Death Will Find Me – A Tessa Kilpatrick Mystery – Cover Reveal and blurb @Ness_Robertson @LoveBooksGroup #DeathWillFindMe #Readers #Authors #1920’s #Scotland

It gives me great pleasure to be part of this Cover Reveal and blurb of the book: “Death Will Find Me” by Vanessa Robertson. For an idea of what the book is about, I have also included the blurb included below.

 

death will

Blurb

Scotland, 1920.
Meet Tessa Kilpatrick; heiress and war-time covert operations agent.

Finding her husband – the feckless James – with another woman at a 1920s country house party, she demands a divorce. But when his body is discovered in a lonely stone bothy the next morning, Inspector Hamish Rasmussen sees Tessa as his only suspect.

Back in Edinburgh, links to another murder convince Rasmussen of her innocence. He enlists her help and together they set off on a pursuit that will bring Tessa once again face to face with the brutality of war as well as revealing to her the lengths that desperate people will go to in order to protect those they love.

Will Tessa be able to prevent a final murder or will she become the killer’s latest victim?

This book will be perfect for anyone who’s enjoyed the work of Catriona McPherson, Sara Sheridan and Jessica Fellowes.

death will

 

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My Christmas Go To Books – A small collection that will inspire you to get into the mood for Christmas.

Quick Reviews of:
A Christmas Carol 

Charles Dickens and the Great Theatre of the World
An Almost Perfect Christmas
Fill My Stocking

Xmas Reads

There are always Christmas books around, old and new. New ones can be fun and exciting to see what is inside their warm or jazzy covers. Older ones can be comforting and have that lovely well-read feel.

I have what I will call my “Go to Books for Christmas”. I know some of them better than others, due to age, but nevertheless, they are well-read. One in fact, I only received last year and it was a delight and one I just know I shall be returning to slip in-between the pages again this year.
Today on the blog, I present you quick reviews of 4 excellent books for Christmas.

A Christmas Carol
by Charles Dickens
Rating 5 stars *****

 

Christmas Carol

It’s a well-known film, remade many times with many different actors in many different styles straight versions, a musical version and even a version with muppets. Some tv versions and films that are very modernised with really just the themes being left in. There’s much to choose from, but how many of you have actually read the book, I wonder? Now, it’s not actually anywhere near as thick as the book I have shown here. That book is actually 4 books in one. At only between 50 and a little over 100 (depending on the size of the pages of the copy of your book, it is a fairly quick read, but it will set you up nicely for Christmas. There’s the comfort within it that the story is well-known and yet it is one of those stories that can be read over again. After all Christmas only comes once a year. It is also very interesting to see what they miss out and what they include in the various films.
A man who lives by his name of Ebenezer Scrooge, ghosts that come to visit him in the night to try to change him and an epic ending. What’s not to like? So, if you’ve never given this a try, then it is worth every minute of time on it.

I will add here that you can buy the book The Christmas Carol on its own. For those of you who are interested. The particular book in the picture happens to contain: Oliver Twist, A Christmas Carol, A Tale of Two Cities, Hard Times. All, also worth reading.

 

Charles Dickens and the Great Theatre of the World
by Simon Callow
Rating 4 Stars ****

 

Charles Dickens


It is highly interesting and entertaining read of who is possibly the first ‘celebrity author’, who is/was Charles Dickens. The book takes readers on a fascinating, immersive journey from his early years to being not only the author he became, but also his obsession with the stage and having that need to connect with his audience. Simon Callow has brought a great and unique insight into Charles Dickens and the era of the world he once inhabited. Like his performances, the book oozes charisma and a passion for the subject. You will discover so much more about Dickens. The style of writing immerses you easily into Charles Dickens’ world as it is written in almost story narrative form. Even if you’re not so into Non-fiction books, I would still recommend you give this a go.

This was also actually a one-man play. Yes, one-man with Simon Callow, playing several parts of the works of Charles Dickens. You do not have to have seen this play to read the book by the way. It’s a book that has a great narrative about who Charles Dickens was and his work. Now you might be thinking it’s a bit high-brow, especially at Christmas. It’s not at all. It’s not fact after fact or a long list of things. It’s written in a more thoughtful manner than that with enough lightness to see any reader through until Christmas and beyond. In a way, it is almost like you were watching the play, but not in play format. All in non-fiction, book format. It’s easy-going and an incredibly interesting book, which is very well-written. Simon Callow (this is when I often get who? And a sort of blank look. For those who cannot picture him, I will bet most, if not all of you have seen the film Four Wedding’s and a Funeral. He plays the Scotsman in the film. The one who dies. Sorry if that’s now a spoiler!).
I will also add that I highly recommend Simon Callow’s one-man plays. He does them at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and in London and possibly other places too. Each time they are something different. He knows his subjects and he plays everyone in such a way that audiences are in awe of.

This isn’t the only book written by Simon Callow, there are several others, including one about Wagner, which was published just last year.

 

An Almost Perfect Christmas
by Nina Stibbe
Rating 5 Stars *****

An Almost Perfect Christmas

Nina Stibbe has written a few books now, but is quite possibly best known for writing Love, Nina, which was also televised as a BBC drama.
This is an entertaining book, for which I am sure there are many readers out there who can relate to. It’s about having to face Christmas, or rather her mother having to. It takes readers on an entertaining journey through from the turkey to shopping to decorating to a present for the teacher to the Christmas pudding and much more. It’s about drying out the turkey, which has been left out to defrost in the downstairs toilet for 48 hours. Put it this way, as it says on the blurb, it soon becomes clear that her mother is no foodie. Gifting and re-gifting, the insane rush to get ready for what is the most wonderful time of the year.
I received this book from a good friend of mine one Christmas and it makes for a great read near Christmas Day. It is packed full of humour, joy and a bit of poignancy. If you read this, you absolutely have to read the glossary at the back too. It’s not as it first appears to be. It too is just so joyously fun!

I also recommend reading Love,Nina and Man at the Helm by Nina Stibbe. They are a delight to read.

 

Fill My Stocking
by Alan Titchmarsh
Rating 4 stars ****

Fill my Stocking

One year I found this book in my Christmas parcel pile and it’s brilliant! It is packed full of wit and sheer Christmassy joy on every page. It is an anthology really of well-known short plays (sometimes with a twist), poems and excerpts of books all on the theme of Christmas. This has been wonderfully thought out and put together by Alan Titchmarsh. There’s a world to be discovered. There are poems by the likes of John Betjeman, Noel Coward, GK Chesterton to name but a few. There are twists of plays: written for pantomimes (for those who don’t know what a pantomime is. It is a British custom to see a well-known fairytale like Aladdin, Cinderella etc at Christmas time to be acted out, except with a lot of comedy added to them). So, there is Peterpain and Windy, Aladdin and the Wonderful Limp amongst others. There are excerpts from Wind in the Willows, Cider with Rosie, The Nativity, The Pickwick Papers, to name but a few. There is also a play in one-act of Pride and Prejudice.
There are beautiful illustrations throughout the book as well as some written works by Alan Titchmarsh himself.


So why not, this Christmas time, take a look at these book, either yourself or buy them as a festive gift for someone special in your lives. They are found on Amazon and other bookshops will also be able to assist. I hope that you all enjoy this little selection of books.

Xmas Reads

The Wrong Direction – Immerse Yourself in a Witty 1920’s Romance With Substance @LizTreacher #Romance #HistoricalFiction #1920

Review of The Wrong Direction
Author – Liz Treacher

Rating – 5 Stars *****

About the Author

Liz Treacher Picture*Liz Treacher is an author and photographer who lives in the Scottish Highlands, by the sea. Her website http://www.liztreacher.com shows off some of her photos of City Silhouettes, WW1 letters and the Coast. Her love of images influences her writing. Liz Treacher tends to think visually when she writes. Her interest in that period started when she stumbled upon a suitcase of letters sent to her grandmother by two soldiers during and after the First World War. She was fascinated by the way people expressed themselves at that time.
When Liz Treacher is not writing, she works as and adult literacy tutor. She uses storytelling and photography to encourage the students to write.

 

                                                Blurb

Autumn 1920 – When Bernard Cavalier, a flamboyant London artist, marries Evie Brunton, a beautiful Devon post lady, everyone expects a happy ending. But Evie misses cycling down country lanes, delivering the mail, and is finding it hard to adapt to her new life among Mayfair’s high society. Meanwhile Bernard, now a well-known artist, is struggling to give up her bachelor ways.

The Wrong Direction is as light and witty as the Wrong Envelope, with racy characters and a fast paced plot. Wild parties, flirtatious models, jealous friend – Bernard and Evie must negotiate many twists and turns if they are to hold onto each other.

The Wrong Direction

Review

It’s the 1920’s – what’s not to love? It’s a great period to read about and at an excellent pace, this fictional book will keep readers entertained and enthralled. There are the artists, such as the Pre-Raphaelites who get a mention, there’s the parties, the lifestyles and attempts to push the existing boundaries of that time. I find the 1920’s a fascinating period of time. This book captures a sense of society after the First World War, at a time when people wanted something different and women wanted more from life. This story really encapsulates the era very well. I had a feeling I would enjoy this book, which I did very much and even more than what I was anticipating.

The beauty of this book is that even though it is a sequel to The Wrong Envelope, which does get mentioned in this book, The Wrong Direction also stands very well on its own. So you can either jump straight into this with consummate ease, or you can start with The Wrong Envelope. I will add that I have not as yet read the first one, although I may well do in the future, I found the sequel easy to follow. So therefore, readers definitely have a couple of options open to them as to how to read these books.

The Wrong Direction is packed full of humour, but it is meaningfully done, with real substance. The humour does not feel forced or over-done. It is also actually relatable to people living in the world today! There are conversations that men and women have today, that you can imagine them having in the 1920’s. I don’t know what that says about people – perhaps some things never change? Anyway, this helps make the book be accessible to everyone. The tone of the book and the way the language is used fits in very well with the era.

The Wrong Direction has many chapters, but please do not let that put you off. At 309 pages, it’s an average sized book. Each, cleverly constructed chapter is just a few pages each. It makes for perfect reading when travelling or before going to sleep because then you’d be rarely interrupting yourself mid-chapter. I love that each chapter is named. Each title fits well with the content. The book is divided into sections, to signify the passing years and events and ends in 1922.

Evie and Bernard are newly weds. They’re very much in love, but trying to find their way in this new stage in life. It is set in the 1920s and is very funny, light and warm, but not frothy or sickly sweet. It’s attractive and a whole lot of fun!
There’s wonderful fun and banter between Bernard and Evie. I’d defy anyone not to smile at the warmth between them and have a giggle at their fun! When Evie is trying to cook and trying to find her feet, is so humorously written. I liked the characterisations of Bernard and Evie very quickly.

The book begins in Autumn 1920. Right from the first chapter, I found myself immersed into the story. The setting has enough description to visualise exactly what is going on at each moment and the scenery around them, but is not overly done. It’s all wonderful for the imagination. At the same time, there is a truth about the scenery as Evie and Bernard go through parks and other parts of London, which is seamless.

Everything has clearly been so well thought out and researched, right down to the fashions, the magazines, right down to a housekeeping book by Mrs Beeton. There are society balls and also initiation ceremonies for clubs, such as “The Custard Club”. The atmosphere is created exquisitely well and it all has an authentic feel about it, which is down to an understanding of the era and the writing style. The style of writing flows with ease.
Even though the book is set in the 1920s, the characters are still very much relatable to, for example, there’s certain habits that men had then, that they still have today. Women still flick through magazines looking at the latest articles and fashions.

It’s not all walks in the park and parties. Bernard is a flamboyant artist after all. Liz Treacher has done well in showing an understanding of the art movement of this period of time. I like that attention to detail and the references made to the Pre-Raphaelites such as Matisse. It shows where Bernard sits in the art world and is written like almost giving a nod to these great artists and their styles. It gives him some roots and context of his being part of this profession/vocation.
Evie herself isn’t a woman who is idle. She wants to create more of a life for herself. She wants to try to find where her place in life now sits, now that she isn’t in the more sedate Devon. She worked before her move to London and she wants to again.

Evie is a bright woman who wants more in life, she wants to learn new things and experience something different, so off she goes to Cambridge University. Both the university and the scenery by the River Cam is a great addition to this story. The scenery by the River Cam is idyllically described, but, cleverly, not stagnating the story. There are also the issues of the day highlighted about women in further education (but not heavily, they don’t distract from the easy, light flow of the book).
As a reader, we can almost, nervously question the relationship between Evie and Bernard and wonder what is going to happen next. It makes you wonder if it can last, with tensions growing between them with the distance between them in both mileage and in educational terms. There are very real worries that they will perhaps drift apart. Readers, you will have to read on to find out what happens in 1921.

Readers are introduced to all sorts of characters throughout the book, especially at university, such as Hilda, who has a quirky game she plays when she meets new people, but there’s also more to her than that as readers will discover as 1921 progresses. There’s a nice amount of characters to populate the book, that’s not too overwhelming for any reader. Some are a bit more in the background than others. It’s written in a way that people can be kept track of very easily.

The book goes as far as 1922, where we find out more about Evie and Bernard and just what has happened within their relationship and within their lives and emotions. I won’t say any more than that on this year because I don’t want to give away any spoilers.

The way the book is written and the tale it tells is light and yet has a lot of substance and authenticity about it, which strongly holds the interest.

To conclude: I love the sense of humour that runs through this book and the writing is excellent. This is a story with character, humour and some poignant and serious moments throughout it. I wanted to know more after each chapter was read. The pace is quick due to the layout and writing style of the book, which is immersive. Immediately I found myself caring for the main characters and I am sure other readers of this book will too.
The Wrong Direction, although isn’t Christmas themed, would make for an excellent Christmas present, which can then be read all year round.

*With thanks for Liz Treacher for writing to me with extra information about herself, for sending me the photo, for allowing me to review her book and for sending me a copy of her book.

*Please Note – This is an impartial review.

Cover Reveal and Description of Sea Babies by Tracey Scott-Townsend @authortrace @Wildpress

Cover Reveal

Today is the day that is my turn for the Cover Reveal for Sea Babies by Tracey Scott Townsend as part of a Blog Tour. Read further and you will discover more about this very new book – it’s cover and beyond. As you can see, the cover itself is atmospheric and emotive as well as having a sinister quality to it.

 

Sea Babies Cover

 

Sea Babies | descriptions

Categories: Books – Fiction – General – Literary Fiction – Contemporary Fiction – Contemporary Women’s Fiction – Women’s Fiction – Historical women’s Fiction – Magical Realism – Sea Stories – Psychological Fiction

Blurb

Lauren Wilson is travelling by ferry to the Outer Hebrides, about to begin a new job as a social worker with the Islands’ youth. She’s also struggling to come to terms with a catastrophic event. When somebody sits opposite her at the cafeteria table, she refuses to look up, annoyed at having her privacy disturbed. But a hand is pushing a mug of tea towards her, and a livid scar on the back of the hand releases a flood of memories… Some people believe in the existence of a parallel universe. Does Lauren have a retrospective choice about the outcome of her terrible recent accident, or is it the bearer of that much older scar who has the power to decide what happens to her life now? 

Set mainly in the Outer Hebrides and Edinburgh from the 1980s to the present, Sea Babies is a potent, emotional psychological drama that explores the harder aspects of relationships, as well as the idea of choice, responsibility and the refugee in all of us.

 

 Full Description:

In September 2016, Lauren Wilson is travelling by ferry to the Outer Hebrides, about to begin a new job as a children’s social worker. She’s also struggling to come to terms with the recent drowning of a Sheena, a teenage girl she had deeply cared for.

Engrossed in her book, when somebody sits opposite her at a table on the ferry, Lauren refuses to look up, annoyed at having her privacy disturbed. But a hand is pushing a mug of tea across the table, and a livid scar on the back of the hand releases a flood of memories.

Lauren studies the hand on the table in front of her, the line of the scar drawing a map of the past in her mind. She was the one who created the scar, not long before her relationship with the love of her life ended almost thirty years ago. Lauren hasn’t seen Neil since she walked out of their shared life, unable to forgive either herself or him for a decision he strongly pressured her to make.

She’s not ready to meet his eyes, not yet. From his scar to his wrist bone, following his arm upwards and across his shoulder to his collarbone, his chin and the lower part of his face; Lauren remembers incidents from their past and tries to work out what caused their life to go so horribly off-track.

When she finally meets his eyes and they speak to each other for the first time, Lauren believes she has set her life on a new course. But her gain will result in losses for others. Is this really what she wants to happen?

Some people believe in the existence of a parallel universe. Does Lauren have a retrospective choice about the outcome of her terrible recent accident, or is it the bearer of that much older scar who has the power to decide what happens to her life now?

The gripping story of Sea Babies is inspired by the vast and raw landscapes of the Outer Hebrides, by the fraught journeys of refugees from one home to the hope of another across the sea, and also by artist Marina Abromovic’s 2010 MoMA performance: The Artist is Present, in which she spent sixty seconds staring into the eyes of her former lover.

Set mainly in the Outer Hebrides and Edinburgh from the 1980s to the present, Sea Babies is a potent emotional, psychological drama with a poignant twist in the tale. Sea Babies explores the more difficult aspects of relationships, the idea of choices and responsibility, and the refugee in all of us.

Author Info

Author picTracey is the author of The Last Time We Saw Marion, Of His Bones, The Eliza Doll and Another Rebecca. Her fifth novel, Sea Babies will be released on 1st May 2019. Her novels have been described as both poetic and painterly. Her first poetry collection, So Fast was published in January 2018.

Tracey is also a visual artist. All her work is inspired by the emotions of her own experiences and perceptions.

Tracey is the mother of four grown-up children and now spends a lot of time travelling in a small camper van with husband Phil and their rescue dogs, Pixie and Luna, gathering her thoughts and writing them down.

Links to follow:

This was part of a Love Book Groups Tour I took part in.

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