#BlogTour The Illustrated Child by Polly Crosby

Today it’s an absolute pleasure to take part in the Blog Tour The Illustrated Child by Polly Crosby.
About the Author

Polly Crosby lives in Norfolk with her husband and son, and her very loud and much-loved Oriental rescue cat, Dali. To Find more about Polly’s writing, visit pollycrosby.comSign up to Polly’s newsletter here.

Follow @WriterPolly on Twitteron Goodreads, on AmazonBuy The Illustrated Child

About the book

Romilly lives in a ramshackle house with her eccentric artist father and her cat, Monty. She knows little about her past – but she knows that she is loved.

When her father finds fame with a series of children’s books starring her as the main character, everything changes: exotic foods appear on the table, her father appears on TV, and strangers appear at their door, convinced the books contain a treasure hunt leading to a glittering prize.

But as time passes, Romilly’s father becomes increasingly suspicious of everything around him, until, before her eyes, he begins to disappear altogether.

In her increasingly isolated world, Romilly turns to the secrets her father has hidden in his illustrated books, realising that there is something far darker and more devastating locked within the pages…The truth.


Romilly lives her life through the eyes of her adoring father. The single father raising a daughter, a man who puts pen to paper and creates stories for everyone to enjoy. This exposure of her life comes with a lack of privacy and at times even danger and transgressions. The stories carry the suggestion of a hidden treasure, which tends to generate the interest of many – not enough interest to care how Romilly is dealing with being the main character in a series of books though.

The only thing keeping her halfway sane is her strange, domineering and unkempt friend, who comes and goes as they both go through the different stages of growing-up. They agree, they fight and ultimately the best friend can also be very manipulative at times.

Romilly also has to cope with a disinterested mother, and a parent who is so involved with himself he neglects her emotionally, psychologically and physically. There is still some semblance of love at times, but is it love or just a means to an end?

Although this falls under the YA category for me personally even though it is certainly a coming-of-age story for the majority of the story, it wanders far beyond those boundaries. It’s a complex combination of mystery, discovery of self and sexuality, the almost incestuous leanings of a confused and distraught parent at times, the guilt and the neglect.

There are just so many aspects of this story I would love to go into each fascinating element in depth, but would absolutely give the plot away by doing so. (Arrgh) It’s such a multi-layered piece of work. I loved the way Crosby went from literary to contemporary to mystery and speculative. All within a blink of an eye. The reader is never quite sure which thread to grasp onto at any given time.

It’s a brilliant story with an ending which suits the beginning and a middle that pays homage to the past. A wonderful story. One that speaks of a culmination of imagination and coping techniques, after many years of solitude and mind games.

Buy The Illustrated Child at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: HQ; pub date 29 Oct. 2020. Buy at Amazon com.

#BlogTour The Tower by Anne-Marie Ormsby

Today it’s my turn on the BlogTour The Tower by Anne-Marie Ormsby.

About the Author

Anne Marie grew up on the Essex coast with her parents and six siblings in a house that was full of books and movies and set the scene for her lifelong love of both.

She began writing short stories when she was still at primary school after reading the book The October Country by Ray Bradbury. He was and still is her favourite author and the reason she decided at age 9 that she too would be a writer someday.

In her teens she continued to write short stories and branched out into poetry, publishing a few in her late teens. In her early twenties she began committing herself to writing a novel and wrote one by the age of 20 that she then put away, fearing it was too weird for publication.

She wrote Purgatory Hotel over several years, but again kept it aside after several rejections from publishers. Luckily for her, she found a home for her twisted tale with Crooked Cat Books.

Her favourite authors include Ray Bradbury, Jack Kerouac, Stephen King, Denis Lehane and Douglas Coupland. She also takes great inspiration from music and movies, her favourite artists being Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds, Johnny Cash, Interpol, David Lynch and David Fincher.

After ten years living in London, Anne-Marie moved to Margate where she lives with her husband and their daughter.

Follow @AMOrmsby on Twitter, on Goodreadson Amazon, Visit annemarieormsby.comBuy The Tower

About the book

Sometimes the dead come back. And sometimes all they want is to hurt you.

When residents on an east London housing estate start dying in gruesome ways, housing manager Ada begins to worry that her past is coming back to haunt her.

Once a powerful medium, able to talk to the dead with amazing ease, she became more comfortable with the afterlife than real life, and with that openness she attracted something dark from the other side. Terrified by the experience she swore she would never communicate with the dead again.

Ten years later at the scene of an apparent suicide, her long closed-down connection to the dead is reopened, and she begins to receive information she shouldn’t know about the victims’ final moments.

Stalked in her dreams and in waking life by an angry male presence, Ada begins to relive the dark days when something from the other side wanted her to end her life.

But as the bodies stack up and the visions intensify, Ada realises that in order to stop more people from dying she has to let the dead back in to find out the truth of what is driving her residents to violent acts – and face up to her own ghosts.


Ada is a housing manager, who is called to one of the apartments only to find one of the tenants dead. Brutally murdered or suicide? Or is there something else going on. As the deaths pile up she struggles with visions that seem to suggest she has the power of foresight.

With the help of a local detective she tries to comprehend why she is seeing images of the deaths. Brutal, bloody images that haunt her days and nights. Sometimes she blacks out completely, which isn’t as bad as being at the mercy of someone from the other side of the veil. A man who wants to harm her.

The dead are speaking to her, whispering, reaching and yet there is one that brings evil. He stalks Ada at night and during the day – determined to get his message through to her, whether she wants to hear it or not.

It’s crime fiction with a horror and paranormal vibe. A ghostly nightmare that turns into something quite unexpected.

Ormsby uses a paranormal element to create a story that appears to be a crime read, but in reality it is a dark read that wanders into layers of guilt, conscience and horror. What could be more insidious than the manifestation of something that comes to not only haunt, but also to kill for you or because of you?

I have to hand it to the author for the ending, which brings the plot together nicely, and opens up a whole different interpretation of the plot.

Buy The Tower at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: darkstroke books: pub date 10 Jan. 2020. Buy at Amazon com.

#BlogTour The Woman in the Mirror by Rebecca James

Welcome to the BlogTour for The Woman in the Mirror by Rebecca James. It has a real feel of the old classics. Echoes of Rebecca and Jane Eyre can be heard in the hallways. Enjoy this Gothic Horror come Ghost story featuring a vengeful woman, who influences the lives of her enemy for years after her demise.

About the Author

Rebecca James was born in 1983. She worked in publishing for several years before leaving to write full-time, and is now the author of eight previous novels written under a pseudonym. Her favourite things are autumn walks, Argentinean red wine and curling up in the winter with a good old-fashioned ghost story. She lives in Bristol with her husband and two daughters.

Follow @HQStories

About the book

‘You’ll be the woman of this house, next, miss. And you’ll like it.’

1947 – Governess Alice Miller loves Winterbourne the moment she sees it. Towering over the Cornish cliffs, its dark corners and tall turrets promise that, if Alice can hide from her ghosts anywhere, it’s here. And who better to play hide and seek with than twins Constance and Edmund? Angelic and motherless, they are perfect little companions.

2018 – Adopted at birth, Rachel’s roots are a mystery. So, when a letter brings news of the death of an unknown relative, Constance de Grey, Rachel travels to Cornwall, vowing to uncover her past.

With each new arrival, something in Winterbourne stirs. It’s hiding in the paintings. It’s sitting on the stairs. – It’s waiting in a mirror, behind a locked door.


The story has echoes of the classics, it has a distinct feel of Rebecca and Jane Eyre, which is especially evident in the writing and the first few chapters.

The story ventures into three periods in time beginning with the woman who goes on to influence the paths of quite a few women in Winterbourne, and not in a good way. Her presence is felt in the area and in the house. A nefarious essence lurking in every corner, every swirl of mist and each drop of water in the cold murky sea.

Rachel inherits the decrepit old mansion, and finds herself drawn into the mysteries of the past during her attempts to trace her real parentage. She also wants to know why her mother gave her up for adoption. The answers she finds are completely unexpected, and she is really surprised by how drawn she is to the house and the local people.

She finds evidence of a governess called Alice, who used to live there in the late 40s. She left under a cloud of mystery and scandal. It seems as though she was one in a series of women with a tragic connection to Winterbourne and the family de Grey.

It has a haunting gothic vibe and is infused with a creepy sense of foreboding. James pulls the readers, and some of the characters, along on kind of a red herring trail with the majority believing Laura is controlling the house. The truth is far more sinister.

The author creates an eery atmosphere which seeps through the characters, the house and the surrounding area, almost like a dark cloud of evil. Even when it seems as if the characters are finally getting the upper-hand or moving on, something or someone puts them back in their place. Once a Winterbourner always a Winterbourner.

James has created a ghostly read with a vengeful presence controlling the narrative, it is a dark and compelling read.

Buy The Woman in the Mirror at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.

Kindle pub date 14 June 2018  Paperback pub date 14 June 2018

Publisher: HQ – Harper Collins UK

The Binding Song by Elodie Harper

the binding songJanet has her work cut out for her at HMP Halvergate. A series of suicides has rocked the prison and it doesn’t seem as if they are going to stop any time soon.

Not only does she have to deal with the insidious nature of her clients crimes and their questionable characters, she also has to cope with staff members with ulterior motives. Inmates seem convinced that a ghost, a spirit or perhaps even a demon is killing fellow inmates.

The real question is whether the evil spirit is real or is it just mass hysteria. Mass hysteria spreading through the prison from inmate to inmate and also to the staff. The power of suggestion is strong, especially in a somewhat solitary environment.

At the same time Janet is trying to deal with the disintegration of her relationship. It seems impossible to fit two ambitious careers under one roof.

I have to be honest Arun was a bit of a toad and Janet should have used some of that tough guy attitude on him. Take no mercy, instead of being a simpering weakling afraid of being alone. There are plenty more fish in the sea.

What Harper does quite well is to portray the prisoners as vulnerable men, and in the same breath she reminds the reader that they are criminals and some of them are sexual deviants. The type of men who wouldn’t think twice about committing an act of brutality upon an innocent person, and yet still want the support, comfort and safety they secretly crave.

Personally I do think Janet should have been more diligent about her own safety, which was put at risk quite a few times. A prison isn’t a playground for the pseudo intellectual to practice their theoretical knowledge in.

The story has a gothic feel to it, which is mixed with a plain old crime scenario. The creepier element could have been drawn out more and given more depth. Harper brings the crime and the ghostly together to create a tense and often worrying read.

Buy The Binding Song at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.

The Ghost House by Helen Phifer


Annie is inextricably linked to the manor house. It is as if Alice is reaching out from beyond the grave to connect with Annie.Trying to warn her from the death threatening to surround her. Warning her of the evil spirit that still wants to feel the joy of death by his hands or in this case death via surrogate.

Annie has to deal with the recent assault she had to endure at the hands of her own husband. This makes her vulnerable, frightened and perhaps more susceptible to believing in paranormal activities.

She quickly gets swept up in the horrors of the past and now the recent disappearances of young girls, who have fallen prey to a monster.

I have to admit I wasn’t enthralled by the writing style or the story. The male characters suffer from sexist attitudes and the women are portrayed as helpless individuals.

There are holes in the plot and the main character makes completely nonsensical decisions, which don’t ring true when you consider the fact she is supposed to be an experienced police officer.
I received a copy of this book courtesy of Harlequin UK and Harlequin CARINA.

The Moment Collector by Jodi Lynn Anderson

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A haunting tale of a past life revisiting the path she once trod and how the life ended in the first place. At first glance it appears to be a story of three young people, who are connected via place and time.

The actual spirit seems almost menacing and is centred around the house Maggie and her parents have moved into. It is a family property passed down through the ages. The presence thinks it belongs somewhere deep below in the cellar. It is unaware of its identity, has no inkling of how or when it came to be there.

What it does know is that something bad is coming, something is going to happen to Maggie, Pauline or Liam. Is it there to help them, save them or is it there to harm them?

The ghost tries to connect with other apparitions, but comes to the conclusion that they are not from within the same time frame or era. They just float and wander by without responding to her cries. She watches the three of them, sometimes from afar and often up close.

She sees them grow close, splinter and break apart. Love is fickle, relationships come and go, but friendships are supposed to be able to withstand the test of time.

I really loved the overall feel of this story. Never too dramatic or teeny. Subtle with just enough action or emotional turmoil to keep a nice flow to the it. The most memorable element for me was the layer of sorrow and the haunting ache left behind by her memories.
I received a copy of this book via NetGalley.

Frost Hollow Hall by Emma Carroll


On a cold frosty day, the events of the past take the opportunity to reach out into the future to touch the present.
A young girl connects with a young boy deep under the water, when she breaches the realms of the dead.
At first Tilly is confused by the connection and struggles to understand what Kit wants. Tilly knows that somehow it must all be linked to Frost Hall, so where better than to start her investigation.
As she struggles to overcome her personal loss, emotional burden and the financial worries her family faces, she decides to conquer two birds with one stone. Make money and find out what is going on at Frost Hall, all at the same time. Brilliant idea, right?
Tilly soon finds herself in way deeper than she expected. Things that go bump in the night and pinch people in the dark, and that is without all the flying pottery.She is soon questioning her her great idea and then she meets the owners of the Hall. That is when sees the devastation left behind in the wake of the tragedy and how important it is to set the past free, so both ghosts and the living can move on.
I found the actual solution or ending a little anti-climatic, but in hindsight that might just have been what made this book so good. There doesn’t always have to be a huge gory, scary or sad ending. The simplicity of the solution was realistic. Kit doesn’t need or want big gestures and neither does the other ghost.
They just want what is owed to them by the people who loved them the most but also disappointed and betrayed them in a way no other person could.
A wonderful story for both younger and older readers.
I received a copy of this book via Netgalley.