Showing posts from March, 2014

Mrs Sinclair's Suitcase

I heard about this book online and loved the gorgeous cover and the premise of a bookseller who collects the letters and cards she finds in the books in her second hand bookshop. I was reluctant to read it at first though as I thought it simply couldn't live up to the idea of it that I had in my head. However when my good friend Margaret at Bleach House Library reviewed and recommended to me I knew I just had to give it a go. Happily I can say that the book did not disappoint. 
It is a a dual timeline story (yes you know my favourite) with Roberta in the present day who collects the memorabilia she finds in the books at work. She works at a second hand bookshop, a job she loves and each Roberta chapter has a little quote from one of her finds. Roberta is a great character she likes her own company and she has developed her own routine and she sticks to it, she is in a bit of a rut, it is only as the story unfolds she realises that she does need other people in her life. Dorothy w…

The Midnight Rose

Lucinda Riley's newest novel is also her most ambitious an epic saga which spans continents and the century. This is a dual timeline story which regular readers of this blog will know is a favourite device of mine. 
1911; Born with the Twentieth century Anahita Chavan is a distant and penniless cousin of Indian royalty so when she is offered the chance to became a companion to the headstrong Princess Indira she grasps at it. She has the opportunity not only to be part of a life of wealth and privilege but also a wonderful education. After a couple of years of running wild at Indira's father's palace the two girls are sent to an English boarding school and although they were supposed to return for the summer the war changes everyone's plans. As Indira grows distant Anahita meets and secretly falls in love with Donald Astbury heir to the beautiful Astbury Hall.
2011; Young American actress Rebecca Bradley arrives at Astbury Hall to film her latest role as a 1920s debuta…

My Writing Process

Thanks so much to the exceptionally talented Kerry Drewery for tagging me in the #My Writing Process meme. Check out Kerry's website and blog here and get thee hence to your local bookshops, preferably Waterstones but I'm not biased or anything and purchase Kerry's utterly amazing YA books; A Dream of Lights; nominated for the Carnegie Medal and shortlisted for the The North East Teenage Book Awards and A Brighter Fear; shortlisted for The Leeds Book Awards.

I used to feel a bit of a fraud calling myself a writer because I am not a published writer unless you count the hundreds of reviews and articles I have had published in various parts of the internet. I don't feel like that anymore. I am half way through a novel, it's my fourth. The first three remain unfinished. I don't see that as failure I see it as practice. Through each book I have worked on I have learned more about myself and my own writing process.

Q1. What am I work…

Blog Tour for The Little Old Lady who Broke all the Rules

When I say Scandinavian crime Fiction no doubt you picture skeletal trees, snow drifts, detectives in puffy jackets clutching steaming coffee cups as they investigate another bleak and brutal murder. I admit I would have thought the same and that would have been fine with me. I am a huge fan of Scandi crime drama on TV and in literature but this book is a world away from that.

The title and cover image will reveal a little of the humour, hope and real characters you will meet in this novel. The story begins with Martha Andersson and her group of friends who live at The Diamond House Retirement home, they are all irritated by the drop in standards. The food is all packaged ready meals the coffee and cakes have been cut and Martha is sure they are being drugged to keep them drowsy and acquiescent. When she shows her friends a documentary about standards in Swedish prisons they realise that they would be better off in prison and The League of Pensioners is born. From luxury hotels to mu…

The Secrets of Ghosts by Sarah Painter

The Secret of Ghosts is the follow up to The Language of Spells which I reviewed last year check out my review by clicking this link and regular followers may remember that I loved Sarah's deft plotting and clever characterisation. She doesn't disappoint with her new novel which is a kind of sequel although it is written from the point of view of Gwen's niece Katie who is now 21 and training with her aunt to develop her own magical skills. Katie worries that she doesn't have the magical gift of the other Harper women until she discovers a unique ability that her aunt cannot understand. Gwen worries that she has adversely affected Katie by bringing death into her life. (I won't go into detail here as that would spoil the plot of the first book) and seeks the advice of a woman from another magical family. Gwen also has troubles of her own as she is desperate to start a family with Cam but after seven years together there is a no sign of a baby. I enjoyed this book a…

The Enchantment Emporium

The Enchantment Emporium is a delightful urban fantasy originally published in 2009 and now available in this gorgeous re-issued paperback. The story centers around Alysha Gale who comes from a family of witches. She has returned to the family home after her contract as a research assistant at the Royal Ontario Museum comes to an end.  Although she is 24 and has lived away from home, interference in her personal life is a family sport for Alysha's aunts so when she unexpectedly inherits her grandmother's junk shop on the other side of Canada she jumps at the chance to escape. However it seems that there is something magical happening in Calgary and as her grandmother has disappeared it is looking very suspicious. Along with her cousin Charlie and best friend Michael, Alysha sets about investigating the problem meeting Handsome reporter Graham along the way. This is an exciting page turning and fun read for fans of Kelley Armstrong, Ben Aaronovitch and Charlaine Harris with wh…

Gollancz Digital Price Drop

Some great news for fans of Sci-Fi and Fantasy Gollancz have just made the following announcement about e-book prices.

Press Release

Gollancz announce strategy to reduce the price of eBook editions of its 2014 debuts to £1.99 for the week of publication.

The science fiction and fantasy imprint of the Orion Publishing Group has decided to reduce the price of the eBook editions of six stunning debut novels to £1.99 for the week of publication. All pre-orders and purchases for these titles, made up to a week after publication, will cost the reader less than a cup of coffee.

Gollancz has a tradition of discovering new writers in the science-fiction and fantasy genre. Over the years they have been proud to launch the careers of authors including Ben Aaronovitch, Joe Abercrombie, Elspeth Cooper, Elizabeth May, Suzanne McLeod, Hannu Rajaniemi and Alastair Reynolds, and of course the adult fantasy debut of Joanne M. Harris. Gollancz are confident that all of their 2014 debuts are equally exc…

My Favourite Blogs and why you need to follow them too

Firstly as it's Monday you might be feeling tired; I know I am, weekends are not relaxing for me they are my busiest time as I work Saturdays and occasionally Sundays and Sunday is my day for catching up on reading, writing, blogging and housework. Hence I often post blogs late on Sunday evenings as I did last night. So beginning another week I have a lot on my plate with a house that never seems to get clean, a TBR pile that keeps on growing and the looming deadlines of reviews, interviews and blog tours, as well as the ever looming ideas, notes and research for my novel stacked up on my desk. However I am not complaining I would rather be busy than bored. One of the best things about blogging is the relationships you develop with other bloggers. I am lucky enough to have some blogging friends in real life and I can connect with them on and offline. There are my colleagues in Waterstones Lisa C and Mara who blog with me about Children's Books at inkandpaperhearts.wordpress.c…

Books and and bookish things making the news this month

Apart from the Bailey's longlist announced the other night and which I mentioned in my last post here is a quick round up of interesting books and bookish things which have made the news, some of which are also currently piling up by my bedside. Liz Nugent's Unravelling Oliver is winning praise from the critics and the book buying public alike. I hope to review this exciting debut psychological thriller very soon my friend and fellow blogger Mags of raved about it here.
The intern who discovered the manuscript of Donal Ryan's award winning The Spinning Heart in the slush pile at Lilliput Press; Sarah Davis-Goff has founded a brand new publishing house with Lisa Coen who has also previously worked at Lilliput. Sarah obviously has a knack for spotting talent and the pair will publish new Irish fiction but they also aim to publish rediscovered gems from Irish writers who have not enjoyed the lasting success of some our famous exports; …

The Bailey's Women's Fiction Prize

The longlist for the prize was announced late last night and it is an interesting list with a lot of debut authors included including Irish writers Audrey Magee and Eimer McBride. The Guardian article below focuses on the lack of British authors making the cut; only four of the twenty longlisted authors are British and the picture gallery below that gives some detail on the titles themselves. I have six of the twenty in my TBR pile so I hope to read and review them before the shortlist is announced in June. Also just look at the judges Mary Beard, Denise Mina and Caitlin Moran to name just three I would love to be part of their discussions, what fun.

Banished by Liz de Jager

Banished is Liz de Jager’s debut novel and it is certain to make her the next big thing in British Fantasy. The book, while aimed at a YA audience will also appeal to adults, particularly fans of Neil Gaiman and other crossover titles such as those of Cassandra Clare and Sarah Rees Brennan. The story features seventeen year old orphan Kit who after the death of her grandmother discovers that she comes from a family of demon hunters. She is soon living with them at the mysterious Blackhart Manor training with weapons and magic. Left home alone to recover and rest after a successful mission Kit instead stumbles upon a Fae prince being attacked by goblins, she rescues him and becomes embroiled in a war between different Fae factions in which Prince Thorn is the unwilling pawn. As the war between fae breaks through into our own world Kit must rely on her own strength and ingenuity to keep herself and her new friend safe. Liz de Jager’s storytelling is a mile a minute thrill ride through …

A Lovely Way to Burn by Louise Welsh

Louise Welsh has already established herself as the Queen of the intelligent psychological crime thriller and as a big fan of hers I was delighted to hear that she had a new book releasing in early 2014. However I had not anticipated that it would be the first in a trilogy about a mysterious virus spreading across the UK decimating the population surely this was a Science Fiction novel? therefore not my cup of tea? I am pleased to say I was wrong, Louise seamlessly blends aspects of crime and Sci-fi together and her gutsy heroine Stevie is a perfect protagonist; an ex journalist she still has an instinct for a story especially when things don’t add up. When her boyfriend dies suddenly in the middle of an epidemic no-one else seems suspicious but Stevie is convinced he was murdered. So while everyone else is fleeing the capital and the virus known as “the sweats” Stevie is entering dangerous territory and attempting to track down a killer. This is a fantastic, intelligent and heart th…