Book Review – The Venetian by Shani Struthers

I first heard of British based Author Shani Struthers when I read ‘The Haunting of Highdown Hall’ the first book in her Psychic Surveys series and really enjoyed it.

I automatically downloaded other books in the series but came upon ‘The Venetian’ when looking for books in my Kindle unlimited subscription.

the ventianAs the title would suggest, this book is set in Venice.

The book starts by introducing us to Rob & Louise, a married couple visiting Venice for a romantic weekend away.

While exploring the city one night they go for a meal, only to meet another couple.

The couple offers to take them over to Poveglia a small island off of Venice said to have a haunting history of plague victims and an Asylum for the Mentally ill, but does this mysterious couple have an ulterior motive?

The book then takes you back in time to 1938 to Charlotte, an English woman who has moved to Venice to be at the side of her husband Doctor Enrico.

When Enrico is offered a work placement working with his Uncle at the Mental Asylum on Poveglia, the couple moves to the island to take care of the patients and start married life together.

Soon Charlotte begins to suspect that the treatments being carried out on their patients may be more sinister than she first thought.

The book flips between the years but soon their fates collide with malevolent repercussions.

This book had me on the edge of my seat throughout I couldn’t put it down.

While reading the book I did a little research and found that Poveglia does in fact exist and that it was a place of quarantine to plague victims in 1805 and that in 1922 an Asylum for the mentally ill was opened on the island but the asylum shut it’s doors in 1968 (although the Asylum still remains standing).

The fact that this book is so richly woven in fact just made it all the more spooky.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves a great ghost story!

I gave this book 5/5 – It was fantastic!

What books are you currently reading? Let me know!

The Secret Girly Girl


A Long weekend away.

Hi Guys,

Last weekend my Boyfriend and I went to London for the weekend. Partly, for pleasure but mostly for Business. We were attending London Edge on Sunday so we figured we would make the most of it.

London Edge is a trade Fair for Alternative, Gothic & Vintage fashion. It’s a chance for us to see new product releases from our existing suppliers and also to discover new brands.

We traveled down to London on Friday and stayed at the Holiday Inn at Regents Park. We were upgraded to an Executive room for free, which was nice.

I don’t know if I have mentioned it before but at home we don’t have a bath we just have a shower/wet room, so when we go away I always make the most of having a room with a bath. Before we left for London I made sure that I had stocked up on Lush Bath products and the first thing I did when we got to the hotel was run a bath.

Friday evening my Boyfriend had made plans for us for date night but didn’t tell me what they were until we got to the venue.

chris & i smiling

Every time we go to London we always try to catch a burlesque show or go to theatre and he had booked us tickets for a Burleque/variety show. It was hosted in the Rah Rah Rooms which is a Drag/Cabaret venue. There was a Burlesque troupe called the ‘It Girls’ that performed with the fantastic singer/burlesque performer Tempest Rose.

it girls blk 1

tempest sing 2

The variety show also had a comedian, a magician, a contortionist, a fire eater and an acrobatic performance on silks. It was such a fun show and we had fantastic seats, the cocktails were good too!


After the show we went to the ‘Angus Steakhouse’ for dinner. Unfortunately the meal wasn’t great. My steak was undercooked, the mash potato tasted awful and while we were there the waiters somehow managed to drop two lots of orders on the floor. The service was really slow too and they gave us the wrong bill at the end of it all.

Saturday was a nice relaxing day, we went for dinner at ‘Steak & Lobster” on Warren Street and had the most delicious steak & Ale pie – it was so good.

We then went to the ‘Grant Museum of Zoology’ at UCL. It was so interesting. They had lots of jars full of animal species and cabinets full of skeletons. They had an elephant skull that was huge, and a bell jar containing an Elephants heart that was bigger than a beach ball.


ellie heart

Cat SkeletonCow faceskulls

If you are looking for something interesting to do in London then I recommend coming for a look around, it’s free admission but you can give donations. You an also sponsor the exhibits.

After the Museum, I went to Space.NK to pick up some of the Oskia Renaissance cleansing gel and I really wanted to pick up the Becca Champagne pop but they were sold out so I purchased the Hourglass Ambient Strobe Lighting Powder is shade Euphoric, which is a really nice highlighter.

We then went back to the hotel to relax for a little while and I had another bath (with more Lush Goodies). We went out for dinner to Fat Lorenzo’s Kitchen & Bar for a nice Italian Meal.

Sunday was super busy. We went for Breakfast at the Riding House Café on Great Titchfield Street. The food here is amazing and I highly recommend the French toast with a side of Bacon. I would say it’s best to book in advance as it does get really busy (we were unable to get in at all on Saturday morning).

After breakfast we checked out of the hotel and headed to the Olympia for the London Edge show. It was nice to chat to our suppliers face to face and we placed a few orders with new suppliers, which was exciting.

After London Edge we stopped off at the Ace Café, which is a biker café. My other half has always wanted to visit, as it is well known in the biker community (my other half rides a Harley). The ace café do the best toast by the way, it was so good.

When we left the café we drove up to Birmingham for the Spring Fair (another trade show) at the NEC. We spent Monday and Tuesday at the spring fair placing orders and finding new brands. It was very tiring but lots of fun. Come Tuesday afternoon, I was so happy to be heading home. We had lots of fun in London and Birmingham so I wanted to share it with you.

I hope you enjoyed it.

The Secret Girly Girl


Valentines with a twist….

Hi Guys,

Valentines day is fast approaching. Valentines day is a huge deal for me as it is the anniversary of the first date with my boyfriend (it has been 4 years). It is also the date that our little Furbaby (cat) Lucifer was born, he will be 2 years old this year.

So I have decided to do a valentines gift guide but with a gothic twist. These products will make great valentines gifts for your partner or for yourself. So lets get started…..

Alchemy Gothic Bleeding Heart Earrings – £19.99

bleeding-heart earrings_Fotor


These Earrings are super adorable. My boyfriend bought me a pair of these earrings on our first anniversary and I love them so much. They are made from fine English pewter within the UK and depicts a broken heart with blood droplets made of Swarovski crystal. As they are made from Pewter they are Nickel Free so won’t cause irritation to sensitive ears. A truly beautiful gift.

Alchemy Gothic Frozen Heart Pendant – £16.99

frozen heart blk

This icy blue pendant is inspired by Frozen so will make a great gift for fans of the film.

Again made in the UK with English Pewter & Swarovski Crystal, this is a winged diamond with a Ice blue Crystal heart droplet. Super girly with just the slightest gothic touch! What is there not to love?

Cherry Loco Love Birds Red Heart Acrylic Pendant £12.99

love birds red 2

This pendant depicts two swallows, which symbolize love, care and affection joined together with a red crystal heart. Super cute and light-weight, it is the perfect valentines gift. The crystal heart is also available in Black.

Nemesis Now Deadly Embrace Wall Ornament £64.99

deadly embrace

This is a large wall plaque depicting two skeleton lovers in a tight embrace. This is the perfect symbol of eternal love. It measures 43cm in length and as it is made from White tarnished resin it weighs over 2kg. This is a substantial piece of wall art that is guaranteed to become the topic of conversation.

A beautiful piece that will bring a nice gothic touch to your home.

Pamela Mann Love Bones Printed Tights £8.99

wood panels
old, grunge wood panels used as background

These tights are so adorably romantic. They are sheer black with white Cutesy Boy & Girl skeleton on them. They are great for adding a loved-up touch to any outfit. Only available in size Regular (UK dress size 8-14)

Kreepsville666 Red Heart Hair bow pair £10.99

Hair Bow heart

What says ‘I Love You’ more than a heart, right?

These will be perfect for horror fans that are hopelessly romantic at heart. They come in a pack of two and will serve you well all year round from Valentine’s Day to Halloween.

Kreepsville666 Daddy’s Ghoul Compact £7.99

Daddys ghoul black

Does your heart belong to Daddy? Then what better way to let the world know than with this cute ‘Daddy’s Ghoul’ heart shaped mirror. Great to pop into your handbag for touching up makeup on the run. The case is made from metal and contains a regular mirror and a magnifying mirror.

All these products are available from House of the Undead at:

Have a great Valentines Day

The Secret Girly Girl