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Showing posts from November, 2023

Blog tour: Bright Stars of Black British History

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Welcome to the blog tour for Bright Stars of  Black British History  by J T Williams! More about the book… This richly illustrated collection presents the extraordinary life stories of fourteen bright stars from  Black British history – from Tudor England to modern Britain – and charts their ongoing influence. This important and timely book delves into the life stories of important figures – including Tudor trumpeter John Blanke, storytelling freedom fighter Mary Prince, and Notting Hill Carnival founder Claudia Jones – many of whom are only just beginning to get the recognition that they deserve. Brought to life through hand-painted illustrations by award-winning illustrator Angela Vives, Bright Stars of Black British History shines a light on the courage, resilience and talent of remarkable individuals who have left a lasting mark on our collective history. More about the author and illustrator… J.T. Williams is an author and educator specialising in  Black British history. She has a

Blog tour: The Library Girls of the East End

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Welcome to the blog tour for The Library Girls of the East End by Patricia McBride! More about the book… 1940, London. When Cordelia accepts the post of head librarian in Silver Town Library, her mother is more than a little disapproving. The East End has high levels of poverty and illiteracy, and her mother says it’s no place for a woman of her status. But Cordelia is determined to make a difference in these times of strife, and along with her colleagues, Jane and Mavis, she begins to help the local community, making sure everyone knows what the library can offer them. And maybe even a romance will blossom, giving Cordelia the strength to make it through the chaos and destruction that constantly threatens their livelihood. Against a background of war, air raids and rationing, it becomes clear the library is more than a building filled with books - it is the beating heart of a community refusing to be torn apart. More about the author… Patricia McBride is the author of the very popula

Blog tour: Arsenic at Ascot

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Welcome to the blog tour for Arsenic at Ascot by Kelly Oliver! More about the book… London, 1918. Fiona Figg finds herself back in Old Blighty saddled with shuffling papers for the war office. Then a mysterious card arrives, inviting her to a fancy house party at Mentmore Castle. This year’s Ascot-themed do will play host to a stable of animal defence advocates, and Fiona is tasked with infiltrating the activists and uncovering possible anti-war activity. Disguised as the Lady Tabitha Kenworthy, Fiona is more than ready for the “mane” event, but the odds are against her when both her arch nemesis, dark-horse Fredrick Fredricks, and would-be fiancé Lieutenant Archie Somersby arrive unexpectedly and “stirrup” her plans. And when a horse doctor thuds to the floor in the next guest room, Fiona finds herself investigating a mysterious poisoning with some very hairy clues. Can Fiona overcome the hurdles and solve both cases, or will she be pipped to the post and put out to pasture by the kil

Blog tour: The Centre

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Welcome to the blog tour for The Centre  by Debbie Porteous! More about the book… In a world where marriage and monogamy no longer exist, having a child requires a contract between both parents. But if men refuse to consent, women must raise their children in a  centre. Considered the pride of Britain and the bedrock of the welfare state, they’re an essential lifeline to single mothers everywhere. Or are they? Lily was raised in a centre and there’s no way she’s going back. So when she falls unexpectedly pregnant and a contract is looking unlikely, she has to find a way to escape. John, head of social services, the pregnancy units and RADAR police forces, is a powerful man to have working against you. And he’ll stop at nothing to ensure Lily is sent back to the very place she’ll do anything to avoid. More about the author… Debbie Porteous currently resides in France, in  the vineyards of the Tarn region. She has a French partner, two grown-up sons and a rather particular black cat. She

Blog tour: Under The Tamarind Tree

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Welcome to the blog tour for Under The  Tamarind  Tree  by Nigar Alam ! More about the book… 1964 — Karachi, Pakistan. Rozeena will lose her home — her parents’ safe haven since fleeing India and the terrors of Partition — if her medical career doesn’t take off soon. But success may come with at a price. Meanwhile, the interwoven lives of her childhood best friends — Haaris, Aalya, and Zohair — seem to be unraveling with each passing day. The once small and inconsequential differences between their families’ social standing now threaten to divide them. Then one fateful night someone ends up dead and the life they once took for granted shatters. 2019 — Rozeena receives a call from a voice she never thought she’d hear again. What begins as a request to look after a friend’s teenaged granddaughter grows into an unconventional friendship — one that unearths buried secrets and just might ruin everything Rozeena has worked so hard to protect. Captivating and atmospheric, Under the  Tamarind 

Blog tour: Merde at the Paris Olympics

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Welcome to the blog tour for Merde at the Paris Olympics by Stephen Clarke! Today I have an extract for you, so sit back and enjoy… “Monsieur Paul West?” “Yes.” Well, in fact the woman had said something like “Pull Vest”, but I’ve been in France long enough to say yes to anything that sounds even vaguely like my name. “We want your ‘ead.” “My head?” “Yes, monsieur.” Everything about the person who wanted to decapitate me said “young French career woman”. Her trouser suit was chic but not too chic, her blond hair styled and yet un-styled, her lipstick red but not too red, her spoken English self-assured but of unmistakably French origin. She was accompanied by what looked like a French peasant who’d got lost in Paris during a protest march about dung prices. He was 60-ish and bald, with a huge grey moustache and a stomach that seemed to contain a whole roast pig. “You want my head? But the French Revolution’s over,” I told them. “The guillotines are all out of action. Unless you’ve com

Blog tour: Private Inquiries

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Welcome to the blog tour for Private   Inquiries: the Secret History of Female Sleuths by Caitlin Davies! More about the book… The female  private detective has been a staple of popular culture for over 150 years, from Victorian lady sleuths to ‘busy-body spinsters’ and gun- toting modern PIs. But what about the real-life women behind these fictional tales – what crimes did they solve, and where are their stories. In  Private Inquiries , Caitlin Davies traces the history of the UK’s female investigators, uncovering the truth about their lives and careers from the 1850s to the present day. Women such as • Victorian private inquiry agent Antonia Moser – the first woman to open her own agency • Annette Kerner, who ran the Mayfair Detective Agency on Baker Street in the 1940s • Liverpool sleuth Zena Scott-Archer, who became the first woman president of the World Association of Detectives Caitlin also follows in the footsteps of her subjects, undertaking a professional qualification to bec

Blog tour: The Leftover Woman

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Welcome to the blog tour for The  Leftover  Woman  by Jean Kwok ! More about the book… Jasmine Yang thought her daughter was dead at birth. But five years after she was taken from her arms, she learns that her controlling husband sent the baby to America to be adopted, a casualty of China's one-child-policy. Fleeing her rural Chinese village, Jasmine arrives in New York City with nothing except a desperate need to find her daughter. But with her husband on her trail, the clock is ticking, and she's forced to make increasingly risky decisions if she ever hopes to be reunited with her child. Meanwhile, Rebecca Whitney seems to have it all: a high-powered career, a beautiful home, a handsome husband and an adopted Chinese daughter she adores. But when an industry scandal threatens to jeopardise not only Rebecca's job but her marriage, this perfect world begins to crumble. Two women in a divided city, separated by wealth and culture, yet bound together by their love for the sam

Blog tour: The Door-to-Door Bookstore

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Welcome to the blog tour for The Door-to-Door Bookstore by Carsten Henn ! More about the book… Carl may be 72 years old, but he's young at heart. Every night he goes door-to-door delivering books by hand to his loyal customers. He knows their every desire and preference, carefully selecting the perfect story for each person. One evening as he makes his rounds, nine-year-old Schascha appears. Loud and precocious, she insists on accompanying him - and even tries to teach him a thing or two about books. When Carl's job at the bookstore is threatened, will the old man and the girl in the yellow raincoat be able to restore Carl's way of life, and return the joy of reading to his little European town? More about the author… Carsten Henn has worked as a radio presenter, wine and restaurant critic, and has published a number of successful novels. He lives in Germany. My impressions… Impeccably translated from the German by Melody Shaw, The Door-to-Door Bookstore is perhaps the mo

Blog tour: No. 23 Burlington Square

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Welcome to the blog tour for No. 23 Burlington Square by Jeni Keer! More about the book… London. On the morning of Friday 5th August, 1927, Miss Agnes Humphries – the landlady of the attractive, if-slightly-shabby, white-fronted townhouse at Number 23 Burlington Square – has a decision to make. The rooms of the second floor lie empty, since poor Mr Blandford’s unfortunate demise, God rest his soul. And Agnes must make up her mind as to who will be her new lodger… Will it be her spirited, young niece Clara, who drifts through the glamorous world of London’s Bright Young Things? Or Stephen, the sensible, church-going, respectable banker who seems just be too good to be true? Or the timid war widow named Mercy, who is clearly running from something – or someone…? Agnes must choose between them. But what will her decision lead to? One of the choices could result in scandal, one in devastation, and one could even lead to happiness. If only she gets it right… More about the author… Jenni Ke

Blog tour: New York Miracle

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Welcome to the blog tour for New York Miracle: A Christmas Novella by Margo Laurie! More about the book… Ellie Peach travels to Manhattan for a fan-making apprenticeship. While staying at a historic boarding house, she meets the charming James Denny. He claims to be a Broadway actor waiting for his lost love. When Ellie offers to help search for her, it leads to old secrets and adventure... More about the author… Margo Laurie studied history at university and is a member of the RNA's New Writers' Scheme. She is the author of the Christmas ghost story  New York Miracle  and the 1920s historical fiction novella  The Anarchist’s Wife . She lives in the North West. My impressions… Described by the publisher as ‘a sweet, Christmas ghost story with a dash of romance’, I read this novella in one single sitting and, upon reaching the last sentence, wished I had at least another hundred pages to read. Oh, and a roaring fire and snow outside the window! James Denny says he’s a ghost. El