Book Review

The Haunting at Paradise House – Killian Wolf

I have a little something to get you in the Halloween spirit today, with The Haunting at Paradise House by Killian Wolf. Many thanks to Killian, and to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources, for inviting me to take part in this blog tour, and for providing me with a copy of the book.

BLURB:

If you were given the chance to become a powerful sorceress, would you leave behind everything you thought you knew?

When Addison is offered the position of her dreams through a mysterious phone call, she rises to the occasion and moves to the Florida Keys to a mansion called Paradise House. Footsteps from playful ghosts, a room of killer dolls, and an all too intelligent owl lead her to the mysteries that lie within the walls, to reveal the true reason behind her invitation. When dark forces get a hold of her and her patient, Addison is left with no choice but to take extreme measures to protect the ones she loves. Will Addison be able to acquire the necessary skills fast enough in order to protect her patient, and defeat the evil entities that thrive in the mansion?

The Haunting at Paradise House eBook

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REVIEW:

I don’t get on well with ghost stories, or anything too gruesome, but every Halloween I like to add something a little bit spooky to my reading list, and The Haunting at Paradise House seemed ideal. The good news is, apart from a room full of insanely creepy dolls, this is a book that could satisfy my need for something Halloween appropriate without giving me nightmares!

I instantly warmed to conflicted reaper Ambrose, and his unwilling sidekick Deacon. It’s funny because I don’t consider myself to be a morbid person, but I often find that when there is a “Death” character in a book, they quickly become my favourite. I really enjoyed the light relief that these characters provided in between the tenser scenes with hellhounds and the aforementioned creepy dolls (can you tell I don’t like dolls?). I was also particularly taken with Crowley the owl – I love owls, so when one pops up in a book, especially one as helpful as Crowley, then it always puts a smile on my face.

When I am enjoying a book, as I did with this one, it almost becomes my reality in a way for the time that I am reading it, and little touches like the references to Nicolas Flamel and Aleister Crowley, just make it feel all the more real.

If you like something a touch on the spooky side, but not excessively so (and you aren’t scared of dolls!) I would highly recommend that you read this book.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

The Haunting Author PhotoKillian Wolf is a Miami, FL native who enjoys pirates, rum, and skulls as much as she loves writing about dark magick and sorcerers. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Cultural Anthropology and Sociology and a Master of Science in Environmental Archaeology and Palaeoeconomy.

Killian writes books about obtaining magickal powers and stepping into other dimensions. She lives in England with her husband, a tornado of a cat, and the most timid snake you’d ever meet.

When she isn’t writing, you might find her at an Archaeological dig, rock climbing, or sipping on dark spiced rum while working on a painting.

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GIVEAWAY:

Win a paperback copy of The Haunting at Paradise House (UK Only)

*Terms and Conditions –UK entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter link below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

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Make sure you pay a visit to the other blogs taking part in this tour.

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Book Review

A Rhyme of Dark Words – Jeremy Smith

I am kicking off October with a suitably spooky book in the form of A Rhyme of Dark Words, by Jeremy Smith. My thanks to Jeremy for providing me with a copy of the book to read.

BLURB:

Tilly Hart is grieving for her mother when she moves to the ancient village of Witheridge. Finding friendship and love, she also finds a place steeped in witchlore and the legend of a beast that stalks the moor. Supernatural events and a hidden diary guide her to a village lost in time, a place where magic exists and demons walk the land.

With her newfound friends and the deadline of Halloween drawing near, she sets out to prevent an ancient evil destroying all she loves.

Being both the hunter and hunted, she discovers she can control magic. But magic is an addiction that can lead to evil.

A Rhyme of Dark Words is the first book in the Tilly Hart series, and you can find out more about the series and the author on Goodreads.

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REVIEW:

I am not one for horror books, or anything overly spooky – in fact my friends will tell you that I am a big old scaredy cat! However, every October when my fellow bookworms are dusting off their favourite scary books for Halloween, I start to feel a bit left out and look for something that is more my level. As a YA book that is also described as being suitable for younger teens, A Rhyme of Dark Words seemed the perfect book for me to kick off my  Spooktober reading.

I was instantly grabbed by this book, which kicks off in 1645 in the heart of a witch hunt for the Brocken witches. I would happily have stayed with this story to discover what happened  to the sisters, and the prologue left me hoping that we would find out more as the story progressed.

Moving to the present day, we meet Tilly Hart, the newest resident of Brocken Manor, and her new found friends, Becca and Wilf. As Tilly settles into her new home, she encounters a number of strange goings on, and I will confess that early on in the book I had concerns that perhaps even this book was too much for my over-active imagination. However, after a few heart-stopping moments, things settled down and I found myself swept away by the story.

As Tilly and co uncover the secrets of the Manor, and find out what really happened during the witch hunt of 1645, I became more and more invested in what they were doing. I loved Wilf, so unendingly loyal in his devotion to Becca, and I had everything crossed for him that he would get the girl in the end.

A Rhyme of Dark Words is a well thought out novel, and the intertwining stories flow seamlessly as everything begins to fall into place.

Every now and then I will be reading a book that ends up being accompanied by an almost constant chain of messages to a friend telling them how great the book is and they simply must read it. This is one such book, and I am heading off now to investigate the rest of the series.

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Book Review

The Witch Ways – Helen Slavin

As my friends will take great pleasure in telling you, I am not a fan of horror in any shape or form, but as Halloween approaches, I thought it only fair that I bring you news of a suitably themed (but not too scary) book. As luck would have it, I recently discovered the magical Witch Ways series by Helen Slavin, so today I am here to tell you about not one, but two delightfully magical books.

CROOKED DAYLIGHT (THE WITCH WAYS #1)

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BLURB:

The Way sisters, Anna, Charlie and Emz, were raised in two worlds. Their mother’s realm of reason, measurement and logic, and the world inhabited by their spectacularly unconventional grandmother, Hettie. 

While their mother worked, the sisters ran wild at Hettie’s Cob Cottage, discovering forbidden Pike Lake, unknowable Havoc Wood, and what their grandmother referred to only as ‘The Strengths’.

But time passed, the sisters grew up, work and relationships and their mother’s world won them over, and The Strengths lay forgotten…

That is until Hettie passes away suddenly, leaving behind Cob Cottage and a whole lot of questions.

Anna is busy trying very hard not to cry as she caters yet another wedding, Charlie is spending more time at the job she loves than with the boyfriend she’s not quite sure about and Emz is dreaming up new ways to avoid school and the drama that comes with it, but can they deal with strange guests, unexpected danger and some long-forgotten memories?

REVIEW:

As first books in a series go, this one certainly grabs your attention from the very first page, as the Way sisters make a break from their much loved grandmother’s funeral, with the coffin!

The bond between the three sisters is instantly apparent, and despite their obvious differences, their closeness remains clear throughout the book. With their wildly different personalities, I think every reader will find at least one Way that they can relate to.

Slavin creates a wonderful supporting cast in the form of the townspeople, a warm community reminiscent of old village life, making Woodcastle feel like the kind of place that I would like to live – I particularly enjoyed meeting the ladies of the WI, and the curious Craft Club.

As soon as I finished this book, I knew that I would be moving swiftly on to the second book in the series to find out what happens next to the Witch Ways.

SLOW POISON (THE WITCH WAYS #2)

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BLURB:

“You’re the Ways. The Gamekeepers. You must know.” 

But the problem is they don’t. After being thrust into a life of magic, Anna, Charlie, and Emz have lost their way. They don’t know where they’re supposed to be, what they’re supposed to be doing, or who they’re supposed to trust. Right now, they’re just trying to get by.

Struggling to accept their powers, the sisters are doing all they can to lead a normal life, but with the anniversary of Halloween looming everyone is on edge.

When a stranger arrives on their doorstep, they know a different magic is in the air. The Ways realise they must embrace their Strengths if they have any hope of doing the job Hettie left behind.

With dark magic crackling through the town and leaking into the lives of people they love, the Ways must find themselves before they lose everything. 

REVIEW:

Slow Poison picks up shortly after the conclusion of Crooked Daylight, with the sisters still trying to get to grips with their “Strengths,” when the second of their Gamekeeper guests arrives on the doorstep of Cob Cottage. I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know each of the sisters a little better in this book, and discovering more about each of their individual gifts.

This book has a darker feel than Crooked Daylight with the arrival of the mysterious Ailith and her severed head, and the sinister Mrs Fyfe to the town of Woodcastle. That said, even as unease and tension drips through the townsfolk, it maintains a distinctly British feel that reminded me of Midsomer Murders (this is a good thing, I LOVE Midsomer!), conjuring up images of picturesque towns with their unique local customs.

Despite the toxic, dark magic taking a hold over the town, there is a wonderful cosiness to Slavin’s writing that draws you in and refuses to let go until you have read the entire book! I think this is largely due to the wonderful Cob Cottage, which has a character all of its own and which, once you are safely tucked away inside will protect you from the evils outside.

I don’t know if Helen Slavin has plans to write more books featuring the Witch Ways, but I for one really hope that she does.

You can find out more about Helen and her books on her website, https://www.helenslavin.com/