In Autumn , I conceived of this idea to re-start my readings into the spooktacular worlds of chilling Thrillers, Suspense, Mysteries and the Paranormal (with just a dash of love for Cosy Horror!) – wherein I conceived of spending a fortnight reading such lovelies and enjoying a personal readathon leading into Halloween! I fell a bit short of my goals in , even though I took it as a success – as not only did I read some rather spookified tales but I found myself wholly intrigued by the stories I was selecting to read!
By  whilst helping develop and co-host @WyrdAndWonder, I put forth the idea to name our first mini-event for #WyrdAndWonder – wherein I was hoping to let this small idea I had in  take flight, reach a bigger audience and find readers who might find their own definition of #SpooktasticReads befitting their own readerly life! Which of course meant – re-defining it to include what it celebrates now as a mainstay: Cosy Horror, Paranormal Fantasy, Witchy Reads, Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy, Dark Fantasy and even Gothic Romance or other such tales. I still have the tendency to read Cosy Crime, Suspense and Thrillers throughout Autumn and into Winter as well.
Some of the stories of course play the theme up quite a bit for the spookier side of the genres, some of which may or may not directly (or indirectly) relate to Fantasy per se but this is one of those readathons which is open to both interpretation and the joy of having free reign to enjoy the readathon in a way each reader wants to approach it. The truer beauty of Wyrd And Wonder and SpooktasticReads is the ability for each participant to find their own readerly path and find what gives them JOY to celebrate the events we’re hosting through social and the book blogosphere.
Similar to why I had to change my post yesterday, I was just as excited to host an interview for this blog tour when I first signed on to host the author and her story – however, whilst I was in the throes of co-hosting #WyrdAndWonder (see also Post) for our 3rd Year of celebrating the fantastical throughout May, I was also succumbing to wicked horrid seasonal allergies which truly upturnt my world for the month. Somehow I managed to forget to finish my questions for the author in time for my tour stop and requested to change it to a spotlight as this is an author I’ve been intrigued about reading for quite a long while now.
I had planned to read & review “Catching A Witch” by this author during the readathon for #WitchyReads – however, this was the month my parents both ended up in the ER and my reading life took a bit of a hiatus along with losing a bit of interest in blogging. Sometimes the crises of life can divert our attention and we have to hug close to family and faith to get through them. It took me until #WyrdAndWonder to finally find the joy again in both reading & blogging – as the event helped reset my focus and renewed my joy of diving into stories. Until Wyrd And Wonder – I’ve been struggling since last Autumn to have that same kind of joyfulness I experienced whilst reading “Christmas Once Again”.
You’ll be finding my #WitchyReads are coming to Jorie Loves A Story this June – as I’m co-hosting a new event with Armed with a Book (@_armedwithabook) which focuses on our #ReviewReads (more details soon!).
Today, I want to talk about this new Historical Mystery series and why this series caught my attention as much as Ms Eljarbo’s “Catching A Witch”.
In this first book of a new historical mystery series, a young art historian faces a tough choice in German-occupied Norway.
Oslo, 1944. Soli Hansen’s passion for art history is and always has been a way of life for her. While she spends her days working in an art shop, WWII is taking its toll on everyone. Apprehensive of the consequences, Soli avoids becoming entangled in the war resistance efforts. She closes her eyes in hopes the enemy will retreat and leave her beautiful country for good.
But when a woman is found dead in the alley alongside the art shop and a painting from the last auction goes missing, Soli is thrown into the thickest of the fray involving both Nazi art theft and the Norwegian resistance.
Once Soli finds her courage, there’s no turning back. Her personal life is turned upside-down with danger, lies, spying, and an incredible discovery.
In this dual timeline novel, Heidi Eljarbo paints a vivid picture of what people are willing to do in desperate times. With unforgettable characters and rich historical details, Of Darkness and Light will keep the reader mesmerized until the last satisfying page.
Perfect for fans of Kate Morton, Lucinda Riley, Katherine Neville, and Kate Mosse.
Converse via: #HistFic or #HistNov
+ #HistoricalThriller and #HFVBTBlogTours
Available Formats: Trade paperback and Ebook
About Heidi Eljarbo
Heidi Eljarbo is the bestselling author of Catching a Witch. She grew up in a home filled with books and artwork and she never truly imagined she would do anything other than write and paint. She studied art, languages, and history, all of which have come in handy when working as an author, magazine journalist, and painter.
After living in Canada, six US states, Japan, Switzerland, and Austria, Heidi now calls Norway home. She and her husband have a total of nine children, thirteen grandchildren–so far–in addition to a bouncy Wheaten Terrier.
Their favorite retreat is a mountain cabin, where they hike in the summertime and ski the vast, white terrain during winter. Heidi’s favorites are family, God’s beautiful nature, and the word whimsical.
I will readily admit, the last time I felt I could dive into my #WitchyReads were not the best months for me – May 2019 was the 2nd Year of #WyrdAndWonder and I began reading the Magical Midway series by Leanne Leeds. I was loving my journey into this witchy world where a magical circus was at the centre of the action and how a witch who wasn’t yet ready to embrace her heritage was the unexpected heroine of the Midway! I was struck down by too many migraines to finish my #mustreads last May and despite trying twice in the Autumnal months to make amends (including our sister event #SpooktasticReads in October, 2019) – it was my health which prevented the revisitations. I’ve been blogging about the whole diabolical cycle of unwellness off/on recently so I’ll spare the repeat here. Just know between month-long illnesses and chronic migraines it was a wicked awful six months from September to February; even if I did carve out a bit of joy at the holidays – I found the beginning of 2020 adverse from several fronts.
When I discovered this readathon I was wicked HAPPY because I’ve been wanting to just hone in on my #WitchyReads and just settle into their worlds with a heart ready to embrace their worlds. One of them I *devoured!* during #SpooktasticReads – this would be the second #WonkyInn – “The Ghosts of Wonky Inn” which arrived in my life at just the right moment to where it was a happy burst of JOY to be listening too! I love the narrator (Kim Bretton) for how she’s crafting this series together – from her performance to her innate ability to understand Alfie – I truly cannot think of a better ‘fit’ for this series than Ms Bretton because of how she’s approached voicing the lead character! Not to mention at the pen of the author – you’re in wicked good hands! The humour stitched into this series will keep your spirits lifted irregardless of what chaos is alighting in your life! Specifically this is keen to mention as we all have a tipped scale of woes if you consider the newsfeeds out there! Best to tuck into a series that will make you LAUGH more than feel unsettled by anxiety!
The more challenging story on my list is “The Black Talisman” as I was struggling a bit to get into the rhythm of the story. I am not sure if it was the timing of when I first attempted to listen to it or if I just couldn’t connect to the plot. Whichever way – the truth will let out this week because I am re-listening to this story and will see what I make of it now. The rest I look forward to discussing with you about why I’m happy their on my TBR this #WitchAThon! I did hold back one series of Witchy Reads for the next #WitchAThon – which are penned by Suzanne Palmieri.
If you missed my first #MagicalMidway review – kindly catch up to know why I love the series:
The *official!* challenges for #WitchAThon this March:
Spring means rain, pick a book that involves water… on the cover, in the title, or as part of the story!
Ostara is a sabbat of rebirth, and accepting oneself as trans (including non-binary & other gender marginalizations) is often an experience of rebirth… choose a book with a trans MC!
Pan is a god of Spring, wildness, & nature, select a book where the theme of survival in nature is prominent
The light is coming back this season, let it lighten your load! choose a novella
Ostara brings about color in the natural world, choose a graphic novel!!
If you can, plant a seed of some kind and begin tending to it… if you cannot commit to plant parentage, try planting something new at a park or nature preserve (a plant that is compatible with that ecosystem)
Read the group book: THE BLACK GOD’S DRUMS by P. Djèlí Clark
I had already picked my stories to read for this #WitchAThon which is why I am unsure if any of my selections are going to match with the challenges this month. I’ll have to see as I’m reading if any of them might match the prompts in one way or another – a part of me thinks either *Anni Moon!* or *Magical Midway* might qualify for an elemental element of ‘water’ but outside of those two stories/series I am unsure if anything else would work. Will be interesting when I go to write my wrap-up post at the end of the readathon to see the results!
In Autumn , you might remember I conceived of this idea to re-start my readings into the spooktacular worlds of chilling Thrillers, Suspense, Mysteries and the Paranormal (with just a dash of love for Cosy Horror!) – wherein I conceived of spending a fortnight reading such lovelies and enjoying a personal readathon leading into Halloween! I fell a bit short of my goals in , though I took it as a success – as not only did I read some rather spookified tales but I found myself wholly intrigued by the stories I was selecting to read!
Last year , I helped name our first mini-event for #WyrdAndWonder – wherein I was hoping to let this small idea I had in  take flight, reach a bigger audience and find readers who might find their own definition of #SpooktasticReads befitting their own readerly life!
Some of the stories of course play the theme up quite a bit for the spookier side of the genres, some of which may or may not directly (or indirectly) relate to Fantasy per se but this is one of those readathons which is open to both interpretation and the joy of having free reign to enjoy the readathon in a way each reader wants to approach it!
A Spooktastic reading binge for Psychological Suspense & Gothic Tales!
Autumn for me is a time in the year where I simply like to read a curated collection of stories which fall under different categories of mutual interest: Mystery, Suspense, Thriller, Gothic or Paranormally inclined and Cosy Horror.
This year  as I co-host my own mini-event celebrating the 13 days leading into Halloween with #SpooktasticReads – I am going to be focusing on two equally dynamic concentrations: #WitchyReads & Ghost Stories! I noticed I have quite a gathering of both – they both parlay into the heart of #SpooktasticReads but also, the fact that when it comes to #SpookyReads in general – these are the two concentrations I have the tendency of seeking out the most! I have the added benefit and joy of being able to focus on narrators I love listening too whilst knocking off a few of my backlogue reviews!
If other book bloggers or readers want to join us, please link to your blog, Twitter, LibraryThing List or other ‘space’ online where you are updating about what your reading – such as Instagram or Vlog (YouTube) in the Comments section below!
Use the tag: #SpooktasticReads & link back to this post – as I will happily be sharing what your doing for this lovely #WyrdAndWonder mini-event! Plus, I love hearing what others are reading in case something they discover would be a good fit for me as well!