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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#BlogTour Q&A with Ellie Dean #WithAKissAndAPrayer @arrowpublishing #NewRelease #saga #WW2Fiction #Cliffehaven

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With A Kiss And A Prayer by Ellie Dean
Synopsis:
Cliffehaven, May 1944

The tension is rising for Peggy Reilly and the inhabitants of Cliffehaven as the planes continue to roar above the town and there is still no news of the long-awaited Allied invasion into France. There seems to be no end in sight of this war which has scattered her family and brought conflict right to the door of Beach View Boarding House, but Peggy cannot work miracles and the toll of the war is beginning to weigh on her slender shoulders.

Meanwhile, Ron Reilly has landed himself in hot water with his sweetheart, Rosie – and this time, his Irish charm will not be enough to get him out of trouble.
The war has forever changed the lives of Peggy’s loved ones, but with the promise of an Allied invasion comes the hope that her beloved husband and family will at last be coming home. It will take an enormous amount of spirit to keep that hope alive and bring harmony back to Beach View.

FIND LOVE. FIND HOPE. FIND CLIFFEHAVEN.

Q&A:

Q) What made you want to become a writer?

A) I’ve always loved reading and making up stories. I am an only child, raised by my grandmother and her sisters, who opened up the world of books to me. Yet it was the family story which always intrigued me and I knew that one day I would have to sit down and write it. I eventually achieved this, and it was the start of me realising that storytelling was something I could really do well. The rest, as they say, is history!

Q) Describe your writing routine and where you like to write?

A) I have black coffee for breakfast, at least two cups, and make a point of reading the newspaper before doing the Sudoku, and the cryptic crossword. This gets me into a working frame of mind and wakes up my brain. I have an office in my house that overlooks paddocks and the South Downs, and I sit down there before ten every morning. I check my emails and Facebook, and then read through what I’ve written the day before. Editing this gets me into the next scene that I want to write. I work through from ten until around six, five days a week. If a deadline is looming however, then I might work over the weekend and at night. I find that sometimes I do my best work after midnight!

Q) What themes are you interested in when you’re writing?

A) The theme of family, and of the intricate threads that bind people together or tear them apart. People react differently to situations, and I find it fascinating to watch my characters evolve throughout the book.

Q) Where do you get your inspiration from?

A) Inspiration comes from everything and anything. A conversation overheard – a newspaper article, a line in a book or a song.

Q) How do you manage to get inside the heads of your characters in order to portray them truthfully?

A) Once I have the plot and the title, then I must have the actors playing their parts. I wait for them to come to me, to show themselves and tell me about their lives. It might sound weird, but that’s how I work. It’s like meeting new friends. You don’t know everything about them immediately, but as they talk, you can discover who they are, where they come from, their social background, their aspirations, their failures, etc. As an author I become this person, with their viewpoint, their likes and dislikes and the reactions they will have to any given situation. An author must evolve into these characters to make them fully rounded, and it doesn’t matter what gender they are – people are very similar underneath the skin.

Ellie Dean
Ellie Dean
Website 

***Don’t miss the other fabulous bloggers on the #BlogTour below & the Twitter #Giveaway via @arrowpublishing tomorrow***
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#BlogTour #TheWaitingHours by #EllieDean #Review @arrowpublishing #Cliffehaven

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The waiting Hours by Ellie Dean
Synopsis:

Slapton Sands, 1943

War has not been kind to Carol Porter. It took her husband and baby, and with them her heart. At last she’s found some peace, working as a land girl at Coombe Farm. But Carol’s sanctuary, the whole local area in fact, is about to be disrupted.

When Pauline Reilly hears Carol’s news she’s worried for her little sister. But as rumours about Slapton Sands reach Cliffehaven, Pauline can’t help be more concerned for her only surviving son. And despite her sister-in-law Peggy’s best efforts, nothing soothes Pauline’s fears.

As Carol prepares to face the impending upheaval alone her beloved mother, Dolly, swoops in to Slapton, and packing up Carol’s life presents unexpected opportunities for them both: Carol looks to her future while Dolly confronts a ghost from her past, and they both have a chance to mend their broken hearts.

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My review:

An engaging WW2 saga, about love, loss and family! The year is 1943, with the novel actually building up to the events of Christmas 1943 and right through to D-Day invasions. Although not a Christmas novel, the fact that it covers the Christmas period in-depth means, it would make for the perfect Christmas gift!

Carol Porter knows the pain and hardships WW2 can bring to innocent civilians, having lost both her husband and baby. She is alone in her grief and sets out to become a land girl, in an effort to channel her pain. Carol starts work at the Coombe farm, ran by the Burnley family. Cantankerous yet loveable Jack Burnley and his battle-axe wife Millicent. The work is hard and makes for long days of manual labour. The other land girls Maisie, Pru and Ida at only 21yrs old, have fled London after their homes were destroyed in the bombings. Carol is a lonely character, that you often pity and admire in equal measure. But carol has family and they make for quite the multitude of characters themselves…..

Carol’s mother Dolly, is quite an unusual woman. Known for her fur coats, high heels and glamourous lifestyle. But what Dolly’s daughters don’t know, is that she secretly works for the SOE and is involved in missions relating to operation overlord. Upon hearing of the requisition of Slapton Sands and knowing Carol’s house stands to be taken over by American forces. Dolly descends upon Slapton Sands.
But there is a mysterious American who means both betrayal and love to Dolly that she wishes to avoid at all costs!

Carol’s sister Peggy lives locally at Cliffehaven with her husband Jim, daughters Daisy, Cissy and Anne, sons Bob and Charlie. She is a family orientated woman, who is a ray of sunshine bring love and warmth to everyone she meets. She is often the closest protector of her sister-in-law Pauline. Pauline having experienced the loss of two of her sons in the war and with a husband and surviving son still serving, is awash with nerves and worry!

American General Felix Addmington and his British Sgt Cornwallis arrive in Slapton Sands to a very cool/uneasy welcoming. The locals don’t want to be forced out of their homes and cannot gather the importance at the mission being created around them due to its top secret nature.
Can Felix win over the locals?
Why does Dolly avoid Felix like the plague?

At times the novel felt overly descriptive and I felt it needed some tweaks on historical accuracy. But it is a saga and therefore, to be told from the character’s point of view. Which it does incredibly well.

There is a wealth of characters from all ages, that resonate with the reader. The relationships and the impact of the war is always at the forefront of the story. The Devonshire setting adds to the location, giving of a ‘local’ feel to the way the characters interact with one another. The moment when Pauline waves off her surviving son Brendon to war, I felt tears sting my eyes. It reminded me of my grandmother (90yrs old) telling me “that every mother on her street, lost a son in the war”.
The characters feel real and authentic, you root for them and the various troubles the face! 4*

Ellie Dean
Ellie Dean
To find out more about the author and her novels visit her website:
http://www.ellie-dean.co.uk/index.htm

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*If you follow @arrowpublishing via Twitter, tomorrow they are hosting a #Giveaway for the novel!