Saturday, 13 October 2018

Spotlight: Chasing Ghosts by Madalyn Morgan



Chasing Ghosts by Madalyn Morgan

In 1949 after receiving treatment for shell shock in Canada, Claire's husband disappears.
Has Mitch left her for the woman he talks about in his sleep? Or is he on the run from accusations of wartime treachery?
Claire goes to France in search of the truth, aided by old friends from the Resistance.


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I have a weakness for twentieth-century wartime themed novels so dived into this one with much enthusiasm. Ms Morgan's writing is a new to me so, I'm happy to confirm I've found another author to follow after reading this absorbing tale set in peacetime between nineteen forty-nine and nineteen-fifty.

Claire Mitchell's husband, Captain Alain 'Mitch' Mitchell is missing. After failing to join her and their daughter on a return flight from Canada to England, she's determined to ascertain where he is. As each day goes by, her suspicions surrounding his disappearance become heightened after military personnel search her house. Aided by Mitch's grandmother, she makes her way to France, to track down the woman she believes is with her husband.

The narrative alternates between the present and the past as we get the background history before Mitch disappears and Claire's journey to find the truth. The writing flows sublimely, keeping both the past and the present connected. Even though the setting is after World War Two, Claire's work in occupied France is relevant to how she deals with the unique situations she's in.

I appreciate how the author projected the sexual chemistry between Claire and Thomas Durand. Even before we're made aware feelings exist between them, the narrative projected their attraction right from their re-introduction. With the air of uncertainty hanging over Mitch's disappearance and not knowing if he's unfaithful to his wife, the attraction between this woman looking for her husband and her old wartime colleague is palpable. Unexpectedly, this aspect adds a compelling element to this already intriguing story. Additionally, when Claire and Mitch are finally reunited, it is clear they have a distinctive special bond, nurtured during the second world war. Although it isn't necessary to have read the novel, 'China Blue' which tells the story about their lives working as part of the resistance, Chasing Ghosts certainly whetted my appetite to learn more about this dynamic couple.

To sum up, action-packed and enjoyable Chasing Ghosts is book six in the Dudley Sisters Saga and I read this as a standalone novel.

4.5 stars

***arc received courtesy of the publisher via Rachel's Random Resources***

Madalyn Morgan has been an actress for more than thirty years working in Repertory theatre, the West End, film and television. She is a radio presenter and journalist, writing articles for newspapers and magazines.
Madalyn was brought up in Lutterworth, at the Fox Inn. The pub was a great place for an aspiring actress and writer to live, as there were so many different characters to study and accents to learn. At twenty-four Madalyn gave up a successful hairdressing salon and wig-hire business for a place at E15 Drama College, and a career as an actress.
In 2000, with fewer parts available for older actresses, Madalyn taught herself to touch type, completed a two-year correspondence course with The Writer’s Bureau, and started writing. After living in London for thirty-six years, she has returned to her home town of Lutterworth, swapping two window boxes and a mortgage, for a garden and the freedom to write.
Happy to be an Indie Author, Madalyn has successfully published six novels. Foxden Acres, Applause, China Blue and The 9:45 To Bletchley are set before and during WW2 and tell the wartime stories of Bess, Margot, Claire, and Ena Dudley. Foxden Hotel and Chasing Ghosts are both post war. Chasing Ghosts is a sequel to China Blue.
Madalyn’s books are available on Amazon - in paperback and all formats of eBook.



Giveaway – Win signed copies of China Blue and Chasing Ghosts (UK Only)
*Terms and Conditions –UK entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

Book Birthday Blitz: Oh! What a Pavlova by Isabella May



Oh! What a Pavlova by Isabella May

Kate Clothier is leading a double life: a successful jet-setting businesswoman to the outside world, but behind closed doors, life with Daniel and his volcanic temper is anything but rosy.

Some days – heck, make that EVERY day – cake is her only salvation.

Slowly but surely, the cities she visits – and the men she meets – help her to realise there IS a better future.

And the ley lines of Glastonbury are certainly doing their best to impart their mystical wisdom…

But will she escape before it’s too late?

Purchase Link: myBook.to/pavlova

I love the enticing cover, however, the saying goes, "never judge a book by its cover" and this rings true with Isabella May's d├ębut novel. I was expecting cake, lots of it, but the reality is a few crumbs.

Kate Clothier is a publishing executive and lives with Daniel whom she met whilst studying at university. Ten years later, they are involved in a long-term abusive relationship. She lives for and relishes the chance to escape her volatile home life as she travels around the world with her job. Will she ever find the courage to walk away from the man who's turned into a monster?

Perplexed by Kate's begrudging acceptance of Daniel behaviour, they're neither married, have children nor financially dependant on each other. So wondered why she stayed and put up with the domestic violence. She's constantly seeking out comfort and emotional support from her male business trip acquaintances even when these liaisons didn't always go according to plan. Her behaviour didn't make sense (to me). Maybe if the novel had hinted on what triggered Daniel's angry and aggressive outbursts and devoted more scenes with Kate and Daniel together, the reader may have understood their dynamics as a couple?

While the idea is fun and original, I didn't fully appreciate the references to cakes littered through the narrative because I didn't understand them. With a friend described as a “Coffee and Walnut Cake, the ultimate listener” and Daniel, “I thought he was a Black Forest Gateaux but he was Marble Cake through and through”, what did this mean? I found the author's writing style chaotic and difficult to follow, especially during the first few chapters. I constantly had to re-read passages to get the gist of what was going on because I felt bombarded by over descriptive text as well as the narrative flip flopping back and forth with inner thoughts and back story threaded in between. Some people will love the dizzy pace and constant drama. I, however, found it confusing and exhausting.

It's a little rushed, but there's a satisfying 'happy for now' ending for Kate as she begins a new chapter in her life, so all's well that ends well.

***arc generously received courtesy of Crooked Cat Books***


Isabella May lives in (mostly) sunny Andalucia, Spain with her husband, daughter and son, creatively inspired by the sea and the mountains. When she isn’t having her cake and eating it, sampling a new cocktail on the beach, or ferrying her children to and from after school activities, she can usually be found writing. As a co-founder and a former contributing writer for the popular online women’s magazine, The Glass House Girls – www.theglasshousegirls.com – she has also been lucky enough to subject the digital world to her other favourite pastimes, travel, the Law of Attraction, and Prince (The Purple One). She has recently become a Book Fairy, and is having lots of fun with her imaginative ‘drops’! Costa del Churros is her third novel with Crooked Cat Books, following on from the hit sensations, Oh! What a Pavlova and The Cocktail Bar.

Twitter - @IsabellaMayBks


Giveaway – Win a signed copy of The Cocktail Bar (Open Internationally)
*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.