The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E Harrow @AlixEHarrow @orbitbooks @Tr4cyF3nt0n #TenThousandDoors

Title: The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow

Publisher: Orbit

Date Published: 12th September 2019

Genre: Historical Fiction

Description:

EVERY STORY OPENS A DOOR

In a sprawling mansion filled with peculiar treasures, January Scaller is a curiosity herself. As the ward of the wealthy Mr. Locke, she feels little different from the artifacts that decorate the halls: carefully maintained, largely ignored and utterly out of place.

But her quiet existence is shattered when she stumbles across a strange book. A book that carries the scent of other worlds and tells a tale of secret doors, of love, adventure and danger. Each page reveals more impossible truths about the world, and January discovers a story increasingly entwined with her own.

Ten Thousand Doors Blog Tour asset part 1

Review:

The Ten Thousand Doors of January is beautifully written historical novel, with an almost poetic feel to it.

January is a compelling character who finds it hard to fit in, which I think a lot of people can relate to. She has a bit of a wild, untameable, personality but on the other side of that she’s lonely and has a need to be accepted and loved.

I can really tell that the author has put so much research into this novel, it’s really underpinned with real historical events to give it that air of realism to the fantastical events through the novel.

What I would advise when reading is patience. It’s very much a slow burn, slow build novel that you have to immerse yourself in and not something you can rush through.

I’d recommend this to anyone who loves a nod to classical fiction and fairy tales.

Ten Thousand Doors Blog Tour asset part 2 - updated

About The Author:

Alix E. Harrow is an ex-historian with lots of opinions and excessive library fines, currently livingclone tag: 4321375644802703302 in Kentucky with her husband and their semi-feral children. Her short fiction has been nominated for the Hugo, Nebula and Locus awards. The Ten Thousand Doors of January is her debut novel. Find her on Twitter at @AlixEHarrow.

Advertisements

#BlogTour #GuestPost #NowhereGirls by Teuta Metra @Teuta_Metra @annecater #RandomThingsTours

Today I’m excited to bring you a guest post and extract from Nowhere Girls by Teuta Metra but first a little about the book:

Title: Nowhere Girls by Teuta Metra

Date Published: 8th February 2019

Genre: Literary Fiction

Description:

Friends Alba and Sara could not be more different. While Alba is forcing her way into the upper echelons of Albanian’s richest and most powerful, Sara is working more than one job as a struggling journalist. Both desperate to escape their corrupt country, they’re quickly dragged into a sordid world of politics and lies.

When tragedy strikes their friend Ina, the two women must come together to save her little boy. Can they put away their troubles and secure a better future for the child? Or will their past catch up with them?

NOWHERE GIRLS is a thrilling tale of love, lies and the lengths a woman will go to for freedom.

Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Nowhere-Girls-Teuta-Metra-ebook/dp/B07NCY2Q26/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1549383008&sr=1-1&keywords=nowhere+girls+teuta+metra

Nowhere Girls Blog Tour Poster

Guest Post:

This is one of my favourite parts of the book. Ina sends her best friend Sara a letter from beyond the grave. Like many women in Albania, Ina is suffering at the hands of an abusive husband with no way to defend herself, no money and no support network. It’s easy for those living in other countries to expect a woman in her position to have somewhere to go – but in Albania, most women don’t have a voice. This letter was hard to write because I’ve known many women in her position. I needed to readers to understand her plight.

It’s also the turning point in the book. It’s this letter that forces Sara to work with Alba and rescue her godson from a country they all fear.

Dear Sara,

If you are reading this letter, then I’m already gone. I knew my luck would run out eventually with that man. Please don’t judge Ardit too harshly. He wasn’t always this bad, but life, the people he hung around with and the suffering we have endured have made him like that. He started drinking more in Thessaloniki. Things went from bad to worse when we arrived back in Albania. We lost everything in Greece because of the crisis – our jobs, money, our home. When we got back to Albania, he started gambling, telling me he would make everything right again. He lost us the last of our savings I’d somehow managed to gather in Greece. Any guilt or remorse he felt he just drank away, blotted it out. It made him forget how bad things really were.

I rang him one night. Johan was very ill with fever and I was afraid. His friends mocked him: you better run home to your wife. Your boss. He became more violent that night, and ever since then, the violence never stopped. He hit me hard. I ended up with a black eye and a cracked rib. I felt sorry for Johan. He cried and screamed, ‘Daddy, please don’t.’ That boy has seen things no child should see. I didn’t know how to walk away without making things worse for the children.

You were right, Sara, I rushed into marrying him and didn’t listen to anyone’s advice. I cheated. Yes, I cheated on him. Only once, I swear. He never found out. You’re the only one I’m telling my secret to. Please keep this to yourself. Don’t misuse my trust. I don’t want my children to ever find out. I often ask myself why I did it? At the time I saw it as an escape, I convinced myself that this handsome Russian man would rescue me and the children and whisk us away from our horrible lives. But in reality he only wanted one thing – and if I’m honest with myself, it was just nice to feel free and wanted for a short while. Afterwards I treasured that liaison, it was my secret revenge on Ardit. My own silent rebellion.

There’s something else I haven’t told him about. Alba has been putting money into my two grown children’s accounts. She is helping me a lot and, I must say, I never expected that from her. Perhaps I judged her poorly and she’s a lot kinder than I gave her credit for. This is why I kept it from you, Alba said you would be suspicious and I didn’t want to worry you.

Sara, here is the important part, if you’re reading this and something has happened to me – please look after Johan. He is your Godson and it pains me that the two of you never got to meet. I know we never managed to hold a proper baptism for him, but I’m sure God will forgive us under the circumstances.

I’m counting down the days until Ardit kills me. Isn’t that a terrible thing to say? I did what I could, I even told the police. I don’t know why I bothered. They laughed at me every time I went to the station, with black eyes and torn lips. There’s that whore again; they would say to one another. I wonder what she did this time to piss her poor husband off. I gave up expecting any help from them eventually.

My dear friend, I hope you are not crying. This letter wasn’t written to make you sad, but to ask for your help – you’re the only person who never pushed me away. I’m including 200 euros in this envelope – I know it’s not much but perhaps you can buy Johan a prom suit for his graduation. He’s seven now, but who knows how old he will be when you read this. I like the idea of Johan wearing something from me on his special day that I don’t expect to ever see, even if it’s only a pair of socks.

Please tell him that he had a mother who loved him very much. Take care of him, now that I am gone. And I love you too, so much. Never forget that. You were like my mother, my sister, my everything.

Ina x

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Now a fiction writer, Teuta Metra’s experience as an Albanian journalist has made her an expertTeuta Metra Author Picture on the struggles of women from her country. Author, journalist and teacher, Teuta now lives in The Netherlands with her husband and two sons. 

Twitter @Teuta_Metra

Website : http://www.teutametra.com/


#BlogTour Edna’s Death Cafe by Angelena Boden @AngelenaBoden @BOTBSPublicity

Title: Edna’s Death Cafe by Angelena Boden

Publisher: Matador

Date Published: 3rd September 2018

Genre: Literary Fiction

Description:

As in life, death is not without its agenda. This is something seventy-nine year old Edna Reid finds out when her partner, Ted, suddenly dies.

To cope with her loss, she sets up a Death Cafe to break down the taboo around death and to encourage other members of the community to discuss it openly. Over tea and cake, the participants hide their fears behind a veil of dark humour.

Religious fanaticism clashes with Victorian spiritualism as Edna’s meetings trigger lively conversations on the fragility of life, anxiety over dying, cost of funerals, and making sure long-lost greedy relatives don’t benefit from inheritances.

Soon, a series of events begin to unfold which threaten to undermine Edna’s livelihood and the Death Cafe meetings. These events just happen to coincide with the arrival of a mysterious stranger into the village.

Who is she and why is she so hostile to Edna?

Review:

I’m not crying honest…*sniffs*

So this another book that has been out of my comfort zone this year and what an emotional ride this was!

Edna is a 79 year old woman who is still reeling from the death of her beloved Ted. She starts a death cafe out of The Happy Oatcake, the cafe she inherited from her mother, to not only give herself some closure but the others in the village around her.

I loved Edna. She’s a such a caring character running a cafe, trying her hardest to help people. Also she proves that no matter how old you are you can still follow your dreams after she graduated from university at the age of seventy five.

We meet an interesting bunch of characters along the way too. Gordon a sheep farmer who’s mum is dying. Lionel and Ruth who’s daughter died in a tragic accident. Nigel who’s been drinking his life away after the death of his wife June. Manny, Edna’s best friend, who even thirty years after losing his boyfriend, still feels the loss. Finally Martine Shaw, a Canadian who turns up in the village suddenly and seem intent on making Edna’s life a misery.

There’s also a nice injection of humour here and there, that makes something as depressing as discussing death, not feel so bleak.

I have to be honest this was not an easy read for me but in a good way, if that makes sense. It made me confront some feelings which I didn’t even know I had from when my mum died almost ten years ago, especially when they were discussing things they wished they’d said to their loved ones before they died, I got a real lump in my throat reading that!

There were certain parts of the storyline did feel a little rushed. The introduction of the Death Cafe idea at the beginning of the story for instance, I would have like to know a bit more about where it came from and the history behind it etc. Also the ending while it was satisfying I felt that one of the character had an about turn in opinion and behaviour that could have been done a little less abruptly.

Overall Edna’s Death Cafe is a poignant and thought provoking tale that will make you both laugh and cry in equal measure.

Edna's Death CafeBlog Tour

Author’s Bio:

Angelena Boden has spent thirty- five years as an international training consultant, specialising in behavioural management and conflict resolution. She trained in Transactional Analysis, the angpsychology of communication and behaviour, her preferred tool for counselling and coaching.

She originates from the Peak District but has spent a life time travelling and living in places as far apart as Vancouver, Dubai, Paris, Seville and Iran. Now semi-retired in Great Malvern, she writes every morning, walks the hills and paints landscapes every afternoon and fits family and reading in between.

She is the author of two traditionally published novels and many articles and blogs.

Her most recent novel, Edna’s Death Cafe is published as an e-book by Matador.

Angelena is keen to meet readers, old and new, and is available for book talks, events, and always chatting over a cuppa (within 60 miles of Worcester).

Links:

angelenaboden.com

@AngelenaBoden