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30 April 2015

Blog Tour: 'Letters to the Lost' by Iona Grey!

1943, in the ruins of Blitzed London...

Stella Thorne and Dan Rosinski meet by chance and fall in love by accident. Theirs is a reluctant, unstoppable affair in which all the odds are stacked against them: she is newly married, and he is an American bomber pilot whose chance of survival is just one in five...

He promised to love her forever

Sixty years later Dan makes one final attempt to find the girl he has never forgotten, and sends a letter to the house where they shared a brief yet perfect happiness. But Stella has gone, and the letter is opened by Jess, a young girl hiding from problems of her own. And as Jess reads Dan's words, she is captivated by the story of a love affair that burned so bright and dimmed too soon. Can she help Dan find Stella before it is too late?

Now forever is finally running out.

Today I'm part of the blog tour for Iona Grey's stunning new novel 'Letters to the Lost', which was released by Simon & Schuster on April 23rd, and it's one of the 2015 releases I've been looking forward to the most! I straight away loved the description of the story (I'm a sucker for a good war-time romance) and the gorgeous cover immediately caught my eye. During the past few weeks I've heard many amazing things from other bloggers, and this only made me even more excited about picking up this novel! As a part of the blog tour I also have a lovely guest post from Iona Grey, so be sure to check that out as well by scrolling down!

Set in both 2011 and the early 1940s, 'Letters to the Lost' tells the story of two young women: Jess Moran and Stella Thorne. In the modern day and age, Jess has finally found the courage to try to escape from her awful boyfriend, but she has nothing besides a bit of money in her pocket and the clothes she's wearing. She ends up hiding in an abandoned house on Greenfields Lane, where she finds a letter from a Dan Rosinksi addressed to a Stella Thorne. Jess is immediately intrigued by the letter and decides to try and discover more about Stella and Dan's story; an American soldier and a young English woman who fell in love during the Second World War. Jess decides she wants to bring Dan and Stella back together, but will she be able to track down both of them, and what exactly happened to them during the past sixty years...?

Wow, I absolutely loved every page and every sentence of this beautiful and intriguing novel, and am still a bit sad I finished it and don't have any chapters left to read! 'Letters to the Lost' is quite a long read with more than 500 pages, but to me personally the book could have had 800 pages and I still wouldn't have been even the tiniest bit bored. The length of the book is just right and Iona Grey's beautiful and captivating writing style made me fall in love with the storyline and characters from the very start. The combination of past and present works incredibly well and I loved how Jess and Stella's storylines were explored and eventually brought together. 
The characters in the novel are amazing; both Jess and Stella had a really interesting story to tell, and I loved switching between the two of them throughout the book. Stella and Dan are definitely one of my new favourite couples, because the love and passion between them is just amazing. I am a sucker for a good war-time romance, but this is without a doubt one of the best ones I've had the pleasure of reading so far in my life. The emotions in the book are so real and I ended up really feeling for the characters and everything they go through. I really don't have anything negative to say about this novel; I loved it from start to finish and can't recommend it enough. 'Letters to the Lost' is a fantastic, compelling, beautifully written novel centred around an epic love story that will undoubtedly stay with me for years to come. 
For more information about this book: / / Goodreads

Thanks to the publisher for providing me with a review copy in exchange for an honest review.

Guest Post by Iona Grey


This is the last stop on my blog tour to celebrate the launch of Letters to the Lost, and so I wanted to take the opportunity to say a great big thank you. Not only to Jody for having me (though big thank you Jody!) but to a whole lot of other people too.

Writing a book is a funny old business. For ages and ages it feels like a weird secret obsession, as you wander around the supermarket and mindlessly sort laundry while thinking about people that no one else knows (because… ahem… they don’t actually exist.) And then, one day you get to the end of the story and you cry a little bit because it feels like saying goodbye to these people that you’ve come to care about massively, and you send your book off to strangers to read. And if you’re lucky, the strangers like it and believe in it (and buy it), and suddenly you have other people to talk about your imaginary friends to. And that’s when the magic really starts. Because after that it gets into the hands of real readers. 

It’s a terrifying thought. So often it’s compared to letting go of your little children on the first day of school, because – yep, that’s exactly what it feels like! As I write this, Letters to the Lost is poised to go out into the world and I know it’s too late to get my marker pen and make last minute adjustments in ALL THE COPIES, though I’d like to. I know that the one star (‘because I couldn’t give it none’) reviews will come and I know that they’ll hurt. I’d be lying if I wasn’t a bit apprehensive, just like I was on those days years ago when I left my little girls in the classroom with all the other kids. 

The thing that made those first schooldays easier was the support of other people. The teachers, who were kind and understanding and reassuring and the other parents who quickly became friends (and still are to this day, though many of our tender little infants are now students who come home every ten weeks with four bin liners of washing.) And the analogy with a book release holds good here too, because kindness and friendship is making these nerve-wracking pre-publication days easier too. Letters to the Lost isn’t yet out on the shelves, but it has already found its way into the hands of a select few people who have not only read it, but gone out of their way to write insightful reviews and blog posts, tweet things that make me smile and make my day, send messages and emails and generally be a lot like those friends at the school gate all those years ago.

Book bloggers, I salute you. For the time you give up: all the late nights and long bathtimes spent turning the pages. For not just being perceptive readers, but red-hot writers too – skilled at summarising and analysing, knowing just how much to reveal and what to leave unsaid (and how to juggle deadlines). For the way that you view writers like football teams, and support them generously and wholeheartedly. For the tweets and the energy and the positivity. For breathing life into people who exist on a page and making them real. And for doing it for nothing more than a love of books and to share the joy of reading.

Ladies, you are amazing. Thank you!

And thank YOU, Iona! :)

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