Friday, 31 July 2015

#IrishFictionFortnight - Day 5 - "The Takeover" by Jonathan Dunne. Review and Giveaway.



Thanks to the author, there are two signed copies of The Takeover to Giveaway.  To be in with a chance of winning one, just click on rafflecopter link below.  Good Luck! 

REVIEW FROM DECLAN MADDEN


Set in the criminal world of Dublin where the Doherty family rule with absolute violence , a simple theft from the family sets in motion a long,vicious battle for ultimate control of the city. This three pronged battle sees the Doherty clan and it's head Malcolm fighting for control of the criminal underworld with Nathan Corbally,who as a youngster was neglected by his excuse of a father, while all are pursued by the relentless Gerald O'Brien, the Garda who refuses to be bought by the Dohertys.
Nathan Corbally,whose mother died whilst he was an infant, lives in squalor and neglect,his father more interested in booze and drugs than raising a child.Forced to fend for himself and to protect himself from abuse by his fathers acquaintances Nathan develops a talent for breaking and entering houses in order to obtain food and items to sell for cash.One such break-in to a house of the Doherty clan leads to his first meeting with Malcolm Doherty.
Malcolm although the youngest of the Doherty siblings is its head and the one driving its domination of the criminal underworld. Drugs,prostitution,racketeering all contribute to the Doherty fortune but when Malcolm meets Nathan Corbally for the first time he sees something in the child that niggles at him,a certain coldness in Nathan's demeanor that perturbs him.
Trying his best in a police force that is riddled with corruption,Gerald O'Brien
has made it his life goal to bring down the Doherty clan and Malcolm in particular. As the story unfolds these three strands cross paths and the consequent battles over the years take their toll.
This is a cracking good read,a proper modern crime thriller. The success of Love/Hate over the past few years has shone a light on the criminal world of Dublin,problems common in all cities throughout the globe. This novel continues that theme with its gritty reality,the constant need of the crime gangs to set a marker in their quest for dominance. The Doherty clan are ruled by the urbane Malcolm who rarely gets his hands dirty and stays removed from the bloody stuff unless its absolutely necessary. Nathan Corbally rises from a neglected,abused kid to become Malcolm's biggest rival,driven at all times by his desire for revenge. In the middle of all of this is Gerald O'Brien,whose relationship with Nathan adds a complicating factor.
I really enjoyed this book. At times the time line of the story was a little hard to follow,in particular the ageing of Nathan but I'm probably being a bit picky. The story flows well and the reader feels for Nathan despite his criminal exploits,a good sign for the author. There is no attempt to sugar coat the seedy underworld and in the end does anyone really win?

Watch the book trailer for The Takeover here

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


38 year old Jonathan Dunne spent his teenage years working manual labor jobs 
before returning to school and college. He is now a sports journalist with an 
Irish television network. He is also a columnist with several sports magazines
 and co-editor of the Irish Grappler Magazine. Needless to say Jonathan can look 
after himself, not least because he has a Black Belt in Taekwondo. He lives in
 Dublin, Ireland with his wife and children.

The Takeover is published by Crime Wave Press and is available in paperback and ebook format




#IrishFictionFortnight - Day 5 - "A Question of Betrayal" by Zoe Miller. Author feature and Giveaway.



Big thanks to author, Zoe Miller, for telling us about her favourite Irish author and donating a signed copy of A Question of Betrayal for one lucky reader.  To be in with a chance of winning this prize, just enter via rafflecopter link below.  Good Luck!


My Favourite Irish Author by Zoe Miller

I find it hard to believe that it’s already three years since my favourite Irish author, Maeve Binchy, sadly passed away. I was driving into the office, listening to the radio, when I heard about her death on the early morning news and I felt as though a light had gone out of my life. Somehow I made it into the office on auto pilot. When I took out my mobile phone from the depths of my bag, I discovered my daughter had been trying to contact me before I left the house, hoping to break the news to me before I got into the car. An avid reader herself, she knew how gutted I’d be. We had a quick chat, and then for a brief moment I imagined the conversation I’d have with my mother, both of us commiserating with each other on the loss of our best loved Irish author, until I remembered with a pang that she too had passed on.

One of the wonderful aspects of Maeve’s charming writing was the way she brought generations of readers together. Her books were passed from me to my mother and in time, on to my daughter, all of us enjoying her warm and wise storytelling, her wonderful casts of believable characters, and all of us soaking up different messages from our differing perspectives. Her stories enthralled us; people and families and situations we could easily identify with - and so inherently Irish - jumped out of the pages of all of her books. They sang a resonance inside us and captured our hearts and minds in a way books by UK and American authors were unable to.

In addition to her wonderful stories, Maeve was hugely kind and encouraging in her staunch support of other Irish writers, sharing her experiences and advice.  Her first published novel, ‘Light a Penny Candle’, was a very exciting breakthrough in Irish popular fiction and it blazed a glittering trail for all of us Irish authors who found inspiration not only in Maeve’s insightful writing, but also in Maeve herself with her warm, friendly and generous spirit. I’m glad I had the opportunity to meet her and thank her in person for all the hours of enjoyment she gave to me and the women in my family, and for the encouragement to keep going as a writer and giving me the confidence to believe it could be done.

Zoë Miller

************************************************


THE BLURB

n a windswept beach in County Cork, a woman rescues a young man from the sea. A gifted musician, Luis Meyer's life has fallen apart and he's determined to end it all, until an angel of mercy pulls him from the water...

More than thirty years later, Carrie Cassidy is still reeling following the deaths of her adored parents, John and Sylvie, in a tragic accident. She's flitting from one job to another, unable to move forward, unable to forget the past. She can't even commit to Mark, the love of her life, who has now moved on.

Then a mysterious visitor reveals a secret that forces Carrie to delve into her mother's past. When she does, she discovers a woman struggling to come to terms with her choices - a newlywed who, it seems, was in love with another man.

Determined to find out the truth about her mother's relationship with Luis Meyer, Carrie must confront painful and possibly dangerous truths. And the only person who can help her is the one she's hurt the most.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Zoë Miller writes contemporary fiction laced with mystery and intrigue. She was born on the south side of Dublin, where she lives with her husband. She has two daughters and a son. Zoë has been writing since childhood, and has always had her head stuck in a book. Before turning to novels, she had short stories and feature journalism published. With seven novels now published by Hachette Books Ireland, Zoë fits in her writing between the day job, and making time for her family. A Question of Betrayal is her latest novel. You can contact Zoë at www.zoemillerauthor.com, or Twitter @zoemillerauthor, or Facebook.com/zoemillerauthor.

A Question of Betrayal is published by Hachette Ireland and is available in TBP and ebook format, with the PB edition coming in Sep 2015.
You can get your copy of the TPB, with Free Worldwide Postage and 23% discount, here and the ebook can be ordered via amazon link below:



Thursday, 30 July 2015

#IrishFictionFortnight - Day 4 - "The Defence" by Steve Cavanagh. Signed Audio Book to GIveaway.




Thanks to author, Steve Cavanagh, there is a signed audiobook edition of his book up for grabs.  To enter, just click on rafflecopter link below.  Good Luck!


THE BLURB

Eddie Flynn used to be a con artist. Then he became a lawyer. Turned out the two weren't that different.

It's been over a year since Eddie vowed never to set foot in a courtroom again. But now he doesn't have a choice. Olek Volchek, the infamous head of the Russian mafia in New York, has strapped a bomb to Eddie's back and kidnapped his ten-year-old daughter, Amy.

Eddie only has forty-eight hours to defend Volchek in an impossible murder trial - and win - if he wants to save his daughter.

Under the scrutiny of the media and the FBI, Eddie must use his razor-sharp wit and every con-artist trick in the book to defend his 'client' and ensure Amy's safety. With the timer on his back ticking away, can Eddie convince the jury of the impossible?

Lose this case and he loses everything.

************************************

ABOUT THE AUTHOR



Steve Cavanagh was born and raised in Belfast and is a practicing lawyer. He is married with two young children. The Defence, has been chosen as one of Amazon's great debuts for 2015, as part of their Amazon Rising Stars programme. In 2015 Steve received the ACES award for Literature from the Northern Ireland Arts Council. The Defence was longlisted for the Crime Writer's Association Ian Fleming Steel Dagger, and shortlisted for two Dead Good Readers Awards. 

The Defence is currently available in ebook format, with the paperback being published by Orion Books in Feb 2016.




#IrishFictionFortnight - Day 4 - "Going Back" & "Each and Every One" by Rachael English. Signed copies to Giveaway.


Thanks to author, Rachael English, there are signed copies of her two novels to giveaway for #IrishFictionFortnight.




One of my favourite women's fiction reads of 2014, Going Back has some great 80s memories and glimpses at a NY life before internet, mobile phones and skype existed.  You can read  my review here.  To be in with a chance of winning a signed copy of Going Back, just enter via rafflecopter link below.  Good Luck!


THE BLURB

From Ireland to the USA, a heart-warming story of family, friendships and love, of difficult decisions and lifelong consequences from a well-loved Irish radio personality.
How do you know where you belong?
In June 1988, Elizabeth Kelly's parents think she belongs at home in Ireland. Her boyfriend is certain of it. Unwilling to settle down just yet, she decides to spend the summer in Boston with her college friends. But the next four months change all of them, especially Elizabeth. Quiet and dutiful at home, she surprises herself and everyone else by falling for Danny Esposito, a restless charmer with a troublesome family.
More than 20 years later with opportunities in Ireland scarce once again, a new generation looks to America, awakening memories of a golden summer for their parents. When a crisis occurs, Elizabeth returns to Boston where she is drawn back into the life she once lived. But will she be able to reconcile the dreams of her 20-year-old self with the woman she has become?

********************************************************************

Rachael's second novel addressed the aftermath of the Celtic Tiger and how it affected one Dublin family.  You can read my review here.
To be in with a chance of winning a signed copy of Each and Every One, just enter via rafflecopter link below.  Good Luck!

THE BLURB
Gus and Joan worked hard to give their children everything - a comfortable home in a leafy Dublin neighbourhood, gap years that never seem to end and an open chequebook for life's little emergencies. Unfortunately, although the children have grown up, they are a little too comfortable with the well-feathered nest: now it's time to learn a few home truths.
When a twist of fate means the bank of Mum and Dad can no longer bail them out, suddenly the whole family must find out who they really are. Uncovering the secrets they all hide shows them a different side to the city they call home as they find allies in the most unlikely places.

****************************************************************

Going Back and Each and Every One are published by Orion Books and are available in paperback and ebook format.  You can order your copies, with Free Worldwide Postage here and ebook editions can be ordered via amazon links below:




Wednesday, 29 July 2015

#IrishFictionFortnight - Day 3 - "A Memory of Violets" by Hazel Gaynor. Signed PB to Giveaway.



I'm delighted to giveaway a signed PB copy of Hazel Gaynor's latest novel, A Memory of Violets, which has reached the New York Times ebook bestseller list. (Making it two NYT bestsellers in a row, may I add.  Can she go for the hat trick??).  For your chance to win, just enter via rafflecopter link below.  Good Luck...

THE BLURB

The author of the USA Today and New York Times bestselling novel The Girl Who Came Home has once again created an unforgettable historical novel. Step into the world of Victorian London, where the wealth and poverty exist side by side. This is the story of two long-lost sisters, whose lives take different paths, and the young woman who will be transformed by their experiences.
In 1912, twenty-year-old Tilly Harper leaves the peace and beauty of her native Lake District for London, to become assistant housemother at Mr. Shaw’s Home for Watercress and Flower Girls. For years, the home has cared for London’s flower girls—orphaned and crippled children living on the grimy streets and selling posies of violets and watercress to survive.
Soon after she arrives, Tilly discovers a diary written by an orphan named Florrie—a young Irish flower girl who died of a broken heart after she and her sister, Rosie, were separated. Moved by Florrie’s pain and all she endured in her brief life, Tilly sets out to discover what happened to Rosie. But the search will not be easy. Full of twists and surprises, it leads the caring and determined young woman into unexpected places, including the depths of her own heart.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Hazel Gaynor's 2014 debut novel THE GIRL WHO CAME HOME (William Morrow/Harper Collins) was a New York Times and USA Today bestseller and winner of the 2015 RNA Historical Romantic Novel of the Year award. Her second novel A MEMORY OF VIOLETS was selected by WHSmith Travel as a 'Fresh Talent' title and was also a New York Times and USA Today bestseller.


Hazel is one of nine contributing authors to the anthology FALL OF POPPIES - Stories of Love and the Great War, which will be published on 1st March, 2016.


Hazel writes a popular guest blog 'Carry on Writing' for national Irish writing website writing.ie and also contributes feature articles for the site, interviewing authors such as Philippa Gregory, Sebastian Faulks, Cheryl Strayed and Rachel Joyce among others.


Hazel was the recipient of the 2012 Cecil Day Lewis award for Emerging Writers and was selected by Library Journal as one of ten big breakout authors for 2015. Originally from Yorkshire, England, Hazel now lives in Ireland with her husband and two children.


To keep up-to-date with Hazel's latest news, visit her website www.hazelgaynor.com or her Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/hazelgaynorbooks

A Memory of Violets is published by William Morrow and is available in paperback and ebook format.

You can order your copy, with Free Worldwide Postage, here and the ebook can be ordered via amazon link below:



#IrishFictionFortnight - Day 3 - "After The Fire" by Jane Casey. Author Q&A and Giveaway.



Big thanks to Ebury publishing for donating a copy of Jane Casey's latest Maeve Kerrigan thriller.  To be in with a chance of winning this title, just enter via rafflecopter link below.  Good Luck!


THE BLURB

Arson, accident or murder?


After a fire rips through a North London tower block, two bodies are found locked in an 11th floor flat. But is the third victim that ensures the presence of detective Maeve Kerrigan and the murder squad. It appears that controversial MP Geoff Armstrong, trapped by the fire, chose to jump to his death rather than wait for rescue. But what was such a right wing politician doing in the deprived, culturally diverse Maudling Estate?


As Maeve and her senior colleague, Derwent, pick through the wreckage, they uncover the secret world of the 11th floor, where everyone seems to have something to hide…

*************************************

Jane Casey kindly agreed to fill us in on her amazing character, DC Maeve Kerrigan, for #IrishFictionFortnight:

How would you describe DC Maeve Kerrigan to someone who has not read any of the series yet?
She’s a young detective constable in the Metropolitan Police, working on a murder investigation team that handles cases of special interest from across the city. She was born in London but has Irish parents  - I like to play up the differences between the two cultures! She’s sometimes wrong-headed, hard-working, ambitious but not always confident in her considerable abilities. She works with a detective inspector, Josh Derwent, who’s the definition of an alpha male and gives her a hard time but adores her really.

How did Maeve become a member of the Murder Squad?
I wrote a prequel novella, Left for Dead, about Maeve’s first encounter with the chief superintendent who runs the team, Charles Godley. She’s a police constable who makes a key discovery in the search for a very unpleasant serial rapist. He’s impressed by her intuition and perseverance and encourages her to become a detective. He wants a young female detective on his team because there aren’t any other women on the team at the time, and he values Maeve’s perspective. Of course, other people assume it’s because Maeve is attractive. She can’t win.

Does Maeve struggle as a female in the predominately male police force?
She doesn’t have an easy time of it. Her colleagues are quick to assume that she’s emotionally involved with her superior officers. Derwent is particularly keen to point out any ‘female’ behaviour, from crying at work to being irrational. And she doesn’t want to lose her essential femininity so she can join in with the boys – she wants to be herself, with all of her sensitivity and empathy. But sometimes she has to talk tough.

Tell us about the locations in the series.
I love writing about London because literally anything can happen in such a big, diverse city. It’s like nowhere else. Also, readers around the world are very much aware of London. The scene is set for the characters before I ever write a word of description. The murder team go anywhere within the Met’s territory. In reality, the area is divided up between three different murder investigation teams, each with their own area. I fully intend to write about Ireland at some point in the future, but I’d like to be living in Dublin to avoid falling into the trap of being sentimental about it. James Joyce may have been able to write long-distance about Dublin, but I’m not sure I can!

Does a crime thriller need a romance within its pages to balance the darkness?
I think it needs strong relationships between the characters. I love writing romantic scenes, but it’s not just romance that drives the characters in the series. In real life, people who work in difficult circumstances rely on humour to get them through, and there’s a lot of humour in the books. Maeve’s romantic life is a strand running through the series, but that’s a reflection of her age and her current predicament. She’s nearly thirty and she needs to decide if she wants domestic bliss or to devote herself to her work – or even try to have both. And she’s at least as incompetent in her personal life as she’s effective in her profession.

How much of yourself is in Maeve?
She’s far feistier than I am! I would curl up and die if I had to do a tenth of the things she does. I’m much more trusting than she is – I tend to assume that people are nice until they disappoint me. She’s the opposite. I think we share a sense of humour. We both drink gin and we both hate weak tea. And neither of us can cook at all…

If you met Maeve at a dinner party, what would you like to say to her?
She’d never be at a dinner party. Something would have come up. She’d call to apologise, probably standing knee-deep in dead bodies...

Out of the six novels (and short prequel), which was the hardest to write?
I think the hardest book is always the next one. There always comes a point where you think the last few books were a fluke and you can’t do it and everything is awful . . . but you go on.

Where did the idea for the Maeve Kerrigan character stem from?
I wanted to write about someone with an Irish background at least, because that tension between two cultures really interests me. I like that she’s not really English but she can’t see herself as Irish either, having been brought up in London. She’s a true outsider. And I wanted to write about that turbulent twenties/thirties time when women are under huge pressure to establish themselves but they’ll get judged no matter what they do. She has a lot to lose, basically, and I think that makes for interesting tension.

Can the books be read out of sequence or is important to read in their order of publication?
I’d say you can read them out of sequence, because I do make a huge effort to make them satisfying as individual stories. But the characters have come a long way since the first few books, and I’ve learned a lot from writing them. I’m very proud of the last three, and I’d say to new readers that they can start from The Stranger You Know without too much fear of confusion.

Can we expect more Maeve Kerrigan books or are you concentrating on anything else?
You can definitely expect more Maeve – I’m working on the seventh at the moment, and I have a very strong idea of where the series is heading. I’d also like to fit in some more stand-alone crime novels if I can. My first book was The Missing, and writing it was very different from writing a series. I’d like to revisit that kind of book. And of course I also have a series for teenagers, featuring Jess Tennant. The third book, Hide and Seek, is just out. I started out as a children’s books editor commissioning young adult novels, and writing them is a huge pleasure.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


"All my criminal elements have some basis in reality, no matter how awful they may be. Nothing is completely farfetched." Jane Casey

Crime is a family affair for Jane Casey. Married to a criminal barrister, she has a unique insight into the brutal underbelly of urban life, from the smell of a police cell to the darkest motives of a serial killer.

This gritty realism has made her books international bestsellers and critical successes; while D.C. Maeve Kerrigan has quickly become one of the most popular characters in crime fiction.

Twice shortlisted for the Irish Crime Novel of the Year Award as well as the Mary Higgins Clark Award, Jane has been recently longlisted for the CWA Dagger in the Library Award.


 After The Fire is published by Ebury Publishing and is available in HB and ebook format.
You can order your copy, with Free Worldwide Postage and 29% discount, here.  The ebook can be ordered via amazon link below:




#IrishFictionFortnight - Day 3 - 'The Mysterious Bakery On Rue De Paris' by Evie Gaughan. Paperback copy to Giveaway.



Thanks to the author, there is a paperback edition of this title to Giveaway as part of #IrishFictionFortnight.  Just enter via the rafflecopter link below. Good Luck!

THE BLURB

This is the magical tale of Edith Lane, who sets off to find her fortune in the beautiful city of Paris. Fortune, however, is a fickle thing and Edith ends up working in a vintage bakery in the positively antique town of Compiègne. Escaping heartache and singledom in Ireland, Edith discovers that the bakery on Rue De Paris is not exactly what it seems and that some ghosts from the past are harder to escape than others. A heart-warming story that is sure to appeal to all of the senses, The Mysterious Bakery On Rue De Paris is a mouth-watering journey of love, liberty and la vie en rose.

You can read, bookblogger, Celeste McCreesh's review of The Mysterious Bakery On Rue De Paris here


ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Evie Gaughan is the author of The Cross Of Santiago, a fusion of historical fiction and contemporary  fiction set in Ireland her second novel, The Mysterious Bakery On Rue De Paris.She lives in Galway, and is currently working on her third novel   When she is not writing, she loves to paint.
The Mysterious Bakery On Rue De Paris is available in paperback and ebook format.  Evie has an #IrishFictionFortnight special offer on, with the ebook at only 99p.



Tuesday, 28 July 2015

#IrishFictionFortnight - Day 2 - 'Skin Paper Stone' by Máire T. Robinson. Review and Giveaway.



Thanks to New Island Books, I have a copy of this title for one lucky reader.  I was fortunate enough to review this earlier in the year, and was instantly a fan of this debut author.  To enter for a chance to win a PB edition of this book, just click rafflecopter link below.  Here is a recap of my review:

A mature student, a struggling artist and a small time drug dealer cross paths at a Galway house party and while their lives are all varied, they each have their own story to tell.   Stevie is embarking on her PhD in medieval history and is hopeful that she can now begin to live her life in a broader sense.  Joe (Kavanagh) is still not sure what he wants to be when he grows up, despite completing an art degree.  He has a mash-up of temporary jobs, a penchant for booze and weed and dreams of tattooing tourists in Thailand.  Pajo is a stereotypical, wannabe drug dealer with a small-mind and big ideas.  He treats his women as bad as he can, yet they keep coming back for more.  The aspirations of these fictional residents of Galway are limited and the stories inevitably cross over during the course of the novel.
  
The advance reviews for this title were strong.  Comparisons were made to some of Ireland's modern literary talents and the front cover quote from Nuala Ní Chonchúir, which states  'This is a writer who is here to stay' is a fine accolade for a debut author.  The stunning, and ethereal, cover design is also note worthy for its effective simplicity.  It cries to be picked up from a display shelf of over-thought paperback designs, and the need to turn the wrist and read the back cover is almost instinctual.  The blurb is fairly generic and conceals the high standard of writing and depth of the narrative, actually understating the overall package of this piece.  This is not just an average story of boy meets girl or friend becoming foe.  It's a story of cause and effect.  How a new friendship can change your perspective on life, how your goal posts can shift as the days and weeks progress.  How one persons idea of love is another's nightmare.  The power of  overwhelming expectations, from within , is part of Stevie's story.  What she had envisioned as a fulfilling journey, through academia,  brings old scars to the surface and she attempts to ignore the warning signs.  Kavanagh is loved up, beginning to see his future on the horizon and even plans his great escape from Galway.  Meanwhile, Pajo is concerned with an attempt to muscle in on his business and keeps his ear to the ground, while keeping his women on their knees, literally.

There are some razor-sharp  observations among the 250 pages of this book.  The characters hop off the page and take on a life of their own.  Galway is described honestly and without rose-tinted glasses.  Admirably,  the author tells of the local's boredom, and often resentfulness, of the 'Irishness' of the City.  The continuous playing of Galway Girl in the shops and pubs, the 'traditional' meals served in restaurants and the annual influx of tourists are hard to avoid in such a small area.  There is a common thread with each character.  They each have little or no dealings with their families.  They have escaped to Galway, not realising that it can be just as cloying there as in the family home.  

Not a huge amount happens in this novel.  Just like real life, the humour comes from everyday happenings, ordinary people and one-off occurrences.  The kind of 'you'd have to have been there'  moments, that we have all come across.  There is a bohemian feel throughout the book, the characters each having a spirit of freedom that comes with having no responsibility.  A mixture of dark comedic scenes, fantastic characters (Gavin, a fellow PhD fellow was just incredibly funny) and powerful writing make this an assertive debut.  A new voice in literary fiction, but a confident one.  

Skin Paper Stone is published by New Island and is available in paperback and ebook format.
You can order your paperback copy here, with Free Worldwide Postage and 15% discount or the ebook via amazon link below:



#IrishFictionFortnight - Day 2 - Q&A with BookBlogger Amanda Horan of GoBookYourself.info


Today I am delighted to chat to Amanda Horan of the fantastic website  http://www.gobookyourself.info/
As a fellow Irish book-lover, I have some questions to put to her: 


1. Tell us a little bit about how you came to review books.

Initially started reviewing because my family were sick of hearing me blab on and on about books. I was a member of Goodreads long before I started Go Book Yourself. I remember scrolling through a book review on Goodreads and seeing a link to someones blog. Believe it or not, before this I didn't even know "book blogging" existed! I remember looking through her blog and other blogs that she linked to and thinking "Where has this community been all my life!". I started Go Book Yourself about a month later



2. What is your favourite genre?

Margaret! I can never answer this question. If there was a gun to my head then I might pick crime fiction but I also love literary and historical fiction. You see it's impossible to pick one! 


3. Name 3 Irish writers that you rank as your all-time favourites.

Only 3. Oh lord. I think...John Boyne, Roisin Meaney and Brendan O Carroll but I also love Emma Hannigan and Claudia Carroll and....sorry ha ha!



4. I am dying to see Brooklyn by Colm Tóbín on the big screen this November.  What Irish book would you like to see as a movie?

I think a lot of books by Irish authors are screen worthy but I'd love to see Can Anybody Help Me? by Sinead Crowley. I think that would make a good thriller especially with so many of us living our lives online!


5. Where is your favourite place to read?

This is easy. In bed. I love reading in bed either late at night (thank god for the light on the kindle!) or really early in the morning. There is nothing better than pulling the duvet up to your chin and losing yourself in a book. It's even better if the wind is howling and the rain is battering the window!



6. Tell us something that not many people know about you.

That's a tough one. I'm a fairly open person. I guess a lot of people don't know that I have inflammatory arthritis. It's not like the osteoarthritis you get in old age. It's an autoimmune disease that attacks the lining of your joints and wears them away. I basically woke up one morning feeling like I'd been hit by car and have been feeling that way since! This is why I love reading. I can't really do anything physical because of joint pain and fatigue but I can still get lost in a good book and socialize with bookish people online!


7. Can you remember any of the Irish poetry you had to learn for your Leaving Cert, or is it all a blur?


I remember everything! Seriously, I was a bit weird like that. While poetry made others in my class yawn, it sent shivers down my spine. I adored Heaney and his ability to make the ordinary seem so beautiful. My favorite is "Twice Shy". I'll post it here:


Her scarf a la Bardot,
In suede flats for the walk,
She came with me one evening
For air and friendly talk.
We crossed the quiet river,
Took the embankment walk.

Traffic holding its breath,
Sky a tense diaphragm:
Dusk hung like a backcloth
That shook where a swan swam,
Tremulous as a hawk
Hanging deadly, calm.

A vacuum of need
Collapsed each hunting heart
But tremulously we held
As hawk and prey apart,
Preserved classic decorum,
Deployed our talk with art.

Our Juvenilia
Had taught us both to wait,
Not to publish feeling
And regret it all too late -
Mushroom loves already
Had puffed and burst in hate.

So, chary and excited,
As a thrush linked on a hawk,
We thrilled to the March twilight
With nervous childish talk:
Still waters running deep
Along the embankment walk.

Lovely isn't  it? You can really feel the tension between the two!


8. Do you read many short stories? If yes, who would you recommend?

Yes I love short stories. They're great for when you don't have time to get into a novel. I also think it takes an immense amount of talent to craft a good short story. I've read way to many to pick a favorite but I wanted to let you know that you can go to www.tor.com and read an endless supply of short stories for free. Lots of famous authors post short stories there to gauge the reaction to it and some even get turned into full length novels. I read stories there almost everyday!



9. Which Irish author, alive or dead, would you like to meet most?

I would love to meet Bram Stoker. Can you imagine the conversations you could have about Dracula with all the novels and movies that it has spawned? I'd also love to know his opinion on Twilight ha ha.



10. In your opinion, what is the best part about book blogging?

Other book bloggers! It's great to be able to share your passion with others who care just as much. The book blogging community is, on the whole so welcoming and inclusive. Starting a book blog was one of the best decisions I ever made.

Thank you so much for having me on your blog Margaret and props to you for organizing Irish fiction fortnight. This could be huge. I see a whole convention in the future! Comic con watch out!



Thanks so much to Amanda for allowing me to grill her.  Great answers and a nice way to get to know her a little better.  

You can find Amanda at:
Twitter: @Gobookyourselfx

#IrishFictionFortnight - Day 2 - "Bride Without A Groom" by Amy Lynch. Signed copy to Giveaway.



Thanks to the author, there is a signed copy of this title to Giveaway.  Just enter via rafflecopter link below...


THE BLURB

Single, coupled-up or married, this laugh-out-loud summer read is the perfect anecdote for the wedding season!
Rebecca has chosen the most luscious, five tiered, wedding cake. The engagement ring that she has selected is celebrity inspired. The wedding singer is on speed dial. He doesn’t usually do Michael Bolton, but as it’s for a first dance he’ll make an exception. Father Maguire is checking dates for the parish church as we speak. The deposit on the white sand honeymoon is paid for in full on Barry’s card. She has fallen for an ivory lace couture gown that is to die for. The down payment may require her to sell a left kidney, but it will be worth it. Isn’t that why you have two?
There’s one teeny tiny problem. It’s nothing, really. No need to panic! It’s just that Barry has yet to propose. Says he’s not ready! He can be a bit of a kill joy that way. It’s time to face the harsh reality – Rebecca is a bride without a groom!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Amy Lynch is an author of women’s commercial fiction and writing is her passion. She loves to write humorous romantic fiction, but not always with fairy tale endings! She has published fiction in magazines, and has worked in the charity sector for twelve years. She is married with two young children. When she is not writing, Amy can be found juggling school lunches and two Shetland pony-sized rescue dogs. Now, how’s that for multi-tasking? Amy is the author of two novels, Bride Without A Groom and Does My Bump Look Big In This? Her third novel is in progress. www.amylynchauthor.com Twitter: @amylynchauthor

Bride Without A Groom is available in paperback and ebook format 



Monday, 27 July 2015

#IrishFictionFortnight - Day 1 - Maria Duffy "A Love Like This". Signed Copy to Giveaway




Thanks to the author, I have a signed copy of her new release, A Love Like This, to Giveaway to one lucky reader!  You can read my review of this bestseller here
Just enter via rafflecopter link below.  Best of luck! 


THE BLURB

illiam and Donna were born on the same day, in the same Dublin maternity hospital. But there the similarities end.

Will grows up in an affluent suburb and struggles to balance what he wants with what will keep his overbearing mother happy. Across the city, Donna, raised by her older sister, often wonders what life would be like without her troubled mother around.

Over the years, Donna and Will almost meet many times, but something - fate? - keeps them apart.

Then tragedy strikes for each of them.

As Will tries to come to terms with a life-shattering event, he decides to travel the world in the hope of finding happiness. Donna, now alone in the world, makes plans to leave Dublin to fulfil a life-long dream.

More than 10,000 miles from home, they finally meet. And they know nothing will ever be the same.

When a terrible disaster separates them, Will and Donna find they can't stop thinking about each other, about what might have been.

Perhaps fate has plans for them still, and all hope is not lost ...


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

When Maria Duffy left her career in the bank to become a stay-at-home mum, she never dreamed that writing, something she's always loved, would become her job one day. Her first novel,Any Dream Will Do, was published in 2011, and became a bestseller in Ireland, as did all of her subsequent novels: The TerraceThe Letter, and One WishA Love Like This is her fifth book.
She lives in Dublin with her husband Paddy and their four children.

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A Love Like This is published by Hachette Ireland and is available in TPB and ebook format
This title can be ordered (with 22% discount at time of posting review) with Free Worldwide Postage  here


The ebook can be purchased via amazon:



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