Showing posts from April, 2013

Just What Kind of Mother Are You? By Paula Daly

Paula Daly’s debut novel was the subject of a bidding war between five different UK publishers and the publication has been eagerly awaited. Such hype is sometimes unwarranted, I’ve been disappointed in the past when books I just couldn’t wait for where a huge let down, not so in this case. The book is the story of a harassed mum of three called Lisa. (Boy, could I identify.) She works full-time at a kennel which re-homes surrendered and abandoned dogs and lives in a quiet village in the Lake District. Her husband drives a taxi, her oldest two kids are generally uncommunicative as teenagers can often be and her youngest at seven is growing up so fast. Lisa has made some friends amongst the other school mums and is particularly close to Kate whose children are of a similar age. Harassed and tired Lisa forgets about a prearranged sleepover for Kate’s daughter Lucinda, with her own daughter Sally. The next day Lucinda is reported missing. Lisa is devastated and feels entirely to blame. …

In The Postbox

It's been a while since I posted up photos of books I have recently received and in the last few weeks I have received quite a few especially since becoming books editor for So here are a few of the lovely things that came in the post.
I was lucky enough to win these two lovely books Black Diamond by Jennifer Loiske is a YA fantasy which I won from a fab website which features great reviews, interviews and giveaways. The Perfume Garden by Kate Lord Brown has a gorgeous cover with a shiny embossed title which I couldn't stop looking at, this photo doesn't do it justice and I won this from which is the website for women's fiction whether you love to read it or you want to write it. I am looking forward to reading both of them but in particular The Perfume Garden as the plot sounds like a Kate Morton or Victoria Hislop so it's perfect for me. It'll be some time before I can indulge though as I have…

His Dark Lady

As its Shakespeare birthday it seems an appropriate day to tell you about the wonderful second novel in Victoria Lamb's brilliant trilogy about Lucy Morgan. Much has been written about Shakespeare including recently a book which claims that Shakespeare was in fact a pen name used by the Earl of Oxford. Victoria Lamb has used her fiction to imagine another Shakespeare. We see him through the eyes of Lucy, a singer and entertainer in the court of Queen Elizabeth. He is presented as a talented and intelligent writer but also a poor husband and a roguish seducer. Despite his bad behaviour this is a Shakespeare the reader can't help liking. However this is very much Lucy's story. The book moves forward in time from the events of The Queen’s Secret to a court which is beset by intrigue and plots against the Queen at every turn. It is now the 1580s a dark and tense time at the Elizabethan court. Catholic plots and assassins are a constant threat and Elizabeth must decide the fate…

Happy Booker Award

Grace Tierney of the Woodfoolery Blog has tagged me in The Happy Booker Award check out the link above to see Grace's choices which are fab.

I decided to make two lists, one for adult books and one for YA. These are some of my all time favourite books.

Top 5 Adults Books

The Blood of Flowers by Anita Amirezvani
This is a stunning book set in Seventeenth Century Persia about a young girl with a talent for weaving beautiful rugs who seeks to assert herself in a world dominated by men. It is a sensual and lyrical debut which fans of Khaled Hosseini and Dina Nayeri will be enchanted by.

The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield 

A fabulous book perfect for fans of Daphne du Maurier or Charlotte Bronte. Biographer Margaret Lea travels to interview reclusive writer Vida Winter and learn the secrets of Angelfield House. A sumptuous gothic tale. I loved it.

The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley
I first read this book …

A Teaspoon of Earth and Sea by Dina Nayeri

This is a wonderfully atmospheric and enchanting piece of storytelling in the tradition of Khaled Hosseini’s A Thousand Splendid Suns and Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis. Saba is a bright, brave and believable protagonist who is brutally and suddenly separated from her twin sister and her mother at the age of ten just as the Islamic Revolution in Iran was at its height. Saba and her father are Christians who move to their summer home in a small village in the North to escape the ever present dangers in Tehran. Surrounded by village women who become substitute mothers and by her friends Reza and Ponneh, Saba grows up cherished and a little spoiled but the loss of her twin sister Mahtab is so hard to accept that she invents a parallel life for her in America recounting the episodes of Mahtab’s journey through high school, dating and finally Harvard, like a modern Scheherazade. However the brutal realities of life for women are never far away and Saba must witness her best friend being beat…

April Books of the Month for Mumstown

I got a great response here and on twitter to my choices for March and today I have chosen the April books so I do hope people will read along with me. You can comment here or contact me on twitter or facebook or you can of course comment on the books thread on

April Book of the Month for Adults is From this Moment On by Collette Caddle
Collette is a bestselling author who creates vivid characters and believable stories. In this novel she deals with the very powerful topic of bullying in the workplace. If you want to get your hands on this book it is currently on the 1/3 off offer in Eason, it is also available in other bookshops nationwide. It is published by Simon & Schuster UK and generally retails at approx €17.
April Book of the Month for Children is The Ark of Dun Ruadh by Maria Burke, it is published by Currach Press it is a fantasy adventure for kids aged approx nine and upwards. It is available in bookshops nationwide and is a first novel for the Cork author…