#NetGalley #CircusofWonders by Elizabeth Macneal

My review for Circus of Wonders by Elizabeth Macneal, 5/5 stars. Thank you to NetGalley and the author for an ARC of this book. Circus of Wonders will be published in May 2021.

I absolutely loved this book! Set in Victorian times, it tells the story of Nell, a young girl ostracised from her community because she’s different from everyone else, and Jasper and Toby, two brothers whose past ties them together.

When Nell’s father sells her to Jasper, you experience the poor girl’s terror and anger, and her gradual acceptance of her new life and friends. As the story progresses, we discover more about Jasper and Toby’s life during the war, and secret jealousies and resentments are revealed.

Beautifully written, the author takes you on a journey back in time to Victorian England, with its people, sounds, sights and smells taking over your senses. The story pulls you in, the various threads interweaving, a tale of love and loss, of hope and despair, that keeps you enthralled to the end. I will be thinking about it for a long time. Highly recommend.

#BookReview|The Healers Awakening|Helen Pryke

A wonderful review for The Healer’s Awakening, published today!


Today is publication day for this stunning book and third in the series. I urge anyone to read them, you won’t be disappointed.

Publisher Bloodhound Published 2nd December 2020 Edition Kindle 236 pages Genre Historical Fiction/Family Saga hint of Magical Realism Purchaselink https://buff.ly/39hQROD Also available in The Healer Series:
Book 1: The Healer’s Secret
Book 2: The Healer’s Curse


Will echoes from the past shape her destiny?

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

Until the day Ginevra’s granddaughter, Sara, sees a dragonfly in the depths of winter. Intrigued, she follows it and discovers the forgotten cottage.

When Sara learns that her grandmother was once a healer, a series of events is set in motion which could lead to the end of the family legacy.

As long-hidden secrets are revealed, Sara starts to doubt everything she once believed in. Her mind…

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The Healer’s Awakening by Helen Pryke

A wonderful review for my latest book, The Healer’s Awakening!

A Chat with Annette

A lonely cottage in the Italian woods. A young woman. A dragonfly.

These are the main ingredients of Helen Pryke’s Innocenti saga, of which this book is the third instalment. I had the privilege of reading an advance copy prior to its release on December 2!
It’s the year 1880 when Sara meets a dragonfly in the snowy woods. Intrigued by the unusual sight, she follows it and ends up at a cottage she has never seen before. It looks abandoned, and yet there seems to be a presence there that feels hauntingly real.

To her dismay, her parents find out about her wanderings and forbid her to ever go there again – without giving reasons. Naturally, this makes the young woman even more curious. It’s the old groom who tells her about the magic place and the fact that she is descended from a long line of healers. Why…

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#BookReview of I, Phone by David Wake

My review for I, Phone by David Wake, 5/5 stars.

I loved this book. Written from a smart-phone’s point of view (last week’s model, no longer the cool phone to be seen with), it’s a frightening look into what our future could become.

Virtual reality has supplanted real life, where people are immersed in beautiful surroundings rather than see the harsh reality around them. Global warming has caused worldwide flooding, air pollution makes going outside perilous, and human interaction is almost completely via a phone’s screen.

Alice Wooster has been framed for murder, and it’s up to her phone, Jeeves, to clear her name – or at least stop the bad guys from killing her as well. It’s full of fantastic puns, witty observations, and great characters – Alice’s grandparents made me laugh out loud, with their ‘innit’s and ‘old-fashioned’ ways that the reader will recognise.

This is a very clever novel, with plenty of layers that will make you think. A brilliant read that I highly recommend!


I continue to love this series

Read this wonderful review for The Healer’s Curse, book 2 in the Healer series!

Mrs Brown's books

‘The Healer’s Curse’ – Helen Pryke


The Healer's Curse

The year is 1348 and the plague is set to sweep through England, leaving tragedy in its wake.

Unaware of what awaits her, Agnes is in love and betrothed to Ted. But her life is about to be torn apart and nothing will ever be the same again.

Jennifer’s life has changed for the better since she arrived in Italy. She’s put her past behind her and can finally look forward to a brighter future with boyfriend Francesco and her Italian relatives. If it wasn’t for the disturbing visions she keeps having of a pregnant young girl.

Who is she? And what is her connection to Jennifer?

Jennifer knows she must once again travel into the past to find the answers to her questions, but this time she’s afraid she may not come back…

Whilst I only rated the first book of the trilogy…

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Book review: The Lost Girls by Helen Pryke

A great review for The Lost Girls!

Katys Writing Coffee Shop

I very much enjoyed Helen Pryke’s Tuscany-based Innocenti series and admire the way she writes. The Lost Girls was obviously going to be a very different type of story but as a huge fan of psychological thrillers I was excited about reading it.

It’s accurately described as “a gripping mystery thriller” and also has a strong psychological thread.

Four years ago, two teenage girls went missing. Desperate to find their missing siblings, Michael and Chloe approach investigative journalist Maggie Turner for help. Maggie, whose nephew was murdered the same year that the girls disappeared, is determined to solve this mystery for her family and that of the girls but it turns into a race against time.

The Lost Girls certainly fulfilled its promise of being a much darker, grittier read than the author’s Tuscan series and I devoured it in one hit. As well as the present timeline, we’re shown…

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#NetGalley #BookReview for #AnatomyMadeSimpleforArtists by Jonathan Freemantle

My review for Anatomy Made Simple for Artists by Jonathan Freemantle, 4/5 stars.

Many thanks to Netgalley and Arcturus Publishing for providing me with an ARC of the book in exchange for an honest review.

This book is a great introduction to anatomy for beginners. It explains bone structure, muscles and how they work, and the shape of the body in a simple way that anyone can understand.

I feel it would be useful for anyone learning to draw people, as it gives some good advice on where to focus and how the posture affects your artwork.

The only thing I would have liked is to see more illustrations. There are some excellent drawings in the book, but I feel that some more would have balanced out the text and made some descriptions clearer.

All in all, a good book for beginners who are overwhelmed by the more advanced books on art.

Publication Day|Unicorns,Mermaids and Magical Tales|Julia E Clements & Sarah Northwood

A fantastic article all about our new children’s book and website!


I am excited to share with you this wonderful collaborative book for children aged 8-12 and adults alike. This is a jam-packed post showcasing the wordly talents of two brilliant Indie authors by sharing with you a few snippets, the wonderful website that has lots of lovely colouring pages, games and other magical things and my review. So please join me in celebrating their new book release. Enjoy!

First up the blurb and purchase link(s)


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…

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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://books2read.com/TheMadness
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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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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