#BookReview : Night of the Taking by Scott Kaelen @ScottKaelen

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I am sharing Night of the Taking by Scott Kaelen today. This is a short introduction to his series The Fractured Tapestry. You can get a copy from Amazon UK along with many of his other books.

Synopsis:

The Volami opened the walls of their shining city of Midhallow and invited the surrounding tribesfolk to venture within. Decades later, the two races dwell together inside the city, not quite as equals, and watched over by the ever-present Retainers. A treaty, offered by the tribes to the Volami, was to seal their tenuous union during a long-held ritual. But it was a ruse. The celebrations became the bloodiest treachery the Volami would ever know, and set in motion events that would echo down the ages.

Night of the Taking is a short entry tale into the world of Verragos and the Fractured Tapestry series, and also serves as an introduction to characters which are destined to return later in the series.

My Thoughts:

This is a short, 28 pages, introduction into what I feel will be an exciting, maybe even an epic fantasy series.  It has the right vibes for me, I am always a little nervous when I read a really thrilling intro to a series like this.

Midhallow is a city where the Volami have opened and welcomed outlying tribes into.  They live side by side until a night of betrayal and bloodshed.

With a short and sweet novella like this it is difficult to write a full review, but I will share what I experienced without going into the story details.  What you get in this 28 pages is a real sense of emotion following an unexpected betrayal, it displays emotion, a sense of shock and disbelief and also anger that will lead on into future books.

There is a wonderful amount of detail and I was quite surprised at how quickly I got caught up in the story.  My only regret is that I finished it and would have quite happily read for many hours more if this is any indication of what is to continue.

So if you are looking for a new fantasy series then give Night of the Taking a look, it’s dark, descriptive, atmospheric and has all the hallmarks of being the start of a wonderful journey.  I have just bought the next book in the series and look forward to reading it  soon.   I definitely recommend this book.

About the Author:

A10I64KPHSL._SY200_  Scott Kaelen writes in the genres of epic fantasy, science fiction, horror, humour, spec-fic, contemporary fiction, poetry and non-fiction. His short stories include the dystopian urban sci-fi Moses Garrett and the apocalyptic horror The Lingering Remains. His current projects include a novel entitled The Blighted City – the first major release in the epic fantasy Verragos Tapestry series – and his second collection of poetry. As well as the pen, he is also modestly adept with the pencil; his work includes character concepts and sketches of famous personalities. His interests are all things sci-fi, fantasy and horror, as well as etymology, psychology, deep Earth history, palaeontology, geology, cosmology and computer RPGs. He’s also an ex-flosculator.

You can follow Scott on Twitter  Website

Many thanks for reading my post, a share would be great.  Better still go and get a copy of this book HERE 🙂 xx

#GuestPost : Cruise with an Adorable Fat Girl by Bernice Bloom @Bernice1Bloom @rararesources #Giveaway

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I have a guest post today on my blog as part of the Blog Tour for  “Cruise with an Adorable Fat Girl” by Bernice Bloom.  I would love to have read this book as part of the tour, but there is never enough time to read all of the books I want to.  This book is available in eBook format HERE. My thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for my spot on the tour and also to Bernice for such a wonderful guest post about her inspiration behind this book.

Synopsis:

Mary Brown – our full-figured heroine – is off on a cruise. It’s the trip of a lifetime…featuring eat-all-you-can buffets and a trek through Europe with a 96-year-old widower called Frank and a flamboyant Spanish dancer called Juan Pedro in attendance. Then there’s the desperately handsome captain, the appearance of an ex-boyfriend on the ship, the time she’s mistaken for a Hollywood film star in Lisbon and tonnes of clothes shopping all over Europe.
“Lovely, warm, life-enhancing and laugh out-loud funny,” Glamour magazine.

Guest Post:

Welcome to my blog today Bernice. I would love to know what is the inspiration behind the series?

BERNICE: A couple of years ago, while contemplating my next book, I was trying to think of a female character that I could create who would be different from so many others. I wanted her to be modern, bright, funny and outgoing, but I didn’t want her to be a clone of the other women featured in modern literature. What could I do with my character that would make her completely different? Perhaps I should put her in the army? Or in the circus, or give her a dreadful illness that she’s coping with? I really struggled to think of a character who’d be a bit different. Then, it suddenly hit me – I’d make her fat.

The more I thought about it, the more I thought this would be a brilliant idea…a huge swathe of the population is overweight but this is not represented in literature. There are very few overweight heroines. Lots of people in books want to lose a couple of pounds to get into their size 10 jeans, but none are so overweight that it’s a burden that they struggle with every day, like so many people in the real world.

It’s funny, really, this whole ‘overweight heroine’ thing. Heroines can be nasty, cruel, vindictive, and forgetful, they can murder and maltreat people, but they can’t be heavily overweight. Is that because we simply can’t countenance a fat person being a heroine? I’m not saying it’s a sexist thing: heroes are typecast too. But it did seem odd to me that so few people in novels were fat that it was quite ridiculous and at odds with the real world.

Once I’d decided to have a fat woman as a heroine, the next thing I needed to do was to work out what this meant, in real terms. How would being overweight impact on her life. The more you start to think about it, and the more you watch, the more you realise that it affects every part of your life.

Things like overspending, drinking too much, smoking too much and gambling can have a colossal impact on your life, but nothing changes the way you look quite like overeating. It may be much worse for you to be smoking 20 cigarettes a day than to be eating extra slices of pizza and treating yourself to ice-cream, but the impact of overeating is so visual and so difficult to hide, that you are judged straight away.

I went along to a slimming club and found everyone there very jolly, friendly and lovely – they just wanted to lose weight, it was just one part of their personality. It was important to them, but it clearly didn’t overwhelm them. While I was there I met a lovely lady who was very overweight. When she did her weigh in she was twice what she should have weighed.

The woman running the club declared: “My goodness, you’ve put on weight. Every week for the past six weeks. I’ve never had anyone do that before. You were lighter before you came.”

She raised her hand in mock salute and the group cheered. I loved the light, self-deprecating way she dealt with the news, and the seed of an idea began to grow – Mary Brown, my heroine. would be funny and silly in public even though, privately, I knew she would have deep concerns and moments of real anguish about her weight. I thought this private and public view of her would create a complex, rounded character who readers would identify with.

So, I started out…writing novels about her, creating stories for her and challenging her to try and lose a little weight in every book (she usually fails!). The books have worked brilliantly and Mary has become a properly rounded heroine.

A while ago I went back to the slimming club where I’d met the lady who inspired Mary, hoping to talk to her and tell her about my books, but she wasn’t around. She’d given up trying to lose weight and stopped going to the club. The people there said they had been to see her but she had no interest in coming back. I hope she found a way to lose the weight she wants to, and above all found happiness – deep inside as well as on the outside.

YVONNE: This is a really great read, the lady at the slimming club sounds wonderful and a real character. It is refreshing to see a character that is not the stereotypical heroine. Many thanks Bernice for a really insightful post for your inspiration behind the series.

About the Author:

Hello, my name is Bernice Bloom and I am a writer (I write light-hearted rom-com style novels and also work as a magazine journalist and advertising copywriter) and jewellery designer. My recent series of novels is called ‘Adorable Fat Girl’ and it features a heavily overweight woman called Mary Brown. She is bright, funny, friendly and bonkers. She’s also fat. The books blend the comedy of her efforts to lose weight with a more serious backstory about what happened to her in the past that had led to the issues that make her prone to over-eating. I’m fascinated that there are so few overweight heroines in literature. Women can be manipulative, evil, even murderers in fiction, but not fat! Certainly not fat and beautiful with loads of friends! Then along came Mary and she’s developed quite a fan base of people who love the fact that the heroine is large. She gets lots of letters and I have ended up taking her on lots of adventures!

Social Media Links –

https://www.facebook.com/BerniceBloombooks/

https://twitter.com/Bernice1Bloom

https://www.instagram.com/bernicebloomwriter/?hl=en

∗∗∗ GIVEAWAY ∗∗∗

For a chance to win a Daisy Bracelet and Earring set created by Bernice Bloom (Open Internationally).  ENTER HERE

Many thanks for reading my post, a share if you liked it would be great.  Or grab yourself a copy of this wonderful book HERE and let me know what you thought 🙂 xx

#BlogTour : Finding What Was Never Lost by Martin J Worthy @Authoright @gilbster1000 #BookReview

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Today I am sharing my thoughts on What Was Never Lost (and then just giving it away) by Martin J Worthy. Many thanks to Rachel at Authoright for my spot on the tour and a copy of the book.  PURCHASE LINK Available in paperback or eBook.

Synopsis:

An epic of the modern era, the author takes us on a voyage from postwar London, through his coming of age in the days of LSD and flower power, culminating some decades later in that most treasured condition – a sublime, calm and joyous state of inner and outer equilibrium. Triggered by an excruciating medical trauma in Mexico, he takes us upon a thirty-year journey none could have predicted. Farming in the Punjab, married life in Denmark and twenty years in Southern India practicing Raja Yoga and much more besides. His learning is transferable, practicable and universal.

Vivid, deeply personal and refreshingly honest, ‘’Finding what was never Lost…and then just giving it away’’ offers a fascinating combination of memoir, spirituality and self-help, as well as a snapshot of the hedonistic lifestyle of the 70’s and 80’s, with some travel and, unsurprisingly, a whole lot of laughter too.

This is not a vanity venture, it is the sharing of a lifetime of experiences and insights that have every chance of making a difference to the way the reader looks upon life, and the possibilities that lie ahead. His main precept is that the quality of one’s life is of paramount importance. And, that current cultural aspirations of wealth, importance sensual pleasures and distraction are of a lesser worth when set against the peace and joy that is attainable through this inner journey. The inner journey, aided by meditation perhaps, can offer conditions felt to be far higher. Does he want you to copy him? No. He simply hopes that his story may act as a catalyst or inspiration for the reader to aspire for such growth, and to set out on the journey, on their inner journey too.

My Thoughts:

An intriguing title, Finding What Was Never Lost is the authors journey through his life so far.  From his childhood, through his teens and into the world beyond as an adult.

Martin quite candidly shares experiences, thoughts and also feelings from various points in his life.  He has walked, hitched, flown, sailed and travelled to and through quite a few countries.  He has taken a variety of jobs, some were the transient jobs of harvesters that follow the seasons, crofting with friends or holding a “normal” job to provide money for further travels.  His goal through his journey was to find a spiritual guide or guru, someone who could teach and help him find his own place within himself and the world.

This is quite a different read for me, I do read a few memoirs and tend to like the ones that are about an individual rather than a celebrity.  Martin’s book fits into this style, it is a personal account.  It is recounted in a very calm way, his spiritual nature is something that is felt as I read this book.  If a book could have a quiet and calm voice, then this is one that has that.  It was an interesting read in the respect that it is very different to how I live my life.  In my opinion it is good to take a step in someone else’s shoes for a moment and see how they view the world.

The layout of the book is set in out in very quick chapters, this makes it perfect for dipping in and out of.  There are quite a lot of footnotes, many for things that I feel didn’t need an explanation, and a very handy glossary and index at the back of the book.  I am going to make the presumption that some of Martin’s readers will know English as a second language and this is maybe the reason for the amount of footnotes.

This is a book that would appeal to those who like a more spiritual, self discovery style of memoir.  One mans journey and experience of life told in a calm and quiet way.

Many thanks for reading my post 🙂 xx

#BlogTour : End Game by @Matt_Johnson #EndGame #RobertFinlay @OrendaBooks @annecater #BookReview

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I am delighted to be sharing m thoughts today on End Game by Matt Johnson. My thanks to Anne Cater and Orenda Books for my copy of this wonderful book and also for my spot on the tour.  This is the final book of the trilogy and you can purchase all the books from Amazon UK in either eBook or paperback.  BUYING LINK

Synopsis:

Robert Finlay seems to have finally left his SAS past behind him and is settled into his new career as a detective. But when the girlfriend of his former SAS colleague and close friend Kevin Jones is murdered, it’s clear that Finlay’s troubles are far from over. Jones is arrested for the killing, but soon escapes from jail, and Finlay is held responsible for the breakout. Suspended from duty and sure he’s being framed too, our hero teams up with MI5 agent Toni Fellowes to find out who’s behind the conspiracy. Their quest soon reveals a plot that goes to the very heart of the UK’s security services. End Game, the final part in the critically acclaimed Robert Finlay trilogy, sees our hero in an intricately plotted and terrifyingly fast-paced race to uncover the truth and escape those who’d sooner have him dead than be exposed.

My Thoughts:

This is the final instalment in the Robert Finlay series.  I do have a little confession here, and please don’t tell anyone, but I have not read any of the other books (hangs head in shame) but I have ordered them (raises head a little higher).  When an email from the wonderful Anne Cater dropped in I was not going to say no, reviews from other bloggers about the two previous books were wonderful and glowing, after reading End Game I can absolutely see why.

So to my thoughts, surely the fact that I immediately bought the other two books after finishing this one is testimony as to what I thought.  But in case you are not convinced by that…. With any book in a series, characters are important.  You follow them as they evolve and grow, you know their back stories, problems and history as well as their interaction with others (whether they play nicely in a group or not).  But as I have not had this experience (yes I know!) I found that the dynamics of the characters very evident, they have strong personalities and traits and have a great established believable feel about them.  It didn’t take long for me to remember them or to identify them within the story.

Right then to the plot, where to start, well there is an underlying plot from the previous stories, again something you would expect from a trilogy.  Matt has included great references to this and there is enough for this, late to the party reader, to get enough of an idea to understand.  It has also given plenty of intrigue and left me wanting to know more about the back stories, hence me the first two books.  For End Game, you are plunged into a world of British Secret Service and Police Investigations at an intense and breathtaking pace .  There are real life events that have been mentioned and incorporated into the story, I love this as it gives the reader a great reference point for the setting of a story.  These real events and also the authors own experiences give a real edgy feel to this story, the author knows his stuff.  It’s the lit details that add that extra element, these seemingly trivial little facts that are added are there because of the authors experience within the  military and police force.  This “insider” knowledge is what makes the story stand out and adds that important authentic and believable factor.

This was an absolute pleasure to read, it was intense and intricate in its plot and in the details but not at all confusing, fast paced and addictive.  The espionage aspect is devilish with a real edge of the seat feel.  A brilliantly woven tale and one that I Highly Recommend. Don’t just take my word for it, buy all three books and see for yourself.

About the Author:

Matt Johnson Author Picture.jpg  Matt Johnson served as a soldier and Metropolitan Police officer for twenty-five years. Blown off his feet at the London Baltic Exchange bombing in 1993, and one of the first police officers on the scene of the 1982 Regent’s Park bombing, Matt was also at the Libyan People’s Bureau shooting in 1984 where he escorted his mortally wounded friend and colleague, Yvonne Fletcher, to hospital. Hidden wounds took their toll. In 1999, Matt was discharged from the police with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. While undergoing treatment, he was encouraged by his counsellor to write about his career and his experience of murders, shootings and terrorism. One evening, Matt sat at his computer and started to weave these notes into a work of fiction that he described as having a tremendously cathartic effect on his own condition. His bestselling thriller, Wicked Game, which was shortlisted for the CWA John Creasey Dagger, was the result. Deadly Game and now End Game, the final book in the Robert Finlay series, once again draw on Matt’s experiences and drips with the same raw authenticity of its predecessor.

The Robert Finlay Trilogy by Matt Johnson

Wicked Game      ~    Deadly Game      ~     End Game

Click on the title and it will take you to Amazon.UK website.

Since writing this post I am happy to say, my copies of the first two books are now here,  now I  have the full set 🙂29243814_10214155310511089_6356634460884041728_n

Many thanks for reading my post, if you liked it please give a share.  Or, go and buy yourself a copy HERE   🙂 xx

#BookReview : The Trial by John Mayer @johnmayerauthor

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Today I have an urban legal crime read on my blog The Trial by John Mayer. It is self published by John and available in paperback and also eBook, you can get your copy at Amazon UK.  I would like to thank Lizzie (John’s wife) and John for sending me a copy of this book.

Synopsis:

An urban legal/crime novel set in the beautiful Scottish city of Edinburgh. 
Part I of The Parliament House book series 

When Glaswegian Brogan McLane completes many years of university education and legal training he crosses that great divide from Glasgow to Edinburgh. ‘Called’ to the Bar of the Scottish Supreme Court, he becomes a member of the most prestigious club in Scotland; The Faculty of Advocates in Parliament House.

When High Court Judge, Lord Aldounhill, is found dead after a transvestite party in his sumptuous home, those who know the killer close ranks and need a scapegoat – who better than ‘outsider’ Brogan McLane?

Out on bail with his career on hold, McLane and his band of blood brothers in the Calton Bar in Glasgow need to get ahead of their enemies or McLane will go down for life after Trial. But every time they discover a piece of evidence, it seems there is a mirror image to contradict it.

Through the murky world of Russian controlled transvestite hotels and with some unexpected police and judicial help, McLane battles against ‘Low Life in High Places in the Old Town’ until the killer is found.

But well protected and knowing all the tricks, will the killer ever stand trial in Parliament House

My thoughts:

Brogan McLane is not your usual Advocate, he is from the tenements of Glasgow and has worked hard to get where he is today in Edinburgh, The Scottish Supreme Court and become a member of  “The Faculty of Advocates” in Parliament House.  When the death of a Judge threatens his career and his marriage, Brogan will do what he can to prove his innocence.  He is not part of “the old boys” or “hooray Henry’s” and the family tradition that goes back over the generations,and he knows that he is being persecuted.  There are some who automatically point the finger as he is not of the same social status as them seeing Brogan as “Dirt with a Degree”. The ones who know or know of Brogan know he is being set up.  Just a matter of time before things sort themselves out, but who will come out on top?

With very little knowledge of the Scottish Legal system and terminology, I was very pleased to find a glossary of terms at the beginning of the book, a great way to get up to speed before the story starts.  From the off there are quite a few characters and their roles mentioned, it did take a minute or two to get my head around them, but when I did it became plain sailing when met them again further in the book.  The character of Brogan I have to say was good, but I also really liked Jimmy and Big Joe.  Jimmy has a very trusted and important role with insider knowledge.  Big Joe, best friend of Brogan is a wonderful lovable rogue, a true and loyal friend.  There are many others but these three are my favourites.  At this point I would like to mention that Brogan is married, and there is a story about them that I would have liked to read more about.

The story is set out in short quick chapters and you are soon led into a story of corruption, greed and the struggle for power in the halls of the Scottish Judiciary system.  There are great snippets of historical interest and also how the system works, this was a something I enjoyed and I like the fact that I can learn things as I read a story.  The  main plot focuses on the murder of the judge and also unearths some secretive behaviour and also more serious issues.

Once you get the names and terminology under your belt, the story really starts to get going.  It has a plot that takes you through the underhanded and murky world of those in power and think they are above the law, and can pretty much do as they please.  The voice of corruption is strong within the story and has been well-balanced with the justifiable ( though not completely legal) actions of those that are seeking the truth.    There are wonderful atmospheric court room scenes, that help build up the suspense and also the severity of what is happening.  That suspense is continued as you accompany Brogan’s supporters on their information and evidence gathering escapades, not completely by the book of course but, playing the game in a way that hampers the disinformation that those on the other side are compiling is all part of it. A case of who can manipulate who and get to the truth before it disappears first.  The descriptions of the buildings and also the inclusion of photographs aids the reader in seeing the story as well as feeling it, an interesting and very useful addition.

This is a book I definitely enjoyed as I got to meet new characters in the start of a new series.  I would definitely recommend this to readers who like a court room based story that incorporates a crime investigation and secret lives themes.  It is well laid out, written with a good pace and a multilayered plot.  A Definitely Recommend this book from me, once I started it I didn’t put it down until I had finished it, at 2am in the morning !!! That kind of says it all really 🙂

About the Author:

13694916John Mayer would love to be a top-flight blues guitar player and have dated Jennifer Aniston. But what he did achieve, amongst other things was to be a 1970s Indie Record Producer before becoming a top-flight Advocate in the Supreme Court of Scotland where he specialised in international child abduction: rescuing the children, not abducting them, of course.

In his youth, John was shot! Twice! Once in Glasgow, Scotland and once in New York City. John attacks everything he does with passion. And that’s what he brings to his writing.

Follow John on Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Website

Many thanks for reading my post, if you liked it please give a share.  Get your copy of the book  HERE  🙂 xx

#BlogTour : Among the Branded by Linda Smolkin #AmongtheBranded @Lindasmolkin @annecater #BookReview

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I am sharing my thoughts on “Among The Branded” by Linda Smolkin today on my blog.  This is available in Paperback and eBook format from Amazon UK .  My thanks to Anne at Random Things Tours for my spot on this Blog Tour.

Synopsis:

What if a 70-year-old letter from World War II changed the course of your life?

While attending Valor of the ’40s, art director Stephanie Britain stumbles upon a flea market selling letters from the war. She buys a handful, hoping they’ll inspire the redesign for a client’s website at her branding and design firm. She’s at first drawn by the lost art of penmanship, but soon discovers a hidden treasure nestled inside declarations of love from homesick soldiers. Stephanie enlists a coworker to translate one and realizes it’s not a love letter after all. When a shocking discovery about a client causes Stephanie to question her principles and dedication to her firm’s business, she’s forced to make a difficult decision—one that could give her peace of mind, yet ruin her career in the process.

Contemporary fiction with a historical touch, AMONG THE BRANDED explores family life, an unexpected friendship, and moral conflicts that make us wonder what’s more important: our livelihood or our beliefs. This moving debut novel by Linda Smolkin is a great addition for readers who enjoy books by Jodi Picoult, Kristin Hannah, and Liane Moriarty.

My Thoughts:

Stephanie and Greg Britain, with their two children Jeremy and Jack are off to Valour of the 40’s a WWII re-enactment.  This trip was Jack’s choice, Jeremy is soon to go off to college.  While there Stephanie comes across a bundle of letters on a second-hand stall. One letter catches her eye and the story begins.

Oh my goodness what a beautiful and heartwarming story.  A chaotic and frantic beginning with the hectic lifestyle of this family. It shows how this active and close-knit family go about their everyday lives.  Then all of a sudden this story starts to grab your attention, in amongst the hustle and bustle of family and work, Stephanie and the truth about a letter start to make their place known and the story just blossoms.

This story is one about family, hope, love compassion and is a beautifully engrossing and an addictive read.  I found myself swept up as the story behind the letter comes out.  It touches on serious subjects and these have been told by an adult talking to children, it is told simply, honestly and with respectful. But also the realisation that there are still those in the world that are not accepting of others.  The characters in this story are funny, vivid and have been brought to life as we learn more about them. I’m not going into too much detail about the content of this letter or what Stephanie discovers, for me the details of it are what makes this story a stunning read.

This is a very engaging book, and was an absolute joy to read.  It is beautiful and has a serious and heart wrenching side to it as you learn the truth about the letter, but among this serious side is a witty and humorous side, it had me giggling at the banter between family and friends.

This is a debut novel by Linda and I want to know what is next. This book is one that I would highly recommend to readers who like a story that is a mix of historical and contemporary that has a great balance.  I loved this book and hope others will find it and love it as well.

About the Author:

Linda Smolkin - Author Picture .jpg  Linda Smolkin always wanted to be a writer—ever since she saw her first TV commercial and wondered how to pen those clever ads. She got her degree in journalism and became a copywriter. Linda landed a job at an ad agency, where she worked for several years before joining the nonprofit world. She’s currently working on her second novel, which will be released in Spring 2018. When not in front of the computer, she’s behind the drums (slightly) annoying her husband, son, and their 70-pound dog. For more information, visit her Website ,  follow her on Twitter  ~ Facebook

Many thanks for reading my post, a share if you liked it would be wonderful.  Or go and grab a copy of this brilliant book HERE 🙂 xx

#PublicationDay : Ike & Kay by James MacManus #ikeandkay @jamesmac1x: @Duckbooks #BookReview

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I am delighted to be sharing my thoughts on “Ike & Kay” by James MacManus.  It is publication day today for this book by Duckworth OverLook and is available in various formats.  CLICK HERE for the link to purchase from Amazon UK.  I would like to express my thanks to Thogdin at Duckworth Overlook for my copy of this wonderful book.

Synopsis:

The secret affair at the heart of World War II

Ike and Kay is the absorbing new novel from the highly acclaimed author James MacManus. A compelling historical novel, it is a vivid reimagining of General Eisenhower and Kay Summersby’s infamous love affair in London during World War II.

In 1942, Kay Summersby’s life is changed forever when she is conscripted to drive General Eisenhower on his fact-finding visit to wartime London. Despite Eisenhower’s marriage to Mamie, the pair take an immediate liking to each other and he buys Kay a rare wartime luxury: a box of chocolates. So begins a tumultuous relationship that, against all military regulation, sees Kay traveling with Eisenhower on missions to far-flung places before the final assault on Nazi Germany.

The general does dangerously little to conceal his affair with the woman widely known as “Ike’s shadow,” and in letters Mamie bemoans his new obsession with “that Irish woman”. That does not stop him from using his influence to grant Kay citizenship and rank in the US army, drawing her closer still when he returns to America. When officials discover Eisenhower’s plans to divorce his wife they threaten the fragile but passionate affair, and Kay is forced to take desperate measures to hold onto the man she loves…

Based on the scandalous true story of General Eisenhower’s secret World War II love affair, Ike and Kay is a compelling story of love, duty, sacrifice and heartbreak, set against the backdrop of the most tumultuous period of the 20th century.

My Thoughts:

Firstly this is a story that is based on true events.  It is the story of how Kay Summersby became driver to General Eisenhower while he was on a visit to London during WWII.  A time when street signs were removed and London was in a black out, hence the need for drivers with knowledge of the area, the MTC (Motor Transport Corp) was in place and essential for the movement of visitors.

James has created a story that has a great balance for this reader, actual events with a romantic liaison.  It becomes evident that there is something going on between Ike and Kay as she transports him not only around London, but further afield into Europe.  She is a woman who is able to provide a stable environment that Eisenhower gradually starts to rely on.  It is not based just during the war, but also continues in the years after.  You get to see different sides to the man who goes on to become President.  My opinion at the start of the book about these two people changed by the time I got the end.  My heart went out to Kay as her role during the war and after changed, her role changed so much from the driver she originally started out as.  Ike was in a position asking where loyalties lay, were they with Kay or to his country.

There are author notes at the end that are interesting reading, they explain how no one actually knows the extent of the relationship between Ike and Kay.  The story that is told is one that has been researched and the author has used this research to then create a wonderful read of what may have happened.  I had no idea about Kay and her role so I tootled off to do a bit of research of my own after I had finished reading.  I found photographs and various articles that was great to be able to put an actual face to the lady behind the story.

This is a story I would definitely recommend to readers of historical fiction, romantic fiction based during WWII, it is a mix of emotion and heartbreak  as the characters come to terms with their feelings and how they are seen by others with documented facts . As this lady was someone I knew nothing about it was interesting to read on further about her, and I am grateful for being introduced to Kay.

About the Author:

51QTtUz2b2L._SY200_ James MacManus has worked in the newspaper business for 46 years.He is currently the Managing Director of the Times Literary Supplement.He began his career on The Daily Express in Manchester after leaving St Andrews University.He worked in the Express regional offices in Newcastle,Belfast and Dublin before leaving to join the Guardian in London in 1972.He became Paris correspondent of that paper in 1974 then Africa and Middle East correspondent between the years of 1974-1985.He did not begin writing creatively until became MD of the TLS in 1998.His first book,Ocean Devil, told the story of a young Englishman who was caught up in the Sino-Japanese war of 1936-45.George Hogg was an Oxford graduate who worked as a journalist and then schoolmaster during the ferocious conflict.He became a hero in China having led a school of ninety children to safety from the advancing Japanese in the bitter winter of 1944.Ocean devil; was made into a film directed by Roger Spottiswoode and starring Jonathan Rhys Meyer. MacManus’ debut novel On the Broken Shore was published by Harper Collins in April 2010 and launched in the US with the title the Language of the Sea in 2013.

Follow James MacManus on : Website  ~ Twitter

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#BookReview : Bring Me Back by B.A. Paris @BAParisAuthor #BringMeBack @HQstories @NetGalley

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I have a wonderful suspense today on my blog “Bring Me Back” by B A Paris.  This is due for publication on 8th March 2018 by HQ Stories and available in various formats. Pre-order link HERE for Amazon UK

Synopsis:

The million-copy bestselling author returns with a breathtaking thriller – available to pre-order now

‘We’re in a new Golden Age of suspense writing now, because of amazing books like Bring Me Back, and I for one am loving it’ Lee Child

The Disappearance
Twelve years ago Finn’s girlfriend disappeared.

The Suspicion
He told the police the truth about that night.
Just not quite the whole truth.

The Fear
Now Finn has moved on.
But his past won’t stay buried…

My Thoughts:

On their way back from a holiday in France to their home in UK a couple stop at a picnic stop, she remains in the car while he grabs supplies.  When he return to the car she is missing, no sign of her anywhere.  Now 12 years later we catch up with him, he has sort of moved on and is due to get married.  She knows some of the details of the events in his past but begins to get concerned when items start to turn up at their home.  What is the significance and why are they arriving now?

This is going to be such a vague “My Thoughts” post.  No names, no details, no chance of spoiling the plot.  To reveal anything would be to revealing one of the many threads that have been woven into this story.  Set as a time slip as the reader is taken through events that occurred 12 years ago and also present day. It has three parts to the story and each part is deals with different sections in a definitive way.  As you move through these sections you are drawn deeper into the story, the suspense continually builds and the red herrings have been superbly placed to lead you down the wrong thought path.

This is a suspense filled psychological thriller and mystery that moves quickly and definitely accelerates, I found myself almost racing through this story to find out the end and also having to slow my reading in the eagerness to get the truth.  This story will almost certainly have you wondering who is telling the truth and who can be trusted. As you progress you will wonder who played what part if any in the mystery element of this book.

I loved this book and found myself quickly caught up and engrossed.  This is a book I would highly recommend to readers who like their thrillers full of suspense and mystery that are quick in their pace and addictive reading.

About the Author:

A1G5P+CAU6L._SY200_  B A Paris is the internationally bestselling author of Behind Closed Doors and The Breakdown. Having sold over one million copies in the UK alone, she is a New York Times bestseller as well as a number one bestseller on Amazon and iBooks. Her books have sold in 37 territories around the world. Having lived in France for many years, she recently moved back to the UK. She has five daughters.
Her third novel, Bring Me Back is out in March 2018.
Follow B A on Twitter

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#BookReview : Anna by Amanda Prowse #Anna @MrsAmandaProwse @HoZ_Books @NetGalley

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I am delighted to be sharing my thoughts on “Anna” by Amanda Prowse. Published on 8th March by Head of Zeus and available for pre-order HERE in eBook and paperback formats.

Synopsis:

One Love, Two Stories.

Anna Cole grew up in care, and is determined to start a family of her own. Theo Montgomery had a loveless childhood, and wants only to find his soulmate.

Then, one day, Theo meets Anna, and Anna meets Theo. Two damaged souls from different worlds. Is their love for each other enough to let go of the pain of their pasts? Or will Anna and Theo break each others’ hearts?

There are two sides to every love story. This is Anna’s.

My Thoughts:

Anna Cole is one of those children who is “quiet with a busy head”.  She has had so many things happen in her life and this story takes you through those events with her.  Theo has had a different upbringing to Anna, he has barriers.  Can they help to heal each other and heal their pasts scars to move on in the future?

Oh this is an absolute dream to read.  There are so many things that are just so right about this story, Amanda has the wonderful ability to just envelop the reader in the story, I put the world on hold when I read this book, I was totally engrossed from start to finish and in one sitting.

There are some beautiful lines in this story, but one really struck a chord with me and goes some way to explaining the emotion that is within the pages,this is from a conversation that Anna has when she is older and is embarking on he next stage of her life.    ” I got broken when I was nine….. and those fragments were crushed to dust.  So you’re right, nothing can break me because I am already broken.  I am dust.”       Anna comes across as a quiet and vulnerable character, but in fact she has an inner strength.  She has seen others follow the easy road of drink and drug abuse but she has never seen that as an option.  She is one of those silent battlers in life and she is loyal to the handful of friends that she has.

Things change for Anna when she meets Theo, is he “The One”, that special person who will share her life, her dreams and will grow old beside her? He has his own set of emotional history, and Anna definitely helps him.  Her character is strongest in the relationship while Theo is the more demure and he does has moments impulsiveness. What they want out of life is slightly different.  When secrets and truths are told, one reveals all  while the other holds a little something back.

This story is completely engrossing, it has such an honest, insightful and believable feel to it as you are taken into the lives of the characters and one that will stay with me for quite a while.  I am so impatient to read “Theo” the next part of this story.  This is a highly recommended read from me, turn your phone off, lock the doors and settle down for a few hours for an outstanding read.

 

About the Author:

q2pq88qq0qv00lta15gof8sn3j._SY200_.jpgAmanda Prowse is an International Bestselling author who has published sixteen novels in dozens of languages. Her recent chart topping No.1 titles ‘What Have I Done?’, ‘Perfect Daughter’ and ‘My Husband’s Wife’ have sold millions of copies around the world.

Other novels by Amanda Prowse include ‘A Mother’s Story’ which won the coveted Sainsbury’s eBook of the year Award and ‘Perfect Daughter’ that was selected as a World Book Night title in 2016. Amanda’s latest book ‘The Food of Love’ went straight to No.1 in Literary Fiction when it was launched in the USA and she has been described by the Daily Mail as ‘The Queen of Drama’ for her ability to make the reader feel as if they were actually in the story.

Now published by Lake Union, Amanda Prowse is the most prolific writer of contemporary fiction in the UK today; her titles also score the highest online review approval ratings for several genres.

A popular TV and radio personality, Amanda Prowse is a regular panellist on the Channel 5 show ‘The Wright Stuff’ and numerous daytime ITV programmes. She makes countless guest appearances on BBC and independent Radio stations where she is well known for her insightful observations of human nature and her infectious observational humour.
Follow Amanda on Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Website ~ Instagram

Amanda’s ambition is to create stories that keep people from turning the bedside lamp off at night, great characters that ensure you take every step with them and tales that fill your head so you can’t possibly read another book until the memory fades…

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#BookReview : Down The River Unto The Sea by Walter Mosley : @orionbooks @NetGalley

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Today I am sharing my thoughts on “Down The River Unto The Sea” by Walter Mosley.  It is published by Orion Publishing Group and available for purchase on 8th March 2018.  Pre order in various formats HERE.

Synopsis:

Joe King Oliver was one of the NYPD’s finest investigators until, dispatched to arrest a well-heeled car thief, he is framed for assault, a charge that lands him in the notorious Rikers Island prison.

A decade later, King is a private detective, running his agency with the help of his teenage daughter, Aja-Denise. When he receives a card in the mail from the woman who admits she was paid by someone in the NYPD to frame him all those years ago, King realises that he has no choice but to take his own case: figuring out who on the force wanted him disposed of – and why.

At the same time, King must investigate the case of black radical journalist Leonard Compton, aka A Free Man, accused of killing two on-duty police offices who had been abusing their badges to traffic drugs and women into the city’s poorest neighbourhoods.

In pursuit of justice, our hero must beat dirty cops and even dirtier bankers. All the while, two lives hang in the balance: Compton’s, and King’s own.

My Thoughts:

Joe King Oliver (AKA King) has spent time in Rikers Island Prison, after three months he is released.  He didn’t commit the crime he was accused of, it was a set up.  Ten years later he is running a P.I business and when the chance to look into his own case along he cannot resist, he wants to know who was behind his incarceration.

I will admit to being a little bit conflicted with this book and finding that writing my thoughts a little bit of a challenge.  On the one hand there are several things I liked about the story, such as King, a damaged, emotionally (and physically) scarred personality, I liked his back story and his progression through the psychological scars that he still carries with him.  Now the confusing (for me) bits.  The cast is huge, there are so many players, secondary characters and just pop in and gone characters that I found I was loosing track of who was who.  Also there are two cases being investigated within this book, that of King and then another that he is investigating.  They are both strong and I think they were too strong to run together, I wanted to read them as separate stories and feel I would have got a better understanding of them.

Even though there were some elements of this story that didn’t work for me or that I struggled with, this is a book I would still recommend.  It is a strong, complex crime, mystery,thriller with  King as the main protagonist who is gritty, emotional and interesting.

My thanks to NetGalley and Orion Books for my eARC of this book, my views are my own and unbiased.

About the Author:

91ancIK9iHL._SY200_Walter Mosley is one of America’s best loved authors. He is the author of the internationally bestselling Easy Rawlins series, and his novels include Devil in the Blue Dress, which was made into the acclaimed film of the same name starring Denzel Washington and Don Cheadle. His books have been translated into 23 languages and have sold more than 3.5 million copies to date. He lives in New York City.
Website

Author photo (c) Chip Cooper

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