New Releases

The Most Dangerous Spy

Nancy Brown is an ordinary girl living in the industrial town of Orethorpe at the outbreak of the Second World War. Her life suddenly changes when she is told to report to the mysterious Megg House, and soon she finds herself caught up in a top-secret operation to find German spies operating in the town.

Seventy years later Arthur Lane is living in Orethorpe. By chance, he strikes up a friendship with an elderly man, Mr Smith. When a newspaper reporter turns up asking to interview Mr Smith about his role in the war, Arthur learns that Mr Smith has a deep secret. Can he discover what it is?

“The Most Dangerous Spy” switches between 1940, when a careless word can leave lives in peril, and 2010, when once-deadly knowledge – including the identity of ‘the most dangerous spy of all’ – can remain secret no longer.

About the Author:

Sharon Edwards works for the BBC. Her novel is aimed at 9-13 year-olds and is mainly set in the Second World War, although there is also a modern-day story that weaves through the novel. The two storylines come together at the end. The book is set in a Midlands industrial town in the UK where a young girl is recruited to help find German undercover agents in the town. She visits Bletchley Park as her intercepts end up there for decoding.

Excerpt from Book:

Nancy was staring at one man and then the other.  What did they want with her and how did he know about her German lessons? It was then that the tall, thin man spoke for the first time.

“The country is at War, Miss Brown; you know that, of course,” he said, his tone gentle. “What you may not know is that England could be invaded by Hitler’s forces.” He suddenly walked over towards her, reached out to a spare chair in the corner of the room and slammed it down on the floor close to hers. He sat down and leant forward. “Hitler is coming, that’s a fact, but we want to stop him,” he said. “It’s our duty to stop him. It’s my duty and it’s your duty to do whatever we can to aid our own side in keeping the Germans at bay, and you can help us. Do you understand?”

“We want you to listen,” the older man explained, taking over from his colleague. “You know how to listen and goodness knows there aren’t enough of you. Nothing to do with running into a line of bullets or trying to get yourself blown up. It’s absurdly simple. We just want you to listen.”

Nancy looked at the faces bearing down on her. After a few moments she blurted out: “Listen to what?”

The older man leant in even closer, their faces almost touching. “Why, the Germans, of course, German spies.”

 

“The Most Dangerous Spy” by Sharon Edwards is available in paperback from Amazon at:

You can also download the e-book version from:

 

Press/Media Contact Details:

Sharon Edwards
E-mail: sharon222edwards@btinternet.com

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The Morgana Chronicles: The Pen of Guinevere

The gates of hell open, and a thirteen-year-old girl is left in the graveyard. Who is she? What is she?

That is what she wants to know!

But all is not what is seems. Morgan is two people: a girl and a witch by the name of Morgana. She finds the land is very bright and colourful and does not wish to go back to hell – but the God of Purgatory wants her back.

Morgan has a job to do, and it means meeting witches, fairies, and other creatures in a world of magic and mayhem.

She wants love and wants to give it back, but it is all so muddled…

Excerpt from the book:

“As the baby girl slept, the Devil appeared.  Red hot skin with horns on his head, he carried a staff with a skull and fiery red eyes as an aid.  His appearance took Tanya aback as she stood at the doorway of the bedroom; when she looked at him, she felt as though he was burning a hole through her soul.

‘You are here,’ she whispered, glancing around the corridor to make sure no-one else was awake.

‘I am here for my prize,’ he growled deeply.

‘Take her,’ she replied coldly.  ‘I have all that I need.’ The Devil picked the child up, wrapped in her pink blanket, and left.

Tanya too a deep breath and went back to bad as if nothing had happened, then lay down and fell into a deep and restful sleep.

The next morning, she went to the nursery and screamed to find one empty Moses basket.

That scream led to many years of hope that one day, the little girl would come home, and her family would finally be whole again.  Because that morning, it broke apart…”

The Morgana Chronicles:  The Pen of Guinevere (Book 1)” by Morgan Harrison is available in paperback from Amazon UK at:

Press/Media Contact Details:

Darin Jewell
Tel. 0208 292 5163
E-mail: darin@theinspiragroup.com

Audiobook Review: Black Rocks and Rainbows by Susan C. Riford

Title: BLACK ROCKS AND RAINBOWS
Author: Susan C. Riford
Publisher: Blackstone Publishing
Genre: YA / Historical

BOOK BLURB:

The journey of a lifetime told in the audiobook BLACK ROCKS AND RAINBOWS begins with a ship: “An enormous canoe, with great white wings like a magnificent bird.” This is the merchant schooner Triumph from New England, anchored offshore by what is now known as the Big Island of Hawaii, and in 1807, the sight of it captivates a young Hawaiian boy’s imagination and spirit of adventure. Fifteen-year-old Hiapo Opukahaia, orphaned as the result of a war between two rival island chiefs, has been contemplating his future. He dives into the sea and swims to the ship, where he is invited to stay for dinner. When the captain asks if he would like to go to America, he nods Yes.

The audiobook BLACK ROCKS AND RAINBOWS, an historical novel for young adults, edited and narrated by actress Suzanne Ford, was written by her late mother, Susan C. Riford.  The audiobook chronicles the gripping story of Hiapo – renamed “Henry” by his fellow crewmen – whose literal and figurative journey leads to the greatest adventure of all: a hunger for knowledge which ultimately changes Hawaii forever. The title refers to the lava rocks and beautiful rainbows of the Big Island, the vision of which Henry carries with him for the rest of his life.

Working as a cabin boy, Henry does encounter true-life adventures – pirates, storms – during the ship’s year-long voyage, via the Seal Islands and China, back to its home port of New Haven, Connecticut. He also learns to read and write English, unlocking his quest for further knowledge; upon arriving in New Haven, Henry realizes he desperately wants to keep learning, but has no idea how.

Weeping one day on the steps of Yale College, he is found by a kind student, a relative of the school’s president. Taken under the president’s wing, Henry becames a scholar. He wants to translate written works from English into Hawaiian, but at the time, there is no such written Hawaiian language. So he begins to apply the principles in an American spelling book – devised by Noah Webster, of dictionary fame – to the sounds of his native tongue. In doing so, he creates the alphabet-spelling-grammar system that is the basis for the Hawaiian written language in use to this day.

Sadly, Henry dies of typhus fever in 1818 at the age of 26. He is buried in Cornwall, Connecticut, until 1993, when he makes one final journey: a group of Hawaiian residents has successfully crusaded for the return of his remains to the Big Island for permanent burial. Hiapo Opukahaia has come home.

Suzanne Ford was inspired to create the audiobook BLACK ROCKS AND RAINBOWS originally written by her late mother, Susan Riford, a prolific author of children’s books and plays and founder of what is now known as the Rev Theatre Company in Auburn, New York. Her mother became fascinated with Henry’s story when she moved to Maui. “The novel was her final work before she died,” Ford says. “I took on the unfinished manuscript, wrote the last chapter, had a few copies printed and recorded the audiobook. The story is such a fascinating and compelling adventure, fun to listen to for anyone, but especially for young adults.”

Ford is working on an updated, illustrated book version of BLACK ROCKS AND RAINBOWS. “It’s noteworthy that there has never been a full-length historical novel about Opukahaia, who is such a major figure in Hawaiian history and whose story carries a timeless message about the importance of education,” she observes. “Especially in this era of the dawning of deeper recognition of indigenous peoples and their heritage, this as yet unfamiliar but universal coming-of-age story is resonant and relevant to youth of any culture.”

Amazon → https://amzn.to/3vWmViK

My Review

I chose to listen to the book after receiving a free audio copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

This story is based on the facts of the life of Opukahaia, which was an amazing one. At just 10 years old he witnessed the murder of his parents and then had to live with the chief of the tribe responsible for killing his parents. When his uncle found out that he was alive, he took over his care and wanted to teach him to follow in his footsteps. Although everyone treated him well, he wanted to find his calling in life instead of being told what he was going to do. Such a strong young man!

At 15 years old, Opukahaia became a cabin boy which started his journey that not only changed his life but made his mark in history. He was so smart and he had a thirst for knowledge so, fittingly, he ended up at Yale and learned as well as taught others about his homeland.

Historical fiction has been one of my favorite genres since I read Johnny Tremain as a child. I enjoyed this story immensely and believe that young adults as well as adults will like it. The ending was sad and really touched me, I think because I knew that Opukahaia was an actual person. But he did inspire others to go to Hawaii to teach his people to read and write using the alphabet that he devised.

Suzanne Ford does a great job narrating the story. Her pace and timing are great, and I enjoyed listening to her. I definitely recommend Black Rocks & Rainbows to anyone who likes audiobooks.

Praise

“This adventure story is riveting from start to finish and the action keeps coming. The ending, though sad because it’s a true story, was very uplifting and inspiring. A very satisfying audiobook experience.”

-Amazon

Listen to a sample of the audiobook here:

Amazon

And here:

About the Creator

Suzanne Ford is an actress and writer working in film, television, and theatre. She has performed in more than100 stage productions in New York and Los Angeles, on tour and in regional theatres around the country. Her many film credits include the Duplass Brothers’ recent hit Manson Family Vacation; You, Me and Dupree and The Apparition, and she has appeared on such television shows as Grace and Frankie, Grey’s Anatomy, Criminal MindsIt’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia and Friends. She has been an advertising copywriter, has written a biography of Mel Gibson, screenplays, and cookbooks, and has ghostwritten memoirs. She and her husband live in the Hollywood Hills.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK

Book Review & Giveaway: Enigma by Chris Bennett

Book Title: Enigma (Road to the Breaking Book 2) by Chris Bennett
Category: Adult Fiction (18 +) , 514 pages
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: CPB Publishing, LLC
Release date: February 2021
Content Rating: PG-13. Cursing, violence and war scenes, etc.

Book Description

“How can I call myself a man of good conscience, when I myself am no better than a slaver?”

It’s summer 1860, and former army Captain Nathan Chambers has returned home to Virginia to claim his inheritance: a large plantation with more than one hundred slaves.  Nathan wants no part of slavery and intends to sell the farm and all its slaves.  But even as he arrives home, enduring fearful and downcast stares from despondent black faces, he knows what he must do … and the price he must pay for doing it.

And then Evelyn arrives … strikingly beautiful, spirited, and intriguing, she is the daughter of an old family friend.  But the more Nathan is drawn in by her charms, the harder she pushes him away …

The Road to the Breaking Series is an epic tale of a young nation seething with debauchery, brutality, corruption, and political intrigue, unwittingly on the brink of a deadly precipice: the American Civil War.  In Book 2 of the series, Nathan Chambers has returned from the violent army life out West, only to face a heart wrenching Enigma at home.

BUY THE BOOK:
Amazon~ B&N
Bookshop
Add to Goodreads

My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free e-copy from the author. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

I read the first book, Road to the Breaking, and was glad I had Enigma to continue the story because there wasn’t a resolution.

There are two main plots in this book. The first is about the horrid practice of slavery in America and Nathan’s fight to help the slaves he inherited from his father along with his plantation. He wants to do what is right but is having trouble not only with neighbors, but the slaves understandably don’t trust him.

The second plot begins about halfway through the book when Evelyn and her mother arrive at the plantation. Most of the second half of the book is about their budding romance.

The characters are well developed, and I like Nathan and his men as well as his mom and Megs, the slave who took care of him as a child. I still don’t know how I feel about Evelyn.

The author’s writing flows well. This book doesn’t have as much action as the first book but a lot more romance and politics. There is quite a lot of description – a little more than I like, but that’s a personal preference.

Like the first book, Enigma leaves some things unresolved. I recommend having all 5 books in the series before you start reading them.

About the Author

Chris A. Bennett grew up on the shores of Klamath Lake in southeastern Oregon. For a young boy it was a dream world of water, hills, forests, and abundant wildlife. His love for action and adventure morphed into a lifelong love for books when his Mom read The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings to the family on a long road trip.

Chris’s thirst for adventure never faded and he began to live out his love of history onto the pages of his first book, Road to the Breaking. Once he started writing he just couldn’t stop and the result is The Road to the Breaking series; an epic journey across a young nation seething with debauchery, brutality, corruption, and political intrigue, unwittingly on the brink of an unimaginable disaster: the American Civil War.

Chris currently lives near Seattle with his wife Patricia. His three adult children Nick, Rachel, and Josh also live in the Puget Sound area.​

Connect with the Author:   website  ~ instagram ~ goodreads

Giveaway

Enter to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card courtesy of Chris Bennett, author of the A ROAD TO BREAKING book series! (one winner/USA only) (ends Aug 2)

Gleam

Follow the Tour

July 6 – Cover Lover Book Review – books spotlight / giveaway
July 6 – Working Mommy journal – book review of ROAD TO THE BREAKING (Book 1) / giveaway
July 7 – The Momma Spot – book review of ROAD TO THE BREAKING (Book 1) / giveaway
July 8 – Books for Books – book review of ROAD TO THE BREAKING (Book 1)
July 12 – Books for Books – book review of ENIGMA (ROAD TO THE BREAKING, Book 2)
July 13 – Locks, Hooks and Books – book review of ROAD TO THE BREAKING (Book 1) / giveaway
July 13 – Bound 4 Escape – book review of ROAD TO THE BREAKING (Book 1) / giveaway
July 15 – Jazzy Book Reviews – books spotlight / guest post / giveaway
July 16 – The Momma Spot – book review of ENIGMA (ROAD TO THE BREAKING, Book 2) / giveaway
July 19 – Splashes of Joy – book review of ROAD TO THE BREAKING (Book 1) / author interview / giveaway
July 19 – Book Corner News and Reviews – book review of ROAD TO THE BREAKING (Book 1) / giveaway
July 20 – Locks, Hooks and Books – book review of ENIGMA (ROAD TO THE BREAKING, Book 2) / giveaway
July 20 – Bound 4 Escape – book review of ENIGMA (ROAD TO THE BREAKING, Book 2) / giveaway
July 20 – Book Corner News and Reviews – book review of ENIGMA (ROAD TO THE BREAKING,  Book 2) / giveaway
July 20 – fundinmental – books spotlight / giveaway
July 21 – @twilight_reader – book review of ROAD TO THE BREAKING (Book 1)
July 21 – Literary Flits – books spotlight / giveaway
July 22 – @twilight_reader – book review of ENIGMA (ROAD TO THE BREAKING, Book 2)
July 22 – Character Madness and Musings – book review of ROAD TO THE BREAKING (Book 1) / guest post / giveaway  
July 23 – Splashes of Joy – book review of ENIGMA (ROAD TO THE BREAKING, Book 2) / giveaway
July 23 – Character Madness and Musings – book review of ENIGMA (ROAD TO THE BREAKING, Book 2) / giveaway
July 26 – Sadie’s Spotlight – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway

Book Review & Giveaway: Road to the Breaking by Chris Bennett

Book Title:  Road to the Breaking
Category: Adult Fiction (18 +) , 345 pages
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher:  CPB Publishing, LLC
Release date:   January 2021
Content Rating:  PG-13. Cursing, violence and war scenes, etc. 


Book Description:

​Nothing survived “The Breaking” unchanged; lives and fortunes, love and hate, freedom and slavery …

It’s early 1860, and war hero Captain Nathaniel Chambers, commander U.S. Army Fort Davis in the west Texas wilderness, has received shocking news – his father is dead.  He must return home to Virginia and claim his inheritance before a maniacal neighbor can murder his widowed mother and seize the family plantation.

But he’s torn by a terrible dilemma – to stay in the army and turn his back on his fortune, his mother and his beloved childhood home, or become the thing he despises; a slave master!  Is there no other choice? 

An epic journey across a young nation seething with debauchery, brutality, corruption, and political intrigue, unwittingly on the brink of an unimaginable disaster; the American Civil War.  Nathan Chambers has left the violent army life behind in Texas, never imaging he’s on the very Road to The Breaking.

BUY THE BOOK:
Amazon ~ B&N
Bookshop  
Add to Goodreads

My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free e-copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

Nathaniel Chambers is a captain in the army stationed at Fort Davis in Texas. When he receives a telegram from his mom that his father has passed away, he decides it’s his duty to return to Virginia to take over the farm. Several of his men resign to follow him and to help out as needed.

As they move across the south, the men encounter several challenges and Nathan feels like he can’t keep moving on until he takes care of each one. He is a good and moral man, but he struggles with anger issues. It tore at my heartstrings when he lost control or when someone he cared about was killed.

The characters are well developed, and the author’s writing flows well. There is a lot of action and a quite a lot of description – a little more than I like, but that’s a personal preference. I like to get to the meat of the action!

This is the first book in the series, and I’m getting ready to start the second book, Enigma. I’m glad I have it because Road to the Breaking did not have closure.

About the Author

Chris A. Bennett grew up on the shores of Klamath Lake in southeastern Oregon. For a young boy it was a dream world of water, hills, forests, and abundant wildlife. His love for action and adventure morphed into a lifelong love for books when his Mom read The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings to the family on a long road trip.

Chris’s thirst for adventure never faded and he began to live out his love of history onto the pages of his first book, Road to the Breaking. Once he started writing he just couldn’t stop and the result is The Road to the Breaking series; an epic journey across a young nation seething with debauchery, brutality, corruption, and political intrigue, unwittingly on the brink of an unimaginable disaster: the American Civil War.

Chris currently lives near Seattle with his wife Patricia. His three adult children Nick, Rachel, and Josh also live in the Puget Sound area.​

Connect with the Author:   website  ~ instagram ~ goodreads

Giveaway

Enter to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card courtesy of Chris Bennett, author of the A ROAD TO BREAKING book series! (one winner/USA only) (ends Aug 2)

Gleam

Follow the Tour

July 6 – Cover Lover Book Review – books spotlight / giveaway
July 6 – Working Mommy journal – book review of ROAD TO THE BREAKING (Book 1) / giveaway
July 7 – The Momma Spot – book review of ROAD TO THE BREAKING (Book 1) / giveaway
July 8 – Books for Books – book review of ROAD TO THE BREAKING (Book 1)
July 12 – Books for Books – book review of ENIGMA (ROAD TO THE BREAKING, Book 2)
July 13 – Locks, Hooks and Books – book review of ROAD TO THE BREAKING (Book 1) / giveaway
July 13 – Bound 4 Escape – book review of ROAD TO THE BREAKING (Book 1) / giveaway
July 15 – Jazzy Book Reviews – books spotlight / guest post / giveaway
July 16 – The Momma Spot – book review of ENIGMA (ROAD TO THE BREAKING, Book 2) / giveaway
July 19 – Splashes of Joy – book review of ROAD TO THE BREAKING (Book 1) / author interview / giveaway
July 19 – Book Corner News and Reviews – book review of ROAD TO THE BREAKING (Book 1) / giveaway
July 20 – Locks, Hooks and Books – book review of ENIGMA (ROAD TO THE BREAKING, Book 2) / giveaway
July 20 – Bound 4 Escape – book review of ENIGMA (ROAD TO THE BREAKING, Book 2) / giveaway
July 20 – Book Corner News and Reviews – book review of ENIGMA (ROAD TO THE BREAKING,  Book 2) / giveaway
July 20 – fundinmental – books spotlight / giveaway
July 21 – @twilight_reader – book review of ROAD TO THE BREAKING (Book 1)
July 21 – Literary Flits – books spotlight / giveaway
July 22 – @twilight_reader – book review of ENIGMA (ROAD TO THE BREAKING, Book 2)
July 22 – Character Madness and Musings – book review of ROAD TO THE BREAKING (Book 1) / guest post / giveaway  
July 23 – Splashes of Joy – book review of ENIGMA (ROAD TO THE BREAKING, Book 2) / giveaway
July 23 – Character Madness and Musings – book review of ENIGMA (ROAD TO THE BREAKING, Book 2) / giveaway
July 26 – Sadie’s Spotlight – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway

Guest Post by Carl Buccellato, author of To Every Page a Turning

Book Title:  To Every Page a Turning: One Life’s Journey
Category: Adult Fiction (18 +),  284 pages 
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher:  Mascot
Release date:   April, 2021
Content Rating:  PG. Content not suitable for young children.​ 



Book Description:

A parallel to Buccellato’s own life, the main character in To Every Page A Turning: One Life’s Journey considers the trials and tribulations throughout his life, beginning in the 1950s. Traveling through hope, a great cause, disenchantment, hopelessness, discovery, and rebirth, the novel also recounts the travel of a generation as they move through time.​

Buy the Book:
Amazon ~ B&N
add to Goodreads

Guest Post by Carl Buccellato

A Most Memorable Birthday

I suppose all birthdays are somewhat memorable just for the sake of aging one year older. The mere fact of aging, rather than the clear end, is a win.

I have often said, “I never had a birthday party as a child.” To my memory, I never did —a cake, yes, but not a party.

It was a hot evening in July of 1992. I arrived home from work after a long week of travel and meetings. I parked my car in the garage and attempted to enter the house, only to find the inside garage door locked (wise security, but not the habit at the time).

I walked around to the main entrance of my home. Entering, I heard a surge of cheers and loud cries of “SURPRISE!!” I was shocked as I look around seeing smiling faces of friends and family — some having traveled great distances to be here to surprise me and celebrate my 50th birthday.

I then notice something very odd. All of these people were dressed as children and the rooms were filled with balloons and toys, joyfully eating candies and popcorn. This was indeed a child’s party—my childhood party that I never had as a child. The menu was filled with youthful selections, PB&J sandwiches, hot dogs, tons of candy and ice cream, and dozens of toys that would later be donated to a local church. I was given a change of clothes: a t-shirt, shorts, and a cap with a propeller on top. I laughed and sang songs and just had the most wonderful time being celebrated and being a child again.

The crowning event was the presentation of my birthday cake, ablaze with candles and decorated with toy cowboys and Indians.

All in all, a great memory!

About the Author

Carl Buccellato was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1942, and is of Italian-American descent. Throughout his career and travels, Carl has met a broad array of different people. Some, down on their luck, some at the pinnacle of their careers and personal lives. Many of the people and their stories left a mark on Carl’s heart and mind. It is from some of these encounters that Carl has drawn inspiration for a few of the fictitious characters in this novel. Today, Carl resides in Coral Springs, Florida, with his wife Mary Ellen. She is an award-winning multimedia artist and speaker. Together, Carl and Mary Ellen love traveling the globe and looking for new inspiration for their gifts and talents given to them by their loving God.
​​
connect with the author: website ~ facebook  ~ youtube ~ goodreads

Giveaway

Enter to win a signed copy of TO EVERY PAGE OF TURNING! (one winner/USA only)

https://gleam.io/l3YLk/to-every-page-of-turning-book-tour-giveaway

Tour Schedule

July 6 – Rockin’ Book Reviews – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
July 6 – The Momma Spot – book spotlight / giveaway
July 7 – Cover Lover Book Review – book review / giveaway
July 8 – @twilight_reader – book review / guest post
July 8 – Kam’s Place  – book spotlight
July 9 –Bound 4 Escape – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
July 12 – Books for Books – book review
July 13 – Locks, Hooks and Books – book review / guest post / giveaway
July 13 – Rockin’ Book Reviews – book review / giveaway
July 14 – Welcome To MLM Opinions Reviews – book review
July 14 – I Read What You Write – book spotlight / giveaway
July 15 – Instagram: Read With Me – book review
July 15 – Library of Clean Reads – book spotlight / giveaway
July 16 – Splashes of Joy – book review / author interview / giveaway
July 19 – JB’s Bookworms with Brandy Mulder – book review / guest post / giveaway

Book Review: Lighting the Stars by Gabriele Wills

Publisher:  Mindshadows, November 2020
Category: Historical Fiction, World War II, Historical Romance
Tour dates: May-June, 2021
ISBN: 978-1775035411
Available in Print and ebook, 477 pages

Lighting the Stars

Tucked into the rugged Canadian wilderness of Muskoka’s majestic lake country, Merilee Sutcliffe’s peaceful town seems worlds away from the escalating conflict in Europe. But life is about to change dramatically in the Summer of 1940. As her patriotic friends and relatives leave for battle, her small town is thrust into the war machine. Merilee’s formerly tranquil skies soon roar with aircraft from the Royal Norwegian Air Force, stationed nearby to train young men determined to liberate their country from Nazi occupation.  When German Prisoners of War march into her shocked community, they become Merilee’s closest neighbours – and biggest threat.

What unfolds in her remote town and on foreign shores sets Merilee and her growing circle on a collision course with an unimagined destiny. Caught up in the chaos is Luftwaffe pilot Erich Leitner. Shot down during the Battle of Britain and transplanted to a lakeside prison in Muskoka, he discovers he has more to fear from his comrades than his captors.

While her cousin-in-spirit, Elyse Thornton, navigates the treacherous skies of Britain as a Spitfire Girl, audaciously ferrying warplanes from factories to airfields, Merilee becomes quietly entangled in her own dangerous liaisons on the home front. Caught between worlds, with conflicted loyalties and a sense of duty, she joins the Royal Canadian Air Force, Women’s Division, and soon finds herself in ground-zero London, focussing her photographer’s lens on a city under bombardment.

Far from carefree summers on the lake, struggling to survive the relentless demands and sacrifices of war, Merilee, Elyse, and their friends wonder if they dare to risk their hearts as well.

As unlikely lives intersect, ideologies and social hierarchies are challenged, loves and friendships are forged or broken, and countless heroes are made and lost.  But even those who return to the serenity of Muskoka are changed forever.

Amazon.com
Amazon.ca
Mindshadows Paperbacks
Barnes&Noble
IndieBound

Guest Review by Sal


A stunning blend of emotionality and research, ‘Lighting The Stars,’ by Gabriele Wills is a novel for the ages.


Set in the summer of 1940, ‘Lighting The Stars’ centers around a large cast of characters, most of whom are living in the Canadian town of Muskoka, a peaceful lakeside community that used to have a large sanatorium.


Although World War II is in full swing in Europe, the only action that Muskoka has seen before the beginning of the novel is the local airport being used to land Air Force planes. But that all changes one summer afternoon when fifteen-year-old Merilee Sutcliffe is approached by a solider who informs her that the town is soon to be used for a German POW camp.


Soon, life in the small town begins to change at a rapid pace, and the lives of the people that live there are changed as well. Merilee begins to question her place in the war effort, how she can help her country and how many friends and family members will have to enlist. Her best friend Peggy, disabled by a polio outbreak three years earlier, is dismayed to discover that the POW camp is going to be set up at the abandoned sanitorium that is directly next to her house. Her family vows not to leave the land.
Meanwhile, a German pilot by the name of Erich Leitner is brought to the camp and soon begins a relationship with Merilee that will have lasting consequences for both of them.


Wills has created such a beautiful novel full of inspiring messages and relatable characters. I can only imagine the amount of research that goes into writing a novel of this caliber and she pulled it off seamlessly. ‘Lighting The Stars’ is both unmissable and unforgettable. I can’t wait to see what this author decides to write next!

About the Author

Gabriele Wills is the author of 6 highly acclaimed historical novels, including 4 in The Muskoka Novels saga set in North America, Britain, and Europe through the two cataclysmic World Wars and the seductive Jazz Age.

Her passion is to weave compelling stories around meticulously researched and often quirky or arcane facts in order to bring the past to life, especially with regard to women’s often forgotten contributions.

The first novel in her ‘Muskoka Novels’, ‘The Summer Before the Storm’ was the “Muskoka Chautauqua Reading List Winner”

Website: https://www.themuskokanovels.co
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GabrieleWills
Twitter: https://twitter.com/GabrieleWills

Giveaway

3 winners of a print or e-copy of Lighting the Stars.

Print copies are open to the US and Canada only. Gifted kindle is open to the US only and Kobo is open to anyone who has a usable account on Kobo. Giveaway ends on June 20, 2021, midnight pacific time.

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Follow the Tour

Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus May 26 Tour Kickoff & Interview

Connywithay May 27 Review

Lu Ann Rockin’ Book Reviews May 28 Excerpt

Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus June 1 Review

Kristen BookNAround June 2 Review

GudReader Goodreads June 4 Review

Laura Lee Celtic Lady’s Reviews June 9 Guest Review & Guest Post

Linda Lu All Things Jill-Elizabeth June 14 Guest Review

Betty Toots Book Reviews June 15 Review

Bookgirl Goodreads June 16 Review

Bee Book Pleasures June 17 Review

Bee Book Pleasures June 17 Interview

Am Goodreads June 18 Review

Patty Books, Cooks, Looks June 21 Review & Excerpt

Sal Bound 4 Escape June 23 Guest Review

Lu Ann Rockin’ Book Reviews June 24 Review

Denise Amazon.ca June 28 Review

Amy Locks Hooks, and Books June 29 Review

New Releases

Living by my Rules

“Living By My Rules” provides an real insight into the struggles of living with an incurable, degenerative disease such as Parkinson’s disease. Simon’s stories of his early life will transport you back to a far simpler time, the 1970s. Amusing tales which will stir fond memories in all but the youngest readers… flares, scooters, mods and of course a nostalgic look back at his beloved football, an especially QPR. This book will make you laugh and it will make you cry but, what shines through is Simon’s ability to laugh in the face of adversity and his dogged determination to kick Parkinson’s into touch.

About the Author:

As the classic symptoms of Parkinson’s disease began to take control of Simon’s life, he became a shadow of his former self. After months of fighting a losing battle to keep the disease in check, Simon found the strength to talk to his family, even managing to book an appointment with a neurologist. Sadly, at a time when he needed an experienced health care professional to help him fight his corner, what he got was a cold, uncaring man who clearly had no time for his situation. However, his initial assessment proved to be 100% accurate; at just 36 years of age, Simon was told he had Parkinson’s disease. The desire to produce a written account of his life for his immediate family and friends led to “A Life Worth Living.” Ingram looks back at his life, often with humour and pathos, and decides that the way to keep going is to appreciate the life he has led. The only way to fight is to appreciate what battles he has already fought and won. After all, what else makes a life worth living? Ingram’s first-hand account of his life from his early childhood to teen years to his first signs of the debilitating disease give an insider’s look at not just a “disease” but a man.

Excerpt from the book:

“I do honestly believe that one day a cure will be found for Parkinson’s. Until then, I’m preparing myself for a bumpy ride as my symptoms continue to deteriorate. Following my most recent experiences though, I’ve redefined my own battle plan. I now have a better understanding of how much Parkinson’s attacks you at your most vulnerable points

Armed with this information, I feel that I have regained the initiative and once again I am truly ‘Living By My Rules’.

 Parkinson’s has been a burden that I’ve had to contend with for the last eleven years. The need to battle against the degenerative nature of the illness, in what it feels like every waking hour since, has driven me to become a very single-minded person. When it comes to dealing with the condition, my plan is based upon a few key factors:

 

“Living By My Rules” by Simon Ingram is available in paperback format from Amazon at:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Living-My-Rules-Simon-Ingram/dp/1800314221

Press/Media Contact Details:

New Generation Publishing
Tel. 01234 711 956
E-mail: info@newgeneration-publishing.com

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The Post

It is England, 1916.

The Great War shows no sign of ending. Despite the gloom, the Southdown battalions, full of friends and family, march to war on a wave of patriotic fervour.

With three sons overseas, Agnes Davison searches for the strength to bring her community together. She echoes the sentiments of wives and mothers everywhere trying desperately to help the men they love. In a world blighted by prejudice and social order the birth of the Women’s Institute brings fresh hope; and in Agnes, a champion for the cause awaits.

But on the eve of the battle of the Somme, even her courage will face the ultimate test, as the Southdown Battalions are ordered forward in a diversionary attack. Here in just a few desperate hours, the lives and loves of hundreds of families, will come together in one gallant charge. A charge that will be struck from the record books forever…


James Sowerby’s eagerly awaited sequel to The Whistle, is a gripping tale of ordinary people caught up in the maelstrom of global conflict. With a wonderful eye for detail, Sowerby’s powerful storytelling will challenge your emotions throughout, and leave you desperate for more.

About the Author:

James grew up in Yorkshire and believes his earliest foray into the world of fiction was listening to his father’s long and very entertaining bedtime stories.  A love of the arts was nurtured in his school days and continued through university and beyond. But above all else James has had a lifelong love of history through the ages, which his crowded bookshelves and hundreds of holiday diversions pay witness to.

Historical research work on the two world wars, combined with further battlefield trips to the region, triggered a desire to tell the stories of the ordinary men and women involved at home and on the front lines. Since then, numerous writing courses have followed, as James has worked alongside some of the leading authors in the world to learn the art of combining fact and fiction. This is the second book in the Davison Family Saga, set during World War One, which encapsulates all his interests.

James brings compassion and humour into everything he creates, and a very experienced eye for detail.  He has in turn begun tutoring the next generation of aspiring writers, which he finds immensely rewarding. But put simply, he just loves to tell stories.

James is also currently republishing his first book entitled “The Whistle” (ISBN: 978-1-80031-209-8) in hardback, paperback and e-book formats, which will be available through all good retailers including, Waterstones and Barnes & Noble.

“The Post” by James Owen Sowerby is currently available in hardback from Amazon at:

This novel is also available to download in paperback format at:

It can also be downloaded in e-book format from:

Press/Media Contact Details:

New Generation Publishing
Tel. 01234 711 956
E-mail: info@newgeneration-publishing.com

Book Review: Enemies United by Barbara Anne Machin

Enemies United

William of Normandy set sail to arrive in England in October 1066 to take the throne and force his right above the Saxon King Harold. Successful in the battle and taking the crown his army of well-trained knights were rewarded with lands.

Mostly of lands that no longer had a Thegn, this is a story of how an elderly ailing Thegn where his lands were gifted to one of William’s most loyal knights Gilbert Bayeux, the struggle and lengths afterwards to protect his grandchild and how the two enemies united to bring peace to Alder-Sea and its villagers along with all of England. The child was disguised as a serf, the knight was intrigued and drawn to the boy’s beautiful lavender blue eyes.

My Review

When William of Normandy takes over King Harold’s throne, he gives land to his most loyal knights, and Gilbert is gifted Alder-Sea. Unlike some of the other knights, he wants to keep peace with the current thegn and his subjects. He quickly wins over the people but Lord George, the thegn, is elderly and dying and he takes measures to protect his grandchild, his only surviving relative.

I’ve always enjoyed historical fiction and Enemies United didn’t disappoint. It was well researched, and the characters were well-developed. As a teenager, Guy has gone through a lot but feels lucky to still have a loving and caring grandfather. Gilbert is refreshing as a conqueror who is considerate and wants to work things out rather than just take things over.

Enemies United is a book of history and romance and is difficult to put down.

Excerpt

  “This way, we will have carried out your grandfather’s wishes. You heard your Lord Gilbert. He intends to place you in some kind of work after they bury George,’ he said sternly, hoping that Guy would understand why he was insisting on the time being now. Godfrey knew if he left it until after the burial that Gilbert would place Guy in some sort of meaningful employment and that he would soon find out their secret, and had he not knelt along with George and Guy and sworn allegiance at Gilbert’s feet? No, he would sooner spirit Guy away than be looked on as a traitor. Godfrey was sure that his new master was a good man. He was torn by his pledge to George and although he liked and respected Gilbert, his loyalty was stronger to George.

The soldiers arrived and carried George to the chapel. Guy and Godfrey followed them to watch that George was laid in state in a caring manner, Guy being careful to whisper, ‘Sleep well, master.’ Godfrey stood and saluted him with his sword. One of the soldiers reported to Gilbert that there had been a suspicion of tears in Godfrey’s eyes as he left the chapel and that the boy Guy was struggling with the Lord George’s death. Strange for a boy so young.”

About the Author

Barbara Anne Machin was born in 1940 and is the youngest of eight children. She is married and has one son, and recently celebrated her diamond wedding anniversary. She has always been interested in writing but has never attempted to publish before. A friend and her husband encouraged Barbara to send her trilogy of stories to a publisher. She writes more for a hobby and has worked all her life and still works part-time.  She has held many managerial positions in large companies and does not like to be idle.

This is Barbara’s sixth book.  She has written “A Beloved Cousin” (2019), “Shadow of Guilt” (2020), “Don’t Look Back” (2020), “The Crime that Never Was” (2020) and “Nowhere to Hide” (2020).

“Enemies United” is available to purchase in hardback from Amazon UK at:

This novel is also available to purchase in paperback at:

The book can also be downloaded as an e-book from:

Press/Media Contact Details:

Darin Jewell (Barbara Machin’s literary agent)
Tel. 020 8292 5163
E-mail: darin@theinspiragroup.com

Book Review & Giveaway: The Reclaimed Kingdom by Dana Claire

The Reclaimed Kingdom by Dana Claire

Publisher:  Chamberlain Publishing House (February 14, 2021)
Category: Young Adult, Fantasy/Romance
ISBN: 978-1792361357
Available in Print and ebook, 310 pages

The Legend is true. The Fear is real.

Under the cruel ministrations of its Queen, the Kingdom of D’Land is in peril. With King Harrison away in foreign lands and neighboring Kingdoms unwilling to intervene, there is no one to protect the people from poverty, harsh punishment, and unreasonable rules of law – except for the Band of Brothers. Struggling with the death of her mother and the legendary Syphon powers she inherited, seventeen year old Dru wants nothing more than to escape her old life and join the motley crew of ruffians, pilfering from the rich to feed the poor and pay their taxes.

She’s able to do just that disguised as a lad, and even when her nature is discovered, nothing changes – except for the way her friend Hawkin treats her. But Dru’s new world is overturned when she and the Brothers seize the treasures of a Prince who threatens to reveal her identity. Together, Dru and her chosen family must find a way to reclaim her destiny and bring balance to the Kingdom. If not, there may be no hope left for anyone.

Amazon
IndieBound

Guest Review by Sal

The fabulous first book in a series about a young girl reclaiming her birthright and a long-forgotten secret. ‘The Reclaimed Kingdom,’ by Dana Claire has everything you could possibly want from a thrilling YA story: adventure, romance, legendary fights and evil queens.

The main character, Dru, has a few secrets up her sleeve, one of the biggest being that she is a Syphon. Or, a person with the supernatural ability to syphon off of other people’s emotions and moods. This is a power that has been passed down to her genetically and that Dru has been instructed to keep hidden lest it be used against her.

In the beginning of the book, Dru has fallen in with the Band of Brothers, a group of rowdy but ultimately kind men who, in the tradition of Robin Hood, steal from the rich and give to the poor. The gang live in the fictional realm of D’Land, where an evil queen named Ebbigal rules over everyone with an iron fist. Dru hates Ebbigal for reasons that become clear as the story progresses, and those reasons are far closer to home than any of the evil queen’s other subjects can claim.

Dru is fun, plucky and clever enough to banter with the best of them, including the young, dashing Prince Edward (affectionately known as ‘Dodge’). Their dialogue made for some of my favorite parts in the book and really added to the atmosphere of the story. The atmosphere was perfectly done! The setting was fictional, but a take on Medieval life and one that was done beautifully. I don’t think I’ve ever read a modern book with such an accurate Medieval setting.

Dana Claire has really set up something special with this series and I can’t wait to see how it is going to play out in the next books!

Praise for The Reclaimed Kingdom

“Ms. Claire has such a talent for imaginative magic systems. The Syphon in this series has abilities I have not encountered before. The ability to take emotions and how she deals with them are quite intriguing. In this story, Dru makes an interesting heroine with her contrasts of her life as a brigand and thief with her previous life. She is very much a Robin Hood character without falling into the tired tropes that can come with that. The male main characters are so different. Hawkin is intense and unrefined. Dodge is softer and somewhat of a dreamer. They are both fiercely loyal and capable. The progression of their relationships with each other and Dru has made this a fabulous and compelling story.”- Aizlynne, Goodreads

“Well Dana Claire did it again. Another captivating book in her new series that kept me up later than I should because I didn’t want to stop reading. I would tell myself “just one more chapter” before I knew it, I read 3 or 4 more. Dana Claire has a way of bringing her characters to life and the action and suspense adds to the magnetic pull of not wanting to put the book down. Hoping I won’t have to wait too long for the second book of “The Syphon Series” and looking forward to the second book in “The Blood-Light Trilogy”.
I truly enjoy reading these books and submersing myself into the action pack plots with the spice of romance. Thank you Dana Claire for both of your terrific series. Thank you for introducing these characters to me and allowing me to follow their adventures and lives.”-D, Berry, Amazon

“This was such a great book! Dana Claire did a wonderful job developing the characters in this story. The backstory paints such a great visual of the time period and the land where Dru and her Band of Brothers are living. You root for Dru right from the beginning and I looked forward to every twist along the way. I couldn’t wait to finish it. So far, Dana Claire’s books are knocking it out of the park for me…2 for 2!”- Craig Andrews, Amazon

About the Author


Author, Dana Claire, believes that a good story is made through strong character development. When readers become attached to the characters’ emotional state and are invested in their objectives, the readers are there for the long haul backing the characters and their emotions. How cool is it to read a book and think about the characters long after you’ve read the last page? She believes that the beauty of reading is that one can live a hundred lives within the stories of books.

If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to be a vampire, slay a dragon, or use a time machine, there’s a book for that.

Website: https://danaclairebooks.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/danaclaire143
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DanaClaireBooks/

Continue reading

New Releases

Fantastic Happy Tales

This is a charming new collection of children’s stories that are educational and entertaining, with fun illustrations. The animals in this series of short stories – from Freddie Fox to Tommy Toad – play a key role in teaching children about their environment and other important life lessons.

Excerpt from the book:

“The hive was busy.  Spring flowers in full bloom and it was time to find the best of the bunch.  “‘Bee’ back before nightfall,” Beatrice called out to her entourage of eager pollen collectors.

“Will do,” they buzzed, hoping to find the best pollen for themselves.

It was midday in the garden of Terry Tortoise and Massie the field mouse, when the sound of buzzing caught their ears.  “Careful,” Massie whispered, not wishing to interrupt their buzz-ness. “They are making honey,” she explained to Terry her latest friend and pupil.

“I see no honey,” he answered, having previously peaked into a hive, “It’s sticky and runny.”

“It’s a long story. I will have to explain later, I have much to do,” she added taking his hand.

About the Author

L. J. Greatrex was born one of three siblings in a small village, having only moved around the same village three times with just a small break when living in West Kirby on the Wirral. Her career began with General Electric and progressed through to the financial sector of the steel industry, spending the most recent years with a classic car parts company.


Over many years travelling the globe with family and friends, the ideas developed and are used in the Hackers Trilogy of novels which includes Conscious Revenge, Payback and Just Deserts. This series has grown, with a further six hacker books, adding Without a Doubt, Doubt Revisited, Informed Decision, Dark Forces, Misconception and Last Resort, which completes the series.  L. J. Greatrex has also written A Penny’s Eye View which is a collection of inter-related short stories.

“Fantastic Happy Tales” by L. J. Greatrex is available from Amazon at:

and in e-book format from Amazon at:

The audiobook version of “Fantastic Happy Tales” will be released soon.

Press/Media Contact Details:

Darin Jewell (L. J. Greatrex’s literary agent)
Managing Director
The Inspira Group Literary Agency
darin@theinspiragroup.com
tel. UK +208 292 5163

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Enemies United

William of Normandy set sail to arrive in England in October 1066 to take the throne and force his right above the Saxon King Harold. Successful in the battle and taking the crown his army of well-trained knights were rewarded with lands.

Mostly of lands that no longer had a Thegn, this is a story of how an elderly ailing Thegn where his lands were gifted to one of William’s most loyal knights Gilbert Bayeux, the struggle and lengths afterwards to protect his grandchild and how the two enemies united to bring peace to Alder-Sea and its villagers along with all of England. The child was disguised as a serf, the knight was intrigued and drawn to the boy’s beautiful lavender blue eyes.

Excerpt

  “This way, we will have carried out your grandfather’s wishes. You heard your Lord Gilbert. He intends to place you in some kind of work after they bury George,’ he said sternly, hoping that Guy would understand why he was insisting on the time being now. Godfrey knew if he left it until after the burial that Gilbert would place Guy in some sort of meaningful employment and that he would soon find out their secret, and had he not knelt along with George and Guy and sworn allegiance at Gilbert’s feet? No, he would sooner spirit Guy away than be looked on as a traitor. Godfrey was sure that his new master was a good man. He was torn by his pledge to George and although he liked and respected Gilbert, his loyalty was stronger to George.

The soldiers arrived and carried George to the chapel. Guy and Godfrey followed them to watch that George was laid in state in a caring manner, Guy being careful to whisper, ‘Sleep well, master.’ Godfrey stood and saluted him with his sword. One of the soldiers reported to Gilbert that there had been a suspicion of tears in Godfrey’s eyes as he left the chapel and that the boy Guy was struggling with the Lord George’s death. Strange for a boy so young.”

About the Author

Barbara Anne Machin was born in 1940 and is the youngest of eight children. She is married and has one son, and recently celebrated her diamond wedding anniversary. She has always been interested in writing but has never attempted to publish before. A friend and her husband encouraged Barbara to send her trilogy of stories to a publisher. She writes more for a hobby and has worked all her life and still works part-time.  She has held many managerial positions in large companies and does not like to be idle.

This is Barbara’s sixth book.  She has written “A Beloved Cousin” (2019), “Shadow of Guilt” (2020), “Don’t Look Back” (2020), “The Crime that Never Was” (2020) and “Nowhere to Hide” (2020).

“Enemies United” is available to purchase in hardback from Amazon UK at:

This novel is also available to purchase in paperback at:

The book can also be downloaded as an e-book from:

Press/Media Contact Details:

Darin Jewell (Barbara Machin’s literary agent)
Tel. 020 8292 5163
E-mail: darin@theinspiragroup.com