blog, Review

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.

blog, Review

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!

blog

Happy Release day – ‘The Forest’ by Julia Blake

Today sees the release of the much-anticipated new fantasy novel from Julia Blake. ‘The Forest – a tale of old magic’, is available in gorgeous paperback and download from Amazon. Congratulations, Julia x

The Forest“I met a man made of leaves, with roots for hair, who looked at me with eyes that burnt like fire.”

An impenetrable forest that denies entry to all but a select few. A strange and isolated village, whose residents never leave. A curse that reappears every generation, leaving death and despair in its wake.

What is lurking at the heart of the Forest? When the White Hind of legend is seen, the villagers know three of its young people will be left dead, victims of a triangle of love, murder and suicide.

This time, Sally, Jack and Reuben have been selected, and it’s their turn to be tormented by long-buried jealousies, aroused by the dark entity existing within its shadowy glades. Only by confronting the Forest’s secrets, can they hope to break the curse and change their destinies – if they have the courage.

Keeper of secrets. Taker of souls. Defender of innocence. Existing on the very edge of believing, there is the Forest. And this is its story…

All Julia’s books are available from Amazon.

Julia Blake Profile photoI was born and raised in the lovely historic market town of Bury St Edmunds, where I live still with my daughter. I’m typical Cancer, in that although I like to visit new places and see new things, I’m always very pleased to get home again.

I’ve been writing ever since I was old enough to pick up a pen, writing plays for my friends to act out at break time. I attempted my first novel at age thirteen. Of course, due to my age and lack of experience, it was complete rubbish, although I have to say the plot wasn’t half bad, maybe one day I’ll dust it off and attempt a re-write.

I didn’t seriously write until my late thirties, when the stories in my head suddenly began demanding release and I started to write furiously. Over the next ten years, I wrote six complete novels, one 17,000 word novella, half a dozen or so short stories and many poems.

Finally, in 2014 I decided to do something with all these words and, a few months later, after considerable proofing and re-writing, The Book of Eve was published.

Julia Blake

 

The Book of Eve

The Book of Eve is available as Paperback & Kindle from Amazon.

“19-year-old Melissa doesn’t realise how bored she is with her dead-end life until she meets the beautiful renowned author, Annaliese, and her friends. Seduced by their easy glamour and apparently golden lifestyle, when an opportunity arises to become part of their charmed circle, Melissa desperately grabs it. However, she quickly suspects all is not as it seems within this beautiful world she now inhabits …”

Becoming Lili

Becoming Lili is available as Paperback & Kindle from Amazon.

“Never has an ugly duckling turned into such a beautiful swan… An ugly duckling girl, Phyllis is bullied viciously at school and is unloved at home, a lonely teenager, longing for so much more from life … Suddenly, a random encounter with a stranger offers her a chance to have it all …”

 

Lost & Found

Lost & Found is available as Paperback & Kindle from Amazon.

“Arianna Santorini has had a hard life. Abandoned by her husband, left alone to raise their child for six long years, she’s made the best of things. Then, she meets Luke Blackwood. Initially, he seems perfect, strong, kind, understanding and loving, everything she could possibly want. But, Luke has a secret, he’s rich, very rich, and Arianna has a deep-seated prejudice against wealthy men …”

 

Fixtures & Fitings Fixtures & Fittings is available as Paperback & Kindle from Amazon.

“Book two in the fabulous Blackwood Clan saga, Fixtures & Fittings is Marcus’s story.
Rich, handsome, sophisticated, Marcus Blackwood has it all. Then tragedy turns his perfect life upside down, leaving him sole guardian of his young niece. Traumatised into selective muteness, Megan needs more than Marcus believes he can give her, but, what she needs most of all, is a home …”

Lifesong

Lifesong is available as Paperback & Kindle from Amazon.

“She came from a different place, a world living in harmony with the lifesong that flows through everything, connecting all to the great song of the universe. Suddenly, she’s trapped on our world, a place hell-bent on self-destruction, a place that destroys without thought, poisons its own water supply and pollutes the very air that it breathes …”

 

Elcaires for Tea

Eclairs for Tea and other stories is available as Paperback & Kindle from Amazon.

“Eclairs for Tea and other stories is a wonderful, eclectic, mix of short stories, flash fiction and poetry, to be dipped in and out of, and enjoyed at your own pace. Eclairs for Tea – There was something very important Kevin had told her not to forget. If only she could  remember what it was …”

 

Erinsmore

Erinsmore is available as Paperback & Kindle from Amazon.

“All her life, Ruby has longed to escape. Her imagination fed by the Narnia books and Arthurian legends, she dreams of another world. Discovering the ancient prophecy stone in a Cornish antique shop, she and her cynical older sister, Cassie, suddenly find themselves in the mythical land of Erinsmore. A realm of swords, chivalry and magic, it is everything Ruby has been longing for, but, is a world poised on the brink of war … ”

Julia Blake links:

www.juliablakeauthor.co.uk

Facebook

Instagram

Goodreads

Youtube