Tag Archives: Deborah Harkness

Perfect Paranormal – Halloween Hot Picks 2014

30 Oct

From vampires and werewolves to witches, magic and haunting ghost stories; there’s something for everyone in this year’s paranormal picks. Happy Halloween reading!

rooms laurenRooms by Lauren Oliver (Hodder, September 2014)

A haunting adult fiction debut from this bestselling children’s and young adult author. Look out for my interview with Lauren tomorrow!

Wealthy Richard Walker has just died, leaving behind his country house full of rooms packed with the detritus of a lifetime. His estranged family—bitter ex-wife Caroline, troubled teenage son Trenton, and unforgiving daughter Minna—have arrived for their inheritance.

But the Walkers are not alone. Prim Alice and the cynical Sandra, long dead former residents bound to the house, linger within its claustrophobic walls. Jostling for space, memory, and supremacy, they observe the family, trading barbs and reminiscences about their past lives. Though their voices cannot be heard, Alice and Sandra speak through the house itself—in the hiss of the radiator, a creak in the stairs, the dimming of a light bulb.

The living and dead are each haunted by painful truths that will soon surface with explosive force. When a new ghost appears, and Trenton begins to communicate with her, the spirit and human worlds collide—with cataclysmic results.

Otherworld Nights by Kelley Armstrong (Orbit, October 2014)

otherworld nights

I read one of Kelly Armstrong’s young adult books earlier this year and was intrigued to dip into this collection of short stories and novellas featuring characters from the Otherworld series. I loved the way Kelley brings the paranormal into our world and was so impressed that I’ve ordered the first book in the series!

A suspenseful, new collection of stories and novellas, both original and curated by the author from her short fiction.

Sunday Times bestselling author Kelley Armstrong captivated readers with her Women of the Otherworld series of supernatural thrillers. In this new anthology, favourite characters return in stories of drama, danger and desire. Legendary werewolf partners Elena and Clay stalk the pages of this book, along with vampires, witches, half-demons and sorcerers.

Filled with fan favourites and rarities, Otherworld Nights concludes with a brand-new novella, ‘Vanishing Act’. This thrilling longer story is set after series finale 13, and features much-loved characters Savannah and Adam as they begin a new life – and a mysterious new case – together.

Declan CoverThe Keepers: Declan by Rae Rivers (HarperImpulse, June 2014)

Gripping paranormal romance from Rae Rivers – one of my favourite paranormal romance series of recent years. You can read the prequel to this series:,The Keepers: Sienna for free!

Declan Bennett has zero tolerance for thieves. He and his brothers, the Keepers, are fiercely protective of their witch, Sienna, and their privacy.

So when Kate Carrigan breaks into their estate, he’ll be damned if he lets the little wildcat get away with it – especially after she seduced him three months ago, leaving him buck-naked in a New Orleans hotel. Declan wants payback – and some answers.
Before she was murdered, Kate’s mother ingrained it in her not to trust anyone. Kate’s magical powers make her a pawn in the war between good and evil, a war she’s always avoided. Declan is everything she’s been taught to fear, even if she can’t forget the memory of his touch that one night…

Trouble is brewing as the powers of evil regroup – bolder and hungrier than ever – and Kate is forced to choose a side.

The Book of Life by Deborah Harkness (Headline, July 2014)book of life

The brilliant final part of the trilogy. I can’t recommend these books highly enough!

A world of witches, daemons and vampires. A manuscript which holds the secrets of their past and the key to their future. Diana and Matthew – the forbidden love at the heart of it.

After travelling through time in SHADOW OF NIGHT, the second book in Deborah Harkness’s enchant­ing series, historian and witch Diana Bishop and vampire scientist Matthew Clairmont return to the present to face new crises and old enemies. At Matthew’s ancestral home in France they reunite with their families – with one heart-breaking exception. But the real threat to their future is yet to be revealed, and when it is, the search for the elusive manuscript Ashmole 782 and its missing pages takes on a terrifying urgency. Using ancient knowl­edge and modern science, from the palaces of Venice and beyond, Diana and Matthew will finally learn what the witches discovered so many centuries ago.

Banished-by-Liz-de-JagerBanished by Liz de Jager (Tor, February 2014)

Feisty Kit Blackheart is a match for anyone in this excellent debut – you’ve just got time to read it before the second novel in the trilogy, Vowed is released next week!

Kit is proud to be a Blackhart, now she’s living with her unorthodox cousins and sharing their strange lives. Especially since their home-schooling includes spells, fighting enemy fae and using ancient weapons.

But it’s not until she rescues a rather handsome fae prince, fighting for his life on the edge of Blackhart Manor, that her training really kicks in. With her family away on various missions, Kit must protect Prince Thorn, rely on new friends and use her own unfamiliar magic to stay ahead of Thorn’s enemies.

As things go from bad to apocalyptic, fae battle fae in a war that threatens to spill into the human world. Then Kit pits herself against the Elder Gods themselves – it’s that or lose everyone she’s learnt to love.

My So Called Afterlife by Tamsyn Murray (May 2014) my so called afterlife

Released with this fab new cover, earlier in the year, My So Called Afterlife is in turns wickedly funny and hauntingly heartbreaking. I love the way Tamsyn writes!

Imagine setting off for home one dark New Year’s Eve and never reaching your front door. Imagine losing everything you’ve ever known in one horrific moment. Imagine knowing you’ll never hug your mum or dad again. And imagine having to spend eternity in the most horrific, awful place you can think of… For fifteen year old Lucy Shaw, that’s reality. Stuck in the men’s toilets on Carnaby Street, she’s trying to come to terms with her own death, the bone-crushing loneliness and a floor that’s swimming with pee. Until the unlikeliest of saviours walks into her afterlife, that is – a twenty-seven year old lighting engineer called Jeremy, the only person who’s ever known she was there. Together, they find a way to get Lucy out of the loo and discover there’s a whole afterlife of mates, parties and boys just waiting to be discovered. But the shadow of Lucy’s murderer is looming again and it’s only a matter of time before someone else gets hurt. Is Lucy about to lose everything she loves again?

thinking womenThe Thinking Woman’s Guide to Magic by Emily Croy Barker (Penguin, July 2014)

A detailed and impressively imagined magical debut novel with elements of time travel, fantasy and romance in turns glittering and dark!

When Nora Fischer stumbles, quite literally, into a magical world where everyone is glamorous and life is one long party, she’s immediately captivated.

What she doesn’t realise, because everything is such fun, is that there’s a darker side to her new friends. In fact, it’s only after she agrees to marry the charismatic, masterful Raclin that she discovers she’s a prisoner in this new world.

If Nora is to escape, then she has just one hope: the magician Aruendiel. And if she can also persuade him to teach her the art of real magic, then she might just be able to return home.

Is that what she wants, though? Aruendiel has a biting tongue, a shrouded past and no patience, so there’s no way Nora could be falling for him… Is there?

The Winter Ghosts Kate Mosse (Orion, October 2014) winter ghosts

I’ve enjoyed a number of Kate Mosse’s novels and am looking forward to reading this book soon – I love this newly released cover.

The Great War took much more than lives. It robbed a generation of friends, lovers and futures. In Freddie Watson’s case, it took his beloved brother and, at times, his peace of mind. Unable to cope with his grief, Freddie has spent much of the time since in a sanatorium.

In the winter of 1928, still seeking resolution, Freddie is travelling through the French Pyrenees – another region that has seen too much bloodshed over the years. During a snowstorm, his car spins off the mountain road. Shaken, he stumbles into the woods, emerging by a tiny village. There he meets Fabrissa, a beautiful local woman, also mourning a lost generation. Over the course of one night, Fabrissa and Freddie share their stories of remembrance and loss. By the time dawn breaks, he will have stumbled across a tragic mystery that goes back through the centuries.

By turns thrilling, poignant and haunting, this is a story of two lives touched by war and transformed by courage.

 

Book news: The Book of Life by Deborah Harkness

19 Jan

Having declared The Book of Life as one of my most anticipated reads of 2014 last week, I was very excited to see the exclusive cover reveal and extract over at Glamour UK. I love the cover and cannot wait to read the book! The Book of Life is out in hardback and ebook formats on July 15th.

Fall under the spell of Diana and Matthew once more in the stunning climax to their epic tale, following A DISCOVERY OF WITCHES and SHADOW OF NIGHT.

A world of witches, daemons and vampires. A manuscript which holds the secrets of their past and the key to their future. Diana and Matthew – the forbidden love at the heart of it.

After traveling through time in SHADOW OF NIGHT, the second book in Deborah Harkness’s enchant?ing series, historian and witch Diana Bishop and vampire scientist Matthew Clairmont return to the present to face new crises and old enemies. At Matthew’s ancestral home in France they reunite with their families – with one heart-breaking exception. But the real threat to their future is yet to be revealed, and when it is, the search for the elusive manuscript Ashmole 782 and its missing pages takes on a terrifying urgency. Using ancient knowl?edge and modern science, from the palaces of Venice and beyond, Diana and Matthew will finally learn what the witches discovered so many centuries ago.

Find out more about Deborah Harkness and her writing at: http://deborahharkness.com/

Read my review of A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

Read my review of Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness

My most anticipated books of 2014

12 Jan

As always at the start of a new year I’m anticipating a whole host of wonderful new book releases. Here are the ten I’m most coveting in 2014.

The Days of Anna Madrigal by Armistead Maupin (January, Transworld)

I’m such a big fan of Armistead Maupin and the Tales of the City series and thankfully this new instalment is out this month so I don’t have long to wait! I’ve also got tickets to one of Armistead’s London events *sooo excited*

The Days of Anna Madrigal, the suspenseful, comic, and touching ninth novel in Armistead Maupin’s bestselling “Tales of the City” series, follows one of modern literature’s most unforgettable and enduring characters—Anna Madrigal, the legendary transgender landlady of 28 Barbary Lane—as she embarks on a road trip that will take her deep into her past.

Now ninety-two, and committed to the notion of “leaving like a lady,” Mrs. Madrigal has seemingly found peace with her “logical family” in San Francisco: her devoted young caretaker Jake Greenleaf; her former tenant Brian Hawkins and his daughter Shawna; and Michael Tolliver and Mary Ann Singleton, who have known and loved Anna for nearly four decades.

Some members of Anna’s family are bound for the otherworldly landscape of Burning Man, the art community in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert where 60,000 revelers gather to construct a city designed to last only one week. Anna herself has another destination in mind: a lonely stretch of road outside of Winnemucca where the 16-year-old boy she once was ran away from the whorehouse he called home. With Brian and his beat-up RV, she journeys into the dusty troubled heart of her Depression childhood to unearth a lifetime of secrets and dreams and attend to unfinished business she has long avoided.

Lost Lake by Sarah Addison Allen (February Hodder & Stoughton) 

No-one writes magical realism like Sarah Addison Allen. I have read and loved all of her books and this new release is sure to be a treat.

It happens one morning – Kate finally wakes up from the slumber she’s been in since her husband’s death a year ago. Feeling a fresh sense of desire to take control of her and her young daughter’s life, she decides to visit Suley, Georgia – home to Lost Lake. It’s where Kate spent one of the happiest summers of her life as a child. She’s not sure what she expects to find there, but it’s not a rundown place full of ghosts and other curious oddities. Kate’s Aunt Eby, Lost Lake’s owner, wants to sell the old place and move on. Lost Lake’s magic is gone. As Kate discovers that time has a way of standing still at Lost Lake, can she bring the cottages – as well as her heart and the hearts of all the guests – back to life? Because sometimes lost loves aren’t really lost. They’re just waiting for you to find them again.

A Single Breath by Lucy Clarke (March, Harper)

The Sea Sisters was one of my favourite books of 2013 and I’ve lost count of the number of people I recommended it to. I love that the new book has a sea theme too and sounds just as gripping as Lucy’s debut.

You can’t tell the truth from the fiction.

When Eva’s husband Jackson tragically drowns, she begins to unravel the secrets of his past. The path takes her to Jackson’s brother’s doorstep on a remote Australian island. In a single breath everything changes. The memories of the man she married start slipping through her fingers like sand as everything she ever knew about him and loved about him is brought into question. Until she’s no longer sure whether it was Jackson she fell in love with – or someone else entirely…

 

Eva, The truth is…it was all a lie…

The Crimson Ribbon by Katherine Clements (March, Headline)

I heard about this book when Kate Forsyth mentioned how much she’d enjoyed it on Twitter. An exciting new historical fiction debut.

Based on the real figure of the fascinating Elizabeth Poole, The Crimson Ribbon is the mesmerising story of two women’s obsession, superstition and hope.

May Day 1646. The Civil War is raging and what should be a rare moment of blessing for the town of Ely takes a brutal turn. Ruth Flowers is left with little choice but to flee the household of Oliver Cromwell, the only home she has ever known. On the road to London, Ruth sparks an uneasy alliance with a soldier, the battle-scarred and troubled Joseph. But when she reaches the city, it’s in the Poole household that she finds refuge.

Lizzie Poole, beautiful and charismatic, enthrals the vulnerable Ruth, who binds herself inextricably to Lizzie’s world. But in these troubled times, Ruth is haunted by fears of her past catching up with her. And as Lizzie’s radical ideas escalate, Ruth finds herself carried to the heart of the country’s conflict, to the trial of a king.

The Lives of Stella Bain by Anita Shreve (March, Little, Brown)

I’ve been a fan of Anita Shreve ever since I read The Last Time They Met and I’m really looking forward to this new historical release from her.

Hauled in a cart to a field hospital in northern France in March 1916, an American woman wakes from unconsciousness to the smell of gas gangrene, the sounds of men in pain, and an almost complete loss of memory: she knows only that she can drive an ambulance, she can draw, and her name is Stella Bain.

A stateless woman in a lawless country, Stella embarks on a journey to reconstruct her life. Suffering an agonising and inexplicable array of symptoms, she finds her way to London. There, Dr August Bridge, a cranial surgeon turned psychologist, is drawn to tracking her amnesia to its source. What brutality was she fleeing when she left the tranquil seclusion of a New England college campus to serve on the Front; for what crime did she need to atone – and whom did she leave behind?

Picture Perfect (Geek Girl 3) by Holly Smale (June, Harper Collins Children’s Books)

It’s a fact: Harriet Manners is one of my favourite female characters ever. And this time our Geek Girl is hitting my favourite city – so much excitement!!!

Harriet Manners knows more facts than most.

She knows that New York is the most populous city in the United States.

She knows that its official motto is ‘Ever Upward’.

She knows that one in thirty-eight people living in the US lives there.

But she knows nothing whatsoever about modelling in the Big Apple and how her family will cope with life stateside. Or ‘becoming a brand’ as the models in New York say. And even more importantly, what to do when the big romantic gestures coming your way aren’t from your boyfriend…

Does geek girl go too far this time?

Written in the Stars by Ali Harris (June, Simon and Schuster)

Ali’s 2013 release, The First Last Kiss made it into my books of the year so I’m looking forward to her next book.  I love the premise for this  novel.

Bea Bishop is horrible at making decisions. Forget big life ones, even everyday choices seem to paralyse her. She’s learned to live with this because experience has taught her that it doesn’t matter what you do, no one has the power to control destiny. Anyone who believes they can is a fool. 
But as her wedding day approaches, her years of indecision are weighing heavily on her, and she can’t help but wonder, ‘What if, what if, what if….’ 
What if she hadn’t upped sticks and moved to London? What if she hadn’t grabbed the first job that came along and settled down with the first guy who showed an interest? But all of her questions are silenced when she slips while walking down the aisle and is knocked unconscious. In this split second her life splits into two: in one existence, Bea flees back down the aisle and out of the church. In the other she glides blissfully towards her intended.
But which story will lead to her happily ever after?

The Book of Life by Deborah Harkness (July, Headline)

The final part of the trilogy!!! Witches, daemons and vampires! Deborah Harkness! Can’t wait!

A world of witches, daemons and vampires. A manuscript which holds the secrets of their past and the key to their future. Diana and Matthew – the forbidden love at the heart of it.

After traveling through time in SHADOW OF NIGHT, the second book in Deborah Harkness’s enchant?ing series, historian and witch Diana Bishop and vampire scientist Matthew Clairmont return to the present to face new crises and old enemies. At Matthew’s ancestral home at Sept-Tours, they re?unite with the cast of characters from A DISCOVERY OF WITCHES – with one significant exception. But the real threat to their future has yet to be revealed, and when it is, the search for Ashmole 782 and its missing pages takes on even more urgency. In ancestral homes and university laboratories, using ancient knowl?edge and modern science, from the hills of the Auvergne to the palaces of Venice and beyond, the couple at last learn what the witches discovered so many centuries ago.

Armada by Ernest Cline (July, Century)

I read and loved Ernest Cline’s debut, Ready Player One and have been eagerly awaiting news of his next book!

Zack Lightman is a dreamer. He fills his days with wishful thoughts of life on other planets and spends hours playing video games, neither of which have helped him make friends, nor find a girlfriend. His refuge from the daily disappointments of life is Armada – an online space-fighter simulator based on defending Earth from an alien invasion. It’s when he’s playing that he feels closest to his father, a champion gamer, who died when Zack was a baby.

He rises up the ranks, until there’s only one other player who can challenge his worldwide supremacy. As he closes in on his ultimate enemy, the game suspiciously shuts down, leading Zack to investigate the many urban legends and myths that surround Armada. What he finds will take him beyond his wildest dreams.

The game was just the beginning…

The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell (September, Sceptre)

Another all time favourite author of mine. No synopsis or cover for this year but this Bookseller article has me very excited about The Bone Clocks!

http://www.thebookseller.com/news/new-david-mitchell-novel-out-next-autumn.html

What an exciting year! What are you looking forward to reading in 2014?

My year in books – favourites of 2012

31 Dec

I’ve just finished reading my 80th book this year and there have been some brilliant reads amongst them. To end the year, I’ve chosen my ten favourites below (in publication date order). Click the titles to go to my reviews.

The Last Summer by Judith Kinghorn

Published by Headline in February

A brilliant debut that has stayed with me all year. Published in the US today!

Find out more at: http://www.judithkinghornwriter.com/

Read my interview with Judith

Leftovers by Arthur Wooten

Published by Galaxias Productions in February

A 1950’s ‘romantic dramedy’ set against the backdrop of the Tupperware revolution!

 Find out more at: http://www.arthurwooten.com/

Women and Children First by Gill Paul

Published by Avon in March

Released to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the sinking of  The Titanic – absolutely gripping survival story!

Find out more at: http://www.gillpaul.com/

Read my interview with Gill Paul

 The Perfume Garden by Kate Lord Brown

Published by Corvus in June

A heartbreaking and romantic story set during the Spanish Civil War.

 Find out more at: http://perfumegarden.blogspot.co.uk/

Read my interview with Kate Lord Brown

Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness

Published by Headline in July

Vampires, witches, daemons and 16th Century London – what’s not to love?!

Find out more at: http://deborahharkness.com/

Before I Met You by Lisa Jewell

Published by Century in July

One of my favourite authors adds an historical element to her bow!

Find out more at: http://www.lisa-jewell.co.uk/

When it Happens to You by Molly Ringwald

Published by Simon and Schuster in August

Told as a series of interconnecting short stories – beautiful!

Find out more at: http://www.iammollyringwald.com/

Easy By Tammara Webber

ebook edition Published by Penguin in September

I only read this book last week so it’s a late entry into the 2012 top ten and I haven’t had chance to write my review yet. But wow! The UK paperback is released on 3rd January and it could be just the book you need to get your new reading year off to an excellent start!

The Vintage Teacup Club by Vanessa Greene

Published by Sphere in October

A lovely story of friendship with a gorgeous vintage touch.

You Had Me At Hello by Mhairi McFarlane

Published by Avon in December

Another late entry onto the list. It reminded me a bit of One Day but much, much better!

So, that’s my list. I have no doubt that there are some 2012 releases that should be on the list that I haven’t had chance to read yet (they are looking at me accusingly from my ‘to read’ pile as I type). I’d love to hear your favourites and suggestions for 2012 books that I must read in 2013!

I’d also like to take this opportunity to say a big thank you to all the people who read and support this blog. I’m privileged to have met (in real life and online) an amazing bunch of readers, authors and publishers this year and I can’t wait to do it all again in 2013!

Event giveaway! Win two tickets to Deborah Harkness' London Launch party for Shadow of Night

13 Aug

It’s Monday so what better way to start the week than with a giveaway?! And what a giveaway it is …

You can win the chance to go to Deborah Harkness’ London launch party for Shadow Of Night on Monday September 10th from 6.30 to 9pm.

The winner plus a friend will receive free tickets to the private drinks reception at a central London bookstore and a chance to chat to Deborah Harkness and receive a free signed hardback. They will also get to meet Deborah’s fellow Hachette authors Ben Aaronovitch, James Treadwell, Suzanne McLeod, Benedict Jacka and Kate Griffin who will also be there to chat and sign their own books.

This giveaway is open to UK residents only and will close at Midnight on Sunday 19th August. Winners will be announced on Tuesday 21st August. Please note that travel and hotel costs are not included in the prize.

I’m so excited about this event! To be in with a chance of winning just leave a ‘pick me’ comment in the box below and I’ll draw a winner using random.org after the closing date.

I’d like to thank Deborah’s UK publisher Headline for providing this fab giveaway.

Read my review of A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

Read my review of Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness

Book news: Shadow of Night UK Book Tour Dates!

20 Jul

I’m very excited to see that Deborah Harkness is coming to the UK in September! Grab a ticket now :-) Click the date links to go directly to the booking pages where available.

Tuesday 11th September – 6.30 to 8.30pm 
Discovery of Shadows with Deborah Harkness and Christopher Fowler

The Gallery
Foyles
113 – 119 Charing Cross Road
London
WC2H 0EB

This is a free event but you must request tickets in advance by emailing events@foyles.co.uk or by going to the website here:www.foyles.co.uk/events-at-foyles

Wednesday 12th September

Talk and signing at Waterstones, Nottingham 7pm

Tickets £5 in advance or £3 with a Waterstones loyalty card

Waterstones
1/5 Bridlesmith gate
Nottingham
NG1 2GR

Tel: 08432908525 for more information or to reserve a signed copy

Thursday 13th September

Talk and signing at Waterstones, New St, Birmingham 7pm

Tickets £3 in advance redeemable against the cost of the book on the night

Waterstones
128 New St
Birmingham
B2 4DB

Tel: 08432908151 for more information or to reserve a signed copy

Book review: Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness

11 Jul

It began with A DISCOVERY OF WITCHES. Historian Diana Bishop, descended from a line of powerful witches, and long-lived vampire Matthew Clairmont have broken the laws dividing creatures. When Diana discovered a significant alchemical manuscript in the Bodleian Library, she sparked a struggle in which she became bound to Matthew. Now the fragile coexistence of witches, daemons, vampires and humans is dangerously threatened.

Seeking safety, Diana and Matthew travel back in time to London, 1590. But they soon realise that the past may not provide a haven. Reclaiming his former identity as poet and spy for Queen Elizabeth, the vampire falls back in with a group of radicals known as the School of Night. Many are unruly daemons, the creative minds of the age, including playwright Christopher Marlowe and mathematician Thomas Harriot. Together Matthew and Diana scour Tudor London for the elusive manuscript Ashmole 782, and search for the witch who will teach Diana how to control her remarkable powers...

I think by now everyone knows how much I loved A Discovery of Witches; it was my favourite book of 2011, so although I was very eager to find out what happens next to Diana and Matthew, I was also slightly nervous as I started reading Shadow of Night, wondering would it be as good as the first book in the All Souls trilogy? Well the answer is a resounding yes! In fact, I enjoyed Shadow of Night even more than A Discovery of Witches and I didn’t think that was possible!

Deborah Harkness has excelled herself with this book. With wonderfully detailed historical description; a host of new and colourful characters and a multi-faceted plot that walks the line between past and present, Shadow of Night starts at the point that A Discovery of Witches ended and is a seamless continuation of the story. Yet at the same time it’s an entirely different story and could be read as a standalone book as the key background points are recounted in the narrative (but I really do recommend starting at the beginning of the series if you can!)

The majority of the novel is set in the past; 1590 to be precise, where Diana and Matthew have time walked to in order to continue their search for the elusive Ashmole 782 and to find a witch that can help Diana make sense of her powers. What I hadn’t bargained for was how different Matthew and Diana would be in the past; not just in terms of the physical changes that Diana experiences as she time walks but also in personality as Matthew experiences his past for a second time and with knowledge of events to come. The complexity of plot and emotions surrounding this thread of the story had me completely gripped and the ideas and philosophy surrounding the movement of time really captured my imagination. I was fascinated with the interaction between past and present and the effects that Matthew and Diana’s journey had in the modern world. I loved the chapters at the end of each part of the book that return to the present give a glimpse of those that Matthew and Diana left behind and the impacts of their adventure in the past.

The romance angle is still strong, if not stronger in Shadow of Night as Matthew and Diana learn more about each other and their powers and take their relationship to the next level. There is a lovely romance to the story, particularly the parts that take place in Sept-Tours and I really enjoyed the way the relationship developed as Diana grew in understanding of Matthew through seeing his past and Matthew learned more of Diana’s strength and power. It was refreshing to read about a couple who challenge each other but are united in a common goal.

Despite Matthew’s dominance and familiarity with the historical setting and people, I loved that Diana still managed to challenge him and I thought she was a stronger and more assertive character throughout Shadow of Night. Matthew’s past brings some excellent new dimensions to his personality including those of spy and son to the larger than life Philippe, with each encounter showing a new side to him. Forget Christian Grey, Edward Cullen and even my old favourite, Mr Darcy – Matthew Claremont is the man for me and I felt like we got a much better look at the real Matthew in this book.

Deborah’s knowledge of the period and her background as an historian show clearly in the rich historical detail throughout and I enjoyed the reflections of Diana, as an historian on her experiences and the differences between her ‘learned’ knowledge and her experiences. The novel visits England, France and Prague but, perhaps because I live and work in London it was the descriptions of The Blackfriars that I enjoyed most.

A whole cast of fantastic new characters populate Shadow of Night including some very famous and familiar names. I imagine Harkness had great fun bringing the likes of Christopher Marlow, Sir Walter Raleigh and Will Shakespeare to life and seeing them banter with my favourite witch and vampire.

Reading Shadow of Night is like diving into the history books. The world that Harkness has created is so vividly detailed and complex that I really didn’t want to leave it or stop reading. The combination of historical fiction, paranormal romance and mystery make this my ideal book  and Shadow of Night is an entertaining, gripping and romantic read. I think you can probably tell that I loved it and as the story came to an end I was sad to say goodbye to Diana and Matthew for now but already excited for the final book in the trilogy.

5/5

I’d like to thank Caitlin at Headline for sending me a review copy of this book.

You can find out more about Deborah Harkness and her writing at: http://deborahharkness.com/

You can find out more about Shadow of Night at: http://www.adiscoveryofwitches.co.uk/

Giveaway! Signed copies of Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness

5 Jul

It’s just 5 days until Shadow of Night is published and in celebration of the countdown I have two copies of the book to give away … and they are signed!!! I’m actually quite jealous that I can’t enter my own giveaway :-)

It began with A DISCOVERY OF WITCHES. Historian Diana Bishop, descended from a line of powerful witches, and long-lived vampire Matthew Clairmont have broken the laws dividing creatures. When Diana discovered a significant alchemical manuscript in the Bodleian Library, she sparked a struggle in which she became bound to Matthew. Now the fragile coexistence of witches, daemons, vampires and humans is dangerously threatened.

Seeking safety, Diana and Matthew travel back in time to London, 1590. But they soon realise that the past may not provide a haven. Reclaiming his former identity as poet and spy for Queen Elizabeth, the vampire falls back in with a group of radicals known as the School of Night. Many are unruly daemons, the creative minds of the age, including playwright Christopher Marlowe and mathematician Thomas Harriot. Together Matthew and Diana scour Tudor London for the elusive manuscript Ashmole 782, and search for the witch who will teach Diana how to control her remarkable powers...

This series is an absolute must read for paranormal romance fans, so to be in with a chance of winning a very special signed copy of the book, leave your answer to the question below in the comments box and I’ll draw two winners using random.org after the closing date.

In Shadow of Night, Matthew and Diana time-walk to Tudor London; if you could travel back in time, when and where would you go?

This giveaway will close at midnight on Saturday 7th July. UK entries only please. Good luck!

You can find out more about Deborah Harkness at: http://deborahharkness.com

You can find out more about the trilogy, watch film clips and get to know key characters at: http://www.adiscoveryofwitches.co.uk/shadow_book.html

Video exclusive! Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness

28 Jun

I got a very exciting email from Caitlin at Headline last night which included a link to this video that Deborah Harkness (author of the brilliant A Discovery of Witches and soon to be published sequel Shadow of Night) has recorded for bloggers and fans of the series which gives a sneaky peek at some of the new characters that we’re going to meet in Shadow of Night!

 

Deborah has also recorded a walking tour of Elizabethan London with clips being released on the Shadow of Night website in the next couple of weeks.

Shadow of Night is out on 10th July and if you haven’t read A Discovery of Witches yet, I’m giving a copy away at the moment. I’ll also be running an amazing competition to win the chance to meet Deborah or signed copies of Shadow of Night so look out for details coming very soon!

Seeking safety, Diana and Matthew travel back in time to London, 1590. But they soon realise that the past may not provide a haven. Reclaiming his former identity as poet and spy for Queen Elizabeth, the vampire falls back in with a group of radicals known as the School of Night. Many are unruly daemons, the creative minds of the age, including playwright Christopher Marlowe and mathematician Thomas Harriot.

Together Matthew and Diana scour Tudor London for the elusive manuscript Ashmole 782, and search for the witch who will teach Diana how to control her remarkable powers…

Happy Blog Birthday One More Page!

23 Jun

One More Page is two years old today! And what a wonderful couple of years it’s been.

A huge ‘thank you’ to all of the bloggers, tweeters, readers, publishers, and authors, who have chatted, commented, recommended books and supported me since I launched One More Page. I love blogging almost as much as I love reading now and to celebrate two of my favourite hobbies I’ve got a fab blogoversary giveaway for you!

The prizes are *drumroll please*…

Two e-copies of Construct a Couple by Talli Roland (International)

Construct a Couple is the sequel to the fab Build A Man  and lovely author Talli has given me two e-copies to give away.

With a great job at a reputable magazine and a man who’s the perfect match, Serenity Holland thinks she’s laid the foundation for an ideal London life. When a routine assignment uncovers a shocking secret threatening her boyfriend’s company, Serenity decides to leave nothing to chance, taking matters into her own hands. Soon, though, she realises keeping secrets isn’t as easy as she thought . . . and the consequences are far worse than she ever imagined.

One paperback copy of The Making of Us by Lisa Jewell (UK only)

I only read this recently when is was released as a paperback with the lovely new cover on the right. It’s a brilliant book – one of my favourite reads so far this year.

Lydia, Robyn and Dean don’t know each other – yet. They live very different lives but each of them, independently, has always felt that something is missing. What they don’t know is that a letter is about to arrive that will turn their lives upside down. It is a letter containing a secret – one that will bind them together, and show them what love and familyand friendship really mean…

One paperback copy of One Perfect Summer by Paige Toon (UK only)

Paige is firmly established as one of my favourite chick lit authors. I haven’t read this one yet but have been lucky enough to end up with two copies so I’m giving one away to a lucky reader :)

‘Do you still love him?’

Every second of every minute of every hour of every day…

Alice is 18 and about to start university while Joe’s life is seemingly going nowhere. A Dorset summer, a chance meeting, and the two of them fall into step as if they have known each other forever.

But their idyll is shattered, suddenly, unexpectedly. Alice heads off to Cambridge and slowly picks up the pieces of her broken heart. Joe is gone; she cannot find him. When she catches the attention of Lukas – gorgeous, gifted, rich boy Lukas – she is carried along by his charm, swept up in his ambitious plans for a future together.

Then Joe is there, once more, but out of reach in a way that Alice could never have imagined. Life has moved on, the divide between them is now so great. Surely it is far too late to relive those perfect summer days of long ago?

One paperback copy of A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness (UK only)

I love this book and am so excited that the sequel is out soon. If you haven’t read it, this is your chance to win a copy just in time to read it before Shadow of Night is released!

It begins with absence and desire. It begins with blood and fear. It begins with a discovery of witches.

When historian Diana Bishop opens an alchemical manuscript in the Bodleian Library, it’s an unwelcome intrusion of magic into her carefully ordered life. Though Diana is a witch of impeccable lineage, the violent death of her parents while she was still a child convinced her that human fear is more potent than any witchcraft. Now Diana has unwittingly exposed herself to a world she’s kept at bay for years; one of powerful witches, creative, destructive daemons and long-lived vampires. Sensing the significance of Diana’s discovery, the creatures gather in Oxford, among them the enigmatic Matthew Clairmont, a vampire genticist. Diana is inexplicably drawn to Matthew and, in a shadowy world of half-truths and old enmities, ties herself to him without fully understanding the ancient line they are crossing. As they begin to unlock the secrets of the manuscript and their feelings for each other deepen, so the fragile balance of peace unravels…

Entry is simple – just tell me which of the books you’d like to win (you can enter for all if you wish) in the comments box below and I’ll draw the five winners using random.org after the closing date.

Parts of this giveaway are open internationally (please check on the individual item descriptions). The closing date for entries is midnight on Saturday 30th June 2012. Good luck!