Spotlight Tour- A Ferry of Bones and Gold by Hailey Turner

This was my first year as a BBNYA panellist and I really enjoyed it.  I’m so pleased to present a spotlight for one of the books

This year, the Book Bloggers Novel of the Year Award (BBNYA) is celebrating the 55 books that made it into Round Two with a mini spotlight blitz tour for each title. BBNYA is a yearly competition where book bloggers from all over the world read and score books written by indie authors, ending with 15 finalists and one overall winner.If you want some more information about BBNYA, check out the BBNYA Website or take a peek over on Twitter @BBNYA_Official. BBNYA is brought to you in association with the @Foliosociety (if you love beautiful books, you NEED to check out their website!) and the book blogger support group @The_WriteReads.

Publisher: Self-Published

Length: 406 Pages

Genre: LGBTQ+, Urban Fantasy, Romance

Age Category: Adult

Date Published: 9 September 2018


When the gods come calling, you don’t get to say no.

Patrick Collins is three years into a career as a special agent for the Supernatural Operations Agency when the gods come calling to collect a soul debt he owes them. An immortal has gone missing in New York City and bodies are showing up in the wake of demon-led ritual killings that Patrick recognizes all too easily from his nightmares.

Unable to walk away, Patrick finds himself once again facing off against mercenary magic users belonging to the Dominion Sect. Standing his ground alone has never been a winning option in Patrick’s experience, but it’s been years since he’s had a partner he could trust.

Looking for allies in all the wrong places, Patrick discovers the Dominion Sect’s next target is the same werewolf the Fates themselves have thrown into his path. Patrick has been inexplicably attracted to the man from their first meeting, but desire has no place in war. That doesn’t stop Patrick from wanting what he shouldn’t have. Jonothon de Vere is gorgeous, dangerous, and nothing but trouble—to the case, to the fight against every hell, and ultimately, to Patrick’s heart and soul.

In the end, all debts must be paid, and Patrick can only do what he does best—cheat death.

Author Bio

Hailey Turner is a big city girl who likes to spoil her cats rotten. She writes science fiction and fantasy with lots of action, epic plots, and romantic relationships that satisfy the heart. Hailey lives in sunny California when she isn’t adding stamps to her passport.

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Sunwise by Helen Steadman – Blog tour/book review

Sunwise by Helen Wiseman picks up Jane’s and John’s story from where it left of in Widdershins.

When Jane’s lover, Tom, returns from the navy to find her unhappily married to his betrayer, Jane is caught in an impossible situation. Still reeling from the loss of her mother at the hands of the witch-finder John Sharpe, Jane has no choice but to continue her dangerous work as a healer while keeping her young daughter safe.
But, as Tom searches for a way for him and Jane to be together, the witch-finder is still at large. Filled with vengeance, John will stop at nothing in his quest to rid England of the scourge of witchcraft.
Inspired by true events, Sunwise tells the story of one woman’s struggle for survival in a hostile and superstitious world.


Sunwise by Helen Wiseman picks up Jane’s and John’s story from where it left of in Widdershins (review here).

I received a copy for a free and unbiased review

Continue reading “Sunwise by Helen Steadman – Blog tour/book review”

Widdershins by Helen Steadman – Blog tour/book review

I really enjoyed Widdershins by Helen Steadman-a gripping historical fiction set in 1650 inspired by the Newcastle Witch trials.

Did all women have something of the witch about them?’
Jane Chandler is an apprentice healer. From childhood, she and her mother have used herbs to cure the sick. But Jane will soon learn that her sheltered life in a small village is not safe from the troubles of the wider world.
From his father’s beatings to his uncle’s raging sermons, John Sharpe is beset by bad fortune. Fighting through personal tragedy, he finds his purpose: to become a witch-finder and save innocents from the scourge of witchcraft.
Inspired by true events, Widdershins tells the story of the women who were persecuted and the men who condemned them.


I’ve lived in the North-East of England for almost two decades now and I had very little knowledge of the terrible Newcastle Witch trials, so when I saw the blurb for Widdershins by Helen Steadman, I knew I had to read this book.

I received a copy for a free and unbiased review.

Continue reading “Widdershins by Helen Steadman – Blog tour/book review”

A Trace of Poison by Colleen Cambridge- book review

Here is my review of this cosy crime where Agatha Christie’s housekeeper has to solve a murder where the chief suspects are a group of crime writers. Here is my review of A Trace of Poison by Colleen Cambridge.

Phyllida Bright, housekeeper for Agatha Christie, must uncover a killer among a throng of crime writers.
In England’s stately manor houses, murder is not generally a topic for polite conversation. Mallowan Hall, home to Agatha Christie  is the exception. The neighbouring village of Listleigh has also become a hub of grisly goings-on, thanks to a Murder Fête organized to benefit a local orphanage. Members of The Detection Club—a group of celebrated authors such as G.K. Chesterton, Dorothy L. Sayers, and Agatha herself—will congregate for charitable events, including a writing contest for aspiring authors. The winner gets an international publishing contract, and entrants have gathered for a cocktail party when murder strikes .
It’s a mystery too intriguing for Phyllida to resist, but one fraught with duplicity and danger, for every guest is an expert in murder—and how to get away with it.


A Trace of Poison by Colleen Cambridge was an easy to read and enjoyable cosy murder suggestive of Agatha Christie’s best mysteries.

I received a copy of this book for a free and unbiased opinion.

Reading this book felt like slipping on a comfy jumper. Warm and familiar- with the expected twisty murder, a range of eccentric suspects, everyone has a motive, lots of red herrings and a detective that doesn’t give up.

The mystery was complex, and I did not guess who the murderer was and the motive was ingenious.

Phyllida herself was an interesting Detective- unbending in her desire to help her employer even if it places her in danger, efficient and perhaps a touch unlikeable.

I liked how the author added diversity to the book without it being out of place for 1920s England.

I do have one very slight criticism- the use of the word cookie instead of biscuit (though I could be wrong and indeed they were eating cookies and not biscuits in the English sense).

Perfect for Fans of

Cosy crime

Kaikeyi By Vaishnavi Patel – Book review

This alternate take on a much maligned woman was difficult to put down. Here is my review this fantasy- Kaikeyi by Vaishnavi Patel.

Publication date 27 October 2022

Kaikeyi retells the story of Rama ( an avatar of the Hindu God Lord Vishnu) from the Ramayana from the first-person point of view of Kaikeyi, Rama’s stepmother. In the original story, Kaikeyi asks her husband to exile his heir and favourite son Rama to a forest for 14 years and place her son on the throne. Rama’s banishment eventually leads to a battle of good and evil- his triumphant return to Ayodhya is celebrated during the annual festival of Diwali.

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Blue Water by Leonora Nattrass – Book review

Jago continues to be the reluctant spy but now on a ship bound for Philadelphia in Blue Water by Leonora Nattrass. Here is my review of this historical fiction set in the 1700’s.


I loved Black Drop (review here), so I was so excited to be approved by NetGalley to read Blue Water by Leonora Nattress which continues Laurence Jago’s story now a disgraced clerk. But you can enjoy this book without having read Black Drop.

I received a copy of the book for a free and unbiased review.

Laurence Jago continues to be a reluctant spy but this time he is now stuck on a ship bound for Philadelphia. He has been told his mission is to help the civil servant carrying a treaty that will make all the difference in war between the French and the British. But then the civil servant is murdered, so now Jago must find the murderer before he becomes the next the right t

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The Whispering Dark by Kelly Andrews – Book Review

The Whispering Dark by Kelly Andrews is marketed as The Raven Boys meets The Ninth House and you can see why.

Delaney Meyers-Petrov Is accepted to a prestigious program at Godbole college- a college  where the paranormal is part of the curriculum .She is eager to escape her overprotective parents, so she accepts a scholarship to the college. She finds herself drawn to the distant Colton Price who seems to dislike her and struggles to keep up with the academic work when her college seems unable to accommodate her deafness. Colton has his own reasons for keeping his distance including the fact Lane saved his life when he drowned at the age of nine. But they are forced to work together when students start turning up dead.


While I did find this an easy read, I didn’t really like the book, but I imagine loads of people will. I will focus on the good bits first.

I received a copy of this book for a free and unbiased opinion

I haven’t read many books where with good disability rep, but in Lane the author has managed to create a woman who isn’t defined by her deafness but must overcome the daily challenges this brings. I loved the fact The Whispering dark had diverse range of characters and seamlessly wove this into the story.

The book is told from Lane and Colton’s point of view. Colton while on the surface appears to be a privileged student is also dealing with loss and abandonment which makes his fixation with Lane understandable. The world-building and the descriptions of the paranormal including parallel world were descriptive and interesting but not unique.

But like I said before I didn’t enjoy this book despite the positives. The book seems to focus on the relationship between Colton and Lane at the expense of the supernatural elements, and it felt at times I was reading a romance with some paranormal elements. I figured out quickly who the Apostle was, and their motivations seemed a little boring and by the end I still couldn’t figure why they disliked Lane.

Lane also seemed to have some potent power of her own which seemed to take second place to the romance with Colton which was disappointing. But towards the end, I felt uncomfortable with the power dynamics between the two of them (although this would have made interesting reading if this was explored a little more).

Perfect for fans of

The Ninth House or paranormal romances with slightly more gore.

Publication Date: October 20th 2022

The Empire by Michael Ball – Book review

The Empire by Michael Ball is lovely, warm-hearted read- here is my review of this historical fiction set in a theatre in the 1920’s.

Publication Date 13 October

Source: NetGalley and Bonnier Books

 The Empire. Lord Lassiter bought it for his second wife, Lady Lillian and she supervised every detail of the restoration. The Empire is not just a theatre. From music hall to vaudeville, from revue to grand musical spectacular, it holds a special place in the nation’s heart. For its audience, for its actors and singers, for the stagehands, the front-of-house staff, for its backers and its debtors – and above all for its owners – it truly is a palace of dreams.
And for young Jack Treadwell, struggling to adapt to civilian life after the horrors of the trenches, it’s a lifeline. When he receives a letter out of the blue inviting him to work at The Empire, he leaps at the chance. After all, it’s owned by the family of his former commanding officer, Edmund Lassiter.
But as Jack soon discovers, it is not just the actors who are donning a disguise. With whispers of a cover-up, a scandal and sibling rivalry, tensions rise, along with the curtain. For there is treachery at the heart of The Empire and a dark secret waiting in the wings. Can Jack discover the truth before it is too late, and the theatre that means so much to them all goes dark?


It has been a rough few weeks, so I was in the mood for an uplifting book and The Empire by Michael Ball was the book equivalent of snuggling under the duvet.

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The Dark Between the Trees by   Fiona Barnett- Book review

Here is my review of The Dark Between the Trees by Fiona Barnett- a spooky gothic thriller that will resonate with anyone who has found themselves lost in the woods

1643: A small group of Parliamentarian soldiers are ambushed in an isolated part of Northern England. Their only hope for survival is to flee into the nearby Moresby Wood… unwise though that may seem. For Moresby Wood is known to be an unnatural place, the realm of witchcraft and shadows, where the devil is said to go walking by moonlight.Seventeen men enter the wood. Only two are ever seen again, and the stories they tell of what happened make no sense. Stories of shifting landscapes, of trees that appear and disappear at will… and of something else. Something dark. Something hungry.
Todayfive women are headed into Moresby Wood to discover  what happened to that unfortunate group of soldiers. Led by Dr Alice Christopher, an historian who has devoted her entire academic career to uncovering the secrets of Moresby Wood. Armed with metal detectors, GPS units, mobile phones and the most recent map of the area, Dr Christopher’s group enters the wood ready for anything.
Or so they think.


I enjoys walking in the North of England and I have to confess, I find walking through some of the old woods and forests a little anxiety provoking-just in case I get lost and never find my way out. So, The Dark Between the Trees by Fiona Barnett struck a note with me.

I received a copy of the book for a free and unbiased opinion

The story is told from several points of view – the group of men in 1643 and the women in the present time. The main protagonist is the historian Alice Christopher who is determined (beyond the point of obsession) to find out the truth of what happened to the men who got lost in Moresby wood.

Moresby wood which feels like a character in its own right and the author captures the that  terrifying feeling of losing your bearing in a wooded area where all the trees just look the same ( and yes I speak from experience). The myths and folk tales of monsters, witches and people selling the souls to the devil all feed into the charm and mystery. The book builds a scary atmosphere with gentle, sustained dread rather than outright horror.

I found the women of this book more interesting particularly the backstories of the two academics who unfortunately must risk their lives to prove their credibility in a male dominated world. But woods treat the men and women the same with the same tragic consequences.

I felt the book ended a bit too abruptly (I would have liked a little more explanation)but also felt a little too long- there was a lot of backstory to the women that sometimes slowed the pace of the book.

But if you enjoy books with a gothic feel, lots of atmosphere and complex characters, then this is the book for you.

Perfect for Fans

Small Angels by Lauren Owens

The secret diaries of Charles Ignatius Sancho by Patterson Joseph -Booke review

This was the first time one of my NetGalley wishes was granted and I’m so glad. The Secret Diaries of Charles Ignatius Sancho by Patterson Joseph is historical fiction based on the amazing life of Ignatius Sancho- the first black man to vote in England.

Pub date 6th October 2022

Source: NetGalley and Little Brown Uk

An illuminating and original tale of a Black writer and composer Charles Ignatius Sancho. Recently named as a Great Black Briton and immortalised with a Google Doodle this brilliant story charts the life of the little-known maverick and his life in Regency London in a witty polemic, we have grown to love through many great 18th Century English writers. Candid and characterful, illuminating and illustrious this is a great opportunity to revive the history of an important, engaging historical character to a wide audience. 


I know I shouldn’t buy a book written by an actor because I loved how they portrayed a character on a TV show but when I saw Patterson Joseph who managed to make me root for slimy tech mogul Connor Mason in Timeless- I just couldn’t resist. I’m glad I did because The Secret Diaries of Charles Ignatius Sancho was a joy to read from start to finish.

Continue reading “The secret diaries of Charles Ignatius Sancho by Patterson Joseph -Booke review”