Archive | August 2023

The Bookshop By The Loch by Julie Shackman

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The Bookshop By The Loch

Lexie Dunbar is a book lover. And her favourite place in the world is her local bookstore, Book Ends.  So when she hears that it’s going to be sold, Lexie decides she needs to do something to help.

Lexie’s plan to save the ailing shop is fully underway until gorgeous-but-grouchy artist Tobias Black arrives on the scene determined to turn the bookstore into an art gallery. Lexie is horrified; the last thing the quaint town of Bracken Way needs is a pretentious artist, even if he does seem to charm everyone but her.

Tensions continue to rise until Tobias discovers a shocking secret that shows they might have more in common than they realise. As sparks fly, can Lexie and Tobias work together, or will opposing ideas get in the way of them finding their very own happy ever after…

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Publication Date: 29th February 2024

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The Steel Girls At War by Michelle Rawlins

Warms My Heart

Steel Girls At War by Michelle Rawlins is a powerful historical novel that I became totally engrossed in. It is the fourth book in the Steel Girls series but can be read as a stand-alone. I recommend reading the previous books first in order to get to know the characters and to see their development and progression.

The book is set over the summer of 1940 in Sheffield. We return to the familiar faces who work in the steel industry. The camaraderie, love and support grow ever stronger. It is the women who pick up the slack left behind by the men going to war.

Women stepped up and into the jobs vacated by men. They still had homes to run and children to look after. They developed a network of support and love.

This book focuses in on one particular family. They are the microcosm for the macrocosm of what was happening in homes up and down Britain. We follow a young mother and her children as they wait for news on the whereabouts of a husband and father. We can understand the conflicting emotions of worry and despair needing to be balanced with remaining upbeat for the sake of the children. It is important to hold on to hope. “Without hope you haven’t got anything.”

June 1940 saw the evacuation of Dunkirk. Lives were left on hold as they wait for news.

Returning soldiers came home with more than injured bodies, minds were damaged too. PTSD moved in, altering personalities. We witness how hard it is for wives and children. Our hearts go out to them.

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The Postcard by Carly Schabowski


The Postcard by Carly Schabowski is a powerful dual timeline novel that totally consumed me.

The action is set during World War II and in 1999 in a small town that straddles the German/Polish border. It is a heartbreaking read as we hear of the horrors that the Poles suffered. As the novel opens in 1937 life is carefree and there is a gaiety as Germans and Poles exist side by side. As war looms, the atmosphere becomes oppressive as the Poles are hunted down and persecuted.

There are those who cannot stand idly by. “I don’t want to be like the others. I don’t want to do nothing, say nothing.” Unfortunately, youthful enthusiasm fails to project forwards to anticipate the consequences of actions.

The reader travels to Bergen Belsen as we witness the absolute horrors of mans inhumanity to man. We ‘meet’ Janek, a brave Pole, who sees goodness even though He walks through hell on earth. He believes that as long as we take control of our minds, we can never be in captivity. The Nazis can take bodies but not minds, without permission.

Lives have been held captive by thoughts of bitterness and unforgiveness. One can never live in freedom until forgiveness is given.

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How To Draw A Giraffe by Alice G May

For Children & Adults Alike

How To Draw A Giraffe by Alice G May is a marvellous book for children ad adults alike. If you like drawing, this is for you. If you like giraffes, you will love this book.

This book has a step by step guide showing how to draw a giraffe, starting with just two small dots. Alice G May talks the reader through the stages, showing what to do and giving a close-up. By the end of the book, you will have drawn your own giraffe which you can personalize.

Throughout the book, there are unique pictures of giraffes, each with a fun fact.

The end of the book contains a wordsearch and some hide and seek. We also learn the importance of protecting the world in which we live.

Alice G May encourages us all to draw and colour. It is very therapeutic. It does not matter what your skill level is, the important thing is to relax and to have fun.

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