4 August 2017

Holiday Break

Discovering Diamonds is 'on vacation' through August (well I am going on holiday, and I'm not taking my laptop or any social media etc - time for some R & R while taking a cruise down the River Rhine.)


I have scheduled some posts, however, so do pop back a few times a week - or why not SUBSCRIBE (top left on the sidebar) to receive alerts when a new post is added?

See you on September 1st!
Helen

3 August 2017

Book of the Month


a personal choice by Helen Hollick
from our JULY reviews



No difficulty in choosing my favourite this month - I absolutely loved this novel! Apart from the fact that I am Royalist Supporter (despite the utter mess Charles I made of things, I guess I'd be a Royalist as I loathe Cromwell) I liked the major characters (the goodies!) from the instant I met them. The hero is my kind of hero, the heroine my kind of heroine, the baddy a real nasty baddy... thoroughly enjoyed it from cover to cover! Bravo Ms Bazos!
Read the review HERE

from our JUNE reviews


I'm starting to regret opening this page of a 'best choice' because we have so many good books it is getting hard to choose a 'best of', but what swung this one for me was the 'delightful old biddy'! Loved this character and the entire book.


from our MAY reviews


A tough one this month as there were several books I enjoyed but one alone had I to select, so...
...I've chosen Julia Brannan's The Mask Revealed because it was entertaining, enjoyable and blissful romantic escapism. Just right for reading in bed when 'to wind down' is desperately needed. The cover is lovely as well.
HH

* * *
from our APRIL reviews
Medicus by Ruth Downie




Why I chose this book:

There were several novels I thoroughly enjoyed from our April reviews - but most were written by close friends (Alison Morton, Anna Belfrage, Pauline Barclay, Bernard Cornwell...) so it wasn't right for me to select those.
Yes, I do know Ruth, but I know a lot of authors (you tend to meet quite a few when you've been writing for over twenty years!) I reviewed Medicus because I thoroughly enjoyed it, it made me laugh in places, it kept me reading into the small hours, I loved the plot, the characters, the entire concept, and perhaps even more important, I went straight out and bought the next book in the series... and the next... and the next... So an obvious choice for my Book of the Month.
HH

read the review here

* * * 

from our MARCH reviews
PORTRAITS of PRETENCE by SUSAN GROSSEY


Why I chose this book:
I've enjoyed this series from the first book, The Man in the Canary Waistcoat. It takes skill to keep a series going - to keep readers wanting more, to come up with new plots and ideas and to keep the characters interesting. I also like the main characters Sam Plank and his wife, Martha, and Constable Wilson who is naive but 'growing' with the series. The research is detailed, the dialogue natural and the overall 'feel' very realistic.
HH

Read the review here


from our FEBRUARY reviews
The Fragrant Concubine by Melissa Addey



Why I selected this book: 
I chose this book simply because I thoroughly enjoyed it. I was so engrossed in the last quarter of the book I didn't notice, until I'd finished, that it was 3 a.m. 
There were a few 'but why didn't he/she do...?" questions in my mind (sorry no spoilers!) but characters do (or don't do) certain things because that is the format of stories, and this is a very good story!
HH

* * * 
 from our JANUARY reviews



Why I selected this book:
I chose this book because of the slightly different era for a 'police crime' novel, for the engaging characters and that 'lose yourself in the story' feel. 
HH
* * * 




All books selected will automatically be short-listed for our 


(to be judged independently and revealed at the end of December 2017)

* * *   * * *   * * * 

2 August 2017

Cover of the Month

designer Cathy Helms of www.avalongraphics.org
with fellow designer Tamian Wood of www.beyonddesigninternational.com
has selected our Cover of the Past Month
with all winners going forward for Cover of the Year
(and honourable mentions going forward for Honourable Mention Runner-up)
Note: where UK and US covers differ only one version will be selected

* * * 
Novels reviewed during JULY

WINNER: Read the review Here
book cover designed by James T. Egan of Bookfly Design
Honourable Mentions 
will go forward for annual 'runner up'

read the review here
book cover design by publisher
Read the review here
book cover designed by publisher
Read the review here
book cover design by SilverWood Books Ltd
* * *
Novels reviewed during JUNE


Winner: Read the review here
cover designed by the publisher
Honourable Mentions 
will go forward for annual 'runner up'

read the review
read the review















* * *
novels reviewed during MAY


WINNER:  The Autumn Throne by Elizabeth Chadwick
cover design Sourcebooks Ltd / Sphere

Honourable Mentions 
will go forward for annual 'runner up'

Read the Review
cover designed by Adriana Hanganu


Read the review
cover designed by 
Najla Qambar Designs
* * * 
novels reviewed during APRIL 

Honourable Mentions 
will go forward for annual 'runner up'
Review





Review
Designer : Olly Bennett
Covers below are not eligible as designed by Cathy Helms of Avalon Graphics
review

review
review
* * * 
novels reviewed during  MARCH 


WINNER : Circling the Sun by Paula McLain
(designer : unknown)

Honourable Mentions 
will go forward for annual 'runner up'
Review
Designer: J.D.Smith

* * * 
novels reviewed during FEBRUARY 
WINNER:  Mask of Duplicity by Julia Brannon
Honourable Mentions
Review
designer : Marie Vecera
will go forward for annual 'runner up'
Review
Designer: SilverWood Books Ltd

Review
Designer: Nik Keevil
* * * 
novels reviewed during JANUARY
Winner Charity's Cross my MaryLu Tyndall
designer: Ravven
HONOURABLE MENTIONS
will go forward for annual 'runner up'
Review
Designer : Olly Bennett
of  More Visual

Review
designer: SilverWood Books Ltd
Review 
Designer: Fiona Jayde Media

And the winner and honourablemention for 2017 is...?
Revealed 31st December 2017
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1 August 2017

August Holidays and Looking Ahead

I'm sad to say  that Discovering Diamonds will be hibernating - but pleased to say - only for August!
I'm off on a short holiday....


but I have scheduled some articles, some 'did you miss' items of interest and a few other odds and ends, so do keep calling in from time to time. (Why not subscribe so you never miss out on a good read? Fill in the form - top left on the side bar!)

* * *
Looking Ahead

* * * 
There are going to be a few changes to Discovering Diamonds from the 1st of September (when normal service will be resumed!), mainly because running the site is taking up rather a lot of my time, but we will still be reviewing lots of fantastic books so don't worry on that score!

The changes will be:
  • No reviews or posts at the weekend.
  • Providing I have the articles, our Guest Spot and Reader's Voice will now be posted Mid-Month on the 15th of each month
  • Book of the Month will be posted on the last day of each month
  • Cover of the Month  will be posted on the first day of the month (starting again on 1st October for the September Reviews
Apart from that, things stay the same for now!


See you in September!


Please do scroll down for more items of interest or browse the top menu bar. 

Or why not go back to our first review and then enjoy some of the wonderful books we have reviewed since January!

(why not subscribe so you never miss out on a good read? Fill in the form - top left on the side bar!)