Friday, 31 August 2012

'Carnival of Souls' by Melissa Marr

 
 
Release date: 4th September 2012
Published by: Harper Collins Children's Books
ISBN No:  978 0007476305
 
 
An extraordinary new world, from the New York Times bestselling author of the Wicked Lovely series. Enter the Carnival...In a city of daimons, strict class lines control every aspect of life. At the heart of The City is the Carnival of Souls where, once in a generation, anyone can fight for their chance to join the elite. Kaleb is of the lowest caste; Aya is ruling caste - but female. They both face bleak futures and, for each of them, fighting to the death is the only way to try to live. Mallory lives in the human world and knows little of The City, beyond the threat it poses her and her family. But soon she, too, will be drawn into the decadence and danger that is the Carnival of Souls...Combining Melissa Marr's extraordinary world-building, breathtaking action, secrets, love and the struggle to forge one's own destiny, Carnival of Souls will blow your mind and win your heart.
 
 
Copyright: The Book Depository Synopsis

'Back to the Books' Giveaway Hop! (Int)

 
 
 
Welcome to the 'Back to the Books' Giveaway Hop which is hosted by 'I am a Reader, not a Writer' and 'Buried in Books'. To gain entry to this draw all you just have to be a GFC Follower of my blog. You can also gain an extra entries by leaving a comment on this blog post or also following this blog through Networked Blogs, Linky Followers or Google+. 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 $25 (US) or £20 (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!

 
 
 

One first prize of either a $25 (US) or £20 (sterling) Amazon Gift Voucher/Certificate.

There will only be one main prize winner from this draw. 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 ( 7th September 2012 at 23.59GMT), the winning number 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

'The Potter's Hand' by A.N. Wilson

Release date: 1st September 2012
Published by: Atlantic Books
ISBN No: 978 1848879515
 
 
In 1774, Josiah Wedgwood, master craftsman possessed with a burning scientific vision, embarks upon the thousand piece Frog Service for Catherine the Great. Josiah's nephew Tom journeys to America to buy clay from the Cherokee for this exquisite china. Tom is caught up in the American rebellion, and falls for a Cherokee woman who will come to play a crucial role in Josiah's late, great creation: the Portland Vase. As the family fortune is made, and Josiah's entrepreneurial brilliance creates an empire that will endure for generations, it is his daughter Sukey, future mother of Charles Darwin, who bears clear-eyed witness. A novel of epic scope, rich in warmth, intellect and humanity, The Potter's Hand explores the lives and loves of one of Britain's greatest families, whose travails are both ordinary - births, deaths, marriages, opium addiction, depression - and utterly extraordinary.
 
 
Copyright: The Book Depository Synopsis

Thursday, 30 August 2012

'Shadows' by Isla J. Bick

 
 
 Release date: 27th September 2012
Published by: Quercus Books
ISBN No: 978 0857382641
 
 
Alex has escaped from Rule - but what new horrors face her in the ravaged world outside?

Tom is safe - but what will he risk to find Alex?

Chris - how much does he really know about the terrible darkness of Rule? And what are his true feelings for Alex?

Ellie - where is she?

The terrifying follow-up to the hugely popular Ashes.
 
 
Copyright: Quercus Books


It's All About Treo' by Dave Heyhoe

 
 
Release date: 27th September 2012
Published by: Quercus Books
ISBN No: 978 1780873961
 
 
This is the incredible true story of the unbreakable bond forged between Treo, the world's most highly decorated dog, and his handler Sgt. Dave Heyhoe, whilst doing the most dangerous job on earth - sniffing out bombs in Afghanistan.

Dave, known to his fellow soldiers as 'the Dog Whisperer' and Treo were sent forwards, alone and unprotected, to detect the Taliban's murderous IEDs. Soon soldiers refused to patrol certain areas unless accompanied by Treo, and the pressure on the duo became ever more intense. Dave and Treo would realise they needed each other more than they could have ever imagined.

It is a story full of tragedy and triumph, pathos and laughter, as one man and his best friend dare all to ensure that no lives are lost.
 
 
Copyright: Quercus Books

'Accabadora' by Michela Murgia

 
Release date: 27th September 2012
Published by: Quercus Books
ISBN No:  978 0857050472
 
When Maria, the fourth child of a widow, is adopted by the old and childless Bonaria Urrai, her life is instantly transformed - she finally has the love and affection she craves. But her new 'soul mother' is keeping something hidden from her, a secret life that is intimately bound-up with Sardinia's ancient traditions and customs.
 
 
 
Copyright: Quercus Books

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

'The Zoo Keeper's War' by Steve Conte


 
Release date: 6th September 2012
Published by: Quercus
ISBN No: 978 1849169912
e-book
 
 
It is 1943 and each night in a bomb shelter beneath the Berlin Zoo an Australian woman, Vera, shelters with her German husband, Axel, the zoo's director.

Together, they struggle to look after the animals through the air raids and food shortages. When the zoo's staff is drafted into the army, forced labourers are sent in as replacements. At first, Vera finds the idea abhorrent, but gradually she realizes that the new workers are the zoo's only hope, and forms an unlikely bond with one of them.

This is a city where a foreign accent is a constant source of suspicion, where busybodies report the names of neighbours' dinner guests to the Gestapo. As tensions mount in the closing days of the war, nothing and no one, it seems, can be trusted.

The Zookeeper's War is a powerful novel of a marriage, and of a city collapsing. It confronts not only the brutality of war but the possibility of heroism - and delivers an ending that is both shocking and deeply moving.
 
 
Copyright: Quercus Synopsis

'For the Love of Catherine' by Carole Llewellyn

Release date: 1st May 2012
Publisher: Robert Hale Ltd.
ISBN No: 978 0709095729
 
 
14th APRIL, 1912. RMS Titanic Struck by an Iceberg! In the chaos of the sinking ship, Mair Parsons is separated from her infant daughter, Catherine, and her travelling companion and future mother-in-law, Ethel Jenkins, the kind woman who has tried to compensate Mair for the mother's love she has never known. The disaster changes all their lives. During her repatriation to Britain Mair has time to reassess her life and knows that before she can find true happiness she must find out the truth about her absent mother, even if it means leaving her beloved Wales and the fiance and family who care for her. Her search takes her to London where she becomes a Nightingale Nurse at St Thomas's hospital and meets the exciting doctor, Andrew Baxter. With new love and a new career, can she be truly happy? Or will her heart be forever bound to those she loves in Wales?
 
 
Copyright: The Book Depository Synopsis

'The Psychology of Prayer' by Bernard Spilka and Kevin L. Ladd

 
 
Release date: 19th October 2012
Published by: Guilford Press
ISBN No: 978 1462506958
 
 
Reviewing the growing body of scientific research on prayer, this book describes what is known about the behavioral, cognitive, emotional, developmental, and health aspects of this important religious activity. The highly regarded authors provide a balanced perspective on what prayer means to the individual, how and when it is practiced, and the impact it has in people's lives. Clinically relevant topics include connections among prayer, coping, and adjustment, as well as controversial questions of whether prayer (for oneself or another) can be beneficial to health. The strengths and limitations of available empirical studies are critically evaluated, and promising future research directions are identified.


Copyright: Amazon Synopsis


Tuesday, 28 August 2012

'The Oracle Glass' by Judith Merkle Riley

 
 
Release date: November 2012
Published by: Sourcebooks Landmark
ISBN No: 978 1402270581

 
Genevieve is a precocious girl with the remarkable power to read the future in a water glass. Left for dead by her family, she is taken in by La Voisin, who rules a secret society of witches that manipulate the rich—from tradesmen all the way up to the king himself. Genevieve transforms herself into the mysterious Madame de Morville, rumored to be 150 years old. Driven by the spirit of revenge, Genevieve is on the verge of discovering true love when the police sniff out the secret network of poisoners and sorcerers. Genevieve races to escape the stake, unaware who will live and who will die in the wake of the King's terrible vengeance.

 
Copyright: The Book Depository Synopsis


'Poppy Day' by Amanda Prowse

 
 
Release date: 25th October 2012
Published by:  Head of Zeus
ISBN No: 978 1781851111
 
 
Poppy Day is a sweet, sunny hairdresser who lives in East London. Her tiny council flat is damp, and money is tight, but ever since she married her childhood sweetheart, Mart, she's been happy with her life. Now Mart is fighting in Afghanistan, and Poppy is counting the days until he returns. It takes one knock at the door to rip Poppy's world apart. Mart has been taken hostage, and the army can't do anything to rescue him. Refusing to believe in a future without her husband, Poppy decides to bring him home herself. Fuelled by little more than hope and determination, Poppy leaves the only place she's ever known to embark on a dangerous journey to the plains of Afghanistan. But her wits and charm will only get her so far. When she is forced to face a heartbreaking dilemma, will Poppy pay a terrible price to save the man she loves?
 
 
Copyright: Amazon Synopsis


'People of the Black Sun' by Kathleen O'Neill Gear and W. Michael Gear

 
 
Release date: 16th October 2012
Published by: Tor Books
ISBN No: 978 0765326959
 
 
Dekanawida has become known as "The Sky Messenger," a prophet of immense power, and Hiawento is his Speaker. Thousands now believe in the Great Law of Peace and have joined the League. But they are still being harassed by marauding warriors from the People of the Mountain who steadfastly refuse to adopt the Great Law.Dekanawida has prophesied destruction if the warfare continues. As one by one, portents start coming true, Dekanawida has one last chance to convince the People of the Mountain to join the League and save their world from utter destruction.
 
 
Copyright: The Book Depository Synopsis

Monday, 27 August 2012

'Uncoupled' by Lizzie Enfield

 
 
Release date: 13th September 2012
Published by: Headline Review
ISBN No:  978 0755377909


'We are getting early reports of a train crash on the Brighton to London line...Emergency Services are on their way to the scene'. Holly knew that by staying with him she was putting herself at risk. But, as she held him in the darkness, she didn't want to let him go.

Holly's a mother with children, a husband she loves and a time-consuming job up in London.She copes, and life is good.

So when she is in a train accident on the London to Brighton line, Holly knows that it's just a small chapter in her life and nothing has changed. But Holly can't forget the younger man who comforted her in the chaos of the crash, and when she seems him again on her daily commute up to town, there's a flash of recognition between them. Is it embarrassment? Curiosity? Or is there something more? And what of Anne-Marie, another passenger who has survived. Just what is her story?

 
Copyright: Amazon Synopsis

'San Miguel' by TC Boyle

 
 
Release date: 11th October 2012
Published by: Bloomsbury Publishing Plc
ISBN No: 978 1408830697
 
 
The schooner from Santa Barbara arrives at the tiny, desolate island on New Year's Day, 1888. As the trunks are unloaded onto the wet sand, thirty-eight-year-old Marantha Waters looks at the cliffs falling away into the churning sea. This is the first day of her new life on San Miguel. Joined by her husband, a fiercely possessive Civil War veteran who will take over the operation of the sheep ranch on the island, Marantha strives to persevere in the face of brutal isolation. But the constant wind and sheep-ravaged wasteland shatter her illusions; her husband promised paradise. As he obsessively resolves to stay - and becomes increasingly distant from her and their adopted daughter Edith - Marantha's blighted lungs grow weaker in the dampness. Two years later, Edith, now a spirited teenager and an aspiring actress, will exploit every opportunity to escape the captivity her father has imposed on her. March, 1930. Another family - and another bride - arrives on San Miguel. Elise Lester, a librarian from New York City, and her husband Herbie, a World War I veteran full of manic energy, achieve a celebrity of sorts as the news cameras take an interest in these wayward people living in the wild. But the unyielding island is haunted by its history. Will the family be able to cling together as the war threatens to pull everything apart? San Miguel is a vivid and gripping story of hard lives pitched against the elements, the desires of stubborn men and the unbearable burden of love, from master American storyteller T. C. Boyle.
 
 
Copyright: Amazon Synopsis


'The Springsweet' by Saundra Mitchell

 
 
Release date: 17th April 2012
Published by: Harcourt Children's Books
ISBN No: 978 0547608426
 
 
Heartbroken over the tragic death of her fiance, seventeen-year-old Zora Stewart leaves Baltimore for the frontier town of West Glory, Oklahoma, to help her young widowed aunt keep her homestead going. There she discovers that she possesses the astonishing ability to sense water under the parched earth. When her aunt hires her out as a "springsweet" to advise other settlers where to dig their wells, Zora feels the burden of holding the key to something so essential to survival in this unforgiving land. Even more, she finds herself longing for love the way the prairie thirsts for water. Maybe, in the wildness of the territories, Zora can finally move beyond simply surviving and start living.
 
 
Copyright: The Book Depository Synopsis

Sunday, 26 August 2012

'Enshadowed (Nevermore)' by Kelly Creagh

 
 
Release date: 28th August 2012
Published by: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
ISBN No: 978 1442402041
 
 
True love takes a twisted turn in the second book of this modern gothic romance trilogy channeling the dark brilliance of Edgar Allan Poe.While Varen remains a prisoner in a perilous dream world where the terrifying stories of Edgar Allan Poe come to life, Isobel travels to Baltimore to confront the dark figure known throughout the world as the Poe Toaster. This man, the same man who once appeared to Isobel in her dreams and abandoned her in Varen's nightmare world, holds the key to saving Varen. But when Isobel discovers a way to return to this dream world, she finds herself swept up in a realm that not only holds remnants of Edgar Allan Poe's presence, but has also now taken on the characteristics of Varen's innermost self. It is a dark world of fear, terror, and anger. When Isobel once more encounters Varen, she finds him changed. And now Isobel must face a new adversary--one who also happens to be her greatest love.
 
 
Copyright: The Book Depository Synopsis

'The Deadly Sisterhood' by Leonie Frieda

Release date: 8th November 2012
Published by: W and N
ISBN No: 978 0297852087
 
 
The book is one of drama on a grand scale, a Renaissance epic, as Christendom emerged from the shadows of the calamitous 14th century. The sweeping tale involves inspired and corrupt monarchs, the finest thinkers, the most brilliant artists, and the greatest beauties in Christendom. Here are the stories of its most remarkable women, who are all joined by birth, marriage and friendship and who ruled for a time in place of their men-folk: Lucrezia Turnabuoni (Queen Mother of Florence, the power behind the Medici throne), Clarice Orsini (Roman princess, feudal wife), Beatrice d'Este (Golden Girl of the Renaissance), Caterina Sforza (Lioness of the Romagna), Isabella d'Este (the Acquisitive Marchesa), Giulia Farnese ('la bella', the family asset), Isabella d'Aragona (the Weeping Duchess) and Lucrezia Borgia (the Virtuous Fury). The men play a secondary role in this grand saga; whenever possible the action is seen through the eyes our heroines. These eight women experienced great riches, power and the warm smile of fortune, but they also knew banishment, poverty, the death of a husband or the loss of one or more of their children. As each of the chosen heroines comes to the fore in her turn, she is handed the baton by her 'sister' and Leonie Frieda recounts the role each woman played in the hundred-year drama that is THE DEADLY SISTERHOOD.
 
 Copyright: The Book Depository Synopsis

'Phi: A Voyage from the Brain to the Soul' by Giulio Tononi

 
Release date: 20th September 2012
Published by: Pantheon
ISBN No: 978-0307907219
 
 
This title is printed in full color throughout. From one of the most original and influential neuroscientists at work today, here is an exploration of consciousness unlike any other--as told by Galileo, who opened the way for the objectivity of science and is now intent on making subjective experience a part of science as well. Galileo's journey has three parts, each with a different guide. In the first, accompanied by a scientist who resembles Francis Crick, he learns why certain parts of the brain are important and not others, and why consciousness fades with sleep. In the second part, when his companion seems to be named Alturi (Galileo is hard of hearing; his companion's name is actually Alan Turing), he sees how the facts assembled in the first part can be unified and understood through a scientific theory--a theory that links consciousness to the notion of integrated information (also known as phi). In the third part, accompanied by a bearded man who can only be Charles Darwin, he meditates on how consciousness is an evolving, developing, ever-deepening awareness of ourselves in history and culture--that it is everything we have and everything we are. Not since "Godel, Escher, Bach" has there been a book that interweaves science, art, and the imagination with such originality. This beautiful and arresting narrative will transform the way we think of ourselves and the world.
 
 
Copyright: The Book Depository Synopsis

'John Saturnall's Feast' by Lawrence Norfolk

 
 
Release date: 13th SEptember 2012
Published by: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
ISBN No: 978 1408805961
 
 
From the bestselling author of Lempriere's Dictionary, Lawrence Norfolk is back with an astounding novel of seventeeth-century life, love and war; the story of an orphan who becomes the greatest cook of his age. The village of Buckland, 1625. A boy and his mother run for their lives. Behind them a mob chants of witchcraft. Taking refuge among the trees of Buccla's Wood, the mother opens her book and tells her son of an ancient Feast kept in secret down the generations. But as exquisite dishes rise from the page, the ground beneath them freezes. That winter, the boy's mother dies. Taken to Buckland Manor, John is put to work in the house's vast subterranean kitchens where his talent raises him from the scullery to the great house above. A complex dish served to King Charles brings him before Lady Lucretia Fremantle, the headstrong daughter of the house. He must tempt her from her fast. But both encounters will imperil him. As the Civil War begins and the New Order's fanatical soldiers march, John and Lucretia are thrown together into a passionate struggle for survival. To keep all he holds most dear, John must realise his mother's vision. He must serve the Saturnall Feast.
 
 
Copyright: The Book Depository Synopsis


Saturday, 25 August 2012

'Dearly Beloved' by Lia Habel

 
 
Release date: 25th September 2012
Published by:  Del Rey Books
ISBN No: 978 0345523341
 
 
 
Can the living coexist with the living dead?

That’s the question that has New Victorian society fiercely divided ever since the mysterious plague known as “The Laz” hit the city of New London and turned thousands into walking corpses. But while some of these zombies are mindless monsters, hungry for human flesh, others can still think, speak, reason, and control their ravenous new appetites.

Just ask Nora Dearly, the young lady of means who was nearly kidnapped by a band of sinister zombies but valiantly rescued by a dashing young man . . . of the dead variety.

Nora and her savior, the young zombie soldier Bram Griswold, fell hopelessly in love. But others feel only fear and loathing for the reanimated dead. Now, as tensions grow between pro- and anti-zombie factions, battle lines are being drawn in the streets. And though Bram is no longer in the New Victorian army, he and his ex-commando zombie comrades are determined to help keep the peace. That means taking a dangerous stand between The Changed, a radical group of sentient zombies fighting for survival, and The Murder, a masked squad of urban guerrillas hellbent on destroying the living dead. But zombies aren’t the only ones in danger: Their living allies are also in The Murder’s crosshairs, and for one vengeful zealot, Nora Dearly is the number one target.

As paranoia, prejudice, and terrorist attacks threaten to plunge the city into full-scale war, Nora’s scientist father and his team continue their desperate race to unlock the secrets of “The Laz” and find a cure. But their efforts may be doomed when a mysterious zombie appears bearing an entirely new strain of the illness—and the nation of New Victoria braces for a new wave of the apocalypse.


Copyright: Amazon Synopsis



'Distant Thunder' by T.D. Griggs

Release date: 1st March 2012
Published by: Orion
ISBN No: 978 1409101918
 
 
Set at the end of the nineteenth century, this sweeping, epic love story traces the doomed relationship of two young people against the backdrop of a British Empire bracing itself against political opposition. As a boy, Frank had to leave his beloved India when his mother was assaulted by a British officer and accidentally shot when Frank tried to intervene. After his father dies of shame and a broken heart, Frank must make his way to England, sustained only by the determination to revenge himself on the man responsible for destroying his family as soon as he's old enough to become a soldier himself. Grace is the privileged daughter of an industrial magnate, but following her heart and her head makes her a champion of those oppressed by masters of the empire like her father, and so she too finds she has lost her family. As the pair fall in love, there is only one thing standing in the way of true happiness - Frank's vow of revenge...
 
 
Copyright: The Book Depository Synopsis

'The Orphan Master' by Jean Zimmerman

Release date: 19th June 2012
Published by: Viking Books
ISBN No: 978 0670023646
 
 
From a debut novelist, a gripping historical thriller and rousing love story set in seventeenth-century ManhattanIt's 1663 in the tiny, hardscrabble Dutch colony of New Amsterdam, now present-day southern Manhattan. Orphan children are going missing, and among those looking into the mysterious state of affairs are a quick-witted twenty-two-year-old trader, Blandine von Couvering, herself an orphan, and a dashing British spy named Edward Drummond.Suspects abound, including the governor's wealthy nephew, a green-eyed aristocrat with decadent tastes; an Algonquin trapper who may be possessed by a demon that turns people into cannibals; and the colony's own corrupt and conflicted orphanmaster. Both the search for the killer and Edward and Blandine's newfound romance are endangered, however, when Blandine is accused of being a witch and Edward is sentenced to hang for espionage. Meanwhile, war looms as the English king plans to wrest control of the colony.Jean Zimmerman brings New Amsterdam and its surrounding wilderness alive for modern-day readers with exacting period detail. Lively, fast paced, and full of colorful characters, "The Orphanmaster" is a dramatic page-turner that will appeal to fans of Hilary Mantel and Geraldine Brooks.
 
 
Copyright: The Book Depository Synopsis

Friday, 24 August 2012

'The Chocolate Money' by Ashley Prentice Norton

 
 
Release date: 13th September 2012
Published by: Bantam Press
ISBN No: 978 0593069981
 
 
An innocent little girl, A phenomenal fortune, A mother like no other. Ten-year old Bettina and her mother, Babs, are heiresses to one of America's biggest fortunes. But Bettina's whole life is overshadowed by that of her beautiful, hedonistic mother, the glamorous but domineering Babs. At fifteen, Bettina escapes to New England and an exclusive, preppy boarding school called Cardiss, where she hopes she can finally start to figure out who she really is. But while she thinks that fitting in with the other students represents her best chance of surviving the cliques and politics of Cardiss, soon she's making choices that show that Babs' maternal shadow still looms long over her. Can Bettina ever break free to forge her own identity - or is she simply doomed to being her mother's daughter forever?
 
 
Copyright: Waterstones Synopsis

'The Age of Doubt (Montalbano 14)' by Andrea Camilleri

 
 
Release date: 22nd November 2012
Published by: Mantle
ISBN No: 978 1447203315
 
 
A chance encounter with a strange young woman leads Inspector Montalbano to Vig├áta harbour – and into a puzzling new mystery. The crew of a mysterious yacht - the Vanna - due to dock in the area have discovered a corpse floating in the water, the dead man’s face badly disfigured. It isn't long before Montalbano begins to become suspicious of the Vanna's inhabitants. Who is the yacht's owner, the glamorous and short-tempered Livia Giovannini? How has she accrued her riches? And why does she spend so much time at sea? Meanwhile Montalbano finds himself getting into tangles with the dreaded Commissioner, the exasperating Dr Lattes and a very beautiful young woman at the harbour, with whom he becomes dangerously besotted . . . Can the Inspector clear his head long enough to unravel this murky mystery?
 
 
Copyright: Amazon Synopsis

'The King's Revenge: Charles II and the Greatest Manhunt in British History' by Don Jordan and Michael Walsh

Release date: 28th August 2012
Published by: Little, Brown
ISBN No: 978 1408703274
 
 
When Charles I was executed, his son Charles II made it his mission to search out retribution, producing the biggest manhunt Britain had ever seen, one that would span Europe and America and would last for thirty years. Men who had once been among the most powerful figures in England ended up on the scaffold, on the run, or in fear of the assassin's bullet. History has painted the regicides and their supporters as fanatical Puritans, but among them were remarkable men, including John Milton and Oliver Cromwell. Don Jordan and Michael Walsh bring these remarkable figures and this astonishing story vividly to life in an engrossing, bloody tale of plots, spies, betrayal, fear and ambition.
 
 
Copyright: The Book Depository Synopsis


'The Watchers: A Secret History of the Reign of Elizabeth I'by Stephen Alford

Release date: 30th August 2012
Published by: Allen Lane
ISBN No: 978 1846142604
 
 
Elizabeth I was a ruler who radiated a sense of power and purpose. Her long and successful reign was a Golden Age of wealth, confidence, creativity, Shakespeare's plays and Walter Raleigh's adventures: the apotheosis of the Tudor dynasty. Across much of Europe, however, Elizabeth was viewed very differently. She was 'Jezebel', the bastard offspring of Henry VIII's illegal second marriage, a woman and a Protestant heretic. The pope denounced her as a heretic schismatic tyrant and the most powerful rulers of Europe conspired to destroy her, their plans most fully realized by the Spanish Armada. If Elizabeth's reign was a golden age, then it was also a precarious one that required constant, anxious surveillance against sometimes overwhelming threats. "The Watchers" is a beautifully written, gripping account of the unflagging battle by spies, code breakers, ambassadors and confidence-men to protect the queen. It was a reign that required endless watchfulness - of the coasts, of the Catholic seminaries, of Elizabeth's own subjects. The stakes could not have been higher: priests coming secretly ashore were hunted down and executed, and assassination plots, real and imagined, sprung up everywhere. Drawing on extraordinary secret files, Stephen Alford brings to life this shadow world, where nobody could be trusted and where a single mistake could have changed England's history drastically. This is a dark, surprising and utterly compelling account of an extraordinary reign.
 
 
Copyright: The Book Depository Synopsis

Thursday, 23 August 2012

'Perhaps Tomorrow' by Jean Fullerton

Release date: 3rd February 2011
Published by: Orion
ISBN No: 978 1409122913
 
 
Mattie Maguire is a twenty-six-year-old widow with an infant son. Since her husband, Brian, died three years before, she has struggled to keep the family's East End coal business solvent, as well as taking care of her troubled mother-in-law. But unbeknown to Mattie, life is about to get even tougher. Maguire's is in the path of the proposed Wapping to Mile End Railway extension that Amos Stebbins is trying to raise capital for, and he has his sights set on the deeds of the coal yard. Outwardly, Amos is a respectably married local benefactor. But he has a darker side and will stop at nothing to get what he wants.
 
 
Copyright: The Book Depository Synopsis

'Two Testaments' by Elizabeth Musser

 
 
Release date: June 2012
Published by: David C Cook
ISBN No: 978-0781404990
 
 
The slightest spark will ignite an explosion. The tinderbox of broken political and racial relations in France and Algeria provides plenty of kindling. And the growing friction, especially in Algeria, will soon combust. A tentative ceasefire offers little to cool the heat. And in the midst of the turmoil, Gabriella Madison guards the orphans in her care, while battling jealousy when Anne-Marie Duchemin, David's former flame, arrives in Castelnau, France. As they protect the little ones in their care amid rising discomfort in the community with the multi-cultural orphanage, each wonders who David will choose. Meanwhile, David is trapped in Algeria, caught in the turmoil of a country gone mad. He seeks a way to guard his life and, at the same time, protect the refugees he came to help. And escape seems impossible. Unable to predict what lies ahead, Gabriella and David learn that in life, waiting is the hardest part. The answers lie in two testaments.
 
Copyright: The Book Depository Synopsis


Winner of my 'Last Days of Freedom' Giveaway!

 
 
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 on GFC, entered this draw and to those who left wonderful comments on the post . It really is appreciated. There was over one thousand entries for this Giveaway which was truly amazing!

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 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!!!

Sarah (redtigergirl2)  - $25 (US) or £20 (sterling) Amazon Gift Voucher/Certificate
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 the 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!


Wednesday, 22 August 2012

'In the Shadow of the Banyan ' by Chris Cleave

 
 
Release date: 13th September 2012
Published by: Simon and Schuster UK
ISBN No: 978 1849837583
 
 
For seven-year-old Raami, the shattering end of childhood begins with the footsteps of her father returning home in the early dawn hours bringing details of the civil war that has overwhelmed the streets of Phnom Penh, Cambodia's capital. Soon the family's world of carefully guarded royal privilege is swept up in the chaos of revolution and forced exodus. Over the next four years, as she endures the deaths of family members, starvation, and brutal forced labour, Raami clings to the only remaining vestige of childhood - the mythical legends and poems told to her by her father. In a climate of systematic violence where memory is sickness and justification for execution, Raami fights for her improbable survival. Displaying the author's extraordinary gift for language, In the Shadow of the Banyan is testament to the transcendent power of narrative and a brilliantly wrought tale of human resilience.
 
 
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'The Year After' by Martin Davies

 
 
Release date: 13th September 2012
Published by: Hodder Paperbacks
ISBN No: 978 0340980446
 
 
DECEMBER 1919. Tom Allen, uncomfortable in London after five years in uniform, receives an invitation to spend Christmas at Hannesford Court.It's almost as if nothing has changed. Cards in the library after dinner. The Boxing Day shoot. The New Year ball. Margot.But Tom hasn't forgotten the professor. A strange meeting in Germany has raised a question in his mind: in all his visits to Hannesford before the War, all those years observing the glittering life of its owners, how much did he ever really see?
 
 
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'With Every Letter' by Sarah Sundin

 
 
Release date: October 2012
Published by: Baker Books
ISBN No:  978 0800720810
 
 
Lt. Mellie Blake is a nurse serving in the 802nd Medical Squadron, Air Evacuation, Transport. As part of a morale building program, she reluctantly enters into an anonymous correspondence with Lt. Tom MacGilliver, an officer in the 908th Engineer Aviation Battalion in North Africa. As their letters crisscross the Atlantic, Tom and Mellie develop a unique friendship despite not knowing the other's true identity. When both are transferred to Algeria, the two are poised to meet face to face for the first time. Will they overcome their fears and reveal who they are, or will their future be held hostage to their past? And can they learn to trust God and embrace the gift of love he offers them? Combining excellent research and attention to detail with a flair for romance, Sarah Sundin brings to life the perilous challenges of WWII aviation, nursing, and true love.
 
 
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Tuesday, 21 August 2012

'The Winter Palace' by Eva Stachniak



Release date: 8th November 2012
Published by: Black Swan
ISBN No: 978 0552777988

When Vavara, a young orphaned Polish girl, is brought to serve at Empress Elizabeth's glittering, dangerous court in St Petersburg, she is schooled by the Chancellor himself in skills from lock-picking to love-making, learning above all else to stay silent - and listen. Soon, she is Elizabeth's 'tongue' - her secret eyes and ears. Then Sophie, a vulnerable young princess, arrives from Prussia as a prospective bride for Elizabeth's heir. Set to spy on her by the Empress, Vavara soon becomes her friend and confidante, and helps her navigate the illicit seductions and the treacherous shifting allegiances of the court. But Sophie's destiny is to become the notorious Catherine the Great. Are her ambitions more lofty and far-reaching than anyone suspected, and will she stop at nothing to achieve absolute power?


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'The Girls in Blue' by Lily Baxter



Release date: 11th October 2012
Published by: Arrow
ISBN No: 978 0099562665


When her home is destroyed in a bombing raid over London, Miranda Beddoes is forced to take refuge with her grandparents down on the Dorset coast. With both her parents doing their duty for king and country, Miranda longs to do the same. She joins the WAAF and is soon working hard to help win the war.

Despite her determination to dedicate herself to her work, Miranda falls for charismatic fighter pilot Gil Maddern - a man known for his recklessness and passion for flying. As the battle rages in the skies above them and she learns that Gil's plane has been hit, it is only the friendship of her fellow girls in blue that keeps Miranda going as she waits for news.


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'Chronicles of the Ancient World' by John Haywood


Release date: 8th November 2012
Published by: Quercus
ISBN No: 978-1780873213
The great civilizations of the distant past never cease to amaze us with their spectacular achievements - their ideas, writings and works of art still speak to us with an amazing freshness of imagination and workmanship. This book paints a vivid, multi-faceted portrait of the achievements of those civilizations set within their historical context, with a global reach that includes ancient Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece, and Rome. Chronicles of the Ancient World combines detailed commentary with over 170 stunning images to create a beautiful guide to the spiritual, cultural, technological and artistic innovation of these complex and fascinating societies.
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Monday, 20 August 2012

'Todo in Tuscany' by Louise Badger and Lawrence Kershaw

Release date: 25th October 2012
Published by: Hodder Paperbacks
ISBN No: 978 1444708301


A dream house in Tuscany ...and a dog named Todo. Todo had been waiting at Poggiolino since his mistress died over two years before. The house lay empty and neglected and yet he wouldn't leave. He seemed to know that someday the right people would come along and make it a home again. Louise and Lawrence weren't thinking of buying the very first house they looked at in Tuscany. In fact, their plans to move from London were barely formed ...but there was something enchanting about the dog waiting at the gates. If they were honest, they wanted Todo - the scruffy dog with the huge grin - as much as they wanted the house. With Todo as their faithful companion they began to restore Poggiolino to life, unlocking her secrets and giving Todo, their beloved dog, a second chance. A heart-warming memoir of moving country, making a new life and coming home.


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'The Treachery of Beautiful Things' Frances Long



Release date:6th September 2012
Published by: Dial Books
ISBN No: 978 0803735804


The trees swallowed her brother whole and Jenny was there to see it. Now seventeen she revisits the woods where Tom was taken resolving to say goodbye at last. Instead she is lured into the trees where she finds strange and dangerous creatures who seem to consider her the threat. Among them is Jack, mercurial and magnetic, with secrets of his own. Determined to find her brother with or without Jack's help, Jenny struggles to navigate a faerie world where stunning beauty masks some of the most treacherous evils.
 
 
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'The Testament of Mary' by Colm Toibin


 
Release date: 25th October 2012
Published by: Viking
ISBN No: 978 0670922093


 
In a voice that is both tender and filled with rage, The Testament of Mary tells the story of a cataclysmic event which led to an overpowering grief. For Mary, her son has been lost to the world, and now, living in exile and in fear, she tries to piece together the memories of the events that led to her son's brutal death. To her he was a vulnerable figure, surrounded by men who could not be trusted, living in a time of turmoil and change.

As her life and her suffering begin to acquire the resonance of myth, Mary struggles to break the silence surrounding what she knows to have happened. In her effort to tell the truth in all its gnarled complexity, she slowly emerges as a figure of immense moral stature as well as a woman from history rendered now as fully human.

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Sunday, 19 August 2012

United Nations World Humanitarian Day 19th August 2012: Performance by Beyonce

'Love for a Soldier' by Mary Jane Staples



Release date: 8th November 2012
Published by: Corgi
ISBN No: 978 0552166560



France, 1918.

Sophia, the rebellious daughter of a distinguished German general, is on her way to the town of Douai to elope with the man of her dreams - a young army officer - against her parents' wishes. On her way, she witnesses a dramatic battle in the skies that leaves an English pilot without a plane and under the misapprehension that Sophia is on his side.

She has no choice but to agree to assist him in his attempt to avoid capture, and he joins her in the family car she has stolen, trailed by both the German Army and a staff officer under strict instructions from Sophia's father to bring her home.

With their pursuers hot on their heels, how will Sophia explain her behaviour, protecting a man she is supposed to hate? And after sharing so many adventures, will she be able to turn the flying officer in when the time comes?


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'Peter the Great' by Robert K Massie


Release date: 1st September 2012
Published by: Head of Zeus
ISBN No: 978 1908800107

Against the monumental canvas of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Europe and Russia, unfolds the magnificent story of Peter the Great, crowned at the age of 10. A barbarous, volatile feudal tsar with a taste for torture; a progressive and enlightened reformer of government and science; a statesman of vision and colossal significance: Peter the Great embodied the greatest strengths and weaknesses of Russia while being at the very forefront of her development. Robert K. Massie delves deep into the life of this captivating historical figure, chronicling the pivotal events that shaped a boy into a legend - including his "incognito" travels in Europe, his unquenchable curiosity about Western ways, his obsession with the sea and establishment of the stupendous Russian navy, his creation of an unbeatable army, and his relationships with those he loved most: Catherine, his loving mistress, wife, and successor; and Menshikov, the charming, unscrupulous prince who rose to power through Peter's friendship. Impetuous and stubborn, generous and cruel, a man of enormous energy and complexity, Peter the Great is brought fully to life.
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'One Summer' by Roisin Meaney

Release date: 3rd September 2012
Published by:  Hachette Books Ireland
ISBN No: 978 1444706826

 
Nell Mulcahy grew up on the island - playing in the shallows and fishing with her father in his old red boat in the harbour. So when the stone cottage by the edge of the sea comes up for sale, the decision to move back from Dublin is easy. And where better to hold her upcoming wedding to Tim than on the island, surrounded by family and friends?

But when Nell decides to rent out her cottage for the summer to help finance the wedding, she sets in motion an unexpected series of events.

As deeply buried feelings rise to the surface, Nell's carefully laid plans for her wedding start to go awry and she is forced to make some tough decisions.

One thing's for sure, it's a summer on the island that nobody will ever forget.


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