Photographer of the Lost

Hey everyone, I am excited as this is my second really highly rated book on the same day to have a blog tour for, and it’s only the second day of the month! Woo!

 

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Until she knows her husband’s fate, she cannot decide her own… An epic novel of forbidden love, loss, and the shattered hearts left behind in the wake of World War I 
1921: Families are desperately trying to piece together the fragments of their broken lives. While many survivors of the Great War have been reunited with their loved ones, Edie’s husband Francis has not come home. He is considered ‘missing in action’, but when Edie receives a mysterious photograph taken by Francis in the post, hope flares. And so she beings to search. 
Harry, Francis’s brother, fought alongside him. He too longs for Francis to be alive, so they can forgive each other for the last things they ever said. Both brothers shared a love of photography and it is that which brings Harry back to the Western Front. Hired by grieving families to photograph gravesites, as he travels through battle-scarred France gathering news for British wives and mothers, Harry also searches for evidence of his brother. 
And as Harry and Edie’s paths converge, they get closer to a startling truth. 
An incredibly moving account of an often-forgotten moment in history, The Photographer of the Lost tells the story of the thousands of soldiers who were lost amid the chaos and ruins, and the even greater number of men and women desperate to find them again. 
Every photograph has a story, every story needs an ending. 
Book Information:
Written By: Caroline Scott
Published By: Simon & Schuster
Published On: 31st October 2019
Format: Hardback
Price: £12.99

My Review

I remember the first time I read ‘The Book Thief’ it utterly consumed me on an emotional level, it was rare that a non-fantasy book could have such a huge impact on me. That was a while ago, but, last night as I was reading the last few pages [because of course I procrastinate] I knew that this review was going to be raw to write.

This book is SO poetic in its prose, it’s very rare for me to enjoy books written in present tense in general, but after just simply noting it was in fact in present tense, I never gave that a second thought. It was engrossing, emotional, endearing, so many other awesome e words I’m sure, but really it was just simply amazing.

Harry’s job may seem morbid on paper but he tries to provide answers and closure to those who hire him,. but what he has trouble facing is his own future and feelings, so he turns to them to help blot out what he cannot change or figure out.

Harry lost two brothers during the war, his eldest brother also being Edie’s husband. One day Edie receives a photograph of her MIA presumed dead husband, and it brings the past hurtling forward while throwing the future up in the air, tilting everything on its side.

This book was a journey, a spiritual and, as I said already, emotional one.

The perspectives shift, Harry and Edie at various point during and after the war. There’s loss, grief at its rawest form, and love in perhaps its most vulnerable form.

So many now have not realized that after the war was sometimes as hard as during, though this is continually true for anyone who has been affected by war. After WWI it was the issue of not being able to locate your loved ones, not knowing if they were dead or alive, never knowing where they would be buried, and this is something that most in the Western World hadn’t dealt with on such a large scale.

It was a perfect point to use in history, so often overshadowed and I loved that Scott used this. Her writing style was practically flawless for me and the book is one I intend to carry in my heart for the rest of my life.

You felt as if you were looking through War Torn France with them through a majority of it, and their emotions slid from the page to your heart.

I don’t want to give away more of what happens, but, suffice to say if you have any interest in a book set post WWI that will fill your heart, this one is for you.

Thank you to Anne and the Publisher for a copy of this in exchange for my honest review as part of the blog tour.

 

About the Author

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Caroline completed a PhD in History at the University of Durham. She developed a particular interest in the impact of the First World War on the landscape of Belgium and France, and in the experience of women during the conflict – fascinations that she was able to pursue while she spent several years working as a researcher for a Belgian company. Caroline is originally from Lancashire, but now lives in southwest France.

 

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The Widow of Pale Harbour – Blog Tour

 

 

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GoodReads:
A town gripped by fear. A woman accused of murder. Who can save Pale Harbour from itself?

1846. Desperate to escape the ghosts of his past, Gabriel Stone takes a position as a minister in the remote Pale Harbour, but not all is as it seems in the sleepy town.

As soon as Gabriel steps foot in town, he can’t escape the rumours about the mysterious Sophy Carver, a young widow who lives in the eerie Castle Carver: whispers that she killed her husband, mutterings that she might even be a witch.

But as strange, unsettling events escalate into murder, Gabriel finds himself falling under Sophy’s spell. As clues start to point to Sophy as the next victim, Gabriel realises he must find answers before anyone else turns up dead.

My Review

Ahhh this was such a great spooky read! There was murder, mystery, witchy going ons all set in the perfect New England spooky setting! Not to mention it was like stepping into a story that might have been inspired by Poe himself. [Note: there are references to Poe in this story and I absolutely loved it]

The whole time you read this, you’ll want to be sipping something warm from a mug while curled up in a cozy reading spot with a blanket. Even if you’re somewhere warm the way that Hester Fox writes, you feel like you’re right there with the characters in the cold New England rain and fog.

The romance to this is just simply amazing, I loved that the male lead was sensitive and put the female’s comfort and consent at the top of his priority list.

Also, Sophy was an amazing female lead, she feels very real fears to her situation, the outsider in a small town who is believed to have killed the husband that they all admired. She’s scorned and feared in equal measure and their actions lead to the consequence that Sophy becomes reclusive and that only fuels the gossip in the town.

Gabriel Stone comes at just the right moment, the gossip is reaching its peak with the strange happenings occurring in Pale Harbour and Sophy stands to be the most likely suspect in the town’s eyes.

The new minister can’t help but be drawn to the Widow, to want to know more about the woman who has caused so much tongue-wagging, and as he gets to know her, he knows the truth, she couldn’t have done this. But…then who isn’t? And why do they want Sophy to take the blame?

A great murder mystery, romance, and historical fiction. For anyone who enjoys a mystery, I would highly recommend this book to them!

Four Cups of Coffee for this book! Now…I’m off to go pretend I’m in New England and drink some more tea.

Thank you to HQ Stories for a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review as part of the blog tour!

 

About the Author

GoodReads:
Hester comes to writing from a background in museum work and historical archaeology. She loves the Gothic, the lurid, the dark…so long as the ending is a happy one. She has never seen a ghost, though she remains hopeful.

Hester lives outside of Boston with her husband and their son.

Author Links

Webpage | Twitter | Instagram

 

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The Immortal Prudence Blackwood – Blog Tour

 

 

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GoodReads:
Throughout history, the world has witnessed cruel, gruesome, and twisted murders at the hands of the most notorious serial killers. For those who were never caught—Jack the Ripper, the Atlanta Ripper, and the Cleveland Torso Murderer—their crimes will live on in infamy as their identities are forever chased, but never revealed.

It’s 1947 in Washington, D.C. and a dangerous murderer has boldly discarded two headless bodies nearby the White House and the Jefferson Memorial. With no leads, Detective Clive O’Reilly is feeling desperate. When a stranger convinces O’Reilly to join him at a local pub, he is treated to a wild tale about Prudence Blackwood, an immortal who seeks vengeance for those murdered by history’s most notorious serial killers.

Initially in disbelief over her existence, O’Reilly is surprised to discover that she’s very real and she’ll be assisting in the investigation.

But Prudence has unorthodox methods. With the body count rising, O’Riley will have to find a way to work with her to stop the most brutal killer in D.C.’s history before more victims are added to the list.

 

My Review

I loved Prudence, she was such an enjoyable character! This had a great combination of fantasy and mystery/thriller, Immortals and a murder story, nothing could have made me happier lol. Also, there was more than one time period, so you got to glimpse into a few, though the story was set mostly in D.C., 1947.

You all know how much I love mysteries and historical fiction…and fantasy. Can you understand my excitement over reading this?

It was a fun and quick read and those things are so important to me when I don’t always have the time to read heavier novels.

As for the characters…

I already said I loved Prudence, and hands down she was my favorite.

I liked Clive well enough, especially as a detective and father, the scenes with his son were precious. I was also glad to see a healthy relationship between him and his ex-wife, it’s something we just don’t see enough in the fictional world. Prudence’s purpose in life is noble, she helps to solve the problems of serial killers the law can’t get their hands on. She does feel like something is shifting inside of her with each ‘case’ solved though and her ending was thoroughly satisfying.

I really enjoyed the fantasy elements. My only issues were the writing of dialogue seemed stilted or too staged at times. This was a plot-driven story, character development was there but not too evident until the very end and not the focus, which I enjoyed but some may not.

**Thank you to NetGalley and the BHC for a copy of this read in exchange for my honest review!**

 

About the Author

Stephanie Grey is a graduate of East Tennessee State University with a degree in journalism. Writing has always been present in Stephanie’s life. From a young age, she has been writing short stories for her family to enjoy. When she entered high school, she decided that she would one day write a full-length novel. She finally achieved her goal and is the proud author of three novels, including The Immortal Prudence Blackwood. She continues to write and hopes to be able to share her stories with the world for many years to come.

 

An Echo of Scandal – Blog Tour

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Synopsis:
The sumptuous and seductive world of Tangier in the early 20th century is a world where men make decisions and women follow. But Alejandra is determined to secure her independence, at any cost. 
In the dead of night, with blood on her hands, she made her escape. 
Accused of murder, Alejandra flees her home, escaping to the southern edge of Spain, where she faces a life of poverty and destitution. 
Seduced by the power of the rich and the anonymity that waits across the water in Tangier, Ale makes a bid for a new start. But it will come at a cost: a life of deception. Because Ale’s new friends want to know what she is running from, they want to know who she is and whether they can trust her. 
Fifty years later, a young American writer wanders the streets of Tangier, searching for inspiration. When he stumbles across a trace of Ale’s life, he finds himself tangled in a story of scandal, love and danger that has not yet reached its end. 
Book Information:
By: Laura Madeleine
Published By: Black Swan, Imprint of Penguin/RandomHouse UK
Publication Date: September 19, 2019
Format: Paperback Original
Price: £7.99
ISBN: 9781784162542
GoodReads

 

My Review

So if you take the creepy factor out of The Talented Mr.Ripley and mix that with elements of The Great Gatsby, such as the suave partying and learning gentleman ways, and amazing female characters, then you end up with An Echo of Scandal.

It was a really a unique read in a lot of ways.

Ale has such a different existence, she’s morally grey but not because she makes necessarily questionable decisions because she wants to, but because she comes from the sort of upbringing where options are limited to her.

And who wouldn’t give a chance to have freedom, to have more options than your gender and class allow you?

Ale sees an opportunity and seizes it.

While she’s living in a time long past, in 1978 an aspiring writer, Sam, has found hints of her life, of a mysterious A and pursues the truth. He wants to know her story as it inspires him to write as nothing else has since his travels started.

Then Madeleine proceeds to take the reader on this wild journey. Ale found her way into the glamorous lifestyle but she’s holding onto the secrets of her past and you feel it’s only a matter of time before her past catches up with her.

Ale was intriguing and I loved watching her navigate the world as well as find herself getting closer to people while attempting to guard herself still.

The twist of the story was surprising, you could feel there was going to be a twist, but, finding out what it was, well, it was satisfying even if surprising. It made the ending pretty brilliant if I do say so myself.

Hilde was probably my favourite character though I did love Ale, and Sam, as he tries to find out her story, was quick to grow on me.

I don’t want to give more away, but, if you enjoy historical fiction with parallel stories from 1928 and 1978, [though they will converge, I will say this much, just not how and when] with a mystery thrown into the mix, I offer up this book as my recommendation.

Seriously, I really did enjoy this book, and though I thought it would be a slow read, once you really get into the mystery, you don’t want to put it down. Four cups of coffee!

Thank you to Anne and the publisher for a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

 

About the Author

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After a childhood spent acting professionally and training at a theatre school, Laura Madeleine changed her mind, and went to study English Literature at Newnham College, Cambridge. 
She now writes fiction, as well as recipes, and was formerly the resident cake baker for Domestic Sluttery. She lives in Bristol, but can often be found visiting her family in Devon, eating cheese and getting up to mischief with her sister, fantasy author Lucy Hounsom.

 

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Swords of Silence – ARC Review

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GoodReads:
Where once new ideas and beliefs were accepted, now the country’s military dictator, the Shogun, is shutting his country down to any outside influences.

Father Joaquim Martinez, who left Portugal to make Hizen Province, Japan, his home, has been tending quietly to the lives of his villagers, but everything is about to be thrown into turmoil, as the Shogun has outlawed Martinez’s beliefs. Those who won’t recant or accept banishment, face a death sentence.

With the threat of a massacre looming, and the Shogun’s samurai closing in, Father Martinez must decide, if he is willing to risk everything, to save those he has sworn to protect.

 

My Review

 

**Thank you to HarperInspire for an ARC copy of this to honestly review**

A historical fiction novel that is an action-packed story of the power of faith and the good of mankind that brings people of different lands and religions together against those who are cruel and oppress.

How often Western History forgets that we were not the only ones with castles and feudal systems, and Curry reminds us that Japan was a land with its own culture and with aspects that were similar to lands across the sea.

This tale follows Father Joaquim Martinez and those he has sworn to lead and protect in every Christian sense and literal sense when it calls for it.

His village or you may see it as his ‘flock,’ has been found out, now the question is, what will Father Martinez do to protect them?

This has excellent pacing, the chapters are perfectly divided out and it makes for a surprisingly quick read because of it. Not only that but there is heart, and struggle, that doesn’t require any religious faith to connect with. A story that is common and known throughout history and cultures. The only difference is, this one is done on an epic Biblical scale and calls forth recollection of the story of Moses.

Father Martinez clearly is impassioned for his cause and his village, and the love and devotion he has to them is admirable.

[You don’t need to know your bible to enjoy this though, and admittedly, I probably know more about Moses from ‘The Prince of Egypt.’ Don’t judge, that’s an excellent movie.]

You don’t see this as a story of ‘simply’ Christianity but rather a story of people trying to choose the way they live their lives, they are beholden to those who own their land, the one they farm and work on and sweat for, only to give these ‘overlords’ their profit of working the land.

Who wouldn’t want something more?

The fight and action scenes were so much fun to read, I loved just how much action there was, and the travelling seemed endless, you held your breath wondering if they would ever be able to stop. [Hopefully, they won’t be wandering for 40 years]

Seriously, there were so many excellent fighting scenes, especially concerning Father Martinez and even Tonia, one of his foreign catechists.

Also, with that sort of ending, I am now very impatiently waiting for book 2.

An inspiring story with a lot of heart and the wish for freedom that everyone can connect to.

As far as favourite characters go, I did love the inspiring Father Joaquim Martinez but I also loved his villagers, but Tonia won my heart.

Four cups of coffee from me, and you can expect this book to hit the shelves on September 19, this year! [2019]

A Superior Spectre – Blog Tour

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Blurb:
“A brilliant, deeply unsettling work.” Books + Publishing
Jeff is dying. Haunted by memories and grappling with shame, he runs away to a remote part of Scotland with a piece of beta tech that allows him to enter the mind of someone in the past. Instructed to only use it three times, Jeff – self-indulgent, isolated and deteriorating – ignores this advice.
In the late 1860s, Leonora lives in the Scottish Highlands, surrounded by nature. Contemplating the social conventions that bind her, her contented life and a secret romantic friendship with the local laird are interrupted when her father sends her to stay with her aunt in Edinburgh. But Leonora’s ability to embrace her new life is shadowed by a dark presence that begins to lurk behind her eyes, and strange visions.
A Superior Spectre is a novel about curiosity, entitlement and manipulation. It reminds us that the scariest ghosts aren’t the ones that go bump in the night, but those that are born and create a place for themselves in the human soul.

Book Information:
By: Angela Meyer
Published by: Saraband Books
Publication Date: August 15, 2019
Price: £8.99
GoodReads

Where to Buy

Amazon UK

 

My Review

Content/Trigger Warnings: [My apologies on slacking on these lately] This has molestation & child molestation, abuse, thoughts of pedophilia, death and brief suicidal thoughts and a rough view of mental illnesses due to institutional care available in the Victorian era.

This is a book that is chilling and haunting in the most unexpected ways. Firstly it’s truly a blend of genres. It is a sci-fi yet also a historical fiction, and at the same time a horror/thriller in its own right. And while this may sound like a mess, it’s done SO well that it doesn’t feel like they’re all jumbled together.

Please bear in mind this is quite a heavy read due to its content but it’s actual length is not.

The two protagonists are completely different and though there’s not much to like about Jeff, it is possible to see why he has dipped into Leonora’s mind repeatedly.

Leonora is certainly the more sympathetic of the two characters, an unwilling host to a man whose thoughts have no place in her mind. She’s a woman who has loved animals and had a curiosity of sciences and anatomy, a woman that like many during her time, were ‘progressive’ in their wants knowledge. Still, she enjoys the simple life she’s had at her Father’s home and though Edinburgh has some interesting aspects, it’s still home she yearns for.

With everything she goes through, you truly want her to be free in every sense of the word, from Jeff, from expectations, from her family’s desires, and it’s her that I cheered for while reading.

The difficult premise though was put in a tasteful manner, because, unfortunately people like Jeff [and people much worse than Jeff] are a reality. I thought his story’s ending was completely fitting for him, and I didn’t hate him, but I certainly had a hard time sympathizing with him. That being said, the choices he made were in attempt to be something different than what he was and that was something to think about.

One of my favorite things Meyer did was to make this a spine tingling read, you felt like there was something always just out of sight, and it’s the sort of tension I like in a ‘scarier’ book.

A great read, but again, a heavy one. I give it four cups of coffee and if you think you can handle the premise, I recommend it, especially with October approaching if you want a spooky read.

Thank you to the publisher for a copy of this in exchange for an honest review

 

About the Author

 

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Angela Meyer’s Joan Smokes won the inaugural Mslexia Novella Competition in 2019. Her short fiction has been widely published, including in Best Australian Stories, Island, The Big Issue, The Australian, The Lifted Brow and Killings. By day she works as a publisher for Echo Publishing, an Australian imprint of Bonnier Books UK, and in this role has discovered and developed a range of award-winning, globally published and bestselling talent, including global number one bestselling author Heather Morris. A Superior Spectre, Angela’s debut novel, is already shortlisted for a number of prestigious awards.

 

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The Necromancer’s Bride – Blog Tour

 

 

TNB

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Synopsis:
Forgiveness is not Gabriel D’Ange’s strong suit.
A self-appointed soldier of God with a penchant for ruthlessly punishing his enemies, he vanished after Anne Lawrence stabbed him with his own dagger.
The smart thing would be to let him go.
Unfortunately, Anne’s life isn’t just lonely without Gabriel. It’s insufferably boring.
Determined to heal the rift between them, she goes in search of her tempestuous former lover, black parasol in hand and daeva magic crackling at her fingertips. But Gabriel has his own plans afoot and Anne finds herself drawn into one of his tangled webs, much against her better judgment.
Gabriel’s nemesis has reappeared in Brussels, a vile slaver who’s plundering the Congo Free State with the blessing of King Leopold. Gabriel might be willing to give Anne a second chance, but not until Jorin Bekker’s head is lying at his feet.
Back in London, the quasi-reformed necromancer Balthazar sets his sights on the same quarry. He holds a very personal grudge against Bekker — and killing him might be the only way to keep Gabriel D’Ange from Balthazar’s own throat.
When the hunters collide at a lavish gala thrown by the king, Anne learns just how far she’ll go to save the man she loves.
[Note: The Necromancer’s Bride is the sequel to A Bad Breed, which should be read first.]
Book Information:
The Necromancer’s Bride
by Kat Ross
(Gaslamp Gothic, #4)
Published by: Acorn Publishing
Publication date: May 31st 2019
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal, Retelling
GoodReads

Where to Buy

Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Kobo | Google Play

 

My Review

This is just yet another example of Kat Ross’s perfection.

I’m obviously not biased in anyway, amiright?

But honestly I fell in love with her Gaslamp Gothic series when I had the privilege to read and review Bad Breed with Xpresso Tours earlier this year. This is everything I like in a romance book, where the romance is blended in flawlessly with awesome action scenes, supernatural, and Victorian-era awesomeness.

Not only did I get more of my favorite pair, Anne and Gabriel, I also got to see more of Balthazar who I find myself having a huge soft spot for. Now this is the fourth book in this series but it’s only necessary to read Bad Breed before it, the other two do not have to be read in order/with it. But. I mean, if you want more gothic awesomeness, I say, go ahead and read those first two as well.

The satisfaction I got from Anne and Gabriel’s storyline in this made me ecstatic! I was like jumping for joy while reading this. [Not really, I’m old and can’t jump anymore, but, I do a bit of a happy wriggle of sorts]

I did miss seeing Vivienne but I do understand why there was not a focus or entrance of her in this book other than in reference. It was necessary in a lot of ways and it worked out so well.

Also this may have one of the best epilogues ever, I’m just ‘forewarning’ you.

Anne is on a mission, she wants Gabriel to know her reasons for the choices she made the last time they saw each other. She knows he doesn’t forgive easily but her heart won’t forget easily either and he left his mark on it. She also acknowledges that there is something more of a ‘beast’ in her than she’d like to admit, and Gabriel is the only one she can share this information with.

While though she pursues Gabriel, he has a score to settle and not even love can deter him. This also leads to an unlikely if not temporary alliance.

What does this mean for our lovers? What becomes of them? Could it perhaps be hinted out in the title? Who knows! Find out next week on-

Okay just kidding on the find out next week, but honestly there’s so much in this novel, it’s packed with so much to enjoy.

Five huge cups of coffee from me, I think I will just go read this again now.

 

 

About the Author

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Kat Ross worked as a journalist at the United Nations for ten years before happily falling back into what she likes best: making stuff up. She’s the author of the Fourth Element and Fourth Talisman fantasy series, the Gaslamp Gothic paranormal mysteries, and the dystopian thriller Some Fine Day. She loves myths, monsters and doomsday scenarios. Check out Kat’s Pinterest page for the people, places and things that inspire her books.

Author Links

Website | Twitter | Facebook | GoodReads

 

GIVEAWAY

Click on the picture below to be taken to the Rafflecopter link. This giveaway is INTL and you have a chance to win a signed copy of Bad Breed or one of 10 ecopies of it.

BadBreed

 

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Thanks to Xpresso Book tours and the pub/author for a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review!