26 April 2015

Review: The Supernatural Enhancements by Edgar Cantero

The Supernatural Enhancements by Edgar Cantero book cover
* Copy courtesy of NetGalley *

The Supernatural Enhancements by Edgar Cantero has one of the best covers I've seen all year, and in this case I was relieved to find the novel definitely lived up to the cover. 

The novel contains excerpts from letters, journals, notebooks, audio recordings and various other sources and if you have the choice, I definitely recommend you choose to read the print copy. I read an e-book version and I just know that reading a hard back copy would have increased my overall enjoyment factor.

The Supernatural Enhancements has it all: an inheritance, a secret society, coded messages, a group of rich people carrying out intellectual and scientific pursuits, code names and even a ghost.

If you loved Mr Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan then you're bound to fall in love with The Supernatural Enhancements as well; particularly if you enjoy a good gothic ghost story with a modern twist.

My rating = ****

Carpe Librum!
20 April 2015

Free Recipe from Season of Salt & Honey by Hannah Tunnicliffe

* Extract courtesy of Pan Macmillan *

A novel of love, grief and antipasti.

Francesca 'Frankie' Caputo has it all figured out. She's finally going to marry the man she loves and then they will live happily ever after. But when a freak accident cuts her fiancé Alex's life tragically short, all of Frankie's future plans suddenly disintegrate.

Drowning in grief, Frankie flees from her overbearing Italian-American family, and escapes to an abandoned cabin owned by Alex's parents in a remote part of Washington forest.

As her heart slowly begins to heal, Frankie discovers a freedom that's both exhilarating and unsettling to everything she has always known for sure. So when her old life comes crashing back in, Frankie must decide: will she slip quietly back into her safe, former existence? Or will a stronger, wiser Frankie Caputo stand up and claim her new life?

Recipe Extract
Foodies and foodlovers everywhere will be pleased to know that recipes for the dishes mentioned in Season of Salt & Honey are included in the book so you can make them for yourself; yum! It makes my mouth water to bring one of those recipes to you right now courtesy of Hannah Tunnicliffe and Pan Macmillan. The recipe is for Nzuddi, which are small almond biscuits.

About the Author
Born in New Zealand, Hannah Tunnicliffe is a self-confessed nomad. She has previously lived in Canada, Australia, England, Macau and, while travelling Europe, a campervan named Fred. She currently lives in New Zealand with her husband and two daughters, having happily ditched a career in Human Resources to become an author. When she is not writing or reading she can usually be found baking or eating and sometimes all four at the same time (which is probably somewhat hazardous). She is founder and co-author of the blog Fork and Fiction, which, unsurprisingly, explores her twin loves - books and food. Season of Salt and Honey is her second novel.

Nzuddi, looking delicious and ready to eat
05 April 2015

Review: Naomi's Room by Jonathan Aycliffe

Naomi's Room by Jonathan Aycliffe book cover
Naomi's Room by Jonathan Aycliffe is the best 'ghost story' I've read in a long time.

Four year old Naomi goes missing from a toy store on Christmas Eve when shopping with her father and is later found murdered.

A photographer watching the house during the case captures Naomi's image on his camera and Naomi's father is disturbed by strange sounds in the house. Investigating the history of the family home, he also discovers some horrific secrets.

Naomi's Room is a classic ghost story, however I was thrilled when it took an unexpected turn. I believe this change took courage from the author but I want to be clear that it's not a twist (e.g. the narrator is not a ghost or anything). 

The plot was so refreshing that it took this novel from a solid three stars to an easy four stars for me. I highly recommend Naomi's Room for those who enjoy a quick and easy ghost story with a touch of horror.

My rating = ****

Carpe Librum!