New book! A Dragonfly in Winter (Book 3 of The Innocenti Saga)

I’ve been busy writing the last three months or so, and have actually finished the first draft of book 3 of The Innocenti Saga, A Dragonfly in Winter! This must be the fastest I’ve ever written a book, even though there’s still a lot of work to do. I’m now editing it, and adding various bits and pieces, before it goes off to my lovely beta readers. It’s currently available to pre-order, with a release date of 11th May, but that will probably change to an earlier date.

This has been the easiest book of the saga to write – the story just rolled off the tips of my fingers, and I didn’t have to do much research (unlike The Dragonfly Grove, where I had to check that even the smallest details were correct). Set in the late 1800s, it follows the story of Sara Innocenti, who has never even heard of the healers or seen the cottage!

I already have an idea for book 4, but it will have to wait for the moment, as I have another project already waiting patiently for me to get back to it. Hopefully I’ll start work on book 4 some time before the summer, so it will be ready for the autumn.

In case you’re interested, The Healer’s Secret (book 1) is currently on a 99c special offer for today, and The Dragonfly Grove is $2.99 instead of $3.99.

You can also pre-order A Dragonfly in Winter for only 99c at the moment – it will go up to $2.99 when it’s published.

Here’s the blurb and link:

The healers are no more.

Since Ginevra Innocenti’s death, the cottage has lain empty and abandoned in the woods.

Until the day Ginevra’s granddaughter, Sara, sees the dragonfly in the depths of winter. Intrigued, she follows it through the woods and discovers the forgotten cottage. When Simone, the head groom, tells her that her grandmother was a healer, a series of events is set in motion which could lead to the end of the Innocenti.

Long-hidden secrets are revealed, making Sara doubt everything she once believed in. Her mind in turmoil, she no longer knows whether she can ever truly be a healer. Disowned by her parents, it’s time to make a difficult decision.

But when there are rumours of an uprising in the village, Sara fears for her parents and her future. Will the curse of the Innocenti strike the family once more?

Set in the late 1800s in the mountains of Tuscany, A Dragonfly in Winter is the third book in the Innocenti Saga.

See on Amazon

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#BookReview for Twisted Christian: Volume 3 by Nathan Bush

My review for Twisted Christian: Volume 3 by Nathan Bush, 4/5 stars.

I haven’t read the other books in the series, but found I easily got into story, which takes off at a fast pace and doesn’t slow down until the end.

It’s hard to hate the villain, Verdugo, who’s on a mission to rid the world of a sex trafficking gang, albeit in his own twisted way.

Berg, the detective on his trail, is opinionated and stubborn, and doesn’t do things by the book, but gets the results he wants. His partner, John, is calmer and more methodical, and there is some great interaction between the two of them.

The author has created some great characters, a fast-paced story with plenty of action, and a fantastic story line that keeps you gripped all the way through. I look forward to reading more of the books in the series!

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#BookReview for Time For Second Chances by Mette Barfelt

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My review for Time For Second Chances by Mette Barfelt, 5/5 stars. It also earns a Pink Quill Book Pick badge (click here for more information).

So far, I’ve read and enjoyed the first four books in the Solvik Series, so I was really looking forward to book five. Each story has been getting grittier, and this one is no exception!

Each story focuses on two characters we’ve briefly met in the other books – this time it’s Isabella and Remy’s turn. Isabella has sworn off men after coming out of an abusive relationship, and Remy is separated from his wife – who doesn’t seem to realise they’re not together any more!

This makes for some great scenes from the jealous ex-wife, and some misunderstandings that thwart true love. Then there is also someone stalking Isabella, with some nasty surprises along the way.

Mette deals with each difficult subject in her usual sensitive way, leaving you yes, shocked, but also with the knowledge that good can come out of bad, and that life does carry on after being abused.

This is a well-written story that keeps you turning the pages, desperate to find out if a certain someone will get their comeuppance, and if Isabella and Remy can really have their happy ever after. I highly recommend the whole series, and can’t wait for book six!

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#BookReview for The Innocents (Book 1) by C. A. Asbrey

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My review for The Innocents (Book 1) by C. A. Asbrey, 5/5 stars. It also earns a Pink Quill Book Pick badge (click here for more information).

Although this book is set in the Old West in the 1800s, this is no ordinary western and Abigail MacKay is no ordinary woman! She is in fact a Pinkerton Detective and is one feisty lady!

I loved this story from the beginning. Abigail is on the trail of Nat Quinn and Jake Conroy, the leaders of The Innocents, a gang that robs from the rich and not from the poor. She bumps into them right away, and a roller-coaster ride of sparring quips, subtle innuendo and humorous one-liners begins!

The story keeps you hooked right from the start, with fake Innocents, the buxom Pearl who runs the local high-class brothel, and various other quirky characters who all fit into the story by the end.

Well written, with lighthearted touches and more serious moments, I thoroughly enjoyed learning about forensics of the time and the steps they were making in catching criminals by using clues from their victims. Abigail is a wonderful character with a mysterious past, which I hope we’ll find out more about in the next books, while Nat and Jake are more complex than they seem.

I highly recommend this book, and can’t wait to read the next two in the series!

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#BookReview for The Black Fire Chronicles: Time Stepping (#3) by Kim Rigby

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My review for The Black Fire Chronicles: Time Stepping (#3) by Kim Rigby, 5/5 stars. It also earns a Pink Quill Book Pick badge (click here for more information).

After enjoying books 1 and 2 so much, I couldn’t wait to find out how the series ended! This book is a bit darker than the other two, but just as enjoyable. It kept me turning the pages as I wondered how Andrew would overcome each obstacle!

This time, Andrew has to travel through time to find his loyal companion, Ralph the talking dog. Owen has infiltrated Nazi Germany, determined to make them win the war this time, and Andrew is the only one who can stop him. On the way, he meets iconic figures such as Winston Churchill, Roosevelt’s wife, and even Albert Einstein!

This time, Andrew’s task is harder than ever, especially when the timeline changes and he finds himself battling against Owen alone. But we find out more about the Seer, and Andrew’s weird and wonderful neighbours finally reveal themselves.

This is a fun, exciting adventure series that middle-grade children will enjoy reading and I hope there will be more adventures with Andrew and his friends in the future! Highly recommend!

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#BookReview for The Black Fire Chronicles: Revenge by Kim Rigby

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My review for The Black Fire Chronicles: Revenge (Book 2) by Kim Rigby. It also earns a Pink Quill Book Pick badge (click here for more information).

I really enjoyed the first book in the series, and was looking forward to reading this one. I wasn’t disappointed, in fact it’s even better!

It’s a year after Andrew and Ralph discovered Owen and Secunda’s evil plan to take over the world using Black Fire, and life is getting back to normal. Until Andrew sees Owen and Secunda on TV, standing next to the Australian president!

This is such a fun story for children, with lots of adventure, gormless villains, and the return of other characters from Vellistrian we met in the first book. There are funny moments, and sad ones, too. I love the fact that Andrew finds the courage to ask his friends, Leo and Teresa, for their help, even though he’s afraid they won’t believe him.

There’s magic as well, with a beautiful underground city, giant cockroaches pulling carriages, and Ralph the talking dog. And a bypass that takes people anywhere in the world in the blink of an eye!

I loved the ending, and can’t wait to read the third one now! I highly recommend this series for middle grade readers.

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#BookReview for Revenge of the Hooded Claw by Colin Garrow

My review for Revenge of the Hooded Claw (The Watson Letters, Volume 4) by Colin Garrow, 5/5 stars.

This is a fun, tongue-in-cheek read! I’ve never read any of the books in this series before, now I want to read the others! Very cleverly done, in keeping with the spirit of the original books but with a modern touch that adds a saucy tone without going over the top.

Watson is his usual staid self, trying to keep Holmes in check and failing every time, but his wife, Mary, joins them on their adventures, adding a touch of hilarity. She flirts with every male (and female!) they meet, has no problem taking off her clothes in front of strangers, and saves the day more than once!

A fun twist to the original Sherlock Holmes stories, I highly recommend this book if you want to read a book with a good, old-fashioned British sense of humour!

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#BookReview for The Other Miss Bates: The second book in the Highbury Trilogy by Allie Cresswell

My review for The Other Miss Bates by Allie Cresswell, 5/5 stars.

This beautiful story carries on from where the first left off, following Jane Bates as she leaves Highbury and goes to Brighton to look after an invalid widow. Far from the elderly woman she expects to find, Mrs Sealy is nearer her own age and full of joy and mischief. What follows is a delightful story as Jane’s eyes are opened to Brighton’s society, far different from that of the country village where she used to live.

The reader is transported back to other times, and comes to find out more about Jane and her life. The author has recreated these characters perfectly, in keeping with the original story, while adding her own unique touch to each one. I also love the style of writing and the easy flow of the story.

Having read both the first and second books in the trilogy, I’m now waiting impatiently for the third! Highly recommend.

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Goodbye 2018!

This is my last blog post of the year, and I don’t really know what to write. I don’t want to go over 2018 – it’s been pretty awful personally, both for my physical and mental health – and I don’t want to make a list of my Top 5 or Top 10 books, as I couldn’t possibly choose among the fantastic books I’ve read this year.

So I guess I’ll just say a big thank you to those who have supported me (Sarah Northwood and Kristina Beck, you made me laugh when I wanted to cry), the wonderful new reader and writer friends I’ve made (yes, Kayleigh Louise Brown, Wendy Taylor, Lisa Sell, Katharine Johnson, just to name a few), old friends and family who have been there for me (Giustina Ratto, Abigail Barkham, John Clements) and all my friends I’ve made over the last couple of years in the writing community.

There are many more people – you know who you are and your support is very much appreciated!

A huge thank you also to everyone who follows this blog and has liked or commented on my articles!

As for books – I’d invite you to have a look at the book reviews I’ve written over the last year (and the ones from last year under the Book Reviews tab). There are quite a few, I know – I read over 100 books this year, and have reviewed many of them here on my blog. They’re all by indie authors, and I’ve enjoyed every single one!

Before I go, just a quick reminder that my short story on psychological abuse, Autumn Sky, has been revamped and updated, and the ebook is now available free at all online retailers (except Amazon at the moment, but I’m hoping they’ll price match soon!). There is also a printed version, a 35-page booklet which is available from Amazon only. I’ve kept the price as low as possible, as I believe it could be a great booklet to leave in doctors’ waiting rooms, women’s centres, hospitals, libraries, schools, etc. You can get your copy here.

There is also an Italian version, which is currently No.1 in two categories on Kobo Italy! You can find it here.

I wish you all a happy new year, and I hope that 2019 brings you everything you wish for!

Helen

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