Saturday 29 September 2018

Blog Tour - Blackpool Lass - Maggie Mason

Having recently discovered this author's alter ego, Mary Wood, I was thrilled to be asked to take part in the blog tour for her latest release as Maggie Mason. I'm a sucker for an historical fiction saga novel so I couldn't wait to start reading Blackpool Lass.

This has got to be one of the most heartbreaking stories I have ever read! The year is 1924 and Grace lives with her mother and father in Fleetwood. When her mother dies and her father's ship sinks she goes to live with her beloved grandmother but it's not long until tragedy strikes for Grace once again and her whole world is turned upside down.

Finding herself in Halford House, a children's home, Grace makes friends with Jeanie who gives her the low down on life in the home and Grace is horrified at the goings on in a place that she thought was supposed to take care of children, where it turns out that this is definitely not the case where the staff here are concerned.

Grace eventually makes her way back to home territory and reaches out to Sheila, a local girl she knew briefly back in happier times and life finally seems to be on the up for her.

Blackpool Lass is a true roller coaster of a novel. One minute I was laughing out loud with Grace and the next minute my heart was truly breaking for her, and at one point I was so angry with the author for giving Grace such a difficult life! If ever there was a character that deserved a bit of happiness in her life it was Grace.

It's abundantly clear that Maggie has done extensive research into life in Blackpool at the time which only adds to the realism of the story. The struggles that Grace and her friends and family went through were a harsh reality for so many people back in the day and it really makes you realise just how lucky were are nowadays.

I absolutely loved this book and if you're a fan of family saga's and historical fiction then this is definitely a book that you need to read.

                                                      Author bio

Photo courtesy of Maggie Mason/Mary Wood

Maggie Mason is a pseudonym for saga author Mary Wood. Mary was born the thirteenth child of fifteen and throughout her life had various factory, office and home-based jobs, finally becoming a Probation Service Officer before she retired.

Mary married in 1963 and with her husband Roy has four children, eight grandchildren, and five step-grandchildren. She got her first book deal in 2013 and has not looked back since.

You can follow the rest of the blog tour with these wonderful blogs:

With kind thanks to author Maggie Mason and Sphere for the review copy.

Sunday 23 September 2018

Blog Tour - The Fake Date - Lynda Stacey

Ella Hope has been brutally attacked and left for dead on the Yorkshire Moors. Unable to move, she finds herself trying to piece together the events of the night before and desperately hoping that she can stay alive long enough for someone to find her. She remembers being with gym owner Rick Greaves but everything else is a little hazy.

Ella spends several months recuperating at her parent's house and moves back to her own house to try and rebuild her life but learning to trust anyone other than her parents and her close friend Sarah is going to take some time.

Her neighbour Will moved in while Ella was away. Their introduction was a little unconventional and Ella is intrigued by Will but should she be letting a stranger into her life when her attacker still hasn't been caught? What she doesn't know is that Will has a past that he is trying to move on from as well but is he ready to tell Ella all about it?

As romance is tentatively blossoming between Ella and Will there's a recurring narrative from the attacker - their thoughts  and words showing that Ella is still in danger - but from who?

The Fake Date is the first book that I've read by Lynda Stacey and I will definitely be looking at her other books after being so impressed with this one. I was completely hooked from the outset and I picked up my kindle to read it at every possible opportunity. The author has cleverly woven romance and thriller together without losing the origins of either genre, making for a captivating read. There's plenty of red herrings and a big enough sprinkle of romance to keep fans of both more than happy and it's one that I would highly recommend adding to your TBR.

                                                Author bio
Photo courtesy of Lynda Stacey

Lynda grew up in the mining village of Bentley, Doncaster, in South Yorkshire.

Her own chaotic life story, along with varied career choices helps Lynda to create stories of psychological / romantic suspense, with challenging and unpredictable plots, along with (as in all romances) very happy endings.

Lynda joined the Romantic Novelist Association in 2014 under the umbrella of the New Writers Scheme and in 2015, her debut novel House of Secretswon the Choc Lit Search for a Starcompetition.

She lives in a small rural hamlet near Doncaster, with her husband, Haydn, whom she’s been happily married to for over 20 years.

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You can follow the rest of the blog tour with these fantastic blogs:

With kind thanks to Rachel at Rachels Random Resources for my stop on the blog tour and my review copy.

Saturday 22 September 2018

Blog Tour - A Little Bird Told Me - Marianne Holmes

It's the summer of 1976 and nine-year-old Robyn and her older brother Kit are spending most of their time at the Lido and the park with their friends.

The two children live with their mother Jemima and stepfather Matthew but it's Robyn, also known as 'Little Bird', who witnesses an incident at their home involving their mother, an upset neighbour with her young son and an irate husband. Add to this, a tall stranger wearing a cowboy hat seemingly always in the background and it's not only the weather that's making the atmosphere uncomfortable. Everyone in the town feels that Jemima is meddling in things that don't concern her and life becomes more than a little awkward.

Fast forward to 1988 and Robyn has persuaded Kit to return to their old neighbourhood and house as she needs answers to the questions that have been spinning around in her head for the last 12 years. Kit knows that digging about in the past is bound to rekindle all the bad feelings from the past but he won't let her deal with whatever awaits her alone.

Initially I found this a little difficult to get into.It took me a while to warm to the characters and at times I found it confusing to follow. Looking back at it now as I'm writing my review, I don't actually think that it was me that was confused, I think it was because I was seeing things through Robyn's eyes, as was the author's intention. The adult world is confusing enough for a child to try and understand but when the adults are blatantly hiding and lying about things it's no wonder the poor girl was confused.

A Little Bird Told Me is a beautifully written tale of mystery that's packed with nostalgia. Marianne Holmes is definitely an author to watch and her descriptive style is one of the best I've come across in a debut novel for a while. An intriguing tale of family secrets and the long-lasting impact of keeping them hidden.

                                                  Author bio
Photo courtesy of Agora Books

Marianne Holmes was born in Cyprus to RAF parents and bounced between the UK, Germany, Kuwait and Belgium until firmly basing herself in London – well, apart from those years in the Peak District.

A love of language led to degrees in Classics and Linguistics from the University of London but her desire to pay the mortgage steered her to a career in Marketing. After distracting herself in all sorts of ways over the years – sailing, flying, volunteering and running away to India – she is now definitely, absolutely concentrating on her writing. Well, that and making sure her children get fed, clothed and entertained. Obviously.

A Little Bird Told Me is Marianne’s first novel.

You can follow the rest of the blog tour with these great blogs:

With kind thanks to Oliver at Agora Books for the review copy.