*Blog Tour* People Like Us- Louise Fein

I’m thrilled to be part of the blog tour on publication day for this new release by Louise Fein.

About the book:

Leipzig, 1930’s Germany.

Hetty Heinrich is a young girl growing up under Nazi rule. With an SS officer father, a brother in the Luftwaffe and a member of the BDM, Hetty is the epitome of a perfect German child.

But Walter changes everything. Blond haired, blue-eyed, perfect in every way Walter. The boy who saved her life. A Jew.

As she falls more and more in love with a man who is against all she has been taught, Hetty begins to question everything. Will the steady march of dark forces destroy their world, or can love ultimately triumph?

Perfect for fans of The Tattooist of AuschwitzThe Book Thief and Kate Furnivall.

About the author:

Louise Fein holds an MA in Creative Writing from St Mary’s University. Prior to studying for her masters, she ran a commodity consultancy business following a career in banking and law. She lives in Surrey with her family. People Like Us is inspired by her family history, and by the alarming parallels she sees between the early 30s and today.

Follow Louise:

Facebook: @LouiseFeinAuthor

Twitter: @FeinLouise

Book Review:

Set in the time preceding the second world war, this novel lends a fascinating insight into how the people of Germany became swept up in Hitler’s propaganda and fell for the ideologies of the Nazi Party.

The main protagonist Hetty is the daughter of an SS Officer and part of the BDM (The League of German Girls/ Bund Deutscher Mädel). Her brother signs up for the Luftwaffe and the family appear to be the epitome of the German ideal.

However, when Hetty finds herself falling in love with her brother’s childhood friend Walter before discovering he is Jewish, she begins to question all that she has previously been taught to believe.

This is a tale of love and heartache, of hatred and friendship and true sacrifice. Each of the characters is vividly portrayed and the essence of the time is captured perfectly. An emotional, poignant read.

Further stops along the blog tour can be found here:

Louise is also holding a virtual launch today, the details of which can be found here:

The Lady of the Ravens- Joanne Hickson

There is a plethora of books to choose from about the Tudor era at the moment, detailing the lives of those involved in the court of Henry VIII, so it was refreshing to stumble upon this novel which provides a different perspective; this time centred during the reign of King Henry VII.

“When Joan Vaux is sent to live in the shadow of the Tower of London, she must learn to navigate the treacherous waters of this new England under the Tudors. Like the ravens, Joan must use her eyes and her senses, if Henry and his new dynasty are to prosper and thrive.”

The story of the beginning of the Tudor period is told through the eyes of Giovanna, known as Joan, who is lady-in-waiting to Henry’s wife Elizabeth. Through her story, the reader is allowed glimpses into court life, whilst seeing her own relationships with her family develop.

Joan is an extremely likeable character and highly thought of by both Elizabeth and King Henry. Desperate for the new sovereign to prosper, Joan puts great faith in the adage that while the ravens protect the Tower of London, the monarchy will be safe.

The ravens provide a consistent thread throughout the novel; a constant reminder of the links between each of the principal characters while the relationship between Joan and Sim, a young boy who she takes into her care who shares her love of the birds, is a heartwarming element of the story.

Equally compelling is the developing bond between Joan and Richard Guildford, a man whom she at first holds in contempt, but who later becomes her husband due to the necessities of court expectations.

Hickson writes with an accessible style but one which is clearly well researched and based on historical fact. A fascinating read!

*BLOG TOUR* The Girl I Left Behind- Andie Newton

I’m delighted to be kicking off the blog tour for ‘The Girl I Left Behind’ by Andie Newton!

About the book

What would you risk to save your best-friend?

As a young girl, Ella never considered that those around her weren’t as they appeared. But when her childhood best-friend shows Ella that you can’t always believe what you see, Ella finds herself thrown into the world of the German Resistance. On a dark night in 1941, Claudia is taken by the Gestapo, likely never to be seen again, unless Ella can save her. With the help of the man she loves, Ella must undertake her most dangerous mission yet and infiltrate the Nazi Party.

Selling secrets isn’t an easy job. In order to find Claudia, Ella must risk not only her life, but the lives of those she cares about. Will Ella be able to leave behind the girl of her youth and step into the shoes of another?

Perfect for fans of The Tattooist of Auschwitz, The German Midwife and Kate Furnivall.

About the author

Andie Newton is an American writer living in Washington State with her husband and two boys. She writes female-driven historical fiction set in WWII. The Girl I Left Behind is her first novel. She would love to say she spends her free time gardening and cooking, but she’s killed everything she’s ever planted and set off more fire alarms than she cares to admit. Andie does, however, love spending time with her family, ultra trail running, and drinking copious amounts of coffee.

Review

To the unseeing eye, young Ella Strauss appears to be the perfect National Socialist. She regularly attends Youth League meetings where she is instructed to read Hitler’s Mein Kampf and is often seen in her member’s uniform.

Behind the scenes, however, Ella is uncomfortable with the ideology and uses the meetings to catch up with her close friend Claudia, who she soon discovers is a member of the resistance movement.

Events quickly escalate after Claudia is arrested by the Gestapo and Ella finds herself faced with no option but to flee the city or face arrest herself. Determined to do all she can to to find Claudia, Ella immerses herself into the world of the Reich with far-reaching consequences…

This is an extremely well written novel which relies heavily on historical accuracy to support the narrative. The characters are portrayed realistically and in such detail that the reader is easily able to either empathise or take a dislike to their differing personalities.

This is a story of intense friendships, extreme bravery, strong ideologies and ultimately the lengths a person will go to to fight for what they believe in and one in which the reader can become truly immersed.

With thanks to the author and Aria fiction for inviting me to be a part of this blog tour.

The tour continues until the 25th November.

Author Andie Newton

Cover Reveal: The Girl I Left Behind- Andie Newton

I’m delighted to have been invited to reveal the cover of Andie Newton’s latest book, ‘The Girl I Left Behind’.

About the book

What would you risk to save your best-friend?

As a young girl, Ella never considered that those around her weren’t as they appeared. But when her childhood best-friend shows Ella that you can’t always believe what you see, Ella finds herself thrown into the world of the German Resistance.

On a dark night in 1941, Claudia is taken by the Gestapo, likely never to be seen again, unless Ella can save her. With the help of the man she loves, Ella must undertake her most dangerous mission yet and infiltrate the Nazi Party.

Selling secrets isn’t an easy job. In order to find Claudia, Ella must risk not only her life, but the lives of those she cares about.

Will Ella be able to leave behind the girl of her youth and step into the shoes of another?

Perfect for fans of The Tattooist of Auschwitz, The German Midwife and Kate Furnivall.

About the author

Andie Newton is an American writer living in Washington State with her husband and two boys. She writes female-driven historical fiction set in WWII. The Girl I Left Behind is her first novel. She would love to say she spends her free time gardening and cooking, but she’s killed everything she’s ever planted and set off more fire alarms than she cares to admit. Andie does, however, love spending time with her family, ultra trail running, and drinking copious amounts of coffee.

Follow Andie:

Twitter: @AndieNewton

Facebook: @newtonauthor

Follow Aria

Website: www.ariafiction.com

Twitter: @aria_fiction

Facebook: @ariafiction

Instagram: @ariafiction

I will also be taking part in the book’s blog tour on 14th November, so keep a look out for my review!

The Snow Globe- Judith Kinghorn

I’m delighted to be a part of the blog tour for The Snow Globe by Judith Kinghorn.

The plot centres around the lives of the various women who make up the Forbes family; each with their own distinct character, yet all strong-willed, independent women determined to pursue their individual quests for happiness.

There’s just a hint of Downton Abbey thrown in, but mixed with the perfect blend of romance, heartbreak, intrigue and humour to keep the reader hooked.

If you’re a fan of historical fiction, then this book is just for you!

With thanks to the author and Canelo Publishing for my advanced copy.

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Title: The Snow Globe

Author Name: Judith Kinghorn

Previous Books: The Echo of Twilight, The Memory of Lost Senses and The Last Summer

Genre: Historical Fiction

Release Date: 25th September 2017

Publisher: Canelo

Book blurb: A beautiful story of enduring love and heartbreaking choices.

As Christmas 1926 approaches, the Forbes family are preparing to host a celebration at Eden Hall. Eighteen-year-old Daisy is preoccupied by a sense of change in the air. Overnight, her relationship with Stephen Jessop, the housekeeper’s son, has shifted and every encounter seems fraught with tension. Before the festivities are over, Daisy has received a declaration of love, a proposal and a kiss – from three different men. Unable to bear the confusion she flees to London and stays with her elder sister.

By the following summer, Daisy has bowed to the persistence of the man who proposed to her the previous year. When the family reunite for a party at Eden Hall and Stephen is once more in her life, it is clear to Daisy she is committing to the wrong person. Yet she also believes that family secrets mean she has no choice but to follow her head instead of her heart. Will love conquer all, or is Daisy’s fate already written?

Get a copy:

Amazon (UK):
Kobo (UK)
Google Books (UK)
Apple Books (UK)
Goodreads

Author Bio:  Judith Kinghorn is the author of four novels: The Echo of Twilight, The Snow Globe, The Memory of Lost Senses and The Last Summer. She was born in Northumberland, educated in the Lake District, and is a graduate in English and History of Art. She lives in Hampshire, England, with her husband and two children.

Website: https://www.judithkinghornwriter.com/
Twitter: @judithkinghorn
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/writerjudithkinghorn/

The Snow Globe Blog Tour Banner (7)

 

Before the Rains- Dinah Jefferies

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Dinah Jefferies has a wonderful ability to transport her readers deep into the heart of each of her novels and ‘Before the Rains’ is no exception. Set in India in the 1930s, it centres on the life of Eliza Fraser who is breaking new ground by being assigned by the British as an official photographer within the royal palace, where she will spend a year capturing the lives of the royal family in Rajputana.

Eliza is no stranger to India or to heartache, having witnessed the death of her father at an early age in Dehli before moving to England. She returns to India newly widowed and armed with a steely determination to establish herself as a talented and respected photojournalist. Along the way, she encounters prejudice, unusual customs and of course, romance when she meets Prince Jay, the younger, somewhat nomadic, brother of the ruling prince.

There are many twists and turns to the plot and the culture, customs and landscape of India at that time are seamlessly interwoven, creating truly atmospheric scenes and evoking a real sense of time and place. An historical novel bursting with colour and a fabulous read!

Daughters of the Silk Road- Debbie Rix

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‘Daughters of the Silk Road’ is a fascinating fictional journey through history; a story of generations linked by a precious family heirloom- a Ming vase. Believed to bring good fortune to its owners, what unfolds over the course of centuries reveals many trials and tribulations as the vase is passed on to descendants and travels the world.

Starting in the present day, the reader is introduced to the vase’s current owner Miranda who has inherited it, along with various other knick-knacks, from her great-aunt. Miranda isn’t especially keen on the object but keeps it out of respect for her relative’s wishes that she should continue the family tradition.

The story then switches to the origins of the vase as the reader is transported back to the 15th century where Italian merchant Niccolo dei Conti is travelling with his family back to Venice, who has been presented with the porcelain as a gift to pass onto the Doge. In fact, dei Conti decides to keep the vase on his return to Venice and charges his daughter with keeping it safe. From this point, the narrative centres around the vase and the lives of its various owners over the years, before returning to the present to discover whether or not it truly does bring fortune to those who possess it.

As a lover of Venice, the early section of the book centred on the dei Conti family was the most appealing. Vivid descriptions of the city and its customs, coupled with historical accuracy about the surrounding islands and the threat of the plague made for compelling reading.

The author has done a wonderful job of mixing fact with fiction, including many characters throughout who actually existed and blending in seamlessly to the narrative those she has invented to add further substance to the story.

Whilst the sections of the story set in the present don’t hold quite as much intrigue, they are an essential part of the overall plot in the end.

If you’re a fan of historical fiction, this will definitely appeal!

The King’s Sisters (The Cross and the Crown, #3) – Sarah Kennedy

This is described as a standalone book although there are two previous novels in the series and reading these in advance may help the reader get to grips more quickly with the characters as it can be difficult to gauge who is who at the start.

Many of the characters share the same name and this too adds to the confusion at the start of the book. Conversations between characters were not always clear and it became something of a chore to read the first third of the story as a result.

As a fan of Tudor history, this book piqued my interest and the author has clearly done her research to ensure an historically accurate portrayal of those times. The threat posed by Henry VIII to anyone who fell foul of his ideas to reform Tudor Britain and the treachery among those charged with serving him are perfectly captured, although it is not until the second half of the book that anything really happens in terms of the plot.

Luckily, this part of the book picks up in both pace and action and it actually took me only a couple of days to read in contrast to the several weeks spent painstakingly trawling through the earlier section.

This had the potential to be an enthralling historical novel but sadly falls short.