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Showing posts from 2023

Blog tour: Clytemnestra's Bind

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Welcome to the blog tour for Clytemnestra's  Bind  by Susan C Wilson ! More about the book… Queen  Clytemnestra's world shatters when Agamemnon, a rival to the throne of Mycenae, storms her palace, destroys her family and claims not only the throne but  Clytemnestra herself. Tormented by her loss, she vows to do all she can to protect the children born from her unhappy marriage to Agamemnon. But when her husband casts his ruthless gaze towards the wealthy citadel of Troy, his ambitions threaten to once more destroy the family  Clytemnestra loves. From one of Greek mythology's most reviled characters - a woman who challenged the absolute power of men - comes this fiery tale of power, family rivalry and a mother's burning love. More about the author… Susan C Wilson is a working-class Scottish writer. Her lifelong passion for ancient Greece was ignited as a child by stumbling across stories of gods and heroes in the dictionary. She loves to explore what makes us human: the

Blog tour: Peas on Earth

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Welcome to the blog tour for Peas on Earth  by Huw Lewis Jones, illustrated by Ben Sanders! More about the book… In this festive edition, Bad Apple faces his greatest challenge yet: it’s Christmas day and everyone is just so ... jolly. Granny Smith’s carol singing and Pineapple’s incessant dancing are grating  to say  the least, but it’s  the cheery arrival  of  Pea and his extended family that pushes Bad Apple over  the edge. It’s beginning  to feel a lot like Christmas ... but how long can  the  Peas last? More about the author and illustrator… Huw Lewis Jones is a polar-exploring author and historian who lives  in Cornwall, UK. His books include Explorers’ Sketchbooks,  The Writer’s Map and Archipelago (all Thames & Hudson). Ben Sanders is an award-winning illustrator and graphic designer based  in Ballarat, Australia. He is  the author and illustrator  of  I’ve an Uncle Ivan and I Could Wear That Hat! (both Thames & Hudson Australia). My impressions… This is the latest add

Blog tour: From the Library with Love (podcast review)

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Welcome to the blog tour for the podcast From the Library with Love by Kate Thompson! More about the podcast… Wonderful, transformative things happen when you set foot in a library. In 2019, Kate Thompson uncovered the true story of a forgotten Underground library, built along the tracks of Bethnal Green Tube tunnel during the Blitz. As stories go, it was irresistible and the result was, The Little Wartime Library, her seventh novel. Bethnal Green Public Library, where the novel is set, was 100 years old in October 2022, and to celebrate the centenary of this grand old lady, funded by library philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, the author set herself the challenge of interviewing 100 library workers. Speaking with one library worker for every year this library has been serving its community seemed a good way to mark this auspicious occasion. Because who better to explain the worth of a hundred-year-old library, than librarians themselves! Her research led her to librarians with over fifty

Blog tour: Do Penguins Like The Cold?

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Welcome to the blog tour for Do Penguins Like The Cold? by Huw Lewis Jones and Sam Caldwell! More about the book… In this entertaining and highly informative book, polar-explorer Huw Lewis Jones and nature illustrator Sam Caldwell take readers on an intrepid field trip to Antarctica and beyond to discover the secret life of penguins. Journeying throughout the Southern Hemisphere to incredible locations including Argentina, Australia, Chile, the Galápagos Islands, Namibia, New Zealand, Peru and South Africa, Do Penguins Like the Cold? introduces readers to the 18 species of penguin and the conservation work underway to protect them and their habitats. More about the author and illustrator… Huw Lewis Jones is a polar-exploring author and naturalist who is lucky to have met many animals in  the wild. He is Associate Professor at Falmouth University, teaching natural history, and has written history books about photography, icebergs, mountains and maps. He is also the author of the  Bad

Blog tour: If I Had A Polar Bear

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Welcome to the blog tour for If I Had A Polar Bear  by Gabby Dawnay! More about the book… What would it be like to have a polar bear as a pet? It might be an unconventional choice, but it would be sure to give the best bear hugs... Polar bears are cuddly but they're also very strong. As marine mammals, they can swim for days at a time – that's serious perseverance! So if Santa ever needed help delivering his presents, guess who he would call? Join our funny female protagonist as she wonders 'what would life be like... if I had a polar bear?' More about the author… Gabby Dawnay is a writer and poet. She is a regular contributor to OKIDO magazine and a script-writer for children’s television. Alex Barrow, a London-based illustrator, is the art director for and a regular contributor to OKIDO magazine. Alex and Gabby are the duo behind children’s picture books If I had a dinosaur, A House for Mouse and A Song for  Bear , all published by Thames & Hudson. My impressions

Blog tour: The Weatherman

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Welcome to the blog tour for The Weatherman  by Royston Reeves! More about the book… Will’s a nice guy. So when he takes a shortcut to the tube station after a few beers with his mates from work, he steps out of the way of the fellow who’s staggering towards him. But he – deliberately – moves back into his path. They knock each other as they pass. Moments later one man is dead and another’s life is changed forever. Or is it? There are no CCTV cameras. There was no one else in the out-of-the-way alley. Maybe the world doesn’t have to end for Will after all. But there’s always someone watching . . . and Will’s life is about to implode. More about the author… Royston Reeves is a psychological thriller writer from Essex, England After spending years in advertising writing TV scripts, newspaper ads and billboards, Royston’s first novel, The Weatherman , will be published in November 2023. Reeves is the Head of Strategy for JOE Media and he currently lives in the Kent countryside with his wi

Blog tour: Emma and Bob

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Welcome to the blog tour for Emma and Bob by Ágnes Horváth! More about the book… You are perfect and wonderful just the way you are! And the key to your life is in your hands. Don’t know what that means? You can live a joyful and full life. You can calm your emotional storms and the thoughts swirling in your head. You can find deep peace even when you are hurt or grieving. Don’t know how? Let the story of Emma and Bob guide you. Thanks to their curiosity, Emma and Bob’s ordinary holiday becomes extraordinary. In addition to enjoying time at the beach, in the forest and at home, Gran explains to them ‘the endless cycle of life’ and the importance of ‘self-kindness’, ‘positive thinking’, ‘listening to your heart’ and ‘being present’. You can learn these too, just open your mind and heart. You’ll find that even simple things like breathing, a sandcastle, half a glass of lemonade or a little flower can teach you things about yourself and life that you may have never heard before. More abou

Blog tour: Once Upon A Thousand Hills

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Welcome to the blog tour for Once Upon A Thousand Hills by Wendy Skorupski! More about the book… Naomi Lieberman has flown the nest of her hometown in Liverpool to seek the bright lights of London. Despite having aspirations and a degree in forensic science, Naomi finds herself working as a sales assistant at a sex shop in Soho. This is just one of many shameful secrets she has to hide from her Orthodox Jewish family and childhood sweetheart, Ephraim. Facing up to the disappointing realities of her life Naomi is desperate to find meaning and purpose.  On a whim she signs up as a volunteer at a local refugee centre where her path soon crosses with that of John Paul Chambers. John Paul is head of English at a private college and the manager of the refugee centre. He is arrogant, aloof, and still trying to free himself from the emotional curse of the genocide in Rwanda that orphaned him twenty years earlier. When John Paul interviews the centre’s latest flighty volunteer, neither he nor

Blog tour: Bright Stars of Black British History

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Welcome to the blog tour for Bright Stars of  Black British History  by J T Williams! More about the book… This richly illustrated collection presents the extraordinary life stories of fourteen bright stars from  Black British history – from Tudor England to modern Britain – and charts their ongoing influence. This important and timely book delves into the life stories of important figures – including Tudor trumpeter John Blanke, storytelling freedom fighter Mary Prince, and Notting Hill Carnival founder Claudia Jones – many of whom are only just beginning to get the recognition that they deserve. Brought to life through hand-painted illustrations by award-winning illustrator Angela Vives, Bright Stars of Black British History shines a light on the courage, resilience and talent of remarkable individuals who have left a lasting mark on our collective history. More about the author and illustrator… J.T. Williams is an author and educator specialising in  Black British history. She has a

Blog tour: The Library Girls of the East End

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Welcome to the blog tour for The Library Girls of the East End by Patricia McBride! More about the book… 1940, London. When Cordelia accepts the post of head librarian in Silver Town Library, her mother is more than a little disapproving. The East End has high levels of poverty and illiteracy, and her mother says it’s no place for a woman of her status. But Cordelia is determined to make a difference in these times of strife, and along with her colleagues, Jane and Mavis, she begins to help the local community, making sure everyone knows what the library can offer them. And maybe even a romance will blossom, giving Cordelia the strength to make it through the chaos and destruction that constantly threatens their livelihood. Against a background of war, air raids and rationing, it becomes clear the library is more than a building filled with books - it is the beating heart of a community refusing to be torn apart. More about the author… Patricia McBride is the author of the very popula

Blog tour: Arsenic at Ascot

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Welcome to the blog tour for Arsenic at Ascot by Kelly Oliver! More about the book… London, 1918. Fiona Figg finds herself back in Old Blighty saddled with shuffling papers for the war office. Then a mysterious card arrives, inviting her to a fancy house party at Mentmore Castle. This year’s Ascot-themed do will play host to a stable of animal defence advocates, and Fiona is tasked with infiltrating the activists and uncovering possible anti-war activity. Disguised as the Lady Tabitha Kenworthy, Fiona is more than ready for the “mane” event, but the odds are against her when both her arch nemesis, dark-horse Fredrick Fredricks, and would-be fiancé Lieutenant Archie Somersby arrive unexpectedly and “stirrup” her plans. And when a horse doctor thuds to the floor in the next guest room, Fiona finds herself investigating a mysterious poisoning with some very hairy clues. Can Fiona overcome the hurdles and solve both cases, or will she be pipped to the post and put out to pasture by the kil

Blog tour: The Centre

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Welcome to the blog tour for The Centre  by Debbie Porteous! More about the book… In a world where marriage and monogamy no longer exist, having a child requires a contract between both parents. But if men refuse to consent, women must raise their children in a  centre. Considered the pride of Britain and the bedrock of the welfare state, they’re an essential lifeline to single mothers everywhere. Or are they? Lily was raised in a centre and there’s no way she’s going back. So when she falls unexpectedly pregnant and a contract is looking unlikely, she has to find a way to escape. John, head of social services, the pregnancy units and RADAR police forces, is a powerful man to have working against you. And he’ll stop at nothing to ensure Lily is sent back to the very place she’ll do anything to avoid. More about the author… Debbie Porteous currently resides in France, in  the vineyards of the Tarn region. She has a French partner, two grown-up sons and a rather particular black cat. She

Blog tour: Under The Tamarind Tree

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Welcome to the blog tour for Under The  Tamarind  Tree  by Nigar Alam ! More about the book… 1964 — Karachi, Pakistan. Rozeena will lose her home — her parents’ safe haven since fleeing India and the terrors of Partition — if her medical career doesn’t take off soon. But success may come with at a price. Meanwhile, the interwoven lives of her childhood best friends — Haaris, Aalya, and Zohair — seem to be unraveling with each passing day. The once small and inconsequential differences between their families’ social standing now threaten to divide them. Then one fateful night someone ends up dead and the life they once took for granted shatters. 2019 — Rozeena receives a call from a voice she never thought she’d hear again. What begins as a request to look after a friend’s teenaged granddaughter grows into an unconventional friendship — one that unearths buried secrets and just might ruin everything Rozeena has worked so hard to protect. Captivating and atmospheric, Under the  Tamarind 

Blog tour: Merde at the Paris Olympics

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Welcome to the blog tour for Merde at the Paris Olympics by Stephen Clarke! Today I have an extract for you, so sit back and enjoy… “Monsieur Paul West?” “Yes.” Well, in fact the woman had said something like “Pull Vest”, but I’ve been in France long enough to say yes to anything that sounds even vaguely like my name. “We want your ‘ead.” “My head?” “Yes, monsieur.” Everything about the person who wanted to decapitate me said “young French career woman”. Her trouser suit was chic but not too chic, her blond hair styled and yet un-styled, her lipstick red but not too red, her spoken English self-assured but of unmistakably French origin. She was accompanied by what looked like a French peasant who’d got lost in Paris during a protest march about dung prices. He was 60-ish and bald, with a huge grey moustache and a stomach that seemed to contain a whole roast pig. “You want my head? But the French Revolution’s over,” I told them. “The guillotines are all out of action. Unless you’ve com

Blog tour: Private Inquiries

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Welcome to the blog tour for Private   Inquiries: the Secret History of Female Sleuths by Caitlin Davies! More about the book… The female  private detective has been a staple of popular culture for over 150 years, from Victorian lady sleuths to ‘busy-body spinsters’ and gun- toting modern PIs. But what about the real-life women behind these fictional tales – what crimes did they solve, and where are their stories. In  Private Inquiries , Caitlin Davies traces the history of the UK’s female investigators, uncovering the truth about their lives and careers from the 1850s to the present day. Women such as • Victorian private inquiry agent Antonia Moser – the first woman to open her own agency • Annette Kerner, who ran the Mayfair Detective Agency on Baker Street in the 1940s • Liverpool sleuth Zena Scott-Archer, who became the first woman president of the World Association of Detectives Caitlin also follows in the footsteps of her subjects, undertaking a professional qualification to bec

Blog tour: The Leftover Woman

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Welcome to the blog tour for The  Leftover  Woman  by Jean Kwok ! More about the book… Jasmine Yang thought her daughter was dead at birth. But five years after she was taken from her arms, she learns that her controlling husband sent the baby to America to be adopted, a casualty of China's one-child-policy. Fleeing her rural Chinese village, Jasmine arrives in New York City with nothing except a desperate need to find her daughter. But with her husband on her trail, the clock is ticking, and she's forced to make increasingly risky decisions if she ever hopes to be reunited with her child. Meanwhile, Rebecca Whitney seems to have it all: a high-powered career, a beautiful home, a handsome husband and an adopted Chinese daughter she adores. But when an industry scandal threatens to jeopardise not only Rebecca's job but her marriage, this perfect world begins to crumble. Two women in a divided city, separated by wealth and culture, yet bound together by their love for the sam

Blog tour: The Door-to-Door Bookstore

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Welcome to the blog tour for The Door-to-Door Bookstore by Carsten Henn ! More about the book… Carl may be 72 years old, but he's young at heart. Every night he goes door-to-door delivering books by hand to his loyal customers. He knows their every desire and preference, carefully selecting the perfect story for each person. One evening as he makes his rounds, nine-year-old Schascha appears. Loud and precocious, she insists on accompanying him - and even tries to teach him a thing or two about books. When Carl's job at the bookstore is threatened, will the old man and the girl in the yellow raincoat be able to restore Carl's way of life, and return the joy of reading to his little European town? More about the author… Carsten Henn has worked as a radio presenter, wine and restaurant critic, and has published a number of successful novels. He lives in Germany. My impressions… Impeccably translated from the German by Melody Shaw, The Door-to-Door Bookstore is perhaps the mo

Blog tour: No. 23 Burlington Square

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Welcome to the blog tour for No. 23 Burlington Square by Jeni Keer! More about the book… London. On the morning of Friday 5th August, 1927, Miss Agnes Humphries – the landlady of the attractive, if-slightly-shabby, white-fronted townhouse at Number 23 Burlington Square – has a decision to make. The rooms of the second floor lie empty, since poor Mr Blandford’s unfortunate demise, God rest his soul. And Agnes must make up her mind as to who will be her new lodger… Will it be her spirited, young niece Clara, who drifts through the glamorous world of London’s Bright Young Things? Or Stephen, the sensible, church-going, respectable banker who seems just be too good to be true? Or the timid war widow named Mercy, who is clearly running from something – or someone…? Agnes must choose between them. But what will her decision lead to? One of the choices could result in scandal, one in devastation, and one could even lead to happiness. If only she gets it right… More about the author… Jenni Ke

Blog tour: New York Miracle

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Welcome to the blog tour for New York Miracle: A Christmas Novella by Margo Laurie! More about the book… Ellie Peach travels to Manhattan for a fan-making apprenticeship. While staying at a historic boarding house, she meets the charming James Denny. He claims to be a Broadway actor waiting for his lost love. When Ellie offers to help search for her, it leads to old secrets and adventure... More about the author… Margo Laurie studied history at university and is a member of the RNA's New Writers' Scheme. She is the author of the Christmas ghost story  New York Miracle  and the 1920s historical fiction novella  The Anarchist’s Wife . She lives in the North West. My impressions… Described by the publisher as ‘a sweet, Christmas ghost story with a dash of romance’, I read this novella in one single sitting and, upon reaching the last sentence, wished I had at least another hundred pages to read. Oh, and a roaring fire and snow outside the window! James Denny says he’s a ghost. El

Blog tour: The Priest's Wife

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Welcome to the blog tour for The Priest’s Wife  by AG Rivett ! More about the book… The Priest’s Wife is set on an imaginary island, somewhere between Scotland and Ireland, a thousand years ago and a world away. When her husband the priest dies, Morag loses more than her life partner. With him goes her home and her place in the community. In addition to these misfortunes, in a society that sets great store by lineage, she is challenged about the mysterious identity of her mother, and it is this that sets her on a quest of discovery that comes, at first, upon a blank, but in time leads her to the circle of the island's 'Guardians', who mediate her discovery of her mother's identity, and, step by step, her own deeper self-knowing and self-acceptance. When Aidan, the new priest, undertakes a campaign to upturn the township's spirituality, which has accommodated older druidical forms alongside the Christ story, both he, and the community, are set on a collision course.

Blog tour: The Almanac 2024

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Welcome to the blog tour for The Almanac A Seasonal Guide to 2024 by Lia Leendertz ! More about the book… The highly anticipated original and bestselling  almanac is here, now in its seventh instalment. Reconnect with the seasons in Britain and Ireland with this month-by-month guide to the world around us - including tide tables, sunrises and moon phases; garden feasts, wildlife and folklore; seasonal recipes, snacks and more. The Almanac: A Seasonal Guide to 2024 gives you the tools and inspiration you need to celebrate, mark and appreciate each month of the year in your own particular way. Divided into the 12 months, a set of tables each month gives it the feel and weight of a traditional almanac, providing practical information that gives access to the outdoors and the seasons, perfect for expeditions, meteor-spotting nights and beach holidays. This year’s edition focuses on the natural wonders of the garden, celebrating the beautiful flora and fauna at your doorstep. There are al

Blog tour: The Sardinian Story

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Welcome to the blog tour for The Sardinian Story by Francesca Scanacapra! More about the book… Apennine Mountains, Italy, 1965 Leonora Bacchetti was once a happy child. But at the age of seventeen she has become a wild and rebellious young woman who leaves her parents in despair when she runs away from home with a group of itinerant travellers. In the eyes of their friends and neighbours in the tight-knit village of Montacciolo, her parents’ good name is ruined. At first, Leonora keeps in touch with her mother and father, sending letters and postcards from different countries until, very abruptly, her correspondence stops. The girl has vanished. Vague, unreliable rumours of her fate abound, but newspaper appeals, police and private investigations reveal nothing. Until, eighteen years later, in the midst of a snowstorm, a stranger from Sardinia knocks on the door of Leonora’s father’s little mountain house. Now a widower, he has come to terms with never knowing what happened to his dau