Tag Archives: Paranormal

Book news: New Covers for Rae Rivers’ Keepers Series!

30 Apr

I’m a big fan of Rae Rivers’ urban fantasy/paranormal romance series The Keepers so I was very excited to see that HarperImpulse has given the trilogy a fab makeover. In the new covers we get to see Keeper brothers Ethan, Archer and Declan on the front of their books for the first time! Here they are in all their glory! If you’d like to try the series, the prequel, The Keepers: Sienna is FREE to download!

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The Keepers is a Paranormal Romance series with a unique premise consisting of a powerful witch with three warrior brothers, the Keepers, duty-bound to defend her.  They are her friends, her fierce protectors and her allies in maintaining the balance of nature.

An evil rival family is out for revenge, determined to tip the balance in their favour.  Sienna and her Keepers will do whatever it takes to stop them.  

Will their strength, loyalty and love survive the ultimate war?

Archer Water Image

Each book can be read as a standalone romance, or for a richer reading experience, the books can be read in order:  Sienna (The FREE Prequel), Archer, Declan and Ethan.

Three brothers, four stories, an exciting adventure of magic, mayhem, and breathtaking romance.  

Download your FREE eBook, Sienna, and enjoy their world!

Declan Fire Image

 

Rae Rivers is an avid reader with a passion for writing spicy romance novels.  She writes Romantic Suspense and Paranormal Romances.  She lives in Cape Town, South Africa, with her husband and children and a zoo of house pets.  Besides writing, she loves family time, the outdoors, travelling, watching TV series, reading and chocolate.  

She loves to hear from her readers and can be found here:

www.raerivers.com Facebook Twitter Instagram Wattpad Goodreads Pinterest

Ethan Air Image

Guest post: The Challenge of Writing Sizzle (When you’re used to Sweet) by Inge Saunders

9 Apr

Today I’m welcoming Inge Saunders to One More Page to talk about the challenges that she faced when writing her latest novella, The Wolf’s Choice. Inge lives in the biggest small town in South Africa‒ Worcester. She fell in love with books when she started reading romance novels with her grandmother. Intrigued by the worlds books unlocked, it was inevitable she would take pen to paper. She holds an Honors degree in Community Development and Learning Support and loves to sink her teeth into the research part of a story.

When she’s not writing about that ‘inexplicable attraction’ she’s reading almost every sub-genre in romance out there, spending time with friends and family and taking hikes in her hometown’s National Karoo Park.

Inge SaundersAs with all things in life, trying something new does bring its own set of challenges. And going from writing sweet contemporary romance to more spicy paranormal romance wasn’t the exception.

I remember at one point I did a post on my Facebook Author Page on the research I’d done on ‘how to approach writing a love scene’. Don’t worry I won’t do a recount here *smile*

But what is the challenge of writing sizzling instead of sweet? Romance is romance after all. There can’t be much difference between the two. And right there, I would lose my reader. Because a sweet romance reader is looking for something different than a reader who prefers a more sizzling read. As an author with a deep respect for readers (because I’m a reader myself) I sat back and dug deep to understand the complexity of the challenges I’m going to face as I tell the story.

The Wolf’s Choice is my first foray into romance that sizzles. It also forms part of a bigger world, The Black Hills Wolves, created by Heather Long and Rebecca Royce for Decadent Publishing. So I had to keep the requirements of the series in mind and stay true to what the creators had in mind of for it. And since the inspiration for the novella started off in my imagination with these two innocent teens meeting at the local Swimming Hole, I knew that I’m going to have a problem if I kept to my ‘old’ style of sweet romance writing (even though the scene when read on its own is sweet).

I think it’s good to note at this point that I don’t just read sweet romance. The romance books I buy range in heat levels, but I usually gravitate towards the stories that contain a happy medium. And that’s the crux for an author who’s going from a ‘clean’ read to a much hotter one. The first challenge you’ll face is to ask yourself, where’s my comfort level with the hotness-factor? Once you’ve established this, you’ll know whether you’ll be able to write a romance that sizzles or have to completely abandon that writing path.

The second challenge, I found, has to do with language, what words to use? Do you want to be graphic? What do your favorite authors use when they tackle a love scene? And most importantly, what type of language is used by the authors contracted for the series/line you want to write for? If the language is an issue for you, then don’t. To force is a crime *smile* and no one likes to be forced to do anything. I’ve read authors who use the words dick, pussy, etc. in such a jarring way that I stopped reading the story. To me, they are out of sync with their characters. If your heroine has never throughout the book even thought of sex or referred to her body parts in her mind or in the dialogue in erotic terms, then goodness why are you now suddenly having her using those terms? The language becomes jarring.

That’s something I had to study in The Wolf’s Choice. A woman with sexual experience wouldn’t necessarily be coy about sex. Though we all know it’s not that cut and dried, characters, like people are complex. (And this you’ll find out about my heroine Rebecca, when you read the story). But there are certain universal things we all accept and don’t about characters in novels.

So language is a definite challenge when writing a sizzling romance.

Don’t lose the plot. No seriously, don’t. Essentially you’re telling the story of two people falling in love and the obstacles that keep them from doing that. As a romance writer that’s your first priority. Don’t get bogged down by how hot your book’s supposed to be. Or by what page number your characters should have, at least, kissed. Or made love.  And don’t write love scenes as fillers. Some publishers might compromise story because sex is the subject of that imprint. But you have to keep in mind that at the heart of every romance is the emotional bond between the hero and heroine. The emotional bond adds layers to the sizzle and the sizzle in your story should advance the plot.

The important thing to acknowledge is that you’ll face challenges as you go along, but to not allow them to keep you from telling your story.

Thank you Inge.

The Wolf’s Choice is out now in ebook formats.

Find out more about Inge and her writing at:

Blog: https://ingesaunders.wordpress.com/

Books by Inge Saunders: http://bit.ly/1defI54

Twitter: @saunders_inge

The Wolf's Choice_1800x2700“I’ll pledge my loyalty to you through a blood oath, if you’ll support my choice of mate.”
Drew sank into his chair. “What does Rebecca have to say? The last time I spoke to her, she didn’t mention you.”
Blaine smiled. He hadn’t earned himself any favors. “She doesn’t know yet.”

Thirteen years ago Rebecca Ferguson died, at least to everyone in the Black Hills territory. With a human mother and unable to shift into a wolf, Magnum Tao, the deranged alpha of the Tao Pack would’ve had both her and her father killed for deceiving him. Magnum didn’t allow humans to mate with members of his pack.
Now Magnum is the one who’s dead, and Rebecca can return.
But coming back from the dead, building a new life after her divorce, and opening a library in town aren’t the only obstacles Rebecca faces. Elijah, her father, doesn’t approve of her being in Los Lobos to the point where he forbids her to get involved with the pack, especially the males.
Their relationship has suffered because of her absence and she hopes to bridge the divide, confident that she doesn’t want a romantic entanglement with anyone human or wolf, anyway.

In walks sexy private detective Blaine Walker.
Thirteen years ago Blaine stumbled on his mate at the local swimming hole. The next day, she was dead. Once he learns Rebecca is alive and living in Los Lobos, he decides it’s time to give up his career in Brooklyn and return to the Black Hills. But he knows it won’t be easy to claim her since Elijah’s unnaturally overprotective. The only way Elijah will back off is to challenge him.

A challenge that will end in one of their deaths.
The Tao Pack’s rebuilding itself and needs to guard against any threats outside or in. For Blaine to have any chance to claim Rebecca, Elijah needs to be dealt with and to deal with Elijah, Drew, the alpha of the Tao Pack, has to sanction the challenge according to pack law.

Rebecca can’t deny the old attraction she felt for Blaine is still there and even stronger now that they are grown up. She’s caught between the man fate has brought back to her and her father, whose affection she’s craved her whole life.
But there’s a secret governing Elijah’s erratic behavior that can cost Rebecca everything she’s worked hard to build and everything she thought she could never have with a man or wolf.
Will Rebecca and Blaine beat the odds stacked against them?
Or will the choices they make ultimately lead them down a path both of them don’t want?

Book news: The Witches of New York by Ami McKay

3 Oct

You might notice a bit of a theme developing in my posts this month – for me October is all about magic and mystery. I plan to share many magical books with you this month so when I saw this book earlier today I added it straight to my wish list. It covers two of my favourite reading subjects (witches and New York) just in the title so it’s got to be a winner right?!

Ami McKay is the bestselling author of The Birth House and The Virgin Cure. I absolutely love the sound of this novel and isn’t the cover fab? The Witches of New York is released on October 27th by Orion.

witches of new york

The year is 1880. Two hundred years after the trials in Salem, Adelaide Thom (Moth from The Virgin Cure) has left her life in the sideshow to open a tea shop with another young woman who feels it’s finally safe enough to describe herself as a witch: a former medical student andgardien de sorts (keeper of spells), Eleanor St. Clair. Together they cater to Manhattan’s high society ladies, specializing in cures, palmistry and potions–and in guarding the secrets of their clients. All is well until one bright September afternoon, when an enchanting young woman named Beatrice Dunn arrives at their door seeking employment.

Beatrice soon becomes indispensable as Eleanor’s apprentice, but her new life with the witches is marred by strange occurrences. She sees things no one else can see. She hears voices no one else can hear. Objects appear out of thin air, as if gifts from the dead. Has she been touched by magic or is she simply losing her mind? Eleanor wants to tread lightly and respect the magic manifest in the girl, but Adelaide sees a business opportunity. Working with Dr. Quinn Brody, a talented alienist, she submits Beatrice to a series of tests to see if she truly can talk to spirits. Amidst the witches’ tug-of-war over what’s best for her, Beatrice disappears, leaving them to wonder whether it was by choice or by force.

As Adelaide and Eleanor begin the desperate search for Beatrice, they’re confronted by accusations and spectres from their own pasts. In a time when women were corseted, confined and committed for merely speaking their minds, were any of them safe?

Find out more about Ami McKay and her writing at: http://amimckay.com/

Book review: The Last Days of Jack Sparks by Jason Arnopp

5 Aug

9780356506852Jack Sparks died while writing this book.

It was no secret that journalist Jack Sparks had been researching the occult for his new book. No stranger to controversy, he’d already triggered a furious Twitter storm by mocking an exorcism he witnessed.

Then there was that video: forty seconds of chilling footage that Jack repeatedly claimed was not of his making, yet was posted from his own YouTube account.

Nobody knew what happened to Jack in the days that followed – until now.

The Last Days of Jack Sparks is a book that leaps out, grabs you, petrifies you and doesn’t let go until the end! Based on a brilliant premise; that author Jack Sparks died whilst writing the book which has now been released by his brother in tribute to him, the story is in turns funny, outrageous and downright scary. I’m not so good with scary stories and this one was too much for me in places (I had to read it in daylight with people around me!) but neither could I walk away from it – I had to know what happened to Jack.

The book opens with an introduction from Jack’s brother, Alistair. As Alistair introduces Jack and his reasons for releasing Jack’s last book posthumously, the reader begins to form a picture of Jack ,who has found fame first as a journalist but latterly as an author of books that look into aspects of the society that we live in. Jack’s previous literary forays include the brilliantly titled Jack Sparks on Drugs – the ‘research’ for which ended with him entering rehab! This introductory potted biography of Jack is of course just his brother’s telling of Jack’s life and we soon get to know the real Jack Sparks as we begin to read his last book.

I loved that this story is a book inside a book – Jack’s final work is presented in its ‘unedited’ format and is fascinating but what adds an extra layer is the inclusion of emails, social media and reports of conversations with others in Jack’s life. Emails to his editor, comments on his Youtube channel and other social media outlets give a wonderful insight into Jack’s persona and keep the reader guessing about the ‘real’ Jack. Initially at least, I didn’t think Jack was a very likeable character – he’s arrogant, self-obsessed and confrontational – as you can imagine, this goes down a storm on his networks.

With no punches pulled, the story proper starts with a recount by Jack of his witnessing an exorcism in Italy. It’s a pretty gory scene but Jack very much sees it as a piece of theatre and that’s where the trouble starts. Jack’s actions that day trigger a chain of events that ultimately lead to his death. As a frightening video appears on his YouTube channel that he knows he didn’t post, the story steps up a gear and takes turns that I could never have imagined.

The Last Days of Jack Sparks is a very modern take on our fascination with ghosts and the supernatural, amplified through the use of social media. Fans of films like The Exorcist and The Blair Witch Project will love this book – it truly is frightening and Jason Arnopp skillfully keeps the shocks and surprises coming wrapping them all up in an enticing mystery. I’m already looking forward to his next book!

4/5

The Last Days of Jack Sparks is out now in paperback and ebook formats.

Find out more about Jack Sparks at: http://www.jacksparks.co.uk/

Guest post: Writing the Villains by Rae Rivers

7 Apr

Today I’m very excited to be celebrating publication day for one of my favourite paranormal romance authors! Rae Rivers was one of the first authors I read when HarperImpulse launched and I love her Keepers series which just gets better and better.

Rae’s an avid reader and writer with a passion for writing spicy romance novels. She lives in Cape Town, South Africa, with her gorgeous children and husband and a zoo of house pets. Besides writing, she loves family time, the outdoors, travelling, watching TV series, reading and chocolate. The Keepers: Ethan is out today and to celebrate Rae has joined me to talk villains! Happy publication day and welcome, Rae!

Author Phot (2)Writing the Villains

When I first created Sienna, I knew she was a powerful, modern day, good witch coming to terms with the full throttle of powers she’d inherited from her grandmother.  But I also figured that a woman of her status and magical abilities would meet great adversaries and would need some serious back up.   And so the concept of the Keepers was born – three warrior brothers duty-bound to protect her with their lives.  Together, they protect the balance of nature and the innocent people of the world.  And yes, they’ve faced many villains throughout the series.

Who are the villains?

I played on the concept of good vs. evil and developed a story about an ongoing feud between three families:  The Bennett brothers (The Keepers) and the Beckham witches (Sienna) vs. the Brogan family (the villains).  

The Brogans are a group of evil magical witches and warlocks who love to flaunt their magic in a world where it’s forbidden (their magic is a secret).  Their aim is to expose themselves and others like them, to cause havoc with the balance of nature and to control the innocent humans by using fear, violence and magic.  

But Sienna and her Keepers are determined to stop them and maintain the balance – hence a lot of conflict between the two families throughout all four books.

So what makes a good villain?Villain

There’s a variety of traits that make up a good villain so my list can be added to but here’s a basic idea:

  • He (or she) has an opposite goal to the hero and heroine – this makes for great conflict!
  • He has to be convincing and realistic – create a villain that a reader will loathe or fear if faced in real life.
  • He should be smart and vindictive.
  • He should try and outsmart the hero and heroine at every turn – and frequently succeed.  (Again, more conflict!)
  • Not a necessity but it helps to have a few beefy sidekicks at his side – and offers more opportunity for even more conflict.
  • He should come across as interesting and compelling.
  • He has a background that backs up his villainess.
  • He has a real or valid goal – and we don’t have to like it.
  • Everyone has a weakness so it’s important that villains do too.  And it’s up to the author as to how – and if – this weakness will be used against him.  (Always a fun opportunity to create some havoc between the hero, heroine and villain.)

There are many more traits to consider so feel free to add them in the comments section.  I’d love to hear what you think makes a good antagonist in a story!

Thanks for reading,

Rae Rivers

Series cover


For more information about Rae and her books, please visit:  www.raerivers.com

Rae loves to hear from her readers and can also be found at: WattpadFacebookGoodreadsPinterestTwitterInstagram

The Keepers: Ethan is released today by HarperImpulse in ebook format.

Ethan Cover“Going to Ameera to find Hazel.  Stealing the spell … You think you can pull it off?” he asked.

She nodded, not trusting herself to speak.

Just as she thought he’d kiss her, he reached for her jacket and said, “Then let’s go.”

A portal to another world has opened, unleashing dangerous creatures on earth.  A dark witch is out for revenge.  The stakes are high, a war inevitable. 

One person can stop the madness.  Jenna.  She’s a Keeper to a powerful hybrid witch but she harbours a secret and if Jenna steps through the portal – seduced by the whispers of her hidden past – she may never return.

Fortunately, she has company … infamous Bennett brother and fiercely protective Keeper, Ethan. Their whip-cracking banter makes them perfect sparring partners in training, but how will they manage when their lives and everything they were born to defend are on the line?

When the battle lines are drawn, will Jenna and Ethan stand side by side – as friends, protectors, lovers … or as traitors?

 

 

Book news: The Keepers – Ethan by Rae Rivers

16 Feb

Rae River’s paranormal romance Keepers stories have been favourites of mine for a long time and I’m so excited to share the news that Ethan’s story will be with us soon! The Keepers: Ethan will be released on 24th March and I can’t wait to read it!

Ethan Cover

“Going to Ameera to find Hazel.  Stealing the spell … You think you can pull it off?” he asked.

She nodded, not trusting herself to speak.

Just as she thought he’d kiss her, he reached for her jacket and said, “Then let’s go.”

A portal to another world has opened, unleashing dangerous creatures on earth.  A dark witch is out for revenge.  The stakes are high, a war inevitable. 

One person can stop the madness.  Jenna.  She’s a Keeper to a powerful hybrid witch but she harbours a secret and if Jenna steps through the portal – seduced by the whispers of her hidden past – she may never return.

Fortunately, she has company … infamous Bennett brother and fiercely protective Keeper, Ethan. Their whip-cracking banter makes them perfect sparring partners in training, but how will they manage when their lives and everything they were born to defend are on the line?

When the battle lines are drawn, will Jenna and Ethan stand side by side – as friends, protectors, lovers … or as traitors?

Author PhotRae’s an avid reader and writer with a passion for writing spicy romance novels. She lives in Cape Town, South Africa, with her gorgeous children and husband and a zoo of house pets. Besides writing, she loves family time, the outdoors, travelling, watching TV series, reading and chocolate. For more information about her books, please visit www.raerivers.com

She loves to hear from her readers and can be found here:

Wattpad    Facebook    Goodreads    Pinterest    Twitter: @raerivers1

 If you haven’t read the other books in the series there’s still plenty of time!

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the keepers

 

Reading round up – January 2016

31 Jan

With this post I’m very excited to announce that I’ve blogged every day in January!! And more excitingly, I enjoyed it! I’m so pleased to have rediscovered my blogging and reading mojo that I’m going to try to do it all again in February (I must be mad!)

I’ve sort of managed to stick with the other resolutions that I set at the start of January and have Tweeted, Facebooked and Instagramed much more in the last month than in the previous six months. I’m still finding juggling everything a little bit difficult at times when work/life/children throw me a curve ball but I keep reminding myself that I do this for fun and it doesn’t matter if I don’t update Facebook every day :-)

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I’ve thoroughly enjoyed getting back into reading this month and I’ve been lucky to have had many amazing books find their way to me. I read ten books in January and they were all 4 or 5 stars. I think I’ve finally started to get more of a balance to my reading  too – here are some of the stats

In January:

  • Half of the 10 books I read were paranormal or fantasy
  • 3 were young adult and 7 adult fiction
  • I read one short story collection
  • One historical fiction
  • I listened to one audiobook
  • I read four contemporary romance/dramas

My books of the month:

I was aiming to choose just one book but I can’t do it so the joint winners of my ‘books of the month for January’ are:

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Truthwitch by Susan Dennard and Our Song by Dani Atkins

Coming in February!

I’ve got some very exciting bo0ks on my ‘to read’ pile for February including Summer at Sea by Katie Fforde, Rosie Dixon’s debut, The Stylist and the gripping 13 Minutes from Sarah Pinborough. I’ll be taking part in several blog tours including Jill Mansell, Emily Hauser and Ilana Fox and I’ve got a great interview with Adrian Tchaikovsky that I can’t wait to share! Look out tomorrow for my February ‘Hot Picks’ for more news of the great books out in February!

Happy reading!

Guest post: Strong Women in Fiction by Erica Hayes

19 Jan

Today I’m delighted to welcome Erica Hayes to One More Page with an excellent guest post on ‘strong women’. Erica is an Aussie living in northern England, where she’s delighted that the hospitality and the beer are warm even if the weather isn’t. Erica’s hobbies include writing in coffee shops, feeding her enormous cat, and watching TV or reading until far too late at night. If it’s got serial killers, superheroes, monsters or spaceships – preferably all four – Erica is there. On the big issues: Captain Picard is cooler than Captain Kirk, Batman would beat up Superman, and vampires are hotter than werewolves any day. Welcome Erica!

Hayes_EricaWe hear a lot these days about Strong Women in fiction. ‘You should write Strong Female Characters!’ everyone says, and they talk about female empowerment and agency and the Bechdel Test and if we don’t pass it we’re disrespecting the entire female gender.

Hell, yeah, let’s have some stories that are actually *about women* for a change. Enough sidekicks and one-dimensional love interests and femmes fatales. We want women taking charge… But is having a woman front and centre enough? Can a woman be the main character and still be… well, lame?

We could talk all day about what Strong Female Character actually means, and why on earth it should be any different from Strong Male Character. We could wonder why male action heroes can be motivated by anything from politics to revenge to a bad hair day, but for some reason the only valid motivation for a woman to take action seems to be motherhood. We could argue about where the line is between Kick-Ass Chick and Man With Boobs, and why no one ever calls an emotionally sensitive male character Woman With Dick, and why no one ever says Kick-Ass Dude, as if any Dude who *isn’t* Kick-Ass is somehow not dude-y enough to be worthy of the name…

The Kick-Ass Chick is much maligned, probably because in recent years she’s become kind of a caricature of herself, complete with unnecessary snark, tight leather pants, improbable weapons and the famous ‘tramp stamp’ tattoo. But hey, I write about super-powered crime fighters: kicking ass—and lots of it—is what they do. And what’s wrong with having a heroine who knows how to fight her way out of trouble?

Verity, the superheroine in my Sapphire City series, may not have miraculous martial arts prowess and a tattoo above her butt, but she’s 095815-FC50unashamedly a Kick-Ass Chick. She’s a crime fighter, so she’s done her share of beating the tripe out of villains. She’s physically tough—she has to be, to survive the wringer her nemesis puts her through. In Book 1, SCORCHED, Verity’s mental strength is also put to the test, when her memories are tampered with and she can no longer trust those close to her. And in the new book, SCARRED, she’s challenged with moral and ethical problems when she must decide how far she’s willing to go to beat some utterly unscrupulous villains.

But her problems aren’t any harder to deal with because she’s a woman. They aren’t any easier, either. They’re gender-indifferent. SCARRED isn’t about a female crimefighter. It’s about a crimefighter who happens to be a woman.

That’s another cool thing about superhero stories: super powers can level the playing field between the sexes. It can reverse the clichés. Men aren’t always ‘stronger'; women aren’t always ‘more perceptive’. Which isn’t to say we ignore gender. We can still have romance and sexual tension, or characters with differing world views. But in my series, when the fists start flying and the action heats up, no one is standing about wondering whether a girl will be up to the job. Verity’s story isn’t about proving that a woman is as strong and capable as a man. Everyone just assumes she will be.

Including the archvillain, Razorfire. Is he too gender-biased to have a woman as his nemesis? Hell, no. He’s an equal opportunity bad guy. Bring ‘em all on, so long as they keep him entertained. And he’s no gallant white knight, either, gifting his female adversaries an easy option. Just because he’s a man, don’t imagine Verity can flutter her lashes and sexx him into thinking with his ‘little brain’.

And isn’t that what wri095816-FC50ting Strong Female (or Male, for that matter) Characters should be about: showing us a world where gender truly doesn’t matter? Where ‘strength’ is unisex, and expectations aren’t based on body parts but intelligence, personality, resourcefulness, drive and sheer stubborn willpower?

So, yeah, we could talk all day about what makes a Strong Female Character. Or, y’know, we could just let people be people and enjoy some awesome action—no matter who’s doing the ass-kicking.

Thanks Erica!

Scorched is out now in ebook formats.

Scarred is out now in ebook formats and will be released in paperback on 24th March.

Find out more about Erica and her writing at: http://www.ericahayes.net/

Book review: Don’t Be Afraid by Daniela Sacerdoti

12 Jan

dont be afraidWhen you’ve forgotten how to live, help can arrive in mysterious ways…

Successful artist Isabel Ramsay has never come to terms with the tragic death of her mother. Haunted by what happened, Isabel finds her own life spiralling out of control until, one winter s day, she gives up, unable to bear the pain of living any longer. Yet somehow she wakes up, remembering a vision of a mysterious woman who has saved her. But alone in a locked house, surely that’s impossible?

With her family and friends worried out of their minds, her husband Angus finds a companion to watch over Isabel while he’s away from home. Warm, wise Clara can connect with Isabel in a way no one else can, helping her face up to her painful past, rediscover her passion for art and become brave enough to live her life again. But there s a mystery surrounding Clara: who is she, and why does Isabel feel she’s known her all her life?

Don’t Be Afraid is Daniela Sacerdoti’s latest novel set in the beautiful Scottish highland village of Glen Avich. It’s a standalone novel but for those of you who have read Daniela’s previous books you will see some familiar characters pop up. I discovered Glen Avich when I read Daniela’s last book, Set Me Free last year and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I’ve also read a couple of Daniela’s young adult novels so I knew I was dealing with an author whose books I always enjoy but I have to say that Don’t Be Afraid is my favourite of all of Dani’s books so far. It’s such a heartfelt story and written with compassion and absolute sensitivity to those suffering from mental illness.

Yet despite focussing on lead character Bell’s struggle with severe anxiety and depression, I found Don’t Be Afraid to be one of the most positive and uplifting books that I’ve read. As with all of Daniela’s books, there is an element of the paranormal to the story. I felt that this element added the extra magic to the story and took it to another level. I’m a huge fan of books that feature magical realism and I thought the blue butterflies brought a wonderful hint of this to Don’t Be Afraid.

Bell is a complex character and Daniela really did craft her well. I felt like I was inside her head for much of the story and her thoughts and actions felt completely believable to me. Bell is crippled by her illness; unable to leave the house, use the telephone or bear people to visit her. My heart went out to her as she told of her self-imposed prison and as I learned more of her story, I has so much sympathy for her plight.

Daniela also shows the other sides to Belle’s story by narrating parts of the book from the perspectives of other characters who know and love Bell. Angus, Bell’s husband is a key part of the book and faces a difficult choice between being there for the woman he loves and pursuing his career in music which often forces him to be away from home. There’s an interesting triangle between Bell, Angus and Angus’s brother Torcuil who used to be engaged to Bell and clearly still has very strong feelings for her. Torcuil’s role in the story was my favourite as he finds meets Clara and knows that she will be just the person that Bell needs to help her. Clara is a new character in Glen Avich, recently arrived from Canada and there’s more than a little mystery to her. I thought she was a wonderful character and I loved the role she played.

Don’t Be Afraid shows Daniela’s talents as a gifted storyteller beautifully. With short chapters from the perspectives of key different characters, the story has great pace and I read it in a day because I just couldn’t put it down. I can’t wait to visit Glen Avich again with Dani and I hope she will set many more stories there.

5/5

Don’t Be Afraid is out now in paperback and ebook formats.

Find out more about Daniela and her writing at: http://danielasacerdoti.com/

I’d like to thank Janne from Black and White publishing for providing a review copy of this book.

Please do check out the other stops on Daniela’s Don’t Be Afraid blog tour.

Truthwitch Pen Pal blog tour 2016 – New Year Resolutions!

5 Jan

Truthwitch pen pal blog tour

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UK Cover

I’m very lucky and oh so excited today to be kicking off the very special pen pal blog tour to celebrate the publication of Truthwitch by Susan Dennard. This is a transatlantic blog tour where UK bloggers have been teamed up with US bloggers to discuss and review the book and ask Susan a joint question! I was delighted to be paired with Jaime from The Perpetual Page Turner which is one of my favourite US book blogs – you must check out Jaime’s blog if you haven’t already!

As it’s the start of an exciting new bookish year, we decided to ask Susan about New Year Resolutions. Our question was:

In honor of the start of 2016, what is your New Year Resolution for the year? And (let’s pretend try live in a world where NY resolutions happen) what would be the resolutions of the main characters be?

And here is Susan’s answer:

View More: http://emilyraephotography.pass.us/susan” My main resolution this year is to work on self-compassion. I’m so hard on myself, and it really hasn’t been working for me! I mean, most people don’t thrive with a abuse-based motivation, so my constant self-criticism really isn’t helping me work better. I’m hoping that taking a more self-compassionate approach will improve not only my writing, but my overall happiness.

Actually, Iseult could really benefit from some self-compassion! Not that she realizes that. ;) I think, if she had to pick a New Years Resolution, she’d probably say something like, “Stop wishing for things that can’t be.”

She so badly wants to fit in, you know? But with her Nomatsi heritage…Well, it probably won’t ever happen.

As for Safi, I think she’d probably say something along the lines of, “Stop getting into trouble!” Because…well, she gets into trouble a lot. And her trouble tends to rope in Iseult—something Safi isn’t too proud of. ;)”

As you can probably tell from the above, the story focuses on the friendship between Isult and Safi; two very different characters in an amazing new world. I absolutely loved this book which is a sweeping and high octane adventure packed with action and surprises. Look out for my full review later this week!

Truthwitch

US cover

In a continent on the edge of war, two witches hold its fate in their hands

Young witches Safiya and Iseult have a habit of finding trouble. After clashing with a powerful Guildmaster and his ruthless Bloodwitch bodyguard, the friends are forced to flee their home.

Safi must avoid capture at all costs as she’s a rare Truthwitch, able to discern truth from lies. Many would kill for her magic, so Safi must keep it hidden – lest she be used in the struggle between empires. And Iseult’s true powers are hidden even from herself.

In a chance encounter at Court, Safi meets Prince Merik and makes him a reluctant ally. However, his help may not slow down the Bloodwitch now hot on the girls’ heels. All Safi and Iseult want is their freedom, but danger lies ahead. With war coming, treaties breaking and a magical contagion sweeping the land, the friends will have to fight emperors and mercenaries alike. For some will stop at nothing to get their hands on a Truthwitch.

Truthwitch is published by TOR and is released today (5th January) in the US in hardback and ebook formats.

Truthwitch will be published in hardback and ebook formats in the UK on 14th January.

Find out more about Susan Dennard and her writing at: http://susandennard.com/