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_/

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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

Walking Wounded by Anna Franklin Osborne book review

walking wounded

Walking Wounded written and published by Anna Franklin Osborne is available NOW in ebook and paperback format.

To buy link:

Product Details (as per amazon page)

Born at the end of the First World War, a young girl struggles to find her own identity in her big family and is pushed into a stormy marriage through a terrible misunderstanding from which her pride refuses to let her back down. As her own personal world begins to crumble, the foundation of the world around her is shaken as Germany once again declares war and her brothers and young husband sign up with the first wave of volunteers.

Walking Wounded tells the story of those left behind in a Blitz-ravaged London, and of the web of loyalty, guilt and duty that shapes the decisions of the women awaiting the return of their men-folk as the war draws to a close.

Spanning the period from the Armistice of the First World War to the exodus of the Ten Pound Poms to Australia in the 1950s, Walking Wounded is a family saga whose internal violence is mirrored by the world stage upon which it is set.

london station blitz

This was such a profoundly emotive story that deeply moved me.  At one point I had to pause from reading due to the tears blurring my vision.  Anna Franklin Osborne has taken me on a very real emotional journey, a journey that millions took that had no choice but to “Keep Calm and Carry On” but behind the smiles lay troubled souls and broken hearts.

This family saga started back in 1918 travelling through to 1952 on the life of one family coping and trying to survive what life through at them.  Through pivotal moments in Britain’s history and through life’s own harsh battles.  Women waiting patiently for news of their loved ones; be it fathers, brothers, sons, husbands and lovers.  Dreading the post for fear of bad news.  However, when the men came back they were scarred both physically and mentally and the scenes that they have endured will never leave them.  The joy of seeing and being with your family again was tinged with the fear of what the war did to the minds of their men.

Whilst the men did their duty the women were left to hold the fort back at home and at work, struggling to make ends meet and struggling to keep morale high.  Anna Franklin Osborne’s female characters were all very strong young women full of vitality and hope at the beginning of the war but life was very cruel and hearts were shattered and minds were tested.  The walking wounded were not just the soldiers of war but of those left behind wounded by life and all it threw at them.  A smile can hide a multitude of emotions.

This is a very special story, a fictional story based loosely around Anna Franklin Osborne’s three great uncles, her great aunt and her grandmother who all played a part during the war years.  I do believe fictional stories bring history to life and Anna Franklin Osborne has taken me on this historical journey.  A stunning story spelling out life in it’s raw detail.  5/5*

To find out more about Anna Franklin Osborne please do visit the following pages:

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

 

 

The Butlin Girls by Elaine Everest blogtour/book review

butlin girls

The Butlin Girls written by Elaine Everest, publisher Pan, is available NOW in ebook and paperback format.

To buy link:

Product Details (as per amazon page)

‘Molly Missons gazed around in awe. So this was Butlin’s. Whitewashed buildings, bordered by rhododendrons, gave a cheerful feeling to a world still recovering from six years of war. The Skegness holiday camp covered a vast area, much larger than Molly expected to see.

Molly Missons hasn’t had the best of times recently. Having lost her parents, now some dubious long-lost family have darkened her door – attempting to steal her home and livelihood…

After a horrendous ordeal, Molly applies for a job as a Butlin’s Aunty. When she receives news that she has got the job, she immediately leaves her small home town – in search of a new life in Skegness.

Molly finds true friendship in Freda, Bunty and Plum. But the biggest shock is discovering that star of the silver screen, Johnny Johnson, is working at Butlin’s as head of the entertainment team. Johnny takes an instant liking to Molly and she begins to shed the shackles of her recent traumas. Will Johnny be just the distraction Molly needs – or is he too good be to be true?

butlin girls tour poster

I am so pleased to be involved in the blogtour celebrating and promoting the launch of Elaine Everest’s latest novel, The Butlin Girls.

This was a wonderful trip back in time to post war Erith, SE London and to Skegness in Lincolnshire.  A cosy romance novel filled with nostalgic charm, childhood idealisms, family saga, a time of new beginnings and hope for all after a country wreaked with war.  A time of renewed optimism and prosperity, a time when Billy Butlin opened his doors again at his flagship camp in Skegness bringing families and holiday makers together giving them a week of respite and good old fashioned fun and comfort.  This all sounds so cosy and lovely but our leading ladies in this novel escaped to work at Butlins to hide a traumatic time in their past.  However, the past anxieties weren’t too far away and Butlins wasn’t the protected haven for all.

Following the untimely death of her parents Molly was struggling with her grief and now she was facing a possibility of becoming homeless as a distant relative turns up laying claims to the inheritance.  The relatives also bring fear and danger of a different kind to Molly’s life and Butlins was the much needed escape for Molly.

Upon arriving at her new workplace and home Molly makes friends with her new roommates and fellow red coaters Bunty and Plum.  Unbeknown to each of the girls they are all hiding a secret heartache.  As their friendships blossom the girls gain strength within each other and “a problem shared is a problem halved” springs to mind.  Will the girls; Molly, Bunty and Plum cope with their new careers or will the past threaten their futures?

I particularly loved Elaine Everest’s style of writing for this novel it literally felt like I was stepping back in time, the style was very different to modern romcoms and chicklits of today but that particular style of writing wouldn’t work at all for this period saga.  This was a wonderful heart warming in abundance family and friendship saga.  It was my first introduction to Elaine Everest’s work and after enjoying this novel I decided to invest in her debut novel, The Woolworths Girls.

To find out more about Elaine Everest and her books please visit the following pages:

Website:  http://www.thewriteplace.org.uk/

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

The Wedding Girls by Kate Thompson book review

the-wedding-girls

The Wedding Girls written by Kate Thompson, publisher Pan Macmillan, is available NOW in ebook and paperback format.

To buy link:

Product Details (as per amazon page)

It’s 1936 and the streets of London’s East End are grimy and brutal, but in one corner of Bethnal Green it is forever Hollywood . . .

Herbie Taylor’s photography studio is nestled in the heart of bustling Green Street. Tomboy Stella and troubled Winnie work in Herbie’s studio; their best friend and hopeless romantic Kitty works next door as an apprentice dressmaker. All life passes through the studio, wishing to capture that perfect moment in time.

Kitty works tirelessly to create magical bridal gowns, but with each stitch she wonders if she’ll ever get a chance to wear a white dress. Stella and Winnie sprinkle a dusting of Hollywood glamour over happy newly-weds, but secretly dream of escaping the East End . . .

Community is strong on Green Street, but can it stand the ultimate test? As clouds of war brew on the horizon, danger looms over the East End. Will the Wedding Girls find their happy ever afters, before it’s too late?

vintage singer sewing machine

The Wedding Girls is a wonderful story that I thoroughly enjoyed.  The beautiful cover cleverly hides a raw, insightful, inspiring, hopeful, gripping, romantic story that will stay with you for a long time.

The story is set in 1936 in one of the most deprived areas of East End, London.  Families were living in cramped, damp, broken properties and were struggling to find work to feed their children.  Although, this sounds quite depressing the morale of the inhabitants, especially the women, was far from bleak.  There was a true camaraderie between all who lived in the area and the community spirit was sorely tested when fascist blackshirts moved into the neighbourhood and started to wreak havoc to lives and livelihoods.  The quiet streets of Bethnal Green had soon turned into a political war field and danger had been delivered right up to their doors.

The three main characters; Kitty, Winnie and Stella are best friends born and bred in the East End and now working in the wedding industry.  Kitty is an apprentice dressmaker creating beautiful wedding gowns to all the hopeful brides-to-be and Winnie and Stella work for Herbie Taylor’s photography studio.  Herbie Taylor’s photography studio is a place of old fashioned charm that treats each wedding couple as royalty when they step forth into the studio for their wedding day photos.

Kitty is quite shy and has dreamed of one day being  courted and swooned in her own romantic wedding. Winnie is going steady with Treacle, a local lad that is besotted with her.  Stella is very independent and headstrong and has her own dreams of leaving the East End and travelling with her camera.

The girls lives are suddenly thrown into chaos with the political clashes in the streets.  However, the war is not just in the streets for Winnie as for years she has been hiding a traumatic and terrifying secret.  This secret is dangerous and unpredictable.

The Wedding Girls, as the three best friends are known, bring much needed joy, colour, glamour and romance to the area during a time of political and social unrest.

A fabulous story that had me gripped.  I loved how the author, Kate Thompson, incorporated in her story a pivotal moment in East End history.  Fictional books really do bring history to life.  This was a story full of solidarity.  A story that doesn’t hide the ugliness of life.  A story bringing much hope.  A story to warm your heart.  Just brilliant 5/5*

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.

To find out more about Kate Thompson and her books please do visit the following pages:

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

Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/katethompson380

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

The Mill River Redemption by Darcie Chan – Book review and blog tour

 

The Mill River Redemption blog tour poster

The Mill River Redemption blog tour poster

blog tour

The Mill River Redemption by Darcie Chan is available on ebook and paperback now.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Amazon synopsis:
Book Description

An enchanting novel of family, self-discovery, love and forgiveness from the New York Times bestselling author of The Mill River Recluse. Perfect for fans of Maeve Binchy, Cathy Kelly and Erica James.

Product Description

Having unexpectedly lost her husband and lacking the means to support herself, Josie DiSanti and her two daughters take refuge in the small town of Mill River, to live with Josie’s aunt, Ivy. The sisters, Rose and Emily, are inseparable growing up – until a shocking tragedy tears them apart.

Years later, Rose and Emily return to Mill River for the reading of their mother’s will, where they learn that Josie would do anything to force their reconciliation: the sisters must move into neighbouring houses for the summer and work together to locate the key to Josie’s safe deposit box, which contains their inheritance. And so, left with no choice, Rose and Emily reluctantly begin their search. But in a place known for its magic and miracles, little do they know that an even greater treasure awaits them . . .

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Mill River Recluse, comes this enchanting story of family, self-discovery, love and forgiveness.

About the Author

Darcie Chan is the New York Times bestselling author of The Mill River Recluse. Her second novel, The Mill River Redemption, is also set in the fictional town of Mill River. Darcie has been featured in The New York Times, USA Today, and The Wall Street Journal. She writes fiction full-time and lives just north of New York City with her husband and son.


I was provided with a copy of The Mill River Redemption for an honest review.

This touching story opened immediately at a tragedy, with the sudden death of her husband, Josie DiSanti was very frightened of her future bringing up her two young daughters on her own. The only place Josie felt she could go was to seek shelter at her aunt’s house in a small town called Mill River.

The story develops into an interesting family saga. It has many twists and turns and unexplained events come to light which changes the future of all concerned. I liked how the story flitted from one timeline to another, it felt like two novels in one. At times the story was very sad and touching but there were moments that were heart warming, fun and a little magical.

I enjoyed this novel immensely, it kept me engaged and I couldn’t quite believe the direction it went. I wasn’t expecting it and how the author wrote and described this scene made it all the more believable. I will certainly look out for more works by Darcie Chan. An enjoyable 4/5 read.

The Mill River Redemption can be purchased from all good bookstores including amazon: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Mill-River-Redemption-Darcie-Chan-ebook/dp/product-description/B00L845NR2/ref=dp_proddesc_0?ie=UTF8&n=341677031&s=digital-text