Monday, 29 June 2009

BOOK NEWS: Macmillan orders 85k reprint of Michael Jackson biography

According to :-

Macmillan is rushing through a reprint of 85,000 copies of J Randy Taraborrelli's Michael Jackson: The Magic and the Madness in anticipation of a surge in demand for Jackson products following the pop star's death last week.

The book, published in paperback 2004, is currently 28th in's bestseller chart, despite being listed as 'out of stock'. The publisher, which said late Friday that it was still waiting orders and assessing quantities, is expecting delivery of the £8.99 paperback on Tuesday.

There have been numerous reports that sales of Jackson's albums, and DVDs, have gone through the roof since news of his sudden death emerged last Thursday (25th June). However, no new book on Jackson appears to have been commissioned since Taraborrelli's book, and this is the only title on the singer in's top 100 list.

The Bookseller reported on Friday (26th June) that independent publisher John Blake has commissioned a new biography of Jackson. Michael Jackson – King of Pop: 1958-2009 is being written by Emily Herbert, a long-time fan of Jackson, who has interviewed him "on several occasions" in the past. It is scheduled for release on 24th August and will be a B-format paperback, priced £7.99.

Omnibus Press is also looking into the possibility of creating a special 'memorial' edition of its Michael Jackson: The Visual Documentary of Jackson. Richard Hudson, sales director, said the publisher was "in discussions" with the author, Adrian Grant, about updating the book. The fourth edition of the title was published in 2005. Hudson added Omnibus was considering reissuing "two or three" other books on the singer.

Wednesday, 24 June 2009


The Spook's Apprentice (Wardstone Chronicles) by Joseph Delaney (In America it is called The Last Apprentice: The Revenge of the Witch)

My eldest son was in Manchester (England) at the weekend and this book was being given out to passers-by so, of course, he brought it home for his mum! I've never heard of this happening before, just handing out copies of books. Is this a new marketing idea?

About the book:

A wonderful and terrifying series by a new writer about a young boy training to be an exorcist. Thomas Ward is the seventh son of a seventh son and has been apprenticed to the local Spook. The job is hard, the Spook is distant and many apprentices have failed before Thomas. Somehow Thomas must learn how to exorcise ghosts, contain witches and bind boggarts. But when he is tricked into freeing Mother Malkin, the most evil witch in the County, the horror begins ...

This is the 1st of 6 books by Joseph Delaney, the publishers have just re-issued them all with new covers. The Wardstone Chronicles website is here.

Joseph Delaney was brought up in the same area of North West England as me and his books are partly inspired by the famous Pendle Witches from Pendle Hill in Lancashire - see the interesting Wikipedia article here. Pendle Hill is just a few miles from where I live.

Genre: Fantasy, YA
Published by: Red Fox (re-issued Mar 2009)
Pages: 352 (Paperback)

Monday, 22 June 2009

Book Review: Wolf Song Visions by Scott and Linda Reade

Genre: Mind, Body and Spirit
Published by: BookSurge (Second Edition) (2009)
Pages: 268 (Paperback)

Linda and Scott Reade were drawn together because they both started having the same visions and dreams in the early 1990's.
The dreams were of Lela and Kahla, two Native Americans who loved each other about 400 years ago.
Scott dreamt of a large drum shaped rock......he had no idea where it was but he knew he had to find it, and in time he did, and realised that this was where Kahla's strong presence was.

I started reading this book with an open mind, and I finished it still with an open mind.

The book starts with journal entries from both Scott and Linda on their journey to find Drum Rock, then the story starts of their lives long ago.

This account of how the Native Americans lived and hunted was very enthralling as I followed their rituals and learned of how they believed very much in destiny and how everyone and everything is connected. They led a simple, happy and peaceful existence, respecting nature.

It is also a moving love story of Lela and Kahla who were inseparable from the day of Lela's birth.

The book also contains prophesies that were told to Lela and Kahla, which the Authors say is the real purpose of this book.

I would recommend this for anyone interested in Native American traditions and rituals, but it is also a fascinating story on its own.

TITLE: WOLF SONG VISIONS: The Earthwalk of Lela and Kahla Remembered

Monday, 15 June 2009

Book Review: To The Heart Of The Nile by Pat Shipman

Genre: Non-Fiction, Historical
Publisher: Corgi Books (2005)
Pages: 543 (Paperback)

First Line:

The nubile girls would be sold in January 1859.

They say that truth is stranger than fiction and this novel of the amazing life of Florence Baker is truly unbelievable.

Barbara Maria Szasz (the future Florence Baker) was born in Transylvania in 1845. At the age of 4 her mother and brothers were murdered by soldiers during the Hungarian Revolution. She then fled with her nursemaid, walking miles, to a refugee camp in the Ottoman Empire. When her nursemaid disappears Florence is kidnapped and taken to a harem where she is raised until the age of 14 when she would be sold at auction to the highest bidder in 1859.

By chance, a Englishman named Sam Baker is at the auction out of curiosity, he is instantly smitten with Florence but is outbid. He bribes the guard and they flee.

Florence's next adventure begins..................together they go in search of the source of the Nile in Africa.

Most of the book is concerned with their first expedition and of the many problems they encountered, including mutiny, surviving serious illness many times, of hostile tribesmen, malnutrition, danger at almost every turn, sandstorms, unreliable porters and the torrential rain!

Sam shot and killed a crocodile as

crocodile stew was one of the crew's favourite meals, though Sam and Florence found ....... it was not to their liking. "Of all the rank stinking flesh I ever saw," Sam complained as he tried to chew the rubbery meat, "crocodile stands first. The flavour is between that of musky fish and the perspiration of a dirty person."

This is one of the most fascinating life stories I've ever read. I wondered why I had never heard of these explorers before, why hadn't I learned about them in school? Florence's bravery and determination as she stayed by Sam's side are an absolute inspiration. Sheik Achmet of Wat el Negur described her as 'having a heart stronger than a man's and is afraid of nothing'. Sam thought she had the heart of a lion.

Throughout it all Florence and Sam had forged an unbreakable bond that would last a lifetime.

Pat Shipman's novel was very compelling though some of the attention to detail I did find a bit boring. But at no time did I consider not finishing it as I was always eager to learn more of this extraordinary couple.

This is a book about romance, danger, exploration into uncharted territory, Victorian double-standards, the African slave trade, that I would not hesitate to recommend.

For Sam and Florence Baker's wikipedia page click here.


Sunday, 14 June 2009

In The Post Today (Actually, they arrived while I was on holiday)

2 Books

Dark Worlds : Project 31 by Zack Daggy

Synopsis (From

Careview seems like a nice enough place to live. With its small town feel and family owned diners, many visitors have used such words as quaint and charming while passing through. But those that stay long enough quickly change their mind. These are the ones that hear the whispers in the dark, the rustling in their closet, and the scratching from beneath their beds. There is a darkness in Careview. It lies in the shadows, and it’s waiting.

Moving back and forth between 1977 and 2008, PROJECT 31 interweaves the stories of four unlikely Careview residents…a diner waitress with exotic looks and matching heritage, a doctor with a traumatic past, a plainspeaking handyman who knows everyones secrets, and a gothic college girl that is determined to get exactly what she wants. Together they must brave a storm that has been brewing for nearly thirty-one years, but trusting each other might prove to be more than half the battle.

From the mind of Zack Daggy comes the first installment of The Dark Worlds Trilogy, a breathless, page-turning, light-speed read that hooks you in and doesn’t let go. An original horror series that’s sure to remind you why you should fear the dark.


You can download a free Ebook of The Secret which, according to Zack Daggy the author, is prerequisite reading for the Dark Worlds Trilogy - please click here.


Jack Wakes Up by Seth Harwood

Synopsis: (From

In the three years since Jack Palms went clean: no drugs, no drinking,no life, he's added fourteen pounds of muscle, read 83 books, and played it as straight as anyone can ask him. Now, when an old friend from L.A. calls, he hits the streets of San Francisco to help a group of Czech drug buyers make one big score, a single drug deal that he hopes will set him up for life.

But when people start turning up dead, and an old nemesis on the police force calls, Jack finds himself with just 24 hours to track down San Francisco's biggest drug supplier or face charges that will put him behind bars.

Only an Oscar-caliber performance will get him through this alive.


This is also available to download FREE - just click here

Special Thanks to Heather at Ariel Publishing.

Wednesday, 3 June 2009


Hello Everyone - Just a short post to let you all know that I'm on holiday now - please feel free to still leave comments and emails and I'll reply as soon as I can - Thank You!

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Book Review: Beachcombing by Maggie Dana

Genre: Fiction
Publisher: Macmillan New Writing (2009)
Pages: 341 (Paperback)

Synopsis (from Amazon):

Jillian Hunter treasures her independence. She's raised two sons by herself, launched a small business, and restored a tumbledown beach cottage in Connecticut. But when a trip to London reunites her with Colin an old flame she hasn't seen in 35 years, Jill falls for him all over again. Love makes Jill reckless. This could be her chance for a new beginning. But Colin isn't quite the boy she remembers..........

First Line:

There's a party going on downstairs, and it's for me.

My Thoughts:

If I could pick my next door neighbour it would be Jillian Hunter. She was the sort of person who could keep a secret and who could also help you unblock your kitchen sink! I shared a rollercoaster of emotions with her, from her falling in love to falling out with her best friends, I really felt at the end of the book as if I knew her, and I wanted so much for her to find her deserved happiness.

I thought Maggie Dana's excellent and witty writing was spot-on and I identified on so many levels with Jill, yet she was so different to me. I could never climb up onto my roof and mend loose shingles! This probably sums up her independent and spirited nature

Letting go of my sore foot, I lurch out of my rope nest and feel like screaming. Not because my toe is on fire, but because I've bloody well coped. I've spent a lifetime coping because that's what you do when there's nobody else to pick up the pieces, and when I think about women like Shelby and Diana who fall apart because a guest complained or the bartender quit or, heaven forbid, the florist delivered the wrong flowers, I get seriously mad.

Maggie Dana quotes on her website that a friend challenged her to write a novel about feisty middle aged women, as there weren't enough of them, and I think she's succeeded in doing just that.

I was engrossed in this book from beginning to end - and would happily recommend it to anyone wanting a great read with convincing characters and amusing moments - never boring!

Special Thanks to Maggie Dana.


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