Away for Christmas by Jan Ruth book review

away for christmas

Away for Christmas, written and self-published by Jan Ruth, is available NOW in ebook format.  The ebook is also included in the kindleunlimited scheme.

To buy link:  myBook.to/Away4Xmas

Product Details (as per amazon page)

Jonathan Jones has written a novel. Losing his job a few days before Christmas means the pressure is on for his book to become a bestseller, but when his partner drops her own bombshell, the festive holiday looks set to be a disaster.
When he’s bequeathed a failing bookshop in their seaside town, it seems that some of his prayers have been answered, but his publishing company turn out to be not what they seem, and when his ex-wife suddenly declares her romantic intent, another Christmas looks set to be complicated.
Is everything lost, or can the true meaning of words, a dog called Frodo, and the sheer magic of Christmas be enough to save Jonathan’s book, and his skin?

rocking horse

Away for Christmas is a 107 page novella by author Jan Ruth.  Jan Ruth is a contemporary women’s fiction writer and sets her stories in the countryside, specifically her beloved Welsh countryside.  I really enjoyed Away for Christmas, so much that I didn’t want it to end, this was mainly because the storyline is set around a bookshop, which is every book lover’s dream to own and run their own bookshop.This festive story tackles real life issues which made the storyline and characters more easily recognisable.

Jonathan Jones was a despondent accountant in a lovely coastal town in Wales.  For the last year or two his mind has been more focused on words rather than numbers as he is an aspiring author.  With his first book written he was now part way through his second novel and was obsessed with getting his characters and ideas in his head noted down.  After a particular bad day at work he makes a radical decision about his career.  With a failed marriage under his belt he’s hoping his relationship with Charlotte will not go the same way as his writing obsession does have the habit of taking over his life.

We follow Jonathon’s journey fulfilling his dreams of seeing his own books in print in a bookshop.  His steps to become a published author hit many wrong turns and you are left wondering whether Jonathon will realise his dreams.  We also follow his relationship woes and over the months and years pursuing his writing career he is given time to ponder his future.

Jan Ruth transported me to the ruggedness of Wales with it’s natural beauty.  I fell in love with the rundown bookshop and could picture it in my head and also images were swimming around my head of my very own imaginary book shop.  The text flowed very well and I was sad to see the story come to an end.

A festive story that will entertain and inspire you.

To learn more about Jan Ruth please visit the following pages:

Website:  http://janruth.com/

Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/JanRuthAuthor

Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/JanRuthAuthor/

Advertisements

A Pearl for My Mistress by Annabel Fielding book review

a pearl for my mistress

A Pearl for My Mistress written by Annabel Fielding, publisher HQ Digital, is available NOW in ebook format.

To buy link:  http://amzn.to/2mKYKFK

Product Details (as per amazon page)

England, 1934. Hester Blake, an ambitious girl from an industrial Northern town, finds a job as a lady’s maid in a small aristocratic household.
Despite their impressive title and glorious past, the Fitzmartins are crumbling under the pressures of the new century. And in the cold isolation of these new surroundings, Hester ends up hopelessly besotted with her young mistress, Lady Lucy.
Accompanying Lucy on her London Season, Hester is plunged into a heady and decadent world. But hushed whispers of another war swirl beneath the capital… and soon, Hester finds herself the keeper of some of society’s most dangerous secrets…

vintage pearls

 

This debut novel by Annabel Fielding is loosely based on a pivotal moment in Britain’s political history.  To a time in the early 1930’s were a political uprising was brewing bringing with it fear, unease and danger. I didn’t know a great deal about this part of history and this is the beauty of historical fiction it does give the opportunity for the author to bring history to life to a new audience that otherwise wouldn’t have known about it.

The story starts with young Hester Blake leaving home and starting her job in service as a Ladies Maid.  She was to aid the Earl of Hereford’s daughter, Lady Lucy Fitzmartin, to care for her needs and play chaperone during her first appearances in society.  Hester’s first impression of Lady Lucy was of a delicate, porcelain-esque young lady that held an almost ethereal beauty.

Underneath this delicate cloak Lady Lucy held a strong attitude especially towards her beliefs in politics and this was clearly evident in her writing with her articles in the press.  When her writings take on an almost obsessive indulgence to this new regime her life together with those around her becomes in danger.  I felt that this fear almost drove her on and Lucy became blinkered to the whole picture of what was really going on in the country and Europe.

This was a story of a political uprising filled with secrets and espionage and a fear bringing danger.  Amongst all this upheaval the author has woven a love within the storyline.  A love that had to be kept hidden, a love that the lovers greedily sought comfort with each other.  Two women from very different backgrounds, both with a harrowing and heart breaking past, brought together at a time when women were glamorous but also finding that they had a useful place in society and their efforts could make a difference.  An interesting story that had me gripped wanting to know where the author would take me next.

To learn more about Annabel Fielding please do visit the following pages:

Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/dearestannabel

Blog:  http://historygeekintown.com/

The Man in the Needlecord Jacket by Linda MacDonald blogtour book review

Needlecord - Cover Image

The Man in the Needlecord Jacket written by Linda MacDonald, publisher Matador, is available NOW in ebook and paperback format.

To buy link:  http://amzn.to/2zDqdOH

Product Details (as per amazon page)

When Felicity meets Coll, a charismatic artist, she has high hopes of being distracted from her failed marriage. What she doesn’t know is that he has a partner, Sarah, with whom he has planned a future. Sarah is deeply in love with Coll, but his controlling behaviour and associations with other women have always made her life difficult. When he becomes obsessed with Felicity, Sarah’s world collapses and a series of events is set in motion that will challenge the integrity of all the characters involved.

Needlecord Blog Tour Poster

I am so pleased to be involved in the blogtour celebrating this wonderful book about love and life by Linda MacDonald.

The Man in the Needlecord Jacket is about one man, Coll, who has been in a long-term relationship with Sarah for a couple of years however, he isn’t fully committed to this partnership.

Coll is a manipulative man full of charm and persuasion but as quick as he pulls you in he keeps you dangling, as if on the end of a piece of string, near enough for him to pull when he wants attention but still far enough away to allow him his own space to pursue and pull another string.

This story by Linda MacDonald is told from three POV; the manipulator (Coll), the one left dangling on the end of the string (Sarah) and the newcomer that soon becomes embroiled (Felicity).  I did feel compassion for Sarah who was so in love with Coll and this intensity of love helped her overlook some of his more deviating ways but when Felicity came on the scene Coll’s persona changed completely crushing Sarah’s heart and soul.  Sarah has suffered with heartbreak in the past and finding Coll with his charm has been a tonic for Sarah when she needed it the most but can she now learn to live without Coll by her side?  I don’t believe Coll intended to be devious with his love, I believe his character traits found it difficult to keep his charm offensive in check and the attention he received from this was such a boost to his ego.  Felicity is struggling to come to terms with the break-up of her marriage and with the recent steps she has taken in her personal life she has many regrets.  Her family are what she holds dearest and now living apart from them she has time to take stock of her life.  Starting up her own restaurant with her youngest son has given her a new outlook on life and when this chance opportunity meeting Coll arises she is soon charmed by him.

Linda MacDonald has created a clever story about relationships and the complexity of personalities.  It is a story of lies and deceit, love and fantasy, letting go of the past and hope and strength to move on to a brighter future.  I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and as a reader it was interesting to learn about the three sides to this tangle of love that Coll had created around himself.


About the Author

Linda - Author PhotoLinda MacDonald is the author of four novels: Meeting Lydia and the stand-alone sequels, A Meeting of a Different Kind, The Alone Alternative and The Man in the Needlecord Jacket. All Linda’s books are contemporary adult fiction, multi-themed, but with a focus on relationship issues.

After studying psychology at Goldsmiths’, Linda trained as a secondary science and biology teacher. She taught these subjects for several years before moving to a sixth-form college to teach psychology. The first two novels took ten years in writing and publishing, using snatched moments in the evenings, weekends and holidays. In 2012, she gave up teaching to focus fully on writing.

Linda was born and brought up in Cockermouth, Cumbria and now lives in Beckenham in Kent.

Goodreads:  http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4870870.Linda_MacDonald

Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/LindaMac1

Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/LindaMacDonaldAuthor/

The Secret Life of Alfred Nightingale by Rebecca Stonehill book review

the secret life of alfred nightingale

The Secret Life of Alfred Nightingale written and published by Rebecca Stonehill is available NOW in ebook and paperback format.

To buy link:  http://amzn.to/2zFC5xi

Product Details (as per amazon page)

A compelling page turner of a buried past resurfacing, set against a backdrop of the 1960’s youth culture and war torn Crete.

1967. Handsome but troubled, Jim is almost 18 and he lives and breathes girls, trad jazz, Eel Pie Island and his best friend, Charles. One night, he hears rumours of a community of young people living in caves in Matala, Crete. Determined to escape his odious, bully of a father and repressed mother, Jim hitchhikes through Europe down to Matala. At first, it’s the paradise he dreamt it would be. But as things start to go wrong and his very notion of self unravels, the last thing Jim expects is for this journey of hundreds of miles to set in motion a passage of healing which will lead him back to the person he hates most in the world: his father.

Taking in the counter-culture of the 1960’s, the clash of relationships between the WW2 generation and their children, the baby boomers, this is a novel about secrets from the past finally surfacing, the healing of trauma and the power of forgiveness.

A captivating story that will mesmerise fans of Lucinda Riley, Dinah Jefferies and Tracy Rees.

caves of Matala

I voluntarily reviewed an arc of this novel.  All opinions are my own and no content may be copied. However, authors and publishers may use elements of my reviews for quotes.

This was such a profoundly moving novel that evoked many emotions in me.  A story cleverly told in two different time frames from two generations of one family going through a pivotal time in their own lives which would leave a lasting impression forever.

The author, Rebecca Stonehill, swept me away to a time in 1967, to a place of free spirit, young love and a time of self-discovery.  This particular part of the story was quite fascinating.  An adventure for the youngsters who quite bravely took this journey.  The caves of Matala with their steeped history intrigued me and with the backdrop of the beach and sea I can understand the draw especially with the Mediterranean temperatures.  For young Jim though, who was hellbent on escaping the stifling relationships at home, it wasn’t the idyllic retreat he expected.  As the days drew on he felt like something was missing, he was hurting inside with unresolved angst from home and the young love he craved wasn’t like he’d dreamed.

I was then transported back to a beautiful coastal area of Crete to 1940 when British forces were posted to defend Suda Bay and the British ships.  This beautiful area was soon to become tarnished and the locals and military personnel were fearing for their lives due to the onset of WWII.  Rebecca Stonehill took me to this terrifying time when the man you eat, sleep, work with becomes your closest friend in the world.  He’s your brother in arms that you will trust with your life and share your innermost thoughts with.  We see a different side to a character that our first impressions of are so far from the truth.

The Secret Life of Alfred Nightingale is a historical timeslip novel about friendship, about self-discovery, about grief, about young love and much, much more.  Beautifully poignant, emotive and informative.

To learn more about Rebecca Stonehill and her work please do visit the following pages:

Website:  http://rebeccastonehill.com/

Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/bexstonehill

Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/RebeccaStonehillBooks/

Zenka by Alison Brodie book review

Zenka_Final

Zenka written and self-published by Alison Brodie is available NOW in ebook format.

To buy link:  http://amzn.to/2AlpBe1

Product Details (as per amazon page)

Devious, ruthless, and loyal.

Zenka is a capricious Hungarian with a dark past.

When cranky London mob boss, Jack Murray, saves her life she vows to become his guardian angel – whether he likes it or not. Happily, she now has easy access to pistols, knives and shotguns.

Jack discovers he has a son, Nicholas, a male nurse with a heart of gold. Problem is, Nicholas is a wimp.

Zenka takes charges. Using her feminine wiles and gangland contacts, she will make Nicholas into the sort of son any self-respecting crime boss would be proud of. And she succeeds!

Nicholas transforms from pussycat to mad dog, falls in love with Zenka, and finds out where the bodies are buried – because he buries them. He’s learning fast that sometimes you have to kill, or be killed.

As his life becomes more terrifying, questions have to be asked:

How do you tell a mob boss you don’t want to be his son?

And is Zenka really who she says she is?

Maid-Marigold

I voluntarily reviewed an arc of this novel.  All opinions are my own and no content may be copied. However, authors and publishers may use elements of my reviews for quotes.

Zenka is Alison Brodie’s 6th published book; I’ve had the pleasure to read three of these books and each one has been a joy to read.  Alison Brodie has a great writing style taking you on a journey with the characters using dialect to help you be fully immersed in their personalities and traits.  Adding in wonderful wit and humour you leave Alison Brodie’s novels with a sense of satisfaction that it was an entertaining and enjoyable read.
Zenka is a dark, romantic comedy about Jack Murray, a London gangster, who saved a couple of Romanian girls from a fate filled with slavery and fear.  One of these girls is Zenka.  Zenka is bright, vivacious, intelligent and beautiful.  Since being saved by Jack she vows to be his guardian angel and soon picks up the unorthodox gangster ways with a fabulous twist of feminine ways.
When Jack learns he may be the father of a young man he swears to go on the straight and narrow, secretly flinging expensive gifts and money to his long lost son’s way. But finding out his son is shy and downtrodden Jack feels he needs to help build his confidence and there is no better person for the job than Zenka.  Zenka sprinkles some of her own magic Nicholas’ way and sets in motion a chain of events that will change the future for many.  However, neither Jack, Zenka or Nicholas have figured that love may be on the agenda.
A crazy fun-filled dark romantic comedy that you just don’t know what’s going to happen next. Jack Murray reminded me in a way of a ‘Robin Hood’ type character; in his own unorthodox way he was helping out those in need.  I loved Zenka’s dialect and her letters back home that were very honest and quite funny with her parting shot each time.  Zenka was such a brilliant, quirky character and I could imagine the author had so much fun creating her.  4.5/5*
To learn more about Alison Brodie please visit the following pages: