Book Reviews

‘The best moments in reading are when you come across something - a thought, a feeling, a way of looking at things - which you had thought special and particular to you. And now, here it is, set down by someone else, a person you have never met, someone even who is long dead. And it is as if a hand has come out, and taken yours.’ Alan Bennett

“Many a book is like a key to unknown chambers within the castle of one’s own self.” ― Franz Kafka

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Amity & Sorrow - Peggy Riley - Author Guest Post and Giveaway

As part of the Blog Tour for Amity and Sorrow, I am delighted to share with you today a piece written by author Peggy Riley, about her writing shed.

Where I Write by Peggy Riley

I write in a little log cabin at the bottom of the garden, the Blue House.  Before we painted it blue, my neighbours called it The Ponderosa, as it conjured up the Bonanza family home.  We painted it blue as soon as we heard that, I can assure you!  I’ve never had a dedicated space to write in before, so it is still a beautiful novelty.  I’ve written at dining room and kitchen tables, under stairs, and, for years, on a tiny wheeled desk so I could roll myself out of the way.   

I know how lucky I am to have “a room of my own” now, one that I can fill with mess, with books and research and maps on the wall, where I can cut the book apart and lay it all over the floor if I want to and not have to clean up before I’m ready.  Inside the Blue House, I have a kettle, a fridge, and a Calor gas heater.  All three get plenty of use.  I have shelves for books and trinkets that remind me who I am and where I’ve been.  There is just enough space to roll out a yoga mat, and when I’m not working too hard and shirking too much, I do a kind of crazy yoga where my arms and legs never quite go out far enough, for fear of hitting walls. 

It takes a while to warm up in the winter, but once it does it’s toasty.  I write in the dark with candles lit and the blinds pulled down.  In the summer the Blue House comes into its own, surrounded by sweet peas and apple trees, a sea breeze and the sound of a nearby schoolyard.  Gulls call and tap dance on the roof.  The last of the sun catches the front of it, and I have a little table out there, to celebrate the end of a writing day with a little glass of something, feet on muddy grass, surrounded by white buddleia and hydrangeas. There is no place I would rather be.  

Many thanks to Peggy Riley for telling us about her writing space. 

Amity & Sorrow is published in the UK by Tinder Press, an imprint of Headline.

You can read my review of Amity & Sorrow here.


The publisher is offering one signed hardback copy of Amity and Sorrow plus a badge. To enter please leave a comment on this post. The giveaway is open internationally and ends on Tuesday 23rd April 2013. Good luck!

Do visit the other blog tour stops listed here:


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  2. What a wonderful piece written by the author of 'Amity & Sorrow'.Peggy Riley is lucky to have her own writing space so that she can feel so peaceful when she is concentrating on her writing. I'd love a place like that.
    I've read a lot about the tour and indeed about the novel. Thank you Lindsay for organising the giveaway. This new novel sounds wonderful.

  3. Fascinating post, how I'd love a log cabin like this in which to sit and read and blog - ah, heavenly.

    Loving the look and sound of this, it has the sort of cover, simple and yet quite beautiful, that makes you want to find out what the book is about.

    Thanks for a great giveaway, good luck everyone.

  4. Sounds good lynz, good luck to all entering


  5. I can just picture your little cabin, right down to the gulls and the sweet peas - what a wonderful place to write.
    Great review Lindsay, you've sold it to me! x

  6. Beautiful piece! I can almost see your log cabin in my minds eye.
    Would be so cosy just to sit in their and read infront of a hot log fire! Perfect

    Charlotte x

  7. My dream as a child was to be able to escape to a place of serenity where I could enfold myself in a book or be able to write my innermost feelings down on paper. This is so like my dream and would be my idea of heaven on earth.

  8. Sounds like a fascinating book, which I would love to read and I would love to win a copy. The cover art is striking too.
    Thanks for the chance

  9. Oh a room of my own. A real sanctuary where I can escape from reality for an hour or so. No television, no children, no mobiles or laptops. Sheer bliss.

  10. A room of my own would be amazing! An only child I've had one my whole life until I got married, and I long for that bit of personal space again but I'll probably have to wait till my family grows up now!

  11. Sounds like an interesting read - @WeeWillWilk

  12. Sounds perfect for hiding away to finish a book you never get time to read in that log cabin! Thanks for the giveaway ..

  13. Thank you for your comments everyone. This giveaway has now ended and a winner will be picked at random and announced soon.

  14. Your cabin sounds great! I can visualise you doing the yoga now - hilarious!


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