Sunday, February 16, 2020

2/16/20 RESISTANCE WOMEN BY JENNIFER CHIAVERINI





About Resistance Women

• Paperback: 640 pages
• Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; Reprint edition (February 4, 2020)

One of BookBub’s best historical novels of the year and Oprah magazine’s buzziest books of the month.

From the New York Times bestselling author of Mrs. Lincoln’s Dressmaker, an enthralling historical saga that recreates the danger, romance, and sacrifice of an era and brings to life one courageous, passionate American—Mildred Fish Harnack—and her circle of women friends who waged a clandestine battle against Hitler in Nazi Berlin.

After Wisconsin graduate student Mildred Fish marries brilliant German economist Arvid Harnack, she accompanies him to his German homeland, where a promising future awaits. In the thriving intellectual culture of 1930s Berlin, the newlyweds create a rich new life filled with love, friendships, and rewarding work—but the rise of a malevolent new political faction inexorably changes their fate.

As Adolf Hitler and his Nazi Party wield violence and lies to seize power, Mildred, Arvid, and their friends resolve to resist. Mildred gathers intelligence for her American contacts, including Martha Dodd, the vivacious and very modern daughter of the US ambassador. Her German friends, aspiring author Greta Kuckoff and literature student Sara Weitz, risk their lives to collect information from journalists, military officers, and officials within the highest levels of the Nazi regime.

For years, Mildred’s network stealthily fights to bring down the Third Reich from within. But when Nazi radio operatives detect an errant Russian signal, the Harnack resistance cell is exposed, with fatal consequences.

Inspired by actual events, Resistance Women is an enthralling, unforgettable story of ordinary people determined to resist the rise of evil, sacrificing their own lives and liberty to fight injustice and defend the oppressed.


THOUGHTS/REVIEW:


I just finished reading this captivating and engrossing read by the one and only Jennifer Chiaverini and I am enthralled! I loved this book and read it slowly over the last few days enjoying Chiaverini’s writing and her attention to detail of 1930’s Berlin, the development of these amazing characters you will love, and building the political tension of the Nazi regime.

Newlywed and recent Wisconsin graduate Mildred Fish marries Arvid Harnack a German economist and lives with him in Berlin. The sudden rise of the Nazi regime is changing the country she has grown to love. Cruelty among the Jews and even Americans were rampant and Mildred will not stand for this and resolve themselves to do something about this. With what they can Mildred alongside her friends Martha, the US Ambassador’s daughter and her German friends Greta and Sara all risk their lives to collect information and do whatever they can to resist Hitler and the Nazi Party.

This fictional story was inspired by actual events and the story as told gave me hope and inspiration for the selflessness and bravery of these women and men who will fight evil Nazi regime. This was truly an insightful read that I inspired me on the bravery of ordinary people to fight and win against cruelty, injustice and pure evil. I highly recommend this amazing book!


Social Media

#resistancewomen @tlcbooktours, @williammorrowbooks, and @jenniferchiaveriniauthor.


Purchase Links
HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble




About Jennifer Chiaverini




Jennifer Chiaverini is the New York Times bestselling author of several acclaimed historical novels and the beloved Elm Creek Quilts series. A graduate of the University of Notre Dame and the University of Chicago, she lives with her husband and two sons in Madison, Wisconsin.

Find out more about Jennifer at her website, and connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


Thank you to @TLCBOOKTOURS and @WILLIAMMORROW for having me in this amazing Book Tour

Saturday, February 15, 2020

2/15/20 DON'T PUT THE BOATS AWAY BY AMES SHELDON HOSTED BY @SUZYAPPROVEDBOOKTOURS



Paperback, 300 pages
Published August 27th 2019 by She Writes Press

In the aftermath of World War II, the members of the Sutton family are reeling from the death of their “golden boy,” Eddie. Over the next twenty-five years, they all struggle with loss, grief, and mourning. Daughter Harriet and son Nat attempt to fill the void Eddie left behind: Harriet becomes a chemist despite an inhospitable culture for career women in the 1940s and ’50s, hoping to move into the family business in New Jersey, while Nat aims to be a jazz musician. Both fight with their autocratic father, George, over their professional ambitions as they come of age. Their mother, Eleanor, who has PTSD as a result of driving an ambulance during the Great War, wrestles with guilt over never telling Eddie about the horrors of war before he enlisted. As the members of the family attempt to rebuild their lives, they pay high prices, including divorce and alcoholism—but in the end, they all make peace with their losses, each in his or her own way.

THOUGHTS/REVIEW:

I enjoyed reading this post WWII family story that spans a few decades. Though the story is focused on the Sutton family, the story immersed the reader into an amazing well researched historical read on the medical advancements, political highlights, and the struggles of women in professional roles throughout the decades. This is Ames Sheldon’s follow up to the first novel, Eleanor’s Wars – though this book worked as a great stand alone that continued to follow the development of the Sutton family. I loved that the writing incorporated the cultural changes happening in the country and how it is affecting the lives of our protagonists as it makes their problem relatable and believable. What is really beautiful about the writing is that it did not shy on touching upon complex themes and issues. I loved that it brought the family to a seamless resolution in the end. What a well written story that I enjoyed reading.


AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT:






At the age of nine while reading Stuart Little, I realized I wanted to be a writer, so I started writing stories. Many stories and poems later, I helped write and edit the ground-breaking WOMEN'S HISTORY SOURCES:A GUIDE TO ARCHIVES AND MANUSCRIPT COLLECTIONS IN THE UNITED STATES (R.R. Bowker, 1979). In the process of working on this monumental reference book, I discovered my love for women's history and using primary sources for research.

My novels ELEANOR'S WARS AND DON'T PUT THE BOATS AWAY reflect my fascination with the history of women in the U.S.

I have worked as a reporter for two small town newspapers and as a publicist for an auto salvage yard and an aluminum recycling business. Then I ventured into the area of creative nonfiction, writing grant proposals, reports, and solicitations for the Sierra Club, the University of St.Thomas, the Minnesota Historical Society, the University of Minnesota, and the Minneapolis Public Library.

Born and raised in Minneapolis, I have lived in Philadelphia, Boston, and San Francisco. Now I make my home in Eden Prairie, Minnesota with my husband.



http://amessheldon.com/




2/15/20 BLOG TOUR FOR MILE MARKER 139 BY CYNTHIA HILSTON




Mile Marker 139

At mile marker 139 along the Ohio Turnpike, a mysterious woman named Shelley Parkinson arrives at 3:14 at the rest area every night. She sits outside at one of the picnic tables, her fragile hands clutching one cigarette after another. Troubled people swirl around her, battling their own sorrows.

Gruff old janitor Mike Popkins works third shift at the facility and has been lost since his wife died, cutting himself off from his only son and going through the motions of his job. Idealistic young Sarah Wilcox whips up drinks at the happening new coffee shop at the rest stop, but her mind whips of dreams of traveling the world and living the life her late grandpa did as he drank a coffee on all corners of the globe. Heartbroken middle-aged trucker Russ Jacobs would rather spend long hours on the road than fall in love again. They all befriend Shelley. Each one desires something different, but none of them know why she haunts the rest area.

Unexpected death, disease, and accidents force Mike, Sarah, and Russ to make hard decisions to move forward, ripping them from their pasts. Can these three motley friends find healing in their own lives and help a woman who says she doesn’t need anyone, even as her brokenness spills onto them?





THOUGHTS/REVIEW:


This is an amazing literary fiction and character driven story line. This the first book I have read from Hilston and I enjoyed reading this book very much for her understanding of the human psyche, great characterization, dialogue and prose. I enjoyed reading about these characters each with their own story to tell - broken yet they find hope and healing with each others' support.


This is a story I highly recommend for those that enjoy literary fiction read that deals with well developed characters you will enjoy reading about.




Purchase Links



UK - https://www.amazon.co.uk/Mile-Marker-139-Cynthia-Hilston-ebook/dp/B07Y7MJQM4/



US - https://www.amazon.com/Mile-Marker-139-Cynthia-Hilston-ebook/dp/B07Y7MJQM4/





Author Bio –


Cynthia Hilston is a thirty-something-year-old stay-at-home mom of three young kids, happily married. Writing has always been like another child to her. After twenty years of waltzing in the world of fan fiction, she finally stepped away to do her debut dance with original works of fiction. Visit her website at www.cynthiahilston.com for more information.

In her spare time - what spare time? - she devours books, watches Doctor Who and Game of Thrones, pets her orange kitty, looks at the stars, and dreams of what other stories she wishes to tell.



Social Media Links – www.cynthiahilston.com




Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/cynthiahilstonauthor



Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/cynthiahilstonauthor



Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/cynthiahilston



Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/authorcynthiahilston



2/15/20 The Children From Gin Barrel Lane By Lindsey Hutchinson PUB Boldwood Books Pub Date 2/11/2020 EXTRACT







Ten-year-old Jack Larkin has seen more than his fair share of shocking sights, growing up in the notorious Crown Saloon.
Broken hearts and broken bones are just a fact of life in a Gin Palace, but for orphan Dolly, the Crown is her last hope.

After the death of her mother, Dolly ran away from her sleazy step father Arthur, only to find herself living on the streets. When Jack discovers her hiding in the back yard of The Crown, he persuades his mother Nellie Larkin, to take Dolly in.

But Dolly has a secret - a very valuable secret - and Arthur is determined to get his clutches on her at any cost. And when local hard-man Ezra Morton joins in the hunt, the Larkins may have to risk everything to keep Dolly safe…

The Queen of the Black Country sagas is back with a page-turning, heart-warming, laugh-out-loud story to remember. Perfect for fans of Val Wood and Lyn Andrews.

Praise for Lindsey Hutchinson:

'A great story with a great mix of characters, well written and keeps you hooked with each page turn!' Sarah Davies, NetGalley

'A wonderful read ... The author writes so well, it's a really hard novel to put down!' Grace Smith, NetGalley.

'Make sure to read this book where you won't be disturbed because once it gets going, you won't want to put it down' Andrea Ruiz, NetGalley

'A very poignant, feel-good-factor novel' Shelia Easson, NetGalley

'Excellent story!' Stephanie Collins, NetGalley

'The story will linger in your mind long after you finish it' The Avid Reader.





Enjoy this Extract:


One


‘Jack Larkin, get yer arse in here NOW!’


‘I ’eard you, I ain’t deaf!’ Ten year old Jack yelled in response to his mother’s call.


‘Don’t you back-chat me my lad or you’ll find yerself out on the street with nowt but the clothes on yer back!’ Nellie Larkin shouted, her hands on her ample hips. A single nod set a grimy mob cap wobbling on prematurely greying hair which could not be contained by its pins. Nellie wore a full apron which, although once white, was now stained and a similar colour to her hair. The dress beneath had also seen better days and the hem at her boots was ragged and worn.


Jack gave her the once over and shook his head. In contrast to his mother he was tall for his age and slat thin which belied his strength. His dark hair was thick and his brown eyes held a constant mischievous twinkle. His old trousers fell short of his boots and the collar and cuffs of his shirt were almost transparent. His jacket was threadbare at the elbows and his muffler was old and dirty. His flat cap, however, was brand spanking new having recently been liberated from a market stall, and Jack wore it with pride.



‘Get on t’other end of that bar and get serving,’ Nellie swung out her fat arm and Jack ducked just in time to avoid it colliding with his head.



Walking to the end of the long wooden counter, Jack surveyed the room. It was packed full of men and women drinking gin – as much as they could pour down their throats. The noise was deafening as some folk argued and others sang loudly. Women screeched with laughter as people came and went through doors which seemed never to be still. There were no chairs or tables, just a mass of bodies lit by the gas light chandeliers hanging from the ceiling. The etched plate glass window was obscured from Jack’s view as men pushed forward to be served their half pint of mother’s ruin.



Jack filled a glass from a bottle on the counter and picked up the coins. A row of huge casks stood behind him which were backed by large mirrors reflecting the light back into the room.



Serving another drink, Jack took the money and threw it into the massive black till with the handle on the side.



Feeling Nellie’s eyes on him, he ignored her and continued to fill glasses and take coins. He knew his mother didn’t trust him – she didn’t trust anyone where money was concerned – but he would never steal from her. Thieving outside of family was necessary on occasion, and Jack had no qualms about helping himself to something he needed – like his new cap. After all, Nellie gave him nothing except his food and somewhere to sleep and a bawling out now and then. But all in all, Jack didn’t think it a bad life; there were others in far worse circumstances than his. Some were forced into the workhouse; more were living on the street, so residing in his mother’s gin palace was what could be considered a fairly good existence.

 
About the author
Lindsey Hutchinson is a bestselling saga author whose novels include The Workhouse Children. She was born and raised in Wednesbury, and was always destined to follow in the footsteps of her mother, the multi-million selling Meg Hutchinson.
 
Author Links
Twitter – @LHutchAuthor
Lindsey’s profile on the Boldwood Books website – https://www.boldwoodbooks.com/contributor/lindsey-hutchinson/
 
 
Book Link

Friday, February 14, 2020

2/14/2020 DREAMLAND BY NANCY BILYEAU








Dreamland by Nancy Bilyeau



Publication Date: January 16, 2020


Endeavor Quill


eBook & Paperback; 386 Pages






Genre: Historical Fiction











The year is 1911 when twenty-year-old heiress Peggy Batternberg is invited to spend the summer in America’s Playground.



But the invitation to Coney Island is unwelcome. Despite hailing from one of America’s richest families, Peggy would much rather spend the summer at the Moonrise Bookstore where she works voluntarily, than keeping up appearances with Brooklyn socialites and her snobbish, controlling family.



But soon it transpires that the hedonism of Coney Island affords Peggy more of the freedom she has been longing for. For one, she finds herself in love with a troubled pier-side artist of humble means, whom the Batternberg patriarchs would surely disapprove of.



Disapprove they may, but hidden behind their pomposity lurks a web of deceit, betrayal and deadly secrets. And as bodies begin to mount up amidst the sweltering clamour of Coney Island, it seems the powerful Batternbergs can get away with anything…even murder.s



It is up to Peggy to overcome the oppression of her family and clear the name of her vulnerable lover, before she or her beloved sister become the next victims of Dreamland.



Extravagant, intoxicating and thumping with suspense, bestselling Nancy Bilyeau’s magnificent Dreamland is a story of corruption, class and dangerous obsession.


THOUGHTS/REVIEW:


Dreamland is an amazing Historical Fiction novel set in New York. Peggy is a twenty-year-old heiress from one of the richest families in America – the Batternbergs. It is the summer of 1911 and Peggy was ordered by her family to vacation in the luxurious beach front Oriental Hotel for a few weeks to accompany her mother and sister. Peggy would much rather work at the Moonrise Bookstore, but as an heiress, a woman of her stature would not even think of working for a living. That was quickly put to end by her controlling family to keep up with appearances among the city’s socialites. Peggy finds more than what she bargained for and gets mixed up with a young migrant, family secrets, and murders.

I loved Bilyeau’s well researched historical fiction writing that transported me right to that amazing time and place. I find it so fascinating on how people vacationed in those days where a hotel stay lasted for a few weeks or the entire summer. I loved how the details of that time were highlighted along with the race, social and class divides, discrimination, and power. This was a delight to read with wonderful characters that I loved and loved to hate. The suspenseful murder mystery component made this read a real page turner for me.


Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound



Praise for Dreamland


'Achingly believable' - Publishers Weekly



"This fast-paced, engrossing novel from Bilyeau (“Joanna Stafford” mysteries) gives readers an up-close and personal view of New York’s Gilded Age, from the flash and glamour of the decadently wealthy to the hardscrabble conditions of newly arrived immigrants." - Library Journal



'Beautifully written and impeccably researched, Dreamland is a rollicking ride.' - Fiona Davis, bestselling author of The Chelsea Girls



'A marvelous book!' - Ellen Marie Wiseman, bestselling author of What she Left Behind and The Life she was Given



'Bilyeau’s thrilling novel plunges deep into Dreamland’s maze of pleasure and menace' - Marlowe Benn, bestselling author of Relative Fortunes



'Nancy Bilyeau's passion for history infuses her books' – Alison Weir




About the Author


"Dreamland" is Nancy Bilyeau's fifth novel of historical suspense. She is the author of the best-selling historical thriller “The Blue” and the Tudor mystery series “The Crown,” “The Chalice,” and “The Tapestry,” on sale in nine countries.



Nancy is a magazine editor who has lived in the United States and Canada. She studied History and English Literature at the University of Michigan. After moving to New York City, she worked on the staffs of “InStyle,” “Good Housekeeping,” and “Rolling Stone.” She is currently the deputy editor of the Center on Media, Crime and Justice at the Research Foundation of CUNY and a regular contributing writer to “Town & Country" and "Mystery Scene Magazine."



Nancy’s mind is always in past centuries but she currently lives with her husband and two children in Forest Hills in the borough of Queens. "Dreamland" is her first novel set in her adopted hometown of New York City.


Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | BookBub



Blog Tour Schedule


Monday, February 10

Review at Reading the Past



Tuesday, February 11

Review at A Bookish Affair

Review at Passages to the Past



Wednesday, February 12

Review at The Lit Bitch

Review at Gwendalyn's Books



Thursday, February 13

Review at 100 Pages a Day



Friday, February 14

Review at Nursebookie

Review at Amy's Booket List



Saturday, February 15

Review at Reading is My Remedy



Sunday, February 16

Review at Historical Graffiti




Giveaway


During the Blog Tour, we are giving away a paperback copy of Dreamland! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.



Giveaway Rules



– Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on February 16th. You must be 18 or older to enter.

– Paperback giveaway is open to US only.

– Only one entry per household.

– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspicion of fraud will be decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.

– The winner has 48 hours to claim prize or a new winner is chosen.



Dreamland





2/14/20 BLOG TOUR - THE COTTAGE IN CORNISH COVE



The Cottage in a Cornish Cove

A heart-warming tale of discovering all you never wanted is exactly what you needed.

Orphaned as a baby and raised by indifferent relatives, much of Anna Redding’s happiness as a child came from the long summer holidays spent with an elderly family friend, Aunt Meg, in the quaint village of Polkerran.

With Aunt Meg’s passing, Anna is drawn back to the West Country, relocating to the Cornish cove where she was once so happy. Filled with memories, she hopes to perhaps open a B&B—and perhaps cross paths with Alex Tremayne again, a local boy she used to have a major crush on and who only had to walk past Anna to make her heart flutter.

Settling into her new life, and enjoying her work for the older, reclusive and—to be honest—often exasperating Oliver Seymour, Anna is delighted when Alex reappears in Polkerran and sweeps her off her feet.

The stars are finally aligned, but just as Anna thinks all she’s ever wished for is within reach, a shock discovery brings everything under threat, and she finds herself living a dream that isn’t hers.

Can Anna rescue the new life she has made for herself and, when the testing moment comes, who will be there to hold her hand?

The Cottage in a Cornish Cove is the first in an uplifting series of romances from Cass Grafton. Get to know the locals, wallow in the quaintness of Polkerran, and fall in love with romance all over again.


THOUGHTS/REVIEW:


What a poignant and beautiful romantic read. I love reading about Polkerran, Cornwall and about fresh starts. Cornwall brings Anna great memories of long summers, and happy childhood memories. Her aunt Meg passes away and Anna gets a surprise inheritance. Anna in desperate need of a fresh start pack up her life and moves to Cornwall.

This is my first book with Cass Grafton and I really enjoyed the easeness of her writing, and the lovable characters in a place filled with good memories. I really enjoyed this read with its heart fluttering moments and swoon worthy encounters. I love that I was transported to the seaside town of Cornwall. There were some heartfelt moments and was so immersed by this story that I could not stop turning those pages. I really loved this enjoyable read.



Purchase Links

UK - https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B083H2Q5V9/
US – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B083H2Q5V9
Kobo - https://www.kobo.com/ch/en/ebook/the-cottage-in-a-cornish-cove
Barnes & Noble Nook - https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-cottage-in-a-cornish-cove-cass-grafton/1135981147?ean=2940163435333
Smashwords - https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/998605



Cass Grafton - Bio

An avid bookworm since childhood, Cass Grafton writes the sort of stories she loves to read – heart-warming, character driven and strong on location. Having moved around extensively and lived in three countries, she finds places inspiring and the setting of her novels often becomes as much a part of the story as her characters.
She leans heavily towards the upbeat and insists on a happy ever after. As one of her favourite authors, Jane Austen, once wrote, ‘let other pens dwell on guilt and misery’.
Cass loves travelling, words, cats and wine but never in the same glass. She has two grown up children and currently splits her time between Switzerland, where she lives with her husband and imaginary cats, and England, where she lives with her characters.

Blogs
www.cassandragrafton.com
www.tabbycow.com
Facebook
https://www.facebook.com/cassie.grafton
Twitter
@CassGrafton
Instagram
@cassgraftonauthor




Giveaway to Win 3 x Paperback Copies of The Cottage in a Cornish Cove (Open INT)
*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, February 13, 2020

2/13/20 FIVE WAKES AND A WEDDING BY KAREN ROSS / REVIEW AND EXTRACT





Undertaker Nina Sherwood is full of good advice. For example, never wear lip gloss when you’re scattering ashes.
Nina is your average 30-year-old with a steady job, a nice home – and dead bodies in her basement. As an undertaker, she often prefers the company of the dead to the living – they’re obliging, good listeners and take secrets to the grave.

Nina is on a one-woman mission to persuade her peers that passing on is just another part of life. But the residents of Primrose Hill are adamant that a funeral parlour is the last thing they need… and they will stop at nothing to close down her dearly beloved shop.

When Nina’s ‘big break’ funeral turns out to be a prank, it seems like it’s the final nail in the coffin for her new business. That is, until a (tall, dark and) mysterious investor shows up out of the blue, and she decides to take a leap of faith.

Because, after all, it’s her funeral…

The perfect antidote to all those books about weddings, this book will make you laugh until you cry, perfect for fans of Zara Stoneley’s Bridesmaids, Four Weddings and a Funeral and The Good Place.


THOUGHTS/REVIEW:


What a fun and different type of a read that I enjoyed and was really entertaining. This story is about Nina Sherwood a single 30 yo strong and stubborn woman who is an undertaker. She gets fired from her job and decides to open up a funeral parlor in the very posh, latte sipping neighborhood of Primrose Hill.


I learned more than I ever will want to know about the business of funerals, wakes and death. This is a nice light hearted read that I enjoyed and had fun reading.


I thought this was wonderfully written, with a great cast of characters. I flew through this book with ease. It was fast paced and a true delight to read.





 


Extract from  FIVE WAKES AND A WEDDING by Karen Ross


 


Here’s what’s happened so far:  Nina Sherwood’s start-up funeral business, Happy Endings, looks set for instant bankruptcy.  The locals have made it plain they’d rather she’d opened a more useful shop – one that sells vegan cupcakes would have been a much better idea, they chorus. Nina decides to visit beauty salon owner Zoe Banks, leading light of the Trader’s Association, hoping to convert her from enemy to ally.  Here’s what happens:


 


From the outside it looks like just another Primrose Hill townhouse, freshly painted and impeccably maintained. A blue plaque above the door announces this was once the home of Karl Marx. And to the side, in lettering so discreet as to be almost invisible, a logo to reassure me I’m in the right place.


            It takes me a few seconds to locate the door buzzer. I also spot a security camera tucked into the corner of a windowsill. What if Zoe takes a look and refuses to let me in? But no. A friendly voice comes out of the entry system’s loudspeaker and beckons me inside.


            The space is much larger than I’d anticipated. Lavishly modern, all marble flooring, artful lighting, rich colours, and a couple of sculptures that wouldn’t look out of place in the Tate Modern. In the centre of the room sits a state-of-the-art nail bar. At first glance, you’d think it was made of ice, but I think it’s solid glass. A couple of white-uniformed beauty therapists are giving treatments and I watch a woman of about my own age slide her hand inside a square machine that radiates a deep violet glow. I feel as if I’ve entered a foreign country, one with a heavenly scent of pine in the air, and I’m intrigued.


            To my right there’s a set of steps. A sign tells me there’s a steam cabin and an infinity duo pool tucked away downstairs. I’m eyeing up something that could be mistaken for an octagonal coffee table were it not for the line of flickering flames running through the centre when I realise there’s a woman standing next to me . . .


            ‘Hello,’ she says. ‘Do we have you booked in?’


            ‘No.’ Oh well, it was a nice idea, and at least I’ve seen inside The Beauty Spot. ‘I only wanted a manicure.’


            ‘You’re in luck, we’ve had a cancellation. If you don’t mind waiting a few minutes?’


            Before I can say, ‘No thank you, I’d better be getting back to my empty shop,’ I’m installed in an armchair next to the Coffee-Table-on-Fire-Thing. The woman – she must be the receptionist – hands me what looks like a restaurant menu. ‘Have a look,’ she says. ‘We’ve got some excellent special offers at the moment. And several new treatments. I’ll be back in a moment.’


            My fears about cost are reinforced as soon as  I begin to read the list of treatments. The price of a crystal-clear microdermabrasion massage and manicure is roughly the same as I spend on groceries in a month. As for the eco-friendly heated massage using recycled shells from tiger clams ‘hand-picked from a minor Indonesian island’. . . let’s just say I’ve sold coffins that were less expensive.




Purchase Links

UK - https://www.amazon.co.uk/Five-Wakes-Wedding-Karen-Ross-ebook/dp/B07NXYXFSB

US - https://www.amazon.com/Five-Wakes-Wedding-Karen-Ross-ebook/dp/B07NXYXFSB



Author Bio –




As a former journalist, broadcaster and advertising copywriter, Karen Ross has followed a fairly traditional path into writing fiction. Five Wakes and a Wedding is her fourth book, and like its predecessors, the novel has two common threads: the setting is London’s Primrose Hill – Karen’s own neighbourhood – and one of the characters is a dog . . . this time he’s called Chopper and he’s almost the same size as a Shetland Pony


Karen has been self-employed for many years, and continues to work as a marketing consultant, in the absence of an offer to manage Tottenham Hotspur. By way of credentials, her other ‘job’ is trading profitably on the world’s first football stockmarket, a platform called Football Index, where you buy and sell players with real money.

Social Media Links – @ComedyKaren

https://karenross.online/