A Ghost and his Gold by Roberta Eaton Cheadle #historical African History #Ghost Horror @RobertaEaton17

After Tom and Michelle Cleveland move into their recently built, modern townhouse, their housewarming party is disrupted when a drunken game with an Ouija board goes wrong and summons a sinister poltergeist, Estelle, who died in 1904.
Estelle makes her presence known in a series of terrifying events, culminating in her attacking Tom in his sleep with a knife. But, Estelle isn’t alone. Who are the shadows lurking in the background – one in an old-fashioned slouch hat and the other, a soldier, carrying a rifle?
After discovering their house has been built on the site of one of the original farms in Irene, Michelle becomes convinced that the answer to her horrifying visions lie in the past. She must unravel the stories of the three phantoms’ lives, and the circumstances surrounding their untimely deaths during the Second Anglo Boer War, in order to understand how they are tied together and why they are trapped in the world of ghosts between life and death. As the reasons behind Estelle’s malevolent behaviour towards Tom unfold, Michelle’s marriage comes under severe pressure and both their lives are threatened.

An image posted by the author.
Robbie Cheadle

Roberta Eaton Cheadle is a South African writer and poet specialising in historical, paranormal, and horror novels and short stories. She is an avid reader in these genres and her writing has been influenced by famous authors including Bram Stoker, Edgar Allan Poe, Amor Towles, Stephen Crane, Enrich Maria Remarque, George Orwell, Stephen King, and Colleen McCullough.

Roberta has short stories and poems in several anthologies and has 2 published novels, Through the Nethergate, a historical supernatural fantasy, and A Ghost and His Gold, a historical paranormal novel set in South Africa.

Roberta has 9 children’s books published under the name Robbie Cheadle.

Roberta was educated at the University of South Africa where she achieved a Bachelor of Accounting Science in 1996 and a Honours Bachelor of Accounting Science in 1997. She was admitted as a member of The South African Institute of Chartered Accountants in 2000.

Roberta has worked in corporate finance from 2001 until the present date and has written 7 publications relating to investing in Africa. She has won several awards over her 20-year career in the category of Transactional Support Services.

Our Review

A Ghost and his Gold is based in South Africa.

I was expecting a jolly good ghost story, but I wasn’t disappointed, for this story is so much more than that.

An interesting combination of the paranormal entwined with history. History that had to be closely and accurately researched to ensure that all the details are portrayed sensitively.

In the beginning of the story, we learn about two ghosts, soldiers who fought and died on opposite sides of the second Boer war. We learn a lot about this war from these two ghosts. Robert, a British soldier, and a Boer called Pieter. Their heart-breaking duel story is brilliantly written, as is the sad story of Estelle, the third and very vengeful ghost and daughter of Pieter.

Far from ordinary, this story is a complicated tale of revenge.

I wish I could forget the horrors of the Boer War, but I will never forget these character’s.

Just remind me never to play with a Ouija board!

The Castle by Anne Montgomery ~ #Review ~ @amontgomery8

Ancient ruins, haunted memories, and a ruthless criminal combine with a touch of mystic presence in this taut mystery about a crime we all must address.

Blurb

Maggie, a National Park Ranger of Native American descent, is back at The Castle—a six-hundred-year-old pueblo carved into a limestone cliff in Arizona’s Verde Valley. Maggie, who suffers from depression, has been through several traumas: the gang rape she suffered while in the Coast Guard, the sudden death of her ten-year-old son, and a suicide attempt.

One evening, she chases a young Native American boy through the park and gasps as he climbs the face of The Castle cliff and disappears into the pueblo. When searchers find no child, Maggie’s friends believe she’s suffering from depression-induced hallucinations.

Maggie has several men in her life. The baker, newcomer Jim Casey, who always greets her with a warm smile and pink boxes filled with sweet delicacies. Brett Collins, a scuba diver who is doing scientific studies in Montezuma Well, a dangerous cylindrical depression that houses strange creatures found nowhere else on Earth. Dave, an amiable waiter with whom she’s had a one-night stand, and her new boss Glen.

One of these men is a serial rapist and Maggie is his next target.

In a thrilling and terrifying denouement, Maggie faces her rapist and conquers her worst fears once and for all.

Anne Montgomery

Biography

Anne Butler Montgomery has worked as a television sportscaster, newspaper and magazine writer, teacher, amateur baseball umpire, and high school football referee. Her first TV job came at WRBL‐TV in Columbus, Georgia, and led to positions at WROC‐TV in Rochester, New York, KTSP‐TV in Phoenix, Arizona, and ESPN in Bristol, Connecticut, where she anchored the Emmy and ACE award‐winning SportsCenter. She finished her on‐camera broadcasting career with a two‐year stint as the studio host for the NBA’s Phoenix Suns. Montgomery was a freelance and/or staff reporter for six publications, writing sports, features, movie reviews, and archaeological pieces. Her previous novels are A Light in the Desert, The Scent of Rain, and Wild Horses on the Salt. Montgomery taught journalism and communications at South Mountain High School in Phoenix for 20 years. She is a foster mom to three sons, and spent 40 years officiating amateur sports, including football, baseball, ice hockey, soccer, and basketball. When she can, she indulges in her passions: rock collecting, scuba diving, musical theater, and playing her guitar.

Contact Information

602.275.6064

annemontgomeryauthor@gmail.com

Excerpt of The Castle

“Holy crap!” Maggie dropped the phone. Someone peered from outside the darkened window. A child. Big eyes in a bronze face. “Hey! You can’t….” But the boy—nine maybe ten—disappeared. She heard a laugh, a light tinkling sound like tiny brass bells on the breeze.

Maggie scrambled for the phone, punched in the number, and made her report. Then she grabbed a flashlight from under the counter and bolted out the back door of the Visitor Center.

A half-moon lit the concrete trail. There was no sign of the boy. The wind pushed through massive Arizona Sycamores, their star-shaped leaves fluttered, the sound mimicking a stream rushing over small river rocks. Maggie rushed down the path. Her Nikes would have served her better than the brown ankle boots that were part of her uniform.

The laughter came again, this time from the wild land amidst the rocks—huge slabs of fractured white limestone that over the centuries had tumbled down the escarpment. Striving to avoid the vicious prickly pear that dotted the slope and the jagged pieces of stone that could slice skin like a honed blade, Maggie left the safety of the trail and pushed past the mesquite and pungent creosote bushes toward the base of the cliff, boots crunching on the rocky rubble that littered the ground.

Her gaze drifted up the sheer stone wall to The Castle, a prehistoric edifice almost iridescent in the moonlight. She could make out the small windows and even ancient logs that jutted from the structure, all of which had been felled and carted up the cliff face many hundreds of years earlier.

Maggie gasped. To her horror, she saw the boy ascending the wall. She flashed on the day she’d scaled the precipice with archaeology students from New Mexico State University. A seasoned climber, she was comfortable in the harness and helmet, but the ladders were touchy. The feel of rock beneath her hands and feet provided a much more solid sense of security. But there were no ladders propped against the ragged limestone now, nor was the child dressed in any protective gear. In fact, he didn’t appear to be wearing clothes at all.

Frozen, she watched the boy mount the wall like an animal, arms and legs working with almost preternatural ease. Then Maggie saw the child hoist himself over the ledge before he disappeared into the cave that held The Castle in its belly.

At six-foot-three, Jess Sorenson towered over her friend. She folded the slim spiral notebook and tucked the pad into the back pocket of her uniform pants. Like Maggie, Jess sported a gray button-down short-sleeve shirt and forest green slacks. But Jess was a National Park Service Law Enforcement officer, so she also wore a sidearm.

“You don’t believe me.” Maggie slumped into a desk chair in the office at the Montezuma Castle Visitor Center.

“Look, sweetie…”

Maggie glared.

“I’m just saying that we’ve had a search team out here for,” Jess checked her watch, “five hours now. And they’ve found nothing. And you have to admit….”

“They think I’m still crazy, right?” Maggie jumped from the chair and paced the room, a palm pressed against her forehead.

“I didn’t say that, but….” Jess creased her brow. “You know I have to ask.”

“No, I’m no longer medicated, if that’s what you’re curious about.” Maggie turned toward the east-facing windows of the Visitor Center, where the morning sun had yet to offer even a hint of illumination.

Jess nodded and reached again for the notebook. She jotted the information in blue ink, stuck the pen in her breast pocket, and ran her fingers through short, shockingly white hair. “Maybe you need some more time off,” she said softly.

Maggie closed her eyes and pinched the bridge of her nose. “I know what I saw.”

Jess stared for a long time. “I believe you. But the other guys….” She spread her hands wide.

“I have to work, Jess. Sitting around is doing me no good. I just think too much when I’m alone. When I’m here, I feel better. I can’t go back to the house.”

“I know.” Jess perched on the corner of a nearby desk. “So, what do you want to do? Should we file a report with the local authorities? Ask if any young boys are missing?”

“They’ll send me home.”

“They might.”

“But what if a child is out there injured?” Maggie pointed toward The Castle, unable stop tears from spilling down her cheeks.

“Do you think the child was hurt?”

Maggie blew out a breath and closed her eyes. She pictured the boy scaling the wall like one of the ubiquitous brown lizards that scampered among the rocks, his tinkling laughter playing on the breeze. Suddenly the memory seemed wrong. How could the vision be real? She stared at Jess, frowned, and collapsed into a chair.

Jess got up, walked over to Maggie, and wrapped an arm around her shoulders. “I’m gonna call the guys off. Let’s get you to bed.”

Maggie lifted her head and peered from bleary eyes. “What about the report?”

“I think we need to err on the side of caution and tell the local folks, just in case. But maybe we can make it sound not so….”

“Crazy?” Maggie finished the sentence.

“Come on, now.”

Maggie allowed Jess to help her from the chair. Then she picked up the straw-colored hat with the flat brim and dark leather band that symbolized her profession. Her job was all that mattered now. By making the report Maggie was putting her employment at risk. But what if a child was lost or injured, and they stopped the search because she chose to say nothing? Maggie couldn’t live with that.

Maggie dragged herself from bed. After slipping on a pair of khaki shorts and an overly large navy-blue T-shirt bearing the words Plant Lady: I dig dirt, she made a cup of instant coffee, heavily laced with sugar and milk.

Maggie pushed through the screen door to the tiny porch that fronted her one-bedroom apartment, let the door snap shut behind her, and placed the steaming mug on a round wrought iron table. She’d slept until noon—not a surprise considering her run in with the boy/spirit/hallucination—so the sun was directly overhead. Birds chattered noisily in the surrounding bushes and trees. A speckled brown and white roadrunner, who sprinted about the grounds frequently and exhibited little fear of humans, tilted his head as she sat at the table, then went back to pecking among the rocks in a search for insects and lizards.

The apartment, one of several in a tidy row, sat on National Park land, just a short walk from The Castle. One of the benefits of being a National Park Ranger was the opportunity to live at work. Maggie had recently requested one of the simple flats—a bedroom, kitchenette, tiny living room, and bath—because the thought of returning to her house on Beaver Creek was overwhelming. Memories lingered there, once vibrant and joyful, now nothing but dust and shadow, thoughts that clawed at her gut like a small rodent anxious to eat its way out. She fingered the ragged scars that bisected her wrists—cuts that were partially concealed by a pair of colorful tattoos—then stared at the cerulean blue of the high desert sky.

Maggie, who’d grown up in the bulging metropolis of Phoenix, Arizona, had enjoyed the small-town feel of the Beaver Creek area, which encompassed the communities of Lake Montezuma, Rimrock, and McGuireville. On the way home from The Castle, she’d pass Vickie’s Grill—where a sign proclaimed you could get good home cooking—the Feed Store, and Candy’s Creek Side Cottage with its colorful kitschy décor that always made her smile. Further down the road stood the Montezuma-Rim Rock Fire Department, the town post office, and the most popular spot in town, Flora’s Bakery, where indescribably delicious confections came in pink boxes tied with twine. Then Maggie would turn onto the unpaved, dusty lane with the long row of metal mailboxes, mostly black and white and green, some with their red flags at attention, signaling mail within. Maggie’s was the fourth box from the right, turquoise with white flowers and a yellow butterfly that Charlie had insisted on.

Her tiny house was embraced by an ancient Arizona Sycamore, some of the tree’s branches having kissed the earth untold years earlier, after which they’d rebounded into the high desert sky, massive in their height and breadth. She’d felt connected to the tree with the mottled skin—pale green, brown, and white—cool to the touch, verdant star-shaped leaves. She couldn’t wrap her arms completely around the trunk, though she’d tried.

Charlie had loved the tree. Maggie stopped worrying as he’d grown older, no longer concerned that the boy might fall from the enormous limbs.

Bits of Charlie’s life assaulted her as she sipped her coffee. A hand-painted wooden frame clutching a picture of the two of them, smiling on a hike when he was six. A small pair of boots, laces untied, caked with dried red mud. The collection of minerals on the bedside table, including the strange geometrically-shaped white rocks called pseudomorphs, they’d found sifting through the sandy bottom of the open-pit salt mine in Camp Verde.

Maggie forced the thoughts away, not wanting to think about the house she still owned but dared not enter. For six months she’d stayed away. Jess periodically checked on the property and picked up the mail. Maggie continued to pay the mortgage, but the water and electricity had long since been turned off.

A half an hour and two cups of coffee later, Maggie stared at a Queen butterfly that rested on the wooden porch railing. The creature lazily opened and closed white-spotted orange and black wings, and flitted to a nearby patch of milkweed.

Maggie jumped, startled by the sound of a vehicle. A late model green Jeep Wrangler pulled to a stop in front of the last apartment in the complex. A tall man wearing a Colorado Rockies baseball cap unfolded himself from the driver’s seat and spoke into a cellphone as he slammed the door. He ended the call and slipped the phone into his back pocket. Then, he opened the rear of the vehicle and hoisted a large silver cylinder to his shoulder. His phone rang.

“What!” He walked up the wooden steps to the apartment. “I’ll call you back.” He put the cylinder on the porch floor and fumbled with a key.

Maggie recognized the object, strangely incongruous in the desert. It was a scuba tank.

Our Review

The author has dedicated The Castle to all survivors of sexual violence, which has to be the worst abuse every woman fears.

Maggie is back at work as a Park Ranger, trying to lead a normal life after a rape ordeal. That’s if life and her memories will let her.

She meets many men in her job, and they all make her feel uncomfortable. How can she know who to trust?

Like Brett Collins, a serious scuba diver that she is assigned to assist. He seems decent enough and doesn’t even flirt with her. Her boss Glen, Jim Casey the baker and Dave the good looking, dark haired waiter, they all seem harmless, but try as she might, the thought that she could be in danger again will not leave her be.

I loved the way I learned more about the rapist as the story developed, all while I was trying to guess who he was. It was as if once I knew, then he would be caught and punished before anything bad happened!

The author tried hard with the sympathy card, but I couldn’t feel sorry for the serial rapist, sorry.

I also loved the history of the ancient ruins and the thread of mystery throughout the story, which did help to balance the pervading evil.

I cannot say I enjoyed reading this story, due to the subject matter, but it is brilliantly written and plotted, and I didn’t manage to guess who the rapist was until the very end!

Dead of Winter ~ Journey 8 ~ The Lost Library ~ Review ~ @teagangeneviene

Throughout the previous volumes the fantasy aspect of this epic has gradually built. In Journey 8, that fantastical element comes to the fore.
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Emlyn and her companions search for the fabled Lost Library. The entire world is at risk, so they hope answers will be there. However, a new complication arises and the fate of one Deae Matres hangs in the balance.
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Meanwhile Arawn, who tore the Veil between the worlds of the living and dead, tries to make an evil alliance with a long dead king who was known for his ruthlessness.
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Remove the limits from your imagination and join Emlyn and company on this extraordinary adventure.

Dead of Winter Journey 8

This story moves on to another part of this intriguing world and opens with Emlyn and her companions Zasha and Hallgeir exploring the newly found Library, trying to find out why Osabide and two of members of the Deae Matre have disappeared. And as this magical Library seems enormous, not an easy task.

When Hallgeir reappears, he brings with him the ancient watcher, Haldis.

The one who has been watching their progress all this time. Was she the reason they were here? Or the reason the library had vanished all those years ago?

As Haldis recounts her story, Emlyn was reminded of the magic that linked them. But whose side was the magic on, and did it still have plans for them all?

Emlyn grows uneasy as she listens to their conversations and the decision that involves herself, realising that they are deciding her future and that of her own special gift.

Ripples of unease and mistrust begin to circulate, were they all being manipulated into making the biggest mistake of their lives?

I cannot wait for the next journey!

A Great Day after all…

I have to admit that I don’t check Goodreads as often as I should, especially now that the mighty Zon has changed it’s review policies. We cannot rely on seeing our hard won reviews on Amazon anymore, more likely find them on good old Goodreads!

So, imagine my surprise when I found this new review for Out of Time from Diana Peach…

Goodreads Reviews: Out of Time

Aug 15, 2021 D. Peach rated it really liked it

In this thriller, Kate Devereau wakes up in the hospital without any memory of the violence she’s endured. Nor does she remember any of the people in her life, including a past lover Michael who wants a second chance, or her ex-husband Jack, a sociopathic killer trying to do her in. David Snow is the detective tasked with her case. All four of these characters share alternating points of view in the story.

Kate’s character was the most interesting to me as she’s the one most in the dark. As the reader, I knew more about what happened than she did, but there were many tidbits of information I learned along with her. The author makes no secret that Jack Holland is the murderer and intends to finish the job he started. Jack is completely evil, but the other characters are nuanced and easy to relate to.

The pace moves along well, the tension is good, and I finished this book in two sittings. There aren’t many twists and turns; instead, the return of Kate’s memory provides a counterpoint to John’s increasing menace and David’s attempts to learn the truth. Recommended to readers of thrillers who enjoy a fast-paced story.

As you can imagine, this lovely review completely made my day, and I cannot thank Diana enough!

Dead of Winter: Journey 7 Revenant Pass ~ Review ~ #Teen & Young Adult Sword & Sorcery Fantasy ~ @teagangeneviene

Dead of Winter: Journey 7, Revenant Pass Kindle Edition

Dead of Winter: Journey 7, Revenant Pass begins with the ancient watcher’s memory of the Library of the Society of Deae Matres — and its fall. We also get a look into the thought process of treacherous Arawn. Then the story picks up where we left Emlyn and company, trapped in the Realm of the Dead.
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This Journey is shorter than some, but adventure abounds. Some characters go missing. You’ll have to read to learn more.
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Come, be a part of the Journeys.

Our Thoughts

This journey opens with Haldis, the ancient Deae Matres. She is constantly watching, hoping for clarity, struggling to put the pieces of her old life together.

Until one disturbing memory becomes clear.

The Library of the Deae Matres is under attack, and in her efforts to protect it from destruction, she manages to re locate it, blending her magic with the other members. Somehow, the magic malfunctions and the library is lost forever. This catastrophe triggers the need to enact the Binding, to protect them all from Arawn in the future.

It was good to become acquainted with Arawn, always a good idea to know the enemy.

The pace increases, as this journey ends with the ongoing search for the library ruins.

Emlyn finds a break in a wall and squeezes through into a mysterious place. As her companions try to follow her, one by one they vanish. Has she stumbled upon a portal to a magical place? Is this the Library, or somewhere more sinister?

Biography

Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene lives in a “high desert” town in the Southwest of the USA.

Teagan had always devoured fantasy novels of every type. Then one day there was no new book readily at hand for reading — so she decided to write one. And she hasn’t stopped writing since.

Her work is colored by her experiences from living in the southern states and the desert southwest. Teagan most often writes in the fantasy genre, but she also writes cozy mysteries. Whether it’s a 1920s mystery, a steampunk adventure, or urban fantasy, her stories have a strong element of whimsy.

Founder of the Three Things method of storytelling, her blog “Teagan’s Books” contains serial stories written according to “things” from viewers. http://www.teagansbooks.com

Major influences include Agatha Christie, Terry Brooks, David Eddings, Robert Jordan, and Charlaine Harris.

See book trailer videos here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCoM-z7_iH5t2_7aNpy3vG-Q?disable_polymer=true

Jealousy of a Viking ~ #Historical Norse & Icelandic Fiction ~ @vm_sang ~#Review

Jealousy Of A Viking (A Family Through The Ages Book 2) Kindle Edition

After Helgha meets Erik in the woods surrounding her home near Jorvik – modern day York – she learns that he is lost, and helps him by taking him into her home for the night.

In time, the two grow close, much to the anxiety of her parents as there is no message from his father suggesting a betrothal, but Erik behaves as though they are betrothed. Soon, they learn that there is another reason why Erik has not asked her to marry him.

With the honour of their family at stake, Helgha’s father takes drastic measures to rectify the situation. Amid the bloodshed and danger of the medieval times, can Helgha find happiness for herself and her family?

This book contains graphic violence and is not suitable for readers under the age of 18.

Our Thoughts

This unusual medieval story of one woman’s quest for love, reminded me of so many other star-crossed lovers throughout history. The author has cut away most of the myths surrounding the Vikings, revealing their wisdom and their beliefs. A far cry from the blood thirsty tribes we see all the time on TV.

I loved reading about the Viking people, and the way Helgha, the main character, used both the Christian and Viking religions to help her when rescued by a Christian community.

Even though she managed to hedge her bets, so to speak, it didn’t look as if anything would help her to find happiness.

Helgha must have been one of the unluckiest women, for when history decided to repeat the first stage in her journey, I wondered what fate had in store for her. Or was she doomed to be loved, but only from a distance?

About the Author

Viv Sang was born in Northwich, Cheshire in the United Kingdom. She trained as a teacher in Manchester and taught in Salford and Heywood in Lancashire before leaving to raise her children. She moved to Fair Oak, near Southampton where she taught Maths until moving to Redhill in Surrey. Here she taught Science, Maths and IT in several Croydon Schools.

She enjoys walking and cycling as well as various crafts such as knitting, crochet,card-making and tatting. She also enjoys going abroad on holiday and looking at historic buildings and stately homes.
She paints as well as writes novels and has begun to post some poetry on her blog http://aspholessaria.wordpress.com/.

What I Really Thought of Come Away …

I found myself watching this film with the family over the weekend and almost gave up on it, as I am not found of remakes or mash ups.

At first, I thought someone had been playing around with some idea of artistic licence, distorting the original story. Usually this means it will bear little if any resemblance to the classic fairy-tale.

What I didn’t realise, was that they had been doing that, but with two well-known classics, Peter Pan and Alice in Wonderland.

The cast of Come Away seemed to be a bit of an experiment too, and the more I watched, the more I wished I were somewhere else. Watching Angelina Jolie’s face, I had the feeling she did too.

In all fairness to the producer, the storyline isn’t bad, if a little predictable, but the lack of any decent magic was unfortunate, if inexcusable.

There was the occasional light sprinkling of fairy dust, but this does not a fairy-tale make. Tinkerbell was actually represented by a tiny golden bell. Need I say more?

A disappointingly tragic story that I am sorry I watched…

I wonder what you made of it?

Fragile: Secrets and Betrayal in the Stunning Break-out #Psychological Thriller from Sarah Hilary @sarah_hilary

Fragile, Sarah Hilary, Picador, Psychological Thriller, Pan, Pan Macmillan

Everything she touches breaks . . .

Nell Ballard is a runaway. A former foster child with a dark secret she is desperately trying to keep, all Nell wants is to find a place she can belong.

So when a job comes up at Starling Villas, home to the enigmatic Robin Wilder, she seizes the opportunity with both hands.

But her new lodgings may not be the safe haven that she was hoping for. Her employer lives by a set of rigid rules and she soon sees he is hiding secrets of his own.

But is Nell’s arrival at the Villas really the coincidence it seems? After all, she knows more than most how fragile people can be – and how easily they can be to break . . .

About the Author

Sarah Hilary’s debut novel, Someone Else’s Skin, won the 2015 Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year and was a World Book Night selection. The Observer’s Book of the Month (‘superbly disturbing’) and a Richard and Judy Book Club bestseller, it has been published worldwide. No Other Darkness, the second in the series, was shortlisted for a Barry Award in the U.S. Her D.I. Marnie Rome series continues with Tastes Like Fear, Quieter Than Killing, Come and Find Me, and Never Be Broken. Fragile is her first standalone novel.

My Thoughts

Reading this book, I saw the gothic shades of Rebecca that another reader mentioned and felt a connection in my heart to Jane Eyre, a beautifully illustrated book I loved, even though it gave me nightmares when I was a child.

I was fostered and it wasn’t always pleasant, so reading parts of Fragile brought back so many poignant memories, permanent reminders of the fragility of human life.

They shouldn’t have mentioned Rebecca, for all the time I was reading I expected to find traces of the old-fashioned romance that would soften the menace. There was menace all right, but it was sneaky, masquerading as something completely different.

As I gradually became immersed in this story, I identified with Nell, having been in similar circumstances. I remembered feeling lonely, invisible, and as helpless as she did, constantly wondering when life would turn in my favour.

Will Nell’s story have a happy ending, or will the raw, emotional memories persist, poisoning everything they touch?

Best Read of the Month! The Ferryman and the Sea Witch #FantasyAdventureFiction @Dwallacepeach

The merrow rule the sea. Slender creatures, fair of face, with silver scales and the graceful tails of angelfish. Caught in a Brid Clarion net, the daughter of the sea witch perishes in the sunlit air. Her fingers dangle above the swells.

The queen of the sea bares her sharp teeth and, in a fury of wind and waves, cleanses the brine of ships and men. But she spares a boy for his single act of kindness. Callum becomes the Ferryman, and until Brid Clarion pays its debt with royal blood, only his sails may cross the Deep.

Two warring nations, separated by the merrow’s trench, trade infant hostages in a commitment to peace. Now, the time has come for the heirs to return home. The Ferryman alone can undertake the exchange.

Yet, animosities are far from assuaged. While Brid Clarion’s islands bask in prosperity, Haf Killick, a floating city of derelict ships, rots and rusts and sinks into the reefs. Its ruler has other designs.

And the sea witch crafts dark bargains with all sides.

Callum is caught in the breach, with a long-held bargain of his own which, once discovered, will shatter this life.

Our Review

I had already fallen in love with this book, simply by the wonderful book cover and amazing trailer. I wasn’t prepared for the fast action packed prologue which had me gasping for breath. A truly remarkable beginning to what turned out to be an amazing read.

I loved the contrast between the different characters, the cruel machinations of most of the humans and the steadfast mindset of the beautiful but fascinatingly cruel Sea Witch.

Wonderfully written with the age old quality of legends, this story reminded me a little of Gulliver’s Travels and all their wars and bargains.

They had Gulliver to sort out their feuds, and in this book we have Callum, the Ferryman. And I loved every single word…

Biography

Best-selling author D. Wallace Peach started writing later in life after the kids were grown and a move left her with hours to fill. Years of working in business surrendered to a full-time indulgence in the imaginative world of books, and when she started writing, she was instantly hooked. Diana lives in a log cabin amongst the tall evergreens and emerald moss of Oregon’s rainforest with her husband, two dogs, two owls, a horde of bats, and the occasional family of coyotes.

For book descriptions, excerpts, maps, and behind the scenes info, please visit http://dwallacepeachbooks.com.

For her blog on all things writing, please visit http://mythsofthemirror.com.

Ready for an adventure?

The Ferryman and the Sea Witch Kindle Edition

Dead of Winter, Journey 6 — The Fluting Fell #Teen & Young Adult Sword & Sorcery Fantasy @teagangeneviene

Emlyn’s story continues in Journey 6, The Fluting Fell. She gains tragic insight into Boabhan… horrifying things that she is too young to know. This event also shows an unexpected softer side to another character.
The travelers reach an abandoned estate, Wych Elm Manor, although it is not completely unoccupied. It yields answers as well as questions. Emlyn finds clues that lead them farther into their journey. She also meets the silvery-haired young man again.
The travelers have put some distance between themselves and the Brethren of Un’Naf, but do even worse dangers await them? Danger deepens when they take refuge in a mysterious structure.
Come, be a part of the Journeys of “Dead of Winter.”

Our Review

I always look forward to the stunning new cover images and reading the next fascinating journey of the Dead of Winter. This time we are warned of a very disturbing chapter in Emlyn’s life, and we follow Emlyn as she searches for the truth. Gradually, the mysteries in this story are being uncovered, beginning to explain why Emlyn has always been different and special in some disturbing ways.

Like why Emlyn has such vivid dreams. Are they trying to tell her about her past, or is it the future they forewarn about?  Nasty, vivid dreams that remind her of a terrible time in her past, something so awful she cannot remember it or believe it is to be true.

Emlyn learns the reason for this dream, of a disturbing secret, the memory of something she seems to share with a member of the Deae Matres.  It happened at the time of the Binding, the time when the nightwalkers were driven into the Realm of the Dead. 

This was a surprise for me too but was sensitively handled by the author.

Finally, Emlyn begins to understand the reason she is on this journey.

There are powerfully written events in this story, and such lovely moments too. I loved that Emlyn gets over her fear of horses, and that she finds some wonderful clothes to wear! There is another visit from the mysterious young silver haired man too, so many things to remember and experience, but all leading her further into danger.

All the while, the Realm of the Dead grows ever closer.