A Cretan village confronts the Nazi juggernaut sweeping across Europe. A village matriarch tries to hold her family together…Her grieving son finds a new life in the Cretan Resistance…A naive English soldier unwillingly finds the warrior in himself…And a fanatical German paratrooper is forced to question everything he thought he believed in. The lives of four ordinary people are irrevocably entwined and their destinies changed forever as each of them confronts the horrors of war and its echoes down the decades.
Philip Duke is a retired professor of anthropology. He and his wife lived on the island of Crete, Greece for five years before returning to the United States in 2015. His first novel, A Terrible Unrest, is currently being turned into a screenplay. Philip now lives in Durango, Colorado, USA.
Starry autumn nights are bringing a rare celestial event and exciting new guests to the shores of the sleepy hotel Penmarrow.
Maisie is happy to be back among its staff, even with the question of its future ownership still in the air and the fate of her unpublished manuscript soon to be in the hands of London acquisitions editors. More than anything else, she’s happy to finally be in a relationship with Sidney Daniels, the sparks between them no longer denied. She’s excited for the future and things couldn’t be better with regards to romance … except for those lingering little questions about Sidney’s uncertain past, that is.
Meanwhile, the staff at the Penmarrow is tasked with hosting a special celestial conference where stargazers are gathering for a glimpse of the much-anticipated comet. The ever-timid maid Molly is flustered by the return of charming astronomer George and seems to need a little advice on how to rekindle the spark they shared last autumn. Hotel porters Gomez and Riley vie for the attentions of a mysterious female guest, the eccentric ‘Megs’ Buntly pays another visit, and a dramatic revelation about someone on staff will leave Maisie and everyone else reeling from the unexpected news. Is this the moment for the revelation Maisie has been waiting for since her Cornish journey began?
Brimming with humor, romance, and the kind of surprises its fans have come to expect, the seventh book in the series brings a twist at the end that’s sure to leave readers excited — and anxious — for the conclusion of Maisie’s original gorgeous Cornish adventure.
I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.
I have only read a couple of books in this delightful series but they do read as a standalone. I’m looking forward to reading the full series when I can. This story sees Maisie back at the little hotel in Cornwall which is a hive of activity with a celestial conference, hence the title. The characters are quirky but relatable, and the story’s ambience makes this a heartwarming read.
There’s a mystery to solve and a few questions that seem to span the series, like what is Sidney, Maisie’s love hiding about his past? The humorous moments are numerous and show the author’s keen observational insight.
The hotel has a busy ethos, and there are lots of characters that will be familiar to fans of the series. Romance is in the air for one of the quieter characters but will it end happily? Maisie continues to offer insight into her writing process, which is fascinating for readers and eagerly awaits the outcome of her submission.
The final book in the series follows where hopefully all the mysteries will find a solution and the lovers will find their happy ever after?
Laura Briggs is the author of several feel-good romance reads, including the Top 100 Amazon UK seller ‘A Wedding in Cornwall’. She has a fondness for vintage style dresses (especially ones with polka dots), and reads everything from Jane Austen to modern day mysteries. When she’s not writing, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, caring for her pets, gardening, and seeing the occasional movie or play.
A new beginning. A house with a past. A man with secrets.
It was a dream come true…that turned into a nightmare.
Kate Wilson thinks moving back to Cornwall might be the answer to her prayers. But it isn’t long before she begins to have doubts. Is the house she inherited from her godmother haunted? Or is she going out of her mind? With a stalker, threats, and attempted break-ins, Kate’s troubles multiply.
Then there’s her enigmatic neighbour, the brooding Tom Carbis; a man with secrets he doesn’t wish to share. Can she trust him when he says he wants to help?
In her quest to unravel the mysteries surrounding her, will Kate uncover more than she bargains for?
Set in beautiful Cornwall, The Unquiet Spirit is a gripping suspense with paranormal and romantic elements.
I received a copy of this book from Darkstroke Books and the author in return for an honest review.
This is an atmospheric story that is full of historical detail that adds to its authenticity. Kate unexpectedly inherits an old house from her godmother in Cornwall. Eager for a new start, she travels to Cornwall to claim her inheritance. A house with secrets.
Mystery, paranormal, romance and suspense are weaved into the well-paced plot. Engaging characters and detailed imagery makes this an enjoyable reading experience. The suspense building and paranormal twists immerse the reader in Kate’s world with an interesting conflicted, but romantic relationship with Tom, a man with secrets.
This is an engaging read with a wide reader appeal because of its cross-genre approach.
Some time ago Penny Hampson decided to follow her passion for history by studying with the Open University. She graduated with honours and went on to complete a post-graduate degree.
Penny then landed her dream role, working in an environment where she was surrounded by rare books and historical manuscripts. Flash forward nineteen years, and the opportunity came along to indulge her other main passion – writing. Penny joined the New Writers’ Scheme of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and three years later published her debut novel, A Gentleman’s Promise, a historical mystery/romance. Other books in the same genre soon followed.
But never happy in a rut, Penny also writes contemporary suspense with paranormal and romantic elements. Her first book in this genre is The Unquiet Spirit, published by Darkstroke.
Penny lives with her family in Oxfordshire, and when she is not writing, she enjoys reading, walking, swimming, and the odd gin and tonic (not all at the same time).
HOW DO YOU FIND THE RIGHT HUSBAND WHEN PASSION RULES YOUR HEART?
Lovely Amanda Locke, the daughter of a duke, has been out in London society for three years but has still not found a husband.
When she sets her sights on a wealthy nobleman known to be passionate about horses, she enlists Devin Baldwin, a darkly handsome breeder of horses, to be her riding instructor. Devin is well known for using his expertise to bring about the matching of eligible young ladies to suitable gentlemen…
But Amanda finds herself falling for the matchmaker instead, and her desire for a husband takes her in a wholly unexpected direction…
I received a copy of this book from Random House UK – Transworld Publishing via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
The second romance I’ve recently read by this author, and it is an enjoyable read. It is character-driven, and the main protagonists are full of passion and secrets. Devin is Regency society’s latest source of gossip, known as Cupid he is an unlikely, but successful matchmaker and therefore, he is welcome everywhere. Lady Amanda is a Duke’s daughter in her third season and desperate to marry for love.
After a few fiery encounters, the couple thrown together by circumstance find they fulfil Devin’s first rule of matchmaking physical attraction. Devin is on a mission, and that doesn’t include falling for Amanda.
Some of the language used in this grates a little, as it isn’t authentic for the period, but the heart of the story overcomes this.
The prologue hints of a poignant mystery which is gradually revealed and gives the story added conflict and depth. The chemistry between Devin and Amanda is steamy, and the ending positively dreamy.
It was teatime on Tuesday, and nobody had died yet…
In a world where the men are at war and the women keep the home fires burning, Christabel Fyttleton is faced with domestic crises involving lodgers, rationing, maypole dancers and Kaiser Bill (don’t ask!) – as well as her most daunting challenge ever.
Not only that! There’s a sudden death – again – as though she hasn’t enough to cope with already.
But is it murder, misadventure, or merely misfortune?
I received a copy of this book from Darkstroke Books and the author in return for an honest review.
This historical mystery set in 1918 has a lovely sense of place and time. The author captures the essence of 1918 England, with the war nearing its end leaving a trail of devastation, grief and emancipation in its wake.
The story focuses on the family of three sisters, grandmother and mother and their menagerie of animals. The cast features many characters living in the village who all contribute to the vibrancy of the story. The story is simple but engaging with humour, poignancy and romance all interwoven into the historical mystery.
The mystery surrounding the body is one element of this, but the enchantment is in the everyday lives of the Fyttleton women at such a historically iconic time.
Nicola Slade is an award-winning, bestselling author of historical and contemporary mysteries and romantic fiction, all set in and around Winchester and Romsey in Hampshire – which is where she lives. The House at Ladywell – a contemporary romantic novel with historical echoes – won the International Chatelaine Grand Prize for Romantic Fiction at the CIBA awards in April 2019.
She is the author of the mid-Victorian Charlotte Richmond mysteries and the contemporary Harriet Quigley mysteries. The Convalescent Corpse, published November 2018, an Amazon best-seller, the first in a new series, The Fyttleton Mysteries, set in 1918.
The Merry Month of Murder, the second book in The Fyttleton Mysteries – Published 10th September 2020
‘Gratitude is the wine for the soul. Go on. Get drunk.’ Rumi
Being grateful is easy…
…when everything goes according to plan.
But how do you keep at it no matter what life throws at you?
Enter 365 Days of Gratitude, the undated daily journal that will help you stay on track.
After years of barely surviving her own emotional minefield, writing coach Mariëlle S. Smith discovered the transformative power of practising gratitude. But, like no one else, she knows that cultivating an attitude of gratitude is easier said than done.
Complete with inspiring quotes, daily prompts, and recurring check-ins, the 365 Days of GratitudeJournal encourages you to create a sustainable gratitude practice too.
Ready to commit to the life-changing power of gratitude? Order your copy of the 365 Days of Gratitude Journal now.
I received a PDF copy of this journal from the author in return for an honest review.
If you believe in the value of gratitude journaling but are struggling then this book may be helpful. It is easy to use with useful prompts to guide your thoughts. If specific prompts don’t work for you, adapt them. It’s a guide, not a rulebook.
Attractively set out, it’s easy to summarise your weeks and months of gratitude journaling with weekly, four-week and three-month prompts. There are also motivational quotes to inspire you.
If you want to remember what’s good in your life and focus on the positives, this guide may be for you.
Mariëlle S. Smith is a coach for writers and other creatives, an editor, and a (ghost) writer. Early 2019, she moved to Cyprus, and island in the Mediterranean Sea, where she organises private writer’s retreats, is inspired 24/7, and feeds more stray cats than she can count.
A scarred mercenary…Or the Disappearing Duke of Greybourne?
Rafe has spent years running from his true identity. He’s a lone wolf, living far from aristocratic England and his violent father. Then unconventional Cleopatra Osbourne requests his protection as she crosses the Egyptian desert. In Cleo he discovers a fellow outcast—and a fierce desire! Cleo must return to London, and here lies Rafe’s dilemma—because following his heart means claiming the title he’s avoided for so long!
I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.
This story captures the reader’s attention from the beginning and holds it across the desert and ocean.
Rafe forced out of his home at a young age into a life of danger and loneliness. Scarred emotionally, and physically his world-weary attitude is disturbed by the appearance of Cleo. Cleo needs a protector. Unwittingly embroiled in her father’s crimes, she needs to escape to Cairo. A less than perfect childhood lets Cleo and Rafe break through the barriers the other employs to the vulnerable individual hidden from the world. Amusing dialogue and simmering passion arc between Cleo and Rafe like an electrical storm.
The historical setting is unusual and well researched. The desert journey and ocean crossing allow the couple to get to know each other well, and their love to grow despite the internal conflict and external dangers.
This is a lovely historical romance with relatable characters and an absorbing historical background.
Lara Temple writes strong and sensual Regency romances about complex individuals who give no quarter but do so with plenty of passion. She lives with her husband, two children, and one very fluffy dog and they are all very understanding about her taking over the kitchen table so she can look out over the garden as she writes and dreams up her Happy Ever Afters.
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Lucy needed a change of scene. She didn’t expect the change of a lifetime.
Doctors Without Borders has been Lucy Young’s life for the past four years. After being rescued from a conflict zone, she’s making a change from saving lives under gunfire to practising medicine in safe, serene Siena.
Now treating wealthy patients at a private clinic, she’s never felt less comfortable. She’s used to helping those in dire need – not those in need of a nip and tuck. Her turmoil grows when she encounters injured tennis star David Lorenzo, whose smiles make Lucy forget her aversion to the rich.
She’s soon falling for the sportsman but is she losing herself in this world of excess? All she’s ever wanted was to help the underprivileged, so can her future lie in Siena at the clinic – with David?
I received a copy of this book from Canelo via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
This author is always good for romance, storytelling and travel. This book has all of these, but this is more than a lighthearted romantic travelogue. Lucy is a dedicated doctor working in war-torn areas of the world. The beginning sets the scene for her recent life.
Life in Italy is idyllic but conflicted for Lucy, the social inequality of healthcare disturbs her, as does her role in it. The romance with a rich reclusive man is intriguing and realistic. Vivid imagery and first-hand knowledge describe the setting, which is a sensory delight.
The perfect Summer escapist read, especially as I am writing this review amid rain and thunder.
I’m a man. And a pretty old man as well. I did languages at university a long time ago and then lived and worked in France and Switzerland before going to Italy for seven years as a teacher of English. My Italian wife and I then came back to the UK with our little daughter (now long-since grown up) where I ran a big English language school for many years. We now live in a sleepy little village in Devonshire. I’ve been writing almost all my life but it was only seven years ago that I finally managed to find a publisher who liked my work enough to offer me my first contract.
The fact that I am now writing romantic comedy is something I still find hard to explain. My early books were thrillers and historical novels. Maybe it’s because there are so many horrible things happening in the world today that I feel I need to do my best to provide something to cheer my readers up. My books provide escapism to some gorgeous locations, even if travel to them is currently difficult.
Humanity will be extinguished in less than seven days.
Wing Commander Jude Styles is a Starfighter Pilot trying to get pregnant before the world ends. Her wingman, Hamid Ashkami, just wants to block the spam messages he is receiving from someone claiming to be his dead ex-husband.
Instead, they are locked in a media tour, shown off as the heroes that stopped the alien invasion by destroying the massive mothership known as the “Dead Moon”, persuading the masses that all will be fine if they keep calm and carry on.
Trapped telling the same lies, driven over the edge by post-traumatic stress and the constant flow of alcohol, it is only a matter of time before Jude and Hamid break down – and the fragments of the Dead Moon have already begun to fall from the sky.
Dr Keith Crawford is a retired naval officer, disabled veteran and qualified barrister with a PhD in Law and Economics. After years of crazy adventures, from speedboats and aircraft to theatre and lecturing at Sciences Po, my French wife and I decided it was time to properly settle in Paris and have babies. Being the good feminist I try to be, I quit my job to look after the kids, support my wife’s career and write books. Each time I get offered a job my wife says “stop looking at jobs and get back to writing books.” Which shows, with marriage as with everything else, it is better to be lucky than good! Dead Moon is my second novel. The first, Vile, a science-fantasy about toxic-patriarchy, the evils of aristocracy and swordfights, is available on Amazon.
For the living, it’s closure. For the departed, it’s the last chance to expose the truth.
For as long as she can remember, Arabella has communicated with those who exist only in memory.
Being the centre of attention growing up was uncomfortable, and now, as a renowned psychic medium, it is becoming more of a struggle. Arabella’s ability and reputation always made it impossible to hold onto lasting relationships, but with those who no longer walk this earth, that’s not the case.
Arabella returns to where it all began fifteen-years before – on the very same stage. After an evening reconnecting loved ones and exposing untold stories, Arabella can’t help but wonder about the one unclaimed ‘friend’, and their cryptic message.
In an unexpected turn of events, Arabella finds herself the subject of morning headlines and at the centre of Detective Barnes’ investigation.
Can Arabella use her ability to prove her innocence and uncover the truth about the past?