About Judith Barrow

Pattern of Shadows was my first novel, the sequel, Changing Patterns was published in May 2013. The last of the trilogy, Living in the Shadows was published July 2015. In August 2017, the prequel to the trilogy, A Hundred Tiny Threads,was published. In March 2010, The Memory was published by Honno, a contemporary family saga. I also have an eBook, Silent Trauma, a fiction built on fact novel, published as an eBook. I have an MA in Creative Writing, B.A. (Hons.) in Literature, and a Diploma in Drama and Script Writing. I've had short stories, poems, plays, reviews and articles published throughout the British Isles, notably in several Honno anthologies. I am also a Creative Writing tutor and run workshops on all genres and available for talks and workshops.My blogs are on my website: https://judithbarrowblog.com/ where I review mainly for #RBRT. and also interview other authors. My personal posts are on, https://www.judithbarrow-author.co.uk/ . It would be great if you could check me out there. When I'm not writing or teaching creative writing I spend time researching for my writing, painting or walking the Pembrokeshire coastline

A Love/Hate Story #Bookreview: The Heart Stone by @JudithBarrow77 #HistoricalFiction #FamilySaga

Reblogged with heartfelt thanks to Barb Taup.

Barb Taub

“Surplus Women”

Women of Britain say GO [image credit: E J Kealey (artist) Parliamentary Recruiting Committee (copyright owner/commissioner) Hill, Siffken & Co. (L.P.A. Ltd.) (Publisher) Adam Cuerden (Restoration) - Te Papa Tongarewa (The Museum of New Zealand)] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Music_hall#/media/File:Women_of_Britain_Say_-_%22Go%22_-_World_War_I_British_poster_by_the_Parliamentary_Recruiting_Committee,_art_by_E_J_Kealey_(Restoration).jpgWomen of Britain say GO [image credit: E J Kealey (artist) Parliamentary Recruiting Committee – Te Papa Tongarewa (The Museum of New Zealand)]

“There used to be tea rooms on almost every street in England.” An older friend was reminiscing about her youth and her parents’ generation.  “Women needed something to do, and they knew how to bake, and to make proper tea.”

With bureaucratic cruelty, the post-war census labelled them “Surplus Women”. After almost ten percent of British men under the age of 45 died in World War I—the Great War—Britain was left with two million more women than men. In my friend’s family, none of the women of the previous generation had husbands or sweethearts who survived the war. One of her aunts said that when they sent their husbands, sweethearts, brothers, and cousins off to fight, so few returned that girls were told only one in ten…

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Interview with memoir author, Lisa Rose Wright

Having posted Val Poore’s lovely memoir of her gorgeous dog, Sindy:http://bit.ly/3dEfjfi, I thought readers might light an introduction to anomer memoir author.

Marvellous Memoirs: Reviews and links

It’s a long time since I’ve done a weberview, but since this blog is devoted to memoirs, which are about the real lives of real people, I thought it might be fun to invite a few of the authors here to find out what made them start writing their stories and, because I’m nosy, what else makes them tick. To kick off, then, I’ve asked Lisa Rose Wright to join me here. Lisa has written some really lovely, engaging books about her move to Galicia in Spain with her partner (known in the books as S) and about the old country ruin they renovated into a beautiful home. I read and loved Plum, Courgette and Green Been Tart last year and as chance would have it, the sequel, Tomato, Fig and Pumpkin Jelly will be released tomorrow on Valentine’s Day, a book I Beta read and enjoyed hugely. So, as…

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My Review of Living With My Sin: The Story of a Dog’s Life by Val Poore #memoir #TuesdayBookBlog

Living With My Sin: The Story of a Dog's Life by [Valerie Poore]

Book Description:

When Val Poore first agreed to take on an abused rescue puppy, nothing prepared her and her partner, Koos, for the challenges they were going to meet in the coming years. This short memoir is a story of the love and loyalty they developed for Sindy (Sin) against considerable odds and frequent pessimism. It is Sindy’s story, but at the same time it is that of many other damaged dogs.

The ebook book is illustrated with a few photos to mark the different stages of her life, but there is also a link to a file with further photos at the end.

Val would also like to thank the hugely respected dog psychologist, Lisa Tenzin-Dolma, for reading the first draft of this book and giving it her support. Lisa, whose knowledge of dog behaviour is simply incredible, is the founder and principal of the International School for Canine Psychology & Behaviour whose website can be found at http://www.theiscp.com

My Review:
Living With My Sin is a story that one moment made me laugh and the next brought tears. And it will be a story that stays with me for quite a while in its simplicity for showing the love, compassion and patience that only anyone who has had a damaged, yet lovable, animal in their lives could truly understand. Sindy’s start in life was fraught with emotional and physical abuse so when Val and her partner Koos took her on, they knew life would be difficult with Sindy – but they had no idea how hard. Or how soon they would fall in love with her.

And it was wonderful to read how easily Val and Koos friends also adored her; enough to help this oh so troubled puppy ( soon to grow into a large lovable dog), cope with her surroundings.

The descriptions of the various places the author lived with Sindy and Koos give a wonderful sense of place: the barges, flat, the dilapidated cottage. However, Val comes into her own when describing the walks and parks where she and Sindy go – they are easy to envisage. But it is the emotions in these settings and circumstances, threaded throughout these sections of the book, especially as Sindy grows older, where the reader can empathise with her. I have to admit I reached the end of the book in tears

A brilliantly written book that I wholeheartedly recommend to any reader ( especially dog lovers like myself!). Living With My Sin tells not only the life of Sindy but also gives a glimpse into the life and emotions of the author and her partner.

About the Author:

Valerie Poore

Val Poore was born in London, England, and grew up in both north London and the west of Dorset. After completing her degree in English, History and French at Bournemouth, she took a further course in the conservation and restoration of museum artefacts at Lincoln College of Art which qualified her for nothing at all really. She then spent two years doing furniture restoration before going to South Africa in 1981 with her husband and small children.

Valerie left South Africa permanently in 2001 and has settled in the Netherlands, where she shares her time between a liveaboard barge in Rotterdam and a cottage in Zeeland. She teaches academic and business English on a freelance basis and still writes in her spare time, although she admits there’s not enough of that at the moment. In fact, she has been writing since childhood and wrote stories, articles and radio plays for years before embarking on her first book in 2005. Val loves travelling especially when it involves roughing it a bit. She feels that she has better adventures and more interesting experiences that way.

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Author Updates – #Reviews #Family Lisette Brodey, #SouthernCulture Claire Fullerton, #Fantasy Tyler Edwards

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Welcome to the first of the author updates this week with recent reviews for authors on the shelves.

The first review today is for the latest book from LIsette Brodey.. a story of family and relationships The Sum of our Sorrows.

About the book

In an idyllic suburb in Northern California, tragedy strikes the Sheppard family when Abby, the mother of three daughters and wife to Dalton, is killed in a car accident. Charlotte, the middle daughter, is in the car with her mother and survives without physical injury but remains deeply scarred on the inside.

Dalton tells Lily, his eldest daughter, that she must sacrifice long-awaited college plans and put her life on hold to take care of her sisters. Lily is torn between her devotion to family and an increasing need to find her place in the world — but how can she leave, knowing her…

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Judith Barrow – The Heart Stone

‘The Heart Stone’ by Judith Barrow is a historical fiction novel set during World War One and is set in the Mill Towns on the Pennines. I, myself, am from Oldham, which was predominantly once a mill town too, so I did feel a little nostalgic as soon as I read the synopsis and saw that the main character, Jessie, had a trip to Blackpool. My grandmother worked in the mills and Blackpool was the holiday of the year usually during Oldham Wakes, the only time the mills shut for their annual holidays. So I settled down knowing ‘The Heartstone’ would definitely turn back time for me.

Judith Barrow

Sixteen-year-old Jessie watches her friend Arthur marching off to fight in World War One just as they have found their friendship turning to a lot more. Jessie finds herself with a stepfather she both hates and fears due to her mum…

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Smorgasbord Weekly Round Up – February 14th – 20th 2021 – Romance, Songs 1960s, Chilled soups, book reviews, videos and funnies

Lots to read and much to laugh at with Sally today

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Welcome to the update of posts that you might have missed from the week here on Smorgasbord.

I hope all is well with you. Quiet here except for the noise of the wind howling around the house and the six inch puddle stretching across the front of the house. I know I wished I had a swimming pool but clearly the genie was having an off day.

The garden birds have been having a tough time of it with the winds and driving rain making it difficult to fly, particularly for the small birds such as the sparrows and tits. I usually buy my birdseed and fat balls at the garden centre or at a push smaller packs as the supermarket but of course the centres have been shut since the New Year and the supermarket shelves are bare of both seed and other products. One store has at least…

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Smorgasbord Blogger Daily 20th February 2021 – #Teaching Pete Springer, #Betrayal Abigail Johnston, #Hitching Andrew Joyce

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

I hope you will head over to read these posts in full that I have enjoyed over the last few days..thanks Sally

The first post today is from retired teacher Pete Springer and reflects on the last 11 months of school closures, home schooling the role of the teacher is keeping this generation of students on track.

Looking Out For Your Students

Photo Credit to Max Fischer on Pexels

Jean Baptiste Alphonse Karr, a French writer, once wrote, “The more things change, the more they stay the same.” I was thinking about his words today, wondering how I might be doing if I were still teaching during the pandemic.

This past year has been unlike any other for teachers, students, and parents as schools have stopped and started in various forms. Some places have managed to serve all students at school, others have taught exclusively online, and most have had…

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Smorgasbord Book Reviews – #WWI – #Family Saga – The Heart Stone by Judith Barrow

With Many thanks to Sally for this wonderful review of The Heart Stone.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Delighted to review the eagerly awaited new release by Judith Barrow...another wonderful family saga The Heart Stone.

About the Book

1914. Everything changes for Jessie on a day trip to Blackpool. She realises her feelings for Arthur are far more than friendship. And just as they are travelling home, war is declared.

Arthur lies about his age to join his Pals’ Regiment. Jessie’s widowed mother is so frightened, she agrees to marry Amos Morgan. Only Jessie can see how vicious he is. When he turns on her, Arthur’s mother is the only person to help her, the two women drawn together by Jessie’s deepest secret.

Facing a desperate choice between love and safety, will Jessie trust the right people? Can she learn to trust herself?

My review for The Heart Stone February 20th 2021 – Five Stars

I have read all of Judith Barrow’s previous novels and…

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Chris Lloyd

GB Williams Crime Blog

Chris Lloyd talks about his need to write, his process and Occupation

When did you start writing, and why?

I really can’t remember a time when I didn’t write. At school, I’d write long stories instead of getting on with my homework, which often got me into trouble with my teachers. I think I wrote because it was an escape from a routine, from the everyday. They were worlds and people I could make up, even if I never really had any control over them, and I also think that writing created a degree of confidence in myself that I never felt in real life.

I was also lucky in that my mum was a booklover and always encouraged me to read. When I was about ten, she gave me a copy of ‘The Silver Sword’ by Ian Serraillier, and I always think it was that precise moment that I…

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The Heart Stone by Judith Barrow – The story of a strong woman during the First World War

Northern Reader

The Heart Stone by Judith Barrow

The beginning of the First World War marked a change for many people. For Jessie life changed in a less obvious way. She realized that she is actually in love with Arthur, her friend since childhood. The lure of joining up, even lying about one’s true age, is too much, but things are not always that simple. Jessie is a strong minded young woman, who works hard in the family bakery and shop, but sometimes strength is not enough. This is a moving story of many parts of Jessie’s experience which may well have been common to many women at the time, of domestic struggles, even violence, but also of deep love for family and those moments of true love. Jessie’s resilience in the face of challenges must last for a long time, with the help of true friends who support and care for…

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BOOKCASE – Falling Creatures by Katherine Stansfield

Crime Cymru

In this series, we invite our Crime Cymru authors to showcase an excerpt from one of their books. This week, Katherine Stansfield offers a fascinating insight into beginnings and ends and their roles and the powerful relationship that exists between them.

The first page: an end in the beginning

The first and last pages of a novel are as distant from one another as it’s possible to be in a story – literally, in terms of the pages that separate them, and figuratively, given all that happens by the end of the story and how the characters have changed in the meantime. But the first and last pages have several things in common, not least the fact they are often the most re-written parts of a novel. They can also echo one another in all sorts of fascinating ways, with a beginning pointing forwards to things that will become important…

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Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Author Updates – #Thriller Gwen M. Plano, #WIIDrama Marina Osipova, #Paranormal John W. Howell

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Welcome to the Friday edition of the Cafe and Bookstore with recent reviews for authors on the shelves.

The first author today with a recent review is Gwen M. Planofor The Culmination: a new beginning – this is the third book in The Contract thriller series.

About the book

The Culmination, a new beginning is the third book in The Contract thriller series. After an assassination attempt on an Air Force base in northern California, tensions mount. Heads of state meet to craft a denuclearization agreement. The meetings between these nuclear powers take a murderous turn. A nefarious conspiracy re-emerges and leads the characters into the heart of the Middle East, where they encounter the unexpected and find a reason for hope.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Mae Clair 5.0 out of 5 stars A Political Thriller with Strong Characters  Reviewed in the United States on…

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Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Reviews #Psychological Thriller Lucinda E. Clarke, #Thriller Alex Craigie,

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Welcome to the Wednesday edition of the Cafe and Bookstore with recent reviews for authors on the shelves.

And the first book today with a review is A Year in the Life of  Deidre Flynn by Lucinda E. ClarkeAbout the book

Deidre is determined to protect her adopted niece Leah, but despite fleeing the country, the menacing threats continue.

They believe their enemies can’t reach them now, so who is behind the life-threatening attacks? The incidents escalate, each more horrifying than the last.

How can they fight back when they don’t know who the enemy is and they have no idea what they want.

A fast-moving, page-turning, psychological thriller that will leave you breathless, as once again, Leah is the victim of a cruel conspiracy that lurks in the shadows.

A gripping thriller for fans of Louise Jensen, Avery Bishop and Claire McGowan.

One of the recent…

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Publication Day for The Heart Stone by Judith Barrow @judithbarrow77

Jill's Book Cafe

Happy Publication Day to Judith Barrow as The Heart Stone makes its way into the book world today. Judith writes character driven, well researched historical family sagas and contemporary fiction. The Heart Stone has a Great War setting, a period she has previously visited in A Hundred Tiny Threads.

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#BookLaunch The Heart Stone @judithbarrow77

Lucy Mitchell

Today I am handing over my blog to the wonderful author of family sagas, Judith Barrow, so she can celebrate the launch of her new novel, The Heart Stone.

I am halfway through this fabulous book which is uplifting and packed full of emotion.

If you fancy a really good read – check this out.

Here’s the blurb:

When war takes Jessie’s love away, she must fight for her own survival

1914 – and everything changes for Jessie on a day trip to Blackpool. She realises her true feelings for her childhood friend, Arthur, then just as they are travelling home from this rare treat, war is declared.

Arthur lies about his age to join his Pals’ Regiment. Jessie’s widowed mother is so frightened of the future, she agrees to marry the vicious Amos Morgan, making Jessie’s home an unsafe place for her. Before he leaves, Arthur and Jessie admit…

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