Paris By The Book by Liam Callanan book review

 

paris by the book

Paris by the Book written by Liam Callanan, publisher HQ, is available NOW in ebook, paperback and audiobook format.

To buy link:  https://amzn.to/2JuodJE

Product Details (as per amazon page)

Some stories are still waiting to be found.
In a city of millions, it’s easy to lose someone…
Twelve weeks before Leah Eady arrived in France, her husband disappeared. Early one morning, he walked out the door and never came back. All he left behind was a scrumpled note in a cereal box, leading her to the bustling streets of Paris.
Once she arrives, she discovers a mysterious unfinished manuscript written by her husband, and set in the very same city. Hoping to uncover more clues, Leah takes over a crumbling bookshop with her two young daughters, only to realise that he might just be closer than any of them ever imagined…
…but what if he doesn’t want to be found?

 

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

When clues to her husband’s disappearance leads to Paris, Leah with her two daughter’s Ellie and Daphne decide to take their lives and move temporarily to France.  With their love of the fictional character Madeline and the book The Red Balloon, Leah and her girls had witnessed through the pages of their beloved stories many areas of the city and now at last they could walk these sights that had so often appeared on a page.  Wherever, they went they hoped to come across Robert the husband and father.

The girls soon adapted to this new Parisian lifestyle and were learning fast but behind their smiles was a sadness.  For all the encouragement of a new temporary life in Paris Leah could only achieve so much brightness in to her daughter’s lives.  There was an ever present cloud hanging over them, or a shadow or an imagined sighting.

Leah and Robert found each other through the love of books and then lost each other with their hearts and souls etched out between the pages.  Will these same pages bring Leah and Robert back together?

Walking through the streets of Paris with the characters that the author Liam Callanan had created was quite captivating and I loved hearing about the significance of different sights that related to stories set in Paris.  This part of the story made me envious and I wanted to open the pages of these books and take my own literal steps.

I did find the story a little slow to start and there was a certain melancholy about it.  But I felt an overall feeling of strength, of hope and of belief.  By the end I was overcome with emotion and was still full of hope for this young American family struggling with loss, grief and the uncertainty of new beginnings.  A book for lovers, a book for admirers of Paris and a book for literary fans.

To learn more about the author Liam Callanan please visit the following pages:

Website:  https://www.liamcallanan.com/

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/liamcallanan

 

 

 

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The Things We Need to Say by Rachel Burton book review

 

the things we need to say

The Things We Need to Say written by Rachel Burton, publisher HQ Digital, is available NOW in ebook and audiobook.

To buy link: https://amzn.to/2JsO5Fy

Product Details (as per amazon page)

Sometimes the things we never say are the most important.
Fran loves Will with all her heart. They had a whirlwind romance, a perfect marriage and a wonderful life. Until everything changed. Now Fran needs to find her way again and teaching a yoga retreat in Spain offers her just that. Leaving behind a broken marriage she has some very important decisions to make.
Will needs his wife, he needs her to open up to him if they’re to ever return to the way things once were. But he may have damaged any possibility he had of mending their relationship and now Fran is in Spain and Will is alone.
As both Fran and Will begin to let go of a life that could have been, fate may just find a way of bringing them back together.

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

The Things We Need to Say is Rachel Burton’s second novel and it’s also my first introduction to her work. Even though this is only the author’s second novel Rachel Burton is already showing signs of a seasoned author.  This was superb storytelling and the writing flowed throughout the story. I was drawn into the characters’ lives instantly and felt their emotions whenever they peaked high or low.  The Things We Need to Say is a story that would resonate to many, it’s a story with real, raw, heart wrenching moments that leave scars permanently etched on your heart but with time these scars would fade.  It’s a story that pulls at the heart strings and leaves you pondering the decisions made that ultimately change the focus and direction of the characters lives.

I felt pain and anguish for both Fran and Will who both had so many silent thoughts and fears in their heads but were afraid to let their voices be heard, resulting in a pain that was almost unbearable.

Fran and Will had been through so much turmoil in their lives, their dreams and hopes for the future had been shattered more than once.  Could they continue with this one goal?

With Fran’s pre-arranged yoga retreat looming it was an opportune moment to take stock of where she is now, make acceptance of what has been before and free her mind to the fear of what may lay ahead.  With another scar forcing it’s way onto Fran’s heart teaching yoga at the retreat in Spain couldn’t have come at a better time.  Teaching students to relax and free their minds helps Fran refocus and regroup her own feelings.

Back home in Sussex Will is fighting his own demons and is struggling with so much.

The Things We Need to Say is a story about grief, about loss, about love and about acceptance.  It’s so beautifully told and I felt that the author truly wrote from the heart and the research she undertook for certain scenes was well accomplished.  Rachel Burton is an author to watch; she tugs at your heart and captures you into the lives of the characters so well drawn out amongst the pages.  I loved how the chapters were short and from different POV, I felt myself finishing one chapter and eager to read on to the next.  Stunning story.

To learn more about Rachel Burton please visit the following pages:

Amazon Author Page: https://amzn.to/2L3ESt2

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/bookish_yogi

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/Rachel-Burton-353151308524664/

Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/bookish_yogi/

The Road to Newgate by Kate Braithwaite excerpt

the road to newgate

The Road to Newgate written by Kate Braithwaite, publisher Crooked Cat Books, is available NOW in ebook and paperback format. The ebook is also included in the kindleunlimited scheme.

To buy link:  https://amzn.to/2NadaHB

Product Details (as per amazon page)

What price justice?

London 1678.

Titus Oates, an unknown preacher, creates panic with wild stories of a Catholic uprising against Charles II. The murder of a prominent Protestant magistrate appears to confirm that the Popish Plot is real.

Only Nathaniel Thompson, writer and Licenser of the Presses, instinctively doubts Oates’s revelations. Even his young wife, Anne, is not so sure. And neither know that their friend William Smith has personal history with Titus Oates.

When Nathaniel takes a public stand, questioning the plot and Oates’s integrity, the consequences threaten them all.


The Road to Newgate is Kate Braithwaite’s second novel.  Her first novel, CHARLATAN, was long-listed for the Mslexia New Novel Award and the Historical Novel Society Novel Award in 2015.  You can find my review for Charlatan here.

On the publication day for the ebook for The Road to Newgate I am so pleased to share with you an excerpt from Kate Braithwaite’s latest novel.

Her sister comes. They confer upstairs. I’m sent to call the midwife and Anne’s mother, who arrives but will not even catch my eye. A succession of women flow in and out, upstairs and down, while I stand in the dining room listening to their footsteps overhead but without any way of knowing how things are progressing either for good or for bad. I hang around the bottom of the stairs, straining my ears, for what? A child’s cry? Anne’s cry? I hardly know what I want to happen, except for this thing to be over. Eventually, Sarah comes down.
“Go out, Nat.”
“What? Why? Shouldn’t I stay? Do something?”
She shakes her head and gives me a withering look. “It will be a while. The first always is.”
“But what if something happens?”
“Nat. She will be fine. God willing, they will both be fine. Go to Sam’s Coffee House. I will send a boy if there is any change. Trust me.”
“I…” What do I want to say? That I love my wife. That I might lose her. Or the child. Or both.
Sarah puts her hand to my cheek. “Go. But drink coffee. No ale and no wine. It will be hours Nat. When she needs you, I will have you fetched.”
*
Sam’s Coffee House has its usual midday mix of tradesmen, the odd lawyer, a few fellow scribblers I know. I avoid meeting anyone’s eye and sit down on an empty bench with a copy of the Gazette. The coffee-boy brings me a dish and pours my drink, slipping my penny in the pocket of his long apron. At any other time, the familiar mix of roasting berries and tobacco, the loud exchanges, even the touch of the tables and the smooth glaze of the coffee cup, would ease my mind. But not today. I stare at the Gazette but read nothing. Instead, I conjure up disasters.
Anne will die. I’m suspicious of the midwife. She’s a Quaker, which is, Anne has assured me, a good thing. But is she clean? Does she know her work? I chew on my cheek, thinking I should have been more involved in choosing this woman. After all, horror stories about midwives abound. If a child dies before being born, they often cut off limbs to facilitate removing the poor thing from the mother’s body. I imagine blood: Anne’s; the baby’s. A few years ago, a woman and her child died out in the street, slap in the middle of Threadneedle Street, after one so-called midwife held the woman by the shoulders while another witch ripped the child out of her body, killing them both. Images of Anne fighting for her life have me almost on my feet ready to run back home, but the thought of Sarah’s sensible face stops me.
To divert my mind, I brood on Anne’s family. That Anne threw herself away by marrying me is an accepted fact. My line of work, even when I was the Licenser, is viewed with derision. My haunting of coffee shops, as I believe her mother terms it, shows a tendency to gossip and idleness that they find particularly disappointing. Perhaps if I was haunting Will’s Coffee Shop, rather than Sam’s; perhaps if I was a proper writer, like Mr. Dryden, they might think differently. Dryden, famous, popular, and wealthy, keeps his own chair at Will’s, surrounded by literary wits. That’s Anne’s family’s idea of what a writer should be. Not the rather grubby news-gatherers, the cartoonists, lampoonists, and sharp-tongued opportunists I consort with. Only my loyalty to the Crown brings me any measure of approval. Sarah’s husband supposedly reads all my pamphlets, and Anne hopes that one day her younger brother and I might meet and get along. But even when the child is born, I don’t expect to be invited to dinner. A thoroughly bad mood settles on me, as thickly persistent as the coffee sticking to my teeth. Time crawls. It’s the longest day of my life.

 

About the Author

Kate Braithwaite was born and grew up in Edinburgh, Scotland. Her first novel, Charlatan, was longlisted for the Mslexia New Novel Award and the Historical Novel Society Award. Kate lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and three children.

Website:  https://kate-braithwaite.com/

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/KMBraithwaite

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

 

 

Summer at the Little Duck Pond Café by Rosie Green blogtour book review

summer at the little duck pond cafe

Summer at the Little Duck Pond Café written and self-published by Rosie Green is available NOW in ebook format.  The ebook is also included in the kindleunlimited scheme.

To buy link:  https://amzn.to/2KGe4ih

Product Details (as per amazon page)

Jaz Winters stuck a pin in a map and fled to the village of Sunnybrook, looking for a brand new life – and after a rocky start, it’s beginning to look as if she made the right decision. Her blossoming friendship with Ellie and Fen has seen her through some dark times, and she’s managed to land two jobs – waitressing at The Little Duck Pond Café and working as a weekend tour guide at Brambleberry Manor, the country house that’s been in Fen’s family for generations.

Sure, life isn’t totally perfect. There’s the irritating know-it-all guy who keeps popping up on her manor tours, for a start. He seems determined to get under Jaz’s skin whether she likes it or not. But she supposes he’s a small price to pay for the relative peace she’s found, living in Sunnybrook.

But just as Jaz is beginning to think rosier times are on the horizon, a shock encounter looks set to shatter her fragile happiness.

Will she be forced to flee from Sunnybrook and everyone she’s grown so fond of? Or will she find the strength to stand her ground and finally face up to the nightmares of the past?

Summer at the Little Duck Pond Cafe Full Banner

I voluntarily reviewed an arc of this book. 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 next instalment in the new mini series by Rosie Green.  This novella is part of a trilogy, the books in the series are:

  • Spring at The Little Duck Pond Café (you can find my review here
  • Summer at The Little Duck Pond Café
  • Winter at The Little Duck Pond Café

I felt truly welcomed back to the village of Sunnybrook and especially to The Little Duck Pond Café.  It was lovely to rekindle our reading relationships with the friends we made back in Book One: Spring at The Little Duck Pond Café.  We catch up with their comings and goings in the village that sounds so pretty and idyllic.  Book Two is Jaz Winter’s story.  Each book is novella in size and I would thoroughly recommend reading each story in the series in order to experience the full enjoyment from the trilogy.

After her relationship with Grant dramatically falls apart Jaz has to find a new home and she randomly decides on the village of Sunnybrook.  Keeping her past a secret isn’t easy but she feels it’s the only way to protect something she holds dear to her.  Her new life in the village is going well with new friends and work at the café and with the possibility of a change in career direction on the horizon Jaz is feeling a little more settled.

However, her past cannot be kept hidden forever and when Jaz fears for the wellbeing of someone in her past she has no option to step back into her old life.  With the help of her new friends Jaz tries to keep control of her old life.

Another lovely instalment in this heart warming mini series by Rosie Green.  A story filled with endearing comical moments, blossoming friendships and romance.

To learn more about the author Rosie Green please visit the following pages:

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/Rosie_Green1988

Tea Shirt Tailored Refreshments for the Curious Gourmet: Zero Waste Tea Subscription review

Tea Shirt logoTea Shirt Tailored Refreshments have just brought out a new tea subscription; the first ZERO WASTE tea subscription.  Everything from the packing box, pouches, labels, teabag envelopes to the tea leaves can all be recycled and placed in your cardboard/paper recycle box and the used leaves in your vegetation/garden waste box.  Another plus is that everything all packs neatly in a packing box that fits perfectly through your letterbox so no fear of a missed parcel delivery.

To buy link:  https://tea-shirt.co.uk/collections/subscriptions

There are two options to choose from:  Build A Box, were you choose your own teas from a selection; Discovery Box which will be picked by Tea Shirt Tailored Refreshments according to your tea type (i.e. Plain or Flavoured Teas, Herbal, Fruit or Spice Blends or Both).  If you have any allergies or health concerns please let Tea Shirt Tailored Refreshments know and your tea will be chosen according to your needs.

What’s in the Box

  • Four samples of loose leaf tea (each sample of tea would be enough for 5/6 cups)
  • Tea filter bags including a bamboo stick to hold your bags in place
  • Tea tasting notes and steeping guidelines
  • Your first box will also include a tea spoon

I chose the Discovery Box and was thrilled to receive my first box a few weeks ago.  In my box I received samples of Golden Monkey, Assam 2nd Flush Hattialli Tea Estate, Decaf Chai, Hibiscus herbal tea.

 

golden monkeyGolden Monkey – Is an organic black tea from Yunnan.  The dried leaves are very distinctive with the long golden, almost gnarly like, leaves.  The name of the tea comes from the leaves that resemble monkeys claws.  I’ve not tried this blend of tea before and I was so excited to try a new blend.  The taste is light and refreshing and very drinkable.  There’s a subtle earthy sweetness.  This could be a drink enjoyed throughout the day.

 

The teabag filters and bamboo stick that comes in your box is so easy to use, a pictorial card is supplied to guide you.  When I use my tea I always save the tea with it’s filter so I can re-steep again.

 

assam 2nd flushAssam 2nd Flush Hattialli Tea Estate – Is a carefully processed Assam black tea with large leaves and lots of golden tips.  Some Assam teas I find sharp and bitter but this blend produced a bright, malty taste that had a slight gentleness to it.  With Assam teas I only steep for around 2 minutes as I prefer this lighter version but for more intensity leave your tea steeping for 3/4 minutes.

 

decaf chaiDecaf Chai – A decaffeinated Ceylon Black tea with organic spices (cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, cloves and black pepper).  I’ve tried this blend before as I enquired about a Decaf Chai to the co-founders of Tea Shirt and they blended a decaf chai for me using their Ceylon decaf and a blend of aromatic spices.  I’m so pleased with the result and that it was included in the Discovery Subscription box.   I steeped for 3 minutes which left me with a wonderful, tasty, aromatic drink. Not one spice overpowered the other and they gently warm you from within. Combined with the black Ceylon tea leaves this is a lovely satisfying cuppa. A chai that’s as warm and comforting as the original but without the buzz of caffeine = a chai that can be enjoyed anytime of the day.

 

Hibiscus herbal tea – I was fascinated with this tea with it’s whole hibiscus flowers.  I wasn’t sure how much to pop in my filter, so I added two flowers and steeped for 5/6 minutes.  However, I think I could have used just one flower.  This gives an intense rich red colour and the taste is fruity with a slight tartness.  I loved it!  I think this would make a perfect iced tea as well as a warm, comforting hot drink.

That’s all the samples of tea from my first box tasted and I loved them all and will definitely be putting in a re-order.  Subscribers will also be entitled to a 5% discount on purchasers from the website.

Discount Code:  To purchase a tea subscription of your own please visit the link above and use the code FIRSTBOX to get 50% off your first box.

This is an endorsement of a product/service and all views are my own.

To learn more about Tea Shirt Tailored Refreshments please visit the following pages:

Website:  https://tea-shirt.co.uk/

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/teashirtlondon

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

Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/teashirtlondon/

 

 

 

Call of the Curlew by Elizabeth Brooks blogtour book review

call of the curlew

Call of the Curlew written by Elizabeth Brooks, publisher Doubleday (an imprint of Transworld) is available NOW in ebook and hardcover format.

To buy link:

amazon UK:  https://amzn.to/2KRXQip

Waterstones:  https://bit.ly/2zaWei2

Product Details (as per amazon page)

Virginia Wrathmell has always known she will meet her death on the marsh.

One snowy New Year’s Eve, at the age of eighty-six, Virginia feels the time has finally come.

New Year’s Eve, 1939. Virginia is ten, an orphan arriving to meet her new parents at their mysterious house, Salt Winds. Her new home sits on the edge of a vast marsh, a beautiful but dangerous place. War feels far away out here amongst the birds and shifting sands – until the day a German fighter plane crashes into the marsh. The people at Salt Winds are the only ones to see it.

What happens next is something Virginia will regret for the next seventy-five years, and which will change the whole course of her life.

Call of the Curlew Blog Tour Poster

I voluntarily reviewed an arc of this book. 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 this debut novel by Elizabeth Brooks; Call of the Curlew.  This is an outstanding debut and I look forward to lots more from this author who I believe is one to watch.

This is a sweeping story spanning two periods.  The story starts off in the present time, a bleak December 2015 when 86 year old Virginia Wrathmell is preparing to say her goodbyes to the house and it’s memories that she’s shared and have haunted her soul for seventy-five years.  We then travel back to December 1939 when eleven year old Virginia takes her first steps down the lane towards her new home with her adoptive parents Clem and Lorna.  Her new home, Salt Winds, was on the edge of the marshes of Tollbury Point and Virginia was warned about the danger of the uncertainty of the land.

From the dark, quite striking cover with glimpses of light and warmth which perfectly sets the scene for the story within it’s pages.  The author’s style of writing kept me fully engaged with the storyline and I was quite captivated.  This area of land surrounding Salt Winds had almost two personalities.  There was a calm, stillness to the vista and with the vast array of bird species it must have been a joy to just take time out to just watch the natural beauty and it’s wildlife.  However, the eeriness that the marshes held sent chills threw me and that ever presence of danger was always there lurking behind the shadows.

There was a strange complexity to the relationship between Virginia’s adoptive parents and young Virginia became a different child to each respective parent.  She adored her father Clem and was a little perplexed by her mother Lorna.

Salt Winds was quite isolated but when the conflict of war disturbed their lives one fateful New Year’s Eve 1939 Virginia’s new life was to change dramatically.  Fears of loss, betrayal, anguish and fear for her own life during this period were to stay with her.

Fast forward to 2015 when a mysterious visitor to Salt Winds provokes many emotions in Virginia that she tried to keep hidden within the walls of the grand house that now feels so cold and desolate.

I was totally transfixed with this evocative tale spanning two lifetimes.  I loved the time back in 1939 with young Virginia but the darkness that Virginia experienced was heart-breaking and left me quite angry at times.  I wanted to scream and shout but I think that a particular character had a rather unhealthy strong control over them.  There is darkness to the story but there is much, much more.  There is a joy and warmth woven within the storyline and you feel a sense of hope emerging.

A deeply captivating debut novel.

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

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/ManxWriter

 

 

 

*Cover Reveal* Forgive Me Not by Samantha Tonge

Forgive Me Not Cover Reveal

Forgive Me Not written by Samantha Tonge, publisher Canelo is available in ebook format from Monday 23rd July 2018.

To purchase and pre-order any of Samantha Tonge’s novels please visit her amazon author page:

https://amzn.to/2tMw1S0

I am so pleased to be able to reveal the cover for Samantha Tonge’s latest book, Forgive Me Not and here it is; such a beautiful cover.

Forgive Me Not 2

About the book

Forgive Me Not
Forgiveness can be hard to come by… An unputdownable new novel from bestseller Samantha Tonge
How far would you go to make amends?
When Emma fled her home at Foxglove Farm, she’d let down and hurt those who cared for her most. But now, two years later, she’s ready to face up to her past; she’s ready to go back.
But Emma’s unannounced return causes more problems than she could have foreseen. The people she knew and loved aren’t ready to forget, let alone forgive. And the one person she wants to reconnect with the most, her mother, can’t remember who she is.
Just as Emma starts to rebuild trust, an uncovered family secret and a shocking past crime threaten her newly forged future…
Sometimes simply saying sorry isn’t enough.
Perfect for readers of Ruth Hogan or Amanda Prowse, this is an extraordinary and unforgettable novel about running away from yourself – and finding a way back.

About the Author

Samantha Tonge lives in Manchester UK and her passion, second to spending time with her husband and children, is writing. She studied German and French at university and has worked abroad, including a stint at Disneyland Paris. She has travelled widely.
When not writing she passes her days cycling, baking and drinking coffee. Samantha has sold many dozens of short stories to women’s magazines.
In 2013, she landed a publishing deal for romantic comedy fiction with HQDigital at HarperCollins and in 2014, her bestselling debut novel, Doubting Abbey, was shortlisted for the Festival of Romantic Fiction best Ebook award. In 2015 her summer novel, Game of Scones, hit #5 in the UK Kindle chart and won the Love Stories Awards Best Romantic Ebook category.

Links
Twitter: https://twitter.com/SamTongeWriter
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SamanthaTongeAuthor
Website: http://samanthatonge.co.uk/

 

Forgive Me Not looks a beautiful, intriguing, emotive read and would be perfect to add to your summer reading schedule.