Friday, 22 October 2021

The Room In The Attic by Louise Douglas BLOG TOUR @LouiseDouglas3 @BoldwoodBooks @rararesources #TheRoomInTheAttic

 


A child who does not know her name…

In 1903 fishermen find a wrecked boat containing a woman, who has been badly beaten, and a young girl. An ambulance is sent for, and the two survivors are taken to All Hallows, the imposing asylum, hidden deep on Dartmoor. The woman remains in a coma, but the little girl, Harriet, awakens and is taken to an attic room, far away from the noise of the asylum, and is put in the care of Nurse Emma Everdeen.

Two motherless boys banished to boarding school…

In 1993, All Hallows is now a boarding school. Following his mother’s death and his father’s hasty remarriage, Lewis Tyler is banished to Dartmoor, stripped of his fashionable clothes, shorn of his long hair, and left feeling more alone than ever. There he meets Isak, another lost soul, and whilst refurbishment of the dormitories is taking place, the boys are marooned up in the attic, in an old wing of the school.

Cries and calls from the past that can no longer be ignored…

All Hallows is a building full of memories, whispers, cries from the past. As Lewis and Isak learn more about the fate of Harriet, and Nurse Emma’s desperate fight to keep the little girl safe, it soon becomes clear there are ghosts who are still restless.

Are they ghosts the boys hear at night in the room above, are they the unquiet souls from the asylum still caught between the walls? And can Lewis and Isak bring peace to All Hallows before the past breaks them first…



The Room in the Attic by Louise Douglas was published on 12 October 2021 by Boldwood Books. It was my intention to read and review the book for this Blog Tour, organised by Rachel's Random Resources today but my book has not yet arrived.

I'm sharing an extract from the book to whet your appetite and I will share my review just as soon as I've read the book.



Extract from The Room in the Attic by Louise Douglas

One

Lewis – September 2021

The night before I returned to All Hallows I dreamed I was walking barefoot along the attic corridor. As I passed the fourth door, I became aware of little fires burning in that dark room: on the rug, in the curtains and a dozen other places. I began to run, but the further I ran, the further the corridor stretched ahead of me and the more the fires burned, and I knew that I would never reach the end. There was no escape.

My wife woke me; a hand on my shoulder. ‘Lewis! Wake up! You’re having one of your nightmares.’

It took me a moment to bring myself back to the present: to our warm, untidy bedroom, pillows, a duvet; a wine glass on the bedside table; the dog snoring on his rug in the window bay. The room was dark, the city beyond still sleeping.
‘Sorry,’ I whispered. ‘Sorry to wake you,’ and I kissed my wife’s hand and slid out of bed and went downstairs to drink a glass of water in the kitchen.
It was 4 a.m. The dying hour. I sat at the table, moved aside our youngest son’s homework, and picked up the auction house catalogue that I’d left lying face-down on the table next to the fruit bowl.

I turned it over. The cover headline read: ‘Rare Redevelopment Opportunity’. Beneath it, the picture of a derelict building was captioned: ‘All Hallows. Grade II listed Victorian asylum/boarding school, outbuildings, 50 acres of walled grounds. Prime countryside location.’

There it was, in full colour: the same long, forbidding building with the bell tower at its centre that I revisited in my nightmares. If I looked hard enough, I could almost see through the windows to the pupils sitting at their desks in the classrooms: those ranks of boys in their brown sweaters and trousers, with identical close-shaven haircuts. I could almost smell the dust burning in the elbows of the big old radiators, hear the relentless ticking of the clocks on the walls. And there, outside, were young boys with their bony knees and striped socks, shivering as they grouped on the rugby field; the padded bumpers used to practise tackles laid out on the grass; the swagger of the sports master with his great, muscly thighs. ‘Three Rolls’, we used to call him because he walked as if he was carrying three rolls of wallpaper under each arm.

The auction had taken place a fortnight earlier, the building sold to clients of the firm of architects for whom I worked. If they’d asked my advice before the sale, I’d have told them not to buy it, but by the time the catalogue reached my desk, the paperwork had been signed, the deal was done.

I dropped my head into my hands.

I did not want to have to return to All Hallows. What I wanted was to speak to Isak, to hear his voice, and be rallied out of my anxiety by his dry humour. I picked up my phone and was on the point of calling him, but then I heard my mother whisper in my ear: Lewis, don’t. It’s not fair to disturb him, not at this hour!
I put down the phone, grabbed my coat and went into the garden to wait for the sunrise.


Louise Douglas is the bestselling and brilliantly reviewed author of 6 novels including The Love of my Life and Missing You – a RNA award winner. 
The Secrets Between Us was a Richard and Judy Book Club pick. 
She lives in the West Country. 
Louise’s first book for Boldwood, The House by the Sea was published in March 2020.











Thursday, 21 October 2021

A Woman Made of Snow by Elisabeth Gifford BLOG TOUR @elisabeth04liz @CorvusBooks #AWomanMadeOfSnow @RandomTTours #BookReview

 


Scotland, 1949: Caroline Gillan and her new husband Alasdair have moved back to Kelly Castle, his dilapidated family estate in the middle of nowhere. Stuck caring for their tiny baby, and trying to find her way with an opinionated mother-in-law, Caroline feels adrift, alone and unwelcome.

But when she is tasked with sorting out the family archives, Caroline discovers a century-old mystery that sparks her back to life. There is one Gillan bride who is completely unknown - no photos exist, no records have been kept - the only thing that is certain is that she had a legitimate child. Alasdair's grandmother.

As Caroline uncovers a strange story that stretches as far as the Arctic circle, her desire to find the truth turns obsessive. And when a body is found in the grounds of the castle, her hunt becomes more than just a case of curiosity. What happened all those years ago? Who was the bride? And who is the body...?


A Woman Made Of Snow by Elisabeth Gifford was published by Corvus on 7 October 2021. My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy for this #RandomThingsTours Blog Tour. 



I have been reading Elisabeth Gifford's novels for almost ten years now and have reviewed all four of her previous books on Random Things. She is a wonderful talent and I always look forward to a new book from her.

Here is an author who gets better and better, I have loved all of her books but this one, in my opinion, is her very best yet. I was utterly captivated by the story and particularly enjoyed learning about the whale boats of Scotland and the inclusion of the Inuit people. It is a triumph, so beautiful and at times so very heart breaking, there's one particular part that brought tears to my eyes. It is haunting and lyrical and steeped in history. 

In 1949, Caro and Alisdair are living at his family home; Kelly Castle. The Castle is old and run down, rurally isolated and not at all what the young couple had planned. The arrival of their baby daughter, so soon after their marriage changed their plans for high flying careers and whilst Alisdair is employed locally, Caro's dreams of obtaining a job in academic research have been put on hold. She also has to endure the well-meaning, but frustrating interference from her mother in law. 

There's a mystery in the family. There's no records to say who Alisdair's great-grandmother was. The records seem to have been wiped clean, all the family know is that she disappeared, leaving her small daughter behind. When Caro takes on the task of sorting through the family archives, she feels like she has a purpose again, and can use her brain.  After a bad storm, the remains of a body are found buried under a tree in the Castle grounds; is this the mystery woman?  Caro is determined to find out. 

The author then takes her reader back to the late 1880s and we meet Charlotte and Louisa, two young women who spend their holidays at Kelly Castle, then owned by their aunt - a woman who is not very welcoming to the two girls.  

This is a wonderfully written, sweeping story that is a love story, as well as a years-old mystery and as the reader travels from Scotland, to the Arctic, on a whaling boat crewed by hardened men, the mysteries deepen. 

Elisabeth Gifford excels in creating characters and places that spring to life, be it the harsh conditions upon the ship, or the coldness of a stone castle in the wilds of Scotland, the reader is there, truly experiencing just what the characters see and do. The transition back and forth between the two eras is seamlessly done and the two time lines are woven together cleverly and expertly. 

It's a fascinating look at class and family relationships too, the horrendous snobbery and dreadful treatment of some of the characters is utterly heartbreaking at times and left me feeling more than a little upset. The author doesn't hold back, there is no sugar coating here and the at times it is harsh and unrelenting, but it is always beautiful and sympathetically done. 

A wonderful story that I recommend highly. 





Elisabeth Gifford grew up in a vicarage in the industrial Midlands. 


She studied French literature and world religions at Leeds University. She has a Diploma in Creative Writing from Oxford OUDCE and an MA in Creative Writing from Royal Holloway. 

She is married with three children, and lives in Kingston upon Thames. 

A Woman Made of Snow is her fifth novel. 

www.elisabethgifford.com

Twitter @elisabeth04liz






The Hiding Place by Amanda Mason BLOG TOUR #TheHidingPlace @amandajanemason @ZaffreBooks @Tr4cyF3nt0n #BookReview

 


Nell Galilee, her husband and twelve year old step-daughter Maude rent a holiday cottage by the sea, needing time and space away from home. Nell grew up in this small, wind-blown town and has mixed feelings about returning, and it isn't long before she is recognised by a neighbour, seemingly desperate to befriend her. The cottage has been empty for some time, and from the start Nell feels uncomfortable there. Something isn't quite right about this place . . .

Maude, furious about being brought here against her will, soon finds herself beguiled by the house's strange atmosphere. There are peculiar marks in the roof beams above her bedroom, and in another room, a hiding place, concealing a strange, unnerving object.

As the house gradually reveals its secrets, Nell becomes increasingly uneasy - and Maude spellbound. But these women - and the women that surround them - are harbouring their own secrets too, and soon events will come to a terrible head . . .

The Hiding Place by Amanda Mason was published on 14 October 2021 by Zaffre. My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy for review, for this Blog Tour organised by Tracy from Compulsive Readers. 




I'm not usually a seasonal reader but have found myself consuming quite a few ghostly tales this October. Amanda Mason has set The Hiding Place in that ultimate of gothic seaside towns; Whitby, on the North Yorkshire coast. I adore Whitby and have spent some wonderful breaks there, it has that eerie feeling about it with the Abbey overlooking everyone and everything. 

Nell Galilee was brought up in Whitby but hasn't been back since her father died around seven years ago. She and her husband Chris are having problems with his twelve-year-old daughter Maude who lives with them. Nell and Maude used to get on well, but lately, and especially since Maude's mother produced a new baby, their relationship has gone downhill.  When the invitation to a family party in Whitby arrived, they decided to use the opportunity to have a family break, despite Nell's feelings about her hometown. The family have booked Elder House; an imposing holiday let that sits in Bishops Yard, nestled against the cliff beneath Whitby Abbey. 

There's something about Elder House that spooks Nell straight away. There's that smell, the dim lighting, the overpowering cliff edge that blocks out the view. Strange noises and a feeling that they are not alone in the house. Gradually, Nell's unease begins to affect Chris and Maude too and what was supposed to be a healing family break becomes a battle of wills, and a constant stream of mysterious events. 

The author cleverly and meticulously ties in local legend and folk lore, giving this contemporary story a historic feel. There's talk of witches and spells and curses, the discovery of old shoes and broken mirrors that leave a chill down the spine. 

However, this is not just a ghostly story, it's also one of long held grudges and hidden secrets. There are truths to be discovered about all of the characters and the author has skilfully created a cast who are realistic and lifelike. 

Dark and brooding, atmospheric and chilling, The Hiding Place is the perfect autumn read. Close the curtains though and make sure you are not alone in the house when you read this one!




Amanda Mason was born and brought up in Whitby, North Yorkshire. 


She studied Theatre at Dartington College of Arts, where she began writing by devising and directing plays. 

Her short stories have been published in several anthologies. 

Her debut novel, The Wayward Girls, a dark and captivating story of sisterhood and family secrets, was published in 2019, and her second, The Hiding Place, was published in October 2021, both from Bonnier Zaffre.

Twitter @amandajanemason




Wednesday, 20 October 2021

The Diabolical Bones by Bella Ellis #BronteMysteries @brontemysteries #Giveaway #Win #Prize #Competition #TheDiabolicalBones

 


It's Christmas 1845 and Haworth is in the grip of a freezing winter. Charlotte, Emily and Anne Brontë are rather losing interest in detecting until they hear of a shocking discovery: the bones of a child have been found interred within the walls of a local house, Top Withens Hall, home to the scandalous and brutish Bradshaw family.

When the sisters set off to find out more, they are confronted with an increasingly complex and sinister case, which leads them into the dark world of orphanages, and onto the trail of other lost, and likely murdered children. After another local boy goes missing, Charlotte, Emily and Anne vow to find him before it's too late.

But in order to do so, they must face their most despicable and wicked adversary yet - one that would not hesitate to cause them the gravest of harm. . .


The Diabolical Bones by Bella Ellis is the second book in the Bronte Mysteries series and was published in paperback by Hodder on 30 September.

I read and reviewed this one for the hardback publication - find my review of The Diabolical Bones here 

A couple of weeks ago, I was lucky enough to see the author at an event and hear her talk about the series. I have one signed copy of the book to give away today. 

Entry is simple, just fill out the competition widget below. UK entries only please. 

Good Luck! 



One signed copy of The Diabolical Bones by Bella Ellis





Bella Ellis is the Brontë inspired pen name for the award winning, Sunday Times bestselling author 
Rowan Coleman. 

A Brontë devotee for most of her life, Rowan is the author of fourteen novels including The Memory Book , The Summer of Impossible Things and The Girl at the Window, as well as the co-author of Mirror, Mirror, the debut novel by actor and model Cara Delevingne. 

Bella Ellis lives in Hertfordshire with her husband and five children.











Monday, 18 October 2021

The New Mother by Julia Crouch BLOG TOUR @thatjuliacrouch @bookouture Books On Tour #TheNewMother #BookReview

 


Who would you trust with your precious family?

Wanted: full-time, live-in help for expectant mother. Must be organised, friendly and willing to do anything.

Rachel is determined to be the perfect mother. She has a birth plan, with a playlist and a bag ready by the door. She’s chosen a lovely light cream paint for the nursery, and in wide-eyed, innocent Abbie she’s found the perfect person to help her with her baby.

After all, every mother needs a bit of help, don’t they?

But Rachel needs a little more than most.

She still makes sure her bedroom door is locked before she goes to sleep. She still checks the cameras that are dotted throughout the house.

Rachel trusts Abbie. Even if Abbie’s smiles don’t always reach her eyes, and the stories she tells about her past don’t always add up, it doesn’t matter.

Because Rachel knows better than to trust herself…



The New Mother by Julia Crouch was published on 12 October 2021 by Bookoutre. My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy for review as part of this Blog Tour.




Julia Crouch is a very talented author who always entertains. I've read and enjoyed her books in the past and was delighted to have the opportunity to read and review The New Mother. 

I was gripped! It's relevant and up-to-date, focussing on that fairly recent phenomenon; the social media influencer. The rise of Instagram and more recently Tik-Tok has given authors such a lot of new material and Julia Crouch has tackled this subject so very well. The language is perfect, the observations are precise and the road to the shocking ending is littered with events that both shock and impress. 

Rachel @rachelhoneywell or just RR as she's known to her millions of loyal followers is having a baby and she wants a #MothersHelper. She's posted a request on her Insta grid and now she and her loyal #FriendFran are sorting through the many applicants.

Abbie is Rachel's hugest fan. She uses the products that Rachel endorses, she checks the grid for new posts regularly, she is utterly team Rachel and she is also determined to be the person who Rachel picks. The person who will help Rachel take care of baby beansprout when she or he appears. 

However, this is not just a tale of new mothers and social media influencers .....  oh no. This is a chilling and sometimes brutal psychological thriller that develops fairly slowly at the beginning and increases in tension throughout. The reader becomes aware that Rachel has an 'event' in her past. Something that affects her behaviour at times, she does things that she cannot prevent and it worries her. Only #FriendFran is aware of Rachel's past and does everything that she can to support her. 

Abbie is also a complex and complicated character, and as the story moves on, it becomes clear that her own past has had a profound effect on her mental state, and her desire to be Rachels' helper stems from more than just admiration. 

This is a story that made me hold my breath at times,  the darkness of the situation gets bleaker and blacker, the tension increases and the explosive ending is totally and utterly satisfying. 

A brilliant story, with excellently created characters who the reader may not like, but who are enthralling to read about. Highly recommended by me. 



Julia started off as a theatre director and playwright. While her children were growing up, she swerved into graphic design. 

After writing and illustrating two children’s books for an MA, she discovered that her great love was writing prose. The picture books were deemed too dark for publication, so, to save the children, she turned instead to writing for adults.

Her first book, Cuckoo, was published in 2011, and she has been writing what she calls her Domestic Noir novels ever since.

She also writes for TV and teaches on the Crime Writing MA at the University of East Anglia.

She has three grown up children and lives in Brighton with her husband and two cats, Keith and Sandra.

A Dark Song of Blood by Ben Pastor BLOG TOUR #ADarkSongOfBlood @bitterlemonpub #BenPastor @RandomTTours #BookExtract

 


Rome, 1944. While the Allies are fighting their way up the Italian peninsula, Rome lives the last days of Nazi occupation. 

Their world falling apart, the Germans continue to vie for power while holding glittering and debauched parties. 

But this is also a time of Italian partisan attacks, arrests and mass executions. 

Baron Martin von Bora, an officer in the Wehrmacht, has the complex and delicate task of solving not one, but three murders. 

With Italian police inspector Sandro Guidi at his side, Bora sets off to establish the truth.



A Dark Song of Blood by Ben Pastor was published in April 2014 by Bitter Lemon Press and is number three in the Martin Bora series.

As part of this #RandomThingsTours Blog Tour, I am delighted to share an extract from the book with you today.



Extract from A Dark Song of Blood
by Ben Pastor

ROME, 8 JANUARy 1944

Again, the airplane. And again, the animal. Same dream in all details, an obsessive sameness. Russia, last summer. I walk toward the fallen plane making my way through the black stumps of the sunflowers, fearing what I will find there. My brother’s voice is everywhere, but I do not understand one word of what he is saying. I only know it’s the voice of the dead. A blood trail preceding and following me. Then, the rest of the dream, as always.
I woke up in a cold sweat (this is also becoming frequent), and tried for a long time to stay awake. I only knew I was dreaming again when the sound of the animal behind me filled me with dread. It’s a quick, scraping sound, as of a large hound racing up stone steps. I climb and climb and the stairs wind around corners in a wide spiral; a blinding light comes from deep windows to the right. By inches the animal gains on me, and all I know is that it is female, and I will find no mercy with it. Its claws are like metal on polished stone, marble perhaps. I can’t climb fast enough to avoid it. Looking back into this diary, I can see the first time I dreamt this was the night before the ambush in September.

Martin Bora’s nightmares had been set aside by the time he walked into the Hotel Flora from the wide street, early in the morning. A tiger sky drifted white behind the city blocks, wrinkling here and there with striped, ribbon-like clouds. Via Veneto was filling with light like a slow river at the bend, on Saturday which promised to be a cold and clear day. His soul was secure inside, well kept, guarded. Anxiety had no room in his waking hours and, surprisingly, things that had been amusing were amusing still.

Half an hour later Inspector Sandro Guidi of the Italian police stood before the massive elegance of the same hotel, shielding his eyes. At the entrance he presented his papers to a stolid-faced young soldier. While he waited in the luxurious lobby to be let upstairs, he gave himself credit for not getting lost on his way here, but still wondered why the unexpected summons to the German command.

In the third-floor office, another wait. Beautiful wallpa- per, hangings around luminous windows. Behind the desk, a detailed map of the city, a crowded bulletin board, three moist-looking watercolors of old Roman streets. Paperwork lay on the desk, neatly stacked but obviously being pro- cessed. Several maps were folded in transparent sheaths under a notebook. Guidi had seen German aides once or twice. The crimson stripes on their breeches came to mind, and the silver braid draping right shoulder and breast in the ceremonial dazzle of army hierarchy. What could Gen- eral Westphal’s aide-de-camp possibly want from him? It was likely a formality, or even a mistake. But he could not mistake the voice coming from the door, because its Italian had no accent whatever.


Ben Pastor, born in Italy, lived for thirty years in the United States, working as a university professor in Vermont, before returning to her home country. 

A Dark Song of Blood is the third in the Martin Bora series and follows on from the success of Lumen and Liar Moon, also published by Bitter Lemon Press. 

Ben Pastor is the author of other novels including the highly acclaimed The Water Thief and The Fire Waker, and is considered one of the most talented writers in the field of historical fiction. 

In 2008 she won the prestigious Premio Zaragoza for best historical fiction.







Thursday, 14 October 2021

The Woman in the Middle by Milly Johnson @millyjohnson #TheWomanInTheMiddle @simonschusterUK @TeamBATC #Giveaway #Win #Prize #BookReview

 


Shay Bastable is the woman in the middle. She is part of the sandwich generation – caring for her parents and her children, supporting her husband Bruce, holding them all together and caring for them as best she can.
 
Then the arrival of a large orange skip on her mother’s estate sets in motion a cataclysmic series of events which leads to the collapse of Shay’s world. She is forced to put herself first for a change.
 
But in order to move forward with her present, Shay needs to make sense of her past. And so she returns to the little village she grew up in, to uncover the truth about what happened to her when she was younger. And in doing so, she discovers that sometimes you have to hit rock bottom to find the only way is up.




The Woman In The Middle by Milly Johnson is published today, 14 October 2021 in hardback by Simon & Schuster. My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy for review.

I loved this story, I think it is Milly Johnson's best book yet. My review was featured in S Magazine a couple of weeks ago and I'm delighted to share that review here. 


I have one hardback copy of The Woman in the Middle to give away

Entry is simple, just fill out the competition widget in this post.

UK Entries only please.   GOOD LUCK! 



Shay Bastable feels like the filling in a sandwich. She's crushed between the needs of her ailing elderly parents and the ongoing dramas of her two grown-up children, while her marriage also seems to be falling apart. Every single day finds Shay giving everything to other people without taking a moment for herself. 

Sadly, Shay's mother Roberta is in the early stages of dementia. And when a large orange skip labelled 'Sharif's Skips' appears on next door's driveway, it sparks memories of a past romance. As Roberta starts letting long-kept secrets slip, Shay begins to realise that, all her life, her family have been living a lie. Let down by everyone around her, it's time for Shay to put herself first. So she returns to the small village where she grew up to start piecing together the truth of her past, however painful that may prove to be. 

Milly Johnson gets better and better with every novel she writes. Filled with her trademark humour and populated with a cast of larger-than-life yet utterly realistic characters, this is a story full of wisdom and redemption. 

It's a warm, touching read and you'll be longing for Shay to find her own happy ending. 




One copy of The Woman in the Middle by Milly Johnson



(c) Chris Sedgewick
Milly Johnson was born, raised, and still lives in Barnsley, South Yorkshire.
 


A Sunday Times (London) bestseller, millions of copies of her books have sold across the world. 

Milly writes from the heart about what and where she knows and highlights the importance of community spirit. 
Her books champion women, their strength and resilience, and celebrate love, friendship ,and the possibility of second chances. 
She is an exceptional writer who puts her heart and soul into every book she writes and every character she creates.



Author page on Facebook






Wednesday, 13 October 2021

The Lighthouse Witches by C J Cooke @CJessCooke BLOG TOUR @fictionpubteam @RandomTTours #TheLighthouseWitches #BookReview

 


Upon the cliffs of a remote Scottish island, Lòn Haven, stands a lighthouse.

A lighthouse that has weathered more than storms.

Mysterious and terrible events have happened on this island. It started with a witch hunt. Now, centuries later, islanders are vanishing without explanation.

Coincidence? Or curse?

Liv Stay flees to the island with her three daughters, in search of a home. She doesn’t believe in witches, or dark omens, or hauntings. But within months, her daughter Luna will be the only one of them left.

Twenty years later, Luna is drawn back to the place her family vanished. As the last sister left, it’s up to her to find out the truth . . .

But what really happened at the lighthouse all those years ago?




The Lighthouse Witches by C J Cooke was published by HarperCollins on 30 September 2021. My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy for review, as part of this Random Things Tours Blog Tour.




What a fabulous read this is!  Last year I read CJ Cooke's The Nesting and was transfixed by it. In her follow up, she takes her readers to a remote, quite wild island off the coast of Scotland, and it's an eerie, spooky and quite spine chilling tale that she tells. 

I love multiple points of view, and a also love dual time lines and The Lighthouse Witches has both of these, it's an extraordinary read and whilst the magic perplexed me at times, and to be honest, I'm still not quite sure about the 'wildings' and the disappearing people, I really really loved it! 

This is a mix of ancient folk lore, handed down through the generations and contemporary life. The author cleverly weaves the old traditions and beliefs in with the more modern day tale and even the most cynical of readers (me!) will begin to believe in magic! 

It is the late 1980s, Liv and her three daughters arrive on the island, Lòn Haven. Liv is an artist and has taken a commission to paint a mural on the inside walls of an old lighthouse. Whilst this may be her main reason for arriving, it soon becomes clear that she and her daughters have spent most of their lives running away. From the outset, the story is creepily intense. When Liv sees the outline of the mural she's to paint, she is uneasy. As she gets to know her new community, she hears things that are chilling, but it's safe here, away from danger.    Or is it?

Twenty years later, only one of the sisters remains. Liv and the other two girls disappeared from the island, with no clue as to where they went. Remaining daughter Luna has always feared the island and swore never to return, but finds herself back there, right in the middle of things that don't really seem to have changed. 

As Luna discovers more and more about this tiny, strange community, and some of the age old traditions, she becomes more and more concerned ... will she ever discover just what happened to her mother and sisters?

The Lighthouse Witches kept me reading long into the night. It's a book that is really difficult to put aside. The writing is so beautifully crafted. It's atmospheric and haunting and I loved every page. It's not a simple plot it's full of magic and myth and hidden truths, but it's a belter of a story. Highly recommended by me. 





C.J. Cooke is an acclaimed, award-winning poet, novelist and academic with numerous other
publications written under the name of Carolyn Jess-Cooke. 

Her work has been published in twenty- three languages to date. 

Born in Belfast, C.J. has a PhD in Literature from Queen’s University, Belfast, and is currently Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of Glasgow, where she researches creative writing interventions for mental health. 

C.J. Cooke lives in Glasgow with her husband and four children. 

She also founded the Stay-At-Home Festival.

#TheLighthouseWitches  Twitter @CJessCooke