REVIEW: Eléonore by Faith Rivens.

Elenore

This if Faith Rivens debut novella and it certainly delivers. From the very beginning the story grabbed me and didn’t let go. I haven’t read an Urban Fantasy at all. For my first to find the protagonist is a demon hunter and a librarian and a mother is very appealing. I particularly love the relationship between Eléonore and her son. It’s very touching and real. Rivens portrays a mother’s love so heart-warmingly. Raphael is another engaging character and the dynamics between him and Eléonore are exciting and foreshadow more to be told.

It is well-written, with a snappy pace and has a great structure to the story. I liked the small diary entries at the beginning of each chapter that help the reader understand the demon hierarchy.

I highly recommend this book. You really can’t go wrong.

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REVIEW: Wardens of Archos

Wardens of Archos

Wardens of Archos is the second book in Sarina Langer’s Relics of Ar’Zac fantasy series.

I was so pleased to be back in Rifarne with Rachael and her colleagues. It was great to pick up the story from where it finished in the first book. New characters were introduced and joined Rachael on her journey to new lands in an attempt to find the answers to what is hidden beneath the ancient Krymistian ruins of Archos.

The story moves at a good pace and always left me wanting to turn the page. Sarina Langer’s world building is excellent, with plenty of description but nothing to slow the pace down. The new worlds came to life.

I loved the dynamic between Rachael and Cale. Their story develops further.
Thank you to the author for providing a free ARC in exchange for an honest review.

If you enjoy fantasy, you’ll love this book.

Review: My Year of Stories by Abigail Shepherd

My Year of Stories

This is a delightful book that follows the journey of Abigail Shepherd from unpublished writer to debut novelist, with the release of her YA book Victoria’s Victorian Victory.

In My Year of Stories, we follow Abigail’s journey with twelve stories to represent each month, preceded by an excerpt from her journal. I like the addition of this diary extract as it gives the reader an idea how each story was created and when.

This is a book you can read in one sitting or go to when you want to read another story for the first time or as a reread. You’ll find you’ll want to do that. I read the first story, The Dandelion Clock when it was first published in Whim online magazine but I enjoyed reading it again as January’s story in this book. There is also a prequel to Victoria’s Victorian Victory.

The stories are each different, some sweet and moving, others humorous and some a little dark.

I highly recommend My Year of Stories. You’ll enjoy the read.

REVIEW: Beauty in Thorns – Kate Forsyth

Beauty in Thorns

 

Beauty in Thorns – Kate Forsyth

 I love Kate Forsyth’s writing and when Beauty in Thorns was released I couldn’t wait to read it.

It is a story set around the Pre-Raphaelite circle of artists and poets, including William Morris, Edward Burne-Jones and Dante Gabriel Rossetti.

For many years, I’ve adored their wonderful paintings, so I knew I’d love getting lost in their tumultuous world. I discovered there was so much I hadn’t known about their work and their relationships. Kate Forsyth brings to life their story of love and heartbreak with such care and beauty.

I also loved learning about the women in this circle. Lizzie Siddal, Georgie (Georgiana) Burne-Jones nee Macdonald, Jane Morris nee Burden, and later in the novel Margot Burne-Jones the daughter of Georgie and Ned (Edward)Burne-Jones. I was especially moved by Lizzie Siddal’s tragic life. I think I admired Georgie’s stoicism the most.

Kate Forsyth’s research is excellent and her story telling is superb. If you haven’t read Beauty in Thorns as yet, I highly recommend it.

If you’re unfamiliar with the art of the Pre-Raphaelites, it will add to your appreciation of this book if you look up some of their paintings.

A Cup of Conversation: Soulla Christodoulou talks with Ellen Read author of The Dragon Sleeps

I was recently asked to do an interview for Soulla Christodoulou’s new series, A Cup of Conversation.

Thank you so much, Soulla.

You can read it here

 

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The House That Inspired Me.

 

Thornton Park is the Thornton family home and is where the mystery takes place in my book The Dragon Sleeps.

It’s a murder mystery set in the late 1920s.

A Dragon statue. An ancient sword. What treasure is worth killing for?

Alexandra Thornton is determined to discover how these things are connected to the antiques her great-grandfather brought with him from Hong Kong so many years ago. What secret has remained hidden for the last eighty years?

Photos:
Top left is the main hall, the others are of the drawing room. Far right is my book.

These photos are of the real house that inspired me – Werribee Mansion in Victoria.

You can go through the mansion if you’re visiting Melbourne or Victoria. It’s definitely a worthwhile day.

REVIEW: Rise of the Sparrows by Sarina Langer

Rise of the Sparrows

Rise of the Sparrows by Sarina Langer

I absolutely loved this book. Sarina Langer has masterfully created a new world filled with fantasy, prophecy and magic.

Rachel is a homeless orphan and is shunned for having ‘the gift’ – which in her case is visions of people dying. Cephy, who joins her, has a much more powerful and darker gift. When Cephy burns down her old home, the villagers of Blackrock respond with violence. The two flee and head into the forest, a world alien to them.

They encounter new dangers. The White Guard is chasing them. They meet a Mist Woman, who offers them shelter, but Rachel instinctively feels she can’t be trusted. Then a young rebel tells Rachel she must fulfil a prophecy. He takes her to meet the Sparrows; but can she trust him?

The story moves along at a great pace and the ending is action packed and filled with energy and excitement, with twists and turns.

The characters are well written. The story strongly crafted.

This is a fabulous first novel for Sarina Langer. I look forward to the next book.

Self Doubt: 14 Authors Share Their Advice

I am so thrilled to be a part of this fabulous post by Sarina at the Cookie Break.

Go to Sarina’s blog to read everyone’s advice.

Today is an exciting days, friends. Today is the day we kick self-doubt where it hurts because today, 14 wonderful authors have come together to talk about how to go to war with it! If you’ve written for any length of time – or if you’ve put it off because of self-doubt, perhaps? – you’ll…

via Self-Doubt: 14 Authors Share Their Advice — Cookie Break

Review: The Dragon Sleeps by Ellen Read — Cookie Break

I was so thrilled to receive this wonderful review. Please read on!

“A Dragon statue. An ancient sword. What treasure is worth killing for? It’s 1927 in Victoria, Australia. A hedonistic time after the Great War when young people knew they could enjoy life without the threat of war hanging over them. A time when women have more options opened to them. There is a weekend house…

via Review: The Dragon Sleeps by Ellen Read — Cookie Break

REVIEW: CHAINS OF GAIA – 5 STARS

 

Chains of Gaia

Chains of Gaia by James Fahy

(Book Three of The Changeling Series.)

With each book, I love returning to Erkling and the Netherworlde, to catch up with Robin, Henry, Karya, Woad and the other Erklingers.

This time, Robin and his friends have to retrieve the Shard of Earth from the heart of the Everhart Forest. A scourge lies over the great forest, as a rampaging beast lays waste to it, and to villages that border it.

Their journey is fraught with danger as they encounter centaurs, a minotaur in an ancient labyrinth, and let’s not forget the Grimms and Redcaps.

We meet new characters including Ffoulkes (with his affectations), a population of gentle green Dryads and a new Fae.

It’s wonderful to see Robin maturing and learning to be his true self. Henry and Karya are also growing up and there’s a lot more to learn yet about them, I’m certain. Woad keeps being Woad, which is just what I hoped.

James Fahy creates a very believable fantasy world. His writing is concise and his imagery is magical. I felt totally immersed in it. The characters are all well written and well rounded. The author’s wit shines through them.

I feel like I want to say more and more. The book has such depth but moved along at a cracking pace. I thoroughly enjoyed Chains of Gaia and can’t wait for the next instalment.

I’m sure you’ll enjoy it too.

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