#Audiobookreview THE END OF MEN by CHRISTINA SWEENEY-BAIRD #BookReview



ABOUT THE BOOK


Set in a world where a virus stalks our male population, The End of Men is an electrifying and unforgettable debut from a remarkable new talent that asks: what would life truly look like without men?

Only men are affected by the virus; only women have the power to save us all.

The year is 2025, and a mysterious virus has broken out in Scotland–a lethal illness that seems to affect only men. When Dr. Amanda MacLean reports this phenomenon, she is dismissed as hysterical. By the time her warning is heeded, it is too late. The virus becomes a global pandemic–and a political one. The victims are all men. The world becomes alien–a women’s world.

What follows is the immersive account of the women who have been left to deal with the virus’s consequences, told through first-person narratives. Dr. MacLean; Catherine, a social historian determined to document the human stories behind the male plague; intelligence analyst Dawn, tasked with helping the government forge a new society; and Elizabeth, one of many scientists desperately working to develop a vaccine. Through these women and others, we see the uncountable ways the absence of men has changed society, from the personal–the loss of husbands and sons–to the political–the changes in the workforce, fertility and the meaning of family.

In The End of Men, Christina Sweeney-Baird creates an unforgettable tale of loss, resilience and hope.

PUBLISHED BY HARPER COLLINS


PURCHASE LINK

THE END OF MEN by CHRISTINA SWEENEY-BAIRD

MY REVIEW

I listened to the audioversion of this book – brilliantly read!


This is one of those timely reads, made even more relevant and relatable after our recent experiences! The amount of times you felt so connected to the story and the fear portrayed by the characters because of what we’ve all been through with this pandemic!


In this book, set in 2025, there’s a virus that comes out of nowhere and only seems to affect men. And they drop like flies pretty quickly. While in the early stages, the seriousness is trying to be flagged up, there are those who dismiss the concerns… we all know how that works out in reality! But this is a story cleverly told from the point of view of a variety of women looking on with different hats on, so to speak! Those working in the medical industry, those reporting on it, those looking for a cure/vaccine – and those seeing their loved ones becoming poorly and wanting to do all they can to not lose those closest to them.


The author really captures the uncertainty and the panic with each character and it did feel like a race against time thriller at times with the urgency needed to do what needed to protect people. And how women were stepping up to fill the positions normally inhabited by the men and how that impacted on day to day life. And the emotional aspects of becoming pregnant, and then being told your baby was a boy was really stark and bought home the harsh reality of it all.


A gripping read.


★★★★

#BookReview HOPE NICELY’S LESSONS FOR LIFE by CAROLINE DAY



ABOUT THE BOOK


‘I don’t have any friends, only dog ones, because they don’t make you do bad things. I don’t want any human friends, actually. It’s for the best.’

Hope Nicely hasn’t had an easy life.

But she’s happy enough living at 23 Station Close with her mum, Jenny Nicely, and she loves her job, walking other people’s dogs. She’s a bit different, but as Jenny always tells her, she’s a rainbow person, a special drop of light.

It’s just…there’s something she needs to know. Why did her birth mother abandon her in a cardboard box on a church step twenty-five years ago? And did she know that drinking while pregnant could lead to Hope being born with Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder?

In a bid to find her birth mother and the answers to these questions, Hope decides to write her autobiography. Despite having been bullied throughout school, Hope bravely joins an evening class where she will not only learn the lessons of writing (including the number one golden rule of ‘show don’t tell’), but may also begin to discover more about the world around her, about herself and even make some (human) friends.

But when Jenny suddenly falls ill, Hope realises there are many more lessons to come…

Hope Nicely’s Lessons for Life is a heart-warming, coming-of-age novel about loneliness, friendship, acceptance and, above all, hope.


PUBLISHED BY ZAFFRE

PURCHASE LINK


Amazon

MY REVIEW


This is a story that centres around a young woman with Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder and we hear her tell her story and get to understand a little more about the disorder, and it does pull at the heartstrings! It did take me a little while to ‘get’ the way the story was told but once I’d connected more with the character and understood more about how the disorder affects her, you couldn’t help but become more attached to her and cheering her on from the sidelines!

We join her as she’s about to delve into her past as she wants to find out more about her birth mother – the woman who ‘dumped’ her on a doorstep, allowing her to be adopted by the lovely Jenny. You can sense just how much they mean to one another and when poor health hits Jenny, you pick up immediately on the shock waves that sends through Hope. Her stable little world becomes a little shakier.

As Hope joins a local writing class she is faced with new challenges such as socialising and understanding all that life throws at her. It was wonderful seeing how others started to reach out to her when they understood more about her and shows you the good side of people!

An emotional read about a gutsy character, that has moments that made you tear up, alongside those that made you giggle !


★★★★

My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up – 25th September 2021

Hello and Happy Saturday! We’ve made it through another week! Yay us!!  I’ve had  a dodgy week health wise and my tank is empty so hoping a weekend of reading and resting will help perk me back up again! If that fails I’ll just have to buy some more books….  😜
And on the book front, I’ve managed to finish another 3 this week but the big news is that zero additions to my shelves over at Netgalley!  Although there has been 5 new additions to the physical book shelves due to a win from a Mills & Boon comp, and 2 books to review! 
Here’s my look back!


BOOKS FINISHED


A BOOK AT BEDTIME by BARRIE SHORE – 4 STARS

HOPE NICELY’S LESSONS FOR LIFE by CAROLINE DAY – 4 STARS

THE WEDDING CAKE WISH by ROSIE GREEN

BOOKPOST


 I was very lucky to win a little giveaway from Mills & Boon recently…

HIS ACCIDENTAL COUNTESS by ANNIE BURROWS

From abducted…

…to betrothed!

To stop an unsuitable elopement, Tobias Spenlow bundles his ward’s intended bride into his carriage—only to discover he’s made a terrible mistake. The woman is actually innocent governess Miss Dorothy Phillips—whose reputation he’s unintentionally ruined! The only way to right this wrong is for the earl to wed her. She might have accidentally become his countess, but their consuming attraction has him courting her in earnest!


WOULD I LIE TO THE DUKE by EVA LEIGH

Jessica McGale’s family business desperately needs investors and she’s determined to succeed at any cost. But she knows London’s elite will never look twice at a humble farm girl like herself. Posing as “Lady Whitfield,” however, places her in the orbit of wealthy, powerful people—most notably the Duke of Rotherby. His influence and support could save her company, but Jess never expected the effect he’d have on her.

Society thinks Noel is a notorious, carefree duke who dabbles in investments, but there’s a side to him that only his closest friends see. When he crosses paths with Lady Whitfield at a business bazaar, his world tilts on its axis. She’s brilliant and compelling, and brings him to his knees like no woman has before. Trust is difficult for Noel, but Jess makes him believe anything is possible. . .

As time ticks down on her Cinderella scheme, the thought of achieving her goal at Noel’s expense breaks Jess’s heart. He doesn’t just want her now, he wants her forever. But will her secret end their future before it begins?


CINDERELLA’S NEW YORK FLING by CARA COLTER

She’s a breath of fresh country air…

…in his big-city life!

When Jessica Winton’s dream job falls into her lap, she’s thrust from a small-town into bustling Manhattan – and faced with new hard to please boss, tycoon Jamie Gilbert-Cooper. But when Jamie takes her under his wing Jessica must wonder how much of the big city appeal is because of Jamie?

IN SEARCH OF THE LONG-LOST MAVERICK by CHRISTINE RIMMER

‘You know you’re tempted.’

Men are trouble. And Melanie Driscoll has already had more than her share of trouble. She has come to Bronco seeking only a fresh start; what she finds instead is Gabe Abernathy. The blonde, blue-eyed cowboy is temptation enough. The secrets he could be guarding are a whole other level of irresistible. Peeling the covers back on both might be too much for sweet Mel to handle…

And 2 books arrived for me to review…..

DANCING FOR STALIN by CHRISTINA EZRAHI

The true story of one couple’s fight for survival in Stalin’s Russia: a famous ballerina, sent to the Gulag, and her husband, who found a way to save her against all odds.


LUCKY by ED JACKSON

From tragedy to triumph, one step at a time – an inspirational story of triumph over adversity against the odds

At just 28 years old, Ed Jackson was told he would never walk again. After a miscalculated dive into a pool, he suffered multiple cardiac arrests, a broken neck and a partially severed spinal cord. Lying paralysed in intensive care, the former rugby player knew his life would never be the same. But he wasn’t ready to give up hope.

Driven by relentless determination, Ed embarked on an incredible journey to independence. Millimetre by millimetre, he began to regain movement in his fingers and toes. Defying the expectations of even the most optimistic doctors, step by step, Ed began to walk again.

Fuelled by a renewed appreciation for life and a determination to help others suffering similar injuries to his own, Ed set his sights on a new challenge: mountaineering. Embarking on a gruelling climb to raise funds for a spinal unit in Kathmandu, Ed realises that, once again, the odds are stacked against him. Will he be able to overcome his own life-changing injury and transform others’ lives for the better?

Lucky is the story of how Ed faced the impossible when it seemed all hope was lost, and shows how you, too, can overcome the biggest challenges that life sends your way.

CURRENTLY READING

THE RIVER BETWEEN US by LIZ FENWICK (audiobook)

THE ILLUSTRATED CHILD by POLLY CROSBY


HAPPY READING

#BookReview A SINGLE ROSE by MURIEL BARBERY @BelgraviaB #publicationday



ABOUT THE BOOK


From the best-selling author of The Elegance of the Hedgehog comes a story about a woman’s journey to discover the father she never knew and a love she never thought possible.

Rose has just turned forty when she gets a call from a lawyer asking her to come to Kyoto for the reading of her estranged father’s will. And so for the first time in her life she finds herself in Japan, where Paul, her father’s assistant, is waiting to greet her.

As Paul guides Rose along a mysterious itinerary designed by her deceased father, her bitterness and anger are soothed by the stones and the trees in the Zen gardens they move through. During their walks, Rose encounters acquaintances of her father–including a potter and poet, an old lady friend, his housekeeper and chauffeur–whose interactions help her to slowly begin to accept a part of herself that she has never before acknowledged.

As the reading of the will gets closer, Rose’s father finally, posthumously, opens his heart to his daughter, offering her a poignant understanding of his love and a way to accept all she has lost. 


PUBLISHED BY GALLIC BOOKS

Publication date – 23rd September 2021

PURCHASE LINK

 Belgravia Books

Amazon

MY REVIEW

This is an exquisitely told story that will you have you yearning for Japanese gardens and swooning over the words chosen to describe the journey you take with Rose!

Rose finds herself an orphan at 40, when the father she never knew dies and she has to travel to Japan for the reading of the will. She’s very conflicted about her feelings about this man she never met or knew and sees this trip just as ‘admin’ – not expecting what was to follow.

Happiness seems to have evaded her over the years – wrapped up in her work as a botanist, she was always lacking that passion or connection that lit up her life. You wonder if she learnt from her mother who always lived with a negative outlook on the world.

During her time in Japan she is taken on a tour of places that were important to her father, by his assistant. And those trips start to open her eyes to this man she never knew, and takes her out of that comfort zone to start experiencing a different outlook on life. As a reader you can’t help but be seduced by the use of language to describe the gardens and flowers, and Rose starts to learn things about herself.

This was a magical reading experience for me – the way it is written was just so beautiful and elegant and I really enjoyed watching Rose learn more about herself as she learnt more about her father. A beautiful book inside and out!!

★★★★★

My thanks to the team at Gallic Press for the advanced reader copy in return for a fair and honest review

#BlogTour THE BOOK BINDER’S DAUGHTER by JESSICA THORNE #BookReview @bookouture



Excited to be with you today as part of the  Blog Tour for the magical THE BOOK BINDER’S DAUGHTER by JESSICA THORNE. 
My thanks to the author, publisher and Noelle for putting the tour together and letting me be part of it all!


ABOUT THE BOOK

Book: The Bookbinder’s Daughter 

Author: Jessica Thorne

 Pub Day: Sept 20th 2021


Buy Links: 

Amazon: https://geni.us/B09BCSKJ46social

Apple: http://ow.ly/iciE50FG1VL

Kobo:  http://ow.ly/47Kp50FG1Uc

Google: http://ow.ly/UqkO50FG2jS

The song surrounded her now, the murmuring of the library insistent, and her foot took the first step on the winding stairs. She knew it wasn’t entirely a dream. It was the library calling her, its magic driving her.

When Sophie is offered a job at the Ayredale Library – the finest collection of rare books in the world, and the last place her bookbinder mother was seen when Sophie was just a teenager – she leaps at the chance. Will she finally discover what happened to the woman she’s always believed abandoned her?

Taking in the endless shelves of antique books, the soaring stained-glass windows, and the grand sweeping staircase, usually shy Sophie feels strangely at home, and is welcomed by her eccentric fellow binders. But why is the Keeper of the Library so reluctant to speak about Sophie’s mother? And why is Sophie the only person who can read the strange spells in the oldest books on display, written in a forgotten language nobody else understands?

The mysteries of the library only deepen when Sophie stumbles upon an elaborately carved door. The pattern exactly matches the pendant her mother left behind years ago, engraved with a delicate leaf. As the door swings open at her touch, Sophie gasps at the incredible sight: an enormous tree, impossibly growing higher than the library itself, its gently falling golden leaves somehow resembling the pages of a book. Amidst their rustling, Sophie hears a familiar whisper…

‘There you are, my Sophie. I knew you’d come back for me.’

An absolutely spellbinding read about long-hidden family secrets and the magic that lurks between the pages of every ancient book. Perfect for fans of The Ten Thousand Doors of January, The Night Circus and The Binding.Author Bio

Jessica Thorne saw Star Wars at an impressionable age and life was never the same. She’s loved fantasy, romance and science fiction ever since and spends her time looking for adventure – in the pages of her books.

Sometimes she is Ruth Frances Long and won the European Science Fiction Society Spirit of Dedication Award for Best Author of Children’s Science Fiction and Fantasy, 2015.


Social Media

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JessThorneBooks/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/jessthornebooks

Website: http://www.rflong.com/jessicathorne/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jessthornebooks

MY REVIEW

A magical library. Secrets. Danger…. what’s not to love!?  This was a wonderfully magical read and is the kind of book that you totally lose yourself in! I know I did!

Sophie is at the heart of the story and is desperate to make her father proud who she has recently lost, whilst wanting to learn more about her mother who disappeared from her life when she was younger.  The more she discovers about the mysterious library where she gets a job as a bookbinder, the more the mysteries of the past become a little clearer.  And why is she the only person who can understand the language of some of the oldest books in their care?!

When her dreams start to lead her towards uncovering secrets from the past, she is unsure of what she will find or just who to trust along the way and you find yourself anxious on her behalf!  I loved the mystical feel of it all and the way the story flows and how she begins to emerge from the shell she had found herself living in because of the past trauma she’d gone through.  

I was enchanted by this story and just loved the magical library setting alongside a cast of intriguing characters.

★★★★

#BookReview THIS GOOD BOOK by IAIN HOOD @renardpress



ABOUT THE BOOK


Sometimes I wonder if I had known that it was going to take me fourteen years to paint this painting of the Crucifixion, and what it would take for me to paint it, would I have been as happy as I was then?’

Susan Alison MacLeod, a Glasgow School of Art graduate with a dark sense of humour, first lays eyes on Douglas MacDougall at a party in 1988, and resolves to put him on the cross in the Crucifixion painting she’s been sketching out, but her desire for authenticity in her portrayal of suffering means that the painting doesn’t see the light of day for fourteen years.

Over the same years, Douglas’ ever-more elaborately designed urine-filled plastic bags bring him exponentially increasing fame, prizes and commissions, while his modelling for Susan Alison, who continues to work pain and suffering on to the canvas, takes place mostly in the shadows. This Good Book is a wickedly funny, brilliantly observed novel that spins the moral compass and plays with notions of creating art. 


PUBLISHED BY RENARD PRESS

PURCHASE LINKS


Renard Press

Amazon

MY REVIEW


This is a more than a good book! This is a very good book! And so unique! I wondered how I’d get on with the Scottish dialect and slang, alongside a look at the art world, but it works surprisingly well and it’s one of those stories that can shock just as much as make you laugh! And it made me laugh a lot with the darkness and pointed look at the pretentiousness of what is perceived as art nowadays.

Susan is at the heart of the story, she’s an art school grad and when Douglas came into her life, she decided he was the perfect ‘model’ for her art creation representing the Crucifixion. But there’s always something holding her back in being completely satisfied with what she’s creating and the years fly by and still no completed work.

In the meantime, Douglas hits the art world with his own unique brand of art using bags of urine!! And he gets huge critical acclaim and success, whilst Susan struggles along in the background with her more ‘normal’ artwork. Their friendship never fails to waiver and they seem to just get one another, despite success taking Douglas away more and more. The banter between them makes the story as it’s so raw and honest and I loved the way their conversations would flow about everything and nothing! The serious to the fun.

The way that Douglas infuriates her but intoxicates her in equal measures is at the heart of the story for me – seeing him sail along, creating artwork from nowhere with seemingly minimal effort, whilst Susan toils with her creation not matching up to her vision for years. It does a great job of showing the madness of the art world, alongside the madness of the artists!

The darkness in the characters also had me spellbound! It made them even more fascinating to read about as you just don’t know where their ‘art’ will take them next!! I savoured every page of this book! A fabulous read that I highly recommend to one and all!!


★★★★★

#BookReview A BOOK AT BEDTIME by BARRIE SHORE



ABOUT THE BOOK


On a cold December Sunday, book-seller Jack Carter struggles to make breakfast for his wife Eva, whose dementia confines her body to her bed and her mind to a world of its own. Now memory and misremembering, invention and daydreaming combine to piece together their life story.

Jack wages a constant battle with Margaret, Eva’s carer, and tries to fend off Dodie, Eva’s bossy best friend, who thinks they’d both be better off in a home. He conjures ghosts from his past including his daunting mother and his mentor Bob Pride whose own past is linked with Oscar Wilde.

There is also The Great Man, a famous Dorset writer whom the boy Jack once met during his days as a book-seller’s assistant, and who choses this day to come and call. Comical and acerbic, he forces Jack to confront the past, until the truth finally emerges.

A moving by darkly funny story about memory, love, loss and forgiveness.

PUBLISHED BY MATADOR

PURCHASE LINK

Amazon

MY REVIEW

This is one of those quiet, but stunningly powerful books that can’t help but get you emotionally involved in the lives of the characters.

This is the story of Jack and Eva, mostly told from the viewpoint of Jack as he cares for Eva who has dementia and can’t speak and is bedbound. It’s a look back at their lives together, interspersed with the realities of caring with a loved one with dementia and all that entails. It’s heartbreaking to hear his thoughts as he just wants to be with his wife, but the carers who come in to help complicate matters with ‘health and safety’ issues and you really get a sense of his frustrations – at them, the illness and all that has gone on through their lives together.

This is a story where he’s trying to make peace with the past as he looks back at various stages – from his childhood, when he first met Eva and to their lives together. Times have been unkind to them both and you really get a sense of that sadness. He finds solace in talking about The Great Man (Thomas Hardy, but never named!) he met, and his time working at the small bookshop where they currently live. It has become such an integral part of their life, despite the impracticality of their current situation. As he looks back, secrets of the past reveal themselves and finally get acknowledged when they didn’t at the time.

My heart was breaking for Jack as he tells you his story – his life has been tough and doesn’t seem to be letting up for him now in his dotage. The patience he shows for Eva is evident, but there’s also that conflicting emotion in him wishing her dead as there’s no dignity for her, or him, as she suffers with this illness. And having a viewpoint from Eva also allows you to see inside the world as she views it, which was really poignant and powerful. It isn’t afraid to confront the important issues such as dementia, sexuality and does so in a realistic way.

An emotional and beautiful story that has plenty to make the reader both laugh and cry. Highly recommended!

★★★★

My thanks to Netgalley for the advanced reader copy in return for a fair and honest review.

#Guestpost A VILLA IN PORTOFINE by EVONNE WAREHAM #PublicationDay @ChocLituk @evonnewareham

Hello all! Happy Tuesday and welcome to the Blog! It is my absolute pleasure to be handing over the reins today to the lovely EVONNE WAREHAM who is celebrating publication day for A VILLA IN PORTOFINO!  Oh to be sitting in that villa right now!!  I’ve added the links so you can treat yourself to a copy of the book so you can visit the villa that way! 
Over to you Evonne…..

🌞🌞🌞

 A big thank you to Karen for inviting me onto the blog to talk about A Villa in Portofino, my new romantic suspense. It’s hard to believe that this is my sixth book for Choc-LIt and the third in my ‘Riviera’ Series.

I thought it might be fun to interrogate the book with the five classic questions – Who, What, When, Where, Why, although I’ve mixed the order up a little.

Where: I had to start with this one as the book title is a bit of a giveaway. Although the book begins in Bath in Somerset, the action quickly moves on to the Ligurian coast, in Italy. Portofino is a picturesque village and a very up-market resort, with luxury shops and galleries and some very fancy yachts moored in the harbour. The location was actually suggested to me in a readers’ poll, but it proved to be a great choice for locating the spectacular property that my heroine inherits.

When: The book can be read as a stand-alone, but it is book three in my Riviera series, so if you have read the others you will again meet old friends. The events of the book dovetail with some of those in A Wedding on the Riviera, as they take place in the same time frame, but on different sides of the French/Italian border.

Who: Although the book is part of a series, each episode features a new couple with their own love story. In this case my heroine is Megan Morrison, an out of work academic who has just come through a bad break-up when she gets a mysterious letter from a firm of London solicitors…

My hero, Gideon West, is a landscape gardener with a passion for Riviera gardens. On an impromptu research trip to Portofino he is strangely drawn to the overgrown garden of a deserted villa…

What: Megan needs help to make her surprising legacy fit to be the home of her dreams. Gideon seems like an answer to her unexpected difficulties in reclaiming what was once a beautiful garden created by her great-great aunt Olwen. But Gideon has something in his past that he isn’t sharing, and someone else has covetous eyes on the neglected estate…

Why: When I first envisaged the book it had a distinctly Gothic overtone but somehow, in the Italian sunshine, things didn’t work out that way! Instead it became a story of family secrets, some deliberately kept, but others simply lost in time and memory, although the book still has its dark side – this is romantic suspense, after all. I was juggling five generations stretching back to the Second World War, and there was a lot of time and space for memory to become clouded and misinformation to be passed around. Megan has a number of mysteries to unravel – the history of the estate, the history of her last family member, an aunt whom she had never met, and the possible link between the estate and some books of poetry that formed the substance of her doctorate. And alongside all this she seems to be falling in love…

So – those are the answers to those five one word questions. I hope that they have intrigued you and made you want to read the book. If you do, I really hope you enjoy it.

🌞🌞🌞

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Evonne is an award winning Welsh author of romantic suspense – more crime and dead bodies than your average romance. She likes to set her book in her native Wales, or for a touch of glamorous escapism, in favourite holiday destinations in Europe. She is a Doctor of Philosophy and an historian, and a member of both the Romantic Novelists’ Association and the Crime Writers’ Association.

 Twitter https://twitter.com/evonnewareham

 Facebook https://www.facebook.com/evonnewarehamauthor/ 

Website www.evonnewareham.com 

Blog www.evonneonwednesday.blogspot.com

ABOUT THE BOOK

Third in the ‘Riviera’ Series of romantic suspense: love and mayhem in the sunshine of the French and Italian Riviera

From chambermaid to “got it made” … When hotel cleaning temp and poetry academic Megan Morrison finds out she’s inherited an Italian villa and small fortune from her estranged great-great aunt Olwen, she doesn’t quite know how to react. That is, until she travels to Portofino to see Il Giardino delle Rose for herself. Then she knows exactly what she has to do: live there! Enchanted by the beauty of the house and gardens, fascinated by the history, and more than a little intrigued by handsome hired landscape gardener Gideon West, Megan can immediately see the villa’s potential as a dream home. But having long-lost relatives sometimes means long-lost secrets – and it seems that Olwen had plenty of those. Could these secrets and a jealous obsession be powerful enough to drive Megan out of the house that she’s already fallen in love with?

PURCHASE LINKS

 Kindle https://www.amazon.co.uk/Villa-Portofino-Evonne-Wareham-ebook/dp/B09CDPWB98/r?tag=smarturl-gb-21 

Apple https://books.apple.com/gb/book/a-villa-in-portofino/id1580723491?id=1580723491&ign-itsct=books_box_link&ign-itscg=30200 

Barnes and Noble/Nook https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-villa-in-portofino-evonne-wareham/1139997714?ean=2940162375562 

Kobo https://www.kobo.com/gb/en/ebook/a-villa-in-portofino

Google playbooks https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Evonne_Wareham_A_Villa_in_Portofino?id=JylAEAAAQBAJ&gl=GB 

Goodreads Reviews https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/58773338-a-villa-in-portofino?from_search=true&from_srp=true&qid=1t6hnjlD7p&rank=6

#BlogTour THE SEAMSTRESS OF WARSAW by REBECCA MASCULL #BookReview #TheSeamstressOfWarsaw #SpellBoundBooks #ZooloosBookTours @zooloo2008 @rebeccamascull @SpellBoundBks



Super excited to be with you today as part of the Blog Tour for the fabulous THE SEAMSTRESS OF WARSAW by the wonderful REBECCA MASCULL.
My thanks to the author, publisher and Zoe of Zooloo’s Book Tours for putting the tour together and letting me be part of it all!

ABOUT THE BOOK

1940

London

A man learns a shocking truth about his past.

Warsaw

A mother writes a diary as the ghetto walls go up.

From the bombed streets of London, to occupied Warsaw, to the Polish forests bristling with partisans, will their paths cross?

Will their pasts be reconciled?

And will they survive the deadly assaults on their freedom and their lives?

THE SEAMSTRESS OF WARSAW is a tale of endurance and loss, family and blood, stories and histories, that questions the nature of who we are and where we are going, when the road ahead is burning.

PUBLISHED BY SPELLBOUND BOOKS

PURCHASE LINKS

 Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B099KWCPFS

 Amazon US – https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B099KWCPFS

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Rebecca Mascull is an author of historical novels. She also writes saga fiction under the pen-name of Mollie Walton. Rebecca’s latest book under the Mascull name is coming on September 18th 2021, THE SEAMSTRESS OF WARSAW, the powerful tale of two people unknowingly connected to each other, caught up in the whirlwind of World War II, whose perilous journeys we follow from the Blitz to the Warsaw Ghetto and beyond, published by SpellBound. Mollie Walton’s The Ironbridge Saga series is set in the dangerous world of the iron industry: THE DAUGHTERS OF IRONBRIDGE (2019). The second book in the trilogy is THE SECRETS OF IRONBRIDGE (2020), set in the brickyards of the 1850s. The third book is set in the coalmines and servants’ quarters of the 1870s: THE ORPHAN OF IRONBRIDGE (2021). All three are published by Bonnier Zaffre. Mollie’s next trilogy will be set in WW2 North Yorkshire and the first book of this saga will be out in March 2022, published by Welbeck. Her first novel as Rebecca Mascull, THE VISITORS (2014) tells the story of Adeliza Golding, a deaf-blind child living on her father’s hop farm in Victorian Kent. Her second novel SONG OF THE SEA MAID (2015) is set in the C18th and concerns an orphan girl who becomes a scientist and makes a remarkable discovery. Her third novel, THE WILD AIR (2017) is about a shy Edwardian girl who learns to fly and becomes a celebrated aviatrix but the shadow of war is looming. All are published by Hodder & Stoughton.

She also completed the finishing chapters of her friend and fellow novelist Vanessa Lafaye’s final work, a novella called MISS MARLEY, a prequel to Dickens’s A CHRISTMAS CAROL. This novella is published by HarperCollins.

Rebecca has worked in education, has a Masters in Writing and lives by the sea in the east of England. She is also a Fellow of the Royal Literary Fund, based at the University of Lincoln.

Follow her at: 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RebeccaMascull/ 

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/beccamascull/

 Twitter: https://twitter.com/rebeccamascull

MY REVIEW

This is a wonderfully written story, that triggers all your emotions as it focuses on characters who are dealing with the toughest dilemmas and conditions during the War and brings to the fore the strength of the human spirit. Even when life is so desperate and hopeless, there is something within us that keeps us fighting and pushing for answers.


On one side of the story we hear from Daniel, a young man in 1940 London who is desperate to go to Poland to find out the truth about his past and discover who he really is.  And on the other, we hear from a woman who is Jewish, living in  Poland and the utterly horrific conditions that the Jewish people were left to face when the Germans came to Warsaw.   Reading about the treatment they faced left me with horror as they were all humiliated and degraded on a daily basis, but they found a way to stick together and get through – dreaming of a better life.


As Daniel finds out more about his Polish family, he travels to become a spy in the hope he can get the answers he so desperately craves and you can only begin to imagine what is going through his head as to whether he’ll find out what he wants to know.


The story of Helena for me had the most impact.  It was harrowing but full of hope and a tale of real bravery.  The struggle to live day to day, not knowing what was in store for them all next was heroic and her dressmaking skills were what kept her going, and kept her sane.  You are just aching for a happy ending to the story for all their sake
This was an epic and emotional story that lays bare the reality of life during the war for those being persecuted.  The fear they faced on a daily basis alongside the determination to get through it for their own and their family’s sake.  An exquisitely told historical story that will stay with me for a long time to come.


★★★★★

#BookReview YUANYUAN’S BUBBLES by CIXIN LIU – Graphic Novel #4



ABOUT THE BOOK


The fourth in a new series of graphic novels from Hugo Award-winning author Liu Cixin and Talos Press

Ever since she was a child, Yuanyuan always dreamed of blowing big bubbles. But her father worries about her fascination—he wants Yuanyuan to be as responsible and devoted to a calling as her mother was. As an adult, Yuanyuan creates a multimillion-dollar business out of the technology she developed for her doctoral thesis. But she still dreams of blowing the biggest bubble she can. When his daughter uses her high-tech methods to blow a bubble big enough to envelop a city, Yuanyuan’s father thinks back to the dreams he and Yuanyuan’s mother chased when they were young. In the end, Yuanyuan’s bubbles bring her father’s dreams to life.

The fourth of sixteen new graphic novels from Liu Cixin and Talos Press, Sea of Dreams is an epic tale of the future that all science fiction fans will enjoy.


PUBLISHED BY HEAD OF ZEUS

PURCHASE LINK


Blackwell’s

MY REVIEW

This is a beautifully illustrated book, that tells the story of Yuanyuan and her obsession with bubbles! She dreams of blowing the biggest bubble, but her father is always there in the background to puncture her dreams. A classic tale of a realist vs a dreamer.

Their city is dying, times are tough but there’s something about Yuanyuan that keeps her dreaming and, like her mother, she won’t let up on her dreams of finding a way to use her bubbles to save the world. Her mother died following her dreams so you can understand her father and his attitude towards her vision and her pipe dreams.

The illustrations are stunning! They are a beautiful earthy tone throughout that really connects with the story and really amplify the message of hope v despair. It’s a beautifully simple story that I adored and I look forward to reading more from this series as the pictures really do help add depth to the story.

★★★★★

My thanks to the team of Head of Zeus for the advanced reader copy in return for a fair and honest review.