Thursday, 31 March 2016

'Fool For Books' Giveaway Hop 2016 (International)



Welcome to the 'Fool for Books' Giveaway Hop 2016, which is hosted by 'Book Hounds'.

To enter this particular Giveway on my blog you just have to be a linked Follower of my blog through GFC. 


Just complete the 'Rafflecopter Entry Form' that you will find towards the end of this post. Extra entries can be obtained by also following this blog through Networked Blogs, Linky, Google+, my e-mail subscription list or by just leaving a comment on 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 $15 (US) / £10 (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 completion of the draw!



One first prize of either a $15 (US) or £10 (sterling) Amazon Gift Voucher/Certificate!

There will be one main prize winner from this draw. The gift Voucher/Certificate will only be offered in either US dollars or pounds sterling. No other currencies can be catered for. Each entrant will be allocated a sequential number. After the closing date for this draw (7th April 2016 at 23.59 GMT), the winning number entered for this draw will be chosen by the Rafflecopter random draw winner selection system. 

This is an International Giveaway Draw! As I am based in the UK, I am about six hours ahead time wise of the majority of other blogs that are taking part in this hop! ;-) Please be patient for the other blogs to come on stream for this hop!! :-)

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!

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

'Spark' by Holly Schindler


Release date: 1st June 2016
Published by: Harper Collins
ISBN No: 978 0062220233


Acclaimed author Holly Schindler writes a compelling contemporary tale with a dash of magic. The theater comes to life in this story of family ties, fate, love, and one girl's quest to rewrite history.
The local Avery Theatre was just a run-down building to Quin until her mother told her about the tragic love that played out on the theatre's stage many years ago. Quin is convinced it's the perfect story to re-create for her drama class. And when she does, the Avery begins to magically regain its former splendour, clearly setting the stage for her classmates Dylan and Cass to relive the romance from a time before. Quin can see the spark between them, but it's up to her to make sure her friends and the Avery can both be saved this time around.


Copyright: Amazon Synopsis

'Allegiance of Honor' by Nalini Singh


Release date: 14th June 2016
Published by: Berkley Books
ISBN No: 978 1101987766


A staggering transformation has put the Psy, humans, and changelings at a crossroads.The Trinity Accord promises a new era of cooperation between disparate races and groups. It is a beacon of hope held together by many hands: old enemies, new allies, wary loners. 

But a century of distrust and suspicion can t be so easily forgotten, and it threatens to shatter Trinity from within at any moment. As rival members vie for dominance, chaos and evil gather in the shadows and a kidnapped woman's cry for help washes up in San Francisco, while the Consortium turns its murderous gaze toward a child who is the embodiment of change, of love, of piercing hope: a child who is both Psy and changeling. 

To find the lost and protect the vulnerable and to save Trinity no one can stand alone. This is a time of loyalty across divisions, of bonds woven into the heart and the soul, of heroes known and unknown standing back to back and holding the line. But is an allegiance of honor even possible with traitors lurking in their midst? 


Copyright: Amazon Synopsis

'Bay of Sighs' by Nora Roberts


Release date: 16th June 2016
Published by: Piatkus
ISBN No: 978 0349407838


A dark and powerful goddess hunts for three jewels: fallen stars that will give her endless power. To save the world, six friends have joined forces to stop her. Now, on the beautiful island of Capri, their battle continues...
Mermaid Annika is proud to have been chosen for such an important quest. But now that her identity has been revealed, her time is running out. She knows that soon she must return to her people. But she also knows that she is in love with Sawyer King - the brave and loyal adventurer with secrets of his own.
As Annika, Sawyer and their four friends hunt for the mysterious 'star of water', the goddess Nerezza sends a terrifying foe to destroy them. It seems there is no place for love and desire at such a dark time. And so Sawyer tries to protect Annika by pushing her away.
But true love cannot be denied. And in a battle between the dark and the light - it might be the only thing that can save them from a terrible fate.



Copyright: Amazon Synopsis

'The Songbird' by Marcia Willett


Release date: 16th June 2016
Published by: Bantam Press
ISBN No: 978 0593074855


When Mattie invites her old friend Tim to stay in one of her family cottages on the edge of Dartmoor, she senses there is something he is not telling her, as if he is holding on to a painful secret. 

But as he gets to know the rest of the warm jumble of family who live by the moor, Tim discovers that everyone there has their own secrets. There is Charlotte, a young navy wife struggling to bring up her son while her husband is at sea; William, who guards a dark past he cannot share with the others; and Mattie, who has loved Tim in silence for years.

As Tim begins to open up, Mattie falls deeper in love. And as summer warms the wild Dartmoor landscape, new beginnings take root . . . But can fresh hopes bloom where old secrets are buried?


Copyright: Amazon Synopsis

'The Missing Wife' by Sheila O'Flanagan


Release date: 16th June 2016
Published by: Headline review
ISBN No: 978 1472210760


Have you ever wanted to disappear?
When Imogen Naughton vanishes, everyone who knows her is shocked. She has a perfect marriage. Her handsome husband treats her like a princess. She's always said how lucky she is. So why has she left? And how will she survive without Vince?
What goes on behind closed doors is often a surprise, and Imogen surprises herself by taking the leap she knows she must. But as she begins her journey to find the woman she once was, Imogen's past is right behind her...
Will it catch up with her? And will she be ready to face it if it does?


Copyright: Amazon Synopsis

'How to Find Love in a Book Shop' by Veronica Henry


Release date: 16th June 2016
Published by: Orion
ISBN No:978 1409146889


Nightingale Books, nestled on the high street in the idyllic Cotswold town of Peasebrook, is a dream come true for book lovers.
But owner Emilia Nightingale is struggling to keep the shop open. The temptation to sell up is proving enormous - but what about the promise she made to her father? Not to mention the loyalty she owes to her customers.
Sarah Basildon, owner of stately pile Peasebrook Manor, has used the book shop as an escape from all her problems in the past few years. But is there more to her visits than meets the eye?
Since messing up his marriage, Jackson asks Emilia for advice on books to read to the son he misses so much. But Jackson has a secret, and is not all he seems...
And there's Thomasina, painfully shy, who runs a pop-up restaurant from her tiny cottage. She has a huge crush on a man she met and then lost in the cookery section, somewhere between Auguste Escoffier and Marco Pierre White. Can she find the courage to admit her true feelings?

Copyright: Amazon Synopsis

Saturday, 26 March 2016

'Resurgence' by Kerry Wilkinson



Release date: 31st May 2016
Published by: St. Martin's Griffin
ISBN No: 978 1250090799


"Can I ask you one thing...why does it have to be you?"
My throat is dry but I manage to say the words clearly enough: "If I don't do it, who else will?"
An entire country has been lied to.
Silver Blackthorn was supposed to be one of the privileged few, chosen to serve and help rebuild a shattered nation.
Instead, she is a rebel.
Tales of her defiance have spread across the land. King Victor and the Minister Prime want her dead, the resistance groups are desperate for her help.
But Silver's friends and family are in dire jeopardy; hiding is no longer an option.
As her travels take her into the far reaches of an unknown land, she is forced to make new friends and hunt for new allegiances.
Final battle lines are being drawn. The time has come.
Then there's the hardest choice of all: Opie or Imrin.
"Resurgence" is the third and final novel in Kerry Wilkinson's The Silver Blackthorn trilogy.



Copyright: Amazon Synopsis

'The City of Mirrors' by Justin Cronin


Release date: 16th June 2016
Published by: Orion
ISBN No: 978 0752897899


In life I was a scientist called Fanning.
Then, in a jungle in Bolivia, I died.
I died, and then I was brought back to life...
Prompted by a voice that lives in her blood, the fearsome warrior known as Alicia of Blades is drawn towards to one of the great cities of The Time Before. The ruined city of New York. Ruined but not empty. For this is the final refuge of Zero, the first and last of The Twelve. The one who must be destroyed if mankind is to have a future.
What she finds is not what she's expecting.
A journey into the past.
To find out how it all began.
And an opponent at once deadlier and more human than she could ever have imagined.



Copyright: Amazon Synopsis

'Katherine of Aragon, the True Queen' by Alison Weir



Release date: 31st May 2016
Published by: Ballantine Books
ISBN No:978 1101966488


Best-selling author and acclaimed historian Alison Weir takes on what no fiction writer has done before: creating a dramatic six-book series in which each novel covers one of King Henry VIII's wives. In this captivating opening volume, Weir brings to life the tumultuous tale of Katherine of Aragon, Henry's first, devoted, and true queen. 

A princess of Spain, Catalina is only sixteen years old when she sets foot on the shores of England. The youngest daughter of the powerful monarchs Ferdinand and Isabella, Catalina is a coveted prize for a royal marriage and Arthur, Prince of Wales, and heir to the English throne, has won her hand. But tragedy strikes and Catalina, now Princess Katherine, is betrothed to the future Henry VIII. She must wait for his coming-of-age, an ordeal that tests her resolve, casts doubt on her trusted confidantes, and turns her into a virtual prisoner. 

Katherine's patience is rewarded when she becomes Queen of England. The affection between Katherine and Henry is genuine, but forces beyond her control threaten to rend her marriage, and indeed the nation, apart. Henry has fallen under the spell of Katherine's maid of honour, Anne Boleyn. Now Katherine must be prepared to fight, to the end if God wills it, for her faith, her legitimacy, and her heart. 


Copyright: Amazon Synopsis

'The Cavendon Luck' by Barbara Taylor Bradford


Release date: 16th June 2016
Published by: Harper Collins
ISBN No:978 0007503308


As the clouds of war gather over Cavendon Hall, it is the younger generation who must step forward…
The great house of Cavendon Hall has a new generation of children playing in its halls and gardens.After the ravages of the Great War and the Great Depression, the future looks assured for the first time in a decade.

But over Europe the storm clouds of war are gathering. And it must be the estate’s younger generation who step forward to play their part and fight for their country, young men and women from both above and below stairs.

Tracing the families of the house from Yorkshire to pre-war Berlin, from Dunkirk and its great armada of little ships to the Battle of Britain and the Blitz, this gripping historical family saga weaves together the personal and political for the daughters of the Earl – and for their children, who must join the front line. Will the Cavendon Luck hold?


Copyright: Amazon Synopsis

Thursday, 24 March 2016

'Hoppy Easter Giveaway Hop 2016 (International)




Welcome to the 'Hoppy Easter' Giveaway Hop 2016, which is hosted by 'Book Hounds'.

To enter this particular Giveway on my blog you just have to be a linked Follower of my blog through GFC. 


Just complete the 'Rafflecopter Entry Form' that you will find towards the end of this post. Extra entries can be obtained by also following this blog through Networked Blogs, Linky, Google+, my e-mail subscription list or by just leaving a comment on 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 $15 (US) / £10 (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 completion of the draw!



One first prize of either a $15 (US) or £10 (sterling) Amazon Gift Voucher/Certificate!

There will be one main prize winner from this draw. The gift Voucher/Certificate will only be offered in either US dollars or pounds sterling. No other currencies can be catered for. Each entrant will be allocated a sequential number. After the closing date for this draw (2nd April 2016 at 23.59 GMT), the winning number entered for this draw will be chosen by the Rafflecopter random draw winner selection system. 

This is an International Giveaway Draw! As I am based in the UK, I am about six hours ahead time wise of the majority of other blogs that are taking part in this hop! ;-) Please be patient for the other blogs to come on stream for this hop!! :-)




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!

Monday, 21 March 2016

'The Queen's Poisoner' by Jeff Wheeler


Release date: 1st April 2016
Published by: 47 North
ISBN No:978 1503953307


King Severn Argentine’s fearsome reputation precedes him: usurper of the throne, killer of rightful heirs, ruthless punisher of traitors. Attempting to depose him, the Duke of Kiskaddon gambles…and loses. Now the duke must atone by handing over his young son, Owen, as the king’s hostage. And should his loyalty falter again, the boy will pay with his life.
Seeking allies and eluding Severn’s spies, Owen learns to survive in the court of Kingfountain. But when new evidence of his father’s betrayal threatens to seal his fate, Owen must win the vengeful king’s favor by proving his worth—through extraordinary means. And only one person can aid his desperate cause: 


Copyright: Amazon Synopsis

'Always With Love' by Giovanna Fletcher


Release date: 2nd June 2016
Published by: Penguin
ISBN No:978 1405919180


Sophie's got used to being the girlfriend of Billy Buskin, the biggest movie star in the world. Sort of.
But when she and Billy take a trip to visit his family in Los Angeles, she quickly discovers she's totally unprepared for the chaos of Hollywood, the paparazzi and Billy's controlling mother.
And when Billy extends his stay in LA, leaving Sophie to fly home to Rosefont Hill alone, it seems there's more than just miles between them.
Now Sophie must decide if they can overcome their differences for good. Because not every love story lasts the distance . . .



Copyright: Amazon Synopsis

'Murder on Amsterdam Avenue' by Victoria Thompson


Release date:
Published by: Berkley-US
ISBN No:978 0425260487


In the midst of Sarah and Frank's wedding preparations, Sarah accompanies her mother on a condolence call to the Upper West Side, where the son of family friends has died unexpectedly after suffering from a mysterious disease. But the father believes his son was poisoned and would like Sarah and Frank to look into the matter. They soon learn that not everyone wants to know more about Charles's death. Unravelling old secrets, they also discover that they are in the company of a very present danger.


Copyright: Amazon Synopsis

'The Swan Maid' by Dilly Court


Release date: 16th June 2016
Published by: Harper
ISBN No:978 0008137441


Lottie Lane is all alone in the world. As a chambermaid at one of London’s busiest inns, condemned to a life of drudgery and at the mercy of a vicious landlady, Lottie is too worn out to even dream of a better life.
Until one night an injured soldier is brought to The Swan. Lottie nurses him back from the dead and suddenly everything changes. She finds herself following the drum of the soldiers, all the way from the docks of Chatham to the darkness and despair of a far flung battlefield.
When tragedy strikes, Lottie is alone once more and thrown back into the jaws of London’s streets. With the threat of destitution nipping at her heels, Lottie is in dire need of a miracle . . .


Copyright: Amazon Synopsis

'Gold: Nature and Culture' by Rebecca Zorach and Michael W. Phillips


Release date: 15th April 2016
Published by: Reaktion Books
ISBN No: 978 1780235776


Gleaming and perfect, gold has beguiled humankind for many millennia, attracting treasure hunters, adorning the living and the dead, and symbolizing wealth, power, divinity and eternity. This book offers a lively, critical look at the cultural history of this most regal metal, from its use in religious ceremonies to colonial expeditions to modern science, examining its importance across many cultures and time periods and the many places where it has played a central role.Gold reveals this metal as a substance of paradoxes. Its softness makes it at once useless for the making of tools and highly suited for the exploration of form and the transmission of images, such as the faces of rulers on currency. It has been the icon of value - the surest bet in times of uncertain markets - yet also of valuelessness, a discovery that King Midas learned the hard way. Furthermore, Gold shows how this element has been at the centre of many clashes between cultures throughout history, the unfortunate catalyst of countless moments of bloodlust. Ultimately, this book shows that the questions posed by our relentless desire for gold are really questions about value itself. Lavishly illustrated, this book offers a shimmering exploration of the mythology, economy, aesthetics and perils at the centre of this simple yet irresistible substance.


Copyright: Amazon Synopsis

'The Empress of Bright Moon' by Weina Dai Randel


Release date: 1st April 2016
Published by: Sourcebooks Landmark
ISBN No:978 1492613596


The second book in this stunning duology, The Empress of Bright Moon follows Mei as she struggles for power within the Emperor s palace, risking her life to dethrone the murderous Empress and establish herself as the new female ruler of China. After Mei s lover, Pheasant, is crowned Emperor, a power struggle erupts between Mei and Pheasant s wife, Empress Wang. Both women are desperate to secure their name and rank. But when Empress Wang takes their feud to a new level by murdering Mei s supporters, Mei realizes that she must defeat the bloodthirsty Empress not only to save herself, but also to protect her country.


Copyright: Amazon Synopsis

Friday, 18 March 2016

'Missing Pieces' Blog Tour Stop: An Interview with the Author Heather Gudenkauf


Heather Gudenkauf is a New York Times best selling novelist and author of Channel 4 TV Book Club title 'The Weight of Silence'. Graduating from the University of Iowa with a degree in Elementary Education, Heather has spent her career working in education with students of all ages. 'Missing Pieces' is her fifth novel.


A very warm welcome to you Heather, and can I thank you, for taking time out of your busy schedule to talk to us today.

It’s my pleasure!

For the benefit of our International readers can you tell us a bit about the part of the world that you are currently resident in and why do you like living there?
 I live in Dubuque, Iowa ~ a beautiful Midwestern city on the Mississippi River. It has everything that I can ever ask for in a home town. There are rolling hills, rocky bluffs, nature preserves with acres woodlands. We have fabulous schools, a gorgeous public library and an incredible independent book store ~ River Lights. It’s been the perfect place to put down roots and to raise a family.

Can I ask what sort of books did you like reading as a child?
I read everything I could get my hands on but I was particularly fond of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s The Little House on the Prairie series. I could practically imagine myself living in a sod house on the prairie back in the 1800s. I was also a big fan of Beverly Cleary’s Ramona Quimby books. I always wanted to be as sassy and naughty as Ramona but was too much of a rule follower. I also loved to read mysteries like the Nancy Drew and The Boxcar Children Mysteries.

Do you think the books that you read as a child have influenced your writing in any way?
I absolutely believe that the books I read as a child have influenced me as a writer. When I read Harriet the Spy I became a spy and slunk around with a notebook covertly taking notes. When I read the Boxcar Children mysteries I pretended to be an orphan who lived in a train car. The books of my youth have allowed me, as an adult, to completely immerse myself in the inner workings of whatever story I am in the midst of writing.

Do you have a set routine when you are working on a novel?
I can write almost anywhere and under any circumstances but having a Diet Coke nearby and music is a must!

Where do you do your writing best?
Since I'm a mom and also work outside the home I write wherever and whenever I can. Sometimes I’ll get up early in the morning and write before the rest of the house is awake, this way I can spend some solid, uninterrupted time on a the story. Other times I’ll work late into the night. I don’t have a set spot where I do my writing but I always buy myself a beautiful journal and spend the first month or so writing the story in long-hand. I've found that in writing this way I'm able to write nearly anywhere and minimize distractions. Later I transfer what I've written to a computer and continue to add to the story. I cannot write if the house is completely quiet ~ I have to have music or the television going in the background.

What helped you decide to actually write novels?
I credit my third grade students for inspiring me to finally start writing. We would end each day with a chant that we had to say – no matter what. Part of the chant talked about dreaming big and never giving up. Year after year and day after day of saying this with my third graders I finally realized that those words were also meant for me. The day after school let out for summer vacation I started writing my first novel 'The Weight of Silence' and finished the first draft before I went back to school that fall.

How do you go about imagining, developing and give real lives and personalities to the characters that we read about within in your books?
Often times, a headline from the newspaper or a news story from the radio really connects with me and a few days later a novel begins to take shape. From there I begin to develop the characters. I buy a multi-subject notebook and dedicate a section to each of my characters. There I record everything that I can about the character: physical traits, personality, hopes and fears – anything and everything that I can brainstorm. Not everything that I document in the notebook goes into the novel but because of this I feel like I have well-rounded characters with unique personalities.

Did you ever encounter any difficulties in getting your books accepted and published?
After writing my first novel I was fortunate to find a literary agent quite quickly. We worked for about eighteen months getting the manuscript in good enough shape to send off to publishers. Once we felt it was ready to go it took another year and a half to find a publisher. There were many rejection letters and anxiety-induced moments that only chocolate and a phone call to my mom could relieve. Thankfully Mira Books acquired 'The Weight of Silence' and all of my books thus far have found a good home there.

Did you have to undertake any research for your novels?
 I do have to research certain aspects of my novels. I've been so fortunate to be able to spend time talking to and learning from many experts in their field.  Our local police chief has been very generous in sharing his time and knowledge with me. He’s given me tours of the police station and has patiently answered every crazy question I come up with. I have also interviewed lawyers and social workers, sheriff deputies, and doctors. I even spent an entire day with two cattle farmers and came away thoroughly impressed (and exhausted) with the work they do.

What is your favourite book and why?
My favourite novel is My Ántonia by Willa Cather, I think her writing is just beautiful. I love the way that she could describe the setting in a novel and it actually seems to become a character within the story. I re-read My Ántonia and O Pioneers every year.
One of my favourite non fiction books is The River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt’s Darkest Journey by Candice Millard. It’s the story of President Teddy Roosevelt’s journey down the Amazon River after he left the White House. I love learning the details of historical figures’ live and what we’re not taught in history class.

Are you currently reading a book at the moment, and if so what is it?
Right now I'm reading Alexander McCall Smith’s The Woman Who Walked in Sunshine. I'm a huge fan of the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series and immediately run to the nearest book store and pick up the newest instalment the minute it comes out. I love the way McCall Smith writes with such beauty and wisdom and makes Botswana comes alive for me.

Do you have any other hobbies or interests that you enjoy in order to give you a break from your normal routine and your writing?
Along with my German Short-hair Pointer, Lolo, and I hike through the nature reserves that are near our home. We’ll spend hours walking through the woods, up and down bluffs and along creek and riverbanks. I find it very peaceful and rejuvenating. Plus it’s a lot of fun to watch Lolo splash in the water and chase butterflies and bumblebees.

Can you give us a hint about any other books that you may have in the making at the moment?
I always hesitate to talk about current projects ~ they always change, but I can say I'm working on a story about a woman who recently recovered from a catastrophic injury, finds herself running for her life.

Heather, to conclude our interview can I ask if there is another question that I should ask you within this interview and what would be your answer?
I'm often asked about what advice I would give aspiring authors?
My advice to those who have the dream to write is to do just that, write. It’s so important to set aside time each day to get your thoughts and ideas down on paper. It can be an hour or ten minutes, you’ll be surprised at how quickly the pages start accumulating. I think it is also crucial for writers to be readers. Read widely and deeply.

Heather, I have been absolutely delighted and very honoured that you agreed to be interviewed for my literary site. I would also like to thank-you again for taking the time to speak to us today.
You are very welcome ~ thank you for having me!

Just Released:-





Book Synopsis
Sarah Quinlan's husband, Jack, has been haunted for decades by the untimely death of his mother when he was just a teenager, her body found in the cellar of their family farm, the circumstances a mystery. The case rocked the town where Jack was raised, and for years Jack avoided returning home. But when his beloved aunt Julia is in an accident, hospitalised in a coma, Jack and Sarah are forced to confront the past that they have long evaded.

Sarah and Jack are welcomed by the family Jack left behind all those years ago―barely a trace of the wounds that had once devastated them all. But as facts about Julia’s accident begin to surface, Sarah realises that nothing about the Quinlans is what it seems. Caught in a flurry of unanswered questions, Sarah dives deep into the rabbit hole of Jack’s past, but the farther she climbs, the harder it is for her to get out. And soon she is faced with a hard reality she may not be prepared for.




If you would like to find out more about Heather and her writing, the link to her website is given below:

http://www.heathergudenkauf.com



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