'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

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Harry Potter #84

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, 29 October 2014

BLOG TOUR + GIVEAWAY: The Fall - Bethany Griffin

For those of you that know me, you know I'm gender studies mad. I'm fascinated by the interpretations in literature and of any books that deal with it. Needless to say, I nabbed the chance to ask Bethany Griffin about writing from Madeline's perspectives in The Fall. Here's what she had to say:

Gender in The Fall/The Fall of the House of Usher

Gothic literature is full of murky atmosphere, decaying buildings, creepy happenings and…vapid helpless females? Well, kind of. I do think for Edgar Allan Poe, the author whose work I’ve re-imagined twice, that females were put on a pedestal of longing, mainly because he’d lost females so often in his life. For the most part, Poe didn’t write the fainting hysterical females that sometimes populate gothic literature, instead his females are absent; they are beloved ideals, removed from this world to a more perfect place. From this perspective, it’s hard to know whether Poe’s idealization of females took the forefront of his writing of them that they seem to have no other personality traits or role, than that of an object to be mourned, or if he saw women in such simple terms.

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Halloween Book Recs #2: TV Shows

These Halloween posts are going to be quick recommendations of books to curl up with at this spooky time of year! 
Today's post is me giving you some book recommendations based on TV Shows you've enjoyed!

Monday, 27 October 2014

Halloween Book Recs #1: Penny Dreadful

These Halloween posts are going to be quick recommendations of books to curl up with at this spooky time of year! 
Penny Dreadful exploded onto our screens earlier this year and received so many raving reviews. With a character list straight from some of the most brilliant classics, I thought I'd make the first Halloween post based on them and to give you guys a chance to meet the characters that you grew to love first hand.


Hope you enjoy!
x

REVIEW: The Walled City - Ryan Graudin


Title: The Walled City
Author: Ryan Graudin
Series: None
Publisher: Indigo Books
Source: Review Copy
Publication Date: 6th November, 2014


There are three rules in the Walled City: Run fast. Trust no one. Always carry your knife. Right now, my life depends completely on the first. Run, run, run. Jin, Mei Yee, and Dai all live in the Walled City, a lawless labyrinth run by crime lords and overrun by street gangs. Teens there traffic drugs or work in brothels--or, like Jin, hide under the radar. But when Dai offers Jin a chance to find her lost sister, Mei Yee, she begins a breathtaking race against the clock to escape the Walled City itself.

Saturday, 25 October 2014

REVIEW: The Perfectionists - Sara Shepard

The Perfectionists
Title: The Perfectionists
Author: Sara Shepard
Series: The Perfectionists #1
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Source: Review Copy
Publication Date: 2nd October, 2014


In Beacon Heights High, Nolan Hotchkiss is king. His charm, wealth and good looks are deceptively seductive, and many are the students whose lives and reputations have been ruined by it. All while Nolan continues to reign, unquestioned and undisrupted. Until now, that is.

Mackenzie, Ava, Julie, Caitlin and Parker seemingly don't have much in common. Each has their own friends, dramas and goals. But one thing they do share: they all have a deep hatred of Nolan Hotchkiss. And they all think it's about time he paid for what he's done. They come up with the perfect murder - a hypothetical murder, of course. It's all wishful thinking ... until they wake up one morning to find that their wish has come true. Nolan has been killed - in exactly the way they planned. The thing is, they didn't do it. So who did?

Friday, 24 October 2014

REVIEW: Lips Touch - Laini Taylor

Lips Touch
Title: Lips Touch
Author: Laini Taylor
Series: None
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Source: Review Copy
Publication Date: 23rd October, 2014


In Victorian times, goblins offered sumptuous fruits in exchange for maiden's souls... and were usually successful. But what does it take to tempt today's savvy young women? Discover the answer in GOBLIN FRUIT. In SPICY LITTLE CURSES a demon and the ambassador to Hell tussle over the soul of a beautiful English girl in India. Matters become complicated when she falls in love and decides to test the curse placed upon her.
And in HATCHLING, six days before Esme's fourteenth birthday, her left eye turns from brown to blue. She little suspects what the change heralds, but her small safe life begins to unravel at once. What does the beautiful, fanged man want with her, and how is her fate connected to a mysterious race of demons?

Thursday, 23 October 2014

REVIEW: The Cure for Dreaming - Cat Winters

Title: The Cure for Dreaming
Author: Cat Winters
Series: None
Publisher: Amulet
Source: Review Copy
Publication Date: 14th October, 2014


Olivia Mead is a headstrong, independent girl—a suffragist—in an age that prefers its girls to be docile. It’s 1900 in Oregon, and Olivia’s father, concerned that she’s headed for trouble, convinces a stage mesmerist to try to hypnotize the rebellion out of her. But the hypnotist, an intriguing young man named Henri Reverie, gives her a terrible gift instead: she’s able to see people’s true natures, manifesting as visions of darkness and goodness, while also unable to speak her true thoughts out loud. These supernatural challenges only make Olivia more determined to speak her mind, and so she’s drawn into a dangerous relationship with the hypnotist and his mysterious motives, all while secretly fighting for the rights of women. Winters breathes new life into history once again with an atmospheric, vividly real story, including archival photos and art from the period throughout.

Harry Potter #83

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.

Friday, 17 October 2014

REVIEW: The Card Sharp - Laura Lam

The Card SharpTitle: The Card Sharp
Author: Laura Lam
Series: The Vestigial Tales #4
Publisher: Penglass Publishing
Source: Bought
Publication Date: 15th September, 2014


Untold centuries ago, the Archipelago was ruled by the Alder—mysterious beings who vanished, leaving behind only scattered artefacts of unknown power, called Vestige. Sometimes, a person will be lucky or unlucky enough to discover that each piece of Vestige has its own tale to tell…

The Card Sharp

“He always mourned that moment, when the high began to fade. It was like he moved from who he wanted to be to having to face the reality of who he was. He’d rather feel supernatural. More than Drystan Hornbeam, a seventeen-year-old-boy who had made a lot of foolish mistakes and didn’t seem to be changing his habits anytime soon.”

Before Drystan became the White Clown of R.H. Ragona’s Circus of Magic, he was a Lerium addict struggling on the streets of Imachara. When a mysterious woman gives him a chance at a new life, he takes it, even if it means falling even deeper into the dark underbelly of the capital of Ellada. Drystan knows that selling Lerium to the powerful men and women who bet at the high stakes card tables is perilous, especially when he still battles his own addictions. Yet when he meets a man who can help him learn to cheat at cards and swindle them out of enough money to start a new life, he dives headfirst into more danger.

Vestigial Tales are stories set in the world of the award-winning Micah Grey series. Step behind the circus ring from Pantomime, the theatre of Shadowplay, and more…

BLOG TOUR: Cathy Kelly's It Started With Paris

Today I have the lovely Cathy Kelly on my blog to talk to us about her latest novel, It Started With Paris.

Congrats on yet another corker of a novel! Starting off with a bit of a generic question – what influenced your writing and ideas for It Started with Paris?  

I wanted to explore the unromantic world of former husbands and wives, so I started with a gloriously romantic proposal on the Eiffel Tower – and then shifted into the lives of a 29-year-old woman named Leila, who is devastated after being dumped by her music industry husband. Six months on, she’s still miserable – but pretending not to be. Then, I thought, what about a woman who has the divorce everyone admires and likes her ex, sees him and they’ve brought up their kids together and wonderfully. So Grace was born. This lovely, very grown-up lady sees her son getting engaged, spends more time with her ex, watches how happy he is with his new partner and finds herself wondering: were we right to divorce. I guess the book is about questioning ourselves about choices we make and how we get on with life afterwards. Sort of a book exploring how falling down is not important, it’s whether you can get up again or not. 

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Harry Potter #82

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.

Friday, 10 October 2014

REVIEW: The Fall - Bethany Griffin

The FallTitle: The Fall
Author: Bethany Griffin
Series: None
Publisher: Indigo Books
Source: Review Copy
Publication Date: 2nd October, 2014


Madeline Usher is doomed.

She has spent her life fighting fate, and she thought she was succeeding. Until she woke up in a coffin.

Ushers die young. Ushers are cursed. Ushers can never leave their house, a house that haunts and is haunted, a house that almost seems to have a mind of its own. Madeline’s life—revealed through short bursts of memory—has hinged around her desperate plan to escape, to save herself and her brother. Her only chance lies in destroying the house.

In the end, can Madeline keep her own sanity and bring the house down? The Fall is a literary psychological thriller, reimagining Edgar Allan Poe’s classic The Fall of the House of Usher.

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Harry Potter #81

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.

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

COVER REVEAL: Gears of Brass

Gear up for GEARS OF BRASS! 
A world like ours, but filled with gears of brass, where the beating heart is fueled by steam and the simplest creation is a complex clockwork device. 

Within this tome, you’ll find steampunk fairy tale re-tellings, as well as original stories that will send your gears turning. 

Welcome to the steampunk realm, with eleven authors guiding your path. 

GEARS OF BRASS is a steampunk anthology published through Curiosity Quills. It will be available for purchase on November 10, 2014. Within the pages, you’ll come across clockwork inventions and steampunk-ified fairy tale retellings. Eleven authors will guide you through worlds filled with airships, top hats, and corsets. 

REVIEW: Timebomb - Scott K. Andrews


Title: Timebomb
Author: Scott K. Andrews
Series: Timebomb Trilogy #1
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Source: Review Copy
Publication Date: 9th October, 2014


New York City, 2141: Yojana Patel throws herself off a skyscraper, but never hits the ground.

Cornwall, 1640: gentle young Dora Predennick, newly come to Sweetclover Hall to work, discovers a badly-burnt woman at the bottom of a flight of stairs. When she reaches out to comfort the dying woman, she's knocked unconscious, only to wake, centuries later, in empty laboratory room.

On a rainy night in present-day Cornwall, seventeen-year-old Kaz Cecka sneaks into the long-abandoned Sweetclover Hall, determined to secure a dry place to sleep. Instead he finds a frightened housemaid who believes Charles I is king and an angry girl who claims to come from the future.

Thrust into the centre of an adventure that spans millennia, Dora, Kaz and Jana must learn to harness powers they barely understand to escape not only villainous Lord Sweetclover but the forces of a fanatical army... all the while staying one step ahead of a mysterious woman known only as Quil.

Monday, 6 October 2014

BLOG TOUR + GIVEAWAY: Marcus Sedgwick and Ghosts of the Insane Dead

Today I'm over the moon to be a part of Marcus Sedgwick's The Ghosts of Heaven blog tour. Marcus is here to chat a little about his latest spell-binding release!
 
Ghosts of the Insane Dead 

The little inmates of the orphans’ home at Greenport, under the supervision of their matron, gathered a lot of wild flowers, and decorated the graves of the insane dead, who have been buried at the asylum cemetery. The deed was a worthy one, and to the little ones is given a great deal of credit for doing this act of mercy to the unfriended dead.
 
Those are lines from the section of Ghosts of Heaven called The Easiest Room in Hell, in which orphans place flowers on the graves of the deceased. I can’t take credit for them, they were something I came across during the research for this part of the book, which is set in what we would now call a psychiatric hospital, but which used be called an insane asylum. The terminology has changed over the years, and so has the nature of these establishments. In fact, the increasing use of medicine to treat those suffering from poor mental health has meant that there has been a permanent shift away from large institutions of this kind. And what this means, is that across the western world, there stand empty hundreds of former lunatic asylums (as they were known even longer ago, in less-enlightened times.)
 
 The remaining section of the Danvers State Hospital, MA  



Friday, 3 October 2014

BLOG TOUR: Crushed by Eliza Crewe

Today I have the lovely Eliza Crewe on the blog to chat about her amazing sequel and her plans post Strange Chemistry! 
Picture

Hi Eliza! Welcome back to us! Really looking forward to reading the sequel to Cracked (such a great book!) I'm looking forward to reading more about Meda!

Thanks for having me, Leah! I’m so glad you enjoyed Cracked.

How has the writer’s life been since the closing of Strange Chemistry? *whimpers* I can't even imagine how tough that must have been for all involved!

When they first shut their doors, it was a shock and it sucked, but I had a c’est la vie attitude. Strange Chemistry was new, publishing is hard to make profitable, the YA market is saturated, and our books were off-beat, so I always understood the possibility that SC could end. Don’t get me wrong, it was a blow, but I was pretty philosophical about the whole thing.

It was the weeks following that were really hard, because we were given almost no information. I was told that I’d get my rights back to Crushed, but only by someone who no longer worked there, and could get nothing official. I’d spent a year working on this book, and it could be all for nothing. Even if I got the rights to Crushed back and self-pubbed, I didn’t know if Angry Robot (the company that owns Strange Chemistry and who my contract is actually with) would continue making Cracked available--I might be self-pubbing a sequel to a book that, for all intents and purposes, didn’t exist. You hope they’d do the right thing, but it wasn’t reassuring that we’d been trying to get them to pay me the rest of my advance for Cracked for over a year, and the delivery portion of my advance for Crushed since February, and we kept getting (and are still getting) the run around. All that work, and I was powerless to stop them from just throwing it away. I can’t tell you how relieved I was to at least get the rights back!

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Harry Potter #80

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.