Anne Bonny #BlogTour Character Profiles ~ On A Turning Tide by Ellie Dean @arrowpublishing #Saga #WW2Fiction #ww2

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On A Turning Tide by Ellie Dean
Synopsis:

Cliffehaven, October 1944

As the Allied troops draw closer to victory, life at Beach View Boarding House is still full of uncertainty.

Rosie’s plans for her wedding to Ron Reilly are plagued with misunderstandings. And when Ron takes on a secret assignment just days before they are due to say their vows, it seems their plans for a future together may be doomed.

Meanwhile, Peggy Reilly embraces her new managerial role at the uniform factory. It’s a welcome distraction while her husband Jim is still away fighting in the Far East. But when an old school adversary joins the factory’s ranks, Peggy must win her own battles on the home front.

As a new year dawns, hopes grow brighter for the return of loved ones – but a big sea change is still to come before Victory in Europe can be declared.

Victory is in sight, but the war is not yet won.

Character Profiles ~

Meet the Cliffehaven family with Ellie Dean

Ellie Dean is the Sunday Times bestselling Cliffehaven saga series which has an impressive total of sixteen novels in the series. Set on the picturesque English south coast, the Cliffehaven series follows the Reilly family and the comings and goings of their guests at the Beach View boarding house and how together they navigate the choppy waters of wartime in these heart-warming Second World War novels. Here, Ellie breaks down the most prolific characters of the series and everything you’d want to know about them before getting stuck into a Cliffehaven novel:

RONAN REILLY ~
Ron is a sturdy man in his mid-sixties who often leads a very secretive life away from Beach View. It turns out that the contacts, experience and skills Ron gathered in the previous war are useful in these current hostilities. Widowed several decades ago, he’s fallen in love with the luscious Rosie Braithwaite who owns The Anchor pub. Although she has never been averse to his attentions, for a long time she refused to let things get too intimate. Finally, though, it seems that the stars have aligned for Rosie and Ron, and they are engaged to be married soon.

Ron is a wily countryman; a poacher and retired fisherman with great roguish charm, who tramps over the fields with his dog, Harvey, and two ferrets – and frequently comes home with illicit game hidden in the deep pockets of his poacher’s coat. He doesn’t care much about his appearance, much to his daughter-in-law Peggy’s dismay, but beneath that ramshackle old hat and moth-eaten clothing beats the heart of a strong, loving man who will fiercely protect those he loves.

ROSIE BRAITHWAITE ~
Rosie is in her early fifties and in love with Ron, though for many years she had to remain married to her first husband, who was in a mental asylum.

She took over The Anchor twenty years ago and has turned it into a little gold-mine. Rosie has platinum hair, big blue eyes and an hour-glass figure – she also has a good sense of humour and can hold her own with the customers. She runs the pub with a firm hand, and keeps Ron at bay, although she’s not averse to a bit of slap and tickle. And yet her glamorous appearance and winning smile hides the heartache of not having been blessed with a longed-for baby, and now it’s too late.

Peggy is her best friend, and the family living in Beach View Boarding House has taken the place of the family she’d never had. Her greatest wish is to start a new life with Ron – even though he’s exasperating at times. And now, with the passing of her husband, Ron and Rosie are finally engaged. So long as they can make it to the wedding day, their future together looks brighter than ever.

PEGGY REILLY ~ 
Peggy is the middle sister of three, in her early forties, and married to Jim, Ron’s son. She is small and slender, with dark, curly hair and lively brown eyes, and finds it very hard to sit still. As if running a busy household and caring for her young daughter wasn’t enough, she also did voluntary work for the WVS before getting a job in the local uniform factory, yet still finds time to offer tea, sympathy and a shoulder to cry on when they’re needed.

She and Jim took over the running of Beach View Boarding House when Peggy’s parents retired – her older sister, Doris, thought it was beneath her, and her younger sister, Doreen, had already established a career in London.

Peggy has three daughters, two sons, and two grand-daughters. When war was declared and the boarding house business became no longer viable, she decided to take in evacuees. Peggy can be feisty and certainly doesn’t suffer fools, and yet she is also trying very hard to come to terms with the fact that her family has been torn apart by the war. She is a romantic at heart and can’t help trying to match-make, but she’s also a terrible worrier, always fretting over someone – and as the young evacuees make their home with her, she comes to regard them as her chicks and will do everything she can to protect and nurture them.

DORIS WILLIAMS ~ 
Doris is Peggy’s older sister, for many years she has been divorced from her long-suffering husband, Ted, who died very recently. She used to live in the posh part of town, Havelock Road, and look down on Peggy and the boarding house.

But her days of snooty social climbing and snobbishness are behind her. Having lived with Peggy at Beach View Boarding House after bombs destroyed her former neighbourhood, Doris has softened in her ways and although she’s still proud of her connections to high society, she’s also on much better terms with her sister and the rest of the family.

But despite all this, Doris is still rather lonely, especially with her only son now married and moved away. Could her recent change of heart also lead to a new romance?

On A Turning Tide by Ellie Dean is out on Thursday 24th January (published in paperback by Arrow, £6.99)

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Anne Bonny #BlogTour #BookReview Now You See Her by @HeidiPerksBooks #NewRelease #Psychological #Thriller @arrowpublishing #NowYouSeeHer

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Now You see Her by Heidi Perks
Review Copy
Synopsis:

Charlotte is looking after her best friend’s daughter the day she disappears. She thought the little girl was playing with her own children. She swears she only took her eyes off them for a second.

Now, Charlotte must do the unthinkable: tell her best friend Harriet that her only child is missing. The child she was meant to be watching.

Devastated, Harriet can no longer bear to see Charlotte. No one could expect her to trust her friend again.
Only now she needs to. Because two weeks later Harriet and Charlotte are both being questioned separately by the police. And secrets are about to surface.

Someone is hiding the truth about what really happened to Alice.

My Review:

Now You See Her, is an intense psychological novel. It focuses on the relationship between Charlotte and Harriet. With one simple day, playing a HUGE role in their futures. The two women were once best friends, right up until the moment Charlotte lost Harriet’s daughter Alice (4yrs).

The novel is set in Dorset and it really adds to the drama when we learn that another little boy went missing last year. Dorset being a small coastal community, instantly there is speculation that this is an abduction.

Before we can fully begin to get into the drama, the backgrounds of both women are explored. We learn that Charlotte is a single mother to three children. She is Harriet’s best friend and therefore was quick to offer to help her out and mind Alice, so that Harriet could attend her book keeping course. It is the first time Harriet has ever left Alice with another adult and he is understandably nervous and apprehensive.

‘Somewhere along the line she had become the mother she didn’t want to be’

Charlotte makes her way to the local school’s fete with the four children in tow. She meets up with friends Audrey and Karen. When her attention drifts from the bouncy castle for mere moments. Alice is GONE!

PC Fielding and PC Shaw are first on the scene. They immediately organise a search of the area. Charlotte is left devastated and bereft, she questions if Harriet will ever forgive her. This really is every parent’s worst nightmare, from either perspective. To lose a child or to feel responsible for the possible abduction of a child.

In the days following the disappearance more and more speculation and rumour grows. Charlotte is exposed as being on Facebook at the time of the alleged potential abduction. Her friends turn on her and she feels too ashamed to leave her home. There is online venom poured upon her and her own reliability as a mother. In a moment of deep pain, she reaches out to Harriet and her husband Brian. Only to discover they blame her too.

‘This isn’t the first child she’s lost’ – Brian

Brian demands to be the parent that speaks at the press conference and his whole demeanour is controlling and possessive.
I really began to question his role in this disappearance.

I cannot say too much more for fear of leaving spoilers. But this is an intense read.
The role of suspect and victim constantly shifts.
The novel keeps you guessing and guessing. 4*

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Heidi Perks
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My #BlogTour #Review Her Mother’s Daughter by @eviegrace2017 @arrowpublishing 5* #NewRelease #Saga by @annebonnybook

*I received an arc via the publisher in return for an honest review*

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Her Mother’s Daughter by Evie Grace
Synopsis:

Canterbury, 1853

Agnes Berry-Clay might have been born into rags but she is growing up with riches.
Given away as a baby by her real mother, she was rescued and raised by her darling Papa and distant Mama. Agnes wants for nothing, except perhaps a little freedom.

But as times goes on, her life at Windmarsh Court changes. New arrivals and old resentments push Agnes to the peripheries, and finally the consequences of one fateful day shatter her dreams for the future.

Heartbroken and surrounded by the threat of scandal, Agnes is faced with a terrible choice: stay and surrender, or flee and fight to keep her freedom.

My review:

Canterbury 1853, Agnes Berry-Clay born into rags buts raised in riches at Windmarsh Court. Her loving adopted father James owns a local brewery, Agnes wants for nothing, except perhaps a little bit of freedom…….

When the novel opens Agnes, is just 14yrs old. She lives in a world surrounded by the help. Where her every need and whim, is met. The wealthy family have a cook Mrs Nidget, a housekeeper Mrs Turner and Agnes’s beloved governess/nanny Miss Treen. But Victorian England is a stifling time for a young woman to be reaching her adulthood.
An era when children should be seen and not heard, where women must ‘know their place’ in society.

“You would be wise to practice obedience until it becomes a habit. When you marry, you will be required to carry out the duties of the lady of the house without question or complaint” – Nanny

Over the course of the beginning of the novel. We learn Agnes’s true parentage. Her adopted mother Louisa, is cold, rude and abrupt towards her. Once Louisa discovers she is pregnant with her own child, which she believes is a much-wanted son. Agnes feels even more emotionally abandoned. But her father remains to treat the children as equals. When Henry is finally born, Agnes does bond with the new arrival.

The novel also features her uncle Rufus, auntie Sarah and cousins Phillip and Edward. Philip longs to be a man of medicine, but this is met with much disapproval. In the Victorian era, the profession of medicine, was often scoffed at by the upper class.
The novel deals with various themes of the Victorian era, with the class system as a central running theme.

Agnes develops into a young woman over the course of the novel. But she is growing up spoilt, rude and uncaring due to the wealth that is showered upon her. As a punishment for her behaviour, her father arranges for her to spend some time with her Nanny’s family. In the hope that witnessing a family from much more humble beginnings, will calm her attitude.
But no one can know, how much this introduction, will come to mean so much to Agnes.

The novel progresses, this time jumping four years ahead to Agnes’s impending 19th birthday. A party is organised as a way to introduce her to high society. With the ultimate goal of securing Agnes, a worthy marriage prospect.
In the preparations for the impending party, Agnes is informed of some painful home truths. Secrets and lies that uproot everything Agnes has ever believed in. It is these secrets that explode at the party, making Agnes a cuckoo in the nest…..

In the aftermath of the party and Agnes’s introduction to high society as an absolute failure. Her mother conspires to marry her off, to her cousin Phillip. Something Agnes neither desires nor wants.
But the cost of her freedom, will mean abandoning everything she has ever known. Does Agnes have the courage to find her own future?

This novel really is a novel of two parts. The first half explains her background and Agnes draws you into her storyline slowly, page by page. I was completely HOOKED on the second half of the novel. Agnes will fully come to understand the implication of ‘hard times’ and poverty. Life for Agnes is going to be far from easy! But in the typical style of a saga novel. I closed the final pages with a smile on my face.
I am a huge fan of saga novels. One of my favourites of all time, Remember Me by Lesley Pearce is set within this era. Although the novels are entirely different in their respective themes. I thought Evie Grace has done a phenomenal job of portraying the era.
This is most definitely her best book yet! 5*

EG
Evie Grace
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Evie Grace was born in Kent, and one of her earliest memories is of picking cherries with her grandfather who managed a fruit farm near Selling. Holidays spent in the Kent countryside and the stories passed down through her family inspired her to write Half a Sixpence.

Evie now lives in Devon with her partner and dog. She has a grown-up daughter and son.

She loves researching the history of the nineteenth century and is very grateful for the invention of the washing machine, having discovered how the Victorians struggled to do their laundry.

Her Mother’s Daughter is Evie’s second novel in the Maids of Kent trilogy.

*Don’t miss the other blogs on the #BlogTour and the #Giveaway with @arrowpublishing tomorrow via Twitter*
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#BlogTour #GuestPost 5* #MiniReview #HalfASixpence @Eviegrace2017 @arrowpublishing

Half a Sixpence - Evie Grace - blog tour
Half A Sixpence by Evie Grave

Synopsis:
True love sometimes comes at a price

East Kent, 1830

Catherine Rook takes her peaceful life for granted. Her days are spent at the village school and lending a hand on her family’s farm. Life is run by the seasons, and there’s little time for worry.

But rural unrest begins sweeping through Kent, and when Pa Rook buys a threshing machine it brings turbulence and tragedy to Wanstall Farm. With the Rooks’ fortunes forever changed, Catherine must struggle to hold her family together.

She turns to her childhood companion, Matty Carter, for comfort, and finds more than friendship in his loving arms. But Matty has his own family to protect, and almost as quickly as their love blossomed their future begins to unravel.

With the threat of destitution nipping at her heels, Catherine must forge a way out of ruin . . .

#MiniReview:

This is Debut novel, that opens in 1830 Kent. The characters are from all walks of lives and the poverty of 1830 is explored fully. Your heart begins to warm to the individuals and you feel invested in their journeys throughout the novel.
Last year I read the entire series of Poldark and I was absolutely gripped and I would say this is extremely similar. The characterisation is massively on point, fans of Poldark will LOVE it!
I loved the use of relevant terms for the era ‘gallivantin’ etc.
The peace and tranquillity of Overshill is atmospheric at the beginning and I also felt jealous of Catherine’s simple farm life. but then I discovered that in 1830 social hierarchy is everything!

There are some subtle theme of politics, power, charity and it is rich in historical accuracy. Catherine’s Pa was in instant favourite of mine, holds strict socialist values,  before socialism was a political movement! highly recommend to fans of novels in the saga or historical fiction genre. 5*

Guest Post: Character Profile Matty Carter

I’m delighted to join you for today’s stop on my blogtour with Half a Sixpence, the first book in a new series, a Victorian family saga. It’s the story of Catherine Rook, a country girl born in East Kent in 1817. She grows up in Overshill with her best friend, Emily, and the other village children, including the mischievous Matty Carter.

I’d love to tell you a little more about him.

I was inspired to write about Matty by my family tree in which there are several farm labourers, including one who worked on the land until he was one hundred years old, a fact that I found recorded in a cutting from a local newspaper.

Matty Carter came from a poor family who inhabited a tumbledown cottage near Catherine’s home, Wanstall Farm. He lived with his ma, pa and several siblings with whom he shared a bed, topping and tailing with them, or taking turns to sleep. They would leave their boots filled with grass to absorb moisture and smells, under the porch that was held up with a chestnut pole.

As a boy of fourteen, he had a reputation for upsetting the girls at the local dame school with mice and slowworms, and he was looked down on for going around Overshill in raggedy clothes. His brown hair stood up on end like a stook of corn, the bridge of his nose was spattered with freckles and his cheeks were always smeared with dirt.

His father was a farm labourer and Matty took after him, starting out in work at nine years old as a bird scarer when he’d work from dawn till dusk, chasing the birds off the seeds in the fields by blowing a whistle, and hurling stones. When he was older, he became a ploughboy, walking up and down the furrow with the horses. He played the fiddle and sang with his father and brothers who were often worse for wear at the local church every Sunday in return for a few extra pennies. He collected honey from the woods and filched bits and pieces that he found lying around to support the Carters, but in spite of the family’s efforts, they were always short of money, a problem made worse by his mother’s chronic illness that kept her bed-bound.

In spite of their lowly situation, Matty and his family were proud people. Matty had a clear sense of justice and followed his heart. He usually did the right thing, but sometimes went about it the wrong way.

Determined to better himself, Matty had ambitions to rent a few acres of land and become a sheep farmer in the future, but when the rural idyll of East Kent was thrown into unrest with the arrival of mechanisation on the farms, his plans were thrown into disarray.

I hope you enjoy reading about Matty in Half a Sixpence.

x Evie

EG
Evie Grace
Author Bio:

Evie Grace was born in Kent, and one of her earliest memories is of picking cherries with her grandfather who managed a fruit farm near Selling. Holidays spent in the Kent countryside and the stories passed down through her family inspired her to write Half a Sixpence.

Evie now lives in Devon with her partner and dog. She has a grown-up daughter and son.

She loves researching the history of the nineteenth century and is very grateful for the invention of the washing machine, having discovered how the Victorians struggled to do their laundry.

Half a Sixpence is Evie’s first novel in her Maids of Kent trilogy. Half a Heart and Half a Chance will follow.

Authors Links:
Via Publisher:  https://www.penguin.co.uk/authors/evie-grace/1079654/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8637801.Evie_Grace
Twitter: @eviegrace2017