Anne Bonny #BlogTour Character Profile #VioletRayfield ~ A Thimbleful Of Hope by @eviegrace2017 #NewRelease #Saga @arrowpublishing

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A Thimbleful Of Hope by Evie Grace
Synopsis:

A tale of triumph over adversity from the author of the Maids of Kent trilogy. Perfect for fans of Dilly Court and Rosie Goodwin.

Dover, 1864: Violet Rayfield leads a happy life with her family in a beautiful terrace on Camden Crescent.

But Violet’s seemingly perfect world is shattered when her father makes a decision that costs her family everything. Now Violet must sacrifice all she holds dear, including the man she loves.

As Violet strives to pick up the threads of her existence, a series of shocking revelations leaves her feeling even more alone.

But where one door closes, another opens, and the embroidery skills Violet perfected while a young woman of leisure win her vital work.

If she can find the strength to stitch the remnants of her family back together, there might just be a little hope after all…

A character profile of Violet Rayfield:

I’m delighted to introduce A Thimbleful of Hope and Miss Violet Rayfield whose story is set among the gas-lit streets of the historic Cinque port of Dover. Born in 1846, Violet cuts a striking figure with her deep blue eyes, and white-blonde hair which she wears scraped back into plaited loops at the nape of her neck. The only feature she would change if she could, is her nose which she feels is a little too large for her face.
Violet lives with her family and their servants in one of the best addresses in Dover, a large terraced house in Camden Crescent with views of the sea. Her father is a businessman, a successful shipping agent who’s made enough money to invest in a cargo ship and shares in the London Chatham and Dover Railway Company, meaning that his wife can lead a life of leisure, showing off their home and its contents to their friends and acquaintances.
Mr Rayfield employs a governess to educate Violet and her sisters, Ottilie and Eleanor, in the pursuits which are considered suitable for refined young ladies, and useful preparation for the advantageous marriages they’re expected to make. Although they’re taught how to play the piano, paint in watercolour and make polite conversation, Violet’s favourite hobby is embroidery. She has a natural talent for design as well as needlework, while she finds her younger sister’s desire to write sensationalist novels rather amusing.
One of her favourite things is her wooden sewing box with its velvet lining. It contains needles, chalk, scissors and her silver thimble, the tools with which she creates the butterflies in the latest ombre threads for the gown that she wears to her first dance, the ball to celebrate Dover’s annual regatta.
Violet is somewhat sceptical of her mother’s attempts to teach her and her sisters how to run a household. When Mrs Rayfield invites a decorator to give an estimate for redecorating parts of the house, Violet is unable to contain her laughter when he shows them proof that green wallpaper is no risk to their health. She also decides that she’ll never ask her servants to make mock turtle soup when shown how to make it herself – the sight of calf’s brain turns her stomach.
However, Violet is trapped by her upbringing and the expectations of society, and she knows that she’ll marry and take on an establishment of her own, just as her mother did. She’s kind, resourceful and resilient, and even when everything is against her, she finds the strength to carry on.
I hope you enjoy reading Violet’s story as much as I loved writing it. I felt quite bereft when I had to leave her and write, ‘The End’.
Evie x

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Evie Grace
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Anne Bonny #BlogTour #BookReview Victory For The Shipyard Girls by Nancy Revell 5* #WW2Fiction #WomenOfWW2 #Saga @arrowpublishing #TheShipyardGirls

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Victory For The Shipyard Girls by Nancy Revell
Review Copy
Synopsis:

Sunderland, 1942

With the war showing no sign of abating, Helen is thriving in her role as shipyard manager. But at home the return of her father brings a shocking discovery that tears her family apart.

Gloria is shouldering the burden of a terrible secret. If the truth comes out there could be dire consequences, and it will take all her resolve to resist the pressure around her.

Meanwhile Rosie is throwing herself into her work, taking on as many shifts as she can. Anything to keep her mind off the fact that she hasn’t heard from her sweetheart in months…

With life in the shipyards tougher than ever, will the strength of their friendship see them through to victory?

My Review:

Let me just start by saying that so far, this has been my series of the year! I have read all the books within the series this year and they just keep getting better and better.
In the last novel, the author left us on a HUGE cliff-hanger and I am not going to lie, she has done it again!!!!!
However, we only have until 21st March 2019 to wait, to read Courage Of The Shipyard Girls!
I simply cannot wait!

The novel opens shortly after a series of revelations about all the shipyard girls which left us reeling!
With Gloria now struggling to hold onto a mountain of secrets and Jack transferred to The Clyde. It appears there will be NO happy ending for Gloria and Jack, even after all these years.

Helen is the new shipyard manager, at first, she relishes the role over the other women. But eventually the guilt over role in her father’s downfall starts to eat away at her. Which leaves her blinded to the intentions of others. Ultimately, she will be the one to pay the price.

Miriam (Helen’s mother and Jack’s wife) continues with her vile and twisted threats that impact them all and enjoying lauding this over Gloria. It is a weight even Gloria finds too tough to bare.

Maisie and Bel both continue in their quests to learn more about their father’s. Which leads to Pearl being forced to hide her darkest secrets. We also begin to understand more and more about Pearl with each new novel. We finally can come to some understanding of how she struggled to mother her own daughters.

As stated above, the novel ends on another cliff-hanger ending! I think the author has finally found her niche with drawing the readers in and leaving them desperate for the next in the series.
A superb saga series 5*

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

Now You See Her Hi-Res Cover Image
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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Anne Bonny #BookReview Shipyard Girls In Love by @arevellwalton 5* Genius #Saga #ShipyardGirls #Series #ww2 #WomenOfWW2 @arrowpublishing ‏ ‘The cleverly weaved secrets and expert plotting had me hooked!’

Shipyard Girls in Love
Shipyard Girls In Love by Nancy Revell
#4 Shipyard Girls Series

Review copy
Synopsis:

Sunderland, 1941

With a brief break in air raids providing some much-needed respite from the war, things are looking up for head welder Rosie, who has fallen head over heels for Detective Sergeant Miller. But how long can their romance last in such uncertain times?

Life remains full of challenges for Gloria, who must face her abusive ex-husband and confront her own guilty conscience about baby Hope’s real father. The secret is tearing her apart but if she admits the truth, she will risk losing everything.

Both women are determined that their love and faith will be enough to keep the most difficult of promises, but nothing is as simple as it seems…

My Review:

It is well known I am a huge fan of this series, I have sung its praises all over social media. I have to admit this is my favourite of the series so far! It starts off on a fabulous high, but slowly the cleverly weaved secrets emerge, and the ending left me desperate of the next edition to the series.

The novel opens in Sunderland 1941, We pick up pretty much where we left off. We have a brief update on the various girls and where they are now. We also learn they are working on a new ship named the Empire Brutus. There is some gossip and speculation about Martha’s parentage. The darkest update comes from Hannah, who learns her parents have been moved to the Theresienstadt Ghetto. She is desperate for news and concerned for their future. Will they make it out of the war alive?

Across town, Gloria is in a cheerful mood. After Arthur set to helping Jack regain his memories, he can now recall his love for Gloria and remembers baby Hope. Although he still suffers some memory loss and can’t remember his parents and childhood unfortunately. Jack is mystified that he recognised Hope despite never having seen her before. Gloria fears Miriam’s anger and revenge, but for the moment, she wears a huge smile upon her face.
Some of Jack’s memories maybe gone, but his feelings for Gloria remain.

‘She had the love of her life back’

We have a brief re-cap with another couple in-love this time, it is Rosie and Peter. Despite Rosie’s initial struggles to trust Peter, they continue to be absolutely smitten with one another. They decide for their future to succeed they must remain completely honest with one another and they have a heart to heart, where secrets are uncovered, and truths shared.

“I was just thinking how, if I died at this very moment in time, I would do so being the happiest man on earth” – Peter

There is also the impending wedding of George and lily. Which something tells me will be a wedding to die for. Lily is known to exude everything French and luxurious!

There is a minor love triangle between Hannah, ‘young Ollie’ and Martha. With Hannah feeling excluded now Ollie and Martha are working together at the APR.
Will this lead to more heartbreak for Hannah?

Pearl and Maisie return from their trip to London. With this Bel reflects that in the coming future she will be determined to finally uncover who her own father is. Will Bel solve this mystery? Will Maisie learn more about her own father?
In their time away Maisie is able to confide in Pearl about her own experiences after her adoption. It is clear it was not the happy home, Pearl had hoped for her daughter.

One character that remains in the background but fascinates me more and more, is Kate. I know at some point we will uncover her backstory and I can not wait. There are hints at her past, within this novel and I fear it will be a painful past to uncover. But nevertheless, her mousy and quiet appearance and demeanour has me so intrigued.

When there is an accident at the shipyard, Martha is the hero of the moment. But it is a stark reminder, what a dangerous job the women are doing day in and day out. The accident results in Jim Mackie possibly losing his leg but lucky to escape with his life. But is it luck or the heroics of Martha? She is honoured to be put forward for an official commendation by Helen, Harold and Donald the yard’s management.

Helen remains in-charge at the yard, but in this novel, I must admit she does eventually become more humanised. She learns some shocking revelations and must overcome them rather than use the skillset she has inherited from her scheming mother.
Miriam continues to scheme and meddle, it is when Helen starts to see through her that the changing point comes for Helen.

Vinnie finally figures out what has been staring him in the face the entire time. And when he does promises there’ll be hell to pay!
Putting Gloria at serious risk and baby Hope also.

‘This war’s changing us all in so many different ways” – Gloria

Rosie and Peter’s courtship, I found really heart-warming and inspiring. Not because it is one of hot passion or based on secrecy etc. but because it is built upon love and acceptance of each other’s flaws. I just hope this love can withstand the revelations that we learn and the future than has now changed!

‘Why did love always seem to come hand in hand with hurt’

Just before Christmas the yard is full of gossip with the strikes at Pearl Harbour. The women become confused and alarmed but glad the Americans will be joining the war effort on the side of the Allies. It is easy to reflect that in 1941, with the Americans joining the war, many thought it would soon be over!
Which we know from history, was not the case at all.

Christmastime during the war, reminds us of the harsh life of rationing and how truly tough life was for the families that lived under such conditions. Where wrapping paper is made from newspaper and not a scrap to be wasted!

Rosie is shocked to discover that Charlotte wants to come home to Sunderland. Rosie is wary of Charlotte uncovering her secret work at Lily’s. But she also has a desperately miserable teenager on her hands. Worried about the risk of the air raids and exposure to her lifestyle, Rosie doesn’t know which way to turn and what choice to make.
I hope we do see Charlotte come to Sunderland, but that is perhaps because she is another background character that has me very intrigued.

Polly receives a letter from young lover boy Tommy, it is packed full of love and pride in her. What it doesn’t tell Polly is that Tommy has been picked for covert ops. What will this mean for the future of loves young dream?

The shipyard girls enter the new year with shocking revelations for all. Whether these secrets become exposed to all and sundry is yet to be known. But when I finished the final pages I was absolutely gobsmacked!!!

‘There were ships to be built – A war to be won’

This is the first book in the series to leave you on an absolute cliff hanger of an ending! Which leaves you desperate for answers and the next book in the series, Victory For The Shipyard Girls. This is a series that has gone from strength to strength and I had already added it to be list as my ‘series of the year’ before I completed this novel.

Great to be back with the shipyard girls.
The cleverly weaved secrets and expert plotting had me hooked!
5* Genius

Nancy Revell
Nancy Revell
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My Review – The Shipyard Girls #1
My Review – Shipyard Girls At war #2
My Review – Secrets Of The Shipyard Girls #3
Extract – Shipyard Girls In Love #4

*****Coming soon*****
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Victory For The Shipyard Girls – Available 6th September 2018!
Pre-order links available. CANNOT wait!!!!!!!!!

 

Anne Bonny #BlogTour #Author Q&A with Matthew Sullivan – Midnight At The Bright Ideas Bookstore #Literary #Mystery #NewRelease @arrowpublishing #BrightIdeasBookstore

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Midnight At The Bright Ideas Bookstore by Matthew Sullivan
Synopsis:

What do you do when the life you’ve carefully built for yourself comes apart?

Lydia Smith lives a quiet life, spent in the company of her colleagues and customers at the bookstore where she works. But when Joey Molina, a young and mysterious regular, hangs himself in the bookstore and leaves Lydia secret messages hidden in the pages of his books, her world starts to unravel.

Why did Joey do it?

What did he know?

And what does it have to do with Lydia?

Q&A with Matthew Sullivan:

Q) For the readers, can you talk us through your background and the synopsis of your new novel?

A) I grew up in Denver in a pretty wild house with seven brothers and sisters. After moving to San Francisco for college, I spent a number of years bouncing around different states and countries (including living in England for a year), and was always a voracious reader and committed writer. Beginning in my twenties, after college, I spent a number of years working in independent bookstores, and those settings had such a strong impact on me that I eventually decided to try to capture them with fiction.

Enter Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore, a crime novel about a 30-year-old bookseller named Lydia who, as a little girl, was the only survivor of a horrifying attack. Those murders traumatize her and define her life for many years, until eventually she finds sanctuary in an urban bookstore. As the novel opens, whatever semblance of peace she has found is disrupted when her favorite “BookFrog,” a young bibliophile named Joey, hangs himself in the store. Lydia soon discovers that Joey has bequeathed her his collection of books—as well as the messages he has cryptically carved into their pages. As Lydia follows his messages, of course she is led right back to that awful childhood night.

Q) Can you talk us through the journey from idea to writing to publication?

A) In the early stages of this book, I knew I wanted to write a dark mystery that focused more on character development than anything else, and I knew I wanted to pay homage to independent bookstores. Lydia would see books and the bookstore as an escape from her past, as she had her whole life, but early on I wasn’t sure what specifically she’d be escaping from. And then, during the writing process, I found myself returning to a horrible crime that happened not far from my home in the suburbs of Denver when I was 13 years old: one snowy night, a man with a hammer broke into a house and attacked a family as they slept, killing three of them and leaving a toddler badly injured. This was in a new, quiet neighborhood, and even now, three decades later, the killer—The Hammerman—has never been caught. We were all terrified. It was a disturbing entrance into adulthood. These things have a way of sticking with us, working their way out, and for me that was through fiction.

I spent many years writing the novel, mainly because I was also raising kids and being a teacher and trying to find time to write whenever I could. Once I had a draft done and was lucky enough to be noticed by my current agent and editor, I still ended up rewriting this beast for several more years. It helped to have some great editorial guidance along the way.

Q) What are your favourite authors and recommended reads?

A) Where to even begin? Some recent favourite reads are Celeste Ng’s Little Fires Everywhere, Jane Harper’s The Dry, Ian McGuire’s The North Water, George Saunders’ Lincoln in the Bardo, Colum McCann’s 13 Ways of Looking, Joan Didion’s The Year of Magical Thinking, and Denis Johnson’s posthumous collection, The Largesse of the Sea Maiden.

In the literary-mystery genre, I’ve always been drawn to crime writing that pushes against expectations, such as Donna Tartt’s The Secret History, Paul Auster’s New York Trilogy, Tana French’s Dublin Squad series, Jorge Luis Borges’ Labyrinths, Kate Atkinson’s Case Histories, and Jess Walter’s Over Tumbled Graves (and everything else he writes).

Q) What were your childhood/teenage favourite reads?

A) I loved the Encyclopedia Brown series and Judy Blume’s books, especially the Fudge books (Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, Superfudge). A bit later it was S.E. Hinton’s books, such as The Outsiders and That Was Then, This Is Now, and I eventually made my way to Tom Robbins and Kurt Vonnegut and Flannery O’Connor, all of whom blew my mind.

Q) What has been your favourite moment of being a published author?

A) I’ve been very touched by the support people have given. You expect that from friends and family and the obligatory neighbor, but many, many other people—booksellers and students and childhood classmates—have really come out of the woodwork to support me and this story. They’ve been wonderful.

Q) Who has been your source of support/encouragement, throughout the writing process?

A) My vision for this book fell somewhere between an edgy contemporary mystery and a character-driven literary novel, so it has always run the risk of slipping between the two genres and disappearing. Despite that, from the start, my agent, Kirby Kim, was steadfast in his support, and steadfast in helping me stay true to my own vision of the book, even if in some ways it was different from a conventional mystery.

My most important ally, of course, has been my wife, Libby. We met over two decades ago while we were booksellers working together in the Children’s section of the Tattered Cover in Denver, and we’ve been together since. We still work together, too, at a community college in the rural Pacific Northwest. She’s a librarian there and I teach writing and literature. We try to keep our marriage on the lowdown at work, but plenty of students have seen the two of us around campus together. Their jaws sometimes drop when they realize that we’re a thing.

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Matthew Sullivan *Credit Lucid Concepts
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