Beyond Farwin Wood by Drea Damara | Review

About The Book

For fans of The Princess Bride and Stardust

Anything Can Happen on Blinney Lane.

Agatha Blinney’s curse is unleashed when Franci Doltman dresses up as her favourite movie star. Now the store-owners on Blinney Lane must rally together to save Franci before the possession claims her forever.

Valerie Millville is tired of her controlling mother, disappointing men, and being misunderstood. Determined to escape her life on Blinney Lane, she and troublemaker Ricky Allister volunteer to find a cure by venturing inside one of the cursed weeping books.

From mythical lands to peculiar allies to other worldly creatures, Valerie learns not all stories are written in stone—or even in one dimension. Can she and Ricky save Franci in time or will their friend become another casualty of the curse that binds Blinney Lane? Will Farwin Wood show them secrets undiscovered or are mysteries merely in the eye of the beholder? Get ready for an adventure that will transport you into the pages of a fantasy world beyond reality.

My Thoughts

This book “Beyond Farwin Wood” is the second novel in this series – ‘The Blinney Lane Books.’ I was really impressed with this novel, although I have not read very many books from this genre, nor I have read, the first book, entitled ‘The Weeping Books of Blinney Lane.’

Drea Damara’s creative skill in writing showed as this super, imaginative, tale of fantasy and adventure flowed well from the start, even when the story was moving between the different worlds.

The story mainly concentrated on Valerie, Franci, Ricky and Ranthrop, though their family and friends from Blinney Lane also feature in the tale.

The characters were colourful and so well drawn, building in part, from those in the first book, but also focusing on a number of different ones. I particularly liked Drea Damara’s portrayal of Valerie who was so free-spirited, independent and single-minded.

The plot was very well executed and didn’t feel forced or overdone. I was impressed that the story was good as a stand-alone read. The clever story-telling was so absorbing that I found myself not wanting to reach the end of the book, even though I needed to find out what was going to happen with the characters that I had started to get to know.

I would recommend this captivating and absorbing tale of adventure and I hope that the author, Drea Damara, is writing more in the ‘Blinney Lane’ series.  

*[Thanks to BHC Press and the author, Drea Damara, for my free ARC of Beyond Farwin Wood in exchange for an honest review.]

Brianne’s Book Reviews Rating | Four Stars

Happy Reading!

The Cottingley Fairies by Ana Sender | Review

Book Synopsis


“…an intriguing, enchantingly rendered real fairy tale.” – Kirkus Reviews 

Elsie and Frances feel sad for adults who simply can’t see the magic in the forests around them. If only they could see what we see. 

In 1918, Elsie Wright and her cousin Frances Griffith photographed fairies in their garden, in the small village of Cottingley (Yorkshire). Without expecting it, many people paid attention—including renowned writer and spiritualist Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. This is the story, narrated by Elsie herself, of the true events that led to the Cottingley Fairies becoming a international phenomenon.

My Thoughts

This wonderful book fully deserves its gorgeous five stars! If you didn’t believe in fairies before you read this magical children’s book, then you will afterwards.

Based on true events, it tells the story of cousins Frances and Elsie who live in Cottingley, Yorkshire and their encounter with fairies in their garden.

The beautiful illustrations in “The Cottingley Fairies” outclass many I’ve seen in other fairy stories. There is even some background provided in the back of the book that explains the origins of the tale.

Any small child would be delighted to have this as their bed-time story and I know that I would have done.

My heartfelt applause to the author, Ana Sender for writing this sweet little book.

{Thank you to #NetGalley, North South Books and Ana Sender for the free copy of #TheCottingleyFairies and for giving me the opportunity to provide an honest review.}

Brianne’s Book Reviews Rating | Five Stars

Happy Reading!

Chocolate a la Murder

Chocolate a la Murder by Kirsten Weiss

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I jumped at the chance to read this delightful little mystery as I have come to adore cozy novels in recent months. This is the fourth book in the ‘A Perfectly Proper Paranormal Museum’ series by Kirsten Weiss, the first book being ‘The Perfectly Proper Paranormal Museum,’ followed by ‘Pressed to Death’ and ‘Deja Moo.’

The setting for the story is a town called San Benedetto in the California wine country. In “Chocolate a la Murder,” owner, Maddie Kosloski, of the Perfectly Proper Paranormal Museum, is preparing for The Wine and Chocolate Days Festival in San Benedetto. Maddie has sweet dreams about her new Magic of Chocolate exhibit. Her latest attraction is a haunted Mexican whisk called a molinillo that rattles if someone lies.

When Maddie visits the town’s new boutique chocolate shop, she finds one of the owners dead and covered in melted cocoa. Maddie’s determined to catch the killer, and she soon uncovers deadly dealings in the world of artisan chocolate. But the deception surrounding those dealings are enough to make the molinillo rattle all night. Will Maddie have to temper her passion for sleuthing before a killer makes her their next target?

Although I haven’t any read of the first three books of the series, Kirsten Weiss, provides plenty of back-stories, so “Chocolate a la Murder” works well as a stand-alone novel. Written in the first person, the characters in this novel were a real laugh and I especially liked Maddie’s feistiness. I even found myself asking the same questions and thinking along the same lines as Maddie when trying to work out the identity of the perpetrator. I really enjoyed the easy-to-read writing style, the plot and the pace of the book. The paranormal element helped to add intrigue to the tale, whilst making it a little different to some of the other books in the genre.

All in all, “Chocolate a la Murder” is a light-hearted, lovely read, that combines mystery, thrills and murder and mayhem and I’m looking forward to reading the first three books of the series.

[Thanks to #NetGalley and Midnight Ink Publishing for the free ARC of #ChocolateAlaMurder in exchange for an honest review]

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