Category: Books

IN A KINGDOM BY THE SEA – out now in ebook

IN A KINGDOM BY THE SEA – out now in ebook

First review today: thank you Jane Hunt!



In a Kingdom by the Sea – Sara MacDonald – 5*#Review @HarperFiction @MacDonaldSara @fictionpubteam @HarperCollinsUK #FamilyDrama #Secrets #Romance #Historical #LiteraryFiction #Cornwall #Karachi #PublicationDay

Posted on June 6, 2019

A sweeping, evocative story of love, secrets and betrayal, set against the stunning backdrops of Karachi and Cornwall.

When Gabby’s husband accepts a transfer to Pakistan, she discovers a new world of heat and colour, of exotic bazaars and trips to the breath-taking Kashmiri mountains. It is an escape she didn’t know she was looking for.

But then a shocking letter from her sister reveals a devastating secret. Gabby is transported back to her childhood home on the Cornish coast, and as memories unravel, so too does her new life in Karachi.

Will Gabby find the courage to face the dark secrets and embrace a different future?

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from Harper Collins UK – Harper Fiction via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

I always enjoy reading a book written by a true storyteller, and this is the case with ‘In a Kingdom by the Sea’. The story flows beautifully, the characters are believable, complex, and draw you into their world. The settings are contrasting, but both are atmospheric and described using vivid imagery so that you can enjoy the sensory experience, as you become immersed in the secrets and mysteries of the plot.

There is a lovely balance of contemporary and historical as the family’s secrets are revisited and revealed. This is a journey of self-discovery for Gabby as she overcomes her emotional setbacks, and finally becomes her true self.

There are many important themes explored in this novel, the political situation in Pakistan, and the difficulty of day to day life there, contrasted against the freedom and relative safety of life in London, and the rural idyll of Cornwall, is most complex and absorbing. I love how the friendships made, and the encounters with individuals are portrayed in a positive, hopeful way. Its authenticity makes the whole book more realistic and enjoyable.

Gabby’s journey, both emotionally and logistically is the driving force of this story, and many women will identify, with at least parts of it. The role of women and the oppression they face underpins this novel, and the strength and resilience of these women resonate.

I will miss the characters and settings in this story, reading it, is a truly positive experience.



In a Kingdom by the Sea – Sara MacDonald – 5*#Review @HarperFiction @MacDonaldSara @fictionpubteam @HarperCollinsUK #FamilyDrama #Secrets #Romance #Historical #LiteraryFiction #Cornwall #Karachi #PublicationDay

New book coming

New book coming

In a Kingdom by the SeaMy new book is finally finished and about to go out into the world. It comes out first on Kindle on the 7th June and the paper back is out on July 25th. It is exciting and scary at the same time. Writers spend so much time with their characters in it hard to let them go.

I set this book on the beautiful south west coastline. I used to walk the coastal path and look up at a little group of houses on the hill and think, how lovely to live up there. One day I saw a house was for sale in the area and went to look. As I drove down a long bumpy track with the sea glittering on my right I felt my excitement growing. And, suddenly, there it was, a little house tucked in the group of houses I had glimpsed from the coastal path The was in need of love and care, but I wasn’t interested in the inside that first day. I whipped out into the overgrown garden full of glossy camellia trees. The sun glittered on the sea like blue ice and that was it. I was enchanted…

So, now I walk everyday where my characters walked and sometimes, during the writing of this book, I was so emersed that I would forget if I was really me, or Gabby, in the book. I edited with a house full of builders and finished it at a desk overlooking the garden and sea. It was serendipitous. I was guided down a track to the little house I now live and write in…

My World

My World

Come Away With Me* I have a special Kindle promotion this month for COME AWAY WITH ME!
You can buy the digital version for 99p. This runs from today July 6th until 31st of August

The sea is as green as if I were on a Greek island. The sun is bouncing off the surface like sparklers down on the point.

I have a deadline and subdued panic surfaces at 4am and various other times of the day when I am struggling with a chapter. Or a character won’t do as they are told.

This is a time when I have to get selfish and say NO to almost everything and everybody or time will run away from me.

The world these last few months has been such a sad, violent and tragic place. Life seems uncertain and fragile. Living in the country I am conscious everyday of how insignificant we are in the circle of life. Nature endures. Seasons change in an everlastingly comforting sequence what ever we do or do not do.

Like most people, when I walk I can find peace and marvel at the beauty that is all around us. It saves me from doubt and turmoil and writer’s block. I try to get up early to walk before my writing day begins. The sound of the sea is a soothing meditation. The hedgerows are full of butterflies and fat bees drunk on thistle pollen. The paths brim with wild flowers so simple and lovely it is impossible not to feel joy.

I can think about my day’s work, write a chapter in my head, before I get to my desk. That early walk stops me feeling deprived that I will be indoors working for the rest of the day. I have had my early ‘fix’ and all feels well.

Whatever is going on in the rest of the world I can watch the farmer plough straight furrows in the rich, red earth with all the skill of an artist. I hold my breath, for the hills are steep and the tractor leans dangerously sideways before it disappears into a cloud of seagulls.

I watch potato and cabbage planted in perfect rows. I watch them spring up like magic into stunning patterns of blue potato flowers framed against the sky. The rows of variegated cabbages are like arty flower displays.

I also hear the gas gun start every morning at 5 am in a desperate bid to keep the rabbits and birds off the crops. The farmer can be seen jumping up and down swearing at all wildlife. Life is not perfect.

I know that summer will end and I will be shut in with fog and winds. The unmade road to my house will fill with rain and my Mini will rumble and grumble that it is not a four- wheel drive. Summer and my life here in this wild and lovely place will have to live behind my eyelids and sustain me for long months. But the memory of it will also remind me that life is good and all seasons change.

I missed the launch at Daunt Books for Jane Johnson’s wonderful new book, COURT of LIONS

I dared not take the time off to go to London and I felt like Cinderella. It has one of the most beautiful covers I have ever seen, and a slim book mark. Here it is… So exciting…I am just about to begin…

Meanwhile, the summer slips by and I have a book to finish…

Come Away With Me

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