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A Stain on the Soul by Elizabeth Davies: intriguing paranormal with a historical setting

Today it’s my turn to take part in the blog tour for A Stain on the Soul by Elizabeth Davies. I’m thrilled!

A Stain on the Soul

Resigned to another lifetime of being a witch’s familiar, Caitlyn has found a degree of peace in her role as the Duke of Normandy’s protector and spy.

But that peace is shattered when she returns to her native land only to come face-to-face with her past, and fall in love with a man who she desperately hopes will become her future.

My review

Paranormal is a literary genre that continues to be massively popular. Others come in and go out of fashion, but not this one, and in the hands of this author it’s easy to see why it retains its freshness and appeal. Paranormal combines a real world setting but include elements that defy a rational explanation. Thus is A Stain on the Soul we have a historical setting with real characters, as in they were real people (William, Godwin, Matilda and Brihtric). And we also have Caitlyn, nickname Cat and who is a cat some of the time, and her witch mistress, Arlette, who is William’s mother. Caitlyn combines the roles of witch’s familiar and royal spy very competently.

In this novel Catilyn’s mission is to make Matilda fall in love with William (later to become William the Conqueror). She tries to accomplish this as a cat, but when that doesn’t work she becomes her human self and travels to her homeland of Flanders. The journey and her task are far from straightforward and she faces plenty of danger. She also becomes embroiled in a romantic entanglement that she really doesn’t need…

The author creates the historical setting delightfully, with the language she uses reflecting the period, as well as all the details of daily and political life that she throws in. Everyone we meet is a rounded, convincing person, with their flaws and foibles, like a bad temper or impatience or an inflated sense of self. This makes them all the more human. Caitlyn is a wonderful heroine. She’s down to earth in both her guises, likeable, clever and courageous. We really care what happens to her, and so whether it’s technically acceptable or not to bewitch people into doing something they might not choose for themselves, we can persuade ourselves that it is. After all, Caitlyn is just doing her job, and her adventure makes for a wonderful story! But the tale isn’t quite over. There’s quite an intriguing cliff-hanger at the end. I really want to know what will happen next, and I’m sure you will too.

A Stain on the Soul is an enjoyable, escapist novel made richer by its historical setting. This book is the second in a series, but works well as a standalone. I hadn’t read the prequel, Three Bloody Pieces, before reading A Stain on the Soul, but I definitely will now.


Pre-Order Link:

Author bio 

Elizabeth Davies is a paranormal author, whose books have a romantic flavour with more than a hint of suspense. And death. There’s usually death…

Social Media Links –

Website –

Twitter  – @bethsbooks

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Giveaway – Win signed copies of Three Bloody Pieces and A Stain on the Soul plus a magic mug and a coaster. (Open Internationally)

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Out of the Ashes by Lori Dillon: book review

Out of the Ashes by Lori Dillon is a wonderful combination of romance and history with a dash of the paranormal for good measure. It’s one of those books you can’t put down. It’s a simple yet clever story of love through time. Due to Marsha and Hershel, two bungling yet likeable angels who enjoy bingo, Male 2028 and Female 5293 don’t get to enjoy the loving life together they’re meant to have. Their first reincarnations are as Dacian the gladiator and Sabina the well-born politician’s niece in Pompeii in AD79. Ironically the erupting volcano both frees the pair of them from their restricted lifestyles, yet entombs them in each other’s arms. Nothing daunted,  the angels try again but there are other slip-ups. They have a final chance in war torn Italy in 1943 with Serafina the archaeologist, and David Corbin, working for the Allies. Surely they’ll get it right this time, won’t they? Shadows of the past play a helping hand.

This is a delightfully fresh yet poignant tale. The characters are so real and alive. Nothing seems contrived. The action unfolds at a good pace, with pauses at the sadder moments. Division becomes a strong motif in the book. People are divided from each other by social class, nationality, circumstance and politics. The world is divided by wars. Yet there is a way the divisions can be overcome, but it’s not easy, even if Senior Guardian Angel Smithers is on the case!