Jesamine by Shani Struthers

jessamine

#Jessamine @ShaniStruthers @crookedcatpublishing #paranormal #romance #ghost #blog #review #read2018

The Synopsis:

-The dead of night, Jess, I wish they’d leave me alone.- Jessamin Wade’s husband is dead – a death she feels wholly responsible for. As a way of coping with her grief, she keeps him ‘alive’ in her imagination – talking to him everyday, laughing with him, remembering the good times they had together. She thinks she will ‘hear’ him better if she goes somewhere quieter, away from the hustle and bustle of her hometown, Brighton. Her destination is Glenelk in the Highlands of Scotland, a region her grandfather hailed from and the subject of a much-loved painting from her childhood. Arriving in the village late at night, it is a bleak and forbidding place. However, the house she is renting – Skye Croft – is warm and welcoming. Quickly she meets the locals. Her landlord, Fionnlagh Maccaillin, is an ex-army man with obvious and not so obvious injuries. Maggie, who runs the village shop, is also an enigma, startling her with her strange ‘insights’. But it is Stan she instantly connects with. Maccaillin’s grandfather and a frail, old man, he is grief-stricken from the recent loss of his beloved Beth. All four are caught in the past. All four are unable to let go. Their lives entwining in mysterious ways, can they help each other to move on or will they always belong to the ghosts that haunt them? From the author of the bestselling The Haunting of Highdown Hall.

The thoughts of VeilysReviews:

It’s no secret to any of you that I am a huge fan of Shani Struthers. To my deep shame, this is an author I have only just discovered. However, now I’ve started i’m hyngry for more. After reading all of the Psychic Surveys series, I was excited about this one as it’s a standalone, and promised something completely different. So when I got the opportunity to listen on audible, I did.

The thought that stays with me after finishing the book is brooding. The whole book from the cover, to the highlands of Scotland, to the characters themselves, all just scream brooding. In a good way obviously.

Jess has lost her husband James in a car accident and is devastated. He was the love of her life, and she doesn’t know how to go on without him. So she doesn’t. She starts talking to James, asking him for advice, discussing her plans with him, everything. She can’t bear to stay where she is, living her old life, seeing the same things day in day out and not have James by her side. So, much to the chagrin of family & friends, Jessamine moves to the Highlands of Scotland. Taking inspiration for the move from a painting her Grandfather had.

Once safely ensconced in her new home, Jess takes her time in meeting the locals. It doesn’t take long to make new friends. All the while, Jess is still talking to James. As the story unfolds we are privy too a whole host of emotions. With this story I found the sense of loss ran deep through all of the characters. Each and everyone had lost something of themselves or someone. From this stemmed the feeling of guilt. Deeply intertwined and playing a major part in this was the emotion of love. The author shows as this story unfolds, that it’s extremely difficult to separate your feelings and emotions, how rarely you can have a single feeling or emotion without another being joined to it. It’s a well paced storyline, no big surprises jumping out at you, rather a steady tale of the characters stories unfolding with the end result of the reader saying, Aahhh, yes! It all makes sense now.

As we return to the characters themselves, Shani has written some excellent, strong & believeably flawed people into it. As a result, we are given characters that as a reader, you can feel a connection with and relate too. A must in a story like this, where you get so drawn in with the emotional side, you feel invested in them as people. We are given a different piece of them as the story unfolds, snippets at a time that come together at the end to make the whole thing come together. The author shows such a descriptive prowess in this book when telling us about the Lochs and mountains, that they, along with the eerie atmosphere are almost like a character in themselves! Always there, always watching, the backdrop to everyones lives. Oh, what they have seen and the secrets they hold.

So what we ultimately have here, is a haunting tale of love & loss. Do coincidences happen or does fate play a part? How long can you keep a secret and at what cost? How one moment, one decision can change the course your life will take for ever. A beautifully written atmospheric novel that draws you and at times is so emotionally charged, it makes your heart race, palms sticky and will leave you with a silent tear or two.

As I listened to this on audible, I need to just tell you how good the narrator is! Toni Frutin brings this fabulous story to life. She has such a clear soft voice, it has an almost calming effect, which makes those emotional points all the more poignant. It’s a 10 hour listen, which just flies by! I finished it in two days, which is almost unheard of for me, as I don’t always get that time. For this though, I found myself making the time.

Goodreads rating: 4/5

 

 

 

No Ordinary Girl by Cheryl Elaine

                                 No Ordinary Girl                                          

#NoOrdinaryGirl #CherylElaine #blogblitz #review #crime #thriller @CherylElaine15 @rararesources

Synopsis:

No Ordinary Girl

What started out as a night of celebration for Aimee soon turned into a nightmare. Snatched by cruel, sadistic monsters – the worst creatures mankind has ever produced – she’s thrown into a metal container, among other victims too frightened to make a single sound.

The game-keepers force everyone to play. They deliver torment and pain in equal measure. Every hunter has their own agenda and reasons to maim and torture.

Detective Johnson is one step away from catching the killers. Wrestling with his instincts as a father to serve justice his own way, this is no ordinary case for him. Can he stop the vile sadists before they damage more young girls, as well as his own daughter?

Aimee’s ordeal within the compound brings her to the conclusion that she’s no ordinary girl. But can she hang onto her sanity long enough to escape? And will she find a different way to play?

This crime thriller will keep you riveted. It’s no ordinary story.

Please note: contains graphic content.

 

My Thoughts:

*WARNING-GRAPHIC CONTENT*

I do just want to point out that this particular novel contains scenes of graphic sex/violence. It is all relevant to the storyline.

Ok, now I’ve warned you, here are my thoughts on No Ordinary Girl by Cheryl Elaine.

Aimee and her best friend Kelly go on a night out, to one of the upmarket clubs in town. They are celebrating Aimee getting her dream job. What starts off as two young girls, having fun and enjoying their carefree lives turns into a dark, horrific & torturous nightmare that will stay with them forevermore.

Aimee awakes after her evening out, to find she has been locked in a metal container. Kelly is nowhere to be found, but Aimee is definitely not alone. As her memory starts to return it becomes clear, very quickly that the two handsome, charming and generous men they met in the club were not what they seemed to be. Aimee has been kidnapped, at this point she has no idea where Kelly is. As she starts talking to the others with her, it dawns on her that she’s not getting out alive. Now, does she sit there and wait for it to happen? or does she do all she can and fight for her life?  This is when Aimee’s survival instinct kicks in and we start to see just how determined & resilient this young lady is, as she starts trying to work on a plan that will see her free.

The case of the missing girls falls on the desk of Detective Johnson. This is a poignant moment for the Detective, as it affects him personally. It reminds him of a point in his life, 2 years ago when his whole world fell apart. His own daughter, Anne, was taken. He knows who by. A group calling themselves The Gamekeepers. They provide women & men for those who have the money to pay to get what they want. To allow them the secrecy & anonymity to fulfil all their ghoulish & unearthly desires. And of course, the people running the show are clever enough to bury themselves deep underground and make sure they have expendables to take the rap for them. Detective Johnson, sees it as failure both professionally & personally, that he is still no closer to catching these people and brining them to justice. As a father, there has been no justice for Anne, who will always be his little girl. After disappearing without a trace, everything started to fall apart for Detective Johnson and to this day, he’s never really recovered from it.

What follows is a truly grim, macabre & gruesome story. A story of human trafficking, torture, sadism & murder. Oh yes! This gritty, and at times sinister thriller has it all. We see Aimee’s journey from the bottom, where she is stricken & broken to a place where she is confident in herself. She is focussed and determined to see her plan through with vengeance as her companion and retribution her bedfellow.                                           There is no going slow with this book, the reader is put smack bang in the middle of it before the pages reach double figures. You are left with no doubt as to the graphic and explicit content that this story contains.                                                                                      The author has a gift for building up tension. The first half of the book, there were many times where I was reading through my fingers. I personally, am a horror fan and can deal with blood and gore well, but if you’re not used to it, this is your warning. What really got me though, was not the mutilation and torture, but the characters themselves and what they had to suffer regarding physical and mental abuse and rape. That was the part I found most hard to stomach. Really did make my insides flip. The storyline itself, whilst obviously a tough one, I feel it was a good one to tackle. Especially considering the current climate and what is happening all over the world. The author dealt with it extremely well.                                                                                                                                   As already said, it starts off at a quick pace. Because of this, does it lose momentum? No! It absolutely does not. The pace actually picks up speed, and for me, this is where I struggled a bit. The first part of the book I really enjoyed (if that’s the right thing to say regarding this?) Well written, excellent character development and a clear line between goodies/baddies. The second half of the book though, I felt was a little too fast. It seemed to be all about the violence, rather than concentrating on the individuals. I personally felt (and this is just my own opinion here) that there was so much scope to further explore Aimee’s character. There was just a lack of detail here that spoilt it for me just a little. At times I felt like I’d jumped a few pages at a time. If this could be filled out a bit more this would be a solid 5 star read.                                                                                   Similarly Detective Johnsons character. I did like him and would have liked to find out a bit more about him. I’m hoping that there will be more books to follow featuring this character as I think there’s a lot more to come from him.

So, all in all, this is a good, solid debut novel. The author has an excellent grasp of telling a tale and isn’t afraid to take on hard issues and explore the darker side of life. A great start!

 

 

No Ordinary Girl - Author Pic

 

Author Bio:

Cheryl Elaine was born in Germany but moved to Northern Ireland as a young child. She then moved to Yorkshire where she spent most of her childhood and this is where she currently resides with her husband and 3 daughters.

Cheryl Elaine is an avid reader and enjoys watching horror movies – the more gruesome the better! She enjoys travelling and socialising but also loves spending time at home with her family and her ever expanding menagerie which currently includes 2 dogs, a budgie, 2 fish and a rat called Rocky!

 

Website – http://www.cherylelaine.co.uk

Twitter – @CherylElaine15

Insta – cherylelaine15

 

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Worship Me by Craig Stewart

worship

#WorshipMe #Horror #Author #HellboundBooks @HellBoundBooksPublishing

#MustRead #Fiction

 

Worship Me

by Craig Stewart

The synopsis:

Something is listening to the prayers of St. Paul’s United Church, but it’s not the god they asked for; it’s something much, much older.

A quiet Sunday service turns into a living hell when this ancient entity descends upon the house of worship and claims the congregation for its own. The terrified churchgoers must now prove their loyalty to their new god by giving it one of their children or in two days time it will return and destroy them all.

As fear rips the congregation apart, it becomes clear that if they’re to survive this untold horror, the faithful must become the faithless and enter into a battle against God itself. But as time runs out, they discover that true monsters come not from heaven or hell…
…they come from within.

 

My Thoughts:

Well, this is the first sort of book I’ve read in a while that goes this far into the darker side of things. First thought after finishing was…Wowzers!

My first feeling and the storyline that I keep coming back too, is the humanity or inhumanity of the characters involved. How deeply human they were and how well they were written. Showing the human race and depicting them spectacularly with all their flaws. A group of church goers, family & friends alike, gather for what is supposed to be the regular, once a week Sunday service.

Meet Angela. A woman who was left as a single parent to son Alex, 3 months ago when her husband Rick disappeared without trace. After a freak wind forced the congregation back into the church, ironically a room called the sanctuary, Rick re-appears out of the blue. There are cries of “It’s a miracle, praise God”…..but how long will this last? Even before the carnage started Angela had to get her and her son away. Away from the man who abused, beat and broke her for years. A secret kept to herself.

Rick has appeared and claims he has been sent by the Beast. He’s there to show them the way and to follow the Behemoth. With this, causes confusions and fractions within the group. It seems surprising at first just how quickly the situation deteriorates and the divisions show, in the end it only takes 48 hrs for the whole group to almost self destruct. But, and here’s the thing that keeps me thinking and coming back to it. Was it really that surprising? Seriously, what would the normal person do when faced with almost certain death, watching friends and family members literally ripped apart in front of their eyes, what would you sacrifice in order to live? Your morality? How do you draw the line at what is right and wrong? How do you justify those decisions? Honestly, THIS is the underlying storyline I keep thinking about.

Now, it’s not all about this obviously, I mentioned the Behemoth. He sends Rick in to speak for him, to tell the congregation he wants a child. They have 48 hrs to decide, give him a child or all will die. This hopefully will explain now why everything went wrong, fast. No-one was allowed to leave and anyone trying will die. Which as promised, they did. The author spares the reader nothing when describing in detail the horror, the gore, the ripping skin from bone …you get the picture. This is described in such great detail it makes you curl your toes as you can almost hear the bones cracking and the images it creates seems to jump off the page.

The storyline itself was a good one and executed well. The characters were all connected, even loosely, so there was great continuity. I can’t say any were particularly likeable, but then, I think this reflects the situation they found themselves in, no matter how much you say your thoughts are about others, it all comes down to self preservation. It was well paced, steady & had excellent attention to detail. And I can’t let this go without saying something about that cover. Bloody brilliant! I absolutely love it. An excellent and thoroughly fitting picture for this equally good read.

If I’m being perfectly honest, and I don’t know what this says about me, but I actually had a lot of sympathy for the Behemoth in the end. He’s been around for so long, seen changes upon the earth and managed to survive by himself, albeit reluctantly. All he wanted was a friend, a companion. Someone to end his loneliness. It left me asking the question, WHO is actually the beast on this earth? With the traits shown in humanity here, the lines become blurred.

An excellent example of it’s genre, giving the reader far more than just a basic gore fest. It shows us & exposes us to darkness on so many levels. Really well done and I’ll look forward to more from this author.

 

Rise to Me: Psychic Surveys book #2 by Shani Struthers

Rise To Me: Psychic Surveys Book 2

by Shani Struthers

RTM

#RiseToMe #ShaniStruthers #PsychicSurveys #Paranormal @Shani_Struthers #audible @audible.co.uk @SheilaDearden

Rise to me is the second book in the psychic surveys series. In the first book we met Ruby and her team that make up psychic surveys. There were teasers in there that come to light in this one. It focuses on Ruby and her family, in particular her mother Jessica, whom we know has suffered for most of Rubys life.

Now, I loved Highdown Hall and rated it 5 stars. Could this one live up to it? Seeing how high the bar was set. Well, let me tell you, yes, it did. In fact, if I’m being completely honest (which I do try to be) Rise to me surpassed it! This one was so much darker and far more sinister. The atmosphere that Shani created was creepy, tense, and eerie. Guaranteed to get those nerve endings tingling and your hairs on the back of your neck standing to attention. Freaking awesome!

In this one we find out a lot more about the characters and their back stories, what made Ruby who she is today. What has been following her in the shadows since she was a child. It is time for Ruby to confront her past and her Demons….

The tone of this being what it is, is perfect for the journey we are taken on. Shani has a gift for writing this sort of thing and immersing the reader into the story. I felt real empathy with the people involved in this, and found my heart racing at certain points. This story touches on a lot of subjects relating to the paranormal/supernatural including spiritualism & the occult. What I particularly loved personally was the amount of depth that was involved. It is clear the author knows exactly what she’s talking about. There was no unnecessary “fluffing”. Shani has the ability to almost lull us. It’s all happy go lucky one moment and the next you’re in total despair! Absolute stroke of genius. Talk about messing with your head!

I have done a lot of research on this subject/s myself over the years, and I found I could completely understand everything Shani had included in the novel. THIS is how I can tell the author knows her stuff, clearly a lot of research has been done in order to produce something of such a high standard.

I thoroughly enjoyed this story, just in case it wasn’t obvious to you. The plot development was excellent and it left me looking forward to reading more and wanting to know more about the individuals involved. Bringing Jed, the ghost dog, into it had the benefit of adding a touch of a more light hearted nature. He appears at just the right time, every time. I thought this was a special touch by the author and works well.

I listened to this on audible whilst I was at work and it was the perfect accompaniment. I work in a Manor house that is centuries old, about 600 years old, and i’m on my own. Hence the audible books. This was brilliantly narrated, really gave the extra dimension to the story and brought it to life. Obviously I have the book as well as it will need reading again. But whichever way you choose to devour this novel, I guarantee you wont be disappointed.

 

 

To purchase, just click on the link. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Psychic-Surveys-Book-Two-Rise-ebook/dp/B00U4ZFO5W/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1516130662&sr=8-1&keywords=rise+to+me

Audible link: https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/Crime-Thrillers/Rise-to-Me-Audiobook/B075H18PVK/ref=a_search_c4_1_1_srTtl?qid=1516131934&sr=1-1

To follow Shani on twitter click the link.https://twitter.com/shani_struthers

 

 

The Soprano by Sarah England

TSop

 

#TheSoprano #Wichcraft #Haunting #Supernatural #Thriller @SarahEngland #MistressofTheOccult @S.E.England #BTVonFB #BeyondTheVeil

The Soprano

By Sarah England

The Synopsis:

REVENGE WAS NEVER THIS WICKED! For decades, this lonely English mining village has harboured an intricate web of jealousy, rage and deceit ….all carefully woven and interlaced with dark witchcraft….and it’s about to come to fruition.
CONTAINS LOCAL ENGLISH DIALECT!


Book Summary:
‘It is 1951 and a remote mining village on the North Staffordshire Moors is hit by one of the worst snowstorms in living memory. Cut off for over three weeks, the old and the sick will die; the strongest bunker down; and those with evil intent will bring to its conclusion a family vendetta spanning three generations.
Inspired by a true event, ‘The Soprano’ tells the story of Grace Holland – a strikingly beautiful, much admired local celebrity who brings glamour and inspiration to the grimy moorland community. But why is Grace still here? Why doesn’t she leave this staunchly Methodist, rain-sodden place and the isolated farmhouse she shares with her mother?
Riddled with witchcraft and tales of superstition, the story is mostly narrated by the Whistler family who own the local funeral parlour, in particular six year old Louise – now an elderly lady – who recalls one of the most shocking crimes imaginable.’

My Thoughts:

Now, when I first heard towards the end of 2017, that Sarah England had a new, Standalone, dark, occult thriller coming out, I could not wait! One of the most eagerly anticipated releases of last year I did what any self-respecting reader would do…I hunkered down under a blanket, in the middle of the night, turned off the lights and started reading. (If you’re of a more nervous disposition by all means leave the lights on. It wont affect your enjoyment.

The Soprano is the first standalone novel of one of the most, skilful, talented master of the written word, Sarah England.
Sarah has such a way of crafting an innovative, complex plot that is both full of intrigue and deep seated intensity at the same time.
In this novel, the story plays out over 100 years and 3 generations. A story waiting to come to it’s conclusion. Two families at war. Annie Bailey, matriarch and orchestrator of all that is to come is beside herself. When local businessman and staunch methodist minister, Aaron Danby, threatens to fell the sacred Odins tree, a tree that has been central, to a certain group of women for longer than they can remember, Annie hatches a plot and is in for the long term.
Odins tree is felled and two months later, on top of the old roots, a chapel is built. A show of what is to come, stamping out the past and offering a new beginning.
With the help of dark arts, witchcraft and the four that went before, is a tale of deep sadness and manipulation. And a secret that will tear a family apart for decades.
The chapters alternate and are told by different points of view, from different families and over many decades.
It’s a story i really had to follow as the author uses, to great effect, the local dialect of the time. Which i loved as i felt it added to the already tense and eerie atmosphere and gave it more validity and authenticity.
This is not a fast paced tale, more of a slow burner that gives you enough to thoroughly immerse yourself in the novel. Giving you a chance to really get to know and have a feel for the individual characters. I personally felt this is actually a good way to go with what is, at times, a complex tale.
Really enjoyable and another fabulous book from ( in my opinion) the fast becoming Mistress of the dark & occult, Sarah England.
Did it make me stop in the middle of the night and listen to the trees? Yes. Did it make me double check myself when i heard animals in the woods next to me? Yes. Was that a baby crying or just a fox…..who knows.
My only problem upon finishing it is having to wait for the next.
But then, what a problem to have!

I can actually now tell you that there is a new novel by Sarah England out this year. The Owlmen will be making it’s presence felt very soon.

I am also extremely excited to be able to tell you all that I will be arranging & hosting the official online launch for The Owlmen. More details will follow, so please like the page and make sure you don’t miss out on any upcoming events.

If you like the sound of this, then all you have to do is click on the link:

 

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