Wednesday, 3 February 2016

'Romance is in the Air' Giveaway Hop 2016 (International)

Welcome to the 'Romance is in the Air' 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 $30 (US) / £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 completion of the draw!

One first prize of either a $30 (US) or £20 (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 (14th February 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, 2 February 2016

'Rebel of the Sands' by Alwyn Hamilton

Release date: 4th February 2016
Published by: Faber and Faber
ISBN No:978 0571325252

Sold immediately at auction across the world, this phenomenal novel is the first in a trilogy packed with shooting contests, train robberies, festivals under the stars, powerful Djinni magic and an electrifying love story. This promises to be a global super lead.
"Tell me that and we'll go. Right now. Save ourselves and leave this place to burn. Tell me that's how you want your story to go and we'll write it straight across the sand."
Dustwalk is Amani's home. The desert sand is in her bones. But she wants to escape. More than a want. A need.
Then a foreigner with no name turns up to save her life, and with him the chance to run. But to where? The desert plains are full of danger. Sand and blood are swirling, and the Sultan's enemies are on the rise.

Copyright: Amazon Synopsis

'Summer Nights at the Moonlight Hotel' by Jane Costello

Release date: 24th March 2016 
Published by: Simon and Schuster UK
ISBN No:978 1471149115

Learn to dance at The Moonlight Hotel, in the most romantic place in Britain…Beginners and singles welcome. 

The Moonlight Hotel sits on the shore of England’s best-loved lake, Windermere, exuding vintage glamour. And in its ballroom weekly dance classes promise evenings filled with music, friends and fancy(ish) footwork.

When Lauren agrees to sign up, it’s because she loves the building so much; it holds the key to her most precious childhood memories and she always dreamed of dancing the night away under its roof. Even her newly single friends Cate and Emily aren't going for the men, they’re going for the fun – although a little romance wouldn't hurt …

Then comes the news that the hotel has been sold to a faceless budget chain, which has devastating plans in store. And the revelation that marks the start of a chain of events – both on and off the dance floor – that puts the strength of their friendship to the ultimate test …

Put on your dancing shoes and escape to The Moonlight Hotel with Jane Costello, in her funniest, most uplifting and drama-packed novel yet. 

Copyright: Amazon Synopsis

'homas and Mary: A Love Story' by Tim Parks

Release date: 11th February 2016
Published by: Harvill Secker
ISBN No:978 1910701157

Somehow it seemed to him the only thing that would really solve the problem would be to return to the sea and find the old ring with their names and the wedding date engraved inside, in 22-carat gold, and put it on again and then the world would magically return to what it had been before. Many years before.

This did not happen.

Thomas and Mary have been married for thirty years. They have two children, a dog, a house in the suburbs. But after years of drifting apart, things – finally – come to a head. 

In this love story in reverse, Tim Parks recounts what happens when youthful devotion has long given way to dog walking, separate bed times, and tensions over who left the fridge door open. 

Copyright: Amazon Synopsis

'Predator' by Wilbur Smith and Tom Cain

Release date: 24th March 2016 
Published by Harper Collins
ISBN No:978 0007535767

Two men are responsible for the death of Hector Cross’ wife and only one is left alive: Johnny Congo – psychopath, extortionist, murderer, and the bane of Cross’s life. He caught him before and let him go. Now, Hector wants him dead. So does the US government.
Congo is locked up on Death Row in the most secure prison in the free world, counting down the days until his execution. He’s got two weeks. He wants out. He’s escaped before and knows he can again, and with whizz kid D’Shonn Brown enlisted, he might just have a chance.
Cross, still licking his wounds from his last bruising encounter with Congo, is back and ready for work. In the middle of the rough Atlantic stands oil supertanker Bannock A. Terrorist activity in the area has triggered panic and there’s only one person they can trust to protect her.
What is promised as a cakewalk turns out to be much more, a mission that will test Cross to his emotional and physical limits. But a life spent in the SAS and private security has left Cross hard-wired for pain and as he is thrown into the bull pit once more, he will not stop until he has snared his prey.
Hector Cross is Predator.

Copyright: Amazon Synopsis

'The Blade Artist' by Irvine Welsh

Release date: 7th April 2016
Published by: Jonathan Cape
ISBN No:978 0224102155

Jim Francis has finally found the perfect life – and is now unrecognisable, even to himself. A successful painter and sculptor, he lives quietly with his wife, Melanie, and their two young daughters, in an affluent beach town in California. Some say he’s a fake and a con man, while others see him as a genuine visionary.

But Francis has a very dark past, with another identity and a very different set of values. When he crosses the Atlantic to his native Scotland, for the funeral of a murdered son he barely knew, his old Edinburgh community expects him to take bloody revenge. But as he confronts his previous life, all those friends and enemies – and, most alarmingly, his former self – Francis seems to have other ideas.

When Melanie discovers something gruesome in California, which indicates that her husband’s violent past might also be his psychotic present, things start to go very bad, very quickly. 

Copyright: Amazon Synopsis

'Celtic Legends - The Gods and Warriors, Myths and Monsters' by Michael Kerrigan

Release date: 20th April 2016
Published by: Amber Books
ISBN No:978 1782743316

From around 750BC to 12BC, the Celts were the most powerful people in central and northern Europe. With the expansion of the Roman Empire and the later Christianization of these lands, they were pushed to the fringes of north-western Spain, France and the British Isles. But there the mythology of these peoples held strong.The tales from Celtic myth were noted down and also absorbed into other cultures. From Roman and Christian scribes we know of characters like Morrigan the shape-shifting queen, who could change herself from a crow to a wolf, Cu Chulainn, who, mortally wounded in battle, tied himself with his own intestines to a rock so that he d die standing up, and the Cauldron of Bran, which could restore life.Other than being fascinating in their own right, Celtic legends are of interest for the influence they had over subsequent mythologies. The story of the Holy Grail first appears in medieval romances but its antecedents can be found in the Celtic tale, the Mabinogion. Illustrated with more than 180 colour and black-and-white artworks and photographs and maps, Celtic Legends is an expertly written account of the mythological tales that both fascinate us and influence other writings.

Copyright: Amazon Synopsis

Sunday, 31 January 2016

'Without Trace' Blog Tour Stop: An Interview with the Author Simon Booker.

Simon Booker is a screenwriter of prime time TV drama for the BBC, ITV and US TV. His credits include BBC1’s Inspector Lynley Mysteries, Holby City and The Mrs Bradley Mysteries starring Diana Rigg; ITV1 thrillers The Stepfather and The Blind Date; and Perfect Strangers, the CBS romantic comedy starring Rob Lowe and Anna Friel. He has written many plays for BBC Radio 4. He has worked extensively as a producer in television and radio and as a journalist. Simon lives in London and Deal. He is a volunteer facilitator in Restorative Justice, working with offenders at HMP Brixton. Without Trace is his debut novel. The second Morgan Vine novel is due to be published in 2017. He lives in Kent and London with his partner fellow crime writer M.J McGrath

A very warm welcome to you Simon, and can I thank you, for taking time out of your busy schedule to talk to us today.
Thank-you for hosting me on your site.
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 Stoke Newington in north London and am lucky enough to have a writing bolt-hole in a Kentish seaside town called Deal. The former has all the benefits of a small town - friendly, everything within walking distance - but is within easy reach of the centre of the best city in the world. And Deal is also friendly but more restful - an ideal place to hide out while writing.
Can I ask what sort of books did you like reading as a child?
I was an only child and spent a lot of time reading. I often searched my wardrobe, trying to find the door to CS Lewis’s Narnia. Enid Blyton’s Famous Five series was a favourite. In my teens I became obsessed with George Orwell, Roald Dahl and Sherlock Holmes.
Do you think the books that you read as a child have influenced your writing in any way?
I was fascinated by Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes books and loved the ‘twist in the tale’ in Roald Dahl’s ‘Kiss Kiss’ short stories. A satisfying twist is still a great pleasure, both as a writer and a reader. I hope I've managed to pull off a great twist in Without Trace, my psychological thriller about a woman trying to discover if her old flame is a wronged innocent or a ruthless, manipulative killer.
Do you have a set routine when you are working on a novel?
I try to keep ‘office hours’. I generally work best in the mornings, writing until one pm. then taking a couple of hours to eat lunch, read and have a siesta. (NB: not a ‘nap’; much too elderly!) I then I work again until the early evening.
Where do you do your writing best?
The seaside house in Deal is especially conducive to writing. I work at the dining table, overlooking our small courtyard garden, watching sparrows and collared doves peck at the feeder and listening to the sound of the waves.
What helped you decide to actually write a crime thriller?
I've written TV drama for many years - including murder mysteries for the BBC and ITV - so the decision to write a crime novel seemed like a natural progression.
When you are writing a novel, how do you place yourself into the time period that you are actually writing about?

Without Trace is a contemporary novel, set mainly in Kent and London. I know both well and am particularly intrigued by the eerie landscape of the coast at Dungeness where my heroine, Morgan Vine, lives in a converted railway carriage.

How do you go about imagining, developing and give real lives and personalities to the characters that we read about within in your book?

Characters never appear fully formed; they develop as I write. Names are important. I’ll often change a character’s name several times during the writing process until I arrive at the one that feels ‘right’.

Did you encounter any difficulties in getting you book accepted and published?
Initially, Bonnier were keen on another crime novel I’d written but we decided that Without Trace would make a particularly striking d├ębut. That first book is still ‘in the bank’ and will, I hope, appear soon but not until after the second Morgan Vine Investigation, which I'm currently writing.
Did you have to undertake any research for your novel?

Some of Without Trace is set in a (fictitious) UK prison and I was able to draw on my background of running reading groups in prison, as well as my experience as a facilitator in restorative justice, working with offenders at HMP Brixton.

What is your favourite book and why?
I have great affection for Graham Greene’s ‘Travels With My Aunt’ and ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’ by Truman Capote. Both feature wonderful female characters, the kind of people I would invite to my ideal dinner party.
Are you currently reading a book at the moment, and if so what is it?

I always have too many books ‘on the go’. Current favourites include Savage Lane by Jason Starr (a brilliantly dark domestic thriller), Diana Athill’s memoir ‘Alive, Alive Oh!’ and ‘One Minute to Ten’, Dan Hodges’s book about the 2015 general election. I guess you could say I have eclectic tastes.

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?

My partner is also a writer. She and I take long walks, watch a lot of movies and spend as much time as possible with our lovely friends. But as someone said, ‘being a writer is like having homework every day of your life’, so whatever we’re doing, our ‘writing brain’ is still ticking over in the background. It can be exhausting!

Can you give us a hint about any other books that you may have in the making at the moment?
I'm currently writing the second book in the Morgan Vine series. She’s an investigative journalist who specialises in miscarriages of justice. In Without Trace, she has to find out if the love of her life is a good man who has been wrongly convicted of murder or a devious killer who has manipulated her into helping to secure his release on appeal. Her adversary in the second book is a ruthless socio-path who loves playing mind games. ‘Baddies’ are often the most enjoyable characters to create.

Simon, I have been absolutely delighted and very honoured that you agreed to be interviewed for my literary site. I would like to thank-you again for taking the time to speak to us today.

My pleasure. Thank you for the questions.

Just released:
e-book edition: 28th January 2016
Paperback edition: 16th June 2016

Book Synopsis:

For four long years, journalist Morgan Vine has campaigned for the release of her childhood sweetheart Danny Kilcannon - convicted, on dubious evidence, of murdering his 14 year-old stepdaughter.

When a key witness recants, Danny is released from prison. With nowhere else to go, he relies on single mum Morgan and her teenage daughter, Lissa.

But then Lissa goes missing.

With her own child now at risk, Morgan must re-think all she knows about her old flame - 'the one that got away'. As the media storm around the mysterious disappearance intensifies and shocking revelations emerge, she is forced to confront the ultimate question: who can we trust...?

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

Twitter: @simonbooker