#BlogTour! #Review – The Daughters of Ironbridge by Mollie Walton (@RebeccaMascull) @ZaffreBooks

The Daughters of Ironbridge Blog Tour (1)
Blog tour two of the day is where TWG gets to step back in time with ‘The Daughters of Ironbridge’ by Mollie Walton. Bit ironic for Easter Sunday is it not! Thank you to Zaffre Books for the blog tour invite and ARC. Here is my review:

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Anny Woodvine’s family has worked at the ironworks for as long as she can remember. The brightest child in her road and the first in her family to learn to read, Anny has big dreams. So, when she is asked to run messages for the King family, she grabs the opportunity with both hands.

Margaret King is surrounded by privilege and wealth. But behind closed doors, nothing is what it seems. When Anny arrives, Margaret finds her first ally and friend. Together they plan to change their lives.

But as disaster looms over the ironworks, Margaret and Anny find themselves surrounded by secrets and betrayal. Can they hold true to each other and overcome their fate? Or are they destined to repeat the mistakes of the past?

What does TWG think?

Got to love a saga! ‘The Daughters of Ironbridge’ is such a special read. In no time at all, the author allowed me to lose myself in the lives of such three-dimensional, well thought out characters such as Anny and Margaret. Set in the mid 1800’s, Mollie Walton takes her readers on a journey back in time where society and class were completely different to they are now. Not only that, readers are given an insight into the ironworks, and just how much hard work it took for those who worked there.

Mollie Walton makes her characters come alive in such a seamless and flawless manner, at times making me feel as though I was sitting on the characters shoulders like a little parrot, following their every move.

I was moved by the community spirit and the strength of the friendship between Margaret and Anny, two very different people whose lives may have been bound by the strength of their friendship, yet their class couldn’t have been more chalk and cheese if it tried.

There is a lot of storyline to sink your teeth into, just like most saga’s, so if you’re into reading books which give you more than your moneys worth, and then some, ‘The Daughters of Ironbridge’ will no doubt tick several boxes.

I was so pleased to see that this is the first book in a trilogy – roll on more is what I say!

An in-depth, powerful and beautifully crafted novel from an author who puts ‘history’ in the word ‘historical’. Brilliant.

Buy now!

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#BlogTour! #Review – #TheLibrarianOfAuschwitz by Antonio Iturbe (tr: Lilit Zekulin Thwaites) @Tonilturbe @EburyPublishing @PenguinUKBooks @Tr4cyF3nt0n

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Third tour of the day is for a book which I am humbled to be hosting on TWG today; ‘The Librarian of Auschwitz’ by Antonio Iturbe, translated by Lilit Zekulin Thwaites. Thank you to Tracy Fenton for the blog tour invite, and thank you to Ebury, Penguin Books for the ARC. Here is my review:

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‘It wasn’t an extensive library. In fact, it consisted of eight books and some of them were in poor condition. But they were books. In this incredibly dark place, they were a reminder of less sombre times, when words rang out more loudly than machine guns…’

Fourteen-year-old Dita is one of the many imprisoned by the Nazis at Auschwitz. Taken, along with her mother and father, from the Terezín ghetto in Prague, Dita is adjusting to the constant terror that is life in the camp. When Jewish leader Freddy Hirsch asks Dita to take charge of the eight precious books the prisoners have managed to smuggle past the guards, she agrees. And so Dita becomes the secret librarian of Auschwitz, responsible for the safekeeping of the small collection of titles, as well as the ‘living books’ – prisoners of Auschwitz who know certain books so well, they too can be ‘borrowed’ to educate the children in the camp.

But books are extremely dangerous. They make people think. And nowhere are they more dangerous than in Block 31 of Auschwitz, the children’s block, where the slightest transgression can result in execution, no matter how young the transgressor…

What does TWG think?

I really have no idea how to review this book to be honest. It’s not that I didn’t like it because, as weird as this sounds given the topic of the book, I did really enjoy it. I mean, this book is about the prisoners of Auschwitz and the Nazis. I don’t feel qualified enough to comment on the devastations of that time, does that make sense? Obviously I am going to, but I apologise in advance if I just ramble!

‘The Librarian of Auschwitz’ is based on the true story of one of the prisoners in the camp, Dita Kraus, written in the book as ‘Dita Adler’. There are some parts of the storyline which have been fictionalised – good luck to those trying to work out which bits are which! Of course, if you googled every single thing in the book, I’m sure the fictional pieces will jump out at you! I did end up googling some things whilst I was reading the book, not because I wanted to double-check that it was factually correct, but more so because I wanted to see the faces of the imbeciles who led people towards their deaths. Not just a small handful of people, not that that would make it any easier to swallow, but an estimated 1 million people. ONE MILLION!

At times I struggled to believe what I was reading. The fact that the SS soldiers and the Kapo were so blasé about what they were doing, sent chills up my spine. What possessed them to get caught up in Hitlers dirty work? How could they live with themselves knowing that they had sent innocent people, including young children, to their deaths? At one point in the book, the story described just how one young child was sticking their tongue out at a solider as they were being put into the chamber. Heartbreaking.

I was in awe at Dita’s strength as, for such a young girl, she clearly had to grow up very quickly to be able to get through the things that she did. She saw people die right before her very eyes. She protected her mother from a situation which could have turned out a lot worse if she hadn’t. She made friends with children one day, only to hear that they have been removed from the camp and sent to a chamber. No way of saying goodbye. No way of protecting people who came to be like an extended family. Dita’s hands were tied, and at times that was quite literal.

Just like the title suggests, there was a library in Block 31. Hang on, let me correct that. There was a SECRET library because, if prisoners were found with books on them, it warranted a death sentence. Death. Because they read a book. I’m literally shaking my head here. And, seeing as Dita ended up being the librarian for Block 31, and responsible for the collection of the five books in the block, she had literally put herself in the firing line knowing full well what the outcome would be should she be caught. Yet her love for books, according to her, was worth playing with death for.

Alongside Dita’s journey, we also follow the lives of several other figures such as Fredy Hirsch, leader of Block 31, and Dr Mengele, a man who liked conducting inhumane experiments on the prisoners….just because he could. There are a lot of other historical names noted throughout this book, a lot of which don’t deserve their names in print, but unfortunately it’s an important part of our history.

Before reading ‘The Librarian of Auschwitz’, I had obviously heard about the gas chambers and such, but I had never read a book with Auschwitz at the forefront of its storyline. I am glad that I finally decided to read about the devastation of those years, and finding out little details which helped the prisoners during that time, such as coming together and singing songs on the way to the chamber. Unity at such a dark time.

I don’t think I will ever understand the why’s and wherefores about this particular subject, but, thanks to Antonia Iturbe’s outstanding writing, I am determined to broaden my knowledge. It’s a shame that me doing that won’t change the situation for the thousands and thousands of people who lost their life, but it’s a small way of honouring the memory of the survivors.

‘The Librarian of Auschwitz’ moved me, devastated me, and left me utterly broken. Nothing at all compared to what people endured at the hands of the Nazis I know. It goes without saying that Antonio Iturbe has written a heart wrenching novel, simple because you would need to be made of stone to not be moved by even a little detail in this book. I am blown away by the amount of research it must have taken in order to complete this book. I, like I said at the start, am blown away by Dita Kraus, especially as she retraced her steps many years later.

One of my top books of all time, ‘The Librarian of Auschwitz’ is an emotional, harrowing novel which details some of the heartbreaking events from Auschwitz. A book which I will never, ever forget.

Buy now from Amazon

#BlogTour! #Review – #GardenOfLostAndFound by Harriet Evans (@HarrietEvans) @HeadlinePG @AnneCater

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Second blog tour of the day and what a beautiful cover it has; The Garden of Lost and Found’ by Harriet Evans. Many thanks, as always, to Anne for the blog tour invite, and to Headline for the ARC. Here is my review for my stop on the tour today:

Garden of Lost and Found Cover

Nightingale House, 1919. Liddy Horner discovers her husband, the world-famous artist Sir Edward Horner, burning his best-known painting The Garden of Lost and Found days before his sudden death.

Nightingale House was the Horner family’s beloved home – a gem of design created to inspire happiness – and it was here Ned painted TheGarden of Lost and Found, capturing his children on a perfect day, playing in the rambling Eden he and Liddy made for them.

One magical moment. Before it all came tumbling down…

When Ned and Liddy’s great-granddaughter Juliet is sent the key to Nightingale House, she opens the door onto a forgotten world. The house holds its mysteries close but she is in search of answers. For who would choose to destroy what they love most? Whether Ned’s masterpiece – or, in Juliet’s case, her own children’s happiness.

Something shattered this corner of paradise. But what?

What does TWG think?

After reading Harriet Evan’s previous novel, ‘The Wildflowers’, I was so eager to read more of the authors books. My excitement for ‘The Garden of Lost and Found’ was through the roof!

If you haven’t yet picked up a novel by Harriet Evans, you are missing out on a whole other world. A home away from home if you will. The outline of this novel is similar to the authors others in terms of the dual timeline and split narratives which, if you’re not used to reading books like that, it can be a little bit confusing until you get into the swing of things.

‘The Garden of Lost and Found’, in my opinion, starts off exceptionally slow and requires a bit of patience before the real gem of the storyline became clear. Evans is exceptional at setting the scene in her novels, which is why having patience will be highly rewarded the more of the novel you read.

Juliet’s life isn’t going to plan. She has one more chance (according to her) to sort herself out before she alienates her children for good. Her intentions are there, but the delivery leaves a lot to be desired but, seeing as Juliet’s children are indeed young, they won’t quite understand the logic behind why their mum has decided to do what she has done.

I adored the change in dynamics throughout the storyline, putting family drama’s and multiple generations in the spotlight beautifully. I thought that the story gave off such a magical and enticing vibe – this is such a special, special read and definitely one of a kind.

I was blown away by the authors beautifully descriptive writing and the way she made her characters come alive and steal your heart. Another wonderful, enchanting novel from Harriet Evans.

Buy now from Amazon

#BlogTour! #Extract from #TheForgottenVillage by Lorna Cook (@LornaCookAuthor) @AvonBooksUK

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Today is TWG’s turn on ‘The Forgotten Village’ blog tour, and I am super excited to be sharing an extract from Lorna Cook’s novel. Thank you to Avon Books for inviting me to take part in the blog tour. Before that though, here is a little bit more about the book and the all important ‘to buy’ link. Enjoy!

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1943: The world is at war, and the villagers of Tyneham are being asked to make one more sacrifice: to give their homes over to the British army. But on the eve of their departure, a terrible act will cause three of them to disappear forever.

2018: Melissa had hoped a break on the coast of Dorset would rekindle her stagnant relationship, but despite the idyllic scenery, it’s pushing her and Liam to the brink. When Melissa discovers a strange photograph of a woman who once lived in the forgotten local village of Tyneham, she becomes determined to find out more about her story. But Tyneham hides a terrible secret, and Melissa’s search for the truth will change her life in ways she never imagined possible.

Purchase now from Amazon

Extract.

Melissa looked around briefly as he cast a spell over his audience.
‘The village was requisitioned in its entirety,’ he looked down at his notes briefly, ‘with a promise to be returned during peacetime. Perhaps there should have been a tad more contractual detail about exactly when in peacetime.’ He gave a smile and the crowd laughed enthusiastically. Melissa pressed her lips together, stifling a smile.

‘Tyneham holds a special place in my heart.’ He was sombre now, and the crowd’s mood changed with him. ‘I was brought up only a few miles from here. My grandmother came from Tyneham, and she was here when the announcement came that she, her friends, family, and employers would all have to leave.
I’ve heard first-hand how she felt, but for everyone involved it was different. I’ve always thought the coming together of a community as it was being ripped apart was tragically ironic.

‘But now we get to see the village once again, not as it was, but as it is now. While you can walk the streets, the buildings are damaged by time. Only the church and school are intact and open to the public and I encourage you inside both, to see photographs of the way the village used to be and other exhibits.
But for now, seventy-five years after it was requisitioned, I’m happy to declare Tyneham Village officially open.’

With the sound of clapping once again, he stepped off the stage and a young woman, visibly overjoyed to be part of the proceedings, handed him an enormous pair of ceremonial scissors. He looked taken aback at the sheer size of them and said something to the woman, which made her roar with laughter and flick her hair. He snipped the ribbon and it fluttered to the ground.

At that, the surge started and visitors were shown through by guides in luminous yellow jackets. Melissa watched the crowd head through the gate, but waited for the bottleneck to disperse before she entered the fray. She watched the TV personality as he chatted affably with a handful of visitors. He posed easily with people for photos and signed copies of books, which Melissa assumed he must have written. He smiled throughout and she thought it must be exhausting being a celebrity: the permanent smile and the
demands on you by the public. As soon as one doting fan left Guy Cameron’s side, another appeared. Melissa cast him a final glance before she slipped past him and through the gates, into the forgotten village.

An hour and a half later, a golf buggy whizzed by Melissa and took a turn ahead past the derelict village square. She was rifling inside her bag looking for a non-existent bottle of mineral water to quell the beginnings of a headache. Her head snapped up to see the historian, whose name she had already forgotten, on the buggy, looking incredibly embarrassed as he overtook the tourists. He gave a few of them a little wave of recognition and Melissa laughed, half wondering why he didn’t just go the whole hog and give them a royal wave.

#BlogTour! #Review – The Inheritance by Anne Allen (@AnneAllen21) @RaRaResources

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Many thanks to RaRaResources for inviting me to take part in the blog tour for Anne Allen and ‘The Inheritance’. I am delighted to be sharing my review for my stop on the tour, and thank you to Rachel for the ARC also.

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1862 Young widow Eugénie faces an uncertain future in Guernsey when her husband dies at sea. A further tragedy brings her to the attention of Monsieur Victor Hugo, exiled on the island and living in his voluptuous house only yards away from Eugénie. Their meeting changes her life and she begins working for him as a copyist, forming a strong friendship with both Hugo and his mistress, Juliette Drouet. 

2012 Doctor Tess Le Prevost, born in Guernsey, now living in Exeter, is shocked to inherit her Great-Aunt’s house on the island. As a child she listened to Aunt Doris’s tales of their ancestor, Eugénie, whose house this once was, and who, according to family myth, was particularly close to Hugo. Was he the father of her child? Tess doubts it, but inheriting the house allows her to make a fresh start in her beloved island. 

Will she discover the truth about Eugénie and Hugo? A surprise find may hold the answer as Tess embraces new challenges which test her strength – and her heart.

What does TWG think?

If you’re a fan of all things Guernsey then you’ll be pleased to know that ‘The Inheritance’ has 6 other brothers and sisters relating to the same topic! Yes, that’s right, this is book number 7 in the Guernsey series but it can be read on its own, so there is no to worry about whether you need to bulk read 6 novels before starting ‘The Inheritance’.

What a clever, multi-layered and complex story! Set during one of my most favourite periods in history, the Victoria era, ‘The Inheritance’ tells the story of Eugenie in diary form, as well as Eugenie’s very distant relative many, many years down the line, Tess. Both very different times, with both very different lifestyles, yet both stories were combined beautifully in a way that held my attention with bated breath.

Dual narratives always impress me as I cannot even begin to imagine just how technical the planning must be to ensure fluidity between the sections. Anne Allen has raised the bar sky high with her delivery of multiple narratives which include a lot of information both about the characters and the lives they led, and lead.

I did find that if I lost my focus on the storyline or stopped reading to go and do real life stuff, trying to pick back up where I left off was a task as I had lost the momentum. Putting it simply, you need to focus on the storyline 100%. ‘The Inheritance’ is such a complex storyline which requires your full attention and thought – ideal if you’re a fan of in-depth and heavy novels, but a bit confusing if you enjoy a simpler read.

Overall, I enjoyed the historic essence surrounding Eugenie’s past and the future she would never be aware of. I also loved learning more about Guernsey, a place I have yet to visit personally. ‘The Inheritance’ is an emotive, delicate yet atmospheric read which puts historic fiction on the map with a Big Bang. Beautifully written, Anne Allen really has done herself and her readers, very proud.

Buy now from Amazon UK
Buy now from Amazon US

About the author.

Anne Allen lives in Devon, by her beloved sea. She has three children, and her daughter and two grandchildren live nearby.  Her restless spirit has meant a number of moves which included Spain for a couple of years. The longest stay was in Guernsey for nearly fourteen years after falling in love with the island and the people. She contrived to leave one son behind to ensure a valid reason for frequent returns.

By profession, Anne was a psychotherapist, but long had the itch to write. Now a full-time writer, she has written The Guernsey Novels, six having been published and the seventh, The Inheritance, is due out in 2018.

Social Media Links –

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Anne-Allen-Author-176883759173475/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AnneAllen21

Giveaway to Win a copy of The Inheritance and a notebook (Open Internationally)

1st Prize – Signed copy of The Inheritance and notebook

2nd Prize – E-copy of The Inheritance and notebook 

*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.

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#BlogTour! #Review – The Cornish Lady by Nicola Pryce (@NPryce_Author) @corvusbooks @RaRaResources

Third and final blog tour of the day and TWG is stepping back in time with Nicola Pryce and ‘The Cornish Lady’. Apologies for the delay in posting this review, I have had a few fainting episodes this afternoon. Many thanks to RaRaResources for the blog tour invite and ARC. Here is my review:

Cornwall:1796

Educated, beautiful and the daughter of a prosperous merchant, Angelica Lilly has been invited to spend the summer in high society. Her father’s wealth is opening doors, and attracting marriage proposals, but Angelica still feels like an imposter among the aristocrats of Cornwall.
When her brother returns home, ill and under the influence of a dangerous man, Angelica’s loyalties are tested to the limit. Her one hope lies with coachman Henry Trevelyan, a softly spoken, educated man with kind eyes. But when Henry seemingly betrays Angelica, she has no one to turn to. Who is Henry, and what does he want? And can Angelica save her brother from a terrible plot that threatens to ruin her entire family?

What does TWG think?

Oh I did enjoy this one! Historical fiction lovers, you are in for a treat! I didn’t quite pay attention to the fact that ‘The Cornish Lady’ is indeed the fourth book in the ‘Cornish Saga’ series. Thankfully though, I was more than capable of reading this installment as a standalone – ideal seeing as I hadn’t read the previous books.

Like most other historical fiction novels, the pace of this particular storyline wasn’t incredibly fast, and the author took her time in revealing pieces of information at a pace which suited the consensus of the overall book. If you’re not a patient person, slow burning novels can be a little frustrating to read. However if they are written in a way that is as magnetic as this, patience certainly becomes a virtue.

Angelica is a feisty character who tries to be something she isn’t, as though she constantly has to prove a point. Her fiery nature had me rooting for her from the start, especially as she was adamant that she wasn’t going to be how society wanted her to be in terms of marriage. ‘The Cornish Lady’ is set during a time where it was considered to be a ‘mans world’, but it was clear that Angelica would go above and beyond to not adhere to that.

I loved just how magnetic the overall storyline was, pulling me into an enthusiastically written story with minimal effort. I struggled to connect with several of the other characters in the book, I will admit, but the lack of connection didn’t dampen my enjoyment of the overall book.

I am so pleased that I took a chance on this book what with it being so far in a series; Nicola Pryce didn’t disappoint and left my historical tastebuds wanting more.

Buy from Amazon UK

Buy from Amazon US

About the author.

Nicola Pryce came to writing after a career in nursing. She has an Open University degree in Humanities and is a qualified adult literacy support volunteer. She is lives in the Blackdown Hills in Somerset and when she isn’t writing she’s probably gardening or scrubbing the decks. She and her husband love sailing and for the last twenty years they have sailed in and out of the romantic harbours of the south coast of Cornwall in search of adventure: it is there where she sets her books.

The Cornish Lady is her fourth book: The others are Pengelly’s Daughter, The Captain’s Girl, and The Cornish Dressmaker.

Nicola is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and The Historical Writers Association.

Social Media Links

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#BlogTour! #Review – The Things We Cannot Say by Kelly Rimmer (@KelRimmerWrites) @Headlinepg @AnneCater

It gives me great pleasure to welcome the fantastic, Kelly Rimmer, back to TWG today as I review her new novel, The Things We Cannot Say (published 7th March), as part of the blog tour. Many thanks to Anne Cater for the blog tour invite, and thank you to the publisher for the review copy. Here is my review:

 2019. Life changed beyond recognition for Alice when her son, Eddie, was born with autism spectrum disorder. She must do everything to support him, but at what cost to her family? When her cherished grandmother is hospitalised, a hidden box of mementoes reveals a tattered photo of a young man, a tiny leather shoe and a letter. Her grandmother begs Alice to return to Poland to see what became of those she held dearest.

WWII. Alina and Tomasz are childhood sweethearts. The night before he leaves for college, Tomasz proposes marriage. But when their village falls to the Nazis, Alina doesn’t know if Tomasz is alive or dead.

2019. In Poland, separated from her family, Alice begins to uncover the story her grandmother is so desperate to tell, and discovers a love that bloomed in the winter of 1942. As a painful family history comes to light, will the struggles of the past and present finally reach a heartbreaking resolution?

What does TWG think?

Be still my beating heart….

Wow – even though I finished reading ‘The Things We Cannot Say’ a few days ago, a lump still forms in my throat whenever I think about it.

I admitted on social media that I had no idea how I was going to write my review, and I still stand by that (no, not in a bad way. Kelly Rimmer’s latest literary gem has a title which takes the words right out of my mouth; ‘The Things We Cannot Say’. There is so much I want to express about the beauty of the storyline and the characters, but for some reason I am struggling to put those thoughts into coherent sentences. I’m trying my best!

Okay so, this storyline is told from the viewpoint of Alina, a young Polish woman who has seen her fair share of heartbreak and devastation courtesy of the Second World War and the Nazi’s, and Alice, a mum who is about to embark on the journey of a lifetime. She just doesn’t know it yet. Both stories are, obviously, incredibly different, yet they are both connected in a way which only makes sense towards the latter half of the book.

Whilst I loved following Alina’s journey and learning more about the devastating effects the war had on Poland in 1942, the reality of the situation absolutely broke my heart. Kelly Rimmer described scenes which no-one should ever have to endure, many of which left me crying my eyes out due to the unfairness of it all. Innocent people. Lives lost. Separated from loved ones. And for what? A power trip? A moment of insanity for the Nazi’s?

The chapters which involved Alina’s journey were hard hitting, emotional, and devastating, yet they were combined beautifully due to the way the author believed in her characters and their love for each other. I genuinely think if Alina didn’t have the love of Tomasz, her life would have had a very different outcome.

Now, where Alice is concerned in the chapters containing ‘the present’, her relationship with her son, Eddie, once again brought tears to my eyes as he seemed like such a lovely little boy who just deserved to be understood. His relationship with Alice’s ‘babcia’ made my heart melt and once again showed the power of love in a different form.

I’m trying my best not to give anything away here, and it’s very hard!!

I adored ‘The Things We Cannot Say’ and the way that the entire storyline showcased the deep routed beauty of love, life and loss. Kelly Rimmer, once again has outdone herself in creating a story which was both beautifully written, and beautifully thought out. The strength of the characters journeys was so powerful, it made the entire storyline have such a wonderful, highly charged vibe to it.

This beautiful, beautiful book blew me away, broke my heart and then pieced it back together again. Babcia showed me that scars are an individual persons battle marks and that they’re something to be proud of. Hell, if Babcia was mine, I would be proud of her as well. Easily my top read of 2019 so far.

Buy now!

#BlogTour! #Review – A Rebel at Pennington’s by Rachel Brimble (@RachelBrimble) @RaRaResources @Aria_Fiction

A Rebel at Penningtons Full Banner
Third and final blog post of the day is for ‘A Rebel at Pennington’s’ by Rachel Brimble. Many thanks, once again to RaRaResources for the blog tour invite and ARC.

Thank you all for joining me today and following my reviews!

A Rebel Cover
1911 Bath. Banished from her ancestral home, passionate suffrage campaigner, Esther Stanbury works as a window dresser in Pennington’s Department Store. She has hopes and dreams for women’s progression and will do anything to help secure the vote. 
Owner of the prestigious Phoenix Hotel, Lawrence Culford has what most would view as a successful life. But Lawrence is harbouring shame, resentment and an anger that threatens his future happiness.

When Esther and Lawrence meet their mutual understanding of life’s challenges unites them and they are drawn to the possibility of a life of love that neither thought existed. 
With the Coronation of King-Emperor George V looming, the atmosphere in Bath is building to fever pitch, as is the suffragists’ determination to secure the vote.

Will Esther’s rebellious nature lead her to ruin or can they overcome their pasts and look to build a future together?

What does TWG think?

Oh my goodness me – this book had my name ALL over it!! Not literally of course, because I couldn’t deface a book, BUT, I am sure you know what I’m meaning! If i know that a storyline contains anything to do with the suffragette movement, you can bet your bottom dollar that i would be in my absolute element and loving every minute of it. And yes, that was certainly the case with ‘A Rebel at Pennington’s’.

Rachel Brimble’s latest novel is the second book in the series, but do not let that worry you as this story can be read as a standalone without having to have read the previous book. that said, if you’re the sort of reader who just has to read books in order then you won’t be disappointed with either read. Of course, that is just my opinion!

Set in 1911 with the coronation of king-emperor George V looming, ‘A Rebel at Pennington’s’ tells the story of one young woman’s journey as she attempts to put women’s rights on the map. As we all know, the suffragettes didn’t exactly have the easiest of time where the vote was concerned, and they certainly put themselves in harm’s way for what they believed in. Now, with someone as, how shall i put this, blunt as Esther, her mouth struggled to connect with her brain. Put it this way – her heart was in the right place but her delivery left a lot to be desired.

I really enjoyed watching Esther’s journey with Lawrence as she tried her best to not let her head rule her heart. On one hand she needed Lawrence’s help to put women’s progression on the map, but then on the other hand she wanted him in her life on a much deeper level. Whether she could manage the two without causing too much disruption to anyone involved on either side, remained to be seen.

Out of both books in the series, i will have to say that ‘A Rebel at Pennington’s’ has got to be my favourite book so far. I just loved the strength behind the storyline and how well the author had brought her characters to life, whilst also keeping history at the heart of her words.

Buy now from Amazon UK
Buy now from Amazon US

About the author.

Rachel lives with her husband and their two daughters in a small town near Bath in the
UK. Since 2007, she has had several novels published by small US presses, eight books published by Harlequin Superromance (Templeton Cove Stories) and four Victorian romances with eKensington/Lyrical.

In January 2018, she signed a four-book deal with Aria Fiction for a new Edwardian series set in Bath’s finest department store. The first book, The Mistress of Pennington’s released July 2018.

Rachel is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association and Romance Writers of America, and was selected to mentor the Superromance finalist of So You Think You Can Write 2014 contest. When she isn’t writing, you’ll find Rachel with her head in a book or walking the beautiful English countryside with her family. Her dream place to live is Bourton-on-the-Water in South West England.

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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.

Enter the giveaway now!

#BlogTour! #Review – Finding Jess by Julia Ibbotson (@juliaibbotson) @RaRaResources #DrumbeatsTrilogy

Today is my third and final stop on The Drumbeats Trilogy blog tour, and what a ride it has been! Huge thanks to RaRaResources for the blog tour invite and ARC. Here is my review of the third book in the trilogy, Finding Jess:

Single mother, Jess, has struggled to get her life back on track after the betrayal of her beloved husband and her best friend. When she is on the brink of losing everything, including her family and her job, she feels that she can no longer trust anyone. Then she is sent a mysterious newspaper clipping of a temporary post back in Ghana. Could this be her lifeline? Can Jess turn back time and find herself again? And what, exactly, will she find?

Finding Jess is a passionate story of love, betrayal and second chances – and of one woman’s bid to reclaim her self-belief and trust. It is a feel-good story of a woman’s strength and spirit rising above adversity.

What does TWG think?

Is it weird that I now feel a little bereft that I have reached the end of the trilogy? I’ve literally watched Jess grow up over the space of three books, walked alongside her as she made multiple journeys which carved both her present and her future, as well as feeling an emotional connection towards her and the unfortunate events she became involved in.

Jess has come a long way since the beginning, and in the third instalment of the trilogy, she still finds herself battling with that character who I would not wee on if they were on fire. At times I wanted to shake her because they had no longer had a hold over her so why was she turning into a doormat? I guess confidence is one thing….or lack of, especially as it had been knocked. It was just hard watching her melt as though she was in the wrong. No. The only thing she was in the wrong about was not telling them to go and fornicate oneself!!!

Whilst it was brilliant that the author wanted to keep readers up to date with snippets from previous books, (I’m assuming it was mainly for readers who were reading the books out of order), I did feel a little bit cheated by the fact that there were quite large chunks of a previous storyline merely pasted into the new one. It did feel as though I was just rereading past storylines when I just wanted to read more of ‘Finding Jess’. Like I say, I can see why the author did it and I can’t fault her for that at all, I just think that there could have been smaller references to the two previous books as opposed to substantial blocks.

However, I really did enjoy the storyline of ‘Finding Jess’ – I couldn’t believe how invested I had become! I got so annoyed by certain things that it affected me when I wasn’t even reading. I mean, that just goes to show how powerful Julia Ibbotson’s writing is!

I loved the way that Jess came into her own and flourished as her own person, yet part of me couldn’t help wonder whether we might see a storyline coming from Katy’s viewpoint instead. She seemed like such a troubled individual who needed steering in the right direction – it would be very interesting to see how her personality flourishes, I must admit!

‘Finding Jess’ cements Jess’ journey to self discovery and learning the ability to try to love the skin that you’re in. Jess’ story highlighted the fact that not everyone will like you, love you, want to be around you, and that’s okay because as long as you’re proud of yourself, and as long as you love a part of yourself or are willing to try to love yourself, that is what matters the most.

This storyline, as well as Julia Ibbotson’s poignant narrative, took me on my own little journey. I am so thankful that I was able to get the chance to open my eyes to a path I never would have found otherwise. Jess’ story is one that I will remember for a very long time and, as long as Julia Ibbotson keeps producing novels, I will be reading her meaningful, heartfelt and enchanting words for a very long time to come.

Buy now

About the author.

Award-winning author Julia Ibbotson is fascinated by the medieval world and concepts of time travel. She read English at Keele University, England (after a turbulent but exciting gap year in Ghana, West Africa) specialising in medieval language, literature and history, and has a PhD in socio-linguistics. She wrote her first novel at 10 years of age, but became a school teacher, then a university lecturer and researcher. Finding Jess(2018) is her sixth book and the last of the Drumbeats trilogy (which begins and ends in Ghana). Apart from insatiable reading, she loves travelling the world, singing in choirs, swimming, yoga and walking in the countryside in England and Madeira where she and her husband divide their time.

Acclaimed author of:

Drumbeats (2015), the first of the trilogy set in 1960s Ghana: sometimes you have to escape to find yourself.

Walking in the Rain (2016), the second in the trilogy set in 1970s and 1980s England: never give up on your dreams.

Finding Jess (2018), the last of the trilogy set in 1990s England and Ghana: can the past ever be left behind?

Also by Julia Ibbotson:

A Shape on the Air (2017): historical (Dark Ages/early medieval) timeslip romance. Two women 1,500 years apart, with one aim: to reclaim their dreams and fight the dangers that threaten them both across the ages …

The Old Rectory: Escape to a Country Kitchen, (first published 2011, rereleased 2017) a feel-good story of the renovation of a Victorian rectory interwoven with period recipes to feed the soul, all from the rectory kitchen.

S.C.A.R.S (first published 2012, rereleased 2016) (children’s novel): a troubled boy slips through a tear in the fabric of the universe into a parallel medieval fantasy world of knights, dragons, and a quest for the triumph of Good over Evil. But can he save himself?

 

Social Media Links

Facebook // Twitter // Website // Pinterest //Goodreads // RNA author page

Giveaway – Win a PB copy of Drumbeats (book 1), book marks, post cards, key ring and handbag fob (UK Only)

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

Enter the giveaway now!

#BlogTour! #Review – Walking in the Rain by Julia Ibbotson (@JuliaIbbotson) @RaRaResources

I’m back!! Today is my second stop on the ‘Drumbeats Trilogy’ blog tour, and this time I am reviewing the second book ‘Walking in the Rain’. Thanks again to RaRaResources for the blog tour invite and ARC. Here is my review:


Jess happily marries the love of her life She wants to feel safe, secure and loved. But gradually it becomes clear that her beloved husband is not the man she thought him to be. She survived civil war and injury in Africa, but can she now survive the biggest challenge of her life? 

What does TWG think?

‘Walking in the Rain’ pretty much picks up from where we left off in ‘Drumbeats’, so I do recommend reading the books in order as the trilogy seems to be written as one continuous story just split into three chunks.

Anywhoo, my thoughts; this review is going to be quite challenging to write as I have extremely strong thoughts about one of the characters in particular, so I don’t wish to unintentionally give anything away whilst I badmouth them ;). If you have already read the book then I am positive you will know who I am talking about. If you havent, lets just say that this person is a vile, waste of space that I wouldn’t pee on if they were on fire. Harsh, but true.

Why Jess didn’t stick to her guns was beyond me. She obviously had an inkling that not all was well! I know that things were very different in those days, and it’s a shame that females got treated by the government in the way that they did. Utterly, utterly shocking.

Do I wish that Jess had more backbone? Yes! Do I think that the way in which she would be percieved by outsiders frighened her? Yes – how could it not? Who would have believed her anyway? It was a tough one to gauge, that’s for sure.

‘Walking in the Rain’ very different to the first book of the trilogy as, not only is Jess a lot older, the themes which occur throughout the storylines differ greatly. For example; Africa and poverty/war was the main topic in book one, yet in book two family life and women’s rights were the topic of conversation.

Julia Ibbotson definitely isn’t a one trick pony as she carried the strength of her storytelling from book one into book two seamlessly, and as though there hadn’t been a break inbetween stories. Personally, I found ‘Walking in the Rain’ quite hard to read at times because I just couldn’t fathom the choices of one particular character. Their actions astounded me, yet they created such an emotionally charged atmosphere throughout the book which meant that Jess just had to pull her finger out.

I really enjoyed yet another poignant novel from Julia Ibbotson – her characters would be proud of her for giving them, and many other women, a voice they so desperately needed heard. 

Buy now!

About the author.

Award-winning author Julia Ibbotson is fascinated by the medieval world and concepts of time travel. She read English at Keele University, England (after a turbulent but exciting gap year in Ghana, West Africa) specialising in medieval language, literature and history, and has a PhD in socio-linguistics. She wrote her first novel at 10 years of age, but became a school teacher, then a university lecturer and researcher. Finding Jess (2018) is her sixth book and the last of the Drumbeats trilogy (which begins and ends in Ghana). Apart from insatiable reading, she loves travelling the world, singing in choirs, swimming, yoga and walking in the countryside in England and Madeira where she and her husband divide their time.

Acclaimed author of: 

Drumbeats (2015), the first of the trilogy set in 1960s Ghana: sometimes you have to escape to find yourself.

Walking in the Rain (2016), the second in the trilogy set in 1970s and 1980s England: never give up on your dreams.

Finding Jess (2018), the last of the trilogy set in 1990s England and Ghana: can the past ever be left behind?

Also by Julia Ibbotson:

A Shape on the Air (2017): historical (Dark Ages/early medieval) time-slip romance. Two women 1,500 years apart, with one aim: to reclaim their dreams and fight the dangers that threaten them both across the ages …

The Old Rectory: Escape to a Country Kitchen, (first published 2011, rereleased 2017) a feel-good story of the renovation of a Victorian rectory interwoven with period recipes to feed the soul, all from the rectory kitchen.

S.C.A.R.S (first published 2012, rereleased 2016) (children’s novel): a troubled boy slips through a tear in the fabric of the universe into a parallel medieval fantasy world of knights, dragons, and a quest for the triumph of Good over Evil. But can he save himself?