Showing posts from 2018

Paperless Post

The lovely people at Paperless Post kindly invited me to try out and use this website. It's a fun way to send cards, invitations and greetings for all kinds of events. I sent a cute Birthday card to one friend and a New Home congratulations to another. You can add your own photos and design, mix and match the text and templates to create a design as individual as you are. 

Follow the link here to check out Paperless Post for yourself.

Please note this post was sponsored by Paperless Post

The Burning House by Neil Spring Blog Blast

I'm delighted to be taking pat in a one day blog blast for the release of The Burning Room by Neil Spring. The kindle edition goes on sale tomorrow and the paperback will follow in Spring. If you are looking a spooky, chilling read then The Burning House is the book for you. Following the success of his Ghost Hunters series and the standalone The Watchers, Neil Spring has once again used real events and locations to inspire some dark and mysterious fiction.

Clara is an estate agent desperate to shift the spooky and overpriced Boleskine House on the shores of Loch Ness. She has made a new life for herself in Scotland and a sale is essential. So Clara makes a decision that will have massive consequences for her and for her future. The new owner of the house is a strange young man who tells Clara he has come to Boleskine to die and that he needs her help. Clara has heard some of the stories that the locals tell about the house, though not all, but she is beginning to believe that th…

Shadow of the Fox by Julia Kagawa Blog Tour

Shadow of The Fox is the first book in a brand new series from New York Times Bestselling YA author Julia Kagawa. An amazing and compelling fantasy tale infused with Japanese Folktale and legend. Blending the tale of a demon hunting samuri; Tatsumi a member of the mysterious and secretive Shadow clan and a young kitsune girl raised by monks. I was enthralled by this page turning tale, with demons, ghosts, warriors and royalty all caught up in the search for an ancient scroll which is hunted down every thousand years, for the holder of the scroll will have the power to call the great Kami Dragon. It is a time of upheaval and change and Yumeko is thrust out of her ordinary life forced to take on a great challenge and to trust a boy she knows to be a killer. Tatsumi is forced to make an alliance with a girl he believes beneath him, but they both have a lot of living and learning to do. I highly recommend this wonderful story and can't wait for book two.

Julie was kind enough to answ…

The Body in the Boat Review and Giveaway

The Body in the Boat is the final book in the Hardcastle and Chaytor mystery series from A. J. McKenzie; the pen name of writing duo and husband and wife team Marilyn Livingstone and Morgan Witzel. The book opens with Reverend Hardcastle and Mrs Chaytor attending a birthday party thrown by Mr Munro; a respected local banker for his wife. Just days later Mr. Munro is found dead. Of course the Reverend in his position as magistrate must investigate and as always he is assisted by the very capable and unflappable Mrs Chaytor. The mystery involves links to a band of local smugglers as well as rumours that the East Weald and Ashford Bank where Mr. Munro was a partner might be in trouble. This is an intriguing mystery with plenty of twists and turns. The series takes place at the end of the 18th Century during a period of almost constant conflict with France, as well as fears of French invasion. While the Reverend Hardcastle and Mrs. Chaytor may be firm members of the middle class their in…

The Night Raven by Sarah Painter

I have read several of Sarah's previous books and she very kindly sent me a copy of her latest novel The Night Raven which is a bit of a new direction for the author. Sarah's previous work has included magical realism, dual time fiction and romance. The Night Raven is the first book in a brand new urban fantasy series. The setting is much more urban than Sarah's previous novels and helps to give the book a gritty realism. Lydia Crow has taken a break from her job as a Private Investigator in Scotland and returned to London where her family history stretches back generations. Her uncle has given her the use of a flat he owns and asked for her help in finding her teenage cousin; Maddie, who has gone missing. Lydia has always believed that unlike the rest of her family she has no magical ability but when she discovers that she is sharing her new flat with a ghost it becomes obvious that she has some talent. Lydia feels wary of her powers. She knows that The Crow family are o…

The Curious Crime by Julia Golding Blog Tour and Q&A

Julia Golding's latest novel for children is a wonderful fantasy set in an alternative 19th Century in which Science reigns supreme and curiosity is a crime. Philosophy and religion are outlawed and life is rigidly structured. Ree and Henri are both curious children; Ree is a talented sculptor and Henri a scholar and amateur detective. Both children face discrimination and set backs but they must work together to solve a mystery. The setting for their adventures is Museum Island home to a vast museum and school of learning where science is celebrated but questioning authority is a punishable offence. Ree's father is sent away for allowing his daughter to become an apprentice stonemason, Henri's progress as a scientist is hampered by those prejudiced against his dark skin. This is a tale of adventure and mystery with a host of brilliant characters including a number of animals, some of which are sadly now extinct, the story is full of intriguing detail about the museum and …

Fallible Justice by Laura Laakso

I loved this book from the moment I heard about it. For starters it has a gorgeous cover, which gives an intriguing hint about the story (cover design by Jennie Rawlings) and I was also excited because the book was being published by an amazing small publisher Louise Walters Books. Fallible Justice is the first book in the paranormal crime series Wilde Investigations. Yannia Wilde takes on the task of investigating a murder, Ilana Marsh wants Yannia's help to prove her father's innocence, although her father Jonathan has been found guilty by the Heralds who are said to be infallible. With only a few days to find out what really happened Yannia and her assistant Karrion have to work hard travelling through the paranormal world of Old London and beyond. The plot revolves around the investigation and is itself compelling and rewarding but it is the character development that makes this book a truly fascinating read. Yannia suffers from a chronic illness which can leave her tired…

Miss Marley by Vanessa Lafaye with Rebecca Mascull Blog Tour

I am delighted to be part of the blog tour for Miss Marley, a charming prequel to A Christmas Carol and the final work by Vanessa Lafaye who sadly passed away earlier this year. The book was completed by Vanessa's dear friend and fellow historical novelist Rebecca Mascull. Miss Marley is true to the spirit of Dickens original; opening with the childhood of Jacob and Clara who live in direst poverty scavenging and begging in the streets of London having lost their parents and comfortable home when their uncle forced them out. Jacob is determined to get them out of poverty especially as Clara's health is suffering and when the opportunity comes he seizes it but Jacob's determination to get ahead and to put only himself and Clara's well being above all else will have devastating consequences for them both. This a heartfelt tale which brings alive a truly memorable character that Dickens would have been proud of. Written with the same heart and hope that Vanessa brought t…

The Stranger Diaries by Elly Griffiths

I am a big fan of Elly Griffiths and I've read every one of her Ruth Galloway series set on the Norfolk coast. Although that series is crime fiction there is in every book a hint of the supernatural so when I  learned that Elly had written a stand alone Gothic mystery novel, I knew I had to get my hands on it. Clare Cassidy teaches literature and she specialises in the work of the Victorian Gothic writer R.M. Holland. The school she teaches in was once R. M. Holland's home. There are rumours that Holland's wife died in the building and that she haunts it still. Clare may be happy to read and to teach thrilling stories but she is shocked to find herself in the middle of one when her friend and colleague Ella is murdered and a note with a quote from one of Holland's stories found by her body. The police seek Clare's help to find the killer as Clare tries to puzzle things out writing in her diary. However she soon feels the killer may be someone she knows far too wel…

Some Favourite Witches in Fiction

The Pagan celebration of Samhain or Halloween is a perfect time to celebrate some of the best witchy fiction that I have encountered recently. Witches seem to be an ever popular subject for TV and film but so often they are badly portrayed, presented as worshipers of Satan or actively anti-christian, lumped in with demonic forces, full of lust and sin and evil.  For any followers of the Pagan path this can be very frustrating, so finding a book that presents witches in a more truthful and more flattering light is always a great moment.

One of my most recent witchy reads was Daughter of Light and Shadows by Anna Mckerrow, which is about three young witches who cast a love spell which opens them up to the world of the Fae. Read my review here

Louisa Morgan's tale of a family of hereditary witches moves from Brittany to Cornwall and London to Wales. It's a wonderful story of family and women s…

Halcyon by Rio Youers Blog Tour

Martin Lovegrove is man who dreams of being able to provide a better life for his family. His ten year old daughter Edith has terrifying nightmare visions of violent events, his teen age daughter Shirley is growing increasingly distant and then a terrible tragedy strikes. Shaken by grief and feeling powerless Martin is intrigued when a man he meets in a bar tells him about Halcyon; a community cut off from technology and modern life, where everyone works together and the violent world that is an everyday reality in modern America can become a distant memory. Martin decides that this is the new start his family needs and full of hope he sets off with just a handful of possessions. Halcyon is run by the charismatic Mother Moon and as Martin throws himself into contributing to the community on the island everything seems rosy. Martin himself feels stronger and the whole family have benefited from the fresh air, good food and beautiful setting. But Martin begins to notice some things tha…

The Witch of Willow Hall

The Witch of Willow Hall drew me in long before I started reading. I saw this gorgeous cover and of course it reminded me of the mid century gothic novels such as those written by Victoria Holt, Joan Aiken etc. which I am obsessed with. The stories usually centre around a spooky house in the country, a young woman and a mysterious powerful man. The Witch of Willow Hall at first might appear to fit into this pattern; Lydia Montrose and her family move to Willow Hall when rumour and scandal drive them from their Boston home. A runaway dog and a sudden rainstorm provide a suitably romantic meeting with their neighbour Mr. Barrett. Lydia is smitten but her older and prettier sister Catherine seems equally interested. Lydia has already begun to suspect that the house is haunted but a family tragedy seems to awaken a latent power in her. As Lydia feels herself more and more constrained by the house, her family's scandalous reputation and the scheming of those around her, her anger and …

Hallowdene by George Mann

Hallowdene is the follow up to the brilliant Wychwood which I reviewed last year. It's the second in Goerge Mann's new series of crime/horror/urban fantasy novels. I talked to the author about this new series when Wychwood was released, you can read the interview HERE In this instalment Elspeth has begun to really settle into her new life in rural Oxfordshire and a relationship with childhood friend Peter. However temptation arrives in the form of old friend Abigail and a London job offer.
The mystery this time around begins when the grave of a woman tried for witchcraft in the Seventeenth century is excavated by archaeologists on the grounds of Hallowdene manor. Many local people are intrigued by the mysterious tale of the witch Agnes Levett; to some she is a curiosity a way to attract tourists to the town, a bit of fun. To others she is a malevolent spirit and the act of disturbing her grave a very dangerous one. The excavation attracts a lot of attention. Agnes had been bu…

Q&A with author of Daughter of Light and Shadows Anna McKerrow

Q1. Daughter of Light and Shadows includes lots of Fairy lore, such as Faye's tips about leaving food to placate them and the fairy road that Rav's house is built on causing disturbances in the atmosphere and temperature. Did you do a lot of research into folk/fairy belief in Scotland?

Yes, I suppose I did. Some I knew already - like, in Iceland, where roads are diverted around faery mounds to appease the fae, which was something that fed into the faery road that cuts through Rav’s house - and some I learnt from reading. I can recommend The Secret Commonwealth of Elves, Fauns and Fairies by Robert Kirk, which is the supposedly true record of a 17th century Scottish minister’s direct experience with the faery realms. Also great was Magical Folk: British and Irish Fairies 500AD to the present by Simon Young and Ceri Houlbrook, which is a compilation/survey type of book and has a chapter on Scotland in particular. Another great book is The Chronicles of the Sidhe by Steve Blamire…

Daughter of Light and Shadows by Anna McKerrow

I am already a fan of Anna McKerrow's wonderful writing and I have loved and recommended her YA novels See My Review of Crow Moon here. Daughter of Light and Shadows is a bit of a departure for the author as it is intended for an older audience. However those who enjoy Urban Fantasy and Magical Realism will not be disappointed. Faye Morgan knows that she is a daughter of witches. She has studied the craft since childhood and carries on the traditions of wise woman handed down through generations. When she loses her mother at 18 she must step into her shoes as the local wise woman and healer and run the shop her mother established with the help of her friends and fellow witches Aisha and Annie. The three young women longing for love and excitement in their lives find an old love spell and soon their lives begin to change. When Finn Beatha; the Fairy King comes into her life Faye is smitten and torn between her own life and the world of the fae. This is a book spilling over with ro…

Tombland by CJ Sansom exclusive audio extract

The Shardlake books are C.J. Sansom's bestselling historical mystery series, set in the reign of Henry VIII and staring lawyer and investigator Matthew Shardlake. The books have won and been nominated for a number of awards and Tombland is the seventh in the series. If you have yet to discover these books then this exclusive opportunity might appeal to you. If you are already a fan, then it definitely will.
I am delighted to share exclusive early access to the new Shardlake novel, thanks to the kind folks at Pan Macmillan. Use the link below to get a new instalment of Tombland each day Monday to Friday, this week only. Audio books are a fantastic resource for book lovers whether you are short on time and want to listen in the car or while out for a run or doing some errands. Audio books are also a fantastic tool for book lovers with disabilities or illness. Pan Macmillan are publishing C. J. Sansom's latest novel in all formats; audio, hardback and e-book this Thursday Octobe…

The Price Guide To The Occult by Leslye Walton Review and Q&A

Leslye Walton has written a wonderful follow up to her critically acclaimed first novel The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender. Teenager Nor Blackburn is desperate for a normal life but being descended from generations of witches makes that unlikely. In each generation the Blackburn witches have displayed different powers but a family curse means that the witches carry heartbreak from one generation to the next. Nor thinks that she hasn't inherited any power and hopes to avoid the curse, until a book of spells is released written by Nor's estranged mother and becomes a sensation across the US and beyond as Nor's mother seems able to perform magic beyond her capabilities. However magic has a price and Nor is about to find out exactly how costly and dangerous that price is. A dark and compelling tale for Young Adults and beyond, with great characters, a compelling story and a powerful small town atmosphere, dealing with issues such as self harm and family break u…

Strange Ink by Gary Kemble Blog Tour Review and Q&A

Gary Kemble's debut novel, Strange Ink reads more like the work of an established novelist. The writing is powerful, the characters spring off the page and the darkness at the heart of the book is truly chilling. The protagonist Harry Hendrick wakes up hungover with a tattoo on his neck he has no memory of acquiring. Harry is a journalist with a small local newspaper and naturally curious so he's intrigued when he discovers that the tattoo is a representation of an arcane magical symbol. However as he begins to have dark and disturbing dreams and more tattoos appear on his body Harry knows that something supernatural is trying to warn him. As Harry investigates further he discovers a tangled web of darkness tied to a story that almost destroyed his career and he becomes determined to uncover the truth. Strange Ink is a thrill-ride of a book, full of tension and darkness that at times is all too human. Highly recommended, especially if like me, you are a fan of Angela Slatter&…

Literary Gifts Website and a discount offer.

Hey all, I'm going to make a wild assumption here, but I 'm guessing that if you have stopped by my blog then you have an interest in literature. Well if the answer is yes then read on. In partnership with the amazing Literary Book Gifts who create and sell the lovely literary themed items you can see here, I have a special discount code for my blog readers. Just look at the gorgeous things you can buy.

Iliad Tote Bag

The Picture Of Dorian Gray Tote Bag

Beowulf T-shirt

So if you want to get your hands on some gorgeous literary tote bags or t-shirts head to and use the discount code LISAREADSBOOKS20 which will get you a 20% discount. You can use the code at any time and against any item on the site. Happy Shopping.

Slow Poison by Helen Slavin

Slow Poison is the second book in The Witch Ways series by Helen Slavin. The three Way sisters; Anna, Charlie and Emz have inherited their grandmother's role as Game keepers of Havoc Wood but they know nothing of what this role means or their duties. They are still coming to terms with their grandmother's death and the tragic events of the previous year which saw the deaths of Anna's husband and baby son. However the arrival of mysterious stranger Ailith with a man's severed head wrapped up in rags means they have to figure out their responsibilities and get a handle on their strengths sooner then they might have expected. They girls are still tentative about any magical power they have, so much so that they don't even like using the word magic. Their magic however is very much needed because another stranger; the dark and sinister Mrs Fyfe has cast a strange spell over the town of Havoc causing disorder and nastiness with everything she touches and the girls will…

Leo's War by Patricia Murphy Blog Tour

Today I have the pleasure of welcoming Patricia Murphy to the blog to talk about her latest children's book Leo's War. Patricia is a bestselling children's writer who has brought history to life with her books. 
Q1. What sparked your interest in this particular story/historical period and how much thinking/planning did you have to do?

During the Centenary of the 1916 Rising I visited many schools as my book Molly’s Diary, telling the story of the Easter Rising through the eyes of a 12-year-old girl, was a bestseller. These included my nephew’s Sennan school “The Mon” in Killarney. The boys were great crack, very informed. Afterwards when we were having photographs taken, the head Colm Ó’ Súillábháin pointed to a giant mural behind us of Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty and said, “Behold the subject of your new book.” I had seen his statue in Killarney and was intrigued and read up a bit about him. The Monsignor’s story had everything, drama, jeopardy, and he was a charismatic, fa…