Tag Archives: London

A Heartbroken Shannon Leaves Boston

Review: Black Diamond

Black Diamond by Jennifer Loiske and Eveliina Tommola is a YA fantasy about Shannon McLean, a 12-year-old girl who moves in with her magician father and is immersed in a demon-infested battle.

Her Father Lives in a Musty Manor House

Her Father Lives in a Musty Manor House

Three weeks after her mother passes away, a heartbroken Shannon leaves Boston and moves to London to live with a father she doesn’t remember. Connor McLean lives in a musty manor house and is aloof, mysterious, and a bit terrifying to his cheeky daughter.

The servants are either cringing like scared rabbits or lost in a thrall-like state. The strangest thing of all is that everyone has curious tattoos on their wrists, and the inked images move. Contrasting these hideous things is discovering she has a twin brother named Ian. Separated soon after they were born, Ian lived his whole life in this huge house with a father who has slowly descended into evil. Ian also has an unbelievable revelation for his sister. The twins are powerful witches, and they must combine their power and save their father from the demon that is slowly devouring Connor. The worst of all is that the demon infection is Shannon’s fault.

Servants Are Cringing Like Scared Rabbits

Servants Are Cringing Like Scared Rabbits

Black Diamond is a satisfying story about a couple of likable kids caught up in their parent’s dark magical past. Jennifer Loiske uses a deft hand in weaving a plot laced with unexpected twists and a shivery mood.

Gentle Readers who enjoy a story centered on a determined young lady with a sturdy sense of right and wrong, but is smart enough to listen to the wiser counsel of her brother, would like Black Diamond. This dark adventure is no diamond in the rough, but rather is a polished sparkling gem of a gothic fantasy.

Black Diamond on Amazon US

Black Diamond on Amazon UK

Black Diamond on Goodreads

Jennifer Loiske on Goodreads

Jennifer Loiske website

Ruins of an Old Church Destroyed During the Spanish Civil War

Review: The Guardian of Secrets: And Her Deathly Pact

The Guardian of Secrets: And Her Deathly Pact by Jana Petken is a family saga detailing the lives of María Martinéz de Amo’s kin.

Celia Lives on the Prosperous Merrill Farm in Kent

Celia Lives on the Prosperous Merrill Farm in Kent

Told through a series of narratives from her family’s journals, María’s story spans two generations. As all properly told stories should go, the tale starts at the beginning.

María’s young mother Celia lives on the prosperous Merrill Farm in Kent, England with her father Peter. It is Celia who first starts writing journals to chronicle her life. Both Celia and Peter are quite taken with a handsome and charming visitor named Joseph Dobbs, and within a short time Celia marries Joseph, and Peter makes his son-in-law the heir to Merrill Farm.

Joseph is not what he seems. He is a drinker and a gambler. His destructive and spiteful ways are a dark thread throughout Celia’s life.

Celia flees to Valencia and Starts a Better Life

Celia flees to Valencia and Starts a Better Life

Celia flees to the orange groves of Valencia, Spain with her infant son and starts a better life. She marries Ernesto, the wealthy owner of La Glorieta estate. Despite loving Ernesto and having a family (which includes María and her twin sister Marta), it is the early 1900s and civil war consumes Spain. Ernesto and Celia go into exile in London while María, along with her siblings and friends, stay in Spain.

What follows is a fascinating and detailed story of María’s war experiences. Some events are oh so sweet, while the brutality and injustice of other events are an outrage. Jana Petken did a splendid job with the interesting narrative about Spain’s civil war—no boring history book here. Sometimes the characters made poor decisions or took ill-advised actions.  Lita wanted to give them a good talking to and set them straight—that is the greatest fun of reading well-written fiction. The outcome of Joseph’s last revengeful stand is satisfying, to say the least.

Gentle Readers who enjoy settling in with a long story about an interesting family would enjoy The Guardian of Secrets: And Her Deathly Pact. Just don’t join Joseph in a game of poker. The stakes are murderously high.

The Guardian of Secrets: And Her Deathly Pact on Amazon US

The Guardian of Secrets: And Her Deathly Pact on Amazon UK

The Guardian of Secrets: And Her Deathly Pact on Goodreads

Jana Petken on Goodreads

Jana Petken website and blog

Steampunk, London Style

Steampunk London

Steampunk, London Style

Steampunk, London Style

Zeppelins. Top hats, gears and gadgets. What fun–let us explore Steampunk and its stylish attitudes.

Time to visit another fantasy world that Lita loves–Steampunk. There are a couple of flavors of Steampunk, so today let’s visit the Victorian-inspired place. It is brimming with alternative technology gadgets powered by steam, and populated with fashionistas.

Watch the Flicker Pictures

Our Steampunk journey begins by going to the picture show, 1800s style. Lita has a new Steampunk London video, so take a minute to immerse yourself in the images and sing-along fun of this alternative-world London.

See for yourself that Steampunk is a contrast of grungy and sooty settings and (sometimes bizarre) Victorian clothing. Their world is a practical and unadorned place of gears, gadgets, and rust-covered pipes. Whether you travel by steam locomotive or zeppelin to get there, don’t forget to bring your goggles.

Step Inside

Curious to discover more? Check out Lita’s new page Steampunk London World. Step inside to get out of the soot and mist of a coal-burning city.  Learn about the gadgets and steam-powered practicalities of everyday devices. In the Steampunk world, electricity never evolved beyond a curiosity at the carnival. You will find out which device is the darling of Steampunk ladies and gentlemen.

Want to visit another fun fantasy world that influenced Steampunk? Check out Lita’s Film Noir World, and don’t forget to bring your trench coat.

Stiletto Heels and Cockney Slang

Review: Diabolical’s Penny Horror Scope Deadly Prediction

Stiletto Heels and Cockney Slang

Stiletto Heels and Cockney Slang

Diabolical’s Penny Horror Scope Deadly Prediction by Darcy Blaze

Warning: Story includes explicit sex.

Fiona, a good-looking Essex girl born and bred in Upminster, a part of the Northeast London’s sprawling suburbs, has enough of selfish losers.  She is a certified accountant looking for security and settling down.

Frankie, a small-time business man, owns four pubs, a couple of arcades, and has a villain’s reputation. A three-week whirlwind seduction of gifts and bling, followed by a surprise proposal topped with a three-carat diamond solitaire, has Fiona marrying Frankie in record time. When Frankie’s aphrodisiac of power fades, the only shine he gives her is the one below Fiona’s eye. Passion fades just as quickly as it came.

Fiona has always admired Frankie’s younger brother Reggie, who is a handsome model, an actor, educated, and more sophisticated than Frankie will ever be. A sexy tryst in a romantic slipper boat during a country gala affair at Marlow on the Thames seals the deal for Fiona. She married the wrong bloke.

Beware, Diabolical’s Penny Horror Scope Could Be Here

Beware, Diabolical’s Penny Horror Scope Could Be Here

After Frankie bumps off his bookkeeper, Fiona takes over the record keeping and launders her husband’s money through his arcade businesses. In addition to the love triangle, there is a fourth character, a carnival machine called Diabolical’s Penny Horror Scope. This one-of-a-kind machine has a history of predicting death for a certain few who play its game. Fiona sees how to use Diabolical to escape Frankie’s murderous ways.

Deadly Prediction immerses the reader in a gem of a fantasy world. Fiona’s confident narrative mixes London’s rainy weather and the sizzling make-believe bedroom antics with the playacting Reggie in to an unforgettable romp.

The story all but had me, a born Yank who has never been across the pond to London, talking cockney slang and strutting in stiletto heels. The sex scenes were explicit, but well written. The ending was delicious revenge mixed with the music of a Calliope. I recommend this story to anyone who loves evil carnival worlds, Brit Lit, and reading about a sure-of-herself Essex girl who doesn’t take gruff from her men.

Warning: Story includes explicit sex.

Deadly Prediction on Amazon USA

Deadly Prediction on Amazon UK

Darcy Blaze Website