Tuesday 30 October 2018

{Blog Tour} The Haunting of Violet Gray by Emily Sadovna

The Haunting of Violet Gray
Posted by Donna
Release Date: October 31st, 2018
Publishers: MG Publishing 
Genre: YA Paranormal 
Pages: 306
Buy: Amazon UK Amazon US / The Book Depo 

A dark tale of witch craft, time travel and conspiracy 

Cat is inexplicably drawn to a beautiful mansion where she is seduced into the heady world of modern witchcraft. Opening herself to magic, her mind reveals the impossible. Cat becomes plagued by the paranormal happenings of the house and the desperate whispers of a long-dead girl.

Time Travel
Cursed with the gift of astral travel, Cat discovers a witch’s journal which anchors her mind to the summer of 1940. She witnesses events that lead to a secret occultist ritual.

Can Cat piece together the clues before the sun rises at the Mabon feast? Can she prevent a repeat of the disastrous ritual? An event so scandalous and deadly it remained a state secret for over eighty years. What terrible price must be paid to stop it happening again? This time, on a devastating scale, engineered for the Twenty-first Century.

Emily Sadovna’s Favourite Halloween books.

With the autumn evenings drawing in, Halloween is the perfect time to cozy down with a good book. Here are my favourite books to revisit over Halloween:

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. 
I heard a story of how Mary Shelley, Percy Shelley and Lord Byron were stranded in their villa near a lake with a storm lashing down on them where Byron challenged them to write a scary story. That was where Frankenstein came into fruition. I adore the darkness and tenderness of the story. The idea of man attempting to over-rule nature and harnessing the power of the storm to make life and witnessing the heartbreaking consequences of his ambition is compulsive reading for me. 

The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilmore. 
I studied this for my A Levels. There was something about it that haunted me and stayed with me my whole life.  A woman driven is to insanity by the oppression of a controlling man, seeking solace in the arms of an otherworldly woman trapped behind the wall paper who later frees her mind from her own dark reality. I have long been fascinated by alternate realities and the fine line between sanity and madness. 

The Shining by Stephen King  
I read this as a teenager then went on the become addicted to his books as well as James Herbert. I have never seen a ghost, but I have never doubted their existence. I once went on a ghost tour of Dudley castle where I learn that ghosts are like memories of people trapped with in the walls of the houses they occupied or died in. The way the vast empty hotel wakes and gradually consumes Jack is chilling. I can’t forget REDRUM, you might see a homage to this in my book. 

The Woman in the Mirror by Rebecca James 
This is a recent discovery. I was toying with a similar name so I wondered if the contents had any parallels. It was a creepy, gothic story, like mine, set in dual times. Again the house seduces and begins to consume the main protagonist. 

The Graces by Laure Eve
I was recommended The Graces and I zipped through it. It’s set in Cornwall, an area buzzing with magic and myth as well as being a cool hangout. Laure blurs the lines between magic, the discoveries of adolescence and coping with real and raw issues. We see a girl find herself with the help of a family of beautiful people with power. Then the story takes a dark and unexpected turn…

The Spell Book of the Lost and Found by Moira Fowley-Doyle
You are thrown into a party, like many I went to as a teenager, and I am sure still go on. That night everyone lost something, some things more significant than others as the story unfolds the main characters uncover lost secrets. The web expands and connects and takes twists and turns you can’t guess. I like unpredictable stories.

Author bio:
Born in Essex, Emily Sadovna grew up near Oxford. Trained in fashion journalism, Emily’s career began as a window dresser and freelance stylist. Later, Emily launched her own deli and catering business and learnt the art of chocolate making. She went on to qualify as a food and nutrition teacher at a secondary school and now teaches primary school children to cook in afterschool clubs. 
Emily’s pen name originates from her Polish grandfather. Her imagination derives from a line of formidable women all with wonderful stories to tell. She lives with her husband and their two daughters on the edge of the New Forest in Hampshire. The Haunting of Violet Gray is her first novel. 
instagram: EmilySadovna 
Twitter @EmilySadovna

Monday 8 October 2018

{Review} Dear Evan Hansen: The Novel by Val Emmich + UK Giveaway

39088507Posted by Laura (Guest Reviewer)
Release Date: October 9th, 2019
Finished Date: October 2nd, 2019
Publishers: Penguin
Genre: Contemporary, Fiction, YA
Source: For Review
Format: Hardcover 
Pages: 368
Buy: Amazon UK Amazon US / The Book Depo 
From the show's creators comes the groundbreaking novel inspired by the Broadway smash hit Dear Evan Hansen.

Dear Evan Hansen,

Today's going to be an amazing day and here's why...

When a letter that was never meant to be seen by anyone draws high school senior Evan Hansen into a family's grief over the loss of their son, he is given the chance of a lifetime: to belong. He just has to stick to a lie he never meant to tell, that the notoriously troubled Connor Murphy was his secret best friend.

Suddenly, Evan isn't invisible anymore--even to the girl of his dreams. And Connor Murphy's parents, with their beautiful home on the other side of town, have taken him in like he was their own, desperate to know more about their enigmatic son from his closest friend. As Evan gets pulled deeper into their swirl of anger, regret, and confusion, he knows that what he's doing can't be right, but if he's helping people, how wrong can it be?

No longer tangled in his once-incapacitating anxiety, this new Evan has a purpose. And a website. He's confident. He's a viral phenomenon. Every day is amazing. Until everything is in danger of unraveling and he comes face to face with his greatest obstacle: himself.

A simple lie leads to complicated truths in this big-hearted coming-of-age story of grief, authenticity and the struggle to belong in an age of instant connectivity and profound isolation.

The Review: “Even when the dark comes crashing through, when you need a friend to carry you and when you’re broken on the ground, you will be found.”

Having been constantly obsessed with the Dear Evan Hansen soundtrack and watching YouTube videos of the cast singing on repeat. I was overjoyed to receive a early copy. As I don’t see myself visiting Broadway anytime soon. As much as I wish I was. 

So the novelisation of The Broadway show is the closest I’ll get. From the first page I was pulled into this fabulous story and all its characters had me gripped. 

I read this book in two sittings and was so sad when I had no more pages left to read. It’s official I’m Dear Evan Hansen trash, I’m even more in love than before. 

Thank you to Penguin for giving me the opportunity to review this book in exchange for an honest review. 

Tuesday 2 October 2018

{Blog Tour} The Caged Queen (Iskari #2) by Kristen Ciccarelli

40873495Posted by Donna
Release Date: September 25th, 2018
Finished Date: September 19th, 2018
Publishers: Gollancz
Genre: Fantasy, Romance
Source: For Review
Format: paperback
Pages: 400
Buy: Amazon UK Amazon US / The Book Depo 
Once there were two sisters born with a bond so strong that it forged them together forever. When they were angry, mirrors shattered, and when they were happy, flowers bloomed. It was a magic they cherished - until the day a terrible accident took Essie's life and trapped her soul in this world.

Dax - the heir to Firgaard's throne - was responsible for the accident. Roa swore to hate him forever. But eight years later he returned, begging for her help. He was determined to dethrone his cruel father, under whose oppressive reign Roa's people had suffered. Roa made him a deal: she'd give him the army he needed if he made her queen.

Together with Dax and his sister, Asha, Roa and her people waged war and deposed a tyrant. But now Asha is on the run, hiding from the price on her head. And Roa is an outlander queen, far from home and married to her enemy. Worst of all: Dax's promises go unfulfilled. Roa's people continue to suffer.

Then a chance to right every wrong arises - an opportunity for Roa to rid herself of this enemy king and rescue her beloved sister. During the Relinquishing, when the spirits of the dead are said to return, Roa can reclaim her sister for good.

All she has to do is kill the king.

The Review: The Caged Queen is the second book in Kristen Ciccarelli’s Iskari series and this time around we have Roa and Dax’s story and don’t worry, this book features some very interesting old stories that keep you captivated from start to finish.

The starts only a few days have passed since the events of The Last Namsara so as a reader you really don’t miss out on anything. I was so pleased when I finished The Last Namsara I had this book ready and waiting for me because I couldn’t wait to see what would happen next.

Both characters are in the first book so, it was nice to already be familiar with them. Dax is Asha’s brother and Roa is Dax’s new wife. They married to join their forces together to overcome the Dragon King. I really wasn’t sure what their story would bring. There is a lot of miscommunication between the pair and as a lot of history to uncover as well. They each don’t know if they can trust the other and both having to play a role made for a lot of drama and suspense to the story while you could see that these two characters deeply character for one another.

What made this book for me was that we got chapters from the past from when the characters were younger. It made me understand their friendships and relationships with each other as well with Roa’s sister Essie. It made me root for these characters all the more, I wanted them all to have that happy ending that they all deserved. But I also love how each characters story is linked with the other. Even though Asha and Torwin aren’t a big part of this story, they stories are still entwined and brings the story all together.

I was literally on the edge of my seat the whole time while reading this book because it’s just so captivating and compelling. The authors writing is so addictive that I wish I’d savoured this book more but it was simply impossible to put down.

The Caged Queen is a fantastic follow up to The Last Namsara. These books are definitely a favourite of mine and I’m dying to hear news on the third book because I just can’t wait to get my hands on it.

Thank you to Gollancz for giving me the opportunity to review this book in exchange for an honest review. 

Monday 1 October 2018

{Feature Post} Bookworm Candles & Crafts: October's Candle of the Month

We all love candles right? Well today I’m sharing with you a very special offer that Bookworm Candles and Crafts have. This will be a new monthly offer starting this month where you can buy the offer of the month for at a fantastic discounted price of £5.
October’s offer of the month is

And if you’re a fan of the Throne of Glass series you will know which character this candle relates to.
The Crochan Queen has a gorgeous dark fruit scent with warm woods, jasmine, iris, dewberry and pomegranate. 

Doesn’t the candle look gorgeous? And don’t forget it’s only £5 for an 8oz tin which is an absolute steal!
It is available from today throughout the whole of October but there is only a limited amount of these so make sure you’re quick.
Unfortunately rep codes will not work with this candle but if you wish to purchase any other items while purchasing The Crochan Queen you can use my rep code: DONNABOOKWORM20 for 20% all other items.  You can purchase it here:

Keep your eyes peeled for November’s candle of the month!

Design by Imagination Designs
Graphics by Octopus Artis