mystery · suspense · thriller · War

*BLOG TOUR* The Journey – Conrad Jones ★★★★

Book Description:

One of the best books you will read this year..Outstanding!

A powerful and emotional read. The Journey is THE must-read thriller of 2019.
The gripping story of a young boy and his family, driven from their home by war and indiscriminate violence. Like millions of others, they attempt the treacherous journey across their war-torn continent, trying to reach the safety of Europe.
The truth is, Europe doesn’t want them and thousands die every month at the hands of thieves and profiteering men to whom life is cheap.
The story is fast-paced, at times funny, at times heart-breaking but it will pull you along at 100 miles an hour. It will make you think and it will make you question your perceptions.
Most of all it will make you ask if your family was in peril, what would you do?

Author Bio:

Conrad Jones a 52-year-old Author, living in Holyhead, Anglesey, which I class as my home, before starting a career as a trainee manger with McDonalds Restaurants in 1989. I worked in management at McDonalds Restaurants Ltd from 1989-2002, working my way up to Business Consultant (area manager) working in the corporate and franchised departments.

In March 1993 I was managing the Restaurant in Warrington`s Bridge St when two Irish Republican Army bombs exploded directly outside the store, resulting in the death of two young boys and many casualties. Along with hundreds of other people there that day I was deeply affected by the attack, which led to a long-term interest in the motivation and mind set of criminal gangs. I began to read anything crime related that I could get my hands on.

I link this experience with the desire to write books on the subject, which came much later due to an unusual set of circumstances. Because of that experience my early novels follow the adventures of an elite counter terrorist unit, The Terrorist Task Force, and their leader, John Tankersley, or `Tank`and they are the Soft Target Series, which have been described by a reviewer as ‘Reacher on steroids’.

I had no intentions of writing until 2007, when I set off on an 11-week tour of the USA. The Day before I boarded the plane, Madeleine Mcann disappeared and all through the holiday I followed the American news reports which had little or no information about her. I didn’t realise it at the time, but the terrible kidnap would inspire my book, The Child Taker years later. During that trip, I received news that my house had been burgled and my work van and equipment were stolen. That summer was the year when York and Tewksbury were flooded by a deluge and insurance companies were swamped with claims. They informed me that they couldn’t do anything for weeks and that returning home would be a wasted journey. Rendered unemployed on a beach in Clearwater, Florida, I decided to begin my first book, Soft Target. I have never stopped writing since. I have recently completed my 20th novel, The Journey, something that never would have happened but for that burglary and my experiences in Warrington.

As far as my favourite series ever, it has to be James Herbert’s, The Rats trilogy. The first book did for me what school books couldn’t. It fascinated me, triggered my imagination and gave me the hunger to want to read more. I waited years for the second book, The Lair, and Domain, the third book to come out and they were amazing. Domain is one of the best books I have ever read. In later years, Lee Child, especially the early books, has kept me hypnotised on my sunbed on holiday as has Michael Connelley and his Harry Bosch Series.

My Review; The Journey follows Kalu and his family trying to escape Boko Harmon extremists by trying to get to Europe to survive! Boko Harmon want to take over and will kill easily without a thought or a second. It can be a very dark read in places throughout this story.

However, the sad truth is this is still happening in this day and age so it will make the reader open their eyes and appreciate their life a little more, god knows what I woulf do if I was Kalu and other civilians. Once I got into this story I could not put it down, different from those everyday thrillers. Unique.

I previously enjoyed Brick by Conrad Jones so had expectations for this story, I loved them both but enjoyed this one more. Very impressed. I awarded four stars and would highly recommend to you all. It had me captivated until the end. An easy, fast paced read!

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Emotional · Historical fiction · Non-Fiction · War

*BLOG TOUR* The Librarian of Auschwitz – Antonio Iturbe ★★★★★

Blurb; ‘It wasn’t an extensive library. In fact, it consisted of eight books and some of them were in poor condition. But they were books. In this incredibly dark place, they were a reminder of less sombre times, when words rang out more loudly than machine guns…’

Fourteen-year-old Dita is one of the many imprisoned by the Nazis at Auschwitz. Taken, along with her mother and father, from the Terezín ghetto in Prague, Dita is adjusting to the constant terror that is life in the camp. When Jewish leader Freddy Hirsch asks Dita to take charge of the eight precious books the prisoners have managed to smuggle past the guards, she agrees. And so Dita becomes the secret librarian of Auschwitz, responsible for the safekeeping of the small collection of titles, as well as the ‘living books’ – prisoners of Auschwitz who know certain books so well, they too can be ‘borrowed’ to educate the children in the camp.

But books are extremely dangerous. They make people think. And nowhere are they more dangerous than in Block 31 of Auschwitz, the children’s block, where the slightest transgression can result in execution, no matter how young the transgressor…

My Review; Oh my heart. I teared up so many times througout reading this, I cannot even begin to imagine what it must have been like. Not an easy read, but one that has changed my life and will stick with me forever. It’s changed the way I look at life and realise how lucky we all are compared to how they were treated and had to survive in Auschwitz. Just terrible.

The Librarian of Aushwitz is beautifully translated and written by Lilit Zekulin Thwaites. It is based on a true story and it hurts how close to the truth it really is, makes it all the more real and heart-breaking.

Within the story you really get to know each character individually and when you lose one, IT HURTS! It’s upsetting. I felt that! The story highlights how important friends, family and books are… Even though there was only 8 books they meant the world to block 31 and the children. There are so many beautiful quotes about books in this story. It was their form of escape from reality during the worst of times.

Ditas character (based off a real woman). Wow. She was only fourteen and had so much responsibilty placed on her, she risked her life technically daily. She is one strong and determined woman. I really do look up to this woman and appreciate her and applaud her for what she did. What a wondeful woman! I love to meet her.

An absolute eye opener of a read! The truth is in this book about what really happened at Auschwitz camps. I’m tearing up writing this review. A must read. A well deserved five stars from me and it obviously has a space in my top twenty of the year and honestly this might be stuck with me for life. I learnt a lot from this book.

(Sorry for the long review, if you made it this far, thank you).

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Christmas · Historical fiction · War

Christmas on Coronation Street – Maggie Sullivan ★★★★★

Blurb; Elsie Grimshaw lives in one of the worst streets in Weatherfield and is desperate to escape from life at home with a brutal father and the drudgery of working at the local mill. Grabbing at the slim chances that come her way, Elsie emerges from the heartbreak of first love and her marriage to bad boy, Arnold Tanner at only sixteen years old, if not much older, then certainly wiser.

Going under her married name of Elsie Tanner, she and Arnold move in to No.11 Coronation Street in 1939 as war breaks out. Her cheeky self-confidence immediately puts her at loggerheads with local busy-body Ena Sharples and Annie Walker, landlady of the Rovers Return.

As Christmas approaches, the residents of Coronation Street must put their petty squabbles aside if they are to survive the worst that Hitler’s Luftwaffe can throw at them. And as the Manchester Blitz grips their home town of Weatherfield, the residents must pull together to make this a Christmas to remember – for all of the right reasons…

My Review; This was my Christmas read over the festive period. I absolutely loved it. I fell in love with the sisters Elsie and Fay. Although having a tough upbringing they both manage to get away and live happy lifes.

This book is an up and down book at times, plenty of happy, shocking moments but also plenty of the bad including deaths. Has you feeling the whole range of emotions. I was hooked. A real page turner. Highly recommend.

This story takes you to coronation street and the surrounding streets during the war and Christmas. It was lovely to see both Elsie and Fay growing up throughout this book. A lovely ending. A well deserved five stars from me.

Currently 99p on amazon UK.

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