Archive for the ‘book tour’ Category

Guest Post: What Forbidden Places Would YOU Like to Visit?

Hello everyone! Today I’m excited to welcome author Helen Grant to my blog and kick off her Forbidden Spaces blog tour. To celebrate the publication of her latest novel, Helen wrote a special guest post (in collaboration with a number of other authors you will recognise) for you guys – I really hope you enjoy it!


The lure of the forbidden: it never gets old. The theme of my Forbidden Spaces trilogy is urban exploration. Over the course of the three novels, heroine Veerle De Keyser explores opulent empty houses, several castles (including one with a torture chamber) and the rooftops of an ancient city. The final book, Urban Legends, takes us underground to railway tunnels and sewers as brutal serial killer De Jager pursues Veerle and her friend Kris in a terrifying personal vendetta.

Urban explorers in an abandoned railway tunnel

Of all my books, researching Urban Legends was probably the most fun, and the most exciting. I went out with some real urban explorers to visit an abandoned factory; I also went down into the Brussels sewers and visited abandoned railway tunnels.

Abandoned Tunnel in Brussels
To celebrate the publication of Urban Legends on 26th March, I asked some of my fellow authors what forbidden places they would like to visit – it doesn’t have to be an abandoned building, it could be anywhere at all that you normally can’t go! Here’s what they said.

Emma Haughton, author of Now You See Me and Better Left Buried: “The vault in MI5 or wherever the government hides all its secrets. I would love to find out what is really going on. But then, I’d probably implode with outrage and indignation!”

Sarah Naughton, author of The Blood List: “The famous but possibly apocryphal tunnels under London.”

Dawn Kurtagich, whose novel The Dead House is out in August: “I would love to go to the Antarctic—to the south pole. They only let researchers go, generally, I think.”

Janet Edwards, author of the Earth Girl trilogy: “White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico, because of what ended up as a very brief reference to White Sands in Earth Girl. It’s amazing the varied things I find myself researching for books. The last one was JCB mini digger controls, and before that it was kangaroos.”


Blog Tour Review: Under the Jewelled Sky – Alison McQueen

Under the Jewelled Sky by Alison McQueen

Title: Under the Jewelled Sky
Author: Alison McQueen
Publication date: 25 April 2013
Publisher: Orion
Format: Trade paperback
ISBN: 9781409131182
Length: 352 pages
Genre: Historical fiction
Age group: Adult
Source: Publisher
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon | Amazon US | The Book Depository


A love story for India, for a lost world and a boy from a forbidden world.

London 1957. In a bid to erase her past, Sophie Schofield accepts a wedding proposal from ambitious British diplomat, Lucien Grainger. When he is posted to New Delhi, into the glittering circle of ex-pat society, old wounds begin to break open as Sophie is confronted with the memory of her first, forbidden love and its devastating consequences. This is not the India she fell in love with ten years before in a maharaja’s palace, the India that ripped out her heart as Partition tore the country in two.

And so begins the unravelling of an ill-fated marriage, setting in motion a devastating chain of events that will bring her face to face with a past she tried so desperately to forget, and a future she must fight for. This is a tender story of love, loss of innocence, and the aftermath of a terrible decision no one knew how to avoid.

My thoughts

Regular readers of the blog might know that it’s quite rare when I read and review historical fiction or books with a similar subject matter. I’ve never really been interested in this genre and on the rare occasion when I did pick up a historical novel, I never seemed to enjoy it as much as I should have. However, there was something about Under the Jewelled Sky (possibly the idea of love and loss and a past better forgotten) which really piqued my curiosity and I decided to read it. Never in a million years did I imagine falling in love with McQueen’s story as much and as quickly as I did.

Starting her story with a hint of a family drama and a dark past, the author introduces us to Sophie – a British girl who spent part of her childhood in India – and her mother who is visibly not too keen on seeing her daughter after so many years. We learn that it’s been quite a long time since the two of them saw each other and they clearly haven’t been in touch ever since. It takes a great deal of courage on Sophie’s part to make this visit, yet her mother couldn’t behave in a more rude and nasty way. When Sophie announces that she only came to tell her something, she refuses to listen. And Sophie leaves. Needless to say, it was only the first chapter but I was hooked already. What might have happened to cause such tension between the two women? What was Sophie about to say to her mother? I knew it would be related to some buried family secrets but the complexity of Sophie’s past and what they’ve all been through back in India not only took me completely by surprise but made me read the last 200 pages in literally one sitting.


League of Strays Blog Tour – Excerpt and Giveaway

League of Strays

Hello and welcome back! Today I’m excited to be participating in a blog tour for L.B. Schulman’s new book, League of Strays. After yesterday’s review (which you can check out by clicking here, if you haven’t read it yet) I have an excerpt and a giveaway for you guys. I hope you’ll enjoy it!


In this scene, Charlotte is asked to share her most humiliating moment, but her experience is mild, too ordinary to intrigue the League of Strays. So to keep their interest, Charlotte decides to embellish the truth….

“And?” Kade asked. “What happened?”

They all leaned forward like flowers bent to the sunlight. Kade’s almond-shaped eyes glided across our faces, taking it all in. I wondered what they would think if they knew the truth. I couldn’t admit this to the League of Strays. I had to come up with something recruitment-worthy. Enticed by the captivation in their faces, I invented a different ending. “I was confident and prepared when I went into the audition, but a few measures in, my tuning pages slipped. I asked if I could start over, but it kept happening.”

“I bet that was frustrating,” Kade said, anticipation glimmering beneath a sympathetic look.

“What happened to your viola?” Nora asked.


Guest review: Between the Lines – Jodi Picoult

The following post is a guest review by Katie Crombie – we hope you’ll enjoy it! – Vicky

Cover of Between the Lines by Jodi Picoult

Title: Between the Lines
Author: Jodie Picoult and Samantha van Leer
Publication date: July 5, 2012
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Format: Hardback
ISBN: 978-1-444-74096-7
Length: 352 pages
Genre: Contemporary
Age group: Young Adult
Source: Publisher
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon US | Amazon UK | The Book Depository


What happens when happily ever after…isn’t?

Delilah is a bit of a loner who prefers spending her time in the school library with her head in a book—one book in particular. Between the Lines may be a fairy tale, but it feels real. Prince Oliver is brave, adventurous, and loving. He really speaks to Delilah.

And then one day Oliver actually speaks to her. Turns out, Oliver is more than a one-dimensional storybook prince. He’s a restless teen who feels trapped by his literary existence and hates that his entire life is predetermined. He’s sure there’s more for him out there in the real world, and Delilah might just be his key to freedom. Delilah and Oliver work together to attempt to get Oliver out of his book, a challenging task that forces them to examine their perceptions of fate, the world, and their places in it. And as their attraction to each other grows along the way, a romance blossoms that is anything but a fairy tale.

Katie’s thoughts:

The first thing you need to know about this book is that it is Jodi’s first venture into the young adult market, co-written with her teenage daughter, Samantha. It is therefore very different to what you have come to expect from Jodi whose novels are generally very adult based. Although Between The Lines is predominantly aimed at teenagers, as an adult I found this very readable and believe she could certainly reach a wide audience with the story.


Guest post by Emlyn Chand, author of Farsighted

As you might know, this November I’m taking part in the Farsighted blog tour, which means that I have some very interesting things in store for you guys! That’s right, not only will you get a chance to read about a fabulous YA book, but you can win 1 of 10 autographed copies of Farsighted before its paperback release AND a $100 Amazon gift card as part of this special blog tour. How amazing is that?

Mark your calendars for November 19, that’s when I’m going to post my review on Farsighted. Until that, however, here’s something to whet your apetite. Emlyn Chand, the author of Farsighted, has stopped by Books, Biscuits & Tea to say a few words about why she loves YA and what makes this genre special. So, ladies and gentlemen, please welcome

‘Why I love YA – A history of the genre and what makes it special

For years, I focused on reading classic literature with the occasional YA novel thrown in as a fun change. But you know what? I’m done moving back and forth between what I think I need to be reading and what I know I want to read. I’m making YA my official genre du jour. And what’s not to love?
Let’s take a quick journey back to the beginning of it all…
The 1930s were the decade when Juvenile Literature first asserted itself as a genre with books such as Boylston’s Sue Barton series and Rose Wilder Lane’s Let the Hurricane Roar. In the 1950s, JD Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye further defined the protagonists of this genre —those who are not quite grown-ups, but aren’t kids either, those who are in the process of discovering who they are and how they fit into the world around them.
It’s clear that the success of a certain boy wizard (does he even need to be named?) brought readers to YA in droves. And from there, literature for a young adult audience is absolutely everywhere.

Of all the great material that is available, YA may have the widest readership — with middle grade children wanting to read a step ahead, adults wanting to remember what it was like to be young and, of course, with the teenage audience for which the books are primarily focused.
I am 26, and I love YA literature.
It, like other genres, allows for an escape from your own reality, as you become enmeshed in an exciting, fictional world. It features characters who are malleable and who grow into themselves during the course of the novel. It’s often fast-paced and exciting, using a style of prose that is engaging and easy-to-read. If a YA book strikes a chord with you, you may be able to pick up with its adventures again, if the novel has been turned into a series, trilogy or saga. And guess what, there are actual happy ending sometimes, woo hoo!
So which YA books have I read and enjoyed? I’m a Harry Potter nut, of course. I’m also coo coo for Hunger Games and most recently, Matched. I’ve enjoyed series such as: Percy Jackson and the Olympians, The City of Ember, Twilight, and His Dark Materials. Louis Sachar’s Holes also kicked butt, and I look forward to reading The Tiger Series by Colleen Houck.
The truth is, I’ve only avowed my devotion to this genre quite recently–about a year-and-a-half ago, actually. Just six short months before I decided that YA was so happenin’, so exciting, I just had to write it myself!
Much of what I’ve read has been multi-book series, which means I haven’t yet discovered all of the great literature that’s out there, just waiting for me to pick it up and enter its compelling world of adventure, excitement, and intrigue.
Please, humble book-blog reader, which YA novels are your favorites? Let’s generate a go-to list of reading gems and discover the favorite books we haven’t gotten the chance to read yet.

For further information, please visit:
The author’s website:
The official blog tour website:

Thanks to Emlyn for stopping by my blog today! :-)

~ Blog Tour Notes ~

THE BOOK:  Alex Kosmitoras may be blind, but he can still “see” things others can’t.  When his unwanted visions of the future begin to suggest that the girl he likes could be in danger, he has no choice but to take on destiny and demand it reconsider. Get your copy today by visiting’s Kindle store or the eBook retailer of your choice. The paperback edition will be available on November 24 (for the author’s birthday).

THE CASH PRIZES:  Guess what? You could win a $100 Amazon gift card as part of this special blog tour. That’s right! Just leave a comment below saying something about the post you just read, and you’ll be entered into the raffle. I could win $100 too! Please help by voting for my blog in the traffic-breaker poll. To cast your vote, visit the official Farsighted blog tour page and scroll all the way to the bottom. Thank you for your help with that.

THE GIVEAWAYS:  Win 1 of 10 autographed copies of Farsighted before its paperback release by entering the giveaway on GoodReads. Perhaps you’d like an autographed postcard from the author; you can request one on her site.

THE AUTHOR:  Emlyn Chand has always loved to hear and tell stories, having emerged from the womb with a fountain pen grasped firmly in her left hand (true story). When she’s not writing, she runs a large book club in Ann Arbor and is the president of author PR firm, Novel Publicity. Emlyn loves to connect with readers and is available throughout the social media interweb. Visit for more info. Don’t forget to say “hi” to her sun conure Ducky!