Book reviews, Historical fiction

The Pursuit Of William Abbey by Claire North – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

From the award-winning and bestselling author of The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August and 84K comes a powerful new novel that examines how the choices we make can haunt us forever . . .

South Africa, 1884. A young and naive English doctor by the name of William Abbey witnesses the lynching of a local boy by white colonists. He’s guilt-struck, but too cowardly to stand up against this horrific act. And as the child dies, his mother curses William.

William begins to understand when what the curse means when the shadow of the dead boy starts following him across the world. It never stops, never rests. It can cross oceans and mountains. And if it catches him, the person he loves most in the world will die . . .

Moving, thought-provoking and utterly gripping, Claire North’s extraordinary new novel proves again that she is one of the most original and innovative voices in modern fiction.

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MY REVIEW 

William Abbey witness the killing of a young child by a mob of white men in South Africa, he did nothing to help.

The child’s mother, after seeing her sons last breath curses William, the child’s shadow will follow him for the rest of his life…..if it catches up to him, someone he loves will die.

William starts travelling to keep ahead of the shadow, he can also hear people’s inner truthful thoughts and has no choice but to then speak them out loud. He’s now a truth-teller and as a result various governments really want to use his talent for their own ends at whatever cost. All the while William is being followed by the shadow.

This is a unique read, with brutal descriptions of the effects of war, the supernatural, fear, excitement and loss all in one harrowing and thought provoking tale. It will stay with me for a long time. 

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

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

 

Claire North is a pseudonym for Catherine Webb, a Carnegie Medal-nominated author whose debut novel was written when she was just fourteen years old. Her first book published under the Claire North pen name was The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August, which became a word-of-mouth bestseller and was shortlisted for the Arthur C. Clarke Award. The follow-up Touch received widespread critical acclaim and was described by the Independent as ‘little short of a masterpiece’. Her next novel The Sudden Appearance of Hope won the 2017 World Fantasy Award for Best Novel, and her recent book The End of the Day has been shortlisted for the 2017 Sunday Times/PFD Young Writer of the Year Award. She lives in London

 

Book reviews, Historical fiction, Noir

Return To Hiroshima by Bob Van Laerhoven – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

1995, Japan struggles with a severe economic crisis. Fate brings a number of people together in Hiroshima in a confrontation with dramatic consequences. Xavier Douterloigne, the son of a Belgian diplomat, returns to the city, where he spent his youth, to come to terms with the death of his sister. 

Inspector Takeda finds a deformed baby lying dead at the foot of the Peace Monument, a reminder of Hiroshima’s war history. A Yakuza-lord, rumored to be the incarnation of the Japanese demon Rokurobei, mercilessly defends his criminal empire against his daughter Mitsuko, whom he considers insane. And the punk author Reizo, obsessed by the ultra-nationalistic ideals of his literary idol Mishima, recoils at nothing to write the novel that will “overturn Japan’s foundations”….


Hiroshima’s indelible war-past simmers in the background of this ultra-noir novel. Clandestine experiments conducted by Japanese Secret Service Unit 731 during WWII become unveiled and leave a sinister stain on the reputation of the imperial family and the Japanese society as a whole.
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MY REVIEW

Set in Japan, many years after the horrific bombing of Hiroshima. This is historical fiction with a difference.

There are several plot lines running together, which at first may seem a little disjointed, but it all comes together in this incredibly dark tale.

Not only does it tell of the life and culture of Japan, it tells of a darker side. The side effects of the bombing are described in gruesome detail. There’s also murder, mystery, brutality, rape, torture and a lot of violence but also about family and relationships.

It’s so hard to put this into any specific genre as it really has a bit of everything. Beautifully written and almost poetic at times but it’s dark, very dark too.

Thank you to Blackthorn Book Tours for the opportunity to take part in this review tour, for the promotional material and a free ecopy of the book. This is my honest and unbiased review.

available on Amazon at a discounted price at the moment too

 

 
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Book reviews, Historical fiction

The Photographer Of The Lost by Caroline Scott – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Until she knows her husband’s fate, she cannot decide her own…

An epic novel of forbidden love, loss, and the shattered hearts left behind in the wake of World War I1921. 

Families are desperately trying to piece together the fragments of their broken lives. While many survivors of the Great War have been reunited with their loved ones, Edie’s husband Francis has not come home. He is considered ‘missing in action’, but when Edie receives a mysterious photograph taken by Francis in the post, hope flares. And so she beings to search.

Harry, Francis’s brother, fought alongside him. He too longs for Francis to be alive, so they can forgive each other for the last things they ever said. Both brothers shared a love of photography and it is that which brings Harry back to the Western Front. Hired by grieving families to photograph gravesites, as he travels through battle-scarred France gathering news for British wives and mothers, Harry also searches for evidence of his brother.

And as Harry and Edie’s paths converge, they get closer to a startling truth.

An incredibly moving account of an often-forgotten moment in history, The Photographer of the Lost tells the story of the thousands of soldiers who were lost amid the chaos and ruins, and the even greater number of men and women desperate to find them again.

Every photograph has a story, every story needs an ending

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MY REVIEW 

Set in 1921, the Great War is over, but with so many men missing their families are in a kind of limbo, not knowing if they’re, sons, brothers or husbands are alive or dead.

Edie’s husband, Francis is reported missing …could he still be alive somewhere?

Francis’ brother, Harry is a photographer, himself suffering PTSD after his own experiences during the war. He takes photos of soldiers graves, to send back to families to give them a form of closure.

When Edie searches for Francis, she meets Harry and together they try to find answers.

This is a beautifully written, incredibly moving tale of love, loss and hope. How the effects of war don’t end just because the fighting has stopped.

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

 

You can buy a copy here 

 

https://amzn.to/36Fh1Y3

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

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Caroline completed a PhD in History at the University of Durham. She developed a particular interest in the impact of the First World War on the landscape of Belgium and France, and in the experience of women during the conflict – fascinations that she was able to pursue while she spent several years working as a researcher for a Belgian company. Caroline is originally from Lancashire, but now lives in southwest France. 

Book reviews, Historical fiction

The Lady Of The Ravens by Joanna Hickson – Book Review


PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Praise for Joanna Hickson: ‘Bewitching . . . alive with historical detail’ Good Housekeeping ‘Intriguing . . . told with confidence’ The Times Two women, two very different destinies, drawn together in the shadow of the Tower of London:

Elizabeth of York, her life already tainted by dishonour and tragedy, now queen to the first Tudor king, Henry the VII.

Joan Vaux, servant of the court, straining against marriage and motherhood and privy to the deepest and darkest secrets of her queen. Like the ravens, Joan must use her eyes and her senses, as conspiracy whispers through the dark corridors of the Tower.

Through Joan’s eyes, The Lady of the Ravens inhabits the squalid streets of Tudor London, the whispering walls of its most fearsome fortress and the glamorous court of a kingdom in crisis.

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MY REVIEW 

Lady Of The Ravens is historical fiction set during the Tudor age.

Joan is part of the Royal household of York, she is the Lady Of The Ravens. She cares for and protects the famous ravens.

This is a tale of royal politics, life at court, intrigue and the way of life at the time. Historical fiction at its best.

Thank you to the publishers, the author and NetGalley for the opportunity to read this for free. This is my honest and unbiased review.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

Joanna Hickson became fascinated with history when she studied Shakespeare’s history plays at school. However, having taken a degree in Politics and English she took up a career in broadcast journalism with the BBC, presenting and producing news, current affairs and arts programmes on both television and radio. 

Now she writes full time and has a contract with Harper Collins for three historical novels. The Agincourt Bride is the first. She lives in Scotland in a 200 year old farmhouse and is married with a large extended family and a wayward Irish terrier.

Joanna likes people to join her on Twitter (@joannahickson) or Facebook (Joanna Hickson)and says if you can’t find her she’ll be in the fifteenth century! (Courtesy of Goodreads). 

Book reviews, Cosy mystery, Historical fiction

A House Of Ghosts by W.C. Ryan – Book Review. @WilliamRyan @ZaffreBooks @Tr4cyF3nt0n #AHouseOfGhosts

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Almost unbearably creepy and beautifully written’

Liz Nugent, bestselling author of Unravelling Oliver and Lying in Wait

 

Winter 1917. As the First World War enters its most brutal phase, back home in England, everyone is seeking answers to the darkness that has seeped into their lives. 

At Blackwater Abbey, on an island off the Devon coast, Lord Highmount has arranged a spiritualist gathering to contact his two sons who were lost in the conflict. But as his guests begin to arrive, it gradually becomes clear that each has something they would rather keep hidden. Then, when a storm descends on the island, the guests will find themselves trapped. Soon one of their number will die.

For Blackwater Abbey is haunted in more ways than one . . .

A gripping and atmospheric mystery packed with twists and turns,

A House of Ghosts is the perfect chilling read.

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MY REVIEW 

A House Of Ghosts is set during WW1 in 1917.

Kate Cartwright and Captain Donovan are called to ‘C’s office at the Secret Intelligence Service. They do not know each other, but they are both sent to Blackwater Abbey, an offer Kate had previously declined.

Lord and Lady Highmount are playing host to a gathering, a seance, to try to contact their sons, lost at war. However, ‘C’ suspects someone at the gathering is passing military secrets to the enemy…..so Kate and Donovan are tasked with finding out who.

Now, Kate herself can see spirits and there are plenty roaming Blackwater. Are the seances real ? Or is there a charlatan at work? As Kate and Donovan grow closer, the danger increases…will they find the culprit before anyone is hurt?

This is a mix of historical fiction, an Agatha Christie style whodunnit, spies and a supernatural tale of ghosts roaming the earth,  all seamlessly put together due to the clever, atmospheric writing of W.C. Ryan. A haunted house story perfect for a Halloween read.

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

 

You can buy a copy here 

 

https://amzn.to/30FwKlC

 

 

About the author:

 W.C. Ryan is a pseudonym for William Ryan, author of The Constant Soldier and the Korolev series of historical crime novels. His books have been shortlisted for numerous awards including the Theakston Crime Novel of the Year Award, the CWA Historical Dagger and the Ireland AM Irish Crime Novel of the Year Award and have been translated into over a dozen languages. William is married and lives in west London.

 

 

Book reviews, Historical fiction

The Familiars by Stacey Halls – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Fleetwood Shuttleworth is 17 years old, married, and pregnant for the fourth time. But as the mistress at Gawthorpe Hall, she still has no living child, and her husband Richard is anxious for an heir. When Fleetwood finds a letter she isn¹t supposed to read from the doctor who delivered her third stillbirth, she is dealt the crushing blow that she will not survive another pregnancy.

When she crosses paths by chance with Alice Gray, a young midwife, Alice promises to help her give birth to a healthy baby, and to prove the physician wrong. 

When Alice is drawn into the witchcraft accusations that are sweeping the North-West, Fleetwood risks everything by trying to help her. But is there more to Alice than meets the eye? 

As the two women’s lives become inextricably bound together, the legendary trial at Lancaster approaches, and Fleetwood¹s stomach continues to grow. Time is running out, and both their lives are at stake. 

Only they know the truth. Only they can save each other.

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MY REVIEW 

The Familiars is Stacey Halls first novel and I am very impressed with the beautiful, descriptive writing, which makes it very easy to get lost in its intriguing plot. 

Fleetwood Shuttleworth is 17 years old, married to Richard and is pregnant for a 4th time. She is an independent woman, who likes to ride and joins her husband on hunts, against the expected norms of the time. 

Fleetwood meets a young local woman on one of her rides, Alice Grey. She is a midwife and healer, which according to the time makes her a witch and as this is set near Pendle Hill there is a lot of local legends about witches here. The witch trials are part of the story, but more as a constant threat rather than the tale itself.

There are no spells or creepy rituals just kind, helpful wise women who use herbal remedies to cure simple ailments and act as midwives. There are mentions of witches familiars and dark magic, but it’s not really a part of this story. I felt it is more about the relationship between Fleetwood and Alice and how women struggled so much in life where the patriarchy was so strong, yet strong women still managed to make themselves heard. This is compelling, captivating historical fiction, with strong likeable female characters and a large Mastiff dog. I loved it and can highly recommend it.

Thank you to Tracy at CompulsIve Readers for the opportunity to take part in this blog tour. I first read this via NetGalley, so this is a repost of my original review.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

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Stacey Halls grew up in Rossendale, Lancashire, as the daughter of market traders. She has always been fascinated by the Pendle witches. She studied journalism at the University of Central Lancashire and moved to London aged 21. She was media editor at The Bookseller and books editor at Stylist.co.uk, and has also worked as a journalist for Psychologies, the Independent and Fabulous magazine. TV rights have been sold to The Bureau production company.

The Familiars is her first novel and her second, The Foundling, is coming Feb 2020.  Say hello @Stacey_Halls on Twitter and @StaceyHallsAuthor on Instagram.

Themes include women and power, social history of witches. Stacey has done huge amounts of research and can speak eloquently on Gawthorpe Manor and her real life heroine Fleetwood

 

Book reviews, Historical fiction

Blood In The Dust by Bill Swiggs – Book Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Essential reading for all adventure fans. Honour and courage in the wild and unpredictable Outback.’ Wilbur Smith

1853, Victoria, Australia. Five bushrangers led by the murderous outlaw Warrigal Anderson raid a small homestead. When they ride away, nineteen year- old Toby O’Rourke’s life is changed forever. His parents lay dead at his feet and his brother, Patrick, is badly wounded. But Toby O’Rourke is made of steel forged in the hardship of colonial life. Forced into adulthood, he and Patrick will seek to restore the family fortunes and outwit not only the rich businessman who conspired to rob them of their birth right, but the vicious men who murdered their parents . . . For readers of Wilbur Smith, Jeffrey Archer and Bryce Courtenay, as fast-paced adventure story and the winner of the best unpublished manuscript category of the Wilbur Smith Adventure Writing Prize.

The winner of the 2018 best unpublished manuscript category of the Wilbur Smith Adventure Writing Prize.

A fast-paced adventure novel set in the Australian outback.

For readers of Wilbur Smith, Jeffrey Archer and Bryce Courtenay.
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MY REVIEW 

Set during Australia’s gold rush, this is the story of Toby O’Rourke.

Toby and his younger brother, Paddy see their parents murdered…leaving them to struggle in this harsh world alone…they are then conned by a neighbour and lose their home…..now Toby vows his revenge….

There are many adventures, setbacks and even a romance for Toby but he’s a young man, so how is he going to get his revenge…

This is an easy read, due to Bill Swiggs writing style, a simple story brilliantly told. A real boys own, ripping yarn….excellent stuff.

Thank you to The Author, the publishers and NetGalley for the opportunity to read this eARC. This is my honest and unbiased review.

 

 

Author Biography

Bill Swiggs was born in Victoria and brought up in Western Australia, where he still lives. He joined the Royal Australian Air Force as an aviation firefighter before becoming a police officer, and now works as a firefighter for a defence

contractor. Bill divides his time between working, writing, flying and his grandchildren.

Book reviews, Fantasy, Historical fiction, Thriller

Nexus by Alison Morton – Book Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Mid 1970s. Ex-Praetorian Aurelia Mitela is serving as Roma Nova’s interim ambassador in London. Asked by a British colleague to find his missing son, Aurelia thinks it will only be a case of a young man temporarily rebelling. He’s bound to turn up only a little worse for wear.

But a spate of high-level killings pulls Aurelia away into a dangerous pan-European investigation. Badly beaten in Rome as a warning, she discovers the killers have kidnapped her life companion, Miklós, and sent an ultimatum: Back off or he’ll die.

But Aurelia is a Roma Novan and they never give up…

Set between AURELIA and INSURRECTIO in the Aurelia Mitela Roma Nova adventures.

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MY REVIEW 

Set in an alternate world, where the Roman society still exists….with powerful women in charge.

Aurelia, Countess Mitela is in London for a while as an ambassador, when Harry Carter the Assistant Secretary General to the British Foreign Ministry asks her for a favour. His son, Tom, has gone missing again so could she help find him.

She is recalled suddenly due to murders of important men in Europe, but Miklós is staying behind to search for Tom….

At the same time, Her daughter, Marina is being bullied by a girl at school……Linda Casely……sister to John Casely a violent criminal…

Aurelia has compassion but she is also strong and principled, as an ex-soldier she takes no nonsense and will uphold law and order at all costs. 

Will she be able to find Tom? What is the link to John Casely? 

This may be a relatively short novella, but there is no lack of substance to this tension packed thriller with great characters and twisty story. Nice to catch up with Aurelia and Marina is growing up to be just as feisty. Brilliant.

Thank you to Alison Morton, The Author for the opportunity to read this for free. This is my honest and unbiased review.

you can buy a copy here 

https://amzn.to/31vwPJI

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

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Even before she pulled on her first set of combats, Alison Morton was fascinated by the idea of women soldiers. After six years in a special communications regiment, she left as a captain, having done all sorts of interesting and exciting things she can’t talk about, even now…

The mosaics at Ampurias (Spain) and their creation by the complex, power and value-driven Roman civilisation made her wonder what a modern Roman society would be like if run by strong women. 

Now, she writes Roman-themed alternate history thrillers with tough heroines, tends a Roman herb garden and drinks wine with her husband.(Courtesy of Goodreads)

 

Book reviews, Classic Fiction, Crime thriller, Historical fiction

The Merchant Of Menace by Richard T. Ryan – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Reluctantly, Sherlock Holmes agrees to assist Inspector Lestrade who is being hounded by an obnoxious nobleman whose jewel-encrusted dagger has gone missing. However, what Holmes initially believes to be a simple theft turns out instead to be his first encounter with a master criminal, who is as ruthless as he is brilliant, and whom Watson dubs “The Merchant of Menace.”

Soon Holmes finds himself matching wits with a man who will steal anything – if the price is right. Moreover, this thief will go to any lengths, including blackmail and murder, to achieve his desired goal.

As Holmes comes to understand his adversary, he also begins to realize he can only react to the Merchant because he has no idea where this criminal mastermind will strike next. All Holmes knows for certain is the Merchant seems to specialize in priceless, one-of-a-kind articles. Will that be enough information for the Great Detective to outwit his foe?

From the British Museum to the Louvre to Blenheim Palace, Holmes finds himself in a deadly game of cat-and-mouse. Set against the backdrop of early Edwardian England, the Great Detective and his Boswell encounter an array of luminaries from the Duke and Duchess of Marlborough to a young Winston Churchill.

For fans of Conan Doyle’s immortal detective, the game is always afoot. However, this time around Holmes must try to bring to justice a villain who might well be the next Napoleon of Crime.

 

Richard T. Ryan’s Sherlock Holmes Adventures Series:

#1 The Vatican Cameos ​​bit.ly/VaticanCameos-RTR

#2 The Stone of Destiny ​​bit.ly/StoneofDestiny

#3 The Druid of Death​​bit.ly/DruidofDeath 

#4 The Merchant of Menace ​bit.ly/MerchantofMenace

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MY REVIEW 

Someone has stolen a jewelled dagger, a jambiya, from the home of Lord Thornton. A suspect is arrested but then released without charge, and at a loss, Inspector Lestrade approaches Sherlock Holmes for help…..

There have been other robberies with similarities and this appeals to Holmes and the investigation begins…

I have read many of Conan Doyle’s Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and this is a worthy addition to the canon. It has the same cadence to the language and many of Holmes quirks and characteristics, even his tobacco in a Persian slipper and his penchant for disguise.

Some light humour, historical references and a worthy adversary for Holmes, and of course, his friend Dr Watson. 

So well written and a joy to read a new addition to the Sherlock Holmes library…..brilliantly entertaining.

Thank you to Caroline Vincent and Bits about Books 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 

https://amzn.to/32PJ3wT

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

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Rich Ryan

A lifelong Sherlockian, Richard Ryan is the author of “The Official Sherlock Holmes Trivia Book” as well as a book on Agatha Christie trivia, and his series, the Sherlock Holmes Adventures, now consisting of four books, all available from MX Publishing, London.

Richard Ryan obtained his master’s degree from the University of Notre Dame, where he majored in medieval literature; he is a die-hard fan of the Fighting Irish — it doesn’t matter what sport. He has been happily married for 40 years and is the proud father of two children.

 

Author Links

Twitter: @RicRyan52

Amazon: author.to/RichardTRyan

GoodReads: http://bit.ly/RichardTRyan-GR

Book reviews, Historical fiction, Thriller

A Shadow On The Lens by Sam Hurcom – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

The Postmaster looked over my shoulder. As I turned to look I saw a flicker of movement from across the street. I felt unseen eyes peer at me.

He walked away without another word. I watched as he climbed onto his bicycle and sped away down the street. I turned back and looked over my shoulder.

Someone had been watching us.

  1. Thomas Bexley, one of the first forensic photographers, is called to the sleepy and remote Welsh village of Dinas Powys, several miles down the coast from the thriving port of Cardiff. A young girl by the name of Betsan Tilny has been found murdered in the woodland – her body bound and horribly burnt. But the crime scene appears to have been staged, and worse still: the locals are reluctant to help.

As the strange case unfolds, Thomas senses a growing presence watching him, and try as he may, the villagers seem intent on keeping their secret. Then one night, in the grip of a fever, he develops the photographic plates from the crime scene in a makeshift darkroom in the cellar of his lodgings. There, he finds a face dimly visible in the photographs; a face hovering around the body of the dead girl – the face of Betsan Tilny.

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MY REVIEW 

Betsan Tilney has been murdered and her body burnt. Due to the local villagers superstitions, her body is being kept in an abandoned church. They feel the Death is the result of the demon, Calon Fawr.

Thomas Bexley, a forensic photographer is sent to document the evidence, but he is unwell with a fever and starts to see things …including a shape over the body in one of his photographs …or is it just a flaw?

He visits Bethan’s mother and while unwell he is certain she told him, “Do not look for her with your eyes”….

Will Thomas find the killer, or is there something even darker walking in the village?

This is a creepy, gothic supernatural mystery in the vein of Poe and Lovecraft, there are even rats scratching in the ceiling….if like a historical, supernatural mystery then you’ll love this.

Thank you to Tracy and Compulsive Readers 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.
You can buy a copy here

https://amzn.to/2AjpWiL

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

Sam Hurcom was born in Dinas Powys, South Wales in 1991. He studied Philosophy at Cardiff University, attaining both an undergraduate and master’s degree. He has since had several short stories published, and has written and illustrated a number of children’s books. Sam currently lives in the village he was raised in, close to the woodlands that have always inspired his writing. 

 

A SHADOW ON THE LENS is Sam’s debut novel.

(Courtesy of Goodreads)

Book reviews, Historical fiction

The Secrets We Kept by Lara Prescott – Book Review #TheSecretsWeKept

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PUBLISHERS BLURB

TWO FEMALE SPIES. A BANNED MASTERPIECE. A BOOK THAT CHANGED HISTORY.

  1. A celebrated Russian author is writing a book, Doctor Zhivago, which could spark dissent in the Soviet Union. The Soviets, afraid of its subversive power, ban it.

But in the rest of the world it’s fast becoming a sensation. 

In Washington DC, the CIA is planning to use the book to tip the Cold War in its favour.

Their agents are not the usual spies, however. Two typists – the charming, experienced Sally and the talented novice Irina – are charged with the mission of a lifetime: to smuggle Doctor Zhivago back into Russia by any means necessary.

It will not be easy. There are people prepared to die for this book – and agents willing to kill for it. But they cannot fail – as this book has the power to change history.

Sold in twenty-five countries and poised to become a global literary sensation, Lara Prescott’s dazzling first novel is a sweeping page turner and the most hotly anticipated debut of the year.
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MY REVIEW 

Based on the real person, Boris Pasternak, this is a possible story of how the famous novel, Dr Zhivago was smuggled out of the Soviet Union.

The CIA believed this to be an anti USSR novel and would be great propaganda.

Set in the 1950’s during the Cold War, this tells of Boris and his muse and lover, Olga. She is arrested and kept captive while the authorities want the details of Boris’ book. It tells the truth of the Russian Revolution and so is deemed subversive…

Part love story and part spy novel, with women taking a major part in the story, as the typing pool, women who were masters at getting information from various sources, mainly gullible men!

Also sometimes completing simple letter drops and at others more dangerous missions. These characters, Olga, Irina and Sally were my favourites and show you underestimate women at your peril!

Amazingly immersive writing by Lara Prescott, a real time thief of a novel. Brilliant historical fiction and 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. This is my honest, unbiased review.

You can buy a copy here 

 

https://amzn.to/2ZUybkk

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

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Lara Prescott was named after the heroine of Doctor Zhivagoand first discovered the true story behind the novel after the CIA declassified 99 documents pertaining to its role in the book’s publication and covert dissemination.

She travelled the world – from Moscow and Washington, to London and Paris – in the course of her research, becoming particularly interested in political repression in both the Soviet Union and United States and how, during the Cold War, both countries used literature as a weapon.

Lara earned her MFA from the Michener Center for Writers. She lives in Austin, Texas with her husband.

 

Website : http://www.laraprescott.com/

 

Twitter : @laraprescott

 

 

 

 

 

Book reviews, Fantasy, Historical fiction, Science fiction

Ten Thousand Doors Of January by Alix. E. Harrow – Book Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

In the early 1900s, a young woman searches for her place in the world after finding a mysterious book in this captivating and lyrical debut. 

In a sprawling mansion filled with peculiar treasures, January Scaller is a curiosity herself. As the ward of the wealthy Mr. Locke, she feels little different from the artifacts that decorate the halls: carefully maintained, largely ignored, and utterly out of place.

Then she finds a strange book. A book that carries the scent of other worlds, and tells a tale of secret doors, of love, adventure and danger. Each page turn reveals impossible truths about the world and January discovers a story increasingly entwined with her own.

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MY REVIEW

January Scaller, 7years old and lives with her father’s employer, Mr Locke. He is a wealthy man who is a collector of antiquities and items from around the world. January’s father, Julian is Mr Locke’s Agent, who searches for these items and in return January is cared for and even has a nursemaid.

January finds a diary and writes stories to keep herself amused, she is bored and lonely. One day she runs off and finds a Door, going through it, she finds  another world…..She returns, Locke finds her, throws her diary away and locks her in her room for days until she learns to behave……so she does, for ten years. But she still has the silver coin she found in the other world…

I don’t want to say too much about the actual plot, other than it is utterly mesmerising.

A beautifully written piece of literary fiction, with magic, alternate worlds, and even a vampire. A tale of movement, of not standing still, of taking chances in a world where you don’t feel you fit in….what is behind the next Door?

“Those of you who are more than casually familiar with books—those of you who spend your free afternoons in fusty bookshops, who offer furtive, kindly strokes along the spines of familiar titles—understand that page riffling is an essential element in the process of introducing oneself to a new book. It isn’t about reading the words; it’s about reading the smell, which wafts from the pages in a cloud of dust and wood pulp. It might smell expensive and well bound, or it might smell of tissue-thin paper and blurred two-color prints, or of fifty years unread in the home of a tobacco-smoking old man. Books can smell of cheap thrills or painstaking scholarship, of literary weight or unsolved mysteries.”

I haven’t read a book like this before, it is a masterpiece of storytelling by Alix E Harrow. It will touch a nerve for anyone who loves books, as we know each one opens a door to another world. An absolute must read. 

Thank you to Tracy and Compulsive Readers 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.

 

You can buy a copy here 

 

https://amzn.to/34xhdHz

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

I’ve been a student and a teacher, a farm-worker and a cashier, an ice-cream-scooper and a 9-to-5 office-dweller. I’ve lived in tents and cars, cramped city apartments and lonely cabins, and spent a summer in a really sweet ’79 VW Vanagon. I have library cards in at least five states.

Now I’m a full-time writer living in with my husband and two semi-feral kids in Berea, Kentucky. It is, I’m very sure, the best of all possible worlds.

My debut novel–a historical fantasy called THE TEN THOUSAND DOORS OF JANUARY–will be out in Fall 2019 from Orbit/Redhook. 

(Courtesy of Goodreads)

Book reviews, Crime thriller, Historical fiction

Code 17 by Francis Booth – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Code 17 by Francis Booth

Code 17 was originally a musical idea.

Ten years ago I made an album that paid homage to the theme music of 1960s British TV spy series like The Man from UNCLE, The Baron and Department S, and to films like Modesty Blaise and The Ipcress File. The music on the album was from an imaginary TV series called Code 17, featuring the glamorous art dealer/spy Lady Laura Summers. She was imagined as a cross between Sharron Macready of The Champions, Emma Peel of The Avengers and Lady Penelope Creighton-Ward of Thunderbirds, though none of these women was the lead character in their own show.

Ten years later I thought I could make a novel out of Code 17 and Lady Laura – a fast-paced, female-led thriller set in the art world of Swinging 1967 London. I kept to the format of a twelve-episode TV series and tried to imagine each chapter as a self-contained thirty minute episode, split into short, cinematic scenes; I imagined our heroine getting into deep water in every episode but always getting out of it before the credits rolled.

I hope you can imagine it that way too.

You can hear the music at https://www.mixcloud.com/planckmusic/code-17/

And watch the promotional video here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PfZsXqxch5I

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MY REVIEW 

Lady Laurencia Artemisia Claudia Summer or Lady Laura as she prefers, is an upper class art dealer……she is also a dealer in art forged by her friend Muffie…

Lady Laura is also gay, she is to marry Jonny, to keep up appearances, but on the wedding day, he is shot and with his dying breath he says ‘Code 17’….

Code 17 turns out to be a clandestine group of wealthy, powerful men who right wrongs their own way….

Lady Laura believes a woman to have shot Jonty, confirmed by her father as he tells her of the secretive Code 17…she wants revenge for Jonty and decides to find out more herself.

What follows is a romp through 1967….with its pop art, money and fashion. It’s a fast paced adventure in the vein of the Avengers….bowler hats and swords,there’s even a catsuit…. Lady Laura reminded me distinctively of Joanna Lumley’s Purdy…..

Lots of twists, with references to art and literature too. Great characters and a fun 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. This is my honest, unbiased review

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

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Francis Booth’s novels are all available as eBooks and paperbacks on Amazon. They include:

  • The Watchers series of Young Adult fantasy novels: The Charlotte Strain and The January Legacy;
  • The Nevermore novel sequence Nevermore, Evermore, Gone Before and Nothing More, a series of dark revenge tragedies;
  • Code 17, a fast-paced, female-led thriller set in the art world of Swinging Sixties London.

Francis is also the author of several academic books on modern literature and culture, also available on Amazon:

  • Amongst Those Left: the British Experimental Novel 1940-1960 (to be published by Dalkey Archive Press);
  • Everybody I Can Think of Ever: Meetings That Made the Avant-Garde;
  • Girls in Bloom: Coming of Age in the Mid Twentieth Century Woman’s Novel;
  • Text Acts: Twentieth Century Literary Eroticism;
  • Comrades in Art: Revolutionary Art in America 1926-1938.

As a translator, Francis Booth has published English versions of the Marionette Plays of Maurice Maeterlinck and produced libretti adapted from Akutagawa, Strindberg and early Sanskrit and Buddhist texts, several of which have been set to music and recorded.

Francis also produces music under the name Tektonix, all of which is on YouTube and at mixcloud.com/planckmusic. He is currently at work on Code 17.1, the sequel to Code 17.

 

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Book reviews, Historical fiction, Science fiction

A Superior Spectre by Angela Meyer – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

 

“A brilliant, deeply unsettling work.” Books + Publishing

 

Jeff is dying. Haunted by memories and grappling with shame, he runs away to a remote part of Scotland with a piece of beta tech that allows him to enter the mind of someone in the past. Instructed to only use it three times, Jeff – self-indulgent, isolated and deteriorating – ignores this advice.

In the late 1860s, Leonora lives in the Scottish Highlands, surrounded by nature. Contemplating the social conventions that bind her, her contented life and a secret romantic friendship with the local laird are interrupted when her father sends her to stay with her aunt in Edinburgh. But Leonora’s ability to embrace her new life is shadowed by a dark presence that begins to lurk behind her eyes, and strange visions.

A Superior Spectre is a novel about curiosity, entitlement and manipulation. It reminds us that the scariest ghosts aren’t the ones that go bump in the night, but those that are born and create a place for themselves in the human soul.

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MY REVIEW

Jeff leaves his life behind in Melbourne, Australia to travel to Scotland with his Andserv robot helper and companion. He is dying, but has declined medical treatment.

He has, and uses tech that assigns you a hosts mind in the past, where you can see and feel what they feel, but they are unaware. He visits Leonora in the 1860’s…..in her mind …a time travelling parasite. I have to admit to disliking Jeff, as he was a self-indulgent, yet self pitying man whose desires control everything he does…with little thought for the effect he is having on Leonora’s mind.

Leonora is a simple kind soul, with a secret romance with the local laird, William. But her life is one of hard work and oppression as a woman in the 1860’s. The descriptive writing really brings this to life.

Jeff uses his invasion of Leonora’s mind to pass his own desires to her…..an abuse,  of male domination and as a result she feels she is possessed. It also shows society’s double standards when it comes to female sexuality, and promiscuity is seen as a mental illness.

A beautifully written, almost poet mix of historical, gothic fiction and sci-fi with real atmosphere and both likeable and reprehensible characters. Thought provoking and something rather special. I’m sure this will be a favourite amongst Book clubs everywhere. A definite must read.

Thank you to Ruth Killick Publicity for the opportunity to read this marvellous book for free. This is my honest and unbiased review.

You can buy a copy here 

https://amzn.to/2N0LKrO

 

About the author:

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Angela Meyer’s Joan Smokes won the inaugural Mslexia Novella Competition in 2019. Her short fiction has been widely published, including in Best Australian Stories, Island, The Big Issue, The Australian, The Lifted Brow and Killings. By day she works as a publisher for Echo Publishing, an Australian imprint of Bonnier Books UK, and in this role has discovered and developed a range of award-winning, globally published and bestselling talent, including global number one bestselling author Heather Morris. A Superior Spectre, Angela’s debut novel, is already shortlisted for a number of prestigious awards.

Angela Meyer is @literaryminded on Twitter and Insta. @literarymindedblog on Facebook. You can find her online at literaryminded.com.au where there are also some book club questions for A Superior Spectre.

Saraband is @SarabandBooks

 

Book reviews, Classic Fiction, Historical fiction

A Shot In The Dark by Neil Richards and Matthew Costello – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Sussex, England, 1929.

Mydworth is a sleepy English market town just 50 miles from London. But things are about to liven up there considerably, when young Sir Harry Mortimer returns home from his government posting in Cairo, with his unconventional American wife – Kat Reilly.

No sooner have the two arrived, when a jewel robbery occurs at Harry’s aunt’s home – Mydworth Manor – ending in one of the thieves being shot…and killed.

The local police are baffled by the case. But Harry and Kat have an edge in the hunt for the second thief: not only do they have certain useful “skills” they’ve both picked up in service of King, President and Country, they also have access to parts of English high society that your average bobby can’t reach.

Because this Shot in the Dark…could have come from anywhere.

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MY REVIEW 

#1 of the Mydworth Mysteries series

Lord Harry Mortimer and his new wife, Kat have just arrived in England, when Harry is called to Whitehall on urgent business. So Kat decides to drive herself to their new home, in his beloved Alvis….

Eventually, she arrives at Dower House, but it’s all locked up, so she walks to nearby Mydworth Manor, home to Harry aunt, Lady Lavinia. But, as she arrives she hears gunshots, a man falls from a window and more shots are fired in her direction…..What a welcome!

Harry arrives and they search the body and find jewellery in his pockets…..who is this man? And how did he know where to find these jewels?

Kat and Harry put their skills and knowledge to use to find out….

All set in 1920’s England amongst the upper classes, this is a marvellously fun crime thriller from a simpler time. It reminded me of the novels of Josephine Tey and is a must for readers of a classic style mystery. A quick read but packs a lot in. I loved it.

Thank you to Red Dog Press for the opportunity to read this for free and this is my honest and unbiased review.

You can buy a copy here

https://www.reddogpress.co.uk/product-page/a-shot-in-the-dark

 

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

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Co-authors Neil Richards (based in the UK) and Matthew Costello (based in the US), have been writing together since the mid-90s, creating innovative television, games and best-selling books. Together, they have worked on major projects for the BBC, PBS, Disney Channel, Sony, ABC, Eidos, and Nintendo to name but a few.

Their transatlantic collaboration led to the globally best-selling mystery series, Cherringham, which has also been a top-seller as audiobooks read by Neil Dudgeon.

Mydworth Mysteries is their brand new series, set in 1929 Sussex, England, which takes readers back to a world where solving crimes was more difficult — but also sometimes a lot more fun.

Book reviews, Historical fiction

The Outrageous Fortune of Abel Morgan by Cynthia Jefferies – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

1660, England. War is at an end but for Christopher Morgan, his personal conflict rages on. Haunted by the tragic death of his wife, Christopher is desperate to escape the pain her memory brings, although looking into the eyes of his young son, Abel, he cannot help but be reminded of what he has lost. Over time, father and son develop a strong bond until they are callously torn apart when Abel is snatched by smugglers and sold overseas.

From the shores of Constantinople to the coast of Jamaica, time and tide keep them apart. Christopher will sail across oceans to find Abel, never losing faith that one day they will be reunited, and, as the years pass, Abel will learn that fortune favours the brave.

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MY REVIEW 

Set in the 1600’s, this starts with Christopher Morgan arriving at The Rumfustian Inn, his new home, with tiny baby Abel, who is frail and Christopher doesn’t think he will survive…

But, with the care of the Blacksmith’s wife, he begins to thrive….

A close bond begins between Abel and his father, but after an altercation with a local smuggler, Abel is taken and awakes aboard a boat where he is expected to work to eat…

Christopher is distraught…..and believes Abel to be dead…..

However, Abel nearly escapes and sees his father, handing him a package, only for him to be taken again…

Can this map be a clue to where Abel has been taken?

What follows is a ripping yarn of pirates, adventure, desperation and love. It doesn’t shy away from the harsh realities of slavery, servants and abuse, but it also does not sensationalise them. 

Abel learns to be a surgeon, comes into money but his life isn’t all it could be with betrayal and tragedy. It is a story of Abel’s life, from weak baby to a grown man and all between. With little touches of his father’s search for him and his life at home.

Will Christopher and Abel ever be reunited ?

A totally unputdownable masterpiece of historical fiction with a difference …there will be tears.

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. This is my honest, unbiased review.
You can buy a copy here

https://amzn.to/2KTP9Gp

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

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Cynthia Jefferies is a long-established writer for children, whose work has been translated into more than a dozen languages. She was born in Gloucestershire and her love of history was encouraged by regular family outings to anything of interest, from great cathedrals to small museums. Having moved to Scotland and back to Stroud, she has always made time to write and her abiding interest in Restoration England has never left her. The Outrageous Fortune of Abel Morgan is her first historical novel for adults.

 

A father. A son. A desperate search. New 17th century sweeping historical fiction – first adult novel by very successful children’s author (writing as Cindy Jefferies).

 

Taps into the market for historical epics by Philippa Gregory, Kate Mosse, Ken 

Follett, and Winston Graham’s Poldark series.

 

Takes the reader on an epic journey from the West Country to Jamaica and Constantinople.

 

Book reviews, Historical fiction

American Dreams by Kenneth Bromberg – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

In 1904 Czarist Russia, Max, a four-year-old Jewish boy, witnesses his mother’s rape and murder by Russian soldiers. After the boy’s father extracts terrible revenge, father and son escape to New York and settle on the Lower East Side, a teeming melting pot of recent immigrants.

Max meets a young Polish girl, Sophie, and the two children become inseparable playmates. By the time they are teenagers, Max excels at both school and sports, Sophie has become a stunningly beautiful young woman, and friendship has grown into love. Their plans are shattered when Sophie is forced to marry a local crime boss and once again, Max must simply watch as the most important person in his life is taken from him. In response, he begins a ruthless and violent climb to the top of the New York underworld.

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MY REVIEW 

This is a tale of family, of immigration to America, the land of opportunity ….good and bad…

Max is just a small child, when Czarist Russians come to his village, and his mother hides him in a closet, but he hears her rape and murder…..

His father who had been secretly farming, (it was against the law for the Jewish), returns and kills the drunken soldiers and manages to escape with Max…finally reaching America.

Jonathan, is the son of a member of the IRA, who is to be hanged and tells Jonathan to leave for America, to make a new life.

Max and Jonathan’s meet in their journey building their new lives…..can their dreams come true?

There’s also Sophie, forced to marry a much older man, a crime boss, due to her father owing him money…..can she fulfil her dream of being an actress?

This is an epic family saga, with an organised crime element. Max is ruthless in his pursuit of power…will they all survive? An intriguing tale of family, loss, love, violence  and power over generations….

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/2MkysFl

 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

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Kenneth Bromberg grew up in the beach cities of Southern California with a passion for tennis, American history, and literature. He attended the University of California, Los Angeles, after which he worked for several years as a bartender. He eventually returned to UCLA to pursue an MBA and become a certified public accountant.

After retiring from accounting, Kenneth fulfilled a lifelong dream of becoming a novelist. His first work, American Dreams, is based upon stories told by his grandmother who immigrated to New York from a small Jewish village near Kiev in the first years of the 20th century. If you like Mario Puzo’s The Godfather and Ken Follett’s Century Trilogy, you will love this debut novel.

He lives in Santa Monica, California, with his wife of forty years.

FLAME TREE PRESS is the new fiction imprint of Flame Tree Publishing. Launching in 2018 the list brings together brilliant new authors and the more established; the award winners, and exciting, original voices.

 

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:

EC949BC6-DF66-45B8-AE9A-FB1F759EB65B 

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