Book reviews, Historical fiction

The Violin Maker’s Daughter by Sharon Maas – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

When the Nazis march onto the cobbled streets of Colmar on November 1st 1940, Josef, a Jewish violin maker, gathers his wife and daughters closely to him and tells them everything will be alright. 

But one year later, three sharp knocks on the door at midnight turn his seventeen year old daughter Sarah’s world upside down. As the oldest child, Sarah must be the first to leave her family, to make her escape in a perilous journey across France via Paris to Poitiers. And she must hide who she is and take a new name for her own safety. For now, bilingual Sarah is no longer a French Jew but a German girl. 

As she bids farewell to her beloved father and family, Sarah has hope, against all odds, that she will see them again when the war is over. But, travelling through the mountains she finds herself in terrible danger and meets Ralf, a German deserter, who risks his own life to save her. 

Ralf and Sarah continue their journey together, keeping their identities secret at all cost. But when Ralf is captured, will Sarah pay the ultimate price for sharing who she really is?

A gripping and heart-breaking account of love, bravery and sacrifice during the terror of war. A story of standing up for what you believe in; even if it’s going to break your heart. Perfect for fans of The Tattooist of Auschwitz and The Ragged Edge of Night. 

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MY REVIEW 

This starts in the town of Colmar in the Alsace, it has been annexed by the Germans, who are ‘relocating’ all Jewish people….

Josef Mayer, his wife Leah and daughters Sarah. Amelie, Therese, Mannion and Sofie, have changed their names to more acceptable names, to keep their heads down and stay at home.

Sarah, the eldest daughter is an apprentice violin maker, she has a talent for it….but then German soldiers come to the shop and demand papers to show their aryan backgrounds, if they can’t supply this…..well the consequences do not bear thinking about…

With the help of a neighbour, Josef decides they have to leave…..first to leave will be Sarah…..

What follows is a tale of Sarah’s journey, the huge amount of people willing to help her get to safety, with danger at every turn….a constant fear..will Sarah survive? Will she finally see the danger she is in?

Set during WWII this is a coming of age drama set amidst the horror of Hitler’s Germany, the persecution of Jewish people and the many many lives saved by the resistance.  Historical fiction at its best….

Thank you to Bookouture for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour and for the promotional materials and a free copy of the ebook. This is my honest and unbiased review. 

You can buy a copy here ( only £1.99 for Kindle at the moment too)

 

https://amzn.to/2XUQtRP

 

About the author:

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Sharon Maas was born in Georgetown, Guyana, in 1951 and educated in Guyana and England. After leaving school she worked as a staff journalist at the Guyana Graphic and the Sunday Chronicla in Georgetown.

Sharon has always had a great sense of adventure and curiosity about the world we live in, and Guyana could not hold her for long. In 1971 she set off on a year-long backpacking trip around South America. In 1973 she travelled overland to India through Europe, Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan, and spent two years in an Ashram in South India.

 

http://www.sharonmaas.com

 

https://twitter.com/sharon_maas

 

https://www.facebook.com/sharonmaasauthor/

 

THE VIOLIN MAKER’S DAUGHTER by Sharon Maas

AMZ: https://geni.us/B07RV34JNDSocial

Apple Books: https://buff.ly/2JDHCuT

Kobo: https://buff.ly/2GuSR79

Googleplay: https://buff.ly/2O46n7M

 

Book reviews, Historical fiction

The Awakening Aten by Aidan K Morrissey – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

The Awakening Aten envelops the reader in an Egypt of whispers and fears, of webs within webs, deceit upon deceit. Its themes of murder, intrigue, political and religious conflict, corruption, tomb robbing, war and executions are set against a background of fundamental ideological change.  

Ancient Egypt is seen through the eyes of two families; one royal, the other commoner. Yuya, whose tomb is in the Valley of the Kings, is a foreigner who rises from slavery to become Regent to an infant Pharaoh and thus, the most powerful man in the world’s wealthiest empire. His children and descendants will remain at the very heart of the country’s destiny. Kha is a tomb painter and builder who experiences both the despair of imprisonment and the horror of war. As Overseer of the King’s Works he restores the Great Sphinx, and inscribes the ‘Dream Stela’ placed between its paws, still visible today. Through tragic and deathly events his family and that of Yuya become entwined.  

This is the fictional tale of real people, whose possessions and artefacts can be seen in museums throughout the world. It gives a voice to those people, inspired by their personal items, buried with them 3,000 years ago. 

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MY REVIEW 

Partly based on factual elements of Egyptian history.

The story revolves around three men who escape jail, are then given positions by the King of Egypt and become rich and powerful….

There  are a lot of characters and it does take quite a while to get these in your head and let the story flow, but once you do you become immersed in the politics, and the culture of the gods, with murder, lies and even tomb robbing….

A character driven epic with beautifully descriptive writing that brings this ancient world to life.

Thank you to Anne Cater and Random Things Tours for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour and for the promotional materials and a free copy of the book  and this is my honest, unbiased review.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

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I am of Irish heritage and was the first member of my immediate family to be born outside of Ireland. My professional life has caused me to travel the world. I am now looking forward to settling in the North East of England, to concentrate on writing.

A graduate in Law from Leicester University, after working for some years in a commercial environment, I qualified as a Solicitor in 1981.

My career developed in an unusual way and I have lived and worked at various times in Italy, Brazil, the United States, India and Germany.

I have always had a love and fascination for history. A holiday in Egypt sparked a particular passion for Ancient Egypt, especially the latter part of the 18th Dynasty. A history, which Pharaoh Horemeb (Djeser-Kheperu-Ra circa 1319-1292 BCE) tried to destroy and which only came to light following the discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb in 1922.

‘The Awakening Aten’ is the culmination of many years of research.

I have built up a substantial collection of academic books and novels on Ancient Egypt, its customs, traditions and daily life. I am fortunate to have been able to visit all of the major museums containing artefacts from Egypt throughout the world, as well as spending months in Egypt itself studying the funereal valleys and other sites. All of this supplemented by internet research.

This novel is the first in a planned five book series, looking at the fictional lives of real people through a period of major political and religious change, spanning approximately 130 years.

My hobbies are reading, which I enjoy as much as I do writing, and taking bracing walks along the North East Coast and in the Northumberland Hills.

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

Twitter @AidanKMorrissey

 

Paperback: 448 pages

  • Publisher: Troubador Publishing (21 May 2019)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1789018757
  • ISBN-13: 978-1789018752

 

Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Awakening-Aten-Aidan-K-Morrissey/dp/1789018757

 

Book reviews, Historical fiction

The Nanny At Number 43 by Nicola Cassidy – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Wanted, a respectable woman to care for a motherless child.

When William D. Thomas’s wife dies in childbirth, he places an advertisement in his local newspaper seeking a nanny for his newborn child.

He is thankful when an experienced nanny arrives at 43 Laurence Street and takes over from his frazzled housekeeper Mrs McHugh.

Mrs McHugh confides in her bedridden friend Betty, who has a bird’s-eye view of all the happenings on Laurence Street, that the Nanny is not all she seems. Betty begins her own investigation into the mysterious woman.

When the bodies of twin babies are discovered buried in a back garden, by a family who have moved from their tenement home into a country cottage, a police investigation begins.

But it is Betty who holds the key to discovering who the Nanny really is … and the reason she came to 43 Laurence Street.

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MY REVIEW 

“What is wrong with you?”

This is set in Ireland in the 1880’s.

Mrs McHugh, the housekeeper is struggling, trying to look after the baby of Mr Thomas when his wife dies in childbirth. He puts an ad in the local paper for a respectable woman to care for a motherless child. 

We meet Margaret Murphy (Maggie), who has responded to the ad, a stern woman who instantly calms and feeds the baby…..so the job is hers.

Mrs McHugh tells her friend Betty, she doesn’t trust her, she said something doesn’t feel right. Betty is housebound and spends her days watching from the window, she knows everyone’s business and so decides to find out more about the Nanny…..

We learn of Maggie’s past, and it wasn’t easy to say the least, but is she the woman she purports to be….or is there something more sinister going on?

This is a slow burn of a thriller, thoroughly engrossing, filled with atmosphere and a sense of menace. Mary Poppins this is NOT….I can recommend this for anyone who loves historical fiction with a thrilling edge.

Thank you to Anne Cater and Random Things Tours for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour and for the promotional materials and a free copy of the book  and this is my honest, unbiased review.
You can buy a copy here 

https://amzn.to/2JrQSC7

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

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Nicola Cassidy is a writer and blogger from Co. Louth, Ireland.

She started her writing career early, entering short story competitions as a child and became an avid reader.

Encouraged by her English teachers, she chose to study journalism at Dublin City University and while working in political PR and marketing, studied a series of advanced creative writing courses at the Irish Writers’ Centre.

Later she set up a lifestyle and literary blog http://www.ladynicci.com/, which was shortlisted in the Ireland Blog Awards in 2015 and 2016 and finalist in 2017 and 2018.

She signed with Trace Literary Agency in 2016.

December Girl is Nicola’s debut historical fiction novel and is set in the mystical and ancient Boyne Valley, Co. Meath, famed for its stone age passage tombs. Elements of the story are inspired by true events.

Her second novel The Nanny at Number 43 is published by Poolbeg Press. 

She lives with her husband and two young daughters in Termonfeckin, Co. Louth.

Follow her at http://www.ladynicci.com/, on Twitter @ladynicci or http://www.facebook.com/ladynicciblog.

 

The Nanny At Number 43 by Nicola Cassidy

  • Paperback: 344 pages
  • Publisher: Poolbeg Press Ltd; 1 edition (1 July 2019)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1781998086
  • ISBN-13: 978-1781998083

 

Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Nanny-at-Number-43/dp/1781998086

 

 

 

 

 

Book reviews, Historical fiction

Storms Over Babylon by Jennifer Macaire – Book Review and #Giveaway

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PUBLISHERS BLURB

The Time for Alexander Series Book 4

From the scorching plains of Persia to the opulent city of Babylon, Ashley and Alexander continue their sensuous and passionate journey through history.

Alexander the Great is now king of Persia and Greece – but his reign will be short.

Time-travelling Ashley knows when her husband will die. She’s determined to cheat Fate and save Alexander and her children, even if it brings the gates of time crashing down.

Following Alexander on a tour of his new kingdom, she plans her moves and bides her time. She must, however, convince Alexander to abandon his crown and his kingdom.

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MY REVIEW

#4 in this series by Jennifer Macaire, I would strongly recommend you read the previous novels first, as it really is the continuation of this incredible story.

Alexander is now returning to Babylon, his fighting is over and he rules the world. But Ashley knows Alexander will die……

Ashley has now spent 10 years with Alexander, through think and thin. This tale of love, history, religion and ancient politics is so immersive…I feel I know these characters personally and all their foibles…

This is their greatest trial yet…..can Ashley change history and have her beloved Alexander survive ?

A powerful tale of love, history and sacrifice…..

Thank you to Rachel’s Random Resources for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour and for the promotional materials and a free copy of the ebook. This is my honest, unbiased review.

Purchase Links

getbook.at/StormsOBabylon (Amazon)

Accent Press: https://accentpressbooks.com/products/storms-over-babylon

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/storms-over-babylon-1

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/storms-over-babylon-jennifer-

macaire/1127012046;jsessionid=45552155952FC026F7A8E875A2656A0E.prodny_store01-

atgap06?ean=9781682996393&st=AFF&2sid=Simon%20&%20Schuster_7567305_NA&sourceId=AFFSimon%20&%20Schuster

Author Bio –

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Jennifer Macaire lives with her husband, three children, & various dogs & horses. She loves cooking, eating chocolate, growing herbs and flowering plants on her balcony, and playing golf. She grew up in upstate New York, Samoa, and the Virgin Islands. She graduated from St. Peter and Paul high school in St. Thomas and moved to NYC where she modeled for five years for Elite. She met her husband at the polo club. All that is true. But she mostly likes to make up stories.

Social Media Links –

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

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/jennifermacaire/

twitter @jennifermacaire

https://jennifermacaire.wordpress.com/

Giveaway to Win a $10 Amazon gift certificate (Open INT)

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome. Please enter using the

Rafflecopter box below. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received

within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all

entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is

used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Book reviews, Historical fiction

Monopoli Blues by Tim Clark and Nick Cook – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB

A son’s journey to uncover the story of his parents in war-time special forces

PRAISE for Monopoli Blues

‘Lucidly written, deeply researched and extremely well-structured … a remarkable act of imagination and filial homage’ William Boyd, New Statesman

‘Powerful … this is the reality of war behind the headlines’ Jonathan Dimbleby

‘A gripping tale of wartime exploits, an unlikely love story, and a son’s journey to discover his father’s secret war’ Joshua Levine, author of Dunkirk.

 

BOOK DESCRIPTION

In November 1944, Sub Lt Bob Clark, a twenty-year old agent with Britain’s top-secret Special Operations Executive, parachuted into northern Italy.

He left behind the girl he had fallen in love with, Marjorie, his radio operator. Captured by the enemy, Bob’s fate hangs in the balance and Marjorie won’t know for six months whether he is alive or dead…

Monopoli Blues recounts the story of Tim Clark’s journey to uncover the story of his parents’ war – and the truth behind the betrayal of his father’s Clarion mission to the Nazis.

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MY REVIEW

I found this to be a wonderful book, it’s how history of war should be written from the personal lives and experiences of ordinary men and women in sometimes extraordinary circumstances.

This is beautifully written and captures the emotions and atmosphere of the time. It shows just how war affected those involved, the fear and suffering they experienced and then kept it all bottled up to protect those around them.

This is an epic story of love, bravery, humility, war and betrayal. This will bring tears to your eyes more than once as Bob and Marjorie capture your heart. Totally spellbinding and magnificent…..a must read.

Thank you to Anne Cater and Random Things Tours for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour and for the promotional materials and a free copy of the book  in exchange for my honest, unbiased review.

You can buy a copy here (click on the image)

  

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

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Tim Clark spent a large part of his career working as a lawyer at one of the world’s leading firms specialising in M+A and corporate work in the UK and internationally, ultimately becoming Senior Partner. Since retiring as a lawyer, Tim has taken on board positions on a number of corporate, arts and charitable organisations, and senior advisory roles at a number of international think tanks.

Nick Cook is an author, journalist, broadcaster and entrepreneur. In 1986, he joined the world-renowned Jane’s Defence Weekly, initially as a reporter, rising quickly to become Aviation Editor, a position he held until 2005. His first novel, Angel, Archangel, was published in 1989 to critical acclaim. In 2001, Cook’s first non-fiction title, The Hunt For Zero Point, was published, reaching Number 1 in Amazon’s Non-Fiction charts. He has also written, hosted and produced two documentaries about the world of aerospace and defence – Billion Dollar Secret and an Alien History of Planet Earth. He lives and works with his wife and two children in London.

Tim Clark and Nick Cook have spoken about the book to sold-out audiences at the Chalke Valley History Festival and the National Theatre.

The book has received considerable attention in the media: the authors have been interviewed on Sky News and BBC Radio London, and a glowing review from William Boyd was published in New Statesman. A feature written by Tim Clark has also appeared in the i newspaper.

Book reviews, Historical fiction, Romance

The House Of Secrets by Terry Lynn Thomas- Book Review

 

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PUBLISHERS BLURB

Sarah Bennett has two secrets: she sees ghosts, and she is in love with a spy.

When Sarah takes a job with occult expert Dr Matthew Geisler, he promises to help her understand the sorrowful spirit that seems to have attached itself to her.

As Sarah struggles to cope with the ghostly presence, she runs into Zeke, the man who left her six months earlier and is recovering from injuries suffered in an alleged accident. But Zeke has secrets of his own, and when an attempt is made on Geisler’s life, Sarah finds herself caught in a struggle between the living and the dead.

Unsure who she can trust, Sarah must solve the mystery of the soul determined to haunt her, and save Dr Geisler and herself from an unknown threat.

This book was previously published as WEEPING IN THE WINGS
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MY REVIEW

This is a following novel to Spirit of Grace, but can easily be read as a stand-alone.

Sarah Bennett, still traumatised by her fathers murder trial, she takes a job working for a psychiatrist, Dr Matthew Geisler..

He has an interest in the supernatural and says he can help with her visions…..so Sarah takes the job, she can also keep an eye on her ex fiancé, Zeke, who is there for treatment for his injuries..

She befriends, Minna, who is struggling at the institution…..she also claims to see ghosts…and there are threats of harm to Dr Geisler……just who is intent of doing him harm?

“My mind went to my pocket book where the glass bottle that held the opium tincture waited for me, the panacea for situations such as this. Two drops in eight ounces of water, and whatever I heard, whomever I saw, would disappear.”

This is a supernatural historical fiction mystery with a touch of romance too and I found it to be well plotted and certainly entertaining with a clever ending that brings all the pieces together. A thoroughly entertaining read.

Thank you to Rachel’s Random Resources for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour and for the promotional materials and a free copy of the ebook. This is my honest, unbiased review.

 

Purchase Links:

US – https://www.amazon.com/House-Secrets-Sarah-Bennett-Mysteries-ebook/dp/B07H3DKQQ4

 

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/House-Secrets-Sarah-Bennett-Mysteries-ebook/dp/B07H3DKQQ4

 

The House of Secrets is 99p throughout June as part of the June Kindle Monthly deal. The Spirit of Grace, book 1 in the series is also .99 throughout June.

 

AUTHOR BIO –

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Terry Lynn Thomas grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, which explains her love of foggy beaches and Gothic mysteries. When her husband promised to buy Terry a horse and the time to write if she moved to Mississippi with him, she jumped at the chance. Although she had written several novels and screenplays prior to 2006, after she relocated to the South she set out to write in earnest and has never looked back.

Terry Lynn writes the Sarah Bennett Mysteries, set on the California coast during the 1940s, which feature a misunderstood medium in love with a spy. The Drowned Woman is a recipient of the IndieBRAG Medallion. She also writes the Cat Carlisle Mysteries, set in Britain during World War II.

The first book in this series, The Silent Woman, came out in April 2018 and has since become a USA TODAY bestseller. When she’s not writing, you can find Terry Lynn riding her horse, walking in the woods with her dogs, or visiting old cemeteries in search of story ideas.

 

Social Media Links https://twitter.com/TLThomasBooks

 

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Book reviews, Historical fiction

God’s Children by Mabli Roberts – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB

‘Kate Marsden: nurse, intrepid adventurer, saviour of the lepers or devious manipulator, immoral and dishonest?’

As she lies on her deathbed visited by the ghosts of her past, who should we believe, Kate or those who accuse her of duplicity? Memory is a fickle thing: recollections may be frozen in time or distorted by the mirror of wishful thinking. Kate’s own story is one of incredible achievements, illicit love affairs and desperate longing; those of her accusers paint a very different portrait – of a woman determined on fame and fortune.

The reader navigates a narrative as fractured as the Siberian ice Kate crosses in search of a cure for leprosy, and as beautiful as Rose, her lost love, as the full picture emerges of a life lived when women were not expected to break the mould.

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MY REVIEW

God’s Children is a unique, engaging read by Mabli Roberts….

This is the story of Kate Marsden and her 11,000 mile search for a flower that could possibly cure leprosy.

This is an epic tale of travels through a hostile environment of, forests, snow and ice with some truly perilous moments.

It starts on Kate’s death bed as she remembers her past…During her story she recounts earlier memories of her life in England, Russia, Bulgaria and New Zealand, we learn of her personal life too which damaged her reputation at the time.

“In the spring of 1890, St Petersburg was filled with blossom.”

Beautifully written with such descriptive writing you’ll feel every chill and moment of danger along with Kate. It’s not a fast read and I felt at sometimes a little disjointed, but it is human, with all its foibles, love, beauty, fear and death…..stunning and it will stay with me for a long time.

Thank you to Damppebbles Blog Tours for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour and for the promotional materials and a free copy of the ebook. This is my honest, unbiased review.

 

About Mabli Roberts:

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Mabli Roberts lives in a wild, mountainous part of Wales. She has an MA in Creative Writing from Lancaster University and has worked as a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Wales, Newport. Most of her inspiration comes from her love of history and from long walks in the timeless landscape around her.

Mabli also writes as Paula Brackston, PJ Brackston and PJ Davy. Nutters was shortlisted for the Mind Book Award and The Witch’s Daughter was a New York Times bestseller.

Her work has been translated into five languages and is sold around the world. You can find out more about her books on her website http://www.paulabrackston.com, her Author’s Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/worldofpaulabrackston/ and YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/paulabrackstonbooks as well as the God’s Children Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Gods-Children-1476228589147399/

Social Media:

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

https://www.facebook.com/Gods-Children-1476228589147399/

Website: http://www.paulabrackston.com

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/paulabrackstonbooks

 

Purchase Links

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Gods-Children-Mabli-Roberts/dp/1909983950/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1559639624&sr=8-2

GoogleBooks: https://books.google.co.uk/books/about/God_s_Children.html?id=I53mvQEACAAJ&redir_esc=y

Foyles: https://www.foyles.co.uk/witem/fiction-poetry/gods-children,mabli-roberts-9781909983953

NOOK: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/gods-children-mabli-roberts/1130754042

Blackwells: https://test.blackwells.co.uk/bookshop/product/Gods-Children-by-Mabli-Roberts-author/9781909983953

Hive: https://www.hive.co.uk/Product/Mabli-Roberts/Gods-Children/23350712

Publishing Information:

Published by Honno Press in paperback and ebook format on 11th April 2019.

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Gods-Children-Mabli-Roberts/dp/1909983950/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1559639624&sr=8-2

GoogleBooks: https://books.google.co.uk/books/about/God_s_Children.html?id=I53mvQEACAAJ&redir_esc=y

Foyles: https://www.foyles.co.uk/witem/fiction-poetry/gods-children,mabli-roberts-9781909983953

NOOK: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/gods-children-mabli-roberts/1130754042

Blackwells: https://test.blackwells.co.uk/bookshop/product/Gods-Children-by-Mabli-Roberts-author/9781909983953

Hive: https://www.hive.co.uk/Product/Mabli-Roberts/Gods-Children/23350712

Publishing Information:

Published by Honno Press in paperback and ebook format on 11th April 2019.

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Book reviews, Historical fiction

The Serpent’s Mark by S.W.Perry – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB

A smart and gripping tale of conspiracy, murder and espionage in Elizabethan London, ideal for fans of CJ Sansom, Rory Clements and SG MacLean.

Treason sleeps for no man…

London, 1591. Nicholas Shelby, physician and reluctant spy, returns to his old haunts on London’s lawless Bankside. But, when the queen’s spymaster Robert Cecil asks him to investigate the dubious practices of a mysterious doctor from Switzerland, Nicholas is soon embroiled in a conspiracy that threatens not just the life of an innocent young patient, but the overthrow of Queen Elizabeth herself.

With fellow healer and mistress of the Jackdaw tavern, Bianca Merton, again at his side, Nicholas is drawn into a dangerous world of zealots, charlatans and fanatics. As their own lives become increasingly at risk, they find themselves confronting the greatest treason of all: the spectre of a bloody war between the faiths…

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MY REVIEW

#2 in a series featuring Dr Nicholas Selby, but can easily be read as a stand-alone.

 

“In the dusk of a desolate November evening an urchin in a mud-stained and threadbare jerkin, long since stolen from its rightful owner, hurries along the Thames foreshore beneath the grim ramparts of Tilbury Fort.”

 

Set in 1590’s London, this is the continuing tale of surgeon and reluctant spy, Nicholas Selby..

Nicholas had been unable to stop his wife dying during childbirth, so distraught and disillusioned he takes up residence in a Tavern to drink the remainder of his life away….but he is asked, by Robert Cecil to investigate a mysterious Swiss doctor.

He finds a plot to overthrow the queen, Queen Elizabeth!

This is a tale of religious conflict, of zealots and fanatics, Nicholas is again in danger as he delves into the mystery. A beautifully written, slow burn of a tale that brings to life the Elizabethan age in all its, at times dark, glory.  Great characters and a clever, engaging plot….If you enjoy historical fiction with an edge, then you love this.

Thank you to Anne Cater and Random Things Tours for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour and for the promotional materials and a free copy of the book  in exchange for my honest, unbiased review.

 

About the author

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S . W. Perry was a journalist and broadcaster before retraining as an airline pilot. He lives in Worcestershire with his wife.

Praise for The Serpents Mark

“No-one is better than S. W. Perry at leading us through the squalid streets of London in the sixteenth century.” – Andrew Swanston

“The writing is of such a quality, the characters so engaging and the setting so persuasive that, only two books in, S.W. Perry’s ingeniously plotted novels have become my favourite historical crime series.” – S G MacLean

Praise for The Angel’s Mark

“A gorgeous book – rich, intelligent and dark in equal measure. It immerses you in the late 16th century and leaves you wrung out with terror. This is historical fiction at its most sumptuous…” – Rory Clements

“Wonderful! Beautiful writing, and Perry’s Elizabethan London is so skilfully evoked, so real that one can almost smell it.” – Giles Kristian

“An impressively dramatic and gripping debut novel. Elegantly written, thoroughly researched, The Angel’s Mark draws us into the murky world of Elizabethan London where life is a game of chance, and savage death a close neighbour, quick to pounce on the unsuspecting. I predict that we will be seeing much more of Nicholas Shelby, physician and reluctant spy.” – Anne O’Brien

“I knew before I got to the bottom of the first page that The Angel’s Mark was the real thing. In an increasingly crowded field, this one is going to stand out.” – S G MacLean

 

Corvus | Hardback £14.99 | 6th June 2019

Also available in e-book

 

Book reviews, Historical fiction, Thriller

Forms Of Things Unknown by Elizabeth Ireland – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB

Recently returned to Chicago after a successful tour of Hamlet, Lillian Nolan is awakened in the dead of night by a strange voice. She is shocked to learn that well known and admired actress, Louise Hawthorne, has fallen to her death from the sixth floor of the Tremont House. Was it an accident? Did she jump or was she pushed? Louise’s former lover, and the main suspect, pleads with Lillian to uncover the truth and clear his name.

In the process of learning to trust her intuitive abilities, Lillian attempts to find balance between relying upon her gift and uncovering the truth in her own way. But the menace of death pursues her and soon her own life is at risk. When she finds herself in a trap from which she cannot escape, her only hope of survival is to call upon the metaphysical world.

Forms of Things Unknown is based on an actual event which occurred in June of 1876 in Chicago. It is the third standalone book in the Backstage Mystery Series.

THE BACKSTAGE MYSTERY SERIES

Tagline: Life upon the wicked stage can be deadly.

Set against the backdrop of the Gilded Age, the Backstage Mystery Series stars Lillian Nolan, an unconventional member of Chicago’s upper class who dreams of a career of fortune and fame in the theater. Talented and ambitious, she possesses a hidden skill which she is extremely reluctant to use—the ability to communicate with those who have died and now live in the world of “The Beyond.”

The series chronicles her adventures in which she continually becomes enmeshed in solving mysteries which often require her accessing the realm of the paranormal. Filled with an incredible cast of characters—factual, fictional, and sometimes non-physical—who either help or hinder her quest for the truth, the stories take place during a period considered to be the golden age of both acting and spiritualism in America.

B8F9904D-D3E7-49A4-BA09-2FCC1B00A9C3

MY REVIEW

As always I really enjoyed catching up with Lillian and her memoirs….while this is the third in the Backstage Mystery Series, it can quite easily be read as a stand-alone.

I loved the little factual elements to this story, mentions of a patent for the telephone, popular fiction of the time and the general lifestyle, which just brought the story to life.

Lillian is again called on to help solve the suspicious death of an actress, did she fall or was she pushed……can Lillian find out with the help of her spirit guide….? Using her own deductive skills, she starts to find the answer but puts herself in danger as a result..

An absolute charming, cosy mystery with a haunting feel. Marvellously engaging writing as always by Elizabeth Ireland.

Thank you to Rachel’s Random Resources for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour and for the promotional materials and a free copy of the ebook. This is my honest, unbiased review.

This is currently free to read as part of KindleUnlimited at the moment too…you can signed up for a 30 day free trial (and cancel anytime)…here

https://amzn.to/2XqNw7a

 

Purchase Links:

US – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07PZYHC4S

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07PZYHC4S

 

Author Bio –

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Elizabeth Ireland discovered her passion for theater early. After receiving

undergraduate and graduate degrees in Theater, she accepted a teaching position in a vibrant performing arts department at a college in northern Illinois. For ten years, she taught, directed and ran front-of-house operations. American Theater History—

particularly that of the 19th century—has always been of particular interest to her.

She has been a quarter-finalist and a semi-finalist for the Don and Gee Nicholl Fellowship In screenwriting sponsored by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Two of her screenplays have been optioned, but remain unproduced. Her nonfiction work, Women of Vision: Ordinary Women, Extraordinary Lives, was published in 2008. Her work has also been published in a collection of paranormal short stories, Paramourtal: Tales of Undying Love and Loving the Undead. She lives in metro Atlanta with her ever-patient husband, and two quirky dachshunds.

 

Social Media Links –

 

http://www.facebook.com/BackstageMystery/

http://www.BackstageMystery.com

https://twitter.com/EbethIreland

https://twitter.com/BackstageMystery

 

3F82283D-C20B-48EB-907D-1E84E245CEB1

Book reviews, Historical fiction

The Blue Bench by Paul Marriner – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB

Margate 1920

The Great War is over but Britain is still to find peace and its spirit is not yet mended.

Edward and William have returned from the front as changed men. Together they have survived grotesque horrors and remain haunted by memories of comrades who did not come home. The summer season in Margate is a chance for them to rebuild their lives and reconcile the past.

Evelyn and Catherine are young women ready to live to live life to the full. Their independence has been hard won and, with little knowledge of the cost of their freedom, they are ready to face new challenges side by side.

Can they define their own future and open their hearts to the prospect of finding love?

Will the summer of 1920 be a turning point for these new friends and the country?

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MY REVIEW

This is told from several points of view, Edward, badly wounded in battle, Evelyn, a wonderfully empathetic soul, Catherine, full of life and a passion for fun and just being alive, and William, a bit of a loveable rogue.

It tells of the horrors of war, its effect on those fighting, those left at home and the constant fear and worry. It also tells of the emotional and physical struggles faced by everyone, once the war is over and those that survived return home back to a ‘normal’ life.

This is not a fast paced read, but slow and melancholy, something to lose yourself in, beautifully written and full of characters that will touch your heart a little and will stay with you for a long time. A heartbreaking and also heartwarming epic of historical fiction. A stunning read.

Thank you to Anne Cater and Random Things Tours for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour and for the promotional materials and a free copy of the book  in exchange for my honest, unbiased review.

You can buy a copy here (click on the image)

The author

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Book reviews, Historical fiction, Science fiction, Thriller

Aurelia by Alison Morton – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB

1960s Roma Nova. Retrained as an undercover agent, ex-Praetorian officer Aurelia Mitela is sent to Berlin to investigate silver smuggling, but barely escapes a near-lethal trap. Her lifelong nemesis, Caius Tellus, is determined to eliminate her. When Aurelia is closing in on him, he strikes at her most vulnerable point – her young daughter.

A former military commander, Aurelia is one of Roma Nova’s strong women, but she doubts in her heart and mind that she can overcome her implacable enemy. And what part does the mysterious and attractive Miklós play – a smuggler who knows too much?

If you enjoy reading mystery books for women with plenty of twists and a female protagonist driving the action, this is for you!

Fourth in the Roma Nova thriller series, where Roman fiction is brought into the 20th century through an alternative history lens and first of the AURELIA trilogy. INSURRECTIO and RETALIO complete the trilogy.

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MY REVIEW

Aurelia is #4 in the Roma Nova series by Alison Morton.  I haven’t read the previous novels, but I had no problems reading this as a stand-alone..

Set in the 1960’s, BUT, the Roman Empire had not ended and still continues as a matriarchal society.

It starts with Aurelia being head of a praetorian guard special forces unit on an operation, but one of their suspects escaped…..

Aurelia’s mother is then injured in a hit and run accident and unfortunately she eventually dies. Aurelia ‘retires’ from her unit to run the family business and take care of her daughter , Marina.  She is constantly badgered by the odious Caius Tellus, who wants to marry her to join their two families….but she’s not interested….will it end here?

When the Silver markets are in trouble, someone is affecting supply and demand, she is called out of retirement and sent to Berlin, undercover to find out more.

Here she comes across an old adversary and is smitten by the enigmatic Miklos…..Caius raises his ugly head again in this exciting, well plotted, unique thriller with incredible world building and characters your will love and hate in equal measure…..I loved it and will be reading more of the series now.

Thank you to Anne Cater and Random Things Tours for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour and for the promotional materials and a free copy of the book  in exchange for my honest, unbiased review.

Currently reduced to 99p….an absolute steal….

You can buy a copy here (click on the image)

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

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Alison Morton writes the Roma Nova thriller series featuring modern Praetorian heroines. This springs from a deep love of Roman history, six years’ military service and a life of reading crime, adventure and thriller fiction.

All six full-length novels have received the BRAG Medallion. SUCCESSIO, AURELIA and INSURRECTIO were selected as Historical Novel Society’s Indie Editor’s Choices. AURELIA was a finalist in the 2016 HNS Indie Award. SUCCESSIO featured as Editor’s Choice in The Bookseller.

A ‘Roman nut’ since age 11, Alison has misspent decades clambering over Roman sites throughout Europe. She holds an MA History, blogs about Romans, social media and writing. Oh, and she gives talks.

She continues writing, cultivates a Roman herb garden and drinks wine in France with her husband. To get the latest news, subscribe to her free newsletter https://alison-morton.com/newsletter/

Twitter : @alison_morton

Author Page on Facebook

Book details

Paperback: 286 pages

  • Publisher: Pulcheria Press (22 Jan. 2019)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-13: 979-1097310165
  • ASIN: B07MGJ6MJJ

Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/AURELIA-Aurelia-Mitela-thriller-Thriller/dp/B07MGJ6MJJ

 

BABD9392-5B7E-4A92-8348-BA1C3BA8C262

Book reviews, Historical fiction

Foul Deeds Will Rise by Elizabeth Ireland – Book Review

DD7B4311-EB4D-44DB-8143-173FBC176BDA

PUBLISHERS BLURB

By 1875, Lillian Nolan believes she has successfully shut off any connection to the spirit world. That winter she is thrilled when she wins the role of Ophelia in a new production of Hamlet in her home town of Chicago. Everything changes when the body of the managing director is found sprawled across the steps of the dress circle and all the investors’ money is missing. Lillian fears, once again, her career is over before it begins.

After her dearest friend is arrested for murder, Lillian commits herself to discovering the truth. Her search is complicated by a strange man who is following her, the romantic overtures of her co-star, and a reunion with an old nemesis. But nothing is what it seems. What she does find puts a member of her own family at risk and leads to the unmasking of the killer with lethal consequences for herself.
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MY REVIEW

This is the second book in the  A Backstage Mystery series by Elizabeth Ireland…but can easily be read as a Stand-alone.

Philip Kincaid has died…natural causes? Maybe not and suspicion is raised at something more sinister…

The story is told by the elderly, Lillian Nolan and her memoirs.

Phillip Kincaid’s widow, Regina is arrested on suspicion of his murder. She is a friend of Lillian and so Lillian wants to help her clear her name..the spirits again make themselves known, adding a little of the supernatural to this clever and intriguing tale. There’s more of Lillian’s background and life too which add the to atmosphere along with the excitement of solving a murder….

Thank you to Rachel’s Random Resources for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour and for the promotional materials and a free copy of the ebook. This is my honest, unbiased review.

 

Purchase Links

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07NQM8NT4/

US – https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07NQM8NT4/

 

THE BACKSTAGE MYSTERY SERIES

Life upon the wicked stage can be deadly.

Set against the backdrop of the Gilded Age, the Backstage Mystery Series stars Lillian Nolan, an unconventional member of Chicago’s upper class who dreams of a career of fortune and fame in the theater. Talented and ambitious, she possesses a hidden skill which she is extremely reluctant to use—the ability to communicate with those who have died and now live in the world of “The Beyond.”

The series chronicles her adventures in which she continually becomes enmeshed in solving mysteries which often require her accessing the realm of the paranormal. Filled with an incredible cast of characters—factual, fictional, and sometimes non-physical—who either help or hinder her quest for the truth, the stories take place during a a period considered to be the golden age of both acting and spiritualism in America.
62C20972-C159-4C07-8E13-FCDE94C31CB9

Author Bio –

Elizabeth Ireland discovered her passion for theater early. After receiving undergraduate and graduate degrees in Theater, she accepted a teaching position in a vibrant performing arts department at a college in northern Illinois. For ten years, she taught, directed and ran front-of-house operations.

American Theater History—particularly that of the 19th century—has always been of particular interest to her.

She has been a quarter-finalist and a semi-finalist for the Don and Gee Nicholl Fellowship in screenwriting sponsored by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Two of her screenplays have been optioned, but remain unproduced. Her nonfiction work, Women of Vision: Ordinary Women, Extraordinary Lives, was published in 2008. Her work has also been published in a collection

of paranormal short stories, Paramourtal: Tales of Undying Love and Loving the Undead. She lives in metro Atlanta with her ever-patient husband, and two quirky dachshunds.

 

Social Media Links –

http://www.facebook.com/BackstageMystery/

http://www.BackstageMystery.com

https://twitter.com/EbethIreland

Book reviews, Crime thriller, Historical fiction

Death and The Harlot by Georgina Clarke – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB

A gripping historical crime debut from an exciting new voice.

It’s strange, the way fortune deals her hand.’

The year is 1759 and London is shrouded in a cloak of fear. With the constables at the mercy of highwaymen, it’s a perilous time to work the already dangerous streets of Soho. Lizzie Hardwicke makes her living as a prostitute, somewhat protected from the fray as one of Mrs Farley’s girls. But then one of her wealthy customers is found brutally murdered… and Lizzie was the last person to see him alive.

Constable William Davenport has no hard evidence against Lizzie but his presence and questions make life increasingly difficult. Desperate to be rid of him and prove her innocence Lizzie turns amateur detective, determined to find the true killer, whatever the cost.

Yet as the body count rises Lizzie realises that, just like her, everyone has a secret they will do almost anything to keep buried…

9A793050-E32C-41D1-BCD4-EB634C22A68D

MY REVIEW

Death and the Harlot is the historical crime debut novel from Georgina Clarke.

Set in London 1759, wealthy Norwich cloth merchant George Reed visits Lizzie Hardwicke, a prostitute at Mrs Farley’s brothel. To keep him sweet and to earn extra coin, Lizzie invites him to a masked ball…

But after Tommy shows up and a bit of a todo,  Reed is thrown out……

His body is then found murdered, robbed and left among the rubbish.

Constable William Davenport suspects Lizzie is responsible….but she decides to find the murderer herself !!!!

This unlikely pair begin to work together as Lizzie will be able to get people to talk, where Constable Davenport can’t….

There are many secrets and lies in this wonderfully, risqué, rollicking historical crime thriller….from whores to highwaymen…..thoroughly entertaining.

Thank you to Canelo for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour and for the promotional materials and a free copy of the ebook and this is my honest, unbiased review.

 

Links to Book:

 

Amazon (UK)

Kobo (UK)

Google Books (UK)

Apple Books (UK)

 

Author Bio:

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Georgina Clarke has a degree in theology and a PhD in history but has only recently started to combine her love of the past with a desire to write stories. Her Lizzie Hardwicke series is set in the mid-eighteenth century, an underrated and often neglected period, but one that is rich in possibility for a crime novelist.

She enjoys running along the banks of the River Severn and is sometimes to be found competing in half marathons. In quieter moments, she also enjoys dressmaking.

She lives in Worcester with her husband and son, and two extremely lively kittens.

Twitter: @clarkegeorgina1

Book reviews, Historical fiction

Son Of The Moon by Jennifer Macaire – Book Review and #GIVEAWAY

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PUBLISHERS BLURB

Alexander the Great journeys to India, where he and Ashley are welcomed with feasts and treachery.With their son, Paul, being worshiped as the Son of the Moon, and Alexander’s looming death, Ashley considers the unthinkable: how to save them and whether she dares to cheat Fate?

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MY REVIEW

Son of the Moon by Jennifer Macaire is the third book in the Time for Alexander series, and continues from Legends of Persia.

Alexander finally reaches the sacred valley with Ashley to try to find their son, Paul. But is he be successful?

Roxanne joins the party, but Ashley is not very happy about this, then Alexander has another battle, but this doesn’t end well. Ashley is praying he survives.

This is full of action and marvellous characters, The ever ‘modest’ Alexander and the loving Ashley keep your attention throughout. The writing just flows so well you get caught up in the story, an absolute credit to Jennifer Macaire’s wonderfully immersive writing. If you love historical fiction, then you’ll adore this.

Thank you to Rachel’s Random Resources for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour and for the promotional materials and a free copy of the ebook. This is my honest, unbiased review.

Purchase Link:

http://getbook.at/SonOfTheMoon

https://accentpressbooks.com/collections/historical-romance/products/son-of-the-moon

Author Bio

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Jennifer Macaire lives with her husband, three children, & various dogs & horses. She loves cooking, eating chocolate, growing herbs and flowering plants on her balcony, and playing golf. She grew up in upstate New York, Samoa, and the Virgin Islands. She graduated from St. Peter and Paul high school in St. Thomas and moved to NYC where she modeled for five years for Elite. She met her husband at the polo club. All that is true. But she mostly likes to make up stories.

Social Media Links

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

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/jennifermacaire/

twitter @jennifermacaire

https://jennifermacaire.wordpress.com/

Giveaway to Win a $10 Amazon gift certificate and a mug (Open INT)

 

 

 

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome. Please enter using the

Rafflecopter box below. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received

within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all

entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is

used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

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7C035998-E521-414E-B699-66274C105B7C

Book reviews, Cosy mystery, Historical fiction

A Walking Shadow by Elizabeth Ireland – Book Review

2BF63D59-C390-48C0-B971-91343C5F5DD5

PUBLISHERS BLURB


In 1871, Lillian Nolan accepts a small role in Macbeth, and finally fulfills her dream of becoming an actress. That is until the renowned, but venomous, female star of the production is murdered onstage opening night. When her enraged spirit haunts the theater, Lillian is shocked to discover she can communicate with her. Offered a Faustian bargain in which she will be given talent and expertise way beyond her ability in exchange for uncovering the killer, Lillian can’t resist.


Her quest for the truth causes her to descend into the Underworld, the den of inequity below the streets of Chicago. What Lillian finds soon embroils her in a battle between her passion for performing and control over her own body as it all plays out in a supernatural game of good and evil.
5387BA74-15BD-45F1-BEA7-21E0AABC0A66

MY REVIEW

A Walking Shadow by Elizabeth Ireland is historical fiction, but with a twist……there’s murder and mystery…

It gradually unfolds into a very clever and engaging read….

Lillian is so excited, she has been offer a part in the Shakespeare play, Macbeth. But, then tragedy strikes as the leading lady is murdered.

Lillian can see her ghost and while terrified, she starts to investigate……who is the killer? And why?

This is told from Lillian’s perspective and is a memoir of her thespian life, the life backstage, the murder and the investigation, a whirlwind of a mystery and ghost story right to the Great Chicago Fire making its debut at the fiery end…..

Thank you to Rachel’s Random Resources for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour and for the promotional materials and a free copy of the ebook. This is my honest, unbiased review.

 


Purchase Links
UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Walking-Shadow-Backstage-Mystery-Book-
ebook/dp/B07NQM27YG/
US – https://www.amazon.com/walking-shadow-backstage-mystery-book-ebook/dp/B07NQM27YG/


THE BACKSTAGE MYSTERY SERIES
Tagline: Life upon the wicked stage can be deadly.
Set against the backdrop of the Gilded Age, the Backstage Mystery Series stars Lillian Nolan, an unconventional member of Chicago’s upper class who dreams of a career of fortune and fame in the theater. Talented and ambitious, she possesses a hidden skill which she is extremely reluctant
to use—the ability to communicate with those who have died and now live in the world of “The Beyond.”


The series chronicles her adventures in which she continually becomes enmeshed in solving mysteries which often require her accessing the realm of the paranormal. Filled with an incredible cast of characters—factual, fictional, and sometimes non-physical—who either help or hinder her quest for the truth, the stories take place during a a period considered to be the golden age of both acting and spiritualism in America.


Author Bio –

3992B707-65F6-4B09-BF58-A4AE502F8EACElizabeth Ireland discovered her passion for theater early. After receiving undergraduate and graduate degrees in Theater, she accepted a teaching position in a vibrant performing arts department at a college in northern Illinois. For ten years, she taught, directed and ran front-of-house operations.


American Theater History—particularly that of the 19th century—has always been of particular interest to her.
She has been a quarter-finalist and a semi-finalist for the Don and Gee Nicholl Fellowship in screenwriting sponsored by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Two of her screenplays have been optioned, but remain unproduced. Her nonfiction work, Women of Vision: Ordinary Women, Extraordinary Lives, was published in 2008. Her work has also been published in a collection
of paranormal short stories, Paramourtal: Tales of Undying Love and Loving the Undead. She lives in metro Atlanta with her ever-patient husband, and two quirky dachshunds.


Social Media Links
http://www.facebook.com/BackstageMystery/
http://www.BackstageMystery.com
https://twitter.com/EbethIreland

 

9B06A1BA-8166-4BA6-8074-B5D312EF2793

Book reviews, Crime thriller, Historical fiction

The Way of All Flesh by Ambrose Parry – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB

A vivid and gripping historical crime novel set in 19th century Edinburgh,
by bestselling author Chris Brookmyre and consultant anaesthetist Dr Marisa Haetzman.

In Edinburgh, 1847. Will Raven is a medical student, apprenticing for the brilliant and renowned Dr Simpson. Sarah Fisher is Simpson’s housemaid, and has all of Raven’s intelligence but none of his privileges. As bodies begin to appear across the Old Town, Raven and Sarah find themselves propelled headlong into the darkest shadows of Edinburgh’s underworld. And if either of them are to make it out alive, they will have to work together to find out who’s responsible for the gruesome deaths.

– The Way of All Flesh is the first in a series of historical crime novels. It will appeal to fans of C.J. Sansom, S.J. Parris and historical crime fiction, as well of fans of Brookmyre’s own writing.

– The Way of All Flesh contains real life characters and events including:
▪ Dr James Simpson, pioneer of chloroform
▪ The invention of anaesthesia and its early use in obstetric procedures
▪ The influence of the newly established Free Church of Scotland
▪ The work of photography pioneers David Octavius Hill and Robert Adamson

– It has already been optioned by SunnyMarch for Film/TV and has sold into seven territories to date.

– Chris Brookmyre is an international bestselling and multi-award-winning author whose books have sold over one million copies. Marisa Haetzman is a consultant anaesthetist of 20 years’ experience, with a Master’s in the history of Medicine which formed the research for this book.


Raven and Fisher will return in The Art of Dying,
publishing in hardback 29.08.19.

1382C255-8443-4762-B26D-F3C3B12B20CE

MY REVIEW

Will Raven is an apprentice ‘midwife’ to Dr Simpson a kind, generous doctor with an interest in anaesthesia. Raven owes money to violent ‘loan sharks’ after borrowing to lend money to his friend,  who is then found dead. He feels this was murder, then there are further women found dead with the same contorted bodies.

Sarah is a housemaid, who also works for Dr Simpson, part time, in his surgery helping with patients and clearing up. She has a thirst for medical knowledge and reads medical books avidly but as a women in these times, is disregarded.

Sarah and Raven do not get on initially, but they begin to investigate the deaths of the women and a little romance begins.

There’s a lot of medical information given and about the new fangled use of anaesthesia in medicine and surgery in the 1840’s and it reminds you just how far medicine has advanced. Thank goodness.

Ambrose Parry,  the authors have clearly done a lot of research and while this includes a lot of details in the tale it is not confusing but just reinforces the story and gives background to medicine of the time.

This is a great, wonderfully eloquent tale of historical medical drama, romance and a murder mystery.

Thank you to Anne Cater and Random Things Tours for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour and for the promotional materials and a free copy of the book  in exchange for my honest, unbiased review.

PURCHASE LINK

ABOUT AMBROSE PARRY
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Ambrose Parry is a pseudonym for a collaboration between Chris Brookmyre and Marisa Haetzman. The couple are married and live in Scotland. Chris Brookmyre is the international bestselling and multi-award-winning author of over twenty novels, including Black Widow, winner of both the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year and the McIlvanney Prize for Scottish Crime Novel of the Year. Dr Marisa Haetzman is a consultant anaesthetist of twenty years’ experience, whose research for her Master’s degree in the History of Medicine uncovered the material upon which this novel was based. The Way of All Flesh is the first book in the series. @ambroseparry


PRAISE FOR THE WAY OF ALL FLESH

‘Menacing, witty and ingeniously plotted, Ambrose Parry’s debut draws you into the dark heart of nineteenth-century Edinburgh and won’t let you go until the final page’
S.J. PARRIS

‘Utterly compelling, this tale of Old Edinburgh is so full of characters
and startling incident that I never wanted it to end’
DENISE MINA

‘Parry’s Victorian Edinburgh comes vividly alive – and it’s a world of pain’
VAL McDERMID

‘Pretty damn exceptional’
IRVINE WELSH

‘A dynamic new arrival in this niche category of writers. Ambrose Parry’s The Way of All Flesh leads the reader down dark alleys, through aristocratic parlours and prostitutes’ bedrooms, into secret worlds’
NICCI FRENCH, Observer

‘An astonishing debut. The dark and dangerous past is brought thrillingly to life. I can’t wait to read more.’​
MARK BILLINGHAM

‘The city of Burke & Hare has found a new classic murder. The Way of All Flesh is a darkly, stylish mystery underpinned by hard facts and expert research. A hugely enjoyable debut’
LOUISE WELSH

‘Everything you could possibly want in a historical crime fiction novel with extra thrills and chills on the side’
STUART MacBRIDE

‘Fascinating, informative and intriguing. Old Edinburgh brought to life and death within these pages’
LIN ANDERSON

‘A terrific read – Victorian Edinburgh’s medical world resurrected, and brought vividly to life’
GAVIN FRANCIS

‘I adored this atmospheric, enthralling novel. Victorian Edinburgh comes thrillingly to life’
JENNY COLGAN

‘A thoroughly entertaining tale of murder and misadventure in 1840s Edinburgh.’
Sunday Times

‘An enjoyable, dark-edged romp through Victorian Edinburgh . . . The Way of All Flesh is a treat. The historical setting is fascinating, and all of Brookmyre’s wit and storytelling verve are evident in this tale of scalpels and secrets.’
The Times

Book reviews, Historical fiction

Blood On The Stone by Jake Lynch – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB

Historical mystery thriller about a detective who defends justice and human rights

March 1681. Oxford is hosting the English Parliament under the ‘merry monarch’, King Charles II. As politicians and their hangers-on converge on the divided city, an MP is found murdered, triggering tensions that threaten mayhem on the streets.

Luke Sandys, Chief Officer of the Oxford Bailiffs, must solve the crime and thwart the plot. On his side is the respect for evidence and logic he absorbed in his student days, as a follower of the new science. On the other, a group of political conspirators are stirring up sectarian hatreds in their scheme to overthrow the Crown.

Struggling to protect all he holds dear, Luke leans heavily on his cavalry officer brother, his friends, and his faithful deputy, Robshaw. But he has a secret, which may be clouding his judgement. At the moment of truth, will he choose love or duty?

 

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MY REVIEW

I enjoyed Blood on The Stone by Jake Lynch immensely, it’s a unique murder mystery set in 17th Century Oxford.

King Charles II is visiting the city with his entourage, when an MP William Harbord is found murdered…first thoughts are this is a political killing by the papists. They worry about revenge by the Green Ribbon Club and their anti-catholic agitation..

Luke Sandys, The Chief Officer of the Bailiffs is set to solve the murder, he also finds a plot against the King.

I found Luke Sandys to be a quite sympathetic character,  a married man, but lonely and has feelings for the Catholic Cate….very much against the emotions of the time.

The mix of historical facts and fiction made for a very entertaining read, it was clearly a very troubled, turbulent and brutal time….the idea of Catherine Wheeling someone is horrific….all in the name of religion. A must read for lovers of historical fiction and I can thoroughly recommend it.

Thank you to Anne Cater and Random Things Tours for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour and for the promotional materials and a free copy of the book  in exchange for my honest, unbiased review.

Also Thanks to The Pigeonhole.

You can buy a copy here (click on the image)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Jake Lynch is Professor of Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Sydney, and the author of seven books and over 50 refereed articles and book chapters. Over 20 years, he has pioneered both research and practice in the field of Peace Journalism, for which he was recognised with the 2017 Luxembourg Peace Prize, awarded by the Schengen Peace Foundation.


He has held Fellowships at the Universities of Johannesburg, Bristol and Cardiff, where he read English Literature and got a Diploma in Journalism Studies. His PhD was from City University, London.


Before taking up an academic post, Jake enjoyed a successful career in journalism, with spells as a Political Correspondent for Sky News at Westminster and the Sydney correspondent for the Independent newspaper, culminating in a role as a presenter (anchor) for BBC World Television News.


Jake divides his time between Australia and Oxford, where he performs in amateur dramatic productions and runs a local book group. He is married with a teenaged son.

 

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Book reviews, Historical fiction

The Stars in the Night by Clare Rhoden – Book Review and #Giveaway

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PUBLISHERS BLURB

“Harry Fletcher is a confident young man, sure that he will marry Nora, no matter what their families say. He will always protect Eddie, the boy his father saved from the gutters of Port Adelaide.

 

Only the War to End All Wars might get in the way of Harry’s plans…
From the beaches of Semaphore to the shores of Gallipoli, the mud of Flanders to the red dust of inland South Australia, this is a story of love, brotherhood, and resilience.”

 

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MY REVIEW

Set in Australia, Harry Fletcher misses his wife. He and Nora, his granddaughter are going through her things now, as it’s time. They find a journal, written during WW1….

The story travels through the war, Gallipoli, Passchendaele and more…it tells of the horrific life in the trenches…..

It also tells the emotional side of surviving a war, the struggles, tragedies, love and ultimately the feeling of Hope. This is such an emotional read, unbearably sad at times but still has a little humour now and then….

I found the characters to be well written and immensely likeable, great storylines and full of empathy…..this will tug at your heartstrings that’s for sure. I liked how the story was laid out with the letters and journal entries adding a feeling of reality and the descriptive scenes of the trenches themselves are just brutal. A tale of the effects of war on the soul….wonderful writing by Clare Rhoden.

Thank you to Rachel’s Random Resources for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour and for the promotional materials and a free copy of the ebook. This is my honest, unbiased review.
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Purchase Links:

 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Stars-Night-Clare-Rhoden/dp/1925652521/
https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-stars-in-the-night-clare-rhoden/1130076728
http://odysseybooks.com.au/titles/the-stars-in-the-night-new/

 

Author Bio –

E041D3AE-4ABD-435F-A8D6-6C8865AB441EClare Rhoden writes historical fiction, sci-fi and fantasy (check her titles at Odyssey Books http://odysseybooks.com.au/). Clare lives in Melbourne Australia with her husband Bill, their super-intelligent poodle-cross Aeryn, a huge and charming parliament of visiting magpies, and a very demanding/addictive garden space.
Clare completed her PhD in Australian WWI literature at the University of Melbourne in 2011, and a Masters of Creative Writing in 2008, in which she investigated the history of her grandparents who emigrated for Europe to Port Adelaide in January 1914. The Stars in the Night is the result of her research.

 

Social Media Links –
Website: https://clarerhoden.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/clareelizabethrhoden/
Instagram: @clarerhodenauthor
Twitter: @ClareER
Giveaway to Win a signed copy of The Stars in the Night, a metal poppy brooch made by a Melbourne craftswoman, and a cross-stitch poppy card. (Open Internationally)


*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then 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.

a
Rafflecopter giveaway

 



http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/33c69494214/?

Book reviews, Historical fiction

A Tale of Two Sisters by Merryn Allingham – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB

Separated by time and distance, two sisters seek answers for all they’ve lost

When Alice Verinder’s beloved sister Lydia goes missing, Alice boards the Orient Express bound for Topkapi Palace in Constantinople, determined to find her.
Lydia was governess to the Sultan’s young children and though her letters spoke of exotic delights and welcoming hosts, the reception Alice receives is decidedly cold and answers unforthcoming.


Now, as Alice digs deeper into the secrets of a land foreign to her she has only Englishman Harry Frome to help her. But as their search uncovers unforeseen dangers and exposes an unexpected ardour, is Alice ready for the truths they’ll uncover?


An emotional historical drama perfect for fans of Linda Finlay and Rosie Goodwin

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MY REVIEW

Set in the early twentieth century Turkey, and is so beautifully written you feel a part of the time and culture…

I found this to be a well plotted tale with enough mystery and twists to keep you engrossed and guessing right  to the end..

Lydia and Alice are sisters, but so different in outlook. Lydia is driven by what she feels is inequality and is full of life, but still not quite ready for what life throws at her. While Alice, is a homebody, and looks out for her family first and foremost….but who is the brave one in the end?

This is not a fast paced read, but one to settle down to and enjoy….it’s full of history with the mystery of Lydia’s disappearance adding to the suspense….with a little romance too…..a lovely, deep and emotion packed read.

Thank you to Canelo for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour and for the promotional materials and a free copy of the ebook and this is my honest, unbiased review.

Links to Book:

Amazon (UK)
Kobo (UK)
Google Books (UK)
Apple Books (UK)

 

 

Author Bio:
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Merryn Allingham was born into an army family and spent her childhood moving around the UK and abroad. Unsurprisingly it gave her itchy feet and in her twenties she escaped from an unloved secretarial career to work as cabin crew and see the world.
Merryn  still loves to travel and visit new places, especially those with an interesting history, but the arrival of marriage, children and cats meant a more settled life in the south of England, where she has lived ever since. It also gave her the opportunity to go back to ‘school’ and eventually teach at university.
She has written seven historical novels, all mysteries with a helping of suspense and a dash of romance – sometimes set in exotic locations and often against a background of stirring world events.
For the latest news of Merryn’s writing, visit her website or join her on Facebook or twitter.

https://twitter.com/MerrynWrites





Title: A Tale of Two Sisters

Author Name: Merryn Allingham

Previous Books (if applicable): TBC

Genre: Historical Fiction

Release Date: 21st March 2019

Book reviews, Historical fiction, Womens fiction

Between the Regions of Kindness by Alice Jolly – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB

An exquisite and original take on the family saga, from the PEN Ackerley Prize-winning Alice Jolly


Coventry, 1941. The morning after one of the worst nights of the Blitz. Twenty-two-year-old Rose enters the remains of a bombed house to find her best friend dead. Shocked and confused, she makes a split-second decision that will reverberate for generations to come.

More than fifty years later, in modern-day Brighton, Rose’s granddaughter Lara waits for the return of her eighteen-year-old son Jay. Reckless and idealistic, he has gone to Iraq to stand on a conflict line as an unarmed witness to peace.

Lara holds her parents, Mollie and Rufus, partly responsible for Jay’s departure. But in her attempts to explain their thwarted passions, she finds all her assumptions about her own life are called into question.

Then into this damaged family come two strangers – Oliver, a former faith healer, and Jemmy, a young woman devastated by the loss of a baby. Together they help to establish a partial peace – but at what cost?

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MY REVIEW

This starts with the aftermath of a bombing raid on Coventry in April 1941….Rose is bewildered and traumatised by the devastation around her, she’s carrying her daughter Mollie, barely able to take it all in. She is trying to get to her friend Violet and her daughter, also called Mollie…..she then makes a decision which will affect the rest of her life…

Told from the different perspectives of several characters over 4 decades, easy to follow and builds a fascinating insight to all of them and their lives.

“Jay made his choices, they all did and what’s happened is due to the squalid little mistakes and petty grievances of their lives”

Alice Jolly has written a hypnotic, beautiful tale of family and the consequences of our actions on ourselves and those close to us. There are some of the most honest, brutal and emotional moments that will make you gasp, cry and want to hug those close to you….a masterpiece of writing and a modern classic in the making……I’m certain book clubs everywhere will love it as much as I do.

Thank you to Anne Cater and Random Things Tours for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour and for the promotional materials and a free copy of the ebook  in exchange for my honest, unbiased review.

YOU CAN BUY A COPY HERE…..(click on the image)

About the author

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Alice Jolly is a novelist and playwright. Her memoir Dead Babies and Seaside Towns won the PEN Ackerley Prize 2016. She also won the V. S. Pritchett Memorial Prize awarded by the Royal Society of Literature in 2014 for one of her short stories, ‘Ray the Rottweiler’. She has published three novels previously, What the Eye Doesn’t
See, If Only You Knew and Mary Ann Sate, Imbecile. She has also written for the Guardian, Mail on Sunday and the Independent, and broadcast for Radio 4. She lives in Stroud, Gloucestershire.
@jollyalice

Alice Jolly is the PEN Ackerley Prize-winning author of the memoir Dead Babies and Seaside Towns.

Alice’s remarkable 2018 novel Mary Ann Sate, Imbecile was described by Sally Bayley as ‘an exquisite piece of craft … I would place it among the classics of this century and the last’.

For fans of Elizabeth Jane Howard’s Cazalet Chronicles, Rose Tremain, Helen Dunmore, Shirley Hazzard, Pat Barker.

REVIEW QUOTES, PREVIOUS BOOKS
For Dead Babies and Seaside Towns:
‘Her account is astonishingly moving and her prose nothing short of hypnotic’ Independent ‘Beautifully written and brutally honest’ Sunday Times

‘The miracle is that this powerfully written book is not only bearable but compulsively readable’ Financial Times
     

Book details
18 APRIL 2019
PRICE: £8.99
ISBN: 978-1-78352-499-0 FORMAT: Paperback
BINDING: B Format PB EXTENT: 496 pages SIZE: 198 × 129 mm CATEGORY BIC: FA