The Birthday House – Blog Tour

 

 

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BLURB:

The year is 1955, the location picturesque Devon.

In a house by the River Dart, schoolgirl Josephine Kennedy posts invitations to her twelfth birthday party – a party that never takes place.
Horrific violence is committed that night in the family home, leaving all of its occupants dead. 
Based on a disturbing real-life crime, this compelling story explores Josephine’s fate through the prism of friends and family – the victims and survivors who unwittingly influenced the events that led up to the tragedy.
Josephine’s best friend, Susan, is haunted by the secrets of the birthday house. Can she ever find a way of making peace with the past?

Book Information:
Paperback: 150 pages
Publisher: Silverwood Books (24 Jun. 2019)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 178132879X
ISBN-13: 978-1781328798

Purchase Link

Amazon UK

My Review

 

A quick but memorable read. It was a fascinating book, birthed out of the need to deal with grief through fiction, to try and provide answers not freely given in the tragedy that occurred in ‘The Birthday House.’ It’s commendable what Treseder has done in trying to find an explanation, writing a sort of novella in the process. The senseless tragedy that has happened will never have a satisfactory answer or even an answer at all but to try and explain it seems natural as this tragedy will continue to affect those touched by it for the rest of their lives.

I really enjoyed this, Treseder has a strong voice and an impressive style, given that she does it all in 150 pages and makes it end on a satisfying note.

The chapters are divided between the people involved in the story, the young best friends, the parents, and even the housekeeper who stumbled upon the horrible discovery, and this is part of the reason why the book felt so fleshed out and was able to feel complete in my opinion.

Four solid cups of coffee, a great and fast read that will make you stop and think at the end.

Thank you to Silverwood Books and Anne Cater for a copy in exchange for my honest opinion as part of the blog tour.

About the Author

I started writing in a red shiny exercise book when I was seven years old. But in that time and place it was an ‘invalid’ activity, was overlooked, but never went away. It was many years before I felt able to call myself ‘writer’.
But there came a day when the phrase ‘I am a writer’ no longer sounded pretentious, but legitimate, and even necessary. Was it because I had a writing room instead of the corner of a landing? Or because I spent more time writing? Or because I’d got better at it? Or because I get miserable and bad-tempered if I don’t write? Probably a combination of all of the above.
Writing is my third career. The first was as a social worker with children and families, a job I loved, but left because I could no longer cope with the system.
This led to a freelance career as an independent management consultant, helping people to handle emotions in the work context. I worked in the IT industry, in companies large and small, as well as public organisations. Later I became involved in research projects concerned with the multi-disciplinary approach to social problems such as child abuse. So, in a sense, I had come full-circle.
All these experiences feed into the process of writing fiction, while my non-fiction book The Wise Woman Within resulted indirectly from the consultancy work and my subsequent PhD thesis,‘Bridging Incommensurable Paradigms’, which is available from the School of Management at the University of Bath.
I live in Devon and visit Cornwall frequently and these land and seascapes are powerful influences which demand a presence in my writing.
Writers’ groups and workshops are a further invaluable source of inspiration and support and I attend various groups locally and sign up for creative courses in stunning locations whenever I can. I try doing writing practice at home but there is no substitute for the focus and discipline achieved among others in a group.
I have written some short stories and recently signed up for a short story writing course to explore this genre in more depth.
I live with my husband in South Devon and enjoy being involved in a lively local community.

Author Links

Twitter | Website

 

The Rest of the Tour

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The Immortal City – Blog Tour

 

 

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GoodReads:
In the heart of Venice, a woman is sacrificed to a forgotten god, sparking a mystery lost for thousands of years.

Dr. Penelope Bryne is ridiculed by the academic community for her quest to find the remnants of Atlantis, but when an ancient and mysterious script is found at a murder site, she flies to Venice determined to help the police before the killer strikes again.

Penelope has spent her entire life trying to ignore the unexplainable and magical history of Atlantis, but when she meets the enigmatic Alexis Donato, everything she believes will be challenged. Little does she know, Alexis has spent the last three years doing his best to sabotage Penelope’s career so doesn’t learn the truth—Atlantis had seven magicians who survived, and who he has a duty to protect.

As Alexis draws her into the darkly, seductive world of magic and history, Penelope will have to use her heart as well as her head if she is to find the answers she seeks.

With the new MOSE system due to come online, and Carnivale exploding around them, Penelope and Alexis will have to work together to stop the killer and prevent dark magic from pulling Venice into the sea.

 

My Review

Hey guys, hitting you up with another book review on this lovely Saturday. If lovely for you means, cold, slightly damp, and having cleaned up a spider graveyard in the bathtub of your new house.

Anywho!

I was lucky enough to get to do the cover reveal for this book and now here I am reviewing it as part of the blog tour.

The synopsis really had me with Venice, but then I saw Atlantis and it was like I was 9 again looking over maps wondering where Atlantis could have been. Shhh. I was a very curious child with a love of archaeology.

So right off the bat, I wanted to read this given the premise.

Well, there wasn’t as much Venice I would have liked but there was certainly cool dark magic and occult things going on so that placated me.

As far as Atlantis content goes, well, I think/hope there’s more of it to come, it is the first book afterall and this was setting up the world and plots and so on.

I loved the Magician characters I thought they were fun and mysterious and I just wanted to go hang out in their ‘crib’ and drink wine with them.

Unfortunately, I had little love for Penelope. I think she must have been so much younger than I would have thought. This reads more as YA, though Penelope herself is old enough/brilliant enough if she’s still a teen, to have her doctorate. I think the reason I didn’t like her is that I found the romance aspect for her rather dull, but, I did enjoy her hunger for knowledge and her curiosity. I love it when characters are as big as history lovers as I am, haha.

Another Character to enjoy is Marco the inspector, he is just the best in my opinion haha.

The magic was actually very neat, and the ties with Atlantis were something I can’t wait to learn/read more about in the next book.

I mean there is little to fault with the premise and ideas, I thought they were awesome, I just found it lacking with Penelope’s character growth/development so at times it made it hard for me to love it as much as I wanted to. Still a good start to a series, enjoyable to read, and I look forward to reading book 2!

Thank you to BHCPressBooks for a copy of this in exchange for my honest review

 

About the Author

Amy Kuivalainen is a Finnish-Australian writer that is obsessed with magical wardrobes, doors, auroras and burial mounds that might offer her a way into another realm. Until then, she will write about fairy tales, monsters, magic and mythology because that’s the next best thing. She is the author of The Firebird Fairytales Trilogy and The Blood Lake Chronicles series that mash up traditional tales and mythology in new and interesting ways.

Author Links

Website| Twitter | GoodReads