The Witches of New York by Ami McKay #BookReview #Magic

a7Title: The Witches of New York
Author: Ami McKay
Series: N/A
Format: Digital ARC, 320 pages
Publication Details: October  2016 by Orion Books
Genre(s): Historical Fiction; Magic Realism; Supernatural
Disclosure? Yep! I received a free copy in exchange for an HONEST review. 

Goodreads 

bookdepo

The year is 1880. Two hundred years after the trials in Salem, Adelaide Thom (‘Moth’ from The Virgin Cure) has left her life in the sideshow to open a tea shop with another young woman who feels it’s finally safe enough to describe herself as a witch: a former medical student and “gardien de sorts” (keeper of spells), Eleanor St. Clair. Together they cater to Manhattan’s high society ladies, specializing in cures, palmistry and potions–and in guarding the secrets of their clients.

All is well until one bright September afternoon, when an enchanting young woman named Beatrice Dunn arrives at their door seeking employment. Beatrice soon becomes indispensable as Eleanor’s apprentice, but her new life with the witches is marred by strange occurrences. She sees things no one else can see. She hears voices no one else can hear. Objects appear out of thin air, as if gifts from the dead. Has she been touched by magic or is she simply losing her mind?

Eleanor wants to tread lightly and respect the magic manifest in the girl, but Adelaide sees a business opportunity. Working with Dr. Quinn Brody, a talented alienist, she submits Beatrice to a series of tests to see if she truly can talk to spirits. Amidst the witches’ tug-of-war over what’s best for her, Beatrice disappears, leaving them to wonder whether it was by choice or by force.

As Adelaide and Eleanor begin the desperate search for Beatrice, they’re confronted by accusations and spectres from their own pasts. In a time when women were corseted, confined and committed for merely speaking their minds, were any of them safe?

Review

Although not a sequel, this book follows a character from McKay’s acclaimed novel The Virgin Cure, which if I had known before (lack of research on my part) would perhaps have put me off requesting it. Fortunately it didn’t seem to matter. Unfortunately, my first foray into the world of Ami McKay didn’t quite beguile me like I thought it would. 

The Witches of New York follows young Beatrice who is seeking employment. When she sees an advert in the paper from a strange-sounding tea shop where ‘those averse to magic need not apply’, she feels like this will be the start of a new life for her, and it is.

Owned by Adelaide, a seer (and Moth from The Virgin Cure) and Eleanor, a witch, the tea shop is a front to a growing magic business. Beatrice soon becomes an invaluable apprentice but her visions begin to haunt her, and she’s weakened and easily exploited.

I liked some parts of this book, but I just don’t think I was in the mood for it. I can imagine enjoying a lazy Sunday reading this, but trying to read it during a busy schedule didn’t work. The pace was painfully slow and although the descriptions were beautiful and elegant, they were subtle and drawn-out. I found myself skim reading a lot.

This novel does have a great magic-realism atmosphere, and McKay is clearly a talented writer, but this book was too light for me. She reminded me a lot of Alice Hoffman, albeit with something missing.

However, I liked the way she presents these real-life witches – as strong, independent women in an era where women had no rights, were discriminated against, and most certainly should not have worked in a shop, never mind owned one. AND I liked that the heart of this book was about women’s relationships in that hard time where it was extremely brave of them to be proud of who they are.

Basically, I enjoyed what McKay was tying to do here, but I needed more to take hold of to keep me interested in the plodding plot.

unicorn rating 2

 

 

Book Promo: Drawn to Her #Romance

Welcome to another book promo on Lipsyy Lost & Found where I’m always thrilled to support indie authors & publishers. This time the promo is for the first book in a new series by romance writer Jenna Harte.

Drawn to Her ~ Jenna Harte

drawntoherPublication date:  April 12th 2016 by Penner Publishing
Genres: Romance

Feisty and outspoken, Lexie McKenna will do anything to protect her cantankerous and ailing patient—even if it means going up against his cold and calculating, but sexy and irresistible, grandson. After all, as a nurse, her number one priority is her patient.

Drake Carmichael doesn’t trust the nurse who’s taking care of his grandfather—despite how adorable and compassionate she seems. He refuses to let her get her grips into their hard-earned money.

But as the two square off and begin to battle about what is best for the dying man, Lexie and Drake realize they know very little about each other and that first impressions are deceiving. Once they finally give in to their desires, the battle has only just begin.

With a fight between family and fortune, love and lust, will either one be able to find the southern comfort they both truly crave?

Goodreads // Amazon

Meet the Author

jenna-2Jenna Harte is a die-hard romantic writing about characters who are passionate about and committed to each other, and frequently getting into trouble. She is the author of the Valentine Mysteries, the first of which,Deadly Valentine, reached the quarter-finals in Amazon’s Breakthrough Novel Award in 2013. She entered into a three-book deal for a romance series with Penner Publishing in 2015. Drawn to Her, book one in the series was published April 2016. Meant to Be is due September 2016 and Wed To You in January 2017.

She has a bundle of stories filled with romance, mystery, and even time travel rattling around in her head, and is eager for the day when a device is invented allowing her to download what’s in her brain onto her computer.

When she’s not telling stories, she works by day as a freelance writer, author, blogger and online entrepreneur. She lives in central Virginia with her husband, two college-bound children and a two fat cats.

Website // Facebook // Twitter

5 Things You Didn’t Know About Jenna…

1) Writing always terrified me, so I’m baffled to how I got here.

2) My favorite fiction involves mystery and romance, but I prefer a mystery with romance as opposed to a romance with mystery, if that makes any sense. In either case, there should be at least one hot love scene!

3) My favorite authors are J.D. Robb, Janet Evanovich, Sandra Brown and Carl Hiaasen. I also love Jane Austen, but tend to stay away from literature unless I know it will end well.

4) Like my character Tess, I love good chocolate and old R&B tunes. I’m still working on getting Carine Gilson lingerie to see if I’d love them as much as Tess does. A set can cost several hundred dollars, so I have to wait until more books sell.

5) I long for the day when Apple or Microsoft invents a doodad that I can plug into my head, preferably when I’m sleeping, that will download my stories to my computer. My stories come to me when I sleep (and when I drive), but I can’t remember the details when I sit down to write.

 

If you’d like me to promote your book, please get in touch via the email on my contacts page 🙂 Thanks to Jenna and Penner Publishing for getting in touch!

Top Ten Tuesday: Fish out of Water #TTT

icon4-ttt

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish (click the link to visit them) who pick a different topic each week.

This week the topic is…Ten Books I Enjoyed Recently That Weren’t My Typical Genre

We all know that my favourite genre is YA but I do think it’s completely necessary to read other genres too, especially adult fiction. As far as AF goes, my comfort zones are crime fiction, thrillers and horror. After that, things get a bit sporadic and I flail around like that titular fish up there.

I like reading out of my comfort zone, although I don’t do it nearly enough. Probably because my success rate hasn’t been so great. Here are ten ‘uncomfortable’ books I’ve read in the last year or so and how successful they were in making me more prone to read that genre.

  1. Bookishly Ever After ~ Isabel Bandeira (YA Contemporary)

    bookishlyThis book only confirmed why I fell out of love with contemporary YA. It was so whiny and will they/won’t they it made me want to do a little sick in my mouth

    Success Rate 0%

  2. Sixteen Sixty One ~ Natalie Lucas (Memoir)

    sixteen61
    I did enjoy this, in that I found it interesting. I was impressed by how it read a lot like fiction. That didn’t really help me believe it though… 

    Success Rate 60%

  3. The Frenchman ~ Lesley Young

  4.  Fearless ~ Devon Hartford

    (New Adult)

    frenchmanfearlessI was pretty surprised how much I enjoyed both of these steamy novels. We all need a bit of sexy trash in our reading now and again, right? And to be fair, they were a lot less trashy than I thought they would be.

    Success Rate 66%

  5. The Barefoot Queen ~  Ildefonso Falcones

  6. Rush of Shadows ~ Catherine Bell

  7. Burial Rites ~ Hannah Kent

    (Historical Fiction/Literary Fiction)

    barefootarc3burialIf these novels were anytting to go by (lesser so with The Barefoot Queen) then I should definitely read more historical fiction. It’s a genre that I always think I have to be in the right mood for, but I find that they are often more rewarding than other genres. 
    Success Rate 85% 

  8. You’re the One that I Want ~ Giovanna Fletcher

  9. After Wimbledon ~ Jennifer Gilby Roberts

  10. The Magic of Christmas ~ Trisha Ashley

    (Women’s Fiction)

    yourewimbwinter7I enjoyed all three of these books which I would class as ‘chick lit’ although I’m aware a lot of people don’t like that term. It’s another genre that I can’t read too much of as I feel like they can become quite samey. But I definitely enjoy the genre more than I let myself believe. Success Rate 80%

 

 

Book Promo: The Curvy Girls Baby Club by Michele Gorman

Welcome to another book promo on Lipsyy Lost & Found, where I’m always thrilled to support independent authors and publishers.

The Curvy Girls Baby Club is a brand-new feel-good novella from the Sunday Times and USA Today bestselling author Michele Gorman. And of course, it’s another chance to spend time with the women of The Curvy Girls Club.

The Curvy Girls Baby Club

The Curvy Girls Baby Club

Author: Michele Gorman
Editions: Kindle/e-book, 130 pages
Publication Details: August 20th 2015 by Notting Hill Press
Genre(s): Women’s Fiction

Goodreads // Amazon UK // Amazon US // B&N

Life, love and a Christmas due date…

Ellie is fresh back from her honeymoon and can’t wait to share her news with her best friends Katie and Jane. To everyone’s surprise, mother-of-two Jane has news of her own… The women are due a day apart and Katie can’t wait to be an honorary auntie to the babies.

But it’s hard to keep your sense of humour, not to mention your self-esteem, in the face of hemorrhoids and elasticated waistbands. Add a clingy mother-in-law, a career in cardiac arrest and a sex life that makes Mother Theresa look lusty, and soon their lives are as out of control as their bodies.

As the co-founders of The Curvy Girls Club, where loving yourself is the only rule, will the friends be able to practice what they preach?

Meet the Author

gorman

I write romantic comedy, including SINGLE IN THE CITY (the first in The Expat Diaries series) and BELLA SUMMER TAKES A CHANCE. Born and raised in the US, I lost my heart to London 16 years ago, where I’ve lived ever since. I’ve also turned my hand to upmarket commercial fiction under the pen name Jamie Scott.

Testimonials

Author Michele Gorman weaves a delightful sequel novella to The Curvy Girls Club that is filled with a feel good lighthearted storyline that follows the three best friends as they embark on a journey towards motherhood together”.

– Kathleen, Goodreads

It was great to catch up with the curvy girls club! – Elizabeth Ray, Goodreads

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If you are an author, publisher or agent and would like to be featured on Lipsyy Lost & Found, drop me message on lipsyylostnfound[at]gmail[dot]com

Book Promo: Perfect Girl by Michele Gorman

Today’s book promo comes from best-selling author Michele Gorman whose previous books include Single in the City and The Curvy Girls Club. With her forthcoming book, Perfect Girl, she had me at ‘Cinderella meets Falling Down’…

perfect
 
Title: Perfect Girl
Author: Michele Gorman
Series: N/A
Genre(s): Romantic Comedy
Format(s): Paperback; e-book
Expected Publication: October 14th 2014 by Notting Hill Press
 
Links:
Goodreads
Notting Hill Press

Purchase:
Amazon (US)
Amazon (UK)

Synopsis

Cinderella meets Falling Down in this wickedly funny tale about having it all.

Carol is perfect… at least that’s what everyone thinks. In reality she’s sinking fast – her family treats her like their personal assistant and her boyfriend is so busy with work that he’s got her single-handedly running their relationship. Not that her job is any easier. As the only woman on the bank’s trading floor she spends twelve-hour days trying not to get sworn at or felt up by colleagues who put the “W” in banker.

How long can she go on pleasing everyone else before she snaps and loses it all?

With humor and empathy, Perfect Girl lays bare the balancing act that working women face in a man’s world.

Book Trailer


 
Perfect Girl is available to pre-order from Amazon, at just £2.49/$4.13 for the Kindle edition.

Out Now: Binds That Tie by Kate Moretti

binds
Title: Binds That Tie
Author: Kate Moretti
Series: N/A
Genre(s): Crime; Thriller
Format(s): Paperback; Kindle
Pages: 340
Published: March 2014 by Red Adept Publishing

Links:
Goodreads
Read an Excerpt
Purchase:
Amazon

Synopsis

Love ties. Murder binds.

Maggie never felt as though she belonged until Chris Stevens showed her what true happiness meant. Ten years into their marriage, miscarriages and infidelities have scarred them both. Despite their perfect-couple image, Maggie can’t look at Chris with anything but resentment. When a charismatic stranger offers the opportunity for a little harmless flirtation, she jumps into the game.

But charm soon turns to malice, and a deadly split-second decision forces Maggie and Chris onto a dangerous path fraught with secrets, lies, and guilt. With no one else to turn to—no one she dares trust—Maggie will ultimately learn just how binding marital ties can be.

Meet the Author

katieKate Moretti is the New York Times Bestselling author of the women’s fiction novel, Thought I Knew You. Her second novel Binds That Tie was released in March 2014. She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, two kids, and a dog. She’s worked in the pharmaceutical industry for ten years as a scientist, and has been an avid fiction reader her entire life.

She enjoys traveling and cooking, although with two kids, a day job, and writing, she doesn’t get to do those things as much as she’d like.

Her lifelong dream is to buy an old house with a secret passageway. (ME TOO!)

Website
Facebook
Twitter

Say Whaaaaaat?

“It was almost impossible to put this book down. The suspense was intense. The storyline powerful.” – Meghan, Goodreads

Binds That Tie is a page-turning, plot-twisting, gripping crime novel that will suck you in from the very first word and make your jaw drop at the end.”

-Sarah DiCello, Amazon

“I was hooked from the beginning….. Binds That Tie is a real page turner, full of sympathetic and flawed characters struggling to make their relationships work, but who end up being their own worst enemies.” -W.S Haggard, Goodreads

After Wimbledon by Jennifer Gilby Roberts

wimbAfter 12 years on the pro. tennis tour and four years with her sort-of boyfriend, Lucy Bennett has had enough. She wants real life… and real love.

Her life, her decision. Right? Well, no one else seems to think so. With opinions on all sides, Lucy’s head is spinning. And she’s stumbling right into the arms of long-term crush and fellow player Sam. Shame her boyfriend – his arch-rival – would sooner smash a racquet over their heads than agree to a simple change of partners.

As the Wimbledon Championships play out, Lucy fights for her life on and off the courts. The question is: what will she be left with after Wimbledon?

This book has been at the top of my review request book list for a few months now but I kept having to push it back because of ARC deadline books, and the fact that I couldn’t wait to read some sequels (Frostbite, Scarlet, Insurgent), but in a way I’m glad it took me this long to read it.

Not because it was bad (at all!), but because After Wimbledon is what I’d refer to as a seasonal book. It was such a perfect read for a sunny May bank holiday, I raced through it in two sittings! And also because I’m a British tennis fan, Wimbledon is one of the highlights of my year, and there’s nothing like the first warm days of the year to get me in the mood for that…so waiting a bit longer to start this book really paid off. I am well and truly excited for the summer now!

I think Lucy Bennett is a protagonist that most female twenty-somethings can relate to. She’s approaching thirty and having a bit of a premature mid-life crisis. Tennis is her life, but she’s had enough. Even Wimbledon, the greatest championship of all (even if I do say so myself) has lost its magic.

And it’s not just her career, she’s in a relationship that seems to be going nowhere, and the more she thinks about it, the more she realises how wrong they are for each other.

Enter Sam, who is everything Joe, the current (rubbish) boyfriend isn’t. Not only is he swoon-worthy, and Lucy’s long-term crush, but he too is planning to retire from pro tennis, and coach at Lucy’s parents Tennis club.

I couldn’t help but compare this book to the film Wimbledon, which isn’t a bad thing as it’s one of my guilty pleasure films! I loved the growing relationship between Lucy and Sam, and the drama that them spending more time together created, given that he is her boyfriend’s main rival on the tennis tour. And from my albeit limited knowledge, I thought it portrayed quite a realistic view of life as a professional tennis player. I was especially impressed with Roberts’ simple but effective description of Lucy’s matches and of Wimbledon itself.

That being said, there is also a lot to like about this book if you’re not so keen on tennis. The romance was sweet but not too cliched, and I liked that there were enough complications to keep the story interesting. The cast of characters surrounding Lucy are diverse, and all added something to the story – I especially liked Libby the journalist. And, I couldn’t fault the writing, it’s such an enjoyable read!

I’m totally excited for Wimbledon to start now. Roll on June!

unicorn rating 4

Disclosure?: Yep, I received a copy from the publisher/author in exchange for an HONEST review
Title: After Wimbledon
Author: Jennifer Gilby Roberts
Details: Kindle; Paperback; 264 pages
Published: December 4th 2013 by Createspace (first published November 29th 2013)
My Rating: 4/5

If you like the sound of this, you can also read Jennifer’s inspiration behind the novel on a guest post she did for my blog earlier in the year HERE.