The Memory Stones: Forgiveness is a Journey in Time by Lewis Pennington – #BookReview – #timetravelfiction

Rosepoint Publishing: Five Stars 5 stars

Book Blurb:

The Memory Stones by Lewis PenningtonWhen Mase Winslow, the heir to a Civil War-era plantation is forced to almost kill his best friend, a slave named Spoon, he unconsciously brings about the demise of his beloved home. As guilt and remorse overtake him, he seeks atonement through death on the battlefield. With the help of an ordinary-looking stone given to him by Spoon’s mother, he is transported through time. When he realizes he can redeem himself by altering his actions, he suddenly has hope. The reality-bending journey that ensues takes him to present-day New York City and then back to Civil War-era South Carolina, requiring him to navigate a myriad of desperate challenges. With more than a century of guilt weighing him down, he battles himself, Yankee troops, nature’s elements, and a nemesis that follows him through time. Set against an ominous ticking clock counting toward a deadly showdown that could cost him the love of his life, all odds are stacked against him.

His Review:

The U.S. Civil War was the most brutal event in U.S. history. Sometimes brother fought brother on either side of the conflict. Lewis Pennington has taken this conflict into a dramatic story of love and survival. The Winslow plantation, better known as Willow Creek Plantation, is unique in the treatment of its’ slaves where they are treated more as family and friends.

The Memory Stones by Lewis PenningtonMase Winslow’s father, Braxton Winslow, is struck with a debilitating degenerative paralysis that leaves him unable to carry on management of the plantation. This occurs at the time the civil war is beginning. Mase has joined but does not want to leave because of his fathers’ failing health. His best friend is nicknamed Spoon. Often times, Spoon is heard entertaining groups with his ability to play tunes with two silver spoons. He is beloved by all who know him.

Mase’s sister Annabelle was raped just prior to his reporting for duty with the Confederate army and the prime suspect is Spoon. The penalty was to be death, but Mase does not have the heart to kill his best friend and whips Spoon to within an inch of his life. But he can’t handle the guilt.

Trauma amnesia is the result and Paul cannot recall the incident.

Paul Talbert has a passion for writing and works for a large New York newspaper. However, the editor of the newspaper relentlessly pushes him on deadlines. His co-worker, Zoey Antonelli, struggles to keep him on task and away from the bottle that helps to allay his lack of memory of his childhood. His early life is a ghostly memory and he does not understand why, so he goes back to Beaufort County, South Carolina to try and recover some of his memories. The memory of a beautiful old antebellum colonial mansion is actually a broken-down shopping mall. Could his recollection be so far from accurate?

Memory stones are a portal to different dimensions and times. The user need only squeeze the stone and is transported to another place and time. Memories and identities are not taken intact from one time to the other though.

CE WilliamsThis tale is wonderful adventure into the musings we all have; “if we could turn back time?” The characters are engaging, endearing, and feel real. I suggest anyone who has daydreamed about going into the past or future enjoy this ride authored by Lewis Pennington. 5 stars – CE Williams

I received a complimentary review copy of this book from the author and these are my unbiased opinions.

Book Details:

Genre: Time Travel Fiction, Time Travel Science Fiction, Suspense
Publisher: Silver Lining Publishing
ASIN: B08W3Q2M87
Print Length: 391 pages
Publication Date: February 22, 2021
Source: Author request
Title Link: The Memory Stones [Amazon] 
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Lewis Pennington - authorThe Author: Lewis Pennington graduated from East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina with a degree in Graphic Design and Marketing. Upon graduation, he moved to New York City where he began his career with the now-defunct Science Fiction Magazine Omni Magazine. After decades of navigating through the corporate marketing maze, he is now focusing on his next chapter in life–providing readers with inspirational fiction. Lewis and his family live in Asheville, North Carolina.

©2021 CE Williams – V Williams

May Rosepoint Reviews Recap—Welcome June Promise

June is always so full of promise. Weddings, sunny and warm outdoor activities, gardening and around here, birthdays. My head fills with visions of a full, healthy garden just about the bunnies and deer line up for fresh, sweet seedlings. This year I armed myself with miles of stretchy netting. It took me two times to figure out how to contour it up and over my veggie patch (about 10’ x 20’), work on the fairy garden, and the flower bed (much smaller). I’m still taking inventory of the plants lost in the fairy garden during the winter. Not so much snow or ice, or even February/March rain, so I’m not sure why some plants didn’t make it back. Many volunteer tomatoes, I’ve had to do some heavy culling.

Mallard duck pairTo make the schedule just a little more hectic, I decided to tackle some stair-steps down the slight slope between the veggie and flower bed and discovered, as usual, it took at least twice as long and again more materials than I’d calculated. Hauling the pavers in the trunk of our little car was an experience. Still, it’s done, and while not quite the vision I’d had, doesn’t look too bad. In the meantime, the mallard pair were back to check on the birdseed scattered by the birds at the bird feeder.

We are continuing to look for homes with our daughter. Haven’t found one yet but the target is June, July being too hot to move. Gees, so when did I have a chance to read? (Well, not as much as usual!) The CE’s reads and reviews are getting mighty handy!

We posted sixteen book reviews for May, half from the CE that included ARCs from NetGalley, author requests, and audiobooks from our local library.  

TV Netflix movie vs audiobook Pieces of Home by Tammy L Grace The Big Gamble by Mike Faricy Hell's Half Acre by Jackie Elliott The Searcher by Tana French Elizabeth and Monty by Charles Cosillo The Cuts That Cure by Arthur Herbert The Decagon House Murders by Yukito Ayatsuji  The Arrangement by Robyn Harding Once Upon a Rhyme by Antony L Saragas Key West Dead by Mark Nolan Track of the Cat by Nevada Barr Money Bear by Kerry K Cox Hellhound, Take Me Home by Stu Laane A Trail of Lies by Kylie Logan Gone Too Far by Debra Webb

A Trail of Lies by Lylie Logan
TV Netflix Movie-The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society vs Audiobook
Pieces of Home by Tammy L Grace
The Big Gamble by Mike Faricy – CE review
Hell’s Half Acre by Jackie Elliott – CE review
The Searcher by Tana French – audiobook
Elizabeth and Monty by Charles Casillo
The Cuts That Cure by Arthur Herbert – CE review
The Decagon House Murders by Yukito Ayatsuji – CE review
The Arrangement by Robyn Harding – audiobook
Once Upon a Rhyme by Antony L Saragas – CE review
Gone Too Far by Debra Webb – CE review
Key West Dead by Mark Nolan – CE review
Track of the Cat by Nevada Barr – audiobook
Money Bear by Kerry K Cox
Hellhound, Take Me Home by Stu Lane – CE review

Reading ChallengesNetGalley – Still running about 95% on NG, but at 43 will need to do some hustling if I’m to make the goal of 75.

Goodreads has me at 85 towards my challenge of 175.

Four books for the Audiobook challenge bringing the total to 21.This one will be no sweat.

Goal AchievedHistorical Fiction – One book in May—ten total–which means this goal is completed.

You can check out my challenges progress by clicking on my Reading Challenges page.

Hope all of you in the US had a safe Memorial Day Weekend, always tough for me as I remember my brother.

And again, a welcome to my new followers—and I so appreciate all my active followers, your likes and comments. Thank you—have a wonderful and happy, hopefully COVID free June—finally!

©2021 V Williams

Hellhound, Take Me Home by Stu Lane – #BookReview – #warfiction

Rosepoint Publishing: Five Stars 5 stars

Book Blurb:

Hellhound, Take Me Home by Stu LaaneSingapore,1942. Ken Hazel, an Australian soldier, is captured during the Japanese invasion and sent to a prisoner of war camp in Japan where years of hard labour, torture and hardship await.

Australia, 1944. Ken’s wife, Ann, a young nurse and mother, encounters an escaped Japanese prisoner of war, Hito Egami, hiding out in the Australian bush. Against all her instincts, Ann takes in Hito and shelters him from the authorities.

Soon, an opportunity presents itself to both of them. For Ann, it is a chance to free Ken from captivity. For Hito, it is to return home and be reunited with his family. This leads to a dangerous journey over thousands of miles against the cataclysmic backdrop of World War Two, with Hito hated by the Allies as an enemy soldier, and by his fellow countrymen for being a coward.

For both Ann and Hito, a perilous and nail-biting adventure lies ahead…

His Review:

No matter what side you are on, war and propaganda indoctrination are the same. The enemy is heartless and ruthless and will show no mercy. As a soldier in the Emperor of Japans’ military it is better to follow the “Path of Bushido” (to die in battle or commit suicide rather than be captured by the enemy). The Battle of New Guinea was such a battle. Torrential downpours and excessive heat were a daily occurrence and yet fresh water was very scarce.

Hellhound, Take Me Home by Stu LaneKen Hazel and his platoon are part of the military divisions assigned with the mission of defending New Guinea at all costs. The Japanese juggernaut was taking the peninsula and this Australian platoon were tasked with stopping them. At this point in the war the Japanese seemed almost impossible to stop. Ken’s platoon is over-run and he and some of the others are taken hostage. They are shipped to prisoner of war camps in Japan and forced to do slave labor with minimum food and drink.

Hitoshi Egami (Hito) is a Japanese soldier who is captured by the Aussies during one of the battles and sent to a prisoner of war camp in Australia. The prisoners of war receive Red Cross packages and occasional letters from home. However, as a Japanese they are required to attempt to escape and not remain in an enemy prisoner of war camp. The Japanese POW’s find that the Australians are not as they were led to believe during basic training.

During a prison escape, Hito is discovered by Ann, an Australian woman who helps him. She discovers that her husband Ken is in a POW camp called Naoetsu POW camp in Japan. She decides to devise a plan to get Hito back to Japan to help her husband. Hito’s brother Noriaki is the camp commandant at the Naoetsu camp. Ann is a trained nurse and volunteers to help and smuggles Hito back to Japan.

Hito did not die for the Emperor nor did he commit harikari. He is a discredit to his family and his brother has no use for him. Trying to assist Ken in getting out of the camp ends in a tragedy. Noriaki hates his brother for bringing dishonor to the family. CE Williams

I highly recommend this WW II saga. It is well written and entertaining. The ends to which Ann works with the military and smuggles Hito back to Japan is astounding. 5 stars – CE Williams 

Book Details:

Genre: War & Military Action Fiction, War Fiction, Action Thriller Fiction
ASIN: B07TMG2V22
Print Length: 306 pages
Publication Date: June 25, 2019
Source: Publisher and NetGalley

Title Link: Hellhound, Take Me Home [Amazon]

 

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Stu Lane - authorThe Author: Hi to all goodreads members, I hope you are well.
My book, ‘Hellhound, Take Me Home’ has just been added to goodreads so with doing that, thought I should also add a bit about me.
I live in the East Midlands region of the UK. ‘Hellhound’ is my second published book. The first, Trolling Jemma Harvey’ was published in 2016 and is available as an e-book on Amazon right now.

The idea for ‘Hellhound, Take Me Home’ gradually formulated in my mind after reading Bill Bryson’s ‘Down Under’ (which is one of the best books I’ve ever read, definitely recommend it!)
In this, he describes an incident that occurred in Australia during World War II known as the Cowra breakout. A large group of Japanese POW’s escaped from their prison camp and fled into the Australian bush. Eventually, all of the escapees were re-captured. However, in my mind I had the thoughts of ‘What if one of them was never captured?, What if one of them was taken in by an Australian woman? And what if her husband is already a prisoner of the Japanese?
I built on the possibilities these questions raised, added various strands to it as I went along and the end result is the book now available on goodreads.
If you choose to read this book, then I hope you enjoy it. Any feedback is gratefully received and I am happy to answer any questions that you yourself have following the reading of this book.
Best wishes,
Stu Lane

©2021 – CE Williams – V Williams

The Red Button: The Sweet Romance Prequel to A CHRISTMAS CAROL by Keith Eldred – #BookReview – Victorian Historical Romance

Book Blurb:

The Red Button by Keith EldredFind fresh affection for A Christmas Carol with this classic prequel and enjoy the new holiday tradition of the Red Button.

The untold story of the doomed romance. 

Belle Endicott and Ebenezer Scrooge are young, bookish, hardworking Londoners drawn together by button-making. His brand-new factory threatens her family’s tiny shop, yet they fall in love and start planning their future. When personal and business calamities strike, they confront them vigorously side by side, but ultimately something has to give. We know what it is. They do not.

His Review:

Can a person serve two masters? Becoming the richest person in the world or a happily married man are the tasks before Ebenezer Scrooge. He is smitten with the lovely Belle Endicott and she is the daughter of a famous button manufacturer. This is at the dawn of the industrial revolution. Belle and her father have long been one of the finest button manufacturers in the world. Belle learned her craft from her mother and works with her father. Ebenezer wants to mechanize the process. He also has a very deep interest in young Belle.

The Red Button by Keith EldredA red button is at the heart of the story. The button is given to Ebenezer by Belle and he carries it with him everywhere. If the button is not in his pocket it is around his neck. The Endicott family and Scrooge develop a production alliance whereas the Endicott group prepare hand- crafted special order buttons and the factory produces the mass-produced buttons for clothing manufacturers. The Red Button chronicles the mental struggles encountered by Ebenezer.

This is a great read for anyone who wishes to excel in life. The age-old adage of trying to serve two masters is evident. Can the drive for world domination be done concurrently with making a happy life with a spouse? Ebenezer desperately hopes that this is true. However, cornering the clothing fastener market in the British Empire takes much of his time. He does not have the time to court Belle and corner the market.

The give and take of the struggles are well documented by The Red Button. Belle is smitten with her “Ben” and would entertain his proposal, but work always seems to get in the way. This middle school novel paints an interesting picture of who the young Ebenezer Scrooge might have been. It is a fun, fast, and interesting read. 4.5 stars – CE Williams 

FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary review copy of this book from the author without expectation of a review and these are my unbiased opinions.

Rosepoint Publishing: Four point Five Stars 4 1/2 stars

Book Details:

Genre: Holiday Fiction, Victorian Historical Romance
Publisher: This is RED 
ISBN: 097676461X
ASIN: B08L9MY4F2
Print Length: 250 pages
Publication Date: October 22, 2020
Source: Direct author request
Title Link: The Red Button

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Keith Eldred- authorThe Author: Keith Eldred created the THIS IS RED project with his wife Janet, a public library director diagnosed with early-stage dementia. With Janet’s condition making every day precious, they decided to make the most of 2020, the year of their 30th anniversary, by publishing 20 books. All profits from these titles go the Hollidaysburg Area Public Library, where Janet works. See more at http://www.thisis.red.

Keith is also helping his granddaughter Brook Johnson (age 8) create a book trilogy about her character The Puppy Queen.

©2021 CE Williams – V Williams

March Rosepoint Reviews Recap—Hello April—and Spring Snow Showers!

 

We certainly aren’t clear of snow forecasts (have one for tonight). Spring doesn’t happen here as early as the southern states and it’s still plenty cold. March is usually a celebration, however, in that it is Reading Ireland Month, Women’s History Month, and my birthday. A huge surprise in store for me this year when our son and Croatian son joined forces to get me a new cell phone. OMG!! I haven’t had time to play with it yet, but already so jazzed with the amazing colors, photos, and speed. Maybe it’ll read my books for me now!

The CE and I read nine books for #readingirelandmonth21 and I read two for #womenshistorymonth.

We posted seventeen book reviews for March, which included ARCs from NetGalley as well as author requests and my audiobooks from our local library.

The Shortest Day (shortest book – #begorrathon21 *)

The Pull of the Stars *

Murder in an Irish Bookshop *

Long Island Iced Tina

A Matter of Life and Death

Lying in Wait *

Dead Even

The Castilions

First Love *

Normal People *

Last Port of Call *

Vagabond Wind

Alley Katz *

The Chain *

The Cotillion Brigade (longest book)

Search for Her

The Hiding Place *

I hit 97,000 views in the month of March, still working toward my goal of 3,000 followers with a ways to go. My schedule has become overwhelming, however, and I’m thinking of taking a breather by exclusively posting reviews from the CE in a concentrated effort to clear the backlog of his reads.

March and April filled up fast and I’ll be laying out a new plan shortly to post reviews. (The CE reads faster than I for sure!) Despite my backlog of his books, I’m still running at 94% on NetGalley and well ahead of my 175 book goal on Goodreads.

Four books for the Audiobook challenge, bringing the total to 12 for a goal of between 20-30—Binge Listener.

Historical Fiction – Four books in March and two considered for Women’s Historical Month.

NetGalleyNine additional books in March bringing my total to 27 in a goal of 75.

You can check out my challenges progress by clicking on my Reading Challenges page.

Please let me know if you’ve read one of the above listed books or put them on your TBR and I’m always open to title suggestions.

Apologies to my readers for the awkward format of this post. WP is having fun with me again and has refused my access to the “classic” word editor (again!) I don’t do “blocks” well.

As always, welcome to my new followers—and those who continue to support the blog through your participation, likes, and comments. You help me grow and keep me going. Thank you!

(c) V Williams

The Cotillion Brigade: A Novel of the Civil War and the Most Famous Female Militia in American History by Glen Craney–#BookReview–#womenshistoricalmonth

#1 Best Seller in History of American Civil War Regiments

 Book Blurb:

Georgia burns.
Sherman’s Yankees are closing in.

Will the women of LaGrange run or fight?
Based on the true story of the celebrated Nancy Hart RiflesThe Cotillion Brigade is a sweeping epic of the Civil War’s ravages on family and love, the resilient bonds of sisterhood amid devastation, and the miracle of reconciliation between bitter enemies.

“Gone With The Wind meets A League Of Their Own.”

  1. Sixteen-year-old Nannie Colquitt Hillmakes her debut in the antebellum society of the Chattahoochee River plantations. A thousand miles to the north, a Wisconsin farm boy, Hugh LaGrange, joins an Abolitionist crusade to ban slavery in Bleeding Kansas.

The Cotillion Brigade by Glen CraneyFive years later, secession and total war against the homefronts of Dixie hurl them toward a confrontation unrivaled in American history.

Nannie defies the traditions of Southern gentility by forming a women’s militia and drilling it four long years to prepare for battle. With their men dead, wounded, or retreating with the Confederate armies, only Captain Nannie and her Fighting Nancies stand between their beloved homes and the Yankee torches.

Hardened into a slashing Union cavalry colonel, Hugh duels Rebel generals Joseph Wheeler and Nathan Bedford Forrest across Tennessee and Alabama. As the war churns to a bloody climax, he is ordered to drive a burning stake deep into the heart of the Confederacy.

Yet one Georgia town—which by mocking coincidence bears Hugh’s last name—stands defiant in his path.

Read the remarkable story of the Southern women who formed America’s most famous female militia and the Union officer whose life they changed forever.

My Review:

An amazing narrative of the Civil War and the convergence of two historical characters begin in May, 1856 with the introduction of sixteen year old Nancy (Nannie) Colquitt Hill (Morgan) of LaGrange, Georgia, and Hugh LaGrange of rural Wisconsin. (Amazing coincidence, huh?)

In a trade off of biographies between these two major characters of the north and south, the reader is embroiled in the minutia of a young southern belle at her “coming out” ball wherein she is introduced to society, all the better to prime for the search of a suitable husband. She certainly has her eye on the match at that point, strongly contested by another of the area’s well-heeled targets.

The Cotillion Brigade by Glen CraneyA large portion of the book delves into the lives of the two–Nannie in her immature societal connivances and Hugh in his innocent induction into the Underground Railroad. Well developed, the novel issues into the Civil War and gradually into the bloody underbelly of battles, barbaric hospitals, disease, starvation, and the indictment of impotent officers as well as the politicians pulling the puppet strings of the conflagration. In the meantime, Nannie has come to the realization that she must follow in the footsteps of a well known female militia leader of the Revolutionary war, Nancy Hart, and create her own band of 40 women who become the “Nancy Harts.”

The women, left in a town nearly devoid of men, proceed to care for the wounded, managing food and supplies where little exists.

As the story progresses to conclusion and the obvious confrontation by the Union forces behind Colonel LaGrange and Captain Nancy Hill Morgan defending her town from being burned to the ground, the tension ramps. His orders are to “destroy any town that offers resistance.” Will his forces indeed be forced into an armed conflict with a brigade of women? The women are a formidable force, having been trained, and are armed and ready.

But women sometimes battle differently.

Nancy Hart-Georgia MilitiaSo much history here, so many stories of the Civil War, the most destructive of our nation, remaining the deadliest military conflict in American history, and accounted “for more American military deaths than all other wars combined until the Vietnam War.”*

The book includes pictures of these historic figures in American history. The novel another savage view of the war between our own north and south told in almost Shakespearean quality prose, southern vernacular, and harsh reality.

Any reader of historical fiction, Civil War history, and the strengths and roles that strong women can rise to meet in the face of conflict will enjoy this novel. My only problem—the length.

FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary review copy of this book from the author and these are my unbiased opinions. The CE previously read and reviewed The Yanks are Starving, also lengthy but excellent.

Rosepoint Rating: Four point Five Stars 4 1/2 stars

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Book Details:

Genre: History of American Civil War Regiments, History of Women in the American Civil War, History of the US Confederacy
Publisher: Brigid’s Fire Press

  • ASIN : B08XJ4Z3DM

Print Length: 590 pages
Publication Date: March 15, 2021
Source: Direct author request

Title Link(s):

Amazon   |   Barnes & Noble   |   Kobo

Glen Craney - authorThe Author: A native Hoosier, Glen Craney is a novelist, screenwriter, and journalist. He practiced trial law before attending Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism and then joining the Washington, D.C. press corps to cover national politics and the Iran-contra trial. After heading west to Hollywood, he won the Nicholl Fellowship prize from the Academy of Motion Pictures, Arts and Sciences for best new screenwriting.

The recipient of numerous fiction awards, he is a three-time Finalist for Foreword’s Book of the Year. His debut novel, The Fire and the Light, was named Best New Fiction by the National Indie Excellence Committee. His historical fiction and mystery-thrillers have taken readers to Occitania during the Albigensian Crusade, to Scotland of Robert the Bruce, to Portugal during the Age of Discovery, into the tunnels of ancient Jerusalem, along the trenches of France during World War I, and to the American Hoovervilles of the Great Depression.

He lives in southern California.

— Visit Glen’s website and join his newsletter at http://www.glencraney.com.
— Follow him on:
** Facebook (www.facebook.com/GlenCraneyAuthor)
** Twitter @glencraney
** Bookbub (https://www.bookbub.com/profile/glen-craney)
** Pinterest (www.pinterest.com/gcraney5618/)

©2021 V Williams

*https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Civil_War

Last Port of Call: The Queenstown Series by Jean Grainger – #BookReview – Historical Irish Fiction #readingirelandmonth21

Last Port of Call by Jean Grainer

#1 Best Seller Historical Irish Fiction 

Book Blurb:

Queenstown, County Cork, Ireland
April 1912

Twelve-year-old Harp Delaney is an unusual child, quiet and intelligent far beyond her years. She would rather spend her days in the library of the grand Georgian house that she sees as her home than playing on the streets with other children.

Her mother, Rose, is the reserved and ladylike housekeeper at the Cliff House. The local women envy her grace and poise while the men admire her beauty. She behaves not as a servant should, but as someone who belongs at the ancestral home of eccentric loner Henry Devereaux.

Nobody ever visits the Cliff House, but Harp, Rose and Henry have a happy life together, each accepting the idiosyncrasies of the others.

The day Titanic sails from Queenstown, taking with it the hopes and dreams of so many, Harp’s life too is devastated. The small port town is shaken to its foundations at the loss of the unsinkable ship, but the revelation of a long-held secret means that Harp and Rose have a much more pressing issue to solve, one that could destroy them if they cannot find a solution.

Unexpectedly, fate takes a hand, and mother and daughter find themselves thrown a lifeline, one that inextricably links them to the stories of men, women and children for whom Queenstown was the last-ever sight of Ireland as they sailed away to new lands and new lives.

Last Port of Call is the first book in The Queenstown Series.

My Review:

Those of you who have a problem reading a book in the middle of the series should be delighted to learn that this is the first in a new series by the masterful Irish storyteller Jean Grainger. Now is your chance to get in on the bottom rung—don’t say I didn’t warn you as this is already a #1 Best Seller on Amazon. There is a reason for that.

Last Port of Call by Jean GraingerThe author delights in describing her Ireland, the people, the culture, and its famous landmarks and it shows in her prose. While I must admit that the first portion of this book begins slow and includes some repetition, there is the full fleshing of Rose, the housekeeper and her 12 year old daughter, Harp, as well as the explanation of their occupancy of the grand Georgian mansion known as Cliff House. The multi-story mansion sits high above the Queenstown Bay and the entire harbor commanding a magnificent view. It is the last port of call for the Titanic (of the White Star line) before she leaves on the fateful journey that still creates chills more than a century after sinking.

The story of Harp and Rose is described as they care for the aging owner, Henry Devereaux, and the shock of his passing. Henry, a benevolent eccentric leaves the decaying mansion to Harp with whom he’d enjoyed a very unusual relationship. Along the way, we learn fascinating new tidbits about the land (fairy ring forts, castles, and Phoenicians).

Saved from being turned out into the street, they must now devise a way to stay in the old house. And then Rose has an idea. She and Harp will open a guest house. Their first guests are comprised of a wide variety of Irish, each with a story of their own, and as we get to know each individual, invest in their hopes and dreams.

The stories are immersive, gentle or suspect, and pull at the emotions. Somehow, the author manages a perfect resolution for each. However, there is one thread introduced early that is not revisited until the conclusion resulting in a cliff hanger (!). Book #2 of the series is scheduled for release the third week of May, 2021.

“…speculation based on no information whatsoever was pointless.”

I have read many books written by this prolific author, some prior to posting reviews, several as standalones, some in series: Robinswood, The Tour, and the Conor O’Shea series. I considered many were five star novels, including The Star and the Shamrock, Return to Robinswood, Trials and Tribulations, and The Homecoming of Bubbles O’Leary. Her characters are always engaging and relatable, the stories entertaining, and most unique in their plots and pacing. This is a great start to a new series. In for a penny, in for a pound. (Or is it ha’penny?) If you missed Ms Grainger’s Soda Bread recipe, you can find that page here.

Rosepoint Rating: Four point Five Stars 4 1/2 stars

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Book Details:

Genre: Historical Irish Fiction, Saga Fiction, Family Saga Fiction

  • ASIN : B08RS885CH
  • ISBN : B08WZJK285

Print Length: 476 pages
Publication Date: February 26, 2021
Source: Direct Purchase
Title: Last Port of Call [Amazon]

 

Jean Grainger - authorThe Author: JEAN GRAINGER, USA TODAY BESTSELLING AUTHOR,
SELECTED BY BOOKBUB READERS IN TOP 19 OF HISTORICAL FICTION BOOKS,
WINNER OF THE 2016 AUTHOR’S CIRCLE HISTORICAL NOVEL OF EXCELLENCE

I have worked as a history lecturer at University, a teacher of English, History and Drama in secondary school, a playwright, and a tour guide of my beloved Ireland. I am married to the lovely Diarmuid and we have four children. We live in a 150 year old stone cottage in Mid-Cork with my family and the world’s smallest dog, a chi-chon called Scrappy-Do.

My experiences leading groups, mainly from the United States, led me to write my first novel, ‘The Tour’. My observances of the often funny, sometimes sad but always interesting events on tours fascinated me. People really did confide the most extraordinary things, the safety of strangers I suppose. It’s a fictional story set on a tour bus but many of the characters are based on people I met over the years.

Truncated…

Many of the people who have reviewed my books have said that you get to know the characters and really become attached to them, that’s wonderful for me to hear because that’s how I feel about them too. I grew up on Maeve Binchy and Deirdre Purcell and I aspired to being like them. If you buy one of my books I’m very grateful and I really hope you enjoy it. If you do, or even if you don’t, please take the time to post a review. Writing is a source of constant contentment to me and I am so fortunate to have the time and the inclination to do it, but to read a review written by a reader really does make my day.

Find Ms Grainger at her official website or Facebook page.

©2021 V Williams