Head of Zeus Publisher Reviews

#BlogTour | The Englishman (Raglan #1) by David Gilman #TheEnglishMan #RaglanSeries #Review @davidgilmanuk @HoZ_Books

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Hello, Sunshines, I have the huge pleasure to be sharing my review of the utterly amazing; The Englishman by David Gilman as apart of this blog tour. My spot on this tour was for Saturday, but due to an unforeseen family issue I didn’t get the chance, but better late than never, right? I hope you love this book as much as I did, go on take a look.

The Englishman by David Gilman

Series: Raglan #1

Genre: Thriller, Espionage

Publisher: Head of Zeus

Format: Ebook, Print, Audio

A clandestine war on the desert border of Mali and Algeria. Murder and kidnap on the suburban streets of West London. A Moscow CID police inspector investigating the assassination of four of her fellow officers by the Russian Mafia. A young MI6 officer facing the possibility that a long-running operation has been fatally compromised.

Connecting them all is the Englishman: Dan Raglan, outsider, exile, one-time member of the French Foreign Legion, fully trained killer.

Raglan’s quest for answers will become a quest for vengeance. It will lead him to the winter-ravaged wasteland of the Sverdlovskaya Oblast and Penal Colony #74, a place that holds Russia’s most brutal murderers. A place of death and retribution.

How will he get in? More importantly, how will he get out?

Amazon / Goodreads

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The Englishman is a well-written, exciting, fast-paced, action-packed, edge of your seat thriller, which shows real promise this new series, I can’t wait to see what adventure’s Dan Raglan will take us on in the future.

I haven’t read a decent thriller for an age now, in fact, I haven’t come across a good thriller/action series I genuinely wanted to follow since the Payne/Jones series by Kris Kuzneski, but The Englishman has sucked me right back into this compelling genre. The writing is solid, being a typical thriller with an espionage edge you learn what you need to know about the main man; Dan Raglan when you need to know it because Raglan isn’t as developed in-depth as you get with stand-alone’s and characters from other genre’s it keeps the reader hooked with the series as we want to learn more about this mysterious, hardened and guarded man.

A man, I must say has got right under my skin, he is one of those characters who has this aura about him, he pulls the reader into his little sphere like a moth to a flame.

I was fascinated with Raglan, he is a complex, multi-layered man; on one hand, he is a deadly and ruthless trained killer and a bit of a lone wolf with so much in his past; good and bad that has made him the man he is. Yet, there is something beneath that hardened steel, something else that makes the heartbeat that much faster….yet, in other words, this guy is a stud, an action man a man who has the world on his shoulders – plus falling to his feet, and yet even at by the end when and his story was all revealed, i still think there is far more to this man then meets the eye. As a former Paratrooper and who was once apart of the French Foreign Legion, he has seen and done things that to this day still bring nightmares to his nights. Being an orphan his true family has always been his fellow comrades in arms,

David Gilman has done the most incredible job at grabbing the readers attention with such a thrilling, heart-racing opening, I was completely hooked, it’s heart-stopping, I wanted to know how this precise scene all came about, which was soon revealed as each chapter went flying past and we are soon zooming along at break-neck speed from London to Eastern Europe and over to Siberia. The story is intoxicating, with it’s a fast-paced race across Europe to Siberia the detailing of every country mentioned is second to none. The action scenes are gripping and very real, I must warn you though not to get attached to many characters as many don’t come out the other end and the is flawless, David Gilman literally pulls the reader into Raglan’s dark and dangerous world. I honestly, cannot quite put into words just how much I thoroughly enjoyed this book!

If you love twisty, action-packed, surprising, gritty, realistic thrillers that make you think as well as take you on an explosive journey, then this is the book you NEED to read, I cannot recommend it highly enough, and if I rated book on the blog – which I don’t – this would be a solid five stars, amazing!

This was a complimentary copy via Midas PR for Head of Zeus, which I reviewed as apart of this blog tour, thank you, Amber.

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About the Author

David Gilman was raised in Liverpool and educated in Wales. By the time he was 16 he was driving a battered 1946 Ford, ferrying construction workers in the African bush. A variety of jobs followed in different countries: fire and rescue, forestry work, JCB driver, window dresser and professional photographer in an advertising agency. He served in the Parachute Regiment’s Reconnaissance Platoon and then worked in publishing. In 1986 he turned to full-time writing. He has written many radio and television scripts including several years of ‘A Touch of Frost’. In 2007 his ‘Danger Zone’ trilogy for YA was sold in 15 countries. The first in the series – The Devil’s Breath was long listed for the CILIP Carnegie Medal and won the French Prix Polar Jeunesse.

He also writes for younger children. MONKEY and ME has been nominated for this year’s Carnegie Medal. ‘MASTER of WAR’ is the first in a series of HF for adults that follows the fortunes of Thomas Blackstone during the 100 Years’ War.

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Blog Tour Schedule

#BlogTour | The Sea Gate by Jane Johnson #TheSeaGate #Excerpt @JaneeJohnsonBakr @HoZ_Books

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Hello, Sunshines! I hope you are well? I have the huge pleasure to be today’s stop on this amazingly epic blog tour for; The Sea gate by Jane Johnson. I have a brilliant exclusive excerpt to share with you all, which I am sure you will love. This book sounded so good that even though I initially signed up to this blog tour with an excerpt, I did manage to grab a copy of this book from NetGalley and I will be sharing my review of that in the next week or so. But, until then I hope you love the sound of this as much as I did!

The Sea Gate by Jane Johnson

Genre: Time Slip, Women’s Fiction, Historical, Mystery

Publisher: Head of Zeus

Format: Ebook, Paperback, Hardpack 

One house, two women, a lifetime of secrets…

Following the death of her mother, Becky begins the sad task of sorting through her empty flat. Starting with the letters piling up on the doormat, she finds an envelope post-marked from Cornwall. In it is a letter that will change her life forever. A desperate plea from her mother’s elderly cousin, Olivia, to help save her beloved home.

Becky arrives at Chynalls to find the beautiful old house crumbling into the ground, and Olivia stuck in hospital with no hope of being discharged until her home is made habitable.

Though daunted by the enormity of the task, Becky sets to work. But as she peels back the layers of paint, plaster and grime, she uncovers secrets buried for more than seventy years. Secrets from a time when Olivia was young, the Second World War was raging, and danger and romance lurked round every corner…

The Sea Gate is a sweeping, spellbinding novel about the lives of two very different women, and the secrets that bind them together.

Amazon / Kobo / Google Play

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Praise for The Sea Gate

‘A beautifully written and intriguing story that stayed with me long after I had turned the last page’ Santa Montefiore.

‘I’ve so enjoyed the hours I’ve spent reading the novel. I loved the warm, vivid characters, especially salty Olivia, and was completely swept up in this intriguing and beautifully researched mystery of wartime Cornwall. It was quite magical’ Rachel Hore.

‘Full of secrets, passion, and with two strong heroines, this book satisfies every need. It’s utterly romantic and and page-turningly exciting. I can’t recommend it highly enough’ Katie Fforde.

‘I so enjoyed this. The relationship between the two women of such very different generations, the parallel love affairs, the feeling of place are all so well done. It’s a treat!’ Amanda Craig.

‘A beautiful evocative story capturing the darkness of Cornwall and its piercing beauty … This had me in tears’ Liz Fenwick.

‘The Sea Gate just blew me away. Utterly compelling and one of the few books for a long time that kept me reading deep into the night’ Barbara Erskine.

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Exclusive Excerpt

The next day James, Evie and I make our way to Mum’s flat, which lies at the top of an unprepossessing building on the edge of Warwick. James turns the spare key in the lock and pushes the door, but it won’t budge more than a few inches. I drop to my knees on the dusty doorstep and reach around the frame to find that the obstruction is a pile of unopened post. I claw it away till the door opens a bit wider and James steps inside. I am about to get up to follow him, but Evie presses a hand down on my shoulder and steps over me, placing the spike heels of her crocodile-skin boots carefully into the islands of floorboard revealed between the ocean of envelopes and flyers. ‘Good grief,’ she says as she passes. ‘Anyone would think she’d been dead for years.’

I stare at her retreating back in disbelief.

She stalks down the hallway and stares in passing at the framed pictures on the wall, dismissing them as worthless. Yes, Evie, they’re barely worth the cost of the canvas they’re daubed on: I painted them.

I gather the post into a pile, imagining Mum lying in her hospital bed with the stupid, oppressive reminders of ordinary life spilling through the letter box day after day. Sixty-four years old, gone without warning; of course the bills and letters and junk mail have kept on coming – no one expected this sudden departure. Again, the enormity of her passing hits me. I will never be able to call her on a whim, to ask if she’s seen the size of the moon tonight, or to check on her recipe for scones; never share another Christmas lunch with her, never have to sneakily return ill-fitting birthday presents to Marks & Spencer. Never be able to hear her say, Don’t worry, darling, I’m sure it’s nothing. I sniff back tears.

James reappears with a roll of black bin bags, a long length of which he tears off and passes to me. ‘Here you go. Evie, bless her, is going through Mum’s clothes.’

I feel suddenly hot with outrage. ‘Don’t you think you should have asked me to do that?’

Calm down! We thought it’d be too much for you, so Evie volunteered. You should be grateful: you know what a good eye she has. She’ll be able to tell at a glance if there’s anything worth selling on, though she said right away she thinks most of it will have to go into recycling or to charity shops—’

It’s not Mum’s fault she didn’t dress the way Evie thinks she should. Dad left with all the money and then fucked off and died after spending the lot on his mistress!’

James shuffles his feet. ‘No need to swear, not very ladylike.’

Not very ladylike, I mouth at his back. When did my brother become such a prig? Probably ever since Evie started campaigning.

Gathering the post into my arms, I take it into the lounge and dump it on the coffee table, knocking a framed photograph to the floor in the process. James picks it up and stares at it, hands it to me. The photo is faded into the ochre and pale blue of old Kodak stock. It shows the four of us, Mum and Dad with James and me, standing in front of a hedge and old gate, and beyond us a shining expanse of sea stretching into flared-out infinity. James and I look about eight or so. You’d never know we were twins. We don’t look alike, have never even had much in common. As soon as we’d developed our own little personalities the family had fractured along gender lines: me and Mum, with our fine, fair hair and introversion, our love of books and plants; James and Dad, dark and confident and loud, disappearing to take part in manly pursuits. It’s a window into a lost age.

*This excerpt has been used with permission from the publisher as apart of this blog tour.

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About The Author

Jane Johnson is a British novelist and publisher. She is the UK editor for George R.R. Martin, Robin Hobb and Dean Koontz and was for many years publisher of the works of J.R.R. Tolkien. Married to a Berber chef she met while researching The Tenth Gift, she lives in Cornwall and Morocco.

Follow Jane on Twitter: @JaneeJohnsonBakr

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Follow the Publisher

Website: www.headofzeus.com

Twitter: @HoZ_Books

Facebook: @headofzeus

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Blog Tour Schedule

#Review | The French Wife by Dinah Costeloe #TheFrenchWife @Dineycost @HoZ_Books

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Hello Sunshines, I hope everyone is safe and well?! I have the huge pleasure to be sharing my review of the charming book with you all today; The French Wife by Dinah Costeloe. This review goes hand in hand with my blog tour post from last week, I was supposed to review this as apart of the blog tour, but as we all know one thing leads to another and we fall behind…..Oops! So, here it is ridiculously late, sorry! I hope you all enjoy it!

The French Wife by Dinah Costeloe

Genre: Historical Romance

Publisher: Head of Zeus

Format: ebook/audio/paperback

Love, secrets and danger abound in the new historical novel from bestselling author Diney Costeloe, set in 19th-century France.

As the St Clair family prepare for the grand wedding of their daughter, Clarice, trouble is brewing. An old friendship, a new love and a dangerous secret threaten to destroy the life the St Clairs have built.

Their younger daughter, Hélène, became friends with orphaned Annette during the terrible events of the 1871 siege of Paris. Now they are reunited, with Annette working below stairs for Hélène’s parents. But she is hiding a dangerous secret, which Hélène has promised to keep at all costs.

Meanwhile, Hélène has begun to fall in love with a young nobleman from England, whose family has plans which do not include their son choosing a French wife.

Amazon

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This is a beautiful, evocative and gripping story that really grabs the readers attention and carries them away on a magical carpet of captivating bliss.

This is the sequel to; The Children of The Siege, which I haven’t read and to be honest I didn’t even realise it was a sequel. Yes, I know, that it says it clearly in the back blurb, but I have said it before and I will say it again; I do walk around with my eyes shut – no wonder I am always bumping into things 😉 – anyhow, to say that this is a sequel I wouldn’t have guessed it, I saw this as a stand-alone, it reads like a stand-alone so if you are like me who does jump in first without properly reading the blurb then I can guarantee you don’t have to read the first book.

What really struck me about this is that it isn’t just your run-of-the-mill historical, there is a lot of depth. There is a lot of feelings, a lot of emotion. There are some pretty taboo subjects such as mental health illness, rape and abuse. For those who know me, will most likely know that Mental Health awareness is very close to my heart and I am always seeking out a book that has it apart of the story in some way, especially when it is written with such care and beautiful sensitivity as it is here. Some may not like hose aspects included in what is essentially a very simplistic and elegant story, but I beg to differ. These subjects no matter how unsettling and as sad and hard it is to read, need to be apart of our stories now.

I completely got behind the characters, each of the women brought something different to the story. The shining star of the book isn’t the characters are the beautiful engaging plot, it is the attention to detail. Every single scene is sprinkled with perfect historical detail and great depth which makes you feel as though you are living and breathing the era. The clothes, the rooms, gardens even the characters personalities are so perfectly written.

This is the first I have read by Dinah Costeloe, how many times have I said that over the last few weeks? And I can say without a doubt, that it certainly will not be the last. I thoroughly enjoyed her elegant and timeless graceful writing, the attention to historical detail is rich and vivid you can almost smell the French air and envisage every scene. Anyone who follows the blog will know that I am one of those readers who like a lot of historical facts and history, I love to be bombarded with the small details that really create a picture in my mind and this is right up there with some of the best.

I just want to make a brief apology to Dinah and the team over at for not posting this review on my day of this amazing blog tour. I think many will agree with me when I say the last few weeks/months have been a bit on the weird side and I’m afraid I have let things slide a little and now I am drastically playing catch up.

So, for all those who missed out on the blog tour, why not check out each of these amazing blogs which participated in this tour and show them some love?

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About the Author

Diney Costeloe is the author of twenty-three novels, several short stories, and many articles and poems. She has three children and seven grandchildren, so when she isn’t writing, she’s busy with family. She and her husband divide their time between Somerset and West Cork.

Website / Twitter / Facebook

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Publisher Details

Website: www.headofzeus.com

Twitter: @HoZ_Books

Facebook: @headofzeus

Instagram: @headofzeus

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Blog Tour Schedule

I just want to make a brief apology to Dinah and the team over at Head of Zeus for not posting this review on my day of this amazing blog tour. I think many will agree with me when I say the last few weeks/months have been a bit on the weird side and I’m afraid I have let things slide a little and now I am drastically playing catch up.

So, for all those who missed out on the blog tour, why not check out each of these amazing blogs which participated in this tour and show them some love?

#BlogTour | The French Wife by Dinah Costeloe #TheFrenchWife #Excerpt @Dineycost @HoZ_Books

Posted on Updated on

Hello Sunshines! I hope you are all safe and well?! I have the huge pleasure to be today’s stop on this brilliant blog tour for; The French Wife by Dinah Costeloe. Due to the strange times we live in, I am playing catch up with reviews, so my review of this gorgeous book will be coming a little later than originally planned. So instead I have an exclusive excerpt for you all to fall in love with, I do hope you enjoy it as much as I do. Enjoy!

The French Wife by Dinah Costeloe

Genre: Historical Romance

Publisher: Head of Zeus

Format: ebook/audio/paperback

Love, secrets and danger abound in the new historical novel from bestselling author Diney Costeloe, set in 19th-century France.

As the St Clair family prepare for the grand wedding of their daughter, Clarice, trouble is brewing. An old friendship, a new love and a dangerous secret threaten to destroy the life the St Clairs have built.

Their younger daughter, Hélène, became friends with orphaned Annette during the terrible events of the 1871 siege of Paris. Now they are reunited, with Annette working below stairs for Hélène’s parents. But she is hiding a dangerous secret, which Hélène has promised to keep at all costs.

Meanwhile, Hélène has begun to fall in love with a young nobleman from England, whose family has plans which do not include their son choosing a French wife.

Amazon

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Exclusive Excerpt

It was some weeks later that Annette made the fatal discovery. She had only started having an irregular monthly bleed nine months earlier and at first she had not missed it. Unaware of the symptoms, which certainly had never been discussed at the orphanage and had been unnecessary for mention at the Clergy House, Annette had no idea that she was expecting a baby until it began to show in her waistline. Father Thomas had continued to take his pleasure with her whenever he chose. She had long since ceased to fight him; indeed, she had realised that made him more brutal in his use of her. She now lay back and waited for him to stop grunting and for it all to be over. It was, she supposed, inevitable that she should have fallen pregnant at some time in her future, but in her innocence she had assumed that priests were not as other men and could not father a child.

Father Thomas had no such innocence and as Annette’s breasts grew fuller and her stomach more rounded, he realised with disgust that she must be with child; another child of shame. His immediate thought was that he must hide the fact from the parish. He certainly would disclaim paternity, indeed he did disclaim it. The woman herself had been conceived out of wedlock and so it must be in her blood to be promiscuous. Clearly, she must have been having an illicit liaison with some man, perhaps when he, Father Thomas, was out on parish business, or when she pretended to go to the market; some man of similar parentage, similar lack of morals, similarly promiscuous. Thus assuaging his own conscience, the priest absolved himself of all guilt and became convinced in this belief; the father was someone else. Whoever it was, Father Thomas realised that Annette had to go. No shadow of suspicion must fall upon him, and certainly, as the parish priest, he could not employ a woman carrying a bastard child as his housekeeper.

Having made this decision he acted upon it at once. That evening, when she was clearing away the supper, he cornered Annette in the kitchen, barring her way to the door. ‘You are with child,’ he stated coldly. ‘You are carrying a bastard… spawn of the devil!’

By now Annette had realised that she was indeed pregnant, but naively had not been prepared for the inevitable reaction of the priest and she stared at him with frightened eyes.

And who is the father of this abomination?’ he demanded, leaning towards her, his face so close that she could feel his breath on her skin. ‘Which man have you been creeping out to meet?’

None. No one,’ stammered Annette, shrinking away from him, her back against the dresser.

Liar!’ Father Thomas’s face grew red with anger. ‘Liar!’ He was determined that she should admit that she had been with some man, but although her fear was stark in her eyes, she remained silent and his anger boiled over. How dare she defy him, he, a man of the cloth? ‘Well, it’s out of the house with you! I’ll keep no fallen women here.’

Annette stared at him and suddenly she realised that, though she was afraid of him, at this moment she wasn’t afraid of the hellfire he threatened. ‘It’s your child,’ she said, ‘and you know it. If you throw me out everyone will know it.’

In that moment he saw the depths of her hatred in her eyes, a hatred so intense that he took an involuntary step backwards. It was gone as quickly as it had come, but he had seen it and felt a sudden jolt of fear.

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About the Author

Diney Costeloe is the author of twenty-three novels, several short stories, and many articles and poems. She has three children and seven grandchildren, so when she isn’t writing, she’s busy with family. She and her husband divide their time between Somerset and West Cork.

Website / Twitter / Facebook

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Publisher Details

Website: www.headofzeus.com

Twitter: @HoZ_Books

Facebook: @headofzeus

Instagram: @headofzeus

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Blog Tour Schedule

#BlogTour | The Girl Who Came Home To Cornwall by Emma Burstall #TheGirlWhoCameHomeToCornwall #Excerpt @EmmaBurstall @HoZ_Books

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Hello Sunshines, I have the huge pleasure to be today’s stop on the wonderful blog tour for; The Girl Who Came Home To Cornwall by Emma Burstall, I have a gorgeous exclusive excerpt for you all which I know you will love, so grab a cuppa, take a seat and enjoy.

The Girl Who Came Home To Cornwall by Emma Burstall 

Escape to the Cornish coast with a new heartwarming Tremarnock novel, perfect for fans of Jill Mansell and Philippa Ashley.

In the quaint Cornish village of Tremarnock, Chabela Penhallow arrives for a holiday and to discover more about her Cornish ancestors. But, as always with newcomers to the small seaside town, rumours start to fly about this beautiful stranger. Is there more to her than meets the eye?

Meanwhile, Rob and Liz Hart’s marriage is on the rocks, but only one of them knows the real reason. Once the secret is out, will they be able to handle the repercussions or will it destroy their life together?

For the residents of Tremarnock, the revelations will either bond or break them – forever.

‘A charming, warm-hearted read … Pure escapism’ ALICE PETERSON.

‘The literary equivalent of a gin and tonic on a hot summer’s day … A delicious, delightful and decadent tale’ BOOKISH JOTTINGS.

Amazon / Kobo / Google Play / iBooks

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Exclusive Excerpt

As she climbed into her pale blue Polo and switched on the engine, Chabela found herself reflecting on the couple. They seemed like lovely people, and there was something appealing about the community spirit that Jean spoke of.

Back home, Chabela had good relationships with students and staff at the university, and a small circle of women friends whom she saw from time to time and whose company she greatly valued. The city was so big, however, and the pace of life so hectic, that it was quite easy not to connect much with those around you, not really, and besides, for the past seven years, she had devoted herself mainly to Alfonso.

That name again. What was he doing? Was he thinking of her? Missing her? Feeling sad? She couldn’t know what was going on in his head, and it was none of her business anyway. He was no doubt getting on with his life and so must she – but how?

She thought of Jean’s open, curious, smiley face and Tom’s evident pleasure in his surroundings. Chabela had been outward-looking once, but somehow Alfonso had given her tunnel vision. Perhaps she could learn, or rather relearn, something from these people about living in the moment, the here and now; about how to just be.

She had forgotten all about coffee and as she left the village behind and took the narrow, winding road that led up towards the cliff, she tried to focus solely on her environment: the tall, lush green hedgerows, the ever-steepening climb, the occasional glimpses through farmyard gates of grassy fields dotted with sheep and glossy brown cows.

Lowering her window slightly, she caught a whiff of manure, which reminded her that she was well and truly in the countryside, miles from any city and as far, she thought, from her old life as she could possibly be. If a complete change of scenery couldn’t cure her broken heart, then nothing would.

There was a sharp zigzag in the road, then a pair of tall, smart, black iron gates came into view, that opened automatically as Chabela drew up so that she could drive straight in. Once inside the grounds, the car lurched on the bumpy drive flanked on either side by overgrown fields, until she finally came to a halt in front of her temporary new home.

Polgarry Manor was imposing by any standards: large and grey, with mock battlements and stone steps leading up to a heavy, panelled wooden door. The central section looked older than the lower wings on either side, and in front of the house was a terraced garden, with squares of neatly cut box hedges, that sloped down to a squat stone wall.

The sun was warmer now and it seemed the perfect opportunity to explore the grounds behind the manor that she hadn’t yet seen properly.

Pushing up the sleeves of her blue cardigan, she skirted around the edge of the building before ascending some steps onto a stone terrace, surrounded by a white balustrade.

On the far side, there was another set of steps leading to a gravel path, some flowerbeds, and then a large patch of land divided into two sections by metal railings. This area looked more unruly than the front part of the manor and when Chabela stood on tiptoe, she could just make out what appeared to be the remains of a brick gazebo. Covered in ivy and missing its roof, it was peeping over the foliage at the far end of the left-hand section.

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About the Author

Emma Burstall was a newspaper journalist in Devon and Cornwall before becoming a full time author. Tremarnock, the first novel in her series set in a delightful Cornish village, was published in 2015 and became a top-10 bestseller.

Website / Twitter / Facebook / Instagram

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Blog Tour Schedule

#BlogTour | The Boy With Blue Trousers by Carol Jones #TheWithBlue Trousers #Review @HoZ_Books

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Hello Sunshines, I have the huge pleasure to be today’s stop on this amazing blog tour for; The Boy With The Blue Trousers by Carol Jones. I cannot wait to share my review of this fully unique historical, so settle in grab a cuppa and enjoy.

On the goldfields of 19th-century Australia, two very different girls are trying to escape their past.

1856, China.

In the mulberry groves of the Pearl River Delta, eighteen-year-old Little Cat carries a terrible secret. And so, in disguise as a boy in blue trousers, she makes the long and difficult passage to Australia, a faraway land of untold riches where it is said the rivers run with gold.

1857, Australia.

Violet Hartley has arrived off the boat from England, fleeing scandal back home. Like the Chinese immigrants seeking their fortunes on the goldfields, Violet is seduced by the promise of a new frontier. Then she meets Little Cat, a woman who, like her, is trying to escape her past.

As their fates inextricably, devastatingly entwine, their story becomes one of freedom, violence, love and vengeance, echoing across the landscapes of two great continents.

This is such an original and beautiful book, from the moment I read the back blurb I was fascinated by it and I can happily say that the words within the books did not disappoint. I love that there is so much diversity within the story, not only with the characters but with the setting s too, as we get transported to China and Australia, we see such differences in their cultures and the similarities too and you get a real view into two completely different women’s lives and yet they are so alike.

This is the first I have read by Carol Jones, it certainly won’t be the last, I thoroughly enjoyed her thoroughly engrossing, articulate and beautiful writing. I was engaged and hooked from the moment I opened the book, it is hugely fascinating it covers a time and subject in history that I didn’t really know a lot about, it was a breath of fresh air it is new and original and I really liked discovering and learning about this aspect of history.

The Boy with Blue Trousers ticked all the boxes for me, not only is immersive brilliantly researched and detailed history, a unique and inspiring story which will leave you thinking; wow! But with its central character’s being women who are so different yet they are facing the same obstacle in their lives, they are both wanting to be free. There are themes running throughout the book such as women facing adversity within a mans world, sexism and racism with both their cultures it can, unfortunately, resonate with today and that s what is so captivating because as much as it is very much a work of historical fiction you can see how relevant it is for today.

Little cat lives on her families Silk farm around the Pearl River Delta, but she has a secret and she must escape staying alive so she decided to go to Australia, the only way she will be allowed the voyage she has to change her name to ‘Strong Arm’. She knows that the famous Goldfields would make her the money she needs and to provide her with the much sought after safety, that is of course if she can survive. She is hoping that this will be just the things she needs to be able to make her own way, to move forward and forget the events of her past. English woman; Violet Hartley, is also running away from a traumatic and scandalous past, she has come to Australia just like Little Cat so she can make a new life for herself, once she reaches Australia she takes a position as a governess on a sheep farm, but unfortunately for Violet, her new situation is not that much better than the one she has just run away from. I really liked both of our female leads they ae strong, resilient, courageous and both have hidden depths and vulnerabilities they try to hide.

Don’t think that this is just about two women trying to make their way in a new land and forget their past, there is a really strong dangerous undercurrent that had me gripped, a plot that surrounds Little Cat. It was thrilling, suspenseful and ingenious, it had me at the edge of my seat, you never know which way the story will turn or for that matter whether or not our heroines will actually find their much sought after freedom, it will grip you right to the very end.

Overall, a hugely captivating read, one that I would highly recommended to any reader who loves their historicals!

This was a complimentary copy via the publisher, which I voluntarily reviewed as apart of this blog tour.

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About the Author

Autosave-File vom d-lab2/3 der AgfaPhoto GmbH

The Concubine’s Child, set in 1930s Malaya, was my first novel for adults. It was inspired by twenty-five years of annual visits to Malaysia to stay with my partner’s family. The Boy with Blue Trousers , set in China and Australia, is my latest historical fiction. Previously, I have written more than thirty books for younger readers.

Born in Australia, I have spent most of my life in Melbourne, working as an English and drama teacher and as an editor of children’s magazines. I have been a full-time writer since 1999.

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Blog tour Schedule