Thursday, 22 June 2017

A free copy of Tom's Inheritance through Instafreebie!

For a limited time I'm offering Tom's Inheritance free though Instafreebie - ebook only.

Tom's Inheritance is the first in my series about Tom and King Arthur

The Fey, the Lady of the Lake, and a summons to wake King Arthur. Tom’s life will never be the same again. An exciting fantasy adventure full of magic and danger.

Tom’s life is pretty ordinary until his grandfather disappears, but then everything changes. He starts dreaming about a mysterious woman who tells him, “It is time,” but he has no idea what she’s talking about. Then a package arrives from his grandfather, and strangers appear in the woods. Tom and his cousin, Beansprout, decide it’s time to investigate, and they accidentally cross to another world.
There Tom meets the woman who has been appearing in his dreams - Vivian, the Lady of the Lake. She tells him that he must travel to Avalon and wake King Arthur from his enchanted sleep. Something dark is stalking the old forest and Vivian needs Arthur’s help.
Tom’s search for King Arthur puts him and his friends at risk, because the Other is filled with danger, magic, and powerful fey. And if King Arthur and the ancient stories are real, then so are ancient enemies. His future seems bound with Arthur’s, and his life may never be the same again.
A magical tale for older children and all lovers of Arthurian legend.
This is the first book in the series.

Sunday, 18 June 2017

Book Reviews - Three Witchy Tales!

I don't know about you, but I have eclectic reading tastes (except for dedicated romance, it's just not my thing), and a few weeks ago I had a craving for witchy tales.  I read three pretty much back to back. Two were good, and one was not. I'll start with the good ones.

The first is called The Language of Spells by Sarah Painter.

Gwen Harper returns to her hometown after her great-aunt dies and she inherits her house, but her great-aunt had magical powers, and so does Gwen. Her magical powers, which she has for years tried to suppress, now return - the Finding as she calls it. She wants to sell the house, but she can't for a while, and she finds she has to stay in the house, forcing her to deal with an odd neighbour, a fractured relationship with her sister who resents magic, and an ex-boyfriend.
In many ways this story revisits familiar themes, but it's told well. The writing is good, and the characters are engaging, and I was keen to keep reading.
Tension is raised by the actions of the increasingly unpredictable neighbour, and also the relationship with Gwen's ex, and her hometown.
If you want overt magic, spells and fantasy, you'll be disappointed, as this is far more subtle, seeking to integrate magic into everyday life. I liked this subtlety, it made magic more believable - if that makes sense.
This is the start to a series and the sequel is also out, The Secret of Ghosts, but told from Gwen's niece's perspective - or so I understand. Highly recommended.
Link to Amazon

The second book I'm reviewing is called Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen

I also really enjoyed this book, again for the subtlety of the magic woven throughout the book. It's far more magical realism than fantasy.
The story revolves around the Waverley family - Claire, Sydney, and Bay. The family is known throughout the neighbourhood as being odd, and they have a garden with magical properties.
Claire keeps to herself, other than running a catering business. Her magical powers are used in her cooking and the way she evokes certain emotions. When a new neighbour moves in, she is forced to reconsider the way she lives.
And then to complicate matters her sister Sydney returns with her daughter. Sydney left home years before and wants to put magic behind her, but when she returns it throws up all sorts of emotions for Claire. Sydney is on the run and wants to keep secrets about her past, but again she has to come to terms with who she is and her family legacy.
Both sisters have to reconsider their relationships, their choices, and learn to accept their differences.
There's something for everyone in this - some mild romance, mystery, tension, and magic. The story is well paced, and moves between the two sisters' point of view. It's well written and the characters are believable, and I want to visit Bascom, North Carolina where it's set! 
The sequel First Frost is out, and it's on my 'to read' list.
Link to Amazon

The third book is called Any Witch Way You Can by Amanda M Lee

I really wanted to like this book. It's about three cousins who live together in a cabin in the grounds of their ancestral home. Their mothers/aunts all live together in the big house and run a B&B.
Bay is the main character - the editor of the local newspaper. When a dead body is found in a cornfield the cousins have to investigate, and they find it has similarities to murders committed several years before.
The family are well known in the community for their witchy powers and the cousins run a magic, mystic, new age shop.
Sound good? It's not. It's told in this breezy, tongue in cheek tone, which would be OK, if not for the constant, wearing, repetitive banter between the main characters. And I mean constant. It gets in the way of any real characterisation or plot, and the whole thing became tedious and annoying. I gave up half way through, and skipped to the end just to find out what happened.
There's not much magic for a book about witches. It's talked about a lot, and the attempt is to ground it in the familiar, but it felt secondary and tacked on. Bay sees spirits, and there's a lot of talk about hexes, but that was it. As I mentioned earlier, I'm happy with subtle magic, but this was not that type of book. There was a suggestion of romance with a muscled biker, but again not much happened there either.
I will not be reading any more of these, but to be fair they seem a popular series, so the style suits some readers!
If you're interested, here's the link to Amazon

Monday, 5 June 2017

Competition time - The One Stop Fiction Multi Genre Giveaway

This is another great chance to win some books from diverse genres, including a paperback copy of Twice Born

Enter here  - One Stop Fiction Multi-Genre Giveaway Competition

1st Prize Winner Takes All

2nd Prize Winner gets top 5 eBook Titles of their Favourite Genre.

Open worldwide until the end of June 2017.

Saturday, 3 June 2017

Two Book Reviews: One is travel escapism and other adventure escapism!

At Home in the Pays d’Oc: The story of two accidental expatriates by Patricia Feinberg Stoner

I do enjoy reading about someone's experiences moving to a new place, especially when this place is warm and hot, and somewhere I'd like to be!
This is a lovely stroll through Patricia’s life in the Pay d’Oc when she and he husband bought a holiday home, and then decided to move there permanently – for a while - all because of a dog!
It’s a very humourous look at their attempt to live in France, absorbing its customs and peculiarities. Or as I call it, living the dream! Although it doesn’t come without some difficulties, funny though they are, animals included. Patricia describes house renovations and negotiations with the french legal system, conquering the language, dealing with a difficult neighbour, and getting involved in local customs. Patricia writes with a warm engaging tone, great to read if you fancy an escape in the sunshine.
A very enjoyable read  - highly recommended!

You can buy it here Amazon

My second book review is a classic tale of adventure, treasure and revenge on the high seas!
Gage Finley has long had an obsession with the wreck of the pirate ship Scavenger after he found a flintlock on the ocean floor that belonged to the captain. It's an obsession that has ruined his relationship with his daughter, and sees him regretting lost time with his family. When more evidence turns up of the wreck he mounts a search, but an old adversary wants to beat him to it. He has to decide who he can trust, not only with the treasure but with his life.
This is a well told story, with believable characters, an engaging story line, and a very unlikeable psychopath. The action is broken up with some nice moments of reflection and banter, and some great female characters have lots of action too. If you like your fiction fast and furious, this is for you!

You can buy it here - Amazon