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

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

Book Blurb

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Atmospheric, gripping and captivating.

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

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

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

Social Media Links –

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

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/JeanFullerton_

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

*Terms and Conditions –UK entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/33c69494419/

Christmas with the Teashop Girls by Elaine Everest @ElaineEverest @ed_pr @panmacmillan #TeashopGirlsChristmas

Christmas with the Teashop Girls by Elaine Everest is out now, published by Pan Macmillan, priced £7.99 as paperback original.

Book Blurb

The friends return in a moving story of love, bravery and hope set in 1940 – a guaranteed winter warmer full of festive spirit. Bestseller Elaine Everest is the author of the much loved Woolworths Girls saga series.
It’s late 1940 and the war feels closer to home than ever for Rose Neville and her staff at the Lyon’s Teashop in Margate. The worry of rationing hangs overhead as the Nippies do their best to provide a happy smile and a hot cup of tea for their customers. When a bombing raid targets the Kent
coastline, Lyon’s is badly hit, throwing the future of the cafe into jeopardy.
The light in Rose’s life is her dashing fiancé Captain Ben Hargreaves and she’s busy planning their Christmas Eve wedding. But she must also plan to take two new stepdaughters into her life and get on the right side of her wealthy mother-in-law, Lady Diana. Is Rose ready to become a mother?
When Rose’s half-sister Eileen makes contact, it seems that Rose’s dreams of having a sibling are coming true at long last. But her friends begin to suspect that she’s hiding something… As the wedding draws near, the bombings intensify, putting everything and everyone Rose loves in danger.
Only one thing is for sure: it will be a Christmas she never forgets . . .

The book will be available to purchase from high street book stores, most supermarkets and also the online links below:

Waterstones: https://www.waterstones.com/book/christmas-with-the-teashop-girls/elaine-everest/9781529015928

Hive: https://www.hive.co.uk/Product/Elaine-Everest/Christmas-with-the-Teashop-Girls/24958980

Amazon: https://amzn.to/33ZGcoD

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: Christmas with the Teashop Girls.

Elaine Everest is a very good storyteller, her words take you back to an era that was filled with uncertainty and there’s a real sense of atmosphere. What I love about the attitude of the people from the war years was the community spirit, their resilience and their make do and mend survival tactics. These are times we need to keep remembering and learn from.

We are back in Margate with the girls we fell in love with in book one, The Teashop Girls, the Nippies from the Lyon’s teashop. The year is 1940 and war is visibly amongst the streets and cities but romance is keeping the girls going specifically with Rose and her blossoming romance with Ben.

With this book we get to learn more about Ben’s family and a trip to the city of London opens Rose and her mother Flora’s eyes to the full extent of the conflict. Meeting Ben’s mother brings up many surprises and Lady Diana proves to be a very resourceful woman.

Romance, danger and adventure are not far away for Rose, Lily, Katie, Flora and Mildred. With the introduction of new characters blending brilliantly with our much loved main characters Elaine Everest has written another great WWII saga. I found myself immersed in the story and become involved in the lives of all. When the sky blackened with the battle of the skies I could feel the intensity of what the characters were witnessing.

A story that is filled with nostalgia, community spirit, the highs and lows of life during conflict but most of all it’s a story with warmth, friendship and love.

About the Author

Elaine Everest is from North West Kent and she grew up listening to stories of the war years in her home town of Erith, which features in her bestselling Woolworths Girls series. A former journalist, and author of nonfiction books for dog owners, Elaine has written over sixty short stories for the women’s magazine market.
When she isn’t writing, Elaine runs The Write Place creative writing school in Hextable, Kent. She lives with her husband, Michael and sheepdog Henry. You can find out more about Elaine on Twitter @ElaineEverest or Facebook /elaine.everest

Rose’s Choice by Chrissie Bradshaw @ChrissieBeee @rararesources #TheCollieryRows #blogtour #bookreview

Rose's Choice Cover SMALL WEB

Rose’s Choice written and self-published by Chrissie Bradshaw is available from tomorrow, 17th July 2020, in ebook and paperback format.

Book Blurb

Rose’s Choice – a heart-wrenching wartime saga of love, family and secrets

Rationing, bombing, disease and pit disasters are part of Rose Kelly’s World War 2 childhood. When the spirited coalminer’s daughter discovers a family secret, she makes a choice that overshadows her teenage years. Rose tries to make the most of post-war opportunities but family tragedy pulls her back to a life in the colliery rows. She relinquishes her bright future for domestic duties because her family comes first. Will family ties get in the way of her dreams?

Purchase Links

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B088FY2P8Z

US –  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B088FY2P8Z

Roses Choice 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 Chrissie Bradshaw’s latest novel: Rose’s Choice.  Rose’s Choice is my first introduction to the work of Chrissie Bradshaw and her words captivated me from the start.  Chrissie Bradshaw has written a wartime saga filled with wrought emotion throughout.  I have to confess I shed a tear or two many a time but the story isn’t all sad and sorrowful there are wonderful endearing moments that will lift your spirits.

Rose’s Choice is the first book in a new saga series by Chrissie Bradshaw called The Colliery Rows.  I’m a pitman’s daughter myself and was brought up in a small mining community so I knew from the start that I wanted to read this novel.  I was to learn that the storyline resonated with me on so many lives.  There is a real sense of authenticity about the story with the use of local dialect that draws you in to the location and to the era.  The dialect at times is raw and honest but northerners have never been shy of speaking before thinking.

Rose was the first child of local pitman John Kelly and his wife Ginnie.  As soon as Rose was born the couple were enchanted with her and Rose was a child loved by all.  As Rose grew up she became inquisitive and had a thirst for knowledge and had a wonderful empathy with animals.  As John and Ginnie’s family grew Rose was to take on some of the household tasks to help her mother who was increasingly busy with the younger siblings.  However, Rose was no young aspiring housewife, she knew what she wanted to do in the future and it wasn’t what her mother did.

With the wartime struggles the family learned to cope with rations and make do and mend however, when a widespread contagious disease wreaks havoc through the village many are left devastated in it’s wake.  Life sadly had to move on and Rose’s future looks brighter as new opportunities are opened.  Along the journey of life Rose becomes embroiled in a secret that could rip her family apart and she is torn to how to proceed.  Tragedy alas is not too far ahead and Rose is left with an unfortunate choice.

An endearing coming of age family saga that is filled with heightened emotions with the highs and lows of wartime England.  Life is tough but the community of Colliery Rows have coped with worse and pull together through hardship, tears and smiles.  I can’t wait for more from this series and from Chrissie Bradshaw.

Roses - Author RNA-96Author Bio – Chrissie, 2016 winner of the Romantic Novelist’s Elizabeth Goudge writing trophy, is a seasoned tea drinker and a tenacious trainer of her welsh terrier, Oscar. She has always loved match-making a book to a reader. Writing the kind of book she loves to read takes this a step further. She has written two contemporary sagas, A JARFUL of MOONDREAMS, a contemporary story about family relationships, secrets and how dreams can come true, and THE BARN OF BURIED DREAMS, a contemporary story about two sisters who are struggling after the death of their mother. ROSE’S CHOICE is her first historical saga and is set where Chrissie lives in Northumberland. When she is not writing or reading, you will find Chrissie walking Oscar on the beautiful Northumbrian coastline, travelling or spending time with her family and friends.

Social Media Links

Chrissie enjoys tweeting to readers on @ChrissieBeee
Her instagram account is chrissie_bradshaw_author
Her blog is http://www.chrissiebradshaw.com/
and she has a Chrissie Bradshaw author page on Facebook.
She would love to hear from readers

 

 

 

A Ration Book Wedding by Jean Fullerton @JeanFullerton_ @CorvusBooks @rararesources #blogtour #bookreview #WWIIsaga #RationBookseries

a ration book wedding

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

Book Blurb

Because in the darkest days of the Blitz, love is more important than ever.

It’s February 1942 and the Americans have finally joined Britain and its allies. Meanwhile, twenty-three-year-old Francesca Fabrino, like thousands of other women, is doing her bit for the war effort in a factory in East London. But her thoughts are constantly occupied by her unrequited love for Charlie Brogan, who has recently married a woman of questionable reputation, before being shipped out to North Africa with the Eighth Army.

When Francesca starts a new job as an Italian translator for the BBC Overseas Department, she meets handsome Count Leonardo D’Angelo. Just as Francesca has begun to put her hopeless love for Charlie to one side and embrace the affections of this charming and impressive man, Charlie returns from the front, his marriage in ruins and his heart burning for Francesca at last. Could she, a good Catholic girl, countenance an illicit affair with the man she has always longed for? Or should she choose a different, less dangerous path?

Purchase Links

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Ration-Book-Wedding-Perfect-Gibson-ebook/dp/B081DDLWQD

US – https://www.amazon.com/Ration-Book-Wedding-Perfect-Gibson-ebook/dp/B081DDLWQD

A Ration Book Wedding 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 Wedding.

A Ration Book Wedding is Book 4 in the East End Ration series and I have been captivated by this atmospheric WWII family saga.  The Brogan family have lived in the East End of London for a long time.  With their Irish heritage they still attend mass regularly and uphold their beliefs and family values.

The year is 1942 and London is still heavily involved in the bombings by the Luftwaffe but the city and it’s residents have become accustomed to a new way of life visiting air raid shelters and queueing up for food rations.  Jean Fullerton’s writing puts you at the heart of the era and you can feel the gravity of what’s happening.  There’s an honesty within her words and you can feel a real sense of time and place felt within the pages.

The Brogan family have grown up through hardship, tragedy and heartache and sadly life doesn’t spare them any less with another gripping, heart wrenching but ultimately heart-warming story.

With this instalment in the series we have daughter Jo’s wedding to look forward to but matters of the heart for Charlie reach boiling point with many emotive repercussions.  We also learn a lot more about Fran’s story, Francesca Fabrino is best friends with Mattie Brogan and spent a lot of time growing up within the Brogan household.  Fran is working hard to help with the war effort but when an exciting opportunity comes her way her life is about to change in more ways than one.

Jean Fullerton writes a saga filled with the daily life trials within a family unit living during times of conflict.  We experience the alternate daily rituals through the voices of the well loved characters.  There are a few characters in this story that I despised but I’m certain authors enjoy creating baddies within every storyline.  I didn’t want this book to end and found it compelling reading.  WWII saga at it’s best!

a ration book wedding Portrait_Jean-1022 RNA resizedAuthor Bio – Jean Fullerton is the author of thirteen novels all set in East London where she was born. She 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 halfway through her WW2 East London series featuring the Brogan family.

Social Media Links –

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

Twitter: @JeanFullerton_

 

 

 

The Orphan Thief by Glynis Peters @_GlynisPeters_ @0neMoreChapter_ @annecater #bookpromo #WWIIsaga

 

The Orphan Thief Image two

The Orphan Thief written by Glynis Peters, publisher One More Chapter is available in ebook, audiobook and NOW in paperback format.

The Orphan Thief BT Poster

I am so pleased to be involved in the blogtour with a promo to celebrate the paperback launch of Glynis Peter’s WWII saga: The Orphan Thief.  Here are all the important details:

To buy link: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Orphan-Thief-Glynis-Peters/dp/0008384908

BOOK BLURB

From the international bestselling author of The Secret Orphan

When all seems lost…

As Hitler’s bombs rain down on a battered and beleaguered Britain, Ruby Shadwell is dealt the most devastating blow – her entire family lost during the Coventry Blitz.

Hope still survives…

Alone and with the city in chaos, Ruby is determined to survive this war and rebuild her life.  And a chance encounter with street urchin Tommy gives Ruby just the chance she needs…

And love will overcome.

Because Tommy brings with him Canadian Sergeant Jean-Paul Clayton.  Jean-Paul is drawn to Ruby and wants to help her, but Ruby cannot bear another loss.
Can love bloom amidst the ruins?  Or will the war take Ruby’s last chance at happiness too?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

orphan thief Glynis Peters Author PicGlynis Peters, lives in Dovercourt, Essex, England.

She married her school sweetheart in 1979, and they have three children. They also have three grandchildren, with another due in the spring of 2019, the year of their ruby wedding Anniversary.

​In 2014, Glynis was short-listed for the Festival of Romantic Fiction New Talent Award.

​In 2018, HarperCollins/HarperImpulse published her novel, The Secret Orphan. The novel rose to several bestseller positions within a few months of release.

​When Glynis is not writing she enjoys fishing with her husband, making greetings cards, cross stitch and the company of her granddaughters.

Her grandson lives in Canada, and it is for that reason she  introduced a Canadian pilot into The Secret Orphan.

Website: http://www.glynispeterauthor.co.uk/

Twitter : @_GlynisPeters_

Author Page on Facebook

Instagram @glynispetersauthor

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Ration Book Childhood by Jean Fullerton @JeanFullerton_ @CorvusBooks @rararesources #blogtour #bookreview #WWIIsaga

 

a ration book childhood

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

To buy link: https://amzn.to/337v7id

Book Blurb
In the darkest days of the Blitz, family is more important than ever.
With her family struggling amidst the nightly bombing raids in London’s East End, Ida Brogan is doing her very best to keep their spirits up. The Blitz has hit the Brogans hard, and rationing is more challenging than ever, but they are doing all they can to help the war effort.
When Ida’s oldest friend Ellen returns to town, sick and in dire need of help, it is to Ida that she turns. But Ellen carries a secret, one that threatens not only Ida’s marriage, but the entire foundation of the Brogan family. Can Ida let go of the past and see a way to forgive her friend? And can she overcome her sadness to find a place in her heart for a little boy, one who will need a mother more than ever in these dark times?

A Ration Book Childhood 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 Childhood.  A Ration Book Childhood is book three in the Ration Book series.  The books in the series in order are:

  • Pocketful of Dreams
  • A Ration Book Christmas
  • A Ration Book Childhood

A Ration Book Childhood is a welcome return to our favourite family in the East End of London.  We first met the Brogan family with book one in the series, Pocketful of Dreams, however, I didn’t meet them until book two, A Ration Book Christmas (you can catch up with my review here). Jean Fullerton’s writing puts you at the heart of the era and setting and you can feel the atmosphere within the pages.  This made it so easy for me to pick up the series starting at book two; Jean Fullerton welcomes you with open arms into a family that has lived with emotional and physical scars from the war but there is a common feeling of fighting spirit and warmth throughout.  The Ration Book series is a wonderful family wartime saga set during WWII in the East End of London, an area that is full of hard-working families that have pooled their strengths during this time of unease and this clearly shows with the community spirit prevalent amongst every street.

The Brogan family are now in a routine with the war with adults and children knowing their place whether it’s helping out with the war effort or seeking cover in the many shelters within the city.  However, with the rations now in full force it’s getting more and more difficult to ensure food is provided for growing families.  Ida Brogan is working many long hours to help keep the ‘wolf from the door’ as well as her voluntary work helping those in distress.  When Ida bumps into her old friend Ellen she learns that helping those in need has come knocking at her door.  Ida’s life of what she knew has been rocked to the core but Ida later learns that she has to find the love, courage and strength to accept what life has thrown her way.

A Ration Book Childhood is a story of survival and a story of acceptance.  Accepting what life has delivered and providing a solution that can only be given with the love and forgiveness of family.  The author, Jean Fullerton, has written an authentic WWII saga that is full of endearing and at times cheeky characters that will charm you.  You will be captivated by their plight and enthralled by this fictional tale that brings history to life.  I can highly recommend the Ration Book series for lovers of historical sagas, for readers who enjoy reading about the social interaction of families during wartime and for readers who enjoy a good romance between couples who have to overcome many struggles.

An atmospheric family wartime saga that will charm and captivate you.

About the Author
a ration book childhood Portrait_Jean-1022 RNA resizedJean Fullerton is the author of twelve 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-202631736433230/?ref=bookmarks
Twitter: @JeanFullerton_

 

 

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

 

 

Mary Rosie’s War by Catherine M Byrne blogtour excerpt

Mary Rosie's War - Cover

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

To buy link:  https://amzn.to/2K4BJZq

Product Details (as per amazon page)

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mary Rosie's War Full Tour Banner

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/Katrine66

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

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

 

The author has kindly offered a Giveaway:

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

To enter please click on the link below:

 

 

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

*Terms and Conditions –UK entries only. Please enter using the Rafflecopter box above. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

Wartime at Woolworths by Elaine Everest book review

wartime at woolworths

Wartime at Woolworths written by Elaine Everest, publisher Pan Macmillan, is available NOW in ebook, paperback and audiobook format.

The paperback is available from all good retailers and the ebook is available to download on kindle, kobo and iBooks.

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

Product Details (as per amazon page)

The Woolworths girls have come a long way together . . .
Fun loving Maisie, is devoted to her young family and her work at Woolworths. But her happy life with her RAF officer husband, their baby daughter leads her to think of the family she left behind . . . With the war now into its fourth year, what will she find when she sets about searching for them?
Sarah and her husband, Alan, are blissfully happy and long for a sibling for their daughter. But dark days lay ahead for this close family.
Freda heads home to Birmingham, to go in search of her family, back to the life she fled – far from the safety of Woolworths and her new friends.
With families’ separated by war, will the Woolworths girls be able to pull together?

Woolworths in 1940s

Woolworths store front, 1940s

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.

This was such a lovely treat to return to Kent and to the girls that spend their days working in Woolworths but their hearts belong to the people they love and the community of Erith.

Elaine Everest has created a wonderful series centred around the girls working in the emporium store called Woolworths.  Every town back in the day had a Woolworths that was lovingly called Woolies.  Back then it sold a lot more than the pick ‘n mix that most of us would remember.  Woolies was a store you could get most things from and you could also include a chat with the counter assistant, a cuppa and piece of cake in the café and your day would be made.

We step back to 1943 to Wartime Britain, to a time when many of the menfolk were overseas at war and the women were taking on many of the tasks and roles that were previously held by men.

Sarah, Maisie and Freda the young women who have become great friends are coping with their own lives with Sarah and Maisie now having their own little family to look after.  Their friendship has helped them through many struggles in the past but these next couple of months the friends will need each other more then ever with conflict and casualties of war reaching their own ‘backyard’.

Once again Ruby, the stalwart to all that live around Erith provides much comfort, assurance and wise words.  I love Ruby, she has this tough exterior and is so calm in a crisis but has the biggest heart of gold.

I really appreciated how the author, Elaine Everest, used authentic dialect within the storyline and we were treated to some charming sayings that have long been forgotten.  I could picture the characters and scenes in my head with the great dialogue bringing the story to life.

Another nostalgic trip down memory lane.  A story of friendship, of community spirit, of making do, of coping under adverse conditions and always of a hope for a silver lining.  I don’t want this series to end.

To learn more about the author Elaine Everest please visit the following pages:

Website:  http://elaineeverestauthor.blogspot.com/

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/ElaineEverest

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

 

Walking Wounded by Anna Franklin Osborne book review

walking wounded

Walking Wounded written and published by Anna Franklin Osborne is available NOW in ebook and paperback format.

To buy link:

Product Details (as per amazon page)

Born at the end of the First World War, a young girl struggles to find her own identity in her big family and is pushed into a stormy marriage through a terrible misunderstanding from which her pride refuses to let her back down. As her own personal world begins to crumble, the foundation of the world around her is shaken as Germany once again declares war and her brothers and young husband sign up with the first wave of volunteers.

Walking Wounded tells the story of those left behind in a Blitz-ravaged London, and of the web of loyalty, guilt and duty that shapes the decisions of the women awaiting the return of their men-folk as the war draws to a close.

Spanning the period from the Armistice of the First World War to the exodus of the Ten Pound Poms to Australia in the 1950s, Walking Wounded is a family saga whose internal violence is mirrored by the world stage upon which it is set.

london station blitz

This was such a profoundly emotive story that deeply moved me.  At one point I had to pause from reading due to the tears blurring my vision.  Anna Franklin Osborne has taken me on a very real emotional journey, a journey that millions took that had no choice but to “Keep Calm and Carry On” but behind the smiles lay troubled souls and broken hearts.

This family saga started back in 1918 travelling through to 1952 on the life of one family coping and trying to survive what life through at them.  Through pivotal moments in Britain’s history and through life’s own harsh battles.  Women waiting patiently for news of their loved ones; be it fathers, brothers, sons, husbands and lovers.  Dreading the post for fear of bad news.  However, when the men came back they were scarred both physically and mentally and the scenes that they have endured will never leave them.  The joy of seeing and being with your family again was tinged with the fear of what the war did to the minds of their men.

Whilst the men did their duty the women were left to hold the fort back at home and at work, struggling to make ends meet and struggling to keep morale high.  Anna Franklin Osborne’s female characters were all very strong young women full of vitality and hope at the beginning of the war but life was very cruel and hearts were shattered and minds were tested.  The walking wounded were not just the soldiers of war but of those left behind wounded by life and all it threw at them.  A smile can hide a multitude of emotions.

This is a very special story, a fictional story based loosely around Anna Franklin Osborne’s three great uncles, her great aunt and her grandmother who all played a part during the war years.  I do believe fictional stories bring history to life and Anna Franklin Osborne has taken me on this historical journey.  A stunning story spelling out life in it’s raw detail.  5/5*

To find out more about Anna Franklin Osborne please do visit the following pages:

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