Historical Saturday: Historical romance: The Writer and the Rake by Shehanne Moore

The Writer and the Rake is the latest in Shehanne Moore’s Time Mutant series.

Reblogged from Carol Balawyder
Source: Moore Delivers Smexy

Moore Delivers Smexy

Brittany Carter must choose either to live in the present or in 1765. She cannot have both.

In her present, she is finally starting to reach her goals of fame, success and money. Her romance novels are bestsellers! But success does come at a price.

And that price is Mitchell Killgower.

Drop dead gorgeous and with a heart to boot. The man of her dreams, the love of her life, THE ONE she’s been waiting for her entire life.

But can she trust him?

Does she want to live in 1765 with all its inconveniences which she takes for granted in the present?

Is she willing to give up fame, success and money?

Moore is delightfully good at historical romances. With wit and intelligence she takes the reader back to Georgian England where bad-boy Mitchell is in the midst of an inheritance row when Brittany Carter  literally drops into his life.

With the romance between Brittany and Mitchell as veneer, Shehanne Moore smoothly makes her way through the power struggles between men and women – using as backdrop a feisty, strong protagonist with present day relationship values trying to apply them to the relationship values of a man living in 1765.

One of Buddha’s famous quotes is

Happiness is a journey not a destination.

The journey to arrive at the ending of The Writer and The Rake is complex, entertaining, amusing, reflective, smexy and made me happy as well.

 The Writer and the Rake is the latest in Shehanne Moore’s Time Mutant series.





Have you ever had to choose between a career and romance?

Belated 4th of July re-blog: A date to remember…

Reblogged from David Lawlor’s HistoryWithaTwist
Source: A date to remember…

A date to remember…

Independence Day… two words that spark a glowing pride in most Americans. The fourth is a time of rejuvenated patriotism; a time to think back at the sacrifices once made in the name of freedom… a time when a nation was born, and a legend, too.

Mention the 4th of July and we hear the strains of The Star Spangled Banner as Old Glory flutters in the breeze, while looking out across the land of the free and the home of the brave. We hear marching bands in the street and imagine the angular frame of Uncle Sam waving to crowds. It’s heady stuff.

But there are places where that date evokes a much darker response… places like Silkstone, in Barnsley, England, where the dappled shadows of tree trunks stretch out across a mound from which two figures peer anxiously out. It’s a memorial to a tragic event whose date has been subsumed by America’s national holiday.

Huskar Colliery is quite a pretty spot these days, now that nature has reclaimed it. Back in 1838 that wasn’t the case. At that time, the smell of coke filled the air as miners hauled coal from the depths of the earth. It was hard, dangerous work, and it wasn’t just men who risked their health to retrieve the fuel. Soot-blackened children as young as seven years old also toiled in the pits.

Huskar colliery memorial

Huskar colliery memorial

And it would be on the 4th of July that 26 of them would pay the ultimate price while doing their work. For two hours that afternoon, a thunderstorm raged over the colliery. The rain was so heavy that it extinguished a boiler fire in an engine that was used to take the workers up to the surface.

Rather than make their way to the bottom of the pit as instructed, the children decided to wait where they were until the engine got working again. Nine hours they waited. Not wanting to stay any longer, 40 of them made their way to a ventilation drift in an area known as Nabbs Wood.

There was a door at the base of the drift through which the children entered. It would prove a fatal mistake. Making their way up the drift they were met by a torrent of water from a swollen stream, which washed the children off their feet and sent them back down to the door they had just passed through.  The water rose higher against the door as the children fought for their lives. Fourteen of them would manage to escape, but 26 others would drown in the drift.

Brothers George and James Burkinshaw (10 and seven respectively) were among the dead, as were Isaac (12) and Adam Wright (eight). Eleven-year-old Elizabeth Clarkson would later be buried at the feet of her 16-year-old brother James.

The Huskar Colliery disaster sparked an inquiry, and the resulting public outcry led to a law banning boys and girls under 10 years old from working underground. It says a lot about society at the time that this was deemed by many to be a reasoned response.

But back to America and the 4th of July…

I still remember the bicentennial celebrations in 1976, and all because of a tin serving tray that we had in our house. It was decorated with stars and bore the image of some Minutemen fresh from a fight with the British.  I don’t know where that tray came from, but I liked studying it.

Newspaper report of the Entebbe raid

Newspaper report of the Entebbe raid

The 200thanniversary of the founding of America was a big deal, but that 4th of July, 1976, was also momentous in Israel, where worried military chiefs waited to hear the result of a daring raid to rescue 94 Israeli passengers and 12 crew who were being held hostage at Entebbe Airport in Uganda.

The kidnappers, members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, were being supported by Uganda’s military dictator, President Idi Amin.

The raid – codenamed Operation Thunderbolt – was hugely ambitious. It involved flying 100 commandoes over 4,000km. Three hostages died in the rescue bid and 102 were freed (one was ill in hospital at the time of the attack). All the hijackers were killed as were 45 Ugandan soldiers; 30 fighter jets were also destroyed.

The commandos suffered five wounded and one killed – the unit commander, Lt Col Yonatan Netanyahu, was the elder brother to Benjamin Netanyahu who would go on to become Israel’s prime minister.

It was an audacious and spectacular rescue, and several movies were made about it.

The 4th of July can mean so many things to so many people. For me, its significance is not to be found amongst the red, white and blue of America, nor in the eerily poignant memorial at Silkstone. The Entebbe raid does linger in the mind but its date never really registered with me.


My Da with (L-R) Chloe, Lily, Harry and Ruby

No, the 4th of July is special because 86 years ago it was the first birthday of a postman, a carpenter, a glazier, a stringer of tennis rackets and a builder of dolls houses and toy forts. It was the day my father was born – and, for me, that surpasses all the historic milestones one could mention.

So, though my thoughts will stray to the victims of Huskar Colliery, the heroes of Entebbe and even Uncle Sam, my main focus will be on a bald-headed, pot-bellied man with mischief in his eyes. Happy birthday, Da.

Ravens Gathering by Graeme Cumming #BookReview @GraemeCumming63

Reblogged from Joanne Robertson
Source: Ravens Gathering by Graeme Cumming #BookReview @GraemeCumming63

Ravens Gathering by Graeme Cumming #BookReview @GraemeCumming63

About this book…

As she let her gaze drift around her, she saw that there were more birds. Perhaps a dozen or so, perched among the trees that stood on the edge of the clearing. And yet more were arriving, swooping down through the gap overhead and landing on branches that overlooked them. The birds weren’t threatening, yet the sight of them all coming together in this dark and isolated spot was unnerving. Tanya reached a hand out towards Martin, and was relieved to feel him take it. She felt him move in behind her. After the uncertainty she’d experienced with him in a similar position only a few moments ago, she recognised the irony of her reaction. His closeness offered security.
“You know what they are, don’t you?”

A stranger’s arrival in a small village coincides with a tragic accident. For the Gates family in particular it’s more than a coincidence, but unease increases following a brutal attack. As tensions rise, a dark past returns to haunt them and others, while newcomers to the village are drawn into a mystery with terrifying consequences.

And only a select few know why the ravens are gathering.

My review…

So as you know I don’t normally review Sci-fi or fantasy books but after becoming a big fan of this authors blog where he posts some interesting observations about music and 1970s tv shows, I knew I wanted to read his fictional debut no matter what genre he was writing in. And to be honest I’m quite a contrary madam anyway! I say I don’t like Westerns but my favourite ever film is The Searchers, I say I don’t like Historical Fiction but my favourite ever book is Forever Amber and I say I don’t like marmalade but give me a jar of Roses Lime Marmalade and a pile of toast and I’m in heaven!!! And although I’ve always said I’m not a fan of sci-fi I now have to admit that *whispers* my eldest daughter is named after a character in the 1970s sci-fi series Blake’s 7. So hopefully that explains why I was happy put all my preconceived notions about sci-fi and contemporary fantasy novels aside and order a copy of Ravens Gathering from Amazon and OMFG am I glad I did!

For me, to get all the stars in my review ratings a book has to do one of two things -be totally unputdownable or to surprise the hell out of me!! Ravens Gathering has the enviable honour of doing BOTH of those things! I couldn’t put this book down! I read the first 40% in one sitting then life got in the way and I had to stop reading for a day but that first session really built up the tension for me. I have to say though that it left me wondering where on earth the author was going with the storyline. There was such a menacing undertone but I couldn’t work out WHY!! There were a lot of characters to get to know which was why I wanted to keep reading so I could get them all straight in my head. Most of them were pretty unlikable and seemed to be hiding a multitude of secrets but I do have to say that I loved Tanya from the moment I met her! Her character was built up perfectly without becoming too much of a cliché and, although as a woman I should probably have disliked her actions and attitude intensely, I had a soft spot for her recognising the vulnerability hidden behind her motivation.

Then I read from 40% to the end! WTF?! I saw all the clues but had missed them big time and I was left speechless (yes I know, hard to believe!!). The last few chapters were dark, shocking and full of some very violent and disturbing scenes so do be warned!!! This author has one brilliantly warped imagination!! Mostly though, things aren’t implicitly described which I think is scarier as you tend to conjure up your own worst nightmares instead!

There is a visual feel to the village setting of this novel that inspired me to draw comparisons with a few films, mainly Straw Dogs and The Wicker Man (one of my favourite films-the 1973 version with Edward Woodward still scares the hell out of me!!) and I had to laugh as my first thought when the village pub was entered was also The Slaughtered Lamb from An American Werewolf in London which is mentioned by one of the characters later on.

I absolutely loved Ravens Gathering and am desperate to see if the village will be revisited by the author in any future books. I would like to just say that it’s very difficult to pigeon hole this novel into any particular genre so I would like to see Graeme Cumming branching out into something a little bit more commercial now he has published his all important, personal first book. He has an engaging writing style that is able to conjure up such visions with just a few choice phrases (I loved chapter 14 in part 4 so much I had to reread it-such an evocative observation) so I would love to see him reaching a wider audience bringing him the commercial success and recognition that he deserves.

Highly recommended by me!

Ravens Gathering is available to buy now by clicking on the title which takes you to Amazon UK.

Meet the author…

Graeme Cumming lives in Robin Hood country, and has spent most of his life immersed in fiction – books, TV, movies – turning to writing his own during his early teens. He is currently Education Director at Sheffield Speakers Club, is an enthusiastic sailor (and, by default, swimmer), and enjoys off-road cycling.

Review: “Yesterday was a long time ago” by Selena Haskins

Southern gal, Germaine Landry wants to become a writer in the big city of Washington, DC. She meets a privileged heartthrob, Angelo Pearson, who is used to having anything, and every girl he wants. A loner by nature, Germaine is not easily impressed with Angelo’s bravado, but he eventually charms his way into her heart. This pair of opposites develops a friendship that catches fire. Their love is seemingly shatterproof until a malicious scheme leads them down a dark path that could end tragically.

Twenty years later, thoughts of yesterday still haunt Germaine until an unexpected encounter leads her to the pearls of truth. Germaine just may have a second chance at love or finally free herself from the memories of a long time ago.

My review:
This is a truly beautiful love story between a shy girl and one of the ‘bad boys’ at school. Angelo is a young man torn between some bad influence and what he know is right in his fundamentally good heart. When he meets Germaine he didn’t expect to fall for her and initially his intentions aren’t all good. His brotherhood has some grievance with Germaine and that causes more conflicts. But love does often find obscure ways.

The theme of unlikely love is one that rarely fails and Haskins does a wonderful job at creating an intimacy between the young lovers that takes the reader along. Character depth and strong emotions carry the story forward until the beautiful epilogue tells you all you need to know.
Absolutely lovely and inspiring and a wonderful read for fans of romance and a good story.

About the Author 

Selena Haskins is a native Washingtonian who loves NBA basketball, movies, music, and spending quality time with her family. Riding the Waves is Selena’s third book, and her future projects include a short-story comedy, a love story based on two characters from Riding the Waves, children’s books, and a collection of poems. For more information about Selena, including her blogs, to purchase autographed books, and to follow her on social media, please visit her website: www.booksbyselena.com. Purchases of Selena’s titles are also available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
Selena Haskins is the author of three best-sellers on Amazon: A River Moves Forward, Riding the Waves, and Just Between Us-Inspiring Stories by Women. As a native Washingtonian, Selena explores the dynamics of urban life and family in her books. Selena’s love for reading and writing started at the tender age of nine. Selena’s two greatest loves are God and family, and she uses both as a vehicle to convey the human spirit and the beauty of the world around her. Connect with Selena: http://www.booksbyselena.com Twitter & Instagram: @booksbyselena Facebook: @AuthorSelenaHaskins

Welsh Wednesdays: Book Fairs in Carmarthen

REP08_02-7.gifTowards the end of this year Llandeilo Lit Fest in collaboration with the Carmarthenshire Libraries are organising a series of Book Fairs in Llanelli Library, Ammanford Library, Carmarthenshire Library and one in Llandeilo.

The dates are:

download (15).jpgCarmarthenshire October 21st – Carmarthen Library

2017 poster

Ammanford October 28th – Ammanford Library

Llanelli – November 4th – Llanelli Library

Llandeilo – December 9th – Llandeilo Library and/or Shire Hall and Horeb

The Llandeilo Lit Fest will be held April 27 – 29th 2018. book fair.jpg

There will be another Book Fair on Saturday 28th at the Civic Hall.

If you are interested in participating in any of the events please email LLandeiloLitFest@mail.com

Review: “A Thousand Rooms” by Helen Jones

A very intimate and engaging novel about a woman’s journey after death. The writing style involved the reader immediately through a close-up examination of the dead woman’s experiences and sensation, all of which are confusing to her and only gradually settle into making sense. I found this particularly accomplished, as it takes the reader right under the skin of the narrator.
Judging from the cover I expected this to be more girly than it turned out to be, but it felt almost like a psychological thriller at times, with plenty of excellent scenes as our heroine moves through life and death experiences and a thousand rooms.
I must confess that I flirted with spiritualism in the past and therefor took a particular interest in this book, finding much that agrees with various strands of spiritualism and similar philosophies. In that respect I would call the book well-researched or at least grounded in what some circles report as experiences or theory.
The characterisation and the story behind our heroine’s life and death is engaging in its own right, which makes this such an enjoyable and wonderful read.
Highly recommended.

About the book

Katie is thirty-two, single, and used to work in advertising. She’s also dead. A lost soul hitching rides with the dying, trying to find her way to… wherever she’s supposed to be.

And whoever she’s supposed to be with.

Heaven, it seems, has a thousand rooms. What will it take to find hers?

The latest review for the book

Keep a box of tissues at your elbow for this one! A Thousand Rooms had me red-eyed and snuffling. This is a character-driven book with a simple plot: Katie, newly dead and unfortunately overlooked in her transition from life, goes on a quest to find “her heaven” and travels through a series of manifestations (rooms) before she finds her own.

Jones draws on a variety of mystical traditions and beliefs to design the experience of being dead and the concepts of heaven, soul mates, and reincarnation. These were interesting, but what I loved, loved, loved about his book was the incredibly touching and heartfelt expressions of human emotions, particularly grief and sorrow and, ultimately, of pure love.

Jones writes beautifully. Descriptions are rich, and the characters, even those on the periphery, are wonderfully developed. As the main character, Katie is thoroughly relatable with a wide range of emotions including some delightful sarcasm. I found her personal evolution compelling as her earthly concerns slip away and she discovers the essence of who she is and the point of her journey. Katie’s realization of what it means to live a blessed life is uplifting and full of hope. Highly recommended for readers who love character-driven books and want to feel inspired.

Read all the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Thousand-Rooms-Helen-Jones-ebook/dp/B01MDP0TX9

Also by Helen Jones


Read the reviews and buy the bookshttps://www.amazon.com/Helen-Jones/e/B00VG6SWN4

Read more reviews and follow Helen Jones on Goodreads:http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13910923.Helen_Jones

Connect to Helen Jones via her bloghttps://journeytoambeth.com/

The Girlfriend by Michelle Francis #BookReview

This looks very intriguing, just right for Mystery Mondays. On my never ending tbr pile, thanks Jo!


About this book…

A girl. A boy. His mother. And the lie she’ll wish she’d never told.

The Girlfriend by Michelle Frances is a gripping and chilling debut psychological thriller, based on the fall-out following an unforgiveable lie. It looks at the potentially charged relationship between girlfriend, boyfriend and his mother, which most women can identify with, and locates it in an extreme but believable setting.

Laura has it all. A successful career, a long marriage to a rich husband, and a twenty-three year-old son, Daniel, who is kind, handsome, and talented. Then Daniel meets Cherry. Cherry is young, beautiful and smart but she hasn’t had the same opportunities as Daniel. And she wants Laura’s life.

Cherry comes to the family wide-eyed and wants to be welcomed with open arms, but Laura suspects she’s not all that she seems.

When tragedy strikes, an unforgiveable lie is told. It is an…

View original post 486 more words

Historical Saturday Review: “Brotherly Love” by Lorna Peel

brotherly_love_ebook-1600x2400I’ve recently reviewed Lora Peel’s “Into the Unknown” and had to read more of her.
“Brotherly Love” picks a very interesting subject of 19th century Irish culture: What is a widow to do when people hail her late husband as champion. Rivalries, family animosities, secrets and lies all interfer wth the life of our heroine, who first and foremost, feels happy to be free of an opressing mother-in-law.
The answer to her romantic life could be Michael, a newcomer to town, but one that is not looked upon with approval by everyone involved.
I enjoyed the complex situation and how the author portrayed and handled it. The characters are well drawn and the dialogue and the descriptions are apt.
Given that I don’t often like historical romance as opposed to historical fiction, I am especially impressed with this.


Lorna Peel is an author of contemporary and historical romantic fiction. Her debut novel, ONLY YOU, a contemporary romance set in London, England, was published in 2014. INTO THE UNKNOWN, a World War Two romance also set in London, was published in 2015 and reached Amazon’s top 20 best sellers in 20th Century Historical Romance. THE IMAGE OF HER, a romantic suspense set in rural England about a woman’s search for her birth mother, was published in May 2016. NEW BLOOD, a romantic suspense set in a stately home in Yorkshire, England, will be published on 3rd November 2016.
Sign up to her newsletter at: http://eepurl.com/ciL8ab

Welsh Wednesdays: A podcast with Hugh Roberts

Source: https://annetterochelleaben.wordpress.com/2017/06/07/tell-me-a-story-hugh-roberts/

Tell Me a Story Hugh Roberts

Tell Me a Story Hugh Roberts

Let’s call him, the man from Wales and welcome author, blogger and all around cool dude, Hugh Roberts to Tell Me a Story  today!

Hugh fills his blog with so much helpful information, and entertaining stories, that you would do yourself well to check it out and FOLLOW him.  Hugh has also published a cool collection of his short stories in his book, Glimpses

and he’s got the coolest Corgi, named Toby… 

Here’s your chance to learn more about Hugh Roberts. Thanks for tuning into the podcast and joining in the fun!

Be sure to let Hugh know you listened to the podcast, get his book and leave a kind review on Amazon and Goodreads (as well as follow him there).

*all podcasts are posted in alphabetical order

Welsh Wednesdays: Judith Barrow’s Review of “Shadows” by Thorne Moore #psychological crime

Source: Judith Barrow’s blog: My Review of Shadows by Thorne Moore #psychological crime

Review of “Shadows” by Thorne Moore #psychological crime


Judith Barrow received an ARC of Shadows from the author in return for an honest review. She gave the novel 5* out of  5*

Book Description:

A compelling blend of mystery and family drama with a gothic twist, by the Top Ten bestselling author of A Time for Silence

Kate Lawrence can sense the shadow of violent death, past and present. 

In her struggle to cope with her unwelcome gift, she has frozen people out of her life. 

Her marriage is on the rocks, her career is in chaos and she urgently needs to get a grip. 

So she decides to start again, by joining her effervescent cousin Sylvia and partner Michael in their mission to restore and revitalise Llys y Garn, an old mansion in the wilds of North Pembrokeshire.

It is certainly a new start, as she takes on Sylvia’s grandiose schemes, but it brings Kate to a place that is thick with the shadows of past deaths. 

The house and grounds are full of mysteries that only she can sense, but she is determined to face them down – so determined that she fails to notice that ancient energies are not the only shadows threatening the seemingly idyllic world of Llys y Garn. 

The happy equilibrium is disrupted by the arrival of Sylvia’s sadistic and manipulative son, Christian – but just how dangerous is he? 

Then, once more, Kate senses that a violent death has occurred… 

Set in the majestic and magical Welsh countryside, Shadows is a haunting exploration of the dark side of people and landscape.

My Review:

I have long been a fan of Thorne Moore’s work and, for me, Shadows, yet again, proves what a brilliant tale teller she is.

The author’s ability to create an atmosphere is exceptional. In Shadows the descriptions of the rooms and spaces within  Llys y Garn provide an eerie, dark presence and a vaguely distant, though dangerous, affluence in its history. It’s a great  background for the novel. In contrast the narratives portraying the surrounding Welsh countryside underline the myths, the legends of the land, the beauty of the settings, to give a wonderful sense of place.

 The characters are excellent; believable and rounded they instil either empathy, dislike, or exasperation. I loved the protagonist, Kate, and found myself willing her to make the right choices; to stay safe. In contrast, the character of her ex-husband and even sometimes, the lovable cousin, Sylvia, frustrated me. And I despised the “sadistic and manipulative son, Christian” (even though I hadn’t read the book blurb at the time) – I suppose that’s a sign of as well portrayed, multi layered character. And there is one character who was a great disappointment for me… saying no more here

The book description gives a good outline of this steadily-paced plot; what it doesn’t say, obviously, is how the reader is drawn into the story from the onset and then, piece by piece, caught up in the twists and turns of the narrative.

This is  is a book I recommend, without hesitation.


Praise for Thorne Moore

‘Thorne Moore is a huge talent. Her writing is intensely unsettling and memorable.’ – Sally Spedding

Thorne Moore

Thorne Moore was born in Luton and graduated from Aberystwyth University and the Open University. She set up a restaurant with her sister but now spends her time writing and making miniature furniture for collectors. She lives in Pembrokeshire, which forms a background for much of her writing, as does Luton. She writes psychological mysteries, or “domestic noir,” including A Time For SilenceMotherlove and The Unravelling.

Links to Thorne: