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A Christmas Miracle in the Little Irish Village by Michelle Vernal #Review

  Michelle Vernal's A Christmas Miracle in the Little Irish Village was published on September 27th by Bookoutre . Ava Kelly loves returning to Emerald Bay for Christmas. Snowflakes fall on the green rolling hills and mulled wine fills The Shamrock Inn with the smell of winter spice. But this year, the Kelly family is hoping for a miracle… When twenty-four-year-old Ava Kelly and her adventurous twin Grace return home to The Shamrock Inn, their Ma’s favourite baubles bring back so many memories of Christmases past. They have always done everything together, even leaving their little Irish village for the excitement of London. But with the locket her handsome ex Shane gave her hanging just above her heart, Ava has just one wish this festive season… After a year stuck in a job she can’t stand and going on dreadful dates, Ava longs to be back with Shane. Curling up in front of the fire with him, the brooding fisherman everyone else sees melts away as his blue eyes meet hers.

The Last Thing to Burn by Will Dean #Review #PublicationDay


It is a great pleasure to be able to review  to celebrate Will Dean's latest standalone novel, The Last Thing to Burn, Published by Hodder and Stoughton on January 7th, it is filled with tension from the opening scene.

 He is her husband. She is his captive.

Her husband calls her Jane. That is not her name.

She lives in a small farm cottage, surrounded by vast, open fields. Everywhere she looks, there is space. But she is trapped. No one knows how she got to the UK: no one knows she is there. Visitors rarely come to the farm; if they do, she is never seen.

Her husband records her every movement during the day. If he doesn't like what he sees, she is punished.

For a long time, escape seemed impossible. But now, something has changed. She has a reason to live and a reason to fight. Now, she is watching him, and waiting . . .

My Thoughts

The tension is there from the beginning and never leaves you throughout the book. It felt like one of those books which you wanted to read looking through your fingertips. The suspense was so all encompassing. The vulnerability of the dispossessed and  the powerless permeates this story. You feel that you are looking on as innocence is trampled on.

    The setting is dark and harrowing. You understand how shrunk Thanh Dao's world has become. You are trapped there on the farm alongside her as one by one, her possessions are burnt and her identity is destroyed. This is a standalone story and certainly a singular tale. It is filled with the horror of Thanh Dao's situation which never leaves you. 

In short: A harrowing tale of powerlessness


About the Author

WILL DEAN grew up in the East Midlands, living in nine different villages before the age of eighteen. After studying law at LSE, and doing various jobs in London, he settled in rural Sweden with his wife in 2012. He built a wooden house in a boggy forest clearing and it’s from this base that he writes, with the aim of being as self-sufficient and low-cost as possible. He and his wife grow food, forage in summer and autumn, take water from their own well and use their own timber for heating and cooking. His interests other than writing are painting, nature, cooking, travel, repairing old mechanical watches, seakayaking and movies. DARK PINES is his first novel.

You can follow Will here:  Twitter  |  Goodreads

Book link: Amazon UK
Thanks to Will Dean and Hodder and Stoughton for a copy of the book. 


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