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Review of The Girl from Rawblood by Catriona Ward via @sourcebooks


The Girl from Rawblood

by Catriona Ward

Release date: March 7th, 2017

I received a complimentary ARC copy of The Girl from Rawblood by Catriona Ward from NetGalley in order to read and give an honest review.

To start off I must say that this book is unlike anything I’ve ever read and incredibly challenging to review. It is incredibly well written, unique and complex. It seems to pull from Gothic horror but it also is on the fringe of literary fiction in my opinion.  It has moments that can only be described as tragic and heartbreaking.  It does have some disturbing scenes that might make some squeamish but the story is much more than those scenes.

Set in 1910 in an old mansion, Rawblood, in Dartmoor, England, the premise rides on a family curse that is generations old. A bulk of the story is told by a young girl named Iris Villarcas, the “Girl from Rawblood”. Iris and her father are the only two left of their bloodline, most had fallen victim to the curse. They live isolated at Rawblood except for a helper and a young boy named Tom. The curse itself is initiated by falling in love and the feelings that it brings out. Iris’s father goes to all ends to protect her and establishes “the Rules” which she is told she must obey. When she is young and to a point, Iris follows “The Rules” until in her teenage years when she begins to have feelings for her only friend Tom and begins to rebel. Throughout the book, the point of view changes telling the story of those family members who came before. It takes a while to adjust to each narrator but the story does unfold in an interesting way.

I did enjoy this book but it is not something you read if you’re looking for a “quick and easy” read it is something you savour and let unravel in front of you.  I loved the author’s style but did find it a bit difficult to lose myself in at parts. I have to say for a début novel The Girl from Rawblood is outstanding.

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Review of Alice and the Assassin by R.J. Koreto via @crookedlanebks



Alice the Assassin

by R.J. Koreto

Release date: April 11, 2017

I received a complimentary ARC copy of Alice and the Assassin by R.J. Koreto from NetGalley in order to read and give an honest review.

Set New York in 1902, protagonist 17-year-old Alice Roosevelt, the daughter of President Roosevelt is definitely a force to be reckoned with.

Alice and Mr St.Clair, a former soldier, rancher and at present Alice’s assigned Secret Service Agent are drawn into solving the conspiracy of former President McKinley’s death. Spunky, strong willed and opinionated, Alice drags Mr St. Clair throughout New York trying to get to the bottom of the crime, facing murder mayhem and a few interesting leads on their way. Infatuated with the much older Mr St. Clair and desperate to be part of an adventure, Alice jumps at any opportunity to impress him.

I really liked this book, from the first page it was a fun, well paced and quirky mystery. The author did a good job of mixing history and fiction and managed to add a little suspense and humour into the mix.  Alice is a great character, a little larger than life but fun, however, I doubt in real life a client would be able to push around a secret service agent to quite that extent (at least I hope not).

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Would you speak for peace? Announcing ‘We Are The World’ Blogfest #WATWB

Belinda Witzenhausen


If you spend a great deal of time on social media you will no doubt at times be overwhelmed by much of the negativity and hate that comes through our streams.  We might not able to stop the negativity but we can change how we react to it. The “We Are the World Blogfest” is our reaction to negativity. We hope to bombard social media with the positive stories that show us the best of humanity! Please read below to see what we’re about! 🙂

Social media and news in recent times has been filled with hate and negativity. Just as you cannot fight darkness, only light lamps, Hate and Negativity cannot be fought. You need to bring Love and Positivity forward instead.
I bring to you the We Are the World Blogfest, along with these fabulous co-hosts:

Belinda Witzenhausen, Carol Walsh,Chrissie Parker, Damyanti Biswas, Emerald…

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A Little Madness in March…

“There is no passion to be found playing small–in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.” ~Nelson Mandela

Everything is coming along beautifully and projects are progressing as planned.  A little mad but it looks like hard work and passion are paying off! 🙂 My partner and I are re-launching ProfessorOwl’ our mission is still the same but we will also be focusing on literacy and promoting creativity. We have a certified literacy tutor sharing tips and exercises to help others enjoy reading. This month at I will be announcing two new programs starting in May; “Ignite Your Core Creativity” and “Art as Therapy” designed to help you grow, heal and ignite your creativity.  I will also be involved with a fantastic Blogfest featuring some wonderful bloggers…check back I will be announcing it here shortly.

This month archaeology, history and palaeography courses will be keeping me busy as well as copywriting, book reviews and diving into my current works in progress.

All in all, in looks like I will have a fantastic month ahead. 😊

Time for me to sign off…wherever you may be in your day or evening, I hope you’re living with passion and purpose!

Live, laugh & love! ❤

“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.” ~Harriet Tubman

#amwriting #researching #mystery #historicalfiction #urbanfantasy #learning #studying #archaeology #forensicanthropology #history #arttherapy #coaching #art #volunteering #palaeography #transcribing #amreading #photography #blogging #authorinterviews #journaling

My Spotify Playlist ~WIP Catacombs #HistoricalFiction #Mystery

“Develop a passion for learning. If you do, you will never cease to grow.”~ Anthony J. D’Angelo