As a lover of mysteries with a psychological twist, always looking to read more about suspected witches, I knew I just had to check out Ann Rawson’s The Witch House! Today is my stop on The Witch House blog tour as organised by Red Dog Press, a small indie publisher of all things mysterious, thrilling and crime scene hijinks from unique voices, so if the synopsis intrigues you please do check out the other lovely bloggers posting their reviews.
Alice Hunter, grieving and troubled after a breakdown, stumbles on the body of her friend and trustee, Harry Rook. The police determine he has been ritually murdered, and suspicion falls on the vulnerable Alice, who inherited the place known locally as The Witch House from her grandmother, late High Priestess of the local coven. When the investigations turn up more evidence, and it all seems to point to Alice, even she begins to doubt herself.
Today’s review is an interesting one. I am always on the hunt for a good legal thriller. If I’m not watching Suits, I’ve now given up attempting to count the number of times I’ve watched it, you can find me watching legal-centric YouTube videos from Legal Eagle or Eve Cornwell. This interest has also seeped into my academic life as my current research is focusing explicitly on capital convictions in the US and their representation in literature. It’s almost as if the team at TCK Publishing knew this when their invitation to review The Guilty Die Twice dropped into my inbox and I jumped at the chance.
From the end of July and throughout August I’m going to be participating in a lot of blog tours and I am so excited! I’ve always enjoyed challenging myself through my reading and I’ve achieved this predominantly using prompts for readathons, however, blog tours are a challenge unto themselves. Especially when you’re a famously slow reader with one week exactly to read each subsequent book! However, by going into each book having only read the synopsis and nothing else, whereas I’d have normally heard bloggers raving about them first, I get to explore each read and create my own excitement whilst also ensuring I do review them promptly. This all kicked off with The Puritan Princess last Monday, a roaring success, and today’s blog follows the trend in covering Leah Konen’s One White Lie for my stop on the blog tour as detailed down below.
Firstly, this book has continued a trend across my 2020 reading that this year is proving to be a good year for beautifully designed navy and gold covers between Hamnet, The Court of Miracles and The Puritan Princess. Today is my stop on the blog tour for The Puritan Princess which will continue through to Monday 27th of July and I’ve included the banner below so please make sure to check out the other awesome book bloggers also posting reviews.
Any writer can attest to the unpredictable nature of ideas and inspiration. Regardless of genre, from the slice of life contemporaries to intricately plotted thrillers, the most mundane aspects of everyday life may spark a thought which is suddenly well on its way to becoming a full-length novel. However, if these everyday aspects of life find their way into the narrative there is enjoyment to be had, for both writer and reader, in creatively twisting the norm. Personally, I’m excited to spot these norm twists in a synopsis and I’m intrigued by an author’s ability to incorporate them regardless of genre.
I don’t typically post news on this blog, nor have I outwardly posted about theatre closures and show cancellations instead choosing to continue to post reviews and keep their word-of-mouth going or taking a small break to take extra marketing courses and improve my future content. I have also been enjoying the theatrical content consistently released during this lockdown including all of the Andrew Lloyd Webber shows, and beyond, from The Show Must Go On, various Leave a Light On concerts from the Theatre Café and Frankenstein, This House, and The Madness of King George III from National Theatre at Home. I’ve even been granted the chance to relive two favourites as A Monster Calls was streamed by Bristol Old Vic just last week and my favourite show The Grinning Man is still to come. As I’ve mentioned, the reason I haven’t been keeping up to date with these releases review wise is that I’m currently taking advantage of a break to think about and improve, the content on this website (in my head) ready for when theatre returns with a bang!
This show has been following me around since I saw the first announcement ahead of its initial run. However, the soundtrack did not immediately convince me to see it as, while the voices were great, I found it difficult to listen to without narrative context. I normally do not mind listening to the soundtrack first and trying to gauge the story from this, but as the individual songs each had their own contexts outside of the show it was exceedingly difficult to get past that. When I went down to London, initially for the week of London Book Fair, at the end of February I was lucky enough to catch & Juliet on my first night using TodayTix for a £15 ticket. Also, in the couple of days between booking and my visit the show was nominated for nine Olivier Awards and many WhatsOnStage Awards so you could say I was expecting a good time!
Before I can say anything about the content of this book, just look at how gorgeous it is! I know the old saying, “never judge a book by its cover”, but I have been making a conscious effort to be more aware of book design this year and this is the perfect example of how design can really push a book ahead. Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell was one of my most anticipated reads of the year and it did not disappoint. My current reads are turning into a five/four-star streak but this, the one which started it, has stayed with me far beyond the final page.
If I see a book written by the former editor-in-chief of Marie Claire and compared to Helen Feilding’s Bridget Jones series, of course, I am going to be intrigued. However, as you can likely gauge from the title the subject matter is incredibly sensitive and the book speaks directly on several aspects of how we perceive ourselves, and our current difficulties, and relationships in relation to body shape. Therefore, this book is very difficult to review but I’m going to give it my best shot.
All views below are, as usual, entirely my own and I am taking the content of this book at face value to the level of the words on the page. There is an author’s note at the end of the book detailing Liz Jones’ own experiences with eating disorders and her journey to writing this book, however, please be aware I did not read it prior to reading the main narrative or writing this review. Alongside my own rating I have also included a five-star review and one-star review at the end to give any prospective readers multiple perspectives and a range of information.
So many people, including myself, have been waiting for this production to happen for years. It is finally here! I am a lover of animated films, particularly hand-drawn animation, and The Prince of Egypt was a significant contributor to this alongside Disney and a couple of Fox films. Little did I know when I first watched it as a child, however, that the gorgeous score accompanying the awesome animation was written by none other than Stephen Schwartz, also known as the composer of a little-known show called Wicked. When I heard that this production was finally getting off the ground with the continued contribution of Schwartz, and after hearing ‘Footprints on the Sand’, I knew this show could not be missed.
As I’ve been engrossed with job hunting since the beginning of this year, I will be the first to admit that time to read for pleasure, especially when I’m over ambitious during readathons, can run away from me. However, I’m finding this pressure is lifting due to openings being pushed back and thinning out. Overall, I’m using this time to work on my CV, learn more about the market through the Get Into Book Publishing online course, read more for my PhD and… finally participate in the Magical Readathon!
It’s already time for my second blog tour! I was so happy to see this review request in my inbox, and that was from the summary alone. Mortmain Hall promised a classic whodunit puzzle set in 1930, the Golden Age of gothic mystery and chilling murder. Plus, look at that gorgeous cover! There is just no way I could resist being part of this awesome blog tour to celebrate the publication of Mortmain Hall.
I’m so excited to be posting this review! Today is my stop on the After Dark blog tour and my first ever contribution to a blog tour. Headline have organised this blog tour to celebrate the release of Dominic Nolan’s second novel, and the latest appearance of D.S. Abigail Boone, After Dark following Past Life published in 2019.
I’m just going to come right out and say that I’m expecting my 2020 reading year to be absolutely insane. After completing my Masters in September 2019 I got a Christmas job at Waterstones which made me aware of the upcoming releases and popular titles. Luckily I picked up some later 2019 releases, such as Bridget Collins’ The Binding, but I’ve also got a list of previous releases which I’m hoping are going to become new favourites judging from the BookTube reviews including such casual reads as V. E. Schwab’s Vicious and Villians, Taylor Jenkins Reid’s The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo and Brandon Sanderson’s Skyward series as I caught the hardback of Starsight. To add even more to that rapidly growing list, this post details fifteen books to be released in 2020 which I simply cannot wait for. This list does focus more on early year releases, however, due to the timely nature of the publishing industry which also explains the lack of information for the later releases. As I mentioned above this list is mainly inspired by my efforts last year to be far more conscious of recent releases and those heavily marketed in stores like Waterstones and Foyles. For example, I read quite a few authors below for the first time in 2019, loved that book and so want to continue to support them and their publishers.