The Lost Village by Daniela Sacerdoti @DanielaSacerdo3 @bookouture #blogtour #bookreview #TheLostVillage #HistFic

The Lost Village written by Daniela Sacerdoti, publisher Bookouture, is available in ebook format from 16th November 2020.

Book Blurb

1945, Italy. Two sisters give birth to two little girls on the same night, huddled under blankets, deep in the black woods that surround the village of Bosconero. They hold their babies close as footsteps approach. If they make even the slightest sound, the German soldiers will find them…

2006. Luce Nardini searches the cobbled streets of a remote Italian village for a house with a faded blue door. Since her only child left home, and with her estranged husband more distant than ever, she’s been completely untethered. Discovering why her mother cut all contact with her family and the village she loved feels like Luce’s last hope at understanding who she is.

Inside the house, she’s relieved to find the grandmother she never knew living out her final days. With a longing look at an ornate wooden box on her nightstand, her grandmother is just beginning to tell the heart-wrenching story of a little village ravaged by war, and why Luce’s mother swore never to return, when then the unthinkable happens: an earth-shattering disaster that shakes the little village of Bosconero to its core.

Feeling more lost than ever before, Luce fears that the secrets of her past have been buried forever. Her only hope is to win back the trust of the small community and find her grandmother’s little wooden box amongst the rubble of the village.

But will the surprise arrival of the husband she thought she’d lost help sew Luce’s family back together, or tear it apart for good? And will anything have prepared her for the devastating betrayal she finds hidden inside the box…?

An unputdownable historical novel about the secrets we keep to protect the ones we love by the author of million-copy Amazon No 1. bestseller, Watch Over Me. Perfect for anyone who loves Fiona Valpy, Lily Graham or The Letter by Kathryn Hughes.

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 Daniela Sacerdoti’ latest historical novel: The Lost Village.

I was totally captivated by this WWII historical time-slip novel. This is my first introduction to the work of Daniela Sacerdoti and after reading The Lost Village I know for a fact I’ll be on the lookout for more of her stories.

This is a story that will transport you back to a time of bliss and beauty in the idyllic Italian countryside, to a time before the world became shattered in conflict. Then Italy enters troubled times and life for all becomes difficult and people become wary of each other. One young woman has experienced more heart wrenching pain than most and when a split second decision changes the course of not only her future but that of others it’s the start of a catalyst of a turbulent time for all involved. A person that takes it upon them self to be the judge and jury of their loved ones but were these wise moves?

Many decades later Luce is desperate to understand her mother’s past. She knew her mother was born and grew up in Italy and left abruptly forty years ago. Luce’s mother refuses to talk about the past but Luce feels this rawness of pain in her mother’s life needs to be resolved once and all. Luce embarks on a mission to find her lost family in Italy. However, to have lost and then found the fear of losing again is a pain like no other.

Whilst in Italy discovering her family history Luce becomes involved in a terrible tragedy and there’s now a fight of survival and another challenge to find the truth of her heritage before it is lost forever.

A story that is equally fascinating, full of drama with emotional tugs of the heart. It’s also a story of reflection. However, when the past reveals itself no-one could foresee the shattering effects it would have on the lives of many. The ending of this story broke me and I struggled to comprehend the impetus of events that led to the heart breaking finale. Life had been so cruel to Luce’s family and it never ceased forming new cracks in the structure of the family until there were too many cracks to hold the past together.

A heart-stopping emotive historical time-slip novel.

Author Bio:
Daniela Sacerdoti is the author of the bestselling Glen Avich series which has sold over one million copies in ebook to date, Sacerdoti’s debut novel Watch Over Me was named the eighth bestselling Kindle book of all time in 2015, when she was also ranked as the eleventh top-selling Kindle author. She lives in a small village in the middle of nowhere, with her Scottish husband, two children, a Cocker spaniel and a foundling kitten (who was definitely a witch in a past life).  

https://www.danielasacerdoti.com/https://www.facebook.com/OfficialDanielaSacerdoti/

https://www.instagram.com/danielasacerdoti.2/

The Resistance Girl by Jina Bacarr @JinaBacarr @BoldwoodBooks @rararesources #blogtour #bookreview #WWIIfiction

The Resistance Girl written by Jina Bacarr, publisher Boldwood Books, is available NOW in ebook, kindleunlimited and paperback format.

Book Blurb

Two women. One heartbreaking secret.

Paris, 1943.

Sylvie Martone is the star of French cinema, and adored by fans. But as Nazi officers swarm the streets of Paris, she is spotted arm in arm with an SS Officer and her fellow Parisians begin to turn against her.

However Sylvie has a secret – one she must protect with her life.

Paris, 2020.

Juliana Chastain doesn’t know anything about her family history. While her mother was alive she remained very secretive about her past.

So when Juliana discovers a photograph of a glamorous French actress from World War Two amongst her mother’s possessions, she is in shock to find herself looking at her grandmother – especailly as she is arm in arm with a Nazi Officer…

Desperate for answers, Juliana is determined to trace the journey of her grandmother. Surely there is more to the photograph than meets the eye?

But as she delves into Sylvie’s past, nothing can prepare Juliane for the tales of secrets, betrayal and sacrifice which she will uncover.

A heart-wrenching story of love and war, perfect for fans of Pam Jenoff and Suzanne Goldring.

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

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 Jina Bacarr’s latest historcal novel: The Resistance Girl. I love books set in Paris and I am fascinated with the impact of both world wars on civilians so this book was a must read for me.

I found The Resistance Girl a captivating WWII time-slip novel that will entrance you with the glamour, the espionage, the romance and the danger. It will also leave you with food for thought of a time in history that no-one can ever appreciate or begin to understand unless you are living in it. This is when fiction is at it’s best bringing historical moments to life and giving the reader an atmospheric understanding of what the characters are experiencing.

This story is a tale of two halves focussing on two women who find themselves reaching a junction in their lives. The routes they take could change their lives irrevocably. Back in the late 1920’s young Sylvie, who has been brought up by nuns at the local convent in Paris, is obsessed with the silver screen and dreams of being an actress. Sylvie has to make a big decision to step away from the convent and set her dreams free but is this step leading her to danger in later life? The silver screens were just coming alive with speaking parts and exciting times were ahead in the world of cinema.

Over 75 years later Juliana is sorting out her late mother’s belongings and finds a photograph of a beautiful women. This photograph she believes is of her grandmother and it inspires Juliana to learn more about her. Who is the beautiful woman, what was her story?

The story flits back and forth as we follow both girls journeys in life; Sylvie’s journey to stardom and to survival as the war in Europe intensifies and Paris becomes occupied by soldiers. Sylvie’s celebrity status becomes a hindrance and a gain during these troubled times and she struggles with her beliefs. Juliana has a tough journey tracking down the life of this young woman in the photograph who held so many secrets. Her gut instincts are to fight for the truth surrounding Sylvie’s career and personal life.

A story that will keep you mesmerised till the very end. I find stories like Sylvie’s very remarkable and they should be told to all. Even though this is a work of fiction it is based on the wondrous stories that military historians are now unearthing. At times it is dark with the realities of war and it will break your heart many times but you can sense the hope in Sylvie for better days to come. It must have been thrilling for Juliana to reveal these secrets of her grandmother. Secrets that no-one could ever envisage.

A captivating story that I thoroughly enjoyed.

Author Bio –

Jina Bacarr is a US-based historical romance author of over 10 previous books. She has been a screenwriter, journalist and news reporter, but now writes full-time and lives in LA. Jina’s novels have been sold in 9 territories.

Social Media Links –

Newsletter: http://bit.ly/JinaBacarrNewsletter

Website: https://jinabacarr.wordpress.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JinaBacarr.author

Twitter @ https://twitter.com/JinaBacarr

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jinabacarr/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/LadydeGrey/videos?view_as=subscriber

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/jbacarr

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/jina-bacarr

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/50392.Jina_Bacarr

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jinabacarr/

https://bookandmainbites.com/JinaBacarr

The Runaway Sisters by Ann Bennett @annbennett71 @bookouture #bookextract #historicalfiction

The Runaway Sisters written by Ann Bennett publisher Bookouture is available NOW in ebook and paperback format.

Book Blurb

The story of two sisters fighting to survive in the darkest days of World War Two. A heartbreaking tale of resilience and bravery, about having the courage to sacrifice yourself in order to save the ones you love…

Devon, 1940: When fifteen-year-old Daisy is evacuated from her home in London, she knows she must look after her younger sister Peggy. She is the only one who can reassure Peggy that life will go back to normal, holding her close and reading to her from their one battered children’s book.

But when the sisters are taken into the countryside, Daisy quickly realises that not everyone at home is on the right side of the war. Forced to work in fields alongside orphan children, she finds herself drawn to a young boy called John, who has tried and failed to escape many times before. He protects the other children, and his bravery inspires Daisy.

Then Peggy gets sick and Daisy knows that, to save her life, they must run away. But now Peggy is not the only one Daisy is desperate to protect. As the sounds of German engines grow louder above her, Daisy is faced with an impossible choice: escape with just her sister, or risk her life to save others?

Perfect for fans of Lisa Wingate, Diney Costeloe and Shirley Dickson, The Runaway Sisters is a tale of heartwrenching loss and uplifting courage. It’s a story about family, and the light that can be found in the dark clouds of war.

BUY LINKS:

Amazon: https://geni.us/B08B65D853Social

Apple: http://ow.ly/MCo950Aa3IP

Kobo: http://ow.ly/bglK50Aa3Ho 

Google: http://ow.ly/TQOn50Aa3GJ

I am so pleased to be involved in the blogtour celebrating and promoting the launch of Ann Bennett’s latest historical novel: The Runaway Sisters. This book is next on my TBR and I will post my review shortly however, today I have the pleasure of sharing an extract with you,

Chapter One
Helen 

As the lane climbed towards the open moor it became narrower and steeper. The high Devon banks on either side closed in, thick with bracken and dripping greenery. Helen drove slowly, but in places the way ahead became so confined that she had to slow the car to walking pace to avoid scraping it on the sharp rocks, obscured by ferns and foliage.

It seemed to Helen that this tiny lane, with its tortured twists and turns as it laboured up the foothills towards Dartmoor, somehow reflected her own mood, even more so as the dark clouds ahead closed in on her and she drew closer to Black Moor Hall.

At last she entered a stretch of dense woodland, where a moorland stream rushed downhill in a gully beside the road, and the entrance to the house came into view. Black wrought-iron gates rusting with age stood between tall, granite pillars. She pulled off the lane, stopped the car on the little bridge that crossed the stream and got out to open the gates. As she did so, she glanced down at her phone lying on the passenger seat. A text was flashing on the screen.

Sorry, going to be a bit late. Something’s come up. See you later. Laura.
Helen sighed, inching the car through the gates. Predictable; typical even. But it didn’t matter really; it would give her a chance to wander around the place alone and get her thoughts together. She needed time to reflect.
She drove along the rough track, through the spinney of evergreens, and as she rounded the final bend, the old house hove into view. It was a grey, overcast day, with mists rolling in from the high moor. The house looked even more forbidding than usual with its sombre granite gables and square bay windows either side of the imposing entrance. Helen pulled the car up on the circular drive and, suppressing a shudder, fumbled in her handbag for the keys.

As she paused on the threshold, she realised that she couldn’t remember a time in recent years when she’d been inside the house alone. As she closed the heavy front door behind her and ventured through the porch into the vast entrance hall, she felt the chill wrap itself around her…

About the Author

Ann Bennett was born in a small village in Northamptonshire and now lives in Surrey. Her first book, A Daughter’s Quest, originally published as Bamboo Heart, was inspired by her father’s experience as a prisoner of war on the Thai-Burma Railway. The Planter’s Wife (originally published as Bamboo Island) a Daughter’s Promise and The Homecoming, (formerly Bamboo Road) are also about the war in South East Asia.

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

Author Social Media Links:

Twitter: @annbennett71

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

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

when we were brave

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

When We Were Brave - Blog Tour
I voluntarily reviewed an arc of this book. All opinions are my own and no content may be copied. However, authors and publishers may use elements of my reviews for quotes
I am so pleased to be involved in the blogtour celebrating and promoting the launch of Suzanne Kelman’s latest novel: When We Were Brave.
This is my first introduction to the work of Suzanne Kelman and her writing blew me away, I’ve subsequently downloaded her bestselling novel A View Across the Rooftops as I need more of her words to satisfy my thirst for her work.
When We Were Brave is a totally captivating historical time slip novel about the bravery of the silent heroes of WWII, the secret agents who intercepted codes and messages.  When We Were Brave was truly brilliant storytelling by Suzanne Kelman and her words broke me.
I find historical novels set around the two wars fascinating, I especially like to read and learn about the impact it had on people, those not on the frontline but equally displaying a bravery for the task they’d chosen to help with the war effort.
When We Were Brave is a time slip novel were the present day learns something about a relative who lived during WW2.  This relative’s life has been lived in a shadow of accusation and for many years their existence had been banished to a cupboard never to be spoken of again.  Until Sophie discovers a photograph of her Great Aunt Vivi taken during WW2.  This photograph opens up a conversation that Sophie’s elderly relatives wish to shy away from but Sophie feels compelled to seek the truth about her Great Aunt.  Sophie goes on a journey of painstakingly researching through many war records across London, Cornwall, Paris and Berlin.
The story then slips back to 1943 to when a young woman who is headstrong and a little reckless makes the decision to be trained as a SOE and risk her life in the name of wartime espionage, the silent and invisible heroes of conflict.
Both sides of this story entranced me; Sophie unearthing more and more about her Great Aunt and piecing together a completely different picture to what Vivi was remembered as.  I was also equally fascinated by this brave young woman Vivi who was all alone in a world of unrest and danger but there was a human element to her new role that Vivi found herself making new friends and falling in love.
The author has written such a wonderful, compelling story that will grip you to the very end, it will break your heart but it will also leave you with a sense of gratitude for these selfless individuals.  I can’t stop thinking about this story.
Author Bio:
when we were brave authorSuzanne Kelman is a 2015 Academy of Motion Pictures Nicholl Finalist, Multi-Award-Winning Screenwriter and a Film Producer. As well as working in film she is also an International Amazon Bestselling Fiction Author of the Southlea Bay Series – The Rejected Writers’ Book Club, Rejected Writers Take the Stage and The Rejected Writers’ Christmas Wedding. Born in the United Kingdom, she now resides in Washington State.
@suzkelman

Feed Thy Enemy by Sue Parritt #blogtour #bookreview #WWIIfiction @rararesources

 

feed thy enemy

Feed Thy Enemy written and self-published by Sue Parritt is available NOW in ebook and paperback format.

To buy links:

AUS – http://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B07R6SXZ84
UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07R6SXZ84
US – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07R6SXZ84

Book Blurb

In this heart-warming narrative based on a true story, a British airman embarks on a plan that risks it all to feed a starving, war-stricken family. 

Thirty years after serving in World War II, middle-aged Rob’s holiday plans see an unforeseen change that leads him on a coach tour of Italy. Struggling with post-war PTSD and depression, he reluctantly agrees to the journey – and sparks a dream that plunges him into long-stifled memories.

Set in Europe, Sue Parritt’s Feed Thy Enemy is an account of courage and compassion in the face of trauma. When Rob’s flashback delves into his attempts to save a famished family with a series of increasingly daring raids on his army’s supply stores, will he trigger suppressed remembrances of past war, love, and sacrifice – and find the strength to confront them in the present?

Feed Thy Enemy 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 Sue Parritt’s latest novel:  Feed Thy Enemy.  This is my first introduction to the work of Sue Parritt and she writes with such authenticity and I totally appreciate the research undertaken for this novel.

Feed Thy Enemy is a remarkable story based on the real life experiences of one man’s courage and compassion during WWII.  During his time based in Italy RAF Sergeant Rob Harper strikes up an unlikely friendship with an Italian family and feels compelled to help them by smuggling food and buying much needed supplies and treats.  However, the war, like many thousands of others, has left Rob with debilitating flashbacks and his mind is never at rest from what he’s seen and endured.

Just over thirty years on from the end of the war Rob’s life is about to take a journey back in time.  A journey he’s taken in his head many times but also a journey he’s afraid to take.  When holiday plans are scuppered and an opportune trip to Italy is offered Rob and his wife Ivy feel like fate has played it’s hand at giving Rob this time to revisit places and people that have haunted him for many years.

I was totally captivated by this story; the author Sue Parritt has written a very raw, honest account of a serviceman’s life in a war torn country many miles from home.  You can sense and acknowledge the pain of losing a comrade, a friend and a feeling of hopelessness of the situation.  It took the military and the government a long time to acknowledge the symptons of PTSD  and many servicemen suffered greatly without any proper treatment.

Feed Thy Enemy is a historical time slip story told from the heart with compassion and honesty.  It is based on the authors own father’s experiences during his time serving with the RAF.  It’s an emotionally fuelled story but one that will leave you wanting to know what happened next to Rob, his family and his friends he made during WWII.

About the Author

Feed Thy Enemy Sue ParrittOriginally from England, Sue worked in university libraries until taking early retirement in 2008 to concentrate on creative writing. Since then she has written short stories, articles, poetry, a short TV drama script and six novels:

Sannah and the Pilgrim, first in a trilogy of a future dystopian Australia focusing on climate change and the harsh treatment of refugees from drowned Pacific islands. Odyssey Books, 2014. Commended in the FAW Christina Stead Award, 2014.

Pia and the Skyman, Odyssey Books, 2016. Commended in the FAW Christina Stead Award, 2016.

The Sky Lines Alliance, Odyssey Books, 2016.

Chrysalis, the story of a perceptive girl growing up in a Quaker family in swinging sixties’ Britain. Morning Star Press, 2017

Re-Navigation recounts a life turned upside down when forty-year old Julia journeys from the sanctuary of middle-class Australian suburbia to undertake a retreat at a college located on an isolated Welsh island. Creativia Publishing, 2019.

Feed Thy Enemy, based on her father’s experiences, is an account of courage and compassion in the face of trauma as a British airman embarks on a plan that risks all to feed a starving, war-stricken family. Creativia Publishing, 2019.

Sue’s current project, A Question of Country, is a novel exploring the migrant experience through the protagonist’s lifelong search for meaningful identity.

Passionate about peace and social justice issues, Sue’s goal as a fiction writer is to continue writing novels that address topics such as climate change, the effects of war, the treatment of refugees, feminism and racism.  Sue intends to keep on writing for as long as possible, believing the extensive life experiences of older writers can be employed to engage readers of all ages.

Social Media Links –

www.facebook.com/SueParrittAuthor/

Website: www.sueparritt.com

Victory for the East End Angels by Rosie Hendry @hendry_rosie @LittleBrownUK @littlebookcafe @rararesources #blogtour #bookreview #WWIIsaga #familysaga

 

Victory Cover

Victory for the East End Angels written by Rosie Hendry, publisher Sphere (an imprint of Little, Brown Books) is available NOW in ebook and paperback format.

To buy link: https://amzn.to/2YagK9T

Product Details

The war is almost over – and it’s up to the East End Angels to keep the home fires burning!

Frankie‘s fiance, a doctor, is away looking after the troops in Europe – will he return safely home?

Winnie has a happy secret – but can she carry on at Station 75 when she’s going to have a baby?

Bella is intrigued by her new friend, a Polish airman.

As the war ends and victory is in sight, what next for the girls of Station 75?

A gorgeously uplifting saga for fans of Ellie Dean and Donna Douglas

Victory For The East End Angels 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 Rosie Hendry’s latest novel: Victory for the East End Angels.  This was my first introduction to the work of Rosie Henry.  Even though Victory for the East End Angels is Book Four in the series the author managed to captivate me with her characters and I was fascinated with how the social dynamics had changed in wartime with many women taking on the roles that were formerly destined for men.  Although the book can be read as a standalone, as I have proved, there were moments that I wished I knew the history more of the characters and storyline so I would whole-heartedly recommend reading all the books in the series in order to get the full enjoyment and overall reading experience.  The books in the series are:

  • East End Angels
  • Secrets of the East End Angels
  • Christmas with the East End Angels
  • Victory for the East End Angels

Winnie, Rose, Frankie and Bella are four friends that for the last few years have been working as ambulance crew for the London Auxiliary Ambulance Service – Station 75 in the heart of London.  During their time they have experienced many traumatic scenes first-hand but the valiant work that these brave men and women volunteers do has unfortunately been a necessity of war.

Victory for the East End Angels is a story of friendship and love.  It’s also a story of survival in a world of uncertainty.  There’s a real sense of camaraderie during wartime periods and you can appreciate and acknowledge that the ‘make do and mend’ and ‘keep calm and carry on’ attitudes helped tremendously and are a perspective in life that we need to remember and replicate.

Rosie Hendry has written a wonderful family saga set in WWII, there were some highs and lows of life during conflict and our hearts were battered with the separations of our loved ones but the warmth spread within the community helped those in need at the time.  I felt a gentleness with the authors writing but I was conscious of the authentic atmosphere of the times.  A lovely heart-warming, honest and tender read.

About the Author

Victory author photoRosie Hendry lives by the sea in Norfolk with her husband, two children, chickens and a snake. She’s worked in a variety of jobs from fruit picking, waitressing, teaching and as a research scientist but has always loving reading and writing. Starting off writing short stories for women’s magazines, her stories have gradually become longer as her children have grown bigger.

Listening to her father’s tales of life during the Second World War sparked Rosie’s interest in this period and she’s especially intrigued by how women’s lives changed during the war years. She loves researching further, searching out gems of real-life events which inspire her writing.

When she’s not working, Rosie enjoys walking along the beach, reading and is grateful for the fact that her husband is a much better cook than her.

Website: www.rosiehendry.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/RosieHendrybooks/

Twitter – www.twitter.com/hendry_rosie

 

 

Taking Heart by Rowena Summers #bookreview #familysaga #historicalfiction @agorabooksldn

 

taking heart

Taking Heart written by Rowena Summers, publisher Agora Books, is available NOW in ebook and paperback format.  The ebook is also part of the kindleunlimited scheme.

To buy link: https://amzn.to/2J3hNUN

Book Blurb

But at least we still have each other. As long as we still have the family, we’ll be all right.

Imogen and her sisters are fighting to save their childhood home and remain in Bristol. Their father has announced the sale of the family business and everything is about to change.

But when a terrible tragedy tears the family apart, the Caldwell girls must forge their own paths in life. And with the Second World War looming over England, their lives begin to change more drastically than they could have imagined.

Through love and heartbreak, fear and loss, can the Caldwell girls make it out unscathed? Or will they be swept up in the chaos of the changing times?

ornate scrollI 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.

Taking Heart is the first book in a four part series titled The Caldwell Girls.  The Caldwell Girls are three sisters growing up in a village near Bristol, there’s an anxious air all around with the constant talk of war beckoning.  The girls, along with their two brothers, lives were fairly privileged until their father announced financial ruin with the family run shop.  This sadly wasn’t the only bad news to hit the family and when tragedy strikes the children’s lives were to change irrevocably.  Dreams were changed, hearts were broken and independence beckoned.  A family at crisis were slowly making their mark in their lives in directions that surprised them all.

With the rumblings of war talks ever present life felt like it was precious and especially the young and in love who wished to grab any happiness they could before the inevitable.

Taking Heart is a lovely, gently family saga were formalities of the heart were entertained.  The author’s style of writing flowed well and fitted with the era in question.  Reading the novel felt like a trip down memory lane walking through a typical English country village waking up to the sound of birdsong and children’s laughter that would soon be replaced by the echo’s of the machinations of war.

Taking Heart was first published back in 2000 and Agora Books have recently republished the novel, with a brand new cover.  Sadly the author passed away in 2011 but I’m delighted to hear that her stories are reaching out to new readers and her fiction is bringing history to life.  I look forward to continuing the journey of The Caldwell Girls with more stories to come later this year.

About the Author

Jean Saunders was a British writer of romance novels from 1974 to 2010. She wrote under her married and maiden name, which was Innes, and also under the pseudonyms Rowena Summers, Sally Blake, and Rachel Moore.

After the publication of her first novel, Jean began a career as a magazine writer and published around 600 short stories. In the 1970s she started to publish gothic romance novels under her own name, and in the 1980s she created the pseudonym Rowena Summers to write historical romances, her most popular works. In 1991 her novel The Bannister Girls was shortlisted for the Romantic Novel of Year award.

She lived in Weston-Super-Mare, Somerset, where she wrote full-time.

To learn more about The Caldwell Girls series please visit the publisher’s website:  https://www.agorabooks.co/our-favourite-historical-fiction-series/

 

In Alexa’s Shoes by Rochelle Alexandra #InAlexasShoes @roshellie28 @damppebbles #damppebblesblogtours #bookreview

 

In Alexa's Shoes

In Alexa’s Shoes written by Rochelle Alexandra, publisher Author Academy Elite, is available NOW in ebook format and is due out in hardcover and paperback format on the 25th June 2019.

To buy links

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Alexas-Shoes-Rochelle-Alexandra-ebook/dp/B07SVR7H36/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=B07SVR7H36&qid=1560244696&s=gateway&sr=8-1
Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Alexas-Shoes-Rochelle-Alexandra-ebook/dp/B07SVR7H36/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=In+Alexa%27s+Shoes&qid=1560244667&s=gateway&sr=8-1

Book Blurb
In Alexa’s Shoes – a dramatic, uplifting true story of a teenage girl overcoming great odds to survive. A historical novel that beckons the reader to follow in the footsteps of a real-life individual one step at a time. Based on the true story of the author’s grandmother.

In the autumn of 1940, thirteen-year-old Alexa’s happy life is ripped from her as she, her mother, and many of the locals are rounded up by the Nazis in Poland. Loaded into trucks, they are transported to an unknown destination. Terror and uncertainty become the new normal. Life is a continuous nightmare as she is selected by the Gestapo officer’s wife, destined to become little more than their slave.

Separated from everyone she loves Alexa relies on her Christian faith, inner strength and courage, to endure through her long nightmare. Her story takes her on a treacherous journey across war-ravaged Europe in search of her family and the life she once knew. Despite living through unimaginable hardships and life-threatening danger, Alexa feels that someone or something seems to be looking out for her. Years later, she finds out that not all was as it seemed, as hidden secrets from this dark period in history are revealed to her.

In Alexa's Shoes Blog Tour

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

I am so pleased to be involved in the blogtour celebrating and promoting the launch of Rochelle Alexandra’s debut novel: In Alexa’s Shoes.

Alexa was just one of the millions of casualties of war. This story is of a young girl stepping out to buy a much loved for pair of shoes when on that day her life was to change irrevocably. What we read of Alexa’s life from hereon is shocking, distressing at times but you are riveted to the story of one young girl’s plight of survival. A young girl that never lost her faith and never gave up hope.

In Alexa’s Shoes is a chilling, remarkable story that evoked many emotions within me. It’s hard to comprehend that all that happened to Alexa was real and that she was also not alone, she was one of many that had had their life wrenched away from them. Until the end of the war Alexa’s life was controlled by the Nazi rule of Hitler’s campaign.

Rochelle Alexandra is the granddaughter to Alexa and as a young girl she would sit transfixed listening to her grandmother’s (Babcia) tales. Tales that were so vivid you could picture them as clear as a movie on a big screen. In Alexa’s Shoes should be read by all and it should be immortalised as a movie.

It’s such a remarkable, shocking and almost unbelievable story but sadly conflict at any time is not to be believed until you walk in the shoes of one that is directly involved.

About the Author
Rochelle AlexandraRochelle Alexandra was born in Glasgow, Scotland where she grew up, then moved to New York to live when she was eighteen. She had an early love for writing poetry, winning a National Scottish competition and later had a few poems published in the USA. She’s a talented artist and photographer with a real love for children, horse riding and travel. Her favourite jobs were in advertising, working for a newspaper, a photographer’s assistant and private chef. She ran her own freelance art business painting portraits, murals, abstracts and commissions.

She never set out to be a writer, but after hearing her Polish grandmother’s gripping true life history during WWII first hand, she made a promise to her gran that she would write her story in book form. Sadly her grandmother Alexa passed away aged 92, just two months before the novel ‘In Alexa’s Shoes’ about her life was due to be published. Little did Rochelle know that she’d love the writing process so much and now has several future novels planned.

Social Media:
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/roshellie28
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Rochelle-Alexandra-Author-402257290515469/
Website: https://www.rochellealexandra.com/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ro_alexandra_author/

dpbt 2

 

The Teashop Girls by Elaine Everest @ElaineEverest @ed_pr @panmacmillan #blogtour #bookreview #TheTeashopGirls #saga #WWIIfiction

 

the teashop girls

The Teashop Girls written by Elaine Everest, publisher Pan Macmillan, is available NOW in ebook, paperback and audiobook version.

The paperback is available from all good book retailers including Waterstones, WHSmith, Foyes and amazon.

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

Book Blurb

It is early 1940 and World War Two has already taken a hold on the country. Rose Neville works as a Lyon’s Teashop Nippy on the Kent coast alongside her childhood friends, the ambitious Lily and Katie, whose fiancé is about to be posted overseas in the navy. As war creates havoc in Europe, Rose relies on the close friendship of her friends and her family.
When Capt. Benjamin Hargreaves enters the teashop one day, Rose is immediately drawn to him. But as Lyon’s forbids courting between staff and customers, she tries to put the handsome officer out of her mind.
In increasingly dark and dangerous times, Rose fears there may not be time to waste. But is the dashing captain what he seems?

The Teashop Girls blog tour banner NEW

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 Elaine Everest’s latest novel: The Teashop Girls.

Elaine Everest is fast becoming one of my favourite saga writers.  Her writing is very authentic and is full of atmospheric prose with regional dialect making you appreciate the era and it’s locality.

The Teashop Girls is a new stand-alone story from Elaine Everest and we travel back to 1940 to the coastal towns of Ramsgate and Margate to when the country is in fear of what lays ahead with the war.  The story centres around three best friends; Rose, Lily and Katie who are all workers at the prestigious J Lyons & Co teashop. The girls are embracing life during wartime with tea dances and enjoying the attention of the servicemen stationed close to the town.  However, as war inches closer to home danger and turmoil is not far behind and the girls soon have to find an inner strength to survive.

I loved learning about the prestigious teashop and the roles the individual staff members play.  It’s lovely how we are seeing a revival of teashops and some of the styles from the original teashops, such as J Lyons & Co, are now created bringing back this glorious, elegant past-time of taking tea and cake.

Elaine Everest has created a lovely nostalgic romantic saga that is very charming but the author wasn’t afraid to reveal the true horrors of war and drama blending a story that feels very real.  The three main characters were very likeable and you soon start championing their lives but I also loved the array of sub-characters that played a key-role in the storyline with the likes of Flora, Mildred and Anya bringing great scenes between all the characters.

Saga novels keep history alive and for readers that lived in the era depicted in the story it feels like a trip down memory lane.  However, we will soon come to a time when new readers will be visiting these historical moments for the first time and this is the true beauty of historical fiction.  Elaine Everest beautifully transports you to a different era with ease and entertains and fascinates readers of life, love and friendship during difficult times in history.

About the Author

Elaine Everest, author of Bestselling novel The Woolworths Girls and The Butlins Girls was born and brought up in North West Kent, where many of her books are set. She has been a freelance writer for twenty years and has written widely for women’s magazines and national newspapers, with both short stories and features. Her non-fiction books for dog owners have been very popular and led to broadcasting on radio about our four legged friends. Elaine has been heard discussing many topics on radio from canine subjects to living with a husband under her feet when redundancy loomed.

When she isn’t writing, Elaine runs The Write Place creative writing school at The Howard Venue in Hextable, Kent and has a long list of published students.

Elaine lives with her husband, Michael, and their Polish Lowland Sheepdog, Henry, in Swanley, Kent and is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, Crime Writers Association, The Society of Women Writers & Journalists and The Society of Authors as well as Slimming World where she can be seen sitting in the naughty corner.

Follow me:

Facebook: Elaine Everest Author page

Twitter: @elaineeverest

My writing school: http://www.thewriteplace.org.uk

 

 

Leo’s War by Patricia Murphy blogtour extract

 

Leo's War - Poolbeg cover - FOR PRINT

Leo’s War written by Patricia Murphy, publisher Poolbeg Press, is available NOW in ebook and paperback format.  The ebook is also included in the kindleunlimited scheme.

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

To buy link (Direct from Poolbeg Press):  https://bit.ly/2BAJdjl

Product Details

It’s 1943 and young Leo tries to protect his disabled sister Ruby as the Nazis invade Italy. After his mother is arrested, he turns to Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty to save them. But he is no ordinary priest. Known as ‘The Pimpernel of the Vatican’, the Monsignor is the legendary organizer of the Rome Escape Line. Soon Leo is helping out with this secret network dedicated to saving the lives of escaped prisoners of war, partisans and Jews. But as the sinister Nazi leader Kappler closes in on the network, can Leo and his sister stay out of his evil clutches?

Leo's War Full Tour Banner

I am so pleased to be involved in the blogtour celebrating and promoting the launch of Patricia Murphy’s latest novel: Leo’s War.  The book is aimed for young adults but I think it sounds equally fascinating for adults too.

The author has kindly offered to share an extract with you all today:

In this extract from Chapter 4, Leo and his disabled younger sister Ruby escape at night to Rome to seek help from Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty, after their mother is arrested as a member of the Resistance. Deep in the forest they bump into a group of young partisans led by Roberto, the older brother of a nasty classmate, who used to be an enthusiastic fascist. But after Mussolini joined Hitler in the ill-fated invasion of the Soviet Union, many Italian troops who were ill-equipped to deal with the Russian winter, deserted and joined the partisans on the side of the Allies. Many of these partisan groups were astonishingly brave, fighting the Germans with ill-assorted weapons and relying on their knowledge of the local terrain. Often too, they were little more than teenagers.

* * * * * * *

Halfway in, we came upon a tiny clearing where there
was a rough stone hut, the kind used by shepherds,
underneath a canopy of branches. But apart from the
remains of a recent fire, there was no sign of life. I wondered
if it would be a good place to have a little rest. But as I
hesitated there was a sudden whoosh in the trees. I sensed
a darkness closing in behind.
And then a shape dropped from the tree in front.
“Fermati! Basta!” Halt! That’s enough!
The donkey brayed and kicked up its legs. I lifted up my
hurley.
Before me stood a youth by the slenderness of him,
dressed in ragged clothes with a cloth over his face. He had
a mass of black curly hair and his dark eyes bored into me.
He was cradling a rifle in his arms.
“Don’t hurt us!” I cried out in Italian.
But the youth tore off his kerchief and laughed.
“Englishman! What are you doing here?’
Ruby popped her head out of the cart, her hair covered
in straw. Two other equally ragged boys emerged out of the
trees and burst into laughter.
“Roberto!” I cried. He was the older brother of Filippo,
my sworn enemy. A Blackshirt. He joined up even though
he was too young and was sent to the Russian front. He
sang the songs in praise of Mussolini with such gusto I used
to think his lungs would burst. But he didn’t look like a
Blackshirt now. He was the opposite – the spit of a bandit.
I stood stock still, staring hard at him.
“We are partisans now fighting for freedom from
Mussolini!” he exclaimed proudly. “I am the leader of our
band. ‘Lucky’ they call me. Because I got us all back from the
Russian front.” He puffed out his chest with pride even
though his little band of fighters looked like ragamuffins or
the Lost Boys from the story Peter Pan that my mother used to
read. And there only seemed to be two of them. Some band!
“This is Carpo, our sharpshooter,” he said. “And cook.”
He nodded towards a skinny little boy of about fifteen
with tufts of blond hair peeking out of a cap. He wore a
rough burlap sack tied at the waist instead of a jacket and
his trousers were in flitters. On his feet were two left boots
with twine instead of laces. But at least he had shoes. The
other one, a tall skinny boy with glasses called Primo, had
pieces of leather on his feet tied with string like some
peasants wore. Roberto referred to him grandly as their
“munitions expert”.
“Gigi is sleeping in the hut. She’s a refugee from the
south and she’s joined our partisan group,” he said,
swaggering as if he were a battle commander. “The rat we
roasted last night didn’t agree with her.”
While I gaped at this, the others laughed and Carpo
patted his belly, saying, “Yum, yum! More for us.”
I pushed the image of the rat out of my head and eyed
the group suspiciously. “I thought you loved Mussolini,” I
said to Roberto. “You beat me up when I sang that song
about him and you didn’t even know what it was about.”
“I knew it was disrespectful with those farting noises
you made at the end!” He laughed then. His face
brightened. “Sing it for us, eh?”
So I did! I puffed out my chest and sang at the top of my
voice.
“Oh Mussolini, what have you done?
You have a fat head like a baby’s bum,
You are the Duce but you’re just a fool,
Everyone knows you are Hitler’s tool!
Oh Mussolini, with your face like a bum,
If ever I see you, I’ll tell you you’re scum!
Then away I will run, run, run, run, run!
And one of these days you’ll be shot by a gun!”
They listened, grinning, and cheered when I translated
for them as best I could.
“You sing well for an Englishman,” the string-of-beans
boy, Primo, said.
Roberto looked around at his little band and smiled like
I was his long-lost brother. He winked at me and cuffed me
around the head. “You were right, Englishman! We have seen
what a mess he made of his lousy stinking army by following
those other German fatheads and we fight for Italy now!”

About the Author

Patricia Murphy Leo's WarPatricia Murphy is the bestselling author of The Easter Rising 1916 – Molly’s Diary and Dan’s Diary – the War of Independence 1920-22 published by Poolbeg.
She has also written the prize-winning “The Chingles” trilogy of children’s Celtic fantasy novels. Patricia is also an award winning Producer/Director of documentaries including Children of Helen House, the BBC series on a children’s hospice and Born to Be Different Channel 4’s flagship series following children born with disabilities. Many of her groundbreaking programmes are about children’s rights and topics such as growing up in care, crime and the criminal justice system. She has also made a number of history programmes including Worst Jobs in History with Tony Robinson for Channel 4 and has produced and directed films for the Open University.

Patricia grew up in Dublin and is a graduate in English and History from Trinity College Dublin and of Journalism at Dublin City University. She now lives in Oxford with her husband and young daughter.

Social Media Links
Website: https://www.patriciamurphyonline.com
Twitter: @_PatriciaMurphy
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/Leos-War-Irelands-Secret-World-War-2-Hero-714055598929732
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/Mollys-Diary-The-1916-Rising-277254289106782/

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