Christmas Awards 2011

Monday 10 December 2012

Shadows In the Sky

Shadows in the Sky by Mary de Laszlo

Published by Robert Hale. ISBN: 978-0-7090-9948-2

It is May 1940. Clemency Franklyn, her sister Verity and their mother Nancy have left their home in London to move to Scotland. Clemency’s father, Gerald, is the commander of a battleship based in Orkney and his sister Mattie lives close-by in Wick. Wishing to be closer to her husband during the war, it seems ideal to Nancy that she and the children should move in with her sister-in-law. Clemency and Verity, however, would have preferred to remain in London, surrounded by their friends, but both are trying to make the best of their new situation. Clemency, who is almost 18 years of age, is helping man the canteen van at a nearby aerodrome and Verity, who is 16, is discovering that there are plenty of young servicemen with whom she can fall in love.

Whilst Verity is now more than happy with her life, Clemency feels she should be doing something more vital for the war effort. She had been taught to fly by her godfather, Tony, who had given Clemency and his own daughter, Dory, flying lessons. She longs to fly again, but can see little chance of this happening as women are not allowed to fly in combat.

To try to add some spark to her war work, Clemency volunteers to help at the hospital in Wick, but she still does not feel she is achieving much. Then she receives a letter from Dory, who is still living in London. Dory has heard that some women who are able to fly are being trained as ferry pilots to take medicines and supplies and even new planes from factories to airfields. Dory is intending to volunteer and Clemency immediately wishes to do the same. She becomes even more determined to do so when Wing Commander Harry Chatwin, who is billeted with the family, encourages her to join the Air Transport Auxiliary. Some time afterwards, Clemency receives another letter from Dory who has enrolled on the ATA training course and begs Clemency to leave Scotland to do the same. Clemency knows that her mother and father will never agree to her signing up with the ATA and so, with the help of her friend Alice, she devises a plan to travel to London without her family knowing. All does not go as it should, however, when Gerald arrives unexpectedly at his sister’s house early one morning, just as Clemency is about to creep out to start her journey to London………

Can Clemency persuade her father to let her join the ATA or will he forbid it and let her flying skills go to waste when they are so desperately needed. Read on to find out whether Clemency’s future lies with her commendable voluntary work in Wick or in the dangerous skies above Britain.

This is a thoroughly enjoyable page- turner of a novel. It explores an aspect of women’s role in the war I knew little about and it was fascinating to learn what these brave young women did to help the war effort. The author pulls no punches with regard to the effects of war on ordinary people and the novel is undoubtedly true-to-life in that very few are left untouched by the horrors of war.

I happily award Shadows in the Sky five red roses


Tuesday 4 December 2012

The Wolf Within

The Wolf Within by Cynthia Eden

Publisher: Cynthia Eden

November 2012

Contemporary, Paranormal Seattle, Washington

Duncan McGuire is an agent with the FBI who spends his time day and night tracking the kind of monsters that most people don’t know anything about.  Duncan faces the horror of tracking vampires and werewolves that the humans know nothing about that walk among them.  Duncan knows that by tracking the monsters he protects the innocent from harm.  What he never expected was to become one of the very monsters he hunts but after a brutal werewolf attack he starts changing to one of the beasts he has always gone after. 

Holly Young is a doctor for the Para Unit in the FBI, the same unit that Duncan is an agent for. Holly is charged with helping Duncan through his transition and to keep him sane so he can continue to work and hunt for the FBI.  Holly has always kept her feelings and attraction to Duncan a secret as she isn’t exactly human and she wasn’t sure Duncan could handle her.  Now that he is getting stronger so is their attraction to each other.

As the attraction between Duncan and Holly heat up and they deal with that they are also going to have to take care of the danger that is moving in on the Para Unit as the monsters are determined to take out the unit.  Duncan is going to have to use his newfound abilities and strength to keep the monsters from winning and just maybe with the help of Holly they just might be able to succeed.

This is an action packed paranormal romance that is sure to please readers that enjoy vampires and werewolves.  With all the twists and turns this story takes it is sure to keep the reader guessing just who is who and who can be trusted.  Just as the reader thinks they have the answer the story takes another twist.  This is a great story that will have the reader counting down the days for the next story in this series.  This is one not to miss.

I give this one 5 red roses