Friday, 22 August 2014

Mini Hiatus!

At the start of this year I said I wanted to get into blogging regularly, and when I decided that I wanted to post something new every Monday and Friday I was immensely proud of myself when I managed to keep to that self-made promise. This year I think I've really become a blogger and I'm really proud of the amount of content I've managed to put forward.

When I decided to start taking part in What's Up Wednesday and the odd Top Ten Tuesday there came times when I was posting four times a week, which is a lot for someone who also happens to be doing a Creative Writing MA and trying to write a novel.

For the most part I've been able to schedule posts, but I'm now nearing the end of my MA - my portfolio is due in in ten days! - and I want to be able to concentrate on finishing it without worrying about not having any content on my blog.

I know I'm not a world famous blogger or anything, I'm sure no one cares whether I post four times a week or four times a year, but I just wanted to tell anyone who might regularly read my posts that next week I won't be posting any new content. After next week I'll be back to scheduling as normal, but if posting something every Monday and Friday really starts getting in the way of my novel writing I may change things up a bit.

So, this is just to let any of you reading this know that I'll be absent next week while I work at getting my portfolio polished and finished!

Toodle pip!


Wednesday, 20 August 2014

What's Up Wednesday! | 20/08/14

What's Up Wednesday is a weekly blog hop created by Jaime Morrow and Erin L. Funk as a way for writers and readers to stay in touch!

What I'm Reading

I finished rereading The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane by Katherine Howe, and enjoyed it as much as I did the first time, and then last night I decided to revisit my childhood by reading Even More Terrible Tudors by Terry Deary. No regrets.

I'm not sure what I'm going to read next, but I'm hoping it'll be The Thickety: A Path Begins by J.A. White if my copy has arrived!

What I'm Writing

I'm sure you all know this by now: I'm working on my portfolio. Over the past few days I finally managed to get one of the big, climactic scenes of the novel written, and though I'm sure it needs a lot of editing I'm strangely proud of it - hopefully that doesn't jinx how other people receive it!

What Inspires Me Right Now

Today is the 402nd Anniversary of the Pendle Witch Trials, one of the most famous witch trials in Britain, and this year the Castle opened up the dungeon they were kept in and allowed people to go down in groups and be told the story. This was great news for me as one of the main characters in my WIP is accused of witchcraft and imprisoned in the same castle so it was great research, but being the sap that I am I actually found being in that dungeon quite emotional. I didn't cry, but there's something so painfully sad about the injustice of the witch hunts in the late 16th/early 17th centuries.

I wish I could say witch hunts don't happen now, but they're still happening in the Niger Delta where children are bathed in acid, buried alive and tortured to extract confessions. Stepping Stones Nigeria is a charity who are trying to put an end to this, but sadly not many people know of them - please spread the word of the great work they do!

What Else I've Been Up To

The Castle was really busy on Saturday when I went - which is great, it's awesome to see so many people enjoying this fascinating building - and there were so many different events on, including a birds of prey demonstration. The birds were adorable, so naturally I got some pictures on my phone while I was there, including this one of Rio the barn owl:

While I was in town I was also ecstatic to come across a small pile of Horrible Histories books in the editions I had when I was younger. The majority of my childhood books and all of my childhood toys aren't with me any more, for various reasons, and as someone who places a lot of sentimental value on things it's always made me very sad. The books were 60p each, so naturally I got seven of them. No regrets!

I'm also currently holding a giveaway over on my tumblr, so if you're tumblrer yourself why not check it out and enter? You could get a free book out of it!

What's new with you?

Monday, 18 August 2014

Review | Malkin Child by Livi Michael

by Livi Michael

My Rating: 

Wouldn't you like to save your family, Jennet?

Jennet's family all believe they are witches. Other folk think they are, too. But 1612 is a dangerous time to be a witch. When her family are imprisoned and put on trial in Lancaster Castle, Jennet's evidence will help decide their fate.

On the 18th of August, 1612, Anne Whittle, Elizabeth Device and James Device were tried at Lancaster Castle on charges of witchcraft. All three of them were found guilty thanks to the testimony of a nine year old little girl called Jennet, Elizabeth's daughter. The next day eight more were tried, including Alizon Device, who was Jennet's sister, and they too were found guilty. The next day all of them were dead.

The Pendle Witches are some of the most famous 'witches' in Britain's history; never before had so many people been tried and hanged for witchcraft at once during the witch-hunting craze that swept over Europe in the 17th century, and never before had someone so young been able to testify.

There have been many interpretations of the Pendle Witches story over the years - particularly as 2012 marked the 400 year anniversary of the trials - but none of them have impressed me as much as Malkin Child.

The book tells the story of the trials from the POV of young Jennet Device, only nine years old, and explores the reasons behind why she decided to stand up in court and claim that her family were indeed witches.

I was lucky enough to meet Livi Michael at a Children's Literature Festival back in May, where I listened to her read out a few extracts from Malkin Child and talk about the process of writing it. I loved the sound of it - and I loved the idea of writing a story about the trials for children - so I bought a copy and she kindly signed it for me!

I read it in the space of an hour, it's a very short middle grade book and it's very readable; Michael has given Jennet a charming, authentic voice, so she really does sound like a little girl who's grown up in one of the poorer areas of 17th century Lancashire. 

I enjoyed this book a lot. I appreciated that Michael's retelling didn't turn Jennet into a hard-hearted child who wanted to see her family dead, as so many other interpretations have, but that she presented her as a little girl whose trust was abused by the authorities. She was used as a means to a very gruesome end.

In fact I found Malkin Child quite emotional; Jennet truly believes that she's doing the right thing, truly believes that by calling her family witches in front of a jury she is saving them, and it's heartbreaking to watch her realise that her actions send her family to their graves.

Even though the story is, sadly, based on true events, there is something of a light at the end of the tunnel. Jennet loses her family, but the ending is bittersweet rather than entirely miserable, and we are left with hope for Jennet's future.

Like Witch Hill (which I reviewed here!) I definitely recommend Malkin Child for younger readers; particularly younger readers who are interested in history or historical fiction. That being said, I think anyone can enjoy this book! Michael brings a horrifying period of history to life through the eyes of a child, and she does so tastefully and respectfully, and really that's all we can ask for when it comes to retelling the stories of the poor people who were hanged 402 years ago.

I would also like to mention that the proceeds made by Malkin Child were donated to Stepping Stones Nigeria, a Manchester based charity which is fighting against the witch hunts that are still happening in the Niger Delta today. If you can, please take a look at their website and spread the word or, if you're able, donate. It's an incredibly worthy cause.


Friday, 15 August 2014

Books I Want Adaptations Of!

Book adaptations have been everywhere over the past few years, and this year has seen plenty; from Hannibal to Outlander to The Maze Runner.

I love adaptations, I'm always fascinated by what different directors and actors and screenwriters do with the stories we know and love; I can't wait to see Francis Lawrence's adaptations of Mockingjay and I was ecstatic when I learned that Bryan Fuller is involved with the adaptation of Neil Gaiman's American Gods.

That being said, there are still a few books out there that I would love to see adaptations of, and today I thought I'd share them with you!

Those of you who have been following my blog for a while will know that back in May I read Mira Grant's Feed, the first book in her Newsflesh trilogy, and loved it. It broke my heart, but I loved it, and I think it would make a brilliant television show. I wouldn't want to squeeze this story into a 90 minute film, and considering each section of the book starts with a quote from Georgia or Shaun's blog I think they'd be great episode openers. I know I'd watch it!

C. J. Sansom's Dissolution, the first in his Shardlake series, is another book I think would make a great television drama. I love a good historical drama, and historical crime is especially fun! Considering this particular book takes place in the creepy, confined space of a monastery I think it'd be a lot of fun to watch. Dissolution was in fact adapted for BBC Radio 4 in 2012, but sadly I hadn't read the book then and had no idea it had been dramatised - I wish the BBC would make it available to listen to again!

I had to read Haroun and the Sea of Stories during my first year of university, and I highly recommend it if you're a lover of stories - this book is so much fun! It's bizarre, but it's brilliant, and I think it would make a fantastic Studio Ghibli film. Sadly Studio Ghibli has recently said that they are taking a break from animated films, but hopefully that break won't be a long one because their animation is just stunning. When they decide to return to animation, I'd love to see an adaptation of Haroun and the Sea of the Stories; they did a wonderful job with Howl's Moving Castle, so I'd love to see them interpret this book!

Anne Brontë's Agnes Grey is one of my favourite classics. I'm not entirely sure why I love it so much, I just do, and yet it doesn't have a single adaptation aside from another by BBC Radio 4 which I did manage to listen to. It was only an hour long, which I can understand because the book itself isn't long at all when we compare it to other Victorian novels, and while I did enjoy it I'd love to see Agnes come to life on my screen. I love a good period drama, and I think Agnes Grey would make a lovely one!

All of us are guilty of a good old chick flick every now and then, those feel good, comfort films that we put on when we need cheering up, we feel ill or we just want to have a laugh, and I'd love to see someone make a chick flick out of Elizabeth Noble's Things I Want My Daughters to Know. I don't know what it is about this book exactly, I just loved it a lot when I first read it. It's the kind of book that can make you both laugh and cry in the space of a few minutes, and it handles quite a sensitive storyline in a really lovely way. With the right director I think this book would make a very sweet film.

Are there any books you'd like to see adaptations of, or do you prefer your stories to stay on the page?


Wednesday, 13 August 2014

What's Up Wednesday! | 13/08/14

What's Up Wednesday is a weekly blog hop created by Jaime Morrow and Erin L. Funk as a way for writers and readers to stay in touch!

What I'm Reading

I haven't done any reading in a while because uni stress has been taking over my life, but yesterday I started re-reading The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane by Katherine Howe, which is a book I first read and really enjoyed a couple of years ago. Honestly it's very rarely that I re-read books, but I was really in the mood for this one.

I recommend it to any fans of witches out there!

What I'm Writing

As always, I'm working on my portfolio.

What Inspires Me Right Now

As heartbroken as I'm pretty sure the whole world is right now after the tragic news of Robin Williams' death on Monday, it's actually been really inspiring to see so many people all over the world, people he never even met in person, pay their respects and mourn him together. He was so talented and he was such a huge part of my childhood; he was in Aladdin, Flubber, Jumanji, Mrs Doubtfire, Hook, The Dead Poets Society, Night at the Museum and so many other films I saw when I was younger, and he'll be sorely missed.

I'm going to leave a link here to a list of worldwide suicide hotlines, because it's a sad truth that when a celebrity commits suicide then suicide rates rise. If you're contemplating suicide then please confide in anyone you trust and/or feel comfortable with. You're not alone.

What Else I've Been Up To

On Friday I went to see Guardians of the Galaxy with a few of my friends and I think it might be my new favourite Marvel movie. I loved it so much! Groot is so damn adorable and I think Rocket might be my spirit animal - he's short and angry, just like me!

I haven't laughed so much throughout a film in such a long time, and it was really nice to just laugh for a couple of hours. I love films that take you away from all of your worries like that. I definitely recommend going to see it if you haven't already!

What's new with you?

Monday, 11 August 2014

Anticipated Autumn Releases!

I'd be lying if I said I was the kind of person who's always on the look out for the latest book releases, because unless there's an author or series I really love I usually won't go looking for books that aren't out yet. There are only three books I'm really looking forward to next year, and two of those - Winter by Marissa Meyer and Lamentation by C.J. Sansom - I only know of because I'm a big fan of their respective series.

That being said, this autumn brings the release of a few books I'm really interested in getting my hands on, so now that it's the last month of summer (already!) I thought I'd share them with you!

by Lauren Oliver

Release Date: 23rd September, 2014

Wealthy Richard Walker has just died, leaving behind his country house full of rooms packed with the detritus of a lifetime. His estranged family—bitter ex-wife Caroline, troubled teenage son Trenton, and unforgiving daughter Minna—have arrived for their inheritance. 

But the Walkers are not alone. Prim Alice and the cynical Sandra, long dead former residents bound to the house, linger within its claustrophobic walls. Jostling for space, memory, and supremacy, they observe the family, trading barbs and reminiscences about their past lives. Though their voices cannot be heard, Alice and Sandra speak through the house itself—in the hiss of the radiator, a creak in the stairs, the dimming of a light bulb. 

The living and dead are each haunted by painful truths that will soon surface with explosive force. When a new ghost appears, and Trenton begins to communicate with her, the spirit and human worlds collide—with cataclysmic results.

I'm not sure what it is about this book that interests me, because while I enjoyed Delirium I wasn't a fan of either Pandemonium or Requiem, and I've never been particularly interested in checking out Oliver's other YA books. This book sounds intriguing if nothing else, and I think this kind of story will really suit Oliver's gorgeous writing style.

by Garth Nix

Release Date: 14th October, 2014

Clariel is the daughter of the one of the most notable families in the Old Kingdom, with blood relations to the Abhorsen and, most importantly, to the King. When her family moves to the city of Belisaere, there are rumors that her mother is next in line for the throne. However, Clariel wants no part of it—a natural hunter, all she ever thinks about is escaping the city’s confining walls and journeying back to the quiet, green world of the Great Forest.

But many forces conspire against Clariel’s dream. A dangerous Free Magic creature is loose in the city, her parents want to marry her off to a killer, and there is a plot brewing against the old and withdrawn King Orrikan. When Clariel is drawn into the efforts to find and capture the creature, she discovers hidden sorcery within herself, yet it is magic that carries great dangers. Can she rise above the temptation of power, escape the unwanted marriage, and save the King?

You have no idea how excited I've been since this book was finally given a cover and a release date! The Old Kingdom was one of my favourite trilogies during my teen years, in fact it still is. If you're interested in some female dominated fantasy that is focused on action, adventure and character development rather than the usual romantic-heavy plot, then I highly recommend Sabriel, Lirael and Abhorsen if you haven't already read them.

There's been talk of Clariel for years, and it got to the point that I was certain it simply wasn't going to happen, and then all of a sudden, earlier this year, there was a release date. I'm so excited!

by Julia Kagawa

Release Date: 28th October, 2014

Long ago, dragons were hunted to near extinction by the Order of St. George, a legendary society of dragon slayers. Hiding in human form and growing their numbers in secret, the dragons of Talon have become strong and cunning, and they're positioned to take over the world with humans none the wiser.

Ember and Dante Hill are the only sister and brother known to dragonkind. Trained to infiltrate society, Ember wants to live the teen experience and enjoy a summer of freedom before taking her destined place in Talon. But destiny is a matter of perspective, and a rogue dragon will soon challenge everything Ember has been taught. As Ember struggles to accept her future, she and her brother are hunted by the Order of St. George.

Soldier Garret Xavier Sebastian has a mission to seek and destroy all dragons, and Talon's newest recruits in particular. But he cannot kill unless he is certain he has found his prey: and nothing is certain about Ember Hill. Faced with Ember's bravery, confidence and all-too-human desires, Garret begins to question everything that the Order has ingrained in him: and what he might be willing to give up to find the truth about dragons.

I'm going to be honest with you: while I love fantasy, I've never been that interested in dragons. I didn't like Eragon (I'm sorry Inheritance Cycle fans - I really did try!) and I haven't really read that much dragon fiction in general - I'm much more of a unicorn girl!

That being said, the premise of this book just sounds cool. I always wondered when someone was going to bring St. George into a book about dragons! I'm also eager to read more books featuring a brother and a sister; I seem to own a lot of YA books featuring sisters, and while that's not a bad thing by any means I'd like a little more variety.

Also, I love this cover - it's gorgeous!

by Robin LaFevers

Release Date: 4th November, 2014

Annith has watched her gifted sisters at the convent come and go, carrying out their dark dealings in the name of St. Mortain, patiently awaiting her own turn to serve Death. But her worst fears are realized when she discovers she is being groomed by the abbess as a Seeress, to be forever sequestered in the rock and stone womb of the convent. Feeling sorely betrayed, Annith decides to strike out on her own.

She has spent her whole life training to be an assassin. Just because the convent has changed its mind doesn't mean she has.

But across Brittany, the tides of war are drawing ever nearer, with France pressuring the beleaguered duchess from all sides. Annith’s search for answers threatens to rip open an intricate web of lies and deceit that sit at the heart of the convent she serves. Yet to expose them threatens the very fabric of her existence and risks an unforeseen chance at love, one that she can no longer deny. Annith must carefully pick a path and, gods willing, effect a miracle that will see her country—and her heart—to safety.

If you've been following my blog for a while then you'll know I read both Grave Mercy and Dark Triumph back to back in the spring, and I surprised myself when I loved them. Yes they're a little cheesy in places, but they're so fun while still exploring some pretty deep stuff. Therefore, it was only natural that Mortal Heart earned a place on this list.

After the events of Dark Triumph I'm really interested in seeing how Annith is going to fit into the wider story, and I'm also looking forward to seeing Annith finally being given the chance to shine. She's a cutie.

by Sherry Jones

Release Date: 25th November, 2014

He is the most famous philosopher in the world, the arrogant headmaster of the Notre Dame Cloister School, and a poet whose songs and good looks make women swoon. She is Paris’s most brilliant young scholar, beautiful and wry, and his student. Forbidden by the church and society to love each other, Heloise and Abelard defy the rules to follow their hearts, risking everything that matters to them — including each other. An illicit child, a secret marriage, an abusive uncle: nothing, it seems, can come between them — until a vicious attack tears them apart forever. Or does it?

As I'm sure you all know by now I love historical fiction. I've been fascinated by the sad story of Abelard and Heloise since I first learned of them during my teens, and yet I haven't read a single piece of fiction based on their story. This novelisation interests me in particular as it has been written after the discovery of 113 "Lost Love Letters" between the two that were discovered in 1999, and Jones has incorporated some of these letters into her novel.

Needless to say, I'm really looking forward to this one!

Will you be rushing out to buy any of these releases? Are there any books you're looking forward to seeing on the shelves this autumn?


Friday, 8 August 2014

Stories & Songs #2

Last month I wrote a post in which I shared some songs with you that remind me of some of the books I've read, and you can find that post here. I had a lot of fun with it, so today I'm back with a second installment! Just like last time, you can find all the songs I mention below in this playlist.

by Shirley Jackson

"Katrinah Josephina"
Universal Hall Pass

Katrinah Josephina is no longer so they say
She disappeared one year ago and not a trace remains
All the theories are just heresay as to why she disappeared
Some say she was abducted and some say she drowned in fear
And what a joy it is to be the only one who knows
Katrinah Josephina journeys ninety leagues below

She's singing the praises of angels and sages
Oh when the pills wear off, the symptoms will return
You may have found relief, the cause has still yet to be learned

by Robin LaFevers

Within Temptation

Raised in this madness
You're on your own
It makes you fearless
Nothing to lose

Dreams are a joke here
They get in your way
That's what you need
To fight day by day

Oh damn, the war is coming
Oh damn, you feel you want it
Oh damn, just bring it on today

You can't live without the fire
It's the heat that makes you strong
'Cause you're born to live and fight it all away
You can't hide what lies inside you
It's the only thing you've known
You'll embrace it and never walk away
Don't walk away

by Emily Brontë

"Better Dig Two"
The Band Perry

So if the ties that bind ever do come loose
Tie 'em in a knot like a handman's noose,
'Cause I'll go to Heaven or I'll go to Hell
Before I see you with someone else

Put me in the ground,
Put me six foot down,
And let the stone say:

"Here lies a girl whose only crutch
Was loving one man just a little too much."
If you go before I do
I'm gonna tell the gravedigger that he better dig two

by Marissa Meyer

"Strange and Beautiful"

I've been watching your world from afar
I've been trying to be where you are
And I've been secretly falling apart
To me, you're strange and you're beautiful
You'd be so perfect with me
But you just can't see
You turn every head but you don't see me

I'll put a spell on you
You'll fall asleep
When I put a spell on you
And when I wake you I'll be the first thing you see
And you'll realise that you love me

by Mira Grant


This is how I show my love
I made it in my mind because
I blame it on my A.D.D. baby

This is how an angel dies
I blame it on my own supply
Blame it on my A.D.D. baby


Maybe I should cry for help
Maybe I should kill myself
Blame it on my A.D.D. baby

Maybe I'm a different breed
Maybe I'm not listening
So blame it on my A.D.D. baby

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

What's Up Wednesday! | 06/08/14

What's Up Wednesday is a weekly blog hop created by Jaime Morrow and Erin L. Funk as a way for writers and readers to stay in touch!

What I'm Reading

Last week I read The Undressed by Jemma L. King which is an amazing poetry collection inspired by a collection of antique nude photographs of women. King assigned a name and a poem to each photograph and brought these women to life - it's a fantastic collection, and I highly recommend it even if you don't read poetry. I very rarely read poetry for fun (though it's something I need to read more of) but The Undressed is probably one of my favourite books of the year.

What I'm Writing

I'm still working on my portfolio and starting to panic HUGELY now that the deadline is getting closer and closer.

What Inspires Me Right Now

To be honest right now I'm in need of some inspiration - I need to get this portfolio done!

What Else I've Been Up To

I've actually been pretty busy - last week I did an internship with Parthian, an independent publisher in South Wales, which is why I didn't have the time to write a What's Up Wednesday post last Wednesday. It was a lot of fun - the people in the office were really lovely - and it was fun to see the kind of processes that go into getting books published.

I've also been applying for jobs and all that jazz, but right now I'm just trying to concentrate on getting my portfolio done!

I've also been feeling super nostalgic recently. Who else watched this when they were younger?

What's new with you?


Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Top Ten Tuesday | An Introduction to Historical Fiction

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature created at The Broke and Bookish. Each week you compile a list of ten books which coincide with that week's theme. You can find out everything you need to know about joining in here!

This week's theme is 'Top Ten Books I'd Give To Readers Who Have Never Read ____', and as a lover of historical fiction who doesn't tend to come across that many bloggers who read historical fiction when compared with other genres, I'm going to recommend some historical fiction!

Historical fiction is so much fun - people were still people back in the 11th, 16th and 19th centuries! - and there is so much cross-over between other genres. Because of this, I'm going to base my recommendations around the different sub-genres of historical fiction; from romance to crime! I hope you find something here that interests you!

Middle Grade

by Celia Rees

Nancy Kington, daughter of a rich merchant, suddenly orphaned when her father dies, is sent to live on her family's plantation in Jamaica. Disgusted by the treatment of the slaves and her brother's willingness to marry her off, she and one of the slaves, Minerva, run away and join a band of pirates. 

For both girls the pirate life is their only chance for freedom in a society where both are treated like property, rather than individuals. Together they go in search of adventure, love, and a new life that breaks all restrictions of gender, race, and position. 

Young Adult

by Elizabeth Wein

Oct. 11th, 1943-A British spy plane crashes in Nazi-occupied France. Its pilot and passenger are best friends. One of the girls has a chance at survival. The other has lost the game before it's barely begun.

When "Verity" is arrested by the Gestapo, she's sure she doesn't stand a chance. As a secret agent captured in enemy territory, she's living a spy's worst nightmare. Her Nazi interrogators give her a simple choice: reveal her mission or face a grisly execution.

As she intricately weaves her confession, Verity uncovers her past, how she became friends with the pilot Maddie, and why she left Maddie in the wrecked fuselage of their plane. On each new scrap of paper, Verity battles for her life, confronting her views on courage, failure and her desperate hope to make it home. But will trading her secrets be enough to save her from the enemy? 


by Sarah Waters

Sue Trinder is an orphan, left as an infant in the care of Mrs. Sucksby, a "baby farmer," who raised her with unusual tenderness, as if Sue were her own. Mrs. Sucksby’s household, with its fussy babies calmed with doses of gin, also hosts a transient family of petty thieves—fingersmiths—for whom this house in the heart of a mean London slum is home.

One day, the most beloved thief of all arrives—Gentleman, an elegant con man, who carries with him an enticing proposition for Sue: If she wins a position as the maid to Maud Lilly, a naïve gentlewoman, and aids Gentleman in her seduction, then they will all share in Maud’s vast inheritance. Once the inheritance is secured, Maud will be disposed of—passed off as mad, and made to live out the rest of her days in a lunatic asylum.

With dreams of paying back the kindness of her adopted family, Sue agrees to the plan. Once in, however, Sue begins to pity her helpless mark and care for Maud Lilly in unexpected ways...


by Eva Ibbotson

Weekly ballet classes are Harriet Morton's only escape from her intolerably dull life. So when she is chosen to join a corps de ballet which is setting off on a tour of the Amazon, she leaps at the chance to run away for good. Performing in the grand opera houses is everything Harriet dreamed of, and falling in love with an aristocratic exile makes her new life complete. Swept away by it all, she is unaware that her father and intended fiance have begun to track her down. . .

Magical Realism

by Katherine Howe

Harvard graduate student Connie Goodwin needs to spend her summer doing research for her doctoral dissertation. But when her mother asks her to handle the sale of Connie's grandmother's abandoned home near Salem, she can't refuse. As she is drawn deeper into the mysteries of the family house, Connie discovers an ancient key within a seventeenth-century Bible. The key contains a yellowing fragment of parchment with a name written upon it: Deliverance Dane. This discovery launches Connie on a quest--to find out who this woman was and to unearth a rare artifact of singular power: a physick book, its pages a secret repository for lost knowledge.

As the pieces of Deliverance's harrowing story begin to fall into place, Connie is haunted by visions of the long-ago witch trials, and she begins to fear that she is more tied to Salem's dark past then she could have ever imagined.

Science Fiction

by Diana Gabaldon

The year is 1945. Claire Randall, a former combat nurse, is back from the war and reunited with her husband on a second honeymoon--when she walks through a standing stone in one of the ancient stone circles that dot the British Isles. Suddenly she is a Sassenach--an "outlander"--in a Scotland torn by war and raiding Highland clans in the year of Our Lord...1743.

Hurled back in time by forces she cannot understand, Claire is catapulted into intrigues and dangers that may threaten her life...and shatter her heart. For here she meets James Fraser, a gallant young Scots warrior, and becomes a woman torn between fidelity and desire...and between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives.


by Roberto Calas

A mysterious plague descends upon 14th century England, ravaging the country and trapping the souls of the afflicted in eternal madness. The feudal hierarchy--and even the church itself-- slowly crumbles as the dead rise to feed and the living seek whatever shelter they can. The bishops of England call for calm and obedience, but one man isn’t listening.

Sir Edward of Bodiam has been separated from the woman he loves and nothing on heaven or earth can stop him from seeking her out. 

Edward and two of his knights travel through the swiftly changing landscape of England, a countryside now overrun by the minions of hell. The knights encounter madness, violence, and sorrow, but Edward fights his way ever deeper into the thickening darkness of unholy terror. 


by C. J. Sansom

It is 1537, a time of revolution that sees the greatest changes in England since 1066. Henry VIII has proclaimed himself Supreme Head of the Church. The country is waking up to savage new laws, rigged trials and the greatest network of informers it has ever seen. And under the order of Thomas Cromwell, a team of commissioners is sent through the country to investigate the monasteries. There can only be one outcome: dissolution. 

But on the Sussex coast, at the monastery of Scarnsea, events have spiralled out of control. Cromwell's Commissioner, Robin Singleton, has been found dead, his head severed from his body. His horrific murder is accompanied by equally sinister acts of sacrilege.

Matthew Shardlake, lawyer and long time supporter of Reform, has been sent by Cromwell to uncover the truth behind the dark happenings at Scarnsea. But investigation soon forces Shardlake to question everything that he hears, and everything that he intrinsically believes...

Alternate History

by Naomi Novik

Aerial combat brings a thrilling new dimension to the Napoleonic Wars as valiant warriors ride mighty fighting dragons, bred for size or speed. When HMS Reliant captures a French frigate and seizes the precious cargo, an unhatched dragon egg, fate sweeps Captain Will Laurence from his seafaring life into an uncertain future – and an unexpected kinship with a most extraordinary creature. 

Thrust into the rarified world of the Aerial Corps as master of the dragon Temeraire, he will face a crash course in the daring tactics of airborne battle. For as France’s own dragon-borne forces rally to breach British soil in Bonaparte’s boldest gambit, Laurence and Temeraire must soar into their own baptism of fire.


by Carlos Ruiz Zafón

Barcelona, 1945: A city slowly heals in the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War, and Daniel, an antiquarian book dealer’s son who mourns the loss of his mother, finds solace in a mysterious book entitled The Shadow of the Wind, by one Julián Carax. But when he sets out to find the author’s other works, he makes a shocking discovery: someone has been systematically destroying every copy of every book Carax has written. In fact, Daniel may have the last of Carax’s books in existence. Soon Daniel’s seemingly innocent quest opens a door into one of Barcelona’s darkest secrets--an epic story of murder, madness, and doomed love.

I hope there's something in this list that interests you! What are you recommending this Tuesday?