The Mersey Mistress by Sheila Riley @SheilaRileyAuthor @rararesources #historicalfiction #bookreview

I am delighted to be sharing my review today for The Mersey Mistress by Sheila Riley. This is a fabulous historical fiction novel and it is the first book I have read by this author. I will be reading more.

My huge thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy via NetGalley.

BRAND NEW FROM LIVERPOOLS’ VERY OWN BESTSELLING AUTHOR, SHEILA RILEY

1910 LIVERPOOL DOCKS.


Ruby Swift is a hard-working, straight-talking woman of substance who does not suffer fools gladly,
But when tragedy strikes on a bitter Christmas Eve, Ruby and her beloved Archie take matters into their own hands when a trusted employee’s house is mysteriously engulfed by flames and lives are lost.
Orphaned by the fire, Ruby welcomes heartbroken sixteen-year-old Anna Cassidy, into her home and family but circumstances conspire against them and she is unable to save Anna’s twelve-year-old brother Sam Cassidy, who is sent by the Church to Canada as a Homeboy. 
Can Ruby help mend a broken heart and can these two children ever be reunited or is there another higher game in play?

Mersey Mistress takes you on a journey to another time, another place. From the banks of the River Mersey to the frozen waters of the Canadian Saint Laurence River.

Purchase Link – Amazon

My Review…

This is such an addictive historical fiction story that fans of sagas will love. The intro to the story is hard and cruel, it is representative of a time gone by.

Set in 1910 in the dock area of Liverpool the author weaves the story of two women. One who has turned her back on all she knows for happiness. The other trying to the best she can. Both women have suffered tragedy in their lives. They have endured the pain of losing family. Yet they have fought through and are survivors.

This is quite an emotional story at times, that did pull at the heartstrings. There are so many ups and downs that I found myself unable to stop reading. The author has captured the feel of society and also of the conditions of the time. She has successfully used her characters to show the good and the bad in a society of the time.

The story is such a fabulous read and even though it has heart-breaking moments, I also felt that it was balanced with a sense of hope. This is one that historical fiction/ romance and family saga readers are going to adore. It has the feel of the start of a much longer story, and I would love to see a follow-up. I read this in one sitting, it was that good and I would definitely recommend it.

About the Author…

Sheila Riley wrote four #1 bestselling novels under the pseudonym Annie Groves and is now writing a new saga trilogy for Boldwood under her own name. She has set it around the River Mersey and its docklands near to where she spent her early years. She still lives in Liverpool. Her new trilogy began with The Mersey Orphan in September 2019.

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Girl With Secrets by Carol Rivers @carol_rivers @rararesources #GuestPost

I am delighted to share a post with you today from, Carol Rivers, the author of Girl With Secrets. I wish I had the time to read all the books I see and I know this is one that would be right up my street!

My thanks to Rachel at Rachels Random Resources for my spot on the Blog Tour and for organising wonderful Guest Post for me today to share with you all.

A coming of age war story and family saga full of romance, mystery and danger in London’s East End. From the Sunday Times and ebook bestselling author of the Lizzie Flowers series and A Wartime Christmas comes a gripping NEW coming-of-age saga about love, loyalties and secrets.



IN THE TURMOIL OF WAR, CAN SHE KEEP HER FAMILY TOGETHER?

‘Surely one of the best saga writers of her time’ – Rosie Clarke

1938, East London. Nine year old Daisy Purbright is a country girl at heart and together with beloved brother Bobby, they’ve enjoyed the endless freedoms of rural England.

But when her father gambles the family’s fortunes on a speculative investment in London’s docklands, Daisy and her family are swept up into the intrigue, danger and excitement.Desperately the Purbrights attempt to settle to a new life in the East End, but the whisperings of war grow louder.

Then, one late afternoon in September 1940, Adolf Hitler conducts a paralysing bombardment on London and war tightens its grip. Life changes dramatically and closely guarded secrets threaten the Purbrights’ happiness.

Can Daisy and her family survive one of the most fateful events of the 20th century?

Perfect for fans of Nadine Dorries, Pam Howes, Rosie Clarke and Dilly Court.

Purchase Links – Amazon UK US

Guest Post by Carol Rivers…

How Daisy became Daisy …

Have you ever wondered how authors bring their characters to life? There are many techniques and each author’s way is different. But for me, the first step is essential. I need to have a visual image of my character, similar to a photofit sketch similar to a police drawing. Google gives me this definition. “A facial composite is a graphical representation of one or more eyewitnesses’ memory of a face, as recorded by a composite artist.”

Well, I am the eyewitness and I’m fortunate enough to have an artist in the family – my husband. Right from the word go, he sketches out my description, in this case, fair hair, blue eyes, cheeky smile and a determined appearance. (Above left). I am always blown away by the end result and this time, my nine-year old heroine, Daisy Purbright, literally jumped off the page and into my hard drive!

Girl with Secrets is my most ambitious book yet, a culmination of thirty-five years writing and what a project it turned out to be! Daisy’s extraordinary wartime journey had me riveted. Thanks to the magic of my photofit Daisy, she became the character I had always wanted to write. She’s gutsy, precocious, self-centred, but deeply loyal. Luckily her faults become her attributes during one of the most terrifying events of the twentieth century, World War ll. I do hope she entertains you as much as she did me!

With love as always, Carol x

About the Author…

Mum and Dad were both East Enders who were born on the famous or should I say the then infamous Isle of Dogs. Their family were immigrants who travelled to the UK from Ireland and France, while others emigrated to America.

As a child I would listen to the adults spinning their colourful stories, as my cousins and I drank pop under the table.

I know the seeds of all my stories come from those far off times that feel like only yesterday. So I would like to say a big heartfelt thank you to all my family and ancestors wherever you are now … UK, Ireland, France or America, as you’ve handed down to me the magic and love of story telling.

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The Forgotten Life of Arthur Pettinger by Suzanne Fortin @suefortin1 #ArthurPettinger @Aria_Fiction #AriaFiction #bookreview

I am absolutely delighted to share my review today for a very special book. The Forgotten Life of Arthur Pettinger by Suzanne Fortin. I wish to say a huge thank you to Vicky at Aria Fiction for the gorgeous copy she sent me through the post for an honest review. This is such a stunning book and I loved it.

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Sometimes the past won’t stay hidden, it demands to be uncovered…

Arthur Pettinger’s memory isn’t what it used to be. He can’t always remember the names of his grandchildren, where he lives or which way round his slippers go. He does remember Maryse though, a woman he hasn’t seen for decades, but whose face he will never forget.

When Arthur’s granddaughter, Maddy moves in along with her daughter Esther, it’s her first step towards pulling her life back together. But when Esther makes a video with Arthur, the hunt for the mysterious Maryse goes viral.

There’s only one person who can help Maddy track down this woman – the one that got away, Joe. Their quest takes them to France, and into the heart of the French Resistance.

When the only way to move forwards is to look back, will this family finally be able to?

My Review…

Oh my goodness this is such a special book, it is an absolutely stunning read.

Arthur Pettinger is getting flashbacks of memories, fragments of times past and is struggling to remember. He has Alzheimer’s so his grandaughter and great-grandaughter struggle to understand the significance when he gets upset or apologises to a mystery person.

This is such a wonderfully written story that is about the past and the present. For Arthur, he recalls memories but cannot explain the meanings of them. For Maddie and Esther, they want to help him piece together a mystery they don’t know much about. This leads to such a heartwarming story that is full of emotion and discovery.

This story is told in a timeslip format for Arthur’s story, the past is his time in France and how he met a young woman Maryse during the second world war. These events come in fragments from his experiences. The present, for Arthur, is told in a mix of confusion of short term memory loss. I have to say that the way the author dealt with the disease and its effects has been very well done. It shows confusion and frustration from the perspective of the sufferer. Also from the angle of family members that again includes frustration but also concern.

The story is also one about love, truth and misunderstandings, or maybe missed opportunities depending on how you look at it. It is a mix of contemporary fiction with historical fiction and it is a stunningly beautiful read.

This book got to me very quickly, I knew within the first couple of chapters that this book was going to be special and it just got better and better. Emotional it most definitely is but it is also about discovery and truth. I was in tears several times in this book as I read and by the end, I was gutted to have finished this wonderful story.

If you like a mix of past and present with a historical fiction wartime setting and a contemporary fiction one, then you really do need to get this one. It is one that I would absolutely and most definitely recommend. 

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The Hat Girl From Silver Street by Lindsey Hutchinson @LHutchAuthor @BoldwoodBooks #boldwoodbloggers @rararesources #histfic #bookreview

Today see’s the final day of the Blog Tour for The Hat Girl from Silver Street by Lindsey Johnson. I am delighted to be one of the Book bloggers to share my review today as tour. I would like to thank Rachel at Rachels Random Resources for my e-copy of this wonderful historical fiction novel.

Let bestselling author Lindsey Hutchinson take you back in time to the Victorian Black Country, for a tale of love, hardship and fighting against the odds to succeed.

Life is tough for Ella Bancroft. After her father, Thomas, is wheelchair-bound by an accident at the tube works, the responsibility for keeping a roof over their head falls to Ella. Ella’s mother died when she was ten, and her sister Sally lives with her no-good, work-shy husband Eddy, so is no help at all.  If she and her father are to keep the bailiffs from the door, then Ella must earn a living.

But Ella is resourceful as well as creative, and soon discovers she has a gift for millinery. Setting up shop in the front room of their two-up, two-down home in Silver Street, Walsall, Ella and Thomas work hard to establish a thriving business. Before long, the fashionable ladies of the Black Country are lining up to wear one of Ella’s beautiful creations, and finally Ella dares to hope for a life with love, friendship and family.

Meeting the man she longs to marry should be a turning point for Ella, but life’s twists and turns can be cruel. As the winter grows colder, events seem to conspire to test Ella’s spirit. And by the time spring is approaching, will the hat girl of Silver Street triumph, or will Ella have to admit defeat as all her dreams are tested.

The Queen of the Black Country sagas is back with a heart-breaking, unforgettable, page-turning story of love, life and battling against the odds. Perfect for fans of Val Wood and Lyn Andrews. 

Purchase Link – Amazon

My Review…

What a wonderful story The Hat Girl From Silver Street was, and also my first outing with this author and be I will come back to based on this book.

The story revolves around Ella, the younger, and nicer of two sisters. She is a hard worker under the employ of a milliner. With low wages and unfair working conditions, her father encourages Ella to leave. Between them, they start their own business and this introduces them to many other people.

This is a lovely story that I found very easy to get caught up in, so much so I read it in one sitting. The author delves into the living conditions briefly as well as the hardships and uncertainties of the time. Starting a business from scratch is a brave decision but the author has given solid reasons. Meeting new people in a society is one fraught with danger as Ella’s shop is in her house.

This story revolves around family and life in general. A society that is all about class and getting the best marriage deals is something the author did tackle well. It made for an agonising waiting game as I read the story, getting more and more drawn in.

There are some really good characters that range from the outspoken to the more gentle and with a good range of traits that include vindictive, sly, aloof and downright nasty there is something to keep a sense of intrigue. This means that you will root for some and wait for the others to get their comeuppance.

Overall a great story to lose yourself in for a few hours, it is one that I found easy reading as well as very addictive. A little predictable at times but still very enjoyable. One for those that do like their historical fiction and romance that leans more towards the family saga style of story. One I would recommend and a great introduction for a new to me author.

About the Author…

Lindsey Hutchinson is a bestselling saga author whose novels include The Workhouse Children. She was born and raised in Wednesbury, and was always destined to follow in the footsteps of her mother, the multi-million selling Meg Hutchinson.

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Wartime With the Tram Girls by Lynn Johnson @lynnjohnsonjots @HeraBooks @rararesources #excerpt #histfic

I am delighted to share an extract today for Wartime With The Tram Girls by Lynn Johnson . I wish I had got the time to read this rather than just offering an extract as this book sounds great. Many thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for my spot on the tour and for arranging my extract for the final day of the tour.

This is the second book in the two book series.

July 1914: Britain is in turmoil as WW1 begins to change the world. While the young men disappear off to foreign battlefields, the women left at home throw themselves into jobs meant for the boys.

Hiding her privileged background and her suffragette past, Constance Copeland signs up to be a Clippie – collecting money and giving out tickets – on the trams, despite her parents’ disapproval.

Constance, now known as Connie, soon finds there is more to life than the wealth she was born into and she soon makes fast friends with lively fellow Clippies, Betty and Jean, as well as growing closer to the charming, gentle Inspector Robert Caldwell.

But Connie is haunted by another secret; and if it comes out, it could destroy her new life.

After war ends and the men return to take back their roles, will Connie find that she can return to her previous existence? Or has she been changed forever by seeing a new world through the tram windows?

Purchase LinksAmazon Kobo Apple

EXTRACT…

Preparations for Christmas were well underway at Holmorton Lodge. Mrs Williams had been working day and night in the kitchen. Alice had taken over much of the housework and day-to-day management under Mrs Williams’s tutelage and was doing a good job.

Constance and her mother were sitting in the morning room taking their tea. There was a knock on the door and Mrs Williams, along with a tearful Alice, entered.

‘Sorry to trouble you Mrs Copeland, but Alice here’s had a problem at the butcher’s.’

‘Whatever’s the matter, Alice?’ asked Constance.

‘They have put up the meat we ordered but won’t give it to me unless I pay for it. Oh Miss Constance, they say we’re behind with the bill. I dunno what to do.’

‘She’s right, ma’am, I have checked the book. Nothing’s been paid since October,’ said Mrs Williams.

Constance turned to look at her mother. ‘Surely that can’t be right?’

‘Mrs Williams, would you and Alice mind leaving us, and I’ll get it sorted?’ Mother asked.

When they were alone, her mother continued. ‘I will speak to your father immediately.’

‘Before you go, Mother, I would like to understand a little more about our finances. We have a very nice lifestyle, but I have no idea how it’s funded.’

‘Your father deals with all of that, but I can tell you a little. The proceeds from the sale of the business and our house in Manchester enabled us to buy this house,’ her mother waved her arms about her, ‘and renovate it.’

‘I remember, it looked very sad when we moved in. I imagined it to be haunted or fancied some other terrible event had taken place!’

‘It’s a substantial property and your father could see its merits. The remainder of the money was invested equally in Government Bonds and shares in solid British companies.’

‘What are Government Bonds?’

‘I believe it’s money lent to the government by people like ourselves. In return, we get guaranteed interest periodically. The shares pay dividends which are not guaranteed but the income we get is higher, so it makes sense to have a mix of both. We live on the interest and dividends.’

‘I think I understand.’

‘Things have not gone too well for us recently. The war has had a considerable effect on our income. Many companies are paying very low dividends or none at all.’

‘Is that why he hasn’t replaced any of the servants?’

‘In part. We would have had considerable difficulty finding anyone when factories are paying such high wages for women, and conscription has taken most able-bodied men.’

Constance’s cheeks felt tight. How could they be in such a predicament without her knowing? She might have helped in some way. ‘Why didn’t you tell me?’

‘We didn’t want to bother you. You had enough on your plate. Your father thought we could manage without selling investments which are perfectly sound and will pay out again once the war is over and things get back to normal. We didn’t think that the war would last so long and it is affecting all incomes. Add this to the increase in living costs and we are feeling the strain of it all.’

‘My wedding fiasco hasn’t helped, has it?’

‘In all honesty, no. But we shall manage.’ Her mother got to her feet. ‘I must talk to your father.’

Constance didn’t understand much of what her mother said, after all financial matters were the domain of the man of the house and her education had done nothing to change that. All this information about shares and bonds and equities was beyond her current understanding, but that could be resolved in time and Constance decided that would be her first priority.

She could understand now why her father had been so eager to see her married, but she was not and never would be another commodity to be bought and sold. She would get a job as soon as she possibly could, where she could start immediately, and get paid. She might not earn very much initially, but at least she would make a contribution.

A job that was different, where the pay was the same for men and women. A job that gave her some freedom.

About the Author…

Lynn Johnson was born in the Staffordshire Potteries and went to school in Burslem, where the novel is set. She left school with no qualifications and got a job as a dental nurse (and lasted a day), a nursery assistant, and a library assistant before her ambition grew and she enrolled at the Elms Technical College, Stoke-on-Trent and obtained six O’levels. She obtained a Diploma in Management Studies and a BA Hons in Humanities with Literature from the Open University while working full-time.

Most of her working life was spent in Local Government in England and Scotland, and ultimately became a Human Resources Manager with a large county council.

She started to write after taking early retirement and moving to the north of Scotland with her husband where she did relief work in the famous Orkney Library and Archives, and voluntary work with Orkney’s Learning Link. Voluntary work with Cats Protection resulted in them sharing their home with six cats.

She joined Stromness Writing Group and, three months after moving to Orkney, wrote a short story which would become the Prologue to The Girl From the Workhouse.

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The Good Wife by Eleanor Porter @elporterauthor @BoldwoodBooks #boldwoodbloggers @rararesources #histfic #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Good Wife by Eleanor Porter. This is a follow on book from The Wheelwright’s Daughter that I read last year. You can read my full review HERE.

My huge thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for my spot on the Blog Tour and for my e-copy of this historical fiction novel.

Where will her loyalty lead her?

Once accused of witchcraft Martha Spicer is now free from the shadow of the gallows and lives a safe and happy life with her husband, Jacob. But when Jacob heads north to accompany his master, he warns Martha to keep her healing gifts a secret, to keep herself safe, to be a good wife.

Martha loves Jacob but without him there to protect her, she soon comes under the suspicious eye of the wicked Steward Boult, who’s heard of her talent and forces her to attend to him. If she refuses, he promises to destroy the good life she has built for herself with Jacob.

Desperate and alone, Martha faces a terrible decision: stay and be beholden to Boult or journey north to find Jacob who is reported to have been killed.. The road ahead is filled with danger, but also the promise of a brighter future. And where her gifts once threatened to be her downfall, might they now be the very thing that sets Martha free…?

The brilliant follow-up to Eleanor Porter’s first novel of love, betrayal, superstition and fear in Elizabethan England. A story of female courage, ingenuity and determination , this is perfect for fans of Tracy Chevalier.

Purchase Link – HERE

My Review…

This is the second book that follows the story of Martha, she was once accused of being a witch. After her marriage to Jacob Spicer, they both move and start a new life together, a fresh start with a chance of a good life and where they are unknown.

Life is indeed good until Jacob is asked to travel with his master and this means he will be away for a couple of months. Martha tries her best to continue as normal, but it seems her reputation for healing has followed her and she is called to heal again. Something that Jacob didn’t want there doing again. She gradually gets drawn into a situation that she can see no good end to. She also hears that Jacob has been killed and her only option is to stay or to leave to find Jacobs body.

The author takes Martha on a journey that sees her in a dangerous predicament. A woman travelling alone is not good, it is full of danger and yet the author has a plan for our main protagonist. While this plan is not without its own danger it is a very good option and one that allows Martha more freedom than she has had before.

She finds a companion of sorts, not completely trust-worthy but one that is at times more help than a hindrance. Martha’s travels take her into villages and towns and she is made aware of how naive she really is.

This is a story not just of love and finding the truth but also one that is bound up in superstition and the use of natural ingredients to heal. Set in the Elizabethan era when witchcraft is definitely frowned upon, it lends itself to the story of Martha.

This is a historical fiction novel that I really enjoyed, it continues on from The Wheelwright’s Daughter and shows the world through the eyes of a young woman. It has a feel of being caught between the devil and the deep blue sea as Martha is caught between two choices. The author creates a story that I found to be very addictive and while there is a desperation to Martha there is also a glimmer of hope. A lovely read and one that I would recommend reading if you like good historical fiction.

About the Author…

Eleanor Porter has lectured at Universities in England and Hong Kong and her poetry and short fiction has been published in magazines. The Wheelwright’s Daughter was her first novel.
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The Jam Factory Girls by Mary Wood @Authormary @panmacmillan #hist/fic #saga #bookreview

I am absolutely delighted to share my review today for The Jam Factory Girls by Mary Wood. I was so surprised and absolutely delighted when a copy of this book landed on my doormat, so my huge thanks to Pan Macmillan for my amazing book post.

Any regular visitors to my blog may be aware that I am a big fan of Mary’s work, she also writes under the pseudonym Maggie Mason. This author definitely knows how to write a saga, so if you love your historical fiction then you need to check out some of her books.

Let’s look at the first in this new trilogy by Mary…

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The Jam Factory Girls is an uplifting and emotional novel of friendship set in the heart of pre-WWI London from bestselling author, Mary Wood.

Life for Elsie is difficult as she struggles to cope with her alcoholic mother. Caring for her siblings and working long hours at Swift’s Jam Factory in London’s Bermondsey is exhausting. Thankfully her lifelong friendship with Dot helps to smooth over life’s rough edges.

When Elsie and Dot meet Millie Swift, they are nervous to be in the presence of the bosses’ daughter. Over time, they are surprised to feel so drawn to her, but should two East End girls be socializing in such circles?

When disaster strikes, it binds the women in ways they could never imagine. Long-held secrets are revealed that could change all their lives…

Purchase from Amazon UK – Mary’s book are very accessible and you usually see them in the supermarket and you can of course order them from your local book seller.

My Review…

It is always an absolute treat to read a book by this author, especially when I get to read the first book in a new trilogy. The Jam Factory Girls is the first in this new trilogy and it is a wonderful book from start to finish.

This book introduces two Eastend girls Elsie and Dot, and also the Jam factory owners daughter Millie. An unlikely friendship blooms between these girls, they just get on so well. Millie’s friendship would be looked down upon by her parents just as the girls’ friendship with Millies would be. In an era when social classes are still very evident, and classes should not mix it is an unusual relationship, to say the least.

For me, Elsie was the main character of the three and her story is told more so than the others, but the author knows how to weave a tale that involves the three. Hardship, poor working conditions and living conditions are described and show that even when times are tough, there are always those that are in a worse condition.

The over-riding feeling through this book is one of friendship, loyalty and wanting to do the right thing. Not always easy when a good deed can be seen as charity and pride is a priority. The story tells of not just the friendship between the girls but also includes the going on in the factory, the rise of women calling for their own rights in the workforce.

This is an absolutely fabulous book and one that I adored. The author has once again transported me back in time and delivered such a heartbreaking at times story, but one that also injects hope for the future into it. If you are a fan of sagas and historical fiction then this is a book that is definitely one that should be on your list. If you have read any of this author’s books then you know you are going to be in for a wonderful read. The Jam Factory Girls is a book I would definitely recommend. 

About the Author…

Mary Wood

Born in Maidstone, Kent, in 1945, the thirteenth child of fifteen children, Mary’s family settled in Leicestershire after the war ended.

Mary married young and now, after 54 years of happy marriage, four children, 12 grandchildren and many great-grandchildren, Mary and her husband live in Blackpool during the summer and Spain during the winter – a place that Mary calls, ‘her writing retreat’.

After many jobs from cleaning to catering, all chosen to fit in with bringing up her family, and boost the family money-pot, Mary ended her 9 – 5 working days as a Probation Service Officer, a job that showed her another side to life, and which influences her writing, bringing a realism and grittiness to her novels

Mary first put pen to paper, in 1989, but it wasn’t until 2010 that she finally found some success by self-publishing on kindle.

Being spotted by an editor at Pan Macmillan in 2013, finally saw Mary reach her publishing dream.

When not writing, Mary enjoys family time, reading, eating out, and gardening. One of her favourite pastimes is interacting with her readers on her Facebook page. http://www.facebook.com/HistoricalNovels
And on her web page: http://www.authormarywood.com
She is also on Twitter: @Authormary

Mary welcomes all contact with her readers and feedback on her work.

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Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be amazing 🙂 xx

Stormy Days on Mulberry Lane by Rosie Clarke @AnneHerries @rararesources @BoldwoodBooks #boldwoodbloggers #historicalfiction #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Stormy Days on Mulberry Lane by Rosie Clarke. This is an author who I absolutely adore, I have read several of her books and featured my reviews on here. For me, this is a must-read author for those who love historical fiction and romance sagas.

Here is more about her latest book…

Stormy Days On Mulberry Lane

London 1950
Peggy Ronoscki is happily settling into life running her guesthouse on Mulberry Lane, surrounded by close friends and family. Life just seems too good…
But then disaster strikes.
Pip, her beloved son is left in a coma following a devastating car crash and a young girl collapses in the market leaving Peggy no option but to nurse her back to health.
As things begin to go awry, Peggy worries she has brought trouble to her doorstep?
Can her life ever return to normal? Or has Peggy’s good nature led her astray?

Purchase Link – HERE

My Review…

Stormy Days on Mulberry Lane continues the story in the series, the focus is again on “Peggy of the Lanes” and her family and friends.

Life is starting to return to normal after the end of WWII, but certain things still remind them that things still have a way to go. Some things are still in short supply, but things are moving forward. Peggy and Abe are settled into running the guest house, cakes, pies and pastries are made on a daily basis.


The community who live in the Lanes or visit are made very welcome by this close-knit community. Peggy and Abe are well thought of and respected, and both work all hours. Peggy’s return to the Lanes has been a godsend for some and the warm, friendly reputation that he had is once again there for all to see. She meets people new and old.

The author has once again written a story that continues with the thread of family, friends, community and spirit. It is great to return to the series with this new book and catch-up with the old characters as well as meeting the odd new one.

The series has moved on and is set in the ’50s, things are moving forward as characters grow up, new babies are born and different challenges are to be overcome. The author has created such a wonderful and heartwarming series that really does feel like reuniting with old friends. I do think you could read any of these as stand-alone books, but to be perfectly honest I would advise reading in order to get the full impact of what each of the main characters has been through.

This is a book that would definitely appeal to readers of sagas, historic fiction and want a read that is full of warmth, hospitality and a sense of belonging. A gorgeous read and one I would definitely recommend.

About the Author…

Rosie Clarke is a #1 bestselling saga writer whose most recent books include The Mulberry Lane series.  She has written over 100 novels under different pseudonyms and is an RNA Award winner.  She lives in Cambridgeshire.

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Harpers Heroes by Rosie Clarke @AnneHerries @BoldwoodBooks #boldwoodbloggers @rararesources #histfic #bookreview

I am delighted to once again feature my review for author Rosie Clarke latest book Harpers Heroes. This is the latest book in the Harpers Emporium series and what a wonderful next instalment it was.

My thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for arranging my e-copy of hte book and also for my spot on the Blog Tour.

Here is what it’s about…

Synopsis…

From the bestselling author of the Welcome to Harpers Emporium and The Mulberry Lane Series.
The Harpers Girls come face to face with the harsh reality of the cruelty of war.


Oxford Street, London 1915

Sally Harper quietly battles to keep Harpers afloat in the difficult days of the war, whilst husband Ben is working all hours for the War Office.

Beth Burrow is fighting concern for her husband Jack, now at sea with the Merchant Navy, and the fear she may never see him again and be blessed with a child.

Driven to exhaustion, Maggie Gibbs, is now working as a nursing assistant on the battlefields in France. With the everyday horrors of the casualties of war to contend with she suffers her own personal tragedy when her fiancé’s plane ditches in the sea.

Can the Harpers Girls and their loved ones survive the perils of war and find a path to future happiness?

A heart-warming saga following the lives, loves and losses of the Harpers Girls. Perfect for fans of Nadine Dorries, Pam Howes and Dilly Court.

Purchase Link – Amazon UK

My Review…

What an absolute joy to catch up with the folks at Harpers. This is a department store that has amazing bosses, colleagues and friends. They are more of an extended family rather than a work force and this is what makes this series so special.

There are some characters that are focused on more than others, these key characters are facing worrying and uncertain times. Some of the workforce have signed up to do their duty and fight in The First World War. The War has far reaching effects not only for those who are in the midst of the fighting, but also for those left at home worrying about loved ones. Also with rations and shortages other suppliers need to be found.

As I mentioned the story and characters are based around those that work ot or know people at Harpers, it gives it a family saga feel and really does draw you into t the lives, worries and uncertainties during this period in our history.

The author portrays so many aspects of war life. The women who volunteer close to the front helping the wounded, those involved in logistics, in freight and supplies, undercover work and many other aspects. While the horror of wounds is mentioned the story does ot focus so much on the front line fighting, though it is always an ever-present feature. In some ways it is more about everyday people doing the best they can no matter where they are and what they are doing.

Harpers Heroes is part of a series and even though I have not read this from the beginning I did read the previous book. So, yes you can read them as a stand alone, but I do wish I had read them in order as the two books I have read so far have been so engaging.

If you are a fan of historical fiction and romance, of family sagas and engrossing stories then you really want to have the Harpers series on your list, Harpers Heroes is a wonderful read and one I would definitely recommend.

About the Author…

– Rosie Clarke is a #1 bestselling saga writer whose most recent books include The Mulberry Lane series.  She has written over 100 novels under different pseudonyms and is a RNA Award winner.  She lives in Cambridgeshire.

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The Beach Party by Peter Bartram @PeterFBartram @RandomTTours #RandomTTours #crime #mystery #bookreview

I am delighted to once again feature a review for Peter Bartram, The Beach Party is the latest in the Crampton of the Chronicle series.

My huge thanks at Anne at Random Things Tours for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my signed copy of the book. Let me show you what it is all about…

Synopsis…

Murder stalks the beach party…

Brighton is about to host its most exciting beach party ever – with the world’s biggest name in rock music headlining the show. It seems a world away from the work of Evening Chronicle crime reporter Colin Crampton. But that’s before fraudster Claude Winterbottom is beaten to death. As Colin investigates the crime, he finds there are too many suspects. Like Manfred Crouchpenny, the fattest loan shark in the world. Or Jeremiah Clarke, leader of a band of purity campaigners. And who is the mystery woman who hides behind the pseudonym Astraea? The climax explodes on a pirate radio ship moored off the British coast. There are laughs alongside the action as Colin and feisty girlfriend Shirley Goldsmith race against time to save countless lives at the beach party.

· Paperback : 282 pages

· ISBN-13 : 979-8689870687

· Publisher : Independently published (28 Sept. 2020)

· Product dimensions : 13.97 x 1.8 x 21.59 cm

· Language: : English

Purchase from – Amazon UK (this is an affiliate link)

My Review…

It is always a pleasure to catch up with Colin Crampton, a crime reporter at the Chronicle newspaper based on Brighton. What starts out as trying to get the latest story out before the deadline ends up with our intrepid crime reporter being repositioned!

Colin is definitely a wily man when comes to getting the scoop and he does use the occasional dirty trick much to the annoyance of a fellow hack. But this time he has gone a step too far and he is moved from reporting the crime to reporting entertainment! While Colin is definitely entertaining he is not that sort of writer.

Never fear though, because no matter where Colin goes or he finds a crime or crime finds him. A man beaten to death, a pirate radio station and various suspects lead Colin over land and sea to discover follow the leads.

The author has definitely got the workings of his main character, his flaws and also his dogged determination is always to be admired. Colin in some ways reminds me of a dog who refuses to let go of a bone, he will not give up on a story. Part of me does wonder if there is a stubborn streak that means he doesn’t like to be beaten or if there is a morality to him as he wants to discover the truth; maybe there’s a little of each!

The story is a good pace, and I love how there are no mobile phones, computers or tech. This is set in the 1960s and there are mentions of bands and music that help keep the sense of time as well as some of the phrases that are used. I also really enjoy the humorous tones, very tongue in cheek and I think to a certain extent a very British style to them.

I am a fan of this series and I have a real soft spot for Colin and his escapades around Brighton. This latest book is another excellent read, it has drama, danger, unexpected surprises and a fair few twists. If you like cosy mystery and crime that has a sense of humour then you really should have a look at these books. The Beach Party can be read as a stand-alone, but you would miss out on some very, very good books in the series. I would definitely recommend this one, well all of them to be honest.

About the Author…

Peter Bartram brings years of experience as a journalist to his Crampton of the Chronicle crime mystery series. His novels are fast-paced and humorous – the action is matched by the laughs. The books feature a host of colourful characters as befits stories set in Brighton, one of Britain’s most trend-setting towns. You can download Murder in Capital Letters, a free book in the series, for your Kindle from http://www.colincrampton.com. Peter began his career as a reporter on a local weekly newspaper before editing newspapers and magazines in London, England and, finally, becoming freelance. He has done most things in journalism from door-stepping for quotes to writing serious editorials. He’s pursued stories in locations as diverse as 700-feet down a coal mine and a courtier’s chambers at Buckingham Palace. Peter is a member of the Society of Authors and the Crime Writers’ Association.

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