Past Life – Dominic Nolan 

I had a nice surprise when this dropped through my door, very unexpected but I am very pleased. Past Life is due out 7 March 2019. 

Waking up beside the dead girl, she couldn’t remember anything. Who she was. Who had taken her. How to escape. 

Detective Abigail Boone had been missing for four days when she is finally found, confused and broken. Suffering retrograde amnesia, she is a stranger to her despairing husband and bewildered son. 

Hopelessly lost in her own life, with no leads on her abduction, Boone’s only instinct is to revisit the case she was investigating when she vanished, the baffling disappearance of a young woman, Sarah Still. 

Defying her family and the police, Boone obsessively follows a deadly trail to the darkest edges of human cruelty. But even if she finds Sarah, will Boone ever be the same again. 

Past Life is published by Headline 

The Body In The Boat – A. J Mackenzie 

I wanted to say a big thank you to Bonnier Zaffre  for sending me a copy of The Body In The Boat. 

Spies, smugglers and brutal murder on the Kent coast…..

Across the still, dark English Channel comes the smugglers. But tonight they carry an unusual cargo; a coffin. Several miles inland, a respected banker holds a birthday party for his wife. Within days, one of the guest is found shot dead. 

What links this apparently senseless killing to the smugglers lurking in the mists? Why has the local bank been buying and hoarding gold? And who was in the mysterious coffin?

Reverent Hardcastle and Mrs Chaytor find themselves drawn into the worlds of high finance and organised crime in this dramatic and dark Georgian mystery. With a unique cast of characters and captivating sleuths The Body In The Boat is a twisting tale that vividly brings to life eighteenth-century Kent and draws readers into its pages. 

The Light In The Dark A Winter Journal – Horatio Clare 

I hate the Winter, that is partly why we are moving to Australia. I hate the dark evenings, damp cold weather and I tend to hibinate more and not want to come out. 

However, when reading Horatio’s journal although I still hate Winter his writing about Winter did kind of sell it to me why Winters can be a beautiful and amazing adventure that all need to experience. Horatio’s beautiful way with words is just enchanting and inspirational. His brutal honesty about how harsh the Winters can be and the impact it has on his family and the wider community and just because it snows does not necessarily mean everything comes to a hault, you just make do. 

This book is a beautiful insight to the magic Winter can bring. But, I will still be getting on the plane to Australia in January I am afraid. 

A must buy book!

About the Book 

As November stubs out the glow of Autumn and the days tighten into shorter hours, Winter’s occupation begins. Preparing for Winter has its own rhythms, as old as our exchanges with the land. Of all the seasons, it draws us together. But Winter can be tough. 

It is a time of introspection, of looking inwards. Seasonal sadness, Winter blues, depression – such feelings are widespread in the darker months. But by looking outwards, by being in and observing nature, we can appreciate, its rhythms. Mountains make sense in any weather. The voices of a wood always speak consolation. A brush of frost, subtle colours, days as bright as a magpie’s cackle. 

About the Author 

Horatio lives in West Yorkshire. He is a critically acclaimed author and journalist. 

This book is published by Elliott & Thompson

A big thank you to  Emma Finnigan PR  for introducing me to this book 

Darling Winston – David Lough 

I am a massive fan of reading about Winston Churchill. I remember the fascination started when my history teacher spoke about him with such passion and enthusiasm that it was infectious. 

When I recieved this book it was simply wonderful to get a real insight into the letters from Winston and his mother. I rather felt like I was being a nosy neighbour. 

From reading this book, it was a real insight as to why Winston was who he was. During his younger days he never seemed to be good enough and his mother seemed easily distracted, however, I did feel love between them both. Winston’s mother seemed to be an advisory for his future political ambitions and perhaps Winston wanted to hear from his mother that she was proud of him. 

What an amazing book, the research David undertook is mindblowing and I devoured this book within a couple of days. Even if you are not keen on Churchill, its a great insight into his early days and his struggles and the fact that he knew he was not perfect but with his determination he managed to make such big strides to reach his eventual goal – to be prime minister. 

A highly recommended read. 

About the Book 

Winston Churchill adored his mother Jennie, Lady Randolph Churchill. Between 1881, when Churchill was six, and 1921, the year of Jennie’s death, mother and son were prolific letter writers. 

Churchill’s life across this period follows a trajectory of adventure and political ambition – army service in India, escape from a Boer POW camp, swift ascent from Conservative MP for Oldham to Liberal First Lord of the Admirality, resignation in the wake of the debacle of Gallipoli, and eventual return to the cabinet in 1917. His mother’s life, by contrast, follows a downward spiral; her second marriage founders and she becomes a lonely figure, moving forlornly around the country homes of her wealthy friends. As Winston joins Asquith’s cabinet and meets his wife-to-be Clementine, Jennie is getting divorced and making faltering attempts to embark on a literary career. Darling Winston reflects Churchill’s emotional, intellectual and political development as confided to Jennie as his mentor, but it also charts a mother-son relationsip characterised at the outset by Winston’s dependence on Jennie, which is dramatically reversed as her life crumbles towards the end. 

About the Author 

David is the author of No More Champagne, a much praised study of Winston’s finances. David studied history at Oxford, where he gained a first-class degree. 

Darling Winston is published by Head of Zeus 

The Librarian – Salley Vickers 

I do not think I need to say much more, its a book about books – ticks all of the boxes enough said. 

In 1958, Sylvia Blackwell, fresh from one of the new post-war Library Schools, takes up a job as children’s librarian in a run-down library in the market town of East Mole. 

Her mission is to fire the enthusiasm of the children of East Mole for reading. But her love affair with the local married GP, and her befriending of his precious daughter, her neighbour’s son and her landlady’s neglected grandchild, ignite the prejudices of the town, threatening her job and the very existence of the library with dramatic consequences for them all. 

The Librarian is published by Penguin

Educated – Tara Westover 

I am not meant to be buying books at the moment, because with moving across the world my book collection has to be slimmed down. However, I have wanted this book for such a long time and just could not resist. 

Tara Westover and her family grew up preparing for the End of Days, but according to the government, she didn’t exist. She hadn’t been registered for a birth certificate. She had no school records because she’d never set foot in a classroom, and no medical records because her father didn’t believe in hospitals. 

As she grew older, her father became more radical and her brother more violent. At sixteen, Tara knew she had to leave home. In doing so, she discovered both the transformative power of education, and the price she had to pay for it. 

This novel is published by Windmill Books

Bloody Brilliant Women – Cathy Newman 

I loved this book so so much and cannot stop thinking about it. Cathy has written about all of those women in history that we either did not think existed or you just could not put your finger on the name of the woman. 

I have to say I was rather disappointed in myself not knowing some of these amazing women and wish that there names were integrated into the current education of young people. I am not saying they need to have separate lessons, I just believe there names should be integrated and the pionneering matters they have created. I was blown away at what some of the women achieved in such difficult circumstances and they are all a true inspriation. I have talked non-stop to both my husband and my two young boys about some of the amazing women in this book and plan to continue this discussion when they are older. 

Big thank you to Cathy for inspiring me and sharing these amazing womens names and what they have achieved. 

About the Book 

In this novel, Cathy writes about the pioneering women who defied the odds to make careers for themselves and alter the course of recent history; women who achieved what they set out to do while dismantling hostile, entrenched views about their place in society. Their role in transforming Britain is fundamental, and far greater than has generally been acknowledged. 

About the Author 

Cathy is one of Channel 4 News’ main studio presenters. An award winning investigative journalist, she joined Channel 4 news as political correspondent in January 2006 after seven years writing for the Financial Times. In 2000, Cathy won the prestigious Laurence Stern Fellowship, spending four months following in the footsteps of Woodward and Bernstein at the Washington Post. She is married with two children. 

Bloody Brilliant Women is published by William Collins 

The Merest Loss – Steven Neil 

This is an intriging story that has been throughly researched by Steven around the life of Harriet Howard a young actress coerced by the British Government into forming a relationship with Napolean. 

I was engrossed from the start and Steven certainly lived and breathed this story from start to finish with his indepth research, maintaining a credible story line and I fell in love with this novel and it left me wanting to know more. 

Not only do you follow romance but the political issues at that time which was fascinating and addictive, there are strands within the story that felt familiar for today but was a real eye opener. 

Do not feel like you are going to be overwhelmed by historical fact, it is softer and more approachable. I could not put this novel down and read it in one afternoon because I did not want to miss out on anything. 

A big thank you to Steven this is one historical read that I would recommend for 2018!

About the Book 

A story of love and political intrigue, set against the backdrop of the English hunting shires and the streets of Victorian London and post- revolutionary Paris. 

When Harriet Howard becomes Louis Napoleon’s mistress and financial backer and appears at his side in Paris in 1848, it is as if she has emerged from nowhere. How did the English daughter of a Norfolk boot-maker meet the future Emperor and how did she achieve her wealth? Who is the mysterious Nicholas Sly and what is his hold over Harriet? Can Harriet meet her obligations and return to her former life and the man she left behind? What is her involvement with British Government secret services? Can Harriet’s friend, jockey Tom Olliver, help her son, Martin solve his own mystery: the identify of his father. 

This novel is published by Matador 

This book blog tour was arranged by Rachels Random Resources 

The Winters – Lisa Gabriele 

When I was first sent this book, I was not convinced that I would enjoy it. When I read the blurb I did question whether it was a book that I may have read before. However, once I read the first chapter all of my thoughts dissolved and The Winters blew my mind. 

Initially, you believe you are following the love story of a young woman who falls in love with a rich Senator Max, almost like a Cinderalla fairy tale. However, Max certainly has a lot of issues going on in his life, his first wife passing away and his teenage tearaway daughter, Dani to deal with and his public life in office. But, she follows her heart and wants to believe her life will be turned around and she can finally break free of her boss and move on. But, like all good novels, it does not end necessarily with a happily ever after. Expect the unexpected…….

I read this novel in a whirlwind and simply could not put it down. I was attempting to guess what was going to happen, and of course I got it completely wrong and make incorrect assumptions about pretty much all of the characters. I did not expect the ending to be like it was, you could feel the building of the plot throughout and at the end it made me realise that you should never judge a character straight away and you may never really know what is going on behind closed doors. 

This is an amazing book and one that did not disappoint and will leave you out of breath and questioning your own judgement about people. It is a book that will keep you guessing. 

About the Book

After a whirlwind romance, a young woman returns to the opulent, secluded mansion of her new fiance Max Winter – a wealthy senator and recent widower- and a life of luxury she’s never known. But all is not as it appears at the Asherley estate. The house is steeped in the memory of Max’s beautiful wife Rebekah, who haunts the young woman’s imaginaton and feeds her uncertainties, while his very alive daughter Dani makes her life a living hell. 

As the soon-to-be second Mrs Winter grows more in love with Max, and more afraid of Dani, she is drawn deeper into the family’s dark secrets – the kind of secrets that could kill her, too. 

About the Author 

Lisa is the author of several bestselling novels. Her writing has appeared in Glamour, Vice, Elle, the New York Times Magazine and Salon as well as various anthologies. An award-winning TV producer, she has lived in Washington DC and New York City and now lives in Toronto. 

The Winters is published by Harvill Secker if you would like more information or purchase this book, please click here

 

Settlement – Anne Stormont 

This is the first time I have read a book by Anne Stormont and the second in the series. You can read this novel as a stand alone.

We follow the story of Rachel and Jack. They are in a kindof relationship but both want very different things. Rachel almost wants a companion but also wants to be independent and do what she wants without having to please anyone else and Jack wants a wife and stability. The one thing I felt throughout the novel was they were not really listening to each others wants and needs and there was a real lack of communication between one another. Which I suppose this is common in a relationship. 

Anne’s writing transforms you from the sofa to either Skye or Israel and she almosts wants to place you at the scene so you get a front row seat so you can see everything and the story unfold in front of your eyes. I could hear, smell and almost touch everything in the scene. 

You get the feeling that both Jack and Rachel do want a happily ever after but this means different things to both people. You are flooded with romance and emotion and of course the story does not run smoothly. You see them deal with some difficult situations and issues both personal and political and I felt the issues are very inkeeping of current stories in the press. 

I loved this novel so much, I have purchased the rest of Anne’s books and to be me that is a real testament to how good they were. Thank you Anne for sharing your amazing book, I cannot wait to read the next. 

About the Book

Can love truly heal old wounds? Can the past ever be put peacefully to rest?

Falling in love is the easy bit. Happy ever after requires work, commitment and honesty. She wants him to be her friend and lover. He wants her as his wife. Can a compromise by reached? Or are things truly over between them?

When former Edinburgh policeman Jack Baxter met crofter and author Rachel Campbell at her home on the Scottish island of Skye, they fell in love. It was a second chance at happiness for them both. But after Jack proposes marriage, it becomes clear they want different things.  

Then, as Rachel prepares to return to the Middle East to work on a peacemaking project that’s close to her heart, and as Jack’s past catches up with him, it seems their relationship is doomed. 

Can Rachel compromise on her need to maintain her hard-won independence?

Can Jack survive the life-threatening situation in which he finds himself? 

Will they get the chance to put things right between them?

About the Author 

Anne writes contemporary romantic fiction where the main characters are older – but not necessarily wiser. She hopes the stories she tells will entertain, but she also hopes they will move, challenge and inspire her readers. Anne is a Scot, living in the land of her birth. She is a retired teacher and when she’s not writing, she enjoys reading, country walks and gardening – and the occasional pillion ride on her husband’s motorbike. She also loves spending time with friends and family – especially her two grandchildren. 

If you would like to purchase any of Anne’s books or to catch up with what she is up to please click here

This book tour was arranged by  Love Book Groups