in December 😉

There are some great hooks as a group of friends make an emotive trip to see the Northern Lights and honour their lost friend on her 40th birthday. This is another aspect of ‘Keeping a Christmas Promise’ I loved – the balance and a heartfelt depth that can sometimes be missing in these reads.

As you spend the bulk of this book in a cold, isolated setting – you might want to consider sitting by an open fire, if you can. I certainly lit my first fire of the year and poured a hot chocolate for a bit of a mood read. At the heart of this isolated community is a great host of minor characters that make up this Icelandic community and our male-interest Petur is at the heart of our community focus and builds in the customs, farming life and, well perspective.

I’d happily recommend this book, it’s emotional at times, but also draws our attention on the important things in life… about taking a breath and seizing opportunities, being brave, accepting, letting go and taking risks.

Listen to our hearts‘ resonates after you close the final page.

A slightly late #blogtour post for Marion Lane & the Deadly Rose by T.A. Willberg @orionbooks #CompulsiveReaders @Tr4cyF3nt0n with thanks.

Blurb

The second installment in the Marion Lane mysteries series.

The envelope was tied with three delicate silk ribbons: “One of the new recruits is not to be trusted…”

It’s 1959 and a new killer haunts the streets of London, having baffled Scotland Yard. The newspapers call him The Florist because of the rose he brands on his victims. The police have turned yet again to the Inquirers at Miss Brickett’s for assistance, and second year Marion Lane is assigned the case.

But she’s already dealing with a mystery of her own, having received an unsigned letter warning her that one of the three new recruits should not be trusted. She dismisses the letter at first, focusing on The Florist case, but her informer seems to be one step ahead, predicting what will happen before it does. But when a fellow second-year Inquirer is murdered, Marion takes matters into her own hands and must come face-to-face with her informer-who predicted the murder-to find out everything they know. Until then, no one at Miss Brickett’s is safe and everyone is a suspect.

With brilliant twists and endless suspense, all set within the dazzling walls and hidden passageways of Miss Brickett’s, Marion Lane and the Deadly Rose is a deliciously fun new historical mystery you won’t be able to put down.

My thoughts

This was my first outing with Marion Lane – I’m not sure how I missed the debut of the series, ‘Marion Lane and the Midnight Murder’, but I’ve definitely got it on my future reading list after the fantastic sleuthing adventure of ‘Marion Lane and the Deadly Rose’.

Firstly, a fantastic cover design lures you to the blurb, which promises the thrilling hunt for The Florist – a new killer at large in Lane’s 1959 historical/steampunk crime world. London is the setting and Lane is assigned the case via Miss Brickett’s Inquiry Agency.

I absolutely love the vibe of the setting, the drama – both plotting and relationships. It’s such a fun read, a mystery that keeps you guessing with a vibrant protagonist to really hook yourself to.

I’d certainly recommend this book for those readers looking for a zesty murder mystery. It’s layered, cosy and twisty – perfect escapism and jolly good fun! Oh, and a dash of romance to top it all off.

Out now 🙂

Please do buy from independents if you can xx

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

#TogetherWeBurn by @IsabelWriter09 @TitanBooks @Sarah_Mather_15

Thanks to Titan Books and Sarah for sending a copy of ‘Together We Burn’ to review – from the atmospheric and passionate cover design to the fantasy escapism inside, everything was a readers’ delight. For some book blurb and chat about this Spanish inspired fantasy adventure, do keep scrolling…

The Blurb

An ancient city plagued by dragons.

Eighteen-year-old Zarela Zalvidar is a talented flamenco dancer and daughter of the most famous Dragonador in Hispalia. People come from miles to see him fight in their arena, which will one day be hers. But disaster strikes during one celebratory show, and in the carnage, Zarela’s life changes in an instant.

A flamenco dancer determined to save her ancestral home.

Facing punishment from the Dragon Guild, Zarela must keep the arena―her ancestral home and inheritance―safe from their greedy hands. She has no choice but to train to become a Dragonador. When the infuriatingly handsome dragon hunter, Arturo Díaz de Montserrat, withholds his help, she refuses to take no for an answer. Without him, her world will burn.

But even if he agrees, there’s someone out to ruin the Zalvidar family, and Zarela will have to do whatever it takes in order to prevent the Dragon Guild from taking away her birthright.

My thoughts

‘Together We Burn’ by Isabel Ibanez is set in a Spanish fantasy land of dragons and its Dragonadors – laced with the flair of flamenco and a brooding, reluctant hero who matches the fire and determination of the heroine. I’ve a soft spot for books featuring dragons and ‘Together We Burn’ is bursting with them.

Dragonadors are the warriors of the arena in the land, Hispalia. Dragons of all shapes and temperaments, from a Morcego – a black, ivory horned dragon, the size of a bull with great bat wings, to the elusive Escarlata – ruby red with giant wings, who can breathe fire continuously for thirty seconds, are hunted in this country. People from far and wide fill the arenas to watch the battle between man and beast. I really felt for the dragons from the start – of how they were hunted, caged and clipped before being essentially slaughtered for entertainment. Most reminiscent of the cruel bull fighting world. Ibanez slowly weaves in a new perspective from Arturo Diaz de Montserrat, a Dragonador who gave up fighting in the ring and who know plays a very different role in this dragon infested world.

After an appalling incident in Zarela Zalvidar’s family arena, both Arturo and Zarela are reluctantly joined out of necessity and this alters the course of the novel. Banter and fiery fuelled moments begin to fizz and we enter pages of secrets, romance and challenges.

Lurking in the background is the Dragon Guild, controlled by its Dragon Master – Don Eduardo Del Pino and they want answers about the tragic disaster of the Zalvidar’s celebratory show, which turned into carnage and bloodshed. Nothing is what it seems and the reader soon questions the behaviour of some of the characters and what lies are being told.

It’s a passionately fuelled fantasy adventure, teeming with romance and bursting with magic and, of course, stunning dragons!

https://titanbooks.com/70962-together-we-burn/

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.

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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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