Saturday, July 30, 2022

THE SECRET KEEPER

MY THOUGHTS:

Paris, 1942:  Elena Garcia joins a spy network for the Americans.  She knows that her current mission is extremely dangerous and could be her last.  She boards a train destined for her drop-off point, and has hidden the coded maps in a pack of playing cards in her purse.  While in an meeting in the underground her location is compromised and she must flee the country, and leave everything behind, including Santiago Lozano, the man she loves.  Elena is faithful to her country and her mission, so leaving her country while still in the grips of war is not something she is willing to do.

This story is absolutely exceptional on every level possible.  I was completely engulfed in this book from the beginning to the end.  This rapid page turner will have you on the edge of your seat, while mending your broken heart over and over again.  This epic story was one that hit all the emotions and left me awestruck.  I can’t imagine such a time, the courageous people that would leave everything they know, and never give a second thought to risking their lives for others.  I was completely inspired by this story, and the amazing characters. I am a huge fan of books based on true events and this one resonated with me long after I finished the book.  I actually rate this book ten stars because it is so much better than a five star read. I am definitely starting a re-read pile with this one.  This is one of the best books I have ever read.  Do yourself a favor and please do not pass up this phenomenal story.  I loved this book, I know you will too and I highly recommend it.  This author, Siobhan Curham, has become an auto-buy author for me, if her name is on the cover, the book will be in my hand….immediately!!

Thank you Siobhan Curham for such a phenomenal story.  I love how this story is based on true events.  True event stories are always so captivating and cause much contemplation and reflection.  I thoroughly enjoyed it and I definitely recommend it.


⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

DESCRIPTION:

THE SECRET KEEPER
Author:  Siobhan Curham
Publisher: Bookouture 
Publication Date: July 27, 2022 
Pages: 426 
Buy on Amazon 

Nazi-occupied Paris, 1942. “I want to create a world where we are free to be together, to be in love,” he whispered. I gulp down the sobs building in my throat. “I want that too. I’ll come back to you. I swear I’ll come back.”

Elena Garcia knows that the mission she has been tasked with is her most dangerous yet. With a tearful goodbye to the man she has grown to love, the dark-eyed and warm-hearted Santiago Lozano, she hurries to catch the train to the drop-off point, the coded maps she is delivering for the resistance concealed in a pack of playing cards in her purse.

As she leaves the underground meeting, she hears heavy footsteps closing in behind her. Her heart pounds, and a dark figure comes into her line of sight. Expertly fighting off her attacker, Elena races back to the station, barely making it onto the train. She is forced to confront the worst: her cover is blown and now nowhere will be safe. Somebody close to her is a traitor, but when you live in the shadows, how do you know who you can really trust?

To stay alive, Elena must flee the country – and that means leaving Santiago behind. But she refuses to abandon her mission while Europe is still in the clutches of the enemy, and she will not leave Santiago to face the wrath of the Gestapo alone.

But when Elena uncovers that the love of her life has been having meetings with high-ranking government officials and hears German officials greeting him by name in the street, it’s clear that Santiago has his own secrets.

Elena must now ask herself:
 should she risk everything to save Santiago… or was he the one who betrayed her to the enemy? And now, with millions of innocent lives across Europe at stake, how can she know what is the right choice? 

ABOUT SIOBHAN CURHAM

Siobhan Curham is an award-winning author, ghost writer, editor and writing coach. She has also written for many newspapers, magazines and websites, including The Guardian, Breathe magazine, Cosmopolitan, Writers’ Forum, DatingAdvice.com, and Spirit & Destiny. Siobhan has been a guest on various radio and TV shows, including Woman’s Hour, BBC News, GMTV and BBC Breakfast. And she has spoken at businesses, schools, universities and literary festivals around the world, including the BBC, Hay Festival, Cheltenham Festival, Bath Festival, Ilkley Festival, London Book Fair and Sharjah Reading Festival.

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

THE HOUSE BY THE CREEK

MY THOUGHTS:

Morgan Jo Coyle is living her life, believing that she is happy with her successful career in the city. While her mind is on her job in the city, her heart is still at home in Brambleberry Creek, the small town in Kentucky where she grew up.  She has spent the last five years trying to forget the hurts and scars of her past.  Morgan receives a call from her mother that her Grandmother Essie is dying and Morgan puts her life on hold and immediately returns home to her family before time runs out.  Not too long after her arrival back in her quaint hometown she runs into Emmett Dawson, her childhood sweetheart.  They spend summer evenings together reminiscing on the wonderful stories of their past.  But, is the time they are spending together actually rekindling the feelings they had for each other long ago?   Morgan is faced with a tough decision, does she return to the city or does she stay in Brambleberry Creek.


This was such a fabulous story of confronting past relationships, working through them, and accepting forgiveness. This is a captivating story of family, friendship, heartache, love, reconciliation and second chances  This book, with its stunning cover, heart-warming storyline and believable characters, will keep you flipping pages anticipating the end.  It is a story that definitely hits all the emotions and leaves you satisfied at the end.  I loved this book and I highly recommend it.


Thank you Elizabeth Bromke for such a wonderful story.  I thoroughly enjoyed this well written book and I look forward to reading the next book in the series.  I thoroughly enjoyed it and I definitely recommend it.


⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

DESCRIPTION:

Rating: 
THE HOUSE BY THE CREEK
Author:  Elizabeth Bromke
Publisher:  Bookouture 
Publication Date: July 26, 2022
Pages: 278 
Buy on Amazon 

Everyone has one moment that will change their lives forever…

A completely heart-warming, emotional page-turner about finding your place in the world, the importance of family and the joy of discovering love when you least expect it. Perfect for fans of RaeAnne Thayne, Elin Hilderbrand and Susan Mallery.

Morgan Jo Coyle hasn’t been back to the small town of Brambleberry Creek or seen any of her family for years. But when she receives the heartbreaking news that her Memaw Essie is on her deathbed, Morgan knows she has to go home to face Essie—and her complicated past—before it’s too late.

Stepping through the door of her family’s charming old farmhouse, Morgan is reminded of all the happy times she spent baking and talking with Essie. And it’s not long before her childhood sweetheart, 
Emmett Dawson, with his sparkling blue eyes and teasing smile, comes to find her.

Soon Morgan and Emmett are spending long summer evenings together in the pretty orchards and eating fruit by the water. It almost feels like old times, but being in the sprawling Kentucky countryside also brings memories of the fateful day that changed Morgan’s life and drove her away from the people she loved. The day she’s trying hard to forgive Essie for…

With Essie in hospital, Morgan tries to heal past hurts. But it’s only when she discovers an ink-stained letter written in her memaw’s distinctive hand that she finally starts to understand the truth behind the moment that tore the two women apart.

Will the unraveling of a shocking family secret help Morgan to find a future with Emmett in Brambleberry Creek? Or will she leave the rolling hills of Kentucky for good?

ABOUT elizabeth bromke

Hi! I’m Elizabeth Bromke, and I write women’s fiction and sweet romance. I’ve been a writer in some shape or form since college, but I began publishing my stories in 2018. Across all of my books, you’ll find nostalgia for a bygone era, family values, heartwarming romance, and strong female friendships. I like to set my stories against the backdrop of charming towns with quirky casts of locals.

I grew up in Tucson, Arizona, and my little desert heart often longed for seasons. After meeting the love of my life, Ed, we agreed to find a family-friendly small town with green grass and shady trees. So we settled a little farther north in the mountains, where we are proud to raise our son as a reader, a burgeoning writer, and as a little outdoorsman.

As a family, we Bromkes also like to watch movies and do puzzles together. And of course, we love to cuddle with our goofy Golden Retriever-mix, Winnie.

Of course, reading is my passion. I have many favorite books and authors, but some who top the list include Nicholas Sparks, Mitch Albom, John Irving, Diane Chamberlain, and Liane Moriarty. I also love Stephen King, Dan Brown, and Lisa Jewell. Mainly, I’ll devour whatever you set in front of me!

Join my reader club to stay up to do date on new releases and exclusive deals. Connect on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for monthly giveaways and games!


Wednesday, July 20, 2022

THE LAST RESTAURANT IN PARIS

MY THOUGHTS:

Paris 1944, Paris is occupied by German soldiers.  As the streets of Paris begin to empty of people.  The people of Paris are tired, hungry and feel as if there is no hope.  The war has taken its toll on so many and continues to rage on across Europe.  Marianne owns a restaurant in Paris and it is a popular place for the enemy German Soldiers to eat.  She hides her feelings as she serves the officers their dinner.  Marianne closes the restaurant, never to open again.  Many years later in 1987, Marianne’s granddaughter Sabine finds out that she has inherited a restaurant in Paris.  Marianne left Sabine the restaurant she once loved.  In the blink of an eye she finds herself standing at the front door of the once thriving restaurant.  Sabine knows that the locals don’t want her there and to this day, they still blame Marianne for such a horrible tragedy.  Sabine desires to re-open the restaurant and serve people the wonderful food from recipes from long ago.  


Oh my goodness I almost don’t know where to begin with this phenomenal story.  I absolutely love time slip novels, especially when they are written as good as this one.  The characters of this story were so heart-warming and charming.  This fascinating story of mystery, intrigue, courage, sacrifice, strength and love was utterly emotional on every level possible.  I was so unbelievably captivated and inspired by this story.  This book was completely unputdownable and is definitely not just a must read but needs to be re-read.  I loved this book and I highly recommend it.


Thank you Lily Graham for such a wonderfully written time-slip, historical fiction.  This story was so well written and I was completely captivated from page one through to the end. I thoroughly enjoyed it and I definitely recommend it.


⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

DESCRIPTION:

Rating: 5 out of
THE LAST RESTAURANT IN PARIS
Author:  Lily Graham
Publisher:  Bookouture 
Publication Date: July 18, 2022
Pages: 332 
Buy on Amazon 

Paris 1944. To save her people, she served the enemy.

In enemy-occupied Paris, as the locals go to bed starving and defeated by the war, music and laughter spills through the door of a little restaurant, crowded with German soldiers. The owner Marianne moves on weary feet between its packed tables, carrying plates of steaming, wholesome food for the enemy officers. Her smile is bright and sparkling, her welcome cordial. Nobody would guess the hatred she hides in her heart.

That night, the restaurant closes its doors for the final time. In the morning, the windows are scratched with the words ‘traitor and murderer’. And Marianne has disappeared without a trace…

Years later, Marianne’s granddaughter 
Sabine
 stands under the faded green awning, a heavy brass key in her hand, staring at the restaurant left to her by the grandmother she never met. Sabine has so many questions about herself. Perhaps here she can find answers, but she knows she isn’t welcome. Marianne was hated by the locals and when Sabine discovers they blamed her for the terrible tragedy that haunts the pretty restaurant, she is ready to abandon her dark legacy.

But when she finds a passport in a hidden compartment in the water-stained walls, with a picture of a woman who looks like her grandmother but has a different name, she knows there must be more to Marianne’s story. As she digs into the past, she starts to wonder: was her grandmother a heroine, not a traitor? What happened to her after the tragic night when she fled from her restaurant? And will the answer change her own life forever?

ABOUT LILY GRAHAM

Lily Graham is the author of the bestselling, The Child of Auschwitz, The Paris Secret and The Island Villa, among others. Her books have been translated into numerous languages, including French, Italian, Polish, Portuguese and Turkish.

She grew up in South Africa, and was a journalist for a decade before giving it up to write fiction full time. Her first three novels were lighter, women's fiction, but when she wrote The Island Villa, a story about a secret Jewish community living on the tiny island of Formentera during the Spanish Inquisition, she switched to historical fiction and hasn't quite looked back since.

She lives now in the Suffolk coast with her husband and English bulldog, Fudge.


Wednesday, July 13, 2022

AN ORPHAN’S SONG

 MY THOUGHTS:

England, 1951: Clara Newton was engaged to an American pilot who, like so many others, didn’t survive World War II.  Clara, still heartbroken from losing him, manages to find a new purpose for her life.  She tends to the young orphans in a children’s home.  Clara see’s so many wonderful talents in each child.  Their musical talents are surfacing as they prepare to perform in the Festival of Britain.  Clara has lived with these children and has helped them through the hardest times of their lives.  Rita, Peg and Maureen have been with Clara for so long, and when a new orphan, Clifford, arrives on their doorstep their lives change once again.  Clara has to find anything and everything she can about Clifford because he arrived with no background file.  She knows nothing about him.  Clara is determined to discover everything about Clifford. 


I loved the continuation to the Shilling Grange Children’s Home Series. This story was the third book in the series and is every bit as good as the first two books.  I absolutely loved this heart-warming story.  The characters of this series are so loveable, and the reader forms a special bond with them.  One of my favorite things about the story is how the orphan’s stay in touch with Clara even after they move out and move on with their lives.  The story exudes the love that they have for Clara.  This is the third installment in the series and can be read as a stand alone.  It’s a definite must read, I loved this book and I highly recommend it.


Thank you Lizzie Page for such a wonderful addition to the Shilling Grange Children's Home Series.  This emotional and heartbreaking  story was well written.  It kept my attention from beginning to end.   I truly enjoyed it and I definitely recommend it.  


⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Rating: 5 out of 5.

DESCRIPTION:

AN ORPHAN’S SONG

Author:  Lizzie Page
Publisher: Bookouture 
Publication Date: July 13, 2022 
Pages: 396 
Buy on Amazon 

England, 1951. A tear-jerking and uplifting story about children orphaned by war, the grieving young woman who cares for them, and their journey together to healing.

When 
Clara Newton’s American pilot fiancĂ© died during the war, she thought she might never heal. But now she has a new life looking after orphans in a children’s home named in his memory. Like wide-eyed, musical little Rita, who refuses to believe her mother died during the Blitz. With the Festival of Britain approaching, Clara is delighted to see the children singing and preparing to audition together. And with D-Day war hero and handyman Ivor living next door, she begins to open her heart once more.

But when a deeply troubled orphan arrives on Clara’s doorstep, she faces her greatest challenge yet. 
Clifford has arrived without a background file and while Clara struggles to meet his needs, she is desperately in need of help. Turning to Ivor for comfort, she is broken-hearted when he decides he may never be ready for love again, as he adjusts to life as a single father.

Clara has never failed to help any of the orphans in her care. And when little Rita encourages Clifford to join their singing group, she hopes he may begin to find his way. But soon he endangers not only their beloved plans for the Festival of Britain but the lives of the other children…

When disaster strikes, can Clara save the orphans and make Rita’s dreams of singing for Britain come true? And while Ivor cares for his baby alone, can Clara have a future with the man she loves?

ABOUT LIZZIE PAGE

Lizzie Page is the pseudonym of Sam Lierens, a mum of three, who has lived and worked in Paris, Tokyo and London and loves combining her love of history with fiction.
She loves reading ALL the books, and always loved reading the adventures of women in the past so it seemed natural to her to write historical fiction.

She lives with her family and dog by the sea in South East England.She enjoys traveling and she’s had lots of different jobs from waitressing and teaching to admin and bingo-calling – but being a writer is her absolute favourite.

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Monday, July 11, 2022

MURDER AT THE PRIORY HOTEL

MY THOUGHTS:

Flora Steele is on the case again and accompanied by crime writer Jack Carrington. Flora and Jack attend a lavish grand re-opening of the famous Priory Hotel.  The hotel is located in the beautiful little village of Abbeymead.  Flora’s friend Sally is in charge of the event, but the festivities are cut short when the singer on stage drops dead.  The main police inspector is away and so Sally relies on Flora and Jack to solve the case.  Flora immediately assumes foul play.  Beverly Russo was an energetic young woman with an amazing singing voice.  Flora and Jack are determined to solve the case.  They soon discover that Beverly’s ruby ring is missing.  They wonder if that could be the reason for Beverly’s demise.  Could it have been Beverly’s former boyfriend Tommy May or could it be the local doctor?  Soon one of the suspects is found dead in the woods near the hotel.  The murder weapon was a musical instrument.  Someone sure is doing everything they can to send a message.


I loved the continuation to the Flora Steele Mystery Series. This story was a wonderful cozy mystery.  I loved this heart-warming story and I especially liked the chemistry between Flora and Jack.  They make a great investigative team.  They are very witty and they make me laugh.  I like how the author keeps you  guessing to the very end.  Just when I thought I had it all figured out, another twist to the story proves me to be wrong.  Wow, what a great way to spend the day, solving crimes in Abbeymead Village. I completely loved this book.  It’s a definite must read for all cozy mystery fans.  I loved this book and I totally recommend it.


Thank you Merryn Allingham for such a wonderful and well written addition to the Flora Steele Mystery Series.  You always have such great characters in your stories and that is what always brings me back to reading your books. Loved it!!!

Rating: 5 out of 5.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

DESCRIPTION:

MURDER AT THE PRIORY HOTEL
Author:  Merryn Allingham
Published by: Bookouture 
Publication Date: July 8, 2022 
Pages: 269 
Buy on Amazon

Join Flora Steele  bookshop owner, bicycle-rider, and amateur detective  as she faces her most puzzling case yet!

Sussex, 1957: When Flora Steele and handsome crime writer Jack Carrington attend the grand re-opening of the Priory Hotel in the beautiful little village of Abbeymead, their day out is cut short when the flame-haired female singer in the band suddenly drops dead before their eyes.

Flora is stunned by the unexpected turn of events and immediately deduces foul play. 
Beverly Russo was a spirited young woman with a big voice and Flora is determined to get to the bottom of her untimely demise – especially as the detective sergeant leading the investigation is so hopeless. The first clue in the extraordinary case is Beverly’s missing ruby ring…

As Flora makes her enquiries, she discovers that Beverly wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea and there’s more than one person in Abbeymead who had reason to dislike her. But who had the biggest motive: 
Beverly’s former beau Tommy May, jealous love rival Sally Jenner, or the local doctor who seems to be up to no good…


Then one of the suspects is found dead in the woods near the Priory Hotel. The murder weapon – a musical instrument. As the investigation reaches a high note, Flora knows she must find the culprit and make them face the music before anyone else is hurt. But will Flora’s tenacity put a dangerous spotlight on both her and Jack?

ABOUT MERRYN ALLINGHAM

Merryn taught university literature for many years, and it took a while to pluck up the courage to begin writing herself. Bringing the past to life is a passion and her historical fiction includes Regency romances, wartime sagas and timeslip novels, all of which have a mystery at their heart. As the books have grown darker, it was only a matter of time before she plunged into crime with a cosy crime series set in rural Sussex against the fascinating backdrop of the 1950s.

Merryn lives in a beautiful old town in Sussex with her husband. When she’s not writing, she tries to keep fit with adult ballet classes and plenty of walking.

Thursday, July 07, 2022

THE LOST SISTER OF FIFTH AVENUE

MY THOUGHTS:

New York, 1938; Martha is living in New York City on Fifth Avenue.  She receives a telegram from her sister Charlotte who lives in Paris.  Charlotte tells Martha that the Nazis are invading and she needs her help.  Charlotte’s Jewish friend Anita has died and with the Nazi invasion, Martha has to go to Paris and convince Charlotte to return home.  Paris is on the brink of war and so many families are fleeing to safety with whatever items they can carry.  They are forced to leave everything behind.  But Charlotte doesn’t want to leave her life in Paris.  She is working for the resistance alongside a Frenchman named Louis.  They are carrying messages and help anyone they possibly can. 


This is the fourth installment of the Daughters of New York Series.  It was absolutely fantastic.  This story was captivating and I found myself flying through the pages.  I felt my heart beat faster and faster as I gasped at the flip of each page.  I couldn't put this book down.  I read faster devouring the story.  This book pulled at the heartstrings and wouldn’t let go, and  I was on the edge of my seat from the very beginning until the end.  I think this was my favorite book of the series.  Wow, I’m completely overwhelmed with emotion.  I wish I could give ten stars.  Loved it!!


Thank you Ella Carey for such a wonderful and well written addition to a phenomenal series.  I absolutely loved it and I highly recommend it.


⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

DESCRIPTION:

Rating: 5 out of 5.
THE LOST SISTER OF FIFTH AVENUE
Author:  Ella Carey 
Publisher: Bookouture 
Publication Date: July 7, 2022 
Pages: 348 
Buy on Amazon 

New York, 1938: Martha pulled the door of her Fifth Avenue apartment closed, her heart thumping, re-reading the telegram she’d been dreading. Her beloved sister Charlotte needed her help. She was alone in Paris, and the threat of Nazi invasion was growing ever stronger. The time had come for Martha to make the bravest decision of her life. She needed to bring Charlotte home.

As 
Martha looks out of her bedroom window at the blossom-covered trees in Central Park, she is a world away from Europe and the threat of war. But when a telegram arrives from her sister Charlotte telling of the death of their Jewish friend Anita, Martha’s quiet life changes in an instant. With the threat of the Nazi invasion growing, Martha knows she must travel to Paris to convince Charlotte to return home.

When Martha arrives, she finds a city preparing for war. Soldiers patrol Paris’ cobbled streets and families talk of packing up and fleeing with whatever they can carry. Clutching her sister tightly, Martha knows that Charlotte has already decided to stay. Charlotte’s heart is in France, and as an American in Paris she believes she will be safe.

When the Nazis march through Paris’ streets and raise their flags over the city’s most beautiful buildings, Charlotte is determined not to give in. She works for the Resistance with a Frenchman named 
Louis, carrying messages, and hiding Anita’s family’s precious art collection from the Nazis. Meanwhile, Martha vows to help a female Jewish professor to safety in America, only to be faced with impossible odds.

But as the war rages, Martha and Charlotte’s determination will be tested like never before. And when Charlotte uncovers a shocking secret about her family which threatens her own life, can she find the strength to protect those she loves the most?

ABOUT ELLA CAREY

Ella Carey is the international bestselling author of The Things We Don’t Say, Secret Shores, From a Paris Balcony, The House by the Lake, and Paris Time Capsule. Her books have been published in over fourteen languages, in twelve countries, and have been shortlisted for ARRA awards. A Francophile who has long been fascinated by secret histories set in Europe’s entrancing past, Ella has degrees in music, nineteenth-century women’s fiction, and modern European history. She lives in Melbourne with her two children and two Italian greyhounds who are constantly mistaken for whippets. Ella loves to connect with her readers regularly through her facebook page and on her website.

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