Friday, December 14, 2018

Nicola's Virtue FREE!


Nicola’s Virtue – ebook FREE until Dec 16th.
She crossed the world to start again, only it was harder than she expected.

#Australia #historical #governess #Sydney #19thcentury #saga



Thursday, December 6, 2018

New books to find on BookBub!


To all our lovely readers, you can follow all your favourite authors and be notified when they have a new book release or a price deal on BookBub. It's a website that authors use for promotion, and its great for readers to find new books to read! Win win!
(I'm on there too.)
https://www.bookbub.com/authors/annemarie-brear

Go find your favourites, I'll see you there!

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Medieval Gift-Giving at Christmas. Plus 2 Sweet Medieval Historical Romances

During the Middle Ages, Christmas was seen as a sacred time, the time for the three Christ-Masses. Charitable giving to the poor was encouraged on Saint Stephen's day, December 26, which we know as Boxing Day.  On Boxing Day in the middle ages, the poor received money in hollow clay pots with a slit in the top, nicknamed 'piggies'. Unlike modern piggy banks, these clay pots had to be broken to extract the cash.

A page from the Bedford Hours.
What about gift-giving among other classes?

Sacred gifts - of prayer books and so on - were seen as being appropriate for the holy Christmas period. Anne of Burgundy presented the Bedford Hours to Henry VI, her eight-year-old nephew, in 1430. The book is now at the British Library.

Gifts were sometimes given at the New Year. New Year's day, known at the time as the étrenne, a word derived from the Latin strena,  (used to mean both the gifts and the ritual exchange) was the traditional time to do so. Gifts might be food -Christmas was a time of feasting and, for example, it was considered bad luck to refuse a Christmas mince pie given by a host. A Christmas kiss of peace might be given under the green kissing bough of holly and other green-stuff and mistletoe, the plant of peace. Sometimes the 'gift' might be a joke, such as the 'book' given by the illuminators of Les Tres Riches Heures to the Duke de Berry, which turned out to be a block of wood. 

At times the gifts were part of very formal processions and ceremonies. At the courts of Henry Tudor and Richard II the king rose on the day of the New Year and seated himself in his chamber ready to give and receive presents, given and received in strict order or rank. Sometimes the heralds and messengers bringing such gifts could also find themselves rewarded, as happened in the court of Richard II when the carver of the King was given a gold cup by the French King Charles. Kings and Queens could exchange gifts, often of rich jewels, as a public show of respect and affection. Rulers were expected to be generous but at the same time the size and value of gifts were ranged in order of class - kings and queens, their families, nobles, servants, right down to laundresses and cleaning-women. In some years, certain symbols might be used in gifts. In 1422 at the court of Charles VI, small jewels shaped like peacocks were given out to courtiers -  the peacock being one of Charles's badges. 


In medieval England, such gift-giving also went on. People gave New Year’s gifts to those above and below them in the social hierarchy. For example, peasants who worked on landed estates brought gifts of farm produce to the local lord during the Twelve Days of Christmas. Custom dictated that the lord respond by inviting them to a Christmas feast. Personal gifts between people of equal status might have taken place but there are few records of such. In the records and for many kings and nobles, gift-giving meant ostentation and display.



Christmas and gift-giving features in several of my books. In my latest medieval romance, "Sir Conrad and the Christmas Treasure" I show my hero and heroine taking part in several medieval Christmas customs, including winter hunts, gathering and displaying Christmas greenery, Christmas fairs and dancing carols.






In the dark time of the year and the winter solstice, there might also be spirits and ghosts. My Christmas novella "Sir Baldwin and the Christmas Ghosts"
have Sir Baldwin and Sofia seeking to placate the restless dead in time for Christmas.



Lindsay Townsend

Sunday, November 18, 2018

A GIFT FROM A GODDESS by Maggi Andersen Amazon Bestselling author. Pre-order 0.99 releases 20th November!

It is said that Aphrodite stands for love, beauty, pleasure, and procreation, and she can even mend a broken heart.
Can the goddess’ power be real? 

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Kobo

Apple iBooks

 

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

A woman hurtled through time, Beyond the Fall

Yesterday my first time travel adventure was released. In BEYOND THE FALL, Tamara Ledbetter struggles to reorder her life after her husband leaves her for another woman.

In my extensive research of the eighteenth century for my other novels, I wondered what it would be like to take a modern woman from San Francisco, have her travel to England, fall back to 1789, and have to deal with a primitive life with few rights of her own.

Novel blurb:

Tamara Ledbetter, dumped by her arrogant husband, travels to Cornwall, England to research her ancestors. A trip first planned with her soon-to-be ex. In a neglected cemetery, she scrapes two fallen headstones together to read the one beneath, faints, and wakes up in 1789. Certain she’s caught up in a reenactment, she fast discovers she’s in the year of the French Revolution, grain riots in England, miners out of work, and she’s mistrusted by the young farmer, Colum Polwhele, who’s come to her aid. Can a sassy San Francisco gal survive in this primitive time where women have few rights? Could she fall for Colum, a man active in underhanded dealings that involve stolen grain, or will she struggle to return to her own time before danger stalks them both?

Tamara tries to make sense of her situation, thinking she's being tricked, it must be a reenactment. Here an excerpt when she's fist met Colum and he wonders why she's alone:

“I have a sister, and my father isn’t well.” Tamara sighed and wished Eva was with her now.  She glanced again at his face, and he had large turquoise eyes full of intelligence. He smelled of horse and a faint, spicy cologne. “We lost our mother three years ago.”
“My condolences. If you’re a single lady, who is protectin’ you then?” His dark eyebrows drew together. He was a good actor, she'd give him that.
“No one since...” Since her rat-bastard of a husband had run off with a slut, but she thought better of mentioning that. Her heart felt heavy for a moment, but more in irritation than sadness. “I protect myself. I’m perfectly capable.” At least she’d thought so, until a few minutes ago.
“That’s not advisable, for a woman to be on her own. Is your sister near? Do you have an abigail?” He dropped his horse’s reins, and the large animal stopped and stilled.
“My sister is across the ocean.” Tamara began to grow slightly annoyed by this farce. “And I don’t know anyone named Abigail.”
They climbed the stairs, which also looked less neglected. If there sat a cart and horse instead of her car on the hill, she’d scream.
       At the top, Tamara sucked in her breath. The car park was gone, no cars, no asphalt to park on, only a field. The nausea bubbled up once more. What was happening!

To purchase from Amazon, click HERE

For more info on me and my novels, please visit my website: dianescottlewis.org

Diane Scott Lewis grew up in California, traveled the world with the navy, edited for magazines and an on-line publisher. She lives with her husband in Pennsylvania.
 

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

The Queen's Letters


This is Book 3 in the Scottish Queen Trilogy that began with Abduction of the Scots Queen and continued with Queen's Courier.
The Kindle version will be available mid November, hopefully the paperback soon afterwards.

Here's a short extract:


Meg Douglas, niece to Henry of England and with the rich, roaring blood of her father, the Scottish earl of Angus, in her veins, stood at the window of St James’s Palace in her newly sewn shift and held the corset flat against her bosom. Dean, standing behind her, drew the edges together.
“Shall I pull, m’lady?”
Meg inhaled, held her breath and stood tall. Dean pulled and the strings rasped through the eyelets of the leather corset.
“Stop! No more, I beg you! I must breathe!”

Dean tied off the corset strings. Meg placed a hand on each hip and swayed from side to side, admiring the way her bosom jutted out over the smooth straight front of the corset. She preened, eyeing the many reflections of herself in the small window panes. Once in her gown, her hair properly dressed beneath her new headdress, she would look as if she truly belonged to the royal family of England.

“Shall I dress your hair now, or after the gown, m’lady?”
“Do it now, Dean. Oh, if only the sun would shine, the day would be perfect.”
She whirled from the window to the table littered with combs, pins and feathers and the steel mirror, recently polished free of fingermarks. Pouting and smiling at her reflection, she thanked the Good Lord that her teeth were still good and she had not lost her looks.

As Dean ran her comb through the red-gold strands, Meg frowned. Had some of the glowing fire gone out of her hair in the last months? There had certainly been weeks of strain before the great Henry had finally given his permission to marry. “Do you see grey hairs, Dean?” She met her maid’s dark eyes in the mirror. “Tell me truly.”

Dean’s impish smile accompanied a vigorous shake of her brown curls. “Not a single strand, m’lady.”
“It’s all very well for you to laugh, but Princess Mary has them and so has the king. I saw much grey in his beard last week, but none dare remark on it.” She shivered. “Certainly not I.”
“Will His Majesty be at the wedding, m’lady?”

Meg gave a tiny nod. “Thank God, yes. I was afraid he would go off to France and forget all about my wedding, but he will be present. He leaves for Dover the next day.”
Her uncle marching off to wage war on France meant little to Meg when compared to her own good fortune. Henry had made her wait so long that her wedding day must be perfect. At twenty-eight, she had so little time to enjoy marriage and a family. Once passed thirty-five, one thought of one’s gravestone as not too far ahead.

Dean pulled the bulk of her mistress’s long hair back and began to plait strands together.
Meg raised a hand. “No plaits today. I want my hair to fall smooth and shining to my hips when Mathew removes my head dress after the ceremony.”

She shivered as images of what might happen after that slid through her mind. The delights of love had not been a predominant part of her life so far, thanks to Uncle Henry; but she had hopes of an improvement in that quarter once she married Mathew. An image long forgotten slid across her memory; red-headed Matho Spirston and their energetic coupling in the stables of Brinkburn Priory. Meg bit her lip; it must be unlucky to think of him on her wedding day. The low-born fellow ought to have been banished along with memories of Thomas Howard, dead these last seven years.



Saturday, October 27, 2018

Isabelle's Choice

Halifax, 1876. On the death of her mother and sister, Isabelle Gibson is left to fend for herself and her brother in a privately-run workhouse. After the matron's son attacks her, Isabelle decides to escape him and a life of drudgery by agreeing to marry a moorland farmer she has never met. But this man, Farrell, is a drunkard and a bully in constant feud with his landlord, Ethan Harrington. 
When Farrell bungles a robbery and deserts her, Isabelle and Ethan are thrown together as she struggles to save the farm. Both are married and must hide their growing love. But despite the secrecy, Isabelle draws strength from Ethan as faces from the past return to haunt her and a tragedy is set to strike that will change all of their lives forever.​

Isabelle’s Choice - ebook/pbk
Will the choices she’s made ruin her? Will she find the happiness she’s searching for?
#Victorian #Yorkshire  #saga #Hebdenbridge #historical

Friday, September 21, 2018

Inspiration for Polly's Pride books

The idea came from the story of Great Aunt Hannah who, back in the thirties in order to survive through difficult times, sold off all the furniture save for an earthenware bread bin and their bed. The bread bin thereafter held their food, and acted as a table or stool. With the money, she and her husband bought second hand carpets from auctions and better class homes, which they cut up to sell on the local market. They also bought many other items offered, such as small pictures, clocks, jugs and vases, even chamber pots. Anything saleable was grist to the mill for them to survive. Everything would be loaded on to a two-wheeled hand cart and transported home to their rented terraced house.

Carpets in those days were a luxury, most houses in working class areas covering their floors with lino, although kitchens were generally just scrubbed flags, perhaps with a rag rug made from scraps of old clothes. But when they first went into business they did not have the space or the facilities to properly clean the carpets before putting them up for sale. On one occasion Aunt Hannah was showing a carpet to a prospective buyer when a huge cockroach ran across it. Fortunately he didn’t see it as she quickly grabbed the horrible thing in her hand and held it until the customer had paid for the carpet and left. She must have been a tough lady.

They also bought the entire set of carpets from the German ship SS Leviathan which was being scrapped. In order to do that, and having refurnished from the profit made, they sold everything all over again, repeating this process several times. Gradually their hard work paid off and they expanded, renting the shop next door, and later bought property where they began to sell new carpets, as Polly does in the books. Aunt Hannah was such a kind lady that when my parents, who had married early in the war, finally set up home together in 1945 in rented premises as a shoe repairer, living behind the shop, she gave them a brand new carpet as a gift. They treasured this for much of their married life, as they’d only had Dad’s demob money, and otherwise would have been on bare boards.

I often use family stories, suitably adapted and fictionalised. In this case my aunt had a very happy marriage, not suffering the traumas that Polly was forced to endure.


ebooks and paperbacks available on Amazon 

Polly’s Pride

Polly’s War 

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Free on Kindle!

Kitty McKenzie Book 1 FREE on Kindle 5 days only!!
After losing everything, can she keep her family safe?
‘5 Stars – enjoyable read!’
#Historical #Victorian @amazonkindle
myBook.to/KittyMcKenzie


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.

Friday, September 14, 2018

Blog Tour of The Promise of Tomorrow

The Promise of Tomorrow is going on a blog tour - when I write that I always think of a rock star tour - haha - anyway, my lovely historical novel is being featured at the blogs below from October 1st - 8th.
Everyone is welcome to stop by each blog and say hello.

Saturday, September 1, 2018

New release!

Happy Release Day to me!!
The Promise of Tomorrow has been released!
Can Charlotte find the happiness that always seems under threat, and will Harry return home to her?

Available in ebook and paperback on Amazon:


The Promise of Tomorrow blurb
Charlotte Brookes flees her lecherous guardian, McBride, taking her younger sister with her. After a year on the road, they stumble into a Yorkshire village where the Wheelers, owners of the village shop, take them in. This new life is strange for Charlotte, but preferable to living with McBride or surviving on the roads.  Harry Belmont is an important man in the village, but he’s missing something in his life. His budding friendship with Charlotte gives him hope she will feel more for him one day, and he will marry the woman he yearns for. 
When McBride discovers where Charlotte lives, his threats begin. Harry fights to keep Charlotte safe, but World War I erupts and Harry enlists.  Left to face a world of new responsibilities, and Harry’s difficult sister, Charlotte must run the gauntlet of family disputes, McBride's constant harassment, and the possibility of the man she loves being killed.
Can Charlotte find the happiness that always seems under threat, and will Harry return home to her?

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Cover Reveal!

Here it is! The beautiful cover for The Promise of Tomorrow. 

Now available for pre-order on Amazon!

Can Charlotte find the happiness that always seems under threat, and will Harry return home to her?

Amazon:




Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Competition!

A paperback copy of my historical novel, Isabelle's Choice is the prize in a competition held on the Coronation Street blog this week.
Enter for your chance to win.

Monday, July 2, 2018

Women Affected by World War One

More than 700,000 British men were killed during World War One, and women suffered badly from bereavement, grieving for their lost loved ones. More than a million women never found a man to marry, or the opportunity to bear children. They came to accept they never would have any, their lives having changed forever. They felt lonely with solitary lives and many lost their jobs, once the war was over. At least 750,000 women were made redundant in 1918. All men who returned were highly given priority, and even if a woman had children to care for, and no husband, she would still find it extremely difficult to gain a job.

Many began to seek careers, the facility to be able to vote and the opportunity to live their own life. They also wanted the freedom to enjoy themselves by going to the picture-palace or the palais-de-danse, if they wished of an evening. They weren’t interested in going back to being servants or maids, they either wished to keep the job they’d worked on during the war, or find a better one with good pay to care for themselves or any children they might have. Unfortunately they were not granted equal pay, and had no right to vote until 1918 when a law granted that ability to those over thirty who owned property.

Even those women who were married, their task now was to stay home, cook, clean and care for their family and be a dutiful wife. Their husbands generally felt ashamed of having her working and employers agreed and sacked them. Men saw themselves as the ruling section of society. But some men who had survived were likely to have been injured, maimed, or psychologically damaged, and their wives needed to be the one to work and care for them too.

There were many surplus women after the war. Those lucky enough to have secure financial independence often had no wish to hand it over to a husband and become ruled by him. Others felt desperate for a husband, but suffered loneliness, virginity, no children, grief for lost loved ones, or the loss of their job and rights. My books usually has a strong woman as the main character - who must succeed against all odds. She can be found fighting against the difficulty of her life, aspiring to better herself, and battling against the restrictions and prejudices of the time or whatever other dire circumstances she finds herself in. She must pit good against evil and win by her own efforts, no matter what she has suffered or lost along the way. Cecily greatly believed this, attempted to help her sister and women battling to achieve an improvement in their life. As a member of the suffragists, she was happy to assist local women who risked going on strike in order to earn more money.

Extract from Girls of the Great War: 
It came to Cecily that having been involved with the suffrage movement for so long, she could possibly attempt to assist them in this battle.
     ‘Are you managing to resolve this problem?’ she asked Sally Fielding, one of her former tram workers. A group of them were standing on the Old Town Street holding posters high, one stating: Is a Woman’s Place in the Home? Another said: We Believe in Equality. ‘I can understand why I was not granted my job back on the trams, having been away entertaining the troops in France. Those of you who’ve worked for them throughout the war should have that right.’
     ‘Indeed we should,’ Sally agreed. ‘They accuse us of having less strength and more health problems than men. Absolute tosh! The bloody government treats us like servants. We were doing our bit for the duration of the war but are now being dismissed and replaced by men they consider to be more skilled. We women have worked damned hard and done well. They see us as less productive, which we’re most definitely not and surely have the right to the same pay.’
     ‘Did you join a trade union?’ Cecily asked.
     ‘We did indeed. Once we’d registered to work in the war, why would we not protect ourselves? It was recommended we do that when we were sent a leaflet issued by the War Emergency Workers’ National Committee.’
     ‘Are you managing to provide some funds for unpaid women on strike?’
     ‘Not very well,’ Sally said, pulling a face.
     ‘Right, I’ll help with that.’ She remained with them for the remainder of the day. Taking off one of her boots she held it out to passers-by, begging a donation as a token of their support . When dusk fell she handed over a fair sum of money to Sally. ‘I’ll try to collect more tomorrow. How long will this strike last?’
     ‘Maybe just a couple of days this week. Then if we don’t get anywhere, even longer next.’
     ‘I’ll be there to join you,’ she promised.
     Cecily continued to spend time each day assisting more women by raising money to provide them with an income, as they received none while on strike. It felt such a satisfaction, giving her a fresh purpose in life. Despite the troubles they were enduring she too sorely missed the work she’d been involved with during the war, and her talent. She wrote a brief letter to Boyd, to tell him of her satisfaction in helping these women on strike, being a suffragist. She sorely missed him too.
     ‘Can I do anything more to help?’ she asked her friend Sally.
     ‘Aye, you could write a newspaper report depicting our success and why we deserve to receive the same rate of bonus that is being given to men workers, as a result of the war.’
     ‘I’ll be happy to give that a go,’ Cecily agreed. She wrote at length about how many women during the war had worked in munitions, coal, gas and power supplies, factories, transport and various offices.

 
Cecily Hanson longs to live life on her own terms—to leave the shadow of her overbearing mother and marry her childhood sweetheart once he returns from the Great War. But when her fiancé is lost at sea, this future is shattered. Looking for meaning again, she decides to perform for the troops in France. 

Life on the front line is both rewarding and terrifying, and Cecily soon finds herself more involved—and more in danger—than she ever thought possible. And her family has followed her to France. Her sister, Merryn, has fallen for a young drummer whose charm hides a dark side, while their mother, Queenie—a faded star of the stage tormented by her own secret heartache—seems set on a path of self-destruction. 

As the war draws to a close and their hopes turn once again to the future, Cecily and Merryn are more determined than ever to unravel the truth about their mother’s past: what has she been hiding from them—and why? 

Amazon UK

Amazon US

Monday, June 18, 2018

Performance in the Great War.

Entertainment was a place where soldiers could escape the harsh realities of their dangerous life. They were always overjoyed to see these performances. Concerts took place to liven up the troops. Two or three concerts a day were often available and most popular. Drama presented a particular challenge: contemporary comedies and romances were played with canteen furniture, and the scenery was often a backdrop of night sky. Violin solos, string quartets, operatic arias, all were performed behind the front lines. It was not unusual for the audience to be in their hospital beds, or wheeled out of the wards, even if rain beat down upon them. Shows were also given on ships, and out in the wild country or desert.

Back in England the war naturally brought a surge in patriotism, both in drama and cinema. Music hall was one of the dominant forms in World War One. Theatre managers, newspaper editors, civic leaders and even clergymen insisted that people wanted cheering up and were not expected or even allowed to use their brains or be presented with serious matter. The war was expected to end by Christmas. Many plays were written about the suffering, but the emphasis was more on the humorous to attract the masses. Soldiers on leave flocked to the theatres with their sweethearts, eager to be amused and entertained. There were many famous performers such as Harry Lauder, Vesta Tilley dressed as a soldier, Gertie Gitana and others, all popular with troops out in the war and for soldiers and their families back home.

After the war, popular tastes began to change. Entertainment then preferred Charleston, jazz and syncopation. Performers would often entertain cinema audiences between films. Queues too would be entertained by dancing dogs or a man playing a banjo or accordion. Then a collection would be taken up for the soldiers and sailors. Benefit performances were held to raise money to entertain wounded soldiers; just as there were Tank Weeks, or fund raising for an ambulance.

In Girls of the Great War, Cecily, having lost the love of her life, eagerly goes to entertain the soldiers in France, filled with the need to help and overcome depression, Her sister, mother and Johnny, a drummer friend, accompanied her, a part of which proved to be a problem. I was inspired to write this because I’d been involved in amateur dramatics for much of my life. I still love the theatre, and have collected many books on the history of it and famous actors. Writing about it was a joy, and I have touched on this theme in one or two others of my books.

 

Here is a short extract of Cecily’s first performance. 

There was no proper stage, no curtains, dressing rooms or footlights, but they did have acetylene gas lamps glimmering brightly around the boxes. They worked for hours rehearsing and enduring more instructions from Queenie on what and how they should perform. Cecily suffered a flutter of panic as she became aware of hundreds more men gathering in the audience. A few were seated on boxes or benches, the rest of the area packed with a solid mass standing shoulder to shoulder. Many had been patiently waiting hours for the concert to start. Looking at the state of them it was evident that many had come direct from the trenches where they’d probably been trapped in horrific conditions for months. Those unable to move from their tent pulled the flaps open so that they too could hear the concert.
    Heart pounding and nerves jangling, Cecily felt the urge to turn and run as the moment for the concert to start came closer. Was her mother right and she couldn’t sing well at all? Would they roar and boo at her as they had that time at Queenie?
    She steadied her breathing, smoothed down her skirt with sweaty fingers and when she walked on stage the men gave a loud cheer of welcome. The excitement in their faces filled her with hope and as she stepped forward to the front of the boxed stage the audience instantly fell silent, looking enthralled and spellbound. She exchanged a swift glance with Merryn, counted one, two, three, four . . . and her sister and Johnny both began to play, sounding most professional. Cecily started to sing:
         
          There’s a Long, Long Trail A-winding. 
          Into the land of my dreams, 
          Where the nightingales are singing 
          And a white moon beams:

    As she sang, her fears, depression and worries vanished in a surge of elation, soaring into a new life, and bringing these soldiers pleasure and relief from the war. When the song was over she received a tumultuous applause, cheers, whistles and roars of appreciation from them. Smiling broadly she went on to sing ‘Roses of Picardy’, followed by ‘Pack Up Your Troubles in Your Old Kit Bag’ and many other popular favourites. Most of the Tommies would readily join in to sing the chorus whenever Cecily invited them to do so. Others would weep, as if fraught with emotion because they were homesick and felt greatly moved by this reminder of England. Then would again cheer and roar with happiness at the end, urging her to sing an encore.
    ‘You are doing quite well,’ her mother casually remarked during the short interval, a comment Cecily greatly appreciated. ‘Now sing some of those jolly music hall songs that I recommended.’
    ‘Right you are.’
    Cecily went on to sing ‘Burlington Bertie From Bow’and ‘Fall In And Follow Me’. These brought bright smiles and laughter to all the Tommies’ faces. She finished with ‘Your King and Country Want You’, bringing forth loud cheers of agreement. How she loved singing to these soldiers. If she hadn’t been a star before, she certainly felt like one now.


Cecily Hanson longs to live life on her own terms—to leave the shadow of her overbearing mother and marry her childhood sweetheart once he returns from the Great War. But when her fiancé is lost at sea, this future is shattered. Looking for meaning again, she decides to perform for the troops in France. 

Life on the front line is both rewarding and terrifying, and Cecily soon finds herself more involved—and more in danger—than she ever thought possible. And her family has followed her to France. Her sister, Merryn, has fallen for a young drummer whose charm hides a dark side, while their mother, Queenie—a faded star of the stage tormented by her own secret heartache—seems set on a path of self-destruction. 

As the war draws to a close and their hopes turn once again to the future, Cecily and Merryn are more determined than ever to unravel the truth about their mother’s past: what has she been hiding from them—and why? 

Amazon UK

Amazon US