#BlogTour The Collector’s Daughter by Gill Paul

 It’s my turn on the BlogTour The Collector’s Daughter by Gill Paul.

About the Author

Gill Paul is an author of historical fiction, specialising in the twentieth century and often writing about the lives of real women. Her novels have topped bestseller lists in the US and Canada as well as the UK and have been translated into twenty-one languages. The Secret Wife has sold over half a million copies and is a book-club favourite worldwide.

She is also the author of several non-fiction books on historical subjects. She lives in London and swims year-round in a wild pond. The Collector’s Daughter is her tenth novel. Follow @GillPaulAuthor on Twitter Visit gillpaul.com

About the book

An unforgettable discovery – In 1922, Lady Evelyn Herbert’s dreams are realised when she is the first to set foot inside the lost tomb of Tutankhamun for over 3,000 years.

A cursed life – But the months after the discovery are marred by tragedy, when Eve’s father dies suddenly and her family is torn in two. Desperate to put the past behind her, Eve retreats into a private life with her new husband.

A deadly choice – But she is harbouring a dark secret about what really happened in Egypt. And when a young woman comes asking questions years later, the happiness Eve has finally found is threatened once more…

Review

Poor Eve is unable to grasp all the memories she once retained, to remember what a fantastic opportunity she had as a young girl. Being part of one of the most important excavations of the 20th century. Her body no longer listens to her as it used to, but then again perhaps there are things that are best forgotten.

Interesting combination of a historical fact and fiction – taking the essence of an idea and filling in the blanks of an existing map. Aside from the fact it deals with an intriguing part of history it also throws up a genuine question antiquities experts, historians and governments are battling with more frequently.

The treasures unearthed during archeological digs and research, the treasure hunting and the plundering by our colonial ancestors – who owns those artefacts and items? Surely the exploitation of historical artefacts should come under the same remit as war crime plunder. It’s only understandable that the country of origin may try to retrieve said artefacts eventually, especially if they are of immense historical value.

One could argue that those items are in danger of being destroyed in the country of origin – terrorists and agitators often target priceless artefacts, monuments and buildings – however that would be a very colonial attitude, wouldn’t it? It seems such a tragedy, and again par for the course when it comes some items being kept in private collections.

It’s a fascinating subject, which Paul weaves cleverly into this dual timeline story of a woman who is no longer able to remember just how important a role her own family played in history.

Buy The Collector’s Daughter at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Avon; pub date 30 Sept 2021 – Paperback £7.99. Buy at Amazon com.

#BlogTour The Second Marriage by Gill Paul

Today it’s a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour The Second Marriage by Gill Paul.

About the Author

Gill Paul’s historical novels have reached the top of the USA Today, Toronto Globe & Mail and kindle charts, and been translated into twenty languages. 

They include The Second Marriage  (titled Jackie and Maria in the US), two bestselling novels about the Romanovs – The Secret Wife and The Lost Daughter – as well as Women and Children First, which was shortlisted for the 2013 RNA Epic Novel of the Year award, No Place For a Lady, shortlisted for a Love Stories award, and Another Woman’s Husband, about links you might not have suspected between Wallis Simpson and Princess Diana.

Gill also writes historical non-fiction, including A History of Medicine in 50 Objects, and she speaks at libraries and literary festivals on subjects ranging from the Titanic to the Romanovs.

Gill lives in London, where she is working on her tenth novel, and she swims daily in an outdoor pond.

Follow @GillPaulAuthor on Twitter, on Instagramon Goodreads, Visit gillpaul.comBuy The Second Marriage

About the book

Jackie – When her first marriage ends in tragedy, Jackie Kennedy fears she’ll never love again. But all that changes when she encounters…

Ari – Successful and charming, Ari Onassis is a man who promises her the world. Yet soon after they marry, Jackie learns that his heart also belongs to another…

Maria – A beautiful, famed singer, Maria Callas is in love with Jackie’s new husband – and she isn’t going to give up.

Little by little, Jackie and Maria’s lives begin to tangle in a dangerous web of secrets, scandal and lies. But with both women determined to make Ari theirs alone, the stakes are high. How far will they go for true love?

Review

Two of the most famous women of their time had a man in common. A man who wanted to own the voice of Callas, own the tragic widow of the ex-president, whilst his own family became victims of his obsessive behaviour driven by his mega-bucks.

Jackie Kennedy was expected to put up with infidelity, betrayal and a lack of compassion. Brought up to expect no emotional response from her match made in prosperity and political importance, and a mother who did nothing to address the jealousy between Jackie and Lee later in life.

If you know anything about the relationship between Maria Callas and Ari, but perhaps more so about her own life then it’s easier to understand the finer nuances the author has picked up on and used in this fictional story based on factual relationships and history.

Callas was a woman filled with insecurities courtesy of the mother who compared her constantly to the thinner more beautiful sister. Maria was overweight, a face and body she would grow into and was short-sighted. The beauty within was changed for the purposes of belonging to society when she was noticed by a her future husband, a man many decades older, she began to mix in certain circles as she perfected her fantastic voice.

This is how she met the man who would use her as an object to own and parade around like a prize horse, used for sexual gratification when needed. The bird in a cage owned by King Midas. She would ultimately die of a broken heart and the disappointment of unrealised dreams and a career she forfeited for false love.

At the end of the book Paul adds in some extra factual detail which put the lives of all three women into perspective a little more. Why did Jackie pick Ari? Revenge, one-upmanship? I actually think there are comparisons to be made between Diana’s controversial choice of Dodi, because she knew what it would mean to the reputation of the Royal Family. The Kennedy family is American political royalty and perhaps Jackie decided it was time to move out of their controlling sphere and cause a stir of her own. Being able to sock it to her sister might have been the crumbs she followed to the choices she made.

What Maria, Ari, Jackie and Lee all have in common is tragedy, perhaps more than the usual amount people experience in a lifetime. Gill captures this well in this saga of love, money, ownership and heartbreak. 

Buy The Second Marriage at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Avon; pub date 24 Aug. 2020. Buy at Amazon com.

#BlogBlitz Coming Home To Ottercombe Bay by Bella Osborne

It’s Publication Day for the Paperback of Coming Home to Ottercombe Bay by Bella Osborne. Celebrate with Bella by reading all about Ottercombe Bay and entering the giveaway for two signed books by Bella Osborne at the bottom of this post.

About the Author

Bella has been jotting down stories as far back as she can remember but decided that 2013 would be the year that she finished a full length novel. She’s now written four romantic comedies and been shortlisted twice for the RNA Contemporary Romantic Novel of the Year.

Bella’s stories are about friendship, love and coping with what life throws at you.

She lives in The Midlands, UK with her husband, daughter and a cat who thinks she’s dog. When not writing she’s usually eating custard creams and planning holidays.

Enter the Giveaway (below at the bottom of this post) – Win signed copies of It Started At Sunset Cottage and A Family Holiday by Bella Osborne (Open Internationally)

 About the book

Daisy Wickens has returned to Ottercombe Bay, the picturesque Devon town where her mother died when she was a girl. She plans to leave as soon as her great uncle’s funeral is over, but Great Uncle Reg had other ideas. He’s left Daisy a significant inheritance – an old building in a state of disrepair, which could offer exciting possibilities, but to get it she must stay in Ottercombe Bay for twelve whole months.

With the help of a cast of quirky locals, a few gin cocktails and a black pug with plenty of attitude, Daisy might just turn this into something special. But can she ever hope to be happy among the ghosts of her past?

Review

Daisy finds it difficult to stay in one place for too long, and she really doesn’t like staying in her hometown Ottercombe Bay, because it brings back a lot of painful and unresolved emotions. The death of her mother follows her everywhere in the place where she grew up.

When she returns home after the death of her Uncle Reg, she is surprised to find he has left her something quite interesting in his will. Unfortunately the wily old man has included specific conditions which must be fulfilled in order for Daisy to receive the inheritance, the kind of conditions he hoped would convince her to stay in O-Bay.

I have to say that Bugsy was the secret star of this book. The interactions between the obnoxious, stubborn pug and Daisy are hilarious. The scene with the chips and the last few pages had me laughing out loud. The two of them were made for each other. Good luck with the retraining!

Ottercombe Bay is all about discovering where you feel at home and most comfortable, even if it means having to lay some demons to rest. Daisy finds a lot of things she wasn’t expecting. After many years of being by herself I think she struggles to accept that it’s okay to let people in and to trust them.

Osborne has a knack for writing comedic scenes which seem completely effortless and natural, and of course this is what makes her books so enjoyable. She combines subtle romantic storylines with realistic emotional turmoil, and doesn’t forget to add the small moments in life that make it both memorable and funny at times.

It’s an entertaining and funny read with plenty of heartfelt moments

Buy Coming Home to Ottercombe Bay at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Kindle edition

Giveaway – Win signed copies of It Started At Sunset Cottage and A Family Holiday (Open Internationally)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter link above the ToC’s.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for dispatch or delivery of the prize.*

The Fear by C.L. Taylor

the fearFear, shame and confusion go hand in hand in this story. Lou is still haunted by her past and the way it follows her like a lingering bad smell.

Unfortunately this tale of grooming and abuse carries the misnomer of love, because that is what paedophiles convince their victims it is. What is even more tragic is how many people confronted by these scenarios or read about them think that it is about a convoluted love story. It isn’t, it’s about a child being preyed upon by a sexual deviant.

It isn’t a vivacious Lolita seducing an unsuspecting older man, and then crying rape after the event. This is how the majority of society sees situations like this. It is easier to put the blame on a naughty little girl than to accept we have men and women in our midst who want to have sexual relations with children.

Lou has to live with the doubts of others, the recriminations and the guilt of not knowing whether she was to blame, and yet at the same time fearing the person she knows was to blame.

After the death of her father she returns home to sort his belongings and his house, and finds herself drawn to the man who took her childhood away from her. She walks a fine line between complete terror and the need for Mike to admit his guilt. Nothing too outlandish or unachievable until she stumbles upon proof that he is in the middle of stealing another childhood.

The Fear is a crime hidden within a crime with a stark layer of reality throughout. As a reader you feel empathy for the child Lou used to be and the adult still suffering from the fallout of being groomed by a predator. Although Lou feels guilty for getting revenge and trying to save someone, I applaud her temerity and her courage.

I think Taylor has written a well-timed story in the midst of the #MeToo movement and chorus of voices speaking out about abuse against girls and women in our society. Shedding a light on the hypocrisy victims encounter and the fear that sits in the back of their neck for the rest of their lives. It’s a captivating read with some hard home-truths. At the same time it is an equally compelling psychological thriller, so kudos to Taylor for bringing the two together.

Buy/Pre-order The Fear at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.

Follow @callytaylor @AvonBooksUk

Visit cltaylorauthor.com

The Fear – Pub. date 22.March 2018 published by Avon Books Uk

Read The Lie by C.L. Taylor

Read The Accident by C.L. Taylor