Monday, 30 April 2012

'The Last Summer' by Judith Kinghorn



Release date: 26th April 2012
Published by: Headline Review
ISBN No: 978 0755385997


A sweepingly epic and gloriously intimate commercial debut - a beautiful and haunting story of lost innocence and a powerful, enduring love.

Clarissa is almost seventeen when the spell of her childhood is broken. It is 1914, the beginning of a blissful, golden summer - and the end of an era. Deyning Park is in its heyday, the large country house filled with the laughter and excitement of privileged youth preparing for a weekend party. When Clarissa meets Tom Cuthbert, home from university and staying with his mother, the housekeeper, she is dazzled. Tom is handsome and enigmatic; he is also an outsider. Ambitious, clever, his sights set on a career in law, Tom is an acute observer, and a man who knows what he wants. For now, that is Clarissa.

As Tom and Clarissa's friendship deepens, the wider landscape of political life around them is changing, and another story unfolds: they are not the only people in love. Soon the world - and all that they know - is rocked by a war that changes their lives for ever.

Copyright: Amazon Synopsis


'Spring Fling' Giveaway Hop (International Stop)


Welcome to the 'Spring Fling' Giveaway Hop which is hosted by 'I am a Reader, not a Writer' and 'Eve's Fan Garden'. 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 1st May 2012, according to their specific time zones.

To gain entry to this draw you have to be a GFC Follower of my blog. You can also gain an extra entry or two or three, by 'following' me as well, either through 'Linky', 'Google + or 'liking' my Facebook Page. Just complete the 'Rafflecopter Entry Form' that you will find at the end of this post. If you click on where it says 'read more', it will open the Rafflecopter form. This is the first time that I have used Rafflecopter, so my fingers are crossed that all will go well with this new application! Once the form has been completed, you will have been entered into the draw.

As there is such a selection of books available these days, I am offering the main prize winner a choice of either a $20 (US) or £15 (sterling) Amazon Gift Voucher/Certificate, so the winner can choose their own books! I will arrange that the prize is e-mailed to the winner on the completion of the draw!

Also to try something slightly different during this particular blog hop, if I hit 1,800 GFC followers during this hop, I'll add a second prize to this draw of either a $15 (US) or £10 (sterling) Amazon Gift Voucher/Certificate. So as well as entering, please try to encourage others to join this blog as a GFC follower, so that I can hopefully award two prizes at the end of this draw rather than one! 



One first prize of either a $20 (US) or £15 (sterling) Amazon Gift Voucher/Certificate.

 If my blog shows that I have a total of 1,800 'GFC followers' at the end of this particular blog hop, I'll add a second prize to the draw of either a $15 (US) or £10 (sterling) Amazon Gift Voucher/Certificate!



There will only be one main prize winner from this draw. If I have 1,800 GFC followers at the end of the hop, a second prize will be added to this draw. There will only be one second prize winner from this draw, if the set criteria is met. The gift Voucher/Certificate will only be offered in either US dollars or sterling. No other currencies can be catered for. Each entrant will be allocated a sequential number. After the closing date for this draw (7th May 2012 at 23.59GMT), the winning numbers entered for this draw will be chosen by Random.org.
This is an International Giveaway Draw!

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

Good luck Everyone!
If you are not in, you cannot win!

Sunday, 29 April 2012

'The Serpent's Shadow' by Rick Riordan


Release date: 1st May 2012
Published by: Puffin Books
ISBN No: 978 0141335681
Carter And Sadie Kane, descendants of the magical House of Life, are in pretty big trouble. Despite their bravest efforts, Apophis, the giant snake of Chaos, is still threatening to plunge the world into eternal darkness. Now the Kanes must do something no magician has ever managed - defeat Apophis himself. No pressure there then. Battling against the forces of Chaos, their only hope is an ancient spell - but the magic has been lost for a millennia. Will they find the serpent's shadow, or will they be led to their deaths in the depths of the Underworld?

Copyright: Waterstones Synopsis

'Abandon: Underworld' by Meg Cabot


Release date: 27th September 2012
Published by: Macmillan Children's Books
ISBN No: 9780330453875

 
Death has her in his grasp. And he's gorgeous. Seventeen-year-old Pierce Oliviera isn't dead. Not this time. But she's been taken by John Hayden, Lord of the Underworld, to the place between heaven and hell where spirits gather before their final journey. John claims it's to protect her from the Furies, who are hell-bent on vengeance against him. But could he have other reasons for keeping Pierce close? When she learns that the people she loves back home are in mortal danger, can she convince John to release her to save them - or will the price he asks for her freedom be too high?


Copyright: Waterstones Synopsis

'The Calling' by Kelley Armstrong



Release date: 5th April 2012
Published by: ATOM
ISBN No: 978 1907410475

Maya Delaney's paw-print birthmark is the sign of what she truly is - a skin-walker. She can run faster, climb higher, and see better than nearly anyone else. Experiencing intense connections with the animals that roam the woods outside her home, Maya knows it's only a matter of time before she's able to Shift and become one of them. And she believes there may be others in her small town with surprising talents including local bad boy Rafe, with whom she shares a dangerous, powerful secret. Now, Maya and her friends have been forced to flee from their homes during a forest fire they suspect was deliberately set. After a terrifying helicopter crash, they find themselves stranded in the Vancouver Island wilderness with nothing but their extraordinary abilities to help them get back home. But can Maya really trust her friends? And can she learn how to control the frightening new gift she has discovered before it controls her?


Copyright: Waterstones Synopsis

'Grave Mercy' by Robin LaFevers



Release date: 7th June 2012
Published by: Andersen Press Ltd
ISBN No:  978 1849394130


Young, beautiful and deadly. Trained as an assassin by the god of Death, Ismae is sent to the court of Brittany, where she finds herself under prepared - not only for the games of intrigue and treason, but for the impossible choices she must make. For how can she deliver Death's vengeance upon a target who, against her will, has stolen her heart? This is a dangerous romance full of intrigue, poison and ultimately finding one's way.


Copyright:  Waterstones Synopsis

Saturday, 28 April 2012

'The Wise Man's Fear' by Patrick Rothfuss



Release date:  6th March 2012
Published by: Gollancz
ISBN No: 978 0575081437


Sequel to the extraordinary THE NAME OF THE WIND, THE WISE MAN'S FEAR is the second instalment of this superb fantasy trilogy from Patrick Rothfuss. This is the most exciting fantasy series since George R. R. Martin's A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE, and a must-read for all fans of HBO's GAME OF THRONES. Picking up the tale of Kvothe Kingkiller once again, we follow him into exile, into political intrigue, courtship, adventure, love and magic ...and further along the path that has turned Kvothe, the mightiest magician of his age, a legend in his own time, into Kote, the unassuming pub landlord. Packed with as much magic, adventure and home-grown drama as THE NAME OF THE WIND, this is a sequel in every way the equal to its predecessor and a must-read for all fantasy fans. Readable, engaging and gripping THE WISE MAN'S FEAR is the biggest and the best new fantasy novel out there.

Copyright: Waterstones Synopsis

'The Stolen Village - Baltimore and the Barbary Pirates' by Des Ekin

Release date: 2nd May 2008
Published by: O'Brian Press Ltd
ISBN No: 978 1847171047


In June 1631 pirates from Algiers and armed troops of the Turkish Ottoman Empire, led by the notorious pirate captain Morat Rais, stormed ashore at the little harbour village of Baltimore in West Cork. They captured almost all the villagers and bore them away to a life of slavery in North Africa. The prisoners were destined for a variety of fates - some would live out their days chained to the oars as galley slaves, while others would spend long years in the scented seclusion of the harem or within the walls of the Sultan's palace. The old city of Algiers, with its narrow streets, intense heat and lively trade, was a melting pot where the villagers would join slaves and freemen of many nationalities. Only two of them ever saw Ireland again. The Sack of Baltimore was the most devastating invasion ever mounted by Islamist forces on Ireland or England. Des Ekin's exhaustive research illuminates the political intrigues that ensured the captives were left to their fate, and provides a vivid insight into the kind of life that would have awaited the slaves amid the souks and seraglios of old Algiers. "The Stolen Village" is a fascinating tale of international piracy and culture clash nearly 400 years ago and is the first book to cover this relatively unknown and under-researched incident in Irish history. It was shortlisted for the Argosy Irish Nonfiction Book of the Year Award.


Copyright: Waterstones Synopsis

'Star of the Sea' by Joseph O'Connor



Release date: 1st January 2004
Published by: Vintage
ISBN No: 978 0099469629


In the bitter winter of 1847, from an Ireland torn by injustice and natural disaster, the Star of the Sea sets sail for New York. On board are hundreds of fleeing refugees. Among them are a maidservant with a devastating secret, bankrupt Lord Meridith and his family, an aspiring novelist, a maker of revolutionary ballads, all braving the Atlantic in search of a new home. Each is connected more deeply than they can possibly know. But a camouflaged killer is stalking the decks, hungry for the vengeance that will bring absolution. The twenty-six day journey will see many lives end, others begin afresh. In a spellbinding story of tragedy and mercy, love and healing, the further the ship sails towards the Promised Land, the more her passengers seem moored to a past which will never let them go.


Copyright: Waterstones Synopsis

Friday, 27 April 2012

'Treasures of the Great Silk Road' by Edgar Knobloch


Release date: 1st May 2012
Published by: The History Press Ltd
ISBN No: 978 0752471174


Turkestan - the great landmass of Central Asia and Western China - is an intriguing meeting point of civilizations. Four major invasions - Greek, Arab, Mongol and Russian - together with Persian, Turkic and Chinese cultural influences, have made their mark on this vast and sometime forbidding region. The Great Silk Route ran to the West through it, while nomad and urban peoples combined over the centuries to produce a cultural flowering under Timur and his successors in the late medieval and early modern periods, through a rich profusion of artistic and architectural styles and ornament. In this comprehensive account of the culture and history of Central Asia, Edgar Knobloch describes the main centres of our human civilization. He spices the text with quotations from the works of contemporary travellers, while providing an expert's commentary on the archaeological, architectural and decorative features of the sites he describes. The stunning and evocative photographs are supplemented by numerous maps, incorporating the recent developments in the region's borders and frontiers. With up-to-date information on borders, check points and visas, Treasures of the Great Silk Route should appeal not only to scholars and those interested in the great cultural heritage of this region, but also to travellers to the region.


Copyright: Amazon Synopsis

Trailer for 'Four Sisters all Queens' by Sherry Jones

Thursday, 26 April 2012

'The Kings Mistress' by Claudia Gold



Release date: 26th April 2012
Published by: Quercus Books
ISBN No: 9781849164115


As the mistress and possible secret wife of George I, Ehrengard Melusine von der Schulenburg, was England's first Georgian queen in all but name.

Her nickname amongst the English, who loathed her and found her scrawny, was 'the Maypole'. Others sources complained she was old: she was hideous; she had appalling dress sense and was bald; she was excessive in her greed; she had no love for George and would have 'sold him to the highest bidder'; she was dim-witted; she was dull; she stood by passively as George pursued younger and more attractive mistresses; she condoned incest, willingly sharing George's affections and his bed with his half-sister, Sophia Charlotte.

Yet this scandalous gossip only tells one kind of story. It doesn't mention how Melusine charmed George away from his wife, the beautiful and tempestuous wife, Sophia Dorothea of Celle, and bound him to her until his death. Nor does it show how her gentle nature and good sense helped keep George's notoriously dysfunctional family from tearing itself apart. The brutal English press, who pursued her mercilessly, gave Melusine no credit for her astonishing rise from minor courtier to the ranks of the most powerful women in Europe, or for her love of music that saw her mixing with everyone from George Frideric Handel to the flamboyant theatrical impresario John James Heidegger.

In The King's Mistress Claudia Gold brings Melusine, and the many contradictions that make her such a fascinating character to vivid life.


Copyright: Quercus Books



'The Fighting Temeraire' by Sam Willis



Release date: 2nd September 2010
Published by: Quercus Books
ISBN No: 978 1849162616


J.M.W. Turner’s The Fighting Temeraire Tugged to her Last Berth to be Broken Up (1838) was his masterpiece. Sam Willis tells the real-life story behind this remarkable painting. The 98-gun Temeraire warship broke through the French and Spanish line directly astern of Nelson’s flagship Victory during the Battle of Trafalgar (1805), saving Nelson at a crucial moment in the battle, and, in the words of John Ruskin, fought until her sides ran ‘wet with the long runlets of English blood...those pale masts that stayed themselves up against the war-ruin, shaking out their ensigns through the thunder, till sail and ensign dropped.’ It is a story that unites the art of war as practised by Nelson with the art of war as depicted by Turner and, as such, it ranges across an extensive period of Britain’s cultural and military history in ways that other stories do not.


The result is a detailed picture of British maritime power at two of its most significant peaks in the age of sail: the climaxes of both the Seven Years’ War (1756-63) and the Napoleonic Wars (1798-1815). It covers every aspect of life in the sailing navy, with particular emphasis on amphibious warfare, disease, victualling, blockade, mutiny and, of course, fleet battle, for it was at Trafalgar that the Temeraire really won her fame. An evocative and magnificent narrative history by a master historian.


Copyright: Quercus Books

Winner Announcement: 'Showers of Books' Giveaway Hop

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, followed me on Network Blogs, Linky,Twitter, Goodreads or Google + and entered this draw. It really is appreciated. With so many entries and with some really wonderful comments being left during this fantastic event, it's been truly amazing!


As usual I wish that I could send everyone who entered this draw a prize, but within the rules, there was to be only one lucky winner from this draw! 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! If you are a GFC follower of this blog, do not forget to enter my monthly 'GFC Followers' book draw. Just click on the relevant tab at the top of the page!


I visited random.org earlier today and the winner of this particular draw for the Amazon Gift Voucher/Certificate is, drum roll!!!
 
 
Kirsta
 
 
Congratulations!
I will contact the winner to let them know and to arrange delivery of their prize. If I have not been able to make contact with a winner within 48 hours of this post, another winner will then be drawn. Thank-you again to everyone who entered this draw and who follow my blog. Happy reading!

Julie Kagawa 'Immortal Rules' Blog Tour' Announced!

Julie Kagawa will be calling at the 'Secret Writer' on 1st May 2012, as part of her 'The Immortal Rules' Blog Tour!



'The Queen's Agent: Francis Walsingham at the Court of Elizabeth I' by John Cooper

Release date: 5th July 2012
Published by: Faber and Faber
ISBN No: 978 0571218271

Elizabeth I came to the throne at a time of insecurity and unrest. Rivals threatened her reign; England was a Protestant island, isolated in a sea of Catholic countries. Spain plotted an invasion, but Elizabeth's Secretary, Francis Walsingham, was prepared to do whatever it took to protect her. He ran a network of agents in England and Europe who provided him with information about invasions or assassination plots. He recruited likely young men and 'turned' others. He encourage Elizabeth to make war against the Catholic Irish rebels, with extreme brutality and oversaw the execution of Mary Queen of Scots. The Queen's Agent is a story of secret agents, cryptic codes and ingenious plots, set in a turbulent period of England's history. It is also the story of a man devoted to his queen, sacrificing his every waking hour to save the threatened English state.


Copyright: Amazon Synopsis

'Early Medieval Europe 300-1050: The Birth of Western Society' by Prof. David Rollason

Release date: 29th May 2012
Published by: Longman
ISBN No:  978 1408251218

Early Medieval Europe 300-1050 is a broad-brush survey of Western Europe from the period of the late Roman Empire (4th-5th centuries) through the period of the dissolution of that empire, the emergence of the barbarian kingdoms which succeeded it, and their consolidation under the Carolingian and Ottonian rulers on the Continent and the West Saxon and Danish kings in England, to the early 11th century, with the nascent kingdoms of France, Germany, and England.
The book focuses on the big historical questions which the period raises, the sources for it and the ways in which historians have worked with them, and the competing approaches to the questions and interpretations which historians have developed.

Copyright: Amazon Synopsis

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

'White Dolphin' by Gill Lewis


Release date: 3rd May 2012
Published by: Oxford University Press
ISBN No: 978 0192756220

Bullied at school for her dyslexia and troubled by her mother's unexplained disappearance, Kara seeks sanctuary sailing the ocean's waves in her father's boat. Meanwhile, Felix resents his well-meaning parents for dragging him to live by the coast and misses his old friends back in London. On their first encounter, Kara and Felix take an immediate dislike to each other. But when they happen to discover a dolphin calf stranded on the beach they know they must work together to save it against all odds. Realizing they have more in common than they could ever have guessed, the two friends set out to find the truth behind the disappearance of Kara's marine biologist mother, and to protect the delicate reef in the bay of their home town from the destruction of commercial dredging. Their actions set in motion a dramatic chain of events that no one could have foreseen. And soon they must make an impossible choice. Risk their own lives or face losing everything ...

Copyright: Amazon Synopsis

'Mary Rose' by David Loades



Release date: 28th May 2012
Published by: Amberley Publishing
ISBN No: 978 1445606224

'A paradise...tall, slender, grey-eyed, possessing an extreme pallor'. The contemporary view of Henry VIII's younger sister, Princess Mary Rose as one of the most beautiful princesses in Europe, was an arresting one. Glorious to behold, this Tudor Princess with her red hair flowing loose to her waist, was also impossible for Henry to control. She first married the king of France, a match of great importance to Henry's diplomatic plans. He was dead within three months. The talk of the European courts was that the teenage bride had killed the 51-year old Louis XII with her exertions of the king in his bedchamber. She then ran off with her new lover, the great rake of the Tudors era, Charles Brandon. After some uncomfortable arguments with Henry VIII, she was officially sanctioned to marry the Duke of Suffolk in 1515 at Greenwich Palace. Yet Henry remained deeply fond of his sister, he named his greatest warship after her and continued to support Mary despite her ignoring his every request. David Loades' biography, the first for almost 50 years brings the princess alive once more. Of all Tudor women, this queen of France and later Duchess of Suffolk remains an elusive, enigmatic figure. Includes 40 Illustrations (20 Colour).
Copyright: Amazon Synopsis

'Medieval Life: Archaeology and the Life Course' by Roberta Gilchrist


 
Release date: 19th July 2012
Published by: Boydell Press
ISBN No: 978 1843837220

 
"An important and timely volume... an elegant summary of complex theory, and synthesis of an impressive body of material. It will be eagerly read by current and future generations of archaeologists, and will demonstrate the significance of historical archaeology to a much wider scholarly audience." Dr Kate Giles, University of York. The aim of this book is to explore how medieval life was actually lived - how people were born and grew old, how they dressed, how they inhabited their homes, the rituals that gave meaning to their lives and how they prepared for death and the afterlife. Its fresh and original approach uses archaeological evidence to reconstruct the material practices of medieval life, death and the afterlife. Previous historical studies of the medieval "lifecycle" begin with birth and end with death. Here, in contrast, the concept of life course theory is developed for the first time in a detailed archaeological case study. The author argues that medieval Christian understanding of the "life course" commenced with conception and extended through the entirety of life, to include death and the afterlife. Five thematic case studies present the archaeology of medieval England (c.1050-1540 CE) in terms of the body, the household, the parish church and cemetery, and the relationship between the lives of people and objects. A wide range of sources is critically employed: osteology, costume, material culture, iconography and evidence excavated from houses, churches and cemeteries in the medieval English town and countryside. Medieval Life reveals the intimate and everyday relations between age groups, between the living and the dead, and between people and things. Roberta Gilchrist is Professor of Archaeology at the University of Reading.
Copyright: Amazon Synopsis

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

'Island of Bones' by Imogen Robertson


Release date: 29th March 2012
Published by: Headline Review
ISBN No: 978 0755372041


Cumbria, 1783. A broken heritage; a secret history...

The tomb of the first Earl of Greta should have lain undisturbed on its island of bones for three hundred years. When idle curiosity opens the stone lid, however, inside is one body too many. Gabriel Crowther's family bought the Gretas' land long ago, and has suffered its own bloody history. His brother was hanged for murdering their father, the Baron of Keswick, and Crowther has chosen comfortable seclusion and anonymity over estate and title for thirty years. But the call of the mystery brings him home at last.

Travelling with forthright Mrs Harriet Westerman, who is escaping her own tragedy, Crowther finds a little town caught between new horrors and old, where ancient ways challenge modern justice. And against the wild and beautiful backdrop of fells and water, Crowther discovers that his past will not stay buried.

Copyright: Amazon Synopsis


'Until Thy Wrath be Past' by Asa Larsson



Release date: 4th August 2011
Published by: Quercus Books
ISBN No: 978 0857050724


It is the first thaw of spring and the body of a young woman surfaces in the River Thorne in the far north of Sweden. Rebecka Martinsson is working as a prosecutor in nearby Karuna. Her sleep has been disturbed by haunting visions of a shadowy, accusing figure. Could the body belong to the ghost in her dreams? And where is the dead girl's boyfriend, also reported as missing the previous winter?

Joining forces once again with Police Inspectors Anna-Maria Mella and Sven-Erik Stålnacke, Rebecka is drawn into an investigation that centres on old rumours about a plane carrying supplies for German troops in 1943 that never arrived. Shame and secrecy shroud the locals' memories of the war, with Sweden's early collaboration with the Nazis still a raw wound. And on the windswept shore of a frozen lake lurks a killer who will kill again to keep the past buried for ever beneath half a century's silent ice and snow.


Copyright: Quercus Books

Monday, 23 April 2012

'The Grand Tour: Letters and photographs from the British Empire Expedition 1922' by Agatha Christie

Release date: 26th April 2012
Published by: Harper Collins
ISBN No: 978 0007447688

Unpublished for 90 years, Agatha Christie’s extensive and evocative letters and photographs from her year-long round-the-world trip to South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and America as part of the British trade mission for the famous 1924 Empire Exhibition.

In 1922 Agatha Christie set sail on a 10-month voyage around the British Empire with her husband as part of a trade mission to promote the forthcoming British Empire Exhibition. Leaving her two-year-old daughter behind with her sister, Agatha set sail at the end of January and did not return until December, but she kept up a detailed weekly correspondence with her mother, describing in detail the exotic places and people she encountered as the mission travelled through South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii and Canada.

The extensive and previously unpublished letters are accompanied by hundreds of photos taken on her portable camera as well as some of the original letters, postcards, newspaper cuttings and memorabilia collected by Agatha on her trip.

Edited and introduced by Agatha Christie’s grandson, Mathew Prichard, this unique travelogue reveals a new side to Agatha Christie, demonstrating how her appetite for exotic plots and locations for her books began with this eye-opening trip, which took place just after only her second novel had been published (the first leg of the tour to South Africa is very clearly the inspiration for the book she wrote immediately afterwards, The Man in the Brown Suit). The letters are full of tales of seasickness and sunburn, motor trips and surf boarding, and encounters with welcoming locals and overbearing Colonials.

The Grand Tour is a book steeped in history, sure to fascinate anyone interested in the lost world of the 1920s. Coming from the pen of Britain’s biggest literary export and the world’s most widely translated author, it is also a fitting tribute to Agatha Christie and is sure to fascinate her legions of worldwide fans.


Copyright: Amazon Synopsis

World Book Night 2012 is Here!




About World Book Night

World Book Night is a celebration of reading and books which sees tens of thousands of passionate volunteers gift books in their communities to share their love of reading. In 2012 World Book Night will be celebrated in the UK, Ireland, Germany and USA on April 23.

In the UK, 20,000 passionate readers will gift 24 copies of one of their favourite books to encourage those who don't regularly read to fall in love with reading. In addition World Book Night will be giving a further 620,000 books over the course of the year directly to the hardest to reach readers through prisons, care homes, hospitals, sheltered housing, homeless shelters, libraries and through other partner charities.

Winner Announcement for my 'No Strings Attached' Giveaway Hop Book Draw


I would like to say a great big thank-you to everyone who took part in this Giveaway Hop. It really is appreciated. With over 500 entries and with some really wonderful comments being left during this fantastic event, it's been truly amazing!

As usual I wish that I could send everyone who entered this draw a prize, but within the rules, there was to be only two lucky winners from this draw! 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! If you are a GFC follower of this blog, do not forget to enter my monthly 'GFC Followers' book draw. Just click on the relevant tab at the top of the page!

I visited random.org earlier today and the winners of this particular draw are, drum roll!!!
Lisa Richards/alerlisa - 'A Touch of Power' by Maria Snyder

Aline Tobing - 'Chasing Fire' by Nora Roberts
Congratulations!
I will contact the winners to let them know and to arrange delivery of their prize. If I have not been able to make contact with a winner within 48 hours of this post, another winner will then be drawn. Thank-you again to everyone who entered this draw and who follow my blog. Happy reading!

'A Witch in Love' by Ruth Warburton


Release date: 5th July 2012
Published by: Hodder Children's Books
ISBN No: 978 1444904703

Anna still finds it hard to believe that Seth loves her and has vowed to suppress her powers, no matter what. But magic - like love - is uncontrollable. It spills out with terrible consequences, and soon, Anna is being hunted. Abe wants Anna to embrace her power, while Seth is pushing Anna to accept that his feelings are real. She finally does... a moment too late. Suddenly, it's like the Salem witch trials all over again: burnings, torture and faceless judgements. In the face of the ultimate betrayal, who will save her?

 
Copyright: Amazon Synopsis

'Lost Angel' by Mandasue Heller


Release date: 9th July 2012
Published by: Hodder Paperbacks
ISBN No: 978 0340960110

It's a world where crime is almost respectable - until passion ignites a disaster.

Things start going wrong the day Johnny Conroy meets Ruth Hynes. He just wants to show his mates that he can pull hard-man Frankie Hynes' daughter, but before he knows it he is part of the Hynes family. And the Hynes family business, which is stealing cars. And there is no way he is ever going to get out of the marriage or the business alive . . .

The only good thing in their hellhole of a marriage is his daughter Angel, as nice as her name and as innocent. And the only thing keeping Johnny sane is his secret life.

But then Angel grows up and meets Johnny's new employee Ryan. He loves Angel - but the family secrets involve him, too. And they are about to explode.

Copyright: Amazon Synopsis

Sunday, 22 April 2012

'The Borgias' by Mary Hollingsworth



Release date: 29th September 2011
Published by: Quercus Books
ISBN No: 978 0857389169


The Borgia family of Renaissance Italy has become a byword for pride, lust, cruelty, avarice, splendour and venomous intrigue. They have inspired abomination and fascination in almost equal measure, comparable to the Corleone clan depicted in Mario Puzo's novel The Godfather. Indeed, Puzo himself featured the Borgias in his last novel, The Family, and the Borgias have inspired many other works of fiction together with plays, films, and even an opera - Donizetti's Lucrezia Borgia.

Of Spanish origin, the Borgias came to prominence in the Italy of the 15th century, at a time when the spiritual values of the medieval Church were being swept aside by the worldly secularism of the Renaissance. They also became notorious for licentiousness, venality and indeed all forms of immorality, while at the same time their patronage of the arts helped to bring about some of the greatest artistic masterpieces of the Renaissance.

Copyright: Quercus Books


'Sacred Places' by Philip Carr-Gomm



Release date:  7th July 2011
Published by: Quercus Books
ISBN No:  978 0857383440


Journeys to sacred places or shrines undertaken as acts of religious veneration or penance have been a feature of religious observance from the earliest times.

Ancient religions had holy sites, temples and groves, such as Delphi and Dodona in Greece. On the other side of the Eurasian landmass the Buddha specifically recommended four sacred sites for his followers to visit. After Christ's crucifixion, sites connected with his birth, death and resurrection became a magnet for Christian travellers. During the medieval period Christian pilgrimage - to Jerusalem, Rome, Constantinople and Santiago de Compostela - was a sacred obligation and a trial of
faith. In Islam, pilgrimage to Mecca, or hajj, is one of the Five Pillars of that faith.

Philip Carr-Gomm tells the stories of 50 sacred sites across all five continents, including sites venerated by all of the world's major religions. The sites include:

Mt Kilimanjaro; Bandiagara; Source of Blue Nile; Lake Fundudzi; Pyramids and the Sphinx; Pir-E-Sabz; Church of the Holy Sepulchre; Dome of the Rock; Mecca; The Baha'I Shrines; Temples of Malta; Oracle of Delphi; Perperikon; Tarot Garden; Temples of Humankind; The Ellora Caves; Golden Temple; Santiago de Compostella; Chauvet Cave; Gulf of Morbihan; Chartres Cathedral; Rennes-le-Chateau; The Externsteine; Stonehenge; The Cerne Abbas Giant; Glastonbury; Newgrange; Iona; Walden Pond; Denali; Mato Paha; Yosemite; Bodh Gaya; Potala Palace & Lukhang Temple; Chaco Canyon; Palenque; Wirikuta, Field of Flowers; Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta; Machu Picchu; Sillustani; Rapa Nui; Haleakala and Kaho'olawe; Tongariro and Taupo; Uluru and Kata Tjuta; Mt Fuji; Luang Prabang; Angkor; Sacred Mountains of China; Ganges; Shatrunajaya; Mt Kailash.

Copyright: Quercus Books

Saturday, 21 April 2012

'Painter of Silence' by Georgina Harding



Release date: 26th April 2012
Published by: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
ISBN No: 978 1408830420


Longlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction 2012
 Iasi, Romania, the early 1950s. A man is found on the steps of a hospital, frail as a fallen bird. He carries no identification and utters no words, and it is days before anyone discovers that he is deaf and mute. And then a young nurse called Safta brings paper and pencils with which he can draw. Slowly, painstakingly, memories appear on the page: a hillside, a stable, a car, a country house, dogs and mirrored rooms and samovars in what is now a lost world. The memories are Safta's also. For the man is Augustin, son of the cook at the manor at Poiana that was her family home. Born six months apart, they grew up with a connection that bypassed words. But while Augustin's world remained the same size Safta's expanded to embrace languages, society - and love, as Augustin watched one long hot summer, in the form of a fleeting young man in a green Lagonda. Safta left before the war. Augustin stayed. But even in the wide hills and valleys around Poiana he did not escape its horrors. He watched uncomprehending as armies passed through the place. Then the Communists came, and he found himself their unlikely victim. There are things that he must tell Safta that may be more than simple drawings can convey. Beautiful, spare and intense, Painter of Silence captures the loss and the hope of a tragic time through the extraordinary vision of a mute outsider.


Copyright: Amazon Synopsis


'State of Wonder' by Ann Patchett


Release date: 26th April 2012
Published by: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
ISBN No: 978 1408821886


LONGLISTED FOR THE ORANGE PRIZE FOR FICTION 2012
There were people on the banks of the river. Among the tangled waterways and giant anacondas of the Brazilian Rio Negro, an enigmatic scientist is developing a drug that could alter the lives of women for ever. Dr Annick Swenson's work is shrouded in mystery; she refuses to report on her progress, especially to her investors, whose patience is fast running out. Anders Eckman, a mild-mannered lab researcher, is sent to investigate. A curt letter reporting his untimely death is all that returns. Now Marina Singh, Anders' colleague and once a student of the mighty Dr Swenson, is their last hope. Compelled by the pleas of Anders's wife, who refuses to accept that her husband is not coming home, Marina leaves the snowy plains of Minnesota and retraces her friend's steps into the heart of the South American darkness, determined to track down Dr. Swenson and uncover the secrets being jealously guarded among the remotest tribes of the rainforest. What Marina does not yet know is that, in this ancient corner of the jungle, where the muddy waters and susurrating grasses hide countless unknown perils and temptations, she will face challenges beyond her wildest imagination. Marina is no longer the student, but only time will tell if she has learnt enough.


Copyright: Amazon Synopsis

Thursday, 19 April 2012

'Showers of Books' Giveaway Hop (International Stop)



Welcome to the 'Showers of Books' Giveaway Hop which is hosted by 'I am a Reader, not a Writer' and Day YA. 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 20th April 2012, 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 (also include your e-mail address with your comment so I can contact you if you are the winner!) . You can also gain an extra entry or two or three by 'following' me as well, either through Network Blogs' or 'Linky''liking my Facebook Page. Just let me know what you have done in your comment. Once this has been completed, you will have been entered into the draw.

As there is such a selection of books available these days, I am offering the winner a choice of either a $20 (US) or £15 (sterling) Amazon Gift Voucher/Certificate, so the winner can choose their own books! I will arrange that the prize is e-mailed to the winner on the completion of this draw!



One prize of either a $20 (US) or £15 (sterling) Amazon Gift Voucher/Certificate


There will only be one winner from this draw. The gift Voucher/Certificate will only be offered in either US dollars or sterling. No other currencies can be catered for. Each entrant will be allocated a sequential number. After the closing date for this draw (25th April 2012 at 23.59GMT), the winning numbers entered for this draw will be chosen by Random.org. This is an International Giveaway Draw!

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

'CLICK HERE'

Good luck Everyone!

If you are not in, you cannot win!

This draw is now closed

'The Fallen Angel' by Daniel Silva



Release date: 17th July 2012
Published by: Harper
ISBN No: 978 0062073129


Bruised and war-weary following his secret war to bring down a terrorist mastermind, Gabriel Allon returns to his beloved Rome to restore a Caravaggio masterpiece.
But early one morning Gabriel is summoned by his friend and occasional ally Monsignor Luigi Donati, the all-powerful private secretary to the Pope. The broken body of a beautiful woman lies beneath Michelangelo's magnificent dome. Donati fears a public inquiry will inflict more wounds on an already-damaged Church so he calls upon Gabriel to use his matchless talents and experience to quietly pursue the truth – was it suicide, or something more sinister?
Gabriel discovers that the woman revealed a dangerous secret that threatens powers beyond the Vatican. And an old enemy plots revenge in the shadows, an unthinkable act of sabotage that will plunge the world into a conflict of apocalyptic proportions. Once again Gabriel must return to the ranks of his old intelligence service—and place himself, and those he holds dear, on the razor’s edge of danger.

Copyright: Amazon Synopsis


'The Rise and Fall of Babylon: Gateway of the Gods' by Anton Gill

Release Date: 5th July 2012
Publishd by Quercus
ISBN No:  978-0857386649
Anton Gill charts the history of Babylon, home of the famous Hanging Gardens and a wonder of the ancient world in itself. Beginning with a survey of Ancient Mesopotamian dynasties, he chronicles the city's rise under Hammurabi, its troubled fortunes in the centuries that followed, its golden age under a dynasty of Chaldean kings in the sixth and seventh centuries BC, and the life of its last great king, Nebuchadnezzar II - himself a military genius, law-giver and architect of the marvellous city once called 'the gateway of the gods'. Studded with detailed profiles of the rulers of the period and embellished with colour illustrations, maps and timelines, Gateway of The Gods: The Rise and Fall of Babylon is a vivid and richly informative portrait of an extraordinary era.
Copyright: Amazon Synopsis

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

'Everneath' by Brode Ashton


Release date: 2nd February 2012
Published by: Simon and Schuster Childrens Books
ISBN No: 978 0857074577

Last spring, Nikki Beckett vanished, sucked into an underworld known as the Everneath, where immortals Feed on the emotions of despairing humans. Now she's returned- to her old life, her family, her friends- before being banished back to the underworld...this time forever. She has six months before the Everneath comes to claim her, six months for good-byes she can't find the words for, six months to find redemption, if it exists. Nikki longs to spend these months reconnecting with her boyfriend, Jack, the one person she loves more than anything. But there's a problem: Cole, the smoldering immortal who first enticed her to the Everneath, has followed Nikki to the mortal world. And he'll do whatever it takes to bring her back- this time as his queen. As Nikki's time grows short and her relationships begin slipping from her grasp, she's forced to make the hardest decision of her life: find a way to cheat fate and remain on the Surface with Jack or return to the Everneath and become Cole's...


Copyright: Amazon Synopsis



'Cracking the Egyptian Code: The Revolutionary Life of Jean-François Champollion' by Andrew Robinson


Release date: 16th April 2012
Published by: Thames and Hudson
ISBN No:  978 0500051719

 
In 1799 Napoleon's army uncovered an ancient stele in the Nile delta. Its inscription, recorded in three distinct scripts--ancient Greek, Coptic, and hieroglyphic--would provide scholars with the first clues to unlocking the secrets of Egyptian hieroglyphs, a language lost for nearly two millennia. More than twenty years later a remarkably gifted Frenchman named Jean-Francois Champollion successfully deciphered the hieroglyphs on the stele, now commonly known as the Rosetta Stone, sparking a revolution in our knowledge of ancient Egypt. 'Cracking the Egyptian Code' is the first biography in English of Champollion, widely regarded as the founder of Egyptology. Andrew Robinson meticulously reconstructs how Champollion cracked the code of the hieroglyphic script, describing how Champollion started with Egyptian obelisks in Rome and papyri in European collections, sailed the Nile for a year, studied the tombs in the Valley of the Kings (a name he first coined), and carefully compared the three scripts on the Rosetta Stone to penetrate the mystery of the hieroglyphic text. Robinson also brings to life the rivalry between Champollion and the English scientist Thomas Young, who claimed credit for launching the decipherment, which Champollion hotly denied. There is much more to Champollion's life than the Rosetta Stone and Robinson gives equal weight to the many roles he played in his tragically brief life, from a teenage professor in Revolutionary France to a supporter of Napoleon (whom he met), an exile, and a curator at the Louvre. Extensively illustrated in color and black-and-white pictures, 'Cracking the Egyptian Code' will appeal to a wide readership interested in Egypt, decipherment and code-breaking, and Napoleon and the French Revolution.

 
Copyright: Amazon Synopsis

'How it all Began' by Penelope Lively


Release date: 3rd May 2012
Published by: Penguin
ISBN No: 978 0241957271

When . . . Charlotte is mugged and breaks her hip, her daughter Rose cannot accompany her employer Lord Peters to Manchester, which means his niece Marion has to go instead, which means she sends a text to her lover which is intercepted by his wife, which is . . . just the beginning in the ensuing chain of life-altering events.
In this engaging, utterly absorbing and brilliantly told novel, Penelope Lively shows us how one random event can cause marriages to fracture and heal themselves, opportunities to appear and disappear, lovers who might never have met to find each other and entire lives to become irrevocably changed.
Funny, humane, touching, sly and sympathetic, How It All Began is a brilliant sleight of hand from an author at the top of her game.
Copyright: Amazon Synopsis

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

'Delicacy' by David Foenkinos



Release date:  12th April 2012
Published by: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
ISBN No: 9781408832523

He was passing by, she kissed him without thinking. Now she wonders whether she did the right thing. But Natalie isn't certain of anything anymore. One minute she was a happily married young woman, successful in her career, and convinced the future was full of promise. But when her husband was run over by a car, her whole world was turned upside down. Years later, still bruised with grief but desperate to move on with her life, she impulsively kisses her colleague Marcus. For Natalie, the kiss is just a gratuitous act. For the awkward, unassuming Marcus, it is the moment at which he falls hopelessly, helplessly in love. But how will he ever convince such a beautiful, intelligent but confused young woman that he is the man who can bring her back to life?

Copyright: Waterstones Synopsis

Monday, 16 April 2012

'Tower' by Nigel Jones

Release date:  7th June 2012
Published by: Windmill Books
ISBN No: 978 0099537656
Castle, royal palace, prison, torture chamber, execution site, zoo, mint, treasure house, armoury, record office, observatory and the most visited tourist attraction in the country, the Tower of London has been all these things and more. No building in Britain has been more intimately involved in our island's story than this mighty, brooding stronghold in the very heart of the capital, a place which has stood at the epicentre of dramatic, bloody and frequently cruel events for almost a thousand years. Now historian Nigel Jones sets this dramatic story firmly in the context of national - and international - events. In a monumental history drawn from primary sources he pictures the Tower in its many changing moods and a bewildering array of functions. Here, for the first time, is a thematic portrayal of the Tower of London as more than an ancient structure. The fortress is a living symbol of the nation itself in all its kaleidoscopic colour and rich diversity. Incorporating a dazzling panoply of political and social detail, "Tower" puts one of Britain's most important buildings firmly at the heart of our national story.

 
Copyright: Waterstones Synopsis

'No Strings Attached' Giveaway Hop! (International Stop)

Welcome to the 'No Strings Attached' 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 17th April, according to their specific time zones.

To gain entry to this draw all you have to do is leave a comment to this post with your name and e-mail address (so I can contact you if you are the winner!) . Only one entry per person is allowed. Nothing else is required to enter this draw, no strings are attached!!! Once you have left your comment to this post you will have been entered into the draw for one of these two great titles:

'Touch of Power' by Maria V. Snyder

'Chasing Fire' by Nora Roberts





















Only one book can be won by each draw winner. There will be TWO winners from this draw. Each entrant will be allocated a sequential number. After the closing date for this draw (Sunday 22nd April 2012 at 23.59GMT), the winning numbers entered for this draw will be chosen by Random.org. This is an International Giveaway Draw!


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


Good Luck Everyone!
If you are not in you Cannot Win!

This Draw is Now Closed