Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Audio version of Beneath a Stormy Sky!

Audio copies arrived from my publisher!

Beneath a Stormy Sky

Surviving a shipwreck was the least of her problems.

#Australianfiction #historicalfiction #kindleunlimited #paperback #colonial #pioneer #audio

Amazon: mybook.to/BeneathaStormySky



Thursday, July 23, 2020

The Market Stall Girl video



The Market Stall Girl

Will Beth and Noah find the happiness they wish for or will overwhelming events break them apart?

#Edwardian #historicalsaga #familysaga #Wakefield #Yorkshire @amazonkindle

http://mybook.to/TheMarketStallGirl


Monday, July 13, 2020

New Release August 1st!

I'm so excited to share the news that my next historical saga is The Market Stall Girl, which will be released in Kindle ebook and paperback August 1st.

1913 Yorkshire, England.
Beth Beaumont enjoys her life as a rhubarb farmer’s daughter in West Yorkshire. Working on the family’s stall selling the fruit and vegetables grown in their own fields gives her a sense of purpose and is healthier than working in a dangerous cotton mill.
Although not thinking of marriage, when Beth meets Noah Jackson, a village miner, she is suddenly very aware of Noah as a man who could change her mind. The summer brings the two closer and their feelings deepen while Noah studies hard to fulfill his dreams of becoming a teacher and securing a better life than his parents endure.
But, a disaster at the coal mine changes lives forever. Noah’s plans are shattered. His love for Beth is put at risk, and he fears they can never find happiness together.
However, another man wants Beth. Louis Melville, the wealthy son of a local gentry family, is acutely aware of Beth’s beauty and he wants her for himself. At first, he is willing to offer marriage, but when Beth turns him down in favour of Noah, Melville, furious to be denied, wreaks revenge with devastating consequences.
Will Beth and Noah find the happiness they wish for or will overwhelming events break them apart?

#Edwardian #historicalsaga #familysaga #Wakefield #Yorkshire @amazonkindle

http://mybook.to/TheMarketStallGirl


Monday, June 29, 2020

My Books

Five of my favourite books have now been taken by Canelo who will sell them as they are very good at that. Here are the details:

Lakeland Lily 

Lily Thorpe is a spirited, ambitious fisherman’s daughter, desperate to escape the poverty of her Lakeland home.

Amazon


Kitty Little 

After fleeing from a marriage arranged by her ambitious mother, Katherine throws herself into an acting career, but a scandal threatens to wreck everything she has worked for.


Amazon

 

The Bobbin Girls 

Alena Townsen wants nothing more than to spend the rest of her life with her childhood friend Rob, the only son of James Hollinthwaite, a wealthy landowner.

 Amazon


Gracie’s Sin 

It's 1942 and three young women join the Women's Timber Corps, eager to do their bit for the war effort. Buxom and bouncy, red-headed Lou is newly married and sees her training in Cornwall as a way of staying near her sailor husband.

Amazon


Daisy’s Secret 

Daisy is devastated when her lover, Percy, abandons her. All alone, Daisy is forced by her own mother to give up her baby son for adoption – shortly before she throws Daisy out.


Amazon


You can also see them on my Blog, giving details of what they are about. http://fredalightfoot.blogspot.com

Saturday, May 30, 2020

The Inspiration behind "The Master Cook and the Maiden"

THE MASTER COOK AND THE MAIDEN
 
Vengeance…or love? Will Alfwen have to choose between them? And what part will the handsome Master Cook, Swein, play in her life?


People sometimes ask me: "Where do you get your ideas from?" In the case of my Master Cook and the Maiden, it came from a real historical event.

In the early 14th century, a nun called Joan of Leeds "crafted a dummy... to mislead...She had no shame in procuring its burial in a sacred space" according to the Archbishop of York, William Melton.

By means of the dummy, she faked her own death and fled the convent of Saint Clement by York. Later gossip placed her in the city of Beverley and she was ordered to return to the monastic life by her Archbishop.

Joan's absconding from the convent is not the only one recorded. In 1301 another nun, called Cecily, stripped off her habit, disguised herself and rode off to live with one Gregory de Thornton. 

Clearly, the relgious life was not for everyone. 

In the case of my heroine Alfwen, she is not yet a nun. She fakes her death by drowning, a fate that could happen all too easily to laundresses who had to deal with heavy, waterlogged sheets and clothes in their local rivers. She gambles that the church authorities will consider her body swept away and so makes her escape.

Why she does so forms the catalyst of the story.

#NEW THE MASTER COOK AND THE MAIDEN
Vengeance…or love? Will Alfwen have to choose between them? And what part will the handsome Master Cook, Swein, play in her life? amazon.com/dp/B088RJNYJ4/ UK amazon.co.uk/dp/B088RJNYJ4/ #Romance #MedievalRomance #RomanceNovel

Lindsay Townsend

Friday, April 24, 2020

The Castlefield Collector

For this book I chatted with Bella Tweedale, May Stothard, Bessie Jones, Alice Brook and Irene Baxter who all gave up hours of their time to talk to me about life in the mill during the war, plus Dolly Fitton who was 92 at the time and very generously allowed me to name the character in my book after her, as it seemed so appropriate. There is no better way of getting the feel of an industry, occupation or area than to talk to the people who have lived it. I asked them about their routine and how they acquired their skills? Where did they ache after a long day, and what were the problems and dangers in their work?

Dolly Fitton started in the mill as a doffer at 14, knocking off the filled bobbins, or cops as they were called, replacing them with empty ones. Her real name was Mary Ann but was more affectionately known to her family and friends as Dolly, because she was fairly small. ‘I were the scrapings up off t’mill floor,’ she told me, chortling with glee. ‘Eeh, it were marvellous in t’mill. You could hear them coming a mile off up from the mill. Clattering on the setts,’ she said.

If I’d asked her what she’d had for her dinner she might not have been able to tell me but she recalled the spinning mill vividly. She took me through her day, how the cotton was spun, fleas that were a nuisance, the heat in the mill, and the constant danger of fire. Where and how they had their dinner, and the tricks they used to play on each other in the mill, one being to roll a spindle on the greasy floor and send you flying. She also spoke about how she’d sing in a band as Dolores, and would climb down a drainpipe with her dance frock over her arm, which her mother made for her, so that she could secretly attend. She also mentioned having met Gracie Fields, such a treat.


When first published it sold remarkable well and has done so many times since, and received some good comments. Now published by Canelo.

Where there’s muck, there’s mettle

Dolly Tomkins has always known what it is to live hand to mouth. In the mean streets of a Salford struggling under the mantle of the Great Depression, the only one making a decent living is the talleyman.

Though Nifty Jack has a money bag where his heart should be, Dolly’s mam is in hock up to her ears and in dire need of assistance. But when Jack offers to wipe the slate clean, Dolly just can’t bring herself to trust him.

Instead, she takes him on at his own game and in the process endangers everything she holds most dear as a revelation about the past rocks the very foundations of her world.

This is an enchanting story of love and endurance perfect for fans of Nadine Dorries and Kitty Neale. Previously published as Watch for the Talleyman.

Praise for 'The Castlefield Collector '
A story which in some ways could be written about today as easily as the 1920s' 5* Reader review
'This is my first novel by Freda and it will definitely not be the last' 5* Reader review '

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book from start to finish' 5* Reader review

Chapter One
1929

Dolly Tomkins put her arms about her mother’s frail shoulders and hugged her tight. ‘It’ll be all right Mam, you’ll see. Dad’ll walk through the door any minute with his wage packet in his hand.’
    ‘Aye, course he will, chuck.’
   They both knew this to be wishful thinking. When had Calvin Tomkins ever put the needs of his family before a sure fire certainty, which was how he viewed any bet, whether on the dogs, the horses, or two raindrops running down a window. And since it was a Friday and pay day at the mill, his pocket would be full of brass, burning a hole in his pocket. Most women hereabouts would be waiting with their open hand held out to collect wages as each member of the family came home on pay day. Maisie certainly did that with the three children she still had left at home: Willy, Dolly and Aggie, but had learned that it was a pointless occupation to wait for Calvin’s pay packet. He wouldn’t give a single thought to his long-suffering wife and daughters, not for a moment.
   Dolly studied her mother’s face more closely as she bent to cut the cardboard to fit, and slid it into the sole of her boot. The lines seemed to be etched deeper than ever. Dark rings lay like purple bruises beneath soft grey eyes, which had once shone with hope and laughter, and her too-thin shoulders were slumped with weariness. She looked what she was, a woman beaten down by life, and by a husband who thought nothing of stealing the last halfpenny from her purse in order to feed his habit, his addiction, despite the family already being on the brink of starvation.
   Maisie handed the boots to her younger daughter with a rare smile. ‘There y’are love, see how that feels.’ Dolly slid her feet inside and agreed they were just fine, making no mention of how the boots pinched her toes since she’d grown quite a lot recently. They’d been Aggie’s long before they’d come to her, and probably Maisie’s before that, and their numerous patches had themselves been patched, over and over again.
   Mending her daughters’ footwear was a task carried out each and every Friday in order to give the boots a fresh lease of life. Dolly wore clogs throughout the long working week, but in the evenings and at weekends when she wasn’t at the mill, she liked to make a show of dressing up. Worse, it’d rained for days and Dolly’s small feet were frozen to the marrow. She’d paid a visit to Edna Crawshaw’s corner shop and begged a bit of stiff cardboard off her, whole boxes being at a premium. This piece had Brooke Bond Tea stamped all over it but that didn’t trouble Dolly; the card was thick and strong and would keep out the wet for a while, which was the only consideration that mattered.

Amazon 

Published by Canelo.

Friday, March 13, 2020

Peace in My Heart

One of my favourites available now, so do enjoy it.  

About to be published by Ulverscroft. 


Having involved myself in a great deal of research about evacuees, I thought it would be good to show their love for Blackpool and the people who cared for them. This idea came from a memory of my grandparents running a boarding house in the centre of Blackpool during the war, largely occupied by evacuees, Polish aircrew, soldiers taking a break, and many of their wives and children coming to visit their husbands. They apparently had a very busy and fascinating time. I learned from my father that he’d been trained as a shoe repairer when he was young before the war, working in Lytham St Annes. He remembered collecting and delivering shoes for George Formby, a lovely entertainer who lived nearby. He also used to do a lot of fishing, and knowing exactly where to do this, he would charge people to show them or provide them with some of the fish he’d caught.

Here they are seated on the right hand side of the first row. My mother worked for his parents for a while, being his girlfriend. Once the war broke out they quickly married. She moved back to live with her own mother in Accrington and worked in the textile industry throughout the war, largely producing parachutes. My father was only twenty and had to report for infantry training at Squires Gate in Blackpool. That only lasted about six weeks although he would have preferred it to have been much longer. But the tragedy of the defeat of the Army in France and the evacuation of Dunkirk, speeded things up. He was then moved on to Manchester, Bury, Scotland and various other places throughout the war. Writing details of his service he said:

‘It was about this time that the Blitz on Manchester started, and the 6th Battalion was called in to give help to the Civil Defence and the Police. Along with other Army units this was a terrible time for the people of Manchester, as it was for other Cities in the country and we did our best to help. Our own barracks did not escape, and if not on duty we took shelter.’ 

After the war I recall as a toddler often visiting my grandparents and watching a performance of brightly lit puppets where a curtain was strung across part of the dining room. They told me that had often taken place during the war. We spent many happy days in Blackpool, my favourite visits being the Tower Ballroom, the Circus, Winter Gardens and riding a donkey on the beach. Always great fun for a young child. I remember my grandmother coming home from shopping one day to find a dusty mess of plaster and rubble on the staircase, my Grandfather having knocked open the entrance to the loft and planned to put in another bedroom. I used this incident and one or two others in the story, which was great fun. Eventually my grandparents sold the property and moved to Burnley, but my memories of this part of my family’s life, and my own memories post war, proved to be very much an inspiration as a setting for Peace in My Heart. The owners in charge of the boarding house in this story were, of course, not my grandparents but two sisters who cared for Joanne and Megan as evacuees. But would they stay with them or move back home?

The war is over and Evie Talbert eagerly awaits the return of her three children from their evacuated homes. But her carefree daughters and son are barely recognisable – their education has been disrupted, the siblings split up, and the effect on them has been life-changing. Her son has developed serious behavioural problems and with her daughters, there’s jealousy and a nervous disorder that cannot be explained…

Evie’s husband also has problems. Having returned from being in action, he suffers nightmares and fits of rage. He’s no longer the gentle, quiet man Evie married. Peace may finally be here, but Evie’s family is in shreds. Now she must rebuild a loving home to achieve the happiness she’s always dreamed of… 

Available from WH Smith and other good book shops.

Amazon UK
 
Amazon US

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Christmas Newsletter!

My Christmas newsletter is going out next week with some special early news for members only - before everyone else finds out.
Also, there will be guest posts to make this a bumper Christmas edition! To sign up please visit my website. (and don't forget to click the email confirmation in your inbox - check spam folder.)
http://www.annemariebrear.com

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

99p Amazon UK Sale!

#99p Amazon UK December only!

Award winning & Amazon UK Bestseller! The Slum Angel

Can Victoria find the security she has lost? Will a certain doctor be the man she can give her heart to? 

#historicalfiction  #Victorian #kindleunlimited  #York

Amazon: http://mybook.to/theslumangel


Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Audio books in libraries

Kitty McKenzie in audio seen in a New Zealand library! How lovely is that? Thank you Vicky Adin for taking the photo. 😀ww
We should all support our local libraries, for once they are gone due to lack of funding, it'll be hard to get them back again. 


Monday, October 28, 2019

Elite Reviews October 2019 Video #2

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Get Lost in a Story: C.H. Hosts ~ The Midnight Hour: All Hallows' Bride...

Get Lost in a Story: C.H. Hosts ~ The Midnight Hour: All Hallows' Bride...: I'm delighted to feature Dragonblade Publishing's newest anthology ju st in time for Halloween... The Midnight Hour: All Hallow...

Friday, October 4, 2019

Kitty McKenzie in Portuguese!

Happy news to share that my historical trilogy, Kitty McKenzie series, is going to be published in Portuguese next year!

Book one, Kitty McKenzie is out in Feb 2020.
Blurb:
1864 - Suddenly left as the head of the family, Kitty McKenzie must find her inner strength to keep her family together against the odds. Evicted from their resplendent home in the fashionable part of York after her parents’ deaths, Kitty must fight the legacy of bankruptcy and homelessness to secure a home for her and her siblings. Through sheer willpower and determination she grabs opportunities with both hands from working on a clothes and rag stall in the market to creating a teashop for the wealthy. Her road to happiness is fraught with obstacles of hardship and despair, but she refuses to let her dream of a better life for her family die. She soon learns that love and loyalty brings its own reward.
Amazon myBook.to/KittyMcKenzie

Portuguese:
Sinopse:
1864 -
De repente, Kitty McKenzie é deixada como chefe da família e deverá encontrar sua força interior para mantê-la unida contra todas as probabilidades.
Despejada, após a morte de seus pais, de sua resplandecente residência na parte elegante de York, Kitty precisará combater o legado da falência e da falta de moradia para garantir um lar para ela e seus irmãos.
Com determinação e pura força de vontade, ela se agarra às oportunidades, desde trabalhar com roupas e barracas no mercado até abrir uma loja de chá para os ricos.
Seu caminho para a felicidade é repleto de obstáculos, dificuldades e desespero, mas se recusa a deixar morrer seu sonho de uma vida melhor para sua família.
Ela logo descobre que amor e lealdade trazem sua própria recompensa.
#LeabharBookBr
#AnneMarieBrear

Todas as novidades em: https://www.leabharbooks.com/

New Portuguese cover.





New Release!


Happy release day to me!
My novella, Christmas at the Chateau is out today! Yay!
Following on from Millie, the first book in The Marsh Sagas series, now comes a holiday novella! Join the family again as they spend Christmas with Millie and Jeremy at Chateau Dumont.
#holidaystory

Amazon kindle and paperback. viewbook.at/ChristmasattheChateau



Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Champion Street Market

They bubble with enough life and colour to brighten up the dreariest day and they have characters you can easily take to your heart’ Northern Echo.   

Now Presented by Canelo


Putting on the Style (Book 1) 

Amazon 



Folk are just emerging from the shadow of WWII and money is still tight. So the vibrant market of Champion Street is a source of many a tempting bargain – as well as all the local gossip. 

Dena loves her Saturday job at Belle Garside’s market café, and her ready smile makes her a universal favourite. She is soon in thrall to Belle’s two good-looking and dangerous sons. But fate has other plans in store when her younger brother is killed by a gang of thugs. Only when it is far too late does Dena begin to ask herself one terrifying question: has she fallen in love with her brother’s killer? 

Bargains galore and life in the raw… A moving saga of second chances and forbidden love set around a bustling café in 1950s Manchester.

Fools Fall in Love. (Book 2) 

Amazon 


When Patsy talks her way into a job on the Champion Street Market millinery stall, the Higginson sisters get more than they bargained for. Riddled with insecurities, Patsy’s impudence wins her new enemies as well as friends and her determination to solve the riddle of her own past starts to unravel secrets Annie and Clara would much rather keep hidden. 

Meanwhile, Molly Poulson hasn’t a care in the world until her two daughters both fall in love with the wrong man. But the more Molly interferes, the more danger looms. Home is where you hang your hat… 

An enthralling saga of secrecy and sisterhood set around an elegant hat stall in 1950s Manchester.

That’ll be the Day (Book 3) 

Amazon 


Working on their busy flower stall in Champion Street Market, Lynda and her mother, Betty, have lots of opportunities to observe their customers and speculate about their lives. 

Sam regularly buys bouquets for his wife, Judy, so why does she always look so worn out and miserable? Then there's Leo, who comes every week for flowers for his mother, but has never bought so much as a rosebud for his elegant wife. As for Lynda's father, he ran off long ago, so is it any wonder that she has such a low opinion of men? But could all that really be about to change? Flowers spill everyone's secrets… 

A gripping saga of gossip and parenthood set around a beautiful flower stall in 1950s Manchester.

Candy Kisses (Book 4) 

Amazon 


It is a truth universally acknowledged that everyone dotes on Aunty Dot, as much as they do on her homemade sweets. The plump, smiling woman has provided a loving home for many a troubled child over the years, and Lizzie Pringle is no exception. 

Lizzie would do anything for her foster mother – even take on local sweet manufacturer and notorious bully, Cedric Finch. Until, that is, she falls for his son, Charlie. Meanwhile, Dena can’t believe that Barry Holmes would hurt her beloved daughter: he’s been like a favourite uncle to the little girl. But rumours are rife and her fears only grow…

Chocolate can also be bitter…

Who’s Sorry Now (Book 5) 

Amazon 


Things are far from simple in the noisy, warm-hearted Bertalone family. Carmina is the quintessential extrovert with beaus flocking to her side like bees round a honeypot – all except Luc Fabriani. For some unaccountable reason, he seems to prefer Carmina's sister. 

Gina has always been quiet and shy, the apple of her over-protective parents’ eye, so she believes her sister when Carmina spreads malicious rumours about Luc in an effort to sabotage any blooming relationship. But lies have a habit of unravelling and tangling those who spin them in a web of deceit, as Carmina soon discovers. The question remains: who’s sorry now? 

There were never such devoted sisters. A bewitching saga of budding romance and family feuds set around an Italian ice cream parlour in 1950s Manchester.

Lonely Teardrops (Book 6) 

Amazon 


It’s a rainy day on Champion Street as Harriet attends the funeral of her beloved father. But then her grandmother drops a bombshell on her out of nowhere and she can hardly take in the words for shock and grief. 

Joyce, the woman she has always called Mam, isn’t really her mother. After all this time, it at least explains why Joyce always favoured Harriet’s brother, Grant. Her emotions in turmoil, Harriet discovers a streak of rebellion that puts everything she holds dear into jeopardy. Can she ever come back from the brink or will her life be full of nothing but lonely teardrops? 

Blood is thicker than water ... An emotional saga of love and loss set around a family hair salon in 1950.

‘You can’t put a price on Freda Lightfoot’s stories from Manchester’s 1950s.'