The Widow of Pale Harbour – Blog Tour

 

 

ratingiconratingiconratingiconratingicon

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

 

The Rest of the TourThe Widow of Pale Harbour Blog Banner.jpg

A Tapestry Of Treason – Blog Tour


ratingiconratingiconratingiconratingiconratingicon

Synopsis:
Her actions could make history – but at what price?

1399: Constance of York, Lady Despenser, proves herself more than a mere observer in the devious intrigues of her magnificently dysfunctional family, The House of York.

Surrounded by power-hungry men, including her aggressively self-centred husband Thomas and ruthless siblings Edward and Richard, Constance places herself at the heart of two treasonous plots against King Henry IV.  Will it be possible for this Plantagenet family to safeguard its own political power by restoring either King Richard II to the throne, or the precarious Mortimer claimant?

Although the execution of these conspiracies will place them all in jeopardy, Constance is not deterred, even when the cost of her ambition threatens to overwhelm her.  Even when it endangers her new-found happiness.

With treason, tragedy, heartbreak and betrayal, this is the story of a woman ahead of her time, fighting for herself and what she believes to be right in a world of men.

This is one woman’s quest to turn history on its head.

Book Information:
By: Ann O’Brien
Published By: HQ, Imprint of HarperCollins
Publishing Date: 22/08/2019
Format: Hardback [eBook & Audio]
Price: £14.99

 

My Review

I have to admit, I’ve never read a historical fiction book like this before but I have enjoyed watching movie adaptations of ‘The Other Boleyn Girl’ and ‘The Duchess’ < though the latter is a biography instead of a historical fiction novel.

Still, I read the synopsis of this and knew I couldn’t pass it up with my love of history and let’s face it, we always could use a few more books about women that history has swept over. I was delighted to take part in this tour!

The first chapter just drops you in, you’re caught up immediately into the world that Constance of York occupies. There is no mistaking Anne O’Brien’s attempt to immerse you completely into this world. You are transported to 1399/1400s and it is rife with political intrigue.

O’Brien does a great task in not focusing too much on one set of details, in particular, instead, she takes everything into consideration. There is the expectation of women of the time, but also the reality of women in that period. They may not have much power out front but they can still do things their own way. Constance is a woman of ambition and of course that tends to make her not well received by others, viewed as immoral though others around her are forgiven and lauded for treasonous thoughts all because they are men and she’s a woman.

I was slightly daunted by the page count but then O’Brien builds up this quiet intensity, she brilliantly keeps the tension all the way through out. It actually made it hard to put down, there was this feeling of Constance running out of time or rather that she was always on the verge of being in trouble and I was completely on board for that. 500 pages and it kept me on the edge of my seat, to me that’s the sign of a brilliant novel. I adored it and I now adore O’Brien.

Anne O’Brien clearly does her research and brings Constance to life, giving her a voice that would fit in seamlessly as fact rather than the fiction it actually is.

If you’re a fan of history and/or Philippa Gregory books then I highly recommend this five cups of coffee read to you!

[Thank you to HQ for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review as part of the tour]

 

About the Author

 

Sunday Times bestselling author Anne O’Brien was born in West Yorkshire. After gaining a BA Honours degree in History at Manchester University and a Master’s in Education at Hull, she lived in East Yorkshire for many years as a teacher of history. Todayshe has sold over 250,000 copies of her books in the UK and lives with her husband in an eighteenth-century cottage in the depths of the Welsh Marches in Herefordshire. The area provides endless inspiration for her novels about the forgotten women of history.

 

The Rest of the Tour

A Tapestry of Treason Blog Tour (1)

The Last Concerto – Blog Tour

ratingiconratingiconratingiconratingicon

Synopsis: 
Famed for its natural beauty and rich history, Sardinia in 1968 is notorious, too, for the bandits who kidnap wealthy landowners for ransom. Eleven-year-old Alba Fresu’s brother, and her father, Bruno, are abducted by criminals who mistake Bruno for a rich man. After a grueling journey through the countryside, the two are eventually released—but the experience leaves Alba shaken and unable to readjust to normal life, or to give voice to her inner turmoil.
Accompanying her mother to cleaning jobs, Alba visits the villa of an eccentric Signora and touches the keys of a piano for the first time. The instrument’s spell is immediate. During secret lessons, forbidden by her mother, Alba is at last able to express emotions too powerful for words alone. Ignoring her parents’ insistence that she work in the family’s car dealership and marry a local boy, Alba accepts a scholarship to the Rome conservatoire. There she immerses herself in a vibrant world of art and a passionate affair.
But her path will lead her to a crossroads, and Alba will have to decide how to reconcile her talent with her longing for love and family, and convey the music of her heart…

Book Information:
Written by: Sara Alexander
Published by: HQ
Publication date: 22/08/2019
Format: Paperback Original £7.99 [Available in eBook & audio]

My Review

I know I’ve said it probably about fifty times by now but as a musician, I tend to be drawn toward books that have music in them. The fact this one had a different musical term each chapter and sections divided into movements, well, I’m completely biased in loving that part of them. But, I’m here to talk about the content of this book, which took me on an extraordinarily emotional rollercoaster. This is a story about a woman having the courage to go after what makes her passionate, music.

The first chapter was a bit of a hesitant introduction for me, but the moment I got past it, it was like something just clicked in me. I could recognize a love of music and the difficulty of perhaps wanting different things than are expected of you. And I’m sure a lot can relate to one or the other if not both. Alba is quiet, the power of her voice is put into her music, and even then, due to her past, she would restrict it and the power of finding her voice.

Seriously, watching her deal with her childhood as being the odd one out, and a girl in her household to experience life in Rome and as a concert pianist, it’s all wonderful and you just want the best for her but Alexander gives us a healthy dose of realism in that she gives both highs and lows. Some things are so soul-crushing, I just want to hug Alba but you know that she is going through this route because she’s chosen music. And to be fair this ending won’t have you crying like a baby in sorrow, so, it’s got a satisfying ending.

Alexander enthrals with her descriptions of music and food, and for me, well, I delighted in the musical descriptions but I do think that if you’re not a fan of heavy descriptions you may not appreciate this paint brushing of each scene before you.

Alba deals with issues from the past that follow her, whether they arise from family or past lovers and I loved watching her handle things differently as she grows up and oh, that ending. ❤

If you are interested in reading a book about a woman following her dream against the odds, that has believable romance subplots, and a healthy dose of humanity, I definitely recommend reading The Last Concerto. Four cups of coffee from me!

 

About the Author

HarperCollins Author Page
Sara Alexander attended Hampstead School, London, and went on to graduate from the University of Bristol, with a BA hons in Theatre, Film & TV. She followed on to complete her postgraduate diploma in acting from Drama Studio London. She has worked extensively in the theatre, film and television industries, including roles in much loved production such as Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows, Doctor Who, and Franco Zeffirelli’s Sparrow. She is based in London.

 

GIVEAWAY ALERT

I happen to have an extra copy, thank you HQ Stories, so you know that means? GIVEAWAY TIME! [UK Only this round guys] Comment on here for an extra chance to win a copy, follow/RT on twitter for the ‘first’ chance!

The Rest of the Tour

LastConcerto_BTB

Soul of the Sword Blog Tour

Thank you to Harper Collins HQ for a chance to be part of this blog tour. Below is an honest review in exchange for a copy of the book.

[And….honestly, this is now one of my favorite trilogies and I haven’t even read book three yet]

ratingiconratingiconratingiconratingiconratingicon

Synopsis:
The Time of the Wish Approaches…
Yumeko the shapeshifter had one task: take her piece of the ancient and powerful scroll to the Steel Feather temple and prevent the summoning of the great Kami Dragon. But she has a new enemy now. The demon Hakaimono, has escaped and possessed the samurai she thought would protect her, Kage Tatsumi of the Shadow Clan.
Hakaimono has done the unthinkable and joined forces with Genno, the Master of Demons, to break his curse and set himself free. But Genno wishes to overthrow the empire and cover the land in darkness. To do that he needs only one thing, the scroll Yumeko is hiding. As the paths of Yumeko and the possessed Tatsumi cross again the entire empire will be thrown into chaos.
And Chaos will darken an Empire
Return to Juli Kagawa’s beautiful and perilous land of shapeshifter, samurai and demons as Japanese mythology and magic swirl together in the New York Times bestselling author’s brand new adventure. 

Book Information:
Title: Soul of the Sword (Shadow of the Fox #2)
Publication Date:
27 June 2019
Publisher: HQ, Harper Collins
Paperback: £7.99
eBook: £3.99
Audio: £12.99

 

My Review

I could probably fangirl about this and book one for weeks if you all let me, no lie just a post a day for each character and then one a day for each lovely detail…weeeeeeks. But, I will refrain and try my best to give it to you without too much gushing.

I had not read any of Julie Kagawa’s works until Shadow of the Fox and once I did, I realized this was going to be something I was going to love and treasure. Kagawa gives us such a lush and beautiful world steeped in Japanese mythology and descriptions that make you want to go visit so you can help Yumeko and ‘the gang’ as I call them.

While we’re still striving for diversity the fact that Kagawa just pushes out this amazing fantasy book and gives us a main female protagonist and the great creatures from myth which sometimes we forget about with all the books dominated by the Medieval Western inspired worlds [and to be fair, I love those books too].

Yumeko was an isolated and sheltered girl in the first book and though she’s certainly learning the way of the world, our lovely kitsune still retains some of her innocence which makes for some pretty heart felt and chuckle induced moments. Still, the fact that Kagawa has Yumeko reaching into herself and accepting a part of her she’s really kept at a distance is a beautiful thing to watch. Not only that but Yumeko builds her relationships closer with others around her as Tatsumi -Hakaimono are elsewhere. [Not giving away any spoilers other than what’s already given away from the blurb!]

It’s almost as if there are no side characters in Kagawa’s Shadow of the Fox books, each one is hashed out and given such attention in the details that you feel as if you really know them all. Especially Okame and Daisuke, Reika, well it fits that she’s still the one we know the least as she keeps her distance emotionally more than the others.

We also get to see more inner thoughts of Hakaimono and those were some of my favorite parts, he’s still this imposing monster in every aspect of the word but even he can see how 400 years has made him change ever so slightly being in the presence of humans, even if it has been in a sword.

Suki is actually one of my favorite characters and I was so excited we got to see more chapters with her this time around. I think she’s so precious and man, Kagawa broke my heart for in like the first three pages of Shadow of the Fox

Like the first book, Soul of the Sword shows us more of the world that our beloved group of characters is in, there’s no revisiting, it’s pushing onwards towards their goals, their mission which is integral to the whole world at this point. Each new city and territory discovered was described so well that it felt like Kagawa might have travelled to this fanatasy world and painted a picture of it all with her words. We encounter some new faces, we get to see more of the Kage clan and more importantly, we get to see more magic.

If you’re looking for a fantasy read that gives you everything your heart desires with world building, great characters, and awesome fighting and magic, then go pick up Shadow of the Fox and then immediately go pick up Soul of the Sword. I’ve never loved the first two books so much in a trilogy before, I couldn’t pick between the two so it’s safe to say Kagawa brings her A game and will continue to do so.

Fair warning this left me with a terrible book hangover. [Don’t believe me? I’ve now had dreams of the characters of Soul of the Sword recreating Rurouni Kenshin in their own style.] This was hands down a 5/5 Cups of Coffee read for me and I’d be happy to write another five paragraphs but I’ll leave it alone for now.

What am I supposed to do while waiting for book 3? Reread already? Seems acceptable…anything to fill the hole in my heart that Soul of the Sword has left.

About the Author

Picture used from her website
Julie Kagawa is the author of the bestselling Iron Fey and Talon series. She lives with her husband, two obnoxious cats, one Australian Shepherd who is too smart of his own good, ant he latest addition, a hyper-active Papillon puppy.

Rest of the Tour Schedule

SoulOfTheSword_BlogTour