The Sewing Machine by Natalie Fergie blogtour book review @NatalieSFergie @unbounders

The Sewing Machine New Cover

The Sewing Machine written by Natalie Fergie, publisher Unbound, is available NOW in ebook, paperback, audiobook and audio CD format.

With over 100k ebooks sold to date this family saga is now available as a trade paperback for the first time with a stunning new cover.

The paperback is available from WaterstonesWHSmith and amazon (link below).

To buy link: https://amzn.to/2SGO4qk

Book Blurb

It is 1911, and Jean is about to join the mass strike at the Singer factory. For her, nothing will be the same again. Decades later, in Edinburgh, Connie sews coded moments of her life into a notebook, as her mother did before her. More than 100 years after his grandmother’s sewing machine was made, Fred discovers a treasure trove of documents. His family history is laid out before him in a patchwork of unfamiliar handwriting and colourful seams. He starts to unpick the secrets of four generations, one stitch at a time.

Sewing Machine 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 trade paperback release of Natalie Fergie’s debut novel:  The Sewing Machine.

The Sewing Machine by Natalie Fergie was first published in April 2017 and has sold over 100k ebooks and has consistently been placed in the Top 20 Women’s Historical Fiction charts.  This is such an outstanding achievement for a debut novel and after reading The Sewing Machine I can totally understand why as I believe it’s an epic read.

Natalie Fergie’s writing flowed perfectly and her words took you back to the lives of working class families from Scotland.  The lives of Jean, Connie, Fred and Ruth are reminiscent to coloured threads on a knitting machine that once woven together make the perfect cosy wrap.  This novel was so well researched you could feel the love and time that Natalie Fergie undertook seeping out from the words on the pages.  The Sewing Machine is one of the best debuts I’ve read and the author should be so proud of her book baby.

This book ticked lots of boxes for me, it captivated me into the lives of workers at The Singer Sewing Machine factory in Clydebank.  It takes you back to industrialism in 1911 and we experience a monumental event in history when thousands of workers went on strike.  This strike was to change the course of Jean’s journey but she didn’t want to leave her first place of employment without leaving a little something behind.

A singer sewing machine was a tool of employment, it was a tool for women at home to help clothe the household and also bring in extra money, it was also a tool for creativity and a tool of love.

One machine was to bring joy during sadness and hardship and it was also the catalyst of a romancing of the soul and heart.  This machine would watch families grow, it would see them face their first job interviews, see them wed and rejoice in the birth of little ones.  The symbolism of the sewing machine was like a beacon of hope to all.

Natalie Fergie has written a story of life, of love, of hardships and of hope.  I feel almost honoured to have had the opportunity to read this novel as it was just brilliant!

About the Author (taken from amazon)

Natalie Fergie Author PicNatalie Fergie lives near Edinburgh, Scotland’s capital city.
Her debut novel, The Sewing Machine, was published in April 2017 and is set in Clydebank and in Edinburgh. You can walk to many of the real life Edinburgh locations in the book, browse the shelves in the library the characters visited, and stand in the grounds of the Royal Infirmary looking up at the windows, as they did.

Natalie writes mostly from home, in a room overlooking the Forth Valley, with the Ochil Hills in the distance. When she isn’t writing, she is plotting her next book while she makes soup, or walks the family labrador.

Her website is at http://www.nataliefergie.com and you’ll find her chatting about anything and everything on twitter at http://www.twitter.com/NatalieSFergie and on Instagram at http://www.instagram/NatalieSFergie

 

 

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Leo and the Lightning Dragons by Gill White, illustrator Gilli B blogtour book review @leolightdragons ‏@FledglingPress @_GilliB #Lovebooksgrouptours

 

Leo and the Lightning Dragons cover

Leo and the Lightning Dragons written by Gill White, illustrated by Gilli B, publisher Fledgling Press, is available NOW in paperback format.

The paperback is available to purchase from WaterstonesFoyles and amazon

To buy link (amazon UK): https://amzn.to/2AWPWRw

Book Blurb

Everybody in the kingdom is supporting the brave knight Leo in his battle against his fearsome dragons. They try lots of different things to help him defeat them but eventually Leo realises that the most important thing to do is to believe in himself. This beautifully illustrated book with a poignant and uplifting rhyming story encourages children to persevere and find strength in the face of adversity, even when it seems that nothing is working. Written by Gill White for her son Leo who suffers from Ohtahara Syndrome, an extremely rare form of epilepsy, and beautifully illustrated by Fife artist Gilli B, this story has been positively received by parents of children with complex needs, by care workers and medical staff and by parents of healthy young children who love the book simply as an adventure story. All royalties from the sale of this book will go to CHAS (Children’s Hospices across Scotland).

leo-dragons (2)

I am so pleased and honoured to be involved in the blogtour celebrating and promoting the launch of this wonderful book by Gill White: Leo and the Lightning Dragons.

As soon as I read about this book I knew I had to buy a copy of the book as I have my own personal experience of a child living with epilepsy.

I adore children’s picture books, even though my children are now adults you can still gain so much joy in reading a picture book.  Oh my goodness this story brought back so many emotions and memories of a time my own boy fought his own ‘crackles’ and lightning bolts.  My son started having seizures at the age of two, they stopped for a while but started again during his teen years.  Epilepsy is a frightening condition for the sufferer as well as for the loved ones witnessing it.

Leo and the Lightning Dragons is a truly wonderful picture book.  It’s a visual delight, the illustrations are clear and bright in a simplistic manner but are very appealing to the eye.  I loved the use of different fonts to describe the adjectives in the storytelling, they worked perfectly for both the reader who could then ‘act’ out the adjective or for a small child to visibly see the change in font and could then imagine the intensity of the word.

The story is very poignant and it could be relatable to any number of situations were a child is experiencing something different to his peers.  It felt so uplifting, positive and encouraging and I wanted to ‘fist pump’ the air with ‘Yes, Leo, you can do it’!

This is a perfect picture book for any child as the storyline would appeal to them describing a young knight fighting dragons.  It showed courage and bravery and a will to keep on going.

I’d highly recommend this book to be on the shelves of every primary school library and in every children’s hospital ward.  It’s colourful and filled full of positivity.  I hope the book sells out and raises loads of much needed funds for CHAS (Children’s Hospices across Scotland).

Social Media Links:

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

To find out more about CHAS:

Website:  https://www.chas.org.uk/

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

To find out more about Epilepsy:

Website:   https://www.epilepsyresearch.org.uk/

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

 

 

 

 

 

The Secret to Falling in Love by Victoria Cooke #BookBirthdayBlitz #Bookreview

 

TheSecretToFallingInLove_V2 copy

The Secret to Falling in Love written by Victoria Cooke, publisher HQ Digital, is available NOW in ebook format.

To buy link: https://amzn.to/2t5ucyz

Book Blurb

Lifestyle journalist and thirty-something singleton Melissa hashtags, insta’s and snapchats her supposedly fabulous life on every social media platform there is.
That is until she wakes up on her birthday, another year older and still alone, wondering if for all her internet dates, love really can be found online? The challenge: go technology free for a whole month!
Forced to confront the reality of her life without its perfect filters, Melissa knows she needs to make some changes. But when she bumps into not one, but two gorgeous men, without the use of an app, she believes there could be hope for love offline.
If only there was a way to choose the right guy for her…

The Secret to Falling In Love

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 Book Birthday Blitz celebrating two years since the release of Victoria Cooke’s debut novel:  The Secret to Falling in Love.

Ohh I absolutely loved this novel by Victoria Cooke, it felt like I was reading through the script of a Hollywood romcom.  I’ve got the actors already picked out in my head and they are:  Melissa – Sandra Bullock, Scott – Ryan Reynolds, Joseph – Henry Cavill, Gemma – Emma Watson, Amanda – Kate Hudson.

This is my first introduction to the works of Victoria Cooke and I’m so pleased that I’ve finally discovered her work and have started with her debut novel.  What a brilliant read this was and a fantastic start to the author’s literary career.

The story of finding love and experiencing the joy of life without digital control is as much, if not more, relevant now.  We all need that constant reminder to power off and unplug and to physically look up from our screens and see and hear what is all around us.

Aspiring journalist Melissa had written a magazine article on the subject of digital and social media control/overload.  This was well received locally and nationally and sparked a month long assignment of being digital free; no phone, no laptop.  Communication and navigation through life the traditional way.  For phone savvy Melissa this was going to be a long month but she was soon surprised by what sights and sounds and experiences she had been missing all this time.

Melissa is in her mid thirties and feels like her love life is going nowhere, she’s had plenty of dates but none have been ‘the one’.  Now with her mother’s interference and her annoying boss life is about to become a little more complicated for Melissa when two suitors come her way.

This was such a fabulous, fun story that I loved from start to finish.

About the Author

Victoria Cooke ImageVictoria Cooke grew up in the city of Manchester before crossing the Pennines in pursuit of a career in education. She now lives in Huddersfield with her husband and two young daughters and when she’s not at home writing by the fire with a cup of coffee in hand, she loves working out in the gym and travelling. Victoria was first published at the tender age of eight by her classroom teacher who saw potential in a six-page story about an invisible man. Since then she’s always had a passion for reading and writing, undertaking several writers’ courses before completing her first novel, ‘The Secret to Falling in Love,’ in 2016.

 

Website: https://victoria-cooke.com/

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/VictoriaCooke10

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

The Secret to Falling In Love Giveaway PrizeGiveaway – Win an ARC of The Secret to Falling in Love and a box of Belgian Truffles (UK Only)
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*Cover Reveal* – Wedding Bells at Villa Limoncello by Daisy James

 

curtains for cover reveal

I am so pleased to be involved in the cover reveal for Daisy James latest novel.  Here are the important details.

Book title:  Wedding Bells at Villa Limoncello (Book One in Tuscan Trilogy)

Release date:  11th March 2019

Publisher:  Canelo

To pre-order/buy link:   https://amzn.to/2GndPp3

Book Blurb

Escape to Villa Limoncello… where dreams come true in unexpected ways.

When Isabella Jenkins is unceremoniously fired from her fancy London job, she escapes to Tuscany. A few weeks hiding amongst rolling hills and grape vines at Villa Limoncello sounds exactly like the distraction she needs.
But Italy holds emotional memories for Izzie and with a hapless handyman, a matchmaking village matriarch and a gorgeous – if infuriating – local chef named Luca Castelotti, her quiet Italian get away turns into an unending cacophony of chaos.
Suddenly Izzie finds herself on a mission to pull off the wedding of the century and maybe get her life in order in the process. If only Luca’s gorgeous smile wasn’t such a powerful distraction…

About the Author

Daisy James is a Yorkshire girl transplanted to the north east of England. She loves writing stories with strong heroines and swift-flowing plotlines. When not scribbling away in her summerhouse, she spends her time sifting flour and sprinkling sugar and edible glitter. She loves gossiping with friends over a glass of something pink and fizzy or indulging in a spot of afternoon tea – china plates and teacups are a must.

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

And now the beautiful cover that will have us all dreaming of sunny days …

Wedding Bells at Villa Limoncello - Daisy James

What Happens in France by Carol Wyer blogtour book review

 

What happens in France cover widthWhat Happens in France written by Carol Wyer, publisher Canelo, is available NOW in ebook format.

The ebook is available to download on kindle, kobo, iBooks and Google.

To buy link (amazon UK): https://amzn.to/2Bjy3gi

Book Blurb

She stood and took her place in front of the camera… It was now or never”
Bryony Masters has been looking for her long-lost sister, Hannah, for years, but when their father has a stroke her search takes on new urgency. So when primetime game show, What Happens in France, puts a call-out for new contestants, Bryony spots the ultimate public platform to find her reality TV-obsessed sister, and finally reunite their family.
With the help of handsome teammate Lewis, it’s not long before she’s on a private jet heading for the stunning beauty of rural France. With a social media star dog, a high maintenance quiz host and a cast of truly unique characters, Bryony and Lewis have their work cut out for them to stay on the show and in the public eye.
Yet as the audience grows and the grand prize beckons they find that the search that brought them together may just fulfil more than one heart’s wish…
This heartwarming romantic comedy of friendship, family and laugh-out-loud adventures is perfect for fans of Kirsty Greenwood, Colleen Coleman and Marian Keyes.

What Happens in France blog tour banner (Final)

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 Carol Wyer’s latest novel:  What Happens in France.

OMG I loved this novel by Carol Wyer, it was also my first introduction to her work but it definitely won’t be the last.  I was transfixed with the storyline spilling out from the pages.  It was warm-hearted and whacky but had a poignancy behind all the craziness that touched my heart.  I desperately wanted to know the outcome of the many trials and challenges from the story and the author did not disappoint me and kept me hooked all the way through.

There’s something about stories set in France that have that certain magic for me and I just devour the setting, the culture and the characters and find myself entranced by it all.  I think I secretly harbour for a life in a French country chateau!

Carol Wyer has written a fun romantic comedy with a twist of a real-life mystery that will break your heart.

I loved the fun side of this story with the reality quiz TV show and it was great to see a behind the scenes look at this.  The author has such a great imagination and I’d love to see this gameshow ‘What Happens In …’ on our TV screens, it sounded like a cross between Treasure Hunt and It’s a Knockout with abit of Mastermind thrown in.

The characters were so wide and varied and written with warmth and very relatable.  You’ll fall in love with a little pug with a penchant for fashion.

Bryony Masters has lived with painful memories for a long time.  Missing her sister and never giving up hope of seeing her again.  Bryony hopes that appearing on a TV game show would be the ideal exposure she needs to spread awareness of her sister Hannah who ran away almost 30 years ago.

A gorgeous fun romantic comedy that will steal your heart.

About the Author

Carol Wyer - FenceAs a child Carol Wyer was always moving, and relied on humour to fit in at new schools. A funny short story won her popularity, planting the seed of becoming a writer. Her career spans dry cleaning, running a language teaching company, and boxercise coaching. Now writing full-time, Carol has several books published and journalism in many magazines.
Carol won The People’s Book Prize Award for non-fiction (2015), and can sometimes be found performing her stand-up comedy routine Laugh While You Still Have Teeth.

Website: http://www.carolwyer.co.uk/

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

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

 

The Foundling’s Daughter by Ann Bennett book review

 

the foundlings daughter

The Foundling’s Daughter written and self-published by Ann Bennett is available NOW in ebook and paperback format.  The ebook is also included in the kindleunlimited scheme.

To buy link: https://amzn.to/2UC1iC6

Book Blurb

Three Women connected down the decades by a mystery from the 1930s, with its roots in British India and an orphanage in Berkshire.
In 1934, Anna Foster, the wife of a British Army Officer, privately harbouring pain and remorse, sets sail from Bombay on a fateful journey home, a letter from a charismatic stranger — orphanage superintendent, Reverend Ezra Burroughs — in her pocket.
Seventy-six years later, Connie Burroughs, Ezra’s daughter, now in her nineties and in a care home, still lives in fear of her dead father. She guards his secrets loyally, but with a lifetime of regrets.
Sarah Jennings, escaping an unhappy marriage, moves to be near her ageing father. She buys Cedar Lodge, the crumbling former home of the Burroughs family, a renovation project she hopes will bring peace of mind to trying times. But she’s not prepared for the shocking secrets she uncovers. Determined to track down the past, Sarah embarks on a quest to expose the chilling events that took place at Ezra Burroughs’ orphanage in the 1930s; a quest that will ultimately change her life.

marigold posie

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.

The Foundling’s Daughter was published back in November 2018 and I’m annoyed with myself that it’s been sat in my TBR waiting to be read because it is one hell of a read and I can’t express loud enough how much I enjoyed this novel.  The Foundling’s Daughter will definitely be going into my Best of the Best in 2019 list.

This is a very beautiful, atmospheric but equally tragic and poignant story set in three different time frames.  It is a story about three women who have been linked to an event that is marred by illegal, immoral and devastating circumstances back in 1934.  It’s not until the present day that the truth is slowly unravelled and the small link between the women is lengthened.

Ann Bennett’s words completely captivated me in this story.  With her atmospheric prose depicting the sensory details of 1930’s India that Anna first experienced when she was travelling to India to escape England and the shroud of gossip surrounding her father.  Anna was excited about her future in India but it soon became a lonely existence for her.

Connie is now all alone in the world and following a fall she’s living in an elderly care home.  Struggling with her ailments both physically and mentally as she is forced to sell the family home to cover her expenses at the home.  Cedar Lodge has been her home for over 70 years and was adjacent to an orphanage.  Connie is very wary of her past in the Lodge and she is afraid of the Lodge revealing the truth.

Sarah stumbles across Cedar Lodge on her way to her father’s house following a startling discovery surrounding her husband.  Sarah is shocked and angry and very unsure of her future.  She realises the place she needs to take stock of her life is at her father’s house in a small village in Berkshire, not far from Cedar Lodge.  Cedar Lodge is up for sale and is looking a little worn and tired but it still holds a presence in the village and after her first sight of the house Sarah cannot stop thinking about it.

Stripping back the walls that have held secrets for a long time reveal a story of greed, a story of tragedy and a story of lost loves.

From the sumptuous setting in India to the chilling discoveries back in Berkshire this is a brilliant story that will appeal to historical fans, romance fans and mystery fans.  If you love the work of Dinah Jefferies you will appreciate the work of Ann Bennett and the beautiful story that is The Foundling’s Daughter.

About the Author

Ann Bennett was born in a small village in Northamptonshire, UK. She read Law at Cambridge and qualified and practised as a solicitor. During a career break, to have children, she started to write. Her father had been a prisoner of war on the Thailand-Burma Railway and the idea for Bamboo Heart came from researching his wartime experiences. The research took her to Southeast Asia, a place she loves and has returned to many times. She lives in Surrey with her husband and three sons and works in London as a lawyer.

Website: https://www.bambooheart.co.uk/

Twitter:   http://www.twitter.com/annbennett71

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Andaman-Press-297885594389742/

 

A Rebel at Pennington’s by Rachel Brimble blogtour book review

 

A Rebel at Pennington's

A Rebel at Pennington’s written by Rachel Brimble, publisher Aria, is available NOW in ebook and paperback format.

To buy link: https://amzn.to/2t26H9R

Product Details

One woman’s journey to find herself and help secure the vote. Perfect for the fans of the TV series Mr Selfridge and The Paradise.

1911 Bath. Banished from her ancestral home, passionate suffrage campaigner, Esther Stanbury works as a window dresser in Pennington’s Department Store. She has hopes and dreams for women’s progression and will do anything to help secure the vote.
Owner of the prestigious Phoenix Hotel, Lawrence Culford has what most would view as a successful life. But Lawrence is harbouring shame, resentment and an anger that threatens his future happiness.
When Esther and Lawrence meet their mutual understanding of life’s challenges unites them and they are drawn to the possibility of a life of love that neither thought existed.
With the Coronation of King-Emperor George V looming, the atmosphere in Bath is building to fever pitch, as is the suffragists’ determination to secure the vote.
Will Esther’s rebellious nature lead her to ruin or can they overcome their pasts and look to build a future together?

A Rebel at Penningtons 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 launch of Rachel Brimble’s latest novel:  A Rebel at Pennington’s.

This was so wonderful to return to the prestigious department store of Pennington’s in Bath.  I would strongly recommend reading book 1 in the series, The Mistress of Pennington’s, as you can then get a feel for the era, the characters and the setting enabling you to fully enjoy A Rebel at Pennington’s.

Both our leading lady Esther and leading man Lawrence have emotional scars from their past and to open up these wounds and let someone else in would be a show of strength and trust and acceptance.

It’s 1911 and a political unrest is all around the country with the upcoming Women’s Vote, Esther is involved in the Cause in a small suffragists group.  Esther is clearly talented with her creative flair with the window dressings at the department store and she has a strong belief in the Cause but when she meets Lawrence Culford her heart starts to beat a tune she hasn’t felt in a very long time.

Lawrence Culford is a single parent to two young children and is the proprietor of a reputable hotel in the city of Bath.  Lawrence has been the recipient of many emotional scars in the past and has fought to take control of his life.  When his past starts to pull him back he is afraid for his own emotional wellbeing and that also of his children.  Meeting Esther has given Lawrence an insight into a future full of hope but he is afraid of his scars being ripped open revealing a side of him that he is not proud of.

Can Esther and Lawrence learn to trust in love and in their beliefs to bring forth a future full of love and hope?

I really enjoyed this second instalment in the Pennington’s Department store series, it was interesting to learn more about Esther and of the suffragists and their involvement in the Cause.  This story was full of light and dark moments and the author interwoven a political event in history around the lives of people forging new lives.

About the Author

Rachel lives with her husband and their two daughters in a small town near Bath in the UK. Since 2007, she has had several novels published by small US presses, eight books published by Harlequin Superromance (Templeton Cove Stories) and four Victorian romances with eKensington/Lyrical.
In January 2018, she signed a four-book deal with Aria Fiction for a new Edwardian series set in Bath’s finest department store. The first book, The Mistress of Pennington’s released July 2018.
Rachel is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association and Romance Writers of America, and was selected to mentor the Superromance finalist of So You Think You Can Write 2014 contest. When she isn’t writing, you’ll find Rachel with her head in a book or walking the beautiful English countryside with her family. Her dream place to live is Bourton-on-the-Water in South West England.
She likes nothing more than connecting and chatting with her readers and fellow romance writers. Rachel would love to hear from you!

Website: https://rachelbrimble.com/

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

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

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