East Side Hustler (Alex Cohen #2) by Leopold Borstinski #EastSideHustler #AlexCohenSeries @borstinski @damppebbles #damppebblesblogtours #histfic #BookReview

I am absolutely delightedd to be opening the Blog Tour for East Side Hustler by Leopold Bortinski. My huge thanks to Emma at damppebbles Tours for my spot on the tour and for arranging my e-copy of this book. East Side Hustler is the second book in a series I am loving.

Let me show you more about the book…

Alex lived through the war, but will he survive the peace?

Jewish gang member, Alex comes back from the Great War almost destroyed by the horrors he has seen. When he is plucked from certain death by an old friend, he commits to making so much money he’ll never know that agony again.

But the route to the top is fraught with danger and every time he helps one of his powerful friends like Al Capone, he acquires more enemies who want to see him dead. When organised crime financier, Arnold Rothstein dies, the turmoil caused by his loss sets in train a chain of events which means Alex must once more fight for his life. How far would you go to attain your American dream?

The second book in the Alex Cohen series is a violent historical novel, which tears through the Prohibition years of the Jewish New York mob. Leopold Borstinski’s gripping crime noir pierces the heart of every reader like a bullet from Alex’s sniper rifle.

PURCHASE LINKS Amazon UKAmazon USNook

This is the second book in the Alex Cohen Series and I am going to say straight from the off how much I am enjoying this series.

Alex Cohen has just returned from serving in the First World War and is suffering from the horror at what he saw and did. He makes his way to his old stomping ground and gradually makes his way back into civilian life. He is a member of a gang in Bowery district of New York. This, like many other gangs control gambling, prostitution, extortion, backhanders and bribes, basically they are racketeers.

While Alex makes his way back to health he reconnects with his old friends and gang members. Things are getting more dangerous for everyone in 1920’s America and as Prohibition looms things are getting tense. Prohibition strains all gangs and they are often at odds with each other, but also alliances are made. The meeting of new allies inevitably sees one of the most infamous names making an appearance in the story, that is one Al Capone.

Tensions are a strong thread within this story as the lives of friends and family are always in threat. Vendettas and revenge lead to bloody battles and street wide gunfights. Trust is something that is not easily given and this adds to the drama.

The author does an absolutely fantastic job of immersing the reader in the time and setting of the novel. I like how Jewish words and phrases are dropped into conversations, I should explain that Alex is Jewish.

This is a book that really does exude the roaring 20’s with mobs, gangs, prohibition and illegal drinking and gambling. While this is all going on Alex also has a family to take care of and like many other families, his also becomes a target.

A wonderful historical fiction read that took me to 1920’s America a time of change and a time of trouble. The author has some brilliant characters and a totally addictive read. The first book – The Bowery Slugger saw Alex Cohen starting his journey into the gangs, East Side Hustler sees him making his mark as a major player and they are both excellent reads.

East Side Hustler is a book I would definitely recommend. This really is a fabulous book and I cannot wait to get my hands on the next book that is due out later this year.

See my review for The Bowery Slugger – HERE

Leopold Borstinski is an independent author whose past careers have included financial journalism, business management of financial software companies, consulting and product sales and marketing, as well as teaching.

There is nothing he likes better so he does as much nothing as he possibly can. He has travelled extensively in Europe and the US and has visited Asia on several occasions. Leopold holds a Philosophy degree and tries not to drop it too often.

He lives near London and is married with one wife, one child and no pets.

Follow Leopold on – Twitter Facebook Website Instagram

Check out the other stops on the Blog Tour…

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

Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell #Histfic #BookReview

I am delighted to share my review for Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell. This is a fabulous historical fiction read and one I read a few weeks ago.

Let me show you what it is all about…

Drawing on Maggie O’Farrell’s long-term fascination with the little-known story behind Shakespeare’s most enigmatic play, HAMNET is a luminous portrait of a marriage, at its heart the loss of a beloved child.

Warwickshire in the 1580s. Agnes is a woman as feared as she is sought after for her unusual gifts. She settles with her husband in Henley street, Stratford, and has three children: a daughter, Susanna, and then twins, Hamnet and Judith. The boy, Hamnet, dies in 1596, aged eleven. Four years or so later, the husband writes a play called Hamlet.

Award-winning author Maggie O’Farrell’s new novel breathes full-blooded life into the story of a loss usually consigned to literary footnotes, and provides an unforgettable vindication of Agnes, a woman intriguingly absent from history.

What a beautifully written story Hamnet is. There is an intro from the author right at the beginning of the book that gives a wonderful insight into the idea behind this story.

The story begins with Hamnet looking for his sister Judith, and when he discovers her she is ill with a fever. Their mother is out in the fields looking after her beehives and is unaware of what is happening at home.

The story of Hamnet, Judith and the other family members alternates with that of Agnes, her life growing up and her marriage to a glover’s son who then works away in London and becomes a playwright.

William Shakespeare takes a back seat in this story, or should I say he is around but mainly in the wings rather than centre stage. While the story does has reference to Shakespeare and Hamlet, it is a historical fiction story. A story that follows a family during the late 1500s.

The time of the story is important as this is the same time as the plague. I do have to mention an amazing section in the book where the author describes the route of the plague, that description made the plague is almost a character in itself.

The story is heartbreaking as it does deal with the death of a child, the grief of a mother and of the siblings. Yet there is something about the way it has been done that is didn’t make it feel as sad as I was expecting. Maybe it was because the name of Hamnet would live on through the play Hamlet.

This book is a historical fiction and also has a feeling of a literary fiction. There are some wonderful descriptive passages that are really good reading. This is a slow burner that I found myself well and truly caught up in. I really enjoyed the style of the story a lot and I would definitely recommend it.

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

Stalins Final Sting by Andrew Turpin @AndrewTurpin #Historical #Thriller #BookReview

I am delighted to share my review for Stalin’s Final Sting by Andrew Turpin. I am a fan of this authors Joe Johnson series, a series that is action packed and is very addictive reading.

Let me show you what it is all about…

The darkest secrets of a Russian oligarch—a legacy from Stalin. A hidden batch of the CIA’s Stinger missiles. And the insatiable Afghan thirst for revenge.
Ex-CIA war crimes investigator Joe Johnson is sucked into an inquiry which delves into the deadly world of Soviet and US undercover operations in Afghanistan during the 1980s—and mysterious connections to current US and Russian politics.
Johnson and his ex-MI6 colleague Jayne Robinson find themselves pursuing a Russian oligarch with strong links to Putin and a past he would rather keep hidden—and also an Afghan mujahideen bent on the most bloodthirsty revenge.
The investigation is thrown awry by Johnson’s crooked former CIA boss, now on the run, and by a miscalculation of the dangers lurking in the Hindu Kush mountains, ridden with heavily armed Taliban insurgents.
The story reaches a raw climax in Brooklyn, Manhattan, Moscow, and Kabul, as Johnson battles to overcome the powerful forces lined up against him, including former KGB agents.

**This thriller comes with a link inside the book allowing readers a COMPLIMENTARY download of a prequel novel in the Joe Johnson series — The Afghan**

This is the fourth book in the Joe Johnson Thriller series, and I have read and loved each one. There is also a mini novel that I would recommend reading before you read this book though, its called The Afghan.

Stalin’s Final Sting sees the main protagonist ex-CIA Joe Johnson take a step back into his past. His current job is investigating war crimes as well as undertaking other investigative work with long time friend and ex-MI6 Jayne Robinson. Together these two have a great network of resources and they are going to need them.

The setting is in Afghanistan, this is where Joe has a history from the late 1980’s during the Russian-Afghan Conflict. His current brief is to do background checks on some of the major players for bids on an extremely lucrative deal. Not a war crimes job, but one that sparks an interest that has links to his past.

There is one thing I recognise with this author and it is the detail and research that goes on behind the book. It is very evident as you read and then at the end of his books you get an amazing few pages of research notes that make ideal pointers for further reading.

The next thing that I find about the books is the fast pacing and it is pure action right from the outset. The author is very good at keeping everything clear and on point.

Now as for the story, for me it felt stronger and more in depth as it addresses some story lines that have been present from a previous book. If you are not up to date with the series then there is enough info to get you up to speed but in all seriousness… just read the series. The story delves into the Russian-Afghan conflict of the 1980’s. It was a brutal period where many innocents were caught up in the conflict. Many were tortured and killed. While the author does go into some details he keeps things to more of a minimum which as a reader I sometimes prefer.

I really enjoy the thrill of this series, it is fast, action packed and things get deeper and deeper as the intrigue and the mystery builds. It is one I sit and read and don’t try to work things out. I never know how the author is going to use his characters and what twists there are up his sleeves.

If you are a fan of historical, thrillers, mysteries and action reads then you really do need to check this series out. It is a brilliantly fast-paced and intensive ride. I would definitely recommend the series as well as this book.

Andrew is a former journalist who has always had a love of writing and a passion for reading good thrillers. Now he has finally put the two interests together.

His first book, The Last Nazi, was published in August 2017, and the second, The Old Bridge, in January 2018. The third, Bandit Country, followed in February 2018. In January 2019 the fourth, Stalin’s Final Sting, was published along with a prequel to the series, entitled The Afghan.

The themes behind these thrillers also pull together some of Andrew’s other interests, particularly history, world news, and travel. They explore the ways in which events and human behaviors deep into the past continue to impact on modern society, politics and business.

All of Andrew’s books draw strongly on these themes. They feature Joe Johnson, an ex-CIA officer and former U.S. Nazi hunter with the Office of Special Investigations, part of the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C.
Johnson has a passion for justice and a drive to investigate unsolved war crimes in different parts of the world.

Andrew studied history at Loughborough University and worked for many years as a business and financial journalist before becoming a corporate and financial communications adviser with several large energy companies.

He originally came from Grantham, Lincolnshire, and lives with his family in St. Albans in Hertfordshire, U.K.

76 Silver Street by Anna Shenton #Bookreview

I am still playing catch-up on books I read in December and still have not shared my thoughts about them with you. Today I am delighted to share my review for 76 Silver Street by Anna Shenton.

Let me show you what it is all about…

76 Silver Street – A Historical Romance: Set in the suburbs of Manchester: A gritty, scandalous story of courage, passion, love, loss, lies and sexual desire.


Imagine, how it feels, to be dumped on your aunt’s doorstep by your mother. Your aunt takes you in as if her own; goes without herself, to keep you warm and safe.

Nineteen years later, in the suburbs of Manchester 1905, you become house keeper, in the next town, for a handsome young man in hope of finding true love; but find yourself being subjected to his, and his mate’s drunken, coercive behaviour.
Then one day, your aunt calls for help from her hospital-bed, to take over her rundown boarding house before it goes bust.

Such is the plight of Rosa Brown. She owes it to her aunt to help in her hour of need and sneaks off out of town, escaping the sordid life she lives, without a word to anyone.

Met by Jack Howard on arrival, in Pembertown, Rosa’s heart plummets when her eyes meet with the dingy filthy place, and Jack’s devilish manner, who thinks she’s mad and has no intention of helping to get the place up and running before it goes bust.

Rosa is shocked when faced with all the ruffians and commoners knocking on the door and struggles to keep the roguish, rampant Jack Howard’s hands off her.

Sprucing the place up and filling it with respectful paying guests, proves harder than expected.

Now, filled with fear for her aunt, and her own wellbeing, will Rosa ever find the love of her life and be free from trouble?

The cover kind of sets the feel for this book, it has a sultry look to it. The story inside was wonderful and also quite a believable one. Rosa is given the chance to run her Aunt’s boarding house in Manchester. Rosa accepts this as it is a chance to move away from her past and get the chance to start anew.

When she first arrives at the boarding house she meets Jack, and let’s say that they don’t exactly hit it off. Jack has been running the place, but it seems to Rosa that running it down would be more appropriate. She soon gets to work to get everything up to standard, not something that goes down so well with Jack as this means more work for him.

This is a wonderful read and the author has packed quite a lot into this 120-page book. I liked the use of the local Manchester dialect, and there is a handy glossary at the back, though it makes sense in the context it is used. There are a couple of backstories for Rosa and Jack, and these for me added to their characters and gave a reason for how they reacted in the beginning. The author has added some wonderful descriptions of the rooms, and again these add to the general feeling and setting of the story.

I really liked the contrast between the characters, Rosa being more of a lady than Jack is used to and Jack is a through and through rogue, but he does have a bit of something about him that you just can’t help but warm to.

This story moves along at a brisk pace, and once I had picked it up I found that I could only put it down when I had finished it. It was a gripping story with fabulous characters. In fact, I would love to think that there would be a follow-up. A historical fiction and romance novel that I thoroughly enjoyed and would definitely recommend.

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

Million Eyes by C.R. Berry @CRBerry1 @rararesources #BookReview

I am delighted to share my review for Million Eyes by C.R. Berry. This is a book that has its toes dipped in a few genres and so in a way it makes it a book that may intrigue many readers… it certainly intrigued Me!

Let me show you what it is all about…

How do you fight an enemy who has a million eyes?

What if we’re living in an alternate timeline? What if the car crash that killed Princess Diana, the disappearance of the Princes in the Tower, and the shooting of King William II weren’t supposed to happen?

Ex-history teacher Gregory Ferro finds evidence that a cabal of time travellers is responsible for several key events in our history. These events all seem to hinge on a dry textbook published in 1995, referenced in a history book written in 1977 and mentioned in a letter to Edward III in 1348.

Ferro teams up with down-on-her-luck graduate Jennifer Larson to get to the truth and discover the relevance of a book that seems to defy the arrow of time. But the time travellers are watching closely. Soon the duo are targeted by assassins willing to rewrite history to bury them.

Million Eyes is a fast-paced conspiracy thriller about power, corruption and destiny.

Purchase LinksElsewhen PressAmazon UKAmazon US

I have to say that I do like a good conspiracy every now and again in my reading, Million Eyes has more than one conspiracy, in fact it has several that have been wonderfully woven back and forth in this historical /time travel fiction book.

Now where to start, Million Eyes, well I could tell you what Million Eyes is but I won’t, you will have to read the story to discover the details. There are several other things I could tell you, but… yep you guessed it… I’m not going tell you about them either lol!

So what I will tell you is that Ferro, a history teacher, has stumbled across something that could, if released to the public, turn what we know about our history on its head. He is obsessed with what he has found and wants to know more. Jennifer Larson has been following his blog and is intrigued, together they start to piece little snippets and leads together until they discover that there are obscure accounts that have been documented over the years that indicate that people from the future have been interfering, they have left evidence!

This has been very well written and as I have discovered from trying to write my review about this book, keeping a timeline that makes sense and doesn’t get muddled and confusing is a very difficult thing to do, but the author has pulled it off brilliantly so that it flows wonderfully.

The author has used parts of history and then spun them into a great setting for the story line that see’s the reader transported across centuries as a witness to the what unfolds. Given the fact that this is a story that does flit back and forth it is very easy to follow and know where in history you are. This attention to setting and timeline details is great.

I was enjoying this book a lot and liked the mystery and conspiracy elements to this story, then towards the 60% stage of the book little bombshells started to be dropped. I suddenly knew what Million Eyes and other things in the story were. This is the stage where I felt the story quicken its pace, or was that me suddenly desperate to know more and so began to read faster?

There are a few characters in this story and they are easy to keep up with, the settings are good and the timelines are clear. The story line is full of twists and turns that you don’t really get the full effect of until a lot later in the book and then you get the eureka moment without realising one was due! I do hope that makes sense …

This is a book that I thoroughly enjoyed, it is a mix of genres so if you like history, fiction, mystery, time travel or conspiracy theories in your reading then I really do recommend giving this book a read. It is the first in a planned trilogy and has been left with hints of a cliff hanger, but also nicely wrapped up to a point.

C.R. Berry caught the writing bug at the tender age of four and has never recovered. His earliest stories were filled with witches, monsters, evil headteachers, Disney characters and the occasional Dalek. He realised pretty quickly that his favourite characters were usually the villains. He wonders if that’s what led him to become a criminal lawyer. It’s certainly why he’s taken to writing conspiracy thrillers, where the baddies are numerous and everywhere.

After a few years getting a more rounded view of human nature’s darker side, he quit lawyering and turned to writing full-time. He now works as a freelance copywriter and novelist and blogs about conspiracy theories, time travel and otherworldly weirdness.

He was shortlisted in the 2018 Grindstone Literary International Novel Competition and has been published in numerous magazines and anthologies, including Storgy, Dark Tales, Theme of Absence and Suspense Magazine. He was also shortlisted in the Aeon Award Contest, highly commended by Writers’ Forum, and won second prize in the inaugural To Hull and Back Humorous Short Story Competition.

He grew up in Farnborough, Hampshire, a town he says has as much character as a broccoli. He’s since moved to the “much more interesting and charming” Haslemere in Surrey.

Social Media Links – TwitterFacebookWordPressGregory Ferro’s Blog Million Eyes

See what other Book Bloggers think of Million Eyes by checking out their stops on the Blog Tour

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

#MeAndMyBooks – My Top Ten Absolute Favourite Books of 2019 #MustRead #TopReadsOf2019

So for the past 3 days I have listed the books from various different genres that I have loved this year.

It has been such an amazing literary year and it has made it very, very difficult to keep my list short… hell, let’s be honest it is far from short, hence the past 3 daily posts… and I could still have added more. So many books that really did deserve a mention.

I have finally added all the books I have read this year to my Goodreads tally, well apart from two manuscripts that I beta read. I am just starting 232nd book of the year. (The Book of Dust Vol 2 The Secret of the Commonwealth by Phillip Pullman, in case you are wondering)

If you want to check out my previous posts then follow the links below

Part 1 – Crime, Thriller, Mystery and also Fiction

Part 2 – Romance, Rom-Com and also Historical Fiction

Part 3 – Fantasy, Dystopian, also YA & Children, and also Non-Fiction.

From all of the books listed I have chosen My Top 10 Absolute Favourite Books of 2019.

So without further ado, here we go…

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My Absolute Favourite Books of the Year from those listed in my previous 3 posts are listed below, in no particular order 🙂

Out of the Silence by Owen Mullen. This was the first book that I added to my rough draft list when I read it in January, and it has stayed with me right the way through the year. It is such a stunningly beautiful and also heartbreaking book that is a murder, mystery and then some. This book will stay with me for a long time!

Dear Rosie Hughes by Melanie Hudson. I didn’t think I was going to get on with this one when I first started it. I was planning on only reading the first chapter before going to bed… yeah I read the whole book! It is told in a series of messages, emails and letters about friends Aggie and Rosie, this book was so addictive and so emotional.

Amazing Grace by Kim Nash. Oh my goodness, this book was an absolute pleasure to read. Yet another one sitting read that had me laughing one moment and sobbing the next. This is a stunning read with some amazing characters and a brilliant story line and those sections in italics… Wow!. I also loved her next book Escape to Giddywell Grange.

The Death of Justice by Tony J Forder. I am a big fan of Tony’s books and I am always so impatient for the next one. The Death of Justice is Book 5 in the DI Bliss series and it is by far my favourite book to date. I felt the author took a real step up with this book. It felt more emotional and there was something extra special about this latest instalment, so special that he reduced me to tears. Fabulous series and a fabulous book.

Dark Deception by Amanda James. This is another author I will automatically read and a favourite of mine. This is another author who I thought also stepped things up this year with this book. The title is so perfect for the devious and deceptive nature of the story within. She completely reeled me in, building more and more intrigue with each chapter. An absolute belter of a read.

A Boy and His Dog at the End of the World by C.A. Fletcher. This is the story of Griz, never played a game of football, because, well… there just aren’t enough people, and he has never known that many people. This is an emotional, atmospheric and fantastic book that just felt so right when I read it. A book that I savoured and adored, an absolutely cracking read.

Meet Me In Monaco by Hazel Gaynor & Heather Webb. I just fell in love with this story from the first pages and it kept me hooked right through until the very end. It is set in the height of Hollywood Film Royalty and Grace Kelly steps into Sophie’s perfumer shop, following Grace is a reporter and the story that follows is stunning. The story had the style, luxury and class of the time as the story follows not only Sophie but also Grace. I loved the feel and style of this book, a stunning read.

Becoming by Michelle Obama. Audible version. I loved having Michelle sat with me in the car as I drove 7 hours up to visit my parents and then back again! Well that is what it felt like, it felt as if she was actually talking to me. She spoke of her life growing up, meeting Barack, working, elections, being the First Lady as well as a wife and a mother. She has such a wonderful voice to listen to and an amazing story to tell. I loved listening to this a huge amount.

Black Summer by M.W Craven. Up until last week The Puppet Show, the first book in the series was on my Top 10 list, then I read this 2nd book in the Washington Poe series! I had been told by other Book Bloggers I would love it, and they were so right. I love the characters of Poe and Tilly, they are two opposites in personality and character and they are a readers dream, I love the dynamics between them both. And then there it the story line , dark, deep, twisted and so addictive. Awesome read and a single sitting book as well.


Right if I can count I think that makes 9 out of 10 books to make my Absolute Favourite Books of 2019. I was going to do a drum roll thing but then I thought just get on with it…


So my #1 Book of the year absolutely blew me away. It was a book that sounded so intriguing from the synopsis and then took me on one hell of a journey. It had so many things that made it compelling reading…

Here is what it is all about…

A decadent rock star. A deeply religious radio host. A disgraced scientist. And a teenage girl who may be the world’s last hope.

Shana wakes up one morning to discover her little sister in the grip of a strange malady. She appears to be sleepwalking. She cannot talk and cannot be woken up. And she is heading with inexorable determination to a destination that only she knows. But Shana and her sister are not alone. Soon they are joined by a flock of sleepwalkers from across America, on the same mysterious journey. And like Shana, there are other “shepherds” who follow the flock to protect their friends and family on the long dark road ahead.

For on their journey, they will discover an America convulsed with terror and violence, where this apocalyptic epidemic proves less dangerous than the fear of it. As the rest of society collapses all around them–and an ultraviolent militia threatens to exterminate them–the fate of the sleepwalkers depends on unraveling the mystery behind the epidemic. The terrifying secret will either tear the nation apart–or bring the survivors together to remake a shattered world. 

You can read my review of Wanderers HERE


I would just like to thank all of you amazing folk out there who have commented, liked, shared my posts throughout the year. You are all absolutely amazing. To Book Bloggers, Authors, Publishers and Blog Tour Organisers thank you for a fantastic literary year and for making sure I never run out of books to read.

I wish you all a wonderful Christmas and I will see you all in the New Year.

The Wronged Daughter by Mary Wood @Authormary #Bookreview

I am delighted to share my thoughts on The Wronged Daughter by Mary Wood. Any regulars to my blog will be aware that I am a huge fan of this author and I have enjoyed every one of her books whether she writes as Mary Wood or Maggie Mason.

The Wronged Daughter is part of a series and is the third book, though all can be read as stand-alones… though I would suggest reading them in order.

Let me show you what this one is all about…

Can she heal the wounds of her past?
Mags has never forgotten the friendship she forged with Flora and Ella, two fellow nurses she served with at the beginning of World War I. Haunted by what she experienced during that time, she fears a reunion with her friends would bring back the horror she’s tried so desperately to suppress.

Now, with her wedding on the horizon, this should be a joyful time for Mags. But the sudden loss of her mother and the constant doubt she harbours surrounding her fiancé, Harold, are marring her happiness.

Mags throws herself into running the family mill, but she’s dealt another aching blow by a betrayal that leaves her reeling. Finding the strength the war had taken from her, she fights back, not realizing the consequences and devastating outcome awaiting her.

Every time I pick up a but by this author I am hoplessly addictied within the first page or two, The Wronged Daughter was another one that I immediately felt invested in.

This is the third book in the series and yes you could read it as a stand-alone! But why would you? The series has followed three friends Flors, Elle and Mags, this latest instalment focuses on Mags.

Mags is a fabulous character who showed her resolve when she trained as a nurse and then went to help in Belgium during World War I. On her return she went back to her home and to help in the running of the family business. She is also being swept off her feet by Harold. He is the brother of Flors, and her friend has warned her to be careful of him, but love is blind and he is Oh so charming!

Oh Mags! What a fabulous character she is, one minute I am watching on awe inspired as she deals with the mill and looking after peoples welfare and then the next minute I want to shout into the book to tell her to stop and listen to what other peoples hinting at! My goodness she infuriated me at times! All credit to the Author who brought out such a range of emotions in me while I was reading.

It didn’t take long for me to become interested in the world that had been created for Mags. I got to meet her family and her friends, Betsy, by the way was another brilliant character and in some ways this story was as much about Betsy as it was Mags. Both are entwined in each other as long term friends and so they know each other so well.

Both women have tragedy befall them, while what happens to the women is horrid it is also something that was believable for the time and so it worked well. How vague is that? Oh the pain of not giving out spoilers!

There are various things that happen in the story that are relevant for the time and also the way of things. Even though things have changed, it still annoys me that women became an asset or possession of their husband when they marry. Thank goodness for her forward thinking father! There you go another vague sentence!

The trials and tribulations of Mags seems never ending, when you think she may just find what she wants, the author then does what she does best, and that is to side step the reader and take another unexpected route.

If you have read this author before you will know exactly what I mean. She has a wonderful ability of throwing so much at her characters, it makes the reader care about them but she gets the balance just right. The author delivers a plot that her character can deal with without giving them too much, it keeps the believe-ability of the story flowing.

While the author does put Mags through an awful lot of pain, it has been carefully balanced so that there is also a glimmer of hope and that Mags will indeed have a happy life. Each time you think she will achieve it there is something else to rock the boat. Mixing in other characters and their own problems gives a good perspective of things going on in the lives of others. So it is not just about Mags, I liked how the author mixes various other in as well and it gives different opinions and viewpoints.

I have read a few of Mary’s books, and also books under her other name of Maggie Wood. Whenever I come to write a review I struggle to find the right words to convey just how good her books are. Simply put her books are fabulous, addictive, emotional and definitely fall into the “Must Read” category every time.

With The Wronged Daughter, the author has woven a story that delves into the heartbreaking side of loss within families, also manipulation within marriage and also some surprises from slightly minor characters. She has successfully created a story that shows how women of the 1920’s had to deal with discrimination and stigma.

If you like historical fiction then you will love The Wronged Daughter. It is a book and series I would Highly Recommend.

Born the thirteenth child of fifteen to a middle-class mother and an East End barrow boy, Mary Wood’s family were poor, but rich in love. Over time, she developed a natural empathy with the less fortunate and is fascinated by social history. Mary raised four children and has numerous grandchildren, step-grandchildren and great-grandchildren. An avid reader, she first put pen to paper in 1989, and is now a full-time novelist.

Visit Mary on – WebsiteTwitterFacebook

See what other Book Bloggers think by checking out their stops on the Blog Tour…


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

Revolution by Piet Hein Wokke #histfic #Bookreview

I am delighted to share my thoughts on Revolution by Piet Hein Wokke today with you. This is a book that I chose to review, let me show you what it is all about…

Do we ever really fight over religion?

Or do we use religion to fight?

Escape to the Middle East in this thrilling tale about Khalid, Abdullah and Jalal – young men who try to shape the kingdom of Beledar.

While the nearest battlefields of WWII are hundreds of miles of away, on the streets of Mayasin, the capital of Beledar, Abdullah struggles to survive. In a remote village, Khalid sets out in search of his father, and must face the brutal laws of the desert.

Jalal, the young king, wants to break through nepotism and corruption, but in a conservative, Islamic country, change doesn’t come easy. That the western world preys on his country’s oil fields, doesn’t make his life any easier either.

In this exciting book, Wokke expertly and poignantly shows the roots of modern conflicts in the Middle East, through the people and ideas that inhabit it.

This is a wonderful story that pulls together ideals, politics and culture to create a story that is set in the Middle East. It charts the stories of Abdullah and Khalid two boys from different parts of the region who grow up to have very different roles and also of a man who is to become King.

This was such an interesting read and one that I found quite addictive. It has quite a lot going on and so I took a little more time with it. It covers many different aspects of life in the Middle East and uses politics and religion quite a lot to add intrigue and suspense to the story.

The lives of the two boys are really interesting as well. One is a a boy who is struggling to make enough money so that his family can eat. The other decides to follow his brother and leave school. While the man who becomes King has ideas to help the people of his country.

I loved the way the author made me feel completely immersed within this story and while I do not have a great knowledge of the Middle East I did understand all the things that were going on. Life in the royal palace was like a game, a very dangerous game. Distrust, spies, backstabbing and conspiracy were very evident. I liked this notion of not really knowing who could be trusted.

The cultural aspects were interesting and I liked the author showed the differences from where the boys started to where they ended up. Also the differences in how men and women where expected to behave and how some where trying to bring changes to a male dominant society.

The story is told in alternating chapters from the perspectives of Abdullah and Khalid. I liked how I was able to follow their own journeys and how they changed and reacted to various situations as the story gradually unfolded. Jalal also has a few chapters and seeing how he coped with power was really interesting.

The story delves into other aspects of human nature such as trust, loyalty, truth, expectation and a matter of faith. These become tested in various ways through the story and it is interesting to see how the characters deal with the challenges they face.

This is a book that I read over three days and was one of those books that I found I better grasped with the extra time I spent reading it. There are various plots and conspiracies going on through the story that I needed time to digest so I didn’t get myself confused. The author has a background in politics and also Middle Eastern History and I think this has definitely helped with the story-lines.

By the end of the book I found that many things had been answered and felt complete but, there were also some new questions that I had and I hope that there will be another book to follow on from this one. The ending of this one has an ending that just begs for another book and the story to continue.

This is a book that I think readers of historical fiction would enjoy and it is one I would recommend.

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

Children of Fire by @cw_beatty @rararesources #Bookreview

I am delighted to share my thoughts on Children of Fire by Paul CW Beatty as part of the Blog Tour with Rachel’s Random Resources. My thanks to Rachel for my spot on the Tour and for organising my e-copy of this book.

Lets see what it is all about…

Can Josiah solve the puzzle before more people die, or is he out of his depth?

In 1841, at the height of the industrial revolution in the North West of England, Josiah Ainscough returns from his travels and surprises everyone by joining the Stockport Police Force, rather than following his adopted father’s footsteps into the Methodist ministry.

While Josiah was abroad, five men died in an explosion at the Furness Vale Powder Mill. Was this an accident or did the Children of Fire, a local religious community, have a hand in it. As Josiah struggles to find his vocation, his investigation into the Children of Fire begins. But his enquiries are derailed by the horrific crucifixion of the community’s leader.

Now Josiah must race against time to solve the puzzle of the violence loose in the Furness Vale before more people die. This is complicated by his affections for Rachael, a leading member of the Children of Fire, and the vivacious Aideen Hayes, a visitor from Ireland.

Can Josiah put together the pieces of the puzzle, or is he out of his depth? Children of Fire won the Writing Magazine’s Best Novel Prize for 2017

Purchase Links – Amazon UKUS

This is a historical fiction and crime novel that is set in the North West of England in 1841. Josiah is a constable who is asked to go to see a local religious group called the Children of Fire to see if they had anything to do with a recent explosion at the powder mill.

I will say that this book took me a few chapters to get into, there were several characters I had to get my head around and for some reason this took me a while. Gradually I started to become familiar with the names and their roles in the story and things started to fall into place and became easier to follow. There is quite a few things going on in the book as I followed Josiah into his investigation, met the Children of Fire members and also the local families.

I gradually started to find my interest in the book increasing, and I like the slower pace, it seemed to suit the slower pace of life for the setting. Being a hist/fic novel I like to come across things relevant to the time a book is set. This took me into some interesting facts about the powder mills and gunpowder. There were some really interesting facts that were given as part of Josiah’s investigation. The author had worked these facts and other issues into the story very well.

As I said this is a slower paced book, but there was a good amount of intrigue Josiah’s case continued, it often seemed that as he was starting to make headway something else would crop up only to add more mystery. As I passed the half way point of the story I noticed a slight shift in the pace and then things were starting to link up and took me to quite a dramatic conclusion.

This was a book that I enjoyed and is full of interesting history relevant to the time. If you like a slower paced historical fiction that has an intriguing crime element then give this one a try. It is one I would recommend.

Paul CW Beatty is an unusual combination of a novelist and a research scientist. Having worked for many years in medical research in the UK NHS and Universities, a few years ago he took an MA in Creative Writing at Manchester Metropolitan University emerging with a distinction.

His latest novel, Children of Fire, is a Victorian murder mystery set in 1841 at the height of the industrial revolution. It won the Writing Magazine’s Best Novel Award in November 2017 and is published by The Book Guild Ltd. 

Paul lives near Manchester in the northwest of England. Children of Fire is set against the hills of the Peak District as well as the canals and other industrial infrastructure of the Cottonopolis know as the City of Manchester.

Social Media Links – Twitter

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

The Raided Heart by Jennifer C Wilson @inkjunkie1984 @rararesources #histfic #Bookreview #Giveaway (open Int)

I am delighted to share my thoughts with you today for The Raided Heart by Jennifer C Wilson. I would like to thank Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for my spot on the tour and also for arrnaging my e-copy of this story.

Check out the #Giveaway later in the post to be in with a chance of winning an e-copy of The Last Plantagenet. You can read my review HERE

Let me show you what it is all about…

Meg Mathers, the headstrong youngest sibling of a reiving family on the English-Scottish border, is determined to remain at her childhood home, caring for the land and village she’s grown up with. When an accident brings her a broken ankle and six weeks in the resentful company of ambitious and angry young reiver Will Hetherington, attraction starts to build. Both begin to realise they might have met their match, and the love of their lives, but 15th century border living is not that simple, as Meg soon finds herself betrothed to the weakling son of a tyrannical neighbour, Alexander Gray. When tragedy strikes, can Meg and Will find their way back to each other, and can Will finally take his own personal revenge on Gray?

Purchase Links Amazon UKAmazon US

The author took me back in history to meet Meg Mathers. She is an essential part of her village and helps organise so many different things in daily life. When she gets accidentally injured by a horse, the owner is charged with helping her. Will isn’t keen to me at the beck and call of Meg, but he also knows it is something he has to do. They have a tentative relationship that gradually grows into a respect for each other and then into something else.

This is a fabulous read that immersed in the setting and time of the story. This is a time where people are wary of being raided and they form alliances for protection.

The author weaves a tale that shows the bond of family as well as of arrangements that are in place to provide support and safety for others. Raiding parties are a constant threat and so marriage is a good way of cementing alliances.

I loved how the author managed to pack quite a lot into her tale and yet kept up a pace that was so suitable. She has successfully woven intrigue and mystery into a story as well as giving the reader a snapshot of history at that time.

I thoroughly enjoyed this story and found myself eager to keep flipping the pages. If you like historical fiction that has a addictive story-line, had doubt and intrigue and is a great all round read, then grab a copy of The Raided Heart. It is a book I would definitely recommend.

Jennifer C. Wilson is a marine biologist by training, who developed an equal passion for history and historical fiction whilst stalking Mary, Queen of Scots on childhood holidays (she has since moved on to Richard III). Enrolling on an adult education workshop on her return to the north-east of England for work reignited her pastime of creative writing, and she has been filling notebooks ever since. In 2014, Jennifer won the Story Tyne short story competition, and has been working on a number of projects since, including co-hosting the North Tyneside Writers’ Circle. Her Kindred Spirits novels are published by Crooked Cat Books and her time-slip novella, The Last Plantagenet?, by Ocelot Press. She lives in North Tyneside, and is very proud of her approximately 2-inch sea view.

Social Media Links – WebsiteFacebookInstagramTwitter

#GIVEAWAY to Win 2 x e-copies of The Last Plantagenet? (Open Internationally)

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

Enter Here

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See what other Book Blogger thought of The Raided Heart by following the Blog Tour…

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