Book Review: Inish Clare by Jennifer Rose McMahon

So I recently joined a website called NetGalley where you can request to read ARCs in exchange for reviews (usually on Goodreads and Amazon). I had hoped to begin doing reviews here on my blog and I would be grateful for any tips you all might have for me.

Inish Clare is the second in the Pirate Queen series, however it is not necessary to have read book 1 to appreciate this book.

Cursed by haunting visions of Ireland’s notorious pirate queen, nineteen-year-old Maeve O’Malley returns to Ireland with medieval relics that hold the power to restore peace to her lost clan.

Maeve must race to prove her clan’s rights to the land and it’s treasures before an ancient pact soon expires. If only she knew who to trust with the centuries-old secrets before time-honored Brehon Law hands everything over to her enemy.

Murderous rival clans and warrior chieftain’s challenge Maeve while her unforgettable, charming ex, Rory, now chieftain to his own clan, continues to complicate her mission and her reunion with her passionate, destiny-bound protector, Paul.

Finding the elusive final resting place of the pirate queen is critical if Maeve is to accomplish her quest of returning balance to her clan, before it’s too late. Will she have what it takes to be a true warrior?

I really enjoyed this book. I initially requested it because of the above description. I’ve always had a love of the Irish and this book drew me in with great descriptions of Ireland plus a fiery heroine. 

Inish Clare is quite fast paced and I enjoy that as you feel that you are going along on the ride with Maeve to discover her family history and how it relates to the land around her. While there is an element of romance in this novel it doesn’t override Maeve’s growth, rather it shows her reacting how any normal person would to the circumstances around her. 

The supernatural elements are woven into the story so naturally that you don’t question what’s happening, you just accept that this is normal for Maeve. This only adds to my enjoyment during the read as it keeps you guessing about their motivation and reasons for doing what they do. (I’m trying very hard to avoid spoilers)

All in all this is a really enjoyable read and I am looking forward to the next one in the series when it is released. The only thing for me is that it probably would have helped to read book 1 to gain some background on the characters but it was easy to pick up. I ended up reading it in one sitting giving it 4 stars. 

Inish Clare is released on September 12th 2017 through City Owl Press.

The art of procrastinationΒ 

So last month I set myself up to do Camp Nanowrimo. For those of you who don’t know it is time you set aside for writing whatever you want. The main time for this is November which is what I will hopefully lead up to. Camp however is less structured so you can change your goals easily.

My goal for July was to write 15,000 words of a fantasy novel that I spent time planning for pre-july with a relatively detailed outline. I managed to write a third of my goal which is an achievement considering how much procrastireading I did. (Yes I’m pretty sure I made that word up, but it fits 😊)

For about 2 weeks I wrote solidly everyday and hopefully I wrote some really great stuff, then I went on holidays to Cornwall and you know what they say about good intentions. I took my writing with me intending to do some as I went but I had too much fun being a tourist. Then when we got home I had Netflix to catch up on and new books to read and somehow the month got away from me and now it’s August.

So after all that I still want to write and I have an awesome group of writers on Instagram who are full of great tips and are just generally fantastic people that are so supportive. 

The point of all this rambling is that I procrastinate alot (I just love reading) and so do we all. I’m working on it by planning writing into my day so I keep up with it and maybe have a great November for Nanowrimo. How do you procrastinate and how do you keep it at bay??

Thanks for reading guys. Hopefully I won’t procrastinate my next blog too much 😊

For the love of history.

I’ve been on holidays this past week travelling around the south of England and just generally enjoying visiting some cute little fishing villages and historical sights.

The first of these was Stonehenge and what a place. I’m a self confessed history buff and this was somewhere I had always wanted to visit. Unfortunately you can’t get very close but the views are spectacular. 

It’s hard to know how these stones came to be in this position or why. The most common theories involve druids and human sacrifice. My favourite is the story of Merlin and how he used magic to move the stones from one end of the country to the other for King Arthur. 

Another place I visited on my travels was Tintagel in northern Cornwall. After climbing the stairs right to the top the views are breathtaking. You can see so far and even though this castle is mostly ruins you can see how it would make a great defensive castle and how hard it would be to attack it. Tintagel also abounds with stories of King Arthur and is often spoken of as his birthplace. As you climb down to the cove there is a cave known locally as Merlin’s cave which if you are brave enough you can go all the way through.

The final place I got to visit is Kenilworth Castle. It has been a lifelong dream to visit here after I first read Katherine by Anna Seton. This story based on the life of John of Gaunt’s mistress and later third wife Katherine Swynford draws you in until there is no choice but to find out more about the woman whose great great grandchild went on to become Henry VII.

This castle was also given to Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester by Elizabeth I and was visited by her several times during her reign. All that remains today are some very impressive ruins and a lovely garden, but climbing to the top of the great tower and seeing the view encourages you to imagine just what it was like to live during those times. 

Anyway that was my journey through just a small part of England’s history and how it has encouraged my interest in it. If you are a fan of classic books and can adjust to the different writing style, I highly recommend Katherine by Anna Seton. And I hope to see some of you out there at the castles, I’ll be the crazy lady taking photos with Harry Potter!

Just some random vampire thoughts

I’ve been a bit slow in getting the blog posts out, however I’ve been binge watching The Vampire Diaries this week which also got me starting on The Originals as well.

This got me to thinking what is it that we love about vampires and other supernatural beings. Why is it that we love shows like Supernatural  (apart from Jensen, Jared, Mischa and Mark). Is it just that instinctive fear of the things that go bump in the night or is it a way for us to make real the things we cannot explain. TV shows like this as well as a trilogy I’m about to tell you about enable people to see how unobservant we can be about the things around us. That when something is so obviously different that we still pass it off as a figment of our imaginations.

The trilogy I mentioned earlier is the All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness. This is my favourite series about vampires.

This trilogy is a seamless blending of witchcraft, vampires and what it means accept who you are and what it is to be family. It also includes romance, mystery and time travel to a particularly interesting time in history. 

Our main characters Diana and Matthew make you want to fight with them and the host of secondary characters  (one especially for me – no spoilers here) endear themselves  to you and sometimes you want them to stay with them in the story forever. There is a particular song that for me makes me think of Diana and Matthew everytime I hear it – Turning Page by Sleeping at Last. I will post the link below for those of you who are interested. 

https://open.spotify.com/track/2kfGoV9a5dbSKCNmUWH2ZF

This series blends the normal and the abnormal and brings me full circle to the beginning of my blog, where a little bit too much TV makes me think about how people hide their differences to appear just like the rest of us. How if we only open our eyes we can see what is right in front of us, that those differences are what make us special.

On that note I wanted to end with one of my favourite All Souls quotes.

It begins with absence and desire.

It begins with blood and fear.

It begins with a discovery of witches.

Hello and Welcome!

For this my first post I wanted to introduce myself to all you wonderful people.

I’m Elizabeth, longtime reader, TV watcher and sometime writer. Living in the UK with my husband I have dived out of my comfort zone by moving across the world, starting an Instagram page and now this blog.

I’ve never been a fussy reader, fast maybe but not fussy and I will try anything once especially if it contains dragons!!! I love Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings and all fantasy novels. I have recently picked up a habit for YA fiction and am re-educating myself in the classics.

I am an aspiring writer with hopes and dreams of one day being published but in the  meantime I will keep scribbling on and talking all things writing with my writing buddies.

The library is my second home as all of my books are currently in storage and I am on a book buying ban so I don’t have to pack them all up when I return home. The small amount of books I have with me are the ones that I absolutely couldn’t resist.

Anyway thanks for reading and hopefully I will regularly update you all on here πŸ™‚IMG_20170626_163052_631