Review: Once Upon a River by Diane Setterfield

I had one experience with Diane Setterfield’s novels and that was Bellman & Black way back in 2013. I wasn’t terribly impressed with the book and I was so sad because I wanted to love it so very badly. I mean it sounded right up my alley and I was reading it as my ‘scary read’ for October so I was even more disappointed in it.

At the time I wanted to read her other novel, The Thirteenth Tale, but I was just so let down that I didn’t want to risk being disappointed again. So flash forward five years…..since reading this Bellman & Black,  I have thought of her other book off and on but just haven’t gotten around to reading it.

Then I was approached to read Once Upon a River and I was actually super excited. By all accounts and descriptions, all of her books should be something that I would love. I was eager to try out another one of her books, especially because I had already heard quite the buzz happening around this book which made me excited. And let’s just say the only regret I have with this book is that I didn’t start it sooner! Continue reading “Review: Once Upon a River by Diane Setterfield”

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Review: The Little Shop of Found Things (The Little Shop of Found Things #1) by Paula Brackston

Paula Brackston has been a favorite writer of mine for a while now. I have read almost all of her ‘witch’ novels and I love them! She has such a nice voice in her stories and I love the mixture of magic and realism.

When this book came up for review, I was so excited to read it. I loved the cover and the title so much. It looked like something that I was going to be an instant favorite in my magical realism category.

Xanthe and her mother Flora leave London behind for a fresh start, taking over an antique shop in the historic town of Marlborough. Xanthe has always had an affinity with some of the antiques she finds. When she touches them, she can sense something of the past they come from and the stories they hold. So when she has an intense connection to a beautiful silver chatelaine she has to know more.

It’s while she’s examining the chatelaine that she’s transported back to the seventeenth century. And shortly after, she’s confronted by a ghost who reveals that this is where the antique has its origins. The ghost tasks Xanthe with putting right the injustice in its story to save an innocent girl’s life, or else it’ll cost her Flora’s. Continue reading “Review: The Little Shop of Found Things (The Little Shop of Found Things #1) by Paula Brackston”

Review: Echo Moon (Ghost Gifts #3) by Laura Spinella

This book appealed to me for a couple of reasons, but one in particular stood out above all the other general ‘pick me’ signs that I saw in the pitch. The thing that caught my eye was the twist between historical fiction and magical realism/paranormal.

This book is set during the Great War (hello my favorite era) but yet has paranormal characters and the combo between the two interested me.

They sound like two very conflicting different genres and the first thing that I thought was ‘this could go one of two ways—really bad or really good’. So I agreed to review this one.

Knowing that it was the third in the series, I was prepared to be a little lost in the story but I had seen that many readers said it could stand alone so I was hopeful that that was truly the case.  Continue reading “Review: Echo Moon (Ghost Gifts #3) by Laura Spinella”

Review: The Beautiful Ones by Silvia Moreno Garcia

There was something about this book cover that reminded me of Gail Carriger’s Finishing School series. I kind of thought that I was going to read a steampunk-esque romance with a little paranormal thrown in.

But considering that I have not actually read the Finishing School series, I think I can safely say that I had no idea what this book was going to be about other than maybe something YA with magic.

In a world of etiquette and polite masks, no one is who they seem to be.

Antonina Beaulieu is in the glittering city of Loisail for her first Grand Season, where she will attend balls and mingle among high society. Under the tutelage of the beautiful but cold Valérie Beaulieu, she hopes to find a suitable husband. Continue reading “Review: The Beautiful Ones by Silvia Moreno Garcia”

Special Feature and Giveaway: HIMSELF by Jess Kidd

The latest novel by best selling author, Jess Kidd is now available in paperback as of 10/10! Do not miss out on this exciting opportunity to read an outstanding and riveting book this fall! There is also a giveaway being hosted here: a Rafflecopter giveaway

HIMSELF is the spellbinding tale of a young man who returns to the provincial Irish village where he was born in search of the truth about his long-lost mother.

When Mahony returns to Mulderrig, a speck of a place on Ireland’s west coast, he brings only a photograph of his long-lost mother and a determination to do battle with the village’s lies.

His arrival causes cheeks to flush and arms to fold in disapproval. No one in the village – living or dead – will tell what happened to the teenage mother who abandoned him as a baby, despite Mahony’s certainty that more than one of them has answers.

Between Mulderrig’s sly priest, its pitiless nurse and the caustic elderly actress throwing herself into her final village play, this beautiful and darkly comic debut novel creates an unforgettable world of mystery, bloody violence and buried secrets.

‘An intriguing story of family secrets and haunting.’ Andrew Michael Hurley, author of The Loney

‘I love this book. It’s a magic realist murder mystery set in rural Ireland, in which the dead play as important a part as the living. It’s one of those books that has you smiling as you read, and that you plan to read again very soon.’ Louis De Bernieres, author of Captain Corelli’s Mandolin

‘Himself is a sort of Under Milk Wood meets The Third Policeman meets Agatha Christie. It’s a highly unusual tale set in a highly unusual Irish village full of dark secrets and engaging characters (not all of them still alive). Lushly imagined, delightfully original and very, very funny, it hurtles along from the very first page. A hugely enjoyable read.’ ML Steadman, author of The Light Between Oceans

Continue reading “Special Feature and Giveaway: HIMSELF by Jess Kidd”