The Road to Newgate by Kate Braithwaite excerpt

the road to newgate

The Road to Newgate written by Kate Braithwaite, publisher Crooked Cat Books, is available NOW in ebook and paperback format. The ebook is also included in the kindleunlimited scheme.

To buy link:  https://amzn.to/2NadaHB

Product Details (as per amazon page)

What price justice?

London 1678.

Titus Oates, an unknown preacher, creates panic with wild stories of a Catholic uprising against Charles II. The murder of a prominent Protestant magistrate appears to confirm that the Popish Plot is real.

Only Nathaniel Thompson, writer and Licenser of the Presses, instinctively doubts Oates’s revelations. Even his young wife, Anne, is not so sure. And neither know that their friend William Smith has personal history with Titus Oates.

When Nathaniel takes a public stand, questioning the plot and Oates’s integrity, the consequences threaten them all.


The Road to Newgate is Kate Braithwaite’s second novel.  Her first novel, CHARLATAN, was long-listed for the Mslexia New Novel Award and the Historical Novel Society Novel Award in 2015.  You can find my review for Charlatan here.

On the publication day for the ebook for The Road to Newgate I am so pleased to share with you an excerpt from Kate Braithwaite’s latest novel.

Her sister comes. They confer upstairs. I’m sent to call the midwife and Anne’s mother, who arrives but will not even catch my eye. A succession of women flow in and out, upstairs and down, while I stand in the dining room listening to their footsteps overhead but without any way of knowing how things are progressing either for good or for bad. I hang around the bottom of the stairs, straining my ears, for what? A child’s cry? Anne’s cry? I hardly know what I want to happen, except for this thing to be over. Eventually, Sarah comes down.
“Go out, Nat.”
“What? Why? Shouldn’t I stay? Do something?”
She shakes her head and gives me a withering look. “It will be a while. The first always is.”
“But what if something happens?”
“Nat. She will be fine. God willing, they will both be fine. Go to Sam’s Coffee House. I will send a boy if there is any change. Trust me.”
“I…” What do I want to say? That I love my wife. That I might lose her. Or the child. Or both.
Sarah puts her hand to my cheek. “Go. But drink coffee. No ale and no wine. It will be hours Nat. When she needs you, I will have you fetched.”
*
Sam’s Coffee House has its usual midday mix of tradesmen, the odd lawyer, a few fellow scribblers I know. I avoid meeting anyone’s eye and sit down on an empty bench with a copy of the Gazette. The coffee-boy brings me a dish and pours my drink, slipping my penny in the pocket of his long apron. At any other time, the familiar mix of roasting berries and tobacco, the loud exchanges, even the touch of the tables and the smooth glaze of the coffee cup, would ease my mind. But not today. I stare at the Gazette but read nothing. Instead, I conjure up disasters.
Anne will die. I’m suspicious of the midwife. She’s a Quaker, which is, Anne has assured me, a good thing. But is she clean? Does she know her work? I chew on my cheek, thinking I should have been more involved in choosing this woman. After all, horror stories about midwives abound. If a child dies before being born, they often cut off limbs to facilitate removing the poor thing from the mother’s body. I imagine blood: Anne’s; the baby’s. A few years ago, a woman and her child died out in the street, slap in the middle of Threadneedle Street, after one so-called midwife held the woman by the shoulders while another witch ripped the child out of her body, killing them both. Images of Anne fighting for her life have me almost on my feet ready to run back home, but the thought of Sarah’s sensible face stops me.
To divert my mind, I brood on Anne’s family. That Anne threw herself away by marrying me is an accepted fact. My line of work, even when I was the Licenser, is viewed with derision. My haunting of coffee shops, as I believe her mother terms it, shows a tendency to gossip and idleness that they find particularly disappointing. Perhaps if I was haunting Will’s Coffee Shop, rather than Sam’s; perhaps if I was a proper writer, like Mr. Dryden, they might think differently. Dryden, famous, popular, and wealthy, keeps his own chair at Will’s, surrounded by literary wits. That’s Anne’s family’s idea of what a writer should be. Not the rather grubby news-gatherers, the cartoonists, lampoonists, and sharp-tongued opportunists I consort with. Only my loyalty to the Crown brings me any measure of approval. Sarah’s husband supposedly reads all my pamphlets, and Anne hopes that one day her younger brother and I might meet and get along. But even when the child is born, I don’t expect to be invited to dinner. A thoroughly bad mood settles on me, as thickly persistent as the coffee sticking to my teeth. Time crawls. It’s the longest day of my life.

 

About the Author

Kate Braithwaite was born and grew up in Edinburgh, Scotland. Her first novel, Charlatan, was longlisted for the Mslexia New Novel Award and the Historical Novel Society Award. Kate lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and three children.

Website:  https://kate-braithwaite.com/

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/KMBraithwaite

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

 

 

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Call of the Curlew by Elizabeth Brooks blogtour book review

call of the curlew

Call of the Curlew written by Elizabeth Brooks, publisher Doubleday (an imprint of Transworld) is available NOW in ebook and hardcover format.

To buy link:

amazon UK:  https://amzn.to/2KRXQip

Waterstones:  https://bit.ly/2zaWei2

Product Details (as per amazon page)

Virginia Wrathmell has always known she will meet her death on the marsh.

One snowy New Year’s Eve, at the age of eighty-six, Virginia feels the time has finally come.

New Year’s Eve, 1939. Virginia is ten, an orphan arriving to meet her new parents at their mysterious house, Salt Winds. Her new home sits on the edge of a vast marsh, a beautiful but dangerous place. War feels far away out here amongst the birds and shifting sands – until the day a German fighter plane crashes into the marsh. The people at Salt Winds are the only ones to see it.

What happens next is something Virginia will regret for the next seventy-five years, and which will change the whole course of her life.

Call of the Curlew Blog Tour Poster

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 this debut novel by Elizabeth Brooks; Call of the Curlew.  This is an outstanding debut and I look forward to lots more from this author who I believe is one to watch.

This is a sweeping story spanning two periods.  The story starts off in the present time, a bleak December 2015 when 86 year old Virginia Wrathmell is preparing to say her goodbyes to the house and it’s memories that she’s shared and have haunted her soul for seventy-five years.  We then travel back to December 1939 when eleven year old Virginia takes her first steps down the lane towards her new home with her adoptive parents Clem and Lorna.  Her new home, Salt Winds, was on the edge of the marshes of Tollbury Point and Virginia was warned about the danger of the uncertainty of the land.

From the dark, quite striking cover with glimpses of light and warmth which perfectly sets the scene for the story within it’s pages.  The author’s style of writing kept me fully engaged with the storyline and I was quite captivated.  This area of land surrounding Salt Winds had almost two personalities.  There was a calm, stillness to the vista and with the vast array of bird species it must have been a joy to just take time out to just watch the natural beauty and it’s wildlife.  However, the eeriness that the marshes held sent chills threw me and that ever presence of danger was always there lurking behind the shadows.

There was a strange complexity to the relationship between Virginia’s adoptive parents and young Virginia became a different child to each respective parent.  She adored her father Clem and was a little perplexed by her mother Lorna.

Salt Winds was quite isolated but when the conflict of war disturbed their lives one fateful New Year’s Eve 1939 Virginia’s new life was to change dramatically.  Fears of loss, betrayal, anguish and fear for her own life during this period were to stay with her.

Fast forward to 2015 when a mysterious visitor to Salt Winds provokes many emotions in Virginia that she tried to keep hidden within the walls of the grand house that now feels so cold and desolate.

I was totally transfixed with this evocative tale spanning two lifetimes.  I loved the time back in 1939 with young Virginia but the darkness that Virginia experienced was heart-breaking and left me quite angry at times.  I wanted to scream and shout but I think that a particular character had a rather unhealthy strong control over them.  There is darkness to the story but there is much, much more.  There is a joy and warmth woven within the storyline and you feel a sense of hope emerging.

A deeply captivating debut novel.

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

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/ManxWriter

 

 

 

Mary Rosie’s War by Catherine M Byrne blogtour excerpt

Mary Rosie's War - Cover

Mary Rosie’s War written by Catherine M Byrne, publisher Overtheord Publishing, is available NOW in ebook and paperback format.  The ebook is also included in the kindleunlimited scheme.

To buy link:  https://amzn.to/2K4BJZq

Product Details (as per amazon page)

WW2 has been declared. A strange find on the beach gives Mary Rosie the chance to fulfil her dreams and contribute to her country, but all is not what she imagined.

After witnessing the first bomb to be dropped on mainland Britain, Mary watches her friends leave to join the forces and longs to be with them, but is held back by loyalty to her widowed mother.

France has capitulated. Johnny Allan’s regiment has been annihilated by German troops. Johnny has to evade capture and somehow get home to the girl who no longer waits for him.

Liesel is a German Jew who lost her family to the Nazis and has to make her way in Britain, a strange new country, while harbouring a desire for revenge.

Their lives become entangled in a way that no one could have envisaged.

A story about war, family ties, love, loyalty and loss.

Mary Rosie's War Full Tour Banner

I am so pleased to be involved in the blogtour celebrating and promoting the launch of Catherine M Byrne’s latest novel: Mary Rosie’s War.

Catherine M Byrne has kindly offered to share an excerpt from the book for you all:

WW2. France. As the sole survivor of a German attack on his platoon, Johnny finally makes his way to the south of France from where he has to attempt the perilous journey across the Pyrenees to freedom.

When the clock struck midnight they entered the mission where the six weary soldiers, now dressed in the new clothes, stood waiting for instructions. Stuart opened the door. ‘Good, there’s no moon. Collect your gear now.’
He led the men inside where each was issued with a stout pair of boots, a padded jacket and a backpack. ‘These are all donated by helpful French,’ explained Stuart, to Johnny’s unasked question. ‘You will be climbing in the mountains. Be assured, this is no easy walk.’
Once kitted out, the party filed through the door. ‘Keep close to the wall until you get into the country, then stay among the trees as far as you can. Make as little noise as possible until then and stay in single file. You have the map?’
Marie, dressed like a boy, nodded an affirmative. No one spoke until the streets gave way to scattered farm houses. When there was no sign of pursuit, they relaxed and began to chat quietly.
‘Have you always lived here?’ Johnny said to Marie as she fell in step beside him.
She didn’t reply immediately.
‘I think I know your accent,’ she said at last. ‘You are from Scotland, yes?’
‘How do you know that?’ Most foreigners could not tell the difference between the dialects.
‘Many of your countrymen pass through here.’
‘Really? Maybe I know them if they speak like me.’
‘I never ask their names.’
The night was still, with only the whisper of the men’s feet and their low voices.
They walked for a while in silence. ‘Where are you from?’ asked Johnny at last.
‘I will only tell you that I work for the German army, but that is a cover. Leading stranded servicemen to safety, this I chose to do myself. We had to find a way to get your servicemen out of France. Also there are many British living here. They are in grave danger of being incarcerated.’ She fell into silence.
‘Are you English?’ he asked, amazed by her command of the language.
She shook her head. ‘No, but I’ve already said too much.’

When a grey dawn broke the horizon, Marie held up her hand. We will rest during the daytime,’ she said, ‘and travel by night. Ahead is Perpignan and an innkeeper there will provide us with refreshments, then we’ll grab some sleep in his basement.’
The mountains were tall and rugged, sharp peaks reaching into the sky. They looked almost impossible to navigate on foot, but he had to trust Marie to know what she was doing.
Johnny hoped to get her by herself, to get more information from her, but it was as if from then on, she purposely avoided him.
The innkeeper gave them soup, bitter chicory coffee and bread, and he provided them with blankets. In the morning, after a breakfast of broth and coffee, Marie, looking perturbed, held up her hand. ‘I have news that our route has been blocked. We will have to take the alternative.’
Once more, Johnny fell into step beside her. ‘You don’t look too happy,’ he said.
‘I don’t have an easy feeling. This is most unusual, but it is possible the pass has been blocked by an avalanche. And the message seems genuine enough.’
He tried to engage her in further conversation, but she held her fingers to her lips. ‘It is better we remain silent,’ she whispered.
As they ascended, the temperature dropped and the men changed into their boots and heavy jackets. Before long, it began to snow. They had all fallen silent, no sound but the crunch of boots on snow and the high wind through thin pines. In places the ascent was steep and they slipped and struggled to keep a footing. Tired, cold, hungry and footsore they continued to drag themselves uphill. Johnny tried to remember how much he’d loved the snow as a child. It meant many hours of fun: sledging, snowball fights, snowmen, snow houses, running indoors to warm frozen fingers and toes, just to rush out again as soon as possible. He imagined a blazing range, leaping flames, hot soup. Ahead of them, Marie stopped and held up a hand. She tilted her head as though sniffing the air.
‘Get down,’ she shouted, too late.
German soldiers suddenly appeared from behind high rocks and out of gullies, firing indiscriminately. The men dropped like skittles. Johnny grabbed Marie’s arm and together they rolled into a ditch, miraculously dodging the flying bullets. Hardly daring to breathe, they lay still until they could not feel their hands and feet.
Even after the gunfire had ceased, they did not move. Unsure if she was still alive, Johnny reached out to touch Marie, relieved when he heard her intake of breath. He indicated that she should remain as she was, and he inched his way to the top of the chasm where he raised his head enough to see what was happening. A few other men hid nearby. He heard the Germans crashing through the undergrowth, shouting at the men they uncovered to get on their feet, then marching them away at gunpoint, hands on heads.
Johnny slipped back down, put his hand on Marie’s head and held her face against the freezing ground. He dare not even whisper, only hoped she understood the need to lie still, half buried in snow. Surely, after all he had endured, it could not end now, here like this, when he was so near freedom he could almost taste it. All he could do was press his own forehead against the snowy earth, now warmed by his tears.

 

To learn more about the author please visit the following sites:

Website:  http://www.catherinebyrne-author.com/

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/Katrine66

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

Blog:  http://isabellacatherinebyrne.blogspot.com/

 

The author has kindly offered a Giveaway:

Mary Rosies War - one set of four for prize give a way1st Prize – all 4 of Catherine Byrne’s previous books in paperback .
6 x Runners Up Prizes – PB copy of Broken Horizon (UK Only)

To enter please click on the link below:

 

 

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/33c6949493/

*Terms and Conditions –UK entries only. Please enter using the Rafflecopter box above. 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 I reserve 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 I will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

Tapestry of War by Jane MacKenzie blogtour book review

tapestry of war

Tapestry of War written by Jane MacKenzie, publisher Allison & Busby, is available NOW in ebook and paperback format.

To buy link:

Amazon UK:  https://www.amazon.co.uk/Tapestry-War-Jane-Mackenzie/dp/074902299X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1524565321&sr=8-1&keywords=tapestry+of+war

Publisher’s Website:  http://www.allisonandbusby.com/book/tapestry-of-war-trade-paperback

Product Details (as per amazon page)

From the deserts of North Africa, to the waters of Scotland, the Second World War touches the lives of two women from two very different worlds. In Alexandria, Fran finds her world turned upside down as Rommel’s forces advance on the idyllic shores of Egypt. The life of luxury and stability that she is used to is taken away as she finds herself having to deal with loss, heartache and political uncertainty. Meanwhile, in the Firth of Clyde, Catriona works day in, day out nursing injured servicemen. Both have their lives challenged, and both dream of a more certain future with the men they come to love. Their heart-warming story takes them through tragedy to a quiet, hopeful triumph. Tapestry of War is a sweeping, evocative novel which brilliantly captures the second world war period of colonial Alexandria and the west of Scotland and will appeal to readers of Dinah Jeffries, Victoria Hislop and Rosie Thomas.

tapestry of war tour poster

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 promoting and celebrating the launch of Jane MacKenzie’s latest novel: Tapestry of War.  This is my first introduction to the work of Jane MacKenzie, Tapestry of War is her fourth novel.

Tapestry of War is a compelling story of people from different continents, cultures, backgrounds brought together by one denominating factor: war.  War wherever it was scarring the landscape is the same all over the world.  It affected people all the same whatever background they came from.  Lives, livelihoods, hearts, minds and bodies were shattered.  Tapestry of War is a story of two women; Fran and Catriona, living thousands of miles apart from very different backgrounds and worlds, are united in friendship, in a shared love and a comradeship for the love of a man that has felt the scars of the war the most.

I haven’t read much about this side of WWII, the conflict in Egypt with Rommel advancing.  The story also takes us to the most northern isles of Scotland with their own part in the WWII efforts with medical facilities for the wounded and also ports for the carriers of troops.

Fran was a journalist for a paper in Alexandria, she was limited to what she could report with a fear of political backlash.  Alexandria was full of foreign troops and Fran soon built up a friendship with many, in particular a shy Scotsman serving in the Navy Jim MacNeill.

Catriona thousands of miles away in Scotland had just finished her nursing qualification and was keen to help with the war wounded. Her father was struggling with grief of his wife and now with his son in the Navy, goodness knows where, he wasn’t keen on his daughter working on the front line.  Catriona felt like she had to make a compromise with her father as she was so keen to be involved with the war help.

With war came great hardship, fear, anguish and many casualties.  Casualties that would alter the lives of many.

Jane MacKenzie took us to the heat of Alexandria, Egypt to the British people that were living in quite a privileged lifestyle before the war and she then took us to a small community in Scotland with very differing lifestyles to the British occupancy in Egypt.  These two communities were very different and the impact of the war on food and livelihoods was felt the keenest in Scotland but the emotional impact was very much the same.

A fascinating, compelling, beautiful and real story, full of hope for a new life, peace and love.

To learn more about Jane MacKenzie please visit the following pages:

Website:  http://janemackenzie.co.uk/

Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/@JaneFMackenzie

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/jane.mackenzie.co.uk

The Vanished Bride of Northfield House by Phyllis M Newman guest post/excerpt

VanishedBrideFrontCover

The Vanished Bride of Northfield House written by Phyllis M Newman, publisher PageSpring Publishing is available NOW in ebook and paperback format.

To buy link:  https://goo.gl/uU5QBC

Product Details (as per amazon page)

England, 1922. Times are hard. Anne Chatham is a clever, modest young woman with little money, no prospects for marriage, and a never-shared secret—she can see spirits. Anne finds employment as a typist at Northfield House, the grand country manor of the Wellington family. Her employer, the wheelchair-bound Mr. Wellington, is kindly. His haughty wife is not. He has two handsome sons, the wry and dashing Thomas and the dark and somber Owen. Anne feels sure her prayers have been heard. Until the terrifying night she stumbles upon a tortured spirit roaming the dark halls of Northfield, a spirit that only she can see. In a search for answers, she finds herself drawn to Owen as they unearth a tragic story from the Wellington family’s past—a beautiful young bride gone missing on her wedding day. Then tragedy strikes again on the night of a glittering masquerade ball…

Thank you for joining my blog today Phyllis …

GUEST POST:

I began writing this tale after looking for—and not finding—an honest to goodness real ghost story. Not one where the visions and sounds experienced in the dark have a rational explanation, but a story about unexplained things that go bump in the night. My goal was to transport the reader to a place of mystery and malevolence. Also, I wanted to create a good fright without smearing blood and guts on the page or presenting the kind of mind-bending creepiness offered by Stephen King that you wish you’d never read.

As I wrote, however, it evolved into a great deal more. This novel embraces the audacity and determination required to succeed in a society that has never addressed a woman’s needs and desires, a society that is crumbling. My vulnerable yet plucky protagonist has an unusual collection of talents—from her choice of a profession, which was the exclusive domain of men at the time, to the ability to see the dead. I believe there is a place for this kind of ghost story, where the unexplained explains a lot—about ourselves. The ghost represents not only who we might have been, but the lost past.

Ultimately, The Vanished Bride of Northfield House is about belonging. My main character, Anne Chatham, is a young woman trying to survive in a rapidly changing world. An orphan who has no family or money to fall back on, she trains to operate a typewriter, the new technology of the age. She succeeds at this and sets about to support herself, an opportunity available only because the Great War has decimated the male population. She and other young women like her face a future where marriage is not a readily available option. Mired in the social and political upheaval following World War I, single women scrambled to make a life for themselves.

Anne represents the new woman. Her situation contrasts sharply with that of Lavinia Wellington, the lady of the manor, married and occupying a high social position, and her great niece Charlotte, born to wealth and privilege. In every sense, Lavinia and Charlotte represent a time no longer viable while Anne represents the future. It is a future where women take a more active role in their survival rather than depending upon a husband, father, or brother.

Arriving at her new place of employment weighted with the immense struggles of the times, Anne can empathize with the wraith that roams the halls of Northfield House, a figure that is both frightening and sympathetic. Anne sees in the spirits that she encounters regularly as beings who are lost, who don’t know where they belong, or have left behind something undone. She sees similar battles in her own life. But the specter she encounters as she takes up her position as a working woman in a grand home in the English countryside has in addition a more compelling need: revenge.

Anne learns more about herself as she endeavors to resolve the mystery presented by the malevolent ghost of the missing bride. She discovers resolve, resourcefulness, commitment, and courage.

EXCERPT:

I turned up my face to look at him. We were standing closer than propriety allowed. Owen bent nearer.
Knock. Thud. Knock. Thud. Knock. Thud.
A stab of fear nailed me where I stood. Owen wrapped a protective arm around my shoulders. I leaned into him.
“What is it?” he asked softly. “Is she here?”
“Maybe,” I whispered.
Knock. Thud. Knock. Thud. Knock. Thud.
The noises first came from directly overhead, then surrounded us, coming from the walls and the floor. The sounds of something trapped—a thing desperate and struggling—repeated every few seconds.
“Where’s it coming from?” he hissed.
“From everywhere. And nowhere.”
Owen pulled me closer. I was terrified, despite taking shelter in his arms. My shoulder pressed against his warm chest and my head tucked under his chin.
After a moment, the sound changed. I heard scratching—fingernails or claws or beaks on wood. The shadows in the corners thickened and seemed to pulsate. Or was something breathing? I felt an overwhelming sense of dread. The scratching was followed by the rustle of wings, a soft fluttering. Perhaps a bird had gotten trapped on the floor above.
Knock. Thud. Knock. Thud. Knock. Thud.
Then nothing.
I waited for the thumps and scratches to begin again, but heard only Owen’s rapid breathing.
His grip on my shoulder softened. Before we could step away from each other, I heard something else. Whispers. Not words, but sibilance. A faint weeping.
I could pretend no longer that the sounds issued from a bird or animal. I had heard crying and scratching from spirits before, but none had ever filled me with such horror.
Owen shuddered, and I tried to swallow.
My sight darted from the floors to the ceilings, from corner to corner, searching for additional signs of a spirit. I saw none. The bed, its elaborate draperies, and the pictures on the walls were all mute, but a plaintive lament—a mournful sobbing—suddenly filled the space.
When the weeping stopped, I found my hand pressed against Owen’s chest. I could feel his heart beating, hard and fast, under my palm.
“I think it’s over,” he said, releasing my shoulders.
I withdrew my hand and took a step away.

About the Author

Phyllis M. Newman is a native southerner. Born in New Orleans, she spent formative years in Florida, Iowa, Mississippi, and a dairy farm in Ross Country, Ohio. After a long career in finance and human resources at The Ohio State University, she turned her attention to writing fiction. She published a noir mystery, “Kat’s Eye” in 2015, and “The Vanished Bride of Northfield House” in 2018. Today she lives in Columbus, Ohio with her husband and three perpetually unimpressed cats, ghost watchers all.

You may contact/follow/like her at:

http://www.readphyllismnewman.com

or Facebook https://facebook.com/ReadPhyllisMNewman/

Readers can find The Vanished Bride of Northfield House at Amazon.com/co.uk, Kindle, and Barnes & Noble.

 

The Summer Will Come by Soulla Christodoulou blogtour book review

the summer will come

The Summer Will Come written and self-published by Soulla Christodoulou is available NOW in ebook and paperback format.

To buy link:  https://goo.gl/DwtxsN

Product Details (as per amazon page)

Set in the 1950s, the story begins in Cyprus. EOKA, British rule, and the fight for Enosis (unity) disrupt the world of two Greek Cypriot families, living in different villages on the island. They are desperately trying to cope with the unpredictability of this fractious time.

Circumstances over a five-year period push both families to escape to London where, as immigrants, they struggle to settle, face new challenges, trauma and cope with missing their homeland’s traditions and culture.

Both families’ lives cross paths in London and it seems that happier beginnings could be theirs. But at what cost?

The summer Will Come Full 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 promoting and celebrating the launch of Soulla Christodoulou’s latest novel: The Summer Will Come.  This was my first introduction to the work of Soulla Christodoulou and after reading The Summer Will Come I felt thoroughly entertained by this gripping, intriguing, poignant historical novel.

The story begins in the early 1950’s Cyprus, we are introduced to two Cypriot families that are strong believers of the culture surrounding their beloved Mediterranean island.  Life in their small village is quite idyllic and there is a real sense of community spirit however, this wasn’t to last long with the country now in the midst of political uprising.  Lives are soon at risk and families are forced to flee, many taking the long arduous journey to England.  Elena with her twin brother Andreas, her mother and grandmother are on their way to join their father who has been living in England a good few years.  From a neighbouring village Christaki with his brother, sister and mother were also on their way to England.  A journey filled with excitement of an unknown land, with new possibilities, new horizons and hope for the future.

This was a very interesting family saga; a family struggling leaving their homes, their heritage and all that they knew and loved.  The promised land wasn’t all that they dreamed of but the alternative was worse at this moment in time.  Elena in particular was having many moments of nostalgia daydreaming about her beautiful home in Cyprus and this brought moods of melancholy.  However, Elena still hoped for a better life and never gave up her dreams of finding her own ‘summer days’.  Christaki too had a strength about his soul and wasn’t deterred.  A story full of angst, turmoil and family drama but the hope of new beginnings and love gave the families the light to lead the way to a newer future filled with peace, harmony, friendship and love.

To learn more about Soulla Christodoulou please visit the following pages:

Website:  https://www.soulla-author.com/

Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/schristodoulou2

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

Among the Branded by Linda Smolkin blogtour book review

Among The Branded

Among the Branded written and self-published by Linda Smolkin, is available NOW in ebook and paperback format.  The ebook is also included in the kindleunlimited scheme.

To buy link:  https://goo.gl/e4r87r

Product Details (as per amazon page)

What if a 70-year-old letter from World War II changed the course of your life?

While attending Valor of the ’40s, art director Stephanie Britain stumbles upon a flea market selling letters from the war. She buys a handful, hoping they’ll inspire the redesign for a client’s website at her branding and design firm. At first, she’s drawn by the lost art of penmanship, but soon discovers a hidden treasure nestled inside declarations of love from homesick soldiers.

Stephanie enlists a coworker to translate one and realizes it’s not a love letter after all. When a shocking discovery about a client causes Stephanie to question her principles and dedication to her firm’s business, she’s forced to make a difficult decision—one that could give her peace of mind, yet ruin her career in the process.

among the branded poster

I am so pleased to be involved in the blogtour celebrating Linda Smolkin’s debut novel, Among the Branded.

I honestly wasn’t quite sure what I was expecting with this novel.  The story starts off with an American family starting a new venture in their life packing their eldest son off to college.  I recognised the emotions in this part of the storyline as I have experienced them myself and this scene evoked many emotions in me and felt very real and honest.  Stephanie with her husband and youngest son were keen to learn more about WWII and visited Valor which held many 1940’s re-enactment scenarios of servicemen and women from all regiments around the world.  During their visit Stephanie purchased a bundle of love letters dating back to the era and was intrigued by the stories behind these letters.  One letter in particular sparked an interest in Stephanie and she was keen to learn more about the recipient and the members of the family mentioned in the letter.

This letter was to ignite a journey of discovering for Stephanie and her extended family and friends.  A very thought provoking discovery that would lead to Stephanie making serious decisions about her work and the clients she was representing at the Advertising Agency.

I too soon became intrigued with the letters Stephanie had found and was eager to learn about the past lives she had discovered.  My heart was aching for the lost lives and families from a very traumatic couple of years.  A time which would stay with the families involved for the rest of their lives.  A very emotive, thought provoking read that also had a wonderful warmth within the storyline that left you feeling hopeful.  A storyline with words that will never be forgotten and need to be said.  I look forward to more work from Linda Smolkin.

About the Author

Linda Smolkin always wanted to be a writer—ever since she saw her first TV commercial and wondered how to pen those clever ads. She got her degree in journalism and became a copywriter. Linda landed a job at an ad agency, where she worked for several years before joining the nonprofit world. She’s currently working on her second novel, which will be released in Spring 2018. When not in front of the computer, she’s behind the drums (slightly) annoying her husband, son, and their 70-pound dog.

Website:  http://www.lindasmolkin.com

Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/@lindasmolkin

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