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Archive for the tag “family saga”

Blog Tour – ‘The Brave Daughters’ by Mary Wood ~ @panmacmillan @Authormary

‘The Brave Daughters’ by Mary Wood is the fourth book in The Girls Who Went to War series.  It was published in paperback, as an eBook and Audiobook on the 14th May 2020 by Pan.

I would like to thank the publisher for inviting me to participate in this tour.  I am running my post a few days later than my original date as I am hosting an extract and it was better that they were kept in order so as not to confuse readers.

Before the extract lets take a look at the book blurb.

 

Book Blurb

A moving and emotional family drama set between France and Britain from bestselling author, Mary Wood.

They would fight for their country, at all costs . . .

When Sibbie and Marjie arrive at RAF Digby, they are about to take on roles of national importance. It’s a cause of great excitement for everyone around them. Perhaps they will become code-breakers, spies even? Soon the pair embark on a rigorous training regime, but nothing can prepare them for what they’re about to face . . .

Amid the vineyards of rural France, Flora and Ella can’t bear the thought of another war. But as the thunderclouds grow darker, hanging over Europe, a sense of deep foreboding sets in, not just for their safety but for the fate of their families . . . With danger looming, as the threat of war becomes real, Flora and Ella are forced to leave their idyllic home and flee. Can they make it to safety, or will the war have further horrors in store for them?

 

Extract

CHAPTER TWO

Laurens, Hérault, France Ella and Flors

Flors smiled bravely as she stood on her doorstep and waved and waved until her husband Cyrus’s car, carrying their sons, Freddy and Randolph, was out of sight. The agony that she and Cyrus had been through, since the conscription papers had arrived, had almost defeated her. Now the pain set in, as the reality of what Freddy and Randie would face if war broke out took root.

Ella stood by her side. ‘Come on, Flors, let’s do as the British do and put the kettle on.’

‘Oh, Ella, to think of them having gone is unbearable.’

Ella clutched Flors’s hand even tighter and whispered, ‘Hug?’

Painful memories of the past and fears for the uncertain future vied for prominence in Flors’s heart as they hugged tightly. She knew that dear Ella would be feeling these same emotions, too.

As they emerged from the hug, they linked arms and went into the kitchen. A snore made them both jump, and nervous giggles consumed them. Rowena could sleep through any – thing when she was in her favourite rocking chair by the side of the stove. Even on a hot day like today, she professed that she felt the cold in her old bones. Rowena had known Flors since her childhood in Stepney, and now lived with her.

Flors felt glad of the light-hearted moment. She’d been on the brink of crying, but hadn’t wanted to; she’d save her tears for her own bed at night, when she was snuggled into the arms of her beloved Cyrus. Sighing, she told Ella, ‘It’s as if my nest is emptying all at once.’

‘I know. My darling Arnie is even saying that he will volunteer, if Britain ever comes under threat. And Paulo talks of going too, if necessary. It doesn’t bear thinking about.’

‘Oh no. Oh, Ella, everything we know and have built up, since the terrible things we went through in the last war, is under threat.’

‘They say we should be safe here in the South of France, and it’s the north-east that will bear the brunt, if an invasion does happen. But Hitler is threatening Poland at the moment, and I’m so worried about my sister, Calek.’

‘I don’t know what to say, Ella. We can only pray that the Germans don’t succeed in their quest to invade Poland, or that a miracle happens and they heed Chamberlain’s ultimatum.’

‘They have to. Oh, Flors, it’s Calek’s and Abram’s only chance; I fear they are in grave danger. Look at how Germany is treating its Jewish community, if the rumours of their cruel treatment are to be believed . . . Oh God, I can’t think about it. My dear nephew Zabrim is only fourteen.’

‘And there’s no answer to your last letter yet? Surely they will take up your offer to come here?’

‘I am praying for that, but I haven’t heard from them. At least if they sent Zabrim to me, that would ease my mind a little. I’m thinking of going to Poland to find out how they are. I checked and all the trains are still running. Maybe if I do, I can persuade them to come back with me.’

‘No, Ella, no! It’s too dangerous. Please think again, Ella, please. What does Arnie say about it?’

‘I haven’t discussed it with him.’

‘You haven’t discussed what, darling?’

‘Oh, Arnie, I didn’t see you. I – I . . . well, nothing – nothing really. I’ll tell you later.’

‘There’s no time like now. If you can share whatever it is with Flors, then you can share it with your husband, can’t you? Come on, old thing, what is it?’

As Ella poured out her thoughts, Arnie surprised Flors with his response. ‘I think that unless you do this, you will have an agonizing few years ahead of you, Ella – and I don’t want that. But I also think that you should wait to see if Hitler decides to take heed of Britain and France’s ultimatum – which I don’t think he will. If he doesn’t and invades Poland, it will be too dangerous for you to even think of going.’

Flors couldn’t believe the enormity of what Ella had proposed, and even less so that Arnie was partially agreeing that she should go to Poland. After all, she had the feeling that Hitler would find a way of doing as he had in Czechoslovakia and fully invade Poland. And what if that happened when Ella was there? ‘

I know what you’re thinking, Flors, but I understand Ella better than she does herself. Now that she has her family back in her life, it will kill her to think of the unspeakable things that might happen to them under a German regime.

 

‘The Brave Daughters’ is available to purchase from:-

Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Brave-Daughters-Girls-Who-Went/dp/1509892613/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1589732367&sr=8-1

 

About Mary Wood

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

Mary married young and now, after 54 years of happy marriage, four children, 12 grandchildren and many great-grandchildren, Mary and her husband live in Blackpool during the summer and Spain during the winter – a place that Mary calls, ‘her writing retreat’.

After many jobs from cleaning to catering, all chosen to fit in with bringing up her family, and boost the family money-pot, Mary ended her 9 – 5 working days as a Probation Service Officer, a job that showed her another side to life, and which influences her writing, bringing a realism and grittiness to her novels

Mary first put pen to paper, in 1989, but it wasn’t until 2010 that she finally found some success by self-publishing on kindle.

Being spotted by an editor at Pan Macmillan in 2013, finally saw Mary reach her publishing dream.

When not writing, Mary enjoys family time, reading, eating out, and gardening. One of her favourite pastimes is interacting with her readers on her Facebook page.

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

 

Links

Website – https://www.authormarywood.com/

Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/HistoricalNovels

Twitter – https://twitter.com/Authormary

 

Blog Tour – ‘The Orphan Thief’ by Glynis Peters ~ @annecater @0neMoreChapter_ @_GlynisPeters_

‘The Orphan Thief’ by Glynis Peters is being published in paperback on the 23rd January 2020 by One More Chapter and is also available as an eBook and Audiobook.  It is a pleasure to be taking part in this blog tour today together with a number of fellow book bloggers.

I would like to thank Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for inviting me to participate.

Carry on reading to find out more about ‘The Orphan Thief’.

 

Book Blurb

From the international bestselling author of The Secret Orphan

When all seems lost…

As Hitler’s bombs rain down on a battered and beleaguered Britain, Ruby Shadwell is dealt the most devastating blow – her entire family lost during the Coventry Blitz.

Hope still survives…

Alone and with the city in chaos, Ruby is determined to survive this war and rebuild her life.  And a chance encounter with street urchin Tommy gives Ruby just the chance she needs…

And love will overcome.

Because Tommy brings with him Canadian Sergeant Jean-Paul Clayton.  Jean-Paul is drawn to Ruby and wants to help her, but Ruby cannot bear another loss.

Can love bloom amidst the ruins?  Or will the war take Ruby’s last chance at happiness too?

 

Doesn’t it sound great?  ‘The Orphan Thief’ can be pre-ordered from Amazon UK:-

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Orphan-Thief-Glynis-Peters/dp/0008384908

 

About Glynis Peters

Glynis Peters, lives in Dovercourt, Essex, England.

She married her school sweetheart in 1979, and they have three children. They also have three grandchildren, with another due in the spring of 2019, the year of their ruby wedding Anniversary.

In 2014, Glynis was short-listed for the Festival of Romantic Fiction New Talent Award.

In 2018, HarperCollins/HarperImpulse published her novel, The Secret Orphan. The novel rose to several bestseller positions within a few months of release.

When Glynis is not writing she enjoys fishing with her husband, making greetings cards, cross stitch and the company of her granddaughters.

Her grandson lives in Canada, and it is for that reason she  introduced a Canadian pilot into The Secret Orphan.

 

Links

Website: http://www.glynispeterauthor.co.uk/

Twitter : @_GlynisPeters_

Author Page on Facebook

Instagram @glynispetersauthor

Blog Tour – ‘The Abandoned Daughter’ by Mary Wood ~ @panmacmillan @Authormary

It is a real pleasure to be taking part in the blog tour for ‘The Abandoned Daughter’, which was published yesterday the 16th May 2019 in paperback and as an eBook by Pan Books. This is the second book in The Girls Who Went to War trilogy. I would like to thank Mary Wood for inviting me to participate in this tour and the publisher for sending me my review copy.

I will tell you soon what I thought about this book. First though, here’s the blurb.

 

 

Book Blurb

Voluntary nurse Ella is haunted by the soldiers’ cries she hears on the battlefields of Dieppe. But that’s not the only thing that haunts her. When her dear friend Jim breaks her trust, Ella is left bruised and heartbroken. Over the years, her friendships have been pulled apart at the seams by the effects of war. Now, more than ever, she feels so alone.

At a military hospital in France, Ella befriends Connie and Paddy. Slowly she begins to heal, and finds comfort in the arms of a French officer called Paulo – could he be her salvation?

With the end of the war on the horizon, surely things have to get better? Ella grew up not knowing her real family but a clue leads her in their direction. What did happen to Ella’s parents, and why is she so desperate to find out?

 

My Review

I thoroughly enjoyed ‘The Abandoned Daughter’. I haven’t read the first book in the series yet unfortunately. This book can be read as a standalone, though personally I would say start at the beginning as there is so much you will find you want to know, as I have found out.

Mary Wood is such a talented author. She has penned another great story and she doesn’t hold back at all. ‘The Abandoned Daughter’ was everything I expected it to be and much more besides. I found it so hard to put down. It made for addictive and gritty reading and at times I was shocked.

Split into six parts, the author has done a great job of portraying what happened during the First World War and the aftermath. Those poor soldiers and their families. It’s devastating to think that so many were homeless and had no choice but to live on the streets and beg.

There were a mixture of characters, some really lovely and some downright unsavoury. My heart literally broke for Ella. She was such a lovely person, an angel. She really didn’t deserve all that what was thrown at her. Just as things seemed to be improving something else would happen. I enjoyed meeting Ella’s friends. I really liked Rowena. She came along at the right time I would say. She was a real lifesaver who was there for Ella and did all she could to help her in her time of need.

I am falling more and more in love with Mary Wood’s books and I feel like I could read them forever. I am really looking forward to the third book in this series and hopefully I will get to read ‘The Forgotten Daughter’ as well soon.

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‘The Abandoned Daughter’ is available to buy from Amazon UK:-

https://amzn.to/2YCyfQX

 

About Mary Wood

Born the thirteenth child of fifteen to a middle-class mother and an East End barrow boy, Mary Wood’s family were poor, but rich in love. Over time, she developed a natural empathy with the less fortunate and is fascinated by social history. Mary raised four children and has numerous grandchildren, step-grandchildren and great-grandchildren. An avid reader, she first put pen to paper in 1989, and is now a full-time novelist.

 

Links

Website – https://www.authormarywood.com/

Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/HistoricalNovels

Twitter – https://twitter.com/Authormary

Blog Tour – ‘Blackpool’s Daughter’ by Maggie Mason ~ @LittleBrownUK @Authormary

‘Blackpool’s Daughter’ was published on the 18th April 2019 in paperback by Sphere and is also available as an eBook and in hardback.  I was thrilled to be invited by the author to take part in this blog tour and would like to thank the publisher for my review copy of this book.

You will find out in a minute what I thought of this book.  First though, here’s the blurb.

 

 

Book Blurb

The perfect read for fans of Mary Wood, Kitty Neale, Val Wood and Nadine Dorries
***PREVIOUSLY CALLED BLACKPOOL EVACUEE***

Clara is forced to flee her home as the Nazis invade the beautiful island of Guernsey

Separated from her mother, far away from anything familiar, she is at the mercy of a cruel shopkeeper. Clara is worked like a dog, but the warmth of her Blackpool friendships will go far to save her.

Julia just wants to find her beloved daughter – but the trials of war will keep them far apart.

They will meet again – but the war will change everything for mother and daughter

 

My Review

As you probably know by now I love family sagas and historical fiction. I was really looking forward to reading ‘Blackpool’s Daughter’ and I can tell you that it was well worth the wait. I truly loved this story and was totally hooked all the way through. Maggie Mason is such a wonderful writer and tells it how it would have been in the 1940s. It is obvious that a lot of research and care and attention has gone into writing this book.

Set during the Second World War, this is the story of Julia and her young daughter Clara. The Nazis could invade Guernsey at anytime and Julia has no other option but to put her daughter’s safety before her own, even though that means they will be separated from each other. Clara is about to embark on a journey and doesn’t know where she will end up. When she finds out that she is being sent to Blackpool her spirits lift a little.

Clara’s life is far from easy and she has to do a lot of growing up quickly. Along the way she makes some good friends and they keep her going, even with things as unbearable as they are.

There were lots of characters in this story, many with their own tragic tale to tell. But whatever happened they kept going one way or the other. Then there were the unsavoury characters, i.e. the gangsters. The brutality Clara and others like her faced was appalling and at times there didn’t seem to be much hope for them, so it was nice to see that they could have a bit of fun together sometimes. Both Clara and Julia went through a lot and their lives changed so much over the years.

‘Blackpool’s Daughter’ is absolutely outstanding and is definitely one of my favourite books of the year. With unforgettable characters this is a story that will stay in my heart for ages. I hope Maggie Mason writes lots more books.

If like me you love family sagas then I recommend that you buy yourself a copy. You won’t be disappointed and will be wanting more.

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‘Blackpool’s Daughter’ is available to buy from Amazon UK:-

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Blackpool-Evacuee-Maggie-Mason/dp/0751573191/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1555612146&sr=1-1-fkmrnull

 

About Maggie Mason

Maggie Mason is a pseudonym of author Mary Wood. Mary began her career by self-publishing on kindle where many of her sagas reached number one in genre. She was spotted by Pan Macmillan and to date has written many books for them under her own name, with more to come. Mary continues to be proud to write for Pan Macmillan, but is now equally proud and thrilled to take up a second career with Sphere under the name of Maggie Mason. A Blackpool Lass is her first in a planned series of standalone books and trilogies set in her home town of Blackpool.

Mary retired from working for the National Probation Service in 2009, when she took up full time writing, something she’d always dreamed of doing. She follows in the footsteps of her great-grandmother, Dora Langlois, who was an acclaimed author, playwright and actress in the late nineteenth – early twentieth century.

It was her work with the Probation Service that gives Mary’s writing its grittiness, her need to tell it how it is, which takes her readers on an emotional journey to the heart of issues.

 

Links

Website – https://www.authormarywood.com/

Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/HistoricalNovels

Twitter – https://twitter.com/Authormary

 

Blog Tour – ‘The House on Rosebank Lane’ by Millie Gray ~ #MillieGray @bwpublishing

I am delighted to be kicking off this blog tour.  ‘The House on Rosebank Lane’ is Millie Gray’s tenth novel and it is out today in paperback and as an eBook, published by Black and White Publishing.  I would like to thank the publisher for inviting me to participate in this tour and for my review copy.

You will find out in a minute what I thought about the ‘The House on Rosebank Lane’.  First though, here’s the book blurb.

 

Book Blurb

Leith, 1953. Kirsten Mowat, eighteen years old and with a joyful spring in her step, couldn’t be more in love with her sea-faring sweetheart Duncan Armstrong. But, seven years later after a hasty wedding, a twist of lies and wrenching loss Duncan and Kirsten’s relationship has faded to tatters. When those closest to her turn their backs, Kirsten alone, with a young family to care for must gather all her spirit and strength if they are to survive. From much-loved Millie Gray, The House on Rosebank Lane is an Edinburgh story of families entwined, of sorrow and hopefulness . . . and of a young mother’s love for her children and a transforming quest for happiness.

 

My Review

It has been a while since I have read a book published by Black and White Publishing and what a treat ‘The House on Rosebank Lane’ was. I actually can’t believe that until now I had never picked up any of Millie Gray’s books. I love family sagas and I really liked that this book was based in Leith, Edinburgh. That’s what appealed to me when I first heard about it. I loved the author’s style of writing and the way the story was presented and found it very easy to follow.

Edinburgh will always be a very special place to me. Whilst reading this story I found myself wishing that I had been there in 1953 onwards. I think it would have been wonderful. I recognised quite a few of the streets mentioned and in the past have actually stayed in a hotel in York Place with my husband.

This story had so much packed into it despite not being very long and I felt I got a lot out of it. The one thing I wished would happen did so that really pleased me.

I loved Kirsten from the very start and I felt so sad for the situation she found herself in. She was a tough cookie though who with the help of friends and good advice coped with what life threw at her. I thought Dixie was so adorable and it was tragic what happened when he was doing so well.

‘The House on Rosebank Lane’ will have you hooked. You literally won’t be able to put the book down. I am looking forward to reading so much more by this author.

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‘The House on Rosebank Lane’ is available to purchase from Amazon UK:-

https://www.amazon.co.uk/House-Rosebank-Lane-Millie-Gray/dp/178530223X/

 

About Millie Gray

Millie Gray is a writer and professional storyteller. Her humorous plays attract audiences from all over Scotland and she is much in demand to do workshops and talks about her work. Millie Gray was born and raised in Leith and lives in Edinburgh.

 

Links

Black and White Publishing

Twitter – https://twitter.com/bwpublishing

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/blackandwhitepublishing/

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/bwpublishing

 

Guest Post by Claire Boley

I am delighted to welcome Claire Boley to my blog today.  Her novel, ‘If Only I’d Listened’ was published last year in paperback and as an eBook by Olympia Publishers.  Claire has written a lovely guest post which I really hope you enjoy reading.

~~~~~

Hello everyone,

First I must thank Sonya for hosting my guest post and to say that I have never met her in person but on social media she comes over as a very approachable lady who has been kind enough to do a post about me and my second book which is my debut novel. The first book I wrote was a craft book which I was commissioned to write in 2011, title Hand Spinning and Natural Dyeing.

When I was at secondary school and in between lessons while waiting for the teacher to arrive I used to make up stories for my school mates who enjoyed sitting and listening to me telling them.

It was not until I retired from nursing that I thought about writing and decided the best way to start was to write articles for magazines which I did for a number of years on different subjects including hand spinning, natural dyeing, pottery, gardening to name just a few. After a year of writing articles I was approached by The Good Life Press to write my first book.

My debut novel – If Only I’d Listened is based in 60s’ London when 16 year old school girl Samantha Smithson gets pregnant by her 6th form boyfriend Peter Knight in an era when pregnancy outside of marriage and especially when still at school carried a stigma.

The reason the story of Samantha and Peter is based in London is because I lived there from 1964-68 and know different areas well. I wrote about a school girl getting pregnant as I was a nurse in London in this era and heard quite a lot about pregnancy outside of marriage and how it upset family life.

Samantha spent most of the nine months in and out hospital due to high blood pressure caused by her parents behaviour over the pregnancy and not wanting Samantha to live with them once she had become pregnant – they felt that Peter’s parents should look after her and take full responsibility for her. All of this upset Peter’s mother and made her ill.

Peter spent his time going out and about in the West End of London to pubs and clubs and was encouraged by his mates to get drunk and meet other girls, all of this was in between studying for his A levels which he lost interest in.

There may be a sequel to If Only I’d Listened this won’t be until I have finished my second novel – False Teeth.

 

Book Blurb

IS YOUR GIRLFRIEND PREGNANT? How ready are you for that? How would you deal with becoming a parent before you’ve left school? One thing’s for sure, you can’t unmake babies. A fact that’s borne in on Peter Knight and Samantha Smithson, sixth formers at the South East Comprehensive in Deptford, living at a time when many parents are still of the old school and pregnancy outside marriage carries a stigma. Having to face their parents, their school friends, teachers and gossip is only the beginning. Pete’s plans for university are scotched as he must seek work and accommodation suitable for a young family. And all the time he still wants to have fun, with friends’ quite happy to tempt him to do it. As for Samantha, abortion is no easy option. Yet as her health and her faith in Peter goes up and down, she may have to think the unthinkable.

‘If Only I’d Listened’ is available from Amazon UK – http://amzn.to/2vG4AvX

 

About Claire Boley

I was born in Exeter during the war. Aged five my parents and I moved to Buckinghamshire where my father worked at Bletchley Park.

While at school in Aylesbury and in between lessons I used to tell stories to my school mates, looking back this must have been the beginning of my story telling. After leaving school I left home to train as a nurse so the stories went on the back burner until I retired.

One afternoon I visited W H Smith and read an article written by a friend and decided that perhaps I could write. From that day I have been writing articles on different subjects – hand spinning, pottery, gardening, natural dyeing and also cooking for many national magazines. In 2011 I was commissioned and given an advance to write my first book – Hand Spinning and Natural Dyeing. After finishing this book I decided to see if I could write a novel – it took three years. Once it was completed I soon found a publisher.

My debut novel – If Only I’d Listened is a family saga based in 60s London. Samantha Smithson a 16 year old school girl gets pregnant by her 6th form boyfriend – Peter Knight, in an era when pregnancy outside of marriage carried a stigma. Having to explain to their parents, school friends and teachers about the pregnancy is just the beginning for Samantha and Peter. Along the way Peter is encouraged to go out and about enjoying himself with his mates in between studying for his A levels while Samantha spends most of the pregnancy in and out of hospital getting more and more upset by Peter.

 

Links

Hand spinning and natural dyeing – http://amzn.to/2DAe5Rp

Twitter – https://twitter.com/claireboley?lang=en

Facebook – https://facebook.com/claireboley

 

‘Secrets of the Tides’ by Hannah Richell

Lovereading.co.uk were looking for people to review this book, which is being published by Orion Books on 12th April 2012.  I was absolutely delighted when I was chosen.  ‘Secrets of the Tides’ is a fantastic debut novel.  It has been beautifully written and this is one of those books that you really do not want to put down.  It is a very gripping family saga.  The characters have been portrayed really well and they seem so real.  The various descriptions of places, flowers and plants are wonderfully described.

The Tide family are haunted by a tragedy which occurred eleven years ago.  They struggle to move forward, each battling with their own feelings of guilt together with some dark secrets which must be hidden away.  When Dora falls pregnant with her first child, she has doubts about becoming a mother as she still feels bad about what took place all those years back and is worried in case it should happen again.  In order to be able to move on she realises that she has to face her past no matter how painful, and so she decides to go back to the place she once considered to be home, Clifftops.

Going backwards and forwards, this story is told by three of the main characters; Dora, her sister and their mother.  It deals with several topics including adultery, betrayal and forgiveness.

I would most definitely recommend this book to others and I am really looking forward to seeing what Hannah Richell writes next.

I give this book 5 out of 5.

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