Mini #BookReviews ~ My Favourite Witch/To Catch A Witch (The Witches of Castle Clair, Books 2&3) by @Sharon_Booth1 #Romance #TuesdayBookBlog

Events are about to unfold that will challenge both Star and Benedict, and everything they believe to be true. In an attic room in North Yorkshire and a village hall in Ireland, unpalatable truths must be told, secrets must unfold, and life-changing decisions must be made.
Is forgiveness truly impossible? Are witches really that scary? And can a solution be reached before time, patience, and all the bourbon biscuits run out?
A story of pride, prejudice, and a whole lot of magic …

I really enjoyed Sky’s story in the first book in this series, Belle, Book and Christmas Candle. My Favourite Witch, the second instalment, is Star’s story and she’s definitely not having the best of times. Benedict, who she was about to get engaged to, was horrified when he found out the truth about the St Clair family and Star’s magical powers. He left Castle Clair and Star behind but is back to visit his grandmother — with Elsie, a new, seemingly perfect girlfriend in tow. The question on Benedict’s mind is why Star is being so nice to Elsie and does this bode ill for both of them?

Not only that, Star’s estranged and disgraced father is back on the scene with his new fiancée. To say the St Clair family and its members’ relationships are complicated is quite the understatement and more is revealed about the family’s history and those powers.

I wasn’t too keen on Benedict to begin with, rather enjoying his uncertainty and worry about meeting Star again along with his agonising over what she might do….but he did redeem himself as the story progressed, developing his, and others’ character along the way.

I enjoyed the way the plot unfolded with challenges for Star and Benedict, the complexity of the relationships, the fabulous setting (as soon as we can get out and about again I plan on visiting Knaresborough) and the humour sprinkled through the narrative like St Clair magic.

Book links ~ Amazon UK | Amazon US | Waterstones

The past is colliding with the present, and the future is in jeopardy. No wonder the High Council of Witches is a bit miffed.

Will the St Clairs have enough strength, courage ~ and chocolate fudge cake ~ to see them through?

Or is this the end of the world as they know it?

Celeste, the third of the St Clair sisters, had always been drawn inextricably to Blaise St Clair, their distant ancestor who famously leapt to his death 350 years ago from what has a since been named Witch’s Leap. Despite her sisters’ efforts, badgering her to date, she’s happy just working at Castle Clair’s museum. 

They’d worn me down with their incessant nagging until I’d given in and agreed to meet up with what they termed a suitable man. Suitable to whom? Not me. I didn’t need a man, and I wished my sister would accept that. Their flourishing love lives had convinced them I wouldn’t be without a partner, but they were wrong. I was fine as a single woman.

A momentous event takes place on Christmas Eve revealing the untapped power of Celeste’s magic, bringing trouble to the St Clair family and causing them to come under the highest scrutiny, while at the same time setting in motion an old prophecy. Celeste finds out the hard way that dreams and reality are rarely one and the same.

This third and final episode in the St Clair trilogy is full of drama, taking the legend that Castle Clair is built on and turning it upside down and throwing everyone into a possibly predetermined future.

As with the first book these are also well structured with unexpected twists, romance, humour, lots of wonderful magic and a perfect ending. 

Book links ~ Amazon UK | Amazon US | Waterstones

#Spotlight #Extract ~ The Northern Reach by W.S. Winslow @WSWinslow @flatironbooks #LiteraryFiction

It’s my pleasure to spotlight The Northern Reach, a debut novel due for publication on 2nd March.

‘W. S. Winslow’s The Northern Reach is a breathtaking debut about the complexity of family, the cultural legacy of place, and the people and experiences that shape us.’

About the Book

Frozen in grief after the loss of her son at sea, Edith Baines stares across the water at a schooner, under full sail yet motionless in the winter wind and surging tide of the Northern Reach. Edith seems to be hallucinating. Or is she? Edith’s boat-watch opens The Northern Reach, set in the coastal town of Wellbridge, Maine, where townspeople squeeze a living from the perilous bay or scrape by on the largesse of the summer folk and whatever they can cobble together, salvage, or grab.

At the center of town life is the Baines family, land-rich, cash-poor descendants of town founders, along with the ne’er-do-well Moody clan, the Martins of Skunk Pond, and the dirt farming, bootlegging Edgecombs. Over the course of the twentieth century, the families intersect, interact, and intermarry, grappling with secrets and prejudices that span generations, opening new wounds and reckoning with old ghosts.

Pre-order links ~ Amazon UK | Amazon US | B&N

Extract

Edith Baines stares out the living room window at the schooner on the far side of the Northern Reach. It’s a traditional boat, big, maybe eighty feet, gaff-rigged with raked masts and some kind of carving on the prow, but in the inky light of the late afternoon she can’t make it out. The funny thing is, even though both the mainsail and the mizzen are raised, the boat isn’t moving. She squints but can’t see an anchor line, or even a buoy through the spitting snow. The current, she knows, is too strong for a mooring over there. Why doesn’t the boat drift? Where does it come from? Where is the crew? The questions itch unmercifully in her brain.

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#GuestPost ~ Digging Into My Roots by Sverrir Sigurdsson #author of Viking Voyager: An Icelandic #Memoir @Sverrir_Sigurds

It’s my pleasure today to welcome Sverrir Sigurdsson with a post about the research into his ancestry.

A memoirist is supposed to depend mostly on his memory.  But when I started writing my memoirs, I felt what was stored in my brain wasn’t enough.  To get to the bottom of who I was, I needed to burrow into the consciousness of the people I came from.  

My dad had researched the family tree of my maternal grandmother and traced it all the way to our ancestors who lived in Sognefjord, Norway in the late seventh century.  In other words, I’m a descendant of the original Vikings who left Norway for Iceland in protest over King Harald the Beautiful Hair’s efforts to unify the country.  My ancestral pantheon includes Erik the Red and his son, Leif Eriksson the explorer.  But names alone weren’t enough; I wanted to know these people, how they lived, what they did in life, and what they were made of.  

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#ThrowbackThursday ~ State vs Lassiter (Jake Lassiter Series) by Paul Levine #LegalThriller

The Jake Lassiter series was one I really enjoyed. State vs Lassiter is one of the later ones, released in May 2017 by Brilliance Audio and performed by Luke Daniels.

My Thoughts

Life is good for Jake Lassiter, ex Miami Dolphins linebacker turned lawyer…..until he wakes up on the beach with the hangover from hell and no memory of how he got there. He and his lover, Pamela Baylins were spending a romantic weekend at the Fontainebleau Hotel, courtesy of a grateful client.

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The Winterkeeper by Anna Schmidt #HistoricalFiction @annaschmidt70 #TuesdayBookBlog

Author: Anna Schmidt

Published: March 2019 by Bucket Line Books

Category: Historical Fiction, Coming of Age, Book Review

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Gardiner MT, just outside Yellowstone National Park, Winter, 1933.

Three people—each with the toughness and desire to survive whatever adversity fate throws in their path. But will that be enough to overcome a financial Depression in its third year with no sign of abating or the brutally cold wilderness that is Yellowstone in winter?

Fourteen year old Millie Chase had never known her father, he’d been killed in battle just before she was born, so it had been just her and her mum…until Roger Fitzgerald had come into their lives. Now Millie was standing watching as her mother’s coffin was lowered into the ground. 

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Blog Tour #Extract from Not Having It All by @Jennie_Ensor #Giveaway #HumorousFiction

It’s my pleasure to share an extract from Jennie Ensor’s re-launched novel, Not Having It All. Before I do, here’s what the book is about.

This is the story of four middle-aged people who are definitely NOT having it all. Meet Bea, Kurt, Maddie and Colin.

Bea Hudson juggles her science research job with looking after her demanding five-year-old daughter, badly-behaved dog and next-to-useless au pair. When her chief exec husband Kurt is sent overseas and she’s left without childcare, Bea turns to best friend Maddie for help.

Kurt, convinced that Bea is having an affair with Maddie, enlists his neighbour’s help in a secret surveillance operation.

Maddie longs for a child of her own with a man she can trust – and he must love cats.

Colin, a risk-averse manager at ‘the nation’s number one pussy insurer’, meets Maddie in a lift. He’s smitten, and resolves to displace Maddie’s feline companions. But he starts to fear that Maddie sees him only as ‘a handy stud with a fat wallet’…

Amid the resulting chaos of deception and misunderstandings, can Bea and Kurt find happiness again? And can Maddie and Colin risk falling in love?

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#Extract from Rhapsody by Mitchell James Kaplan @mitchelljkaplan #HistoricalFiction #FridayReads

It’s my pleasure to share an extract from Rhapsody, the upcoming novel from Mitchell J Kaplan, due for publication on 2nd March 2021.

Gershwin lowered himself to the Steinway shoving his tails behind the bench. Whiteman raised his baton and that klezmer clarinet embarked upon its crazy discourse, complaining, wheedling, sulking. A hush fell over the audience. They had never heard anything like this.

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