The Sir Read-A-Lot Book of the Year for 2012 is...........
Monday, 31 December 2012
The Sir Read-A-Lot Book of the Year for 2012 is...........
Monday, 24 December 2012
I honestly thought my reviews would get lost in the ether, as there are many hundreds of book bloggers and reviewers all vying for their own little corner of cyberspace, but with nearly 12,000 unique page views in 7 months and very big TBR pile, it seems I am here to stay!
Talented, independent authors have sat side by side with those you see represented by major publishers and every book I have published a review on has been, in one way or another, a joy to read.
But without you , those of you that read my posts, who enter my giveaways and share my blog links via social media, I would be a lone voice in a cacophony of shouts. So this post is for you - to the readers who take time to read my opinions, to my fellow bloggers who help me by promoting my reviews, to the authors who trust me to pass a verdict on their labours and provide free copies of their books to offer as prizes and to those behind the scenes who have given me support, guidance, encouragement and (on occasions) a kick up the backside.
Thank you everyone, from the bottom of my heart. Merry Christmas & may 2013 bring you everything you hope and dream of.
Saturday, 22 December 2012
Thank you to everyone who entered and shared the news of my competition. I'd also like to thank the authors of the six books who donated a copy and enabled me to run this superb giveaway. Congratulations once again to Deborah!
Sunday, 16 December 2012
Friday, 7 December 2012
Today I received an email from one of the authors whose book I awarded the Golden Hammer & Anvil Shield. I will not give the name of the person concerned, but they told me that they had just bought the other four books listed on the Roll of Honour because of the reviews I had written.
That email made me realise, once again, why I started my blog and why by promoting books of the highest standard, whether they be from mainstream or independent publishers, is so important. Each of the books on the GHA Roll of Honour is beautifully written, unique in its approach, crafted with care and as you read it you can feel the passion and hours and days and weeks of painstaking effort it took to complete. They are so exquisite that when you have read the last sentence, you feel sad it has ended. But it hasn't really ended because the story stays with you. You see the spine on your bookshelf and are instantly reminded of the characters and their triumphs and disasters which are indelibly printed on the pages you turned with anticipation.
This email did make me happy - but not for myself. It made me happy for the other four authors whose books rank alongside the one written by my correspondent. They have been shown the greatest accolade, the best endorsement. Someone purchased their books after I had been given the great honour of reading them and they were so good I had to share them with the world; that is the best award of all.
You can find the books I have chosen to receive The Golden Hammer & Anvil Shield here.
Win all GHA Shield winners in my Christmas Giveaway here.
Wednesday, 5 December 2012
Monday, 3 December 2012
Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner
The winner of my recent giveaway to win a copy of "Spartacus The Gladiator" by Ben Kane is:
Congratulations Ross, I have sent your details to Ben who will be forwarding your prize in the near future.
Coming later this week will be the biggest and best giveaway I think any reviewer/blogger is offering this year. Keep your email boxes/alerts on because once it is launched you will not want to miss out!
Also I have another superb review coming - phew! It's all go in my Court of Historical Fiction! Have a great week.
Saturday, 1 December 2012
Will Doolan is a caulker and adventurer who has travelled to the Americas with the infamous Sir Francis Drake. There they raid and pillage the Spanish galleons that transport gold and silver back to Spain. But Will is deeply troubled and rents an attic room from a merchant, Nicholas Cooksley, from where he plot his return to the lands where he lost his honour. But Will has fallen for the beautiful Lady Ellyn, Mr Cooksley's daughter and so his conscience is troubled even further as he knows if he goes with Drake then his chance of winning Ellyn's hand will disappear.
Will convinces Cooksley to part-subsidise Drake's adventure, but shockingly the gout-riddled, wheezing merchant insists on making the voyage with them. Ellyn is horrified when she learns of her father's intentions, and when Will dares to show her his true feelings, she is desperate not to lose the two most important men in her life. Ellyn makes a rash decision that endangers everything she holds dear and threatens the life of not only those she loves, but the fleet of ships and even the famous adventurer himself.
(EDITED 02/12/2012: Originally I gave Mistress of the sea 4 crosses, but on reflection felt the quality of the writing, the imaginative storyline and the overall standard of the book deserved a higher mark. )
Friday, 23 November 2012
Sunday, 18 November 2012
Friday, 9 November 2012
I am pleased to announce that Ben has very kindly agreed to an interview and is providing a copy of the first Spartacus novel "The Gladiator" as a prize to one lucky reader of Sir Read-A-Lot! You can read my review of "Spartacus The Gladiator" here & enter the giveaway here.
1. Can you tell us about your latest novel, Spartacus: Rebellion?
Every day he has to fight and train, knowing that his mortality is postponed until his skills as a fighter, or his luck, runs out. He allies with a young boy, from a family whose business and home was taken from them after getting into debt with Crassus, Rome's most wealthy citizen. Between them, they form an alliance and watch each others backs as the divisions of race within the ludus is just as dangerous as the Arena itself.
Friday, 2 November 2012
The UK winner is: PJ Keyworth
The Rest of the World winner is: Celia Jelbart
Congratulations to you both, your prizes will be sent out next week.
Next week, I have a treat for all fans of Roman fiction. Best-selling author, Ben Kane will be joining me for an interview and I will be reviewing Spartacus The Gladiator, which is the first in a two part series telling the story of the most famous gladiator of them all. Ben has kindly provided a copy of the book for me to giveaway in another free to enter giveaway!
Once again, congratulations to PJ & Celia and come back next week to read my review of Spartacus.
Tuesday, 30 October 2012
Friday, 19 October 2012
Sunday, 7 October 2012
Recently I published a review of a truly spectacular book, "The Stockholm Octavo" by Karen Engelmann. I awarded it the maximum 5 crosses and felt it was so exquisite that I also awarded it with The Golden Hammer & Anvil Shield Award. If you haven't read my review, you can find it here.
Karen has very kindly given me an interview where she tells us the story of how she came to write the book and at the end of the interview are details on how to win your very own copy of "The Stockholm Octavo"!
- Your book “The Stockholm Octavo” is simply breathtaking. Where did you come up with idea for such a story?
- In my review, I described how beautiful your book is. It reminds me of how books were 50 years ago, designed to be treasured and displayed and, most importantly, to be read. How did the concept come about?
- Can you explain how you researched your novel?
- How did you begin writing?
- What type of genres/authors do you enjoy reading?
My pile of books is pretty eclectic; I like to read good fiction of all types and from all periods. The only books I seldom read are true crime (too scary) and thrillers (because I end up staying up until 3AM!) I would never reveal my one favourite book or author because I would inevitably change my mind in a day or two, but there are some books that had a big impact: Toni Morrison Beloved, Tolkien Lord of the Rings, Dickens A Tale of Two Cities, Mark Helprin Winter’s Tale, Michael Chabon The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, Jeanette Winterson The Passion… oh, the list could go on and on!
- Are you working on another novel? If so, what can you tell us about it?
- Fun Question – which three people from history (fictional or real) would you invite to dinner and why?
- Fun Question – what event in history would you like to be a fly on the wall at?
Friday, 21 September 2012
Sir Read-A-Lot gives "An Honourable Estate" 4 Crosses!
Wednesday, 19 September 2012
Darlene Williams is a historical fiction blogger and writer from Canada's West Coast. Her passion for the genre is undeniable and recently she finished in 1st Place in an online vote by Underground Book Blogs in their 2012 "Battle of the Book Review Blogs". She is a passionate advocate of independently published novels and is challenging readers perceptions by showcasing indie writers who are serious about their craft. Welcome to my Court of Historical Fiction, Darlene!
I can certainly agree with many of Darlene's views on how reviewers have a responsibility to the genre as a whole to promote quality and identify books that deserve exposure. Take a look at Darlene's blog, I am sure you will want to be a regular follower once you see how much work she puts into giving readers of historical fiction unbiased, articulate and honest reviews of books she feels are deserving of promotion.