Wednesday, 14 August 2019

Another You by Jane Cable - Guest Post

Today, I am delighted to be part of Jane Cable's blog tour for her new book Another You thanks to publishers Sapere Books ... and I am delighted that Jane has written a lovely guest post about her inspirations


Sometimes the hardest person to save is yourself…
Marie Johnson fell in love with The Smugglers pub when she first moved to Dorset with her husband, Stephen.
But when Stephen’s wandering eye caused the breakdown of their marriage, and the costs of running the pub started to mount, Marie felt her dreams crashing down around her.
With local celebrations planned for the 60th anniversary of D-Day, Marie is hopeful things will turn around.
But she could never have predicted the ways her life will soon be changed forever.
A charming American soldier walks into Marie’s life, but it becomes clear nothing is really as it seems...
Why is Marie suddenly plagued by headaches? Is her American soldier everything he seems to be?
Or could the D-Day re-enactments be stirring up something from the past…?




Inspirations Great and Small – Jane Cable
The inspirations for Another You, as with many books, are wide and varied. A place, a moment in time, a scrap of conversation – all these and more add up to form the basis of a story – sweeping historical events and the smallest detail coming together to make a novel more than the sum of its parts.
The dedication at the front of Another You reads as follows: ‘In memory of my parents, the six men who died at Studland on 4th April 1944, and a whole generation who sacrificed so much.’ More than anything, it was these people who inspired the book and the character of George is their representative within its pages.
Let me explain. Looking back with the benefit of years, there was something very special about being brought up by parents who had survived the Second World War. Although I was born almost twenty years after it ended, the influence of the wartime generation was keenly felt. Stories were told first hand; nothing was wasted; and you put your head down and battled your way through any adversity. That’s not to say it was a heavy yoke of discipline, it was more a state of mind.
My family suffered no personal losses during the war. My father was born in 1926 and was drafted into the Royal Marines when he left school in 1944, but was such a terrible soldier he was sent to Cambridge until the war was safely over. My mother’s parents lived in a village just outside Cardiff where only one bomb fell. Her older brother would have loved to have joined the RAF but was in a reserved occupation.
It was my mother who made the greatest sacrifice in my family and proved the biggest influence on my own life. In 1937 she started grammar school in Barry, which entailed a train journey into Cardiff and then out again. In the height of the blitz she was trapped in a siding on more than one occasion, with bombs raining down, and her parents decided enough was enough. Her ambitions to be a teacher ended when she was fourteen and she went to work in the civil service, just a child really, collating information about casualties at sea.
After the war she and her girlfriends made the most of their newfound freedom and the money in their pockets. As Europe opened up they took foreign holidays and were amongst the first tourists to visit Spain. They had fun, married in their thirties and kept in touch throughout their adult lives. The value of female friends was drummed into me from an early age – as was her wanderlust – although when I was a child there was no money to indulge it.
There was no money because my mother wanted me to have the education that she had never been able to complete and to achieve this I was catapulted into the private system. This involved large financial sacrifices on the part of my parents and I am hugely grateful they prioritised this. Not that they ever put me under pressure. Whatever my best proved to be, it would be enough.
Once the tumultuous teenage years were over (let’s face it, very few mothers and daughters get on at this stage), my mother became my best friend. She always encouraged my writing, and it was she who suggested I enter the Alan Titchmarsh Show’s People’s Novelist competition. I reached the final and did her proud, and she lived long enough to read the resulting book, The Cheesemaker’s House, before she died in early 2015.


About the Author

Although brought up in Cardiff, Jane Cable now lives in Cornwall and is a full time writer. Another You is a moving saga of family life in the 21st century which draws on the horrors of combat, both in modern times and World War Two as down-trodden Marie fights to reclaim her identity and discover what really matters to her. Jane’s next book, Winter Skies, will be available for pre-order from Sapere Books soon.
Follow Jane Cable on Twitter @JaneCable, on Facebook at Jane Cable, Author (https://www.facebook.com/romanticsuspensenovels/), or find out more at www.janecable.com.
Purchase Another You at http://getbook.at/AnotherYou

Check out the other bloggers on the tour for reviews and exclusive content

Jane and her mum at Bournemouth




Friday, 9 August 2019

Spotlight on Land of Last Chances by Joan Cohen

Today I am featuring a new book by author Joan Cohen and I have an exclusive and dramatic extract from Land of Last Chances ...... it sounds like quite a fascinating novel



Published:  13 August 2019
Publisher:  She Writes Press
Genre:  Fiction
Paperback:  256 pages


When Jeanne Bridgeton, an unmarried executive in her 40s, discovers that her expected menopause is an unexpected pregnancy, she realizes her risk-management skills don’t extend to her private life. She’s not sure who the father is, and worse yet, a family secret uncovered reveals she may carry a rare gene for early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. With no time left for genetic tests, she must cope with her intense fear of risk and wrestle with a daunting question: Should her own needs prevail or her child’s?


EXCLUSIVE EXTRACT

Jeanne pulled into a parking space opposite her office building,
turned off the motor, and peered at her face in the rearview
mirror. It was irrational to think her pregnancy could show in
her eyes, although the purple shadows beneath them testified
to her poor night’s sleep. Other than those, the usual Jeanne
looked back at her. She would be at her desk soon, immersing
herself in her work and grateful to be dealing with quandaries
strictly business related.
Suddenly, face out of focus, her eyes sought the reflected
action in the background. “No!” she yelled, whipping her head
around, but her voice had no effect on the blue Toyota Camry
smashing through the lobby entrance. The thunderous crash
shattered plate glass and bent steel. She raced for the door
that was no longer there.
The car had made it almost to the reception desk and was
surrounded by giant shardsThe white-haired driver in the
front seat didn’t move, and she imagined his face mirroring
the front of the building, which looked like a gaping mouth with
its teeth punched in. She steadied herself against the brick
exterior and reached for her cell to call 911. Eduardo, the
jockey-tiny Cuban who manned their reception desk, had
flattened himself against the lobby’s rear wall. He genuflected
and slid down to the floor. From behind the couch, CEO Jake
Tyler rose, wild-eyed and ashen as the rising plaster dust.

Meet the Author





Originally from Mount Vernon, New York, Joan Cohen received her BA from Cornell University and her MBA from New York University.
She pursued a career in sales and marketing at computer hardware and software companies until she retired to return to school for an MFA in Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts.

She has been a Massachusetts resident for many years, first living in Newton, where she raised her family, and later in Wayland. She now resides in Stockbridge, in the Berkshires, with her husband and golden retriever.



Sunday, 4 August 2019

Book Review - The House of Birds by Morgan McCarthy


Genre:  Literary Fiction
Published:  Nov 2016
Approx Page Count:  439

Oliver has spent years trying to convince himself that he's suited to a life of money making in the city, and that he doesn't miss a childhood spent in pursuit of mystery, when he cycled around the cobbled lanes of Oxford, exploring its most intriguing corners.
When his girlfriend Kate inherits a derelict house - and a fierce family feud - she's determined to strip it, sell it and move on. For Oliver though, the house has an allure, and amongst the shelves of discarded, leather bound and gilded volumes, he discovers one that conceals a hidden diary from the 1920s.
So begins a quest: to discover the identity of the author, Sophia Louis. It is a portrait of war and marriage, isolation and longing and a story that will shape the future of the abandoned house - and of Oliver - forever.

A Feud, a Lie,
A Death.
A Life Rewritten


The House of Birds is a beautifully told story spanning one hundred years.

When Oliver first sees the house with the beautiful bird wallpaper, as a child, he is smitten with it, and after a chance encounter years later with school friend Kate, who has inherited the house, he becomes slightly obsessed with it.......and the 1920's diary he finds hidden away.

Oliver is a daydreamer who overthinks everything, but he also follows his intuition, and I really warmed to him and his need to discover what happened to the writer of the diary, while also trying to discover who he is as well.

The novel's writing is so detailed and so lavish, I felt immensely drawn into the words and the descriptions of a 1920's Oxford where women were not allowed to walk into the Bodleian Library on their own.

It's a story of the human effects of war, the aftermath, lies and bitterness, the constraints of women, and their frustrations ..... and hope.  And one that I found hard to put down.

The story and the characters will stay with me for a long time.


My thanks to publishers Tinder Press and Net Galley for the opportunity to read this wonderful book in exchange for an honest review.








Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Book Review & Giveaways - A Spirited Girl on Cornish Shores by Laura Briggs

Today, I am delighted to be part of Laura Briggs's Publication Day Push for her new book A Spirited Girl on Cornish Shores thanks to Rachel at Rachel's Random Resources Blog Tours ... and there are some fabulous giveaway prizes!



It looks like a perfect Cornish autumn, with aspiring novelist
Maisie Clark still finding inspiration as a maid at the historic
Penmarrow Hotel. Between the staff of quirky co-workers,
glamorous and unusual guests, and her growing friendship
with the charming but mysterious Sidney Daniels, Maisie is
living out adventures instead of just penning them in the
pages of her would-be novel's growing number of chapters.

And then there's the slight problem of keeping the balance
between friendship and 'something more' with Sidney, who's
helping introduce her to the village's version of a Cornish
Halloween, and has recently taken an interest in Maisie's
secret that may change things between them. But even
Maisie’s imagination can't conjure the unusual event this
Halloween brings to the Penmarrow. An eccentric earl has
chosen this site to host his lavish birthday celebration that
includes a pretty (and perceptive) young psychic whose
predictions seem to have everyone on edge — and, to
Maisie's delight, the elusive novelist Alistair Davies is
rumoured to be part of the guest list! But with the earl's
bickering relatives and illustrious friends on hand— and more
than one ghost of the past waiting to be revealed — it’s
anyone’s guess what the festivities will bring before the party
is over.

Will the psychic foretell doom for the earl's gathering—and is
her ‘gift’ as genuine as it seems? Will Maisie finally meet her
favourite author face to face? And, more importantly, what
about the romantic sparks that fly between Maisie and
Sidney?

Purchase Links 













Reading this second book in this series, it felt as if I was visiting old friends again, Maisie is still trying to keep her reasons for being at the hotel a secret, though her friendship with the enigmatic Sidney sees her opening up a little, Riley the porter is doing his best to stay out of trouble but not quite succeeding and manager Mr. Trelawney actually smiled once!

I'm enjoying this series enormously, as this time the Earl of Middlewhite is celebrating his centenary with a seance, his family and friends having taken over the whole hotel for Halloween time, which was fun and scary at the same time.  But will the elusive author and the reason for Maisie travelling from America to work at the hotel, be at the celebrations?

Shocks and secrets abound in this novella which can be read as a standalone as there is plenty of references to the happenings in the first book to enable any new readers to catch up.

This is an easy and entertaining read, with enough eventful situations to keep the reader engaged.




Author Bio – Laura Briggs is the author of several feel-good
romance reads, including the Top 100 Amazon UK seller 'A
Wedding in Cornwall'. She has a fondness for vintage style
dresses (especially ones with polka dots), and reads
everything from Jane Austen to modern day mysteries. When
she's not writing, she enjoys spending time with family and
friends, caring for her pets, gardening, and seeing the
occasional movie or play.
Social Media Links – 



Giveaway to Win one of 3 Cornish themed prizes (Open
Internationally)
1st Prize: A Ross Poldark collectible Knitdark character
doll (Open Internationally) –1 winner



Perfect for fans of all-things Cornwall, this Ross Poldark doll
with tricorn hat is made by Angela Blay, whose popular
Knitdark creations have been featured on The Graham Norton
Show. Since each doll is hand made, the Ross the winner
receives may vary slightly in appearance from the one in the
picture. Readers can learn more about the Knitdarks at
Angela's Twitter page @kwerkyknits as well as her Etsy shop
at https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/kwerkyknits

2nd Prize: A decorative tin T.A.R.D.I.S (Open
Internationally) –1 winner


A tin T.A.R.D.I.S similar to the keepsake Maisie is gifted by
Sidney in Book 1, A Little Hotel in Cornwall. Designed by Etsy
artist KittyConduitt81 and perfect for fans of Doctor Who!
Being a unique, hand made item, the final design may vary
slightly in appearance from the one pictured. Learn about
KittyConduittDesigns on Etsy at 
https://www.etsy.com/shop/KittyConduittDesigns

3rd Prize: A Kindle/Tablet case featuring cover art from
A Little Hotel in Cornwall (Open Internationally) –1
winner

A specially designed case for a Kindle or Tablet featuring the
cover art for Book 1 in the series A Little Hotel in Cornwall.
The final product's size, texture, and color will depend on the
winner's device.

*All 3 winners will also receive a digital copy of Book 1 in
the series, A Little Hotel in Cornwall.


*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome. 
Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner
will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid
entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no
response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random
Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner.
Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given
as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only
and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of
the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway
organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which
time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am
not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.



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