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16/08/2021

#BlogTour: The Gathering Storm by Alan Jones @alanjonesbooks #TheGatheringStorm @RandomTTours #SturmtaucherTrilogy #Review

 

The Gathering Storm by Alan Jones is published on 19th August 2021.It is available for pre order here now and is the first in The Sturmtaucher Trilogy. My thanks to the author for the review copy and Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for the blog tour invitation.
 
 ‘Kiel, Northern Germany, 1933. A naval city, the base for the German Baltic
fleet, and the centre for German sailing, the venue for the upcoming Olympic
regatta in 1936.

The Kästners, a prominent Military family, are part of the fabric of the
city, and its social, naval and yachting circles. The Nussbaums are the
second generation of their family to be in service with the Kästners as
domestic staff, but the two households have a closer bond than most.

As Adolf Hitler and his National Socialist Party claw their way to power in
1933, life has never looked better for families like the Kästners. There is
only one problem.

The Nussbaums are Jews.

The Sturmtaucher Trilogy documents the devastating effect on both families
of the Nazis’ hateful ideology and the insidious erosion of the rights of
Germany's Jews.

When Germany descends ever deeper into dictatorship, General Erich Kästner
tries desperately to protect his employees, and to spirit them to safety.

As the country tears itself apart, the darkness which envelops a nation
threatens not only to destroy two families, but to plunge an entire
continent into war.’
 

My Thoughts

This isn't the first time I have read a book by this author having previously read and reviewed Blue Wicked. The Gathering Storm is a complete change of genre and serves to show the versatility of this wonderful writer.I should start by saying that I was apprehensive. This one is over 800 pages and historical fiction and I admit I thought I would struggle but I am so pleased to say I couldn't have been more wrong and I was able to form that opinion after only a couple of chapters. 

The Gathering Storm is set in 1933 in Kiel, Germany and tells the story of two families. The Kästners who are a well regarded military family and The Nussbaums who serve as domestic staff to the Kästners. The Nussbaums do cooking, cleaning, driving and other household chores but perhaps unusually the two families are also friends and their children also mix. There is a tight bond that has developed through the years. 

I guess despite the obvious differences there is also the fact that The Nussbaums are Jews in a time when Hitler is beginning to make is mark and the rumblings of Nazi's and dictatorship are beginning to make there marks across a country and its people. I found it fascinating to read about the lead up to the second world war and what initially starts as confusion amongst people slowly builds into a crescendo of fear and a divide that opens across a nation and even families. The title of this book is so apt in that sense.The sense of something building that is dark and gloomy.

The amount of research and care that has gone into this book is truly breathtaking. It could read more like a textbook and that wouldn't be as engaging but it doesn't. The characters are magnificently written, they are rounded, nuanced and memorable. I can feel the care with which the author has written about this part of history across every single page. It just comes to life and was moving and raw.

I have read many books about the second world war, Hitler and the Nazis etc and they are more often told from the perspectives of the Jewish people. I found it interesting that The Gathering Storm tells the story of both sides. 

The Gathering Storm is an important and memorable book that has been brilliantly done. It is important because we should never forget this part of history and what happened. The stories need to be told and then told again. I have visited Bergen Belsen when I lived in Germany and it shocked me to the core. 

I am in awe of this book, can't wait to read the other two either. I would be very surprised if this one isn't my book of the year, that is how strongly I feel about it.

About the Author 

Alan Jones is a Scottish author with three gritty crime stories to his name, the first two set in Glasgow, the third one based in London. He has now switched genres, and his WW2 trilogy will be published in August 2021. It is a Holocaust story set in Northern Germany.

He is married with four grown up children and four wonderful grandchildren.

He has recently retired as a mixed-practice vet in a small Scottish coastal town in Ayrshire and is one of the RNLI volunteer coxswains on the local lifeboat. He makes furniture in his spare time, and maintains and sails a 45-year-old yacht in the Irish Sea and on the beautiful west coast of Scotland. He loves reading, watching films and cooking. He still plays football despite being just the wrong side of sixty.

His crime novels are not for the faint-hearted, with some strong language, violence, and various degrees of sexual content. The first two books also contain a fair smattering of Glasgow slang.

He is one of the few self-published authors to be given a panel at Bloody Scotland and has done two pop-up book launches at the festival in Stirling.

He has spent the last five years researching and writing the Sturmtaucher Trilogy.
 
You find the author on Twitter: @alanjonesbooks or on his website https://www.alanjonesbooks.co.uk/ 
 
Please do have a look at the other stops on the blog tour. 
 
 

15/08/2021

#BookTrailer The Gathering Storm by Alan Jones @alanjonesbooks #SturmtaucherTrilogy

 

The Gathering Storm by Alan Jones is published 19th August 2021 and is available to preorder now. The Gathering Storm is Book 1 in the Sturmtaucher Trilogy.

‘Kiel, Northern Germany, 1933. A naval city, the base for the German Baltic
fleet, and the centre for German sailing, the venue for the upcoming Olympic
regatta in 1936.

The Kästners, a prominent Military family, are part of the fabric of the
city, and its social, naval and yachting circles. The Nussbaums are the
second generation of their family to be in service with the Kästners as
domestic staff, but the two households have a closer bond than most.

As Adolf Hitler and his National Socialist Party claw their way to power in
1933, life has never looked better for families like the Kästners. There is
only one problem.

The Nussbaums are Jews.

The Sturmtaucher Trilogy documents the devastating effect on both families
of the Nazis’ hateful ideology and the insidious erosion of the rights of
Germany's Jews.

When Germany descends ever deeper into dictatorship, General Erich Kästner
tries desperately to protect his employees, and to spirit them to safety.

As the country tears itself apart, the darkness which envelops a nation
threatens not only to destroy two families, but to plunge an entire
continent into war.’
 
 
So what do you think about that? If this has got your interest you can pre order your copy here. 
 
You can also pop back tomorrow to see my thoughts as part of the Blog Tour organised by Random Things Tours. 
 
About the Author:

Alan Jones is a Scottish author with three gritty crime stories to his name,
the first two set in Glasgow, the third one based in London. He has now
switched genres, and his WW2 trilogy will be published from August to
December 2021. It is a Holocaust story set in Northern Germany.
He is married with four grown up children and four wonderful grandchildren.
He has recently retired as a mixed-practice vet in a small Scottish coastal
town in Ayrshire and is one of the coxswains on the local RNLI lifeboat. He
makes furniture in his spare time, and maintains and sails a 45-year-old
yacht, cruising in the Irish Sea and on the beautiful west coast of
Scotland. He loves reading, watching films and cooking. He still plays
football despite being just the wrong side of sixty.
His crime novels are not for the faint-hearted, with some strong language,
violence, and various degrees of sexual content. The first two books also
contain a fair smattering of Glasgow slang.
He is one of the few self-published authors to be given a panel at the
Bloody Scotland crime fiction festival in Stirling and has done two pop-up
book launches at previous festivals.
He has spent the last five years researching and writing the Sturmtaucher
Trilogy.
To find out more, please visit https://www.alanjonesbooks.co.uk/

12/08/2021

#BlogTour: The Perfect Life by Nuala Ellwood @NualaWrites @PenguinUKBooks @EllieeHud #ThePerfectLife

 

The Perfect Life by Nuala Ellwood was published on 5th August 2021 by Viking Books which is an imprint of Penguin. My thanks to the publishers for the review copy and the blog tour invitation. 
 
HAVE YOU EVER WANTED TO BE SOMEONE ELSE?

Vanessa has always found it easy to pretend to be somebody different, somebody better. When things get tough in her real life, all she has to do is throw on some nicer clothes, adopt a new accent and she can escape.

That's how it started: looking round houses she couldn't possibly afford. Harmless fun really. Until it wasn't.

Because a man who lived in one of those houses is dead.

And everyone thinks Vanessa killed him...


My Thoughts: 

The Perfect Life by Nuala Ellwood is just one of those books. It has a short blurb that is just enough to hook the reader. I love this author so I was sold straight away. She manages to take things that on the surface look ordinary and uncomplicated but manages to unravel them and reveal an underside that leaves the readers head spinning. 

Vanessa or Nessa as she is more commonly known is the main protagonist in this story that is told across two timelines. Nessa hasn't had it easy, her mother died when she was little and her older sister helped to bring her up. A sense of belonging is important to Nessa and she longs for stability and a place to call home. 

What slowly starts as an idea to view property slowly slides into an obsession with wanting to be somebody else, of wanting more. A continual striving for perfection. What if everything on the surface is supposed to make you happy but it just doesn't.  Is this just a form of escapism and an overactive imagination or is there more to it. Is Nessa playing a dangerous game? When a body is found at one of the properties she has recently viewed suspicions start to be drawn but surely there is more to it than that. 

Nessa seems to have it all already a steady relationship and a good job. So when cracks start to appear the pace and the plot pick up and the reader is taken in unexpected directions. This author creates some of the best suspense that I have read. 

It is unsettling and shocking and just when you think you have it all worked out. Something else happens. Highly recommended if you enjoy thrillers where the author is always several steps ahead. 

I loved it.


About the Author: 

 



Nuala Ellwood is the author of three bestselling novels: My Sister's Bones for which she was selected as one of the Observer's 'New Faces of Fiction 2017', Day of the Accident and The House on the Lake. Nuala lives in York with her young son.
 
You can find the author on Twitter: @NualaWrites
 
Please do have a look at the other stops on the blog tour. 
 

 

16/07/2021

#BlogTour The Price by Kerry Kaya @KerryKayaWriter @BoldwoodBooks @rararesources @bookandtonic #ThePrice #boldwoodbloggers

 

The Price by Kerry Kaya was published by Boldwood Books on 13th July 2021. My thanks to the publisher for the review copy and Rachel of Rachel's Random Resources for the blog tour invitation. 

Break the rules…

Harry Fletcher – Fletch to his friends – has spent his life surviving the tough streets of the East End. He knows working for notorious gangster Billy King is dangerous, and sleeping with Billy’s beautiful wife, Susan is deadly…but rules are meant to be broken.

 

Pay the price.

 

If Billy discovers the affair, Fletch is a dead man. But the closer he gets to Susan the more reckless Fletch becomes. And soon, Fletch realises that every one - even him - must pay the price for his actions.

 

But just what is Fletch prepared to lose…and will the cost be too high, even for him?

 

Purchase Link: https://amzn.to/3fFNB19

My Thoughts: 

The Price is the first book I have read by Kerry Kaya but it certainly won't be my last. I always seem to enjoy being swept up into this genre. The grit and the pace coupled with the sense of real people and real lives always has me turning the pages at lightening speed. 

In this captivating story we follow Fletch and his brother Spence. Fletch, who might have just bitten off more than he can chew. He is working for Billy King and as a gangster and leader you would not want to get on the his wrong side. Fletch is really playing with fire though and is having an affair with Billy King's wife Susan. Just what are the consequences to such behaviour should Billy find out? 

The Price is about the tough guys and the mean streets but there is also a likeability to the characters. In particular Fletch just seemed to charm me. There are portions of the book that are grittier and with the anticipated bits of violence. There are also parts that lighten the tone a little. 

I always find gangland fiction such page turners and there are usually plenty of twist and turns. The Price fits in the genre perfectly and I thoroughly enjoyed it. 

 I would definitely seek out more of this authors books in future. She is definitely a firm fixture for this type of book. 

 
About the Author:  

Kerry Kaya is the hugely popular author of Essex-based gritty gangland thrillers with strong family dynamics. She grew up on one of the largest council estates in the UK, where she sets her novels. She also works full-time in a busy maternity department for the NHS. She has signed a nine-book deal with Boldwood for both new and backlist titles. Her first book The Price will be published in July 2021.

 

Social Media Links –  

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/KerryKayaAuthor

Twitter https://twitter.com/KerryKayaWriter on Twitter

Instagram https://www.instagram.com/kerry_kaya_writer/ on Instagram

Please do have a look at the other stops on the blog tour. 


 


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