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

Twitter: www.twitter.com/FCapaldiBurgess

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/

A Shop Girl at Sea by Rachel Brimble @RachelBrimble @Aria_Fiction @rararesources #HistoricalFiction #blogtour #bookreview #Penningtons

a shop girl at sea

A Shop Girl at Sea written by Rachel Brimble, publisher Aria, is available NOW in ebook and paperback format.

Book Blurb

Bath, 1912.

Amelia Wakefield loves working at Pennington’s, Bath’s finest department store. An escape from her traumatic past, it saved her life. So when Miss Pennington sets her a task to set sail on the Titanic and study the department stores of New York, she couldn’t be more excited – or determined!

Frustrated with his life at home, Samuel Murphy longs for a few weeks of freedom and adventure. Meeting Amelia on board the Titanic, Samuel can’t help wonder what painful history has made the beauty so reserved. But he already has too many responsibilities for love.

Ruby Taylor has always kept her Pennington co-workers at a distance. Making sure her little brother is safe has always been her priority. But when that means accepting Victoria Lark’s offer of sanctuary, more than one of Ruby’s secrets is under threat of being revealed…

A riveting and uplifting saga, perfect for fans of Elaine Everest and Fiona Ford.

To buy link:

A Shop Girl At Sea

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 Shop Girl at Sea.

A Shop Girl at Sea is Book 4 in the Pennington’s series and although each book is focused on a different character I would highly recommend reading the books in order to gain the full reading experience and enjoyment.  The Pennington’s series is fast becoming one of my favourite historical fiction series.  The books in order are:

  • A Shop Girl in Bath (Previously published as The Mistress of Pennington’s)
  • A Shop Girl Gets the Vote (Previously published as A Rebel at Pennington’s)
  • A Shop Girl’s Christmas (Previously published as Christmas at Pennington’s)
  • A Shop Girl at Sea

To catch up with my reviews of all books please follow the link here to all the posts on my blog: https://kraftireader.wordpress.com/?s=Pennington

This instalment focuses on Amelia Wakefield who has been working at the prestigious department store in Bath for a little while.  Amelia has been given a new assignment with one of her colleagues; a chance to visit New York to analyse the large department stores and it’s customers in the city of dreams.  Amelia and Mr Weir will be travelling to New York on the maiden voyage of the Titanic ship.

The world of industry, commerce, tourism and the public alike are a buzz with this new ship that can carry thousands of people across the seas in a luxury that many can only dream about.

Including such a pivotal moment in the history of the world in a fictional story in a way leaves the reader with a little spoiler.  We all know the fate of this maiden voyage by such an iconic ship and as I was reading the story I was waiting for the moment but I was so engrossed in the storyline surrounding the characters I was as surprised as the passengers on the ship.  I felt the intensity of the situation and I was anxious for all on the ship.

This is a story of excitement and trepidation visiting new lands of opportunity that soon take a turn of tragic events.  It’s also a story of two young people trying to escape their pasts to start afresh.  Away from the drama at sea there’s anther story taking place back home in Bath when another young lady working at the store is battling with a darkness of her own.  Ruby has been hiding her home life struggles for a long time but it’s reached a point of no return but she is so afraid of the conflicting emotions in her head and heart.

A Shop Girl at Sea is another wonderful instalment in this historical romance series; it’s a story of love overcoming stigmas, finding the strength to grasp new hope and opportunities.

About the Author

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).

In July 2019, she signed a three-book deal with Aria Fiction for a Victorian trilogy set in a Bath brothel which will feature three heroines determined to change their lives and those of other women. The first book is due for release in Autumn 2020.

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:
https://us12.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=ab0dc0484a3855f2bc769984f&id=bd3173973a

Social Media Links

Website: https://rachelbrimble.com/
Blog: http://rachelbrimble.blogspot.co.uk/
Twitter:  @RachelBrimble

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Rachel-Brimble/e/B007829ZRM/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1490948101&sr=8-1

 

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

mrs boots

Mrs Boots written by Deborah Carr, publisher 0ne More Chapter (digital imprint of HarperCollins UK) is available in ebook format from 27th March 2020.  The book will be available in paperback in the summer.

Book Blurb

An incredible historical novel inspired by the true story behind the Boots empire.
Jersey 1885
On the beautiful island of Jersey, Florence Rowe lives a quiet life working in her father’s bookshop. Life for the Rowe family is good, but Florence can’t help yearning for more…
When Jesse Boot, the successful owner of Boots the chemist, arrives on the island, Florence is immediately captivated by his tales of life in a busy, bustling city on the mainland. For the first time ever, Florence imagines a life away from the constraints of Jersey society, of being someone more than just a shopgirl.
Until her parents reveal the shocking news they will refuse any marriage proposal from Mr Boot. Can Florence find a way to be with the man she loves and make a new life for herself?

To pre-order/buy link: https://amzn.to/3acpKC5

Boots storefront

image courtesy of Google search

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

Mrs Boots is book one in a new historical series inspired by Florence Boot, the woman behind the Boots empire. I devoured this story, it was so captivating, interesting and beautifully romantic. Florence is a headstrong young woman who wants to help those in need. She never wanted to marry but when she met Jesse Boot, the son of the founder of Boots the chemist, she found a kindred spirit with him. However, their friendship was frowned upon by her family. Her mother in particular made her opinions quite clear and as a mother myself I could see her point of view but I also knew to stop the power of love is impossible.

Deborah Carr’s words took me to an era were social etiquette was prevalent, religion and belief were very strong and the beliefs of Florence’s mother were true to her character and faith. The atmosphere of the storyline was perfect, I could sense a time and place. Hearing about the life in the stationery shop in Jersey sounded wonderful and it brought back pangs of nostalgia of visiting small independent shops receiving personal customer service with my grandparents. Just hearing that shop bell indicating a new customer brings back pangs of warm, fuzzy emotions.

The budding friendship between Jesse Boot and Florence was lovely, especially as it took Florence by surprise how her feelings soon changed.  Both Jesse and Florence had a desire to educate those less fortunate and giving them the opportunity to better themselves.  They also want to impart on all classes of society the importance of nutrition and health and make affordable medicine available to all.

When you start a new book series and so wish the other instalments were instantly available to enable you to binge read them all; this is how I felt about Mrs Boots. As soon as I finished reading I felt compelled to research both Jesse and Florence Boot and the legacy they’ve left behind is inspiring.

A gorgeous start to a new historical series that captivated, charmed and inspired me.

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/

The Orphan House by Ann Bennett @annbennett71 @bookouture #blogtour #bookreview #historicalfiction

The-Orphan-House-Kindle

The Orphan House written by Ann Bennett, publisher Bookouture, is available NOW in ebook, audiobook and paperback format.

Book Blurb

As she looks at the baby wriggling in her father’s arms, a bolt of recognition goes through her and she takes a step back. And it’s in that moment that she begins to protect her father’s secrets.

1934, Weirfield-on-Thames. Connie Burroughs loves living in the orphanage that her father runs. Exploring its nooks and crannies with her sister, hearing the pounding of a hundred pairs of feet on the wooden stairs, having a father who is doing so much good. But everything changes the day she sees him carrying a newborn baby that he says he found near the broken front gate. A baby she recognises…

Present day. Arriving at her father’s beloved cottage beside the river, Sarah Jennings is hoping for peace and quiet, to escape her difficult divorce. But when she finds her father unwell and hunched over boxes of files on the orphanage where he was abandoned as a child, she decides to investigate it herself.

The only person left alive who lived at Cedar Hall is Connie Burroughs, but Connie sits quietly in her nursing home for a reason. The sewing box under Connie’s bed hides secrets that will change Sarah’s life forever, uncovering a connection between them that has darker consequences than she could ever imagine.

A heartbreaking but ultimately uplifting tale inspired by the lives of the children who lived at the author’s great-grandfather’s orphanage. Fans of Before We Were Yours, The Orphan’s Tale and The Orphan Train will be hooked.

Buy Links:
Amazon: https://geni.us/B08283DBP7Social
Apple Books: https://apple.co/2OX1USN
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2DOLVQk
Googleplay: http://bit.ly/2Rro4hM

Blog Tour Poster - The Orphan House

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 Ann Bennett’s historical novel: The Orphan House.

I originally read this novel back in January 2019 when the author self-published the story, the book has been lovingly re-edited with a new title and published by Bookouture and I am so happy for the author to gain the recognition from such a great publishing company.

This is a very beautiful, atmospheric but equally tragic and poignant story set in three different time frames. It is a story about three women who have been linked to an event that is marred by illegal, immoral and devastating circumstances back in 1934. It’s not until the present day that the truth is slowly unravelled and the small link between the women is lengthened.

Ann Bennett’s words completely captivated me in this story. With her atmospheric prose depicting the sensory details of 1930’s India that Anna first experienced when she was travelling to India to escape England and the shroud of gossip surrounding her father. Anna was excited about her future in India but it soon became a lonely existence for her.

Connie is now all alone in the world and following a fall she’s living in an elderly care home. Struggling with her ailments both physically and mentally as she is forced to sell the family home to cover her expenses at the home. Cedar Hall has been her home for over 70 years and was adjacent to an orphanage. Connie is very wary of her past in the Lodge and she is afraid of the Hall revealing the truth.

Sarah stumbles across Cedar Hall on her way to her father’s house following a startling discovery surrounding her husband. Sarah is shocked and angry and very unsure of her future. She realises the place she needs to take stock of her life is at her father’s house in a small village in Berkshire, not far from Cedar Hall. Cedar Hall is up for sale and is looking a little worn and tired but it still holds a presence in the village and after her first sight of the house Sarah cannot stop thinking about it.

Stripping back the walls that have held secrets for a long time reveal a story of greed, a story of tragedy and a story of lost loves. From the sumptuous setting in India to the chilling discoveries back in Berkshire this is a brilliant story that will appeal to historical fans, romance fans and mystery fans. If you love the work of Dinah Jefferies you will appreciate the work of Ann Bennett and the beautiful story that is The Orphan House.

About the Author

the orphan house Ann Profile PhotoAnn 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.

The idea for The Orphan House came from researching her great-grandfather, Brice Bennett, who was headmaster of a county school for pauper children in Wargrave, Berkshire. The Orphan House and a further WW2 historical novel will be published by Bookouture in 2020.

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

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/annbennett71
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/annbennettauthor/

When We Were Brave by Suzanne Kelman @suzkelman @bookouture #blogtour #bookreview #historicalfiction #WW2fiction

when we were brave

When We Were Brave written by Suzanne Kelman, publisher Bookouture, is available NOW in ebook, audiobook and paperback format.
Book Description:

The face of the woman in the photograph was tilted upwards, as if enjoying the sunshine just for a moment, even as the wreckage of the bombed-out street lay behind her…

1944, Cornwall: Blinded by love, Vivienne Hamilton eloped to Paris with a Nazi prisoner-of-war, never to be seen again. A disgrace to her family, her name would not be mentioned by any of her relatives for over 75 years.

Present day, London: When Sophie discovers a photograph of her great aunt Vivi from World War Two, it throws her into a world of confusion. Because, as she learns about this secret relative, she quickly realises that the photograph doesn’t fit with her family’s story. It shows Vivi leaving an address associated with a spy network in London – a place she had no reason to be – and it is dated right before she disappeared.

Meanwhile Sophie’s own life feels as blasted and bombed as the blitzed city in the photograph she’s looking at. Her beautiful daughter – as full of joy and wild energy as Vivi had apparently once been – is gone; and Sophie’s heart has been left broken into pieces.

Retreating to the family home in rural Cornwall to seek solace from her pain and the feelings of guilt that she could have done more to protect her daughter, Sophie finds herself becoming obsessed with Vivi’s life.

But nothing can prepare Sophie for what she is about to uncover – the story of a woman who risked everything for the person she loved the most; and a secret family history that could be the key to Sophie’s own future.

A powerful, haunting and unforgettable read about love, heartbreak and betrayal set in Second World War Britain and France. Perfect for fans of The NightingaleUnder a Scarlet Sky and My Name is Eva.

When We Were Brave - 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 Suzanne Kelman’s latest novel: When We Were Brave.
This is my first introduction to the work of Suzanne Kelman and her writing blew me away, I’ve subsequently downloaded her bestselling novel A View Across the Rooftops as I need more of her words to satisfy my thirst for her work.
When We Were Brave is a totally captivating historical time slip novel about the bravery of the silent heroes of WWII, the secret agents who intercepted codes and messages.  When We Were Brave was truly brilliant storytelling by Suzanne Kelman and her words broke me.
I find historical novels set around the two wars fascinating, I especially like to read and learn about the impact it had on people, those not on the frontline but equally displaying a bravery for the task they’d chosen to help with the war effort.
When We Were Brave is a time slip novel were the present day learns something about a relative who lived during WW2.  This relative’s life has been lived in a shadow of accusation and for many years their existence had been banished to a cupboard never to be spoken of again.  Until Sophie discovers a photograph of her Great Aunt Vivi taken during WW2.  This photograph opens up a conversation that Sophie’s elderly relatives wish to shy away from but Sophie feels compelled to seek the truth about her Great Aunt.  Sophie goes on a journey of painstakingly researching through many war records across London, Cornwall, Paris and Berlin.
The story then slips back to 1943 to when a young woman who is headstrong and a little reckless makes the decision to be trained as a SOE and risk her life in the name of wartime espionage, the silent and invisible heroes of conflict.
Both sides of this story entranced me; Sophie unearthing more and more about her Great Aunt and piecing together a completely different picture to what Vivi was remembered as.  I was also equally fascinated by this brave young woman Vivi who was all alone in a world of unrest and danger but there was a human element to her new role that Vivi found herself making new friends and falling in love.
The author has written such a wonderful, compelling story that will grip you to the very end, it will break your heart but it will also leave you with a sense of gratitude for these selfless individuals.  I can’t stop thinking about this story.
Author Bio:
when we were brave authorSuzanne Kelman is a 2015 Academy of Motion Pictures Nicholl Finalist, Multi-Award-Winning Screenwriter and a Film Producer. As well as working in film she is also an International Amazon Bestselling Fiction Author of the Southlea Bay Series – The Rejected Writers’ Book Club, Rejected Writers Take the Stage and The Rejected Writers’ Christmas Wedding. Born in the United Kingdom, she now resides in Washington State.
@suzkelman

Moonlight Over Mayfair by Anton Du Beke @TheAntonDuBeke @ZaffreBooks @Tr4cyF3nt0n #blogtour #bookreview #historicalfiction #MoonlightOverMayfair

moonlight over mayfair

Moonlight Over Mayfair written by Anton Du Beke, publisher Zaffre, is available NOW in ebook, hardcover, audiobook and available in paperback from Thursday 20th February 2020.

To buy links:

amazon UK: https://amzn.to/37tgNSW

amazon US: https://amzn.to/2UV3N5N

Waterstones: https://www.waterstones.com/book/moonlight-over-mayfair/anton-du-beke/9781785767814

Book Blurb

London, 1937.

With a new king in place, tensions are rising in London and across Europe. Shaken by the Great Depression and with talk of another war coming, the Buckingham Hotel is trying to regain some stability.

Upstairs, Vivienne Edgerton is desperate to do something worthwhile with her time and her stepfather’s money, rather than spending it on frivolity and debauchery – but will this land her in even more trouble?

And downstairs, chambermaid Nancy Nettleton is finally starting to feel more settled at the Buckingham, and hopes her brother will soon call London home, too. But she misses the man she loves, demonstration dancer Raymond de Guise, who is noticeably absent from the Grand Ballroom dance floor.

The staff and guests of the Buckingham soon discover that in a hotel full of secrets, there’s always someone listening . . .

Anton Du Beke Moonlight 29.1.20

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 the paperback launch of Anton Du Beke’s second novel: Moonlight Over Mayfair.  Although this is Anton Du Beke’s second novel it is my first introduction to his work and I loved it, his words waltzed me away to a time gone by to a story filled with drama, society glitz and glamour, working class trials and tribulations and a swoon-worthy romance.

Moonlight Over Mayfair is such a wonderful read; the authors words twirled me to the dance floor of a prestigious hotel in London but there is so much more to this story to captivate you and leave you wanting more.  For me the beauty of this novel was the stories of the people living and working within the walls of the Buckingham Hotel.  It’s 1937, a time when the world is feeling a little unsure of what’s around the corner with the talks of unease in Europe.  It is also a time when women were starting to think of their dreams and aspirations and there are two such young women in this story that are stepping out of the mould they were born in and looking to do more with their lives and specifically helping with the crisis on the dark streets of London.

I haven’t read One Enchanted Evening, book one in the Buckingham series, so I have no prior history of any of the characters or the hotel but Anton Du Beke’s words describing the era, place, setting and the glorious array of characters charmed and entertained me.  Moonlight Over Mayfair is a story of two sides to the social balance of London were working class meets the privileged and they harmonize each other.  This novel to me has it all; it’s a saga, a historical romance, it’s filled with political unrest, drama and intrigue, unlikely friendships and blossoming romances.  I felt charmed by the nostalgia and captivated by the elegance of the ballroom but also felt inspired by the new opportunities that a few of the characters were seeking.  Mr Du Beke definitely has a new fan in me of his historical fiction.

About the Author (taken from amazon author page)

Anton Du Beke – the King of Ballroom, ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ royalty, and household name – is truly making his mark as one of this generation’s all-round entertainers. Hot on the heels of his debut album ‘From The Top’, Anton now realises his boyhood ambition and will be publishing his first novel, ‘One Enchanted Evening’, later this year.

The consummate storyteller, adept at captivating audiences will now captivate readers as he whisks them away to worlds of dance, intrigue, high society and scandal… bringing the golden age of dance to life, page by page.

As Strictly’s longest running professional dancer, achieving a remarkable decade in dance on tour with his professional partner Erin Boag, and as a much sought-after personality and presenter, Anton is the perfect author to lead the reader to the dancefloor as never before.

Twitter: @TheAntonDuBeke

Website: https://www.antondubeke.tv/

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

Mrs P’s Book of Secrets by Lorna Gray @MsLornaGray @OneMoreChapter_ #30DaysofBookBlogs #bookreview #HistFic

Lorna Gray Mrs P UK (2)

Mrs P’s Book of Secrets (UK)/The Book Ghost (US) written by Lorna Gray, publisher One More Chapter (an imprint of Harper Collins) is available NOW in ebook format (the paperback is due out in March 2020).

To buy links:

UK – http://www.amazon.co.uk/Mrs-Book-Secrets-Lorna-Gray-ebook/dp/B07SD9X1M6/

US – http://www.amazon.com/dp/B07VQY6HJ5

Book Blurb

The Cotswolds, Christmastime 1946
A young widow leaves behind the tragedy of her wartime life, and returns home to her ageing aunt and uncle. For Lucy – known as Mrs P – and the people who raised her, the books that line the walls of the family publishing business bring comfort and the promise of new beginnings.
But the kind and reserved new editor at the Kershaw and Kathay Book Press is a former prisoner of war, and he has his own shadows to bear. And when the old secrets of a little girl’s abandonment are uncovered within the pages of Robert Underhills’s latest project, Lucy must work quickly if she is to understand the truth behind his frequent trips away.
For a ghost dwells in the record of an orphan girl’s last days. And even as Lucy dares to risk her heart, the grief of her own past seems to be whispering a warning of fresh loss…

Lorna Mrs P's Blogger images-02

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 #30DaysofBookBlogs run by author Lorna Gray and if you check out Lorna’s social media feed you will find out all sorts of wonderful information about 30 book bloggers.  I have the pleasure of sharing my review of Lorna’s latest novel: Mrs P’s Book of Secrets.  This is my first introduction to the work of Lorna Gray and I am thrilled to have found a new historical fiction author to add to my favourites list.

Mrs P’s Book of Secrets is a story that you have to let it build like a perfect pot of loose-leaf tea were the leaves have to steep for a certain time, just like this book and it’s words that are ‘steeping’ to reach it’s peak leaving you with a satisfied glow.  Please be patient with the words…

Lorna Gray has created a very atmospheric novel that is fitting to the characters and era, I could feel a sense of time and place and understood for the characters that life needed at this time to take on a more gentler rhythm.

Mrs P’s Book of Secrets is a gentle, poignant love story that I felt held a few stories within it.  I loved the steady building relationship of trust between Lucy and Robert and for them personally it was just at the right pace. They’ve both suffered with the aftermath of the war so a windswept romance wouldn’t have worked. I liked the sound of Robert he seemed very dark and mysterious at first but once he opened up your heart expands with love for him.

Lucy works for her uncle at his book publishing business and Robert has recently come to work as a new editor.  I found it quite fascinating this side of the story to learn about the machinations behind book publishing back in the 1940’s and I never even thought that rations would come into play.  To read about how an idea for a book, with the author approaching a publisher, for it then to become a reality with the type setting of the words in the print room for a book lover sounded enchanting.  I appreciated the research that the author has undertaken giving the readers a step back in time into the world of publishing.

Mrs P’s Book of Secrets held a certain chilling mystery around it taking you on a journey of self-discovery and starting anew following much sadness and the feeling of being lost within a world trying to forge on following the World War.  It’s a love story, a historical mystery novel and a story of new beginnings. All I’m saying is that the ending reaching out and grabbed me and I did feel a satisfied glow, just like a perfect cup of tea.

About the Author

Author Lorna GrayLorna Gray was born in 1980 in Bedfordshire. Her relationship with the glorious countryside of the Cotswolds began many years ago when she first moved to Cirencester. She has been exploring the area through her love of history, adventure and romance ever since.
This is Lorna’s fourth post-WWII mystery. Her three previous novels are In the Shadow of Winter (2015), The War Widow (2018) and The Antique Dealer’s Daughter (2018). She lives in the Cotswolds with her husband.

Website: http://mslornagray.co.uk/

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

Twitter: @MsLornaGray
Instagram: @mslornagray