The French Escape by Suzie Tullett @SuzieTullett @bombshellpub #BookReview

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I am delighted today to be sharing my thoughts on The French Escape by Suzie Tullett as part of the blog blitzby Bombshell Books. My thanks to Emma Welton for the invite to join and Bombshell for my ebook. You can buy a copy from AMAZON UK in either paperback or e-book format.

Synopsis:

It’s fair to say that Flick has had a terrible year. Her beloved father died, she had the wedding of her dreams and only hours after the ceremony her husband ran out on her.

Brenda, fed up with her daughter living like a hermit, decides to drag Flick off to France to stay in a chateau. What could be better than an idyllic escape?

But when they arrive Flick discovers the chateau is all but abandoned.

The only upside of her French escape is the handsome and mysterious neighbour, Nate.

Nate loves his life living in the cottage on the grounds of the abandoned chateau but that is about to be put in jeopardy…

Can Nate and Flick ever learn to come to terms with the past and find love again?

My Thoughts:

Flick and her Mum Brenda, are on their way to France. Flick has no idea where she is going as Mum has made all the plans, and Flick also has no idea what Mum has planned until they arrive at a slightly run down chateau. Nate is a neighbour who seems to be a little moody, maybe secretive even… Flick has her own problems and Mum thinks this is the break her daughter needs to help her get her life sorted.

I love Brenda, the way she keeps her daughter in the dark about various things is great, I can see she has Flick’s best interests at heart. Brenda is concerned that Flick has lost her spark and is becoming lifeless and lost, as the story unfolds I got to discover why. As much as I had sympathy for Flick, I had to agree with Brenda, Flick needed a kick up the backside to get her life going again.

Now throw into the mysterious neighbour Nate. Well he has some interesting skeletons that he tried to keep hidden, though not hidden from everyone it seems. Yet another character I really liked, he has an interesting story and one that I didn’t quite expect.

As well as these three, there are also some other characters from the surrounding area that have an interest in the chateau and its new visitors, there reasons why soon become obvious. As do various other developments that the author has cleverly woven in.

This is a really great read and I soon found myself caught up in this story, the descriptions of the area were vivid, I could easily imagine the chateau in its surroundings. As much as I liked Flick’s story I found it was Nate’s story that really caught my interest, a little bit different and also sad.

This is a story about starting over, moving on from the past, making the decision to try things and also there is a bit of romance. The story has a great mix of personalities that compliment the main cast and also each other as well. It is an uplifting story that is captivating, idyllic and one that I would definitely recommend xx

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

Tapestry Of War by Jane MacKenzie @JaneFMackenzie #BookReview

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I am delighted to be sharing my thoughts today on Tapestry Of War by Jane Mackenzie. A Second World War setting for a story of love, war, loss and new beginnings. You can get a copy from most good bookshops and from AMAZON UK.

Synopsis:

From the deserts of North Africa, to the waters of Scotland, the Second World War touches the lives of two women from two very different worlds. In Alexandria, Fran finds her world turned upside down as Rommel’s forces advance on the idyllic shores of Egypt. The life of luxury and stability that she is used to is taken away as she finds herself having to deal with loss, heartache and political uncertainty. Meanwhile, in the Firth of Clyde, Catriona struggles between her quiet rural life and her dreams of nursing injured servicemen on the front lines. As the war rages on, the two women’s lives become intertwined – bringing love and friendship to both.

My Thoughts:

With a dual setting of Scotland and Egypt during WWII you will get to meet to women. Catrina from the Scottish Island of Islay and Fran from Alexandria in Egypt.

This is a lovely story that follows these two women from very different backgrounds. The simple island life for Catrina is not quite enough and she wants to be a nurse, Fran is a socialite and journalists. The war is in full rage and really has an impact on these women as you would expect. It gives them an extra drive to do what is right, for one to become the nurse and the other to report on the war rather than propaganda version of it. The author references military events that kept me firmly rooted in the time of the story and the research has been done well, expressing not only details of events but also the views from a political aspect. This is all woven around the story of Catrina and Fran, their families and their friends.

War changes people and for the women of this story it made them more determined and gave them challenges and also opportunities they never would have had if it was a time of peace. There is a romantic aspect to this story, and while it is not a love-dovey one it does fit in with the story well. There is that uncertainty of will the partner return from war, will they be the same, will they still be in love and it really has been dealt with in a very realistic and for me felt right for the time. I most likely have a slightly stereotypical idea of life and love during war, but the way the author approached it felt right.

This is a book I would recommend to readers of Historical fiction, Historical Romance. A slower paced story that is well written, descriptive and emotional.

 

About the Author:

Jane MacKenzie has spent much of her adult life travelling the world, teaching English and French everywhere from the Gambia to Papua New Guinea to Bahrain, and recently working for two years at CERN in Geneva. She now splits her time between her self-built house in Collioure, France and the Highlands of Scotland, where she has made her family home.

Follow Jane on Twitter or Website

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

 

The Last Plantagenet? Jennifer C. Wilson @inkjunkie1984 @rararesources #BookReview

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I am delighted to be sharing my thoughts on The Last Plantagenet? by Jennifer C. Wilson today as part of the blog tour by Rachel’s Random Resources, my thanks to Jennifer and Rachel for my copy and spot on the tour. This is a short story and you can grab your copy from Amazon UK

Synopsis:

The fireplace hadn’t looked like a time-portal.
All Kate had wanted was a fun, relaxing day out, watching the knights jousting at Nottingham Castle. What she ended up with was something quite different.
Transported in a heartbeat from 2011 to 1485, how will Kate handle life at the Ricardian court? Even more importantly, how will she cope when she catches the eye of the king himself?

My Thoughts:

Kate is transported from 2011 back in time to 1485, through a fireplace. She only stopped momentarily whilst attending a historical event.

This is a quick read at only 68 pages and I was taken back to the era of Richard III. The author has not decided to take the more notorious aspects of Richard but instead taken the route of a warm, friendly and affectionate one. Who is right or wrong to say how Richard was in private, no one knows, he may have been like this.

Kate catches the eye of Richard in this romantic story and manages to include quite a few historical details. This has such a nice ending, I am not letting you know what it is, but it made me smile.

A really nice story that is ideal for some light escapism for an hour. A book that would be appealing to those who want a quick, light dip into a historical romance with a slightly different aspect, an entertaining read. One I would recommend.

About the Author:

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Jennifer is a marine biologist by training, who developed an equal passion for history whilst stalking Mary, Queen of Scots of childhood holidays (she since moved on to Richard III). She completed her BSc and MSc at the University of Hull, and has worked as a marine environmental consultant since graduating.

Enrolling on an adult education workshop on her return to the north-east reignited Jennifer’s pastime of creative writing, and she has been filling notebooks ever since. In 2014, Jennifer won the Story Tyne short story competition, and also continues to work on developing her poetic voice, reading at a number of events, and with several pieces available online. Her Kindred Spirits novels are published by Crooked Cat Books and available via Amazon.

Social Media Links – Blog, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram

See what other Book Blogger think by following the tour

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

The Cornish Dressmaker by Nicola Pryce @NPryce_Author @CorvusBooks #BookReview

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I am delighted to be sharing my thoughts today on The Cornish Dressmaker by Nicola Pryce. I would like to thank Sophie Walker at Atlantic Books for bringing this book to my attention, when Sophie asked if I would like a copy my response was a definite yes please, how could I not want one? I do live in Cornwall after all!

Synopsis:

The third sweeping novel in a stunning series of family sagas set in eighteenth-century Cornwall, following the trials of seamstress Elowyn Liddicot as she attempts to forge her own destiny.

Cornwall, 1796.

Seamstress Elowyn Liddicot’s family believe they’ve secured the perfect future for her, in the arms of Nathan Cardew. But then one evening, Elowyn helps to rescue a dying man from the sea, and everything changes. William Cotterell, wild and self-assured, refuses to leave her thoughts or her side – but surely she can’t love someone so unlike herself?

With Elowyn’s dressmaking business suddenly under threat, her family’s pressure to marry Nathan increasing, and her heart decidedly at odds with her head, Elowyn doesn’t know who to trust any more. And when William uncovers a sinister conspiracy that affects her whole world, can Elowyn find the courage to support the people she loves in the face of all opposition?

My Thoughts:

Cornwall in 1796. Think smuggling, mining, fishing, a time of new ventures and risks. This is where Elowyn Liddicot (Elly) lives. She has a loyal shadow in the form of Billy, a young lad who is inquisitive as he is loyal and trustworthy. Elly is torn between a marriage to Nathan who can provide her with a good stable home and life, but then there is William Cotterel, a washed up man who has nothing to apart from a passion for right and wrong.

This is an absolute cracker of a read as I got to travel along the lanes and shores of rugged Cornwall. An area I know well from living here for 18 years, so it was very easy for me to use the authors words to imagine the scenery. This book has a mix of things I like from a historical fiction read, history, facts, references and also some good old fashioned romance.

Elly has to make a decision, it should be her own but her family are pushing her towards Nathan. It is the ideal way for her family to take a step up the status ladder, not nice but it’s something that happened more often than not. If it wasn’t for Willaim washing up then there would be no decision, so he is the proverbial spanner in the works.

The story itself is one that had some interesting asides to it as the author used things that happened at the time with mining, advances in technology as well the judicial system to give a great depth to the story, making it more that just a historical romance.

There are several character sin this book that covers various roles and it didn’t take me long to get a grasp as to who was who. The story started off at an amble that gradually picked up a little speed as I got comfortable in its pages.

So this is a book I would definitely recommend, if you like Cornwall, historical fiction, Romance and also  Poldark then you should definitely choose this.

About the Author:

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Nicola Pryce trained as a nurse at St Bartholomew’s Hospital in London. She has always loved literature and completed an Open University degree in Humanities. She is a qualified adult literacy support volunteer and lives with her husband in the Blackdown Hills in Somerset. She and her husband love sailing and together they sail the south coast of Cornwall in search of adventure.

‘Pengelly’s Daughter’ is the first novel in her new Cornish saga. Her second novel, ‘The Captain’s Girl’ was published this July and ‘The Cornish Dressmaker’ in May 2018.

Nicola is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and The Historical Writers Association.

She can be found on : Twitter – Goodreads – Facebook – Website

Many thanks for reading my review, a like or share would be fab 🙂 xx

What Kitty Did Next by Carrie Kablean @CarrieKablean @RedDoorBooks #LoveBooksGroupTours #BookReview

 

9781910453612I am sharing my thoughts on “What Kitty Did Next” by Carrie Kablean, this is available to purchase from Amazon UK in paperback or ebook format. My thanks to Red Door Books and Kelly at Love Books Group Tours for my ebook and also my spot on the tour.

Synopsis:

England, 1813 – Nineteen-year-old Catherine Bennet lives in the shadow of her two eldest sisters, Elizabeth and Jane, who have both made excellent marriages. No one expects Kitty to amount to anything. Left at home in rural Hertfordshire with her neurotic and nagging mother, and a father who derides her as ‘silly and ignorant’, Kitty is lonely, diffident and at a loss as to how to improve her situation. When her world unexpectedly expands to London and the Darcy’s magnificent country estate in Derbyshire, she is overjoyed. Keen to impress this new society, and to change her family’s prejudice, Kitty does everything she can to improve her mind and manners – and for the first time feels liked and respected. However, one fateful night at Pemberley, a series of events and misunderstandings conspire to ruin Kitty’s reputation. Accused of theft – a crime worse almost worse than murder among the Georgian aristocracy – she is sent back home in disgrace. But Kitty has learnt from her new experiences and what she does next does next will not only surprise herself, but everyone else too.
Based on Jane Austen’s much-loved characters, this is the story of one young woman’s struggle to overcome the obstacles of her time and place and truly find herself.

My Thoughts:

As is the norm for me, I tucked into this book without reading the synopsis and I couldn’t help thinking I had heard of these characters somewhere before, I also had a voice of some of them in my head, it was strange so I read the synopsis and realised that this was a book about Kitty Bennett, one of the Bennett sisters from Pride and Prejudice. I love Jane Austen’s classic book and love the film.

So a new to me author writes a book about characters I am already familiar with, this is quite bazaar. I remember Kitty and Lydia being the really silly annoying girls, who were fixated with “Officers”, getting noticed and married. The author has taken over the story of Kitty and I really loved the way she has done this. The often left out one, ignored one or in the way and stupid one, my heart really did go out to her. It was great to see a change in this character grow and develop. Once out of the shadow of Lydia, Kitty comes to the realisation that she is indeed very childish and in order to be more readily listened to she must learn to grow up.

As the story progresses the author has not made it easy for Kitty, there are some obstacles that have been added and it is interesting to see how Kitty approaches these and acts to them. I really found myself warming to her as the story continued and it wasn’t long before I was willing her onward to find what she wanted in her life.

The whole feeling of the story from start to finish oozed the sense of fashion, social gatherings, etiquette as along with the setting I felt as if I had been transported back into the early 1800’s and a great continuation to a story I adore.

I would absolutely recommend this to readers of historical fiction, romance and general fiction. It is a story that continues on from a classic and reads well as a stand alone. If you are not a reader of classics then do not be put off, this is a fabulous and well paced book that will appeal to many readers.

About the Author:

Carrie Kablean began her career in London, where she was born, and now lives in Australia. Arriving in Sydney in 1990 (via eight years in Papua New Guinea, during which time she edited the local newspaper on Bougainville), she was with The Australian newspaper for more than 20 years, and was, concurrently, a theatre critic for the Sunday Telegraph.

See what other readers think by following the tour

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

My Summer Reading List.

Plans for my summer reading.

As some of you may be aware I am planning on taking a break from Blog Tours over the three months of the summer as work gets crazily busy, I work in a tourist destination and this means long hours and not much time for reading. Even though this was a tough call to make it was also the best call, this way I am not letting any organisers down if I struggle to meet a schedule, also it means I am not rushing to read a book and possibly not enjoying it as much as I should.

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As well as working I do like to get out in my garden, mainly vegetables and some flowers, walking around beautiful Cornwall gardens, coastline and hidden away places. I always have a book with me and my camera.

Then there are my two dogs Billy and Buster, I couldn’t resist putting them in this post. They alert me to the postman/woman arriving so I can intercept (this translates as hides some of the books hehehe) the books that I have bought or been sent 🙂

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So I thought I would make a list of the books that are at the top of my list from my TBR, I have photo’s “woohoo” so you see my physical books and then I will mention some of the books on my kindle. I am obviously not going to be able to read all the books that I am going to list, but it will be great to look back and see how I got on.

So here they are:

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Now to those I have on my Kindle:

I have managed to buy various book series on my kindle and the vast majority are from recommendations and reviews from fellow Book Bloggers. The series I really want to read are

Angela Marsons – DI Kim Stone series. I have heard so many good things about this author and I’m really looking forward to reading this series. ( I know I will get many “about time” comments about this lol)

Barbara Copperthwaite: I was over the moon to have won a copy of “Flowers for The Dead” and it is an amazing read. I have since bought all her other books and I am desperate to read them all.

I love the covers and the sound of Bella Osbourne’s “Ottercombe Bay” series and have quite a few of these ready for the odd sunny summers day reading that I may get.

I have been collecting Karin Slaughter books and as yet have not read any, so another new to me author that I am excited to read.

I don’t know if I dare mention that I have not read any Anne Cleaves (Oh I know the shame of it), my husband loves to watch the series Vera and I must admit to following it and cannot wait to get into these and the Shetland ones.

So as you are all responsible for this rather large Kindle (1,122) and also physical books (500+) it will probably be increasing rather than decreasing, as there are some fantastic books coming out. I have a couple of questions for you…….

  1. What book/ series would you start with ?
  2. What is not on my list that should be ? ( I cannot believe I am asking this as I know I will be adding even more to my groaning TBR 🙂  )

 

Any hows, I have to go to work ( surprise, surprise) and I will catch up with you all later. Have fun and read lots

Yvonne xx

#BlogTour : The Street Orphans by Mary Wood @Authormary : #BookReview

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I am delighted to be sharing my thoughts for “The Street Orphans” by Mary Wood as part of the blog tour. Published in eBook, paperback and audio formats. My thanks to Mary and also Kate at Pan Macmillan for my copy of this book and my spot on the tour.

Synopsis:

The Street Orphans is an emotional story set in 1850s Lancashire, from Mary Wood, the author of In Their Mother’s Footsteps and Brighter Days Ahead.

Born with a club foot in a remote village in the Pennines, Ruth is feared and ridiculed by her superstitious neighbours who see her affliction as a sign of witchcraft. When her father is killed in an accident and her family evicted from their cottage, she hopes to leave her old life behind, to start afresh in the Blackburn cotton mills. But tragedy strikes once again, setting in motion a chain of events that will unravel her family’s lives.

Their fate is in the hands of the Earl of Harrogate, and his betrothed, Lady Katrina. But more sinister is the scheming Marcia, Lady Katrina’s jealous sister. Impossible dreams beset Ruth from the moment she meets the Earl. Dreams that lead her to hope that he will save her from the terrible fate that awaits those accused of witchcraft. Dreams that one day her destiny and the Earl’s will be entwined.

My Thoughts:

Now I know of the name, have seen a few books but have never read a book by this author. Looking through her books there is definitely a theme of historical based family sagas and social history. The Street Orphans is one that falls into these categories.

The story is of Ruth, a young woman with a club foot in 1850’s Lancashire. Her disability gives cause for concern for people as she is seen as “different” and therefore cannot be trusted and quite possibly a witch. A time where superstition and stigma are attached just as quick as mud to a shoe.

I loved this book and for so many reasons. I like to be taken into a the social aspects of a story and the contrasts between the various classes is wonderful. She explains within the story how stereotypes and stigmas cause mistrust and twists perceptions. This is very evident with another character, Katerina. Her parents have a mixed background marriage and the expectations of wealthy and titled as well as untitled people have their own set of problems. Arranged marriages for financial security, business deals, social status are among some of the challenges that are set out.

I really liked the way the author has used the local dialect for some of her characters. For me this worked really well and showed an emphasis on the differences between the locals and some other characters.

As with many things then as is now, power is an all-encompassing beast. The more you have, the more you can lose. The more you have, the more you want. This is played out really well within one of the plots of the story. Even though we follow the story of Ruth there are other stories that cross and intertwine with hers.

The story takes you into a world that is tragic, heartbreaking, cruel and nasty but it is gently balanced with a heartwarming and hopeful thread. I went through quite a few emotions with this story from shock and horror at some of the treatment and opinions, heartbreaking moments as things for the characters changed and the consequences that followed.

As I mentioned earlier, this is my first experience with this author and if this book is anything to go by i will be reading more. I would have quite happily sat and read tis book in a day if I had started it earlier, as it was I read it over two evenings. It was a story that caught me right from its shocking start and kept my attention throughout.

It is an amazing story with some wonderful characters and fantastic dialogue and setting descriptions. The plot took me through the highs, lows and some of the characters I loved some I loathed as I was transported back to the Victorian era of Lancashire. This author knows how to write a good story and I would highly recommend this book for readers of historical fiction, historical romance, social history,

About the Author:

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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.

Follow Mary on – Website – Twitter

GIVEAWAY ALERT ……Mary is running a giveaway and will offer a signed copy of the book to be drawn from those leaving a comment on the site.

Disclaimer: I am not involved in any way with this giveaway. The author will contact any winners directly. Any responsibility for the prize lies with the author.

See what other Book Bloggers think by following the tour

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

#GuestPost | Outremer by D.N Carter @gilbster1000 @AuthorightUKPR @Authoright #SpringReads #BlogTour

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I had the pleasure of reading “Outremer” by D.N Carter last year and was absolutely stunned by the amount of historical references in this tome of a book, the first in a planned four part series.  When the opportunity to take part in Authoright’s Spring Reads Event arrived I knew exactly what I wanted; more information about the research that went into the book, and also about the £10,000 prize for anyone than can crack the code in the book. In this post you will discover, amongst other things, how a lifetime of research lead the author underestimated the word count, from 140,000 to 1,247,000…… yes you really did read that right!  It is a real eye opener.

You can  Purchase fromAmazon UK.

Firstly the Synopsis:

Who Controls The Past Controls The Future

 An epic love story must overcome religious divide and a plot to eradicate two blood lines, as the Crusades and the search for the ancient mysteries of the Holy Grail gather momentum.

Raised by his father in La Rochelle, France, Paul Plantavalu is known for his artistic nature, inquisitive mind and Christian faith. He also has an unshakable love for his Muslim childhood friend, Alisha al Komaty. Courageous and outspoken, she returns Paul’s love. But their path is paved with obstacles; religion, war, political chaos and a mysterious enemy determined to destroy their family lines.

Sometime between 1110 AD and 1120 AD in the aftermath of the first crusade, a small band of nine knights — the founding knights Templar — recover ancient precious artefacts left by a former, advanced civilisation, beneath the City of Jerusalem. Ruthlessly guarded, the secrets revealed by this discovery are highly prized by powerful and dangerous forces far and wide; the repercussions of their capture are inextricably linked to Paul and Alisha. As Paul starts to experience dark and vivid dreams and the fragile balance of peace starts to crumble, it will fall to an enigmatic man known as Kratos and his female warrior protégée Abi Shadana, to safeguard Paul and Alisha.

Paul and Alisha’s love story weaves between the threads of our reality and other realms — from the Druids to the Sufi mystics, the Magi of the East, the secret political arm of the Knights Templar and the Isma’ilis, the Assassins. Knights and pilgrims alike will witness some of the darkest battles ever fought. The discovery of a unique sword’s lethal power and whispered connections to King Arthur and the Holy Grail lead Paul and Alisha to question if their lives ever be the same again.

The first of a four-part series, Outremer is an historical epic, which sweeps across England, Scotland and France, to Syria, Jerusalem and Egypt. Discover the truth — and crack the ancient code — behind the great mysteries of the High Middle Ages for yourself.

 

Get comfortable for this amazing post about the research and the prize:

    It has taken me since I was a young child to accumulate the research behind Outremer…and I am still learning more even now in my fifties. My main reason for writing Outremer was, and remains, to share and impart what appears to be highly advanced knowledge from our distant past that is provable and irrefutable, yet suppressed or deliberately ignored by so-called main stream academia. It all started after reading Chretien de Troyes Grail romances, plus my love of castles and ancient ruins…my original inspiration. I hope to provoke readers to think and start upon a path of their own research and not just accept my words, but to challenge all that I write, to seek for themselves answers and either refute or verify what I claim.

I can state with all clarity the first time I sat down and wrote the title and saved it as a word document was back in 2005. Almost a year later I penned the basic story time line together…175 pages! I knew it was going to be a massive undertaking but vowed I would finish. The research took the most time to ensure accuracy. From the smallest detail of clothing to major historical facts, to religious doctrine and philosophies, and only then, when I felt confident enough, did I commit to writing full time. In early 2014 I finally began to flesh out the original story time line. It soon became apparent my idea of penning a 140,000 word book was woeful wishful thinking and grossly underestimated the extent and volume of material I was trying to convey. 1,247,000 words later I typed ‘The End’ in December 2015. Now the hard work would begin I was then informed with editing and proofing etc and splitting the manuscript into four major volumes.

I wanted to share the knowledge of the ancients and their codes, as I believe I have understood them, in an engaging and enjoyable format, especially as they still have profound consequences for all of us. I have included a new one using those codes that readers may wish to work upon. If they crack it, it will lead to a location and an item. There are also exoteric and esoteric messages that run throughout the manuscript. To some they will be obvious whilst missed by others unfamiliar with the symbolism at first; however they will discover and understand as the information slowly reveals itself. It is possible to crack the code from book 1 alone. I have learnt that all three of the Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity and Islam) all carry within their respective Holy Books, a genuine and provable mathematical code…and they are the same code. As the famous scientist Stephen Hawkins once said, “If God is real, he is maths”. It shows that there is a higher knowledge behind their origins. Whoever breaks my code will win £10,000. The code can also be reversed to reveal the location of a genuine and far greater treasure and that is why I put up the prize to get people to look a little closer than perhaps they would have.

I have adhered as near as possible to historical truth whilst conveying a new perspective on our history in a verifiable format that not only educates the reader, but hopefully inspires too. ‘Your beliefs do not make you a free thinker…the ability to change your beliefs based upon new information does’ I was told when living in Cyprus, and so I strive to seek out new information; consequently I discovered many new things…far too many to include here but all comprehensively covered within Outremer. Some of the simpler facts that surprised me however were learning that King Richard the Lion heart could not speak English…his first language being French, and the name Jesus was not even generally known by that name in the Middle Ages, but as Iesus.

Outremer is based upon real people who lived during the tumultuous period of the 12th century, and few people nowadays appreciate the massive implications of events then that still impact upon us today. This was the perfect period platform to express the many levels of love, from the total and unselfish love for another, to unrequited love, jealousy, betrayals and forgiveness. But this period was also when items were recovered by the original founding Knights Templar that would ultimately lead to the rediscovery of practices and technologies that had an immediate impact, especially upon the design and construction of great cathedrals, but also leaps in other areas not so obvious that led to the explosion of what became known as the Renaissance starting in Florence.

This was when the first Grail romances about chivalry were being penned. Geoffrey of Monmouth, writing around 1130 with ‘History of the Kings of Britain’, introduced the first literary creation of the character, King Arthur and the idea of courtly love, but it was Chretien de Troyes who built and expanded on this creating Camelot, Lancelot and the Holy Grail. All my research pointed to this as being the period when a great revelation of esoteric and exoteric codes started…and the perfect backdrop to set a love story that is enmeshed with those very same codes of antiquity. I have always had an affinity to this period, especially the secret and mysterious Knights Templar, their clothing and equipment plus a deep fascination with ruins, mainly castles. It began when I was nine years of age. I went to Fountains Abbey in Yorkshire on a school trip. I loved the architecture and the feeling of spiritual peace that I sensed there. That trip revealed I had a natural talent for drawing architectural scenes. I visited many castles and ruins and my fascination simply grew from there. As a youth I was lucky enough to travel to several major castles in Cyprus, Syria, Jordan and Egypt. The beauty, scale and history of them utterly captivated me…but gave me a sense of sadness too for all the carnage of war that was visited upon them and their occupants. Consequently I asked myself, why, why would people fight wars of such unbelievable brutality? That question was rammed home after learning how the Christian Crusaders captured Jerusalem in 1099 AD and massacred all of its 70,000 inhabitants regardless of religion. I seriously questioned the real motives for the first Crusade with a deep sense there was far more than we are taught.

I still love ruins…an almost naive romantic notion of great Knights on quests that stirs within me whenever I see a castle, or even just a small part of an ancient wall, but the reality of castles is one of war and likewise those warrior monks, the Knights Templar. They projected a mystique I wanted to know all about, especially if they were somehow true guardians of what is known as the Holy Grail. How could monks be warriors too…it was a contradiction? I learned that Knights Templar swore to protect an original spirituality belief system, which is the basis for all religions, dedicated to supporting established Churches of all denominations and religious Orders and of other traditions…including Islam. It is knowledge and an understanding all people should have the opportunity to be shown.

The main thing I have personally learned, is that we, mankind as a whole, are all connected, we are inherently good, not bad and we are all spiritual beings and religion is simply a vehicle that has been used to convey a higher message across time as well as moral codes and words of hope and comfort…plus a message we are now only truly beginning to recognise for what it is. And that love, as airy fairy, corny or as some argue naive as that may sound, is the key…and true education I believe is when you are shown something, but not told how to see it. So we have a choice for we effect the very environment we live in and the world as a whole.

Being of a spiritual nature, I have read and studied as much as I could on every religious order and doctrine I could find. One aspect I always suspected was not somehow real was the so-called apocalypse. I could never understand how and why a God, who supposedly created us, would destroy us. I learnt that Apocalypse means to ‘unveil’ or to ‘reveal’ meaning ‘un-covering’, translated literally from Greek meaning ‘disclosure of knowledge’, a lifting of the veil or revelation …not destroy, nor the end of the world etc. So what else within scripture was not explained properly I wondered? Also what was contained within the fourteen books removed from the Bible and why were they removed. To learn why meant delving back to the late 1100’s, a period that shaped the geopolitical maps of both Europe and the Middle East, which in turn shaped the relations between Christian and Muslim countries to this day, with repercussions that still echo to the present. That is why, in my opinion, it is so essential to fully grasp and understand the true realities of that era that led to Christian and Muslim ideologies being so diametrically opposed …but how some today, knowing how to manipulate those facts to suit their own particular agendas, can effectively control the future by controlling our understanding of the past; hence the sub title ‘Who controls the past, controls the future’.

Follow on:  Outremer Website  ~    Outremer on Facebook

Yvonne: Oh my goodness, if this does not show the dedication I really don’t know what does. I am no where close to discovering the secret of the code.  But I do know is that this book is an epic read, full of so many facts and historical content.  The following books in this series are already on my “must buy when then are published list”.

About the Author:

About the author: After strange and vivid experiences whilst living in Cyprus as a child, author D N Carter has been fascinated by the history, myths and legends of the Middle Ages and mankind’s past. As he got older travels to Pyramids of Giza in Egypt, the Languedoc region of France and the deserts of Arabia fuelled his enthusiasm. While not decoding maps and mathematical codes D N Carter enjoys adventure sports from parachuting to microlight flying. Today he divides his time between East Anglia in the UK and the south of France with his family.

Check out the other books and bloggers on the Spring Reads 2018 Blog Tour

Spring Reads 2018

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

 

#BlogTour : The Summer Will Come by Soulla Christodoulou @schristodoulou2 @rararesources #BookReview

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Today I am on the blog tour for The Summer Will Come by Soulla Christodoulou. This is available in either eBook or paperback format and can be purchased HERE.  My thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for my spot on the tour and also Soulla for my copy of this book.

Synopsis:

Set in the 1950s, the story begins in Cyprus. EOKA, British rule, and the fight for Enosis (unity) disrupt the world of two Greek Cypriot families, living in different villages on the island. They are desperately trying to cope with the unpredictability of this fractious time.

Circumstances over a five-year period push both families to escape to London where, as immigrants, they struggle to settle, face new challenges, trauma and cope with missing their homeland’s traditions and culture.

Both families’ lives cross paths in London and it seems that happier beginnings could be theirs. But at what cost?

A story of passion for a country in turmoil, family love, loyalty and treachery and how, sometimes, starting over isn’t always as imagined. 

My Thoughts:

Set in 1950’s Cyprus we meet two Cypriot families, from different villages.  These families eventually make the decision, along with many others, that it is better to leave the trouble in Cyprus and start a new life in England.

We meet both the families and discover a little of their histories and also the run up to the hard decision they have to make to leave the homeland and start again in a new country.  This part of the story is a great way to get to know our main characters as they go about their everyday lives, also a great way to show much of a difference and a contrast it is when they continue their lives in London.

Once in London the families have to find lodgings and jobs, even though it is a new start, their traditions and customs have an even bigger part to play.  It is an essential part of who they are and gives them a strength, something they know and can rely on as they come to terms with the changes.  London is cold, noisy and has a polluted atmosphere compared the tranquillity that was their home before the troubles.  With a close-knit community and a commitment to traditions paths are invariably going to cross and new connections and friendships made.  This leads to the romantic side of the story.  This part of the story is where new and old meet and mix, traditions governing the meeting of potential husband/wife are paramount to the way things are done and also seen to be done.  Just because they are in a new culture does not mean they should abandon their own.

This is a really interesting book to read on many levels.  The author explains how the trouble on the island in the 50’s was experienced by those in the midst of it and incorporating it into a story line that is a great read.  I did feel the second half of the story was stronger and had a more personal feel to it.  The contrasts between the two lifestyle between the two countries were well explained and gave a great insight into conditions and also feelings.  The actions and reactions of people was also touched upon, by that I mean the racists attitudes and comments made.  I really loved the mentions of the mouth-watering sounding dishes and foods from a culture I know only the basics about.

If you are after a fictionalised historical novel that explores the Cypriots and the move some of them made to London to escape the fighting and turmoil at home then I would definitely recommend this book. It takes the reader in a journey of life, death, despair, hope and new beginnings.   It is insightful and also educational, and has a wonderful romantic side to it.  I book I would definitely recommend to readers.

About the Author:

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Born in London to Greek Cypriot parents Soulla Christodoulou spent much of her childhood living carefree days full of family, school and friends. She was the first in her family to go to university and studied BA Hotel & Catering Management at Portsmouth University. Years later, after having a family of her own she studied again at Middlesex University and has a PGCE in Business Studies and an MA in Education.

Soulla is a Fiction author and wrote her first novel Broken Pieces of Tomorrow over a few months while working full time in secondary education. She is a mother of three boys.

She is a compassionate and empathetic supporter of young people. Her passion for teaching continues through private tuition of English Language and Children’s Creative Writing Classes as well as proof reading and other writing services.

Her writing has also connected her with a charity in California which she is very much involved in as a contributor of handwritten letters every month to support and give hope to women diagnosed with breast cancer. One of her letters is featured in a book ‘Dear Friend’, released on Amazon in September 2017.

When asked, she will tell you she has always, somewhere on a subconscious level, wanted to write and her life’s experiences both personal and professional have played a huge part in bringing her to where she was always meant to be; writing books and drinking lots of cinnamon and clove tea!

She also has a poetry collection, Sunshine after Rain, published on Amazon and The Summer Will Come is her second novel. She is currently working on a third novel Trust is a Big Word about an on-line illicit relationship that develops between two people.

Social Media Links – Website ~ Twitter ~ Instagram ~ Facebook ~ Pinterest ~ Scriggler

See what the other Bloggers on the tour think.

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Many thanks for reading my post, a share would be wonderful.  Get you own copy of the 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

Many thanks for reading my post, please give a share or a like.  Or go and get yourself a copy of this book CLICK HERE 🙂 xx