Historical Fiction

#Review : When I Was Yours by Lizzie Page @LizziePagewrites #WhenIWasYours @bookouture

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Hello everyone! Today I have the great pleasure to be sharing my review of When I Was Yours by the very talented Lizzie Page. So Grab a cuppa and settle down, as you don’t want to miss out on this great book.

We stand at the back of the hall as the children troop in. Big ones, little ones. Straggly hair, cropped hair, curls…the adults surge forward to choose and soon there is just one child left, a little girl sitting on the floor. She is thin as a string bean and her sleeve is ragged and damp – like she’s been chewing it.

1939. War has broken out – hundreds of children are evacuated to the countryside to keep them safe from the bombs raining down on the cities. Wrenched from her family in the East End and sent more than a hundred miles away, seven-year-old Pearl Posner must adapt to a new life away from everything familiar.

Vivienne didn’t ask for an evacuee child. In fact, she’s not sure her heart can take it. So many years, so many disappointments… Vivi’s ability to feel love left her the day she learned the truth about her husband Edmund, and when she made the worst decision of her life and left her cherished sister to her fate. But like it or not, Pearl is here to stay, and what with the rumours about what’s happening to children in mainland Europe, it might be the last safe place for her.

As Pearl and Vivi learn how to live together, they discover that they have a connection that runs more deeply than they could ever have guessed – from before Pearl was born, and deep into Vivienne’s past. And will it be Pearl – the little girl who says so little and sees so much – who forces Vivi to finally confront what happened in her marriage… and to the long-lost sister she loved so dearly and let fall so far, just when she needed Vivi most?

Lizzie Page has gone and done it again with this beautiful, poignant and immensely emotional story that spans across two world wars. I have been a fan Of Ms Pages work for a while now, her grasp of this particular era is amazing, she really draws you into the past with her eloquent and sensitive writing. She is by far one of my favourite authors, and this is a brilliant addition to her rapidly growing CV.

What I particularly loved about this is the cleverly written duel time line, set in both wars. We see the lead character Vivienne make her way through WW1 as a young woman and then into WW2. I love each part of the Vivi’s story but I was particular taken with her years in WW1 – but that’s not because those parts of the story written any differently, every part of the book is just as great as the next, It’s just I have a soft spot for that era and I’m fascinated with the roles women took at the time.

In 1914 and very young Vivienne and her sister Olive want to do something for the war effort, so they start working as ambulance drivers – it is this aspect of the story which really caught my attention, it is both historically detailed so much so that you can see every scene with absolute clarity, and it is also hugely emotional to read. Vivi has fallen in love with her cousin’s best friend; Edmund, and becomes engaged to him. Then she suddenly she meets charismatic pilot Sam, that does capture Vivi’s attention but she is a good, loyal women she has made a promise to him and she won’t go back on it no matter what she feels for Sam.

In 1939, Vivi and Edmund are not quite so happily married, they are living separate lives, there are various factors into why they aren’t living in happily married bliss which I really won’t go into – no spoilers here – and on top of that they never did have children of their own, which you can really sense that is a tough subject for Vivi, but her unhappiness comes from more than that. Personally speaking, I think that Vivi marrying Edmund was the worse decision of her live and that has really ingrained itself on her.

Anyway they have been informed that she will be having an evacuee staying with them. Edmund doesn’t want a child in the house, especially someone else’s and like so many others he believes that this won’t come to anything that there will be no war. Vivi is both fearful and nervous about the prospect of having a child in the house, she doesn’t even know how to look after one. But she must soon learn, and once she meets her evacuee; a little girl named Pearl, she learns far more than to look after children she learns to love again and to open her heart which has been closed off for so long.

The relationship that blossoms between Vivi and Pearl is really something, looking after this sweet, quiet little girl gives Vivi something that has never thought to have; hope, a sense of being wanted and needed, a purpose, friendship and love, all things that she thought was lost to her so long ago and when she realises that there is more to this little girl, that there is a link between them really touches the reader and Vivi.

I absolutely love how this is written, Lizzie you have blown me away with your beautiful words, wonderful imagination and emotional story. I love how it tells us what happened to Vivi and her sister Olive during WW1 and then we move forward to see how Vivi is faring in 1939, the leaps from one era to the other is perfectly written, I found that there was no confusion of where you are in the story and each era seamlessly flows into one.

It is a lovingly written story that has real heart, and one that I cannot recommend enough. The story flows with so much ease, but it is the character’s especially Vivi which really steals the reader’s attention, she is a marvelous woman, her journey through live is one that many can relate to.

This was an Arc copy from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

When I was Yours is available now and can be found at Amazon.

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#Review The Daughter’s Of Ironbridge by Mollie Walton @rebeccamascull #TheDaughtersOfIronbridge #MollieWalton @ZaffreBooks

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Hello everyone, I have the very great pleasure to be sharing my review of the wonderful; The Daughter’s Of Ironbridge by Mollie Walton with you all today.

1830s Shropshire.

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

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

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

Well this is wonderful, if ever there was a book that was written that needed to be read, then it is this one! It is a beautiful story that is all about friendship, about how two completely different young girls from two different back grounds found a real friendship.

Set in the 1830’s this tells the story of an unlikely friendship between Anny Woodvine, daughter of an ironworker at the iron works and Margaret (Peggy) King daughter of the owner of the works. Anny has big dreams and as she is can both read and write she gets a job as a messenger for the King’s which is when she meets Peggy, and straight from the off they form a special friendship. But its not all plain sailing for the two friends as their friendship is tested, are they strong enough to sail the storm?

What I particularly loved about this is that the story is centred on Anny’s and Margeret’s friendship, from the moment they meet you see that here is two young girls who are from opposite sides of the social spectrum and yet they have found a true friendship together, they both are the very thing that the other needs in their lives and I found it so heart-warming watching their friendship blossom and grow as the story developed, it is a natural and organic relationship that forms between the two girls, which is based on mutual trust and loneliness.

I love the character’s in this, each one is really well researched and developed, the girls really are the star attraction but I loved the secondary character’s too, each one has been wonderfully created even the evil ones such as Cyril; Peggy’s brother – who really is a nasty piece of work – but I especially like Peggy’s grandmother ‘Queenie’ there is something a little other worldly about the old matriarch of the King family, the old bird has secrets and there is a mystery that is swirling around her like an ever present mist, I love how Ms Walton keeps the read on edge with concerns to Queenie there is just something about her that kept my attention

This is a piece of really great writing, it’s not one of those wham-bam and then we are straight into the story, this is a gentle stroll that takes the reader past beautiful scenery both natural and industrial (I bet your wondering how an industrial scene can be beautiful? Believe me, it can) past heartache as well as joy and all the human emotion’s in-between. It shows both the good and the bad of both sides of society and amongst all that you have a very simple story with Anny and Peggy. The story is a mix of sweetness and raw brutal truth’s of the era. It doesn’t hold back any punches when it comes to delving into how divided the era was, how the social divide was wider then ever.

Overall this is a great story that has real backbone, a story that takes the reader on a real journey into the past. Every scene is perfectly detailed that makes it very real, you can see Ironbridge in your mind as you read. Ms Walton has done a great job and I can’t wait to read more.

This was an Arc from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

The Daughter’s Of Ironbridge is to be released on 18th April and can be pre-ordered at Amazon.

#BlogTour : #Review A Forbidden Love by Kerry Postle @kerry_postle #AForbiddenLove @HQstories @HQDigitalUK

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Hello everyone, I have the very great pleasure to be todays stop on A Forbidden Love by Kerry Postle blog tour, I can’t wait to share with you all my review of this amazing book. So, take a seat, grab yourselves a cuppa and let me tell you a little about this wonderful book.

An extraordinary story against all the odds…

He vowed in his letter to one day meet her again, once the war was over. But it was a letter Maria couldn’t bring herself to read…

Growing up in the humble Spanish town of Fuentes, Maria dreamed of seeing the world and marrying one day. But before her life can truly start, civil war breaks out and Fuentes is torn apart by violence, secrecy and corruption.

Maria vows to take a stand, yet as an unspeakable tragedy rocks her trust in human decency, her heart hardens and the love she once believed in seems far out of reach. But when she falls for an occupying soldier, she questions whether she can truly love someone who is her enemy?

This is the first I have read by Kerry Postle so I did go into this book with my eyes wide open, unsure of what I would expect. But, I can honestly say that I will be reading more of Ms Postle’s work again. This is a spine-tingling, poignant and beautifully written book that is a must read for all historical fiction readers.

A Forbidden Love is set during the Spanish Civil War in the late 1930’s, I obviously have heard about the Spanish Civil War but I didn’t really know too much about it and what the people went through during that awful time, but from reading this it has made me want to learn more about this terrible aspect of history.

Growing up a little Spanish town; Fuentes; Maria has always dreamed of marrying and having a fairy-tale happy ever after, but unfortunately for Maria before she can find her Prince charming civil war breaks out and her much-loved village is torn apart by the war that is raging all around her. Her once quiet life has turned into one full of violence and she finds herself surrounded by secrecy, corruption and terror. Being faced with such horror, it understandably has an effect on Maria and makes her question all what she knew, she becomes jaded and cynical about whether human decency really exists any more. This war does change her and changes her views and makes her think that her once much sought after love was nothing but dream, but then she meets an occupying soldier who makes her again believe in love. But, with the war raging can Maria really have the happiness she so wanted?

I have purposely been very vague in this review as I wouldn’t wish to spoil the story for anyone and believe me this book needs to read without any hint of a spoiler. I am a huge fan of novels which you can really learn something from it and this one will definitely make you sit up and take notice. Because of the subject matter it is at times uncomfortable reading, it does make you stop and draw breath at what you have just read but it is a story that must be read, it shines a light on a part of history that is so rarely told. It is obvious that Ms Postle has done her research, it – at times – really bites and transports the reader from their comfy armchair to the savaged war-torn country. The writing is solid, full of passion for the story and compassion for the subject. Overall, this is a brilliant book that will both satisfy and educate the history lovers out there and it is very highly recommended!

This was an Arc from the publisher in exchange for an honest review as apart of this blog tour, Thank you Izzy!

A Forbidden Love is available now and can be found at Amazon.

Release Day Book Blast: The Lost History Of Dreams by Kris Waldherr @kriswaldherr #TheLostHistoryofDreams via @hfvtb #HFVBTBlogTours

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Hello everyone! Today I have the great pleasure to be helping celebrate the release of The Lost History Of Dreams by Kris Waldherr, this book looks absolutely enthralling and I cannot wait to read it – it’s definitely on my next to buy list – so without any ado, take a look and lets wish Kris a very Happy Publication Day!!

In this captivating debut novel in the gothic tradition of Wuthering Heights and The Thirteenth Tale, a post-mortem photographer unearths dark secrets of the past that may hold the key to his future.

When famed Byronesque poet Hugh de Bonne is discovered dead in his bath one morning in 1850, the task of burying his body falls to his estranged cousin, historian turned postmortem photographer Robert Highstead. De Bonne’s will instructs that he should be buried in an unusual chapel, a stained glass folly set on the Shropshire moors, built to house the remains of his beloved wife and muse, Ada. It has since been locked to all outsiders—especially the rabid, cultlike fans of de Bonne’s final book, The Lost History of Dreams. Only Ada’s grief-stricken niece, Isabelle, holds the key—but she refuses to open the glass chapel unless Robert agrees to her bargain: Before he can lay Hugh to rest, Robert must record the real story behind her aunt’s ill-fated marriage over the course of five nights.

Sweeping and darkly atmospheric, THE LOST HISTORY OF DREAMS is a Gothic mystery about love and loss that blurs the line between past and present, truth and fiction, and ultimately, life and death. And remember, all love stories are ghost stories in disguise.

Now available at LostHistoryBook.com.

Read the first three chapters: EPUB | PDF | Read online

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The Lost History of Dreams by Kris Waldherr

Publication Date: April 9, 2019
Atria Books
Hardcover & eBook; 320 Pages

Genre: Historical/Gothic/Mystery

A post-mortem photographer unearths dark secrets of the past that may hold the key to his future, in this captivating debut novel in the gothic tradition of Wuthering Heights and The Thirteenth Tale.

All love stories are ghost stories in disguise.

When famed Byronesque poet Hugh de Bonne is discovered dead of a heart attack in his bath one morning, his cousin Robert Highstead, a historian turned post-mortem photographer, is charged with a simple task: transport Hugh’s remains for burial in a chapel. This chapel, a stained glass folly set on the moors of Shropshire, was built by de Bonne sixteen years earlier to house the remains of his beloved wife and muse, Ada. Since then, the chapel has been locked and abandoned, a pilgrimage site for the rabid fans of de Bonne’s last book, The Lost History of Dreams.

However, Ada’s grief-stricken niece refuses to open the glass chapel for Robert unless he agrees to her bargain: before he can lay Hugh to rest, Robert must record Isabelle’s story of Ada and Hugh’s ill-fated marriage over the course of five nights.

As the mystery of Ada and Hugh’s relationship unfolds, so does the secret behind Robert’s own marriage—including that of his fragile wife, Sida, who has not been the same since the tragic accident three years ago, and the origins of his own morbid profession that has him seeing things he shouldn’t—things from beyond the grave.

Kris Waldherr effortlessly spins a sweeping and atmospheric gothic mystery about love and loss that blurs the line between the past and the present, truth and fiction, and ultimately, life and death.

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Books-a-Million | IndieBound

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Praise for The Lost History of Dreams

Scheherazade-like … haunting… Waldherr writes that ‘love stories are ghost stories in disguise.’ This one, happily, succeeds as both.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

An unexpected delight that grows steadily more compelling as its pages fly by.” —Booklist

A sensual, twisting gothic tale that embraces Victorian superstition much in the tradition of A.S. Byatt’s Possession, Diane Setterfield’s The Thirteenth Tale and Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights.”—BookPage

Eerily atmospheric and gorgeously written, The Lost History of Dreams is a Gothic fairy-tale to savor.” – Kate Quinn, New York Times bestselling author of THE ALICE NETWORK and THE HUNTRESS

The Lost History of Dreams is a dark, shimmering gem of a novel, glittering with love lost, secrets kept, and long-buried truths revealed. Wonder, memory, death and passion haunt every page of Kris Waldherr’s powerhouse Gothic debut.” – Greer Macallister, bestselling author of THE MAGICIAN’S LIE and WOMAN 99

Brooding, romantic, and thoughtful, The Lost History of Dreams is a rare bird in that it shines throughout with wit. I loved every page of it.” – Erika Swyler, bestselling author of THE BOOK OF SPECULATION and LIGHT FROM OTHER STARS

With luminous prose, stunning poetry and a fascinating cast of characters, Waldherr weaves a wonderfully atmospheric tale. Not to be missed!” – Hazel Gaynor, New York Times bestselling author of THE GIRL WHO CAME HOME and THE LIGHTHOUSE KEEPER’S DAUGHTER

A riveting, addictive read. Sarah Waters fans will be entranced.” – Mary Sharratt, author of ECSTASY and DAUGHTERS OF THE WITCHING HILL

A novel of haunting mystery and passion reminiscent of Wuthering Heights and Byatt’s Possession.” – Crystal King, author of FEAST OF SORROW and THE CHEF’S SECRET

“An atmospheric tale of lost love, family secrets, and an inquiry into how our own histories define us, I relished every poetic page.” – Heather Webb, international bestselling author of LAST CHRISTMAS IN PARIS and THE PHANTOM’S APPRENTICE

With beautiful prose and poetry, Waldherr weaves a darkly seductive Gothic tale of love, art, death, and obsession. You’ll want to keep reading this one late into the night.” – Alyssa Palombo, author of THE SPELLBOOK OF KATRINA VAN TASSEL

A sumptuous feast for all the senses.” – Clarissa Harwood, author of IMPOSSIBLE SAINTS and BEAR NO MALICE

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About the Author

Kris Waldherr is an award-winning author, illustrator, and designer. She is a member of the Historical Novel Society, and her fiction has been awarded with fellowships by the Virginia Center of the Creative Arts and a reading grant by Poets & Writers.

Kris Waldherr works and lives in Brooklyn in a Victorian-era house with her husband, the anthropologist-curator Thomas Ross Miller, and their young daughter.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | BookBub

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Release Day Blast Hosts

Do take a look at the other blog’s which are featuring in this epic Publication Day Blog Blast.

100 Pages a Day
A Book Geek
A Chick Who Reads
Book Addict Rambles
Book Frolic
CelticLady’s Reviews
Chicks, Rogues and Scandals
Clarissa Reads it All
Coffee and Ink
Comet Readings
For the Sake of Good Taste
Historical Fiction with Spirit
Myths, Legends, Books & Coffee Pots
Passages to the Past
The Book Junkie Reads
To Read, Or Not to Read

#BlogTour : #Review Shakespeare’s Witch (Pages Of Darkness #1) by @SamanthaGrosser #ShakespearesWitch #PagesOfDarkness #HistoricalFiction via @hfvbt #HFVBTBlogtours

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Good morning everyone! I have the huge pleasure to be today’s stop on the mammoth blog tour for Shakespeare’s Witch by Samantha Grosser. I am not only sharing my review of this fascinating yet darkly eerie story, I also have a giveaway to win a copy for yourself. So, grab yourself a cuppa and let me tell you a wee bit about this book.

Shakespeare’s Witch by Samantha Grosser

Publication Date: March 20, 2019
Sam Grosser Books
Format: eBook & Paperback; 358 Pages

Genre: Historical Fiction

 

 

Love, Witchcraft, Sorcery, Madness.

A fortune told …
When Sarah Stone foresees Will Shakespeare’s latest play has opened doors to evil, she begs the playwright to abandon it. But Will refuses, aware the play is one of his best. And so rehearsals for Macbeth begin.

Forbidden desires …
After her vision, Sarah fears for her life – she has never known the shewstone to lie, and she turns to her brother Tom for comfort. A strange darkness seems to haunt the playhouse, and when Tom sets out to seduce John Upton, the boy actor who plays Lady Macbeth, the boy sees the hand of witchcraft in his own forbidden desires for men. Then Sarah weaves a spell to win the love of the new lead actor, and John, terrified for the safety of his soul, begins to make his accusations.

The Spirits have spoken …
As rehearsals continue, Sarah and Tom must struggle to convince John he is mistaken and that his sins are his own – their lives and the fortune of the play are at stake. But the Spirits have spoken – will the fate that Sarah foresaw come to pass or is their destiny their own to decide?

Set against the first production of Macbeth in 1606, Shakespeare’s Witch is a seductive tale of the origins of the curse of the Scottish Play.

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Barnes and Noble

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Well this is certainly different to anything I have previously read! I was intrigued by the sound of this, the moment I saw it, and it definitely grabbed my attention – at times not exactly for the good, but it is a page-tuner. I am a big fan of darker historical fiction, it really grabs my attention and Shakespeare’s Witch is certainly no different. It is darkly unique and spell-binding. It is one of those unforgettable books which will stay with you long after turning the last page.

What I found fascinating about this was that even now I have mixed feelings about it and that started while reading it. On one hand I found it to be captivating and very original and on the other I was mildly confused, a little taken back especially with one aspect – which I can’t go into due to spoilers as this is a major part of the story – I was a little uncomfortable reading those scenes, but once finished it struck me that even though I didn’t like this certain aspect of the plot it was needed and it made the ending all the more moving.

Set in 1606, William Shakespeare has just written Macbeth and the story is set around that very first showing. Will goes to Sarah to consult the spirits whether this play will be a success or not. But, what she sees terrifies her she sees nothing but evil circulating around this play, she pleads to Will not to go ahead with Macbeth that this play is pure evil and has opened the door to the bad spirits which haunt his dreams. Will is rebuffs her pleas and goes ahead with rehearsals for what we all know will become one of his greatest pieces.

Sarah and her brother Tom dabble in the occult after their mother taught them a bit of witchcraft, which was illegal and as we know from history it was an era full of fear and superstition and any sniff of witchcraft lead to a horrific outcome for those who had the finger pointed at them, they had to endure awful treatment during the witch trials and then were sentenced to death. So, for both Tom and Sarah to be more or less openly dealing with such things can and does place them not just in trouble but in danger. At the same time they are working in the theatre as Macbeth is being rehearsed.

Sarah is living in fear of what she saw and at the same time she is also inexplicably drawn to Nick; one of the actor’s who is to star in Macbeth, but being the confused young women she is she does go about things all wrong to gain his love, which is connected to the part of the story that I found very uncomfortable to read. Without giving too much about the story away, this is certainly eye-opening and it does take the reader off the beaten track of what you think is going to happen, and takes them to another much darker place completely.

Overall it does engage the reader and with the twists to the plot it does keep you guessing and turning the pages. It’s is steeped in swirling, eerie darkness, there is romance, magic and sex, plus a touch of dark, grisly history. Ms Grosser has a real gift at story-telling, her writing is strong and articulate she really draws the reader into her mysterious world. I’ve not read any of Ms Grosser’s work before, so this is a great introduction to her books and I will definitely be reading more from her.

This is one of those books that I would class at Marmite; it is you will either love it or hate it. For readers like myself who do love the darker more unique historicals which has a hint of romance, then you will love it. It may not be for the more puritan historical romance lover’s, but if your willing to give it a go then I do recommend it.

This was a complimentary copy from the author via Historical Fiction Virtual Blog Tours in exchange for an honest review as apart of this blog tour. Thank you Samantha and Amy!

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About the Author

Historical fiction author Samantha Grosser originally hails from England, but now lives on the sunny Northern Beaches of Sydney with her husband, son and a very small dog called Livvy.

Combining a lifelong love of history with a compulsion to write that dates from childhood, Samantha is now bringing her passion for telling compelling stories to the world.

Samantha has an Honours Degree in English Literature and taught English for many years in Asia and Australia. She is the author of wartime dramas Another Time and Place and The Officer’s Affair, and The King James Men, set during the turbulent early years of 17th Century.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | BookBub | Pinterest | Instagram

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Blog Tour Schedule

Do check out the other amazing blogs on this blog tour.


Wednesday, March 20
Review at Passages to the Past

Thursday, March 21
Review at Book Reviews from Canada

Friday, March 22
Interview at Jathan & Heather

Saturday, March 23
Feature at Broken Teepee

Monday, March 25
Review at Amy’s Booket List

Tuesday, March 26
Feature at What Is That Book About

Wednesday, March 27
Review at Pursuing Stacie

Friday, March 29
Interview at Passages to the Past

Sunday, March 31
Review & Excerpt at Clarissa Reads it All

Monday, April 1
Review at For the Sake of Good Taste

Tuesday, April 2
Review at A Chick Who Reads

Thursday, April 4
Interview at Hisdoryan

Monday, April 8
Review at Chicks, Rogues and Scandals

Tuesday, April 9
Review at Bibliophile Reviews

Wednesday, April 10
Review at Macsbooks

Friday, April 12
Review at A Book Geek

Monday, April 15
Review at Donna’s Book Blog
Excerpt at Myths, Legends, Books & Coffee Pots

Tuesday, April 16
Feature at CelticLady’s Reviews

Wednesday, April 17
Review at Bookramblings
Review at Coffee and Ink

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Giveaway

During the Blog Tour, we will be giving away one eBook and one paperback copy of Shakespeare’s Witch! To enter, please use Gleam form/Link which can be found below.

Enter Here – Shakespeare’s Witch

Giveaway Rules

*Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on April 17th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
* Giveaway is open to residents in the US & UK only.
* Only one entry per household.
* No sweepstakes accounts please.
* All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspicion of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
* The winner has 48 hours to claim prize or a new winner will be chosen.

#BlogTour : In The Shadow Of War; Spies, Love & The Lusitania by Colleen Adair Fliedner @ColleenFliedner #Review #InTheShadowOfWar #Histfic via @HFVBT #HFVTBBlogtours

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Hello my lovelies, I have the very great pleasure to be todays stop on the In The Shadow Of War; Spies, Love & The Lusitania by Colleen Adair Fliedner blog tour. So grab yourself a cuppa and maybe a biscuit and let me tell you a bit about this book.

In 1915 while the First World War raged on in Europe, Americans, and especially New Yorkers, faced their own “silent war” at home. Disgruntled with America’s so-called promise of “neutrality” and overt trade deals with England and France, the German government set up a spy ring headquartered in Manhattan. Their espionage and terrorist networks had tentacles reaching all the way to the German Ambassador in Washington D.C. German operatives planted explosives on American and British cargo ships en route from New York to England, France, and Russia. They plotted to blow up trains, bridges, factories, and even the U.S. Capitol Building

Josette Rogers is the daughter of a rich businessman who must move his family to London when he inherits his uncle’s import/export business. Curtis Carlson is a rising star at the House of Morgan on Wal Street. They each have very different opinions about whether or not America should enter the war.

Josette Rogers is the daughter of a rich businessman who must move his family to London when he inherits his uncle’s import/export business. Curtis Carlson is a rising star at the House of Morgan on Wall Street. They each have very different opinions about whether or not America should enter the war.

Curtis and Mr. Van Camp, a senior partner at Morgan’s Manhattan offices, are sent to England to have $500 million loan documents signed that will help finance the nearly bankrupt British and French governments. Josette and Curtis are both traveling to England on the RMS Lusitania when Josette suspects there is a spy ring on board. Were they sent to divulge the location of the Lusitania?

This is the first I have read by Ms Fliedner, but I was so fascinated by the look and sound of this book, those who know me and who read my reviews will know I have a real passion for this era, and I knew that I just had to read it and I am so pleased that I did because In The Shadow Of War is a wonderfully powerful book that really sends tingles down the readers back. We all know the history of the Lusitania and yet there appears to be so few books out there that feature it’s tragic history, which is definitely one of the reasons why I wanted to read this book.

It’s 1915 and war is raging across Europe, a war that America as yet are in two frames of mind about entering the war, but they are fighting their own ‘silent’ war on their very streets. Which makes the government to set up their own network of spies, New York becomes thick in danger amongst all of this is Josette; an intelligent, opinionated young woman who resolutely does not believe that the US should even enter the war and Curtis a professor come Wall Street banker who thinks that America should help it’s allies; Britain and France. Really these two are so different, they are made from the same cloth, proud, intelligent, passionate but with completely different ideals of what should happen to their country. But, once they both find themselves on the ill fated Lusitania they then must become allies as there is spies and danger everywhere they turn. I can’t really say too much about the plot as there are plot twists and turns at every single corner, there is secrets and lies on every page that to go into to real detail would surely give too many spoilers away and I just can’t do that. But, I will say that the spy plot is amazing and it kept me completely and

This really is an edge of your seat thriller with the hint of romance, there is danger at every turn, spies, and a world that is facing the most brutal and bloodiest of wars where families on all continents are being effected and that human aspect really came across in this. The author does a splendid job at bringing to attention the none battle field struggles and perils that the everyday people from all over the world, from every walk of life had to face day in day out. Not only seeing their husbands, brother’s and son go off to war and worrying whether they will ever be seen again, but there is also the fact that people were starving and desperate. The main plot is brilliant, but is this side story that really captured my attention and I applaud Ms Fliedner for such immersive and powerful writing.

A definite must read for those like myself who love reading about this era, it is an atmospheric, powerful and poignant book that really shouldn’t be missed.

This was a complimentary copy from the author via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours in exchange for an honest review as apart of this blog tour; Thank you Colleen and Amy.

In The Shadow Of War can be purchased at Amazon.

#Review A Testament To Murder by Vivian Conroy @VivWrites #TestastmentToMurder @canelo_co

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Hello my lovelies, today I have the very great pleasure to be sharing my review of this wonderful Agatha Christie style mystery; A Testament To Murder by the very talented Viv Conroy, so as we do when settling down to a good old Miss Marple; grab a cuppa and a piece of cake and let me tell you all about this great book.

Suspenseful from the first page to the last, A Testament to Murder is perfect for fans of And Then There Were None, Murder on the Orient Express, and Crooked House

A dying billionaire. Nine would-be heirs. But only one will take the prize…

At the lush Villa Calypso on the French Riviera, a dying billionaire launches a devious plan: at midnight each day he appoints a new heir to his vast fortune. If he dies within 24 hours, that person takes it all. If not, their chance is gone forever.

Yet these are no ordinary beneficiaries, these men who crossed him, women who deceived him, and distant relations intent on reclaiming the family fortune. All are determined to lend death a hand and outwit their rivals in pursuit of the prize.

As tensions mount with every passing second, retired Scotland Yard investigator Jasper must stay two steps ahead of every player if he hopes to prevent the billionaire’s devious game from becoming a testament to murder…

I have been a fan of Ms Conroy’s work for a while now, in fact it is through her work that I re-discovered my love for the marvellous world of cosy mystery. Each book is always full of humour and intrigue and there is always a real sense of a time gone long gone in her writing, but this one has to be the finest she has written it has a real Agatha Christie feel to it, which I found utterly charming.

Set during the roaring twenties, this fascinating mystery will have you hooked from the onset. Dying multi-millionaire; Malcolm invites a whole bunch of very distant relatives and employees to his Villa in France. As expected those invited all think that as dear old Malcolm is about to leave this mortal coil that they will be into some money. In a sense they could be right, that is until he reveals is precise dastardly plan for them. He will be changing his will every day at midnight, none knows who he will be leaving his fortune to on any given day. Which leaves Malcolm to sit back and wonder who amongst his guests will bump him off to get their grubby hands on the lot.

Amongst sticky fingered and greedy bunch is Scotland Yard Inspector who just happens to be living next door, so when there is a murder he is right on hand to get to the bottom of the case. But with so many people in the frame and so many motive’s can he find the proper killer?

This really is a brilliant mystery, it’s original, highly intriguing and intelligently written. It has a real pull to it, that draws you in and keeps you guessing throughout with it’s articulate and twisty plot. Ms Conroy has outdone herself with this one, it is such a joy to read and a wonderful way to spend the afternoon. It is just like settling in for a afternoon of watching Miss Marple of Poirot, it really is that good! There is a real vintage feel about A Testament to Murder that is both highly addictive and hugely comforting, the character’s are colourful and brilliantly created – if at times they are very nasty but utterly engrossing and it is so much fun to see the mystery play out.

Highly recommended, whether you like your romance or thriller this will satisfy all.

This was an Arc copy from the author via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review, Thank you Viv and apologies for the very late review.

A Testament to Murder is available now and can be found at Amazon.