Book reviews, Fantasy

Venators : Promises Forged by Devri Walls – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

It has been mere days in the world of Eon, where Rune Jenkins, her twin brother Ryker, and their friend Grey have been trapped, fighting for their lives. After discovering the truth of their ancestry, the three are far from home, and far from anything resembling their mundane lives of the past. 

While Ryker is still held captive by the eerily beautiful Zio and her goblins, Grey falls into the clutches of Feena, the Fae queen. She begins to drain his soul bit by bit to feed her dark underground garden, and Grey has no hope of escaping on his own. 

It is now up to Rune to save Grey, as his precious time slips away inexorably. But the Council has denied her permission to embark on a rescue mission, until she can harness her Venator gifts and prove herself capable of venturing into the Fae queen’s territory. 

As Rune discovers that promises in Eon are forged with life-or-death consequences, she realizes that she must act quickly, or else be swallowed – and Grey along with her – by the dangers of Eon

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MY REVIEW 

Promises Forged is #2 in the Venators series. After reading Magic Unleashed I was looking forward to catching up with Rune and the marvellous mix of characters again, I wasn’t disappointed.

In Promises Forged, Grey has ended up in Feena’s court, So Rune and the others plan to get in and rescue him…..so the adventure begins.

Full of fantasy new creatures, incredible world building and a twisty, dark and immersive plot all make this a completely engrossing read. Pure escapism.

Thank you to The Write Read for the opportunity to take part in this blog tour, for the promotional material and an ecopy of the book. This is my honest and unbiased review.

 

Book reviews, Fantasy

The Girl And The Stars by Mark Lawrence – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

East of the Black Rock, out on the ice, lies a hole down which broken children are thrown.

On the vastness of the ice there is no room for individuals. No one survives alone.

To resist the cold, to endure the months of night when even the air itself begins to freeze, requires a special breed. Variation is dangerous, difference is fatal. And Yaz is different.

Torn from her family, from the boy she thought she would spend her life with, Yaz has to carve a new path for herself in a world whose existence she never suspected. A world full of danger.

Beneath the ice, Yaz will learn that Abeth is older and stranger than she had ever imagined.

She will learn that her weaknesses are another kind of strength. And she will learn to challenge the cruel arithmetic of survival that has always governed her people.

Only when it’s darkest can you see the stars.

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MY REVIEW 

Set in the same universe as The Book Of The Ancestor series (Red Sister being one of my favourite fantasy novels), this is the tale of Yaz.

Yaz is a broken child, at 16 she is headed for the gathering and is expecting to be thrown into the pit with the other broken children. But, when her brother, Zeen is thrown down and she is spared, she jumps after him……

Here she finds another world, with survivors of the drop, a society that has been there for years. But Zeen is nowhere to be found……..so she sets out to find her little brother..

This is a tale of ice and cold, of magic, of stars in the darkness. 

It has cannibals, black ice that taints others, of corruption and power, but it’s also about a young girl accepting her ability to tap into the river is not a weakness, but strength. Can she save Zeen?

I love this book. Yaz is a great character, full of doubts but also determination to do what’s right. I loved being back on Abeth, with mentions of the places from Red Sister, but also very different as this is life on the ice and below it. For me it had a sense of wonder and atmosphere that reminded me of when I read The Tombs of Atuan by Ursula Le Guin many years ago…..but this is very different, with fantastic world building, great characters and a wonderful plot…..and that end!!! Utterly brilliant.

Thank you to Anne Cater and Random Things Tours for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour,  for the promotional materials and a free copy of the book. This is my honest, unbiased review.

 

You can buy a copy here: https://amzn.to/3bNEGaT 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

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Mark Lawrence was born in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, but moved to the UK at the age of one. He went back to the US after taking a PhD in mathematics at Imperial College to work on a variety of research projects including the ‘Star Wars’ missile defence programme. Returning to the UK, he has worked mainly on image processing and decision/reasoning theory. His first trilogy, The Broken Empire, has been universally acclaimed as a ground-breaking work of fantasy, and both The Liar’s Key and The Wheel of Osheim have won the Gemmell Legend award for best fantasy novel. Mark is married, with four children, and lives in Brist

Book reviews, Fantasy

The Heron Kings By Eric Lewis – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

After a warlord slaughters her patients, Sister Alessia quits the cloister and strikes out on her own to heal the victims of a brutal dynastic conflict. Her roaming forest camp unwittingly becomes the center of a vengeful peasant insurgency, raiding the forces of both sides to survive. Alessia struggles to temper their fury as well as tend wounds, consenting to ever greater violence to keep her new charges safe. When they uncover proof of a foreign conspiracy prolonging the bloodshed, Alessia risks the very lives she’s saved to expose the truth and bring the war to an end.
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MY REVIEW 

Alessia, a novice in the temple of Polytheon, treats all those injured in the War that is raging. But a Lord enters the temple and slaughters all those deemed on the other side. As a result Mother Tanusia decrees only those fighting o. The side of this Lord will be treated, leaving anyone else to die at the gates.

Alessia decides to leave and do her physic-ing without restriction. Travelling alone she eventually meets Ulnoth, whose family had been killed by soldiers and is hell bent on revenge.

Gradually they meet others and become a small band of survivors with no allegiance to any and call themselves The Heron Kings.

When they find plans of a conspiracy they decide to join the war with them aim of ending it once and for all.

A well paced tale with great characters, Alessia being my personal favourite, lots of scheming, violence, blood and gore in a clever plot that makes this a gripping read from start to finish.

Thank you to Anne Cater and Random Things Tours for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour,  for the promotional materials and a free copy of the book. This is my honest, unbiased review.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

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By day Eric Lewis is a PhD research chemist weathering the latest rounds of mergers and layoffs and still trying to remember how to be a person again long after surviving grad school. In addition to subjecting his writing to one rejection after another, he can be found gathering to himself

as many different sharp and pointies as possible and searching for the perfect hiking trail, archery range of single malt Scotch. Don’t ask where, because he’s never lived anywhere for longer than five years.

His short fiction has been published in Nature, Electric Spec, Allegory, Bards and Sages Quarterly, the anthologies Into Darkness Peering, Best Indie Speculative Fiction Vol. 1 and Crash Code, as well as other venues detailed at ericlewis.ink. THE HERON KINGS is his first novel. 

 

FLAME TREE PRESS is the new fiction imprint of Flame Tree Publishing. Launched in 2018 the list brings together brilliant new authors and the more established; the award winners, and exciting, original voices. 

Book reviews, Fantasy, Horror

The Wrongful Death by Kenneth B. Andersen – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

An unfortunate chain of events makes Philip responsible for the untimely death of the school bully Sam—the Devil’s original choice for an heir. Philip must return to Hell to find Sam and bring him back to life, so that fate can be restored. But trouble is stirring in Lucifer’s kingdom and not even Philip can imagine the strange and dark journey that awaits him. A journey that will take him through ancient underworlds and all the way to Paradise. 

The Wrong Death is volume 3 of The Great Devil War series.

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MY REVIEW 

In The Wrongful Death, Philip is now settled with his role in Hell, but now is able to come and go.

But when Sam (who Philip had been mistaken for in Book 1 and is the reason he is now Satan’s right hand man) accidentally arrives in Hell the mayhem begins.

Satan is busy with Hell’s ‘issues’ and wants Philip to find Sam……

There’s mystery, intrigue, betrayal and even a visit to Heaven. With humour and great characters this is another great read from Kenneth B. Andersen and I’m already looking forward to Book 4.

Thank you to The Write Reads for the opportunity to take part in this blog tour, for the promotional material and a free ecopy of the book. This is my honest and unbiased review.

 

Book reviews, Fantasy, Gothic horror

The Die Of Death by Kenneth B. Andersen – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Philip’s adventures as the Devil’s apprentice have changed him—in a good way. Although he misses his friends in Hell, he has made new friends in life. 

But when the future of the underworld is threatened once again, Philip’s help is needed. Death’s Die has been stolen and immortality is spreading across the globe. 

Philip throws himself into the search—and discovers a horrible truth about his own life along the way.

The Die of Death is volume 2 in The Great Devil War-series and winner of the ORLA-Award.

The Great Devil War-series is a humorous and gripping tale about good and evil, filled with biblical and historical characters, such as Judas, Goliath, and Pontius Pilate, as well as modern figures such as Elvis Presley, Albert Einstein, Winston Churchill, and many more. 

The Great Devil War-series is a Danish bestseller, topping library and school reading lists among teens and young adults. The books have been published in more than ten countries and have won numerous awards.
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MY REVIEW 

Set in Hell, this is the tale of Philip, a young boy who is learning to be the Devil’s successor. He had been taken by mistake, but the Devil decided he’d do.

When Death’s die goes missing ( How can Death decide who’s time it is to die without it?) So, the Devil tasks Philip with finding it….

This is such a fun read, it has everything. There’s menace, fear, the macabre and humour all in a marvellously dark world. I loved it and can’t wait for book 3.

Thank you to The Write Reads for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour,  for the promotional materials and a free copy of the ebook. This is my honest, unbiased review.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

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Kenneth B. Andersen (1976) is an award-winning Danish writer. He has published more than forty books for children and young adults, including both fantasy, horror, and science fiction. 

His books have been translated into more than 15 languages and his hit-series about the superhero Antboy has been turned into three movies. A musical adaptation of The Devil’s Apprentice, the first book in The Great Devil War series, opened in the fall 2018 and film rights for the series have been optioned.

Kenneth lives in Copenhagen with his wife, two boys, a dog named Milo, and spiders in the basement.

 

 

Website http://www.kennethbandersen.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/WriterKennethBAndersen/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kenneth_b_andersen/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/K_B_Andersen

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/kenneth-b-andersen

 

Book reviews, Dystopian fiction, Fantasy, post-apocalyptic, YA fiction

Cynetic Wolf by Matt Ward – Book Review

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It’s 2096, sixty years after ninety percent died from a man-made Bioplague. Humanity has splintered into four unequal subspecies: immortals, cyborgs, enhancers, and subservient half-human, half-animal hybrids. 

The world is anything but equal. Hybrids everywhere are suffering, but sixteen-year-old Raek Mekorian, a wolfish with a nose for trouble, doesn’t see an alternative. Except the Resistance, who don’t stand a chance against the world government. His mom always said, “Keep your head down.”

And he does, until his sister is murdered by a pair of cyborgs. Overnight, his simple life is shattered, fracturing the rigid governmental caste as he is thrust into the dangerous world of superhuman hit squads, Resistance uprisings, and secrets better left unsaid.

With only built-in blasters and the advice of a mysterious professor, Raek must navigate crushing betrayal, self-doubt, and a limitless enemy whose evil knows no bounds.

Can Raek unify his people and free them from tyranny? The fate of mankind may rest in his hands.

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MY REVIEW

Cynetic Wolf is #1 of the Wolfish series. 

Set in 2096, this is a post apocalyptic YA fantasy tale in which Raek,16 and a wolf hybrid lives a quiet life.

But then his sister is murdered and his parents are abducted,

People are now routinely a mix of human and animal genes and the world is a very different place to live.

This is a coming of age fantasy tale as Raek has to grow up quickly and deal with life and its many challenges. The pressure on him is immense. Can he rise to the challenge and help save the world?

This is action packed and so fast paced it will leave you breathless. A fantastic mix of characters, creatures and even cyborgs. Brilliantly entertaining.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

I’m an entrepreneur, blogger, startup advisor and futurist (actually ranked #24 worldwide), and I run Disruptors.FM, a podcast on exponential tech and where we’re headed. I wrote this book because I see humanity diverging in the coming years as genetic engineering and self-enhancement change our very essence and hope to safeguard against the big challenges I see facing all of us.

 

My website is mattwardwrites.com. You can also find me on Twitter @mattwardwrites and Instagram @mattwardwrites

 

Book reviews, Fantasy

VENATORS: Magic Unleashed by Devri Walls – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Welcome to Eon. An alternate dimension where fantasy and paranormal is reality, and humans sit at the bottom of the food chain. In this world of unadulterated power and ability, the innocent suffer greatly. The ruling council of Eon has selected two humans, born of the Venator bloodline, and brought them through the gate—wishing to manipulate their strength and special abilities for the council’s corrupt purposes. But, Grey and Rune have very different ideas.

When their college dorm is infiltrated by creatures from another realm, Rune Jenkins, her twin brother Ryker, and old friend Grey Malteer are thrown into unexpected, twisted chaos. While Rune and Gray are able to escape, Ryker is kidnapped away to Eon, the alternate world from whence these dark beings came.
With the help of a supernatural guide, Rune and Gray must now travel to Eon to save Ryker, and discover the illuminating truth about their ancestry.

In this new world of fae, vampires, werewolves, and wizards, power is abundant and always in flux. Rune and Grey are being set up as pawns in a very dangerous game and must find their way through – and out of – Eon before it consumes them.

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MY REVIEW 

Grey and Rune are seemingly typical college students, but they have powers they keep relatively hidden.

They are pulled through a portal and enter a very different world. A world of magic and chaos, of vampire, werewolves and so much more.

With a large cast of characters, great world building and an exciting plot, this fast paced fantasy tale is enjoyable and thoroughly entertaining.

Thank you to The Write Reads for the opportunity to take part in this blog tour, for the promotional material and a free ecopy of the book. This is my honest and unbiased review.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

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Devri Walls is a US and international bestselling author. Having released five novels to date, she specializes in all things fantasy and paranormal. She is best known for her uncanny world- building skills and her intricate storylines, and her ability to present this all in an easy-to-digest voice. Now gearing up for her first national release,  Devri is excited to introduce her sixth novel, book one in the Venators series. She loves to engage with her loyal following through social media and online sessions she organizes for her readers. Devri lives in Meridian, Idaho with her husband and two kids. When not writing she can be found teaching voice lessons, reading, cooking or binge watching whatever show catches her fancy.

 

Book reviews, Fantasy

The Goblets Immortal by Beth Overmyer – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

In a land where magic’s feared, a magical kind exists: the Blest, products of the Goblets Immortal and Aidan’s one of them and on the run. Whispers of a new fear take shape in Meraude, a mage who hates all magic-kind. When she appears in Aidan’s dreams offering a bargain for the return of his family, he needs to make the most difficult decision.

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MY REVIEW 

This is a tale of magic and fantasy. Aiden has a talent for making things disappear and reappear, including himself. When a friend betrays him he uses this to escape. He meets a gang of Roma, who try to poison him but in recompense he is given a goblet. He then is drawn to four Elves, who want the goblet in exchange for their ‘slave’, Slàine.

But, he decides to leave taking Slàine with him and he ends up having to throw the goblet to the Elves to escape.

Aiden begins to have dreams where an evil mage, Meraude wants him to recover all of the Goblets Immortal and she will return his family to him. Can this mage be trusted? 

There’s a fight with Goblins, capture by Nymphs and a mage in his dreams, all of which want the goblets…

I feel this will become an epic fantasy and this is just the beginning. With great, likeable characters in Aiden and Slàine and fantastic world building I’m totally hooked and can’t wait for the next book.

Thank you to Anne Cater and Random Things Tours for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour,  for the promotional materials and a free copy of the book. This is my honest, unbiased review.

 

You can buy a copy here: https://amzn.to/2SHRjgc

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

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Beth Overmyer has authored several books—In a Pickle, a middle grade novella, and Circus in a Shot Glass, a women’s fiction novel, being among them. She’s in love with the fantasy genre, mysteries—especially when there’s tea and/or a quirky sleuth involved—, and wouldn’t say no to readingand writing in every genre but hardcore horror and erotica. Influencers to her writing include J.R.R. Tolkien and Brandon Sanderson, though Douglas Adams may be lurking in there somewhere.

Love of writing and reading has led to her leading a creative writing group at her local public library, where she once was a pupil. But she doesn’t see herself as a teacher: she’s more of a facilitator and encourager when needed. Every other week during the school year, they meet and perform various writing exercises, which each individual’s encouraged to then share.

When she’s not writing, reading, editing, drinking tea, or facilitating creative writing meetings, Beth enjoys hanging out with her writing pals for fellowship, brainstorming, and great company. You can visit Beth’s website at http://bethovermyer.com.

 

FLAME TREE PRESS is the new fiction imprint of Flame Tree Publishing. Launched recently in 2018 the list brings together brilliant new authors and the more established; the award winners, and exciting, original voices.

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Book reviews, Crime thriller, Fantasy, Science fiction

Spirit Of Prophecy by Jill Hughes – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

A fast-paced mystery featuring psychic detective Rosetta Barrett, as she unpicks the clues of the crime, a deeper prophecy emerges dating back to an atrocity which happened on Apache lands some time ago, and the race to solve more than one karmic mystery begins.

A gifted psychic but an emotional wreck, Rosetta Barrett is much more than a Criminal Investigation Detective seconded to a sleepy, rural English constabulary. She’s also a high-ranking member of EPIS (Elite Paranormal Intelligence Services) a super-secret, Inter-Governmental, global organization.

When Juliet Jermaine’s Olympic Champion horse, Gothic, and his teenage stable-hand rider, are callously murdered in what appears to be a terrorist-inspired incident, Detective Barrett immediately knows there is more to this than meets the eye.

 Juliet, and Rosetta must unravel the karmic connection to an unknown past to catch the present-day criminals before another cycle of revenge and retribution is unleashed. Can they stop the death count inexorably rising?

 

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MY REVIEW 

Spirit Of Prophecy is an unusual mix of sci-fi, crime thriller and the paranormal.

Rosetta is a psychic detective, she has a nightmare that she feels is a message, a puzzle to solve. But the reader is privy to information she doesn’t have so you can start to solve the mystery as you read.

Rosetta is determined to solve a recent hit and run incident that may have been murder. Can she put an end to the relentless cycle of revenge?

She is a complex character with her personal life a mess, which makes her more relatable and likeable.

An interesting and twisty plot that makes this an engaging and entertaining read.

Thank you to Anne Cater and Random Things Tours for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour,  for the promotional materials and a free copy of the book. This is my honest, unbiased review.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

 

Jill Hughes was born in Cottingley, West Yorkshire, home of the famous Cottingley Fairies. She studied English/American Literature with Film Studies at the University of East Anglia, before becoming an investment banker. After leaving banking she trained as a Life Coach, and went on to co-author the No 1 Best Selling Spiritual self-help book, Inspired by the Passion Test.

She has also successfully campaigned for a reprieve for historical heritage site The Red House, the 2nd most famous Bronte site in the country, which was up for imminent sale by auction. Benefactors and patrons needed to ensure an asset tranfer from Kirklees Council back to benefit the community!

Jill Hughes is a bestselling Author-preneur. She is passionate about horses, the paranormal, New Thought spirituality, self-help, self-development and is available for interview.

A wonderful gift for any reader who is interested in horses and equestrian sports, crime, retribution, aliens and UFOs, ancient mysteries and spiritual development.

 

Spirit of Prophecy is available at all good bookshops and online outlets in paperback (978-1999586799, £9.99) and eBook (£3.25). More information can be found at: https://www.moneymagnet.global/jillhughes

 

Book reviews, Fantasy

The Unlikely Escape Of Uriah Heep by H.G. Parry – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

For his entire life, Charley Sutherland has concealed a magical ability he can’t quite control: he can bring characters from books into the real world. His older brother, Rob – a young lawyer with an utterly normal life – hopes that this strange family secret will disappear with disuse, and he will be discharged from his duty of protecting Charley and the real world from each other.

But then, literary characters start causing trouble in their city, making threats about destroying the world, and for once, it isn’t Charley’s doing. There’s someone else out there who shares his powers and it’s up to Charley and a reluctant Rob to stop them – before anyone gets to The End.

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MY REVIEW 

Charley was a gifted child,  talking at 8 months old and reading soon after. When his mother found him sat with Dr Seuss’ Cat In The Hat, they realise he has a talent. A talent that enables him to bring characters from literature alive and into the real world….

At 26 years old, he has moved to New Zealand and lives close to his brother Rob. One night Rob receives a call…..Uriah Heep has escaped.

Uriah is eventually returned to David Copperfield, but he had been talking of a New World…..and so the adventure begins.

Someone else has Charley’s talent and Rob and Charley need to put an end to nefarious plans and get various characters back in their books…

Along the way we meet Dorian Grey, Sherlock and so many more characters from classic literature. I loved their interactions and it really appealed to the book nerd in me.

This is a fun romp through literature, a real boys own adventure. At its heart is a tale of two brothers and their relationship in a totally unique and so thoroughly entertaining read. I love it.

Thank you to Tracy and Compulsive Readers for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour,  for the promotional materials and a free copy of the ebook. This is my honest, unbiased review.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

H.G. Parry has a PhD in English literature and teaches at Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand. She has published a number of short stories; The Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep is her debut novel.

 

Book reviews, Fantasy, Psychlogical thriller, Science fiction

A User’s Guide To Make-Believe by Jane Alexander – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

A compelling read with an engaging but flawed heroine, exploring a near future with an all-too-plausible Black Mirror slant on reality and fantasy. Taps into cautionary tale fiction or ‘near dystopias’ in the wake of The Handmaid’s Tale.

Whatever your fantasy, live it with Make-BelieveTM. The only limit is you.

Cassie worked at Imagen, the tech giant behind the cutting-edge virtual reality Make- BelieveTM, and she got to know the product well. Too well. But Cassie has been barred from her escape from the real world, and legally gagged by the company.

Her dream job now seems to be part of a larger nightmare, and Imagen is not done with her yet.

With Imagen holding all the cards, and personal and publicity freedoms at stake, how far will Cassie go to end the deception?

Immerse yourself in a near-future world with an all-too-plausible slant on reality and fantasy for our ‘connected’ times.

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MY REVIEW 

Imagine a day dream brought to life. A fantasy VR world that feels real. That’s what Make-Believe offers…but at what cost?

Cassie is an ex-employee of Imagen, the developers of Make-Believe, she found a glitch that allowed her to stay in Make-Believe beyond the 2 hour limit. When Imagen found out she was dismissed and barred from Make-Believe…

As she investigates further she finds disturbing information and plans to fight….but can she win?

This is set in the near future and is so very scary in its plausibility. In this troubled world who wouldn’t want to escape into a fantasy world of your own building? 

A mix of San Junipero (Black Mirror) and Total Recall, the lines blur between dreams and reality. A thought provoking and utterly terrifying thriller. Just fantastic.

Thank you to Anne Cater and Random Things Tours for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour,  for the promotional materials and a free copy of the book. This is my honest, unbiased review.

 

You can buy a copy here:  https://amzn.to/2TX9Iad

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

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Jane Alexander has completed a PhD in creative writing and teaches at the University of Edinburgh and the Open University. For several years she ran creative writing workshops for people in recovery from substance abuse. Her first novel was The Last Treasure Hunt (Saraband 2015).

 

 Twitter: @DrJaneAlexander

Book reviews, Fantasy

Wizard Ring by Clare Blanchard – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 
 

I knew nothing about the alchemist John Dee until one winter’s night in Prague when I met the ghost of a barber.

My name is Sylvia. I was just a burnt-out teacher with a subversive sense of humour. Then my mother gave me a magic ring made in the Prague workshop of John Dee.

I’ve never been the same since.

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MY REVIEW 

Sylvia is given a ring by her mother. It had been made in Prague and purportedly, has the power to influence those around it, not always in a positive way.

A story of magic and history. There’s plenty of historical facts relating to Prague and the story often jumps back to old events and moments. This helps build the atmosphere and the complex plot.

It is a beautifully descriptive, magical read that will have you engrossed. Does the ring have real power? Well you’ll have to read this to find out….maybe! 

Thank you to Damppebbles Blog Tours for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour,  for the promotional materials and a free copy of the ebook. This is my honest, unbiased review. 

 

 

About Clare Blanchard:

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Originally from the North Yorkshire coast in England, Clare Blanchard spent half her lifetime in Czechia in Central Europe, where her books are mainly set. Inspired by noir fiction, her settings are often like another character in the plot. She writes crime mysteries and dark urban fantasy with a historical twist.

 Clare loves beautiful landscapes and architecture, cross-country skiing, the wine of South Moravia, and of course Czech beer. When she’s not being literary she knits funky socks.

http://www.clareblanchard.com        

http://www.clareblanchard.com

 

 

Social Media:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/CBcrime

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

Website: http://www.clareblanchard.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/clareblanchardbooks/

 

 

Purchase Links:

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Wizard-Ring-darkness-light-Wizards-ebook/dp/B07X1B9DZW/ref=sr_1_3?keywords=clare+blanchard&qid=1578949804&s=books&sr=1-3

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Wizard-Ring-darkness-light-Wizards-ebook/dp/B07X1B9DZW/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?keywords=wizard+ring+claire+blanchard&qid=1578950178&sr=8-1-fkmr0

Nook: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/wizard-ring-clare-blanchard/1132543853

 

 

Publishing Information:

Published in ebook format on 24th August 2019. 

Book reviews, Fantasy, Police procedural, YA fiction

The Moon Eater by I.M. Bones – Book Review


PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Modern-day London.

The city of dark streets and mysterious happenings…And also the home of the half-werewolf assassin, Gold. If anything goes bump in the night, then it would definitely be this sugar obsessed, mask-wearing, hitman. 

He has a flare for the occult and an ear for classical music, but by day, the mortals know him as that ‘sweet young baker that makes those fantastic cupcakes!

Enter Curtis Walker, a detective investigating a string of strange murders, and the last person to believe that anything otherworldly is going on… but could this phantom killer have anything to do with his sister’s untimely death?

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MY REVIEW 

This is a YA dark fantasy and is #1 in the Gold series.

Gold is a half-werewolf. He was the son of a King until his werewolf tendencies made it obvious his father was not the King.

So, he became the King’s assassin.

He lives in the mortal world as Silas, a baker of fine cupcakes, a young, timid man who in reality is anything but!

Responsible for the death of a police detective, he now has her brother, Curtis on his trail. The Moon Eater is also looking for Gold, but why?

Can Curtis link the Moon Eater and Gold? Will he be able to catch Gold before anymore gruesome deaths and avenge his sister?

I loved this. It’s a dark, gruesome and completely engrossing tale. There’s plenty of background and history of the demon world, magic and the occult, with creatures, monsters and demons. I enjoyed the world building element, which helps build the atmosphere. Gold is narcissistic, sarcastic and I’d love to know more of his story. Curtis is damaged and grieving which makes him reckless at times and I wonder how far he will go to catch Gold.

Dark, tense and thoroughly entertaining.

Thank you to Ben at Cameron Publicity & Marketing for a free copy of the book. This is my honest and unbiased review.

You can buy a copy here: https://amzn.to/2FfCWIx

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

 

I.M. Bones grew up in the bleak Moors of the Peak District, an area full of local legends of vengeful witches and howling beasts. She now lives in Cambridgeshire. ‘Bones’ has been her actual nickname since she was very young, The Moon Eater is her first book.

 

More information can be found at http://www.imbones.com

Book reviews, Fantasy

The Vagabond King by Jodie Bond – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Threon, the Vagabond King, is torn from a life in the palace by raiders and forced to scrape a living on the streets of a foreign land. Meeting a witch from distant mountains, a rebel soldier and a woman cursed by a god, he seeks retribution through a quest to reclaim his home and throne. Together they rekindle old allegiances, face an immortal army and learn to trust one another.

But when the gods begin to interfere with their plans, is it a curse or a blessing?

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MY REVIEW

This is part 1 in The Vagabond King trilogy.

The tale starts with a battle, Lleu and the Palimore soldiers kill many to take over a city, but Lleu lets one person go to safety, Threon, but why?

The story moves on a few years and now Threon is looking for revenge on those who slaughtered his family.

This really is an action packed fantasy tale, with amazing world building, properly rounded and developed characters and exciting tension building gradually throughout.

With Kings and Queens, magic, battles and Gods, there’s plenty to keep even the most devoted fantasy fan thoroughly gripped. Absolutely stunning and I can’t wait for part 2.

Thank you to Anne Cater and Random Things Tours for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour,  for the promotional materials and a free copy of the book. This is my honest, unbiased review.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

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Jodie Bond comes from a family of gin makers in the mountains of north Wales. She works in marketing and performs as a burlesque artist. She had an unconventional childhood, dividing her time between a quiet life on her mother’s farm and her father’s home which was infamous for holding some of the UK’s biggest raves in the 90s.

 

Part 1 in The VAGABOND KING TRILOGY 1 October 2019

FICTION

Paperback / £9.99

PRINT ISBN: 978-1-912109-37-1 203x127mm / 400 pp

S.Region: Worldwide 

Book reviews, Fantasy, Horror

The Devils Apprentice by Kenneth B. Andersen – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Philip is a good boy, a really good boy, who accidentally gets sent to Hell to become the Devil’s heir. The Devil, Lucifer, is dying and desperately in need of a successor, but there’s been a mistake and Philip is the wrong boy. Philip is terrible at being bad, but Lucifer has no other choice than to begin the difficult task of training him in the ways of evil. Philip gets both friends and enemies in this odd, gloomy underworld—but who can he trust, when he discovers an evil-minded plot against the dark throne?

The Devil’s Apprentice is volume 1 in The Great Devil War-series.

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MY REVIEW 

Philip is 13 years old, he’s a good young man, he’s also the victim of the school bully Sam. Hiding in the school basement, he is rescued from Sam by the janitor, but Sam says he’ll get him another time.

On his way home, he rescues a cat….who he is sure said Thankyou! 

The Sam pushes him into the road and Philip wakes up in Hell. It must be a mistake, a demon agrees, but Satan decides he needs an heir and Philip is it.

Can Philip learn to be bad? 

A clever fantasy tale of good and evil….it also makes you think what is Evil? From a while lie to murder, is it just degrees of evil? Do we need evil so that we can be the opposite? A fun, entertaining read.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

Kenneth B. Andersen (1976) is an award-winning Danish writer. He has published more than forty books for children and young adults, including both fantasy, horror, and science fiction. 

His books have been translated into more than 15 languages and his hit-series about the superhero Antboy has been turned into three movies. A musical adaptation of The Devil’s Apprentice, the first book in The Great Devil War series, opened in the fall 2018 and film rights for the series have been optioned.

Kenneth lives in Copenhagen with his wife, two boys, a dog named Milo, and spiders in the basement.

Website http://www.kennethbandersen.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/WriterKennethBAndersen/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kenneth_b_andersen/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/K_B_Andersen

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/kenneth-b-andersen

Book reviews, Fantasy

Sorcery Reborn by Steve McHugh – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB

He doesn’t need a weapon. He is the weapon.

After losing his powers in an epic battle between good and evil, former sorcerer Nate Garrett finds himself living as a humble human in Clockwork, Oregon. While the world thinks Nate is dead, his friends continue to fight against Avalon and the evil it’s intent on spreading.

Avalon’s forces turn up in Clockwork, and Nate’s frustration grows with every passing day his magic doesn’t return. He finds himself trying to stop Avalon’s plans while hiding from enemies who would destroy everything in their path to see him dead.

Avalon’s darkness begins to threaten the people Nate cares about, and an old nemesis returns; magic or no magic, he has no choice but to fight. But will Nate see his magical powers reborn before the entire town—and everyone he loves—is destroyed?

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MY REVIEW 

Humans, Norse gods, Hades, Giants and Asgard all mixed with magic and war. 

Nate is human, his magic lost in an earlier battle and believed dead…..but the battles against evil are still ongoing. So, Nate tries to find another way to stop Avalon. But will his magic return? 

Wow, what an incredible world Steve McHugh has created, it has everything you could wish for in a tale of war between good and evil. Heroes, Gods, Magic and enough fights to make Nate the Jason Bourne of the fantasy world …..there’s even a werewolf. Great, likeable well developed characters with a detailed plot and some emotional moments too. A fantastic, action packed read.

Thank you to Anne Cater and Random Things Tours for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour,  for the promotional materials and a free copy of the book. This is my honest, unbiased review.

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AUTHOR BIO:  

 

Steve’s been writing from an early age, his first completed story was done in an English lesson. Unfortunately, after the teacher read it, he had to have a chat with the head of the year about the violent content and bad language. The follow up ‘One boy and his frog’ was less concerning to his teachers and got him an A.

It wasn’t for another decade that he would start work on a full length novel, the result of which is Crimes Against Magic.

He was born in a small village called Mexborough, South Yorkshire, but now lives with his wife and three young daughters in Southampton.

 

Twitter @StevejMchugh

 Website: http://www.stevejmchugh.wordpress.com/

 

Amazon UK : https://www.amazon.co.uk/Sorcery-Reborn-Rebellion-Chronicles-McHugh/dp/1542093120

 

Book reviews, Fantasy, Science fiction

Entanglement by Andrew J Thomas – Book Review


PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Five friends, four mysteries, three deaths, two road trips and a secret that will change the world…

David’s fiancée worries when he drops out of contact. MI5 panics when a secret airbase vanishes. Liz doesn’t understand when her research subjects go missing. Nigel is confused when he finds an ordinary house brick floating in thin air. And a woman spends her life shifting between parallel worlds. But how can all these things be connected? And why are cakes so important? 

Entanglement is a warm, funny, and original tale about friendship, loss and coping when you’re out of your depth. It also invites readers to ask, “What if?” What if you hadn’t answered that voicemail? And what if chicken pies were illegal in Finland?

If you love Douglas Adams, Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchet you are in the right place. Entanglement is an inventive book of big ideas filled with humanity and humour.

Entanglement takes its title from both the complex nature of human relationships and the term Quantum Entanglement which is key to current theories of parallel universes. It’s about all of that.
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MY REVIEW

This is a quirky, fun tale of part Sci-fi and part fantasy. 

A secret ‘weather research’ facility disappears in a green flash….moles disappeared from their homes and a brick can’t decide whether it’s there or not, and TC has moved through different realities….

How are these events linked ? Five people, all linked may have the answer ?

I love this book, it’s full of great characters, gentle humour, weird events and ultimately a tale of friendship, fate and a rather heartwarming love story. With moles, bricks and lots of little pop culture references that appeal to the geek in me I read this in one sitting. Totally original and utterly absorbing. I can thoroughly recommend it.

Thank you to Cameron Publicity & Marketing for a free copy of the book. This is my honest and unbiased review.

You can buy a copy here 

 

https://amzn.to/2p1YPH3

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

Andrew J Thomas was born in Bristol, England and after university, embarked on an office-based career which ultimately enabled him to travel the world. Having written as a hobby all his life, he gave up his day job to write Entanglement. Whilst writing the book his mother had a major stroke, and as well as finishing the novel, he now had the additional goal of getting a copy to her while there was still time. Happily, he succeeded. He’s written two other novels and seventeen short stories (as yet unpublished) and lives in a thatched cottage in rural Worcestershire.

 

Entanglement is available for pre-order now on Amazon and will be available at all good outlets in ebook, paperback and hardback upon publication. Find out more at: https://andrewjthomas.net/

 

Book reviews, Classic Fiction, Fantasy

Foxfire, Wolfskin and other Stories of Shapeshifting Women by Sharon Blackie – Book Review. @sharonblackiemythmakings @annecater @septemberbooks @RKbookpublicist #FoxfireWolfskin

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Part rally cry, part warning, part manifesto and all parts enchanting, Sharon Blackie’s Foxfire, Wolfskin is a deeply evocative and haunting collection. Humming with the strength of our immutable voices, each story sings with the transformation that is possible when women take agency of our lives. I want to press this powerful book into the hands of everyone I know and say, listen.’  Holly Ringland, author, The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart

‘Sharon Blackie has wrought a new-old magic for our times: glorious, beautiful, passionate myths written for this critical moment in time. They show who we could have been, and they give us a glimpse of a world-that-could-be. There’s still time to make it happen.’ Manda Scott, author of the Boudicca series, and A Treachery of Spies

Charged with drama and beauty, this memorable collection by a master storyteller weaves a magical world of possibility and power from female myths of physical renewal, creation and change. It is an extraordinary immersion into the bodies and voices, mindscapes and landscapes, of the shape-shifting women of our native folklore.  We meet the Water Horse of the Isle of Lewis, the huldra, the Scandinavian supernatural forest-dweller, and Baba Yaga of Slavic folklore (but will she help you or kill you?) Here too is the Snow Queen; the wild bird-woman of the Sliabh Mis Mountains; Blodeuedd, the Welsh ‘flower-faced’ woman.  

Drawing on myth and fairy tales found across Europe – from Croatia to Sweden, Ireland to Russia – Sharon Blackie brings to life women’s remarkable ability to transform themselves in the face of seemingly impossible circumstances. These stories are about coming to terms with our animal natures, exploring the ways in which we might renegotiate our fractured relationship with the natural world, and uncovering the wildness – and wilderness – within.

 

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MY REVIEW

This is a collection of short stories with a theme of strong women, all based on myths and legends from countries around the world. 

But, it’s not that simple…..there is magic, heartbreak, love, fear and power. It is beautifully written and really touches a nerve at times and will make you laugh and cry. 

For me, Last Man Standing is heartbreaking, and will make you cry for the old man. For the world we are destroying, but it has love at its core. 

Wolfskin, shows the cruelty of some men, and their comeuppance. 

Foxfire, is just stunning, the descriptions of the woods and the amber fox are just so clear, you can almost feel the silence of the forest.

This is just three tales, but there are many more intense and powerful stories, each with a lovely, simple illustration too.

I have fallen in love with this book and will be encouraging everyone to read it…..there will be at least one story that touches your soul. 

Thank you to Anne Cater and Random Things Tours for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour and for the promotional materials and a free copy of the book. This is my honest, unbiased review.
You can buy a copy here

https://amzn.to/2n4LtZC

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

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SHARON BLACKIE:

Dr Sharon Blackie is a writer, mythologist and psychologist, and an internationally recognised teacher of the mythic imagination. Her bestselling book, If Women Rose Rooted, won a 2016 Nautilus award, and laid out a haunting heroine’s journey for every woman who finds power, inspiration and solace in the natural world.  She has an international following through her online communities, and the courses and workshops she offers through ‘The Hedge School’. Her first novel, The Long Delirious Blue, was described by the Independent on Sunday as ‘hugely potent’. She lives in Connemara, Ireland. http://www.sharonblackie.net.

‘A new Sharon Blackie is always a cause for celebration’ Melissa Harrison

Sharon Blackie’s titles available from September publishing: The Enchanted Life (ISBN 978-1910463888, £14.99) and If Women Rose Rooted (978-1-912836-01-7, £8.99 paperback published August 2019)

 

Book reviews, Fantasy, Historical fiction, Thriller

Nexus by Alison Morton – Book Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Mid 1970s. Ex-Praetorian Aurelia Mitela is serving as Roma Nova’s interim ambassador in London. Asked by a British colleague to find his missing son, Aurelia thinks it will only be a case of a young man temporarily rebelling. He’s bound to turn up only a little worse for wear.

But a spate of high-level killings pulls Aurelia away into a dangerous pan-European investigation. Badly beaten in Rome as a warning, she discovers the killers have kidnapped her life companion, Miklós, and sent an ultimatum: Back off or he’ll die.

But Aurelia is a Roma Novan and they never give up…

Set between AURELIA and INSURRECTIO in the Aurelia Mitela Roma Nova adventures.

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MY REVIEW 

Set in an alternate world, where the Roman society still exists….with powerful women in charge.

Aurelia, Countess Mitela is in London for a while as an ambassador, when Harry Carter the Assistant Secretary General to the British Foreign Ministry asks her for a favour. His son, Tom, has gone missing again so could she help find him.

She is recalled suddenly due to murders of important men in Europe, but Miklós is staying behind to search for Tom….

At the same time, Her daughter, Marina is being bullied by a girl at school……Linda Casely……sister to John Casely a violent criminal…

Aurelia has compassion but she is also strong and principled, as an ex-soldier she takes no nonsense and will uphold law and order at all costs. 

Will she be able to find Tom? What is the link to John Casely? 

This may be a relatively short novella, but there is no lack of substance to this tension packed thriller with great characters and twisty story. Nice to catch up with Aurelia and Marina is growing up to be just as feisty. Brilliant.

Thank you to Alison Morton, The Author for the opportunity to read this for free. This is my honest and unbiased review.

you can buy a copy here 

https://amzn.to/31vwPJI

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

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Even before she pulled on her first set of combats, Alison Morton was fascinated by the idea of women soldiers. After six years in a special communications regiment, she left as a captain, having done all sorts of interesting and exciting things she can’t talk about, even now…

The mosaics at Ampurias (Spain) and their creation by the complex, power and value-driven Roman civilisation made her wonder what a modern Roman society would be like if run by strong women. 

Now, she writes Roman-themed alternate history thrillers with tough heroines, tends a Roman herb garden and drinks wine with her husband.(Courtesy of Goodreads)

 

Book reviews, Fantasy

Children Of Sinai by Shelley Clarke – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

How would you feel if you got caught up in a secret so vast it threatened everything the world had come to believe?

That’s what happened to John Milburn, computer science lecturer, orphan, husband and father, who lived an ordinary life in Haverhill, Suffolk, England. 

That is, until the dreams started…

From the idyllic calm of Cambridge, John Milburn is drawn to the dust and the heat of Jericho. 

Thrown into danger and intrigue, he discovers more than he’d bargained for. 

‘A wowser of a tale that is exciting and thought-provoking with a cast of characters you’ll fall in love with. Inspired by Biblical events, historical finds, theories and the author’s own strange imagination.’

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MY REVIEW 

Set in the present day, but with a prophecy from ancient Egypt. 

This tells of John, a husband and father to twin girls……but then he has a dream about ancient Egypt, and twins that are to be protectors.

A very clever mix of fact, some biblical events and fiction, with so much happening it keeps you hooked from start to finish.

It jumps between the two timelines, but in such a way as to keep it easy to follow, even with its twist and marvellously imaginative plot. An engaging read.

Thank you to Rachel’s Random Resources for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour and for the promotional materials and a free copy of the ebook. This is my honest, unbiased review.

Author Bio –

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Shelley Clarke was born into a naval family in Kent in 1958, and consequently moved house a lot as a child. She had ambitions to follow in her father’s footsteps and join the Royal Navy, and to become a carpenter, but these were not female occupations at that time. So she learned to type… which has come in jolly handy for putting her stories first onto paper, and now onto screen. 

Shelley is a keen painter, poet, and karaoke enthusiast; she loves mad family get-togethers, hates olives, ironing and gardening, and currently lives in Devon with her husband Kev, and their two Tibetan Terriers Nena and Pepi, who make them smile every day.

Shelley often forgets she is a grown-up. 

Children of Sinai is Shelley’s debut novel. The story had been bouncing around her head for many years, and putting it down on paper has been the hardest thing she’s ever had to do. She certainly could not have got through this experience without a lot of cursing and chocolate!

 

Social Media Links –

https://www.facebook.com/childrenofsinai/?modal=admin_todo_tour

https://twitter.com/Shelley62628484
0A23550E-77A8-4DA4-A859-C22A407DDE88

Purchase Links: 

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Children-Sinai-Following-dreams-change/dp/1798931206/

US – https://www.amazon.com/Children-Sinai-Following-dreams-change/dp/1798931206/