Monday, 16 April 2018

Book Blog Tour: Ghosts and Exiles by Sandra Unerman...

Spellhaven is no more, but its spirits remain.

About the Book:

Tilda Gray hates Spellhaven, the city where her husband was born, even though she has never set foot in the place, and she does not believe in the magic it’s supposed to have held. Now her husband is dead, she would rather avoid any mention of the city. But her sons, Nicholas and James, have befriended Hugo, a young boy threatened by forces none of them understand. When Hugo's uncle and guardian, Stephen Cole, visits the Gray family to ask for help, Tilda agrees against her better judgement. Between them, as they search for ways to banish or at least help Hugo cope with the ghosts that are driving him mad, they seek out the dubious aid of the exiles from Spellhaven. In doing so they must face new dangers and unknown magic, unlike anything Tilda could have believed possible.

Book Details:

Print Length: 300 pages
Publication Date: April 17, 2018
Genre(s): Magical Realism, Historical Fantasy

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Read an Exclusive Excerpt:

‘But how?’ Stephen tried not to shout. ‘They say he talks to you. Is that what he told you?’
‘He didn’t need to,’ Nicholas said.

‘It’s the other way round,’ James said. ‘Howler talks to Nick because he already knows about the ghosts.’

The room felt cold suddenly, bleak as the bare trees out in the garden. Stephen wished himself back in Chambers, insulated by the shelves of Law Reports in their leather bindings. ‘And where do you come in?’ he asked James.

‘I’m interested in Howler as a scientific study. He’s in the wrong form, of course, but one doesn’t let that interfere with anything important.’

Nicholas had resumed his silence. Stephen could not read the look on Mrs. Gray’s face but he hurried to speak before she could. ‘Then please will you explain. Has Hugo seen a ghost at the school?’

‘Wherever he goes, not just at school. They won’t leave him alone but nobody else can see them or hear them. They curse at him and make fun of him: that’s what he can’t stand.’

‘Enough!’ Mrs. Gray’s voice was not loud but sharp. ‘James, if you are making up this nonsense, I’m ashamed of you.’

James looked wounded. ‘That’s what people say to Howler whenever he tries to explain.’

‘Some people don’t believe in ghosts,’ Stephen said, ‘especially if they can’t see anything themselves.’

James stared at him. ‘Do you believe in them, sir?’

Stephen did not know how to answer. For years, the War had brought him nightmares which seemed as real and as painful as the encounters with ghosts some of his old comrades described, but he did not want to talk about that now. ‘Isn’t it what Hugo believes that matters?’

‘He’s not making it up,’ James said, ‘Nick can tell.’

The others turned to look at Nicholas, who shrugged. ‘I can sense the ghosts.’

‘Sense them how?’ Stephen asked. ‘What exactly have you seen? Or heard?’

Nicholas shrugged again.

‘I will not have this,’ Mrs. Gray said. She looked at her hands gripped in her lap and spoke more to herself than anyone else. ‘I thought better of the school than to let the boys fall into this kind of hysteria.’

‘Forgive me for asking but does your faith prohibit a belief in ghosts, Mrs. Gray?’ Stephen asked.

‘I lost my faith some years ago, if I ever had any,’ she answered and he was shocked that she should speak so openly in front of the boys, ‘but I know what troubles people inflict on themselves if they let imagination run riot.’

She stood up and Stephen rose with her as she said, ‘I’m sorry, Mr. Cole. Whatever is wrong with your nephew, he is plainly doing Nicholas no good. I think they should be kept apart from one another.’


‘...Spellhaven is an intriguing novel with no easy answers or way out, which means you can keep rereading it and drawing different conclusions every time. Jane is never going to be entirely happy and settled in life – but would she ever have been, even without her magical summons? 
Refreshingly, it does not appear to be part of a series: that ending ambiguity is all you’re getting and it will keep buzzing at the back of your mind for days.’ ~ Ben Jeapes, author of Phoenicia’s Worlds and other SF novels, from the BSFA review

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Meet the Author:

Sandra Unerman lives in London in the UK. When she retired from a career as a Government lawyer, she undertook an MA in Creative Writing at Middlesex University, specialising in science fiction and fantasy, and graduated in 2013. Since then, she has had a number of short stories published. Her latest stories are in Sword and Sorcery magazine, June 2017, and Fall into Fantasy, an anthology from Cloaked Press. She writes reviews and articles for the British Science Fiction Association and the British Fantasy Society. She is a member of London Clockhouse writers and other writing groups. Her interests include history, folklore and medieval literature.

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