White Lies by Ellie Holmes book review

white lies

White Lies written and self-published by Ellie Holmes is available NOW in ebook and paperback format.  The ebook is also included in the kindleunlimited scheme.

To buy link:  http://amzn.to/2fNEb8I

Product Details (as per amazon page)

Have you ever told a white lie?

Sam Davenport is a woman who lives her life by the rules. When her husband Neil breaks those rules too many times, Sam is left wondering not only if he is still the man for her but also if it’s time to break a few rules of her own.

Actions, however, have consequences as Sam soon discovers when what starts out as an innocent white lie threatens to send her world spiralling out of control.

White Lies is a warm, engaging read about love, deceit, betrayal and hope.

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I have just finished reading White Lies and needed to express my feelings about the story immediately as I was totally gripped by the storyline.

On a very wet winter’s night Sam, Neil and David’s lives were about to change forever.  A split second decision was made which culminated into destructive actions.  Actions which then soon turned into a domino effect of lies and deceit and the covering up of the truth just to save one’s reputation.

The aftermath of this night wasn’t easy to forget and Sam’s conscience was ever present.  Sam was also in a very vulnerable place at the moment as her marriage had suffered recently when her husband Neil’s affair had come to light.  Sam was struggling with her emotions and she felt she needed to make amends however, this was to open up a whole heap of trouble.

White Lies is a dramatic, suspenseful romance.  I was gripped with the storyline and with all the twists and turns I wasn’t sure were the author Ellie Holmes was going to take me next.  At one point I found the storyline quite chilling and I feared for Sam and her children.  There is a little darkness to the storyline but as the story progresses and you learn more about all the characters involved you start to feel empathy but it didn’t stop me feeling on edge towards the end of the novel.  However, amongst all the angst and drama the author has created a diversion and has interwoven a wonderful, poignant story of a woman coming to terms with her grief and finding happiness and hope from the least expected of places.

A story of deceit, a story of betrayal, a story of a love that may or may not survive the obsession of another.

To learn more about Ellie Holmes and her work please visit the following pages:

Website:  http://www.ellieholmesauthor.com/

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

Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/EllieHWriter/

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The Woolly Hat Knitting Club by Poppy Dolan blogtour book review

the woolly hat knitting club

The Woolly Hat Knitting Club written by Poppy Dolan, publisher Canelo, is available NOW in ebook format.

To buy links:

amazon UK – http://amzn.to/2ypDJ46

kobo – http://bit.ly/2xtfMw7

The book is also available to download on Apple iBooks and Google Books.

Product Details (as per amazon page)

Finding happiness one stitch at a time

When Dee Blackthorn’s brother, JP, breaks both wrists not only is he in need of a helping hand – or two – but the knitting shop he owns can’t function. Sisterly duties take Dee away from her demanding job and she is unceremoniously fired amidst rumours of inappropriate behaviour. Dee is certain that her hot-shot nemesis, Ben, is behind it all but has no proof.

When Dee bumps into an old friend who is new mum to a premature baby she convinces JP to enlist his knitting pals to make lots of tiny woolly hats. Then Ben turns up denying involvement in Dee’s sacking and she ropes him into helping the knitting cause.
But before long Dee’s good intentions backfire and she risks losing her friends, her family and Ben, who’s turned out to be not so bad after all…

A feel-good romantic comedy about learning what life is really all about, The Woolly Hat Knitting Club is perfect for fans of Cathy Bramley, Tilly Tennant and Carole Matthews.

 

The Woolly Hat Blog Tour Banner (4)

I am so pleased to be involved in the blogtour celebrating and promoting the launch of Poppy Dolan’s latest novel, The Woolly Hat Knitting Club.  The Woolly Hat Knitting Club is Poppy Dolan’s fourth novel.

What a fabulous knit-tastic story and was a joy to read. Poppy Dolan has created the most delightful, charming, romcom that has left me with a wonderful warm cosy feeling. I want to wrap myself up in a rainbow coloured knitted blanket and read it all over again with a cuppa. This is my first introduction to the works of Poppy Dolan and I have absolutely no idea why it’s taken me so long to read her work, such a gem of a writer.

Delilah (Dee) is a workaholic she thrives on the buzz surrounded by her very busy scheduling and fits in with the city life of London. However, when her younger brother, JP, sends a cry for help she has no hesitation of rushing to his needs. I loved this about Dee, even though she was so focused with her work her family means everything to her especially her brother who had suffered with his health in the past. Dee finds JP with two plaster casts on his arms after breaking his wrists. As he’s totally immobilised Dee steps in and helps him run the knitting shop. However, during her call of family need Dee is unceremoniously fired from her prestige job. Dejected and totally mystified by this she returns back to the knitting shop pulling all her emotions into helping move JP’s knitting shop into the crafting stratosphere. One of the highlights to the knitting shop is the great blog that JP set up which has a fabulous topical catchy name. JP was one of a few male knitters and the crafting universe loved him. Following a chance encounter with one of Dee’s old school friends, Becky, who had recently given birth prematurely to a little boy, Dee quickly realised that JP and his friends could help out her little baby boy by knitting tiny little hats for him. Tiny little knitted parcels soon started flocking into the shop overwhelming Dee with the generosity of the crafters. What started off as a small act of kindness spirals into an inspirational challenge of making more hats to widen this wonderful gesture to help more premature babies in need.

We follow Dee, JP and the ever growing circle of friends bringing this challenge into fruition. Obstacles are a plenty but the knitters will not give up.

Dee also hopes to get her career back on the right footing but helping her brother and the premature babies brings a different perspective to her life. What was once the thrill of the chase of her working life doesn’t look quite as appealing anymore.

A gorgeous romcom that I simply didn’t want to end. I feel quite uplifted and invigorated and want to cosy up with wonderful colours and textures. The perfect book to read on a cold day which will soon envelope you in a cosy cuddle of warmth.

To learn more about Poppy Dolan and her books please visit the following pages:

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

Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/poppydolanbooks

woolly hats clipart

 

Stories for Homes Volume 2 blogtour #SfH2

StoriesForHomes2 front cover FINAL RGB

Stories for Homes Volume 2 is available NOW in ebook format.

To buy link:  http://amzn.to/2fSRGku

Published and unpublished writers come together to create an anthology of stories about what ‘home’ means.

55 writers are included in a second charity anthology that brings issues around housing, poverty and crisis to life through the power of storytelling. Volume One of the Stories for Homes Project raised over £3K for housing charity Shelter and raised awareness of housing issues. Volume Two of the anthology includes stories, poems and flash fiction and again all proceeds will be donated to the charity.

Product Detail (as per amazon page)

A home is something most of us have the luxury of taking for granted but for many it is a grim struggle to obtain what should be a basic necessity. Stories for Homes is a collection of witty, poignant, funny and heartbreaking short stories by fifty five authors, both established and emerging, reflecting the connection between the immediacy of housing crisis and the stories people tell about their lives around and within it. Volume Two of the anthology includes stories, poems and flash fiction and again all proceeds will be donated to Shelter, the charity for housing and homelessness.

Early Praise for the Book

Emma Darwin, author of The Mathematics of Love, commented on the quality of writing in the anthology as: “A cornucopia of witty, tragic, elegant, raw, heart-warming and terrifying stories that take the idea of Home, play with it as only truly talented writers can, and all to help those who have no home at all.”

Joanne Harris, author of Chocolat, said: “Stories give our imaginations a home. It’s good to see them helping to give people shelter in the real world, too…” reflecting the connection between the immediacy of housing crisis and the stories people tell about their lives around and within it.

Sally Swingewood, who also edited the collections, commented: “The Stories for Homes collections would not be possible without the generosity of a huge number of volunteers. By working together we have produced a book which will not only delight but also help address one of the biggest humanitarian crises facing modern society. In a world where migration, identity and belonging are in the news daily we have a duty to help everyone have a home in which they feel safe and settled. Stories for Homes is one way we can be part of the solution”

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I feel very honoured to be involved in the blogtour promoting the launch of Stories for Homes Volume 2.  This anthology of short stories has been created by a community of people all willing to offer their expertise in a variety of fields to help bring Stories for Homes Volume 1 and Volume 2 into fruition.  All profits from the sale of both Volumes 1 and Volume 2 go to the housing and homelessness charity Shelter.  This particular anthology is dedicated to the victims and survivors of the Grenfell Tower fire, 14 June 2017.  I was kindly given an arc of this anthology to help with my review but have also purchased a copy.  The work that Shelter do is insurmountable and every penny helps.

What I love about collections of short stories is that you can dip in them whenever you have a little time out.  Very often when I grab a cuppa I like to read and just choosing one or two of the stories in this collection will take your mind on a journey.  I’ve randomly picked and read a few of these stories just be choosing titles that I liked the sound of.  Each story grasped my attention and imagination straight away.  Some of the stories were touchingly poignant and evoked many emotions in me chilling me to my bone and sending a shock through my heart and body and others were like a warm comforting blanket.

To date, I have read:

  • The Tiger Who Came Back to Apologise
  • Siamese
  • Lydia and the Cat
  • Real Comfort Food
  • East, West

I believe a compilation of short stories is an essential book shelf/coffee table accessory.

Take some time out to free your mind and help others at the same time.

To find out more about the dedicated team around Short Stores for Homes please visit their website:

https://storiesforhomes.wordpress.com/

No Way Back by Kelly Florentia blogtour book review

no way back

No Way Back written by Kelly Florentia, publisher Urbane Publications, is available NOW in ebook and paperback format.  The ebook is also included in the kindleunlimited scheme.

To buy link: http://amzn.to/2xvnR2q

Product Details (as per amazon page)

When two eligible and attractive men are vying for your heart, it should be the perfect dilemma…

Audrey Fox has been dumped by her unreliable fiancé Nick Byrne just days before the wedding. Heartbroken and confused, the last thing she expects when she jumps on a plane to convalesce in Cyprus is romance. But a chance meeting with handsome entrepreneur and father-of-one Daniel Taylor weaves her into a dating game she’s not sure she’s ready for. Audrey’s life is thrown into further turmoil when she discovers on her return to London that Nick has been involved in a serious motorcycle accident that’s left him in intensive care. Distraught yet determined to look to the future, Audrey must make a decision – follow her heart or listen to well-meaning advice from family and friends? Because sometimes, no matter what, it’s the people that we love who can hurt us the most…

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I am so pleased to be involved in the blogtour celebrating and promoting the launch of Kelly Florentia’s latest novel, No Way Back.

I really enjoyed this novel by Kelly Florentia.  No Way Back is her second full length novel.  It follows the life of Audrey Fox who is heartbroken following the break-up of her relationship mere days before their wedding.  Audrey and Nick have been together for eight years and Audrey was so excited and ready for her forthcoming nuptials.  However, Nick has had a fairly unreliable past and calling off the wedding just proves to Audrey how unreliable he is.  Audrey flees the country and stays in Cyprus with her parents to recuperate and reflect on her future.

Audrey’s heart and mind is very unsettled and Cyprus is not proving much of a distraction especially when she literally falls in the lap of wealthy and handsome businessman Daniel Taylor.  Daniel turns out to be Audrey’s very own Prince Charming but is she ready to be swooned so soon?

Back home in London reality hits her hard after learning that her ex Nick is seriously ill in hospital following a motorcycle accident.  Audrey is faced with a dilemma on whether to visit Nick in hospital.  Her friends are set against her visiting Nick and unbeknown to Audrey they have their reasons for this and when this reason reveals a whole lot more anguish for Audrey she is confused and heartbroken even more.

The handsome businessman Daniel is also back in London and has set his sights on winning Audrey’s heart?

Daniel Taylor is a very complicated character and Audrey’s first impressions are way off the mark.  But the more Audrey lets Daniel into her life the more tangled her new relationship becomes as Daniel has many secrets and until he reveals all to Audrey she cannot clear her mind of her feelings for him.

Audrey has a lovely support group of friends and family which hold many keys to this story .  The sub-characters themselves experience many trials and tribulations in their own lives.  Some of these moments in her friends lives were quite emotive, dealing with serious issues and the author dealt with these concerns in a sensitive manner.

For the weeks and months following the cancellation of her wedding Audrey has experienced extreme highs and lows and her heart was in turmoil.  Should she go back to her ex Nick or have the charming Daniel capture her heart?

There were many twists in this tale I didn’t see coming, one minute I was hopeful and thought ‘yes, Audrey should choose him’ and then the author throws us in a completely different direction and you are left with a right quandary.

I was pleased to learn after reading this novel that Kelly Florentia will write a sequel to No Way Back.  There is so much potential for a sequel and I’m excited to see which way the author will take all the main and sub-characters.   No Way Back has many tears of despair, drama, intrigue, fun, frolics and warm tender moments.  Great story that has left me wanting more.

To learn more about Kelly Florentia and her books please visit the following links:

Website:  https://kellyflorentia.com/

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

Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/KellyFlorentiaAuthor

 

Guest Post: Extract from Zenka by Alison Brodie

Zenka_Final

Zenka written and self-published by Alison Brodie is available to pre-order in ebook format.  Date of publication is 6th November 2017.

To pre-order links:

US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07534Y6QZ
UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07534Y6QZ
Canada: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B07534Y6QZ
Australia: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B07534Y6QZ
Product Details (as per amazon page)

Devious, ruthless, and loyal.

Zenka is a capricious Hungarian with a dark past.

When cranky London mob boss, Jack Murray, saves her life she vows to become his guardian angel – whether he likes it or not. Happily, she now has easy access to pistols, knives and shotguns.

Jack discovers he has a son, Nicholas, a male nurse with a heart of gold. Problem is, Nicholas is a wimp.

Zenka takes charges. Using her feminine wiles and gangland contacts, she will make Nicholas into the sort of son any self-respecting crime boss would be proud of. And she succeeds!

Nicholas transforms from pussycat to mad dog, falls in love with Zenka, and finds out where the bodies are buried – because he buries them. He’s learning fast that sometimes you have to kill, or be killed.

As his life becomes more terrifying, questions have to be asked:

How do you tell a mob boss you don’t want to be his son?

And is Zenka really who she says

About the Author

Alison Brodie is a Scot, with French Huguenot ancestors on her mother’s side.
Alison Brodie is an international best-selling author. Her books having been published in hardback and paperback by Hodder & Stoughton (UK), Heyne (Germany) and Unieboek (Holland).  Alison has now gone “indie”.
Here are some editorial reviews for her recent books:
BRAKE FAILURE: “Masterpiece of humor” –Midwest Book Review
THE DOUBLE: “Proof of her genius in writing fiction” -San Francisco Book Review.
To learn more about Alison Brodie visit the following links:

EARLY PRAISE FOR ZENKA:

“A riveting read. Powerful. Spicy” -Midwest Book Review

5* “To say I loved this story would be a massive understatement” –Bloggers from Down Under

5* “Will warm your heart and chill your bones” –Tome Tender Blogspot

5* “Top of my list for best fiction this year” – Lauren Sapala, WriteCity

5* “You won’t be able to put this book down” –Laura Reading

5* “Brodie nails it again. Intelligent wit and outstanding writing” –Charlie Elliott, author of Life Unbothered.



I’m delighted to be able to share an extract from Zenka.  Alison Brodie has chosen a brilliant scene to share with you all.

Maid-MarigoldAt ten o’clock, the doorbell buzzed. Nicholas padded down the stairs, smiling grimly as he imagined the battle-axe standing on the doorstep, a battle-axe who would storm into Jason’s room and order him to get his lazy butt out of bed and tidy up his mess.

Nicholas opened the door to see the top of a dripping blue umbrella. He saw it lift slowly to reveal a face. The small pointed chin and full lips belonged to a little girl, but the slanted green eyes belonged to a porno queen.

It took a moment for him to find his voice. ‘Can I help you?’

I am Zenka.’ Her accent was Eastern European, her voice husky. She smiled and held up a pair of yellow Marigold gloves.

Her smile was blinding. It took him a moment to drag his eyes from her to the Marigold gloves. He looked at them. He looked at her. Somehow, it seemed, they were connected.

A cloud of anxiety moved over her face. ‘You not vant me cleaning?’

Cleaning?’ He felt a jolt. She was the cleaning lady!

He quickly collected himself. ‘Come in, come in.’ He snatched the umbrella from her. ‘I’m upstairs. It’s not very big. It shouldn’t take you long. You might need a hand … you know … with-’

Stop babbling! he screamed inwardly.

As she threw off her hood, long red hair cascaded down over her shoulders, alive and bouncing, and screaming to be touched.

He clapped his hands vigorously. It made him think of a scout master summoning his troop. ‘O-kay! Let’s get to it!

He led the way, his nerve-ends alive to her presence, every male testosterone and mating instinct flashing on red alert. At the door of the flat, he stood back to let her enter. The shy look she gave him from under her black lashes made him catch his breath, and for the first time in his life, he was aware of his heart.

Your home is so pretty,’ she exclaimed, looking around. She handed him a leaflet. ‘I saw this on door mat. Thai boxing. That for you?’

He barely glanced at it. Everything about her was sensual; her little nose, the way she moved her lips to speak, and her eyes, oh God, her eyes, sliding to look at him from under thick black lashes, seeming to say: “I want to be friends with you, if you want to be friends with me.”

Nicholas, mesmerised, watched his beautiful visitor inspect the ornaments on the mantelpiece. Suddenly, she looked back at him and smiled. His reaction was instantaneous. It was the quickest, widest smile he had ever given.

Ver do you want me to start vith you, Mr Jaffrey?’

Nicholas.’ He couldn’t get the word out fast enough. ‘Call me Nicholas.’

She tried his name, speaking delicately, as if caressing the air with her breath, the “o” sound puckering those beautiful lips: ‘N-i-c-h-o-l-a-s.’

He sat down to hide his erection, thankful that she had gone into the kitchen. He felt the grin spread across his face. Oh, Jason, Jason, you stupid twat. Look what you’re missing. Nicholas was not prepared to share Zenka with that Neanderthal. Thankfully, Jason held his Saturday morning lie-ins sacred, and would never meet her.

Itt Vagyok!’

Zenka stood in the doorway of the kitchen. She had removed her raincoat and now wore a little French maid’s. She held up the bucket and mop. ‘I begin,’ she announced. As she pivoted into the kitchen, he glimpsed frilly white knickers. He got to his feet and followed.

Let me help you,’ he offered.

Frankly, Nicholas, I’m not impressed.’ It was twelve-thirty and Jason had just woken up, bleary-eyed and cantankerous. He inspected the kitchen sink. ‘Bloody hell, it’s filthy! Look at the crud. And the cooker!’ He ran a finger over it and held up a greasy fingertip in evidence.

Nicholas smothered a laugh. Jason was behaving like Lady Davenport-Tewksbury. ‘When did you get so house-proud?’ Nicholas asked, putting away the cleaning products.

Jason stiffened, outraged by the slur. ‘I’m not house-proud for your sodding information, but I know when some tit has been ripped off. And you, mate, have been royally ripped off.’

I’m happy with what she’s done.’

What?’ Jason swung wildly. ‘What has she done?’ He pointed to the window. ‘Look!’ Squinting, he inspected the glass, ducking from side to side as if dodging bullets. ‘Look at those smears. They weren’t even there before!’

Nicholas sighed contentedly. He had spent two glorious fun-filled hours with Zenka; his only regret was that – because of the agency’s strict rules – she couldn’t give him her phone number. They’d giggled when she hoovered up the duster. He had physically melted when she tapped a puff of Fairy Liquid foam on his nose. He had blown up the Marigold gloves until they looked like udders and proudly displayed them on his chest. He had shoved two chopsticks up under his top lip and hopped about the kitchen like a rabbit, making her buckle up against the fridge in helpless laughter.

They had talked … well …. he had bombarded her with questions. She was Hungarian. No, she didn’t have a boyfriend. She told him she was attracted to men who were brave and strong. ‘I want someone who can protect me,’ she’d kept insisting. ‘A man who is not scared to use his fists.’

He knew, at that moment, he would become that man … whatever it took.

A Bed of Brambles by Sam Russell book review

a bed of brambles

A Bed of Brambles written and self-published by Sam Russell is available NOW in ebook and paperback format.  The ebook is also included in the kindleunlimited scheme.

To buy link:  http://amzn.to/2wPDGxF

Product Details (as per amazon page)

This was never going to be a conventional love story. No bed of roses. Proud, passionate and wilful, Hettie and Alexander are alike in so many ways. That has to be a good thing, doesn’t it? Or it could be a disaster…both carry scars, and old wounds have a habit of causing new hurt.
Physical attraction draws them together. Hearts and minds can be thorny, less easy to satisfy. One thing is certain, together or apart their lives will move on. Alexander and Hettie’s clashes of spirit will only be part of the story.
Second chances. New beginnings. The opportunity to make things right. Or to make the same mistakes all over again. Unless fate takes the future out of your hands…

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My Review

This was such an addictive read filled with passion, angst, heartache and uncertainty. I loved how the author had developed two characters both with a past they wished to hide, both passionate about their beliefs but also passionate about their loves. Hettie and Alexander had spent months apart whilst she was working overseas but now back home in the Cotswolds it wasn’t plain sailing for the young couple but their sexual chemistry drew them together like magnets.

Hettie needed to find work preferably working with horses as that’s all she’s ever known and loved. The chance to start her own livery business brings back so many dark memories and her life soon becomes in danger from this past she wishes she could scrape up and throw away like the manure in the stables. A gripping romance filled with passion, new beginnings, second chances and opening your heart and soul to let go of the demons inside you.

A Bed of Brambles is book two in the Draymere Hall series however, I hadn’t had the pleasure of reading  A Bed of Barley Straw (book one) so treated A Bed of Brambles as a standalone and I was soon transported into Hettie and Alexander’s world.  To fully appreciate the history surrounding the characters I would recommend reading both books in the series in chronological order.

To learn more about the author Sam Russell please visit the following links:

Website:  https://russellromance.com/

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

Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/SamRussellAuthor/

The Red Thread by Dawn Farnham blogtour book review

the red thread

The Red Thread written by Dawn Farnham, publisher Monsoon Books, is available NOW in ebook and paperback format.  The ebook is on special promotion on amazon and is FREE until 25th September 2017.

To buy link:  http://amzn.to/2xA882C

Product Details (as per amazon page)

Set against the backdrop of 1830s Singapore where piracy, crime, triads and tigers are commonplace, this cultural romance follows the struggle of two lovers: Zhen, once the lowliest of Chinese coolies and triad member, later chosen to marry into a Peranakan family of Baba Chinese merchants; and Charlotte, an 18yearold Scots girl and sister of Singapore’s Chief of Police.

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I am so pleased to be involved in the blogtour promoting and celebrating The Red Thread, which is volume 1 in The Straits Quartet.

I’m not afraid to say that it took me a little time to get into this story but a novel filled with so much culture, history and diversity cannot be rushed.  From the vivid descriptions of the scenes set on the pages I was transported to a Singapore filled with heady scents and could visualise the changing colourful and sometimes dark landscape.  From the first moment that Zhen laid eyes on Charlotte the intensity of the gaze was bewitching and as a reader you were willing for them to make an acquaintance.  But this wasn’t the time to be foolhardy and life for both the Chinaman and the English woman moved in different directions for a while.  However, the gods of luck were in their court and chances were brought their way to make this acquaintance happen.

Singapore in the 1830’s was becoming multicultural but not all were welcoming the newcomers to their lands.  Political and social unrest was heightened and fear was felt for the lives of many.  The author has woven this love story filled with angst, fear, drama, love and lust at a time were traditions and culture were so evident in many lives.  It was fascinating reading about the varying traditions for life, love and death.  The author was very honest with her writing and we saw life in Singapore in all its glory through the wonderful celebratory events and to times of terrible, horrific acts.  These highs and lows were part of history and come as a package.

The Red Thread was a dangerous, passionate love story that was so touchingly tragic.  In another world and another time there would be no barriers and love would win.

I’d like to share a quote I particularly enjoyed from the novel:

It was dangerous, but for some things it was right to dare danger.

About the Author

Dawn Farnham is the author of The Straits Quartetdawnfarnham
(The Red Thread, The Shallow Seas, The Hills of
Singapore and The English Concubine), as well as
numerous short stories, plays and children’s books. A
former long-term resident of Singapore, Dawn now
calls Perth, Australia, home. Her new book, Finding
Maria is published in October 2017.
Learn more about Dawn Farnham at: