Thursday, 30 July 2020

      A Good Match For The Major by Josie Bonham - Blog Tour 




Today is my stop on the blog tour for A Good Match For The Major. I would like to thank Rachel @rararesources for inviting me to be a part of this blog tour and for sending me a free e-copy of the book to review. 

Summary:
Beautiful young widow, Lady Eliza Wyndham, is determined never to remarry after a disastrous first marriage. The undeniable attraction that fizzes between her and Major Nathaniel Overton terrifies her. She rejects his advances.
With his pride badly dented, Nat vows to forget Eliza until he finds her in danger from an old adversary of his army days. His protective instincts are stirred and he steps back into her life, but will Eliza be prepared to accept his help?

My Review:
Sparks fly when Eliza meets Nat for the first time, and I must admit to falling for them both. Eliza has been hurt, badly and is determined to spend the rest of her life as a single woman. She is surrounded by a loving family and believes that this is enough. She believes herself to be happy. When she meets Major Nathaniel, she is resolved to remain impervious to his charms, however difficult that may be. Nat is hardworking and has defied convention to become a wealthy, successful gentleman. He is kind and caring with a little bit of a tough exterior... oh and did I mention that he is dashingly handsome?! When Eliza rejects him he is hurt and resolves to forget her, to move on. That is until she is in danger, even if she doesn't love him, he wants her to be safe and happy.

One thing I really loved about this book is that the author makes us care about her characters, not only Eliza and Nat but for their families and friends too. And Josie Bonham can really write a villain! Nat's nemesis makes your skin crawl and your blood boil. He is the antithesis of everything that our protagonist is and stands for and you will be vehemently demanding his downfall.

A Good Match For the Major is a regency romance that definitely delivers!
A dashing hero - check
A damsel who despite being in distress is by no means helpless ( can you tell how much I love Eliza?) - check
A dastardly villain who tries to destroy their happiness - check
Moments that make your heart flutter as our protagonists fall for each other - check
Passionate embraces - check
Incredible fashion - check
Happy ending - Now THAT would be telling!!

A charming romance that will make you smile, set your heart racing and keep you hooked until the very last moment. I love this book and will undoubtedly be reading the next books in the Reluctant Brides series.




Author Bio
Josie lives in the English midlands, surrounded by towns full of history such as Evesham, Stratford-Upon- Avon, Warwick and Worcester. Which is perhaps why her favourite reads are historical. Out of all the periods to choose from the Regency Era stirs her imagination the most. The true Regency lasted from 1811 until 1820 but dates as wide as 1789 to 1837 have been included in the extended Regency period. For Josie the true flavour of this period emerges after the iniquitous hair powder tax of 1795, unsurprisingly, scuppered the fashion for hair powder almost overnight.
Josie has always dabbled in stories but it took the combined efforts of her sister and eldest niece to set her on the path to writing novels. Her Regency romances, with a dash of adventure and intrigue, are the result.









Sunday, 12 July 2020

                     #blogtour Homeward Bound by Richard Smith



Today is my stop on the Homeward Bound blog tour and I am delighted to introduce you to this wonderful, heartwarming story.

Summary:

Homeward Bound features 79-year-old grandfather George, who didn't quite make it as a rock star in the '60s. He's expected to be in retirement but in truth he's not ready to close the lid on his dreams and will do anything for a last chance. When he finds himself on a tour of retirement homes instead of a cream tea at the seaside his family has promised, it seems his story might prematurely be over. 

He finds the answer by inviting Tara, his 18-year-old granddaughter, to share his house, along with his memories and vast collection of records. She is an aspiring musicians as well, although her idea of music is not George's. What unfolds are clashes and unlikely parallels between the generations - neither knows nor cares how to use a dishwasher - as they both chase their ambitions. 

My Review:

Our story begins with what seems like a usual occurrence, a family searching for the right retirement home for their loved one who is becoming a bit forgetful. But then we are introduced to Toby and the balance shifts. On one side is George who we quickly fall in love with. Yes, he can be a tad cantankerous but throughout, his heart is true to his two loves, his late wife Evelyn and music. On the other side is Toby, George's son-in-law and in my humble opinion a vile toad. 

When George invites Tara, his granddaughter to live with him, our story really takes off. Here we have two wonderful people from very different generations trying to co-exist. At times it's as if they barely speak the same language, but they do have one very important thing in common, they love each other very much. 

Each character is beautifully brought to life - their attributes, their faults, their feelings, their reactions all combine to create characters we, the reader, care about. We become invested in their journey, rooting for them, crying with them and for them, and in certain cases, hoping they get the retribution they so dearly deserve! 

This is a journey that is interwoven with the music that shaped George's life. His music room, filled to the rafters with records, is his place of solace and here he creates the soundtrack to this story. This is a story about family, about the decisions we make along the way that change the direction our life will take and about never giving up on your dream. 

Homeward Bound is a heartfelt tale that will remind you to hug your loved ones, stand up for what you believe in and never let go of your hopes and dreams. 

Thank you to @matadorbooks @rararesources for gifting me a copy of this book. 



Purchase the book: waterstones amazon 
Author Bio
Richard Smith is a writer and storyteller for sponsored films and commercials, with subjects as varied as caring for the elderly, teenage pregnancies, communities in the Niger delta, anti- drug campaigns and fighting organised crime. Their aim has been to make a positive difference, but, worryingly, two commercials he worked on featured in a British Library exhibition, ‘Propaganda’.
Follow the author on twitter

Sunday, 7 June 2020

               A Cellist Soldier by Robert J. Fanshawe - Blogtour 



Summary:
A British Battalion moves up ready for the World War One 1917 battle of Arras. A much loved Regimental Sergeant Major is blown up, the man taking his place intensely disliked. A patrol is sent into No Man’s Land to rescue a casualty crying for help.

One soldier, a cello player, throws his rifle away when the wrong casualty is shot in frustration. Threatened with Court Martial, he walks alone to find the real one, imagining playing his cello. He finds him, legs impossibly injured, pulls him from the mud and carries him towards a German medical station.

The casualty, Sergeant John Wall, a real soldier shot for desertion in 1917, dies and the cello player is taken prisoner. He runs from the medical station wearing a red cross apron. On returning to his own line he is arrested.

Witness a flawed Court Martial and a bizarre final ‘victory’ which is to have a profound effect on Ben the cellist’s friend and the fundamental question of justice in war.


My Review:
I wasn't sure what to expect when I agreed to read and review A Cellist Soldier, what I wasn't expecting was an emotional journey that would leave me exhausted, angry and grief-stricken.

A Cellist Solider is written beautifully; it's a slow story, written almost in real time, which makes the reader live every moment. It makes you realise just how awful life in the trenches was. This isn't a book that glorifies the war; there are no shiny boots and buttons, no well groomed men rushing, brave and fearless,  into battle against a faceless enemy. This is a story of truth, that portrays the confusion of war, the endless orders from "above" that no-one understands but has to follow regardless. As you turn the pages you can almost feel the dirt on your skin, the mud under your feet, the endless boredom as the soldiers wait for hours for a command. You can sense the fear, feel the adrenaline as the enemy bullets rain down around you, the horror as you see men from your company become lifeless bodies riddled with those bullets.

Cello, Private Marcus Harris, is moved from the Artist's Rifles to another Battalion. Here he finds himself sent on a patrol into No Man's Land to rescue a casualty crying for help. Cello's time in No Man's Land is hard to read, but what shines through is his bravery, his determination and his humanity.

It is incredible how easy it was to be accused of Desertion during WWI, how little proof was required to court martial a soldier. Throughout Cello's journey after his arrest one thing is made obvious and that is the futility of war. I'm not talking about the bigger picture, but the small, everyday moments of a soldier's life, the ones that make no sense. The push forward to gain three feet of land, only to be pushed back four feet a few days later. The destruction of the very land you are fighting for. The numbness that becomes inevitable at the loss of life. The cold, the terror, the accusations of insubordination if something that makes no sense is questioned. Young men, not much more than boys, being used as cannon fodder, and quickly replaced as they fall.

But despite all this, one thing triumphs, and that is the human spirit. Cello transcends all of the above and becomes a beacon of truth, his music creating images of what could have been, what should have been. His voice is the glimmer of hope that shines through the darkness.

I would like to thank Faye Rogers and Clink Street Publishing for sending me a free copy of A Cellist Soldier to review.

Information about the Book
Title: A Cellist Soldier
Author: Robert J Fanshawe
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publication Date: 9th June 2020
Page Count: 276
Publisher: Clink Street Publishing
goodreads
amazon

Author Information
As a writer you never accept things as they are. You always ask, why is this and what is my part in it?

I chose this ‘strapline’ for my facebook profile as it encapsulates my philosophy as a writer; to be curious and questioning over everything. Certain passions guide and direct my writing. For those I chose another principle;

Live (and write) by what is in your heart.

So my writing, all of it, comes from the heart, as all art must. Otherwise how can it be truth?

One of my passions is war and conflict, its sufferings and injustices, its contradictions and the nature of mankind that accepts it. I spent thirty-two years in the British Royal Marines. Early on I was fortunate to read Remarque’s novel All Quiet on the Western Front, one of the greatest war novels. Having an uncle killed in 1917 and the poetry of the war, contrived to set my goal of writing about WW1. But it wasn’t until the centenary of the war that I found my voice, despite writing much in the intervening years. My initial work was a play; All About the Boys, the last days of Wilfred Owen. This was performed in 2014/16 and published in 2018. After that I embarked on another play; The Cellist. Afterwards I realised that story of the Cellist’s friend would make a novel. I had always wanted to write novels so I wrote The Cellist’s Friend. It was published in 2018. Then I went back to the play about the cellist and wrote it as a novel and prequel calling it; A Cellist Soldier and this is my latest work.

I have also written another two plays, so far not staged and as a member of a SE London arts group, Global Fusion Music and Arts, I have written other multi-media pieces for stage, one of which, A Tribute to Martin Luther King, was performed at The Greenwich Theatre in October 2019.

Apart from a career in the Marines, I have worked in Railway Management and now run my own business, a large pub/restaurant with my wife. Over two families I have five children and four grandchildren.

Thursday, 7 May 2020

                         Sometimes In Bath by Charles Nevin



Today is my stop on the Sometimes is Bath blogtour and I am thrilled to introduce you to this captivating book.

Summary 

The Stories and History of Britain's most elegant and intriguing city.

Sometimes In Bath is a captivating story tour through the city's history conducted by Charles Nevin, the award-winning journalist, national newspaper columist, author and humorist.

Beau Nash, Old King Bladud, Dr Johnson, Horation Nelson, the Emperor Haile Selassie and many more spring to life in episodes shimmering with the curious magic of our oldest resort, reliable source of good health, happiness and much more for the last 2000 years.

Each story has an afterword distinguishing the fiction from fact, adding enthralling historical detail and giving useful links to the city's many sights and fascinations.

Sometimes In Bath is warm, witty, wistful and will be loved by all who come to and from this most enchanting and enchanted of cities.

My Review 

Author, Charles Nevin, introduces us to the city of Bath through a collection of stories using a unique blend of fiction, fact and humour, told through the escapades of historical and fictional characters.

My favourite story in the book, for reasons that will immediately become apparent, is Mr Bennett Goes Out. In this story Mr Bennett, yes, from Pride and Prejudice, visits the fair city of Bath and has an extraordinary adventure.

Each story is followed by afterword that describes how much artistic freedom the author has used with the characters in the story. Their story, their place in history is accompanied by their link, however tenuous, to Bath.

Throughout these short stories one picture emerges, and that is of an enchanting city, rich in history and charisma. So many characters in history and fiction have walked the streets of this delightful city and this book makes the reader wish to be one of them.

You can order a copy of Sometimes in Bath here

Book details 
Title: Sometimes in Bath
Author: Charles Nevin
Publisher: Book Guild Publishing
Publication date: 28/10/2019
Isbn: 9781912881826

Thank you to Rachel from Rachel's Random Resources for inviting me to be a part of this blog tour and to Book Guild Publishing for sending me a gifted copy of this book.






Thursday, 19 March 2020

Dead Ringer by Nicola Martin #blogtour



Today is my stop on the Dead Ringer blog tour and I am very excited to share this book with you.

Summary

Get ready to meet the other you.

Just upload your photo to get started. Using the latest facial recognition software, plus your votes, MeetYourDouble will find your doppelganger.

START NOW.

The idea is simple, vain, exciting. Tap the app, upload a picture, find your #deadringer – and if you like, set up a meeting in real life.

When Ella and Jem connect, the resemblance is uncanny, but their lives are polar opposites. One is stagnating in her Northern hometown, while the other, an aspiring actress living in a multimillion-pound mansion, is a Chelsea socialite who knows she’s skating on thin ice.

Other than their looks, their only similarity is the desire to escape. Is it possible to hide in your double’s skin? And at what cost? Dead Ringer is an all-too-believable, twisty, compelling story that will leave you reeling.
 


My Review

Dead Ringer is a fast paced thriller that will have you on the edge of your seat. It starts off gently, Ella and Jem meeting for the first time after finding each other on the MeetYourDouble app. But just a few pages in and the reader realises that this isn't going to be a fun and funny story about two girls, who look alike, meeting and having a wonderful adventure together. This is a story that will grab you, pull you in and not let go until, emotionally and physically drained, you have finished the last page. 

I love how the story is told from both Ella's and Jem's point of view. These young women may look alike, but that's as far as their similarities go. They are very different characters, with different priorities and outlooks. They also have secrets. I really enjoyed how the story built and we got to know more about each of the characters. Jem and Ella's family and friends ( and enemies ) are beautifully written, each character strong enough to be the protagonist of their own book. 

Each and every time real life got in the way of my reading, I felt very frustrated. I just wanted to carry on reading and find out what the next word, the next paragraph, the next page would bring.

Dead Ringer is a tense, compelling, thrilling, and clever story that really makes the reader think. 


Thank you to Saraband Books for the gifted copy to review and Kelly at Ruth Killick Publicity for inviting me to be a part of the tour. 

goodreads

amazon


Saturday, 10 August 2019

                         The King's Prerogative by Iain Colvin




Today is my stop on the blog tour for The King's Prerogative, a fascinating historical/crime novel.

Summary:

Scotland, 1983.

Craig Dunlop is bored. Bored of his job, his town, his life.

After a family bereavement, Craig inherits an old heirloom; a wallet given to his grandfather during the war by none other than the deputy leader of Nazi Germany, Rudolf Hess.

The wallet has hidden a secret for forty years, and when Craig stumbles upon it, a chain of events is set in motion that lead to him becoming a hunted man.

Finding himself in a race to unravel a mystery that could shake the very foundations of the British establishment, Craig must find answers before the police catch up with him, or worse still, he is made to disappear forever, along with the secret of The King’s Prerogative

My review:

I found this book to be a gripping, fast paced story. The prologue sets the scene, it's May 1941 when a plane crashes into the Scottish countryside; deputy leader of the Nazi party, Rudolph Hess, has arrived in Scotland... 

Jump to 1983, and our protagonist Craig Dunlop takes the reins, leading us on an intriguing chase through the streets of Stranraer, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Cambridge and Caithness. 

The historical facts in this book are fascinating, to say the least, and led me to research Rudolph Hess and the part he played during WWII. The story built around these facts, is a thrilling mystery, with a flawed, and sometimes infuriating lead character, who finds himself catapulted from his mundane life into a race against time (and bad guys) on a quest to find out the truth, before he is caught. 

It's this quest for the truth, this mission to find out what the letter he finds really means, that had me hooked from the beginning. Trying to guess if each character Craig meets on his journey, is friend or foe, had me holding my breath in anticipation. If you like historical fiction, crime novels or a thrilling read, then this book is for you. 

Thank you to Faye Rogers and the publishers for sending me a free copy of this book to review. 

Information about the Book
Title: The King’s Prerogative
Author: Iain Colvin
Release Date: 30th July 2019
Genre: Thriller
Page Count:
Publisher: Clink Street Publishing
goodreads
Waterstones
Amazon
Image preview

Tuesday, 5 February 2019

                                   Vengeful by V.E.Schwab 





I love this book! Vengeful is dark and glorious! There is no way, that I am aware of, that I can review this book without waxing lyrical, so here goes! 

Book one, Vicious, is where we got to know Victor and Eli. We found out who they were, what they believed and what they thought themselves capable of achieving. It was brilliant and I couldn't put it down. 

Then the author gave us Vengeful and Oh My Stars! did she deliver! Vengeful is perfection. I love the timeline in the book and the powerful way that flashbacks are used. The writing is incredible, I felt like I was living this book as I was so immersed in the characters and the story. 



Before I go any further I would like to scream excitedly about the cover art. Julia Lloyd is the incredibly talented artist and just look at the beauty!

I love Victor Vale. There, I said it! He isn't one of the good guys, but... I am, without a shadow of a doubt, drawn to him. I adore his makeshift family - Sydney, Mitch and Dominic - and the dynamics of their relationships. Sydney is so incredibly endearing; she brings out my protective side and most outbursts of anger during both books were in regards to how and what she was forced to suffer. 

The what if's of EO's and the infinite possibilities their existence could mean is fascinating and makes me wonder... not enough to attempt to become one though, I am not brave enough! 

I hate the way Extraordinaries are treated by humans throughout this story, it is typical of our world. Undeniably, some EO's were dangerous lunatics and committing crimes, however, the instinct of mankind is that if we don't understand something, we fear it and try to destroy it and this angers me. Okay, okay, rant over! 

The powerful women in Vengeful are amazing. Marcella is intelligent and resourceful and has an inextinguishable desire for revenge and an immense thirst for power. And June is a shapeshifter drowning in secrets and pain. They are both dangerous and awesome! 

I know I have used the word love too many times, but it was inevitable as I really really love this book! 

V.E.Schwab is a genius. The worlds she creates are intricate, magical, dark and incredible. Her characters are complex, believable and unforgettable. If you haven't read Vicious or Vengeful, or indeed any of her other books, then please rectify the situation immediately.  

Thank you to Titan Books for sending me a free copy of this book ❤