It’s getting to that groggy mid-point of the year, where I’m really looking forward to getting my upcoming exams finished so I can spend more time reading and blogging, but similarly I’m fondly day-dreaming of warm sandy beaches and cocktails by the pool…
With summer on the way, some of you may have your holiday plans sorted, but for those who don’t, here are some things I’d like to read/do, that can maybe be your inspiration too!
I recently took part in the blog tour for Through the Barricades by Denise Deegan, and I was pleasantly surprised by how much I LOVED it. I reached out to the author to ask if she would like to be interviewed on my blog, and she said yes!
Don’t forget to enter the GIVEAWAY for a chance to WIN a paperback copy of the book (open INT!).
She was willing to sacrifice everything for her country. He was willing to sacrifice everything for her
“Make a difference in the world” are the last words Maggie Gilligan’s father ever says to her. They form a legacy that she carries in her heart, years later when, at the age of fifteen, she tries to better the lives of Dublin’s largely forgotten poor.
“Don’t go getting distracted, now” is what Daniel Healy’s father says to him after seeing him talking to the same Maggie Gilligan. Daniel is more than distracted. He is intrigued. Never has he met anyone as dismissive, argumentative… as downright infuriating.
I recently read and reviewed The Double Life of Mistress Kit Kavanagh, and I LOVED it, giving it 5* (which everyone knows is a rating that I rarely give!). I contacted the author, Marina Fiorato, who kindly agreed to be interviewed, and her Publisher has also offered a copy of the book for me to give away (open to UK & Ireland residents only)!
London, April 1812. 18 year old Lady Helen is on the eve of her debut presentation to the Queen. Her life should be about gowns and dancing, and securing a suitable marriage. Instead, when one of her family’s housemaids goes missing, Lady Helen is drawn to the shadows of Regency London.
There, she finds William, the Earl of Carlston. He has noticed the disappearance, too, and is one of the few who can stop the perpetrators: a cabal of powerful demons that has infiltrated every level of society. But Lady Helen’s curiosity is the last thing Carlston wants—especially when he sees the searching intelligence behind her fluttering fan. Should Helen trust a man whose reputation is almost as black as his lingering eyes? And will her headstrong sense of justice lead them both into a death trap?
Of all the dangers she faced, the greatest was discovery… When Irish beauty Kit Kavanagh’s husband is taken to be a soldier, Kit enlists in the Duke of Marlborough’s regiment, disguised as a man, to follow him across war-torn Italy. Risking her life in battle, she forms a close bond with her wry and handsome commanding officer, Captain Ross.
But even when she dresses once more as a woman to evade capture, the war is not over for Kit. She catches the eye of the scheming Duke of Ormonde, who recruits her to spy upon the French. Torn between Captain Ross and her husband, and under the orders of the English Crown, Kit’s life will be in more danger now than on any battlefield.
Three sisters are growing up in 1920s Bermondsey – the larder of London – with its bustling docks, its spice mill, tannery and factories. Southwells jam factory is where many of the girls work. And Milly Colman knows she’s lucky. At Southwells she can have a laugh with her mates. She’s quick and strong and never misses a day’s work. She needs to be. Because at homes things are very different.
The Colman household is ruled by the tyrannical rages of the old man – her father. Often Milly feels she is the only thing protecting her mother and younger sisters from his murderous violence. At least autumn hop-picking in Kent gives all the Colman women a heavenly respite. But it is here, on one golden September night, that Milly makes the mistake of her life and finds her courage and strength tested as never before.
1958. At eighteen, Georgia Hamilton is sent to London for the Debutante Season. Independent, and with secret dreams to be a writer, she has no wish to join the other debs competing for a husband. But when tragedy strikes, her fate appears to have been sealed.
2012. Hurrying to meet her lover, Amy Carrell hopes tonight will change her destiny. And it does – but not in the way she imagined. Desolate and desperate to get out of London, she accepts a position as companion to a mysterious stranger, bound for Manhattan – little knowing she is about to unlock a love story that has waited fifty years to be told. And a heart waiting to come back to life…
Maycomb, Alabama. Twenty-six-year-old Jean Louise Finch, “Scout”, returns home from New York City to visit her ageing father, Atticus. Set against the backdrop of the civil rights tensions and political turmoil that were transforming the South, Jean Louise’s homecoming turns bitter-sweet when she learns disturbing truths about her close-knit family, the town and the people dearest to her. Memories from her childhood flood back, and her values and assumptions are thrown into doubt.
France, 1939. In the quiet, rural village of Carriveau, Vianne says goodbye to her husband as he heads for the Front. The invading Nazi soldiers have arrived in droves with their trucks and tanks. Planes fill the skies, dropping bombs on the innocent. When a German captain requisitions her home, Vianne is forced to make one impossible sacrifice after another to keep her family alive.
Vianne’s rebellious sister Isabelle is searching for purpose with all the reckless passion of youth. While thousands of Parisians flee the city, Isabelle meets and falls in love with Gaetan, a committed partisan. When war separates them, Isabelle joins the Resistance, risking her life time and again to save others.
‘Shoot all the bluejays you want, if you can hit ’em, but remember it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.’ A lawyer’s advice to his children as he defends the real mockingbird of Harper Lee’s classic novel – a black man charged with the rape of a white girl. Through the young eyes of Scout and Jem Finch, Harper Lee explores with exuberant humour the irrationality of adult attitudes to race and class in the Deep South of the thirties. The conscience of a town steeped in prejudice, violence and hypocrisy is pricked by the stamina of one man’s struggle for justice. But the weight of history will only tolerate so much.
Marie Laure lives with her father in Paris within walking distance of the Museum of Natural History where he works as the master of the locks. When she is six, she goes blind, and her father builds her a model of their neighbourhood, every house, every manhole, so she can memorise it with her fingers and navigate the real streets with her feet and cane. When the Germans occupy Paris, father and daughter flee to Saint-Malo on the Brittany coast, where Marie-Laure’s agoraphobic great uncle lives in a tall, narrow house by the sea.
In another world in Germany, an orphan boy, Werner, grows up with his younger sister, Jutta, both enchanted by a crude radio Werner finds. He becomes a master at building and fixing radios, a talent that wins him a place at an elite and brutal military academy and, ultimately, makes him a highly specialised tracker of the Resistance. Werner travels through the heart of Hitler Youth to the far-flung outskirts of Russia, and finally into Saint-Malo, where his path converges with Marie-Laure.
What if you had the chance to live your life again and again, until you finally got it right?
During a snowstorm in England in 1910, a baby is born and dies before she can take her first breath. During a snowstorm in England in 1910, the same baby is born and lives to tell the tale. What if there were second chances? And third chances? In fact an infinite number of chances to live your life? Would you eventually be able to save the world from its own inevitable destiny? And would you even want to?