Saturday, 3 August 2019

Blue Tide Rising by Clare Stevens + #Giveaway

Blue Tide Rising by Clare Stevens
Published in the UK by Inspired Quill on the 15th March 2019.

One of my 2019 New Release Challenge reads, a Book With Vegan Characters and a 2019 COYER Summer Hunt read

How I got this book:
Received a review copy from the author

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“Somewhere in me a scream is rising, but I contain it. Just.”

Diazepam-fogged Amy isn’t the best person to investigate an unexplained death, but she’s the only one Jay can get through to. On the run from her troubled past and controlling older (ex) lover, she winds up on a Welsh eco farm where she starts to rebuild her life, grounded by the earth and healed by the salt air. But it isn’t just her inner self that she manages to uncover. There are living ghosts at Môr Tawel, and they’re as loud as the waters crashing over the shingle on the beach.

Amy’s new life has just started, and she’s already running out of time.

Magical realism is one of my favourite genres and I have read great novels in this vein from South America, Africa and Asia, but don't remember having the opportunity to read a British example before so I was delighted when Clare Stevens offered me a review copy of Blue Tide Rising. The story begins with Amy Blue in a grotty Manchester bedsit apartment, barely keeping a grip on her distorted reality through a diazepam haze. I loved Stevens' portrayal of the Balmoral Street community and the way these people interact, looking out for each other to the best of their abilities. Stevens has a great eye for authentic detail allowing me to clearly envisage all the characters and locations. When Amy first encounters a gorgeous blond man standing at the end of her bed, she feels drawn to trust him, but his uncanny knowledge of her innermost thoughts cannot easily be explained.

Amy is a memorable creation with whom I found I could strongly empathise. Her chequered past has left her vulnerable and isolated, and in desperate need of a safe haven. The Welsh farm, Mor Tawel, is just such a place for her and is somewhere I would love to discover myself if it really exists! A place of darkness as well as potential recuperation for Amy, I was intrigued by its contrasts. Amy is often not sure where the reality line is drawn and Stevens frequently had me wondering too. I did think that perhaps poor Rita had too many burdens thrust upon her, but the development of relationships at Mor Tawel is sensitively done and always felt genuine to me.

Blue Tide Rising is a timely novel of mental health issues, of understanding when to cease blaming ourselves for other people's actions, and of finding a safe home - however out of the ordinary that place may seem. While I loved the otherworldly narrative thread, this novel is strongly rooted in a recognizably British reality so I think even readers who aren't magical realism fans would enjoy this accomplished debut.

Meet the Author

Clare Stevens is a journalist and author who grew up in the wilds of Somerset but has lived most of her adult life in Nottingham. Her preferred writing time is first thing in the morning when still half in dreamland. She describes her writing as ‘thoughtful escapism’. Blue Tide Rising is her first novel.

When not writing she can be found heading off for weekends in Whitby, her spiritual home, or trying to learn piano. She runs a half marathon once a decade.

Website ~ Twitter

And now it's time for the Giveaway!

The prize is a Kindle copy of Blue Tide Rising by Clare Stevens.
Open until the 17th August to anyone who can receive an Amazon UK gifted ebook.

Blue Tide Rising by Clare Stevens ebook giveaway

This giveaway is not connected with the author or Amazon. I will personally be gifting a copy of the ebook to the giveaway winner because I loved it so much!
The giveaway closes at midnight (UK time) on the 17th August and I will pick a winner on the 18th. That winner will have three days to respond to my email otherwise the prize will be forfeit. And, yes, I Will be checking that the winning entrant actually completed the winning task!

Etsy Find!
by French Found Treasures in
Carhaix, France

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Search Literary Flits for more:
Books by Clare Stevens / Contemporary fiction / Books from England


  1. A Welsh eco farm does sound like an enchanting setting! And I really feel for Amy... it sounds like she really struggled to break from her past and the controlling situation she was in.

    1. I was impressed with the portrayal of Amy's journey, both the physical and the mental aspects. I thought it always felt authentic, but was sensitively written

  2. This sounds an engrossing book

  3. Thanks for the great prize and competition! Good luck everyone!

  4. Congrats to Helen B who's won the Blue Tide Rising by Clare Stevens ebook giveaway!
    If that's not you, there's lots more giveaways here: