A Vicarage Christmas By Kate Hewitt #review #blogtour #giveaway

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Synopsis

Welcome to Thornwaite, a quaint village tucked up in England’s beautiful but rainy Lake District… where homecomings happen and surprises are in store for the four Holley sisters… Anna Holley, the third of four sisters, has always felt a little bit forgotten. A family tragedy when she was a child had her retreating deep into shyness, and social anxiety kept her on the fringes of the cozy chaos of the busy vicarage. After several years away from home, Anna returns for Christmas… and an important announcement from her father. As much as she once loved the village, coming back is hard and puts Anna’s social capabilities to the test. Avoiding her sisters’ bossy questions, she heads out to the local pub one night, and meets a handsome stranger nursing a pint. Somehow, unburdened by expectations, Simon seems like the perfect person to spill all her secrets to—including a hopeless, long-held crush on her sister’s boyfriend. Confident she’ll never see him again, Anna returns home… only to discover the next day that Simon is actually her father’s new curate! Anna is beyond mortified, but Simon won’t let her retreat into her usual shyness—and for once Anna is forced to confront the past, and all the fears and feelings she’d tried so long to hide. But with his own heartache that needs to heal, can Simon help Anna to make this the most magical Christmas either of them have known?

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My Review

I was so excited when I was given the chance to take part in the blog tour for A vicarage Christmas. I adore Kate’s books and reading them is like coming home! They are an absolute cosy read, perfect for a cold rainy day snuggled up under a blanket with a hot drink. The fact that this was also my first festive read of 2017 made it absolutely perfect!

A vicarage Christmas didn’t disappoint me, the characters are so real to life and have that complete likeable factor.

Anna is a lovely character but also quite complex, she suffers with social anxiety that she has hidden well over the years, even from her family. The blossoming romance between her and Simon is a joy to ‘watch’ unfold. A vicarage Christmas sees Anna face the demons from the past that have caused her pain and made her, to a certain extent hide away from the world.

This is the first in the series of The Holley Sisters of Thornthwaite, I enjoyed briefly meeting Anna’s 3 other sisters and i’m really looking forward to getting to know them better in Holley sister’s series.

If you like a feel good story to warm your heart with a large measure of Christmas cheer this is the book for you!

Click here to buy A vicarage Christmas

I’d like to thank Kate, Neverland blog tours and Tule publishing for allowing me to take part in this blog tour.



About Kate

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Kate is the USA Today-bsetselling author of over 60 books of women’s fiction and romance. She is the author of the Hartley-by-the-Sea series, set in England’s Lake District and published by Penguin. She is also, under the name Katharine Swartz, the author of the Tales from Goswell books, a series of time-slip novels set in the village of Goswell. She also writes for Harlequin Presents. She likes to read romance, mystery, the occasional straight historical and angsty women’s fiction; she particularly enjoys reading about well-drawn characters and avoids high-concept plots. Having lived in both New York City and a tiny village on the windswept northwest coast of England, she now resides in a market town in Wales with her husband, five children, and an overly affectionate Golden Retriever. You can read about her life



Where to find Kate

Goodreads

Website

Twitter



Giveaway


To win a copy of A Cotswold Christmas and a £10 Amazon giftcard Click here

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The Christmas Holiday By Maxine Morrey #Blogtour #Guestpost #Giveaway


Today I am delighted to welcome Maxine Morrey to my blog as part of the #blogtour for The Christmas Holiday.

Maxine is going to tell us how the idea for a book is born…

The Spark Of An Idea

One of the most common questions that authors get asked is: ‘Where do you get your ideas from?’ As a rule, the reply to this from many novelists is ‘From everywhere and everything.’

An idea can be sparked by a news item, an article in a magazine, a throwaway comment during a conversation, or even a line from a song playing on the radio as you drive along. That initial spark can literally come from anywhere.

In the case of The Christmas Holiday, the first germ of the idea came via a snippet of an overheard conversation in the café of a well known bookshop in London. As I sat happily ensconced with my pot of tea and a book, two women behind me were chatting away behind me. Mostly I had tuned out – a skill I honed having previously worked in the service department of an AV company with nine engineers… But then a sentence drifted towards me and caught my attention – apparently an ex boyfriend had gone off abroad to follow some amazing career opportunity. This little nugget bounced around my brain for a little while and I then I filed it away and went back to my book.

A little more recently I read a piece about a writer being hired to document a couple’s wedding day. My mind took that idea and began expanding on it – what if someone wanted not only the actual day recorded but the whole run up to it as well? And what if that run up included a whole lot more than just dress fittings and cake tasting?

Once I had the thought of a pre-wedding adventure holiday for my heroine to document, I knew I needed a professional photographer coming along too, which is when I remembered that overheard conversation came into play and the character of Hunter Scott wandered in, looking all gorgeous and accomplished. Once I had my two main characters, things just grew from there.

But it just goes to show, nothing is wasted. I like to keep my eyes (and ears!) open because you never know what might be the next spark!

Synopsis
 Fall in love this winter on a romantic trip around the world ending in a fairy-tale winter wedding!

As winter comes to London, journalist Mia Walker is desperately hoping for her big break as a travel writer, dreaming of exotic locations and sun-soaked beaches. When she’s invited to write a romantic travel piece that ends in a huge winter wedding in Scotland, she jumps at the chance. The only trouble is, the photographer is renowned adventure-junkie Hunter Scott, who Mia last saw five years ago when she ended their engagement

It’s the opportunity of a lifetime, and Mia knows she’d be mad to say no – even if it does mean spending weeks traveling round the world with the one man she never wanted to see again! But as the wedding approaches, and the magic of Christmas begins to take hold, Mia can’t help looking out for mistletoe – and wishing she hadn’t cancelled her own engagement after all…

All about Maxine Morrey


Maxine has wanted to be a writer for as long as she can remember and wrote her first (very short) book for school when she was ten. Coming in first, she won a handful of book tokens – perfect for a bookworm!

As years went by, she continued to write, but ‘normal’ work often got in the way. She has written articles on a variety of subjects, as well as a book on Brighton for a Local History publisher. However, novels are what she loves writing 
In August 2015, she won Harper Collins/Carina UK’s ‘Write Christmas’ competition with her romantic comedy, ‘Winter’s Fairytale’.
Maxine lives on the south coast of England, and when not wrangling with words, can be found tackling her To Be Read pile, sewing, listening to podcasts, and walking.

Giveaway


Prizes:

Signed copy of The Christmas Project

The Christmas Holiday notebook

Galaxy chocolate bar

Chocolate penguins and snowballs

Elephant keyring

UK ONLY

Click here to enter

Where to find Maxine Morrey
Twitter

Goodreads

Instagram

Facebook

Pinterest

Website

 

Links to buy The Christmas Holiday

Amazon UK

Body In The Marsh by Nick Louth #Blogtour


Synopsis

Book Blurb: When a woman goes missing, it gets personal for DCI Craig Gillard. But he could never imagine what happens next.

Criminologist Martin Knight lives a gilded life and is a thorn in the side of the police. But then his wife Liz goes missing. There is no good explanation and no sign of Martin…

To make things worse, Liz is the ex-girlfriend of DCI Craig Gillard who is drawn into the investigation. Is it just a missing person or something worse? And what relevance do the events around the shocking Girl F case, so taken up by Knight, have to do with the present?

The truth is darker than you could ever have imagined.

Utterly gripping and full of twists, this is a compulsive thriller from master Nick Louth for fans of Robert Bryndza, Patricia Gibney and Carole Wyer.

All about Nick Louth


Nick Louth is a best-selling thriller writer, award-winning financial journalist and an investment commentator. A 1979 graduate of the London School of Economics, he went on to become a Reuters foreign correspondent in 1987. It was an experience at a medical conference in Amsterdam in 1992, while working for Reuters, that gave him the inspiration for Bite, which was self-published in 2007 and went on to become the UK No. 1 Kindle best-seller for several weeks in 2014 before being snapped up by Sphere. It has sold a third of a million copies, and been translated into six languages.

Freelance since 1998, he has been a regular contributor to the Financial Times, Investors Chronicle and Money Observer, and has published seven other books. Nick Louth is married and lives in Lincolnshire.

Previous books

Bite, Heatbreaker, Mirror Mirror

Release date 

25th September published by Canelo

Where to find Nick

Website

Twitter

Facebook

Links to buy The Body In The Marsh

Amazon

Kobo UK

Google books UK

Apple books UK
Goodreads







Maria In The Moon by Louise Beech

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Synopsis

A stunning, beautifully written dark drama by the critically acclaimed author of How To Be Braveand The Mountain in My Shoe.

Thirty-two-year-old Catherine Hope has a great memory. But she can’t remember everything. She can’t remember her ninth year. She can’t remember when her insomnia started. And she can’t remember why everyone stopped calling her Catherine-Maria.

With a promiscuous past, and licking her wounds after a painful breakup, Catherine wonders why she resists anything approaching real love. But when she loses her home to the devastating deluge of 2007 and volunteers at Flood Crisis, a devastating memory emerges… and changes everything.

Dark, poignant and deeply moving, Maria in the Moon is an examination of the nature of memory and truth, and the defences we build to protect ourselves, when we can no longer hide…

 

My review

Maria in the Moon - Blog Tour Poster

Maria in the moon is such a beautifully written book. Sometimes a book can really touch your soul,  this for me is definitely one of them. It depicts the ripple effect an event can have on a persons life and relationships to the point of self-destruction.

I adore the cover of this book, it’s beautiful, as is the name. For me both of these factors really made the book stand out.

Set in 2007 when a  series of destructive floods occurred in parts of the uk, Catherine has fallen victim to these floods and is currently sleeping on a friends sofa while her house is being renovated.

Catherine at first comes across as quite a standoffish character who has a complicated relationship with her family and can, at times be quite rude and very sarcastic. You soon find out that this is a defense mechanism and her way of keeping people at arms length. I loved Catherine’s dry sense of humor which often shines through.

Catherine cannot remember anything about the year she was 9 years old, she doesn’t know why and nobody seems to be able to help her unearth the hidden memories from this time.

As this beautiful story unfolded and I caught glimpses of the real Catherine underneath the hard outer exterior I was captivated and impelled to read ‘just one more chapter’. When the locked box within Catherine’s mind does open to reveal exactly what had happened to her during this time, the pieces of her life come together and you can see exactly why she is like she is.

Maria in the moon had me on an emotional rollercoaster, I did shed many a tear and when I came to the final twist nearing the end it knocked me for six.

I truly recommend Maria in the moon, it’s an emotional, poignant but compelling read.

I’d like to thank Anne CaterOrenda books & Louise Beech for allowing me to review Maria in the moon.

Click here to buy Maria in the moon.

 

All about Louise

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Louise has always been haunted by the sea, even before she knew the full story of her grandfather, the man who in part inspired novel How to be Brave. She lives with her husband and children on the outskirts of Hull – the UK’s 2017 City of Culture – where from her bedroom window she can almost see the waters of the River Humber, an estuary that inspired book, The Mountain in my Shoe.

She remembers sitting as a child in her father’s cross-legged lap while he tried to show her his guitar’s chords. He’s a musician. Her small fingers stumbled and gave up. She was three. His music sheets fascinated her – such strange language that translated into music.

Her mother teaches languages, French and English, so her fluency with words fired Louise’s interest. She knew from being small that she wanted to write, to create, to make magic. She’s inspired by life, history, survival and love, and always has a story in her head.

She loves all forms of writing. Her short stories have won the Glass Woman Prize, the Eric Hoffer Award for Prose, and the Aesthetica Creative Works competition, as well as shortlisting twice for the Bridport Prize and being published in a variety of UK magazines. Her first play, Afloat, was performed at Hull Truck Theatre in 2012. She also wrote a ten-year newspaper column for the Hull Daily Mail about being a parent, garnering love/hate criticism, and a one year column called Wholly Matrimony about modern marriage.

Her debut novel, How to be Brave, was released in 2015 and got to No 4 in the Amazon UK Kindle chart, and was a Guardian Readers’ pick for 2015. This novel came from truth – when Louise’s daughter got Type 1 Diabetes she helped her cope by sharing her grandad’s real life sea survival story.

Her second novel, The Mountain in my Shoe, was released in 2016 and was inspired by her time with children in care. It explores what family truly means, and how far we will go for those we love. It longlisted for the Guardian Not The Booker Prize.

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Where to find Louise

Twitter

Website

Orenda books

 

 

Our Altered Life By Charlene Beswick #review #guestpost

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 I’m delighted to be on the blog tour today for Our altered life and welcome Charlie to my blog for a a very special guest post!

Synopsis

After a healthy twin pregnancy, Charlene and Mark were shocked to be told that one of their boys had been born with half of his face undeveloped. In seconds, the happy family future they had been planning disintegrated into turmoil and uncertainty.

Laugh out loud funny in places, heart-wrenchingly sad in others, and refreshingly honest at all times, Our Altered Life is Charlene’s wonderful account of how she struggled to forgive herself and bond with a baby she didn’t expect. Follow her transition through grief and anger, challenges and triumphs, loss and acceptance, to love for the life she has now with two children she wouldn’t change for the world

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My review

This is a truly wonderful story of hope, love and laughter. Charlie takes you through the family’s story from just before the birth of the twins.

Although sometimes bittersweet, Charlie finds the light in every situation and readily admits there have been dark days. The love Charlie has for her boys shines out from within the pages of our altered life and for me, made it an ‘unputadownable’ read!

I loved Charlie’s brutal honesty and sometimes hilarious recall of events, I think I went through every emotion whilst reading Our altered life, I cried, I laughed and I could relate to a lot of what the family went through.

Like every expectant Mum and Dad, Charlie and Mark were excited about the future, Charlene was” proud to be having twins, blessed and privileged”. After a text book pregnancy at 32 weeks gestation Charlie’s waters broke. The boys were born by emergency cesarean as one of the boys was breech. Harry and Oliver had made their entrance into the world albeit slightly earlier than they were expected but they were here. Being so premature they were whisked off to the special care baby unit.

A couple of hours later, Dr Mona, the consultant explained to Charlene and Mark that…

one twin (Oliver) was fine, but twin two (Harry) had some problems, I can still see the way Dr Mona drew an imaginary line down the centre of his face with his hand and swept it across to the left side as if I were dreaming. His voice was muffled like he was talking to me under water. I could hear the odd word, dulled by my delayed understanding and the pounding in my ears. At the same time, he was mentioning something about no eye, a small, under -developed ear, no nostril, a short and slanted jaw. He mentioned Goldenhar syndrome and Hemifacial Microsomia – different terms for similar conditions. Associated with his condition are heart defects, spinal problems and brain damage, but it was too early to know how severely Harry had been affected. He’d also been born with only one artery in his umbilical cord instead of two and the implications of this were, again, unknown at that time”

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Charlie went through guilt, fear and a rollercoaster of many other emotions that so many parents who have children with SEND go through. ”Did I do something wrong during pregnancy” ”could I have stopped this” ”what if” ”Why us?”

Harry was later also diagnosed with ASD -Autism Spectrum Disorder, this affects his communication skills, social skills and causes rigid, repetitive and obsessive behavior and sensory issues.

Our altered life documents the trials and tribulations along the bumpy path of life within a family who has a child with SEND. It shows first hand the effect it can have on the family, siblings and relationship between the parents. We have an insight into the hurdles that you come up against when looking for a nursery, then a school. Balancing work life and home life.

This is definitely not a story of doom and gloom but a story of achievements, and most importantly how there is always a light at the end of the tunnel, no matter how small.

In Charlie’s words…

”If I have learned anything on this journey, it’s to laugh as often as possible. Yes, there will be days that you’ll cry, but try to find the humor where you can. It makes for better memories to look back on through the tough times”

 

Our Altered life is inspirational I’d recommend any parent who has a child with extra needs or a disability should have this by their bedside. As a parent of a child with ASD and also a SENCO I know first and second hand how lonely it can be for a Mum and Dad along their journey.

Our Altered life will help parents to realise they are not alone and everything they are feeling is normal. It will also be a great book for professional’s to signpost families to for guidance and reassurance.

I’m going to end this review by quoting a toast that Charlie raised to her Facebook community after a trip to Blackpool, for me, it sums up Our Altered life and made me feel emotional but in a happy way!

”Here’s to Blackpool, to *motes, to rides, to the tram, to my boy laughing his head of, to so many cuddles, to memories! I know everyone thinks I’ve always got my shit together 24/7, but sometimes, doing things like this with a boy who needs structure and routine, I’m scared. Here’s to being brave, to doing it for my boy and with my boy, for the Mum he’s created, the love I have for him and all the Mum’s of unique children who worry that they can’t…until they know they can”

*Harry has a fixation on remotes and calls them motes

*Guest post*

7 ways to cope when you know people are staring.

I never really noticed people staring at each other before I had a baby with half a face (yes, I’m blunt). The reaction we got in the early days almost made me a recluse. I was hyper sensitive to every glance and whisper. They may not have even been aimed at us but I was convinced that they were. I ‘knew’ that people were talking about my son and the terrible mother who had failed him. Read more about my initial reactions to the news that Harry had been born with Goldenhar Syndrome in the moment that life changed forever.
Over the years I have developed some strategies that make it easier for me to cope with the stares, the sideways nudges, the pointing and the whispering (and even some crying from infants!). I’m not saying I don’t notice them, or that they don’t hurt sometimes but I no longer dread taking my son out of the house. Hopefully, they might help (or simply interest) you too.

Don’t take it personally

Harry is not the sort of child people see every day. He does look different. As do people in wheelchairs, with amputated limbs, with birth marks or injuries. Curiosity is natural. I am not excusing staring here. Some people stare discretely while others will gawp with eyes as big as saucers. It’s hard not to take it personally but I can absolutely guarantee that if those people were to meet your child or loved one, they wouldn’t stare a second time. They are not staring at the person. They are staring at the condition. Their ignorance and curiosity intensifies that moment where their gaze rests for 30 seconds longer than it should and feels like an eternity of pain for you. But the vast majority of people mean no harm. In the same way that cars slow down to rubber neck at a collision on the opposite side of the road. No-one is hoping those passengers have died, it’s the very opposite in fact, but we all have a morbid curiosity to wonder and stare. It’s not your fault but equally it’s not theirs. It is not an attack on your child. It is not a judgment of you as a parent. They simply don’t understand.

 

Smile


This simply has to be one of the most under rated tools of defence that we have. A smile in the direction of a staring pair of eyes will have one of three results.

It may have no effect at all. From experience, this is rare. If I smile at someone (usually a teenager) and they ignore me or simply continue then yes, I want to punch them in the throat. (I said I had developed techniques to cope – not that I was totally immune to the occasional urge for retaliation!) However, more likely is that people will either feel incredibly awkward and look away (result!) or they feel comfortable enough to then approach you. Yes, I know this is terrifying but bear with me…

 

Be prepared to answer questions

I am pretty much a walking FAQ these days. “What happened to your boys face?” “Where is his eye?” “Will he have a new one?” The questions have changed as Harrys face has evolved but I still have a bank of standard responses and am rarely caught off guard by a random question. Although, the little girl who pulled my sunglasses off at the park to see if I had one or two eyes a few years ago took me my surprise, and did make me laugh. Once you accept that people stare because they don’t understand what they are looking at, you can pre-empt the sort of questions they will have and you can be ready to answer them. The alternative is feeling a surge of adrenalin the minute anyone tries to engage you in conversation and feeling like your mouth is full of cotton wool. I’ve been there and its not healthy for anyone. Take some time to think objectively about the things you would want to know if you saw a child or person like the one you love and get comfortable with answering them.

 

Control your self-talk

Ok so in the early days my mind went something like “Everyone is looking” “They all think he’s ugly” “They all think you caused his problems and you’re a terrible mum” “They’re laughing at us”.

This self-talk totally overrode any rational internal dialogue and if I didn’t take a shopping list and a pen with me when I went food shopping then the chances are I wouldn’t buy anything we needed because I was physically unable to think clearly. Self-talk is massively powerful. It becomes the reality we create and it can hold you captive or set you free. Again, I’m not saying this is easy but working on the things you say to yourself is absolutely crucial to your resilience and mental health. Now, if I find myself in a situation where lots of eyes are on us – like a recent visit to a huge swimming attraction where I knew there would be lots of curious children – I tell myself “Its natural and fine” “Just smile” “Focus on Harrys happiness” “A few stares will not spoil our day”. Don’t let the things you say to yourself spiral out of control. Even just being aware of your inner dialogue is a great place to start.

 

Be proactive

This is a tough one and took me a long time but by a mile it’s the strategy that leaves me feeling the most successful. When I see children staring now I will smile back and ask Harry to wave. Or I’ll introduce him. At this point, I usually get all the questions and can use my FAQ responses that I rehearsed at home. Yeay for preparation! Sometimes people scurry away but often they will chat for a little while and leave us a little bit more educated than they found us. Mortified parents who have caught their child staring or pointing and dragged them off by the arm to be reprimanded are my favourite to speak with. I tell them it’s ok and not to worry. I introduce Harry and although the parent clearly wants to crawl up their own arse I know it’s helping their child so I feel that it’s worth a moment of discomfort on their part. Here, the control is mine and let me tell you, it feels so good not to be passive in your own life.


 

Don’t go looking for it

This one is more proactive than reactive but from experience I know that I used to leave the house expecting people to stare. I think now that I almost eyeballed them first, daring them to stare at me and prove me right. Not healthy.

If I tell you to count white cars on the road then suddenly you’ll see loads. The brain is amazing at honing in on what you need it to. You don’t need the starers but you do fear them and so the same principle works. Focus on having fun yourself. Just don’t go looking for the stares and whispers or I guarantee you’ll find plenty.


 

 

Notice the times when you are a starer too (Yes, you do it too!)

Oh the irony! I would hate people staring and yet the minute I saw other children with facial disfigurements or disabilities I was all about the staring. Not because I was judging or rude. I might simply wonder if they’d had any procedures like Harry had, or what device they were wearing and how it helped them. My friends son is in a wheelchair and often she says she catches herself staring with ‘wheel envy’ at a more up to date model of a chair. Like I say, its natural and you never know the motives of people when they are staring.

 

There will always be people who stare. Some will be naturally curious, others will be wondering what you have been through and it’s a sad fact that some will just be plain rude. You can either spend time worrying and wondering or you can accept that it will happen, be prepared with your strategies and decision to enjoy the day.

It’s always a conscious choice and sometimes it takes practice but if I can do it, anyone can!

 

Chat soon

Charlie xxx

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All about Charlie

Hi, I’m Charlie, mum to twins Oliver and Harry and I am blogging about life as a parent of a child with special needs at Our Altered Life. I chronicle the highs and lows of a life less ordinary and the challenges and adventures we all face. When I’m not writing or working you will find me drinking gin, eating my own body weight in cheese and laminating stuff (you can take the girl out of teaching but you cant take the teacher out of the girl!)

Social media links

Facebook

Instagram

Twitter

Website/Blog

Our altered life will be available to buy from 29th September.

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Dangerous Crossing By Rachel Rhys #review

Dangerous Crossing Cover

I am honoured to be on the blog tour for Dangerous crossing, I adore this book, it’s in my top 3 reads of 2017 and if you haven’t already read this delight of a book I urge to add it to your TBR pile now!

Synopsis

 NOW A RICHARD AND JUDY BOOK CLUB PICK 2017* ‘The pages turn themselves!’

Shortlisted for the HWA Gold Crown 2017

A stunning, atmospheric novel in the great tradition of Death on the Nile and Patricia Highsmith, which tells of a young girl’s terrifying journey trapped on a cruise liner to Australia at the brink of the Second World War.

‘Thrilling, captivating. Simply stunning’ Daily Express 5 *****

‘An exquisite tale of love, murder and dark secrets’ LISA JEWELL

‘Intoxicating. I loved this book!’ SANTA MONTEFIORE

‘An utter treat . . . a glorious mix of proper old-school glamour and a labyrinthine plot full of class war, politics and sexual tension . . . A masterful storyteller.’ VERONICA HENRY

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England, September 1939
Lily Shepherd boards a cruise liner for a new life in Australia and is plunged into a world of cocktails, jazz and glamorous friends. But as the sun beats down, poisonous secrets begin to surface. Suddenly Lily finds herself trapped with nowhere to go …

Australia, six-weeks later
The world is at war, the cruise liner docks, and a beautiful young woman is escorted onto dry land in handcuffs.

What has she done?

Dangerous Crossing Blog Tour Poster

My Review

Where do I start with this fantastic novel! Firstly I love this era so for me it was off to a good start. By the second chapter, i was hooked and drawn into the plot.

A Dangerous Crossing has a mix of everything, love, suspense, murder, mystery, as well as being a historic novel. The twist at the end……amazing and totally unexpected, but I’m not going to spoil it for you, instead I urge you to click on the link at the end of this review and read it for yourself, I promise you won’t be disappointed!

 

The first pages start where the story ends, 4th September 1939, Sydney, Australia. A woman is led down the gangplank of a ship which left Tilbury Docks five and a half weeks earlier. She is in handcuffs and flanked by a policeman either side of her. What is her crime? Why was she on board the ship?

The story centres around Lily Shepherd. It’s 29th July 1939 she is leaving England to create a new life, the government are offering young women who are prepared to go into domestic work in Australia, a free ticket with a promise of  2 years of work. Lily is running away from life in England and the reason why slowly unfolds as you delve deeper into this book.

The other characters all have secrets they are trying to escape, the rich and damaged Max and Eliza Campbell. They are flamboyant, larger than life and not like anybody Lily has ever met or socialised with before. She is warned about the couple many a time but something draws her back to them.

Helena and Edward Fletcher are brother and sister, Edward’s health has been very poor, Helena has given up her life in England to travel to Australia to make a new life where hopefully Edward’s health will improve but is there more to them than meets the eye?

Running through the story as an under current is the increasing threat of war and the effect it will have on everyone. As well as the divides of class and nationality.

Lily is a strong and very likeable character. At the beginning of the story she is very naive, as you follow her journey you feel her changing yet still trying to stay true to who she is. The stories main core of characters have individual stories and secrets that slowly unfold.

The only down side of A dangerous crossing is it had to end! This book really does give you a taste of everything and has the ability to keep you up far too late ‘just reading one more chapter’

This is a definite 5 star read for me!

To buy Dangerous Crossing click here

I’d like to thank Anne Cater,   Alison Barrow , Tammy Cohen & Transworld books for allowing me to review Dangerous Crossing.

Rachel Rhys+©+Johnny Ring