Praise for The Legacy of Old Gran Parks

The Legacy of Old Gran Parks book tour hosted by Blackthorn Book Tours has yielded a raft of praise from book critics. Here are the highlights. A warm thank you to all the reviewers who took part and to BBT for their amazing service.

Lead Review from Rainnbooks

The opening chapter left me with goosebumps and from then on, the Legacy Of Old Gran Parks made me stand at the edge of a precipice. Described as darkly humorous, this story is set in Southern Australia in the 1980s. Cann River comes alive with the description by the author. There’s a palpable sense of the wilderness and the desolate bushes and the never-changing landscape of the place as Miriam rolls into the town with a broken car.

Events that begin to unfold in this bleak town then take on a surreal quality as the readers are treated to some subtle humor and gory deaths and heaven help me, I wasn’t sure whether to feel revolted or laugh at the turn of the incidents that were happening around the women. The story does have some graphic dismembering being described but there’s a rich sense of underlying humor that for a time it is easy to forget that that was what was being described. It was exactly what one would expect from such hardened women whose presumptions and further decisions are fuelled by the past that has been their life. As Miriam becomes embroiled in the perceived injustices and the revengeful attitude of Frankie and Pearl, it is a week of a hellish nightmare for her that unfolds with a horror of its own.

Several books that describe Australia have been mentioned by the author and clearly, the reader gets a tantalizing glimpse into the psyche of a backpacker like Emily whose wish is to explore rural Australia. Pearl, Frankie, Emily, and Miriam are not too likable characters but Pat and Con walk away with the cake, their antics with the meat and burgers giving me shudder every time I think it thru.

At the end of it all, the Legacy of Old Gran Parks does extract its pound of flesh from a reader with its layered and eerie storytelling.

Highly recommended for fans who can stomach some gruesome horror laced with rich and dark humor.

“The Legacy of Old Gran Parks is an exquisite composition of finest horror scenarios, thoughtfully arranged to a performance that works like a kaleidoscope” – Anni, Goodreads

“Definitely check this one out and add to those lists.” Angel White, Goodreads.

“bizarre yet fascinating…I really liked the Australian and small town setting which were beautifully described by the author.” Thereadingowlvina, Instagram

“Blackthorn has the capacity to truly immerse the reader in the setting. The isolation and sense of creepiness created a foreboding atmosphere. The twists and turns were never predictable and the multiple crescendos in the book had me on the edge of my seat! “- mycovblog, Instagram

“The author’s writing was well done, kept me on edge, and successfully established an eerie setting that makes me wary of visiting small Australian towns now” – Fairest Fable, Instagram

“This book was fulfilling from the very first page. The opening scene, the brutal murder that weaves through the plot, sets the scene perfectly…This is an oddly feminist novel presenting four women united only in their isolation, which Blackthorn uses incredibly well as a tool to ramp up the tension. Another excellent aspect was the setting; it was rich and vividly described, down to the smells and the grit of the place. For an all-encompassing thriller experience, I would highly recommend this book.” – Writing Werewolf

“There are a few parts that had me laughing out loud, then embarrassed to be finding something so grotesque and unsettling funny.” Power Librarian

“What a dark, twisted, funny thriller with four strong, independent, wicked women! I absolutely loved the setting of this book, it had an eerie, claustrophobic feel…extremely powerful and entertaining” – Goodreads

‘The Legacy of Old Gran Parks’ is an exquisite composition of finest horror scenarios, thoughtfully arranged to a performance that works like a kaleidoscope: The tale of Gran Parks functions as the background, the fates of the four female protagonists – Miriam, Frankie, Pearl and Emily – present the different colours that always form new patterns when you turn the kaleidoscope. This is not a typical haunted house/haunted village story… ‘ Ann-Kathrin Barfuß

‘… Set in a small town this has strong vibes of those B-Rated movies we love to hate. You know the ones…where people get stuck in a small podunk town and of course all sorts of horrific events happen. Some make it out alive…some not so lucky 🤣… ‘ Alaska Angel

‘… This tale lures you to the edge of your seat like you would around a campfire. You don’t know how, you don’t know where or what, but you do know something big is about the happen. Almost as though you are bracing yourself as go down the first fast decline on a rollercoaster…. ‘ Kiki Hempell

‘… I absolutely loved the setting of this book, it had an eerie, claustrophobic feel. Cann River is a small outback town…. Everything that’s there (which isn’t a lot), is run down, creepy and just so scarily quiet…. ‘ Amy Laidler

‘… Each woman has an encounter with a man who seems to be trouble: a drug addict staying in the hotel room next to Miriam, a man on the run convicted of rape and murder, a man with two daughters who is staying in a house next to Pearl seemingly without the owner knowing, and a man staying at the local lighthouse while the lighthouse keeper is out of town. There’s some mystery to each man. As the women unravel this mystery, the thrill of Gran Parks’s legacy takes hold…. ‘ Melissa Brickett

‘… Travelogue of the great Australian outback.

Coming of ‘old’ age story of four resilient women.

A macabre murder mystery.

A story of divine retribution.

Oh, and not to forget, just a dash of a ghost as well.

The Legacy of Old Gran Parks by Isobel Blackthorn has a story-line to whet anyone’s appetite (that’s a pun, read the book and you’ll get it).

Ooops, I forgot to mention comedy, dollops of black comedy…. ‘ Amisha Bahl Chawla

‘… I am glad that I’ve read this dark comedy thriller/horror. It was bizarre yet fascinating at the same time. It did take me some time to get into the story since these different POVs seem to be unrelated but it all worked out in the end…. ‘ Elvina Ulrich

“It’s a grandly dark story that is one of the most unique, thrilling scare-driven stories I’ve read in a while.” – Amy Shannon

Check out The Legacy of Old Gran Parks for yourself. http://mybook.to/granparks

The Legacy of Old Gran Parks’ Book Tour wrap up

First, I would like to thank Faye Rogers for her efforts in organising this book tour and all those book bloggers who read my book and wrote some fabulous reviews. The tour has had its highs and lows. Here are my reflections:

When a new book comes out, it is the job of authors and publishers to go on the hunt for reviews. The more the better and the one place we want them all to end up is on Amazon, because Amazon counts reviews and based on the number (not the quality) it will activate its own internal promotion of your book. We need 20-25, or better still 50, to be taken seriously. Less than 10 looks sad. To make matters even harder, Amazon splits the reviews up, so a review posted on the UK site or the AU site does not appear on the US site. Dedicated book reviewers will take the trouble to post on all three Amazon sites, cos that’s what it takes these days, and every book blogger worth their salt knows this.

In the past, when I’ve had a new book coming out, I have written hundreds of individual emails to book bloggers soliciting reviews. I’ve trawled the internet on the hunt for reviewers, joined Facebook groups and kept my eye on Twitter. It’s exhausting and the average take up rate is about 5-10%. On the blogging side, book bloggers are swamped, the good ones especially.

To take the pressure off authors and publicists, some bloggers have set themselves up as book tour organisers and for a fee they will organise a tour. When I started to investigate these service providers I was hesitant, but I began to see it as the only way forward. I would still solicit reviews, but at least some of the strain would be off my shoulders.

I had no idea what to expect when I hired a book tour organiser to set up a 14-stop review-only tour. I wasn’t prepared for the disappointment. Despite the organiser’s best efforts, out of 14 bloggers, 2 chose to post an extract and 4 chose to do nothing at all. That has left me with 8 reviews and out of that 8, only 6 have so far shared their review on one of the Amazon sites.

However, all is not bad news. Those reviewers who did read my book wrote honest reviews and there are many delightful comments peppered throughout their paragraphs. I’m grateful to each and every one of these bloggers, and to the tour organiser, who cannot be held responsible for the actions of those book bloggers who agreed to be part of the tour and then failed to follow through. Here are some of the highlights:

“This was my first time visiting the mind of Isobel Blackthorn, and it certainly wasn’t boring! The dark humour, gritty scenes and unusual characters all combine to make an entertaining read….Like the recently successful Jane Harper (author of The Dry and Force of Nature), Blackthorn knows how to convey the sinister nature of the Australian setting, making blistering heat tangible, the seaside seem lethal, and the all-encompassing forests claustrophobic….Overall, this is a darkly humorous tale expressed through brilliant prose and intriguing characters!”

Get Litty – https://www.getlitty.co.uk/single-post/2018/04/18/BLOG-TOUR-The-Legacy-of-Old-Gran-Perks

“This is the first book I have read from Isobel Blackthorn and it won’t be my last. It is such a well written book that I was gripped from the first few pages.The strapline of the book is ‘A Dark Comedy to Tickle Your Spine…’ and it lives up to your expectation.”

Helen Loves – http://helenloves.co.uk/blog-tour-review-the-legacy-of-old-gran-parks-by-isobel-blackthorn/

“The Legacy of Old Gran Parks has a wonderfully dark, nasty feel to it…The legacy of Gran Parks is a legacy of fighting back against abuse, and taking responsibility for dealing out your own style of justice.”

Liam of Book-worm-hole – http://book-worm-hole.blogspot.com.au/2018/04/review-legacy-of-old-gran-parks.html

“The Legacy of Old Gran Parks is a very unique, very fascinating but ultimately savage and dark read that I very much enjoyed. If you are a fan of Tarantino movies, you are more than likely going to enjoy this book which starts out a little bit eerie and odd and then turns violent and dark. It was a book unlike any I have read before but I actually really loved it.”

Faye of Big Little Books – http://www.bigbooklittlebook.com/2018/04/legacy-old-gran-parks/

“showed me an insiders view of rural Australia which I easily pictured even though I’ve never been.”

Parchment and Quill – https://parchmentandquillchronicle.wordpress.com/2018/04/12/blog-tour-book-review-the-legacy-of-old-gran-parks-by-isobel-blackthorn/

“The Legacy of Old Gran parks—is one of the rarest piece of story I ever read. It was unique and got an eerie exotic feel. A truly remarkable, and an unforgettable piece. Highly recommended to everyone.”

Bibliophile Angel – https://bibliophileangelblog.wordpress.com/2018/04/15/blog-tour-the-legacy-of-old-gran-parks-by-isobel-blackthorn/

“I really enjoyed the writing and plot ”

Read Between the Scenes – http://www.readbetweenthescenes.com/2018/04/blog-tour-legacy-of-old-gran-parks-by.html

“a marvellous read and I’d recommend it to anyone who asks.”

Infinite Pages – https://infinitepagesbookreviews.wordpress.com/2018/04/19/the-legacy-of-old-gran-parks-blog-tour/

If you want to review any of my books, I will give you a free electronic copy.