THE WITCH ELM by Bestselling Author TANA FRENCH Audiobook Review

Title: THE WITCH ELM

Author: TANA FRENCH

Narrator: PAUL NUGENT

Genre: FICTION, MYSTERIES AND THRILLERS

Length: 22 HOURS, 8 MINUTES

Publisher: PENGUIN AUDIO

Type of Book: AUDIOBOOK

Purchased from: Audible.com

Release Date: OCTOBER 9, 2018

Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

DESCRIPTION:

Toby is a happy-go-lucky charmer who’s dodged a scrape at work and is celebrating with friends when the night takes a turn that will change his life – he surprises two burglars who beat him and leave him for dead. Struggling to recover from his injuries, beginning to understand that he might never be the same man again, he takes refuge at his family’s ancestral home to care for his dying uncle Hugo. Then a skull is found in the trunk of an elm tree in the garden – and as detectives close in, Toby is forced to face the possibility that his past may not be what he has always believed.

A spellbinding standalone from one of the best suspense writers working today, The Witch Elm asks what we become, and what we’re capable of, when we no longer know who we are.
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MY REVIEW:

Phenomenal. Intriguing. Unconventional. Thrilling. Astonishing.

All these words and more apply to Tana French’s novel, THE WITCH ELM.

At it’s core, this book is a modern day whodunit, a thriller of epic proportions, but it is also so much more.

This book is a character study, a tale of teen angst, the story of a family rallying together in the midst of a horrific medical diagnosis. It is the story of a romance. This is a book about siblings, cousins, friends and how relationships can change over time and how they stay the same. It is also a mystery wrapped in an enigma.

This is truly a book that has everything. I enjoyed listening to it immensely. The story takes place in Ireland and having a narrator with an Irish accent gave this book a sense of place and added authenticity to the audiobook.

The story has plenty twists and turns, some which were expected and many that were not.

Tana French has created characters so realistic that you almost expect to run into one of them on the street.

At just over 22 hours of listening time, this is not a short audiobook and you would think that 22 hours would be too long, however, you would be wrong. In fact, I didn’t want this story to end. I had become invested in the character’s futures.

The Publisher has created a reader’s guide for this book which can be found and downloaded HERE.

My favorite character was Uncle Hugo. On the surface he seems like a giant bore. But as you learn more about him, you start to realize that he is like an onion with many layers, some quite shocking. He has a passion for genealogy research and was able to parlay that into a career as a Genealogist. The author is somehow able to make this career choice seem interesting to listeners and Hugo’s research into his client’s history is an interesting side storyline.

I rate THE WITCH ELM as 5 out of 5 Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

I also give a 5 STAR rating to the narrator whose Irish accent offers listeners authenticity as well as a sense of place. His pacing is sheer perfection. Listeners are able to easily distinguish between character voices which is a huge plus in my opinion.

All in all, I highly recommend this audiobook to readers and listeners from the ages of 16 and up.

Tana French was new to me before experiencing “The Witch Elm” audiobook, but I will be on the lookout for more books from this author in the future.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Tana French is the author of The Witch Elm, In the Woods, The Likeness, Faithful Place, Broken Harbor, The Secret Place and The Trespasser.

Her books have won awards including the Edgar, Anthony, Macavity and Barry Awards, the Los Angeles Times Award for Best Mystery/Thriller, and the Irish Book Award for Crime Fiction.

She lives in Dublin with her family.

AUTHOR NOTE:

“There’s one thing that no one I know, including me, ever has enough of: time. Everyone has at least three things they should be doing with every minute, and everyone could do with about six more hours in the day. So I’m very aware that when you take a chance on one of my books, it’s not just your money that you’re putting on the line; it’s your time, which is probably even more precious. I want to thank you, so much, for taking that chance; for your wonderful support, which never stops taking my breath away. Here’s to all of you. I’ll do my absolute best not to waste your time.”

Tana French in The New Yorker

‘The Trespasser’ begs us to take crime fiction seriously

The Millions Interviews Tana French

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To learn more about this author, visit the following links:

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“A spellbinding standalone from one of the best suspense writers working today, The Witch Elm asks what we become, and what we’re capable of, when we no longer know who we are.

  • Quotes:

    The thing is, I suppose,” he said, “that one gets into the habit of being oneself. It takes some great upheaval to crack that shell and force us to discover what else might be underneath. What if I never got another day in my life when I was normal again?

    Once the fear took hold, I was fucked. I’d never known anything like it could exist: all-consuming, ravenous, a whirling black vortex that sucked me under so completely and mercilessly that it truly felt like I was being devoured alive, bones splintered, marrow sucked. After an eternity (lying in bed with my heart jackhammering, adrenaline firing me like a strobe light, feeling the last few threads that held my mind together stretch to a snapping point) something would happen to break the vortex’s hold—a nurse coming in so that I had to make mechanical cheerful chitchat, an uncontrollable rush of sleep—and I would clamber up out of it, shaky and weak as a half-drowned animal. But even when the fear receded for a while, it was always there: dark, misshapen, taloned, hanging somewhere above and behind me, waiting for its next moment to drop onto my back and dig in deep.

    ABOUT THE NARRATOR:

    https://vimeo.com/178172746

    To learn more about this Narrator, visit the following links:

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    HUNTING THE SATURDAY NIGHT STRANGLER by Author and Ex-Law Enforcement Officer C.M. WENDLEBOE is NOW AVAILABLE and it is one heck of a mystery

    Title: HUNTING THE SATURDAY NIGHT STRANGLER

    Series: A BITTER WIND MYSTERY (BOOK TWO)

    Author: C.M. WENDLEBOE

    Genre: FICTION, THRILLERS AND MYSTERIES

    Length: 288 PAGES

    Publisher: MIDNIGHT INK BOOKS

    Received From: NETGALLEY

    Release Date: OCTOBER 1, 2018

    ISBN: 9780738753621

    Price: $15.99 USD (Paperback)

    Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

    DESCRIPTION:

    Two innocent victims, strangled to death on consecutive Saturday nights. Even as they see the pattern emerging, retired detective Arn Anderson and TV reporter Ana Maria Villarreal can’t seem to convince the Cheyenne police that the killer may strike again.

    Hunting a remorseless murderer leads Arn and Ana Maria down a rabbit hole of ranchers and rustlers. But the closer they come to catching the killer, the more they’re met with suspicion. And when their investigation collides with a desperate act of violence, they wonder whether they’re unwinding the killer’s twisted thread of clues or tightening their own noose.

    MY REVIEW:

    This is the second book in the “Bitter Wind Mysteries” Series however, it can easily be read as a standalone novel.

    Retired police detective Arn Anderson has moved back to his hometown of Cheyenne, Wyoming to renovate his historic family home that had fallen into disrepair.

    Arn has two roommates; one is Ana Maria Villarreal, a television reporter for the local news station, and the second roommate is Danny, a previously homeless man whom Arn has offered room and board in exchange for working on the house renovations.

    Arn has been hired by the local ranchers association to try to discover who has been stealing their sheep. Sounds like an easy (and safe) job right? Wrong.

    Arn has been unable to discover who is rustling sheep despite staking out numerous fields. Then, the job becomes much more serious when a body is found in one of the fields.

    The television station hires Arn to find the killer before local law enforcement does. Seeing visions of central air-conditioning, Arn accepts the job.

    What follows is a true whodunit. There are clues, promising leads that go nowhere, and gut feelings that lead everywhere.

    Author C.M. Wendleboe’s history as a member of law enforcement shines throughout his writing. I believe that his past gives him a unique perspective on the limitations placed on the police when trying to investigate a crime.

    Between the mystery of the identity of the local Sheepherder bandit, the fact that someone might be following Ana Maria and Arn’s gut feelings, it is just a matter of time before he either solves the case or more bodies pile up.

    A page-turner with believable and compelling characters, this book will keep you guessing right up until it’s stunning conclusion. Reading this book will immerse readers in the life of a Wyoming rancher and even teach you some things about the use of dogs for herding sheep.

    I rate HUNTING THE SATURDAY NIGHT STRANGLER as 5 out of 5 Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

    **Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with a free copy of this book.**

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    To read my review of the first book in the BITTER WIND MYSTERY Series, click HERE.

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    ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

    C.M. WENDELBOE entered the law enforcement profession when he was discharged from the Marines as the Vietnam war was winding down. In the 1970s, his career included assisting federal and tribal law enforcement agencies embroiled in conflicts with American Indian Movement activists in South Dakota.

    He moved to Gillette, Wyoming, and found his niche, where he remained a sheriff’s deputy for more than 25 years. In addition, he was a longtime firearms instructor at the local college and within the community.

    During his 38-year career in law enforcement he served successful stints as police chief, policy adviser, and other supervisory roles for several agencies. Yet he always has felt most proud of “working the street.”

    He was a patrol supervisor when he retired to pursue his true vocation as a fiction writer.

    To learn more about this author, visit the following links:

    OFFICIAL WEBSITE    

    GOODREADS           

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    CHAPTERS   

    PUBLISHER’S WEBSITE    


    ABOUT THE PUBLISHER: 

    Celebrating ten years of the very best in mystery fiction, Midnight Ink publishes everything from quirky cozies to chilling thrillers.

    From the outset, Midnight Ink has been dedicated to sleuthing out and fostering new talent, from their longest standing series by Jess Lourey, Sue Ann Jaffarian and Karen MacInerney to award-winning mysteries by G.M. Malliet and Catriona McPherson.

    Prepare to burn the midnight oil with a Midnight Ink mystery.

    To learn more about this Publisher, visit the following links:

    OFFICIAL WEBSITE 

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    DUTY COVER REVEAL & GIVEAWAY – WIN A $25 AMAZON GIFT CARD

    Title: DUTY

    Author: BETHANY-KRIS

    Andino + Haven, #1
    Publication Date: October 8, 2018
    Genres: Adult, Romantic Suspense, Organized Crime. Erotic Romance

    Cover Credits: Mykel Mignon at Oh So Novel

    SYNOPSIS

    They say heavy is the head that wears the crown …

    Andino Marcello’s world is turned upside down when he becomes the next heir apparent to the Marcello empire. He was comfortable in his place as a Capo, but comfort is for the weak in the world of mafioso. The boss’s seat is waiting. It takes meeting a tattooed beauty who has no idea who Andino is or the criminal legacy he now carries beneath his three-piece suits, and charming smile for him to finally bend the rules set out for him. That doesn’t mean he can keep her.

    They say things that never challenge you won’t change you …

    Haven Murphy is doing her own thing, and she does it well. The owner of a successful Brooklyn strip club, she makes it her only goal to never fail. She’s just trying to live her life when a morning jog puts her face to face with a man that will change the direction of her life with a single conversation. She knows there’s a dark side to him beyond his good looks, and three-piece suits, but it’s hard for her to care when she wants him. That doesn’t mean he can be hers.

    He’s going to break her heart; she’s going to keep his.

    Because duty waits on no one.

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    EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT: DUTY

    “Bad things happen to people who aren’t paying attention,” the woman said.

    Andino nodded. “That’s true.”

    She gave him another look, adding, “I guess the bad guys probably don’t wear three-piece suits, or walk their dogs in the middle of broad daylight.”

    Funny.

    Hadn’t he just killed a man a couple of days ago? Didn’t he have a gun hidden at his back? Wasn’t he just told he would be the heir to a criminal empire?

    That all spelled bad guy to him.

    Just in different ways.

    “Life is busy,” Andino said, whistling after for Snaps to come back. Unquestioningly, the dog left the woman’s side, and came back to his master to sit patiently at Andino’s leather loafers. “Too busy for me, maybe. I don’t like change, but someone decided something recently that changed everything for me. Walking Snaps clears my head.”

    The woman crossed her arms over her chest, and it drew Andino’s attention to the colorful artwork tattooed up her arms. Full sleeves on both arms, ink covering her throat, and traveling down to where the baggy tank top dipped low on her chest.

    Damn.

    He wondered what kind of stories her ink told.

    Something amazing, probably.

    “You should take a break, then, stranger who wears a three-piece suit to walk his dog.” Her tone was half-amused, and half-teasing. “You looked happy right before I interrupted—I bet Snaps would like you to take a break, too.”

    “I—”

    Andino’s phone buzzed with a call—he cursed as he shoved his hand into his pocket, and pulled the offensive device out to check the call.

    Dante.

    The boss.

    No shunning a boss.

    It was a rule.

    He turned slightly to make his shoulder face the woman as he picked up the call. “Yeah, boss, what can I do for you?”

    “Nothing you can’t handle, I am sure.”

    The last thing Andino wanted to do was handle business. Any kind of business. He thought of the woman, and her words. Maybe she had a fucking point.

    “Actually, I need a couple of weeks,” Andino said.

    “Excuse me?” Dante asked.

    “Yeah, I need a break.”

    “For …?”

    “At this point, whatever the hell I want. And anything that is not in this city.”

    He needed to get away, and just … relax. Maybe then he wouldn’t get so snappy when his mother asked about women in his life, or whatever. Maybe then he might start to feel better about this whole fucking boss thing.

    “Is this about the business, and la famiglia again, Andi?”

    “Do you really need me to answer that?”

    “You’re the right choice,” Dante said quietly. “The best choice. And you know it.”

    “Fact remains. You’ve upended what I thought was my life. I need time to adjust.”

    Dante sighed harshly, and Andino knew then he was going to get what he wanted. After all, Dante would want to keep him happy.

    This was a two-way street.

    A give and take.

    “Fine, but—”

    “No buts,” Andino interjected. “A break is a fucking break.”

    “Has your father ever told you that you’re a demanding little shit?”

    “Yes, and also that it suits me.”

    Dante grumbled under his breath, but Andino was pretty sure his uncle said, “He’s not wrong.”

    “Yeah, well—”

    “Take your break.”

    Dante hung up the phone without a goodbye. Andino wished he could say he was surprised. Turning on his heel to apologize and say goodbye to the woman who had been at the mouth of the connecting trail, he found the spot empty.

    And the woman gone.

    Fuck.

    He hadn’t even gotten her name.

    Snaps looked up at Andino with his big, dark eyes—ready and willing to find yet another stick to be thrown for him, probably.

    “Where did she go?” Andino asked his dog.

    Snaps simply wagged his stubby tail.

    Thanks for the help, buddy.

    ABOUT BETHANY-KRIS

    Bethany-Kris is a Canadian author, lover of much, and mother to four young sons, one cat, and two dogs. A small town in Eastern Canada where she was born and raised is where she has always called home. With her boys under her feet, snuggling cat, barking dogs, and a hubby calling over his shoulder, she is nearly always writing something … when she can find the time.

    To keep up-to-date with new releases from Bethany-Kris, sign up to her New Release Newsletter here: http://eepurl.com/bf9lzD

    WebsiteBlogTwitterFacebookGoodreadsPinterestMailing List InstagramBookbubAmazon Author Page

    ENTER THE GIVEAWAY

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    Bestselling Author Tosca Lee’s upcoming book THE LINE BETWEEN is destined to win awards and become a Best-Seller ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

    Title: THE LINE BETWEEN

    Author: TOSCA LEE

    Genre: FICTION, THRILLER

    Length: 384 PAGES

    Publisher: HOWARD BOOKS

    Received From: NETGALLEY

    Release Date: JANUARY 29, 2019

    ISBN: 9781476798622

    Price: $25.00 USD (HARDCOVER)

    Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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    DESCRIPTION:

    When Wynter Roth is turned out of New Earth, a self-contained doomsday cult on the American prairie, she emerges into a world poised on the brink of madness as a mysterious outbreak of rapid early onset dementia spreads across the nation.

    As Wynter struggles to start over in a world she’s been taught to regard as evil, she finds herself face-to-face with the apocalypse she’s feared all her life—until the night her sister shows up at her doorstep with a set of medical samples. That night, Wynter learns there’s something far more sinister at play and that these samples are key to understanding the disease.

    Now, as the power grid fails and the nation descends into chaos, Wynter must find a way to get the samples to a lab in Colorado. Uncertain who to trust, she takes up with former military man Chase Miller, who has his own reasons for wanting to get close to the samples in her possession, and to Wynter herself.

    Filled with action, conspiracy, romance, and questions of whom—and what—to believe, The Line Between is a high-octane story of survival and love in a world on the brink of madness.

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    MY REVIEW:

    There are several themes that run throughout this story and each would have been awesome on their own, but by combining these themes into a cohesive and compelling read is what sets this book apart and. elevates it from a great book to a truly excellent one.

    This book is the story of Wynter. It begins when she is a five year old child taken by her mother along with her older sister to live in the New Earth commune. She grows up in the Doomsday Cult (although the residents don’t view it as a cult). The leader, Magnus, is seen as a prophet of God and the members of the group strive for perfection in everything they do, all in an effort to obtain a moment’s notice from him.

    When Wynter is a grown up, 22 year old woman, she is expelled from the group’s walled compound and she is terrified.

    She has no idea how to exist in regular society. Fortunately for her, her mother’s former friend held out hope that Wynter and the rest of her family would one day leave New Earth and she takes Wynter into her home.

    The author does a brilliant job of depicting a former cult member and the difficulties they face when trying to reintegrate into modern society. It made me think of the “Lost Boys” in Utah who were expelled from the FLDS.

    Wynter has barely had time to start feeling like a normal person when her life is thrown into a state of chaos once again.

    Meanwhile, modern day society is experiencing an outbreak of rapid early onset dementia which quickly spreads nationwide. People are scared of getting sick (this reminded me of the SARS epidemic that we experienced here in Ontario, Canada a few years ago).

    Wynter’s sister, a high-ranking Cult member, shows up at Wynter’s door with files, a thumb drive and some biological samples. She enlists her help to get the samples into the proper hands before the prophet realizes where they went.

    Poor Wynter. Readers can’t help but sympathize with her situation. When she meets ex-marine Chase Miller, she doesn’t know what to think, but she needs his help so she has little choice but to trust him.

    The action in this book is non-stop. For the reader it seems as if you are in a runaway car hurtling faster and faster and the brakes do not work.

    I found this story so engrossing that I read the entire 384 pages in a single twenty-four hour period.

    Doomsday cults, a terrifying new contagion that is spreading so rapidly it seems that the entire nation will fall ill, a mysterious and enigmatic “Prophet”, Preppers, CDC involvement,. murder, mystery, and more are all contained within this coming-of-age tale that is the first in a new series.

    Releasing in January of 2019, THE LINE BETWEEN is destined to become a BEST-SELLING book. If you only choose one book to read in January, it should be this one.

    Prior to reading the ARC (Advance Review Copy) of THE LINE BETWEEN, I had no experience reading books written by Tosca Lee. Now, I have all of her previous works added to my ‘To Read’ list.

    I rate this book as 5 out of 5 Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

    My Recommendation: READ THIS BOOK – IT IS FREAKIN’ AWESOME!!!

    ***Thank you to #NetGalley for providing me with a free copy of this book.***

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    ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

    Tosca Lee is the award-winning, New York Times bestselling author of Iscariot, The Legend of Sheba, Demon: A Memoir, Havah: The Story of Eve, and the Books of Mortals series with New York Times bestseller Ted Dekker (Forbidden, Mortal, Sovereign).

    A notorious night-owl, she loves watching TV, eating bacon, playing video games with her kids, and sending cheesy texts to her husband. You can find Tosca hanging around the snack table or wherever bacon is served.

    Tosca’s highly-anticipated thriller, The Progeny (May, Simon & Schuster) is available now!

    To learn more about this author, visit the following links:

    OFFICIAL WEBSITE

    GOODREADS

    FACEBOOK

    INSTAGRAM

    TWITTER

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    CHAPTERS

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    THE PSYCHOLOGY OF TIME TRAVEL by Kate Mascarenhas features Strong female characters and is a unique tale. Coming in February 2019 – Mark your calendars

    Title: THE PSYCHOLOGY OF TIME TRAVEL

    Author: KATE MASCARENHAS

    Genre: FICTION, SCIENCE FICTION

    Length: 320 PAGES

    Publisher: CROOKED LANE BOOKS

    Received From: NETGALLEY

    Release Date: FEBRUARY 12, 2019

    ISBN: 9781683319443 (Hardcover)

    Price: $26.99 USD

    Rating: 4 OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐

    All Dioramas were created by the author.

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    DESCRIPTION:

    In 1967, four female scientists worked together to build the world’s first time machine. But just as they are about to debut their creation, one of them suffers a breakdown, putting the whole project—and future of time travel—in jeopardy. To protect their invention, one member is exiled from the team—erasing her contributions from history.

    Fifty years later, time travel is a big business. Twenty-something Ruby Rebello knows her beloved grandmother, Granny Bee, was one of the pioneers, though no one will tell her more. But when Bee receives a mysterious newspaper clipping from the future reporting the murder of an unidentified woman, Ruby becomes obsessed: could it be Bee? Who would want her dead? And most importantly of all: can her murder be stopped?

    Traversing the decades and told from alternating perspectives, The Psychology of Time Travel introduces a fabulous new voice in fiction and a new must-read for fans of speculative fiction and women’s fiction alike.

    MY REVIEW:

    “We need fictional and real role models for women in science.”

    The year is 1967. Margaret, Barbara, Grace and Lucille are all very different women, but they have one massive commonality – together they discovered time travel.

    “Margaret was a baroness turned cosmologist. Lucille had come from the Toxteth slums to make radio waves travel faster than light. Grace – who never gave the same account of her history twice – was an expert in the behaviour of matter. And the last was Barbara: the baby of the group.. She specialized in nuclear fission. All four women were combining their knowledge in a new, and unique, project.”

    When they were ready to debut their time machine to the Press, one of the women has a breakdown on national television. The others force her off the team to protect what they see as the integrity of their invention. Of course, this means that despite her contributions, one woman is left in obscurity while the other three team members go on to become famous.

    Fast forward fifty years. Time travel has become BIG business.

    Someone leaves a mysterious newspaper clipping for Ruby Rubello’s “Grandma Bee,” (Barbara who was the woman forced off the original team.)

    Ruby becomes obsessed with the information contained in that article. This leads to fascinating and sometimes sinister events.

    Because this is a time travel novel, it skips between multiple people and multiple years. It could easily have become confusing and difficult to follow for the reader, but author Kate Mascarenhas has somehow kept that from happening.

    What I love the most about THE PSYCHOLOGY OF TIME TRAVEL is the fact that all the lead characters are female and, not only that, but they are from varying races and of diverse sexuality.

    Despite the fact that this is her debut novel, the author is able to keep the story flowing perfectly despite multiple characters and multiple timelines which would be a challenge for even a seasoned author. This bodes well for her future projects and I can’t wait to discover what she comes up with next.

    I rate this book as 4 OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐ and I recommend it to readers who love a good mystery as well as those who are interested in time travel and in books containing strong female characters.

    QUOTE:

    “Life’s better with a few risks than a lot of regrets.”

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

    Kate Mascarenhas is a writer.

    Born in 1980, she is of mixed heritage (white Irish father, brown British mother) and has family in Ireland and the Republic of Seychelles.

    She studied English at Oxford and Applied Psychology at Derby. Her PhD, in literary studies and psychology, was completed at Worcester.

    Since 2017 Kate has been a chartered psychologist. Previously she has been an advertising copywriter, bookbinder, and doll’s house maker. She lives in the English midlands with her partner.

    To learn more about this author, visit the following links:

    OFFICIAL WEBSITE

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    HARPER COLLINS

    #ThePsychologyOfTimeTravel

    #NetGalley