The House in the Hollow by Allie Cresswell @alliescribbler #guestpost #extract #historicalfiction

The House in the Hollow written and self-published by Allie Cresswell is available NOW in ebook and paperback format.

Book Blurb

The Talbots are wealthy. But their wealth is from ‘trade’. With neither ancient lineage nor title, they struggle for entrance into elite Regency society. Finally, aided by an impecunious viscount, they gain access to the drawing rooms of England’s most illustrious houses.

Once established in le bon ton, Mrs Talbot intends her daughter Jocelyn to marry well, to eliminate the stain of the family’s ignoble beginnings. But the young men Jocelyn meets are vacuous, seeing Jocelyn as merely a brood mare with a great deal of money. Only Lieutenant Barnaby Willow sees the real Jocelyn, but he must go to Europe to fight the French. The hypocrisy of fashionable society repulses Jocelyn—beneath the courtly manners and studied elegance she finds tittle-tattle, deceit, dissipation and vice.

Jocelyn stumbles upon and then is embroiled in a sordid scandal which will mean utter disgrace for the Talbot family. Humiliated and dishonoured, she is sent to a remote house hidden in a hollow of the Yorkshire moors. There, separated from family, friends and any hope of hearing about the lieutenant’s fate, she must build her own life—and her own social order—anew.

To buy link: https://amzn.to/32UYCG2

I am so pleased to welcome the author, Allie Cresswell, to my blog today sharing an extract with a brief explanation. Thank you for joining my blog Allie …

The House in the Hollow has as one of its themes the idea of things that are concealed beneath the veneer of Regency respectability. To this end I decided to introduce characters who work for the Talbot family in the capacity of servants; those who, out of sight, make their elegant lifestyle possible. Researching what life was like for Regency servants, and how a large country house functioned with what seems to be smooth and effortless efficiency, was very interesting. Obviously life was much harder for servants than it was for the wealthy and privileged but the tenets of essential morality remained the same, and this included the appalling way that women were victimised for moral lapses whereas men were forgiven. Girls who were compromised by men always got the blame, and had to suffer the consequences alone. This was true for women at all levels of Regency society.

Here a servant girl, Sally, has been found injured and unconscious in the middle of the night by Annie, another maid.

‘You did right to wake me, Annie,’ the housekeeper said, ‘although I wish Miss Nugent had been here. She is more practiced than I. Now we must examine every inch of Sally to see where her injuries are. You begin at the head and I will start at her feet.’

Annie ran her hands carefully over Sally’s skull, feeling for swellings or cuts. Sally’s hair was badly matted and tangled with straw—she would be upset, Annie thought, to have it so. Sally’s one vanity was her lovely, lustrous hair. Annie could feel no contusions, however. She inserted a finger into Sally’s mouth, feeling for loose teeth. One on the left felt spongy but otherwise all were firm. She leant closer and smelled Sally’s breath. Cider.

‘Is she intoxicated?’ she asked Mrs Butterwick. ‘Perhaps she drank too much cider, and fell? She may have hit her face …’

‘I don’t think so,’ Mrs Butterwick said grimly. She had lifted Sally’s wounded knees and now peered up beneath the material of her chemise. ‘There is much swelling here, bleeding and bruising. I think she has been forced.’

‘Forced?’ Annie’s mouth was dry.

‘Yes. A man has forced her.’

Mrs Butterwick turned to Sally’s hands. ‘Her nails are broken. I think she tried to defend herself.’ She felt gently up the length of Sally’s arms. ‘No bones broken, though, and no fever that I can discern.’

Annie thought of Jackie Silver, but did not voice her thought.

‘Her knees,’ Annie said.

‘Yes, she has crawled on them. There is gravel in them that will have to be got out.’

Between them they managed to lift Sally on to Annie’s bed. It was unusual for Annie to see the housekeeper engage in any physical endeavour. Her habit was to direct and supervise and then to confirm that her orders had been carried out. She might sweep a hand over furniture that should have been dusted, pull back a sheet to ensure that a bed had been properly made. But now Annie found Mrs Butterwick quite capable of the lifting and shifting required to settle Sally comfortably, by no means shirking of what needed to be done.

They removed the rest of Sally’s clothes and bathed her body, applying salves to her injuries and packing the place between her legs with some of the rags the girls used for their courses. Mrs Butterwick picked the gravel from Sally’s knees and cleaned them with liniment. Sally winced and whimpered, but did not wake. Annie washed the dirt and crusted blood from Sally’s eye and put a pad of clean material over it. She combed the worst of the straw from her hair. All the time she murmured reassurance although Sally made no sign of being able to hear. If anything the girl looked worse rather than better. Her jaw and cheek became blacker and more bloated as the night went by. She spoke no sensible word. Her good eye was glazed and unfocussed.

‘I fear concussion,’ Mrs Butterwick said, ‘and her jaw may be broken, but I cannot tell.’

They worked in the light of a single candle. Its flame flickered in the draught as they moved about their task, throwing shadows across Sally’s distended features, rendering them even more horrific. Annie’s throat was clogged, tight with anxiety, and tears pressed the backs of her eyes. Beneath her concern lay a ventricle brimming with caustic anger at the man who had done this.

‘Will she live, do you think?’ Annie asked when they had covered Sally with a clean sheet and managed to dribble a little willow bark tea between her poor, swollen lips. They sat either side of the little bed. A greyish glow divided the square of skylight from the gloom of the rest of the room. Above them, in the eaves, the first sparrows began to stir.

‘She will, if there are no injuries that we cannot see. If she is not awake and sensible by morning the surgeon must be called. She has been badly used, that’s clear enough. But Sally’s character speaks against her.’

‘Because she is a flirt?’

Mrs Butterwick nodded. ‘We must hope and pray there is no child. However it is come by, whether Sally be guilty or no, she will be dismissed.’

‘And the man who did this to her? I believe it might have been Mr Silver. I know he has hurt her before. I saw the bruises on her arms. Surely he’ll be sent packing?’

Mrs Butterwick pressed her lips together but did not reply.

About the Author

Allie Cresswell was born in Stockport, UK and began writing fiction as soon as she could hold a pencil.
She did a BA in English Literature at Birmingham University and an MA at Queen Mary College, London.
She has been a print-buyer, a pub landlady, a book-keeper, run a B & B and a group of boutique holiday cottages. Nowadays Allie writes full time having retired from teaching literature to lifelong learners.
She has two grown-up children, two granddaughters, two grandsons and two cockapoos but just one husband – Tim. They live in Cumbria, NW England.

Social Media Links –

Website – http://www.allie-cresswell.com
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/alliescribbler/
Twitter – @alliescribbler

The Lost Village by Daniela Sacerdoti @DanielaSacerdo3 @bookouture #blogtour #bookreview #TheLostVillage #HistFic

The Lost Village written by Daniela Sacerdoti, publisher Bookouture, is available in ebook format from 16th November 2020.

Book Blurb

1945, Italy. Two sisters give birth to two little girls on the same night, huddled under blankets, deep in the black woods that surround the village of Bosconero. They hold their babies close as footsteps approach. If they make even the slightest sound, the German soldiers will find them…

2006. Luce Nardini searches the cobbled streets of a remote Italian village for a house with a faded blue door. Since her only child left home, and with her estranged husband more distant than ever, she’s been completely untethered. Discovering why her mother cut all contact with her family and the village she loved feels like Luce’s last hope at understanding who she is.

Inside the house, she’s relieved to find the grandmother she never knew living out her final days. With a longing look at an ornate wooden box on her nightstand, her grandmother is just beginning to tell the heart-wrenching story of a little village ravaged by war, and why Luce’s mother swore never to return, when then the unthinkable happens: an earth-shattering disaster that shakes the little village of Bosconero to its core.

Feeling more lost than ever before, Luce fears that the secrets of her past have been buried forever. Her only hope is to win back the trust of the small community and find her grandmother’s little wooden box amongst the rubble of the village.

But will the surprise arrival of the husband she thought she’d lost help sew Luce’s family back together, or tear it apart for good? And will anything have prepared her for the devastating betrayal she finds hidden inside the box…?

An unputdownable historical novel about the secrets we keep to protect the ones we love by the author of million-copy Amazon No 1. bestseller, Watch Over Me. Perfect for anyone who loves Fiona Valpy, Lily Graham or The Letter by Kathryn Hughes.

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 Daniela Sacerdoti’ latest historical novel: The Lost Village.

I was totally captivated by this WWII historical time-slip novel. This is my first introduction to the work of Daniela Sacerdoti and after reading The Lost Village I know for a fact I’ll be on the lookout for more of her stories.

This is a story that will transport you back to a time of bliss and beauty in the idyllic Italian countryside, to a time before the world became shattered in conflict. Then Italy enters troubled times and life for all becomes difficult and people become wary of each other. One young woman has experienced more heart wrenching pain than most and when a split second decision changes the course of not only her future but that of others it’s the start of a catalyst of a turbulent time for all involved. A person that takes it upon them self to be the judge and jury of their loved ones but were these wise moves?

Many decades later Luce is desperate to understand her mother’s past. She knew her mother was born and grew up in Italy and left abruptly forty years ago. Luce’s mother refuses to talk about the past but Luce feels this rawness of pain in her mother’s life needs to be resolved once and all. Luce embarks on a mission to find her lost family in Italy. However, to have lost and then found the fear of losing again is a pain like no other.

Whilst in Italy discovering her family history Luce becomes involved in a terrible tragedy and there’s now a fight of survival and another challenge to find the truth of her heritage before it is lost forever.

A story that is equally fascinating, full of drama with emotional tugs of the heart. It’s also a story of reflection. However, when the past reveals itself no-one could foresee the shattering effects it would have on the lives of many. The ending of this story broke me and I struggled to comprehend the impetus of events that led to the heart breaking finale. Life had been so cruel to Luce’s family and it never ceased forming new cracks in the structure of the family until there were too many cracks to hold the past together.

A heart-stopping emotive historical time-slip novel.

Author Bio:
Daniela Sacerdoti is the author of the bestselling Glen Avich series which has sold over one million copies in ebook to date, Sacerdoti’s debut novel Watch Over Me was named the eighth bestselling Kindle book of all time in 2015, when she was also ranked as the eleventh top-selling Kindle author. She lives in a small village in the middle of nowhere, with her Scottish husband, two children, a Cocker spaniel and a foundling kitten (who was definitely a witch in a past life).  

https://www.danielasacerdoti.com/https://www.facebook.com/OfficialDanielaSacerdoti/

https://www.instagram.com/danielasacerdoti.2/

The Tobacconist’s Wife by AnneMarie Brear @annemariebrear @rararesources #bookpromo #PublicationDayPush #HistFic

I am so pleased to be involved in the Publication Day Push with a promo for AnneMarie Brear’s latest historical novel: The Tobacconist’s Wife. Here are all the important details:

Title: The Tobacconist’s Wife

Author: AnneMarie Brear

Publisher: Lume Books

Book Format: eBook and Paperback

Book Blurb

Having lost her father, Thea Goodson is alone in the world.

It is true she has a husband, but Ernie is a brutal man, more inclined to use his fists to keep Thea in line than to build on their marriage. And besides, Ernie Goodson has secrets – secrets that even his wife cannot share.
But in Victorian Yorkshire, appearances must be kept up, so Thea goes on powdering her bruises and forcing a smile as she toils in Ernie’s home and tobacco shop. There seems to be no other option.
That is, until a handsome and well-bred stranger arrives to set up shop next door…
Can Thea escape her misery and break from the conventions of society? Or will the clutches of her abusive husband confine her forever?

Purchase Links

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Tobacconists-Wife-emotionally-absorbing-Victorian-ebook/dp/B08G9N75NX

US – https://www.amazon.com/Tobacconists-Wife-emotionally-absorbing-Victorian-ebook/dp/B08G9N75NX

Author Bio – Award winning & Amazon UK Bestseller AnneMarie Brear has been a life-long reader and started writing in 1997 when her children were small. She has a love of history, of grand old English houses and a fascination of what might have happened beyond their walls. Her interests include reading, travelling, watching movies, spending time with family and eating chocolate – not always in that order! She is the author of historical family saga novels.

Social Media Links –  http://www.annemariebrear.com

http://www.facebook.com/annemariebrear

Twitter: @annemariebrear

http://www.instagram.com/annemariebrear

Christmas with the Teashop Girls by Elaine Everest @ElaineEverest @ed_pr @panmacmillan #TeashopGirlsChristmas

Christmas with the Teashop Girls by Elaine Everest is out now, published by Pan Macmillan, priced £7.99 as paperback original.

Book Blurb

The friends return in a moving story of love, bravery and hope set in 1940 – a guaranteed winter warmer full of festive spirit. Bestseller Elaine Everest is the author of the much loved Woolworths Girls saga series.
It’s late 1940 and the war feels closer to home than ever for Rose Neville and her staff at the Lyon’s Teashop in Margate. The worry of rationing hangs overhead as the Nippies do their best to provide a happy smile and a hot cup of tea for their customers. When a bombing raid targets the Kent
coastline, Lyon’s is badly hit, throwing the future of the cafe into jeopardy.
The light in Rose’s life is her dashing fiancé Captain Ben Hargreaves and she’s busy planning their Christmas Eve wedding. But she must also plan to take two new stepdaughters into her life and get on the right side of her wealthy mother-in-law, Lady Diana. Is Rose ready to become a mother?
When Rose’s half-sister Eileen makes contact, it seems that Rose’s dreams of having a sibling are coming true at long last. But her friends begin to suspect that she’s hiding something… As the wedding draws near, the bombings intensify, putting everything and everyone Rose loves in danger.
Only one thing is for sure: it will be a Christmas she never forgets . . .

The book will be available to purchase from high street book stores, most supermarkets and also the online links below:

Waterstones: https://www.waterstones.com/book/christmas-with-the-teashop-girls/elaine-everest/9781529015928

Hive: https://www.hive.co.uk/Product/Elaine-Everest/Christmas-with-the-Teashop-Girls/24958980

Amazon: https://amzn.to/33ZGcoD

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: Christmas with the Teashop Girls.

Elaine Everest is a very good storyteller, her words take you back to an era that was filled with uncertainty and there’s a real sense of atmosphere. What I love about the attitude of the people from the war years was the community spirit, their resilience and their make do and mend survival tactics. These are times we need to keep remembering and learn from.

We are back in Margate with the girls we fell in love with in book one, The Teashop Girls, the Nippies from the Lyon’s teashop. The year is 1940 and war is visibly amongst the streets and cities but romance is keeping the girls going specifically with Rose and her blossoming romance with Ben.

With this book we get to learn more about Ben’s family and a trip to the city of London opens Rose and her mother Flora’s eyes to the full extent of the conflict. Meeting Ben’s mother brings up many surprises and Lady Diana proves to be a very resourceful woman.

Romance, danger and adventure are not far away for Rose, Lily, Katie, Flora and Mildred. With the introduction of new characters blending brilliantly with our much loved main characters Elaine Everest has written another great WWII saga. I found myself immersed in the story and become involved in the lives of all. When the sky blackened with the battle of the skies I could feel the intensity of what the characters were witnessing.

A story that is filled with nostalgia, community spirit, the highs and lows of life during conflict but most of all it’s a story with warmth, friendship and love.

About the Author

Elaine 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

A Widow’s Vow by Rachel Brimble @RachelBrimble @Aria_Fiction @rararesources #bookreview #blogtour #Histfic

A Widow’s Vow written by Rachel Brimble, publisher Aria, is available NOW in ebook and paperback format.

Book Blurb

From grieving widow…

1851. After her merchant husband saved her from a life of prostitution, Louisa Hill was briefly happy as a housewife in Bristol. But then a constable arrives at her door. Her husband has been found hanged in a Bath hotel room, a note and a key to a property in Bath the only things she has left of him. And now the debt collectors will come calling.

To a new life as a madam.

Forced to leave everything she knows behind, Louisa finds more painful betrayals waiting for her in the house in Bath. Left with no means of income, Louisa knows she has nothing to turn to but her old way of life. But this time, she’ll do it on her own terms – by turning her home into a brothel for upper class gentleman. And she’s determined to spare the girls she saves from the street the horrors she endured in the past.

Enlisting the help of Jacob Jackson, a quiet but feared boxer, to watch over the house, Louisa is about to embark on a life she never envisaged. Can she find the courage to forge this new path? 

A Widow’s Vow is the first in a gripping and gritty new Victorian saga series from Rachel Brimble. You won’t be able to put it down.

Purchase Links

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Widows-Vow-heart-wrenching-ultimately-uplifting-ebook/dp/B0888X7LH5

US – https://www.amazon.com/Widows-Vow-heart-wrenching-ultimately-uplifting-ebook/dp/B0888X7LH5

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 Rachel Brimble’s latest historical novel: A Widow’s Vow.

A Widow’s Vow is a departure to the popular Pennington’s book series by Rachel Brimble. We are still in the majestic city of Bath but we’ve gone back in time by just over 50 years, the year is 1851, the Victorian era and this is the start of a new historical saga series for the author.

Louise Hill has a past that she is not ashamed of but she is so pleased that she was rescued from this part of her life by her husband and has been happily enjoying married life in Bristol. However, when her husband is discovered dead in a hotel in another city she fears for the safety he created for her. More bad news was to follow but a sliver of a light emerges with the key to a house in Bath. Louisa with her best friend Nancy head for a new life in their new home in Bath but all is not what it seems and the fear of financial security is closing in on her. Louisa feels the only way to secure her and Nancy’s financial future is to return to the past she and Nancy left behind. A past were they relied on their looks and charm to support them. Louisa vows to make this return to a way of income different this time, she wants to supply a safe, clean environment for the girls who earned a living working on the street.

Jacob Jackson also has a past one filled with heartbreak and violence. His violent upbringing has led him to a career that revolves around the profiteering of violence. Jacob has been a boxer for a good few years now but when he happens upon Louisa Hill a proposal of a new career is brought to his attention. Jacob is worried he cannot leave his violent past behind him.

This is a story of two people with pasts that have seen so much hardship, heartbreak and violence. They have seen the ugly side to life and have frequented many dark places in cities. They have been brought together by fate with a view to making a difference to the lives of themselves and others. However, the darker side of life is never far away and Jacob struggles with the demons from his past. Both Louisa and Jacob fight with their emotions and the past and as they move two steps forward with the hope of better things to come they stumble one step back as the darkness of life sets in.

A great start to a new historical saga series set around three women with a past they wish to learn from and aspire to make new starts. Romance weaves gently around the heartbreak and struggles of life and fits in perfectly with the storyline. I’m looking forward to learning more about Louisa, Jacob, Nancy and Octavia.

Author Bio –

Rachel lives with her husband and their two daughters in a small town near Bath, England. She is the author of over 20 published novels including the Pennington’s department store series (Aria Fiction) and the Templeton Cove Stories (Harlequin).

Her next project is a Victorian trilogy set in a Bath brothel which she recently signed with Aria Fiction. The series will feature three heroines determined to change their lives and those of other women. The first book. A Widow’s Vow is due for release in September and available for Amazon preorder now.

Rachel is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association and has thousands of social media followers all over the world.

To sign up for her newsletter (a guaranteed giveaway every month!), click here:

Social Media Links –

Website: https://rachelbrimble.com/

Twitter

Facebook

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rachelbrimbleauthor/?hl=en

The Runaway Sisters by Ann Bennett @annbennett71 @bookouture #bookextract #historicalfiction

The Runaway Sisters written by Ann Bennett publisher Bookouture is available NOW in ebook and paperback format.

Book Blurb

The story of two sisters fighting to survive in the darkest days of World War Two. A heartbreaking tale of resilience and bravery, about having the courage to sacrifice yourself in order to save the ones you love…

Devon, 1940: When fifteen-year-old Daisy is evacuated from her home in London, she knows she must look after her younger sister Peggy. She is the only one who can reassure Peggy that life will go back to normal, holding her close and reading to her from their one battered children’s book.

But when the sisters are taken into the countryside, Daisy quickly realises that not everyone at home is on the right side of the war. Forced to work in fields alongside orphan children, she finds herself drawn to a young boy called John, who has tried and failed to escape many times before. He protects the other children, and his bravery inspires Daisy.

Then Peggy gets sick and Daisy knows that, to save her life, they must run away. But now Peggy is not the only one Daisy is desperate to protect. As the sounds of German engines grow louder above her, Daisy is faced with an impossible choice: escape with just her sister, or risk her life to save others?

Perfect for fans of Lisa Wingate, Diney Costeloe and Shirley Dickson, The Runaway Sisters is a tale of heartwrenching loss and uplifting courage. It’s a story about family, and the light that can be found in the dark clouds of war.

BUY LINKS:

Amazon: https://geni.us/B08B65D853Social

Apple: http://ow.ly/MCo950Aa3IP

Kobo: http://ow.ly/bglK50Aa3Ho 

Google: http://ow.ly/TQOn50Aa3GJ

I am so pleased to be involved in the blogtour celebrating and promoting the launch of Ann Bennett’s latest historical novel: The Runaway Sisters. This book is next on my TBR and I will post my review shortly however, today I have the pleasure of sharing an extract with you,

Chapter One
Helen 

As the lane climbed towards the open moor it became narrower and steeper. The high Devon banks on either side closed in, thick with bracken and dripping greenery. Helen drove slowly, but in places the way ahead became so confined that she had to slow the car to walking pace to avoid scraping it on the sharp rocks, obscured by ferns and foliage.

It seemed to Helen that this tiny lane, with its tortured twists and turns as it laboured up the foothills towards Dartmoor, somehow reflected her own mood, even more so as the dark clouds ahead closed in on her and she drew closer to Black Moor Hall.

At last she entered a stretch of dense woodland, where a moorland stream rushed downhill in a gully beside the road, and the entrance to the house came into view. Black wrought-iron gates rusting with age stood between tall, granite pillars. She pulled off the lane, stopped the car on the little bridge that crossed the stream and got out to open the gates. As she did so, she glanced down at her phone lying on the passenger seat. A text was flashing on the screen.

Sorry, going to be a bit late. Something’s come up. See you later. Laura.
Helen sighed, inching the car through the gates. Predictable; typical even. But it didn’t matter really; it would give her a chance to wander around the place alone and get her thoughts together. She needed time to reflect.
She drove along the rough track, through the spinney of evergreens, and as she rounded the final bend, the old house hove into view. It was a grey, overcast day, with mists rolling in from the high moor. The house looked even more forbidding than usual with its sombre granite gables and square bay windows either side of the imposing entrance. Helen pulled the car up on the circular drive and, suppressing a shudder, fumbled in her handbag for the keys.

As she paused on the threshold, she realised that she couldn’t remember a time in recent years when she’d been inside the house alone. As she closed the heavy front door behind her and ventured through the porch into the vast entrance hall, she felt the chill wrap itself around her…

About the Author

Ann Bennett was born in a small village in Northamptonshire and now lives in Surrey. Her first book, A Daughter’s Quest, originally published as Bamboo Heart, was inspired by her father’s experience as a prisoner of war on the Thai-Burma Railway. The Planter’s Wife (originally published as Bamboo Island) a Daughter’s Promise and The Homecoming, (formerly Bamboo Road) are also about the war in South East Asia.

Ann is married with three grown up sons and works as a lawyer. For more details please visit www.bambooheart.co.uk

Author Social Media Links:

Twitter: @annbennett71

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

Heartbreak in the Valleys by Francesca Capaldi @FCapaldiBurgess @HeraBooks @BOTBSPublicity #blogtour #bookreview #historicalfiction #WWIsaga

heartbreak in the valleys

Heartbreak in the Valleys written by Francesca Capaldi, publisher Hera, is available NOW in ebook format.

Book Blurb

The world was crumbling, but her love stayed strong
November 1915. For young housemaid, Anwen Rhys, life is hard in the Welsh mining village of Dorcalon, deep in the Rhymney Valley. She cares for her ill mother and beloved younger sister Sara, all while shielding them from her father’s drunken, violent temper. Anwen comforts herself with her love for childhood sweetheart, Idris Hughes, away fighting in the Great War.
Yet when Idris returns, he is a changed man; no longer the innocent boy she loved, he is harder, more distant, quickly breaking off their engagement. And when tragedy once again strikes her family, Anwen’s heart is completely broken.
But when an explosion at the pit brings unimaginable heartache to Dorcalon, Anwen and Idris put their feelings aside to unite their mining community.
In the midst of despair, can Anwen find hope again? And will she ever find the happiness she deserves?
A beautiful, emotional and heart-breaking saga set in the Welsh Valleys of the Great War that fans of Nadine Dorries, Rosie Goodwin and Sheila Newbury will love.

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

Heartbreak in the Valleys 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 Francesca Capaldi’s debut novel: Heartbreak in the Valleys.

Francesca Capaldi has written such a compelling read with Heartbreak in the Valleys that had me gripped with emotion on many levels.  This author is definitely one to watch in the historical fiction/saga world.  I could sense the atmosphere and the authenticity of the location and era and it all felt very real.

I’m a miner’s daughter myself and was bought up within a mining community, I also love stories set around the two world wars so when I heard about Heartbreak in the Valleys I knew I had to read it.

Heartbreak in the Valleys is a story set around a young couple making plans for the future.  Idris Hughes and Anwen Rhys have lived in the Welsh mining village all their lives.  However, when war breaks many local men signed up including Anwen’s sweetheart Idris.  But when Idris returns unexpectedly he’s a different man and the dreams that he held for the future look very distorted and unreachable in his eyes. Coping with life after returning from training for Idris is proving very difficult both physically and mentally and he suffers greatly. Anwen is heartbroken and is so confused with Idris’ new persona however, she tries to make a new life for herself and also bringing the community together to help out with the war effort.

Life is hard in the small mining village and children are expected to help with the household bills.  Many children can be seen working at the pits undertaking various roles.  The mines in the early 1900’s were such a dangerous place to work in, no health and safety regulations back then.

When tragedy strikes the community is pulled together once more and you can feel the tension in the moments and hours after an event that will change the life of so many in the village of Dorcalon.

Heartbreak in the Valleys is such wonderful, heartfelt story telling that is raw and gritty but it has a wonderful sense of community spirit.  I truly didn’t want this story to end and I look forward to more from Francesca Capaldi.

Author Bio:

heartbreak in the valleys francesca-capaldiSeveral years ago, Francesca Capaldi pursued a childhood dream and joined a creative writing class. Lots of published short stories, a serial, and three pocket novels later, she’s now explored her mother’s ancestral history for a novel set in a Welsh colliery village. A history graduate and former teacher, she hails from the Sussex coast but now lives in Kent with her family and a cat called Lando Calrissian.

Social media links:

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

Blog: www.writemindswriteplace.wordpress.com

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If Only They Could Talk by Ian Walker @fayerogerspr @authoright #IfOnlyTheyCouldTalk #histfic #debutnovel

if only they could talk

If Only They Could Talk written by Ian Walker, publisher Clink Street Publishing, is available NOW in ebook and paperback format.

Book Blurb

Miles Goodyear’s whole life has been planned out for him. Born into a wealthy brewing family in Chesterfield between the wars, he knows he will go to the local grammar school, followed by St John’s College, Oxford. After graduating, he will then follow his older brother into the family business where he will remain until the next generation eventually takes over when he retires.

But life – and a series of bad decisions – go against him and, as a result, things turn out very differently from what was originally planned.

If Only They Could Talk is the story of one man’s reflection on his life, his failed relationships, his regrets and his dashed hopes. It’s about someone born with so much, who loses everything as he struggles to cope with a changing world. Or at least that’s what his relatives are led to believe as they clear out his house following his death.

Gradually, the house reveals its secrets, but nothing his relatives find there can prepare them for the final twist to Miles’s story.

Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/53482988-if-only-they-could-talk
Amazon Link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/If-Only-They-Could-Talk/dp/1913340279/

If Only They Could Talk Banner1

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 Ian Walker’s debut novel: If Only They Could Talk.

I was initially drawn to this novel as the story is set in Chesterfield, Derbyshire which is not far from where I live.  The author of this debut novel is also from Chesterfield so I wanted to support and help promote a new author from Derbyshire.  I have to add before the publicist contacted me about the book I had never heard of the author so as always I’m reading and reviewing with an open mind.

The storyline is very apt for me as sadly I’m going through the emotive process of a house clearance following the death of a loved one.  I was so enamoured by the Goodyear family and of young Miles that I became absorbed in his life and left my own behind.

Miles Goodyear was the fourth generation in the Goodyear family who were founders of the Goodyear Brewery.  Miles knew from a young age that his brother and himself would follow the footsteps of their fathers and join the company.  However, life had different plans for them all.

Many years later Miles’ nephew, Nigel, has the sad task of clearing his Uncle Miles house following his death and room by room he discovers much memorabilia from his Uncle’s past and that of the brewery.

If Only They Could Talk is a great debut from Ian Walker writing about inspiration from his life and the historic town of Chesterfield.  I really enjoyed the timeslip element of the storyline and found myself looking forward to being transported back in time with Miles.

If Only They Could Talk was sad and poignant at times but laced with elements of fun, laughter and a little bit saucy in places.  I’m finding myself wishing that memorabilia of life could have the magic ability to talk.

About the Author

Ian Walker was born in Chesterfield in 1956. His father was chief clerk for a brewery in the town and his mother was a ballet teacher. He went to Chesterfield School before gaining a place at Leicester University where he studied Chemistry and Maths. After graduating he got a job working in the laboratory at Truman’s Brewery in Brick Lane London. The following year he transferred to Watney’s Brewery in Mortlake, where he moved into the sales department 18 months later.
A variety of sales rolls then followed until eventually he ended up as Regional Sales Director for Scottish and Newcastle in the West Country based in Bristol. All this came to an end in 2006 when aged just 50 he suffered a stroke and had to give up work. After 12 months of physiotherapy he felt sufficiently recovered to buy a pub in the North York Moors along with his wife Eunice.
In the eight years that they owned it they achieved listings in both The Good Beer Guide and the Good Pub Guide. They also were in The Times the list of the top 50 places to eat in the British Countryside.
In 2016 he decided to retire and move back to Chesterfield where he hadn’t lived for 40 years. He and his wife now live just around the corner from the house where he grew up. He has two grown up sons by his previous marriage.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Ian-Walker-Author-103223348058236/

 

 

Captured by Her Enemy Knight by Nicole Locke @NicoleLockeNews @MillsandBoon @rararesources #historicalfiction #bookreview

captured by her enemy knight

Captured by Her Enemy Knight written by Nicole Locke, publisher Mills & Boon Historical, is available in ebook and paperback format from the 28th May 2020.

Book Blurb
Falling for the man

Cressida Howe, the Archer, is a well-tuned weapon. But she’s also a woman captivated by a man—Eldric of Hawskmoor, the warrior knight her father ordered her to kill. Instead, for years, Cressida has simply watched him… Now she’s been captured by her formidable enemy, and her well-ordered world comes crashing down, for Eldric is even more compelling up close. Cressida curses her traitorous heart—this assassin has fallen for her target!

Purchase Links
US – https://www.amazon.com/Captured-Enemy-Knight-Nicole-Locke-ebook/dp/B07ZVX9YPD
UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Captured-Enemy-Knight-Mills-Historical-ebook/dp/B07ZS72ZHS/
https://www.harlequin.com/shop/books/9781335505552_captured-by-her-enemy-knight.html

Captured By Her Enemy Knight 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 Mini Blog Blitz promoting and celebrating the launch of Nicole Locke’s latest historical romance; Captured by Her Enemy Knight.

Cressida Howe first and foremost is a well-trained mercenary.  She’s accepted all her missions and was successful in them all apart from one.  Her father has trained Cressida well but he is adamant that this latest task is completed.  However, the victim in question gets to Cressida first and she is captured once again by this giant of a man that first took her heart when they were just mere children.  Cressida has kept this longing for enemy warrior Eldric of Hawksmoor, a loyal knight of the King hidden as she believed she wasn’t worthy of love.

Cressida has never considered herself a woman but once she lets her heart speak of it’s longing for her enemy knight she learns there’s a lot more to her life than her skills with as a top class Archer.

I really enjoyed being catapulted back to the 13th century with Nicole Locke and her romantic clandestine adventures with mercenaries, knights and pirates.  There was a wonderful tender developing relationship with our two main characters that once they let their history unfold their hearts were then left to bloom.

I enjoyed the drama unfolding and I wanted more from the ending as feel like Cressida and Eldric’s story is only just beginning.

A historical romance that is filled with raw, honest drama and passion.

Author Bio –
Nicole first discovered romance novels hidden in her grandmother’s closet. Convinced hidden books must be better, Nicole greedily read them. It was only natural she should start writing them (but now not so secretly).

If she isn’t working on the next book in her historical series, she can be reached at NicoleLocke.com!
Social Media Links –
https://www.nicolelocke.com
https://www.instagram.com/nicolelockeauthor
https://www.facebook.com/NicoleLockeAuthor
Twitter @NicoleLockeNews

Giveaway to Win 5 x PB copies of Captured By Her Enemy Knight (Open INT)
*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/33c69494370/

Mrs Boots of Pelham Street by Deborah Carr @DebsCarr #bookreview #historicalfiction @0neMoreChapter

mrs boots of pelham street

Mrs Boots of Pelham Street written by Deborah Carr, publisher One More Chapter, is available NOW in ebook format and is due out in paperback later in the summer.

Book Blurb

Behind every family there’s a strong woman holding them together
As the wife of esteemed businessman, Jesse Boot, Florence’s position in society is much changed from her quiet life as a shopkeeper’s assistant. Now a lady of means, Florence is expected to act in a way society demands.
And whilst Florence is more than happy to be a dutiful wife and a doting mother, as the Boots empire continues to grow, there is so much more to her than simply being Mama or dearest. Helping the staff and customers who rely on her and the business gives Florence an added purpose.
Can she show society that a woman can have it all…?

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 so looking forward to the next instalment in the historical series based on the lady behind the Boots the chemist empire. It’s two months since I read Book One (Mrs Boots) and the story then compelled me to research Jesse and Florence Boot and I was heartened to read about their dedication to their work and helping those less fortunate.  You can find my review of Book One here.

We follow on from Book One, I strongly recommend reading Mrs Boots prior to this instalment to appreciate the history of the characters, Jesse and Florence start married life living in Sheffield close to Jesse’s work. Florence soon becomes a vital cog in the wheel of building up the Boots empire. She sees a different insight into the business which helps broaden it’s appeal and custom base. Florence also helps to ensure all the female staff are happy at work and she strives to ensure that women at work in particular should feel appreciated.

As the years move on a family soon beckons for the newlyweds and this working mum surprises many by balancing a work/family balance. With the opening of the flagship large store at Pelham Street a move to Nottingham is essential.

I was fascinated again with the lives of Jesse and Florence Boot, now with family commitments as well as work the pair find a balance, with a few learning curves along the way. The couple were certainly pioneers in bringing affordable medicine to all classes. They were also at the forefront of ensuring staff morale was an essential tool in securing the success of the business.

Mrs Boots of Pelham Street follows the first 22 years of the couples married life and I’ve learned to discover that Florence Boot was an innovator amongst working women. She was also keen to help those less fortunate and was always trying to close the social class gap.

A captivating historical novel that would make perfect Sunday evening TV.

About the Author
USA TODAY best-selling author of The Poppy Field
Publisher: HarperCollins, One More Chapter
Deborah Carr lives on the island of Jersey in the Channel Islands with her husband and three rescue dogs. She was described as ‘One to Watch’ by Good Housekeeping magazine for her debut historical romance, Broken Faces. Her book The Poppy Field, published by HarperCollins’ One More Chapter imprint to commemorate the centenary of the end of the First World War, was a USA TODAY best-seller.
The first book in her new Mrs Boots series, Mrs Boots, Book 1 is out on 27 March 2020 with Book 2, Mrs Boots of Pelham Street, being published in May.
Deborah is one third of The Blonde Plotters and Co-Founder of multi-award-winning tech start-up MyVLF.com – the first global virtual literary festival venue platform developed to connect readers and authors.

Follow Deborah:
Website: http://www.deborahcarr.org
Twitter: @DebsCarr
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DeborahCarrAuthor/
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/deborahcarr/