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

New and ‘real’ on my shelf 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 September 2012 is: Kristen@BookNAround

So why not stop by, leave a link to your own Mailbox Monday post, oh! and don’t forget to leave a comment for Kristen, 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!


At the moment, I have so many outstanding author review requests, that I am only including them in my ‘Mailbox Monday’ post, when I have a clear slot marked out for them to actually be read. Okay! that makes me a ‘list’ junkie, but it helps me avoid getting into too much of a muddle, so I can live with the tag!

Joy of joys! my book this week, is the real thing … a brand spanking new book, hot from the publisher. I can hold it, feel it, smell it and just look at it on the shelf…. ecstasy!!


‘The House On Willow Street’ by Cathy Kelly

Welcome to Avalon: a quaint, sleepy town on the Irish coast. Nothing has changed here for generations – least of all  the huge mansion on Willow Street; the house in which sisters Tess and Suki Power grew up.

Now, years later, Tess is trying to save her marriage and protect her glamorous sister Suki who has come back home, dreams shattered. Similarly, Mara Wilson is seeking refuge from a broken heart at her Aunt Danae’s house. And Danae, the inscrutable postmistress, is hiding dark memories of her own.

Now that the big house is up for sale, change is blowing on the cold sea wind. But before they can look to the future, these four women must face up to the past …

IRISH INDEPENDENT … ‘Brimming with secrets, passion and tragedy … Breathtaking’

Acclaim for Cathy Kelly from fellow author Marian Keyes … ‘Warm, lyrical, comforting … genius!’

This short synopsis was taken directly from the back of the book, however a more detailed overview and brief author profile will be coming shortly, when the book features in my ‘New Titles’ pages.

Leave me a link to your new finds this week, I would love to stop by and see what you have!


Written by

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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    • Hi Jo,

      I have of course, heard about Cathy Kelly before and have seen one or two of her books in isolation, however I haven’t read any of her novels, so have not paid much attention to the covers.

      I did note that ‘The House On Willow Street’ does have a lovely cover and your comment piqued my interest, so I checked out a site where all her books can be seen together on the same page and I have to say that I was suitably impressed by the beautiful array of cover art on display, including the cover for her next book ‘The Honey Queen’, which isn’t due out until 2013.


      Thanks for stopping by and for your interesting comment and observation

    • Hi Kathy,

      I am hoping that there is going to be plenty of descriptive writing, to give me a real flavour for the area, even though the village of ‘Avalon’, where the story is set, appears to be fictitious.

      Some authors choose to use real locations for their books, which is always good, as there is something tangible to check out and adds to the immersive quality of the story.

      A book which balances characterisation, location and storyline, is always a real treat, so I have my fingers crossed for this book.

      Thanks for stopping by, your comments are always appreciated.

    • Hi Linda,

      I checked this one out and it does indeed sound like a powerful, emotionally charged story … and of course, Anna does flee to Italy with her son, so you already have an emotional tie-in with the storyline, I hope that you are enjoying it so far.

      Thanks for highlighting both book and author, oh dear! yet another for my never-ending reading list.

    • Hi Cath,

      I volunteer with several Irish ladies, from both sides of the border and when I listen to some of their stories and the lovely places they come from, or have visited, like yourself, I wish that I had been there.

      Dave has visited once, but that was just to Dublin for a couple of nights and it was a work trip, so he didn’t get to see any of the marvellous sights or scenery.

      Let’s face it, there are just so many places to visit in the UK, that I can never hope to see them all and I don’t know if you are anything like us … We always tend to keep going back to the places we know are good, rather than trying anywhere new!!

      Thanks for stopping by, your comments are always welcome.

      • Yes, Yvonne, we do *exactly* that. Cardiff and it’s surrounding countryside has seen so much of us it’s quite ridiculous. Next month we’re back in S.Wales for a few days, this time to Llanelli but, yes, we’ve been there before too. Hopeless. I so want to go to Scotland and we’ve made tentative plans to go next year; it’s my 60th. birthday year and I’m not one for parties. But whether we actually will make it is another matter entirely. Like I said – *hopeless*.

        • Oh… I meant to add… we flew over Ireland on our way to the USA and the last time we did it was wonderfully clear. I looked down absolutely enraptured and said to my husband, ‘It’s so *green*!’ He replied, ‘Yes. Perhaps that’s why they call it The Emerald Isle..?’ LOL. I can be surprisingly slow at times…

          • I don’t think we have ever had a crystal clear view of Ireland, when we have flown to the US, although we have had some fantastic views over Canada, which made us want to visit there, although I doubt that will ever happen now!

        • Hi Cath,

          We were introduced to Tenby and Newquay, by my brother and sister-in-law, so those are our two ‘hot spots’ for return visits. We usually only use them as a base to go off from each day, but even so, it does make us kind of predictable!!

          We have been to Scotland once, when we spent a week in ‘The Trossachs’, which would have been lovely had it not rained for almost the entire time we were there!


          Once again, Dave has gone one better, as he has also been to St. Andrews … No, he is not an excellent golfer, it was work related once again, although he was suitably impressed by the opulence of the hotel and university.

  • This book sounds like a good family drama. I love its book cover too. Enjoy your reading week. BTW, it’s been a while since I last stopped by your blog. I really like your new look!

    • Hi Laura,

      Thanks for noticing the changes to the site. I thought it was about time that I brought Fiction Books up to date a little, although I have to admit that all the hard work was done by my ‘techie’ husband, as I am certainly not competent to start customising templates and adding ‘plug-ins’.

      It is amazing just how much cover art has changed over the years. When I look at my bookshelves now and make a direct comparison between an old and new book, I can see the impact of the more subtle printing techniques and slightly more pastel colouring. Also, the newer covers are more open to the reader’s interpretation of the storyline and don’t seem to be quite so prescriptive.

      The book has been described as “an exploration of family secrets, sisterly bonds and the myriad ways we hurt the ones we love” … I can’t wait to start reading it!

      It has been good to hear from you again and I thank you for your valued comments.

  • The House on WIllow Street sounds wonderful. I love books set in Ireland. Another” list lover” here. 😉 Have a great week, Yvonne, and happy reading!

    • Hi Kaye,

      I have always been a bit of a ‘list’ person, about just about everything. I find it easier to organise both my thoughts and myself, with a list of jobs to be done which I can work through logically and cross off as I go, so that I can see what I have achieved.

      This compulsion, (yes I admit that is what it is!) has now spilled over into my reading and blogging life, which is a little sad when reading is supposed to be something I do for pleasure! and I am sure that even though hubbie is used to it after 33 years, it probably still drives him crazy!!

      Irish authors in general, seem to have a real knack for telling a great story, the likes of Maeve Binchy, Patricia Scanlan and Cecilia Ahern, who’s books I have read and enjoyed for many years. I have never read any Cathy Kelly before, so I am looking forward to reading this book.

      Thanks for taking the time to stop by, I appreciate it.

    • Hi Gigi Ann,

      All of Cathy Kelly’s book covers are fantastic and I just can’t believe that I haven’t read anything by her before now.

      I enjoy books where there are a few individual sub-plots, which all converge during the course of the story to reach a ‘grand finale’, where decisions have to be made and lives need to be changed.

      Thanks for taking the time to comment, I always enjoy talking with you.

    • Hi Laurel-Rain,

      It is good to hear nice things about Cathy Kelly’s books, it always so much better when an author comes with a good recommendation.

      I like the sound of quirky characters, although it sounds as though this story is set in quite a small, insular community, so the adjective is probably quite appropriate.

      You obviously enjoy Cathy’s books and I am wondering if you have read this one yourself and if so, what your thoughts were?

      As always, thanks for stopping by.

    • Hi Mary Ann,

      It is completely different from anything I have read lately, so it will be a welcome change of genre. It does sound like a particularly good countryside saga and a story which I can immerse myself in for a few hours.

      Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment, I appreciate it.

    • Hi Naida,

      It sounds as though this one is going to be packed full of some pretty interesting characters, so I am hoping that Cathy is good enough to make me almost feel like one of those characters and immerse me in the story. I am also hoping for some great location descriptions, to help me set the scene. After all, there can be no greater inspiration than the fantastic ‘Emerald Isle’ and its people.

      Thanks for your great comments, you always have something interesting to say.

    • Hi Kristen,

      I always look forward to receiving an email from Amy, over at publisher HarperCollins, as it generally heralds another great book on offer for review.

      This book certainly doesn’t look as though it is going to break the mold, a great storyline, some quirky sounding characters and an excellent location …. can’t be bad, can it?

      Thanks for hosting this month,


    • Hi Elizabeth,

      I love the title, but I am not too sure that this sounds like a street name that you would find in a village on the coast, unless of course the author has based the fictional village of Avalon and the street name, on an actual place somewhere on the Irish coast … I must remember to ask her!

      I am almost certain that I shall enjoy this one … I shan’t be out of my comfort zone genre wise and a good ‘cozy’ read, is always good for relaxing.

      Thanks for stopping by, you are always welcome and I appreciate all your comments.

    • Hi Mystica,

      I always enjoy these ‘all female’ sagas. You are pretty much assured of plenty of emotional scenes, masses of ‘bitchy’ attitude and an ending of group ‘female bonding’ and forgiveness!!

      I can’t wait!!

      Thanks for stopping by, I always look forward to your visits.

    • Hi Tracy,

      I know a few people who have metioned Cathy Kelly to me, as a good author to read, it really has just been a case of ‘too many books and authors and not enough hours in the day!’

      My first though when I read the synopsis and the way in which three or four, almost separate stories converge, was of Cathy’s fellow Irish author, the late, great Maeve Binchy, who’s books I have always enjoyed.

      I hope that your mother-in-law enjoys the book and let me know if you decide to read it and we can compare notes!

    • Hi Tracy,

      Don’t get me wrong, I am getting full use out of my Kindle and enjoy the flexibility which it offers, however nothing will ever truly take the place of a real book for me. I am not sure that Dave would agree though, when he decides to try and assess just how many books I actually have in our many bookcases … When he start running out of hundreds and starts on the thousands, it is usually time for me to make a quick exit!!

      The trouble is, I haven’t read any of the books I own (I always pass them on as soon as I have read them) and it would cost me a fortune to replace them all with Kindle copies!!

      I really should own a bookshop, then I could just read the stock before I sell it!!

Written by Yvonne