Happy release day to Elena Collins whose The Witches Tree is released today. Here’s my review.

Here’s the blurb:

A tale as old as time. A spirit that has never rested.

Present day

As a love affair comes to an end, and with it her dreams for her future, artist Selena needs a retreat. The picture-postcard Sloe Cottage in the Somerset village of Ashcombe promises to be the perfect place to forget her problems, and Selena settles into her new home as spring arrives. But it isn’t long before Selena hears the past whispering to her. Sloe Cottage is keeping secrets which refuse to stay hidden.

1682

Grace Cotter longs for nothing more than a husband and family of her own. Content enough with her work on the farm, looking after her father, and learning the secrets of her grandmother Bett’s healing hands, nevertheless Grace still hopes for love. But these are dangerous times for dreamers, and rumours and gossip can be deadly. One mis-move and Grace’s fate looks set…

Separated by three hundred years, two women are drawn together by a home bathed in blood and magic. Grace Cotter’s spirit needs to rest, and only Selena can help her now. 

Review:

The Witch’s Tree is my second dual timeline novel in a week. It’s not my preferred take on historical fiction, but hey, I’m on holiday, so why not.

The Witch’s Tree is a story linked by a single space – a house – and the author offers two timelines, one modern-day and one set in the late seventeenth century. It was the late seventeenth-century story that fascinated me the most, and the feeling of impending doom made the story a little difficult to read in places. The contrasting stories of the two women further enforced the sense that problems were brewing for Grace in the seventeenth century,. As you might expect, I wanted more of the seventeenth-century story, and less of the modern-day one. I did appreciate that the modern-day story didn’t give away any of the details of the seventeenth-century story and that some of the aspects were misunderstood by the modern cast. I think that little bit of realism really helped with the contemporary storyline.

A captivating read, I think readers will enjoy meeting Grace and Selena.

My thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for my review copy.

(Not one to ever think that books should come with trigger warnings, I confess, there was one aspect of the book that I found a little upsetting, so I’ll say here that readers should be aware of the appearance in the narrative of a cleft lip. I don’t want to give any spoilers, but just to let readers know it is there.)

The Witches Tree is released today, 17th May 2022, and is available in ebook, paperback, hardback, large print and audio.

Connect with the author on twitter.

It’s my turn on the Poison at the Village Show by Catherine Coles New Release Blog Tour

I’ve been reading Catherine Coles previous series for a while now. I do love a Golden Age mystery novel, so I was really pleased to see she was becoming a fellow Boldwood Books author, and that there was going to be a new series as well.

Here’s the blurb:

With the war finally over the residents of Westleham village are trying to reclaim a sense of normality and the upcoming village show is proving to be a popular event!

Newcomer, Martha Miller, has high hopes for the village show. Since her husband Stan left for work one day and never returned, some of the villagers have treated Martha with suspicion – why would a good man like Stan simply up and leave? Was it something Martha did?

All Martha knows is that she’s hoping that she can win people over and hopefully they’ll but her delicious homemade plum gin, too and she’ll be able to make ends meet.

But as glasses of Martha’s gin are passed around, disaster strikes. Alice Warren, Chairwoman of the village show slumps to the ground after taking a sip. It’s clear she’s been poisoned!

Martha is shocked, but not surprised, when fingers of suspicion once again point her way. Determined to prove her innocence, Martha sets about trying to find the real culprit. But who would kill Alice and why?

Ably helped by the new vicar, Luke Walker, Martha quickly tries to get to the bottom of this mystery. But with the villagers closing ranks it quickly becomes apparent that the only person with a motive is Martha herself….

Will Luke and Martha discover who is behind the poisoning before it’s too late?

Here’s my review

Poison at the Village Show is a charming mystery set in a small village in the years after the Second World War, featuring Martha Miller, her sister Ruby, and the new vicar, Luke Walker.

I’ve already read all of Catherine Coles Tommy and Evelyn books set in the aftermath of World War I and love the depictions and the characters of Tommy and Evelyn. Fans of those books will not be disappointed with Martha, Luke and Ruby. They are all excellent creations and make for an engaging read.

The story really gathers pace as it continues, and the ending is both satisfying, and I confess, slightly unexpected for me. It’s always good not to guess who the real perpetrator was.

I really look forward to reading more of this series and returning to the charming village of Westleham with its cast of eclectic busy-bodies in the years after the war when a sweet cup of tea is the solution to everything.

Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for my review copy.

Purchase Link – https://amzn.to/3freNRj  

Meet the author

The daughter of a military father, Catherine was born in Germany and lived most of the first 14 years of her life abroad. She spent her school years devouring everything her school library had to offer! Catherine writes cosy mysteries that take place in the English countryside. Her extremely popular Tommy & Evelyn Christie mysteries are set in 1920s North Yorkshire. Catherine lives in northeast England with her two spoiled dogs who have no idea they are not human!

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Don’t forget to check out the other stops on the Poison at the Village Show Blog Tour with Rachel’s Random Resources

Happy Release Day to Son of Mercia

Today is the day. Son of Mercia is FINALLY released (I know it hasn’t actually been that long, it just feels like it).

I’m so excited to share it with fans and new readers alike.

If you’ve not yet heard about my new book (where have you been:)) then here’s the blurb:

Tamworth, Mercia AD825.

The once-mighty kingdom of Mercia is in perilous danger.

Their King, Beornwulf lies dead and years of bitter in-fighting between the nobles, and cross border wars have left Mercia exposed to her enemies.

King Ecgberht of Wessex senses now is the time for his warriors to strike and exact his long-awaited bloody revenge on Mercia.

King Wiglaf, has claimed his right to rule Mercia, but can he unite a disparate Kingdom against the might of Wessex who are braying for blood and land?

Can King Wiglaf keep the dragons at bay or is Mercia doomed to disappear beneath the wings of the Wessex wyvern?

Can anyone save Mercia from destruction?

And what’s so exciting about Son of Mercia is that it’s released in all the formats and over many, many platforms, today. Find the ebook, paperback, hardback, large print and audio version at your retailer of choice via this link.

books2read.com/u/3R6x7x

Join the blog tour for Son of Mercia by following #SonOfMercia on twitter, or check back here, as I will be posting links to the blogs. Thank you to all the bloggers and to Rachel for organising such a fantastic tour to celebrate release week.

David’s Book Blurg

NIKI PRESTON

The Writing Desk

Melisende’s Library

Chicks, Rogues and Scandals

Bookish Jottings

Ruins and Reading

Snowphiethebookworm

The Strawberry Post

The Paige Ladies

Over The Rainbow

Reviewsfeed

The Very Bookish

Donna’s Book Blog

@enjoyingbooksagain

To keep up to date with news and information about book 2 in The Eagle of Mercia Chronicles, please sign up to my newsletter or the Boldwood Books newsletter. Thank you. I can confirm that book 2 is already up for preorder on some sites. )I’ll add more links as it appears elsewhere.)