Saturday, April 30, 2022

A BODY ON THE BEACH

MY THOUGHTS:

Kate Palmer was ready to escape to Tinworthy village for the day.  She had been looking forward to Tinworthy’s annual summer party for quite a while.  She decided to go on a walk among the cliff-tops and take in some of the views of Cornwall.  But when she is looking down at the sea below she recognizes the body of Sienna Stone’s lifeless body on the beach below. Sienna was known as the town gossip.  Many residents in the village saw Kate and Sienna in a heated argument while attending the summer party.  Then Sienna’s body is found on the beach shortly afterwards.  So, Kate is of course, the number one suspect.  Kate doesn’t like being the center of the investigation so she and her new husband, Woody Forrest, must find a way to clear Kate’s name by finding the real killer.  It could have been Sienna’s husband Irvin, her younger sister Sally, and there is also Timmy Thomson who completely idolized her.  Just when she thinks she has it all figured out, new information comes to light and time is running out.  Kate must find the culprit before she becomes the next victim.  


This cozy mystery is such a wonderful tale.  I really enjoyed the characters of this story and it kept me guessing until the very end.  The twists and turns kept my interest and I was totally hooked from the beginning.  This is the fifth installment of the Kate Palmer Series and it is every bit as good as the first book.  It can be read as a standalone book or as part of the series.  I really enjoyed this whodunnit and I highly recommend it.


Thank you Dee MacDonald for such a wonderful and enjoyable book.  I was so enthralled with the story, I found it to be a definite must read.  I highly recommend this book.


⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Rating: 5 out of 5.

DESCRIPTION:

A BODY ON THE BEACH
Author:  Dee MacDonald
 
Publisher:  Bookouture 
Publication Date: April 28, 2022
Pages: 273 
Buy on Amazon 

It’s Tinworthy village’s summer fete: a brass band, cream teas, gentle gossip... and a body on the beach? The party’s just getting started for super sleuth Kate Palmer!

Kate Palmer thought spending the day at Tinworthy’s annual summer party would involve sea air, sunshine and Cornish cream cake – how very wrong she was! When Kate goes for a cliff-top walk she is shocked to spot the body of Sienna Stone – Cornwall’s biggest gossip – on the sandy beach below.

Rumours swirl around the close-knit community and all eyes are on Kate. Half the village saw her arguing with Sienna at the party earlier that day. It was the usual bickering between neighbours, but when Kate finds herself in the frame can she – and her new husband 
Woody Forrest – solve the puzzling death and clear her name?

There’s a long list of people who might have wanted to push Sienna – 
her long-suffering husband Irvin, her jealous younger sister Sally and Timmy Thomson, the man who idolised her, not to mention all the villagers who felt the sharp end of her tongue. Finding out the truth isn’t going to be easy…

Just as Kate thinks she’s getting closer to an answer, an unexpected afternoon visitor shares some curious information over tea and scones that sets her on an entirely different path. And soon she starts to wonder if she might be in real danger too…

Can Kate solve the curious case before the murderer declares the party over? Or have her days of sleuthing come to an end?

ABOUT DEE MACDONALD

Aged 18, Dee arrived in London from Scotland and typed her way round the West End for a couple of years before joining BOAC (forerunner of British Airways) in Passenger Services for 2 years and then as a stewardess for 8 years. She has worked in Market Research, Sales and at the Thames TV Studios when they had the franchise. Dee has since relocated to Cornwall, where she spent 10 years running B&Bs, and only began writing when she was over 70! Married twice, she has one son and two grandsons.

Thursday, April 28, 2022

THE DOCTOR’S DAUGHTER

MY THOUGHTS:

Sofia lives in Nazi-occupied Poland, her father is a doctor for the SS, and her mother is Jewish. Sofia can’t believe her father is working for the SS while so many Jewish people are being killed.  Sofia decides she must go against her father and help as many Jews as she possibly can.  She has to make a difference for the good.  Isaac arrives by a packed train at Auschwitz.  He is one that was chosen to work the fields.  Isaac and the numerous other inmates are sent to work at a nearby farm.  From sunup to sundown they work the land with nothing to eat.  Sofia is determined to help the prisoners, against her father’s will.  She risks her life sneaking food to the prisoners and a note to Isaac.  But when Sofia helps Isaac and the prisoners escape, their only chance to survive is to hide underground.  Will they survive while the Nazi’s are determined to find them.  


This heart-pounding, and heartbreaking story is so engrossing, that once you read the first page you can’t stop until the very last page.  I was literally trapped between the pages that I couldn’t put this book down.  I felt my heart beating faster and faster as I read this story.  This heart-wrenching read had me on the edge of my seat, with tears streaming down my face.  This is one that will stick with me for a very long time.  Completely unforgettable, I can’t recommend this book enough.  Please read this one for sure. I wish I could give ten stars. Wow….just wow!!!


Thank you Shari J. Ryan for such a phenomenal and captivating book.  I was so engrossed with the story, I found it to be completely unputdownable.  I highly recommend this book.


⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Rating: 5 out of 5.

DESCRIPTION:

THE DOCTOR’S DAUGHTER

Author: Shari J. Ryan 
Publisher:  Bookouture
Publication Date: April 28, 2022 
Pages: 345 
Buy on Amazon 

Auschwitz, 1941: It was her father’s job to save the lives of the SS. But she chose to risk everything and save the lives of prisoners.

In Nazi-occupied Poland, Sofia cannot look her father in the eye. Sofia’s mother, her papa’s cherished wife, is Jewish—how dare he work as a doctor for the SS? She cannot forgive him, even if the bargain was made to spare their lives.

In the middle of the night, 
Isaac emerges from a packed train with hundreds of others. Beneath Auschwitz’s barbed wire, soldiers surround them, and gunshots pierce the dark sky. The SS decide prisoners’ fates on the spot—and Isaac is chosen to work, rather than to die.

Every day, Isaac and his fellow inmates are sent to a nearby farm. From sunup to sundown, they toil the land with barely a scrap to eat. Every breath feels like it could be Isaac’s last, so when he sees a beautiful auburn-haired girl peering out of the farmhouse window, it feels like a dream…

Sofia refuses to accept what she is seeing. Disobeying her father and evading the guards, she risks her life to sneak a letter to the green-eyed boy outside. She explains that she has hidden them food, and that she’ll do everything in her power to save them.

This secret exchange sparks an escape that should have been impossible—and a love story that is unforgettable. But is love enough in the face of evil? And when Sofia and Isaac are concealed underground, holding their breath as the Nazis hunt them, will they survive?

ABOUT SHARI J. RYAN

Shari J. Ryan is a USA Today Bestselling Historical Fiction writer. Her desire to write stories revolving Jewish livelihood during World War II stems from being a descendant of two Holocaust survivors. After the passing of Shari’s grandmother, she pursued an active interest in learning more about the inherited stories she yearned to understand better.

Shortly after earning a bachelors degree from Johnson & Wales University, Shari began her career as a graphic artist and freelance writer. She then found her passion for writing books in 2012. In 2016, Shari began writing her first Historical Fiction novel, Last Words, a story about a lifelong journey through the eyes of a Holocaust survivor. With two character related books to follow, Shari quickly found a new passion to share untold World War II stories within a fictional setting. 

Shari is a lifelong New England girl who lives to make people laugh. She is happily married with two wonderful sons and a spunky Australian Shepard, who fits right in with the family. 

Monday, April 25, 2022

THE WATCHMAKER’S DAUGHTER

MY THOUGHTS:

Geneva, 1942, Valérie works with her father making watches. She hears devastating news over the radio airwaves from occupied France.  It’s only a matter of time before the Nazi’s invade.  She is worried not just for her country’s future but also for Philippe, her childhood sweetheart.  Philippe is fighting in the army and Valérie just can’t sit by and do nothing, so she decides to help the French Resistance.  She sneaks messages in her father’s watch delivery boxes.  Thinking it’s not enough she soon decides to hide Jewish refugee children in her father’s old workshop.  But one night she has to make a devastating decision that possibly could forever change her past, present and future.  


This heart pounding and utterly gripping story had me on the edge of my seat.  I was completely hooked from the first page to the last.  This ‘new to me author’ immediately pulled me in, and I felt as if I was living inside the story.  Each scene played like a movie in my mind’s eye.  Wow, this unputdownable story is absolutely captivating and a definite must read.  I can’t wait to read the next book in the series, it’s an auto buy for sure.


Thank you Dianne Haley for such an amazing and inspiring book.  This is truly a story that is sure to stay with you.  I highly recommend this book.


⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Rating: 5 out of 5.

DESCRIPTION:

THE WATCHMAKER’S DAUGHTER
Author:  Dianne Haley 
Publisher: Bookouture
Publication Date: April 25, 2022 
Pages: 289

Hiding the worn piece of paper among her father’s watch deliveries, her eyes fill with tears at the memory of her brave friend walking towards the Nazi soldiers, and the sharp sound of gun fire. Her friend sacrificed herself so that she could deliver this message. But if she hands it over, the love of her life will die… 

1942, Geneva: As her radio crackles with heart-breaking news from occupied France, Valérie Hallez gazes towards the snow-covered Alps after a long day helping her father, a local watchmaker. With a Nazi invasion looming, she is sick with worry for the future of her country, and for Philippe, her childhood sweetheart with soft brown eyes. Valérie might not be able to join the army like him, but she is determined to play her part in the fight against evil…

In defiance of her father, Valérie helps the French Resistance by smuggling messages among her father’s watch deliveries. And when darkness falls, she risks everything to hide Jewish refugee children in his old workshop. Philippe fears for her safety, as her work for the Resistance could come with a heavy price. But nothing will stop her delivering vital information and getting terrified children to safety before they are sent back to the Nazis.

But when Valérie is entrusted with an urgent letter for the Allies, she finds herself in an impossible position. The information it contains could alter the course of the war. But if she hands over the message now, it will cost Philippe his life. With Nazi spies closing in on her, Valérie must act now… 
But can she really trust the man she loves, and will she find a way to save both him and her country before it’s too late?

Devastated that he hadn’t tried to save her, Wouter spends his days delivering food and transporting people to safety, determined to help those most in peril. But he never gives up hope of finding the woman he loves.

Even when he hears the rumours about the Nazis cramming Jews onto cattle trains for deportation to brutal work camps, he can’t believe she’s gone forever. How could he live if Laura was amongst them? And if he does find her, will their love have survived the ravages of everything they’ve been through, together and apart?

ABOUT DIANNE HALEY

Originally from the north of Scotland, Dianne now lives with her husband in Edinburgh and has two grown-up children. After a thirty-year business career in London and Edinburgh when Dianne wrote between projects, she is now writing full-time.

Dianne and her family have been visiting the area round Lake Geneva since 1992 and love the Alps in all seasons. The inspiration for her series set in WW2 Switzerland came from a drive through Geneva’s old town on a rainy October evening, the cobbled lanes a perfect setting for secrets and hiding places.


Wednesday, April 20, 2022

HIDDEN IN THE SHADOWS

MY THOUGHTS:

Holland, 1943, Laura, a young Jewish woman is hiding in a village in the woods.  Staying hidden is the only way she can survive. Hiding during the day and traveling at night is her only option.  Soon Laura meets and falls in love with Wouter.  He is a resistance fighter and her only hope.  Laura is also responsible for the safety of six young children in her care.  And when the village is overtaken by the Nazi’s, Laura and the children bravely flee the village and run and hide in a church in a nearby town.  Wouter loses track of Laura’s whereabouts and doesn’t know if she and the children made it out alive.  Wouter continues his mission to deliver food to people and helping them get to a safe place.  


I was on the edge of my seat while reading this amazing story.  I found myself wondering and hoping that Wouter and Laura would somehow one day, be reunited.  I felt my pulse racing as Laura and the children were running to safety.  And I held my breath with every step of Nazi’s boots crunching on the ground. This story was both heartbreaking and inspirational.  This book hit every emotion and I found it to be unputdownable.  This ‘read in one sitting’ book is an absolutely captivating must read.  


Thank you Imogen Matthews for such a wonderful and inspiring book.  This is truly an unforgettable story.  I highly recommend this book.


⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Rating: 5 out of 5.

DESCRIPTION:

HIDDEN IN THE SHADOWS
Author:  Imogen Matthews
Publisher: Bookouture
Publication Date: April 20, 2022 
Pages: 288 
Buy on Amazon 

The hidden village was meant to keep them safe, but the Nazis have found it… There’s no time to lose. Laura gathers the children and whispers to them to be brave. The smallest cowers in her arms as they hear the crack of gunshots outside. Laura knows they’ll have to run if they are to survive…

Nazi-occupied Holland, 1943: In a makeshift village in the middle of the woods, hiding from Nazi soldiers determined to find them, a beautiful young Jewish woman named Laura thought she was safe. By day she remained silent and out of sight, but as darkness fell, she began to fall in love with a resistance fighter named Wouter. Until everything changed, on the day the village was stormed…

Desperate to protect 
the six small and terrified children in her care, Laura races towards the church spires of the nearest town in the distance and just manages to escape from the soldiers.

Wouter is stuck on the other side of the village when the German officers start shooting. As he desperately scrambles through the dark, dense woodland, he has no idea whether Laura has made it out alive.

Devastated that he hadn’t tried to save her, Wouter spends his days delivering food and transporting people to safety, determined to help those most in peril. But he never gives up hope of finding the woman he loves.

Even when he hears the rumours about the Nazis cramming Jews onto cattle trains for deportation to brutal work camps, he can’t believe she’s gone forever. How could he live if Laura was amongst them? And if he does find her, will their love have survived the ravages of everything they’ve been through, together and apart?

ABOUT IMOGEN MATTHEWS

Imogen Matthews is an Oxford-based, award-winning author and journalist with an interest in forgotten stories from WW2 Holland. Imogen was born in Rijswijk, Holland, to a Dutch mother and English father who moved the family to England when Imogen was very young. All her life, she listened to her mother’s stories about her life in Holland, in particular the hardships she faced during the Hunger Winter in 1944-5, which has had a profound impact on her writing.

Friday, April 15, 2022

GARDEN OF SECRETS

MY THOUGHTS:

England, 1940, Anya is working as a spy in rural England.  This seemed liked a great opportunity for her to escape Russia, but she is now second guessing her decision.  She lives her life in fear of being found out.  But the only person that she trusts is Nikolai.  He is a fellow informer, whom she is also attracted to.  They risk their lives fighting against the Nazi’s.  But if they ever get separated, they have a plan of how they can reunite.  They have coded messages and a key hidden in their favorite meeting place, a secret garden.


Present day, England Laura needs a fresh start, so she agrees restore the gardens of a historic home.  While in the gardens working, she finds a box buried underneath a willow tree.  Inside the box is a key and a coded message.  She begins to piece together the meaning of the message and the key.  She soon uncovers the mystery of what happened in the secret garden many years ago.  


This fast-paced story was absolutely beautiful.  I was so taken with this story, that I found myself unable to put the book down.  I had to race through the pages to see what was going to happen next.  The cover is just as stunning as the story.  Absolutely breathtaking.  It’s books and authors like this that make historical fiction one of my favorite genres to read.  This must read is completely engrossing and will stay with you for quite a long time.


Thank you Suzanne Kelman for such a wonderful and unputdownable book.  This was such an unforgettable story.  I highly recommend this book.


⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Rating: 5 out of 5.

DESCRIPTION:

GARDEN OF SECRETS

Author:  Suzanne Kelman
Publisher: Bookouture 
Publication Date: April 13, 2022 
Pages: 398 
Buy on Amazon
Buy on Apple
Buy on Kobo 

When Anya is sent to rural England to work as a spy, she’s glad to escape a terrifying situation at home in war-torn Russia. But as she settles into life as a land girl, she fears she’s made a terrible mistake.

With her life at risk every day, she can only turn to her fellow informer, 
Nikolai, who she finds herself impossibly drawn to. They both desperately want to join the fight against the Nazis and when they are told Russia has switched allegiance, they start to believe their love might stand a chance.

But no one can ever know their secret history, and being together puts them in the gravest danger. So they devise a plan. 
If they’re ever separated, they will find their way back to each other. They just have to follow a series of secret coded messages. Clues no one else could possibly understand.Starting with a small key, left in the place that has become most precious to them: the secret garden.

Now, England: When Laura agrees to restore a beautiful garden in the grounds of an English stately home she sees the opportunity for a new start, away from heartbreak. But when she finds a box buried under the weeping willow tree, she is spellbound by its contents – a key and a cryptic note. As she begins to piece together the fragments of a love story that stretches across wartime Europe, Laura doesn’t realise it, but she is embarking on an unforgettable journey. One which will change her own life forever.

ABOUT SUZANNE KELMAN

Suzanne Kelman is an Amazon international bestselling author in America, United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia and her books have sold over 250,000 copies worldwide and have been translated into six languages. Her WW2 historical fiction books “A View Across the Rooftops”, “When We Were Brave, and Under a Sky on Fire” are published by Bookouture – an imprint for Hachette U.K.

She is also the author of the bestselling book, “The Rejected Writers’ Book Club”, published by Lake Union, which is the first book in the Southlea Bay series. Other books in the series include, “Rejected Writers Take the Stage” and “The Rejected Writers’ Christmas Wedding”.

Kelman is an award-winning writer/screenwriter whose accolades include the Best Comedy Feature Screenplay Award from the L.A. International Film Festival, the Gold Award from the California Film Awards, and the Van Gogh Award from the Amsterdam Film Festival.

In 2015 her script, Held, was recognized by the Academy of Motion Pictures and was shortlisted to the top ten in the Academy Of Motion Pictures Nichols Fellowship competition.

As well as a screenwriter and a published author, Suzanne is also a playwright, and her award-winning comedy play, “Over My Dead Body”, had its World Premiere at Outcast Theatre in Washington, Fall 2019.

Born in the United Kingdom, Suzanne now resides in Washington State.

Thursday, April 14, 2022

MURDER AT THE GARDENS

MY THOUGHTS:

Belinda Penshurst amateur sleuth is back and on the case.  While enjoying her time at Brabourne Gardens, the peacefulness of the Gardens is soon disrupted when a visitor is found strangled to death.  Belinda is determined to find the culprit.  Simon Carter, the victim, was know for being a trouble maker. But, murder, how can that be? Retired detective Harry Powell teams up with Belinda to investigate.  They begin questioning the very unfriendly owner, Estelle Samuels.  She is trying to avoid answering their questions, and she is definitely hiding something, but she isn’t the only one.  There is also the over zealous security guard, did he have something to do with Simon’s murder?  One of the suspects Harry and Belinda are investigating is Belinda’s ex, Ivan.  He was there when the body was discovered.  Belinda is determined to prove Ivan didn’t do it, but can she?  She has to find the murderer before she becomes the next victim.  


I absolutely loved this book.  This charming cozy mystery is a fabulous escape.  This fast-paced story was so much fun and kept me guessing until the very end.  This wonderful series, is filled with adventure, humor and believable characters.  This is definitely a must read for every cozy mystery fan.  Don’t pass up this wonderful whodunnit, I promise you’ll be hooked from the beginning.

Thank you Lisa Cutts for such a wonderful addition to the Belinda Penshurst Murder Mystery Series.  This story was so engaging and I thoroughly enjoyed it.  I highly recommend this book.


⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Rating: 5 out of 4.

DESCRIPTION:

MURDER AT THE GARDENS
Author:  Lisa Cutts
Publisher: Bookouture 
Publication Date: April 14, 2022 
Pages: 266 
Buy on Amazon 

A lovely day out takes a dark turn when a complaining customer is found dead… Luckily amateur sleuth Belinda Penshurst is on the scene – and ready to investigate! 

Belinda Penshurst has always loved Brabourne Gardens. A keen animal lover, she enjoys walking its winding paths and listening to the excited squeals of schoolchildren encountering the kind of wildlife you don’t normally find in England. So when one of the visitors is found strangled, she’s determined to learn whodunnit – and why.

The victim, Simon Carter, had a reputation for making trouble… But surely that’s not a good enough reason to want him dead. Together with retired detective 
Harry Powell, Belinda investigates the goings-on behind the scenes, and learns that some of the staff are more savage than the animals.

Is it Estelle Samuels, the anti-social owner, who clearly has something to hide? Or the security guard who takes his job too seriously? Most worrying of all, Belinda’s ex Ivan was there when the body was found, and she’s determined to clear his name. As suspicions swirl, one thing’s for sure: if Belinda keeps following the killer’s tracks, she might find herself in their sights…

Can she sniff out a murderer, before she becomes prey? 

ABOUT LISA CUTTS

Lisa Cutts is a full-time detective constable investigating murders for a living. When off duty she writes a fictitious version of her day job. She lives and works within the county of Kent with her husband and Labrador.

She is the author of the DC Nina Foster books, Never Forget and Remember, Remember. Never Forgot was longlisted for the Waverton Good Read Award 2013 and the winner of the Killer Nashville Silver Falchion Award 2014 for Best Thriller. She has also written four books in the East Rise Incident Room series, Mercy Killing, Buried Secrets, Lost Lives and Don’t Trust Him. All four centre around DI Harry Powell and his Major Crime Team battling to solve the latest murders within the county. Currently she is writing the Little Challham mysteries, cosy mysteries set in a fictional village in Kent.

She writes a monthly column, Behind the Tape, for Writing Magazine answering police procedural questions from other writers. In early 2016, she was honoured to become the Patron of Rochester Literature Festival and help establish Murderous Medway, an annual crime fiction festival packed full of amazing author panels. As well as being on BBC Radio 4’s Open Book, Lisa has twice appeared on This Morning to chat about TV crime dramas Broadchurch and Line of Duty.