Review ~ Blog Tour ~ That Deplorable Boy by Jasper Barry



Is Max Fabien the loyal secretary and faithful lover of the marquis de Miremont? Or a handsome trickster who regards lying as an accomplishment and any sexual quarry as fair game?
Miremont’s heart tells him one thing, his jealousy another. But his obsessive passion for Max must remain a dark secret. And, when his estranged wife brings their eighteen- year-old daughter to Paris to make her debut, the strain begins to tell.
The once-calm atmosphere of the Hôtel de Miremont swirls with gossip, mistrust and danger and Miremont is faced with an impossible choice.
Meanwhile the secrets of Max’ past continue to haunt him. Has the time has come for him to claim his not-so-rightful destiny?
That Deplorable Boy is the second part the Miremont series, charting the course of a gay love affair between an aristocrat and a former servant in Belle Époque France. Rich in period detail and set in the grand châteaux of Paris and Burgundy, the novels explore the suffocating social codes of the time and the conflicts and perils they bring for those who must live outside them.


That Deplorable Boy is a historical drama set in 19th Century France, sequel to the wonderful The Second Footman and written by Jasper Barry.

It continues the story of the forbidden love between Max, an ambitious footman and his lover the privileged Marquis de Mirenant. Now a ‘couple’, even though their relationship must remain a secret. It delves into the perils such men faced if their relationships were discovered and the social barriers between those that serve and the ruling classes.

As with the first book I loved the rich historical detail and the continued emphasis Jasper Barry places on character and story. Not resting on his laurels he developes both Max and Mirenant’s back stories. We get to understand more about Max ‘s troubled early life and the reason Mirenant finds it so hard to trust, when we meet the wife he is separated from.  Real trouble and strife is encountered when we meet Mirenant’s her, who is the worst type of the quintessential French aristocrat, demanding, vain and dismissive of those lower in rank to her. No wonder Mirenant, his sexuality aside, could never love her. Then we have poor damaged Juliette their daughter, for whom my feelings varied thoughout. It’s what makes Jasper Barry’s books a joy to read, the rich emotional detail he invests in his characters.

Yet again I loved that the author cares enough about these two wonderful characters that he doesn’t rush the story. He continues to  tease out their ever evolving relationship slowly. It is a delicious feeling of indulgence to read a book that is allowed to runs its course, without contrived plot devices only there to speed up the narrative.

Once again this book is about the relationship between these two men, their feelings and motivations, as they negotiate the boundaries that often prevent them being honest with each other about their feelings.    It felt refreshing to focus on how they are ever changing, especially  Max who this time battles more with the ghosts in his past, his wish for social advancement versus the love of a deeply tortured Mirenant.

What more could you ask for, than a book full of obsession and jealously.  The writer keeps us guessing, is Max a deplorable boy or a young man capable of great love?

Read this wonderful book to find out.

You can purchase That Deplorable Boy from Amazon UK and US.

The Deplorable Boy

About the author

Jasper Barry graduated from Cambridge with a degree in English and has worked in advertising, then in journalism. Jasper lives in London with too many books and three obstreperous cats.

You can follow the author on his website Jasper Barry ,  and Twitter

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Review ~ Blog Tour ~ Paris In The Dark by Robert Olen Butler.

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‘A morally complex and beautifully written thriller with a delicately portrayed love story at its heart. A cut above’ – John Williams, Mail on Sunday

Autumn 1915. The First World War is raging across Europe. Woodrow Wilson has kept Americans out of the trenches, although that hasn’t stopped young men and women from crossing the Atlantic to volunteer at the front. Christopher Marlowe ‘Kit’ Cobb, a Chicago reporter and undercover agent for the US government is in Paris when he meets an enigmatic nurse called Louise. Officially in the city for a story about American ambulance drivers, Cobb is grateful for the opportunity to get to know her but soon his intelligence handler, James Polk Trask, extends his mission. Parisians are meeting ‘death by dynamite’ in a new campaign of bombings, and the German-speaking Kit seems just the man to discover who is behind this – possibly a German operative who has infiltrated with the waves of refugees? And so begins a pursuit that will test Kit Cobb, in all his roles, to the very limits of his principles, wits and talents for survival.

Fleetly plotted and engaging with political and cultural issues that resonate deeply today, Paris in the Dark is a page-turning novel of unmistakable literary quality.

‘Written in a hard-boiled, staccato style, Paris in the Dark is an intelligent, stylish thriller, and so atmospheric that the pages reek of Gitanes and coffee’ – Antonia Senior, Times

‘A top historical espionage thriller, tautly plotted and told with humanity and realism. Rich characterisation and an authenticity that I found gripping from the first page to the last’ – C J Carver, Author of Know Me Now (The Dan Forrester Series)

‘Butler’s prose is a cut above. His descriptions of First World War Paris under the shadow of Zeppelins, and the threat of ground-based bombings, are exquisite – his storytelling admirable. A first-class literary thriller to lose yourself in and mourn when the last page is turned’ – David Young, author of Stasi ChildStasi Wolf and A Darker State

‘Butler skilfully paces the narrative, balancing deception, misdirection and reveal with historical realism, quality writing, and insightful modern perspective’ – Nick Triplow, author of Getting Carter


I would like to thank the author, publisher and blog tour organiser for the ARC in return for an honest review.

This is a thrilling historical drama/crime thriller about Christopher Cobb, journalist and spy, searching for a bomber in war shocked Paris during the World War 1.

Reading the high praise for this book from a reviewer in the Times and other authors, I feel like mine simply can’t match up! So I’m just going to say it as it is. Paris In The Dark is all the things they are quoted as saying, intelligent, stylish, exquisite and insightful, but above all this, if you simply looking for a great book, this is a wonderfully entertaining read. At a time when I’m feeling a bit pressured in every area of my life, because I’m so badly organised, this book, grabbed my imagination, kept me entertained from page one to the very last page. The world around me simply faded into the background. I was immersed in war time Paris, gripped by the drama, embraced by the atmosphere and in love with the romance between Cobb and Louise. David Young talks of mourning when the last page is read and I did, I had enjoyed it so much, I wanted to stay in the story. Entertaining reads such as this, remind me of being cwtched up with a book as a child, not yet caught up in adult drama’s, where the world simply failed to exist when I was reading and I captured that feeling again with Paris In the Dark! I’m tired of being an adult, I want to be off to Narnia with a case full of books such as this!

The story itself reads like a dream. We have a classic thriller set in city besieged by the German army and it seems German operatives set on taking the war into the heart of the city. It works because the writer captures the peculiar atmosphere that grabs cities during war by giving us Paris clinging onto a semblance of normality, people have to live and love even during war, yet also delivers on the fear and paranoia that grips those residents trying to cling onto routine. He also gives us oodles of exciting drama, using bold storytelling to tell of the physical dangers Kitt encounters as he seeks to protect the people of Paris from the acts of terror.

Character wise Kitt Cobb is the perfect ‘hero’, determined to do his duty and save other’s from harm. Classic hero material and sometimes as a reader you need that, you need someone you can cheer on, a character that has you biting your nails to the quick, fearful that he will be killed. I adore him. Kitt Cobb is not perfect, but who wants perfect, I just want him, because he was reassuringly solid, with a strong moral code. Of all the books I have read this year, he is one of my favourite characters and I not ashamed to say, that if I could, I would invite Mr Cobb to lunch, just so that I could spend lots of time with him.

Though this is part of a series of books, its reads brilliantly as a standalone, which is how I read it, but I will be going back and adding Kitt Cobb’s other adventures onto my too read pile.

You can purchase Paris In The Dark from Amazon and Waterstones

About the author.

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Robert Olen Butler has published sixteen novels—The Alleys of EdenSun DogsCountrymen of BonesOn Distant GroundWabashThe DeuceThey WhisperThe Deep Green SeaMr. SpacemanFair WarningHell, A Small HotelThe Hot CountryThe Star of IstanbulThe Empire of Night, Perfume River—and six volumes of short fiction—Tabloid Dreams, Had a Good TimeSeverance, IntercourseWeegee Stories, and A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain, which won the 1993 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. Butler has published a volume of his lectures on the creative process, From Where You Dream, edited with an introduction by Janet Burroway.

In 2013 he became the seventeenth recipient of the F. Scott Fitzgerald Award for Outstanding Achievement in American Literature. He also won the Richard and Hinda Rosenthal Foundation Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and was a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award. He has twice won a National Magazine Award in Fiction and has received two Pushcart Prizes. He has also received both a Guggenheim Fellowship in fiction and a National Endowment for the Arts grant. His stories have appeared widely in such publications as The New YorkerEsquireHarper’sThe Atlantic MonthlyGQZoetropeThe Paris ReviewGranta, The Hudson ReviewThe Virginia Quarterly ReviewPloughshares, and The Sewanee Review. They have been chosen for inclusion in four annual editions of The Best American Short Stories, eight annual editions of New Stories from the South, several other major annual anthologies, and numerous college literature textbooks from such publishers as Simon & Schuster, Norton, Viking, Little Brown & Co., Houghton Mifflin, Oxford University Press, Prentice Hall, and Bedford/St.Martin and most recently in The New Granta Book of the American Short Story, edited by Richard Ford.

His works have been translated into twenty-one languages, including Vietnamese, Thai, Korean, Polish, Japanese, Serbian, Farsi, Czech, Estonian, Greek, and most recently Chinese. He was also a charter recipient of the Tu Do Chinh Kien Award given by the Vietnam Veterans of America for “outstanding contributions to American culture by a Vietnam veteran.” Over the past two decades he has lectured in universities, appeared at conferences, and met with writers groups in 17 countries as a literary envoy for the U. S. State Department.

He is a Francis Eppes Distinguished Professor holding the Michael Shaara Chair in Creative Writing at Florida State University. Under the auspices of the FSU website, in the fall of 2001, he did something no other writer has ever done, before or since: he revealed his writing process in full, in real time, in a webcast that observed him in seventeen two-hour sessions write a literary short story from its first inspiration to its final polished form. He also gave a running commentary on his artistic choices and spent a half-hour in each episode answering the emailed questions of his live viewers. The whole series, under the title “Inside Creative Writing” is a very popular on YouTube, with its first two-hour episode passing 125,000 in the spring of 2016.

For more than a decade he was hired to write feature-length screenplays for New Regency, Twentieth Century Fox, Warner Brothers, Paramount, Disney, Universal Pictures, Baldwin Entertainment Group (for Robert Redford), and two teleplays for HBO. Typical of Hollywood, none of these movies ever made it to the screen.

Reflecting his early training as an actor, he has also recorded the audio books for four of his works—A Good Scent from a Strange MountainHellA Small Hotel and Perfume River. He was awarded an Honorary Doctorate degree from the State University of New York system. He lives in Florida, with his wife, the poet Kelly Lee Butler.

You can follow the author on his website

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Book Promotion ~ Giveaway ~Another Kind of Magic by Elizabeth Davies.

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“I am a cat. But I am no ordinary cat. I am a witch’s familiar. I am also a woman, with a woman’s heart and a woman’s frailty.”
Nearly two hundred years have passed since Caitlyn was trapped by supernatural forces and black magic, and she has known many mistresses. This time, the witch she is enthralled to is Joan, wife of Llewelyn, Prince of Wales.
At first, this mistress appears no different to any of the others Caitlyn has served – until Llewelyn captures William de Braose, and Joan falls in love, risking everything, including Caitlyn, to fulfil her desire.
Caitlyn, meanwhile, has her own cross to bear in the form of the gallant and reckless Hugh of Pembroke…


Win Tote bag and a signed paperback copy of each of the three books in the Caitlyn series. (Open Internationally)
*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize

Follow the link to enter.

You can purchase this book from Amazon

About the author 

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Elizabeth Davies is a paranormal author, whose books have a romantic flavour with more than a hint of suspense. And death. There’s usually death…

You can follow the author on her website, TwitterFacebook and Instagram.

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Extract ~ Blog Tour ~ Death Comes In Through The Kitchen by Teresa Dovalpage.

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Set in Havana during the Black Spring of 2003, a charming but poison-laced culinary mystery reveals the darker side of the modern Revolution, complete with authentic Cuban recipes
Havana, Cuba, 2003: Matt, a San Diego journalist, arrives in Havana to marry his girlfriend, Yarmila, a 24-year-old Cuban woman whom he first met through her food blog. But Yarmi isn’t there to meet him at the airport, and when he hitches a ride to her apartment, he finds her lying dead in the bathtub.
With Yarmi’s murder, lovelorn Matt is immediately embroiled in a Cuban adventure he didn’t bargain for. The police and secret service have him down as their main suspect, and in an effort to clear his name, he must embark on his own investigation into what really happened. The more Matt learns about his erstwhile fiancée, though, the more he realizes he had no idea who she was at all—but did anyone?

I am delighted to welcome Teresa Dovalpage to booksaremycwtches with an extract from her new novel Death Comes in Through The Kitchen.  

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Chapter one: Meringue puffs

The Cuban Customs officer lifted an eyebrow at the bridal gown—a white satin bodice with tulle appliqués, sheer sleeves, and a two-foot train—and took a long, suspicious look at the couple. The woman was a tall blonde in her forties who wore a teal broom skirt, a beige cotton blouse, turquoise-studded cowgirl boots, and a brittle smile. The man, in jeans and a San Diego Padres t-shirt, was a few years younger and a few inches shorter. His hands shook when he opened his passport on the picture page.
“Are you getting married here?” the officer asked.
The woman’s pale cheeks tinted with a soft blush.
“Yes,” she said, smiling at the wedding dress that was carefully wrapped in a plastic bag.
. “To him?” the officer pointed to her companion with a hint of mistrust in his voice. That was unusual, two Americans coming all the way to Havana to get hitched. But both hurried to correct him, almost at the same time:
“No, no!”
“We are just friends.”
“I am the one getting married,” the woman explained. “To a Cuban.”
“I see.”
The Customs officer reconsidered his initial decision to send the couple over to Security. He waved the woman away after taking a cursory look at her passport, which he didn’t stamp.
“Welcome to Cuba, Anne.”
“Thanks, compañero!”
She walked away with her face still flushed. The man, whose passport read Matthew Sullivan, waited nervously while the compañero inspected his backpack. The unopened Hugo Boss gift set that contained a watch, a pair of sunglasses, and three red monogrammed boxer shorts made the officer snicker.
“Are they yours?”
“Yes, sir.”
When he was finally told to go ahead, Matt let go a sigh of relief and hurried to meet Anne in the waiting room. In a corner, after looking around like conspirators, they exchanged items quickly: Matt cradled the wedding dress in his arms and Anne took the Hugo Boss set.
“Well, that was easy enough,” she said.
Matt didn’t understand the need to lie, but Anne had insisted, saying that they would have to offer detailed explanations for gender-swapped gifts. He had deferred to her; having traveled to the island seven times, she was the expert on Cuban affairs.
“Why didn’t that guy stamp our passports?” Matt asked. “I thought we would have to ask him not to do it.”
“I guess it’s a courtesy to ‘good Americans’ like us, who come here despite the embargo,” Anne answered, shrugging. “For whatever reason, I’ve never had mine stamped. And I am not asking why.”
They picked up their luggage (one big, heavy suitcase for him and two medium-sized ones for her) and went outside the building, to the airport parking lot where a small crowd of nationals had been waiting for the arrival of the Aeroméxico plane.
A young, wiry man stepped out of the group. Anne ran to hug him.
“Yony, my love!”
There was a loud smooching sound. She handed him the Hugo Boss set.
Matt stood aside, searching the crowd for Yarmila, his Cuban fiancée, but he couldn’t find her. He walked back to the airport building, careful not to stumble over the gown’s train and ignoring the curious glances that followed him. A security guard stopped him at the door.
“Only people who are traveling today can come in,” he said.
“But I was just there!”
“So? You are out now.”
Matt turned around. The crowd had dispersed. Yony and Anne were still kissing, but Yarmila was nowhere to be found.
He made several unsuccessful attempts to call her apartment from a payphone. The phone rang without response. He asked the security guards if they had seen “a pretty young woman with brown eyes and dark hair.” They chuckled and told him they had seen dozens of them. An hour slipped by. By then Matt’s hands were shaking so much that the gown’s tulle appliqués fluttered like sick doves.
“I bet Yarmila just got tired of waiting,” Yony said. “She must be back home now.”
It made sense—sort of. The plane had been delayed during a stopover at Monterrey and arrived at two-fifteen instead of one o’clock. But Yarmila could have stayed a little longer, Matt thought. He would have waited for her an entire day if necessary.
“If Yarmi is home, why isn’t she answering my calls?” he asked, despondent.
“Her phone may be out of order,” Yony said. “This is Cuba. Things get broken all the time.”
“But . . .”
“Don’t sweat it, man,” Yony looked around, worried. “Sorry, but we have to go now. We’ve been here too long and I don’t want the cops coming and asking questions. I’ll drop you off at her place.”
Matt shook his head.
“We agreed to meet at the airport,” he said. “That was the plan. You guys can go ahead.”
“We aren’t leaving you alone!” Anne protested.
“I’ll find a taxi later.”
“Take it easy, Yuma.” Yony put a reassuring hand on Matt’s shoulder. “Remember: you are in Havana. Here, plans don’t always pan out.”
Yuma, Yarmila had explained to Matt, was a term that younger Cubans used when referring to Americans. It didn’t have the pejorative connotation that Yankee had, like in “Yankees, go home.” It was almost affectionate, though it sounded odd to him.
Matt gave up and followed the couple, rolling the big suitcase on the uneven curb and holding the bridal gown protectively against his chest.

You can purchase Death Comes In Through The Kitchen from Amazon US and Amazon UK.

About the author

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Teresa Dovalpage is a Cuban transplant now firmly rooted in New Mexico.  She was born in Havana and now lives in Hobbs, where she is a Spanish and ESL professor at New Mexico Junior College.
She has published nine novels and three collections of short stories. Her English-language novels are A Girl like Che Guevara (Soho Press, 2004), Habanera, a Portrait of a Cuban Family (Floricanto Press, 2010), and Death Comes in Through the Kitchen (Soho Crime, 2018), a culinary mystery with authentic Cuban recipes.
Her novellas Las Muertas de la West Mesa (The West Mesa Murders, based on a real event), Sisters in Tea/ Hermanas en Té and Death by Smartphone/ Muerte por Smartphone were published in serialized format by Taos News.
In her native Spanish she has authored the novels Muerte de un murciano en La Habana (Death of a Murcian in Havana, Anagrama, 2006, a runner-up for the Herralde Award in Spain), El difunto Fidel (The late Fidel, Renacimiento, 2011, that won the Rincon de la Victoria Award in Spain in 2009), Posesas de La Habana (Haunted ladies of Havana, PurePlay Press, 2004), La Regenta en La Habana (Edebe Group, Spain, 2012),  Orfeo en el Caribe (Atmósfera Literaria, Spain, 2013), and El retorno de la expatriada (The Expat’s Return, Egales, Spain, 2014).

You can follow the author on Facebook and Twitter

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Review ~ Blog Tour ~ The Light In The Dark – A Winter Journal by Horatio Clare.

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As November stubs out the glow of autumn and the days tighten into shorter hours, winter’s occupation begins. Preparing for winter has its own rhythms, as old as our exchanges with the land. Of all the seasons, it draws us together. But winter can be tough.
It is a time of introspection, of looking inwards. Seasonal sadness; winter blues; depression – such feelings are widespread in the darker months. But by looking outwards, by being in and observing nature, we can appreciate its rhythms. Mountains make sense in any weather. The voices of a wood always speak consolation. A brush of frost; subtle colours; days as bright as a magpie’s cackle. We can learn to see and celebrate winter in all its shadows and lights.
In this moving and lyrical evocation of a British winter and the feelings it inspires, Horatio Clare raises a torch against the darkness, illuminating the blackest corners of the season, and delving into memory and myth to explore the powerful hold that winter has on us. By learning to see, we can find the magic, the light that burns bright at the heart of winter: spring will come again.

A moving winter diary that reveals the healing power of the natural world

•          An evocative exploration of the season, beautifully designed.
•          Horatio Clare is a multiple award-winning memoirist, nature and travel writer.
•          Combines scintillating nature writing with a moving personal narrative, touching on issues of winter depression and Seasonal Affective Disorder.
•          For readers of The Outrun by Amy Liptrot and the Seasons series by Melissa Harrison.


This beautiful book is about one man’s relationship with not only his own mental health, but with a country enveloped within winter’s closeted embrace. Winter is a paradox, a source of wonder and beauty, but for many people, it can be feel like an oppressive blanket that blocks out the sun and leads to periods of seasonal depression and exacerbates already debilitating periods of hopelessness.

It’s a deeply moving tale written with a touching honesty by Horatio Clare, who lays bare his own battles with depression. The language and descriptions are exquisite in their ability to open the complex relationship many of us have with this darkest of seasons.

“Depression, seasonal and otherwise, turns all this upside down: the past is a guilty place, the future a hanging threat, the present a humiliation. Stop it, you want to shout. Just stop it. Let me be.”  

To me the author is seeking to show us through this often poetic tale, that by taking a moment to stop and observe the rhythms of the dark winter months, it can also be a period that is reviving and inspiring. He talks with a candid honesty about his own depression, of how anxiety often has a crippling affect not just him, but that there is no knock on affect for those he loves and cares about. His bravery in all of this is deeply moving.

Horatio Clare has taught me through his winter journal not only to stop and appreciate the simple joy of the darker months, that often leave me feeling claustrophobic, but to see each element of the natural cycle of our year as a gift that can help us cope with cloying and suffocating fretfulness.

“The sea has a power to draw out and rearrange our anxieties in simpler patterns; on the coast paths and the empty beaches I found a deep untangling. There is this in winter, too, in its reductions and parings, simplicity.” 

It is a book that speaks to all of us and helped me to understand how winter can affect those who suffer with mental health issues. The honesty with which it is written is beautiful and the language exquisite. It’s a deeply moving study of one man’s relationship with winter, is all its glorious colours and yet on the flip side with its ability to inspire darker thoughts and fears. I’d like to think, this is a book that we should all read, to better understand a season that drives many of us inside to hibernate, when we should learn to celebrate the magic it has to offer. Most importantly of all it offers us all a lesson in not judging those that struggle with this time of year, for varying complex reasons.

Horatio Clare’s story should be celebrated for its honestly, the beauty of the language and the lessons it can teach us.

You can purchase The Light In The Dark from Amazon

About the author

Horatio Clare Author Picture

Horatio Clare is a critically acclaimed author and journalist. His first book, Running for the Hills: A Family Story, won the Somerset Maugham Award. His second book, Truant is ‘a stunningly-written memoir’, according to the Irish Times. A Single Swallow: Following an Epic Journey from South Africa to South Wales, was shortlisted for the Dolman Travel Book of the Year; Down to the Sea in Ships: Of Ageless Oceans and Modern Men won the Stanford-Dolman Travel Book of the Year 2015. Horatio’s first book for children, Aubrey and the Terrible Yoot, won the Branford Boase Award 2016 for best debut children’s book. He lives in West Yorkshire.

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Review ~Blog Tour. Nessie’s Husband by Sibel Beadle.

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Miranda’s daughter, Mimi, is half-cat half-human. Mimi wants to become invisible and hopes that Nessie can teach her how to become invisible and hide from her classmates. The story takes, Mimi accompanied by her witch mother and sisters, to a magical trip across Scotland where the family ends up rediscovering themselves and finding Nessie’s husband.


I would like to thank the author, publisher and blog tour organiser for the ARC in return for an honest review.

Having read the other books in the Witchy Travel Tales series I was delighted to be offered the chance to review book four, Nessie’s Husband.

This is a beautiful tale about family, celebrating difference and the joy of going on an adventure.

I loved that this tale takes the readers on journey both by reading the story, through the realms of their imagination and that it encourages them to consider a trip to Loch Ness as well. The simple, yet charming writing brings the mythical world of Nessie to life, by giving her a family and using them to show Mimi the support that can be found from parents, sister’s and true friends.  There is an often used phrase about the joy to be found when you find ‘your tribe’ and this book celebrates this joyfully.

The characterisation in this series of books is wonderful. In Nessie’s Husband we meet Mimi, half cat, half human, who is being bullied by her classmates. She is written with love and her troubles are written with great sensitivity, making her easy for readers to love.

Special mention must go to the illustrator Fernando Arias who captivating illustrations perfectly capture the joyful nature of the story.

I would recommend this lovely book to both existing fans of the series and those who are looking for a charming children’s read. Nessie’s Husband can be read as a standalone and enjoyed as such, but why not read them all as well? Together they would make a great series to read to your child or as independent children’s read.

You can purchase Nessie’s Husband from Amazon

About the author


Living in Essex with her two daughters Sibel Beadle previously worked as a senior banker in London before becoming a full-time children’s author. Previous titles in her Witchy Travel Tales series include; The Seven Sisters, Sleepless in Stonehenge and The Golden Bunny of the Lake District.

You can follow the on her website and Twitter.

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Review ~ Blog Tour ~ The Golden Orphan by Gary Raymond #damppebblesblogtours

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Within the dark heart of an abandoned city, on an island once torn by betrayal and war, lies a terrible secret…

Francis Benthem is a successful artist; he’s created a new life on an island in the sun. He works all night, painting the dreams of his mysterious Russian benefactor, Illy Prostakov. He writes letters to old friends and students back in cold, far away London. But now Francis Benthem is found dead. The funeral is planned and his old friend from art school arrives to finish what Benthem had started. The painting of dreams on a faraway island. But you can also paint nightmares and Illy has secrets of his own that are not ready for the light. Of promises made and broken, betrayal and murder…

The Golden Orphans offers a new twist on the literary thriller.



I would like to thank the author, publisher Parthian Books and blog tour organiser Emma Welton for the ARC in return for an honest review.

The Golden Orphans is a tale of an artist who is fleeing his past and present, arriving on Cyprus to bury a friend.  In fleeing his own demons, he becomes entangled in those of a man haunted by his dreams.

When I started Golden Orphans I wasn’t sure it was or me, yet by the end I loved it. I have read some outstanding thrillers during the last year and what I loved about this one was the feeling of sparseness in the writing. Yet this is deceptive because it is in fact a complex and addictive read. Not layered with tons of twist and turns, you are sucked into the story by a rich and absorbing tale written with superb charactrisation.  A literary thriller with the emphasis being on character and emotion, rather than reams of action. Of course there are twists and turns, this is first and foremost a thriller, but as the air shimmers in the landscape, those twists are much more low key,

My favourite part of the book was the rich variety of characters. From Russian Olagacs, to barmaids and creepy ‘drug dealers’ and many more.  No one is who they initially seem to be and as a result I was forced to evaluate my thoughts as the story progressed, wrong footed by events as they unfurled within the novel.  At the end, I realised I had misjudged them all and I felt haunted by their far from certain fates.

I was left haunted by both the story and the characters and fascinated by the way the writer uses art to try to explore the dreams of a tortured mind.  I have not come across this before and it gave the novel a unique edge.

It is a story with elements of a thriller, mystery and an historical drama. As a reader the way the writer cleverly combined them into a story about murder and betrayal, delivered for me a read of the finest calabre.

It is without doubt a first class literary thriller with a cinematic quality to it, that delivers on every level.

You purchase  The Golden Orphans can be purchased from Amazon UK, Amazon US, Waterstones, Book DepositoryNook and Kobo.

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About the author.

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Gary Raymond is a novelist, critic, editor and broadcaster. He is the presenter of BBC Radio Wales’, The Review Show, and is one of the founding editors of Wales Arts Review. He is the author of two novels, The Golden Orphans (Parthian, 2018) and For Those Who Come After (Parthian, 2015). He is a widely published critic and cultural commentator.

You can follow the author on Twitter and Facebook.

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