Posted in Blog Tour

A Motif of Seasons – Edward Glover (Blog Tour)

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I was honoured to be asked to be part of the blog tour for A Motif of Seasons by Edward Glover, part three of the Herzberg Trilogy.

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Blurb

Two powerful 19th-century English and Prussian families are still riven by the consequences of an ancestral marriage – one that bequeathed venomous division, rivalry and hatred. Three beautiful women – each ambitious and musically gifted – seek to break these inherited shackles of betrayal, revenge and cruelty in their pursuit of sexual freedom and love. But the past proves a formidable and vicious opponent. Set against the backdrop of Europe’s inexorable slide towards the First World War, the final resolution of this ancient and destructive quarrel hangs by a thread and with it the fate of an 18th-century music book full of secrets. The last volume in the thrilling Herzberg trilogy, A Motif of Seasons finally solves the intriguing mystery at the heart of the series – in a definitive and surprising way. Amazon

Edward Glover kindly agreed to select an extract from his book to share with you all to celebrate the publication of A Motif of Seasons on 18 November 2016.

Extract for A Motif of Seasons Blog Tour

Across St James’s Park, Charles Hardinge sipped a whisky, perusing the closing arguments in favour of the defendant in the morning. His beloved Victoria laid asleep, her sheets of music fallen from the bed and scattered on the floor. He gathered them up, stroked her still auburn hair loosely tied back with deep blue ribbon. He softly kissed her cheek. She smiled at his touch.
Along the corridor Alice looked into the mirror as she watched her hair – released from its pins – cascade in gentle waves on to her delicate shoulders. She saw Nicolas watching her from the bed in expectation. Her life as a small child in Whitechapel had hung by a thread. Now she was woven through divine fate into a rich family tapestry where the struggle for fame and prestige was passionate in a world of legendary rivalries amongst the acclaimed of the musical world. Her visit to the East End two days before had been an unforgettable reminder that she should constantly strive to retain her husband’s love and loyalty, never to take them for granted; and also a reminder that a close companion in her life would forever be the fear of her existence once again hanging by a single strand. She had resolved as they returned from the Palace hand in hand that she would now play the part of Scheherazade to the King her husband to be sure he never relinquished her.
She stood to face him, letting slip her crimson shawl held against her breasts to reveal her slender alabaster body just as a butterfly silently sheds its silken chrysalis to reveal the beauty of its unfolding wings. With a bewitching smile Nicolas had not seen before she beckoned him. Entwined in each other’s arms, they stood pressed together – skin against skin – barely breathing. Then they lay together warmed and illuminated by the flickering fire. He slipped easily into her, her arms pulling him in ever deeper. Alice had become the magical Princess enticing her King with the promise of more. Their love she resolved would be enduring.
Extract from A Motif of Seasons by Edward Glover out 18th November. Available to order here

The Man behind the Book

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Edward was born in London in 1943. After gaining a history degree followed by an MPhil at Birkbeck College, London University, he embarked on a career in the British diplomatic service, during which his overseas postings included Washington DC, Berlin, Brussels and the Caribbean. He subsequently advised on foreign ministry reform in post-invasion Iraq, Kosovo and Sierra Leone. More recently, for seven years he headed a one-million-acre rainforest-conservation project in South America, on behalf of the Commonwealth Secretariat and the Guyana Government.

With an interest in 16th- and 18th-century history, baroque music and 18th-century art, Edward was encouraged by the purchase of two paintings and a passport to try his hand at writing historical fiction. His first title The Music Book is a story of intrigue, betrayal, revenge, death and redemption, set in 18th-century Europe.

Edward and his wife, former Foreign & Commonwealth Office lawyer and leading international human rights adviser Dame Audrey Glover, now live in Norfolk, a place that gives him further inspiration for his writing. Edward sits on the board of trustees for Size of Wales and is a director of the Foreign & Commonwealth Office Association, an associate fellow of the University of Warwick’s Yesu Persaud Centre for Caribbean Studies and a board member of The King’s Lynn Preservation Trust.

When he isn’t writing, Edward is an avid tennis player and – at the age of 71 – completed the 2014 London Marathon, raising almost £7,000 for Ambitious about Autism.

Posted in Weekly Posts

This Week in Books (November 9)

This Week In Books

Hosted by Lipsyy Lost & Found my Wednesday post gives you a taste of what I am reading this week. A similar meme is run by Taking on a World of Words

At the moment I am reading A Motif of Seasons by Edward Glover which is the third part of a trilogy, but hey when did I let reading out of order get in the way of a new book!

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Blurb

Two powerful 19th-century English and Prussian families are still riven by the consequences of an ancestral marriage – one that bequeathed venomous division, rivalry and hatred. Three beautiful women – each ambitious and musically gifted – seek to break these inherited shackles of betrayal, revenge and cruelty in their pursuit of sexual freedom and love. But the past proves a formidable and vicious opponent. Set against the backdrop of Europe’s inexorable slide towards the First World War, the final resolution of this ancient and destructive quarrel hangs by a thread – and with it the fate of an 18th-century music book full of secrets.
The last volume in the thrilling Herzberg trilogy, A Motif of Seasons finally solves the intriguing mystery at the heart of the series – in a definitive and surprising way. Amazon

I have recently finished the very enjoyable Another Day Gone by Eliza Graham

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An excerpt and the synopsis featured in yesterday’s post

Next up I am finally going to read In Her Wake by Amanda Jennings which I am very much looking forward to, having read some very good reviews both pre and post publication.

In Her Wake

Blurb

A tragic family event reveals devastating news that rips apart Bella’s comfortable existence. Embarking on a personal journey to uncover the truth, she faces a series of traumatic discoveries that take her to the ruggedly beautiful Cornish coast, where hidden truths, past betrayals and a 25-year-old mystery threaten not just her identity, but her life.Chilling, complex and profoundly moving, In Her Wake is a gripping psychological thriller that questions the nature of family – and reminds us that sometimes the most shocking crimes are committed closest to home. Amazon

So that’s my week sorted – What are you reading this week? Do share your links and thoughts in the comments box below.

Posted in Weekly Posts

Weekly Wrap Up (October 30)

Weekly Wrap Up

Life continues at a pace here in Jersey with normal everyday life taking up far too much reading time – but I had a free slot on Monday which I’d jealously guarded when my lovely daughter decided that was the night she was going to publish her wedding photos on Facebook – the free time disappeared oohing and ahhing lost in the memories of that fabulous day.

So… I now present Cleo from Cleopatra Loves Books in her gigantic hat – the only time I have ever blocked anyone’s view of anything! I promise that this is the last ever post about the wedding now!

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On the Blog

I have been playing a minor supporting role in Lipsyy Lost and Found to publicise her Flash Fiction competition for Horror October – the voting closed at 8pm on 28 October 2016 and she has now crowned the very deserving winner – you can read their entry here. A huge thank you to all of those who voted.

Monday had my review of the fifth in the DI Kim Stone Series, Blood Lines by Angela Marsons, one of my favourite new crime series and an exceptionally compulsive read.

On Tuesday my excerpt came from Nuala Ellwood’s My Sister’s Bones which was a far more intelligent and meaningful read than I expected, my review will follow soon.

My this week in books indicated my intention to read The Museum of You by Carys Bray – I started this one, but I’m not very far through yet…

My second review of the week was for The Blood Card by Elly Griffiths which transported me neatly back to the run up to the Queen’s Coronation in 1953 with Edgar Stephens & Max Mephisto on a secret mission – a wonderful read.

Friday I tackled The 100 Book Tag which had me perusing my various lists of books and dreaming how to spend £100 on books!

This Time Last Year…

I was reading The Shadow Year by Hannah Richell, a book set in the Peak District with a story line split between the 1980s and the present day. A wonderful read which has lingered on in my mind over the last year. I had a check to see if the author has written anything else since this book, but sadly it doesn’t seem so.

The Shadow Year

Blurb

1980. On a hot summer’s day five friends stumble upon an abandoned cottage hidden deep in the English countryside. Isolated and run-down, it offers a retreat, somewhere they can escape from the world. But as the seasons change, tensions begin to rise…
Three decades later, Lila arrives at the remote cottage. Bruised from a tragic accident and with her marriage in crisis, she finds renovating the tumbledown house gives her a renewed sense of purpose. But why did the cottage’s previous inhabitants leave their belongings behind? And why can’t she shake the feeling that someone is watching her? Amazon

Stacking the Shelves

I would like to start this part by stating that however gratefully I received this selection, I didn’t actively seek out any of them… well except one!

I received a copy of A Motif of Seasons by Edward Glover, a very smart looking edition for my bookshelf (which is incredibly overcrowded) which will be published on 18 November 2016.

a-motif-of-seasons

Blurb

Two powerful 19th-century English and Prussian families are still riven by the consequences of an ancestral marriage – one that bequeathed venomous division, rivalry and hatred. Three beautiful women – each ambitious and musically gifted – seek to break these inherited shackles of betrayal, revenge and cruelty in their pursuit of sexual freedom and love. But the past proves a formidable and vicious opponent. Set against the backdrop of Europe’s inexorable slide towards the First World War, the final resolution of this ancient and destructive quarrel hangs by a thread – and with it the fate of an 18th-century music book full of secrets. The last volume in the thrilling Herzberg trilogy, A Motif of Seasons finally solves the intriguing mystery at the heart of the series – in a definitive and surprising way. Amazon

I won a copy of the two books by Tony Black from Black & White Publishing:

Artefacts of the Dead

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Blurb

It s a dead man . . . Can t you see someone’s put a bloody great spike through him? The discovery of a dead banker sends shock waves through the sleepy coastal town of Ayr. And it s up to DI Bob Valentine recently back on the force after his near-fatal stabbing to find the killer. But leads are hard to find and the pressure is on from an anxious Chief Superintendent who is being hounded by the media and still has serious concerns about her DI’s mental health. And as it becomes clear that there’s a serial killer on the loose, Bob Valentine must battle the demons of his post-traumatic stress, an investigation team that’s leaking like a sieve and frightening visions that might just be the key to unlocking the mystery. Valentine is close to breaking point, but can he crack the case before he cracks up? Goodreads

A Taste of Ashes

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Blurb

When DI Bob Valentine returns to duty after a narrow escape with death, he is faced with the discovery of a corpse on a kitchen table with a horrific neck wound and a mystery surrounding the victim’s missing partner and her daughter. It’s all too close to his own near-fatal stabbing.

When the murder investigation begins to reveal a tragic family drama, Bob Valentine struggles to deal with the rapidly unfolding events and the terrifying visions that haunt him. As he starts to uncover the illicit secrets of the family’s past, can he keep a grip on the case and on his own sanity before the body count starts to rise? Goodreads

Gerta from Open Road Media had noted that I’m interested in the recent editions they’d posted on NetGalley for readers from other territories to enjoy Beryl Bainbridge and offered me a copy of Sweet William

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Blurb

Romantic comedy meets social satire in this delirious novel about sexual freedom versus British tradition in swinging 1960s London.

When dull professor Gerald leaves London for the United States, his fiancée, Ann, is a bit afraid and sad to see him go—never has he looked so handsome and masculine as when he’s about to board the plane. But a few days later at a religious service, Ann is beckoned to sit next to a stranger with yellow curls and a nose like a prizefighter’s. Her heart inexplicably begins to race; she feels like she has the flu. This stranger, William McClusky, tells Ann in his Scottish accent that he is a playwright who will be interviewed on TV the very next day. Furthermore, he promises to have a television dropped by her house so she can watch him! From this first bizarre seduction, Ann is infatuated, and in the days following, William begins to take over her life.

In the throes of the affair, Ann gives up her BBC job, helps a friend get an abortion, encourages adultery, and writes a break-up letter to her fiancé. Her engagement to Gerald had been rushed, after all, and was designed to serve her mother’s desires more than her own. With William, on the other hand, everything feels different. But is this new man really who he says he is? Is he a genius or a fraud, a compassionate soul or a cheater? Perhaps William is simply a means by which Ann can play out her dangerous fantasies and finally take part in the swinging sixties. Only one thing is certain: Now that she’s with him, there’s no turning back.

An ironic investigation into the art of self-deception and the repercussions of sexual freedom, this blend of black comedy and social satire showcases the wit of award-winning author Beryl Bainbridge, and affirms her status as a mainstay in twentieth-century British literature. NetGalley

And lastly… FictionFan cracked the obvious iron willpower that I possess by tempting me with Black River Road by Debra Komar with this excellent review.

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Blurb

In 1869, in the woods just outside of the bustling port city of Saint John, a group of teenaged berry pickers discovered several badly decomposed bodies. The authorities suspected foul play, but the identities of the victims were as mysterious as that of the perpetrator. From the twists and turns of a coroner’s inquest, an unlikely suspect emerged to stand trial for murder: John Munroe, a renowned architect, well-heeled family man, and pillar of the community. Munroe was arguably the first in Canada’s fledgling judicial system to actively defend himself. His lawyer’s strategy was as simple as it was revolutionary: Munroe’s wealth, education, and exemplary character made him incapable of murder. The press and Saint John’s elite vocally supported Munroe, sparking a debate about character and murder that continues to this day. In re-examining a precedent-setting historical crime with fresh eyes, Komar addresses questions that still echo through the halls of justice more than a century later: is everyone capable of murder, and should character be treated as evidence in homicide trials? Goodreads

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TBR WATCH

Since my last post I have read 4 books but managed to gain 5 and so my TBR has reached the second weekly new high of 183 books!

96 physical books
69 e-books
18 books on NetGalley

What have you found to read this week?