#ThrowbackThursday ~ A Week in Winter by Marcia Willett #ContemporaryFiction #Romance

I used to read a lot of Marcia Willett’s books, but haven’t done so for a good while. This was one of my favourites and reminds me to check out some of the author’s works that I haven’t read.throwbackthursday

My Thoughts

Maudie Todhunter, Hector’s second wife, was recently widowed and has decided to sell Moorgate, the family’s holiday home, for much-needed funds. Her step daughter, Selina, has always hated Maudie through jealousy and her need to always come first. She has never forgiven Maudie for ‘taking her mother’s place’ and is obsessed with the need to possess, whether it’s people or things. Her continued hostility and bitterness eventually takes its toll on her long-suffering family. Selina’s daughter, Posy, and Maudie have formed a strong bond and are very close, adding to Selina’s bitterness and dissatisfaction with what she sees as a personal slight. 

Maudie is straightforward and down to earth but has struggled with a festering resentment of everyone telling how perfect Hector’s first wife, Hilda, had been. The perfect mother, wife, cook, friend, so much so she had done her best to make herself the total opposite of Hilda. Hilda’s erstwhile best friend, Daphne, proved to be Maudie’s salvation and their liking for each other grew into a very close, lifelong bond.

Rob Abbot, after giving up his engineering job in London and moving to Cornwall, is renovating Moorgate and has fallen in love with the house but when Melissa Clayton comes to stay in the area, for a week during the winter, to view the property Rob finds his priorities changing, along with both their lives. Things will never be the same again for Rob. Neither Rob nor Melissa could have foreseen the effect Moorgate, or each other, would have.

The author has an unpretentious writing style and the book is peopled with mostly likeable and realistic characters, the narrative is from various perspectives which works well within the framework of the story. The descriptions of Cornwall’s beautiful scenery, Bodmin Moor and the farmhouse are enchanting and give a real sense of place. I was hooked into the story quite quickly.

A tangle of human emotions runs throughout – love, guilt, loss and forgiveness, all the stuff of extended family dynamics, with a mix of strengths and weaknesses. Past secrets to be uncovered and a hint of the supernatural.

Now and again an author will move me to tears and, ok maybe it’s a little indulgent, but occasionally a sentimental book, or movie, a glass of wine and a tissue or two is called for. (I felt that way at the time of reading…and still do.)

elegant-1769669_640 copy

aweekinwinterWhen Maudie Todhunter finally decides she must sell Moorgate, her beautiful farmhouse on the edge of Bodmin Moor, she anticipates strong objections from her family – particularly from Selina, her stepdaughter, with whom she has never seen eye to eye. But no one could have predicted the feelings that Moorgate evokes or the consequences…

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Small Forgotten Moments by Annalisa Crawford @AnnalisaCrawf #LiteraryFiction #Psychological #RBRT

51GqMLrFRxSAuthor: Annalisa Crawford

Due to be published: 31st August by Vine Leaves Press

Category: Contemporary Fiction, Psychological, Literary Fiction, Book Review

four-half-stars

Is Zenna a muse, a sleep-deprived apparition, or something much more sinister?

Suffering long-term amnesia, artist Jo Mckye is ready to start a fresh, new project after the success of her debut exhibition. But the fictional subject of the collection, Zenna, won’t let go so easily. Infiltrating Jo’s dreams—and increasingly, her waking hours—Zenna is fast becoming a dangerous obsession.

Jo is confident the answers lie at her childhood home, an idyllic Cornish village on the south-east coast; she just doesn’t know why. Only when she walks into the sea and almost drowns does the past start to unravel.

Small Forgotten Moments tells the story of Jo McKye, in her own words, a talented and tortured artist living in London and about to have her first exhibition. Her paintings all feature a mysterious woman she’s named Zenna who invades her thoughts whether she is awake or asleep. Jo has no idea who the woman is, but feels compelled beyond any reason she can fathom to recreate her on each canvas, one after the other.

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Everyday Magic by Charlie Laidlaw #ContemporaryFiction #Literary @claidlawauthor @RingwoodPublish

Everyday Magic Front cover FINALAuthor: Charlie Laidlaw

Published: May 2021 by Ringwood Publishing

Category: Contemporary Fiction, Literary, Book Review

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Carole Gunn leads an unfulfilled life and knows it. She’s married to someone who may, or may not, be in New York on business and, to make things worse, the family’s deaf cat has been run over by an electric car.

But something has been changing in Carole’s mind. She’s decided to revisit places that hold special significance for her. She wants to better understand herself, and whether the person she is now is simply an older version of the person she once was.

Carole Gunn feels in a rut and it’s taken her by surprise. She loves her daughter and supposes she feels the same about her husband. But everything seems to fall into the same old routine…familiar conversations, mannerisms, the TV programmes they watch. Carole feels redundant and somehow that she’s missing out. Her daughter is all but independent and doesn’t appreciate her mother. Her husband has his career, traveling abroad on occasion, and Carole wonders if he really was in New York as he claimed. Beyond the mutinae of household tasks that map out her life, there’s nothing. Would anyone actually notice if she wasn’t there?

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The Silence by Susan Allott ~ set in Australia #LiteraryFiction #Historical #Mystery @SusanAllott

412MsxyY+IL._SX323_BO1,204,203,200_Author: Susan Allott

Published: April 2021 by The Borough Press (paperback edition)

Category: Literary Fiction, Historical, Mystery, Book Review

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

A missing woman

30 years ago, in the suffocating heat of a Sydney summer, the Greens’ next-door neighbour Mandy disappeared without a trace.

A cold case reopened

In 1997, in a basement flat in Hackney, Isla Green is awakened by a call in the middle of the night: her father is under suspicion of Mandy’s murder.

A devastating secret

How well does Isla know her father? Is he capable of doing something terrible? And is there another secret in their community – a conspiracy of silence which stretches deep into Australia’s past?

After reading FictionFan’s review I knew this would be a book I’d enjoy, and I certainly did! In 1997 Isla Green was living in London and, awakened at 2am one night by a phone call from her father in Australia, she knew immediately something was wrong. Her father never called. He hated the telephone and always wrote letters.

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Backstories by Simon Van der Velde @SimonVdVWriter #ShortStories #LiteraryFiction #RBRT

51yJPAqCN1LAuthor: Simon Van der Velde

Published: March 2021 by Smoke and Mirrors Press

Genre: Short Stories, Biographical, Literary Fiction

four-half-stars

Dreamers, singers, heroes and killers, they can dazzle with their beauty or their talent or their unmitigated evil, yet inside themselves they are as frail and desperate as the rest of us. But can you see them? Can you unravel the truth? These are people you know, but not as you know them.Peel back the mask and see.

Backstories comprises fourteen intriguing tales of life changing moments in the lives of well known characters. The author has given his imagination free rein to pen concise but evocative descriptions, giving impressions, something that just might have some truth in it, of certain people before fame or notoriety claimed them. The twist being they are not fully named, in some cases not at all or not named as we might know them. It’s up to the reader to guess their identities. 

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This Is How We Are Human by @LouiseWriter ~ Contemporary #LiteraryFiction @OrendaBooks #Autism #TuesdayBookBlog

41U9JA30QWS._SX324_BO1,204,203,200_Author: Louise Beech

Published: April 2021 by Orenda Books

Genre: Contemporary, Literary Fiction, Book Review

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

When the mother of an autistic young man hires a call girl to make him happy, three lives collide in unexpected and moving ways … changing everything. A devastatingly beautiful, rich and thought-provoking novel that will warm your heart.

Louise Beech never fails to impress with her thought provoking, character driven and emotional writing. This Is How We Are Human is no exception and tells the story of Sebastian, his mother, Veronica and student nurse, Isabelle. Veronica is fiercely protective of Sebastian, who is autistic, and just wants him to be happy. 

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Blog Tour #SpotlightFeature ~ Down The Tubes by Kate Rigby @AuthorRigby @rararesources #LiteraryFiction

I have a spotlight post for my stop on the blog tour for Down The Tubes, courtesy of Rachel’s Random Resources.

A hard-hitting novel based on the author’s experience of working in the field of addictions.

Down The Tubes

It’s the late 1980s and mother of four, Cheryl West, lands herself a job at a drugs project in London. But memories of her old life are never far away, especially when her surly daughter, Elaine, makes her unwelcome visits. 

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#ThrowbackThursday ~ Before And Again: A Novel by Barbara Delinsky #LiteraryFiction

Before And Again is a tale of loss, acceptance and new beginnings, published in 2018.

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In order to survive after the death of her five year old daughter in a tragic road traffic accident, Mackenzie Cooper, now known as Maggie Reid, lives a quiet life in the rural town of Devon, Vermont. The trial, her arrest, time in the media spotlight and the breakdown of her marriage left Maggie feeling increasing stress over the lack of privacy and the intense anguish and guilt that never leaves her. All she wants is to live in obscurity and get through the remainder of her probationary period. Devon seems to attract people who, for one reason or another, have a past they need to move on from. 

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#Spotlight #Extract ~ The Northern Reach by W.S. Winslow @WSWinslow @flatironbooks #LiteraryFiction

It’s my pleasure to spotlight The Northern Reach, a debut novel due for publication on 2nd March.

‘W. S. Winslow’s The Northern Reach is a breathtaking debut about the complexity of family, the cultural legacy of place, and the people and experiences that shape us.’

About the Book

Frozen in grief after the loss of her son at sea, Edith Baines stares across the water at a schooner, under full sail yet motionless in the winter wind and surging tide of the Northern Reach. Edith seems to be hallucinating. Or is she? Edith’s boat-watch opens The Northern Reach, set in the coastal town of Wellbridge, Maine, where townspeople squeeze a living from the perilous bay or scrape by on the largesse of the summer folk and whatever they can cobble together, salvage, or grab.

At the center of town life is the Baines family, land-rich, cash-poor descendants of town founders, along with the ne’er-do-well Moody clan, the Martins of Skunk Pond, and the dirt farming, bootlegging Edgecombs. Over the course of the twentieth century, the families intersect, interact, and intermarry, grappling with secrets and prejudices that span generations, opening new wounds and reckoning with old ghosts.

Pre-order links ~ Amazon UK | Amazon US | B&N

Extract

Edith Baines stares out the living room window at the schooner on the far side of the Northern Reach. It’s a traditional boat, big, maybe eighty feet, gaff-rigged with raked masts and some kind of carving on the prow, but in the inky light of the late afternoon she can’t make it out. The funny thing is, even though both the mainsail and the mizzen are raised, the boat isn’t moving. She squints but can’t see an anchor line, or even a buoy through the spitting snow. The current, she knows, is too strong for a mooring over there. Why doesn’t the boat drift? Where does it come from? Where is the crew? The questions itch unmercifully in her brain.

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Blog Tour #Extract from Not Having It All by @Jennie_Ensor #Giveaway #HumorousFiction

It’s my pleasure to share an extract from Jennie Ensor’s re-launched novel, Not Having It All. Before I do, here’s what the book is about.

This is the story of four middle-aged people who are definitely NOT having it all. Meet Bea, Kurt, Maddie and Colin.

Bea Hudson juggles her science research job with looking after her demanding five-year-old daughter, badly-behaved dog and next-to-useless au pair. When her chief exec husband Kurt is sent overseas and she’s left without childcare, Bea turns to best friend Maddie for help.

Kurt, convinced that Bea is having an affair with Maddie, enlists his neighbour’s help in a secret surveillance operation.

Maddie longs for a child of her own with a man she can trust – and he must love cats.

Colin, a risk-averse manager at ‘the nation’s number one pussy insurer’, meets Maddie in a lift. He’s smitten, and resolves to displace Maddie’s feline companions. But he starts to fear that Maddie sees him only as ‘a handy stud with a fat wallet’…

Amid the resulting chaos of deception and misunderstandings, can Bea and Kurt find happiness again? And can Maddie and Colin risk falling in love?

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