A time to change – Callie Langridge

my turn on the blog blitz today for callie langridges book

the novel:

“I would rather love passionately for an hour than benignly for a lifetime.”

In a house full of history and secrets, the past will not stay where it belongs…

Lou has always loved Hill House, the derelict manor on the abandoned land near her home. As a child, the tragic history of its owners, the Mandevilles, inspired her dream to become a history teacher. But in her late twenties, and working in a shop to pay off student debts, life is passing her by.

That changes when a family disaster sends Lou’s life into a downward spiral and she seeks comfort in the ruined corridors of Hill House. The house transforms around her and Lou is transported back to Christmas 1913. Convinced she has been in an accident and is in a coma, Lou immerses herself in her Edwardian dream. With the Mandevilles oblivious to her true identity, Lou becomes their houseguest and befriends the eldest son, Captain Thomas Mandeville, a man she knows is destined to die in the First World War.

Lou feels more at home in the past than the present and when she realises the experience is real she sets out to do everything in her power to save her new friends.

Lou passes between 1913 and 2013, unearthing plots of murder and blackmail, which she must stop no matter the cost.

On her quest to save the Mandevilles by saving Thomas, Lou will face the hardest decision of her life. She will learn that love cannot be separated by a century.

 

My thoughts: this novel does the unexpected it starts off like a modern crime novel and then turns into a time travel story. It is different to the things i normally read but very entertaining.

I found the sections based in the past most fascinating and enjoyed the interesting ending. It was well characterised and written and if you are a fan of stories like Outlander this would be a story for you. A solid 4* read for me.

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The case of the Missing bride blog tour

It’s my privilege to bring you some content for the case of the missing bride blog tour, a new release from Bloodhound books

In The Beginning Was A Word…

By Carmen Radtke

Or rather, when it comes to ‘The Case of the Missing Bride’, it started with two words.

‘Imported brides’ had popped into my mind for no apparent reason at all, and with my daughter at school and the cat asleep on my bed, I could idle away my time on Google (note to writers and readers alike: in our case, it’s never wasting time or procrastination; it’s always research. Always. Bear that in mind.).

Two hours later my jaw dropped, my blood pressure rose, and I startled the cat by thumping my fist on the table. Something had hit a raw nerve.

This something consisted of one meagre paragraph. In 1862, twenty-two girls, poor, all alone in the world, had set sail from Melbourne, Australia, to be married off to Canadians. They never arrived, last seen when the ship stopped over in San Francisco.

One paragraph, in an old newspaper. That was all I could find. One lousy paragraph, to bear testimony that they ever existed.

First I felt pity and sorrow, and then anger. Anger at a world where you don’t matter if you’re the wrong class, gender, skin colour … not that a lot has changed through the ages, which makes it even harder to swallow.

There it was, the germ of an idea. I let it stay in the back of my mind, but the girls would not allow themselves to take a place in the side-lines. They grew, and their identities formed. Then, through a stroke of luck, I got the next piece of the jigsaw – a book with letters from Melbourne, dating from the exact period my girls would have grown up there. Now I could see their world.

But I needed more research; into the voyage itself. What I discovered was a mix of ocean-going sailing ships, early steam ships, expedition vessels… I’d found the ‘Artemis’Delight’, which combined all these things.

Great. I had the characters, the setting, and I had the means to save these poor girls. Well, not all of them, obviously, but most. More than 150 years after their disappearance I could bring them back to life, and give them hope, and friendship, and the hope for a happy ending, if only on the page.

I typed the first sentence. The next. Until I had a finished draft. I suffered with them through a storm, got outraged with Alyssa about the shackles inflicted upon women (the outrage is still there, only now under the surface), and I watched them put on a brave face in every kind of situation.

And what a situation it was. Canada, back then, had only begun with railroad-building. Travels happened by boat, or on horseback. Something remotely resembling a police force was in its infancy. Most settlers, hunters, and goldminers tried to keep peace with the First Nations, but not all of them did so. And there was gold! So much gold.

The Canadians did their best to keep out the rowdiest people from the other side of the border, where the War between the States, as the Civil War was known as back then, embroiled big parts of the country in bitter strife.

My girls wouldn’t have known much about it, but how unsettling that must have been, going into the unknown, with no hope of turning back.

I can only imagine what awaited them when they disappeared into the San Francisco fog. I don’t even know their names; only who they became in my account. But at least they will be remembered. This book is for them.

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Untainted blood by Liz Mistry

Today I am on the blog tour for Untainted blood by Liz Mistry the third in the DS Gus Maguire series.

The Story:

In a city that is already volatile, tensions mount  after a Tory MP in Bradford Central is discredited leaving the door open for the extreme right-wing candidate, Graeme Weston, to stand in the resultant by-election.

However, Graeme Weston is not what he appears to be and with secrets jeopardising his political career, he must tread very carefully.

Meanwhile, a serial killer targets Asian men who lead alternatives lifestyles and metes out his own form of torture.

As DI Gus McGuire’s team close in, the deranged killer begins to unravel and in an unexpected twist the stakes are raised for Gus.

Are the murders linked to the political scandals or is there another motive behind them?

DI Gus McGuire and his team are back and this might be their toughest case yet.

My thoughts:

Liz’s bio describes Liz as an ex teacher who has taught in inner city Bradford schools for over twenty years.  Her husband of nearly 30 years is Indian and they have three children.  They live in inner city Bradford and Liz likes to use the rich tapestry of her life in Bradford, combined with her Scottish heritage, in her writing. This knowledge of Bradford clearly shines through in Liz’s book and if like me you eagerly follow her release day pictures you get a real flavour of the city. In fact I really enjoy how Liz shows Bradford for the warts and all vibrant place it can be, unlike other novels I have read set in the city.

I particularly enjoy the ongoing character development and the richness of the characters beyond just the main protagonist, I am genuinely interested in catching up with Mo and Gus’s family as much as I am in what Gus is doing himself. As ever with Liz’s books this latest one contains everything you want from a crime novel, a great plot, well developed characters, a believable solution and detection, and enough darkness to keep you on edge without being gratuitous.

These novels are really classily written modern police procedurals that truly reflect on the multicultural nature of our British cities.  I find them hard to put down once i start reading for me Liz Mistry is cementing herself as one of my favourite crime writers, and I hope to be reading the continuing saga of Gus for many years to come – A 5* +BLOG TOUR (5).png read for me

 

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