🌺Hot Pinks For The Heatwave. Latest From My English Garden for #SixOnSaturday #GardeningTwitter #Flowers #GrowYourOwnVeg

We are well into our second heatwave experience of the summer with the drought continuing. For other parts of the world these summer temperatures are normal as is the lack of rain, but England is usually cooler and wetter. I can tell you that there is often a cool damp spell in the first week of August, but not this year. What is still surviving in the garden?

Six photos from my garden
Six On Saturday August 13th

First photo is of a hot pink Gladioli, sister to the purple one included in last week’s post. However, it needs admiring quickly as the dry made it fade before it was fully out.

Own photo of Pink Gladioli
Pink Gladioli

Next pink specimen is of this Echinacea Purpurea (cone flower), this was a brought on from a parent plant purchased last year and separated to be nurtured to full growth. The parent plant has yet to show signs of flowering while this one has several buds.

Own photo of my Echinea flower
Echinacea purpurea Flower

Third photo is of what I hope is evidence of leaf cutter bees. Some of my roses have had small circles and semi-circles cut from their leaves. I have been stalking the plants to spot the bees but haven’t seen any. I hope the holes are not from weevils instead!🤔

Own photo of a rose leaf.
Maybe ‘munched’ by a leaf cutter bee

Fourth photo is of my King Edward potato harvest. I had just 10 potato seeds, these are the produce of 6 of them as the other 3 I planted in a felt grow bag and I harvested them earlier. Not a bad haul from a few plants. The dry was pulling the soil away from the tops and exposing the top ones to the light making them green.

Own photo of my King Edward potatoes
King Edward Potatoes

Fifth photo is of my onions. I pulled these so that I didn’t have so much watering to do. There are a mix of sizes in white or red. They may have grown a bit larger if we had had a wetter season.

Own photo of my onions.
Mixed Variety Of Onions

Last photo goes to the multi-headed hydra which is one of my sunflowers. It has now grown far above the fence. It has a huge stem which I prop up against the wind.

Own photo of my sunflo
Flower heads on my Sunflower

Thank you for joining me for this #SixOnSaturday post. I hope that you enjoyed it. If you would like to know more about this hashtag, read founder Mr Propagator’s post here also find him on Twitter here.

Happy gardening

Rosie

Six photos from my garden
Six On Saturday August 13th

Links:

💕An anthology of historical #romance. Rosie’s #Bookreview of A Touch Of Romance by @PaullettGolden #FridayReads

A Touch of Romance (Romantic Encounters #2)A Touch of Romance by Paullett Golden

4 stars

A Touch Of Romance is an anthology of historical romance. Part one of the book has a story set in Devonshire at the beginning of 1796. Leila Owen meets Jules Knowlton whilst attending a writer’s retreat. The pair bond as they are the only poets. Although they form a good friendship Leila knows that her father is making marriage plans for her with someone who will help advance his own career.

The story mixes Eastern languages and traditions with English ones; Leila’s mother is from India and Leila expects her marriage to be with someone from the East India company. Jules is a professor of languages and a talented poet. He provides a link between Leila’s current life and her possible future.

Although I don’t read poetry, I appreciated its role in this story and the sprinkling of foreign words worked well. The story is fun and has some good secondary characters and it is well-worth a read for fans of this genre.

After the main feature story (which is just shy of 380 pages) there is an added bonus of eleven flash-fiction tales also of a historical romance nature.

View all my reviews on Goodreads

 

Orange rose book description
Book description

Despite the odds, two poets manifest their dreams.

His recent appointment as Regius Professor of Greek has Jules Knowlton enjoying a life of leisure, one that begins with a writing retreat to stimulate his mind but ends with the unanticipated arousal of his heart. The problem? His newfound ladylove is arranged to marry someone else.

Leila Owen is a loyal and devoted daughter, one who would do anything for her family, anything except marry the suitor they’ve chosen for her. Using her poetic cunning, she schemes ways to convince her parents the man of her choice is a better match. The problem? The suitor is nothing if not perfect.

This is the love story of Jules and Leila, two poets who playact through life’s charade.

From second chance romances to mistaken identities, experience A Touch of Romance in this collection of one short novel and twelve bonus flash fiction pieces.

AmazonUK | AmazonUS

📚#Mystery The Forever House by @LindaAcaster Reviewed by @GeorgiaRoseBook for Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT

Today’s team review is from Georgia.

Georgia blogs here https://www.georgiarosebooks.com

Orange rose and Rosie's Book Review Team
Rosie’s Book Review Team

Georgia has been reading The Forever House by Linda Acaster

Book cover for women's fiction The Forever House by Linda Acaster
The Forever House by Linda Acaster

Carrie and her husband, Jason, renovate houses that other people make into homes. But this property Carrie wanted to make into their forever home rather than sell it on. Sadly, Jason died early on in the renovations but rather than sell up Carrie carries on doing all the work herself.

The opening of this book is rather taken up with the task of removing wallpaper which is made more interesting by what is revealed underneath. It is this that becomes an obsession for Carrie. One she is determined to see right through to the bitter end.

I enjoyed the characters in this book, particularly Louise, Carrie’s sister-in-law, who has her own issues, and I thought the relationships were well done. I found Carrie’s leaps to certain conclusions sometimes rather quick but otherwise thought the plot came together well and I did like the outcome. The story was also very well-written and flowed throughout. Recommended for those who like a well-told tale.

Orange rose book description
Book description

A chilling discovery. A sense of foreboding. They say I’m obsessing. I’m not.

Resisting family pressure to sell the too-big house Carrie and her late husband began to renovate, she is determined to carry through their shared project to prove she can manage alone.

And she can, until a discovery beneath old wallpaper chills her to the bone.

As her need to know more becomes all-consuming, Carrie’s family fears she’s tipping into irretrievable obsession. Can she be dissuaded, or must she take that final step?

How far is too far to right a wrong?

AmazonUK AmazonUS

🕵🏻‍♀️’I could almost feel the icy lake waters’. Rosie’s #Bookreview of #Mystery The Last Party by @claremackint0sh

The Last PartyThe Last Party by Clare Mackintosh

4 stars

The Last Party is a murder mystery set on the Welsh border.

It begins on New Year’s Day when members of the local town take to the lake waters for the annual New Year’s Day swim—but this year they find a body floating in the water. Local music celebrity Rhys Lloyd returned home to create an upmarket lakeside resort, The Shore; he’s a smalltown hero, so why would someone want him dead?

The border between England and Wales crosses the centre of the lake, and Leo from Cheshire Major Crimes works with Ffion from North Wales Police to unravel the mystery. At first it’s an awkward reunion for the duo after some anonymous New Year’s Eve celebrations.

The story dots back and forth between a New Year’s Eve party held at The Shore, and the current time investigation. Once the police start digging, it appears that Rhys had a long line of people who were unhappy with him.

The setting, although cold and bleak in the first days of January, worked well; I could almost feel the icy lake waters in my own bones as I read the story and I liked the genuine atmosphere of the Welsh town. The author built up the layers of mistrust and number of suspects which really muddied the waters for myself and the investigators.

A good start to a new crime series for DC Morgan, I shall be interested to see what her next investigation involves.

View all my reviews on Goodreads

 

Orange rose book description
Book description

At midnight, one of them is dead.
By morning, all of them are suspects.

It’s a party to end all parties, but not everyone is here to celebrate.

On New Year’s Eve, Rhys Lloyd has a house full of guests. His vacation homes on Mirror Lake are a success, and he’s generously invited the village to drink champagne with their wealthy new neighbors.

But by midnight, Rhys will be floating dead in the freezing waters of the lake.

On New Year’s Day, Ffion Morgan has a village full of suspects. The tiny community is her home, so the suspects are her neighbors, friends and family—and Ffion has her own secrets to protect.

With a lie uncovered at every turn, soon the question isn’t who wanted Rhys dead…but who finally killed him.

In a village with this many secrets, murder is just the beginning.

AmazonUK | AmazonUS

🏕’I’m looking forward to dipping my toes into this pathway’. Rosie’s #Bookreview of #Memoir The Salt Path by @raynor_winn #TuesdayBookBlog

The Salt PathThe Salt Path by Raynor Winn

4 stars

The Salt Path is a memoir about walking the South West Coastal Pathway, a route that goes between Minehead on the northern Somerset coast to Poole on the south Dorset coastline. Two people, homeless, one terminally ill, walking and finding the beauty in the rawness of life.

Ray and Moth are a middle aged couple; after a bad business investment and years fighting through courts they find themselves homeless with less than £50 a week to live on. On top of that Moth has been diagnosed with CBD ( corticobasal degeneration). With nowhere to live, they decide to walk the coastal pathway, wild camping and living as frugally as they can.

This is a beautiful story; harrowing and painful, but also full of hope. It highlights homelessness in the UK and how the homeless are treated. It also shines a light on the kindness of strangers.

Walking parts of this coastline is on my bucket list and I have an opportunity to walk it with a friend. She gave me this book to read; I’m looking forward to dipping my toes into the salty pathway that others have travelled and finding more than just the views along the way.

View all my reviews on Goodreads

 

Orange rose book description
Book description

Just days after Raynor learns that Moth, her husband of 32 years, is terminally ill, their home and livelihood is taken away. With nothing left and little time, they make the brave and impulsive decision to walk the 630 miles of the sea-swept South West Coast Path, from Somerset to Dorset, via Devon and Cornwall.

They have almost no money for food or shelter and must carry only the essentials for survival on their backs as they live wild in the ancient, weathered landscape of cliffs, sea and sky. Yet through every step, every encounter, and every test along the way, their walk becomes a remarkable journey.

The Salt Path is an honest and life-affirming true story of coming to terms with grief and the healing power of the natural world. Ultimately, it is a portrayal of home, and how it can be lost, rebuilt, and rediscovered in the most unexpected ways.

AmazonUK | AmazonUS

📚’Radlauer has a deft and clever touch when is comes to Quincy’s inner monologue’. Jenni reviews FAT: The Other F Word by Dan Radlauer for Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT

Today’s team review is from Jenni.

Find out more about Jenni here https://jenniferdebie.com/

Orange rose and Rosie's Book Review Team
Rosie’s Book Review Team

Jenni has been reading FAT: The Other F Word by Dan Radlauer

FAT: The Other F Word by Dan Radlauer

Dan Radlauer’s debut novel, FAT: The Other F Word opens in media res on a casting call for a noodle commercial. Teenager Quincy Collins, our protagonist and narrator, is waiting for his chance to slurp and smile for the camera, just one of many child actors chasing a dream in Hollywood. 

The kicker? 

Quincy is fat.

Not ‘Hollywood fat’, fat-fat, and has built his entire, fledgling career as a comedic actor around his weight and making the fat joke first. Being the ‘fat, funny kid’ has brought Quincy regular work in commercials, and just landed him a starring role in a brand new sitcom alongside Jessica Freeland, one of L.A.’s hottest rising starlets.

Sure Quincy has trouble getting off of overly-plush couches, doesn’t have many friends at school, and hides his midnight snacking from his family, but this is his big break! Nothing can get in his way!

But when a surprise, pre-diabetic diagnosis has Quincy’s doctor perscribing a healthier diet and regular exercise, what’s a young man to do? And more importantly, who does the ‘fat, funny kid’ become, if he’s no longer quite so fat? 

Stay tuned to find out!

I joke partially because this is a very funny book, Radlauer has a deft and clever touch when is comes to Quincy’s inner monologue, but don’t let that fool you into thinking that FAT: The Other F Word is all sugar and no substance. Radlauer has worked in show-business for decades, composing for cult classics like 1991’s The Addams Family (a personal favorite) and big-budget action flicks like 2008’s The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor. So, when Radlauer writes about the pressures and politics of Hollywood, the undue burdens placed on young actors to act a certain way both on and off-camera, and the sunburn that can accompany the spotlight, it rings true.

Nor is Quincy’s struggle to get healthy an overnight transformation. Quincy has spent his entire, young life making a joke out of himself and his weight and he’s not totally sure he wants to lose that. The physical struggle to keep to his perscribed routine, and the mental struggle to define who Quincy is to himself and the rest of the world pair and juxtapose nicely as the scenes change and the story progesses.

Rounded out by a fantastic supporting cast, including the previously mentioned Jessica Freeland, and Radlauer has a truly wonderful, heartfelt coming of age story on his hands.

5/5

Orange rose book description
Book description

In “FAT: The Other ‘F’ Word,” Quincy Collins lives in two vastly different worlds. One where he’s a very heavy and awkward freshman at Beverly Hills High School, the other where he’s a Hollywood character actor in commercials and Indie films playing the comic relief or the despicable bully. Guess which world he likes better?

At the start of this Y.A. novel, Quincy gets his big break with a major role as “The Fat Brother” in a hot new Network Sitcom, only to find that wanting and having are two very different things.

First, “size discrimination activists” challenge the integrity of the character he’s portraying. Then his health struggles begin to undermine both his character on the show, and his self-assigned brand as “The Fat Kid Actor.” His dream gig becomes a nightmare, and he starts to question the role he’s playing on TV, as well as in real life.“FAT: The Other ‘F’ Word” shows a unique person in a unique setting.It explores Hollywood, adolescence,and our culture’s attitudes towards different sized people.Quincy narrates the story with discovery, irony, pain and compassion as he learns that he can’t base his identity on the size of his body.

AmazonUK | AmazonUS

🍅🌽Harvest Time In My English Garden. #SixOnSaturday #GardeningTwitter #GrowYourOwnVeg

This week I’ve been helping out on the farm, first off last Saturday afternoon with an emergency caesarean section calving, then a few days later with the corn cart. In my garden I have also been harvesting. The beans have dried up, but the greenhouse is in full swing.

Vegetables and flowers from my garden
August 6th Six On Saturday

First photo is of my tomatoes (S. Pierre). They have been enjoying the heat and are the largest ones I’ve ever grown. Better still, they are very tasty too!

Tomatoes

Second photo is of my Sweetcorn (Goldcrest) (the camera didn’t do the green leaves justice) but it is the kernels that are important. I had eight plants which I got in the ground very early.

Sweetcorn from my garden
Sweetcorn

Third photo goes to some Evening Primrose, these self seed all over. I am trying to grown a pink variety, but they are still seedlings and the pesky white-fly have been feasting on them, so I’m not sure how they will survive.

Evening primrose flowers from my garden
Evening Primrose

Next photo is of some purple Penstemon, last week I featured pink ones, but these are very much a different shade. These are under the sunflowers and have been shaded from the scorching sun.

Purple Penstemon form my garden
Purple Penstemon

The Crocosmia have suffered in the dry, most of their leaves are brown and crisp, but I still have a reasonable amount of flowers despite the lack of rain.

Crocosmia from my garden
Crocosmia

Final photo goes to my cucumbers. These are just some of the fruit from this plant, it is enjoying the heat and humidity of the greenhouse, where it can rampage around. Much better than taking over my conservatory where I grew them in the past.

Cucumbers from my garden
Cucumbers

Thank you for joining me for this #SixOnSaturday post. I hope that you enjoyed it. If you would like to know more about this hashtag, read founder Mr Propagator’s post here also find him on Twitter here.

Happy gardening

Rosie

Vegetables and flowers from my garden
August 6th Six On Saturday

Links:

  1. The link is up for all other posts for this meme today on Jon’s (Mr P) blog.
  2. Graeme’s still got lots of colour in his garden despite no rain.
  3. Spring flowers are blooming in Wellington, NZ.
  4. Hot And humid in Chris’ Ontario garden.
  5. 30 Days Wilding show us the gardens of Wassand Hall.

📚Based On A True Event. @OlgaNM7 Reviews #WW2 Story, The Peaceful Village by @MahurinPaulette, for Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT

Today’s team review is from Olga.

Olga blogs here https://www.authortranslatorolga.com

Orange rose and Rosie's Book Review Team
Rosie’s Book Review Team

Olga has been reading The Peaceful Village by Paulette Mahurin

Book cover for World War Two story The Peaceful Village by Paulette Mahurin
The Peaceful Village by Paulette Mahurin

This is a novelised account of a real event that took place during WWII, one that I didn’t know anything about before I read the novel, but I will never forget now. I don’t hesitate to recommend this book to all readers, those who love fiction and those who prefer non-fiction, as it should be read. Due to the events that take place, this is not an easy read (it is hard, harrowing, and emotional), so I would recommend caution to readers who are not in the right place or frame of mind to read about such subjects.

It is impossible not to think about the war and its victims these days, and that makes this narration more poignant and urgent than ever. We should never forget what happened because we all know what happens to those who forget. I will not spend too much time on the plot, as the book description provides plenty of information, and anybody interested can research what is known of what happened on that day, the 10th of June of 1944 in Oradour-sur-Glane. The author includes a disclaimer, where she explains that the book is a work of fiction, and other than the historical characters included, the rest is her attempt at fitting what is known to have happened into a narrative. Her research shines through, and, to clarify matters even more, together with her disclaimer, the author includes a Glossary of Terms and Historical Figures, a list of the German military ranks used in the novel, of the organizations and political groupings, and of the locations, and also the translation of a few German terms used in the book (when the translation is not included in the text itself) right at the beginning of the book. There is also a postnote that explains what happened afterwards, to the village and at the trial of a few of those involved in the onslaught.

Mahurin manages to recreate Oradour for us. Through the locations, the characters, and the events that take place there, we get a good sense of what a lovely place it was, a peaceful village in the German-controlled part of France, where life goes on almost undisturbed, although there are also things happening that remind the inhabitants of the war, and there is a sense of dread hanging over the proceedings. The beauty is in the detail: we see characters going about their jobs and their lives (the doctor, who is also the mayor, looks after his patients, and so does one of his sons, also a doctor; the priest is involved in welfare and also tries to help families in need [Jewish families escaping the Nazi regime among others]; we have mechanics; we have farmers; we have teachers; we have children; we have hard-working mothers…) and we have people who know each other and who do what they can to help others, their family, their neighbours, their friends, and also the newcomers who need help. This is an ensemble novel, and although we perhaps learn more about some characters than others (like Marguerite, who is exhausted by farm work —among other things— and manages to find her perfect role in helping the priest with his church work and his other tasks, or the mayor, the priest, and even others who don’t live in the village, like the head of the Maquis du Limousin…), this is a novel about a community, where everybody has a part to play, as must have been the case at the real Oradour. The shock of that normality, where nothing out of the ordinary had happened, being interrupted by the senseless massacre, has a devastating effect upon us, and it is not surprising to read how the people in the village were totally stunned and unable to believe what was going on.

The author writes beautifully about the place, the people, their lives, and their customs, and despite the horrific tragedy that eventually unfolds, there are incredibly beautiful passages as well. Plenty of happy and inspiring moments fill up the pages of this novel, and, the choice of a third-person omniscient point of view works very well for the story, as it allows us to see and understand how the different characters feel and what their lives are like, and it also shows us some of the events that preceded the massacre (although the reasons, as the author explains, have never been fully explained, and there are only a variety of conjectures historians have proposed over the years). We do see and follow what the Germans do as well, and the third-person narrative plays a pretty neutral observer’s role, not overdramatising events because it is totally unnecessary. It leaves it up to the readers to make their own minds up, experience the events, and feel the emotions. And that makes it even more moving and poignant.

A couple of samples of the writing:

May moved along with goodwill radiating warmth through Oradour like a hot bath soothing a stiff body on a frigid day.

Then he thought of the plans he’d heard to make the ruins into an untouched museum. To leave everything as is. Wistfully, words flowed from him like a feather floating through air when he said, “That magical place is a reminder of the living people who lived there in harmony.”

This is not a mystery novel, and we know what is going to happen (what really happened, not the details, but the bare facts), so the ending of the story is not, in itself, surprising, but I felt it was perfect. There was a hopeful note, but a somewhat bittersweet one, as the postnote reminds us of how many crimes of war are never solved, properly investigated, or even truly acknowledged.

I have already recommended the novel to all readers (with a note of warning), in particular to those interested in stories set in WWII in France, both fictional and non-fictional; to those who enjoy reading beautifully written books with a historical theme, and to anybody who likes to learn about real events, especially those that affect us all and should never be forgotten. I was inspired to read more about the village of Oradour-sur-Glane, and discovered that 19 of the victims were Spaniards (11 of them children), refugees who had escaped from Spain during the Civil War to avoid the fascist reprisals by Franco’s regime. After that, it felt even more personal, if that were possible. What else can I tell you? Read it, if at all you can. I have learned something I won’t forget and discovered a writer I will carry on reading for a long time to come.

Orange rose book description
Book description

During the German occupation of France, nestled in the lush, verdant countryside in the Haute-Vienne department of central France was the peaceful village of Oradour-sur-Glane. It was a community where villagers woke to the medley of nature’s songs, roosters crowing, birds chirping, cats purring, and cows plodding on their way out to pasture. The people who lived there loved the tranquil nature of their beautiful home, a tranquility that existed year-round. Even with the German occupation, Oradour-sur-Glane – the village with cafés, shops, and a commuter tram to Limoges – remained relatively untouched by the stress of the occupation.

While Oradour-sur-Glane enjoyed the lack of German presence, twenty-two kilometers to the northwest in Limoges, the Germans were reacting with increasing cruelty to organized attacks on their soldiers by the armed resistance organization Francs-Tireurs et Partisans (FTP). Headed by Amédé Fauré, the Limoges FTP was considered the most effective of the French Resistance groups. Fauré’s missions prompted the German military to kill and incarcerate in concentration camps anyone perceived as supporters or sympathizers of the Resistance.

Up until the middle of 1944, the German anti-partisan actions in France never rose to the level of brutality or number of civilian casualties that had occurred in eastern Europe. A little before the Allies landed in Normandy, all that changed, when German troops, and in particular the Waffen-SS, stationed on the Eastern Front were transferred to France. It was then that FTP’s increasing efforts to disrupt German communications and supply lines were met with disproportionate counter attacks, involving civilians. Fauré’s response was to target German officers. When he set his sights on two particular German officers, all hell broke loose.

Based on actual events as told by survivors, The Peaceful Village is the fictionalized story of the unfolding of the events that led up to one of the biggest World War II massacres on French soil. Much more than an account of Nazi brutality and the futility of war, this is a story of love. The love of family. The love of neighbor. The love of country. Compassion and courage burn from the pages as the villagers’ stories come alive. Written by the international bestselling author of The Seven Year Dress, Paulette Mahurin, this book pays homage to the villagers who lived and loved in Oradour-sur-Glane.

AmazonUK | AmazonUS

📚Set in France in 1969. Noelle reviews #Histfic Lake Of Echoes by @LizaPerrat, for Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT

Today’s team review is from Noelle.

Noelle blogs here https://saylingaway.wordpress.com

Orange rose and Rosie's Book Review Team
Rosie’s Book Review Team

Noelle has been reading Lake Of Echoes by Liza Perrat.

Book cover for Lake Of Echoes by Liza Perrat
Lake Of Echoes by Liza Perrat

Juliette lives with her father, Bruno, and her mother, Lea. Her father is headmaster at a local school, and her mother runs L’Auberge de Lea, where they live, together with her father’s mother. The marriage is gradually falling apart, both from Bruno’s apparent infidelity and also Lea’s laser focus running on the auberge, which takes all her time and most of her attention.  The mother-in-law contributes to the turmoil by her unquestioning support of everything her son does and her unending criticism of Lea.

Juliette is witness to the arguments and frequently flees the house to get away from the ugliness. One day she does not return. Neighbors and people from the nearby village are organized into search parties led a local gendarme, who at first thinks Juliette will come home. At time goes by, Lea is tormented by thoughts of what has happened to her daughter but by necessity must continue to run the auberge and face the pity of the villagers. Her sister and her neighbors, one of whom is a self-proclaimed psychic, are her only support.

As the seasons pass, Lea’s despair deepens and Bruno finally moves out, leaving his wife for the teacher with whom Lea thought he was having an affair. The reader is introduced to various men in the village, raising one question after another about who took Juliette. The author creates various paths that never seem to lead to the perpetrator!

Liza Perrat can create complex and compelling characters, and she definitely does here. The reader is privy to the mind of an eight-year-old, to the feckless Bruno, to the apparently tireless and but always prim and proper mother-in-law, and to the mad workings of the mind of Juliette’s captor. You are drawn into Lea’s anguish over her lost child, which only strengthens as time passes. She is willing, as any mother would, to hold onto any sliver of hope, no matter how tenuous, despite the months passing, and the additional impact of the breakup of her marriage. Her inner strength is remarkable. The author truly understand her characters.

This emotional tension is set against the colorful local traditions of rural France, the workings of the auberge, and sumptuous description of the changing seasons around the lake which it overlooks.  And since this in an auberge, there is always tempting French cuisine, the descriptions of which made me dig out my French cookbooks.

Orange rose book description
Book description

A vanished daughter. A failing marriage. A mother’s life in ruins.
1969. As France seethes in the wake of social unrest, eight-year-old Juliette is caught up in the turmoil of her parents’ fragmenting marriage.
Unable to bear another argument, she flees her home.
Neighbours joining the search for Juliette are stunned that such a harrowing thing could happen in their tranquil lakeside village.
But this is nothing compared to her mother, Lea’s torment, imagining what has befallen her daughter.
Léa, though, must remain strong to run her auberge and as the seasons pass with no news from the gendarmes, she is forced to accept she may never know her daughter’s fate.
Despite the villagers’ scepticism, Léa’s only hope remains with a clairvoyant who believes Juliette is alive.
But will mother and daughter ever be reunited?
Steeped in centuries-old tradition, against an enchanting French countryside backdrop, Lake of Echoes will delight your senses and captivate your heart.

Universal link: mybook.to/LakeofEchoesEbook

📚Golden Healer is the second book in #Ya #Fantasy series The Curse of Time by  @Marjorie_Mallon Reviewed by Robbie, for Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT

Today’s team review is from Robbie.

Robbie blogs here https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/

Orange rose and Rosie's Book Review Team
Rosie’s Book Review Team

Robbie has been reading Golden Healer by M.J. Mallon

Book cover for young adult fantasy, Golden Healer by M J Mallon, set against a background of an hourglass from a free photo from Pixabay.
Golden Healer by M J Mallon

Golden Healer is the second book in The Curse of Time series and continues this unique fantasy story with its unusual and intriguing storyline. Book one ended with a happy environment after Ameline’s father was finally restored to his family at the correct age and Esme disappeared from the mirror, presumably to a better place. Book two starts with small but obvious indications that all is not as it seems and the issues involving both Emeline’s father and Esme are not adequately resolved.

The beginning is a bit slower moving as the author skillfully unwinds the reader’s beliefs that all is well and hammers cracks into the happy environment. The stage is set beautifully with fascinating and intricate scenes and dreams spun like a spiderweb from the author’s pen. Ameline’s first dream travel in this book has catastrophic results as while she is away from her body her bloodstone is stolen and this accelerates the cracks in her home environment.

This book is not an easy read and you have to concentrate as you read in the same way you would while reading a classic novel. It is worth the effort as the descriptions and concepts are outstanding and beautifully depicted.

There are a few stand out scenes for me in this book, as follows: the grasshopper in the meadow, the clowns in the café, and Aunt Karissa’s chocolates. For me, these were unbelievably imaginative and full of mystery.

Aunt Karissa features plays a small role in this book, introducing some welcome lightness and humour as Ryder’s darkness and power continue to grow. The reader learns a bit more about Ryder and his origins and homeland.

Another memorable feature of this book is that each chapter or puzzle piece starts with a tanka poem that hints at what is to follow in the chapter. The author is also an excellent poet and the poems were a lovely addition.

A few memorable quotes from this book:

“The grasshopper monster propelled time forward in a steady, slow, rocking motion, as if he was devouring our lives in seconds, minutes and hours as we gazed upon him.”

“Hello my beautiful reflection. You came! You always come when I need you the most. I have been so anxious listening to the troubles of this family which has become my family. What have you been doing? I see sweet flowers covering the red cuts on your left wrist.”

“”She opened the wrapper with trembling fingers. Inside, there was a small, round milk chocolate. It grew in her palm. the chocolate split into two halves, one half dark, and the other half white. In the centre, a dividing line moved form side to side as if whipping up the chocolate angrily.”

In conclusion, I would like to add that when I was a girl of 10 years old, I discovered the books written by Eva Ibottson. Every book of hers I read was a complete delight to me with its amazing fantasy creatures and gorgeous depictions of the lives of hags in dribbles and wizards in towers surrounded by mist. Throughout my adult life, I have search for an adult author who can invoke the same magical worlds and belief in magical creatures that I discovered in Miss Ibottson’s stories, and in this series by M.J. Mallon, I do believe I finally found an adult equivalent.

Orange rose book description
Book description

Amelina Scott’s destiny is to be a Krystallos: a magician of light, chosen to learn the ways of crystal magic on her 16th birthday. Located on a river pathway in a mysterious part of Cambridge, the Crystal Cottage is guarded by mythical beings.

Unfortunately, there are those who seek to harm this haven of light. Learning of Ryder – a Shadow Sorcerer with hypnotic powers – Amelina discovers that her own magic is now threatened, and that the Curse of Time might be unleashed again.

As secrets abound and the creatures of the Chronophage come alive, can Amelina become the true magician she needs to be?

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