The Awakening Aten by Aiden K. Morrissey #TheAwakeningAten @AidenKMorrissey #RandomThingsTours @annecater #HistFic #Review

I am delighted to share my review for The Awakening Aten by Aiden k. Morrissey. My huge thanks to Aiden for my copy of his book and also to Anne Cater at Random Things Tours for accepting my request to join the Blog Tour.

Let’s have a look and see what The Awakening Aten is all about…

he Awakening Aten envelops the reader in an Egypt of whispers and fears, of webs within webs, deceit upon deceit. Its themes of murder, intrigue, political and religious conflict, corruption, tomb robbing, war and executions are set against a background of fundamental ideological change.  

Ancient Egypt is seen through the eyes of two families; one royal, the other commoner. Yuya, whose tomb is in the Valley of the Kings, is a foreigner who rises from slavery to become Regent to an infant Pharaoh and thus, the most powerful man in the world’s wealthiest empire. His children and descendants will remain at the very heart of the country’s destiny. Kha is a tomb painter and builder who experiences both the despair of imprisonment and the horror of war. As Overseer of the King’s Works he restores the Great Sphinx, and inscribes the ‘Dream Stela’ placed between its paws, still visible today. Through tragic and deathly events his family and that of Yuya become entwined.  

This is the fictional tale of real people, whose possessions and artefacts can be seen in museums throughout the world. It gives a voice to those people, inspired by their personal items, buried with them 3,000 years ago.

PURCHASE LINK – Amazon UK

If you like ancient historical fiction novels that have a huge amount of factual detail incorporated, then you should consider picking up a copy of The Awakening Aten. It is set in 1420 BCE Egypt and it is the first in a planned 5 Book Series.

I enjoyed this story so much and rather than write a review about the story itself I am writing about the things that stood out for me. It is just that when I try and write a review on the story it sounds so confusing because it is such a big story, and I don’t feel able to do it justice. That makes it sound like the story is confusing, and actually, once you get into it flows wonderfully and makes complete sense!

The story has quite a large cast and the main characters have a mention in a handy list at the front of the book. What I liked about this list was that is was broken down into family groups. The author has also noted which characters are real or fictional.

The cast covers a diverse range of backgrounds from those facing death to the King. In between, there are priests, mercenaries, artists, builders and princes just to name a few. This is where that handy list comes in useful as I started to get to grips with them all.

The story itself charts the lives of the key characters, the roles they play as well as the everyday things. Here the author manages to weave individual stories that gradually build into a far bigger picture.

The research and knowledge are very evident and the inclusion of some very interesting notes from the author adds to that feeling that the details were right. I am not knowledgable in this era of history, I do know bits and pieces like most others but things just felt right as far as I was concerned.

The story itself had so many things going on and though it follows the lives of the main characters, I also felt as though I was getting a grand tour of ancient Egypt and all that was involved at the time. The story has a lot of drama and it is explored through various means. There is murder, corruption, power-struggles, religion, social etiquette, tombs, mummification… in fact, pretty much everything I would expect from this period and then a whole lot more!

This was such a fascinating and very insightful novel with some fabulous detail. Following different families as they made their way through the story. It has left me very eager to read the next in the series.

This is a book that has left me wanting to read more and it is one I would definitely recommend.

I am of Irish heritage and was the first member of my immediate family to be born outside of Ireland. My professional life has caused me to travel the world. I am now looking forward to settling in the North East of England, to concentrate on writing.

A graduate in Law from Leicester University, after working for some years in a commercial environment, I qualified as a Solicitor in 1981.

My career developed in an unusual way and I have lived and worked at various times in Italy, Brazil, the United States, India and Germany.

I have always had a love and fascination for history. A holiday in Egypt sparked a particular passion for Ancient Egypt, especially the latter part of the 18th Dynasty. A history, which Pharaoh Horemeb (Djeser-Kheperu-Ra circa 1319-1292 BCE) tried to destroy and which only came to light following the discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb in 1922.

‘The Awakening Aten’ is the culmination of many years of research.

I have built up a substantial collection of academic books and novels on Ancient Egypt, its customs, traditions and daily life. I am fortunate to have been able to visit all of the major museums containing artefacts from Egypt throughout the world, as well as spending months in Egypt itself studying the funereal valleys and other sites. All of this supplemented by internet research.

This novel is the first in a plannned five book series, looking at the fictional lives of real people through a period of major political and religious change, spanning approximately 130 years.

My hobbies are reading, which I enjoy as much as I do writing, and taking bracing walks along the North East Coast and in the Northumberland Hills.

Website: http://www.aidenkmorrisey-author.com/

Twitter @AidanKMorrissey

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Come Back For Me by Heidi Perks #COMEBACKFORME @HeidiPerksBook @arrowpublishing #Review

I am delighted to be sharing my review for Come Back to Me by Heidi Perks. My huge thanks to Rachel Kennedy for arranging my advanced copy of the book and accepting my request to join the Blog Tour.

Before I go any further, let’s have a look and see what this Psychological Thriller is all about…

A shocking discovery. An island wrapped in secrets.You can bury the body, but the truth will always surface…

A tiny island community is stunned by the discovery of a long-buried body. For Stella Harvey, the news is doubly shocking, as the body is found in the garden of her childhood home. The home her family fled without explanation twenty-five years ago.

Now, questioning her past and desperate to unearth the truth, Stella returns to the Dorset island.


But she quickly finds that the community she left isn’t as welcoming as she remembers – and that people in it will go to any length to protect their secrets. But one thing rings true… You can’t bury the truth forever.

Fans of THE BAY, BROADCHURCH, THE COUPLE NEXT DOOR and Lisa Jewell’s THEN SHE WAS GONE will not be able to put this novel down.

Stella loved living on the island of Evergreen, growing up in this isolated community was wonderful. She was heartbroken when her parents decided to suddenly move and Stella not fully understanding why! It is only years later that she begins to learn the truth as she returns to her childhood home to discover who the newly discovered body is! She discovers that it is not the place she remembered it to be, the secrets run deep as the naivety of her childhood is challenged.

This is a story with two timelines and told by two main characters, Stella and her mother and alternates between the present day and back to 1993 when Stella was 11 years old. From these two characters, I gradually learnt about the other family members and friends as the truth of the story began to emerge. The truth is not obvious and the author teased with details, just allowing little snippets and glimpses to be revealed. I was never sure if, or who I could trust anyone, and as this is a psychological thriller, this mistrust works well. Also adding to the psychological aspect is the isolation of the island and also the community. There are only a handful of residents mentioned and they do have their part to play, what they also add is the general feeling of the community.

The setting of this community on an island adds to the air of mystery. It sounds idyllic with its beaches, cliffs and wooded areas. Visited only by tourists in the height of the season, accessible only by boat. This mystery and intrigue is mirrored by the sparse smattering of characters. While I loved the idea of the setting the characters I just could not take to, they felt cold and aloof and, never once did I feel I could trust any of them.

I did think I had this story worked out early on, haha yeah right! Me and thinking I have things right … definitely not a strong point of mine! As I got further in I found I was adding to my original theory as the author gradually teased me with little reveals and revelations along the way. I like this continual seeding of self-doubt and it added to the general feeling of suspense.

If you like psychological thrillers that are all about discovering past truths and uncovering secrets then you will enjoy this one. It has plenty of drama and disfuntional families with a dramatic setting adding to the suspense-filled air.

It is one I would definitely recommend.

Heidi Perks’ debut novel Now You See Her twice reached the Sunday Times bestseller list, first in hardback in July 2018 at No.9 and again at No.6 in paperback in March 2019 where it was a Richard & Judy Book Club pick for Spring 2019. Now You See Her has sold over 120,000 copies across formats to date and has received a staggering 200 five start reviews on Amazon from readers. It has also been optioned for TV from the production company behind BBC One’s ‘The Miniaturist’ and Channel 4’s ‘National Treasure’.

Heidi Perks worked as a marketing director for a financial company before leaving to become a full-time mother and writer. She is a graduate of the inaugural Curtis Brown Creative Online Novel Writing Course (the only creative writing school run by a literary agency). Follow Heidi on Twitter @HeidiPerksBooks and join in the conversation with #COMEBACKFORME.

You can get a copy from Amazon UK

See what other Book Bloggers think by following the Blog Tour…

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I Looked Away by Jane Corry @PenguinBooksUK #ILookedAway #review

I am delighted to be sharing my review for I Looked Away by Jane Corry. My huge thanks to Ellie Hudson from Penguin Books for sending me an ARC of Janes latest book.

Now, let’s see what it is all about…

THE GRIPPING NEW THRILLER FROM THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF MY HUSBAND’S WIFE AND THE DEAD EX

Every Monday, 49-year-old Ellie looks after her grandson Josh. She loves him more than anything else in the world. The only thing that can mar her happiness is her husband’s affair. But he swore it was over, and Ellie has decided to be thankful for what she’s got.

Then one day, while she’s looking after Josh, her husband gets a call from that woman. And for just a moment, Ellie takes her eyes off her grandson. The accident that happens will change her life forever.

Because Ellie is hiding something in her past.

And what looks like an accident could start to look like murder…

I am a big fan of Jane Corry and have read her previous books, I looked Away is amazing and my favourite one by her…so far!

This author has created such an addictive and emotional story that incorporates so many different elements. These have been brilliantly researched and woven together to create a stunning read.

It revolves and evolves around Ellie. Where to even start with this fabulous character… circumstances took her from a happy, carefree childhood so full of love and happiness that is until her world is totally upended. After a traumatic experience, she finds her life changes, what should be a new start turns sour. She finds herself in situation after situation, at times only barely coping, this is not how childhood should be. She feels lost, continually isolated and inadequate. These feelings over the years are gradually cemented and added to and it doesn’t help that she has never come to terms to deal with the grief that her original trauma stems from.

As I mentioned this author deals with some serious elements and she does them exceptionally well. Dealing with PTSD, emotional abuse, mental health and homelessness are definitely serious and often misunderstood. Now given the nature of some of the topics you may think that this book would be a sombre one, in fact, it is far from that. Instead, the author has created a flow and pacing that suits her story so well, it effortlessly flows and is an absolute page turner. I found myself wanting to get the bottom of what makes Ellie tick, to discover all about her life.

At the end of the book, Jane shares some personal experiences and also a section called “The Science Behind the story”, and also an insightful Q & A with Claire Pooley who specialises in trauma and is a psychotherapist and mental health nurse. I found these additions to be so interesting, they add an extras something special to the work that went into the story.

This book is such a good read on so many different levels. It’s emotional, poignant, insightful and thought-provoking, along with that I saw a glimpse into a different side of society.

I Looked Away is a book I would Highly Recommend!


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

Blackberry & Wild Rose by Sonia Velton #Review

I am delighted to be sharing my review for Blackberry & Wild Rose by Sonia Velton. I have had this on my kindle for a little while now and I am so glad I chose to read it, it is a stunning story.

Let’s see what it’s all about…

WHEN Esther Thorel, the wife of a Huguenot silk-weaver, rescues Sara Kemp from a brothel she thinks she is doing God’s will. Sara is not convinced being a maid is better than being a whore, but the chance to escape her grasping ‘madam’ is too good to refuse.

Inside the Thorels’ tall house in Spitalfields, where the strange cadence of the looms fills the attic, the two women forge an uneasy relationship. The physical intimacies of washing and dressing belie the reality: Sara despises her mistress’s blindness to the hypocrisy of her household, while Esther is too wrapped up in her own secrets to see Sara as anything more than another charitable cause.

It is silk that has Esther so distracted. For years she has painted her own designs, dreaming that one day her husband will weave them into reality. When he laughs at her ambition, she strikes up a relationship with one of the journeyman weavers in her attic who teaches her to weave and unwittingly sets in motion events that will change the fate of the whole Thorel household.

Oh, Wow!

Why have I waited so long to pick this book up? A fabulous Historical Fiction that has a smattering of romance, once I started it I didn’t want to step away from it for a second.

Starting in 1768 as a naive Sarah Kemp arrives at Spitalfields, London. She is basically scammed and is tricked into working in a brothel. With no prospect of leaving because of mounting debts, she is fortunate indeed that Esther Thorel takes a chance on Sarah and gives her employment.

Esther is the wife of a Huguenot Silk Master. She is the dutiful wife who fills her days with painting, embroidery and charitable works. A journeyman silk weaver works in her home. During the day he works on his employers’ silks, in his own time he works on his own with the hope that he will be able to become a Master himself. Seeing him work, Esther has an idea of her own.

I immediately felt wrapped up in this novel. Sarah was so naive and I felt for her and the situation she finds herself in. Esther I didn’t immediately take to, she felt a little too goody two shoes for me. It isn’t until the arrival of Sarah into the household that I saw a different side to Esther asnd my opinion of her definitely changed. In some ways, the women have similarities in their naiveness, but gradually they bring out the best in each other. They gain a sort of strength from each other.

It is soon apparent that as much as the household looks like it runs smoothly, there is a tension lying just below the surface. The tensions of the silk weaving community gradually make themselves known as silk prices fall due to cheaper calico imports. It threatens not only the silk masters but also the lower down the ladder weavers.

The author has done a great job of incorporating some of the techniques and terms of silk weaving into the story. It has literally been woven in strand by strand to create a stunning story. It compliments the story of the two women so well. Not only giving a great story but also something new that I was able to learn about.

The setting mixes the contrasts between the different social classes, the workers and the masters. Using the tension of the cheaper imports to build tension and an air of unrest in the community that also affects homelife.

This is a stunning story that took many surprising turns, it was insightful and an absolute pleasure to read. If you love Historical Fiction then you really should pick this one up, totally absorbing and addictive.

This is a book with such a stunning cover that I am probably going to buy the hardback even though I own the e-book version!

Highly Recommended!

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

Flying By The Seat Of My Knickers by Eliza Watson #Review

I am delighted to vbe sharing my review for Flying by the Seat of My Knickers by Eliza Watson. I saw this title on Facebook and the title definitely caught my eye!

Let’s have a look and see what it is all about…

Why run from your troubles when you can fly instead? 

When Caity Shaw is fired from her first job that doesn’t require an elf uniform, her older sister, Rachel, an event planner, hires her to work a meeting in Dublin. Caity jumps at the opportunity to travel abroad and escape her pathetic life. However, even four thousand miles from home, there’s no avoiding debt collectors, an overbearing mother, and haunting memories of a controlling ex.

While in Dublin, Caity suffers a series of humiliating mishaps, causing her to lose even more faith in herself. Caity struggles to earn Rachel’s respect—and to keep Declan, her hot Irish coworker, at arm’s length. Declan repeatedly saves Caity’s butt and helps boost her self-confidence, making it difficult to keep her distance from the charming womanizer. When Declan helps her research her Irish grandmother, Caity discovers the mysterious past of the courageous woman she barely knew might hold the answers to her future.

This is the first book in The Travel Mishaps of Caity Shaw. With a title like this, how could I not pick it up?

Caity is full of doubt and low in confidence. This is not helped when she goes to work for her high flying sister, Rachel. Rachel is an event planner and a very successful one at that!

This is a quick and fun read and is one I read in an afternoon. I discovered that there is more to the Caity than meets the eye. She is trying so hard to do a good job, in fact too hard to the point that little mishaps occur along the way.

The reason behind her lack of confidence gradually come out as she helps out on the tour around Ireland.

An interesting and somewhat quirky and fun read. It has a lighthearted and entertaining feel and is one I would recommend. Ideal for a couple of hours of escapism.

This is available on Amazon for kindle and is Free!

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Summer Season on the Seafront by Katie Ginger @KatieGAuthor @rararesources #Review

I am delighted to be sharing my review for Summer Season at the Seafront by Katie Ginger. I had the pleasure of reading her previous book in this series “The Little Theatre On The Seafront” so I was excited to return and see what was going to happen next. My thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for my spot on the Blog Tour and to Katie for my e-copy of her book.

Let’s see what it’s all about…

The Greenley Players are back practicing their Shakespeare and, as usual, things aren’t going to plan.

Sarah Powell is fed up with her sad single status and when her estranged father walks back into her life things get even worse. Can dishy doctor Finn MacDonald mend her broken heart and help her figure things out?

TV star, Nate Hardy’s career is going from strength to strength until his performance is interrupted and he has to flee the West End to hide away in Greenley. Will he ever get his career back on track or will Sarah and the rest of Greenley’s madcap residents capture his heart forever? 

Purchase links for Amazon UK US

I loved coming back to the Theatre and the Am Dram players. It didn’t take me long at all to remember the characters and their quirky ways. This time Sarah takes the main stage, with supporting roles by Gregory and Cecil, although other cast members do also have parts to play.

I immediately took to Sarah and found myself sympathising with her as she forlornly fails to find a decent match on the dating sites. A surprise lands on her doorstep and it leaves her having to re-assess what she originally thought. I loved this surprise for Sarah and though the author handled the reactions very well. Oh my goodness that was so cryptic!

Nate, the actor fleeing London under a shadow is a great character. Yes, I will admit that initially, I felt he was little stereotyped, but after I got to know him I was pleasantly surprised. Just goes to show how wrong you can be about people, which is perfect for him!

This is such an adorable read and I was so happy to reconnect with the wonderful and slightly mad-cap characters. Mrs Andrews… though I think she would scare the socks off me, also had me giggling. Gregory and Ceil are simply perfect in both their character, outlook and cheeky little asides and are such a wonderful compliment. Sarah and Nate are the main focus and I loved their individual stories. Friendships, relationships, and dealing with emotions are wonderfully wrapped up and around a story that I adored.

In picking out and highlighting just a few characters it meant the flow of the story did just that “it flowed” beautifully. I was happily turning pages from start to finish and I cannot wait to see what comes next in this series.

If you are after a wonderful story, in fact, a series then have a look at this one. Wonderful storylines, brilliant characters that had me smirking, laughing, and also wiping the odd stray tear. Summer Season on the Seafront gets a Highly Recommended from Me!

KATIE GINGER lives in the South East of England, by the sea, and apart from holidays to very hot places where you can sit by a pool and drink cocktails as big your head, she wouldn’t really want to be anywhere else. Summer Season on the Seafront is Katie’s second novel. Her debut novel The Little Theatre on the Seafront was shortlisted for the Katie Fforde Debut Novel of the Year award. She is also the author of some cosy mystery short stories. Katie loves making her characters either fall in love, or killing them off – it depends on her mood!

When she’s not writing, Katie spends her time drinking gin, or with her husband, trying to keep alive her two children: Ellie, who believes everything in life should be done as a musical number from a West End show; and Sam, who is basically a monkey with a boy’s face. And there’s also their adorable King Charles Spaniel, Wotsit (yes, he is named after the crisps!).

For more about Katie you can visit her website: www.keginger.com, find her on Facebook: www.facebook.com/KatieGAuthor, or follow her on Twitter: @KatieGAuthor

Sere what other Book Blooger think by following the Tour

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In Safe Hands by JP Carter #Review #NetGalley

I am delighted to share my review for In Safe Hands by JP Carter with you all today. I read this e-book via NetGalley and my thanks to Avon Books for accepting my request to review.

Let’s have a look and see what it’s all about…

How far would you go to save the ones you love?

The first book in a gripping new crime series featuring DCI Anna Tate.

When nine children are snatched from a nursery school in South London, their distressed parents have no idea if they will ever see them again. The community in the surrounding area is in shock. How could this happen right under their noses? No one in the quiet suburban street saw anything – or at least that’s what they’re saying.

But DCI Anna Tate knows that nothing is impossible, and she also knows that time is quickly running out. It’s unclear if the kidnappers are desperate for money or set on revenge, but the ransom is going up by £1million daily. And they know that one little boy in particular is fighting for his life.

It’s one of the most disturbing cases DCI Anna Tate has ever worked on – not only because nine children are being held hostage, but because she’s pretty sure that someone close to them is lying…

A parents nightmare is one that involves their child being kidnapped. Made worse again if that child is reliant on medication. When 9 children are taken from a nursery it is a race against time for DCI Anna Tate to find them as a media frenzy is in a full whirlwind of speculation and finger-pointing.

This is such a hard review for me to write because as much as I enjoyed the story I found it hard to connect to. Saying that I also found it had a hold on me that kept me reading to discover the truth.

The premise for the story is one that caught my eye and also that it is the start of a new series. The plot itself was good and so were the characters. Given that there are 9 sets of parents, teachers and police it would have been easy for the author to get bogged down with so many characters. Instead, the author chose to focus on the parents of the child requiring medication. The other parents do get the odd look in, but in keeping them in the background it kept the flow of the story moving t a good pace.

DCI Anna Tate has a backstory that compliments the kidnapped children. Now, this character I really didn’t take to, I am really not sure why! Was it her backstory that felt a little too convenient? I am not sure! There was just something I couldn’t pinpoint.

I felt that things fell into place a little too quickly and conveniently, for me it gave it a slightly rushed feel. I did get an inkling as to who was behind the kidnapping, although not the reasons behind it. That said I did enjoy the story and would recommend it to other crime readers and I will be keeping my eye out for further books in this series.

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

One Summer In Little Penhaven by Angela Britnell @AngelaBritnell @rararesources @ChocLituk #Review

I am delighted to share my review today for One Summer in Little Penhaven by Angela Britnell. My huge thanks to Rachel for my spot on the Blog Tour and also to Angela for my e-copy of this fabulous book.

Let’s have a look and see what it is about…

Could one summer change your life?

When high-flying American lawyer Samantha Muir finds out she’s lost her partnership whilst on an assignment in London, she has a dramatic reaction.

Rather than returning home, she resigns, leaves her business suits behind and jumps on the first train to Cornwall at the encouragement of a friendly stranger.

The village of Little Penhaven, where Samantha eventually ends up, is a world away from her life in Knoxville, Tennessee – and local farmer Cadan Day is certainly a world away from any man she has met before. But could the Cornish village and Cadan play a part in Samantha’s summer of self-discovery?

Purchase Links: Amazon UKAmazon US

My Thoughts

Sam Muir is beyond disappointed when she doesn’t get the partnership she spent the last 10 years working towards. She kind of goes off in a huff and catches the first train to anywhere, it just so happens she ends up in Cornwall. She meets locals who make her feel welcome Oh and also warn her off local bad boy Caden Day!

I soon realised within a few chapters that this author knows Cornwall, she had me sniggering at the infamous tale-backs during the holiday season, and frowning at the second homes, and nodding in agreement with the setting. Along with the local vernacular, this author managed to create a setting that takes in the Cornish Scenery around the St. Austell area.

Now then, to Sam and Caden… well they say opposites attract! Sam is a feisty American and Caden a rough around the edges and a rather hunky sounding Cornishman. Rumours and gossip play a huge part in Caden’s life, rather than argue and prove his innocence he justs lets the rumour mill run. for Sam, however, this provides intrigue, a mystery even as she wants to know more.

Along with Sam and Caden, there are a few other characters that make up the local community. They add their own stories and opinion as well as the odd surprise.

This is such a lovely read and one that I quite happily lost myself in for a few hours. It flows nicely and has a good pace.

If you are a fan of Choc-lit and romance that has a really good storyline and a great cast then this is one that you will enjoy.

It’s one I would recommend.

About the Author

Author Bio – Angela grew up in Cornwall, England and returns frequently from her new home in Nashville, Tennessee. A lifelong love of reading turned into a passion for writing contemporary romance and her novels are usually set in the many places she’s visited or lived on her extensive travels. After more than three decades of marriage to her American husband she’s a huge fan of transatlantic romance and always makes sure her characters get their own happy-ever-after. Over the last twelve years she’s been multi-published and sold over 25 novels. She also writes short stories for women’s magazines. She is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, the Romance Writers of America and the Music City Romance Writers.

If you’d like to find out more of what Angela gets up to (Advance warning: this may include references to wine, chocolate, Poldark and the hunky Aidan Turner) check out www.angelabritnellromance.com or follow her on www.facebook.com/angelabritnell , www.twitter.com/angelabritnell and on Instagram as Angela Golley Britnell.

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Step Sister by Jennifer Donnelly #ReadersFirst1 #Review

I am delighted to share my review for Step Sister by Jennifer Donnelly. I won a copy of this book from Readers First so my huge thanks to them.

As a child I loved fairy tales, especially Hans Christian Anderson and the Brothers Grimm. They told of magical adventures and whisked me off to far away lands to meet all sorts of people and beasts. Step Sister is the story of what happened after Ella was found to be the owner of the glass slipper.

‘In an ancient city by the sea, three sisters – a maiden, a mother, and a crone – are drawing maps by candlelight. Sombre, with piercing grey eyes, they are the three Fates, and every map is a human life . . .’

Stepsister takes up where Cinderella’s tale ends. We meet Isabelle, the younger of Cinderella’s two stepsisters. Ella is considered beautiful; stepsister Isabelle is not. Isabelle is fearless, brave, and strong-willed. She fences better than any boy, and takes her stallion over jumps that grown men fear to attempt. It doesn’t matter, though; these qualities are not valued in a girl. Others have determined what is beautiful, and Isabelle does not fit their definition. Isabelle must face down the demons that drove her cruel treatment of Ella, challenge her own fate and maybe even redefine the very notion of beauty . . .

Cinderella is about a girl who was bullied; Stepsister is about the bully. We all root for the victims, we want to see them triumph. But what about the bullies? Is there hope for them? Can a mean girl change? Can she find her own happily ever after?

This is the story of Isabella, one-half of the “ugly sisters”, the other being Octavia. I was really interested to see how or where the author would go with this story. The author took a route that included Fate and Chance, it wasn’t the story I thought it would be. Instead, it was so much better than I could imagine.

I immediately got the fairy tale vibe as I started this story, and I was so glad of that. I think it is important to have this as it follows on from such a famous one. The main focus is Isabella and I learned of her childhood and growing up. More importantly, I discovered what the turning point was in her life for her to turn ugly.

The way the author portrayed the character and showed things from Isabella’s perspective was interesting and became very compelling. Instead of the flippant, high-maintenance and demanding girl instead, I found someone very different. A girl who so much wanted for her mother to be proud of her. A girl who was expected to become someone she didn’t want to be. A girl caught in an endless circle.

As this tale unfolded I was drawn deeper into the lives of the sisters. The story made me think about them in a different way as a new light had been shone on them. The author has given the sisters something different and for me, it worked really well. There was more of a feminism flare to the story, and as this strain started to make itself felt the fairy tale started to fade. There is still the magical feel but it just feels more grown up.

If like me, you still like fairy tales then Step Sister is one you should really take a look at. It has darkness that has been balanced with the various other threads of the story. For me, this version of what happened after is very good and makes for brilliant reading.

It has strong characters, a wonderful storyline and gives great escapism. It gets a Definitely Recommended from Me!

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

The Path to the Sea by Liz Fenwick @liz_fenwick #Review

I am absolutely delighted to share my review for The Path to the Sea by Liz Fenwick. It was a fabulous surprise when this beautiful book landed on my doorstep a few weeks ago.

Now I have a confession, this is the first book I have read by this author, I do have several on my kindle. Here lies the problem… I am more likely to pick up a physical book, and the ones I have by Liz are on my kindle! I am sure I am not the only one who finds this…Am I?

Anyway, I do digress so…

You can get a pre-order on Amazon UK and Publication Day is for 6th June.

Let’s have a look and see what it is all about…

Sometimes going home is just the beginning…

Boskenna, the beautiful, imposing house standing on the Cornish cliffs, means something different to each of the Trewin women.

For Joan, as a glamorous young wife in the 1960s, it was a paradise where she and her husband could entertain and escape a world where no one was quite what they seemed – a world that would ultimately cost their marriage and end in tragedy.

Diana, her daughter, still dreams of her childhood there – the endless blue skies and wide lawns, book-filled rooms and parties, the sound of the sea at the end of the coastal path – even the family she adored was shattered there.

And for the youngest, broken-hearted Lottie, heading home in the August traffic, returning to Boskenna is a welcome escape from a life gone wrong in London, but will mean facing a past she’d hoped to forget.

As the three women gather in Boskenna for a final time, the secrets hidden within the beautiful old house will be revealed in a summer that will leave them changed for ever.

The Path to the Sea beautifully evokes the mystery and secrets of the Cornish coast, and will be loved by fans of Kate Morton and Rachel Hore.

First things first, look at that cover… I am in love with it and feel I could just walk out onto one of the beaches. Now to try and convey how much I loved this book…

The story is one that tells of 3 generations of women at Boskenna House.

Within the first few chapters, I was struck by the wonderful skill this author has. Her descriptions for the Cornish scenery, the house, the gardens is sublime. It was so easy to visualise everything from the perfect choice of words she used. These descriptions kept flowing wonderfully throughout the story and kept building on what I could already imagine. The lavish parties given in the 60’s with jewellery, clothes and sumptuous food was an absolute delight to read.

The 3 women are Joan, Diana and Lottie, they are very different in character and also temperment. But within these differences I saw some subtle similarities. Joan the Grandmother tells her part of the story in1962, a summer of boats, buffets, sailing, beaches and friends. Diana, Joan’s daughter, was a child in 1962 and through her she told of her days with her father and her adventures. She also has a present day part to play, I disciovered her fears, guilt and some secrets that had been hidden over the years. Lottie is in the present, she is daughter to Diana, she is desperate to find out what is haunting her mother and why her Gran is so cryptic about the past and desperate to keep what she see’s as a failure hidden.

Combining a mix of history, Cold War Politics and family secrets, I felt an ominous shadow surrounding the story and it’s characters. I love stories that build up intrigue and a sense that some people are not willing to share what they know. The mystery, the secrets and also intrigue that is added made this a book that was hard to put down for even a moment. It made me wonder all the while about the “who’s” and “why’s” while I was avidly turning pages.

The chapters alternates between not only the 3 women but, also between their respective timelines. It did not take me long to recognise the time changes or the characters. I soon found that I didn’t pay heed to the headings for these changes as I immediately knew when I was and who I was reading.

There is a great pace to this book and while I wanted to take my time I was also so eager to discover the truths. I found it emotional and by the end I had shed a couple of tears. I found it was so easy to get caught up and to become invested in the characters.

This is a beautifully written contemporary fiction story, that is full of lavish and gorgeous descriptions with a story that gradually reveals it’s secrets.

The Path to the Sea by Liz Fenwick
gets a Highly and Absolutley Recommended from Me! 🙂


Image and Bio taken from Goodreads.

I was born in Massachusetts and after nine international moves – the final one lasting eight years in Dubai- I now live in Cornwall and London with my husband and a cat. I made my first trip to Cornwall in 1989, bought my home there seven years later. My heart is forever in Cornwall, creating new stories

My debut novel THE CORNISH HOUSE was followed by A CORNISH AFFAIR, A CORNISH STRANGER and UNDER A CORNISH SKY, A Cornish Christmas Carol (novella), THE RETURNING TID and ONE CORNISH SUMMER. All published by Orion in English. There are editions in Dutch, German, Portuguese, French, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Estonian, Latvian, Turkish, Serbian, Czech and soon Hungarian. My next novel THE PATH TO THE SEA is out in 2019.

Visist Liz on – Goodreads Twitter Facebook


I am taking part in the #20BooksofSummerChallenge and I am including One Cornish Summer by Liz on my list. So keep your eye out for my review.

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