APPLAUSE by Madalyn Morgan @ActScribblerDJ #WW2 #HistFic Dudley Sisters series book #2

Applause (Dudley Sisters Saga #2)Applause by Madalyn Morgan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Applause is book #2 of the Dudley Sisters series of family saga books set in second world war torn Britain. This can be read as a stand alone book.

Margaret is the only Dudley sister to be currently married. Her husband transports MOD documents around by day and is an ambulance driver by night. But it is the theatre which has always interested Margaret.

The book opens with her almost injured by a partially falling building as she intently hurries for a job interview. The job is only an usherette but it is a start. Margaret’s dream is to become an actress and nothing will stop her passion. She rises through the theatre taking on work in the wardrobe section and grabbing a chance to step in when an actress is ill.

Introduced to the nightclub scene by her acting friends Margaret is offered a chance to sing and it sets off her career as Margo Dudley. At first she tries to hold down several jobs and keeps too many secrets, until she’s found out.

An injury to her ankle puts her out of action for a while and when the theatre is also closed down due to a bomb Margo finds alternative ways to continue performing. With friends she becomes part of the Albert Sisters a group who go around entertaining the troops. But life isn’t all good. Margo drinks and becomes reliant of pain relievers and sleeping tablets which she becomes addicted to.

Her passion for the theatre puts a strain on her marriage on more than one occasion and we see Margot as quite a selfish women, perhaps portraying many a celebrity.

This book is packed with well researched nostalgia from the era, scattered between the pages, however I didn’t enjoy it as much as book #1 Foxden Acres, purely for personal reasons, I’m not a big theatre fan, however for those who know the London theatre world well, I’m sure they would enjoy this book.

View all my reviews on Goodreads

Book Description

In the early years of World War 2, Margot Dudley works her way up from usherette to leading lady in a West End show. Driven by blind ambition Margot becomes immersed in the heady world of nightclubs, drink, drugs and fascist thugs – all set against a background of the London Blitz. To achieve her dream, Margot risks losing everything she holds dear.

APPLAUSE is the second book in the DUDLEY SISTERS QUARTET.

About the author

Madalyn Morgan

Madalyn Morgan has been an actress for more than thirty years working in repertory theatre, the West End, film and television. She is a radio presenter and journalist, writing articles for newspapers and magazines.

Madalyn was brought up in a busy working class pub in the market town of Lutterworth in Leicestershire. The pub was a great place for an aspiring actress and writer to live. There were so many wonderful characters to study and accents learn. At twenty-four Madalyn gave up a successful hairdressing salon and wig-hire business for a place at E15 Drama College, and a career as an actress.

Goodreads | AmazonUK | AmazonUS | Twitter

Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT TURN OF THE TIDE by @margaretskea1 #HistFic #wwwblogs

Today’s team review is from Cathy, she blogs at http://betweenthelinesbookblog.com

#RBRT Review Team

Cathy has been reading Turn Of The Tide by Margaret Skea.

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Initially, I wasn’t too sure about this book. There are a lot of characters, and their allegiances, to keep track of, which I found it a little confusing at first. Writing them down as a quick reference helped as it’s not so easy to keep referring back on a kindle. The more I read, the easier it became and the story took hold. Set in Ayrshire in the sixteenth century it tells of a notorious feud that lasted almost two centuries, between the Montgomeries and the Cunninghames. In the middle of these two warring clans is Munro and his family. Munro owes his loyalty to the Cunninghames, even as he is ever more uncomfortable with their actions and behaviour, and his understandable failure to comprehend the reasoning behind the feud.

After an ambush and horrific massacre, not to mention several terrible retaliations, the two families are charged by King James VI to publicly declare a truce and with members of each family vying for the King’s favour, it’s not long before tensions erupt again. Munro escapes retribution for his part in the ambush but his conscience, his wife and his gradual friendship with several Montgomeries, make him reassess his priorities, regardless of the fact his association with the rival clan would be condemned out of hand by certain members of the Cunninghames.

The story is firmly rooted in the time and place by skilful, descriptive writing and evocative dialogue. It’s a complex tale of politics and intrigue, with basically one main, and despicable, miscreant – William Cunninghame, Glencairn’s heir. Despite the truce, he has no intention of even attempting to keep the peace. He is vicious, overbearing and completely intolerant of perceived slights, as Munro’s family learn to their cost. Anyone who offends him is in a very precarious position.

It’s a harsh and dangerous time, when hatred and revenge is rife. Munro walks a fine line between the two families, always having to be on the alert while just wishing to live his life quietly, at home with his wife and children. Always conscious of the choices he makes, and the resulting actions, as to how they might affect his family. This is shown extremely well by the vast chasm between daily family life on the farm and the conflicting violence and tragedy.

Margaret Skea creates a good balance between fact and fiction, blending both seamlessly. Munro especially stands out, and initially it was his character that helped draw me into the story, which, to all appearances is a convincing and representational account. The characters, both real and fictional, are well defined and believable and the story well crafted – I can only imagine the depth of research this took. I love the tense build up to a very unexpected ending.

Book Description

Old rivalries…new friendships…dangerous decisions. 
Set in 16th Century Scotland Munro owes allegiance to the Cunninghames and to the Earl of Glencairn. Trapped in the 150-year-old feud between the Cunninghames and the Montgomeries, he escapes the bloody aftermath of an ambush, but he cannot escape the disdain of the wife he sought to protect, or his own internal conflict. He battles with his conscience and with divided loyalties – to age-old obligations, to his wife and children, and, most dangerous of all, to a growing friendship with the rival Montgomerie clan. Intervening to diffuse a quarrel that flares between a Cunninghame cousin and Hugh Montgomerie, he succeeds only in antagonizing William, the arrogant and vicious Cunninghame heir. And antagonizing William is a dangerous game to play…

About the author

Margaret Skea

Margaret Skea grew up in Ulster at the height of the ‘Troubles’, but now lives with her husband in the Scottish Borders. 

An interest in Scotland’s turbulent history, and in particular the 16th century, combined with PhD research into the Ulster-Scots vernacular, led to the writing of Turn of the Tide, which was the Historical Fiction Winner in the 2011 Harper Collins / Alan Titchmarsh People’s Novelist Competition and the Beryl Bainbridge Award for Best First Time Author 2014. 

An Hawthornden Fellow and award winning short story writer – her recent credits include, Overall Winner Neil Gunn 2011, Chrysalis Prize 2010, and Winchester Short Story Prize 2009. Third in the Rubery Book Award Short Story Competition 2013, a finalist in the Historical Novel Society Short Story Competition 2012, shortlisted in the Mslexia Short Story Competition 2012 and long-listed for the Historical Novel Society Short Story competition 2014, the Matthew Pritchard Award, the Fish Short Story and Fish One Page Prize, she has been published in a range of magazines and anthologies in Britain and the USA.
New collection of short stories – including some those from competitions mentioned above available for pre-order now.

AmazonUK | AmazonUS | Goodreads | Twitter also available on kindle unlimited

Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT TURN OF THE TIDE by Margaret Skea @margaretskea1 #HistFic

Today’s team review is from Terry, she blogs at http://terrytylerbookreviews.blogspot.co.uk/

#RBRT Review Team

Terry has been reading Turn of the Tide by Margaret Skea

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3.5 stars

Set in Scotland in the late sixteenth century, Turn of the Tide’s central character is Munro, who is caught between his allegiance to the Cunninghame clan and his friendships with the rival Montgomeries, and also between his active part in this ancient feud and the demands of his family; his desire to protect them is at the root of all he does, but his dedication to those in power mean that he spends much time away from wife Kate and his twins.

Reading this story I felt transported back to the time, a necessity for me when reading historical fiction.  All aspects of day to day life of the era have been researched in detail, and written in such a way that adds so much to the novel.  Margaret Skea clearly has a great love for the history and the country, and this shines through in the writing.

There is no doubt that this is well written in many ways, with Munro and young William Glencairn, in particular, becoming three dimensional very quickly.  The dialogue is written formally, in the style of the time (as far as I could see) and sometimes this adds authenticity, but at other times it halts the flow.  Also, there are so very many characters and I had trouble remembering who was who and whose allegiance was to whom, which made it flow even less well, because I kept having to refer back to previous chapters.  The other slight problem I had with it was a few instances of incorrect punctuation: missing commas and a few semicolons that should have been commas, but there are only a few and would probably only bother someone who is particularly picky about such things.

I liked the intrigue at court and the subtle humour in some of the dialogue, but I found this novel a little too slow and confusing for me to say that I really enjoyed it; I wanted to like it more than I did.  Margaret Skea is an accomplished writer who has won much acclaim and many awards, so if you like intelligent, detailed, literary historical fiction you may well enjoy this.  It just didn’t quite tick the boxes for me.

Book Description

Old rivalries…new friendships…dangerous decisions. 
Set in 16th Century Scotland Munro owes allegiance to the Cunninghames and to the Earl of Glencairn. Trapped in the 150-year-old feud between the Cunninghames and the Montgomeries, he escapes the bloody aftermath of an ambush, but he cannot escape the disdain of the wife he sought to protect, or his own internal conflict. He battles with his conscience and with divided loyalties – to age-old obligations, to his wife and children, and, most dangerous of all, to a growing friendship with the rival Montgomerie clan. Intervening to diffuse a quarrel that flares between a Cunninghame cousin and Hugh Montgomerie, he succeeds only in antagonizing William, the arrogant and vicious Cunninghame heir. And antagonizing William is a dangerous game to play…

About the author

Margaret Skea

Margaret Skea grew up in Ulster at the height of the ‘Troubles’, but now lives with her husband in the Scottish Borders. 

An interest in Scotland’s turbulent history, and in particular the 16th century, combined with PhD research into the Ulster-Scots vernacular, led to the writing of Turn of the Tide, which was the Historical Fiction Winner in the 2011 Harper Collins / Alan Titchmarsh People’s Novelist Competition and the Beryl Bainbridge Award for Best First Time Author 2014. 

An Hawthornden Fellow and award winning short story writer – her recent credits include, Overall Winner Neil Gunn 2011, Chrysalis Prize 2010, and Winchester Short Story Prize 2009. Third in the Rubery Book Award Short Story Competition 2013, a finalist in the Historical Novel Society Short Story Competition 2012, shortlisted in the Mslexia Short Story Competition 2012 and long-listed for the Historical Novel Society Short Story competition 2014, the Matthew Pritchard Award, the Fish Short Story and Fish One Page Prize, she has been published in a range of magazines and anthologies in Britain and the USA.
New collection of short stories – including some those from competitions mentioned above available for pre-order now.

AmazonUK | AmazonUS | Goodreads | Twitter also available on kindle unlimited

 

 

 

THE FOWLER’S SNARE by @CMTStibbe #AncientEgypt #HistFic #Bookreview @tmsanders2014 @readreviewroom

The Fowler's Snare: A Novel of Ancient EgyptThe Fowler’s Snare: A Novel of Ancient Egypt by Claire Stibbe
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The Fowler’s Snare is book #2 in this ancient Egyptian trilogy. Two sons, attempted to poison their father, King Ibada of Alodia, they escape to Egypt with a small army and plot to take over Thebes.

Pharoah Kheper-Re discovers that Kanjo and his men are more than mere merchants, he suspects they are Princes on the run and decides to test them in a dangerous challenge facing great hardships across the desert. A team lead by his commander Shenq will race Kanja and his selected men.

This period of history revolved very much around the gods, seers, prophets and dreaming with magic and omens believed at every turn. Many a priest or sorcerer lost their life if they didn’t predict the right outcome. In this book everyone’s lives revolve around the predictions.

There is a large cast of characters, twenty five helpfully named at the beginning of the book which is useful as many are hard to pronounce. I did struggle to keep them all separate as, for me, few had distinguishing dialogue which made them stand out.

I do like the book cover artwork and I enjoyed the first half of the book, the descriptions of the ancient world were very enjoyable. However I felt the race across the desert was too long and drawn out and lacking in connection back to the Pharaoh and the original story theme, it didn’t keep my interest in the storyline, instead it introduced yet more characters who diluted the race plot. A few times there was a bit of head hopping leaving me wondering who was talking and sometimes action seemed to jump in time from one paragraph to the next with no real page break in the storyline. It may have been just the formatting of the book I read, or it may need another check with editing.

All in all a good story premise, but a good trim of the number of characters allowing the reader time to form a relationship and empathy with the main ones, a check on the dialogue to make each person really stand out as an individual so that the reader can clearly picture them. And content, for instance, Pharaoh conveniently having Kanja’s army all slaughtered on the night of the race, with no fight, comebacks or survivors, and making sure every person or action takes the story forward at a good pace.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

I reviewed this book for ReadersReviewRoom

View all my reviews on Goodreads

Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT WHEN DOVES FLY by @mslaurengregory #WildWest

Today’s team review comes from Liz, she blogs at https://lizannelloyd.wordpress.com/

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Liz has been reading When Doves Fly by Lauren Gregory

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When Doves Fly by Lauren Gregory

 

Here is a book which takes us back to the Wild West we used to see in old movies, where men are tough and uncouth and women are there for their pleasure. Into this setting comes Lily Wright, running away from abuse and tragedy, looking for a new life in a boomtown during the gold rush in Colorado. Intending to open a dry goods store, her plans are in disarray after she loses her money and belongings. Without any assistance she struggles to make a living despite the fates being against her.

 

Lily is an insecure but brave and determined woman, with whom the reader becomes intimately involved. She learns a valuable lesson from Alice Durand, a wizened old woman whose life story could make another book! We experience Lily’s suffering in intense detail and cannot help wishing that her knight in shining armour will appear. However, Lily must make her own destiny.

 

The hypocritical residents of the ironically named Clear Springs include evil villains, honourable citizens and a hoard of dysfunctional individuals trying to make a fortune. It’s the perfect setting for life-changing drama. This could have made the story too predictable but this is far from the case. Lauren Gregory’s characters are real and vibrant. They come with back stories which give them substance and their actions make for a dramatic plot. There are the seeds of a saga in this novel.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

 

 

WINNER and Runner-Up of the 2015 Historical Fiction Award #SundayBlogShare

Winner Historical Fiction

The 2015 Golden Rose Book Award for Historical Fiction

went to Zoe Saadia with Two Rivers

Zoe Saadia Two Rivers

Meet Zoe

Zoe Saadia is the author of several novels of pre-Columbian Americas. From the glorious pyramids of Tenochtitlan to the fierce democrats of the Great Lakes, her novels bring long-forgotten history, cultures and people to life, tracing pivotal events that brought about the greatness of Meso and North America.

Having researched various pre-contact cultures of this continent for more than a decade, she is convinced that it’s a shame that such a large part of history was completely overlooked, by historical fiction most of all. Both Americas has an extremely rich, diverse, fascinating history long before this continent came in contact with the rest of the world.
So her professional motto is set. America has not been ‘discovered’, not yet. Not in her novels.

Find Zoe on Twitter @ZoeSaadia

Book Description

Having survived the failed raid on the enemy lands, Tekeni had no illusions. He was nothing but an enemy cub, adopted into one of the clans, but not accepted, never for real. To fit in was difficult, to run away – impossible. To get into trouble, more often than not, was the only available option. They did not expect anything else from him, anyway.

However, when a meaningless row during a ballgame grew out of proportion, resulting in a fight, Tekeni has found himself in a truly grave trouble. Neither he nor anyone else could have foreseen the chain of events the consequences of this fight would release, when the highly esteemed but controversial Two Rivers decided to help Tekeni out.

Two Rivers was a strange person with unacceptable notions and ideas. He maintained that to war on and on was a mistake of disastrous consequences. He went as far as suggesting a negotiation of peace with some of the neighboring nations. Even Tekeni, the despised enemy, thought such ideas to be far-fetched and wild. And yet…

With their trouble mounting and the revengefulness of some people around them growing, both Tekeni and Two Rivers find themselves pushed beyond limits.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

The Silver Award went to

Frances Evesham with Danger At Thatcham Hall

Frances Evesham and Danger at Thatcham Hall

Meet Frances

Frances Evesham writes mystery stories: the Exham on Sea contemporary crime series set in a small Somerset seaside town, and the Thatcham Hall Mysteries, 19th Century historical mystery romances set in Victorian England.

She collects grandsons, Victorian ancestors and historical trivia, likes to smell the roses, lavender and rosemary, and cooks with a glass of wine in one hand and a bunch of chillies in the other. She loves the Arctic Circle and the equator and plans to visit the penguins in the south one day.

She’s been a speech therapist, a professional communicator and a road sweeper and worked in the criminal courts. Now, she walks in the country and breathes sea air in Somerset.

Catch up with Frances on Twitter @FrancesEvesham

Book Description Danger At Thatcham Hall published by Wild Rose Press

Ambitious lawyer Nelson Roberts, embittered by war, jilted by his fiancée, and trusting no one, aims to make his name solving the mysterious thefts and violence at Thatcham Hall, a country house in Victorian England.

Olivia Martin, headstrong and talented, will stop at nothing to overcome the conventions of the day, avoid a miserable fate as a governess and fulfill dreams of a musical future.

The pair stumble on a body. Is the farmhand’s death a simple accident, or something more sinister? Who attacked the livestock at the Hall and why are the villagers so reluctant to talk? Can Nelson and Olivia overcome their differences and join forces to unravel the web of evil that imperils the Hall?

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Final congratulations to all our Historical Fiction nominees.

Alison Williams with THE BLACK HOURS

William Savage with AN UNLAMENTED DEATH

Tony Riches with OWEN

Vanessa Matthews with THE DOCTOR’S DAUGHTER

Rosie’s Book Review Team #RBRT Danger at Thatcham Hall by @FrancesEvesham #Histfic #Bookreview

Today’s review is from Noelle, she blogs at http://saylingaway.wordpress.com

Rosie's Book Review team 1

Noelle, chose to read and review Danger at Thatcham Hall by Frances Evesham

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Book Review: Danger at Thatcham Hall by Frances Evesham

This is the second of Frances Evesham’s Thatcham Hall Mysteries, 19th Century historical mystery romances set in Victorian England. It continues the story begun in An Independent Woman, in which Philomena, a woman from a lower class escaped London dressed as a boy, meets, falls in love with and later marries Hugh, Lord Thatcham. In this second novel, Olivia Martin, a thoroughly headstrong but impoverished young woman, is looking forward with dread to life as a governess and music teacher to support herself. While out for a walk, she is rescued from a cow, which she thinks is a bull, by Nelson Roberts, an up-and-coming lawyer from London. Together they discovered the body of a local farmhand. Roberts has been retained by Lord Thatcham to investigate attacks on his livestock and thefts of personal items from Thatcham Hall, a country house in Victorian England . The lawyer has been embittered by his role as an officer in the war in Afghanistan and has been jilted by his fiancée, so he approaches this task in a dark state of mind. Now he has the now added responsibility of discovering the truth of what happened to the farm hand.

As in the first book, there is more or less instant attraction between the two protagonists, although they are reluctant to acknowledge it, except to themselves. Olivia, upon being brought home by Roberts, hies herself off to Thatcham Hall for a previously arranged and convenient visit, hoping to see him again. There she is to spend time with the aforementioned Philomena and Hugh, as well as Miss Selena Dainty, Lord Thatcham’s only sister. She is a beauty with blond ringlets and blue eyes of whom Olivia cannot help but be jealous, especially of Selena’s prospects for the future.

Mr. Roberts begins his investigation, but circumstances keep throwing Olivia into his path, and eventually they combine forces to solve the various mysterious threads of the story. Various well-drawn and interesting characters begin to accumulate on the list of suspects: old witchy old woman, who knows and uses herbs as drugs, and her semi-wild grandson living in a hovel in the woods near Thatcham Hall; the baker’s daughter, who is pregnant and claims to have been seduced by a servant at Thatcham Hall; Major Lovell, an army officer with whom Roberts is well acquainted and to whom Miss Dainty is attracted. The reader quickly senses his evil nature. I can’t say more without giving away important details.

Roberts and Olivia alternate between confrontation and attraction for most of the book. Some of this seems a bit contrived, as is their sudden attraction, and I found this the most tedious aspect of the book. However, Olivia’s independence and spunkiness was refreshing against the backdrop of societal propriety.

The author has done a wonderful job in her descriptions of the customs, mores and dress of the times; I was fully drawn into the world of Thatcham Hall. She has also done a good job of creating and tying together her main plot and subplots, leaving good surprises both along the way and at the end. This book was overall a good read, and I can recommend it to lovers of this genre.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

 

Rosie’s Book Review Team – The Widow’s Tale by @paulacmoss1 #histfic #bookreview

Today’s team review comes from Noelle, she blogs at http://saylingaway.wordpress.com

Rosie's Book Review team 1

Noelle chose to read and review The Widow’s Take by Paula C Moss

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Book Review: The Widow’s Tale by Paula C. Moss

The Widow’s Tale is a genuine romance and a debut novel. Set in the era of the English Civil War (17th century) in the Yorkshire Dales (a favorite part of the world for me!), it recounts the life of 17 year old Charlotte Hart, married by arrangement to a local gentryman, Captain Oliver Grimwell. Even his last name made me hate him. Grimwell had the misfortune to die before he and Charlotte consummated their marriage and Charlotte wants her dower, a small farm, returned to her. Although this is her right under British law, Grimwell’s grasping family, including his nasty brother Phillip, refuse to let the land go. Charlotte is mighty headstrong, as they might say here in the South, and is determined to recover her farm, by hook or crook.

On one of her usual wild rides on the moor, she runs into some of Oliver Cromwell’s Army, the Roundheads, and meets the ruggedly handsome Nate Weatherall, a Cavalry officer. She gets away from him, but he later leads a group of Roundheads who garrison her family’s homestead. This creates problems for the family because her brother, a Loyalist, is hidden in a cave beneath the house.

Charlotte and Nate could not be more different. Charlotte is an impetuous, emotional, and stubborn young woman who continually makes bad choices, so many that I wanted to shake her and yell “Stop it!” Nate is a Puritan who believes women should be subservient to men. Despite their differences, they are attracted to each other and begin a relationship that will never run smooth but definitely runs hot, with some sex scenes that will satisfy most romance aficionados. There is a mild element of SM running through their relationship, since Nate takes pleasure in smacking her bottom when displeased with her behavior. She smarts from the beating but doesn’t turn away.

Charlotte’s schemes create tensions with her family, particularly with her outspoken older sister Cat, start a battle with the Grimwells, and lead to constant bickering with Nate. When her brother-in-law tries to rape her, Charlotte clocks him and leaves him for dead, necessitating a trip through the landscape of war-torn England, in and out of enemy lines, to find Nate.

I did have a few problems with the story. The language and banter between Charlotte and Nate is very modern and the author uses words inappropriate for the time, like snarky. I also found Charlotte a little over the top, not entirely believable for a woman of that time in history. Perhaps if she had been older? Finally, there is way too much eye-rolling and blushing – enough that I was acutely aware of it.

That being said, first novels are always hard. The author clearly knows and loves this period, as evidenced the details and the way they are woven into the story. The landscape and scenes are descriptive, but not overly so, and the secondary characters are clearly limned and very enjoyable. The fact some speak in a Yorkshire accent adds to the authenticity.

I think romance readers who try this book will not be disappointed, and I suspect the next volume in this series will be even better.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

 

 

Rosie’s Avid Readers #RBRT The Outlander by Gil Adamson #Canada #Bookreview

Rosie's Avid Readers

Rosie’s Avid readers are people who like reading and have a book to tell us about, they are the voice of a friend who says ” I just read this book….”

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Avid reader’s thoughts

An adventure in the Canadian outback at the turn of the last century.  The sense of loneliness in this vast countryside is well accentuated with very few characters as well as wonderful descriptions of the scenery.  A good read.

Book Description

In 1903 a mysterious, desperate young woman flees alone across the west, one quick step ahead of the law. She has just become a widow by her own hand. Two vengeful brothers and a pack of bloodhounds track her across the western wilderness. She is nineteen years old and half mad. Gil Adamson’s extraordinary novel opens in heart-pounding mid-flight and propels the reader through a gripping road trip with a twist — the steely outlaw in this story is a grief-struck young woman. Along the way she encounters characters of all stripes — unsavoury, wheedling, greedy, lascivious, self-reliant, and occasionally generous and trustworthy. Part historical novel, part Gothic tale, and part literary Western, The Outlander is an original and unforgettable read.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

We welcome recommendations especially from non-authors for this feature, and would love to hear from anyone who would like to leave a comment and follow the blog.

Rosie’s Book Review Team #RBRT The Widow’s Tale by @paulacmoss1 #Historical #bookreview

Today’s team review is from Terry, she blogs at http://terrytylerbookreviews.blogspot.co.uk/

Rosie's Book Review team 1

Terry chose to read and review The Widow’s Tale by Paula C Moss

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The Widow’s Tale by Paula C Moss

3 out of 5 stars

The Widow’s Tale tells the story of wild, spirited Charlotte Hart, a seventeen year old widow living in the time of the English Civil War. Land she sees as rightfully hers has fallen into the hands of her late husband’s family. Charlotte and her own family become embroiled in the crossfire between Royalists and Parliamentarians, especially officer Nate Wetherall.

The three stars I’ve given this book represent the fact that the author has clearly has much love for and knows her subject; I am not very knowledgeable about this period but most of the historical and domestic detail seems accurate, with details woven in subtly – all good. There is enough description about the landscape, etc, to set the scene, but not too much, and most of it is well done – another big tick. Many of the characters speak in a rural Yorkshire accent and this is convincing, too.

It’s never easy to review negatively, but, alas, I did struggle a bit with this book. Rather than a piece of historical drama about the clash between the two sides and the effects on the family, which is what I was expecting, much of it has the atmosphere of a jaunty, light romance. If this is what the author intends it to be, that’s fine, but the blurb does not reflect this. Aside from it needing a bit of tightening up generally, there are editing problems: repeated use of the adjective ‘snarky’, for instance, which did not make its appearance in the English language until the early 20th century, and the term ‘spooning’, in its modern sense (ie, a physical position involving two people), which originated in the 1850s. The other main downside is the punctuation. There are errors all the way through: numerous missing and ill-placed commas, random semicolons and capital letters inserted here and there, missing question marks. If the author has paid for a proofreading service she should ask for her money back.

I regret not being able to be more encouraging, but I hope that the author will take these comments as constructive, and bear them in mind for future works so that she may use her descriptive and dialogue capabilities and knowledge of her subject to greater effect.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com