#BlogTour SECRETS OF THE RAILWAY GIRLS by MAISIE THOMAS #BookReview

A huge delight to be taking in this wonderful Blog Tour today for SECRETS OF THE RAILWAY GIRLS by MAISIE THOMAS. My thanks to the author and Rachel at Arrow Publishing for letting me be part of this tour and sharing my thoughts on the latest installment from The Railway Girls!

ABOUT THE BOOK

Manchester, November 1940

As the war continues and secrets threaten the railway girls, they will discover the true meaning of friendship.

For Dot, her job on the railways is everything. Transporting parcels around the country gives her pride that she is doing her bit for the war effort, but a growing friendship causes problems when home and work collide.

Joan loves her boyfriend Bob dearly, but when tragedy strikes, her heart is torn apart and she is forced to make a decision that could hurt those she loves most.

Meanwhile Mabel has finally found a place to call home and her relationship seems to be going from strength to strength. However, the relentless bombing in the Christmas blitz is about to destroy everything she holds dear and she will need her friends’ courage and generosity now more than ever.

Brought together by their work on Manchester’s railways, the three women find that with the support and encouragement of each other, they can get through even the most challenging of times.

PURCHASE LINK

Amazon

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Maisie Thomas was born and brought up in Manchester, which provides the location for her Railway Girls novels. She loves writing stories with strong female characters, set in times when women needed determination and vision to make their mark. The Railway Girls series is inspired by her great aunt Jessie, who worked as a railway clerk during the First World War.

Maisie now lives on the beautiful North Wales coast with her railway enthusiast husband and their two rescue cats. They often enjoy holidays chugging up and down the UK’s heritage steam railways.

MY REVIEW

The girls are back and it’s so lovely to be reunited with them once more in this stunning series.  With the war ramping up around them, times are proving tougher than ever so to see these women having to face up to really serious times was just so gripping and emotional!  There may have been tears shed on my part! That’s how involved I’ve become in the lives of the railway girls!!

This book is a great look at the lives of normal people during the war – how life carries on despite the fear and danger they are all surrounded by.  The women are working harder than ever with the threat of bombing getting closer and closer.  

But real life has to continue as normal as possible, so the women are having to face  problems at home, dealing with grief and they’re still up against a few derisive attitudes from men at them working on the railways.

I found this book to be more dramatic than the last book and shows that the girls are having to grow up fast with what they’re facing and dealing with.  Really enjoyed seeing how the war was impacting on them day to day with rationing, and just how the s*** that life throws at you doesn’t let up in the midst of a war!  

Work for these girls is a distraction from the horrors and the support they receive from one another is so touching. They’ve become like family to one another and are always there when needed.

I’m hoping there’ll be more visits back to the railway girls as I just adore seeing them and how their lives continue to chop and change so dramatically, whilst counting on those around them to be supportive and show what real friendship is all about.

Loved it!!!

★★★★★

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#BlogTour OTHER WOMEN by JEAN LEVY #BookReview @DomePress

Huge thank you to Emily at Dome Press for letting me be part of this wonderful blog tour for OTHER WOMEN by JEAN LEVY.  Read on for my thoughts on this twisty tale!!

ABOUT THE BOOK


Sophie thought she and Jonah were happy, bringing up their small daughter, until one summer’s day, she discovers that Jonah is far from the man she thought he was. Sam – an attractive English teacher – seems to offer her some comfort, and new friendships are a support. But is Sam really who he says he is? Where have her new friends appeared from? Is anyone telling the truth? As Jonah’s lies threaten Sophie and her daughter, can anyone be trusted?
PUBLISHED BY THE DOME PRESS
PURCHASE LINKS

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Jean spent several years in genetics research before abandoning the laboratory to pursue a career in academic publishing both in Holland the UK. She has been a database troubleshooter, an editor, and a writer for publishing houses, pharmaceutical companies and the EU. She has degrees in Botany, Pathology, Philosophy, English, Law and Creative Writing and is currently completing a doctorate in Linguistics. In her spare time she has campaigned for the environment and read a lot of books, the most memorable being Alice in Wonderland, Pride and Prejudice, everything by Margaret Atwood and Jeanette Winterson, and a few things by Sebastian Faulks, Calvino, Ian McEwan, David Mitchell and Shakespeare. She currently lives in a converted barn in the South Downs with her husband and a Heritage Plant Collection, accumulates Christmas tree decorations and aspires to writing multi-genre fiction, travelling on the Orient Express and seeing the Northern Lights.

Twitter: @jeanelevy Instagram: @mintperson2018

MY REVIEW

This is one of those books that grabs you from the get go and doesn’t let up until the end! And I loved every minute of this twisty, dark and snappy thriller!  Alarm bells went off in my head about most of the characters at some point and just when I think I’d worked out where the story was going to take me… wrong!!

There are stories within the story here to keep you on your toes and the suspense never lets up.  From the dead body uncovered in the woods after a storm, to a married couple having a domestic until an accident shatters an illusion of a life shared.  And that’s when the fun (!) starts!!

I loved the introduction of characters to the storyline of Sophie as she starts to uncover the truth about her marriage. As new people enter her life she wonders how more messed up the situation she finds herself in can get, and shows just how normal family life soon can become dark and dangerous!

The story races along at a great pace and it’s full of twists, turns and deceptions – just showing that even those you think you know so well can have their secrets – and not all secrets are good ones!!

A fabulous read and I cannot wait to see what Jean Levy has in store for us next as she’s fast becoming one of my favourite authors! 

★★★★★

#BlogTour A SUMMER TO REMEMBER IN HERRING BAY by ANGELA BRITNELL #BookReview @rararesources @ChocLituk @AngelaBritnell

Delighted to be the latest stop on the Blog Tour for the fabulous A SUMMER TO REMEMBER IN HERRING BAY by ANGELA BRITNELL today.
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 to share my thoughts!


ABOUT THE BOOK

A Summer to Remember in Herring Bay


Essy Havers is good at finding things. Her company specialises in helping clients track down anything, from missing china pieces to rare vintage clothing. But now Essy has something more important to find: herself.Essy has always been curious about her mother’s secret past and her Cornish roots. So, when the opportunity arises, she hops on a plane in Tennessee and ends up in Herring Bay in Cornwall; the village where her mother grew up.But once there, she’s mystified by the reactions of the villagers when they realise who she is. Was Essy’s decision to visit Cornwall a mistake, or will it lead to a summer she’ll never forget?

Purchase Link – https://smarturl.it/ff87oe

Author Bio – Angela grew up in Cornwall, England and returns frequently from her new home in Nashville, Tennessee to visit family and friends, drink tea and eat far too many Cornish pasties! 
A lifelong love of reading turned into a passion for writing contemporary romance and her novels are usually set in the many places she’s visited or lived on her extensive travels. Thanks to over three decades of marriage to her wonderful American husband she’s a huge fan of transatlantic romance and always makes sure her characters get their own happy-ever-after.
She is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, the Romance Writers of America and the Music City Romance Writers. Her first novel ‘Truth and Consequence’ was published in 2006 and she’s now had over 30 novels published internationally and several short stories in women’s magazines.
If you’d like to find out more of what Angela gets up to (Advance warning: this may include references to wine, dark chocolate, Poldark and the hunky Aidan Turner) check out 
www.angelabritnellromance.com  or follow her on www.facebook.com/angelabritnell , www.twitter.com/angelabritnell and on Instagram as Angela Golley Britnell.


MY REVIEW


Loved, Loved, Loved this book!! It’s full of family secrets that that have hung over Herring Bay for years, leaving deep wounds for many. So when Essy travels there to discover the past her mother is very reluctant to share, she reopens those wounds and it threatens new friendships.

Essy stands out anyway as she’s an American and they don’t get many of those visiting Herring Bay! She also is a big fan of bright colours and finds a fellow ‘colour’ fan in Ruan. He’s a local who has recently returned home and finds himself doing various handyman jobs which brings him into contact with Essy as she stays with her Aunt at her B&B that is in need of a bit of modernising!

The more time Essy and Ruan spend together, the more the pasts of their families begin to bubble to the surface and I loved finding out about the goings on of the past – and surprised along with the characters to discover that what they had been led to believe was quite different to the actual truth. Isn’t that always the way!?! We build up an image of a situation or person based on what we’re told, only to find that shattered when the truth comes to light!

I loved everything about this book! From the relatable characters wanting to make sense of who they are, to the wonderful setting and twists and turns of the revelations!

A BOOK TO REMEMBER!!


★★★★★

#MusicMonday ALL I HAVE TO GIVE by HURTS

Happy Monday! Back with another song for MUSIC MONDAY – hosted by Drew over at The Tattooed Book Geek – which is your weekly chance to share a song or video you love!

A new release from Hurts for me! They’ve just released their fifth album, FAITH, and it’s wonderful! This song is ALL I HAVE TO GIVE….

You’re staring in the mirror
Watching as the walls are closing in
The shadow of a figure
Tryna make the best of this state that I am in

I guess I could do it
With the friends I’ve been pushing away
But I’m destined to suffer
Until I discover the reasons I’m afraid

God knows I tried
It might not be good enough
But it’s all I have to give
This is all I have to give
You might be right, sometimes
I never open up
But it’s all I have to give
This is all I have to give

You’re staring in the mirror
Picturing the face of a younger man
He buries it away
‘Cause he’s gotta try and cope in a way he’d understand

Be there for your brother
And strong for your mother again
‘Cause he’s too young to get it and she’ll get upset
If she knows you feel the pain

God knows I tried
It might not be good enough
But it’s all I have to give
This is all I have to give
You might be right, sometimes
I’m too scared to open up
But it’s all I have to give
This is all I have to give to you

I tell myself there’s nothing left to lose
I don’t know why I’m hiding from the truth
I face myself and all I see is you, is you

You’re staring in the mirror
Watching as the walls are closing in

But God knows I tried (God knows)
It might not be good enough (Might not be good enough)
But it’s all I have to give
This is all I have to give
You might be right, sometimes
I’m too scared to open up
But it’s all I have to give
This is all I have to give to you
To you
This is all I have to give

Source: Musixmatch

Songwriters: Adam Anderson / Theo Hutchcraft

My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up – 12th September 2020

Hello and Happy Saturday! May this weekend go by slowly for you and be filled with many books!! That’s my plan for the weekend anyway although I’m sure something will come along and put a spanner in the works!!

It’s been a fairly relaxed reading week here just gone, with 2 books finished and just 1 newbie from Netgalley! I seem to have given the postie the week off from delivering proper books my way! I will have to rectify that very soon!!

Here’s my look back!

BOOKS FINISHED

THE ONCE & FUTURE WITCHES by ALIX E.HARROW – 5 STARS

ODD BIRD by LEE FARNSWORTH – 4 STARS




 BOOKHAUL

Off to Netgalley we go….

LIFE IN PIECES by DAWN O’PORTER

due out 1st October 2020

Dawn O’Porter has been thinking about life. In lockdown. Mostly from a cupboard.From reflections on grief and identity, bad hair and parenting, sleep and spirituality, to the things we can control and the things we cannot, Dawn’s daily diaries track the journey – for a hilarious, heartbreaking and highly entertaining glimpse into the new normal.LIFE IN PIECES is a book for anyone who’s been thrown into a life they didn’t plan, or who just wants to stick it to 2020. When it looks like everything’s falling apart, we’ll piece it back together.Love Dawn x

CURRENTLY READING

OLIVE by EMMA GANNON


🌞🌞🌞

#BlogTour ORFEIA by JOANNE M.HARRIS #BookReview #Orfeia @Joannechocolat @gollancz @RandomTTours

A huge delight to be the latest stop on the Blog Tour today for ORFEIA by JOANNE HARRIS. My thanks to the author, publisher and Anne of Random Things Tours for letting me be part of it all and sharing my review!


ABOUT THE BOOK


The stunning new novella from No 1 bestselling author Joanne Harris:

 Orfeia is a gender-flipped retelling of the Orpheus Myth, beautifully illustrated by Bonnie Helen Hawkins When you can find me an acre of land, Every sage grows merry in time, Between the ocean and the sand Then will you be united again. So begins a beautiful and tragic quest as a heartbroken mother sets out to save her lost daughter, through the realms of the real, of dream, and even into the underworld itself. But determination alone is not enough. For to save something precious, she must give up something precious, be it a song, a memory, or her freedom itself . . .

Praise for Joanne’s previous novellas: 

“It may be a little book, but it has considerable power to enchant” – METRO on A Pocketful of Crows 

“Love, treachery, the call of the ocean: this wintry modern fairy tale features all three… perfect for anyone who loves a good story.” MAIL ON SUNDAY on The Blue Salt Road

PUBLISHED BY GOLLANCZ

PURCHASE LINKS

Goldsboro Books  – signed first edition

hive.co.uk

Blackwell’s

Joanne Harris is an Anglo-French writer, whose books include fourteen novels, two cookbooks and many short stories. Her work is extremely diverse, covering aspects of magic realism, suspense, historical fiction, mythology and fantasy. In 2000, her 1999 novel CHOCOLAT was adapted to the screen, starring Juliette Binoche and Johnny Depp. 
CHOCOLAT has sold over a million copies in the UK alone and was a global bestseller. She is an Honorary Fellow of St Catherine’s College, Cambridge, and in 2013 was awarded an MBE by the Queen. Her hobbies are listed in Who’s Who as ‘mooching, lounging, strutting, strumming, priest-baiting and quiet subversion’. She plays bass guitar in a band first formed when she was 16 and runs the musical storytelling show Storytime. Joanne lives with her husband in Yorkshire, about 15 miles from the place she was born. Find out more at http://www.joanne-harris.co.uk or follow her on Twitter @Joannechocolat

MY REVIEW

A truly magical retelling of the Orpheus myth that draws deeply on the emotions of loss and grief and the journey that your state of mind may take you on in those darkest times.

Fay is struggling to cope with the loss of her daugher Daisy.  She is drifting along, feeling out of place and without purpose.  She has turned to a counsellor to try and help her make sense of where she finds herself  but she finds herself going through the motions of life and just telling the counsellor what she thinks she wants to hear without really acknowledging the pain she is feeling.

She takes to running at night and feels more at home amongst the darkness and is led on a journey by those she meets to a place where she is led to believe she can save her daughter.  

Abandoned London is the place she finds herself, a place that has been taken over by nature, a wild place and somewhere she feels more at peace than anywhere else of late. There are those there to help her but some want to lead her on the wrong path and get her to make the wrong choices – who does she believe?

What i loved about this book was the emotion and the despair that Fay felt was so believable.  When grief has you alive but not living.  Her world had been shrunk by the darkness around her and she was struggling to see any light.

I really love these re-tellings! And the beautiful illustrations work so well alongside the story.  

A magical, emotional and captivating tale.

★★★★★

#MusicMonday DREAM ON by AEROSMITH

Hello! Happy Monday! Time to rock out! Hosted by Drew over at The Tattooed Book Geek it’s a weekly chance to share a fave song or video!

Classic track from me today – DREAM ON by AEROSMITH! 

Every time when I look in the mirror
All these lines on my face getting clearer
The past is gone
It went by, like dusk to dawn
Isn’t that the way
Everybody’s got the dues in life to pay

I know nobody knows
Where it comes and where it goes
I know it’s everybody sin
You got to lose to know how to win

Half my life
Is books, written pages
Live and learn from fools and
From sages
You know it’s true, oh
All the things come back to you

Sing with me, sing for the year
Sing for the laughter, sing for the tear
Sing with me, if it’s just for today
Maybe tomorrow, the good Lord will take you away

Yeah, sing with me, sing for the year
Sing for the laughter, sing for the tear
Sing with me, if it’s just for today
Maybe tomorrow, the good Lord will take you away

Dream on
Dream on
Dream on
Dream until your dreams come true
Dream on
Dream on
Dream on
Dream until your dream come through
Dream on
Dream on
Dream on
Dream on
Dream on
Dream on
Dream on, ah

Sing with me, sing for the year
Sing for the laughter, sing for the tear
Sing with me, if it’s just for today
Maybe tomorrow, the good Lord will take you away
Sing with me, sing for the year
Sing for the laughter, sing for the tear
Sing with me, if it’s just for today
Maybe tomorrow, the good Lord will take you away

Source: LyricFind

Songwriters: Steven Victor Tallarico

Dream On lyrics © BMG Rights Management

#BookReview HOW’S THE PAIN by PASCAL GARNIER

ABOUT THE BOOK

Death is Simon’s business. And now the ageing vermin exterminator is preparing to die. But he still has one last job down on the coast and he needs a driver. Bernard is twenty-one. He can drive and he’s never seen the sea. He can’t pass up the chance to chauffeur for Simon, whatever his mother may say. As the unlikely pair set off on their journey, Bernard soon finds that Simon’s definition of vermin is broader than he’d expected…Veering from the hilarious to the horrific, this offbeat story from master stylist, Pascal Garnier, is at heart an affecting study of human frailties.

PUBLISHED BY GALLIC BOOKS

PURCHASE LINKS

Publisher Website

hive.co.uk

blackwell’s

MY REVIEW

A book that has the ending at the beginning! BUT it works!! It doesn’t spoil the ride you are taken on with these quirkier characters and I loved it! The dryness of the humour, the darker themes with the setting and the character traits and the fact that it packs an awful, lot in to such a short space!

From the very dark opening, it’s a book that doesn’t let you go! Simon and Bernard are the main two characters and they’re not your average, run of the mill kind of blokes! Their pasts explain their present and their outlook on life. Simon finds himself in need of a driver – step forward Bernard who lives at home so he can care for his mother. But he’s looking for an escape, an adventure, so this job is the perfect opportunity for him – even if he doesn’t really understand what Simon is planning on doing!

They are an unlikely pairing but they need one another! I think Bernard sees Simon as a kind of father figure, although Simon isn’t really the kind of person to let people in and always tries to keep them at arms length. He doesn’t have time to show emotion or share feelings!

Along the way they encounter some even more intriguing characters, and they even pick up a mother and baby along the way to add to the melting pot! I did love the touches of humour that lifted the darker side of the book and I found it strangely touching, in a weird way! These misfits sharing time together while dealing with their own turmoil and troubles.

★★★★★

Thank you to Gallic Books for my arc copy of this in return for  a fair and honest review.

#BookReview THE LIAR’S DICTIONARY by ELEY WILLIAMS

ABOUT THE BOOK


Mountweazel n. the phenomenon of false entries within dictionaries and works of reference. Often used as a safeguard against copyright infringement.

Peter Winceworth, a disaffected Victorian lexicographer, inserts false entries into a dictionary – violating and subverting the dictionary’s authority – in an attempt to assert some sense of individual purpose and artistic freedom. In the present day, Mallory, a young overworked and underpaid intern employed by the dictionary’s publishing house, is tasked with uncovering these entries before the work is digitised. As the novel progresses and their narratives combine, as Winceworth imagines who will find his fictional words in an unknown future and Mallory discovers more about the anonymous lexicographer’s life through the clues left in his fictitious entries, both discover how they might negotiate the complexities of an absurd, relentless, untrustworthy, hoax-strewn, undefinable life.

Braiding together contemporary and historical narratives, the novel explores themes of trust, agency and creativity, celebrating the rigidity, fragility and absurdity of language.

PUBLISHED BY William Heinemann Ltd

PURCHASE LINKS

hive.co.uk

blackwell’s 

MY REVIEW

What a read! It’s an ode to words and those who love them and really appealed to my nit picking mind in using words properly! What they mean, or don’t!, and how they’re used in life and I just adored the characters and escapism of this story! Definitely a book that is a little different than many and an office cat called Tits! Need I say anymore?!

It is a book that picks up on the complexities of language. The quirks of words and their meaning. And the work of lexicographers! Separated by a hundred years, but their methods and personalities are very similar. The modern day lexicographer discovers some anomalies from a previous custodian of the ‘words’ in the book they publish and sets out to track them all down! Not an easy task when they don’t know just how many ‘fake’ words have been created.

I loved both timelines – Peter Winceworth back in 1899 is a wonderful character who feels invisible and struggles with feeling undervalued. So to be rebellious he creates words, knowing that those around him won’t notice but intrigued by those who will pick up on these false entries in the future!

And that honour falls on Mallory, who is working on digitalising the dictionary when the ‘errors’ are spotted. As he looks into the history of the company he is intrigued by the kind of character who would make up words – almost a kindred spirit!

It’s a book that is more than just words though as it concentrates on these quieter characters in their lives and their struggles and emotions. There’s struggles with sexuality, dealing with death threats and the act of creating a character trait for yourself out of boredom and then having to live that lie! It was just one of those books that I found myself totally absorbed in the worlds created, and wishing the words created were real too!!

★★★★★

My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up – 5th September 2020

Hello all and Happy September! Will it be ‘normal’?! What is normal nowadays??!! I know there’s been  ton of books released in the past week so at least that part of our normality is back! Which one to buy/read first I wonder?!!

On to the books and it’s been  a fairly productive week even though I haven’t felt like I’ve given books my full attention! Another 4 books have been knocked off the TBR pile  but then I did a silly and added 3 to my Netgalley TBR – oops!!   Here’s my look back…

BOOKS FINISHED

THE UNWINDING by JACKIE MORRIS  – 5 STARS

THE MEMORY OF SOULS by JENN LYONS – 5 STARS

THE TRIALS OF KOLI by M.R.CAREY – 5 STARS

SECRETS OF THE RAILWAY GIRLS by MAISIE THOMAS  5 STARS

BOOKHAUL


Netgalley….. oops!!


THE BOOK CLUB by C.J.COOPER

publication date – 1st October 2020

The book club was her idea, of course.

It was her way into our group. A chance to get close.

I knew from the day she arrived that she couldn’t be trusted.

And I was right.

Alice didn’t come to the village for peace and quiet.

She came for revenge.

THE BOOKSELLER’S TALE by MARTIN LATHAM


‘Entertaining, erudite, eccentric – The Bookseller’s Tale is a delight’ Alison Light, author of Common People: The History of an English Family

‘The right book has a neverendingness, and so does the right bookshop.’

This is the story of our love affair with books, whether we arrange them on our shelves, inhale their smell, scrawl in their margins or just curl up with them in bed. Taking us on a journey through comfort reads, street book stalls, mythical libraries, itinerant pedlars, radical pamphleteers, extraordinary bookshop customers and fanatical collectors, Canterbury bookseller Martin Latham uncovers the curious history of our book obsession – and his own.

Part cultural history, part literary love letter and part reluctant memoir, this is the tale of one bookseller and many, many books.



THE SHAPE OF DARKNESS by LAURA PURCELL

publication date – February 2021

‘Entertaining, erudite, eccentric – The Bookseller’s Tale is a delight’ Alison Light, author of Common People: The History of an English Family

‘The right book has a neverendingness, and so does the right bookshop.’

This is the story of our love affair with books, whether we arrange them on our shelves, inhale their smell, scrawl in their margins or just curl up with them in bed. Taking us on a journey through comfort reads, street book stalls, mythical libraries, itinerant pedlars, radical pamphleteers, extraordinary bookshop customers and fanatical collectors, Canterbury bookseller Martin Latham uncovers the curious history of our book obsession – and his own.

Part cultural history, part literary love letter and part reluctant memoir, this is the tale of one bookseller and many, many books.


CURRENTLY READING

CHOCOLAT by JOANNE HARRIS


THE ONCE AND FUTURE WITCHES by ALIX E.HARROW