#BookReview by Lou – The Abdication by Justin Newland #JustinNewland @MatadorBooks @Zooloo2008 #ZooloosBookTours

The Abdication
By Justin Newland

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Abdication takes readers on quite a fantastical and in many ways, a biblical and spiritual quest, which is full of trepidation as two lands that had come together, are now less than harmonious. I would say that Dan Brown fans, especially, would enjoy this, as well as fans of Justin Newland’s other books. You can find out more about his other books, in order, and links of where to follow and buy, after my review.
Thanks to Zooloo Book Tours for inviting me to review and to Justin Newland for sigining my book and to Matador for gifting me the book. My review remains unbiased.

The Abdication Book Cover

About the Author

Author Justin NewlandJustin Newland is an author of historical fantasy and secret history thrillers – that’s history with a supernatural twist. His stories feature known events and real peoplefrom history which are re-told and examined through the lens of the supernatural. He gives author talks and is a regular contributor to BBC Radio Bristol’s Thought for the Day. He lives with his partner in plain sight of the Mendip Hills in Somerset, England.

Blurb

The Abdication Book CoverThe town of Unity sits perched on the edge of a yawning ravine where, long ago, a charisma of angels provided spiritual succour to a fledgeling human race. Then mankind was granted the gift of free will and had to find its own way, albeit with the guidance of the angels. The people’s first conscious act was to make an exodus from Unity. They built a rope bridge across the ravine and founded the town of Topeth. For a time, the union between the people of Topeth and the angels of Unity was one of mutual benefit. After that early spring advance, there had been a torrid decline in which mankind’s development resembled a crumpled, fading autumnal leaf.

Following the promptings of an inner voice, Tula, a young woman from the city, trudges into Topeth. Her quest is to abide with the angels and thereby discover the right and proper exercise of free will. To do that, she has to cross the bridge – and overcome her vertigo. Topeth is in upheaval; the townsfolk blame the death of a child on dust from the nearby copper mines. The priests have convinced them that a horde of devils have thrown the angels out of Unity and now occupy the bridge, possessing anyone who trespasses on it. Then there’s the heinous Temple of Moloch!

The Abdication is the story of Tula’s endeavour to step upon the path of a destiny far greater than she could ever have imagined.

Review

The Abdication (the title all becomes clear as you read the book), blends fantasy, biblical, and spiritual references well. Firstly, Tula is met and she takes readers into Topeth, a highly regarded town, now in decline due to how mankind are developing. The writing is elegant and edges along between the complete fanatastical and parts of reality that all humans can recognise.

Tula ends up on a quest to meet the angels, but it isn’t as easy to cross the bridges between Topeth and Unity, which were once united and working harmoniously together and now that relationship is in perilous danger of disappearing as evil is abound.  There are also people, such as Sarah’s daughter, Opal, mysteriously going missing.

It’s a quest that has so much trepidation as there is evil around. There’s a strong supporting cast, whose lives are also in danger at times and times of desperation for their Creator to help them out.

Readers will also, amongst so many characters, such as Ruth and Abel, which are biblical, but also Taurus, fom horoscopes. It’s an interesting mix of characters who readers are introduced to, to see if they can move passed the ‘Old Guard’ and move their nations into better and more peaceful times.

Further Books by Justin Newland

The Genes of Isis

The Genes of Isis is a tale of love, destruction and ephemeral power set under the

skies of Ancient Egypt. A re-telling of the Biblical story of the flood, it reveals the

mystery of the genes of Isis – or genesis – of mankind.

 

The Old Dragon’s HeadThe Old Dragon’s Head is 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 modern times.

 

The Coronation

Set during the Great Enlightenment, The Coronation reveals the secret history of

the Industrial Revolution.

 

 

The Abdication Book CoverHis latest, The Abdication (July, 2021), is a suspense thriller, a journey of destiny, wisdom and self-discovery.

Links

 

Follow him at:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/justin.newland.author/
Website : http://www.justinnewland.com/

Amazon UKhttps://www.amazon.co.uk/Abdication-Justin-Newland/dp/1800463952

Amazon UShttps://www.amazon.com/Abdication-Justin-Newland-ebook/dp/B098PHD84Y

The Abdication Book Tour Poster

#Book #Review by Lou Kiera’s Quest by Kristy Brown #KristyBrown #middlegrade #Fantasy #Kids #Quest

Kiera’s Quest
By Kristy Brown

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Travel between the real and a fantasy world. Join a quest. Discover fantastical people and creatures and so much more… Come across trepidation and humour as you read. This is what this book invites older middle-grade readers.
Thanks to the author – Kristy Brown who wrote to me enquiring about me reviewing her book.
Discover more in the blurb and what I think about it in my review… Also find out where to buy this book below too.

Kiera's Quest

Blurb

Kiera’s a seemingly normal girl brought up by her uncle and abandoned by both parents. Life is as normal as she believes it to be, apart from the deep ache inside, telling her she’s different. For years, Kiera’s had dreams about venturing into a magical reality. She’s not alone; a presence is always there, keeping her safe, yet she feels vulnerable, and hunted.Zakk, Prince of Zantar, is under the Witch Queen’s spell as she tries to take over his world. He crosses paths with Kiera, changing her life forever.As their journey unravels, Kiera discovers she’s not the only one affected by this prince. Why has she been chosen? How can someone so young, defeat such evil? Will she find the strength to save the ones she loves? Will this be Kiera’s only quest?

Review

Kiera's QuestIt’s gripping from the start with Zakk confronting his mother’s murderer. It isn’t graphic or anything, but this is suitable for older middlegrade readers. Then readers get to meet Keira who sounds fun and loves to sing and dance. You get to know their mother – Lynne Matthews and the impact she had on the music scene.

There are characters in the fantasy world for readers to meet, such as The Witch Queen with her commands and her own quest going on. There’s also a giant and a doll and more… The book has mild trepidation and is sure to keep children amused as they plunge into this other world. It’s great that there is humour that lifts and is as entertaining as the adventure itself. As well as The Witch Queen, Googey is also a character to watch and be on your guard with. There’s also a specially crafted machine that Keira and Zakk need to stop the queen from trying to open a vortex with. This is an adrenaline fuelled read kids will enjoy and highly potentially be gripped by.

The book tackles loss, friendship, working to achieve an end goal, good and evil, arranged marriage (briefly).

In the real world, Kiera has her issues and the school counsellor wants to see her, but the quest she is on keeps her from having the time.

The book focuses on the imaginative and brings fun and trepidation that makes it quite the page-turner.

Buy Link – Amazon

#BookReview by Lou – Remnants of Magic By Alicia R. Chapin @ChapinAlicia @lovebooksgroup #lovebookstours #Fantasy #Ad #Gifted

Remnants of Magic
By Alicia R. Chapin

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Time to enter Etharum and meet all sorts of characters and explore this new and exciting, richly imagined, fantasy land. Thanks to Love Books Tours for gifting me the book. Discover more about this fantastical adventure that is Book 1 in the blurb and what I thought about it in the review.

RoM-V1-EBOOK (1)

Blurb

The Master Sword Bryan is an elite warrior on the Prince of Shelkite’s council. When Shelkite is threatened by Ret, a wizard-king, the Master Sword is ready to fight. However, his plans are spoiled when he discovers his assignment is as the personal guard to the young half-blood witch sent to their aid—Alexandra.

Alexandra is determined to prove herself to the skeptical Master Sword. Though her powers haven’t fully manifested, she’s ready for anything, as long as she has her faithful mount, Zhan, and her trusty bow. As the quest deepens, she knows she must press on. For whether she does or not, she’s the key—for either good or evil.

Review

RoM-V1-EBOOK (1)Remnants of Magic welcomes readers into Etharum, a place where the Haiprian Mountains rise majestically up and holds an ice palace, and Charad Forest grows below. There are many places inbetween, with Kaltraz split between east and west by a stream and its tributories borne out of the mountains and finishes in the Faded Sea in the east side of the forest. 

Bryan is the first character to stumble upon and is Prince Alkin’s personal guard, who meets Lady Evelyn – ‘The Goddess of Chaos’ each week. Bryan also hangs out with the friendly folk of Fordorn. Pretty pictures of happy folk and a unicorn is painted well in writing. He can’t stay long though as debate of adventure with Keavin Sword ensues and whether a nymph in the Faded Sea of Carthorn can be trusted or not. The pace mounts up and readers learn of other people in this kingdom, including a wizard masquerading as an innkeeper and many more. 

This is a book that is rich and has a good drive in plot to keep readers invested and a whole fantastical world is soon built up, with the assistance of a map at the very beginning and a world full of characters ranging from a wizard, a stallion called Dragon, a unicorn, a prince, half-bloods, a witch, a warrior and more…
There is high adventure and missions and a slow-burn romance in this mystical land that uses its powers to suck you into its mysterious depths, of which there is much to travel through and tread carefully into parts of trepidation and danger.

Readers who enjoy Lord of The Rings and fantastical creatures and grownups are now searching for whole new land to explore, will enjoy this.

About the Author

RoM author pic
I enjoy the outdoors, reading, spending time with my family (that includes pets!), hanging out with horses, and archery. I graduated from Michigan State University in Equine Management and love to incorporate my love of horses into my stories. I’m a huge Star Wars fan (original trilogy), Lord of the Rings fan, Harry Potter fan….and Jane Austen fan. A couple of nerdy facts, I love John Wayne movies and collect the vintage My Little Ponies from the 80s. 

 

 

#Bookreview by Lou – Honeycomb by Joanne M. Harris – Happy Publication Day to Joanne Harris @joannechocolat #CharlesVess @alexxlayt @orionbooks

Honeycomb
By Joanne M. Harris
Illustrated by Charles Vess

Rating: 5 out of 5.

To my absolute amazement and joy, I have been gifted Honeycomb. Readers are in for a treat with this enthralling and enchanting book of 100 short stories by Joanne Harris. They are full of betrayal, gifts, magic, love, beautiful illustrations and much more…
Discover more in the blurb and my review…
I thank Alex Layt at Orion Books and Joanne Harris for gifting me a copy of Honeycomb.

Honeycomb 3

Blurb

An astonishing, richly interwoven story from #1 bestselling author Joanne M. Harris (The Gospel of Loki, Chocolat), beautifully illustrated by the multiple award-winning Charles Vess (Stardust, The Books of Earthsea).

Long ago and far away,
Far away and long ago,
The World was honeycomb, we know,
The Worlds were honeycomb.

The beauty of stories is that you never know where they will take you. Full of dreams an nightmares, Honeycomb is an entrancing mosaic novel of original fairy tales from bestselling author Joanne M. Harris and legendary artist Charles Vess in a collaboration that’s been years in the making. Dark, gripping, and brilliantly imaginative, these magical tales will soon have you in their thrall.

Review

HoneycombFairytales aren’t just for children, infact they were originally written for adults. Joanne Harris has done exactly this, created fairytales that are gorgeously illustrated and with all the hallmarks of a fairytale, with adult themes. Split beautifully into 2 books in 1 where land meets sea.
Imagine a honeycomb, with its hexagonal shapes, creating little pockets. Now imagine going into each one and finding stories that create the honeycomb, some are loosley interconnecting, others overarching, each one, unique and can be read as standalone, but together paint a bigger, wider picture. This in turn makes it a fabulous book to both read all at once (because it is pretty hard to resist) and to leisurely dip in and out of. People who follow Joanne Harris on Twitter will have familarised themselves with some of the short stories form of how they start with the bees, which are beautifully depicted on the front cover.

It’s clearly carefully planned and I love that the book starts with a short story about Nectar, which sets the scene of the Honeycomb Queen and other bees and ends with Honeycomb, just as bees do, as they go about their business. The writing is rich and not only full of descriptions, placing readers exactly where she wants them to be, they tell of something deeper. It’s like eavesdropping on the bees, who have something important to say and they deliberately want you to listen in as you are guided into where the Lacewing King and be transported into different worlds, which are entrancing and involving.

The writing is lyrical as fairytales are and magically captures the attention very quickly and draws you into many different places to meet many different creatures etc, that in turn become relatable to humans and the world we live in, with its abundance of societies. Each tale, intelligently has the insect world colliding with and criss-crossing with the human world. Meet Royalty, a Chancellor, a Teacher, the Slightless Folk and the Silken Folk, Death and more in this beautifully illustrated book that has many highly accomplished stories to easily lose yourself in. Some have trepidation, some allude to politics, some have warnings, and morals with each story carrying a message for readers to find within these expertly crafted tales you can easily lose yourself in.

BOTH – Books On The Hill have a new Kickstarter for adult genre books targeted for readers with dyslexia more details here #OpenDyslexia @RandomTTours

BOTH – Books on the Hill

Today is my turn on a very different and very exciting blog tour. This is a terrific sounding Kickstarter that makes excellent books accessible, especially for those with dyslexia. Please do read on to find out more about this and the books; and then why not delve into the link to their website and discover even more for yourself…
Find out a little more about the books too, after discovering what the Open Dyslexia Kickstarter Project is.

Open Dyslexia Banner

Our Kickstarter Starts April 2nd 2021
Making exciting good quality fiction accessible to a minority group currently not provided for by today’s UK traditional mass book market and providing a new tool for booksellers to use in their drive to increase diversity and inclusion.

It is estimated by the NHS that 1 in 10 readers in the UK have dyslexia; this is a learning difference that primarily affects reading and writing skills. It does not anyone from achieving. Books On The Hill has been always passionate about helping people who have dyslexia, or any difficulty with reading, to access the joy of good fiction. These days many publishers are making a lot of effort to have high quality books available for children with dyslexia but there has been a gap in the market for books targeted towards adults.

Who Are We Working With
We have been so fortunate that many great authors have agreed to contribute to this project. All are brilliant authors and are names I am sure you will recognise.

Stan Nicholls, who has been a great support to me particularly with my PhD. He is the author of many novels and short stories but is best known for the internationally acclaimed Orcs: First Blood series.
Steven Savile, the fantasy, horror and thriller writer, now lives in Stockholm whose father is a customer of our bookshop.
The horror duo that is Thana Niveau and John Llewellyn Probert, both well established and engaging authors and also residents of Clevedon.
Adrian Tchaikovsky is an Arthur Clark Award winner and best known for his series Shadows of the Apt, and for his novel Children of Time.
Steven Poore is the highly acclaimed fantasy writer who I first met on my first fantasy convention in Scarborough.
We finish the Magnificent Seven with Joel Cornah, who also has dyslexia, and with whom I participated in a podcast on dyslexia for the Clevedon Literature 2020 ‘Festival in the Clouds’.

Books on the Hill

How To Get involved
We are launching a Kickstarter beginning in April 2nd 2021 for 30 days, with the focus on paying for the printing of our books and giving us starting capital to continue to print more titles.
There will be many ways you can be involved in this. You can contribute on the Kickstarter website itself  There will be a number of different options of donating money, in which you will receive rewards, such as ebooks of a title or a paperback of one or more of the titles to be published. In addition a unique reward from authors who are contributing to the project.
You can still contribute outside the kickstarter. We are happy to receive your help in the shop, where we will have a donation box available.

The Project
Books on the Hill is passionate about helping people who have dyslexia, or have any difficulty with reading, to access the joy of good fiction. There are great books out now for children with dyslexia, with specialist publishers like Barrington Stokes and mainstream publishers such as Bloomsbury doing their part. However, there are sadly very few books for adults with Dyslexia in traditional mass market publishing.
Dyslexia is a learning difference that primarily affects reading and writing skills. The NHS estimates that up to 1 in every 10 people in the UK have some form of dyslexia, while other dyslexic organisations believe 1 in 5 and more than 2 million people in the UK are severely affected.
Dyslexia does not stop someone from achieving. There are many individuals who are successful and are dyslexic. Famous actors, such as Orlando Bloom; Entrepreneurs like Theo Paphitis, and many, many more, including myself. All of who believe dyslexia has helped them to be where they are now. Dyslexia, though, as I can attest to, does not go away. You don’t grow out of it, and so we are acknowledging that and trying to without being patronising, create a selection of books that will be friendly to people who deal with dyslexia every day.
Since we started the project in 2019, Books on the Hill have had many adults customers with dyslexia come in shop the asking for something accessible to read. For example, one customer asked if we stocked well known novels in a dyslexic friendly format. Unfortunately we had to say no, as they just don’t exist. We explained what we are trying to achieve by printing our own and she replied:
“I have been reading [children dyslexic] books but they are a bit childish so am really happy I have found your company!! Thanks so much again and thank you for making such a helpful and inclusive brand – it means a lot. “
This response is not isolated. We have had many adults come in to the shop with dyslexia, who do not read or struggle to read and they they believe dyslexic friendly books would have real impact on their reading for pleasure.

The Team
Books on the Hill is Alistair Sims. He is the manager and commander-in-chief of the bookshop (though his partner, Chloe and his mother, Joanne, who set up the bookshop with him, may disagree with this description ). Alistair is dyslexic and has a PhD in history and archaeology. Alistair could not read until he was 13 and is passionate about helping anyone who has difficulty reading. He is the driving force behind BOTH Press and has been involved in every step in this project, from finding award winning authors to contribute, the cover design, and the road to publication, including setting up for distribution.
Books on the Hill are collaborating with Chrissey Harrison, who is also an local author and member of North Bristol Writers Group. Chressey and Alistair have designed the book-covers together, with Chrissey creating the finished product we now look on at awe with. Nearly all the design work has been done by Chrissey, and she is also in charge of the printing process, typesetting. We are so proud and appreciative to be working with her.
Special mention must go to Harrison Gates, who runs Nine Worthy, and who has dedicated his time and expertise to produce our print catalogue for us free of cost.
Joanne Hall is an author, editor and formerly the Chair of BristolCon, Bristol’s premier (and only) science fiction and fantasy convention. We must give a huge thank you to Jo for proof reading the stories free of cost.
Vicky Brewster has edited all the new stories by the authors. She specialises in editing and beta reading long-form fiction. Vicky is a great professional editor.

Discover more about this brilliant reading initiative at Books On The Hill

BOTH Publishing

More About The Books

Books On The Hill AnchorPoint_Cover+G_B-Format_FRONT-2Anchor Point by Stan Nicholls

Kye Beven us lacking confidence, and is ruthlessly bullied. Everyone except Dyan Varike, the best archer in the land, believes he is not good enough for the community’s defence. When Kye’s village is menaced by a despotic sorcerer, he reaches for his bow and steps up to the mark…

The Clockwork Eyeball by Steven PooreBooks On The Hill TCE_Cover+design+3_1-3

In an alternate 1958 Marrakesh, the cold war continues with airships, clockwork cards and deadly spywasps, Young Saif risks his life to bring a defecting Russian agent out of the country,

The Breath by Joel CornahBooks On The Hill TheBreath_cover+G_Title+8_

The scientist Hala travels to a lost planet civilisation and find it seemingly empty. The old gods of the world may be stirring in the very air she breathes as she searches for answers.

Books on The Hill 4Kings_Cover_FrontSherlock Holmes and the Four Kings of Sweden by Steven Savile

Summoned by Swedeish Royalty, The Great Detective must solve a seemingly unsolvable riddle – how can the king be in three plaes at once? What devilry is it that has thousands of eye witnesses placing the monarch at cities a thousand miles apart? Witchcraft? Sorcery? Why? And how does this tie into a string of crimes that seem to hound the King’s footsteps.

The House of the Old by Adrian TchaikovskyBooks On The Hill THOTOC_cover+A_FRONT

A collection of desperate investigators are unleashed on a mysterious disappearance, by a lawyer working for clients who care little about the quarry’s fate and more for their own interests.

Books On the Hill At+Midnight_B-Format_coverA_final_front
At Midnight I Will Steal by John Llewellyn Probert

A visitor to a pyschiatric institution gets moe than she bargained for when it becomes apparent the building she finds herself in as a primsoner, doesn;t want her to leave

Ultrasound Shadow by Thana NiveauBooks On The Hill Ultrasound+Shadow_B-Format_coverF_FRONT-2

A pregnant woman finds herself at the mercy of an unborn baby. Its strange dark presence directs her thoughts and controls her mind and body.

#Review by Lou – Journey to New Salem by Mark Rosendorf @markrosendorf #YA #Fantasy #Witches #Friendships #Magic …

Journey to New Salem
By Mark Rosendorf

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

The second book in this series whisks readers off to New Salem, where there are some familiar and new characters. Witches, Magic, Vampires, Romance, Friendship, Teamwork, Portals, Trepedation and Teen Spirit… This book is packed full with it all in a quest to save one of the characters in this compelling, page-turning fantasy/realism book that I feel is sure to grab young-adults/teenagers attention. It is worth a read. How far too, would you go for a friend?
The first book was a very good read and encompass themes relevant for Young Adults and written very well, so I am delighted to be asked to review again by the author – Mark Rosendorf.
Find out more below in the blurb and the rest of my review and also discover buy links and a link to Book 1 after that….. The book is available in paperback and e-book formats.

About the Author

MarkMark Rosendorf is a High School Guidance Counselor for students in the New York City Department of Education’s special education district. He is also a former professional magician. Mark shares his knowledge of magic with his students as part of the school’s Performing Arts program.

Mark is also credited with published novels in various genres including The Rasner Effect series. He eventually decided on an early retirement from writing. When asked why, Mark’s usual answer was because he lost his favorite pen.

Then, one night, at two a.m., a new and unique story shot into his brain like a lightning bolt, screaming for him to write it.  Suddenly, despite the decision to never write again, Mark found himself spending several nights taking notes on the characters and their stories. That is how The Witches of Vegas, Mark’s first young adult story, was born.

 

New Salem cover

Blurb

A year has passed since The Witches of Vegas saved the city from the evil Wiccan vampire, Valeria. Since then, the show has hit an all-time high. So has the romance between teen witch Isis Rivera and teenage magician, Zack Galloway. Things couldn’t be any better for them until Isis develops seizures that cause her power to spiral out of control. Fires and earthquakes are just the beginning of the chaos caused by the misfired witchcraft. Unable to find a cure, Isis’ family journeys to New Salem, a fabled village of witches which may or may not even exist. Meanwhile, Zack ends up face to face with the only being who may have a cure…Valeria. But does he dare pay her price?

Review

Jasper has premonitions in some of his dreams/nightmares and a night spent with his other-half, Tia saw some more….
The book then moves to the first chapter and onto The Witches of Vegas – a unique magic show as the witches are real and have Wiccan powers. Isis Quinn-Santell, fomerly Isis Flores Rivera is one of them, who readers can follow in her life in the book.

The book has themes which are perfect for the young-adult/teen market. There’s fantasy (magic and teleportation) mixed through the real world, romance, life, all manner of emotions and growing-up.
The romance between Isis and Zack is beautifully written. There is great humour within this relationship, surrounding a small issue of fire…

The time-travelling to the 1990’s is a bit of fun and is a great addition for letting the younger generations gain some knowledge of this decade. It shows books, even fantasy books can be vital in, as well as providing an enjoyable story, they also provide and add to knowledge and increasing a well-rounded education, vital for quizzes and for knowing and understanding the world. 

There’s trepidation as Isis isn’t feeling her usual self and Zack needs to summon Selena and Sebastian to help with their Wiccan powers. As she lies in hospital things become complicated for Isis and how to hide her true witchy identity and the others need to help, but run into problems here and there with teleporting as other forces may also be at play. The author does this well and builds some mild tension up.

Politics in some form also come to play as Isis meets Tia – the president in New Salem, nothing heavy, which is a good call, so it doesn’t jar the story. There’s also some interesting theories about vampires and readers can find out about Valeria as the quest to get Isis back to health continues, where the tension ramps up another gear as the Witches of Vegas are characters that are easy to want to do well and succeed.

This is a book that young adults can easily escape into. It’s compelling to the end!

Links

Amazon          Waterstones     Review of Book 1 – Witches of Vegas