Rose’s Choice by Chrissie Bradshaw @ChrissieBeee @rararesources #TheCollieryRows #blogtour #bookreview

Rose's Choice Cover SMALL WEB

Rose’s Choice written and self-published by Chrissie Bradshaw is available from tomorrow, 17th July 2020, in ebook and paperback format.

Book Blurb

Rose’s Choice – a heart-wrenching wartime saga of love, family and secrets

Rationing, bombing, disease and pit disasters are part of Rose Kelly’s World War 2 childhood. When the spirited coalminer’s daughter discovers a family secret, she makes a choice that overshadows her teenage years. Rose tries to make the most of post-war opportunities but family tragedy pulls her back to a life in the colliery rows. She relinquishes her bright future for domestic duties because her family comes first. Will family ties get in the way of her dreams?

Purchase Links

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B088FY2P8Z

US –  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B088FY2P8Z

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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 Chrissie Bradshaw’s latest novel: Rose’s Choice.  Rose’s Choice is my first introduction to the work of Chrissie Bradshaw and her words captivated me from the start.  Chrissie Bradshaw has written a wartime saga filled with wrought emotion throughout.  I have to confess I shed a tear or two many a time but the story isn’t all sad and sorrowful there are wonderful endearing moments that will lift your spirits.

Rose’s Choice is the first book in a new saga series by Chrissie Bradshaw called The Colliery Rows.  I’m a pitman’s daughter myself and was brought up in a small mining community so I knew from the start that I wanted to read this novel.  I was to learn that the storyline resonated with me on so many lives.  There is a real sense of authenticity about the story with the use of local dialect that draws you in to the location and to the era.  The dialect at times is raw and honest but northerners have never been shy of speaking before thinking.

Rose was the first child of local pitman John Kelly and his wife Ginnie.  As soon as Rose was born the couple were enchanted with her and Rose was a child loved by all.  As Rose grew up she became inquisitive and had a thirst for knowledge and had a wonderful empathy with animals.  As John and Ginnie’s family grew Rose was to take on some of the household tasks to help her mother who was increasingly busy with the younger siblings.  However, Rose was no young aspiring housewife, she knew what she wanted to do in the future and it wasn’t what her mother did.

With the wartime struggles the family learned to cope with rations and make do and mend however, when a widespread contagious disease wreaks havoc through the village many are left devastated in it’s wake.  Life sadly had to move on and Rose’s future looks brighter as new opportunities are opened.  Along the journey of life Rose becomes embroiled in a secret that could rip her family apart and she is torn to how to proceed.  Tragedy alas is not too far ahead and Rose is left with an unfortunate choice.

An endearing coming of age family saga that is filled with heightened emotions with the highs and lows of wartime England.  Life is tough but the community of Colliery Rows have coped with worse and pull together through hardship, tears and smiles.  I can’t wait for more from this series and from Chrissie Bradshaw.

Roses - Author RNA-96Author Bio – Chrissie, 2016 winner of the Romantic Novelist’s Elizabeth Goudge writing trophy, is a seasoned tea drinker and a tenacious trainer of her welsh terrier, Oscar. She has always loved match-making a book to a reader. Writing the kind of book she loves to read takes this a step further. She has written two contemporary sagas, A JARFUL of MOONDREAMS, a contemporary story about family relationships, secrets and how dreams can come true, and THE BARN OF BURIED DREAMS, a contemporary story about two sisters who are struggling after the death of their mother. ROSE’S CHOICE is her first historical saga and is set where Chrissie lives in Northumberland. When she is not writing or reading, you will find Chrissie walking Oscar on the beautiful Northumbrian coastline, travelling or spending time with her family and friends.

Social Media Links

Chrissie enjoys tweeting to readers on @ChrissieBeee
Her instagram account is chrissie_bradshaw_author
Her blog is http://www.chrissiebradshaw.com/
and she has a Chrissie Bradshaw author page on Facebook.
She would love to hear from readers

 

 

 

A Ration Book Wedding by Jean Fullerton @JeanFullerton_ @CorvusBooks @rararesources #blogtour #bookreview #WWIIsaga #RationBookseries

a ration book wedding

A Ration Book Wedding written by Jean Fullerton, publisher Corvus, is available NOW in ebook, hardcover and paperback.

Book Blurb

Because in the darkest days of the Blitz, love is more important than ever.

It’s February 1942 and the Americans have finally joined Britain and its allies. Meanwhile, twenty-three-year-old Francesca Fabrino, like thousands of other women, is doing her bit for the war effort in a factory in East London. But her thoughts are constantly occupied by her unrequited love for Charlie Brogan, who has recently married a woman of questionable reputation, before being shipped out to North Africa with the Eighth Army.

When Francesca starts a new job as an Italian translator for the BBC Overseas Department, she meets handsome Count Leonardo D’Angelo. Just as Francesca has begun to put her hopeless love for Charlie to one side and embrace the affections of this charming and impressive man, Charlie returns from the front, his marriage in ruins and his heart burning for Francesca at last. Could she, a good Catholic girl, countenance an illicit affair with the man she has always longed for? Or should she choose a different, less dangerous path?

Purchase Links

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Ration-Book-Wedding-Perfect-Gibson-ebook/dp/B081DDLWQD

US – https://www.amazon.com/Ration-Book-Wedding-Perfect-Gibson-ebook/dp/B081DDLWQD

A Ration Book Wedding Full Tour 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 Jean Fullerton’s latest novel: A Ration Book Wedding.

A Ration Book Wedding is Book 4 in the East End Ration series and I have been captivated by this atmospheric WWII family saga.  The Brogan family have lived in the East End of London for a long time.  With their Irish heritage they still attend mass regularly and uphold their beliefs and family values.

The year is 1942 and London is still heavily involved in the bombings by the Luftwaffe but the city and it’s residents have become accustomed to a new way of life visiting air raid shelters and queueing up for food rations.  Jean Fullerton’s writing puts you at the heart of the era and you can feel the gravity of what’s happening.  There’s an honesty within her words and you can feel a real sense of time and place felt within the pages.

The Brogan family have grown up through hardship, tragedy and heartache and sadly life doesn’t spare them any less with another gripping, heart wrenching but ultimately heart-warming story.

With this instalment in the series we have daughter Jo’s wedding to look forward to but matters of the heart for Charlie reach boiling point with many emotive repercussions.  We also learn a lot more about Fran’s story, Francesca Fabrino is best friends with Mattie Brogan and spent a lot of time growing up within the Brogan household.  Fran is working hard to help with the war effort but when an exciting opportunity comes her way her life is about to change in more ways than one.

Jean Fullerton writes a saga filled with the daily life trials within a family unit living during times of conflict.  We experience the alternate daily rituals through the voices of the well loved characters.  There are a few characters in this story that I despised but I’m certain authors enjoy creating baddies within every storyline.  I didn’t want this book to end and found it compelling reading.  WWII saga at it’s best!

a ration book wedding Portrait_Jean-1022 RNA resizedAuthor Bio – Jean Fullerton is the author of thirteen novels all set in East London where she was born. She also a retired district nurse and university lecturer. She won the Harry Bowling prise in 2006 and after initially signing for two East London historical series with Orion she moved to Corvus, part of Atlantic Publishing and is halfway through her WW2 East London series featuring the Brogan family.

Social Media Links –

Website: http://jeanfullerton.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Jean-Fullerton-202631736433230/?ref=bookmarks

Twitter: @JeanFullerton_

 

 

 

Wedding Bells for Woolworths by Elaine Everest @ElaineEverest @ed_pr @panmacmillan #WeddingBellsforWoolworths #blogtour #bookreview #familysaga

wedding bells for woolworths

Wedding Bells for Woolworths written by Elaine Everest, publisher Pan Macmillan, is available NOW in ebook, hardcover, audiobook and paperback format.  The paperback is available to purchase from most UK supermarkets so please do check out the book aisle when you are doing your weekly shopping.

To buy online links:

amazon UK: https://amzn.to/3aWBlFe

Waterstones: https://www.waterstones.com/book/wedding-bells-for-woolworths/elaine-everest/9781529015881

Hive: https://www.hive.co.uk/Product/Elaine-Everest/Wedding-Bells-for-Woolworths/24482548

Book Blurb

July 1947. Britain is still gripped by rationing, even as the excitement of Princess Elizabeth’s engagement sweeps the nation. In the Woolworths’ canteen, Freda is still dreaming of meeting her own Prince Charming. So far she’s been unlucky in love. When she has an accident on her motorbike, knocking a cyclist off his bicycle, it seems bad luck is still following her around. Anthony is not only a fellow Woolworths employee but was an Olympic hopeful. Will his injured leg heal in time for him to compete? Can he ever forgive Freda?
Sarah’s idyllic family life is under threat with worries about her husband, Alan. Does he still love her?
The friends must rally round to face some of the toughest challenges of their lives together. And although they experience loss, hardship and shocks along the way, love is on the horizon for the Woolworths girls . . .

Wedding Bells Blog Tour Banner. png

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 Elaine Everest’s latest novel: Wedding Bells for Woolworths.

I do love a good family saga and author, Elaine Everest, has written one of the best sagas I’ve read with The Woolworths series.  Wedding Bells for Woolworths is Book 5 in the series and I would highly recommend reading all the books in the series in order to learn about the characters and setting as their lives do continue and grow from each story.  The books in the series in order are:

  • The Woolworths Girls
  • Christmas at Woolworths
  • Carols at Woolworths (this is novella in size)
  • Wartime at Woolworths
  • A Gift from Woolworths
  • Weddings Bells for Woolworths

We have a wedding to look forward to in Wedding Bells for Woolworths with the forthcoming nuptials of George and Maureen.  However, the girls at Woolworths have become rather animated about another wedding as the engagement of Princess Elizabeth and Prince Phillip has just been announced.  Living on the edge of the Thames river in the town of Erith it’s not too far from the capital so a Royal event and a wedding to boot has got the girls all of a quiver.

The lives of best friends Sarah, Maisie and Freda have become quite busy since the war, especially for Sarah and Maisie who have a young family as well as work commitments.  Freda is happy with her work at Woolworths, letting rooms out at her home and helping Alan repair bikes at his workshop.  However, this last pastime suddenly becomes a lot more interesting and Alan puts Freda in a predicament with her best friend Sarah and he potentially puts her in the line of danger.  But Freda is a loyal and a confident young woman and she isn’t afraid of what lies ahead.  To make matters even more interesting for Freda she is about to embark on a whole new route in her personal life.

With a wedding and a Royal event to look forward to and new visitors to the town there’s plenty to keep the friends, neighbours and gossipers occupied.

Another wonderful instalment in this nostalgic saga that’s filled with a welcoming hug of family, friendship and community spirit.  Life isn’t all rosy for our friends from Woolworths but they definitely know how to ‘keep calm and carry on.’  I always look forward to a trip down memory lane with The Woolworths series it has everything and more in a family saga and if we can’t have the return of the store of Woolworths I think we need this saga series turned into the perfect Sunday evening tv series!

About the Author

Elaine Everest updated author photoElaine Everest is from North West Kent and she grew up listening to stories of the war years in her home town of Erith, which features in her bestselling Woolworths Girls series. A former journalist, and author of nonfiction books for dog owners, Elaine has written over sixty short stories for the women’s magazine market. When she isn’t writing, Elaine runs The Write Place creative writing school in Hextable, Kent. She lives with her husband, Michael and sheepdog Henry. You can find out more about Elaine on Twitter @ElaineEverest or Facebook /elaine.everest

The Velvet Ribbon (Tarabeg 3) by Nadine Dorries @NadineDorries @HoZ_Books @ed_pr #blogtour #bookreview #saga #TheVelvetRibbon #Tarabegtrilogy

the velvet ribbon

The Velvet Ribbon written by Nadine Dorries, publisher Head of Zeus is OUT NOW in ebook and hardcover.  The ebook is also included in the kindleunlimited scheme.

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

Book Blurb

The heart-breaking final novel in the Tarabeg trilogy, from million-copy bestseller Nadine Dorries.

Mary Kate Malone has come to Liverpool from Ireland to seek her fortune, but from the very beginning things have gone wrong. Now she is living secretly with her great love, Dr Nicholas Marcus, while his wife Lavinia, mother of his two sons, plots her revenge on the girl who she believes has destroyed her marriage.
When disaster strikes, Mary Kate’s first instinct is to flee to her family in Ireland. But back in Tarabeg, a charismatic American stranger has set the village by the ears and it isn’t the place Mary Kate remembers any more. To add to her problems, Dr Gaskell and Matron from St Angelus Hospital have come to Tarabeg to recruit nurses – and Mary Kate’s Liverpool life is about to come back to haunt her with a vengeance.

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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 the final instalment in the Tarabeg trilogy written by Nadine Dorries.  This is my first introduction to the work of Nadine Dorries so I completely read this book with fresh open eyes and I have to say I loved it!

Nadine Dorries words drew me into a saga that swept across the sea from Liverpool to a small village in Ireland.  Mary Kate left Tarabeg two years ago for pastures new in Liverpool and fell in love with the city and a young Doctor.  However, her new life in Liverpool would be frowned upon in Ireland so Mary Kate kept her love life a secret from her family.  When tragedy strikes Mary Kate feels compelled to return to her home and family in Tarabeg but when she arrives back it doesn’t feel the same and her heart belongs elsewhere.

With the news of Mary Kate’s return the villagers are excited with her arrival but danger lies ahead bringing the community together with a strength like no other.

I felt a real sense of authenticity with Nadine Dorries words and dialect and found myself reading along with the relevant accent.  I enjoyed reading about the vivid difference of the industrial boon of the city of Liverpool to the village lifestyle of Tarabeg.  This is a historical saga that has it all; drama, mystery, charm, community spirit, family feuds, new beginnings, romance with the added bonus of Irish mythology and legends and a belief of spirits and herbology.  I’m just sad that I’ve come across a lovely saga at the end of it’s trilogy but I know now that I’ve found a new saga author to add to my favourites list.

About the Author

Hibbert_Dorries_07.JPGNadine Dorries was born and raised on a council estate in Liverpool in the 1950s and 60s; the dawn of the Mersey beat. Her family were part of a close-knit Irish Catholic community, most of whom came to work on the docks of Merseyside from rural Ireland.

Nadine trained as a nurse, working in hospitals in Warrington and Liverpool. After qualifying she moved to Zambia for a year and ran a school for local children. On her return to the UK, she founded, ran, and sold her own business, Company Kids Ltd, which provided childcare services for working parents.

Determined to give something back, Nadine entered politics. In the 2005 general elections she was elected as the MP for Mid-Bedfordshire, a position she continues to hold. One of the most well-known politicians in Britain, she is renowned for her determination to push her chosen causes to the top of the political agenda. In 2012 she was a star of ITV’s ‘I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here’.
A successful businesswoman and passionate Member of Parliament, in 2013 Nadine achieved another lifelong ambition and wrote her debut novel, The Four Streets. She has since become a No. 1 bestselling author with sales in excess of a million copies.

Nadine was made Under-Secretary of State for Health in 2019.

Twitter & Instagram:  @NadineDorries

Blog: http://dorries.org/

Victory for the East End Angels by Rosie Hendry @hendry_rosie @LittleBrownUK @littlebookcafe @rararesources #blogtour #bookreview #WWIIsaga #familysaga

 

Victory Cover

Victory for the East End Angels written by Rosie Hendry, publisher Sphere (an imprint of Little, Brown Books) is available NOW in ebook and paperback format.

To buy link: https://amzn.to/2YagK9T

Product Details

The war is almost over – and it’s up to the East End Angels to keep the home fires burning!

Frankie‘s fiance, a doctor, is away looking after the troops in Europe – will he return safely home?

Winnie has a happy secret – but can she carry on at Station 75 when she’s going to have a baby?

Bella is intrigued by her new friend, a Polish airman.

As the war ends and victory is in sight, what next for the girls of Station 75?

A gorgeously uplifting saga for fans of Ellie Dean and Donna Douglas

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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 Rosie Hendry’s latest novel: Victory for the East End Angels.  This was my first introduction to the work of Rosie Henry.  Even though Victory for the East End Angels is Book Four in the series the author managed to captivate me with her characters and I was fascinated with how the social dynamics had changed in wartime with many women taking on the roles that were formerly destined for men.  Although the book can be read as a standalone, as I have proved, there were moments that I wished I knew the history more of the characters and storyline so I would whole-heartedly recommend reading all the books in the series in order to get the full enjoyment and overall reading experience.  The books in the series are:

  • East End Angels
  • Secrets of the East End Angels
  • Christmas with the East End Angels
  • Victory for the East End Angels

Winnie, Rose, Frankie and Bella are four friends that for the last few years have been working as ambulance crew for the London Auxiliary Ambulance Service – Station 75 in the heart of London.  During their time they have experienced many traumatic scenes first-hand but the valiant work that these brave men and women volunteers do has unfortunately been a necessity of war.

Victory for the East End Angels is a story of friendship and love.  It’s also a story of survival in a world of uncertainty.  There’s a real sense of camaraderie during wartime periods and you can appreciate and acknowledge that the ‘make do and mend’ and ‘keep calm and carry on’ attitudes helped tremendously and are a perspective in life that we need to remember and replicate.

Rosie Hendry has written a wonderful family saga set in WWII, there were some highs and lows of life during conflict and our hearts were battered with the separations of our loved ones but the warmth spread within the community helped those in need at the time.  I felt a gentleness with the authors writing but I was conscious of the authentic atmosphere of the times.  A lovely heart-warming, honest and tender read.

About the Author

Victory author photoRosie Hendry lives by the sea in Norfolk with her husband, two children, chickens and a snake. She’s worked in a variety of jobs from fruit picking, waitressing, teaching and as a research scientist but has always loving reading and writing. Starting off writing short stories for women’s magazines, her stories have gradually become longer as her children have grown bigger.

Listening to her father’s tales of life during the Second World War sparked Rosie’s interest in this period and she’s especially intrigued by how women’s lives changed during the war years. She loves researching further, searching out gems of real-life events which inspire her writing.

When she’s not working, Rosie enjoys walking along the beach, reading and is grateful for the fact that her husband is a much better cook than her.

Website: www.rosiehendry.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/RosieHendrybooks/

Twitter – www.twitter.com/hendry_rosie

 

 

Taking Heart by Rowena Summers #bookreview #familysaga #historicalfiction @agorabooksldn

 

taking heart

Taking Heart written by Rowena Summers, publisher Agora Books, is available NOW in ebook and paperback format.  The ebook is also part of the kindleunlimited scheme.

To buy link: https://amzn.to/2J3hNUN

Book Blurb

But at least we still have each other. As long as we still have the family, we’ll be all right.

Imogen and her sisters are fighting to save their childhood home and remain in Bristol. Their father has announced the sale of the family business and everything is about to change.

But when a terrible tragedy tears the family apart, the Caldwell girls must forge their own paths in life. And with the Second World War looming over England, their lives begin to change more drastically than they could have imagined.

Through love and heartbreak, fear and loss, can the Caldwell girls make it out unscathed? Or will they be swept up in the chaos of the changing times?

ornate scrollI 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.

Taking Heart is the first book in a four part series titled The Caldwell Girls.  The Caldwell Girls are three sisters growing up in a village near Bristol, there’s an anxious air all around with the constant talk of war beckoning.  The girls, along with their two brothers, lives were fairly privileged until their father announced financial ruin with the family run shop.  This sadly wasn’t the only bad news to hit the family and when tragedy strikes the children’s lives were to change irrevocably.  Dreams were changed, hearts were broken and independence beckoned.  A family at crisis were slowly making their mark in their lives in directions that surprised them all.

With the rumblings of war talks ever present life felt like it was precious and especially the young and in love who wished to grab any happiness they could before the inevitable.

Taking Heart is a lovely, gently family saga were formalities of the heart were entertained.  The author’s style of writing flowed well and fitted with the era in question.  Reading the novel felt like a trip down memory lane walking through a typical English country village waking up to the sound of birdsong and children’s laughter that would soon be replaced by the echo’s of the machinations of war.

Taking Heart was first published back in 2000 and Agora Books have recently republished the novel, with a brand new cover.  Sadly the author passed away in 2011 but I’m delighted to hear that her stories are reaching out to new readers and her fiction is bringing history to life.  I look forward to continuing the journey of The Caldwell Girls with more stories to come later this year.

About the Author

Jean Saunders was a British writer of romance novels from 1974 to 2010. She wrote under her married and maiden name, which was Innes, and also under the pseudonyms Rowena Summers, Sally Blake, and Rachel Moore.

After the publication of her first novel, Jean began a career as a magazine writer and published around 600 short stories. In the 1970s she started to publish gothic romance novels under her own name, and in the 1980s she created the pseudonym Rowena Summers to write historical romances, her most popular works. In 1991 her novel The Bannister Girls was shortlisted for the Romantic Novel of Year award.

She lived in Weston-Super-Mare, Somerset, where she wrote full-time.

To learn more about The Caldwell Girls series please visit the publisher’s website:  https://www.agorabooks.co/our-favourite-historical-fiction-series/

 

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

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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:

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The Teashop Girls by Elaine Everest @ElaineEverest @ed_pr @panmacmillan #blogtour #bookreview #TheTeashopGirls #saga #WWIIfiction

 

the teashop girls

The Teashop Girls written by Elaine Everest, publisher Pan Macmillan, is available NOW in ebook, paperback and audiobook version.

The paperback is available from all good book retailers including Waterstones, WHSmith, Foyes and amazon.

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

Book Blurb

It is early 1940 and World War Two has already taken a hold on the country. Rose Neville works as a Lyon’s Teashop Nippy on the Kent coast alongside her childhood friends, the ambitious Lily and Katie, whose fiancé is about to be posted overseas in the navy. As war creates havoc in Europe, Rose relies on the close friendship of her friends and her family.
When Capt. Benjamin Hargreaves enters the teashop one day, Rose is immediately drawn to him. But as Lyon’s forbids courting between staff and customers, she tries to put the handsome officer out of her mind.
In increasingly dark and dangerous times, Rose fears there may not be time to waste. But is the dashing captain what he seems?

The Teashop Girls blog tour banner NEW

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 Elaine Everest’s latest novel: The Teashop Girls.

Elaine Everest is fast becoming one of my favourite saga writers.  Her writing is very authentic and is full of atmospheric prose with regional dialect making you appreciate the era and it’s locality.

The Teashop Girls is a new stand-alone story from Elaine Everest and we travel back to 1940 to the coastal towns of Ramsgate and Margate to when the country is in fear of what lays ahead with the war.  The story centres around three best friends; Rose, Lily and Katie who are all workers at the prestigious J Lyons & Co teashop. The girls are embracing life during wartime with tea dances and enjoying the attention of the servicemen stationed close to the town.  However, as war inches closer to home danger and turmoil is not far behind and the girls soon have to find an inner strength to survive.

I loved learning about the prestigious teashop and the roles the individual staff members play.  It’s lovely how we are seeing a revival of teashops and some of the styles from the original teashops, such as J Lyons & Co, are now created bringing back this glorious, elegant past-time of taking tea and cake.

Elaine Everest has created a lovely nostalgic romantic saga that is very charming but the author wasn’t afraid to reveal the true horrors of war and drama blending a story that feels very real.  The three main characters were very likeable and you soon start championing their lives but I also loved the array of sub-characters that played a key-role in the storyline with the likes of Flora, Mildred and Anya bringing great scenes between all the characters.

Saga novels keep history alive and for readers that lived in the era depicted in the story it feels like a trip down memory lane.  However, we will soon come to a time when new readers will be visiting these historical moments for the first time and this is the true beauty of historical fiction.  Elaine Everest beautifully transports you to a different era with ease and entertains and fascinates readers of life, love and friendship during difficult times in history.

About the Author

Elaine Everest, author of Bestselling novel The Woolworths Girls and The Butlins Girls was born and brought up in North West Kent, where many of her books are set. She has been a freelance writer for twenty years and has written widely for women’s magazines and national newspapers, with both short stories and features. Her non-fiction books for dog owners have been very popular and led to broadcasting on radio about our four legged friends. Elaine has been heard discussing many topics on radio from canine subjects to living with a husband under her feet when redundancy loomed.

When she isn’t writing, Elaine runs The Write Place creative writing school at The Howard Venue in Hextable, Kent and has a long list of published students.

Elaine lives with her husband, Michael, and their Polish Lowland Sheepdog, Henry, in Swanley, Kent and is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, Crime Writers Association, The Society of Women Writers & Journalists and The Society of Authors as well as Slimming World where she can be seen sitting in the naughty corner.

Follow me:

Facebook: Elaine Everest Author page

Twitter: @elaineeverest

My writing school: http://www.thewriteplace.org.uk

 

 

Culmfield Cuckoo by Celia Moore @CeliaMooreBooks @rararesources #blogtour #bookreview #indieauthor #kindleunlimited #giveaway #familysaga #contemporaryfiction

 

Culmfield Cuckoo

Culmfield Cuckoo written and self-published by Celia Moore is available NOW in ebook format.  The ebook is also included in the kindleunlimited scheme.

To buy links:
UK – https://amzn.to/2TPricx
US – https://amzn.to/2FEZbaD

Book Blurb
When Billy reaches out to help, her kindness brings many changes which threaten hopes, homes, and even the people she loves the most.
Who is the Culmfield Cuckoo?
Will they help Billy get her life back? Or is the Cuckoo the cause of everything that is going wrong?
Who is telling the truth?

Culmfield Cuckoo Full Tour 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 Celia Moore’s latest novel: Culmfield Cuckoo.

Culmfield Cuckoo is the sequel to Celia Moore’s debut novel, Fox Halt Farm.  You can find my review for Fox Halt Farm here.  As the story in Culmfield Cuckoo follows on from Fox Halt Farm I would strongly recommend reading Fox Halt Farm prior to Culmfield Cuckoo to enable you to enjoy the full reading experience. FOX HALT FARM, the first book in the series, is Free from Tuesday 2nd April 12am PDT finishing on Saturday 6th 11.59pm PDT

Life on the farm for Billy appears to be running smoothly after all the trials and tribulations from her past she is ready to settle in one place and make the farm and it’s shop a success.  However, author Celia Moore has thrown many more twists and turns for our main character in Culmfield Cuckoo and my heart was screaming ‘no’, how cruel can an author be to her leading lady?  There is quite a shocking turn of events and life for Billy turns into a battle to save her name, her life and her love.

Celia Moore has spun another great story with characters’ multi-layered personalities becoming embroiled within many of the twists and turns and the author definitely captivates her audience.  I did however, feel like the outcome to a certain event fizzled out and I felt like I wanted this part of the storyline to be a little more detailed to give me closure.  I’m very keen to learn where next the author will take our characters.

A story about the complexities of people that was captivating, dramatic with an underlying romance.

About the Author

Celia Moore (1967-now) grew up on a small farm near Exeter. She had a successful career as a Chartered Surveyor working in the City of London before working her way back to Devon. In 2000, she left the office to start a new adventure as an outdoor instructor, teaching rock climbing and mountaineering. Today she gardens for a few lovely customers, runs and writes (accompanied at all times by a border terrier x jack russell called Tizzy). She is running the London Marathon in April 2019 for three cancer charities.

Social Media Links –
https://www.facebook.com/celiamoore.books
https://www.instagram.com/celiascosmos/
http://www.pinterest.co.uk/celiascosmos
https://www.celiascosmos.com
http://www.twitter.com/CeliaMooreBooks

Giveaway to Win a £15 / $15 Amazon Gift Card (Open Internationally)

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/33c69494208/?

 

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