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Safe By S.K Barnett

Safe‘Safe’ is the latest book by S.K Barnett.

Your child is missing. She was only six years old when she disappeared. Posters went up, the police investigated. But no one could find her. Now, twelve years later, she’s home. And knocking at your door. You’re so happy to see her. But soon you start to wonder why she can’t answer your questions. Where has she been? How did she find her way home? And who is she?

This is a genuine suspenseful story that leaves the reader wondering who’s telling the truth.

When a young woman turns up to a house claiming that she’s the same child that disappeared many years ago, the family are elated that she’s returned, but the older brother can’t seem to join in with the joy of the happy reunion.

The story is mostly seen through the narrative of Jenny and she’s an interesting character, who’s been through quite the ordeal whilst she has taken away. Her story makes for graphic and heartbreaking reading and it really did strike a chord with me, that a child would be treated in that way.

As the story progresses and Jenny begins to settle into the Kristal family, she can’t help feeling that something is amiss and starts to do her own research in the years that she was gone and finds herself wondering what she had returned after she begins to receive chilling messages.

It’s hard to say a lot about this story, as you could easily give something important away but this really was a rollercoaster of a story. Riddled with suspense had plenty of unreliable characters, this claustrophobic tale had me gripped from with the first page, no sooner had I thought that I had figured it out then the author would throw another curveball twist. A haunting and chilling story about disappearance and discovery, ‘Safe’ is a twisty and complex story that will you guessing throughout.

You can buy ‘Safe’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

The Silent Treatment By Abbie Greaves

The Silent Treatment‘The Silent Treatment’ is the latest book by Abbie Greaves.

Frank hasn’t spoken to his wife Maggie for six months. For weeks they have lived under the same roof, slept in the same bed and eaten at the same table – all without words. Maggie has plenty of ideas as to why her husband has gone quiet, but it will take another heartbreaking turn of events before Frank finally starts to unravel the secrets that have silenced him. Is this where their story ends? Or is it where it begins?

I’ve seen much talk about this book on social media and I was dying to get reading and once I started, I found it impossible to put the love story of Frank and Maggie down.

The story is primarily seen through the narrative of Frank as he sits by his wife’s bedside and he chats to her regaling tales of their first meeting to falling in love. The story is a nostalgic tale and makes for tender and bittersweet reading as Frank reveals stories of hardship with their only daughter Eleanor as well as reasons why he has not spoke for 6 months.

It’s a beautifully written story and Frank is a lovely narrator, his love and devotion for Maggie leaps from the pages and his frustration for the situation that they are in is evident.

I completely fell in love with ‘The Silent Treatment’ with its intriguing plot line and relatable characters, this poignant debut is about love and relationships and the importance of communication.

You can buy ‘The Silent Treatment’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

How I wove fact and fiction into The Lace Maiden by Evie Grace

Evie GraceOn the book tour for Evie Grace’s new book called ‘The Lace Maiden’, Evie talks about she wrote about fact and fiction in her story.

As a writer it’s all too easy to be sucked into doing hours of research because it’s so fascinating, but what do you do with all those amazing snippets of information? When I was writing The Lace Maiden, I was sorely tempted to include them all, but then Louisa’s story would have read as a series of facts and dates, like an academic history book. I had to rein in my enthusiasm and plan how to weave fact and fiction together.

Fact can be defined as something that is perceived to be true, rather than being the actual truth. When I was researching the history of England’s smugglers in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, I was aware that the information I read wasn’t often written as it happened, the facts having been altered over the years by the telling and retelling of real events. Therefore, some of the sources I was looking at were probably fictional, something feigned or a product of the writer’s imagination.

My interest in Deal – the town in which I set The Lace Maiden – and the smugglers who ran contraband from France to the Kent coast was piqued by the story of the Aldington gang who came to the fore in the 1820s. Some accounts of smuggling romanticised the bravery and enterprise of the men and women who ran goods while others told what I think is a more accurate tale of threats, skulduggery and violence.

I was keen to link Louisa’s story in The Lace Maiden with the Aldington gang, but I didn’t for two reasons.

Firstly, they were just too unpleasant – they hid the bodies of their adversaries in wells, for example, and murdered Revenue officers. There was no way I could feel any respect or empathy for them, and I wouldn’t have enjoyed writing about them – I hope my readers feel the same!

Secondly, having read more about Deal and how its fortunes rose during the Napoleonic Wars, I decided this was a more exciting era in which to set The Lace Maiden. Involved in shipbuilding and equipping the naval fleet, Deal was a thriving port and army town.

The Lace Maiden

Many people moved in, the population expanding rapidly. The bootmakers, ropemakers, market gardeners, chandlers and provisioners flourished. The smugglers found lucrative work in smuggling illegal imports of cognac, lace and silks from France to England and taking escaped French prisoners of war and gold in the opposite direction across the Channel. After Napoleon was defeated, trade dropped off and the people of Deal suffered greatly from an economic depression with many families becoming dependent on the poorhouse to save themselves from starvation.

When writing about Deal, I chose to use some real places, some of which can still be found today on a stroll through the town, but I also added fictional ones when the story required them. For example, the Three Kings on the seafront where Nelson once stayed is now the Royal Hotel, but there is no evidence that a building in Walmer that was once known as the Rattling Cat was ever an inn. I liked the name so much though that I turned it into one and moved it into Deal.

I’ve had a lot of fun weaving fact and fiction into The Lace Maiden, and still have plenty of information to use in the next book in the series, The Gold Maiden.

Happy reading!
Evie x

You can ‘The Lace Maiden’ from Amazon