Daughters of War by Dinah Jefferies @DinahJefferies @fictionpubteam @RandomTTours #DaughtersofWar #bookreview #WWIIfiction

Daughters of War written by Dinah Jefferies, publisher HarperCollins, is available NOW in ebook, audiobook and paperback format.

Book Blurb

France, 1944. Deep in the river valley of the Dordogne, in an old stone cottage on the edge of a beautiful
village, three sisters long for the end of the war. Hélène, the eldest, is trying her hardest to steer her family
to safety, even as the Nazi occupation becomes more threatening. Elise, the rebel, is determined to help
the Resistance, whatever the cost. And Florence, the dreamer, just yearns for a world where France is
free. Then, one dark night, the Allies come knocking for help. And Hélène knows that she cannot sit on
the sidelines any longer. But bravery comes at a cost, and soon the sisters’ lives become even more
perilous as they fight for what is right. And secrets from their own mysterious past threaten to unravel
everything they hold most dear…
The first in an epic new series from the No.1 Sunday Times bestseller, Daughters of War is a stunning tale
of sisters, secrets and bravery in the darkness of war-torn France…

To buy links

The paperback is available from all good book retailers including Waterstones, WH Smith, Foyles and independent bookstores. It is also available online at amazon, wordery, bookshop.org, hive.

https://amzn.to/3Co1vyG

https://uk.bookshop.org/books/daughters-of-war-9780008427023/9780008427023

https://www.waterstones.com/book/daughters-of-war/dinah-jefferies/9780008427023

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 Dinah Jefferies latest novel: Daughters of War. Daughter’s of War is the first book in a new historical trilogy from the author.

What I love about Dinah Jefferies work is that she evokes plenty of atmosphere in her stories and this was portrayed beautifully and sensitively with Daughters of War. In this latest historical novel we are in a small village in France occupied by the Nazi, it’s 1944 and the Germans are wreaking havoc across France but the hearts and minds of the French are not forgotten as the Resistance builds up momentum.

We follow the story of three young women who have been left in the family’s holiday home in France whilst their mother remained in England. The sisters; Helene a nurse working with the local doctor, Elise using her work in the cafe to cover up her resistance work and Florence the youngest. They are all very different in personality, Helene feels a great responsibility since their mother left and worries about her younger sisters. Elise is strong-willed, brave and a little impetuous. Florence is a gentle, almost whimsical young woman loving nature, gardening, cooking and puts her trust in all.

When Florence trusts an unknown young man who appears distressed, malnourished she inadvertently brings trouble to their door and when another unexpected visitor turns up the sisters’ lives are put at risk. It’s a small village, everyone knows each other, secrets are hard to hide during this turbulent time and doubts begin to cross people’s minds. As the occupation of France rages on and the Allies prepare to make a strategic move the girls lives and those near them are put in danger.

Dinah Jefferies has written a captivating historical novel that puts you right near the end of what we know as WWII. Life is so different to post war when the countryside was beautiful, idyllic and an escape for all but there was no escape during this terrible conflict.. At times the storyline was raw and brutally honest and was hard to read about the cruelty of war. There were also times of an inner strength within the girls and the community that felt inspirational. The author blended fact with fiction with ease and grace and made me aware of an event in France I hadn’t hear about. As war rages on the beauty of love doesn’t disappear and this brings light to dark times.

I have to admit there is a scene with one particular character that took me by surprise as I felt it was quite out of place with their personality but I’m hoping this will all fit in to the storyline in later books.

When I reached the end of the novel it left me longing to read the next instalment. So many unanswered questions to a story that I feel is just the beginning for these three young women.

Atmospheric, captivating and emotive.

About the Author

Dinah Jefferies began her career with The Separation, followed by the number 1
Sunday Times and Richard and Judy bestseller, The Tea-Planter’s Wife. Born in
Malaysia, she moved to England at the age of nine. As a teenager she missed the
heat of Malaysia, which left her with a kind of restlessness that led to quite an
unusual life. She studied fashion design, went to live in Tuscany where she
worked as an au-pair for an Italian countess, and there was even a time when
Dinah lived with a rock band in a ‘hippie’ commune in Suffolk.
In 1985, the death of her fourteen-year-old son changed everything and she now
draws on the experience of loss in her writing. She started writing novels in her
sixties and sets her books abroad, aiming to infuse love, loss and danger with the
extremely seductive beauty of her locations. Dinah and her husband spent five wonderful years living in a small 16th Century village in the Sierra de Aracena in Northern Andalusia, she’s now lives close to her family in Gloucestershire. She is published in
29 languages and over 30 countries.

Twitter: @DinahJefferies

Website: https://www.dinahjefferies.com/

A Ration Book Daughter by Jean Fullerton @JeanFullerton_ @CorvusBooks @rararesources #ARationBookDaughter #WWIIsaga #HistFic #bookreview

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

Book Blurb

Not even the Blitz can shake a mother’s love.

Cathy was a happy, blushing bride when Britain went to war with Germany three years ago. But her youthful dreams were crushed by her violent husband Stanley’s involvement with the fascist black-shirts, and even when he’s conscripted to fight she knows it’s only a brief respite – divorce is not an option. Cathy, a true Brogan daughter, stays strong for her beloved little son Peter.

When a telegram arrives declaring that her husband is missing in action, Cathy can finally allow herself to hope – she only has to wait 6 months before she is legally a widow and can move on with her life. In the meantime, she has to keep Peter safe and fed. So she advertises for a lodger, and Sergeant Archie McIntosh of the Royal Engineers’ Bomb Disposal Squad turns up. He is kind, clever and thoughtful; their mutual attraction is instant. But with Stanley’s fate still unclear, and the Blitz raging on over London’s East End, will Cathy ever have the love she deserves?

Purchase Link – https://amzn.to/3ijT3HO

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

I am so pleased to be involved in the blogtour celebrating and promoting the launch of Jean Fullerton’s latest novel: A Ration Book Daughter.

Jean Fullerton writes family sagas that take you right into the lives of those living, working and surviving during some of the most pivotal moments in history. The Ration Book series takes you to life during WWII and the author’s words have kept me fascinated and gripped throughout the series. Although each book can be read as a standalone story I would highly recommend reading all the books in order to fully appreciate the characters history, setting and follow their progression as war rages on.

A Ration Book Daughter is Book 5 in the series and focuses on Cathy’s story of survival of a marriage she went into blindly and now suffering physically and emotionally the torment her husband has caused. However, as Stanley is now overseas with the war effort she has a slight respite but still suffers the malicious spite from her mother-in-law but the love of her young son, Peter, keeps her going.

Life is very busy for young mum Cathy volunteering with the WVS and looking after Peter, she’s also making time to learn a new skill to help her gain employment. All this juggling and ensuring Peter and the rest of her family are bedded down at the shelter each night.

Cathy meets Sergeant Archie McIntosh from the Bomb Disposal Unit and a friendship soon blossoms. Cathy soon realises there may be another chance of happiness for her but life is full of many complications.

With the daily uncertainty of war landscapes are shifting and lives will never be the same but there’s a spirit within people of making do and keeping calm in a crisis.

A Ration Book Daughter held me captive with it’s storyline which at times was gripping me with fear and at others I was lost with a tale of love fighting it’s way through turmoil.

Atmospheric, gripping and captivating.

Author Bio – Born and bred in East London Jean is a District Nurse by trade and has worked as a NHS manager and as a senior lecture in Health and Nursing Studies. She left her day job to become a full-time writer in 2015 and has never looked back.

In 2006 she won the Harry Bowling Prize and now has seventeen sagas published over three series with both Orion and Atlantic all of which are set in East London.

She is an experienced public speaker with hundreds of WI and women’s club talks under her belt, plus for the past fifteen years she has sailed all over the world as an enrichment speaker and writing workshop leader on cruise ships.

Social Media Links –

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

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/JeanFullerton_

Giveaway to Win 6 x A Ration Book Daughter Paperbacks (Open to UK Only)

*Terms and Conditions –UK 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/33c69494419/

Marjorie Hart and the Tree of Life by Amanda Vink @Amandaspoke @kaledenapress #bookreview #actionadventure #historicalfiction

Marjorie Hart and the Tree of Life written by Amanda Vink, publisher Kaledena Press, is available NOW in ebook and paperback format. THE EBOOK IS CURRENTLY ON A SPECIAL PROMOTION PRICE OF 77pence!!!

Book Blurb

Seeing is believing…

At least that’s what photojournalist Marjorie Hart lives by. But her life flips on its head when she receives a posthumous letter from her father. This letter puts the details of his death in question, and it also gives Marjorie the next clue in his lifelong search for the Tree of Life. However, Marjorie quickly discovers she’s not the only one looking for it.

Across the globe and from ancient libraries to buried tombs, Marjorie’s quest forces her to test what she believes—if she can make it out alive.

To buy link: https://amzn.to/2PLMG6f

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.

My interest was peeked for this novel when the author described it as an action/adventure historical fiction. I have to say action/adventure is not one of my usual genres but I enjoy delving into the past so I was happy to step into unknown territory for my reading.

Author Amanda Vink sets out the scene perfectly from the glitz and glamour of the 1920’s when life was starting to buzz with new possibilities. We step into the shoes of our adventuress, Marjorie Hart, who is still grieving for her father, renowned explorer/archaeologist Julian Hart. Something doesn’t sit quite right with her father’s death, which happened during his last project in Egypt and when Marjorie receives information which questions his death even more Marjorie begins a quest to find the truth. The journey for the truth will hopefully also uncover the legend of the Tree of Life and it’s possible existence.

I was captivated by this story, the author held my interest throughout and I too was invested in the truth and the possibility of discovering a living legend. Amanda Vink has written a story full of myths, legends and mystery which questions your belief of the wonderment of it all. My eyes and mind were opened to new worlds making my imagination run free.

Marjorie Hart is a great character, a young woman of independence in a world that still struggles to recognise the strength and intelligence of women. She’s not afraid of what lies ahead and has aspirations to bring historical and archaeological importance to be shared by all.

An enjoyable read for fans of Indiana Jones and for those that love historical stories with adventure, mystery, wonderment, danger and not forgetting a little romance. I have high hopes for lots more adventures for Marjorie Hart.

About the Author

Amanda Vink is an author and actress from Western New York. Her first verse novel AND WE CALL IT LOVE was published in 2019 by West 44 Books. She has written multiple fiction and nonfiction children’s book, which can be found in libraries and classrooms around the world.

Amanda’s upcoming novel, Marjorie Hart and the Tree of Life, is set during the 1920s. It will be available April 20th, 2021.

Website: Amanda Vink – Writer | Actor | Wonder Seeker

Twitter: @Amandaspoke

Instagram: @amandamarievink

The Rose Code by Kate Quinn @KateQuinnAuthor @HarperCollinsUK @RandomTTours #HistFic #bookreview

The Rose Code written by Kate Quinn, publisher Harper Collins, is available NOW in ebook, hardcover, audio CD and audiobook format.

Book Blurb

The brand-new novel from the internationally bestselling author of The Huntress and
Reese Witherspoon Book Club pick The Alice Network

1940, Bletchley Park, Buckinghamshire.
 
Three very different women are recruited to the mysterious Bletchley Park, where the best minds in Britain train to break German military codes.
 
Vivacious debutante Osla has the dashing Prince Philip of Greece sending her roses – but she burns to prove herself as more than a society girl, working to translate decoded enemy secrets. Self-made Mab masters the legendary codebreaking machines as she conceals old wounds and the poverty of her East-End London upbringing. And shy local girl Beth is the outsider who trains as one of the Park’s few female cryptanalysts.
 
1947, London.
 
Seven years after they first meet, on the eve of the royal wedding between Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip, disaster threatens. Osla, Mab and Beth are estranged, their friendship torn apart by secrets and betrayal. Yet now they must race against the clock to crack one final code together, before it’s too late, for them and for their country.

To buy links:

ebook: https://amzn.to/3m2JK13

Hardcover: The Rose Code by Kate Quinn | Waterstones

The Rose Code: Kate Quinn: 9780008455842: hive.co.uk


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 Kate Quinn’s latest historical novel: The Rose Code.

The Rose Code is my first read by author Kate Quinn. From the intensive research the author made to the detailed descriptions of the era and to the myriad of characters I appreciated every single step the author took to create this wonderful book. A book that is based on the real day to day life of workers at Bletchley Park during WWII. There are moments in the story that I felt like I was reading a true account of the lives and loves surrounding the people of Bletchley Park, it did feel like a memoir as it was so atmospheric. My husband witnessed my verbal gasps of admiration for this novel many a time especially as the intensity grew my eagerness to reach a conclusion was paramount!

The Rose Code is a story of three very different young women who found themselves signing an oath of secrecy as they commenced working for the government in the non descript huts at Bletchley Park. No training was given as they were all stepping into unknown territory and they learned as they worked their minds through codes, sequences, wires until they clicked into place revealing secret strategic information from the enemy. These codes could take weeks and even months to break but the workers were so committed to the task their whole lives soon revolved around Bletchley Park. A community of unique, sometimes reclusive, highly intelligent individuals all working together to form a team of silent, invisible workers helping with the war effort.

“Being clever doesn’t exempt me from danger.”

As the war progressed life intensified for our three friends but when a night like no other turns to questions of trust, inquisition and betrayal the lives of these women will never be the same again.

The story travels back and forth to their time at Bletchley Park and to 1947 to the forthcoming marriage of Princess Elizabeth to Prince Philip. 1947 is also just over 3 years since the girls last saw and spoke to each other. When one of them out of the blue breaks their silence the other two questions whether they can step back into a time that consumed their lives.

As the story picks up pace the reader is left on tenterhooks with a time limit in place for the mystery to be solved and for one of the friends life to be saved.

Kate Quinn has given us a glimpse into another world and to a different side to WWII, these remarkable invisible heroes with their team effort were to save many lives. The author treated the reader to a roller coaster of emotions and I struggled to contain my feelings a time or two. Life during conflict is hard, cruel and so unjust but love still found a way into people’s hearts. A historical fiction that had it all drama, intrigue, tragedy, danger and romance.

About the Author

Kate Quinn is a native of southern California. She attended Boston University, where she
earned a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Classical Voice. A lifelong history buff, she has
written four novels in the Empress of Rome Saga, and two books in the Italian Renaissance
detailing the early years of the infamous Borgia clan. All have been translated into multiple
languages. She and her husband now live in Maryland with two black dogs named Caesar
and Calpurnia.

Website: Kate Quinn – Author of Historical Fiction

Twitter: @KateQuinnAuthor

A Mother Forever by Elaine Everest @ElaineEverest @ed_pr @panmacmillan #bookreview #familysaga #amotherforever

A Mother Forever written by Elaine Everest, publisher Pan, is available NOW in ebook, hardcover, audiobook and now paperback format.

Book Blurb

1905: Ruby Caselton may only be twenty-five years old but she already has the weight of the world on her shoulders. Heavily pregnant with her second child, penniless and exhausted, she is moving her family into a new home. The Caseltons left their last place when they couldn’t pay the rent, but Ruby’s husband Eddie has promised this will be a fresh start for them all. And Ruby desperately hopes that this time he will keep his word.

With five-year-old George at her feet and her mother having a cross word for everyone and everything, life is never dull at number thirteen Alexandra Road. It doesn’t take long before Eddie loses another job and once again hits the bottle. It’s up to Ruby to hold them all together, through thick and thin. She remembers the kind, caring man Eddie once was and just can’t give up on him entirely. What she doesn’t know is that Eddie has a secret, one so dark that he can’t bear to tell even Ruby . . .

Through Ruby’s grit and determination, she keeps food on the table and finds herself a community of neighbours on Alexandra Road. Stella, the matriarch from across the way, soon becomes a friend and confidante. She even dreams that Ruby will ditch the useless Eddie and take up with her eldest son, Frank. But when war breaks out in 1914, the heartbreaks and losses that follow will fracture their community, driving both Stella and Ruby to breaking point. Will their men ever return to them?

To buy links:

ebook: https://amzn.to/3en3GK5

Waterstones: A Mother Forever by Elaine Everest | Waterstones

Hive: A Mother Forever: Elaine Everest: 9781529015966: hive.co.uk

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 adored this story by Elaine Everest, no matter what tragic historical events are thrown into the author’s storylines she still manages to instil a lovely warmth and cosiness for the reader’s experience.

If you’ve fell in love with Elaine Everest’s The Woolworth Girls series you will know of Ruby Caselton the stalwart figure of Alexandra Road. A Mother Forever is Ruby’s story set a couple of decades before she became a grandmother, friend and confidante to many in Erith.

It’s 1905 and young Ruby hasn’t had it easy so far in life, she fell hopelessly in love with Eddie Caselton and now has a 5 year old boy, George, with another baby on the way. Hoping this is her last move of many as Ruby moves into Alexandra Road but life soon takes a tragic turn or two and Ruby learns who she can rely on. The last few years married to Eddie has proved challenging at times and they have had to flee the rent man often and her husband has gone back on his promises. The new start on Alexandra Road sends many obstacles for this young couple. Torn between the love of a once good man Ruby is left with a battered heart and struggling to keep life as normal as possible for her young family.

As the years go by the uncertainty of war looms and the menfolk are volunteering in their droves for the frontline leaving family, friends and love ones at a loss and anxious for their safety. There is a role reversal between the men and women as jobs at home need to be fulfilled.

Elaine Everest has given us another wornderful family saga that can easily be read as a standalone but if you have read her previous work you will love this prequel and glimpse into Ruby’s life. I particularly enjoyed how the author incorporated so many historical events into the storying bringing to life an era that we have only read about. There was also a real sense of time and place and the emotional atmosphere felt very poignant. I also appreciated catching sight of characters that Ruby met briefly in her twenties and thirties that later on were to play a prominent role in her life.

Ruby’s is a beautiful, tragic love story with Eddie. At times you couldn’t bear the heartache and anguish she endured but at others it was just so wonderfully romantic that they were like your ‘Hollywood-esque’ tragic couple that had so many wrong junctions in life but the roads always went back to them.

Family saga at it’s best.

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

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

Mrs Boots Goes to War written by Deborah Carr, publisher One More Chapter, is available NOW in ebook format. The paperback is due out in May.

Book Blurb

The world is at war and her country needs her

When Florence’s son, John, announces that he has enlisted, she is horrified but determined to hold her family together during the oncoming hardships they are to face.

Men are returning to England wounded, with many more not returning at all, families are struggling, and Florence’s ‘Dear Girls’ are risking their lives in new and dangerous jobs. Florence might be older now, but she has no intention of sitting back on her laurels while others fight for King and Country. She knows what needs to be done…

Purchase link: https://amzn.to/3kMGDcC

REVIEW

Mrs Boots Goes to War is Book 3 in a trilogy based on the true story of the woman behind the Boots empire. A wife and now mother giving support to her husband, Jesse Boot, the owner of the stalwart high street pharmaceutical company Boots. I first became captivated by this story almost a year ago with Book One, Mrs Boots, you can find my review here https://kraftireader.wordpress.com/2020/03/23/mrs-boots-by-deborah-carr-debscarr-bookreview-historicalfiction-0nemorechapter/ and the story continued with Book Two, Mrs Boots of Pelham Street, you can find my review here https://kraftireader.wordpress.com/2020/05/18/mrs-boots-of-pelham-street-by-deborah-carr-debscarr-bookreview-historicalfiction-0nemorechapter/. I would highly recommend reading the books in order to fully appreciate the history of the characters and storyline.

Once again Deborah Carr has taken me back in time to just before WWI, a time when Florence and Jesse Boot were enjoying the success of their company with expanding factories and shops throughout the country. Their three children had grown and were making their own marks on the world. However, as the uncertainty of war approached life for many would never be the same. This included Florence and Jesse whose own children felt compelled to help with the war effort leaving an anxiety that no parent should ever have to face. The Boots company too was everchanging during the war with staff too wanting to leave and join up and many of the female workers were also leaving to work in the ammunitions factories. Both Florence and Jesse desperately wanted Boots the company to have a big impact of helping with the war effort and the couple never gave up with the ideas and innovations to offering lifesaving medical equipment and drugs to those on the frontline. They also never forgot about those families, friends and loved ones left behind and had a huge compassion to bringing comfort as and when needed. As time went on the plight of wounded soldiers returning to Britain without employment was another of the couples concerns.

The ongoing challenges Florence Boot faced both personally and professionally were enough to bring anyone down but Florence never gave up and her ethos throughout her life was inspirational.

Deborah Carr managed to capture the emotional trauma of life during conflict, at times I was filled with anguish and sorrow and the dread of the Telegram Boy was evident. However, this is not a story full of doom and gloom this is a story bringing to light a remarkable woman who refused to let others dispel her dreams of a better life for all. I was captivated and invested in the love story behind Florence and Jesse Boot but I was also immersed to the historical aspect of the storyline. I’m sad to come to the end of the trilogy I’d like to thank Deborah Carr for bringing Mrs Boot to life and giving me a thirst to learn more about the people behind this iconic empire that is Boots. Poignant, emotive and inspiring.

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 Beautiful Spy by Rachel Hore @Rachelhore @simonschusterUK @RandomTTours @TeamBATC #bookreview #ABeautifulSpy

A Beautiful Spy written by Rachel Hore, publisher Simon & Schuster UK, is available NOW in ebook, audiobook and hardcover format.

Book Blurb

From the Sunday Times bestselling author of Last Letter Home, a Richard & Judy Book Club pick, comes a thrilling novel about a woman with an extraordinary life, based on a true story.
Minnie Gray is an ordinary young woman. She is also a spy for the British government.
It all began in the summer of 1928…
Minnie is supposed to find a nice man, get married and have children. The problem is it doesn’t appeal to her at all.
She is working as a secretary, but longs to make a difference.
Then, one day, she gets her chance. She is recruited by the British government as a spy. Under strict instructions not to tell anyone, not even her family, she moves to London and begins her mission – to infiltrate the Communist
movement.
She soon gains the trust of important leaders. But as she grows more and more entangled in the workings of the movement, her job becomes increasingly dangerous. Leading a double life is starting to take its toll on her relationships and, feeling more isolated than ever, she starts to wonder how this is all going to end. The Russians are notorious for ruthlessly disposing of people given the slightest suspicion. What if they find out?

Full of suspense, courage and love, A Beautiful Spy is a stunningly written story about resisting the norm and following
your dreams, even if they come with sacrifices.

To buy links:

Kindle ebook: https://amzn.to/3bygY3g

Waterstones: A Beautiful Spy by Rachel Hore | Waterstones

Hive: https://bit.ly/3bsVt44

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 Hore’s latest novel: A Beautiful Spy.

I have often found that fiction brings factual events in history to life and it also gives me a thirst to learn more about the respective subject. This is definitely the case of Rachel Hore’s new novel: A Beautiful Spy, which is based on the remarkable double life of Olga Gray. Olga Gray was a young British woman who was recruited by MI5 to work undercover to gain close access to members of the Communist Party.

Minnie Gray was feeling fed up and bored of the suburban life of 1930’s Edgbaston but all this was about to change when she was introduced to Captain King. An eccentric man who was like the puppet master for numerous operatives working for the government department MI5. Minnie soon became charmed and a little obsessed by this man and found herself embroiled in a double life that put her in the depths of danger and uncertainty.

As time went on Minnie became reliant on the men in her life and she was afraid to upset any of them but as her personal life was spilling into her professional life she had to make sacrifices.

Rachel Hore had me totally gripped with this story. I was impressed with the bravery of the secret agents and Minnie was just one of many that put their lives on hold to help the country. It sounded exciting and thrilling but the constant anxiety of being discovered must have been terrifying.

A thoroughly enjoyable historical fiction that brings to life the remarkability of people.

About the Author

Rachel Hore worked in London publishing for many years before moving with her family to Norwich, where she
taught publishing and creative writing at the University of East Anglia before becoming a full-time writer. She is
married to the writer D. J. Taylor and they have three sons. Her last novel, The Love Child, was a Sunday Times
bestseller.

Website: https://rachelhore.co.uk

Twitter: @Rachelhore

The Good Wife by Eleanor Porter @elporterauthor @BoldwoodBooks @rararesources #blogtour #bookextract

The Good Wife written by Eleanor Porter, publisher Boldwood Books, is available NOW in ebook, kindleunlimited, audiobook and paperback format.

Book Blurb

Where will her loyalty lead her?

Once accused of witchcraft Martha Spicer is now free from the shadow of the gallows and lives a safe and happy life with her husband, Jacob. But when Jacob heads north to accompany his master, he warns Martha to keep her healing gifts a secret, to keep herself safe, to be a good wife.

Martha loves Jacob but without him there to protect her, she soon comes under the suspicious eye of the wicked Steward Boult, who’s heard of her talent and forces her to attend to him. If she refuses, he promises to destroy the good life she has built for herself with Jacob.

Desperate and alone, Martha faces a terrible decision: stay and be beholden to Boult or journey north to find Jacob who is reported to have been killed.. The road ahead is filled with danger, but also the promise of a brighter future. And where her gifts once threatened to be her downfall, might they now be the very thing that sets Martha free…?

The brilliant follow-up to Eleanor Porter’s first novel of love, betrayal, superstition and fear in Elizabethan England. A story of female courage, ingenuity and determination , this is perfect for fans of Tracy Chevalier.

Purchase Link – https://buff.ly/3jveaHL

I am so pleased to be involved in the blogtour celebrating the launch of Eleanor Porter’s latest historical novel: The Good Wife. I have the pleasure of sharing an extract from the novel.

Rain set in before nightfall. A cold thick rain that pressed out light and hope. I knelt by my bed and prayed they had found good lodgings and kindness. Even as I did so, I half expected the light touch of his fingers on my neck, his presence behind me. Such foolishness, it was only two months. Nevertheless, I lay awake a long time, long after the cottages were quiet and there was only the odd owl, the rain on the thatch and the drip where it leaked. It was getting worse, the leak. The ridge needed renewing. They had promised it when we arrived. ‘Not a bad cottage Jacob Spicer,’ they’d said, ‘and the Steward’s man has promised you a new coating of thatch before winter.’ We’d scarcely cared at first, the life here was so much more than we’d dared hope for, but as that winter passed, and the next, we’d grown tired of patching the holes. Last November a storm had threatened to blow half the roof away; we’d had to rope it down, with the gale in our faces. If we were to have another wild night I could not attempt that on my own. Mould spread over our end wall like breath on glass, however often I scrubbed and limed it. If I could be of service to the Steward, perhaps Jacob would come home to a new roof. 

I must have fallen asleep at last, for when I woke the birds were loud and the rain had stopped. I opened the door to sunshine, and to Sally Robbins, my neighbour two doors down. Silly Sally we called her, she was always wittering to fill the empty spaces in her head, or else worrying after things she could not help, as though it were only her fretting stopped the sun from falling down. There was no harm in her, for all that; when her sister had died she had taken the children in, though there was scarce room to stand. It had been the making of her, for it gave her a whole houseful who would worry her forever. She was forever clasping the children to her big turnip breasts and weeping at their faults and falls and they loved her for it and strained to get away. 

I smiled. It felt good to have another’s voice in the house and if I couldn’t have Jacob, hers would do, for it lined the emptiness without my having to make much in the way of response. 

‘Well I didn’t see you all afternoon and I said to my Michael, that poor girl – I know you are a grown woman Martha, but you are a girl to me ever since I saw you arrive thinner than a reed in winter – so I said to myself that girl has gone to be alone to weep. And I expect you didn’t get a wink of sleep did you, all night long?’ 

I smiled to think I was near as feeble as she thought me. ‘I slept quite well Sally, thank you, although the rain was coming through all night.’ 

‘Yes, you look pale as death itself, poor thing. It’s a terrible thing to be lovesick. And you two like pretty doves, if a dove could be as dark as you are dear – if I’m honest you are more brown like mistress blackbird and you have a lovely voice like her too, I’ve heard you singing. And Jacob your ouzel, but golden. Michael said if you think she’s lonely you could send the baby round to her, he’d keep her busy enough!’ 

‘I’d be happy, Sally— ‘ 

‘—And make you pine the more! Well, maybe an hour or two of an evening, I have that much to do I barely eat some nights and the poor babe so sick with the kinkcough he whoops all night. But don’t you worry, you’ll have some of your own before long, there’s nothing like a bit of yearning to quicken you up when he comes home – perhaps if Michael had gone away a bit more we’d have had our own. But see, we’ve plenty.’ 

‘You have, Sally, they’re doing well.’ 

‘Are they, do you think so, you don’t think Jack has taken to stooping? They are working him too hard in the yards and now with Jacob gone – he’ll miss him near as much as you will, always a kind word, Jacob, like a brother he’s been—’ 

‘—Sally,’ I said, for my patience was wearing a little, ‘Roger Boult, the Steward, accosted me yesterday as I was gathering herbs. He wants me to attend to him, I think it must be a sickness of his own, or someone else in the household. Do you know of anything?’ 

Sally pursed her lips together. ‘I won’t hear a word against Sir Thomas, he’s the best master that ever lived…’ 

Author Bio –

Eleanor Porter has lectured at Universities in England and Hong Kong and her poetry and short fiction has been published in magazines. The Wheelwright’s Daughter was her first novel.

Social Media Links –
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https://www.facebook.com/eleanorporterauthor

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https://www.instagram.com/eleanorporterauthor/

12 Days of Clink Street Publishing – Olga’s Egg by Sophie Law @authoright #blogtour #bookreview #HistFic #Faberge #12DaysofClinkStreet @FayeRogersPR

Olga’s Egg written by Sophie Law, publisher Clink Street Publishing, is available NOW in ebook and paperback format.

Book Blurb

When Fabergé specialist Assia Wynfield learns of the discovery of a long-lost Fabergé egg made for the Grand Duchess Olga Nikolaevna, daughter of the last Tsar of Russia, she appears to be the only person with misgivings. On travelling to St. Petersburg to see the egg, Assia moves among Russia’s new rich but finds herself pulled back into a family past she would rather forget. With news that a friend is missing, Assia starts to dig deeper. But does she really want the answers to the questions she is asking? Set in today’s glamorous world of Russian art with glimpses into the lives of the last Romanovs as their empire crumbled in the wake of the Russian Revolution, Olga’s Egg is an enthralling tale of love, family secrets and the artistic treasures that conceal them.

To buy links:

amazon UK: https://amzn.to/33ZOaxO

Waterstones: Olga’s Egg by Sophie Law | Waterstones

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 12 Days of Clink Street Publishing blogtour celebrating books published by Clink Street. I have chosen a historical fiction novel to review: Olga’s Egg by Sophie Law.

I was completely fascinated with this debut novel by Sophie Law. Olga’s Egg is a novel blending fact with fiction. I always appreciate how fiction brings history to life and after reading Olga’s Egg it’s given my a thirst to learn more about Russian’s history and also the history of Faberge eggs.

Olga’s Egg is a time-slip historical novel about Assia Wynfield, a Faberge specialist, she is investigating the provenance of the newly discovered egg believed to have once belonged to the Grand Duchess Olga Nikolaevna, daughter of the last Tsar of Russia. As you can imagine Russia and the art world are buzzing with this discovery but Assia feels that something doesn’t fit right about the piece. We follow Assia’s journey learning about this new egg taking her on an emotional, informative and at times dangerous journey from Russia to Oxford and back.

The author takes us back in time to 1918 when there was much political unrest in Russia and tragedy was to trike leaving a lasting mark in Russia’s history.

The story is filled with the glamour of the rich and powerful in Russia but there is a sense of secrecy and danger amongst the elite. Can Assia find the truth surrounding the egg and can she learn from the secrets of the past?

A suspenseful story steeped with history and intrigue. I really enjoyed this glimpse into the breath-taking splendour of the Faberge egg that was tainted with a dark side.

About the Author

Sophie Law was born in London in 1981 and studied at Oxford University and the School of Slavonic and East European Studies. She began her career as a Russian art expert at Bonhams in 2006. After a number of years heading the Russian department and as a UK Board Director at Bonhams, she now acts as a consultant specialist. She lives with her husband and daughter in Oxford.

Website: http://www.sophielawconsultancy.com

Instagram: @sophielouiseannlaw

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