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Sharing our love for authors, and the stories they are inspired to tell.

‘Reach For Tomorrow’ by Jessica Blair

Colette Clayton straightened from her camera and surveyed the Whitby scene she had photographed – oh, she couldn’t remember how many times since she had been given a camera thirty-four years ago for her eleventh birthday.

The view, looking upstream along the River Esk towards the bridge that joined the crowded East and West Sides of this busy Yorkshire port, had come to mean a great deal to her. She had photographed its many moods at all times of the year. It was not just one picture to her but many, never two the same. The cool, sharp light of an early-winter morning today lent the scene a restful atmosphere though overhead, out of the frame, were glowering clouds, driven by the furious wind and sent skidding overhead, possible portents of doom and disaster. Perhaps she loved this scene best when the sun was lowering to the west, saturating the scene with a tranquil light over the town’s ships and buildings, a day’s work done, she decided.

I know that so many of you are keen photographers, I only have to look at the excellent posts for memes such as Wordless Wednesday and Shadow Shot Sunday, to see just how good you are, so I hope that these opening lines will resonate with you.

You can check out the full synopsis for the book by clicking on the cover image above.


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Written by

I can’t remember a time, even as a child, when I haven’t been passionate about books and reading.
I began blogging, when I realised just how many other people out there shared my passion for the written word and I have been continually amazed at the wealth of books that are available and the amount of great new friends I have made, from literally 'The Four Corners Of The World'.

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    • Hi Lorraine,

      When you consider that this story is set in the 1890’s, it is exceptional for a woman to be allowed to pursue a career of her own, let alone one where she has to be out alone to do it. Add to that the complicated procedures for developing photographs from the images captured on camera and Colette really is a woman ahead of her time.

      Thanks for taking the time to visit, I always appreciate your comments and enjoy your weekend 🙂

  • Oh I love Whitby. And with sentences such as ‘The cool, sharp light of an early-winter morning today lent the scene a restful atmosphere though overhead, out of the frame, were glowering clouds, driven by the furious wind and sent skidding overhead, possible portents of doom and disaster’ this sounds like my kind of read.

    • Hi Tracy,

      I have only ever visited Whitby once and to be honest, I can remember very little about it. I haven’t ventured north on too many occasions, although hubbie used to travel all over the place in his job. Most of our joint trips north, have centred on the west coast Lake District and North Wales, where we have friends.

      One of the women I work with hails from just outside Durham and she is constantly telling me how beautiful the coast and scenery is on the east coast, although I can remember not being too impressed with Scarborough.

      Maybe one day we’ll make a return trip, as there is so much of the country that we have yet to explore and going abroad has begun to lose its appeal.

      I always enjoy good descriptive writing, so this sounds like the ideal read and will make a change from the psychological thrillers I seem to have become attached to lately.

      Thanks for stopping by and apologies for taking so long with my reply. Have a good week 🙂

    • Hi Sandra,

      Given that this story is set in the late 1800s, early 1900s, it sounds as though Colette is very much a woman ahead of the times, in her independence and determination to pursue a career of her own. I wonder if she is going to face any opposition to that?

      Thanks for taking the time to stop by, I always value your comments and have a good week 🙂

  • While not one of those “I need to know more!” type beginnings, I am drawn to the beautiful descriptiveness. It sounds like I book I would enjoy.

    I’m currently reading The Dressmaker by Kate Alcott.

    “Tess pulled at the corners of the sheets she had taken straight from the line and tried to tuck them tight under the mattress, stepping back to check her work. Still a bit bunchy and wrinkled. The overseer who ran this house was sure to inspect and sniff and scold, but it didn’t matter anymore.”

    By the way…I saw your comment about the review copy from Liza Perrat. I’m still trying to make up my mind whether I can get to it in a timely manner. I’ll get in touch with her when I decide. Thanks!

    • Hi Kelly

      This is a historical romance which has a background story and characters who seem to lead purposeful and fulfiling lives, including the women. I also enjoy descriptive writing, so I am hoping that the rest of the story follows its promising lead.

      Liza is such a nice person and is definitely not setting any kind of time schedule for a review, you must know by now, that I am the worst person for reviewing in a timely manner! I think that she is genuinely grateful to anyone who takes an interest in following the series and values any promotion 🙂

      My sister-in-law is a seamstress and dressmaker/designer, so your book has some appeal, although I am not certain that the official synopsis is quite so alluring. I shall wait and see what you think when you have finished reading. I hate bunchy and wrinkled sheets, although I have never mastered the art of proper ‘corner folding’ (unlike hubbie whose time in the military served him well). I use a fitted sheet with elasticated corners and still the odd crease manages to work itself right into the middle of the bed!

      Thanks for sharing and have a good weekend 🙂

    • Hi Elizabeth,

      I haven’t been to Whitby for many years, as it is almost at completely the opposite end of the country to where we live. However, in its heyday, at the period in time when this story takes place, it was a thriving fishing port. These days, given its close proximity to the Yorkshire moors, tourism is its primary asset and offering and I have to admit that it looks like a good place to visit if we are ever up that way again …


      This area would definitely be a photographer or artists paradise, so Colette has all this on her doorstep!

      Thanks for the comment, I always appreciate you joining in the discussion.

      Have a great week 🙂

    • Hi Joy,

      I would love to be able to take a half decent photo, so that I could share some of the lovely places we have to visit in this area and the wonderful scenery nearby. However, whilst my eye for a good picture may be okay, my eyesight might be a little more dodgy and the finished results rather lamentable! – Hubbie is much the better photographer and I am still working on him to provide a few picture guest posts for the photo only memes 🙂

      Thanks for taking the time to comment, it is always good to hear from you 🙂

    • Hi Maria,

      I always enjoy descriptive writing, no matter which genre I am reading, although that can’t be used to hide a poor storyline and plot building. A good author for me, is one who can manage to bring all three of those elements together seamlessly.

      Thanks for taking the time to comment, it is always good to have you visit 🙂

    • Hi Fiza,

      With the recent surge in the number of on-line picture posting sites, I guess that photography is becoming more and more competitive, which in some ways is a bit of shame!

      Personally, I am also not a huge fan of enhancing or doctoring photo’s and much prefer natural looking images and colours, ‘warts and all’

      Thanks for taking the time to stop by, I always appreciate your comments and have a good week 🙂

  • That’s a great scene Yvonne. “Perhaps she loved this scene best when the sun was lowering to the west, saturating the scene with a tranquil light over the town’s ships and buildings… ” It is true, when the sun is setting the light it casts over everything it touches can be so beautiful to capture on camera especially.
    Enjoy the book and the weekend as well!

    • Hi Naida,

      Whitby is on the northeast coast of England and used to be a very active and important shipping port, rich with maritime history and with an established tourist heritage.


      The perfect place to live as a photographer and artist, the chosen professions of Colette and her father respectively.

      Watching a sunset, or an equally beautiful sunrise, can be so mind-blowing in its complexity of strata and colour wash. It can sometimes be almost too good to capture truthfully on camera.

      Thanks for stopping by. Thank you also for your lovely comments and I hope that you have a good week 🙂

Written by Yvonne


2016 NetGalley Challenge Professional Reader Goodreads