27 June 2017

Top Ten Tuesday #94

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and is a chance for everyone to get to know fellow bloggers and share lists. I love lists. Every week is a different list.

This week is Top Ten Best Books You've Read In 2017 So Far.

This year has been SO GOOD for me when it comes to books that this was actually quite a difficult list. How do you decide between the awesome? So I just went through Goodreads and the books I've read this year and plucked out my ten favourites. It was brutal. And as usual it's 90% UKYA ❤.

26 June 2017

Blog Tour: The Soterion Mission by Stewart Ross

Does the Soterion hold the key to saving civilization?

In a post-apocalyptic world where no-one lives beyond their teenage years, the mysterious Roxanne arrives in Cyrus’s village, fleeing the barbaric Zeds.

She claims to be on a mission that can save them all, but can she be trusted?

Cyrus joins her in her quest for the legendary Soterion, but the Zeds are determined to get there first.

Source: Review Considerations | Blog Tour

5 Words: Hope, life, death, knowledge, power.

I think this is one of those books you'll either love or you'll hate, and I think it will all boil down to how much you like actions scenes. Because this book is non-stop action.

I would say that this book is a little more gory than I'd usually go for, but the easy-going style kept me reading. This is a quick book to read with its short length and fast-paced action, so I was able to kind of gloss over the gore in my head. And there are some very humorous parts to break up all of the tension.

There was one stand out character for me: Taja. I honestly didn't think she'd be my cup of tea when first introduced, but I quickly fell in love with her toughness in the face of impending death.

I like that we saw two parts of a crumbling society as the narrative shifted between the Constants and the Zeds, it gave me more food for thought.

The rest of the series is out now, and I will definitely be reading on.

The Soterion Mission

While the Contstants struggle with the challenges brought by knowledge, the Zeds are massing against them, desperate for revenge. 

Will the Soterion be able to withstand the forces ranged against it... From without and within?

Humanity’s hope of salvation lies within a single laptop…

A mutation in human DNA means no one lives beyond nineteen. Scientists working to reverse this pandemic died before their Salvation Project was complete, leaving behind the results of their research in a sealed vault – the Soterion.

122 years have passed. The civilisation of the ‘Long Dead’ is almost forgotten, the Soterion has been burned to ashes, and communities of Constants are tormented by brutal tribes of Zeds. Cyrus, Miouda and Sammy flee their burning city with a laptop rescued from the inferno. They believe it contains the key to the Salvation Project. But its batteries are dead, there is no electricity to power it, and murderous Zeds will stop at nothing to get it back…

24 June 2017

Blog Tour: Guest Post: The Devil's Poetry by Louise Cole

Questions are dangerous but answers can be deadly.

Callie’s world will be lost to war – unless she can unlock the magic of an ancient manuscript. She and her friends will be sent to the front line. Many of them won’t come back. When a secret order tells her she can bring peace by reading from a book, it seems an easy solution - too easy. Callie soon finds herself hunted, trapped between desperate allies and diabolical enemies. The Order is every bit as ruthless as the paranormal Cadaveri.

Callie can only trust two people – her best friend and her ex-marine bodyguard. And they are on different sides. She must decide: how far will she go to stop a war?

Dare she read this book? What’s the price - and who pays it?

Commended in the Yeovil Prize 2016, this is an action-packed blend of adventure, fantasy and love story.

So, let's welcome author Louise Cole with a little bit about where she'd like to write.

Top Places I Write or Would to Write

OK, so this is where you really find out what a complete nerd I am.

  1. Jervaulx Abbey, North Yorkshire. Jervaulx was once one of the richest communities in the country until Henry VIII’s 1536 dissolution of the monasteries. Jervaulx hung on for a while but its defeat was inevitable. It was so well built Henry’s soldiers struggled to pull it down, so first minister Thomas Cromwell ordered it blown up with gunpowder.

    I haven’t yet sat down to write at Jervaulx but much of my writing takes place in my head before I ever start to scribble. I live scenes and spend time with characters while I’m washing up or walking dogs. Or just wandering. And Jervaulx is a place to wander. Set in the middle of sheep fields, its tumbled down walls are covered with wild flowers. It’s usually empty and haunting and very beautiful. A natural spring still bubbles up and pours down through the abbey grounds, clear sweet water. You can’t help but go back in time at a place like this, imagine the monks and the cheese and honey making, the fishing, the sheer peace and quiet of this life. And then the great tragedy that befell them when the king decided on a massive land grab. One day I’ll write their story. In the meantime it has a rocking cafĂ© with great cake and it’s rumoured that Daniel Craig lives next door. I’ve never seen him but, you know, I live in hope. I’m sure he’d find an unkempt writer with ink on her face and a mouthful of cake very attractive.

  2. My next place is London. If Jervaulx is silent and empty, London is clearly the polar opposite, but what they have in common is centuries of history. And I’m a sucker for it. I’ve been spending a lot of time in London recently, specifically in the historic royal places, researching my next series (you heard it here first J). I was given a private tour recently of the triforium above St John’s Chapel – a wide yellow stone gallery with huge open arches that look down on the chapel below. It’s where Lady Jane Grey spent her last night praying – they say her ghost haunts it still. I would love to curl up and write at the Tower of London but only if I could find a quiet spot. Maybe they’d give me a dungeon. I can always ask.

  3. New cities are good for writing. I’ve found myself scribbling in both New York and in Barcelona. Usually free form writing. I think new cities with their different energy, their scents, the way they make you feel stirs up all kinds of thoughts and observations which you need to capture or they’ll disappear like Scotch mist. I swear I’ve conjured at least five novels’ worth of phrases and ideas which I’ve forgotten before I set them down. New York was particularly interesting because of the feel of the streets. You are an ant in a canyon, looking up at these sheers walls of buildings and offices, the wind hurtling at you like an express train. Yes, OK, next time I’ll know not to go in March.

  4. Venice. I don’t really have to explain why, do I? Venice is magical. A hidden city, an ancient city, a drowning city. It has gorgeous palazzi and galleries and courtyards. It’s full of hidden spaces and there’s something wonderfully symbolic about its network of canals. If you’ve never read a magical book set in Venice, try The Passion by Jeanette Winterson, with its web footed gondolier. (Although apparently she’d never been there when she wrote it.)

  5. A tree-house. A proper one with little windows and a ladder and a peaked roof. My sisters and I spotted a gorgeous treehouse at Chelsea Flower Show two years ago and, although it cost a gazillion pounds and I couldn’t possibly afford it, it’s become known at home as ‘Lou’s treehouse’. One day. J My fascination with tree houses goes back to childhood. I love the thought of somewhere private, up high but safe, wild but cosy.

So that’s my list. There is, I should point out, one place that I cannot write and that’s bed. I have lots of writer friends who type away quite happily from under their duvets. I’d asleep in minutes. I need to be upright and I need my boots on. I can’t think without my boots on.

23 June 2017

Book Beginnings #44

For Book Beginnings, Rose City Reader invites us to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires.

For Friday 56, Freda's Voice asks you to turn to Page 56 in your book or 56% on your e-reader and pick a sentence. This is my first time

I am currently reading Day 7 by Kerry Drewery.
I should be dead.
I feel cold air in my lungs.
I feel somebody's hand holding mine. I hear shouting.
I read Cell 7 last week and it was incredible. One single sitting and it was gone, because I could not put it down. So I've waited a few days before picking this one up. And now I'm starting it in my tea break at work and know I'll be reading it all through lunch. And I can't wait.

I loved the writing style and chilling believability of the world within the pages, even if it scared me a little. With how Cell 7 ended I can't wait to see what happens now, what way the story is going to go.
In the struggling light from buildings above us, Eve's secret in handwritten guilt.
A secret that killed her husband, his dad, changed lives.
OOOH. Well. I remember Eve from Cell 7, I remember her secret, and this could blow part of the world apart.

I am so excited to get to this part!

20 June 2017

Top Ten Tuesday #93

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and is a chance for everyone to get to know fellow bloggers and share lists. I love lists. Every week is a different list.

This week is Top Ten Series I've Been Meaning To Start But Haven't.

So it turns out this list was hard because I'm really good at starting a series. The problem I have is when it comes to finishing it. I tend to stick with a series for three or four books and then move on to something else becau- Oh, look. Something shiny. Let's look at the shiny.

These are listed by series name, with a link to the series page on Goodreads. Have you read any of them? Would you recommend them?

13 June 2017

Blog Tour: Review: Leopard at the Door by Jennifer McVeigh

Leopard at the Door by Jennifer McVeigh
Stepping off the boat in Mombasa, eighteen-year-old Rachel Fullsmith stands on Kenyan soil for the first time in six years. She has come home.

But when Rachel reaches the family farm at the end of the dusty Rift Valley Road, she finds so much has changed. Her beloved father has moved his new partner and her son into the family home. She hears menacing rumours of Mau Mau violence, and witnesses cruel reprisals by British soldiers. Even Michael, the handsome Kikuyu boy from her childhood, has started to look at her differently.

Isolated and conflicted, Rachel fears for her future. But when home is no longer a place of safety and belonging, where do you go, and who do you turn to?

Source: Review Consideration | Blog Tour

5 Words: Family, home, prejudice, change, cruelty.

It took me a while to get into the story with this book. I found myself distracted by the descriptions, daydreaming instead of reading. And how wonderful is that?

This is my second book by this author, and like the first book there are conservation messages subtly strewn throughout the text. It really makes you think.

This book was a lot more violent than I was expecting, and I did have to put it down a few times as there are some graphic descriptions which made me feel a little ill - but that is personal preference and if anything speaks to the strength of the writing. I didn't want to put this book down because I absolutely love the writing itself, but the story made me FEEL so much that I had to.

I found that I never quite clicked with Rachel, but she was far better than Sara. I find that this is something I really like about this author - her characters are not inherently likeable but the glorious descriptions mean that it doesn't matter.

Leopard at the Door is perfect for those times when you want to escape. Jennifer McVeigh's writing is harrowing and evocative and her descriptions are simply breathtaking.

10 June 2017

Blog Tour: Review: Do Not Become Alarmed by Maile Meloy

When Liv and Nora decide to take their husbands and children on a holiday cruise, everyone is thrilled. The ship's comforts and possibilities seem infinite. But when they all go ashore in beautiful Central America, a series of minor mishaps lead the families further from the ship's safety.

One minute the children are there, and the next they're gone.

What follows is a heart-racing story told from the perspectives of the adults and the children, as the distraught parents - now turning on one another and blaming themselves - try to recover their children and their shattered lives.

Source: Review Consideration | Blog Tour

5 Words: Family, sunshine, blame, kidnap, hope.

It took me about two chapters to get in to the flow of the writing, but after that I was hooked. I could not put it down.

I love how the narrative switched between the parents and the children - you could see these two stories, how they started together then came apart and took different turns before the end.

There are a lot of different situations explored in this book, and the different perspectives means that it really hits home. Be prepared for shock and anger and a glimmer of hope. The realism hits even harder, because this could happen to anyone.

This is perfect for summer reading. But maybe don't take it with you on on a cruise.