A Lover of Books

Scott Mariani Cover Reveal

Scott Mariani Cover

Next year one of the biggest books for 2015 is being published.  ‘The Forgotten Holocaust’ by Scott Mariani is the breath-taking new adventure starring Ben Hope…

A lost, aimless and hard-drinking Ben Hope has wandered back to his old haunt in Ireland. The ex-SAS soldier is searching for peace, but trouble soon appears when Kirsten Hall, a young journalist, is brutally murdered right in front of him. Unable to prevent it, Ben is driven by guilt to hunt down the killers. All he has to go on is a handful of clues from Kirsten’s research – but how can the journals of Lady Stamford, the wife of an English lord during the time of the Irish Great Famine, have put Kirsten in mortal danger?

Ben’s quest for the truth leads him across the world and finally Oklahoma, USA, where a deadly secret awaits. What connects the journals, a wealthy American politician and an intrigue surrounding the Irish Famine?

What Ben uncovers is a shocking historical conspiracy linked to the deaths of some two million people: a varitable holocaust that time has all but forgotten. Those who are still profiting from the lies and corruption of the time, and who are ready to kill anyone to protect their secret, are about to pay…

My 3rd Blog Anniversary

Fireworks

Three years ago I started this blog and I can’t believe it is still going.  At the beginning I didn’t really do many posts, but over the past year my love of all things books has led to me doing a variety of things on here.  As well as reviewing books I have also interviewed a number of authors, taken part in book launches, cover reveals and run quite a few competitions.

Through social media sites like Twitter and Facebook I have met some amazing authors and got to know a number of publishers.  I hope to be able to continue with my book reviewing as well as loads more stuff for some time to come.

To celebrate my blog anniversary I am running a special competition where one lucky person will get to choose a book of their choice from Amazon up to the value of £10.00.  It can be an eBook, paperback or hardback.  To enter just leave a comment.

 

Terms and Conditions

This competition is open worldwide.

The closing date is 11:59 p.m. on the 9th November 2014.

I will randomly pick a winner and contact them to arrange their prize.

 

Good luck! :-)

‘Baggy Pants and Bootees’ by Marilyn Chapman + Competition

Baggy Pants and Bootees

‘Baggy Pants & Bootees’ is Marilyn Chapman’s debut novel.  Out in eBook, it was recently published in paperback.

 

Book Blurb

When war baby Sophie joins the macho world of 1960s journalism she’s determined to prove that she’s ‘one of the boys’. Her career is threatened by a phone call from her estranged mother setting Sophie on a quest to uncover the secret of her birth. Was her father the all-American soldier she dreamt of when she was a child, or someone far more sinister? This is the story the ambitious reporter was destined to write. Helped by the charming but mysterious David, Sophie uncovers the story of a heartbroken wartime orphan, a GI romance and a terrifying rape that leads to an innocent man’s court martial – and finds clues to her own unhappy childhood. Torn between her secret love for Steve, the newspaper’s most eligible bachelor, and her desire to know who she really is, Sophie follows David to search for her father. Only when faced with the startling truth can she accept the tragedy of love, loss and betrayal, and begin a very different kind of future.

 

‘Baggy Pants & Bootees’ is available to buy from Amazon:-

Paperback – http://amzn.to/1rheyX5

Kindle Edition – http://amzn.to/1DBnuOS

 

Competition

One very lucky person has the chance to win a signed paperback copy of ‘Baggy Pants & Bootees’.  To enter just leave a comment telling me what books are on your wish list for Christmas.

 

Terms and Conditions

This competition is open to UK residents only.

The closing date is 11:59 p.m. on the 2nd November 2014.

Winners will be notified within 7 days and their details will be passed on to Marilyn Chapman who will send out the prize.

 

Good luck! :-)

‘Beneath the Moon and the Stars’ Competition

Beneath_the_Moon

‘Beneath the Moon and the Stars’ by Amelia Thorne is now out.  To celebrate the launch, Amelia has a fab prize bundle to giveaway.  You could win these gorgeous hand carved wooden necklaces, a £15 iTunes voucher and a £50 theatre ticket voucher.

Wooden necklaces

All you have to do is copy one of the pre-prepared tweets below, tweet it and you’ll automatically be entered into the draw to win this prize bundle. The more you tweet, the more times you’ll be entered.

You can even make up your own tweet about the book, just as long as it has the book link to amazon, (http://amzn.to/1sdZ0rw) the hashtag #BeneathTheMoon and Amelia’s Twitter name @Amelia_Writes in the tweet you’ll be entered into the draw.

The competition will run until midnight (UK time) on Sunday 26th October and the winner will be announced on Tuesday 28th October so plenty of time for tweeting.  Every time you tweet, you’ll be entered into the draw.

 

Tweets

Beneath The Moon and the Stars by @Amelia_Writes is out now, a gorgeous story of love, friendship and secrets http://amzn.to/1sdZ0rw

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Beneath the Moon and the Stars by @Amelia_Writes has it all; beautiful men,a feisty heroine and a gorgeous lovestory http://amzn.to/1sdZ0rw

***

Beneath the Moon and the Stars by @Amelia_Writes has it all; 3 gorgeous men,2 adorable dogs, 1 beautiful love story http://amzn.to/1sdZ0rw

***

Beneath the Moon and the Stars by @Amelia_Writes is a gorgeous story of love, secrets and misguided revenge http://amzn.to/1sdZ0rw

***

Beneath the Moon and the Stars by @Amelia_Writes has secrets, revenge, a diamond thief & a beautiful love story http://amzn.to/1sdZ0rw

***

Beneath the Moon and the Stars by @Amelia_Writes has 3 gorgeous men, 2 weddings and a whole heap load of secrets http://amzn.to/1sdZ0rw

 

‘Beneath the Moon and the Stars’ – Final Chapter

Beneath_the_MoonOver the last two days I have shared the first couple of chapters of Amelia Thorne’s debut novel.  Today, you can exclusively read the third chapter.  ‘Beneath the Moon and the Stars’ is out tomorrow.

Beneath the Moon and the Stars – Chapter 3

I hope you have enjoyed reading the first three chapters of this book.

 

‘Beneath the Moon and the Stars’ – Another Chapter

Beneath_the_Moon

Yesterday, readers of my blog got the chance to read the very first chapter of ‘Beneath the Moon and the Stars’ by Amelia Thorne which is now out on Saturday 18th October.  Today you can read the second chapter.

Beneath the Moon and the Stars – Chapter 2

 

Enjoy! :-)

 

Blog Tour – ‘Pets Aplenty’ by Malcolm D. Welshman

Blog Tour Banner

‘Pets Aplenty’ is Malcolm Welshman’s third novel, published in August of this year by Austin Macauley Publishers Ltd. I love reading about animals so it was a real pleasure to be given the opportunity to review this book.

 

Book Cover

Paul Mitchell is a novice vet working at Prospect House Veterinary Hospital. His days there are never exactly dull.  He finds himself treating a variety of animals including a vicious miniature donkey and a farting dog.  Even when he’s not at work Paul finds that he can’t get away from them.

I started reading ‘Pets Aplenty’ on Monday. I wasn’t feeling particularly well and wanted to snuggle up with a light-hearted book.  One of my favourite parts was the chapter where Paul, relaxing on his afternoon off, was confronted by a rather ravenous pig whilst he was in the nude sunbathing in a cornfield.  Hilarious!

I liked Paul as a character. I thought he was good with the animals and pretty brave.  I felt sorry for him regarding his personal life.  Though Paul was good at puns I do wish he hadn’t come out with quite so many.

I found ‘Pets Aplenty’ to be amusing, touching and a bit sad at times.  I thought the last chapter was brilliantly thought out.  If you like animals I recommend reading this book.

I give this book 4 out of 5.

 

Links

Website: www.malcolmwelshman.co.uk

Blog: http://www.malcolmwelshman.co.uk/blog.html

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/malcolm.welshman.7?ref=ts

Twitter: @MalcolmWelshman

‘Beneath the Moon and the Stars’ by Amelia Thorne

Beneath_the_Moon

Beneath the Moon and the Stars is released on October 17th, the gorgeous new debut from Amelia Thorne. Here’s the blurb:-

Home, sweet home…

Joy Cartier has been to some of the most beautiful places in the world – but none of them have ever felt like home. So moving into a tiny cottage in the idyllic village of Bramble Hill, walking distance from her childhood home, seems like the perfect plan.

That is, until she gets there. The surly inhabitants of Britain’s Friendliest Village are anything but welcoming. Even her neighbour, reclusive Hollywood star Finn Mackenzie, takes one look at her and walks in the other direction. 

But when the village animosity steps up a gear, it is the infuriatingly brooding Finn who keeps coming to her rescue. Slowly Joy begins to realise that maybe a happy home isn’t about where you live, but who you’re with…

 

You can read a sneak peek of the first chapter here…

Beneath the Moon and the Stars – Chapter 1

Blog Tour – ‘The Strangler Vine’ by M.J. Carter

THE_STRANGLER_VINE

This week we are celebrating M.J. Carter’s debut novel, ‘The Strangler Vine’, which was recently published in paperback by Penguin.

 

strangler-vine

About The Book

Calcutta, 1837. Young Ensign William Avery is tasked by his employers – the East India Company – to track down disgraced agent Xavier Mountstuart, lost to the jungle. Forced to take with him dissolute, disillusioned, errant genius ex-officer Jeremiah Blake, Avery is sure their mission is doomed. When their search leads them into Kali-worshipping, Thugee territory, survival depends upon trust. Fighting for their lives, the pair close in to their elusive quarry only to discover the horrifying truth behind their mission. With death and danger on all sides, is it too late to save themselves?

 

I was very kindly sent a copy of ‘The Strangler Vine’ to review.  I am currently reading this book and am enjoying it.  Through blogging I have developed a passion for historical fiction so am very interested indeed in this novel.  I like the way M.J. Carter writes.  She describes things so well that you can picture them.  I have the feeling that I will continue to enjoy ‘The Strangler Vine’.  The adventures have only just begun.

Look out for my full review.

 

About The Author 

miranda_carter

M. J. Carter is a former journalist and the author of two acclaimed works of non-fiction: Anthony Blunt: His Lives and The Three Emperors: Three Cousins, Three Empires and the Road to World War One. M. J. Carter is married with two sons and lives in London.

 

Follow M.J. Carter on Twitter: @MJcarter10

Urbane Publications Limited

msmith1

Matthew Smith is the Director of Urbane Publications Limited.  He kindly took the time to write an article for me about his publishing business and how it all started.

 

THE THIRD WAY

I’m a very lucky chap, as I’ve been fortunate enough to work in and around books for 25 years (hard to believe I know, given my youthful good looks). I started as a bookseller, when readers bought books, and digital was a watch. And I’ve worked for publishers big and small over the years, building experience and trying to find the ‘right’ way to create and publish great content. There has been such enormous change over the last few years, but the essentials remain the same – talented authors producing astonishing content that we all want to engage with. And despite an emphasis on ‘issues’ in the industry, there is a huge opportunity for innovative, entrepreneurial publishers to grow and thrive – I just didn’t feel I could pursue those opportunities working for another company. I decided to be bold (read stark raving crazy) and create Urbane. So I could publish the way I think content should be published.

The aim for Urbane Publications is always to drive, and be driven by, collaboration. Collaboration with authors to produce books and content worthy of their vision and blood, sweat and tears; and collaborating with readers to build an ever-growing community of word lovers who engage with books, authors and each other. So far so good – six months in and the publishing programme is building quickly, and the feedback from readers on published titles has been reassuringly positive (and in some cases wonderfully flattering). Even the odd 1 star negative review has made sense (although I obviously cried for days over each one).

Collaboration. That’s not a word said lightly. It isn’t just marketing fluff. And this isn’t about providing a production service either. I could use my experience to take advantage of the self-publishing boom, set up a system and charge eager authors a healthy fee to throw their unedited words together between some covers. But I think there’s a better way, a third way, that combines all the benefits of traditional publishing (an engaged editor, script development, knowledge, design, route to market, promotion etc) but gives the author creative and commercial engagement during every part of the process. Every aspect of the project is a shared experience with shared goals, a genuine partnership. And that includes the sharing of the revenue, because every author deserves a fair return on their words.

Many publishers have forgotten that authors should consistently be at the centre of the publishing experience, from initial discussion and on throughout the life of the book. Every single project is unique and every author plays a key role in not just delivering a manuscript but bringing it to life. For too long many in the publishing industry have been treating authors as a commodity, a deliverer of content, part of a process not the key driver of the publishing experience. This seems particularly daft when so many talented and smart authors can just self-publish. I want authors to be engaged from day one – because they know they can be. The aim is shared goals from the outset – what do we want, how can we make it happen, how do we realise success. It makes for a lively, engaged and ultimately fulfilling publishing experience where both parties want exactly the same thing – a great book that sells like hot cakes.

And how and why will the third way work? It has to be through persistency and belief. There is still a rather entrenched perception of authoring and publishing a book that simply getting it produced means it will be read, that readers will immediately rush to grab a copy. There are absolutely no guarantees anymore, not even for those publishing with the big corporates. That’s why the opportunities for an agile and responsive publishing approach are so exciting! Discoverability is vital to a book’s success and achieving it is really hard work! That’s why I already owe a huge debt of gratitude to the bloggers and reviewers who are spreading the word – the strongest and most powerful marketing is still word of mouth, personal recommendation, an individual endorsement – and authors are key in making that happen as the word always begins within their network.

So all you budding authors out there, we want you to consider publishing with Urbane and partnering with us for an enriching publishing experience. When it comes to a great book and a valuable piece of content your words will always be the vital ingredient – let Urbane help you take those words to the right audience in the most effective forms possible, with YOU as the key driver in the process. The Third way – you know it makes sense :-)

 

For more information about Urbane visit http://urbanepublications.com

 

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