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Sharing our love for authors, and the stories they are inspired to tell.

New On The Shelf At Fiction Books This Week

Picture of an English red post boxMailbox Monday is a gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house during the last week.

Be warned that Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists.

Mailbox Monday, is currently ‘on tour’ and being hosted by a different blogger each month.

Your host for October 2013, is Gina @ ‘Book Dragon’s Lair’

So why not stop by, leave a link to your own Mailbox Monday post, oh! and don’t forget to leave a comment for Gina, after all, we all like to receive them!

This is a great way to plan out your reading week and see what others are currently reading as well… you never know where that next “must read” book will come from!

 …

The latest addition to the Fiction Books virtual shelf this week, is another of my ‘must have’ options, from the lovely folks over at NetGalley. I am really becoming quite strict with myself and only accepting free books from my preferred genres, any books which I choose outside of those genres, are now only as a the result of a direct review request from either author or publisher.

‘THE CHEESEMAKER’S HOUSE’

The novel follows the life of Alice Hart, who escapes to the North Yorkshire countryside to recover after her husband runs off with his secretary. Battling with loneliness but trying to make the best of her new start, she soon meets her neighbours, including handsome builder Richard Wainwright and kind café owner Owen Maltby. As Alice employs Richard to start renovating the barn next to her house, all is not what it seems. Why does she start seeing Owen when he clearly isn’t there? Where – or when – does the strange crying come from? And if Owen is the village ‘charmer’, what exactly does that mean?

JANE CABLE

Image of author Jane CablePerhaps writing is in Jane Cable’s blood. Her father, Mercer Simpson, was a poet; her cousin, Roger Hubank, a novelist; Roger’s uncle, John Hampson was also a novelist and fringe member of the Bloomsbury Group. And it’s even rumoured that John Keats is somewhere back there in the family tree.

It is therefore no wonder that she has always scribbled. But it took her until she was in her forties to complete a full length manuscript. And then another, and another… Writing stories became a compulsive hobby. She could lose herself in her characters, almost live their lives, and she started to long for readers other than her mother and a few close friends to be able to do the same.

Jane has a degree in Communication Studies and worked in PR in her twenties, although her career now is nothing to do with writing. When she was almost thirty she retrained as a Chartered Accountant, meeting her husband in the process, and for the last 13 years she has run her own business. Apart from being very rewarding, most of the time it means she can squeeze a few hours into every day to write.

It was reaching the final of The Alan Titchmarsh Show’s People’s Novelist competition in 2011 which made Jane take her writing seriously. She was signed by a big name agent straight away but after a while realised he wanted ‘The Cheesemaker’s House’ turned into a thriller, so they parted company. Another agent was seriously interested but wanted the book re-written as a pure romance – and that was something she wasn’t prepared to do. Slowly she realised that however good her book was, unless it fitted neatly into a genre, it was never going to be taken up by a mainstream publisher. Jane went to a self publishing conference organised by the Writers & Artists Yearbook and was inspired by the speakers to publish independently herself. It seemed the only way for the book she had written to reach a wider public.

What is important, are the character’s personalities and although as I wrote the book I got to know them very well, there were times when they still surprised me, times when they wrote their own lines as we went along. It’s a wonderful feeling when that happens – you know you are really under their skins.

‘The Cheesemaker’s House’ was inspired by a framed will found in the dining room of my dream Yorkshire house. The previous owners explained that the house had been built at the request of the village cheesemaker in 1726 – and that the cheesemaker was a woman. And so the historical aspect of the story was born.

As well as her own comprehensive and well presented website, Jane also has a dedicated Facebook page for ‘The Cheesemaker’s House’, where she is always ready to chat about the book, so why not stop by and say Hi!

I am hoping that Jane will also be stopping by in person very soon, to publish a ‘Guest Post’ over at ‘Meet The Authors’ pages, I am really looking forward to that.

I can’t wait to discover all your own great new finds this week … so please stop by and share your link

Written by
Yvonne

I can’t remember a time, even as a child, when I haven’t been passionate about books and reading.
I began blogging, when I realised just how many other people out there shared my passion for the written word and I have been continually amazed at the wealth of books that are available and the amount of great new friends I have made, from literally 'The Four Corners Of The World'.

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26 comments
  • I need to start becoming stricter about the books I accept too. It’s just so easy to get caught up in all the fun of accepting new books. Except right now, I have so many books I’ve agreed to read in the next month, that it feels like I’ll never be reading things I really want to read again.

    • Hi Shoshanah,

      As you say, being offered new books, often for free, can become addictive and you feel as if you just can’t bear to say no and pass them by. I held off joining NetGalley for a long time, but then needed to use it to access a book for an author review … the rest is history, as they say! I have started vetting the email updates they send out quite vigorously and I now only request the books which I genuinely find interesting and from genres which I really enjoy reading.

      It is just the same with author and publisher review requests, I just can’t say no! To be fair, I have discovered some excellent new authors and great books from genres way outside my regular comfort zone.

      I have shelf after shelf of ‘real’ books and an undeclared number of ‘virtual’ books, more than one person can ever hope to read in an average lifetime!

      I just couldn’t pass by ‘The Cheesemaker’s House’ though and I just know that I am going to enjoy it so much.

      Thanks for stopping by, I appreciate the comment and hope that you have a great week.

    • Hi Laurel-Rain,

      This definitely looks as though it is going to be a page-turner and I love the notion that the book’s title has so much meaning and is, in so many ways, personal to the author. I also like the simplicity, yet relevance of the book’s cover.

      This one is so far, ticking all the right boxes for me.

      Thanks for stopping by and have a great week.

  • The Cheesemaker’s House sounds like a good one Yvonne. I hope you enjoy it. I need to be stricter when accepting books for review as well, I tend to get carried away! Then to top it all off, I go on NetGalley and ask for more review books…lol.

    • Hi Naida,

      It is just so difficult to be strict with yourself, when there are so many great books and excellent authors out there, isn’t it?

      I was just reading an article on the BBC, which says that in Iceland, total population 300,00, one in every ten people is an author. Clearly not all of them are going to enjoy huge success, but even if only a small percentage make it good, just imagine how many books they will be publishing!

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-24399599

      All that aside, I am really looking forward to reading ‘The Cheesemaker’s House’ and publishing Jane’s guest post, in a week or two. Jane is so easy to get along with and takes such an interest in any article published about the book.

      I particularly admire the way she ‘stuck to her guns’, when publishers wanted to fundamentally change the entire genre of the storyline, insisting on having the book published in her own style. If this is the kind of bullying which goes on in the industry, then I am not surprised that there are so many Indie authors. Although, the other side of the argument may be, that there are so many new and aspiring authors out there, all trying to get published in what is a very cut-throat industry, that without a publisher’s honest appraisal and guidance, there are going to be some very disappointed and disillusioned authors…..

      Who knows the true reality of the situation, however ‘The Cheesemaker’s House’ definitely seems to have flourished under Jane’s ministrations and I am really going to enjoy the read.

      Thanks for stopping by. I hope that your week goes smoothly and that most importantly of all .. you enjoy it!

  • It is an important thing to control what we accept. I have enjoyed a lighter load these past two months even though I am reading as much as before. But more are off my TBR and just for fun. 🙂
    The Cheesemaker’s House sounds interesting. Enjoy. Thanks for visiting my blog too.

    • Hi Martha,

      I am finding that my time for reading is getting less and less for some reason, although I strongly suspect that it is simply that my blogging time is probably encroaching on my reading allocation. It’s a difficult balance to make, when you enjoy both as much as I do.

      I don’t tend to get too many review requests from publishers, with many of mine coming directly from the authors concerned, which is okay by me, although I still feel that I am missing out on all those great books, when I see the huge piles that some bloggers present with every Monday morning. I spend time gazing in awe at their Mailbox Monday posts, wondering just what I am doing wrong and how on earth the bloggers concerned, are ever going to make the time to read and review all their spoils, whilst still carrying on with their daily lives and jobs!

      In reality though, I already have far more books than I shall ever read in a lifetime and I can’t remember the last time that I did anything other than gaze longingly at my own bookshelves!

      I am loving the sound of ‘The Cheesemaker’s House’, it all seems a little eerie!

      Thanks for stopping by, I always appreciate any comments I receive.

  • It is indeed so easy to overcommit (or over-request) on NetGalley! I’m trying really hard to cut back and only request books I know I want to read anyway, but sometimes, as with this one for you, the description is just too tempting and I end up requesting more books than I intended to.

    As for The Cheesmaker’s House, it sounds interesting, and I hope you enjoy it! Thank you for stopping by my blog today.

    • Hi Lark,

      I am wondering just how long this trend of free request books for review, on sites such as NetGalley, will continue. I have seen a definite trend starting, whereby bloggers are only giving promotional space and review publishing, for a fee!

      Apart from the fact that I am not sure that many of the small Indie authors would be prepared to pay for publicity, unless I were going to make this a full time job, it would be very difficult for me to guarantee reviews within a defined time.

      Don’t get me wrong, I would love nothing better than to sit reading, blogging and reviewing all day long, however, in reality, just how feasible is it?

      Anyway, for now I am only too pleased to have ‘The Cheesemaker’s House’ on my TBR pile and I am looking forward to getting a peek at Jane’s guest post.

      Thanks for stopping by and have a good week.

    • Hi Kathy,

      Given that the first publisher wanted the book to become a thriller and the second a romance, I guess we are talking about the premise of the story being a combination of the two genres, with maybe a little of the paranormal thrown in for good measure. It definitely sounds like an intriguing page-turner, no matter the exact genre.

      Thanks for stopping by, I always appreciate your comments and I hope that you have a good week.

    • Hi Tracy,

      I think that Jane really thought that she had found the house of her dreams, when she discovered what was to become ‘The Cheesemaker’s House’ in North Yorkshire. The history surrounding the house had her captivated and intrigued and the physical location of the house was an instant attraction … but alas, it was not meant to be, although the story the experience invoked, will no doubt stay with Jane for many years to come, as I am hoping, it will with me.

      The pages of Jane’s website tell the story in much more detail, naming places with which you may be more familiar than I am, although we have visited the area once or twice and as you say, it is beautiful.

      Thank you so much for stopping by and for your interesting comments.

      Have a great week and it is good to have you back.

    • Hi Gautami,

      The storyline for ‘The Cheesemaker’s House’ is definitely an intriguing one, isn’t it?

      Jane Cable is also such a friendly author and her website and facebook page about the book, is so informative.

      Thanks for stopping by and have a great week.

    • Hi Elizabeth,

      ‘The Cheesemaker’s House’ is definitely one to look forward to.

      Thanks for stopping by and I hope that your week goes well for you.

  • I’m looking forward to your review of this book, Yvonne.
    I too cut back on accepting review books and now mostly choose from NetGalley. It really is a wonderful resource, isn’t it?
    Have a good week!

    • Hi Mary,

      NetGalley is almost like having your own personal library on tap, isn’t it? I suspect that’s probably how many people treat it, even though you are supposed to post reviews of books read, on the site. It doesn’t really make it clear whether there is a limit to the number of books you can request, without leaving any reviews … I only wonder, as it takes so long for newly acquired books to get the top of my reading pile, that reviews may be some time in coming!

      ‘The Cheesemaker’s House’ is amongst only a handful of books I have requested so far, as I am forcing myself to be hyper-selective, in both genre and storyline.

      Thanks for the visit today, it is always good to hear from you and I hope that you have a good week.

  • I really do take my hat off to you guys, who invest so much of your personal time and energy on helping other people choose books. I find I don’t have enough time to read so reading your blogs is certainly helping me to make the right choices.

    From an author’s point of view I think it is important that the blogger community is selective; a was chatting an another newly published writer yesterday whose publisher had sent her book to chicklit bloggers and she was getting awful reviews… because that just isn’t the right audience. A real waste of everyone’s time.

    Self publishing wasn’t a decision I took lightly but the more positive feedback the book receives the more I think I was right.

    If anyone does want to chat about the book or find out more I’d love to hear from you so please do contact me through my website, facebook or twitter.

    • Hi Jane,

      Thanks for taking the time to stop by and leave a comment on this introductory post, it is much appreciated. It is always so much more fulfilling when an author takes a personal interest in the promotion their book is receiving.

      The problem with having so many places to discover great new books and authors, is that my TBR pile has now become a mountain and I have back-up and just-in-case lists, that are a mile long.

      I am selective in the genres I choose when buying books for myself, or on free sites such as NetGalley and I won’t keep downloading books that I am not really interested in, just because they are free.

      When it comes to author and publisher requests, I do tend to be a little more creative, often reading outside of my favourite genres. I have never yet come across a book I couldn’t finish and on the contrary, I have made some great new finds and had fun into the bargain.

      Many direct requests from authors, are from those who have chosen to ‘go it alone’ and self publish, or have used a small independent publishing house, so I don’t really have the heart to turn down the request for a genuine and honest review. It is a big decision to take and I am sure that you have had many challenges and set-backs along the way, however at least you know that your destiny is in your own hands.

      Blogging is an almost full-time hobby, by the time I get to sit down at the lap top of an evening and I only wish that I could find some way of making it an earning opportunity but until such a time, it will remain a labour of love.

    • Hi Beth,

      I am wondering if Owen is as kind as Alice first thinks he is? … especially as he is also known as the village ‘charmer’ and Alice is hearing crying … perhaps the barn has secrets of its own, that Alice needs to discover?

      Thanks for stopping by, my review may be some time away, however this book will certainly be featuring in a few more posts before then, so I shall let you know how it is progressing.

    • Hi Gautami,

      I am definitely intrigued by the prospect of the handsome neighbour and the village charmer, both getting noticed by Alison, although it sounds as though Owen is not a charmer in the traditional sense, could be a bit spooky?

      Thanks for stopping by and have a great week.

Written by Yvonne

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