Posted in Adult Fiction, Blog Tour, Historical Fiction

Today I am joining the blog tour for The Golden Maid by Evie Grace and sharing my review as well as an extract from this great historical fiction read!

I hope everyone is enjoying a relaxing Sunday, today I am joining the blog tour for The Golden Maid and sharing an extract with you all as well to provide that little bit more temptation to purchase this great read.

 

My Review

I really enjoy historical fiction and jumped at the chance to read this story based in Deal which is a local town to me in 1812. Although the era is slightly earlier that what I normally read with it being based so close to home I was keen to jump in.

I really enjoyed reading this story about the smugglers of Deal and getting to know the Lennicker girls. The laws were so different in this era and the way that justice was delivered was also very different and it all added to this story and made me keen to keep reading.

A wonderful insight to how life would have been for a lot of families, I found that once I had gotten to know Winnie and Billy the pages were flying by and I was hurtling towards the end even though I had no idea how it would end up for these apparently jinxed young lovers.

Book Blurb

Deal, Kent, 1812

Eighteen-year-old Winnie Lennicker yearns for a peaceful life as a respectable married woman. However, when she becomes involved in her family’s free-trading operations and caught by the Revenue, she is sent before the magistrates. Forced to confess that she is with child, now more than ever, Winnie is determined to give up smuggling. But the only way she can support herself and her unborn child is to carry on.

An opportunity presents itself to carry despatches on behalf of British agents and spies, and gold for Wellington’s army. Needing the money, Winnie can’t afford to refuse, but the journey across the Channel is treacherous. When Winnie discovers the despatches she’s carrying aren’t what they seem, she’s determined to right her wrongs in the hope of achieving her dream and leaving the free trade behind for good.

Available to purchase here

I am also sharing an extract with you today, to entice you further to read the story of Winnie and her sisters.

Extract from The Golden Maid

Having left the herring to rouse in salt for a few hours the same evening, it was after dark by the time Winnie went back into the hang, a small extension attached to the rear of the cottage. Using sticks as spits, she hooked the silver fish by the gills along their length, then clambered up the ladder to hang them in the dark chamber above her head where the timbers were tarred with oil and smoke from years of use. After climbing down again, she fetched a candle and touched its flame to the pile of oak shavings, coaxing them into a quiet smoulder.

 She watched a curl of smoke rise into the air and snake its way around the deeply forked tails of the row of fish, transforming them into bloaters. By morning, the skins would have turned to gold and their flesh grown soft, gamey and ready to eat – just as Billy liked them. 

Winnie dashed a hot tear from her cheek as she remembered their neighbour’s son, a boy with dirty knees and a twinkle in his eye, whose father had gone to sea a few weeks after he was born and was never heard of again. They’d called him ‘carrot top’ and ‘big ears’ and teased him mercilessly about his freckles and the holes in his shoes until Ma had given them a stern telling-off. Mrs Fleet, his mother, struggled to get by, and Ma used to give her their broken bloaters while Pa took Billy out fishing. 

She recalled one occasion when they had returned from a fishing trip. Billy, who could only have been about nine or ten, had dragged a bucket of fish into the house.

 ‘It’s the best catch I’ve ever seen,’ he’d grinned, his eyes lit up with joy. ‘Mr Lennicker says I can take some ’ome to Ma to sell them fresh from the barrer.’ 

’Ow many ’errin’ did we bring back?’ Pa said, bewildering him. 

Winnie, who was eight at the time, had known that he couldn’t count to more than the sum of his fingers and toes. She’d watched him put the basket down, put his finger to his mouth and stare towards the ceiling, thinking.

 ‘Well, lad?’ Pa had said. 

‘There’s one missin’,’ he’d said, and Pa had roared with laughter.

 Winnie had thought that Billy might burst into tears, but he hadn’t.

 ‘You’re a smart one,’ Pa had chuckled, and Billy had started laughing too. ‘Mrs Lennicker will l’arn you some ’rithmetic. I’ll tell you ’ow to count ’errin’ into warps, long hundreds, cran baskets and lasts.’ 

Billy hadn’t been entirely attentive to his studies, preferring to be down on the beach with the other shore boys than in the parlour with Ma, but he had learned his numbers and a little reading and writing. 

Mr and Mrs Lennicker had taken him in when he was orphaned at fourteen by his mother’s untimely death. He had become a good companion to their father, the son he’d never had. At first Winnie had been jealous of the time he spent with Pa, but her feelings had altered, and she had fallen for him.

About Evie Grace

One of my earliest memories is of eating cherries in an orchard with my grandfather and his faithful black Labrador. I was born in Kent and lived there until my family moved to Devon, but we visited regularly, and every Christmas grandparents sent us a box of Cox’s orange pippins, each apple wrapped in newspaper. I remember seeing the oasts and hop gardens, and walking round Canterbury, throwing pebbles into the river and being scared by the sight of the ducking stool on the wall of the Old Weavers House.
After leaving school, I qualified as a vet and worked in small animal practice. I’d always loved reading, and decided to turn my hand to writing fiction. In 2002, I won the Harry Bowling Prize which was set up in memory of Harry Bowling, the ‘King of Cockney Sagas’. I met my wonderful agent, Laura, at the prize-giving and with her support, my writing career took off.
Having had fourteen books published, I began writing about the Three Maids of Kent, a Victorian family saga, inspired by the stories passed down by my grandparents and great-grandparents who lived in and around Canterbury, Selling and Faversham. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed researching the Victorian era – it’s been a real voyage of discovery, finding about nineteenth century tattoos, how to use a tinderbox and the effects of industrialisation on the rural way of life.
In between writing and working as a vet, I’ve brought up a family and looked after various pets. I’ve settled in Devon now that my children have grown up and gone off to university.
Would I have liked to have been living in Victorian times? Only as a wealthy gentleman in good health, I think!

‘Half a Sixpence’ is the first novel in a brand new series, a Victorian family saga set in East Kent. The Three Maids of Kent series follows the fortunes of three generations of women from the hop gardens and orchards of rural Hernhill and Dunkirk, to the breweries of Faversham and streets of Canterbury.

Many thanks to Rachel’s Random Resources for the invitation to jump on the blog tour and all the wonderful books you invite us to read.

Please remember to like and share to help spread the book love!

Thanks for visiting Love the Smell of a Book today and I hope you have a great day!

Kel x

Please note this post contains Amazon affiliate links, this does not affect the great price you pay for the book but enables me to earn a little extra to keep funding my blog and recommending great books!

Please note this post contains Amazon affiliate links, this does not affect the great price you pay for the book but enables me to earn a little extra to keep funding my blog and recommending great books!

Posted in 5*, Adult Fiction, Blog Tour, Contemporary Fiction, Debut Book

Today I am very excited to be sharing my 5* review for The Last Charm by Ella Allbright

I love it when you read a book that is so memorable that even weeks after reading you can recall the story as clear as anything, this book is on of those gems and I am excited to share my review with you today.

The Last Charm

My Review

Oh wow what a book, I knew from the first few pages this was going to be a special one!

A gorgeous story to lose yourself in, as I read I learnt the story of Leila’s charm br.acelet and all of the memories that it holds. This book talks you through how she is linked to Jake and the precious story behind her charm bracelet. This is one of those rare books that you pick up and are desperate to keep reading but want to savour the story at the same time and never reach the end.

I laughed and cried reading this book and it shoots straight into that elusive 5* spot and is a truly memorable read, it just has everything and I was transported to Leila’s world whilst reading.

I feel emotionally drained after finishing this book, a superb book that will stay with me for a long time. A beautifully written story brimming with wonderful characters!

Book Blurb

A moving and heartwarming love story perfect for fans of Me Before You and One Day in December…

Leila’s charm bracelet tells a story of love, a story of loss, a story of hope.

This is the story of her … and the story of Jake.

When Leila Jones loses her precious charm bracelet and a stranger finds it, she has to tell the story of how she got the charms to prove she’s the owner. Each and every one is a precious memory of her life with Jake.

So Leila starts at the beginning, recounting the charms and experiences that have led her to the present. A present she never could have expected when she met Jake nearly twenty years ago…

The Last Charm Cover

Available to purchase below:

Amazon UK

Google Play

Meet Ella Allbright

A self-confessed reading addict, Ella Allbright writes commercial women’s fiction set in her beautiful home county of Dorset. Her first novel in this genre, The Charm Bracelet will be published in August 2020 by One More Chapter, an imprint of HarperCollins, and she’s currently hard at work on her next book. Ella is represented by agent Hattie Grünewald at The Blair Partnership, who represent J.K. Rowling.

Ella also writes as Nikki Moore, the author of the popular #LoveLondon romance series. A number of the novellas featured in the Top 100 short story charts on Kobo and the Top 20 in the Amazon UK bestsellers Holiday chart, and in 2018 the collection was released in Italy. Her first published work was the short story A Night to Remember in the best selling Mills & Boon / RNA anthology Truly, Madly, Deeply. Her debut romance Crazy, Undercover, Love was shortlisted for the RNA Joan Hessayon Award 2015.

When not writing or reading, she can be found working in her HR day job, walking the family’s cute beagle puppy or watching a Netflix series!

You can connect with Ella/Nikki on:

Twitter – @NikkiMoore_Auth

Facebook – facebook.com/NikkiMooreWrites

Amazon – amazon.co.uk/Nikki-Moore

Blog – nikkimooreauthor.wordpress.com

The Last Charm Full Tour Banner

Giveaway

Giveaway to Win Dorset and Reading themed goodies to celebrate The Last Charm by Ella Allbright (UK Only)

First Prize

The Last Charm First Prize

Books Make Me Happy/TLC Branded Mug

Second Prize

The Last Charm Second Prize

Lulworth Chocolate Bar

I love Durdle Door chocolate lollipop

Sunshine metal bookmark

TLC Postcards

PLUS mystery prize

Third Prize

The Last Charm Third Prize

Lulworth Chocolate Bar

I love Lulworth chocolate lollipop

Starry Sky metal bookmark

TLC Postcards

PLUS mystery prize

Click here to enter

*Terms and Conditions –UK entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter box 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.

Many thanks to Rachel’s Random Resources for the invitation to join the blog tour, please remember to like and share to help spread the book love!

Screenshot 2020-08-14 at 12.37.03