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

Futures Beckon, Pasts Threaten by Nia Lucas @BooksNia #PublicationDay #Contemporaryfiction #Bookreview

I am absolutely delighted to share my review today for Futures Beckon, Pasts Threaten, the second book in The Choices Series by Nia Lucas. I would like to thank the author for my advanced copy of this book and to also wish her a Happy Publication Day 🙂 xx

The first book, I absolutely adored and was eager to be able to read the second. The third is also Published today and as I have that one on pre-order it should be say on my kindle ready to go.

So a double Publication Day Celebration 🥂xx

Let me show you more about this book…

Synopsis…

Following on from ‘Choices Shape, Losses Break’, eighteen-year-old Lorna Davies is doing everything she can to blend in at University, hiding the challenges of her past. As her closest friends guard the secrets of the girl they love, Lorna tentatively grasps a life less complex.

Terrified of risking everything she holds dear, Lorna discovers that building a secure future is hard when the weight of the past threatens all that she has.

As adulthood beckons and a life is shaped, are safe choices truly the right ones? When the secrets explode from their guarded boxes and the full extent of Lorna’s history is set free, will anyone survive the fallout?

Purchase link from Amazon UK

My Review…

Having recently read the first book in the Choices series the emotions are still quite fresh as I started this next book. It follows on Lorna’s story. It is one that starts as she is now heading to University but the months after the loss of Lee and Shay have been tough, really tough and she doesn’t know how she has got through it. It is the year of firsts for her without them.

The book sees Lorna almost on auto-pilot as she drifts to classes and sits on the edge of things. Gradually she finds ways to fill her time and gets a job as well as being at uni. Being at home isn’t an option but she does have her brother Dan, and her friends Han and Nico at the end of the phone. These are her support system, they are there for her and they will help her as much as they can but the tough choices are hers to make.

As she works her way through Uni she meets Rob and another support is added to her arsenal. This is where the title of this book is very clever and so suitable. Lorna needs to decide how she will face the future and how much of the past she can leave behind, but more how much of the past will stay left in the past.

Once again the author follows the emotional thread and in fact, it was more emotional knowing what had gone on in the previous book. I really liked how the author started to analyse the past through Lorna and how these became realisations of sorts. Even though Lorna has had different experiences she still needs to work out how to grow up and find her place in society and find out who she is.

I adored this book as much as I did the first, it still has quite a strong sexual thread but once again it becomes part of Lorna’s emotional story and how things for her have changed. I did wonder how the author would lead Lorna through this next section of her life and I have to say she has done it wonderfully. Lorna is dealing with normality and the everyday things rather than the fast-paced and adrenalin-fuelled days of her past. But the past still echoes around her.

This is a story that I read in a couple of days, it is a sort of coming of age but with some serious themes woven into it. I really do think that the books need to be read in order to understand the full history of where Lorna ios now and I would definitely recommend them both and I am looking forward to seeing where the author goes next.

The Choices Series with Amazon Links (these are affiliate links)

Choices Break, Lossess Break

Futures Beckon, Pasts Threaten

Ties Bind, Love Finds

About the Author…

I am a UK based author of Contemporary women’s fiction who is passionate about writing amazing, strong and very relatable female characters who readers really invest in- I love to deliver the best mate you wish you’d had! My Welsh heritage and my life as a practising Social Worker with teenagers and their families heavily influences my work as does my love of all things 90’s, especially Rave and Clubbing culture. My first novel, ‘Love Punked’ is rated 5* on Amazon and my second 5* rated Novel ‘Choices Shape, Losses Break’ is now available on Kindle and Kindle Unlimited!

My Facebook Page is Nia Lucas Books where my latest news and updates are posted and readers can also follow me at @BooksNia on Twitter or @nialucasbooks on Instagram.

You can also visit Nia’s Amazon Author Page where you will find another brilliant book that I also adored – Love Punked.

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

A Place to Belong by Cathy Mansell #histfic #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for A Place to Belong by Cathy Mansell. This is one for historical fiction readers and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Synopsis…

A Place to Belong is the gripping and heartwrenching novel from Cathy Mansell, set against the sweeping backdrop of Dublin and rural Ireland in the 1940s. 

She lost everything in one night. Now she must fight for happiness.

It’s 1943 and Ireland has escaped the worst of the war raging in Europe, but life is not without its hardships. When fire breaks out at the convent in Cavan where she has spent the past ten years, orphan Eva Fallon barely escapes with her life.

She’s offered a bed for the night by Ma Scully, whilst her nephew Cathal, visiting from Dublin, helps battle the blaze. Seventeen-year-old Eva has never known such kindness but she’s too proud to take advantage, and finds a job at Blackstock’s farm, setting in motion a chain of events that will change her life forever.

Amidst tragedy and hardship, the only ray of light is the friendship of Ma Scully and her growing, secret love for Cathal. And through it all Eva clings to her hope that one day she will find a place where she can truly belong.

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

My Review…

This is the first book I have read by this author and I absolutely adored it. I am so pleased that there are several more books for me to read by her.

This is set in 1943, WWII rages in Europe. Ireland is not affected as much by bombs like the UK and apart from rations life does seem to progress as normal for Eva. The story begins when there is a fire at the orphanage where Eva lives. Not everyone gets out. Eva comes across the wonderful character of Ma Scully, a straight-talking woman who keeps her eye on Eva. Once Ma realises that Eva is indeed trustworthy she helps her to find a job on the Blackstone farm as a scullery maid. Life there is hard and the mistress Aggie holds no favour for Eva, in fact, she goes out of her way to be as horrid as possible.

A turn of events causes Eva to leave quickly and she makes her way back to Ma Scully. Bad news seems to follow Eva as much as bad luck. Eva finds her self in the midst of an investigation that is no fault of her own. But, as much as there are many nasty people in the world, Eva has the good fortune to have met some very genuine, honest and caring people, especially in Ma Scully and her nephew Cathay.

This was such a gorgeous story that completely wrapped me up. A fabulous historical fiction that starts with a tragedy and finds Eva followed by heartache and worry. Eva is such a lovely character her innocent outlook on life and her naivety are just so nice to come across in a story. But obviously, with those nicer qualities, there are those that will try to take advantage. Don’t think for a moment thought that Eva is a walkover, she will stand up for herself and fight her corner.

I really enjoyed the descriptions of the settings, with the odd mentions about the war helping to keep me firmly planted in the time of the story. There are some mentions of politics, but only briefly as the main focus of the story is Eva and the people who come into her life.

A truly wonderful story that I think readers of historical fiction, historical romance will enjoy. I loved the setting, the characters and the storyline and I would absolutely recommend this wonderful book.

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

Swallowtail Summer by Erica James #contemporaryfiction #holidayfiction #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review for Swallowtail Summer by Erica James. This is an author who I have not read before and after reading Swallowtail Summer I will be keeping my eye for more by her.

Let me show you what this is all about…

It was the summer it all ended . . . It was the summer a new story began.

Linston End has been the summer home to three families for several decades. The memories of their time there are ingrained in their hearts: picnics on the river, gin and tonics in the pavilion at dusk, hours spent seeking out the local swallowtail butterflies. Everyone together. But recently widowed Alastair is about to shock his circle of friends with the decisions he has made – and the changes it will mean for them all… Can these friends learn to live life to its fullest?

Fans of Fern Britton and Katie Fforde will love escaping into summertime with this warm-hearted, uplifting story set in the beauty of the Norfolk Broads.

Do not be taken in by this beautiful cover, there is something dark lurking behind it.

Linston End was left to Alistair, it is a house on the Norfolk Broads and is a place where he and his friends have met up every year. Alistair, Simon and Danny have always been friends, well more brothers than friends. They have all married and some have children. Summer holidays are taken at the house with the families coming together.

This summer is different, this summer Alistair is bringing someone new and his friends are nervous and worried. The newcomer is Valentina, she is the new lady in his life and has a chance at a new start. With changes ahead, tension is ever-present during the summer holiday.

The author has done a wonderful job are creating a stunning setting for Swallowtail Summer, the house sounds like such an idyllic place for old friends and their families to come together. A chance to catch-up and reminisce about old times. But with the arrival of Valentina things are different. There is an air of mistrust at her arrival. The author mentions, partway through the story, that some things from the past have been swept under the carpet, they have been things that others may have been aware of but not voiced. With the added tension of Valentina nerves are a little frayed. Comments are made and past events alluded to, and gradually the ticking time-bomb of the past ignites.

This is a story that is quite captivating as I do like a story with a past, with secrets and with a touch of the dramatic, and this story does have those. It also has the dynamics of family and friends who are close, but apparently not quite as close as they like to think as they have all held something back.

There is quite a lot of intrigue throughout and as to have a fresh start you do have to deal with the past first, it means admitting your part in the events before moving on. I like the way this had all been laid out and then gradually pulled together for quite an ending.

A very enjoyable read that will appeal to readers of a slower-paced story about family, friends, secrets, the past and the future. It is one I would recommend.

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

Willows Wedding Vows by Debbie Viggiano @DebbieViggiano @rararesources #rachelsrandomresources #Bookreview

I am delighted to share my review for Willow’s Wedding Vows by Debbie Viggiano. My thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of this fabulous book.

Let me show you what it is all about…

Wedding vows have never been this personal…

Willow has been living with marriage-shy Charlie for more years than she cares to remember and is old-fashioned enough to want a wedding band and a loads-of-sex honeymoon before stretchmarks and nipple shields.

So when the once-wary Charlie surprisingly goes down on one knee, Willow doesn’t question why her boyfriend is suddenly so keen to rush her into saying “I do”.

The first clue comes as Willow is zipped into her Cinderella dress, the second as she bobs into the wedding car, and the third as the Roller swings towards its fairy-tale destination… leaving a shell-shocked Willow desperately trying to figure out what to do next.

A bride can do anything she wants on her wedding day, but nobody expected her to do this…

Get your own copy at Amazon UK

The synopsis does a good job of laying out the basics for this story and if you are a fan of romance and rom-coms then I think you are going to really enjoy this one. While it does read as a rom-com, there is far more then meets the eye. Meeting the eye, well the least said about that the better, as a roving eye is probably more appropriate! There are certainly some chuckles as well as some eye-opener with this story… I seem to be a little fixated with eyes!!!

So, Willow is a lovable character who has been with long term boyfriend Charlie for several years. They live together and as his job is oh so much more stressful than hers, after all she is a librarian that may occasionally have to deal with disgruntled customers, yeah I wasn’t a fan of him in case you hadn’t realised!

He is successful and often has to attend meetings and is often away for weekends. His best mate Ben has just split up with his other half. Willow’s best mate, Emma has not had much luck in the boyfriend department, and even Emma’s Mum seems to single. It is only Willow and Charlie that seem to be the only couple. Oh, and I almost forgot Kev, well this is a character that had a quite a large part to play in the grand scheme of things.

Now as the story progressed I got to know more about Charlie and Willow, and I have to say the inclusion of the italicised comments are brilliant. They add a humorous tone and are definitely enjoyable.

The story goes through the high’s and lows of Willow and Charlies relationship, things are not as hunky-dory as they appear, but they are a solid couple aren’t they…

I really enjoyed the pace of this story, it had an easy flow and made for effortless reading. In no time I was caught up in the shenanigans of, well mainly Charrlie actually. Yes, this is a story about Willow, but the first half focused more on Charlie. It is later in the book that Willow takes the larger part and for good reason to.

This is not a straight-forward rom com, it has much ore to it and follows a very twisty route. The is a very large secret that I will admit to working out, but I think this was down to the hints that were gradually dropped and led me to follow the breadcrumbs as it were to successfully work it out.

A very enjoyable read and one I would definitely recommend for a lighter read but one that still has serious undertones. It has left me wondering why on earth I have not read any of this authors books before. I have purchased a few of her books and they are still to be read. I know I am not alone when I mention this!

Prior to turning her attention to writing, Debbie Viggiano was, for more years than she cares to remember, a legal secretary. She lives with her Italian husband, a rescued pooch from Crete, and a very disgruntled cat. Occasionally her adult children return home bringing her much joy… apart from when they want to raid the fridge, or eat her secret stash of chocolate. Follow her on Twitter

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

Cold Fusion 2000 by Karl Drinkwater @karldrinkwater @BOTBSPublicity #ColdFusion2000 #BOTBSPublicity #BookReview

I am delighted to share my review for Cold Fusion 2000 by Karl Drinkwater. Many thanks to Sarah at Book On The Bright Side for my spot on the Blog Tour and also for arranging my copy of the book.

Let me show you what it is all about…

Alex Kavanagh is a pedantic physics geek – a teacher who hates teaching, a lover who’s always getting dumped, a writer whose articles all get rejected, a 28-year-old still living at home and bullied at the bus stop by teenagers – and he’s just had the worst day of his life. Things can only get better, right?

Enter his ex, Lucy, in what seems to be a chance meeting. Her betrayal marked the point when his life went nuclear. But – holy protons! – he still loves her.

Two problems. First, she isn’t who he thinks she is. Second, she’s going to leave him forever in 72 hours.

Cold Fusion 2000 is a haunting novel about a man who’s too rational to believe in ghosts and too short-sighted to see what was in front of him all along.

This was a book that I wasn’t sure about when I first started it. The beginning was a mix of a playlist of songs, physics and then a character I didn’t immediately take to. I read a dozen pages and decided to go off and do something else. I then returned to it and an hour or so later.

I don’t why that break worked but it did. I found the main character of Alex Kavanagh to be a cold and almost allof one and I didn’t think I would like him. By the end of the book however I discovered that me initial thoughts about him were totally wrong.

Alex is a socailly awkward person, he doesn’t quite seem to fit in anywhere and doesn’t seem to have anyone that he can connect to. He had been on track to complete a Phd, he then left University before completing it after a breakup from his then girlfriend Lucy. He returned back home to live with his parents.

He then reconnects with Lucy for a short time, they get on well but it isn’t meant to last as she is only visiting.

The story flows around Alex, his past and his present and his friendship with his sisters friend Natalie. It is almost like a story of finding who he is and where he belongs. I suppose you could call it a coming of age story, but this doesn’t really feel right as you assume that this would be more about a teen, but Alex is in his 20’s.

From a story I wasn’t sure about I then discovered a tale that was wonderfully written and gradually drew me in. I then found it very difficult to put down. A story of a man who is lost, but needs someone to take the time and have the patience for him. Alex went from a man I wasn’t that fussed about to a man who I really liked.

I think this is a book for those who like something a little bit different, that is well written and has some wonderful heartwarming moments. I really enjoyed it and I would recommend it.

Karl Drinkwater is originally from Manchester but lived in Wales for twenty years, and now calls Scotland his home. He’s a full-time author, edits fiction for other writers, and was a professional librarian for over twenty-five years. He has degrees in English, Classics, and Information Science.

He writes in multiple genres: his aim is always just to tell a good story. Among his books you’ll find elements of literary and contemporary fiction, gritty urban, horror, suspense, paranormal, thriller, sci-fi, romance, social commentary, and more. The end result is interesting and authentic characters, clever and compelling plots, and believable worlds.

When he isn’t writing he loves exercise, guitars, computer and board games, the natural environment, animals, social justice, cake, and zombies. Not necessarily in that order.

Follow Karl on – FacebookTwitterInstagramGoodreadsWebsite

Check out the other stops on the Blog Tour…

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

Dreaming of Verona by TA Williams @tawilliamsbooks @rararesources BookReview

I would normally start a blog post by saying how delighted I am to share my review, I am today, however going to start it with an apology!… My apologies to the author, Trevor, and also to the Blog Tour Organiser Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources because this post should have gone out at the beginning of the week. I had it in my diary and then discovered I had put in down for next month!!!!

Now then, I am delighted to share my review for Dreaming of Verona by TA Williams, this was a terrific book and I would like to show you what it is all about…

Verona is the City of Love. But will Suzie find romance there or, like Romeo and Juliet, will it all end in tears?

When Suzie is hired to accompany spoiled, abrasive Lady Alexandra Tedburn on an all-expenses paid holiday to Italy, she fears the trip will be a disaster.

But she soon discovers there’s more to Alex than shopping and tantrums, and she’s determined to help her realise her potential – against Alex’s authoritarian father’s wishes.

As they settle in Verona, Suzie can’t stop thinking about local artist Michael, who is still mourning the tragic death of his wife. With Suzie’s future uncertain, and Michael’s past
holding him back, it seems there’s no hope for romance in the city of
star-crossed lovers… or is there?

A gorgeously uplifting and moving story, Dreaming of Verona is the perfect read for fans of Holly Martin, Tilly Tennant and Jenny Oliver.

You can purchase this book from Amazon UK or US

The synopsis for this book sounded fabulous and right up my street. Just after I finished it I hopped over to Goodreads so I could mark it as being “Read”, and had a look at the other books by this author. I was delighted to find quite a few that I will be adding to my TBR in the very near future. It is the first time I have read one of Trevor’s books and he is now well and truly on my ‘reading radar’.

Dreaming of Verona was a book that when I began I felt right at home with. I met the ‘rich girl’ Lady Alexandra Tedbury and she came across as aloof and spoilt. I also met the lady that was to accompany her on a holiday to Italy, the Vicars daughter Suzie. The author did a brilliant job with these characters and had me thinking that my slightly stereotypical views were right, by the end of the book I was so way off with what I had initially thought about them!

The story was a stunning read, the sights and sounds of the area were such a pleasure to read and I liked the contrast between how the wealthy live and also the delights of the back street cafe’s and restaurants. It was a mesmerising picture that was built up through words.

The story line flowed very easily and it made for a very difficult book to put down once started. The initial chilly first meeting between the two girls was not great and even the start of the holiday led to the odd dramatic moment, but gradually as the girls got to know each other things mellowed.

I was gutted to turn the last page of this book as it had been such a wonderful read, there were surprises aplenty, some giggles, some heartwarming moments as well as some indecision as to how things would pan out. I have to say that from when I first read the synopsis to the completion of the book I was very pleasantly surprised.

The auhtor managed to weave a lot of other things int the story and they fitted in so well. There was some history, Shakespeare (well it is Verona after all), food, wine, items of interest and then there friendships, a touch of romance, art, more wine and food and , well I think you get the picture.

This was a book that I thoroughly enjoyed and I am looking forward to read more by the author. Ideal for fans of romance, rom-com, women’s fiction, and those who like me would love to visit Italy and also for those who like to disappear into a really good escapism read. I highly recommend it.

I’m a man. And a pretty old man as well. I did languages at university a long time ago and then lived and worked in France and Switzerland before going to Italy for seven years as a teacher of English. My Italian wife and I then came back to the UK with our little daughter (now long-since grown up) where I ran a big English language school for many years. We now live in a sleepy little village in Devonshire. I’ve been writing almost all my life but it was only seven years ago that I finally managed to find a publisher who liked my work enough to offer me my first contract.

The fact that I am now writing romantic comedy is something I still find hard to explain. My early books were thrillers and historical novels. Maybe it’s because there are so many horrible things happening in the world today that I feel I need to do my best to provide something to cheer my readers up. My books provide escapism to some gorgeous locations and, as a writer, I obviously have to go there in person and check them out first. I love my job…

Follow Trevor on his – Website Twitter Facebook

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

Unlocked by Soulla Christodoulou @schristodoulou2 @Bookreview

I am delighted to share my thoughts on Unlocked by Soulla Christodoulou, this is a beautiful short story that given it’s short length has so much to it.

I would like to thank Soulla for sending me an Advanced Reader Copy of Unlocked and to also like to add…

Happy Publication Day Soulla 💞

Let me show you what it is all about…

Helen, wallowing in pain and shunning the world and everyone around her, happens across an inspirational quote in her local store after leaving the house for the first time in weeks. Instantly, its message awakens something within her and she books a flight to a country she has always wanted to go.

In India the sounds, sights and colours of this spiritual place, evoke a new awareness within her and the promise of release from the agony of her husband’s infidelity. An impromptu encounter and an invitation to a local wedding open up an unexpected path and a flood of long-forgotten feelings.

Purchase link – Amazon UK

Helen has isolated herself after the breakdown of her marriage. Let herself go and become a recluse. A simple quote awakens something inside of her and she books a ticket to India.

Helen’s journey to India is a chance to be free of her self imposed confines. Her journey is not just a physical one, but one the heart, soul and mind.

The author has created such a captivating short story that is beautifully written. Within this short format there is a sense of hope and of starting to imagine a life being lived.

The author uses a few cultural references and at the end of the story these are explained in a little more detail. There is some wonderful vivid imagery that the author has carefully and superbly incorporated.

After I had finished Unlocked I had a wonderful sense of Helen being at peace. Also a little sad that it had finished, this is a story that I could have happily read in a longer format. The story is a tranquil and heartwarming read and I adored it and would definitely recommend it.

This is a beautiful story that has a perfectly matching and beautiful cover.

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 Women’s Fiction author and wrote her first novel Broken Pieces of Tomorrow over a few months while working full time in secondary education and 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.

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 will be featured in a book ‘Dear Friend’ out 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 is releasing her second novel, The Summer Will Come in Autumn/Winter 2017.

Follow Soulla on Twitter Website

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

Coming Home To Winter Island by Jo Thomas @jo_thomas01 @annecater #randomthingstours #bookreview

I am delighted to share my thoughts on Coming Home To Winter Island by Jo Thomas. I love this authors books so I was so excited to grab a spot on the Blog Tour arranged by Anne at Random Things Tours and thank you so much for my advance copy of this fantastically fabulous book 🙂

Let me show you what it is all about…

Wrap up warm and explore the breath-taking beauty of a remote Scottish island and an old house waiting to unlock enchanting family secrets.

Fans of Jill Mansell and Milly Johnson will love this irresistible new winter novel from Jo Thomas.

Do you need to find out where you’ve come from before you can know what the future holds?

Ruby’s singing career is on the verge of hitting the big time, when her voice breaks. Fearing her career is over, she signs up for a retreat in Tenerife to recover.

But an unexpected call from a stranger on a remote Scottish island takes her on a short trip to sort out some family business. It’s time to go and see the grandfather she’s never met.

City girl Ruby knows she will be happy to leave the windswept beaches behind as quickly as she can, especially as a years-old family rift means she knows she won’t be welcome at Teach Mhor.

But as she arrives at the big house overlooking the bay, she finds things are not as straightforward as she might have thought.

There’s an unexpected guest in the house and he’s not planning on going anywhere any time soon …

Praise for Jo Thomas:

‘Magically romantic…best read in front of a crackling log fire’ Milly Johnson

‘The characters went straight to my heart’ Katie Fforde

‘A sparkling, heartwarming hug of a story’ Miranda Dickinson

‘Like the best kind of holiday’ Lucy Diamond

What happens when you mix a remote island, a voiceless singer, a sitting tenant, and a unknown grandfather and a lost gin recipe? You get the most amazing story by the fabulous Jo Thomas that is what you get! This is the third book I have read by this author and every time she transports me with her descriptions, story lines, characters and theme of the story.

Coming Home To Winter Island is a stunning read as I followed the devastating and catastrophic bad luck that fell on Ruby Mac, she lost her voice as she and her band are on the verge of being signed by a record company. She then gets a mysterious phone call and changes her plans ending up on a wintry Scottish island.

The author weaves in a story that takes quite a few surprising turns and I have to say they were brilliantly executed. Music, gin, recipes, dementia, local community and family history are all fabulous additions to Ruby’s story. There are a couple of other main characters of Hector and Lachlan, they are again so well developed and give a heartwarming and also a nervous and tentative feel to the story.

The descriptions of Christmases past and memories that are intertwined in the story add an extra special feeling to this story. It has a definite foothold in memories and these then help the progress forwards to the future. There are also some wonderful setting descriptions that definitely added extra sight, sound and smell senses to the story.

I will admit to not being a big fan of gin, I’m more of a whiskey drinker, but I have to say the sound of the gin mentioned in the book sounds amazing.

This is yet another book I absolutely devoured as I have with the previous books I have read by this author. If you are a fan of books that have a wonderful story, fabulous characters, sumptuous settings, that has many surprises, unexpected friendships and that does not take a direct route then I think this is the book for you. If you have already read Jo’s books then you will know where I am coming from because she is a fabulous author.

Coming Home To Winter Island is yet another book by Jo Thomas that I would Highly Recommend.

Jo Thomas worked for many years as a reporter and producer, first for BBC Radio 5, before moving on to Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour and Radio 2’s The Steve Wright Show. In 2013 Jo won the RNA Katie Fforde Bursary. Her debut novel, The Oyster Catcher, was a runaway bestseller in ebook and was awarded the 2014 RNA Joan Hessayon Award and the 2014 Festival of Romance Best Ebook Award. Jo lives in the Vale of Glamorgan with her husband and three children.

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Letters To My Daughters by Emma Hannigan #20booksofsummer #bookreview

I am delighted to welcome you to my thoughts on Letters To My Daughters by Emma Hannigan. This book is another read for the Readin Challenge #20 Books Of Summer that I took part in this summer.

Let me show you what this book is all about…

Her three girls were her world. It was time to let them know. 

To sisters Bea, Jeannie and Rose, the death of their beloved childhood nanny is a devastating loss. As the girls grew up, Nanny May had become so much more to them all: confidant, advocate, comforter, friend. In whom will they confide their hopes, fears and failures now she has gone? Especially now each sister needs a mother’s wisdom more than ever…

Martha cannot understand why her daughters are so upset about losing their childhood nanny. Yes, Martha was always in demand as a busy midwife, but that doesn’t mean she loved her own children any less. But why don’t the girls realise that? And has she left it too late to let them know…?

I think this is such a nice title for a book. The daughters are Bea, Jeannie and Rose, their parents are Jim and Martha. As both parents worked it fell to Nanny May to help raise the girls. Nanny May was an invaluable part of the household and they all kept in touch over the years as the girls grew up and left home to begin their own lives. The death of Nanny May hit the girls and Jim hard, but Martha isn’t quite affected in the same way by the death as the others.

Over the course of the story the author built up and developed a story that delves into all their pasts. It is told in the Now, with glimpses back in time. The author has created a story about a family that appears perfect from the outside, I say appears because there are cracks and some of those cracks are widening.

The story weaves its way at a pleasant pace and it was quite suprising how time just simply passed by as I was immersed in the book. I gradually got to know each of the main characters and found myself warming to them as I discovered more about them as a family as well as individuals. I discovered their secrets, their dreams and their wishes, what made them scared and what made them anxious.

It’s a story of a family, and with that came so many emotions as I read, anger, frustration, joy, hope, exasperation and doubt. As it progressed I did wonder how this family could stop the cracks from widening, if they could find compromises and if they could pull things back. By the end of the story I was surprised at the ending, I did not expect that, but at the same time it did feel right and so worked well.

It is one of those stories that I want to say is a delightful and lovely read. It has some tense moments that lead to distrust and dismay but also has a solid glimmer of hope and is heartwarming.

Letters to My Daughters is a book I would happily Recommend!


Book #18 of 20

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