Friday, 31 October 2014

Moomins on the Riviera to be on general release in the UK

Vertigo takes Moomins for UK

Indie Sales handles rights to Moomins On The Riviera; UK release planned for May 2015.
Vertigo has acquired UK rights to Moomins On The Riviera from Paris-based sales company Indie Sales.
The hand-drawn 2D animation feature, directed by Xavier Picard, recently played at the BFI London Film Festival and is already a huge box-office hit in its local Finland.
The film is adapted from Tove Jansson’s original comic strips, and tells the story of the Moomin clan on a journey to the glamorous Riviera where they meet a world of new people including would-be artists, film stars and playboys.
The creative team behind the movie includes Sophia Jansson, Tove’s niece, along with Finnish producer Hanna Hemila (Le Havre).
The voice cast for the English-language version of the film includes Russell Tovey as Moomin and Nathaniel Parker as Moominpappa.
Vertigo’s Rupert Preston and Nicolas Eschbach of Indie Sales negotiated the deal.
Eschbach said, “Moomins on the Rivera are in good hands. Vertigo are the kings of releasing family films in the UK!”.
Preston said, “We are thrilled to be bringing the Moomins to UK audiences – they have a huge fan base here and both adults and children will love the movie.”

Vertigo’s upcoming slate also includes Susanne Bier’s A Second Chance, Tom Green’s Monsters: Dark Continent,and Jo Nesbo’s Doctor Proctor’s Fart Powder.  

Coffee and Vodka - out now in paperback!

It's finally here! My family drama, Coffee and Vodka, is now out in paperback.

Here's the blurb:

Nordic Noir meets Family Drama

‘In Stockholm everything is bigger and better.’ 

When Pappa announces the family is to leave their small Finnish town for a new life in Sweden, 11-year-old Eeva is elated. But in Stockholm Mamma finds feminism, Eeva’s sister, Anja, pretends to be Swedish and Pappa struggles to adapt. 

And one night, Eeva’s world falls apart. 

Fast forward 30 years. Now teaching Swedish to foreigners, Eeva travels back to Finland when her beloved grandmother becomes ill. On the overnight ferry, a chance meeting with her married ex-lover, Yri, prompts family secrets to unravel and buried memories to come flooding back. 

It’s time for Eeva to find out what really happened all those years ago… 

Coffee and Vodka is now available to buy from the Finn-Guild office, 1A Mornington Court, Mornington Crescent, London NW1 7RD Tel 020 7387 3508 at the special price of £5 (and part of the proceeds will go to support this worthwhile charity). Please telephone to ask about postage and packing - this, I'm afraid, will be extra.

On 29th November both of my novels, Coffee and Vodka, and The Englishman, will be on sale during Finn-Guild's annual pop-up shop from 11 am to 2 pm. Do come along if you find yourself in London on the day!

Or you can buy the book online from Amazon at the equally reasonable price of £7.99.

Saturday, 25 October 2014

My bedside table books

As the season of buying gifts is approaching, I thought I'd let you know what books are on my bedside table, waiting to be read. Books make the best Christmas presents, in my view, so perhaps some of these will inspire are four books that I think could make a perfect gift for almost anyone.

1. 'Us' by David Nicholls, Hodder

The Blurb:

'I was looking forward to us growing old together. Me and you, growing old and dying together.'
'Douglas, who in their right mind would look forward to that?'

Douglas Petersen understands his wife's need to 'rediscover herself' now that their son is leaving home. He just thought they'd be discovering together. So when Connie announces that she will be leaving too, he resolves to make their last family holiday into the trip of a lifetime: one that will draw the three of them closer, and win the respect of his son. One that will make Connie fall in love with him all over again.

The hotels are booked, the tickets bought, the itinerary planned and printed.

What could possible go wrong?

Why did I pick this book?

I, like a few other million people, loved 'One Day', so it was a no-brainer for me to buy the book. Plus, having hosted an event for David Nicholls at England's Lane Books, I know the writer is a really nice person too, so even more reason to read this novel as quickly as possible.

Perfect gift for anyone who loved 'One Day'.

2. 'Three Lives' A Biogrpahy of Stefan Zweig by Oliver Matuschek, Pushkin Press

The Blurb:

"Oliver Matuschek's fine, comprehensive biography of Stefan Zweig fills in all the personal details that Zweig's habitual reserve led him to leave out of his own memoir. Three Lives is a fascinating book."Anthea Bell

Drawing on great wealth of newly available sources, Oliver Matuschek recounts the eventful life of a writer spoilt by success - a life lived in the shadow of two world wars, and which ended tragically in a suicide pact.

Why did I pick this book?

I have loved Stefan Zweig's beautiful, melancholic prose for some time, and his life seems as tragic as the characters of his many novellas and novels, such as my favourite, 'The Post Office Girl'. So, when a few years ago, I spotted this biography in a independent book shop, I had to get it. Sadly, the book has remained unread on my bedside table, but I will make a pledge to read it before this year is over.

This would make a great present for the serious reader - Zweig has cult status amongst the 

3. 'Elizabeth is Missing' by Emma Healey, Penguin

The Blurb:

How can you solve a mystery when you can't remember the clues?
What if you could remember just one thing?

Why did I pick this book?

I've been reading about this novel in women's magazines all autumn, and the story of an old woman who is trying to solve a mystery of her friend's disappearance really appealed to me. Especially as the woman is in the early stages of dementia and her mind is constantly playing tricks on her, so that the mystery disappearance she's really trying to solve is one that happened some 70 years ago. It's sad, funny and tragic at the same time. I'm half way through, and loving this novel.

I'm thinking of getting this book for my mother-in-law. She loves books about 'old times', and I know she would also enjoy the thriller side of this novel.

4. 'Clever Girl' by Tessa Hadley, Vintage Books

The Blurb:

Stella was a clever girl, everyone thought so.  Living with her mother and a rather unsatisfactory stepfather in suburban respectability she reads voraciously, smokes until her voice is hoarse and dreams of a less ordinary life. When she meets Val, he seems to her to embody everything she longs for - glamour, ideas, excitement and the thrill of the unknown. But these things come at a price and one that Stella, despite all her cleverness, doesn't realise until it is too late...

Why did I pick this book?

Tessa Hadley is another of my favourite authors who I've also had the pleasure to host an author event for. This is her latest novel, now in paperback, and I cannot wait to get into it!

This is a bit of a girly book, although far from chick-lit, so good for a female friend's Christmas stocking.

Don't forget to pop back to check on reviews of these books in the weeks to come - I also post all of my reviews on Goodreads - click here to become my fan.

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Finnish Pop-Up Shop in Camden, London

If you happen to be in London at the end of November, why not visit Finn-Guild's exclusively Finnish Pop-up shop in Camden for Christmas gifts with a difference?

What is it?

A sale of books, new titles (in both Finnish and English), Finnish goodies, such as famously moorish Fazer chocolate, rye crisp bread and ginger biscuits.  The café will also be open, serving coffee and home made cinnamon buns. (These will be made by a Nordic master baker, who blogs here.)

I'm interested, when and where is it?

The pop-up shop opens its doors at 11 am on Saturday 29 November at 1A Mornington Court, Mornington Crescent, London NW1 7RD. Doors close at 2 pm the same day. Click on map below to see where we are on Google Maps.

Wait, there's more...

Interested in visiting Finland? Guild Travel will be offering its services on the day, so you can even book a trip to Finland while you’re here!

Visit Finn-Guild’s website, for further information.

Tervetuloa shoppailemaan!

Monday, 20 October 2014

The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith - review

I was a little disappointed in the second Comoran Strike novel. The plot is well crafted and intricate enough for me not to guess the identity of the perpetrator until the end, but there's something missing from the prose. To me it felt as if J K Rowling, writing as Robert Galbraith, was already bored with her new characters, in the same way as the detective hero, Comoran Strike, is fed up and frustrated with his physical condition. Comoran is an Afghanistan war veteran with a prosthesis, and his missing leg continues to hamper his surveillance work. He does, however, have some impressive friends in high places, a fact which enables him to catch the killer in the end.

It may be that it's the subject matter of the novel - the literary world - which is making our author yawn. JK Rowling certainly has a go at each role in the publishing world; we have the celebrity-seeking mid-list writer, the ruthless agent, the self-important, successful author, the pathetic self-published writer, the blogger who cannot spell, the eccentric publisher who hates writers...OK, it may be that it was me who resented the literary caricatures.

In spite all of the above, I was keen to get to the end of the book to find out who did the ugly deed, or wether anything romantic will occur between Strike and his beautiful assistant Robin. So, I enjoyed the read, sort of.

The Silkworm is a good, dependable detective tale without too much excitement.

The Silkworm (Comoran Strike Book 2)
Price from £6.99 (Kindle edition)