Blog Tours; Features/Reviews
Winter at Wishington Bay by Maxine Morrey | #Review #WinterAtWishingtonBay #BlogTour #BoldWoodBlogger | @Scribbler_Maxi @rararesources @BoldwoodBooks
Hello, Sunshines, I have the huge pleasure to not only be sharing my review of the gorgeous; Winter at Wishington Bat by Maxine Morrey, but I also have an exclusive excerpt for you all to dive into. Confession time, this post was supposed to be apart of the blog tour, but as we all know life get’s in the way and I completely forgot to post…my fault, honestly I am such a bad book blogger!
So first off huge apologies to Maxine Morrey, Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources and the team at Boldwood Books for my unintentional slip up. Well, let’s move past that and let me tell you all about this charming little book.
Winter at Wishington Bay by Maxine Morrey
Genre: Romantic Comedy, Women’s Fiction
Publisher: Boldwood Books
Eighteen months ago, Sophia Jones finally walked out on her unhappy life.
With a tricky divorce ongoing, money is tight and so when friends offer her a housekeeping job while they’re away travelling, she accepts.
Nate McKinley is hesitant when his brother, Gabe, offers him the use of their home in the picturesque village of Wishington Bay. But he has a book to a write and an imploded marriage to recover from, so maybe a change of scene is exactly what he needs.
As Wishington Bay works its magic, friendship blossoms between Sophia and Nate. For Nate, finally feeling able to be himself with someone who is honest and down to earth is a revelation.
But Sophia has a secret and a jealous colleague is determined to blow her cover. Can she really keep her old life in the past or is it destined to destroy this new, happy one too?
Take a trip back to Wishington Bay this winter and find out…
A deliciously heart-warming and romantic read, perfect for a cosy winter’s evening, from the author of the bestselling Winter’s Fairytale.
Purchase Link – https://amzn.to/32l5kV5
How the world turns, I thought, not for the first time that morning, as I gave the toilet brush a thorough exploratory trip under the rim. Eighteen months ago I had never cleaned a toilet, and most certainly had never had any inclination to. Now here I was cleaning them for strangers. Well, not exactly strangers. The house belonged to Holly, and until she and Gabe had become an item over the summer he’d been renting the other side of this gorgeous Art Deco semi. Now they were both living here, in what had once been Holly’s grandmother’s house, and which Holly had completely renovated during her enforced sabbatical from work last year, and both were full of the joys of young love. I only hoped it stayed that way – but I’d seen the way they looked at each other so I had a good feeling about it. Love had to have a solid foundation on which to build and they, like Ned and Carrie, seemed to have been lucky enough to find the right person to help grow that love and strengthen the relationship. I’d already popped next door and given it a quick flick with the duster and vacuumed round. With the two of them off taking a long overdue holiday, Holly had asked me to keep an eye on things. And now I was back in their half of the house – the difference that Holly had made to it emphasised how outdated next door was now, making it seem more shabby than it really was. But I got the feeling it wouldn’t stay that way for long.
Gigi, Holly and Ned’s grandmother, had been a wonderful woman by all accounts, and from what Carrie had said her death had completely devastated Holly. It had taken her granddaughter a year to even set foot back in the house that had been almost the sole source of any happiness she’d had during their childhood. But coming back to Wishington Bay had proved to be another pivotal point in Holly’s life. It was that kind of place – I knew that from experience. The people here were special and the village itself had something almost magical about it. Even if you didn’t feel you belonged anywhere, even if you walked in one day with everything you owned in one bag and had no clue what your next step was going to be, all the while wondering whether you’d just taken an enormous one in the wrong direction, Wishington Bay took care of you. It wrapped its arms around you and whispered, ‘It’s going to be OK.’ Of course, I hadn’t envisioned my version of OK would include cleaning other people’s toilets, but beggars can’t be choosers and it would have to do for now.
If Holly had had her way, she’d already have started transforming next door but on this point Gabe had managed to get her to see that she was at risk of setting herself up for exhaustion again, exactly the situation that had forced her return to Wishington Bay in the first place. So after consideration, Holly had acquiesced and admitted that he might actually be right, agreeing to slow down with her new endeavours – for now, at least. Especially in light of the surprise Gabe had in mind.
Winter at Wishington Bay is wonderful escapism from the weirdness of the world, it’s a book you can completely dive into, you can fall into the sugar-coated, twinkly starred world that Maxine Morrey has gifted to us – and if the opportunity presents itself read in one go, it’s just perfect comfort reading!
This isn’t only my first trip to the wonderful Wishington Bay, but my first outing with Maxine Morrey. How on earth have I allowed Maxine’s beautiful books go march past me without reading one? Ah, well it’s another case of me walking around with my eyes shut, but I will definitely be stocking my kindle up with more of Maxine’s books.
This is all about second chances, about regaining trust is other, rebuilding your life and finding true happiness which is exactly what our two leads are looking for – even if they won’t admit it, we all know that Sophie and Nate are secretly wanting love. Both have come out the other side after difficult divorces, both have been burned and lost some of that much-needed care and when they are both given the opportunity to escape their own sadness and escape to the picturesque village of Wishington Bay, they can’t say no.
Sophie needs to escape her old life, while at the same time earn some money – as her divorce has sapped her of funds, plus I think it has stolen away from her trust and happiness in life, she needs a complete break so when offered a housekeepers job she grabs it both hands. Just what she needs breathing space, what she doesn’t count on is to meet a drop-dead gorgeous author – I mean, seriously this guy is so swoon-worthy, I may fall to my knee’s at his very feet…sigh!!
But, can they find new happiness, or will secrets from the past get in the way?
I thoroughly enjoyed this, it’s a really tender and heart-warming romance, but with secret’s lurking in the background this is much more than your stereotypical sweet love story, it captures the reader’s heart and keeps you transfixed to the page. I loved the character’s, from the residents of Wishington Bay to our love, lost couple, you will be backing Sophie and Nate right from page one, they are such an adorable couple. I love how everyone work so well together to create a realistic and charming little village, one I would love to visit – honestly, I have my bags and the dog packed ready to go 😉
Overall, this is the perfect book for curling up on this colder nights and being whisked away to a charming, star-sprinkled little village which will have you smiling longingly into your Hot Chocolate…..believe me, Hot Chocolate is a must-have while reading this.
About the Author
Maxine Morrey is a bestselling romantic comedy author with eight books to her name including Winter’s Fairytale and the top ten hit The Christmas Project. She lives in West Sussex. Her first novel for Boldwood, #No Filter, was published in November 2019.
To hear all about Maxine’s books why not sign up to her newsletter here – Maxine Morrey Newsletter
Hello, Sunshines, I have the huge pleasure to be today’s stop on the blog tour for; The German Nurse by M.J. Hollows. I can’t wait to share my review of this beautiful book with you all, firstly I want to say thank you to Sian at HQ Digital for the invite to this tour. Now, let’s have a look at this book!
The German Nurse by M. J. Hollows
Genre: Historical Fiction, WW2 Fiction
Release Date: 18th November 2020
Publisher: HQ Digital
A powerful and heartbreaking WWII historical novel for fans of The Tattooist of Auschwitz, The Nightingale and Beneath a Scarlet Sky.
A secret past. A forbidden love. A terrifying choice.
Her past could kill you.
Guernsey, 1940. As war storms through Europe, Churchill orders the evacuation of all military personnel from the island. Boats ferry soldiers and vulnerable young children to England, leaving their parents and loved ones behind to face the invading German army on their own.
Her love could save you.
One of the few remaining policemen on the island, Jack must protect not only his friends and family, but also the woman he loves: Johanna, a Jewish nurse from Germany, whose secret faith could prove fatal to them both.
Her fate is in your hands.
When the Nazis arrive, everything changes. Jack is forced to come to terms with the pain and loss of a world re-making itself around him. And then a list of Jews on the island is drawn up, and he must make an awful choice: write down Johanna’s name and condemn her, or resist and put his family in immediate danger…
Purchase Link – Amazon
I loved this book, it’s a powerful and emotional read from the start, I was completely taken with Jack and Johanna, they pulled at my heartstring with their beautiful love story, there were times I was in tears.
The occupation of the Channel Islands has always grasped my attention, I have read many books and watched many films set during this time, the Channel Island’s – Guernsey especially – have been my to visit wish list for so long. I haven’t made it there yet, and with certain factors, in my life meaning, I most likely won’t. Thank goodness for books!
The stories that came out of that horrific and hard period will not only break your heart, but you stand back in disbelief that our country deserted them, support and protection were withdrawn and they were alone to face the full force of the Nazi army alone. Those who decided to stand back and allow our Channel Island’s to be occupied and not lift a finger to help them should hang their heads in shame. I do realise that there would have been many factors going on behind the scenes, but still, our Channel Islands were deserted and left to fend for themselves. Even once the war was over, the people of Guernsey and Jersey were still in dire need, they were starving and needing urgent supplies and again they had to wait for the UK to send much-needed aid. I think that was a blight on our history, it was disgusting how the UK deserted them and I look on those incredible people with such awe, the bravery that they showed they way many resisted against Nazi rule, these stories, their stories need to be told and I am so pleased that more and more authors are telling them.
Hmm! I think I got a little carried away there, I think I should talk about this book!
I love the opening, it sets the story up beautifully for what’s to come, you get a sense of what’s to come. Even from those first few pages, you get a real sense of just how much he loves Johanna, it’s in his every move, its the forces that push’s him onwards and its the thing that keeps telling him not to give up keep going. Jack’s undying devotion to her, to keep her safe pulls at the heart, yet saying that I think that the love story is more of a subplot, for me the main story is all about what’s going on with the occupation and how people – Jack – had to cope, how they struggled and how they survived.
This is all about survival, love and family and the contradicting feeling of duty, it’s the story of what a man would do to protect those he cares about most. Once Guernsey has occupied the people of the Island have to make choices to survive, Jack finds himself stuck between a rock and a hard place, he has a duty to do to protect his family and yet to do that he would put Johanna in danger.
What is a man to do when everyone he cares about is the danger? Jack is a good man, he is a loyal and dutiful man, a man who is torn, he struggles with his choices but he can’t abide the thought that his choices would come with too high costs for those he loves. Your heart goes out to him, he faces grim times, the author does a brilliant job at portraying Jack’s struggles and hard times with realism and sensitivity.
MJ Hollows is a wonderful author, I have read and loved his previous book; Goodbye For Now (I need to write my review of that one) as soon as I got invited to take part in this blog tour, I couldn’t sign up fast enough. I love the writing, it sweeps you away to another time.
This is a must-read for anyone, but especially for those who love their WW2 historical fiction, I cannot recommend The German Nurse enough.
About the Author
Michael Hollows was born in London in 1986, and moved to Liverpool in 2010 to lecture in Audio Engineering. With a keen interest in history, music, and science, he has told stories since he was little.
Goodbye for Now is his first novel, which he startd as part of his MA in Writing from Liverpool John Moores University, graduating in 2015. He has also been published in SF anthologies, and is now researching towards a PhD in Creative Writing, working on his next novel.
You can find more at www.michaelhollows.com and on Twitter at @MikeHollows
Hello, Sunshines! I have the huge pleasure to be today’s stop on this amazing blog tour for; Under A Sky On Fire by Suzanne Kelman. Confession time, I didn’t get around to downloading my copy from Netgalley before it was archived – doh, my fault!! I thought I had, but when wanted to read it I found out I’d made a blooper. Oops!! I did buy a copy instead which I am in the middle of reading, so my review will come later. But I really wanted to share this gorgeous book with you all and actually stick to my day on the blog tour. I hope you love it as much as I do. Firstly, I want to say thank you to Noelle at Bookoutre for the invitation to this tour.
Under A Sky On Fire by Suzanne Kelman
The child stood in the road wearing a blue flannel nightie, her feet bare and dirt-splattered. Her blonde flyaway hair was golden, aglow from the fires that lit her up from behind. Stumbling over, Lizzie reached her side. The little girl’s eyes were closed, her palms facing upwards. If she’d been in church, you would have thought she was praying.
September 1940, London
As the German Luftwaffe begin a terrifying bombing campaign that will come to be known as the Blitz, thousands are evacuated to safety. But Lizzie Mackenzie finds herself heading towards London.
She knows she must help in the war effort. But she has another reason for leaving the security of her Scottish village: the illegitimate child she gave up for adoption nearly five years before is somewhere in the city. And – as the bombs rain down – she will stop at nothing to find her and make sure her little girl is safe.
Then she finds herself trapped in a dark theatre during a bombing raid, where she meets Pilot Officer Jack Henson. Against all her instincts, she falls in love. But what chance is there for that love to flourish? Because if he discovers the secret shame of her past, he may never forgive her. And with Jack facing the enemy every day in the sky, and Lizzie’s job guiding pilots into battle – life and love has never felt so fragile.
Until a chance encounter with a little orphaned girl changes everything, forcing Lizzie to ask herself what truly matters. Because, in the darkest days of war, every life counts. And – when tragedy strikes – saving one child’s life might just give Lizzie a reason to survive…
An unforgettable story about sacrifice, love and heartbreak set in World War Two London during the Blitz. If you liked All the Light We Cannot See, My Name is Eva and A Fire Sparkling, you will love Under a Sky on Fire.
About the Author
Suzanne Kelman is an Amazon International Bestselling author in America, United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia. Her WW2 historical fiction books “A View Across the Rooftops” and “When We Were Brave,” together have sold over 150,000 copies and are published by Bookouture – an imprint for Hachette U.K. Her third WW2 Book, Under A Sky on Fire, publishes October 13th, 2020. Kelman’s books have also been translated into five languages.
She is also the author of the bestselling book, “The Rejected Writers’ Book Club”, published by Lake Union, which is the first book in the Southlea Bay series. Other books in the series include, “Rejected Writers Take the Stage” and “The Rejected Writers’ Christmas Wedding”.
Kelman is an award-winning writer/screenwriter whose accolades include the Best Comedy Feature Screenplay Award from the L.A. International Film Festival, the Gold Award from the California Film Awards, and the Van Gogh Award from the Amsterdam Film Festival.
In 2015 her script, Held, was recognized by the Academy of Motion Pictures and was shortlisted to the top ten in the Academy Of Motion Pictures Nichols Fellowship competition.
As well as a screenwriter and a published author, Suzanne is also a playwright, and her award-winning comedy play, “Over My Dead Body”, had its World Premiere at Outcast Theatre in Washington, Fall 2019.
Born in the United Kingdom, Suzanne now resides in Washington State.
Please sign up for her newsletter to stay in touch – https://www.suzannekelmanauthor.com
Fate by Design by M. J. Walsh | #BlogTour #Review #FateByDesign #MJWalsh #Bookollective | @Bookollective
Hello, Sunshines, I have the huge pleasure to be kicking of the blog tour for; Fate by Design by M. J. Walsh. I can’t wait to share my review of this intriguing book with you all. Firstly, I want to say thank you to the ladies at Bookollective for the invitation to join this tour.
Publisher: Grosvenor House Publishing / Genre: Historical Fiction / Release Date: 1 September 2020
A mining town in Britain in 1951.
Cassie’s husband Eddie disappears, leaving her to raise their young son. Despite no contact, maintenance payments are made. Cassie returns to work, supported by friends, and tries to build a new life. She is introduced to books and embarks on a journey of self-development and political activism.
Trust is a barrier to new relationships – will that ever be resolved?
While post war optimism continues, pit closures herald the town’s demise, leaving her decisions to make.
The 1960s bring social change and unresolved issues reach a climax with dramatic revelations, concerning identity and fate.
Fate by Design is an interesting and compelling books, full of family drama and unexpected revelations which make for enjoyable and emotional reading.
The story is told over the course of fifteen years, opening in 1951 where Cassie is reporting her husband Eddie as missing, he just upped and left home one day, never to be seen again. She is alone and confused with a young son to raise alone, and this story that follows is all about how she copes with what happened, trying to discover why Eddie ran away.
You really feel for Cassie she is a young mother and wife she wants answers but unable to get them, the Police try but they are unable to find Eddie so she must face a life alone and find a way to move forward. She later receives a letter stating that her son is to receive a monthly allowance, and every month on the dot the payments are made, but Eddie refuses to come home wherever he is that is the last contact he makes to his family and so for the next fifteen year Cassie makes a new life.
She finds independence, she makes friends, finds new love and she starts seeing the world with new open eyes, but the one thing she can’t move past is how Eddie treated her, and the trust she lost in people when he deserted her and their son.
Cassie is a very relatable woman, she tries her best for her son, she finds joy and laughter again, I loved watching as she goes on this journey of discovery, she is a warm, caring and quiet mannered woman but there is a slight guilt, confusion and sadness beneath the surface even after all the years have past, she finds happiness again then; boom she learns a shocking truth which really turns her world upside down.
This is a slow burner, it’s not rushed and at times it can be a little long-winded but if your preserver it’s very satisfying and the ending is climatic and I thought quite shocking, I didn’t see it coming, but I would have liked a little bit more to see how Cassie fared after the revelation.
I highly recommend that you also read the author’s note at the back, it’s enlightening and quite eye-opening, and shows that the author has really invested time and effort in the story and the history.
Hunter Killer (Pike Logan Series) by Brad Taylor | #BlogTour #HunterKillerUK #PikeLoganSeries #Review | @BradTaylorBooks @AriesFiction @midaspr
Hello, Susnhines, I have the huge pleasure to be re-sharing my review for; Hunter Killer by Brad Taylor, for this publication day blog tour with Midas PR. I can’t wait to share this amazing book with you all again, firstly, I want to say thank you to Gaby and Sophie at Midas PR for inviting me to this tour.
Hunter Killer by Brad Taylor
Series: Pike Logan Series
Genre: Action, Thriller
Publisher: Aries Fiction
The Taskforce tracks highly-trained Russian assassins to Brazil in this blistering, action-packed thriller from New York Times bestselling author and former Special Forces Officer Brad Taylor.
They’re killing his team. He’s coming for them.
The Taskforce were once apex predators, an unrivalled hunting machine that decimated those out to harm the USA, but they may have met their match.
While Pike is preparing to join the team on a counter-terrorist mission in South America, a friend is killed in South Carolina. The authorities believe it was an accident, but Pike suspects the attack was meant as a message to him. When he loses contact with the team in South America, Pike becomes convinced the Taskforce is under attack.
His men are the closest thing to family he has. He will do anything – even ignore direct orders to stand down – to find them.
Pre-order link here – Hunter Killer
Boy, oh boy!! This is an amazing, gritty, fast-paced, edge of your seat thriller right from page one, where it opens in dramatic fashion and doesn’t ease up once, right to the last page. The story grasps your attention and the imagination from the start, it’s a heart-stopping, exciting and riveting. Brad Taylor certainly knows how to fully engage a reader with his intense and engaging narrative and knowledgeable detail.
This is the first book by Brad Taylor I’ve read and it definitely will not be the last, I thoroughly enjoy his lightning speed and gripping storytelling which had me hooked. Hunter Killer is apart of the Pike Logan series, and even though there are aspects that I am assuming are connected with other books from the series you can very easily read this as a stand-alone, I will now be hunting down the previous books in the series to see where it all started.
This is one of those books that you can’t really say too much about, you can’t do an in-depth review off as there is so much entwined with the main story unless, of course, you don’t mind giving away or reading a huge amount of spoilers – something which I resolutely refuse to do. The lead character; Pike is a compelling and very complex man, it’s fascinating getting to know him, even though at times he did come across as though he was constantly living on the edge, his volatile emotions were constantly warring with his reasoning and he has an ever-present anger bubbling beneath the surface which makes self-control difficult especially in times when he needs a level head. I loved getting to know his team and the others in the Taskforce, the relationship between the characters are just as the back blurb says, they are ‘family’ each one is developed marvellously you become invested in this team, but don’t get too attached as with all thriller’s not all will come through the other side.
There are quite a few sub-plots which run side by side with the main story, in some ca this may be seen as busy or trying put too much into one story, but I really liked how these smaller sub-plots work themselves seamlessly within the main plot and how they become resolved before the finale.
This is a hugely enjoyable, stirring and addictive read and this series is certainly one to follow, if you love your twisty, fast-paced thrillers then you are going to love this one, I can’t wait to dive into more Pike Logan adventures!
About the Author
Brad Taylor is the New York Times bestselling author of the Taskforce series, with nearly 3 million copies sold. He channels his decades of experience as a Special Forces Commander in the US army into his thrillers. In the 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment—Delta, Taylor commanded multiple troops, a squadron and conducted operations in classified locations. Now he lives in Charleston, South Carolina, with his wife and two daughters.
Into the Burning Dawn by Natalie Meg Evans | #BlogTour #Review #IntoTheBurningDawn | @bookouture @natmegevans @sarahhardy681
Hello, Sunshines, I have the massive pleasure to be sharing my review of the stunning; Into The Burning Dawn by Natalie Meg Evans, full disclosure I was scheduled to share this review as apart of the blog tour last week, yet due to a demonic 10-week old pup, no sleep and being used as a teething ring, I totally forgot..Ooop’s apologies!! So, here it is, better late then never I suppose, anyway I can’t wait to share this gorgeous book with you all. Firstly, I want to say thank you to Sarah and Noelle at Bookouture for inviting me to this blog tour.
Into The Burning Dawn by Natalie Meg Evans
Genre: WW2 Historical Fiction
In the terrace courtyard of the palazzo overlooking a sparkling bay, the scent of ripening lemons filled the air. His deep brown eyes gazed into hers with determination and longing. ‘Will you do it? Risk everything and join us?’
Twenty-one-year-old Imogen Fitzgerald was raised in an English orphanage and never knew her parents. So when World War Two breaks out, she refuses to leave the life she’s worked so hard to build for herself, teaching English to little Marco and Eloisa in the beautiful Italian city of Naples. With their father Giancarlo away fighting for the fascists, there’s no one else to care for these lost children. Imogen’s dark hair and perfect Italian will protect her for now, but if anyone discovers her secret identity as an enemy of Italy, Marco and Eloisa will be left with no one.
As the shadows of bomber planes darken the azure-blue waters of the bay, the one person Imogen can depend on is Fabrizio, the children’s uncle. He’s never seen eye-to-eye with their father, and Imogen is forbidden to speak to him… but whenever they secretly meet in the lemon groves Imogen instantly feels safe. Fabrizio talks passionately of the resistenza, the underground group fighting the regime, and soon Imogen herself is involved – smuggling food along the rocky coast, and even supplying information on Giancarlo to help fight the Nazis and end this awful war.
But when Giancarlo suddenly returns, injured from the fighting, Imogen is shocked to find him much changed. Rather than the fascist sympathiser she knew and resented, she sees in Giancarlo a man who would do anything to protect his children and his beloved Italy. Was she wrong to expose him as a traitor?
Torn between two sides, Imogen’s own life is thrown into terrible danger when a child goes missing and her secret identity is exposed… did she put her trust in the wrong man? And is it too late to save herself, and the children from the horrors of war?
An absolutely stunning and evocative historical read about the bravery of ordinary people in dark times, that will sweep you away to the breath-taking coastline of Italy. Perfect for fans of The Nightingale, The Tuscan Child and All the Light We Cannot See.
Buy link here – Amazon
This is a powerful story of endurance, of determination, of courage in the face of so much evil. I am a massive fan of WW2 fiction, especially those which revolve around the resistance the stories that come out of such atrocities about brave men and women doing their all for freedom and justice is inspiring. Into the Burning Dawn is just that, it’s heartbreaking, haunting and a beautiful nod to those who risked everything for hope and love.
I’ve not read any of Natalie Meg Evans’ books before this and I seriously think I have been missing out on something very special indeed, I adore her attention to detail, her creative and passionate writing. It’s obvious that Natalie has a real love of this era, that love for the story comes through as you read and become so emotionally involved with the characters. I have already added some of her backlist to my wish-list, they all look amazing!
Set during the onset of the second world war, English governess; Imogen is in Italy right at this moment, she is the governess to the children of an Italian aristocrat. She loves little Marco and Eloisa like they were her own, their father; Giancarlo is off fighting with the fascists and act that can bring so much danger to their door, but she refuses to leave the life she has built for herself just become the country she calls home is now embroiled in this deadly war. She stands firm and stays, with her dark colouring and native sounding Italian she can easily pass as an Italian, but if people should find out who she really is she, Imogen is in deep danger. Imogen is a brave young woman, a little naïve to the world around her but I really liked and admired her courage in the face of so much danger, she wants to do right, she wants to help but she may have made a few mistakes along the way.
Imogen grows increasingly close to Giancarlo’s brother; Fabrizio who as different from his stern older brother as night is from the day. Imogen relies on Fabrizio, she trusts him like she trusts no other and the more they spend time with each other; albeit secretly under the cover of the Lemon grove she soon finds herself not only falling for the handsome man who tells her tales of the resistenza but she admires his courage. Their secret relationship is forbidden, but as we all know forbidden liaisons often become the most passionate, but in this case, there is a far more important thing’s happening. Imogen is seeing the unjust and the wrongs that are happening all over the country, she is hearing the most awful stories and wants to help, she is soon involved with the resistenza from supplying food to information.
But, she soon becomes torn as Giancarlo returns home wounded and completely changed from the man she had thought him to be, has she accused him wrongly? Did she really do the right thing when she was passing all those secret messages about him to the resistenza? I won’t spoil it but I will say that the brothers aren’t what they seem, it’s neither black nor white with them, what we thought may not be how it seems and this is exactly what Imogen discovers as the story moves steadily towards the climactic finale.
I was completely torn between the brothers just as Imogen was, at first I wasn’t a huge fan of Giancarlo he was far too rigid and stern for my liking, but when he returns home we see that he is a noble, honourable, intelligent in a way I felt a little sorry for him as he was looked upon in certain ways and judged too harshly. I think all he did was for his family and for his country, and yes I was drawn to him a little more he intrigued me.
Where-as as the younger brother stole my attention and my breath away the moment he first appeared, he is charismatic, cheeky, devil may care, he reminds me a little of James Dean; there is a certain rebellious twinkle that makes the heart aflutter – not to mention riding around the Italian countryside on that old motorbike. Yup, this Italian stud is a heart-breaker! And yet as we soon learn and as Imogen soon learns we should never judge a book by its gorgeous shining cover, there is more to this man.
I thoroughly enjoyed this, it’s a little long and drawn out at times but the story is story immersive and engaging you can easily look past those long-winded chapter’s. If you love the likes of Clara Benson, Alison Richman and Andie Newton then you are going to devour this one.
Overall, Into the Burning Dawn is a mesmerizing, poignant, emotional, gripping, passionate and compelling novel, the writing is powerful and evocative, the plot stuns and enthrals and the characters are intriguing. I cannot recommend this enough.
About the Author
Natalie is a RITA nominated, USA Today Bestselling author of six novels: The Dress Thief, The Milliner’s Secret (re-titled “The Girl who Dreamed of Paris”), The Wardrobe Mistress, Summer in the Vineyards, The Secret Vow and most recently, The Paris Girl. Look out for a heartwrenching WW2 inspired novel set in Italy, due out Autumn 2020.
Visit her website at https://www.nataliemegevans.uk
Natalie Meg Evans has had a varied career, first as an actor in London’s fringe theatre, then as a PR exec and company director and finally, dream achieved, as a full-time writer. She lives with two very lively dogs in rural mid Suffolk.
Natalie has collected numerous awards for her writing including the UK’s Harry Bowling Prize (2012). The Dress Thief was nominated for a coveted RITA Award by Romance Writers of America and it won the Greek Public Book award for the best foreign novel; also, the UK’s Festival of Romance readers award (where readers rather than industry professionals select and judge). The Milliner’s Secret was shortlisted for the same award.
Natalie was also nominated for the coveted Daphne du Maurier award and was named a finalist for a Romance Writers of America Golden Heart award.
Natalie’s titles are available as Spoken Word. She loves to hear from readers.
Total Blackout (A Jack Tate SAS Thriller, #1) by Alex Shaw| #BlogTour #Review #TotalBlackout #JackTateThriller | @alexshawhetman @HQstories
Hello, Sunshines, I have the massive pleasure to be today’s stop on this epic blog tour for the brilliant; Total Blackout by Alex Shaw. I am super excited to be sharing my review of the first book in the brand new Jack Tate series, I hope you love the sound of it as much as I loved reading it. Firstly thank you to Sian at HQ Digital for the invite to this blog tour.
Total Blackout by Alex Shaw
Series: Jack Tate Thriller #1
Release Date: September 20th 2020
Publisher: HQ Digital
Genre: Action, Thriller
The start of a gripping new crime thriller series introducing ex-SAS trooper Jack Tate!
Perfect for fans of James Deegan, Tom Clancy and Mark Greaney
‘Looking for breakneck pace and a relentless hero? Alex Shaw has you covered’ James Swallow
‘Total Blackout gripped from page one and didn’t let go’ Stephen Leather
Don’t miss the explosive start to the Jack Tate series.
A catastrophic attack. A country in chaos. A race to prevent war.
British M16 agent, and former SAS trooper, Jack Tate is trying to escape his past when he witnesses a terrorist attack of unthinkable scale. An electro-magnetic pulse knocks out the US power grid, killing anything with a computer processor, throwing the whole country into chaos.
Under the cover of the blackout, a clandestine operation aims to assassinate prominent public figures on US soil. Looting and violence spreads across the country. And Jack Tate’s past comes back to haunt him. As the only intelligence operative on the ground, he is hurled into a mission that will put him – and the people he loves – in immediate danger.
With the fate of the United States on the line, only he can prevent the horror of a new world war.
Perfect for fans of James Deegan, Tom Clancy and Mark Greaney, this is an explosive action thriller you won’t be able to put down.
Be prepared for one of the most explosive and thrilling new series of the year, The Jack Tate Thrillers is going to be an amazing, exciting whirlwind ride of a series, this book is riveting right from the word go, it’s a brilliant introduction to a new series and a new alpha male hero, who I know is going to distract me for years to come. From this first book, I know that this is going to be around for many, many years to come and I cannot wait to read more if you are fans of Kris Kuzneski and Steve Berry then this is the book you NEED to read.
I’ve been a fan of action/thriller’s for years, yet this is the first book I’ve read by Alex Shaw, I’m not sure how he has passed me by for so long, another case of me living in a bubble and ignoring the world around me, now that I have discovered the excellence that is Alex Shaw I am definitely going to be reading more from this talented author – I know that my bank balance will never forgive, it’s already screaming in protest.
Jake Tate is a brilliant hero, ex SAS he is a man who is made of pure steel, strong, resourceful, stubborn, intelligent a great sense of humour, he sees the world around him in a way that other’s don’t. He has a past which did involve run-in’s with the authorities and yet he is determined to move forward despite the horrors he has seen. But there is another side to our Jack and that is the secret shadowy side, he is now an MI6 agent. His chosen life and career have hardened him and at times he can be as brutal and ruthless and the villain’s, but he has a softer side especially when it comes to his brother; Simon who we soon realise is in danger once all the trouble starts, Jack will do anything to protect his brother, even if that means going to a dark place himself, you could say that Simon is Jack’s achilles heel.
Jack is on holiday in Camden; Maine when he is pulled over by the police who mistake him for the perpetrator they are looking for who is currently wanted for a double murder. It soon becomes clear to Jack that there is more going on then meets the eye, things blow up and go crazy when the USA is under attack, one that takes out everything which is controlled by electronics, but there is only one that Jack is concerned about and that is getting to his brother before the villains do, which leads us on an edge of your seat, thrilling chase to defend the innocent and bring down the villains.
Total Blackout is a fast-paced, action-pack, exciting, intensely sharp and clever thriller which will have you thrown headfirst into Jack Tate’s dangerous world which is full of brilliantly evil baddies, a gun-totting action hero, intriguing and explosive plot which not only shocks you but makes you think. Even though at times there is a feeling of it being a little far fetched, what particularly caught me was that in the world technological world we live in, certain events in this could happen (I doubt it ever would, but with all those masterminds out there, it could) its a sobering thought and thank goodness there are those in the shadows who protect us from such deviltry.
Alex Shaw has written an awesome, blink and you’ll miss it; thriller. This is one of those books where you sit back in awe and say; wow!! Its has blockbuster movie written all over it, this is a must-read!!
About the Author
ALEX SHAW B.A.(Hons), P.G.C.E. spent the second half of the 1990s in Kyiv, Ukraine, teaching Drama and running his own business consultancy before being head-hunted for a division of Siemens. The next few years saw him doing business for the company across the former USSR, the Middle East, and Africa.
Alex is an active member of the ITW (The International Thriller Writers organisation) and the CWA (the Crime Writers Association). He is the author of the #1 International Kindle Bestselling ‘Aidan Snow SAS thrillers’ COLD BLOOD, COLD BLACK, COLD EAST, DELTA FORCE VAMPIRE and the forthcoming JACK TATE thriller series. His writing has also been published in the thriller anthologies DEATH TOLL, DEATH TOLL 2, DEATH TOLL 3, CAPITAL CRIMES and ACTION PULSE POUNDING TALES 2 alongside International Bestselling authors Stephen Leather and Matt Hilton.
COLD BLOOD, COLD BACK and COLD EAST are commercially published by HARPERCOLLINS (HQ DIGITAL) in English and LUZIFER VERLAG in German.
Alex, his wife and their two sons divide their time between homes in Kyiv, Ukraine, Worthing, England and Doha, Qatar. Follow Alex on twitter: @alexshawhetman or Instagram @alexshawthrillerwriter or find him on Facebook.
Alex is represented by Justin Nash and Kate Nash of The Kate Nash Literary Agency. @JustinNashLit @katenashagent
The London Restoration by Rachel McMillan | #BlogTour #Review #TheLondonRestoration #HFVBTBlogTours | @HFVBT @rachkmc
Hello, Sunshines, I have the massive pleasure to be today’s stop on this fabulous blog tour for; The London Restoration by Rachel McMillan, I am super excited to share my review with all. Firstly, thank you to the publisher and Amy at HFVBT for my complimentary copy and for the invite to this tour.
The London Restoration by Rachel McMillan
Publication Date: August 18, 2020
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Format: Paperback, eBook, & Audiobook
Genre: Historical Fiction
Determined to save their marriage and the city they love, two people divided by World War II’s secrets rebuild their lives, their love, and their world. London,
Architectural historian Diana Somerville’s experience as a codebreaker at Bletchley Park and her knowledge of London’s churches intersect in MI6’s pursuit of a Russian agent named Eternity. Diana wants nothing more than to begin again with her husband Brent after their separation during the war, but her signing of the Official Secrets Act keeps him at a distance. Brent Somerville, professor of theology at King’s College, hopes aiding his wife with her church consultations will help him better understand why she disappeared when he needed her most. But he must find a way to reconcile his traumatic experiences as a stretcher bearer on the European front with her obvious lies about her wartime activities and whereabouts.
Featuring a timeless love story bolstered by flashbacks and the excavation of a priceless Roman artifact, The London Restoration is a richly atmospheric look at post-war London as two people changed by war rebuild amidst the city’s reconstruction.
This is an astounding and breathlessly moving novel set in a fascinating and dark period of our history, I absolutely loved so much about this from Diana’s career as a historian to her secret work at Bletchley – which is easily one of the most fascinating and mind-blowing places ever to come out of the war, that place has been on my to-see wish list for many years, one day I will finally manage a visit – I loved that Diana and her husband Brent just want to discover their love for each other, which is what so many wanted.
The author has really captured their genuine love for each other so beautifully, the frustration that there are still secrets between them. She can’t tell him about her latest job and she certainly can’t tell him about what she did during the war at Bletchley – something which in certain families and places is still a secret today. Then we have Brent, honestly, as much as I really liked Diana, my heart broke for Brent he just wants to live a normal happy life with his wife. He wants to reacquaint himself with the woman he loves, yet it’s not just her secrets clouding his fractured mind it’s his own terrible memories and experiences during the war. Personally, I think he may have a touch of PTSD something which has been handled with such sensitivity.
I love that one of the reasons Diana is called up again is not because of her expertise during her time at Bletchley but because of her day job as an architectural historian and that she knows an awful lot about Christopher Wren whose architectural masterpieces are an integral part of the overall plot especially where this secret agent; Eternity is concerned. I love that, it’s so cleverly interwoven with hers and Brent’s dilemma’s and really keeps you guessing as to who is who and what is going on.
As most of you probably know by now I am a big fan of WW2 fiction and also stories set just after, there was so much uncertainty and still so much darkness and this book really grab’s hold of those two key items; uncertainty and darkness, and sails with it dragging you along on a cracking journey through post-war London which is full of secrets and lies, where the people after so many years of fighting want nothing more than to settle down, but for the likes of Diana and Brent that is easier said than done as they still must fight in one way or another, mainly as both are holding secrets.
The London Restoration is a dramatic, beautifully written, thrilling, sensitive, passionate and intelligent novel from the first page. The cold war, spying element will keep you hooked and the romance will melt your heart. If you love your historical fiction then this is a must. I Loved it!
About the Author
Rachel McMillan is the author of The Herringford and Watts mysteries, The Van Buren and DeLuca mysteries and The Three Quarter Time series of contemporary Viennese romances. Her next work of historical fiction, The London Restoration, releases in Summer 2020 and takes readers deep into the heart of London’s most beautiful churches. Dream, Plan, Go (May, 2020) is her first work of non-fiction. Rachel lives in Toronto, Canada and is always planning her next adventure.
Blog Tour Schedule
Tuesday, August 18
Review at Nursebookie
Guest Post at Let Them Read Books
Wednesday, August 19
Review at Austenprose
Review at Amy’s Booket List
Thursday, August 20
Review at Gwendalyn’s Books
Review at Little But Fierce Book Diary
Friday, August 21
Interview at Heidi Reads
Review at Foals, Fiction, and Filligree
Saturday, August 22
Review at Donna’s Book Blog
Monday, August 24
Review at Chicks, Rogues and Scandals
Interview at The Green Mockingbird
Tuesday, August 25
Review at The Green Mockingbird
Wednesday, August 26
Review at 100 Pages a Day
Interview on Jorie Loves A Story
Thursday, August 27
Review at The Lit Bitch
Friday, August 28
Review at Read Review Rejoice
Saturday, August 29
Review at Books and Backroads
Review at Reading is My Remedy
Monday, August 31
Review at Passages to the Past
During the Blog Tour, we are giving away 5 copies of The London Restoration! To enter, please use the Gleam form here – The London Restoration
The giveaway is open to US residents only and ends on August 31st. You must be 18 or older to enter.
The Girl From Vichy by Andie Newton | #BlogTour #Review #Excerpt #TheGirlFromVichy | @AndieNewton @aria_fiction
Hello, Sunshines, I have the huge pleasure to be today’s stop on this amazing blog tour for; The Girl From Vichy by Andie Newton, I cannot wait to share my review with all, and I also have an exclusive excerpt, but first I want to say thank you to Vicky at Aria Fiction for my complimentary copy and for the invitation to this blog tour.
The Girl From Vichy, Andie Newton
Genre; WW2, Historical Fiction
Release Date: 13 August 2020
1942, occupied France.
As the war in Europe rages on, Adèle Ambeh dreams of a France that is free from the clutches of the new regime. The date of her marriage to a ruthless man is drawing closer, and she only has one choice – she must run.
With the help of her mother, Adèle flees to Lyon, seeking refuge at the Sisters of Notre Dame de la Compassion. From the outside this is a simple nunnery, but the sisters are secretly aiding the French Resistance, hiding and supplying the fighters with weapons.
While it is not quite the escape Adèle imagined, she is drawn to the nuns and quickly finds herself part of the resistance. But her new role means she must return to Vichy, and those she left behind, no matter the cost.
Each day is filled with a different danger and as she begins to fall for another man, Adèle’s entire world could come crashing down around her.
Adèle must fight for her family, her own destiny, as well as her country.
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I tried to relax again, putting the woman out of my head long enough to think about the convent, but then someone yelled that the train was making an emergency stop. The train shimmied with a loud squeal, metal on metal, slowing to a crawl, and people popped out of their seats to move into the aisle. The woman gripped her book tightly, eyes strained, and then oddly relaxed like a lumpy blanket just as the French police burst through the doors at the end of the train car.
I bolted to a stand, clutching my chest, first from the sound and then from the looks on their faces as they ran down the aisle toward the other end, boots thumping with rifles slung over their shoulders.
‘What’s going on?’ I said into the air.
A burly gendarme with grit in his teeth pushed one of the old ladies back into her seat, but she stumbled, throwing a weak little hand against the window to catch herself, which made many of us gasp. More police rushed in and ran down the aisle, only this time the diplomats who’d been reading their papers trailed behind them like dogs on a tether.
The doors closed suddenly on both ends of the train car. A piercing quietness followed. Few people moved, aside from their eyes. Heat waving up from the tracks into our still compartment roasted us like chickens. A baby’s cry from somewhere buoyed the restless uncertainty ballooning among us all, then a whisper of sabotagers swept through the car almost faster than the heat, louder and louder until someone finally said, ‘Résistance.’
Résistance? I stood on my toes, trying to see into the other train car, when a man caught my eyes through the body gaps. ‘They’re invisible,’ he whispered, eyes tormented and grey. ‘Phantoms in the night and in the day.’
I gripped my pocketbook, suddenly feeling nervous, watching police run along the outer edge of the car, looking under the train as if there was something or someone to find. Seconds passed, holding our breaths, mouths as wide as our eyes, waiting for a shootout, arrest or both. Then the police stopped running, lit cigarettes and appeared to be chatting.
The whole train exhaled at once.
Some looked relieved nothing serious had happened; others chuckled as if watching the French police run around with nowhere to go was amusing and worth the trouble. The doors opened, sending a burst of fresh air into the train car. The woman across from me who’d seemed unnerved by the gendarmes rushing around was now in a tizzy, bolting from her seat and pushing herself into the crowded aisle. ‘If you please,’ she said, the heel of her clunky shoe smashing the top of my foot. ‘Out of the way!’
I yelped, though it did nothing but startle the old ladies next to me as she elbowed her way through the train car and past women and children as if she were the only passenger who mattered. I followed the pack, shuffling toward the exit, armpits near my face with hands pushing me on the back.
As soon as I read Andie’s debut; The Girl I Left Behind, last year, I was completely enthralled with her writing. I love her passion for the era and the stories she is telling which shines through every word, so I was super excited to be invited to be apart of her new book’s blog tour, I couldn’t wait to read this book and I am so pleased to say that once again Andie Newton has gone above and beyond with her excellent and atmospheric writing.
I am a huge fan of WW2 set novels which feature stories from the resistance, especially when those stories give voices to the brave women who gave and sacrificed so much to fight for freedom and peace. I can’t remember a day in my life when I haven’t been fascinated by the French Resistance – yes, it has to be said that my first introduction to them was through watching Allo-Allo as a child, but then I started learning more about these brave men and women who fought so bravely in the shadows and since I have devoured many – and I mean many books set during this era and then I discovered the brilliance that is Andie newton who has really given this genre a fresh new voice.
Set during the occupation of France where the country has been torn in two, there is the ‘Occupied’ zone and the ‘Free’ zone, but to be perfectly there is little difference as the man in charge of the ‘Free’ zone is actually collaborating with the German’s. In Vichy Adele is hating the new regime, she wants a Free France, she detests those who are collaborating with the German’s she is facing the prospect of an arranged marriage to one of those she detests the most, her only option is to run.
She flees her beloved Vichy and takes refuge in the convent of; Sisters of Notre Dame de la Compassion, what she doesn’t realise is that the sisters who actually helping the French Resistance and soon Adele finds herself enrolled into the cause. I can’t say too much about what Adele does and what happens as it would give too much away about the plot, but if you know anything about the French Resistance then you will have an idea of what’s to come and what Adele and the others in her group must come up against. There is
This is a stunning and compelling book, at times while reading it did bring a lump to my throat and I could feel my eyes going misty. There are times while reading and you become so absorbed into Adele’s story that you are gasping and you get goose-bumps, my heart broke so many times, Adele really goes through the mill she is one of the bravest women, she gives so much for happiness and love. This is right up there with three of my whole time favourite books of this time in history; Citadel by Kate Mosse, In Darkness Look for Stars by Clara Benson and Suite Francaise by Irene Nemirovsky.
Overall, The Girl from Vichy is an emotional, thrilling, nerve-shattering and utterly engrossing story about a group of extraordinarily brave people doing all they can to fight a brutal regime and fight for freedom, they sacrifice everything for the good. This book is astonishingly beautiful, If you only read one book for the rest of the year, then do make it this one.
About the Author
Andie Newton is an American writer living in Washington State with her husband and two boys. She writes female-driven historical fiction set in WWII. The Girl I Left Behind is her first novel. She would love to say she spends her free time gardening and cooking, but she’s killed everything she’s ever planted and set off more fire alarms than she cares to admit. Andie does, however, love spending time with her family, ultra trail running, and drinking copious amounts of coffee.
#BlogTour | Anyone for Edmund? by Simon Edge | #AnyoneForEdmund #Review #damppebblesblogtours | @simonjedge @EyeAndLightning @damppebbles
Hello, Sunshines, I have the huge pleasure to be today’s stop on this fantastic blog tour for; Anyone For Edmund by Simon Edge. I can’t wait to share my review with you all, first I want to say thank you to Emma at Damppebbles for the complimentary copy and for inviting me onto this tour. Now on to the book itself, I hope you love it as much as I do.
Anyone For Edmund by Simon Edge
Genre: Contemporary, Comedy Fiction
Publisher: Lightning Books
Release Date: 1st September 2020
They dug up his bones. They didn’t know he had a mind of his own.
Under tennis courts in the ruins of a great abbey, archaeologists find the remains of St Edmund, once venerated as England’s patron saint, but lost for half a millennium.
Culture Secretary Marina Spencer, adored by those who have never met her, scents an opportunity. She promotes Edmund as a new patron saint for the United Kingdom, playing up his Scottish, Welsh and Irish credentials. Unfortunately these are pure fiction, invented by Mark Price, her downtrodden aide, in a moment of panic.
The only person who can see through the deception is Mark’s cousin Hannah, a member of the dig team. Will she blow the whistle or help him out? And what of St Edmund himself, watching through the prism of a very different age?
Splicing ancient and modern as he did in The Hopkins Conundrum and A Right Royal Face-Off, Simon Edge pokes fun at Westminster culture and celebrates the cult of a medieval saint in another beguiling and utterly original comedy.
I thoroughly enjoyed Anyone For Edmund, it’s a fast-paced, edgy and clever novel, which really engages the reader from the start and with its surprising supernatural feel it’s completely different to other contemporaries.
To be honest I hadn’t known too much about him before reading this. I do love learning something new, especially when I least expected it!
On the surface, it appears to be a stereotypical political comedy, with a history element, but it soon becomes clear that this is far more than that, this is a great mix of intelligent wit, history and political manipulations with some very relevant secondary plots of Covid19, life after Brexit and trying to rebuild and unite a fractured country.
The story opens with voluntary archaeologist; Hannah who is working on a dig looking for the remains of St Edmund, once found he is then reburied in the cathedral at Bury St Edmunds. Hannah’s cousin; Mark is an advisor to the culture secretary, marina who is your stereotypical pantomime villain; ruthless, manipulative, tyrannical, control freak she is trying to ease the fractures caused by Brexit and is looking for something big that will unite the country again, something that the whole country can get behind.
Which is where Edmund comes in!
Mark comes up with the idea of reinstating Edmond as a patron saint of the United Kingdom, but how to achieve it? Mark basically makes up a whole bunch of ‘facts’ about Edmund, and this is where the trouble and the fun starts as everything just spirals out of control, but once Mark interpretation of Edmund takes hold there isn’t a lot Mark can do to slow it down.
It’s a realistic plot and one that I could see happening in these strange times after all no-one wants animosity within the country. I love the little touches to the society we now live in, such as our addiction to social media and doing your research via Wikipedia and if anything with all the false truths which Mark releases about Edmund it shows how easily we can be taken in by false news, even when we think it’s from a genuine source.
My favourite aspect of this is those brief moments when we see everything through Edmund’s eyes, it gave the whole book a fresh and original feel to it and kept me turning the pages. I thought the bitterness and toxicity between Mark and Marina were compelling to read and brilliantly real, it actually reminded me of a few offices I have worked in, in the past.
I loved the whole concept of this book, with a bit of history, intrigue, wry humour and political machinations, wonderfully imaginative characters and some very on-trend topics this is a great read, one I think many people no matter what genre you read will enjoy.
About the Author
Simon Edge was born in Chester and read philosophy at Cambridge University.
He was editor of the pioneering London paper Capital Gay before becoming a gossip columnist on the Evening Standard and then a feature writer on the Daily Express, where he was also a theatre critic for many years. He has an MA in Creative Writing from City University, London, where he also taught literary criticism.
He is the author of three previous novels: The Hopkins Conundrum, which was longlisted for the Waverton Good Read Award, The Hurtle of Hell and A Right Royal Face-Off. He lives in Suffolk.