#SundayWalks #Tanka #SilentSunday #Spring is near!

Yellows, pinks and greens,

Blues, browns, purples and black, too,

Colours of fresh air,

The sweet smell of cool spring skies,

The sound of bright, warm sunshine.

I hope you’re having a wonderful Sunday!

#BookReview ‘The Second Life of Mirielle West’ by Amanda Skenandore #HistoricalFiction #TuesdayBookBlog

Today it is my pleasure to post my review of The Second Life of Mirielle West, an emotional historical fiction novel, based on real events, by Amanda Skenandore.


For Mirielle West, a 1920’s socialite married to a silent film star, the isolation and powerlessness of the Louisiana Leper Home is an unimaginable fall from her intoxicatingly chic life of bootlegged champagne and the star-studded parties of Hollywood’s Golden Age. When a doctor notices a pale patch of skin on her hand, she’s immediately branded a leper and carted hundreds of miles from home to Carville, taking a new name to spare her family and famous husband the shame that accompanies the disease.

At first she hopes her exile will be brief, but those sent to Carville are more prisoners than patients and their disease has no cure. Instead she must find community and purpose within its walls, struggling to redefine her self-worth while fighting an unchosen fate.

As a registered nurse, Amanda Skenandore’s medical background adds layers of detail and authenticity to the experiences of patients and medical professionals at Carville – the isolation, stigma, experimental treatments, and disparate community. A tale of repulsion, resilience, and the Roaring ‘20s, The Second Life of Mirielle West is also the story of a health crisis in America’s past, made all the more poignant by the author’s experiences during another, all-too-recent crisis. 

My Review

Where to begin to review this moving story? I’ll start with the end, by telling you I cried, and I haven’t cried at the end of a novel in a very long time.

The setting is the Louisiana institution known as Carville, where thousands of people were branded as lepers and forcibly quarantined throughout the entire 20th century. It was a dire place where the patients suffered illness, pain, desperation, isolation, for periods of up to fifteen years or more. The situation was worsened by the social and familial rejection they suffered. And yet, in spite of the horror, the inmates and staff, mostly religious nurses and doctors, managed to build a community of compassion, friendship, respect, and some, such as Mirielle, even found love.

Mirielle was not a likeable character at first, and at times, she became even more unlikeable, and yet, her character arc was so carefully drawn that it was impossible not to admire her resilience, courage, and ability to adapt to and even thrive in her new life. Her emotional growth, led to a heart-wrenching and uplifting conclusion, which she would not have had, had she not found meaning and hope in the most depressing place a person could be confined.

If you’re up for an emotional and meaningful rollercoaster, read it, you won’t regret it or forget it.

I listened to this novel on Scribd. Follow this link to see all her books on Scribd. It was narrated by Nicole Poole, an absolutely brilliant narrator, especially because her male voices sound authentically masculine.

You can find Amanda on Twitter: @ARShenandoah and on her Web Page

This is her Amazon.com Author Page and her Amazon UK Author Page

Happy Reading and have a wonderful week!

Beautiful and delicious lemons from my neighbour’s lemon tree!

Ghost Wife’s First 5-Star Review! #Romanticsuspence #GothicRomance #Contemporaryromance #Romanticthriller

I’m thrilled at my first 5-star review for my most recent, and first contemporary novel, Ghost Wife. I can’t seem to be able to reblog her post, so I’ll share the link to the review on Georgia Rose’s blog post here:  

#TuesdayBookBlog #Bookreview for Ghost Wife by Luccia Gray @LucciaGray #romanticsuspense #romance

If you enjoy reading contemporary, gothic romantic suspense, this is the ideal book for you.



The most gripping romantic suspense with a chilling twist you’ll read this year!

Lyra is sleeping on a friend’s couch after losing her job as an English teacher at a language school in Spain. When she receives a lucrative employment offer as home tutor and live-in nanny to 10-year-old Carla, at Rosewood Hall, in Yorkshire, she can’t believe her luck.

Life at the secluded residence is idyllic at first, until disturbing sounds from the attic, cryptic messages from an anonymous sender, and a visit from a private investigator searching for a missing girl haunt Lyra’s sleepless nights.

A panic-stricken Lyra, hands in her notice, but Carla’s widowed stepfather, who lives in London, begs her to reconsider, claiming wild animals, local gossip, and creaking noises in the ancient house have caused her unrest.

If Lyra stays, she could lose more than her mind, but can she afford to leave? And can she abandon her young pupil?

Check out Georgía’s Blog, with information on her novels, her book reviews and much more! Click on the image below:

#BookReview ‘A Killer Strikes’ by @GeorgiaRoseBook #Domesticthriller #TuesdayBookBlog

Today it is my pleasure to post my review of A Killer Strikes, a gripping domestic thriller by Georgia Rose, whose previous novels, The Grayson Trilogy, and an author interview, have already been featured in this Author Spotlight.

Blurb: A Killer Strikes

The perfect family… The perfect murders…

A family massacred. A village in mourning. Can anyone sleep safely while a killer is on the loose?

Laura Percival, owner of The Stables, notices something wrong at her friend’s house when out on her morning ride. Further investigation reveals scenes she’ll never forget.

While the police are quick to accuse, Laura is less so, defending those around her as she struggles to make sense of the deaths. And all the time she wonders if she really knew her friends at all.

A chance encounter opens up a line of investigation that uncovers a secret life. One that Laura is much closer to than she ever realised.

A Killer Strikes is a gripping domestic thriller. If you like character-driven action, suspenseful storytelling and dark revelations then you’ll love this exciting novel.

My Review

A Killer Strikes was a thoroughly engrossing read. Georgia Rose grips readers from the first line and doesn’t let them go until the very end. When I started it, I only stopped for lunch! I couldn’t put it down until I found out who the killer was and once the identity was revealed, I needed to find out their motives.

There are plenty of domestic thrillers around, many are good, but not all. A Killer Strikes is very well written and plotted. The story flows seamlessly, gripping the reader to the very end. The characters are engaging, and readers will no doubt enjoy the setting; a rural English village, which is an added bonus for those who enjoy a literary visit to less known and unexplored areas of the UK.

If you enjoy reading domestic thrillers, you are in for a treat with A Killer Strikes, and you’ll no doubt want to read the second novel in the series, The Shape of Revenge, which I’ll be reviewing shortly, and is already available for purchase.

You can find Georgia on Twitter:- @GeorgiaRoseBook and Facebook

This is her Amazon.com Author Page and her Amazon UK Author Page

And this is Georgia’s Blog

Happy Reading and have a wonderful week!

Beautiful and delicious lemons from my neighbour’s lemon tree!

Happy New Year 2023! I wish you Health, Peace, Love, Happiness and Happy Reading and Writing!

These are, at least partly, the reason I haven’t posted much lately…

My three children and six grandchildren! The oldest is eleven and the youngest is five months! They love playing and painting with granny, and going for long walks in the country, and they are all always starving, because I’m such a good cook!

I feel very fortunate that we’re all reasonably happy and healthy and we love spending time together.

My grandchildren also enjoy writing stories with granny. In fact, we are writing a bilingual children’s book, but more about that shortly. This is a peak at the very provisional cover image and title, Christmas at Mounenchanted with some of the main characters.

I’ll be doing a 2022 round-up post tomorrow, but for now I’d just like to wish you a happy and peaceful year, and if you’re looking for a book to read, I’d like to recommend A Killer Strikes, a contemporary domestic thriller, by my virtual friend and writer Georgia Rose.

Amazon US link

Amazon uk link

Check out Georgia´s blog for more information.

Happy new year and happy reading!

In The Twilight #poetry #AnniversaryPoem


When day meets night and stars reach the heavens,

When the swallow sings and waves roar,

I hear your voice in the wind,

And see your smile when I close my eyes.

Beyond the horizon and above the sky,

In the twilight,

You are with me.


For Elsa, dec. 20th August 1989.

Creating #Suspense in #Thrillers: ‘Just Like The Other Girls’ and ‘Ghost Wife’ #TuesdayBookBlog

Someone came into my room last night while I was sleeping. He opened a drawer, took something out, and left the room. Neither my husband nor I woke up. Anything could have happened while we were unconscious. It could have been a thief, a murderer, or a kidnapper. We could be missing, dead, or have suffered a burglary.

Fortunately, everything’s fine, except it isn’t, because now, for the first time in my life, I’m aware of my vulnerability. It might have happened before, but if it ever has, I was oblivious. The knowledge that this can happen to me any night, wherever I happen to be sleeping, is frankly terrifying.

Creating Suspense

Thrillers thrive on suspense, especially those of the domestic and psychological types. Suspense is the building up of an uneasy feeling in the reader, usually because the main character is in danger and we don’t know what’s going to happen next. A writer can create suspense by making the reader feel the character’s fear. Both the reader and the character want to find out what happens next, but both are also terrified of what they may discover.

At the moment I’m halfway through Just Like The Other Girls by Claire Douglas. And there’s a scene where a character believes someone might have entered their bedroom in the middle of the night.

UK Buy link on cover / Amazon.com buy link here

This paragraph is taken from Part One, Chapter 14.

A noise wakes me. I blink in the darkness, feeling disoriented for a few seconds. I hear it again. The creak of floorboards. I rub my eyes, propping myself on my elbows and notice that my door is ajar, letting in a sliver of silvery light from the landing. I remember locking it before I went to sleep. I know I did. Is someone in my room? I’m wide awake now and sit up straighter. I start when I see a figure by my wardrobe…


The use of present tense makes the events occur in real time for both the reader and narrator. Neither knows what is going to happen, and both are terrified of the events which will take place in the next few minutes. I’m thoroughly enjoying this novel, which has plenty of similar nail-biting moments. A full review will be coming soon.

UK Buy link on cover / Amazon.com buy link here

In chapter 10 of my latest novel, Ghost Wife, there is also a scene where the protagonist believes someone has entered her room while she was sleeping.

I rub my eyes, lick my lips, and stumble to the dressing table for my glass of water, but before it reaches my lips, I freeze. There’s a leather-bound book—a Bible that wasn’t there last night. A flower is pressed between its pages like a bookmark. I pull it open, and my heart races as I read the words scrawled along the top and side margin of the page.

I am the ghost of Rosewood Hall. Welcome. Be careful of the others.

I refuse to believe in ghosts, because if I let them in, they’ll destroy me again. I replace the Bible and wring my trembling hands. Someone must have come into my room while I was asleep. I stride towards the door, because they may still be here, but the handle turns. They’re back and I’m trapped.


There are plenty of surprises and thrilling moments in Ghost Wife. Especially for readers who enjoy romantic suspense novels. International buy link for Ghost Wife.

By the way, if you were wondering who came into my room in the middle of the night, it was my son-in-law who needed to get a change of clothes for my sixth and most recent grandson, Carlos. You’ve guessed it, I’m on granny duty again this summer! I’m trying to keep up with blogging and writing, with limited success, so far! I’m a stressed writer and blogger, but also a very happy granny!

#TuesdayBookBlog I Let You Fall by Sara Downing @Sarawritesbooks #ContemporaryRomance #BookReview

An uplifting, contemporary tale of tragedy, love, and second chances, by Sara Downing.

On a summer night in London, art teacher Eve Chapman finds herself in a hospital emergency room. She watches surgeons desperately operate on a young woman with a terrible head injury. But when the bandages are removed, Eve is horrified to find her own body on the operating table.

Trapped in a coma, Eve struggles to cope with the fact that no matter how hard she tries, her family and friends cannot see or hear her. But then she meets Luca Diaz, a handsome and comatose lawyer who can see her. He takes Eve under his wing and teaches her how to use her new abilities to help the living.

As the weeks pass, Eve struggles to find a way back to her body and to Nathan, the man she loves. But the more time she spends with Luca, the more she wonders if her old life is worth going back to at all.

My Review

I haven’t read such an emotional and inspiring novel in a long time.

Readers are invited to suspend disbelief and experience amazing accounts of coma patients’ experiences in and beyond a hospital ward. The actions, thoughts and behaviours of an array of varied and well-drawn characters, and a tightly spun plot, raise thought-provoking questions on the meaning of life and death, the mind, body, and soul connection, as well as the power of goodness, and our search for love.

Reading I Let You Fall is an uplifting experience. It was like taking an emotional holiday and visiting a magical place where the boundaries between space and time, and life and death are blurred, good things happen to good people, and love will always find a way. 

Whatever you believe, think you believe, or would like to believe about these existential themes, I Let You Fall will surprise and inspire you.

I almost forgot to mention that it’s set in London, and I really enjoyed revisiting the sights of the city where I was born and used to live.

Sara Downing writes across several genres, including romance and historical fiction. More recently she has become fascinated with the supernatural. Her first book in this genre, ‘The Lost Boy’, was followed up by ‘I Let You Fall’, published by TCK Publishing/Quilla books in June 2022.

Sara lives in rural Worcestershire with her husband, three almost grown-up children, a Labrador and a cat. Before children she was a Chartered Accountant, but always knew her dream career lay elsewhere. She started writing in 2009 and hasn’t since yearned to return to the world of accountancy.

Sara loves to hear from her readers. You can contact her via her website.

I Let Her Fall on Amazon UK

I Let Her Fall on Amazon US

Luccia Gray is the author of The Eyre Hall Series, the sequel to Jane Eyre and Wide Sargasso Sea. She has also written Ghost Wife, a contemporary, romantic suspense. Luccia’s Internacional Amazon Author Page

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