Posted in Adult Fiction, Blog Tour, Historical Fiction

#Review Today I am delighted to be joining the blog tour for The Photographer of the Lost by Caroline Scott

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Today is my spot on the blog tour for The Photographer of the Lost.

A historical fiction read based during World War I, the story jumps between two timelines 5 years apart.

Harry and his two brothers all signed up for service and this follows them through the trenches and tells the story of then and after the trauma of the battlefield.

I read this at a slower pace to savour and visualise how it must have been for these young lads on the frontline. The book envokes all your senses as it describes the feelings, noise and smells. The description are vivid in both timelines so you can imagine the scenes both before and after the devastation of war.

When Harry visits the town’s and their graveyards for the fallen to capture photos for their families back home, it took me back to when I visited Ypres many years ago.

A story that will move you and help you remember the men who fought for our country.

Book Blurb

1921. Families are desperately trying to piece together the fragments of their broken lives. While many survivors of the Great War have been reunited with their loved ones, Edie’s husband Francis has not come home. He is considered ‘missing in action’, but when Edie receives a mysterious photograph taken by Francis in the post, hope flares. And so she begins to search.

Harry, Francis’s brother, fought alongside him. He too longs for Francis to be alive, so they can forgive each other for the last things they ever said. Both brothers shared a love of photography and it is that which brings Harry back to the Western Front. Hired by grieving families to photograph gravesites, as he travels through battle-scarred France gathering news for British wives and mothers, Harry also searches for evidence of his brother.

And as Harry and Edie’s paths converge, they get closer to a startling truth.

Photographer of the Lost Cover

Available to purchase here

About the Author

thumbnail_Caroline Scott author photo - credit Johnny Ring

Caroline completed a PhD in History at the University of Durham. She developed a particular interest in the impact of the First World War on the landscape of Belgium and France, and in the experience of women during the conflict – fascinations that she was able to pursue while she spent several years working as a researcher for a Belgian company. Caroline is originally from Lancashire, but now lives in southwest France.

Many thanks to Anne Cater at Random Things Through My Letterbox for the invite to take part on the blog tour, please remember to like and share to spread the book love on publication day!

Posted in Adult Fiction, Blog Tour, Historical Fiction

#Review Today is my turn on the blog tour for A Ration Book Childhood by Jean Fullerton #ARationBookChildhood #BlogTour #BackaBlogger #HistoricalFiction @rararesources @JeanFullerton_

A Ration Book Childhood

Today I am takin part in the blog tour for A Ration Book Childhood by Jean Fullerton.

I absolutely loved this book it is historical fiction at its best a brilliant story following the Brogan family in the heart of London during World War II. A great demonstration of how families pulled together and looked out for one another during this tough time. A story reflective of how families used to look after their own and no matter how bad their circumstances they found a way to move forward and look on the brightside.

Queenie was a superb character that made me smile, she was full of the Irish charm that just jumped off of the page as you were reading. A book that gave an insight to a close knit family during the destruction of war and how blood is always thicker than water.

 

Book Blurb

In the darkest days of the Blitz, family is more important than ever.

With her family struggling amidst the nightly bombing raids in London’s East End, Ida Brogan is doing her very best to keep their spirits up. The Blitz has hit the Brogans hard, and rationing is more challenging than ever, but they are doing all they can to help the war effort.

When Ida’s oldest friend Ellen returns to town, sick and in dire need of help, it is to Ida that she turns. But Ellen carries a secret, one that threatens not only Ida’s marriage, but the entire foundation of the Brogan family. Can Ida let go of the past and see a way to forgive her friend? And can she overcome her sadness to find a place in her heart for a little boy, one who will need a mother more than ever in these dark times?

 

A Ration Book Childhood cover.

Available to purchase on Amazon UK / US

 

About the Author

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Jean Fullerton is the author of twelve novels all set in East London where she was born. She also a retired district nurse and university lecturer.  She won the Harry Bowling prise in 2006 and after initially signing for two East London historical series with Orion she moved to Corvus, part of Atlantic Publishing and is half way through her WW2 East London series featuring the Brogan family.

 

Social Media Links

Website: http://jeanfullerton.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Jean-Fullerton-202631736433230/?ref=bookmarks

Twitter:  @JeanFullerton_

 

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Many thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for the invite to take part in the blog tour, please remember to like and share to help share the book love! 

Posted in Adult Fiction, Blog Tour, Historical Fiction

#Review Today I am joining the blog tour for Christmas Child by Carol Rivers #blogtour #backablogger #christmaschild @carol_rivers @rararesources

Christmas Child

Today I am taking part in the blog tour for Christmas Child by Carol Rivers, this is my first book by this author and I was excited to start reading the first book in this new saga.

I love historical fiction and really enjoyed delving into the East End in Victorian times whilst reading this book. This story follows Ettie who was born on Christmas Day and taken straight into the care of the Nuns as an orphan, we follow her as she is forced to leave the safety of the Nuns who are the only parentage she has known as she embarks on employment in Soho.

I found this book captivating, it painted a picture of the struggles facing the lower classes in Victorian England and how bleak the workhouses were and how frequently even children found themselves without a home or parent to take care of them.

A true love story that blossoms from a friendship between Ettie & Michael in the orphanage and continues through glimpses of eachother as they both go about their new lives. A lovely story that I enjoyed from start to finish with characters that warm your heart and fill you with hope for Ettie finding a happy ending.

 

Book Blurb

Christmas Day, London 1880
Snow falls … a dying Irish girl clutching her new-born baby drags herself to the sanctuary of an East End orphanage and throws herself on the mercy of the Sisters of Clemency. The nuns raise little Ettie O’Reilly as their own and provide her with the love and education she might never have had. But the lives of the nuns and orphans are soon crushed by a powerful and greedy bishop.

The heart-breaking outcome separates Ettie from her friends and family, luring her into a world of male dominance and the fickle nature of intimate relationships. With her faith in the goodness of human nature severely tested, she doesn’t know who to trust. And when the boy who has promised her his undying love and loyalty falls under the spell of a wealthy and beautiful young woman, Ettie’s world starts to crumble.

She must finally accept the hard-hitting truth – happiness comes at a cost! Does she have the courage and wisdom to face the demons she long ago learned about from the Sisters of Clemency? Will the resolution of an undiscovered and painful secret be her making – or breaking?

 

Christmas Child_ Cover

Available to purchase on Amazon UK / .com

 

About the Author

Christmas Child Author

“Were there’s muck there’s money!” If my family had a royal crest I’m sure those are the words that would have been hewn into the stone above it.

Mum and Dad were both East Enders who were born on the famous or should I say the then infamous Isle of Dogs. They were costermongers selling fruit, veg and anything else that would stand still long enough!

Their family were immigrants who travelled to the UK from Ireland and France, while others emigrated to America.

As a child I would listen to the adults spinning their colourful stories, as my cousins and I drank pop under the table.

I know the seeds of all my stories come from those far off times that feel like only yesterday. So I would like to say a big heartfelt thank you to all my family and ancestors wherever you are now … UK, Ireland, France or America, as you’ve handed down to me the magic and love of story telling.

 

Social Media

Twitter – https://twitter.com/carol_rivers

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/carol.rivers1/

Instagram – http://www.instagram.com/carol_rivers01

Pinterest – https://www.pinterest.co.uk/carolriversagas/boards/

Website – http://www.carolrivers.com

 

 

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Giveaway to Win Five dedicated signed paperback novels by Carol Rivers (Open to UK Only)

One winner will win the following signed books

“Lizzie Flowers and the Family Firm”

“Molly’s Christmas Orphans”

“A Wartime Christmas”

“A Sister’s Shame”

“Eve of the Isle”

*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.

Click here to enter this brilliant giveaway

 

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Many thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for the invitation to take part in this blog tour and the opportunity to discover a new author, please remember to like and share! 

Posted in 5*, Adult Fiction, Historical Fiction

#Review Today I am sharing my review for the final book Christmas at Foyles Bookshop by Elaine Roberts #FoylesBookshop #ChristmasatFoylesBookshop @robertselaine11

I am so pleased that I have been able to read and review Christmas at Foyles Bookshop. I have loved this series and getting to know the wonderful ladies Alice, Molly & Victoria.

This era of historical fiction is one of my favourites and this latest instalment was another brilliant read. It was a book full of loss, love and hope and I loved it from beginning to end. It was written with empathy and you could feel the emotions of these wonderful ladies through their highs and lows.

The setting of the bookshop is just magical and the fact that it was written in the lead up to Christmas added a little something extra. A highly enjoyable read that I am sad to have finished as I have loved getting to know these lovely ladies and feel they have allowed us into their friendship group throughout these books.

 

Book Blurb

With the war raging on, can there be peace, love and joy this Christmas?

London, 1917. After her parents died in a tragic accident, Victoria did everything she could to keep her siblings safe and off the streets. Working at the Foyles Bookshop with her best friends is a dream come true – but now the war has put everything she holds dear in danger.

With her brother fighting on the frontline, Victoria wants to do her part. Little does she know that volunteering to spend time with injured soldiers at Endell Street Military Hospital will reward her in ways she could never have imagined. There are family secrets to uncover, along with love, once lost but never forgotten.

This Christmas, all the Foyles girls want is their loved ones back safe and sound…

 

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Available to purchase here

 

About the Author

Elaine Roberts had a dream to write for a living. She completed her first novel in her twenties and received her first very nice rejection. Life then got in the way until circumstances made her re-evaluate her life, and she picked up her dream again in 2010. She joined a creative writing class, The Write Place, in 2012 and shortly afterwards had her first short story published. She was thrilled when many more followed and started to believe in herself.

As a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and The Society of Women Writers & Journalists, Elaine attends many conferences, workshops, seminars and wonderful parties. Meeting other writers gives her encouragement, finding most face similar problems.

 

Posted in Adult Fiction, Blog Tour, Historical Fiction

#Review Today I am sharing my review for Victory for the East End Angels by Rosie Hendry #BlogTour #VictoryForTheEasyEndAngels #BackaBlogger @rararesources @hendry_rosie

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Today I am sharing my review for Victory for the East End Angels by Rosie Hendry, which has just been released and is the last book in the East End Angels series. I read this as a standalone book and really enjoyed the brilliant characters and the glimpse into how life was for the ladies driving the ambulances during World War 2.

I love historical fiction and really enjoyed the insight during this story as to what the women at home endured whilst their men were away fighting. I instantly loved Winnie and the friendship she had with Frankie & Bella, which was so important to help them remain strong and still look for the good things in life. The final instalment is the girls starting to consider how their lives are going to change once the war is over and contemplate if they can go back to their previous lives before they were thrown into turmoil.

I loved this story and feel invested in the characters and want to know what these brilliant ladies go on to do and achieve now the war is over. I can’t wait to see what Rosie Hendry writes next as this book was brilliant!

 

Book Blurb

The war is almost over – and it’s up to the East End Angels to keep the home fires burning!

Frankie‘s fiance, a doctor, is away looking after the troops in Europe – will he return safely home?

Winnie has a happy secret – but can she carry on at Station 75 when she’s going to have a baby?

Bella is intrigued by her new friend, a Polish airman.

As the war ends and victory is in sight, what next for the girls of Station 75?

 

Victory Cover

Available to purchase on Amazon UK / US

 

About the Author

Rosie Hendry lives by the sea in Norfolk with her husband, two children, chickens and a snake. She’s worked in a variety of jobs from fruit picking, waitressing, teaching and as a research scientist but has always loving reading and writing. Starting off writing short stories for women’s magazines, her stories have gradually become longer as her children have grown bigger.

Listening to her father’s tales of life during the Second World War sparked Rosie’s interest in this period and she’s especially intrigued by how women’s lives changed during the war years. She loves researching further, searching out gems of real-life events which inspire her writing.

When she’s not working, Rosie enjoys walking along the beach, reading and is grateful for the fact that her husband is a much better cook than her.

Websitewww.rosiehendry.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/RosieHendrybooks/

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/hendry_rosie

 

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Many thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to take part in this blog tour

Posted in 5*, Adult Fiction, Audible, Autobiographies, Blog Tour, Chick Lit, Historical Fiction, Monthly Round Up, Seasonal

Love the Smell of a Book’s – January Monthly Round Up

I have had a manic January, taking part in my first blog tours and cover reveals which has been really exciting and I would like to thank Rachel’s Random Resources for offering me places to take part.

I have read and reviewed 10 brilliant books in January and been lucky enough to read some memorable books over a variety of genres, which have made me laugh, cry and read passages aloud as I have loved them so much. I have also had the privilege to speak to some lovely authors about their books.

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My 5* Read of the Month – Happiness for Beginners by Carole Matthews was my 5* read of the month which is due for release and the end of February, the eye catching cover won me over and I loved that it was based on a farm – click here for my full review

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Most Memorable Read of the Month – Something to Live For by Richard Roper – I love having the chance to read a book by a new author and was fascinated and intrigued by Andrew and was keen to keep reading and learn about his story – full review to follow later this week.

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Thanks to everyone for all your likes and shares, I am looking forward to reading and sharing more fantastic books throughout February.

Posted in Adult Fiction, Historical Fiction

Argemourt by Corinna Edwards-Colledge

A superb book, the cover conveys the darkness behind the story and captured my attention straight away.

I love a historical psychological thriller, this was a cherry pop author for me and I will definitely be reading more. The story mixes the current terror threats and fears with events from World War II, throughout the story it crosses between present day and 1944.

The characters are well defined and the issues include loss, loneliness, grief, family and the terrors of war for all involved. The setting of Argemourt is a beautiful idyllic location that is haunted by its past. A highly recommended read that I thoroughly enjoyed reading.

Book Blurb

A Village haunted by the past, two people haunted by the present.

Haute Vienne, France, 1944, and the retreating Nazis leave a trail of horror and destruction in their wake. When Michelle’s estranged Great Aunt leaves her a cottage in a quiet French village, she finds her own experience of loss and heartache reflected in the tragic history of Argemourt.

Young Parisian student, Paul, is living in a city still reeling after a series of terrorist attacks. The aftermath is inescapable, breeding suspicion and anger, even in his own family. Increasingly, Paul finds himself retreating into the past, but discovers it is a place of horror, as well as escape.

When, through twists of fate, the two of them meet in the village of Argemourt; the ghosts of past and present are awakened. Can Michelle and Paul find a way to help the dead rest; and themselves live and love; in a world that never seems to learn the lessons of history?

Available to purchase from Amazon

About the Author

I was born in Chorlton-cum-Hardy in Manchester, close to some magical places like Stile Woods and Alderley Edge. I spent many happy hours exploring them, and the beauty and mystical qualities they offered have been part of my enduring love of the natural world; something you will probably pick up on in my novels!

I am also inspired by the complexity and depth of human relationships – such as the way we can carry guilt and regret around with us like old luggage, but also have the power to move on and change. I suppose you could say I’m an old fashioned optimist who ultimately believes in the strength of love and the human spirit.

The writing bug has been with me pretty much all of my life, starting with winning a competition at the age of seven for my poem about a Salmon! My ultimate ambition is to give back some small portion of the joy I have got from reading great stories by writing some of my own.

I studied English and Media at the University of Sussex and have worked in kids playschemes, run volunteering organisations, run the newsroom for a local TV news programme, and even trodden the boards, in a play written by and starring the late Brian Behan. For the last thirteen years I have run a scheme for the local council that helps people get more active for their health and well-being.

I live in Brighton with my husband, kids, step-kids and a menagerie of pets, including a seagull that has adopted us and a tarantula called Doris! As well as writing I love cooking very hot curries, going on long walks and sitting in cosy pubs – but then who doesn’t

Posted in 5*, Adult Fiction, Chick Lit, Childhood Classic, Debut Book, Historical Fiction, Memoir / True Story, Monthly Round Up, Seasonal, Young Adult

2018 – A Small Chink out of my TBR Pile!

I have had an absolutely amazing year for reading, I have smashed my target of 100 books which I thought was optimistic when I set it and have been lucky enough to read some truly amazing and memorable reads that have stayed with me.
I have been trying to think about my Top 5-10 books for the year and it is so hard to decide and so I am still debating if I can actually condense it down into a few books that are my absolute favourites.
So far as of mid December I have read 109 books which translates to a massive 31892 pages! This is a number that will continue to increase as I am planning on some major reading sessions over the Christmas holidays as that is my favourite way to relax.
Here is a visual summary of the books I have read so far in 2018, this is a mixture of authors I have read before and loved, some cherry pop reads and some debut releases!
If you are looking for a read over the festive season I can promise that all of the books featured above are all fantastic reads with a bit of something for everyone and I am really excited to see what new releases 2019 will have to offer!
Posted in 5*, Adult Fiction, Historical Fiction, Seasonal

Day 1 Festive Reads Miss Marley by Vanessa Lafaye

I was lucky enough to receive a copy from HQ Digital, I have previously loved Vanessa Lafaye’s books and it was a privilege to receive this beautiful story to read.

I would recommend clearing a few hours in your day and picking up this delightful read, as once you pick it up you won’t want to put it back down. As this story unfolds it is packed full of love and loss and sweeps you along in the lives of the young orphans Clara & Jacob Marley and introduces you to Ebenezer Scrooge.

A beautiful read that kicks off my 24 days of Christmas festive reads perfectly, wonderfully crafted by the late Vanessa Lafaye and completed by the extremely talented Becca Mascull. I was left in awe after putting this book down and unsure of how to find the words to sing its praises as highly as it deserves. A true masterpiece that I look forward to reading each year, it is a beautiful tribute to A Christmas Carol and recaptures the true warmth of Christmas.

Book Blurb

Before A Christmas Carol there was… Miss Marley

A seasonal tale of kindness and goodwill

Orphans Clara and Jacob Marley live by their wits, scavenging for scraps in the poorest alleyways of London, in the shadow of the workhouse. Every night, Jake promises his little sister ‘tomorrow will be better’ and when the chance to escape poverty comes their way, he seizes it despite the terrible price.

And so Jacob Marley is set on a path that leads to his infamous partnership with Ebenezer Scrooge. As Jacob builds a fortress of wealth to keep the world out, only Clara can warn him of the hideous fate that awaits him if he refuses to let love and kindness into his heart…

Miss Marley

Available to purchase here

About the Author

Rebecca Mascull is the author of three historical novels and also writes saga fiction under the pen-name Mollie Walton. Visit her websites for more information: https://molliewalton.co.uk/ & https://rebeccamascull.co.uk/

She is currently hard at work on her next trilogy of historical fiction, with the first novel slated for publication in spring 2019 to be published by Bonnier Zaffre as The Ironbridge Saga. These will be published under the name of Mollie Walton and the first book in the series is set in the dangerous world of the iron industry: THE DAUGHTERS OF IRONBRIDGE.

Her first novel THE VISITORS (2014) tells the story of Adeliza Golding, a deaf-blind child living on her father’s hop farm in Victorian Kent. Her second novel SONG OF THE SEA MAID (2015) is set in the C18th and concerns an orphan girl who becomes a scientist and makes a remarkable discovery. Her third novel, THE WILD AIR (2017) is about a shy Edwardian girl who learns to fly and becomes a celebrated aviatrix but the shadow of war is looming. All are published by Hodder & Stoughton.

If you enjoy Rebecca’s novels, please consider leaving an Amazon review! This is very helpful to authors and can make their books more visible on the site. Thank you.

Social media links:

https://twitter.com/rebeccamascull
https://www.facebook.com/becca.mascull
https://www.facebook.com/RebeccaMascull/
https://www.facebook.com/MollieWaltonbooks/
https://www.instagram.com/beccamascull/
https://www.pinterest.co.uk/rebeccamascull/

Rebecca is now a full-time writer and had previously worked in education. She has a Masters in Writing and lives by the sea in the East of England.

 

Posted in 5*, Adult Fiction, Debut Book, Historical Fiction

The Foyles Bookshop Girls by Elaine Roberts (The Foyles Girls Book 1)

In this story you get to know the girls and their families as World War I commences. I loved the girls in this book and how the story gave you an insight into events leading up to this story.

This story drew you in so that you felt part of the family and gave you the need to know what happened next with so much at stake for all of the families involved as their boys go off to war.

A brilliant historical fiction read based around the hardworking girls at Foyles Bookshop, this offers a heart wrenching insight into how hard life was for the women left at home and how emotions ran high as war continued. A highly recommended read that will pull at your heart strings.

Book Blurb

London, 1914: one ordinary day, three girls arrive for work at London’s renowned Foyles bookshop. But when war with Germany is declared their lives will never be the same again…

Alice has always been the ‘sensible’ one in her family – especially in comparison with her suffrage-supporting sister! But decidedly against her father’s wishes, she accepts a job at Foyles Bookshop; and for bookworm Alice it’s a dream come true.

But with the country at war, Alice’s happy world is shattered in an instant. Determined to do what she can, Alice works in the bookshop by day, and risks her own life driving an ambulance around bomb-ravaged London by night. But however busy she keeps herself, she can’t help but think of the constant danger those she loves are facing on the frontline…

Alice, Victoria and Molly couldn’t be more different and yet they share a friendship that stems back to their childhood – a friendship that provides everyday solace from the tribulations and heartbreak of war.

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Available to purchase on Amazon