Kate Riordan, The Girl in the Photograph and Owlpen Manor.

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Publication Date: January 5th 2015 From Penguin.

Status: Currently Reading.

So this weekend just past, me, my lovely daughter plus a few other bloggers were very kindly invited by Penguin Books and the author (thank you Jessica, Kate and Sarah!) to visit Owlpen Manor – the inspiration for the novel. Deep in rural Gloucestershire, it is a beautiful area of the world and we had a chance to meet Kate, have a tour of the house and grounds and find out more about “The Girl in the Photograph”. I thought I’d tell you a little bit about the weekend and put up some pictures I took while I was there (sorry for the quality on some!)

 

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View of the house from the gardens.

 

Upon arrival Mel and I were met by Sarah and Jessica and taken to the estate cottage we would be staying in for the night – Grist Mill. Steeped in history it was absolutely beautiful and I could happily have spent a lifetime there (although possibly not alone at night!) where we met Elle, our housemate for the night, and got settled in.

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Grist Mill – picture taken from Owlpen Website  http://www.owlpen.com/cottages/grist-mill

We then had a light lunch at the Cyder house where we met the rest of the group ( was wonderful to meet so many lovely people who I had spoken to often on Twitter but never met in person) and Kate herself who is stunning and so lovely that everyone felt immediately at ease. After that Sir Nicholas took us for a tour of the house and gardens – he was fantastic, so down to earth and very enthusiastic about his home and its history – after the tour it was VERY easy to see why Kate was so inspired by this location, I was almost inspired enough to write a book myself if only I had the talent.

It is difficult to put into words how lovely the location is and how peaceful – after the tour we had afternoon tea at the Grist Mill, then everyone had a chance to retire to their cottages and relax before dinner. This was once again in the Cyder House and I can’t tell you how yummy the food was – local produce, seasonal, beautifully cooked and again we all had a chance to have a chat about many things including the world of blogging and writing. Terribly relaxed throughout there was no pressure to do anything at all.

 

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On the tour.

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Dinner!

Once we were done for the evening it was back to our cottages where I picked up “The Girl in the Photograph” and started reading – with the location set firmly in my head, although I am currently still not quite at the end of it, I can tell you it is a haunting, evocative and beautifully written book, one that you should certainly all be putting on your reading lists. I will of course review it nearer publication.

After a fairly fun and creepy night – Mel and I having our own bedrooms initially but she arrived in with me at some point in the early hours – it really brought the novel into focus. One character in the book remarks of the country “It is too dark to sleep” and as a town lass myself I was enchanted and a little nervous at how black the night actually was. A really intriguing experience and certainly one I could get used to given the opportunity.

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Bedroom at Grist Mill

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Kate signs some proof copies for us.

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Here we all are!

The following morning having imbedded myself totally into “The Girl in the Photograph” I asked Kate whether she had the bones of the story before visiting Owlpen. Apparently this location was absolutely the inspiration for the whole thing – the first scene she wrote was the one where Alice first arrives at Fiercombe (name change for the book) and everything else spun out from there. It was easy to picture the locations in my head as I read and that scene is perfectly placed. Whilst Kate has used dramatic license to change certain aspects of the area to fit in around the story, the heart and soul of it is definitely within the pages.

After breakfast we very sadly said goodbye to everyone and made our way home – but this is a weekend that will stay with me forever, one for the memory box – an informal, fun and highly relaxing experience and one that definitely makes reading the book all the more wonderful – and it would have been a pretty wonderful read without all that.

If you get a chance you should definitely visit Owlpen for a break – I would definitely love to return one day.

Follow Kate on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/KateRiordanUK

Found out more here: http://www.owlpen.com/home

There are some much better pictures on their website.

You can follow here: https://twitter.com/OwlpenManor

Pre-Order information: http://www.waterstones.com/waterstonesweb/products/kate+riordan/the+girl+in+the+photograph/11223559/

 

Huge thanks to Penguin Books and Kate Riordan for the experience of a lifetime.

Happy Reading Folks!

 

 

Liz Currently Loves….Revival by Stephen King

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Publication Date: Available Now from Hodder and Staughton

Source: Purchased Copy

In a small New England town, in the early 60s, a shadow falls over a small boy playing with his toy soldiers. Jamie Morton looks up to see a striking man, the new minister. Charles Jacobs, along with his beautiful wife, will transform the local church. The men and boys are all a bit in love with Mrs Jacobs; the women and girls – including Jamie’s mother and beloved sister – feel the same about Reverend Jacobs. With Jamie, the Reverend shares a deeper bond, based on their fascination with simple experiments in electricity.

So more Stephen King then, a pleasure every time and we know its unlikely that I’m going to dislike it, even if its not one of his best – I make no attempt to hide my long term adoration of all things written by this author.

In this case however, my honest opinion is that it IS one of his best – those of you looking for Old School King at the top of his game, the one that can make you shiver, turn the most ordinary things into that which you fear the most and take you by the hand and lead you into a place of darkness – that is what you will get with Revival.

Jamie first meets Charles Jacobs when he is very young, but for the rest of his life this man will cast a peculiar type of shadow as fate (perhaps) keeps drawing them together. Charles experiments with electricity – quite reasonable one would think, but this is a man not only intrigued but obsessed by it. When tragedy strikes Charles is set on a path to destruction, a path that Jamie may not be able to avoid walking with him.

This is one that will grip you from the start and trust me, it is a very good idea to hold off starting it until you have a good few hours to yourself. Oh and not in the dark either if I were you. I’m not one for breaking down a plot bit by bit in my reviews, suffice to say this is a tremendous mix of drama, horror and just plain emotion – it has a very gentle, rolling start but the tension builds bit by bit until you are white knuckled turning the pages to find out what is next, and oh my GOD that ending – I was disturbed, electrified (yes that was on purpose) and I just know its going to niggle at me and niggle at me for a long time to come. One of the most exciting and heart stopping endings Mr King has written for years, dark, scary as hell and all consuming, even with the very last words of the story.

And yes, I did sleep with the lights on last night. And probably will again tonight.

Classic King – absorbing, unbelievably addictive, the heart and soul of true storytelling is right here. Words are his power.

 

Find out more here: http://stephenking.com/

Follow Stephen King on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/StephenKing

Purchase Information: http://www.waterstones.com/waterstonesweb/products/stephen+king/revival/10383039/

 

Happy Reading Folks!

 

Spotlight 2015 – The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

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Publication Date: January 15th 2015 from Transworld

Source: Advance Reading Copy.

To everyone else in this carriage I must look normal; I’m doing exactly what they do: commuting to work, making appointments, ticking things off lists.
Just goes to show.

Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning and every evening. Every day she passes the same Victorian terraces, stops at the same signal, and sees the same couple, breakfasting on their roof terrace. Jason and Jess seem so happy together.
Then one day Rachel sees something she shouldn’t have seen, and soon after, Jess disappears. Suddenly Rachel is chasing the truth and unable to trust anyone. Not even herself.

So in the first of my “Spotlight 2015” features coming up over the next few weeks, I’m taking look at “The Girl on the Train” by Paula Hawkins – a tense and highly addictive thriller that will almost certainly keep you turning the pages well into the night in order to discover just what the outcome is for Rachel, Jason and Jess.

Rachel has problems, is a highly intriguing character and when we meet her she is on a train. The same train she gets every day, seeing the same things she sees every day – until one day she observes something unusual. This sets her on a path of discovery and on a journey towards destruction.

The whole thing is really excellent – the writing flows along, the characters pop and once you start it is very hard to put aside – one of those “just one more chapter then I’ll load the dishwasher” type books that basically means the dishwasher is going to be rather lonely for a while…

I particularly liked (or actually actively disliked at times) Rachel – who because of her background, is difficult to get a grasp on. Are there nefarious things going on or is it just her? Her dogged determination and often rather obscure decision making means that almost anything could be true and this is where the plot is intelligent, creative and why the whole novel is so addictive. Add to Rachel some other characters who may or may not be as they appear, including Rachel’s seemingly reasonable ex husband, the couple who Rachel avidly observes from her train seat and various others and you have a most terrific mix which creates a character driven thriller of top notch quality.

Overall this is definitely one to look out for in the early months of 2015 and would definitely be a great book to get you over those “End of Holiday” blues once Christmas and New Year is over and done with – you’ll soon get caught up in Rachel’s world and this is a tremendously fun read with a dark heart and a great ending.

Highly Recommended

Find out more here: http://www.transworldbooks.co.uk/authors/paula-hawkins

Follow the author on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/PaulaHWrites

Want to Pre-Order? This book is Goldsboro’s January Book of the Month and you can get your hands on a signed edition here:

http://www.goldsborobooks.com/books/the-girl-on-the-train-paula-hawkins-signed-first-edition-4191.html

Alternative Pre- Order Information:

http://www.waterstones.com/waterstonesweb/products/paula+hawkins/the+girl+on+the+train/10789015/

 

Happy Reading Folks!

Liz Currently Loves….Near Enemy by Adam Sternbergh

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Publication Date: January 13th 2015 from Crown

Source: Netgalley

It’s a year after Shovel Ready. Persephone is ensconced with her newborn upstate; Simon the Magician is struggling to keep control of Harrow’s evangelical empire; and Spademan has accepted a seemingly routine job: to snuff out a no-good bed-hopper named Lesser. Lesser has been causing headaches all over the limnosphere, racking up enemies left and right.

I loved the first “Spademan” book – Shovel Ready –  (review here: http://lizlovesbooks.com/lizlovesbooks/liz-currently-loves-shovel-ready-by-adam-sternbergh/ ) and if anything this one was even better. Now I adore Spademan with the fiery passion known only to avid readers. Not QUITE so fond of the author however after that ending…which was brilliant in its simplicity.

Anyway, back to the point. In this instalment, Spademan is hired to kill a bed hopper named Lesser, but when he gets there Lesser has a story to tell that gives Spademan pause for thought – and plunges him into another adventure, the usual total mayhem and intriguing decision making.

What I love most about these books is definitely the main protagonist – morally ambiguous at best, but extremely loveable, Spademan definitely rocks the world of fiction. Backed up by some other terrifically well drawn characters, steeped in a well imagined and intelligent mythology, the storytelling is fantastic and highly addictive. The writing really pops off the page – a kind of staccato rhythm to it that draws you in and keeps you there, it flows along at a tremendous pace with barely a pause for breath.

The lines between fantasy and reality blur in this world, where you can enter a dreamlike state and do pretty much whatever you like, even peep in on other peoples dreams – whilst being watched over  by people keeping you fed and watered so you never have to leave if you choose not to. It is a clever little plot twist that allows a smoke and mirrors type effect on the whole drama unfolding and some of the most exciting portions of Near Enemy take place in this netherworld – it is all a great deal of fun.

As Spademan uncovers a plot which may change everything you will hang onto every word, and be totally immersed in this world. The character building is superb – I am really quite fond of previous enemy Simon the Magician – his interaction and ever changing relationship with Spademan is witty and engaging – and Persephone also gets a lot more depth here.

Overall then a terrific follow up – definitely NOT suffering from “Second book syndrome” and I am very annoyed that I’ll probably have to wait a while to find out whats next. Real Readers Problems.

Highly Recommended

Find out more here :  http://adamsternbergh.com/

Follow the author on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/sternbergh

Pre-Order Information: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Near-Enemy-Adam-Sternbergh/dp/1472216199/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1415708637&sr=1-1&keywords=near+enemy+adam+sternbergh

Happy Reading Folks!

 

Liz Currently Loves…Friends to Die For by Hilary Bonner

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Publication Date: Available Now from Macmillan

Source: Netgalley

Friends: can you really trust them? A group of friends living in London’s Covent Garden are subjected to the whims of a dangerous prankster. At first, whilst disturbing, the tricks are funny. But as they continue they become more serious and violent, until finally someone lies dead. As the remaining friends struggle to manage their grief and identify the culprit, suspicion soon falls close to home and secrets furtively kept hidden are brought to light. Alliances are formed, and the once-cosy group begins to turn on each other. Could one of them really be capable of murder?  

An extremely addictive story this one, following a group of friends who meet up regularly forming a “Sunday Club” – when they start to become the victims of pranks which grow ever more sinister, it becomes apparent that there is a murderer in their midst…

I thoroughly enjoyed this one – a brilliant cast of eclectic characters can be found here, all brought together in friendship over a period of time but about to be torn apart by a wicked prankster. Initially fairly funny (I did have a huge giggle at Mr Tickle) then steadily getting more and more dangerous, the friends struggle to cope with the strange occurrences and begin to view each other with increasing suspicion.

Very cleverly constructed as we move between the friends and ultimately the police investigation, there are lots of lovely little twists and turns to keep you involved and as things get steadily more horrific, there is an intense build up of tension that keeps you turning the pages and the further in you get the more you will be desperate to find out whodunnit and why. A terrific book for guessing the culprit, there is some wonderful misdirection and yet the clues are all there for you, as the reader, to unravel. The sign of a great mystery novel.

The characters are all great fun, you would definitely want to know them in real life (well apart from one of course!). I particularly liked Vogel, the detective trying to unravel the mayhem and all of the friends have their own little quirks which you will relate to. There are some emotional moments as well as some very exciting ones – plus Ms Bonner manages to put you right into the action with a great sense of place, Covent garden really comes to life.

Overall this is a great example of when Crime Fiction works REALLY well – engaging, intelligent and a darn good yarn.

Highly Recommended.

Find out more here: http://www.hilarybonner.com/

Follow the author on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/Hilary_Bonner

Purchase Information: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Friends-Die-Hilary-Bonner/dp/023076665X/ref=sr_1_1_twi_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1415624121&sr=1-1&keywords=friends+to+die+for

 

Happy Reading Folks!

 

New Release Spotlight: The Zig Zag Girl by Elly Griffiths.

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Publication Date: Available now from Quercus

Source: Publisher Review Copy.

Brighton, 1950.
When the body of a girl is found, cut into three, Detective Inspector Edgar Stephens is reminded of a magic trick, the Zig Zag Girl.
The inventor of the trick, Max Mephisto, is an old friend of Edgar’s. They served together in the war as part of a shadowy unit called the Magic Men.

I’m a fan of Elly Griffiths Ruth Galloway novels so was really looking forward to diving into this one, a standalone novel inspired by her Grandfather.

I loved it. Beautifully written to give a sense of the time, a terrific mystery story and a wonderful flow, plus some great characters made this a really really fun read.

Edgar, Max and the so called “Magic Men” are a fascinating and eclectic bunch, brought back together by a strange murder that mimicks an old magic trick – The Zig Zag Girl. As Edgar investigates he looks to Max to help him work out what is going on and their friendship is rekindled.

There was a delightful old school feel to the prose, very different from the Galloway novels – Christie-esque in style to suit the era, despite the violence it is quite a gentle read. in some ways and Ms Griffiths has caught the sense of the theatre community brilliantly. The glamorous and the less glamourous side merge to give a realistic feeling to it all,  you can almost imagine yourself right there. The back story involving the Magic Men during the war is evocative and intriguing as well – and the mystery element is well imagined as the author brings the two strands together to paint a full picture.

This is definitely one of my favourite mystery novels of the year so far, clever misdirection, a very enchanting look at the world of magic and a captivating and compelling story means that this definitely comes Highly Recommended from me.

Find out more here: http://www.ellygriffiths.co.uk/index.html

Follow the author on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/ellygriffiths

Purchase Information: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Zig-Zag-Girl-Elly-Griffiths/dp/1848669852/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1415258483&sr=1-1&keywords=the+zig+zag+girl+elly+griffiths

 

Happy Reading Folks!

 

Liz Currently Loves….Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer.

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Publication Date: Available now from Fourth Estate

Source: Purchased Copy

For thirty years, Area X has remained mysterious, remote, and concealed by the government as an environmental disaster zone even though it is to all appearances pristine wilderness. For thirty years, too, the secret agency known as the Southern Reach has monitored Area X and sent in expeditions to try to discover the truth. Some expeditions have suffered terrible consequences. Others have reported nothing out of the ordinary. Now, as Area X seems to be changing and perhaps expanding, the next expedition will attempt to succeed where all others have failed. What is happening in Area X? What is the true nature of the invisible border that surrounds it?

Blimey this was a creepy read! Really really good – after I finished it late last night it played on my mind for quite a while and sleep didnt come easy.. the sign of a good book as far as I am concerned.

We follow a group of women on an expedition to explore “Area X” – told from the point of view of one of them, the Biologist, the story creeps up on you, slowly building the tension as she tries to unravel the mystery that is this beautiful and yet dangerous place.

This is so cleverly constructed – for a start none of the characters have names, they are known simply from their job title within the group and for some reason this sets you on edge immediately – like the place they are investigating they have no anchor. You may think this makes it hard to relate to them, but strangely it makes them very very real, even if it is hard to get a sense of any of them bar the narrator. Seen solely through the eyes of one, the others take on an almost mystical quality, very much like Area X itself, where both everything and nothing could be real.

Speculative fiction at its best for sure – it is very hard to review to be honest, I would hate to give anything away, it is almost impossible to put down once you start. Another reviewer (writer J Lindoln Fenn)  called it “So addictive the FDA should investigate” and that covers it nicely. Add to that Stephen King calling it “creepy and fascinating” and there you go. I would agree with both of those sentiments and add my own – Beware reading this one in the depths  of night, you will almost certainly start jumping at shadows.

The descriptive prose is beautiful and deadly, setting the reader up for some genuinely scary moments and also some thought provoking ones. The Biologist herself is an appealing yet often unlikeable character and by the time I got to the end of it I was covered in goosebumps. That probably says it all.

Never have I been so pleased to have the next two books in the “Southern Reach” trilogy to hand already – I have started Authority, in fact did so first thing this morning and so far it is absolutely living up to the promise of Annihilation. Can I hope that the author will eventually answer all my burning questions about the nature of Area X? We’ll see – watch this space (although I’m not going to tell you!)

Highly Highly Recommended for fans of creepy, clever and addictive stories.

Find out more here: http://www.jeffvandermeer.com/

Follow the author on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/jeffvandermeer

Purchase Information: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Annihilation-Southern-Reach-Trilogy-VanderMeer-ebook/dp/B00EN5LEMG/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1415184455&sr=1-3&keywords=southern+reach

 

Also Available:

 

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A final note: The Hardback versions of the whole trilogy are beautiful. A great addition to any book collectors shelf.

Happy Reading Folks!

 

Why We Write – Drop in Feature. Guest Post from Joan Ellis.

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I write because I love it, because the characters need to tell their stories and because, after Mum went to hell and back to teach me to spell, it was the least I could do.

 

As a kid I dreaded spelling tests but I did my best. What more could my teacher, Sister Mary Francis ask?

 

Quite a lot apparently.

 

‘Nought out of ten, again, Joan Ellis. You are a stupid girl.’

 

Ten wrong spellings, ten red crosses. And judging by the nun’s expression, they weren’t kisses.

 

Not wanting to lose face, I shouted, ‘My Mummy says you don’t know how to teach!’

 

It was true, Mum had uttered those fateful words but, in fairness, she had never intended her comment for broadcast.

 

‘Mother Superior will want to see your mother tomorrow,’ Sister Mary Francis roared. ‘Be sure to tell her.’

 

I went home, ate three jam tarts and said nothing.

 

Next morning in assembly, Mother Superior announced, ‘Joan Ellis, don’t forget; I shall see your mother today after school.’

 

My teacher smirked and I wet myself. I spent the rest of the day sporting a pair of cavernous navy pants from Lost Property. I decided not to dwell on who the original owner might have been as I waited for Mum. Blissfully unaware of her fate, she arrived wearing her fake ocelot coat, Mary Quant mini-skirt, red lipstick and silver eye-shadow.

 

‘Good God!’ I thought, adding blasphemy to my many sins.

 

It was hard to imagine how she could have been more inappropriately attired. At least her fur coat skimmed her knees and I thanked Heaven for small mercies.

 

Together with my wet knickers, I gave her the good news – she had been summoned to the Headmistress’ office. As she sashayed into battle in her patent stilettos, I knew she would walk it.

 

Eventually, she reappeared flushed but victorious having told the Head that children learned through play, in a stimulating environment. I put my hand in hers and squeezed hard. She was my Mum and she was fab.

 

‘Shouldn’t have done that,’ she said shakily. ‘You’ll never get to play the Virgin Mary in the Nativity now. Dammit.’

 

‘Ssch!’ I scolded sure a bolt of lightening would strike her down.

 

‘Shame you weren’t so fussy about what you said yesterday.’

 

I returned to school to find they’d followed Mum’s advice and my once boring classroom had been transformed into a creative space, awash with colour.

 

Even homework became a game with Mum getting me to practice my spellings on the back of our unused rolls of wallpaper. When she tested me, she let me scrawl the words on her Formica-topped table. After ticking them, she simply wiped the table clean.

 

Never mind turning water into wine, I had turned into a candidate for the national spelling-bee. Praise the Lord!

 

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The Killing of Mummy's Boy (psychological thriller):
 
' I slit someone's throat,' the man told the woman on the 4.20 from Waterloo to Portsmouth.'
 
Two strangers meet. One shared interest. Murder. Ben slit a man's throat. Sandra's son saw a stabbing and is on a Witness Protection Programme. 
When Sandra discovers she’s being stalked, she turns to the least likely person for help, with terrifying consequences.
 
 
I am Ella. Buy me: [chick lit] 'I am a ginger tom. I am a boy racer. I am a housewife. I am a pain in the arse.'
 
Ella is Bridget jones meets Peggy from Mad Men. Working in Soho's made, bad Adland in the sexist 80s, she is a rare beast - a woman in a man's world, dodging her sleazy 
boss. Based on Joan's experiences as a copywriter in top London advertising agencies, this funny, fast-paced tale is set against a backdrop of Thatcher's Britain where 
money trumps morals. Can two unlikely friendships help her go from a girl in the firing line to a woman calling the shots?
 
 
A bit about Joan
 
Award-winning advertising copywriter, comedy writer, performer, lecturer - Joan Ellis has been them all. With a full-time job in a top London advertising agency and 
a new baby, she did what any right-minded woman would've done and set up a comedy club. She even appeared on the same bill as Jo Brand. Once.
 
A career highlight was casting a black and white moggie as Humphrey Bogart for her award-winning cat food commercial. Other great performers who brought her 
words to life include Penelope Keith and Harry Enfield.
 
As a lecturer, Joan taught comedian Noel Fielding all he knows about advertising before encouraging him to showcase his talents on a wider stage.
Working for The Press Association, she tutored Wordsworth's
great-grandson in the art of copywriting: Buy a host of golden daffodils and get a blue one, free!
She was a lecturer in PR and Advertising at Bournemouth University.
 
Suffering from swine flu and sweating like a pig, she moved from London to her beloved Isle of Wight where she writes and eats cream teas with her long-suffering 
husband, daughter and cat. 
 
She recently launched her books at The Ventnor Fringe and the Isle of Wight Literary Festival.
 
www.joan-ellis.com

 

Purchase Information: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Joan-Ellis/e/B00LZL6XKE/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_3?qid=1415088425&sr=1-3

 

Liz Currently Loves….The Prophecy of Bees by R S Pateman.

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Publication Date: 20th November 2014 from Orion.

Source: Publisher Advance Review Copy.

When Lindy, a recently widowed American expat, buys a large manor house in the Cotswolds, she thinks it’s the fresh start she and her wayward daughter Izzy need. Stagcote Manor is a large, rambling house with a rich history and Lindy is thrilled at the prospect of their new life there.  When Izzy begins to investigate the history of the house, her unease soon darkens to fear as the manor’s dark past finally comes to light.

I thoroughly enjoyed this story – a haunting and clever read, intriguing characterisation and a flowing engaging tale following Lindy and Izzy as they move into a new home and discover the myths and legends surrounding it.

Izzy is annoyed and upset at having to move to the country, having had some problems her Mother decides a new start is in order. Stagcote Manor may not be the best choice however, as a dark curse apparently haunts those who live there…

The theme of Superstition and belief is very well done here – how much our own beliefs influence us, how sometimes seemingly small things can change our perspective – I found it fascinating stuff as Izzy, starting off with a sceptical point of view, is slowly but surely drawn down the rabbit hole and becomes more and more convinced that she and Lindy are in grave danger. The author weaves a web around her, allowing different interpretations of events and grounding the tale in reality whilst leaving open endless possibiities.

I have to say that I did not always like Izzy – she often came across as an entitled brat but she also has a sympathetic side – a troubled teen who takes her frustrations out on her long suffering Mother, the relationship between this pair is one of the best things about the story. Even taking away the more mystical aspects, as a snapshot view it is also a coming of age tale. Izzy is forced by a series of seemingly odd happenings to grow up and develop a better appreciation of Lindy and the sacrifices she has made.

Added to that there is the village and its occupants – the author manages to create a tense and off kilter atmosphere to the community as a whole, again allowing Izzy to tell the tale but the reader to interpret for themselves – they are a strange and eclectic bunch with old and far reaching traditions that pull Izzy and her family ever further into the mire. The tension racks up in a very addictive and creepy way, the sense of place is simply terrific, I was left with a distinctly uneasy feeling every time I put this down to do something else. Also in my opinion, the ending was absolutely perfect, I shook my head as I finally put this aside then picked it up and read the end again…always a good sign.

For me this was a bit like  a homage to “The Wicker Man” ( the movie based on Ritual by David Piner)  – that was what it put me in mind of while I was reading, even though the two tales are VERY different,  atmospherically speaking the pervading sense of menace it induced in me as a reader was very much the same as I experienced years ago watching the fantastic Edward Woodward trying to untangle the minutae of Summerisle – so in a way this was a nostalgic read, old school storytelling at its best.

Overall then an excellent reading experience that could be marketed as Young Adult or Adult and would definitely be enjoyed by both – Recommended for fans of mystery with a magical edge.

Find out more here: http://rspateman.com/

Follow the author on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/rspateman

Pre – Order information: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Prophecy-Bees-R-S-Pateman/dp/140912861X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1414933284&sr=1-1&keywords=the+prophecy+of+bees

Also Available:

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Happy Reading Folks!