Book Highlight: The Parlour Game by Jennifer Renshaw

A new book has arrived on the Enchanted Emporium bookshelf, The Parlour Game by Jennifer Renshaw thanks to Random Things Tours. With a stunning cover and an intriguing blurb involving a creepy house and spiritualism Amber has snuck it into her college bag. Watch this space for a review but in the meantime scroll down to see why the book caught her eye.

Book Review: The Parlour Game by Jennifer Renshaw

The Parlour Game by Jennifer Renshaw

Title: The Parlour Game

Author: Jennifer Renshaw

Genre: Dark Gothic

Release Date: 31st August 2022

Blurb

DEATH IS ONLY THE BEGINNING… a dark gothic tale for fans of The Clockwork Girl and The Woman in Black.

London, 1873.

Ivy Granger, an amateur botanist, is plagued by disturbing dreams and faceless whispers. Misunderstood by her father, she fears for her sanity – threatened with the asylum or worse, the hands of a man she loathes.

But a stranger at her mother’s funeral reveals Ivy’s world has been a lie and she could have a different life, for she is capable of so much more…

Miss Earnshaw, London’s most renowned spiritualist, is Ivy’s only hope of revealing what secrets her mother took to the grave and discovering her true purpose.

Ivy’s journey for knowledge takes her to Blackham House, a building haunted by a terrible past – full of macabre artefacts and ancient studies of the supernatural. But behind closed doors, the Blackhams collect more than relics alone, and Ivy will soon find herself at the centre of a conspiracy spanning generations and a hidden evil waiting to be unleashed.

Can Ivy survive in a world where women must play their part or risk being silenced?

Author Biography

Jennifer Renshaw

Jennifer Renshaw grew up in Sussex, England, and is a former analyst. She has always been fascinated by history and enjoys a gothic mystery. She now lives in Denmark with her family and two portly cats.

Find out more at http://www.jenniferrenshaw.com

Other blogs on the tour
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Book Review: Spooky Ambiguous Ghost stories and poetry, fangs and fairy tales

With October only a couple of weeks away, the Enchanted Emporium is overflowing with books it recommends for the spooky season. A new arrival and one, Willow and Amber adored is Spooky Ambiguous by a collection of authors. Scroll down to see why.

Book Review: Spooky Ambiguous Ghost stories and poetry, fangs and fairy tales

Book cover for Spooky Ambiguous.
Dark cover, painted with shading representing a sea and the sky. A red full moon in the right hand corner with 2 birds flying by
Spooky Ambiguous

Title: Spooky Ambiguous

Author: Penny Ayers, Michael Bartlett, Patrick Booth, Amaris Chase, Holly Anne Crawford, Ivor Daniel, Amanda Jane Davies, Daphne Denley, J. J. Drover, Harriet Hitchen, Rebecca McDowall, Jane Phillips, Angela Reddaway, Joe Robson, Margaret Royall. Illustrations by Lorna Gray

Publisher: Crump Barn Studio

Genre: Horror, Gothic

Release Date: 15th September 2022

Blurb

Ghosts and vampires, zombies and werewolves. A mirror with danger at its heart.

A child is delighted to discover she is a witch, and a village disappears under a fairy curse.

Then a selkie finds her way back to the waves, before a blood moon rises, bringing its own secrets …

Full of the spooky and the gothic, fairy tales and poetry, this is a brilliant and intriguing collection where nothing and no one is as they seem.

Thoughts form the Emporium

This small anthology is a deliciously dark, gothic collection of poetry and short stories from several talented authors. We’d read previously read Regan by Rebecca McDowell so we knew if she was included in the book, the other authors would be of high standard. We weren’t wrong.

Some of these stories were spooky enough to give goosebumps and Amber’s fear of mirrors was reactivated by Michael Bartlett’s Mirror, Mirror. The haunting poetry drew us into other places and danger and we particularly loved Corpse Light by Amaris Chase. Living near the Yorkshires Moors, we will heed the tales warning.

It’s an ideal book to dip into on the darker evenings, share around the fire just like our ancestors did and treasure for future Halloweens.

Beautiful dark illustrations

Thank you Crump Barn Studio for inviting us to this tour and providing a copy to the Enchanted Emporium bookshelf so we could provide an honest and unbiased opinion.

Book Review: The Lighthouse Witches by C.J Cooke

As far as those at the Enchanted Emporium is concerned, September is really a precursor to Halloween so it’s the ideal time to share reviews for witchy books old and new. The Lighthouse Witches by C.J Cooke was released last year but deserves to be shouted about again now it’s spooky season.

With a hauntingly beautiful cover, it oozed darkness and menacing which meant Amber couldn’t wait to read it. Scroll down to see if it met her expectations.

Book Review: The Lighthouse Witches by C.J Cooke

Book cover for The Lighthouse Witches by C.J Cooke. Dark cover with red and black lighthouse amidst dark blue and grey stylised waves.
The Lighthouse Witches by C.J Cooke


Title:
The Lighthouse Witches

Author: C.J Cooke

Publisher: HarperCollins

Genre: witchlit, paranormal, Gothic

Release Date: 30th September 2021

Blurb

The brand-new chilling gothic thriller from the bestselling author . . .

Upon the cliffs of a remote Scottish island, Lòn Haven, stands a lighthouse. A lighthouse that has weathered more than storms. Mysterious and terrible events have happened on this island. It started with a witch hunt. Now, centuries later, islanders are vanishing without explanation.

Coincidence? Or curse? Liv Stay flees to the island with her three daughters, in search of a home. She doesn’t believe in witches, or dark omens, or hauntings. But within months, her daughter Luna will be the only one of them left. Twenty years later, Luna is drawn back to the place her family vanished. As the last sister left, it’s up to her to find out the truth . . .

But what really happened at the lighthouse all those years ago?

Thoughts from The Emporium

Based on an isolated Scottish island, The Lighthouse Witches is a deliciously dark tale full of gothic atmosphere. The descriptions of the lighthouse’s interior provided the location for an unnerving, fear based reading experience. Told by several narrators, including an ancient grimoire, it followed Luna as she returns to the island to discover the truth about her mother and sisters disappearance in 1998. The hostile welcome from the close-knit community added to the mystery and tension. With links to the 17th century Scottish witch trials, both witches were hooked until the end. Even then their thoughts were drawn back to it. Thankfully, they had each other to discuss things with.

There were moments when Amber wondered how dark the story would go and began reading behind a cushion, Dr Who style. It may not be graphic but it forced both witches to use their imagination which may have made things worse. With increased tension, it hurtled towards an unexpected but satisfying conclusion.

If you want a chilling witchy pageturner with strong female characters, this is one to pull from a bookshelf. A perfect Halloween read.

Have you read it? The witches would love to know you thoughts.

Author Biography

black and white photo of author C.J Cooke. White woman with dark shoulder length hair and friendly smile
Author C.J Cooke

C.J. Cooke is an acclaimed, award-winning poet, novelist and academic with numerous other publications written under the name of Carolyn Jess-Cooke. Her work has been published in twentythree languages to date. Born in Belfast, C.J. has a PhD in Literature from Queen’s University, Belfast, and is currently Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of Glasgow, where she researches creative writing interventions for mental health. C.J. Cooke lives in Glasgow with her husband and four children. She also founded the Stay-At-Home Festival.