Jeannie’s War by Carol MacLean @carolmaclean @rararesources #HeraBooks #historicalfiction #familysaga #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Jeannie’s War by Carol MacLean. This is a fabulous historical fiction story that I really enjoyed.

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

War changed her country, but it couldn’t change her spirit


Glasgow, 1939
Despite being shy and reserved, Jeannie Dougal finds herself newly engaged to handsome soldier, Arthur Dunn, the day war is announced. Jeannie accepts, even if she is unsure if a girl from the tenements will fit in with Arthur’s comfortable, middle-class background. But as WW2 takes its toll on the world, her wedding must wait…


As she sets off to work at a munitions factory she meets Eileen, Janet and Annie. As her new friends bond together in war work, sharing their stories of romance, Jeannie is grateful to be settled with Arthur, even if he is set in his ways.


Until she meets a charming Canadian soldier, Bill, and realises she has found a spark she was always missing. But how can Jeannie tell Arthur? And is she strong enough to fight her own battle, with the country already at war…?


An emotional and romantic family saga set in WW2 Scotland and the start of a captivating new series. Fans of Call the Midwife and Katie Flynn won’t be able to put this down.

Purchase Links – Amazon Kobo

MY REVIEW

This is a fabulous book and one that I just couldn’t put down. Starting in Glasgow 1939 rumours of war and the memories of the previous one are on everyone’s mind. More so for those living on Kiltie Street where this story is set.

The author has focused her story on one main family, the Dougal’s. Jeannie is a shy girl and has caught the eye of Arthur Dunn. He is also reserved and so it seems like the two will make a good match. When war is declared many men are due to join up and be sent for training. It is a time fraught with worry and so plans are made for the future. Jeannie and Arthur get engaged like many at the time.

The author weaves such a wonderfully compelling story. Kiltie Street is like many areas and war brings people closer and communities support each other. When bombs start to fall this becomes even more apparent. It is something that affects everyone and all try to do their part.

Although the focus is more on Jeannie, it is also about the rest of the family and also friends. The author has created such a heartwarming story but also has got the balance of fear for those who are at home waiting for news of their loved ones. The ever-present danger of the bombing is something that I feel the author has captured well. Mentioning the areas around Glasgow, factories such as Singer, and also how the River Clyde was used on moonlit nights as a marker.

I thought the pacing of the book was great, although it does move through the war years quite quickly it didn’t feel rushed. It mentions so many things that people have to endure during troubled times and how the family work together and support each other. The younger children evacuated, the older ones doing their bit for the war effort, whether it be enlisting or working in factories. Things such as rationing, food, clothing, Anderson shelters and so much more.

There is also the romance side to the story and this one isn’t straightforward and it also involves various couples, after all this is a community and friendships are formed.

A fabulous story that I happily read over one evening. Ideal for readers who like historical fiction, family sagas during WWII and it is one I would definitely recommend.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Carol MacLean lives in the Glasgow area. She began by writing pocket novels, having 18 published before deciding to write a historical saga. She enjoys weaving social history into fiction and imagining how life must have been for ordinary people living through different times.
When she’s not writing, Carol can be found visiting museums or walking around the city looking for traces of old Glasgow to inspire her next novel.
Carol is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association.

She has written 18 pocket novels published by DC Thomson and Linford Romance Series (Ulverscroft).


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Resistance (Book #1 Liberty) by Eilidh McGinness @eilidhmcginness @RandomTTours #historicalfiction #Resistance #bookreview

I have been waiting for what feels like such a long time to share my review. Today is the day when I finally can, it’s also the last post for the Blog Tour for this fabulous story. My review today is for Resistance by Eilidh McGinness, this is the first book in the trilogy – Liberty, with Equality and Fraternity to follow. A historical fiction set in the Dordogne area of France during World War II.

My huge thanks to Anne at Random Things Tours for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my copy of this wonderfully poignant book.

Bravery, courage, fear, treachery and love in a time of war.


A chance meeting draws Sabine Faure into the shadowy world of the French Resistance. Whilst acting as courier she meets four youths of her own age who wish to also join the Resistance. She is drawn to one in particular, Hérisson, who becomes her lover. Family loyalties are stretched to the limits as Sabine’s family try to navigate safely through the occupation.


Set in Dordogne in South-west France during World War II, the friends’ relationships and strengths are tested to the limits as life changes in horrific ways, The friends find themselves facing frightening situations and responding in ways they never thought possible as bravery and resistance take different forms in each of their actions.


Vivid and powerful in its illumination of a time and place filled with atrocities but also humanity and extraordinary bravery, Eilidh McGinness’s novel may leave readers asking themselves – “what would I have done?”
The novel is the first part of a trilogy set in southwest France during WW2 and is a family saga.

MY REVIEW

I do like my historical fiction and I am always on the lookout for authors that can bring something different. This author has done just that with this first book in the Resistance series.

Set during WWII, the story concerns a young woman, Sabine and a resistance fighter known as Hérisson. The two meet as Hérisson is looking to join the resistance in the fight against Hitler. Sabine finds herself doing her part to help and is uniquely placed to do so.

This is a fabulous read and one where I found myself thinking about consequences, it is something that the characters battle with as there are reprisals from the German forces when attacks are made from the resistance. Trying to keep their activities secret means keeping an eye out at all times. No one is safe especially when Germany occupies the French town of Saint Antoine de Double, while the town is fictional, many of the events are not.

The author has woven fiction around the factual and has created a book that flits between Sabine and Hérisson. They make two very distinct sides of the same story, one trying to carry on as normal and trying not to court any attention while the other is putting himself in harm’s way.

The author has created a story that shows the fear and also the proud determination a this most horrendous point in history. Persecution, torture, execution, deportation and death is something that all are in fear of and this is something that comes across very well in the story as well as the disbelief of some of the events that happen.

This is a wonderful start to this series and I am definitely looking forward to continuing it. It is one for readers who like their historical fiction to be based around or to include actual events. It is hard reading in some places and it had me on edge as I read about the two main characters and the people they know. It is one I would definitely recommend.

About the Author

Eilidh was born and brought up in the Highlands of Scotland. She studied law at Aberdeen University. She practiced as a lawyer for twelve years, latterly specializing in criminal defense. Eilidh then moved to South-West France with her then-husband and four children. She established an independent estate agency business which she ran for twelve years before concentrating on writing- a long-held dream. Eilidh has always been fascinated by history and ordinary people who achieve extraordinary things.

Twitter Website

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The Secrets of Latimer House by Jules Wake @OneMoreChapter_ #NetGalley #historicalfiction #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Secrets of Latimer House by Jules Wake. I requested this via NetGalley from the publisher One More Chapter, a division of Harper Collins.

I do like this author and have always enjoyed her books, she also writes under Julie Caplin.

In the war against Hitler every secret counts…

Society heiress Evelyn Brooke-Edwards is a skilled interrogator – her beauty making her a non-threat in the eyes of the prisoners.

Farm girl Betty Connors may not be able to type as she claimed, but her crack analytical skills soon find her unearthing covert connections.

German ex-pat Judith Stern never expected to find herself listening in to German POW’s whispered conversations, but the Nazis took her father from her so she will do whatever it takes to help the Allies end this war.

Billeted together in the attic of Latimer House – a place where secrets abound – Evelyn, Betty and Judith soon form a bond of friendship that carries them through the war. Because nothing is stronger than women united.

Tucked away in the Buckinghamshire countryside, Latimer House, a grand country estate, stands proudly – a witness to some of greatest secrets of WW2.

Used by the SOE to hold Nazi prisoners of war, this stunning historical novel is inspired by the untold story of the secret listeners of ‘M Room’ who worked day and night to help the Allies win the war. A must-read for fans of Dinah Jefferies, Fiona Valpy, Elaine Everest, Jean Fullerton and Deborah Burrowes.

MY REVIEW


What a fabulous story this was, it does have a mix of historical fact and fiction. This is the story of three women who come from very different backgrounds but have a valuable and important way of helping the war effort. These girls are listeners and secret gathers and what they discover help Churchill and his g3enerals plot and plan to bring down Hitler and end World War II.

Judith is a quiet woman, she isn’t outgoing, more mouselike. She is one of the survivors who made her way to England and is of Jewish descent. Betty is local to Latimer house as she grew up in the village nearby. She has a farming background. Evelyn is from a monied background, private education and believes it is more important to help out where she can rather than gallivant around in social circles.

The author provides a quick intro to each of the women and to what they have been doing up to this part of the war. Each of them has a specialism that is of benefit to the goings-on in Lattimer House. Whether it is the ability to speak German or have lived there or indeed having a memory that makes connections easier.

The author brings these three together and gradually as they begin to get to know each other it is easy for the reader to do the same. It wasn’t long before I could distinguish each character, their personality and their way of thinking. Each one brings sadness with them, this is war and life being life is always going to leave an impression.

The author really does a brilliant job with the characters, the main ones as well as the supporting ones. The story has a fabulous flow and I was able to see the women doing their job and realise what an impact this actually had on them mentally.

The author has included a piece at the end of the story as she describes the role of this large Buckinghamshire house and its part in the war. A place where captured crew and pilots were taken to prior to their transfer to Prisoner of War camps in other parts of the UK. It was interesting to follow up this story by having a browse through the internet to discover more.

I found this book to be addictive and a fabulous read apart from the last 15%, it is hard to read when you have tears in your eyes. This ending was very special and I loved how the author brought the story of the three women to a conclusion. It seemed very fitting and appropriate as well as keeping in with the story.

A wonderful story with fabulous characters and one for fans of historical romance and fiction. It is one I would definitely recommend

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jules Wake’s earliest known declaration that she planned to be a writer came at the age of ten. Along the way she was diverted by the glamorous world of PR and worked on many luxury brands, taking journalists on press trips to awful places like Turin, Milan, Geneva, Paris, Brussels and Amsterdam and occasionally losing the odd member of the press in an airport. It gave her the opportunity to eat amazing food, drink free alcohol as well as providing opportunities to hone her writing skills on press releases and to research European cities for her books.

Eventually the voices in her head persuaded her it was time to sit down and write the novel she’d always talked about. Her debut novel in 2014, was quickly followed by the bestselling From Italy With Love, published by One More Chapter, HarperCollins, which reached number 1 in the Amazon Kindle charts.

Jules’ book Covent Garden in the Snow was a Kindle Top 2 bestseller and the follow up book Notting Hill in the Snow was nominated for a Romantic Novel of the Year Award.

Her latest books The Saturday Morning Park Run came out in August 2020 and The Spark in December 2020. Her next book will be a complete departure as The Secrets of Latimer House is her first foray into historical fiction.

She also writes cosy romantic fiction as Julie Caplin and the seventh in her popular Romantic Escapes Series, The Little Swiss Ski Chalet was published in January 2021. The next in the series The Cosy Cottage in Ireland comes out in Autumn 2021.

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

The Turning of the Tide by Alan Jones @alanjonesbooks #historicalfiction #trilogy #publicationday #highlyrecommended #bookreview

It is an absolute delight to share my review today for The Turning of the Tide by Alan Jones. This is the final book in The Sturmtaucher Trilogy, so in some ways, it is also with sadness that I share this review.

I have read and loved each one of the books and it is a trilogy that not only to I Highly Recommend but also recommend that it is definitely read in order. You will find the link to Alan’s Amazon Page to order the books, a ridiculously cheap price and I for one would pay a lot more for these amazing books.

I have included Alan’s Website in the “About the Author” section of this post. There are so many items on this site that refer to his research and the book. Photo’s maps, glossary, documents and bibliography and these all add to the experience of reading the books.

Before I share my review of the final book, here are the two previous ones with the synopsis and a link to my full review…

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SYNOPSIS –

Book 1 in the Sturmtaucher Trilogy: a powerful and compelling story of two families torn apart by evil.

‘Kiel, Northern Germany, 1933. A naval city, the base for the German Baltic fleet, and the centre for German sailing, the venue for the upcoming Olympic regatta in 1936.

The Kästners, a prominent Military family, are part of the fabric of the city, and its social, naval and yachting circles. The Nussbaums are the second generation of their family to be in service with the Kästners as domestic staff, but the two households have a closer bond than most.

As Adolf Hitler and his National Socialist Party claw their way to power in 1933, life has never looked better for families like the Kästners. There is only one problem.

The Nussbaums are Jews.

The Sturmtaucher Trilogy documents the devastating effect on both families of the Nazis’ hateful ideology and the insidious erosion of the rights of Germany’s Jews.

When Germany descends ever deeper into dictatorship, General Erich Kästner tries desperately to protect his employees, and to spirit them to safety.

As the country tears itself apart, the darkness which envelops a nation threatens not only to destroy two families, but to plunge an entire continent into war.’ 

FULL REVIEW – HERE

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SYNOPSIS –

Flight of the Shearwater is the second book in the Sturmtaucher Trilogy: a powerful and compelling story of two families torn apart by evil.

‘With Poland divided between Hitler’s Germany and Stalin’s Union of Soviet Republics, the increasingly confident Third Reich flexes its military muscles northwards into Denmark and Norway, while the rest of Europe watches anxiously over its shoulders.

General Erich Kästner, in his key role in the Abwehr, is fast becoming aware of the mass expulsion of Jews and other minority groups from Germany and from northern Poland, to the new ghettos of the Generalgouverment area of southern Poland, and has an inkling of what the National Socialists’ have in mind for Europe’s Jews.

As Holland and Belgium fall, and the British are routed at Dunkirk, barely escaping across the channel, the seemingly impregnable France collapses under the Wehrmacht Blitzkrieg, sealing the fate of millions of Jews, now trapped under Hitler’s rule.

The Nussbaums, thwarted in their attempts to escape to Denmark, desperately seek other routes out of Germany but, one by one, they are closed off, and they realise they have left it all too late…’

FULL REVIEW – HERE

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SYNOPSIS

The Turn of the Tide is the third book in the Sturmtaucher Trilogy: a powerful and compelling story of two families torn apart by evil.

As Hitler’s greed turns eastwards to the fertile and oil rich Soviet heartlands, life for the Kästner and the Nussbaum families disintegrates and fragments as the Nazis tighten the noose on German and Polish Jews. Implementing Endlösung der Judenfrage, the ‘Final Solution to the Jewish Problem’, Hitler, Himmler, Heydrich and Eichmann plan to have Germany, and Europe, Judenrein, ‘cleansed of Jews’.
General Erich Kästner, increasingly alone, fights a losing battle to protect his friends, and their fellow Jews, putting himself and his family in jeopardy.
As the tide of war turns, he looks anxiously to the Soviets in the east, and to the Western Allies, desperately hoping, despite his patriotism, that Germany is defeated before there are no Jews left in the countries occupied by the Third Reich.
When an assassination attempt on Hitler and his henchmen fails, Erich Kästner himself comes under the scrutiny of the Gestapo, and his own survival, and that of his family, becomes uncertain.
As the war draws to an end, with Germany in ruins, time is running out for the Kästners and the Nussbaums…

MY REVIEW

This is the final book in The Sturmtaucher Trilogy and what a journey it has been. I have been absolutely blown away by these books and it is with great sadness that my time with the characters has come to an end. This is an amazing trilogy and one that will stay with me for a long time, and yes, it does need to be read in order.

The Turn of the Tide, as I mentioned in the final instalment in this story of human determination, sacrifice, hope and love. The trilogy started in the run-up to WW II, it then followed key characters in their journeys as the war took hold. Now, they have the job of finding their way back to some semblance of life in the emotional and physical wreckage that is left.

There are two main families mentioned in this trilogy, the Naussbaum’s and the Kastner’s. They are a German Jewish family and a German family. The Naussbaum’s have worked for the Kastner’s for many years, both families children have been brought up together and are very close. It was when Hitler began to change the politics and the attitudes of people that peoples true feelings came out.

Obviously, in a trilogy of this size, there are also many characters. There are family members, friends, colleagues. associates, fellow prisoners, confidants, lovers, soldiers, spies, the list goes on. Given the huge amount of characters, the author has expertly and deftly woven them to create a masterpiece. Bringing facts, historical events, dates, numbers, and really shocking details to these books. The research that has gone into this is remarkable, just looking through the bibliography at the end is an eye-opener.

As I had already got a connection to the characters from the previous books, I of course had my favourites. Knowing the events from history though, I was expecting a loss or more! This made the reading hard, several times my heart was in my mouth and I almost didn’t want to turn the page in case I discovered the worst.

This sense of dread is balanced with a huge sense of hope, the hope that the characters I had grown to love would either find their way back or at least find peace. I have to say this book was so emotionally charged in so many different senses of the word.

This final book is just as heartbreaking as the previous two and also hard to read when the author details some of the abhorrent and evil conditions that people had to endure. It is remarkable that people did survive. WWII had such a catastrophic effect on many people, those that were persecuted because of their ethnicity, or their faith and also of their beliefs.

I am struggling to put into words how well written and amazing this trilogy is. Each book takes the reader on a journey, the final book brings the lives of the characters to a conclusion. I have laughed, cried and got angry as I have followed these characters. Even the last line of the book had me in tears.

This is a stunningly brilliant trilogy. The research is impressive, the storytelling is sublime, the characters are memorable and this is something that will stay with me for a very long time.

If you like historical fiction that has a lot of factual details woven in then this is one you really need to pick up. I would highly and absolutely, most defintiely recommend this book and the trilogy.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Alan Jones

Alan Jones is a Scottish author with three gritty crime stories to his name, the first two set in Glasgow, the third one based in London. He has now switched genres, and his WW2 trilogy will be published in August 2021. It is a Holocaust story set in Northern Germany.

He is married with four grown-up children and four wonderful grandchildren.

He has recently retired as a mixed-practice vet in a small Scottish coastal town in Ayrshire and is one of the RNLI volunteer coxswains on the local lifeboat. He makes furniture in his spare time and maintains and sails a 45-year-old yacht in the Irish Sea and on the beautiful west coast of Scotland. He loves reading, watching films and cooking. He still plays football despite being just the wrong side of sixty.

His crime novels are not for the faint-hearted, with some strong language, violence, and various degrees of sexual content. The first two books also contain a fair smattering of Glasgow slang.

He is one of the few self-published authors to be given a panel at Bloody Scotland and has done two pop-up book launches at the festival in Stirling.

He has spent the last five years researching and writing the Sturmtaucher Trilogy.

SOCIAL MEDIA – Amazon Author PageTwitter Website

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War Clouds Over Blackberry Farm by Rosie Clarke @AnneHerries @rararesources @BoldwoodBooks #boldwoodbloggers #histfic #saga #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for War Clouds Over Blackberry Farm by Rosie Clarke. I have read a few books by this author and have thoroughly enjoyed them. Her latest book is the start of a new series, it was a brilliant book to read.

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

Cambridgeshire – March 1939


As the clouds of war begin to gather in Europe, the Talbot family of rural Blackberry Farm will be torn apart, just as so many families all over the world will be. Life will never be the same again.


Whilst in London, the Salmons family will feel the pain of parting and loss.


Brought together by war, the two families become intertwined and, as the outlook looks bleak, they must draw on each other’s strength to fight through the hard times.


Lizzie Johnson and Tom were sweethearts until a mistake caused a terrible rift. Lizzie takes herself off to London to heal the pain in a glamorous new job but she still loves Tom. His pride has been hurt – but deep down inside Tom still cares. Can they find happiness before their chance is gone and the whole world is swept into the terrible madness of war?


Purchase Link – HERE

MY REVIEW

War Clouds Over Blackberry Farm is a new series from the author and it is another fabulous historical fiction set in 1939.

Blackberry Farm is a delightful sounding farm where the Talbot’s, a hard-working and well-respected family in Cambridgeshire. Tom and Lizzie have been together for a while, but one night something happens that leaves her embarrassed and she decides to leave the village and try to find a job in a London hair salon. She falls on her feet when she finds not only a job but also a wonderful family to stay with.

The Salmon’s are another close-knit family who is welcoming and Lizzie soon finds herself feeling welcomed. She finally decides that she needs to confront what happened in the past come what may. She needs to know if Tom will accept her explanation as to what happened and if there is a chance for a future between them.

I thoroughly enjoyed this first book in this new series. It didn’t take me long to work out the characters and their roles in the families. Working between the city and the countryside brings different views and of course ways of living.

As the war is becoming more definite, people are thinking towards the weeks, months ad possible years to come. Some men sign up, others decide to wait to be called and some will apply for exemptions to work in their job. As the inevitable begins, wounded men are starting to return, women are thinking of training to be nurses as well as becoming land girls.

Bringing two new families means that I get to know a whole new set of characters. There are some glimpses of backstories and of course, not all the characters are nice to meet. The way the families live and work is laid out well and the mentions of foods and especially cakes sound amazing. I did like how the author used the soon to begin war as a way for her characters to make use of what they have while they have it.

I liked the contrast between the city and the country and how well the author bridged the gap between the two and also how the families become connected. I was gutted when I realised I had gotten to the end of the book. I did that whole thing of swiping back a page, and forward again, then back again before it sunk in that I had actually got to the end.

This is a book for those readers who like historical fiction and romance, for sagas and women’s fiction set in the early days of WW II. A brilliant opener to the series and one I would definitely recommend.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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

Social Media Links – Twitter Bookbub Newsletter

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Flight of the Shearwater by Alan Jones @alanjonesbooks #historicalfiction #mustread #trilogy #SturmtaucherTrilogy #bookreview

It is an absolute pleasure to be sharing my review today for Flight of the Shearwater by Alan Jones. This is the second book in his Sturmtaucher Trilogy. I read the first book, The Gathering Storm back in August and it blew me away. It still stays with me and I was delighted when the author offered me the opportunity to read these fabulous and powerful books.

You can read my full review of The Gathering Storm HERE.

Flight of the Shearwater is the second book in the Sturmtaucher Trilogy: a powerful and compelling story of two families torn apart by evil.

‘With Poland divided between Hitler’s Germany and Stalin’s Union of Soviet Republics, the increasingly confident Third Reich flexes its military muscles northwards into Denmark and Norway, while the rest of Europe watches anxiously over its shoulders.

General Erich Kästner, in his key role in the Abwehr, is fast becoming aware of the mass expulsion of Jews and other minority groups from Germany and from northern Poland, to the new ghettos of the Generalgouverment area of southern Poland, and has an inkling of what the National Socialists’ have in mind for Europe’s Jews.

As Holland and Belgium fall, and the British are routed at Dunkirk, barely escaping across the channel, the seemingly impregnable France collapses under the Wehrmacht Blitzkrieg, sealing the fate of millions of Jews, now trapped under Hitler’s rule.

The Nussbaums, thwarted in their attempts to escape to Denmark, desperately seek other routes out of Germany but, one by one, they are closed off, and they realise they have left it all too late…’

PURCHASE FROM – AMAZON UK

MY REVIEW…

Once again I am absolutely blown away by the writing of this author. The five years he has spent researching this trilogy, in my honest opinion, was time very well spent.

I will admit to approaching this second book with some trepidation, I was so hooked by the first book, The Gathering Storm, and I wondered if I would like the second book as much. I have to say that it is another amazing book.

If you have read the first book you will be aware of the two main families. The Kastner’s are a well-respected family with links to the German Navy and Army. Their housekeepers and friends are the Nassbaum’s they are German Jews who have been under the protection of General Erich Kastner. As the Jewish are being persecuted more and more it is getting harder for them to remain safe. I would suggest that you do need to read these books in order.

Flight of the Shearwater continues the story of the Kastner and Nussbaum families. In some ways the writing in this second book feels a little different, and a very good different. While the author still keeps the style, the feelings and the observations, he also displays some wonderful descriptive passages. I won’t say too much about these passages and chapters, but the vivid imagery he builds up through his story-telling is simply amazing. I can close my eyes and I can see stormy seas, feel the chill, experience the dread and fear, I also got angry, frustrated and was appalled at what various characters find themselves experiencing.

While the story does focus more on the younger member of the families, there are some vivid and horrific events that are described. It keeps the reader up to date with events unfolding during the most turbulent time in world history. For families having to make decisions as to how best to give their children a chance for survival, when this chance also leads them into danger is an awful choice to make. It is working out which is the lesser of two evils.

Once again I am stumped for words when it comes to writing a review. Once again I want to shout about various aspects of the story, well the story as a whole actually!

This is a superb book in the trilogy. It held my attention as fully as the first one and in some ways even more so as I needed to know what was going to happen to the characters I have come to care about. This author knows how to bring several emotions out in a reader. Research is amazing and there is a good section at the end for further reading. The storytelling is sublime. It is another amazing read.

If you are interested in reading about WWII, the differing views of the Germans, the treatment of the Jewish people and how the war affected the lives of people then this is a trilogy you seriously do need to pick up. Yes, it is hard reading at times as you would expect, but there is a glimmer of hope.

A stunning first two books and it has left me wanting, no, needing to know what becomes of these two families and the others they have met. Again it is a book I cannot recommend highly enough.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR…

Alan Jones

Alan Jones is a Scottish author with three gritty crime stories to his name, the first two set in Glasgow, the third one based in London. He has now switched genres, and his WW2 trilogy will be published in August 2021. It is a Holocaust story set in Northern Germany.

He is married with four grown up children and four wonderful grandchildren.

He has recently retired as a mixed-practice vet in a small Scottish coastal town in Ayrshire and is one of the RNLI volunteer coxswains on the local lifeboat. He makes furniture in his spare time, and maintains and sails a 45-year-old yacht in the Irish Sea and on the beautiful west coast of Scotland. He loves reading, watching films and cooking. He still plays football despite being just the wrong side of sixty.

His crime novels are not for the faint-hearted, with some strong language, violence, and various degrees of sexual content. The first two books also contain a fair smattering of Glasgow slang.

He is one of the few self-published authors to be given a panel at Bloody Scotland and has done two pop-up book launches at the festival in Stirling.

He has spent the last five years researching and writing the Sturmtaucher Trilogy.

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

The Seamstress of Warsaw by Rebecca Mascull @rebeccamascull @SpellBoundBks @zooloo2008 #TheSeamstressOfWarsaw #historicalfiction #bookreview

I am absolutely delighted to share my review today for The Seamstress of Warsaw by Rebecca Mascull. This is an amazing book that I adored, poignant, emotional and just simply fabulous.

My huge thanks to Zoe at Zooloo’s Book Tours for my spot on the blog Tour and for arranging my e-cop of this stunning book from the publisher SpellBound Books.

1940
London
A man learns a shocking truth about his past.
Warsaw
A mother writes a diary as the ghetto walls go up.
From the bombed streets of London, to occupied Warsaw, to the Polish forests bristling with partisans, will their paths cross?
Will their pasts be reconciled?
And will they survive the deadly assaults on their freedom and their lives?

THE SEAMSTRESS OF WARSAW is a tale of endurance and loss, family and blood, stories and histories, that questions the nature of who we are and where we are going, when the road ahead is burning.

Purchase Link – AMAZON UK or US

MY REVIEW…

When Daniel discovers that he is not who he thought he was, it leads him on a journey at one of the worst times in history to travel. Leaving his home in London her manages to get to Poland to try and find his real family. It is 1940, the family he is looking for is Jewish.

It always sounds so wrong when I say how much I enjoyed a book especially when it is one within this time in history. The persecution of the Jews, the atrocities, the danger for everyone in Europe no matter their belief, their ethnicity or their country. I did, however, really, really enjoy this story.

This is a story that has two sides to it, one is from the perspective of Daniel, the other his Polish mother, Helena. Having two perspectives is great, especially when neither is aware of what has happened or is happening to the other.

The story details so many awful and desperate ways people survived the ghettos, as the Jewish people were crammed into appalling conditions. This is hard reading, but the author has done it in such a way as to get across the imagery and being visceral rather than dramatic. This gives a sense of quiet belief and hope amidst the horror.

The story is very moving and emotional, and I found myself wanting and hoping for various scenarios to unfold. The story is wonderfully paced and also frustrating as opportunities and moments are missed.

A wonderful, wonderful story that captivated and enthralled me. It is one that is a journey of discovery, hope and of survival. I think if you like historical fiction set during WWII and that has historical facts and some wonderful research then this one will be for you. It is a story I would definitely recommend.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR…

Rebecca Mascull is an author of historical novels. She also writes saga fiction under the pen-name of Mollie Walton. 
Rebecca’s latest book under the Mascull name is coming on September 18th 2021, THE SEAMSTRESS OF WARSAW, the powerful tale of two people unknowingly connected to each other, caught up in the whirlwind of World War II, whose perilous journeys we follow from the Blitz to the Warsaw Ghetto and beyond, published by SpellBound. 
Mollie Walton’s The Ironbridge Saga series is set in the dangerous world of the iron industry: THE DAUGHTERS OF IRONBRIDGE (2019). The second book in the trilogy is THE SECRETS OF IRONBRIDGE (2020), set in the brickyards of the 1850s. The third book is set in the coalmines and servants’ quarters of the 1870s: THE ORPHAN OF IRONBRIDGE (2021). All three are published by Bonnier Zaffre. Mollie’s next trilogy will be set in WW2 North Yorkshire and the first book of this saga will be out in March 2022, published by Welbeck. 
Her first novel as Rebecca Mascull, THE VISITORS (2014) tells the story of Adeliza Golding, a deaf-blind child living on her father’s hop farm in Victorian Kent. Her second novel SONG OF THE SEA MAID (2015) is set in the C18th and concerns an orphan girl who becomes a scientist and makes a remarkable discovery. Her third novel, THE WILD AIR (2017) is about a shy Edwardian girl who learns to fly and becomes a celebrated aviatrix but the shadow of war is looming. All are published by Hodder & Stoughton. 
She also completed the finishing chapters of her friend and fellow novelist Vanessa Lafaye’s final work, a novella called MISS MARLEY, a prequel to Dickens’s A CHRISTMAS CAROL. This novella is published by HarperCollins. 
Rebecca has worked in education, has a Masters in Writing and lives by the sea in the east of England. She is also a Fellow of the Royal Literary Fund, based at the University of Lincoln. 

Follow her at – Facebook Instagram Twitter

Check out the other stops on the Tour…

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The Gathering Storm – (The Sturmtaucher Trilogy #1) by Alan Jones @alanjonesbooks #TheGatheringStorm #histfic #mustread #bookreview

I am absolutely delighted to share my review today for an amazing book. The Gathering Storm – (The Sturmtaucher Trilogy #1) by Alan Jones is a book that has completely blown me away. If you have an interest in history and historical fiction in the lead up to WWII in Germany, then you really do want to look this book up. It is a book I cannot recommend highly enough.

Book 1 in the Sturmtaucher Trilogy: a powerful and compelling story of two families torn apart by evil.

‘Kiel, Northern Germany, 1933. A naval city, the base for the German Baltic fleet, and the centre for German sailing, the venue for the upcoming Olympic regatta in 1936.

The Kästners, a prominent Military family, are part of the fabric of the city, and its social, naval and yachting circles. The Nussbaums are the second generation of their family to be in service with the Kästners as domestic staff, but the two households have a closer bond than most.

As Adolf Hitler and his National Socialist Party claw their way to power in 1933, life has never looked better for families like the Kästners. There is only one problem.

The Nussbaums are Jews.

The Sturmtaucher Trilogy documents the devastating effect on both families of the Nazis’ hateful ideology and the insidious erosion of the rights of Germany’s Jews.

When Germany descends ever deeper into dictatorship, General Erich Kästner tries desperately to protect his employees, and to spirit them to safety.

As the country tears itself apart, the darkness which envelops a nation threatens not only to destroy two families, but to plunge an entire continent into war.’

You can buy a copy of this brilliant book HERE – at the time of writing up this post, the book is at a ridiculously low price!!

My Review…

Since finishing this book two days ago, I am only now ready to pick up another book. The Gathering Storm is an amazing read, it has left me desperate to continue the other two books in this trilogy.

I have read books from different perspectives of World War II, but I think this is the first time I have come across a book that explores various different perspectives and that has so much excellent research.

The story begins in the years prior to the start of the war. Hitler is only just coming back into the public eye. He is making some speeches that are catching peoples attention. At this point, he is focusing on Germany’s lost power and how the Treaty of Versailles has made life for those living in Germany harder than it should be. Obviously being based on history, we know where the story is heading.

The Kastner’s are a German family, they have a good social standing. Erich is a respected General and his wife moves in favourable social circles. Their three children have good educations and have promising futures. They employ a German family to help with the house, children and domestics. The Nussbaum’s have been with the Kastner’s for two generations, they are German Jews.

As Hitler’s National Social Party garner more support the story and the perspectives really come into their own. Not all German’s are with Hitler and his subtle indoctrinated messages, others eye the changes with a critical and sceptical eye. No one at this point really understands what will happen in the coming years.

This is such an amazing book to read, I have read it over several days as I wanted to be able to absorb it properly rather than just race through it. This has meant the books has nagged at me and got under my skin. There are obvious emotions that I felt with the book, the obvious disbelief that people will blindly follow and completely change because someone has the ability to talk them into it. The obvious horror as living conditions and lives change. The profiteering from the pain and suffering of others and also the dictatorial direction the country was going in.

I realise that I have not spoken too much about the story, but I sincerely believe that this is a book that the synopsis that does a great job of doing what it is supposed to do. It worked so well for me, the synopsis lured me in and the author took up the reins and led me into the lives of the two main families. A story that shows different perspectives, treatments, living conditions, and how one man could bring so much destruction, distrust and abhorrent behaviours out.

This is a stunning book that I cannot recommend highly enough. If you have an interest in history, WWII, The Holocaust, and persecution then you really need to pick this one up. It is a fabulous and important story that at 800 pages long was simply an amazing read. It absolutely blew me away!

About the Author…

Alan Jones is a Scottish author with three gritty crime stories to his name, the first two set in Glasgow, the third one based in London. He has now switched genres, and his WW2 trilogy will be published from August to December 2021. It is a Holocaust story set in Northern Germany.


He is married with four grown up children and four wonderful grandchildren.


He has recently retired as a mixed-practice vet in a small Scottish coastal town in Ayrshire and is one of the coxswains on the local RNLI lifeboat. He makes furniture in his spare time, and maintains and sails a 45-year-old yacht, cruising in the Irish Sea and on the beautiful west coast of Scotland. He loves reading, watching films and cooking. He still plays football despite being just the wrong side of sixty.


His crime novels are not for the faint-hearted, with some strong language, violence, and various degrees of sexual content. The first two books also contain a fair smattering of Glasgow slang.


He is one of the few self-published authors to be given a panel at the Bloody Scotland crime fiction festival in Stirling and has done two pop-up book launches at previous festivals.


He has spent the last five years researching and writing the Sturmtaucher Trilogy.


To find out more, please visit his WEBSITE TWITTER

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

The Mersey Angels by Sheila Riley @1sheilariley @rararesources @bookandtonic # boldwoodbloggers @BoldwoodBooks #histfic #saga #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Mersey Angels by Sheila Riley. This is the second book in the series, and it can be read as a stand-alone. I did adore the first book – The Mersey Mistress (my review HERE)

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

1916 LIVERPOOL
Following the death of her father, Ruby Swift, and husband Archie finally move back into Ashland Hall.
As the Great War rages, fathers and sons take the King’s Shilling and head off to fight the unknown enemy, not knowing what horrors lie ahead.
With Ned Kincaid in the Navy, Archie signs up to the volunteer constabulary and nurses Anna Cassidy and Ellie Harrington enlist to do their bit for King and Country.
Soon the true casualties of war are being brought home in droves, Ruby converts Ashland Hall into an auxiliary hospital for wounded servicemen.
It’s not long before the true cost of war is brought closer to home and Anna and Ellie enlist in the British Military Nursing Corp and soon find themselves in the battlefields of France in search of the truth.
But they soon discover more than they bargained for…

Purchase Link – AMAZON

My Review…

This is the second book in the Liverpool Saga series and carries on from The Mersey Mistress. This book can be read as a stand-alone, but I do think that it works better if read in order.

As the synopsis describes, Ruby has moved into Ashland Hall. WWI is taking its toll and the casualties are mounting, Ruby decides that she will give over the hall to help the injured servicemen as beds and hospitals are in short supply. As the injured are brought in thoughts of loved ones away in Europe is always on the minds of those who are home in Briain. Everyone, well almost everyone is wanting to do their part.

Set in 1916, the author uses her knowledge of the Liverpool area, to give the reader a chance to glimpse the lives of those who lived and worked both in Liverpool and further afield. This is a story that has its hardships and also its secrets. Even though the war is going on people still have to carry on with their everyday lives. For some that means working longer, doing jobs they would never have been considered for and putting themselves in the midst of some of the worst events in history.

The story does focus on key people, I found myself quite caught up in their various stories. Wondering along with the characters if a loved one would return, if they would be injured and if a telegram would bring the worst news. Following the characters as they struggled with loss, love but with a hope that things would be ok.

This is a story that falls into the saga and historical fiction genres. It is an addictive read and one that brought attitudes, social etiquette, some politics into the lives of the characters. It is a book and a series I am really enjoying and The Mersey Angels is one I would happily recommend.

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.

Check out the other stops on the Blog Tour…

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Yours Cheerfully by A.J Pearce #histfic #NetGalley @panmacmillan #publicationday #20booksofsummer #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Yours Cheerfully by A.J. Pearce. This is the second book in The Emmy Lake Chronicles. I loved the first book Dear Mrs Bird and this second book is just as good.

My thanks to the publisher Pan Macmillan for my advanced e-copy that I requested via NetGalley. This book is also #3 in the #20booksofsummer reading challenge.

From the author of the “jaunty, heartbreaking winner” (People) and international bestseller Dear Mrs. Bird, a new charming and uplifting novel set in London during World War II about a plucky aspiring journalist.

London, November 1941. Following the departure of the formidable Henrietta Bird from Woman’s Friend magazine, things are looking up for Emmeline Lake as she takes on the challenge of becoming a young wartime advice columnist. Her relationship with boyfriend Charles (now stationed back in the UK) is blossoming, while Emmy’s best friend Bunty, still reeling from the very worst of the Blitz, is bravely looking to the future. Together, the friends are determined to Make a Go of It.

When the Ministry of Information calls on Britain’s women’s magazines to help recruit desperately needed female workers to the war effort, Emmy is thrilled to be asked to step up and help. But when she and Bunty meet a young woman who shows them the very real challenges that women war workers face, Emmy must tackle a life-changing dilemma between doing her duty and standing by her friends.

Every bit as funny, heartwarming, and touching as Dear Mrs. BirdYours Cheerfully is a celebration of friendship—a testament to the strength of women and the importance of lifting each other up, even in the most challenging times. 

My Review…

I have been waiting for a follow on to Dear Mrs Bird and Yours Cheerfully is a fabulous 2nd book in The Emmy Lake Chronicles.

Emmy Lake wanted to be a war journalist, she did get a job but not quite the one she imagined. It was for an Agony Aunt Column in a magazine called the Woman’s Friend. Set during WWII Emmy is making her way in the magazine world. this magazine is a small friendly publication that is full of tips on clothing, making the best of what you have, gardening, cookery and of course advice.

The Ministry call on magazines to help recruit more women to work in a bid to help out the war effort. A chance meeting with Anne a mother of two gives her an insight into women working in the factories. the women are determined in doing their bit, but they feel they are being treated as men would be and that fact hey they have children and homes to look after is not being taken into account. This sets Emmy on something of a mission as the factory women become friends, she still has to be careful about what she writes due to censorship.

I loved how the author has continued the story of Emmy and also her good friend Bunty. There is enough information given to get an idea of the first book, but I would recommend reading it as it was such an excellent one.

Once again the author includes a letter from readers who seek advice during a worrying time. For young girls working for the first time, for mothers who have children to care for alone, she touches on how widows are treated and the conditions that women who are effectively single parents during wartime deal with in life.

The author has brought the style of the magazine, which was seen as one of the little publications for older readers into the forefront. Giving Emmy a larger role so that she is able to really get to grips with the working woman life. There is politics, there is a certain amount of elitism and snobbery and there is the old boy’s brigade that comes into play. But during all this, the author does remember that Emmy has a life outside of the magazine. One that involves her boyfriend Charlie.

Once again the author has created such an addictive read. She deals with issues of the day in such a way as it makes the reader care about the issues. Some of the things I was not aware of and it has been an enlightening read as well as an emotional one. It does have its moments of sadness but also many moments of hope. A gorgeous story and one for those who like historical fiction during WWII. It is one I would definitely recommend.

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