Archive for August, 2011

Love Books Will Travel: Tess Gerritsen

What:  A talk and signing

Who: Tess Gerritsen

Where: Bourne Hall   

When: July 2012

Why: To promote the 9th book in The Rizzoli and Isles series: The Silent Girl
In the murky shadows of an alley in Boston’s Chinatown a hand has been discovered. On the rooftop above lies a woman’s severed head. Two strands of silver hair- not human- cling to the body that lies nearby. These are Detective Jane Rizzoli’s only clues, but they are enough for her and Dr Maura Isles to make a startling discovery: that this violent death had a chilling prequel

The evening commenced with a very informative talk by Tess detailing the personal experiences and real life inspiration behind many of her best loved novels.  From the age of seven Tess expressed her desire to write, however steered by her “Tiger” parents in to a job more likely to result in her success; Tess wasn’t able to live her passion until maternity leave allowed her to take a break from medicine.

Tess started her career as a writer of romantic thrillers. The Surgeon was written in response to a fan’s request for a book with serial killers and twisted sex. Tess didn’t intend for The Surgeon to develop in to a series but that she felt that Warren still had more to say. In fact in the original plot for The Surgeon, Jane Rizzoli, envisioned by Tess as a minor character, did not survive the final encounter with Warren. However when it came to the crunch, Tess couldn’t go through with it!

Tess spoke widely of her experiences as an Asian American and described the feeling of not fitting in and being a member of a visible minority. These experiences inform the isolation experienced by Rizzoli as a woman in a male dominated environment and Tam’s cultural background. Tess described, with much pride, the addition of Asian American characters in to her series. Earlier in her career, when Tess had first broached the possibility with her publishers she was informed that she wouldn’t sell many books.  Whether it is a testament to changing society or to the popularity of Tess herself, this is no longer an issue.

Tess revealed that she is an avid reader of newspapers, broad sheet and tabloid alike.  She described reading an article about a woman who, mistaken for dead, wakes up in a mortuary. This news piece was the initial inspiration for Vanish.

The event was well attended by an eclectic mix of ages and ethnicities. Also both genders were well represented, despite Tess admitting that most of her readers and readers of fiction in general are female. The talk concluded with a question and answer session, following which fans were given the opportunity to acquire autographs and take photographs with Tess.

Verdict:  Tess was a fantastic, warm and personable speaker who held her audience’s attention. We had a thoroughly enjoyable evening and we both agreed that the event has reignited our desire to read Tess’ work.

Post by Caroline and Karen

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Alpha Force: Rat-Catcher

Chris Ryan

The elite young SAS team sees action in a South American operation to catch a drug baron, where their individual skills are tested to the max.

The second book in the Alpha Force series ‘Rat Catcher’ is a great story which takes Alpha Force to South America where they find themselves only seconds from death in the mountains of Chile. The story has many twists and turns. The team encounter both a dangerous drugs dealer and a young street boy who they learn to trust and who is able to help rescue them when they find themselves in trouble.

Verdict:This amazing book is full of tension and suspense. I couldn’t put it down.

Reviewed by Jack (11)

Publisher: Red Fox
Publication Date: June 2004
Format: Paperback
Pages: 272
Genre: Action, Adventure
Age: Middle Grade
Reviewer: Jack (11)
Source: Own Copy
Challenge: N/A
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Last week we promised to giveaway a signed paperback copy of Alyson Noel’s Everlasting when we reached 50 followers. Thanks to all of your support we are able to fulfill that promise!

The lucky winner is: Mai

Congratulations Mai we hope that you enjoy your new book.
Don’t forget that when we reach 100 followers we will be giving away a signed Hardback copy of Tess Gerritsen’s The Silent Girl to one luck  follower.

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On The Shelf

This is Big Book Little Book’s version of the meme ‘In My Mailbox’ created by The Story Siren.  Each month we post about all of the books we have added to our book shelves in the preceding month, whether they be bought, borrowed, swapped or received for review.

Wow this month we have really been splashing the cash! Let us know what you think of our shelf.  Have you read any of the books listed? Which books would you like to see reviewed?

Bloodstream by Tess Gerittsen Paperback.(Karen)
But Can Drink Water?  Jan Hurst-Nicholson . Kindle.(Lesley)
Fallen  by Karin Slaughter. Hardback.(Karen)
Good at Games by Jill Mansell. Paperback. (Lesley)
Jo Frost’s Confident Toddler Care  by Jo Frost. Hardback. (Jane)
Love, Sex and Tesco’s Finest Cava by S. Carter. Kindle. (Lesley)
Minding Frankie by Maeve Binchy. Paperback.(Helen)
Play To Kill  by P.J Tracy.  Paperback. (Karen)
The Life Of Polycrates Other Stories For Antiquated Children by Brendan Connell. PDF. Sent by Author for review.

The Queens Fool by Phillippa Gregory.  Paperback. (Helen)

The Silent Girl  by Tess Gerritson.  Hardback.(Karen)
The Surgeon  by Tess Gerritson.  Paperback.  (Caroline)
 The Wire In The Blood  by  Val McDermid. Hardback. (Karen)
Wedding Cake To Turin  by Lynda Renham. Kindle.(Lesley)
Where Rainbows End  by Cecilia Ahern.  Hardback. (Karen)

Wuthering Heights  By Emily Bronte .Paperback.(Karen)

Young Adult
Blue Moon by Alyson Noel. Paperback. (Karen)
Corsets and Clockwork : 13 Steampunk Romances edited by Trisha Telep. Kindle. (Caroline)
Everlasting  by Alyson Noel. Paperback. (Caroline)
Firelight by Sophie Jordan. Kindle. (Caroline)
FirelightForever by Maggie Stiefvater US Hardback. (Caroline) Paperback. (Lesley)
Forgotten by Cat Patrick.  Paperback. (Caroline)
Haunting Violet by Alyxandra Harvey. Kindle. (Caroline)
Hush Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick. Paperback. (Karen)
Shadows On The Moon by Zoe Marriott.  Kindle. (Caroline)
Hush, HushStarcrossed by Josephine Angelini. Kindle.(Caroline)
The Vampire Diaries: The Awakening AND The Struggle by L J Smith. Paperback.(Karen)
The Vampire Diaries:The Captive Part 2 AND The Power by L J Smith. Paperback.(Karen)
The Arctic Incident (Artemis Fowl, Book 2)Children’s
Artemis Fowl: The Arctic Incident by Eoin Colfer. Hardback.(Karen)
Disney Pixar Cars 2 by Lisa Marsoli.  Hardback.(Jane)
Mister Magnolia by Quentin Blake. Paperback.(Helen)
The Chronicles Of Narnia Box Set by  C.S. Lewis .Paperback.(Caroline)

Horse Tales by June Crebbin.  Hardback.(Karen)

Tabby MctatPre School
Again! by John Prater. Paperback.(Helen)
Its The Bear by Jez Alborough and Niamh Sharkey.(Helen)
Roary’s First Day Roary The Racing Car by Rachel Dawson. Paperback.(Jane)
Tabby McTat by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler. Paperback.(Helen)
The Octonauts And The Frown FishThe Octonauts and the Frown Fish by Meomi. Paperback.(Jane)
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Tabitha Suzuma

She is pretty and talented- sweet sixteen and never been kissed. He is seventeen; gorgeous and on the brink of a bright future. And now they have fallen in love. But…They are brother and sister.

I was initially reluctant to pick up this book. The blurb clearly states that this is a love story between a brother and sister. The numerous 5* ratings however, persuaded me to put aside any queasiness and give the book a chance. I am so glad I did.

I consumed this book in one sitting finishing in the early hours of the morning. I surprisingly found myself gripped within the first few chapters, fighting conflicting emotions alongside the protagonists and rooting for it to somehow work out for the couple. It’s not that I forgot that they were sibling (the author ensures this), more that the relationship never felt like a “normal” sibling relationship, long before the relationship becomes physical it is clear that they are more to each other than brother and sister.

The dual first person narrative allows you to witness the developing relationship from both Lochan and Maya’s perspectives. You experience how hard they both fight their attraction and that the relationship is equally sided with no coercion from either party.

This book left me emotionally drained and questioning my strongly held values. However, I am so glad that I’ve read it. I think that it will be a story I reflect on for a very long time. In addition to exploring consensual incest the book sensitively touches on the issue of neglect, alcoholism and mental health.

Verdict: If you are in two minds about picking up this book I hope that this 5* rating encourages you to give it a chance.
Parental note: Although classified as YA (13+), due to the subject matter and content I personally wouldn’t recommend this book to a young(age/maturity) teen reader.

Reviewed by Caroline

Publisher: Definitions
Publication Date: May 2010
Format: Paperback
Pages: 432
Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Romance,
Age: YA
Reviewer: Caroline
Source: Borrowed
Challenge: N/A
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The Tickle Book: With pop-up surprises

Tickle Book

Ian Whybrow and Axel Scheffler (illustrator)

Pull the tabs and lift the flaps and discover how very tickly a book can be. Watch the Ticklemonster in action, tickling his animal friends at every opportunity: monkeys in the train, pigs on the farm, penguins playing and bears in bed.
Look out! There’s a Ticklemonster about!

The Tickle Book is a delightful tale which is sure to capture the attention of even the wriggliest toddler! Each page has a different setting; a house, a station and a farm among others in which you can lift the flaps and pull the tags and look for the Ticklemonster who will be sure to appear somewhere.

With a rhyme on each page and wonderful illustrations my two little ones were torn between wanting to point and talk about everything on the page or discovering where the Ticklemonster was hiding so they could get a tickle from mummy too!

Verdict: A really fun book which easily engages, it’s a favourite in this house!

Reviewed by Lesley

Publisher: Macmillian Children’s Books
Publication Date: May 2006
Format: Paperback
Pages: 12
Genre: Picture Book
Age: Picture Books
Reviewer: Lesley
Source: Own Copy
Challenge: N/A
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