Oh, it’s freezing and blowing a gale here today, I wish I could be whisked away to a warm, tropical island with nothing to do but read! However, it is not me but author, Lynda Stacey, who is taking a trip to my tropical hideaway today, with her five books and one luxury item for company. Let’s see what she is taking.
Hi Julie, thank you so much for inviting me to your lovely desert island.
Book One – The Girl Who Came Home by Hazel Gaynor
Ireland, 1912. Fourteen members of a small village set sail on RMS Titanic, hoping to find a better life in America. For seventeen-year-old Maggie Murphy, the journey is bittersweet. Though her future lies in an unknown new place, her heart remains in Ireland with Séamus, the sweetheart she left behind. When disaster strikes, Maggie is one of the lucky few passengers in steerage who survives. Waking up alone in a New York hospital, she vows never to speak of the terror and panic of that terrible night ever again.
Chicago, 1982. Adrift after the death of her father, Grace Butler struggles to decide what comes next. When her Great Nana Maggie shares the painful secret she harbored for almost a lifetime about the Titanic, the revelation gives Grace new direction—and leads her and Maggie to unexpected reunions with those they thought lost long ago.
I’ve always been fascinated by the Titanic, about the glitz and glamour. But this book was a little different, it centered around the life of a young girl, one of 14 passengers all from a little village in Ireland. All were travelling in steerage. A journey very different to the passengers in first class.
Book Two – A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness
A world of witches, daemons and vampires.
A manuscript which holds the secrets of their past and the key to their future.
Diana and Matthew – the forbidden love at the heart of it.
When historian Diana Bishop opens an alchemical manuscript in the Bodleian Library, it’s an unwelcome intrusion of magic into her carefully ordered life. Though Diana is a witch of impeccable lineage, the violent death of her parents while she was still a child convinced her that human fear is more potent than any witchcraft. Now Diana has unwittingly exposed herself to a world she’s kept at bay for years; one of powerful witches, creative, destructive daemons and long-lived vampires.
Sensing the significance of Diana’s discovery, the creatures gather in Oxford, among them the enigmatic Matthew Clairmont, a vampire geneticist.
Diana is inexplicably drawn to Matthew and, in a shadowy world of half-truths and old enmities, ties herself to him without fully understanding the ancient line they are crossing. As they begin to unlock the secrets of the manuscript and their feelings for each other deepen, so the fragile balance of peace unravels…
I’ve always loved a great vampire and witch story, who doesn’t. I found this one particularly well written and the love between the hero and heroine quite a battle of wills. Especially as in the beginning, Diana Bishop, the heroine doesn’t realise quite what powers she has.
Book Three – The Island By Victoria Hislop
On the brink of a life-changing decision, Alexis Fielding longs to find out about her mother’s past. But Sofia has never spoken of it. All she admits to is growing up in a small Cretan village before moving to London. When Alexis decides to visit Crete, however, Sofia gives her daughter a letter to take to an old friend, and promises that through her she will learn more.
Arriving in Plaka, Alexis is astonished to see that it lies a stone’s throw from the tiny, deserted island of Spinalonga – Greece’s former leper colony. Then she finds Fotini, and at last hears the story that Sofia has buried all her life: the tale of her great-grandmother Eleni and her daughters and a family rent by tragedy, war and passion. She discovers how intimately she is connected with the island, and how secrecy holds them all in its powerful grip…
I loved everything about this book, the setting of Spinalonga, a former leper colony brought back so many memories as I’d visited it many years ago and while reading the book I could imagine how it must have been to be shipped over there, left there to ‘literally’ rot. I also love books that are based on truth.
Book Four – Lady of Hay by Barbara Erskine
A story spanning centuries. A long awaited revenge.
In London, journalist Jo Clifford plans to debunk the belief in past-lives in a hard-hitting magazine piece. But her scepticism is shaken when a hypnotist forces her to relive the experiences of Matilda, Lady of Hay, a noblewoman during the reign of King John.
She learns of Matilda’s unhappy marriage, her love for the handsome Richard de Clare, and the brutal death threats handed out by King John, before it becomes clear that Jo’s past and present are inevitably entwined. She realises that eight hundred years on, Matilda’s story of secret passion and unspeakable treachery is about to repeat itself…
This book was gripping. I loved that the author combined past and present day, the way it was seeped with history and the book seamlessly switches from Joanna Clifford to Matilda (who are essentially the same person).
Book Five – SUMO by Paul McGee
Paul McGee’s international bestselling personal development heavyweight S.U.M.O. has helped hundreds of thousands of people around the world fulfil their potential, seize opportunities, succeed at work, and respond to adverse situations with a positive attitude. Weighing in with humour, insight, practical tips, and personal anecdotes, it’s a thought provoking—and possibly life-changing—read. Now newly updated to celebrate 10 years since its first publication and including up-to-date case studies and examples, as well brand new exercises to test yourself, S.U.M.O: 10th Anniversary Edition will help SUMO fans, as well as SUMO amateurs, get more out of this bestselling, self-help classic.
There are six S.U.M.O. principles that are designed to help you create and enjoy a brilliant life:
- Change Your T-Shirt— take responsibility for your own life and don’t be a victim.
- Develop Fruity Thinking— change your thinking and change your results.
- Hippo Time is OK— understand how setbacks affect you and how to recover from them.
- Remember the Beachball— increase your understanding and awareness of other people’s world.
- Learn Latin— change comes through action not intention.
- Overcome the tendency to put things off.
- Ditch Doris Day— create your own future rather than leave it to chance. Forget the attitude ‘que sera, sera, whatever will be, will be.’
This is a motivational book. SUMO stands for Shut Up, Move On. And has some really great ideas on self-motivation. For example, the author talks about ‘hippo time’ about how everyone is allow to wallow in the mud… but also about how it isn’t healthy or good to wallow there for too long.
My luxury item
Oh gosh, I’d have to have a blanket. I’m always cold…
About the Author
Lynda grew up in the mining village of Bentley, Doncaster, in South Yorkshire,
Her own chaotic life story, along with varied career choices helps Lynda to create stories of romantic suspense, with challenging and unpredictable plots, along with (as in all romances) very happy endings.
Lynda joined the Romantic Novelist Association in 2014 under the umbrella of the New Writers Scheme and in 2015, her debut novel House of Secrets won the Choc Lit Search for a Star competition.
She lives in a small rural hamlet near Doncaster, with her husband, Haydn, whom she’s been happily married to for almost 30 years.
For as long as Cassie Hunt can remember her Aunt Aggie has spoken about the forgotten world that exists just below her feet, the tunnels and catacombs of the Sand House.
When excavation work begins on the site, shocking secrets are uncovered and danger is never far away, both above and below the ground.
Connect with Lynda:
Facebook: Lynda Stacey Author