Things We Didn’t Say by Amy Lynn Green

Thanks to Kelly and Meggy of Love Books Tours for the opportunity to read and review this historical fiction book. Thanks to Bethany House for providing a copy of the book to read and review.

Synopsis:

Headstrong Johanna Berglund, a linguistics student at the University of Minnesota, has very definite plans for her future . . . plans that do not include returning to her hometown and the secrets and heartaches she left behind there. But the US Army wants her to work as a translator at a nearby camp for German POWs.

Johanna arrives to find the once-sleepy town exploding with hostility. Most patriotic citizens want nothing to do with German soldiers laboring in their fields, and they’re not afraid to criticize those who work at the camp as well. When Johanna describes the trouble to her friend Peter Ito, a language instructor at a school for military intelligence officers, he encourages her to give the town that rejected her a second chance.

As Johanna interacts with the men of the camp and censors their letters home, she begins to see the prisoners in a more sympathetic light. But advocating for better treatment makes her enemies in the community, especially when charismatic German spokesman Stefan Werner begins to show interest in Johanna and her work. The longer Johanna wages her home-front battle, the more the lines between compassion and treason become blurred–and it’s no longer clear whom she can trust

Purchase link for Amazon https://amzn.to/2MudGFq

My thoughts:

I thoroughly enjoyed this historical fiction debut novel set in the USA during World War 2. We start to find out about Johanna through a series of letters, many written by Johanna or written to Johanna, or between some of the other main characters, mostly based in the small town of Ironside Lake.

Johanna had escaped from her small town to study at University, but finds herself back in town to be the translator at the POW Camp in her home town. Initially the townspeople aren’t happy to have a POW camp in the area, but Johanna helps educate the locals whilst educating the POW’s. One of the officers, Stefan Werner, makes Johanna feel uncomfortable despite being polite and helpful.

Some of the letters are between Johanna and her University friend Peter, who is the son of immigrants from Japan, who is now at war with the USA. Peter is now working for the US military but has spent a few years studying in Japan – is he going to be patriotic or a traitor?

As we read the letters, we can see that some of the letters are being used in a court case. But who will be heading for court?

As I said before I enjoyed this story. This is an excellent mix of history, mystery and intrigue, wrapped up in so many letters and subplots that I didn’t know who had done what until the very end. I’m pleased I had the opportunity to read this book and I look forward to reading more by Amy Lynn Green in the future.

Author Bio:

Amy Lynn Green is a publicist by day and a freelance writer on nights and weekends. She was the 2014 winner of the Family Fiction short story contest, and her articles have been featured in Crosswalk, Focus on the Family magazines, and other faith-based publications over the past 10 years. This is her first novel. Learn more at www.amygreenbooks.com.

What the World Needs Now-Bees! @cherylrosebush @freshly_press @lovebooksgroup

I’m pleased to be sharing my review for this gorgeous children’s book today. Thanks to Love Books Tours for the invitation.

Synopsis:

Inside the sprawling forests of Ontario, Canada lives a  friendly black bear named Melly. One of Melly’s favourite things to do is EAT! And many of the delicious fruits she snacks on wouldn’t grow without the help of some very important little forest creatures. 

What the World Needs Now: Bees! explores the vital role busy, busy bees play in helping plants to grow the food people and animals love to eat.

My thoughts:

A few years ago, I worked as a teaching assistant in our local Primary School when my own children were young (the hours fitted better than my previous job as a Medical underwriter). One of my main roles was to try to encourage reluctant readers to enjoy choosing and reading books.

I’m sure that this book would have encouraged even the most reluctant of readers. It is so bright and colourful, and gives a clear message about why we need to support our bees to save our wildlife and ourselves. Some of the terminology does appear advanced for 4 year olds, so personally I would have put this in Key Stage 1 or Key Stage 2. To be read independently, I would expect the reader to be a strong reader in Year 2 or above.

I will be passing on my review copy to our local school, and I believe that the children will enjoy it as much as I did.

Author Bio

I was born and raised in Southern Ontario, Canada in the cities of Burlington and St. Catharines. Long before the internet and mobile phones (now I’m ageing myself!), my childhood was spent in forests and parks, on bike rides, and playing hide and seek until the streetlights came on. My family did comical Griswold-style road trips in wood-panelled station wagons. We spent summers swimming in friends’ backyards. These are my very fortunate roots.

I knew from an early age that my destiny would take me far from Southern Ontario. I graduated high school and moved to Montreal to study international politics at McGill University. The subject fascinated me, but as graduation approached, I realized I didn’t know what I wanted to do with a degree in international politics. I didn’t want to become a lawyer. I didn’t want to become a politician or civil servant. The media industry, on the other hand, intrigued me. 

The West Coast of Canada also intrigued me. So, after graduating McGill, I packed up again, moved to Vancouver and took the first media job I could get at a local Top 40 radio station (Z.95.3) in Vancouver. Best job. Great bosses. I learned so much. But after a couple of years there, the winds of change came calling again. 

September 11, 2001. In a heartbeat, Z95.3 went from playing Britney Spears to reporting up-to-the-minute information on the local, national and international fallout of the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington. In that moment, I knew I had found my calling. I wanted to do something that was needed on a good day, and needed even more on a bad day. I wanted to become a full-time journalist. 

So, I packed my bags again (a running theme in my life), and moved to Ottawa, Ontario to do my Masters of Journalism. Another incredible two years culminated in me getting a research internship with the Canadian Broadcast Corporation (CBC) in London, England. That position helped me land back in Montreal for a second chapter there as a local news reporter for the CBC. While I was there, I wore just about every hat you could in CBC’s radio and TV newsrooms. Depending on the day, I was a researcher, producer, reporter, or online writer. I even filled in for the weather reports every once in a while.

https://www.cherylrosebush.com/

About the book:

As you might have seen on IG, our UK Shopify online store is now open for business: www.Environmentalkids.co.uk.  We are really proud of our set up in the UK. All books in the series are printed in and shipped from the UK, which means we can pass along shipping savings to the customer, and the books have the lowest carbon footprint possible.

100% recycled paper, biodegradable lamination, vegetable-based inks and carbon-balanced printing we use, and now more than ever, these are books you can feel REALLY good about buying.



EnvironmentalKids.com

The Domestic Revolution by Ruth Goodman @omarabooks @lovebooksgroup

Thank you to Kelly and Meggy of Love Books Tours for the opportunity to read and review this book. Regular readers of my blog will know that I don’t review many non-fiction books, but as the granddaughter of a coal miner this one appealed to me.

Synopsis:

A large black cast iron range glowing hot, the kettle steaming on top, provider of everything from bath water and clean socks to morning tea: it’s a nostalgic icon of a Victorian way of life. But it is far more than that. In this book, social historian and TV presenter Ruth Goodman tells the story of how the development of the coal-fired domestic range fundamentally changed not just our domestic comforts, but our world.

The revolution began as far back as the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, when London began the switch from wood to coal as its domestic fuel – a full 200 years before any other city. It would be this domestic demand for more coal that would lead to the expansion of mining, engineering, construction and industry: the Domestic Revolution kick-started, pushed and fuelled the Industrial Revolution.

There were other radical shifts. Coal cooking was to change not just how we cooked but what we cooked (causing major swings in diet), how we washed (first our laundry and then our bodies) and how we decorated (spurring the wallpaper industry). It also defined the nature of women’s and men’s working lives, pushing women more firmly into the domestic sphere. It transformed our landscape and environment (by the time of Elizabeth’s death in 1603, London’s air was as polluted as that of modern Beijing). Even tea drinking can be brought back to coal in the home, with all its ramifications for the shape of the empire and modern world economics.

Taken together, these shifts in our day-to-day practices started something big, something unprecedented, something that was exported across the globe and helped create the world we live in today

My thoughts:

I’m so glad I had the opportunity to read this fascinating book. Ruth’s writing style is excellent, the book is informative but also in a friendly way, rather than a boring factual textbook style.

The book looks at what the UK used for fuel before coal, and how the changes happened, primarily in London, then across the country. As coal use increased, the design of our houses, what we ate, how we cleaned all changed – hence the title of domestic revolution.

I’ve visited the National Coal Mining museum near Wakefield and went underground to see what the conditions were like for my grandpa and his family, but this book explains why so many people were needed to mine for coal, to provide heat, hot water and hot meals.

The book also reminded me about the old Aga that my grandparents had, explaining how it would work, allowing different types of cooking could happen simultaneously. I remember being equally scared and fascinated at the age of 4 when my grandpa made my toast with an open flame and toasting fork rather than the electric toaster we had at home.

I look forward to reading more of Ruth’s books. If you enjoy history and enjoyed watching Ruth’s programmes and/or the ‘Back in time’ series with Sara Cox on BBC2, then I recommend reading this book.

Author Bio:

For the first time, shows how the Industrial Revolution truly began in the kitchen – a revolution run by women. Told with Ruth’s inimitable wit, passion and commitment to revealing the nitty-gritty of life across three centuries of extraordinary change, from the Elizabethan to the Victorian age.

A TV regular, Ruth has appeared on some of BBC 2’s most successful shows, including: Victorian Farm, Edwardian Farm, Wartime Farm, Tudor Monastery Farm, Inside the Food Factory and most recently Full Steam Ahead, as well as being a regular expert presenter on The One Show. The critically acclaimed author of How to Be a Victorian, How to be a Tudor and How to Behave Badly in Renaissance Britain.

What the World Needs Now-Bees! @cherylrosebush @freshly_press @lovebooksgroup #lovebookstours #bookblitz

I’m pleased to be joining the Love Books Tour book blitz for this children’s book today. I will be sharing my review later this month as part of the blog tour.

Synopsis:

Inside the sprawling forests of Ontario, Canada lives a  friendly black bear named Melly. One of Melly’s favourite things to do is EAT! And many of the delicious fruits she snacks on wouldn’t grow without the help of some very important little forest creatures. 

What the World Needs Now: Bees! explores the vital role busy, busy bees play in helping plants to grow the food people and animals love to eat.

Author Bio

I was born and raised in Southern Ontario, Canada in the cities of Burlington and St. Catharines. Long before the internet and mobile phones (now I’m ageing myself!), my childhood was spent in forests and parks, on bike rides, and playing hide and seek until the streetlights came on. My family did comical Griswold-style road trips in wood-panelled station wagons. We spent summers swimming in friends’ backyards. These are my very fortunate roots.

I knew from an early age that my destiny would take me far from Southern Ontario. I graduated high school and moved to Montreal to study international politics at McGill University. The subject fascinated me, but as graduation approached, I realized I didn’t know what I wanted to do with a degree in international politics. I didn’t want to become a lawyer. I didn’t want to become a politician or civil servant. The media industry, on the other hand, intrigued me. 

The West Coast of Canada also intrigued me. So, after graduating McGill, I packed up again, moved to Vancouver and took the first media job I could get at a local Top 40 radio station (Z.95.3) in Vancouver. Best job. Great bosses. I learned so much. But after a couple of years there, the winds of change came calling again. 

September 11, 2001. In a heartbeat, Z95.3 went from playing Britney Spears to reporting up-to-the-minute information on the local, national and international fallout of the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington. In that moment, I knew I had found my calling. I wanted to do something that was needed on a good day, and needed even more on a bad day. I wanted to become a full-time journalist. 

So, I packed my bags again (a running theme in my life), and moved to Ottawa, Ontario to do my Masters of Journalism. Another incredible two years culminated in me getting a research internship with the Canadian Broadcast Corporation (CBC) in London, England. That position helped me land back in Montreal for a second chapter there as a local news reporter for the CBC. While I was there, I wore just about every hat you could in CBC’s radio and TV newsrooms. Depending on the day, I was a researcher, producer, reporter, or online writer. I even filled in for the weather reports every once in a while.

https://www.cherylrosebush.com/

Ivy Hill Christmas: A Tales from Ivy Hill Novella by Julie Klassen @Julie_Klassen @Bethany_House @BPGUK @lovebooksgroup #lovebookstours

Thank you to Love Book Tours for the invitation to join the blog tour for this festive historical fiction novella. Thank you to Bethany House for a copy of the book, my thoughts are my own and not influenced by the gift.

Synopsis:

Richard Brockwell, the younger son of Ivy Hill’s most prominent family, hasn’t been home for Christmas in years. He prefers to live in the London townhouse, far away from Brockwell Court, the old family secret that haunts him, and the shadows of his past mistakes. But then his mother threatens to stop funding his carefree life–unless he comes home for Christmas. Out of options, he sets out for Ivy Hill, planning to be back on a coach bound for London and his unencumbered bachelor life as soon as the festivities are over.

Buy Link 

https://amzn.to/2UZEkH6

My thoughts:

This is the first book I’ve read by Julie Klassen so I haven’t read the previous books in the Ivy Hill series yet. However I’m pleased to say that it didn’t cause any issues with reading this book.

I’ve read a few festive novels this year (primarily to escape the news about the global pandemic) but this is the first one that took me back in time almost 200 years. I enjoyed my trip back in time, to a world very different today.

I enjoyed reading about Richard, what had driven him to leave his family home (Brockwell Court) and why he had avoided going home. This Christmas is his opportunity to face up to the past and to make plans for the future, and to share his worries with his brother too.

Richard appears to be a very self centred young man, who Arabella wisely avoids, but slowly we start to understand what happened to make him struggle to trust people and see what happens when he starts to think about others first.

An enjoyable read that I’m happy to recommend.

Author Bio:

Julie Klassen loves all things Jane—Jane Eyre and Jane Austen. A graduate of the University of Illinois, Julie worked in publishing for sixteen years and now writes full time. Three of her books, The Silent GovernessThe Girl in the Gatehouse, and The Maid of Fairbourne Hall, have won the Christy Award for Historical Romance. She has also won the Midwest Book Award, the Minnesota Book Award, and Christian Retailing’s BEST Award, and been a finalist in the Romance Writers of America’s RITA Awards and ACFW’s Carol Awards. She blogs at http://www.inspiredbylifeandfiction.com.
Julie and her husband have two sons and live in a suburb of St. Paul, Minnesota.

Create Your Own Calm by Meera Lee Patel @meeraleepatel @omarabooks @lovebooksgroup #lovebookstours #CreateYourOwnCalm

Today I’m sharing my thoughts about this beautiful book on the Love Books Tours blog tour (and will be sharing more images on my Instagram page @karenkisreading)

Synopsis:

From the bestselling author of Start Where You Are, a beautifully illustrated journal for easing the everyday anxieties we all carry.

Feeling anxious, uncertain, overwhelmed? You’re not alone. In this empowering new tool for self-care, popular artist and author Meera Lee Patel presents a fresh approach to feeling better. Designed to help us better understand ourselves and dial down the everyday worries getting in our way, these thoughtful and beautifully illustrated journal pages are a safe space for reflection, self-acceptance, and the freedom to move forward with more clarity and joy.

Bringing together inspiring quotes from great thinkers and writers throughout history and engaging journal prompts and plenty of room to capture your thoughts, the book is a calming breath of fresh air and a quiet space to reflect and recharge in a hectic and uncertain world.

My thoughts:

Thank you to Michael O’Mara Books and Love Books Tours for the opportunity to read and review this beautiful ‘self-help’ book.

2020 has increased the anxiety levels of the majority of people, with increased health and financial worries due to the global pandemic. It is difficult to avoid ‘bad news’ on TV or the internet at the moment, but this book gives you time to reflect and recharge.

In my work life, I work with young people, encouraging them to reflect on their past work and achievements and values before looking forward to their future. However, this is something I rarely do myself. However since this book arrived last week, I’ve been looking through it and taking time to think about the different ideas it suggests.

The book is beautiful to look at, full of colour and quotes, with lots of activities to encourage you to think and reflect. I haven’t kept a personal diary or journal since my first pregnancy 18 years ago but I will be using this book in 2021 to see if I can reduce my anxiety levels. My 15 year old daughter has asked me to buy a copy for her too.

Author Bio:

Meera Lee Patel is a self-taught artist and the author of Start Where You Are, Made Out of Stars, and My Friend Fear. She creates work to inspire and encourage others to connect with themselves, each other, and the world around them. She lives in the northern woods of Nashville, Tennessee.

Buy Link 

https://amzn.to/3mdWeCb

337 by M. Jonathan Lee @mjonathanlee – #337LEE @HideawayFall @lovebooksgroup #lovebookstours #bookpromo

Today I’m joining the publication day blitz for 337 by M. Jonathan Lee with Love Book Tours by hosting an extract from the book. Please note the double-ended upside-down opening for this book is available in books ordered in hard copy from UK booksellers only.

Synopsis:

337 follows the life of Samuel Darte whose mother vanished when he was in his teens. It was his brother, Tom who found her wedding ring on the kitchen table along with the note.

While their father pays the price of his mother’s disappearance, Sam learns that his long-estranged Gramma is living out her last days in a nursing home nearby.

Keen to learn about what really happened that day and realising the importance of how little time there is, he visits her to finally get the truth.

Soon it’ll be too late and the family secrets will be lost forever. Reduced to ashes. But in a story like this, nothing is as it seems.

Extract:

As I dress, I wonder what would happen if I too decided not to visit Gramma. What if I decided that I couldn’t be bothered to make the effort? If I decided that instead of seeing my dying relative, I would pursue the imaginary possibility of playing music with a world-renowned rock star? And it instantly comes to me.

Nothing would happen. 

Nothing at all. 

Gramma would die. 

Alone.

And the impact on my life would be the same as removing one grain of sand from the Sahara. 

But there is something that makes me different to my brother, my father. It is more than just a yearning not to be like them. It is actually a part of me. A part of what makes me the way I am. I am not like them. I have always played this role. I’ve spent a lifetime making up for their behaviour by doing more than one person could ever be reasonably expected to do. 

To be honest with you, Gramma dying alone doesn’t even bother me. 

After what happened, it’s no more than she deserves.

I make my way downstairs into the kitchen and click on the kettle. I try to imagine how I would have felt if my father had called and told me that Gramma had already died. I concentrate, stripping away my personal feelings for her and wrestling with how I should feel on hearing of the death of anybody. I am still thinking as the rush of steam is propelled into the underside of the kitchen cupboards, dispersing in all directions like the mushroom from an atom bomb. 

I decide that I will make the effort and at least visit her once. 

That feels right. I’ll do it tomorrow

Author Bio:

M Jonathan Lee is a nationally shortlisted author and mental health campaigner. His first novel The Radio was nationally shortlisted in the Novel Prize 2012. Since that time he has gone on to publish five further novels with ‘337’ being his sixth novel. Jonathan is a tireless campaigner for mental health awareness and writes his own column regularly for the Huffington Post. He has recently written for the Big Issue and spoken at length about his own personal struggle in the British national press on the BBC and Radio Talk Europe.

Endlessly fascinated by the human condition and what leads people to do the things they do to one another, Jonathan is obsessed with writing stories with twists where nothing is exactly how it first appears. 

Buy Link 

https://amzn.to/2JG2Nz1

The Boy Between by Amanda Prowse and Josiah Hartley @mrsamandaprowse #JosiahHartley @lovebooksgroup #lovebookstours

Thank you to Kelly at Love Book Tours for inviting me to join the blog tour for this thought provoking book and for the digital review copy. I have read and enjoyed many of Amanda’s fiction books over the past few years, but this is the book that will stay with me for many years.

Synopsis:

Josiah was nineteen with the world at his feet when things changed. Without warning, the new university student’s mental health deteriorated to the point that he planned his own death. His mother, bestselling author Amanda Prowse, found herself grappling for ways to help him, with no clear sense of where that could be found. This is the book they wish had been there for them during those dark times.

Josiah’s situation is not unusual: the statistics on student mental health are terrifying. And he was not the only one suffering; his family was also hijacked by his illness, watching him struggle and fearing the day he might succeed in taking his life.

In this book, Josiah and Amanda hope to give a voice to those who suffer, and to show them that help can be found. It is Josiah’s raw, at times bleak, sometimes humorous, but always honest account of what it is like to live with depression. It is Amanda’s heart-rending account of her pain at watching him suffer, speaking from the heart about a mother’s love for her child.

For anyone with depression and anyone who loves someone with depression, Amanda and Josiah have a clear message—you are not alone, and there is hope.

My thoughts:

I’ve had the review copy sat on my Kindle for a few weeks, ready to read and review but I decided to wait until I had listened to Josh and Amanda being interviewed for a recent Reading Agency event when they were interviewed by Natasha Devon from http://www.natashadevon.com. Having heard Josh and Amanda read from their book and talk about it, I settled down to read. This was a book I didn’t want to put down and this resulted in a late night of reading.

As readers of my book review blog know, I have many books this year due to having been furloughed. However this is one of the most important books of the year, and should be read by parents, teachers and anyone working with young people. During our recent work safeguarding training, we were told that one in six young people in the UK are now said to be living with a mental health issue, exacerbated by the current global pandemic.

Thank you to Josh for being so open and articulate about what happened, how his world changed and became grey. As Josh points out, there wasn’t one major incident that caused his depression, it was a combination of events and life experiences. Thank you to Amanda for also being honest about what she and the rest of the family did or didn’t do during this time. When we have children, we tend to learn as we go, with help from family and friends and in the age of filtered Instagram families, it can be difficult to remember that few people (if any) are actually experiencing perfection. Hopefully this book will help many other families who find themselves in a similar situation.

I work with young people and this book has given me more clues about what to look out for, than any of the ‘educational’ publications I’ve read, because it is written by someone who has depression, rather than someone who works with people with depression. I lost my own brother to depression five years ago when he turned 40. I have struggled to understand why he didn’t reach out but having read Josh’s story, I now realise that he was trapped in his own grey world.

This is an emotional, well written read about a topic which many people find it difficult to talk about. As I said above, this is a book that parents and teachers should read. I will be recommending this to family and friends. Most definitely a five star read.

Author Bio:

Josiah (Josh) Hartley lives in an isolated farmhouse in the West Country, but close enough to Bristol to enjoy its music scene. He is an animal lover and servant to two French Bulldogs. Equally happy at a music festival or watching rugby with his mates, he likes the outdoor life and with Devon only a short drive away often heads to the sea to surf and sit on the beach watching the sun go down. After a stint at the University of Southampton and another at the University of Bristol and one unsuccessful suicide attempt, Josh decided to write about his descent into mental illness and the depression that has held him in its grip for the past few years. The Boy Between carries the overriding message that things can and often do get better. It’s a book of reflection, raw, honest and full of hope: the proof being that Josh is still here and now excited about what comes next. He is ready to catch any opportunities that life throws his way, quite a thing for someone who only three years ago was living in a world gone grey, ready to disappear from the face of the earth…

Amanda Prowse likens her own life story to those she writes about in her books. After self-publishing her debut novel, Poppy Day, in 2011, she has gone on to author twenty-five novels and six novellas. Her books have been translated into a dozen languages and she regularly tops bestseller charts all over the world. Remaining true to her ethos, Amanda writes stories of ordinary women and their families who find their strength, courage and love tested in ways they never imagined. The most prolific female contemporary fiction writer in the UK, with a legion of loyal readers, she goes from strength to strength. Being crowned ‘queen of domestic drama’ by the Daily Mail was one of her finest moments. Amanda is a regular contributor on TV and radio but her first love is, and will always be, writing. This is her first work of non-fiction.

You can find her online at www.amandaprowse.com, on Twitter or Instagram @MrsAmandaProwse, and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/amandaprowsenogreaterlove.

The Haunting at Bonaventure Circus by Jaime Jo Wright @jaimejowright @bethany_house @lovebooksgroup #lovebookstours

I’m pleased to be sharing my review today as part of the blog tour organised by Love Book Tours. Thank you to the publisher for a digital proof copy, my thoughts are my own and not influenced by the gift.

Synopsis:

1928

The Bonaventure Circus is a refuge for many, but Pippa Ripley was rejected from its inner circle as a baby. When she receives mysterious messages from someone called the “Watchman,” she is determined to find him and the connection to her birth. As Pippa’s search leads her to a man seeking justice for his murdered sister and evidence that a serial killer has been haunting the circus train, she must decide if uncovering her roots is worth putting herself directly in the path of the killer.

Present Day

The old circus train depot will either be torn down or preserved for historical importance, and its future rests on real estate project manager Chandler Faulk’s shoulders. As she dives deep into the depot’s history, she’s also balancing a newly diagnosed autoimmune disease and the pressures of single motherhood. When she discovers clues to the unsolved murders of the past, Chandler is pulled into a story far darker and more haunting than even an abandoned train depot could portend.

My thoughts:

This is an interesting time slip story, set in the USA, full of mystery, murder and ghosts. Pippa in 1928 has been adopted by the circus owners, the Ripley family, but doesn’t feel as if she belongs. Chandler, in the present day, is a single mum, trying to prove to her family that she can carry on working as before despite her current health issues.

The book covers a wide range of topics, from women demanding more independence, to the mistreatment of zoo animals to the impact stress has on someone with an auto-immune disorder. These are all wrapped up in a serial killer murder mystery story spanning a century and linked to the Bonaventure Circus. Pippa and Chandler both have to decide who they can trust, and it may be someone they trust the most who turns out to not be worthy of that trust.

I enjoyed the story (despite struggling with the formatting of the proof copy – to be honest, if I hadn’t enjoyed the story so much the I would probably not have persevered) and look forward to reading more by Jaime Jo Wright in the future.

Author Bio

Jaime Jo Wright is the author of five novels, including Christy Award winner The House on Foster Hill and Carol Award winner The Reckoning at Gossamer Pond. She’s also the Publishers Weekly and ECPA bestselling author of two novellas. Jaime lives in Wisconsin with her cat named Foo, her husband Cap’n Hook, and their littles, Peter Pan, and CoCo. To learn more, visit www.jaimewrightbooks.com

Buy Link 

https://amzn.to/3bzX8UU

Avalon’s Portal by Lynne W. Bailey @lynnewbailey1 @lovebooksgroup #lovebookstours #AvalonsPortal

Thank you to Lynne for a proof copy of Avalon’s Portal so I could prepare for the Love Book Tours blog tour. My thoughts are my own and not influenced by the gift.

Synopsis:

Nothing exciting ever happens to Arthur, and that’s the way he likes it. But when he stumbles into a magical world on his 13th birthday, the new teen has to put on his big boy pants and begin the quest of a lifetime to find his way back home.

With the help of new friends, Arthur overcomes seemingly impossible obstacles, tames magical creatures, and fights mythical monsters. By the end of his journey he has changed in ways he could never have imagined; he needs to get home, but the pull of Avalon leaves him with a difficult decision to make.

My thoughts:

When the email arrived from Kelly at Love Book Tours about this blog tour, the cover design (I live in Wiltshire) and mention of Avalon caught my attention and I quickly offered to read and review.

I’ve always been fascinated by stories featuring Arthur, Guinevere and Merlin, and discovering that Arthur in this story was a Penn (my maiden name) I decided the signs were good.

I enjoyed this book, which admittedly is aimed at younger readers, and I will be passing it onto my 15 year old, having checked that the content is age appropriate. Arthur travels through the Avalon Portal a few days after meeting Marmaduke in his new home town of Glastonbury. The story is full of adventures, magic and some very unusual creatures for Guin and Arthur. As the cover shows, dragons and crows also feature in the story.

Happy to recommend to readers of upper Key Stage 2 and above, and their families. I will be keeping an eye out for book two, to see what happens next.

Author Bio:

Lynne has been writing short stories and poems since the age of 12. She is currently working on various ghostwriting projects for a reputable publisher, however, Avalon’s Portal is her debut novel, published in her own name. 

Lynne loves anything weird and wonderful, so expect to find her books full of magic, crystals, and mythical beings. Whilst working on the second book in this series, Lynne also holds a full time job and enjoys spending time with her family.