Genre: Fantasy

#BlogTour #Excerpt
Ravens Gathering by Graeme Cumming
@GraemeCumming63 @matadorbooks
#RavensGathering #Lovebooksgrouptours

#BlogTour #Excerpt Ravens Gathering by Graeme Cumming @GraemeCumming63 @matadorbooks #RavensGathering #LovebooksgrouptoursTitle: Ravens Gathering

Author: Graeme Cumming

Published by Matador Books on March 16, 2017

Genres: Fantasy, Horror, Young Adult

Pages: 432

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

As she let her gaze drift around her, she saw that there were more birds.  Perhaps a dozen or so, perched among the trees that stood on the edge of the clearing. And yet more were arriving, swooping down through the gap overhead and landing on branches that overlooked them. The birds weren’t threatening, yet the sight of them all coming together in this dark and isolated spot was unnerving. Tanya reached a hand out towards Martin, and was relieved to feel him take it.  She felt him move in behind her.  After the uncertainty she’d experienced with him in a similar position only a few moments ago, she recognised the irony of her reaction. His closeness offered security. 

“You know what they are, don’t you?” 

A stranger’s arrival in a small village coincides with a tragic accident.  For the Gates family in particular it’s more than a coincidence, but unease increases following a brutal attack.  As tensions rise, a dark past returns to haunt them and others, while newcomers to the village are drawn into a mystery with terrifying consequences. 

And only a select few know why the ravens are gathering.

 

Excerpt:

In the darkness of his bedroom, he wondered for a moment whether the drums had just been part of a dream. Then he heard something familiar from downstairs. The rhythmic rattle of a latch hitting a strike plate. It was the sound his mother regularly complained about when he came in from playing and didn’t close the door properly. Someone had left a door open, and it was swinging back and forth in the night air.

Sitting up in bed, he rubbed the sleep from his eyes. In truth, the sleep was illusory, the pause an unconscious effort to give him a moment to rein in his emotions. And those were wide and varied, covering a range that ran from puzzlement to fear. He realised it must be the middle of the night. The only illumination was the faint glow of a nearby streetlamp through his curtains. So why would his parents leave a door open?

His bed was close to the window, so he pushed the bedclothes back and knelt up, leaning forward to lift a curtain to one side. The street was deserted. Looking to the left, he saw no sign of life. To the right, there was barely enough light to see anything. Just one streetlamp 50 yards away, then nothing.

He had hoped a quick look outside might explain everything, but it didn’t. Now he had to face the prospect of getting out of bed and negotiating the darkness of the house. And the first thing he had to concern himself with was the crocodile under the bed.

 

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy of this novel from your favourite retailer or from the following link!

 

 

Thank you to Graeme Cumming for being featured on my blog today!

 

About Graeme Cumming

Graeme Cumming lives in Robin Hood country. He has wide and varied tastes when it comes to fiction so he’s conscious that his thrillers can cross into territories including horror, fantasy and science fiction as well as more traditional arenas.
When not writing, Graeme is an enthusiastic sailor (and, by default, swimmer), and enjoys off-road cycling and walking. He is currently Education Director at Sheffield Speakers Club. Oh yes, and he reads (a lot) and loves the cinema.

 

#BookReview
The Things We Learn When We’re Dead
by Charlie Laidlaw @claidlawauthor

#BookReview The Things We Learn When We’re Dead by Charlie Laidlaw @claidlawauthorTitle: The Things We Learn When We're Dead

Author: Charlie Laidlaw

Published by Accent Press Ltd on January 26, 2017

Genres: Fantasy, Science Fiction

Pages: 501

Format: Paperback

Source: Charlie Laidlaw

Book Rating: 8/10

 

 

Synopsis:

The Things We Learn When We’re Dead is about how small decisions can have profound and unintended consequences, but how we can sometimes get a second chance.

On the way home from a dinner party, Lorna Love steps into the path of an oncoming car. When she wakes up she is in what appears to be a hospital – but a hospital in which her nurse looks like a young Sean Connery, she is served wine for supper, and everyone avoids her questions.
It soon transpires that she is in Heaven, or on HVN, because HVN is a lost, dysfunctional spaceship, and God the aging hippy captain. She seems to be there by accident… or does God have a higher purpose after all?
Despite that, The Things We Learn When We’re Dead is neither sci-fi nor fantasy. It is a book about memory and how, if we could remember things slightly differently, would we also be changed?

In HVN, Lorna can at first remember nothing. But as her memories return – some good, some bad – she realises that she has decisions to make and that, maybe, she can find a way back home.


Review:

Fresh, fantastical, and unique!

The Things We Learn When We’re Dead is an exceptionally innovative adventure that takes you on a journey with Lorna Love as she remembers her life back in North Berwick, explores an afterlife on HVN, meets some outrageous characters, including God, and realizes that every choice, good or bad has a consequence.

The prose is humorous and expressive. The characters are complex, rich, reflective, and intriguing. And the plot written in a back-and forth, past/present style is a well-crafted tale about life, death, emotion, introspection, friendship, acceptance, and second chances.

As most people know, I’m not a huge lover of sci-fi or fantasy novels, but The Things We Learn When We’re Dead is definitely an exception. It’s creative, compelling, and witty and does a tremendous job of highlighting all the quirky intricacies of life, and ultimately reminds us that change is inevitable.

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                                  

 

http://picasion.com/gl/9CQG/

 

 

Thank you to Charlie Laidlaw for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review and for his patience while it made it to the top of my TBR pile!

 

About Charlie Laidlaw

I was born in Paisley, central Scotland, which wasn’t my fault. That week, Eddie Calvert with Norrie Paramor and his Orchestra were Top of the Pops, with Oh, Mein Papa, as sung by a young German woman remembering her once-famous clown father. That gives a clue to my age, not my musical taste.

I was brought up in the west of Scotland (quite near Paisley, but thankfully not too close) and graduated from the University of Edinburgh. I still have the scroll, but it’s in Latin, so it could say anything.

I then worked briefly as a street actor, baby photographer, puppeteer and restaurant dogsbody before becoming a journalist. I started in Glasgow and ended up in London, covering news, features and politics. I interviewed motorbike ace Barry Sheene, Noel Edmonds threatened me with legal action and, because of a bureaucratic muddle, I was ordered out of Greece.

I then took a year to travel round the world, visiting 19 countries. Highlights included being threatened by a man with a gun in Dubai, being given an armed bodyguard by the PLO in Beirut (not the same person with a gun), and visiting Robert Louis Stevenson’s grave in Samoa. What I did for the rest of the year I can’t quite remember.

Surprisingly, I was approached by a government agency to work in intelligence, which just shows how shoddy government recruitment was back then. However, it turned out to be very boring and I don’t like vodka martini.

Craving excitement and adventure, I ended up as a PR consultant, which is the fate of all journalists who haven’t won a Pulitzer Prize, and I’ve still to listen to Oh, Mein Papa.

I am married with two grown-up children and live in East Lothian.

 

#BookReview
The Reflections of Queen Snow White
by David Meredith

#BookReview The Reflections of Queen Snow White by David MeredithTitle: The Reflections of Queen Snow White

Author: David Meredith

Published by David Meredith on October 2, 2013

Genres: Fantasy

Pages: 155

Format: eBook

Source: David Meredith

Book Rating: 7/10

 

 

Synopsis:

What happens when “happily ever after” has come and gone? 

On the eve of her only daughter, Princess Raven’s wedding, an aging Snow White finds it impossible to share in the joyous spirit of the occasion. The ceremony itself promises to be the most glamorous social event of the decade. Snow White’s castle has been meticulously scrubbed, polished and opulently decorated for the celebration. It is already nearly bursting with jubilant guests and merry well-wishers. Prince Edel, Raven’s fiancé, is a fine man from a neighboring kingdom and Snow White’s own domain is prosperous and at peace. Things could not be better, in fact, except for one thing: 

The king is dead. 

The queen has been in a moribund state of hopeless depression for over a year with no end in sight. It is only when, in a fit of bitter despair, she seeks solitude in the vastness of her own sprawling castle and climbs a long disused and forgotten tower stair that she comes face to face with herself in the very same magic mirror used by her stepmother of old. 

It promises her respite in its shimmering depths, but can Snow White trust a device that was so precious to a woman who sought to cause her such irreparable harm? Can she confront the demons of her own difficult past to discover a better future for herself and her family? And finally, can she release her soul-crushing grief and suffocating loneliness to once again discover what “happily ever after” really means? 

Only time will tell as she wrestles with her past and is forced to confront The Reflections of Queen Snow White.


Review:

Thank you to David Meredith, the author, for sending me a copy of his book for an honest review.

This is a unique and interesting story that starts approximately thirty years after the original fairy tale ended.

It delves into the psychological and physical damage suffered by Snow White through the years, as well as the love and comfort she found with Charming.

It is a story about abuse, loss, depression, strength, courage, love, and ultimately the power of discovery and introspection.

The writing is well done. The plot uses a past-present style that allows the story to flow nicely. And the characters are complex and creative, especially the magic mirror who once again has a starring role.

If you love fantasy and dark, macabre tales, you will definitely enjoy this book.

 

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