historical fiction

Review: Through The Barricades & Giveaway!

Through the Barricades Book CoverThrough the Barricades by Denise Deegan, published December 2016 by Createspace Independent Publishing Platform.

Read: February 2017
Genre: Historical/Romance/Action/YA-Adult
Source: Publisher/Purchased
#Pages: 356
Get It Now: Wordery – Amazon US / UK

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Goodreads Synopsis: 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.

A dare from Maggie is all it takes. Daniel volunteers at a food kitchen. There, his eyes are opened to the plight of the poor. It is 1913 and Dublin’s striking workers have been locked out of their jobs. Their families are going hungry. Daniel and Maggie do what they can. Soon, however, Maggie realises that the only way to make a difference is to take up arms.

The story of Maggie and Daniel is one of friendship, love, war and revolution, of two people prepared to sacrifice their lives: Maggie for her country, Daniel for Maggie. Their mutual sacrifices put them on opposite sides of a revolution. Can their love survive?

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Author Spotlight: Interview with Marina Fiorato & Giveaway!

The Double Life of Mistress Kit Kavanagh Book Cover

I recently read and reviewed The Double Life of Mistress Kit Kavanagh, and I LOVED it, giving it 5/5* (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 (see below – open to UK & Ireland residents only)! 

The Double Life of Mistress Kit Kavanagh is currently on Amazon for £4.99 for the eBook, and the physical copy is on both Amazon and The Book Depository for £7.99. Get your hands on a copy now!

Enter GIVEAWAY to win a paperback of The Double Life of Mistress Kit Kavanagh!

R: Hi Marina, introduce yourself to Book Geek readers, and tell us a little about you – what do you do when you aren’t writing/blogging?

Marina Fiorato PhotoM: Hi! I’m Marina Fiorato, and I’m the author of 7 historical novels, mostly set in Renaissance Italy. When I’m not writing – and even when I am – I’m a mum of two so you’ll find me doing the school-run or cooking dinners in which I try to conceal the presence of vegetables.

R: What made you want to become a writer?

M: I wrote a lot at school – I even wrote my school’s Nativity play when I was ten years old and the school actually humored me and used my script! I wrote a kid’s novel about Vikings when I was fourteen, then at Uni I wrote another play, which went to the Edinburgh Fringe. That one wasn’t an unqualified success – once, I remember, there were more people in the cast than the audience! It was when I had my son that I really began thinking about writing seriously; I wanted to explore my heritage (my father was Venetian) a heritage that was now my child’s too. And that’s how I began what was to become The Glassblower of Murano, my first novel.

R: The Double Life of Mistress Kit Kavanagh is based on the true story of Mother Ross. How did you hear about Mother Ross, and what was it about her story that inspired you to tell it? 

M: I love watching history documentaries on iPlayer, and I think it was on one presented by Simon Scharma that I first heard about Kit. I then tracked down her biography, which was written by Daniel Defoe, and found it incredible reading. I felt like if she was a man we’d all be learning about her in school. Kit didn’t just dress as a man, but she fought as a soldier in four bitter and bloody campaigns. Even then, she didn’t just scrape by and keep her head down; she fought so well she was actually decorated by the Duke of Marlborough himself. Then when a desperate rape victim claimed Kit was the father of her child, Kit not only defended the woman’s honour, but she agreed to support the child financially. I wish every girl in every school knew about Kit.

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Review: The Dark Days Club

The Dark Days Club Book CoverThe Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman, published January 2016 by Walker Books.

Read: March 2016
Genre: Young Adult/Historical/Paranormal
Source: Publisher
#Pages: 496
Get It Now: Wordery

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Goodreads Synopsis: 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?

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Review: The Double Life of Mistress Kit Kavanagh

The Double Life of Mistress Kit Kavanagh Book CoverThe Double Life of Mistress Kit Kavanagh by Marina Fiorato, published February 2016 by Hodder & Stoughton.

Read: April 2016
Genre: Adult/Historical/War/Romance
Source: Publisher
#Pages: 448
Get It Now: Wordery

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Goodreads Synopsis: 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.

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Review: Jam and Roses

Jam and Roses Book CoverJam and Roses by Mary Gibson, published May 2015 by Head of Zeus.

Read: June 2016
Genre: Adult/Historical
Source: Purchased
#Pages: 437
Get It Now: Wordery

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Goodreads Synopsis: 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.

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Review: The Proposal

The Proposal Book CoverThe Proposal by Tasmina Perry, published August 2014 by Headline Review.

Read: October 2015
Genre: Adult/Romance/Historical/Contemporary
Source: Purchased
#Pages: 416
Get It Now: Wordery

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Goodreads Synopsis: 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…

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Review: Go Set A Watchman

Go Set A Watchman Book CoverGo Set A Watchman by Harper Lee, published July 2015 by William Heinemann.

Read: October 2015
Genre: Adult/Historical/Literary
Source: Gifted
#Pages: 278
Get It Now: Wordery

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Goodreads Synopsis: 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.

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Review: The Nightingale

The Nightingale Kristin Hannah Book CoverThe Nightingale by Kristin Hannah, published May 2015 by Pan Macmillan.

Read: June 2015
Genre: Adult/Historical/Romance
Source: Purchased
#Pages: 440
Get It Now: Wordery

Add to GoodreadsGoodreads Synopsis: 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.

The Nightingale tells the story of two sisters, separated by years and experience, by ideals, courage, passion and circumstance – each one embarking on her own dangerous path towards survival, love and freedom in an occupied, war-torn country. Heartbreakingly beautiful, it is a novel that celebrates the resilience of the female spirit.

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