#BlogTour #RachelsRandomResources @rararesources / #GuestPost : Far Across The Ocean – Suzie Hull @SuzieHull1 @books_dash

– The Magic of Wor(l)ds is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free.
I’m grateful of receiving a free copy from the publisher/author in exchange for an honest review of this book. –

Far Across The Ocean

Today I’m delighted to be on the ‘Far Across The Ocean’ blogtour, organised by Rachel’s Random Resources.
To promote this book I’ll be sharing a guest post written by the author, but first I have some information

About the Author :

Far Across - Suzie Hull - whiteAward winning author Suzie Hull lives in Northern Ireland with her family and numerous rescue cats.
As a child she dreamt of being a ballet dancer but instead trained as a Montessori Nursery teacher and has spent the last thirty years working with children in a variety of settings. Suzie has always had an enduring passion for reading and history.
Suzie HulI won the RNA Joan Hessayon Award 2022 with her debut novel, In This Foreign Land.

Social Media Links:
Twitter
Instagram

About the Book :

Far Across - Suzie Hull - whiteThe answers to her past and present lie far across the ocean…
December 1913. Clara Thornton won’t allow being jilted at the altar to squash her spirit. Against the wishes of her aunt and uncle, Clara decides to travel to Madagascar to learn more about the tragic shipwreck that took the lives of her missionary family, and marked her forever.
Clara is escorted abroad by Xavier Mourain, a handsome young merchant who works with her uncle. The two of them start off on the wrong foot, but Clara can’t help but be drawn to the mysterious Frenchman who helps her unravel the mystery that has always haunted her. But as their love blossoms, war begins. And the world will never be the same again.
For Clara, all the answers seem to lie far across the ocean. But some of them might be closer than she thinks…

Purchase Link

And now it’s finally time for the

blog-guest post

Background of the novel

Hello Stefanie and thank you so much for hosting me on your wonderful blog.
My name is Suzie Hull, I live in Northern Ireland and I love writing WW1 Historical Romance. I thought your blog readers might be interested in learning about one of the settings in Far Across The Ocean.
I love Paris, I’ve visited many times and I really wanted to set part of this novel there so I started to research how I could weave an aspect of this city into the storyline. I’d already read about the American Hospital in Paris during WW2 and I decided to incorporate the same hospital during WW1.
There had been an American hospital in Paris for the many Americans that lived there and passed through since 1906, (with just 26 beds), but when WW1 was declared, the Board of Governors, led by U.S Ambassador Herrick offered their services to France. In exchange, the French government offered them the newly built but still unfinished Lycée Pasteur school at Neuilly. The month of August was spent getting the building finished and kitted out for the incoming patients that everyone knew would soon be arriving. It was now a military hospital with 600 beds, but at its largest it could accommodate 2,000 patients.

Le,Lycee,Pasteur,Is,A,Secondary,School,In,Neuilly-sur-seine
Initially the American government decided not to get involved in the European conflict but that didn’t stop men and women wanting to help and one way they could be involved was volunteering at the American hospital. Many Americans left immediately for Europe, including doctors, surgeons and nurses, but people who were already in Paris began immediately. It was the first foreign ambulance to be accepted by the French government to serve French soldiers.
I enjoy reading, especially non-fiction books and one of my favourite things is discovering interesting memoirs and diaries. I was delighted to find a memoir written by Marie van Vorst, an American writer who lived in Paris before the war. In her letters to friends and family she describes many scenes from which I was able to take details and incorporate them into the book. One of my characters volunteers as a nurse and whilst I wasn’t able to find accurate information on the exact process, I utilised the details I found in Marie van Vorsts’ letters. She attended Red Cross lectures in England whilst she spent time there during August and September and sat three exams. She was unable to volunteer for the British Red Cross as she was a ‘neutral’, but when she returned to Paris in early October, she went immediately to the hospital and volunteered personally to Mrs Vanderbilt. It is from her letters that I added the name and number of the gangrene ward, (Ward 69) and found a few details of other people who worked there. For example I included how female volunteers went down into the basement to roll bandages for the multitudes of patients they were expecting.
When the hospital originally opened, they went to the train station and met the hospital trains, then ferried the patients back to the hospital, but on September 9th, 1914, a call came through saying that there were over 1,000 injured soldiers stranded near Meaux, and could they help? Ambassador Herrick gathered up the vehicles they had and drove out to get the soldiers. This make-shift first convoy was the start of the American Ambulance.

French,Soldiers,Load,Stretchers,With,Wounded,Into,Motor,Ambulance,For
To start with they only had eight ‘town and touring’ type motor vehicles to use when collecting patients from the railway stations, but they were given a donation of 10 Ford chassis from the Ford Automobile company in Paris and were able to kit them out as ambulances. The young men and women who drove the ambulances were incredibly brave, facing all kinds of danger so close to the front lines. Some of the young men ultimately went on to be soldiers themselves, especially after America joined the war in 1917.
Whilst I don’t want to give away any plot spoilers if people haven’t read Far Across The Ocean, I have woven into the story a young American who becomes one of the first ambulance drivers and a young woman who passes her Red Cross exams and starts work there early in September 1914 whilst the Battle of the Marne was just starting.
If you are interested in reading more, the first-hand account of Marie Van Vorst is available on Amazon, titled War Letters of An American Woman.
I hope you enjoyed this little insight into the background of my new novel.
If you do read it, please do leave me a review as it’s so helpful for other readers who might enjoy a WW1 romance to find me. If you’d like to keep up with any of my news please follow me on social media.

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

#BlogTour #RachelsRandomResources @rararesources / #GuestPost : Spruced Up for Murder – Helen Golden #HelenGolden

– The Magic of Wor(l)ds is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free.
I’m grateful of receiving a free copy from the publisher/author in exchange for an honest review of this book. –

Spruced Up For Murder

Today I’m delighted to be on the ‘Spruced Up for Murder’ blogtour, organised by Rachel’s Random Resources.
To promote this book I’ll be sharing a guest post written by the author, but first I have some information

About the Author :

Hello. I’m Helen Golden. I write British contemporary cozy whodunnits with a hint of humour. I live in small village in Lincolnshire in the UK with my husband, my step-daughter, her two cats, our two dogs, sometimes my step-son, and our tortoise.
I used to work in senior management, but after my recent job came to a natural end I had the opportunity to follow my dreams and start writing. It’s very early in my life as an author, but so far I’m loving it.
It’s crazy busy at our house, so when I’m writing I retreat to our caravan (an impulsive lockdown purchase) which is mostly parked on our drive. When I really need total peace and quiet, I take it to a lovely site about 15 minutes away and hide there until my family runs out of food or clean clothes.

Social Media Links:
Instagram
TikTok
Website
Facebook

About the Book :

Spruced Up for Murder by Helen Golden Front CoverDeath at Francis Court Now Confirmed as Murder!
Speculation is rife that the victim, estate manager Alex Sterling (44), was found by Lady Beatrice (35), the Countess of Rossex, niece of King James. Lady Beatrice, who has finally come out of hiding following her son’s departure to boarding school, has been managing the project to refurbish and redesign the Events Suite at Francis Court, alongside Perry Juke.
Heading up the murder investigation is Detective Chief Inspector Richard Fitzwilliam. Rumour has it that he and Lady Beatrice have a fractious history…
Awful man! How dare Fitzwilliam suggest Lady Beatrice’s sister is the number one suspect for Alex’s murder. It could be any one of the staff who were on-site that morning. Well, she’ll show Mr High and Mighty Fitzwilliam! With her attention to detail, her clever dog Daisy, Perry’s imagination, and his partner’s contacts at Fenshire CID, they’ll find the murderer before him. And then they’ll see who’ll look like a fool. Because it won’t be Lady Beatrice, will it?
A cozy British Whodunnit with a hint of humour from new author Helen Golden.

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK
Amazon US

And now it’s finally time for the

blog-guest post

Why I love cozies

As I’ve got older, I’ve found I have less appetite for gritty, catastrophising drama that is ‘real’ than I used to. I don’t want to think about what would happen if we were invaded by blood-thirsty aliens or if some biological infection turned a proportion of the population into zombies with a taste for human flesh. I don’t want to hear people screaming in fear. I don’t want to listen to the c-word. I don’t want to be bombarded with violence and sex. I want nice, happy people. I want birds tweeting. I want sunshine. I want to be entertained and comforted, not sacred to sleep with the light off. Basically I want to live in a Disney movie. Is it just me?
But fear not. If you’re like me, then there’s a world of books that will make you feel warm and fuzzy inside. The characters don’t eff and jeff their way through life. They live in villages and country houses where everyone knows each other and are (mostly) friendly. Any sex and violence occurs off stage and, even though there’s bound to be at least one murder, it’s not described in gory detail. The overall feeling is light and humorous. Yes, I’m talking about cozy murder mystery books.
The cozy murder mystery book also has my favourite type of character — the amateur sleuth or sleuths. Think Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple; M.C. Beaton’s Agatha Raisin; Simon Brett’s Charles Paris, and Richard Osman’s Elizabeth, Joyce, Ron, and Ibrahim. They all have a reason to investigate a particular murder or murders because they have an emotional investment in the result. Whether it’s to prove they’re not guilty or to save a friend or family member from being arrested, our main protagonist(s) is driven to find out who the real killer is. They overhear conversations; they know their friends and neighbours’ little quirks and habits; they draw out confidences and eventually they work it out, presenting the final solution before the police can say “You’re nicked!”. Ta dah!
And the fun part is that we, as readers, get to solve the murder along with them. We’re given the same clues at the same time, so even if we’re not as quick and don’t get there before the reveal, when we do finally find out who the murderer is and how they did it, we gently tap ourselves on the forehead and say “Of course!”.
What I also like is that there are no loose ends with a cozy. No trilogies to wade through. No waiting until the next book to find out if so and so has survived. Even if the cozy is part of a series featuring the same characters, everything is wrapped up nicely at the end regarding that particular deadly deed. We will hopefully catch up with our sleuth or sleuths in their next adventure. But for now, we can close the book satisfied and comforted that all is right with the world. Cue Disney theme tune.
So if you’re like me and you’re weary of the brutality of the real world, then grab a cup of tea, snuggle up under that blanket and get lost in a cozy book tonight.

The Magic of Wor(l)ds