My Reviews Of Other Books

Review: Miss Abigail’s Room

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Title: Miss Abigail’s Room

Author: Catherine Cavendish

Published by: Etopia Press

 

Blurb

It wasn’t so much the blood on the floor that Becky minded. It was the way it kept coming back…

As the lowest ranking parlor maid at Stonefleet Hall, Becky gets all the dirtiest jobs. But the one she hates the most is cleaning Miss Abigail’s room. There’s a strange, empty smell to the place, and a feeling that nothing right or Christian resides there in the mistress’s absence. And then there’s the blood, the spot that comes back no matter often Becky scrubs it clean. Becky wishes she had somewhere else to go, but without means or a good recommendation from her household, there is nothing for her outside the only home she’s known for eighteen years. So when a sickening doll made of wax and feathers turns up, Becky’s dreams of freedom and green grass become even more distant. Until the staff members start to die.

A darning needle though the heart of the gruesome doll puts everyone at Stonefleet Hall at odds. The head parlor maid seems like someone else, the butler pretends nothing’s amiss, and everyone thinks Becky’s losing her mind. But when the shambling old lord of the manor looks at her, why does he scream as though he’s seen the hounds of hell?

 

Review

Following that book description, to say any more about the plot would certainly spoil it. This is a perfectly crafted English ghost story in the Gothic tradition. What struck me was the incredibly believable sense of place created by Cavendish. I was there in that old house, could see the servants at their table, the maids scrubbing and polishing. With the recent success of Downton Abbey, I reckon Cavendish is on to something, especially among women readers who want a change from romance. Nice to see the use of a doll to invoke fear, too. Stars out of 5? It has to be worth 4 for the attention to detail and the writing.

 

 

Interviews With Other Authors

Susan Roebuck is EPIC

 

 

Susan Roebuck has written two very different books and both have been finalists in the EPIC eBook Awards.

Sue’s first published novel, Perfect Score (non-explicit m/m suspense), is published by Awe-Struck Publishing was a finalist in the 2012 EPIC eBook Awards in the Mainstream category and also received an Honorable Mention in the General Fiction category of the 2011 Rainbow Awards.

 

 

Her second book, a novella, Hewhay Hall (dark thriller/horror), was published in April 2012 by Etopia Press and she’s just heard that it’s a finalist in the 2013 EPIC eBook Awards in the Horror category.

 

Steve: Welcome back, Sue, and congratulations again.

 

Sue: Thank you, and thank you for inviting me today, Steve!

 

Steve: Do you have a favourite character you have written? Who and why?

 

Sue: It has to be Sam from “Perfect Score”. This is what one of my reviewers, Lena Grey, said (she sums him up better than I can): Life knocked him down so much that anyone of lesser moral quality would have given up, but not Sam. Every time he’s knocked down he rises like the Phoenix from the ashes. Sam’s an amazing combination of strength, intelligence, gentleness and forthrightness; in the face of injustice, whether for a person or an animal, Sam’s there on his white horse ready to do battle.

 

Steve: Who was the toughest character for you to “get right”?

 

Sue: It has to be the demon Slater in “Hewhay Hall”. He’s a creature who’s seen differently depending on who’s looking at him. He personalizes himself to whatever your fantasy is. But he does have a proper physical appearance that is too horrible to write here J

 

Steve: Name one thing that your readers would be surprised to know about you.

 

Sue: I’m British and I live in Portugal. My husband’s Portuguese so I have dual nationality. And I’m totally addicted to doing Sudoku and Codeword puzzles.

 

Steve: What is the most recent novel you have read that you would recommend?

 

Sue: “The Man Who Rained” by Ali Shaw. It’s set in a backwater (probably in the UK) in a place called Thunderstown where the weather comes to life. The plot’s an amazing concept of imagination.

 

 

Steve: What have you in the wings for your readers to look forward to?

 

Sue: Perfect Score was set in the US; Hewhay Hall in the UK. My new work is set in Portugal and is about injustice and corruption – a regular theme in my novels. In this suspense story, you’ll be flung into two fishermen’s lives and there’s a female bullfighter who struts arrogantly about the pages until you want to slap her!

 

Steve: We expats and ex-expats have so much to draw on, don’t we! Now, where can readers find you?

 

Sue: Here you go –

Website/Blog: www.susanroebuck.com

 

Facebook: www.facebook.com/SuRoebuck

 

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/suemonte

 

Here is an EXCERPT from Hewhay Hall:

 

The Cross-Keys Pub was not the comfy and warm snug that romantic tourists dream about. No fire crackled in a welcoming hearth; no frequent customers kept their own personalized tankards above the bar. No carpet adorned the grease-impregnated, creaking floorboards, and the publican was no ever-attentive, apple-cheeked individual polishing glasses. He was as indifferent to his customers as he was to the cobwebs dangling from the liquor bottles on the shelves behind him. Sunken eyes in a cadaverous face darted everywhere but at Jude, who perched on one of the hard wooden bar stools.

“You mean the phone’s out of order too?” Jude asked, frustration at the lack of signal on his cell phone and now this new information making his voice high with disbelief.

For a long moment, the publican didn’t budge from resting his elbows on the bar, and his expression didn’t change until a light sparked in his otherwise dull eyes. He glanced at the public phone in the corner and shrugged his shoulders to show it was dead too.

 

Buy links for Hewhay Hall:

Amazon
Barnes and Noble
Kobo
OmniLit

 

 

Buy link for Perfect Score: Amazon

Interviews With Other Authors

Dreams and Nightmares – Julia Kavan

Julia Kavan

 

As a kid I read horror story upon horror story and had a shelf full of horror anthologies in my room. I hoped that one day I might have my own story included in a collection – one of those childhood dreams that I put aside for a while.  It’s taken some time I know, but I got there in the end.

Today sees the official release of the horror anthology Touched by Darkness, published by Etopia Press, including my short, erotic horror story, Dreaming, Not Sleeping. I have my copy on my Kindle already and can’t wait to dive in and start reading the rest of the stories.

 

Purchase From Amazon

It was a thrill to see my name on the cover on my Kindle, and I can’t wait to hold the paperback in my hands when it is released in October!

My thanks to Steve, for having me here today and for the “For God’s sake, get on with it” words of encouragement.

Find me:

www.juliakavan.com

www.twitter.com/Seneca24

Giveaways, My Books

What’s a Twitter Party?

To be honest I have no idea – but you might want to find out!

Etopia Press is holding one tonight, Friday, August 17, 2012 at 8:00-9:00 PM Eastern Time*, to celebrate their latest releases. On top of meeting some fantastic authors, they’ll have scavenger hunts (?), prizes, and free ebooks! And you have chance to win a signed copy of my novel, Diavolino.

Here’s how to join the fun: Follow @EtopiaPress on twitter and find the Hashtag #ETOPIA. Save #ETOPIA in your searches and follow the tag Friday at 8:00*. It really is that easy!

*For UK night owls, this means 1a.m.-2a.m.

 

If you can’t make this, check out my other events in the menu at the top.