The Illumination of Ursula Flight by Anna-Marie Crowhurst | @writercrow @theotherkirsty @AllenandUnwinUK | #blogtour

I’m delighted to join the blog tour for The Illumination of Ursula Flight by Anna-Marie Crowhurst today! My thanks to Kirsty Doole at Atlantic for the invitation to join and for the beautiful review copy!

Author : Anna-Marie Crowhurst
Title : The Illumination of Ursula Flight
Pages : 416
Publisher : Allen & Unwin
Publication date : January 3, 2019 (paperback)

| ABOUT THE BOOK |

On the 15th day of December in the year of our Lord 1664, a great light bloomed in the dark sky and crept slowly and silently across the blackness: a comet. Every evening afterwards, though snow lay on the ground and the air bit with frost, men across the land threw open their windows and went out of their doors in cloaks and mufflers to gaze at the heavens, necks stretched up, hands shielding eyes, crooking long fingers to trace the burning thing that flamed across the night, while dogs moaned in their kennels and wise women chanted incantations against bright malignant spirits.

Born on the night of an ill-auguring comet just before Charles II’s Restoration, Ursula Flight has a difficult future written in the stars. Against the custom of the age she begins an education with her father, who fosters in her a love of reading, writing and astrology.

Following a surprising meeting with an actress, Ursula’s dreams turn to the theatre and thus begins her quest to become a playwright despite scoundrels, bounders, bad luck and heartbreak.

| MY THOUGHTS |

December 15th, 1664. The dark night is lit up by a comet, something that wasn’t particularly seen as a good omen in those days. While this comet travels along, Ursula Flight is born and this is how her story starts and the reader is taken on the most delightful journey through her life.

Ursula is one of those characters you just fall in love with the second you meet her. Born into a well to-do family, she’s fun, fierce, determined, inquisitive, imaginative, wise for her age and for the times. She’s most definitely someone to sympathise with and root for. Despite the fact her father, against the custom of the age, begins educating her, life in those days was quite preordained. Ursula will have to marry, willing or not, and all her hopes and dreams might just be crushed.

I found The Illumination of Ursula Flight a most remarkably refreshing and enchanting story. It is exquisitely written, full of complex and intriguing characters and often quite humorous. Ursula’s love for all things theatre shines through via chapters from her diary and plays she’s written during the good times from her childhood but also the hardships she faces later on on in life. I was worried these would put me off but ended up truly enjoying them and found they added just that little bit extra and an even greater insight into the kind of person Ursula is.

I do so love historical fiction and this novel was brilliantly written. It kept me captivated for hours. Maybe some things are a little predictable and maybe some readers might find the story takes a while to pick up but for me, I found myself so immersed that I wondered where the time and the pages had gone. I couldn’t have picked a better novel to kickstart the new year with. Ursula utterly captured my heart and I thoroughly enjoyed going on this journey with her. I loved it so much that it may just be a novel I’ll pick up again some time.

Well researched and hugely entertaining, The Illumination of Ursula Flight is an impressive debut by Anna-Marie Crowhurst and I very much look forward to reading more by her in future.

The Illumination of Ursula Flight is available to buy!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Bookdepository | Kobo | Wordery | Goodreads

| ABOUT THE AUTHOR |

ANNA-MARIE CROWHURST has worked as a freelance journalist and columnist for more than 15 years, contributing to The Times, The Guardian, Time Out, Newsweek, Emerald Street and Stylist. In 2016 she studied for an MA in Creative Writing at Bath Spa University, where her debut novel The Illumination of Ursula Flight was born. She lives in London.

Author links : Twitter

Before Her Eyes by Jack Jordan @JackJordanBooks @CorvusBooks @theotherkirsty #blogtour #BeforeHerEyes

Delighted to join the blog tour for Before Her Eyes by Jack Jordan today! My thanks to Kirsty Doole at Corvus for the invitation to join and for my review copy!

39920112

Author : Jack Jordan
Title : Before Her Eyes
Pages : 352
Publisher : Corvus / Atlantic
Publication date : August 16, 2018

aboutthebook

She can’t see the killer
But the killer can see her…

Naomi Hannah has been blind since birth. Struggling with living in the small, claustrophobic town of Balkerne Heights, Naomi contemplates ending her life. But before she can, Naomi stumbles across the body of a young woman who has been brutally murdered. She senses someone else there at the scene – watching her. Naomi may not be able to see the killer’s face, but she is still the only person who can identify him.
For Naomi, this frightening truth changes everything: she realises that she wants to live, at the very point at which her life is in greatest peril.

As the police begin hunting the person responsible and the bodies pile up, Naomi must lie in wait and answer the question that hangs her fate in the balance: why did the killer let her live?

In a town this small, the murderer must be close, perhaps even before her very eyes…

mythoughts

Well hello, Jack Jordan! So, we finally meet. So to speak. I’ve heard a lot about you (all good, I promise) and I figured it was about time I introduced myself to your books. But I had no idea that that cutsie smile you so often display hides such an incredibly devilish brain!

Naomi Hannah has been blind since birth. One day, while walking down a dark and icky alley, she stumbles upon the body of a young woman who has been brutally murdered. Naomi can sense she’s not alone and while she may not be able to see the killer, she could very well be the only person able to identify them. But why did the killer let her live? And is there a connection to the disappearance of another young woman years ago?

The prologue alone already sent shivers up and down my spine. There’s a delightful creepy sort of vibe throughout the story, helped enormously by the fantastic writing as Jack Jordan really brings home what it’s like to be blind. It felt almost claustrophobic. It definitely felt incredibly scary and that’s without thinking there’s a psychopath after you.

Now, I must admit that Naomi often made me feel like I was watching one of those old slasher type movies. You know, the ones where you find yourself yelling “don’t open the bloody door!!!!!”. Some of the decisions she made seemed a bit dubious to me but hey, I’m not blind (thank goodness) so what do I know.

I couldn’t at all guess at the outcome. Although I had a wee nugget of an idea in my head and I felt rather smug when it looked like I might be right. But then …. those final pages turned the whole thing onto its head and I actually gasped out loud. Talk about being blindsided and sucker punched. Fabulous!

Before Her Eyes is chilling, disturbing, dark and brilliantly addictive. A delicious page-turner that will have you flipping/swiping the pages faster as you go, biting your nails before ending up utterly floored and exhausted.

I suppose you could say my first outing with Jack Jordan went rather well and I quite look forward to hanging out with him again. And by hanging out, I obviously mean read his other books as I’m not entirely sure I’d want to get too close to that devious mind. 😉

Before Her Eyes is available to buy!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Bookdepository | Kobo | Wordery | Goodreads

abouttheauthor

Jack Jordan is the global number one bestselling author of Anything for Her (2015), My Girl (2016), A Woman Scorned (2018), and Before Her Eyes (2018).

To find out more about Jack, enter numerous annual giveaways to win signed copies of his books, and be one of the first to hear of new book releases and news, follow him here:

Facebook | Goodreads | Instagram | Twitter

page-divide_12_orig

08272018_beforehereyes

Love Will Tear Us Apart by Holly Seddon @hollyseddon @CorvusBooks @annecater #blogtour #RandomThingsTours

Delighted to join the blog tour for Love Will Tear Us Apart by Holly Seddon today! My thanks to Anne Cater at Random Things Tours for the invitation and to the publisher for my gorgeous review copy!

39676310

Author : Holly Seddon
Title : Love Will Tear Us Apart
Pages : 352
Publisher : Atlantic / Corvus
Publication date : June 7, 2018

aboutthebook

Fearing eternal singledom, childhood friends Kate and Paul make the age-old vow that if they don’t find love by thirty, they will marry each other.

Years later, with the deadline of their 30th birthdays approaching, the unlikely couple decide to keep their teenage promise. After all, they are such good friends. Surely that’s enough to make a marriage?

Now, on the eve of their 10th wedding anniversary, they will discover that love between men and women is more complex, and more precarious, than they could ever have imagined. As Kate struggles with a secret that reaches far into their past, will the couple’s vow become the very thing that threatens their future?

mythoughts

I must say this didn’t turn out the way I expected. I’ve not read any of Holly Seddon’s previous books but I have read reviews about them and so I somehow assumed this would be a psychological thriller. I found myself trying to figure out what the big twist or reveal would be when there wasn’t one. Because this isn’t that kind of novel and if you have read those older books, then I urge you to read this one with an open mind. You won’t be disappointed.

This is a relatively slow novel but it’s wonderfully written and there is a bit of a riddle to solve that intrigued me enough to keep reading. Kate has found a letter hidden away in a book on a shelf which will have an impact on her marriage but who wrote it and what does it say?

The storyline jumps back and forth between the present and the past, taking us on a journey that begins when Kate and Paul meet for the first time as children. They both come from very different backgrounds and Kate’s childhood in particular is quite a sad one, yet they soon become inseparable. With plenty of ups and downs along the way, Kate and Paul always seem to return to one another and it seems rather inevitable that the vow they made to each other to get married if they were still single at the age of thirty, would come to pass. But was it the right decision?

I had a tough time connecting to these characters. I didn’t particularly like any of them and I often found myself slightly angry at the way Paul treated their son, Harry. That said though, I found Holly Seddon did a tremendous job digging into these characters’ complex personalities and I always felt that, although I didn’t necessarily agree with the things they said or did, I could easily see where they were coming from.

Love Will Tear Us Apart is a beautifully written and moving story about friendship and love, trust and honesty. It delves deep into the rather complicated workings of relationships and how well you ever really know someone. Holly Seddon has quite obviously put her heart and soul into this one and I’m not sure I’m doing this novel any justice with my review. It’s a testament to her talent that she is able to switch genres like this and this level of diversity promises nothing but good things from her in the future.

Love Will Tear Us Apart is available to buy!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Bookdepository | Kobo | Wordery | Goodreads

abouttheauthor

Holly Seddon is a full-time writer, living in the heart of Amsterdam with her family. Holly has written for newspapers, websites and magazines since her early 20s after growing up in the English countryside, obsessed with music and books.

Holly became a national and international bestseller with her debut, TRY NOT TO BREATHE, in 2016 and followed it in 2017 with DON’T CLOSE YOUR EYES.
LOVE WILL TEAR US APART will be published in June 2018.

Author link : FacebookTwitter | Website

page-divide_12_orig

06102018_lovewilltear