The House with a Clock in its Walls by John Bellairs (Review)

The House with a Clock in its Walls by John Bellairs

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About the author

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John Belliars (1938-1991) was an award-winning American author of many gothic mystery novels for children and young adults.

Blurb

When orphaned Lewis Barnavelt comes to live with his Uncle Jonathan, he is amazed to find out there is a wizard in his family.

Lewis experiments with Uncle Jonathan’s spells and uncovers the mystery behind the ticking that he can hear throughout the house, sometimes loud, sometimes quiet, sometimes fast, sometimes slow. It’s an evil clock and it could destroy humankind.

It is up to the Barnavelt’s to find where the clock is hidden in the walls – and stop it.

Review

I bought this book ages ago and it has just been sat in a pile gathering dust but I spotted it the other day and thought that looks like a fun quick read and thankfully I was correct. As I have mentioned previously I do enjoy reading children’s books and especially enjoy reading them when I’m very busy or stressed. I can truthfully say I loved this book and could not put it down.

The three main characters Lewis, Uncle Jonathan and Mrs Zimmermann were fantastic. I especially loved the character of Mrs Zimmermann who isn’t afraid of anything and speaks her mind and has an unhealthy obsession with the colour purple. She just seems to be the ultimate cool aunt figure.

Uncle Jonathan is the ultimate cool uncle, teaching Lewis to play poker and letting him stay up late and basically doing what he likes within reason. Lewis is the typical child who doesn’t quite fit in at school but has found his happy place living with his Uncle because as the story develops you can see that Uncle and nephew are rather alike.

Overall I loved the storyline and it kept me hooked from the start, the idea of magic being in a house and its walls was fantastic and in places it was rather spooky although that part was rather rushed through but that was probably because it is a children’s book. The only issue I had with the story was the lack of story about the actual clock, considering the book is about the clock in the walls it hardly features and it just feels like a very rushed ending.

I give this book 4 out of 5 dragons because of the lack of clock in the story. I highly recommend it to children and adults alike. A really good read that keeps you hooked from beginning to end.

Purchase links

Waterstones

Book Depository

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The Immortal City by Amy Kuivalainen

Happy Weekend Everyone!

This post is a little bit of a throw back.

Today my preordered book of The Immortal City by Amy Kuivalainen arrived and I must admit I am very excited. My regular readers will know that I had the privilege of reading this book and reviewing it on NetGalley a few months back and I loved the book so much I immediately preordered it. This at the moment is one of the best books I have read in 2019 and I can not wait for the next one in the series.

I know it sounds weird but I am planning on reading this book again very soon because when I read it a few months ago I could not put it down and flew through it and now I want to read it again and savour it a bit more. Is this just something that I do or do other people do the same?

Anyway if you love fantasy, murder mysteries and romance this is definitely the book for you. I cannot recommend this book enough. If you want to check out my review please click the link.

Purchase links

Book Depository

Waterstones

Happy Reading

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Matilda by Roald Dahl (Review)

Matilda by Roald Dahl

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About the author

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Roald Dahl was born on the 13th September 1916 and was a British novelist, short story writer, poet, screenwriter and fighter pilot. He passed away on the 23rd November 1990.

Blurb

For hundreds of kids “The Trunchbull” is pure terror—for Matilda, she’s a sitting duck.

Who put superglue in Dad’s hat? Was it really a ghost that made Mom tear out of the house? Only sweet, gentle Matilda knows. Because she’s the one playing all the jokes! She’s a genius with idiot parents—and she’s having a great time driving them crazy. But at school things are different. At school there’s Miss Trunchbull, two hundred pounds of kid-hating bully. Pull a trick on “The Trunchbull” and she’ll string you up. Get rid of The Trunchbull and you’ll be a hero for every kid in Crunchem Hall. But that would take a superhuman genius. Or may a sweet, gentle—crafty—genius?

Review

This is another book off my summer reading challenge and a childhood favourite. I must admit it was nice to read a book I have not read since childhood. I still remember when my big sister bought me this book, most of my Roald Dahl books I got off PG Tips boxes but Matilda my sister bought from the local bookshop and I remember wanting to read it straight away. My copy is very well read and getting very fragile.

I love the story of Matilda, I always loved the fact that a small child could reek revenge on adults who think they know more than a child just because they are adults and quite frankly most of the time that adult is an idiot. I remember quite clearly as a child not being listened to or ignored because I was a child and I always swore that I would listen to children when they want to tell me something, and as a teacher I always try to do this and hey I have actually learned a lot.

Matilda is a very gifted young girl who is very different from her family and because of this her family especially her parents do not understand or appreciate her. Matilda soon realises life is unfair but to make it bearable she decides to get revenge in a way the adults would not work out it was her.

The main message of this story was to stand up to bullies and when you do you will realise they are cowards. This is a delightful story that I will always love and I highly recommend it to children and adults because it gives you a feel good feeling and makes you realise that against the odds you will triumph. I gave this book a massive 5 out of 5 Dragons.

Purchase Links:

Waterstones

Book Depository

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Blog Tour for Death of Darkness by Dianne Duvall

Death of Darkness by Dianne Duvall

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Delve into the most eagerly anticipated book in New York Times bestselling author Dianne Duvall’s “utterly addictive” (RT Book Reviews), “fast-paced and humorous” (Publishers Weekly) Immortal Guardians series.

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Seth has led the Immortal Guardians for thousands of years. With them fighting by his side, he has protected humans from psychotic vampires, defeated corrupt mercenary armies, defended military bases under attack, and more. But the latest enemy to rise against the Immortal Guardians has proven to be a formidable one, wielding almost as much power as Seth. His goal is simple. He wants to watch the world burn. And he will use every means at his disposal to accomplish it. Seth and his Immortal Guardians have succeeded thus far in staving off Armageddon despite heartbreaking losses. But they have never before faced such danger. Seth has only one wish: to protect his Immortal Guardians family and ensure the continuation of humanity by defeating his foe. But then Leah walks into his life and sparks a new desire.

 

Leah Somerson has suffered losses of her own. It has taken her a long time to rebuild her life and find some semblance of peace. Then one night a tall, dark, powerful immortal with what appears to be the weight of the world on his shoulders stumbles into her shop, and everything changes. Peace and contentment are no longer enough. Now she wants more. She wants to find happiness. She wants to erase the darkness in Seth’s eyes and replace it with love and laughter. She knows he’s different in ways that make most fear him. Even some of his immortal brethren keep a careful distance. But Leah will not. Nor will she shy away when danger strikes.

LINKS: GOODREADS | KINDLE | NOOK | KOBO | ITUNES | AMAZONUK | AMAZONAU | AMAZONCA | AMAZONDE | AMAZONFR | 

 

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The Immortal Guardians Series: 

Darkness Dawns (Immortal Guardians, #1)

Night Reigns (Immortal Guardians, #2)

Phantom Shadows (Immortal Guardians, #3)

In Still Darkness (Immortal Guardians, #3.5)

Darkness Rises (Immortal Guardians, #4)

Night Unbound (Immortal Guardians, #5)

Phantom Embrace (Immortal Guardians, #5.5)

Shadows Strike (Immortal Guardians, #6)

Blade of Darkness (Immortal Guardians Book 7)

Awaken the Darkness (Immortal Guardians Book)

 

About the Author

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Dianne Duvall is the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author of the Immortal Guardians series and The Gifted Ones series. Reviewers have called Dianne’s books “fast-paced and humorous” (Publishers Weekly), “utterly addictive” (RT Book Reviews), “extraordinary” (Long and Short Reviews), and”wonderfully imaginative” (The Romance Reviews). Her books have twice been nominated for RT Reviewers’ Choice Awards and are routinely deemed Top Picks by RT Book Reviews, The Romance Reviews,and/or Night Owl Reviews.

Dianne loves all things creative. When she isn’t writing, Dianne is active in the independent film industry and has even appeared on-screen, crawling out of a moonlit grave and wielding a machete like some of the vampires she creates in her books.

For the latest news on upcoming releases, contests, and more, please visit DianneDuvall.com. You can also find Dianne online . . .

Author Links:- BLOG | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | YOUTUBE | PINTEREST | GOODREADS | GOOGLEPLUS | INSTAGRAM |

 

Tour-Wide Giveaway:

1 — $50 Amazon Gift Card

1 — $25 Amazon Gift Card

1 — Immortal Guardian & The Gifted Ones Prize Packs that includes; a Death of Darkness tote bag, signed paperback copies of Blade of Darkness and Awaken the Darkness, 13 bookmarks, 13 collector cards, and 5 postcards.

 

Open to residents of the US and Canada.

Click the picture below to enter.

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Author Post

Hello! Thank you for joining me here at Lady Book Dragon. Today we’re celebrating the upcoming release of DEATH OF DARKNESS. If you’re new to my Immortal Guardians series, don’t worry. Each novel and novella can be read as a stand-alone. You’ll just know more about the secondary characters if you read them in order. So if you like powerful preternatural heroes who adore strong women, intense action scenes that will keep you flipping pages well past your bedtime, and romance that is alternately steamy, tender and laced with humor, I think you’ll enjoy Seth and Leah’s book.

 

I have been a voracious reader for as long as I can remember. One of my earliest memories of elementary school is of anticipating with a great deal of excitement the arrival of the Book Bus, which would offer us a beautiful buffet of shiny new books every month. How I loved those Fridays. 🙂 My appetite for the written word continued to grow over the years. So much so that I’m thinking my current TBR pile could now fill a football stadium. Here is a little glimpse of…

 

What’s on my TBR List

 

  • Lara Adrian’s BREAK THE DAY. I’ve enjoyed Lara’s Midnight Breed series for many years and look forward to devouring the latest installment.

 

  • Anna Hackett’s HEART OF EON (Eon Warriors Book 3). I’ve been delving into sci-fi a lot lately—movies, TV shows, and books. And while doing so, I found this series. The heroines are strong and courageous. The heroes are, too. I really enjoyed the first two books and can’t wait to read the third.

 

  • Laurann Dohner’s next NEW SPECIES book. And the one after that. And the one after that. I love Laurann’s New Species series and have reread the books or listened to the audiobooks countless times. So whenever I hear she’s releasing another one, I can’t wait to get my greedy little hands on a copy.

 

  • Cynthia Sax’s THE CYBORG’s SECRET BABY. I’ve heard very good things about this sci-fi romance and can’t wait to read it.

 

  • Stephen King’s THE BILL HODGES TRILOGY. I am a huge admirer of Stephen King. He has such an amazing way with words and is a wonderful storyteller. I just love his writing, so I’m very much looking forward to reading these books.
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    So what books are on your TBR List?

 

 

Thank you to Dianne Duvall for choosing me to feature on your Blog Tour, this is the first Blog Tour I have ever featured on my blog. I am very excited to read Death of Darkness and eagerly awaiting the 20th August.

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Fireside Gothic by Andrew Taylor (Review)

Fireside Gothic by Andrew Taylor

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About the author

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Andrew Taylor was born in 1951 and is a British author best known for his crime novels. He has won the Diamond Dagger which is Britain’s top crime-writing award.

Blurb

BROKEN VOICES

It’s Christmas before the Great War and two lonely schoolboys have been forced into companionship. Left in the care of an elderly teacher, there is little to do but listen to his eerie tales about the nearby Cathedral. The boys concoct a plan to discover if the stories are true. But the Cathedral is filled with hidden dangers, and curiosity can prove fatal.

THE LEPER HOUSE

One stormy night in Suffolk, a man’s car breaks down following his sister’s funeral. The only source of light comes from a remote cottage by the sea. The mysterious woman who lives there begs him to leave, yet he can’t shake the sense that she somehow needs him. He attempts to return the next day but she is nowhere to be seen. And neither is the cottage.

THE SCRATCH

Clare and Gerald live a perfect life in the Forest of Dean with their cat, Cannop. Then Gerald’s young nephew comes to stay. Jack is from another world – active service in Afghanistan. The experience has left him outwardly untouched, but for a scratch that won’t heal. Jack and Cannop don’t like each other. Clare and Jack like each other too much. The scratch begins to fester.

Review

This book is not on my summer reading challenge and to be honest I read it by accident. I did not want to take my Kindle to the beach so I borrowed one of the books my husband had brought on holiday with him. My husband has read a lot of Andrew Taylor’s books but this one is a first for me and will not be the last.

This book has three stories is in it, so I will review them separately.

Broken Voices

Out of the three, this is my favourite story and feels the most Gothic to me. The story is based around two schoolboys who cannot go home for Christmas so must spend the season with an elderly teacher. They hear an old legend about the Cathedral and so decide to see for themselves whether it is true and they attempt this in the middle of night, adding to the mystery and drama. I must admit the two boys are braver than I, as I could never go in to a Cathedral in the middle of the night, too many ghosts for my liking.

Taylor sets the scene perfectly, it is just like a gothic novel from the Victorian period. He describes how the building looks different in the night, how the shadows flicker in the candlelight and how they might not be alone. At the end of the tale I was not entirely sure if it was all real it felt like a dream that one of the boys had when they were young. The story left me pondering somewhat.

The Leper House

This story was my least favourite and to be honest rather forgettable, I had to remind myself what happened in it before writing the review. I enjoyed the story but wouldn’t read it again as it did not really have anything special about it.

The story is about a man who meets a mysterious woman in a cottage which has no power and no comforts. This woman is a complete mystery to the man and he has to see her again, even when she tries to push him away. However, the next day he goes to find the cottage again and nothing is there, just some ruins.

This story was rather a confusing read and just felt more complicated than it needed to be. The characters were also rather unremarkable and nothing really stood out for me. The one thing I was really happy with at the end was that in my opinion he made the right choice.

The Scratch

This was a creepy read, especially for a cat owner and one of those cats is black. I was not entirely sure what to make of this story but really enjoyed reading it. There were a lot of What Ifs in the story and it left me pondering again.

I also enjoyed how Taylor included one of the main characters as a PTSD sufferer who has come back from being in the army and is struggling with getting back into the world again. I must admit I have not read many books tackling this issue and it was good to see Taylor including it in this story.

I did not really like Clare, I’m not sure why but she just got on my nerves. Gerald is obviously a hard working man who has always worked hard for his family and is a caring man who is happy to try and help his nephew where he can.

The story was really good and kept me hooked and I liked the ending and especially Cannop the cat, although I felt sorry for him for his name. I would have liked a bit more Gothic though.

Overall, I enjoyed the three stories and it has lit the spark for me wanting to read more of Taylor’s books. The only reason the book did not get the full 5 Dragons and only got 4 was because I wanted more Gothic from the last two stories. A very good beach read.

Purchase Links

Waterstones

Book Depository

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Awaken the Darkness by Dianne Duvall (Review)

Awaken the Darkness by Dianne Duvall

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About the author

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Dianne Duvall is the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author of the Immortal Guardians paranormal romance series and The Gifted Ones medieval and time-travel romance series.

Blurb

He awakens encapsulated in dirt with no knowledge of how he came to be there. Riddled with injuries, he can remember neither his past nor who he is. Nor can he remember what he is. But surely no mortal man could survive being buried deep beneath the earth. All he knows with certainty is that the soothing voice and presence of the woman moving around above enables him to endure the agony of his wounds. And he will do whatever it takes to be with her.

When Susan first sees the old two-story house for sale, such warmth and longing fill her that—against all reason—she makes an offer. It will take years of hard work and money she frankly doesn’t have to fix up the place. So she can’t explain why she bought it. She also can’t explain what compels her to spend hours one night, digging in the basement until she unearths a man. A man who still lives and breathes despite having been buried alive. A man whose intense brown eyes glow amber with pain, declaring him far more than ordinary. Susan knows she should keep her distance. He has no memory and possesses gifts that would make most fear him. But as the two work together to unravel the mystery of his past, she finds herself drawn in by his teasing nature and tender touch. So much so that she loses her heart to him even as they find themselves hunted by unknown enemies who are ruthless in their quest to capture them.

Review

I have owned this book since the day it came out as I love all of Dianne Duvall’s books but I am ashamed to say I only managed to read it a few weeks ago. This book helped me while away a few hours on my flight to Maui and I am so pleased I saved it for a moment like this flight.

Duvall has written yet another brilliant book and I am so pleased it answered a few questions I had at the end of Blade of Darkness.

There are only two main characters in this book Susan and the mystery man she finds buried in her basement. Susan is a gifted one and her gift is the ability to read people’s minds, moving to an isolated house means she can have some peace and quiet from minds. I liked Susan’s character and felt sorry for her because she has always had to be on her own because she has not been able to trust people with the knowledge of her ability. All she has had for a long time is her beloved dog Jax.

The mystery man Susan digs up also has abilities and these abilities are quite scary but Susan does not get scared she always trusts him and a friendship develops between them. Susan and the mystery man work together to try and work out the man’s identity and his past.

The storyline is slower paced than Duvall’s usual books but this was ok and did not detract from the story. It did not have as much action as the other Immortal Guardian books but I enjoyed this change of pace and a side story from the main storyline that has been running through the Immortal Guardian’s books.

The main thing that I did miss was the camaraderie between the Immortal Guardians, we only got to David’s house with everyone in at the end of the book and I really missed this. The feeling of family, friendship and craziness that you get as a reader from the setting of David’s house in the other Immortal Guardians books I really like and because I was missing it from this one I only gave the book 4 out of 5 Dragons.

Overall, I loved this book and really enjoyed the storyline. As usual I would highly recommend this series of books to any paranormal romance fans. I am really looking forward to the next one in the series and hope that the series continues at such a good quality of reading.

Purchase Links

Book Depository

 

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The Immortal City by Amy Kuivalainen (ARC Review)

The Immortal City by Amy Kuivalainen

About the author

Amy Kuivalainen is a Finnish-Australian writer that is obsessed with magical wardrobes, doors, auroras and burial mounds that might offer her a way into another realm. Until then, she will write about fairy tales, monsters, magic and mythology because that’s the next best thing. She is the author of The Firebird Fairytales Trilogy and The Blood Lake Chronicles series that mash up traditional tales and mythology in new and interesting ways.

Blurb

In the heart of Venice, a woman is sacrificed to a forgotten god, sparking a mystery lost for thousands of years.

Dr. Penelope Bryne is ridiculed by the academic community for her quest to find the remnants of Atlantis, but when an ancient and mysterious script is found at a murder site, she flies to Venice determined to help the police before the killer strikes again.

Penelope has spent her entire life trying to ignore the unexplainable and magical history of Atlantis, but when she meets the enigmatic Alexis Donato, everything she believes will be challenged. Little does she know, Alexis has spent the last three years doing his best to sabotage Penelope’s career so doesn’t learn the truth—Atlantis had seven magicians who survived, and who he has a duty to protect.

As Alexis draws her into the darkly, seductive world of magic and history, Penelope will have to use her heart as well as her head if she is to find the answers she seeks. 

With the new MOSE system due to come online, and Carnivale exploding around them, Penelope and Alexis will have to work together to stop the killer and prevent dark magic from pulling Venice into the sea.

Review

Thank you to NetGalley and BHC Press for granting me an advanced copy of this book for an honest review.

I was so happy that my request on NetGalley was granted for this book and a couple of days ago I started the book and to be honest finished it in a matter of hours, I simply could not put it down. Even though the book has not been published yet I am desperate for the sequel to be published.

I found the story to immediately hook me in and wanted to keep reading, the idea of a forgotten language and god suddenly arising after thousands of years was fascinating. I also thoroughly enjoyed the idea of magicians existing in the world for thousands of years hidden from mankind but one human has managed to get through to them and that person is Dr Penelope Bryne.

Penelope has always loved the mystery of Atlantis and even though people make fun of her she never gives up trying to find it and prove that it exists. I loved her drive and passion in the book, she is a massively strong character but also has her weaknesses but she knows how to control this using her yoga and meditation practises. I have never had much time for yoga but reading this book has made me want to try it again.

The setting of the book was beautifully chosen, what better place to choose than Venice? I would love to visit Venice because it always strikes me as a magical place especially when Carnivale is taking place. I hope in the next books Venice will feature heavily and we get to see more of the catacombs and hidden parts of Venice.

The seven magicians were brilliant as they all have their own individual characters which comes through their magic. So each magician engages their magic differently depending on how their magic is formed and created. They all reminded me of Greek Gods and by their descriptions they look like Greek Gods as well. Although they also seem like teenagers when left unattended by a responsible person for too long. All in all it seems like a fun place to be when they are all playing around.

I loved this book so much I have actually pre-ordered the hardback of the book to read again and hopefully one day will have a hardback sequel to add to the collection. I highly recommend this book to fantasy and history lovers. I give this book a massive 5 out of 5 Dragons and cannot wait to read it again.

To Purchase

Waterstones