Saturday, 30 June 2012

Books and Authors Featured on Recent UK Postage Stamps!


I thought that I might do something slightly different from my usual posts here this weekend. As well as being a collector of books, I also collect mint (unused) stamps (I think there might just be a bit of a hoarder in me, and no I'm not boring, quite the reverse! ;-) . Stamps can be used to exhibit some magnificent miniture works of art and this year Royal Mail in the United Kingdom have issued two wonderful sets of book related stamps!


On 12th January 2012 six of the author Roald Dahl’s most popular children’s stories were featured on a set of Royal Mail stamps. The stories featured on these stamps included Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Fantastic Mr Fox, James and the Giant Peach, Matilda, The Twits and The Witches. As many of Dahl’s best loved stories have been illustrated by Quentin Blake, his illustrations were used for these Stamps.


On 19th June 2012 Royal Mail also celebrated the bicentenary of Charles Dickens birth with a special stamp issue featuring some of Dickens’ best-known characters. The Mint Stamps feature Mr. Bumble, Mr. Pickwick, The Marchioness, Mrs. Gamp, Captain Cuttle and Mr. Micawber; drawn in around 1890 by the artist Joseph Clayton Clark, also known as Kyd.




A striking Miniature Sheet was also issued with this series that comprises four First Class stamps bearing illustrations by Hablot Knight Brown, aka Phiz, taken from the original publications. It also has a quote from Dickens in its border, together with his key dates and a facsimile of his signature.


I hope you have enjoyed this slightly different feature. Do let me know what you think! I might just make collectors out of of you all yet! :-)

 Futher details about these and other UK stamp issues can be found on the Roal Mail website at: http://shop.royalmail.com/stamps-collectibles+gifts/icat/cat111/

Friday, 29 June 2012

'A Village in Jeopardy' by Rebecca Shaw

Release date: 16th August 2012
Published by: Orion
ISBN No:  978 1409123026


Rivalries flare and scandal abounds in Rebecca Shaw's sparkling tale of love, loyalty and village life. The villagers of Turnham Malpas are in for a shock. With Sir Ralph now dead, his fortune and title go to a newcomer. It swiftly becomes clear that Johnny Templeton could not be more different to his well-loved predecessor. Johnny soon finds himself in conflict with long-standing members of Turnham Malpas - particularly Craddock Fitch who is determined to obstruct Johnny's plan to buy back the Templeton estate. Meanwhile, there are two other villagers in crises, but theirs is a much more private issue. Marcus and Alice March have longed for a child for years. But when Alice finally becomes pregnant, there are those in the village who harbour doubts about the child's progeny, knowing how close Alice has grown to Johnny. As gossip begins to circulate the village, Alice must make the most difficult of decisions - whether to follow her heart or her morals...


Copyright: The Book Depository Synopsis

'Silver Girl' by Elin Hilderbrand



Release date: 7th July 2011
Published by:
ISBN No: 978 1444723885


Who would you run to if your life fell apart? Meredith had a perfect life. Until her husband was arrested for defrauding everyone they knew out of millions. Hounded by the press, shunned by society, there's only one person she can turn to: her teenage best friend Connie, who she hasn't spoken to in years. But as they retreat to Connie's holiday home on glamorous Nantucket Island, it seems that some of Meredith's ghosts may have followed her. What are Connie's real motives for wanting her there? Who is the mysterious figure out at sea, photographing the two women? And does Meredith know more about her husband's dealings than she's prepared to admit to anyone - even herself? One thing's for sure, before the summer is out, everyone's lives will have changed beyond recognition...


Copyright: The Book Depository Synopsis

Thursday, 28 June 2012

'A Hundred Flowers' by Gail Tsukiyama


Release date: 13th September 2012
Published by: St Martin's Press
ISBN No: 978 0312274818


China, 1957. Chairman Mao has declared a new openness in society: "Let a hundred flowers bloom; let a hundred schools of thought contend." Many intellectuals fear it is only a trick, and Kai Ying's husband, Sheng, a teacher, has promised not to jeopardize their safety or that of their young son, Tao. But one July morning, just before his sixth birthday, Tao watches helplessly as Sheng is dragged away for writing a letter criticizing the Communist Party and sent to a labour camp for "re-education." A year later, still missing his father desperately, Tao climbs to the top of the hundred-year-old kapok tree in front of their home, wanting to see the mountain peaks in the distance. But Tao slips and tumbles thirty feet to the courtyard below, badly breaking his leg. As Kai Ying struggles to hold her small family together in the face of this shattering reminder of her husband's absence, other members of the household must face their own guilty secrets and strive to find peace in a world where the old sense of order is falling. Once again, Tsukiyama brings us a powerfully moving story of ordinary people facing extraordinary circumstances with grace and courage.


Copyright: The Book Depository Synopsis


'Freedom to Read' Giveaway Hop! (International Stop)


Welcome to the 'Fredom to Read' Giveaway Hop which is hosted by 'I am a Reader, not a Writer' and 'Mundie Moms'. 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 29th June 2012, according to their specific time zones.
To gain entry to this draw all you just 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 'Networked Blogs' . Just complete the 'Rafflecopter Entry Form' that you will find at the end of this post.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, if I hit 2,100 GFC followers during this hop, I'll add a second prize to the 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 2,100 '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 2,100 GFC followers at the end of the hop, a second prize will be added to the draw. There will only be one second prize winner from this draw, if the set criteria is met. The gift Vouchers/Certificates 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 ( 5th July 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!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

'Incarnation' by Emma Cornwall


 
Release date: 18th September 2012
Published by: Gallery Books
ISBN No: 978 1439190357

Lucy Weston tracks down the novelist Bram Stoker in her search to reveal the dark force who made her a vampire--and regain her humanity in the process.In the steampunk world of Victorian London, Lucy Weston, a character in "Dracula," seeks out Bram Stoker to discover why he deliberately lied about her in his popular novel. With Stoker's reluctant help, she tracks the creature who transformed her from the sensual underworld where humans vie to become vampires to a hidden cell beneath a temple to madness and finally into the glittering Crystal Palace where death reigns supreme. Haunted by fragmentary memories of her lost life and love, Lucy battles her thirst for blood as she struggles to stop a catastrophic war that will doom vampires and humans alike. Ultimately, she makes a choice that illuminates for her--and for us--the true nature of what it means to be human.

 
Copyright: The Book Depository Synopsis

Winners of my Midsummer's Eve 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, followed or 'liked' me on Linky, Google + or Networked Blogs and entered this draw. It really is appreciated. We well surpassed  the 2,000 GFC follower target and the site also passed through the 100,000 views mark on the site counter! This has been a truly amazing blog hop!  :-)
As usual I wish that I could send everyone who entered this draw a prize, but within the rules of this draw, there was to be only one or possibly two lucky winners from this draw!

As we hit and exceeded the 2 000 mark in relation to 'GFC Followers' of my blog, we can celebrate, dance a 'happy dance' and also award the second prize that was outlined at the start of this contest! :-) Thanks again to everyone for following 'The Secret Writer' and for your valued support in realising this fantastic achievement. It is truly appreciated!


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 for the Amazon Gift Vouchers/Certificates are, drum roll!!!


1st Maureen C - $20 (US) or £15 (sterling) Amazon Gift Voucher/Certificate.

2nd Susan V - $15 (US) or £10 (sterling) Amazon Gift Voucher/Certificate.




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!

'The Face of Heaven' by Murray Pura



Release date: 1st August 2012
Published by: Harvest House Publishers
ISBN No:978 0736949491


 
Following on the heels of The Wings of Morning, the first book in Murray Pura's Snapshots in History series, comes this compelling saga of the Civil War.

In April 1861, Lyndel Keim discovers two runaway slaves in her family's barn. When the men are captured and returned to their plantation, Lyndel and her young Amish beau, Nathaniel King, find themselves at odds with their pacifist Amish colony.
 
Nathaniel enlists in what will become the famous Iron Brigade of the Union Army. Lyndel enters the fray as a Brigade nurse on the battlefield, sticking close to Nathaniel as they both witness the horrors of war--including the battles at Chancellorsville, Fredericksburg, and Antietam. Despite the pair's heroic sacrifices, the Amish only see that Lyndel and Nathaniel have become part of the war effort, and both are banished.

And a severe battle wound at Gettysburg threatens Nathaniel's life. Lyndel must call upon her faith in God to endure the savage conflict and to face its painful aftermath, not knowing if Nathaniel is alive or dead. Will the momentous battle change her life forever, just as it will change the course of the war and the history of her country?


Copyright: Amazon Synopsis

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

'Newton's Fire' by Will Adams



Release date: 6th December 2012
Published by: Harper
ISBN No: 978 0007424221


A breathtaking thriller which weaves history and religion with action, adventure and apocalypse…

Luke Hayward is adrift. Blacklisted out of academia, he is in no position to refuse when a client asks for his expert help in recovering some lost Isaac Newton papers.

But a chance discovery in a dusty attic plunges Luke into a race to uncover the truth behind some seemingly random scribblings - a race which pits Luke against a fundamentalist madman with dangerously powerful friends.

Luke discovers connections between Oxford, London and the Old City of Jerusalem in a breathless chase to uncover a secret hidden in the eccentric ramblings of a mathematical genius; a secret that, in the wrong hands, could be used to spark the holy war to end all holy wars…

Copyright: Harper Collins Synopsis



'Betrayal in the Tudor Court' by Darcey Bonnette


 
Release date: 11th October 2012
Published by: Avon
ISBN No: 978 0007490738

Keep your friends close, your enemies closer, and your family closest of all…

Orphaned at the age of eight, Lady Cecily Burkhart becomes the ward of a rich and prestigious family. Welcomed as one of their own, Cecily is nurtured and loved by Lord Hal and his wife Lady Grace.

As the years pass the family’s devout daughter, Mirabella, becomes increasingly consumed by her religious vocation. But when Henry VIII’s reign of terror begins to spread throughout England, Mirabella’s monastic life is ripped from her. As her life is torn apart, the true reason for her religious fervour becomes clear – her forbidden love for the family’s priest and tutor, Father Alec.

As the family falls apart, Cecily must hold them together. But a dangerous mutual attraction between her and Father Alec begins to grow. Plagued with jealousy, Mirabella unleashes a tumultuous chain of events that threatens to destroy everyone around her, especially Cecily…


Copyright: Harper Collins Synopsis

Monday, 25 June 2012

'Merivel' by Rose Tremain


Release date: 6th September 2012
Published by:  Chatto and Windus
ISBN No:  978 0701185206

Get ready to laugh, prepare to weep -- Robert Merivel is back in Rose Tremain's magical sequel to Restoration.

Robert Merivel, courtier to Charles II is no longer a young man -- but off he goes to France in search of the Sun King and to Switzerland in pursuit of a handsome woman. Versailles -- all glitter in front and squalor behind -- is a fiasco: Merivel is forced to share an attic (and a chamber pot) with a Dutch clock-maker while attempting to sustain himself on peas and jam and water from the fountains. Switzerland, by contrast, is perhaps a little too comfortable. But the lady, a clever botanist, leads Merivel deliciously on -- until her jealous husband bursts in with duelling pistols.

As he narrates the picaresque journey, Merivel gets into all sorts of scrapes; he is torn between enjoying himself and making something of his life, through medicine and the study of science. He tries to be diligent, but constantly backslides into laugher and laziness. A big-hearted rogue who loves his daughter, his country house and the English King... Merivel is Everyman -- and he speaks directly to us down the centuries.

Copyright: Amazon Synopsis

'Winter of the World (Century of Giants Trilogy 2) ' by Ken Follett



Release date: 18th September 2012
Published by: Macmillan
ISBN No: 978 0230710108


Berlin in 1933 is in upheaval. Eleven-year-old Carla von Ulrich struggles to understand the tensions disrupting her family as Hitler strengthens his grip on Germany. Into this turmoil steps her mother’s formidable friend and former British MP, Ethel Leckwith, and her student son, Lloyd, who soon learns for himself the brutal reality of Nazism. He also encounters a group of Germans resolved to oppose Hitler - but are they willing to go so far as to betray their country? Such people are closely watched by Volodya, a Russian with a bright future in Red Army Intelligence. The international clash of military power and personal beliefs that ensues will sweep over them all as it rages from Cable Street in London’s East End to Pearl Harbor in Hawaii, from Spain to Stalingrad, from Dresden to Hiroshima. At Cambridge Lloyd is irresistibly drawn to dazzling American socialite Daisy Peshkov, who represents everything his left-wing family despise. But Daisy is more interested in aristocratic Boy Fitzherbert - amateur pilot, party lover and leading light of the British Union of Fascists. Back in Berlin, Carla worships golden boy Werner from afar. But nothing will work out the way they expect as their lives and the hopes of the world are smashed by the greatest and cruellest war in the history of the human race. Winter of the World is the second novel in Ken Follett’s uniquely ambitious and deeply satisfying trilogy 'The Century'. On its own or read in sequence with Fall of Giants, this is a magnificent, spellbinding epic of global conflict and personal drama.


Copyright: Amazon Synopsis

Sunday, 24 June 2012

'The Beautiful Mystery' by Louise Penny



Release date: 28th August 2012
Published by: Sphere
ISBN No: 978 1847444271

On a remote island in Quebec, a monastery stands. The monks there are one of the last surviving groups to sing and keep alive original Gregorian chants, handed down to them from generations before. But now the outside world has affected their peaceful, self-sufficient existence.
A body is found in the abbot's garden. One of the monks has been killed, and presumably by someone within the monastery. So Chief Inspector Gamache and Inspector Beauvoir come to the island to investigate and question. They have no choice but to stay in the lonely, silent monastery until the murderer is brought to light - which soon brings to the surface their own inner turmoil...

Copyright: Amazon Synopsis

'The Civil War Anniversary Quilts' by Rosemary Youngs


Release date: 29th June 2012
Published by:  Krause Publications
ISBN No: 978 1440218712


The year 2011 marks 150 years from the start of the American Civil War. For the next several years Americans will be honoring the battles, the people and the events that shaped that nation in so many ways. Rosemary Youngs is commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Civil with a new book featuring 150 blocks. Mixing traditional blocks with original new blocks designs, Rosemary brings to "The Civil War Anniversary Quilts" all the things that readers of her first books loved: accurate instruction, compelling diary entries and letters, stirring images and amazing quilts. Each of the three main sections of the book will feature historical documents, from diary entries to correspondence, to tell the story of the quilt and blocks in that section.


Copyright: Amazon Synopsis


'Wake' by Amanda Hocking



Release date: 7th August 2012
Published by: St. Martin's Griffin
ISBN No: 978 1250008121


Beautiful. Fearless. Dangerous. They're the kind of girls you envy; the kind of girls you want to hate. Strangers in town for the summer, Penn, Thea, and Lexi have caught everyone's attention, including the eye of practical Harper. But it's her sister, Gemma, they've chosen to be part of their group. Sixteen-year-old Gemma seems to have it all - carefree, pretty, and falling in love with the boy next door. But her greatest passion has always been the water. She craves late night swims under the stars, where she can be alone yet belong to the sea. Lately she's had company. Penn, Thea, and Lexi spend their nights dancing, singing, and partying on the cove - and one night Gemma joins them. When she wakes up groggy on the beach the next morning, she knows something has changed. Suddenly Gemma is stronger, faster, and more beautiful than ever. As she uncovers the truth about her new mythical powers, Gemma is forced to choose between staying with those she loves or entering a dark world brimming with unimaginable secrets.


Copyright: Amazon Synopsis

Saturday, 23 June 2012

'The Silver Bough' by Lisa Tuttle



Release date: 5th July 2012
Published by: Quercus
ISBN No: 978 1780874395


Appleton is a small town nestled on the coast of Scotland. Though it was once famous for the apples it produced, these days it's a shadow of its former self. But in a hidden orchard a golden apple dangles from a silver bough, an apple believed lost for ever. The apple is part of a legend, promising either eternal happiness to the young couple who eat from it secure in their love - or a curse, for those who take its gift for granted.

Now, as the town teeters on the edge of decline, the old rituals have been forgotten and the mists are rolling in. And in the mist, something is stirring...


Copyright: Quercus Synopsis

'The Jewels of the Romanovs: Family and Court' by Stefano Papi



Release date: 18th October 2010
Published by: Thames  and Hudson
ISBN No: 978 0500515327


This book surveys one of the worlds most important collections of jewelry, that of the Imperial Romanov family, rulers of Russia for more than three centuries. Through his work at Sothebys and Christies and his own extensive research, the author Stefano Papi has spent years unravelling the mysteries of the Russian imperial jewels. He uncovers the fascinating stories behind the jewels and the people, and takes us through the golden years, and after the Revolution.


Copyright: Amazon Synopsis

'Hidden Treasures of the Romanovs: Saving the Royal Jewels' by William Clarke



Release date: 5th May 2009
Published by: NMSE - Publishing Ltd
ISBN No: 978 1905267255


Following extensive research in St Petersburg, Moscow and Paris, this book reveals for the first time the story of Albert Henry Stopford, Edwardian man-about-town, member of the English aristocracy, dealer in object d'arts, and a regular guest at Romanov dinner tables. In the terrible turmoil of the Russian revolution he risked his life, rescuing Romanov jewels from the Vladimir Palace worth millions of pounds from under Bolshevik noses, and taking back to Britain in his Gladstone bag gems that were destined to adorn the rich and famous - queens, duchesses and film stars. Within months of his return to London, he was embroiled in a homosexual scandal and a trial at the Old Bailey; he died a broken man. Ninety years later, as an intriguing postscript to this extraordinary story, William Clarke unearthed an unclaimed Romanov bank account in London in the name of Grand Duke Andre; it has now been claimed by more than a score of his descendants.


Copyright: NMS Synopsis

Friday, 22 June 2012

'Tiger Lily' by Jodi Lynn Anderson



Release date: 3rd July 2012
Published by: Harper Teen
ISBN No: 978 0062003256


Before Peter Pan belonged to Wendy, he belonged to the girl with the crow feather in her hair. . . . Fifteen-year-old Tiger Lily doesn't believe in love stories or happy endings. Then she meets the alluring teenage Peter Pan in the forbidden woods of Neverland and immediately falls under his spell. Peter is unlike anyone she's ever known. Impetuous and brave, he both scares and enthralls her. As the leader of the Lost Boys, the most fearsome of Neverland's inhabitants, Peter is an unthinkable match for Tiger Lily. Soon, she is risking everything--her family, her future--to be with him. When she is faced with marriage to a terrible man in her own tribe, she must choose between the life she's always known and running away to an uncertain future with Peter. With enemies threatening to tear them apart, the lovers seem doomed. But it's the arrival of Wendy Darling, an English girl who's everything Tiger Lily is not, that leads Tiger Lily to discover that the most dangerous enemies can live inside even the most loyal and loving heart. From the "New York Times" bestselling author of "Peaches" comes a magical and bewitching story of the romance between a fearless heroine and the boy who wouldn't grow up.


Copyright: The Book Depository Synopsis


'The Rose Petal Beach' by Dorothy Koomson



Release date: 30th August 2012
Published by: Quercus
ISBN No: 978 1780874968



Every love story has a dangerous twist.

Tamia Brenett is horrified when her husband, Scott, is accused of something terrible - but when she discovers who his accuser is, everything goes into freefall. Backed into a corner and unsure what to think, Tamia is forced to choose who she instinctively believes. But Tamia's choice has dire consequences for all concerned especially when matters take a tragic turn.

Then a stranger arrives in town to sprinkle rose petals in the sea in memory of her lost loved one. This stranger carries with her shocking truths that will change the lives of everyone she meets, and will once again force Tamia to make some devastating choices...


Copyright: Quercus Synopsis

Thursday, 21 June 2012

'Seraphina' by Rachel Hartman

Release date: 19th July 2012
Published by: Doubleday Childrens
ISBN No: 978 0857531568

 
The kingdom of Goredd is populated by humans and by dragons who fold themselves into a human form. Though they live alongside each other, the peace between them is uneasy. But when a member of the royal family is murdered, and the crime appears to have been committed by a dragon the peace and treaty between both worlds is seriously threatened ...Into this comes Seraphina, a gifted musician who joins the royal court as the assistant to the court composer. She is soon drawn into the murder investigation and, as she uncovers hints of a sinister plot to destroy the peace in Goredd for good, finds herself caught desperately in the middle of the tension. For Seraphina hides a secret - the secret behind her musical gift - and if she is found out, her life is in serious danger...

 
Copyright: Amazon Synopsis

'The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making' by Catherynne M Valente



 Release date: 7th June 2012
Published by: Corsair
ISBN No: 978 1780338330


September is a twelve-year-old girl, Somewhat Grown and Somewhat Heartless, and she longs for adventure. So when a Green Wind and a Leopard of Little Breezes invite her to Fairyland - well, of course, she accepts (mightn't you?). When she gets there, she finds a land crushed by the iron rule of a villainous Marquess - she soon discovers that she alone holds the key to restoring order. Having read enough books to know what a girl with a quest must do, September sets out to Fix Things. As September forges her way through Fairyland, with a book-loving dragon and a boy named Saturday by her side, she makes many friends and mistakes, losing her shadow, her shoes and her way. But she finds adventure, courage, a rather special Spoon, and a lot more besides...


Copyright: Amazon Synopsis

Winners of my 'Clear Your Shelf' Book Draw!



I would like to say a great big thank-you to everyone who joined my blog as a new GFC follower or were already a follower and entered this draw. It really is appreciated. With so many entries (over four hundred) and with some really nice comments being left during this fantastic event, it's been great!


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 and four runners up 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 were, drum roll!!!


Reading Mind - 'Storm Glass' by Maria V. Snyder

Sibinna - 'The Rembrandt Secret' by Alex Connor

Annmarie - 'My Last Duchess' by Daisy Goodwin
 
Congratulations!
I will contact the winners to let them know and to arrange delivery of their prizes. 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!

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

'The Vampire Shrink' by Lynda Hilburn



Release date: 5th July 2012
Published by: Quercus
ISBN No: 978 0857387288


As a rational scientist who knows full well that vampires are all hokum, Kismet Knight is the perfect choice to counsel troubled wannabe vamps. That is until she meets Devereux: a sexy, mysterious man who claims to be a real - and immensely powerful - 800-year-old vampire. Before she knows what's happening, she is pulled into a whirlwind of inexplicable events that start her questioning everything she once believed about the paranormal.

Kismet Knight is about to achieve her dream job - but becoming the Vampire Shrink is going to change her life. Forever.


Copyright: Quercus Synopsis

'The Luminist' by David Rocklin


Release date: 27th September 2011
Published by: Hawthorne Books
ISBN No: 978 0979018879

Photography comprises the bright, tensile thread in the sweep of The Luminist, drawing tight a narrative that shifts between the prejudices and passions of Victorian England and those of colonial Ceylon. It binds the destinies of Catherine Colebrook, the proper wife of a fading diplomat, who rebels against every convention to chase the romance of science through her lens, and Eligius, an Indian teenager thrust into servitude after his father is killed demanding native rights. The Luminist is a weave of legend and history, science and art, politics and domesticity that are symphonic themes in the main title, the story of an enduring and forbidden friendship. Catherine and Eligius must each struggle with internal forces that inspire them and societal pressures that command them. Rocklin's is a bold landscape, against which an intimate drama is poignantly played out. Just in this way, our minds recall in every detail the photo snapped at the moment of pain, while all the lovely scenes seem to run together.




Copyright: The Book Depository Synopsis

'Winners of my 'Indie Author' Book Draw!



I would like to say a great big thank-you to everyone who joined my blog as a new GFC follower or were already a follower and entered this draw. It really is appreciated. With so many entries and with some really nice comments being left during this fantastic event, it's been great!


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 and four runners up 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 are, drum roll!!!


Jody - a signed copy of Darcia Helle's 'Hit List'!


Astrid, Beth, Miranda and Darlene as runners up, win an e-book copy of 'Hit List'.
 
 
 
Congratulations!
I will contact the winners to let them know and to arrange delivery of their prizes. 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!

'Saxon: The Book of Dreams (Saxon 1)' by Tim Severin


Release date: 2nd August 2012
Published by: Macmillan
ISBN No: 978 0230764422

Frankia 780AD: Sigwulf, a minor Saxon prince, is saved from execution after his family is slaughtered by the ruthless King Offa of Mercia. Thanks to his Devil's Mark – his eyes of different colours – Sigwulf is exiled to the Frankish court of King Carolus, the future Charlemagne. There Sigwulf survives on his wits while at the same time trying to come to terms with disturbingly prophetic dreams. He gains the friendship of some – Count Hroudland, Carolus's powerful and ambitious nephew but – mysteriously – several attempts are made on Sigwulf’s life. When he obtains a Book of Dreams by chance, a rare text giving understanding to their meaning, he attracts the attention of Carolus himself. But the Book proves to be a slippery guide in a world of treachery and double dealing. Carolus sends Sigwulf and his slave Osric into Spain to spy on the Saracens ahead of a planned Frankish invasion. There, Sigwulf becomes caught between loyalties; either he honours his debt to new friends among the Saracens, or he serves his patron Count Hroudland in his quest for glory, gold and even the Grail itself. One after another Sigwulf's predictions come true, but often not as expected, and he finds himself swept forward into a final great battle that reveals who his enemies are . . .

Copyright: Amazon Synopsis

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

'Midsummer's Eve' Giveaway Hop (International Stop)


I'm slightly late but welcome to the 'Mid Summer's Eve' Giveaway Hop which is hosted by 'I am a Reader, not a Writer' and 'Uniquely Moi Books'. 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 January 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 'Networked Blogs' . Just complete the 'Rafflecopter Entry Form' that you will find at the end of this post.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, if I hit 2,000 GFC followers during this hop, I'll add a second prize to the 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 2,000 '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 2,000 GFC followers at the end of the hop, a second prize will be added to the draw. There will only be one second prize winner from this draw, if the set criteria is met. The gift Vouchers/Certificates 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 ( 26th June 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!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, 18 June 2012

'Golden Earings' by Belinda Alexandra



Release date: 2nd August 2012
Published by: Simon and Schuster Ltd
ISBN No: 978 1471102295


Let me tell you a story...The granddaughter of Spanish refugees, who fled Barcelona after the Civil War, Paloma Batton is an attentive student of the Paris Opera Ballet, that is, until she is visited by a ghost ...Leaving her a mysterious gift - a pair of golden earrings - the ghost disappears, setting Paloma off on a quest. Paloma's exploration of her Spanish heritage, leads to a connection between the visitor and 'la Rusa', a woman who died in Paris in 1952, known for her rapid rise from poverty to flamenco star. Although her death was ruled a suicide, Paloma soon discovers that many people had reasons for wanting la Rusa dead...including Paloma's own grandmother. Golden Earrings travels between Barcelona: before the Civil War, and Paris in the 1970s. It is a story of passion and betrayal, and the extremes two women will go to for love. Nothing is ever quite as it seems...


Copyright: Amazon Synopsis

'Lady of the English' by Elizabeth Chadwick


 
Release date: 13th September 2012
Published by: Sphere (Paperback Version)
ISBN No: 978 0751541342

 
Two very different women are linked by destiny and the struggle for the English crown. Matilda, daughter of Henry I, is determined to win back her crown from Stephen, the usurper king. Adeliza, Henry's widowed queen and Matilda's stepmother, is now married to William D'Albini, a warrior of the opposition. Both women are strong and prepared to stand firm for what they know is right. But in a world where a man's word is law, how can Adeliza obey her husband while supporting Matilda, the rightful queen? And for Matilda pride comes before a fall ...What price for a crown? What does it cost to be 'Lady of the English'?

 
Copyright: The Book Depository Synopsis

'Blue Asylum' by Kathy Hepinstall


 
Release date: 10th April 2012
Published by: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
ISBN No:  978 0547712079

 
Amid the mayhem of the Civil War, Virginia plantation wife Iris Dunleavy is put on trial and convicted of madness. It is the only reasonable explanation the court can see for her willful behavior, so she is sent away to Sanibel Asylum to be restored to a good, compliant woman. Iris knows, though, that her husband is the true criminal; she is no lunatic, only guilty of disagreeing with him on notions of justice, cruelty, and property. On this remote Florida island, cut off by swamps and seas and military blockades, Iris meets a wonderful collection of residents--some seemingly sane, some wrongly convinced they are crazy, some charmingly odd, some dangerously unstable. Which of these is Ambrose Weller, the war-haunted Confederate soldier whose memories terrorize him into wild fits that can only be calmed by the color blue, but whose gentleness and dark eyes beckon to Iris. The institution calls itself modern, but Iris is skeptical of its methods, particularly the dreaded "water treatment." She must escape, but she has found new hope and love with Ambrose. Can she take him with her? If they make it out, will the war have left anything for them to make a life from, back home?" Blue Asylum" is a vibrant, beautifully-imagined, absorbing story of the lines we all cross between sanity and madness. It is also the tale of a spirited woman, a wounded soldier, their impossible love, and the undeniable call of freedom.

 
Copyright: The Book Depository Synopsis

Sunday, 17 June 2012

'Band of Sisters' by Cathy Gohlke

Release date: 1st September 2012
Published by: Tynedale House Publishers
ISBN No: 978 1414353081


Maureen O'Reilly and her younger sister flee Ireland in hope of claiming the life promised to their father over twenty years before. After surviving the rigors of Ellis Island, Maureen learns that their benefactor, Colonel Wakefield, has died. His family, refusing to own his Civil War debt, casts her out. Alone, impoverished, and in danger of deportation, Maureen connives to obtain employment in a prominent department store. But she soon discovers that the elegant facade hides a secret that threatens every vulnerable woman in the city.Despite her family's disapproval, Olivia Wakefield determines to honor her father's debt but can't find Maureen. Unexpected help comes from a local businessman, whom Olivia begins to see as more than an ally, even as she fears the secrets he's hiding. As women begin disappearing from the store, Olivia rallies influential ladies in her circle to help Maureen take a stand against injustice and fight for the lives of their growing band of sisters. But can either woman open her heart to divine leading or the love it might bring?


Copyright: The Book Depository Synopsis


'Dodger' by Terry Pratchett


Release date: 13th September 2012
Published by: Doubleday Childrens
ISBN No:  978 0385619271


Dodger is a tosher - a sewer scavenger living in the squalor of Dickensian London. Everyone who is nobody knows Dodger. Anyone who is anybody doesn't. But when he rescues a young girl from a beating, suddenly everybody wants to know him. And "Dodger's" tale of skulduggery, dark plans and even darker deeds begins...

Copyright: Amazon Synopsis

'Jane Austin's Cults and Cultures' by Claudia L. Johnson



Release date: 4th July 2012
Published by: University of Chicago Press
ISBN No: 978 0226402031

 
Jane Austen completed only six novels, but enduring passion for the author and her works has driven fans to read these books repeatedly, in book clubs or solo, while also inspiring countless film adaptations, sequels, and even spoofs involving zombies and sea monsters. Austen's lasting appeal to both popular and elite audiences has lifted her to legendary status. In "Jane Austen's Cults and Cultures", Claudia L. Johnson shows how Jane Austen became "Jane Austen," a figure intensely - sometimes even wildly - venerated, and often for markedly different reasons. Johnson begins by exploring the most important monuments and portraits of Austen, considering how these artifacts point to an author who is invisible and yet whose image is inseparable from the characters and fictional worlds she created. She then passes through the four critical phases of Austen's reception-the Victorian era, the First and Second World Wars, and the establishment of the Austen House and Museum in 1949-and ponders what the adoration of Austen has meant to readers over the past two centuries. For her fans, the very concept of "Jane Austen" encapsulates powerful ideas and feelings about history, class, manners, intimacy, language, and the everyday. By respecting the intelligence of past commentary about Austen, Johnson shows, we are able to revisit her work and unearth fresh insights and new critical possibilities. An insightful look at how and why readers have cherished one of our most beloved authors, "Jane Austen's Cults and Cultures" will be a valuable addition to the library of any fan of the divine Jane.

 
Copyright: Amazon Synopsis

'Diamond Street: The Hidden World of Hatton Garden' by Rachel Lichtenstein

Release date: 7th June 2012
Published by: Hamish Hamilton
ISBN No:  978-0241142875



Hatton Garden is one of the most secret streets in England, home for two centuries to a deeply private working community of diamond and jewellery dealers. Intimately connected to the area both personally (her family run a jewellery business there) and professionally (as an artist archivist of London's streets), Rachel Lichtenstein is uniquely placed to explore the extraordinary history of this mysterious quarter, with its ancient burial sites, diamond workshops, underground vaults, subterranean rivers, monastic dynasties and forgotten palaces. Moving beyond the street itself into parts of Clerkenwell, Holborn and Farringdon, Rachel follows the ancient perimeter of the original Hatton Garden estate, which once bordered the lost River Fleet. Guided on her walks by archaeologists, sewer flushers, artists, goldsmiths, geologists and visionaries of the city such as Iain Sinclair, she crosses the same territory repeatedly, gathering new layers of the story with each journey. The result is a brilliantly immersive and multi-layered portrait; both a documentary and a secret history of a vanishing world.

Copyright: Waterstones Synopsis

Saturday, 16 June 2012

'Insatiable' by Meg Cabot




Release date: 21st June 2012
Published by: Harper Voyager
ISBN No: 978 0007462124


From the best-selling author of PRINCESS DIARIES comes this supernatural romance with real bite! Sick of hearing about vampires? So is Meena Harper. Meena Harper is familiar with the supernatural. After all, she knows how you're going to die (Not that you're going to believe her. No one ever does.) But not even Meena's precognition can prepare her for Lucien Antonescu--who she meets and then makes the mistake of falling in love with--a modern-day prince with a bit of a dark side for which an ancient society of vampire hunters would prefer to see him dead. The problem is Lucien's already dead. Maybe that's why he's the first guy Meena's ever met with whom she could imagine herself having a future. See, while Meena's always been able to see everyone else's destiny, she's never been able look into her own. Lucien seems to be everything Meena has ever dreamed of in a boyfriend, though he might turn out to be more of a nightmare. So now would be a good time for Meena to start learning to predict her own future ...if she has one.


Copyright: Waterstones Synopsis