Hope in the Valleys by Francesca Capaldi @FCapaldiBurgess @HeraBooks @rararesources #HistoricalFiction #familysaga

Hope in the Valleys written by Francesca Capaldi, publisher Hera, is available NOW in ebook and paperback format.

Book 3 in this earthy, honest family saga set in a small mining village in the Welsh valleys. This time we have two leading ladies who take centre stage; Elizabeth and Gwen, with their stories blending seamlessly together.

Elizabeth is the daughter of the local coal mine manager, all throughout the book series she has tried valiantly to step out of the ‘middle class’ mould her mother had created and fit in with the locals. She’s ploughed lots of her energies in creating a community garden and allotment for all but that’s not enough for Elizabeth who wants to work for a living but getting her mother to agree to this is most unlikely.

Gwen is a local girl who’s worked in the munitions factory since the start of the war. She’s a bright, vivacious, kind, spirited girl who loves nothing more than spending her hard earned money on the latest fashions.

As the war rages on and casualties are adding up in the village the politics of the coal mine are mounting bringing family disrupt especially to the coal mine manager’s household.

The girls love lives become a tangled mess but they both fail to see that their hearts belong closer to home.

Amongst the anguish. Heartache, trials and tribulations of life in a hardworking village we feel a warmth of family, friendship and love.

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed each and every one of these instalments in the series as the author brings to life a saga that will appeal to many.

The Library by Bella Osborne @osborne_bella @Aria_Fiction #TheLibrary

The Library written by Bella Osborne, publisher Aria, is available NOW in ebook and paperback format.

Book Blurb

Two lonely bookworms. An unexpected friendship. A library that needs their help

‘A touching story of a friendship between a troubled teenager, a yoga-practising farming woman in her seventies and a local library. A delight!’ – Sunday Times bestselling author Katie Fforde

Teenager Tom has always blended into the background of life. After a row with his dad and facing an unhappy future at the dog food factory, he escapes to the library.

Pensioner Maggie has been happily alone with her beloved novels for ten years – at least, that’s what she tells herself.

When they meet, they recognise something in each other that will change both their lives for ever.

Then the library comes under threat of closure, and they must join forces to prove that it’s not just about books – it’s the heart of their community.

They are determined to save it – because some things are worth fighting for.

To buy link:

Buy from Amazon: https://amzn.to/3slYgWB

Buy from Waterstones: https://www.waterstones.com/book/the-library/bella-osborne/9781801100489

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 absolutely adored this story by Bella Osborne and I think it maybe one of my top reads for 2021.

The Library is a wonderful story of two lost souls building up an unlikely friendship.  Tom is 16 and is a shy boy who has suffered with so much heartache.  He's still dealing with the loss of his mother and has a strained relationship with his father.  He doesn't have many friends and spends most of his time on his x-box.  He has many happy memories of his later mother, one was reading so he plucks up the courage to visit his local library.  It's an overwhelming experience for Tom and he flusters with the librarian.  However, his visit catches the eye of one of the library regulars and she is intrigued by this young man.

Maggie is in her early 70's and has been a member of the book group at the library for a long time.  She's bored with the same old conversations with her fellow book group members so when a newcomer to the library catches her eye she is inquisitive.

When fate and events keep bringing both of them together at times when they are most vulnerable Tom and Maggie strike up a friendship.

This unlikely multi-generation duo blend perfectly with each other.  Maggie slowly gets Tom to open up and she relishes guiding him in life with her wise knowledge.  Tom proves a comfort to Maggie as although she has confidence and plenty of life experience she admits she is lonely and Tom's enthusiasm to learn about life is filling a void she has tried hard to ignore.

As life continues to throw hurdles in Tom's way his friendship with Maggie is proving to be a lifesaver.

Whilst Tom and Maggie's friendship blooms the library is placed in jeopardy with the prospect of closure.  The community pull together with the aim to save the library from closure.

Bella Osborne has written a wonderful story that deals with grief, loss, fear all dealt with grace and sensitivity.  Although the story tackles some hard hitting issues there is a warmth running throughout and I felt a sense of hopefulness and inspiration.  I truly did not want this story to end.

About the author:

Bella Osborne has been jotting down stories as far back as she can remember but decided that 2013 would be the year that she finished a full length novel. In 2016, her debut novel, It Started At Sunset Cottage, was shortlisted for the Contemporary Romantic Novel of the Year and RNA Joan Hessayon New Writers Award. Bella's stories are about friendship, love and coping with what life throws at you. She likes to find the humour in the darker moments of life and weaves these into her stories. Bella believes that writing your own story really is the best fun ever, closely followed by talking, eating chocolate, drinking fizz and planning holidays. She lives in the Midlands, UK with her lovely husband and wonderful daughter, who thankfully, both accept her as she is (with mad morning hair and a penchant for skipping).

Follow Bella:
Twitter: @osborne_bella
Facebook: @BellaOsborneAuthor
Instagram: bellaosborneauthor
#TheLibrary

The German Wife by Debbie Rix @debbierix @bookouture #TheGermanWife

The German Wife written by Debbie Rix, publisher Bookouture, is available NOW in ebook format.

Book Blurb

Germany, 1939: Annaliese is a doctor’s wife, living in an elegant grey stone house with ivy creeping over the balcony. But when her husband is ordered to work at the Dachau labour camp, her ordinary life is turned upside down by the horrors of war. And Annaliese finds herself in grave danger when she dares to fight for love and freedom…

America, 1989: Turning the pages of the newspaper, Annaliese gasps when she recognizes the face of a man she thought she’d never see again. It makes her heart skip a beat as a rush of wartime memories come back to her. As she reads on, she realizes the past is catching up with her. She must confront a decades-old secret – or risk losing everything…

Germany, 1942:Annaliese’s marriage is beginning to crumble. Her husband, Hans, has grown cold and secretive since starting his new job as a doctor at Dachau. When a tall, handsome Russian prisoner named Alexander is sent from the camp to work in their garden, lonely Annaliese finds herself drawn to him as they tend to the plants together. In snatched moments and broken whispers, Alexander tells her the truth about the shocking conditions at the camp. Horrified, Annaliese vows to do everything she can to save him.

But as they grow closer, their feelings for each other put them both in terrible danger. And when Annaliese falls pregnant she has to make an impossible decision between protecting herself and saving the love of her life…

Inspired by a true story, this is a heart-stopping, unforgettable tale of ordinary people fighting for survival in the darkest of times. Fans of Orphan TrainThe Tattooist of Auschwitz and My Name is Eva will be utterly gripped by this beautiful, tragic, World War Two novel.

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

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.

This was such a compelling read that had me gripped.  Debbie Rix has blended fact with fiction creating a devastating story of a young German couple falling in love just before WWII.  The man was a doctor and had high ambitions to make a significant mark on the medical world .  The whirlwind romance was soon brought back to reality as married life was proving challenging as Annaliese's husband, Dr Hans Vogel, was trying to gain recognition and funding for medical research.  When the new Fuhrer takes an interest and offers Hans a position in one of the prison camps medical facilities Hans has high hopes for his research.

However, Hans doesn't anticipate the strict rules of the camp and as war loomed the medical trials became more barbaric making Hans question his work.  Alas, Hans had now backed himself into a hole working for the Fuhrer and any thoughts of escape would be futile.

As the war progressed Hans mood changed drastically and married life became unbearable with Hans trying to keep his work life a secret from his wife.

This was such an interesting story set before, during and after WWII told from a German couples POV.  I felt real sympathy for Hans and his predicament.  He had a thirst of knowledge and felt he could help many but trying to ignore the harsh, deadly reality of the POW camps was a futile job.  As a wife of a German SS Officer it must have been difficult to comply with the rules and I could sense Annaliese's anxiety when she was reminded of how closely her husband worked with the Nazis.

The story was full of heightened emotions, a family drama filled with secrets and lies and a devastating love and loss.

Wonderful story telling.

About the Author
Debbie Rix has written seven novels, the latest of which - 'The German Wife' - will be published on 13th January 2022. As an ex-journalist, historical accuracy is key, and she strives to weave her stories around real life events. 'The research process is vital,' she says. 'I work on the principle that if I find something fascinating, then so too will my readers.'

Her novels have been published in several languages - including Italian and Czech and her 5th novel 'The Secret Letter' will soon come out in Russia.

Debbie spends a lot of time in Italy and that country is the setting for 5 of her 7 novels. When not travelling she lives in the Kent countryside with her journalist husband, children, chickens and four cats. She began her career with the BBC - initially as the news reader on Breakfast Time, thereafter appearing as a presenter and reporter on a variety of factual and light entertainment television series. She had a spell as an Agony Aunt, and has also written about gardens and gardening - one of her private passions.

Twitter:  @debbierix

The Wild Remedy How Nature Mends Us – a diary by Emma Mitchell @silverpebble @OMaraBooks @Lovebookstours

The Wild Remedy How Nature Mends Us – a diary written by Emma Mitchell, publisher Michael O’Mara books, is available NOW in ebook and paperback format.

Book Blurb

Emma Mitchell has suffered with depression – or as she calls it, ‘the grey slug’ – for twenty-five years. In 2003, she moved from the city to the edge of the Cambridgeshire Fens and began to take walks in the countryside around her new home, photographing, collecting and drawing as she went. Each walk lifted her mood, proving to be as medicinal as any talking therapy or pharmaceutical.

In Emma’s hand-illustrated diary, she takes us with her as she follows the local paths and trails, sharing her nature finds over the course of a year. Reflecting on how these encounters impact her mood, Emma’s candid account of her own struggles is a powerful testament to how reconnecting with nature may offer some answers to today’s mental health epidemic.

Written with Emma’s characteristic wit and frankness, and filled with her beautiful drawingspaintings and photography, this is a truly unique book for anyone who has ever felt drawn to nature and wondered about its influence over us.

To buy link: https://amzn.to/3FDhCKJ

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.

This is a beautiful book from inside to out. The author, Emma Mitchell, has compiled a book starting from October journeying through each month to September. She guides us pointing out changes to the landscape around us be it flora, fauna or nature and shows us how each one brings a new feeling of emotion within ourselves.

The book is told with beautiful prose and is interspersed with stunning photos and delicate illustrations. There’s a gorgeous photo of teasels at sunset that makes my heart gasp.

What I’ve transpired from this book and from what we have all learned from the last 18 months or so living under a pandemic is that nature has been rejoicing our souls for a lifetime. Before technology burst into our lives we had our own multi-coloured rays of light amongst the darkness of life. Emma Mitchell is reminding us with a gentleness of what helps her when life is tough.

Such a beautiful, thoughtful book for a time when we need to be reminded to open our eyes.

About the Author

Emma Mitchell is a popular designer–maker, craft teacher, and naturalist. She lives in a tiny village on the edge of the Cambridgeshire Fens, where she runs nature-inspired craft workshops and creative winter retreats. Emma has been published in the Guardian, Mollie Makes, Country Living, and Kirstie Allsopp’s book Craft. She’s also the creator and editor of Mollie Makes Comic Relief Crafternoon magazine, which has raised £100,000 so far for projects in the United Kingdom and Africa. She shares her joy of craft and her daily nature observations on her Instagram account, @silverpebble2, and her Twitter feed, @silverpebble. She blogs at silverpebble.net

Heartcross Castle by Christie Barlow @ChristieJBarlow  @0neMoreChapter_ @rararesources

Heartcross Castle written by Christie Barlow, publisher One More Chapter, is available NOW in ebook format.

Book Blurb

Love Heart Lane – where friends are there for you no matter what

A second chance…

When her grandfather Marley passes away Grace Power discovers she’s been left the beautiful but crumbling estate of Heartcross Castle. As a single mum of three, Grace has no idea what she’s going to do with it – but who can say no to a roof over their kids’ heads and a chance to get away from past hurts?

And a forever home

Heartcross Castle is full of secrets – especially a lost security deposit box that holds the truth to everything… But when celebrity chef Andrew Glossop sets his eyes on the castle and, to make matters worse, mistakes Grace as the new housekeeper, Grace tells him there is absolutely NO CHANCE he is getting his hands on her home.
 
Devastated to have got it so wrong, Andrew will do anything to make it up to her – but is she willing to listen?

Purchase Links

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B091BL4DX3

US – https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B091BL4DX3

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.


This was such a welcome return to Heartcross and also for our main character Grace it was exactly what she needed the most.

Grace left Heartcross 10 years ago following a heated argument with her Grandad.  Over the last decade Grace's life has changed drastically  and she is still carrying the physical and emotional scars of a disastrous relationship.  Even though she's now the mother of three boys she has never felt so alone.  When she hears of the sad passing of her grandad she understands that this is the escape she needs for her and her boys and it's now time to go home.

Grace has inherited her late grandad's castle and she feels a glimmer of hope for the future.  The castle in the past was her home and held many good memories but was overshadowed by the last conversation with her grandad.  Arriving at the castle Grace is dismayed to find it in need of some serious tlc bringing further worries and hurdles for her to overcome.

Grace was a wonderful character to read about, she had spirit as a child but sadly a toxic relationship made her lose her zest for life.  The best thing to come out of this disastrous ten years were her 3 boys.  The boys were such fun and added another dimension to the storyline bringing lightness to dark times.

Not only has she ben left the castle but she also was left a tenant, non other than celebrity chef Andrew Glover.  Andrew Glover's life couldn't be any different to Grace's and they soon clash but slowly as time goes on Andrew can see that this young family bring a certain energy back to the castle and grounds.

I loved this story.  Seeing the castle through the eyes of Grace and her boys was charming and nostalgic but i also felt pangs of poignancy.

Christie Barlow has created a story of new beginnings bringing much hope for the future.  There's that wonderful community spirit that we've enjoyed from the residents of Heartcross leaving a comforting ambiance.  I didn't want the story to end but for Grace and her boys this is the beginning of a brand new adventure were life can be enjoyed again.

Author Bio – Christie Barlow is the number one international bestselling author of fifteen romantic comedies including the iconic Love Heart Lane Series, A Home at Honeysuckle Farm and Kitty’s Countryside Dream. She lives in a ramshackle cottage in a quaint village in the heart of Staffordshire with her four children and two dogs.

Her writing career has come as a lovely surprise when Christie decided to write a book to teach her children a valuable life lesson and show them that they are capable of achieving their dreams. Christie’s dream was to become a writer and the book she wrote to prove a point went on to become a #1 international bestseller in the UK, USA, Canada and Australia.

When Christie isn’t writing she co-presents The Book Show on Radio Northwich, enjoys playing the piano, is a keen gardener and loves to paint and upcycle furniture.

Christie is an ambassador for the @ZuriProject alongside Patron of the charity, Emmerdale’s Bhasker Patel. They raise money and awareness for communities in Uganda.

Christie loves to hear from her readers and you can get in touch via Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/christie_barlow/?hl=en

Twitter @ChristieJBarlow 

Facebook page Christie Barlow author