#BlogTour #Excerpt Under a Veiled Moon by Karen Odden @Karen_Odden @CrookedLaneBks @Austenprose #UnderaVeiledMoon #InspectorCorravanMystery #KarenOdden #HistoricalMystery #VictorianMystery #DetectiveMystery #NewBooks #Booktwitter #BookTour #AustenprosePR

#BlogTour #Excerpt Under a Veiled Moon by Karen Odden @Karen_Odden @CrookedLaneBks @Austenprose #UnderaVeiledMoon #InspectorCorravanMystery #KarenOdden #HistoricalMystery #VictorianMystery #DetectiveMystery #NewBooks #Booktwitter #BookTour #AustenprosePR Title: Under a Veiled Moon

Author: Karen Odden

Series: An Inspector Corravan Mystery #2

Published by: Crooked Lane Books on Oct. 11, 2022

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 336

In the tradition of C. S. Harris and Anne Perry, a fatal disaster on the Thames and a roiling political conflict set the stage for Karen Odden’s second Inspector Corravan historical mystery.

September 1878. One night, as the pleasure boat the Princess Alice makes her daily trip up the Thames, she collides with the Bywell Castle, a huge iron-hulled collier. The Princess Alice shears apart, throwing all 600 passengers into the river; only 130 survive. It is the worst maritime disaster London has ever seen, and early clues point to sabotage by the Irish Republican Brotherhood, who believe violence is the path to restoring Irish Home Rule. 
 
For Scotland Yard Inspector Michael Corravan, born in Ireland and adopted by the Irish Doyle family, the case presents a challenge. Accused by the Home Office of willfully disregarding the obvious conclusion and berated by his Irish friends for bowing to prejudice, Corravan doggedly pursues the truth, knowing that if the Princess Alice disaster is pinned on the IRB, hopes for Home Rule could be dashed forever.

Corrovan’s dilemma is compounded by Colin, the youngest Doyle, who has joined James McCabe’s Irish gang. As violence in Whitechapel rises, Corravan strikes a deal with McCabe to get Colin out of harm’s way. But unbeknownst to Corravan, Colin bears longstanding resentments against his adopted brother and scorns his help.
 
As the newspapers link the IRB to further accidents, London threatens to devolve into terror and chaos. With the help of his young colleague, the loyal Mr. Stiles, and his friend Belinda Gale, Corravan uncovers the harrowing truth—one that will shake his faith in his countrymen, the law, and himself.


Excerpt:

I knocked twice and inserted my key in the lock.          

Even as I did so, I heard the twins, Colin and Elsie, their voices raised as they talked over each other—Elsie with a sharp edge of frustration, Colin growling in reply. Odd, I thought as I pushed open the door. Since they were children, they’d baited each other and teased, but I’d never known them to quarrel.

Colin sat in a kitchen chair tilted backward, the heel of one heavy boot hooked over the rung. He glared up at Elsie, who stood across the table, her hand clutching a faded towel at her hip, her chin set in a way I recognized.

“Hullo,” I said. “What’s the matter?”

Both heads swiveled to me, and in unison, they muttered, “Nothing.”

They could have still been five, caught spooning the jam out of the jar Ma hid behind the flour tin. Except that under the stubble of his whiskers, there was a puffiness along Colin’s cheek that appeared to be the remnants of a bruise.

Colin thunked the front legs of the chair onto the floor and pushed away from the table. “I got somethin’ to do.” He took his coat off the rack—not his old faded one, I noticed, but a new one—and stalked out the door, pulling it closed behind him.

I raised my eyebrows and turned to Elsie. She grimaced. “He’s just bein’ an eejit, like most men.” Her voice lacked its usual good humor; she was genuinely angry.

Jaysus, I thought. What’s happened?
But I’d give Elsie a moment. “Where’s Ma?”

“Went down to the shop for some tea.” She stepped to the sideboard and moved the kettle to the top of the stove. The handle caught her sleeve, pulling it back far enough that I caught sight of a white bandage.

“Did you hurt your wrist?”

She tugged the sleeve down. “Ach, I just fell on the stairs. Clumsy of me.”

The broken window and Colin’s abrupt departure had been enough to alert me to something amiss. Even without those signs, though, I wouldn’t have believed her. I knew the shape a lie took in her voice.

“No, you didn’t,” I said.

Her back was to me, and she spoke over her shoulder. “It’s nothing, Mickey.”

I approached and took her left elbow gently in mine to turn her. “Let me see.”

Reluctantly, she let me unwrap the flannel. Diagonal across her wrist was a bruise such as a truncheon or a pipe might leave, purple and yellowing at the edges.

I looked up. “Who did this?” My voice was hoarse.

Her eyes, blue as mine, stared back. “Mickey, don’t look like that. It was dark, and I doubt he did it on purpose.”

“Jaysus, Elsie.” I let go of her, so she could rewrap it. “Who?”

“I don’t know! I was walking home from Mary’s house on Wednesday night, and before I knew it, twenty lads were around me, fightin’ and brawlin’, and I jumped out of the way, but one of them hit my wrist, and I fell.”

“What were you doing walking alone after dark? Where was Colin?”

She gave a disparaging “pfft.” “As if I’d know. Some nights he doesn’t come home until late. Or not at all.”

Harry’s words came back to me: “Out . . . as usual.”

I cast my mind back to my own recent visits. Colin had often been absent, partly because he’d been working on the construction of the new embankment, but that had ended in July. So where was he spending his time now? And where had he earned the money for his new coat?

We both heard Ma’s footsteps on the inside stairs.

“Don’t tell Ma,” Elsie said hurriedly, her voice low. The bandage was completely hidden by her sleeve. “She has enough to worry about. Swear, Mickey.”

Even as I promised, I wondered what else was worrying Ma. But as the door at the top of the inner stairs opened, I had my smile ready.

Ma emerged, carrying a packet of tea from the shop. “Ah, Mickey! I’m glad ye came.” Her face shone with genuine warmth, and she smoothed her coppery hair back from her temple. Her eyes flicked around the room, landing on Elsie. “Colin left?” The brightness in her expression dimmed.

“Just now,” Elsie replied. Their gazes held, and with the unfailing instinct that develops in anyone who grew up trying to perceive trouble before it struck, I sensed meaning in that silent exchange. But before I could decipher it, Elsie shrugged, and Ma turned to me, her hazel eyes appraising.

“You look less wraithy than usual.” She reached up to pat my cheek approvingly. “Elsie, fetch the preserves. I’ll put the water on.”

“I’ll do it, Ma.” I went to the stove, tonged in a few lumps of coal from the scuttle and shut the metal door with a clang. As Elsie sliced the bread, I filled the kettle and Ma took down three cups and saucers from the shelf.

The tension I sensed amid my family derived from something drifting in the deep current, not bobbing along the surface, driven by a single day’s wind and sun. Something had changed.

Chapter 2, pp. 8-10

From Under a Veiled Moon © 2022, Karen Odden, published by Crooked Lane Books

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

            

 

 

 

Thank you to Austenprose PR for inviting me to be part of this blog tour!

 

About Karen Odden

Karen Odden earned her Ph.D. in English from New York University and subsequently taught literature at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She has contributed essays to numerous books and journals, written introductions for Victorian novels in the Barnes & Noble classics series and edited for the journal Victorian Literature and Culture (Cambridge UP). Her previous novels, also set in 1870s London, have won awards for historical fiction and mystery. A member of Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime and the recipient of a grant from the Arizona Commission on the Arts, Karen lives in Arizona with her family and her rescue beagle Rosy.

 

#BookReview Not Without My Sister by Marion Kummerow @ReadForeverPub #ReadForever #ReadForever2022 #MarionKummerow #NotWithoutMySister

#BookReview Not Without My Sister by Marion Kummerow @ReadForeverPub #ReadForever #ReadForever2022 #MarionKummerow #NotWithoutMySister Title: Not Without My Sister

Author: Marion Kummerow

Published by: Forever on Dec. 27, 2022

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 272

Format: Paperback

Source: Forever

Book Rating: 9/10

In 1944, Germany, two sisters seek to overcome impossible odds in this unforgettable WWII novel about sisterhood, courage and survival.

All they had left was each other. Until the Nazis tore them apart.

After years of hiding from the Nazis, Rachel Epstein and her little sister Mindel are captured by the Gestapo and sent to the concentration camp at Bergen-Belsen. The only ray of light for either girl is that they are together.

But on arrival they are separated. As she’s seventeen and deemed an adult, Rachel is sent to work in a brutal factory while four‑year‑old Mindel is sent into the so‑called “star” camp for Jewish prisoners. Rachel knows her sister will have no chance of survival all on her own.
 
Working in the windowless, airless factory—filling munitions casings with chemicals that burn her fingers and make her eyes sting—the only thing that keeps Rachel going is the thought of her little sister. Because if there’s even a chance Mindel is alive, Rachel knows she must try to save her.

But, separated by barbed wire, and treated brutally by SS guards who do not even see them as human beings, can either of the orphaned sisters dare to hope that they’ll ever find their way back to each other? And to freedom?


Review:

Pensive, heart-wrenching, and evocative!

Not Without My Sister is a beautifully written, moving tale set during WWII that takes you into the lives of the Epstein sisters, two young Jewish girls from Bavaria who, due to a long-held promise and exceptional perseverance, manage to survive hell on earth, Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, and remarkably find each other and reunite upon liberation.

The prose is haunting and gritty. The characters are vulnerable, strong, and brave. And the plot is a poignant tale of life, loss, love, family, survival, sacrifice, courage, selflessness, the unimaginable horrors of war, and the special bond between sisters.

Overall, Not Without My Sister is a thought-provoking, immersive, touching tale by Kummerow that does a remarkable job of reminding us of the incredible ability of humanity to love and still be kind, compassionate, and resilient even in the face of unimaginable evil.

 

This novel is available December 27, 2022.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

            

 

 

Thank you to Forever and Grand Central Publishing for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Marion Kummerow

Marion Kummerow is a USA Today Bestselling author of historical fiction. Her books are filled with raw emotions, fierce loyalty and perpetual resilience. She loves to put her characters through the mangle, making them reach deep within to find the strength to face moral dilemma, make difficult decisions or fight for what is right. And she never forgets to include humor and undying love in her books, because ultimately love is what makes the world go round. Marion was born and raised in Germany, before she set out to "discover the world" and lived in various countries. In 1999 she returned to Germany and settled down in Munich where she's now living with her family.

#BookReview London, With Love by Sarra Manning @sarramanning @Mobius_Books @HodderBooks #LondonWithLove #SarraManning #MobiusBooksUS

#BookReview London, With Love by Sarra Manning @sarramanning @Mobius_Books @HodderBooks #LondonWithLove #SarraManning #MobiusBooksUS Title: London, With Love

Author: Sarra Manning

Published by: Mobius on Nov. 15, 2022

Genres: Contemporary Romance

Pages: 432

Format: Hardcover

Source: Mobius Books US

Book Rating: 8.5/10

London. Nine million people. Two hundred and seventy tube stations. Every day, thousands of chance encounters, first dates, goodbyes and happy ever afters.

And for twenty years it’s been where one man and one woman can never get their timing right.

Jennifer and Nick meet as teenagers and over the next two decades, they fall in and out of love with each other. Sometimes they start kissing. Sometimes they’re just friends. Sometimes they stop speaking, but they always find their way back to each other.

But after all this time, are they destined to be together or have they finally reached the end of the line?


Review:

Romantic, thought-provoking, and heart-achingly beautiful!

London, With Love is a vivid, moving tale that takes us into the life of Jennifer, from her awkward teen years to her highly successful career in publishing as a mature woman, including the highs and lows of finding work, solid relationships that appear perfect but always seem to come to an end, a front row seat to some devastating tragedies, and her ongoing unrequited love for a boy, Nick Levene who somehow seems to continuously fall in and out of her life.

The writing is warm and sweet. The characters are multilayered, authentic, and flawed. And the plot is a charming rollercoaster ride of hope, heart, heartache, and humour.

Overall, London, With Love is a compelling, heartbreaking, pensive novel by Manning that is not only a love letter to the City of London but a delightfully absorbing tale that reminds us that life is complicated and messy, timing is everything, and sometimes, perhaps, things are just truly destined to happen.

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                

 

 

Thank you to Mobius Books US for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Sarra Manning

Sarra Manning has been a voracious reader for over forty years and a prolific author and journalist for twenty-five. Her seven novels, which have been translated into fifteen different languages include Unsticky, You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me, The House of Secrets and her latest, Rescue Me, published in 2021. Sarra has also written over fifteen YA novels, and light-hearted romantic comedies under a pseudonym. She started her writing career on Melody Maker and Just Seventeen, has been editor of ElleGirl and What to Wear and has also contributed to the Guardian, ELLE, Grazia, Stylist, Fabulous, Stella, You Magazine, Harper’s Bazaar. She is currently the Literary Editor of Red. Sarra has also been a Costa Book Awards judge and has been nominated for various writing awards herself. She lives in London surrounded by piles and piles of books.

#BlogTour #Excerpt Death on a Winter Stroll by Francine Mathews @SBarronAuthor @Soho_Press @Austenprose #DeathonaWinterStroll #MerryFolgerMystery #FrancineMathews #NantucketMystery #ChristmasMystery DetectiveMystery #NewBooks #Booktwitter #BookTour #AustenprosePR

#BlogTour #Excerpt Death on a Winter Stroll by Francine Mathews @SBarronAuthor @Soho_Press @Austenprose #DeathonaWinterStroll #MerryFolgerMystery #FrancineMathews #NantucketMystery #ChristmasMystery DetectiveMystery #NewBooks #Booktwitter #BookTour #AustenprosePR Title: Death on a Winter Stroll

Author: Francine Mathews

Series: A Merry Folger Nantucket Mystery #7

Published by: Soho Crime on Nov. 1, 2022

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 288

No-nonsense Nantucket detective Merry Folger grapples with the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic and two murders as the island is overtaken by Hollywood stars and DC suits.

Nantucket Police Chief Meredith Folger is acutely conscious of the stress COVID-19 has placed on the community she loves. Although the island has proved a refuge for many during the pandemic, the cost to Nantucket has been high. Merry hopes that the Christmas Stroll, one of Nantucket’s favorite traditions, in which Main Street is transformed into a winter wonderland, will lift the island’s spirits. But the arrival of a large-scale TV production, and the Secretary of State and her family, complicates matters significantly.
 
The TV shoot is plagued with problems from within, as a shady, power-hungry producer clashes with strong-willed actors. Across Nantucket, the Secretary’s troubled stepson keeps shaking off his security detail to visit a dilapidated house near conservation land, where an intriguing recluse guards secrets of her own. With all parties overly conscious of spending too much time in the public eye and secrets swirling around both camps, it is difficult to parse what behavior is suspicious or not—until the bodies turn up.
 
Now, it’s up to Merry and Detective Howie Seitz to find a connection between two seemingly unconnected murders and catch the killer. But when everyone has a motive, and half of the suspects are politicians and actors, how can Merry and Howie tell fact from fiction?
 
This latest installment in critically acclaimed author Francine Mathews’ Merry Folger series is an immersive escape to festive Nantucket, a poignant exploration of grief as a result of parental absence, and a delicious new mystery to keep you guessing.

Excerpt:

She’d risen before dawn and driven out to Great Point, stopping near the Wauwinet hotel (which was closed in winter) to deflate the ancient green van’s tires. The gatehouse to the Coskata-Coatue Wildlife Refuge was deserted; and her spirits rose in the hope that she would find herself completely alone.

She drove over the sand at a snail’s pace for nearly forty minutes, sipping black coffee from an insulated bottle, windows cracked to welcome the crash of the Atlantic waves. At 6:49 a.m. by her watch, the sun rose out of the sea like a burning goddess, and it almost seemed possible that she was the only person on earth alive to witness it.

Great Point is Nantucket’s outflung upper arm, a narrow pen- insula of sand that trails northward for miles. At its tip, the calmer seas of the Sound run headlong into the open water of the Atlantic Ocean, creating dangerous shoals and rip tides and cross currents. Bluefish and bonito, false albacore and striped bass lurk in the rills where the two waters meet, and the fish draw birds

Which, in turn, drew the green van filled with photographer’s equipment, lurching along a beach still wet and compacted from yesterday’s rain.

She parked not far from the lonely white tower of Great Point’s lighthouse and carried her tripod to the lee of its empty keeper’s quarters. It was odd, she thought, that the presence of the buildings did nothing to humanize the spot. If anything, their desertion intensified the solitude. She was surrounded on three sides by ocean and buffeted by wind. Later in the day, gray seals would haul out of the Atlantic to sun them- selves. In this first hour of daylight, little stirred except the fitful branches of beach plum and bayberry. But the air was filled with wings.

She sighted sanderlings, running back and forth in the wash, as she set up her equipment, and a few dunlins as well—common to the Arctic Circle in summer months but hugging a different latitude now that it was December. Gulls of all kinds stalked the waterline, crying harshly. She did not waste her film on them. She waited, her coffee thermos drained and the cold beginning to seep into her toes, for the northern gannets.

She had come out this morning hoping for the heavy white predators of winter seas, with their bright blue eyes and black flight feathers. Gannets had dagger-sharp bills and dove straight from the air into the waves with a terrific splash, stabbing their prey at depths of up to seventy feet. Remarkably, they used their six-foot wingspan to swim underwater. Gannets were the Olympians of the Atlantic, and the ways they manipulated wind and sea fascinated her.

She had brought two camera bodies, both Nikon F2 35mm, that she’d bought as a baby in the 1980s. They were loaded with two different speeds and types of film—the first, with Fujichrome Provia 100f slide film that offered the speed and saturated color she sought for both birds and landscape; the second, with Ilford HP5, a 400 speed ISO black and white film that was brilliant for capturing movement without blur. She also had four different lenses with her, interchangeable on both bodies: the standard 50mm, useful for close-up and still shots; a 24mm wide-angle lens she rarely needed but packed as part of her kit; a 105mm and a 180mm for zeroing in on objects far away.

She had attached an MD-4 motor drive to one camera body to advance her film swiftly as she pointed and shot, and she had brought along a handheld light meter to supplement the one in the camera viewfinder. It was light that influenced how widely she set the f-stops on her various lenses; the viewfinder’s, which operated with a 3V lithium battery, showed only light reflected from the subject, not the depth of her field. For that, she needed the handheld one.

Yes, her work verged on art; but it began with science.

She tested the light now as she moved around the sand, focusing out on the roiling waters of Great Point Rip. It was stronger at twenty past seven, with the persistent heaviness of early December. Moving to the tripod, she attached a cam- era body and 105 mm lens for closer focus and snapped a roll’s worth of snow buntings, quietly enjoying the plump little birds’ alert briskness in the higher dunes. Then she reached for her second camera and attached the 180mm lens, scanning the horizon. Set her f-stop to 5.6, the aperture quite open to capture swift birds in flight. The gannets were out there; she had only to wait.

They appeared at 8:37, a great cloud winging in from the east with the sunlight gilding their feathers. The air was filled with high-pitched cries as they circled a hundred yards above Great Point Rip, a, searching the seas all around her for schools of fish. She pivoted to follow the birds’ flight with her camera’s eye, resetting her f-stops and snapping the powerful wing thrusts, until the first gannet glimpsed prey and, folding its wings back along its body, torpedoed into the water.

It was like watching a fighter jet plummet in a death spiral. The gannets’ speed was suicidally fast. They knifed into the waves at sixty miles an hour, as though punching through concrete. The fish they devoured underwater, at point of impact, then bobbed up to the surface to cry out their satisfaction. She knew enough about them to realize that one or two might not survive the morning’s feeding—the slightest miscalculation of angle as head hit sea, and the bird’s neck would snap.

The cacophony was immense. When she paused to reload her film her hands were shaking with the excitement and pleasure she witnessed. She forgot the cold entirely. Her heart raced and she could not stop smiling.

She had no idea how long they remained, only that after a time the wild calls faded again into the distance, the gleaming white and black bodies were pinpoints on the horizon, and once again, she was alone with the rearing stone tower and its emptiness. Exhausted.

Chapter 8, pg. 51-54

From Death on a Winter Stroll © 2022, Francine Mathews, published by Soho Crime

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

            

 

 

 

Thank you to Austenprose PR for inviting me to be part of this blog tour!

 

About Francine Mathews

Francine Mathews was born in Binghamton, New York, the last of six girls. She attended Princeton and Stanford Universities, where she studied history, before going on to work as an intelligence analyst at the CIA. She wrote her first book in 1992 and left the Agency a year later. Since then, she has written thirty books, including six previous novels in the Merry Folger series (Death in the Off-Season, Death in Rough Water, Death in a Mood Indigo, Death in a Cold Hard Light, Death on Nantucket, and Death on Tuckernuck) as well as the nationally bestselling Being a Jane Austen mystery series, which she writes under the pen name Stephanie Barron. She lives and works in Denver, Colorado.

 

#BookReview How to Win a Wallflower by Samara Parish @SamaraParish @readforeverpub @grandcentralpub #ReadForever #ReadForeverPub #ReadForever2022 #HowtoWinaWallflower #SamaraParish #RebelswithaCauseSeries

#BookReview How to Win a Wallflower by Samara Parish @SamaraParish @readforeverpub @grandcentralpub #ReadForever #ReadForeverPub #ReadForever2022 #HowtoWinaWallflower #SamaraParish #RebelswithaCauseSeries Title: How to Win a Wallflower

Author: Samara Parish

Series: Rebels with a Cause #3

Published by: Forever on Dec. 13, 2022

Genres: Historical Romance

Pages: 384

Format: Paperback

Source: Forever

Book Rating: 10/10

A wallflower will put everything on the line . . .

When John Barnesworth inherits unexpectedly, he abandons his solitude and returns to London to settle his brother’s affairs, only to discover his estates are crumbling and he is now betrothed to his brother’s unpleasant fiancée. Her dowry might save him from ruin, but at what cost? His only hope lies with the vivacious, charming Lady Charlotte Stirling, whose audacious solution to John’s troubles might actually work. If only he can keep his feelings for her out of the equation . . .

Lady Charlotte Stirling knows she can’t fall for John. He’s her brother’s best friend, he’s engaged to her mortal enemy, and he wants to return to America. Not to mention he’d never survive in her bustling social life. She can, however, try to solve his money problem. But the closer she gets to ensuring his freedom, the harder it is to let him go . . .


Review:

Seductive, scandalous, and entertaining!

How to Win a Wallflower is a playful, heartwarming tale that sweeps you away to London during 1825 and into the life of the shy, handsome, newly appointed Viscount Harrow, John Barnesworth who, after living a quiet life surrounded by his inventions in Boston, returns home to find his family’s estates in shatters and relying on the help of his best friend’s little sister, the beautiful Lady Charlotte Stirling who may have been secretly pining for him for years.

The prose is amusing and light. The characters are loyal, supportive, and endearing. And the plot is a delightfully enchanting tale full of friendship, family, societal expectations, scheming behaviour, tricky situations, desire, danger, and steamy romance.

Overall, How to Win a Wallflower is an addictive, charming, enticing tale by Parish that I absolutely devoured and which is another fantastic addition to what is hands down one of my all-time favourite historical romance series.

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from the following link.

              

 

 

Thank you to Forever & Grand Central Publishing for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Samara Parish

Samara Parish has been escaping into fictional worlds since she was a child. When she picked up her first historical romance book, she found a fantasy universe she never wanted to leave and the inspiration to write her own stories. She lives in Australia with her own hero and their many fur-babies in a house with an obscenely large garden, despite historically being unable to keep a cactus alive. How to Survive a Scandal is her debut novel.

Photo by Amanda Hardwick.

#BookReview How to Find Your Way Home by Katy Regan @PGCBooks @MantleBooks #HowtoFindYourWayHome #KatyRegan #PGCBooks

#BookReview How to Find Your Way Home by Katy Regan @PGCBooks @MantleBooks #HowtoFindYourWayHome #KatyRegan #PGCBooks Title: How to Find Your Way Home

Author: Katy Regan

Published by: Mantle Books on Feb. 15, 2022

Genres: General Fiction

Pages: 336

Format: Hardcover

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 8/10

What if the person you thought you’d lost forever walked back into your life?

A warm, life-affirming novel about what happens when a sister discovers that the brother she hasn’t seen in more than a decade is homeless, and in reconnecting with him learns the true meaning of belonging, from the author of Little Big Love.

When they were children, Emily and her brother Stephen were inseparable. Running wild through the marshes of Canvey Island, it was Stephen who taught her to look for the incandescent flash of a bird’s wings, who instilled within her a love and respect for nature’s wonders. But one June day, their lives came crashing down around them and fate forced them apart.

Fifteen years later, Emily should be happy. She has a sun-filled garden flat, a lovely boyfriend, and a job that is supposed to let her make a difference. But instead she’s lost, always on the lookout for her brother’s face, and worn down, spending her days working at the local housing offices having to turn away more applicants than she can help.

And then one day, her brother walks through the door.

Stephen has been living in and out of shelters for the last decade and the baggage between them is heavy. But Emily is overjoyed to see her brother again and invites him to come live with her. In an attempt to rebuild their relationship, they embark on a birding adventure together. Amid the soft calls of the marsh birds, they must confront the secrets of all that stands between them–even as they begin to realize that home may just be found within.


Review:

Tense, heart-wrenching, and tragic!

How to Find Your Way Home is a thought-provoking, emotional story that sweeps you away to London and into the life of Emily Nelson, a thirty-one-year-old woman with her own flat, a successful boyfriend, and a secure job at the council offices who, after finally crossing paths with her beloved brother who she hasn’t seen for almost twenty years after he was sent to prison and spent the subsequent years after his release living on the streets, finds her life irrevocably turned upside down when she must confront the tragedy, secrets, deception, and lies of the past and forge new relationships based on honesty, patience, understanding, and a mutual love of birds.

The writing is raw and expressive. The characters are vulnerable, scarred, and troubled. And the plot is a poignant tale of life, loss, secrets, resilience, childhood trauma, shocking revelations, familial drama, self-reflection, poverty, and homelessness.

Overall, How to Find Your Way Home is a beautiful tale by Regan full of heart, hope, and healing that is definitely the perfect choice for anyone who loves a well-written, meaty family saga.

 

This book is available on now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

            

 

 

Thank you to PGC Books for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Katy Regan

Katy Regan was born and raised in the northern seaside town of Morecambe, England. She went on to study English and French at Leeds University where she became the features editor of the student newspaper before moving to London. She wrote for various magazines and newspapers before becoming Commissioning Editor at Marie Claire magazine. Katy's previous novels include One Thing Led to Another, The One Before the One, How We Met, and The Story of You. Little Big Man is her first for Mantle. Katy, who has one son, now lives in Hertfordshire.

#BookReview Something Blue by Heather McGovern @ReadForeverPub @GrandCentralPub #ReadForever #ReadForeverPub #ReadForever2022 #HeatherMcGovern #SomethingBlue #OrchardInn

#BookReview Something Blue by Heather McGovern @ReadForeverPub @GrandCentralPub #ReadForever #ReadForeverPub #ReadForever2022 #HeatherMcGovern #SomethingBlue #OrchardInn Title: Something Blue

Author: Heather McGovern

Series: Orchard Inn #1

Published by: Forever on Jun. 28, 2022

Genres: Contemporary Romance

Pages: 368

Format: Paperback

Source: Forever

Book Rating: 8/10

This wedding needs to be the event of the season. Unfortunately, the best man is doing everything he can to derail it . . .

Wedding planner Beth Shipley has seen it all: bridezillas, monster-in-laws, and last-minute jitters at the altar. But this wedding is different—and the stakes are much, much higher. Not only is her best friend the bride, but bookings at her family’s inn have been in free fall ever since an unfortunate food-poisoning incident. Beth’s got one chance to save her family’s business, and she knows she can do it. As long as she doesn’t let Sawyer Silva’s good looks and overprotective, overbearing older brother act distract her.

Sawyer learned firsthand that forever doesn’t last. So when his brother decides to race down the aisle with a woman he barely knows, Sawyer is determined to keep him from making the biggest mistake of his life. Yet the more time Sawyer spends around the passionate and hardworking Beth, the more trouble he has disentangling his feelings—about the wedding and the wedding planner. When Beth discovers Sawyer’s plans, can he convince her that his only real objection is to a future that doesn’t include her?


Review:

Amusing, sweet, and uplifting!

Something Blue is a charming, tenderhearted tale that transports you to the Texas Hill Country and into the life of the loyal, overworked Beth as she struggles to save her family’s inn, plan the perfect wedding for her best friend, and do whatever it takes to stop the groom’s older brother Garrett from ruining the upcoming nuptials with doubts, suspicions, and excessive pessimism.

The prose is smooth and light. The characters are fun-loving, hesitant, and protective. And the plot is a delightful blend of heart, humour, misunderstandings, family, friendship, tension, chemistry, awkward situations, taking chances, and finding the one.

Overall, Something Blue is an engaging, witty, cosy tale by McGovern that has just the right amount of emotion, passion, and drama to make this story a quick, easy, enjoyable read. 

 

This book is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

           

 

 

Thank you to Forever & Grand Central Publishing for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Heather McGovern

Heather McGovern writes contemporary romance in swoony settings. While her love of travel and adventure takes her far, there is no place like home. She lives in South Carolina with her husband and son, and one Maltipoo to rule them all. When she isn't writing, she enjoys hiking, scuba diving, going to Disney World, reading, and streaming her latest favorite on television.

#BookReview So Long, Chester Wheeler by Catherine Ryan Hyde @ThomasAllenLTD @AmazonPub #SoLongChesterWheeler #CatherineRyanHyde #LakeUnion

#BookReview So Long, Chester Wheeler by Catherine Ryan Hyde @ThomasAllenLTD @AmazonPub #SoLongChesterWheeler #CatherineRyanHyde #LakeUnion Title: So Long, Chester Wheeler

Author: Catherine Ryan Hyde

Published by: Lake Union Publishing on Dec. 6, 2022

Genres: General Fiction, LGBTQIA

Pages: 304

Format: Paperback

Source: Thomas Allen & Son

Book Rating: 10/10

Unlikely road trip companions form an unexpected bond in an uplifting novel about the past—lost and found—by the New York Times and #1 Amazon Charts bestselling author.

Lewis Madigan is young, gay, out of work, and getting antsy when he’s roped into providing end-of-life care for his insufferable homophobic neighbor, Chester Wheeler. Lewis doesn’t need the aggravation, just the money. The only requirements: run errands, be on call, and put up with a miserable old churl no one else in Buffalo can bear. After exchanging barbs, bickering, baiting, and pushing buttons, Chester hits Lewis with the big ask.

Lewis can’t say no to a dying wish: drive Chester to Arizona in his rust bucket of a Winnebago to see his ex-wife for the first time in thirty-two years—for the last time. One week, two thousand miles. To Lewis, it becomes an illuminating journey into the life and secrets of a vulnerable man he’s finally beginning to understand. A neighbor, a stranger, and a surprising new friend whose closure on a conflicted past is also just beginning.

So Long, Chester Wheeler is an uplifting novel about looking deeper into the heart and soul to form bonds with the last people we’d expect—only to discover that they’re the ones who need it most.


Review:

Heartwarming, memorable, and affecting!

So Long, Chester Wheeler is a timely, sentimental story that sweeps you away into a bittersweet tale where grievances are aired, truths are acknowledged, truces are made, friendships are savoured, tears are shed, memories are created, last requests are honoured, lives are celebrated, and love is forged and shared.

The writing is smooth and heartfelt. The characters are sincere, genuine, and lovable. And the plot is a delightful blend of heart, hope, humour, nostalgia, drama, and emotion.

Overall, So Long, Chester Wheeler is, ultimately, a story about life, love, loss, dreams, heartbreak, friendship, family, and finding happiness, and I absolutely adored it. It made me laugh, it made me cry, and in the end, it left me smiling.

This book is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

           

 

 

Thank you to Thomas Allen & Son for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Catherine Ryan Hyde

I am the author of more than 30 published and forthcoming books, including ALLIE AND BEA, SAY GOODBYE FOR NOW, LEAVING BLYTHE RIVER, ASK HIM WHY, WORTHY, THE LANGUAGE OF HOOFBEATS, TAKE ME WITH YOU, WHERE WE BELONG, WHEN I FOUND YOU, WALK ME HOME, SECOND HAND HEART, DON'T LET ME GO, and WHEN YOU WERE OLDER.

I'm an avid hiker, traveller, equestrian, and amateur photographer, and have released my first book of photos, 365 DAYS OF GRATITUDE: PHOTOS FROM A BEAUTIFUL WORLD.

I am co-author, with fellow author and publishing industry blogger Anne R. Allen, of HOW TO BE A WRITER IN THE E-AGE: A SELF-HELP GUIDE.

My novel PAY IT FORWARD was adapted into a major motion picture, chosen by the American Library Association for its Best Books for Young Adults list, and translated into more than 23 languages for distribution in over 30 countries. The paperback was released in October 2000 by Pocket Books and quickly became a national bestseller. Simon & Schuster released PAY IT FORWARD: YOUNG READERS' EDITION in August of '14. It is suitable for kids as young as eight. A special Fifteenth Anniversary Edition of the original PAY IT FORWARD was released in December of '14

Photograph courtesy of Author's Goodreads Page.

#BookReview The Trenches by Parker Bilal @PGCBooks @canongatebooks #TheTrenches #ParkerBilal #PGCBooks

#BookReview The Trenches by Parker Bilal @PGCBooks @canongatebooks #TheTrenches #ParkerBilal #PGCBooks Title: The Trenches

Author: Parker Bilal

Series: Crane & Drake Mystery #3

Published by: Canongate Books Ltd on Sep. 13, 2022

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 320

Format: Paperback

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 8/10

When a woman rescued by a fishing boat off the coast of Grimsby disappears without trace, it turns out to be only the beginning of a dark investigation. Crane is soon contacted by another woman when she receives a letter out of the blue from her estranged son, not seen since he left to become a fighter for Islamic State. Drake is called in and forced to go back to his old stomping ground to infiltrate the underground network that took Jason abroad.

Meanwhile Drake’s old partner investigates the brutal murder of a journalist that appears to have worrying ties to a previous case. While Crane is in pursuit of the mystery woman, Drake finds himself drawn further into the company of a dangerous group as terror and organised crime intersect.


Review:

Sharp, intricate, and twisty!

In this latest novel in the Crane & Drake Mystery series, The Trenches, Bilal has written a clever, chilling thriller featuring former DS turned PI Calil Drake and his partner, forensic psychologist Dr. Rayhana Crane as they work together on the investigation of a missing man who seems to have vanished without a trace after leaving to fight for the Islamic State, but when it seems that their case might also be tied to a missing woman and infant who were rescued by a fishing boat and a journalist violently murdered while in the home of her MP lover, it becomes quickly apparent that something a lot more sinister is going on and this case may actually be a lot more complicated than anyone ever could have imagined.

The writing is tight and crisp. The characters are astute, diligent, and multi-layered. And the plot is a fast-paced, riveting tale full of twists, turns, action, intrigue, power, corruption, politics, duplicity, terror, manipulation, immorality, violence, murder, and organized crime.

Overall, The Trenches is another complex, diverse, engrossing thrill ride by Bilal that is an eerie reminder of just how cold, calculating and ruthless the criminal underworld truly is.

 

This book is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

              

 

 

Thank you to PGC Books for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Parker Bilal

Parker Bilal is the author of the Makana Investigations series, the third of which, The Ghost Runner, was longlisted for the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award. The Divinities, the first in his Crane & Drake London crime series, was published in 2019. Parker Bilal is the pseudonym of Jamal Mahjoub, the critically acclaimed literary novelist. Born in London, he has lived in a number of places, including the UK, Denmark, Spain and, currently, the Netherlands.

#BookReview Daughters of War by Lizzie Page @ReadForeverPub #ReadForever #ReadForever2022 #LizziePage #DaughtersofWar #TheWarNurses

#BookReview Daughters of War by Lizzie Page @ReadForeverPub #ReadForever #ReadForever2022 #LizziePage #DaughtersofWar #TheWarNurses Title: Daughters of War

Author: Lizzie Page

Series: The War Nurses #2

Published by: Forever on Dec. 7, 2021

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 384

Format: Paperback

Source: Forever

Book Rating: 8.5/10

USA Today bestselling author Lizzie Page delivers a gripping historical drama about a mother fighting for her daughters and her country in the midst of a World War, perfect for fans of Natasha Lester and Shirley Dickson.
 
As a teenager in Chicago, May always dreamed of traveling the world. So when she falls in love with George Turner, she can’t wait to return to London as his wife. Two beautiful daughters follow, but George isn’t the husband he promised to be. Ten years on, May is wondering if she’s made a terrible mistake.
 
The Great War has been declared in Europe, and all around, brave young men are being called up to serve. George, banned from conscription himself, has taken to the bottle, and May suspects he’s seeing other women too. He even sends her beloved daughters away to school. She misses them terribly every day. But then May meets veteran nurse Elsie, who persuades her to join the war effort. May knows nothing of nursing — it will be difficult, dangerous work, but her heart is telling her it’s the right thing to do and the only way to carve out a life for herself and her daughters away from George.
 
But when George does the unthinkable, May’s children are put at risk. Miles away on the front line and unable to reach them, will May be reunited with her little girls before it’s too late?

Review:

Intense, emotional, and immersive!

Daughters of War is a captivating, touching tale set predominantly in German-Occupied France during WWI that takes you into the life of May Turner, a young mother living a lonely existence in a loveless marriage who, after befriending a veteran nurse, decides to volunteer herself and head to France even with the threat that the world she knows and loves may be gone by the time she comes home.

The prose is seamless and vivid. The characters are driven, courageous, and dependable. And the plot is an insightful, moving tale of life, loss, heartbreak, secrets, self-discovery, determination, hope, loyalty, motherhood, survival, friendship, love, and war.

Overall, Daughters of War is an alluring, rich, compelling novel by Page that transports you to another time and place and immerses you so thoroughly into the feelings, lives, and personalities of the characters you can’t help but be enthralled and fully invested from start to finish.

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

           

 

 

Thank you to Forever and Grand Central Publishing for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Lizzie Page

Lizzie Page lives in a seaside town in Essex, England where she grew up. After studying politics at University, she worked as an English teacher, first in Paris and then in Tokyo, for five years. Back in England, she tried and failed various jobs, before enjoying studying a masters in creative writing at Goldsmiths College. Lizzie loves reading historical and modern fiction, watching films, and travelling. Her husband Steve, three lovely children, and Lenny the cockapoo all conspire to stop her writing!

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