Pages

When you make a conscious choice to be happy, no one can take it away from you because no one gave it to you: you gave it to yourself.

A quote from April Green's - Bloom For Yourself Journal

Wednesday, 12 May 2021

Welcoming Jennifer Anton and her book - Under The Light Of The Italian Moon - to my blog.

Today I'm welcoming Jennifer Anton and her book - Under The Light Of The Italian Moon - to my blog as part of the blog tour hosted by The Coffee Pot Book Club (founded by Mary Anne Yarde)

I'm delighted to share an excerpt with you all, but first I will introduce the book as always.

Under The Light of the Italian Moon

A promise keeps them apart until WW2 threatens to destroy their love forever

Fonzaso Italy, between two wars

Nina Argenta doesn’t want the traditional life of a rural Italian woman. The daughter of a strong-willed midwife, she is determined to define her own destiny. But when her brother emigrates to America, she promises her mother to never leave.

When childhood friend Pietro 
Pante briefly returns to their mountain town, passion between them ignites while Mussolini forces political tensions to rise. Just as their romance deepens, Pietro must leave again for work in the coal mines of America. Nina is torn between joining him and her commitment to Italy and her mother.

As Mussolini’s fascists throw the country into chaos and Hitler’s Nazis terrorise their town, each day becomes a struggle to survive greater atrocities. A future with Pietro seems impossible when they lose contact and Nina’s dreams of a life together are threatened by Nazi occupation and an enemy she must face alone…

A gripping historical fiction novel, based on a true story and heartbreaking real events.

Spanning over two decades, Under the Light of the Italian Moon is an epic, emotional and triumphant tale of one woman’s incredible resilience during the rise of fascism and Italy’s collapse into WWII.

Publication Date: 8th March 2021

Publisher: Amsterdam Publishers

Page Length: 394 Pages

Genre: Historical Fiction/Biographical Fiction

You can purchase a copy of the book via - 

Amazon: getbook.at/JAnton

Barnes & Noble: https://bit.ly/3n1nDqC​ 

Waterstones: https://www.waterstones.com/book/under-the-light-of-the-italian-moon/jennifer-anton//9789493231009

Bookshop.org (U.S. only): https://bit.ly/3ofS39T

I am Books Boston: https://bit.ly/2Z0mWUO

Now for the excerpt.

The exhilaration of the cold and the extraordinary situation of the festival took away any inhibition Nina had of being first to dance, and she and Onorina bounced to the music as soon as they entered. Onorina was an excellent dancer, and they both swung their hips, dipping and spinning with the music. Nina finally felt free. She twirled under the timber roof, giving in to an abandon she hadn’t felt since childhood, since before the awful days of the war took it away.

A flood of people soon joined, swaying, and waltzing around them. Nina’s cheeks hurt from smiling, and she danced with everyone. The temperature rose in the barn, making the air muggy with the earthy smell of rain and hay. Where was Pietro? The men passed bottles of wine and raised them to allow the liquid down their throats, swigging, and handing it on. Her father appeared and lifted her around, then swung her sister. Vante and her little sisters stamped past, clapping their hands, and twirling as the music played. It reminded her of the weddings she’d attended when she was small before the war. Everyone wanted to dance with her then, and she never wanted to leave the floor. Women swished their skirts, men slapped their thighs and when the Alpini band played ‘Quel Mazzolin di Fiori’, a cheer went up for the favourite song. Nina spotted Pietro through the boisterous crowd, but as he was about to break through, a young man with red hair swung her away. “Hey, Pampo!” someone shouted at him and gave him a wink as he swung Nina on the dance floor. She wanted to get away, annoyed at his awful dancing and even worse timing. She watched as Pietro found Onorina and gave her a twirl, both of them swaying to the music. Nina tried to move away from the redhead, but the barn was too packed with bodies, and he swung her again. This time, she lost her balance and, with two steps, trying to catch her footing, fell into the crowd.

“Whoa there,” a low voice hummed in her ear as strong arms wrapped around her, catching her from her fall.

“I remember you telling me you could dance,” Pietro said, smirking at her in a kidding manner while he pulled her into his arms.

“Don’t blame me. A girl has to have the right partner,” she quipped back, surprised by her own words and immediately taking in the heady scent of his cologne: wood and spice mellowed by dried rain.

‘La Monella’ played, and Pietro put his hand on Nina’s lower back, guiding her in an easy waltz to the quick tune. No one had ever held her in such a way; his palm was firm on her lower back, possessive, as though sending a message to everyone in the room. He was smooth on his feet, confident. They spun around in the packed space until the other dancers parted enough to allow them to travel. As the pace of the song picked up, Pietro became animated; he raised his eyebrows dipping her, and teasing with his movements. Nina liked how he moved. He was smooth but didn’t take himself seriously, and it was exhilarating to be twirled around in his arms. His hair had dried into a wild flop covering his left eye. She resisted the urge to push it back for him.

“Did you learn to dance like this in America?” she asked, as he spun her and then pulled her back close to him.

“I’ve learnt a lot of things in America.” He leaned towards her and changed the subject. “Do you ever go to the movies?” he asked. When he spoke to her, he had to get close to her ear so she could hear him over the band. She felt the heat from his breath on her neck.

“Sì. In Feltre and we’re meant to get a small picture house behind the church soon. I especially love American films!”

Pietro grinned at her, searching her face as if memorising her features. “Why weren’t you at the last festa? I saw everyone else in your family but not you. Onorina was the star of the night.”

“I’m sure she was,” Nina frowned, a chill going through her at the mention of her sister. “I had to help my mother. Babies don’t plan around events,” she said, breathless and annoyed the conversation had headed again in Onorina’s direction. How many times had men tried to get information about her sister through her? Was Pietro the same?

“You want to be a midwife, too?” It was a serious question to ask in the middle of a dance floor, but his brown eyes made her want to share her thoughts with him.

“I want to matter to the world,” she admitted. “My mother has figured out how to do that.” He spun her again, then looked at her seriously.

“You do and you will,” he said. Un colpo di fulmine. The lightning bolt returned as his words sunk into her like she had been waiting to hear them all her life.

The song changed again and, this time, Corrado appeared, took Nina in his arms, and spun her around the barn. Losing sight of Pietro, she was tossed away again as Corrado seized her mother for a rare dance. She kept moving to the music as Pampo came up once more; this time she shook her head at him, unwilling to let him have her hand. He stayed nearby anyway, gesticulating towards her. For a moment, she thought she saw Pietro frowning on the other side of the barn as the annoying ragazzo danced at her. Nina smiled awkwardly, feeling uncomfortable, not wanting to be rude but miserable about the change in circumstances. Pampo grabbed her wrist and twisted her roughly again. This time, she stepped with intention away from him and inched into a corner of the barn where observers sat on stacks of hay. She searched the space until a flash of burgundy drew her attention. On the other side of the barn, there was Onorina, again in the arms of Pietro. He had her sister’s scarf tied around his neck and was making the same animated faces at Onorina he had made at her. Nina felt the blood drain from her face, and her urge to dance died, replaced by the desire to escape. Her siren of a sister could enchant any man; and why shouldn’t he fall in love with her? Hours before, it seemed like Onorina was steering Pietro her way, but, as she batted her eyes and grasped onto the ends of her scarf around his neck, it was clear she was interested, too. Nina wove her way through the crowd to the exit, pushing away tears with the palms of her hands, and ran up the moonlit stones of the Via Calzen and home to her bed.

Jennifer Anton

Jennifer Anton is an American/Italian dual citizen born in Joliet, Illinois and now lives between London and Lake Como, Italy. A proud advocate for women's rights and equality, she hopes to rescue women's stories from history, starting with her Italian family.

You can connect with Jennifer Anton via these platforms -

Website: www.boldwomanwriting.com

Twitter: www.twitter.com/boldwomanwrites

Facebook: www.facebook.com/jenniferantonauthorpage

Instagram: www.instagram.com/boldwomanwriting

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.co.uk/janton1468/_created/

Book Bub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/jennifer-anton

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Jennifer-Anton/e/B08RL6HBDN%3Fref=dbs_a_mng_rwt_scns_share

Goodreads: https://bit.ly/2XsHt3F

Youtube: https://bit.ly/3i9XvZA

You can learn more about the author and the book by visiting the other blogs on this tour.

That's it for now.

Till the next time.

Take care Zoe
 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

Welcoming Anne O'Brien and her book - The Queen's Rival - to my blog.

Today I'm welcoming Anne O'Brien and her book - The Queen's Rival - to my blog as part of the blog tour hosted by The Coffee Pot Book Club (founded by Mary Anne Yarde)

I am delighted to share an excerpt with you all, but first I'll introduce the book as always.

The Queen's Rival

England, 1459.

One family united by blood. Torn apart by war…

The Wars of the Roses storm through the country, and Cecily Neville, Duchess of York, plots to topple the weak-minded King Henry VI from the throne.

But when the Yorkists are defeated at the battle of Ludford Bridge, Cecily’s family flee and abandon her to face a marauding Lancastrian army on her own.

Stripped of her lands and imprisoned in Tonbridge Castle, the Duchess begins to spin a web of deceit. One that will eventually lead to treason, to the fall of King Henry VI, and to her eldest son being crowned King Edward IV.

Publication Date: 15th April 2021(paperback) September 2020 (Hardback and ebook)

Publisher: HarperCollins

Page Length: 531 pages

Genre: Historical Fiction

You can purchase a copy via -

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Queens-Rival-Anne-OBrien/dp/0008225532

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Queens-Rival-Anne-OBrien/dp/0008225532

Amazon CA: https://www.amazon.ca/Queens-Rival-Anne-OBrien/dp/0008225532

Amazon AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/Queens-Rival-Anne-OBrien/dp/0008225508

Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-queens-rival-anne-obrien/1137842630

Waterstones: https://www.waterstones.com/book/the-queens-rival/anne-obrien/9780008225544

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/gb/en/ebook/the-queen-s-rival-the-sunday-times-bestselling-author-returns-with-a-gripping-historical-romance

Audio: https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/The-Queens-Rival-Audiobook/0008225524

Blackwells: https://blackwells.co.uk/bookshop/product/The-Queens-Rival-by-Anne-OBrien-author/9780008225544

WHSmith: https://www.whsmith.co.uk/products/the-queens-rival/anne-obrien/hardback/9780008225544.html

Now for the excerpt -

England’s Chronicle, January 1478

As we predicted.

A Bill of Attainder is passed, signed by King Edward’s own hand.

The total destruction of the Duke of Clarence is complete.

He is convicted of treason, and so is condemned to death.

Many will say that the unfortunate Duke has paved his own path to this terrible outcome. Treachery had become a way of life for him.

It is a moment of great sadness, and we will all mourn with Duchess Cecily, that the House of York has come to this terrible pass.

Duchess Cecily visits the Duke of Clarence in the Tower of London, February 1478

I was allowed to see him once more, in his confinement in the Tower. Around him was spread all the comfort that might be expected of a royal Prince: the tapestries, the cushioned chairs, the enamelled hanap and cups. He was well groomed, with servants to attend to his needs, his hair neatly trimmed around his ears. The velvet and satin doublet, patterned in black and green, glorious with its extravagant sleeves that draped to the floor as he sat, proclaimed his wealth and importance. Only his face told me of his unquiet mind. Still so young and defiant, but he was worn, weary.

The door was locked behind me. Slowly he rose to his feet. He had been sitting immobile, looking out at freedom beyond the walls. The books he has been given were unopened. I could not even guess the measure of his thoughts. Was he repentant? Or merely intransigent?

He bowed, through years of long practice. He might be full of hatred but still he showed me respect, while I struggled to quench the anger that rose like bile in my throat. I had done all I could, as had his sisters. Nothing had destroyed that worm of malice and deceit and raw ambition that thrived and grew within him.

It was the defiance that spoke out.

‘I know what you have come to say, my Lady Mother. It makes no difference now. My brother will have my life. You should be grateful to him, for removing a burr that has long irritated your own flesh. Soon you will be able to forget the son who questioned the very foundations of your marriage.’

His voice croaked through lack of use in recent hours. I spoke, moved by grief and imminent loss. There was no pity for him. Pity had expired long ago.

‘I did all I could to bring about your restitution. You were given every chance by the King. You repay me by resurrecting the dishonour of my infidelity. You attacked the justice dispensed by your brother. There is nothing I can say to commend you, except that you should make your peace with God. Any pity I felt for you has been destroyed by your wilfulness.’

Clarence blinked. I had never spoken to him in such a manner, not even when I had brought him to heel at Baynard’s Castle.

‘All true,’ he said. ‘Why are you here at all?’

He would have moved away, except that I stepped before him so that he must look at me, take note of my words.

‘I am here because I cannot let you go to your death without a final meeting. I gave you life. I will be here in the moments before your death.’

‘I do not want your sanctimonious maternal offerings. I do not want your prayers.’

'You cannot prevent me from offering them. It is my duty. You are my son. You will always be my son, however much you wound me.’

His mouth curved in a smile that was not pleasant.

‘And am I legitimate? Perhaps I am the only one of us all?’

I felt like striking him. Even now, with death at his side, he would hold to the old well-used political lies.

‘You will believe as you wish.’

He stepped away, picking up a book, immediately flinging it onto his bed. ‘He will not execute me.’

‘No.’

‘He has given me a choice in the manner of my death.’ His smile was a death’s grimace. ‘Is he not generous in his victory over me?’

I would not ask what my son had chosen. Instead: ‘Why? Why could you not accept the power and status that he gave you?’

‘Because I think I have the right to be King.’

‘Edward is the legitimate King.’

‘How would you say other, without branding yourself as unchaste within your marriage to my glorified father? You will never brand him cuckold. You could think no wrong of him.’

‘Oh, but I did. Your father could be impetuous and misguided. He could make the wrong choices, and did so. I loved him no less.’

‘But you were unfaithful to him. What was it? A momentary whorish itch when he was away on campaign? Was there more than one archer? A servant? An ostler? Who’s to know the status of my father…’

Rising within me like a spring tide, I felt the uncontrollable urge to strike him, flat-handed against his cheek. And yet I could not.

‘Be silent!’

My voice, in my hurt, was as harsh as a magpie’s cry.

‘Your father would be ashamed to hear you speak in this manner. You will believe what you wish, but you will not so accuse me. Since there is no hope of the King’s leniency, all I ask is that you make confession and go to your end with a quiet heart.’

‘I cannot,’ Clarence hissed. ‘I will curse my brother with my final breath.’

The terrible anger in his face defeated me.

‘Farewell, my son.’

Suddenly he fell to his knees before me, lifting my hands to his brow, pressing them there against his disordered hair. I could feel him tremble, in spite of all his bold defiance. I recognised the fear that he had been determined to hide. I stooped and pressed my lips to his hair. Memories of him as the child I had loved softened my heart.

Yet as I left him I realised that not once had I called him by his given name. I should have given him that final recognition.

Recorded by the private hand of Cecily, King’s Mother

On this eighteenth day of February of the year 1478, in the Tower of London, was done to death George Plantagenet, Duke of Clarence.

My son.

For treason.

He will be interred with his wife, Isabel Neville, in Tewkesbury Abbey. The funeral, the monument, and the chantry foundation at Tewkesbury Abbey, all in the generous hands of King Edward. I hope that it is a sign of his repentance. Or perhaps it is guilt. It is said that the King bewailed his brother’s death. I do not know the truth of it.

May this be the end of the treason and turbulence that has so bedevilled my son’s reign.

I must make my own amends in the manner in which I conduct my life, for my sins of omission and commission.

There is no further role for me in this reign.

My emotions are frozen, my grief a hard knot beneath my heart.

I dedicate my life to God.

Anne O'Brien

Sunday Times Bestselling author Anne O’Brien was born in West Yorkshire. After gaining a BA Honours degree in History at Manchester University and a Master’s in Education at Hull, she lived in East Yorkshire for many years as a teacher of history.

Today she has sold over 700,000 copies of her books medieval history novels in the UK and internationally. She lives with her husband in an eighteenth-century timber-framed cottage in the depths of the Welsh Marches in Herefordshire. The area provides endless inspiration for her novels which breathe life into the forgotten women of medieval history.

You can connect with Anne O'Brien via these platforms -

Website: https://www.anneobrienbooks.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/anne_obrien

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/anneobrienbooks/?ref=bookmarks

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/anne-o-brien-89668a45/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.co.uk/thisisanneobrie/_saved/

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Anne-OBrien/e/B001HD1NHI

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/51111864-the-queen-s-rival?from_search=true&from_srp=true&qid=MIYPBpVMFH&rank=1

News Letter sign up: https://www.anneobrienbooks.com/

You can also learn more about the book and the author by visiting the other blogs on this tour.


That's it for now.

Till the next time.

Take care Zoe



 

 

 

 

 

Tuesday, 11 May 2021

Welcoming Catherine Meyrick and her book - Forsaking All Other - to my blog.

Today I'm welcoming Catherine Meyrick and her book - Forsaking All Other - to my blog as part of the blog tour hosted by The Coffee Pot Book Club (founded by Mary Anne Yarde)


 I'm delighted to share an excerpt with you all, but first I will introduce the book as always.

Forsaking All Other

England, 1585.

Bess Stoughton, waiting woman to the well-connected Lady Allingbourne, has discovered that her father is arranging for her to marry an elderly neighbour. Normally obedient Bess rebels and wrests from her father a year's grace to find a husband more to her liking.

Edmund Wyard, a taciturn and scarred veteran of England’s campaign in Ireland, is attempting to ignore the pressure from his family to find a suitable wife as he prepares to join the Earl of Leicester’s army in the Netherlands.

Although Bess and Edmund are drawn to each other, they are aware that they can have nothing more than friendship. Bess knows that Edmund’s wealth and family connections place him beyond her reach. And Edmund, with his well-honed sense of duty, has never considered that he could follow his own wishes.

With England on the brink of war and fear of Catholic plots extending even into Lady Allingbourne’s household, time is running out for both of them.

Love is no game for women. The price is far too high.

Publication Date: 16th March 2018

Publisher: Courante Publishing

Page Length: 308 pages

Genre: Historical Fiction/Historical Romance

You can purchase a copy of the book via -

Amazon UKAmazon USAmazon CAAmazon AUBarnes and NobleKoboApple Books

 Now for the excerpt -

Bess started as the bedroom door slammed open.

Nicholas Askew stood in the doorway glowering. ‘Your behaviour today was a scandal.’

‘I thought I behaved most civilly in the circumstances.’

‘You did little to disguise the contempt you apparently felt for our host.’

‘I doubt he noticed it, so taken up is he with his own fantasies.’ She grimaced. ‘He kissed me.’

‘What man is not entitled to kiss the girl he is courting?’ There was puzzlement in his scowl. ‘That is no reason to show lack of respect to him.’

‘I did not show lack of respect. I merely attempted to avoid his company, once I knew what he wanted.’

‘There are others interested and, if you are not careful, he may withdraw his offer.’ His scowl deepened. ‘I do not know what ails you, girl. It is a good offer.’

‘The man is ancient, his breath is foul, he is unclean and he makes my flesh crawl.’

‘Rubbish! You cannot afford to be particular.’

Bess bridled, ‘What do you mean by that?’

‘A widow of two years and not a single offer in that time.’

‘And why is that?’ Bess took a sharp breath, her nostrils narrowed. ‘An unmarried woman brings a dowry to her marriage, a widow her jointure. The Stoughtons have cheated us. They took the dowry you offered but refuse to pay the jointure that is my right now Myles is dead. I have nothing to live on yet you have not lifted a finger to help me. If I had my jointure, I would have more hope of a decent offer.’

‘Bah! I do not have the money to throw at useless legal cases. I have six other daughters to provide dowries for.’

‘As my only male relative it is your duty to ensure I receive the income that is rightfully mine.’

Askew’s face was mottled red. ‘You lecture me on duty?’ A nerve flickered at the corner of his eye.

‘Why not? I know enough about duty—I did my duty when I married according to your wishes. I am a grown woman now, a widow, should I not have some say in the running of my life?’ She rushed on, ‘Yet you have begun negotiations with Master Litchfield without attempting to discover what my wishes are.’

‘You know now,’ he snarled.

‘And you know now that I despise the man and will not marry him.’ Bess lifted her chin. ‘I see no point in staying here any longer, I will be returning to Lady Allingbourne on the morrow.’

‘Hornebolt has work to do here. I’ll not have him wandering the countryside on ladies’ fancies. Life with Lady Allingbourne has given you airs—you consider yourself better than the rest of us. No,’ he crossed his arms, his pointed beard jutting out, ‘you will remain here and be ruled by your father like a dutiful daughter. You can help your mother with the children until you are married to Dick Litchfield.’

‘I swear I will never marry that vile man,’ Bess spat back. ‘I will stand in church and say that I do not take him, tell the whole congregation that I have been forced.’

Askew glared at her, his fists clenched. Bess braced herself but he turned on his heel, slamming the door behind him.

As Bess heard the key scrape in the lock, she shouted after him, ‘She is not my mother.’

Catherine Meyrick

Catherine Meyrick is a writer of historical fiction with a particular love of Elizabethan England. Her stories weave fictional characters into the gaps within the historical record – tales of ordinary people who are very much men and women of their time, yet in so many ways are like us today. These are people with the same hopes and longings as we have to find both love and their own place in a troubled world.

Catherine grew up in regional Victoria, but has lived all her adult life in Melbourne, Australia. Until recently she worked as a customer service librarian at her local library. She has a Master of Arts in history and is also an obsessive genealogist. When not writing, reading and researching, Catherine enjoys gardening, the cinema and music of all sorts from early music and classical to folk and country and western and, not least of all, taking photos of the family cat to post on Instagram.

You can connect with Catherine via these platforms -

 WebsiteTwitterInstagramFacebookPinterest

You can learn more about the book and the author by visiting the other blogs on this tour .


 That's it for now.

Till the next time

Take care Zoe 

 

Friday, 7 May 2021

Welcoming Emma Lombard and her book - Discerning Grace - to my blog.

 Today I'm welcoming Emma Lombard and her book - Discerning Grace - to my blog as part of the blog tour hosted by The Coffee Pot Book Club (founded by Mary Anne Yarde)


Delighted to share a review with you all, but first I will introduce the book as always.

Discerning Grace

As the first full-length novel in The White Sails Series, DISCERNING GRACE captures the spirit of an independent woman whose feminine lens blows the ordered patriarchal decks of a 19th century tall ship to smithereens.

Wilful Grace Baxter, will not marry old Lord Silverton with his salivary incontinence and dead-mouse stink. Discovering she is a pawn in an arrangement between slobbery Silverton and her calculating father, Grace is devastated when Silverton reveals his true callous nature.

Refusing this fate, Grace resolves to stow away. Heading to the docks, disguised as a lad to ease her escape, she encounters smooth-talking naval recruiter, Gilly, who lures her aboard HMS Discerning with promises of freedom and exploration in South America.

When Grace's big mouth lands her bare-bottomed over a cannon for insubordination, her identity is exposed. The captain wants her back in London but his orders, to chart the icy archipelago of Tierra del Fuego, forbid it. Lieutenant Seamus Fitzwilliam gallantly offers to take Grace off the fretting captain's hands by placing her under his protection.

Grace must now win over the crew she betrayed with her secret, while managing her feelings towards her taciturn protector, whose obstinate chivalry stifles her new-found independence. But when Grace disregards Lieutenant Fitzwilliam's warnings about the dangers of the unexplored archipelago, it costs a friend his life and she realises she is not as free as she believes.

Series: The White Sails Series

Author: Emma Lombard

Publication Date: 22 February 2021

Page Length: 372 pages

Genre: Historical Women’s Fiction

You can purchase a copy of the book via -

 https://books2read.com/discerning-grace

 Now for the review -

Running away to sea takes on an all new meaning in Emma Lombard’s debut novel, Discerning Grace (Book One of The White Sails Series). Grace Baker disguises herself as a boy and runs blindingly into the night. She has nowhere to go, nor does she have any money. Grace soon realizes she has two options. She can go home to her parents, plead a moment of insanity and marry the lecherous and abusive Lord Silverton, or she could go on an adventure of a lifetime by hopping on board HMD Discerning and travel all the way to South America. For Grace, this isn’t a difficult decision. She just has to pretend that she is a teenage boy for the duration of the expedition - something that is far easier said than done.

This novel is as unpredictable as the ocean, but just as much fun. With Grace’s dogged determination to live the life she wants, and her almost fearless sense of self, Emma Lombard has given her readers a protagonist that a reader can really get behind. I really enjoyed reading about Grace and how she overcomes one obstacle after another. She bravely faces her foes and, no matter what is thrown at her, she somehow always walks away from the situation with her life. However, Grace is a woman who is deeply disturbed by what she witnesses and what she endures, and I thought this gave Grace a realism and a believability.

There is quite the cast of colourful characters in this novel and there are plenty of plot twists. From the lowest to the highest in society, Emma Lombard has given her readers a detailed look at the life of the gentry, the servants and the sailors.

The historical detailing of this novel has so obviously been painstakingly researched, and it definitely shows through the author’s clever use of word-building. Emma Lombard has made history come alive.

I really enjoyed everything about the book. There is enough drama to keep a reader up all night, as well as a very tender romance. This book is a real treat.

Emma Lombard

Emma Lombard was born in Pontefract in the UK. She grew up in Africa—calling Zimbabwe and South Africa home for a few years—before finally settling in Brisbane Australia, and raising four boys. Before she started writing historical fiction, she was a freelance editor in the corporate world, which was definitely not half as exciting as writing rollicking romantic adventures. Her characters are fearless seafarers, even though in real life Emma gets disastrously sea sick. Discerning Grace, is the first book in The White Sails Series.

To join the crew—subscribe to Emma's newsletter: www.emmalombardauthor.com

You can connect with the author via these platforms -

Website: https://www.emmalombardauthor.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LombardEmma

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/EmmaLombardAuthor

Instagram:https://www.instagram.com/emmalombardauthor/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/57177943-discerning-grace

You can learn more about the book and the author by visiting the other blogs on this tour.


That's it for now.

Till the next time.

Take care Zoe.

 

 

Wednesday, 5 May 2021

Welcoming Alan Bardos and his book - The Assassins - to my blog

Today I'm welcoming Alan Bardos and his book - The Assassins - to my blog as part of the blog tour hosted by The Coffee Pot Book Club (founded by Mary Anne Yarde)

I am delighted to share an audio excerpt with you all, but first I will introduce the book.

The Assassins

1914.

Tensions are reaching boiling point in Europe and the threat of war is imminent.

Johnny Swift, a young and brash diplomatic clerk employed by the British embassy is sent to infiltrate the Young Bosnians, a group of idealistic conspirators planning to murder Franz Ferdinand. The heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, in a bid to liberate their country from the monarchy’s grip.

Swift has been having an affair with his employers wife, Lady Elizabeth Smyth. Sir George Smyth dispatches the agent on the dangerous mission, believing that it will be the last he will see of his young rival.

The agent manages to infiltrate the Young Bosnian conspiratorscell, helped by Lazlo Breitner, a Hungarian Civil Servant.

However, Swift soon realises that he may be in over his head. His gambling debts and taste for beautiful women prove the least of his problems as he struggles to survive on his wits in the increasingly complex - and perilous - world of politics and espionage.

Desperate to advance himself and with the lives of a royal couple unexpectedly in his hands, Swift tries to avert catastrophe.

Series: Johnny Swift Thrillers

Author: Alan Bardos

Publication Date: (current edition) 15th February 2021

Publisher: Sharpe Books

Page Length: 376 Pages

Genre: Historical Thriller

Praise for Assassins

A cracking read, highly recommended- Roger A Price 

Written with polished panache, it kept me gripped from the first to last. Five stars from me!’ - A.A. Chaudhuri

Part historical fiction, part thriller and part love story, this is a compelling and entertaining read- Gary Haynes

You can purchase a copy of the book via -

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B08WPFC5X6

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Assassins-Johnny-Swift-Thriller-ebook/dp/B08WPFC5X6

This book is available to read for free with #KindleUnlimited subscription.

Now for the audio excerpt which you can hear by following this link -

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hdBizXzba6w&feature=youtu.be 

 Alan Bardos

Alan Bardos is a graduate of the MA in TV Script Writing at De Montfort University, he also has a degree in Politics and History from Brunel University. Writing historical fiction combines the first great love of his life, making up stories, with the second, researching historical events and characters. Alan currently live in Oxfordshire with his wife… the other great love of his life.

Despite the amount of material that has been written about the twentieth century there is still a great deal of mystery and debate surrounding many of its events, which Alan explores in his historical fiction series using a certain amount of artistic license to fill in the gaps, while remaining historically accurate. The series will chronicle the first half of the twentieth century from the perspective of Johnny Swift, a disgraced and degenerate diplomat and soldier; starting with the pivotal event of the twentieth century, the Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, in ‘The Assassins’.

You can connect with Alan Bardos via these platforms -

Instagram:

https://www.instagram.com/alanbardos

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/AlanBardosWriter/

Twitter:

https://twitter.com/BardosAlan

Goodreads:

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15142092.Alan_Bardos

BookBub:

https://www.bookbub.com/profile/alan-bardos?list=about

Amazon Author Page:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Alan-Bardos/e/B01DPOHFS2

You can learn more about the book and the author by visiting the other blogs on the tour.

That's it for now.

Till the next time.

Take care Zoe.