WWW Wednesdays #13: Weekly Reading Update

Hi everyoneHappy Wednesday(after a long time!) and welcome to my weekly reading update post or the WWW Wednesdays. It’s been a long time since I posted my last WWW Wednesdays update and my blog posts have been pretty sporadic as well. I’m mostly active on Instagram these days and have two giveaways going on (on) my feed. Without any further ado, let me tell you what I’ve been reading this week and what I intend to read next.


WWW Wednesdays: Weekly Reading Update
WWW Wednesday is a meme formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived on Taking On a World of Words.

WWW Wednesday takes place every Wednesday, where bloggers discuss their 3 Ws:

  1. What are you currently reading?
  2. What did you recently finish reading?
  3. What do you think you’ll read next?
WWW Wednesdays #11: Weekly Reading Update

Currently Reading
The Vanished Bride by Bella Ellis

I’m currently eyeing The Vanished Bride, gifted by Berkley, as my next read. I’ll start it as soon as I finish writing this post and a review. The story is about Charlotte Brontë, Emily Brontë, and Anne Brontë before they became famous writers. It’s described as a “charming historical mystery” and I can’t wait to read it!

Finished Reading
The Lying Room by Nicci French

My last read was The Lying Room by author duo Nicci French and it was gifted by William Morrow. This was my first Nicci French and I had high hopes for this one but it fell flat. I was not “hooked” throughout and had problems with the characters as well. The twist was unexpected and I loved that “shock” element but overall, it was kind of underwhelming.

Reading Next
The Bone Houses by Emily Lloyd-Jones

I think I’ll pick up The Bone Houses by Emily Lloyd-Jones after I finish The Vanished Bride. I got it in my Owlcrate September rep box(Use RAMBLER10 for 10% discount) and have planned to readalong with a couple of bookstagram folks.


Anyone noticed that the choices are perfect from Spooktober? It was a coincidence, well..not entirely.

Thank you for reading! What are you currently reading or have finished reading? Have you read any of the titles I’ve listed? If not, do you want to read any of them? Let me know in the comments below!

Spooky October reads: The Widow of Pale Harbour by Hester Fox | Blog Tour

Spooky October reads: The Widow of Pale Harbour by Hester Fox | Blog Tour
The Widow of Pale Harbour by Hester Fox

The Widow of Pale Harbour by Hester Fox

Publication date: October 17th, 2019 
Publisher: HQ
Pages: 384
Genre: Fiction, Adult, Historical,Mystery
Buy: Book Depository | Wordery

Synopsis:

Her secret will tear the town apart.

Maine, 1846. Gabriel Stone is desperate to escape the ghosts that haunt him after his wife’s death, so he takes a position as a minister in the remote village of Pale Harbour.

But not all is as it seems in the sleepy town. Strange, unsettling things have been happening, and the townspeople claim that only one person can be responsible: Sophronia Carver, a reclusive widow who lives in the decaying Castle Carver. Sophronia must be a witch, and she almost certainly killed her husband.

As the incidents escalate, one thing becomes clear: they are the work of a madman inspired by the wildly popular stories of Mr. Edgar Allan Poe. And Gabriel must find answers, or Pale Harbour will suffer a fate worthy of Poe’s darkest tales.

– My Thoughts –

A town gripped by fear.
A woman accused of witchcraft.
Who can save Pale Harbor from itself?
 

It should come as no surprise that I loved The Widow of Pale Harbour, probably as much as I did the author’s debut The Witch of Willow Hall. It is perfect for spooky October even though it’s more on the mystery side.

Set in 1846, Pale Harbour, Maine, the story starts with a young widow Sophronia who lives with her maid/companion Helen in a daunting mansion called Castle Carver. Sophronia spends her days reading submissions for her magazine, drinking tea and taking short walks around her property.

Soon, a mysterious man called Gabriel Stone arrives in this quiet village to escape from the memories of his past. Gabriel arrives as a transcendentalist minister but he feels like a fraud. When everyone starts warning Gabriel about Sophronia, he becomes intrigued by the strong woman he sees. However, someone is not quite happy seeing Sophronia’s happiness; soon, dead things and cryptic messages start arriving at Sophronia’s doorstep. Things start to escalate from dead animal carcasses to murder where all evidence points to Sophronia as the main suspect.

If you liked The Witch of Willow Hall, then don’t waste any time picking this up. The Widow of Pale Harbour has a murder mystery and romance which combined with the setting and eery atmosphere in the book makes this a page-turner. In the beginning, the plot takes time to build up but that anticipation proves fruitful. I loved Sophronia who has been mistreated a lot but despite that, she manages to aid others in need. Gabriel is yet another favourite character -okay, yes..that might be because he’s a hunky priest- and I loved watching his and Sophronia’s relationship bloom. He doesn’t lie to Sophronia, respects her boundaries(Is it really that hard?) and even after hearing about the times he was wronged.. he didn’t bear ill will for that person. You know what? They were freaking perfect for each other. Broken in different ways and yet they were the ones who could piece each other together.

I also loved the friendship between Tom and Gabriel; Tom was a perfect addition to the plot during its darker transition. Then there’s the relationship between Helen and Sophronia.. which was complicated but very intriguing.

Overall, I would highly recommend this book if you’re looking for a gothic murder mystery/romance with a twist of Poe‘s words in it. If you’re looking for a fall read, then pick up this beauty and dive into the haunting story. Hester Fox is already on my list of auto-buy authors and I can’t wait to read her next book!

Thanks to the publisher for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

Also, thanks to HQ for including me in The Widow of Pale Harbour blog tour! Please take a look at the blog schedule and visit all the other lovely bloggers in this tour.

– About the Author –

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. Please visit Hester Fox here to learn more


Thank you for reading! Have you read Hester Fox’s debut? Or, Will you add The Widow of Pale Harbour to your TBR? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

What happens when you find out the child you gave birth to isn’t really yours.. find out in The Swap by Fiona Mitchell

What happens when you find out the child you gave birth to isn't really yours.. find out in The Swap by Fiona Mitchell
The Swap by Fiona Mitchell

The Swap

Publication date: September 19th, 2019 
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Pages: 304
Genre: Fiction
Buy: Book Depository | Wordery

Synopsis:

What would you do if you found out your child wasn’t yours? Two women. Two children. But whose is whose?

When two strangers, Tess and Annie, undergo IVF at an American clinic, their embryos are mixed up and each woman gives birth to the wrong child. And whilst they are ignorant to this fact something has always felt a bit ‘off’ in regards to their children.

The women only discover the devastating error three years later, after one of them is involved in an accident. Tess will do anything in her power to swap the children back; Annie doesn’t want to. As the pair wrangle, neither of them expect what unfolds.

This is a novel full of the complexities of how what happens when things can go wrong with IVF and the impact this can have on so many people. The moral issue about whose is whose child, the right versus the wrong and nature verses nurture. This is a powerful and thought provoking novel about making the best decision for your children no matter how painful that can be.

– My Thoughts –

The Swap is a story of two women separated by oceans but connected by their children.

Tess Rossi, a 40-something british woman, couldn’t be more different from Annie, a wannabe American artist; yet, fate brought them closer together during an IVF transfusion. Tess and Annie have always felt that there was something “off” about their kids. It wasn’t until Tess got into a car accident with her two kids that the truth saw light. It wasn’t until Tess was informed by a nurse that Freddie – Tess’s son – was not genetically hers.

When Annie receives the news that her daughter Willow isn’t genetically hers, she doesn’t want to get in touch with the other family involved in this swap. However, after an emotional interaction, Annie can’t stop herself from meeting her “son”. What follows next is an emotional meeting where both Tess and Annie will have to make some very important decisions that could change all of their lives.

An IVF mixup has happened before and it’s traumatic, to say the least. The process of IVF itself is not a walk in the park and on top of that, these women had their embryos swapped without their knowledge. I can’t imagine the maelstorm of emotions that the family -especially the women and the children involved- have to go through. This is a wonderfully engrossing story that made me emotional at times. However, I expected the ending to be a bit more sensational but that’s just a personal preference.

Overall, I would recommend this book if you’re looking for a thought provoking read or a interesting book for your book club!

Thanks to the publisher for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

Many Thanks to Hodder and Stoughton for including me in this blog tour! I’m seriously late in posting my review so please accept my apologies for the late posting!

– About the Author

Fiona Mitchell is an award-winning writer and has worked as a journalist for many years. She spent almost three years living in Singapore and now lives in London with her husband and daughter. Her debut novel The Maid’s Room was published in 2017.

Thank you for reading! Have you read any similar stories where characters have been switched before or after birth? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

Blog Tour: The Christmas Holiday, written by Sophie Claire | ARC Review

Blog Tour: The Christmas Holiday, written by Sophie Claire | ARC Review
The Christmas Holiday, written by Sophie Claire

The Christmas Holiday

Publication date: October 3rd, 2019 
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Pages: 384
Genre: Holiday Romance
Buy: Book Depository | Wordery

Synopsis:

A charming Christmas story, with a European twist, of how love can surface in the unlikeliest of places. From an exciting new voice in festive fiction.

Can a trip away lead you home?

After a bad break-up, eternal optimist Evie Miller has moved to the small village of Willowbrook to finally pursue her dream of opening a craft shop. Unfortunately, with money worries and an ex- boyfriend determined to track her down, her fresh start isn’t going entirely to plan.

Jake Hartwood is also looking to escape his past. Haunted by the loss of his wife, he’s determined not to get close to anyone again – and the last thing he wants is to be celebrating this December.

Hoping to avoid the festivities, Evie and Jake arrange to escape Christmas together as friends in Provence. But can they avoid the magic of the season from changing things between them?

And what happens if one of them starts to feel something more?

– My Thoughts –

The Christmas Holiday is a beautiful Christmas romance about love, loss, grief and the struggle to comes to terms with it and moving forward.

The story is about Evie Miller who has recently moved into a small village of Willowbrook and has set up her fabric and sewing shop, leaving behind her cheating fiancé and dreaded job. Although Evie is talented at what she does, she is facing financial problems this Christmas; it certainly doesn’t help when her ex-fiancé Tom keeps harassing her and her parents keep trying to persuade to give up her shop and give Tom another chance. Evie doesn’t give up and instead starts making fitted curtains to give her finances a boost.

When Evie visits a client’s home -a local manor house- for fitting curtains, she encounters the rude owner(her client) and his wonderful dog Smoke. Jake Hartwood is inebriated and is in no mood for company..especially not cheery and bright Evie. Jake specifically chose this place to be alone and away from his family, to grieve for the loss of his beloved wife, Maria. Jake doesn’t like Evie’s colourful personality and her easy optimism, he goes as far as calling her ‘Pollyanna’. Jake, however, doesn’t know that Evie’s life is not all rainbows and sunshine; she’s still grieving for her dead sister Zara, her self-esteem has been thoroughly butchered by her ex-fiancé Tom who has even followed her to her village.

Jake’s friend offers him the use of a villa in France and Jake readily agrees as this holiday season, he wants to be far away from home. Evie loves Christmas but it seems this year her family wants them to spend the holiday with Tim’s family. Rescue comes in the way of Jake’s sister who suggests Jake take Evie with him to France. Jake and Evie slowly start becoming friends but will it develop into something more? Will Jake ever be able to escape the clutches of his grief over losing his wife?

Overall, I would highly recommend this book but if you’re looking for a beautifully written Christmas romance that’ll warm your cold, dead heart(like mine). Before diving into this, I had thought this would be a silly, cheesy romance(nothing wrong with that) but this had so much depth with wonderful and relatable characters(including an adorable dalmatian). Christmas seems like a cheery season but it can be depressingly lonely and this book shows exactly that..Furthermore, it shows us that if only we allow ourselves to be open, we find ourselves not so alone after all.

Thanks to the publisher for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

Many Thanks to Hodder and Stoughton for including me in this blog tour! Please have a look at the banner and visit the other bloggers on this tour.

About the Author

Sophie Claire, born to a French mother and Scottish father, grew up in Manchester where she still lives with her husband and two sons. She writes stories centred around sunny Provence, where she spent her summers as a child.

Thank you for reading! Do you like reading Christmas romances? Do you have any recommendations? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

BOOKSTAGRAM & CREATIVE BLOG TOUR: Shadow Frost(Shadow Frost #1) by Coco Ma

BOOKSTAGRAM & CREATIVE BLOG TOUR: Shadow Frost(Shadow Frost #1) by Coco Ma
Shadow Frost(Shadow Frost #1) by Coco Ma

Shadow Frost 

Publication date: October 1st, 2019 
Publisher: Blackstone Publishing
Pages: 400
Genre: YA Fantasy
Buy:Book Depository | Wordery | Blackstone Publishing | Amazon

Synopsis:

IN A WORLD OF MAGIC, NOTHING IS EVER AS IT SEEMS …

From young author Coco Ma comes a dazzling new tale of adventure, power, and betrayal, weaving together a stunning world of magic with a killer cast in an explosive, unforgettable debut.


IN THE KINGDOM OF AXARIA, a darkness rises. Some call it a monster, laying waste to the villagers and their homes. Some say it is an invulnerable demon summoned from the deepest abysses of the Immortal Realm. Many soldiers from the royal guard are sent out to hunt it down. Not one has ever returned.

When Asterin Faelenhart, Princess of Axaria and heir to the throne, discovers that she may hold the key to defeating the mysterious demon terrorizing her kingdom, she vows not to rest until the beast is slain. With the help of her friends and the powers she wields — though has yet to fully understand — Asterin sets out to complete a single task. The task that countless, trained soldiers have failed.

To kill it.

But as they hunt for the demon, they unearth a plot to assassinate the Princess herself instead. Asterin and her companions begin to wonder how much of their lives have been lies, especially when they realize that the center of the web of deceit might very well be themselves. With no one else to turn to, they are forced to decide just how much they are willing to sacrifice to protect the only world they have ever known.

That is, of course… if the demon doesn’t get to them first.

– My Thoughts –

Instead of writing a review, I’m going to list Five Reasons You Should read Shadow Frost:

I) If you love stories with multiple point-of-views

II) If you love stories about a group of misfits

III) If you love stories about princesses kicking ass and taking names!

IV) If you love quality banter!

V) If you love stories about demons wreaking havoc and gods meddling as usual

Overall, I found this debut fantasy by Coco Ma very promising and deliciously fun! Thanks to MTMC tours for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

– About the Author –

C.E. Clayton

Coco Ma is a Canadian-Chinese author and pianist. She wrote her first novel, Shadow Frost, at the age of 15. Since she began playing the piano at the age of five and a half, she has also performed on some of the world’s greatest concert stages and graduated with a pre-college diploma in piano performance from The Juilliard School in New York City. Currently, she studies at Yale University. When she isn’t practicing piano, writing, or studying, you might find her bingeing Netflix or eating cake. Lots of cake.

Website | Goodreads | Instagram | Twitter

INTL Tour-Wide Giveaway

Head over to my Instagram account for a chance to win one of THREE prize packs that include: One hardcover copy of Shadow Frost + Blackstone tote bag! Open INTL!
(And don’t miss out the rest of the tour stops to get more chances to win!!!)

Tour Schedule

September 23
@thereaderandthechef – Bookstagram + Blog

September 24
@ve_xo – Bookstagram

September 25
@paperfury – Bookstagram + Blog

September 26
@thebibliolife – Bookstagram

September 27
@morrighanrose – Bookstagram + Blog

September 28
@_ckarys – Bookstagram

September 29
@novelknight – Bookstagram + Blog

September 30
@old.enough.for.fairytales – Bookstagram

September 1
@book_rambler – Bookstagram + Blog

September 2
@b.b.lynnreads – Bookstagram

Hosted by:

Thank you for reading! Have you read Shadow Frost? Are you excited to read it? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!