Review of ‘Spirited’ by Julie Cohen

If there is one book you must read this year, ‘Spirited’ is it. Viola Worth has a passion for photography, a skill taught by her father. When her photographs begin to show the unexpected and intriguing, she becomes friends with celebrated medium Harriet Blackthorne, and her life changes forever. Viola’s husband Jonah struggles with his own demons and a notoriety he feels he does not deserve. As their lives intertwine, secrets emerge that must, in the end, be faced.

The writing is beautiful and poetic and places the reader in a time and place, where rules were different and society was not ready for the truth. This is a slow-build, with a gentle style, where the casual cruelty of the Victorian era is all the more shocking. It’s about secrets and lies, about love and friendship. But also about believing the impossible and above all the enduring nature of love. My heart was bursting as I turned the final few pages. A masterpiece.

I was given this ARC for review.

Auction for KD’s Preventative Mastectomy Fund.

K D Williamson, best-selling WLW author, is organising an auction of Women Loving Women books to raise funds for a preventative mastectomy. Readers can bid on signed paperbacks from their favourite authors. There are a growing number of authors taking part, and I can see a huge amount of interest in the event. Between the 25th July and 1st August you will be able to bid on the books.

My book, The Women And The Storm, will be available to bid for.

Check out the Facebook Group where the bidding will take place.

Review of ‘Hayefield Manor’ by Jody Klaire

Hayfield Manor’ is a beautifully written mystery romance, with enough twists and turns to keep any reader up until the early hours. You won’t want to put it down!

Morgan Lloyd, medically retired from a high-flying career in the police force, takes on her first role as a private investigator. As a favour to a friend she agrees to take over the security at Hayefield Manor, in an attempt to find out why bodies keep appearing on the grounds. Suspicion has fallen on lady of the manor, Sophie Haye. Cold, hard and terrifying she may appear to those outside, but as Morgan finds out, there is more to Sophie than first impressions imply. As evidence mounts, can Morgan trust her instincts, or is Sophie playing her? 

Sophie is one scary woman, but I really warmed to her. She had that irresistible ice queen vibe, but Morgan slowly chipped away until she could see something more, even if no-one else could. Jody Klaire’s writing is wonderfully descriptive and so impressively clever. Just when I thought I knew where it was going, I was astounded again by the ingenuity of the plot. I love it when an author can do that to me. She flipped my perceptions. The story was very cleverly crafted and layered.  It was one helluva ride with surprises and  revelations galore. Absolutely fantastic 

I was given this ARC for review.

Review of ‘Olivia’ by Genevieve McCluer

Olivia is a centuries-old vampire living in Toronto. After years of persecution and worse, she prefers a quiet life with her pet parrot, Harvey, but when he becomes ill, she has to seek out the help of a human vet, Mia. Because of her PTSD, it takes therapy to even get her as far as the front door of the surgery. Mia has some significant problems of her own, but she’s more than willing to take a chance on the gorgeous vampire. The unlikely pair find they have an affinity and when someone from Olivia’s past reappears, they have to join forces, if Olivia is going to survive. 

The story his told in 1st person and  puts us in Olivia’s thoughts, making it easier to feel her fears and worries. We also get to experience Mia’s reactions once the story begins to switch between their POV’s. The writing is perky and there’s also a sarcastic humour to it.  There’s a  playfulness at times, but then the seriousness of the situation hits the reader square in the face. At the halfway mark it suddenly took off for me. There was one heck of a surprise, that I did not see coming at all. I enjoyed the story and would like to read more in this world.

I was given this ARC for review.

Look What Arrived In The Mail!

I just had to share this wonderful prize that arrived in the mail today. I recently won a Pride competition run by K Aten. I was thrilled to receive a signed copy of ‘Children of the Stars’, along with postcards from some of Kelly’s other books, bookmarks and badges. Thank you Kelly!

‘Children of the Stars’ was one of my favourite reads of the last year, so I’m delighted to own my own signed copy now. And to top it all, the postcards are signed too! ‘Remember me, Synthetica’ is K Aten’s latest release, and absolutely fantastic. As a huge fan of sci-fi this really hit the spot for me.

Review of ‘Coyote Blues’ by Karen F Williams

Psychotherapist Riley Dawson was abandoned on the Appalachian trail as a newborn. A well-to-do young couple adopt her and life seems great, until her lycanthropic genes reassert themselves and she turns into a werecoyote. First love and sexual exploration with her best friend Fiona trigger the change, but having her parents witnesses the transformation leads to the end of her idyllic life. Abandoned for a second time, Riley becomes a therapist and carves out a life alone. Chosen family replace what she’s lost. When, twenty years later, Fiona Bell walks into her practice with huge problems of her own, Riley must find a way to help her. She also has to find a way to deal with her emotions – and stop Fiona finding out she’s a werecoyote. Can she help Fiona without putting her own future on the line?

I really like Riley. She was strong and capable, despite the enormous hurdles she had to overcome. Fiona was the love of her life, but circumstances and family kept them apart. They needed each other, but how on earth could they ever be a couple when the world seemed to be conspiring against them? The secondary characters were also well written. I especially liked Barbara. Her interventions were spot on and she made the other characters stop and think. 

‘Coyote Blues’ is a story with many layers.  Thwarted love, the fear of being found out, intense peril and ever-heightening tension . But there was also friendship, chosen family and hope. There was always hope. An excellently plotted story with twists that had me gasping.  I really enjoyed this book. 

I was given this ARC for review.

Review of ‘Finding Jessica Lambert’ by Clare Ashton

Jess can’t take any more. Everyone wants something from her and it seems like the whole world expects her to live up to an unattainable ideal. When a kind stranger takes care of her when she needs it most, her life changes. Anna has her own problems, but doesn’t hesitate to help the panicked young woman. As they hide from the world in Anna’s tiny rooftop flat, they learn about each other and themselves. Can a chance meeting spark the change that each of them needs?

‘Finding Jessica Lambert’ is an absolute joy of a book. It’s about two women who just click. Two women who know what’s its like to be on the very edge. Who know what it’s like to crave space and an escape from it all. It’s heartbreaking at times, but also beautifully romantic and sensual. It’s about meeting your soulmate. About finding the one and having the courage to be with them. It’s also about the perceptions we have of people, and how they can be way off the mark. There are so many layers to this story that I can see if being one of my favourite re-reads for years to come. I adored it.

I was given this ARC for review.

My New Book – The Women And The Storm – Out Today!

Out Now

I am delighted to announce that my new book ‘The Women And The Storm – The Tarbet Witches Series’ is out today.

Being the only witch in a small Scottish town is not easy. Especially when the love of your life is totally unaware of the fact. Gillian has been in love with her best friend, Diane, for over ten years, but has yet to pluck up the courage to tell her.

How will Diane react to Gillian’s professions of love? And more importantly, will she run for the hills when she finds out she’s a witch?

If that was not enough, strange happenings in their little town convince Gillian that there may be more to them than freak weather or coincidence. As the town fights for its survival against the onslaught of all-too-frequent storms, the women face personal battles of their own. Can their relationship survive the turmoil? Or will long-hidden secrets pull them apart?

Last year I published a short story ‘The Woman By The River’ and soon discovered that I did not want to let Gillian and Diane go just yet. Readers and reviewers asked if I was going to tell more of their story, and I found myself imagining how their relationship would develop. The short story is free on Amazon if you want to read how it all started, but you don’t have to have read it to enjoy this one.

I hope you enjoy the book. Click on the links below to take you to the Amazon pages.

Review of ‘One Golden Summer’ by Clare Lydon and T.B. Markinson

‘One Golden Summer’ is a sweet romance with an idyllic English seaside setting. Kirsty McBride is almost fifty, single and owns her own wine shop. She insists she’s happy being on her own, but as the big 5-0 approaches those around her insist she would be so much happier attached. Her resistance is sorely tested when famous lesbian film star, Saffron Oliver arrives in town for the summer, in a bid to get away from the Hollywood lifestyle. Saffron has been a star for half of her life and can’t go anywhere without being noticed. She would love to blend in as a local – and maybe Sandy Cove is the place for that to happen. If she can just stop her overbearing agent exposing her whereabouts.

I loved the easy attraction between Saffron and Kirsty. They seemed to find something in each other that had eluded them with other partners. Saffron was forever on the defensive, thinking that everyone wanted something from her. But with Kirsty it was different. Or so she hoped. I liked Saffron. She might have been a big star, but she was human, just like the rest of us. She wanted to be loved for herself. And she wanted more from life than the superficiality of Hollywood. Kirsty was a woman happy in her own skin. After a painful divorce in her forties, she knew what she wanted and what made her happy. Meeting Saffron was the icing on the cake. She made her feel complete. But there was always that niggle in the back of her mind – what would a famous film star see in her?

I adored the vibe of the seaside town of Sandy Cove. It was relaxed, friendly and the perfect place for Saffron. Kirsty fitted right in. ‘One Golden Summer’ is the perfect book to put sunshine and joy in your life. Settle down in the garden, with a long cool drink and wallow in this romantic and happy story.

 I was given this ARC for review.

Review of ‘Silver Ravens’ by Jane Fletcher

‘Silver Ravens’ is a fascinating story of puzzles, magic, folklore and adventure. I.T. professional Lori Cooper has had a rough time and needs something to take her mind off relationship and job problems. Coming upon a set of interesting puzzles in a computer magazine gives her the distraction she needs. But there’s more to them than just a bit of fun. Leather-clad stranger Tamsin tries to tell her she commands a troop of warriors working for the queen of the fay. Unsurprisingly Lori’s having none of it.  That’s until her puzzle-solving skills mean she’s in demand – and Tamsin won’t take no for an answer. 

Jane Fletcher’s excellent world-building and knowledge of  folklore really made this book for me. Her imaginative writing never fails to drawn me in. I loved finding out about Annwyn through Lori’s eyes. Her descriptions of the strange world were beautifully written and it had a few twists that ensured the story had an originality and flair of its own. A wonderful book, full of fantastic magical mythology , well-drawn characters and puzzles galore.  I really enjoyed it. 

I was given this ARC for review.