Book Review|The Madness|Helen Pryke

A great review for The Madness by Cooking The Books!


I always love it when Helen produces a new book, regardless of length. This creepy short story is her latest offering. Available on Amazon or free if you sign up to her newsletter. Links at the end!

The Madness Published 10th February 2020 Publisher Self published (KDP)Pink Quill Books Edition Kindle 29 pages GenreHorror/Thriller PurchaseLink Https://
I fear for my sanity. The shadows speak to me, telling me their secrets, terrible secrets I don’t want to hear. The mirrors are worse, for there I see their faces.

When Nick and Anita inherit Belton Manor, they can’t wait to start restoring it to its former glory.

They don’t know it was built on the site of an asylum for the insane.

Anita hears voices whispering in her ear and sees shadows where no shadow should be. Then the nightmares begin.

Belton Manor hides a secret. A secret that…

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#CoverReveal for Unicorns, Mermaids, and Magical Tales by Sarah Northwood and Julia E. Clements

Some time last year, my wonderful friend Sarah Northwood and I began talking about writing a children’s book together. Sarah’s children’s books are for young children to YA, while I write middle-grade books under the pen name Julia E. Clements.

One of the things we have in common is our love for all things magical. Unicorns, dragons, witches, anything and everything goes! Which is why we created a Facebook book a few months ago, called Magical Creatures and Enchanted Forests.

Sarah is also a talented poet, so we decided to put our skills together, and our book, Unicorns, Mermaids, and Magical Tales, was born. The result is a delightful mixture of magical short stories and poems with gorgeous illustrations by Sarah’s daughter Abigail. My son Francesco created the cover, and we think he’s done a fantastic job!

First, the blurb:

Step into a world of enchanted forests and magical creatures, where every page takes the reader on a wondrous journey.

Incredible realms await, with unicorns, fairies, mermaids, and dragons, and so much more. Together with beautiful illustrations, this collection of short stories and poems will capture the hearts of children of all ages and transport them on a magical adventure.

 A fairy stuck in a wishing well. A mermaid who can’t swim. A girl who doesn’t know she’s a witch. A mystical portal that leads to another land. These are just some of the enchanting tales that will spark every child’s imagination.

And finally, the covers, both for the ebook and paperback:

unicorns, mermaids and magical tales_kindle final cover_jpg


unicorns, mermaids and magical tales_paperback cover_jpg


#BookReview for Sentries of Camelot (Ruby Morgan Book #2) by L.J. Rivers

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My review for Sentries of Camelot (Ruby Morgan Book #2) by L.J. Rivers, 5/5 stars. It also earns a Pink Quill Book Pick badge (click here for more information.)

Having loved the first book, I was eager to read this one and see what happens next to Ruby Morgan and her friends. It didn’t disappoint!

The more you read about this alternative world with Magicals of all kinds, the more real it all seems. I love how the characters are developing, and each one grows on you as you come to know them.

There’s plenty of action in this one too – the scenes with Ruby and friends against the Harvesters had me gripped until the end! There are light moments among the darkness, friendships are forged and broken, and secrets are revealed. I can’t wait for the next one! Highly recommend.

Amazon US
Amazon UK

#BookReview for Regency Love: Reflections of a young lady by T.L. Clark

My review for Regency Love: Reflections of a young lady by T.L. Clark, 5/5 stars.

What a wonderful story! Told from the viewpoint of Lady Anne, an innocent young girl about to make her debut among the Ton in London, it captures you from the first page.

It had me laughing out loud at times, while at others I could feel the angst of the characters as they struggled to follow society’s rules, going against their true feelings for fear of ridicule or worse. There’s intrigue and secrets, love and hate, innocence and wickedness, interspersed with dry British wit and observations on life that we can relate to even now.

Well written and full of great characters, it’s an enjoyable read following life in Regency times. I’ve read a couple of the author’s books, and this is her best yet! Highly recommend.

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Amazon UK

#BookReview for The Bus Ride: A Zany Busnapping Adventure by Joanie Chevalier

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My review for The Bus Ride: A Zany Busnapping Adventure by Joanie Chevalier, 5/5 stars. It also earns a Pink Quill Book Pick badge (click here for more information.)

What a wonderfully funny, quirky, sometimes sad, often laugh-out-loud novella. Just the idea of someone carrying out a busnapping is enough to make you pick it up, and the promise is fulfilled with the characters the author has created. People from all walks of life, easily relatable, immediately endearing, they add a rich depth to the story.

Each character is given a nickname, and his or her background is slowly revealed as the story develops. What could have been a macabre tale is instead full of emotion, wit, heartache and joy, as the reader is pulled into the characters’ lives, travelling alongside them on their journey of self-discovery.

A well-written novella whose characters will remain with you long after you finish reading it. Highly recommend!

Amazon US
Amazon UK

#BookReview for Amberflame by Lisa Hofmann

Pink quill books pick_2020

My review for Amberflame by Lisa Hofmann, 5/5 stars. It also earns a Pink Quill Book Pick badge (click here for more information.)

What I loved about this magical short story is that I felt as if I already knew the characters and the setting as soon as I started reading. The narrative pulled me in right away, and kept me hooked until the end.

A secret love that is destined to fail, a dragon terrorising the local villages, a young girl willing to sacrifice everything for the people she loves, and a magical twist at the end – this story has everything a great fantasy needs, and is a fantastic read. Highly recommend!


Willa loves Aberlin, and Aberlin loves Willa, but they can’t be together.
Willa has a secret. She is afraid of monsters. She is not afraid to face them, to stand up and fight – but what if she can’t win? Where would that leave the people she cares about?
Enjoy this magical new tale about dark secrets and the power of love.

Amazon US
Amazon UK

Looking back on 2019

While everyone’s busy posting their top ten favourite books of the year, I thought I’d take a look back at the last twelve months. (This is mainly because I’ve read so many fantastic books this year that I can’t possibly choose a top ten! Take a look at my book reviews on this blog to find new authors and books.)

So, what have I achieved over the last year? A heck of a lot, as it happens. I published four books: A Dragonfly in Winter (a novella, part of my Innocenti series), The Lost Girls and Shadows from the Past (books #1 and #2 in my Maggie Dupont suspense series), and the Innocenti Saga Collection (books #1, #2 and #3 of the Innocenti series in a box set).

I also proofread a number of indie authors’ books – I’m not sure of the exact number, but there were a few! It’s something I love doing, and have worked with some wonderful authors.

I post regularly on my Facebook page, and love chatting with readers and other authors alike. I’ve made some new friends there, and am grateful for all the support everyone gives me.

After being burned a few times, I managed to open my heart to two fantastic people who brighten my day and lift me up when I get down. It’s not easy to find genuine friends online or in real life, but Kayleigh and Sarah, you are both wonderful, wonderful people!

I’ve read a LOT of books – 168 according to Goodreads, but there are a few more than that. Can you tell I love reading?!

And two months ago, I got a 3-book publishing deal with Bloodhound Books! There’ll be more exciting news in the new year about that, I can’t wait to tell you!

And finally, I’ve got a secret project going on that I’m very excited about – all will be revealed soon!

And let’s not forget Pan, our gorgeous rescue cat who came to us in February, and who we love with all our hearts. Not sure who rescued who, but we are so lucky to have her in our lives.

On that note, I wish everyone a happy new year, and I hope 2020 is going to be a great year for us all!

pan and tree

#BookReview for The Black Fire Chronicles: Dorothy the Dreamer by Kim Rigby

My review for The Black Fire Chronicles: Guardians 1- Dorothy the Dreamer by Kim Rigby, 5/5 stars.

Having enjoyed the first three books in the Black Fire Chronicles series, I was looking forward to reading this new installment about one of the guardians. It definitely didn’t disappoint!

In the first books, we meet an older Dorothy – here, we are taken back to when she is eight years old and meets the Seer for the first time. Dorothy’s life changes when Aunty Colleen looks after her while her parents are working, and she discovers that the world is more magical than she thinks.

Full of time travel, enchanted gardens, weird and wonderful characters, and the evil Hag and her hound, the story draws you in and keeps you turning the pages as you go on a magical journey from past to present and to the future. Highly recommend!

Amazon US
Amazon UK

Book Review: ‘Coming Home For Christmas’ by Helen Pryke — Book Squirrel

Although the subtitle is ‘A Haunting Christmas Tale’, this is far from being scary or spooky. Instead, is it a positive and inspirational story full of Christmas Eve spirit. Without being overly sentimental, this story is heartwarming and heartbreaking at the same time. The reader is invited to witness a very special moment through the […]

via Book Review: ‘Coming Home For Christmas’ by Helen Pryke — Book Squirrel

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