Sunday, 24 August 2008

Book Giveaway

Annie at Reading, Writing and Ranting, is having a book giveaway, with the prize being a signed copy of Sweetsmoke, by David Fuller. It is the authors debut novel, and is set at the time of the American Civil War, with a slave named Cassius wishing to avenge the death of a women with the enchanting name of Emoline Justice.

Here is a link to the details of the competition:

And the author's website (which contains a teaser extract from the book):

Friday, 22 August 2008

Picky eaters!

Ok....I've heard that Mrs Seinfeld has written a book about trying to get children that are very picky with their food, to eat veggies and fruit by hidding it in foods that are tempting to them. My 3 year old is very picky and I found this contest to win a copy of the book, so I am linking to the contest here.

Wish me luck...both with getting a copy of the book, and with winning over my son to eat!

Thursday, 21 August 2008

The Lace Reader

The art of lace making is so much more than a craft in the Salem area. There are women that can "read" lace, and see a story in the pattern of lace that a person chooses. Long associated with witchcraft, Salem is the setting for this new contemporary book (I know, it is a departure from my usual reading, in that it is not historical fiction, but it does have a small historical connection), from the debut author Brunonia Barry. Towner Whitney is the central figure of the story, and she returns to Salem when her elderly great-aunt goes missing. She hasn't been to her hometown for many years, including a stint in a mental institution in the intervening years. A young girl goes missing. She has been mixed up in a local religious cult, but how is it related to Towner and her life? The cult brings in themes of persecution, like the witches of historical Salem, and we also see the bond of sisters, between Towner and her sister Lyndley, and between their mother and aunt, and the effect of mental illness. We also see how things are not quite as they seem.....and the truth is delivered with a twist, which while it may not be suprising, is surely captivating.

Thanks to HarperCollins, and their FirstLook Program for the ARC of this book.

Queen's Play

It looks like I need to do a bit of catching up with my book reviews! And it seems as though is down at the moment! OH NO! I'm not quite sure what to do with myself without checking it every few minutes just to make sure!

The name "Dorothy Dunnett" is synonymous with literary historical fiction. And while this was only my second dip into her work, I already greatly appreciate her craft. Queen's Play is the second in the Lymond Chronicles, and takes the legendary Francis Crawford to France to the court of Henri II, were there is reason to believe that the life of the little Queen, Mary Queen of Scots, is in danger. Lymond is a complex character, and is so much like a James Bond of the 16thC, that I have to wonder if he could play some of the well known James Bond theme song on his lute! He is a master of intrigue, with all the tools to inch his way out of the diciest situations, with his great gifts of disguise, the art of reading people, and a bit of an action man to boot.
Dunnett brings in another worthy figure, the O'LiamRoe, Prince of Barrow, Lord of the Slieve Bloom (I hope I have that right), who is a great addition to the story, with his links to Ireland, and his visit to the court of France, causes a bit of a giggle.
I am looking forward to continuing with the Lymond Chronicles, and getting onto the House of Niccolo too!