BLOG TOUR | Excerpt: People of Abandoned Character by Clare Whitfield

Hi everyone! Today I’m excited to participate in the blog tour for People of Abandoned Character written by Clare Whitfield, published by Head of Zeus and hosted by Midas PR. If you’re looking to read a unique take on the story of Jack the Ripper and revisit Victorian London, then look no further. Thanks to the publisher for sharing an excerpt from the story!

Continue reading “BLOG TOUR | Excerpt: People of Abandoned Character by Clare Whitfield”

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!

Blog Tour: The Tenth Girl, written by Sara Faring | ARC Review & Giveaway

Blog Tour: The Tenth Girl, written by Sara Faring | ARC Review & Giveaway
The Tenth Girl, written by Sara Faring | ARC Review & Giveaway

The Tenth Girl by Sara Faring

Publication date: September 24th, 2019 
Publisher: Imprint
Pages: 464
Genre: Young Adult, Horror, Mystery
Buy: Book Depository | WorderyAmazon | B&N 

Synopsis:

Simmering in Patagonian myth, The Tenth Girl is a gothic psychological thriller with a haunting twist.
At the very southern tip of South America looms an isolated finishing school. Legend has it that the land will curse those who settle there. But for Mavi—a bold Buenos Aires native fleeing the military regime that took her mother—it offers an escape to a new life as a young teacher to Argentina’s elite girls.
Mavi tries to embrace the strangeness of the imposing house—despite warnings not to roam at night, threats from an enigmatic young man, and rumors of mysterious Others. But one of Mavi’s ten students is missing, and when students and teachers alike begin to behave as if possessed, the forces haunting this unholy cliff will no longer be ignored.
One of these spirits holds a secret that could unravel Mavi’s existence. In order to survive she must solve a cosmic mystery—and then fight for her life.

– My Thoughts –

The Tenth Girl, written by Sara Faring quote

The Tenth Girl is described as a gothic horror set in a creepy boarding school in Patagonia. I was so looking forward to this book and it was good but failed to leave a lasting impression on me.

The story has two timelines told by two narrators; one is our young teacher Mavi and the other is a mysterious being named Angel. For Mavi, this school is her salvation as she’s got nowhere to go and even though she’s been warned of a curse on this school, she ignores it. Upon her arrival, she notices that the house..rather, the mansion is not normal. She’s advised to stay in her room at night and not to wander around the house. We’re constantly reminded of the creepiness of the mansion on top of the complete isolation and the near arctic atmosphere.

Soon, Mavi finds a student missing and strange things start happening in the house that forces Mavi to rethink the warnings she received before arriving.

The Tenth Girl, written by Sara Faring quote

I love the atmosphere the author created in this book. You’ll get chills from thinking about a dilapidated house in the middle of nowhere. Even the house, it seems, has a mind of its own..so it doesn’t matter if you’re outside or inside: You’re not safe. This is own voices for Latinx representation and includes tidbits of real-life stories from the author’s family members living under the oppressive rule in 1970’s Argentina. This book also includes mythology from an indigenous group based in modern Patagonia and it adds a horror element to the story. The twist that came in the end was so unexpected that I had to go back and re-read the last pages again. I have conflicting feelings about this twist; it was unique and asks more moral questions of us but I’m not sure how I feel about it just yet.

Overall, I would recommend this book If you want to read a young adult debut with horror elements, that has a very twisted climax. Despite my conflicted feelings about this book, I’ll definitely keep an eye on Sara Faring’s upcoming titles.

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

– About the Author –

Sara Faring

Born in Los Angeles, Sara Faring is a multi-lingual Argentine-American fascinated by literary puzzles. After working in investment banking at J.P. Morgan, she worked at Penguin Random House. She holds degrees from the University of Pennsylvania in International Studies and from the Wharton School in Business. She currently resides in New York City.

Her first novel, The Tenth Girl, will be released by Macmillan/Imprint on September 24, 2019. Sara is represented by Sarah Bedingfield at Levine Greenberg Rostan Agency.

Website | Goodreads |  Twitter

– Giveaway – 

Win a copy of The Tenth Girl by Sara Faring; ends on 2nd October. Just click on the button below to enter:

Tour Schedule : Click on this link to view the entire tour schedule! 

Love and Feminism go hand-in-hand in Bringing Down the Duke(A League of Extraordinary Women #1), written by Evie Dunmore

Love and Feminism go hand-in-hand in Bringing Down the Duke, written by Evie Dunmore
Bringing Down The Duke by Evie Dunmore

Bringing Down The Duke by Evie Dunmore

Publication date: September 3rd, 2019 
Publisher: Piatkus, Berkley
Pages: 320
Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance
Buy:Book Depository | Wordery

Synopsis:

A stunning debut for author Evie Dunmore and her Oxford Rebels, in which a fiercely independent vicar’s daughter takes on a duke in a fiery love story that threatens to upend the British social order.
England, 1879. Annabelle Archer, the brilliant but destitute daughter of a country vicar, has earned herself a place among the first cohort of female students at the renowned University of Oxford. In return for her scholarship, she must support the rising women’s suffrage movement. Her charge: recruit men of influence to champion their cause. Her target: Sebastian Devereux, the cold and calculating Duke of Montgomery who steers Britain’s politics at the Queen’s command. Her challenge: not to give in to the powerful attraction she can’t deny for the man who opposes everything she stands for.
Sebastian is appalled to find a suffragist squad has infiltrated his ducal home, but the real threat is his impossible feelings for green-eyed beauty Annabelle. He is looking for a wife of equal standing to secure the legacy he has worked so hard to rebuild, not an outspoken commoner who could never be his duchess. But he wouldn’t be the greatest strategist of the Kingdom if he couldn’t claim this alluring bluestocking without the promise of a ring…or could he?
Locked in a battle with rising passion and a will matching her own, Annabelle will learn just what it takes to topple a duke….

– My Thoughts –

Debut romances these days are knocking it out of the park. I can’t get enough of them and the latest book to have me addicted to it is none other than Bringing Down the Duke by Evie Dunmore!

Set during the time of the opening of the first women’s college at Oxford, Bringing Down the Duke brings a unique take on historical fiction. It combines a view of what would have been a Suffragist movement in Britain with a love story; a combination that proved utterly stimulating for me.

The story starts with our heroine Annabelle requesting permission from her cousin to attend women’s college at Oxford University. Annabelle is not a suffragist in the beginning, but she has to become one because of her receiving a scholarship from the National Society for Women’s Suffrage. This leads her right into the path of Duke Montgomery or Sebastian Devereux. To garner support for a movement, Anabelle and other suffragists need influential men like Sebastian’s backing. When Anabelle and her friends manage to infiltrate the duke’s household, Anabelle is surprised to find herself attracted to the Duke and his brain. Will Anabelle manage to bring the Duke down his pedestal or be knocked down herself?

Some may argue that there wasn’t enough romance and I should too…but I loved the change of pace. Besides the topic of feminism is so important because along with a host of other problems, women are still fighting for equality 🤦🏻‍♀️ Now imagine if there were no Suffragists..imagine if these women never spoke up….never fought for themselves and consequently for us, then where would we be now?

About the romance which is yet another beautiful thing about this book. It was slow-burning and perhaps, a touch of enemies-to-lovers too. I didn’t like the Duke most of the times because ,during those times, he would constantly(albeit not intentionally) remind Anabelle of her class. I loved the part where he and Anabelle would talk about books, democracy like equals..it’s rare to spot conversations like that in historical fiction.

Then there are the other characters in this book like Anabelle’s friends: Hattie, Catriona, Lucie who seemed so real that they leaped off of the page. Every conversation, every action was so well-written that I wasn’t bored for even one second. I devoured this book and wanted to be a fly on the wall or one of the characters so that I could live in the book.

Overall, I would highly recommend this book(as if it’s not already clear)!! I would recommend this if you love romance. If you don’t like historical fiction, even then I’d recommend you to try this one. It’s funny, witty, swoony and feminist!! This thirsty b#*ch also got a glimpse of the next book in this series(yes, Bringing Down is book one of a series!) which has the story of our suffragist Lucie and Tristan with the perfect cheekbones!! I can’t wait.

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

 About the Author 

Evie Dunmore

Debut author Evie Dunmore wrote BRINGING DOWN THE DUKE inspired by the magical scenery of Oxford and her passion for romance, women pioneers, and all things Victorian.
In her civilian life, she is a strategy consultant with a M.Sc. in Diplomacy from Oxford. Scotland and the great outdoors have a special place in her heart, so she can frequently be found climbing the Highlands and hunting for woolly tartan blanket bargains.

Evie lives in Europe and pours her fascination with 19th century Britain into her writing. She is a member of the British Romantic Novelists’ Association (RNA).

For more about the author, visit her Goodreads page, or follow her on Twitter.

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

Tale of two women separated by hemispheres but connected by plants | ARC Review: The Botanist’s Daughter by Kayte Nunn

Looking for a swoon-worthy summer romance? | ARC Review: Fake It Till You Break It by Jenn P. Nguyen

LINKS

Looking for a swoon-worthy summer romance? | ARC Review: Fake It Till You Break It by Jenn P. Nguyen
cover(Goodreads)

  BOOK DEPOSITORY ADD ON GOODREADS WORDERY

SYNOPSIS

Discovery. Desire. Deception. A wondrously imagined tale of two female botanists, separated by more than a century, in a race to discover a life-saving flower . . .

In Victorian England, headstrong adventuress Elizabeth takes up her late father’s quest for a rare, miraculous plant. She faces a perilous sea voyage, unforeseen dangers and treachery that threatens her entire family.

In present-day Australia, Anna finds a mysterious metal box containing a sketchbook of dazzling watercolours, a photograph inscribed ‘Spring 1886’ and a small bag of seeds. It sets her on a path far from her safe, carefully ordered life, and on a journey that will force her to face her own demons.

In this spellbinding botanical odyssey of discovery, desire and deception, Kayte Nunn has so exquisitely researched nineteenth-century Cornwall and Chile you can almost smell the fragrance of the flowers, the touch of the flora on your fingertips . . .

Should You read The Botanist’s Daughter by Kayte Nunn?

Anna was once again reminded of how extraordinarily long some plants had been around for, blooming, dying and blooming again across the centuries, seeds scattered on the wind, seedlings divided and shared, sold and replanted in foreign soil.

 The Botanist’s Daughter by Kayte Nunn is a story of two women, separated by generations and continents, and their connection with each other. The two protagonist’s are Elizabeth and Anna, both of whose perspectives show just how connected they are.

First, we see Anna in Sydney, Australia, as she watches builders work on her grandmother’s house and they find an antique and engraved box in between some bookshelves. On opening the box, Anna finds a sketchbook inside and some old seeds inside a pouch. The sketchbook reveals a multitude of plant sketches, drawn so intricately that it might as well be drawn by a 3D printer. Anna also finds a diary in which there’s a story about a woman named Marguerite who emmigrated to Australia with her child. The child, Anna will found out later, is none other than her great grandmother.

Next, we see Elizabeth’s POV as she mounts her late father’s stallion and races to a cove nearby. She contemplates on her father’s last words, when he told her..no, made her promise to retrieve a mysterious plant from Chile. Alas, it is Victorian England and Elizabeth had the “misfortune” of being a woman. However, Elizabeth prevails and after a small but firm discussion with her brother-in-law, she is ready for her journey to the southern hemisphere along with her maid Daisy.

In the past, Elizabeth successfully reaches Chile and discovers not only the native plant her father talked about but also a family of her own. Amidst all her happiness, Elizabeth didn’t forget her father’s warnings about a cunning man who would do anything to take the plant away from her. However, warnings are apparently no good against a madman.

In the present, Anna struggles with her past but she still wants to discover the connection of the sketchbook’s artist with her family. Will Anna’s search proove fruitful? Will Elizabeth’s last wishes be fulfilled after all these years?

I loved the dual narration, the pace and the plot of the story. The story basically comes full circle with Anna and you’ll know why if you ever read the book. The writing is pretty soothing. It transported me from Sydney(Australia) to Cornwall(England)to Chile(South America). I loved the characters very much, especially Anna, Daisy, and Elizabeth. Daisy was a loyal companion of Elizabeth until the very end. Anna and Elizabeth had botanic similarities and that was that. Elizabeth was the complete opposite to Anna and it contributed to her untimely demise. There are romantic elements present but they don’t draw your attention out from the family mystery that’s surrounding the novel.

Overall, I highly recommend this book if you love reading historical fiction, historical fiction with botanist themes and family mysteries.

Thanks to the publisher for providing me an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

VERDICT: 

Author: Connect with Author Kayte Nunn here.

  • Publisher: Orion Publishing Group
  • Publication Date: 18th April , 2019
  • Paperback: 390 Pages
Fake It Till You Break It by Jenn P. Nguyen

Will you read The Botanist’s Daughter ? If you have read it, then let me know if you liked it or not. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!