Review: The Unquiet House by Alison Littlewood

unquiteThe Unquite House by Alison Littlewood

Mire House is dreary, dark, cold and infested with midges. But when Emma Dean inherits it from a distant relation, she immediately feels a sense of belonging.

It isn’t long before Charlie Mitchell, grandson of the original owner, appears claiming that he wants to seek out his family. But Emma suspects he’s more interested in the house than his long-lost relations.

And when she starts seeing ghostly figures, Emma begins to wonder: is Charlie trying to scare her away, or are there darker secrets lurking in the corners of Mire House?”

 

 

 

sppokyAs the old song says “This old house once knew my children; This old house once knew my wife…” and Mire house, has a very long memory.

Emma barely has time to make a cup of tea before Charlie arrives. Charlie is a sort of relation and rival to the will that left Emma Mire house.

At the start you don’t know if Charlie is the good guy or not; but you do feel like something sinister is going on. It made me doubt if Charlie was gas lighting Emma to convince her she was “seeing things” or if there were really ghosts.

The book is divided up into a three-story thread: Emma’s in 2013, Frank’s in 1973 and Aggie’s 1939.  Each of these strands are so fully fleshed out that they could stand on their own right as separate short stories.  When the three stories are woven together they combine to give you a sense of tension and foreboding that surrounds Mire house.

The Unquiet House is a horror story with a sinister drum beat through out the book, creating a very dark atmosphere. It was an outstanding ending with an expected twist. You learn the mystery of why Emma was left the house and the significance of the Yew trees. It was a great psychological horror in the vein of the late great James Herbert.

As the stories went on and combined, you could see how ghosts are created and the misery that anchors them to a certain place or certain people.  The Unquiet house was an exquisite story with some creepy memorable lines, such as “We all go silent in the end”.

I highly recommend this book and also recommend you read it with the lights on. Obviously you will be reading with the lights on…Oh, you know what I mean! lol

 

Review: Somewhere beyond the sea by Amanda James

seaSomewhere beyond the sea by Amanda James

When love begins with a lie, where will it end?
Doctor Tristan Ainsworth has returned with his family to the idyllic Cornish village close to where he grew up. The past has taught him some hard lessons, but he’ll do anything to make his wife happy –so what’s making her so withdrawn?
Karen Ainsworth daren’t reveal her true feelings, but knows her husband has put up with her moods for too long. A chance to use her extraordinary singing voice may set her free, so why shouldn’t she take it? Surely her past can’t hurt her now? As a tide of blackmail and betrayal is unleashed to threaten the foundations of their marriage, Karen and Tristan face a difficult question. Is their love strongenough to face the truth when the truth might cost them everything?

 

Amanda James does it again! Within a few pages I was sucked into this small Cornish village. My hackles were immediately up because from the off, I knew something isn’t quite right- and I couldn’t wait to find out.
Snippets slowly emerge as I got more drawn into the story. I found this book very hard to put down. I really empathized with Karen. I could feel her torment of living with all those secrets for so long. The impending sense of foreboding Karen has about losing her whole life is almost palpable, and I wished there was something I could do for her.

Tristan is such a wonderful husband, he takes it all in his stride and supports Karens all the way. Are all Cornish men that lovely? If so, I’m moving down south immediately.

Amanda James is an author to watch out for. Every book she writes is a masterpiece of a heart warming and unique body of work. She paints such gorgeous mental pictures about Cornwall, that I feel as if I have been there myself.

Somewhere beyond the sea is beautifully written and I highly recommend.

Other Books by Amanda James

dancingDancing in the rain by Amanda James

What if the responsibility for preventing a major disaster lay with you?
Jacob Weston has felt like he doesn’t belong for as long as he can remember and the strangely vivid dreams he experiences only serve to make him feel more alone …
But when his job in research science takes him thousands of miles away from what he thought of as home, Jacob finds the mystery of his past begin to unravel. A trip to the breathtaking Monument Valley and an extraordinary encounter with a Navajo guide seem to hold the key to who Jacob really is.
After meeting the beautiful Rosenya Neboyia, Jacob feels he may have found what he’d been searching for. But with this meeting is the discovery that his dreams come with a responsibility, and that responsibility is bigger and scarier than he could have ever imagined …
 

A Stitch in time by Amanda Jamesstitch

A time-travel tale á la Dr Who only with a heroine going back to three different periods, making sure people find their happy ending. It is a pure delight according to my reader. –Sarah Broadhurst, The Bookseller, Paperback Preview, December 2012.

Hitch a ride and whisk back in time with a heroine readers will relate to, feel sympathy for and then root on till the finish. James effortlessly creates vibrant characters and places them in different eras, with each setting spot on. Even the dialogue changes as the time periods do. Readers will be on the edge of their seats from chapter to chapter waiting for the next adventure to begin in this unique, romantic story.

Review: Just Released by Entangled Romance

lovesHeiress Kate Barker thought she’d met the man of her dreams the night the mysterious English viscount swept her off her feet at the masquerade. Until his real identity is revealed – the cold, calculating scoundrel is really there to rip her world apart.

The only things that have kept widower Stephen Worth alive for the past two years are the promise of revenge against the man who framed him for murder and the love for Andy, his son, who was taken by the beautiful but vexing sister of his dead wife. He didn’t know what to expect when he met Kate, but it wasn’t undeniable desire.

 Torn by attraction, driven by hatred, tempered by their love for a child, Stephen and Kate fight their growing feelings across the country to the wilds of Colorado. If he cannot convince Kate to trust him before she learns the truth about his past, he could lose Andy – but his demons are all the ammunition she needs to keep the boy for good.”

Love’s revenge is the first in a exciting new series by Joan Avery. It has lavish description of late Victoriana draws you into her world. The novel begins at St. Louis’s masked “Veiled prophet’s ball” when Katherine meets her “dark apparition who shakes her to her core”. She tries to convince herself that it was a momentary lapse and he doesn’t really exist- until she meets him.

Viscount Montgomery, a metallurgist- shunned from England because of a family scandal, takes one look at Katherine and is smitten.

Katherine isn’t impressed with him and even calls him a remittance man only after her fortune. Stephen hides his true identity from Katherine until he is sure that she is the right woman. Katherine fights her feelings for him because she knows deep down that he is the man who can take everything away from her.

The love of a child unites them on a quest into Indian territory, where more secrets are revealed. This novel was a hot sizzling read that will pull on your heart strings.

 

mistressRemington Hawthorne, Earl of Latham, has spent his life protecting the Crown. When he’s assigned to play the part of lover to Emma Masterson, one of the few female spies in England and the one woman he can’t forget, he’ll have to risk his heart as well as his life.

 It isn’t easy being an independent woman, much less a spy. Perpetually tasked with proving she is as valuable as any man in her profession, the last thing Emma needs is to be reunited with the one man who makes her want to forget her duties and get lost in passion.
 
Pretending to be his mistress isn’t difficult – remembering that it is all a charade is a challenge. With every glance, every touch, every kiss, she is drawn deeper under his spell and pulled further from her goals. She refused him once, but it will take every ounce of strength to not give in to the passion that still burns strong…”

Emma is a spy working for the mysterious Seven. Death is stalking her – as you immediately get sucked into the action. Emma now has to pair up with her old partner Remy. Emma is not pleased with sitution as they once had a failed affair in Paris.

She has to pretend to be Remy’s mistress to find Lord Comfry’s journal and the secrets that are held with in. Remy and Emma are explosive together, but Emma still has her doubts about Remy. Will she over come them, solve the mystery and get her hearts desire?

This novella has rich textured seductive scenes. Very well written for smooth reading. There is intrigue and espionage and even a salacious party of debauchery. I loved this spy romance and only wished it could have been a full length novel. I am secretly hoping this is just a taster for a larger series.

 

duke'sDrake, Duke of Manchester is searching the Marriage Mart for a perfect bride. He wants a woman who is poised, sophisticated, and worthy of the title Duchess. But most of all, he wants a woman who does not want the useless emotion of love.

 Socially awkward Miss Penelope Clayton isn’t meant for marriage. A serious botanist, she has no desire to wed, so being forced by her guardian to participate in the Season to find a husband is torture. She’ll never fit in with the ton, especially if they discover she’s been pretending to be a man within the scientific community.
 
As Drake’s family makes over Penelope, turning her from naive bluestocking to enchanting debutante, he is put upon to introduce her to society and eligible bachelors. Despite dance lessons and new gowns, Penelope is the opposite of poised and sophisticated as she stumbles from one mishap to the next. Why then, does he find it so hard to resist her?”

Penelope is summoned to London for a season against her wishes. She would much rather stay behind and with her botany specimens. Drake is told to take Penelope under his wing for her first season. Even though Penelope is described as social inept, Drake is still intrigued.

Drake tells her he needs a wife of social importance and should look for a suitor elsewhere. He regrets that and sets about to win her heart again.

I enjoyed reading as the spark of sexual tension turned into a inferno of desire and the discovery of true love. The book was right combination of steamy romance and old fashioned comedic romp. You will not be disappointed with The Duke’s quandary.

Review: Flight to Coorah Creek by Janet Gover

ImageThe first thing I said when I finished Chapter One was Wow!. From the first line you were transported right into the middle of the action. Within a few pages, you felt like you knew these characters and were revisiting old friends.

Queensland is described in such vivid details that you can almost feel the heat of the sun and the outback dust in your throat. The Outback is like a character in its own right because it is depicted with it is own personality and vibrancy.

I felt immersed into Coorah Creek’s world. It is a world where life has a slower pace, neighbours care about each other and good old fashion country charm – that never goes out of style.

The main characters are all impossible to believe they are fictional. I identified and bonded with Jess immediately, because we all know what it is like to be in love and blind. Dr. Adam, all I’m going to say is I wish he was my doctor. Watching Jack and Ellen’s romance unfold was breath-taking. I don’t believe in spoilers, but there were a few times I cried.

Janet Gover’s writing is phenomenal, she can make something as complicated as flying a plane easy to understand and visualize.I didn’t even feel like I was reading a book because a film played in my head. It was a perfect book from the start to the last line “…broken only by the distant laugh of the kookaburra.”

I fell in love with Coorah Creek and it’s in habitants and so will you. This book has the Wow factor.

I highly recommend to anyone who loves reading.

kanga

I caught up with the wonderful Janet Gover last night for a little Q&A to answer all those questions I had.

janetgoverMe: Is Coorah Creek a real place?

Janet: No, but if it did exist it would be in western Queensland, midway between Mt Isa and Birdsville. Birdsville (also in book) is real.

Me: Where can you suggest for an authentic Outback experience?

Janet: Visit Stockman’s Hall of Fame in Longreach for outback experience.

hotelIn the book Flight to Coorah Creek  the team head out to Birdsville races, I only just learned about through Janet Gover’s book but it is a yearly event. There is still time to check it out and book tickets. If like me, you have no chance of making it to Australia any time soon, the website offers many pictures and links, so you know exactly what you are missing.

Now you can not mention the land down under without mentioning Lamingtons.

300px-NZ_LamingtonLamingtons are a quintessential part of every Australian’s childhood. The little sponge cake is dipped in chocolate icing and then rolled in desiccated coconut.

These little treats are sold at school fairs and bake sales around the country.

 

outbaxk I had a wonderful time reading and reviewing Flight to Coorah Creek and learning more about Australia. I would Like to thank Janet Gover and the RFDS for all their support with my features. Read all about the RFDS in my article, The Royal Flying Doctors. I hope all of you enjoy the book as much as I did. It is the perfect holiday read.

I have one final treat for you. In my interview with Janet Gover she mentioned Longreach Outback experience. I found a video for you. For now we will have to make do with being an armchair explorer. I leave you with the distant laugh of a kookaburra. Have a great weekend.

 

 

 

Review: The Wedding Cake Tree by Melanie Hudson

cake treeThe book starts with a mystery and Terry the magic tortoise, who could resist that?. It then goes on to be a fairy tale of self discovery in the most gorgeous locations. Scotland is described in breath taking details. I had to laugh at the Clootie dumpling- most people has no idea what to do with it either.
The progression of Alasdair and Grace’s romance starts out as old fashioned and charming, but the heat definitely gets turned up. Trust me when I say it is all tasteful and you will want an Alasdair of your very own.
I think the book asks the question “How we do we know our parents?”. We think we know them but there are always hidden stories. Most incredible is that Grace gets to retrace her mother’s past.

With every new letter from Grace’s mother, Rosamund, more is revealed, and there are plenty of bomb shells too. As soon as you think the book is going in one direction- Boom!; You are off in another. This is definitely not a run of the mill story.
I sat on the edge of my seat for the last two chapters not wanting it to end, and the author keeps you in a delicious suspense right till the end.
I sighed, as I closed the book and was asked “Mummy, why are you crying?” and all I could answer was “Because it was such a beautiful ending.”
I highly recommend this stunning début and I can not wait to see what Melanie Hudson writes next.

wedding cake tree

I fell in love with the idea of planting a tree to mark special occasions. I found a picture of a wedding cake tree andthought it was gorgeous. The name does not do it justice.

I also found a great site to re-create all of those yummy Scottish dishes mentioned at http://www.rampantscotland.com/recipes/ . For my last treat an interview with theauthor herself on Choc Lit Publishing’s own home page blog
ChocLit-logo-Web3