Wartime With the Tram Girls by Lynn Johnson @lynnjohnsonjots @HeraBooks @rararesources #excerpt #histfic

I am delighted to share an extract today for Wartime With The Tram Girls by Lynn Johnson . I wish I had got the time to read this rather than just offering an extract as this book sounds great. Many thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for my spot on the tour and for arranging my extract for the final day of the tour.

This is the second book in the two book series.

July 1914: Britain is in turmoil as WW1 begins to change the world. While the young men disappear off to foreign battlefields, the women left at home throw themselves into jobs meant for the boys.

Hiding her privileged background and her suffragette past, Constance Copeland signs up to be a Clippie – collecting money and giving out tickets – on the trams, despite her parents’ disapproval.

Constance, now known as Connie, soon finds there is more to life than the wealth she was born into and she soon makes fast friends with lively fellow Clippies, Betty and Jean, as well as growing closer to the charming, gentle Inspector Robert Caldwell.

But Connie is haunted by another secret; and if it comes out, it could destroy her new life.

After war ends and the men return to take back their roles, will Connie find that she can return to her previous existence? Or has she been changed forever by seeing a new world through the tram windows?

Purchase LinksAmazon Kobo Apple

EXTRACT…

Preparations for Christmas were well underway at Holmorton Lodge. Mrs Williams had been working day and night in the kitchen. Alice had taken over much of the housework and day-to-day management under Mrs Williams’s tutelage and was doing a good job.

Constance and her mother were sitting in the morning room taking their tea. There was a knock on the door and Mrs Williams, along with a tearful Alice, entered.

‘Sorry to trouble you Mrs Copeland, but Alice here’s had a problem at the butcher’s.’

‘Whatever’s the matter, Alice?’ asked Constance.

‘They have put up the meat we ordered but won’t give it to me unless I pay for it. Oh Miss Constance, they say we’re behind with the bill. I dunno what to do.’

‘She’s right, ma’am, I have checked the book. Nothing’s been paid since October,’ said Mrs Williams.

Constance turned to look at her mother. ‘Surely that can’t be right?’

‘Mrs Williams, would you and Alice mind leaving us, and I’ll get it sorted?’ Mother asked.

When they were alone, her mother continued. ‘I will speak to your father immediately.’

‘Before you go, Mother, I would like to understand a little more about our finances. We have a very nice lifestyle, but I have no idea how it’s funded.’

‘Your father deals with all of that, but I can tell you a little. The proceeds from the sale of the business and our house in Manchester enabled us to buy this house,’ her mother waved her arms about her, ‘and renovate it.’

‘I remember, it looked very sad when we moved in. I imagined it to be haunted or fancied some other terrible event had taken place!’

‘It’s a substantial property and your father could see its merits. The remainder of the money was invested equally in Government Bonds and shares in solid British companies.’

‘What are Government Bonds?’

‘I believe it’s money lent to the government by people like ourselves. In return, we get guaranteed interest periodically. The shares pay dividends which are not guaranteed but the income we get is higher, so it makes sense to have a mix of both. We live on the interest and dividends.’

‘I think I understand.’

‘Things have not gone too well for us recently. The war has had a considerable effect on our income. Many companies are paying very low dividends or none at all.’

‘Is that why he hasn’t replaced any of the servants?’

‘In part. We would have had considerable difficulty finding anyone when factories are paying such high wages for women, and conscription has taken most able-bodied men.’

Constance’s cheeks felt tight. How could they be in such a predicament without her knowing? She might have helped in some way. ‘Why didn’t you tell me?’

‘We didn’t want to bother you. You had enough on your plate. Your father thought we could manage without selling investments which are perfectly sound and will pay out again once the war is over and things get back to normal. We didn’t think that the war would last so long and it is affecting all incomes. Add this to the increase in living costs and we are feeling the strain of it all.’

‘My wedding fiasco hasn’t helped, has it?’

‘In all honesty, no. But we shall manage.’ Her mother got to her feet. ‘I must talk to your father.’

Constance didn’t understand much of what her mother said, after all financial matters were the domain of the man of the house and her education had done nothing to change that. All this information about shares and bonds and equities was beyond her current understanding, but that could be resolved in time and Constance decided that would be her first priority.

She could understand now why her father had been so eager to see her married, but she was not and never would be another commodity to be bought and sold. She would get a job as soon as she possibly could, where she could start immediately, and get paid. She might not earn very much initially, but at least she would make a contribution.

A job that was different, where the pay was the same for men and women. A job that gave her some freedom.

About the Author…

Lynn Johnson was born in the Staffordshire Potteries and went to school in Burslem, where the novel is set. She left school with no qualifications and got a job as a dental nurse (and lasted a day), a nursery assistant, and a library assistant before her ambition grew and she enrolled at the Elms Technical College, Stoke-on-Trent and obtained six O’levels. She obtained a Diploma in Management Studies and a BA Hons in Humanities with Literature from the Open University while working full-time.

Most of her working life was spent in Local Government in England and Scotland, and ultimately became a Human Resources Manager with a large county council.

She started to write after taking early retirement and moving to the north of Scotland with her husband where she did relief work in the famous Orkney Library and Archives, and voluntary work with Orkney’s Learning Link. Voluntary work with Cats Protection resulted in them sharing their home with six cats.

She joined Stromness Writing Group and, three months after moving to Orkney, wrote a short story which would become the Prologue to The Girl From the Workhouse.

Social Media Link –  Twitter

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The Good Wife by Eleanor Porter @elporterauthor @BoldwoodBooks #boldwoodbloggers @rararesources #histfic #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Good Wife by Eleanor Porter. This is a follow on book from The Wheelwright’s Daughter that I read last year. You can read my full review HERE.

My huge thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for my spot on the Blog Tour and for my e-copy of this historical fiction novel.

Where will her loyalty lead her?

Once accused of witchcraft Martha Spicer is now free from the shadow of the gallows and lives a safe and happy life with her husband, Jacob. But when Jacob heads north to accompany his master, he warns Martha to keep her healing gifts a secret, to keep herself safe, to be a good wife.

Martha loves Jacob but without him there to protect her, she soon comes under the suspicious eye of the wicked Steward Boult, who’s heard of her talent and forces her to attend to him. If she refuses, he promises to destroy the good life she has built for herself with Jacob.

Desperate and alone, Martha faces a terrible decision: stay and be beholden to Boult or journey north to find Jacob who is reported to have been killed.. The road ahead is filled with danger, but also the promise of a brighter future. And where her gifts once threatened to be her downfall, might they now be the very thing that sets Martha free…?

The brilliant follow-up to Eleanor Porter’s first novel of love, betrayal, superstition and fear in Elizabethan England. A story of female courage, ingenuity and determination , this is perfect for fans of Tracy Chevalier.

Purchase Link – HERE

My Review…

This is the second book that follows the story of Martha, she was once accused of being a witch. After her marriage to Jacob Spicer, they both move and start a new life together, a fresh start with a chance of a good life and where they are unknown.

Life is indeed good until Jacob is asked to travel with his master and this means he will be away for a couple of months. Martha tries her best to continue as normal, but it seems her reputation for healing has followed her and she is called to heal again. Something that Jacob didn’t want there doing again. She gradually gets drawn into a situation that she can see no good end to. She also hears that Jacob has been killed and her only option is to stay or to leave to find Jacobs body.

The author takes Martha on a journey that sees her in a dangerous predicament. A woman travelling alone is not good, it is full of danger and yet the author has a plan for our main protagonist. While this plan is not without its own danger it is a very good option and one that allows Martha more freedom than she has had before.

She finds a companion of sorts, not completely trust-worthy but one that is at times more help than a hindrance. Martha’s travels take her into villages and towns and she is made aware of how naive she really is.

This is a story not just of love and finding the truth but also one that is bound up in superstition and the use of natural ingredients to heal. Set in the Elizabethan era when witchcraft is definitely frowned upon, it lends itself to the story of Martha.

This is a historical fiction novel that I really enjoyed, it continues on from The Wheelwright’s Daughter and shows the world through the eyes of a young woman. It has a feel of being caught between the devil and the deep blue sea as Martha is caught between two choices. The author creates a story that I found to be very addictive and while there is a desperation to Martha there is also a glimmer of hope. A lovely read and one that I would recommend reading if you like good historical fiction.

About the Author…

Eleanor Porter has lectured at Universities in England and Hong Kong and her poetry and short fiction has been published in magazines. The Wheelwright’s Daughter was her first novel.
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The Jam Factory Girls by Mary Wood @Authormary @panmacmillan #hist/fic #saga #bookreview

I am absolutely delighted to share my review today for The Jam Factory Girls by Mary Wood. I was so surprised and absolutely delighted when a copy of this book landed on my doormat, so my huge thanks to Pan Macmillan for my amazing book post.

Any regular visitors to my blog may be aware that I am a big fan of Mary’s work, she also writes under the pseudonym Maggie Mason. This author definitely knows how to write a saga, so if you love your historical fiction then you need to check out some of her books.

Let’s look at the first in this new trilogy by Mary…

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The Jam Factory Girls is an uplifting and emotional novel of friendship set in the heart of pre-WWI London from bestselling author, Mary Wood.

Life for Elsie is difficult as she struggles to cope with her alcoholic mother. Caring for her siblings and working long hours at Swift’s Jam Factory in London’s Bermondsey is exhausting. Thankfully her lifelong friendship with Dot helps to smooth over life’s rough edges.

When Elsie and Dot meet Millie Swift, they are nervous to be in the presence of the bosses’ daughter. Over time, they are surprised to feel so drawn to her, but should two East End girls be socializing in such circles?

When disaster strikes, it binds the women in ways they could never imagine. Long-held secrets are revealed that could change all their lives…

Purchase from Amazon UK – Mary’s book are very accessible and you usually see them in the supermarket and you can of course order them from your local book seller.

My Review…

It is always an absolute treat to read a book by this author, especially when I get to read the first book in a new trilogy. The Jam Factory Girls is the first in this new trilogy and it is a wonderful book from start to finish.

This book introduces two Eastend girls Elsie and Dot, and also the Jam factory owners daughter Millie. An unlikely friendship blooms between these girls, they just get on so well. Millie’s friendship would be looked down upon by her parents just as the girls’ friendship with Millies would be. In an era when social classes are still very evident, and classes should not mix it is an unusual relationship, to say the least.

For me, Elsie was the main character of the three and her story is told more so than the others, but the author knows how to weave a tale that involves the three. Hardship, poor working conditions and living conditions are described and show that even when times are tough, there are always those that are in a worse condition.

The over-riding feeling through this book is one of friendship, loyalty and wanting to do the right thing. Not always easy when a good deed can be seen as charity and pride is a priority. The story tells of not just the friendship between the girls but also includes the going on in the factory, the rise of women calling for their own rights in the workforce.

This is an absolutely fabulous book and one that I adored. The author has once again transported me back in time and delivered such a heartbreaking at times story, but one that also injects hope for the future into it. If you are a fan of sagas and historical fiction then this is a book that is definitely one that should be on your list. If you have read any of this author’s books then you know you are going to be in for a wonderful read. The Jam Factory Girls is a book I would definitely recommend. 

About the Author…

Mary Wood

Born in Maidstone, Kent, in 1945, the thirteenth child of fifteen children, Mary’s family settled in Leicestershire after the war ended.

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 Facebook page. http://www.facebook.com/HistoricalNovels
And on her web page: http://www.authormarywood.com
She is also on Twitter: @Authormary

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

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Stormy Days on Mulberry Lane by Rosie Clarke @AnneHerries @rararesources @BoldwoodBooks #boldwoodbloggers #historicalfiction #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Stormy Days on Mulberry Lane by Rosie Clarke. This is an author who I absolutely adore, I have read several of her books and featured my reviews on here. For me, this is a must-read author for those who love historical fiction and romance sagas.

Here is more about her latest book…

Stormy Days On Mulberry Lane

London 1950
Peggy Ronoscki is happily settling into life running her guesthouse on Mulberry Lane, surrounded by close friends and family. Life just seems too good…
But then disaster strikes.
Pip, her beloved son is left in a coma following a devastating car crash and a young girl collapses in the market leaving Peggy no option but to nurse her back to health.
As things begin to go awry, Peggy worries she has brought trouble to her doorstep?
Can her life ever return to normal? Or has Peggy’s good nature led her astray?

Purchase Link – HERE

My Review…

Stormy Days on Mulberry Lane continues the story in the series, the focus is again on “Peggy of the Lanes” and her family and friends.

Life is starting to return to normal after the end of WWII, but certain things still remind them that things still have a way to go. Some things are still in short supply, but things are moving forward. Peggy and Abe are settled into running the guest house, cakes, pies and pastries are made on a daily basis.


The community who live in the Lanes or visit are made very welcome by this close-knit community. Peggy and Abe are well thought of and respected, and both work all hours. Peggy’s return to the Lanes has been a godsend for some and the warm, friendly reputation that he had is once again there for all to see. She meets people new and old.

The author has once again written a story that continues with the thread of family, friends, community and spirit. It is great to return to the series with this new book and catch-up with the old characters as well as meeting the odd new one.

The series has moved on and is set in the ’50s, things are moving forward as characters grow up, new babies are born and different challenges are to be overcome. The author has created such a wonderful and heartwarming series that really does feel like reuniting with old friends. I do think you could read any of these as stand-alone books, but to be perfectly honest I would advise reading in order to get the full impact of what each of the main characters has been through.

This is a book that would definitely appeal to readers of sagas, historic fiction and want a read that is full of warmth, hospitality and a sense of belonging. A gorgeous read and one I would definitely recommend.

About the Author…

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

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Harpers Heroes by Rosie Clarke @AnneHerries @BoldwoodBooks #boldwoodbloggers @rararesources #histfic #bookreview

I am delighted to once again feature my review for author Rosie Clarke latest book Harpers Heroes. This is the latest book in the Harpers Emporium series and what a wonderful next instalment it was.

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

Here is what it’s about…

Synopsis…

From the bestselling author of the Welcome to Harpers Emporium and The Mulberry Lane Series.
The Harpers Girls come face to face with the harsh reality of the cruelty of war.


Oxford Street, London 1915

Sally Harper quietly battles to keep Harpers afloat in the difficult days of the war, whilst husband Ben is working all hours for the War Office.

Beth Burrow is fighting concern for her husband Jack, now at sea with the Merchant Navy, and the fear she may never see him again and be blessed with a child.

Driven to exhaustion, Maggie Gibbs, is now working as a nursing assistant on the battlefields in France. With the everyday horrors of the casualties of war to contend with she suffers her own personal tragedy when her fiancé’s plane ditches in the sea.

Can the Harpers Girls and their loved ones survive the perils of war and find a path to future happiness?

A heart-warming saga following the lives, loves and losses of the Harpers Girls. Perfect for fans of Nadine Dorries, Pam Howes and Dilly Court.

Purchase Link – Amazon UK

My Review…

What an absolute joy to catch up with the folks at Harpers. This is a department store that has amazing bosses, colleagues and friends. They are more of an extended family rather than a work force and this is what makes this series so special.

There are some characters that are focused on more than others, these key characters are facing worrying and uncertain times. Some of the workforce have signed up to do their duty and fight in The First World War. The War has far reaching effects not only for those who are in the midst of the fighting, but also for those left at home worrying about loved ones. Also with rations and shortages other suppliers need to be found.

As I mentioned the story and characters are based around those that work ot or know people at Harpers, it gives it a family saga feel and really does draw you into t the lives, worries and uncertainties during this period in our history.

The author portrays so many aspects of war life. The women who volunteer close to the front helping the wounded, those involved in logistics, in freight and supplies, undercover work and many other aspects. While the horror of wounds is mentioned the story does ot focus so much on the front line fighting, though it is always an ever-present feature. In some ways it is more about everyday people doing the best they can no matter where they are and what they are doing.

Harpers Heroes is part of a series and even though I have not read this from the beginning I did read the previous book. So, yes you can read them as a stand alone, but I do wish I had read them in order as the two books I have read so far have been so engaging.

If you are a fan of historical fiction and romance, of family sagas and engrossing stories then you really want to have the Harpers series on your list, Harpers Heroes is a wonderful read and one I would definitely recommend.

About the Author…

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

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A Cornish Betrothal by Nicola Pryce @NPryce_Author #historicalfiction @CorvusBooks #PublicationDay #BookReview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Cornish Betrothal by Nicola Pryce. I would also like to wish Nicola a Very Happy Publication Day and also give a big thank you for my copy of this book.

This is the latest in the Cornish Saga series and yes it can be read as a stand alone but you would be missing out on some wonderful previous books.

Let me show you what this is all about…

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Synopsis…

Cornwall, 1798.

Four years have passed since Midshipman Edmund Melville was declared missing, presumed dead, and Amelia Carew has mended her heart and fallen in love with a young physician, Luke Bohenna. But, on her twenty-fifth birthday, Amelia suddenly receives a letter from Edmund announcing his imminent return. In a state of shock, devastated that she now loves Luke so passionately, she is torn between the two.

When Edmund returns, it is clear that his time away has changed him – he wears scars both mental and physical. Amelia, however, is determined to rekindle their courtship and nurse him back to help. Luke, who has always understood that Amelia’s love for Edmund would take precedence, backs away.

But soon, Amelia begins to question what really happened to Edmund while he was missing. As the treads of truth slip through her fingers, she doesn’t know who to turn to: Edmund, or Luke? 

Purchase from Amazon UK (this is an affiliate link)

My Review…

It is so good to pick up a novel by Nicola Pryce and be transported back in time in the county I live in. This is part of a series and as I have read previous books I am obviously going to say they work better when read in order, but, I do think they work as stand-alone.

Set in 1798 in an around Truro with jaunts to Falmouth, Bodmin and Plymouth areas. This is a story of lost love.

Edmund had been lost in the Caribbean, missing and assumed dead. Proof of his death was discovered and this gives his fiance, Amelia, the confirmation she needs that he is gone. She is a young woman who has a love of herbs and their uses in medicine. Dr Luke Bohenna has encouraged her and more importantly has been her friend. Over time their feeling s grow. It is when the future looks certain that the past raises its head and news of Edmund’s survival is heard.

How can a woman be in love with two men especially when she thought one of them had died. When he reappears she does expect him to be changed given the hardship he went through, but Amelia still finds it a shock.

I really do enjoy this authors books and I love the almost sereneness as I read. It is a pleasure to be taken back into a simpler time and the pace of life was slower. That doesn’t mean it was safer though, people are devious, they are greedy and they are also manipulative. So it does sound quite bizarre for me to mention how serene it felt to read, but that is how it felt for me. The story does have drama and tension and it is a real page-turner,

There are some wonderfully vivid descriptions and this complements and adds to the sense of place. Cornwall has rugged coasts, stretching moors, noisy harbours, and ever-changing weather and this is all brilliantly woven in to create a stunning backdrop to this storyline that has a mysterious and sinister storyline. One of the characters does bring a slightly spooky feel to the story and this I really liked and again it fits in well.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and once again the author has done a wonderful job of capturing the sense of time and place. A brilliant storyline and one that readers of historical fiction, sagas and romance will adore. I would definitely recommend it.

About the Author…

Nicola Pryce
Image and Bio taken from Authors Amazon Page

Nicola Pryce trained as a nurse at St Bartholomew’s Hospital in London. She loves literature and history and has an Open University degree in Humanities. She’s a qualified adult literacy support volunteer and lives with her husband in the Blackdown Hills in Somerset. She and her husband love sailing and together they sail the south coast of Cornwall in search of adventure. If she’s not writing or gardening, you’ll find her scrubbing decks.

Pengelly’s Daughter is her first novel, then The Captain’s Girl, The Cornish Dressmaker, and The Cornish Lady. A Cornish Betrothal will be published in November.

Nicola is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and The Historical Writers’ Association.

Visit – WebsiteTwitter Amazon Author Page (this is an affiliate link)

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#Casino Chiseler #AlexCohenSeries @borstinski @damppebbles #damppebblesblogtours #histfic #bookreview

I am delighted to once again feature the next book in the Alex Cohen series. The Casino Chiseler by Leopold Borstinki is the 4th book in the series and it just keeps getting better and better.

I would like to thank Emma at damppebbles blog tours for my spot on the tour and for arranging my e-copy of this latest book.

Let me show you what it is all about…

Synopsis…

Would you gamble everything you possess to win more than you can imagine?

Jewish gangster, Alex Cohen leaves jail to find salvation from the 1940s mob in the hotels of Las Vegas. When Bugsy Siegel invites him to take over sports betting in Nevada, Alex must figure out how to get back to the top table in New York without attracting the Feds’ attention.

If he succeeds then he will regain his self respect, but if he fails then the last members of the national crime syndicate will cut him dead and he will be left a nobody or wind up a corpse. And after he bumps into his childhood sweetheart, he has a once in a lifetime opportunity to win her heart. But Alex knows the criminal underworld has the habit of spilling over into his personal life and when Meyer Lansky asks him to murder Siegel, Alex must choose what is truly important to him.

The fourth book in the Alex Cohen series is an historical thriller novel, which rips open the Jewish mob’s involvement in the birth of modern Vegas. Leopold Borstinski’s shattering crime fiction deals a royal flush to each reader.

Purchase links –

Amazon UK – (this is an affiliate link)

Amazon US

Waterstones

My Review…

I am absolutely loving this series and have enjoyed each book. Casino Chiseler is the 4th book in the Alex Cohen series and Alex is making his way back into the fold after his spell in Sing Sing prison for tax evasion. Alex was part of a group called The Murder Corporation, a group that was the go-to people for a contract killing. This is America, Al Capone has already been imprisoned, the Mafia is on the up, loyalty is paramount and these are dangerous times. WWII has begun as Alex now sets his sights on Vegas.

Alex rejoins his friend Benny in Las Vegas. Benny had the foresight years ago to look towards Vegas as being the place to set up shop. Alex is soon back in the thick of things as he coerces people to pay up in the insurance game, after all, you don’t want your business to accidentally burn down or one of your employees to suffer a tragic injury. Extortion is not a new game, but those that run the game does change. Stepping on toes is inevitable and danger lurks in a passing car with a gunman.

I love the sense of urgency that this book has. Even though it spans a decade it runs across the years quickly. Buildings take time to build and get everything in place to guarantee a healthy profit. It moves along at a fast pace and the drama is still very evident. Now I know that Alex is a gangster, he is a killer and he is dangerous but I really do like this character.

This is a series that has followed Alex since his arrival in the country. Jews are still not trusted and this is evident within this story as newer members are unsure where Alex’s loyalties really lie. Alex’s loyalty will be tested in this book.

A fabulous series that is full of action all the way through from the first step of a Jewish immigrant on US soil through prohibition and now moving up into the world of gambling. It is one for readers who like historical fiction that is working its way through the decades and one I would absolutely recommend.

About the Author…

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.

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Until We Can Forgive by Rosemary Goodacre @HeraBooks @rararesources #histfic #bookreview

I am delighted to one of the Bloggers opening the Blog Tour today and to share my review today for Until We Can Forgive by Rosemary Goodacre. This post also has a great sadness to it as this wonderful author passed away earlier this month. My thoughts are with her family xx

We’re honouring her memory with her last book and blog tour, finishing off the trilogy that she leaves as a legacy” by Rachel @rararesources

I would like to thank Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for introducing me to Rosemary’s writing with earlier book tours. My thanks once again to Rachel for my stop on this Tour and also for arranging my copy of this book.

Let me show you what the book is about…

Synopsis…

They survived the Great War, but will life ever be the same?

Spring 1919: WW1 is over and a fragile peace has descended over the country. Now living in Cambridge with husband EdmondAmy Derwent is settling into her new life as wife and mother to little Beth. But the shadow of the Great War looms large, particularly as the injuries Edmond sustained at Ypres still take their toll on him today.

Edmond’s cousin, Vicky, has now grown into a fine young woman, eager to help her country. Throwing off her privileged background to train as a nurse, she spends her days tending to the many soldiers still suffering the after-effects of their time on the battlefield.

Meeting Maxim Duclos, a young Frenchman who has arrived in Larchbury, fills her heart with joy – but when it is discovered that Maxim may be hiding the truth about his past, Vicky is faced with an impossible choice. Follow her heart’s desire and risk her family’s disapproval or keep her family – but deny herself the chance of true love?

The war may be over, but Edmond, Amy and Vicky must all face a new battle, finding their own peace in a country wounded by loss.

Purchase Links

AMZ: https://amzn.to/3ichWUY

Kobo: https://bit.ly/2GHIIqv

My Review…

(I wrote this review before I was aware of the authors passing)

This is the third book in The Derwent Chronicles and continues the story of the characters from the previous books. Because this is an ongoing story I am going to say it would be better to read the books in order, but they also do work as stand-alone.

This is set just after the end of World War I, some men have returned home, some are still in Europe and of course, there are those that will never return. The author does such a wonderful job of depicting life as people try to look forward, to new starts and also to peace. For families to return to some sort of normality and daily routine.

While this book doesn’t have the danger of the War there are still plenty of other things going on in everyday life that add drama, tension and also danger. Everyone has lost someone and feelings over the repatriation of the fallen is mentioned along with Poppy Day, the building of the Cenotaph and also the troops that remain in occupied Germany.

While some have been discharged due to injuries there are still those who are enlisted. Each one has there own problems whether it is coming to terms with living a civilian life or wanting to be back home with loved ones. There is still animosity towards Germany and also a wariness with the Americans, the country wants to get back to how things were but with so much change there has to be compromise.

The author has done a wonderful job of continuing the story of Amy and her husband Edmond and those that cross their paths. There is a real sense of wanting to get on and not to complain, worry or moan as things are still fresh from the years during the war. As I mentioned, this has a different backdrop but there are still struggles and worries.

A wonderful next instalment in this saga that sees how opinions of family and friends can make things difficult, how friendships and relationships can overcome differences. It is one for those who love historical fiction, sagas and family life. A wonderful read that had me hooked and One I would definitely recommend.

About the Author…

Rosemary Goodacre is thrilled to have a three book deal with Hera Books. Her World War I romance Until We Meet Again will be released on 31/10/19. Her heroine, Amy, faces many challenges as she works as a nurse and struggles to spend time with Edmond, her sweetheart.
Previously Rosemary has had a novella published, entitled A Fortnight is not Enough, and a science fiction story in the anthology Telescoping Time.
Rosemary has always loved languages and travel, mainly in Europe. In her spare time she enjoys country walking, bridge and classical music. She lives in Kent, England.

Here are the other stops on the Blog Tour…

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

A Place to Belong by Cathy Mansell #histfic #bookreview

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

Synopsis…

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

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

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

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

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

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

My Review…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Second Marriage by Gill Paul @GillPaulAUTHOR @RandomTTours #RandomTTours @AvonBooksUK #histfic #bookreview

I am absolutely delighted to finally share my review, and also help close the Blog Tour for The Second Marriage by Gill Paul, this is such a wonderful book and I cannot wait to show you what I thought. In fact, it’s one of those historical fiction that I say “just go and buy it – right now!”

My huge thanks to Anne at random Things Tours for my spot on the blog Tour and also for arranging my e-copy of this book.

This was published in the US under the title Jackie and Maria.

Synopsis…

JACKIE
When her first marriage ends in tragedy, Jackie Kennedy fears she’ll never love again. But all that changes when she encounters…

ARI
Successful and charming, Ari Onassis is a man who promises her the world. Yet soon after they marry, Jackie learns that his heart also belongs to another…

MARIA
A beautiful, famed singer, Maria Callas is in love with Jackie’s new husband – and she isn’t going to give up.

Little by little, Jackie and Maria’s lives begin to tangle in a dangerous web of secrets, scandal and lies. But with both women determined to make Ari theirs alone, the stakes are high. How far will they go for true love?

You can purchase your own copy at Amazon UK

My Review…

I absolutely adored this book, I mean the names Kennedy, Onassis and Callas just ooze rich, lavish, well-documented lifestyle with the possibility of something a little shady in the background. The book is historical fiction and this gives the author a chance to give a voice to the characters and also to add some creative embellishments. The author does discuss at the end of the book various ways she has adapted, changed dates or added extras and why. Also, there is a fabulous few pages that covers the actual facts around the main characters as well as a comprehensive list of resources.

OK! How to write e review about this book! I am aware of the names of the Kennedy’s, of Aristotle Onassis and also of Maria Callas but only basic facts so I approached this book as I would any other historical fiction. The story was one that alternated between Jackie Kennedy and Maria Callas, how they met Aristotle, their thoughts about him and also how he managed to become part of their lives.

The author includes the heart-breaking accounts of JFK assassination as well as his brother Bobby’s death. The effect it had on Jackie and what led her to become Jackie O. I don’t know how much is true, but as I mentioned earlier I am reading this purely as historical fiction don’t know all the facts. But how the author tackled the subject of Jackie, JFK and life were truly heart-breaking and it really made me feel for her.

Maria’s story is equally as heart-breaking. I knew she was an amazing opera singer and that she was a bit of a recluse and Diva, but I knew nothing of the other connections. This was a real eye-opener for me and she really did have a very rough ride in life.

This is a fabulous historical fiction by Gill Paul, she has woven a story of love, life, death, convenience, profit, betrayal, scandal and as whole lot more. I found the story of the two women t be fascinating and also very sad. It has been written so well and I was so absorbed in it that I read it over two days. It is a story that I cannot even come close to writing a review for that does this book justice.

If you like historical fiction that has factual or real life people and events in it then you should really pick this book up. I definitely recommend it.

About the Author…

Gill Paul is an author of historical fiction, specialising in relatively recent history.

Gill’s novels include Another Woman’s HusbandThe Secret Wife, about the romance between cavalry officer Dmitri Malama and Grand Duchess Tatiana, the second daughter of Russia’s last tsar, who first met in 1914,  Women and Children First about a young steward who works on the Titanic and The Affair set in Rome in 1961–62 as Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton fell in love while making Cleopatra. No Place for a Lady is about two Victorian sisters who travel out to the Crimean War of 1854–56 and face challenges beyond anything they could have imagined.

Follow the Author – TwitterFacebookWebsite or Check out her Amazon Author Page HERE

Check out the other stops on the Blog Tour…

 

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