MUST READ – On A Red Horse by Monica Corwin

This book by one of our favourite authors has been on a limited time sale, but even at full price, let me assure you that you will not be disappointed. This is a talented writer and an amazing series!!
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51QGx0VAf-LScarlet needs a new job, but Horseman of the Apocalypse doesn’t sound good on a resume. Three years ago she followed her companions to Earth in an effort to live human lives. But the moment she left her husband Tyr she knew life wouldn’t be worth living. Lonely and longing for her husband, Scarlet is on a path of destruction that could endanger all the riders.

Tyr, god of justice, hunts his wife across the realms. From Hell to the Golden Throne, he travels until he finds her working as a phone operator. Scarlet is no longer the woman he fell in love with, and he is determined to bring that woman back to him if it takes the rest of eternity.

Even though the Horsemen live on Earth, they are still responsible for guarding four seals that can unleash the Apocalypse. When a prophecy is awoken by a deity who only has her own interests at heart, they must go on the defensive to keep their homes on Earth and protect the seals. If even one seal opens, it will start a chain reaction that will force the Horsemen to take up their mantles and destroy the new lives they’ve worked so hard to build.

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In Review – Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel

Wolf HallWINNER OF THE 2009 MAN BOOKER PRIZE

England in the 1520s is a heartbeat from disaster. If the king dies without a male heir, the country could be destroyed by civil war. Henry VIII wants to annul his marriage of twenty years and marry Anne Boleyn.

The pope and most of Europe oppose him. Into this impasse steps Thomas Cromwell: a wholly original man, a charmer and a bully, both idealist and opportunist, astute in reading people, and implacable in his ambition.

But Henry is volatile: one day tender, one day murderous. Cromwell helps him break the opposition, but what will be the price of his triumph? – See more      Amazon

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a little bit swirlyI confess that I did something I wouldn’t normally do… I watched the mini series before I had a chance to read the book.  Normally when there is a series or movie that excites me which happens to be based on a book, I make a point of reading that book first. In this case though, I’m glad I watched the series first.

The book is written in the present tense, which works really well for this story, but there were times when I was a little confused… When I didn’t know if I was in Cromwell’s head or not and when not, whose point of view was I in?  Having watched the mini series, I was able to work out most of the confusion based on what I’d seen.

One of the quotes in my copy promised that I would be unable to put the book down, but I found that it was remarkably easy to walk away.  Fortunately, a few chapters in, the story did pick up and grip me a bit more.  I was pleasantly surprised that although there were the usual changes for the translation to TV, most of the story had been faithfully reproduced on screen. The characters had been captured so well, that reading the book felt like revisiting the awesome series … a refreshing change from many adaptations!

I’m a self-confessed Tudor-holic and a quick look at my library will show that I collect any and every book I can find that talks about that period in history.  I have stories about everyday people, right up to the role players at court and I am fascinated by how they all come together.  Wolf Hall did not disappoint.
It was a fresh perspective on a story that I know only too well, filled with familiar characters and historical occurrences which helped to create a wonderful, 3 dimensional world.  I can’t wait to read the other 2 books in the series.

I would definitely recommend it to fans of the Tudor period. It’s a fascinating read.

4 Hearts from me.

Wolf Hall Trailer

Until next time,

BM xx

The Humble Book Review

book-631746_1920One of the more interesting discussions that often takes place between authors and readers is the issue of reviews. Not only the need for reviews – after all, reviews are vital – but also the act of reviewing and what makes or breaks a review.  It is something that troubles people and may be a contributing factor behind the reluctance some people show when asked to review books.

Domino recently wrote a great guest post for Romance Reviews Today on the importance of book reviews and gave some tips that could be helpful. If you are considering writing a review or if you have trouble, it is certainly something worth reading…

One of the most important marketing tools for an author is the humble book review. After all, what better way is there for a prospective reader to know if they should take a chance on you or not than by reading what others have had to say about your work?  Reviews contribute significantly to potential sales, but having said that, it’s one of the more difficult things for an author to get. 

No matter how amazing the book is, the sad truth is that for many readers, once the book has been bought and read, it’s soon forgotten. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that there aren’t books that stay with us, but the reality is that most of us have busy lives and despite our best intentions, we don’t always remember to log onto Amazon or Goodreads and post a review of the book…. read full article here

I would love to hear what you think. What was the best review you received or read and what made it so amazing? What is the most useless review you’ve ever received or read and why?

Is there anything a reviewer can say that will almost always make you want to buy a book?

Until next time…

BM xx

New Newsletter News: Kirsten Blacketer

I have to say that I love getting newsletters from my favourite authors and just this week I discovered that one of my best Historical Fiction authors is launching her newsletter and I cannot wait!! Her books are always a great read and I am a huge fan of her Facebook page too, but the idea of getting behind the scenes info and advance access to news via her newsletter is exactly the kind of excitement that an author newsletter should create in the reader!

Author Kirsten Blacketer

More about Kirsten Blacketer… Stick her in the middle of a chaotic home with two children, a hyperactive dog, and a camouflage wearing husband, and she can cook and clean with the best of them.  But when the sun goes down and the children are nestled in bed fast asleep, she tucks away her pots and broom and like Cinderella she transforms.

Her characters creep forth from the dark recesses of her mind taking their places in the castles and forests built from her words. No simpering heroines linger there with forlorn gazes turned to the horizon, waiting for their Prince Charming. They straighten their spine, arming themselves with blade and bow, prepared to do their part in defense of their honor and destiny. She breathes life into the women she believes our ancestors to be, showing how they lived and loved with passion and grace.

Never bored by the tales still left to tell, she battles the ever sarcastic muse in her quest for romance.

http://kirstensblacketer.com/

After you check out her great website, please do yourself a favour and sign up to her brand new newsletter… I promise you won’t be sorry!!

Kirsten Blacketer Newsletter Subscription

Are there any authors you would like to recommend to me?  I would love to hear from you.

Until next time…

BM xx

The Need to Read!

book-759873_1920There is a curious thing that happens to me… ridiculously often actually. Something that is almost shocking to admit… I run out of time to read!!

I know, horrifying!

How is this possible you wonder? Well, there is the usual stuff, you know, cooking, cleaning, work, sleep. Then there is the fact that a large portion of my job is dedicated to being online at not-necessarily sociable hours of the evening / night. None of that is enough to deter the truly determined though and that is where my shocking confession comes in. I just don’t always feel like it.

There, I said it! I’ll give you a moment to recover. You see, I love to read and I read really quickly, but I also really love to ENJOY the books that I read and that isn’t necessarily something that happens when you’re “fitting a book into your schedule”. So I set aside special time to go through my TBR pile. I get as far ahead of my work as I can, carve out a few days and then make sure I have a steady supply of tea or coffee, snacks and a comfy spot to just chill out. And then I just tune the world out. My phone is on silent, there’s nothing but the book and I.

Of course, there are times when I’ve committed to reading for review or as a beta reader and then I make the time.  I enjoy those books just as much because it’s something that will help that author.

There’s another situation that arises when I least expect it.  I will be busy working, having gone weeks without reading more than a snippet here or there (because seriously, I always have at least 1 book on the go at any given time!!) and then suddenly I will feel a burning desire to drop everything and escape into another world.  I’ve never been a substance addict, but from everything I’ve seen in movies, that’s what it’s like… if I don’t get my “fix”, I feel like I’ll go nuts.  And then reading becomes a guilty pleasure… like an extra slice of cake *grin*.

So… what are your reading habits like? Do you ever have this problem?

Until next time…

BM xx

Manic Monday!

Yup, I have the song playing in my head. I woke with it and it’s been lurking all day. I won’t do that to you, so if you don’t know, don’t worry, it’s not important. The point is, Monday is almost always a crazy day.

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It doesn’t seem to matter how much I do over the weekend, Monday seems to be an evil little imp that breeds extra work while I’m sleeping *grin*. To be honest though, I really love what I do, so it’s not really “work”… If you know what I mean? That’s the true blessing in following your passion. No matter what that is, it ultimately means that you’ll be happier and healthier. It’s one of the reasons that most creative people feel so fulfilled.

Having said that, it doesn’t mean that there aren’t days when what you need to do and what you want to do are two different things… And occasionally you have to play hooky. So, today I decided to just take some time for me and put aside a few hours for reading and relaxing. Rainy weather, duvet, hot chocolate and a great book.

No prizes for guessing that my admin went quickly with that reward to look forward to.

So, when you have deadlines, tasks, work to get done, reward yourself. It’ll make it all go quicker.

Until next time…

BM xx

The Magic of Words

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There is something that anyone who loves reading can relate to and that is a love of words. Words are simple, a mere collection of letters ordered in a variety of ways. Those words are then arranged in any number of ways to form sentences and finally, those sentences are arranged to form paragraphs, paragraphs into pages, pages to chapters, chapters into books.

It is a kind of magic that is accessible to anyone. Once you’ve been taught the secrets of the letters and the words, you can create worlds to fire your imagination or you can simply escape into someone else’s.

With the power of words, you can travel through time, meet famous people from history, learn new skills or fall in love. Words allow you to break a heart, but words can also mend it.

Not everyone is as good with them, but that should never stop people from using them, practicing, trying. Write. Write what moves you. Write about happiness. Describe pain. Write to a friend. Write a diary. Create.

With words, we can shape and reshape ourselves.

Until next time,

BM xx

For Love of the Book

photo (1)There is something about books.  Old books, new books, second hand books, borrowed books.  It really doesn’t bother me much, as long as I have them.  It’s not a small addiction, but at least I can absolutely credit my parents for giving it to me.  I firmly believe that their shared love of reading, of learning and their passion for books was handed down to us kids in the very air we breathed.  Our home was filled with books.  We were read to as infants, had books of our own as toddlers and small children and as we grew, our passion was indulged at every turn.  All in all, not a bad way to be raised.  To this day, I find it difficult to understand homes that have no (or very few) books in them.  It is as if I have a natural distrust of that emptiness.

Don’t get me wrong, I have some amazing friends who have uttered those dreadful words “oh, I don’t read much”.  It’s shocking, I know.  Subtle gifts of some of my favourite books have failed to entice them and I am resigned to the fact that they have fallen prey to the dark side. Ok, I jest.  Not quite on the dark side. However, I am comforted by the fact that we have other things in common and that I have built a large circle of like-minded book lovers with whom I can share my nuttiness.  A passion that has now lead to me following my heart into helping authors with their promotions.

In the same way that many of my childhood favourites will always be voiced by my Mother or my Father, no matter how many times I read them, being a part of the journey with an author weaves that book into the fabric of my life.  Adds them to my mental library as it were.

Let me tell you, it’s a journey that never gets old.

Best,

BM xx