Posts Tagged ‘Harper Collins’


February 11, 2018 - 7:53 am No Comments

AN ALMOND FOR A PARROT by Wray Delaney. HarperCollins, London, UK. £7.99 paperback. 413 pages. ISBN: 978-0-008-18253-3
Reviewed by Pauline Morgan.

When an author changes genres, there is a dilemma as to whether to use the same name as on previous books, or choose a new one. There are arguments for both points of view. Keeping the same name may well carry readers along and introduce them to something they might not have wanted to read before, such as romance readers discovering science fiction. Alternatively, they may be disappointed and never read another book by that author. There are some publishers who will use a change of name as an excuse to drop the advance regarding the new name in the same light as a new author leading to a lower income. Conversely, there are cases when changing the name is a good idea. A writer of historical fiction might not want to confuse readers when the next book is an explicitly erotic novel. Alienating the customers is never a good idea. Similarly, an established writer for children may feel that a book written for the adult audience is inappropriate for the younger bookworm. It also helps librarians and bookshop staff decide which shelves to put the book on. In the case of this author, it is probably a wise decision as Wray Delaney is better known as Sally Gardner an award winning children’s writer.
An Almond For a Parrot draws on some of the sources Delaney has mined for children’ books. The novel is set in the mid-eighteenth century and begins as a version of the Cinderella story. Tully Truegood, though the daughter of an (initially) wealthy merchant is raised in the kitchen by Cook. She learns to read from cookery books. When her father remarries, her fortunes change for the better for this stepmother is kind and has two pretty daughters. At least, that is what Tully believes. Then her life begins to unravel. Her new stepmother, Queenie, is actually the madam of a brothel and the arrangement with her father is an attempt to arrange a suitable marriage for one of the ‘sisters’. Her father is thrown in prison for debt. To add to her woes, her father married her off at the age of eight in order to clear some of his debts – a contract that then had legal standing, but Tully has no idea who her husband is. There is no handsome prince to come to her rescue. Queenie gives her shelter.
The element that make this novel stand out from being a grimy historical fiction and push it into fantasy is a supernatural talent Tully has. She is able to do magic. At first she doesn’t realise that she can. She is given a stuffed parrot in a cage. When she takes it out, it flies around the room. At first she thinks she is imagining it. She thinks the little dog that follows Mr Crease around is real until he tells her that the dog died some years before. It is he that recognises her talent for bringing the dead to life, even if only for a short while. He helps her hone her abilities to enhance the thrills on offer at Queenie’s new brothel.
Not everything goes smoothly and she does have to earn a living as one of Queenie’s girls. From the start we are aware that she is likely to hang as the form of the book is Tully telling her story while she is awaiting trial for the murder of her husband – or at least, the man who claims he is.
Ultimately this a book that has charm and the characters are engaging. It is a shame that the plot has to turn on a number of coincidences which place it firmly in the category of erotic romance.

Miracle on 5th Avenue

April 18, 2017 - 1:37 am No Comments

Reviewers note: this site does not often review contemporary romance, however, as her alter ego Eve Campbell, Theresa Derwin has started to write in the romance genre and found some great books worth sharing with our readers.


Miracle on 5th Avenue
(From Manhattan with Love Book 3)
Author: Sarah Morgan
Publisher: MIRA (Harper Collins imprint)
Page count: 384pp
Release date: 20th Oct 2016
Reviewer: Theresa Derwin

Eva Jordan is a glittering star when it comes to understanding romance; just unfortunately not for herself. She works like a maniac and her bedroom companion is a stuffed kangaroo her grandma gave her when she was four. At least, unlike the men in her life, the kangaroo never lets her down. Besides, she has no room or time for men in her life. Eva is still grieving the loss of her grandmother a year ago, wearing the heavy emotional scars and unable to really confide with anyone for fear of being a burden.
Still, at least she was busy with Urban Genie, the event and concierge business she ran with friends Paige and Frankie. It was their first Christmas since going into business, so things were looking up.
She used to love the silly season, and was determined to start enjoying it again, to do the things her Graham’s would want her to do. To make her proud.
On a personal note, I’m reviewing this late because I suffered a loss just after Christmas myself and I suspect Morgan has experienced a similar loss. She has completely captured the all-consuming pain and emptiness such grief brings. And though it may seem strange, this novel comforted me through that.
Lucas hates Christmas- as a crime writer at the top of his fie,d, he has deadlines, fans, a publisher and an agent – but no book. Normally he can force the worse out but this year is much worse, memories of his Sallyanne in the morgue haunting him. He’s supposed to be away writing in a cabin in Vermont, but just couldn’t face it. He’s still in his Manhattan aapartment alone.
He needed a miracle.
In the midst of a snowy blizzard, Eva turns up for her next job.
Decorating best seller author Lucas Blade’s fifth avenue apartment for the holidays. A preseng arranged by his grandmother.
A fabulous surprise …
And the first time they meet in his darkened penthouse suite? Hilarious. I laughed out loud at one part when Eva thinks of the contents of her purse. The dialogue between the two sparks the instant they meet, even if it starts as hostile, and Eva is ‘unintentionally’ funny. The reader finds her funny, the characters find her funny, but she doesn’t realise just how witty and insane she really is. There’s a genuine warmth to the banter between Lucas and Eva that reminded me almost of Marian and Indiana Jones in Raiders of the Last Ark. I love Morgan’s writing but with these two she’s excelled herself.
Lucas’ outlook as a crime writer is also pretty funny in an “OMG did he really go there?” way. His dark nature is very apparent from the first interaction, juxtaposed with Eva’s more positive outlook. It makes for great chemistry between the two. And as a horror writer, it also gave me some cracking ideas. In chapter two we also have a sly wink to ‘Psycho’. And the internal thoughts of both protagonists almost runs like a comedy of errors. Brilliant.
This is easily the best Sarah Morgan I’ve read and in her dealings with grief she is spit on.

Competition – Sarah Pinborough Behind her Eyes

January 12, 2017 - 6:59 pm No Comments

Awesomeness – Harper Collins have offered a copy of Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough to you, Terror Tree readers!


Since her husband walked out, Louise has made her son her world, supporting them both with her part-time job. But all that changes when she meets…


Young, successful and charming – Louise cannot believe a man like him would look at her twice let alone be attracted to her. But that all comes to a grinding halt when she meets his wife…


Beautiful, elegant and sweet – Louise’s new friend seems perfect in every way. As she becomes obsessed by this flawless couple, entangled in the intricate web of their marriage, they each, in turn, reach out to her.

But only when she gets to know them both does she begin to see the cracks… Is David really is the man she thought she knew and is Adele as vulnerable as she appears?
Just what terrible secrets are they both hiding and how far will they go to keep them?

To be in with a chance to win this hugely anticipated mystery/thrill book by the very talented Sarah Pinborough here’s what you do:

1) Like our Facebook Page

2) Share this post with the Amazon Links to the book on Facebook or Twitter then notify us on our Facebook Page under the competition post.