#BlogTour #Review: The Amber Maze by Christopher Bowden @rararesources

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I’m alive! Kind of… or rather I have unearthed myself from unpacking boxes long enough to shout my praises for Christopher Bowden’s latest noir gem in the blog tour for The Amber Maze. Subtle and nuanced, I constantly found myself caught off guard as to how much this little books packs in. This isn’t your typical hardboiled case, but it’s most certainly the kind of cozy fire-side read that will keep you on the edge of your seat ad your mind racing to make connections.


Bowden Amber Maze SelectedTitle: The Amber Maze

Author: Christopher Bowden

Publisher: Amolibros

Publication Date: September 6, 2018

Genre: Fiction, Literary Fiction, Noir Fiction

Themes: Friendship, Family, Relationships

Features: Features for the author’s other books.


My Rating: 4/ 5


Synopsis

The Amber Maze

While staying in a Dorset cottage, Hugh Mullion finds a mysterious key down the side of an antique chair. No one can say how long the key has been there or what it opens.

Hugh’s search for answers will unlock the secrets of the troubled life of a talented artist, destined to be hailed a neglected genius fifty years too late. And no secret is darker than that of The Amber Maze, from whose malign influence he never escaped.

The trail takes Hugh from Edwardian Oxfordshire to 1960s Camden Town, where the ghosts of the past are finally laid to rest.

Delicately crafted noir fiction at its best.

Purchase Links:

Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/0955506751

Amazon US – https://www.amazon.com/Amber-Maze-Christopher-Bowden-ebook/dp/B07FRH481F/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1532280455&sr=1-1&keywords=the+amber+maze

Waterstones – https://www.waterstones.com/book/the-amber-maze/christopher-bowden/9780955506758

Smash words – https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/880652


My Review

At just 119 pages, The Amber Maze covers a lot of ground. Touching on everything from crime to coming of age, and from complicated family dynamics to uncovering a contemporary mystery, there’s a little of something for everyone. One word of warning though, Bowden makes regular references to characters and events from his other works, particularly The Blue Book, and if you’re unfamiliar with them there are some occasional moments of confusion. However, so long as you’re willing to accept these references as implied backstory, it makes for a most pleasant read.

And can I just mention how much I loved the fact that books were at the centre of this narrative? The constant references to the types of bindings, vintage bookstores, personal collections, and missing volumes seriously made me miss my research days. I was chomping at the bit to swap places with Hugh and the archivist and get back to hunting down missing pieces and making sense of the muddle. Needless to say, the part of me that wrote a Masters dissertation reconstructing the reading network of a single book was very happy!

I enjoyed Hugh’s tenacity and persistence in finding the answer to his little mystery. Too many people would find an old key in an old chair and pass it off as quaint and walk away. But not Hugh. Thankfully his wife is quietly supportive – even though she gets her kicks out of bugging him – and his circle of friends are always willing to assist where they can. And who couldn’t love Hester with her pantaloon’s and adventure filled life? Although, I was surprised at her forthrightness when it came to disclosing family information. Perhaps it was because of her willingness to share all other information, that I found it infuriating when she was guarded when discussing Lionel’s art and family life. But I suppose that’s what makes both of their characters intriguing.

The art connection too, was something that I really enjoyed. There was as much intrigue in tracking down the various works of art throughout the book as there was in the mystery of Lionel’s life itself. The descriptions of his work were succinct and easy to visualize and I was left wanting to track down an abstract art exhibition in my area. I couldn’t help but chuckle at the select group of collectors that was upset by the retrospective of his work, but understood Lionel’s desire for anonymity in life after his involvement with The Amber Maze, and the actions of it’s members.

Although not as intense and twisty as I have come to expect from the noir genre, this baby ticks all of the boxes in a subtle and understated way. There’s enough crime, intrigue, and philandering in the past to drive the inquest at the present; the characters are developed and believable; and multiple plots are woven together to create an utterly engaging story. The Amber Maze is well worth the read.


About The Author

CHB 009 Christopher Bowden lives in south London. The Amber Maze is the sixth of his colour-themed novels, which have been praised variously by Andrew Marr, Julian Fellowes, Sir Derek Jacobi, and Shena Mackay

Social Media Links : https://www.facebook.com/christopher.bowden.90


Many thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to join in this tour, and to Christopher Bowden for providing a copy in exchange for an honest review.


The Amber Maze

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#BlogTour #Review: Leo’s War by Patricia Murphy #WWIILit #ChildrensLit #MiddleGradeFiction @rararesources

Leos War - AlternativeToday I’m honoured to be taking part in the blog tour for Patricia Murphy’s latest middle grade masterpiece, Leo’s War. Packed full of facts and juicy tidbits, this adventure into the Rome Escape Line is sure to capture the hearts and imaginations of readers of all ages.


Leo's War - Poolbeg cover - FOR PRINTTitle: Leo’s War

Author: Patricia Murphy

Publisher: Poolbeg Press

Publication Date: August 1, 2018

Genre: Middle Grade Fiction, Children’s Fiction, WWII Fiction, Historical Fiction

Themes: Friendship, Family, Survival, War

Features: N/A


My Rating: 4.5 / 5


Synopsis

It’s 1943 and young Leo tries to protect his disabled sister Ruby as the Nazis invade Italy. After his mother is arrested, he turns to Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty to save them. But he is no ordinary priest. Known as ‘The Pimpernel of the Vatican’, the Monsignor is the legendary organizer of the Rome Escape Line. Soon Leo is helping out with this secret network dedicated to saving the lives of escaped prisoners of war, partisans and Jews. But as the sinister Nazi leader Kappler closes in on the network, can Leo and his sister stay out of his evil clutches?

Purchase Links

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Leos-War-1943-1944-Patricia-Murphy/dp/1781998159/

https://www.bookdepository.com/Leos-War-Patricia-Murphy/9781781998151

https://poolbeg.com/home/680-leo-s-war.html

https://www.easons.com/leos-diary-patricia-murphy-9781781998151


My Review

What can I say about Leo’s War that hasn’t already been said during this tour? After all, it’s pretty darned amazing! Packed full of action, emotionally gripping, rooted in history, and a damned good story, this is the kind of book that will appeal to readers of all ages.

I loved how each character was crafted – distinct and with their quirks, yet entirely age appropriate. I was completely enamoured by Leo’s tenacity and spunk, and was won over for the depth of love and dedication that he had for his family. It was important to see those moments where he was human and weak, that it was okay to be frightened  and to cry, and that he was often flying by the seat of his pants. I found the balance between his grit and the natural vulnerability of his age made him a really likeable and believable character – I only wish they didn’t have to dye his beautiful red hair! Regardless, Leo’s wit and humour were the perfect boyish counter to the ever awful actions of Spitler and Muscle-Weeny!

Ruby was another character that I found to be particularly well crafted. I adored her imagination and optimism despite the horrors of war, and love how she acted as Leo’s conscience and anchor despite being absent for much of the story. I think her Cerebral Palsy brings to light a lot of salient discussion points, especially how children treat other’s with differences and the lengths to which Hitler went to cleanse his master race.

And who could leave out Monsignor Hugh? He provided the perfect (no pun intended) father figure for Leo in the absence of his downed-fighter-pilot dad, and provided a distinctly good moral compass by which to navigate a turbulent time despite the means and opportunities to be lead astray. I appreciated his persistence in the belief that good will prevail and his willingness to help those being persecuted even at great personal costs. I did, however, question his willingness to use a young boy as a messenger in his schemes despite the fact that Leo wouldn’t have had it any other way.

And how can I talk about Leo’s War without talking about the writing? It was absolutely spot on! It took me a few chapters to put on my middle grade reading hat, but once that was firmly in place everything just seemed to click. The thoughts and actions were relatable and believable, atrocities were horrible but too graphic, and trials were serious but not insurmountable – ultimately this is the kind of book that I would actively be seeking to include in a school library! I appreciated how the vocabulary was at times challenging but never obtusely difficult, and how there was a sampling from several different languages (always with translations). Ane I really, REALLY loved Leo’s phonemic nicknames for the higher-ups in the war.

My only complaint is that Leo’s War is a little on the long side. At 403 pages it might scare away some more insecure readers. However, that does’t mean it isn’t an amazing choice for advanced readers during novels and lit circles – it just means that while I would want this sucker on my shelves, I might not be recommending it to those just finding their independent reading legs… For seasoned adult readers though this one is a heck yes!

Engaging, endearing, and utterly gripping this is the kind of book I wish I’d read more of as a kid. Murphy strikes a perfect balance between fact and fiction, terror and hope, as well as character building and action as to create an immersive experience that can be enjoyed by all. Would I recommend it? oh hells to the yes! Let us all read more books like these to prevent the likes of Spitler and Muscle-Weeny from ever leading the masses again.


Giveaway

Giveaway to win a £30 Amazon Gift Voucher (Open to UK Only)

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/33c69494122/?

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.


About The Author

Leos War - DSC02189Patricia Murphy is the bestselling author of The Easter Rising 1916 – Molly’s Diary and Dan’s Diary – the War of Independence 1920-22 published by Poolbeg.

She has also written the prize-winning “The Chingles” trilogy of children’s Celtic fantasy novels. Patricia is also an award winning Producer/Director of documentaries including Children of Helen House, the BBC series on a children’s hospice and Born to Be Different Channel 4’s flagship series following children born with disabilities. Many of her groundbreaking programmes are about children’s rights and topics such as growing up in care, crime and the criminal justice system. She has also made a number of history programmes including Worst Jobs in History with Tony Robinson for Channel 4 and has produced and directed films for the Open University.

Patricia grew up in Dublin and is a graduate in English and History from Trinity College Dublin and of Journalism at Dublin City University. She now lives in Oxford with her husband and young daughter.

Social Media Links

Website: https://www.patriciamurphyonline.com

Twitter: @_PatriciaMurphy

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/Leos-War-Irelands-Secret-World-War-2-Hero-714055598929732

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/Mollys-Diary-The-1916-Rising-277254289106782/


Many thanks to Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to join in this tour, and to Patricia Murphy for providing a copy in exchange for an honest review.

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#Review: Auschwitz Lullaby by Mario Escobar #WWIIFitcion #HistoricalFiction

Today I am delighted to share the first of three WWII/ Holocaust reviews, this one for Auschwitz Lullaby by Mario Escobar. Translated from the original Portuguese, this edition maintains all of emotion and nuance of this harrowing and nearly hopeless tale. Get your tissues ready my friends – this book is amazing, heartbreaking, and an absolute must read.


lullabyTitle: Auschwitz Lullaby

AuthorMario Escobar

Publisher: Thomas Nelson

Publication Date: August 7, 2018

Originally Published: January 1, 2016

Genre: Fiction, WWII Fiction, Historical Fiction

Themes: WWII, Holocaust, Auschwitz, Survival, Family

Features: Author’s Note


My Rating: 5/ 5


Synopsis

From Goodreads…

In 1943 Germany, Helene is just about to wake up her children to go to school when a group of policemen break into her house. The policemen want to haul away her gypsy husband and their five children. The police tell Helene that as a German she does not have to go with them, but she decides to share the fate of her family. After convincing her children that they are going off to a vacation place, so as to calm them, the entire family is deported to Auschwitz.

For being German, they are settled in the first barracks of the Gypsy Camp. The living conditions are extremely harsh, but at least she is with her five children. A few days after their arrival, Doctor Mengele comes to pay her a visit, having noticed on her entry card that she is a nurse. He proposes that she direct the camp’s nursery. The facilities would be set up in Barrack 29 and Barrack 31, one of which would be the nursery for newborn infants and the other for children over six years old.

Helene, with the help of two Polish Jewish prisoners and four gypsy mothers, organizes the buildings. Though Mengele provides them with swings, Disney movies, school supplies, and food, the people are living in crowded conditions under extreme conditions. And less than 400 yards away, two gas chambers are exterminating thousands of people daily.

For sixteen months, Helene lives with this reality, desperately trying to find a way to save her children. Auschwitz Lullaby is a story of perseverance, of hope, and of strength in one of the most horrific times in history.


My Review

Once again, I am kicking myself for letting an incredible book languish too long on my TBR. It took me nearly two months to get around to starting this baby – and a single evening to finish it! We’ll ignore that moment when my fellow woke up at 2 AM to query why I was bawling my face off, but I simply couldn’t put it down.

I love how the story starts out like any other day, with a mother getting ready for work and looking after her family. There is just enough historical backstory to set the tone for understanding the trials and hardships the communities targeted by the Nazi regime were facing, but not so much information as to feel like a textbook. Instead, the frustration and encroaching restrictions were communicated in tender, yet highly emotive way, and amplified by the ways in which individuals reacted to circumstances.

I can only imagine the terror that would have accompanied a knock on the door, or footsteps coming up the stairs, and the constant fear that your neighbours were just waiting for a moment to report on you. And harder yet to imagine the difficult choice of saving yourself or accompanying your family to their assured destruction. I was heartened by Helene’s endless compassion, constantly cool head, and the ways in which she used her position as a German woman within the camps to benefit others and not just her immediately family.

My heart nearly broke in two the moment when Helene and the children were separated from her husband, and I genuinely felt the longing and unanswered questions that accompanied not knowing his fate. Conditions in the camp were as awful as is expected, but as someone with relatively little knowledge of the Gypsy camp within Auschwitz and the Nursery that was opened within, I was fascinated by this horrifying anomaly. I tried not to think too hard about how Barracks 29 and 31 became available for use, but appreciated how Helene worked tirelessly to ensure there was the smaller fragment of hope for the children in her area. Each little act of defiance felt like a hard-won victory, and each act of kindness an awe-inspiring sacrifice.

I enjoyed the spunk of Helene’s oldest son, and have to admit I cheered a little when he was throwing rocks at officers. Perhaps it’s because I found the Hannemann so endearing, and Helene’s compassion so encompassing, that Dr. Mengele’s experiments seemed that much worse. The juxtaposition of their actions created a high-drama, high-tension reading in the absence of constant abuse, violence, or other such war crimes. I hesitate to say more on the plot, as I don’t like handing out spoilers, but I will say that Helene’s character is faultless to end.

Would I recommend this book? Absolutely! It’s one that I loved so much that once I finished the Galley I immediately went out and bought a print copy. It’s not a happy read, but it is power, moving, and based on true events that are entirely worth knowing. And as a translation, it is exceptional! The prose is seamless and flowing, with rich imagery and approachable language. This is the type of book that can be easily enjoyed by WWII enthusiasts and novices alike.


Many thanks to Mario Escobar, Thomas Nelson Fiction, and NetGalley for providing a copy in exchange for an honest review. 

#Review: Green Almonds: Letters From Palestine by Anaele & Delphine Hermans #GraphicNovel

Today I am delighted to be sharing a review for Anaele & Delphine Hermans’ graphic memoir Green Almonds: Letters From Palestine before I dive down the rabbit hole and share a series of WWII and Holocaust reviews. This autobiographical account of living and volunteering in Palestine is a much needed antidote to the oscillations between fake news and feigned ignorance found in the media when it comes to reporting on the Israel-Palestine conflict.


green almondsTitle: Green Almonds: Letters From Palestine

Author: Anaele Hermans

Illustrator: Delphine Hermans

Publisher: Lion Forge

Publication Date: July 3, 2018

Genre: Comics, Graphic Novel, Memoir, Biography

Themes:  Family, Travel, Conflict

Features: Author’s note, Illustrator’s note


My Rating: 3.5 / 5


Synopsis

The graphic novel collaboration and true story of two sisters. Anaele, a writer, leaves for Palestine volunteering in an aid program, swinging between her Palestinian friends and her Israeli friends. Delphine is an artist, left behind in Liege, Belgium. From their different sides of the world, they exchange letters.

Green Almonds: Letters from Palestine is a personal look into a complex reality, through the prism of the experience of a young woman writing letters to her sister about her feelings and adventures in the occupied territories. Green Almonds is an intimate story with big implications.

A young woman discovers a country, works there, makes friends, lives a love story, and is confronted with the plight of the Palestinians, the violence on a daily basis that we see on our screens and read in our newspapers. Anaele’s story is brought to life by Delphine’s simple and evocative drawings, which give full force to the subject and evoke the complexity of this conflict, creating a journey to the everyday life of Palestinians.

Green Almonds: Letters from Palestine received the Doctors Without Borders Award for best travel diary highlighting the living conditions of populations in precarious situations when it was published in France in 2011.


My Review

First, lets get the uglies out of the way – 3.5 stars is a good review. In fact, it’s an above average review. I really liked Green Almonds, but know that I failed to connect with it on a personal/ aesthetic level. Now, this is the part where I expose my bias… you see, I cut my teeth on comics journalism/ conflict travelogues reading Joe Sacco (think Palestine, Footnotes in Gaza, and Safe Area Gorazde) and I find it difficult to read anything along these lines without drawing direct comparisons to the genre’s founder.

While Green Almonds has all of the deeply disturbing and emotional elements that I have come to appreciate and expect from works looking at the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, where this book feel just a little short for my tastes was in the art. The abstractions, while easily identifiable and unquestionably human, were just a little too cartoonish (if not a little childish) in relation to the subject matter at hand. I appreciated that the result was an emphasis that focused squarely on the personal narrative portrayed, ultimately I found the graphic element to be lacking in depth and emotion. The landscapes were simple with minimal detail and I was left wanting shading, texture, and a little realism. I know that this is entirely personal, but I had trouble with the overwhelming amount of white space!

But, and this is the important part, the panels and pages were meticulously blocked, the script expertly distributed, and the story fully supported and portrayed by the images at hand. There was an easily identifiable sense of time and place, with carefully controlled pacing that lent a realistic quality to the reading experience. There was ample variety in the panel sizes and arrangements which kept every pages feeling fresh and never boring, and the use of multiple transition types kept me on my toes. Additionally, enough action takes place in the gutter to allow the imagination enough agency to fill in the blanks based on assumptions or personal experience, with just enough imagery to keep everything on track.

Additionally, I really loved the alternation between the sisters with the comics/ postcard dichotomy. It really facilitated a difference in voice and character, even though Delphine is rarely portrayed, and highlights the ways in which siblings can be connected yet entirely opposite. I loved how Delphine was meticulous, succinct, and almost professional while Anaele embodied the type of free spirit that engages in voluntourism. I was most drawn to Anaele’s interactions with locals on either side of the conflict, and genuine appreciated how both Israelis and Palestinians were portrayed without bias or judgement. Every character had a story, a unique experience, and a lived reality that translated beautifully to the page.

It has always been difficult for me to conceptualize the spectrum of lifestyles lived within such a small geographical area, and yet Green Almonds portray’s beautifully how a wall and some checkpoints can separate opulence from poverty and oppressor from oppressed. As the pages progress it becomes increasingly clear how living in such conditions can wear a person down. The number of personal narratives relayed creates a critical mass highlighting a humanitarian crises, and really calls to question how we are able to sit by and turn away from this reality.

Would I recommend this book? Absolutely. Although perhaps not to those who are new to the comics medium. Yet, the memoir and autobiographic elements are evocative, touching, and truly thought provoking. Green Almonds is most definitely a worthwhile and introspective read.


Many thanks to Diamond Book Distributors and NetGalley for providing a copy in exchange for an honest review.

#BlogTour #Review: A Single Journey by Frankie McGowan @EndeavourQuill #asinglejourney

Single Journey Tour Banner2

Today I’m honoured to be taking part in the blog tour for Frankie McGowan’s latest novel A Single Journey. I was sold from the blurb – with all the escaping WWII, the touches of thrilling mystery, and a load of antique books and jewellery. Straight up, it sounded like all of my favourite things in a single novel, and once I got into the pages it only got better. McGowan’s latest creation is sure to land her another spot in the Amazon top 20, and it’s well worth every speck of my 5 star review!


Synopsis

journey With a failed relationship behind her, a business on the rocks and a flat that’s falling apart around her ears, she could really use some luck.

Elena Banbury, née Guseva, an elderly but imposing Russian woman who is Harriet’s neighbour and landlady, frequently entertains the punters at Harriet’s jewellery stall with tales of the palaces of St. Petersburg and the treasures of Fabergé. But Harriet sometimes feels, guiltily, that she could do without the endless errands that seem to fall to her as Elena’s friend.

Then, unexpectedly, when Elena dies, she leaves all her worldly goods to a grateful Harriet. In time, however, it becomes clear that others are shocked by Harriet’s good luck, too. Shocked… and very, very unhappy.

Challenged in court by Elena’s family who live in Berlin, Harriet is forced to give up her inheritance and long-dreamed-of plans for a new business, and start her life again. But with her reputation in tatters and the memory of Elena tainted, Harriet knows a great injustice has been done.

Against the advice of her friends, family and lawyers, Harriet sets off on her own, very singular journey to Berlin.

In the weeks that follow she meets rich and poor, the glamorous and the criminal, the honest and the secretive, and begins to see that perhaps she has something to learn from them all. Something to learn about herself, and something to learn about her priorities.

She knows she has to fight for justice. But, when she meets the scholarly, perceptive Neil, who generously tries to help Harriet in her mission, but who is struggling with a complicated marriage, she must also decide if she’ll fight for love, too.

A Single Journey is a compelling and lively story, combining colourful characters with a page-turning plot and romantic highs and lows.

Fans of Jojo Moyes and Lucinda Riley will be hooked.


My Rating: 5/ 5


Review 

Now, before I start this review there are some things you need to know about me. 1) I am a librarian, 2) my background is in rare and antiquarian books, and 3) prior to completing my MLIS I worked in high end vintage jewellery and watches. The result is that my partner and I have a small but carefully crafted collection of antiquarian books, furniture and jewellery – and in all of the things listed above provenance is absolutely key! So imagine my delight when the story opens with Elena regaling the provenance of a sumptuous peridot bracelet… Now, I might have been putting the cart before the horse, but I knew within the first few pages that this book and I were going to hit off and I loved every minute of Harriet’s journey thereafter.

With all my gushing about provenance and antiques aside, this baby touches on some really hard hitting and relevant issues that I hope will help to make A Single Journey both timely and popular. Namely the ways in which we treat and care for the isolated elderly, abusive relationships, and the toxic patterns we can fall into in our personal and romantic lives. With these themes featuring so strongly, it would have been easy to victim blame and laud Harriet as a self-absorbed fatalist thanks to the sheer awfulness of her initial behaviour. But this was balance by the realization and self-awareness of her errors, the desire to correct her actions, and the ultimate effectiveness of her amends.

It was important too, to see how Harriet’s friends supported her through her series of ordeals – even though she was absolutely horrible to them at times. Their care, empathy, and understanding really highlights the ways in which people can be supportive when loved ones are experiencing an ordeal. Conversely, those false friends showcase how to be deplorable individuals and make some rather excellent antagonists without being violent or aggressive. I can’t count the number of times I had to set my book down because I was seething with rage.

I loved how the story was as much Elena’s as it was Harriet’s, and really appreciated how their narratives were told in symbioses. If either element had been removed, this books would not have hit home in the same way. The elements of flashback and discovery were perfectly timed to advance the plot, and the weight of dealing with Elena’s death was balanced by Harriet’s burgeoning romance. Although Neil was as complicated character, his consistency and level headed approach was a subtle antidote to Harriet’s occasionally impulsive tendencies.

Ultimately, this is one of my favourite reads of the summer. It’s not too long, light when it needs to be, and it deals some emotionally heavy blows. It’s the type of book that starts out tugging at your heart strings, and before you know it, it’s playing you like a marionette. Evocative and heartwarming, I can’t recommend A Single Journey highly enough.


Author Information – Frankie McGowan

58327e_52b50e834e204f8f82a6ecc47dc33dfb~mv2_d_2592_1520_s_2

My career began on teenage magazines before joining Fleet Street writing features for among others, The Sunday Times, The Times, The Daily Mail, Sunday Mirror (where I was an assistant editor and columnist).

Later as a magazine editor and while bringing up Tom and Amy, my now grown up children I launched and edited New Woman and  Top Sante before switching to writing the first of my novels. My short stories have been published in a variety of magazines, including You, (Mail on Sunday) Women’s Own, Home and Life, Image (Ireland), Redbook (US) The Lady  and Woman’s Weekly.

More recently I was asked to adapt two of my novels, A Kept Woman and  A Better Life  into screenplays and my latest novel,  A Single Journey is available now. All my novels have reached the top twenty on Amazon which is the best feeling ever for any writer, but this year two of them, A Kept Woman and The Italian Lesson, both went to Number One in Australia for which I was thrilled and grateful to all those lovely people who bought them.

I am currently working on a new novel – well, I say working on it, what I mean is I’ve got a title for it, A Short Break – and the name of the heroine so all I need now is to try not to lose the plot.


Many thanks to Hannah Groves and Endeavour Media for inviting me on this tour, and to Frankie McGowan for providing a copy in exchange for an honest review.