Book Review: Awa and the Dreamrealm – Dreamweavers Book 1

Today I am pleased to share a review for something different – the first book in the Dreamweaver series, Awa and the Dreamrealm by Isa Pearl Ritchie. It is a novel for children and young teens.

Book Review: Awa and the Dreamrealm.

Awa and the Dreamrealm Cover

Title: Awa and the Dreamrealm ( Dreamweavers Book 1)

Author: Isa Pearl Ritchie
Publisher: Te Ra Aroha Press

Genre: Children and young teen fiction

Release date: 23rd Oct 2019

Blurb

What if dreams are more real than waking life?

Life is already complicated enough for Awa Bryant when she starts having weird dreams – waking dreams – and strange coincidences start appearing in her real life.

She meets dreamcharmer, Veila, a quirky glowing creature who helps to guide Awa through the mysterious Dreamrealm.

At first the Dreamrealm is a glorious escape from Awa’s daily struggles but something is not right… Soon Awa discovers she has a bigger quest, and everything she cares about is at stake. Will she be brave enough to face her fears and save her friends?

Purchase Links

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07XFHSB9R

US – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07XFHSB9R

My Thoughts

The blurb caught my attention because I have always had lucid dreams and I was intrigued how the author would entwine this idea into fiction. As the title suggests the novel has a surreal dream like quality to it in many places making it an unusual read.

Awa arrives at a new school following parents divorce and a run in with the school bully adds to her anxiety, triggering nightmares. Reality and her dreams collide but she is guided by the dreamcharmer, Veila on a journey which reminded me of guided meditation and relaxation techniques. As anxiety is increasing in young people, I feel this  story could be a good way to introduce the ideas to them. The theme running through the novel is to trust your intuition and self when facing adversity.

It deals with many issues facing young readers including racism, bullying, divorce, moving and friendship changes in a sensitive and imaginative manner. The interesting concept and character kept me reading and I am curious to see how the story will unfold in the next book in the series.

Would I recommend?

As a mum, I would have given this book to my daughter to read in her preparation to go to secondary school. The topics are age appropriate and much needed but more than that it is a lovely read.

About the Author

Isa Pearl Ritchie

Isa Pearl Ritchie

Isa Pearl Ritchie is a New Zealand writer. As a child, she loved creating imaginary worlds. She has completed a PhD on food sovereignty in Aotearoa. Her second novel, Fishing for Māui, was selected as one of the top books of 2018 in the New Zealand Listener and was a finalist in the NZ Booklovers Award for Best Adult Fiction Book 2019. Awa and the Dreamrealm is her first book for young people.

www.isaritchie.com

Social Media Links –

https://www.facebook.com/isapearlritchie/

https://twitter.com/isapearlritchie

https://www.instagram.com/isapearlritchie/

Giveaway to Win 1 x kindle copy of Awa and the Dreamrealm (INT)

Click here to enter the giveaway

Thank you Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to this tour and the opportunity to read an advanced copy to review.

Love

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Frankie: The Woman Who Saved Millions from Thalidomide by James Essinger and Sandra Koutzenco

I am pleased to be part of a blog tour and share with you a book that is on my TBR list Frankie: The Woman Who Saved Millions from Thalidomide by James Essinger and Sandra Koutzenco. Thalidomide caused havoc to many lives and I always assumed it affected many countries so to read a blurb saying this wasn’t the case is fascinating.

Frankie: The Woman Who Saved Millions from Thalidomide by James Essinger and Sandra Koutzenco

Frankie Cover

Title: Frankie: The Woman Who Saved Millions from Thalidomide

Author: James Essinger and Sandra Koutzenco

Genre: History, Medicine, Non-fiction

Publisher: The History Press

Release Date: 28 Jun. 2019

Blurb

Thalidomide: patented in Germany as a non-toxic cure-all for sleeplessness and morning sickness. A wonder drug with no side-effects.

We know differently now.

Today, thalidomide is a byword for tragedy and drug reform – a sign of what happens when things aren’t done ‘the right way’. But when it was released in the 1950s, it was the best thing since penicillin – something that doctors were encouraged to prescribe to all of their patients. Nobody could anticipate what it actually did: induce sleeping, prevent morning sickness, and drastically harm unborn children.

But, whilst thalidomide rampaged and ravaged throughout most of the West, it never reached the United States. It landed on the desk of Dr Frances Kelsey, and there it stayed as she battled hierarchy, patriarchy, and the Establishment in an effort to prove that it was dangerous. Frankie is her story.

Purchase Links

https://www.thehistorypress.co.uk/publication/frankie/9780750991919/

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Frankie-Woman-Saved-Millions-Thalidomide-ebook/dp/B07PQV547Y

https://www.amazon.com/Frankie-Woman-Saved-Millions-Thalidomide-ebook/dp/B07PQV547Y

Author Biography

JAMES ESSINGER is the author of non-fiction books that focus on STEM subjects and personalities, including Charles and Ada (The History Press) and Ada’s Algorithm (Gibson Square), the latter of which has been optioned for a film. He lives in Canterbury.

SANDRA KOUTZENKO is a bilingual writer whose work spans a variety of categories and topics, ranging from French poetry to English non-fiction, focusing on human nature and the conflict between its potential for greatness and its propensity for destruction.

Social Media Links

Twitter @TheHistoryPress

Instagram @TheHistoryPressUK

https://www.facebook.com/james.essinger

https://twitter.com/jamesessinger

Have you read this? Let me know your thoughts below. When I have caught up with my TBR pile I will share my review.

Happy reading!

Love

Book Review: Hallowed Ground: They Mystery of the African Fairy Circles by Paul Twivy

Book Review: Hallowed Ground: The Mystery of the African Fairy Circles by Paul Twivy

There have been downpours of rain outside for days here in Yorkshire so I was more than pleased to be transported to the hot sun in Namibia in the YA novel Hallowed Ground: The Mystery of the African Fairy Circles by Paul Twivy

Hallowed Ground: The Mystery of the African Fairy Circles by Paul Twivy

 

Hallowed Ground Front Cover

Hallowed Ground: The Mystery of the African Fairy Circles by Paul Twivy

Title: Hallowed Ground: The Mystery of the African Fairy Circles

Author: Paul Twivy

Publisher: The Conrad Press

Genre: YA

Release Date: 1st October 2019

Blurb:

This magical story is inspired by the most haunting and least explored country in the world – Namibia – with its foggy Skeleton Coast, buried goldmines, shocking secrets and awe-inspiring sand dunes.

Spread across the face of its deserts are hundreds of miles of ‘fairy circles’ : vast enough to be seen from space.  They grow and die with the same lifespan as humans, yet no-one has been able to explain why or how they appear.

Then one day, three teenagers and their families arrive from different parts of the globe. Helped by bushmen, the buried possessions of a Victorian explorer, and a golden leopard, they solve the mystery of the African Circles. What will be discovered beneath the hallowed ground? And how will it change the future of the planet above it?

Purchase Links

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Hallowed-Ground-mystery-African-Circles-ebook/dp/B07YDY9LF2/

Com – https://www.amazon.com/Hallowed-Ground-mystery-African-Circles-ebook/dp/B07YDY9LF2/

My Thoughts

This is one of those books where the cover matches the story perfectly; it’s vibrant, atmospheric and the desert in Namibia arrives in your living room, bed or wherever you are when you begin to read. It captured my imagination with the visual descriptions and the mystery of the fairy circles.

The four teenagers are distinct from each other with different personalities, backgrounds, cultures and unique talents but their shared curiosity and determination make them work together to solve the puzzle of the circles. Unlike many YA books, the teenagers are not alone on their adventure but have help from their parents who were not just blurry characters on the edges of the story. Theyhad their own fully formed stories and roles to play. It is a format that worked well and made it more believable. Paul Twivy has blended history, folklore, legends and stunning settings to produce a beautiful and unique novel which does not shy away from the horrors of the genocide which affects the country or other sensitive topics. I learnt things I was unaware of reading this.

There are many climate change references and a few older teenagers and adults could view it as didactic but most will nod and agree with the underlying message of protecting and nurturing the environment and our planet now rather than later.

Would I recommend?

This is one of those books which make me happy to be a book blogger. If I hadn’t been invited on to this tour and shown the blurb, this novel would have gone under my radar and I am so glad it didn’t. It reminded me of the books that sat on my twelve year old’s forever shelf and it would have slotted in perfectly.

Author Biography

Paul Twivy

Paul Twivy

Paul Twivy studied English at Oxford University and became one of the most famous British admen. He has written comedy and drama for the stage and radio.  He edited the bestseller Change the World for a Fiver. He is married with five children. He was inspired to write Hallowed Ground by his first-hand experiences of the extraordinary landscapes and culture of Namibia.

Social Media

www.thefairycircles.com

https://hallowedground.co.uk

https://twitter.com/paultwivy

A big thank you to Rachel’s Random Resources and The Conrad Press for the chance to read this delightful book and give my honest, unbiased opinion.

Love

Katie signature pink

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Meet the Author: KT King

Autumn is here which is an ideal time to curl up under the duvet and read a good book.  My TBR pile is on the edge of falling over but one of the books I am eager to read is Little Eden.  I have the pleasure to introduce its author, KT King to my blog today to discuss this novel, her favourite reads and her experience of writing with ME/CFS.

Little Eden by KT King

9781916429604

Little Eden by KT King

Book Blurb

  1. Little Eden, London, England.

In the heart of the city lies the beautiful sanctuary of Little Eden. In the time of King Alfred, this sacred site was surrounded by stone walls and within their protection has grown a tranquil town of historic buildings, parks and gardens, and tree-lined streets.

But, Little Eden and the last 1,000 years of community, compassion and refuge are under threat. Human greed, selfishness and disregard are about to turn everything Little Eden stands for to dust.

Robert Bartlett-Hart must make a choice.

With the help of his friends – plus plenty of tea and cake – Robert learns that there is more at stake than just Little Eden. Something lies at the heart of the Abbey; something that stands between the future of mankind and Armageddon.

Robert sets out on a journey of self-discovery, through past lives, other dimensions, and even through Heaven itself, but where do his loyalties lie?

Will Little Eden survive to usher in a new age or will humanity perish with it?

https://linktr.ee/ktkingbooks

The paperback will be available shortly.

Welcome to From Under the Duvet, KT King. Please tell us a bit about yourself.

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KT King

KT:  I love afternoon tea, investigating all things spiritual and work as a complimentary therapist (when my health allows). I try to help others as much as I can. Making a contribution to someone else’s happiness or healing is the only thing that keeps me going! I also love crafting, up-cycling and a bit of shabby chic! I sell some of my handmade jewellery in my Little Eden Etsy shop where all the gifts inspired by Little Eden. I meditate daily and I eat way too much chocolate! I can’t read a lot these days but I chill out by watching TV adaptations of cosy crime novels.

I hope to help raise awareness for ME/CFS through my writing. I have suffered with this little known but chronic illness for over 25 years. My heroine, Sophie Lawrence, represents all of us with this illness. I hope that she inspires others as well as helping raise awareness for the millions of us worldwide who are currently ignored by the medical profession and society. There are so many people now suffering with this debilitating illness that it has been suggested that it is becoming a humanitarian crisis. If you would like to learn more about ME/CFS just click here: https://www.meaction.net/

What is your favourite book?

KT:  This is always a hard question to answer as I think we all have a few books which we turn to over and over for comfort or enlightenment. One book I have read many times is Maurice by E.M Forster, I remember reading it aged seventeen in one sitting.

Who is your favourite author?

KT: Again, a tricky question to pin down to one author but I would have to say Jane Austen, as I always dip into her books when I am feeling down.

Is your writing influenced by the books you have read?

I studied English and French at University and am influenced by French authors such as Andre Gide but also by English Gothic writers such Edgar Allen Poe and Shirley Jackson. I like to mix up my genres so you’ll notice a splash of all sorts in my writing. I’m very influenced by TV and Film as well. I see my scenes in pictures before I write them down. I love the cinematography of Hitchcock, Baz Lurhmann and Tim Burton for example, and I weave music into my novels just as they do in the movies!

Where is your favourite place to write?

KT: I have a therapy room where my desk is actually my treatment couch, I love it in there as it’s so peaceful, tranquil and calming. Sometimes I write in our ‘fancy shed’ if the weather is warm. My dream place to write would be by a lake somewhere in Canada or Scandinavia.

When did you begin writing?

KT: I used to play at being Enid Blyton when I was six years old and invent stories for my friends to act out and I loved Anne of Green Gables and Little Women – wanting to be Anne or Jo. I wrote the sixth form play but then all my writing after that was essays, newsletters or course manuals. Due to the CFS I didn’t have the energy to do anything outside my part-time work as a healer/psychic.

When I had a massive relapse of the CFS aged forty, I was in bed for two years and began to write Little Eden in my head. It took me four years to type it up as I had long periods of not being able to function. But, I feel I’ve been writing in my head my whole life long!

Katie: Jo and Anne are tow of my childhood heroines and both encouraged me to dream about being an author.

How did you become published?

KT: I finally self-published in November 2018 taking a leap of faith that my writing was good enough to be out there in the ocean of books but also because I didn’t want the ‘what if’ following me around for the next forty years. Due to the CFS a publishing deal would not really work for me as I can’t meet deadlines and my writing days are short and erratic. Self-publishing offers the challenge of how to promote my books because I don’t have the energy or the time for major marketing. It is thanks to wonderful, generous bloggers like Katie that you are reading about me and Little Eden right now.

If you write a particular genre, how did you begin writing in this style?

KT: Little Eden can’t be pinned down to one genre because I’m too curious to stick to one style. I like to have fun and mix it up! I guess you could say Little Eden is part supernatural thriller, part cosy crime, part women’s fiction with some mind, body, spirit, someone once said it was like Jane Austen meets Gothic thriller and I like that because one of my favourite books is Northanger Abbey which is a satirical Gothic romance!

Social Media links for KT King:

Blog: http://bit.ly/KTKingBlog

Website: http://bit.ly/KTKingWebsite

Instagram:  http://bit.ly/KTKingInstagram

Facebook: http://bit.ly/KTKingFacebook

Twitter:  http://bit.ly/KTKingTwitter

Etsy: http://bit.ly/KTKingShop

Thanks KT King for joining us today. It is always nice to meet fellow duvet dwellers and discover new books too. Good luck with the novel and your future writing.

Happy reading.

Love

 

 

 

Book Review: The Lost Daughter by Sylvia Broady

Book Review: The Lost Daughter by Sylvia Broady

This is my second review this month from a local author though Sylvia Broady writes a different genre to the last. The Lost Daughter is classed as a saga which I rarely read but when I read the blurb, I was desperate to read it. Scroll down to see what I thought.

Book Review: The Lost Daughter by Sylvia Broady

The Lost Daughter Cover

The Lost Daughter

Title: The Lost Daughter

Author: Sylvia Broady

Genre: Saga, Women’s fiction

Publisher: Allison and Busby

Release Date: 22nd November 2018

Blurb

Hull, 1930. A terrified woman runs through the dark, rain-lashed streets pursued by a man, desperate to reach the sanctuary of the local police station. Alice Goddard runs with one thing in her mind: her daughter. In her panic she is hit by a car at speed and rushed to hospital. When she awakes, she has no memory of who she is, but at night she dreams of being hunted by a man, and of a little girl.

As the weeks pass and her memories gradually resurface, Alice anxiously searches for her daughter, but no one is forthcoming about the girl’s whereabouts – even her own mother is evasive. Penniless and homeless, Alice must begin again and rebuild her life, never giving up hope that one day she will be reunited with her lost daughter.

Purchase Links

From 22nd – 29th August, The Lost Daughter will be at the bargain price of 99p.

Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Lost-Daughter-Sylvia-Broady-ebook/dp/B07F3KPN1J

Amazon US – https://www.amazon.com/Lost-Daughter-Sylvia-Broady-ebook/dp/B07F3KPN1J

My Thoughts

I loved this book in many ways – the style, voice, time frame, and locality of the setting but mainly the story. I am a huge fan of The Long Lost Family, a British TV programme where relatives find those separated by adoption, trauma and other turns of life. The real life stories are fascinating and heartbreaking; ideal inspiration for writers. A box of tissues is needed throughout. If the novel was based on a true story it could easily be featured in this series.

The blurb caught my imagination but the main character, Alice Goddard captured my heart and as her story developed I had to keep reading. She is everything I would like to be – kind, compassionate, determined and strong. This novel is an emotional journey of a woman’s life and the search for her child, Daisy. Beginning in 1930’s it is believable that a child could easily get lost in the care system at a time when the stigma of being classed as an unfit mother ran deep and there was little compassion in the authorities.  My heart broke reading the accounts of both characters missing each other. The outbreak of the Second World War adds further emotion and take Alice to places beyond her imagination.

This well researched book opened my eyes to the realities of war on the home front as well as the unsung heroes of the nurses. The location of Hull, East Yorkshire gave this book more meaning as it is a city I have recently discovered. When there I am always intrigued by the many beautiful buildings and quirky architecture mingled between the modern ones. It brought home to me how much must have been lost and the true devastation the place and its people endured during the blitz. The novel also touches on other local places such as Bridlington and Scarborough, so every time I visit them I can visualise Alice and others walking close by.

Would I recommend?

Yes, The Lost Daughter will proudly sit on my forever shelf. It has rekindled my love for sagas and made me realise how much I enjoy learning about the changes in society and lives of people in history through fiction. You see the growth of a person over a longer time span than other genres which tend to provide you a quick snapshot of the protagonist’s life.

I am looking forward to Sylvia Broady’s future releases and her previous books have been added to my TBR list.

Author Biography

Sylvia Broady was born in Kingston upon Hull and has lived in the area all her life, though she loves to travel the world. It wasn’t until she started to frequent her local library , after World War 2, that her relationship with literature truly began and her memories of war influence her writing, as does her home town. A member of the: RNA, HNS, S of A and Beverley Writers. She has had a varied career in childcare, the NHS and East Yorkshire Council Library Services, but is now a full-time writer. Plus volunteering as a Welcomer at Beverley Minster to visitors from around the world, and raising money for local charities by singing in the choir of the Beverley Singers, both bringing colour and enrichment to her imagination and to her passion for writing.

Social Media Links

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/SylviaBroadyAuthor

Twitter https://twitter.com/SylviaBroady

Website: https://sylviabroadyauthor.com

Giveaway

I am pleased to share a chance for you to win 2 x paperback signed books of The Lost Daughter and The Yearning Heart (Open Internationally).* Good luck.

Click here to enter

The Lost Daughter GIVEAWAY 3

Giveaway Prizes

Thank you Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources and Sylvia Broady for the advanced copy of The Lost Daughter so I could give my honest, unbiased opinion. If you life to find out more about Sylvia Broady and her book,why not visit other blogs on this tour.

Happy reading!

Love

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*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

Book Review: The Woman in the Photograph by Stephanie Butland

This book has been on my radar for a while so I was pleased when I had a gap in the blog tours to read something purely for me. It was stunning, and left me reeling with emotion by the time I closed the book. Scroll down to find out why.

Book Review: The Woman in the Photograph by Stephanie Butland

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The Woman in the Photograph

Title: The Woman in the Photograph

Author: Stephanie Butland

Genre: General fiction (it is classed as Women’s Fiction but should be aimed at all genders)

Publisher: Bonnier Zaffre

Release Date: 11th July 2019

Blurb:

1968.

Veronica Moon, a junior photographer on a local paper in an Essex town, is frustrated. She never gets good assignments, and no one takes her seriously. And then she visits the picket line at Dagenham Ford Factory. At the front line of the fight for equal pay for women workers she meets Leonie – a privileged, angry activist, ahead of her time and prepared to fight for equality with everything she has. Veronica is captivated. She breaks off her engagement and moves to London with Leonie to begin a game-changing career and an intoxicating friendship.

Fifty years later and Leonie is gone. Veronica is a recluse with a crippling degenerative disease. For a while she was heralded as a pioneer, leading the charge for women everywhere. But her career was shockingly and abruptly ended by one of the most famous photographs of the twentieth century. It is a photograph she took of her best friend’s death.

Now, as that controversial picture hangs as the centrepiece of a new feminist exhibition curated by Leonie’s niece, long-repressed memories of Veronica’s extraordinary life and tumultuous, passionate and – at times toxic – friendship begin to stir.

It’s time to break her silence and step back into the light. And she will no longer hide from the truth about that dark time . . .

My Thoughts

This book blew me away. It is intelligent, thought-provoking, emotional (to the point I sobbed in front of my in-laws) and got under my skin.

It is a retrospective look on the second wave of feminism through the eyes of Veronica Moon, a photographer as she becomes involved in an exhibition of her work over the previous fifty years. Set in 2018, the interaction between her and the exhibition’s organiser, Erica drew me in and highlights the differences in attitude between generations and how feminism has evolved from the 1970’s marches to the #MeToo movement.

Veronica, Vee did not know anything about feminism until she met bolshie, educated and opinionated Leonie in 1968. Through the relationship and Leonie acting as a mentor, Vee evolves and learns about her place in the world and the fight for equality ahead. Vee’s learning curve became my own because it made me realise how little I knew beyond the suffragettes and Dagenham. It was eye opening to read about the restrictions on women at the time, many I did not know about such as needing a guarantor to take a mortgage out on your own. There are many things we take for granted that the older generation had to fight for. Likewise in the present day, Vee becomes Erica’s mentor who until then saw feminism much like did.

The novel as the title suggests revolves around photographs; Stephanie Butland’s talent for describing them brought the images alive adding to the depth of the story. Throughout the story, there is a mystery of a particular image of Leonie which made me keep turning the pages.

Feminism plays a large role in this novel but at it’s heart is the journey of women, and an exploration of the relationships between them, their families, spouses and wider world.

Would I recommend?

Yes, it is one I would like to shout about and if I was still working in the library I would be urging people to give it ago. I have read some of Stephanie Butland’s books before and loved them, especially Lost in Words but this is special; Leonie, Vee and Erica will remain in my heart. Their voices will continue speak to me urging me to follow their lead, keep fighting to make a difference, be proud of who I am and what I achieve, support fellow sisters and always question the world around me. It left me feeling empowered and I am not the same person I was when I read the opening paragraph. This is definitely one for my forever shelf.

This book has encouraged me to read some books exploring feminism. I would love some recommendations so feel free to comment below.

Love

 

Book Review: The Unlikely Occultist: A biographical novel of Alice A. Bailey

Today I am sharing a completely different book to those I usually share. The blurb The Unlikely Occultist: A Biography Novel of Alice A. Bailey by Isobel Blackthorn intrigued me so I had to accept the offer of this tour by Rachel’s Random Resources. Scroll down to see if it satisfied my curiosity.

Book Review: The Unlikely Occultist: A biographical novel of Alice A. Bailey by Isobel Blackthorn

The-Unlikely-Occultist-Main-File copy

The Unlikely Occultist by Isobel Blackthorn

Title: The Unlikely Occultist: A biographical novel of Alice A. Bailey

Author: Isobel Blackthorn

Publisher: Creativa

Genre: fictional biography, spiritual, religion

Release date: 4th December 2018

Blurb:

Librarian Heather Brown discovers the fascinating life of Alice Bailey – a long forgotten occultist.

Back in 1931, Alice is preparing to give a speech at a Swiss summer school. But how can she stave the tide of hatred and greed set to bring the world to its knees?

Soon after, Alice is put on Hitler’s blacklist. What she doesn’t realize is the enormity of her influence to the world, and the real enemies who are much closer than she thinks.

A dynamic and complex figure, Alice Bailey’s reach was huge. She was influential among people and organizations of global power, especially the United Nations, and is widely regarded as the Mother of the New Age.

Yet today she is maligned by fundamentalist Christians, Theosophists, Jews, academics and above all, by conspiracy theorists. Are any of these groups justified in rejecting the unlikely occultist?

“Blackthorn’s exploration of Alice Bailey’s life and work provides a unique and intimate insight into Bailey’s life and the times in which she lived. For anyone seeking to explore the roots of Bailey’s influence on the New Age movement as well as her unsought role as the bête noire of the conspiracy scene, there’s no better place to begin.” – Aaron John Gulyas, associate professor and author of Conspiracy Theories

Purchase Link – viewbook.at/Occultist

My Thoughts:

Though captivated by the blurb, I was not sure what to expect when I began this novel. I had no knowledge of Alice A. Bailey, for reasons that became clear as  the story progressed, but her strong, opinionated and determined personality jumped off the page and her unusual life kept me reading. I knew she was a spectacular woman when it was revealed she played a role in bringing the the United Nations Meditation Room to fruition. It is a place I would like to see and experience. More information of this unusual place can be found here.

Alice Bailey’s life emerges when librarian Heather Brown begins to archive boxes of research into this fascinating woman. The novel follows both women. In the present,  Heather is consumed with grief for her beloved aunt and uses the books, diaries and an unfinished autobiography as an escape while Alice Bailey’s life begins in 1880. It is Alice’s story which drew me in. Her hard life took her across the globe from England, India and America at a time where the threat of from Hitler is rising. The increasing  hate is in contrast with her aim to bring peace and people together to spread the word of Goodwill and increase enlightenment under the advice of her spiritual guide, The Tibetan. She successfully blended her strict Christian beliefs with more theosophical and Esoteric theories to become the Mother of the New Age. I am pleased this is a written review and not a vlog as I can not pronounce many of the new words I learnt. The novel follows her accomplishments and downfall which led her name to falling into obscurity.

When Alice Bailey attempted to write her autobiography she said  “I would really render a service if I could show people how I became what I am from what I was. It might be useful to know how a rabid orthodox Christian worker could become a well-known occult teacher.” Isobel Blackthorn’s use of fiction cleverly achieves this;  Alice Bailey’s name and work is brought into the mainstream rather than hidden in the shadows. I feel the complicated theories may have been too dry and overwhelming to have kept my interest if depicted as non-fiction. Fiction makes them accessible to the reader and encouraged me to read around the subject. This was not a quick read because of the complex subject it covered but it was worth taking the time needed to understand the ideas driving this formidable woman.

AliceBailey

Alice Bailey

Photo from https://www.lucistrust.org/books/about_alice_a_bailey

Would I recommend?

Yes,I loved this book and it encouraged me to explore esotericism further. It is well worth reading if you are interested in the New Age, spirituality or simply love a unique, unusual read. In the current political and environmental climate I found it as enlightening read.

Author Biography

Isobel Blackthorn Headshot 1 copy

Isobel Blackthorn

Isobel Blackthorn is a prolific novelist of unique and engaging fiction. She writes across a range of genres, including psychological thrillers, gripping mysteries, captivating travel fiction and hilarious dark satire.

Isobel holds a PhD in Western Esotericism for her ground-breaking study of the texts of Theosophist Alice A. Bailey. Her engagement with Alice Bailey’s life and works has culminated in the biographical novel, The Unlikely Occultist.

Social Media Links –

http://isobelblackthorn.com

https://www.facebook.com/Lovesick.Isobel.Blackthorn/

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5768657.Isobel_Blackthorn

https://twitter.com/IBlackthorn

https://www.instagram.com/isobelblackthorn/

Would you like to know more about this book or the author why not visit other blogs on the tour? Details can be found below.

Thank you Rachel’s Random Resources and Isobel Blackthorn for inviting me to take part in this tour and bringing this intriguing book and ideas to my attention.

Love

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Cover reveal: This Vicious Way by Madeline Dyer

While everyone is sweltering in the heat, I am pleased to reveal the cover for Madeline Dyer’s next release, This Vicious Way. It is the second book in The Dangerous Ones but it can be read as a standalone as it is only the world that is shared in the series.

Cover reveal: This Vicious Way by Madeline Dyer

SHE WAS MADE TO BE A WEAPON…

Cover reveal for This Vicious Way

This Vicious Way Cover

Title: This Vicious Way
Series: The Dangerous Ones, book 2
Author: Madeline Dyer
Genre: Dystopian / Action & Adventure
Audience: Upper Young Adult / New Adult
Publisher: Ineja Press
Cover designer: Molly Phipps at We Got You Covered Book Design
Social Media links:

Author Biography:

Madeline Dyer photo

Madeline Dyer

Madeline Dyer lives in the southwest of England, and holds a BA honours degree in English from the University of Exeter. She has a strong love for anything dystopian, ghostly, or paranormal, and can frequently be found exploring wild places. At least one notebook is known to follow her wherever she goes. Her debut novel, Untamed (Prizm Books, May 2015), examines a world in which anyone who has negative emotions is hunted down, and a culture where addiction is encouraged.
You can find out more about Madeline Dyer in her interview here
Happy reading!
Love
Book Review: A Cornish Affair by Jo Lambert

Book Review: A Cornish Affair by Jo Lambert

The children have broken up from school and people are heading off to their summer holidays which makes it a perfect time to read coastal books. I love the Cornish coast line so I could not resist reading this debut by Jo Lambert, A Cornish Affair. Thank you Rachel, Jo Lambert and Ruby Fiction for inviting me to this tour and an advanced copy so I could give my honest, unbiased review.

Book Review: A Cornish Affair by Jo Lambert

Cornish Affair - cover shot

A Cornish Affair by Jo Lambert

Title: A Cornish Affair

Author: Jo Lambert

Publisher: Ruby Fiction

Genre: Women’s fiction, crime

Release date: 18th June 2019

Blurb

In the close-knit community of Carrenporth in Cornwall everyone knows everyone else’s business. Luke Carrack is only too aware of this. He’s been away for two years but nothing has changed – from the town gossips who can’t see past the scandal of his childhood, to the cold way he is treated by some of his so-called family.
The only person who seems to understand is local hotelier’s daughter Cat Trevelyan, although even Luke’s new friendship with her could set tongues wagging.
But Carrenporth is about to experience far bigger scandals than the return of Luke Carrack – and the secrets unearthed in the process will shake the sleepy seaside town to its core …

Purchase Links

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Cornish-Affair-Jo-Lambert-ebook/dp/B07S4M3JNC

US – https://www.amazon.com/Cornish-Affair-Jo-Lambert-ebook/dp/B07S4M3JNC

My Thoughts

When you can’t go on holiday, books are an ideal way of having a break without leaving the duvet. I enjoyed my time at Carrenporth.  Jo Lambert’s description of the landscape and settings made it is easy to imagine being there walking along the beach or being a guest at the hotel watching the attraction between the main characters, Cat Trevelyan and Luke Carrick grow. At times the amount of detail slowed the pace but the dynamic between Cat and Luke kept the story moving forward. Once the secrets and rumours surfaced I needed to know more.

For someone as young as she is, Cat is a determined strong character who knows her own mind and not easily swayed by gossip and others which is crucial when faced with the gossip surrounding Luke. All the characters, even the minor ones are well-developed which allows the twists to be believable when revealed .

Predominantly a romance, this novel stands apart from the other summer reads with the thread of family secrets, discrimination and scandal to keep you turning the page.

Would I recommend?

Yes, this is a good holiday read for those who enjoy a romance with a difference.

Author Biography

A Cornish Affair Photo

Author Jo Lambert

Jo Lambert lives on the eastern edge of Bath with her husband, one small grey feline called Mollie and a green MGB GT. She is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association and the Society of Authors.  She has been writing since 2008. Her first five books, a set of linked romantic sagas following the lives of several families in West Somerset, was followed in 2015 by Summer Moved On, a contemporary romance set in South Devon. A sequel, Watercolours in the Rain followed in 2017,

In June 2018 Jo signed to Choc Lit and her debut A Cornish Affair, set in North Cornwall, has just been published. Jo is currently working on another coastal romance, this time set in South Cornwall.

When she isn’t writing she reads and reviews. She also has an active blog.  Jo loves travel, red wine and rock music and she often takes the odd photograph or two.

Social Media Links –

Website: http://jolambertbooks.com

Blog: http://jolambertwriter.blog

Twitter: @jolambertwriter

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jolambert185

Linkedin: https://uk.linkedin.com/in/jo-lambert-6 4644530

Instagram: jolambertwriter185

What books are on your holiday reading list? Let me know in the comments below.

Happy reading!

Love

 

Book Review: Hamartia by Raquel Rich

Last month, I was lucky enough to meet Raquel Rich to talk about her book Hamartia, and her writing and I was given a copy of her book to read. The post can be found here. I have finished Hamartia and excited to share my honest and unbiased review with you.

Book Review: Hamartia by Raquel Rich

Hamartia Book Cover

Title: Hamartia

Author: Raquel Rich

Genre: Sci-Fi, fantasy

Publisher: Words Matter Publishing

Release date: 15th August 2018

BOOK BLURB:

Grace’s nine-year-old son, Jordan, is dying. First, the Metagenesis disease will tear his soul from his body, and then it will kill him. Desperate for a cure, Grace agrees to take part in an illegal clinical trial cloning souls. Supported by her best friend Kay, the two embark on the ultimate “Vegas Vacation” to the past in search of the right soul to clone, racing against time to save Jordan’s life. But someone is trying to stop them and when they discover why, Grace must make a choice: let her son die or kill her husband. If she kills her husband she triggers widespread Metagenesis, sealing the fate of the human race with a new plague. Humanity is counting on Grace choosing to let her son die.

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Hamartia-Raquel-Rich-ebook/dp/B07GJXT4SG/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

My Thoughts

My first thought as I finished this book was “Bloody hell, what a ride!”  quickly followed “How do I review this?” It is quirky, clever and overwhelmingly unique. Time travel is difficult topic to get your head around and the addition of the theory of reincarnation  should have made this novel complicated but it is told in a way that makes perfect sense. The descriptions of how Grace goes back in time are vivid and highlights the strength of Raquel Rich’s imagination. The pace quickens as the hunt for the cure progresses and the novel twists and turns in many unexpected ways; I was kept on edge throughout. I have never read a book like it. It thrilled, questioned my morals and made me consider what I would do in the same situation.

This is a story of love, soul mates who meet time and again in different life times and the strength of maternal love. The first couple of chapters require the reader to suspend their disbelief and go with the flow until a connection is formed with Grace, Kay and their predicament. It is heartbreaking and emotional. With time travel books I have a habit of  getting confused with paradoxes and my mind gets filled with what ifs and implausibilities so I decided to just read which added to the enjoyment and the questions I did have were answered as the story developed.

The pair go back to the year 2000 and it is scary how much things have changed in the last nineteen years. Her vision of the future, eighty years from now is in some ways reassuring as I watch programmes on plastic and climate change but horrifying in others. The terminal disease Metagenesis sends shivers down my spine and even now, days after I have finished this novel, it unnerves me.

Would I recommend?

Oh yes. This is a gem of a book which deserves to be shouted about, seen and not hidden by obscure Amazon algorithms. If you love quirky, thoughtful reads and the premise of reincarnation sparks your interest, grab a copy, and then comment below as I would love to chat. It would be an amazing book to analyse, dissect and discuss at a book club meeting because there is so much to say.

It is on my forever shelf and I am desperate to read her next book when it is released.

Author Biography

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Author Raquel Rich

Raquel Rich is the author of the award-winning novel, Hamartia. She loves to travel, suntan, walk her dog, and is obsessed with all things Beauty & the Beast. She despises cold weather, balloons, and writing about herself in the third person but noticed all the real authors do that. Born and raised in Canada to Brazilian parents, she lives in the Toronto area with her family. Married to the guy she’s been with since she was fifteen (her baby daddy), her superpowers include being a mom to their two awesome grown-ass boys and one fur baby.

Social Media links

Raquel’s website: https://www.raquelrich.com/hamartia

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/41397476-hamartia

Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorRaquelRich/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rich.raquel/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/RaquelRiosRich

 

Happy reading!

Love