#BookReview for The House in the Hollow by Allie Cresswell

Today I’m excited to be part of the blog tour for Allie Cresswell’s latest book, The House in the Hollow. I love Allie’s books, and I couldn’t wait to read this.

The Talbots are wealthy. But their wealth is from ‘trade’. With neither ancient lineage nor title, they struggle for entrance into elite Regency society. Finally, aided by an impecunious viscount, they gain access to the drawing rooms of England’s most illustrious houses.

Once established in le bon ton, Mrs Talbot intends her daughter Jocelyn to marry well, to eliminate the stain of the family’s ignoble beginnings. But the young men Jocelyn meets are vacuous, seeing Jocelyn as merely a brood mare with a great deal of money. Only Lieutenant Barnaby Willow sees the real Jocelyn, but he must go to Europe to fight the French. The hypocrisy of fashionable society repulses Jocelyn—beneath the courtly manners and studied elegance she finds tittle-tattle, deceit, dissipation and vice.

Jocelyn stumbles upon and then is embroiled in a sordid scandal which will mean utter disgrace for the Talbot family. Humiliated and dishonoured, she is sent to a remote house hidden in a hollow of the Yorkshire moors. There, separated from family, friends and any hope of hearing about the lieutenant’s fate, she must build her own life—and her own social order—anew.

My review, 5/5 stars.

Jocelyn Talbot’s family came to their wealth through trade, rather than inheritance, and as such, their social standing hangs by a fragile thread, where the merest whisper of scandal would leave them shunned by everyone of importance. For Mrs Talbot, there is nothing more important than her position in society.

The story alternates between Jocelyn’s banishment to the lonely house in the hollow in 1811 and the events leading up to it, and the conclusion in 1814. It is also written from the point of view of Annie, an orphan who ends up as a scullery maid at the Talbot’s house, giving us a view of life above and below stairs, making us privy to things that were kept hidden away, scandals that were swept under the carpet.

I love reading Allie Cresswell’s historical fiction novels. She has a way of taking the reader back into the past, with its social rules, subtle intrigue, veiled threats, and the importance of wealth and origins. Her style of writing recreates the oppressive atmosphere of the times that I’m sure many young women had to suffer, and through her story we understand the sacrifices they had to make, for honour, for society, and for the family name. This is a must-read for anyone who loves historical fiction.


About the author:
Allie Cresswell was born in Stockport, UK and began writing fiction as soon as she could hold a pencil.

She did a BA in English Literature at Birmingham University and an MA at Queen Mary College, London.

She has been a print-buyer, a pub landlady, a book-keeper, run a B & B and a group of boutique holiday cottages.

Nowadays Allie writes full time. She has two grown-up children, two granddaughters, two grandsons and two cockapoos but just one husband – Tim. They live in Cumbria, NW England.

The House in the Hollow is her eleventh novel.

Social media
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/alliescribbler
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Alliescribbler
Website: http://www.allie-cresswell.com

#BookReview for Maple Trees and Maybes by Kristina Beck

My review for Maple Trees and Maybes by Kristina Beck, 5/5 stars. It also earns a Pink Quill Book Pick badge (click here for more information.)

I’ve loved reading all the books in the Four Seasons series, all the characters have special stories to tell. Daisy has a painful past she doesn’t like talking about, while Josh has never been able to find the right woman to settle down with. They’re two complete opposites, who are strangely attracted to each other.

I love the relationship between these two – Daisy is in no rush to make things serious, while Josh is forced to take things slowly thanks to a bet with his brother. There are some hilarious scenes, lots of banter, and some more serious moments that are very touching.

Beck has created a series of wonderful stories that all interweave together, even though they can also be read as standalones. I hope there will be more in the future, as I’d love to know what happens next! Contemporary romance at its finest, well written, with characters you come to love and the most gorgeous covers, this is a series I highly recommend.


#BookReview for Stella’s Open Road Trip Journal by Stella Eden

My review of Stella’s Open Road Trip Journal by Stella Eden, 5/5 stars.

I met Stella on Twitter a few years ago and read her novel, The Right To Be Me, her incredible story of domestic abuse, both during and after her marriage. She is a great advocate of abused women, and a wonderful example of how someone can turn their life around and become who they’re meant to be. So when I found out she’d published a journal, I immediately bought one for myself!

This journal is so typically ‘Stella’ – colourful, vibrant, full of positivity, fun and quirky! Stella has put a lot of work into making this a journal that is useful not only for writing down your thoughts, but one that will aid your well being, essential in these times.

I love the little quotes, such as “Dream it, do it”, “Be proud of every step you take”, and “I believe in you”, as well as the spaces where she encourages you to write down things that make you smile, doodle something, or make a list of things you want to do.

There’s also plenty of space to write in – it’s a great journal you can make your own, and at the end there are prompts to help you see how far you’ve come since starting it. It’s ideal for taking five minutes out of a hectic day and reorganising your thoughts and feelings. Highly recommend!

Stella also has a shop on Etsy where you can find her journal and all the other wonderful items she’s created!

You can also follow her on Twitter and Instagram.

#BookReview of I, Phone by David Wake

My review for I, Phone by David Wake, 5/5 stars.

I loved this book. Written from a smart-phone’s point of view (last week’s model, no longer the cool phone to be seen with), it’s a frightening look into what our future could become.

Virtual reality has supplanted real life, where people are immersed in beautiful surroundings rather than see the harsh reality around them. Global warming has caused worldwide flooding, air pollution makes going outside perilous, and human interaction is almost completely via a phone’s screen.

Alice Wooster has been framed for murder, and it’s up to her phone, Jeeves, to clear her name – or at least stop the bad guys from killing her as well. It’s full of fantastic puns, witty observations, and great characters – Alice’s grandparents made me laugh out loud, with their ‘innit’s and ‘old-fashioned’ ways that the reader will recognise.

This is a very clever novel, with plenty of layers that will make you think. A brilliant read that I highly recommend!


#BookReview for Words of Alchemy by Camilla Downs

My review for Words of Alchemy by Camilla Downs, 5/5 stars.

Camilla Downs takes us on her journey of healing, compassion and love in this collection of poems. Each one is written from the heart, and her warmth, and her love for her children shines through every word.

Nature and its healing power is very important to Camilla, and her poems instill you with a feeling of well-being and calm. She gently guides you through the chaos and difficulties of life, and shows you how just a few moments of quiet observation of the world around you can help reset your fragile state of mind.

Looking at the world through Camilla’s eyes is a calming experience, and opens your mind to the possibilities that life holds. I loved the poems about her children, and how she acknowledges their difficulties, indeed, she embraces them, and reassures her children that they are a part of them to be accepted and talked about openly, rather than suppressed. This mother’s love, her compassion, is inspiring and humbling. Highly recommend.


#BookReview for It Will Be Quick by Karl Drinkwater

My review for It Will Be Quick by Karl Drinkwater, 5/5 stars. It also earns a Pink Quill Book Pick badge (click here for more information.)

Where do I start with this review? I love Drinkwater’s books, I’ve read all of them so far, and each one remains in my mind for a long time after. It Will Be Quick is no different. This collection of short stories held me spellbound, each one cleverly crafted and so well written you feel like you’ve read an entire novel in just a few pages.

It’s not easy to create characters and situations in short stories that capture the reader, but Drinkwater has achieved this and much more. You’re desperate to know what happens to the two strangers stranded on a rocky island in the middle of the ocean, fighting for their lives as hours, then days, pass; your heart aches for the little boy who sacrifices everything for an undeserving mother; you are with a mother as she gives birth, so incredibly written that you’re left stunned at the end; and a story from an era of thousands of years ago, sad, poignant, and frighteningly real, will remain with you for a long time.

These are just some of the stories. There are many more, such as the old man shunned by a society that only listens to money, a woman who finds a computer game gives a much-needed edge to her life, a man whose cycling holiday takes a bizarre turn, and then there is the stunning ‘Miasma’, which you have to read for yourself.

Once again Drinkwater has surpassed himself, proving that anything he writes is a must-read. As with all his books, I highly recommend It Will Be Quick.

Paperback links:

Ebook coming soon!

#BookRelease Networking for Authors by Lizzie Chantree

Congratulations to Lizzie Chantree for her new book, out today! It will be an indispensable tool for all authors and it’s getting great reviews from early readers!


Are you swamped with book marketing and looking for a way to find new sales? Learn simple and effective networking techniques, to grow your readership and connect with other authors and book lovers, today!

Whether you are a new or experienced writer, self-published or traditionally published, this book will show you how to grow your readership and author network, through some of the most powerful of all marketing tools – word of mouth and recommendation. 

This book will show you:

How networking can help you sell more books.

Why author branding is important.

How networking hours work.

Specific Facebook groups for writers

How to utilise social media to grow your readership.

How not to waste valuable writing time.

How to make our marketing more effective.

Throughout Networking for Writers, we will explore running or attending book signings, hosting seminars, finding a writing buddy or mentor, author networking groups, social media planning and so much more.

About Lizzie Chantree:

International bestselling author and award-winning inventor, Lizzie Chantree, started her own business at the age of 18 and became one of Fair Play London and The Patent Office’s British Female Inventors of the Year in 2000. She discovered her love of writing fiction when her children were little and now works as a business mentor and runs a popular networking hour on social media, where creatives can support to each other. She writes books full of friendship and laughter, that are about women with unusual and adventurous businesses, who are far stronger than they realise. She lives with her family on the coast in Essex. Visit her website at http://www.lizziechantree.com or follow her on Twitter: https://twitter.com/Lizzie_Chantree.

Book links:

Universal book buy link: Networking for writers: viewbook.at/NetworkingForWriters

Universal book buy link: If you love me, I’m yours: viewbook.at/IfYouLoveMe-ImYours

Universal book buy link: Ninja School Mum: viewBook.at/NinjaSchoolMum

Universal book buy link: Babe Driven: viewbook.at/BabeDriven

Universal book buy link: Love’s Child: viewBook.at/Amazon-LovesChild

Universal book buy link: Finding Gina: viewbook.at/FindingGina

Social media links:

Website: www.lizziechantree.com

Author page: https://www.viewAuthor.at/LizzieChantree

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Lizzie_Chantree

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LizzieChantree/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7391757.Lizzie_Chantree

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lizzie_chantree/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.co.uk/LizzieChantree/pins/

FB Groups: https://www.facebook.com/groups/647115202160536/

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/lizzie-chantree

LinkedIn:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/lizzie-chantree-03006425/

#BookReview for Reflecting on Moments in Time by Alistair Birch

My review for Reflecting on Moments in Time by Alistair Birch, 5/5 stars.

I loved this collection of poems from Alistair Birch. There’s something for everyone, from funny, lighthearted poems that will make you chuckle, to emotional ones that you can tell are written from the heart, to observations on life and people that will make you think.

Birch’s poetry is easy to read, and the book is a pleasure to dip into during a busy day to take a break from the chaos around, or while sitting down on the sofa with a cup of coffee. A wonderful collection of poems that I highly recommend to everyone.


I continue to love this series

Read this wonderful review for The Healer’s Curse, book 2 in the Healer series!

Mrs Brown's books

‘The Healer’s Curse’ – Helen Pryke


The Healer's Curse

The year is 1348 and the plague is set to sweep through England, leaving tragedy in its wake.

Unaware of what awaits her, Agnes is in love and betrothed to Ted. But her life is about to be torn apart and nothing will ever be the same again.

Jennifer’s life has changed for the better since she arrived in Italy. She’s put her past behind her and can finally look forward to a brighter future with boyfriend Francesco and her Italian relatives. If it wasn’t for the disturbing visions she keeps having of a pregnant young girl.

Who is she? And what is her connection to Jennifer?

Jennifer knows she must once again travel into the past to find the answers to her questions, but this time she’s afraid she may not come back…

Whilst I only rated the first book of the trilogy…

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#Book Review #NetGalley #HeartbreakBay by Rachel Caine

My review for Heartbreak Bay by Rachel Caine, 5/5 stars.

I love the Stillhouse Lake series, and this latest instalment didn’t disappoint! Gwen Proctor is a wonderfully feisty character, determined to defend her loved ones to the death when another fanatic threatens them.

Gwen and her family have settled in a new home, although we get brief glimpses of the lake where it all started. It seems life is becoming normal for them, until odd things start happening. There’s a lot of emotion, as well as tension, throughout the book and the story keeps you gripped until the end.

The different points of view show the sheer determination of Gwen and Kezia, their dedication to their loved ones and each other, their internal struggles to overcome their pasts so they can have a future. Each book in the series is an emotional journey, this one even more so than the others. A fantastic read I highly recommend.

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