When Sofia falls in love, a mourning spirit begins to haunt her…
CORFU, GREECE, 1987
On a long holiday with her grandparents, Sofia Aspioti meets Danny Markson, a charming flirt who makes her laugh. Although she tries to keep him at arm’s length, worried that village gossip will get back to her strict family, she falls desperately in love. That’s when strange dreams about Brighton’s West Pier and a woman dressed in black begin to haunt her. Who is this grieving woman? And how is her lament related to Sofia’s feelings for Danny?
BRIGHTON, ENGLAND, 1937
Dreaming of wealth and happiness, Laura Mayfield arrives in Brighton to pursue a new life. She falls for Christian Searle, a happy-go-lucky stagehand at the West Pier theatre, but when she’s offered a chance to perform there, her love for him is put to the test. Charles Willard, a wealthy aristocrat, is fascinated by her and pursues her relentlessly. Will Laura choose love…or money?
I enjoyed The Lady of The Pier – The Ebb and would recommend this novel to romance enthusiasts and readers who love stories set in different locations, time periods and cultures. The Lady of The Pier tells the story of two young girls Sophia and Laura in two contrasting settings and time periods – Greece in 1987 and Brighton, England in 1937. Both locations appealed to me and were my initial encouragement for reading Effronsyni’s book – a dual narrative love story (with elements of paranormal fantasy,) of young lovers Laura and Christian, Sofia and Danny.
I have spent many happy holidays in Greece and Brighton, and Effrosyni’s writing transported me to both settings making me feel immersed in these young girls lives almost like I was on holiday myself! The Lady of The Pier is a sweet story with an intriguing ending. I smiled when I read the important little details that the author added to suggest the close relationship between Sofia and her Greek grandparents. And the dreams of the strange lady in black who walks the West Pier in Brighton really captured my attention too. Equally, the relationships and love stories in both Brighton and Greece were engaging to read and I’m sure that there will be much to keep the reader entertained.
I’m looking forward to reading Book two and finding out how the next part of the story unfolds.
From reading #1 I suggest you give this book a read. There is much to recommend it – lovely characters, believable dialogue, a real sense of place and wonderful poetry too! I believe the second book in the series is “The Flow,” and the third book in the series is: “The Storm.”
My rating: 4 stars, a heart-warming romantic read ideal for taking on holiday!
Effrosyni Moschoudi was born and raised in Athens, Greece. As a child, she loved to sit alone in her garden scribbling rhymes about flowers, butterflies and ants. Today, she writes novels for people who love all things Greek. Her historical romance, The Ebb, is an ABNA Q-Finalist. Her novels are Amazon bestsellers, having hit #1 several times, and are available in kindle and paperback format. The paperbacks can be ordered on Amazon or at any bookstore or library.
Effrosyni lives in a quaint seaside town near Athens with her husband Andy and a naughty cat called Felix, but her mind forever drifts to her beloved island of Corfu.
Felix loves to use her pot plants as lounge chairs, and to nap under the sun in ridiculous poses.
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My opinions are my own and any reviews on this site have not been swayed or altered in any way by monetary compensation, or by the offer of a free book in exchange for a review.
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I’ve been scarce on social media of late as it was my daughter Natasha’s graduation this week and we had several days in Brighton enjoying the seaside and celebrating her success.
It’s been a time tinged with a touch of sadness and oodles of happiness too. Sadness that she is leaving Brighton and her much-loved university – Sussex – but happiness and promise to come. I can’t believe that it has been three years. It seems like yesterday that we dropped her off at her student accommodation. Her time at Sussex University has had its up and its downs – her first year was tough, especially as she fractured her ankle early on (just before Valentine’s day!) and she lived in a third floor flat on campus, (not a good idea on crutches) at what seemed like the furthest point from her seminar and lecture theatres. More about that here: An Unusual Valentine’s Adventure!
But, she didn’t come home; she carried on, braved it out and showed great character. I admire her resilience greatly, and couldn’t be a prouder mum!
I’m so glad she studied in Brighton, as this has meant several wonderful visits there! I have a great affinity to the sea, I’m always happiest when I can walk on a beach – even the squawking sea gulls don’t faze me!
So my Tanka this week is with that in mind, and the promising future that awaits my daughter and graduates this year. Seize those opportunities guys before the seagulls snatch ’em up!
I was particularly struck by an inspiring speech that Sussex University’s chancellor, the well-known comedian Sanjeev Baskar gave. He said that he took ten long, difficult years of struggle before he became successful. More about that here:
So don’t be disheartened if you are back home living with your parents, have a pile of debt or are not successful straight away. To begin with Sanjeev Baskar @TVSanjeev wasn’t even accepted as a student at Sussex University, but look at him now. Such inspiring food for thought.
Fellow Administrators of our Authors Bloggers Rainbow Support Club #ABRSC on Facebook, myself, my good friends Colleen Chesebro and Debby Gies. Click on Colleen’s and Debby’s photos to be directed to their awesome blogs. These ladies rock!
Brighton-based, seven-person band, Wax Machine brings a new kind of psychedelic folk music to the fray. With instruments such as the flute and the saxophone, Wax Machine successfully portrays an otherworldly atmosphere to their music, while the use of bass, drums, keys and the guitar ground their style, making their sound likeable to a wider target audience. On the 23rd June 2017, I was fortunate enough to be able to watch one of their live performances at The Hope and Ruin in Brighton, a vegetarian/vegan pub which hosts live events. The first of three acts to play that night (the other bands being Psychic Lemon and headliner Kikagaku Moyo), Wax Machine set the bar high with their dream-like vocals and intriguing lyrics. Many of the songs performed were brand-new originals which were well-loved by their audience. Wax Machine’s look also complimented their sound, further enhancing that psychedelic element to their music.
As expected, I highly recommend checking their music out, or coming along to one of their shows (especially if you are ever in Brighton.)
Their next show takes place at Sticky Mike’s Frog Bar on the 15th July at 19:00PM.
I really feel in the mood for a Haiku Challenge this week. It’s been ages since I’ve joined in Ronovan’s challenge, sigh, I seem to be struggling to keep up with all the things I want to do, such is life. Never mind I’m here now at this present moment ready to write some haiku. Yippee!!
The challenge words this week are rain and lightning. Very fitting.
On one day this week I was on playground duty in the local primary school supervising the kids at lunch time, except it started raining so we had to have wet play… no this isn’t some kind of water fight as the name would suppose … it’s when the kids have to stay inside when it’s raining. Not the most desirable outcome for us adults or the children. Children need to let off steam… Especially, when the Year 6’s have their Sats…So I was really pleased for them and for myself!!! Ha Ha ….that it stopped raining and they were able to go out and play ball and run around a bit.
The first haiku is with the kids in mind:
Draw kids near sweet temptation
Lightning burst they run
The above photo is of my hubby getting very wet in Brighton – he’s very fond of thunderstorms so this haiku is for him!!
If we were having coffee I’d say it’s lovely to see you again. Would you like a coffee, or a cup of tea? We’d both decide on a tall glass of latte, a milky froth of gorgeousness. I’d invite you into my sunken lounge and I’d play a little ditty on the piano for you. It would be just a few notes as I’m no maestro! We’d laugh and then I’d tell you all about my week. I’ve had so much excitement this Easter break that perhaps I need some herbal tea to calm me down rather than a cup of hot frothy coffee!
This will be a long chit chat so get comfy. If you’re a beach, culture, shopping vulture and a book fan I’ll sure you’ll enjoy it, so settle down on the settee next to me and let me tell you all about it.
It was my mum’s birthday on the 2nd of April. We were invited to her birthday get together in Brighton! What fun, I just love spending time with family and visiting Brighton. We had our very own tour guide – my eldest daughter is a student at Sussex University in Brighton.
There were many highlights of our stay and being a keen writer I’ll hope you forgive me if I use a few titles to create a bookish atmosphere.
The beach, the seafront, and the pier. When I arrived with my two daughters the sun shone, (so knowing how changeable UK weather can be,) we took no chances and headed straight for the beach. There was no hint of the later evening rain that would arrive. We braved the seagulls and had our lunch on the seafront. Chips with everything! Our lunch was simple, just hamburgers and hot dogs and chips but it tasted wonderful -perhaps it was the sea air. We sat by the children’s mini fairground which was a bit of a mistake… it was a tad noisy!!
I took some photos of the pier and the seafront on our last day – but it wasn’t so sunny, and it was really quiet!
The Royal Pavilion. This was breathtakingly beautiful inside and out. So if you are ever in Brighton make sure you actually go inside – it’s well worth the admission fee. It is without a doubt one of the most beautiful sights I’ve ever seen. The decor inside is sumptuous, full of chandeliers, dragons, a grand piano, a drummer boy clock, the Rock Clock, and Chinese Court official figures made out of unfired clay. There are many magnificent rooms to see: a Long Gallery, the Banqueting room, and Banqueting room Gallery, the Great Kitchen, a Saloon, a Music room, The King’s and Queen’s apartments ….. We hired an audio guide device so that we could find out all about King George IV – he was quite the lad – he had lots of mistresses and kept this palace as his pleasure pad when he was young.
After all that sumptuousness we took a detour to go shopping making our way through the lanes.
The Lanes. Cute little shopping alleys. These are well worth wandering down and discovering what they have to offer. In general, Brighton is a pretty good bet for shopping, whether it’s the usual chain shops you’re after or something a bit different.
People Watching. I’m a terrible Nosy Parker -it’s a requirement if you write! Opposite our hotel window I spied a covered seated area. I spent some time peering out of the window wondering about the people who sat there. It wasn’t a bus stop, yet people sat and did the most extraordinary things, thinking that they were unobserved! HA HA!! One young lad spent all his time picking his nails, biting them and fidgeting – perhaps he had just fallen out with his girlfriend? Or maybe he was on his way to a job interview – who knows…. I have to say when he left and a paper bag took his place I was a bit disappointed! Still there was the wide expanse of beach to observe – a man walking backwards and forwards with a metal detector caught my attention. I saw him two days in a row, one day on his own and the second day with a reluctant younger person, (perhaps his grandson,) who was carrying a spade. I wonder if he found anything?
The Crack in the Ceiling. Oh, before I forget to mention this! Let me tell you about our room. It had a fantastic view of the seafront but it had this sinister crack in the ceiling.
Well that crack came to haunt us.
It all began when I stepped into the shower. Suddenly I heard my daughter shouting for me. I wondered why she was bothering me while I was in the shower. Couldn’t she wait until I’d finished? No. She couldn’t. And with good reason as it turned out! It was an emergency!
Water was flowing out of said crack onto our hotel room floor!
It took her a few attempts to make me hear her. Realising that this was an emergency I quickly grabbed a towel, and dressed. She phoned for help. To their credit a member of the hotel staff came very quickly, while my hair was still dripping, (it kind of reminded me of a Carry On film, with me just out of the shower,) and offered to upgrade us to a better room. Which we did! Luckily the new room had no cracks, and there were no more incidents. Though the lock on the door didn’t work, but this is no impediment to ghosts! The Old Ship hotel is a very old hotel………apparently the violinist Paginini stayed at the hotel in 1831. His playing was so mesmerising that it was rumoured that he sold his soul to the devil! Later I discovered random items of our clothing that hadn’t been anywhere near the dripping ceiling had managed to get wet. Somebody was playing a devilish game! Namely, my daughter’s coat, and my bra. Both were very wet. How strange.
I was beginning to think The Old Ship Hotel was haunted and its resident ghost was playing a trick on us!
The Rant. We hired a taxi to take us to a Korean restaurant as my dad isn’t quite as fast on his pins as he used to be. On the way there a four seater cab arrived instead of a five seater. I managed to squeeze in the back.
Luckily the journey was short, but when I opened the door I fell out!
No harm done. But the rant really started on the way back. We hired a taxi to take us back to the hotel. This large vehicle appeared with ample seating area but …… there was a high step up to the cab. When we arrived at the hotel the driver didn’t help my dad out or open the door for him – I thought this wasn’t very kind – he is a very sweet silver haired fellow, aged eighty seven. So I asked my daughter to do so. The taxi driver spent all his time on his mobile phone, (I hope it was hands free.) In fact I couldn’t see what he looked like, and then he charged us double the cost and didn’t help. UGH…. Why are some taxi drivers so unfriendly and unhelpful? Sorry rant over… Then on the way back we got another taxi back home as my hubby was away and couldn’t pick us up. This guy seemed polite and helpful but pretty silent. No conversation. I noticed his badge looked odd. His face had been erased from the photo. Faded by the sun perhaps? Or was he an axe murderer? I’ve been reading too much Stephen King recently… I really must give horror a break. Back to YA for a while… yes and no. More about books later …..
The Last Day. We went down to the pier on the last day. Here are some more of my photos, including family ones, and an embarrassing one of me in a woolly hat with a pom pom on top! Keep on scrolling down if you want a laugh!
The Final Story – alias what am I reading?
Ravens Gathering. At the moment I’m reading Ravens Gathering, a thriller from our very own Graeme Cumming at http://graemecumming.net/
The Yearbook Committee. AYA novel by Sarah Ayoub which I won via Jade @ Scatterbooker: https://scatterbooker.wordpress.com/. It arrived on the morning of my departure to Brighton, (all the way from Australia,) so I took it with me to the seaside! It is a very chatty book, so if you like a lot of dialogue this book’s for you!
I took a photo of it in my hotel room for my Instagram account with a cute folded towel and toiletries:
Two very different books, but I’m enjoying them both – more about these two to come.
Now here’s my Instagram photo of Full Dark No Stars:
Full Dark No Stars. I’ve just finished Stephen King’s short story compilation, and that Swiss Dark Chocolate Mountain bar didn’t last long! Full Dark No Stars was awesome but could seriously give you nightmares. The chocolate was delicious!
Oh by the way the lovely Jade@ Scatterbooker is doing a university Instagram project:
Bookstagram Wiz :’Bookstagram Wiz and our aim is to set up a community for #bookstagrammers on Instagram, Tumblr,Twitter.’
Anyway my youngest daughter and I are now back home safe and sound. My eldest is back at University. By the time we arrived home it was time for dinner but I didn’t feel like eating and neither did my daughter. We had eaten so much while we were away in Brighton that I couldn’t stomach another drop. Well I lie I had a cracker and cheese and that was pretty much that.
So that’s about it apart from whisking my daughter off to Ely to get her prom dress fitted. It’s a bit overly long. Like me she’s petite. It looked really pretty when the seamstress had pinned it up. I shall be doing a Prom Fashion feature about that in July so keep an eye out for that.
Hope you enjoyed my Weekend Coffee Share post, sorry for hogging the conversation. I’m back to work next week, so no more excitement for a while…. sigh… Oh I lie…. one more exciting event to come. This weekend I’m helping out at the Literary Festival in Cambridge so more about that in my next Weekend Coffee Share post.
What about you – have you had an exciting time recently? Have you read any good books?Visited anywhere interesting?
Weekend Coffee share is a coffee link up and chat post via Diana at Part-Time monster. Here are her links to find out more:
This is my photo for Hugh’s Weekly Photo Challenge – the theme this week is Solitude.
It is of Brighton beach – I took it ages ago when I went there with my hubby for a weekend away. So I wasn’t alone, but the beach was pretty deserted. Just me and my man! This photo really captured a moment of solitude to me, as I stared out to the ocean and surrendered my thoughts to the power of the sea. It is never to be taken for granted, the sea is a mighty force, even on Brighton seafront!
If I had to be alone anywhere it would be beside the sea.
A new term begins, a bit like the branches of this beautiful tree it proposes many opportunities but also separates too. We are now back to our little group of three and I expect it will take some getting used to again.
The journey to Brighton on Saturday luckily wasn’t fraught with too many issues. We arrived on the seafront, but found that we couldn’t locate the venue to pick up my daughter’s keys! We asked a local taxi driver but she didn’t seem to have a clue so we turned the car around and managed to work it out ourselves. The weather was so blustery, as I left the car, my hair was blown all over the place, and somehow the force of the wind managed to undo my necklace! Luckily I noticed and saved it from being stolen by the wind. I walked in with my daughter and she presented her form only to be told that she needed ID to pick up her keys! Back out into the wind again, no sign of my husband or our car, he’d gone to do a loop around as this area is strictly double yellow lines, no parking allowed. So we waited, and waited, and waited. By this time I was needing the toilet! At last he reappeared, we went back armed with her ID. Problem solved. Or was it? The door wouldn’t open. UGH. Luckily we spied one of the housing advisors and she opened it for us. At last my daughter was presented with a key! Success. Off we went.
Now this is when events became even more entertaining, remember we are in Brighton and in Brighton all sorts of funny things happen, I kid you not. On the way up the hill to her new abode, which by the way is a cute terraced house, with a garden, we saw a bunch of students pushing an enormous wheeled crate up the hill, full of a truck load of moving in stuff, there even happened to be a TV in there! This made me laugh, typical students! I remember once my other half and his then student pals lifted a cooker through the streets of Edinburgh up to their flat too! How times have changed, nowadays students are much more sophisticated, and inventive, none of this brawn, just brain, a wheeled crate is much more enterprising. Anyway, I do hope that they managed to get up the hill okay! After saying our goodbyes, wonder of wonders, an even stranger sight caught my eye. We were stuck at a junction waiting to turn right, the bus on the road ahead stopped, a man hobbled out on his crutches and popped into the off licence for his weekly supply of alcohol, the bus waited patiently and he hobbled back on with his stash at the ready! I’ve never seen that anywhere else in the world, that’s for sure. A Brighton speciality bus service, methinks….
So back to this tree, I sat underneath it in a pub in Blackheath, in London, with my youngest daughter and as I looked up I stared at its magnificent splendour. It must be one of the most striking trees I’ve ever seen. It was lit up with fairy lights, and its branches curved and twisted, in a dramatic fashion, as if it was saying look at me. If it could speak I’m sure it would say, “Aren’t I the most poetic tree you’ve ever seen?”
That tree summed up how I feel about my daughter going into her second year at University, and my youngest starting her GCSE’s. This is going to be some year! They will have so many opportunities, and diverse paths that they might follow which will lead them in many directions, and if they work hard the sky’s the limit for what they might achieve. I do hope my eldest daughter has a bundle of fun, makes lots of new friends, and embraces each and every opportunity with a happy heart, and that my youngest daughter will have a wonderful year with much success, happiness, and fun too. There is the prom to look forward to, I know she will love this! A new dress, shoes, makeup and hair, that will put a smile on her face after all that hard work. As for me, I may have a touch of the new term blues but I’ll be okay, the leaves of that wise old tree whispered and told me so!
Are you suffering from the new term blues too? Do you have a child who has just left the nest to go to University? Do feel free to comment and share I’d love to hear from you.
Found this on Facebook. My first reaction – it kind of amused me so thought I’d share!!! Apparently this has been happening every June since 2006! Really, I’ve never ever seen it.
The last time we had a bike event in Cambridge it was the Tour de France, which was chock-a-block with lycra. This is a bit different!
Anyway, if you want to support this event for environmental reasons, and of course your love of biking, give it a go, just be aware that the expression saddle sore is going to take on a whole new dimension! Still, there’s always the option to go partially clothed, I know which half, I’d opt for.
Thank goodness they’re holding this event in June, a naked bike ride sure isn’t an activity for the winter! Ugh, that just sends shivers down my spine.