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BLOG TOUR: The Magician's Lie by Greer Macallister (REVIEW)

The Magician's Lie is the debut novel by Greer Macallister, a book that has become a USA Today and MIBA Indie Bestseller, and has even been reviewed by Oprah Winfrey. The novel focuses on a famous illusionist who is accused of her husband's murder.

The Amazing Arden is the most famous female illusionist of her day, renowned for her notorious trick of sawing a man in half on stage. But one night she swaps her trademark saw for an axe.

When Arden's husband is found dead later that night, the answer seems clear, most of all to young policeman Virgil Holt.

Captured and taken into custody, all seems set for Arden's swift confession. But she has a different story to tell. Even handcuffed and alone, Arden is far from powerless, and what she reveals is as unbelievable as it is spellbinding.

A magical and mysterious historical thriller, perfect for fans of The Night Circus and Water for Elephants.

I wanted to read this book the minute I heard about it. Granted, I haven't read Water for Elephants or The Night Circus (although that is on my TBR list), but the premise of The Magician's Lie sounded utterly fantastic.

And it was. In 1905 in Iowa, famous illusionist The Amazing Arden finds herself accused of her husband's murder. Given that Arden is the prime suspect, she's faced with the task of convincing policeman Virgil Holt that she's innocent. But with her reputation for clever trickery behind her, and her attempt at fleeing, it's a difficult task indeed, though soon Arden begins to reveal more about herself that makes Virgil once again question whether to let her go.

The Magician's Lie is utterly captivating. It's described as a historical thriller, but I found it to be less thriller, more mystery with drama and a lot of intrigue. Perhaps a thriller in some ways, but not typically so; there's no big unexpected twist found in typical thrillers, and it focuses more on the character. However, I loved that. It's such a beautifully written tale that kept me hooked from the very first page. The novel revels a lot about the world of illusionists back in that time, and that alone made me keep reading. When Arden reveals all about her life, from her childhood to her life as a renowned performer, I was swept away in the intrigue.

The Magician's Lie is a fast-paced, beautiful debut, and I can't wait to read more from Greer Macallister in future.

Rating: 5/5

PICKS: Five new novels to get you in the Christmas spirit!

It's October already, and just as you might be wondering 'where the heck has this year GONE?!' then just to remind you, it's Christmas in two months. Yep, two months.

Still, one of the most fun things about the run-up to Christmas (besides pretty Christmas markets and Advocaat) is the selection of festive novels being released. If you're looking for some Christmassy tales to get cosy with on a cold evening, then there are plenty to choose from, with books from both new and well-known authors. Here's part one of the Super Heroines Christmas selection.

One Christmas Kiss in Notting Hill by Mandy Baggott
Imagine the perfect Christmas Kiss…

His strong arms around her waist, her hands on his face, the snow slowly starts to fall…

It’s enough to make Isla Winters cringe! While her sister can’t get enough of this – increasingly common – sight on the streets of London, Isla’s too busy trying to stop Hannah’s wheelchair from slipping on the ice, and making sure she’s not too late to her dream job at Breekers International. 

But everything changes with the arrival of Chase Bryan, fresh from the New York office. He’s eager to learn everything about Isla’s beloved Notting Hill, but as the nights get colder, will cosying up to him come at a price?

The Little Village Christmas by Sue Moorcroft
Alexia Kennedy – interior decorator extraordinaire – has been tasked with giving the little village of Middledip the community cafĂ© it’s always dreamed of.

After months of fundraising, the villagers can’t wait to see work get started – but disaster strikes when every last penny is stolen. With Middledip up in arms at how this could have happened, Alexia feels ready to admit defeat.

But help comes in an unlikely form when woodsman, Ben Hardaker and his rescue owl Barney, arrive on the scene. Another lost soul who’s hit rock bottom, Ben and Alexia make an unlikely partnership.

However, they soon realise that a little sprinkling of Christmas magic might just help to bring this village – and their lives – together again…

No-One Ever Has Sex on Christmas Day by Tracy Bloom
A dream family Christmas or a total nightmare? Katy and Ben are about to find out...

Katy’s been stuck in the office away from her family so she wants it all: snow (fake or real), the Michael BublĂ© Christmas album, whatever it takes. 

There’s only one thing missing as far as her husband Ben is concerned: another baby to complete their family. But Katy isn’t so sure she's ready yet…

Ben may be playing the role of Master Elf in the pre-school nativity but he is struggling to master his own family life. With romantically-challenged friends, an ex who refuses to go away and Katy's mum's 64-year-old toy boy thrown into the mix, Christmas looks like it could be going off the rails… 

Never mind family planning, can Katy and Ben even plan to make it to the end of Christmas Day? 

The Christmas Holiday by Maxine Morrey
As winter comes to London, journalist Mia Walker is desperately hoping for her big break as a travel writer, dreaming of exotic locations and sun-soaked beaches. When she’s invited to write a romantic travel piece that ends in a huge winter wedding in London, she jumps at the chance. The only trouble is, the photographer is renowned adventure-junkie Hunter Scott, who Mia last saw five years ago when she ended their engagement.

It’s the opportunity of a lifetime, and Mia knows she’d be mad to say no – even if it does mean spending weeks travelling round the world with the one man she never wanted to see again! But as the wedding approaches, and the magic of Christmas begins to take hold, Mia can’t help looking out for mistletoe – and wishing she hadn’t cancelled her own engagement after all…

Christmas in London by Anita Hughes
It’s a week before Christmas and Louisa Graham is working twelve hour shifts at a bakery on Manhattan's Lower East Side. When a young cooking show assistant comes in from the rain and begs to buy all the cinnamon rolls on her tray, she doesn’t know what to do. Louisa is just the baker, and they aren't hers to sell. But the show burned the rolls they were supposed to film that day; so she agrees.

The next morning, Louisa finds out that her cinnamon rolls were a hit, but the star of the show was allergic, and the whole crew is supposed to leave for London that afternoon. They want Louisa to step in for their annual Christmas Eve Dinner TV special at Claridge's. It’s a great opportunity, and Digby Bunting, Louisa’s famous baking idol, will be there. Even if he does seem more interested in her than her food.

And then there’s Kate, the show's beautiful producer. On their first day in London she runs into the skinny boy she jilted at St. Andrew's in Scotland ten years ago. Now he’s a handsome, brilliant mathematician, and newly divorced. Their familiar spark is still there, but so is the scar of how they left things. Kate and Louisa are busy preparing for the show, but old and new flames are complicating their work.

Welcome to my new blog - SUPER HEROINES!

For me, September has always been a pretty decent time to make changes. Most people might see the new year as the perfect opportunity to start anew, leaping excitedly into January with a fresh set of goals and the warm feeling of starting a new chapter (and perhaps, a bit too much champagne).

Personally, though? It's all about September. Maybe it has something to do with the shifting of the seasons; darker evenings, colder weather, cosy nights in with a good book. It could be that the back-to-school nostalgia has been invoked, reminiscent of a time when a new term would begin, new stationery would be bought and a fresh feeling would hang in the chilly air.

So it's only natural that I'd choose this time decide to give my blog an entire new look. And name. Yes, it's time for a big change - hence, welcome to Super Heroines!

In case you're wondering, I re-launched my blog on September 12th. It's something I've been thinking of doing for a while, and finally decided to just go for it, for a few reasons:

One - I felt as though the site needed updating - I'd been running Uncovered for three years, and although I loved the design, felt it was getting a bit old-fashioned. I wanted to give it a complete overhaul, so it could not have been a better time to work on something fresh.

Two - I fell in love with the name. I'm a huge comic-book fan, so it's no surprise where that name came from, but more specifically, I feel as though it sums up what I want in a book blog. One of the best aspects of book blogging is finding books with amazing, kick-ass leading ladies. And their awesome authors too!

When I started reviewing books many years ago, I focused mainly on 'chick-lit'. It's fun, it makes me happy, and even though I read absolutely anything I can get my hands on, chick-lit has been my go-to genre. However, I've been wanting to blog about other books I read, such as thrillers, mystery, crime and sometimes YA, and not have a particular emphasis on one specific genre.

My older posts will still remain, but from this point on, Super Heroines will take over. This blog is dedicated to the super ladies of literature - writers and characters alike!

Elle x

BOOK NEWS: It Started With a Tweet by Anna Bell

Anna Bell recently revealed the cover of her new novel, and ISN'T IT LOVELY?! Anna is the author of romantic comedies including the Don't Tell series, The Bucket List to Mend a Broken Heart and The Good Girlfriend's Guide to Getting Even. It Started With a Tweet is out in December, and follows social media-obsessed Daisy who's about to face some life changes after a huge mistake at work...

Daisy Hobson lives her whole life online. A marketing manager by day, she tweets her friends, instagrams every meal and arranges (frankly, appalling) dates on Tinder. But when her social media obsession causes her to make a catastrophic mistake at work, Daisy finds her life going into free-fall...

Her sister Rosie thinks she has the answer to all of Daisy's problems - a digital detox in a remote cottage in Cumbria, that she just happens to need help doing up. Soon, too, Daisy finds herself with two welcome distractions: sexy French exchange-help Alexis, and Jack, the brusque and rugged man-next-door, who keeps accidentally rescuing her.

But can Daisy, a London girl, ever really settle into life in a tiny, isolated village? And, more importantly, can she survive without her phone? 

NEW RELEASES: You, Me and Everything in Between by Helen J Rolfe

You, Me and Everything in Between is the new novel from Helen J Rolfe, author of Handle Me With Care and In a Manhattan Minute. Lydia's life is changed completely, leaving her wondering whether she should finally move on...

Can you ever rewrite the past?

Lydia and Theo face the unthinkable when a knock at the door changes everything. 

As Theo lies unconscious, Lydia begins to pick up the pieces, but not every part of the puzzle fits together as neatly as it did before. And when Lydia begins to move on, what happens when Theo wakes up and realises she didn’t wait for him?

Theo and Lydia have a history together, but do they still have a future? Or has too much happened to be able to forgive and forget? 

BOOK REVIEW: My Sister's Wedding by Vicky Pattison

When I was sent the ARC of My Sister's Wedding by Vicky Pattison, I wasn't sure what to expect - I'm not usually a fan of overly-romantic stories, which is what the cover makes it out to be (it's a little sugary for my tastes!). However, the blurb looked fun. Two very different sisters, one big wedding. I decided to give it a try. As it turned out, this book was brilliant.

First off, I have to say that I had no idea who Vicky Pattison was before reading this. I hardly watch TV, let alone reality TV, and I've never seen an episode of Geordie Shore in my life. On receiving this book I learned Vicky is a celebrity with two more novels available (All That Glitters and The Christmas Kiss) along with some non-fiction titles.

Lizzie and Becky Ashworth are sisters, but so very different. Becky is sensible, focused, and preparing to get married to her fiance, the lovely Daniel Balfour. Meanwhile, Lizzie is a bit more wild, unable to keep a job for very long, and lacking the security and drive that her sister has.

Becky and Daniel are truly in love, and the wedding is set to be a lavish affair, especially seeing as Daniel hails from the uber-rich Balfour family, a big difference from the Ashworths' working-class roots. Becky has always felt that the Balfours do not approve of their son's decision to marry her instead of a wealthy socialite, which is causing tensions to run high in preparation for the big day.

Meanwhile, Daniel's sister isn't happy with the marriage, especially seeing as her friend has eyes for Daniel, and so the pair come up with a plot to try and split up the happy couple for good.

As Becky is planning to move into the next chapter of her life, Lizzie feels as though she's lagging behind, that her sister won't need her anymore. But as it happens, the sisters might just need each other more than they think.

My Sister's Wedding was very funny and quite hard to put down. The book is narrated by both sisters during the wedding preparations, and it's hard not to like both of the girls; even Lizzie, who may come across as fiery and less sensible than her sister, but has a heart of gold - especially when it comes to family! There are some great characters too, along with some rivalry and revenge. Admittedly I did feel that this book was for a slightly younger audience (maybe late teens/early twenties), but it's a great story. It's light, funny and feel-good, and I really enjoyed it.

Rating: 5/5

NEW RELEASES: Hello Sunshine by Laura Dave

Sunshine is a vlogger who appears to have it all in life - that is, until her true identity is revealed. In Hello Sunshine, the newly-released novel by Laura Dave, author of The First Husband and Eight Hundred Grapes, Sunshine has to navigate life in the downfall of the identity she has built up online.

Sunshine Mackenzie truly is living the dream. A lifestyle guru for the modern age, Sunshine is beloved by millions of people who tune into her YouTube cooking show, and millions more scour her website for recipes, wisdom, and her enticing suggestions for how to curate a perfect life. She boasts a series of #1 New York Times bestselling cookbooks, a devoted architect husband, and a reputation for sincerity and kindness--Sunshine seems to have it all. But she's hiding who she really is. And when her secret is revealed, her fall from grace is catastrophic. What Sunshine does in the ashes of destruction will save her in more ways than she can imagine. 

In our modern world, where celebrity is a careful construct, Laura Dave's compelling, enticing novel explores the devastating effect of the secrets we keep in public...and in private. Hello, Sunshine is a fresh, provocative look at a woman teetering between a scrupulously assembled life and the redemptive power of revealing the truth.