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Book Review

A WOLF SO GRIM AND MANGY by Caroline Noe

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What a joy to read! A WOLF SO GRIM AND MANGY by Caroline Noe was certainly one of the most fun and entertaining books I have read in a very long time.

An epic fantasy of a kingdom of changers – wolfs, bears, snakes and Eagles, and a regular world-weary woman from London. All cleverly woven together by the very talented Caroline Noe into one hilarious, touching and thrilling read.

The author gives us a brilliant cast and fabulous world-building, with a refreshing heroine Edi, who is definitely not your normal young and perky, perfect princess but bored, miserable and middle-aged. After receiving a regifted secret Santa present, a mysterious book, Edi finds herself marooned atop a frozen mountain in a strange land. With her reluctant, grumpy and ‘mangy’ rescuer, Curt, Edi finds her power of storytelling could be the key to sorting the strife of this waring world.

This book is utterly brilliant and completely unlike anything I have ever read. It’s well-written, funny and compelling, with danger, strife, and a refreshing romance.

Full Review of Amazon and Goodreads.

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Book Review

A DREAM OF DEATH AND MAGIC by Sarina Langer.

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A DREAM OF DEATH AND MAGIC is a little out of my comfort zone; although I read urban and high fantasy, they are not my go-to. Having said that, this felt rather a unique, individual story, and I was drawn very quickly to the world of Esta Anderson and all the chaos that is about to ensue.

Esta Anderson is a young woman with a passion for photography. Through her ability to lucid dream, she finds herself stepping from the shadows into a world surrounded by the Veiled — fairies and vampires, werewolves and demons. But with her newfound knowledge comes a genuine threat that could jeopardise everyone’s existence.

This is the first on a ten-book series, although it stands well on its own. If the prospect of embarking on such a series worries you, don’t let it. Although the author sets up so much more story and characters to come, the tale within this book has a completeness with the turn of the last page.

This is a relatively quick read with a must-read-on feeling from the first chapter. With a beautiful slow-burn romance building (I think I’ve fallen in love too), this book is full of wonderful, diverse characters, great dialogue and vivid, well-written scenes. Although I know the author to be a meticulous writer of epic worlds, I loved this book far more than I imagined.

FULL REVIEW on GoodreadsBookBub and Amazon.

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Audiobook Review

RELEASED by Julie Embleton, Turning Moon, book 2. Narrated by Elyse Osherhaug.

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Following BOUND, book 1, the story continues with Michael Vincent, a minor character at the start, who has spent the last year on the run, convinced he deserves to be alone and tormented by his guilt. His unwitting but devastating actions in book 1 continue to haunt him as he tries to build a new life deep in the Rochfort Mountains, away from his pack. Fate has different plans when he meets his mate, giving Michael a small glimmer of hope for redemption. But as the nightmare and evil of his former life threatens to destroy all hope, can he overcome his guilt, make peace with his pack and rid the evil for good this time?

As with the first in the series, Released is not just wolf fiction, a trope that I don’t usually enjoy. Friendship, love and loyalty feature strongly here, all woven into a suspense thriller that feels far more real than an urban fantasy. The author has a natural gift of pulling you into the story, convincing you that wolves live amongst us in our everyday lives.

I listened to the audiobook, narrated by Elyse Osterhaug, who I am delighted to say has recorded the whole series. Elyse has a beautiful, easy tone that keeps you listening, bringing compelling depth to her storytelling… wonderful.

The Turning Moon series is a must-read and listen for all lovers of urban fantasy, thrilling suspense, and of course, a fabulous wolf romance. If you are new to audiobooks, these are great places to start. Now on to book 3!

FULL REVIEW on Goodreads, BookBub, Amazon and Audible.

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Book Review – Avalon Hall by Ruth Miranda

Congratulations to Ruth Miranda on the release of her new fantasy novel, Avalon Hall. I was lucky to have had an ARC edition. Avalon Hall is available to purchase Kindle or Paperback at Amazon.

Avalon Hall by Ruth Miranda – this is Ruth doing what she does best. A story of vampires, witches, fantasy and magic. This is a book of two halves, both as important as the other, coming together just enough at the end, but most certainly leaving you craving more.

Modern-day Scotland. We are introduced to a cast of contemporary characters, all well-crafted and intriguing with their own backstories. Set against the magnificent architecture of Avalon Hall, a modern-day school for adult preternatural, a place to nurture their new magical talents that manifest in their late teens or early twenties. This is no Hogwarts; there is more lurking the rooms and halls than just magic; and beyond the Hall, the vast grounds hold their own secrets. There is one student with her own damaged past that has the talent to step beyond the ‘now’ into the ‘then’. She has a vital role to play, unravelling the past mysteries and miseries of Avalon Hall’s hidden resident.

Just as your heartbeat starts racing, the author halts, whipping you off to the past. A place home to myth and Arthurian legend. But don’t think for one second you are about to receive a run of the mill story of King Arthur. Avalon Hall offers so much more. Instead of the general, the author gives us her own interpretations and thoughts, taking you across the lake at Avalon, delving into the history, the ancestry of who we know to be King Arthur, weaving us a tale that is so in-depth you feel kin to it. This second part of the book is so painstakingly meticulous, a richly woven tapestry of characters, each playing their role in carving the future of who will be known as King Arthur.

I’m now eagerly, and not so patiently, waiting for the second book in this series. Avalon Hall offers so much for those who adore fantasy, those stories abundant with witches and magic, but also those like me, who adore the mysteries that surround Arthurian legend.

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Why it’s important to step outside of your comforts…

Writers, do you read what you write?

Readers, do you read the same genres?

As a writer, I tend to read books to help inspire my own writing. I write historical and Gothic fiction, with the classic being a major source of love and inspirations…the likes of the Brontë’s, Shelley, Poe, and my dear Mr Bram Stoker, of course. But lately I’ve done a fair bit of beta reading for fellow authors and received a few ARC copies for reviewing before official release dates, too. This is where I now read for the love of reading, not for research but to either help my fellow authors or step into another world. I love reading, of course, and I seem to be finding it increasingly harder to say no to these. I get a little tingle, a tiny buzz at the thought of a new book to read… I need more hours in the day! But I digress…

So, let me introduce you to Ailey. Here she is, set against a beautiful backdrop of the stunning Isle of Skye. I was drawn to Ailey of Skye initially by the premise of being set in Scotland, and with a particular love of Skye after a visit there two years ago, I was hooked at the thought. Now, I have to fully admit, I had no real idea of the truly hard-hitting story line I was going to be delving into, no idea how raw or gritty it would be.

You see, I don’t tend to read a lot of crime thrillers, and when I do the author needs to capture my attention very quickly or I will stray. But within a few lines, not even pages of this authentic, gripping thriller, I was done for. There wasn’t even a chance of me coming up to air (only to grab another coffee). And the author of this, Wendy Hewlett.

The reason that this book, above a lot of other’s I’ve read of late, stands out so much is that I do not read contemporary crime. It just isn’t my thing…usually! I have to say, there is only one other modern author of crime thrillers that can hook me like Wendy has and that is Peter James. So, I salute you Wendy Hewlett for converting me to the realms of contemporary crime thrillers… now to go download the rest of Wendy’s novels.

Ailey of Skye is available now from all good online retailers, including Amazon. Please go visit Wendy Hewlett’s website for more details and stalk Wendy on the following links. Website, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads