@LesleyPearse #25in25 #Tour! #Factoid from Lesley’s 17th book ‘Gypsy’ @ed_pr

Would like to start by saying a huge congratulations to, Lesley Pearse, on all of her literary success. 25 novels is an amazing achievement and I feel honoured to be bringing you a factoid from her 17th novel, Gypsy, as well as the details for her 25th novel, The Woman in the Wood.

17 Gypsy
Factoid
‘Gypsy’ – first published in 2008.

Gypsy : To write knowledgeably about the Klondike Gold Rush I had to go to Dawson City, a difficult journey involving planes, ferries, railways and a coach. If I’d missed one I would’ve been in trouble as they were few and far between.

Buy ‘Gypsy’ now from Amazon UK

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From global No.1 bestselling author,

Lesley Pearse, comes her 25th unforgettable story

The Woman in the Wood

Published by Michael Joseph on 29th June, price £18.99 in hardback

Praise for Lesley Pearse’s novels:
“Glorious, heart-warming” Woman & Home
“Quintessential Lesley Pearse that will delight her army of readers” Daily Mail “Full of love, passion and heartbreak” Best
“Another superb tale” The Sun
“Epic romantic drama…4 stars” Heat
“Evocative, compelling, told from the heart” Sunday Express

Lesley Pearse is a global No.1 bestseller with fans across the world and sales of over 10 million copies of her books to date. A true storyteller and master of the gripping storyline, Lesley introduces us to characters that are impossible not to care about or forget. There is no formula to her books or easily defined genre and, whether historical drama like the No.1 bestseller, Belle or the emotionally powerful Trust Me based on the true-life scandal of British child migrants sent to Australia in the post-war period, she engages the reader completely. The Woman in the Wood is Lesley’s 25th novel.

The Woman in the Wood:

Fifteen-year-old twins Maisy and Duncan have always had each other. Until that fateful day in the wood…

1960: Maisy and Duncan Mitcham are woken one night to find their mother is being committed to an insane asylum. Soon after, their father packs them off to ‘Nightingales’, their grandmother’s country house in the New Forest. Cold and distant, she leaves them to their own devices to explore; a freedom they have never experienced before and which they love. That is, until the day Duncan doesn’t come home from the woods.

When the bodies of other young boys are discovered in the surrounding area the police appear to give up hope of finding Duncan alive and with Grandmother Mitcham showing little concern, it falls to Maisy to discover the truth. And she knows just where to start. The woman who lives alone in the woods. A woman called Grace Deville.

About Lesley Pearse:

Lesley Pearse was told as a child that she had too much imagination for her own good. When she grew up she worked her way through many jobs – from corsetry sales in Cooks of St. Pauls (featured in Dead to Me), to bunny girl to nanny; from gift shop owner to dressmaker – finally finding her true vocation when she became a published author age 49. Since then Lesley has become an internationally bestselling author, with over 10 million copies of her books sold worldwide.

A true storyteller and a master of gripping storylines, there is no set formula for a Lesley Pearse novel although strong heroines and difficult circumstances are pervasive. Whether historical adventures such as Gypsy or Never Look Back or the passionately emotive Trust Me, Lesley is inspired by stories of courage and adversity and often gives voice to women lost in history. She is passionate about her research and her stories have taken her far and wide; from Alaska to the Crimea. Lesley now lives just outside Torquay in Devon where she loves to spend time walking on the beach with her grandchildren and dogs.

A fantastic speaker and committed and passionate fundraiser for the NSPCC, Lesley is a much sought after guest at literary lunches, library events and festivals up and down the country. Lesley was also selected as the first Ambassador for National Libraries Day in 2014.

Novels by Lesley Pearse:

  1. Georgia
  2. Tara
  3. Charity
  4. Ellie
  5. Camellia
  6. Rosie
  7. Charlie
  8. Never Look Back
  9. Trust Me
  10. Father Unknown
  11. Till we Meet Again
  12. Remember Me
  13. Secrets
  14. A Lesser Evil
  15. Hope
  16. Faith
  17. Gypsy
  18. Stolen – A No.1 Bestseller
  19. Belle – A No.1 Bestseller
  20. The Promise – A No.2 Bestseller
  21. Forgive Me – No.1 Bestseller
  22. Survivor – No.1 Bestseller
  23. Without a Trace – No.1 Bestseller – over 200,000 copies sold to date.
  24. Dead to Me – published in paperback, 4th May 2017.
  25. THE WOMAN IN THE WOOD – LESLEY’S 25th BESTSELLER

    To buy Lesley’s new novel or any of her others, click here to go to her Amazon author page, where you can find all of her titles!

#TWGGetsTalking – How to tell the difference between being nasty & being constructive #reviews

Twg gets talking
You should all know by now that I like to talk, ESPECIALLY when I am passionate about something and believe that it needs to be spoken about.

Once again, opinions have been thrust into the limelight and definitions have been questioned. Before I explain further, I’m just going to paste the Oxford dictionary definitions of two words; nasty, and constructive.

Nasty: very bad, or unpleasant.
(definition of unpleasant is: Causing discomfort, unhappiness, or revulsion; disagreeable.)

Constructive: Having or intended to have a useful or beneficial purpose.

constructive

Two completely different word with extremely clear definitions, yet people are still getting confused by the two words.

Why?

As a reviewer, I have always been made aware that authors (or anyone who gets critiqued) tend to appreciate CONSTRUCTIVE reviews as opposed to NASTY reviews. With both types of reviews your opinion is given – that is NOT the issue. After all, every person on this Earth is entitled to their opinion. We are allowed to dislike something. We are allowed to express our dislike of something. We are allowed to jump for joy about something. What the issue is, however, is the WAY those points are put across.

Believe me, I open my trap before my brain connects sometimes, ending up with goodness knows what flying out of my mouth. But when it comes to reviews, I am extremely careful about how I voice my opinion.

For example; ‘Omg I hated that book, it was absolutely shit, the author bored me to tears.’

What’s wrong with that sentence?

Okay, so, the example above is someones opinion. They’re entitled to that. Answer me this; was it constructive, or nasty?

If you said that the example was a constructive comment: seriously? How does saying that a book was ‘shit’, come across as beneficial to the author?
It doesn’t.

It’s rude and it’s nasty. Imagine if you cooked a meal for a group of people and someone came up to you afterwards and said that they thought your cooking was absolutely vile, would you benefit from that?

To turn the above example into a constructive opinion, here’s an example:
‘Personally, this book wasn’t really my cup of tea as I couldn’t quite gel with the storyline. I felt that it came across as quite over the top and unrealistic, which in turn made me switch off.’

The different between the two examples is substantial. The example above still highlights your dislike, yet it also explains WHY you felt that way. It’s also not personally attacking the person who wrote the book, whilst still keeping your opinion entitlement intact.

Whilst authors are painfully aware that their books could end up with negative reviews and their book babies critiqued, it doesn’t mean that just because they have put something in the public eye, that they should expect nasty comments or personal attacks.

YES, they have written something which will get critiqued.
YES, everyones opinion does differ.
YES, readers are entitled to dislike their book.

Just DON’T be nasty about it!

In book clubs, you’re going to have the perfect opportunity to talk about various books whether it’s an online or offline. But, do you think that it’s respectful to openly blast and author and their book, in an online book club which they could be a member of?
Yes or no?

No it’s not!!! Go ahead and state your opinion about a book, but if you’re going to sit there and say that a book is so bad and how you wanted to ‘light a match under it’; that’s not stating your opinion, it’s called being nasty.

As we hear all the time, not everyone will like the same book. Well duh! I fully admit that I have read a book and disliked it. But instead of reviewing it nastily, I gave it a constructive review as there will always be something in a book that you’ll like. I explained what I didn’t like about the book, I also explained WHY I didn’t like those parts, how it made me feel, and so on. I also explained what I DID like about the book. I still managed to express my opinion on the book, without insulting a human being with feelings in the process.

So, if you’re ever in an online book group where the admin have asked you to talk about books in a constructive manner; respectfully do it. They aren’t taking away your freedom of speech. They aren’t banishing you from stating your opinion. They are just asking you to express your opinion respectfully and constructively. Authors have feelings too.

It really isn’t that difficult to do..

#BlogTour! #Review #TheThingsWeThoughtWeKnew by @mahsudasnaith @TransworldBooks @Thomassshill

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Day nine of #TheThingsWeThoughtWeKnew blog tour, courtesy of Thomas Hill @ Transworld Books, is with me; TWG! It is such an honour to be able to share my review of such an eye-opening novel. Big thanks to Thomas Hill for asking me to be part of Mahsuda Snaith’s blog tour.

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Ravine and Marianne were best friends. They practised handstands together, raced slugs and went into the woods to play.

But now everything has changed.

Ten years later, Ravine lies in a bed plagued by chronic pain syndrome. And her best friend Marianne is gone.

How did their last adventure go so wrong? Who is to blame? And where is Marianne?

Heartbreaking, bittersweet and utterly unforgettable, The Things We Thought We Knew is a powerful novel about the things we remember and the things we wish we could forget.

What does TWG think?

This review may be brief as there isn’t a lot that I can say without giving anything away, but I will do my best.

The Things We Thought We Knew is centred around Ravine and her chronic pain syndrome, as well as a memory she just cannot forget. There seem to be a limited amount of books which cover chronic, invisible illnesses within their storyline. So, when I realised that Mahsuda Snaith had included just that, I actually became a little emotional.

Why?

Because it’s a subject which is severely misunderstood, yet a lot of people like to assume and judge. I have seven chronic illnesses and one of my branch off symptoms includes this, chronic pain syndrome. To see your daily battle (well, one of) written in black and white was incredibly surreal. ‘At last!’ I thought to myself, maybe people would stop the judgemental comments. Not only was it surreal, it was quite difficult to actually read. I mean, I was sitting there reading this book, reading about a topic I know all too well, thinking to myself ‘that.is.like.me’. That was quite hard. Whilst I applaud the author for approaching such a controversial subject and putting it out there, I found the latter part of Ravine’s syndrome to be a bit ‘that’s why we are judged’. I do apologise for being vague, but I really don’t want to give anything away. Let’s just say that a certain part of Ravine’s story ended up being a tad unbelievable in my eyes, unfortunately.

However, when the storyline took another direction involving Ravine’s best friend, as well as other complex characters, the book felt a bit like Pandora’s box! I wanted to know more yet I was unsure on what I might discover, yet I couldn’t resist delving deeper into the storyline. A Pandora’s box ft. a treasure chest style story. That is the only way that I can describe it without going ‘well what about the part when…’!

Mahsuda Snaith really has written such an eye-opening and emotional read. The Things We Thought We Knew is a book which requires attention, devotion, and an open mind. A book which you may relate to. A book which may leave you with a hand print over your mouth. A book that, despite some challenging circumstances, it would be incredibly difficult to put down and leave unfinished.

I want to thank the author for including the chronic pain syndrome in her storyline, and for being the voice of many.

Thanks Thomas Hill & Transworld Books.

Buy now from Amazon UK

#Review! Then. Now. Always by Isabelle Broom (@Isabelle_Broom) @MichaelJBooks

Isabelle Broom

Twenty-eight year old Hannah is ready for an adventure. She and her colleagues are in Spain for a month to film a documentary, and it’s a dream come true. Not least because Hannah will get to spend long summer days with Theo, her boss (and gorgeous crush). It couldn’t be a more perfect setting to fall in love…

If only Tom (Hannah’s best friend and cameramen) and Claudette (the presenter) would stop getting in the way…

Then things become even more complicated when Nancy, Hannah’s half-sister arrives. What on earth is she doing here?

For just once in her life, can’t Hannah have one perfect summer, free of any drama?

What does TWG think?

I need to start this review with a little apology! I was lucky enough to receive Isabelle Broom’s new book ahead of publication date, (I did read it then too) so I am ever so sorry that I am just getting round to reviewing the book on my blog now!

Having devoured and absolutely ADORED Isabelle Broom’s previous novel, ‘A Year and a Day’, my excitement for her latest book reached its maximum level ten times over. Yes, I was THAT excited. There is just something so majestic about picking up an Isabelle Broom novel, allowing yourself to surrender to the beautiful words which have the depth, and power to be able to take you on a journey where the only guarantee is its beauty.

In the little Spanish village of Mojocar, Hannah and her colleagues are busy filming a documentary. Well, unless Hannah’s definition of ‘filming’ equals ‘oggling’ the boss, then yes, she is oh so busy filming! It was made clear from the onset that Hannah had a special connection to Mojocar; to be able to re-visit village years later, brought a lot of memories to the surface. Luckily for Hannah, she was able to use her work trip to her advantage and delve deeper into Mojocar’s heritage, finding out exactly why her connection with the village ran as deep as it did.

It took me a little while to be able to really gel with this storyline, as I struggled to find that vital piece of information to sink my teeth into. The ‘connection’ if you will. At times there seemed to be a lot of information gathering, scenery descriptions, character discussions, and a lot of me wondering where all of the above was heading. To be honest, the description of Mojocar was what kept my attention for the first part of the book. I am ashamed to admit that I never even knew that village existed; I thoroughly enjoyed being able to find out more about such a beautiful sounding village.

When Hannah’s half-sister, Nancy, appeared on the scene, that was when the storyline changed direction. I remember rubbing my hands together thinking, ‘drama, drama, drama’!! Up until then, the only side of the story I had heard was Hannah’s. Let’s just say that her opinions of her half-sister were not exactly glowing! Seriously, I thought that I was going to be introduced to a demon (slightly over dramatic, but y’know, my point is there!). As more of the storyline began to unfold, I got to know more about Nancy; I didn’t think that she was as bad as Hannah had made out. However, certain situations began to unravel and Hannah & Nancy’s relationship became more black and white, as opposed to rainbow.

Overall, ‘Then. Now. Always.’ is such a carefree, beautiful, and unique tale which highlights the importance of being true to yourself. I loved ‘watching’ Hannah’s personality evolve throughout the course of the book; it was incredible to see her start off as a duckling and grow into a beautiful swan. Yes, there were times where I couldn’t relate to the book as much as I would have liked to, but it didn’t ruin the storyline for me. Isabelle Broom’s stories and her outstanding descriptions of different countries, has turned her into my unofficial tour guide. I have never been abroad before, yet after reading this novel (as well as her others), I felt as though I had travelled to Spain and seen the sights for myself. Honestly. Every rock face, every lingering smell of the Spanish food and the surroundings, just every little detail of the country and the characters were described absolutely beautifully. I am still in awe at how one author can make her words jump off the page and turn into an image in my mind.

Another beautiful, and mesmerising read from the incredibly talented, Isabelle Broom.

Thank you Michael Joseph Books/Penguin.

Buy now from Amazon UK

#BlogTour! #Review of #TheRestlessDead by Simon Beckett (@BeckettSimon) @TransworldBooks

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‘Composed of over sixty per cent water itself, a human body isn’t naturally buoyant. It will float only for as long as there is air in its lungs, before gradually sinking to the bottom as the air seeps out. If the water is very cold or deep, it will remain there, undergoing a slow, dark dissolution that can take years. But if the water is warm enough for bacteria to feed and multiply, then it will continue to decompose. Gases will build up in the intestines, increasing the body’s buoyancy until it floats again.
And the dead will literally rise . . . ‘

Once one of the country’s most respected forensics experts, Dr David Hunter is facing an uncertain professional – and personal – future. So when he gets a call from Essex police, he’s eager for the chance to assist them.

A badly decomposed body has been found in a desolate area of tidal mudflats and saltmarsh called the Backwaters. Under pressure to close the case, the police want Hunter to help with the recovery and identification.

It’s thought the remains are those of Leo Villiers, the son of a prominent businessman who vanished weeks ago. To complicate matters, it was rumoured that Villiers was having an affair with a local woman. And she too is missing.

But Hunter has his doubts about the identity. He knows the condition of the unrecognizable body could hide a multitude of sins. Then more remains are discovered – and these remote wetlands begin to give up their secrets . . .

With its eerie, claustrophobic sense of place, viscerally authentic detail and explosive heart-in-mouth moments, The Restless Dead offers a masterclass in crime fiction and marks the stunning return of one of the genre’s best.

What does TWG think?

 Several years ago if someone had told me that I would be on the blog tour for a chilling novel in the future, such as this one, I would have laughed in their face and gone back to reading my Nicholas Sparks** novel. However, I am on the blog tour for a chilling novel…today as it is my stop on Simon Beckett’s blog tour for ‘The Restless Dead’! I hope you enjoy reading my review!
(**Note: I still LOVE Nicholas Sparks’ novels but I don’t keep myself chained to the one genre anymore 😉 ).

I am renaming April as ‘TWG’s Out of Comfort Zone Month’ as I seem to be reviewing books I’d never look twice at years ago! I am probably going to sound weird here but seeing as I’m amongst friends I need to say this; the title of Simon Beckett’s book was what made me jump at the chance of reviewing it. How crazy is that? The title may be ‘The Restless Dead’ but I was ‘The Restless TWG’ whilst I was reading it!

Simon Beckett is a brand new author for me, and whilst his new book is part of a series, I was actually okay reading it as a standalone novel. I didn’t get too confused as, funnily enough, my attention was elsewhere!

Dr.David Hunter has been asked to assist with a case in Essex, a chance he literally jumps at seeing as his professional life seems to be hanging by a thread. Although, if he doesn’t respond how a local businessman wishes him to, Dr.Hunter’s personal life could be hanging by a thread too.

Not only is there decomposed body to try to wrap your head around (not literally!), there is also the surroundings of which the body was found. To put it bluntly it scared the hob off my hobnob biscuit. Beckett has created this eerie and chilling backdrop for the dead bodies and putting both of those together in such vivid detail, was enough to make me not read this novel at night! And that wasn’t my lot either! Reading #TheRestlessDead was like being on a constant rollercoaster, there were so many twists to every situation that I had no idea whether I was coming or going (not a bad thing). Alongside that there seemed to be a multitude of red herring moments put in for good measure. Well, I assume they were! Either that or my detective skills are much worse than I originally thought!

Not only does Hunter have a decomposed body to contend with, he also has to get to the bottom of another missing person investigation and try to piece together each individual puzzle. Ahhh it sounds rather simple when you put it like that, doesn’t it? Er no, Hunter quite clearly had his work cut out for him!

Even though my body was covered in goosebumps and I kept jumping off of my sofa in fright, like a trampoline, at the slightest noise my house made whilst reading the book, as weird as this sounds I felt like I actually learnt something too. Before now I hadn’t really paid too much attention to the steps in which a body decomposes, neither did I have any clue about the stages involving the lungs and bacteria, yet the way Beckett had written those developments into the storyline made me come away with some rather valuable knowledge. Don’t get me wrong it’s not the sort of subject I’ll be bringing up at Christmas dinner this year, but it will certainly help me understand more details for Beckett’s upcoming novels.

Yes, you saw that right. Whilst crime scene investigations and dead bodies aren’t my usual go to novels, I found Beckett’s vivid imagery of both setting and investigations to be a work of art. If a storyline can make me become a nervous wreck then I most definitely will not sniff at that at all.

Simon Beckett most certainly knows his stuff and Dr.David Hunter is such an intriguing fellow; I have a feeling I won’t be ‘seeing’ the last of Simon Beckett on my bookshelf.

A suspenseful, spine tingling, roller coaster ride of a novel which will keep you on your toes the whole way through.

Thanks Transworld Books/Bantam Press.

Buy #TheRestlessDead now from Amazon UK

Feeling a bit restless? There are a few upcoming tour stops to have a nose at, so make sure you follow the rest of the tour. Details are below:

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#Review – The Little Teashop of Lost and Found @Trishaashley @poppystimpson @Transworldbooks

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Alice Rose is a foundling, discovered on the Yorkshire moors above Haworth as a baby. Adopted but then later rejected again by a horrid step-mother, Alice struggles to find a place where she belongs. Only baking – the scent of cinnamon and citrus and the feel of butter and flour between her fingers – brings a comforting sense of home.

So it seems natural that when she finally decides to return to Haworth, Alice turns to baking again, taking over a run-down little teashop and working to set up an afternoon tea emporium.

Luckily she soon makes friends, including a Grecian god-like neighbour, who help her both set up home and try to solve the mystery of who she is. There are one or two last twists in the dark fairytale of Alice’s life to come . . . but can she find her happily ever after?

What does TWG think?

Oh my goodness. Have you ever finished reading a book and would do anything to read it time  and time again, as though it would be the first time reading it? Before now, I have seen various people saying that they would love to do that for various other books and I couldn’t quite understand what they meant. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve enjoyed A LOT of novels over the years but re-reading a book like it’s the first time, every time? What on Earth would be the criteria for a book to fit that accolade?
Luckily, I can now answer that question with seven words. A mere seven words is all it takes, in my eyes, to explain the criteria of first time re-reading, every single time; The Little Teashop of Lost and Found.

Why?

I have been a huge fan of Trisha Ashley’s books for a very long time, so to have the honour of holding the ARC of her new novel in my hands was a HUGE deal to me. It felt like I was holding something special, something priceless (and awfully strokeable. coverlove!!!). I tweeted Trisha periodically as I was reading her book as I wanted her to be with me on the journey that I took whilst reading her novel. That probably sounds daft, but as she couldn’t see my facial expressions etc, I wanted to let her know my thoughts as I read it. Can you tell I’m a HUGE fan of hers? OI most certainly read it alright as it only took me a couple of hours to read cover to cover, much to Trisha Ashley’s (and everyone else’s) surprise.

Alice Rose hasn’t had the most settled of lives. To start with she was left on the Yorkshire moors as a baby, adopted into a new family then rejected by her step-mother and then she had embark on an uncertain journey as an adult, with the fear of never belonging. I cannot begin to imagine how hard that must have been for Alice, she didn’t ask to be born so why did she keep getting rejected? Just when she thought that she had found the right path for her journey, Alice’s life once again takes an almighty turn and she is left with the feeling that regardless of which new route she took, the outcome was likely to be the same either way; a dead-end. She just had to work out which route was worth the extra effort to turn the dead end, into an open road. Doesn’t sound so simple when you think about it, does it?

What made me warm to Alice the most was how real she came across. Yes she came across bulshy, sassy and extremely black and white in terms of getting her thoughts across, but I could tell that she was a bit broken inside yet she didn’t shy away from that. I don’t think that this book could have wanted for a stronger main character than Alice Rose, especially as there will no doubt be a lot of readers who will be able to relate to Alice as a person as well as the hurdles she has had to jump over so far. Plus, she is absolutely hilarious!

When I saw that yet another storyline would contain a teashop/café, I will admit that I was a little bit apprehensive purely to the over popularity of those settings in novels just now. I was hoping that this one would stand out from the crowd and not get lost amongst the other teashops.
But you know what? It worked! The teashop setting in Trisha Ashley’s novel isn’t your ‘typical’ rather popular setting. For starters, the building actually took a long time to get decorated and ready for business and as readers, we get to ‘see’ the interior go from shabby to wow, step by step. Secondly, the teashop was hidden away and it was as though a map would be needed to direct customers down the ever winding roads (love btw). Thirdly, whilst the teashop was a big part of the storyline, the main focus wasn’t on the teashop itself as the focus was on Alice rebuilding her life.

Everything worked extremely well together. I felt as though I had been transported to a land far, far away because I had zoned out from my own life and went and sat in Alice’s life. There is nothing about Trisha Ashley’s book that I disliked, at all. Not only does the storyline have a fabulous main character with Alice, it also contains other fantastic who stand out in their own way. Each character made themselves known, not one of them felt the need to sit in the background and shy away from the unfolding events. They were memorable and utterly fabulous.

I really cannot recommend The Little Teashop of Lost and Found, enough.
Full of laughter, hard times, strength and heart warming events, The Little Teashop of Lost and Found, is a book to devour. A book to hold close to your heart. A book where sadness comes to light but then happiness kicks its toosh quicker than a cupcake can be eaten. A book to cherish. A book to turn off your phone, lay on the sofa with a cuppa and a cake, and get cosy with.

The Little Teashop of Lost and Found contains additional recipes to devour alongside the novel. Now, I like cake as much as the next person but you know what? The only recipe I need contains Trisha Ashley & her latest novel as THAT is my recipe to happiness. Definitely one of my most favourite books ever.

An outstanding, heart-warming novel from the incredibly talented Trisha Ashley. Magnificent.

Thank you SO much Poppy Stimpson!

Buy now from Amazon UK
(click the above link to buy in Hardback at only £4.99 as well – price correct as of 28/03/17)