Phoebe is moving with her stepfather,mother and little sister from california to england to live at her stepfathers ancestral home. Its all because3,5
Phoebe is moving with her stepfather,mother and little sister from california to england to live at her stepfathers ancestral home. Its all because Phoebe did something horrible...
But what? She cant remember exactly.
Then there is her little sister who she loves deeply but she cant help but be resentful of how all her stepfather and mothers attention has shifted to revolve completely aroundTabby.
Phoebe is being ignored and feel hurt even if she tries to be mature about it.
And now they are in this rundown house to make a fresh start but Phoebe feels something is waiting for them.
A presence. She gets some clarity from Miles ,a boy she meet while swimming that the locals believe the mansion was inhabited by Madame Arnaud a 18th century noblewoman who feeds on the blood of infants. And she still lives in the house centuries later. After an unsettling encounter in the unused part of the house she cant help but start to believe in the stories. But that doesnt explain other things that are happening to her. What is happening? Is she going crazy? Even if she is...she wont allow her little sister to be harmed by the dark force in the house.
Is it one thing I love its a good gothic. Sinister old houses and the heroines who step over their tresholds thats what I am into. So I was very happy when I was approved to view the ARC of "Haunted" by Lynn Carthage
I liked Phoebes character she had her strong and weak sides with enough sass to make her interesting without being annoying. Not being a sporty person myself I did wonder if I would be able to relate to the fact that she was on the swim team. But it was mellowed out with the fact that she was also aspiring writer.
I fully approved of her dream of becoming a literary mermaid lol
I started to suspect what was going on with Phoebe about p 88 .But I was not sure. Maybe it WAS all in her mind?
This book had some beautiful phrasing and writing but stopping just before it became too flowery.It makes sense that Phoebe would describe things in that way because she was a writer.
One thing that I did have a problem with was that I felt Phoebe trusted Miles too easily after only meeting him once she tells him everything that has happened .Mind you it was only the second time they met.
Truth be told ,and I say this like someone who appreciates a bit of romance in my read I think the book wouldnt have suffered much if his character were to have been cut out of the story completely
He was not a bad guy but he didnt have a very exciting personality.
I just couldnt get over thinking about him as the token hot love interest and and a way for the author to enable that Phobe have someone to confide in and give her a nudge in the right direction when she hesitated. Some of the chapters just ended abruptly . I dont know if this was editing gone wrong or a way for the author to transfer the feeling of disorientation Phoebe was feeling to the author. If that was the case... it worked. I felt as confused as our heroine. I also noticed a slight spelling mistake (leathern instead of leathery) The small snippets of newspaper notices at the start of every chapter helped build the atmosphere of the book and added some backstory to the Arnauds and their house.
I have to admit there were some anacronishms like a servant from the Victorian era knowing who Elizabeth Bathory was but I decided I could overlook that.
The ending was very emotional. I felt my eyes get moist...must have gotten something in them.
The villain was the epitome evil and while I would have liked to have known something about her origins -at the same I think it made her more mysterious and unpredictable not to know. I knew enough about her to Think that She did deserve what she got in the end.
But this book actually has two antagonists.The second is less obvious and maybe even more malevolent but I hope and expect it will be explored more in the sequel. To conclude this is a solid addition to the gothic genre and a good starting point for the reader be who is curious about it. ...more
A death has come for miss Tabitha Wilkinson. Not THE death, but one of his emissaries a small with a mask covering its tiny face. The death is supriseA death has come for miss Tabitha Wilkinson. Not THE death, but one of his emissaries a small with a mask covering its tiny face. The death is suprised that the girl is not more alarmed or even scared of her as people usually are when she informs them of their imminent demise.
Tabitha shrugs it off stating that she cant change her fate so why worry? And continues to asks the death a lot of questions about its profession and the afterlife.The death answers them all and then starts to leave when the girl asks her final question-
How did you die? What is your story?” Tabitha asked once again.
“I… I…” This seemed to cause the figure some distress of her own. She thought and thought but could not for the life of her, or death of her rather, conjure an answer. “I do not have a story. I cannot remember,” she finally said, and Tabitha grew sad once more. “I really must be going, Miss Wilkinson.”
“Before your next visit, guide…” Tabitha started before the figure had a chance to move “… I want you to find out how you died and how you came to be in this position, and I also want you to find out your real name. And then I want you to tell me your findings when you return. Can you do that for me, guide?” The little death for some reason she doesnt understand agrees to try but no matter how she tries cant recall her name or even what caused her to die so she goes to ask someone who will know. Death himself.
I picked up this free from Kindle on the offchance that it would turn out ok but I really didnt expect much from it and found myself pleasantly suprised that it was a little gem.
If you only judged "The death of Death" on its title you would assume that it was a grotesque and morbid story but instead it turned out to be a beautiful little story that has its fair share of gentle humor to lighten up things. Its more than a little bit sad and tragic but the ending was just perfect. I had an inkling about who the little death was but still it didnt diminish the story.
Go ahead and pick it this for free its such a little story after. ...more
Princess Marinda of Balinore is used to being ignored by her father the king who prefers her blonde and more magically talented sister Imogen. RindasPrincess Marinda of Balinore is used to being ignored by her father the king who prefers her blonde and more magically talented sister Imogen. Rindas birthright magic is that she can add luck to inanimate objects by smearing some of her blood on them.
But neither Rinda nor the rest of Balinore considers it something to be proud of.Not when it is such an insignificant magic compared to her sister who can call forth water from the ground with her Birthright.
One day their father declares that its time that they both found husbands. Imogen is happy but Rinda is furious knowing its just a way to remove her from the castle and her father presence.
Rinda comes up with a plan. She will scare away the prospective suitors by insulting them so badly that they wont want to marry such a rude princess even if she is a connection to the throne of Balinore.
When the day of the ball arrives she sets her plan into motion and the suitors soon give up their courtship but things go wrong when the entourage of the King of Lioncourt arrives and Rinda noticing how unshaven and dirty from the road they are calls out..
"King of Lioncourt…more like King of Scarecrows!" I laughed and laughed and laughed at the ridiculousness of it.
Her father is furious by her behavior and declares that he will marry her to the first man who enters the castle. Rinda not taking his threat very seriously learns how wrong she is when she finds herself married off to a poor wandering minstrel named Aleksandr.
This does not suit her at all!
Her new husband brings her from the castle and tells her that according to the customs of his country he will give her a symbolic gift a flower for the 30 days.If after those days she still refuses to accept it then they will be divorced.
This suits Rinda very well as she figures if she can just find her way to the kingdom of Lioncourt she can convince the king to marry her.Then she will have the life she deserves at last.
Luckily Alek is from Lioncourt so she can just as well accompany him.Its not like she will accept his stupid flower.
This is a retelling of the King Thrushbeard fairytale so if you know that story it will be very obvious who Alek really is.
But the author fleshes out the story and strays from the original tale in that instead of Alek being mean to her and stashing her away in a shack to humble her- they go adventuring together instead.
Along the way Rinda learns some valuable lessons and grows as a person and finds her happy ending.
As for the romance...well from what I can judge compared to the authors other books this is pretty chaste. Sure there is kissing but the more intimate scenes are not described in great detail.
I found Alek a guy who could be firm with Rinda but who didnt push her around (even when she deserved it) He does call her out on some of her prissy princess ways but over all he was a great guy. (even if he wasnt a great minstrel lol)
Some people mention in their reviews that Rinda falls in love with Alek a little bit too fast.
While part of me can agree another part of me thinks that no they had been in each others company for some time and had to save each other from some dangerous situations. How could they not fall in love after all that.
We accept it in the fairytales when the basis on the couples relationship is being kissed by a stranger while you are uncocscious.
If there is one thing... I wish Rinda had a confrontation with her father towards the end.But he just seems to disappear from the story.
This is a wonderful retelling of one of the more obscure fairytales out there that has a flawed but most of the time likable heroine,a sweet brave hero and enough humor,drama and romance to satisfy anyone who wants to disappear to faraway kingdoms for a spell.
At some point I added this to my TBR list and forgot about it for a while until it popped up again and I really liked the cover- maybe it was the cover of a strange figure in a tophat carrying a bag and looking at girl through his spyglass. But now I have read it and it didnt let me down.
We find our protagonist in front of the gates of an orphanage following an incident with a pig at her last orphanage (no one was hurt...well at least not badly) so 15 year old Abigail Cobble was sent away to St Winifreds (or St Whiny Freds as the orphans who lives there calls it)
But Abigail has a reason to be where she is,and that is to find her sister who lives in the nearby village. If only she can escape the strict nuns,especially the malicious Sister Bruga who delights in punishing the orphans every chance she gets. The other nuns have nothing on her and content themselves with crushing the childrens spirits in boring and meaningless lessons.
At St Winifreds Abigail also meets shy Xanthe,Boyle the boy with the twisted leg,the cleptomaniac Tulip and her best friend Polly who likes to set fires.
Then there is the resident Bagman who lives in the shadows and is only mentioned in whispers, the belief in him is kept reinforced by the nuns as a means to control the
“The thing is,” Horatio said. “Whenever the Bagman is seen, things start going wrong.” “Like what?”
“Usually,” Polly said. “Someone disappears.”
Nobody was eating now. Horatio cleared his throat. “You see Abigail, it’s best not to stir up this kind of thing. It’s not good. It’s not good for anyone.”
But there is one thing they all know stay out of his way and -you never ever make a deal with a Bagman.
The Bagman is drawn to Abigail sensing his opportunity to make her his next contestant for his little game and orchestrates it so that Abigail is forced to accept the wager wether she likes it or not.
She will get 7 wishes to be used in 7 Days ,the first 6 has to be used on other people but the last one is hers alone. That is if she wins...if she loses she will be just another victim of the Bagman ((and another grisly addition to his home))
"But what do you get from this? You don’t get something for nothing ." Abigail said slowly.
"I told you it’s a game. If I win, I get your eternal misery."
"And if I win?" Abigail asked.
"You get happiness. It is a fair bargain, is it not?"
"Are there rules?" "Of course." The Bagman steepled his fingers and looked over them at her.
Or Abigail assumed he did, all she could see of his face was his long nose.
"None of your wishes must request that you win the game, or that I lose - that would be cheating."
Abigails past is a bit of a mystery that slowly unravels. She starts out as a confident loner of a girl who Thinks at first only of her own ambitions to find her sister but learns that her actions and wishes affect other people strongly. Sometimes in harmful ways. The point is that she grows and learns throughout the book wich is something I appreciate in a character. And yay for non obnoxious strong girl characters
This book has no romance but I didnt mind it so much its just felt felt right that it didnt have a token love interest and freeing up Abigail to be the strong heroine of her own story.
The period is not hammered down but more a light touch to the story You immediately understand that its not set in our modern age. Its mentioned at just one point that its set in 1943 and the war actually does figure in the story albeit briefly but in a way
The author apperantly got the inspiration from the expression "bagman" a traveling salesman and spun her story from there on
And the we have the Bagman who is an interesting creation . I dont want to reveal too much about him because it would spoil the story. But I can say I found him a scary and daunting foil for our heroine but also a complicated being. I admire the author for making me invested in his villainy problems while at the same hating his guts.
The ending of the book is adequate but its also left me hungry for the next book in the series to find out more about what it really means to be a Cobble and what the Bagmen will do next.
Oh and if I forgot to mention ....this book is free on Kindle. *devilish smile*