A Ration Book Christmas by Jean Fullerton blogtour book review

 

a ration book christmas

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

The paperback is available from all good book retailers including Waterstones, WHSmith and amazon.  The ebook is available for amazon kindle, kobo and iBooks.

To buy link (amazon UK):  https://amzn.to/2S46HRW

Product Details

With Christmas approaching, the Brogan family of London’s East End are braving the horrors of the Blitz. With the men away fighting for King and Country and the ever-present dangers of the German Luftwaffe’s nightly reign of death and destruction, the family must do all they can to keep a stiff upper lip.
For Jo, the youngest of the Brogan sisters, the perils of war also offer a new-found freedom. Jo falls in love with Tommy, a man known for his dangerous reputation as much as his charm. But as the falling bombs devastate their neighbourhood and rationing begins to bite, will the Brogans manage to pull together a traditional family Christmas? And will Jo find the love and security she seeks in a time of such grave peril?

A Ration Book Christmas 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 blogtour celebrating and promoting the launch of Jean Fullerton’s latest novel: A Ration Book Christmas.  This is my first introduction to the works of Jean Fullerton and I have no idea why it’s taken me so long to pick one of her books up as I was enthralled, entertained and totally swept away by this story.  I will certainly be checking out Jean Fullerton’s back catalogue of novels.

I thoroughly enjoyed this family wartime saga set in World War Two.  The author set the scene and I could feel a sense of belonging within the storyline.  We were treated to charming, cheeky, charismatic, brave, heroic characters that were all down to earth and easily relatable.  I also loved how Jean Fullerton used dialect that suited the era and location and also fitted the characters perfectly.  There were some fabulous one liners from the cockneys from the east end of London and also great words of wisdom from the Irish family that had set up home in the capital city.

I felt the tension of the war.  Jean Fullerton didn’t brush away any of the sights that were very evident during the biggest bomb attacks during the blitz of the streets of London.  I could feel the tension during the nights of the blackouts with the dread of the sirens and then when the inevitable destruction happened the fight for survivals set my heart racing.  What was so special about this story was the community spirit with all generations and all classes mucking in and doing their bit with the war help, this warmed my heart that in dire times of need folk forgot their own problems and situations and pulled together.

This was the story of one family coming to terms with the onslaught of war with evacuations, the blitz, food rationing, separation, fear, making do.  It was also a story of life, a story of survival, a story of love overcoming many hurdles and finding a way through the many terrible days and nights of the conflict.  Jean Fullerton had taken me back to a pivotal moment in British history using fiction as a way of re-telling an horrific time for so many, we learn of how life literally carried on for everyone and routines of a different kind were made.

A Ration Book Christmas was one of the best historical wartime sagas that I’ve read. Jean Fullerton’s words totally swept me away with this story, it was engaging, tragically beautiful and filled me with warmth.

About the Author

Jean FullertonJean Fullerton is the author of eleven novels all set in East London where she was born. She is also a retired district nurse and university lecturer. She won the Harry Bowling prise in 2006 and after initially signing for two East London historical series with Orion she moved to Corvus, part of Atlantic Publishing and is half way through her WW2 East London series featuring the Brogan family.

Social Media Links
Website: http://jeanfullerton.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Jean-Fullerton
Twitter: @JeanFullerton_

 

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The Warrior’s Bride Prize by Jenni Fletcher Publication Day Push #bookreview

 

the warrior's bridenprize

The Warrior’s Bride Prize written by Jenni Fletcher, publisher Mills & Boon Historical is available NOW in ebook and paperback format.

To buy links:

Amazon UK   https://amzn.to/2NWoZSS
Amazon   https://amzn.to/2NWoZSS
iBooks   https://apple.co/2udYkZI
WHSmith   http://bit.ly/2Nbne3b
B&N   http://bit.ly/2ug1pbF

Product Details 

Daughter of a slave…wedded to the warrior!
Livia Valeria is furious when she’s ruthlessly gambled away by her intended bridegroom. Luckily, it’s tall, muscled and darkly handsome Roman centurion Marius Varro who wins her as his bride! Livia must hide her Caledonian roots, but when Marius faces a barbarian rebellion at Hadrian’s Wall she must make a choice: her heritage or the husband she’s falling for…

The Warrior's Bride Prize blogblitz

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 Publication Day Push celebrating and promoting the launch of Jenni Fletcher’s latest historical romance: The Warrior’s Bride Prize.

Happy Publication Day Jenni Fletcher.

This is my first introduction to the work of Jenni Fletcher and it is also my first introduction to a historical romance set in the Roman era and oh my what a story!  I greedily devoured this historical romance.  The story was set in AD197 and at a time when North Britannia was on the verge of a rebellion.

From the start of the story I was captivated by the rugged landscape and especially the area surrounding Hadrian’s Wall.  Livia Valeria was on her way to an arranged marriage to pay off a debt owed to her scrupulous half-brother.  With a fear of the unknown and anxious for not just her future but that of her daughter’s Livia felt like she had no choice but to obey her brother.  Travelling the arduous journey to her new home with many pent-up feelings but she is soon put at ease when a Legion of roman soldiers greet her close to her destination.  When Livia first sets eyes on the Centurion that has been given the task to escort her she feels a sudden kinship to him.

Livia is hiding secrets from her heritage, not that she is ashamed of it but that she is afraid of others reactions and prejudices.

Marius Varro was a Centurion determined to climb the ranks.  He wasn’t happy to be assigned the task to escort the bride-to-be but upon meeting Livia he was completely taken aback.  He expected a typical Roman lady that was used to privileges but Livia was nothing like this.  He was utterly entranced by her and was shocked by his feelings so strongly felt for someone he’d just met. From the short time he spent in the final legs of the journey Marius knew that he’d do anything to protect this woman and within hours he had no choice but to honour this.  The more that Marius saw of Livia with her sparkling green eyes and her mass of wild red hair he was lost.  Lost to a life he no longer could control.

A couple thrust together to protect from an uncertain future.   A couple that were fighting their own heritages.  A couple that were also fighting against the building chemistry between them.

Jenni Fletcher’s words flowed perfectly and I was swept away with this new adventure for Livia with the uncertainty of an arranged marriage and her future.  The author has thrown so much in this novel, I didn’t expect to fall for a story set in the Roman era but I was totally entranced by this new hero and heroine partnership.  There was lots of action with the threat of the rebellion which made for an intense story.  Jenni Fletcher also wove in a gorgeous heated romance that was so beautifully told.  It was dramatic, addictive, heart warming and filled with an intense desire.  Loved it!

About the Author

jenni fletcherJenni Fletcher was born on the north coast of Scotland and now lives in Yorkshire, where she writes Medieval, Roman and Victorian romance novels.
She studied English at Cambridge University before doing an MA on Women and Literature in English and a PhD on Victorian & Edwardian literature at Hull. After realising that she was better at writing than teaching, she worked in a number of administrative jobs whilst trying to finish her first book, which was rejected. Thinking there must have been some mistake, she then wrote another, which was fortunately accepted by Harlequin Mills & Boon.
Her favourite Jane Austen novel is Persuasion and her favourite Brontë is Anne. If she had to choose a romantic hero it would be John Thornton, but maybe that’s just because she’s Northern.

Website:  http://jennifletcher.com/

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

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

Giveaway – Win 1 x Signed US Copy of The Warrior’s Bride Prize (Open Internationally)
*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 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.

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/33c69494142/

 

Mrs Bates of Highbury by Allie Cresswell blogtour book review

mrs bates of highbury

Mrs Bates of Highbury: A prequel inspired by Jane Austen’s Emma is written and self-published by Allie Cresswell.  The book is available NOW in ebook and paperback format.  The ebook is also included in the kindleunlimited scheme.

To buy link:  https://amzn.to/2NwOwpd

Product Details

The new novel from Readers’ Favourite silver medalist Allie Cresswell.

Thirty years before the beginning of ‘Emma’ Mrs Bates is entirely different from the elderly, silent figure familiar to fans of Jane Austen’s fourth novel. She is comparatively young and beautiful, widowed – but ready to love again. She is the lynch-pin of Highbury society until the appalling Mrs Winwood arrives, very determined to hold sway over that ordered little town. Miss Bates is as talkative aged twenty nine as she is in her later iteration, with a ghoulish fancy, seeing disaster in every cloud. When young Mr Woodhouse arrives looking for a plot for his new house, the two strike up a relationship characterised by their shared hypochondria, personal chariness and horror of draughts. Jane, the other Miss Bates, is just seventeen and eager to leave the parochialism of Highbury behind her until handsome Lieutenant Weston comes home on furlough from the militia and sweeps her – quite literally – off her feet. Mrs Bates of Highbury is the first of three novels by the Amazon #1 best-selling Allie Cresswell, which trace the pre-history of Emma and then run in parallel to it.

Mrs Bates of Highbury Ful 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 blogtour celebrating and promoting Allie Cresswell’s latest novel; Mrs Bates of Highbury.

I haven’t read Jane Austen’s Emma but I do love a good historical romance so after reading the synopsis for Allie Cresswell’s Mrs Bates of Highbury I was keen to learn more.

This is my first introduction to the work of Allie Cresswell and her words complimented the era and genre of the novel.  I feel for historical fiction you have to set your mind to that era and to expect the writing style to use words and phrases that are no longer in fashion.  Allie Cresswell did just that and at times I had to look up the meaning of some words; this is such a benefit with reading an ebook as a quick touch of the screen soon brings up the dictionary.  The author totally convinced me with her prose and I was soon immersed into the character’s lives.

Mrs Bates sounded such a kind, caring, gracious woman; a friend to all and a favourite figure to the whole community of Highbury.  As the wife to Revered Bates she complimented her role and would seek daily to help others.  She helped her husband with his work and was a guiding figure to her two daughters; 29 years Hettie and 17 year old Jane.  Hettie was a character I struggled to warm to at first, she had her quirks and her personality sometimes appeared rude and cumbersome.  But she was totally misunderstood and towards the end of the novel I grew a fondness to her and felt my feelings wanting to champion her and wishing her all that her heart desires.  Jane was just like her mother, very amenable but she also had an energy and lust for adventure.

This was such a lovely novel that lays down the groundwork to 30 years prior to Jane Austen’s Emma.  We learn of the backstory.  We learn of the heartache and struggles of the lives of the well-loved characters.  We learn of a village on the cusp of new beginnings for many.  At times I was evoked with emotions as I journeyed through life with Mrs Bates and her daughters.  There is also a gentle humour interwoven within the storyline.  I’m very much looking forward to discovering what lies ahead for Mrs Bates, Hettie and Jane.

About the Author

Mrs Bates Author PictAllie 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 and two grandsons, is married to Tim and lives in Cumbria, NW England.
You can contact her via her website at http://www.allie-cresswell.com or find her on Facebook

Social Media Links –
https://www.facebook.com/alliescribbler/
@alliescribbler

For the duration of the blog tour, Allie Cresswell has five hard copies of Game Show and five hard copies of Tiger in a Cage, all signed, available for £5 plus p & p to UK addresses. If you are interested then please get in touch.

The Mistress of Pennington’s by Rachel Brimble blogtour book review

 

mistress of penningtons book cover

The Mistress of Pennington’s written by Rachel Brimble, publisher Aria, is available NOW in ebook and paperback format.  The ebook is also included in the kindleunlimited scheme.

The ebook is available to download for amazon kindle, kobo and Google Play.

To buy link (amazon UK):  http://amzn.eu/2SvRcqp

Product Details 

1910 – A compelling tale of female empowerment in Bath’s leading department store. Perfect for the fans of the TV series Mr Selfridge and The Paradise.
Elizabeth Pennington should be the rightful heir of Bath’s premier department store through her enterprising schemes and dogged hard work. Her father, Edward Pennington believes his daughter lacks the business acumen to run his empire and is resolute a man will succeed him.
Determined to break from her father’s iron-clad hold and prove she is worthy of inheriting the store, Elizabeth forms an unlikely alliance with ambitious and charismatic master glove-maker Joseph Carter. United they forge forward to bring Pennington’s into a new decade, embracing woman’s equality and progression whilst trying not to mix business and pleasure.
Can this dream team thwart Edward Pennington’s plans for the store? Or will Edward prove himself an unshakeable force who will ultimately ruin both Elizabeth and Joseph?

The Mistress of Penningtons 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 celebrating and promoting Rachel Brimble’s new series set in an Edwardian premier department store in the city of Bath. The Mistress of Pennington’s is book one in the series and after reading this story I am delighted that I have more instalments to come so I can continue reading about the characters I’ve learned to love.

City of Bath 1910 the department store Pennington’s was on the verge of change.  A change that would mirror the feelings of many men and women around the country.  A change for the better with equality amongst men and women starting to take the next step forward, a gap between the classes would be shortened with high end goods and services being made more affordable and a change in working conditions boosting morale and production.

The Mistress of Pennington’s is Rachel Brimble’s first instalment in the new Edwardian mini series and her words of fiction took me to the splendour of the glamorous department stores of the early 1900’s with it’s esteemed clientele and bespoke services.  I could picture the scenes of the doorman welcoming the ladies of the city draped in their finery wishing to spend a morning strolling through a beautiful store choosing their next purchase and then enjoying a cup of tea in the store’s restaurant.  Elizabeth Pennington was in her mid twenties and the daughter of Edward Pennington the owner of the store.  Elizabeth was keen to make her mark working at the store, she had so much energy and ideas she wanted to invest in the business.  However, her father was a difficult man, he was a bully and very controlling towards his daughter. Elizabeth has been afraid all her life of her father but she has a determined spirit within her to stand up against her father and not fall for his ways just like her dear mother had.

When local glove designer Joseph Carter approached Elizabeth with a view to Pennington’s selling his designs little would Elizabeth and Joseph himself realise that this meeting would be the start of something too strong to break.  Something that would ultimately open up wounds from the past that could harm the union of two talented individuals.  The future of Pennington’s truly depended on this union but would the old fashioned ideas of Edward Pennington thwart any future plans?

Joseph Carter was passionate about his work and also continuing the legacy of the charity work his late wife Lillian was involved in.  His heart is still broken since her death and he feels the guilt of not being able to save her from her untimely death.  This guilt and heartbreak has given him the need to succeed.  Meeting Elizabeth Pennington has ignited more than a fire of a desire to succeed, it’s ignited a flame in his heart that he felt would never heat up again.

Elizabeth and Joseph were from two very different backgrounds and any form of relationship either professional or personal would be thwarted.  But as secrets from the past are revealed it opens up old wounds revealing more heartache and obstacles for the journey ahead.

The Mistress of Pennington’s is a brilliant start to a new historical romance mini series.  It had a sense of atmosphere from the period, I could feel the political uprising with the hope of new beginnings and new opportunities but there was also fear in some for change.  The story was filled with optimism, hope, inspiration and a desire to change filled with a blossoming romance that sizzled.

I’m looking forward to book two which is due out later this year.

About the Author

Rachel Brimble author picRachel lives with her husband and two teenage daughters in a small town near Bath in the UK. Since 2007, she has had several novels published by small US presses, eight books published by Harlequin Superromance (Templeton Cove Stories) and four Victorian romances with eKensington/Lyrical.
In January 2018, she signed a four-book deal with Aria Fiction for a brand new Edwardian series set in Bath’s finest department store. The first book, The Mistress of Pennington’s released July 2018.
Rachel is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association and Romance Writers of America, and was selected to mentor the Superromance finalist of So You Think You Can Write 2014 contest. When she isn’t writing, you’ll find Rachel with her head in a book or walking the beautiful English countryside with her family. Her dream place to live is Bourton-on-the-Water in South West England.

Website:  http://www.rachelbrimble.com/

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/RachelBrimble

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

Giveaway to win £20 / $20 Amazon Gift Card (Open Internationally)
*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 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.

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/33c69494121/

The Last Plantagenet? by Jennifer C Wilson blogtour book review

 

The last plantagenet-FinalCover-jcw small for 3d

The Last Plantagent? written and self-published by Jennifer C Wilson is available NOW in ebook format.  The ebook is also included in the kindleunlimited scheme.

To buy link:  https://amzn.to/2nQGJU6

Product Details

The fireplace hadn’t looked like a time-portal.
All Kate had wanted was a fun, relaxing day out, watching the knights jousting at Nottingham Castle. What she ended up with was something quite different.
Transported in a heartbeat from 2011 to 1485, how will Kate handle life at the Ricardian court? Even more importantly, how will she cope when she catches the eye of the king himself?

The Last Plantaganent Full Banner

I am so pleased to be involved in the blogtour celebrating and promoting Jennifer C Wilson’s novella; The Last Plantagenet?

Wow!  What an amazing short story.  I feel quite emotional after reading The Last Plantagenet? by Jennifer C Wilson.  The author managed to grasp my attention and my imagination and my emotions were evoked with the words and characters in the story.

I find short stories are ideal tea break reads or ‘in between’ reads but The Last Plantagenet? was so much more than a quick read.

I was enthralled by the story of Kate, a historical enthusiast and big fan of Richard III, to find herself travelling back in time to the 15th century.  To a time with the reign of King Richard III staying at Nottingham Castle.  To a time when the country was at unrest with the approaching arrival of the Tudors.

Jennifer C Wilson brought so much atmosphere to this story, it was very imaginative but still in line with historical events.  The story also felt a little eerie at times.  I was there with Kate experiencing life in the castle with it’s servants and ladies in waiting and I was also in the throes of unrest that was evident in the Kingdom.  Kate soon had to think on her feet and get in to character to keep her time travelling secret.

A short story that certainly packed a punch; full of drama, intrigue, passion, tragedy, sadness all mixed with a dose of magic.  I really enjoyed this novella and will definitely check out more work by the author.

About the Author

The Last Plantagenet - JenniferCWilson-NewPhotoJan2018Jennifer is a marine biologist by training, who developed an equal passion for history whilst stalking Mary, Queen of Scots of childhood holidays (she since moved on to Richard III). She completed her BSc and MSc at the University of Hull, and has worked as a marine environmental consultant since graduating.

Enrolling on an adult education workshop on her return to the north-east reignited Jennifer’s pastime of creative writing, and she has been filling notebooks ever since. In 2014, Jennifer won the Story Tyne short story competition, and also continues to work on developing her poetic voice, reading at a number of events, and with several pieces available online. Her Kindred Spirits novels are published by Crooked Cat Books and available via Amazon.

Website:  https://jennifercwilsonwriter.wordpress.com/

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

Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/inkjunkie1984

Plantagenet

I had to re-cap with myself the meaning of Plantagenet and here is a short extract from Wikipedia:

The House of Plantagenet was a royal house which originated from the lands of Anjou in France. The name Plantagenet is used by modern historians to identify four distinct royal houses: the Angevins, who were also Counts of Anjou; the main body of the Plantagenets following the loss of Anjou; and the Plantagenets’ two cadet branches, the Houses of Lancaster and York. The family held the English throne from 1154, with the accession of Henry II, until 1485, when Richard III died in battle.

From Duke Till Dawn by Eva Leigh blogtour extract

 

book cover

From Duke Till Dawn written by Eva Leigh, publisher Mills & Boon, is available NOW in ebook, paperback, audiobook and audio CD format.

The paperback is available from all good book retailers and also direct from the Mills & Boon website, the ebook is available to download for amazon kindle, kobo, Google Play and iBooks.

To buy link (Mills & Boon UK):  https://bit.ly/2MatMCs

To buy link (amazon UK):  https://amzn.to/2AOglDA

Product Details (as per amazon page)

‘It’s not my habit to seduce impoverished widows…’
The Duke of Greyland lost his heart – and a princely sum – to a charming, beautiful and destitute widow who, after one passionate night, vanished without a trace. Cassandra Blair grew up on the city streets, picking pockets to survive. Greyland was a rich mark – to be fleeced and forgotten – only she’d never forgotten him.
Years later, chance brings them together again, in a London gaming hell. Grayland is desperate to have her… never suspecting everything about his lover was a lie. But finding herself in dire financial straits, at risk of losing everything, Cassandra has no choice but to beg the man she betrayed for help.
The proud Duke will assist her under one condition: she doesn’t leave his sight until her debts are paid! But can the real Cassandra – the smart, streetwise survivor – steal his heart all over again?

FromDuke_BlogTour

I am so pleased to be involved in the blogtour celebrating and promoting the launch of Eva Leigh’s latest book; From Duke Till Dawn.  From Duke Till Dawn is also the first instalment in Eva Leigh’s new regency romance book series titled Scandalous Ladies of London.

I am so pleased to share with you all today an extract from the book:

London, England 1817

A woman laughed, and Alexander Lewis, Duke of Greyland felt the sound like a gunshot to his chest.

It was a very pleasant laugh, low and musical rather than shrill and forced, yet it sounded like The Lost Queen’s laugh. Alex could not resist the urge to glance over his shoulder as he left the Eagle chophouse. He’d fancifully taken to calling her The Lost Queen, though she was most assuredly a mortal woman. Had she somehow appeared on a busy London street at dusk? The last time he’d seen her had been two years ago, in the spa town of Cheltenham, in his bed, asleep and naked.

The owner of the laugh turned out to be a completely different woman— brunette rather than blonde, petite and round rather than lithe and willowy. She caught Alex staring and raised her eyebrows. He bowed gravely in response, then continued toward the curb.

Night came on in indigo waves, but the shops spilled golden light in radiant patches onto the street. The hardworking citizens of London continued to toil as the upper echelons began their evening revelries. Crowds thronged the sidewalk, while wagons, carriages, and people on horseback crammed the streets. A handful of pedestrians recognized Alex and politely curtsied or tipped their hats, murmuring, “Good evening, Your Grace.” Though he was in no mood for politeness, responsibility and virtue were his constant companions— had been his whole life— and so rather than snapping, “Go to the devil, damn you!” he merely nodded in greeting.

He’d done his duty. He’d been seen in public, rather than disappearing into the cavernous chambers of his Mayfair mansion, where he could lick his wounds in peace.

The trouble with being a duke was that he always had to do his duty. “You are the pinnacle of British Society,” his father had often said to him. “The world looks to you for guidance. So you must lead by example. Be their True North.”

This evening, before dining, Alex had taken a very conspicuous turn up and down Bond Street, making certain that he was seen by many consequential— and loose- lipped— figures in the ton. Word would soon spread that the Duke of Greyland was not holed up, sulking in seclusion. His honor as one of Society’s bulwarks would not be felled by something as insignificant as his failed marriage suit to Lady Emmeline Birks. The Dukes of Greyland had stood strong against Roundheads, Jacobites, and countless other threats against Britain. One girl barely out of the schoolroom could hardly damage Alex’s ducal armor.

But that armor had been dented by The Lost Queen. Far deeper than he would have expected.

Standing on the curb, he signaled for his carriage, which pulled out of the mews. He tugged on his spotless gloves as he waited and adjusted the brim of his black beaver hat to make certain it sat properly on his head. “Always maintain a faultless appearance,” his father had reminded him again and again. “The slightest bit of disorder in your dress can lead to rampant speculation about the stability of your affairs. This, we cannot tolerate. The nation demands nothing less than perfection.”

Alex’s father had been dead for ten years, but that didn’t keep the serious, sober man’s voice from his mind. It was part of him now— his role as one of the most powerful men in England and the responsibilities that role carried with it. Not once did he ever let frivolities distract him from his duties.

Except for one time . . .

I’m looking forward to reading this regency romance during the summer.

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

Website:  http://evaleighauthor.com/

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

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

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.

 

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

 

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