The Sharp Hook of Love
By: Sherry Jones
Format/Source: Paperback courtesy of the publishers as part of The Sharp Hook of Love blog tour by France Book Tours
My review of the novel
“To forbid the fruit only sweetens its flavor”
Among the young women of 12th century Paris, Heloise d’Argenteuil stands apart. Extraordinarily educated and quick-witted, she is being groomed by her uncle to become an abbess in the service of God.
But with one encounter, her destiny changes forever. Pierre Abelard, headmaster at the Nôtre Dame Cloister School, is acclaimed as one of the greatest philosophers in France. His controversial reputation only adds to his allure, yet despite the legions of women swooning over his poetry and dashing looks, he is captivated by the brilliant Heloise alone. As their relationship blossoms from a meeting of the minds to a forbidden love affair, both Heloise and Abelard must choose between love, duty, and ambition.
Sherry Jones weaves the lovers’ own words into an evocative account of desire and sacrifice. As intimate as it is erotic, as devastating as it is beautiful, The Sharp Hook of Love is a poignant, tender tribute to one of history’s greatest romances, and to love’s power to transform and endure.
Hello again, everyone! My review of The Sharp Hook of Love (review) has just gone live as part of a book blog tour hosted by France Book Tours. As part of my participation in the tour, I also had the opportunity to ask the author a few questions about the novel and the writing process. So thank you again to France Book Tours and Sherry Jones for taking the time to answer my questions 🙂
- What inspired you to write about Abelard and Heloise?
The most famous love story of all time — and it really happened! As soon as I heard their beautiful, tragic, thousand-year-old tale, I knew I had to write it. If you think reading a great love story is magical — and I do — just try writing one! Only being in love is more rewarding.
Lies Told in Silence
By: M.K. Tod
Format/Source: Paperback courtesy of the author as part of the Lies Told in Silence France Book Tours
My review of the novel
In May 1914, Helene Noisette’s father believes war is imminent. Convinced Germany will head straight for Paris, he sends his wife, daughter, mother and younger son to Beaufort, a small village in northern France. But when war erupts a few months later, the German army invades neutral Belgium with the intent of sweeping south towards Paris. And by the end of September, Beaufort is less than twenty miles from the front.
During the years that follow, with the rumbling of guns ever present in the distance, three generations of women come together to cope with deprivation, constant fear and the dreadful impacts of war. In 1917, Helene falls in love with a young Canadian soldier who was wounded in the battle of Vimy Ridge.
But war has a way of separating lovers and families, of twisting promises and dashing hopes, and of turning the naïve and innocent into the jaded and war-weary. As the months pass, Helene is forced to reconcile dreams for the future with harsh reality.
Lies Told in Silence examines love and loss, duty and sacrifice, and the unexpected consequences of lies.
Hello again, everyone! My review of M.K. Tod’s latest novel, Lies Told in Silence (review), has just gone live as part of a book blog tour hosted by France Book Tours. As part of my participation in the tour, I also had the opportunity to ask the author a few questions about the novel and the writing process. So thank you again to France Book Tours and M.K. Tod for taking the time to answer my questions 🙂
- Reading your novel, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that events from this story bridged over in a way with your debut novel, Unravelled. Was that always the plan?
The truthful answer is that there was no plan at all! I began writing on a whim while living in Hong Kong for three years unable to secure employment because I was the ‘trailing spouse’. As Unravelled took shape I could see possibilities for sequels. For example, at one point I thought I would write a novel about Emily who is the daughter of Ann and Edward Jamieson, the main characters of Unravelled. Emily is patterned on my mother who has had quite an interesting life. However, at times serendipity plays a role and in this case, one of my early readers said she wanted to learn more about Helene Noisette who is Edward’s WWI lover. That suggestion resonated for me especially since I loved the idea of exploring France and Paris. It was amazingly liberating to write Lies Told in Silence because I was not confined in any way by the history of my grandparents.
Hello again, everyone! So my review of Lucy Clarke’s latest novel, A Single Breath, just went live and suffice to say, I think it’s the perfect summer read to check out 😉 Thanks to Anneliese at Simon and Schuster CA, I also had the opportunity to ask the author a few questions about the process of writing the book. So thank you again to both the publishers and Lucy Clarke for taking the time to answering my questions 🙂
Also, before I jump right into the Q&A below: you can click on the following images to enlarge 😉 (again, thank you to Simon & Schuster CA for providing the material)
- What inspired you to write this novel?
The idea came from two very separate threads. In 2011, I visited Tasmania for the first time and fell in love with its wild beauty and its remote shacks. Later on that year, I heard of a friend-of-a-friend who was leading a double life in order to hide a huge secret from their family. I was intrigued by the idea of the unknowability of those closest to us, and thought how devastating it would be to find out the truth only when that person had gone. These two threads began to weave together, stitching themselves into the beginning of a story.
Hello again everyone! So my book review for Nick Cutter’s The Troop just went live (be sure to check it out, the novel is quite a read!). Well, thanks to Anneliese at Simon and Schuster CA, I also had the opportunity to ask the author a few questions about the book and about writing 🙂
So before I jump right in with the Q&A, I just wanted to give a big thank you again to Simon and Schuster CA and Nick Cutter for taking the time to answering my questions 🙂
- What inspired you to write this novel?
A case of temporary insanity? No, no … I’d written a book just before The Troop where I dealt with characters as boys. I liked writing about characters at that age. And as for the rest, I guess I was interested in a monster that didn’t stalk you in the traditional sense, like a zombie or a vampire or something external to you. This monster was inside of you. You couldn’t run away from it.
Hi everyone! You may remember that some time ago I had reviewed a short story collection that was recently published entitled Remember Why You Fear Me (review) by Robert Shearman (many of you may know him for the episode he wrote for Doctor Who, “Dalek” (109)). It’s quite an interesting collection of short stories; as I had mentioned in my review it’s quite a range of stories–not necessarily steeped in horror in every story but intriguing, chilling and introspective in the themes that they explore.
Well, aside from reviewing the book last month, I also had the opportunity to interview the author as part of the blog tour organised by ChiZine Publications. ‘Twas very exciting (not to mention this blog’s very first author interview ever!) and I hope you enjoy the following interview. A big thank you again to ChiZine Publications for arranging it and to Robert Shearman for taking the time to answer my questions =)
- Remember Why You Fear Me is quite an eclectic collection of short stories! Which story did you enjoy writing the most? Do you have a particular favourite from this compilation?
It’s a funny thing, really. As you write each and every story, they feel like the most important one you’ve ever done. You get this wonderful idea in your head, and you think – this one, at last, is going to be absolute genius, so long as I don’t screw it up! And then the actual process of putting it down on paper is one of irritation and compromise, and the dismaying sense that that wonderful idea is being screwed up, and you’re doing your level best at damage limitation! Then, months later, you can look back at the story, and assess it for what it is coolly – and sometimes it’s rotten, but often it’s actually rather good, and you can feel a certain sense of pride. But by that point you’ve moved on to other ideas and other stories, and the emotional attachment you feel to the old stuff is a bit detached. So, it’s honestly hard to judge a favourite story, or which one I enjoyed writing the most (especially seeing the ones I most enjoyed writing are the ones I suspect I didn’t work at hard enough, so seem a bit lacking in retrospect!). The oldest story in the book is ‘Mortal Coil’, which was a rather fun idea about the whole world receiving letters from God informing them exactly when and how everyone’s going to die. I had no expectations at that point I would ever write another short story; I had been asked to give something to an anthology, and back then I was exclusively a dramatist, so it was like having a little holiday, creating something entirely new for an entirely new medium. That may be my favourite, because I felt so wonderfully irresponsible doing it!