GuestPost WAITING FOR OUR RAINBOW by VICTORIA CORNWALL #PublicationDay @ChocLituk @VickieCornwall

An absolute delight to welcome the lovely VICTORIA CORNWALL to the Blog today, to share her thoughts on Publication Day of WAITING FOR OUR RAINBOW!  All the details to get hold of your copy are down below!!

Over to you Victoria….

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PUBLICATION DAY: Waiting for Our Rainbow by Victoria Cornwall

Thank you for having me on Books & Me blog, Karen. It’s lovely to be here.

Waiting For Our Rainbow is my first WW2 romance. It was inspired by the memories of an elderly gentleman seeing American G.I.s for the first time when he was a boy. During a time of rationing, it was very exciting to see soldiers arriving in trucks and throwing sweets out the back for them to catch. ‘They were always friendly to us children,’ I remember him recalling fondly. In a time when paternal relationships were more distant due to either long working hours or war, these young men were different and often friendly. This experience left a lasting impression on the gentleman for the rest of his life.

I was always aware that an area of woodland near my home was once used to hide tanks during the war. I have always loved history and have a particular interest in WW1 and WW2, so one day I began to research this period in Cornwall’s past. Who were these young soldiers? Why were they in Cornwall? What did they do during their time here? Where did they go when they left Cornwall? And what happened to everything they left behind?

So many people have helped me with my research. American historians, written memoirs, conversations with people who were alive at the time, newsreels, archive footage of veterans being interviewed and news articles. I was also able to visit some of the places myself. Waiting For Our Rainbow wrote itself in a way, as everything the soldiers did during their preparations for D Day was well documented. Anne and Joe’s love story represents those who lived through this historic time, when people from different cultures built new relationships and even found love despite knowing they would ultimately have to say goodbye. Through my research I learnt many things about these young American men and their Cornish hosts. I came away realising that despite their differences, ultimately they realised they were stronger working together than holding on to what makes them different from one another. It’s a lesson that is as relevant today as it was back then.

Waiting For Our Rainbow will be released as an Ebook on 31st January, 2023. A paperback and audio version will follow shortly afterwards.

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About the book

Waiting For Our Rainbow is a WW2 romance between an American soldier and a young Cornish woman during the preparations for D Day.

Would you give your heart away if you knew it could only end in goodbye?

It should have been a time of romance and excitement for Anne – but it’s 1941 and the war is raging. So instead, she spends her days repairing spitfire wings and reminding herself that the real sacrifice is going on far away from her Cornish village.

When the news breaks that America has entered the war, it brings cautious hope to Anne and her family. And eventually, as the Jeeps filled with GIs roll in, it seems their little community is to play a pivotal role in the next stage of the fight.

But the Americans don’t just bring Hollywood glamour and optimism, they also bring something more tantalising – so when Anne meets handsome Joe Mallory, she has to remind herself of exactly why he’s there; that any relationship between them could only end in goodbye.

But is the inevitability of ‘goodbye’ powerful enough to stop what has already begun to blossom?

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Buying Links

 Amazon UK: https://bit.ly/3DgkIoY 

Amazon US: https://bit.ly/3XWu5lo 

Kobo: http://bit.ly/3Jp0E7L 

Nook: http://bit.ly/3Y6lSeJ

 iBooks: https://apple.co/3R7EpFb

 Google Play: https://bit.ly/3wE943a

About the Author

Victoria grew up on a farm in Cornwall and is married with two grown up children and three grandchildren. She likes to read and write historical romance with a strong background story, but at its heart is the unmistakable emotion, even pain, of loving someone.

Her books have subsequently reached the finals of the NEW TALENT AWARD at the Festival of Romantic Fiction, the RNA’s JOAN HESSAYON AWARD, the 2021 RNA’s Goldsboro Books HISTORICAL ROMANTIC NOVEL AWARD. Her books have also been twice nominated for the RONE Best Indie or Small Published Book Award by InD’tale magazine.

She is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association.

Social media links

Website: www.victoriacornwall.com

Twitter: @VickieCornwall

Facebook: www.facebook.com/victoriacornwall.author

Instagram: www.instagram.com/victoria_cornwallx

YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3hTR1yuAwJUbFyj0k9P4eQ

Pinterest: uk.pinterest.com/vickiecornwall/

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GuestPost CAPTURED BY A SCOTTISH LORD by MARIE LAVAL #PublicationDay @ChocLituk @MarieLaval1

Hello and welcome along to my Blog!! A real pleasure today to have Marie Laval here to help celebrate Publication Day for the fabulous CAPTURED BY A SCOTTISH LORD! She’ll let you know where she gets the inspiration from for the story!Links to go grab your copy are down below so treat yourself!! You will not be disappointed!
Over to you Marie…..

Publication Day Post: Captured by a Scottish Lord by Marie Laval

People often ask me where I get my ideas from. Well, all I had to do for Captured by a Scottish Lord, my latest historical romance published by Choc Lit, was to look at a beautiful book about the Highlands of Scotland my children had given me for Christmas. Not only was it filled with photos of incredible castles and dreamy landscapes, but there was also a detailed map of the area and the moment I saw the name ‘Wrath’ right at the top, I knew this would be the setting of my story.

Like by magic I started to write and the characters took a life of their own – Rose Saintclair, the Desert Rose sailing from her hot, sunny Algeria and shipwrecked in a winter storm, and Bruce McGunn, Laird of Wrath, haunted by the fear of madness and dark memories of his time in the Punjab wars…

Captured by a Scottish Lord is the third novel featuring a member of the Saintclair family. Rose is a wonderful, warm and fun character, and she comes up with the most outrageous and inappropriate comments – some of them I borrowed from my own mother, who, like Rose, grew up in Algeria. I must say that Rose made me laugh a lot when I was writing! The first time he sees her Bruce compares her to a ray of sunshine and a summer morning filled with light and life, with the scent of wild flowers, and the promise of sweetness, life and love. And the man really does need love and sunshine…

ABOUT THE BOOK

Can a Desert Rose survive a Scottish winter?

 The wild Scottish landscape is a far cry from Rose Saintclair’s Saharan oasis, although she’ll endure it for Lord Cameron McRae, the man she married after a whirlwind romance in Algiers. But when stormy weather leads to Rose’s Scotland-bound ship docking on Cape Wrath – the land of Cameron’s enemy, Bruce McGunn – could her new life already be in jeopardy? 

Lord McGunn was a fearless soldier, but his experiences have made him as unforgiving as the land he presides over. He knows McRae won’t rest until he owns Wrath, and the man is willing to use brutal tactics. Bruce decides that he’ll play McRae at his own game, take the ship and its precious occupant, and hold them hostage. Rose is determined to escape, but whilst captured she learns that there’s another side to her new husband – and could her supposedly cold and ruthless kidnapper also be concealing hidden depths?

Captured by a Scottish Lord is available on Amazon and Kobo and other platforms.

About the author


Originally from Lyon in France, Marie now lives in Lancashire and writes historical and contemporary romance. Best-selling Little Pink Taxi was her debut romantic comedy novel with Choc Lit. A Paris Fairy Tale was published in July 2019, followed by Bluebell’s Christmas Magic in November 2019 and bestselling romantic suspense Escape to the Little Chateau which was shortlisted for the 2021 RNA Jackie Collins Romantic Suspense Award. Marie’s historical romances, Angel of the Lost Treasure, Queen of the Desert and Captured by a Scottish Lord, all feature members of the Saintclair family and her short stories are published in the bestselling Miss Moonshine anthologies. Marie is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association and the Society of Authors, and her novels are available as paperbacks, ebooks and audiobooks on AMAZON and various other platforms.

Follow Marie on Twitter: https://twitter.com/MarieLaval1 

Like Marie’s page on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/marielavalauthor

BlogTour CLARA’S CHRISTMAS MAGIC by ROSIE GREEN #BookReview @rararesources @Rosie_Green88

Delighted to be joining you today for my stop on the Blog Tour for the wonderful CLARA’S CHRISTMAS MAGIC by ROSIE GREEN!

My thanks to the author, publisher and Rachel of Rachel’s Random Resources for putting the tour together and letting me be part of it all!!

Clara’s Christmas Magic


The festive season is fast approaching but with the challenges facing Clara, it looks like being anything but the most wonderful time of the year. Can she somehow find the strength to meet those challenges head-on and find her way to the perfect, happy-ever-after Christmas?

Purchase Link – https://amzn.to/3CdsZKG

Author Bio – 

Rosie’s series of novellas is centred around life in a country village cafe. ‘Clara’s Christmas Magic’ is Book 3 in a trilogy about Clara. It would make for the best reading experience if you caught up with the others first: Book 1, ‘Clara’s Secret Garden’ and Book 2 in the trio, ‘A Winter Wish’.

Follow Rosie on Twitter – https://twitter.com/Rosie_Green88 

MY REVIEW

This is the 3rd in the Clara trilogy and just a wonderful wrap up to a fabulous story for such a likeable character!!  It can even be read as a standalone, but it’s even better to watch things develop from the start of this trilogy!!

As part of the Little Duck Pond series, I always love to reconnect with these characters, and with this trilogy Clara has become a firm favourite of mine.  You’re always cheering her on and wanting that happy ending, as she’s always doing so much for everyone else.

This story sees her taking a trip to New York, with the always lovely Rory!, to try and  track down a long lost relative.  She’s very hesistant to get involved with so much going on back home, but knows this will be the perfect tonic for her much loved Gran, so no stone is left unturned in their quest to find her.

Wonderful settings, lots of drama going on in the UK and the US and all the situations faced are ones that you can just imagine yourself having to deal with, I loved this installment.   Allowing Clara to tell her story over these 3 books has been a wonderful way to connect more with her and I loved every minute of it!!  

★★★★★

BookReview A CHRISTMAS MIRACLE FOR THE RAILWAY GIRLS by MAISIE THOMAS

ABOUT THE BOOK

The sixth heartwarming, feel-good instalment in the much-loved Railway Girls series!

Manchester, 1942. There are surprises in store for the railway girls this festive season…

When Cordelia’s daughter Emily falls for a young chap who doesn’t meet the approval of her father, Cordelia is reminded of her own first love – a love that she has never forgotten.

Mabel is determined to get to the bottom of a spate of local burglaries. Her heart is in the right place as she sets out on a quest to clear her friend’s name, but there will be unforeseen consequences.

It’s nothing short of a miracle when Colette returns to Manchester. But it’s not going to be easy for her to keep living the life she once knew, and an impossible situation lies ahead.

There will be more than one storm for the railway girls to weather but with the friendship and support of one another, there’s hope that all will be well by Christmas…

PURCHASE LINK

AMAZON

MY REVIEW

Book 6 in the Railway Girls series and another sparkling installment that transports the reader back to Manchester during the War, and lets you catch up with the goings on of the wonderful Railway girls.

It’s always so nice to catch up with these characters through the good and the bad times that they experience. Their jobs around the Railways have given them strength and independance, but real life is still going on and that doesn’t always bring happiness their way. This is a story exploring young love, and dangerous old loves and seeing how the women cope during changing times.

These books really bring home to you the madness of the time – life carrying on as normal, but within seconds it can change and devastation and despair can often be round the corner. I loved seeing how they are there for one another and that you never can know what’s going on behind closed doors and it takes a lot sometimes to open up to people. The attitudes of the time are also explored, particularly relating to domestic abuse, and it opens your eyes to how ‘blind’ they were back home to the events going on around the world, compared to the way the news is 24/7 now in our world, it would take them a while to discover what was happening, especially concerning family members fighting.

I couldn’t put this book down until I’d found out what had happened to the characters and I’m already counting down the days until Book 7 is released in April 2023!! Brilliant!!

★★★★★

BlogTour A WINTER WISH by ROSIE GREEN #BookReview @rararesources @Rosie_Green88

Hello and welcome to my Blog!  And today I’m excited to be part of the Blog Tour for the fabulous A Winter Wish by Rosie Green!

My thanks to the author, publisher and Rachel of Rachel’s Random Resources for putting the tour together and letting me be part of it all!

A Winter Wish, Little Duck Pond Café

With her new-found happiness unexpectedly crushed, Clara is struggling to move forward. It’s hard – especially with step-sister Lois bouncing around the place with joy and making all sorts of plans for the future. And when the household is shocked by a mysterious break-in and a neighbour makes a shocking accusation, Clara finds herself in an impossible position. It’s a situation that threatens to destroy her blossoming romance almost before it’s begun . . .

Purchase Link – https://amzn.to/3JYkLI5

Author Bio – 

Rosie’s series of novellas is centred around life in a country village cafe. ‘Clara’s Secret Garden’, the first in a trilogy telling Clara’s story, was published in August, and ‘A Winter Wish’ is Book 2. Look out for ‘Clara’s Christmas Magic’, the third and final book in the trilogy, out in November 2022.

Follow Rosie on Twitter – https://twitter.com/Rosie_Green88 

MY REVIEW

Number 24 in the Little Duck Pond series!! Time really does fly when you’re having fun reading a series and this just keeps delivering for me as a reader! Relatable, and likeable!, characters, a great setting and always a little twist that ramps things up and this one delivers on all front! It’s darker and more dramatic than some previous offerings, and I loved that side of the Little Duck Pond series!

We follow Clara again in the second of her ‘trilogy’ and this time she’s holding the family together as seems to be her role. It’s so important to her and she’s there for her half brother, while her mother is still finding life a struggle.  And her step sister is giddy with love and that’s driving Clara a little insane, especially as she’s hiding her own feelings – just like her to put others first over herself.

There are then some very dramatic events going on – no spoilers from me! – and it brings to the fore some darker secrets from the past and you wonder just how Clara and her family will deal .  I just cannot wait to see how this wonderful trilogy will end with the next book coming out very soon!

Another wonderful addition to the series and it always just makes me want more!!

★★★★★

BlogTour CLARA’S SECRET GARDEN by ROSIE GREEN #BookReview @rararesources @Rosie_Green88

Hello all and welcome to my spot on the wonderful Blog Tour for the fabulous CLARA’S SECRET GARDEN by Rosie Green!! My thanks to the author, publisher and Rachel of Rachel’s Random Resources for putting the tour together and letting me be part of it all!

Clara’s Secret Garden, Little Duck Pond Café


When Clara Bowes transforms a wilderness of a garden, she isn’t expecting to reconnect with someone special from her past at the same time. Having Rory Angel in her life again is a dream come true. But life is never straight forward – especially in matters of the heart – and soon, a devastating revelation looks set to bring Clara’s hopes for the future crashing down around her. Will she find the strength to reach for her dreams?

Purchase Link – 

https://amzn.to/3cZHJSR

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Author Bio – 

Rosie’s series of novellas is centred around life in a country village cafe. Look out for ‘A Winter Wish’, published in October, the second book in a heart-warming trilogy centred around peacemaker Clara, who’s having to cope with the demands of her slightly dysfunctional family while searching for her own happy-ever-after . . .

The third book in the trilogy is ‘Clara’s Christmas Magic’, out in November 2022.

Follow Rosie on Twitter – https://twitter.com/Rosie_Green88

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MY REVIEW

Here we are again!!  Number 23 in the Little Duck Pond series and feeling as fresh and captivating as the first in the series!!!  It’s always so comforting to be reunited with the Duck Pond crew and discover new favourite characters and Clara may now be mine!  And knowing this is the first in a little Clara trilogy makes me very happy!!

Clara is one of those dependable and quiet characters. Always putting others first but never grumbling about it despite having dreams and desires of her own.   She takes on the task of re-taming the garden that her Gran has ‘let go’ despite knowing very little about gardening and thankfully gets help from the very lovely Rory, an old schoolfriend of hers.    

Where Clara finds her happy is in baking, so there’s always that link to cakes somewhere around in these books!!  And there’s many trials and tribulations for her to face throughout this book that will get you on her side and got me wondering just how I’d cope in her position  as sometimes the weight of the world is put on her shoulder as she tries to please everyone.

I loved how we got to know Clara so well during this book – looking back on her past really allowed you to see what she has gone through, and why she is so keen to please and be kind as an adult.  I really can’t wait to see what the author has in store for Clara as she starts to follow her dreams!! I want them to come true!!!

This is a super addition to the Little Duck Pond series, and can easily be read as a standalone if you’ve not read any of the previous books in the series!  Roll on Book 24!!

★★★★★

PublicationDay FLORA’S CHRISTMAS OF NEW BEGINNINGS by KIRSTY FERRY #BookExtract @ChocLituk @kirsty_ferry

Greetings!! Happy Tuesday one and all!! And I have a real treat for you today, with an exclusive extract to share from FLORA’S CHRISTMAS OF NEW BEGINNINGS by the lovely KIRSTY FERRY, which is celebrating PUBLICATION DAY today!!!  Go grab your copy now!!!

Publication Day Extract: Flora’s Christmas of New Beginnings by Kirsty Ferry

To celebrate the release of Kirsty Ferry’s fun and festive Christmas novel, Flora’s Christmas of New Beginnings, here is an exclusive extract from the book!

In this short excerpt, we join Flora for ‘her Christmas that Never Was’ – but is Flora destined for bad Christmases forever more? Hopefully not! Have a read and see …

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Last Christmas

(Which was horrible and turned into the Christmas that Never Was)

I hated January!

I hated London!

And I definitely hated Carter “dump-your-girlfriend-at-Christmas” Hayton-Smith.

Because, dear reader, I was that girlfriend.

Carter “dump-your-girlfriend-at-Christmas” Hayton-Smith (okay, let’s just call him Carter from now on) did the deed on Christmas Eve.

Bloody Christmas Eve.

I had wondered, I must say, as the days wore on, where my Christmas present was. I’d given him his so it wasn’t like I was being selfish; more just curious, as we’d originally intended to exchange them at the same time.

I started thinking that perhaps he just wasn’t as super-organised as I was, on the basis that, for days after I’d given him his gift, he kept saying stuff like, ‘Oh Flora, I’ll get around to it. I’ve just been … busy.’ Then he’d smile at me and try to distract me by snogging me or similar.

We’d arranged to spend Christmas together and everything. He’d booked lunch at a restaurant in Mayfair (he said), and apparently the destination was going to be a big surprise. I’d always had my Christmas lunch at home, or with my parents, and, if I was very honest

with myself, I didn’t feel I was really a “Hotel Christmas Lunch” sort of person. But he made it sound really exciting and fun and easy, so I agreed.

Due to this plan, my parents decided to have Christmas at the other end of the country – my sister Beth lives in a tiny village in the Lake District with her partner and two small children – and they checked and double-checked that it was okay to go.

‘Beth said she’ll come to us,’ Mum had said, looking super-concerned, ‘but if you’re definitely going to have Christmas with Carter, we’ll go there. It’s better for the children if they think Santa is coming to their own house. Routine and all that.’ Mum was a great one for “routine”, and it had obviously ingrained itself into her daughters. I worked in events management at Bloomsbury Bright’s in, well, Bloomsbury, obviously, and that involved a lot of organisation and planning; and Beth was a teacher, so she spent weekdays herding small children, and evenings and weekends herding even smaller children. I didn’t know how she managed. Her house ran like clockwork and I was sure that Trixie and Tabitha would have been perfectly compliant if Beth and Tony had decided to drive to Pinner and ensure Santa showed up there instead.

I’d always failed to see why she’d given her children the same names as the cats we’d had when we were kids though.

But, anyway, off to the Lakes they went on the 23rd, and I promised I’d send them a photo of my lovely Christmas lunch.

Then on the morning of Christmas Eve, I woke up to a text from Carter:

Babes. Been thinking. Getting too serious for me, y’all know I’m scared of commitment lol lol lol. Christmas Day together, man, just seems kinda – intense. You know? Gonna cut you loose, so you can have fun with the fam-a-lam tomoz instead. Don’t feel bad about it, we had fun, yeah? The swimming and the waxworks. Oh and the theatre. Awesome.

So yeah. Not you, it’s me lol lol. Cancelled lunch, so don’t stress over it. Love n light n peace. Thanks for the last few months. Been fun. Xxx

‘What the … what the absolute …!’ I screamed into the empty bedroom. Three mentions of “fun” in one bloody text and I was currently failing to see what had been “fun” at all, in retrospect. Yes, we’d been to the water park at London Royal Docks and he’d zoomed off swimming and left me trailing behind. Yes, we’d done Madame Tussaud’s and I’d been scared witless in the Chamber of Horrors, but he’d “had to get up early the next day” so wouldn’t stay over and I spent the night a gibbering wreck with the lights on in the lounge binge-watching comedy movies. And he’d fallen asleep in Les Mis, which was certainly a talent few can claim to own.

I was aware that he had a very punchy sort of job in finance; I’d always known he would be working long hours and that was fine. He constantly seemed to move at a million miles per hour and treated everything as a joke, just a bit of light relief. We’d only been together six months and I thought it seemed a bit wild arranging something so, well, intimate for Christmas Day. But I was happy to go along with it, all caught up in the new relationship and thinking that it was one day we wouldn’t have to rush through for once; that we could enjoy a lazy morning and a lovely lunch and a cosy afternoon.

But I was wrong.

By then, Mum and Dad were at Beth’s – I had told Carter that was happening, which made his text even more thoughtless – and even as I phoned Mum in desperation, thinking I could maybe drive all the way up there, deep down I knew it wasn’t going to happen.

‘Oh darling,’ said Mum. ‘We’ve got blizzards up here, and they’ve got a weather warning up for today and tonight. We’re basically snowed in and being advised not to drive. It’s supposed to ease off tomorrow…?’ There was a little note of hope in her voice, a tiny query in the word “tomorrow”, but I was already shaking my head, tears dripping off the end

of my nose by that point. I realised I’d have to speak eventually because we were on the phone and she couldn’t see me. But that was maybe a good thing because I’d always been an ugly crier.

‘No, Mum. It’s okay,’ I managed. ‘I’m sure it’ll be fine. It’s only one day.’

‘Sweetheart. Are there any friends you can spend it with? I’m so sorry we’re up here.’

‘I’ll find someone. It’s fine.’

‘If you’re sure.’

‘I’m sure.’

But obviously it wasn’t fine, and I didn’t even try to call any friends. Most of them were spending Christmas Day with their families and, of course, I didn’t want to gate-crash.

In the end, I lied. I told Mum I’d spent the day with my colleague Claudia, because her partner, Dieter, was a doctor and had to work, so she’d be on her own too. Claudia was a person far enough removed that they were highly unlikely to meet her, they weren’t friends with her parents, and they basically didn’t know her at all. After Christmas, I told Claudia to uphold that lie if they ever did end up meeting her and explained why. I knew she would do it, bless her.

In reality, that Christmas Day was the most pox-worthy, crappy day I have ever spent in my entire life. It may only have been one day, but the TV adverts don’t let you think that. They always fill the screen with happy people and families around a massive turkey on a table. I cried every time an advert came on with a mum and a dad and a child. Which is stupid because I’m twenty-eight!

I had a going-out-of-date microwave chicken curry for lunch which I’d bought at the corner shop on Christmas Eve, ate an entire Christmas pudding for tea and drank a bottle of prosecco for supper, just to try and make myself sleep.

I told Mum I’d “forgotten” my phone when I went to Claudia’s, so that was why I had no photos of the lunch or the super-fun day we’d had playing Pictionary and singing along to musicals on TV, etc, and that was also why I only FaceTimed them at 8 p.m.

She held the phone up to the window of Beth’s house so I could see the thick covering of snow, almost like she thought I might not believe her about the weather, but the worst part was seeing my dad with his paper hat on and Tabitha curled up asleep in the crook of his arm.

I so wanted to be there with them.

And thus Christmas Day passed, eventually, and thankfully I went to bed, fell asleep and shut the door on that awful day.

It was a crying shame because I loved Christmas, normally – but that one went down in my memory bank as the “Christmas that Never Was”.

And then we were into January, which I always hated anyway, because it’s grey and miserable – and who’s a size four, to grab bargains in the sales?

So now you can probably understand why I particularly hated last January. I was still getting over the awful Christmas; still getting over – and getting enraged on a regular basis about – Carter.

But when I met Paul Tanner at an event the following month, I thought that at least it had to mean that February was going to be much better than January!

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About the author:

Kirsty Ferry is from the North East of England and lives there with her husband and son. She won the English Heritage/Belsay Hall National Creative Writing competition and has had articles and short stories published in various magazines. Her work also appears in several anthologies, incorporating such diverse themes as vampires, crime, angels and more.

Kirsty loves writing ghostly mysteries and interweaving fact and fiction. The research is almost as much fun as writing the book itself, and if she can add a wonderful setting and a dollop of history, that’s even better.

Her day job involves sharing a building with an eclectic collection of ghosts, which can often prove rather interesting.

FOLLOW THE AUTHOR……

www.twitter.com/kirsty_ferry 

https://www.facebook.com/kirsty.ferry.author/

 Kirsty’s website: www.rosethornpress.co.uk

 Kirsty’s blog: www.rosethornramblings.wordpress.com

About the book:


It was meant to be a romantic Christmas getaway …

Except Flora’s boyfriend Paul is more interested in whether there’s WiFi in their holiday cottage than he is in the pretty village of Padcock where it’s located. It seems he’s incapable of taking time out from his work for gossip mag darling Maxine Marling – or Maxine Marmoset as Flora not so secretly calls her (well, she does look like a marmoset!) – to spend time with his actual girlfriend.

But as Flora discovers the friendly and festive community of Padcock with its eccentric but lovable locals – including dreamy musician Geraint Davies – she begins to question her London life and lots more besides. Especially as a certain marmoset becomes ever more present on her Christmas break for two …

But luckily Padcock is a village where fresh starts happen – and maybe Flora is in line for her own Christmas of new beginnings.

 Buying links: 

Kindle: https://amzn.to/3VFmG9P

 Kobo: https://bit.ly/3CFI4mI 

Apple Books: https://apple.co/3P58DWu

 Nook: https://bit.ly/3vGxOaW

BookReview DIARY OF A VOID by EMI YAGI #DiaryOfAVoid

ABOUT THE BOOK

A prizewinning, thrillingly subversive debut novel about a woman in Japan who avoids harassment at work by perpetuating, for nine months and beyond, the lie that she’s pregnant

When thirty-four-year-old Ms. Shibata gets a new job in Tokyo to escape sexual harassment at her old one, she finds that, as the only woman at her new workplace–a company that manufactures cardboard tubes–she is expected to do all the menial tasks. One day she announces that she can’t clear away her colleagues’ dirty cups–because she’s pregnant and the smell nauseates her. The only thing is . . . Ms. Shibata is not pregnant.

Pregnant Ms. Shibata doesn’t have to serve coffee to anyone. Pregnant Ms. Shibata isn’t forced to work overtime. Pregnant Ms. Shibata rests, watches TV, takes long baths, and even joins an aerobics class for expectant mothers. But pregnant Ms. Shibata also has a nine-month ruse to keep up. Helped along by towel-stuffed shirts and a diary app on which she can log every stage of her “pregnancy,” she feels prepared to play the game for the long haul. Before long, though, the hoax becomes all-absorbing, and the boundary between her lie and her life begins to dissolve.

A surreal and wryly humorous cultural critique, Diary of a Void is bound to become a landmark in feminist world literature.

PUBLISHED BY VIKING

PURCHASE LINK

Amazon

MY REVIEW

Drawn in by the cover, I knew nothing of this book before I bought it but have found it to be a wonderfully quirky and absorbing little read on the roles of women and the feeling of loneliness in trying to ‘fit in’ and be accepted in a society that places labels on people.

Shibata is at the heart of the story – the only female in an office and that means she’s expected to carry out all the menial tasks no matter what she has on her plate. But that changes when she takes a bold step in pretending she’s pregnant. Immediately the male attitudes towards her change and more care is taken to spread the tasks round – the lengths you have to go to for some respect and courtesy eh!

As she envelops herself in her ‘role’ you get to see the other side of her life, one that is quite regimented and looking for acceptance. She feels part of the ‘mummies to be’ brigade and finally feels less invisible. It’s such a quirky concept that the lines are blurred often as to whether she is pregnant or not, but it really just adds to the charm of this book and gives you that wider look at society and how women have to fit certain criteria before they are even seen…

I loved this book and the gentle way her story was told. It’s not packed full of action but it is more relatable and emotion invoking because of it’s approach.

★★★★

BookReview ORPHEUS BUILDS A GIRL by HEATHER PARRY #OrpheusBuildsAGirl


ABOUT THE BOOK

Based on a true story, Orpheus Builds a Girl is a novel of sisterly love, sinister obsession, and the battle for control of the story. A dark, chilling debut novel from award-winning writer Heather Parry.

German doctor Wilhelm Von Tore shares with the reader the story of his one true ove; a love written in the stars, decades in the making, a love so strong it transcended death itself. When Wilhelm emigrates to America he carries with him a vision of a dark-haired beauty, presented to him in his dreams by his beloved late Grandmother. In Key West, Florida, a beautiful young woman is taken to him in the grip of illness, and he recognises her immediately as his promised bride. Despite his efforts, the sickness takes hold and his beloved slips away from him. But Wilhelm will not be kept from his destiny, not even by death. Using research compiled over decades, he sets about attempting to restore his love to her body, so that they might be together forever.

But there’s another voice in this story: Gabriela, and she will not let this version of events go unchallenged. From between the cracks in Wilhelm’s story Gabriela recounts her own memory of her sister Luciana, a fiery and difficult young woman, and the madman who robbed her from her grave.

PUBLISHED BY GALLIC PRESS

PURCHASE LINK

PUBLISHER WEBSITE

 MY REVIEW

Wow! Some stories make you stop in your tracks and this is one of those! Based on real events – eek! – this is a gripping, captivating and eerie tale of obsession, darkness and different perceptions of love. I loved it!!

We get differing points of view on the story of Luci – one from her sister Gabriela who wants to set the record straight, and the other from Willhelm, who claims that Luci was the love of his life. Their stories differ about what happened and you get taken along for the ride of who you are more likely to believe!

Willhelm is a fascinating character – left by his father at a very young age, he was raised by his grandmother as his mother was too young to be maternal, and then he cared for his grandmother when she became sick. He saw things very spiritually and claims that his grandma showed him the woman he was going to marry so his quest was to find her.

And the story of Gabriella and her sister Luci was a very different one – raised in Cuba in a large family, they were always in trouble! They lived in turbulent times so had to move for a new life in America and that’s where Luci started rebelling more.

Their paths cross when Luci became sick, and the obsession for Willhelm took over. They were destined to meet in his eyes so he was where he needed to be – her family saw a different side to it all.

What follows is dark and macabre but is a fascinating insight into that obsessive part of a persons’ personality that leaves them devoid of reason or emotion and it was just chilling to read as the story unfolds. As a debut novel I found it to be a staggering piece of work and one of my favourite reads of 2022!!

★★★★★

BookReview THE WINNERS by FREDRIK BACKMAN

ABOUT THE BOOK

Two years have passed since the events that no one wants to think about. Everyone has tried to move on, but there’s something about this place that prevents it. The residents continue to grapple with life’s big questions: What is a family? What is a community? And what, if anything, are we willing to sacrifice in order to protect them?

As the locals of Beartown struggle to overcome the past, great change is on the horizon. Someone is coming home after a long time away. Someone will be laid to rest. Someone will fall in love, someone will try to fix their marriage, and someone will do anything to save their children. Someone will submit to hate, someone will fight, and someone will grab a gun and walk towards the ice rink.

So what are the residents of Beartown willing to sacrifice for their home?

Everything.

PUBLISHED BY ATRIA BOOKS

PURCHASE LINK

Amazon

MY REVIEW

Another marvel of a book from this author, and a truly fitting end to an immensely emotional, impactful and outstanding series!

This Beartown series has been a truly emotional rollercoaster of a read! The author has an amazing gift of making you part of the community that you’re reading about so you feel every punch to the gut of all that the inhabitants go through – and in Beartown they go through a lot!!

Picking up 2 years after the last book, this throws you straight back in to witness yet more trauma for the locals, having to deal with a major storm, the death of a much loved member of the community and the aftershocks still of the events from Book 1. And still at the heart of the book are the goings on of the ice hockey teams that unite and divide so many people. It festers amongst those who were at the centre of it all, and the ripples effect everyone and it’s just so devastating and dramatic to read the goings on via the viewpoints of a number of characters. How they try to move on but the scars are never too far away and how it has changed them all. All of their lives have changed for ever and this book captures in stunning detail just how so.

Sport still plays a huge part of their lives and adding corruption to the mix is never going to end well for anybody. It also shows how it can unite at times, and there’s also that sense of characters doing what they can to survive – either by shouting loudly or staying quiet for their own sanity sake. So many characters in this book have such strong storylines that you’re left gasping for breath sometimes by the constant turmoil that so many have to face and combat.

I have adored this series despite it making me sob uncontrollably and feel anger at the injustices that many have faced, but then pride at their bravery and spirit. A masterclass in writing and I will continue to rave about this series forever!! Thankyou Fredrik Backman!!

★★★★★