Kith and Kin – A Graphic Novel – A Review, plus links to the well depicted in graphics #KithandKin #GraphicNovel #SpittingImage @brittanymatter @thisquietcity @__helloheather

Kith and Kin A Graphic Novel
By Sally Cantarino, Brittany Matter and Heather Ayres
Rated: 4 stars ****

I am so pleased and enthused to present a review of part of Kith and Kin – Spitting Image. I got chatting to Brittany Matter who is a journalist and has work published in award magazine Image+ and her work can be found on Marvel.com as you’ll see in the part about the authors. It works best when looked at horizontally on your screens.  It has already been published by Vanderbilt University’s Nashville Review publication, NR31!

Below you will see the blurb, the review and I have been given permission to share with you, the link to the strip itself for free Vanderbilt University’s Nashville Review. The link can be found after my review as can more info about the people involved in Kith and Kin.

Blurb

Spitting Image follows immortal twins as they process the implications of an eternity spent together and how they will exert their individuality through any means necessary.

 

KK_Spitting_Image_01.jpg

Review

From the imagery to the wording at the end is powerful and, especially the wording at the end, is all so poignant. Follow the main character in the understated and yet scenes that tell the story so clearly, in black and white, from the house and all that is seen inbetween, down a path to a graveyard. The images inbetween and the end depict what eternal life may be like. Spitting Image may be short, but it is thought provoking as tells a tale that depicts family and memories and was even better than I first thought. As you can look at it now for free, using this link Graphic Novel  why not give it a go?! You will be able to read it horizontally, which is when this is at its best.

About the Creators

 Sally Cantirino is a comic artist and illustrator from New Jersey, currently living in Philadelphia, PA. Her recent work includes “Last Song” from Black Mask Studios, “We Have To Go Back” with Jordan Alsaqa, and illustrations for “Protest Singer” and “Cobwebs” from World Champ Game Co. She can be found on Twitter and Instagram Twitter account is @thisquietcity

Brittany Matter and Heather Ayres are, by day, journalists who cover the release of upcoming comics, and, by night, comic book writers seeking to tell their tales through the medium they love. Their comics journalism has been published in the award-winning magazine IMAGE+. Find more of Brittany’s writing on Marvel.com
Twitter link is  @brittanymatter

Review of Sons of Secrets By N.J. Simmonds #fantasy #blogtour #Review #NewBook

Sons of Secrets
By
Rated: 4 stars ****

After an early morning conversation with the author, I was invited to read Son’s of Secrets and then I was subsequently invited onto her blog tour. It was a very fruitful and interesting conversation that led me decide to lend my support. Thankfully the book actually turns out to be a pretty good and entertaining fantasy book. I thank the author for giving me this opportunity and for also sending me an e-book version of her book to review from. This is an author that is worthwhile giving a chance.

SoS

About the Author

Sons of Secrets Nat_PR_0253I, Natali, write dark fantasy books full of magic, drama, suspense, a bit of history and lots of kissing.

Being an author is all I’ve ever wanted to be. At the age of 5 I used to sit at the dining table while my dad drew me pictures and I’d write stories to go with them. Ever since, my tales have been filled with fantastical worlds and strong girls going on big adventures.

Originally from North London with Spanish parentage, I’ve lived all over the world including Australia, Spain and the Netherlands. That’s probably why my characters never keep still – and why London features so heavily in my work.

When I’m not writing, I’m a public speaker and guest lecturer, as well as run my own brand consultancy business. I’ve written articles for various publications and in 2015 I co-founded online magazine The Glass House Girls.

I live with my family in The Netherlands, where I spend my time apologizing that I still can’t speak Dutch or ride a bicycle very well – although my heart will always remain in sunny Spain, and my soul forever in those wondrous, grimy, magical streets of London. 

Son of Secrets cover.jpg

Blurb

In A  fight against destiny – who will win?

Ella has been waiting for Zac for three years. She’s convinced he’ll return for her, but fate has other plans. When Josh is thrown back into her life, Ella has a choice: step back on to her rightful path, or wait for the one who dared her to rebel.

But Ella’s not the only one missing Zac. Luci has been searching for her blue-eyed boy over two millennia and will stop at nothing to get him back. Even if that means hunting down the only girl he ever loved.

From Tuscany 5BC to 17th century witch hunts, Ella, Zac, Luci and Sebastian’s lives have been forever intertwined. The time has finally come to complete the circle.

Review

The book is so beautifully written and with some humour, lovely scenery. There are some dark bits, but mostly it is an entertaining read as it weaves the real world and fantastical characters together to create The Indigo Chronicles World.

The author has painted a good picture of realism and fantasy. There’s romance, adventure, action, great locations like Highgate and Gibraltar, there are pure angels, dark angels, trepidation, intriguing lives as well as deaths and emotion, magic powers; and all isn’t always what it first seems, which all makes a pleasurable and fun read that spans across millenia.

Meet Ella and Zac and Josh in a place where the Mediteranean and Atlantic Ocean meet. Pizza and wine, it’s a wonderful combination and yet Ella just doesn’t know quite what she is doing with Josh.

Zac is no ordinary person, readers will discover. Not anymore as he finds himself in Highgate Cemetery.  His mission? To find and be with Ella with use of his powers. Powers enough to make you shudder. It’s a bit creepy when you’re a woman reading about a guy who lived 2000 years ago who can sense every part of you. In saying that, it’s fantastic for this fantasy book as I found myself wanting to find out more as this book gets more and more interesting and very quickly so. He meets up with Ylva as they reminisce about a party and discuss Ella.

Fantasy is a genre I can take it or leave it, but this book is good in the way the real world and fantasy elements all collide. It’s grounded in a good way. It has good, strong themes and likeable characters. There’s a bit of a will they, won’t they going on with Josh and Ella and revelations of Ella’s step-brother and the effect he has on how he hurt Ella. Josh is a film star and a bit of a flirt.

Zac is fun as he discovers tattoos because apparently his appearance hasn’t changed in 2000 years and he has now decided to alter it a bit. It’s intersting how Zac is perceived and there’s a wonderful written paragraph that is essentially the butterfly effect. He’s full of dark, creepy intrigue.

There are secrets as to how the characters are connected and who they really are, that are revealed as Arabella, the narrator of this story tells as she’s heard of demons and of the shadows before and she’s on the run over the city walls and it is intriguing to see what she is up to as she comes across Zadkiel. Later on, back home, Arabella, back home is then left by her mother, with Sabinous, a soldier, and knew she needed to follow her destiny…

The feminism notes that are there can be a bit overly strong at times, as much as the passion does come across.

The author’s note is an interesting one about the author’s one experiences and says about the book being a tribute to those who have been hunted and hurt and struggles. This does come through in the book, but written in a creative way.

SON OF SECRETS blog (1)

 

The Cauldron of Life by Caroline Logan @bearpuffbooks @cranachanbooks #Lovebookstours @lovebooksgroup #CoverReveal #BlogTour

The Cauldron of Life
by Caroline Logan

Today is an exciting Cover Reveal Day for Scottish author Caroline Logan’s young adult book – The Cauldron of Life, published by Cranachan Books.
In my opinion it looks magical and full of mystique, from the font to the wolf. It’s certanly eye-catching. Take a further look to see the cover for this new book in full and also for further details about the blurb, the publishing date and about Caroline Logan.
Thank you for the invite to be part of the blog tour.

The Cauldron of Life Ebook Cover (1)

Blurb

Join the journey; discover your destiny.

Harris has been captured by the Faerie Queen and Ailsa must journey once again into the heart of Eilanmòr to rescue him.

But Ailsa is struggling with her newfound magic and the revelations about her real identity. Is the Faerie Queen Ailsa’s mother? Is everything she believed about her past a lie?

Meanwhile, a war is brewing between Heaven and Hell, with the world as the battleground. The lines between good and evil are blurring, and Ailsa must decide where she stands.

Publication date: 1st October 2020

978-1-911279-52-5 The Cauldron of Life Paperback
978-1-911279-53-2 The Cauldron of Life ebook

About the Author

The Cauldron of Life author picCaroline is a high school biology teacher who lives in the Cairngorms National Park in Scotland, with her fiancé. Before moving there, she lived and worked in Spain, Tenerife, Sri Lanka and other places in Scotland. She graduated from The University of Glasgow with a bachelor’s degree in Marine and Freshwater Biology. In her spare time, she tries to ski and paddleboard, though she is happiest with a good book and a cup of tea.

Caroline Logan is a writer of Young Adult Fantasy. Her debut novel, The Stone of Destiny, is the first in The Four Treasures series, and the much-anticipated, The Cauldron of Life, will be the second.

Instagram: @bearpuffbooks

Twitter:     @bearpuffbooks

 

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#Review of Star Child – The Healing Stone by Vacen Taylor @VacenTaylor #rararesources #kidslit #fantasy #children’sbooks

Star Child – The Healing Stone
By Vacen Taylor
Rated 4 stars ****

I have been invited by blog tour organiser – Rachel Gilbey, to return to the Age of Akra in the Starchild series, to review Starchild – The Healing Stone. I am pleased to present my review on this, the final day of the blog tour.

The Healing Stone Full Tour Banner

About the Author

The Healing Stone Vacen Passport SizeVacen Taylor is a children’s author with a portfolio of screenwriting and stage play achievements.  A selection of her poetry has been published in Art and Literature Journals. One of her plays was selected to be part of the Playwrights Program 2017 and then directed and performed as a performance reading at HOTA (previously the Gold Coast Arts Centre).

Her feature film script received a special commendation for Best Unproduced Screenplay titled Grandfathers at the British Independent Film Festival in 2018.  The logline can be found under Special Commendations for Unproduced Screenplays here.

Her TV pilot for a series (teleplay) was selected as a semi-finalist in the Hollywood Just4Shorts Film and Screenplay Competition in Los Angeles, CA. This pilot was listed in the top 50 for the Cinequest Screenwriting Competition in 2018.

She presented the first mental health panel at OZ Comic-Con in 2017. This panel was a fantastic opportunity to discuss openly and honestly about artists and their mental health to help support wellbeing, foster connectivity and provide a culture of support.

In 2018 she presented the panel, ‘An artist’s guide to creative happiness: How to strengthen your creative performance’ at Oz Comic-Con in Brisbane. Her panels are extraordinary opportunities to explore ideas with people who are currently working in the industry. She aims to discuss subjects like individualism, the community, mental health, wellbeing, happiness, creativity, co-creating and self-awareness which often leads to interesting questions from the audience.

What else does she do? Vacen is also a creative workshop facilitator and proficient in, teaching, speaking and concept creation. Guest Speaker. Workshop Presenter. Creative Panel Facilitator. Mentor. Support Worker. Counsellor. Social Welfare Advocate.

The Healing Stone - 9781922200204-Front

 Blurb

A riveting ice adventure full of incredible challenges, bravery and friendship.

When they escape the attacking forces, Mai, Akra, Kalin know they must find a way to purge the evil of the dark peddle that has consumed Long.  But as the news of the Underworld king spreads, gloom and fear begin to sweep over the lands.

The children must face a dangerous adventure across the ice to reach the healing stone. Once they reach the stone they must face the truth.

Have they made the journey in time to save Long ⸺ or is he lost to the Underworld forever?

Review

On this quest, Mai is chosen to take the journey to the Valley of a Thousand Thoughts. The journey by boat is trecherous, but there is hope that the Ice Queen will help and can heal Long from his wounds. She will, however take much convincing if she is to be won round to help. There is also a crowd to be pleased and a tournament to be won.

There are memories and some of them good, such as Mai’s birthday when thoughtbankers brought her kind gifts.

As for Long, he is in a dark place indeed, but Amual wants to rescue him.

Within the book is magic and powers to be able to morph and many other creatures.

The book is moody and the setting is icy and freezing cold, but cutting through is some softer, kinder and warmer elements of characters trying to help each other.

There’s a mission to accomplish and being a Starchild has its burdens and there are dangers that must be faced if the healing stone is to be used to try to get the poison that is within Long. There are Waterclaspers to be saved.

There is enough to capture children’s imaginations and to transport them to different worlds and to think about friendship and being on a journey to accomplish things. There is enough character development from book to book in this series, as well as world building for children to follow.

The final chapter of this book, gives a hint as to what to expect and what type of land/world the Starchild will enter into next.

Social Media Links

Facebook  – https://www.facebook.com/Vacen-Taylor-Author-233611656699562/

Instagramhttps://www.instagram.com/vacentaylor/

Pinteresthttps://www.pinterest.com.au/vacentaylor/

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/VacenTaylor

Happy World Book Day #WorldBookDay 2020 #Books #Bookish #CrimeFiction #Fiction #NonFiction #Kidslit #PictureBook #HistoricalFiction #History #Romance #Biography #ContemporaryFiction

Happy World Book Day 2020

Happy World Book Day and I hope that everyone is having a fabulous day, however you are celebrating. There are many author events going on around the UK in public and community libraries as well as schools. There are also lots of other bookish events too that can be participated in as you read for pleasure. There are also other ways you can participate in World Book Day, if you cannot attend an event, such as, curling up with a good book and leaving an author a review on Waterstones and Amazon.

Today I am attending a World Book Day Event to hear a talk by rising star Alison Belsham, author of The Tattoo Thief and then it will be my turn to host an event up here in Scotland too on Monday with Liz Treacher – author of The Wrong Envelope and The Wrong Direction.

I also have some great books in my review pile for both adult and children that are being published between this month and summer.

In the pile I am currently reading are fiction and non-fiction books. In no particular order of publication or review dates, look out for book one of a new series by Ben Kane – Made in Battle, Forged in War; Us Three by Ruth Jones (yes, the actor/writer from Gavin and Stacey and author of Never Greener); Eileen – The Making of George Orwell, Eileen was his wife, but not much is known about her, until now…; Paper Sparrows; A Conspiracy of Bones – the latest book by Kathy Reichs; I return to reviewing again for Lesley Kelly for her book Murder at the Music Factory – the latest in the health of Strangers series (read as a series or stand alone); I return to The Bobby Girls series to review the latest book – The Bobby Girl’s Secrets to see what the police volunteers are up to in their second and newest book.

I return to Janey Louise Jones children’s books to see what else Princess Poppy has in store now she has worked out how to save the bees. This time she is tackling plastic. I also will be reviewing for a charity Helping Hands who have had the Duchess of York on board to craete books  about how to tackle bullying, first days at school and strangers. There is a fantasy book to continue the series about Akra The Healing Stone, by Vacyn Taylor and a new book – Snow Child by a new author – Larraine Harrison.

This is just a few of the books sitting on my pile to date that you will start to see full reviews for soon. So, lots of books for you to look forward to exploring and to see what I think of. Coming up very soon are some children’s books and then an adult thriller that Lee Child and many other authors have a lot of praise for.

I of course thank all the authors, publishers and blog tour organisers for all these amazing opportunities to review and of course I thank just as equally, the readers of my blog as without everyone, my blog couldn’t exist.

#Review of The Coronation by Justin Newland – 4 star historical and fantasy #JustinNewland @matadorbooks @LoveBooksGroup #BlogTour #fantasy #history

The Coronation
by Justin Newland
Rated: 4 Stars ****

With thanks to Kelly at LoveBooksGroup for inviting me on the blog tour for The Coronation by Justin Newland. After reading The Old Dragon’s Head and reviewing it last year, I thought I would give this one a try.


About the Author

The Coronation Justin Newland Author Photo 071018 (1).jpgAfter a long career in I.T., Justin’s love of literature finally seduced him and, in 2006, he found his way to the creative keyboard to write his first novel.

Justin writes secret histories in which historical events and people are guided and motivated by numinous and supernatural forces.

His debut novel, The Genes of Isis, is a tale of love, destruction, and ephemeral power set under the skies of Ancient Egypt, and which tells the secret history of the human race, Homo Sapiens Sapiens.

His second is The Old Dragon’s Head, a historical fantasy and supernatural thriller set during the Ming Dynasty and played out in the shadows the Great Wall of China. It explores the secret history of the influences that shaped the beginnings of our times.  

He is currently working on a novel set in East Prussia during the Enlightenment in the 18th Century which reveals the secret history of perhaps the single most important event of the modern world – The Industrial Revolution.

Justin does books signings and gives author talks in libraries in South West England. He has appeared at many Literary Festivals, including Bristol, Weston-super-mare and Exeter. He regularly gives interviews on BBC local radio and local FM radio stations.

The Coronation Front Cover (1)

Blurb

It is 1761. Prussia is at war with Russia and Austria. As the Russian army occupies East Prussia, King Frederick the Great and his men fight hard to win back their homeland.

In Ludwigshain, a Junker estate in East Prussia, Countess Marion von Adler celebrates an exceptional harvest. But this is soon requisitioned by Russian troops. When Marion tries to stop them, a Russian Captain strikes her. His Lieutenant, Ian Fermor, defends Marion’s honour, but is stabbed for his insubordination. Abandoned by the Russians, Fermor becomes a divisive figure on the estate.

Close to death, Fermor dreams of the Adler, a numinous eagle entity, whose territory extends across the lands of Northern Europe and which is mysteriously connected to the Enlightenment. What happens next will change the course of human history…

 

Review

The book is set in 1761 and takes readers back to a time long since past of Prussia and their king and countess and invasions from Russia. The book mixes history with fantasy pretty well to tell a mysterious tale of a numinous eagle and the Great Enlightenment. It is an interesting read that takes readers into times long since gone. 

The mix with earthly things and places and fantasy is good with very good characterisation. This seems to be what Justin Newland specialises in and does it rather well, having read both The Old Dragon’s Head and now, The Coronation.

The chapters are nice and short as the world between what was real and what is fantasy is created.

As the war goes on, there is also Marion Grafin- Von Adler’s life that is written about as her life goes on in parallel, which is where the fantasy and a spiritual journey is. It makes for pretty good reading. There are also some subplots that keeps the story moving along and to keep readers engaged. There are also good, references to Glasgow in Scotland and people such as James Watt, who were important during the Enlightenment period of time and indeed, their achievements are still with us today in some form or another. So, this, although is a fantasy, does have a grounding in reality too.

If fantasy and/or history is your thing, then give The Coronation a read. It would certainly appeal to readers of those genres.

The Coronation blog tour

 

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