'Reading a book is like re-writing it for yourself. You bring to a novel, anything you read, all your experience of the world. You bring your history and you read it in your own terms.'- Angela Carter

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Why I'm MIA

Hey guys! 

Quick post to say that the reason I haven't posted in the last week and won't until Sunday is because I'm on work experience with Orion Books! It's absolutely amazing but it means that my blogging has fallen behind for this fortnight. I'll be back next Sunday/ Monday as normal :). 

Thanks for still visiting!


Friday, 15 August 2014

GUEST POST: Caroline Healy Talks Getting Published

Today I have the lovely Caroline Healy on the blog to talk about her journey to publication, her novel Blood Entwines and the top ten books that inspired her writing!

 They say that getting to the destination is not important; it is the journey along the way that matters. I challenge that statement – the destination is pretty sweet. Having my first book, Blood Entwines, published by Bloomsbury was the culmination of a very long and arduous process.

The journey to publication is different for everyone but I think I can speak for everybody who sits down to write a book – it’s hard work! 

The act of sitting at a desk and tap-tapping 250 pages of words, hopefully coherent, is a very strange task in itself. I wanted to have a go. I mean that's what I sat down with, the notion - Sure, I'll have a go, I've always wanted to write a novel! - I was as green as grass and didn't have a clue what I was doing. It was a total train wreck...but I got my 250 pages down. Then I went and took some writing classes, went back to college, learned about the art and discipline of writing. I wrote short stories, I wrote some longer short stories, I won a few prizes, got a little more comfortable with the notion of writing and then I went back to my manuscript and I cut 200 pages and started with the bare bones of 50 pages. And I worked on it, writing and editing and editing some more. 

Then I submitted it, to see what that aspect of the process was like. I felt a huge sense of achievement. I had seen the whole process through from idea to submission, so I turned my back on Blood Entwines and went on to write my second book. Not thinking for a moment that anyone would be interested. When I got a call from Bloomsbury and I snorted some tea dribble down my nose I was in such shock (I was on my eleven's tea break at the time). Bloomsbury actually wanted to publish my book!

The journey has been a long one. I set off in 2010 and now, four years later I can see the fruits of all my hard work. I learned a huge amount along the way, I am still learning (which is great). This leg of the journey might be complete, but I’m not done trucking just yet.

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Harry Potter #76

This is a meme hosted by me here at my blog :).The aim of this meme is to share with fellow bloggers a character, spell, chapter, object or quote from the books/ films/ J. K. Rowling herself or anything Potter related! I will be picking a topic within HP for us to focus on each week and then if anyone wants to take part feel free! All I ask is to link back here, to my blog :). There is now a full list of the topics to come in the Harry Potter section of my blog here.

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

REVIEW: Roomies - Sara Zarr, Tara Altebrando

RoomiesTitle: Roomies
Author: Sara Zarr, Tara Altebrando
Series: None
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Source: Review Copy
Publication Date: 2nd January, 2014

It's time to meet your new roomie.

When East Coast native Elizabeth receives her freshman-year roommate assignment, she shoots off an e-mail to coordinate the basics: television, microwave, mini-fridge. That first note to San Franciscan Lauren sparks a series of e-mails that alters the landscape of each girl's summer -- and raises questions about how two girls who are so different will ever share a dorm room.

As the countdown to college begins, life at home becomes increasingly complex. With family relationships and childhood friendships strained by change, it suddenly seems that the only people Elizabeth and Lauren can rely on are the complicated new boys in their lives . . . and each other. Even though they've never met.

National Book Award finalist Sara Zarr and acclaimed author Tara Altebrando join forces for a novel about growing up, leaving home, and getting that one fateful e-mail that assigns your college roommate.

BLOG TOUR + GIVEAWAY: Ascension of the Whyte Author Interview

Today I have the lovely Karen Wrighton on the blog for a quick chat about all things book related and to showcase her upcoming book, Ascension of the Whyte.
1. What's your writing process when writing a novel? Do you have any specific things that you must do?

I have developed a system that works for me, though it is still evolving. I use Microsoft OneNote to keep track of all my story notes, character information, plot lines, and details of the developing world of the Afterlands etc. OneNote syncs over multiple devices so I always have my up-to-date notes with me. I find it invaluable. 

One great way of using it is for developing my characters, I have a characters note section where I file a page with a tag for each character and list their main characteristics which gives me a detailed character map of each of them so that hopefully, I always manage to write in the distinct voice of each character.

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

BLOG TOUR: EXTRACT: Better Than Perfect by Simone Elkeles

Today I'm excited to share with you the second chapter of the fantastic Better Than Perfect (Wild Cards)by Simone Elkeles and a cheeky snaptshot of her phone! This is a book that I'm very excited about and can't wait to see what you guys think! Check out Faye's post over at A Daydreamer's Thoughts for the first chapter reveal of this stunning book.
Better Than Perfect

Ashtyn’s life just got complicated. Her boyfriend is being distant and her sister’s back at home after ten years – with a stepson in tow!Derek has a perfect body, THE sexiest smile and a car – Ashtyn’s only way to escape from her crazy life. But Derek likes to play by his own rules and is keen to take Ashtyn on a ride she’ll never forget. As they spend more and more time alone together, will Derek’s flirty games drive Ashtyn wild? A sweet and steamy romance from New York Times bestselling author Simone Elkeles.


Saturday, 9 August 2014

REVIEW: The Jewel - Amy Ewing

The Jewel (The Lone City, #1)Title: The Jewel
Author: Amy Ewing
Series: The Lone City #1
Publisher: Walker Books
Source: Review Copy
Publication Date: 4th September, 2014

A shocking and compelling new YA series from debut author, Amy Ewing; The Handmaid's Tale meets The Other Boleyn Girl in a world where beauty and brutality collide.

Violet Lasting is no longer a human being. Tomorrow she becomes Lot 197, auctioned to the highest royal bidder in the Jewel of the Lone City. Tomorrow she becomes the Surrogate of the House of the Lake, her sole purpose to produce a healthy heir for the Duchess. Imprisoned in the opulent cage of the palace, Violet learns the brutal ways of the Jewel, where the royal women compete to secure their bloodline and the surrogates are treated as disposable commodities.

Destined to carry the child of a woman she despises, Violet enters a living death of captivity – until she sets eyes on Ash Lockwood, the royal Companion. Compelled towards each other by a reckless, clandestine passion, Violet and Ash dance like puppets in a deadly game of court politics, until they become each other’s jeopardy – and salvation.

Friday, 8 August 2014

REVIEW: Quidditch Through the Ages - J. K. Rowling

Quidditch Through the Ages
Title: Quidditch Through The Ages
Author: J. K. Rowling/ Kennilworthy Whisp
Series: Harry Potter Companion
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Source: Purchased
Publication Date: March, 2001

If you have ever asked yourself where the Golden Snitch came from, how the Bludgers came into existence or why the Wigtown Wanderers have pictures of meat cleavers on their robes, you need Quidditch Through the Ages. This edition is a copy of the volume in Hogwarts School Library, where it is consulted by young Quidditch fans on an almost daily basis.

7 Deadly Sins Tag

This is a tag I've been seeing floating around quite a lot lately, so I thought I'd give it a go! Feel free to take part if you want to - I'm not going to tag anyone in particular :)

Greed – What is your most inexpensive book?
Probably my Garth Nix set. I got Sabriel, Lirael, Abhorsen and Across the Wall for £2 from a local charity bookshop. So just 50 pence each! They're books I'd wanted for ages too so I was over the moon.

Wrath – What author do you have a love/hate relationship with?
Ohhh good question! Probably George R. R. Martin. The man is a phenomenal writer and I am completely addicted to his world but he can be SO CRUEL. WHY TAKE THOSE PEOPLE AWAY FROM ME?!

Gluttony – What book have you devoured over and over with no shame?
Harry Potter. This is probably everyone's answer. I don't even know how many times I've read the first four. I love to binge read them!

Sloth – What book have you neglected reading due to laziness?
I signed up for a Jane Austen reading challenge this year... and I've read none of them. I've read Emma in the past and parts of Pride and Prejudice. They are books I definitely want to read but they can take a lot of effort. So that's definitely laziness. That and I feel so guilty for neglecting ARCs etc and I know JA is going to take a long time to read. Tha always makes me think twice.

Pride – What book do you most talk about in order to sound like an intellectual reader?
It's not something I do intentionally to be honest. Rather than books themselves I talk a lot about the underlying themes in the books e.g. gender issues, societal etc. Rather than sounding intellectual it's more a hang up from my university days! That and I enjoy gender studies generally. If I HAD to pick a book it would probably be 1984 by George Orwell. Love that book.

Lust – What attributes do you find attractive in male or female characters?
A sense of humour, charisma, being caring. Ash in The Jewel is amazing, as is Arin in The Winner's Curse, Chaol and Dorian in the Throne of Glass series, Nick in About a Girl. All sorts really. I'd say Jon Snow but I think that's more Kit Harington than Jon haha!

Envy – What book would you most like to receive as a gift?
At this current moment in time I would say Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas or the second book in Amy Ewing's The Jewel series. Generally though? The latest Scholastic and/or Bloomsbury Harry Potter box sets or this amazing compilation of Potter: Film Making Journey related books. I think I'd swap my soul for that. Haha!

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Harry Potter #75

This is a meme hosted by me here at my blog :).The aim of this meme is to share with fellow bloggers a character, spell, chapter, object or quote from the books/ films/ J. K. Rowling herself or anything Potter related! I will be picking a topic within HP for us to focus on each week and then if anyone wants to take part feel free! All I ask is to link back here, to my blog :). There is now a full list of the topics to come in the Harry Potter section of my blog here.

REVIEW: As Red As Blood - Salla Simukka

As Red As BloodTitle: As Red As Blood
Author: Salla Simukka
Series: Lumikki Andersson #1
Publisher: Hot Key Books 
Source: Review Copy
Publication Date: August 7th, 2014

Seventeen-year-old Lumikki Andersson is hardly your average teenager. She lives by herself in the city of Tampere, Finland, and has a firm rule to mind nobody's business but her own. But that rule is put to the test when she happens upon five hundred washed euro notes hanging up to dry in her school's darkroom, and it is shattered once Lumikki realises who owns them.

Caught in an increasingly tangled web of deception, corruption and danger, Lumikki finds herself navigating the Tampere's dark underbelly in the search to expose its shocking connection to the international drugs trade. Lumikki is smart, but is she smarter than a master criminal? Can she bring down the infamous 'Polar Bear' - or will she become another one of his victims?

The first part of a thrilling new Nordic crime series, AS RED AS BLOOD will have you on the edge of your seat until the last page is turned... and then some.

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

REVIEW: The Winner's Curse - Marie Rutkoski

The Winner's Curse (The Winner's Trilogy, #1) Title: The Winner's Curse
Author: Marie Rutkoski
Series: The Winner's Trilogy #1
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Source: Review Copy
Publication Date: July 3rd, 2014

Winning what you want may cost you everything you love As a general’s daughter in a vast empire that revels in war and enslaves those it conquers, seventeen-year-old Kestrel has two choices: she can join the military or get married. But Kestrel has other intentions.

One day, she is startled to find a kindred spirit in a young slave up for auction. Arin’s eyes seem to defy everything and everyone. Following her instinct, Kestrel buys him—with unexpected consequences. It’s not long before she has to hide her growing love for Arin.

But he, too, has a secret, and Kestrel quickly learns that the price she paid for a fellow human is much higher than she ever could have imagined.

Set in a richly imagined new world, The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski is a story of deadly games where everything is at stake, and the gamble is whether you will keep your head or lose your heart.

Monday, 4 August 2014

REVIEW: The Queen of the Tearling - Erika Johansen

The Queen of the Tearling (The Queen of the Tearling, #1)
Title: The Queen of the Tearling
Author: Erika Johansen
Series: The Queen of the Tearling #1
Publisher: Transworld
Type: Review Copy
Publication Date: July 17th, 2014

Kelsea Glynn is the sole heir to the throne of Tearling but has been raised in secret by foster parents after her mother - Queen Elyssa, as vain as she was stupid - was murdered for ruining her kingdom. For 18 years, the Tearling has been ruled by Kelsea's uncle in the role of Regent however he is but the debauched puppet of the Red Queen, the sorceress-tyrant of neighbouring realm of Mortmesme. On Kelsea's 19th birthday, the tattered remnants of her mother's guard - each pledged to defend the queen to the death - arrive to bring this most un-regal young woman out of hiding...
And so begins her journey back to her kingdom's heart, to claim the throne, earn the loyalty of her people, overturn her mother's legacy and redeem the Tearling from the forces of corruption and dark magic that are threatening to destroy it. But Kelsea's story is not just about her learning the true nature of her inheritance - it's about a heroine who must learn to acknowledge and live with the realities of coming of age in all its insecurities and attractions, alongside the ethical dilemmas of ruling justly and fairly while simply trying to stay alive...