Well hello you lovely lot and welcome to the Autumn edition of Lockdown!
I hope you all had a lovely Halloween and that my Autumn walk shot is giving you spooky autumn vibes!
On the positive side for us book and coffee lovers, it does mean we now have more time for reading and getting cosy in blankets – perfect for this time of year, yay!! Of course, it also means I have more time to write my Blog :D!
HOWL OF HEREAFTER, BY L.M. QUIRKE
When I heard that the lovely Lauran Quirke had advanced reading copies of her debut novel ‘Howl of Hereafter’ up for grabs, I was typing ‘YES PLEASE’ as fast I could into the IG Comment box!
“Joseph grew up surviving the only way he knew how.
Sylvia sees life for the twisted charade that it is’
The twist to this tale? Joseph and Sylvia are already dead. This novel is described as a paranormal romance, so I jumped straight in without quite knowing exactly what to expect. Will it be twilight or true blood-esque? What troubles will unfold?
The prologue had me laughing, then frowning then gasping and left wanting more. What a whirlwind in just 5 pages. We follow in these pages Joseph’s life on earth followed by his swift exit.
In Chapter 1 we awake with Joseph in Heaven. However in this tale, Heaven isn’t like an episode of ‘The Good Place’. It’s basically a waiting room where you must show that you are truly worthy of achieving ‘Bliss’ which is the real heaven we think of. You must prove to your guides that you are a believer of and worthy of Bliss … if not there are consequences.
As a result of being a bit of a criminal in his life and not buying into the whole idea of ‘Bliss’, Joseph lands back on earth with a bump. Except that.. no-one can see him. No-one except the already dead. Enter Sylvia. She can see Joseph. Except… everybody can see her – well, at least they think they can. This is a story of how two death-crossed lovers come to be. Their story is fun and thrilling in some parts, doing some dangerous mid-night stunts together which definitely add a bit of danger and humour to the story, but overall it’s a love story of how Joseph can come to live alongside Sylvia for an eternity, although he is not in any way living.
Sylvia presents him with an option, in which he can be like her forever; so the heavens cannot steal him back away from her, which is their main concern. The price to pay however is one that ways heavily on Joseph’s conscience. Is that who he really is?
Wow. The writing is that of an author with many more books under her belt and I was genuinely impressed that this was a debut. I loved how ‘normal’ the story was, even with our character being in heaven and coming back from the dead. Sylvia is a book store owner so we read all the goings on within there and all the side characters around them are so well developed, adding quite large amounts to story but still remaining fairly subtle and exactly like people I can think of! Because of this, even if you’re not really into paranormal books, I think you’d still enjoy this one. It’s not difficult to read because of the very well written descriptions of places that there is not really any creativity or imagination required on the readers part – so fear not if you normally struggle with this type of thing!
There were only two things in the story that I didn’t quite understand. Joseph cannot be seen by the living and they’re trying to conjure up ways to raise funds so I thought there was a few other ways that they could have gone about that and didn’t, although the Bonnie & Clyde esque tale was very thrilling!
The second was Sylvia, I just couldn’t warm to her or trust her and was urging Joseph to step away from her! Actually I think this is excellent writing because in the end I was right..! I also had questions about their relationship that I’m not sure is answered. Would they be together if they weren’t both dead? When did she die? How old is she actually? I wasn’t sure.
CAN’T PUT IT DOWN RATING: 4/5
I was picking this book back up whenever I could and honestly cannot wait to see what Lauran has next in the pipeline. The story was written so so well, the writing lovely and although I had a few questions about Sylvia, characters were well developed and most importantly, all added to the story in some way.
Where to Buy:
Foyles.co.uk : £10.99
Amazon: Kindle £3.99/Paperback: £9.67
I want to say a HUGE CONGRATULATIONS to Lauran on her first novel and a big THANK YOU for letting me be one of the first to read it. I’ll leave you with this quote because I thought it was beautiful.
With my head resting on Joseph’s chest, the thud of his heart pounded against my ear. Each beat hummed with life. When I’d first been extracted, my own beating heart had been a dark curse, a leaden pulse in my chest to remind me that I was no longer part of the living. Just a stale heart to walk as a ghost among those whose true beating hearts expanded with life. It has been the ultimate punishment. Now, Joseph’s dead beating heart was a blessing, as was my own. We’d used them to forge our own connections to life and one another, and regardless of what Enevah had claimed, this was Bliss in its simplest form. Living in a moment of serene stillness was as close to Bliss as I’d ever come. I was no longer living for myself; I had a partner – Joseph. The fact that we were both dead was nothing more than a technicality, and I’d realised that lying with him was the closest I’d ever come to Heaven.’Sylvia, Howl of Hereafter
WASHED DOWN WITH
Wine and Percy Pigs. It’s not tea but I can strongly recommend the M&S own brand Merlot!
Does anyone have any suggestions for a winter tea? Next week I’ll be free back to roam around in the land of the living again, hurrah! But I shall for sure be sharing with you my review of my halloween read…Frankenstein!
Is Howl of Hereafter a book you may be downloading or buying? For more updates, you can follow the author of this book at @lmquirkiness and myself at @papyrusandpeppermint on Instagram – see you there!
Until the next Chapter,