Tuppenny Rice & Treacle and Tunes on a Penny Whistle by Doris E Coates/Richard Coates blogtour book review

I am so pleased to be involved in the blogtour promoting and celebrating the launch of Doris E Coates books that have been re-edited by her son Richard Coates thus giving us insight in to more information about life living in a small Peak District village over a century ago.

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

Blog Tour Banner - Richard Coates

Tuppenny Rice & Treacle:  Cottage Housekeeping 1900-1920 written by Doris E Coates, edited by Richard Coates, publisher The Harpsden Press, is available NOW in ebook and paperback format.

To buy link:  https://goo.gl/cpXsnY

Product Details (as per amazon page)

Feeding a family on a limited budget is always a challenge. Yet even with a budget as low as ten shillings (50p) a week in the early part of the twentieth century, it is remarkable how interesting and varied the menu could be.

This delightful book draws on recipes compiled by Doris’s mother in Derbyshire and mother-in-law in Cumberland, and contains detailed records of weekly expenditure.

It includes numerous recipes for nutritious and filling meals for working men and growing families, taking full advantage of what was available – hearty meat dishes, with lots of root vegetables, puddings and dumplings to fill them out, cakes and buns, sweets and jams, and beverages to go with them (some highly alcoholic!). The recipes work just as well now as then.

It is also full of household and cleaning hints and products, illustrating immense pride in the home, as well as medicines, lotions and potions that would ‘kill or cure’.

Tuppenny Rice and Treacle, which still has resonance today, is illustrated with many contemporary photographs, and line drawings by George Coates, the author’s husband. It is one of a series of social and local histories written by the author and published by The Harpsden Press.

Review:  This was a fascinating insight to the lives of women living in the heart of rural England; the small village of Eyam in the rugged beauty of the Peak District.  It’s hard to imagine when you look at mothers now to the life of what your Great Grandmother must have witnessed first hand.  Life was very tough; no electric, no gas, no running water.  A mother’s life back in 1900-1920 was certainly hard work.

Reading about and seeing images from the past was very enlightening.  This book includes many images that are copies of handwritten journals, drawings and photos from the author’s ancestors.  I particularly enjoyed the journals that the woman of the household wrote all expenditure and income in, it was informative but also equally shocking.  Families were living off every penny that passed through their doors.

The book also included numerous vintage recipes that originated from Derbyshire and the other also included many other region based recipes that were popular a century ago.  We also get to glimpse how common ailments were treated, all I can say is thank goodness for medical research!

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Tunes on a Penny Whistle:  A Derbyshire Childhood written by Doris E Coates, edited by Richard Coates, publisher The Harpsden Press, is available NOW in ebook and paperback format.

To buy link:  https://goo.gl/CqaDsR

Product Details (as per amazon page)

The early 1900s were a period of great hardship for many working-class families, particularly in rural areas. However, they were also times of pride and self-sufficiency, with fun and laughter derived from simple pleasures as well as mutual support and courage when poverty could have become unbearable.

This book is a personal history of a childhood in the village of Eyam – known as the Plague Village – in the Peak District of Derbyshire. Doris recalls how her mother confronted tough living conditions without labour-saving devices and often with little or no money.

She remembers, too, her father, who fought for the right for union representation, worked for self-help groups, and organised political meetings and village entertainments. He was a talented self-taught musician, producing a wide range of music on his Canadian organ and penny whistle. His fighting spirit made him a remarkable and influential character within the village community.

Both humourous and shocking, this description of domestic and community life at the beginning of the twentieth century is illustrated with many contemporary photographs, documents, and line drawings by George Coates, the author’s husband.

Tunes on a Penny Whistle is one of a series of social and local histories written by the author and published by The Harpsden Press.

Review:  This second book by Doris E Coates was another insightful look at the life of a childhood back in Derbyshire over a century ago.  It was very interesting looking back to times long ago however, I didn’t quite enjoy this book as much as Tuppenny Rice and Treacle as I much prefer women’s social history and the history of food.  This book includes details about Doris’ father and his ancestors and also the political upheavals in the area at the time.

Hearing about how Doris’ determination to learn and go on to further education was quite inspirational.  Doris E Coates was a very purposeful young woman and I’m sure her dogged determination helped her get through many of life’s trials through the years.

I would recommend both books to anyone interested in social history and especially that of a family living in the Peak District during the early 1900’s.

About the Authors

Born in Eyam in the Peak District of Derbyshire, Doris E. Coates achieved a successful and varied career as a teacher in both Derbyshire and later in Norfolk. Along with her husband George, she was an active member of her community promoting local groups, enjoyed singing in the local choir and, after retirement, turned her talents to writing. Her son, Richard Coates, now based in Bath enjoyed a happy childhood and grew up appreciating the importance of a strong education. After gaining a scholarship at Oxford University he went on to read Politics, Philosophy and Economics. Later as a management consultant he worked for international companies including Audi, British Airways and Mars in both the UK and oversees and continues to sit on the board of Davos Consultancy. Now retired, and in memory of his mother, Richard has decided to republish her books with fascinating new additions after researching further into his family history.

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A Week to be Wild written by JC Harroway blogtour book review

a week to be wild

A Week To Be Wild written by JC Harroway, publisher Mills & Boon DARE, is available NOW in ebook, paperback and audio book format.

To buy link:  https://goo.gl/bNLntB

Product Details (as per amazon page)

A daring game of temptation

She’ll play his game—but only by her rules!

Alex Lancaster is an adrenaline junkie. He’s also a sexy British billionaire who should come with his own warning signs. When Libby insists she is done with men who live on the edge, Alex coaxes her out of her comfort zone—professionally and very, very personally. Libby’s taking a high-stakes gamble, but the pay-off could win her everything…

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I am so pleased to be involved in the blogtour celebrating the launch of A Week To Be Wild. Mills & Boon have had a makeover. 2018 sees the launch of a new sexy, passionate, bold, exciting series called DARE. A Week To Be Wild is our first dip into this gloriously, tantalising new series.

A Week To Be Wild is fast and furious and utterly sublime.

NYC based Libby Noble has been invited to the London Business School to give a presentation. As head of her own marketing business she is accustomed to giving speeches but those of a smaller scale.  Libby is also use to working with many busienssmen however, one particular man who hugs his designer suit to perfection and oozes sex appeal and charisma is self-made billionaire Alex Lancaster.  Alex Lancaster watched Libby’s presentation with a keen interest.  What Libby doesn’t know is that Alex Lancaster has a personal proposal for her.

Libby Nolan has a vulnerability about her.  Four years ago her life was completely shattered and since then she has built a brick wall around her heart and refuses to budge on letting her guard down.

Alex Lancaster, with all his bravado is hiding a heartache also.  Throwing himself into his business and now setting up a charity organisation that is very close to his heart.  Alex wanted, no he needed, Libby’s marketing expertise. But he also needed more from her. He wanted her to give up one week of her life for him. For him to show her his hopes for the charity and more.

This story was dripping with sex appeal.  However, you are kept captivated by the storyline surrounding this sizzling romance.  A romance that has the potential to explode with the unprecedented chemistry Libby and Alex share.

I also loved the style of this paperback it was a more streamlined size novel so is the perfect size to pop in your handbag for a quick indulgent romantic fix.

Giveaway: The publishers kindly sent me a second copy of this novel.  To be entered in the giveaway please comment below by stating one of your favourite fictional romances.

To learn more about the author JC Harroway please do visit the following pages:

Website:  https://jcharroway.com/

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/jcharroway

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/jcharroway/

To learn more about Mills & Boon please visit their website at:

https://www.millsandboon.co.uk/

 

A Warriner to Tempt Her by Virginia Heath blogtour book review

a warriner to tempt her

A Warriner to Tempt Her written by Virginia Heath, publisher Mills & Boon Historical, is available NOW in ebook and paperback format.

To buy link:  https://goo.gl/nFKxbU

Product Details (as per amazon page)

A shy innocent

She’s wary of all men.

In this The Wild Warriners story, shy Lady Isabella Beaumont is perfectly happy to stay in the background and let her sister get all the attention from handsome suitors following a shocking incident. However working with Dr Joseph Warriner to help the sick and needy pushes her closer to a man than she’s ever been before. Is this a man worth trusting with her deepest of desires…?

A Warriner To Tempt Her Full Banner (1)

I am so pleased to be involved in the blogtour celebrating and promoting the launch of Virginia Heath’s latest novel: A Warriner to Tempt Her.  I’m a huge fan of The Wild Warriner series and this novel is the third story.  The novels can be read as a standalone but my goodness you will be missing out on a treat if you don’t read all the books in the series and I would recommend reading them in order.  The books in the series are:

  • A Warriner to Protect Her
  • A Warriner to Rescue Her
  • A Warriner to Tempt Her
  • A Warriner to Seduce Her

Dr Joe Warriner is the sensible, studious one of the four Warriner brothers.  Joe always looks for the good in everyone, even of his late father who brought so much disrepute to the family.

Joe is also abit of a day dreamer and just recently his thoughts have been filled of Lady Clarissa Beaumont who he believes is the epitome of a perfect woman.  With her beauty and charm she is always surrounded by would-be suitors and never seems to notice the presence of Joe.  However, one Beaumont lady hasn’t mistaken Joe’s presence and when Joe is doing his rounds at the Foundling Home for children Lady Isabella Beaumont is always quietly in the background watching Dr Joe’s moves.

Lady Isabella (Bella) and her family are quite new to Retford following a very terrifying and traumatic incident in London.  The family were advised to take Bella away to the country to recuperate and heal.  Bella is still very traumatised over her ordeal and hates being around new situations but her voluntary work at the foundling home is slowly giving her confidence.  Bella revels in medicine and has devoured endless medical tomes and journals.

When an epidemic of a deadly disease is reported in Nottingham, mere miles away, panic sets in.  Joe is keen to quell the worries of the villagers of Retford and wishes to administer the new vaccination for the disease to all.  However, the vaccination is quite new following extensive research made by a fellow medical professional.  But not all are keen, the other local Dr who practices very unorthodox procedures quickly rebukes this new vaccination and argues against Joe’s proposal.  With lives at risk Joe and with the help of his keen assistant Bella need to swiftly take medical action.

The closer Joe and Bella work together the more Joe begins to realise that his heart had been set on the wrong Beaumont sister.  With Bella’s brain, kindness, bravery and quiet stubbornness she is a good match to Joe’s persona.

Chemistry soon bubbles between the pair but Joe soon realises all is not as it appears with Bella and she is hiding some dark secret that won’t let go of her mind.

The author Virgina Heath had taken extensive research of medical history for Joe’s story and this was clearly portrayed across the pages.  I was fascinated with this side of the story.  A Warriner to Tempt Her is a stunningly beautiful story that I thoroughly enjoyed.  All four Warriner brothers are hero’s in their own right but when Joe is put to the test his heroism is off the scale.  With his sensitivity to a very serious issue Joe calmly deals with it.  His passion for his love of medicine, his love for his brothers and now his love for Bella are his main strengths and the villagers and ourselves as readers are lucky to know Joe.

To learn more about Virginia Heath and her work please do visit the following pages:

Website:  https://www.virginiaheathromance.com/

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

Facebook:  www.facebook.com/virginiaheathauthor/

The Start of Something Wonderful by Jane Lambert blogtour book review

the start of something wonderful

The Start of Something Wonderful written by Jane Lambert, publisher HQ Digital, is available NOW in ebook format.

To buy link:  https://goo.gl/Z55NGi

Product Details (as per amazon page)

It’s never too late to follow your dreams…

Forty-year-old air stewardess, Emily Forsyth, thought she had everything a woman could wish for: a glamorous, jet-set lifestyle, a designer wardrobe and a dishy pilot boyfriend. Until he breaks up with her…

Catapulted into a mid-life crisis she wishes she’d had earlier, she decides to turn her life upside-down, quitting her job and instead beginning to chase her long-held dreams of becoming an actress!

Leaving the skies behind her, Emily heads for the bright lights of London’s West End – but is it too late to reach for the stars?

The Start of Someting Wonderful Blog_Tour[3] (1)

I’m so pleased to be involved in the blogtour celebrating and promoting the launch of Jane Lambert’s debut novel, The Start of Something Wonderful.  This novel was previously published as Learning to Fly and has a fabulous makeover.

I really enjoyed this debut novel by Jane Lambert and I believe she will be one to watch in the romcom literary world!

Emily Forsyth is in her early 40’s and has been an air stewardess for as long as she can remember.  She loves the lifestyle that this occupation brought with it but following the break-up of her long standing relationship with her pilot boyfriend Emily decides to dry her tear-stained eyes, dust herself down and pursue a dream she’s held for a long time.  A dream of acting.  Moving jobs, moving house, changing her relationship status can be a stressful time but Emily doesn’t hold back now she has the momentum to change.  Enrolling in an acting course is the start but she can’t live off her meagre savings for long.  So Emily needs to find a part-time job to fit it and around her classes.

We follow Emily on her quest to fulfil her dreams but will life run smoothly for her?

Jane Lambert has created such a great character in Emily; she is warm and funny and has a new passion to change her life.  I also loved all the sub-characters that blended in perfectly around Emily’s new lifestyle.  We were treated  to some fabulously funny scenes and also some beautiful tender romantic moments.  But the ending OMG! …  I am chuffed to bits to hear that there will be a sequel to this novel as I can’t wait to read how Emily’s life is fairing now.  A fabulously funny heartwarming romance.

To learn more about Jane Lambert please do visit the following pages:

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/janelambert22

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/janelambertauthor/

 

 

Aphrodite’s Tears by Hannah Fielding blogtour book review

aphrodites tears

Aphrodite’s Tears written by Hannah Fielding, publisher London Wall Publishing, is available in ebook, paperback and hardcover format from the 25th January 2018.

To pre-order/buy link:  https://goo.gl/av1v8i

Product Details (as per amazon page)

In ancient Greece, one of the twelve labours of Heracles was to bring back a golden apple from the Garden of Hesperides. To archaeologist Oriel Anderson, joining a team of Greek divers on the island of Helios seems like the golden apple of her dreams. Yet the dream becomes a nightmare when she meets the devilish owner of the island, Damian Lekkas. In shocked recognition, she is flooded with the memory of a romantic night in a stranger’s arms, six summers ago. A very different man stands before her now, and Oriel senses that the sardonic Greek autocrat is hell-bent on playing a cat and mouse game with her. As they cross swords and passions mount, Oriel is aware that malevolent eyes watch her from the shadows. Dark rumours are whispered about the Lekkas family. What dangers lie in Helios, a bewitching land where ancient rituals are still enacted to appease the gods, young men risk their lives in the treacherous depths of the Ionian Sea, and the volatile earth can erupt at any moment? Will Oriel find the hidden treasures she seeks? Or will Damian’s tragic past catch up with them, threatening to engulf them both?

Aprodites Tears blog poster

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.

I am so pleased to be involved in the blogtour celebrating and promoting the launch of Hannah Fielding’s latest novel: Aphrodite’s Tears.  Aphrodite’s Tears is my first introduction to the works of Hannah Fielding and it had everything and more that I love in a story.

This was an epic novel filled with a tempestuous love; a love so strong and persistent that the Greek Gods had no power over.

Oriel a young talented, beautiful archaeologist couldn’t believe the luck of obtaining a position on the crew to search a sunken Roman ship off the coast of a small Greek Island.

The island of Helios is steeped with so much history and legend that as soon as Oriel steps foot on it’s soil she feels the excitement of what lies ahead.  Faced with rumours of her new boss she is filled with trepidation but when she meets Damian Lekkas her mind suddenly revisits a time 7 years ago when her heart had been broken but then she glimpses sight of this god-like creature emerging from the Aegean sea.  This Greek God is none other than her new boss Damian Lekkas.  Oriel wonders whether she can work with this man but the importance of what the archaeological team may discover gives her hope that Damian and herself can work together in a professional manner.

Damian Lekkas is a highly esteemed man that the islanders are truly thankful for all the work he has done providing homes, employment and updating valuable resources to make life for the islanders run more efficiently.  Damian is a very passionate person especially around his work and the love of the island.  When he meets up with Oriel again after 7 years his desire for her is like he’s never spent a minute apart from her.  Working together will definitely test his spirit.  Damian’s family through all it’s generations have been thwarted with tragedy after tragedy; it’s as if the Greek Gods from myths and legends have cursed the family.

This story is so entrancing and alluring.  You are treated to the appeal of the Greek Island and also to the sensual beauty of a love that hasn’t cooled.  The storyline was exciting, it was sensual, it was dramatic, it was full of family drama that felt like it had stepped out of any of the Greek myths and legends storybooks.  I was in awe of this stunning story.

To learn more about Hannah Fielding and her work please do visit the following pages:

Website:  http://hannahfielding.net/

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

Facebook:  www.facebook.com/AuthorHannahFielding/

 

Dreaming of Florence by T. A. Williams blogtour book review

dreaming of florence cover

Dreaming of Florence written by T. A. Williams, publisher Canelo, is available NOW in ebook format.

To buy link:  https://goo.gl/JaLcZv

Product Details (as per amazon page)

Fresh pasta, red wine, fine art… and love? Find enchantment this year in the magical city of Florence

When Debbie Waterson’s bicycle crashes into handsome doctor Pierluigi, she wonders if her luck has changed. Determinedly single after ending a long relationship, at last, a man worth bumping into!

Inspired to visit Florence, she soon runs headlong into that old foe: reality. But is Pierluigi the man of her dreams? Then there’s her booze obsessed boss, his forbidding secretary and her noisy inconsiderate neighbours. But could her luck be about to change? Will she find love after all?

Dreaming of Florence Blog Tour banner (4)

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.

I am so pleased to be involved in the blogtour celebrating and promoting the launch of T. A. Williams latest novel:  Dreaming of Florence.

There is a recognised quote “Reading is dreaming with open eyes” and the author T. A. Williams has a unique skill of instantly transporting the reader to the locations of his novels.  You can fully appreciate the research he has undertaken as the knowledge of the areas he writes about with it’s beauty, heritage and history is spelled out across the pages.  After reading this new novel by T. A. Williams I too am dreaming of Florence …

Debbie Waterson is an English teacher currently based in Cambridge teaching her native language to foreign students.  Following the break up of a relationship Debbie’s work is her life but when she accidentally bumps into a handsome Italian Dr her childhood dreams of the Italian city of Florence start to feel like a possible reality.

Debbie’s current job is in jeapordy and she is forced to look elsewhere for employment and when an opportunity arises to teach in Florence she excitedly grabs the chance to fulfil her dreams and maybe also to see more of the dishy Dr Pierluigi.

The city of her dreams is all that she has envisioned and her heart is filling with the love of it’s culture and heritage.  However, her blossoming romance with Pierluigi is set for doom.  Brushing down the let down of her new love Debbie ploughs herself into her new job and making new acquaintances.  Life is turning out pretty well for Debbie until one eventful night that brings her in the hands of danger.  Can her city of dreams heal her heart and mind and bring her all that she desires?

I really enjoyed Dreaming of Florence, the author takes you on a wonderful picturesque journey with Debbie discovering a new city and friends.  However, when the storyline takes on a darker side the author treads very carefully and deals with a serious issue with a touch of grace.  A heartwarming tale of new beginnings in life and love.

To learn more about T. A. Williams and his work please do visit the following pages:

Website:  https://tawilliamsbooks.com/

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

 

The Things We Learn When We’re Dead by Charlie Laidlaw book review

the things we learn when we're dead

The Things We Learn When We’re Dead written by Charlie Laidlaw, publisher Accent Press, is available NOW in ebook and paperback format.

To buy link:  https://goo.gl/8QbZT2

Product Details (as per amazon page)

On the way home from a dinner party she didn’t want to attend, Lorna Love steps into the path of an oncoming car. When she wakes up she is in what appears to be a hospital – but a hospital in which her nurse looks like a young Sean Connery, she is served wine for supper, and everyone avoids her questions. It soon transpires that she is in Heaven, or on HVN. Because HVN is a lost, dysfunctional spaceship, and God the aging hippy captain. She seems to be there by accident. Or does God have a higher purpose after all? At first Lorna can remember nothing. As her memories return – some good, some bad – she realises that she has decisions to make and that she needs to find a way home…

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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 is the story of Lorna Love who is about to embark on her career in law when her life is sadly cut short following an accident.  Lorna wakes up not in hospital but on a spaceship known as HVN and God has chosen her for a higher purpose but Lorna has to go through a process before God will reveal all that is meant for her.

I had heard great things about this novel and was intrigued enough to want to read it.  The author Charlie Laidlaw has cleverly written a story with such a great imaginative concept around a young woman who has been struggling with what life has dealt her.  Lorna sadly at a young age has had to deal with grief, loss, family saga and with it the angst of teenage hormones and the trials of growing up.  The story is very compelling, you are drawn to Lorna’s character, she is a young woman with strong beliefs but is also shy in herself.  As Lorna starts remembering events and feelings from her past you learn to love her character even more.  With the introduction of God and his entourage is so clever of the author but it is also quite charming, I was enchanted and intrigued by HVN and Irene with her unorthodox ways.  Charlie Laidlaw has injected a little humour in this side of the storyline which was perfectly placed.  I did get a little confused with the spaceship terminology but that is just me however, I hasten to add it didn’t distract me from enjoying the novel.  The storyline as a whole kept me captivated and I wasn’t sure where the author was going to take the reader next.

The Things We Learn When We’re Dead is a very unique story; a story that deals with many emotions we face in life but it’s also quite a beautiful story; a story of love, loss and friendship.  At the end I felt quite uplifted and was so pleased to have the opportunity to read such an imaginative novel.

To learn more about Charlie Laidlaw and his work please visit the following pages:

Website:  https://www.charlielaidlawauthor.com/

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

Facebook:  www.facebook.com/charlielaidlawauthor/