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The Butterfly’s Cocoon

Thornton Park, set on a vast estate shrouded in mystery and hidden secrets, provides an ideal backdrop for a conference on immortality. Intended to highlight cultural similarities and differences in beliefs, the conference takes an unexpected turn even before it begins. Alexandra and her family soon find themselves entangled in a paranormal quest to uncover the secrets of eternal life. To add complications to the quest, people are being murdered. As the family’s detective, Alexandra is determined to unravel the mystery and apprehend the culprit. While uncovering clues, she finds herself discovering dark tales and myths that could place her unborn child and herself at risk. Are they unfounded, or are Alexandra and her baby in danger?

Amidst the unfolding enigma, romance blossoms as Edith falls for the enigmatic James. Author Ellen Read masterfully crafts an engaging narrative that effortlessly blends critical plot points with an immersive scene setting. Readers are transported to Thornton Park, as if joining Alexandra and the conference speakers in their pursuit of eternal life’s elusive secret. The novel boasts a diverse cast of characters, each with a unique story to share. While keeping track of each conference attendee’s origins may prove challenging, their individual theories and backgrounds enrich the overall narrative. Readers will be drawn into each character’s backstory and get to know them, seeing how they fit into the story’s overall plot. Ellen’s skillful storytelling breathes life into the world of the Thornton Mysteries, leaving readers eagerly anticipating future installments.

The Butterfly’s Cocoon is a captivating read that combines mystery, romance, and a touch of the paranormal. The author’s deft handling of the plot and setting creates an immersive experience that transports readers back in time. With its intriguing cast of characters and thought-provoking themes, this novel is a must-read for fans of the Thornton Mysteries series.

Pages: 322 | ASIN : B0BV3CNBNC

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The Ghost Rider

Kate is a normal 26-year-old living in Australia when she unexpectedly moves back home with her parents. When she arrives home, she finds her old bedroom is full of her mother’s old things. Kate and her mother go through the ancient family treasures and find a diary that unveils an old family mystery. What happened to Kate’s missing great aunt? She went missing in the 19th century and while rumors are everywhere, no one knows what happened to great Aunt Catherine. Kate flies to England to solve the mystery of Catherine’s disappearance from Lacey Hall.

Author Ellen Read has done an exceptional job of turning this riveting romance novel into a nail-biting mystery. It has everything readers would want in a romantic paranormal thriller. I was engrossed with the setting of this novel, maybe because of the vivid descriptions of the scenes, or maybe because the locales are intrinsically fascinating. Who doesn’t like the English countryside?

The Ghost Rider is captivating right from the start of the book. I really enjoyed the methodical pace of the story. The mystery unravels slowly, ensuring the intrigue and suspense is consistently high. This is one reason I kept coming back to this book time and again; I so desperately wanted to know what was going to happen. I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but I was beyond pleased with the way the story came to an end. I feel like the author planned the ending well as it answered all my big questions. It’s always nice to have a tight mystery novel wrap up without needing to plan for a long series arc, but I still wanted more of the romance even after the mystery was solved.

The author’s ability to develop character arcs throughout the novel is phenomenal. I got so attached to Kate and Catherine, I just wanted them to turn out alright. The evolution of Charles is a great example of the skill Ellen Read has with developing characters and letting the story reveal their traits. As we see Charles transform from a gruff-looking man lacking manners to a well-established man of substance. This is an impressive feat to accomplish in so few pages. When I was introduced to Charles’s character I disliked him, but by the end I was in love with him. This ability to make me love and hate characters is what I look for in good supernatural romance novels.

The Ghost Rider is an enchanting ghost fiction story with a compelling female protagonist and a spellbinding storyline.

Pages: 295 | ASIN: B0B581Q3CX

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Weaving History Into My Story

Ellen Read Author Interview

The Feathered Nest follows Alexandra as she’s wrapped up in a murder mystery involving bird smuggling. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

Norfolk Island itself was my initial inspiration for The Feathered Nest, and because the Green Parrot is endemic to the island, it seemed obvious to revolve the story around the parrot. Also Norfolk Island is the home of the descendants of the HMS Bounty.

Without using the names of Fletcher Christian and his fellow mutineers, and by imagining a couple of extra seamen, I was able to weave the history of the island into my story. Preceding the arrivals of the Bounty descendants, Norfolk Island was a penal settlement for Australia early days. For a small island, it possesses a huge history.

Alexandra Archer is an intriguing and well developed character. What were some driving ideals behind her character’s development?

In the first book of the series, and all are standalone with a new murder mystery in each, Alexandra had just finished a season in Melbourne’s society. However, she tired of endless lunches, dinner parties and other functions, and wanted to work in her family’s antique business. Set in the 1920s, Alexandra is nevertheless a modern woman.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

In The Feathered Nest, Alexandra is made the expedition’s official photographer as they head off to Norfolk Island. I wanted to explore women’s roles in the late 1920s and I did this through fashion innovations and roles in society. Alexandra is always looking at new fashions that offer freedom of movement and style. She has clothes designed for her trip that include culottes and men’s style of boots for walking through the rainforest. I also wanted to highlight bird smuggling, which still happens today with exotic birds such as parrots. I also mention whaling, which in the 1920s was still practised on Norfolk Island. Alexandra is at first appalled until it’s explained to her that whaling was only undertaken by seamen in small boats with a harpoon. No whaling on a huge commercial scale that we know today was carried out on Norfolk Island.

What can readers expect in book 5 of your The Thornton Mysteries series?

Book 5 is set at Thornton Park where a conference is being held. Experts from around the world are going to speak about their myths and philosophies concerning immortality. No one, least of all Alexandra, expects it to become a deadly search for the secrets to eternal life. Alexandra is pregnant. Caught up in a miasma of myths and dark tales, she comes to believe that for her baby to live, she must die.

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Murder comes to Norfolk Island, but is the killer after Alexandra Archer’s Tahitian black pearl or a lost illustration of the rare green parrot?
The Thorntons mount an expedition to Norfolk Island, a small island in the South Pacific, to study the green parrot and set up research programmes to help protect it and other endangered birds. As a birthday surprise, Alexandra’s father tells her she is to be their official photographer. He also gives her a black pearl brooch that Alexandra’s great-grandfather had bought off a merchant in Hong Kong in the 1850s. The pearls are Tahitian black pearls.
Before they depart Melbourne, they learn that Norfolk Island has had its first murder. It sends ripples of unease through Alexandra. She hoped she could escape murder on this small island paradise.
Alexandra is astonished to learn that the main inhabitants of Norfolk Island are descendants of the Bounty mutineers and their Tahitian wives. Once on the island, she wonders if this is why her Tahitian black pearl brooch causes such interest.
A chain of events is set in motion, commencing with a threat on the life of one of their expedition members, followed by intrigue surrounding bird smuggling and a lost illustration of the green parrot. Then two of their team are murdered.
Alexandra is determined to find the answers and nearly loses her life in the process.

The Feathered Nest 

Alexandra Thornton goes on an expedition with her family to Norfolk Island to research the island’s birds with a particular focus on the green parrot. Little does she know what she has walked into, a web of a puzzling mystery that has to be unraveled before it threatens her.

The Feathered Nest by Ellen Read gives readers a captivating look into the mystery of Norfolk Island and its inhabitants. The story gains momentum as an intriguing chain of events unfold which endangers members of the expedition. As the story progresses readers get to unveil the motive behind the multitudes of murders.

Ellen Read is the quintessential historical mystery romance author who effortlessly blends elements of novelistic fiction with curious bits of history. The author creates characters with surprising depth and realistic emotions, which reminds me of how Agatha Christie creates her characters. Moreover, Ellen has strategically placed humor, wit, and alluring intimacy to mitigate the simmering tension of the reader. Readers will find themselves yearning to turn the page to decipher the fate of the characters. By the end of the novel, all the dilemmas that pique the reader are seamlessly resolved.

The Feathered Nest by Ellen Read is a cozy mystery novel that has a similar atmosphere as one of a period drama. With its descriptive prose, it delivers outstanding soulfulness with unmatched intricacy. Holistically, this mystery thriller prescribes hints throughout but is better comprehended as all the elements gradually fit into place. Overall, this book would appeal to readers that seek a compelling mystery with a touch of tender romance.

Pages: 374 | ASIN: B09T3T1CJQ

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