Alchemy in my Handbag

As if by magic, I am presenting ‘Stone Circle’ by Kate Murdoch.  The novel is a rich historical fantasy about a young man’s coming of age, as he learns about magic rituals and alchemy. I have asked Kate to present and extract of her debut novel.  She has written to her readers about the book and her chosen extract.

Dear Readers,

I would like to present you with an extract from my debut novel, ‘Stone Circle’.  

It’s a story of magic rituals and rivalry in a 16th century Italian town.

The extract, selected from the middle of the book, is a scene where my protagonist, Antonius, is being initiated as a seer. It describes the ritual he must go through. 

It is a key scene in my book, because Antonius’s life is undergoing enormous change, and the ritual is a symbol of that. 

Romance, thrilling escapes and alchemy – what’s not to love?

Best Wishes,

Kate x

 

Extract

Antonius watched the blue and amber flames as they crackled upwards, repeating the same patterns into infinity. He felt his body move to the rhythms, and realised they all moved in tandem around the fire. The music, the flames, and the night were as much a part of them as the blood coursing through their veins. The pace quickened and they followed, twisting and turning with fluidity.

Antonius’s mind was clear and untroubled. At the same time, he watched Giulia’s russet hair swing across her back and the long line of her slender white arm as she moved with perfect grace. He felt the eyes of many upon him, but he was not afraid. It was a sense of being held in the embrace of the observation, as if he were returning to the home of a friend that was as familiar as it was strange. Glancing at Giulia, he saw she scattered herbs into the flames. His nose twitched as their combined scent wafted towards him—sage, elderflower, cloves, and others. Three crystals were then released into the fire—purple, white, and gold. Several loud cracks erupted into the air and multi-coloured sparks flew, with a hiss and a whine. In a low voice Savinus chanted. It was a mellifluous language he had heard during the rituals at the blue cave. He spread his arms in an outward motion, as if clearing away smoke.

More About the Novel

Stone Circle explores themes of class, rivalry and spiritual growth. It is a historical fantasy novel.

Is the ability to read minds a blessing or a curse?

Kate Murdoch

When Antonius’s father dies, he must work to support his family. He finds employment as a servant in the Palazzo Ducal, home of Conte Valperga. Sixteenth-century Pesaro is a society governed by status, and Antonius has limited opportunities. When a competition is announced, Antonius seizes his chance. The winner will be apprenticed to the town seer. Antonius shares first place with his employer’s son. The two men compete for their mentor’s approval. As their knowledge of magic and alchemy grows, so does the rivalry and animosity between them. When the love of a beautiful woman is at stake, Antonius must find a way to follow his heart and navigate his future.

Reviewers’ Opinions

‘Murdoch presents a delightful romance, feathered with light touches of fantasy. The development of her love triangle is gratifying, and even secondary characters offer stark dramatic moments…’ Kirkus Reviews ‘

‘Her characters’ interactions with each other and their individualities helped shape the book into something wonderful; at the same time she excels at pacing the story with her characters, all within a framework designed to help readers understand the world of seers and alchemy she has created.’ Readers’ Favorite

‘Kate Murdoch’s fabulous writing is full of vivid sounds, sights and scents that pull us into the scene, expressed in inspired word combinations that are a joy to read. A wonderful, entertaining book.’ Gail Cleare, USA Today bestselling author

Words about Kate:

Kate is a painter turned author who enjoys writing flash fiction and short stories when she’s not writing historical fiction. Her debut novel is a romance with an element of fantasy.  Kate became completely immersed in her Renaissance town and characters when writing the novel.  Kate found it difficult to depart from the world in her novel and this bodes well for a reader intent on escape. The best of luck to Kate with her debut novel.

 

Please see all my extracts at Book Extracts and my blog at jessiecahalin.com.

 

Eric Seagull, storyteller, landed on my handbag

Introducing the engaging, children’s writer, Caz Greenham and her collection of seafaring adventures.  Who doesn’t love Eric Seagull

Dear readers,

I’m delighted to present an extract from my third children’s book in “The Adventures of Eric Seagull ‘Storyteller’” 3-book-series. ‘The Christmas Circus’. The extract below is taken from one of the many short chapters, making storytelling at bedtime easy.  This gives you a peep inside the magical, fun, seafaring world of Eric Seagull ‘Storyteller’ set in picturesque Brixham Bay. I chose to share ‘The Christmas Circus’ with you today because it’s a seasonal read. A time of friendship and caring at Christmas. And, as we’re already halfway through the month of October (a time I begin my own early Christmas shopping) it would be a great stocking filler for any child. The paperback copy has an eye-catching beautifully illustrated red glossy cover.  A feeling of friendship, and companionship, will be easily recognised in this seasonal read.  Eric Seagull will tell you more about the story

Happy reading,

Caz Greenham

Extract

‘Let’s set the scene, it was Christmas Eve!’ squawked Eric. Eric shuffled from side to side then hopped onto my bag. I think he could smell the gingerbread cookies I had bought from the bakery as a little treat. Caz wagged her finger at Eric and he commenced by setting the scene.

When I received an invitation to The Christmas Circus at Ladybird Cove, the herring gull invited his two friends along. With his tiny best friend and housemate Mouse Herbie, the white mouse, safely aboard his inner feathers and Norman Mail Pigeon following closely behind, they took off from my home (Rock-Face Nest) at St Mary’s Bay in wintry South Devon. After seafaring adventures with Lady Beatrice, Arthur Jellyfish and the Dawn Chorus, I spotted a sign: ‘Christmas Circus This Way’. But the adventurers soon discovered double trouble awaiting them inside The Big Top.

I’ll read you my story.  Eric perched on my handbag and started to tell me the story and it felt as if I was actually in the midst of the adventures.  He remembered every single word beautifully, and Caz was so proud of her little friend. He moved around a little, resisted the temptation to dive into a passer-by’s fish and chips and started to speak…

Extract selected by Eric.
‘You can sleep in the attic room at the top of the winding staircase tonight,’ Eric told Norman. ‘Tis a cosy room and no one should be home alone at this festive time.’

Norman agreed and thanked Eric for his big heartedness.
Norman looked at Herbie. ‘There’s some news that I’ve been meaning to share with you, dear mouse. Your homemade dandelion soup is the talk of Berry Head Park, you know. I look forward to sampling a large bowlful during lunch tomorrow.’

Herbie warmly smiled. ‘There’ll be sweet turnips baked in the oven, baby carrots, and potatoes grown in Eric’s compost. And wait ‘til you taste my best plum pudding.’

Eric Seagull’s long tongue swiped his beak as he listened to his friends chatting about tasty food.

Norman Mail Pigeon landed on the bench and dropped a role of paper.  I removed the red ribbon, opened up the rolled paper and found some reviews of the books.

Ronnie says… ‘I’m delighted to see this author has written a third in this series. I bought the other 2 books already, and have to congratulate the writer on her amazing writing talent and imagination. My grandson has been a follower of Eric Seagull and will love his stocking filler. His eyes will light up when he sees I have been able to obtain an author signed copy, once again. Thank you Caz Greenham. I am looking forward to a 4th in this series real soon. My grandson will be showing off his new Christmas book at school in the New Year, no doubt.’

Louise wrote… ‘After enjoying book 1 and 2, I was excited to hear that book 3 was out! Eric goes on amazing adventures and the author of this book has such a great imagination. The stories are written so well and a nice and easy read, lovely to read to children of very young ages too. Great family books and really enjoy reading about Eric and his exciting adventures.’

About the author
Caz Greenham worked as a secretary for more years than she cares to remember. She’s a mum to grown up daughters, and proud granny to 4 grandchildren aged 2 – 17. She lives in South Devon with her husband and 2 cocker spaniels.

Caz is a great storyteller and says that…
Typing ‘The End’ is a great feeling of relief and achievement. Heavy sighs! However, a sense of loss always follows the finish of all my books! More sighs!

Website: www.cazgreenham.com
Twitter.com/@CazsBooks

A Feel Good Message from Diane’s Novel

I have invited Diane Need to present an extract from ‘Press Three for Goodbye’.  Her debut novel is a humorous exploration of second chances.  Beth, the central character, has been compared to Shirley Valentine, but she doesn’t travel to Greece in search of answers.

Without further ado, I will hand over to Diane who has a message for her readers.

Dear Readers,

I am delighted to present Press Three for Goodbye

Beth is a gentle and caring heroine, but a lot of fun, too, with the scrapes she gets into. The story deals with some serious issues, but there’s also plenty of humour.

I’ve chosen the extract as I believe it gives an insight into Beth’s character and one of the scrapes Beth finds herself in.

It’s an easy, feel good and uplifting read, ideal for the airport, on holiday or sitting by the fire with a cuppa (or a glass of wine!)

Happy Reading!

Diane Need

 

Presenting the Extract

Paul scrutinised the paw prints and cleared his throat before continuing. ‘I’m –’ he blustered, looking to Emily as if for support. ‘Well, the thing is – we’re here about Rodney; we think he should come and live with us. I paid for him, after all – and it’s obvious you can’t cope with him.’

‘I don’t care who paid for him; Rodney stays here!’ Beth cried.  ‘He loves being with me –’

‘Well, I think –’ Emily interrupted.

Beth’s head spun round like the girl possessed by the devil in the film The Exorcist. ‘What the hell’s it got to do with you? God knows why you’re even here!’

Right on cue, Rodney pawed at the door. Expecting him to demonstrate his love for her by jumping up, Beth pulled it open. He darted past her, something bright pink dangling from his mouth, and headed once more for the sheepskin rug.

Beth clapped a hand over her mouth. OMG – it was a pair of her old knickers – her “Bridget Jones’s”! To her total horror, Rodney held the material between his front paws and gleefully began tearing the gusset apart.

Paul and Emily stood aghast as she dived to retrieve her tatty pants.

Panting like a madwoman, she finally managed to wrestle them free from the dog’s jaws.

Paul shook his head and Emily gave a loud snort.

‘Why don’t the pair of you just piss off?’ Beth yelled. ‘And you’re not having the bloody dog – he stays with me. RIGHT?

They left without saying another word.

More about Press Three for Goodbye

When Beth, fast approaching forty and a stay-at-home wife, decides to put some romance back into her flagging marriage, her plans are thwarted when her husband announces he’s leaving her for his intellectual equal.  All he leaves Beth with is an order to vacate the family home and the wrath of her acid-tongued mother-in-law. Beth has no career, no money and no self-esteem.

Beth’s best friend Jackie manages to find her a job at a care home. The work is challenging, and, with a string of obstacles being dropped on her, one after another, her life descends into chaos.

There is a flicker of light on the horizon when handsome Ryan Morgan enters her life and offers to dog-sit her beloved dog, Rodney.  But are Beth and Ryan meant to be together? And will they be able to pursue a relationship when she discovers more secrets about those she thought she knew so well?

What do the reviews say?

“Great read which grabs your attention straight away and moves on at good pace.”

“This has everything: love and heartache, humour and friendship, courage and compassion.”

“Diane’s debut novel is a reminder that we have the power to rebuild ourselves even when we feel as though we’ve hit rock bottom.”

More about Diane

Diane Need

I’m a trained Counsellor with a background in education and social care, and I believe my work and personal life has given me insight and understanding into how life issues can impact upon people.

It felt a bit surreal when I’d written “The End.”  I couldn’t quite believe it!  I missed all of the characters, especially Beth, Jackie and Paul – and Rodney the dog, of course!

The novel explores the adage: what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.  I wanted Beth to work through the chaos and obstacles.  I adored the lolloping dog, and enjoyed booing at the annoying characters. Grab a large glass of wine, and read this book during a weekend, to find out it Beth survives.

You can read my review of this novel.

 

Please see all my extracts at Book Extracts and my blog at jessiecahalin.com.

 

Selection box of Christmas stories for my handbag

Introducing author, Wendy Clarke, and her new collection of stories.

Dear Readers,

I am delighted to present my Christmas story collection, Silent Night and the extract I have chosen is from the story Project Christmas. It’s about a young man struggling to create the perfect Christmas for his young children after their mother dies and I chose it for its poignancy.

I hope you would like to place Silent Night in your handbag as the collection is a heart-warming read and perfect to dip into, while curled up on the settee with a drink and a mince pie.

My stories have been published in the Christmas editions of various women’s magazines. The extract is from the first story in the collection, ‘Project Christmas’. When it was published in Take a Break Fiction Feast they changed the name to ‘It Will be Perfect’. 

Festive wishes!

Wendy Clarke

Light the fire, make yourself some hot chocolate, with a hint of Christmas cinnamon, and peek at this extract.

Extract

Their first Christmas without Paula. The thought made his heart ache. He didn’t know how he was going to do it, but he’d made up his mind that, whatever happened, he would try and make it the same as it had always been. For the children’s sake… for all their sakes.

The only problem was that Christmas had always been his wife’s domain – just as the children had been. Apart from stringing the lights up under the eaves and carving the Christmas turkey, Paula had been happy for him to leave the bulk of it to her. Now it was down to him alone.

What I need is a list, he thought. It was a practical start. If he worked through it, methodically, and tried not to be sidetracked by thoughts of Paula singing to the radio as she stirred the pudding, or tickling him as he stretched up to put the star on top of the tree, he would be able to do it. He was a project manager, after all. Well, he used to be – now his days were spent taking the children to school and doing all the jobs Paula had once done to keep the family going. Yes, that’s what he’d do. He’d made up his mind – this would be his project.

More about the collection of short stories

Silent Night is a collection of short stories with a Christmas theme. All thirteen stories have previously been published in national women’s magazines. If you like moving tales with a satisfying ending, then this collection is for you.

Andrew and his children are grieving. Can he make this a Christmas his late wife would have been proud of?

Bella needs to get away from it all but her Christmas cottage by the sea holds more than a few surprises.

It’s Christmas Eve, the night is starry and two young men realise they have more in common than they realise.

The stories in this collection are a window into the lives of ordinary people at this special time of year. They offer hope, comfort and the knowledge that the spirit of Christmas is often found within ourselves.

These Christmas stories have been written over a number of years and it is exciting to finally be able to see them all together between the covers of one book. When you put together a collection of short stories, you have the privilege of entering the lives of a whole cast of characters in a variety of settings from all walks of life.

About Wendy

Wendy has written serials and a number of non-fiction magazine articles. She lives with her husband, cat and step-dog in Sussex and when not writing is usually dancing, singing or watching any programme that involves food!

 

 

It is exciting to offer Wendy’s gift of short stories to you.  A perfect choice if you want to indulge in some festive fun, or if you are searching for a Christmas present.

 

Dutch War Secret in my Handbag

Do you know the Dutch built a village for the Jewish community in World War Two?  Imogen Matthews tells the inspirational story in ‘The Hidden Village’.  She has written to her readers to explain more about the forgotten history and to introduce her dramatic extract.

Dear Readers

I’m so pleased to tell you about ‘The Hidden Village’, my novel set in WW2 Holland, deep in the Veluwe woods. It’s a story about survival, hope, despair, and ultimately, love, as a community pulls together to build a purpose-built village to shelter those persecuted by the Germans. The lives of young Sofie, Jan and Liesbeth become entwined with devastating consequences for their future.

About half-way through the book, Jan and his brother, Oscar, are arrested by the Gestapo for helping a fallen American pilot. This extract describes what happens after their terrifying journey in the back of the Nazis’ vehicle.

I chose this extract because it represents a dramatic turn in the story and shows how ruthless the Germans could be towards the Dutch people, even children.

I hope this extract will tempt you to read the book.  I am delighted to present more context about the novel.

Best wishes

Imogen Matthews

 

Extract

‘Is this a prison?’ he whispered to Oscar, who stood, white-faced, next to him.

‘It’s a police station but there are cells through that door,’ said Oscar.

‘They’re going to lock us up?’

‘Looks like it.’

Jan wished Oscar could be a bit more encouraging.

It was their turn next and they went up to the desk together.

‘Name,’ said the man behind the desk without looking up.

‘Oscar Mulder and Jan Mulder,’ said Oscar.

‘One at a time.’

‘We’re brothers. He’s only eleven,’ said Oscar.

Jan pushed close against him.

The man lifted his gaze for a brief moment, before going back to his form. After a short pause, he pulled out another from a pile and wrote Jan’s name in capitals across the top, followed by a line and a squiggle Jan couldn’t read.

Jan decided to let Oscar answer the questions. When he’d finished, they were both led by the smirking SS-er to the door leading to the cells. Again a feeling of panic rose from Jan’s abdomen at the prospect of being separated from his brother. They were marched along an echo-y corridor lined with closed doors. Jan had to break into a trot to keep up. At the end was a metal door that needed four keys to open it.

Jan and Oscar didn’t need telling. They walked through and the door swung back behind them with a decisive clang.’

 

More about the Novel

Deep in the Veluwe woods lies a secret that frustrates the Germans. Convinced that Jews are hiding somewhere close by, they can find no proof.

The secret is Berkenhout, a purpose-built village of huts, many underground, sheltering dozens of persecuted people.

Henk Hauer, head woodman, is in charge of building of underground huts and ensuring the Berkenhout inhabitants are kept safe, But could his friendship with certain German soldiers endanger the very existence of Berkenhout?

Sofie, a Jewish Dutch girl, is one of the first inhabitants of Berkenhout. At first she refuses to participate in village life and pines for her friends and family. But she realises there is no choice and comes to appreciate the support of the local community who make their survival possible.

Young tearaway, Jan, finds the woods an exciting place, but they pose danger from the patrolling German soldiers. His discovery of Donald, an American pilot, changes everything.

The Reviews

Ms E. Holmes-ievers: “From the first chapter you are engaged with the characters and I even found myself warning them when they were due to be raided – OUT LOUD! Sensitively written, with a page-turning plot, this is a wonderful new book from Imogen.”

Gilly Cox: “This skillful blend of fiction within the factual events happening to many at those times, holds you till the end. I couldn’t put it down, nor did I want to until the final page.”

Clarky: “Though the subject matter is tough, there are lighter moments and the book rattles along at a good pace. The varied cast of characters, especially the younger ones, keeps your interest. Highly recommended.”

The Characters

This was a story I felt I had to get down, so when I’d finished I was pleased I’d told a story that so many people won’t have known anything about. It left a big hole as I’d spent so long on the book and I realised just how attached I’d become to my characters.

I miss Sofie’s feistiness and determination not to let her life change by hiding away from the Germans. And I miss her best friend Liesbeth, who sticks by Sofie through thick and thin, even though she also has to make her own big sacrifices. I even miss the enigmatic Henk, the head woodman, who’s instrumental in getting the hidden village built, but struggles with his loyalties. I particularly miss Jan, who’s always getting into scrapes but is only trying to help others and do good. He goes through so much that I just want to give him a big hug and tell him that everything will turn out alright.

The Author

My Dutch heritage has shaped me and influenced the writing of this novel, which is set in the woods where my family and I have cycled for the past 27 years.

This is a story about events in WW2 that hardly anyone knows about. Once you start reading The Hidden Village you’ll be gripped and won’t want to let the book out of your sight!

The Hidden Village’ is a bestseller in the US with over three hundred reviews.  The novel explores wartime Holland and asks: Who can you trust?  You can read my review of this book at……

Imogen re-visited the setting of the novel and has mailed an article to Books in my Handbag Blog.

 

Please see all my extracts at Book Extracts and my blog at jessiecahalin.com.

 

Wishing you lots of laughter

The Little Book of Rude Limericks

Patricia Feinberg Stoner

 

Patricia Feinberg Stoner wrote the funniest book that I have read this year, and now she has written The Little Book of Rude Limericks.  I can’t wait to read more from this author with a keen sense of the ridiculous.

Patricia Feinberg Stoner has been writing limericks since she was ten and she has now compiled The Little Book of Rude Limericks.  I am incredibly privileged to present an exclusive extract from The Little Book of Rude Limericks, prior to the publication on 15th November.  I insisted that the brilliant comedy genius, Patricia Feinberg Stoner, introduce her limericks to the readers.

Dear Readers,

I just love limericks!  There’s hardly an occasion that can’t be turned to humour with one of these ridiculous five-line verses.  I’ve been writing them ever since I discovered the wonderful complete Limerick Book edited by Langford Reed.  The result is ‘The Little Book of Rude Limericks’.  Most of them are naughty rather than really rude but – beware! – there are exceptions…

What I love about this verse form is that you can shoe-horn in the most outrageous and far-fetched rhymes (for example, elsewhere in the book I’ve rhymed Norwich with porridge and storage).  As the limericks in the book are set on both sides of the channel, I thought that Paris versus Paree would be a perfect example.

I hope you’ll find room for this little book in your handbag.  As Oscar Wilde nearly said, you should always have something amusing to read on the train.  And if you should feel tempted to try your hand at the limerick, do please share your verse with me on Facebook (Paw Prints in the Butter).

Wishing you laughter,

Patricia Feinberg Stoner

 

A giggle of limericks extract especially for Books in my Handbag

It’s all in the pronunciation!

Two young fellows who went on a spree

In the town that the French call Paree,

Have come home with a germ

That makes them both squirm

And burns quite a lot when they pee.

Or alternatively…

You may try, but you’ll never embarrass

An insouciant native of Paris.

If caught in flagrante

They smile and say: ‘Santé!

Quite impossible, really to harass

From the north of England…

A greedy young fellow from York

Was exceptionally fond of roast pork.

When he saw the dish come

He’d cry ‘Yummy, yum-yum!’

And excitedly flourish his fork.

to the south of France…

A cheerful young fellow named Trev

Went off for a romp in Lodève.

But he soon lost his smile

When he caught something vile

In a house of delight called Mon Rêve.

 

 

this little book of limericks – mostly naughty rather than downright rude (but there are exceptions!) – ranges far and wide.  Open it and learn how a knight-errant with a lisp can still command respect; how ladies on the autoroute don’t give their favours away for free, and how tajine is really only a posh word for stew.

Forget Christmas crackers and the tired jokes!  I suggest that you buy your guests a copy of The Rude Book of Limericks and enjoy a laughter battle as you search for the best limerick.  I have pre-ordered a copy of this book and will race to review this as quickly as I can.

Read my interview with Patricia to find out more about this wordsmith.

Read my review of At Home in Pays the d’Oc.

 

Patricia has also written a book of entertaining poetry about cats – Paw Prints in Butter.  An extract from this is coming soon.

Contacts for Patricia Feinberg Stoner
http://paw-prints-in-the-butter.com/
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/Paw-Prints-in-the-Butter-719210834795177/
Twitter:  @Perdisma 
All the cartoons in this post are by Bob Bond.

 

Please see all my extracts at Book Extracts and my blog at jessiecahalin.com.

A psychologist needed for my handbag

Letters to the Pianist

S. D. Mayes

 

 

 

 

 

Introducing S.D. Mayes and her debut novel – ‘Letters to the Pianist’

 

About the book

‘A Family Torn Apart. A Past They Can’t Escape.’

After their home is bombed in the London blitz, a chance connection brings the broken Goldberg family back together, but delivers rebellious and overweight Ruth Goldberg, into the hands of a murderer.

Letter from the author…

Dear readers,

I am delighted to present an extract from my new 1940s suspense novel, ‘Letters to the Pianist’.

This extract is taken from a third of the way into the story, when the pianist, Edward Chopard – a man with no memory of life before the London Blitz – is in New York, preparing to play a concert at Carnegie Hall. His good friend, psychologist Dr Oliver Jungston, has taken a sabbatical to help him on his concert tour.

This gives you a snapshot of the central theme of the story … how the protagonist, Edward is driven to make sense of the confusing events that are happening to him, as he attempts to discover who he really is.

Enjoy,

S.D. Mayes

Extract

The hospital psychologist Dr Oliver Jungston explains to his patient, Edward, about his troubled visions and the chance events unfolding in his life. 

‘These connections … the young boy, the blonde, the London Hospital, your lunch with John the chance meeting with the redhead, even our conversation right now – they are known as meaningful synchronicities.’

Edward looked baffled, rubbing his chin.

‘To explain, Jung’s philosophy is based on the principle that life is not a series of random events, but rather an expression of a deeper order, referred to as Unus mundus, Latin for one world or one energy. A meaningful coincidence occurs from a conscious or unconscious need, want or desire, that draws the observer and the connected phenomenon together through Unus mundus. Listen to me, Eddie,’ he said, standing up and waving his arms around like a conductor of an orchestra, ‘it’s all good.’

‘So you don’t think I’m slowly going insane?’

‘Not at all. These coincidences reveal a deeper realisation that something more powerful is at work. In short, the unconscious you, has brought about a chain of events so that you can rediscover your past. Your soul is pushing you to confront your emotional history.’

‘Hmm, sounds a bit mystical.’

‘Well, in a way it is. Jung believes these meaningful synchronicities direct us back to our spiritual nature.’ Oliver gazed into the distance. ‘There are links in every living thing. We magnetise them to us. There are no accidents.’

What the reviewers say…

‘Letters to the Pianist has a gripping and multi-layered plotline’ – The Daily Mail

‘Exceptional and unique … will remain with me for a very long time’ – Booklover Catlady

‘Mayes has written a masterpiece. Savour the words and let the pages turn themselves’ – John Winston, award winning author

‘This was an incredibly atmospheric novel that brilliantly depicted the effects of ww2 – loss, fear, grief, helplessness, poverty, evacuations and separations; whilst also being a very suspenseful and thrilling story. Detailing horrific acts committed against Jews – the torture made me somewhat uncomfortable – and conspiracies regarding the war.
I utterly loved the way this was written. It was immensely rich with descriptions and added great depth to the characters. The words flowed beautifully and created a vividly imaginable story, wholly capturing the ambience of war. The multiple POVs also gave an insight on the characters’ circumstances, thoughts and emotions.’ – Svetlana’s review

S.D.Mayes worked as a journalist for nearly twenty years before turning her hand to fiction. Originally from the West Country, she has one daughter and currently lives in Berkshire, United Kingdom.

The best of luck to S.D.Mayes with the unique and intriguing novel.

 

Please see my blog at jessiecahalin.com