The Guernsey Novels blogtour excerpt from Book 5 Echoes of Time by Anne Allen

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I’m so pleased to be involved in the blogtour for The Guernsey Novels written by Anne Allen, publisher Sarnia Press.  To-date there are 6 books in the series, each one can be read as a standalone and I’ve had the pleasure of reading books 4 and 6.  In a nutshell I would describe Anne’s novels as historical time-slip romances that are evocative, atmospheric and intriguing.

I have the pleasure of sharing today an excerpt from Book 5: Echoes of Time.

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Excerpt
Echoes of Time – The Guernsey Novels Book #5
Guernsey – 1987

Olive was cooking her usual meagre supper of scrambled eggs on toast when the sound of heavy footsteps outside made her jump. No-one ever visited and this was how she liked it. Always had. Her heart pounded as she moved the pan off the blackened range and turned to face the back door. Unlocked as was the custom in safe little Guernsey. Or was it safe? Grabbing a knife she watched, immobile, as the knob turned and the door began to open. The man stood silhouetted against the early evening sky and she stared hard at his shape, puzzled. There was something familiar about the slope of the shoulders and the angle of his head. Her mouth went dry in the moment before the door closed and he moved into the light.
It couldn’t be! Not after all this time…She felt her legs tremble and leant back against the range.
‘Hello, Olive. Bet you didn’t expect to see me again, did you?’ He chuckled, humourlessly.
She hid the knife up her sleeve and pulled the darned cardigan around her thin body. Old memories surfaced as she fought to stay calm.
‘We…we heard you were dead. You didn’t come back–’
‘No, well, I found someone and something better, didn’t I? But it doesn’t look as if you have.’ His gaze was contemptuous as he looked her up and down, and Olive was conscious of how unkempt she looked. Poverty does that to a person. Whereas he was immaculately dressed in what looked like a designer suit. A successful man. She watched, helpless, as his gaze wandered over the kitchen, and she registered, for the first time in years, how dirty and shabby it looked. The kitchen which had once been kept spotless. Feelings of shame, mixed with overriding fear, flooded her mind. What did he want?
His eyes alighted on the only personal item in the room. And the last thing she wanted him to see. She moved forward, attempting to block his view, but he pushed her aside and picked up the photo in its cheap wooden frame.
‘Who’s this?’ he demanded, his face flushed with anger.
A look she knew all too well.
Her stomach clenched. Could she lie? Pretend it was someone else? As her head whirled with possibilities he seized her arm, twisting it. She cried out in pain and the knife clattered onto the granite floor. Swiftly he grabbed it while still holding onto her arm. Olive’s knees buckled.
He thrust the knife towards her chest and she screamed.
‘Please…’
‘Don’t even think of lying,’ he hissed.
‘It’s…it’s my…our daughter–’
The world went black.

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The blogtour is also running a fabulous giveaway.  To enter please click on the link below.

The Guernsey Novels Prize Draw

About the Author

Anne AllenAnne Allen lives in Devon, by her beloved sea. She has three children and her daughter and two grandchildren live nearby. She was born in Rugby, to an English mother and Welsh father. As a result she spent many summers with her Welsh grandparents in Anglesey and learnt to love the sea.

Her restless spirit has meant a number of moves which included Spain for a couple of years. The longest stay was in Guernsey for nearly fourteen years after falling in love with the island and the people. She contrived to leave one son behind to ensure a valid reason for frequent returns.

By profession Anne was a psychotherapist but has long had creative ‘itches’, learning to mosaic, paint furniture, interior design and sculpt. At the back of her mind the itch to write was always present but seemed too time-consuming for a single mum with a need to earn a living. Now retired from the ‘day job’, there i’s more time to write and Anne has now published six books in The Guernsey Novels series. She will be publishing her seventh novel later in the year.

Website:  https://anneallen.co.uk/

Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/AnneAllen21

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/Anne-Allen-Author

The Betrayal (The Guernsey Novels book 6) by Anne Allen book review

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The Betrayal (The Guernsey Novel – Book 6) written by Anne Allen, publisher Sarnia Press is available NOW in ebook and paperback format.  The ebook is also included in the kindleunlimited scheme.

To buy link:  http://amzn.to/2l8KipY

Product Details (as per amazon page)

Treachery and theft lead to death – and love

1940. Teresa Bichard and her baby are sent by her beloved husband, Leo, to England as the Germans draw closer to Guernsey. Days later they invade…
1942. Leo, of Jewish descent, is betrayed to the Germans and is sent to a concentration camp, never to return.
1945. Teresa returns to find Leo did not survive and the family’s valuable art collection, including a Renoir, is missing. Heartbroken, she returns to England.
2011. Nigel and his twin Fiona, buy a long-established antique shop in Guernsey and during a refit, find a hidden stash of paintings, including what appears to be a Renoir. Days later, Fiona finds Nigel dead, an apparent suicide. Refusing to accept the verdict, a distraught Fiona employs a detective to help her discover the truth…
Searching for the rightful owner of the painting brings Fiona close to someone who opens a chink in her broken heart. Can she answer some crucial questions before laying her brother’s ghost to rest?
Who betrayed Leo?
Who knew about the stolen Renoir?
And are they prepared to kill – again?

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

Two tragedies just less than 70 years apart, is there a connection?

A time slip mystery that takes you to a war torn Guernsey, who at first were coping fairly well but with the threat of German occupation the small island and it’s community were soon left isolated from the rest of Europe.

Now in 2011 Fiona and her twin brother Nigel, the new owners of a long-established antique shop in Guernsey, are fizzing with excitement of the paintings they have just found hidden amongst the property.  With Fiona’s expertise in the field of Historical Art and her current work for the V & A museum, Fiona recognises the possible work of local artists Naftel and Toplis but another painting looks almost like a Renoir, which totally astounds Fiona.  Renoir was known to have created fifteen paintings of Guernsey during his stay on the isle in 1883.  To have first hand sight of one of his works was every Art Historian’s dream.  The twins, Fiona and Nigel, knew then that what they have stumbled across could be a pivotal moment in the art world and especially important that this was found in Guernsey.

As Fiona was authenticating the painting back in London she knew nothing of the danger her brother Nigel was in.  Coming home on a high with news of the painting Fiona was in for a traumatic shock when she discovers Nigel’s body.  Fiona is utterly devastated, she has lost not only her twin brother, her best friend but also the last remaining member of her immediate family.  She is shocked that the police believe Nigel’s death may be suicide and sets out to find the truth with the help of a local private detective.

We follow Fiona on her search to find out what exactly happened on this fateful day.  We also follow her on her journey to find the original owners of the Renoir painting.

The storyline also travels back in time to 1940 and of the inhabitants of Guernsey during the war, in particular to Leo Bichard, his young wife Teresa and new baby Judith.  The fear of the future during the war, the fear of being separated during evacuation and the fear of losing everything.

I really enjoyed this story especially going back in time to 1940, reading about the social ramifications of the war fascinates me but also as Guernsey was such a small isle I could understand how isolated and alone the islanders must have felt.  The author, Anne Allen, has packed The Betrayal with drama, history, intrigue, anguish and grief but I also felt a strength of warmth of friends rallying around to support one of their own in their desperate hour of need.  Also the spark of love at a time when your life has been shattered was a welcome distraction to all the emotional despair.  4.5/5*

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

Website:  http://anneallen.co.uk/

Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/AnneAllen21

Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/Anne-Allen-Author