Book Review: A Shadow Beyond by Emma-Nicole Lewis

As soon as I heard about this book, I knew I needed to read it. Ever since I heard the story of Eyam on a school trip it fascinated me and somewhere I always wanted to revisit. In 1666  the village locked itself down to prevent the plague reaching others, a place of sacrifice for the greater good. For an author to take a place I loved and blend it into a book advertised as a must for Barbara Erskine fans, an author I adore, it seemed a match in heaven.

Book Review: A Shadow Beyond by Emma-Nicole Lewis

A Shadow Beyond

A Shadow Beyond by Emma-Nicole Lewis

Title: A Shadow Beyond

Author:  Emma-Nicole Lewis

Publisher: Twilight Moon Publishing

Genre: Historical Suspense Ghost Story

Release date: 28th Feb 2019

Purchase: Amazon UK

Social Media:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/EmmaNicoleLewis

Website: http://emmanicolelewis.co.uk/

Amazon Author Page

Blurb:

For fans of Kate Morton and Barbara Erskine, comes a thrilling and beautiful dual-time novel, set in the present and during 1665 – 1666, when plague broke out in the Peak District village of Eyam. A Shadow Beyond is a heart-rending and chilling tale of sacrifice, love, obsession and tragedy.

Lost in the folds of time, behind one village’s brave sacrifice, is the tragic and chilling secret of Thornycroft Hall….

Locked away in the top quarters of Thornycroft, a large house on the edge of the historic village of Eyam, is a centuries old secret.

Escaping the chaos of a complicated break up, Kate Saunders travels to the Peak District to stay with her Great Aunt Edie who has suffered a fall. Thornycroft is the perfect bolthole for Kate, peaceful and providing plenty of distance from her obsessive ex.

But when Kate stumbles across a diary and an ancient bogwood jewellery box in the top of the house, the tranquillity she had expected is shattered. She is shocked to discover that Edie has been tampering with the supernatural and as Kate reads the contents of the diary, the shadows of Thornycroft’s past begin to stir.

Kate becomes fascinated by the history of the house and the legacy of the villagers who made a brave yet devastating decision during the outbreak of plague. The more she discovers, the more she realises that, hidden behind Eyam’s tragic story, is a dreadful family secret.

Stalked by her ex and restless spirits who harbour a dark secret, Kate realises she’s in danger – not only from the living, but from the dead.

As the haunting intensifies and layers of time peel away, Kate starts to uncover a chilling truth that has remained buried for centuries…

My Thoughts

This book was everything I wanted it to be. With a tagline mentioning one of my favourite authors, Barbara Erskine, I had high expectations and it did not disappoint. Eyam captured my imagination as a child, so walking through its streets and landscape in the present and past was fascinating. Both timelines drew me in, unlike some dual timeline books where there is always one you prefer more. I did not want the book to end.

It is a novel of two halves. In the present, Kate is dealing with a nasty breakup with fears of its ramifications and returning to Eyam to care for an aunt seems to be the ideal solution. The supernatural incidents and ghosts add tension into her life but are not full on horror, which adds credence to the plot and gives it a sense of authenticity. The sense of menace lurking in the shadows was well written, sending shivers down my spine.  I loved the characters, especially Nick who has his own problems to cope with. The way the past and present collided was very much like Barbara Erskine’s style but the history was more accessible, allowing me to be immersed in both heroines lives easily.

I found Rachel’s story absorbing and though I figured out one twist from the start; I feel it was one to lead the reader deeper in to the plot to see if they were right. It brought the sad disturbing tale of Eyam and its experience with the plague to life with eerie parallels with our current pandemic with social distancing and isolation. It adds poignancy to Rachel’s tale and an urgency to her plight. The grief of the town was tangible, making it an emotional read.

Would I recommend?

Yes, I loved this book and the author’s style. The balance of a contemporary ghost story and historical fiction was perfect giving an emotional, spooky and disturbing read. This would be ideal to read in October when the evenings draw in. It is one for my Kindle forever shelf to reread in the future.

I am relieved Emma-Nicole Lewis has a back catalogue of novels I can add to my TBR.

Thanks to The Fiction Cafe for a copy to review and give my unbiased, and honest opinion. You have given me a new favourite author to follow.

Happy reading and stay safe!

Love

Katie signature pink

 

Book Review: On a Falling Tide by Georgia Hill

Book Review: On a Falling Tide by Georgia Hill

On a Falling Tide

On a Falling Tide by Georgia Hill

Blurb:

Two women. Connected by heartbreak, separated in time. Can Charity save the man she loves, or will Lydia’s vengeful spirit prove too strong?

Two haunting love stories and a hundred and fifty-year-old curse …

When the beloved grandfather who brought her up dies, Charity is left struggling to cope. Alone and rootless, she’s drawn to the sleepy fishing village of Beaumouth near Lyme Regis and begins to research her family tree. A chance encounter with attractive boat-builder Matt sparks a chain of mysterious and unsettling events and leads Charity to uncover the story of a young girl who lived in the village over a hundred years before.

In 1863 all Lydia Pavey wants to do is follow in Mary Anning’s footsteps and become a ‘fossilist.’ Instead, she is being forced into marriage to a man she barely knows.

Charity’s obsession with Lydia becomes all-consuming and she risks losing everything. With a longed-for family tantalisingly in reach, will Charity find the happy ever after she’s yearned for and, most importantly, can she save the man she loves?

Purchase Links

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B082334S8K (UK)

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B082334S8K (US)

https://www.blkdogpublishing.com/on-a-falling-tide

My Thoughts

I was attracted to this book for two reasons- I love ghost stories and it mentioned ammonites. I live on the Yorkshire Jurassic coast and when I could I loved walking along the sea shore in the hope I would find some fossils. I was never lucky but my daughter always had the knack of finding them. We have a collection on our window sill to prove it. Lyme Regis has been on our bucket list of places to visit ever since. This novel gave me the chance to visit without leaving the duvet. The atmospheric description of the landscape of the imposing cliffs and sea brought me into the story and I did not want to stop reading until the end.

Chasity is on a sabbatical from work after the death of her grandfather and meets Matt on a fateful walk along the beach. Both characters easy to like and have depth which comes through as the story progresses. The ghostly elements are on the right side of believable adding tension and suspense as Lydia’s tale is revealed. It highlights the challenges of living in a patriarchal society when you are a head strong, independent female scientist in the making. It is an enjoyable spooky escape from reality reliving the excitement of the Victorian fossil hunters.

Author Biography

author pic (1)

Georgia Hill

Georgia Hill writes best-selling romcoms and historical fiction with romance at the heart. Although she writes in two genres, they have more in common than you might think; she puts serious issues into her romcoms and lots of humour into her historical novels. She lives by the sea in the south west of England with her two beloved dogs – a spaniel and a delinquent cockapoo puppy, her husband (also beloved and not at all delinquent) and a ghost called Zoe. She loves Jane Austen, elephants, Belgian chocolate (all donations gratefully received) and Strictly Come Dancing. Her stories come from everywhere and anything, so be careful what you tell her as you may end up in a book. She also finds inspiration in the folklore and history of the many places in which she’s lived. To put it politely, she’s had a portfolio career having worked in the theatre, for a charity and as a teacher and educational consultant before giving in and finally acknowledging that making up things was what she really wanted to do. She has a nasty addiction to moving house but is trying to overcome this. After one house move too many, she lost all her notebooks and decided to stop talking about writing and actually do some. She’s been happily creating believably flawed heroines, intriguing men and page-turning stories ever since.

Social Media Links 

Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/georgiahillauthor?ref=bookmarks

Twitter

https://twitter.com/georgiawrites

Website

www.georgiahill.co.uk

Pinterest

https://www.pinterest.com/georgiawrites/

Giveaway to Win Paperbacks of On a Falling Tide and While I was Waiting. (Open to UK & Ireland)*

Giveaway Prize - ONFTWIWW

Enter here for your chance to win.

Thank you Rachel’s Random Resources for the chance to read this lovely spooky book to review.

Good luck and happy reading!

Love

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*Terms and Conditions –UK & Ireland 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: And No Birds Will Sing by E.A Clark

It is nearly Halloween; my favourite time of year to read books with a spooky edge so I am pleased to share my review for And No Birds Will Sing as part of the blog tour organised by Rachel’s Random Resources.

Book Review: And No Birds Will Sing by E.A Clark

 

Final cover ANBSS

And No Birds Will Sing by E.A Clark Book Cover

 

Title: And No Birds Will Sing

Author: E.A Clark

Genre: Horror, Suspense, Paranormal

Publisher: Crooked Cat Books

Release date:  3rd September 2018

Blurb

Not all spirits rest in peace…

Following a personal tragedy, a recovering Grace Clements relocates with her husband and daughter to an old cottage in idyllic rural Oxfordshire. As the family integrate into the seemingly benign local community, they learn unsettling facts about the cottage’s dark past. Grace quickly becomes uncomfortably aware of a menacing presence within their new home.

Stumbling upon a neglected cemetery, Grace and her daughter discover the graves of the house’s previous inhabitants, including those of nine babies. Dismayed to find herself pregnant, Grace suspects she has awoken something truly evil in her new residence. She develops a creeping sense of unease as she unravels the disturbing truth about the history of the cottage and the fate of its occupants.

Who is the sinister boy watching Grace and her family? Are there malevolent forces at work? Or is the mentally fragile Grace heading for another breakdown?

A spellbinding paranormal thriller from the best-selling author of Lay Me To Rest. You may want to keep the lights on…

Purchase Links

UK https://amzn.to/2Mvmbey

US https://amzn.to/2noxGJO

https://www.crookedcatbooks.com/product/and-no-birds-shall-sing/

My Thoughts

Within the first few pages, I questioned my wisdom of reading this book at night before I went to sleep. I instantly felt the tension and unease radiating from the cottage in the woods. This well-written novel has all the classic elements of a good ghost story – a rundown house with a back story the villagers are wary to discuss, a family wanting a new start and chilling episodes of hauntings which send shivers down your spine. It is made better by being on the right side of realism. The events are believable. Caught by E.A. Clarke’s imagery, I found myself emerged in the story. Emotionally attached to Grace as she struggled to deal with her grief alongside the hauntings and Cassie with her guide dog Jet, my fear was heightened. I was  trapped between wanting to find out more and wanting to put the book down because I was scared for the characters in peril. I tentatively turned the pages until the end.

Would I recommend?

Yes. This eerie book is perfect for a Halloween read.

Author Bio

Crooked Cat Photo

E.A Clark Author

Elizabeth Clark was born and raised in the Midlands, where she continues to live with her husband and son, plus an assortment of pets. Much of her formative existence was spent with her head in a book, and from an early age, she grew to relish the sheer escapism afforded by both reading and writing fiction. Putting things on hold for a time to raise her three children, she has resumed her fervent scribbling.

She has a love of antiquity and a penchant for visiting old graveyards, often speculating on the demise of those entombed beneath. Whilst she has written short stories and poetry for many years, a lifelong fascination with all things paranormal culminated in her first novel for adults, ‘Lay Me to Rest’, published in September 2017 by HQ Digital.

‘And No Birds Shall Sing’, to be published by Crooked Cat in October 2018, is her second foray into the realms of the supernatural.

Social Media Links 

Twitter handle –  @EAClarkAuthor ;

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/elizabeth.clark.779857

Goodreads – E.A. Clark – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17100457.E_A_Clark

BookBub – https://www.bookbub.com/profile/e-a-clark

 

Thank you Rachel Random Resources for the opportunity to review this book. Why not visit the blogs below for further reviews and info on the book and author.

Happy reading!

 

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Book Blitz & Book review: The Haunting of Hattie Hastings Part Three by Audrey Davis @raresources @audbyname #BookReview

The third and final instalment is here of The Haunting of Hattie Hastings Part Three by Audrey Davis. I started reading the series in November 2017 so I was thrilled to receive an advanced copy from Rachel’s Random Resources in exchange for an honest review.  Did I enjoy it? Scroll down and see.

HH3finalcover

Title: The Haunting of Hattie Hastings Part Three

Author:  Audrey Davis

Genre: romance, woman’s fiction, supernatural

Release date: 30th July 2018

Purchase from Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Haunting-Hattie-Hastings-Part-Three-ebook/dp/B07DT2P5Q3 

Blurb

Nothing lasts forever … Gary’s time on earth seems to be coming to an end. His visits are less frequent and his visibility is fading fast. But he still has a mission to accomplish, which involves Hattie and her ability to pass on a heart-rending message.

Best friend Cat’s ex-husband is determined to prove that he deserves another chance, but do leopards really change their spots?

Times are tough for Hattie’s mother Rachel, but where there’s life, there’s hope …
Meanwhile, is there someone already in Hattie’s life who can help her move on when it’s finally time to say goodbye?

Get your tissues at the ready – both for laughter and tears – with the final instalment of a trilogy that has been hailed ‘brilliant’, ‘hilarious’, and ‘a great feel-good read’.

My thoughts

This is a series to be read from the start rather than jumping in with this one. Without previous knowledge of the story line it maybe confusing and vital information would be lost. Reviews for Part One and Part Two can be found here.

It was lovely to catch up with Hattie and her companions after the break; I longed to discover what was going to happen next after part two’s cliffhanger. It leads straight on from the final scene of the last book so you are thrown straight back into Hattie’s life as she attempts to fulfil Gary’s request. The same characters appear and I loved seeing how they have developed from the beginning especially Cat, Hattie’s best friend. Her relationship issues could have a novel of their own. It is the ideal combination of paranormal, humour and romance as lovable Gary still visits and their relationship continues despite the obstacles death brings. From the start the love between Gary and Hattie has been realistic with their acceptance of each others faults.

I love books with a paranormal twist and this blend of ghostly visits and romance works well.  I did not want to be disappointed by the concluding book and I wasn’t. There is consistency in the writing throughout and the plot, pacing did not falter between books. Luckily, Audrey Davis has other work I can explore as I will miss these characters.

Would I recommend?

The series is a lovely, lighthearted humorous read; perfect for glorious sunny days on the beach. They deserve to be read in quick succession so treat yourself to a binge reading session.

About Audrey Davis

Book Review: The Haunting of Hattie Hastings by Audrey Davis

Audrey Davis

Audrey Davis survived secondary school on the West coast of Scotland. Rubbish at science but not too bad at English, she originally wanted to be an actress but was persuaded that journalism was a safer option. Probably wise. She studied at Napier College in Edinburgh, the only place in Scotland at that time to offer a journalism course.

Her first foray into the hard-nosed newspaper world was as a junior reporter in Dumfriesshire. Duties included interviewing farmers about the prize-winning heifers to reporting on family tragedies. She persuaded her editor to let her launch an entertainment column which meant meeting the odd celebrity – or just the downright odd. From there, she moved to the loftier rank of senior reporter back in her home patch. Slightly more money, fewer farm animals but a higher crime rate. As Taggart would say: ‘There’s been a murrrrder!’

After a stint in London on a video magazine – yes, she is that old – Audrey moved to Singapore with her fiancé. She tried valiantly to embrace the stinking heat, humidity and lack of jobs, although she did work briefly on a magazine which was banned by the government for ‘artistic’ use of naked men’s bottoms.

Next on her adventures was a land Down Under where her main focus was raising Cost Centre One (aka firstborn) and coming to terms with the imminent arrival of Number Two. Still, she loved the Aussie way of life – BBQs, beaches and bring your own booze to restaurants – so it came as a blow when OH announced a move back to the UK. Not a job between them, the climate a possible deal breaker and an Exorcist-style vomiting infant on the flight home didn’t bode well …

Always a survivor, Audrey sought out similar-minded friends (i.e. slightly bonkers), got the children into a good school and thought about taking up writing again. Sadly, thinking about it was as far as she got, unless you count shopping lists. Then, hubby drops another bombshell. Switzerland. As in – it’s packing time again. Off to the land of cheese, chocolate, scarily efficient trains and a couple of teeny, tiny issues. Like driving on the ‘wrong’ side of the road and speaking a foreign language (French). The former was conquered fairly quickly (we’ll skip over the wall demolition in week two), the latter remains an ongoing battle of the hopeful against the hopeless. At least she provides amusement for the local workforce.
It wasn’t until 2016 that Audrey rediscovered her writing mojo with an online Writing Fiction course. From there, her first novel – A Clean Sweep – was born, although it took a bit longer than nine months from conception. A short, darker prequel – A Clean Break – followed, and in November 2017 she published the first in a novella trilogy, The Haunting of Hattie Hastings Part One. Part Two is published on 21 March 2018, with the conclusion following in July. After which she might have a wee lie down …

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/audreydavisbooks

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/audbyname

Have you read the series? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below. Or maybe you have a spooky story to share, I would love to here them.

Happy reading!

 

Book review: The Unquiet Mist by Mark McGahan

Sometimes while hiding under the duvet, I  need to read something spooky to make the back of my neck tingle. I had heard good things about this book so quickly downloaded it.

The Unquiet Mist

The Unquiet Mist by Mark McGahan

Title: The Unquiet Mist

Author: Mark McGahan

Blurb

1991, Sedgley, UK. The Lawsons move into their new house.
What starts off as a perfect beginning for them, slowly descends into a darkness beyond their wildest fears.
Matty, their four-year-old, starts interacting with someone that isn’t there, while Emily, their eleven-year-old encounters a darkness that stays with her throughout the house.
What starts as strange, escalates to an evil so horrific, it threatens to tear the family apart.
“There are times when the dead want to be heard.”

My Thoughts

For me, the sign of a good ghost story is the ability to make you think twice about getting up in the middle of the night and this debut definitely made me wary of venturing into a dark hallway.

The Unquiet Mist takes you back to 1991 and has all the elements you want of a classic ghost story which you don’t see often anymore. It’s spine-tinglingly creepy and made me want to keep the light on all night. Its ability to give me more than a few nightmares means I can not wait to read more from this author.

Would I recommend?

If you are a fan of ghost stories give it ago. In hindsight, I would read it during the day but that may not have been as much fun. It would be perfect for a Halloween read.

Have you read it? Let me know your thoughts below.

Happy reading!