#BlogTour! #Review – When We Danced at the End of the Pier (@SandyTaylorAuth) @Bookouture

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Brighton 1930: Maureen O’Connell is a carefree girl, but her family is on the brink of tragedy, war is looming and life will never be the same again.

Jack and Nelson have always been dear friends to Maureen. Despite their different backgrounds, they’ve seen each other through thick and thin. 

As Maureen blossoms from a little girl into a young woman, the candle she’s always held for Jack burns bright. But just as she’s found love, war wrenches them apart. The man she cherishes with all her heart is leaving. 

When the bombs start to fall, Maureen and her family find themselves living in the most dangerous of times. With Jack no longer by her side and Nelson at war, Maureen has never felt more alone. Can she look to a brighter future? And will she find the true happiness she’s dreamt of?

What does TWG think?

Kicking off a brand new month at TWG HQ is an author’s blog tour courtesy of the rather popular (and fabulous) publishers, Bookouture! Bookouture authors have appeared on TWG once…or twice (cough, cough), so it gives me great pleasure to introduce author of ‘The Brighton Girls Triology’, Sandy Taylor, to TWG for the very first time! Today I have the pleasure of being one of the tour blog tour stops on Sandy’s blog tour for her new book, ‘When We Danced at the End of the Pier’. Hope you enjoy my review!

Sandy Taylor is a brand new author for me, I hadn’t come across her work before but seeing as I have become a huge fan of the historical fiction genre, her book was recommended to me so I gave it a go. What drew me to the storyline at the start was the fact it was predominantly set in Brighton. My family had a lot of ties to Brighton many moons ago so even though I wasn’t the family member to grow up there, reading Sandy Taylor’s novel made me feel as though I was going home. Strange huh.

Unfortunately I struggled with the first quarter of this novel, as I couldn’t quite get to grips with where the storyline was supposed to be heading. At first the storyline was centred around Maureen as a child, living her childhood with her new found friends, as well as trying to understand her family’s issues. Whilst that was still pleasant enough to read, I couldn’t help but want that little bit extra depth.

As the storyline started to unfold, the gritty nature within the book became more apparent. Maureen had become an adult and the war was just around the corner. Whilst the historical factor of the novel was bold, I found that the storyline seemed to focus more on the personal relationships, as well as dealing with a loved one being called up to serve in the war. I loved how it all seemed to personal and, seeing as most historical fiction novels put the history first as opposed to relationships, it was really refreshing to read a book in that genre from a completely different angle. We are all aware of the war times, we can find out the main facts in a couple of seconds thanks to Google, however, we aren’t aware of the personal side. How did the women feel to have their sons/brothers/boyfriends/husbands/friends called up to serve in the war? Who would be the one to let their loved ones know that they had died in combat or were missing in action? What if they were injured and unable to fight in the war, would they be brought back to their loved ones at home?

They are all questions that google can’t really answer unless someone from the war sat down and had an interview. Well, until Sandy Taylor’s novel came along. Yes I struggled with the book at first, but at least I’m honest about that. I also need to be honest that once the storyline showed more love and emotion than ever before, I fell in love with the characters and their lives. Struggling with the novel was a thing of the past. When Sandy Taylor wrote about the bombs falling and loved ones getting caught up in the devastation, I actually became quite emotional as I had never read about the war times so black and white before. Reading the emotional words that the author had given her characters to say gave me goose bumps. I can’t even begin to imagine what on Earth was going through their heads at the time of the bombing. All I do know is that the author has captured those devastating, real and emotional moments rather poignantly, and beautifully.

‘When We Danced at the End of the Pier’ is a truly humbling and emotional read which will leave you thinking about those who fought for our country and for what they believed in.
Such a heart warming and spell binding novel, full of raw emotion, devastating circumstances and friendships strong enough to last a lifetime.

Thank you Bookouture.

Buy now from Amazon UK
Buy now from Amazon US

About the author
 
Sandy Taylor grew up on a council estate near Brighton. There were no books in the house, so Sandy’s love of the written word was nurtured in the little local library. Leaving school at fifteen, Sandy worked in a series of factories before landing a job at Butlins in Minehead. This career change led her to becoming a singer, a stand up comic and eventually a playwright and novelist.

https://twitter.com/SandyTaylorAuth

Make sure you follow the rest of the blog tour for Sandy Taylor’s new novel, all of the bloggers on the tour are listed below. Huge thanks to Bookouture & Kim Nash for inviting me on such an eye-opening blog tour.

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#BlogTour! #Review – A Knightsbridge Scandal by Anita Davison (@AnitaSDavison) @Aria_Fiction

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It’s Monday, brand new week which means brand new tour! Aria have given me the honour of kicking off yet another blog tour for them! This is why I LOVE Mondays (even though I’m not on tour for Aria for a few weeks after this one. Sniff).
On my stop today I will be bringing you a review of Anita Davison’s new book, A Knightsbridge Scandal, which was published by Aria Fiction on the 1st March 2017. Hope you enjoy!

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1903 London is bustling and glamorous. With troubling secrets simmering and worrying signs of war Flora Maguire must solve a deadly mystery which leads right to the heart of the corridors of power.

Flora Maguire has escaped the country to enjoy some time in fashionable Knightsbridge, London. Extravagant shops, exuberant theatres and decadent restaurants mean 1903’s London is a thrilling adventure, but there are dark secrets threatening from the continent.

When the body of a London socialite, and leading light of the burgeoning women’s movement, is found outside The Grenadier public house, Flora can’t resist investigating.

Mysterious letters are discovered in the victim’s belongings, strange links to the foreign office and why do the clues keep coming back to the assassination of a Baltic king?

As Flora closes in on the killer, it soon becomes clear she is no longer safe in London, but will her husband Bunny be able to get to her before it’s too late?

What does TWG think?

I was really looking forward to starting Anita Davison’s latest novel, A Knightsbridge Scandal, as she was a brand new author for me to sink my teeth into in regards to her work. I had heard of her, well, seen her books on Amazon, but my love for historical fiction wasn’t as deep back then as it is now.

Set in 1903, London; A Knightsbridge Scandal brought to light the issues that women were up against back in the day;  such as the suffragette movement.  The movement was only just beginning to get the word out about their organisation and their beliefs; and, as this storyline shows, A LOT of people (mainly males) were completely against the entire thing. Because of that, women’s safety became a rather touchy subject and also rather dangerous. Again, just like this storyline describes, there is always a scandal when you least expect it. Especially if, like Flora, you’re meant to be having a little city break and the definition of ‘seeing the sights’ is completely different to what you originally thought….

Recently I have been reading a lot more historical fiction novels than ever before as I am a HUGE history buff (not many people know that), which meant my excitement for this novel was at a high. Early 1900’s, London and a lot of history, what’s not to like?
I need to be honest. It took me a little while to be able to get into this storyline and find something to sink my teeth into to keep me interested. The first couple of chapters seemed to ponder along at their own pace with a couple of sparklers alongside them, instead of a firework moment. Does that make sense? I struggled to find ‘the thing’ at first, and I so badly wanted to! I’m not usually one to give up on a book for a trivial reason, so I kept reading with my fingers crossed.

Did someone say SCANDAL?! Why helllooooooo there! The little ‘something’ I needed to reel me into the storyline properly, arrived with glittery paper and a huge bow (well, not really but you know what I mean). Flora was SUCH an inquisitive soul, completely unable to keep her nose out of things that didn’t concern her. But you know what? I’m SOOOO glad that she was like that because I got to follow her journey of investigation, as well as learning more about an early 1900’s London. From that moment I just knew that the book and I would be A-Okay.

Flora’s mother in law, SHEEEEEESH!!!! What WAS that woman on? Both Bunny and his mother got on my nerves something chronic, no wonder Flora wanted to get a bit of excitement into a life and what a way to do it! Of course she managed to land herself in a bit of hot water, Flora was delving into a situation that she really should be steering clear of. That said, it was an exciting read with my detective skills failing me once again!

Anita Davison filled the storyline with one of my most favourite historical moments, The Suffragette Movement, and her brilliant descriptions made the movement come to life before my very own eyes.

Even though I was slightly unsure of the novel at the beginning, Anita’s delightful writing style, historical knowledge and infectious bouts of excitement throughout, really did change my mind. It was as though something in the storyline just clicked.

Entertaining, secretive and incredibly interesting, A Knightsbridge Scandal is an ideal read to lounge on the sofa and step back in time with.

Thank you Aria.

Links to buy
Google Play: http://bit.ly/2kbPt2U

Book 1 – Flora’s Secret is out now:
Amazon Kindle: http://amzn.to/2cJhzSn
Book 2 – Betrayal at Cleeve Abbey is out now
Amazon Kindle: http://amzn.to/2edQSnv
Follow Aria
Facebook: @ariafiction
Twitter: @aria_fiction
Instagram: @ariafiction
Sign up to the Aria newsletter: http://bit.ly/2jQxVtV

About the author.

Anita’s earlier novels are set in 17 th Century England, with a family saga set in Exeter
during the Monmouth Rebellion and a biographical novel about Elizabeth Murray
during the English Civil War in Surrey. Her fascination with the revival of cosy
mysteries made her turn to the early 1900’s for inspiration where she found Flora
Maguire lurking. The series of five novels was taken up for publication by Aria
Fiction, a digital imprint of Head of Zeus Publishing.

Murder on the Minneapolis is available here [http://tinyurl.com/z2ly6lm] and
Murder at Cleeve Abbey can be pre-ordered here. [http://tinyurl.com/zkqhx37]
Twitter – @AnitaSDavison

#BlogTour! #Review of Finding Secrets by Lauren Westwood (@LWestwoodwriter) @Aria_Fiction

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What does a new week require? A brand new blog tour, that’s what! Aria Fiction have given me the honour of kicking off Lauren Westwood’s blog tour today, for her new book ‘Finding Secrets’! Make sure you follow the rest of the bloggers on the tour too, as they’re all pretty fabulous! Lets get the tour bus rolling shall we? Day one sees a review from TWG HQ, enjoy!

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A country house, a precious jewelled locket, and a puzzle dating back to the
London Blitz and Imperial Russia. Utterly captivating, a fantastic romance
from beginning to end. Perfect for the fans of Carole Matthews and Milly

Johnson.

Alex Hart loves her dream job as manager of Mallow Court, a historic Elizabethan
house, even if her friends think she needs to get out more. But a discovery in the
pocket of an old coat – a jewelled mechanical locket shaped like a bird – changes
everything, and Alex discovers that things are not as they seem.
From an old diary, to a handsome barrister, a mysterious clockmaker, and the
darkest hours of the London Blitz, Alex must follow the trail of the jewelled bird
to uncover the truth about the things she holds dearest – and someone is
determined not to let sleeping dogs lie!
Only by finding the secrets of the past can Alex find the keys to her future – and

her heart.

What does TWG think?

First of all, the cover of this book completely threw me off the scent so to speak. Whilst it is pretty to look at, it really doesn’t match the storyline at all! Whilst completely unexpected, the way in which the storyline unfolded, compared to my initial expectations due to the cover, it was a very welcome surprise.

Alex Hart is the manager of Mallow Court, a country house which gives visitors a taste of Elizabethan history every single time the door is open. Alex has been involved in the running of Mallow Court for many years, yet the day-to-day routines have been quite simplistic and calm…until now. Alex knew a little bit of information about her blood relatives, but it wasn’t quite enough to complete the puzzle. Life at Mallow Court is about to get very intense, lets just hope that Alex is up for Finding Secrets.

I’d be lying if Alex and I became bosom buddies straight away as I found her character to be a quite unattached and cold about her past. For me, something didn’t quite add up with her the way she was reacting to the knowledge, it was as though she didn’t care about it. I really did find her a tough personality to warm up to, I must admit. After several chapters had passed and the storyline began to unfold in an ‘oooo intriguing’ kind of way, Alex’s personality seemed to suit her better. Well, I think it was that! More characters emerged as the storyline progressed, each one coming with their own skeletons and personal secrets. That was when I truly knew that I was going to enjoy this novel.

If you step back and focus on the shell of the novel, you might find that it is purely a book about a country house that does guided tours, has a gift shop and has a man who takes yoga classes. However, whilst those facts may be true, there is a lot more to ‘Finding Secrets’ that meets the eye. I loved how the book took me on a rollercoaster ride! There were so many twisty corners to the entire storyline, I’m surprised I didn’t end up with travel sickness!

Lauren Westwood has incorporated a lot of fascinating, historic information within ‘Finding Secrets’, and, despite being unaware of the intensity to that particular history, I loved finding out more. I have only really read historical novels which centre the UK around its findings whilst including other countries and events as extras; I hadn’t read a novel which features monarchy from another country which THEN links with the UK. Incredibly fascinating! So much so, I had google open whilst I was reading it so that I could find out more. The author has embedded those facts deep within the storyline so it’s as though you, the reader, are the one uncovering that history for the very first time. Does that make sense? It wasn’t the focal point of the story, yet it wasn’t overshadowed by the individual characters and their own lives.

Overall, I found ‘Finding Secrets’ to be a storyline with a multitude of layers, some were expected yet most of them caught me off guard in such a positive way. Whilst I had reservations about the storyline to begin with, Lauren Westwood managed to win me round with her cosy and descriptive writing style, whilst teasing me (as a reader) with one or two red herrings. Lets just say the author kept my curiosity in check, and then some.

‘Finding Secrets’ is an unexpected, intense and highly fascinating read which highlights the importance of not judging a book (situation) by its cover. Not only that, ‘Finding Secrets’ teaches us readers that a wrongly kept secret and not learning the truth, can make a person’s individual walls come crashing down with no warning whatsoever. An eye-opener in more ways than one, ‘Finding Secrets’ kept me on my toes and is definitely a book which kept on giving.

Thank you Aria.

Links to buy

Amazon // Kobo // iBooks // Google Play

About Lauren Westwood

Originally from California, Lauren relocated to England in 2000. She works as a
lawyer for a renewable energy company. Laure’s first novel, ‘Finding Home’ was
inspired by her family’s 3-year search for a house that made them the bane of
home county estate agents. She currently resides in a pernickety 400-year old
house in Surrey with her partner and their three daughters. She enjoys travel,
visiting old houses, baking with her daughters, dance, playing piano, and hates

tennis.

Twitter: @LWestwoodWriter

Website

Lauren’s previous book, Finding Home is out now:

Follow Aria

Facebook: @ariafiction
Twitter: @aria_fiction
Instagram: @ariafiction


 

#Tour! #Review – The Wedding Girls -Kate Thompson (@katethompson380) @panmacmillan @jessduffyy

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Welcome to day two of the blog tour for Kate Thompson and ‘The Wedding Girls’, published on the 9th March 2017 by PanMacmillan. Huge thank you to Jess Duffy and PanMacmillan for asking me to be involved in the tour for such a beautiful looking book! On my stop today, I have a book review of ‘The Wedding Girls’, I hope you enjoy!

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If a wedding marks the first day of the rest of your life, then the story starts with the dress.

It’s 1936 and the streets of London’s East End are grimy and brutal, but in one corner of Bethnal Green it is forever Hollywood . . .

Herbie Taylor’s photography studio is nestled in the heart of bustling Green Street. Tomboy Stella and troubled Winnie work in Herbie’s studio; their best friend and hopeless romantic Kitty works next door as an apprentice dressmaker. All life passes through the studio, wishing to capture that perfect moment in time.

Kitty works tirelessly to create magical bridal gowns, but with each stitch she wonders if she’ll ever get a chance to wear a white dress. Stella and Winnie sprinkle a dusting of Hollywood glamour over happy newly-weds, but secretly dream of escaping the East End . . .

Community is strong on Green Street, but can it stand the ultimate test? As clouds of war brew on the horizon, danger looms over the East End. Will the Wedding Girls find their happy ever afters, before it’s too late?

What does TWG think?

You are probably aware of the wedding programs circulating on the television, programs like ‘Say Yes To The Dress’ and ‘Don’t Tell The Bride’, yes? So many beautiful dresses and family traditions appear on the screen in such a short space of time, but HOW exactly did those things (wedding dresses/traditions), become such an important factor of a wedding day? How did those traditions begin? And there’s the photographs, the important memory of a wedding day…yet one of the most difficult to perfect…

The year is 1936, three years before World War II, but circumstances in London aren’t exactly rosy, yet the residents of Green Street pride themselves in solidarity through the hard times. In ‘The Wedding Girls’ we follow a group of best friends, Kitty, Stella and Winnie as they go about their lives working with wedding dresses and wedding photographs. Despite 1936 being eighteen years after the first world war, poverty is rife throughout the city and families are living in buildings where the word ‘inhabitable’ is a severe understatement. ‘Auntie’ wants to take a stand against their living conditions, especially since Kitty’s world has fallen down around her; but is ‘Auntie’s’ stand too late? All three girls want to do something with their lives, make a difference and be able to live without looking over their shoulders constantly. Little do they know that situations in Bethnal Green aren’t going to become rosy anytime soon.

Over the past few weeks, my love for historical romance/saga novels has increased dramatically; yet I still felt a deep hunger for a certain extra something within the books. I just had no idea what it was I wanted the book to tell me, until now. As soon as I began reading ‘The Wedding Girls’, I just knew that I was going to love it and putting the book down to do adult things wasn’t going to be an option. The cover of the novel may be all serene and beautiful, yet the storyline absolutely blew my mind, showing me that there was A LOT more to ‘The Wedding Girls’ than I originally thought. From a historical point of view, the entire novel kept feeding my knowledge and made me feel as though I was transported back to 1936 in reality. Every description of living arrangements became vivid imagery within my mind, opening my eyes to how much we take things for granted nowadays. I loved learning about the history behind wedding dresses and the wedding photography, it was interesting to see how popular traditions today, have travelled through times and how important they were back then.

If you’re thinking that this book is going to be as sparkly as Randy from Say Yes To The Dress, you need to think again. Whilst it’s sparkly in terms of beauty, the storyline contains enough depth to rival ‘How Deep is Your Love’ by the Bee Gee’s. It’s deep and incredibly moving. Kate Thompson has kept the historical events the gritty, gruesome, devastating moments that they were in 1936; and for that, I applaud her. Kate Thompson hasn’t shied away from those heart breaking moments where people lost lives and poverty was more than eating one meal as opposed to a usual three course meal. Instead the author has taken those memorable parts of our history, written about them in a way which a lot of readers will understand and digest, as well as giving us readers the opportunity to open our eyes to our own countries history. Where do you think some of the items we have now came from? Don’t get me wrong, some parts of this novel was quite shocking to read as it was pretty vivid and so heart breaking. But, saying that, it’s easy for me to say that now purely reading about it when, unlike thousands of other people, I wasn’t alive when people were getting killed for being….there.

From a fictitious point of view, I feel bad saying that I loved the storyline due to the emotional value that it contains, but, I did love it. It really is a book that just keeps on giving, especially as all of the main characters (not just the three girls), brought their own individuality to the novel in ways I had never seen before. ‘The Wedding Girls’ really did make me think. Yes, learning about where the wedding traditions came from and how brides just wanted one day to feel their most beautiful, was truly interesting and such a fascinating read. However, what really grabbed my attention was the community spirit that the residents of Green Street had. They all knew each other, helped each other and loved each other to their last breath. If one person required their help then the whole street would be out in force to support that one person. It didn’t matter whether the person was working or whether they were minding their children at home; they all came together. The community spirit within ‘The Wedding Girls’ puts our community to shame ten times over. In 1936 they only really had the clothes on their backs but they had each other, multiple skills and enough warmth in their hearts to keep themselves, and each other, warm.

I am in awe at Kate Thompson’s research skills, attention to detail and her strength to tell a gut wrenching story in such a black and white way, staying true to the thousands of men and women who stood up for themselves and what they believed in. Kate Thompson has written a mind-blowing, emotional, and powerful novel which is destined to say in your heart and mind for a very, very long time.

If I could hug the author right now, I would. I could carry on shouting about this novel for ages if you let me, but I know that I can’t do that, so you’ll just have to read it yourself.

Full of extremely poignant moments, emotional circumstances and heart warming friendships, The Wedding Girls is a book not to be missed. A phenomenal, eye-opening read about dangers from way back when, The Wedding Girls will fill your heart and soul with enough spirit so you too could feel like you’re indestructible.

This is by far one of my most favourite books ever and Kate Thompson, you are a literary genius. Truly.

Thank you so much Jess Duffy & Panmacmillan.

Buy ‘The Wedding Girls’ now from Amazon

#BlogTour! #Review – Jessie’s Promise by Rosie Clarke @Aria_Fiction #historicalfiction #aria

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‘Monday Monday, so good to me. Monday morning, it was all I hope it would beeee.’
-bops-.
What day is it again?! Ahem! Today I am rather honoured to be kicking off the blog tour for Rosie Clarke’s, ‘Jessie’s Promise’, published by Aria Fiction, with a review. What a way to kick off a brand new week!
My name is TWG and I am an Aria Addict….
Enjoy!

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DEVON 1918. When Jessie Hale loses her nursing job at the end of the First
World War, she leaves London to become the nursemaid to the Kendle family in
Devon.
On arrival she finds the family in disarray. Captain Kendle is a loving father but is
traumatised by the war and kept at arm’s length by his frosty wife. When their
elderly Nanny suffers a bad fall, Jessie has to try to bring the household together.
Gradually Jessie finds her place in their lives, becoming devoted to Captain
Kendle’s lively son Jack, his lovely, but quiet daughter Catherine, as well his
invalid Mother.
Jessie soon starts to love her life at Kendlebury Hall, but problems arise when
her feelings for her employer start to change…

What does TWG think?

Set in 1918, lifestyles were incredibly different in terms of finding employment, amongst other things. If you were deemed a ‘well-respected’ member of the work force and irreplaceable, your word was pretty much ‘it’. However, if you were at the lower end of the work force, for example a nurse (deemed replaceable), it would be lucky if anything you said was believed by those higher up. After all, who would you believe; a top-notch, irreplaceable member of the team, or a…nurse? Similar circumstances were featured within the storyline for ‘Jessie’s Promise’; it was as if you needed to keep your friends close, your enemies closer and someone well respected to be your ally. It did shock me I must admit.

When Jessie found a new position as a nursemaid in Devon, she soon realised how much thicker her already thick skin, needed to get. Especially seeing as members of the family she worked for seemed to disagree with every single thing she uttered. In the first few chapters leading up to Jessie’s new job, I did find myself struggling with the overall storyline as I couldn’t find the edge I needed, to hold onto and fully invest in the characters.
I’m not one to give up on books, especially when it sounds so promising and my cup of tea, so I didn’t! Soon enough I found myself three-quarters of the way through the book, without even realising. Somewhere between Jessie’s old job and her new job, a light switched on and I was hooked on the storyline and its fabulous characters. Well, not ALL of the characters were fabulous! Lets just say one in particular was shockingly hateful; everything about this character rubbed me up the wrong way and her actions towards those around her were diabolical. I was impressed with Rosie Clarke’s way with words, especially where THAT character was concerned; hats off to the author for including a character who will be spoken about for a very long time!

Despite having a rocky start with the novel, it proved itself to be such a wholesome, jam-packed and emotional read; I am SO glad that I didn’t give up on it and carried on reading. There were moments of devastating circumstances and eye-opening situations, yet the author kept the momentum one hundred percent; and didn’t falter when it came to continuing the storyline after those events. I really did enjoy ‘Jessie’s Promise’ and I have to say that Catherine was my most favourite character, without a doubt.

A learning curve within a novel, Jessie’s Promise is full of just that, promise. With three-dimensional characters and enough storyline substance to keep you going through until dinner, ‘Jessie’s Promise’ is a book that just HAS to be devoured this year. The first book I have read by Rosie Clarke, I am about to go nab her others!

Thank you Aria!

Buy: Amazon // Kobo // iBooks // Google Play

About the author.

Rosie Clarke was born in Swindon, but moved to Ely in Cambridgeshire at the
age of nine. Married at eighteen, she ran her own hairdressing business for many
years. Rosie started writing in 1976, combining this with helping her husband
run his antique shop. She loves to write for her own enjoyment and to give
pleasure to her millions of fans. Rosie was the well-deserved winner of the 2004

RNA Romance Award and the Betty Neels Trophy.


Website

#Publicationday! #Review of The Lost Daughter of India by @Sharon_Maas @bookouture

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Blurb.

When Caroline meets Kamal the attraction is instant. He’s enchanting, charismatic and she can’t wait to set up a new life with him in India. Both their families are against the union but Caroline is convinced they’ll come round, especially when she gives birth to a beautiful daughter, Asha.

Asha is an adorable child but Caroline, homesick and beginning to hate the remote Indian village they live in, struggles with motherhood. Kamal is hardly ever there and she feels more and more isolated. In the grips of severe depression Caroline flees back to America, leaving Asha behind.

Ten years later …

Caroline recovered from her illness, is consumed by thoughts of the daughter she abandoned. Desperate to find Asha, she reunites with Kamal, intent on tracking her down. Will they ever be able to find their lost daughter? If they have any chance, they must confront the painful truths of the past and a terrible secret that has been kept for many years, until now.

What does TWG think?

Personally, this has been quite a difficult book to review and I have spent a lot of time staring at my computer expecting the words to just write themselves.
It was pretty clear from the first chapter that this novel would be moulded around some rather dark and turbulent issues. I’m not going to lie, it took me quite a while to get to grips with the storyline and readjust my mindset to the background information. I did feel as though I was out of my depth reading it as I couldn’t readjust my mindset quick enough to keep up with the storyline. There is a lot of information in each chapter and whilst I found that quite hard, this type of novel needs those stepping stones to keep the depth of the book.

Of course, given the nature of the novel a lot of the situations are pretty difficult and raw to read, yet Sharon Maas has executed the storyline brilliantly. Sharon’s emotive writing shines through the entire novel, keeping the power behind those words fresh in your mind. There was something so raw and poignant about the way Sharon described the maternal instinct and it gave me goosebumps. I wish I could describe the feeling better, but I’m sure you understand what I’m waffling on about!

Even though the overall concept of the book had me extremely shell-shocked and distraught (quite rightly so!), Sharon’s writing stood out for me. I did struggle with the book, I’ll be honest; but that is nothing against the book in general (more so the way that my brain reacted to the harrowing circumstances). I am glad that I didn’t give up on the The Lost Daughter of India, because it opened my eyes to an alternative culture. Plus, I got to witness Sharon Mass’ beautiful writing. Win win really!

Happy publication day Sharon!
Thank you Kim & Netgalley.

The Lost Daughter of India is out to buy now from Amazon.

#Tour! #Guestpost from @LizTrenow, author of ‘The Silk Weaver’. @panmacmillan

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I really think we should all take a moment to appreciate how beautiful the tour banner and book cover are!

I am absolutely thrilled to be today’s stop on Liz Trenow’s blog tour for her upcoming novel, The Silk Weaver, which will be published on the 26th January by Panmacmillan. If you haven’t come across the book as of yet, here is the blurb:

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1760, Spitalfields. Anna Butterfield’s life is about to change forever, as she moves from her idyllic Suffolk home to be introduced into London society. A chance encounter with a French silk weaver, Henri, draws her in to the volatile world of the city’s burgeoning silk trade. Henri is working on his ‘master piece’, to become a master weaver and freeman; Anna longs to become an artist while struggling against pressure from her uncle’s family to marry a wealthy young lawyer.

As their lives become ever more intertwined, Henri realises that Anna’s designs could give them both an opportunity for freedom. But his world becomes more dangerous by the day, as riots threaten to tear them apart forever . . .

Inspired by real historical events and characters, The Silk Weaver is a captivating, unforgettable story of illicit romance in a time of enlightenment and social upheaval

The Silk Weaver by Liz Trenow can be pre-ordered now from Amazon , ready for publication on the 26th January (e-book & paperback).

Today, my tour stop consists of a guest post which lets us into Liz’s inspiration behind her novel, The Silk Weaver. Thank you Liz!
I was researching the history of my family’s silk weaving business, which started in

Spitalfields, East London, in the early 1700s (and is still weaving today in Sudbury, Suffolk)
and discovered that the first address was in Wilkes Street. Just a few yards away is the
house where the eminent silk designer Anna Maria Garthwaite lived at around the same
time. It was so exciting to imagine that she would have known and worked with my
ancestors.

Anna Maria was one of the most celebrated textile designers of the eighteenth century, her
silks were worn by royalty and nearly a thousand of her designs are in the Victoria & Albert
Museum in London. Yet no-one knows how she learned her craft or how an unmarried
middle-aged woman managed to develop such a successful business in a male dominated
industry.

It is this mystery that sparked the idea for the novel.

About the author.

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Liz Trenow is the author of three previous historical novels: The Last Telegram, The Forgotten Seamstress and The Poppy Factory. Liz’s family have been silk weavers for nearly three hundred years, and she grew up in the house next to the mill in Suffolk, England, which still operates today, weaving for top-end fashion houses and royal commissions.

This unique history inspired her first two novels, and this, her fourth novel.

Liz is a former journalist who spent fifteen years on regional and national newspapers, and on BBC radio and television news, before turning her hand to fiction. She lives in East Anglia, UK, with her artist husband, and they have two grown-up daughter.


Blog Tour – Review of ‘The Secret Wife’ by Gill Paul (@GillPaulAuthor) @AvonBooksUK

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Blurb.

A Russian grand duchess and an English journalist. Linked by one of the world’s greatest mysteries . . .
Love. Guilt. Heartbreak.

1914
Russia is on the brink of collapse, and the Romanov family faces a terrifyingly uncertain future. Grand Duchess Tatiana has fallen in love with cavalry officer Dmitri, but events take a catastrophic turn, placing their romance – and their lives – in danger . . .

2016
Kitty Fisher escapes to her great-grandfather’s remote cabin in America, after a devastating revelation makes her flee London. There, on the shores of Lake Akanabee, she discovers the spectacular jewelled pendant that will lead her to a long-buried family secret . . .

Haunting, moving and beautifully written, The Secret Wife effortlessly crosses centuries, as past merges with present in an unforgettable story of love, loss and resilience.

What does TWG think?

I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion. Big thank you to the publishers for allowing me to read the ARC of this book!

As soon as I saw the cover of ‘The Secret Wife’, I knew I wanted to read it. The cover, whilst simple, made me extremely curious, after all, we all have our own secrets, right? Never did I think that the secrets within this story would be so complex and emotional. Relationships bound to secrecy to ensure their safety, as well as secret relationships that hurt other people due to their own selfish choices.

But what happens when a family members past unlocks great history as well tragedy and multiple secrets?

‘The Secret Wife’ switches between 1914 and 2016, enlightening the readers to the tragic events of Russia’s history during those years. Whilst also opening readers eyes to the complexity of certain relationships and the consequences those relationships could entail if the wrong person, or people, became aware. You can’t help who you fall in love with, and Dmitri and Tatiana weren’t any different.

I don’t usually read historic fiction, but, because my curiosity got the better of me, I just had to give this book a try. It also meant that this was the first book of Gill Paul’s that I had ever read. It is without a doubt that the topic of Russia’s history was researched with sensitivity and honesty, bringing to life tragedies. It is probably my naivety, but I guess I wasn’t quite aware of the life or death situations people were faced with back in the day. Reading about those events made me incredibly emotion and rocked me to the core.

Add all of those feelings to the present day and the storyline creates such a whirlwind read. Kitty Fisher has had her own fair share of heartbreak thanks to a moment of idiocy. But, unknown to her, she begins to uncover another treasure chest of emotion, one that will either make her see her life in a completely different way, and open her eyes to the true reality of her great-grandfathers life. Or, the contents of the emotional treasure chest will break her heart in a way that it has never been broken before.

Despite my moments of confusion and some parts of the book being quite difficult to read, I love the way that Gill Paul has written about such tragic moments in history.

‘The Secret Wife’ is a historic masterpiece entwined with complex levels of emotion that I never knew was possible to reach. Devastating yet intense, ‘The Secret Wife’ sheds a light on the true meaning of love and the lengths people went to, to protect their loved ones, regardless of the consequences.

The Secret Wife by Gill Paul, published by Avon books, is available to buy now from Amazon UK.

To keep up to date with the other blogs on ‘The Secret Wife’ blog tour, here is the blog tour banner:

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