Tuesday, 28 March 2017

H - and we're off to ...?

I've had this book on my shelves for a long time - almost twenty years so thought it was about time we head over to Hong Kong. This book is set just before the handing back of Hong Kong to the Chinese and needs to be read in context. It gives a great insight into both the British and Chinese hopes and fears as well as prejudice and inherent racism on both sides. I found it a fascinating read despite the fact, or even because of the fact, that none of the main characters are particularly likeable. It is a novel of its time and does a good job describing the period.


Ninety-nine years of colonial rule are ending as the British prepare to hand over Hong Kong to China. For Betty Mullard and her son, Bunt, it doesn't concern them - until the mysterious Mr. Hung from the mainland offers them a large sum for their family business. They refuse, yet fail to realize Mr. Hung is unlike the Chinese they've known: he will accept no refusals. When a young female employee whom Bunt has been dating vanishes, he is forced to make important decisions for the first time in his life - but his good intentions are pitted against the will of Mr. Hung and the threat of the ultimate betrayal.

Julie Ryan is the author of the Greek Island mystery series, Jenna's Journey, Sophia's Secret and Pandora's Prophecy. You can find out more about her here https://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B00F0VYX34

Thursday, 23 March 2017

G is for .... well where else would I be?

A Self Effacing Man (The Greek Village Collection Book 19) by [Alexi, Sara]

If it is in your nature to put others before yourself, what do you do when someone makes a play for the person you have secretly loved for years? 

Maria is illiterate, and Cosmo, the village postman, is obliged to read the love letters he delivers to her. He stammers over the words and blushes at the feelings he cannot bring himself to voice. 

However life is not always predictable and a sudden twist in events throws him in the role of village hero. 

But will this change be enough to enable him to overcome his shyness and declare his feelings to the woman he has loved all his life, and will she even be interested after all these years?

Where else would our travels take us this time but Greece? I've been a fan of Sara Alexi since stumbling across her first book 'The illegal gardener'. She blends her knowledge of Greece with an insight into the Greek psyche. Beneath the apparent simplistic style lies a deeper layer that the reader can relate to on a personal level, revealing as it does human nature with all its foibles. As well as telling a darned good story there is inevitably a dilemma involved which will reveal the true mettle of the protagonist. I particularly enjoyed the story of Maria and Cosmo and look forward to the next book in the series.

Sara Alexi

Best selling author Sara Alexi was born in Oxford, England. After travelling widely she now splits her time between England and a tiny rural village in the Peloponnese, in Greece, where she has renovated a stone farmhouse, whilst observing the Greek way of life and absorbing the culture.

As a qualified as a psychotherapist Sara ran her own practice for years. Her artistic nature was, during that time, confined to painting and she exhibited widely. Her move to Greece was the catalyst that began her writing.

Her 'Greek Village Series' has been very well received and provides a keenly observed, compassionate insight into the Greek people and culture, and the human condition in general.

Julie Ryan is the author of the Greek Island mystery series, Jenna's Journey, Sophia's Secret and Pandora's Prophecy. You can find out more about her here https://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B00F0VYX34

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

F is for ...?


On my travels this week. it's off to France we go, or rather France, Tasmania and England. 'The French Promise' not only takes us round the world on an adventure in its own right but also deals with the Second World War and its repercussions in Europe afterwards. Throughout runs the thread of romance, buried secrets, tragedy, love and lavender fields. Multi-layered, it was difficult at first to work out the connections between the different families but the ending had me gasping. It didn't work out as I thought it would but then that's the beauty of fiction.

Luc and Lisette Ravens – a former French resistance fighter and a one-time British spy – have somehow survived the war, but recovering from the horrors of those years is a challenge they're yet to overcome. Casting their fate to the winds, they sail to Tasmania, hoping to rebuild their lives and plant new lavender fields in a land that's full of promise.

In his darkest hour, Swiss law student Max Vogel learns a confronting truth. A long-held family secret links him to the Ravens on the other side of the world, and he finds himself holding the key to his own future and to Luc's troubled past.

Together they return to Provence, so Luc can fulfil the promises by which he has been bound – to his beloved Lisette, to his Jewish family, and to the one man responsible for ripping so much from his life. With the future generation of lavender keepers in his care, Luc must lay to rest the ghosts of years gone by so that they all might live and love again.

From the south coast of England to the rugged farmland of northern Tasmania and the lively streets of postwar Paris, this is an extraordinary story of courage, determination and everlasting love from an internationally bestselling author.

Fiona McIntosh 

Fiona writes best selling historical adventure-romance alongside the heroic-romantic, often brutal, fantasy she built her career upon. She lives in Australia but frequently roams the world meticulously researching the locations and gathering material for her historical novels that have international settings. Her books are published worldwide and in various languages. 
Her most recent historical fiction has gathered such a following that she is now hosting a tour in 2014 to Paris and Provence so eager readers can walk in the footsteps of her characters.

Julie Ryan is the author of the Greek Island mystery series, Jenna's Journey, Sophia's Secret and Pandora's Prophecy. You can find out more about her here https://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B00F0VYX34

If you want to come with me on my journey round the world, then leave a comment with a book suggestion for a location beginning with K or L.