Carla Acheson

Author/ Reviewer

Goodreads Giveaway – The Whitechapel Virgin

The very popular book site Goodreads.com is hosting a ‘giveaway’ of The Whitechapel Virgin. To enter all you need to do is click on the ‘Enter’ button and add your delivery details. The contest runs for a month so you can enter anytime up to June 20th when Goodreads will pick one winner, the competition ends, and they will receive a free paperback.

I want to thank to Goodreads for their continued great work with publishers and authors, and also to the amazing people who have enjoyed my work and continue to support me.

Goodreads Giveaway Link below.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Whitechapel Virgin by Carla Acheson

The Whitechapel Virgin

by Carla Acheson

Giveaway ends June 20, 2016.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

 

 

A new gift, a new novel in the works…

bookimageAlas, it’s been a while since I blogged about my own writing activities, hence I think it’s about time for a little update. And whilst I beg forgiveness from my faithful readers if I may, I’m extremely excited to announce that I have been steadily working on my third novel in the past six months.

I cannot reveal the title for the book itself as yet, but I can confirm that it is another work of historical fiction and is set both in the Victorian and Edwardian period.

How does that work I hear you say?

Well the book follows the story of the lives of two women who are connected by one tragic circumstance. The parallel narrative follows their separate journeys in both era’s which ultimately leads to the truth – one bitter secret buried in time.

And let me tell you what I noticed this time around too. My previous novels were set in the Victorian era so this time I observed quite a few changes. My new heroine, for instance, appears to naturally sound much more ‘loose’  and relaxed in her attitude. Thoughts seem to be less…‘What should I not do..?‘ to ‘What can I do..?’

This may be a subtle change but evidently a big one for repressed women of that time.

I discovered how in the Edwardian period women began to not only dress in fewer layers of clothing, (allowing them to feel a lot less restricted, I’d imagine) but to think and act a little more freely too, as they embraced the unfolding benefits of voting rights and unopposed viewpoints.

These revelations came about quite naturally in the writing process itself, and only in working through my novels could I fully appreciate the changing conditions for women as the years passed by.

I will have more news on the progression of the novel in the coming weeks, including a cover reveal and a possible book blog tour for UK readers who all follow my previous works. The publication date is currently set for late May or early June on Amazon globally, and is a stand alone novel, and not a sequel to either of my previous titles The Last Gift and The Whitechapel Virgin – the two books which I can say have really changed my life and I cannot regret a single moment of the effort I put into them.

And lastly, a huge thank you to my friends who support me, both near and far. Without all the feedback, encouragement and motivation you guys give me I would still be on chapter one!

Watch this space!

 

Review: Someone New by Zoe Miller

This review is based upon a pre-publication copy provided by the publisher via Netgalley.com

‘Someone New’ is a well-structured story which covers strong relationship issues such as obsession and trust. It ultimately begs the question.. ‘Do we really know a person inside out?’

Young and attractive Grace unexpectedly finds happiness after ditching her intensely clingy ex and meeting the ‘new-agey’ and spiritually inspiring Danny McBride. But after just six weeks of their euphoric time together a tragic bike accident kills her perfect lover and Grace is left to pick up the pieces, as well as try to understand what exactly happened that fateful night.

Aside from Grace’s story we are given a parallel narrative from her sister Lucia, the enviably brilliant and organised career-woman whose life with her wealthy and handsome husband is already too perfect enough to change, or is it? Lucia’s story throws an interesting angle on the core value of the ‘perfect’ marriage and paves the way for some unexpected deep-rooted maternal desires to come to the fore.

Additionally, we also gain insight into the tangled emotions of Matt, the cop who is helping Grace with her subconscious fear that Danny’s death was not merely an accident. As Matt comes to learn more about Grace and her seemingly perfect late lover, he helps her to unveil secrets about him she would never have believed. Matt too is forced to confront his own insecurities about the woman he loves who is slowly slipping out of his grasp.

The unfolding plot in ’Someone New,’ evolves at a steady pace allowing the reader to come to know the characters and how their lives become entangled together as they work through their inner-most fears and desires.

I enjoyed reading this novel. I felt the writing style was fluid, easy to read, and the story held my attention throughout. Even though the characters were fictional they were well depicted enough to feel chillingly real.

4/5 stars.

Goodreads

Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult

Leaving Time

Leavingtime

Reality and the spirit world collide together in a compelling story.

This is the first novel I have read by author, Jodi Picoult, but I’m very glad that I did. Leaving Time brought tears to my eyes more than once, and if it is possible to have some kind of emotional attachment to a story, this one did it for me.

The story is told in more than one narrative viewpoint. A decade after a fatal incident at the Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee occurs, three characters set out to solve the mystery of missing person, Alice Metcalf.

We have Jenna, Alice’s thirteen year old daughter, Virgil, a down-and-out Detective, and Serenity, a fallen from grace TV Psychic. Quite an oddly eclectic bunch to string together, but somehow Picoult effortlessly weaves together the fabric of their lives, hopes and fears in an astonishingly authentic way.

Through reading her mother’s journals, Jenna attempts to find out how she disappeared and why she had abandoned her. At least two thirds of this book will teach you about the behaviour of elephants through Alice’s viewpoint.. I particularly loved the portrayal of how elephants interact as a herd, and how they grieve for their young. I found that I lost myself in most of this text. Whilst I realise that some reviewers disliked this part of the book, for me it was an eye-opening revelation and almost a dedication to their memory, inducing pity and highlighting the sad plight of their cruel mistreatment by humans.

From the Author’s Note, we can see that she undertook a huge amount of research in exploring these animals, hence I felt that the chapters did not detract from the story, but enhanced it in a way that skimming over the surface would have been the difference between a profound and deeply rooted story to one that merely lies flat on a bed of freshly mown grass.

As the trio finally come to the end of their search and the threads of the story are wrapped up, a major plot twist  is revealed which I did not see coming, and though you might have to suspend disbelief in order to fully appreciate it, Picoult’s writing is so competent; it works!

One of the best reads I have picked up in a while.

5/5 stars
Available on Amazon

Review: The Girl in the Photograph – Kate Riordan

The Girl in the Photographby Kate Riordan

When Alice Eveleigh arrives at Fiercombe Manor during the long, languid summer of 1933, she finds a house steeped in mystery and brimming with secrets. Sadness permeates its empty rooms and the isolated valley seems crowded with ghosts, none more alluring than Elizabeth Stanton, whose only trace remains in a few tantalizingly blurred photographs. Why will no-one speak of her? What happened a generation ago to make her vanish?

The storyline centres on motherhood, the shame and disgrace of being an unmarried mother, as well as post-partum depression – something which we rarely get to view in the Victorian era. These elements are weaved into a tale around Stanton house and its buried secrets.

There were some very evocative and poignant descriptions in this 400 page novel. The story was interesting, though the pace a little to slow for my taste, which made the read slightly tedious to complete. The dual narrative introduces you firstly to Alice, a young unmarried lady in the Edwardian era, who is sent to Stanton House to await the birth of a child that she may be forced to give up, and Elizabeth Stanton, an upper class woman suffering multiple miscarriages and post partum depression who had lived at Stanton many years before.

If you are a reader who wishes to savour deeply colourful description and slow building suspense this is a perfect choice. There were instances where the book did feel hauntingly atmospheric, though sometimes I felt the intertwining stories were a little enforced.

‘Gripping’ is not how I would describe this read, but the author’s exploration of the maternal themes mentioned above were interesting enough to hold my attention, and the air of mystery throughout the book prevailed until the very end.

 

 

 

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