Friday, 30 September 2011

'Netherwood' by Jane Sanderson


Release date: 29th September 2011
Published by: Sphere
ISBN No: 978 0751547634


Eve Williams is about to discover just how the other half really live ...Yorkshire, 1904: Above stairs: Lord Hoyland keeps his considerable fortune ticking over with the profits from his three coal mines in the vicinity. It's just as well the coal is of the highest quality as the upkeep of Netherwood Hall, his splendid estate on the outskirts of town, doesn't come cheap. And that's not to mention the cost of keeping his wife and daughters in the latest fashions-- and keeping the heir to the Hoyland wealth, the charming but feckless Tobias, out of trouble. Below stairs: Eve Williams, is the wife of one of Lord Hoyland's most stalwart employees. When her ordered existence amid the terraced rows of the miners' houses is brought crashing down by the twin arrivals of tragedy and charity, Eve must look to her own self-sufficiency, and talent, to provide for her three young children. And it's then that 'upstairs' and 'downstairs' collide in truly dramatic fashion...

Copyright: Amazon Synopsis

I am offering a free copy of 'Netherwood' to one lucky winner, in my October Monthly  Book Draw. This book draw is open to anyone who is a GFC Follower of this site! Click on the October Book Draw page tab above, to find out how to enter!

Thursday, 29 September 2011

'The Women of the Cousins War' by Philippa Gregory, David Baldwin and Michael Jones


Release date: September 2011
Published by:  Simon and Schuster UK
ISBN No: 10: 0857201778

Elizabeth Woodville, The White Queen (2009), Margaret Beaufort, The Red Queen (2010), and Jacquetta, Lady Rivers, The Rivers Woman (2011) are the subjects of the first three novels in Philippa Gregory's Cousins' War series, and of the three biographical essays in this book. Philippa Gregory and two historians, leading experts in their field who helped Philippa to research the novels, tell the extraordinary 'true' stories of the life of these women who until now have been largely forgotten by history, their background and times, highlighting questions which are raised in the fiction and illuminating the novels.
With a foreword by Philippa Gregory - in which Philippa writes revealingly about the differences between history and fiction and examines the gaps in the historical record - and beautifully illustrated with rare portraits, The Women of the Cousins' War is an exciting new addition to the Philippa Gregory oeuvre.

Copyright:Simon and Schuster UK 

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

'Jezebel' by Eleanor De Jong


Release date: 5th January 2012
Published by: Avon
ISBN No: 978 1-84756 255 5 

Set against the sweeping backdrop of the ancient Holy Land, Jezebel is a tale of love, loss and deceit - and one woman’s struggle to survive in a land filled with rivals plotting her downfall…

Her name is iconic. Her courage extraordinary. Her story remarkable. Jezebel, a young princess of Tyre is destined to be married to King Ahab of Israel. Yet she is determined to rule her own life and begins an illicit affair with Jehu, a visiting prince at court. Years pass and Jehu, unable to relinquish his love for Jezebel grows bitter and twisted. But he is unaware of Jezebel's greatest secret – that he is father to her eldest son Ahaziah, the heir to Israel's throne. With the King's health deteriorating, Jezebel gradually assumes control of Israel but hatred of her is spreading across the land, fanned by the prophet Elijah and his aide, the terrifying Elisha. As they plot her downfall, Jezebel must find her inner strength and fight for her beliefs against all odds. Set against the sweeping backdrop of the Holy Land comes an epic tale of one of the most courageous and controversial women of all time. Jezebel will enthral fans of The Red Tent and The Borgia Bride.

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Coming Soon! 'Dark Predator' by Christine Feehan


Release date: 29th September 2011
Published by: Piatkus Books
ISBN No: 978 0749954796

As brutal as the undead he hunted, Zacarias De La Cruz was a master executioner. Over the long, dark centuries, he plunged into so many battles they blurred into an endless lifetime of evil that hardened the soul of this merciless, ruthless and implacable dark predator. Now his stark and savage journey is over. After a thousand years in a grey world, he has accomplished everything he set out to do. His brothers are safeguarded. Each has found a woman who completes them. And they are at peace. For his brothers, Zacarias has walked the edge of madness, but with centuries as a killing machine now left to the past and without a hunt to define him, Zacarias wonders, for the first time in his life, who he really is. The answer awaits him back home in Peru, in the betrayal of a woman who is readying her trap, in the vengeance of an old enemy, in the inevitable consequences of a bloody family legacy, and in the deliverance of a lifemate he never could have imagined.

Copyright: Amazon Synopsis

Monday, 26 September 2011

'The Torrent from my Soul' by Sana Rose


Release date: 3rd February 2011
Published by: Writers Literary & Publishing Services, Inc
ISBN No: 978 1609768881

The Torrent from My Soul reflects the thoughts, joys, sorrows, love, hopes and dreams of a young woman that are common to most young people. But the difference is in the way she chooses to express them ... through poetry. "The Torrent from My Soul is sometimes a search for bliss ... Sometimes a letting-go of heartbreaks ... Sometimes, acceptance of changes ... Sometimes a quest for True Love and sometimes Love itself ... The Torrent from My Soul is yet sometimes not a torrent, but a stagnant pond, where when you look in, you can see the reflections of a born dreamer or when you toss a pebble, you can see the ripples that ebb ... And as you sail in this Torrent, you can see most of what I held all these years ..." The sensitive poems in this book are indeed Poems of a Born Dreamer. Sana Rose is 22 years old and studying to be a Homoeopathic Physician in Kerala, India. "I wanted to prove that there is still a group of young people who are bonded to reading, to writing and to books and literature. Poetry is God's gift. I thank the Almighty for that tool He gave me." She has already completed her next book of poetry. 

Copyright: Amazon Synopsis

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Coming Soon! 'My Soul to Steal' by Rachel Vincent


Release date: 21st October 2011
Published by: Mira Ink
ISBN No: 978 0778304784


You want my soul and my boyfriend? Trying to work things out with Nash - her maybe boyfriend - is hard enough for Kaylee Cavanaugh. She can't just pretend nothing happened. But 'complicated' doesn't even begin to describe their relationship when his ex-girlfriend transfers to their school, determined to take Nash back. See, Sabine isn't just an ordinary girl. She's a mara, the living personification of a nightmare. She can read people's fears - and craft them into nightmares while her victims sleep. Feeding from human fear is how she survives. And Sabine isn't above scaring Kaylee and the entire school to death to get whatever - and whoever - she wants. I don't think so. Soul Screamers. The last thing you hear before you die.

Copyright: Amazon Synopsis

Saturday, 24 September 2011

'The Guardian' by Sherrilyn Kenyon


Release date: 3rd November 2011
Published by: Piatkus Books
ISBN No: 978 0749954482


As a Dream-Hunter, Lydia has been charged with the most sacred and dangerous of missions. She's to descend into the Nether Realm and find the missing god of dreams before he betrays secrets that could kill all of them. What she never expects is to be taken prisoner by the Realm's most vicious guardian. Seth's time is running out. If he can't hand over the entrance to Olympus, then his own life and those of his people will be forfeit. No matter the torture, he hasn't been able to break the god in his custody. But when a rescuer appears, he decides to try a new tactic. If he can win her to their cause, then he can save all their lives. When these two lock wills, one of them must give. Lydia isn't just guarding the gates of Olympus, she's holding back the darkest of powers from the earth itself. If she fails, an ancient evil will roam the earth once more and no one will be safe. But evil is always seductive ...

Copyright: Amazon Synopsis

'The Glitter and the Gold' by Consuelo Vanderbilt Balsan


Release date: 13th October 2011
Published by: Hodder and Stoughton
ISBN No: 978 1444730975

Consuelo Vanderbilt was young, beautiful and the heir to a vast family fortune. She was also deeply in love with an American suitor when her mother chose instead for her to fulfil her social ambitions and marry an English Duke. Leaving her life in America, she came to England as the Duchess of Marlborough in 1895 and took up residence in her new home - Blenheim Palace.
The 9th Duchess gives unique first-hand insight into life at the very pinnacle of English society in the Edwardian era. An unsnobbish, but often amused observer of the intricate hierarchy both upstairs and downstairs at Blenheim Palace, she is also a revealing witness to the glittering balls, huge weekend parties and major state occasions she attended or hosted. Here are her encounters with every important figure of the day - from Queen Victoria, Edward V11 and Queen Alexandra to Tsar Nicholas, Prince Metternich and the young Winston Churchill.
Causing a scandal by separating from the Duke after 11 years, Consuelo began her new life as philanthropist, public speaker and campaigner for women's suffrage. Her literary soirees would include H G Wells, JM Barrie and George Bernard Shaw. In 1921 she remarried aviator Jacques Balsan moving with him to a chateau in the South of France.
This intimate, richly enjoyable memoir is a wonderfully revealing portrait of a golden age.


Copyright: Amazon Synopsis

Friday, 23 September 2011

'Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey' by the Countess of Carnarvon


Release date: 29th September 2011
Published by: Hodder and Stoughton 
ISBN No: 9781444730821

Lady Fiona Carnarvon became the chatelaine of Highclere Castle - the setting of the hit series Downton Abbey - eight years ago. In that time she's become fascinated by the rich history of Highclere, and by the extraordinary people who lived there over the centuries. One person particularly captured Fiona's imagination - Lady Almina, the 5th Countess of Carnarvon. Almina was the illegitimate daughter of banking tycoon Alfred de Rothschild. She was his only daughter and he doted on her. She married the 5th Earl of Carnarvon, at 19, with an enormous dowry. At first, life at Highclere was a dizzying mix of sumptuous banquets for 500 and even the occasional royal visitor. Almina oversaw 80 members of staff - many of whom came from families who had worked at Highclere for generations. But when the First World War broke out, life at Highclere changed forever. History intervened and Almina and the staff of Highclere were thrown into one of the most turbulent times of the last century. Almina was forced to draw on her deepest reserves of courage in order to ensure her family, the staff and the castle survived. This is the remarkable story of a lost time. But Highclere remains and in this book, Fiona weaves Almina's journey and those of her family into the heritage and history of one of England's most exquisite Victorian castles.


Copyright: Waterstones Synopsis

Downton Abbey Videos




'In Pursuit of Eliza Cynster' by Stephanie Laurens


Release date: 27th September 2011
Published by: Piatkus Books 
ISBN No: 978 0749955984 

Brazenly kidnapped from her sister Heather's engagement ball, Eliza Cynster is spirited north from London to Edinburgh. Desperate and determined to escape, she seizes upon the first possible champion who happens along - gentleman scholar Jeremy Carling. Villains and rescues are a far cry from Jeremy's area of expertise, yet he cannot abandon a damsel in distress. But danger lurks and hurdles abound in their race to elude the mysterious laird, until a final confrontation on a rugged, windswept cliff reveals what their future life could hold - if both are bold enough to seize and submit to their passionate desires ...

Copyright: Amazon.co.uk

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Coming Soon!: 'Silence' by Becca Fitzpatrick


Release date: October 2011
Published by: Simon and Schuster
ISBN No: 10: 0857072277

The noise between Patch and Nora has gone. They've overcome the secrets riddled in Patch's dark past, bridged two irreconcilable worlds and faced heart-wrenching tests of betrayal, loyalty and trust... and all for a love that will transcend the boundary between heaven and earth. 
Armed with nothing but their absolute faith in one another, Patch and Nora enter a desperate fight to stop a villain who holds the power to shatter everything they've worked for - and their love - forever.

Copyright: Simon and Schuster

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Interview with Author James Steel



Today it is my privilege and pleasure to welcome and introduce you all, to the UK author James Steel. Can I begin our interview by asking how would you describe yourself?

Hi Calum, many thanks for taking the time to interview me. As a bit of background I think the best way to describe myself is as a news junkie, I am always fascinated by what is going on in the world and my books are really a way of indulging that hobby and working out why things happen as they do.

What sort of books did you enjoy reading during your childhood?

I remember getting into Tolkien quite early on. I liked big epics that you could lose yourself in. I enjoyed the feel of books like ‘Shardik’ by Richard Adams, they were huge imaginative creations.

Do you think the books that you read during your early years influenced your writing in any way?

Yes, very much so. As a teenager I got into reading thrillers, mainly Alistair Maclean, Frederick Forsythe, Desmond Bagley, that sort of thing. The simple strong narrative drive has stayed with me. However, after University I wanted a new intellectual challenge and really got into Russian writers: Tolstoy, Chekov, Sholokov, Gogol, Zemyatin and Grossman – they are all genius, way better than western stuff. My novel ‘December’ is dedicated to all Russian writers and is about the relationship between them and Russian history. I like to try to mix some decent ideas like that with the drive of a thriller, into a style that I call ‘mindful violence.’

Did you always want to become a writer?

No. I had never really thought about it, I certainly admired writers but I had never met one and so it was something I never thought of, rather like becoming an astronaut. I rather fell into it by starting out as a hobby and then gradually beginning to take it more seriously, getting an agent and finally having the good luck to get published.

Where do you do your writing best?

I write at home so that I have got all the basic support structures around me and can just focus on the work i.e. shops, gym, people to talk to, so you can get out of the world inside your head at the end of the day. If I went off to a nice part of the world I would spend my time seeing that nice part of the world not cooped up in a room hunched over my laptop.

Can you tell us a bit about the books you have written?

Well I got the idea for the Alex Devereux character from a series of people I knew with very mixed up family backgrounds, a lot of his details are actually based on a girl. However, as a grumpy disaffected mercenary he was an ideal vehicle to put in a number of foreign policy situations that I was interested in writing about. I was going to kill him off after the first book but then realised he was too useful and kept him on.

The first Alex book is ‘Legacy’ which mixes up a lot about issues in German history. ‘December’ was the next one, which is about contemporary Russia and its links with its history.

How did you first think of and then develop the story for your latest book ‘Warlord’ that just recently has been released by your publisher Avon?

I get a lot of my big plot ideas from ‘The Economist’. They reported on these huge land deals that are going through in Africa at the moment, where cash rich countries buy huge tracts of land, plus I was fascinated by the rise of China and the problems in Kivu after the Rwandan genocide. So I decided to put them all together with the idea of China leasing Kivu off the Congolese government and using Alex and a mercenary army to sort out the FDLR and pacify the place.

Do you have a set routine when you are working on a new novel?

I have three distinct phases to writing a book: researching, organising and writing. I spend a lot of time reading into the topic, interviewing people and going to places if I can get there. That gets the ideas going and then you have to organise them and work out the overall plot and get your notes down in a skeleton framework, so that when you come to the final stage you know what you are going to say and can just focus on getting the language right. Each area uses a different part of your brain and it is important to go for specialisation of function and do one thing at a time, I sometimes think that writer’s block is just disorganisation because you are trying to do very contradictory tasks at the same time i.e. generate and organise ideas.

What is your favourite book and why?

Hmm, tricky. Possibly ‘December’ because I am so enthused about Russian writing and was able to bring that into the book. It is great to see that the BBC is doing a version of ‘Life and Fate’ by Vassily Grossman, the book that was the inspiration behind a lot of my novel. It is the best book ever written.

Are you currently reading a book at the moment, and if so what is it?

Have just finished ‘Lonesome Dove’ by Larry McMurtry – I know cowboy epics do not have a great reputation but this is genius, a really compelling read and he just gets people and human relationships so well. Finishing it felt like losing a friend.

Have you any another series of books in the making at the moment?

I have just finished a slight departure from my usual current affairs based thrillers, in fact a slight departure from most books. It’s a high-octane, satirical, thriller-fairytale called ‘The Adventures of Mr Wolf and the White Princess’. Set in a distorted version of modern London, it combines action and lunacy in equal measures and was certainly a lot of fun to write.

James, I would like to thank-you again for taking the time to speak to us today. It is very much appreciated by us all here at The Secret Writer. For further information about James and his work you can visit his website at:  www.jamessteel.info

You can find James latest book ‘Warlord’ by clicking on  the appropriate link below:

USA: http://www.amazon.com/Warlord-ebook/dp/B005E8830M/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1316468045&sr=1-1

Monday, 19 September 2011

'A History of the Scottish People' by TC Smout


Release date: 19th August 2011
Published by: Fontana Press
ISBN No:  978-0-00-686027-3 


A beautiful new cover for one of Fontana Press’s hardiest perennials.

‘By far the most stimulating, the most instructive and the most readable account of Scotch history that I have read…this splendid work carries us from Knox to Neilson, from the hot gospel of Calvin to the hot-blast of the smelting process – and incidentally seeks to explain the change. For always, in following this lucid narrative, we see an original mind at work, questioning and explaining, as well as illustrating.’ Hugh Trevor-Roper, Sunday Times ‘This is a fine history of Scotland. It combines rich and deep scholarship with an elegant and lucid style…No one who professes an interest in Scotland can afford to miss reading it.’ Times Literary Supplement ‘This remarkable book leaves the reviewer with little to say except that all Scots, and even Englishmen, who are interested in Britain’s development, should read it. It is admirably proportioned, based on vast reading, and brings all the main topics together.’ Economist

Saturday, 17 September 2011

'The World of Downton Abbey' by Jessica Fellowes


Release date: 15th September 2011
Published by: Collins
ISBN No: 978 0007431786

The official companion to the television series 1 and 2.


Downton Abbey portrays a world of elegance and decadence, a world of duty and obedience and a world of romance and rivalry: this companion book, full of rich historical detail, takes fans deeper into that period than ever before.


Step inside one of the most beautiful houses in Britain, past Carson the butler at the front door and into the grand hallway. Catch a glimpse of the family having drinks in the drawing room before dinner, dressed in their evening finery, whilst Lord Grantham finishes writing a letter in his study. Then climb the grand sweeping staircase to the maze of rooms upstairs and peak through Lady Mary’s open door to see Anna, her maid, tidying scent bottles and jewellery on the ornate dressing table. Follow Anna down the servants’ stairs and into the kitchens to watch Mrs Patmore frantically preparing dinner. Mrs Hughes keeps a watchful eye from her study and the world of Downton comes alive before you.


Experience the inner workings of the downstairs life and be dazzled by the glamour of upstairs life with profiles of all the major characters, interviews with the actors, behind the scenes insights and in-depth information on costumes and props.

Copyright: Amazon.co.uk

'The Exiled Queen' by Cinda Williams Chima


Release date: 10th November 2011
Published by: Harper Fiction
ISBN No: 978 0 00 732199 5 

The second book in an epic fantasy series from Cinda Williams Chima. Adventure, magic, war and ambition conspire to throw together an unlikely group of companions in a struggle to save their world.

You can’t always run from danger… Haunted by the loss of his mother and sister, Han Alister journeys south to begin his schooling at Mystwerk House in Oden’s Ford. But leaving the Fells doesn’t mean danger isn’t far behind. Han is hunted every step of the way by the Bayars, a powerful wizarding family set on reclaiming the amulet Han stole from them. And Mystwerk House has dangers of its own. There, Han meets Crow, a mysterious wizard who agrees to tutor Han in the darker parts of sorcery – but the bargain they make is one Han may soon regret. Meanwhile, Princess Raisa ana’Marianna runs from a forced marriage in the Fells, accompanied by her friend Amon and his triple of cadets. Now, the safest place for Raisa is Wein House, the military academy at Oden's Ford. If Raisa can pass as a regular student, Wein House will offer both sanctuary and the education Raisa needs to succeed as the next Gray Wolf queen. The Exiled Queen is an epic tale of uncertain friendships, cut-throat politics, and the irresistible power of attraction.

Coming Soon: 'Spellbound' by Blake Charlton


Release date: 29th September 2011
Published by: Harper Voyager
ISBN No: 978 0 00 734929-6 

SPELLBOUND is the second book in acclaimed debut author Blake Charlton’s exciting and original trilogy, following on from SPELLWRIGHT.

Francesca DeVega is a successful healer in the city of Avel, wielding magical text to close wounds and disspell curses, but her life is thrown into chaos when a dead patient suddenly sits up and tells her to run. Now Francesca is in the middle of a game she doesn’t understand, one that ties her to the notorious rogue wizard, Nicodemus Weal, and brings her face to face with demons, demigods, and a man she thought she’d never see again. It has been ten years since Nicodemus Weal escaped the Starhaven Academy, where he was considered disabled and useless, where he battled the demon who stole his birthright and killed his friends. Unable to use the magical languages of his own people, Nico has honed his skills in the dark language of the kobolds, readying himself for his next encounter with the demon. But there are complications: his mentor suffers from an incurable curse, his half-sister’s agents are hunting him, and he’s still not sure what part Francesca DeVega will play. He certainly doesn’t know what to make of Francesca herself…. Introducing new twists to the unique magical system of Spellwright and uncovering more sinister dangers, Spellbound is sure to please Blake Charlton’s fans and earn him new ones.

New Monthly 'Followers' International Book Draw!

I've decided to hold a free monthly book draw specifically for the followers of my blog!  To enter my book draw each month, you just have to be a GFC Follower of this 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 the winner!).You will then be entered into that particular month's draw for a free book! Only one comment from each GFC Follower will be allowed.


There will be a new draw each month and there will be one winner from each monthly draw. Each entrant to a monthly draw will be allocated a sequential number. After the closing date for a draw (the last day of each month), the winning number for the free featured book will be chosen by random.org. 
These monthly book draws will be open Internationally!



The free book that is up for grabs this month is 'The Magicians' by Lev Grossman!





TO ENTER,  CLICK ON THE BOOK DRAW TAB AT THE TOP OF THE PAGE. YOU WILL FIND THE INSTRUCTIONS ON HOW TO ENTER ON THE BOOK DRAW PAGE THAT WILL COME UP ! 

NO ENTRIES WILL BE ACCEPTED IF LEFT ON THIS POST. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!!   ;-)


Thursday, 15 September 2011

'The Art of the Hobbit by JRR Tolkien'. Written and edited by Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull


Release date: 27th October 2011
Published by: Harper Fiction
ISBN No: 978 0 00 744081 8 

To celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the publication of The Hobbit, a sumptuous full colour art book containing the complete collection of more than 100 Hobbit sketches, drawings, paintings and maps by J.R.R. Tolkien.

When J.R.R. Tolkien wrote The Hobbit, he was already an accomplished amateur artist, and drew illustrations for his book while it was still in manuscript. The Hobbit as first printed had ten black and white pictures, two maps, and binding and dust-jacket designs by its author. Later, Tolkien also painted five scenes for colour plates which are some of his best work. His illustrations for The Hobbit add an extra dimension to that remarkable book, and have long influenced how readers imagine Bilbo Baggins and his world. To celebrate the 75th anniversary of the publication of The Hobbit, the complete artwork created by the author for his story has been collected in The Art of The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien. Including related pictures, more than one hundred sketches, drawings, paintings, maps, and plans are presented here, preliminary and alternate versions and experimental designs as well as finished art. Some of these images are now published for the first time, and others for the first time in colour. Fresh digital scans from the Bodleian Libraries in Oxford and Marquette University in Wisconsin allow Tolkien’s Hobbit pictures to be seen more vividly than ever before. The Art of The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien has been written and edited by Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull, two of the leading experts on Tolkien and authors of the acclaimed J.R.R. Tolkien: Artist and Illustrator, The Lord of the Rings: A Reader’s Companion, and The J.R.R. Tolkien Companion and Guide.

Monday, 12 September 2011

One to Watch Out For! :'Sanctus' by Simon Toyne


Release date: 24th November 2011
Published by: Harper Fiction
ISBN No: 978 0 00 739158 5 

REVELATION OR DEVASTATION? The certainties of the modern world are about to be blown apart by a three thousand year-old conspiracy nurtured by blood and lies … A man throws himself to his death from the oldest inhabited place on the face of the earth, a mountainous citadel in the historic Turkish city of Ruin. This is no ordinary suicide but a symbolic act, and thanks to the media, it is witnessed by the entire world. But few understand it. For charity worker Kathryn Mann and a handful of others in the know, it is what they have been waiting for. The cowled and secretive fanatics that live in the Citadel suspect it could mean the end of everything they have built – and they will kill, torture and break every law to stop that. For Liv Adamsen, New York crime reporter, it begins the next stage of a journey into the heart of her own identity. And at that journey's end lies a discovery that will change EVERYTHING … SANCTUS is an apocalyptic conspiracy thriller like no other – it re-sets the bar for excitement and fascination, and marks the debut of a major talent in Simon Toyne.

Coming Soon: 'A Noble Assassin' by Christie Dickason


Release date: 24th November 2011
Published by: Harper Fiction
ISBN No:  978 0 00 728913 4 

A thrilling account of one of English history’s most daring women, who risked everything in the dark days leading up to the Civil War. The perfect novel for fans of Suzannah Dunn and Phillipa Gregory.

Court beauty, Lucy Russell, Countess of Bedford, feels frustrated by life with her weak husband. Poverty stricken, they are confined to their country estate and excluded from court life in London after he disastrously allies himself against Elizabeth I. Now, some years later, James I is seated on the English throne. His daughter, Elizabeth Stuart, former confidant of Lucy, has married the King of Bohemia. The precarious political situation in Europe is fraught, setting father against daughter. When Elizabeth and her husband are deposed, exiled and forced on the run, James is in no mood to come to Elizabeth’s aid. Hearing of Elizabeth’s predicament, Lucy sees an opportunity to re-establish the Bedford name and offers herself as a peace envoy between the two parties. Setting out on a daring mission across the channel, Lucy discovers she is being manipulated by unscrupulous men, not least the calculating and darkly handsome Duke of Buckingham. Can Lucy tread this most dangerous path, or by risking everything, will she pay the ultimate price?

Saturday, 10 September 2011

'The Black House' by Peter May


Release date: 1st September 2011
Published by: Quercus
ISBN No: 978 1 84916 386 6

A MURDER: A brutal killing has taken place on Scotland's most remote island. Detective Fin MacLeod is sent from Edinburgh to investigate. For Lewis-born MacLeod, the case represents a journey both home and into his past. A SECRET: Something lurks beneath the close-knit, God-fearing facade of the Lewis community. Something primal. As Fin investigates, old secrets are unearthed, and soon he, the hunter, becomes the hunted. The Blackhouse is a crime novel of rare power and vision. Peter May has crafted a page-turning murder mystery that explores the darkness in our soul, and just how difficult it is to escape the past.


Copyright: Quercus

Friday, 9 September 2011

Coming Soon: ' The Black Jackals' by Iain Gale


Release date: 27th October 2011
Published by: Harper Fiction 
ISBN No: 978 0 00 741577 9 

A masterly portrayal of World War Two heroism, with vivid action and stirring personal journeys. A small team of soldiers, left behind to cover the British retreat, are ordered to blow the bridge as late as possible to stem the German tank pursuit. Although successful, the operation kills desperate refugees fleeing the scene. Who will be made to face the court-martial: the men carrying out the orders or their commanding officer? This is only the first of many dilemmas that Peter Lamb and his troop must face during the chaotic first months of World War Two. After becoming cut off from the rest of their regiment, and assigned a mission that takes them deep into France behind the fast-moving enemy lines, the cracks begin to appear. In these unexpected, tense circumstances, Lamb's men face internal struggles, taking their focus off both their French allies and the German enemy. Black Jackals shows how men react to the challenges of war, and gives a fresh and fascinating picture of the frontlines.

New Release Coming Soon: 'Games Traitors Play' by Jon Stock


Release date: 29th September 2011
Published by:  Blue Door
ISBN No: 978 0 00 730074 7 

Salim Dhar is the world's most wanted terrorist. The CIA is under pressure to hunt him down, after he narrowly failed to kill the US president. The borders of Afghanistan and Pakistan are the target of relentless drone strikes. Echelon, the West's intelligence analysis network, is in meltdown, monitoring all channels for the faintest trace of Dhar. But no one can find him. Only Daniel Marchant, renegade MI6 officer, knows where he is. Marchant has been living in Marrakech, listening to the traditional Berber storytellers as they enthral tourists with tales from The Arabian Nights. Marchant believes that Dhar has shunned technology, retreating to old customs:coded messages for Dhar are being embedded in ancient narratives. When a man flees from the square, Marchant pursues him up into the Atlas Mountains, where he sees an unmarked military helicopter take off and head east. Is someone shielding Dhar to perpetrate an act of proxy terrorism on the West? Or is the CIA right when it claims to have killed him? To discover the truth, Marchant must be recruited by Moscow. But Marcus Fielding, erudite Chief of MI6, doubts that his young intelligence officer has the mental strength to be a double agent. It's a role that will require him to believe his late father was a traitor, an allegation that Marchant fought long and hard to dispel. Now he must rekindle those rumours and confront dark truths about his own loyalties. He must also work with Lakshmi Meena, the CIA's beautiful new liaison officer in London. Can he ever trust a woman-or an American-again after being betrayed by her predecessor? As Britain braces itself for an airborne terrorist attack, Marchant survives torture in Morocco and India in his bid to find and stop Dhar. Will family ties ultimately prove more binding than ideology? In an absorbing thriller that combines the nuances of Cold War Le Carre with the ejector-seat excitement of Top Gun, Marchant discovers that treachery is the greatest game of all.

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Winners of my 'Back to the Books' Giveaway Draw!


The Winners!

I would like to say a great big thank-you to everyone who joined my blog as a follower or were already a follower and entered the draw and posted a comment, during this great event! Again I wish that I could send everyone who entered this draw a book, but within the rules, there were to be only four 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 the Giveaways. You never know your luck, you could be one of our next winners!

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

Elizabeth - 'The Street' by Kay Brellend

Michele - 'East of the Sun' by Julia Gregson

Mona - 'Blindsighted' by Karen Slaughter

Gwen - 'The Hand that First Held Mine' by Maggie O'Farrell

Congratulations to you all !

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!

'The Night the Angels Came' by Cathy Glass

Release date 15th September 2011
Published by: Harper Non Fiction
ISBN No: 978 0 00 744262 1 

When Cathy receives a call about a terminally ill widower terrified of leaving his son all alone in the world, she is wracked with sadness and indecision. After her devastating divorce, can she risk exposing her own young children to a little boy on the brink of bereavement?

Eight year old Michael is part of a family of two, but with his beloved father given only months to live and his mother having died when he was a toddler, he could soon become an orphan. Will Cathy’s own young family be able to handle a child in mourning? To Cathy’s surprise, her children insist that this boy deserves to be as happy as they are, prompting Cathy to welcome Michael into her home. A cheerful and carefree new member of the family, Michael devotedly prays every night, believing that when the time is right, angels will come and take his Daddy to be with his Mummy in heaven. However, incredibly, in the weeks that pass, the bond between Cathy’s family, Michael and his kind and loving father Patrick grows. Even more promising, Patrick is looking healthier than he’s done in weeks. But just as they are settling into a routine of blissful normality, an unexpected and disastrous event shatters the happy group, shaking Cathy to the core. Cathy can only hope that her family and Michael’s admirable faith will keep him strong enough to rebuild his life.

'Daughters of Britannia' by Katie Hickman


Release date: 8th July 2011
Published by: Harper Press
ISBN No:  978 0 00 638780 0 

An authoritative and entertaining account by one of our most talented writers of the courageous and unusual women who have been the backbone of the British Empire and foreign service.

‘English ambassadresses are usually on the dotty side and leaving their embassies drives them completely off their rockers’ – Nancy Mitford. From the first exploratory expeditions into foreign lands, through the heyday of the British Empire and still today, the foreign service has been shaped and run behind the scenes by the wives of ambassadors and minor civil servants. Accompanying their spouses in the most extraordinary, tough, sometimes terrifying circumstances, they have struggled to bring their civilization with them. Their stories – from ambassadresses downwards – never before told, are a feast of eccentricity, genuine hardship and genuine heroism, and make for a hilarious, compelling and fascinating book.

'Mayflower' by Nathaniel Philbrick


Release date: 29th July 2011
Published by: Harper Press
ISBN No: 978 0 00 715128 8 

Best-selling author Nathaniel Philbrick reveals the darker side of the Pilgrim fathers’ settlement in the New World, which ultimately erupted in bloody battle some fifty years after they first landed on American soil.

Behind the quaint and pious version of the Mayflower story usually taught in American primary schools is a tumultuous and largely untold tale of violence, subterfuge and epic drama. For amidst the friendships and co-operation that sprang up between the settlers and indigenous people, whose timely assistance on more than one occasion rescued the Pilgrims from otherwise certain death, a dark conflict was brewing. It erupted in King Philip’s war, a terribly bloody conflict which decimated the English population and all but obliterated the Wampanoag. Following the Pilgrims from their perilous journey from England on a battered, leaky ship, through their first bitter North American winter (during which half of them died), to their equally bitter battle against the native Wampanoag tribe, Philbrick paints a vivid and panoramic picture of conflict and colonialism, co-operation and betrayal. In so doing he brings to life a cast of compelling, even heroic, characters, and sets the scene for the development of the American nation.

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

News Update: A New Book 'Touch of Power' by Maria V Snyder Coming Soon!





















 US Cover                                                                                          UK Cover          

The hugely popular author Maria V Snyder, who has previously visited this blog, has very kindly   provided her fans with a FIRST LOOK at the cover art for her new book 'Touch of Power'! 


The countdown has begun and advance copies will soon be sent out to bloggers and reviewers! According to Amazon.com (and the UK Amazon), the book is being released in the US and UK on December 20, 2011. And it's available for pre-order (and you know they send them out early - so it will make an excellent holiday gift ;)

The Australian/New Zealand edition will be released in January 2012 and I can't wait to see the cover!

So you might be wondering what the book's about :) Here's the cover copy:

Laying hands upon the injured and dying, Avry of Kazan assumes their wounds and diseases into herself. But rather than being honoured for her skills, she is hunted. Healers like Avry are accused of spreading the plague that has decimated the Territories, leaving the survivors in a state of chaos.

Stressed and tired from hiding, Avry is abducted by a band of rogues who, shockingly, value her gift above the golden bounty offered for her capture. Their leader, an enigmatic captor-protector with powers of his own, is unequivocal in his demands: Avry must heal a plague-stricken prince—leader of a campaign against her people. As they traverse the daunting Nine Mountains, beset by mercenaries and magical dangers, Avry must decide who is worth healing and what is worth dying for. Because the price of peace may well be her life...    

Copyright:- Maria V Snyder