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Archive for the ‘Book Reviews’ Category

The Dandelion Clock by Rebecca Bryn, released soon.

I’ve read some of Rebecca Bryn’s book and enjoyed them, so was delighted when she agreed to visit my blog to tell us about her latest book.

The Dandelion Clock is my latest release and is set during the Great War, from 1914 – 1919, in Gallipoli, Egypt, Palestine, and England. It was inspired by something my grandfather confided in me just before he died, and I realised, much later, that there was a heartrending story there. The research was a real eye-opener, and the action is fact-based. I had no idea that men and mules froze to death in Gallipoli, drowned in trenches susceptible to flash floods, or died from dysentery, malaria, heat stroke, and dehydration in the Sinai Desert and the Jordan Valley on top of being shelled, shot at, and bombed.
Synopsis:
Bill, a farm boy brought up in a village on the Duke of Buccleuch’s Northamptonshire estate, is plucking up his courage to ask his sweetheart, Florrie, to marry him. Florrie has given up her dream of being a dancer to bring up her siblings and protect them from their violent, sexually abusive widowed father. For her, marriage to Bill is love, escape, and protection: a dream to be clung to.
When war breaks out in August 1914, Bill and Florrie’s dreams are dashed – Bill is sent with the Royal Buckinghamshire Hussars, a yeomanry cavalry regiment, to fight in Gallipoli, Egypt, and Palestine taking with him a horse, Copper, volunteered for service by the 7th duke’s young daughter, Lady Alice. Bill makes promises before he leaves: to marry Florrie if he survives and to bring his beloved warhorse, Copper, home safe to Lady Alice.
While Bill fights Turks and Germans in appalling conditions, Florrie fights her own war with rationing, poverty, the loss of her menfolk, and her father’s drunken abusive temper. As the war proceeds, fearful and with her resilience faltering, her feelings of self-worth plummet, and she turns to her dandelion clocks for reassurance. ‘He lives? He lives not? He loves me? He loves me not?’
When Bill returns to England after the armistice in 1918, both he and Florrie have been changed by their personal journeys. Can their love survive five years apart and the tragedies they’ve endured? Will Bill keep his promises to Florrie and Lady Alice?

A heartbreaking story of lovers torn apart by the Great War. An insight into the military history of the 1914 1918 war in Egypt as fought by the Royal Buckinghamshire Hussars and the Queen’s Own Worcestershire Yeomanry – some of the ‘PALS brigades’. Considered ‘not real soldiers’ by the regular army, the Royal Bucks and the Worcester Yeomanry fought with great courage and suffered huge losses. In fact, the Worcesters sustained more losses than any brigade in any war, and the PALS earnt the respect of all who fought. Although Military Fiction 1914 1918, it is a story inspired by real people and based on real events that doesn’t forget the role of women in the Great War or their need for a WW1 romance.
‘An amazing story reminiscent of Morpurgo’s ‘Warhorse’.’
8,000,000 horses, mules, and donkeys died during the Great War, many from gunshot and gas, but many from exhaustion, thirst, and disease. https://www.horsetalk.co.nz/2011/12/16/true-story-britain-war-horses/ Their contribution to the war effort can’t be overestimated.
To honour the memory of those who gave their lives during the Great War, royalties from pre-orders and sales up to Remembrance Day Centenary on November 11th will be donated to Soldiers’ Charity.org. https://www.soldierscharity.org/about-us/what-we-do/
Royalties also to http://www.thebrooke.org/get-involved/every-horse-remembered to honour the millions of horses, mules, and donkeys who didn’t come home after the Great War.

Availability of The Dandelion Clock
The Dandelion Clock is available for pre-order at the special price of 99p/99c at http://mybook.to/DandelionClock until September 4th when it be £1.99/$2.99 so get it now.

REVIEW:
‘It’s only a century since the first world war came to an end. It’s easy to forget that the conduct of warfare was then still heavily dependent upon horses. Cavalry regiments still formed the backbone of the British army.

Bryn’s grandfather served in such a regiment and it is that fact that inspired her to write this epic tale. But she does not limit herself to the rigours faced by serving men. She takes a close look at the lives of those left behind in England. The older generation of men whose labours kept ‘the home fires burning’ and the women of all ages who shouldered the burden of clothing and feeding everyone whilst worrying about the fate of their young male relatives in far flung corners of the world.

Another factor that sets this book apart from many others set in World War I is the way it concentrates on an often forgotten theatre of war. This is important because the events that Bryn relates reverberate a century later. After describing pre-war rural life, with shades of Downton Abbey, the story moves to the period of training that volunteer soldiers underwent. This enables Bryn to introduce us to a romantic triangle as her protagonist, Bill, and a young woman, Martha, with whose family he is billeted, develop a fondness for each other that leaves him agonising about his espousal to his sweetheart, Florrie, in his home town.

The action then moves to the ill-fated expedition to the Dardanelles and, thence, to Egypt and the Holy Land. Through all the minor victories and set-backs that characterised these campaigns we see not only the suffering of the men but that of the horses. Copper, a horse belonging to Lady Alice, the daughter of the ‘big house’, is an important character in this story. Her suffering, and that of the other horses, will break your heart. Bryn has stated that she wept frequently whilst writing such scenes. It is that emotional engagement with the suffering of all her characters – back home in England the relationship between Florrie and her father goes from bad to worse to terrible – that makes Bryn’s writing such a roller coaster ride for the reader.

I’ve read several of Bryn’s books and am an unashamed fan. I had the privilege of access to an early draft of this one and found it to be the best yet. Because she is self-published, this book will not get the sales it so richly deserves. That is a shame because Bryn is, without doubt, one of the best writers of historical fiction writing in English today. In The Dandelion Clock you will not just read about the horrors of war, you will live them in all their stark reality.’ – Goodreads

Find out more about Rebecca Bryn’s writing by following the links below.
Genres: Historical fiction, Contemporary fiction, Dystopian
Official website: https://rebeccabrynblog.wordpress.com/
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/rebeccabryn
Bookbub page: – https://www.bookbub.com/authors/rebecca-bryn-5527e97a-146a-49e7-95c7-a30b0f603c80
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/authorshow/8434030.RebeccaBryn
Blog: – https://rebeccabrynblog.wordpress.com/
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/rebeccabryn1
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/rebecca.bryn.novels
Pinterest: https://uk.pinterest.com/jandrcoulson
Google +: https://plus.google.com/+RebeccaBryn
Youtube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCmjL99ImZV_TdNpDaOxiVOw
And: http://www.independentauthornetwork.com/rebecca-bryn

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Book Review – The Consuming: A Short Story by Rhonda Hopkins

Five Stars
The Consuming is a short story that will leave you wanting more. The main characters are appealing and bright enough to know that ghosts don’t exist, but are they correct? The descriptions of the old house are detailed and realistic and the build up of suspense is tangible. I’ve read another short story by this author and I like her style.

This short story cost £0.99 on Amazon’s Kindle and is free on Kindle Unlimited and you can buy it here.

It is $1.31 to buy from Amazon.com and the link is here.

Other books by Rhonda Hopkins are:
The Gift
Survival: Survival Series Prequel
Tales From The Mist by Rhonda Hopkins and Catie Rhodes

Book Review – Three Against the World: A Waif, a Stray and the Search for Romance – Sarah Stuart


Five Star Review
Richard is unlucky in love. Although good looking and intelligent, he seems to attract women, who only want him for money or to use him. Ben, a Jack Russell, is a stray that Richard rescues. He is an appealling and loyal dog, who has learnt to trust Richard and even goes to work with him. Then one day Naomi, Richard’s ex-wife turns up on his doorstep, with Maria, the daughter he never knew he had, but is she actually his daughter? It doesn’t matter to Richard. He takes her in and does everything he can to build her confidence. This is a character led story and the characters of Richard, Maria and especially Ben, are likeable and well written. Most, but not all, of Richard’s love interests are really dispicable women, each with their own selfish need. As Richard and Maria negotiate their way through these sometimes traumatic encounters, will Richard eventually find love? If you like well-written romance, you’ll love this book.

Three Against The World is available from Amazon for £6.50 in paperback, £1.99 on Kindle and is free on Kindle Unlimited here.

Book Review: The Drowned Phoenician Sailor by Lesley Hayes

Five Stars.
This is an enjoyable read about Fynn, who finds life quite challenging. She finds it hard to fit in, but has a steady job, a caring relationship with her mother and a quirky cat. During her adult life she sees the ghost of her dead twin, which makes her wonder if she is insane. Going to find the answers from her psycotherapist, Paul, doesn’t provide the answers, but she develops a trusting relationship with him until one day, he also turns up dead.

Fynn now finds herself with two ghosts, and she examines if they are just in her mind, or if they have messages for her. What do they want from her? At times she finds their presence intrusive and irritating, especially when she meets a love interest, Jack.

This is a well written book, character driven and a compelling read. Highly recommended. Enjoy.

It is available here from Amazon in paper back for £9.75 and on Kindle for £2.50

Book Review: Yoga Fox by Sylva Fae

This is a beautifully illustrated book about a fox, known as Scaredy Fox, who wants a new name. He sees a group in the park doing yoga and decides to try it. For all of the yoga moves he makes up new names and tells them to his animal friends. Will his friends be impressed and rename him? What is lovely about this book is that children can try out the yoga moves. I would recommend this book for younger readers. I’m sure they’d love it.

This book is available from Amazon in paperback for £5. or on Amazon’s Kindle for £1.99 here

Book Review: Betrayal: The Consequences by Sharon Brownlie

Five Stars
This is a sequel to the first book called, Betrayal and although it could be read on its own, I would recommend that you read Betrayal first.
In this book, Helen King, a serial killer, is sentenced for her crimes, but she writes a letter to the chief investigating officer to explain why she committed the murders. Can there ever be a justification for murder? You might think not, but you might change your mind.
Betrayal: The Consequences will keep you gripped throughout. You will meet the members of the police team that were responsible for arresting Helen King. They are powerful characters, that make up a strong team. Perhaps they will go on to solve more crimes. I’ve enjoyed both books and hope there will be more in the future.

Betrayal: The Consequences is available on Amazon’s Kindle for £0.99 here.

Book Review: Never A Hero To Me by Tracy Black

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

This is a moving real story that is well written. Having said that it was difficult to read because of the content. You wanted to reach into the book and rescue the child from the dreadful father, rather unpleasant mother and not very nice brother. What made it worse was when the father betrayed his daughter to his friends.
For anyone needing to understand about child abuse, this is the book to read, as it shows that outsiders had no idea of what was going on. It also shows us the importance that children should be listened to and believed, which was not the case with the social worker.
But this is also the story of an abused child who turned into a strong young woman, who learned to stand up for herself and from what the book says is now a happy mother and grandmother. I am glad it had a happy ending.

Never A Hero To Me is available on Amazon Kindle as an ebook for £3.99 here.

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