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review 2017-05-17 13:05
The Winter Witch - Paula Brackston

This story of a mute (by choice) woman, Morgana, who has powers she doesn't understand, who marries a widowed drover, Cai Jenkins, and finds space for herself in the relationship, but very little space in the village he lives in. There are forces at work here and it will take all her power to keep alive and to keep Cai alive.


I enjoyed the read, the characters were interesting but the villains were a little thin.

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text 2017-02-04 15:13
January Roundup
The Keeper's Price - Marion Zimmer Bradley,Jacqueline Lichtenberg,Jean Lorrah,Diana L. Paxson,Kathleen Williams,Elisabeth Waters,Linda Frankel,Susan M. Schwartz,Linda MacKendrick,Patricia Shaw Mathews,Cynthia McQuillin,Penny Ziegler,Paula Crunk,Eileen Ledbetter
Affaire Royale - Nora Roberts
Bay of Sighs (Guardians Trilogy) - Nora Roberts
Silver Phoenix - Cindy Pon
One Week in the Library - W Maxwell Prince,John Amor
Murder in Montparnasse - Kerry Greenwood
Mistletoe and Murder - Carola Dunn
The Witch's Daughter - Paula Brackston
The Witches of New York - Ami McKay
An Expert in Murder - Nicola Upson

So January's books... 33 in all



The Keeper's Price by Marion Zimmer Bradley et al. Reminded me of a lot of what I enjoyed about Darkover, I kinda want to revisit...


Nora Roberts featured a few times, Affaire Royale, Command Performance and Playboy Prince were actually a 3-in-one copy; Bay of Sighs is a newer book and I found it interesting. 


Small Gods the Graphic Novel made me want to revisit the book.


Silver Phoenix by Cindy Pon was a good read, interesting to read a story set in China.


The Discerning Gentleman's Guide by Virginia Heath was a good historical romance, though the title did make me snigger a little.



One Week in the library was somewhat underwhelming, I wanted more.


Murder in Montparnasse by Kerry Greenwood was not the best Phryne Fisher story but not bad either, you learn more about Phryne's past.


Mistletoe and Murder by Carola Dunn, the framing story was a bit strained but an interesting murder mystery.


Paula Brackston's The Witch's Daughter is an interesting twist on the long-lived supernatural, for a change set in England.


Awakening the Shy Miss by Bronwyn Scott was an okay historical romance.


House of Shadows by Jen Christie was a time-travelling paranormal romance.


Captivating the Witch by Michele Hauf was a paranormal romance between a demon and a witch.


Witches of New York by Ami McKay took a long time for me to get into and then left me a little underwhelmed.


The Lie by C.L. Taylor was a story of learning about real friendship, and how things can go terribly wrong.


An Expert in Murder by Nicola Upson was an interesting murder mystery featuring Josephine Tey and her friends.


Scarlet Widow by Graham Masterton featured some problematic sex.


The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents: Terry Pratchett does the Pied Piper.


Bound by Duty by Diane Gaston was a good historical romance.


A-Force Presents volume 1 - the first new introductions to female superheroes. Very mixed but interesting.


Lucifer - Mike Carey Volume 1 - I prefer the TV series


Lady Emma's Revenge - Fenella J Miller - a murder mystery wrapped in a historical romance.


A Match for Marcus Cynster - Stephanie Laurens A man discovers that he doesn't need to belittle a woman to be strong, enjoyed this one a lot.


Lascar's Dagger by Glenda Larke - interesting world with a cleric discovering a dagger has a mind of it's own.


Girl Waits with Gun by Amy Stewart - based on fact it's an interesting read.



Sink Reflections by Marla "Flylady" Cilley I found underwhelming.


Not my shame by T.O. Walker almost broke my heart, a woman facing up to her abuse.


The Awakening by Colm O'Connor was a very reflective piece and I found it made me think a lot about living.


Other-Wordly by Yee-Lum Mak was charming, illustrated unusual words from around the world.


Healing Fatty Liver Disease - exactly what it says.

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review 2017-01-13 00:00
The Witch's Daughter
The Witch's Daughter - Paula Brackston Enjoyed this story of a long-lived witch and the man who made her that way who wants his payment.
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review 2016-10-14 11:32
A Smart Time Travel and Paranormal Tale
Return of the Witch - Paula Brackston

‘I could feel the core of my being start to stir; the part of my soul where my magic lives. There is a bliss to connecting with that place. Good magic is pure, and strong, and wonderful, and to know that it is a part of me is the most amazing thing.’

The Return of the Witch was a paranormal-slash-time-travel tale of good vs evil that completely swept me away with author Paula Brackston’s smart writing and the characters’ palpable emotions.


Now this story was quite the adventure. Beginning in modern day and then time traveling back to the 17th and 19th centuries, we followed Elizabeth and Tegan as they took separate journeys in their pursuit to stop evil warlock Gideon. Their dual POVs worked quite well, I thought, in highlighting not only the differences between Tegan and Elizabeth’s powers, but also how differently people were treated and/or viewed in the three centuries we explored. Of course, it didn’t matter which century they were in when people began throwing the word ‘witch’ around. Bad things tended to happen afterwards, unfortunately.


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review 2016-09-23 19:05
The Witch's Daughter by Paula Brackston
The Witch's Daughter - Marisa Calin,Paula Brackston

I saw this book on Overdrive and chose it for my Halloween Bingo “Witches” square for no other reason than the title and I guess the blurb sounded vaguely interesting to me, even though the reviews weren’t great. Turns out it was a decent read if you can get past the slow as hell start, but I don’t know if it would’ve worked for me if I hadn’t listened to it as an unabridged audio. Patience is a virtue that I don’t possess and I have too many books in the tbr pile to read before I croak.

But no one cares about all that.

After a slightly confusing and slow start with a distant narrator, Elizabeth Anne Hawksmith finally introduces herself and informs us that her current age is three hundred and eighty-four years. She’s apparently immortal and hiding herself away because something evil is after her. How did this happen? Well, hang in there because we’re about to find out eventually.

The book is told in journal form and skips around in time. I believe the current timeline was 2007 but my memory is crap so I’m not certain. It doesn’t really matter anyway. In the current day, she is making herbal remedies and incense and living a quiet life when a lonely teen named Tegan befriends her. Despite the fact that she never gets close to anyone for reasons, she starts to teach Tegan the ways of the hedge witch and begins sharing her life story with her. These stories, journal entries and whatnot flash us back to important parts of Elizabeth’s life.

The first flashback was my favorite. It takes place during the plague. I don’t know about you, but those dark, terrible times fascinate me. She suffers great loss and grief and I may have even almost shed a tear. It was here that she finally comes alive as a character and events happen that shape the rest of long life. The present day version of Elizabeth is muted and meh but the past version is easily relatable and I felt her pain. So, without spoiling everything, I’ll just say that she must learn her magic from an evil-doer named Gideon if she is to survive in the world. Gideon is a master of the dark arts and uses them to his advantage. He’s a rapist and a mind-wiper and an all around selfish son-of-the-devil. She’s not at all happy about things but one must survive, right? One night she spies him in the woods dancing with demons, as one will, and screwing a few for fun, and she is scandalized and horrified by the sight. I actually wanted more of the scene but much to my dismay, she runs. He wants her back because she has power. She changes her name to Bess and then later to Eliza but always keeps the Hawksmith. It might’ve been smarter to go with anything else but I’m not hiding from Satan’s minion, so what do I know? Gideon always ferrets her out and she is forced to flee yet again. This game goes on for years and years and yet more years and is still going on in the current timeline.

I thought Gideon was an interesting character. He changes shape and does repulsive things and he has no remorse. None at all. I kind of enjoyed this, probably because I read so much horror fiction, but I can also understand why most people find him disturbing. He is. My biggest fear as I went along in this book was that an awful romance was brewing between these two and it would be revealed that he had reasons for his atrocities and all would be forgiven. This didn’t happen and I couldn’t be happier. He’s just a beastly beast, there is no romance and that worked for me. This book is far more tragedy than romance.

I’d give this book a 3 ½ but it's not good enough to bump up to a 4. The ending, in the present timeline, didn’t thrill me. I found the past bits much more interesting. The narration was above decent and kept me in the story, even during the slow bits.

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