Friday, December 9, 2016

12 days of Clink Street Christmas Event: Review & Guest Post Andy Blackman

Today I’m excited to participate in the sixth day of the 12 days of Clink Street Christmas Event. For  12 days Bloggers and Clink Street Authors are celebrating their love for Christmas and books with reviews, Christmas themed guest posts and more.

The following authors are participating in this 12 days of Clink Street Christmas Event.

For the sixth day of the event I reviewed ‘For The Love of Grace' by Andy Blackman. I'm also super excited to share Andy's Guest Post 'Christmas For Grace & Tom'.  

About the Book:
Grace Backer had a life full of tragedy. But despite everything, she raised her son, Tom, with her secret intact. Tom is a prodigal child, destined to escape the slums of the East End of London for a better life; circumstances will make him flee his loving mother and their home much sooner than expected. Tom starts a new life in Odessa, Russia, and with the help of new-found friends starts a business. At last, he is finally accepted into a new and loving family, but one which holds its own dark secrets. A chance meeting with the son of a duke of the realm leads to close friendship and a new business partnership.

When Tom decides to move his company to London and have his regal new friend run it, the firm thrives. However, not everything is as it seems, and Tom’s business soon conceals dangerous secrets of its own. Years later, when Tom finally decides to return to London, he is a wanted man, one hunted by the intelligence agencies. If he is finally to be reunited with his beloved mother and his best friend, he must fight to put the past behind him. But keeping secrets is never easy.

The Facts:

Publication Date:
September 27th 2016
Crime, Thriller
eBook, Paperback
Available at:

My Review:

When I read the book description of ‘For The Love of Grace’ I knew this was a book I liked to read. I’m not really sure why since when I read the book description I don’t think you really get the right idea about this book. But I'm so glad this book got me intrigued. Because this read was really worth it.

In ‘For The Love of Grace’ we meet Nurse Grace and her son Tom. Grace lived a hard life. Living during the war, taking care of wounded soldiers and fellow citizens and losing a lot of people she loved. Even taking care of her son isn’t going easy. Grace does everything she can but Tom is in the wrong place at the wrong time and soon finds himself in big trouble.
Tom leaves for Russia and soon finds himself on a better path. He has good friends, a thriving business and a woman he loves. But soon everything changes and Tom finds himself in a totally different world. A world of violence he seems to fit right in.

‘For The Love of Grace’ was a very impressive read. From the moment I started reading I was fascinated by the characters. Reading about Grace’s life as a nurse during the war was definitely one of my favorite parts of this story. It was just so touching to read. Learning about her life and her secrets, it really kept me on the edge of my seat.

Tom’s character was one you just don’t seem to get figured out. From a very young age he is just so mysterious and with every passing page I kept wondering what would become of him. This book definitely was a suspense novel. The Author wrote this book in a kind of way which kept you on the edge of you seat without really knowing or understanding why.

I found ‘For The Love of Grace’ a very impressive read. The characters where memorable and the writing was just really good. I would have liked to get a view more hints about where this book was going, but I suppose this makes the book even better.
One other down part.. This book deserves a better and more gripping cover if you ask me. But overall a great read!

My Rating:

'Christmas For Tom & Grace' by Andy Blackman

Christmas for Grace and Tom would have been a traditional Christmas in that it would have been more about the celebration of the birth of baby Jesus than what it is today a total commercial venture where companies try and out do themselves with adverts for the new top of the range gadget or toy depending which is in favour at the time. 

Grace and Tom would have attended the local church on Christmas Eve to sing Christmas Carols and reflect on missing loved ones, Tom would have believed in Father Christmas the magical man who although he wrote a letter to him and threw it on the open fire where the ashes would find their way magically to the North Pole, and if he was lucky Father Christmas would listen and they would appear at the bottom of his bed on Christmas morning, in the sack he had hung before bedtime.  The present would have been simple and in some cases practical ones, and a pack of colouring pencil would have brought hours of joy. 

Christmas time would have been open house for most families popping in for a glass of sherry or a mince pie, as the community was so close no one was ever lonely at Christmas time, plus very few had a television, houses would be packed with the laughter of games, some home made, but brought the joy of Christmas to the house.  Christmas was a real holiday where shops shut for weeks rather than hours as they are in this day and age, so the house would have been stocked with supplies to last the Christmas period, plus some hard to get items which were only seen at Christmas like satsumas, figs and Dates, everyone brought these items at Christmas not because they were available at this time, but because being Christmas you made the effort and spent well, and it was traditional to purchase them, this has now been lost to modern living as nowadays you can find most things throughout the year in supermarkets so there are no special produces you only see at Christmas time.

 Christmas dinner would have been the traditional fare, and Grace would have gone overboard with the Christmas dinner, plus Christmas pudding with the silver sixpence in, which in my own experience I never found, my grandfather always got one but despite me having two or three helpings, I never as a child managed to find a silver sixpence in my Christmas pudding!  Christmas time was definitely different more relaxed and happy, and more structured around family values and “Peace to all Men”, this would have been more felt to Grace and Tom, as they were celebrating Christmas just after a World War, where the years before people found it hard to celebrate, with so much suffering going on. 

Years later like a veil had been lifted Christmas returned to its rightful place as the main yearly event for most families, so Grace would have gone out of her way to make Tom have a wonderful magical Christmas, where he could over indulge on sweets and pop, and when the weather was terrible outside with howling winds and heavy snow fall, they would have been snuggled up together sitting around the roaring coal fire, loving the Christmas festivals, with the radio softly playing in the back ground, they would have been lost in their own world.

So for Tom and Grace they lived in a simpler time, not surrounded by the modern commercial Christmas of today, I think they would have been amazed if not disappointed that the True Spirit of Christmas has well and truly been replaced and Christmas is no longer treated as Special but for most a worrying time to see if they can afford all that their children expect if not demand from Father Christmas, Grace and Tom loved Christmas where it was embraced and celebrated but in modern times more people dread Christmas rather than celebrate it.

About the Author:

After serving in the British Army for over twenty-five years in the Parachute Regiment, Andy Blackman today lives in Bedworth, Warwickshire and works within in the IT sector. In his spare time he can be found visiting his three daughters and grandchildren.

For more information please visit Andy Blackman on Twitter.

The Advent Calender:

I received this book from Authoright in exchange for my honest review.

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