Irex by Carl Rackman ~ based on fact #BookReview for #RBRT @CarlRackman #Histfic #FridayReads

  • 51gv4vgjy-lAuthor: Carl Rackman
  • Published: September 2016 by Rackman Books
  • Category: Historical, Fiction, Drama
  • five-stars

In the harsh winter of December 1889, the sailing vessel Irex leaves Scotland bound for Rio de Janeiro. She carries three thousand tons of pig iron and just three passengers for what should be a routine voyage. But Captain Will Hutton discovers that one of his passengers hides a horrifying secret.

First of all, I have to say it’s hard to believe this is a debut novel. It’s so good and the quality of the writing is excellent throughout. The story is based in history, the ship, a couple of the main crew members, reason for the wreck and the attempts at rescue, are all fact. Carl Rackman has woven an incredibly imaginative and compelling tale around that tragic event. Continue reading

Ghost Variations: The Strangest Detective Story in Music by Jessica Duchen #RBRT @jessicaduchen #bookreview #FridayReads

  • 32053103Author: Jessica Duchen
  • Kindle Edition
  • Category: Historical, Fiction
  • five-stars

London, 1933. Dabbling in the once-fashionable “glass game” – a Ouija board – the famous Hungarian violinist Jelly d’Arányi is amazed to receive a message supposedly from the spirit of the great composer Robert Schumann, asking her to find and play his long-suppressed violin concerto.

Ghost Variations is created from real people and true events which occurred during their lives; history dramatised into a rich and enchanting narrative.

Jelly d’Arányi, the central character, is a renowned Hungarian violinist, living in 1930s London with her sister, Adila and her family. Jelly has been the muse for several famous composers and is dedicated to her music, to the exclusion of her personal life, especially since she lost the man she loved at the Battle of the Somme during WWI. The sisters have lived in London since Jelly was sixteen and now as she approaches her fortieth birthday, Jelly is aware she is (unfairly) considered past her prime as a musician.  Continue reading

Scar Island by Dan Gemeinhart #YA #Audiobook # Review @DanGemeinhart

Jonathan Grisby is the newest arrival at the Slabhenge Reformatory School for Troubled Boys–an ancient, crumbling fortress of gray stone rising up from the ocean. It is dark, damp, and dismal. And it is just the place Jonathan figures he deserves.

When twelve year old Jonathan Grisby arrives at Slabhenge, hungry, cold and tormented, he faces at least ten weeks in the forbidding and Dickensian-like reform school. Run by The Admiral and his staff, who take pleasure from making life as difficult and uncomfortable as possible for the unfortunates who have been sent there. Slabhenge has had several incarnations, including a facility for the mentally ill, but to the boys it seems more like a prison with it’s many corridors, staircases and stone-walled, dank rooms. Continue reading

The Replacement Chronicles by Harper Swan #TuesdayBookBlog #Prehistoric #HistFic @harperswan1 #RBRT

  • 33539455Author: Harper Swan
  • Published: December 2016 by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
  • Category: Prehistorical Fiction
  • five-stars

Two Lives… separated by millennia but nevertheless linked irrevocably. 

What possible link could Mark Hayek, an introverted twenty-first century research scientist, have to Raven, a young healer who lived during the late Pleistocene? It has everything to do with an injured Neanderthal man taken captive by Raven’s band while he and his brothers were hunting bison. 

I read the first of the Replacement Chronicles, Raven’s Choice, in early 2015 and loved it. As that is included in this omnibus, I’ll add my thoughts from the previous review.

Mark Heyek from the Parkinson’s Institute is a research scientist working in the field of genetics. Having sent a saliva sample to Genetics and Me, Inc. for further research into Parkinson’s disease, and as lead collaborator, he is invited to attend a meeting. What follows is an amazing fictional, although based on scientific knowledge, look back at the genetics that make up modern man. Continue reading

First Light by Bill Rancic & Barbara Keel #AudiobookReview A Story of Survival @BillRancic #SundayBlogShare

A father from Chicago takes a road trip to the city of Whitehorse, in Yukon Territory, with his wife and son. During the car ride, they reveal to the boy their harrowing experience surviving a horrific plane crash in the wilderness ten years before, which is how the boy, in fact, came to be born.

When the invitation arrived to attend a ceremony about to be held in Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, honouring the victims and survivors of the plane crash that almost cost the lives of his family, he decided it was time. His son deserved to know what happened to his parents. The trip will take several days by car, neither he nor Kerry would get on a plane again. They can use the time to tell Jackson the whole story. Continue reading

The Hollow Heart (The Heartfelt Series #1) by Adrienne Vaughan @adrienneauthor #Drama #Romance

  • 16301205Author: Adrienne Vaughan
  • Published: October 2012 by Adrienne Vaughn
  • Category: Romance, Drama, Contemporary
  • four-half-stars

Marianne Coltrane is a feisty, award-winning journalist who is far from lucky in love. Taking herself off to the wilds of the west of Ireland to recuperate, she literally runs into Ryan O’Gorman, the most conceited, infuriating man in the world. 

We first meet Marianne Coltrane, investigative journalist for the Chesterfield Chronicle, as she confronts Sister Mary May about the illegal sale and adoption of children from the women’s refuge she runs. Marianne’s work and resulting article earns her a nomination for Journalist of the Year. Continue reading

Battle of Wills by Anne Fine ~ Contemporary #Fiction #Sisters @CEndeavourPress

  • 32327349Author: Anne Fine
  • Published: October 2016 by Endeavour Press
  • Category: Contemporary Fiction
  • four-stars

Fair’s fair. Or is it…?

Megan and Tory have never seen eye to eye.

They may be born of the same mother, but that’s where the common ground ends.

Sisters Megan and Tory are polar opposites. Megan, the elder, and her husband are successful business owners, live in an immaculate house and have two ideal daughters in private school. Megan chases perfection in all things, unlike her sister who has a very laid back attitude to life and bringing up her own children. Tory and Barry’s house leaves a lot to be desired, in Megan’s view. As far as Tory is concerned yoga, pilates and pampering are way ahead of housekeeping. Continue reading

La Petite Boulain (Above all Others; The Lady Anne #1) reviewed for #RBRT #Historical #Tudor

  • 29507218Author: G. Lawrence
  • Published: March 2016 by G. Lawrence
  • Category: Historical 
  • four-half-stars

May 1536, London… a fallen queen sits waiting in the Tower of London, condemned to death by her husband. As Death looms before her, Anne Boleyn, second queen of Henry VIII looks back on her life…from the very beginning. Daughter of a courtier, servant to queens… she rose higher than any thought possible, and fell lower than any could imagine. 

The story begins in the Tower of London where Anne Boleyn awaits her fate, contemplating those who died in the manner that now lies ahead for her. In return for HenryVIII’s promise of protection for her daughter, Anne signs her life away, admitting to all she is falsely accused of. Sleepless, determined not to panic and to die with dignity, Anne lets her thoughts wander back to her happy and carefree childhood at Hever Castle. Continue reading

Guest Post by Tina Sugarman #author of Horse Flesh *Blog Tour*

I’m very pleased to welcome Tina on the last day of her blog tour, as she talks about her ongoing passion for horses.

MY LOVE OF HORSES

My love affair with horses began before I can remember.  At 18 months, I was too young for pony rides, but the gypsies lent me a horse to lead up and down the beach with the dictum “Tina must have horses”.  Right then and there I must have been hooked!  A few years later an elderly mare named Jemma taught me how to ride.  Though she lived in a field my parents owned, she belonged to someone else.  I had to mostly make do with riding schools and because I knew how to ride, I was always given the naughty ponies, the ones who skied, bucked and ran away.  I soon learned to fall off gracefully, a skill which came in very handy!  Summers on the Isle of Wight were better.  They were spent happily riding with a troupe of local children who, much to my envy, were allowed to wear t-shirts and jeans, while I was trussed up in jodhpurs and a riding jacket.  But that didn’t spoil the fun of trekking across the island, until we reached a deserted beach and could let our ponies gallop beside the water. Continue reading

A Reason To Live (Marty Singer #1) by Matthew Iden @CrimeRighter ~ Crime fiction #bookreview

  • 14121045Author: Matthew Iden
  • Published: Reissued September 2015 by Thomas & Mercer
  • Category: Crime, Thriller, Suspense
  • four-half-stars

In the late nineties, a bad cop killed a good woman and DC Homicide detective Marty Singer watched the murderer walk out of the courtroom a free man. 

It’s a case that retired detective Marty Singer has never been able to put out of his mind completely – the murder of Brenda Lane by Michael Wheeler. Wheeler was a police officer with the same force as Marty and the crime left Brenda’s young daughter an orphan. Wheeler was found not guilty, even though his story didn’t add up. 

Twelve years later, Marty is feeling weary and apathetic having been diagnosed with cancer, which precipitated his retirement. He is about to begin chemotherapy treatment when Brenda’s daughter, Amanda, who was twelve years old at the time of her mother’s murder, seeks him out. She believes Michael Wheeler is back and is targeting her. Continue reading