Tag Archives: historical

Lost Guardian by Gail Wilson

I have received a free e-copy of the book Lost Guardian by Gail Wilson. To find out more about the author you may visit her facebook page.

Lost Guardian by Gail Wilson

Here is the book blurb.

In a previous incarnation, Kate Grahame fell in love with a Victorian Egyptologist. She left her Edinburgh home and accompanied her soulmate to Amarna in Egypt to search for the tomb of the heretic pharaoh, Akhenaten. Sadly, tragedy befell the couple.

More than a century later, Kate follows in their footsteps and travels to Amarna to work with archaeologist David Young. Despite their turbulent relationship, Kate is determined to prove her worth as David’s assistant, but her attempts to adapt to this new role are continually thwarted by those around her. Kate’s character is tested further when she is forced to combat the prejudices of field director Ethan Forbes.

Kate is befriended by Anai, the local wise woman. At first, Anai appears to be a source of comfort and wisdom, but the Egyptian matriarch is not as benevolent as she seems.

Struggling to contend with the challenges of a hostile environment, Kate falls under the sinister influence of Egyptian magic. As she helps David to uncover the secrets of a lost civilisation, Kate’s past life returns to haunt her…

Regular followers of my blog may remember that I read the final book in a trilogy – The Soul Behind the Mask, but got quite confused in places, having not read the previous two titles. I then went back to read book 1 – A Second Path. Well now I am completing my random order reading of the series with book 2 – Lost Guardian.

Book 1 had ended with Kate and David arriving in Cairo for the archaeology trip to Amarna. Kate had just met David’s archeology friend Ethan Forbes for the first time and been shocked to discover he was the spitting image of Edwin Ford, who was her husband in a past life. Why had David, who had seen the photograph of Edwin, kept this fact from her?

So this story starts with a very confused Kate, particularly as Ethan seems very anti towards her. And once we arrive at Amarna, where do the locals fit into the picture, as elderly Anai seems to be aware of the history of Kate’s ancestors. And her grand-daughter Mina appears to have taken a shine towards David. Is Kate jealous? And why is Kate’s friend Steven now rebuffing her? Is Ethan really as obnoxious as he seems? Was Edwin correct that Kate will find her soulmate here in Egypt?

So lots of questions to answer, as the story proceeds. Once again, I would say definitely read book 1 first before reading this and don’t try to attempt it as a stand-alone read. As with the other books, great from the point of view of encompassing Egyptology and genealogy.

Lost Guardian is available on Amazon, currently priced at £4.99 in Kindle format. A great follow-up romantic story with lots of coincidences.

Visit Yet Another Blogging Mummy on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

MamaMummyMum

Disclosure.  This post is a review of an e-book I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.

A Second Path by Gail Wilson

I have received a free e-copy of the book A Second Path by Gail Wilson. To find out more about the author you may visit her facebook page.

A Second Path by Gail Wilson

Here is the book blurb.

Kate Grahame’s new job at the National Museum of Scotland sparks a series of dreams featuring a man she believes she has never met. Regression therapy exposes his identity and reveals a strong past life connection to the Edinburgh museum. As Kate struggles to come to terms with this startling discovery, her marriage collapses. Kate is forced to forge a new life for herself, while still learning about her mysterious past. She soon finds herself torn between two lives, two eras and two men.

Egyptologist David Young assists Kate on her journey of self-discovery by giving her a place on his team. Handsome and enigmatic, David soon harbours deeper feelings for Kate. But both are haunted by the past. Then David makes a startling discovery which threatens to tear them apart forever…

Regular followers of my blog may remember that earlier this year I read The Soul Behind the Mask, which was book 3 in a trilogy without having read the previous two books but I did get rather confused in places. Well the author kindly sent me both the other books to read.

So first up, book 1 – A Second Path. The story begins with Kate having a very vivid dream, (one of many similar dreams) which we later discover via regression is of a past life, as her namesake Katherine Grahame in the late 1800s, who married Egyptologist Edwin Ford. The story continues to switch back and forth seamlessly between the two periods. The dreams are mainly about Edwin, who then actually manifests himself to Kate in modern day.

Kate works at the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh which is another link, since James Grahame, her 3x great grandfather was director there. And that was also where Katherine first met Edwin, whilst taking lunch to her father.

At work Kate volunteers to help Professor David Young with his Amarna lecture, when his assistant is absent. And she looks through the family memorabilia in the attic to piece everything together. She puts together a talk to deliver to visiting school children based on her past life.

Meanwhile her marriage fails when she finds an earring belonging to former friend Gemma in her bedroom. Husband Mark and Gemma are having an affair. David invites Kate to go horse riding and they gradually spend more time together. Kate is torn between modern day and past day.

How will things progress?

A Second Path is available on Amazon, currently priced at £4.99 in Kindle format. An excellent romantic story which has been well researched by the author.

Visit Yet Another Blogging Mummy on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

MamaMummyMum

Disclosure.  This post is a review of an e-book I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.

The Soul behind the Mask by Gail Wilson

I have received a free e-copy of the book The Soul behind the Mask by Gail Wilson. To find out more about the author you may visit her facebook page.

The Soul behind the Mask by Gail Wilson

Here is the book blurb.

On a cold December night, Kate returns to Edinburgh seeking refuge after a disastrous trip to Egypt, where troubling events destroyed her relationship with archaeologist David Young.

Kate and David shared a tragic past life. In the Victorian era, they were cursed by an Egyptian witch whose malevolence continues to cause conflict.

Determined to start afresh, Kate begins a new job as an events coordinator for the National Museum of Scotland. She excels in her new role but soon becomes the victim of malicious gossip.

Kate’s attempts to bury the past fail when David forces his way back into her life. They marry in haste but struggle to overcome the obstacles in their path. Their relationship is plagued by mistrust, resentment, and secrets. Harangued by the living, and haunted by the dead, Kate and David can find no peace.

Certain that his marriage is doomed, David returns to Egypt. In the inhospitable wilderness that was once Pharaoh Akhenaten’s metropolis, he must face the past, as well as the danger that prowls a land in political turmoil.

Can Kate and David learn from their mistakes? Will tragedy unite them, or tear them apart?

This is the third book in a trilogy and although I loved it, I did struggle with some references to what must have happened in the earlier two book, which I haven’t read, including the initial scene of a road accident in Cairo. So I would recommend that it is probably best to read them all in order, rather than to attempt this as a stand-alone read.

After opening with the road accident, the story begins with an unaware Kate fleeing back home to Edinburgh from Egypt, as she considers her relationship with archaeologist David Young to have failed. We discover that they had also known each other in a past life when they formerly met back in 1891 in Egypt too.

Kate was formerly Katherine Ford, her own great great aunt, who was married to Edwin Ford. Edwin has been haunting Kate’s dreams and she has now met a modern-day equivalent in Ethan Forbes, who just so happens to be David’s friend. Talk about a tangled triangle!

Meanwhile Kate tries to start afresh, by swapping roles at the National Museum of Scotland where she works. A mixture of new faces and old, some friendly and others hurtful. And then David returns to Scotland followed by Ethan.

Loads more to come in the story including an unexpected twist at the end. But very confusing when I hadn’t read the earlier books. Great from the point of view of encompassing Egyptology and genealogy.

The Soul behind the Mask is available on Amazon, currently priced at £10.99 in paperback and is also available in Kindle format. A great romantic story with plenty of mystery thrown into the mix, but I do recommend you don’t start with this book 3.

Visit Yet Another Blogging Mummy on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

MamaMummyMum

Disclosure.  This post is a review of an e-book I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.

Tunes on a Penny Whistle by Doris Coates

I have received a free e-copy of the book Tunes on a Penny Whistle: A Derbyshire Childhood by Doris E Coates to review.

Tunes on a Penny Whistle by Doris Coates

Here is the book blurb.

The early 1900s were a period of great hardship for many working-class families, particularly in rural areas. However, they were also times of pride and self-sufficiency, with fun and laughter derived from simple pleasures as well as mutual support and courage when poverty could have become unbearable.

This book is a personal history of a childhood in the village of Eyam – known as the Plague Village – in the Peak District of Derbyshire. Doris recalls how her mother confronted tough living conditions without labour-saving devices and often with little or no money.

She remembers, too, her father, who fought for the right for union representation, worked for self-help groups, and organised political meetings and village entertainments. He was a talented self-taught musician, producing a wide range of music on his Canadian organ and penny whistle. His fighting spirit made him a remarkable and influential character within the village community.

Both humourous and shocking, this description of domestic and community life at the beginning of the twentieth century is illustrated with many contemporary photographs, documents, and line drawings by George Coates, the author’s husband.

This book is a biography originally published in 1983, mainly about the author’s father Harry Dawson, but also all their family life during her childhood. This new edition has been edited by Doris’s son Richard with supplemental information from ancestry databases and also includes plenty of period photos.

Doris was born in 1908 in Eyam, Derbyshire into poverty. The cottage had no plumbed water, gas or electricity. An earth closet at the far end of the garden and baths in front of the living room fire. But the family had a good quality of life despite the lack of facilities and shortage of money. Lots of foraging walks and selling teas to passing ramblers helped.

Eyam was a rural industrial village where shoe making was the main industry. Harry worked long 12 hour shifts, five and a half days a week in the shoe factory, but still found time for newspaper reporting, local temperance and friendly societies, cycling and music. The working conditions were dreadful and the pay appalling with wages at about half the national average. The union didn’t reach Eyam until 1918 when Harry was sacked on suspicion of having joined the union. He hadn’t but soon did. And of course with no income, things became even more difficult for the family. And worse still in 1922 when the shoe factory owners tried to evict the family by putting their rented cottage up for auction. But Harry went into debt and bid 3 times over its value to buy the cottage that his family had lived in for at least 3 generations.

Doris’s grandfather George Dawson was famed for his tune to “Hark the Herald Angels Sing” and his musical prowess led to the family being held in high esteem locally even though they had no social status.

And Doris’s mother Margaret spearheaded the campaign to get a district nurse.

School was stressful for Doris aged 8 with physical punishments from the teacher and she was near a nervous breakdown when the school medical inspector intervened on his annual inspection. 2 months off school and then a different teacher improved the situation. He encouraged her to sit the Grammar school scholarship examination, which she passed but there was no transportation and the family couldn’t afford the boarding fees. But even so in 1926, Doris became the first non-Grammar school student to qualify for higher education at Goldsmiths’ College, London. Again money was a problem but was overcome with a loan.

Tunes on a Penny Whistle is available on Amazon, currently priced at £11.95 in paperback and is also available in Kindle format or hardback. I really enjoyed this book and highly recommend it. A fascinating insight into the local and social history of the early twentieth century.


Here is an extract from the book to give you a flavour.

No Power to the Workers
(Chapter 7 page 93)

So it was that our district nurse arrived in 1917, a crucial time in the life of the village. Self-help and thrift had done something to ameliorate life’s perpetual difficulties, but with wartime strains, long working hours and wages in the factories barely half the national average, morale was low. When the suggestion was made that workers should join a union and fight for their rights, some were apathetic, while others saw this as the only hope of improving their conditions.

Trade unions had strengthened during the war, when there was a great demand for labour to fulfil Government contracts. The National Union of Boot and Shoe Operatives (NUBSO) had achieved good conditions for workers in Northampton, Leicester and other large centres. A working week of forty-eight hours was agreed, and with wage increases and bonuses it was possible to earn 45-55s a week (£2.25–£2.75).

By 1917 the union was turning its attention to smaller centres. John Buckle was appointed organiser to recruit members in Eyam and Stoney Middleton, and to try to bring conditions in the factories up to union standards. He met with obdurate resistance from the bosses. Any worker who was suspected to joining the union was sacked instantly.

Seven firms were involved in the dispute. Four, in Stoney Middleton, all made heavy boots for men, pit boots, army boots and carters’ boots. Three factories in Eyam manufactured light shoes for women and children. They were all family firms, and the bosses were what was known as ‘little masters’ who came from the same background as most of their employees, and spoke with the same Derbyshire accent. They had no pretence to culture or education, and treated with suspicion people like my parents who were well read (through self-educated) and who were not afraid to express their opinions.

Context

Chapter 7 describes in detail the working conditions in the shoe factories in Eyam and the neighbouring village, Stoney Middleton. The author’s father, Harry, had worked in one of these for all his working life – 30 years or so.

Through the contemporary notes of the professional union organiser, this chapter describes the ultimately futile fight for union recognition and nationally agreed pay rates. Harry lost his job on suspicion of joining the union (which at that point he had not), and was never able to work again in the village again through what today would be regarded as victimisation.

2018 is the Centenary of the strike in Eyam and Stoney Middleton, and Eyam Museum is promoting events and exhibitions to commemorate it.


About the Authors

Born in Eyam in the Peak District of Derbyshire, Doris E. Coates achieved a successful and varied career as a teacher in both Derbyshire and later in Norfolk. Along with her husband George, she was an active member of her community promoting local groups, enjoyed singing in the local choir and, after retirement, turned her talents to writing. Her son, Richard Coates, now based in Bath enjoyed a happy childhood and grew up appreciating the importance of a strong education. After gaining a scholarship at Oxford University he went on to read Politics, Philosophy and Economics. Later as a management consultant he worked for international companies including Audi, British Airways and Mars in both the UK and oversees and continues to sit on the board of Davos Consultancy. Now retired, and in memory of his mother, Richard has decided to republish her books with fascinating new additions after researching further into his family history.


I’m participating in the book tour and you may like to check out some of the other blog stops on the tour, including my own review of Tuppenny Rice and Treacle, in which I try out the Bible Cake recipe.

Tunes on a Penny Whistle by Doris Coates

Visit Yet Another Blogging Mummy on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Instagram

MamaMummyMum

Disclosure.  This post is a review of an e-book I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.

SaveSave

SaveSaveSaveSave

SaveSaveSaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

Tuppenny Rice and Treacle by Doris Coates

I have received a free e-copy of the book Tuppenny Rice and Treacle: Cottage Housekeeping 1900-1920 by Doris E Coates to review.

Tuppenny Rice and Treacle by Doris Coates

Here is the book blurb.

Feeding a family on a limited budget is always a challenge. Yet even with a budget as low as ten shillings (50p) a week in the early part of the twentieth century, it is remarkable how interesting and varied the menu could be.

This delightful book draws on recipes compiled by Doris’s mother in Derbyshire and mother-in-law in Cumberland, and contains detailed records of weekly expenditure.

It includes numerous recipes for nutritious and filling meals for working men and growing families, taking full advantage of what was available – hearty meat dishes, with lots of root vegetables, puddings and dumplings to fill them out, cakes and buns, sweets and jams, and beverages to go with them (some highly alcoholic!). The recipes work just as well now as then.

It is also full of household and cleaning hints and products, illustrating immense pride in the home, as well as medicines, lotions and potions that would ‘kill or cure’.

This book originally published in 1975, is mainly based on the recipes and notebooks of both Doris’s mother Margaret Dawson and mother-in-law Jane Coates from the period 1900 – 1920. This new edition includes additional material sourced by Doris’s son Richard Coates.

The notebooks would have included household accounts and money saving tips. And the recipes weren’t all food, they also encompassed how to make your own medicines and cleaning materials. It was very difficult for Margaret to balance the £1 budget and if she overspent one fortnight, she would have to cut back the following, as there was a family horror of debt. She supplemented the income with paying guests, teas for ramblers and piecework for the shoe factory, although this only earned 9d per dozen.

However her accounts for several years show no record of purchase of boots, shoes, major items of clothing or toiletries. Items like tinned fruit were beyond their means, but however short of money, she still had to fill the store cupboard for the winter, so there are recipes for preserves, pickles and bottled fruit. All such a fascinating insight.

Then recipes for cheap cuts of meat – rook pie for instance. Followed by substantial filling puddings, some were regional specialities like Coniston Pudding and Felixstowe Tart. And the interesting names of others like High Church Pudding and Duchess of Sutherland Pudding. Of course not missing out teatime favourites, again many are regional like Northumberland Griddle Cakes and Sledmere Gingerbread.

And I loved the fact that the teetotal family were of the opinion that potent homemade drinks were innocuous, so we see the likes of Nettle Beer and Cowslip Wine.

At least the author warns us not to try the cough mixture recipes, as I see ingredients like laudanum. And I love the household tips like how to test the heat of the oven.

Tuppenny Rice and Treacle is available on Amazon, currently priced at £11.95 in paperback and is also available in Kindle format or hardback. I really enjoyed this book and highly recommend it. A wonderful glimpse into the early twentieth century household accounts, with plenty of recipes to browse.


And I’ve been busy trying out the Bible Cake recipe. This is not just a recipe, but a puzzle too, with the ingredients all being listed as Bible references.

Bible cake

Bible Cake

This ‘puzzle recipe’ has been known in the North of England at least from the turn of the century.

  1. ½ lb Judges 5, verse 25 (last clause)
  2. ½ lb Jeremiah 6, verse 203. 1 tbsp 1 Samuel 14, verse 25
  3. 3 of Jeremiah 17, verse 11
  4. ½ lb 1 Samuel 30, verse 12
  5. ½ lb Nahum 3, verse 12 (chopped)
  6. 2 oz Numbers 17, verse 8 (blanched and chopped)
  7. 1 lb 1 Kings 4, verse 22
  8. season to taste with 2 Chronicles 9, verse 9
  9. a pinch of Leviticus 2, verse 13
  10. 1 tsp Amos 4, verse 5
  11. 1 tbsp Judges 4, verse 19

Note: leaven means baking powder.

Beat Nos 1, 2 and 3 to a cream; add 4 one at a time, still beating; then 5, 6 and 7, and beat again; add 8, 9, 10 and 11 having previously mixed them, and lastly No 12. Bake in a slow oven for one and a half hours.

Bible cake

Here is the solution to the puzzle:

  1. She brought forth butter in a lordly dish – ½ lb butter
  2. The sweet cane from a far country (sugar) – ½ lb sugar
  3. There was honey upon the ground – 1 tbsp honey
  4. As the partridge sitteth on eggs and hatcheth them not – 3 eggs
  5. And they gave him a piece of cake of figs, and two clusters of raisins – ½ lb raisins
  6. All thy strongholds shall be like fig trees with first-ripe figs – ½ lb figs (chopped)
  7. The rod of Aaron… yielded almonds – 2 oz almonds (chopped)
  8. Soloman’s provision was… thirty measures of fine flour – 1 lb flour
  9. Spices in great abundance – Season with spices to taste
  10. Thy meat offering shalt thou season with salt – Pinch salt
  11. A sacrifice with leaven (yeast) – 1 tsp baking powder
  12. And she opened a bottle of milk – 3 tbsp milk

This made a very large quantity of mixture, so I had to split it across 2 tins, as I didn’t have a large enough tin. I followed the quantities stipulated exactly and was quite surprised how stiff the mixture was for a cake, more like the consistency of rock buns. Also I had to guess what temperature a slow oven would be. I opted for 160 degree in my fan oven but with hindsight, this may have been too high. I ended up covering the cakes with greaseproof paper after 45 minutes to avoid the outside over-cooking and took them out of the oven at 65 minutes compared to the expected 90 minutes.

However the resulting cakes were delicious. But surely ingredients like figs would have been difficult to source in Margaret’s time, so I imagine this would have been a cake for a special occasion in those days.

Bible cake


About the Authors

Born in Eyam in the Peak District of Derbyshire, Doris E. Coates achieved a successful and varied career as a teacher in both Derbyshire and later in Norfolk. Along with her husband George, she was an active member of her community promoting local groups, enjoyed singing in the local choir and, after retirement, turned her talents to writing. Her son, Richard Coates, now based in Bath enjoyed a happy childhood and grew up appreciating the importance of a strong education. After gaining a scholarship at Oxford University he went on to read Politics, Philosophy and Economics. Later as a management consultant he worked for international companies including Audi, British Airways and Mars in both the UK and oversees and continues to sit on the board of Davos Consultancy. Now retired, and in memory of his mother, Richard has decided to republish her books with fascinating new additions after researching further into his family history.


I’m kicking off the book tour and you may like to check out some of the other blog stops on the tour. I’ll be back on January 29th with my review of Tunes on a Penny Whistle.

Tunes on a Penny Whistle by Doris Coates

Visit Yet Another Blogging Mummy on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Instagram

MamaMummyMum

Disclosure.  This post is a review of an e-book I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.

SaveSave

SaveSaveSaveSave

SaveSaveSaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave