Saturday, 31 December 2011

A Very Happy New Year

I would just like to thank everyone for their fantastic support over the past year. Here's to a great 2012! Happy reading and writing to all my good friends!

'Belle's Song' by K.M. Grant

Release date: 3rd February 2011
Published by: Quercus Books
ISBN No: 9781849164085

When Belle meets Luke, son of an alchemist and Scribe to the famous poet Chaucer, she is determined to travel with him to Canterbury on a pilgrimage. She hopes for a miracle: that her father will walk again. She also hopes to atone for her own part in his accident. 

It is a time of unrest across the country and the young King Richard II is just hanging on to his throne. A malign character on the pilgrimage suspects Chaucer of treason and slowly winds Belle into a political intrigue. At the same time, the impulsive Belle is drawn towards both Luke and to Walter, the wealthy son of a Knight. But Walter himself is in love with Luke... 

As the uprising against the King starts to draw pace and the web of intrigue around Belle and Chaucer tightens, Belle and her friends must risk everything to save their country and themselves...

Copyright: Quercus Books

Friday, 30 December 2011

'City of Dragons' by Robin Hobb

Release date: 23rd April 2012
Published by: Harper Voyager
ISBN No: 978 0007273805

Return to the world of the Liveships Traders and journey along the Rain Wild River in the third instalment of high adventure from the author of the internationally acclaimed Farseer trilogy.
Kelsingra awaits for those brave enough to enter…

The dragons and their keepers have discovered Kelsingra but so far only Heeby has succeeded in flying over the river to enter the fabled city. The other dragons, with their deformed wings and feeble muscles, are afraid to risk failure and humiliation.

But wondrous things await in Kelsingra, a city built for dragons and their Elderling keepers. Alise, overwhelmed by the treasures she finds there, records her finds for posterity. Once the rest of the world knows about the riches the city contains, nothing will ever be the same again.

Already, rumours of the city’s discovery have floated down the Rain Wild River and reached envious ears in Bingtown and beyond. Adventurers, pirates and fortune hunters are coming in droves to pillage what they can from the city. As is Hest Finbok, Alise’s husband…

Meanwhile, Selden Vestrit finds himself a prisoner of the ailing Duke of Chalced, who believes him to be some sort of dragon-man whose flesh and blood may work miracle cures.

Where is Tintaglia, the great sapphire-blue dragon, when all have such need of her? Has she really abandoned her beloved Selden and the fledgling dragons forever? Or will she too return to seek the wonders of Kelsingra?

Copyright: Amazon Synopsis

Thursday, 29 December 2011

Giveaway Hop - Happy New Year 2012!

Welcome to the  'Happy New Year 2012' Giveaway Hop which is hosted by 'I am a Reader, not a Writer' and 'Babs Book Bistro'. As usual my post is one of the first to go up as I am based in the UK and am governed by Greenwich Mean Time. As the majority of the other blogs that are taking part in  this hop are based in America and Canada, their posts will go up at 00.01 on the 27th December, according to their specific time zones.

To gain entry to this draw you have to be a GFC Follower of my blog and leave a comment. You can then gain an extra two entries by 'liking' The Secret Writer' Facebook page and following 'The Secret Writer' via Network Blogs. Just let me know what you have done in your comment. Once this has been done, you will have  been entered into the draw for one of these three great titles:

'The Promise' by Susan Sallis
'The Nosferatu Scroll' by James Becker
'Legacy' by Katherine Webb

Only one book can be won by each draw winner. There will be three winners from this draw. Each entrant will be allocated a sequential number. After the closing date for this draw (Tuesday 3rd January 2012 at 23.59GMT), the winning numbers entered for this draw will be chosen. This is an International Giveaway Draw! 

To visit the rest of the blogs that are taking part in this great hop, just right click on the 'Click Here' link below, to be taken to a page of participating blog links. 

Good Luck Everyone!

This draw is now closed

'Angelmaker' by Nick Harkaway

Release date: 2nd February 2012
Published by: William Heinemann
ISBN No: 978 0434020942

From the acclaimed author of The Gone-Away World - a new riveting action spy thriller, blistering gangster noir, and howling absurdist comedy: a propulsively entertaining tale about a mobster's son and a retired secret agent who are forced to team up to save the world.

All Joe Spork wants is a quiet life. He repairs clockwork and lives above his shop in a wet, unknown bit of London. The bills don't always get paid and he's single and has no prospects of improving his lot, but at least he's not trying to compete with the reputation of Mathew "Tommy Gun" Spork, his infamous criminal dad.

Edie Banister lives quietly and wishes she didn't. She's nearly ninety and remembers when she wasn't. She's a former superspy and now she's... well... old. Worse yet, the things she fought to save don't seem to exist anymore, and she's beginning to wonder if they ever did.

When Joe fixes one particularly unusual device, his life is suddenly upended. The client? Unknown. And the device? It's a 1950s doomsday machine. And having triggered it, Joe now faces the wrath of both the government and a diabolical South Asian dictator, Edie's old arch-nemesis. With Joe's once-quiet world now populated with mad monks, psychopathic serial killers, scientific geniuses and threats to the future of conscious life in the universe, he realises that the only way to survive is to muster the courage to fight, help Edie complete a mission she gave up years ago, and pick up his father's old gun...

Copyright: Amazon Synopsis

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

'The Bone Thief' by V.M. Whitworth

Release date: 16th February 2012
Published by:  Ebury Press
ISBN No: 978 0091947217

Edward, son of Alfred the Great, has inherited the Kingdom of Wessex and achieved a precarious set of alliances through marriage and military conquest. But the alliance is uneasy and the kingdom of Mercia has more reason than most to fear the might of Wessex. Their Lord is elderly and perhaps mortally sick, and his wife fears that she does not have the power to withstand hostile takeover. She also knows too well what her neighbour is capable of - after all, King Edward is her brother.

The chance to rescue St Oswald's bones, beloved patron saint, to consecrate her new church and unite the people behind her, is too good an opportunity to miss. But they are rumoured to be buried a long way north - outside Lincoln, deep in hostile territory. Her secretary, Wulfgar, groomed for the priesthood since he was a boy in the elegant cloisters of Winchester cathedral but a naïve in the ways of the wider world - is surprised to be sent on this mission. It will prove an incredibly dangerous journey, requiring resources and courage Wulfgar did not know he had, and support from surprising allies along the way including a maverick priest and a Viking adventuress whose loyalties are far from clear...

Copyright: Amazon Synopsis

Monday, 26 December 2011

'Best of 2011' International Book Giveaway Hop

Welcome to the Best of 2011 Book Giveaway Hop which is hosted by 'I am a Reader, not a Writer'. As usual my post is one of the first to go up as I am based in the UK and am governed by Greenwich Mean Time. As the majority of the other blogs that are taking part in  this hop are based in America and Canada, their posts will go up at 00.01 on the 27th December, according to their specific time zones.

To enter this Giveaway you just have to be a GFC Follower of my blog, so that you can leave a comment to this post, ( also include your e-mail address with your comment so I can contact you if you are a winner!). You will then be entered into the draw for one of these four great titles:

'Crucible of Secrets' by Shona Maclean
'Touch of Power' by Maria V Snyder
'Clockwork Prince' by Cassandra Clare
'The Unseen' by Katherine Webb

Only one book can be won by each draw winner. There will be four winners from this draw. Each entrant will be allocated a sequential number. After the closing date for this draw (Saturday 31st December 2011 at 23.59GMT), the winning numbers entered for this draw will be chosen by This is an International Giveaway Draw! 

To visit the rest of the blogs that are taking part in this great hop, just right click on the 'Click Here' link below, to be taken to a page of participating blog links.

Good luck everyone!

This draw is now closed for entries.

'The Immortalists' by Kyle Mills

Release date: 6th December 2011
Published by: Thomas and Mercer
ISBN No: 978 1612181509

Dr. Richard Draman is trying desperately to discover a cure for a disease that causes children to age at a wildly accelerated rate—a rare genetic condition that is killing his own daughter. When the husband of a colleague quietly gives him a copy of the classified work she was doing before her mysterious suicide, Draman finally sees a glimmer of hope. The conclusions are stunning, with the potential to not only turn the field of biology on its head, but reshape the world. Soon, though, he finds himself on the run, relentlessly pursued by a seemingly omnipotent group of men who will do whatever it takes to silence him.

Copyright: Amazon Synopsis

Sunday, 25 December 2011

'Switched' by Amanda Hocking

Release date: 5th January 2012
Published by: Tor
ISBN No: 978 1447205692

Wendy Everly knew she was different the day her mother tried to kill her and accused her of having been switched at birth. Although certain she’s not the monster her mother claims she is – she does feel that she doesn’t quite fit in . . . She’s bored and frustrated by her small town life – and then there’s the secret that she can’t tell anyone. Her mysterious ability – she can influence people’s decisions, without knowing how, or why . . . When the intense and darkly handsome newcomer Finn suddenly turns up at her bedroom window one night – her world is turned upside down. He holds the key to her past, the answers to her strange powers and is the doorway to a place she never imagined could exist. Förening, the home of the Trylle. Finally everything makes sense. Among the Trylle, Wendy is not just different, but special. But what marks her out as chosen for greatness in this world also places her in grave danger. With everything around her changing, Finn is the only person she can trust. But dark forces are conspiring – not only to separate them, but to see the downfall everything that Wendy cares about. The fate of Förening rests in Wendy’s hands, and the decisions she and Finn make could change all their lives forever . . .

Copyright: Amazon Synopsis

Maria V Snyder 'Touch of Power' Blog Tour - January 2012

This is just a quick post to let you know that Maria V Snyder will be visiting  'The Secret Writer' again on the 22nd January 2012, as part of her 'Touch of Power' Blog Tour! You can see the tour dates and the other sites Maria will be visiting during this tour on the banner below.

At the moment Blogger is not allowing me to add comments to my posts on this site! 
I love reading the comments you all leave when visiting here, so please do not feel that I am ignoring you if I do not answer at the moment. Blogger will not let me, and on my own site too! 
I have contacted Blogger about this fault and hopefully it will be fixed fairly soon. Please keep posting your comments and I will add to them whenever I can. 

'A Walk Across the Sun' by Corban Addison

Release date: 2nd February 2012
Published by: Quercus Books
ISBN No:  9780857388193

Ahalya Ghai is just seventeen when a tsunami rips through her Indian village. Ahalya and her sister Sita are the sole survivors of their family. Destitute, their only hope is to find refuge at a convent in Chennai, many miles away. A driver agrees to take them. But the second they get into that car they are doomed - the two sisters are sold. Ahalya doesn't understand why any man would pay so much money for them. She will soon find out. 

On the other side of the world, Washington, D.C. lawyer Thomas Clarke witnesses the kidnapping of a young girl. Struggling to cope after the death of his baby daughter and the collapse of his marriage to Priya, he takes a sabbatical from his high-pressure job and accepts a position with the Bombay branch of CASE, the Coalition Against Sexual Exploitation. He is now on a path that not only involves saving himself and his marriage, but the lives of Ahalya and Sita Ghai. 

A Walk Across The Sun is about cruelty and loss. It is about family and survival. And ultimately it is about love, and the immeasurable strength of the human spirit.

Copyright: Quercus Books

Saturday, 24 December 2011

'A Room Full of Bones' by Elly Griffiths

Release date: 5th January 2012
Published by: Quercus Publishing Plc
ISBN No: 978 1849163668

It is Halloween night, and the local museum in King's Lynn is preparing for an unusual event - the opening of a coffin containing the bones of a medieval bishop. But when Ruth Galloway arrives to supervise, she finds the museum's curator lying dead beside the coffin. It is only a matter of time before she and DI Nelson cross paths once more, as he is called in to investigate. 

Soon the museum's wealthy owner lies dead in his stables too. These two deaths could be from natural causes but Nelson isn't convinced. 

When threatening letters come to light, events take an even more sinister turn. But as Ruth's friends become involved, where will her loyalties lie? As her convictions are tested, she and Nelson must discover how Aboriginal skulls, drug smuggling and the mystery of The Dreaming may hold the answer to these deaths, and their own survival.

Copyright: Amazon Synopsis

'Vermeer's Women: Secrets and Silence'

Release date: 14th October 2011
Published by: Yale University Press
ISBN No: 978 0300178999

Centring on the extraordinary "Lacemaker" from the Musee du Louvre, this beautiful book investigates the subtle and enigmatic paintings by Johannes Vermeer that celebrate the intimacy of the Dutch household. Moments frozen in paint that reveal young women sewing, reading or playing musical instruments, captured in Vermeer's uniquely luminous style, recreate a silent and often mysterious domestic realm, closed to the outside world, and inhabited almost exclusively by women and children. Three internationally recognized experts in the field explain why women engaged in mundane domestic tasks, or in pleasurable pastimes such as music making, writing letters, or adjusting their toilette, comprise some of the most popular Dutch paintings of the seventeenth century. Among the most intriguing of these compositions are those that consciously avoid any engagement with the viewer. Rather than acknowledging our presence, figures avert their gazes or turn their backs upon us; they stare moodily into space or focus intently on the activities at hand. In viewing these paintings, we have the impression that we have stumbled upon a private world kept hidden from casual regard. The ravishingly beautiful paintings of Vermeer are perhaps the most poetic evocations of this secretive world, but other Dutch painters sought to imbue simple domestic scenes with an air of silent mystery, and the book features also works by some of the most important masters of seventeenth-century Dutch genre painting, among them Gerard ter Borch, Gerrit Dou, Pieter de Hooch, Nicolaes Maes, and Jan Steen.

Copyright: Amazon Synopsis

Friday, 23 December 2011

Leonardo Da Vinci: Painter at the Court of Milan (National Gallery London)

Release date: 4th November 2011
Published by: Yale University Press
ISBN No: 978 1857094916

Leonardo da Vinci's reputation as an inventor and scientist, and the complexity of his creativity and personality, have sometimes almost overshadowed the importance of his aims and techniques as a painter. This catalogue focuses on a crucial period in the 1480s and '90s when, as a salaried court artist to Duke Ludovico Sforza in the city-state of Milan, freed from the pressures of making a living in the commercially-minded Florentine republic, Leonardo produced some of the most celebrated - and influential - work of his career. "The Last Supper", his two versions of "The Virgin of the Rocks", and the beautiful portrait of Cecilia Gallerani, Ludovico's mistress ("The Lady with an Ermine") were paintings that set a new standard for his Milanese contemporaries. Leonardo's style was magnified, through collaboration and imitation, to become the visual language of the regime, and by the time of his return to Florence in 1500, his status was utterly transformed. "Works from British, US and European" collections represent the diverse range of Leonardo's artistic output, from drawings in chalk, ink or metalpoint to full-scale oil paintings. Together with the authors' meticulous research and detailed analysis, they demonstrate Leonardo's consummate skill and extraordinary ambition as a painter. This catalogue accompanies the major exhibition 'Leonardo da Vinci: Painter at the Court of Milan' at the National Gallery, London: 9 November 2011 - 5 February 2012.

Copyright: Amazon Synopsis

'Dickens's Victorian London 1839-1901' by Alex Werner and Tony Williams

Release date: 5th January 2012
Published by: Ebury Press
ISBN No:  978 0091943738

Over 200 stunning archive photographs, most of which have never been published before, illustrate this mesmerising guide to Victorian London seen through the eyes of Charles Dickens. Setting Dickens against the city that was the backdrop and inspiration for his work, it takes the reader on a memorable and haunting journey, discovering the places and subjects which stimulated his imagination.

Here are captivating photographs of famous landmarks such as the Houses of Parliament, Trafalgar Square and Westminster Abbey, alongside coaching inns, the Thames before the Embankment was built, the construction of the Metropolitan Underground Line, the docklands that studded the river and the many villages that make up London today.
Authoritatively written and beautifully illustrated, this book will appeal to anyone who loves this beguiling city and wants to explore it as it was in Dickens' day.

Copyright: Amazon Synopsis

Seasons Greetings from The Secret Writer!

I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday break.

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

'Year of the Tiger' by Lisa Brackman

Release date: 26th April 2012
Published by: Harper
ISBN No: 978 0 00 745319 1 

An electrifying thriller debut set in modern China, in a world of artists, paranoid revolutionaries and government conspiracies…

Ellie Cooper is down and out in Beijing. Her tour of duty in Iraq left her with a damaged leg, a faithless husband, and a desperate need to escape and think about what the hell to do with the rest of her life. She's fallen in love with charismatic Chinese artist Lao Zhang, but just who is the shady guy who's arrived at his house, tailed by the Chinese authorities? They say he's a terrorist that Lao Zhang is harbouring, but now Lao Zhang has disappeared…

And even worse, her cheating husband Trey turns up out of nowhere asking for a divorce. In his wake come some sinister American and Chinese agents, all searching for Lao Zhang, and soon they all start to get threatening. As Ellie tries to elude her pursuers, a deeper mystery emerges – one that seems to involve something she should never have seen in Iraq – and she realizes her life is seriously at risk.

Is there anyone she can trust in the teeming underbelly of Beijing? It seems her only true friends may be the ones she's been interacting with in an online role-playing game. But following the clues they supply is about to take her on a perilous tour of hidden China, and down a rabbit hole of conspiracies from which she may never return…

'Cromwell's Blessing' by Peter Ransley

Release date: 29th March 2012
Published by: Harper Press
ISBN No: 978 0 00 731239 9 

The price for a country. The price for a King. The price for a marriage.

The second book in the Tom Neave Trilogy

1647. The King has surrendered to Parliament. Lord Stonehouse, to show his loyalty to Parliament, has named Tom as his successor. But Lord Stonehouse’s son, Richard, is also Tom’s estranged father and a fervent Royalist. If the King reaches a settlement with Parliament Richard will inherit…

Parliament itself is deeply divided with those demanding a strict Puritan regime pitted against more liberal Independents like Cromwell. King Charles, under house arrest, tries to exploit the divisions between them. When Richard arrives from France with a commission from the Queen to snatch the King from Parliamentary hands, he and Tom are set on a collision course. Caught between his love for his wife Anne and their young son, and his loyalty to the new regime, Tom must struggle to save both his family and the estate.

Cromwell’s Blessing is the dramatic story of Tom Neave’s fight for the principles which he holds so dear – democracy, freedom and honour – and his young family, set against the backdrop of the violent conflict of the English Civil War.

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

'Carnival for the Dead' by David Hewson

Release date: 5th January 2012
Published by: Macmillan
ISBN No: 978 0230755932

It’s February, and Carnival time in Venice. Bright blue skies and freezing temperatures welcome Teresa Lupo, forensic pathologist to the Rome Questura, to the city. She is greeted off the vaporetto by an anonymous masked man dressed as The Plague Doctor. Teresa has taken time out from her job to find her beloved bohemian aunt Sofia who has mysteriously disappeared. There seem to be no clues as to her whereabouts, but a visit to Sofia’s very strange apartment in the Dorsoduro confirms Teresa’s suspicions that all is not well.

The puzzle deepens when a letter reveals a piece of fiction in which both Sofia and Teresa appear. Even more strange, are the links to Venetian culture which gradually begin to surface. Are the messages being sent by Sofia herself? Her abductor? Or a third party seeking to help her unravel the mystery? The revelation when it comes is as surprising and shocking as Sofia’s fate. And Teresa herself comes to depend upon the unravelling of a mystery wrapped deep inside the art and culture of Venice itself.

Copyright: Amazon Synopsis

Monday, 19 December 2011

'A Humble Companion' by Laurie Graham

Release date: 7th June 2012
Published by: Quercus Books
ISBN No: 9780857387813

Meet Nellie Welche - companion to royalty and keeper of secrets ... 

Nellie Welche is the daughter of a high-ranking steward in the household of Prinnie, Prince of Wales. In 1788, at the age of twelve, she's proposed as a suitably humble companion to Princess Sophia, one of George III's enormous brood of children. Nellie and Sofy become friends for life. 

From the first rumblings of revolution in France to the exciting, modern times of gas light and steam trains, from poor mad George to safe and steady Victoria, Nellie is the sharp-penned narrator of a changing world and the unchanging, cloistered lives of Princess Sofy and her sisters. Nellie proves to be more a hawk-eyed witness than a Humble Companion, as her memoir lifts the lid on the House of Hanover's secrets and lies.

Copyright: Quercus Books

'The Second Empress' by Michelle Moran

Release date: 5th July 2012
Published by: Quercus Books
ISBN No: 9780857388605

Empress Josephine's family has been called to Napoleon's court for the terrible news that he intends to divorce his barren wife of thirteen years and take a younger bride, the Austrian Princess Marie-Louise. 

For Josephine's daughter, Hortense, this means she is free to leave her husband, Napoleon's brother, having given the Bonapartes three heirs. As she looks for love, she must support her mother through the terrible grief of Napoleon's betrayal. 

For his new wife, it is a terrible duty she must take on in her father's name. She has nothing in common with the strange, older man she has married and can find little in her life to enjoy. But an unlikely friendship with Hortense will bring her much comfort, especially as she must fight for her own happiness. 

For Napoleon's sister, Pauline Bonaparte, it is yet another woman stealing her brother's attention and affection. Having spent years attempting to control his power and his influence, she must fight harder and dirtier if she is to win... 

Copyright: Quercus Books

'Sanctuary Line' by Jane Urquhart

Release date:  5th January 2012
Published by:  Quercus Books
ISBN No: 9780857051240

Jane Urquhart's stunning new novel weaves elements from the nineteenth century in Ireland and Ontario into a contemporary story of events in the lives of one family. 

Recently returned to Lake Erie to study the migratory patterns of the monarch butterfly, entomologist Liz Crane moves into her family's now-deserted farmhouse. Casting a shadow over her life is the recent death of her cousin, Amanda Butler, a gifted military strategist killed in Afghanistan, and the disappearance many years earlier of her irrepressible, charismatic uncle. Liz explores the many-layered history of the eccentric Butler family, ancestral lighthouse-keepers, agriculturalists and dreamers and re-evaluates the lives of the seasonal workers imported each summer from Mexico to harvest the fruit on the farm, with them Teo, a young boy alone in his apartness. Surrounded by memories, Liz herself is haunted by a deeply buried family secret, by four different, unexpected love affairs, and by the tragic events that ultimately altered all their futures. 

In this eloquent and powerful narrative, Jane Urquhart brings to vivid life those fragile patterns of the past that shape who we are, and shows the extent to which we can be influenced by absences on the difficult path to understanding and forgiveness. 

Copyright: Quercus Books

Sunday, 18 December 2011

New Release:' Icarus' by J.S. Chancellor

Release date: 19th December 2011
Published by: Rhemalda Publishing
ISBN No:  978-1936850372

ICARUS is a paranormal romance: a love triangle between vampires who need a substance called Icarusto process light. In this richly drawn world, Jessica Slate is kidnapped by vampires who claim that Trinity, her “bad boy” lover, is the Anti-Christ and they take away her source of Icarus. With the clock ticking, can she escape her kidnappers—or will she discover that she belongs with them and that they’re right about Trinity after all?
J.S. Chancellor is the popular author of the Guardians of Legend trilogy (SON OF EREUBUS, BLOOD OF ADORIAand ETERNAL REQUIEM). ICARUS is the first book in The Kindred series. Matthew Robert Best called ICARUS, “… a refreshing take on an otherwise exhausted genre, leaving me more than a little pleasantly surprised …. Such a fun read, with much more substance than I’m accustomed to in paranormal fiction.”

“Don’t get me wrong; immortality does have its perks. Take dieting for example—kind of hard to do when you’ve only got two choices: fresh blood and slightly less fresh blood. The media makes it all out to be glamorous. Romantic, even. But the books, movies and witty television shows have it wrong. Especially the ones that make a big to-do about not being wrong (you know, the ones that spell vampire Vampyr, like it’s original).

And don’t think for a second that I was turned in some amazing, soul-binding, body-meshing way either. I don’t think my libido is damaged enough to forget that kind of rendezvous. Though, to be honest, I don’t recall anything about it. As soon as you’re turned, as soon as anyone is turned, the powers that be rush in like witness protection agents and whisk you off, never to see your family or friends again. Your life changes in ways you never imagined that it could.

Like the fact that I was kidnapped last night. Totally didn’t see that coming. Not being the Covenant-level assassin that I am (did I mention that already? I didn’t get much of a choice in that either—the profession I mean). Oh, and get this … the creeps who grabbed me claim that my mentor/should-have-kept-it-professional boyfriend Trinity is the vampire equivalent to the anti-Christ.

Nice. And to think it’s only Tuesday.

But wait, it gets better. See, there is one fact about vampirism that everyone gets correct—our bodies can’t biologically process natural light. Past that, all I know is that if I don’t partake of my usual dose of Icarus every seven days (provided via injection by the powers that be), I’ll lose my existence as I know it. It allows me to bask in the sunlight, keeps us from exploding into flames and I’ve heard rumors that it’s what makes us immortal. You know, little things.

Now, since Head Creep removed the dosing disc from my arm, whether I had anything to do with it or not, I’m guilty of betraying High Coven. This fact not only sucks (pun intended), it means I’ve been condemned to death.

An assassin … condemned to death. Seems like kind of shitty deal if you ask me.

I don’t care that Head Creep is hot enough that he gives Christian Bale a run for his money. He claims that Icarus is part of some massive conspiracy, that vampires are a perverse mutation of beings from another universe, and that Trinity (along with some dark army he’s supposedly in charge of) plans to exterminate the human race. Of course, he says this will occur in less than a week. And damn, wouldn’t you know he’d kidnap me on day six of my dose?”

J. S. Chancellor

J.S. Chancellor, whose personal motto is, “woe is the writer who mounts their merit on the masses,” started writing stories when she was still in grade school, and finished her first fantasy novella at the age of 14. She drafted chapter one of the Guardians of Legend trilogy when she was a freshman in high school, sitting on a stool in front of a piano bench, in her parents’ den. It wasn’t until she was 25 when a resident at the apartment complex where she worked lovingly made a casual remark about her procrastination that her passion for fantasy fiction took center stage. Since then she’s focused all of her efforts on writing, to include leaving her full time job in September 2009 and actively maintaining a blog dedicated to the art of crafting fiction. She currently resides in Georgia with her two beloved dogs. 

On Monday 19th January 2011, ICARUS's release date, anyone will be able to ask questions of J.S. Chancellor on Twitter using the hashtag #Icarus. Be sure to follow @Rhemalda and @Jschancellor on Twitter to be part of this awesome event.

Saturday, 17 December 2011

'The Sugar Barons' by Matthew Parker

Release date: 2nd February 2012
Published by: Windmill Books
ISBN No: 978 0099558453

The contemporary image of the West Indies as paradise islands conceals a turbulent, dramatic and shocking history. For 200 years after 1650, the West Indies witnessed one of the greatest power struggles of the age, as Europeans made and lost immense fortunes growing and trading in sugar - a commodity so lucrative that it was known as white gold. This compelling book tells how the islands became by far most valuable and important colonies in the British Empire; how Barbados, scene of the sugar revolution that made the English a nation of voracious consumers, was transformed from a backward outpost into England's richest colony, powered by the human misery of tens of thousands of enslaved Africans; how this model of coercion and exploitation was exported around the region, producing huge wealth for a few, but creating a society poisoned by war, disease, cruelty and corruption; how Jamaican opulence reached its zenith, and its subsequent calamitous decline; and, the growing revulsion against slavery that led to emancipation. At the heart of "The Sugar Barons" are the human stories of the families whose fortunes rose and fell with those of the West Indian empire: the family of James Drax, the first sugar baron, who introduced sugar cultivation to Barbados, as well as extensive slavery; the Codringtons, the most powerful family in the Leeward Islands, who struggled to fashion a workable society in the Caribbean but in the end succumbed to corruption and decadence; and the Beckfords, Jamaica's leading planters, who amassed the greatest sugar fortune of all, only to see it frittered away through the most extraordinary profligacy. "The Sugar Barons" reveals how the importance of the West Indies made a crucial contribution to the loss of the North American colonies, and explores the impact of the empire on Britain, where it still constitutes perhaps the darkest episode in our history.

Copyright: Amazon Synopsis

Winners of my International Christmas Book Giveaway Draw!

I would like to say a great big thank-you to everyone who joined my blog as a new follower or were already a follower and entered the draw and posted some wonderful comments during this fantastic event!

Again I wish that I could send everyone who entered this draw a book, but within the rules, there were to be only three lucky winners! For those of you who have not won this time, there are plenty more giveaway draws to come. Please keep visiting this blog and entering my giveaway draws. You never know your luck, you could be one of our next winners!

I visited earlier today and the winners of this draw are, drum roll!!!

Liehn -  'The Magic of Home' by Nora Roberts

Kelley O'Neill -  'Christmas Wishes' by Katie Flynn

april_hunter24 - 'Christmas at Cold Comfort Farm' by Stella Gibbons


I will contact the winners for their mailing details. If I have not been able to make contact with a winner within 48 hours of this post, another winner will then be drawn. Thanks again to everyone who entered this draw and who follow my blog. Happy reading!

Seasons Greetings to you all from 'The Secret Writer'. 
Eight more sleeps to go until the big day!

Friday, 16 December 2011

'Finding Inner Courage' by Mark Nepo

Release date: 5th January 2012
Published by: Quercus Books
ISBN No: 9780857386946

In Finding Inner Courage, Mark Nepo invites readers to explore their own inner core through the stories of ordinary people, political activists, artists and spiritual teachers from a variety of traditions. 

These are people who have faced themselves: people who have stood by the courage of their convictions in moments both great and small. 

The book is divided into three sections - finding our inner core, standing by our inner core and sustaining the practice of living from that place. 

Each of the nearly sixty brief essays and stories elucidates and inspires. Nepo's broad range of stories and people, of traditions and insights, offers myriad ways for readers to relate to their own search for courage.

Copyright: Quercus Books

'The Watermen' by Patrick Easter

Release date: 5th January 2012
Published by: Quercus Books
ISBN No: 9780857380562

In the dark and slimy streets of Wapping a prostitute is beaten half to death, a not uncommon fate in late 18th century London. 

So begins this gripping tale set in 1798 in the Port of London: a cruel villain holds sway over the underworld. His name is Boylin. His face is scarred by lime and his back by the two hundred lashes he received following a naval court martial. He holds Captain Tom Pascoe responsible for his suffering. They meet again when Pascoe becomes River Surveyor for the newly formed marine police. They've had orders to investigate a sudden fall in government revenue that is affecting the nation's ability to fight the war against Napoleon and stem the rising tide of Irish rebellion. Pascoe knows that Boylin is behind it, but he can't prove anything, yet.

THE WATERMEN follows these two adversaries across London as they try to outwit one another. Working alongside Pascoe is Sam Hart, a Jewish immigrant with his own agenda, Pascoe throws the rule-book out the window, scouring East London and the docklands in search of information. But fate takes a cruel twist when the two men find themselves involved with the same woman - there's much more at stake than the fate of the nation.

Copyright: Quercus Books