#TuesdayBookBlog ‘The Last Necromancer’ by C. J. Archer #Audible #Amreading #Bookreviews

Today I’m reviewing The Last Necromancer by C. J. Archer, which is Book 1 of the The Ministry Of Curiosities.

It’s a historical novel set in Victorian London, but it’s more than that, as you’ll find out in my review.

Don’t you love the covers?

I love writing and reading historical fiction.

I’m always on the lookout for novels set in Victorian times. Recently I discovered a ten book series with the following blurb:

 A waif, her abductors and a twist you won’t see coming.

For five years, Charlotte (Charlie) Holloway has lived as a boy in the slums. But when one theft too many gets her arrested, her only means of escape lies with a dead man. Charlie hasn’t raised a spirit since she first discovered she could do so five years ago. That time, her father banished her. This time, she brings even more trouble upon herself.

People are now hunting Charlie all over London, but only one man succeeds in capturing her. 

Lincoln Fitzroy is the mysterious head of a secret organization on the trail of a madman who needs a necromancer to control his newly “made” creatures. There was only one known necromancer in the world – Charlotte – but now there appears to be two. Lincoln captures the willful Charlie in the hopes the boy will lead him to Charlotte. But what happens when he discovers the boy is in fact the young woman he’s been searching for all along? And will she agree to work for the man who held her against her will, and for an organization she doesn’t trust? 

Because Lincoln and his ministry might be just as dangerous as the madman they’re hunting.

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I have recently read many intense family dramas and contemporary thrillers, most psychological, such as The Woman at the Window, Us, The Husband, Our House, The Good Girl, My Husband the Stranger, The Cellar, I Am Watching You, Silent Child, and A Stranger in the House, among others, so I felt I needed a break from the intensity. I was looking for a lighter read, and I found one, quite by chance!

The blurb of The Last Necromancer sounded interesting, but I must admit that the ten-book series put me off.

Do I have time to read a series of ten books?

Do I have the patience to read ten books by the same author?

I really didn’t think so, but I took a chance and downloaded book one to my kindle because it was free. I think this is a great idea to entice readers to try a new author, especially in such a long series. I then bought the audiobook for the reduced price of about $4 and listened to it in the space of two evenings (it was about eight hours long), and loved it! I’ll probably even read the following books in the series!

Read on for my review.

My Review

The Last Necromancer is a wonderful escapist read.

There’s a bit of everything I enjoy. It’s historical, set in the  Victorian era, there’s action, mystery, suspense and a hint of romance.

The lead character is Charlie, an 18-year-old girl who has been living on the streets of London disguised as a boy for the last 5 years. She also has special powers (she can summon and speak to the dead) so she is being sought by unscrupulous villains. Charlie is a wonderful character. She’s clever, tough, resourceful, street-wise, caring, and sensitive.

The male lead, Lincoln Fitzroy is enigmatic and apparently heartless, and the rest of the ‘real’ villains, his enemies, are cruel and ruthless.

There are many references to other Victorian authors such as Mary Shelly and Conan Doyle. The novel includes secret societies, plots against the Queen, some supernatural, gothic elements, such as Charlie’s paranormal abilities, and some fantasy elements, such as Frankenstein-like monsters and other characters with special powers and knowledge.   

The Last Necromancer is a well written and entertaining read, with plot twists, action, mystery, suspense and a slow burn, romance, which promises to bloom in future installments. 

It is especially for lovers of the Victorian era, fantasy, paranormal, and entertaining fiction.

There are plenty of reasons why I’m looking forward to reading the following books in the series, as an antidote to the draining intensity of contemporary psychological and literary fiction, and the occasionally tedious reality of daily life.

In fact I’ve just downloaded the box set which includes the first three books in the series on Audible.

US Buy Link to the series

UK Buy link to the series 

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#FridayReads ‘Wildfell’ by London Clarke #authorInterview @londonclarke2 Happy Publication Day!

Today is publication day for London Clarke’s debut, Gothic suspense novel, Wildfell.

 

Wildfell by [Clarke, London]

 

Running away isn’t always an escape…

Anne Fleming is running away…

An ill-fated relationship with her grad school professor drives Anne to check out of life. After disposing of all her possessions, Anne assumes a new identity and boards a plane. But a chance meeting on a London-bound flight leads her to Wildfell, a gothic mansion with a cast of strange characters and a long history of disappearances and deaths.

While living at Wildfell, Anne is plagued by voices, ghostly mists, and a mute girl with a sketchbook full of murders. She only remains because of her violent attraction to fellow inhabitant—gorgeous actor Bain Tierney. But when Wildfell tenants begin disappearing one by one, Anne must decide if she trusts Bain. Is anyone in the house who they claim to be? Or are there are other forces at work inside Wildfell? And will they ever let her leave?

****

Wildfell is on my kindle and I’ll be reviewing soon, but first a short interview with London.

What attracted you to the Gothic genre?

I was attracted to the gothic genre from a young age. When I think back to the first gothic novel I read, it was probably one by Victoria Holt given to me by my grandmother. My grandmother was a voracious reader, and I have to attribute my own love of reading and writing to her. I loved the creepy house set in some rainy, windswept setting. There was always a brooding, mysterious, yet breathtakingly handsome man with a dark past. He either turned out to be a good guy in disguise or a killer who deceives the heroine. The unpredictability of the stories riveted me. I still love the eerie settings, the potential for the supernatural, and the isolation of the settings.

I remember reading Victoria Holt as a teenager, too. In fact I still have ‘On the Night of the Seventh Moon’, first published in 1972! I also love novels with creepy houses!

How important are the supernatural elements in your novel? 

Although I may write some novels in the future that only suggest the supernatural, right now I’m exploring the darker side of supernatural elements and how they can wreak havoc on a house and its inhabitants. I’ve always been interested in houses that experience hauntings and what that actually means for the people within. So, in short, the supernatural elements are pretty important in my novels.

I’m sure plenty of readers love ancient, haunted houses. I do! 

Tell us something about your main character/s.

Anne, my main character, has lived a nontraditional life. She has no idea who her father is, and she’s grown up with a mother who hates men and has done her best to poison Anne against them. But instead of buying into her mother’s philosophies, Anne rebels and romanticizes men. Her impetus to run at the beginning of the novel is because her hopes of proving her mother wrong are crushed when she is betrayed by her graduate school professor—a man she thought she was in love with. By the time she arrives at Wildfell, she’s in crisis mode–confused, ashamed, and searching for a foothold as she emotionally freefalls. When she meets Bain, she’s immediately attracted to him, but he also furthers that confusion. She feels a little intimidated by him, can’t make him out, and doesn’t know if he’s friend or foe.

A mysterious love interest who could be on your side or against you, leads to intense suspense and romance…

What kind of reader would enjoy Wildfell? 

A reader who enjoys a gothic setting with a creepy house (obviously), scary novels, and twisty mysteries. There is a strong thread of mystery to the story. Readers of Wendy Webb, Darcy Coates, or Laura Benedict will, I think, enjoy Wildfell for its elements of the supernatural. But there is probably more of a romantic angle than most horror fiction, so I’d like to think it will appeal to readers of romance and paranormal romance as well.

Sounds intriguing, paranormal, romance, suspense… I am so looking forward to reading!

What are you working on now?

I am working on a second gothic suspense novel with a vampire angle. This one will be the first book of a series set in Asheville, North Carolina. The working title is The Burning Thirst, but it will probably change. Currently, it’s scheduled to be released late this year.

I’m not too keen on vampires, but I could be persuaded if the plot is thick and the characters engaging!

What would you like readers to know about you?

Hmmm… Well, beyond the creepy stuff I’m truly a romantic at heart. I love to cry in a book or a movie, and I’m a huge fan of Jane Austen. I’m also an animal fanatic. I have two greyhounds that I love to distraction and I would have more, but my husband says two are enough (and it’s his house too). I’m also a bit of a wine connoisseur. At least, I like to think so.

I certainly hope you’re having a glass of vintage wine or champagne to celebrate your publication day! 

*****

Obsessed with vampires and haunted houses from a young, London grew up reading gothic tales featuring romantic and tragic heroes like Wuthering Heights and Dracula. She considers herself a recovering runaway and confesses that she once moved to England in search of a man who was the perfect amalgamation of Dracula, Hamlet, Heathcliff, and Mr. Rochester. London graduated from George Mason University with a B.A. in Music and M.F.A in Creative Writing and has had an eclectic array of jobs including receptionist, legal secretary, literary assistant, high school English teacher, and freelance editor.

London lives in a Washington, DC suburb with her husband and two greyhounds. She’s happiest when she’s writing novels, reading books, or re-watching her favorite programs like The Vampire Diaries or Being Human.

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Visit London’s Webpage

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#writephoto ‘Don’t Look Back’ #FlashFiction #100Words

I hear their moans and eerie cacophony, louring me towards the grey arches.

Don’t look back!

My heels speed along as I count the pavement tiles, forty-five, forty-six, forty-seven…

A few more steps.

If I can reach the end of the alley I’ll be safe.

Don’t look into their eyes!

They’ll not chase me in broad daylight.

Keep walking.

They dare not leave the shadowy cloisters.

One more step.

I can almost grasp the daylight.

Breathe.

But a cloud drapes the sun and I’m plunged into darkness.

‘Stay,’ he begs and I look into his eyes as he sinks his fangs.

***

This flash was written in response to Sue Vincent’s weekly photo prompt. Want to join in?

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I’m not a big fan of vampire novels, but following my daughter’s recommendation, I’ve just started reading Erica Stevens latest Vampire trilogy, Fire and Ice. Book 1 is free so I thought I’d give it a go! I’ll be letting you know how it goes.

I read and reviewed some of her Captive series novels in an earlier post here some time ago, book 1 is free, too in case you want to try it out. I’ve read and can recommend it, if you like paranormal.

Do you enjoy reading about Vampires?

Any recommendations?

 

#FridayReads Yonder by @LeeAnne_Hansen_ #amreading #amreviewing

Yonder by LeeAnne Hansen is a beautiful novel. It is set mainly in a small town in Mississippi, in the 1940s. Life and death in the south, at the time, is vividly and poetically portrayed. It was easy to get lost in the narrative and imagine I was right there.

It is a family drama, a mystery, suspense, and a romance with a touch of paranormal happenings, which could blend into the action as coincidence and intuition.

The novel starts with Isabel’s childhood, on her 10th birthday and her first crush, we gradually see some of her subsequent birthdays, leading up to her middle twenties. We witness her childhood hopes and dreams, her painful and sudden departure from her hometown and move to New York, her first adult romance, her first job, as well as heartbreak, devastation and her return home on her father’s death, leading up to the unravelling of the family secret and discovering true love.

Isabel is a loving, generous, yet naive, young girl, who gradually, and on occasions traumatically, finds out who she is and what she wants out of life. She also uncovers a shocking family secret, which came as a complete surprise to me.

All the characters come to life vividly, Isabel’s family, as well as her childhood friends and their families. There are a few unpleasant characters, and others who are simply immature. I have a favourite character, and that’s Ben, you’ll understand why when you read it. He’s solid, dependable and patient, but unfortunately, not everyone in the novel values these qualities.

The novel can be read as a standalone, because it has a clear and satisfactory ending, tying up all the loose ends, but there are other characters, too, with stories to be told, and I’m also interested in seeing some more of Isabel’s life, so I’m looking forward to reading the next book in the series.

I listened to the audio book, narrated by the author, which was an added treat.

****

LeeAnne Hansen was born in Paris, grew up in Oklahoma and now lives in sunny southern California with her husband and cats. She enjoys writing, acting and playing bass guitar. She can be seen gracing the stage in various theaters or even directing. She is a graduate of the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York City and has studied art and astronomy. She also thoroughly enjoys long walks on the beach.

To learn more about LeeAnne please visit her website.

Follow LeeAnne on Twitter

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#FridayBookShare ‘The Seer’s Daughter’ by Athena Daniels @AthenaDaniels11

#FridayBookShare was created by Shelley Wilson for book lovers to share what they’re reading. The idea is to answer a few simple questions about the novel and post on Fridays.

friday-book-share

Today, I’d like to share The Seer’s Daughter by Athena Daniels

I found this book quite by chance on Story Cartel and thought I’d give it a go. I’m so glad I did. I thoroughly enjoyed it.  By the way it will be there to download in exchange for a review for another eight days!

First line of the book.

Sage Mathews hugged herself as the raging storm flung rain against the windows.

Recruit fans by adding the book blurb.

For her, he’ll break all the rules…

Upon returning to her hometown for her grandmother’s funeral, Sage Matthews is terrorized by a series of strange events. She dismisses each eerie occurrence as a by-product of her overwrought emotional state, until it becomes chillingly clear that something not of this world is desperate to get a message–or is it a warning?–through to her…

Detective Sergeant Ethan Blade comes to Cryton, South Australia, to catch a serial killer. When Ethan meets Sage–the latest victim’s beautiful granddaughter–his attraction to her is explosive and inconvenient. He knows she’s not crazy, but Sage’s theory about the murders is unbelievable.

With the handsome detective rejecting her ideas, Sage embarks on the supernatural journey that her grandmother started. What she discovers shatters everything Sage ever knew about herself–and who she really is.

Ethan’s routine case quickly turns personal when he discovers Sage is the killer’s next target. For her, he’ll break all the rules and cross every line. But how can he protect Sage from an evil he cannot even conceive of?

To save her, he must let go of everything he ever believed.

Introduce the main character using only three words.

Sage is psychic, brave, and determined.

Delightful design (add the cover image of the book).

seers-daughter

Audience appeal (who would enjoy reading this book?)

Anyone who likes paranormal, romantic, suspense in a thrilling story set in rural Australia.

Your favourite line/scene.

Sage is psychic and Ethan is a detective who searches for facts and proof, although he trusts his ‘gut instinct’. Sage has to convince him that his gut instinct is not so different to her psychic abilities as he imagines:

“And what about anger, can you touch that?”

“No.”

“Fear, grief, sadness?”

“No, but you’re now talking about feelings.”

“Yes, but if you can trust your feelings, if those are real, even though you cannot see or touch them, it’s not too much of a stretch to say that we can feel other things too. Use the same senses we use unconsciously every day to become aware of more than we’re used to.”

“I suppose so.”He frowned, considering. “But since it’s never happened to me, it’s difficult for me to believe, that’s all.”

“But it does happen to you, Ethan. All the time. You say you rely on your senses for work. You sense when someone is watching you even when you can’t see them. You sense when something is ‘off.’You somehow just know when someone is lying to you or not telling you the whole truth.”

He opened his mouth to refute what she was saying, then closed it again. Could she be right? Was he not the man of hard evidence he’d always believed himself to be? What she said was true. He did rely on those very senses more than the other guys on the force did. That’s why he was so good at his job. Perhaps he had more in common with the ghost buster than he’d thought. His stomach roiled.

“I still think there’s a rational explanation for all of this. How did something without a body cut out black circles of material and place them over empty eye sockets?”

She slumped against him. “I almost thought you were going to understand. Tell me, Mr. Detective Extraordinaire. Give me the oh-so-rational explanation for all of this. And don’t forget to explain how it is that we’re trapped in this car with a dashboard flashing ‘Sage,’my name, Ethan, when I would bet my last dollar that word was never programmed into its computer. And while you’re at it, you might explain why the streetlights are going out one by one.”

He glanced out the window. Sure enough, the whole street was now in a blackout. The sky was clear, the moon bright, and he could still see clearly without the streetlight.

See my full review here on amazon.

There’s a second book in the series, The Alchemist’s Son, which I’ve already started reading, because although ‘The Seer’s Daughter’ doesn’t end in a cliffhanger, there are some important loose ends, which are tied up in book two.

the-alchemists-son

Happy weekend reading! Check out some of the other reading suggestions on twitter on  #FridayBookShare 

 

#Author Spotlight Shani Struthers and #BookReview ‘Eve: A Christmas Ghost Story’

What do you do when a whole town is haunted?

In 1899, in the North Yorkshire market town of Thorpe Morton, a tragedy occurred; 59 people died at the market hall whilst celebrating Christmas Eve, many of them children. One hundred years on and the spirits of the deceased are restless still, ‘haunting’ the community, refusing to let them forget.

In 1999, psychic investigators Theo Lawson and Ness Patterson are called in to help, sensing immediately on arrival how weighed down the town is. Quickly they discover there’s no safe haven. The past taints everything.

Hurtling towards the anniversary as well as a new millennium, their aim is to move the spirits on, to cleanse the atmosphere so everyone – the living and the dead – can start again. But the spirits prove resistant and soon Theo and Ness are caught up in battle, fighting against something that knows their deepest fears and can twist them in the most dangerous of ways.

They’ll need all their courage to succeed and the help of a little girl too – a spirit who didn’t die at the hall, who shouldn’t even be there…

Eve Teaser

My Review

Two psychic investigators, Theo and Ness, from Sussex, are called to a small village near Scarborough to solve a mystery, just before Christmas. The North Yorkshire market town of Thorpe Morton has been a sad place to live since Christmas 1899, when tragic events occurred in the village. Theo and Ness must find a way of helping the community recover their Christmas cheer.

Our Psychics meet plenty of spirits on their arrival, at the Market Hall where it all happened, in people’s homes, and in their guesthouse, as the two brave sleuths delve into the world of tortured and aggressive spirits. The inhabitants had become accustomed to the unfriendly and mischievous ghosts, but the arrival of the psychics, makes matters worse, seeming to anger the ghosts even more.

The characters, the village, and the events are so well drawn that we feel we’re actually there, which makes it more ‘scary’! I enjoyed the bond, which grew between the two women, and helped them overcome their own personal traumas and issues, as well as helping the ghosts in the town move on, and leave the world of the living, so that the townspeople could live happier and healthier lives.

The social condition of the workers, especially miners, and their struggle for fairer wages and working conditions is at the heart of the discontent of the original tragedy, because it was only the poorer people who died.

The two psychics used their abilities to discover what really happened, as the living are no longer a reliable source of information. They need to find out why the souls are trapped and angry, and why the village has been living in torment and sadness ever since.

Especially for lovers of scary, supernatural tales with happy endings.
This was a short introduction to Shani’s work, I’m looking forward to reading more of Shani’s ghost stories this winter.

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I asked Shani to take part in my weekly Author Spotlight so we can all get to know her and her work.

Shani Pic

Author Spotlight

You’ve written three books of paranormal fiction, including International Amazon Bestseller, Psychic Surveys Book One: The Haunting of Highdown Hall, Psychic Surveys Book Two: Rise to Me, and your newest is Eve: A Christmas Ghost Story – the prequel to the Psychic Surveys series, which I’ve just reviewed. You’ve also written Jessamine, an atmospheric psychological romance set in the Highlands of Scotland and described as a ‘Wuthering Heights for the 21st century.’ Where does your interest in the paranormal stem from?

The paranormal has always been my preferred genre, right from a child I’ve been interested in it and would tend to prefer darker fairy tales as opposed to lighter ones. Ruth Manning-Saunders, an author no longer in print, used to take traditional fairy tales and twist them into much darker stories, I was addicted to her books and from thereon in that interest grew both in terms of literature and film. As a teen I devoured Stephen King’s books, Peter Straub, Dean Koontz and James Herbert. As an adult the lack of good ghost stories dismayed me, which is why I started writing them!

When someone says to you, ‘I don’t believe in ghosts.’ What’s your reply?

Lucky you! Seriously, that’s fine, it doesn’t bother me, as people are entitled to believe what they like. But… once you get talking about ghosts, even those who deny the existence of anything paranormal usually say ‘oh hang on, there was that time…’ and then they go away not quite as cynical as before. I ‘think’ I’ve seen ghosts, certainly I’ve had some experiences that could be considered paranormal but they were mainly as a child, as an adult I think we naturally tend to close off to the spiritual world as the material world just takes up so much of our time and effort.

Are your novels based on real events or people or are they purely imaginary?

I like to mix fact with fiction in all my books and so real events are included, either those I’ve experienced personally or those told to me by friends and friends of friends. The Haunting of Highdown Hall is based on a story told to me by a friend of a friend, about a house he inherited that used to be the home of a famous film star. She died there and her bedroom was kept thereafter as a shrine. Every time he walked into it he had to leave, there was so much anger and negativity, it was impossible to linger let alone think about redecorating! He had the whole place exorcised and everything was fine after that but it gets the imagination going: was she still there, why was she still there, what was preventing her from moving on? And so the first book in the Psychic Surveys was born.

Haunting Highdown Hall Teaser 6

Which of your novels would you recommend readers to start reading first? And why? 

(This one’s for me really! I have several of your novels on my kindle to read next, and I was wondering if Jessamine or The Haunting of Highdown Hall!)

Thank you so much for reading Eve and your review of it. Eve: A Christmas Ghost Story is the prequel to the Psychic Surveys series but can be read as a standalone. I’d recommend reading Psychic Surveys Book One: The Haunting of Highdown Hall next, which is not a horror but a paranormal mystery. Although be warned, the sequel, Rise to Me, gets darker, much darker! Jessamine is a stand-alone novel set in the Highlands of Scotland and is essential a romance with a touch of the supernatural. Jessamine is actually my favourite of all the novels I’ve written and, as you do with your wonderful Eyre Hall series, I drew inspiration from the Bronte sisters whilst writing it. The fact that some readers have said it puts them in mind of Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights whilst reading it (in tone rather than story) is a huge compliment.

Jessamine Teaser 3

What are you working on now?

I’ve just sent off Psychic Surveys Book Three: 44 Gilmore Street off to my publisher so I’m waiting for the editing process to begin on that. Also, I’ve just written the first draft of The Venetian, which is Book One in the ‘This Haunted World’ series. This new series will be a set of stand-alone novels taking place in and around the world’s most haunted locations and the first is set in and around Venice as well as the island of Poveglia, in the Venetian lagoon, an island with a shocking history that dates back centuries. Like my Psychic Surveys books, they will be a mix of fact and fiction and what links them this time is not the characters but the haunted locations.

What would you like readers to know about you? Brief bio?

I live in Brighton with my husband, three kids and four cats – life is always hectic but in it I’ve made time to indulge my passion, which is novel writing, something that is rapidly becoming the day job! I’ve also been a freelance travel writer for many years, love eating, drinking and being merry as well as travelling the world to places haunted and not so haunted. Yep, even I need a break from the spooks sometimes!

How can readers find out more or contact you? 

Facebook Author Page:
Twitter:
Blog:
Goodreads:
Website:

Where can readers buy your novels?

Psychic Surveys Book One: The Haunting of Highdown Hall
Global Link
Psychic Surveys Book Two: Rise to Me
Global Link
Eve: A Christmas Ghost Story
Global Link
Jessamine
UK

Thank you for visiting my blog, Shani. It’s great to meet an author who writes paranormal and ghost stories, so convincingly. I’m looking forward to reading and reviewing the rest of your books by the fireplace in dark winter evenings 🙂

#Author Spotlight LeeAnne Hansen and #Review of ‘Ghost Light’

I occasionally download and review books from Story Cartel. I’m so glad I found Ghost Light here a few weeks ago, quite by chance, because it’s a fabulous novel. I’d like to introduce you to LeeAnne Hansen, because I became her fan almost from page one. This post includes a short blurb, my review, and an author interview.

ghost light cover
Blurb Ghost Light

Fiona Corrigan sometimes has difficulty discerning between the reality of stage and real life, especially when it comes to the attentions of her handsome co-star, the dark, brooding, Patrick Berenger.

Before they can depart for Edinburgh for their next performance, Patrick and Fiona’s acting troupe are mysteriously summoned to a remote village in Scotland, in the dead of winter. Once there, although stranded by a massive storm, Fiona is happy that she will finally have the time alone with Patrick that she needs to seduce him.

Unfortunately, Fiona couldn’t have anticipated Sean’s appearance, (Patrick’s equally handsome, drunken cad of an older brother) or his devastating effect on both her and Patrick. Nor could she have anticipated the true purpose of the strange summons by the eccentric landlord, the dark secrets he would reveal in twisted ways, or the identity of the phantom woman who haunted the stage each time the ghost light went dark.

Set in 1920’s Scotland, Ghost Light is equal parts tingling romance and chilling ghost story.

****

My 5-Star Review

Sometimes it takes a few pages to get into a novel, but this is another novel I knew I’d love from the first line. ‘Devon slammed his glass down onto the wooden desk, sloshing whiskey onto his hand.’ Then a very theatrical exchange between two lovers takes place. A few pages on, the passage ends with ‘Then the lights fell to black. And the curtain dropped.’ Fabulous! I knew the novel would mix reality and fiction, real life and stage life, and it did not disappoint.
There are two unusual and impossible love stories, which are linked to form a complex love triangle. The brooding and moody Patrick, and his fiery and impulsive brother, Sean.

The love story in the novel is Fiona’s journey of self-discovery. What does she want from life? What is love? Who does she love? The decision seems easy, at first, but soon their relationships become more intense, and Fiona realizes she desires real love and passion, instead of a romantic idealization of love. The outcome is traumatic, as she continues to deny her need for real love. There are moments she seems to prefer to experience an ideal yet imaginary love on stage, because she is afraid of unleashing her real passion.

It is an intense novel because the characters are a group of actors who travel to an isolated Scottish village, Loglinmooth, just as winter is falling. Most of the action takes place in a spooky castle and a haunted old family theatre, which has been opened for the purpose of their visit, to put on a play. All the characters are well-developed; merry Abby, enigmatic, dark Gavin, enthusiastic and encouraging Nicolas, their director, and inspiring and learned Andrew the playwright, to name a few.

There’s a cryptic letter, a mysterious train journey, a disappearing coffin carrying the brothers’ cruel, dead father. A vampire-like butler, a vanished mother, whom many believe to be a ghost, a ghost, a murderous plot, a murderer, a play which mirrors the characters lives, and lots of chilling moments along dark passages and rickety backstage.
It has all the ingredients of an entertaining and chilling ghost story, with engaging characters, a sound plot, and a passionate love story. A wonderful winter read!

I contacted LeeAnne on Twitter, before I even finished Ghost Light to tell her how much I was enjoying it. When I finished reading (a sad moment because I was having such fun!), I asked her for an author interview, and here it is:

LeeAnne Hansen

1- Ghost Light is set almost entirely in a small Scottish village, including a haunted castle and old theatre. Could you tell us what inspired you to write this novel? Is it based on a true story or event?

Well, there was a personal experience but sadly it was not in a castle. A few years back, a friend and I attended a play together to see a mutual friend perform. The theater had this plaque in the lobby dedicated to their ghost light. My friend that was with me had never heard of a ghost light which had surprised me because having grown up and gone to school in theater, I just always assumed it was something that everyone knew about. So, as I was explaining to him how it was meant to keep ghosts away but most likely to keep people from tripping at night I realized that Ghost Light would be a great title for a novel. That thought later inspired me to touch on a few other theater traditions and superstitions in Ghost Light; for example, to never whistle on stage, or mention that cursed Scottish play Macbeth by name, things like that. And in addition, having traveled to Scotland and Ireland, I found the setting and atmosphere there just right for a ghost story.

2- I’ve noticed that both your novels to date, Ghost Light and Yonder include ghost stories. Why are you so interested in ghosts? Do you believe in ghosts?

Well, I am a huge fan of the mysterious and unexpected, like The Twilight Zone and Hitchcock movies as well as classic ghost stories like The Shining or The Haunting of Hill House. I love a story where the main characters have set goals they are trying to achieve but something unexpected or unexplained enters that plan. As for ghosts, I have had a few experiences with them and the thing I have found is that whenever the topic of ghosts comes up, almost everyone has their own story or wants to hear yours. Nora Roberts used a metaphor to talk about ghosts once that said something about when a plant dies the roots still remain or are left behind. I always really liked that.

Cover for ebook- Yonder

3- What would you say to a reader to convince him/her to read Yonder?

Yonder is a mix of so much of me and that time period. It has the music I just adore of the 20s-40s. The chapter headings are all songs from that era. (I even created my own playlist for the songs and listen to it constantly while I am writing.) It is also close to my heart and past, being that my Grandmother was from Mississippi and she was Southern through and through, not to mention the cover of Yonder is her statue my Grandfather (who fought in World War II) gave her. Yonder also has a bit of what it was like growing up in the Bible Belt, which is a hard thing to explain to people outside of that belt, but it is the world that the character’s of Yonder exist in and it was part of my childhood. I also think the 1940’s was such a romantic and beautiful time period and if I had a time machine I would travel back to the dances my Grandmother always talked about. I love the music, the clothes, the fact that there was no text messaging or social media complication; it just seems like the perfect world for a girl to get swept off her feet.

4-What’s your writing routine like?

I establish the characters first and then let them tell me their story. I don’t really plot. For example, the villain in Ghost Light was never intended to be evil, they just literally stepped up and took over. I was completely surprised. Although, looking back now, all the clues were right in front of me, even if I wasn’t totally aware of placing them there. Another example would be, in Yonder there is a scene with Isabel sitting on a dock and she impetuously throws off her dress and leaps into the lake … which surprised the hell out of me! What can I say? That girl is a hot mess and she just likes to take over whenever she can.

5- What are you working on now?

The sequel to Yonder called The Great Hereafter. It is quite an experience that book. It has gotten darker than I had expected. Our poor main character has one hell of a story to tell.

6- What would you like readers to know about you?

Well, I adore Monty Python. I have the biggest crush on Dean Martin. I love me some chocolate salted caramels. I am a huge romantic. I also have a scar above my eye from believing Peter Pan had taught me to fly. One of my first stories I had written as a child was Star Wars fan fiction … I will not be sharing that one but it was written in different colored ink that varied page from page.

I love this picture of LeeAnne. Doesn’t she look like a character straight out of her novels?

LeeAnne.1

 

7- How can readers find out more about your books or contact you?

 

     My official website is- www.leeannehansenbooks.com – which I have a blog on. I try to tell stories of the history of certain things that happened in my books.

 

I am also on twitter under @LeeAnne_Hansen_   or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/LeeAnne-Hansen-164792133615223/

Thank you for visiting my blog, LeeAnne.

You can find her books in the following links:

 
They are also available on all platforms, be it ITunes, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, really any online store.
Thank you so much for visiting my blog, LeeAnne. It’s been a pleasure to have you here tell everyone about your wonderful books!