Review of ‘The Conjuring Comedienne’ by Anne Hagan

What a joy to be back with Faye Crane and ‘Mama’ Chloe Rossi in this third book in the Morelville Cozies series. I’m a huge fan of all of the books Anne Hagan has set in Morelville, so was delighted to find this brand new novel was out now. 

Faye and Chloe are once again involved in a restoration project in their village, but it’s going to cost and they don’t have the funds. Bridget Novak planned to sell some valuable coins to donate some cash to the project, but her coins go missing before she has the chance to auction them. And she’s not the only one to find coins missing. Her old friend Selma finds the same, and the pair draft in Bridget’s actress niece Hattie to help. 

Hattie has left Hollywood after an accusation of witchcraft and plans a quiet life in her adopted home. But as we all know, Morelville is never quiet. Sheriff Mel warns Faye and Chloe from becoming involved in the mystery of the missing coins, but they can’t resist. Along with Hattie they become embroiled in more intrigue and danger. Will they recover the coins? And will they be able to stay safe as the situation escalates? 

I was immediately drawn to this story, as Hattie was a fascinating character, with a twist I was not expecting. It gave the tale an extra zing. The setting is absolutely perfect too. Morelville is beautifully described, and reminds me of that other famous mystery village, St Mary Mead, with its surprising collection of characters. The story was well told and kept me reading well into the night. I love Chloe and Faye investigating, while trying not to irritate Mel too much as they do it. 

‘The Conjuring Comedienne’ hits all the right notes and has kept my Morelville addiction satisfied – until the next one comes along. 

I was given this ARC for review.

Review of ‘Coven Be Charmed’ by Caitlin Ryan

‘Coven Be Charmed’ by Caitlin Ryan is a lovely, up-beat and thoroughly engaging witchy tale. Rose is a life coach with her feet firmly on the ground. When her girlfriend takes her to a charming B&B in the countryside, she finds herself re-evaluating all she believes about things supernatural. Witches can’t be real, can they? And she certainly can’t be one. But when she is surrounded by witches, warlocks and demons, what else can she conclude?

Rose is thrust into a mystery, with weird goings-on and some very strange people. I loved every minute of it. 

My favourite kind of story will always have a puzzling mystery and witches. Caitlin Ryan has woven both into this well-thought out novel. I look forward to many more in this series.

As this is a story featuring witches the author addresses the mention of the HP universe in her notes at the end.

I was given this ARC to review.

Review of ‘Enchanted Autumn’ by Ursula Klein

‘Enchanted Autumn’ is an engaging romance, full of magic, interesting characters and the perfect setting. Hazel is a Salem witch – and a real one at that. With a black cat, her very own broom stick and a penchant for potion-making, she is proud of who she is. That is until English academic, Dr Elizabeth Cowrie, arrives in town. The history researcher has an interest in the Salem witch trials, but does not believe in magic. In fact she scoffs at the very idea that it may exist. Hazel’s attraction to her is going to be a problem, as she must decide if she’s willing to give up her true self in pursuit of love. 

I loved that the story was set in Salem. The author managed to weave some historical details from the witch trials into this modern romance. But it was ultimately about the triumph of magic, of love. Hazel was an astute businesswoman, but still managed to stay true to her roots. Her witchcraft was important to her and to the whole community, even if some of them were not aware of her true nature. Elizabeth may have been a sceptic, but she was kind, passionate and intelligent. I adored the ‘Britishisms’ scattered throughout the story. They were spot-on. I also enjoyed the writing style, which pulled me into their world, a world I’d like to revisit. 

I was given this ARC to review.

Review of ‘A Letter To Three Witches’ by Elizabeth Bass

‘A Letter To Three Witches’ by Elizabeth Bass is a delightful story that is sure to be the first in a much anticipated series. Gwen’s family have been forbidden to practice witchcraft by the Grand Council of Witches. Nearly one hundred years ago her great-great grandfather cast a spell that caused havoc and since then his descendants have been watched closely. Any whiff of magic and they are in big trouble. Although Gwen and her cousins, Trudy and Milo, have avoided being caught for minor transgressions, things change when Gwen’s adopted sister puts a spanner in the works. She sends a letter to each stating that she will steal one of their partners by the end of the week. Who will it be?  And how will they stop her? The stress results in the magic they have been denying surfacing, with disastrous consequences. Long buried secrets threaten to change everything they thought was true.

This was a lighthearted, funny and totally enchanting read. It was the perfect escapism, and one I really appreciated in these difficult times. It was a wonderfully conceived story, with some laugh out loud moments and some poignant ones too. I loved the characters and the world Elizabeth Bass has imagines. I want more of these characters and I can’t wait to read the next one.

I was given this ARC for review.

Review of ‘Elemental Attraction’ by K Aten

‘Elemental Attraction’ by K Aten is the first in her new MythWorld Series. It’s a beautifully crafted tale of shapeshifters, mythical creatures and destiny. Ellys is a half-elven swordsman and a great one at that. She hires out her skills to help keep body and soul together for herself and her companion steed, Roccotari. When dragon shapeshifter, Aderri offers her more than the usual rate to help her get home for an important family ceremony she agrees. But the journey is fraught with danger and the threesome find themselves dealing with more than they bargained for. Add in the beginnings of an attraction that grows hotter as they near Aderri’s homeland. As each grapple with their own and others expectations, life becomes a whole lot more interesting. 

The world-building is superb in ‘Elemental Attraction’ and K Aten has once again hooked me with her imaginative storytelling. The mixture of different creatures is fantastic and seeing how they interact with each other made me laugh and sometimes shed a tear. Ellys is strong and fearless and loyal. She strives to achieve balance in everything she does. Her relationship with Roccotari is funny, sarcastic and joyful. They have an amazing bond and it is the most significant relationship for both of them. As they travel with Aderri we begin to see that love does not have to be static, and change can be embraced. I loved the banter between the three, but also the traditions, mythology and history that made them who they were. A great story.

I was given this ARC for review.

Lady Grim 2021 coming 18th September

My story ‘The Shop on Pitkin Lane’ is part of this wonderful anthology due out on 18th September.

Lady Grim 2021 is a collection of stories from some of your favourite authors, just in time for the Halloween season.

There are stories from Adrian J Smith, Annette Mori, Elaine Mattern, Jane Alden, KT Brodland, LL Shelton, Kitty McIntosh, Lila Bruce, Nance Sparks, Ocean, Rita Potter, Serenity Snow, Tiffany E Taylor.

Review of ‘The Fog of War’ by A.L. Lester

‘The Fog of War’ by A.L. Lester is a historical paranormal romance set in England after the First World War. As Dr Silvia Marks settles back  into life in the small English village where she grew up, she tries to forget the grief tearing at her heart. The disappearance of her lover during the war has left her scarred. With the help of army nurse Walter, she becomes the local G.P. and runs her own practice. When a friend from the battlefield hospital comes to stay, she begins to see some purpose again. But a strange mystery with one of her patients throws everything up in the air. She must decide if she had the courage to find out what’s going on. Because doing so has far-reaching complications. 

This was an imaginative story, with an interesting premise. I liked the time period, as it was a time when women began to venture out into the workplace due to the lack of male labour available. Sylvia was strong and capable, but was still struggling with heartbreak. Lucy came into her life at just the right time, and she had a positive influence on her. The paranormal element was intriguing and there is so much scope to develop it further in the next books in the series. I was certainly very curious as to where it would lead. I enjoyed the book and eagerly await more.

I was given this ARC to review.

Review of ‘Guin The Emerald’ by Louisa Kelley

‘Guin The Emerald’ is the second in the Shift Series by Louisa Kelley, and is even better than the first. Guin leads a team cleaning up the mess left behind when the world, and specifically Portland, became aware of the existence of dragons. Miriam is back as the only human who knows the real story. But can she be trusted? And why is Cellie compelled to seek out the answer to a very strange mystery?

I loved finding it more about the Draca and their magic.  Their world opened up more and I couldn’t get enough. The developing attraction between Guin and Miriam was especially welcome. It was surprisingly tender and passionate . The story had adventure and mystery and fascinating insights into the lives of the Draca and their connection to Earth. There was a little ‘Easter Egg’ for fans of sapphic fiction too. You’ll know it when you see it. 

The book had a lovely family feeling and made me wish for more in the future.

I was given this ARC to review.

Review of ‘Keepers’ by Kelli Jae Baeli

‘Keepers’ book one in the New Harbor Witches series by Kelli Jae Baeli is a fantastic start to the series, with plenty to grab the reader’s attention. Dane and her sister have been estranged for years, after Penny fled her home town. Dane was left to look after the family bistro and their grandmother, a woman whose very presence sucked the joy out of life. When grandmother dies life changes for the women, and they become aware of a part of their inheritance that is completely unexpected. Strange things begin to happen to them both, and slowly the unexplained becomes clear. How will Dane and Penny cope with their new reality – and how do those around them fit in? 

I felt invested in Dane and Penny’s story from the start and couldn’t put the book down. It’s an excellent mystery with fascinating characters, set in a world the reader can believe in. It’s also very funny and sexy and downright addictive. It left me wanting a whole lot more, so I’ll be reading book 2, ‘Ravens’, ASAP. 

Review of ‘Threadneedle’ by Cari Thomas

ThreadNeedle is stunning. The writing is intensely beautiful, and carried me off into a world of magic and love, secrets and lies. Anna has been warned of the dangers of magic, but as she approaches her sixteenth birthday, things begin to change. Effie and Attis come into her life, and it becomes more difficult to resist that magic and believe what she has been told. Joining The Binders has been her fate. But is she ready for a life of pain and denial? Her Aunt is determined she will do as she is told, but Anna’s eyes are opened to new possibilities. As the story unfolds we enter a world of wonder, of magical libraries, of underground secrets hidden from the ‘real’ world. I was hungry for more. The story was brilliantly conceived and I couldn’t put it down. I want more and more of the same. 

I was given this ARC to review.