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Archive for the tag “Sphere”

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 Father’ by Anton Svensson

Blog Tour Poster

Today sees the start of the blog tour for ‘The Father’ and I am very excited to be one of several book bloggers kicking it off.  Published by Sphere in paperback on the 24th March 2016, I was kindly sent a proof copy to read and review.

‘The Father’ is a work of fiction, inspired by the shocking true story of three brothers who came to be Sweden’s most wanted criminals.  In the early 1990s they committed a total of ten bank robberies in just over two years.  All under 24 years of age, they had never before done anything against the law.

In this intoxicating and heart-breaking thriller, the fourth brother, who was aware of what was going on but was not involved in the robberies, tells the story of three boys who grew up from innocent children to become public enemy number one, and of the father who made them that way.

This was my very first experience of Swedish crime fiction.  I was interested in giving this book a go especially when I saw that it was based on true events.  ‘The Father’ is quite a long book and I didn’t really know how I would get on with it but I soon found myself getting into the story.

I thought ‘The Father’ was very well written.  I found it to be an exciting, intriguing and addictive read.  It’s a story about sticking together as a family, brotherly love and the complex relationship between a father and his sons.  Leo was always so protective and loving of his two younger brothers, especially Vincent, his baby brother.  There was a lot of violence in this story and occasionally I had to put the book down for a little while as there was so much going on in my head, but I was soon back reading it.

Split into four parts, this book goes back and forth between the present and the past, the now and then, telling the story of the three brothers and their childhood.  As children they witnessed things they really shouldn’t have had to.  Their innocence was taken away from them at a young age by their father, Ivan, a hard and brutal man who believed in being able to protect yourself with your fists.  Perhaps he thought he was doing the right thing in teaching his eldest son, Leo, how to fight back.  I have to say I did wonder at times why so much emphasis was put on the brothers’ childhood, but as I saw later this was a very necessary part of the story.

‘The Father’ is the first part of a two-part series, with the second part, ‘The Son’ to be published in hardback in 2017 which I am looking forward to reading.

I give this book 4 out of 5.

 

Author Biography

‘Anton Svensson’ is a pseudonym for Stefan Thunberg and Anders Roslund.

Stefan Thunberg is one of Scandinavia’s most celebrated screenwriters. His body of work spans popular TV-series such as Henning Mankell’s Wallander and Håkan Nesser’s Van Veeteren as well as two of Sweden’s biggest box office successes in recent years: Hamilton and Jägarna 2. While Thunberg achieved fame as a screenwriter, the rest of his family became infamous in an entirely different way: his father and brothers were Sweden’s most notorious bank robbers, dubbed Militärligan (The Military Gang) by the media. The Father is Stefan Thunberg’s debut novel.

Anders Roslund is an award-winning investigative journalist and one of the most successful and critically acclaimed Scandinavian crime writers of our time. Roslund is part of the New York Times bestselling author duo Roslund & Hellström, who are recipients of many prestigious awards, including the CWA International Dagger, the Glass Key and the Swedish Academy of Crime Writers’ Award, and who boast sales exceeding five million copies. Films and TV series based on Roslund & Hellström’s novels are in the works, both in Hollywood and Europe. The Father is Anders Roslund’s seventh novel and the first he has co-authored with Stefan Thunberg.

 

‘The Father’ is available to buy on Amazon UK – http://www.amazon.co.uk/Father-Made-Sweden-Anton-Svensson/dp/0751557811/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1459172753&sr=1-1

 

‘The Mill River Redemption’ by Darcie Chan

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Today is the first day of this blog tour in which we are celebrating Darcie Chan’s second novel, ‘The Mill River Redemption’ which is being published tomorrow by Sphere.

 

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I was asked if I would like to review ‘The Mill River Redemption’.  I had never heard of Darcie Chan until then but the book sounded both interesting and intriguing so I decided to give it a go especially as it is recommended for fans of Maeve Binchy whose books I absolutely love.

Josie DiSanti had no idea about what was about to happen and she certainly didn’t expect to lose her husband.  With no way to support herself and her two young children, Josie has little choice but to go and live in the small town of Mill River with her Aunt Ivy.  Rose and Emily, Josie’s daughters, are totally inseparable and look out for each other whilst they are growing up.  But then something tragic and unforgiveable happens which tears the two sisters apart and they go their own separate ways.

Many years later, Rose and Emily are contacted with news that their mother has died and they find themselves back in Mill River for the reading of her will.  Josie tried her best to get her daughters talking again but was unsuccessful in her attempts.  Still determined she has left them a task in which she hopes they will work together and reconcile their differences.  In order to comply with her wishes Rose and Emily must move to Mill River and live in neighbouring houses.  The two sisters reluctantly get on with the task at hand.  But will they succeed in completing it and will it bring them together?

I really liked the cover.  The colours go well together and it is such a lovely peaceful image.  I wouldn’t of minded living in one of those houses.  Set in 2013, this novel goes back and forth from 1983 onwards so that the reader gets to learn the whole story.  The chapters which are based in the past are clearly marked.

Out of the two sisters, Emily was my favourite.  I found it hard to warm to Rose even though she had issues and needed help desperately.  I absolutely loved Aunt Ivy and reading about her bookstore.  I could have spent hours in there!  I wasn’t sure what I thought about the twist towards the end of the story.  It was a bit of a shocker and rather drastic.

This story is about family, love, forgiveness and facing up to your problems.

Having enjoyed ‘The Mill River Redemption’, I do hope to get round to reading ‘The Mill River Recluse’ at some point soon as it is about one of the earlier character’s mentioned in this story.

I give this book 4 out of 5.

 

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Darcie Chan is the New York Times bestselling author of The Mill River Recluse. Her second novel, The Mill River Redemption, is also set in the fictional town of Mill River. Darcie has been featured in The New York Times, USA Today, and The Wall Street Journal. She writes fiction full-time and lives just north of New York City with her husband and son.

Follow her on twitter @DarcieChan

 

‘The Mill River Redemption’ by Darcie Chan (Sphere) is available as an eBook from tomorrow.

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