Showing posts from October, 2018

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.