November Wrap Up

This year I attempted the Nanowrimo challenge again, so this has affected my reading, but I think I have done well by writing 10,000 words and managed to read a few books.

Net Galley reviews

Proper Scoundrels by Allie Therin (publication date 28.12.21)

I enjoyed this perfect blend of urban fantasy and paranormal romance  set in 1925 featuring Sebastian and grumpy Lord Fine. Can they learn to trust each other and find a magical serial killer.

A Marvellous Light by Freya Maske ( Publication date December 21)

I love this truly marvellous fantasy set in Edwardian England featured a grumpy wizard, a confused civil servant and sentient ivy, I don’t think I will ever look a maze in the same way ever again!

Requested reviews

Demon of Yodok by Adria Carmicheal ( Review)

This book made me think about some of the regimes around the world. A teenager is sent to a re-education camp in this realistic depiction of a dystopian world in Demon Of Yodok by Adira Carmicheal. Available on Kindle Unlimited.

Books I have bought

The Black Coast by Mike Brooks

It took me a while to get through this epic fantasy featuring all your favourite fantasy stables including dragons with a interesting way of recognising gender through language.

Innate Magic by Shannon Fay    (review)                                 

This was a kindle first pick and was an easy and enjoyable read about Paul who has innate magic in a world where magic is commonplace and is sucked into an evil plan to perform forbidden magic. Paul was annoying as a character, but the secondary characters are vividly drawn and makes the book worth reading.

Joy in the morning by PG Wodehouse.

I needed something to make me laugh and PG Wodehouse never fails. Joy in the morning features Betram Wooster lurching from one crisis to another. Old fashioned and perhaps outdated but I definitely needed a light hearted read.


Niccolo Rising by Dorothy Dunnet

 My first reread of the House of Niccolo series by Dorothy Dunnett. I enjoyed this book so more on the second reading and was I’m awe at how Dunnett has sown the seeds for the rest of the series in the first few chapters. Niccolo Rising follows the start of a young dyers apprentice journey to greatness.

Blog round up

First Line Fridays

Top Ten Tuesday – Memorable quotes

Book reviews

Forging a nightmare

The Second Shooter

Pretty Deadly

Another Beast’s Skin.

Book Blitz- Behind the Veil by E.J Dawson

I’m pleased to be part of the Book Blitz for the Gothic Noir, Behind the Veil by E. J Dawson and can’t wait to read the book. Read my blog for more details and an except.

Behind the Veil

Publication Date: October 1st, 2021

Genre: Gothic Noir/ Paranormal Suspense

Can she keep the secrets of her past to rescue a girl tormented by a ghost?

In 1920s Los Angeles, Letitia Hawking reads the veil between life and death. A scrying bowl allows her to experience the final moments of the deceased. She brings closure to grief-stricken war widows and mourning families.
For Letitia, it is a penance. She knows no such peace.

For Alasdair Driscoll, it may be the only way to save his niece, Finola, from her growing night terrors. But when Letitia sees a shadowy figure attached to the household, it rouses old fears of her unspeakable past in England.

When a man comes to her about his missing daughter, the third girl to go missing in as many months, Letitia can’t help him when she can’t see who’s taken them.

As a darkness haunts Letitia’s vision, she may not be given a choice in helping the determined Mr Driscoll, or stop herself falling in love with him. But to do so risks a part of herself she locked away, and to release it may cost Letitia her sanity and her heart.

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Finola lay in a room better suited to a princess.

A four-poster bed draped in gauze shrouded the figure within. A pale pink duvet covered the slight frame, illuminated by a rose glass lampshade held aloft by a fairy cast in bronze.

Pretty as it was, Letitia focused on the girl in the bed.

Finola’s breathing was labored, her eyes twitching beneath her lids and forehead clammy, with threads of auburn hair sticking to her skin.

Letitia studied her for several moments.

There was no darkness attached to the girl, though the room’s low light gave too many shadows for Letitia’s liking. Ever wary of self-protection, she took hesitant footsteps closer.

When she stood at the foot of the bed, and was sure there were no dark specters here, she took Finola’s measure.

Finola was drugged, but from the girl’s eyes flickering in uneasy sleep it wasn’t working. Even with the morphine, Letitia could tell what the others could not—Finola would still have the nightmares.

A nurse sat beside the bed, and Letitia looked to her, letting a sliver of the nurse’s personality in.

A warm autumn breeze regarded her, refreshing though it was weak. The nurse stared at Letitia but made no comment at Letitia’s scrutiny.

“What’s your name?” Letitia asked, coming around the bed to offer her hand.

“Nurse Hopkins.” Hopkins had curling brown hair and hard dark eyes. A firm hand gripped Letitia’s gloved one, and she maintained eye contact. There was a hardness within the nurse, and Letitia guessed she’d served in the war. Not on the front lines, but she was toughened by her experience.

“What can you tell me about Finola’s condition?” Letitia asked. Mr. Driscoll came up beside her, and Letitia held up a hand to silence him. He glared but nodded permission for Hopkins to speak when the nurse hesitated.

“She has terrible night episodes,” the nurse said, “like those of the soldiers coming back. When she’s awake she cries a lot, she…bathes often but won’t eat much.” The nurse’s glance dipped between Finola and Mrs. Quinn as though she would say more, but she pressed her lips together.

“What else?” Letitia’s gentle tone, and the retreat of Mr. Driscoll’s looming form, let loose the nurse’s tongue.

“I walk with her in the gardens,” she said. “She…doesn’t like people to touch her. Appears distracted and nervous, takes to fright, doesn’t like strange men—the gardeners and delivery men and such.”

It was succinct but what Letitia needed to hear. “Thank you, could you give me a moment?”

The nurse needed another nod from Mr. Driscoll before she took her leave.

“Well?” Mrs. Quinn asked, standing on the far side of the bed, touching her daughter’s forehead. The girl flinched, and Mrs. Quinn drew back her hand with a disappointed frown.

“Please don’t,” Letitia asked, and Mrs. Quinn’s glower turned to acute displeasure.

“She’s my daughter and she’s sick.” Mrs. Quinn’s voice held a razor’s edge that hadn’t been there before.

“She also can’t distinguish who is touching her when she’s dreaming,” Letitia said, and Mrs. Quinn covered her widening mouth, gaze darting between Letitia and Finola. She must come do this often, and what should have been the comforting gesture of a mother made the nightmares worse.

Now Available

AmazonBarnes and Noble | Book DepositoryIndiebound

About the Author

Beginning a writing journey with an epic 21 book series, Ejay started her author career in 2014 and has taken on the ups and downs of self-publishing with her fantasy series The Last Prophecy since 2016. At the start of 2019, she put the series on the backburner to write Behind the Veil in 25 days, and signed a publishing contract for the gothic noir novel to independent publisher Literary Wanderlust. Behind the Veil is set for release on the October 1st 2021. She resumed self-publishing a scifi series, Queen of Spades released across 2020 and 2021, as well as signing another contract with Literary Wanderlust for NA fantasy, Echo of the Evercry. Believing in more than one path to a career in publishing, Ejay pursues self-publishing alongside querying traditional publishers with multiple manuscripts.

Ejay writes scifi, fantasy, and horror, with a dash of the paranormal. Behind the Veil is her first book with Literary Wanderlust, a romantic suspense with a touch of darkness. She also has a fantasy NA with Literary, Echo of the Evercry, and two self published series.

EJ Dawson | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Demon of Yodok by Adria Carmicheal – Book review

A teenager is sent to a re-education camp in this realistic depiction of a dystopian world in Demon Of Yodok by Adira Carmicheal.Read my review

Genre: Dystopian, Young Adult

Series: Book one of the Juche series.

Available on Kindle Unlimited ( I borrowed the book from Kindle unlimited following a request from the author for an honest review).

Just when Areum, daughter of a privileged family in the totalitarian state of Choson, thought she was free from her personal prison, her world collapses around her as her family is taken away in the middle of the night to a hell-like camp in the mountains where people who have strayed from the righteous path are brutally re-educated through blood, sweat, tears and starvation.

There she has to fight for survival together with the family she hates and is forced to re-evaluate every aspect of her life until then: her deep resentment toward her twin sister; her view of her father in the face of mounting evidence that he is a traitor with the blood of millions of fellow countrymen on his hands; and even her love and affection for the Great General – the eternal savior and protector of Choson, whom she had always considered her true father.

From goodreads

I was intrigued by the author’s note on The Demon of Jodok’s Goodreads blurb. She wanted to write from the perspective of someone who has been brainwashed by a totalitarian regime and she has succeeded. The book, written from the point of view of the main character, I think captures what it might be like to completely believe a beloved Dictator which makes her incarceration in a re-education camp all the more heart-breaking.

I found it hard to warm to Areum at the start- she does seem selfish, unsympathetic and rigid especially when her overriding goal is to leave her family and become a gymnast no matter what. But then, I found her attitude made sense once I realised this was a young teenage girl whose life and dreams are slowly being destroyed despite being a loyal subject and having done nothing wrong.

The concepts of Juche in the Choson are explained early as is the particular rules in the world that Areum lives in. The writing is crisp and sharp which suits the story.

I really hope Areum escapes in the second book!

Content warning

Attempted rape. Violence,

Perfect for fans

Who love realistic dystopia

First Line Friday

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?

Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page.

Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first.

Finally… reveal the book!

After the thing was all over, when peril ceased to loom and happy endings had been distributed and heaping handfuls and we were driving home with our hats on the side of our heads, having shaken the dust of Steeple Bumpleigh from our tyres, I confessed to Jeeves that there had been moments during the recent proceedings Jane when Bertram Wooster, though no weakling, had come very near to despair.

Any Ideas? It is an easy one

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Forging a Nightmare by Patricia A Jackson- Book review

I loved this fresh urban fantasy with an unique hero, a biblical theme and a fierce, tough and loyal nightmare. Read my review here..

Publication Date :23 November 2021.

I received a copy from Angry Robot in exchange for my honest, unedited feedback.

FBI Agent, Michael Childs is trying to catch a serial killer targeting people born with 12 fingers and toes. During his investigations, he meets Anaba, a marine killed in action but soon finds himself under attack by a group of angels intent on killing him too. He soon finds himself in a world he has only read about with angels, horsemen, and the Grigori. The Grigori want to kill all Nephilim which unfortunately includes Michael who has discovered his true nature. But luckily, he has Anaba by his side, who is not just a marine but a powerful Nightmare.

This amazing cover caught my eye when I was browsing through titles on NetGalley and I just had to read the book.

The book features a diverse cast of characters – the main characters were black, and a lot of the secondary characters were people of colour. I liked the fact that this was seen as ordinary with no long backstory as to why people of colour were in positions of power and authority which I have seen in so many books.

Michael isn’t your typical hero- he is an FBI agent with an academic background, who enjoys jousting and we first encounter him at a crime scene dressed as a medieval knight (or at least that is how imagined it). This would definitely be on my list of most dramatic entrances in a book. Michael not only finds himself fighting in a world he has only read about but also discovers he is a Nephilim too- half-angel and half-human. His reaction to his new reality is realistic and well described- I don’t think anyone would deal with this rationally. So it makes sense when he learns about his true nature, he does something silly!

While I found Michael interesting, Anaba is the character I was most drawn to one of the most complex female characters I have read in a while. Her story is truly tragic and as I read more about how she was ‘forged’ from her human soul, her all rage makes all the more sense. But despite this, she is still loyal to her cause and to Micheal even though he doesn’t always treat her with the respect she deserves at the start of the book. I would happily read any book with her as the lead.

The plot is fast-paced with lots of action and moments of peril. There are plenty of characters in this book and fascinating in their own right.

 If this is part of a series, I hope we see more of Lucifer, Loki, Wyrmwood, Raijin, and of course EJ.

The world-building is intricate and well-described bringing to life the underworld and Hell.

I did feel uncomfortable when Anaba is in horse form and sometimes made to do what her rider tells her to do given her fierce and independent nature.

Content warning

Descriptions of violence and torture

Perfect for fans of

The television shows Supernatural and Lucifer.


4 stars and half stars- I would recommend this to anyone who would like a different take on fantasy.

First Line Friday

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?

Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page.

Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first.

Finally… reveal the book!

The Sun Palace atop its mighty sandstone plateau was the jewel of the city Idramar. It blended beauty with fearsome defensive architecture, and had stood as the symbol of narrators unquestioned power since the God-King Nari rose from obscurity to conquer the lands between Catseye mountains and the ocean.

Any Ideas?

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Spotlight on The Resurrectionist by A.R Meyering

Welcome to the book tour for The Resurrectionist by A.R. Meyering. This tale is sure to inspire chills!

The Resurrectionist “Inspired by the true story of the Burke and Hare murders”

Publication Date: July 3rd, 2020

Genre: Supernatural/ Horror/ Fantasy/ Based on Real Life Characters

Scotland, 1854

On a skinny, forgotten road in Edinburgh stood a shop without a name—a shop that could be found only if one had previously been led to its door. William, who was blind, rapped his knuckles on the door. The shop owner opens the door and says, “I recognize you. You’re the thief who slithered away while your partner swung by his neck.”

William begs the woman to break the curse that has been set on him that prevents him from dying. The curse, says the woman, cannot be broken, but it can be displaced. Is your death so precious to you that you would destroy one more innocent life to get it? The life of your own child?”

London 1895

In 19th century Scotland surgeon Edgar Price has only days to live. He has become host to a revenant that will corrode both his body and soul. Edgar’s fatal mistake has not only doomed him, but also released six more of these malignant wraiths onto the world. In his remaining time, he has vowed to stop the revenants from claiming other victims. His perilous travels lead him to the Witches’ Wood, a haven for a sisterhood of powerful enchantresses. There he meets Ainsley, who is also racing against the clock to save her life and will go to any lengths to spare the life of her lover Colleen from the grief of losing her. Despite their mutual dislike, Edgar and Ainsley find that the only way to traverse the twisted, otherworldly labyrinths that the revenants have created is to work together. Their mission becomes further complicated when Edgar begins to develop feelings for Fana, the guardian goddess of the Wood in spite of Ainsley’s forbidding warnings to stay far away from her.

Though THE RESURRECTIONIST is a work of fantasy, many of the settings and elements are based on fact. Horror and fantasy intermingle in this novel inspired by the true story of the Burke and Hare murders.

From 1828-29, Irish immigrants William Burke and William Hare were responsible for the murders of sixteen people in Edinburgh. Their methods generally involved luring a victim to Hare’s boardinghouse, where they plied them heavily with alcohol before suffocating them. They were motivated by greed, selling the corpses of their victims to a local surgeon, Robert Knox. Each victim was publicly dissected, and Dr. Knox is largely thought to have been complicit in the crimes.

During their ten-month killing spree, William Hare’s common-law wife, Margaret Laird, was pregnant with their child. Hare was pardoned for his crimes due to his confession and condemnation of his accomplice Burke, who was hanged and publicly dissected as punishment.

After being pardoned, Hare, Margaret, and their infant are thought to have escaped to Ireland. It also has been rumored that William Hare was thrown into a lime pit and subsequently suffered blindness before becoming a beggar. The victims in THE RESURRECTIONIST are also based on real life people.

Reminiscent of Tess Gerritsen’s The Bone Garden, THE RESURRECTIONIST explores a real-life horror story through a riveting supernatural thriller that is guaranteed to hook readers from the very first page.

Available on Amazon

About the Author

A.R. Meyering was a graduate student studying philosophy. She has worked as an English teacher in a small town in Kumamoto Prefecture, Japan. Her dark fantasy novel, Unreal City, won a Literary Classics International Book Award gold medal for YA horror and a Moonbeam Award bronze medal in YA horror. While doing her undergrad in English she studied abroad in Edinburgh, focusing on Scottish occult literature and folklore. 

Sadly, A.R. Meyering passed away in 2021.

A.R. Meyering

Twitter Tags: @PRBookPro @RRBookTours1 #RRBookTours #Books

IG Tags: @rrbooktours #rrbooktours #theresurrectionist #armeyering (Plus your usual)

Book Tour Organized By: 

R&R Book Tours

Innate Magic by Shannon Fay- Book review

Read my review of Innate Magic by Shannon Fay urban fantasy set in an alternate post-war London where magic is a commonplace activity.

Series: The Marrowbone Spells #1

Delightfully cheeky, unquestionably charming, and sometimes maddeningly naïve, cloth mage Paul Gallagher is desperately trying to make a name for himself in a reimagined post-war London. But in a world where magic is commonplace, sewing enchanted clothes is seen as little more than a frivolous distraction. Paul is hiding a secret, however: he possesses a powerful–and illegal–innate magic that could help him achieve his wildest dreams.

Unfortunately, Paul confides in the wrong person–his latest crush, Captain Hector Hollister–and is drawn into a sinister plot that risks reigniting the machinery of war. To make matters worse, the pretty American gossip reporter Paul just met reveals her personal quest to expose a government cover-up may be related to Hollister’s magical goals. When Hollister threatens the life of Paul’s dearest friend, he realizes that his poor judgement has put not only his family and friends in danger, but also the whole world.

The only way to set things right may be for Paul to undergo the dangerous ritual to become Court Magician–the most powerful magician in the country. But is becoming part of the institution the best way to enact change in a terribly unjust society? 

Goodreads blurb

Book review

Innate magic was my choice of Amazon first picks in November and I was hooked in by the blurb. It was an easy read and I finished this within one sitting.

 The book is written in the first person from Paul’s point of view and his voice is light, charming and funny but despite him ending in some perilous situations, I didn’t really care too much for him. I found the other characters more interesting and was more invested in their stories. Verity, the American journalist in a mission to find an evil Doctor and punish him for his wrongdoings was more nuanced and complicated as was Thomas Dawes, Paul’s adopted brother. Paul’s illegal innate magic was a bit of a let-down, I was expecting something dangerous and evil but not what it turned out to be. The magical system with cloth mages being able to create magic through clothes and bookbinders who create magic through books was well thought out and an interesting way to make magic more practical in its description.

Continue reading “Innate Magic by Shannon Fay- Book review”

The Second Shooter by Nick Mamatas – Book Review

I enjoyed this fast-paced, mind-bending science-fiction thriller by Nick Mamatas full of twists, action unique characters and conspiracy theories. Read my review of The Second Shooter here.

I received a free copy from rebellion for an honest and unbiased review

Publication date : November 2021

Publisher :rebellion

Book review

Sometimes you come across a book that is so different and unique, it can be hard to describe the story or genre and The Second Shooter is one of those books.

Mike Karras, is a freelance writer who has been commissioned by an obscure, left-wing publisher intriguing named Little Round Bomb Books. His investigation is focused on the conspiracy theory of the mysterious second shooter, that witnesses claim to have seen at mass shootings and assassinations. He is sceptical until he finds himself in the middle of a mass shooting, becomes the target of a right-wing radio host, and is followed by drones. He tries to uncover the truth with the help and sometimes hindrance of his editor, some pesky teenagers, and a family of conspiracy buffs, the Alazars.

Continue reading “The Second Shooter by Nick Mamatas – Book Review”

Pretty Deadly by Kelsey Josund -Book Tour and review

I am so pleased to be part of the blog tour for Pretty Deadly. Kelsey Josund spins Cinderella on its head in this dark fantasy.

Enter to win a signed copy ( link below)

Publication Date: 26th October 21

Genre: Dark Fantasy

Cinna would quite literally kill for the throne.

She’s spent years forced to serve her wealthy cousins rather than attend society events alongside them, waiting for the chance to prove herself and exact revenge. When a ball is announced at the castle, promising to bring many powerful people to town, she seizes the opportunity to strike.

She bets her best friend, a small-time thief and con-man, that she can land a greater score the night of the ball than he can. They embark on parallel heists. But as their plots unfold, things begin to unravel: by the end of the night, the castle’s on lock down, a duchess is dead, a mansion has burnt to the ground, and Cinna hasn’t stolen anything. Or has she stolen something more valuable than gold and jewels?


Cinderella was one of the few fairytales I really disliked when I was growing up. I could never understand how someone as downtrodden and ill-treated could wish for a pretty dress and shiny shoes from an all-powerful fairy godmother.

But finally, here is a Cinderella I can get behind. 

Continue reading “Pretty Deadly by Kelsey Josund -Book Tour and review”