Tuesday, 19 February 2019

The Taking of Annie Thorne by CJ Tudor @cjtudor @MichaelJBooks @JennyPlatt90 BLOG TOUR #TheTakingOfAnnieThorne @GabyYoung

Then . . .
One night, Annie went missing. Disappeared from her own bed. There were searches, appeals. Everyone thought the worst. And then, miraculously, after forty-eight hours, she came back. But she couldn't, or wouldn't, say what had happened to her.
Something happened to my sister. I can't explain what. I just know that when she came back, she wasn't the same. She wasn't my Annie.
I didn't want to admit, even to myself, that sometimes I was scared to death of my own little sister.
Now. . .
The email arrived in my inbox two months ago. I almost deleted it straight away, but then I clicked OPEN:
I know what happened to your sister. It's happening again . . .

The Taking of Annie Thorne by CJ Tudor is published in hardback by Michael Joseph Books on 21 February. My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy for review and invited me to take part on this Blog Tour.

I absolutely loved CJ Tudor's first novel; The Chalk Man which was published in hardback in January last year. I was lucky enough to read an early pre-publication copy and was totally gripped and really impressed by the author's style. I've been shouting about that book for over a year now.

When I find out that an author whose debut novel I loved has a new book out, I have a mixture of emotions. Initially it's excitement and impatience, because, you know, I want to read it NOW. Later on, the little niggles of anxiety set in; what if it's not very good? What if the first novel was a fluke? If that's how I feel, I can't begin to imagine how the author herself must feel!

So, to The Taking of Annie Thorne.

I almost ate this book! From the very first page; that shocking and totally entrancing prologue that has a hook that wouldn't fail to catch any reader, I was in!
The prologue sets the scene for the rest of the book; it's vivid and shocking and not for the faint hearted, and is central to the whole story.

After the heart pounding prologue, the reader meets Joe Thorne; a not-so-good teacher, obviously in crisis and arriving back to the North Nottinghamshire mining village in which he spent his, not so happy childhood.
I was brought up in North Nottinghamshire, in a small village populated by miners. I went to school with lads who knew that they'd being going down the pit, just like their father and grandfather. I recognised the grimy, dreary streets; the chippy, the Chinese takeaway, the pub that had never seen an Aperol Spritz or a packet of artisan crisps. The blokes in the pub who always looked like they were wearing eyeliner because of the coal dust ingrained around their eyes, as they sat with a pint of mild and bitter mix, playing dominoes or arguing about the football. CJ Tudor made this place so real; filled with characters who never left the village and who never forgot anything from the past. 

Joe Thorne is not returning because of the vacancy for an English teacher at Arnhill Academy. He's going back because he has unfinished business. 
Years ago, his little sister Annie disappeared, and although she eventually returned home, it wasn't the loving little Annie that Joe knew. Instead, she was a distant, and cruel and quite frankly, terrifying child. She looked like Annie, she spoke like Annie, but she wasn't Annie.

Annie and Joe's father died not long afterwards in a car accident. Joe knows more about Annie's strange disappearance than he's ever admitted, but he thinks that it's time to face the truth, and to make others face it too.

The author cleverly sets her story over two time lines. We have the present with adult Joe, and the past, when he and his teenage gang ruled the streets of Arnhill. She cleverly merges these two narratives together, enabling the reader to learn more about each character, and what has formed them as adults.

The Taking of Annie Thorne is a hybrid of a novel; I'd call it psychological mystery horror; is that even an genre? There is most certainly some horrific scenes that made me look over my shoulder a time or two and I swear I heard some scuttling noises coming from under the settee .....

Cleverly and masterfully created; with characters who are perfectly formed with flaws and realisms a plenty, this is so skilful, so dark and so creepy.
Twisty, addictive, dark and utterly brilliant!

CJ Tudor was born in Salisbury and grew up in Nottingham, and has recently moved to Kent with her partner and young daughter.
Her love of writing, especially the dark and macabre, started young. 
When her peers where reading Judy Blume, she was devouring Stephen King and James Herbert.

Over the years she has had a variety of jobs, including trainee reporter, radio scriptwriter, dog walker, voiceover artist, television presenter, copywriter and now, author.

Her first novel, The Chalk Man, was a Sunday Times bestseller in both hardback and paperback and sold in thirty-nine territories.

Twitter @cjtudor

Monday, 18 February 2019

The Year I Didn't Eat by Samuel Pollen @samuel_pollen @ZunTold @ConkerComms #TheYearIDidntEat

This heartfelt, captivating novel chronicles a year in the life of 14-year-old Max as he struggles with anorexia.
"Dear Ana,
Some days are normal. Some days, everything is OK, and I eat three square meals, pretty much, even if those squares are ridiculously small squares.
Some days, I can almost pretend there's nothing wrong."
Fourteen-year-old Max doesn't like to eat, and the only one he can confess his true feelings to is Ana---also known as his eating disorder, anorexia. In a journal that his therapist makes him keep, he tells Ana his unfiltered thoughts and fears while also keeping track of his food intake. But Ana's presence has leapt off the page and into his head, as she feeds upon all of his fears and amplifies them.
When Max's older brother Robin gives him a geocache box, it becomes a safe place where Max stores his journal, but someone finds it and starts writing to him, signing it with "E." Is it a joke? Could it be the new girl at school, Evie, who has taken an interest in Max? Although Max is unsure of the secret writer's identity, he takes comfort in the words that appear in his journal as they continually confide in one another about their problems.
As Max's eating disorder intensifies, his family unit fractures. His parents and brother are stressed and strained as they attempt to deal with the elephant in the room. When Robin leaves home, Max is left with two parents who are on the verge of splitting up. Max thought he could handle his anorexia, but as time goes on, he feels himself losing any semblance of control.
Will anorexia continue to rule Max's life, or will he be able to find a way to live around his eating disorder?
The Year I Didn't Eat is an unforgettable novel that is haunting, moving, and inspiring.

The Year I Didn't Eat by Samuel Pollen is published in hardback by ZunTold on 1 March 2019. My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy for review.

As a woman in her fifties, I'm not the target market for this book. However, as a reader, and a person who appreciates fine writing, it's an absolute to pleasure to read this novel.

Men's and boy's mental health has been discussed a lot this year, and ZunTold believe that it's important that we keep talking and keeping it high on the radar.
The Year I Didn't Eat will be part of their 'Fiction As Therapy' arm, focussing on books with a therapeutic value.

I think it's safe to say that most people, when thinking about anorexia, will associate it with teenage girls. We see images of young girls who are so poorly with this obnoxious disease on a regular basis. There are articles about places online where they can go to get 'advice' about not eating, and these articles always seem to mention females. However, as with all mental illnesses, anorexia is not gender specific and Samuel Pollen has written a frank and poignant novel about a fourteen-year-old boy called Max who is living with anorexia.

It is absolutely clear that he draws from his own experiences, the insight into Max's thoughts and behaviours are incredible and I have no doubt that this must have been painful to write at times. However, it is also hugely important, and although it deals with the darkest of subjects, there is such humour within these pages too.

I liked Max, I liked the way that he wrote to 'Ana'. I loved his family, especially his Brother, but not his Aunt and Uncle! This could have been stereotypical and cliched. Max could have been a shy, bullied boy, but he wasn't. Max was an ordinary kid, from an ordinary household who was gripped by an illness that was destroying him.

An outstanding debut that is informative but also entertaining. The truth within fiction, packed with characters who are recognisable and perfectly created.

Resources to support children young people and families who may be affected by Eating Disorders


Resources, information and support for people affected by eating disorders

Youthline: 0808 801 0711


Mental health support for young people ( please note that kooth is not available all over the UK but does have wide coverage).

NHS 111

Urgent medical advice

Call: 111

Samuel grew up in Cheshire and now lives in London. He’s a writer, runner, crocheter and serial dog-botherer who recently ran the London Marathon for the first time, completing it in under three and a half hours. He works as a copywriter and in his spare time photographs his fiancĂ©e’s cookery creations, and writes teen and YA novels.
The Year I Didn’t Eat came out of a post he wrote for Medium about managing Christmas with an eating disorder.
Twitter : @samuel_pollen

Sunday, 17 February 2019

The Migraine Relief Plan by Stephanie Weaver @SWeaverMPH Blog Tour @agatepublishing @rararesources #migrainereliefplan

The Migraine Relief Plan: An 8-Week Transition to Better Eating, Fewer Headaches, and Optimal Health 
In The Migraine Relief Plan, certified health and wellness coach Stephanie Weaver outlines a new, step-by-step lifestyle approach to reducing migraine frequency and severity. Using the latest research, her own migraine diagnosis, and extensive testing, Weaver has designed an accessible plan to help those living with migraine, headaches, or Meniere’s disease. Over the course of eight weeks, the plan gradually transitions readers into a healthier lifestyle, including key behaviors such as regular sleep, trigger-free eating, gentle exercise, and relaxation techniques. The book also collects resources—shopping lists, meal plans, symptom tracking charts, and kitchen-tested recipes for breakfast, lunch, snacks, and dinner—to provide readers with the tools they need to be successful. The Migraine Relief Plan encourages readers to eat within the guidelines while still helping them follow personal dietary choices, like vegan or Paleo, and navigate challenges, such as parties, work, and travel. A must-have resource for anyone who lives with head pain, this book will inspire you to rethink your attitude toward health and wellness.

The Migraine Relief Plan : An 8-Week Transition to Better Eating, Fewer Headaches, and Optimal Health by Stephanie Weaver is published by Agate Publishing
My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy for review, and to Rachel from Rachel's Random Resources who invited me to take part in this Blog Blitz

I have suffered with migraine since I was a small child. I remember missing birthday parties when I was in primary school because of them and I always had a bottle of orange aspirin in my school bag.
The only cure for me was to lay in a darkened room, and I always felt better if I could vomit (too much information?)
Around twenty years ago my GP prescribed a drug called Clonidine as a preventative medication. Every migraine painkiller that I've used in the past has been useless as you have to take them when the migraine starts and once it starts, nothing shifts it.
Clonidine is used by people with angina and works on the blood vessels, I take two per day and - touch wood - my migraines have almost disappeared.  I used to have two per week, now it's more like two per year.
However, I do know that certain foods trigger the migraine, or make them worse and I'm always interested to read about how other people have dealt with medical issues that I've experienced.

Stephanie Weaver has produced a concise and well written guide to how to eat better and lessen the pain. Her introduction is interesting and informs the reader of how and why she wrote the plan. 

Whilst I'm not following the complete plan, as I'm lucky enough to have found a treatment that works for me, I've studied the food lists and the recipes and my copy of the book is now full of post-it notes, marking the recipes that I intend to try.

This is a sensible, no-fad way to deal with the utter agony that is migraine. I'm sure that it will take some getting used to; as this could be a whole lifestyle change for some people. However, to be pain-free at the end of it surely must be a bonus.

This book has taken a place alongside my other well-used and trusty food books.

Stephanie Weaver, MPH, CWHC, is an author, blogger, and certified wellness and health coach. 

Her recipes have been featured in Cosmopolitan, Bon Appetit, Cooking Light, Parade, and more. 

She lives in San Diego, CA.


Friday, 15 February 2019

Something To Tell You by Lucy Diamond @LDiamondAuthor @panmacmillan @ChablisPoulet #SomethingToTellYou

When Frankie stumbles upon an unopened letter from her late mother, she’s delighted to have one last message from her . . . until she reads the contents and discovers the truth about her birth. Brimming with questions, she travels to York to seek further answers from the Mortimer family, but her appearance sends shockwaves through them all.
Meanwhile, Robyn Mortimer has problems of her own. Her husband John has become distant, and a chance remark from a friend leads Robyn to wonder exactly what he’s not been saying. Dare she find out more?
As for Bunny, she fell head over heels in love with Dave Mortimer when she first arrived in town, but now it seems her past is catching up with her. She can’t help wondering if he’ll still feel the same way about her if he discovers who she really is – and what she did.
As secrets tumble out and loyalties are tested, the Mortimers have to face up to some difficult decisions. With love, betrayal and dramatic revelations in the mix, this is one summer they’ll never forget.

Something To Tell You by Lucy Diamond was published by Pan Macmillan on 24 January 2019. My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy for review.

It is no secret that I am a massive Lucy Diamond fan. Her books are wonderfully written, and such an absolute treat to read. When my copy of Something To Tell You dropped through the letterbox I gave a squeal of delight and have to admit that it barged its way to the top of the 'to be read' pile immediately.

I've noticed that there's been a theme of 'long-lost family members' in contemporary fiction recently and Something To Tell You does begin with the discovery of a previously unknown father. However, Lucy Diamond's writing is so witty and incredibly touching, she really does make this subject her own.

Frankie is devastated after the death of her mother, however she's both delighted and shocked when she discovers a letter written by her Mum. The letter reveals details of her father; a man who she never knew anything about before. Harry Mortimer is her father and according to the letter, he lives in York. Even though her partner Craig tells her that she really should contact him first, Frankie decides that she will travel to York to find him.

It's very bad timing. Frankie walks into the local village hall, smack bang into the celebratory party for Harry, and his wife Jeannie's Wedding Anniversary party! Despite making a quick escape, her presence has not gone unnoticed and the consequences of her appearance affect every one of the family members.

Lucy Diamond has included a huge cast of characters in this novel, yet each one of them are so individual, with their own unique voice and point of view. This enables the reader to easily follow the story, getting to know the characters, and their many problems and issues intimately.

The story is brimming with humour and emotional dilemmas. There are characters to really fall in love with and there are a couple who the reader will hate; such a mixed bag and such a multi layered and very compelling plot.

Something To Tell You is a story that will capture the heart. It is warm and so well written with plenty of twists and turns along the way.

Born in Nottingham, Lucy Diamond has lived in Leeds, London, Oxford and Brighton, but now lives in beautiful Bath. 

She is married with three children.

Find out more about Lucy and her books at www.lucydiamond.co.uk
Find her Author page on Facebook
Follow her on Twitter @LDiamondAuthor 

Thursday, 14 February 2019

Senseless by Anna Lickley @annal_writes Blog Tour @Unbound_Digital #Senseless @unbounders

Beth's partner, Dan, inexplicably vanishes from her life and nine years later she is still struggling. In the intervening years, she has learnt British Sign Language (BSL) and got what she thought would be her dream job, supporting deaf students in college. However, she finds she still feels dissatisfied with just about everything: from working life to sex life, domestic life to social life, it's as if the traumas of her past will forever mar her future. Through her work, Beth meets a group of strong-minded, pragmatists who show her how they've adapted to challenges of having a disability. Is Dan's disappearance the primary source of Beth's sadness? Can her new friends help to shift her perspective on dealing with life? Will learning BSL prove to be significant after all? And what really happened to Dan? The answers may be quite unexpected. The themes and characters of Senseless are moulded by the challenges of deafness and disability but the book is not `about' disability per se. More succinctly, it's about ordinary people bumping through the ups and downs of life like we all are.

Senseless by Anna Lickley was published by Unbound Digital on 17 January 2019. My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy for review as part of the #RandomThingsTours Blog Tour 

At around 200 pages, Senseless is a fairly short read, but it's also a very cleverly structured and quite complex story that deals with many relevant modern-day issues.

Lead character Beth is a troubled woman. The story opens as she returns home after a day at the job that she hates to find that her boyfriend Dan has gone. Beth had no prior warning, she thought they were happy. Dan has left a one-line note that explains nothing and Beth is devastated.

The author then takes us forward nine years and we find that although Beth has changed jobs and is now a support worker in a college; using her British Sign Language skills to assist pupils with hearing difficulties, she is still not happy. Whilst she enjoys helping her pupils, she is no fan of the staff politics and every day seems to be something of a struggle for her.

Running alongside Beth's story, we learn about Sam, who when we first meet him, is a firefighter with a partner and a new baby. However, Sam is not well and when he's given a diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis, his life changes forever. Not only does he eventually lose his job, but his little family is also broken apart.

Anna Lickley writes with knowledge and passion about characters with disabilities. However, she also make them appear incredibly real. There's no sugar coating here. Beth is a character who can be difficult to understand at times. She drinks too much, she has lots of casual sex with men that she meets online and she swears like a trooper. 

Beth and Sam's stories gradually begin to merge as characters are introduced that are connected to each of them and when they eventually do meet, it's not all plain sailing at first. As a reader, I was particularly interested in the flash backs to Beth's earlier life, and the author cleverly weaves these throughout the story, enabling the reader to grasp some of the reasons for Beth's behaviour.

Senseless is a carefully written story that both entertains and informs and I enjoyed reading it. Anna Lickley's style of writing is modern and completely relevant. This is a great novel and I'd highly recommend it. 

Anna's adult life has been moulded a great deal by challenges on her physical health and needing to adapt to them. She was diagnosed with neurofibromatosis type 2 (NF2) in the 1980s when she was 16. NF2 is a complex genetic illness involving benign tumours developing on nerves throughout the body, usually in the brain or spine. As a result, she went deaf whilst at University and began to learn British Sign Language to help with communication. She loved the language immediately and went on to became fluent enough to teach it. In the last 5 years, Anna's vision has deteriorated and she is now registered deafblind. That and other health complications led her to stop working. Although sad to leave a job she loved, she is now relishing having more time to write and much of her writing is greatly influenced by her desire to share the realities of living with disability. Anna wrote and self-published a semi-autobiographical novel called Catch it Anytime You Canin 2012 and has in mind a title and plot outline for a further novel. She is in-house writer for Can You Hear Us CIC, a social enterprise dedicated to the needs of people with NF2 and also loves writing poetry, short stories and articles. Senseless is her first full-length work of fiction. Outside of writing, she loves horse riding and competes at dressage with the RDA (Riding for the Disabled Association)

Twitter @annal_writes

Wednesday, 13 February 2019

The Shape of Lies by Rachel Abbott @RachelAbbott BLOG TOUR #TheShapeOfLies #Win #Competition @MauraWilding

Yesterday, Scott was dead. Today, he's back. And Anna doesn't believe in ghosts. Scott was Anna's boyfriend. She loved him, but he ruined her life. When he died, she should have been free, but today Scott is on the radio, threatening to spill her secrets. Anna is a mother, a wife, and head teacher of a primary school.And she's a good liar. She made one mistake, and now she is having to pay for it. Scott is the only person who knows the truth about her past, but how can he be alive?Soon, DCI Tom Douglas is going to knock on her door looking for answers. But Anna is already running scared: from the man she loved; the man she watched die; the man who has come back to life. She has one week to find him. One week to stop him.

The Shape of Lies by Rachel Abbott was published on 12 February 2019.

The Shape of Truth and Lies Game

To celebrate the publication of The Shape of Lies we are playing a game of truth and lies.
Play along, follow the blog tour to collect all the truths and you could be in with a chance of winning a signed copy of The Shape of Lies.

How to play: Rachel Abbott has come up with two big lies and one absolute truth about her life.

Can you channel her beloved detective, Tom Douglas, and detect the one truth?
Pick carefully, then follow the blog tour to collect all the truths and enter the prize draw.

Once you have all seven truths email your answers to rachelabbottcomps@gmail.com.

Full T&Cs can be found here.

The next round of The Shape of Truth or Lies continues over on www.chillerskillersandthrillers@wordpress.com tomorrow.

First some information about The Shape of Lies, the latest novel by Rachel Abbott.

This is Abbott’s ninth novel and it follows respectable mother, wife and head teacher, Anna Franklyn, who is driving to work when a voice on her favourite radio phone-in programme shatters every hope that she has escaped her dark past. The caller on ‘The One That Got Away’ claims to be her ex-lover, Scott, and in less than a week, he will expose her truth on air. But how is that possible when Scott is dead?

Meanwhile, Abbott’s much-loved detective, Tom Douglas, needs to find the killer responsible for two brutal murders and unravel Anna’s web of lies to discover what connects her to both bodies.

Mel Sherratt, bestselling author loved it, she said: ‘I devoured The Shape of Lies. Full of intrigue, secrets and compelling sub-plots that intertwine to a devastating and heart-stopping finish.’

Now, read on to play The Shape of Truth and Lies game and be in with a chance of winning your very own signed copy.

Being daring

A. I flew across the English Channel in a single engine plane. The pilot took his hands off the controls and told me to get on with it, as a dare, so we ended up in France instead of landing in Alderney.

B. I did a parachute jump for charity and ended up in A&E. It was my second jump because I hadn’t found the first one as exciting as everyone said it would be.

C. I did a bungee jump in a park in Saddleworth. My mum begged me not to do it, and my dad said he might do it with me (he didn’t).

Which one is truth? A, B or C? Keep your answer safe, collect the next six truths and send all seven to: rachelabbottcomps@gmail.com

Remember to head to www.chillerskillersandthrillers@wordpress.com tomorrow for the next stop of The Shape of Lies blog tour and the next game of The Shape of Truth or Lies.

The Geography of Friendship by Sally Piper @SallyPiper Blog Tour @Legend_Press #Giveaway #Win #Competition

When three women set off on a hike through the wilderness they are anticipating the adventure of a lifetime. Over the next five days, as they face up to the challenging terrain, it soon becomes clear they are not alone.
Lisa, Samantha and Nicole have known each other since school. Lisa is a fighter, Samantha a peacekeeper and Nicole a rule follower. United they bring out the best in one another. 
Only once it is too late for them to turn back do they appreciate the danger they are in. Their friendship is tested, and each of them must make a choice that will change their lives forever.

The Geography of Friendship by Sally Piper was published on 1 February 2019, in paperback by Legend Press.

As part of the Blog Tour, I'm delighted to offer the chance to win a paperback copy for yourself.
Entry is simple; just fill out the competition widget at the foot of this post.
UK entries only please


What Reviewers and Readers Say:
‘The atmosphere is so charged, I often found myself clenching my jaw and getting goosebumps as I read. The descriptions of the Australian bush are so vibrant and evocative… The bush feels alive in this book – vast, daunting and full of lurking dangers… Heartbreakingly honest and fiercely emotional… a remarkable book that is bound to appeal to fans of Jane Harper and Liane Moriarty’ Honey
‘Piper gloriously demonstrates how to hook your readers and make them desperate to know the ending… Piper’s novel is an exploration of how the past can come to define ourselves, and a testament to the bonds of complicated friendship and to the relentless, isolating and utterly terrifying nature of the Australian bush’ Books + Publishing Review
There’s a little bit of Big Little Lies about this deft and powerful study of female friendships under pressure… this lyrical Queensland-based author has a style and tone all of her own which sucks you in and holds you in its seductive embrace, almost unable to breathe… a page-turner… a book dripping in the raw beauty of the Australian landscape’ Women’s Weekly Australia
‘Piper has achieved that glorious, decisive moment in any great novel where the reader becomes desperate to know the ending. If you loved Jane Harper’s Force of Nature, prepare yourself for another page-turning adventure’ Readings Monthly
‘An ambitious novel’ Weekend Australian

A copy of The Geography of Friendship by Sally Piper

Sally Piper is an award-winning Brisbane based writer.  She is a former nurse and nurse educator, specialising in neurosurgical critical care, and has worked in both Australia and the UK.
Sally has had short fiction and non-fiction published in various online and print publications, including a prize-winning short story in the first One Book Many Brisbanes anthology, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Saturday Paper, Weekend Australian and WQ plus other literary magazines and journals in the UK. She has been interviewed for radio, been a guest panellist at literary festivals and delivered many author talks and readings.
Sally holds a Master of Arts (Research) in Creative Writing from Queensland University of Technology. During her post-graduate studies she also tutored on the QUT Creative Writing program. She currently presents workshops and seminars for the Queensland Writers' Centre and mentors on their 'Writer's Surgery' program.
Follow Sally on Twitter @SallyPiper

Tuesday, 12 February 2019

The Lost Man by Jane Harper @janeharperautho @LittleBrownUK Blog Tour #TheLostMan @GraceEVincent

He had started to remove his clothes as logic had deserted him, and his skin was cracked. Whatever had been going through Cameron's mind when he was alive, he didn't look peaceful in death.

Two brothers meet at the remote border of their vast cattle properties under the unrelenting sun of the outback. In an isolated part of Australia, they are each other's nearest neighbour, their homes hours apart.
They are at the stockman's grave, a landmark so old that no one can remember who is buried there. But today, the scant shadow it casts was the last hope for their middle brother, Cameron. The Bright family's quiet existence is thrown into grief and anguish.
Something had been troubling Cameron. Did he choose to walk to his death? Because if he didn't, the isolation of the outback leaves few suspects...

The Lost Man by Jane Harper was published by Little Brown UK in hardback on 7 February 2019, my thanks to the publisher who sent my copy for review and who invited me to take part on this blog tour.

I am in no doubt that The Lost Man by Jane Harper will appear in my Best Books of the Year post, and I realise that it's only February.

This author's debut; The Dry and the follow up; Force of Nature were both huge successes and I enjoyed them very much. I was delighted to be offered the chance to read an early copy of this one.

The Lost Man is a stand alone novel set in the Australian outback. This is one of the most descriptive and atmospheric novels that I've read for many years. From the startling and compelling opening chapters, the reader is consumed by the red dust and heat that forms the backdrop to this outstanding story.

Three brothers, brought up together but all very different. The story opens as Bub and Nathan find the body of Cameron; their brother. He is found dead alongside the 'stockman's grave'; a local landmark that attracts many ghost stories and folk tales and becomes something of a central point in this whole story.

A cattle farmer, born and bred in the outback, would never leave his air-conditioned car, and the supplies of food and water and walk out into the searing heat and blinding dust. Never. However, it appears that is what Cameron did. His vehicle is in good working order, there's no indication that anyone else was with him. It's a complete mystery.

This author excels in building her characters and each one of them are slowly and perfectly created, allowing the reader to get to know them as though they too had lived alongside them. The sense of place is both elegant and terrifying with the oppressive and dangerous heat and the constant feeling of dust and dirt.

The Lost Man is both a mystery story and a complex and multi-layered tale of family life; of the connections and disconnections; of hidden dark secrets and of how one character can shape the whole of a family, for generation onwards.

I could talk about this novel for hours, and have already recommended it to many people. It's a dark and brilliant story, told through characters who are imperfect but wonderfully created. I loved it.

Jane Harper is the author of The Dry, winner of various awards including the 2015 Victorian Premier's Literary Award for an Unpublished Manuscript, the 2017 Indie Award Book of the Year, the 2017 Australian Book Industry Awards Book of the Year Award and the CWA Gold Dagger Award for the best crime novel of 2017. 
Rights have been sold in 27 territories worldwide, and film rights optioned to Reese Witherspoon and Bruna Papandrea. 

Jane worked as a print journalist for thirteen years both in Australia and the UK and lives in Melbourne.

Monday, 11 February 2019

Picturehouse Poems : Poems about the Movies @EverymansLib #Giveaway #Win @FourCultureNews

I'm delighted to offer a copy of
Picturehouse Poems : Poems about the Movies from Everyman's Library to one lucky winner today.

Entry is simple. Just fill out the competition widget at the end of this post.

A beautiful new book was published by Everyman’s Library on 7 February.

Picturehouse Poems is a unique anthology of tributes to the silver screen from literary icons including Jack Kerouac, John Updike, Sharon Olds and Maxine Kumin, featuring poems about movie stars and celebrity directors, epics and weepies, art films and horror flicks, bit players, B-movies and Bollywood.

This new publication in Everyman’s Library extensive Pocket Poets series brings together more than 100 poets sharing their movie memoirs in tribute to the silver screen and its unique appeal. In Picturehouse Poems, one of our oldest art forms pays loving homage to one of our newest — the thrilling art of cinema.

‘The movies constitute the myths of our time. In the century since the birth of the Hollywood studios, poets, as the works collected here attest, have been deeply engaged with the movies, exploring the countless ways those celluloid dreams have nourished, excited, and shaped the modern imagination,’ write editors Harold Schechter and Michael Waters in the foreword.
The first anthology of its kind, Picturehouse Poems is the perfect gift for film buffs as the awards season approaches, featuring poems about movie stars and celebrity directors, epics and weepies, art films and horror flicks, bit players, B-movies and Bollywood. Contributions include Langston Hughes and John Updike on the theatres of their youth; Jack Kerouac and Robert Lowell on Harpo Marx; Sharon Olds on Marilyn Monroe; Louise Erdrich on John Wayne; May Swenson on the James Bond films; Terrance Hayes on early Black cinema; Maxine Kumin onCasablanca; and Richard Wilbur on The Prisoner of Zenda.
Meanwhile, Orson Welles, Alfred Hitchcock and Ingmar Bergman share the spotlight with Ridley Scott, Robert Bresson and Leni Riefenstahl; Frankenstein and King Kong with Shirley Temple and Carmen Miranda; Bonnie and Clyde andRashomon with Tess and Easy Rider.

Harold Schechter is an American writer and professor of American literature and popular culture at Queens College, City University of New York.  He has written numerous books on true historical crime, mystery and popular culture. Schechter's essays have appeared in publications including The New York TimesThe Wall Street Journal, and The Los Angeles Times.

Michael Waters is a poet and editor. He earned a BA and an MA at the College at Brockport-SUNY, an MFA at the University of Iowa, and a PhD at Ohio University. He has written collections of poetry, including the Los Angeles Times Book Prize finalist Darling Vulgarity (2006). He currently teaches at Monmouth University and Drew University.

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Picturehouse Poems : Poems About the Movies GIVEAWAY