[Book Review] Blog Blitz: THE GIRL FROM THE SUGAR PLANTATION by Sharon Maas

As a lover of Historical Fiction, I was understandably very much intrigued when Bookouture approached me with an invitation to participate in an upcoming Blog Tour for Sharon Maas‘s latest novel The Girl From The Sugar Plantation.….

DETAILS

TITLE: The Girl From The Sugar Plantation

AUTHOR: Sharon Maas

GENRE: Historical Fiction

PUBLISHED BY: Bookouture

PUBLICATION DATE: 19 October 2017

EDITION: E-Book

ISBN: 9781786812957

PRICE: £1.99

Currently available to purchase as an e-book from Amazon UK & details can also be found at Amazon US.

An unputdownable story about a woman in search of the truth, the man she falls in love with, and the devastation of the Second World War.

1934, Georgetown.

All her life, Mary Grace has wanted to know the truth about who her parents really are. As the mixed-race daughter of two white plantation owners, her childhood has been clouded by whispered rumours, and the circumstances of her birth have been kept a closely guarded secret…

Aunt Winnie is the only person Mary Grace can confide in. Feeling lost and lonely, her place in society uncertain, Mary Grace decides to forge her own path in the world. And she finds herself unexpectedly falling for charming and affluent Jock Campbell, a planter with revolutionary ideas.

But, with the onset of the Second World War, their lives will be changed forever. And Mary Grace and Jock will be faced with the hardest decision of all – to fight for freedom or to follow their hearts…

THOUGHTS

When we first meet 16 year-old Mary Grace amidst the sugarcanes of her ancestral plantation, the juxtaposition between her family’s social standing and her perceived lower class personal standing due to her mixed race heritage is clear. On the one hand, she has been brought up as a young lady of the English upper classes; but destined to never be accepted by her peers she is unsure of her place in the world.

At times, her behaviour seems spoiled & brattish, as she pouts & wheedles to ensure her mother capitulates to her every whim; but in reality I think the strained relationship with her mother combined with the constant bombardment of racist treatment has left her having no option but to construct this veneer.

Young and naive as she is, Mary Grace is a likeable character, who ultimately aspires for a better fairer life for those around her as well as herself.

As we learn more about the difficulties of being both a young woman and of mixed race in 1930s British Guyana, it is all too clear that Mary Grace is going to have to struggle to find a place where she feels that she ‘fits’.

The author’s passion for both place and time is made obvious by the way her well-researched factual findings are seamlessly woven into the fabric of this thought-provoking, tale evocative of the era.

Whilst this particular book can be read as a stand-alone novel, it is in fact the third offering in Maas’s The Quint Chronicles trilogy and having enjoyed The Girl From The Sugar Plantation, I fully intend to read both The Secret Life of Winnie Cox and The Sugar Planter’s Daughter to find out more of the family’s backstory, as well as reading ahead into the future with The Small Fortune of Dorothea Q.

RATINGS & RECOMMENDATIONS

Maas presents a tale as perfectly woven as the fluid green silk of Mary Grace’s concert debut gown, her descriptive prose brings the landscape and feelings of the era to life and the story is as full and rich as that skirt.

I rate this touching and enthralling tale 4 out of 5 sugar-encrusted stars.

An utterly compelling and evocative story about the heart-breaking choices men and women had to make during a time of unimaginable change. Perfect for fans of The Secret Wife and Island of Secrets, lovers of Historical Fiction, and those interested in the history surrounding the British sugar trade.

THE AUTHOR

Born in Georgetown, Guyana in 1951, Sharon Maas spent many childhood hours either curled up behind a novel or writing her own adventure stories. Sometimes she had adventures of her own, and found fifteen minutes of Guyanese fame for salvaging an old horse-drawn coach from a funeral parlor, fixing it up, painting it bright blue, and tearing around Georgetown with all her teenage friends. The coach ended up in a ditch, but thankfully neither teens nor horse were injured.

Boarding school in England tamed her somewhat; but after a few years as a reporter with the Guyana Graphic in Georgetown she plunged off to discover South America by the seat of her pants. She ended up in a Colombian jail, and that’s a story for another day…

Sharon has lived in an Ashram in India and as a German Hausfrau–the latter giving her the time and the motivation to finally start writing seriously. Her first novel, Of Marriageable Age, was published by HarperCollins, London, in 1999 and reprinted as a digital edition in 2014. After working as a social worker in a German hospital she finally retired and now has time for her favourite pastimes: reading, writing, and travelling.

The Author’s website SharonMaas.com is well worth a visit; being full of all sorts of bookish treats & tidbits and, always eager to hear from readers, Sharon Maas can also be contacted (and followed, if you are interested in keeping up-to-date with upcoming news!) via Facebook and Twitter.

DISCLOSURE

I received a digital copy of The Girl From The Sugar Plantation, from Bookouture via NetGalley and free of charge, for the purpose of supplying an honest review and participating in this blog tour. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

And, also as always, thanks for stopping by!

Hugs,

Crafty xxx

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[Book Review] DOCTOR WHO : MYTHS AND LEGENDS by Richard Dinnick

As a die-hard Whovian, it should come as no surprise that I jumped at the chance to read and review Richard Dinnick‘s latest offering, DOCTOR WHO : MYTHS & LEGENDS Epic Tales From Alien Worlds, when it was made available for request on NetGalley.

DETAILS:

TITLE: DOCTOR WHO : MYTHS & LEGENDS Epic Tales From Alien Worlds

AUTHOR: RICHARD DINNICK

GENRE: SciFi & Fantasy, Teens & YA

PUBLISHED BY: Penguin Random House UK , BBC Books

PUBLICATION DATE: 26th September 2017

EDITION: Hardback

ISBN: 9781785942495

PRICE: $16.99 (USD)

DESCRIPTION:

THOUGHTS:

As a long-time lover of Greek Mythology, I was delighted to discover that this anthology was actually a collection of fourteen short stories based on well-known; and much loved; Greek Myths.

During his introduction, Chancellor Drakirid; Historian to the Bureau of Ancient Records on Gallifrey; makes reference to the repeated appearance of an unknown man at various points within the legends.

He is never given the same name twice and always seems to wear a different face.

Now, who does that remind you of?

Each offering is a retelling of a classic tale; such as The Mondas Touch, inspired by the story of King Midas, in which we meet Queen Lydia as she is presented with a legendary metal gauntlet purported to have special powers. On donning the glove, she soon discovers it does indeed have the power to upgrade both the planet’s technology and her Royal guards…. I’m sure you can work out what happens next!

Tales of King Minos, his Labyrinth, and the Minotaur it held, were a firm favourite during my Classical studies class at school (many years ago!); therefore I was looking forward to reading The Labyrinthine Web in which a Gallifreyan colony finds that the arrival of a Racnoss ship brings invasion. Enslaved by Messothel, commander of the spider-like craft, the Time Lords are first forced to build the titular Labyrinthine Web then to draw lots to become tributes within the hatchery it holds. Will the scientific minds of this outpost of Gallifrey be able to outsmart their oppressors? You’ll need to read it to find out!

Another personal favourite was The Angels of Vengeance, a tale based on the story of the three Furies and Orestes. I’ve always had a soft spot for the Weeping Angels, and their use as a means of execution in this tale is an interesting take on them.

Each short story is well-written and offers an intriguing SciFi twist to well-known tales of ancient mythology.

RATINGS & RECOMMENDATIONS:

I rate this legendary anthology 5 out of 5 stars.

I recommend DOCTOR WHO: MYTHS & LEGENDS to readers of all ages; in particular fans of Doctor Who, lovers of myths and legends; especially Greek mythology; and those who enjoy retellings of classic tales.

THE AUTHOR:

Richard Dinnick

[Book Review] NO SHAME by Anne Cassidy

Stacey Woods has been raped and now she has to go through a different ordeal: the court trial. But nothing in life it seems is black and white and life is not always fair or just. Suddenly it seems that she may not be believed and that the man who attacked her may be found not guilty . . . if so Stacey will need to find a way to rebuild her life again . . .

A tautly told and important book, perfect for readers of Asking for It by Louise O’Neill.

DETAILS:

TITLE: NO SHAME

AUTHOR: Anne Cassidy

GENRE: YA , Fiction , Personal & Social Issues

EDITION: Paperback

PAGES: 192

PUBLISHED BY: Hot Key Books

PUBLICATION DATE: 21 September 2017

ISBN: 9781471406782

PRICE: £7.99

STORY:

NO SHAME continues Stacey’s story which we were introduced to in Cassidy’s previous book, NO VIRGIN; a raw, powerful, moving tale about a girl attempting to deal with the aftermath of a sexual attack.

Written as companion books, both can be read as stand-alones, so don’t be put off picking this up if you haven’t read the other.

In NO VIRGIN, Stacey is the victim of a terrible sexual attack. In the beginning she does not feel able to go to the police, or talk about it to anybody other than her best friend, Patrice. Patrice, outraged, when she cannot persuade her to go to the police, encourages Stacey to write everything down; and the first book is Stacey’s story of how she starts to come to terms with what happened, and her eventual decision to report the crime.

NO SHAME returns to Stacey’s story nine months later, and a week before her attacker; who was subsequently arrested and charged; is to be tried.

Finding it difficult to move on with her life, she has put her social life on hold and is thinking about deferring her university place for the next year.

Although she has the support of her family, best friend, headteacher and Annie; her assigned police officer; she is struggling to come to terms with the impending court case and is increasingly aware of how confused her feelings are for her rapist’s brother, a young man she barely knew but felt intensely attracted to.

The prosecuting team warn her that without evidence or witnesses, it is going to be difficult in court but everyone assumes that justice will prevail.

Putting on a brave face, Stacey attends court but finds her composure rattled when she comes face to face with her attacker; the press become interested in the case, and then she has to go through a brutal cross-examination in court; leaving her scared of the possible outcome.

THOUGHTS:

Anne Cassidy approaches a sensitive and important subject matter head on.

Overall Stacey is shown as a strong character rather than being seen as a a victim and ultimately becomes empowered by the court process; immaterial of the actual outcome. Her strength in adversity and ability to see her quest for justice through to the end is also seen as empowering to others who may find themselves in similar situations.

The court proceedings are relatively true to life and the inclusion of detailed contact information for a number of helpful organisations who offer advice, support, counselling, advocacy, and legal services for anyone affected by rape or sexual assault shows a desire to empower and equip survivors with the tools they require to rebuild their lives.

Whilst frustrating to witness, Stacey’s clouded judgement when it comes to Harry and her belief he was in someway also a victim of his older brother seems like a normal human reaction. Understandably it seems better for her to believe he was not a willing player in Marty’s devious plans.

Before I started reading this book, I assumed that it would be a somewhat harrowing and unsettling read; but I can honestly say that I finished it feeling uplifted, both by Stacey’s decisions to restart her life and not let her experiences define her future, and by the positive support network surrounding her.

RATINGS & RECOMMENDATIONS:

A thought-provoking, and at times uncomfortable read, I rate this ultimately empowering book 5 out of 5 stars.

Recommended for both readers of Cassidy‘s companion book NO VIRGIN, or Asking for It by Louise O’Neill; as well as fans of Juno Dawson and Malorie Blackman.

THE AUTHOR:

Born in 1950s London, Anne Cassidy spent many years in teaching before becoming a full-time writer in 2000, specialising in crime stories and thrillers for teenagers.
Many of her works have been shortlisted for various literary prizes, including LOOKING FOR JJ (shortlisted for both the 2004 Whitbread Prize and the 2005 Carnegie Medal) and MOTH GIRLS (nominated for the 2017 CILIP Carnegie Medal and shortlisted for the 2017 Sheffield Children’s Book Award).

She can be found on Twitter using the moniker @annecassidy6.

I received an advanced reader print copy of NO SHAME, via ReadersFirst, for the purpose of supplying an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

As always, thanks for stopping by!

Hugs,

Crafty xx

[Book Review] A PEARL FOR MY MISTRESS by Annabel Fielding

As a bit of a history nerd, I was understandably excited when Annabel contacted me last month enquiring if I would be interested in participating in the upcoming blog tour for her new historical fiction novel; running between the 14th and 28th of September; and today’s the (my) day!

DETAILS

TITLE: A Pearl for my Mistress

AUTHOR: Annabel Fielding

PUBLISHED BY: HQ Digital

GENRE: Historical Fiction

PUBLICATION DATE: 9th August 2017

EDITION: E-book / Kindle

ISBN: 9780008271169

PRICE: £0.99 / $TBC

Currently available from both Amazon UK and Amazon US .

THE STORY

England, 1934. Hester Blake, an ambitious girl from an industrial Northern town, finds a job as a lady’s maid in a small aristocratic household.

Despite their impressive title and glorious past, the Fitzmartins are crumbling under the pressures of the new century. And in the cold isolation of these new surroundings, Hester ends up hopelessly besotted with her young mistress, Lady Lucy.

Accompanying Lucy on her London Season, Hester is plunged into a heady and decadent world. But hushed whispers of another war swirl beneath the capital… and soon, Hester finds herself the keeper of some of society’s most dangerous secrets…

THOUGHTS

Both Hester and Lucy are inherently likeable characters, any flaws or failures being a byproduct of their respective upbringings or situations.

The author’s choice of lengthy descriptive prose is evocative of the era, indeed there is one particular part early on in the book when the two young women are discussing Lucy’s writing which to my mind sums it up rather nicely;

“My sentences used to take at least five lines each. Otherwise I felt I didn’t do justice to the heroine’s complexion or the fragrance of the garden”.

I feel that the physical attraction between the two was somewhat inevitable, given the somewhat forced closeness between them during their time in the isolated Hebden Hall; Lady Lucy’s foreboding ancestral home; and the romanticed notions they each have of the others life.

At times, I found myself getting somewhat frustrated by the unthinking ways and poor choices that led Hester (and at times Lucy) into difficult situations.

As always I am ever-mindful of not giving away too much of the story in my review, so rather than tell you my take on this wonderfully poignant tale, I’d rather concentrate on the vividly described world that Hester finds herself plunged in. At a time when the upper classes were still trying to cling to all their traditions and rules of proprietary as the world marched on to more modern ways of thinking, Hester could still experience what she saw as the wonder of a different way of life; although ultimately realizes that for all the luxuries afforded to the upper-class they are as much trapped by their situation as those of the working class.

Through her detailed and well-researched writing, Annabel Fielding immerses the reader in the world of 1930s society through her wonderfully evocative descriptions. Sometimes, this level of description and background information does cause the pace of the story to slow; but this makes for a languorous unfolding of the story which somehow feels in-keeping with the era.

RATING & RECOMMENDATIONS

As a lover of historical fiction, I enjoyed this richly woven tale. Whilst the story was somewhat of a slow burner, I felt this added to it’s charm.

I rate this evocative and eminently readable tale of 1930s society 4 out of 5 stars.

I recommend A Pearl for my Mistress to anyone who enjoys historical fiction with a touch of romance, and fans of Downtown Abbey or similar.

MEET THE AUTHOR

You can find out more about Novelist, History Geek and International Woman of Mystery Annabel over on her blog History Geek in Town ; where she shares her love of travel, books and tea through her reviews of (mostly) historical fiction and her stunningly photographed travel posts.

Alternatively, you can also follow her, @DearestAnnabel, on Twitter.

DISCLOSURE

I received a copy of this book from the author, via NetGalley & free of charge, in order to read, review and join in with this blog tour. All thoughts are my honest opinions.

Do you enjoy Historical Fiction? Do you have a preferred era?

Hopefully, this review may have piqued your interest!

Thanks for stopping by,

Hugs,

Crafty xxx

I would also like to thank the lovely Annabel for inviting me to read her book, and participate in the blog tour.

[Book Review] LETTERING WITH PURPOSE by Brittany Luiz

TITLE: LETTERING WITH PURPOSE

AUTHOR: BRITTANY LUIZ

GENRE: NON-FICTION, CRAFTS & HOBBIES, ARTS

PUBLISHED BY: WALTER FOSTER PUBLISHING

PUBLICATION DATE: 1st SEPTEMBER 2017

EDITION: PAPERBACK

ISBN: 9781633223424

PRICE: $21.95 (USD)

Creative techniques and prompts for making meaningful, inspirational hand-lettered art.

DESCRIPTION

Lettering with Purpose is

DISCLOSURE

I received a free ARC of this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, in return for an open and honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

As always, thanks for taking the time to stop by! Have you tried your hand at the current trend for hand-lettering yet? I’d love to hear whether you have or inspired to try it after reading this!

Hugs,

Crafty xx

[MailCall Monday] 28th August 2017

Well, the week started off rather nicely with not one but two items of fun mail waiting when I got home from work on Monday!

First up was my #NinjaBookBox.

The Ninja Book Box is an awesome quarterly bookish subscription service. Each box has a theme, this one being GOING HOME.

Each box contains a book related to the theme, together with a small selection of items carefully chosen and created to match the theme.

The books are always from independent publishers, and the curated items are sourced from small businesses and independent makers. This championing of indie suppliers is integral to the Ninja Book Box ethos and is definitely something to be applauded.

There’s always so much to explore in a Ninja Book Box, that it’s probably best that I do a standalone post dedicated purely to my unboxing.

But, in the meantime, if you need a bookish fix; remember code HEATHER15 gets you 15% off orders over £5 in the #NinjaBookBox shop!

Next was a surprise gift:

LUCKY DIP CLUB X HELLO DODO

Mr Crafty actually purchased this for me as a lovely surprise.

I have received Lucky Dip Club boxes in the past, but after taking a baby break, Leona has returned to the subscription market with an update.

I must admit, I was intrigued when I heard about this collaboration with HELLO DODO, as I love their prints.

Inside I found an intriguing soft lightweight item, wrapped in sunshine yellow tissue; and a brightly coloured zine.

When I opened the tissue-wrapped gift, I discovered the most adorable bold flamingo print adorning a fab fabric zippered pouch.

  1. I adore flamingos
  2. I love puns
  3. Summery ice-cream shades are fab
  4. You can never have too many storage bags

I haven’t decided just yet what exactly I’ll be storing in my pouch; make-up bag or pencil case seem good options but I don’t want the inside to get dirty!!

Later on in the week was Boxcitement day…

Boxcitement is a lovely monthly subscription box which features a gorgeous selection of stationery, jewellery, housewares and decorative items; all curated around a theme, which this month is FANTASY ISLAND.

Again, look out for a full unboxing post coming soon!

BookMail

The first BookMail of the week was this fantastic foil-embellished, signed copy of INVICTUS by Ryan Graudin.

I received this Sci-Fi Fantasy; likened to Doctor Who meets the Guardians of the Galaxy; as part of a Twitter Giveaway, hosted by the Bournemouth Waterstone’s store .

Time is running out . . .

Farway McCarthy was born outside of time. With nowhere to call home and nothing to anchor him to the present, Far captains a crew on a dangerous mission into the past. When he collides with Eliot – a mysterious, secretive girl, whose very appearance raises questions about time itself – Far immediately distrusts her. But he must take a leap of faith, following Eliot on a race against time, if he is to protect everything he’s ever loved from disappearing forever . . .

A fast-paced, heart-stopping journey that will leave you breathless.

Via ReadersFirst; I received an ARC of Vince Cable‘s debut novel, OPEN ARMS; a political thriller which spans all the way from the parliamentary buildings of Westminster to the slums of Mumbai.

Kate Thompson – glamorous housewife-turned-MP – surprises everyone with her meteoric rise at Westminster. When Kate is sent as a trade minister to India, she hopes it will be her moment to shine. But, embroiled in a personal scandal, she gets drawn into a dangerous world of corruption and political intrigue… Billionaire Deepak Parrikar – head of an Indian arms technology company – is magnetically drawn to the beautiful British minister. But while their relationship deepens, India’s hostilities with Pakistan reach boiling point, causing more than just business and politics to collide. In the race to prevent disaster, can their conflicting loyalties survive being tested to the limit? Open Arms is an explosive thriller which circles from Whitehall to the slums of Mumbai. Cable’s sweeping tale combines unrivalled political detail with international intrigue, desire, and the quest for power. An electrifying debut.

Published by Corvus, OPEN ARMS is due to be released on 7th September 2017, and I’ll be reviewing it soon.

So, that was the contents of my mailbox for the week, did you receive any fun mail? Share in the comments!

Thanks for reading,

Hugs, Crafty xxx

DISCLOSURE

  • Although I have a referral code for #NinjaBookBox, I receive this box through my personal paid subscription.
  • I also receive Boxcitement via a paid subscription.
  • The Lucky Dip Club item I received was purchased as a gift.
  • I regularly receive Advance Reader Copies of upcoming releases from ReadersFirst, these are sent free of charge, on the understanding I will read and review them; giving my honest and unbiased impression.
  • The signed copy of Ryan Graudin’s INVICTUS I received was won via a randomised draw hosted by the Waterstone’s store.

[MailCall Monday] 21st August 2017

Snailmail

General Snailmail was sadly lacking this week! I had plenty outgoing but the only incoming envelopes held junk mail offers for home insurance, and there was the usual smattering of takeaway menus.

CurryMail

Recently a friend was telling me about Curry for Change , a project which aims to raise awareness of world hunger through encouraging both food businesses and individuals to host fundraising curry nights.

She had attended a pop-up restaurant event around this time last year, and knowing that I enjoy a) a good curry, and b) a good fundraiser; she thought I might like to get involved. Of course, I did!

I signed up, pledging to host a curry night in September, and am eager to try out some of the tasty looking recipes shared on the site in preparation for the big event.

I’ll share more about my night nearer the time, but if you’d like to know more or are interested in participating, you can visit the Curry for Change website, or visit them on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.

BookMail

On the other hand, there’s been NO shortage of books!!

The last week has certainly brought a lot of BookMail, arriving from a variety of sources.

First up, Tarn Richardson sent me a signed copy of his book The Fallen, along with some signed promo cards; one which he added a cheeky wee personalised message to.

The Fallen is book two of The Dark Hand trilogy , a fantasy horror inspired by WW1 events in Italy.

Set in 1915, Demonic possessions are sweeping across Rome and the Vatican’s Eagle Fountain is running red with blood. Something evil is coming…. Only Poldek Tacit, the Catholic Church’s most determined and unhinged Inquisitor can hope to push back the forces of evil and unite those for good. But what happens when Tacit finds that the path he walks has already been prophesised and that where it leads threatens the very future of a world on the edge of the abyss?

The Fallen will draw you into a dark and captivating world full of demons, werewolves, ritualistic terror and fast-paced action.

It looks like an exciting read, and Offspring #2 has his eye on it after I’m finished reading it.

ReadersFirst is a regular source of my BookMail, as I enter their weekly draws by leaving my First Impressions, after downloading and reading opening chapters.

A large number of the books they promote are by up and coming authors, and there’s always 1 or 2 that catch my eye.

It’s also a great way to expand my reading horizons as I find myself reading and enjoying books and genres that I may not necessarily pick up on my own.

A DARKLY HILARIOUS LOVE STORY ABOUT FACING FEARS – ONE SNAKE / SPIDER / POTENTIALLY UNSTABLE FOURTH FLOOR BALCONY AT A TIME.

Published by Hot Key Books, A Semi Definitive List of WORST Nightmares is Krystal Sutherland‘s second novel, and it has much to live up to after the triumph of her debut Our Chemical Hearts.

Esther Solar is unusual. It’s not just her outfits (always a costume – Red Riding Hood today) or her family, with their unique and weird obsessions. When Esther is mugged by Jonah, an old classmate, he takes everything she has, including her phone and her private list of worst nightmares. Jonah returns the phone, with nothing left in it but his number. Esther knows she shouldn’t phone Jonah – but she does.

Jonah sets Esther a challenge: to work through her list of fears together, facing one terrifying fear at a time, plus one that surprises them both…

Jens Lapidus has certainly made a name for himself in the increasingly popular Swedish noir genre, having authored three of the country’s top crime thrillers in the past decade, and Stockholm Delete looks to be carrying on his success. Having read the suspense-filled first chapters of this legal thriller I can’t wait to read on!

Emilie Jansson has just been made partner at a prestigious law firm when she is asked to work with an unusual partner. Teddy is an ex-con trying to stay on the right side of the law while working as the firm’s fixer and Special Investigator. Meanwhile, a body is discovered in a remote house in the country after what looks like an attempted robbery – and a severely wounded man found near the scene is soon in the frame for murder. Emilie takes on the role of his defence lawyer. But when the trail of evidence leads back to her partner Teddy’s wayward past, Emilie begins to wonder what she’s taken on… In Stockholm Delete, Emilie and Teddy become entangled in a complex and dangerous web with deep connections to Stockholm’s criminal underworld. Both will be tested in terrible ways. But can they survive long enough to uncover the truth?

Full of intrigue; this thriller, from an author who has lived the life of a criminal lawyer, is wonderfully dark. Likened to the writing of Karin Slaughter and Steig Larrson, I am eager to read more.

I was recently approached by the lovely people at Duckworth, who asked if I would be interested in reading and reviewing David Bergen‘s new novel Stranger, to be published in September.

Íso is a young Guatemalan woman who meets a charming doctor, Eric. When an accident forces him to unexpectedly return to America, Íso is left brokenhearted and pregnant. But her dreams of raising her newborn come to a halt when her daughter is abducted. Determined to reclaim her stolen child, Íso makes her way north, descending into a world full of danger.

In a place of shifting boundaries, she must decide who she can trust, aware that a wrong decision could mean losing her daughter forever.

Stranger is a story in which the themes of immigration and refugees, exploitation and vulnerability, rich and poor collide to make a powerful and affecting novel; leaving us with the question:

Just how many borders would you cross to reclaim your child?

In a period when the subject of immigration is on many people’s agenda, the timely publication of books such as Stranger can only help others sympathize with the plight of many immigrants; who’s only want for their families is for them to be safe and secure, together.

Bergen’s electrifying story of barriers and privilege merges modern race and identity politics with a pinch of magic realism, ultimately asking – in a world full of strangers – how much are we prepared to let the borders that we draw entrap us?

I fully expect this to be a provocative and heart-wrenching tale, and am eager to share my thoughts with you.

My final BookMail of the week arrived courtesy of Penguin Random House Children’s division.

Having recently entered a goodreads giveaway for the most recent Andy McNab novel Silent Weapon, the second in the Teen/YA Sean Barker series. I was suitably excited to receive notification that I was one of winners to receive a shiny new copy AND also a copy of the original Street Soldier book, which was first in the series.

Although I have devoured a few Andy McNab offerings over the years, I haven’t yet read any of the teen-aimed books. I am eager to see how they stack up.

Mr. Crafty has also expressed an interest in reading these, so we may well have a guest post in the offing!

6 print copies seem rather a lot, so I probably shouldn’t mention the 3 E-books I also acquired this week too…

Still, at least that long bus journey home from the new job is good for something! I’m getting around an extra hour and a half reading time a day!!

Are you reading anything at present that you’d recommend?

As always, thanks for stopping by.

Hugs,

Crafty xxx