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Found 6 results

  1. Hi there, We have recently launched a new business with a new way of reading stories! It's called Letters Across Time, where you receive stories from characters through the mail in actual letters. There are free samples on the website, if you want to give it a try. We would love to hear what book lovers think of this idea!
  2. The Sweet Spot, by Anneli Lort, caught my eye recently, during the excitement of The Open Championship, and it's quick ascent into the top 10 of the sports fiction chart, but it is, undeniably, a romance novel. The Sweet Spot tells the tale of strong female lead, Olivia, who is recovering from an unhealthy relationship and an unforgiving heartache. She moves out of busy London to heal in the countryside, taking a career opportunity to ghostwrite a globally famous, golfing legend's autobiography, Sebastian. The setting of Appleton Vale is so beautifully described that this book could truly heal anybody's heartache with its idyllic nature, and the struggles of being in a new place and overcoming a bad relationship are well-portrayed. The characters of this romance novel are wonderfully developed, their quirks, histories, motives and weaknesses outlined early on. Sexy Sebastian is witty and alluring, providing Olivia exactly the distraction she needs, until his feelings for her begin to overcome them both. Whether you're interested in golf or not, I feel that the tension and competitive narrative of the book, as it develops, is a great pace changer and makes a great page-turner. I could not put the book down! If you're looking for a peaceful feel-good setting with a romantic twist, and like authors such as Jilly Cooper and Joanna Trollope, you'll love this! And, if you can't get enough, I hear it's a series and book 2 is on the way!
  3. The cover should have warned me what lay ahead, but the premise of a Northern Ireland Troubles thriller with links to current day Byron Bay sounded intriguing. Halley meets Aidan, who is on a mission for his brother Liam. Halley, it seems, has not always been Halley the Mullumbimby cafe owner and had some involvement with Liam on a paramilitary mission in London some years back... The novel starts out like a pretty standard romance - Kimberley Brown's Trusting a Stranger comes to mind - as Halley is persuaded by Aidan to turn her life upside down. The back story seems incomplete - why would Aidan want to meet Halley? How did he find Halley? Why is Halley in hiding anyway? As the details start to fill in, they don't seem quite right. Anyone with half an idea of Northern Irish politics will spot that the wrong people seem to be doing the wrong things at the wrong time. The timelines seem to be impossible to follow, with Liam and Aidan and Halley/Megan moving backwards and forwards from Australia to Europe and back again, lack of clarity of motivation at any given point, Liam being in prison and out of prison and in prison again seemingly at will, lack of clarity about the mission, when it was supposed to take place, who was involved and what their roles were. And as explanations are offered for why some of the details seem off, other details unravel behind them. This is not written like a thriller - way too much focus on Aidan's sinewy body and hot breath - and seems a bit plotty for a romance. It tries to do both but succeeds at neither. Sorry Laura Bloom, this really wasn't my cup of Nambarrie. **000
  4. Raised in the backwater province of Crowthorne, Cara finds her fate bound to a system she despises and a goddess she no longer believes in. When it becomes clear that the heir to the Elbian throne has found disfavor in the eyes of the goddess Annul, Cara is ordained by blood and required by law to take her cousin's place as heir apparent. One man from each of the twelve provinces are chosen by the royal council to pledge their lives and swords as champions and consorts of the future queen. From these men, Cara must choose the future king of Elbia. Before she is able to take her place on the throne, Cara and her Twelve must visit each province and perform a sacred ceremony, one that will make Cara question everything she thought was real. Cara soon realizes that not all of the men who swore to protect her are what they seem, and there are those who would use her as a tool to gain power.
  5. I noted there's no forum for paranormal romance - and perhaps this is a good thing, because Jan Minkman's new book, while more easily billed by these two names, is more than either. So - While, for categorization's sake, The Space In Between is a 'paranormal romance', don't let that assignment fool you: it's much more, and readers anticipating a breezy, light, supernatural love tale might find themselves quite pleasantly challenged by a story line that defies quick and dirty categorization or a fast leisure read. This is partially due to its setting - Wales - and the fact that in such a wild and woolly world, woods wiccans and mysticism practically oozes from the trees and the long history of a people with close ties to the land. It's also due to the efforts of Jen Minkman to provide more than the usual one-dimensional protagonist too often seen in 'paranormal romance' stories: for Moira is Welsh through and through and represents many of her people's real personas, from her bilingual ability to speak Welsh at home and English outside of it to harsh language. While this might put off some readers, it will be a breath of fresh air to those who will immediately perceive that what follows will be anything but predictable and smooth. The addition of Moira's struggle with ADHD is perhaps one of the strongest pieces of the story, curiously enough. It lends an authenticity and a vulnerability to the main protagonist that's not often seen in your standard paranormal or romance story, and it invites readers to learn more of yet another world: that of the ADHD sufferer and their choices. So, for categorization's sake, I'd call The Space In Between a 'paranormal romance' - but really, it's so much more. It's about finding amazement and personal power in life, and about making choices that lead to new connections. Add in the Welsh cultural insights and you have a 'paranormal romance' that's a cut above your usual love story.
  6. Forgive this preamble to announcing my book release and thanks for bearing with me. In 2004 the novelist Tony Saint lamented, in the Telegraph, that he was not even the fifth best novelist in Waverton after his first novel had failed to reach the shortlist of the annual Waverton Good Read Award. Never heard of the WGRA? You are not alone. A little history, then. A family doctor in the village of La Cadière d’Azure, France, decided it might give his patients something to think about beyond their ailments if he got them all reading and voting on the latest novels. So Le Prix De La Cadière d’Azure was born and, although the prize is now discontinued, it inspired enterprising people from the village of Waverton (pop. 2000) in Cheshire to do the same. Publishers are invited to send debut novels by British authors to be read by dozens of villagers who create a long list, then a short list and then – voila – the winner. It’s one of the few literary prizes run by readers and is now in its eleventh year. Previous winners have included Mark Haddon for The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Maria Lewycka for A History of Tractors in Ukrainian, and Tom Rob Smith for Child 44. There are also one or two winning authors that you’ve never heard of like … ahem … myself. The Waverton win came (a cheque and a splendid dinner – thank-you, Waverton) and went but then calamity: my publisher ceased trading and my literary agent changed career. I just hope it wasn’t all my fault. Despite the below-the-national-radar win and the collapse of my marketing and publishing support, I was delighted that out there, beyond the baying of the city, the steady readers of rural England had liked my novel. They say that the British comedian Norman Wisdom was big in Albania when he was unknown elsewhere and I like to think that I was once big in Waverton. I had no time in any case to think about the lack of national interest because in the villages of my home patch it was all bouquets and elderflower champagne. Deep in rural Rutland, in mink-and-manure Manton, villagers filled the village hall for my author talk and in Kibworth in Leicestershire the effervescent owner of the Kibworth Bookshop corralled locals into the pub for a book group evening over gin and beer. In tiny Arnesby, where thatch is as rampant as roses, I fielded questions that good family folk really want to know from an author, such as what his mother thinks of the swearing in his novel. In book groups in Knighton, a village long ago swallowed up by Leicester, we drank glass after glass of wine until we’d all forgotten why we were sitting there with a novel on our laps. In Woodhouse Eves, retirement village for philosophers it seemed, I was probably out of my depth. Nevertheless, I was flattered and grateful for those evenings with readers. Which finally leads me to say that my second novel, Fortunate, set in a Midlands town and in Zimbabwe, is now out. I’m conscious of the fact that it is just one of well over 100,000 books to be published this year in the UK but I will be more than happy to be big in a village - any village – once again. Thanks for reading. www.andrewjhsharp.co.uk ‘Unputdownable. An outstanding novel of love, courage and dangerous intrigue.’ Margaret Kaine.
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