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Book Review – Avalon Hall by Ruth Miranda

Congratulations to Ruth Miranda on the release of her new fantasy novel, Avalon Hall. I was lucky to have had an ARC edition. Avalon Hall is available to purchase Kindle or Paperback at Amazon.

Avalon Hall by Ruth Miranda – this is Ruth doing what she does best. A story of vampires, witches, fantasy and magic. This is a book of two halves, both as important as the other, coming together just enough at the end, but most certainly leaving you craving more.

Modern-day Scotland. We are introduced to a cast of contemporary characters, all well-crafted and intriguing with their own backstories. Set against the magnificent architecture of Avalon Hall, a modern-day school for adult preternatural, a place to nurture their new magical talents that manifest in their late teens or early twenties. This is no Hogwarts; there is more lurking the rooms and halls than just magic; and beyond the Hall, the vast grounds hold their own secrets. There is one student with her own damaged past that has the talent to step beyond the ‘now’ into the ‘then’. She has a vital role to play, unravelling the past mysteries and miseries of Avalon Hall’s hidden resident.

Just as your heartbeat starts racing, the author halts, whipping you off to the past. A place home to myth and Arthurian legend. But don’t think for one second you are about to receive a run of the mill story of King Arthur. Avalon Hall offers so much more. Instead of the general, the author gives us her own interpretations and thoughts, taking you across the lake at Avalon, delving into the history, the ancestry of who we know to be King Arthur, weaving us a tale that is so in-depth you feel kin to it. This second part of the book is so painstakingly meticulous, a richly woven tapestry of characters, each playing their role in carving the future of who will be known as King Arthur.

I’m now eagerly, and not so patiently, waiting for the second book in this series. Avalon Hall offers so much for those who adore fantasy, those stories abundant with witches and magic, but also those like me, who adore the mysteries that surround Arthurian legend.

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Why it’s important to step outside of your comforts…

Writers, do you read what you write?

Readers, do you read the same genres?

As a writer, I tend to read books to help inspire my own writing. I write historical and Gothic fiction, with the classic being a major source of love and inspirations…the likes of the Brontë’s, Shelley, Poe, and my dear Mr Bram Stoker, of course. But lately I’ve done a fair bit of beta reading for fellow authors and received a few ARC copies for reviewing before official release dates, too. This is where I now read for the love of reading, not for research but to either help my fellow authors or step into another world. I love reading, of course, and I seem to be finding it increasingly harder to say no to these. I get a little tingle, a tiny buzz at the thought of a new book to read… I need more hours in the day! But I digress…

So, let me introduce you to Ailey. Here she is, set against a beautiful backdrop of the stunning Isle of Skye. I was drawn to Ailey of Skye initially by the premise of being set in Scotland, and with a particular love of Skye after a visit there two years ago, I was hooked at the thought. Now, I have to fully admit, I had no real idea of the truly hard-hitting story line I was going to be delving into, no idea how raw or gritty it would be.

You see, I don’t tend to read a lot of crime thrillers, and when I do the author needs to capture my attention very quickly or I will stray. But within a few lines, not even pages of this authentic, gripping thriller, I was done for. There wasn’t even a chance of me coming up to air (only to grab another coffee). And the author of this, Wendy Hewlett.

The reason that this book, above a lot of other’s I’ve read of late, stands out so much is that I do not read contemporary crime. It just isn’t my thing…usually! I have to say, there is only one other modern author of crime thrillers that can hook me like Wendy has and that is Peter James. So, I salute you Wendy Hewlett for converting me to the realms of contemporary crime thrillers… now to go download the rest of Wendy’s novels.

Ailey of Skye is available now from all good online retailers, including Amazon. Please go visit Wendy Hewlett’s website for more details and stalk Wendy on the following links. Website, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads

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Platform House – The home of writer services

Some of your will know that recently my incredible husband and myself branched out, starting our own little business, with a thought to helping fellow independent authors. Thus, Platform House was born. We made a conscious choice not to push like mad, but take it slowly and let business set its own pace. We have a small family; and I need time to write as well, after all! So, letting work come in via recommendations and important word of mouth, we’ve actually been really busy – amazingly so.

Here’s the links to Platform House Website, Instagram, Facebook

A few weeks ago, we had a request to create a book trailer, something quite epic to fit the equally epic fantasy book in question. We jumped at the chance, well my husband did, as that’s what he loves! And after spending hours and hours perfecting, researching, studying, the result was wonderful. With a very happy client indeed, which is all we ever want after all.

Our aim on settling up Platform House was not one for major income and profits but to give back, lend a helping hand to fellow writers, seasons ones and those new to the industry of self-publishing. The first steps to becoming an Independent Author are the hardest, it can be like fumbling around in the dark trying to find the door, being difficult and a sometimes frustrating process, both writing and producing a book, along with the marketing side of independent publishing. This is where we like to come in, opening the door, shedding some light on your writing future.

So, back to this epic trailer – This week we have added BOOK TEASERS AND TRAILERS to our website. We like to cater for all needs and budgets, from a 30 second teaser perfect for a new release or pre-order to a fully bespoke epic cinematic trailer – and everything in between.

Darkened Light by Sarina Langer – Available worldwide from Amazon
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Book Review – Chaining Daisy by Julia Blake

Congratulations to my dear friend and fellow author Julia Blake on the release of her new novel, Chaining Daisy, that was released yesterday. It’s available now worldwide on Kindle, Paperback or free to read on Kindle Unlimited. Just remember to add a box of tissues to the order.

You buy the book now at Amazon.

Chaining Daisy, the second book in The Perennials picks up where the first book Becoming Lili ends, pulling you straight into the story. In the first, we are introduced to the main cast of characters, a gang of friends whose lives are based in the late 90s. With Chaining Daisy, the years have moved on a little to the early 2000s, concentrating this time on Daisy who’s struggling with her not-so-perfect marriage, despite appearances, and Kevin, one of Lili’s oldest friends.

Julia Blake as always delivers a riveting story with eloquence and style. Her cast—and I’d always call her characters a cast as they’re so visual, so full and multidimensional, they live and breathe from the page—all have their supporting roles in this, all bringing something to the story. With scene-setting locations going from rural Suffolk to London to Cornwall, she manages to bring so much colour and atmosphere too.

I hate giving the plot away, I think the book blurb gives you enough. But what I will say is this is one hell of a ride. Although the book itself is a huge (well worth its money) read of over 400 pages, the author’s writing talent takes you by the hand, enticing you in; before you know it, you’re halfway through and you’ve not been up for air. It certainly takes your breath away, dealing with difficult topics and situations, and although the author has dealt with these so realistically, so true to life, she has been careful to handle them with a sense of integrity—graphic descriptions where needed and others left to the imagination.

This is one book that stays with you. I read it in a few sittings, needing to close the pages and recover once in a while, reaching for the box of tissues, yet the characters stayed with me, calling me until I picked it up again.

Though I urge every reader to have tissues to hand, this is in no way a mushy love story, though love and life in all its wonder and horror feature strongly, Chaining Daisy is hard-hitting, gripping, incredibly heart wrenching read with soft, tender, beautiful moments. A well-earned 5 stars!

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Book Review – Ailey of Skye by Wendy Hewlett

I was totally drawn to Ailey of Skye, with my love of Scotland and the Isle of Skye and the intriguing premise of the book. I was lucky enough to have an ARC edition to read prior to its official release on September 17th. You can pre-order this now on Amazon.

It is my first taste of Wendy Hewlett, and so not fully knowing what to expect, I went in open-minded, despite being a little out of my depth regarding genre. As they say variety is the spice of life… and I’m so glad I did, what a treat this is.

Ailey of Skye is a gripping, nail-biting, hard-hitting crime thriller dealing with the horrific subjects of child trafficking, addiction and abuse, but with it comes a gentler edge of family, love and self-acceptance, set against a stunning backdrop of the Isle of Skye. Certainly, a hard to put down book.

From the off, you are quickly drawn into the story, introducing us to Aileen MacEwan with just enough glimpse into her past to ignite interest, keeping the reader turning those pages. Ailey, along with a host of diverse characters are true to life, well rounded, and full of life experiences, bringing so much depth and honesty to them, both good and bad. The book deals with deep and horrific storylines that the author deals with carefully but candidly, something the author clearly knows well, making every aspect authentic. I felt I was in good hands right the way through. I true feat of craftsmanship when it comes to hard-hitting contemporary thrillers and crime novels.

This has undoubtedly given me a taste for more, with a desire to read more of from this talented author, Wendy Hewlett. A well deserving 5 stars.

For more details on Wendy Hewlett and her books why not visit her website.