Book Review: The Girls at the Kingfisher Club by Genevieve Valentine

kingfisher clubTitle: The Girls at the Kingfisher Club
Author: Genevieve Valentine
ISBN: 978-1476739083
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
First Published: 3 June 2014 (Kindle) / 24 June 2014 (audio) / 3 July 2014 (hardback)
No .of pages: 289

Rating: 4/5

Synopsis (from Amazon):
Jo, the firstborn, “The General” to her eleven sisters, is the only thing the Hamilton girls have in place of a mother. She is the one who taught them how to dance, the one who gives the signal each night, as they slip out of the confines of their father’s townhouse to await the cabs that will take them to the speakeasy. Together they elude their distant and controlling father, until the day he decides to marry them all off.

The girls, meanwhile, continue to dance, from Salon Renaud to the Swan and, finally, the Kingfisher, the club they come to call home. They dance until one night when they are caught in a raid, separated, and Jo is thrust face-to-face with someone from her past: a bootlegger named Tom whom she hasn’t seen in almost ten years. Suddenly Jo must weigh in the balance not only the demands of her father and eleven sisters, but those she must make of herself.

This slick reimagining of the fairytale of the Twelve Dancing Princesses plunges the enigmatic sisters into the heady world of flappers, jazz music, and prohibition era New York City, and it couldn’t have worked better.

The captive heroines are each given their own distinct character, and their story is interwoven with illegal booze, shady dames, even shadier men, and the smoky, mysterious atmosphere of underground clubs. The desperation of the girls drips from every page, and their plight of being held virtual prisoners by a domineering father they never see, makes their precarious little freedoms all the more frenetic.

It retains the fairytale qualities of beautiful damsels in distress (even if the damsels in question are more than capable of taking care of themselves), and help from the most unlikely of quarters. It’s an interesting update on a classic tale, and it doesn’t drag on too long before hitting you with a payoff worthy of The Brothers Grimm – I think they would have approved with how Valentine has handled their original story.

Films I watched in June and July

film-reel-clip-art2More than half the year is gone and I have completely smashed my goal for movies this year (in fact, I’ve seen more than twice as many films in half the time!). I’ve not watched quite as many this month, and it’s been rather a mixed bag, ranging from the very very good, to the very very bad. Anyway, here is a list of those I’ve viewed in the months of June and July, along with a brief review of each.

01 money pitThe Money Pit (1986) Like a Star @ heavenLike a Star @ heaven
Starring: Tom Hanks, Shelley Long, Alexander Godunov
A young couple (Hanks and Long) buy a huge house at an outrageously low price, without realising just how much money it will cost them to make it livable. But could their labour of love cost them their relationship? Lighthearted comedy that falls short of the mark, not realising the potential of either of the charismatic leads, both of whom seem to sleepwalk their way through the film despite their obviousl onscreen chemistry.

YR1_ADV_IT_1SHT_4Year One (2009) Like a Star @ heaven
Starring: Jack Black, Michael Cera, Olivia Wilde
When one comes across a movie written and directed by Harold Ramis, one expects it to be funny and clever. This is neither. Maybe old Harold was having a low period in his career during the late naughties, because this satirical look at a couple of prehistoric guys finding themselves in a load of biblical situations truly sucks. It shows nothing of Ramis’ usual style or intelligence, and not even the three leads, all stars in their own right, can save it.

03 mannequinMannequin (1987) Like a Star @ heavenLike a Star @ heavenLike a Star @ heaven
Starring: Andrew McCarthy, Kim Cattrall, Estelle Getty, James Spader
Nominated for the Best Original Song Oscar (for Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now), a young struggling artist creates the perfect mannequin, and when he lands a job at the store in which she’s displayed, finds she has come to life. Of course, they fall in love, and it’s all very twee, but it’s also very likeable. Even though Cattrall could easily be voted Woman Least Likely To Be A Convincing Egyptian Princess, she and McCarthy are great together, and Spader is at his slimy best playing a sleazeball executive determined to sell out the company.

04 night_at_the_museum_posterNight at the Museum (2006) Like a Star @ heavenLike a Star @ heavenLike a Star @ heavenLike a Star @ heaven
Starring: Ben Stiller, Carla Gugino, Ricky Gervais, Dick Van Dyke, Mickey Rooney, Robin Williams, Owen Wilson, Steve Coogan
I’m a big fan of this family film – it has pretty much everything and everyone you could want in a comedy, and it delivers in spades. The whole idea of the museum exhibits coming to life at night harks back to the childhood belief that toys have a life of their own after-hours (in truth, I still kinda believe toys come alive when we go to sleep!), and when you have a T-Rex skeleton doing that, it will delight any child.

Night at the Museum: Battle of the SmithsonianNight at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonion Like a Star @ heavenLike a Star @ heavenLike a Star @ heavenLike a Star @ heaven
Starring: Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, Amy Adams, Robin Williams, Owen Wilson, Steve Coogan, Hank Azaria, Christopher Guest
This star-packed sequel is every bit as good as the first film, and introduces a few extra characters which are very welcome additions to the cast. I hear a third film is due out in December (nicely in time for Christmas!), and if it’s even a fraction as good as the first two, it’ll be a big hit. I know we’ll certainly be seeing it!

06 Bell-Book-and-Candle-poster1Bell, Book and Candle (1958) Like a Star @ heavenLike a Star @ heavenLike a Star @ heavenLike a Star @ heavenLike a Star @ heaven
Starring: James Stewart, Kim Novak, Jack Lemmon, Ernie Kovacs, Hermione Gingold, Elsa Lanchester
This is one of my all-time favourite films, starring some of my all-time favourite actors (Stewart and Novak are as great together in this as they are in Vertigo, which was released the same year). There’s something so sweet and wonderful about this romantic, funny, slightly mysterious movie that blends love and magic, all via a beautiful Siamese cat named Pyewacket, which remains my favourite cat name. If I were ever to get a cat (which I never will, as I’m highly allergic), it will be called Pyewacket.

07 Non-Stop-Poster-FullNon-Stop (2014) Like a Star @ heavenLike a Star @ heavenLike a Star @ heaven
Starring: Liam Neeson, Julianne Moore, Scoot McNairy, Michelle Dockery
When the action is confined entirely to one small space, a film can feel incredibly claustrophobic, and setting this film on an aeroplane in flight works that claustrophobia to the max. Neeson is an incredibly commanding presence in every movie he makes, and he has great chemistry with both More and Dockery (lovely to see Downton Abbey’s Lady Mary in something else!). The tension is ramped up high as Neeson’s off-duty air marshal tries to work out who is killing the passengers, how they’re doing it, and why they want him involved.

08 shirley-valentine-posterShirley Valentine (1989) Like a Star @ heavenLike a Star @ heavenLike a Star @ heaven
Starring: Pauline Collins, Tom Conti, Julia McKenzie, Joanna Lumley, Bernard Hill
A middle-aged wife and mother has a bit of a mid-life crisis, goes on holiday, and just doesn’t come home again. Sad and sweet by turn, with poignant performances from the whole cast. You’re never sure who to feel more sorry for – the downtrodden, bored housewife, or her clueless husband left at home.

09 days of futures pastX-Men: Days of Futures Past (2014) Like a Star @ heavenLike a Star @ heavenLike a Star @ heavenLike a Star @ heaven
Starring: Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, Hugh Jackman, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender
The old guard meet the next generation in this cross-over super-hero film, where Wolverine is sent back in time, into his own past body, to change the past and avert an imminent disaster that could wipe out all mutants and humans alike. Definitely one of the best X-Men films to date, with the youthful reboot cast proving they can square up to their elder counterparts from the previous films. An interesting and well executed plot with snappy writing and slick performances. Highly enjoyable.

10 holy flying circusHoly Flying Circus (2011) Like a Star @ heavenLike a Star @ heavenLike a Star @ heaven
Starring: Ben Crispin, Steve Punt, Charles Edwards, Rufus Jones, Tom Fisher, Darren Boyd, Phil Nichol
Made-for-television film telling the story of what happened in the run up to the release of Monty Python’s Life of Brian, arguably one of the most controversial films ever given a general release and one that still divides opinions to this day. Personally, I fall firmly in the “love it!” camp, having been introduced to it by my own Mum when I was a teenager. The cast are superb in “being” the Pythons, and one of my old college buddies is an extra in it, so it was fun spotting her in a couple of scenes.

11 out_of_the_furnace_posterOut of the Furnace (2013) Like a Star @ heavenLike a Star @ heavenLike a Star @ heaven
Starring: Christian Bale, Casey Affleck, Zoe Saldana
An older brother goes on the rampage seeking justice for his younger brother. Despite the high calibre cast, it’s pretty much a paint-by-numbers affair and is incredibly predictable. Could have done with a bit more mystery and edge-of-the-seat tension, but it ultimately wastes the talent of the stars. It’s decent enough to keep you watching till the end, but nothing special.

12 17 again17 Again (2009) Like a Star @ heavenLike a Star @ heavenLike a Star @ heaven
Starring: Zac Efron, Matthew Perry, Leslie Mann, Michelle Trachtenberg
In the vein of Vice Versa and Big, a man who wishes he’d done things differently finds himself transported into his teenaged body, but without going back in time, meaning he’s now in high school with his own children, and far too young for his estranged wife, who he desperately wants back. It’s a bit schmaltzy and nothing new, but Efron is passable as a young Perry and is charming enough to carry off the role without making it a cringeworthy watch.

13 madagascar_ver7Madagascar (2005) Like a Star @ heaven
Starring: Chris Rock, Ben Stiller, David Schwimmer, Jada Pinkett Smith, Sacha Baron Cohen
Everyone I know (with kids) seems to rave about this animated feature where animals escape from a New York zoo and find themselves in the wilds of Madagascar, but personally, I thought it was one of the worst animated films I’ve ever witnessed. Despite the wealth of voice talent, it is entirely populated with the most annoying characters ever committed to the screen. I will most definitely NOT be watching the rest of the films in the series, and as (thankfully) Tadpole wasn’t impressed either, neither will he.

14 2 mules for sister saraTwo Mules For Sister Sara (1970) Like a Star @ heavenLike a Star @ heavenLike a Star @ heavenLike a Star @ heaven
Starring: Clint Eastwood, Shirley MacLaine, Manolo Fábregas
A lone cowboy helps a young woman being attacked in Mexico, only to find she is a nun and is in need of further assistance to capture a French fort. Little does he know, she has a secret… One of my favourite westerns – MacLaine shines as Sara and Eastwood is his usual reticent self to great effect, as the cowboy who wishes he’d left well enough alone.

Review: Jane Austen’s First Love by Syrie James

cover44728-mediumTitle: Jane Austen’s First Love
Author: Syrie James
ISBN: 978-0425271353
Publisher: Berkley
First Published: 5 August 2014 (Paperback/Kindle)
No .of pages: 400

Rating: 4/5

Synopsis (from Amazon):
Inspired by actual events. Fifteen-year-old Jane Austen dreams of three things: doing something useful, writing something worthy, and falling madly in love. When she visits her brother in Kent to celebrate his engagement, she meets wealthy, devilishly handsome Edward Taylor—a fascinating young man who is truly worthy of her affections. Jane knows a match between her and Edward is unlikely, but every moment she spends with him makes her heart race—and he seems to return her interest. Much to her displeasure, however, there is another seeking his attention

Unsure of her budding relationship, Jane seeks distraction by attempting to correct the pairings of three other prospective couples. But when her matchmaking aspirations do not all turn out as anticipated, Jane discovers the danger of relying on first impressions. The human heart cannot be easily deciphered, nor can it be directed or managed. And if others must be left to their own devices in matters of love and matrimony, can Jane even hope to satisfy her own heart?

As a big, fat Austenite, I love reading novels written by the well-loved English novelist, but in recent years, I have also begun enjoying all the spin-offs, mash-ups, sequels, and semi-autobiographical material that has been released. This novel is inspired by actual events in Jane Austen’s teen years, and offers up plausible sources of inspiration for her wonderful writing which continues to delight readers to this day.

It’s an interesting look at a headstrong young woman, finding love for the first time, as well as the push to concentrate more on her writing, offering it up to a wider audience than just her immediate family to enjoy. I found this representation of her to be entirely believable and this little glimpse into her formative years is both fun and fascinating. At a time when women were entirely dependent on the men in their family for any kind of social standing, or a living of any kind, Austen struck out and earned a living with her wit and her winning way with words.

Many of the characters from Jane Austen’s established novels, as well as the plots for some of them, can be seen as having their seeds sown in this summer of social engagements surrounding the engagement of her elder brother. It’s a nice, knowing little nod for those of us who are familiar with these works, but is unobtrusive and as subtle as her own subplots.

This is a must-have addition to any Austenite’s collection, and will provide several sublime hours of entertainment in the reading, which will linger long after the last page has been turned.



Tadpole has always been terrified of dogs. Even puppies. Yes, that’s right, he has never been one for stroking teensy wriggly puppies or throwing a ball for a dog, even a small one, to fetch back.

For the past ten months, we’ve been living in a ground floor flat. Our upstairs neighbours have two dogs, and whenever they’ve been in the yard, Tadpole has been too afraid to go out to play, and has instead watched forlornly from the window till they went back indoors.

Until today.

Hubby went out and started kicking a tennis ball for the dogs to chase, then came back indoors. Then Tadpole said he’d like to try it if Daddy would come with him so he wouldn’t get to scared. After a few minutes, Hubby came back inside and Tadpole continued playing with the dogs.

I am SO proud of our very brave big boy, conquering his fear. He even went so far as to say he really enjoyed it and would play with the dogs from now on. Pity we’ll be moving in the next month or so!

What we did on our holidays…

Hubby has had two weeks off work, so we’ve used that time to do loads of day trips and family activities. Here are some of the photos of our adventures during the past fortnight, during which time we have:

  • Gone to a teddybears’ picnic, Blyth
  • Gone rockpooling at St. Mary’s Lighthouse, Whitley Bay
  • Gone to the circus, Blyth
  • Visited the Discovery Museum, Newcastle
  • Gone to Kirkley Hall Zoo, Ponteland
  • Gone to Beamish Open Air Museum, Durham
  • Gone to Alnwick Castle and Gardens, Alnwick

I hope the photos will give you an idea of the fun we’ve had!

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When the circus came to town…

I’ve not been to the circus since I was younger than Tadpole (he’s almost 6 years old) and every time I’ve seen an advertisement for a circus local to us, it’s been at a time we were unable to take him to see it. This time, however, the circus came to town while hubby is on holiday from work, and as tickets are cheapest for any seat in the house on the first day, we booked online and went early to get the best seats we could.

We got ringside!

OK, so it wasn’t Cirque du Soleil, but we weren’t expecting that, and what we DID get was a very entertaining show and a great family afternoon out.

Half way through, I asked Tadpole which part was his favourite so far. Here’s what he said:

As you can hear, he loved having his picture taken with the giant polar bear (obviously not a real bear, but someone dressed up as one, but it was a pretty good costume), and the rope act. You can see the rope act right here:

Even little Choochie couldn’t keep his eyes off the acts – the was absolutely glued to the action and awake for the entire two-hour show, clapping his little hands with everyone else at the end of each section.

I’m no fan of clowns, but their Ukrainian clown, Georgie, absolutely stole the show with his inter-act fillers, getting the audience involved, and even dragging some slightly unwilling “volunteers” up to take part in the performance.

We’ll definitely go again if and when they return – it was a wonderful family afternoon out.

BOOK BLAST: The Typewriter Girl by Alison Atlee

The Typewriter Girl

Author Alison Atlee’s The Typewriter Girl is now an audiobook, narrated by Audie winner Rosalyn Landor, and in celebration she’ll be touring the blogosphere from August 4-29 with HF Virtual Book Tours!

02_The Typewriter Girl

Audible Audio Book Edition Release Date: April 4, 2014
Listening Length: 12 hours and 39 minutes
Publisher: Audible Studios
Language: English

Genre: Historical Fiction

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A Publishers Weekly Best Books of the Year pick: The Typewriter Girl is a spectacular debut, set in a perfectly realized Victorian England.

When Betsey Dobson disembarks from the London train in the sea?side resort of Idensea, all she owns is a small valise and a canary in a cage. After an attempt to forge a letter of reference she knew would be denied her, Betsey has been fired from the typing pool of her previous employer. Her vigorous protest left one man wounded, another jilted, and her character permanently besmirched.

Now, without money or a reference for a new job, the future looks even bleaker than the debacle she left behind her.

But her life is about to change, because a young Welshman on the railroad quay, waiting for another woman, is the one finally willing to believe in her.

Mr. Jones is inept in matters of love, but a genius at things mechanical. In Idensea, he has constructed a glittering pier that astounds the wealthy tourists. And in Betsey, he recognizes the ideal tour manager for the Idensea Pier & Pleasure Building Company.

After a lifetime of guarding her secrets and breaking the rules, Betsey becomes a force to be reckoned with. Together, she and Mr. Jones must find a way for her to succeed in a society that would reject her, and figure the price of surrendering to the tides of love.

Praise for The Typewriter Girl

Atlee’s outstanding debut unflinchingly explores the unforgiving man’s world of Victorian England. – PUBLISHERS WEEKLY (starred review)

Easily one of the most romantic books I’ll read all year. John and Betsey are compelling and worth rooting for. – DEAR AUTHOR (a Recommended Read)

Sweeps readers to a satisfying conclusion. – LIBRARY JOURNAL

Buy the AudioBook

Amazon UK
Amazon US

About the Author03_Alison Atlee

Alison Atlee spent her childhood re-enacting Little Women and trying to fashion nineteenth century wardrobes for her Barbie dolls. Happily, these activities turned out to be good preparation for writing historical novels. She now lives in Kentucky.

For more information please visit Alison Atlee’s website. You can also connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Goodreads and Pinterest.

The Typewriter Girl Blog Tour & Book Blast Schedule

Monday, August 4
Review at Peeking Between the Pages (Audio Book)
Book Blast at Mina’s Bookshelf
Book Blast at Princess of Eboli
Book Blast at Literary Chanteuse
Book Blast at What Is That Book About

Tuesday, August 5
Review at A Bibliotaph’s Reviews (Print)
Book Blast at So Many Books, So Little Time

Wednesday, August 6
Book Blast at Let Them Read Books

Thursday, August 7
Book Blast at Mari Reads
Book Blast at Book Lovers Paradise

Friday, August 8
Book Blast at Book Blast Central

Saturday, August 9
Book Blast at Caroline Wilson Writes

Sunday, August 10
Book Blast at Book Nerd

Monday, August 11
Review at Just One More Chapter (Audio Book)
Book Blast at Gobs and Gobs of Books

Tuesday, August 12
Book Blast at Queen of All She Reads

Wednesday, August 13
Review at Historical Tapestry (Audio Book)
Book Blast at The Lit Bitch
Book Blast at CelticLady’s Reviews

Thursday, August 14
Review at A Bookish Affair (Print)
Guest Post at Historical Tapestry

Friday, August 15
Review at Brooke Blogs (Audio Book)
Guest Post at A Bookish Affair

Saturday, August 16
Book Blast at Broken Teepee

Sunday, August 17
Interview at Closed the Cover

Monday, August 18
Review at The Maiden’s Court (Audio Book)

Tuesday, August 19
Book Blast at Layered Pages
Book Blast at Always with a Book

Wednesday, August 20
Book Blast at Literary, Etc.

Thursday, August 21
Review at Books in the Burbs (Print)
Book Blast at Bibliotica

Friday, August 22
Review at Bibliophilia, Please (Audio Book)

Saturday, August 23
Book Blast at Reading Lark
Book Blast at Ageless Pages Reviews

Sunday, August 24
Book Blast at Passages to the Past

Monday, August 25
Review at Flashlight Commentary (Audio Book)
Book Blast at Historical Fiction Connection

Tuesday, August 26
Interview at Flashlight Commentary

Wednesday, August 27
Book Blast at Susan Heim on Writing

Thursday, August 28
Review at Luxury Reading (Print)
Review at The True Book Addict (Audio Book)
Review at Jorie Loves a Story (Print)

Friday, August 29
Interview at Jorie Loves a Story

The Typewriter Girl Swag Giveaway

One copy of The Typewriter Girl (Audio Book or Print)
Set of earbuds in a cute typewriter print pouch
A Typewriter Girl Happily-Ever-After t-shirt (features last lines from famous novels)
A vintage style postcard “from” Idensea, the setting of The Typewriter Girl
A “dream wildly” ribbon bookmark with typewriter key charms

To enter, please complete the Rafflecopter giveaway form below. Giveaway is open to residents in the US, Canada, and the UK.

Giveaway ends at 11:59pm on August 29th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
Winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter on August 30th and notified via email.
Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

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Waste not, want not…

I’m pretty sure that everyone in the western world is aware that we should all be aiming for a minimum of five portions of fruit and vegetables every day, and if you’re anything like me, every week you buy a bogey-load of fresh fruit and veg to help hit this quota.

And you try to eat it. You really do. But there’s only so much fresh produce you can get through in a week, so inevitably, there’s a load of stuff that you have to chuck out because it’s gone mouldy and rotten. So you clear it out of your fridge and your fruit bowl at the end of the week, and you buy more. It’s a vicious circle, and it’s incredibly wasteful.

I don’t know about you, but I HATE seeing good food go to waste, but try as I might, there’s always something thrown out untouched.

Until now.

Because I’ve found the answer. Jamie Oliver told me how to stop wasting all that lovely fresh fruit (somehow it’s always the fruit that goes to waste, hardly ever the vegetables – they seem to keep far longer, and I often buy frozen so there’s no waste there). It’s so simple I don’t know why I never thought of it myself, because it’s brilliant.

The answer is… Smoothie Bags!

Smoothie bags

Left: My bag full of smoothie bags, which is in my freezer Centre: One of my smoothie bags ready to blend. Right: My delicious smoothie, ready to enjoy!

Yup, you just grab some freezable bags and portion out the fruit into them, then you bung them in the freezer ready to pull out and make delicious fruit smoothies!

This past week, I’ve made up eight little bags of two different recipes:

  1. Strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, cherries, blackcurrants, redcurrants and banana, with a spoonful of oats and another of mixed seeds.
  2. Mango, kiwi and banana with a spoonful of oats.

In both cases, each bag has half a banana, then a handful of the other ingredients. The oats make it silky smooth and give you a great source of slow-release energy to counter the instant fruit-sugar hit, and the mixed seeds are another lovely hit of energy that’s super good for you. Then all you have to do is add your base liquid (choose from fruit juice, milk, nut milk, coconut water, or plain water – I used a little coconut milk and water in mine), and if you want them a little sweeter, you can add a spoonful of honey too (I usually don’t bother, as I like mine zingy).

Not only do I now have ice-cold smoothies at the push of a button, but I’ve saved several quids’ worth of fruit that would have ended up in the bin within the next few days.

It’s a win-win situation!

And Choochie decided he liked my smoothie too – he was slurping it right out of my glass like crazy! I have a little fruit fiend on my hands here! He might be only ten months old, but when there’s fruit around, we can’t hold him back. That’s a good thing, at least!

World’s Best Story

I am really excited to tell you about an innovative new contest platform for both readers and writers. Laura Fabiani of iRead Book Tours is now a proud sponsor for World’s Best Story!

More and more authors and writers are discovering the power of readers. Books are written for the reader audience, so why not have a say in telling others we think a writer’s story has blockbuster potential? That’s what World’s Best Story allows you to do.

In view of this, I hope you will join me in helping to spread the word and to sign up as a member of World’s Best Story to find talented storytellers and get great prizes.
But first let me tell you more about World’s Best Story.

World’s Best Story was launched at BookExpo America on May 28. It’s the first social contest to reward readers and writers with exclusive partner prizes. So what does this mean for you?

If you are a writer:

1. Submit your story. Entering is free and the entry period ends Aug 12.
2. Prizes include publishing contracts, celebrity master classes, trademark and IP protection, book tours, big box retail distribution, PR and marketing support and more!
3. Top ten finalists and grand prize winner will be announced at the Toronto International Book Fair on November 15, 2014.

If you are a reader:

1. You get the chance to be the judge, discover new stories and win great prizes.
2. When you sign up to become a member, you automatically get $10 to spend at Beyond the Rack. Signing up is easy, requiring only your name and email.
3. When you rate and vote you’ll get a chance to win cool prizes, and the grand prize package includes a $2000 shopping spree at Beyond the Rack!

So how can you help us spread the word? There are several ways:

  • Write a post about it and you can enter in a giveaway for a $20 Amazon gift card and one of 6 $25 Beyond the Rack Gift Cards
  • Add the World’s Best Story logo on your blog with a link back to their site.
  • If you are an iRead tour host, your post will count toward your incentive program if you do the above.
  • If you are not yet an iRead tour host, join and you will qualify for the incentive program
  • Tell all your readers about WBS through social media networking.

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Multi-book blast: The Graham Saga by Anna Belfrage

Belfrage Book Blast

About The Graham Saga

This is the story of Alex and Matthew, two people who should never have met – not when she was born three hundred years after him.

It all began the day Alex Lind got caught in a thunderstorm. Not your ordinary storm, no this was the mother of all storms, causing a most unusual rift in the fabric of time. Alex was dragged three centuries backwards in time, landing more or less at the feet of a very surprised Matthew Graham.

In a series of books we follow the life and adventures of the expanding Graham family, both in Scotland and in the New World – and let me tell you it is quite an exciting life, at times excessively so in Alex’ opinion.

Sometimes people ask me why Alex had to be born in the twentieth century, why not make her a woman born and bred in the seventeenth century where the story is set? The answer to that is I have no idea. Alex Lind is an insistent, vibrant character that sprung into my head one morning and simply wouldn’t let go.

Seductively she whispered about terrible thunderstorms, about a gorgeous man with magic, hazel eyes, about loss and sorrow, about love – always this love, for her man and her children, for the people she lives with. With a throaty chuckle she shared insights into a life very far removed from mine, now and then stopping to shake her head and tell me that it probably hadn’t been easy for Matthew, to have such an outspoken, strange and independent woman at his side.

At this point Matthew groaned into life. Nay, he sighed, this woman of his was at times far too obstinate, with no notion of how a wife should be, meek and dutiful. But, he added with a laugh, he wouldn’t want her any different, for all that she was half heathen and a right hand-full. No, he said, stretching to his full length, if truth be told not a day went by without him offering fervent thanks for his marvelous wife, a gift from God no less, how else to explain the propitious circumstances that had her landing at his feet that long gone August day?

Still, dear reader, it isn’t always easy. At times Alex thinks he’s an overbearing bastard, at others he’s sorely tempted to belt her. But the moment their fingertips graze against each other, the moment their eyes meet, the electrical current that always buzzes between them peaks and surges, it rushes through their veins, it makes their breathing hitch and … She is his woman, he is her man. That’s how it is, that’s how it always will be.

Graham Saga Titles

Book One: A Rip in the Veil
Book Two: Like Chaff in the Wind
Book Three: The Prodigal Son
Book Four: A Newfound Land
Book Five: Serpents in the Garden
Book Six: Revenge & Retribution
Book Seven: Whither Thou Goest
Book Eight: To Catch a Falling Star

About the Author

Anna BelfrageAnna was raised abroad, on a pungent mix of Latin American culture, English history and Swedish traditions. As a result she’s multilingual and most of her reading is historical- both non-fiction and fiction. Possessed of a lively imagination, she has drawers full of potential stories, all of them set in the past. She was always going to be a writer – or a historian, preferably both. Ideally, Anna aspired to becoming a pioneer time traveller, but science has as yet not advanced to the point of making that possible. Instead she ended up with a degree in Business and Finance, with very little time to spare for her most favourite pursuit. Still, one does as one must, and in between juggling a challenging career Anna raised her four children on a potent combination of invented stories, historical debates and masses of good food and homemade cakes. They seem to thrive…

For years she combined a challenging career with four children and the odd snatched moment of writing. Nowadays Anna spends most of her spare time at her writing desk. The children are half grown, the house is at times eerily silent and she slips away into her imaginary world, with her imaginary characters. Every now and then the one and only man in her life pops his head in to ensure she’s still there.

For additional information regarding Anna, her characters, extra scenes, and teasers for her next books, have a look at Anna’s website at: You can also find her on Facebook or follow her on Twitter.


To win a set of Anna Belfrage’s Graham Saga (Books 1-6) please complete the Rafflecopter giveaway form below. Two winners will be chosen. Giveaway is open internationally!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway ends at 11:59pm on August 15th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
Winners will be chosen via Rafflecopter on August 16th and notified via email.
Winners have 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.