Sunday 30 June 2019

Minor Monuments by Ian Maleney @ianmaleney BLOG TOUR @TrampPress #MinorMonuments #Giveaway #Win #RandomThingsTours

During the final two or three years of his life, I made many surreptitious recordings of John Joe as he sat by the fire. He was in the process of forgetting almost everything he'd ever known. He was fading out of the world and I wanted to record whatever it was he might say before it was too late... Set around a small family farm on the edge of a bog, a few miles from the river Shannon, Minor Monuments is a collection of essays unfolding from the landscape of the Irish midlands. Taking in the physical and philosophical power of sound and music, and the effects of Alzheimer s disease on a family, Ian Maleney questions the nature of home, memory, and the complex nature of belonging. A thought-provoking and quietly devastating meditation on family and loss. With echoes of Tim Robinson, Tara Westover and John Berger, Minor Monuments is a beautiful and unique literary experience.

Minor Monuments by Ian Maleney was published by Tramp Press on 28 March 2019.
As part of the #RandomThingsTours Blog Tour today, I am delighted to be able to offer one copy as a giveaway.
Entry is simple; just fill out the competition widget at the end of the post.

UK/IRELAND Entries only please.



'Minor Monuments is beautifully poised between the vivid recollection of experience and subtle reflections on the nature of memory itself. Ian Maleny writes with both a poetic serenity and a starting immediacy, a combination as rare as it is absorbing.' --Fintan O Toole

'Minor Monuments is brilliant, pulsing with intellect and insight, with each observation composed so beautifully as to be deeply moving. This is the kind of book that changes its reader.' --Lisa McInerney

'These essays are thoughtful, precise, beautifully controlled, and with a nicely wry humour helping us along the way this is an extremely fine debut.' --Kevin Barry

A Copy of Minor Monument by Ian Maleney

IAN MALENEY is a writer based in Dublin. 
Born and raised in Co. Offaly, he works as a freelance arts journalist, primarily for the Irish Times, and as the online editor at the Stinging Fly. 
His essays have been published by Winter Papers, gorse, and the Dublin Review. 
He is the founder of Fallow Media, an interdisciplinary publication for music, photography, and long-form writing on the internet. 
Minor Monuments is his debut.
Twitter @ianmaleney

Saturday 29 June 2019

The Red Word by Sarah Henstra #TheRedWord BLOG TOUR #SarahHentra @TrampPress #Giveaway #Win #Competition

The battle of the sexes goes to college in this smart, thrilling debut by university English professor Sarah Henstra. University student Karen is swept up in back-to-school revelry and when she wakes up after a frat party lying on the lawn of Raghurst, a house of radical feminists, she gets a crash course in anti-frat activism on campus. GBC (‘Gang Bang Central’) is especially notorious, she learns, with several names featured on a list of date rapists compiled by female students.
Despite continuing to party at GBC and even dating one of the brothers, Karen is seduced by the intellectual stimulation and indomitable spirit of the Raghurst women. As Karen finds herself caught between two increasingly polarized camps, her feminist housemates believe they have hit on the perfect way to expose and bring down the fraternity as a symbol of rape culture… but the war between the houses will exact a terrible price.
The Red Word offers a lyrical yet eyes-wide-open account of the epic clash between fraternities’ time-honoured ‘right to party’ and young women’s demands for sexual safety and respect. With strains of The Marriage Plot and reminiscent of the work of Zadie Smith, Donna Tartt and Tom Wolfe, The Red Word arrives on the wings of furies.

The Red Word by Sarah Henstra was published on 21 March by Tramp Press
As part of the #RandomThingsTours Blog Tour I'm delighted to offer one copy as a prize.

Entry is simple; just fill out the competition widget at the end of this post.
UK/IRELAND entries only.



'An aesthetically arresting interrogation of rape culture . . . Timely and brilliant.' --Kirkus Reviews

'An incisive campus novel . . . [The Red Word] raises essential questions surrounding class privilege, rape, and gendered power dynamics on campus.' --Publishers Weekly

'Henstra draws on Greek mythology to comment on contemporary issues how assault can take on ambiguity and how the internalization of rape culture convolutes gender politics, to the point where constructive conversation is nearly impossible.' --New Yorker

The Red Word echoes Donna Tartt’s The Secret History
but there is nothing derivative about Henstra’s tale.
The Red Word is a beautifully written, gripping take on the battle between the sexes” --The Financial Times

A Copy of The Red Word by Sarah Henstra

Sarah Henstra is a writer and professor, specializing in 20th century British fiction and teaching at Ryerson. She's a board member of Canadian Creative Writers and Programs (CCWWP), and is on the steering committee of the 2016 Canadian Writers Summit. 

Sarah teach courses in the novel, the Gothic, fairy tales, women's fiction, and creative writing. She lives and works in Toronto. 

The Red Word is her adult fiction debut.

A Feast of Serendib by Mary Anne Mohanraj @mamohanraj @rararesources #BlogTour #Recipes #SriLanka

Dark roasted curry powder, a fine attention to the balance of salty-sour-sweet, wholesome red rice and toasted curry leaves, plenty of coconut milk and chili heat. These are the flavors of Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka was a cross roads in the sea routes of the East. Three waves of colonization—Portuguese, Dutch and British—and the Chinese laborers who came with them, left their culinary imprint on Sri Lankan food. Sri Lankan cooking with its many vegetarian dishes gives testimony to the presence of a multi-ethnic and multi -religious population.

Everyday classics like beef smoore and Jaffna crab curry are joined by luxurious feast dishes, such as nargisi kofta and green mango curry, once served to King Kasyapa in his 5th century sky palace of Sigiriya.
Vegetable dishes include cashew curry, jackfruit curry, asparagus poriyal, tempered lentils, broccoli varai and lime-masala mushrooms. There are appetizers of chili-mango cashews, prawn lentil patties, fried mutton rolls, and ribbon tea sandwiches. Deviled chili eggs bring the heat, yet ginger-garlic chicken is mild enough for a small child. Desserts include Sir Lankan favorites:  love cake, mango fluff, milk toffee and vattalappam, a richly-spiced coconut custard.

In A Feast of Serendib, Mary Anne Mohanraj introduces her mother’s cooking and her own Americanizations, providing a wonderful introduction to Sri Lankan American cooking, straightforward enough for a beginner, and nuanced enough to capture the flavor of Sri Lankan cooking.

I am delighted to feature A Feast of Serendib : Recipes from Sri Lanka by Mary Anne Mohanraj o Random Things today as part of the Blog Tour organised by Rachel's Random Resources

I have quite a recipe book 'habit'; and can never resist a new one. There are shelves of them in my house and I'm very happy flicking through the pages, choosing what I'll cook next. However, I do tend to stick to the same well-tried and tested recipes and was a little wary that this book may be filled with ingredients that I'd never heard of and would find difficult to get hold of.

I didn't have to worry; Mary Anne's recipes are simple to follow and the majority of the ingredients are familiar and easily sought out locally. 

Whilst this is a cookery book, it's also something of the author's story. She talks about her ethnic heritage and influences and about her family. The reader gets to know her and it all feels very personal.

Another bonus for me is the detailed descriptions of the various spices and ingredients used throughout the recipes. Even if the reader doesn't recognise the name, the description will help to decide if it is something to your taste

So, I tried one of the recipes; Ginger-Garlic Chicken. It was delicious, other I will admit that I added a little coconut milk at the end as it felt a little dry. I was serving it with rice, but the author does recommend that it's served up with a vegetable curry, which of course would add that moisture to the whole dish. My food photography is rubbish - sorry.  So, instead I'll show you what Mary's dish looks like and tell you that mine wasn't too different!

The book is separated into different sections and each is illustrated fully

Ethnic Heritage and Colonial Influences
Spices and Ingredients
Master Recipe : Sri Lankan Curry Powder
Master Recipe : Sri Lankan Seasoned Onions
Menu Suggestions

Includes dishes such as Chinese Rolls, Patties, Tangy Shrimp on Toast

Includes dishes such as Omelette, Ginger-Garlic Chicken, Beef Smore, Black Pork Curry

Includes dishes such as Crab Curry, Spicy Fried Fish, Devilled Shrimp

Includes dishes such as Green Mango Curry, Cauliflower Poriyal, Green Bean Varai

Includes dishes such as Coconut Sambol, Coriander Soup, Leeks fried with Chilli

Includes dishes such as Golden Rice Pilaf, Savoury Rice Pancakes, Stringhoppers

Includes dishes such as Chai, Mango Lassi, Fresh Sweet Lime Juice

Includes dishes such as Marshmallows, Spiced Coconut Custard, Mango Fluff

Making Stringhoppers / Marshmallows / Curry 

Mary Anne Mohanraj is the author of Bodies in Motion (HarperCollins), The Stars Change (Circlet Press) and thirteen other titles. Bodies in Motion was a finalist for the Asian American Book Awards, a USA Today Notable Book, and has been translated into six languages.  The Stars Change was a finalist for the Lambda, Rainbow, and Bisexual Book Awards.
Mohanraj founded the Hugo-nominated and World Fantasy Award-winning speculative literature magazine, Strange Horizons, and also founded Jaggery, a S. Asian & S. Asian diaspora literary journal ( She received a Breaking Barriers Award from the Chicago Foundation for Women for her work in Asian American arts organizing, won an Illinois Arts Council Fellowship in Prose, and was Guest of Honor at WisCon. She serves as Director of two literary organizations, DesiLit ( and The Speculative Literature Foundation (  She serves on the futurist boards of the XPrize and Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry.

Mohanraj is Clinical Associate Professor of English at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and lives in a creaky old Victorian in Oak Park, just outside Chicago, with her husband, their two small children, and a sweet dog.  Recent publications include stories for George R.R. Martin's Wild Cards series, stories at Clarkesworld, Asimov's, and Lightspeed, and an essay in Roxane Gay’s Unruly Bodies.  2017-2018 titles include Survivor (a SF/F anthology), Perennial, Invisible 3 (co-edited with Jim C. Hines), and Vegan Serendib.
Social Media Links –
Serendib Kitchen website: