Afternoon everyone and happy Friday!!  Today I’m thrilled to be on the blog tour for Secure the Shadow by Marion Grace Woolley; a beautiful historical fiction novel that looks at loss, death, memories and photography…..

book blurb & info

In 1824, a young man buttons up his redcoat and goes to war. Amidst the blood and devastation, he discovers a magical power which can save memory from the ravages of time.

1867 and a woman, living above a watch shop, meets two men who will change her life forever. As she ventures further into a world of séance and mysticism, she must decide whether to trust her own eyes.

In the present day, a rebellious artist finds herself photographing stillbirths for a living. At Little Angels, it’s not about what you can take from a picture, but what you can give.

The story of three lives, spanning the history of photography and our relationship with mortality.

Secure the shadow, ere the substance fades.

Formats available: Paperback & eBook.  Available on Kindle Unlimited.

Purchase Links: Amazon UK ~ Amazon US

my thoughts

This story covers the history of photography over the years from its invention through to the present day, and the impact it has on memories and mortality – capturing a single moment in time.  Starting with Alfred and his story, the main bulk follows Bella and Cody (past & present respectively) as they each delve into their passion for photography.  Told as a dual timeline, we’re able to get to know each of the characters, their pasts and their struggles.

Bella discovers her love for photography through the kindness of one man, who teaches her how to use the camera she cherishes.  But her path isn’t easy as she’s sucked in by a handsome man who draws her into post-mortem photography, seances and mysticism.  Desperately looking for something, can she trust what he is showing her?

Cody takes photos of roadkill, trying to look for something more.  When Zen sees something in her, she takes her under her wing.  Rather than roadkill, Cody finds herself taking portraits on stillbirths, knowing that the photos she takes is all that the families will have.  But at the same time she battles with her past, loneliness and loss……

This is a beautiful but dark and sad story in some places.  It really got me thinking about death and what happens once we’re gone.  I’ve always wondered why the Victorian’s took pictures of their dead, and this story made me see it in a different light.  The story will make you think about life as a process, from birth to death and the things that come in between.

I really enjoyed learning about the history of photography.  It’s not something that I’ve ever really thought about, but as a history lover I found it fascinating.  The process and time that it would have taken to produce one photo is crazy in a world where we have photography at our fingertips.  How many of us take more than one photo a day without even thinking about it?!  It really is an interesting thing once you start thinking about it.

The storylines around Bella and Cody were both heartwarming and heart wrenching at the same time.  They both suffer from losses and heartbreaks, but the conclusions for both of them are satisfying and deserved.

I did struggle to get into the story to start with; it look me a little while to warm to the characters and really get sucked in. But once I did, I didn’t want to put it down and wanted to find out what happens to each of the characters who I ended up being fully invested in.

Overall this is a different, interesting and intriguing novel that will move you.  But not only that you will learn from it.  It is evident that Woolley has done her research into the history of photography which shines through in an interesting narrative.  Woolley has covered the subject of stillbirth sensitively, although I am sure it may still be upsetting for some readers who have experienced such tragedies.

If you’re looking for a new historical fiction novel to read with interesting facts, and a moving and engaging storyline then you should check this out.  Recommended by me.



about the author

Marion Grace Woolley is known for dark historical fiction including Those Rosy Hours at Mazandaran and The Children of Lir. She balances writing with her work in international development and her hobby as a piano tuner. Marion currently lives in Rwanda.

Where to find Marion online: Website ~ Blog ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Instagram

 international giveaway

Win 3 x Paperback copies of Secure The Shadow 

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome – so long as Amazon delivers to your country.  Please enter using the link below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.


tour hosted by

Rachel’s Random Resources

Thanks to Rachel for inviting me on to the tour, and to Marion for gifting me with a copy of the book.  All views are my own.

Good luck in the giveaway my lovelies!

See you tomorrow…

Chelle x

Please note this post contains Amazon affiliate links.  If you choose to purchase this book through these link, I will receive a small payment (at no additional cost to you).  This is the only form of monetisation on my blog so every little helps and is appreciated.

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