337 by M Jonathan Lee @MJonathanLee @hideawayfall #337LEE #bookreview #teamhideaway #nothingasitseems

337 written by M Jonathan Lee, publisher Hideway Fall, is available in ebook, kindleunlimted and paperback format from the 30th November 2020. Please note the double-ended upside-down opening for this book is available in books ordered in hard copy from UK booksellers only.

Book Blurb

337 follows the life of Samuel Darte whose mother vanished when he was in his teens. It was his brother, Tom who found her wedding ring on the kitchen table along with the note.

While their father pays the price of his mother’s disappearance, Sam learns that his long-estranged Gramma is living out her last days in a nursing home nearby.

Keen to learn about what really happened that day and realising the importance of how little time there is, he visits her to finally get the truth.

Soon it’ll be too late and the family secrets will be lost forever. Reduced to ashes. But in a story like this, nothing is as it seems.

To buy/pre-order link: https://amzn.to/3nVyVNI

REVIEW

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

337 by M Jonathan Lee is a compelling story that evokes many emotions within you. It also questions your belief of what you’ve read and perceived of the story and characters. It’s quite a clever way to spin a tale with the last few words offering many different perceptions of what could have happened. Nothing as it seems … or is it?

This is a story of a family, who through varying circumstances, have strained relationships but when Sam receives a call to say his Grandmother is seriously ill and dying he questions himself on whether it is time to face the past again?

I have found with M Jonathan Lee’s writing that he is never afraid to write about life in it’s real 3D image. He was honest with his words and at times I found parts of the storyline hard to read as sadly it’s not that long ago since my father passed away. However, I have to add the storyline is not morbid and I was compelled to learn what happened next, wanting Sam to experience some sort of closure to the torment he has been enduring since the disappearance of his mother.

I wouldn’t class this story as a thriller, I would class it as contemporary fiction with the focus on the mystery, the wonderment and the honesty of family life.

About the Author

M Jonathan Lee is a nationally shortlisted author and mental health campaigner. His first novel The radio was nationally shortlisted in the Novel Prize 2012. Since that time he has gone on to publish five further novels. 337 is his sixth novel. He is obsessed with stories with twists where nothing is exactly how it first appears. He was born in Yorkshire where he still lives to this day with his children.

Twitter: @MJonathanLee

Website@ http://www.mjonathanlee.com

The House in the Hollow by Allie Cresswell @alliescribbler #guestpost #extract #historicalfiction

The House in the Hollow written and self-published by Allie Cresswell is available NOW in ebook and paperback format.

Book Blurb

The Talbots are wealthy. But their wealth is from ‘trade’. With neither ancient lineage nor title, they struggle for entrance into elite Regency society. Finally, aided by an impecunious viscount, they gain access to the drawing rooms of England’s most illustrious houses.

Once established in le bon ton, Mrs Talbot intends her daughter Jocelyn to marry well, to eliminate the stain of the family’s ignoble beginnings. But the young men Jocelyn meets are vacuous, seeing Jocelyn as merely a brood mare with a great deal of money. Only Lieutenant Barnaby Willow sees the real Jocelyn, but he must go to Europe to fight the French. The hypocrisy of fashionable society repulses Jocelyn—beneath the courtly manners and studied elegance she finds tittle-tattle, deceit, dissipation and vice.

Jocelyn stumbles upon and then is embroiled in a sordid scandal which will mean utter disgrace for the Talbot family. Humiliated and dishonoured, she is sent to a remote house hidden in a hollow of the Yorkshire moors. There, separated from family, friends and any hope of hearing about the lieutenant’s fate, she must build her own life—and her own social order—anew.

To buy link: https://amzn.to/32UYCG2

I am so pleased to welcome the author, Allie Cresswell, to my blog today sharing an extract with a brief explanation. Thank you for joining my blog Allie …

The House in the Hollow has as one of its themes the idea of things that are concealed beneath the veneer of Regency respectability. To this end I decided to introduce characters who work for the Talbot family in the capacity of servants; those who, out of sight, make their elegant lifestyle possible. Researching what life was like for Regency servants, and how a large country house functioned with what seems to be smooth and effortless efficiency, was very interesting. Obviously life was much harder for servants than it was for the wealthy and privileged but the tenets of essential morality remained the same, and this included the appalling way that women were victimised for moral lapses whereas men were forgiven. Girls who were compromised by men always got the blame, and had to suffer the consequences alone. This was true for women at all levels of Regency society.

Here a servant girl, Sally, has been found injured and unconscious in the middle of the night by Annie, another maid.

‘You did right to wake me, Annie,’ the housekeeper said, ‘although I wish Miss Nugent had been here. She is more practiced than I. Now we must examine every inch of Sally to see where her injuries are. You begin at the head and I will start at her feet.’

Annie ran her hands carefully over Sally’s skull, feeling for swellings or cuts. Sally’s hair was badly matted and tangled with straw—she would be upset, Annie thought, to have it so. Sally’s one vanity was her lovely, lustrous hair. Annie could feel no contusions, however. She inserted a finger into Sally’s mouth, feeling for loose teeth. One on the left felt spongy but otherwise all were firm. She leant closer and smelled Sally’s breath. Cider.

‘Is she intoxicated?’ she asked Mrs Butterwick. ‘Perhaps she drank too much cider, and fell? She may have hit her face …’

‘I don’t think so,’ Mrs Butterwick said grimly. She had lifted Sally’s wounded knees and now peered up beneath the material of her chemise. ‘There is much swelling here, bleeding and bruising. I think she has been forced.’

‘Forced?’ Annie’s mouth was dry.

‘Yes. A man has forced her.’

Mrs Butterwick turned to Sally’s hands. ‘Her nails are broken. I think she tried to defend herself.’ She felt gently up the length of Sally’s arms. ‘No bones broken, though, and no fever that I can discern.’

Annie thought of Jackie Silver, but did not voice her thought.

‘Her knees,’ Annie said.

‘Yes, she has crawled on them. There is gravel in them that will have to be got out.’

Between them they managed to lift Sally on to Annie’s bed. It was unusual for Annie to see the housekeeper engage in any physical endeavour. Her habit was to direct and supervise and then to confirm that her orders had been carried out. She might sweep a hand over furniture that should have been dusted, pull back a sheet to ensure that a bed had been properly made. But now Annie found Mrs Butterwick quite capable of the lifting and shifting required to settle Sally comfortably, by no means shirking of what needed to be done.

They removed the rest of Sally’s clothes and bathed her body, applying salves to her injuries and packing the place between her legs with some of the rags the girls used for their courses. Mrs Butterwick picked the gravel from Sally’s knees and cleaned them with liniment. Sally winced and whimpered, but did not wake. Annie washed the dirt and crusted blood from Sally’s eye and put a pad of clean material over it. She combed the worst of the straw from her hair. All the time she murmured reassurance although Sally made no sign of being able to hear. If anything the girl looked worse rather than better. Her jaw and cheek became blacker and more bloated as the night went by. She spoke no sensible word. Her good eye was glazed and unfocussed.

‘I fear concussion,’ Mrs Butterwick said, ‘and her jaw may be broken, but I cannot tell.’

They worked in the light of a single candle. Its flame flickered in the draught as they moved about their task, throwing shadows across Sally’s distended features, rendering them even more horrific. Annie’s throat was clogged, tight with anxiety, and tears pressed the backs of her eyes. Beneath her concern lay a ventricle brimming with caustic anger at the man who had done this.

‘Will she live, do you think?’ Annie asked when they had covered Sally with a clean sheet and managed to dribble a little willow bark tea between her poor, swollen lips. They sat either side of the little bed. A greyish glow divided the square of skylight from the gloom of the rest of the room. Above them, in the eaves, the first sparrows began to stir.

‘She will, if there are no injuries that we cannot see. If she is not awake and sensible by morning the surgeon must be called. She has been badly used, that’s clear enough. But Sally’s character speaks against her.’

‘Because she is a flirt?’

Mrs Butterwick nodded. ‘We must hope and pray there is no child. However it is come by, whether Sally be guilty or no, she will be dismissed.’

‘And the man who did this to her? I believe it might have been Mr Silver. I know he has hurt her before. I saw the bruises on her arms. Surely he’ll be sent packing?’

Mrs Butterwick pressed her lips together but did not reply.

About the Author

Allie Cresswell was born in Stockport, UK and began writing fiction as soon as she could hold a pencil.
She did a BA in English Literature at Birmingham University and an MA at Queen Mary College, London.
She has been a print-buyer, a pub landlady, a book-keeper, run a B & B and a group of boutique holiday cottages. Nowadays Allie writes full time having retired from teaching literature to lifelong learners.
She has two grown-up children, two granddaughters, two grandsons and two cockapoos but just one husband – Tim. They live in Cumbria, NW England.

Social Media Links –

Website – http://www.allie-cresswell.com
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/alliescribbler/
Twitter – @alliescribbler

The Tea Room on the Bay by Rachel Burton @RachelBWriter @Aria_Fiction #feelgoodfiction #bookreview #TheTearoomontheBay

The Tea Room on the Bay written by Rachel Burton, publisher Aria, is available NOW in ebook and kindleunlimited format. The ebook is currently at the special price of 99p … so put the kettle on, find your favourite reading spot and enjoy this wonderful feelgood story …

Book Blurb

It’s time for Ellie to return home and rediscover the past she left behind…

After a tough break-up, Ellie returns to the only place she’s ever really felt at home – the coastal town of Sanderson Bay. A year later, she’s living her dream, brewing delicious artisan teas and selling them at her very own café. And when the mysterious and brooding Ben walks into her tearoom, Ellie finally dares to dream of true love.

But then her ex shows up in the Bay, and just as Ellie discovers some tragic truths about her family’s past, she learns Ben might be hiding an unwelcome secret of his own…

Can Ellie let go of her past and brave a future with Ben?

To buy link: https://amzn.to/35JkINT

REVIEW

As soon as I heard that author Rachel Burton has written a book about tea I pre-ordered my ebook. What can I say I loved this book from start to finish and could read it all over again. I feel as if the author has got into my head and wrote down a story about my favourite things. If you follow my Instagram page you will know my love of loose-leaf tea and what Rachel Burton has created is a leading lady that loves tea!

Ellie left her academic life in York a year ago following the abrupt ending of her relationship. Heartbroken she flees to the places she’s felt most safe and at home and that is to the Yorkshire coast and to her Aunt and Uncle’s cafe. A cafe that they can no longer run due to her aunt’s declining health so Ellie takes the first step to fulfilling her dream of having her own tea room and selling her own bespoke loose-leaf tea.

A year down the line and Ellie’s tea room feels like the hub of the community with locals and holiday makers flocking to find comfort in her teas and sit amongst the ambience of the tearoom. When a stranger turns up Ellie is left feeling a little confused with the conflicting emotions she is feeling. Who is this stranger and what are his secrets? Ellie senses that Ben is holding something back and she feels there is a vulnerability about him. A friendship soon develops between the pair but when another unexpected visitor turns up Ellie’s life is about to become a whole lot more complicated.

The Tea Room on the Bay is a wonderful, feelgood story that touches on the difficult hurdles in life we have to face. It also emphasises the strength of community spirit and of finding your own happiness and fulfilment by stepping out of your comfort-zone. I wanted to be one of Ellie’s friends and be a regular customer of her tea room. I wonder what blend of tea Ellie would make for me?

About the Author

Rachel has a degree in Classics and another in English Literature, and fell into a career in law by mistake. She has spent most of her life between Cambridge and London but now lives in Yorkshire with her husband and their three cats. She loves yoga, ice hockey, tea, The Beatles, dresses with pockets and very tall romantic heroes. Find her on Twitter & Instagram as @RachelBWriter or follow her blog at rachelburtonwrites.com. She is always happy to talk books, writing, music, cats and how the weather in Yorkshire is rubbish. She is mostly dreaming of her next holiday… –This text refers to the paperback edition.

Twitter: @RachelBWriter

Instagram: @rachelbwriter

Webiste: https://linktr.ee/RachelBWriter

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Rachelburton74

The Lost Village by Daniela Sacerdoti @DanielaSacerdo3 @bookouture #blogtour #bookreview #TheLostVillage #HistFic

The Lost Village written by Daniela Sacerdoti, publisher Bookouture, is available in ebook format from 16th November 2020.

Book Blurb

1945, Italy. Two sisters give birth to two little girls on the same night, huddled under blankets, deep in the black woods that surround the village of Bosconero. They hold their babies close as footsteps approach. If they make even the slightest sound, the German soldiers will find them…

2006. Luce Nardini searches the cobbled streets of a remote Italian village for a house with a faded blue door. Since her only child left home, and with her estranged husband more distant than ever, she’s been completely untethered. Discovering why her mother cut all contact with her family and the village she loved feels like Luce’s last hope at understanding who she is.

Inside the house, she’s relieved to find the grandmother she never knew living out her final days. With a longing look at an ornate wooden box on her nightstand, her grandmother is just beginning to tell the heart-wrenching story of a little village ravaged by war, and why Luce’s mother swore never to return, when then the unthinkable happens: an earth-shattering disaster that shakes the little village of Bosconero to its core.

Feeling more lost than ever before, Luce fears that the secrets of her past have been buried forever. Her only hope is to win back the trust of the small community and find her grandmother’s little wooden box amongst the rubble of the village.

But will the surprise arrival of the husband she thought she’d lost help sew Luce’s family back together, or tear it apart for good? And will anything have prepared her for the devastating betrayal she finds hidden inside the box…?

An unputdownable historical novel about the secrets we keep to protect the ones we love by the author of million-copy Amazon No 1. bestseller, Watch Over Me. Perfect for anyone who loves Fiona Valpy, Lily Graham or The Letter by Kathryn Hughes.

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 Daniela Sacerdoti’ latest historical novel: The Lost Village.

I was totally captivated by this WWII historical time-slip novel. This is my first introduction to the work of Daniela Sacerdoti and after reading The Lost Village I know for a fact I’ll be on the lookout for more of her stories.

This is a story that will transport you back to a time of bliss and beauty in the idyllic Italian countryside, to a time before the world became shattered in conflict. Then Italy enters troubled times and life for all becomes difficult and people become wary of each other. One young woman has experienced more heart wrenching pain than most and when a split second decision changes the course of not only her future but that of others it’s the start of a catalyst of a turbulent time for all involved. A person that takes it upon them self to be the judge and jury of their loved ones but were these wise moves?

Many decades later Luce is desperate to understand her mother’s past. She knew her mother was born and grew up in Italy and left abruptly forty years ago. Luce’s mother refuses to talk about the past but Luce feels this rawness of pain in her mother’s life needs to be resolved once and all. Luce embarks on a mission to find her lost family in Italy. However, to have lost and then found the fear of losing again is a pain like no other.

Whilst in Italy discovering her family history Luce becomes involved in a terrible tragedy and there’s now a fight of survival and another challenge to find the truth of her heritage before it is lost forever.

A story that is equally fascinating, full of drama with emotional tugs of the heart. It’s also a story of reflection. However, when the past reveals itself no-one could foresee the shattering effects it would have on the lives of many. The ending of this story broke me and I struggled to comprehend the impetus of events that led to the heart breaking finale. Life had been so cruel to Luce’s family and it never ceased forming new cracks in the structure of the family until there were too many cracks to hold the past together.

A heart-stopping emotive historical time-slip novel.

Author Bio:
Daniela Sacerdoti is the author of the bestselling Glen Avich series which has sold over one million copies in ebook to date, Sacerdoti’s debut novel Watch Over Me was named the eighth bestselling Kindle book of all time in 2015, when she was also ranked as the eleventh top-selling Kindle author. She lives in a small village in the middle of nowhere, with her Scottish husband, two children, a Cocker spaniel and a foundling kitten (who was definitely a witch in a past life).  

https://www.danielasacerdoti.com/https://www.facebook.com/OfficialDanielaSacerdoti/

https://www.instagram.com/danielasacerdoti.2/

Leafy Bean Co Review tea review @LeafyBeanCo #leafybeanco #lovetea #teaandbooks #giveaway

Firstly, I’d like to thank Leafy Bean Co and their Brand Consultant for giving me the opportunity to try their teas. If you follow me on Instagram you will notice a pattern in my posts; I love tea and I love reading. There is nothing better than curling up in a comfy chair with a book and a cuppa.

So, who are Leafy Bean Co? Leafy Bean Co was formed by tea lover Laura Monk back in 2017 when she became the new tenant of the cafe bar at Bowes Park Railway Station, north London.

The café bar is now the thriving heart of this north London community, not only offering the very best in teas, coffees and snacks, but also locally sourced food and some brilliant events and classes, bringing local residents together. Sustainability is important to us, so all our packaging is recycled and we only work with partners who share our values. (sourced from Leafy Bean Co website).

Leafy Bean Co also sell loose-leaf teas and gifts online spreading the tea love to all. Leafy Bean Co are currently offering free UK postage with orders over £15.00. Please check out all Leafy Bean Co social sites to follow the tea updates from Laura and the Leafy Bean Co cheeky monkey icon.

Website: https://www.leafybeancompany.com/

Newsletter sign up: https://www.leafybeancompany.com/newsletter/

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

Twitter: @LeafyBeanCo

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

The first tea I was keen to try from my sample box was their Christmas blend ‘Tea’s the Season’. This is a glorious Black Tea blended perfectly with seasonal fruits and spices. Upon opening the box of tea you can smell the delicious aromas you associate with Christmas. Then once steeped in boiling water this then makes the aromas dance with delight. I inhaled the scent and once I tasted the fruits and spices came through deliciously with the black tea. Tea’s the Season is a warming, comforting drink that is perfect for now as the weather turns colder but I could also see myself drinking this blend in the summer as a cold tea. I teamed up my cuppa with a few of the latest festive reads: One More for Christmas by Sarah Morgan (you can find my review here https://kraftireader.wordpress.com/2020/10/26/one-more-for-christmas-by-sarah-morgan-sarahmorgan_-hqstories-bookreview-festiveread/, Christmas with the Teashop Girls by Elaine Everest (you can find my review here https://kraftireader.wordpress.com/2020/10/16/christmas-with-the-teashop-girls-by-elaine-everest-elaineeverest-ed_pr-panmacmillan-teashopgirlschristmas/ and I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day by Milly Johnson which I’m hoping to read in the next week or so.

The next tea I tried was ‘Pure Content-mint’ a Gunpowder Green Tea blended with peppermint and spearmint leaves. I find green tea a perfect drink to savour in the afternoon and with this blend of green and mint leaves it was refreshing and had a brightness to it’s taste which would be also ideal as an alternative breakfast drink to your usual black tea. I’ve teamed this drink with a book I have just recently read. The green mint tea and the mint plant were significant to Su Young Lee’s Japanese romance: The Tokyo Bicycle Bakery (you can find my review here https://kraftireader.wordpress.com/2020/11/09/the-tokyo-bicycle-bakery-by-su-young-lee-rararesources-blogtour-bookreview-japaneseromance-indieauthor/

My next tea was ‘On a Chai High’ an Indian Assam black tea blended with spices. I’m not a huge chai drinker but this last few months I’ve started trying a few. This chai by Leafy Bean Co is spicy, warming and has that peppery, chilli hit. I always drink my tea black without milk but this could be enjoyed with or without milk. This tea made me think of the foodie cookery books enticing us with their delicious makes and bakes so I teamed it with a few of the recent food book releases: Cook Slow Light & Healthy by Dean Edwards, Simple Comforts by Mary Berry and 7 Ways by Jamie Oliver.

I like to drink a few caffeine free blends during the day so was pleased to receive a sample of ‘Berry Nice Indeed’ and it certainly was berry nice! A richly fruited infusion blended with flowers. I always find with fruit and herbal infusions that they need a little longer time to infuse the flavours so after 5/6 minutes steeping I was left with a deep red drink that was bright and vigorous with its flavours.

My last sample to try was another green tea. I urge you that if you think you don’t like green tea then you need to try a loose-leaf variety and steep it with water at 80 degrees. If you don’t have a thermostat controlled kettle then leave your boiled water to cool in the kettle for a good 5 minutes then pour over your teabag. ‘Go Green’ by Leafy Bean Co is a Japanese Sencha Green tea that was subtly sweet, refreshing with a slight vegetative taste. I teamed this drink with my latest read: The Tearoom on the Bay by Rachel Burton, a perfect read for tea lovers.

Leafy Bean Co currently have 11 different teas for you to try sold as a box of loose-leaf tea or as a box of 15 loose-leaf filled bags. I have often found with loose-leaf tea that you can steep the bags or leaves at least twice, sometimes three times making the tea that more economical. I love loose-leaf tea as it’s drinking the tea in it’s purist format which is noted with the quality of the taste.

Leafy Bean Co have kindly sent me a pack of 4 boxes of tea to giveaway to one of my readers (sorry UK only). If you would like to win some tea please enter the giveaway link below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Tobacconist’s Wife by AnneMarie Brear @annemariebrear @rararesources #bookpromo #PublicationDayPush #HistFic

I am so pleased to be involved in the Publication Day Push with a promo for AnneMarie Brear’s latest historical novel: The Tobacconist’s Wife. Here are all the important details:

Title: The Tobacconist’s Wife

Author: AnneMarie Brear

Publisher: Lume Books

Book Format: eBook and Paperback

Book Blurb

Having lost her father, Thea Goodson is alone in the world.

It is true she has a husband, but Ernie is a brutal man, more inclined to use his fists to keep Thea in line than to build on their marriage. And besides, Ernie Goodson has secrets – secrets that even his wife cannot share.
But in Victorian Yorkshire, appearances must be kept up, so Thea goes on powdering her bruises and forcing a smile as she toils in Ernie’s home and tobacco shop. There seems to be no other option.
That is, until a handsome and well-bred stranger arrives to set up shop next door…
Can Thea escape her misery and break from the conventions of society? Or will the clutches of her abusive husband confine her forever?

Purchase Links

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Tobacconists-Wife-emotionally-absorbing-Victorian-ebook/dp/B08G9N75NX

US – https://www.amazon.com/Tobacconists-Wife-emotionally-absorbing-Victorian-ebook/dp/B08G9N75NX

Author Bio – Award winning & Amazon UK Bestseller AnneMarie Brear has been a life-long reader and started writing in 1997 when her children were small. She has a love of history, of grand old English houses and a fascination of what might have happened beyond their walls. Her interests include reading, travelling, watching movies, spending time with family and eating chocolate – not always in that order! She is the author of historical family saga novels.

Social Media Links –  http://www.annemariebrear.com

http://www.facebook.com/annemariebrear

Twitter: @annemariebrear

http://www.instagram.com/annemariebrear

The Tokyo Bicycle Bakery by Su Young Lee @rararesources #blogtour #bookreview #japaneseromance #indieauthor

The Tokyo Bicycle Bakery written and self-published by Su Young Lee is available NOW in ebook and paperback format.

Book Blurb

Fluttering cherry blossoms, gorgeous kimonos and sweet and sorrowful love.

For cake-loving college girl Hana, Japan was the romantic destination of her dreams. With boyfriend Jin she planned an exciting new life in the hustle and bustle of Tokyo. But when she finally arrives after months of planning, Jin isn’t there. 

Hana is left broken-hearted on a rainy Tokyo street. Jin left no note. One day he just walked out of classes and disappeared. 

Hana begins her new life alone. Watching cherry blossoms fall into the Tokyo river. Working hard and delivering her lovely home-baked cakes by orange bicycle. Then she meets handsome young farmer Hikaru, and glimpses a new way forward – in an alien place where she doesn’t know a soul.

The Tokyo Bicycle Bakery is a sweet romance with a hint of magic realism. It’s a perfect book to carry with you and read on holiday or weekends.

Purchase Links – Amazon US here / Amazon UK here

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 Su Young Lee’s debut novel: The Tokyo Bicycle Bakery.

Reading Su Young Lee’s story felt like a grown up modern day Japanese fairy tale. There were elements in the story that set your imagination free and felt almost other worldly but I believe this enhanced the theme of the book.

This is a story about a young Korean girl wanting to surprise her boyfriend who is currently living in Tokyo but when she arrives in Japan she finds her boyfriend has disappeared without leaving any note of explanation. Heartbroken and now homeless in a strange city leaves Hana feeling very low but as she looks around she starts to see little light and wonder around her. The beauty of the cherry blossom trees, a peppermint plant that smells divine, a bright pink house like a beacon of hope for her.

Hana soon finds temporary accommodation and work and starts to build a new life meeting people and gaining new experiences and knowledge. The community she builds around her are as diverse as they come but Hana’s youth and spirit fits in well and whoever she meets gives Hana encouragement and inspiration. Hana loves baking and she finds during these trying times that creating delights with the produce around her gives her comfort and joy.

We follow Hana on her journey of enlightenment in life and love and I was charmed by this endearing story. The bakes Hana creates sounded absolutely delicious and I was in awe of her ingenuity. I also enjoyed reading about the Japanese culture surrounding food and tea and I found myself googling for more information regarding the teas and produce used.

The Tokyo Bicycle Bakery is a sweet, endearing romance that has a touch of magic and mystery about it.

Author Bio –

Su Young Lee is a Korean romance author who lived in Tokyo, Japan for 10 years and now lives in London, England with her husband and two lovely cats. 

Su works in academic publishing and loves baking, playing piano and working on her calligraphy.

Check her blog here. 
https://suyoungleesblog.wordpress.com

When I Come Home Again by Caroline Scott @CScottBooks @simonschusterUK @RandomTTours #WhenIComeHomeAgain #bookextract

When I Come Home Again written by Caroline Scott, publisher Simon & Schuster UK, is available NOW in ebook, audiobook and hardcover format.

Book Blurb

They need him to remember. He wants to forget.

1918. 
In the last week of the First World War, a uniformed soldier is arrested in Durham Cathedral. When questioned, it becomes clear he has no memory of who he is or how he came to be there.

The soldier is given the name Adam and transferred to a rehabilitation home. His doctor James is determined to recover who this man once was. But Adam doesn’t want to remember. Unwilling to relive the trauma of war, Adam has locked his memory away, seemingly for good.

When a newspaper publishes a feature about Adam, three women come forward, each claiming that he is someone she lost in the war. But does he believe any of these women? Or is there another family out there waiting for him to come home?

Based on true events, When I Come Home Again is a deeply moving and powerful story of a nation’s outpouring of grief, and the search for hope in the aftermath of war.

To buy link:

https://uk.bookshop.org/books/when-i-come-home-again-a-beautiful-and-heartbreaking-wwi-novel-based-on-true-events/9781471192173

I am so pleased to be involved in the blogtour celebrating and promoting the launch of Caroline Scott’s latest novel: When I Come Home Again. I have the pleasure of sharing an extract with you.

Chapter two extract

‘Name:                   ’

The hairs rise on his forearm and he hugs his knees to his chest. It is cold in the cell. They have taken his clothes away and he feels every breath of air from the window above. His naked body is familiar to him and yet not. He knows his own hands, but he can’t remember the scars on his arms, or the lice bites that cover his body. He scratches the backs of his knees and sees that there is blood on his fingers.

Your name, they said. We need a name. We can’t start without it. You need to give us your name.

It comes back at him again, that insistent question. All through the night. No starting, but no stopping. He would have told them, if he could.

The walls of the cell are blistered with damp. The plaster ripples and glistens. The walls are as pockmarked as his skin and the whitewash comes away on his shoulder when he leans against it. There are scales of lime in the creases of his hands and chalk down his fingernails. Five white condemning crescents. It is the chalk that has put him in this police cell.

Where’s your identity disc? they asked. Your pay book? Your service number?

Looking at the new bruise blooming on his arm makes him ashamed. The constable had walked him through the town with his arms in a grip. It wasn’t so much that it hurt, but he had felt humiliated when the people’s eyes flicked towards him and then away, and chastened by the words that they mouthed. He wanted to tell them that he’d done nothing wrong. He wanted to shout it out. He wanted to tell them that this wasn’t him.

What’s your battalion? What regiment? Where are you stationed?

They had emptied his pockets while the sergeant questioned him. Every item was catalogued and inspected. Every coin was turned over. Every pebble. Every piece of chalk. This scrutiny made him feel as though his pencil stub and box of matches were specimens in a museum requiring labels. But what should their labels be? Could these innocent items condemn him? They told him that they were taking his belt away so that he wouldn’t hang himself.

He watches the silverfish scurry. There are cobwebs in the corners and chains on the wall of the cell. They are crumbling, rusting old chains, the kind prisoners have in storybook dungeons, and he suspects they are there more for warning than purpose. He hears the spyhole in the door click again. They have been doing this all night; coming to look at him, checking on him. Why did they imagine that he might hang himself?

Home address? You must have a home address. You must have come from somewhere.

He tries to remember. He genuinely tries. He recalls the barns and sheds and ditches of the past few weeks, but nothing before that. He slept on a bench in a church porch some days ago. An old woman handed him a bowl of warm milk in the morning. A young cleric gave him a blanket that smelled of laundry soap. He tries to remember what home feels like, what it smells like. It smells of damp and disinfectant and urine in this cell, and the sweat on his own skin.

Place of birth? Date of birth?

‘Born to raise the sons of earth,’ the voice in the next cell crescendos. ‘Born to give them second birth.’ It’s Christmas carols now. The disembodied voice has been singing hymns all night; eight hours of rhyming trials and tribulations, mysteries and mercies, and green hills far away.

It was a desecration of a place of worship, they told him. It was a serious offence. He’d laughed when they said that this was the sort of filthy thing the Germans had done in France.

They told him it didn’t help his case that he laughed. They asked him why he did it. What was he thinking? What made him want to do such a thing? He could only reply that he didn’t know.

Next of kin?

Nothing. He apologized. He could see their frustration. He didn’t want to frustrate them. It wouldn’t do him any good, the sergeant said, if he didn’t speak up, if he didn’t cooperate. He would have to go back to his regiment, they said. The authorities would need to be informed. Was he home on leave, they wanted to know. Was he due back with his battalion? Had he gone absent?

What were you thinking, lad? they asked. Are you a deserter?

The electric bulb buzzes and casts a cold white light. It has been left on all night, the moths dancing foolishly around it. He picks them up off the floor now and they crumble to dust between his fingers.

The sergeant had brought him a tin mug of tea, bread and butter and a jug of hot water. He’d told him that he should wash. That he stank. When he put his hands to his face he realized that he hadn’t shaved for several days. He can’t remember his own reflection. He felt the new shape of his face with his wet fingers. The sergeant had leaned against the wall as he watched him wash. He said that he lost his son to the war last year. That Colin was a good boy. That his mother wouldn’t ever get over it. There were dark shadows under the man’s eyes.

Where’s your mother, lad? Does she know where you are? Don’t you want to be a good boy for your mother?

They showed him the charge sheet, turned it round to face him, the empty white spaces that ought to be filled. Where he ought to have a date and place of birth. Where he ought to have a residence. A next of kin. A name. The inspector’s finger jabbed at the paper.

What are you called? he asked it again. They keep on asking it. What’s your fucking name?

About the Author
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. The Photographer of the Lost was a BBC Radio 2 Book Club pick.

Twitter: @CScottBooks

Under the Warrior’s Protection by Ella Matthews @ellamattauthor @MillsandBoon @rararesources #blogtour #bookreview #historicalromance

Under the Warrior’s Protection written by Ella Matthews, publisher Mills & Boon Historical, is available NOW in ebook and paperback format.

Book Blurb

Letting down her guard…

Might save her life…

With their family name in tatters, Katherine Leofric and her sister are headed for a new life at their brother’s estate. They are escorted by the hardened Jarin, Earl of Borwyn, whom Katherine believes is only after her dowry! Then her sister is abducted on their treacherous journey, and Katherine must rely on Jarin’s protection. Now, seeing a different side to the man she’s sworn to hate, it’s her heart that’s most at risk!

Purchase Links

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Under-Warriors-Protection-House-Leofric/dp/0263277321

US – https://www.amazon.com/Under-Warriors-Protection-Historical-Leofric-ebook/dp/B0875K43GB

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 Ella Matthews latest historical romance: Under the Warrior’s Protection. Under the Warrior’s Protection is book two in The House of Leofric series however, this is my first introduction to the work of Ella Matthews so I have come into this series with fresh eyes. The book is very readable as a standalone but I can totally appreciate reading all the books in the series to fully understand and enjoy the history of all the characters.

This story focuses on Katherine Leofric the oldest of the two Leofric sisters. Katherine is a very vulnerable character but has an inner strength that no-one can perceive through her “sprite” like figure. She has from a young age protected her younger sister from the cruelty that was portrayed to them all throughout her life.

Katherine and her sister are desperate to escape the clutches of their life at home and now their brother is getting married their future is looking brighter as they plan to live with them. To get to her brothers abode the journey is long and arduous and they have been assigned the protection of the Earl of Borwyn and his men. Katherine is not impressed with her protector as she has perceived ideas about his character and makes his life on the journey pretty miserable.

Jarin, Earl of Borwyn, cannot understand what he has done to Katherine Leofric to deserve such disdain but when the travellers are ambushed and Katherine’s sister is kidnapped the journey takes on a more dangerous pursuit of finding the sister and of their own survival.

As Jarin and Katherine are left to survive on their own barriers surrounding their relationship are slowly broken down and a friendship of sorts is created. We learn that not only Katherine’s life has been filled with cruelty and hardship but also Jarins’. With the status symbol of an earldom comes the responsibilities and Jarin is worried for the future of his people. He never thought the earldom would come to him and wasn’t prepared for it and his father gave little away of encouragement.

Through the dangers on the road Katherine and Jarin have to face the dangers of their heart being broken as their friendship soon heats up with desires becoming unbearable. Katherine believes she is not worthy of his love also he is intended to another and Jarin feels he must do the most honourable thing and marry someone else. Life of the heart becomes very complicated for the pair.

Under the Warrior’s Protection is a story filled with an adventure of the heart, soul and mind. It’s a mesmerising story of a gorgeous pairing that you instantly warm to and feel the need to protect as stories from their past are revealed. I really enjoyed this historical romance by Ella Matthews and look forward to discovering more from this author.

Author Bio –

Ella Matthews lives and works in beautiful South Wales. When not thinking about handsome heroes she can be found walking along the coast with her husband and their two children (probably still thinking about heroes but at least pretending to be interested in everyone else).

Social Media Links – https://twitter.com/ellamattauthor

www.ellamatthews.co.uk

https://www.facebook.com/ella.matthews.524381

The Boy Between by Amanda Prowse and Josiah Hartley @MrsAmandaProwse #guestpost #mentalhealth #TheBoyBetween @BOTBSPublicity

The Boy Between: A Mother and Son’s Journey From a World Gone Grey written and self-published by Amanda Prowse and Josiah Hartley is available NOW in ebook, audiobook and paperback format.

Book Blurb

Bestselling novelist Amanda Prowse knew how to resolve a fictional family crisis. But then her son came to her with a real one…

Josiah was nineteen with the world at his feet when things changed. Without warning, the new university student’s mental health deteriorated to the point that he planned his own death. His mother, bestselling author Amanda Prowse, found herself grappling for ways to help him, with no clear sense of where that could be found. This is the book they wish had been there for them during those dark times.

Josiah’s situation is not unusual: the statistics on student mental health are terrifying. And he was not the only one suffering; his family was also hijacked by his illness, watching him struggle and fearing the day he might succeed in taking his life.

In this book, Josiah and Amanda hope to give a voice to those who suffer, and to show them that help can be found. It is Josiah’s raw, at times bleak, sometimes humorous, but always honest account of what it is like to live with depression. It is Amanda’s heart-rending account of her pain at watching him suffer, speaking from the heart about a mother’s love for her child.

For anyone with depression and anyone who loves someone with depression, Amanda and Josiah have a clear message—you are not alone, and there is hope.

I am so pleased to be involved in the blogtour celebrating and promoting the launch of this remarkable story by Amanda Prowse and Josiah Hartley. I am honoured to share a guest post from Amanda with you all.

Guest Post  “The Boy Between” by Amanda Prowse.

            Having written many books that have been described as “issue” fiction over the years, covering subjects as diverse as anorexia, alcoholism and postnatal psychosis, I am used to readers getting in touch to share their own personal stories and experiences on the topics covered. I consider it one of the greatest privileges of being a writer that someone wants to share with me such emotive messages that are often told in confidence and are nearly always heartrending. It means the world to me when the story I have written so closely mirrors someone’s real life experience. I take this as the highest compliment.

            The experience of writing “The Boy Between” and the reaction from readers has been different to any other book I have written. Josh and I have been inundated with messages of love and support that have meant the absolute world. I can’t tell you what it means to open up my laptop and read words from people all over the world telling me that they are willing Josh on, offering words of advice or simply sending us love. I certainly feel that love! And trust me when I tell you it makes all the difference on the dark days. The dark days, which are getting less, but are still there.

            One of the most consistent messages I receive is from mothers and others who are caring for someone with depression or whose mental health is suffering. Their words of kinship are uplifting and it really helps to know that I am not alone, as I struggle to know how best to help Josh and what to do or say that might make things better. I know it is not my fight, as Josh says in the book, “it is not your battle. It’s mine. I am the boy between…” and whilst this is the truth, that doesn’t mean I don’t take every step with him along the bumpy road to recovery.

            “The Boy Between” is the book we hoped we would not have to write. I wish my son did not, like so many young men, suffer with a debilitating depression that lead to him to try and take his own life while a student at university. That said, I know it’s the book I wanted to reach for when I struggled not only to find ways to help him, but also to understand what had turned my outgoing son with the whole world at his feet into a sleeping shell of himself. And as Josh says, he might be a British boy, but sadly young male depression and suicide is a universal problem and for each young man like him suffering, there is a family like ours trying to make sense of it all. We hope this book brings comfort to the millions of people all over the world suffering from depression and those who care for them. Ours has been a tough, lonely and devastating journey, but we can finally, finally see small glimmers of light at the end of the tunnel.

            Knowing that there are days when my beautiful boy would rather not exist is something I will never fully understand and I will never, ever accept. I will fight until my last breath to keep Josh here. To keep Josh with me. He is my heart. It really is that simple.

Author Bio – Amanda
Amanda Prowse is an International Bestselling author whose twenty three novels and six novellas have been published in dozens of languages around the world. Published by Lake Union, Amanda is the most prolific writer of bestselling contemporary fiction in the UK today; her titles also consistently score the highest online review approval ratings across several genres. Her books, including the chart topping No.1 titles ‘What Have I Done?’, ‘Perfect Daughter’, ‘My Husband’s Wife’, ‘The Girl in the Corner’ and ‘The Things I Know’ have sold millions of copies across the globe.

A popular TV and radio personality, Amanda is a regular panellist on Channel 5’s ‘The Jeremy Vine Show’ and numerous daytime ITV programmes. She also makes countless guest appearances on BBC national independent Radio stations including LBC and Talk FM, where she is well known for her insightful observations and her infectious humour. Described by the Daily Mail as ‘The queen of family drama’ Amanda’s novel, ‘A Mother’s Story’ won the coveted Sainsbury’s eBook of the year Award while ‘Perfect Daughter’ was selected as a World Book Night title in 2016.

Amanda’s ambition is to create stories that keep people from turning the bedside lamp off at night, great characters that ensure you take every step with them and tales that fill your head so you can’t possibly read another book until the memory fades…

Praise for Amanda Prowse:

‘A powerful and emotional work of fiction’ – Piers Morgan
‘Deeply moving and emotional, Amanda Prowse handles her explosive subjects with delicate skill’ – Daily Mail
‘Uplifting and positive, but you will still need a box of tissues’ – Hello!
‘A gut-wrenching and absolutely brilliant read’ – The Irish Sun
‘You’ll fall in love with this…’ – Cosmopolitan
‘Deeply moving and eye opening. Powerful and emotional drama that packs a real punch.’ – Heat
‘Magical’ – Now magazine  

Author Bio – Josiah
Josiah (Josh) Hartley is 22 and lives in an isolated farmhouse in the West Country, but close enough to Bristol to enjoy its music scene. He is an animal lover and servant to two French Bulldogs. Equally happy at a music festival or watching rugby with his mates, he likes the outdoor life and with Devon only a short drive away often heads to the sea to surf and sit on the beach watching the sun go down. After two stints at The University of Southampton and The University of Bristol and one unsuccessful suicide attempt Josh decided to write about his descent into mental illness and the depression that has held him in its grip for the past few years. The Boy Who Nearly Jumped carries the overriding message that things can and often do get better. It’s a book of reflection, raw, honest and full of hope: the proof being that Josh is still here and now excited about what comes next. He is ready to catch any opportunities that life throws his way, quite a thing for someone who only 3 years ago was ready to jump from the face of the earth…