Barbara’s War by Fenella J Miller

Barbara's WarAs war rages over Europe, Barbara Sinclair is desperate to escape from her unhappy home which is a target of the German Luftwaffe. Caught up by the emotion of the moment she agrees to marry John, her childhood friend, who is leaving to join the RAF, but a meeting with Simon Farley, the son of a local industrialist, and an encounter with Alex Everton, a Spitfire pilot, complicate matters. With rationing, bombing and the constant threat of death all around her, Barbara must unravel the complexities of her home life and the difficulties of her emotional relationships in this gripping coming-of-age wartime drama.

My Thoughts

Barbara’s War is a coming of age story about Barbara Sinclair, who we meet as a teenager and leave as a mature young woman.

Fenella Miller’s style of writing flows well and is easy to settle into. I could visualise the settings well and felt I really got to know and understand Barbara. The supporting characters were well written and added to the story.

Set in wartime Britain, I had expected it to be more war orientated but, in fact, the story is of Barbara’s own personal battle, her own war, to discover herself, not just who she is as a person, but also her background and heritage.

On the whole a gentle story, although it is punctuated by some darker moments that I hadn’t expected but felt added bite to the story.

Links for Fenella J Miller

Website : http://www.fenellajmiller.co.uk/

Facebook : http://www.facebook.com/fenella.miller?ref=ts&fref=ts

Twitter : @fenellawriter

Amazon Link for Barbara’s War HERE

fenellajanemiller

Off visiting …

… my lovely friend and writing buddy, Nicky Wells – virtually that is. Am over at her blog talking about Arundel, the setting for my book, United State of Love, and sharing some of my pictures.   Feel like I should ask the local Tourist Information Office for a job 🙂

CentreStage – Sue Fortin Photographic Walk Around Arundel

The Dark Man’s Son – Meg Whitlock

She claimed the muggers were demons, but of course Jason didn’t believe her. At first.


When a mysterious woman appears in a dirty alley to rescue Jason Latimer from a pair of muggers, he tries to write her off as a garden variety lunatic. But he can’t shake the memory of her intense green eyes that seemed to flash gold, or the glowing sword she’d worn on her hip.

She calls herself Alex (no last name) like she’d made it up on the spot, and she offers Jason her protection. From what, she can’t or won’t say. He refuses, and that night he dreams of a dark man with the same offer. His black eyes flash blood and garnet, and he smells of burning things. Jason refuses him, too.

A chance meeting brings Alex and Jason together again, and she tells him of the Guardians: two immortal beings created near the beginning of time with the express purpose of fighting for mortal-kind’s soul. She is Light, and the man from Jason’s dream is Dark. Jason must choose, because Lucifer, for reasons purely his own, has unleashed the armies of Hell to hunt Jason down.

But there are things about Jason that not even he knows, and he’ll face hard truths and bitter choices as he struggles to find his place in a world redefined. Will he rise to the challenge, or, when the time comes, will he falter?

From Renaissance Florence to the French Revolution, from World War II to the modern streets of New Orleans, The Dark Man’s Son is a riveting journey filled with unforgettable characters, wry humor, dark twists, and a touch of romance.

My Thoughts

The Dark Man’s Son  is broken into three distinctive times, the present day, various historic times and ‘From The Journal’. I must admit at first I wasn’t quite sure if this would work, but taking each era at a time, I was able to follow what was happening. Gradually, a vivid back drop to the book was being unfolded.  Looking back, I think it actually worked extremely well. Drip feeding back stories of the central characters and especially the technicalities of being a Demon , a Guardian, a vampire, a Prince from Hell or indeed Lucifer himself, weren’t things that could easily be explained in a couple of sentences.

Part One of the novel shifts between times and the individual stories told gradually reveal to the reader how the lives of the central characters are linked.  The connection wasn’t obvious but was threaded in very well so when it became apparent it was totally plausible.

It was at Part Two the story really took off for me as the main characters, Jason, the mortal one, Alex the Guardian of all things good and Cassius The Dark Man really came into their own.  There was great chemistry between these three.  I loved Cassius’ dry and sarcastic caustic humour, he had some great lines – in fact, being a sucker for a bad guy, he was my favourite character in the book.

Without giving anything away, Part Three sees things really hot up and the story come to an unexpected conclusion, leaving way for the sequel.

Meg Whitlock’s writing is good, clear and hugely entertaining in all the right places. I felt the tone suited the genre, with an atmosphere I would expect and although I know nothing about Guardians, Angels , Demons, Vampires and other such ghouls, I was easily drawn into the story.

This is not my usual genre of reading but I did enjoy it and would imagine anyone who does read this type of book would be pleased they had.

Meg Whitlock can be found on Facebook, Twitter and her own blog www.blogbymegw.blogspot.com

Devils With Wings, Silk Drop – Harvey Black

This exciting fictionalised retelling of the invasion of Crete is written by an author with extensive experience in army intelligence. It’s the follow up to Devils With Wings, and continues the wartime adventures of Fallschirmjager paratrooper Paul Brand and his Feldwebel Max Grun. On a high after their successful subjugation of Fort Eben Emael, Paul Brand, now in command of his own company, and Feldwebel Max Grun, are parachuted into Greece to help capture the bridge spanning the Corinth Canal. Tough times are ahead when the German High Command decide to invade the Island of Crete. This will be the first ever airborne invasion in military history. The Fallschirmjager, supported by the famous Gebirgsjager mountain troops, are up against 40,000 allied soldiers – who will fight to the bitter end to protect Crete. Operating behind enemy lines, Paul Brand and Max Grun will face challenges that not only tests their fortitude but strains the close bond between them. Silk Drop is a thrilling sequel to Devils With Wings and is based on a factual episode.

My Thoughts

This is the second book in the the Devils With Wings series and my review of the first can be found here.  I really enjoyed the first book so was looking forward to reading Silk Drop – I’m pleased to say it lived up to and beyond my expectations.

From the beginning I felt involved with the story, it was set at a good pace and I had trouble putting it down.  I liked the feeling of being up close to the action, with some very intense scenes depicting personal battles, which had me on the edge of my seat. I enjoyed learning more about the strategies involved in preparing for operations and how these translated in battle.   The setting was described extremely well and again I had a real sense of being there – I could picture  the island and villages clearly in my mind.

Silk Drop also showed the contradiction of war. One minute men are injuring and killing each other, the next when the battle is over, they are caring for the wounded and trying to save the lives of their enemies.  The novel showed the human side of war and the effects it can have on individuals which added another dimension to the story.  I felt very connected with the characters and was concerned as to what would happen to them.

An excellent read with all the things I enjoy – action, tension, great scene setting and characters I became very fond of.

Links for Harvey Black

Blog – http://harveyblackauthor.wordpress.com/

Website –  http://www.harveyblackauthor.com/ 

Twitter – @Black_Author  http://twitter.com/#!/Black_Author

Facebook – Harvey Black  http://www.facebook.com/HarveyBlackAuthor

Harvey is also a member of the Author/Reader group

http://loveahappyending.com/

and

 http://famousfiveplus.blogspot.co.uk/

Night Watcher – Chris Longmuir

Dundee Crime Series – Night Watcher is Book 1; Dead Wood is Book 2

A mysterious stranger arrives in Dundee, Scotland, with a mission to find a new Chosen One to punish. His inner voices guide him to Nicole, a ruthless business woman with a weakness for the husbands of other women.
One of Nicole’s paramours is found hanged and everyone assumes he has committed suicide. However, his estranged wife, Julie, knows better and blames his death on Nicole. Obsessed with the need to punish Nicole, Julie stalks her, unaware that there is another stalker, the deranged and dangerous Night Watcher.

Who will exact punishment on Nicole first?
What price will Nicole have to pay for her misdemeanors?
Will Julie’s mind games drive Nicole over the edge?
And what price will Julie have to pay for her obsession?

Only the Night Watcher knows!

My Thoughts

The creepy Night Watcher sent shivers down my spine! I loved the way we got inside his mind, got to see what he was thinking, how he saw the outside world and why he was doing what he was.  He certainly was a creepy character although, I have to admit, he was quite fascinating.  I even felt a bit sorry for him at one point.

There was insight into the lives of the people involved in the the story, making the characters real, giving them a rounded feel  rather than just standing alone in the main plot line.

It was great the way the watcher was watching another watcher – the way the plot wove together.  I wasn’t entirely sure who was responsible for the going-ons.  Was it the Night Watcher or was it Julie? Maybe the husband or a colleague?  Lots of tension and suspense from the first to the last page.

I don’t like the dark or basements at the best of times, I like them even less now!

Links for Chris Longmuir

Blogs – http://chrislongmuir.blogspot.co.uk/

Twitter – @ChrisLongmuir

Love A Happy Ending – Featured Author http://loveahappyending.com/chris-longmuir/

Famous Five Plus – Author http://www.famousfiveplus.com/

Devils With Wings : The Green Devils Assault of Fort Eben Emael by Harvey Black

The Blurb

A military thriller based around the adventures of two young Fallschirmjager paratroopers during the early part of World War II. It is a fictionalised adventure based on the famous assault on the impregnable Belgian Fortress, Eben Emael. Tall, gangly Paul Brand is supported by his junior sergeant, Unterfeldwebel Max Grun, as he experiences his first action as a platoon commander in Poland, September 1939. The mutual respect between the two comrades grows as they experience the sights and smells of battle at close quarters Following their success in Poland, Paul, Max and the platoon are sent to a clandestine camp in the foothills of the Harz Mountains to train for a secret mission. Confined to camp for six months they undergo intensive training for their next mission – the subjugation of the Eben Emael Fortress. Two German secret weapons will assist them to complete their task; the first is the glider, used for the first time to deposit troops directly onto a target, and the second secret weapon is a new Hollow Charge Weapon, capable of blasting through steel or concrete. On completion of their training, nine gliders containing seventy two Fallschirmjager land on top of the fortress, before the troops move in to the depths of the tunnels to finish the job. Over one thousand Belgian troops fail to stop them. This exciting fictionalised retelling of the assault on Eben Emael is written by an author with experience in army intelligence.

My Thoughts

Although I have tended to review gentler books on here, I do actually enjoy reading a good action/thriller type of novel, so when Devils With Wings came to my attention it was definitely one to go on my ‘to be read’ pile.

The novel starts off right in the thick of the action and introduces you to the main characters, Paul Brand and Max Grun. After reading the first chapter, I knew I was going to enjoy it.

I liked finding out about the characters’ back stories and how they came to become part of the elite Fallschirmjager. Likewise, it was really interesting seeing what they had to endure throughout their training and I enjoyed getting to know Paul and Max more as they embarked on their highly secretive and daring operation.  The bond between the two men really came through.

The assault of Fort Eben Emael followed each glider’s mission and then the final attack on the fortress. The battle scenes were sometimes graphic but in no way gratuitous and only added to the atmosphere of the book.

Prior to reading this book, I knew absolutely nothing about the Fallschirmjager paratroopers and now I’m quite fascinated by them.  Afterwards I spent time flicking around the web and YouTube looking at photos and documentaries about the real event.  It was good being able to see exactly what the Fallschirmajager were up against and how it had been translated onto paper by the author.

So in summary – fast paced with action and tension – obviously well researched and backed up by the author’s own personal knowledge.  I shall look forward to reading the next book in this series.

(P.S. I think I have a crush on Paul)

Links for Harvey Black

Blog – http://harveyblackauthor.wordpress.com/

Website –  http://www.harveyblackauthor.com/ 

Twitter – @Black_Author  http://twitter.com/#!/Black_Author

Facebook – Harvey Black  http://www.facebook.com/HarveyBlackAuthor

Harvey is also a member of the Author/Reader group

http://loveahappyending.com/

and

 http://famousfiveplus.blogspot.co.uk/

An Audience with an Author … Elle Amberley

It was on the cards, a novel based in Paris, inspired by a life-changing experience and a long love story with France.

France and I go back a long way. My parents moved a lot when I was a child and it was one of the many countries we lived in. Even when we didn’t, no summer went by without a long spell somewhere in France.

I speak fluent French, even after many years without uttering a single word of it. I blame all the classic and not so classics I read from an early age. I was at liberty to raid the local libraries and no one batted an eyelid when I borrowed novels which perhaps were not entirely suitable to my young years. But this was France, much more laid back. It never did me any harm.

Life has a habit of throwing you little miracles, you think you’ve survived and seen the worst and then, you know, tragedy strikes. Well, it did to me anyway, at a time when I almost lost my will to live. This is the inspiration behind this book, how a coincidence, a reminder from a past long buried, brought back my “joie de vivre.”

Of course, I was already fighting back, thanks to two little blonde heads but it was a long and painful process. Until I was reminded of who I was by getting in touch with the inner child in me.

What about Natasha? Is she a fighter, or is this one battle too many? Can she keep saying no the handsome French rock star? She tells him it’s impossible. “Impossible is not a French word,” he counters back. Ah, she’d forgotten this old saying.

LOST IN YOUR TIME  (28th March)

Blurb

Ah, the dangers of the internet! We’ve all been warned, but do we take notice?

When Natasha clicks on a link, her whole life is turned upside down. A flash from the past, a chance meeting with a gorgeous French rock star…

A chance to start over and forget the pain and misery from the last two years.

But can Natasha let go? Will she accept this new twist in her life?

Will she regain her “joie de vivre”? Or will the sparks fizzle out?

Bio

A prolific author, Elle Amberley writes Women’s Fiction, Literary, poetry, short stories and features.

Elle’s particular strength is writing positive stories with a strong theme of being lost and finding yourself again. Although she broaches difficult subjects in her novels, the characters turn out to be fighters, not victims. Every emotion is conveyed and her style has been described as “lyrical” and appeals to a wide age group, which is a rarity.

Having overcome many obstacles in her life, including a very difficult childhood, she chose to reconstruct her life. Rather than writing a memoir like many abuse victims she prefers to marry fiction with some of her own experiences.

Cover blurb, courtesy of Jae De Wylde, author of The Thinking Tank.

Rock star or husband – which would you choose?

Elle’s chatty and engaging style invites us in to share Nat’s thoughts and feelings as she comes to terms with another of life’s twists. Will she choose happiness or duty? Or are they one and the same?

Links

Elle Amberley Author

Elle Amberley Facebook

Elle Amberley Twitter

Elle Amberley Amazon UK

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