#Blogtour The Invisible by Michelle Dunne

 It’s my turn on the BlogTour – The Invisible by Michelle Dunne.

About the Author

Born and raised in the harbour town of Cobh, Co Cork, Michelle joined the Irish army at the age of 18, where she went from recruit to infantry soldier, to Peacekeeper with the UN, to instructor back home in Ireland.

During her time in Lebanon, she got to experience first-hand the camaraderie between soldiers and the sense of humour that got them all through some frightening situations. She also got to experience how ordinary families tried to live in conflict zones and these experiences have inspired so much of her work to date.

The Invisible is Michelle’s fourth book, but the second in The Lindsey Ryan series, following on from While Nobody is Watching, which is currently in development for television and inspired by her military experiences and the types of relationships that form within army ranks. Follow @NotDunneYet on Twitter, Visit michelledunnebooks.com

About the book

A migrant crisis. A corrupt harbour town. Who will stand for those who have become invisible to the rest of the world?

People have become one of the world’s most valuable commodities. Trafficked on the promise of a new life only to be hidden away as modern-day slaves. When Lena, a raped and badly beaten Syrian woman, literally falls into Lindsey Ryan’s life, she’s left with no choice but to find her part in this new war and play it as best she can.

But before she can work out a safe plan to get Lena away from her very own hell at the hands of Patrick Adebayo, Lindsey hears of an unconscious child being smuggled into Patrick’s building just two doors up. Despite having Patrick’s unwanted attention, she has to help the child and get Lena to safety regardless of the cost. In doing so, she finds herself face to face with the worst of humanity.

Added to her own private battle with PTSD, former soldier Lindsey Ryan is in a race against time and must once again fight for her life. But if she fails to protect those around her, what if anything, will that life be worth?

Review

This is a raw experience. There is no unicorn fluff to pad the brutal truth and soften the blow, which is what makes this a great read.

Lyndsey is followed by flashbacks, day mares linked to past trauma. It’s hard to keep them at bay in order to function, and yet they are also equally responsible for the inner ear that listens to the extra layer of gut instinct. 

Those instincts serve her well when she is tasked with dealing with the bottom-feeders who traffic the vulnerable and desperate. Lives are expendable and worth only what they can used for. The lives of children and young people included – something Lyndsey won’t turn a blind eye to.

Although the thriller and crime story in the midst of this is a good read, the world and character building of the main character is the more poignant element. It cocoons the story in its entirety, which is perhaps a metaphor in itself. When a person is dealing with PTSD it can become a tentacled being that wraps its arms around every interaction and situation, sometimes with disastrous results. Daily life can be a constant adapting of coping mechanisms.

Buy The Invisible at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: ‎ Bad Press Ink pub date 25 April 2022. Buy at Amazon com.

#BlogTour The Memory Keeper of Kyiv by Erin Litteken

It’s my turn on the Blogtour The Memory Keeper of Kyiv by Erin Litteken.

About the Author

Erin Litteken is a debut novelist with a degree in history and a passion for research. At a young age, she was enthralled by stories of her family’s harrowing experiences in Ukraine before, during and after World War II. Her first historical fiction title, The Memory Keeper of Kyiv, draws on those experiences. She lives in Illinois, USA with her husband and children. Follow @ErinLitteken on Twitter, Visit Erin’s website: erinlitteken.com

About the book

In the 1930s, Stalin’s activists marched through the Soviet Union, espousing the greatness of collective farming. It was the first step in creating a man-made famine that, in Ukraine, stole almost 4 million lives. Inspired by the history the world forgot, and the Russian government denies, Erin Litteken reimagines their story.

In 1929, Katya is 16 years old, surrounded by family and in love with the boy next door. When Stalin’s activists arrive in her village, it’s just a few, a little pressure to join the collective. But soon neighbours disappear, those who speak out are never seen again and every new day is uncertain.

Resistance has a price, and as desperate hunger grips the countryside, survival seems more a dream than a possibility. But, even in the darkest times, love beckons. Seventy years later, a young widow discovers her grandmother’s journal, one that will reveal the long-buried secrets of her family’s haunted past.

This is a story of the resilience of the human spirit, the love that sees us through our darkest hours and the true horror of what happened during the Holodomor. – May we never forget, lest history repeat itself.

A share of proceeds will be donated to DEC’s Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal.

Review

I think of myself as lucky in regard to the influence my father has had on my education – in filling the gaps created by country hops, school moves, schoolyear jumps and just in general where society and the system is inadequate in passing on knowledge. Irrespective of whether it be intentional or due to curriculum changes. 

He is a font of knowledge, especially when it comes to history, and putting historical events into perspective when it comes to current events. Why is this story of historical importance, even if certain details and characters make it faction – a melding of historical fact and fiction. It’s important because it gives context to the current conflict – the invasion of the Ukraine by Russia, or Putin to be more precise.

Putin styles himself on a man he admires, a ruler upheld by many of the Soviets then and even now in Russia. Stalin was a murderer, a monster, a dictator who was a master of propaganda, both inside and outside the boundaries of Mother Russia. Even now the millions of the Ukrainian people he purposely starved, killed and tortured – they are a mere footnote in history, and one that is purposely held under a suspicion of doubt.

In a way that is exactly why Katya’s story is buried and hidden for decades. It’s not uncommon for survivors of extreme trauma, such as war or the Holodomor – the Terror Famine – to simply remain silent about the events they have experienced. People displaced, ripped from their homes, family and culture in the most horrifying way, only to then be subjected to the horrors of World War 2. How do you resume a semblance of normality after that?

This story is about generational trauma, family secrets and about finding peace after experiencing the unimaginable. It’s also a stark reminder about the lack of empathy when it comes to the pursuit of power and control, which is why the small gestures and moments of connection are even more important. It’s a captivating story – a timely piece of work.

Buy The Memory Keeper of Kyiv at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher ‏: ‎ Boldwood Books pub date 16 May 2022. Buy at Amazon com. Buy at Boldwood.

#BlogTour Cause of Death by Anna Legat

It’s my turn on the BlogTour Cause of Death by Anna Legat, the third book in The Shires Mysteries.

About the Author

Anna Legat is a Wiltshire-based author, best known for her DI Gillian Marsh murder mystery series. Murder isn’t the only thing on her mind. She dabbles in a wide variety of genres, ranging from dark humorous comedy, through magi realism to dystopian. A globe-trotter and Jack-of-all-trades, Anna has been an attorney, legal adviser, a silver-service waitress, a school teacher and a librarian. 

She has lived in far-flung places all over the world where she delighted in people-watching and collecting precious life experiences for her stories. Anna writes, reads, lives and breathes books and can no longer tell the difference between fact and fiction. Follow @LegatWriter on Twitter, Visit annalegat.com

About the book

All is not well in the village. The local meadows have been the pride of Bishops Well for hundreds of years, but now they are facing the sharp blades of developers. The landowner is a rich and reclusive author who is happy to see them destroyed, but the villagers – including Sam Dee and Maggie Kaye – are fighting back.

As Maggie and Sam soon discover, there is more than a quick buck to be  made in the developer’s plans. There are age-old secrets and personal vendettas that could have deadly repercussions in Bishops Well today.

With Sam’s legal expertise and Maggie’s… well, Maggie-ness, they delve into the past, determined to unearth the truth. And, as sparks begin to fly, could there finally be something more between this sleuthing duo?

Review

This is the third book in The Shires Mysteries series – murder most wicked comes to rural life and creates havoc, shakes up the daily lives of villagers and our amateur sleuths Maggie and Sam. 

Sidenote – I kinda loved the whole horse, donkey, mule escapade – it’s definitely something I would participate in.

The relationship between Maggie and Sam becomes closer and moves in a slightly different direction, and the reader gets to know more about Sam’s back-story. This happens while they are in the middle of solving a bizarre ritualistic killing. I mean it’s just your every day village stuff, right.

It’s a solid cosy mystery, and I admit I would love to know who would be top choice if it was ever casted. The characters of Maggie and Sam are both comfortable and at times eccentric enough to become reader favourites. Saying that I think it’s important to keep an element of surprise and space for growth. With a mystery series everything tends to change and revolve around the constant – the main characters – they have to be able to draw the audience in over and over again.

Looking forward to the next in the series, and to where the author takes this sleuthing duo and their very deadly rural adventures.

Buy Cause of Death at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher ‏: ‎Headline Accent pub date 14 April 2022. Buy at Amazon comBuy at WaterstonesBarnes & Noble.

#BlogTour The Mersey Mothers by Sheila Riley

It’s my turn on the BlogTour The Mersey Mothers by Sheila Riley. This is the third book in the Reckoner’s Row series.

About the Author

Sheila Riley wrote four #1 bestselling novels under the pseudonym Annie Groves and is now writing the Reckoner’s Row series under her own name. She has set it around the River Mersey and its docklands near to where she spent her early years. She still lives in Liverpool.

Follow Sheila on @1sheilariley Twitter, Facebook@sheilarileynovelist on Instagram, Sign up to her newsletter here

About the book

Liverpool 1953 – January sees the dawn of the Queen Elizabeth’s Coronation year as the mothers of Reckoners Row unite in preparation for the celebration of the new Queen.

Meanwhile Evie Kilgaren is dreaming of her summer wedding to Danny Harris, but trouble looms for Skinner & Sons with a new rival trying to put them out of business, but no-one knows why….

Ada Harris is summoned to the bedside of her estranged husband, who, in his dying moment confesses to a deadly secret – he knows who really murdered Evie’s mam Rene all those years ago and the consequences are far reaching.

Has an innocent man been jailed and is there still a murderer walking carefree? Will Evie get the happy-ever-after she so longs for with Danny? And will The Mersey Mothers unite and still be friends?

Review

If you’ve stumbled upon the Reckoner’s Row series before the beginning of the book gives us the events of The Mersey Orphan from a different perspective. That common thread or event now serves as the intro to the lives of the children left behind as they deal with the complications of a post-war world and adulthood.

Evie and Danny fight to keep his business afloat in the lead up to their nuptials. It seems someone is playing dirty when it comes to trying to shut them down for good. On top of that a killer close to home has escaped and is intent on finding himself some justice. It’s a constantly moving daily bag of troubles, strife, love and friendship, which is of course what readers are looking for in this kind of saga meets historical fiction with just enough cosy and large portion of reality.

Kudos also for the timely plot in regard to the coronation. What better way to give a nod to the upcoming milestone by referencing the beginning of her journey, the country and its people, who embraced the moment of light after times of loss and darkness.

The author gives readers a Cookson style relatable plot, but with less misery and more satisfying character developments if you like a wee bit of joy with your hard times.

Buy The Mersey Mothers at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher ‏: ‎ Boldwood Books pub date 19 April 2022. Buy at Amazon com.

#Blogtour Adonias Low by D.A. Watson

It’s my turn on the BlogTour Adonias Low by D A Watson.

About the Author

D.A. Watson is the author of four horror novels and the fiction and poetry collection, Tales of the What the Fuck. 

His stories, verse and articles have appeared in several anthologies and collections and have won gongs and acclaim from Greenock to Dunedin, including nominations for a Pushcart Prize in the US and the UK People’s Book Prize. An occasional poetry performer, he also appeared on the main stage of the Burnsfest Festival in 2018 as the warm up act for the one and only Chesney Hawkes, a personal milestone and career highlight. 

He lives with his family on the west coast of Scotland and is still telling stories. Follow @davewatsonbooks on Twitter, on Facebook  or visit dawatsonwriter.com

About the book

Murder. Robbery. Kidnapping. – Welcome to Napa Valley, California, 1891. – To lawmen and bad men alike, The Low Man is a ghost story. The most feared bounty hunter to ever walk the territories. Whispered to be a Native American shapeshifter, a renegade Pinkerton detective, or the Bible quoting son of a mad preacher. No one knows for sure. He’s a spectre outlaws scare each other with around campfires.

Adonias Low lives in the highlands of Napa Valley with his children, scratching a hard living as a farmer and occasional wagon guard. When a wealthy gin baron hires him to see a valuable shipment safely to San Francisco, the opportunity comes just in time to keep the family afloat.

But when the job turns into a massacre and his daughter is abducted by a deviant killer, Adonias is forced into a violent reckoning that will awaken a darkness he’s long tried to bury.

As the corpses mount up, a dying sheriff tries to make sense of the madness, scalp hunters saddle up and ride for blood, fame.

Review

It’s as if someone took the energy and volatility of an urban crime setting, or a one-man Bronson Death Wish vibe, and pulled it back into a Western era, then wove folklore and horror into the fabric. You get the lawlessness, isolation, desperation of the era, and of course the brutality that went with it.

I liked the concept, perhaps because ultimately it comes down to the simple man protects family by any means possible, and that will attract a multitude of readers. I do think it can be done without gratuitous violence towards women and children, because it brings down the tone of the entire story, which is then detrimental to the cleverly interwoven subplot of man becomes legend. Legend becomes fused with folklore, fear and the elements we cannot begin to understand. And although it is part and parcel of said era I would also be cautious when to comes to the gratuitous use of descriptive language in regard to certain people referenced in the story.

Saying that, I can imagine this is definitely the right cup of tea for many readers. Justice, vengeance and guilt become intermingled, when punishing the bad puts you on an equal setting to those people. Where do you draw the line? Do you push before you’re shoved, wait until it’s too late and accept your fate or do you listen to the devil sitting firmly on your shoulder? 

Buy Adonias Low at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher ‏: ‎Next Chapter; pub date 17 Nov. 2021. Buy at Amazon com.

#BlogTour Brooklyn Monroe Wants it All by Karen Booth

 It’s my turn on the BlogTour by Karen Booth.

About the Author

Karen Booth is a midwestern girl transplanted in the South, raised on ’80s music and repeated readings of “Forever” by Judy Blume. Karen writes contemporary romance and women’s fiction, almost always about the dreamy guy you never thought you’d get. Her stories are full of breathless kisses, tearjerker moments, family dynamics, and more than a few things she’s glad her grandmother never read. 

Follow @karenbbooth on Twitter, on Facebookon Instagramon AmazonBookbubGoodreads and Pinterest

About the book

She can’t hit the snooze on her biological clock forever… Love, career, kids—Brooklyn Monroe wants it all. Her beauty company? A triumph. Her love life? Total fail. At 42, that makes motherhood her top priority. With no man in her life, she’s prepared to fly solo, but her plan is derailed when a mailing list mishap turns Brooklyn into a someone-get-me-pregnant internet meme. Making her PR nightmare go away entails a soul-baring interview on national TV. And the guy asking the questions? Her all-too sexy ex.

Talk show host Alec Trakas is the king of bad timing. Case in point, his heartbreaking romance with Brooklyn. Alec was all about commitment but Brooklyn was launching her start-up, and forever wasn’t in the cards. Now a shot at his ultimate dream job depends on convincing Brooklyn to spill the secrets leading to her viral celebrity. It sets Alec’s star rising, but puts Brooklyn in a sea of flirty men. Fate has thrown them back together. Sparks are flying. But is the timing finally right? Because having it all might not be worth the risk of losing each other again.

Review

The way Brooklyn is often treated, by professionals, strangers and friends alike, is indicative of the attitudes towards women of a certain age. Too old, they think. What a frivolous attitude towards conceiving a child and perhaps selfish. Brooklyn knows what she wants though and she is determined to get it.

Unfortunately her wish to get pregnant is sent out to the world, albeit accidentally. Suddenly everyone has an opinion on her womb, her wish and whether she should or shouldn’t have a baby. Everyone also knows that isn’t too fussed by whom. It all becomes a little bit like the last remaining female and men wanting to sow their oats to create the ultimate progeny.

At the core this women’s fiction with a the dipped into the romance and romcom pool. It has plenty of amusing moments and cynical ones too. It also has a strong budding romance between the two main characters. Booth also tries to do due diligence to the general concept of women in Brooklyn’s position, but does it with compassion and humour. What’s wrong with wanting it all or indeed nothing at all. Does age always have to be the factor that determines what is deemed appropriate for a woman? It’s a contemporary feel good read.

Buy Brooklyn Monroe Wants it All at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Buy at Amazon com. Barnes and NobleAppleKobo.

#BlogTour Death in the Woods by Jo Allen

It’s my turn on the BlogTour Death in the Woods by Jo Allen.

About the Author

Jo Allen was born in Wolverhampton and is a graduate of Edinburgh, Strathclyde and the Open University, with undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in geography and Earth science. She’s been writing for pleasure and publication for as long as she can remember. After a career in economic consultancy she took up writing and was first published under the name Jennifer Young, in genres of short stories, romance and romantic suspense. She wrote online articles on travel and on her favourite academic subject, Earth science. In 2017 she took the plunge and began writing the genre she most likes to read — crime.

Jo lives in the English Lakes, where the DCI Satterthwaite series is set. In common with all her favourite characters, she loves football (she’s a season ticket holder with her beloved Wolverhampton Wanderers) and cats. 

Follow @JoAllenAuthor on Twitter, joallenauthor on Instagram, Visit joallenauthor.co.uk

About the book

A series of copycat suicides, prompted by a mysterious online blogger, causes DCI Jude Satterthwaite more problems than usual, intensifying his concerns about his troublesome younger brother, Mikey. Along with his partner, Ashleigh O’Halloran, and a local psychiatrist, Vanessa Wood, Jude struggles to find the identity of the malicious troll gaslighting young people to their deaths.

The investigation stirs grievances both old and new. What is the connection with the hippies camped near the Long Meg stone circle? Could these suicides have any connection with a decades old cold case? And, for Jude, the most crucial question of all. Is it personal — and could Mikey be the final target?

Review

There is such a thing as suicides coming in waves. The death of one is a sign of permission to others in a vulnerable state of mind. But what if the deaths of local young people are being caused by someone who wants them to harm themselves? DCI Jude Satterthwaite and a local psychiatrist have to wade through some messed up thinking to get to the bottom of it all.

I think a genuine question arises about the liability of people, whether online or in a real life setting, who drive others to commit suicide. The person who ends their life takes the final decision, however if they are driven to, convinced by others – then the person behind the scenes is part of said decision. They should be held accountable, and that includes online groups with the sole intent of pushing vulnerable people to their breaking point. Or indeed paving the way for the vulnerable to harm themselves.

Allen has built a mystery and plot around the sinister intentions of others and the fact suicides are seen as an drawn conclusion. There aren’t enough resources to trace a line backwards to possible ill intent. It’s a mystery that wanders into the fears we have, and the ease with which our psyche is chipped away. What’s left is desperation and cries for help – hopefully someone will hear them.

Buy Death in the Woods at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Buy at Amazon com.

#BlogTour The Hidden by Alison Knight

 It’s my turn on the BlogTour The Hidden by Alison Knight.

About the Author

Alison Knight has been a legal executive, a registered childminder, a professional fund-raiser and a teacher. She has travelled the world – from spending a year as an exchange student in the US in the 1970s and trekking the Great Wall of China to celebrate her fortieth year and lots of other interesting places in between.

In her mid-forties Alison went to university part-time and gained a first-class degree in Creative Writing at Bath Spa University and an MA in the same subject from Oxford Brookes University, both while still working full-time. Her first book was published a year after she completed her master’s degree.

Alison currently has a trio of novels published by Darkstroke. The first, Mine, is a domestic drama set in 1960s London based on real events in her family. She is the only person who can tell this particular story. Exploring themes of class, ambition and sexual politics, Mine shows how ordinary people can make choices that lead them into extraordinary situations.

The Legacy, a drama set in London in 1969, was inspired by a scene in Mine, and explores how an unexpected legacy can be both a blessing and a curse. The Legacy looks at themes of greed and expectations, and the lengths people will go to when they are desperate.

The Hidden, available from September 2021, is a romantic suspense that picks up the story of one of the characters in The Legacy. Set in Montana in 1973, two wounded, damaged people are forced together, each guarding their secrets. Can they learn to trust each other? And will their nightmares ever end?

Alison teaches creative and life-writing, runs workshops and retreats with Imagine Creative Writing Workshops (www.imaginecreativewriting.co.uk) as well as working as a freelance editor. She is a member of the Society of Authors and the Romantic Novelists’ Association. She lives in Somerset, within sight of Glastonbury Tor. 

Follow @Alison_Knight59 on Twitter, Visit alisonroseknight.com 

About the book

Secrets, nightmares, and a big black dog… Montana, 1973. Faye has found sanctuary in a simple cabin in the wilds of the Crazy Mountains in Montana with a dog called Bear. She’s a long way from her old life in England. But she knows that one day her peaceful life could be invaded by her enemies, and she keeps her guard up at all times.
Jeff returns home from Vietnam, a wounded, damaged hero, just weeks after his father’s sudden death. He finds hostile, secretive Faye living in his cabin and refusing to leave. The reading of his father’s will adds another layer of mystery to this woman’s presence.
The tension between them grows as Jeff tries to overcome his nightmares and expose Faye’s scars and secrets. The more he learns about her, the more enigmatic she seems. When her enemies come calling, she needs Jeff to protect her. Can they learn to trust each other? And will Faye ever be safe?

Review

Faye thinks she has finally found a place where no one will come looking for her. A safe haven and a man who is willing to keep her secrets. Until one day a stranger stumbles into her life. Her alarm bells go off and she is ready to protect herself – no matter what.

Jeff is confronted with a stranger who has made herself a little too comfortable in the middle of the life and family he left behind. He wants her gone – if only life were that easy, right?

I found Jeff a hard character to swallow at times. His sexist ways veered into misogyny at times and he was often dismissive and demeaning, which was romanticised, ergo the troubled rugged alpha male with a soft core waiting to be uncovered. Aside from that it is a story of learning to trust, to love and to open yourself up to new beginnings. Both Faye and Jeff approach this in their individual ways, of course this also means the clash and butt heads along the way.

Much like the previous two books the author focuses on the complexity of family dynamics and relationships. Betrayal, lack of trust, and assembling some sense of safety within their inner and outer lives. It’s a story about support, trust and love.

Buy The Hidden at Amazon Uk or Buy at Amazon com. Publisher ‏: ‎darkstroke books pub date 23 Sept. 2021.

#BlogTour A Village in the Country by Elaine Spires

 It’s my turn in the BlogTour A Village in the Country by Elaine Spires.

About the Author

Elaine Spires is a novelist, playwright, actress and theatre director.  In spite of travelling intensively and living in several countries – Spain, Greece and Antigua – she remains a proud Dagenham Girl and in 2017 returned to her roots.  Elaine developed an eye for the quirky characteristics of people as she travelled, captivating the humorous observations she now affectionately shares with her readers in all her books.  

As well as the books listed below, Elaine has written several one-act plays and also the stage adaptation of her novel Singles’ Holiday which was performed at the Brentwood Theatre by Melabeau Productions.  She wrote the Antiguan TV Series Paradise View for HAMA TV and Films and in 2019 her short film (co-written with Veronique Christie) Only the Lonely won the Gaucho Club Best Short Film Award and two silver awards at WOFFF (Women Over Fifty Film Festival) in the same year.

Elaine hopes you will enjoy looking further back in time with this book, to an era when Dagenham was simply A Village in the Country.  

Also by Elaine Spires and available in paperback and on Kindle from amazon.co.uk: What’s Eating Me, Sweet Lady, Singles’ Holiday, Singles and Spice, Single All The Way, Singles At Sea, Singles, Set and Match, The Single Best Thing, The Banjo Book One, The Banjo Book Two, You Never See Rainbows At Christmas, Weak At The Knees & The Christmas Queen (novellas), Holiday Reads & Holiday Reads 2 (short story collections). 

Follow @ElaineSWriter on Twitter, on Facebookon Instagram, on Amazon, Visit elainespires.co.uk

About the book

It’s November 1918 and the whole nation comes together to give thanks for the end of a bloody world war that has left few families unscathed.  More than seven hundred thousand men have perished; those fortunate enough to return are mere shadows of the men who left.  Women who have kept the country going by working in munitions factories and picking fruit and vegetables on farms and in market gardens are expected to give up their jobs to the men returning home.  In the peaceful Essex village of Dagenham Milly Brightwell is among the women who are not happy at having to take a step back in peacetime as she dreams and makes plans of becoming her own boss.

But just as life returns to post-war normal, the London County Council announces its plans to build more than twenty-five thousand Homes for Heroes on the farmland and countryside surrounding Dagenham. Within the space of ten years the population will rocket to a hundred thousand people and the quiet country village will morph into the largest housing estate in Europe.  For the families in Dagenham Village looking forward to better times in the 1920s, life will never be the same again.

Review

The war is finally over and the country is rejoicing. Milly is one of many women who find it difficult to take a step back into her pre-war existence. Now the men are slowly returning from war, albeit it only a few of them, they automatically assume the roles they vacated. Roles filled by women during the war.

I liked the way the author used the Dagenham story to create a multiple layered story. You have the war, post-war and rebuilding of society and communities. The families and communities enduring trauma, hardship, loss, pain and the need to adapt to the world after the catastrophic war. Then you also have the advancement in restructuring and modernisation, which changes the face of Dagenham forever. 

On a side-note I also enjoyed the fact the story serves as a reminder that many of today’s council estates, which can appear forgotten, a hive of criminal activity, a bustling warren of people living in low socio-economic situations – used to be the modern evolution of homes and living in their day and age.

Spires connects her characters through depth of emotion, their common denominators and linking their experiences of trauma and pain, and also their courage to endure and move forward.

Buy A Village in the Country at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Buy at Amazon com.

#BlogTour Broken by R.V. Biggs

It’s my last turn on the BlogTour for the Sarah Macintyre series by R.V. Biggs, which started with The Song of the Robin followed by Reunion and now it’s time for the third book in the series – Broken.

About the Author

R V Biggs lives in a small ex-mining village near Wolverhampton, England, with his wife Julie and Mags the black lab. He has four grown up children and eight grandchildren. Walking with the dog is a favourite pastime and much of the story line for his first novel was developed during these lengthy outings.

Robert worked for 35 years in telecommunications but changed career paths to a managerial supporting role within a local Mental Health National Health Service trust. It was during the period between these roles that the concept for his first novel was born.

Robert is a firm believer that destiny and co-incidence exist hand in hand and this conviction extends to his writing. He has a passion for holistic well-being and after first-hand experience of the potential healing powers of Reiki, a form of energy therapy, took a Reiki level 1 training course to heighten his spiritual awareness. 

Robert’s experiences in these areas helped conceive the ideas that led to Song of the Robin and its sequels Reunion and Broken, novels with central themes of fate, love, and the strength of family. His writing is not fantasy however but is set in modern times involving real people living real lives. Follow RVBiggs on Facebook, Visit rvbiggs.com

About the book

Scarred by a tragic past, eleven year old Jamie Walker chooses not to speak. Consumed with jealous rage, Jimmy Gillespie is driven to violence. And John Macintyre awakens from a vivid nightmare convinced he is going to kill.

Living high upon the Scottish hills, John and Sarah Macintyre enjoy a serene life until a televised news bulletin sends them on a desperate search for a missing child. After finding the child and returning him safely to his parents, the Macintyres are approached by the local press, attracting both unexpected and unwanted attention.

But the aftermath of the media coverage changes the course of their lives forever, and events are set in motion that are joyful, heart breaking – and terrifying.

Review

This third part of the Sarah Macintyre series brings the content of the previous two to a culmination. Everything has been driving towards this point and the story of Sarah and her family can finally really begin. 

Their journey together is one of connections, weaving unseen threads between each other. Each one of them experiencing energy and power in a different way, but ultimately always in a way that outsiders are unable to comprehend completely. Is it paranormal, another level of energy or shall we just simply leave at the inexplicable?

After certain events expose their special gifts to the world and also bring the family to the attention of someone with more nefarious intentions – the family faces more danger. Simultaneously they are asked to invite a broken soul into their home, in the hopes that they can help heal and keep him safe. The two events end in a violent collision.

This is shorter in length than the other two books and was much more concise in the approach in regards to the core premise. A much better read with clear vision, and of where the series could be taken if the author wants to.

Buy Broken at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Buy at Amazon com.