Paris Savages by Katharine Johnson @KJohnsonauthor @allisonandbusby #ParisSavages #blogtour #bookextract

Paris Savages

Paris Savages written by Katharine Johnson, publisher Allison & Busby, is available in hardcover, ebook and audiobook format from the 23rd July 2020.

Book Blurb

Fraser Island, Australia 1882. The population of the Badtjala people is in sharp decline following a run of brutal massacres. When German scientist Louis Müller offers to sail three Badtjala people – Bonny, Jurano and Dorondera – to Europe to perform to huge crowds, the proud and headstrong Bonny agrees, hoping to bring his people’s plight to the Queen of England.

Accompanied by Müller’s bright daughter, Hilda, the group begins their journey to belle-époque Europe to perform in Hamburg, Berlin, Paris and eventually London. While crowds in Europe are enthusiastic to see the unique dances, singing, fights and pole climbing from the oldest culture in the world, the attention is relentless, and the fascination of scientists intrusive. When disaster strikes, Bonny must find a way to return home.

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

paris savages tour poster

I am so pleased to be involved in the blogtour celebrating and promoting the launch of Katharine Johnson’s latest novel: Paris Savages.

I have the pleasure of sharing an extract for you:

Hilda rests the dip-pen across the inkwell and stands to stretch. Dry in the mouth with thirst and slick with sweat, she goes to the table at the foot of her father’s bed and pours a glass of water from the jug they keep there. Each evening, she fills the pottery jug from the nearby creek and makes a habit of checking the contents of her glass for insect larvae before she drinks, secretly afraid that if she missed one, or two, the larvae would grow into mosquitos inside her. It is only since her mother died that Hilda and her father have shared this front room, their single beds pressed to either side.

Louis’s elbow-patched coat hangs from the end of his bedpost, the envelope from Germany protruding from the pocket. Hilda remembers the visiting missionary delivering it, her father’s keenness to see what it said and his desire for the man to be gone.

‘It is with some reluctance that I pass this on to you, Herr Müller. I have not heard much of Herr Hagenbeck, but Barnum, the American equivalent, is, as you know, a fraud. Am I right that you also received correspondence some weeks ago from him?’ the missionary asked. His repeated and ill-pronounced use of the German title ‘Herr’ failed to impress Hilda’s father, who shook his head dismissively, yet he used his penknife to carefully slice open the envelope so that the return address remained intact. On the envelope’s reverse side, Hilda made out the word ‘Hamburg’ and a crest in the shape of a lion.

‘Papa?’

‘Later.’ He kissed her forehead.

But her father did not show the letter to her, choosing instead to tell her of its contents: the invitation to go back to Germany, the idea to take three of their friends. He made it sound, indeed, like a God-given opportunity, if one believed in God.

Now, the morning sun rising steeply, burning off the mist blanketing the banksias and other flowering plants of the woodland understorey, it is Hilda who holds the envelope. Through a crack in the hut’s crooked door, she sees her father and Jurano coming along the southern track into the camp. Jurano is carrying his spear and a fish. Louis takes a seat cross-legged on the white sand beside Jurano and begins sharpening a stone tool against a larger rock the way he was taught. He laughs warmly at something Jurano says, then tests the sharpness of the tool by slicing a long fair hair from his own head. The Badtjala man nods at his student, who at forty-four is exactly twice his age, and slowly claps his hands. Jurano’s laughter is high-pitched. It is the kind of laughter that is difficult not to take part in, but today Hilda stays quiet.

Her nightdress clings and she opens the window shutter wider beside her father’s bed. Dorondera and her young cousins are already some distance along the beach collecting shellfish, dillybags bulging on strings around their necks, a white ribbon flashing in Dorondera’s hair. The ribbon was a gift from Hilda’s father. Bonny is there also, broad-backed and handsome, with Little Bonny on his shoulders, scouting. Little Bonny calls out and Bonny sets his nephew on the ground, casts his spear and hauls up a flapping fish.

Hilda moves deeper into the shadows of the shelter in case her father should look up. He has told her often enough that it is wrong to read another person’s mail, but her mother had impressed upon her, too, that it is wrong to keep secrets, and she cannot help but feel her father is doing just that. She looks at the carte de visite and reads the text in the margin: C. Hagenbeck with Nubians. Carl Hagenbeck’s Thierpark, Hamburg. The black men are pictured with elephants. Hagenbeck is leaning on a stick, his beard neatly trimmed, a light-coloured homburg on his head.

Sweat is building on Hilda’s face and under her nightdress, and she is overwhelmed with the need for cooler air. In the small back room, she quickly changes into a white cotton day dress that belonged to her mother and takes the letter and carte de visite pressed to her skirts as she exits the shelter, walking swiftly until she is safely behind the hut and hidden in the shade of a pandanus. If her father saw her leave, he will assume she has continued on, following the narrow path through the banksias, and is relieving herself in the privacy afforded by the canvas screen he erected there for her. He will keep an ear out in case she shouts, Snake!

Hilda wipes her hands against the dress and opens the letter, gold-green under the pandanus frond. In the dappled light, a mosquito swarm hums. She takes several leaves from a neighbouring eucalypt, crushes them against her skin, and reads in German:

 

Sehr geehrter Herr Müller,

I am proud to have pioneered anthropozoological exhibitions to meet the great public interest in seeing exotic peoples first-hand, and to facilitate the growing interest in anthropological science. It is to this end that I invite you to bring several Australian Aborigines to Germany. I am offering to sponsor your expenses, including your passage back to Europe.

You may be encouraged to know that I believe in showing people naturally, displaying their skill with weapons, their exotic dances and songs. In short, their culture. Perhaps you also have been contacted by the American P. T. Barnum, who I believe is advertising in Australia and contacting agents directly. Although I supply animals to Barnum’s circuses, my approach to exhibiting exotic people cannot be compared with his.

Sincerely,

  1. Hagenbeck

Hilda breathes out. It is as her father explained, although she wonders if the German showman realises her father is an engineer by training, not strictly a scientist. Surely he has heard of him and the scandal of the bridge. She rereads the end of the letter and recalls the missionary asking if her father had also received mail from the ‘fraud’ Barnum. Finally, she locates an envelope bearing a green Washington stamp.

9 October 1881

Dear Sir,

I desire to carry out as far as possible an idea I have long entertained of forming a collection, in pairs or otherwise, of all the uncivilised races in existence and my present object is to ask your kindness to render me what assistance is in your power to acquire any specimens of these uncivilised peoples.

My aim is to exhibit to the American public, not only human beings of different races but also, where practicable, those who possess extraordinary peculiarities such as giants, dwarfs, singular disfigurements of the person, dexterity in the use of weapons, dancing, singing, juggling, unusual feats of agility etc.

The remuneration of these people in addition to their board and travelling expenses is usually nominal. I shall see that they are presented with fancy articles such as are acceptable and a small allowance monthly. If interpreters should be absolutely necessary please inform me what would be the cost which must be moderate. For yourself I should be glad to reimburse you for any outlay.

I wish to thank you kindly to favour me with an early reply as convenient.

Yours faithfully,

  1. T. Barnum

Heat rises in Hilda’s neck and face, and a sick feeling consumes her. Why hadn’t her father told her that he had received this? Surely he would not have anything to do with a venture that collects people as curiosities and promises them ‘fancy articles’, as if they were children.

‘Papa,’ she calls, and her father raises his head, a smile still on his lips. The smile goes when he sees her holding the envelope with the distinctive green stamp. He stands and walks towards her, telling Jurano in Badtjala that he will return to his lesson soon.

‘Hilda, Liebchen,’ he says, studying her. ‘What are you doing going through my things?’ He sighs as he reaches for the mail, but she refuses to hand it to him, clutching both letters instead behind her back like she used to with a find her parents considered dangerous – a nail or screw or piece of iron from a construction project on the outskirts of the colony. He takes another long breath. His bare chest, stronger since their arrival on K’gari, expands and slowly contracts. He lets out a warm chuckle as one might do if amused by a child, yet something in his expression suggests he is nervous.

Hilda is aware of tears welling in her eyes. Didn’t he see her now as a companion as well as a daughter, someone he could confide in?

‘Why didn’t you tell me that Barnum had contacted you?’ she asks. ‘It’s awful what he wrote.’ She walks towards the fire.

‘Because it is of no concern. I have declined Barnum’s offer.’ Louis shakes his head and Hilda stops, reluctantly placing the mail in his outstretched hand.

‘Hagenbeck is precisely what Barnum is not,’ he says. ‘Why would I bother you with the rantings of that showman?’

Hilda releases her own withheld breath as her father continues.

‘I am forcing no one. Herr Hagenbeck’s offer is generous and our friends have accepted the invitation. They will gain so much, if Bonny is not too proud to learn.’ He smiles and takes her hand. ‘They are excited, Hilda. As I hope you are.’ He studies her. ‘You don’t doubt Hagenbeck’s intentions? Is there something else concerning you?’

Hilda shakes her head.

Her father looks towards Jurano, who is now talking with his wife and again laughing light-heartedly at something, perhaps even making a joke at their expense.

‘Jurano will miss his wife. She really doesn’t want to come?’ Hilda asks.

‘No. I offered several times. She doesn’t want to join us.’

‘What if he gets sick? What if any of them get sick?’

‘People fall ill here, too, Hilda.’ He looks at her pointedly and she knows he is talking of her mother. ‘I need you to be supportive. There is a great deal of interest to see them before . . .’

‘Before they are all dead?’ She quickly wipes her face dry with her sleeve, the lace cuffs of her mother’s dress almost entirely worn away. ‘These people are not weak, they are being killed!’

Jurano looks up from his own conversation and stares towards them.

Louis reaches out and squeezes Hilda’s shoulder. He presses the index finger of his other hand to his lips, asking that she speak more quietly.

‘It is why I want to take them overseas. To find an audience. Your mother always wished others to see our friends as we have,’ he says, his voice low. He pats her shoulder and starts again with growing conviction. ‘I simply cannot stand by and do nothing while they are moved off the island as some say will happen within the year. Your mother’s life, her death, must count for something. It is my greatest hope that there will soon be an Aboriginal reserve bearing her name.’ He looks at Hilda intently, and she is surprised to see that he is holding back tears.

‘I thought you would be more excited, Hilda. You’re a young woman now. There are so many more possibilities for you back home. Look at you.’ He waves his hand in admiration, the silver ring with the family crest glinting in the sun. He has only recently started wearing the ring again.

‘Beautiful, smart, wilful,’ he continues, laughing on the last word. Laughter is something he has done more of since being on the island, although less so in the last year. ‘Your mother would have been so proud.’ He looks down at the beach, serious again. ‘Of them, too.’

‘And when will you bring them back?’

He picks a dry frond from a dja’ga plant, the one the settlers call black boy because of its spear-like flowering body, and feeds it into the gap between his front teeth.

‘You will bring them back?’

‘Of course,’ he says. ‘When tensions here have eased and we have finished our tour. When we have drawn sufficient attention. Bonny says he wants to meet the Queen of England, no less. He wants to tell her personally what the native people of this colony are suffering in her name.’ As if thinking Bonny’s request quaint, Louis twirls the long, grass-like leaf in his smile.

Why hadn’t Bonny told her of this? ‘Then we must,’ she says, turning towards the beach.

About the Author

KATHERINE JOHNSON lives in Tasmania with her husband and two children. She is the author of three previous novels and her manuscripts have won Varuna Awards and the Tasmasnian Premier’s Literary Prizes. She recently completed a PhD, which forms the basis of her latest novel, Paris Savages.

The Sewing Room Girl by Susanna Bavin @SusannaBavin @AllisonandBusby #blogtour #guestpost #familysaga

9780749023638 sewing room girl pb

The Sewing Room Girl written by Susanna Bavin, publisher Allison and Busby, is available NOW in ebook, audiobook, hardcover and paperback format.

To buy link: https://amzn.to/2Wk32V9

Book Blurb

Born into service, sixteen-year-old Juliet Harper has always idolised her mother, Agnes. But Agnes is haunted by what could have been, and the glamorous life she might have lived if she stayed in Manchester rather than settling down in the Lancashire moorland with her husband. Life takes another unexpected turn when Juliet’s father suddenly dies. Agnes’s reputation as a seamstress leads to her being taken on by local landowners the Drysdales, where she is proud to work. But it will be a bumpy road for both of them as they settle in to their new lives. Will Juliet ever be able to choose her own path? And what will become of them when Agnes falls ill?

The Sewing Room Girl blog tour

I am so pleased to be involved in the blogtour celebrating and promoting the launch of the paperback version of Susanna Bavin’s latest novel: The Sewing Room Girl.  I have the pleasure of sharing a guest post by the author herself.

What’s in a name? More than you might think – certainly more than I thought. Names are very important to writers. When creating characters, it is essential to find the right name for each one. In my experience, characters generally arrive in my mind fully formed, complete with name – though not always.

Take Carrie, the heroine of The Deserter’s Daughter. She went through several names but the moment I thought of Carrie, I knew I’d found the right one. Her sister, Evadne, on the other hand, was Evadne from the start. Likewise, Ralph’s name was always Ralph Armstrong, though it took a while to find the right name for Adam. In A Respectable Woman, the heroine is Nell Hibbert, named in honour of Eleanor Hibbert, which was the real name of the writer Victoria Holt.

In The Sewing Room Girl, the heroine is Juliet – a name that was hers from the moment I thought of her. Her difficult but vulnerable mother is Agnes and her domineering grandmother is Adeline – again, names that the characters already had when they arrived inside my head. In fact, I had no difficulty at all naming any of the characters in the book – Rosie, Mr Nugent, Hal, William Turton… Each one appeared in my mind, complete with name.

So why the question at the start of the blog? Well, there was one character in The Sewing Room Girl who didn’t have a name – not because I couldn’t think of one, but because she was never intended to have one. She only had a walk-on part, so she didn’t need to be called anything.

Early in the story, Agnes is given the job of resident seamstress in the household of Lord Drysdale. Because Juliet isn’t old enough to live on her own, she is allowed to accompany her mother to Moorside, the grand house where the Drysdale family has lived for generations. Not being an official member of the household means that Juliet isn’t invited to eat in the servants’ hall. Instead, meals are carried upstairs to the sewing room for her and Agnes.

And this is where my walk-on character appeared. In the first draft of the book, she was referred to as nothing more than “the maid who brought their tray upstairs.” I called her that once. Then, a little later, it was necessary for her to appear with another tray, so I called her “the maid who brought their tray upstairs” again.

The trouble was, she appeared a third time and – well, I couldn’t go on calling her “the maid who brought their tray upstairs,” could I? So I gave her a name. It didn’t matter what the name was, because she only had a walk-on part. I called her Cecily.

And from that moment, there was no stopping her. Before I knew it, she was Juliet’s best friend. Not only that, but she her own sub-plot and her own love story.

I swear that Cecily was never meant to do anything more than fetch and carry meal-trays. But the moment she was given her name, she also acquired a full personality – and a family – and an unshakable determination to bag herself a husband.

What’s in a name? As it turned out, considerably more than I had expected.

Thank you so much Susanna Bavin for joining me on my blog today an interesting post.

About the Author

Susanna Bavin (credit Geoff Steen) wbSusanna Bavin has variously been a librarian, an infant school teacher, a carer and a cook. She lives in Llandudno in North Wales with her husband and two rescue cats, but her writing is inspired by her Mancunian roots.

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

Twitter:  @SusannaBavin

Rafflecopter giveaway imageThe author has kindly offered a giveaway to run alongside the blogtour (open to UK only), the giveaway prize is 3 paperbacks and 1 hardback.  To enter please click on the rafflecopter link below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

DOUBLE REVIEW – The Homecoming and A Vintage Year by Rosie Howard #bookreview #Havenburyseries @SarahWaights @AllisonandBusby

 

 

The Homecoming and A Vintage Year written by Rosie Howard, publisher Allison and Busby, are available NOW in ebook, hardcover, paperback (A Vintage Year due out 20th June), audiobook and audio CD format.  I’d like to thank the publishers for a copy of both books in return for an honest review.

SPECIAL eBOOK PRICE PROMOTION FOR A VINTAGE YEAR 99p (as at 4.3.19) 

IN FACT YOU CAN PURCHASE BOTH eBOOKS FOR THE PRICE OF £2.88 (as at 4.3.19)

the homecomingThe Homecoming (Book one, Havenbury series)

Publication Date:  15 February 2018

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

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

Book Blurb

Maddy fled the idyllic market town of Havenbury Magna three years ago, the scene of a traumatic incident she revisits most clearly in her dreams. Even so, when she is called back to help at the Havenbury Arms after her godfather Patrick suffers a heart attack, she is unprepared for the tangle of emotions her return provokes.
Psychologist and ex-army officer Ben is sure he can help Maddy to resolve her fears, until he finds himself falling for her, and struggling with a recently uncovered family secret of which Maddy is blissfully unaware. Then Maddy’s mother, Helen, arrives and Patrick himself must confront a few uncomfortable truths about his history and the pub’s future.

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.

I was completely enthralled with The Homecoming it was a cosy romance and then some.  The author, Rosie Howard, has packed so much depth to this story and has dealt with quite a serious, harrowing event in a very sensitive manner.

The story starts with Maddy travelling back to Havenbury Magna on a mercy mission to visit a dear old friend in hospital.  However, returning to Havenbury is having quite a distressing effect on Maddy and if it wasn’t for her friend she wouldn’t put herself through so much anguish.  Three years ago something terrible happened to Maddy, something so awful it has left her with physical and emotional scars.  Just being back in the village feels like she is ripping the stars wide open again.  However, her friend’s need is greater than hers and Maddy puts her fears to one side to look after the pub, Havenbury Arms, whilst it’s current landlord is recovering in hospital.

Keeping herself busy during the day is proving quite enjoyable to Maddy and she soon finds her own rhythm but tensions are fraught with rumours of the future of the public house.

Being back in the village is not only bringing flashbacks to a trauma Maddy has tried so hard to forget but it is also unearthing secrets that hold the key to many unanswered questions.

Maddy soon develops friendships with many of the locals including Ben, a Psychologist and an ex-army officer who has had first-hand experience of PTSD.  Ben sees something in Maddy’s insecurities and anxieties and hopes to be able to offer some help.  Ben has a hidden vulnerability about himself but his developing friendship with Maddy is causing all sorts of confused emotions.

The Homecoming was a story of life catching up with you, of learning to cope with life’s hurdles, of rekindling old friends and forging new ones.  It’s a story that is told with heart and warmth but it’s also honest with the struggles that are thrown our way.

a vintage yearA Vintage Year (book two, Havenbury series)

Publication Date:  21st February 2019

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

To buy link: https://amzn.to/2tM5u6O

Book Blurb

It started with ‘happily ever after’, yet just three years after Bella’s fairy-tale wedding to irrepressible Charlie Wellbeloved, her best friend, Maddy, is expecting a baby, while Bella’s own weight gain is purely from comfort eating. Only her little Labrador, Dolly, can boost her spirits as she gloomily surveys her failing marriage and fledgling interior design business.
Dovecot Farm is just a rainstorm away from ruin, but Charlie is hoping against hope his family vineyard will produce a vintage year, saving his business, his childhood home and – most of all – his marriage…
When handsome Rufus appears in the tight-knit Havenbury community, he quickly charms Bella and makes himself indispensable to Charlie. But is he really too good to be true…

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.

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed reading book one and book two in the Havenbury series back to back.  It has felt like a perfect Sunday evening TV drama with it’s sprawling countryside landscape and the locals pulling together in times of adversity. Havenbury sounds a wonderful community minded village set it an idyllic location on the south coast of England.

Starting book two, A Vintage Year, was like revisiting a favourite holiday location with friends that you had formed during your stay.  A Vintage Year focuses on new characters so it could easily be read as a standalone story but to fully appreciate and enjoy the series I would highly recommend reading The Homecoming first as we are just over three years on from the end of book one and characters from book one do crop up in book two.  Also, at the current crazy price of £2.88 for both ebook downloads you can look forward to two delightful stories for roughly the price of one posh coffee!

A Vintage Year is a story about a marriage that from the start was seeped in tragedy and now a few years on in the marriage life has become difficult for Bella and Charlie.  Cracks are starting to appear and secrets have been kept hidden for fear of being thought of as a failure from the other partner.  But when a new exciting proposition comes their way the future suddenly looks rosy for Bella and Charlie however, a condition is placed and a dilemma for one of them gives them the deciding key for their future.

Rosie Howard certainly knows how to draw you into a story with characters that are written with warmth but they are also real with problems that life doesn’t hold back.  A Vintage Year was charming and entertaining but then the story evolves with heartbreak when life takes a sudden turn.

I’ve fallen in love with Havenbury; with Maddy and Ben, with Bella and Charlie and many of the sub-characters in both stories.  I do hope there’s more to come from Havenbury, there’s a certain local celebrity who I think will have a great back story and I can’t wait to hear what’s to come for this character, so I’m hoping Rosie Howard will write a book about them … please 🙂

To connect with the author Rosie Howard please visit the following Social Media links:

Website: http://rosiehoward.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/SarahWaights

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

A Vintage Year by Rosie Howard #PublicationDayPromo #RosieHoward @AllisonandBusby @SarahWaights #Havenbury

 

a vintage year

A Vintage Year (Havenbury Book Two) written by Rosie Howard, publisher Allison & Busby, is available NOW in ebook, hardcover, audiobook and audio CD format.

To buy link: https://amzn.to/2Ip2Qy9

Book Blurb

It started with ‘happily ever after’, yet just three years after Bella’s fairy-tale wedding to irrepressible Charlie Wellbeloved, her best friend, Maddy, is expecting a baby, while Bella’s own weight gain is purely from comfort eating. Only her little Labrador, Dolly, can boost her spirits as she gloomily surveys her failing marriage and fledgling interior design business.
Dovecot Farm is just a rainstorm away from ruin, but Charlie is hoping against hope his family vineyard will produce a vintage year, saving his business, his childhood home and – most of all – his marriage…
When handsome Rufus appears in the tight-knit Havenbury community, he quickly charms Bella and makes himself indispensable to Charlie. But is he really too good to be true…

I’d like to wish the author Rosie Howard, a Happy Publication Day for the second book in the Havenbury series: A Vintage Year.  

I’m hoping to start my reading journey to Havenbury and be welcomed into it’s community very soon.  Book One in the series; The Homecoming is available to purchase at the link here: https://amzn.to/2TXy00L.

I look forward to sharing my reviews of book one and book two in the not too distant future.

About the Author

After obtaining a degree in music Rosie Howard pursued a career in public relations, campaigning, political lobbying and freelance journalism but realised her preference for making things up and switched to writing novels instead. She lives in a West Sussex village with her husband and two children in a cottage with roses around the door.

Website: http://rosiehoward.com/

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

 

Tapestry of War by Jane MacKenzie blogtour book review

tapestry of war

Tapestry of War written by Jane MacKenzie, publisher Allison & Busby, is available NOW in ebook and paperback format.

To buy link:

Amazon UK:  https://www.amazon.co.uk/Tapestry-War-Jane-Mackenzie/dp/074902299X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1524565321&sr=8-1&keywords=tapestry+of+war

Publisher’s Website:  http://www.allisonandbusby.com/book/tapestry-of-war-trade-paperback

Product Details (as per amazon page)

From the deserts of North Africa, to the waters of Scotland, the Second World War touches the lives of two women from two very different worlds. In Alexandria, Fran finds her world turned upside down as Rommel’s forces advance on the idyllic shores of Egypt. The life of luxury and stability that she is used to is taken away as she finds herself having to deal with loss, heartache and political uncertainty. Meanwhile, in the Firth of Clyde, Catriona works day in, day out nursing injured servicemen. Both have their lives challenged, and both dream of a more certain future with the men they come to love. Their heart-warming story takes them through tragedy to a quiet, hopeful triumph. Tapestry of War is a sweeping, evocative novel which brilliantly captures the second world war period of colonial Alexandria and the west of Scotland and will appeal to readers of Dinah Jeffries, Victoria Hislop and Rosie Thomas.

tapestry of war 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 promoting and celebrating the launch of Jane MacKenzie’s latest novel: Tapestry of War.  This is my first introduction to the work of Jane MacKenzie, Tapestry of War is her fourth novel.

Tapestry of War is a compelling story of people from different continents, cultures, backgrounds brought together by one denominating factor: war.  War wherever it was scarring the landscape is the same all over the world.  It affected people all the same whatever background they came from.  Lives, livelihoods, hearts, minds and bodies were shattered.  Tapestry of War is a story of two women; Fran and Catriona, living thousands of miles apart from very different backgrounds and worlds, are united in friendship, in a shared love and a comradeship for the love of a man that has felt the scars of the war the most.

I haven’t read much about this side of WWII, the conflict in Egypt with Rommel advancing.  The story also takes us to the most northern isles of Scotland with their own part in the WWII efforts with medical facilities for the wounded and also ports for the carriers of troops.

Fran was a journalist for a paper in Alexandria, she was limited to what she could report with a fear of political backlash.  Alexandria was full of foreign troops and Fran soon built up a friendship with many, in particular a shy Scotsman serving in the Navy Jim MacNeill.

Catriona thousands of miles away in Scotland had just finished her nursing qualification and was keen to help with the war wounded. Her father was struggling with grief of his wife and now with his son in the Navy, goodness knows where, he wasn’t keen on his daughter working on the front line.  Catriona felt like she had to make a compromise with her father as she was so keen to be involved with the war help.

With war came great hardship, fear, anguish and many casualties.  Casualties that would alter the lives of many.

Jane MacKenzie took us to the heat of Alexandria, Egypt to the British people that were living in quite a privileged lifestyle before the war and she then took us to a small community in Scotland with very differing lifestyles to the British occupancy in Egypt.  These two communities were very different and the impact of the war on food and livelihoods was felt the keenest in Scotland but the emotional impact was very much the same.

A fascinating, compelling, beautiful and real story, full of hope for a new life, peace and love.

To learn more about Jane MacKenzie please visit the following pages:

Website:  http://janemackenzie.co.uk/

Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/@JaneFMackenzie

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/jane.mackenzie.co.uk