A Fabulous Debut
After The Snow by Susannah Constantine is a marvellous debut historical novel that totally enthralled me.
The novel is set in 1969. It is a bygone era (although part of my childhood!) and set in Scotland with the snow on the ground.
We follow two eleven year old girls who are friends. One is the daughter of an earl and the other lives in the gatehouse. We see the action through their eyes. There is an innocence to the proceedings. The reader can clearly see the affair between two characters but the girls are oblivious.
Christmas Magic by Cathy Kelly is a delightful collection of contemporary Christmas tales that is just perfect to read in the run up to the festive season.
You can read the book cover to cover, as I did, or just dip in and dip out as the fancy takes you.
All the stories are feel-good tales that will leave you feeling warm and welcome.
One Christmas Morning by Rachel Greenlaw is a simply beautiful contemporary novel that will warm your heart.
Though the setting is Christmas, this book is perfect and relevant for any day. It is about the choices we make and the consequences of those choices. Very rarely can we have a do-over but we can learn from past choices and make wiser choices in the future.
The book is also about grief and loss. No two people ever walk the exact same road but we can be there to support others. We do need to acknowledge our grief and let others help us. We were never meant to journey alone.
And the book is about love – between partners, friends and even work colleagues. We all need love. We need to give love and we need to receive love.
Everyone is fighting their own battles. Unless we have walked a mile in their shoes, we have no idea what others are facing. What would you do if you could be someone else for twenty four hours?
Glitz & Glamour
Murder On The Dance Floor by Shirley Ballas is an entertaining cosy crime novel which I really enjoyed. It is the first book in a new series which promises to be fabulous.
The reader enters the glitzy world of professional dancing. We see the effortless sequins and the glamour on stage. This is in contrast to the hard work put in behind the scenes. There is a grueling schedule for each competition as whole teams work on hair, make up and bodies.
Among the glitz and glamour lurks a silent killer as a life has been overtaken by bitterness. Designed to look like accidents, the body count rises – who will be next?
The police dismiss the deaths as accidental. An ex-dancer turner personal detective is called in to solve the crimes. As she polishes up her dance moves, old feelings that were squashed begin to rise.
All the characters were well drawn and realistic. The reader witnesses the cut throat world of professional dancing. I tried to work out the guilty party and fell for a few red herrings along the way!