Friday, August 21, 2015

Blog Tour: INTO THE UNKNOWN by Lorna Peel #5Starreview #WW2 #giveaway #RABT @PeelLorna

Into the Unknown
by Lorna Peel
Published:  May 5, 2015
Publisher:  Tirgearr Publishing
Length:  290 pages
Genre:  British Literature, Historical Romance

Available:  Amazon  |  B&N  |  Kobo  |  iBooks  |  Smashwords

London on 3 September 1939 is in upheaval. War is inevitable. Into this turmoil steps Kate Sheridan, newly arrived from Ireland to live with her aunt and uncle, and look for work. When she meets Flight Lieutenant Charlie Butler sparks fly, but he is a notorious womaniser. Should she ignore all the warnings and get involved with a ladies man whose life will be in daily danger?

Charlie Butler has no intention of getting involved with a woman. But when he meets Kate his resolve is shattered. Should he allow his heart to rule his head and fall for a nineteen-year-old Irish girl while there is a war to fight?

Private conflicts and personal doubts are soon overshadowed. Will the horrors of war bring Kate and Charlie together or tear them apart?


Kate Sheridan opened the train door and, with butterflies fluttering in her stomach, stepped down onto the platform. London at last. Her journey from Ireland had taken three days. Where could she hear the latest news? The ultimatum to the Germans to withdraw from Poland was due to run out this morning. War was all but inevitable.
Glancing up and down the platform for her aunt and uncle, all she could see were hundreds of sobbing children, clinging for dear life to their equally upset parents. She knew it was rude, but she couldn’t help but stare.
“Come on, my love,” a voice from behind her shouted and she jumped. “You’re in the way.”
Picking up her suitcase, Kate moved aside as a man in an army uniform jumped down from the train with a sack-like bag slung over his shoulder.
“Why are all the children here?” she asked.
“The evacuation began the other day,” he explained, lowering the sack to the ground, and taking off his side cap. “They’re all being sent to the country for safety. You’re not a Londoner, are you, Miss? What part of Wales are you from?”
“I’m from Ballycarn,” she replied, wincing as a little boy—he couldn’t have been more than six—was pulled screaming away from his mother. “It’s not in Wales, it’s in the west of Ireland.”
The soldier laughed. “Sorry, I thought you were a Taffy, but you’re a Paddy instead. Still, you’d like to hear what old Neville has to say, wouldn’t you?”
“Neville Chamberlain? The…our Prime Minister. Let’s find a wireless so we can hear him, though I know what he’s going to say.”
Replacing his side cap and hauling the sack onto his shoulder, he grasped Kate’s arm without asking permission, and she had to grab her suitcase. They hurried along the platform, weaving in and out of distraught families and porters, until they came to a railway guard who took their tickets.
“Is there a wireless nearby we can listen to?” the soldier asked.
“Yes, there’s one in the ticket office,” the guard replied. “Wait outside.”
“Good. Come on, let’s find a seat.”
They sat down outside the ticket office, Kate glancing anxiously around for her aunt and uncle. Had they given up after she hadn’t been on yesterday’s train? If only she hadn’t listened to that woman and followed her ridiculous advice. Still, if they were here, it wasn’t surprising they couldn’t find her in all this chaos.
“Shh.” The soldier nudged her arm even though she had been quiet. Don’t talk to any strange men, unless you absolutely have to, her mother had warned, and now look at her. Not five minutes off the train and she was sharing a bench with a soldier, listening to the wireless, expecting Chamberlain to tell them Britain was at war.
Her father had wanted her to go to America to find work and live with his cousin and family. America was the land of opportunity for so many Irish people, far away from Europe and the threat of war. Her maternal aunt and uncle then offered to take her and help her find work in London. So, despite her father’s grumblings, close family in London were chosen over a cousin she had never met in Philadelphia.
“…and against them, I am certain that the right will prevail.” Chamberlain’s speech ended and a long silence followed.
“You picked a great day to arrive.” The soldier turned to her with a wry smile. “There’s another train going out in a few minutes, you can get on it if you’re quick?”
“No,” she replied. “I’m staying.”
Hearing the opening bars of God Save The King, the butterflies in her stomach began to riot. Should she stand or not? She was Irish but Mummy was English, so she stood respectfully as the small group around the wireless sang the anthem as if the Germans were watching them at that very minute.
When the wireless was switched off, the soldier smiled at her. “What are you Paddies doing in Ireland now, eh? Do you have a National Anthem?”
“Yes, we have an anthem,” she told him. “It’s called The Soldier’s Song.”
He roared with laughter. “That’s priceless. We could do with an anthem like that now. Do you want to swap?”
“Please yourself.” He saluted her and Kate wasn’t quite sure if he was poking fun at her or not. “I’d better be off. Good luck.”
“Thank you. You too.”
Feeling very alone, she watched him go. No-one had come to meet her so she would have to continue on to her aunt and uncle’s home herself. Wondering if she should take the underground train or the bus, she heard a loud wailing sound, and people began hurrying past her.
“Oi, Irish?” It was the soldier beckoning to her. “Quick.”
Fighting the urge to cry with relief, she grabbed her suitcase again, and ran to him on shaky legs. “What, what is it?” she stammered.
“Air-raid siren,” he said, pulling her out onto the street. “Come on, down here.”
Taking the suitcase from her, he pushed her in front of him, and down some steep steps. “This is an air-raid shelter; you’ll become familiar with them now you’re staying.”
They sat down on one of two benches parallel to each other and she took the suitcase back.
“Thanks for coming back for me.”
“Don’t worry about it. I knew you wouldn’t know what to do.”
The shelter quickly filled with people. By their white faces, they felt as frightened as she did.
“How long do these air-raids last?” she asked.
“Don’t know,” he replied, lighting a cigarette. “But take my advice, Irish, go to wherever you’re going—and fast. Who knows what’s going to happen now.”

While you might not be able to tell from the other books I read on CUDDLES PLEASE., I love history. History of all kinds really but thanks to my Daddy, I have a special place in my heart for World War II history.  When I had the opportunity to read INTO THE UNKNOWN, I jumped right on it. ;)

The story begins in 1939 in England just prior to WWII and continues through until the end. The story is focused on Kate, a young Irish woman meeting and falling for the guy across the street Charlie, who became an RAF pilot.  They have a bit of an age difference (19 to 27), he has a reputation as a bit of a womanizer and her family is very unhappy with her interest in him.  But since when does love listen to such things?  The book is basically their love story.

I so loved watching not only their characters but also their love unfold.  Kate was very likable and easy for me to see why Charlie loved her.  Her warmth and cheeriness were very endearing.  Charlie took a bit longer.  He was, as I might say, a bit more typically British, a bit more starchy but he got there in the end. Ms. Peel did a lovely job portraying the challenges that living during the war must have held.  It really had to have been awful.  I held my breath right up until the end to see if there would be a HEA.  Every time Charlie had to go on one of his sorties, just like Kate, I worried over would he be shot down?  Would he make it?  Would he return home safely?  You will have to worry too...until you read the book.  Evil, aren't I? *grin*

All in all, I really enjoyed the book, the story, Ms. Peel's writing, the history, oh and don't think that there is no romance or hanky panky... because there is!  Due to some situational violence and sexual scenes, I recommend this book for those at least 16 and older.  True lovers of historical romance will be in their element and begging for more.

Rating:  5 Stars

Heat:  2/5  Flirty
  I received this book in exchange for my honest and forthright review.  No other compensation was received.
Meet Author Lorna Peel:
Lorna Peel is an author of contemporary and historical romantic fiction.  Her first novel, Only You, a contemporary romance, was published in 2014. Into The Unknown, an historical romance set during WWII, was published on 5 May 2015.

Lorna was born in England and lived in North Wales until her family moved to Ireland to become farmers, which is a book in itself! She lives in rural Ireland, where she write, researches her family history, and grows fruit and vegetables. She also keeps chickens (and a Guinea Hen who now thinks she’s a chicken!).

Contact Information:

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  1. Many thanks for hosting and reviewing Into The Unknown, Liberty Ann!

    1. Lorna It was most certainly my pleasure as was reading your book! Thank you for writing it and sharing it with us all!