The Flower Seller by Linda Finlay blogtour book review

the flower seller

The Flower Seller written by Linda Finlay, publisher HQ, is available NOW in ebook, paperback and audiobook format.

To buy link: https://goo.gl/BDMhwY

Product Details (as per amazon page)

Isabella Carrington has been brought up in a life of privilege in London. Her life seems perfect, until her father suddenly announces bankruptcy. To save Isabella from destitution he sends her to stay with family she has never met, far away on a violet farm deep in Devon.
Isabella is horrified to find her uncle expects her to work for her keep, packing up the flowers and selling them in the nearby market. However she soon discovers that life on a violet farm may not be so bad, especially when she meets handsome local farmer Felix Furneaux…

Flower Seller Blog Tour

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 Linda Finlay’s latest novel; The Flower Seller.  This is my first introduction to the work of Linda Finlay and after being completely captivated by this delightful family saga that transported me back in time to the late 19th century I will definitely check out Linda Finlay’s back catalogue of novels.

Twenty year old Isabella Carrington’s privileged life in London was comfortable and full of the elegance of the late 1800’s.  Isabella didn’t want for anything but her life was about to change drastically after her father’s announcement of impending financial doom she was to be relocated to her Uncle’s house in Devon.  Isabella hadn’t met any of her late mother’s family and hadn’t even been to Dawlish before.  Isabella was in for a complete surprise to be greeted a farmhouse full of children and of an Aunt and Uncle who expected all members of the family to graft to earn their keep and maintain all aspects of violet farming.

Completely out of her comfort zone Isabella found the transition very difficult but with hopes of her stay being temporary she soon decided to muck in with the others.  I loved learning and reading about the violet farm.  It’s not a subject I’ve known about before but it sounded like such an idyllic farming trade to be in with the glorious colour and scent of the plant transforming the landscape around you.  As Isabella got to learn more about her family in Devon she started to pick up on glimpses of her mother’s past and soon realised there were many secrets to be uncovered.

The country life wasn’t without danger for Isabella and she found herself in a few situations that posed a risk to her life.  However, her new family were always there offering her guidance and support when needed.

This was such a delightful, charming, nostalgic read.  The storyline flowed effortlessly and I found myself fascinated by this glimpse into the past.  I loved the inclusion of Devonshire dialect making the story feel more honest and giving it a certain charm.  A story full of family drama and secrets, of hope and new beginnings, of a community spirit and of a beautiful love.

To learn more about the author Linda Finlay please do visit the following pages:

http://www.teresachrisliteraryagency.co.uk/author_lindafinlay.html

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1057183.Linda_Finlay

bunch of violets watercolour

 

 

 

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The Inaugural Meeting of the Fairvale Ladies Book Club by Sophie Green book review

The Inaugural Meeting of the Fairvale Ladies Book Club

The Inaugural Meeting of the Fairvale Ladies Book Club written by Sophie Green, publisher Sphere is available in ebook format on 1st March 2018.

To pre-order/buy link:  https://goo.gl/cJjqRU

Product Details (as per amazon page)

In 1978 in Australia’s Northern Territory, life is hard and people are isolated. Telephones are not yet a common fixture. But five women find a way to connect.

Sybil, the matriarch of Fairvale Station, misses her eldest son and is looking for a distraction, while Kate, Sybil’s daughter-in-law, is thousands of miles away from home and finding it difficult to adjust to life at Fairvale.

Sallyanne, mother of three, dreams of a life far removed from the dusty town where she lives with her difficult husband.

Rita, Sybil’s oldest friend, is living far away in Alice Springs and working for the Royal Flying Doctor Service.

And Della, who left Texas for Australia looking for adventure and work on the land, needs some purpose in her life.

Sybil comes up with a way to give them all companionship: they all love to read, and she starts a book club. As these five women bond over their love of books, they form friendships that will last a lifetime.

I voluntarily reviewed an arc of  this book.  All opinions are my own and no content may be copied.  However, authors and publishers may use elements of my reviews for quotes.

This was a wonderfully warm, uplifting story about five different women with diverse backgrounds, professing differing strengths, ages but all with a shared love of books and reading.

The women lived and worked in the Northern Territory of Australia.  An area so vast your nearest neighbour could be 25km away.  An area that had natural beauty with it’s deep earthy colours but the locality experienced two diverse seasons; a wet season that cut off families and friends for months on end and a dry season that could be equally as harsh to the livelihoods of the farmers.

Sybil had created the Fairvale Reading Club initially with the intention on introducing new friends to her daughter-in-law who had recently moved in to Fairvale with her husband, Sybil’s youngest son Ben.  Kate had travelled thousands of miles away from her family in England to start a new life with her husband.  A very daunting experience lay ahead for Kate as she had never met her husband’s family and hadn’t visited Australia before.  Sybil is the head of the household of Fairvale and I felt like she had a huge weight on her shoulders keeping the family and workers of the estate happy and healthy as well as sharing the load of running the farm with her husband Joe.  Sybil had this in-built knack of finding certain individuals that she believed needed help of some sort or other and bringing them together to learn and gain strength as a collective of women and this is were the book club came into it’s own.  Little did Sybil know at the time of founding the club that each member would be a valuable asset to each and every one of them.

The friendships that developed would give the ladies a strength, encouragement and love to face many hurdles that would fall their way. The ladies would also feel a community of overwhelming comfort from each other when times were rough.  With life’s hurdles challenges were faced and the ladies found a way of coping and moving on.

I really enjoyed the landscape of this story.  A landscape I wasn’t familiar with but the author soon made me feel like I was there.  The strength of all the women living in the outback and the small isolated towns was evident and I felt that the women were the glue that held many families and businesses together.

A wonderful tale of friendships, of love, of grief and of life.

To learn more about the author Sophie Green please visit the following pages:

Publisher Website:  https://www.hachette.com.au/sophie-green/

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

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

 

The Letter by Ruth Saberton book review

the letter

The Letter written by Ruth Saberton, publisher Notting Hill Press, is available NOW in ebook and paperback format.  The ebook is also included in the kindleunlimited scheme.

To buy link:  https://goo.gl/6KDbdJ

Product Details (as per amazon page)

Perfect for fans of Rosamunde Pilcher, Daphne du Maurier and Kate Morton.

A lost love story…

1914: In Cornwall, on the eve of the First World War, eighteen-year-old Kit Rivers has a bright future ahead. As the Lord of the Manor’s heir, Kit knows his duty is to the family estate – even though he longs to become a poet. When he falls passionately in love, Kit is determined not to let his parents’ bitter opposition spoil an idyllic summer. But even before the golden days can fade into autumn, war comes to change Kit’s world and writing forever…

The Present: One century later, widowed Chloe Pencarrow exchanges London for the solitude of a Cornish cliff top house. Haunted by memories, Chloe’s interest in obscure war poet, Kit Rivers, proves a welcome distraction and leads her to piece together a forgotten history. Faced with more questions than answers, her own life soon becomes entwined with Kit’s through love, loss, and the darkest of secrets…

 

Daisy

I voluntarily reviewed an arc of  this book.  All opinions are my own and no content may be copied.  However, authors and publishers may use elements of my reviews for quotes.

This latest novel by Ruth Saberton is achingly beautiful.  Such strength in a love so tragic.  I believe The Letter is Ruth Saberton’s best story yet and it will certainly be one of my outstanding reads for 2018.

The extensive research that the author must have taken and the love of a lost love story of her Great Aunt clearly shows across the pages.  Scenes were clearly laid out and you could picture them and feel the emotions of the characters.  Many a time emotions took over me and I was swamped with intense reactions to the storyline.

The story begins in 1914 when sixteen year old Daisy Hills has arrived to stay with her godfather at the rectory in a small village off the coast of Cornwall.  Daisy is hoping for the sea air and daily exercise around this beautiful village to bring back her strength following an illness.  What Daisy doesn’t expect is for her life to experience a whole new adventure and for it to change the course of her future entirely.

A century later we meet grieving Chloe Pencarrow, who has escaped her life of so many sad memories in London with wishes to experience peace and tranquility in a Cornish coastal village.  Chloe rents The Old Rectory and unbeknown to her at present the rectory holds many secrets to a past when time was cruelly snatched from many.

This story takes on two different time frames that slowly start unravelling into the present.  Chloe finds interest in fallen war poet Kit Rivers who lived in the great mansion that can be seen from The Old Rectory.  Delving deeper into Kit River’s life with the help of historian Matt Enys and the Kernow Heritage Foundation, Chloe and Matt’s lives are soon captivated by a forgotten time and a forgotten love story.

Truly outstanding storytelling from Ruth Saberton that deals with grief and loss and the hope of light bringing new directions.  To a time when futures of young men and the women they left behind was unknown.  To a time that we will not forget.

A story that is not to be missed.

To learn more about Ruth Saberton and her work please do visit the following pages:

Website:  http://www.ruthsaberton.com/

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

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

The Secrets Between Us by Laura Madeline blogtour book review

the secrets between us

The Secrets Between Us written by Laura Madeleine, publisher Transworld Digital, is available NOW in ebook format.

To buy link:  https://goo.gl/TEycic

Product Details (as per amazon page)

High in the mountains in the South of France, eighteen-year-old Ceci Corvin is trying hard to carry on as normal. But in 1943, there is no such thing as normal; especially not for a young woman in love with the wrong person. Scandal, it would seem, can be more dangerous than war.

Fifty years later, Annie is looking for her long-lost grandmother. Armed with nothing more than a sheaf of papers, she travels from England to Paris in pursuit of the truth. But as she traces her grandmother’s story, Annie uncovers something she wasn’t expecting, something that changes everything she knew about her family – and everything she thought she knew about herself…

LauraMBlogTour

I voluntarily reviewed an arc of this novel.  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 Laura Madeleine’s latest novel: The Secrets Between Us.

Wow!  The Secrets Between Us is such an exquisite story, it will certainly be hard to beat in the Best of the Best for 2018 for me.

Laura Madeline’s writing style is stunningly beautiful in this novel, it almost felt poetic. The words swept me away to two different time frames to the South of France 1943 when a small village, surrounded by mountains, was in the hands of the Italian army.  With the uncertainty of war, the new Italian control and now an influx of refugees temporary seeking shelter in the village, life was so different for the locals.  Lack of food and now sharing with the army and refugees led to people taking risks with the black market and poaching.  People feared the newcomers but young Ceci Corvin was captivated by one particular refugee and a friendship soon blossomed between Ceci and Madame Reiss.  18 year old Ceci and the young Jewish woman would sneak off together and share elicit moments foraging for food, escaping the humdrum of reality and breathing in the crisp mountainous air; like cleansing their soul.

After a while the locals and newcomers with the Italian Army were living in a unique harmony but this was not to last.  Fear of life took hold and life for many in Saint Antoine, including Ceci, would never be the same again.

Fifty years later Annie was working in England and happened by chance to find a closed file on her Grandmere Ceci.  Annie’s mother and Ceci had had a falling out years ago and had lost touch.  Will this closed file hold a thread of information for Annie to find her long lost Grandmother?

We follow Annie and Ceci on two very different journeys.  Journeys of self-discovery, a forbidden love, of growing up in a war torn country.  Facing heartbreak, loss, betrayal and conflict.  A truly stunning story that will captivate you.

To learn more about Laura Madeleine and her work please do visit the following pages:

Website:  https://lauramadeleine.com/

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

 

 

Christmas at Woolworths by Elaine Everest book review

christmas at woolworths

Christmas at Woolworths written by Elaine Everest, publisher Pan, is available NOW in ebook, paperback and audiobook format.

To buy link:  http://amzn.to/2kHcXiD

Product Details (as per amazon page)

Best friends Sarah, Maisie and Freda are brought together by their jobs at Woolworths. With their loved ones away on the front line, their bonds of friendship strengthen each day. Betty Billington is the manager at Woolworths, and a rock for the girls, having given up on love . . . Until a mysterious stranger turns up one day – could he reignite a spark in Betty?

As the year draws to a close, and Christmas approaches, the girls must rely on each other to navigate the dark days that lie ahead . . .

With so much change, can their friendship survive the war?

female despatch rider wwII

I voluntarily reviewed an arc of this novel.  All opinions are my own and no content may be copied.  However, authors and publishers may use elements of my reviews for quotes.

Christmas at Woolworths is the sequel to Elaine Everest’s bestselling debut novel The Woolworths Girls.  I do have a confession to make, The Woolworths Girls is still waiting for me to read on my kindle.  I purchased The Woolworths Girls after reading and enjoying The Butlins Girls but when I saw this new novel out by Elaine Everest I couldn’t wait and dived straight in.  This new book by Elaine Everest can easily be read as a standalone but to fully appreciate the history surrounding all the characters I would wholeheartedly recommend reading all Elaine Everest’s nostalgic family sagas in order.

Christmas is a time when we reflect and relish nostalgia.  Elaine Everest’s Christmas at Woolworths is the perfect read for a cosy nostalgic hug of a book.

I was transported to South East London to 1942 when a war was still evident with many husbands, sons, fathers, brothers and friends were away from home risking their lives for King and country.  When women were left to step-up and fit in to many a man’s role and to do their bit for the war.

We once again visit the residents of Erith and especially to Freda, Sarah, Maisie and Betty who work at the Woolworths store.  As I mentioned previously I hadn’t read The Woolworths Girls but due to the warmth the author had created in her characters and setting I was soon engaged and enveloped in this wonderful family saga.

We follow predominantly the girls from the store over a 9 month period which was full of highs and lows leading up to Christmas, when just for a few minutes all appears at peace and harmony with the world.

A truly wonderful family saga dealing with all generations of a family and their friends coping with life still going on during a time of unrest and uncertainty.  A story filled with warmth and charm treating your mind to a whole host of nostalgic images that belonged in a world long ago but not forgotten.  I loved it and could carry on reading stories set in this time as fiction can bring history to life.

To learn more about Elaine Everest and her work please do visit the following pages:

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

 

The Whitstable High Tide Swimming Club: Part One by Katie May blogtour/book review

whitstable high tide swimming club part one

The Whitstable High Tide Swimming Club: Part One Diving In written by Katie May, publisher Trapeze Books is available NOW in ebook format.

To buy link:  http://amzn.to/2x6NS9u

Product Details (as per amazon page)

In the gorgeous seaside town of Whitstable, brokenhearted Deb begins to swim each day and gathers a new group of friends around her. But can the magic of sea heal the hurt of the past? Or will family ties drag her underwater again?

A heart-warming, funny and poignant story of romance, friendship and second chances. It’s also a song to the author’s home town of Whitstable, where the sea is smooth, the shingle is painful on bare feet, and the air is full of possibilities.

28775 Whitstable blog tour landscape

I am so pleased to be involved in the blogtour celebrating and promoting the launch of this new three part mini series; The Whitstable High Tide Swimming Club.

I absolutely adored this story and so pleased it’s the start of a book series by Katie May.  The Whitstable High Tide Swimming Club is Katie May’s debut novel and what a cracking start to her published career.

In Part One: Diving In we follow Deb’s new journey in her life after leaving her husband.  For nearly 30 years Deb had felt down trodden in her marriage to Derek after having her three children she soon became a placater hoping to keep the peace in the family unit.  Now after so long she’d had enough and was happy to be on her own living in a small bedsit in her beloved coastal town of Whitstable.  The beach, especially the sea, is Deb’s escape and she loves nothing more than to immerse herself in the cold sea water to help forget her personal problems.

Deb isn’t the only one using the power of the sea and the beach to escape her past, Maisie recently divorced has relocated to Whitstable and is also drawn to this natural beauty.  Swimming in and around the tides of Whitstable was soon becoming a routine for the two women and a friendship developed.

However, the beach is under threat of future new development and the swimming buddies have built up a following from others in the town and a strong community spirit is felt.  The new swimming and beach loving community have a fight on their hands to save their beloved beach.

Such brilliant dialogue from Katie May with wonderful wit and humour.  There are some great scenes that will literally have you laughing out loud.  There is also a serious side to the characters we are learning to love, both Deb and Maisie have suffered heartbreak and are starting a fresh and have many painful memories from their past.  Whilst reading this story I could easily picture the scenes in my head and I feel it would make a fabulous Sunday night drama.  I’m eager to read the next instalments in this new book series and will start a campaign to get The Whitstable High Tide Swimming Club on our TV screens!

To find out more about Katie May please do visit the following pages:

Website:  http://whitstable-high-tide-swimming-club.org/

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

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

The Traveller’s Daughter by Michelle Vernal book review

the travellers daughter

The Traveller’s Daughter written by Michelle Vernal, publisher HarperImpulse, is available NOW in ebook and paperback format.

To buy link:  http://amzn.to/2el7paJ

Product Details (as per amazon page)

Her mother’s secret…

For fifty years Rosa kept the secrets of her past hidden from her beloved daughter, Kitty. The hurt and pain, the guilt over what she’d done, was something she could never face. But now the time has come to share the truth of Kitty’s heritage…

Her daughter’s discovery…

Kitty never knew anything about her mother’s early life. But after her death, the discovery of Rosa’s journal opens Kitty’s eyes to a whole new world-a family she’s never known and a love she’s never dreamed of…

The fate of a family…

Now Kitty must travel to her mother’s homeland, but after fifty years, can the sins of the past be forgiven? Or will history repeat itself? With a decades-old family feud threatening her future, can Kitty put right what once went so wrong?

Join Kitty as she follows in her mother’s footsteps from the South of France to Ireland, discovering who she is along the way in this beautiful tale of forbidden love and fancy cupcakes!

french macarons

This was a stunning emotive journey of discovering your heritage, a heritage that has been kept hidden from you since you were born 31 years ago.  A journey that opens up old wounds from a past that has never been forgotten, a journey that evokes so many emotions from newly felt wounds.  A journey of self-discovery.  A journey that starts healing the hurt and feuds from a past that almost felt lifetimes ago.  A beautiful love story in two parts spanning generations.  Michelle Vernal has written an intoxicating story filled with wonderful Irish dialect, charm and traditions surrounding the folklore and heritage of the travellers of Ireland.  I do love it when an author expresses her characters using a regional accent it brings the personas to life and you can feel their emotions more.

This story of a time slip romance and family saga is set in the current day with Kitty grieving for her recently deceased mother.  She is contacted by a stranger, a man that knew her mother who wishes for Kitty to travel to the south of France to retrace her mother’s steps in a pivotal moment in the man’s career and also one that was momentous for her mother.  A jpeg of a photo of her mother is attached with this message and Kitty is literally spellbound by the image of her mother as a young woman and the look of utter adoration at the young man aside of her.  As Kitty knew nothing of her mother’s past from before she married Kitty’s father she is intrigued to learn more.  She sets off on an unknown adventure to the south of France hoping to learn more of her mother’s upbringing and young adult life.

I adored this story from the present day of Kitty being flown to France and to the story of Rosa her mother growing up as a traveller in Ireland and falling in love with a young man from a family that held a longstanding feud with her own.  Hearing about the lifestyle of the travellers was fascinating and felt a little idealistic with their simple attitudes to life and moving along when the time felt right.  Life was ultimately very hard for the travellers but was faced with a strength and love to survive.

An evocative, emotive romance that I didn’t want to end.  This was my first introduction to the work of Michelle Vernal and I can’t wait to read more of her stories.

To find out more about Michelle Vernal please visit the following links:

Website:  http://www.michellevernalbooks.com/

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

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