Hello again everyone. November already and what a start to the month it has been! I spent my weekend at the West Coast Fiction Festival meeting so many great authors and lots of new authors who write in the spec fiction category, many who said they will be happy to do an interview for the Sunday Spotlight next year. I bought way too many of their books, so there will be plenty of reviews from me in the new year.

Here’s a photo of myself and Demelza Carlton who writes fantasy and re-imaginings of fairy-tales and was so lovely to chat to. I bought a couple of her books to take a look at. It was a very exciting day.Image may contain: 3 people, including Claire Louisa Holderness, people smiling, people standing


So this month was a good month for reviews, we had 18 books reviewed which is just awesome. 😊 Many were books 2 or 3 in the series so if you like the sound of them make sure you go and look for books 1 first.

The first book is Lady Helen and the Dark Days Club (Lady Helen #1) by Alison Goodman which I have just started myself. This was reviewed by Carolyn who said: “I loved this fun read, with the urban fantasy element mingling very well with Regency London. Lady Helen is a complex character who has always had to hide her intelligence and quick wit in society and it will be interesting to watch her develop during the series (and to see if she succumbs to the Earl’s charms!).” This is the second review I’ve read recently about this book and I’m pleased both reviewers thought it was great. I’ll let you know what I think once I finish it.



Elizabeth @The Skiffy and Fanty Show wrote a great review on The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf (The Tribe #1) by Ambelin Kwaymullina. This sounds like a great series and has been put on the TBR pile that never gets any shorter. Elizabeth says: “The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf is a tense and engaging story, deeply embedded in an Australian context and made stronger for it. It does an excellent job of examining serious issues while maintaining hope. I highly recommend it as the start of a compelling series.” Check out her review for a more in-depth look at this book.

This one Rock Paper Sorcery by L.J. Haywardsounds like a fun series, Rock Paper Sorcery (Night Call #3) by L/J Hayward, which was reviewed by Carolyn who says: “This Australian urban fantasy series is shaping up to be very good indeed”  and “I love the way the main characters (Matt, Mercy and Erin) are developing, especially in their interactions with each other. Looking forward to the next installment!”


Brenda reviewed Sanguine (The sentinels of Eden #2) by Carolyn Denman and says: “It’s an electric mix of paranormal, mystery and Sanguine (The Sentinels of Eden Book 2)Indigenous heritage which is written for a YA audience, and highly palatable for those of us who haven’t been YA for some time!” She loved it and highly recommends the series.



Eleni reviewed Soul Stealer (The Anomaly #3) by Anna Hackett (who I also met at the WCFF) and she says: “A story showing that the road to redemption is not easy and that forgiveness is hardest for one’s self. This story looks at this and the inner strength it takes to continue with the future despite the past.”  



Theresa @Theresa Smith Writes wrote a review on The Second Cure by Margaret Morgan and says: ” The Second Cure, a genre blend of The Second Curescience fiction with dystopian themes written in a literary style. Utterly captivating, horrifyingly realistic and ultimately uplifting. I honestly can’t recommend this novel high enough.” and “For anyone who has been contemplating reading The Second Cure but has held off because of a fear of the science themes, you can shelve those concerns. As well as writing with accessibility, Margaret has a way with words in general that seem to have them blending into the most beautifully atmospheric prose. I was gripped with a certain sense of place while reading The Second Cure. It’s a very immersive novel.” Make sure to check out her full review, Theresa’s review convinced me to order this from the library immediately, and even though I’ve only read 40 odd pages, I know it’s going to be one that pulls me in.


There were several children’s books reviewed this month:

The Extremely Inconvenient Adventures of Bronte Mettlestone (Kingdoms and Empires #1) by Jaclyn Moriarty was reviewed again, this The Extremely Inconvenient Adventures of Bronte Mettlestone (Kingdoms & Empires, #1)time by Kate Forsyth and once again it was well received. Kate says: “It was a sparkling delight from beginning to end, with lots of unexpected discoveries, wondrous encounters and madcap adventures,” and “The world-building in this book is so rich and inventive it could easily support a dozen other books, and so I hope that The Extremely Inconvenient Adventures of Bronte Mettlestone is the first in what will be a long series. This is the perfect book for a sensitive imaginative bookworm who is not yet ready for Harry Potter but wants a story filled with magic, adventure, humour and whimsy (the kind of kid I was when I was eleven!)” 

Well Kate is going to be very happy because the next book is The Slightly Alarming Tale of the Whispering Wars (Kingdoms and Empires #2) by JaThe Slightly Alarming Tale of the Whispering Wars (Kingdoms & Empires, #2)clyn Moriarty which Ashleigh from The Book Muse reviewed for us. She writes: “…all these elements are effective – but together, they create an atmosphere of humour and mystery that is delightful and exquisite in its execution, and is an exciting plot, driven by magic of all kinds that weaves its way around the words and spellbinds the reader.”  I’m convinced that my niece is going to love this series when she gets it from me for Christmas. I might even be jealous that she gets to read it and I don’t.


Another children’s book is The Cat With The Coloured Tail by Gillian Mears and reviewed by Ashleigh @The Book Muse. She wrote: “In thiThe Cat With The Coloured Tails story, it is up to Mr Hooper and The Cat with the Coloured Tail to find out why the heart of the world is sick, and how to fix it, by following the trail of sadness that the cat’s tail can sense. What they find is distressing, yet the find and what follows are so beautifully and magically told, that there is a sense of calm even as the worst begins to happen. The heart-warming end will bring a smile to your face, and is a perfect read for all readers – to be read to them, or individually, and can be enjoyed by all ages. The Cat with the Coloured Tail is a lovely read, with a message about caring and healing for us all.”

Treasure Hunt at Pirate’s Paradise by Mahima Kallacaring was reviewed by both  Veronica @The Burgeoning Bookshelf and Amanda @ Mrs B’s Book Reviews 


  • Columbine’s Tale by Rachel Nightingale made another reappearance, this time in an interview with the author over at Theresa Smith Writes
  • Rheia by Cassandra Page was reviewed by Brenda
  • Vigil by Angela Slatter was one of mine and I cannot wait to read book 2
  • I also read Dark Spaces by Cally Black which I really enjoyed my review

Well October was a fabulous month of books, I can’t wait to see what you all read during November. I’m working just about straight through November which was unplanned, but at the same time should give me plenty of time to read as I do tend to be given nightshift most of the time, so there’s usually less work to be done and more reading to be had. Don’t forget to link your reviews so I can share what you’ve been up to and let me know if you’ve read any of the above books and what you thought or if any of these mentions have inspired you to pick them up.

Until next month, happy reading!

Claire Louisa xxx