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The Fascination by Essie Fox #Review #Giveaway

   Today be prepared for a dark, Victorian gothic novel! The Fascination by Essie Fox is published on June 22nd by Orenda . For the chance to win a print copy of The Fascination see the foot of this post for details. Victorian England. A world of rural fairgrounds and glamorous London theatres. A world of dark secrets and deadly obsessions… Twin sisters Keziah and Tilly Lovell are identical in every way, except that Tilly hasn't grown a single inch since she was five. Coerced into promoting their father's quack elixir as they tour the country fairgrounds, at the age of fifteen the girls are sold to a mysterious Italian known as ‘Captain’. Theo is an orphan, raised by his grandfather, Lord Seabrook, a man who has a dark interest in anatomical freaks and other curiosities … particularly the human kind. Resenting his grandson for his mother’s death in childbirth, when Seabrook remarries and a new heir is produced, Theo is forced to leave home without a penny to his

The Lynmouth Stories by L V Hay #Review #ShortStories


The Lynmouth Stories by Lucy V Hay is a collection of three short stories, and at 35 pages in length is a concise read.

Beautiful places hide dark secrets ...

Devon's very own crime writer L.V Hay (The Other Twin, Do No Harm) brings forth three new short stories from her dark mind and poison pen: 

- For kidnapped Meg and her young son Danny, In Plain Sight, the remote headland above Lynmouth is not a haven, but hell.

- A summer of fun for Catherine in Killing Me Softly becomes a winter of discontent ... and death. 

- In Hell And High Water, a last minute holiday for Naomi and baby Tommy  becomes a survival situation ... But that's before the village floods. 

All taking place out of season when the majority of tourists have gone home, L.V Hay uses her local knowledge to bring forth dark and claustrophic noir she has come to be known for. 

Did You Know ...? 

Known as England's 'Little Switzerland', the Devon village of Lynmouth is famous for its Victorian cliff railway, fish n' chips and of course, RD Blackmore's Lorna Doone. 

Located on the doorstep of the dramatic Valley of The Rocks and the South West Cliff Path, the twin villages of Lynton and Lynmouth have inspired many writers, including 19th Century romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, who honeymooned there in 1812. 

My Thoughts

 This collection of short stories is ideal for those moments when you want a quick read. The three stories are all set around Lynmouth, at a, out of season time, when the place seems eerily deserted and overlooked. There is plenty of atmosphere within the pages and some desperate situations which unsettle the reader. The sea nearby seems brooding and cold, far removed from the holiday beach scenes you would normally think of.

    There are some haunting characterisations. You feel for Meg and Danny in the first story, In Plain Sight and can sense her thoughts whirring as she tries to plan an escape. In Killing Me Softly, you meet another young woman, Catherine, seemingly locked into her existence in a seaside cafe, under the thrall of her mysterious lover. She has always felt on the outside of life, a loner, and struggled with her mental health. Lastly, In Hell and High Water describes an abused young woman, trapped in a toxic relationship.  I found this one to be the most memorable. 

    These are three stories which take you to dark places. The out of season setting is unsettling, familiar yet menacing.

In short: three short journeys into a claustrophobic world.



About the Author


Lucy V. Hay is a novelist, script editor and blogger who helps

writers via her Bang2write
consultancy. She is the associate producer of Brit Thrillers Deviation (2012) and Assassin (2015), both starring Danny Dyer. Lucy is also head reader for the London Screenwriters’ Festival and has written two non-fiction books, Writing & Selling Thriller Screenplays, plus its follow-up Drama Screenplays. She lives in Devon with her husband, three children, six cats and five African Land Snails. 

You can follow Lucy here:  Website     |  Twitter  |  Facebook
                                          |  Goodreads
Book link:    Amazon UK                  

Thanks to L V Hay and Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for a copy of the book and a place on the Blog Tour.
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