Our Annual Awards
 (no prize, just the praise and publicity!) 
The winners are chosen from 
the books that were selected as 
Book of the Month
Cover of the Month (scroll down)
the Book of the Month and Year selections are a personal choice 
by Helen Hollick, 
founder of Discovering Diamonds
As I do not review many of the books submitted to Discovering Diamonds, I thought it would be an idea to set aside a shortlist of books that I personally wanted to read, and to pick a monthly choice of the one I enjoyed the most. From there, decide on one winner for Book of the Year. I must stress that these choices are entirely personal to me.
     For my own enjoyment I want a book to be entertaining. I look forward to meeting new (and old!) fictional friends and becoming engrossed in their world which is sandwiched between the covers of a book, (or in my case, on my Kindle.) When reading for pleasure I do not read to critique, take note of typo errors, spelling or grammar mistakes, pick out anachronisms or point of view changes - if a novel is well written I often do not even notice the occasional blooper. What I want is a good story with believable characters enacting believable situations, even if these are fantasy, alternative or set in the distant past.
     Quality of writing and production are important - too many errors spoil the reading pleasure, as do typos if they occur too frequently. Anachronisms can jar, as can historical inaccuracies - but the occasional blooper can be overlooked if the story is absorbing enough to overshadow these. The better written the story, (which also means the better edited!)  the better it will read. My choices for Book of the Month are the novels that I enjoyed for the story/adventure and for the 'what happens next' eagerness to find out.
Book Of The Year 2020
I enjoyed this particular 'murder mystery' because it was different to most - being set in a country outside of England, and during a time of upheaval following our own Civil Wars. I liked the plot, the pace - and immediately felt at home with the protagonist. Possibly the follow-up books in the series haven't had quite the same impact because they do not have the same 'goodness this is different!' element (they're still very good  though!) but my remit is to select one book that was exceptionally outstanding - in my personal opinion, for my personal reading pleasure. So my winner is...

read our review

Scroll down for previous winners
Cover design of the year 2020

read our review
UK Cover (no designer known)

Read our review
cover design by Caroline Young
for Headline Publishing Group

Covers designed by Avalon Graphics are, naturally exempt,
but co-judge, Tamian Wood has selected her favourite

Read Our Review

Book of the Year 2019
My choice for 2019 is a novel set in post WWI. It was not an action, fast-paced story. There was no breath-taking adventure, no high-speed drama. There were no murders, no derring-do or desperate romance. In fact, it was a gentle stroll through a couple of months one summer, narrating the day-to-day of the main characters as they went about their lives together. Each character had their own background and story, each with new friendships that blossomed and flourished. Each with their own secrets, their own fears and hopes.
A simple story with believable, likeable characters doing ordinary everyday things - and yet the story was not slow or boring. More than any other novel that I've read that deals with WWI, this one brought home the tragic consequences of war for the ordinary men and women, be they soldier or civilian. Eavesdropping on the characters as they went through the summer of 1920, the detail of the every day, the dreadfulness of the trenches and the aftermath of WWI was portrayed so well that the characters came alive. It was quite a shock, at the end, to discover that the author had made them up, and that he had not, personally, been there - a tribute to the research he undertook.

This novel really brought home the tragic deaths and awful injuries suffered by so many young men. Of the trauma that stayed with those who survived, of their wondering why they had survived and even regret that they had. How the grief of a son or husband who would never come home broke the hearts of so many. As a second layer, it told of the pioneering work of surgeons who helped put severely damaged men back together again in the years before we had plastic surgery and state-of-the-art prosthetics. The 'Tin-Nose' surgeons.
And then there was a third, factual, layer to this novel. While the characters went about their daily routines and struggled with their individual troubles, the real story of how the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior came to be placed in Westminster Abbey  was revealed.
I cried at the end. An evocative book, beautifully written.

Book of the Year 2019:
read our review
Book of the Year 2018
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Book of the Year 2017

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Cover Design of the year 2019

cover design by Katie Anderson
Read Our Review
Honourable Mention Cover of the year for 2019:
Designer Unknown
Read Our Review


Read our review HERE
Designed by Louise Millidge
published by Acorn Digital Press
Read our review HERE
Published and designed by Penquin Random House


‘The Enchanted Swans’ by Christy Nicholas
Cover Designer: Cora Graphics

     Runner up Honourable Mention

 ‘Under The Approaching Dark’ by Anna Belfrage


Discovering Diamonds would like to thank
Cathy and Tamian
for their support and enthusiasm

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Book and Cover of the Year 2021
announced 31st December 2021