The Abandoned Daughter by Mary Wood @Authormary @panmacmillan @EllisKeene #Review #Giveaway

I am delighted to be sharing my review for The Abandoned Daughter by Mary Wood. Whether this author writes as Mary Wood or as Maggie Mason I absolutely adore her books. The latest is another book that had me in tears yet again! Mary just manages to create characters that I care about and I cannot help but feel for.

Mary is generously running a Giveaway. To be entered into this just comment below. All comments on my Blog require my approval. Once I have approved your comments Mary will then be able to see them and enter you into her draw.

This Giveaway is run by Mary and she will get in touch with the winner direct. Me And My Books is not responsible for the Giveaway or the dispatch or the prize.

Now then, let’s have a look at The Abandoned Daughter and see what it is all about 🙂 xx

Voluntary nurse Ella is haunted by the soldiers’ cries she hears on the battlefields of Dieppe. But that’s not the only thing that haunts her. When her dear friend Jim breaks her trust, Ella is left bruised and heartbroken. Over the years, her friendships have been pulled apart at the seams by the effects of war. Now, more than ever, she feels so alone.

At a military hospital in France, Ella befriends Connie and Paddy. Slowly she begins to heal, and finds comfort in the arms of a French officer called Paulo – could he be her salvation?

With the end of the war on the horizon, surely things have to get better? Ella grew up not knowing her real family but a clue leads her in their direction. What did happen to Ella’s parents, and why is she so desperate to find out?

The Abandoned Daughter by Mary Wood is the second book in The Girls Who Went To War series.

The Abandoned Daughter is available in ebook and paperback now.

This is the second in the Girls Who Went To War series and while I have not yet read the first book it has no way marred my reading of The Abandoned Daughter. Though I will say I will be buying the first.

The author does put her characters through the proverbial mill and also characters that I care about. Elle is such a lovable and sweet character and my goodness does she have so much thrown at her. Pain and suffering seem to follow her, just I thought she was going to have a happy life something goes wrong. A phrase that I have heard many times and also that the author used in her book was the one about “God only gives you what he knows you can deal with”. This is something that does sum up Elle to a tee. Even so, how a person could deal with losing so much!

The story is not just about Elle, it is about her friends and her time as a nurse. I should explain that the story begins as World War I, Elle is a nurse at the battlefield hospitals. After the war ends and Elle returns home things at first start to go well. There is mention of the struggle that returning troops found and this I found very interesting. Many soldiers finding themselves homeless, ill and well… lost.

The struggles at home take on a different route to what I expected, but thank goodness for Rowena. Everyone should have a Rowena in their lives and I adored her. The author adds so many social and economic problems for the time to her stories. It is such a useful thing as not only does it fit with the setting of the book it also highlights the struggles of others.

Elle is such an amazing character who really is pushed to the limits of endurance. I had my heart in my mouth so many times as I wondered how or if she would cope with everything.

This author is an absolute delight to read. She creates characters that I care about with plot lines that touch the heart. Emotional is something I expect and tears from me seem to be a given whenever I read her books. She creates stories that keep me eagerly turning pages and often until the early hours of the morning.

If you love historical fiction and family sagas you will love Mary Wood and also Maggie Mason.

The Abandoned Daughter is a book I would Highly Recommend.

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

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

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

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

When not writing, Mary enjoys family time, reading, eating out, and gardening. One of her favourite pastimes is interacting with her readers on her FacebookWebsiteTwitter

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

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Malice by John Gwynne #Review

I am so delighted to be sharing my review today for Malice by John Gwynn.

If you are after starting an epic fantasy series then you definitley need to cast your eyes to this The Faithful & The Fallen series. Malice is the first book.

The Banished Lands has a violent past where armies of men and giants clashed in battle. An uneasy peace reigns, but now giants stir once more, the very stones weep blood and there are sightings of gigantic worms. Those who can still read the signs see a prophecy realised: sorrow will darken the world, as angels and demons make it their battlefield. 

Young Corban watches enviously as boys become warriors and yearns to join them, determined that he will make his family proud. It is only when everything he knows is threatened that he discovers the true cost of becoming a man.

As the Kings look to their borders, and priests beg answers from the Gods, only a chosen few know that the fate of the world will be decided between two champions, the Black Sun and the Bright Star. And with their coming will be a war to end all wars.

This is a great lump of a lump at 672 pages long and I have to say it was brilliant!

It is told in quick chapters that alternate between the main characters. There is quite a large cast that consists of various Kings, Queens, warriors, knights the list goes on and seems to include people from every walk of life. Rulers of the lands to the stable boy and all manner of others in between.

With this large cast, it would easy to think that it would be confusing to remember them all, this is definitely not the case. The author has created characters that are memorable for so many different reasons. Some are more intriguing than others, some are kind and others are mysterious.

With this being the first in what I think will be an absolute belter of a series, there is some brief history in the prologue to start the scene setting. This is then built upon in a wonderfully paced and totally gripping story. I did take my time with this book as I felt it required a little more concentration, but the further I got the more I could relax as I started to get the plots, characters and general feel of the story in my head.

I loved the setting of this story and map at the beginning was helpful. It made it easier for me to understand the placing of the various parts of the Banished Lands.

The story is EPIC! There are alliances that are not exactly set in stone. Loyalties can lie with whoever looks more likely to win, though not everyone is power mad and has questionable morals. It can be the most unlikely that show the most courage. These are the ones that just carry on the best they can, doing what is expected, trying to stay out of trouble!

With the threat of a prophesied God Was looming there are those who look for signs, they try to interpret them trying to get the upper hand. Others are hunting down and laying claim to ancient relics. It is an age-old battle for ultimate power. These struggles lead to skirmishes that then lead to bloodthirsty battles, they separate families and cost lives.

Oh my… I am waffling so much about this book and seem to be getting nowhere! I am trying to explain who bloody good this book is without giving details away…

Back to basics… John Gwynne has created a truly brilliant story. It is detailed and so absorbing, and even though it did require concentration, I loved everything about it. Quick chapters gave a quick pace. It has things that occur in everyday life for those who live in the Banished Lands and epic bloody skirmishes and battles. There are feuds, quests, vendettas and so, so much more.

If you like fantasy reads then you will love this one. I cannot wait to read the rest of the series as there are so many things that I want to know more about.

Would I recommend Malice? Well, absolutely I would!

Many thanks fo reading my post, a like or share would be brilliant 🙂 xx

Baxter’s Requiem by Matthew Crow @MatthewCrow @annecater #Review

I am delighted to be sharing my review for Baxter’s Requiem by Matthew Crow with you today. I was lucky to win a copy of this book on a Giveaway run by the fabulous Anne Cater on her blog at Random Things Through My Letterbox.

Let me tell you a story, about a man I knew, and a man I know…

Mr Baxter is ninety-four years old when he falls down his staircase and grudgily finds himself resident at Melrose Gardens Retirement Home.

Baxter is many things – raconteur, retired music teacher, rabble-rouser, bon viveur – but ‘good patient’ he is not. He had every intention of living his twilight years with wine, music and revelry; not tea, telly and Tramadol. Indeed, Melrose Gardens is his worst nightmare – until he meets Gregory.

At only nineteen years of age, Greg has suffered a loss so heavy that he is in danger of giving up on life before he even gets going.

Determined to save the boy, Baxter decides to enlist his help on a mission to pay tribute to his long-lost love, Thomas: the man with whom he found true happiness; the man he waved off to fight in a senseless war; the man who never returned. The best man he ever knew.

With Gregory in tow Baxter sets out on a spirited escape from Melrose, bound for the war graves of Northern France. As Baxter shares his memories, the boy starts to see that life need not be a matter of mere endurance; that the world is huge and beautiful; that kindness is strength; and that the only way to honour the dead, is to live.

Baxter’s Requiem is a glorious celebration of life, love and seizing every last second we have while we’re here.

What a stunning book Baxter’s Requiem is! Meeting the character that is Baxter was memorable. A grumpy old man on the outside but with a wonderful wit and a huge heart on the inside! Greg is again another wonderful character, he is quiet and withdrawn in an almost moody way. With over 70 years separating these two there are bound to be differences but, actually not that many!

Both Greg and Baxter have personal stories in them. They are kept close and they almost protect them from the outside world. They are precious memories that they have built up and I can understand this almost secretive shield they have around them.

When Baxter and Greg meet it is at the care home that Baxter has been sent to recover from a fall. Baxter sees Greg as something more than quiet and withdrawn, he sees sorrow and pain. Baxter believes that he can help Greg somehow and so the process of building up a friendship and a bond begins.

It is not only Greg that needs help, Baxter does from a care point, but Baxter has something else in mind. He wants desperatley to go to France, it is something that means so much to him. So without realsining it Greg needs Baxter to help him to be able to live his life and break free of what holds him back. Baxcter needs Greg to break out and fulfil a heartbreaking promise to the man he loved.

I read this book 3 weeks ago and it is only now that I am coming back to my paper notes and what I thought. I have a lump in throat as I type this up, it reminds me how beautiful and poignant this story was. It shows that life can be so fragile and fleeting and also so full of love.

I loved the emotions that the author brought out of me with Baxter’s Requiem, smilrking at some of the one liners from Baxter only for the realisation that life has an expiry date. Care homes are often referred to as “Gods waiting room” but in Baxter’s case he sees them as “practising being dead and paying for the privalige”. This cracked me up and then the reality of what he said…

Sadness and a sort of melancholy was what I expected before I began this book. But then I found that it was heartwarming, moving, funny and yes there is sadness and heartbreak. but, this book wasn’t about that. This was a story that showed me a life lived, a life loved, a life apart and a life to come.

If you after a gorgeous, stunning, beautiful read then you seriously need to read this book. It get a Highly Recommended from Me!

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

The Death of Mrs Westaway by Ruth Ware #Review

I am delighted to share my review with you for The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware. I bought a hardback copy of this book and I always take off the cover so they don’t get damaged when I read them. I am so glad that this is something I do or I would have missed this simple yet stunning cover underneath!

When Harriet Westaway receives an unexpected letter telling her she’s inherited a substantial bequest from her Cornish grandmother, it seems like the answer to her prayers. 

There’s just one problem – Hal’s real grandparents died more than twenty years ago.

Hal desperately needs the cash and makes a choice that will change her life for ever. She knows that her skills as a seaside fortune teller could help her con her way to getting the money.

But once Hal embarks on her deception, there is no going back. She must keep going or risk losing everything, even her life…

The brand new psychological thriller from the Sunday Times and New York Timesbestselling author of The Woman in Cabin 10.

Oh Wow! What a fabulous read!

This is such an atmospheric, slightly creepy and sinister feeling read. Cornwall lends itself so well and adds to the atmospherics of the novel and provides a wonderful backdrop to the story. Add to that an old creepy house with a severe housekeeper in the form of Mrs Warren and tarot cards to add an extra level of chills.

The plot with Hal taking off from her tarot reading booth on Brighton Pier to accept an inheritance was so addictive. It had that rags to riches theme, well almost… Almost because Hal is not sure that she is indeed the right person. The tension builds as I found myself wondering if Hal would go through with her plans, or whether she back out. Is she the real deal or is she a mistaken identity? Well, these thoughts and others kept me turning the pages.

The author excelled in the way she portrayed Hal, I found myself caring about her and what would happen. Would she be in danger? How was she going to manage to pay her bills? Would she be able to keep her booth on the Pier? Yes I know these are everyday concerns, well apart from the danger one, but it is the everyday things that help a reader to understand a character.

Hal has some real heart-stopping moments and also discovers more about who she is and also about her mum and family. Not everything she had been told was the truth! She has dealt with a rough past a tough present and, now has to deal with being part of a scenario that could make the future one that she could never expect.

This is not an action packed read, in fact it is a slower pace as the tension simmers and grows. The author has created a story that gripped me from the first few pages, the tension built and I could not put this one down!

This is a fabulous and mysteriously compelling read. and one I would absolutely recommend.

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

The Queen of Wishful Thinking by Milly Johnson #Review

I am delighted to share my review for The Queen of Wishful Thinking by Milly Johnson. I have had this book on my shelf for a while now and I also have a small confession… I actually own around 7-8 Milly Johnson books and I have not actually read any of them until now! Now that I have read my first one, and have discovered that I have been missing out on some really fabulous reads… it will not be long before I read another.

When Lewis Harley has a health scare in his early forties, he takes it as a wake-up call. So he and his wife Charlotte leave behind life in the fast lane and Lewis opens the antique shop he has dreamed of. Bonnie Brookland was brought up in the antiques trade and now works for the man who bought out her father’s business, but she isn’t happy there. So when she walks into Lew’s shop, she knows this is the place for her.

As Bonnie and Lew start to work together, they soon realise that there is more to their relationship than either thought. But Bonnie is trapped in an unhappy marriage, and Lew and Charlotte have more problems than they care to admit. Each has secrets in their past which are about to be uncovered. Can they find the happiness they both deserve?

The Queen of Wishful Thinking is such a fabulous story. It is all about Bonnie Brookland and the people in her life, be them old friends or new ones, she is surrounded by such a myriad of wonderful characters… well mostly she is!

Bonnie works in an antique… no that’s not quite right… she worked in an antique shop that is now more of a junk shop. Sadly the death of Bonnie’s father saw a change in ownership and the shops demise soon followed. The new owner is odious and is the opposite of Bonnie’s standards and her sense of what is right and fair. Bonnie’s moral compass points her to a new job.

Lew is the owner of “Pot of Gold” and after meeting Bonnie and discovering her knowledge of the antique business he decides she is right for the job. Not only does she have a great knowledge she also has a list of contacts… no scrub that… she has the most flamboyant, amazing, eccentric and superb group of friends a girl could ever want to have in her life. The nicknames are an absolute readers dream, they just fit them all to a tee. Just you wait till you meet them!

Bonnie and Lew are just a great match for the Pot of Gold. I should mention that they are not an item, they are both married to other people. Over the course of the story I had found a sense of something untoward that turned into something a little dark. It caught me unawares to a point, it was unsettling and had me avidly turning pages. I did try on a couple of ocassions to put the book down so I could go to bed. I did that “I’ll just read one more chapter” thing, well that kept going on until I ran out of chapters just before 2am.

If like me you have not had the pleasure of picking up and reading a Milly Johnson book, then I seriously urge you to do so. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, well I suppose I expected romance, a touch of humour and what I got what an amazing story that completely drew me in and kept me engrossed from start to finish. The book is 478 mpages long and I read it in one go… yes in one go until 2am in the morning for goodness sake!

The story is one about people, families, taking a chance in life and I suppose taking a chance on life. There is such a mix of emotions that cover dearth and grief it is humourous and also a dark and nasty turn of events. This author has got a wicked sense of humour and it comes across in many different ways, the characters names, newpaper snippets. The newspaper items had me sniggering and snorting in such an ungainly manner!

This is a fabulous story that I would highly recommend 🙂

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

No More Lies by Robert Crouch @robertcrouchuk @CarolineBookBit #review

After taking last week off work and away from social media to go and visit my parents, I am delighted to bring you one of my favourite authors and his latest book in the Kent Fisher Series. No More Lies by Robert Crouch is the 4th in this fabulous mystery series and I am so delighted to be sharing my review with you all as part of the Blog Tour with Caroline at Bits About Books.

Kent Fisher gets more than he bargained for when Detective Inspector Ashley Goodman enlists his help with a ten year old murder. She’s on a mission and needs a big case to put her career back on track. 

And they don’t come much bigger than Miles Birchill, Downland’s wealthiest and most divisive resident. 

Not for the first time, Kent has doubts about the case, forcing him to make choices. But who do you trust when everyone has something to hide? 

Caught in the middle, he has no alternative but to solve the murder, unaware that his every move is being watched. 

The Kent Fisher novels offer a fresh and contemporary reworking of the classic whodunit and murder mysteries of authors like Agatha Christie. 

It is so nice to be reunited with Kent Fisher, this is a character that I love to catch up with and see how he is getting on. He is an Environmental Health Officer, he runs an animal sanctuary and solves murders that he seems to find himself in the midst of. In No More Lies, he finds the crime comes to him rather than finding the crime. The deliverer of this crime comes in the form of DI Ashley Goodman…

I have a soft spot for Kent and when this new character arrives, well I had my reservations about this woman! As a character she is interesting and very career driven, she is also impetuous and impulsive as she tries to solve a cold case. She believes that Kent can help her in this and in doing so it will get her career back on track. Kent, you see, has certain connections that are useful.

This book has a different feel to it that the others in the series, it has the same basic elements and includes some well-loved characters such as Columbo, Niamh, Francie and his work colleagues. The emphasis is more on the cold case and Ashley’s investigations. There are running storylines that still continue, if you have not read them I don’t think they will squash any enjoyment of the reading, but as always it is better to read them all!

So, as I mentioned earlier, the main focus is with the cold case. I really liked this emphasis, but I also do like the other characters that are part of Kent’s life. They were still in the story but took more of a back seat this time.

The case being re-opened sets a chain of events off that could cause many problems for people. This, in turn, means that there is an air of mistrust to the story as characters are basically watching their own backs, the sense that people have things to hide is a definite with this story.

I am a big fan of this author and I love reading about Kent Fisher and, I have loved every book in the series. This has that classic ‘whodunnit’ feel but in a modern setting. Kent is the deducer, the sleuth, and the mystery solver. I really like that Kent is not a copper or detective, his EHO career adds just a something special to the reads and gives such a great twist to this murder mystery series.

No More Lies by Robert Crouch is a book that I would definitely recommend!

Inspired by Miss Marple, Inspector Morse and Columbo, Robert Crouch wanted to write entertaining crime fiction the whole family could enjoy.

At their heart is Kent Fisher, an environmental health officer with more baggage than an airport carousel. Passionate about the environment, justice and fair play, he’s soon embroiled in murder.

Drawing on his experiences as an environmental health officer, Robert has created a new kind of detective who brings a unique and fresh twist to the traditional murder mystery. With complex plots, topical issues and a liberal dash of irreverent humour, the Kent Fisher mysteries offer an alternative to the standard police procedural.

Robert now writes full time and lives on the South Coast of England with his wife and their West Highland White Terrier, Harvey, who appears in the novels as Kent’s sidekick, Columbo.

To discover more, visit Robert on –

WebsiteTwitterFacebookAmazonGoodreads

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

Twisted by Steve Cavanagh #review

I am delighted to be sharing my review for Twisted by Steve Cavanagh. Steve’s previous book Th1rt33n was an absolute corker of a read, and I will say that if you think Twisted will follow the same path you will be mistaken, instead Twisted is a very different animal indeed!

BEFORE YOU READ THIS BOOK 
I WANT YOU TO KNOW THREE THINGS:

1. The police are looking to charge me with murder.
2. No one knows who I am. Or how I did it.
3. If you think you’ve found me. I’m coming for you next.

After you’ve read this book, you’ll know: the truth is far more twisted…

Well how to even start a review of this book… the title… Twisted, yes it certainly suits the book. It is Twisted and full of twists from the synopsis and the 3 things you should know right through until the end. There is a murder, yes the police will charge the murderer even though they haven’t got him yet, they don’t know who it is, and the real twist is that if you discover who the murderer is then you are the next victim… Right keeping up so far?!!!! Good!

Open the cover of the book and the title page reads Twisted by Steve Cavanagh, the next title page…What! Wait a minute! Two Title Pages! haha yes there are two of them and it reads… Twisted by J. T LeBeau who the flaming hell is J.T LeBeau? The next page I came across was an Author’s Note that was very intriguing and signed by the author LeBeau. This is the start of a deceptively clever book that me turning pages as it gradually pulled me further into it’s plot.

What to tell you about the story! Well, I am going to use a line from the authors note at the beginning of the book “From here on in, don’t believe a single word you read.”, as I write this I am sniggering because as I read the line at the beginning it wasn’t till the end that I realised how prophetic it would actually turn out to be!

This is supposed to be my review or my thoughts about a book I have read, but it has left me at a bit of a loss for words. I wont tell you anything about the plot or the characters for fear of spoiling the story. So instead I am keeping this very simple…

This is a ‘twisted’ murder, mystery, crime, thriller read with a ‘twisted’ psychological kick to it. It is deceptive, clever at times bloody and at others times jaw-dropping when you you come across the twists. It blind sided me on occasions and now I have read the book I can see the whole picture a little more clear… which means maybe I now know the identity of J.T LeBeau 😱 or do I?😉

This gets a highly recommended from Me! 🙂

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

Blackpool’s Daughter by Maggie Mason @Authormary @LittleBrownUK #Giveaway #review

I am delighted to share my review for Blackpool’s Daughter by Maggie Mason. I am a big fan of Mary Wood she also writes as Maggie Mason. It was an absolute pleasure to have the chance to take part in the Blog Tour.

Before I get carried away I must mention that Mary will be running a #GIVEAWAY so to take part please leave a comment on this post. Mary is responsible for the giveaway and will contact the winner. I have no involvement in the giveaway. **Please note that I approve posts on my site, I may not approve straight away today because I will will sleeping after working a night shift! Good luck everyone 🙂 xx

Right then, let’s have a look and see what this book is all about…

The perfect read for fans of Mary Wood, Kitty Neale, Val Wood and Nadine Dorries

Clara is forced to flee her home as the Nazis invade the beautiful island of Guernsey

Separated from her mother, far away from anything familiar, she is at the mercy of a cruel shopkeeper. Clara is worked like a dog, but the warmth of her Blackpool friendships will go far to save her.

Julia just wants to find her beloved daughter – but the trials of war will keep them far apart.

They will meet again – but the war will change everything for mother and daughter

Having read the previous book called The Blackpool Lass, (you can read my review here) I was very keen to see if this author could pull at my heart and emotions again! Well! Oh my goodness! Yes she could! Blackpool’s Daughter is such an emotional rollercoaster that took my emotions once again through the wringer.

The story is of Clara and her mother Julia and I first met them on Guernsey, they do not have the best of life their but do make the most of what they have. As the threat of Germany taking over the island looms ever closer, the decision is made to evacuate the children and younger people off the island to the mainland. Clara eventually ends up in Blackpool while Julia remains behind. A change of circumstance makes it possible for Julia to find the fare for passage as well. She wants to find her daughter… but where she is, well no-one seems to know. She is given a rough idea of where Clara was possibly placed.

Oh Clara my goodness… Blackpool sounds like such a perfect place for her to be posted, but it’s not the Blackpool I imagine. Instead Clara is forced to work like a slave for such her obnoxious landlady. What should be a place of safety is in fact dangerous, dirty and an absolute nightmare. Clara’s situation just seems to go from bad to worse with every decision that is forced upon her. Clara is caught up in the back streets, full of danger and deceit. The Author really shows her research in this book as there are so many mentions of relevant things.

Julia does not find it any easier. The anguish at watching her daughter leave is so heartfelt and I really did feel for this strong character. She is one of those silent women that bear all that is thrown at her but not saying anything about. This silent strength is something that she will definitely need as she tries to earn enough to try and find Clara. The strength her mother has is something that Clara has also taken and she will need all her strength to get through some really tough situations.

Heartbreak and emotion are very strong themes in this book and at times it is gut wrenching to read some of the dilemmas and situations the characters find themselves in. The second world war has such a huge impact on families, communities and the nation as a whole. Pain and suffering is evident, but also that resolve to try to carry on as best as you can is in evidence. But with this resolve there are also the minority that see the war as a means to profit, it is these people who are the real danger.

The stories of the two women are told in quick alternating chapters. Each chapter left me wanting to know what was happening with the other, to see how they were faring and coping. But it was not only the two women that had my interest it was also the people they met along their travels and whose lives they become part of.

Along with the heartbreak and feeling of sadness there is also another emotion, it’s called hope and comes in various different other aspects and from other characters. Hope that mother and daughter will survive, hope they will be united, hope that others are re-united and, hope that futures and lives will eventually get better.

This is such a fabulous read, once I started I really did not want to put it down. The story hit me right from the start and this author really knows how to put her characters and also this reader through the emotional mill.

If you are a fan of historical fiction and family saga’s then you really should check this author out. Blackpool’s Daughter get a Highly Recommended from me! xx

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Maggie Mason is a pseudonym of author Mary Wood. Mary began her career by self-publishing on kindle where many of her sagas reached number one in genre. She was spotted by Pan Macmillan and to date has written many books for them under her own name, with more to come. Mary continues to be proud to write for Pan Macmillan, but is now equally proud and thrilled to take up a second career with Sphere under the name of Maggie Mason. A Blackpool Lass is her first in a planned series of standalone books and trilogies set in her home town of Blackpool.

Mary retired from working for the National Probation Service in 2009, when she took up full time writing, something she’d always dreamed of doing. She follows in the footsteps of her great-grandmother, Dora Langlois, who was an acclaimed author, playwright and actress in the late nineteenth – early twentieth century.

It was her work with the Probation Service that gives Mary’s writing its grittiness, her need to tell it how it is, which takes her readers on an emotional journey to the heart of issues.

Follow the Author on – WebsiteTwitterFacebook

Dont forget… leave a comment if you want to to be entered into the Giveaway ✍📖😘


Many thanks for reading my post, likes and shares are always appreciated 🙂 xx

The Strings of Murder by Oscar de Muriel #review

I am delighted to be sharing my review for Strings of Murder by Oscar de Muriel. This is the first book in the Frey & McGray Mystery series. If you like Gothic fiction then you really need to check out this series, this first book was brilliant!

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

1888: a violinist is brutally murdered in his Edinburgh home. Fearing a national panic over a copycat Jack the Ripper, Scotland Yard send Inspector Ian Frey. Frey reports to Detective “Nine-Nails” McGray, local legend and exact opposite of the foppish English Inspector. McGray’s tragic past has driven him to superstition, but even Frey must admit that this case seems beyond belief…

There was no way in or out of the locked music studio. And there are black magic symbols on the floor. The dead man’s maid swears there were three musicians playing before the murder. And the suspects all talk of a cursed violin once played by the Devil himself.


Inspector Frey has always been a man of reason—but the longer this investigation goes on, the more his grasp on reason seems to be slipping…

Every now and again I really like to read a good gothic novel. I came across this one on Amazon and decided to give it a go as it seemed to have an old investigative style of murder mystery to it and a touch of superstition. It caught my eye and I am so glad it did as it is a fabulously gothic thrillery read!

Enter Frey and Gray, they are just two wonderful and very different characters, very chalk and cheese. The setting is 1888, Edinburgh and Inspector Frey is sent from London to assist Detective “Nine Nails” McGray in the mysterious and bloody death of a violinist.

Frey is very much a no nonsense type of guy, strictly about the facts. A sharp dresser and follower of proper etiquette. Now then, Mcgray, you could not get much further in the opposite direction than him. He is the master of all knowledge when it comes to the occult and superstition. He definitely follows his own style when it comes to his fashion sense. On meeting for the first time, these two clash! The exasperation from the both of them shows, though more so from McGray, as it would not be fitting for Frey to give such a show of distaste, but believe me he does have his moments. The dynamics between the two are so good and kept me entertained at the various asides. The seriousness of their work does however allow them to find a sort of compromise, or should I say they start to form a somewhat professional respect as the story continues.

Over the course of the story I got to know more about the individual characters and their own stories. Frey and McGray have very intriguing backgrounds that gradually emerged. As this is the first in the series I thought there was a good foundation laid for building further n their characters and filling in more about them.

The timing of this book is at the time Jack the Ripper is at large, so why would a London send one of it’s investigators to Scotland when the death of Mary Kelly has just occured? Having the mention of such an infamous villain at the beginning of this story helps to add to the tone that is to be set as the story continues. A story of murder and malevolent intent.

Their case for the violinist is one that is also bloody and macabre. It gets them scratching their heads at this closed room murder. Who did it? Why was it done? And more importantly…how was it done? The intrigue through the questioning and deducing kept me on my toes as the two made their way through their investigations.

If you are looking for a wonderfully vivid and atmospheric gothic thriller then you really should cast your eye at this author. There are more books in this series and I am so looking forward to getting to see what Frey & McGray get involved in next and also hopefully learning more about what makes them tick.

This book gets a Highly Recommended from me!

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

The Lighthouse Keeper’s Daughter by Cherry Radford @CherryRad @urbanebooks #review

I am delighted to be sharing my review for The Lighthouse Keepers Daughter by Cherry Radford. I recieved a copy of this book last year from Urbane Publishers, many apologies for it taking so long for me to read and review. I wish I had picked it up sooner as it was such a wonderful read.

So before I get carried away, why don’t I let you know what it’s all about …

After the break-up of her marriage, Imogen escapes to her aunt’s converted lighthouse on Beachy Head. Writing for a tedious online magazine but hoping to starting a novel, she wants to be alone – until she finds an entrancing flamenco CD in her borrowed car and contacts the artist via Twitter. It turns out that actor-musician Santiago needs help with English, and is soon calling her profesora.

Through her window, the other lighthouse winks at her across the sea. The one where her father was a keeper, until he mysteriously drowned there in 1982. Her aunt is sending extracts from his diary, and Imogen is intrigued to learn that, like her and Santi, her father had a penfriend.

Meanwhile, despite their differences – Imogen is surrounded by emotional and geographical barriers, Santi surrounded by family and land-locked Madrid – their friendship develops. So, she reads, did her father’s – but shocking revelations cause Imogen to question whether she ever really knew him.

Two stories of communication: the hilarious mistakes, the painful misunderstandings, and the miracle – or tragedy – of finding someone out there with whom you have an unforeseen, irresistible connection.

This is such a beautiful story, well more a story within a story. Imogen is the Lighthouse Keepers daughter, her father drowned mysteriously and his part of the story is told in snippets from his diary. The pages from the diary are sent separately to Imogen, this is one of the stories. Another is the relationship between Imogen and her family, her son Ollie, her Aunt who sends the diary pages and also her friend Jules.

The main story is that of Imogen herself and how she helps Santi, a Spanish Musician/Actor. She had been unaware of him until she found and listened to a CD of his in her car. It was right music for her to listen to at the right time, as it made such an impact she tweeted him and gradually a friendship formed. Music is an important part of the story in some ways because it is the foundation of a friendship that takes the lonely and isolated Imogen on a trip to Madrid.

Things happen for a reason, some things happen at the right time and right place. These become more apparent as the story gradually unfolds. For me Imogen is the personification of a lighthouse, she is isolated, stands apart from others and has an eerie beauty to her. As I got to know her through the story, I found myself understanding and warming to Imogen and caring about her.

There is a myriad of Spanish phrases throughout this book, don’t worry though they are all explained as conversations flow. I should explain that Imogen is helping Santi with his English and vice versa. Some of these conversations are hilarious and add such a nice touch.

Both Imogen and Santi have such wonderful personalities, and are very different. They each have their own struggles, problems, home life dramas. I loved the way they interacted and their friendship took time to develop, it gave me a chance to get to know them as individuals rather than a duo.

I adored this book, the setting and story-lines were compelling, the characters were memorable and all-in-all a very beautiful story.

This is a book that would appeal to readers who like a slower meander through the lives of the characters they meet. It delves into the families pasts and reveals the odd secret along the way. A story that I would highly recommend.

P.S. I love the cover for this book and my copy has little lighthouses next to the page numbers. Also on the chapter heading pages there is a wonderful silhouette of the lighthouse . I love the little details in book designs…just saying 🙂

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