May 9, 2015 - Weekend Wrap Up    No Comments

Weekend Wrap Up

Currently Reading:

Completed:

New Books:

New ARC:

Reviews:

May 7, 2015 - Book Reviews    1 Comment

Book Review: WE ALL LOOKED UP by Tommy Wallach

Before the asteroid we let ourselves be defined by labels:

The athlete, the outcast, the slacker, the overachiever.

But then we all looked up and everything changed.

They said it would be here in two months. That gave us two months to leave our labels behind. Two months to become something bigger than what we’d been, something that would last even after the end.

Two months to really live.

With We All Looked Up, I continued my streak of not really reading blurbs properly. Despite being right there, I managed to miss the whole “asteroid” part, and when it was first mentioned, my reaction was “WHOA where did THAT come from!?”.

Luckily I’ve never let a silly old thing like confusion get in the way, and I proceeded to love the stuffing out of this book. It is dark and nasty. But it’s also beautiful and honest. It’s kinda like someone dumped The Breakfast Club into the middle of the apocalypse.

I really enjoyed all of the main characters, especially Andy and Anita. I loved how each of them found a way to be more than the roles pre-asteroid society had cast them in and had the chance to become themselves, with all the great stuff and poor choices thrown in. They are real people!

Tommy Wallach’s writing doesn’t pull many punches. He will take your feelings and he will stomp on them. And you will thank him for it, because he does it so beautifully. Moving between POVs is seamless while preserving each person’s unique voice. More than once, I had to stop reading for a little bit (a very little bit, I demolished the whole book in a day) because a scene either hit a bit too close to home, or was such an awful situation that I needed a moment.

And then it ended. I like my endings to be drawn in the sand. Wrapped up neatly with a bow on top. Something that clearly states, “here we are, we’re done now.” But like most things in this book, it was not neat and tidy. And you know what? I loved Wallach for it. Not only can I not see it ending any other way, I don’t want it to end any other way.

Basically this book is awesome and you should go buy it right now.

Purchase: Book Depository | Amazon

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

May 5, 2015 - Book Reviews    No Comments

Book Review: THE BOOKSELLER by Cynthia Swanson

A provocative and hauntingly powerful debut novel reminiscent of Sliding Doors, The Bookseller follows a woman in the 1960s who must reconcile her reality with the tantalizing alternate world of her dreams

Nothing is as permanent as it appears …

Convinced that these dreams are simply due to her overactive imagination, Kitty enjoys her nighttime forays into this alternate world. But with each visit, the more irresistibly real Katharyn’s life becomes. Can she choose which life she wants? If so, what is the cost of staying Kitty, or becoming Katharyn?

This book had a really interesting premise, I’m not sure I’ve read anything quite like it before. Even besides that, the concept of parallel worlds/lives is just plain fun.

Unfortunately, The Bookseller suffers from being kinda boring. It’s really hard to talk about the plot without giving too much away, so all I’ll say on that topic is this – it’s not poorly written, it’s just not engaging. Neither Kitty nor Katharyn’s lives are particularly interesting, and often feel like they’re building up to a revelation that never quite arrives. The rest of the characters – and especially their relationships – feel so cookie-cutter as to be almost unbelievable.

I wish I had more positive things to say about it. I did like the detail in the world building, and the way history was worked into the background. That was very neatly done. And when it’s all said and done, it’s not a bad book, it’s just not good.

Purchase: Book Depository | Amazon

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

May 2, 2015 - Weekend Wrap Up    No Comments

Weekend Wrap Up: April Edition

It’s been a little while since I’ve done one of these, so have a list of every book that passed through my hands last month!

Currently Reading:

The Brass Giant by Brooke Johnson
Unrelenting Nightmare by Stan Yocum

Completed:

The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch
Red Seas Under Red Skies by Scott Lynch
The Republic of Thieves by Scott Lynch
Fortune’s Blight by Evie Manieri
The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen
The Invasion of the Tearling by Erika Johansen
The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson
The Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson
The Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson
We All Looked Up by Tommy Wallach
The Lascar’s Dagger by Glenda Larke
The Invention of Fire by Bruce Holsinger

New Books:

The Republic of Thieves by Scott Lynch

Promise of Blood by Brian McClellan
Blott by Daniel Parsons
Burning Alexandria by Michael Sullivan
The Art of Effective Dreaming by Gillian Polack
A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas

New ARC:

Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold by Iain Reading
Leeway by Colleen Caitin
The Dreams of Kings by David K Saunders
The Man Who Spoke Snakish by Andrus Kivirähk
Walk On Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson
Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy
This Monstrous Thing by Mackenzi Lee
The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness
To Hold the Bridge by Garth Nix

Apr 30, 2015 - BookCat    No Comments

Honestly if it’s not Most Favourite encouraging me to stay home from work, it’s the cat.

Apr 28, 2015 - Uncategorized    No Comments

Very excited to read this! It’ll be my first time dipping into Sarah’s work.

Guest Post: Adam Dreece

Today I have a guest post from Adam Dreece, author of the Yellow Hoods series. For more information about his books, click here, otherwise, onto the 5 Steve Jobs-type things he fussed over once the books were written!

With the words done and the cover art complete, there was plenty that I insisted on tweaking until I felt they were just right. Here’s the top 5:

1. Font size

I opted to have an 11pt font instead of the standard 9pt font. As a dyslexic and as someone with supposedly large eye apertures, and knowing that there will be younger and older readers reading the book, I decided to opt for higher print costs but make the books easier to read. The slightly larger font allows for less information to be pulled in for people like me allowing for better focus, is less intimidating for the younger person and makes those needing glasses more comfortable. I couldn’t very well create a book that I wouldn’t be able to read comfortably, now could I?

2. Word frequency in paragraphs

My dyslexic brain finds patterns very easily. Some books will have a good 8 to 10 paragraphs in a row (and I’m not exaggerating, he says looking at a specific book on his bookshelf) that all start with a character’s name. My brain will focus on that, and now it’s fighting for my attention to investigate other patterns. I also lose my place easily because of the repeated structure. Thus I decided to make sure, unless it was impossible, that my books don’t have a repeating start.

3. Look from ten feet away as well as in hand

People need to be pulled in by the book, which requires it to be clearly visible from a distance and up close. I have put the book covers and looked at them from a distance, approach them, played with them, until it looked and felt right.

4. Weight of the book

I wanted the book to feel the right weight, to have credibility in how it felt in the hand and for the make being charged. It sounds funny, but I’ve watched countless people do that. They look at the cover, they read the back of the book, and then I watch their hand bob up and down slightly as they weigh its value and their decision. I’ve been told many, many times that “my books are great value” even before someone has read them.

5. White space around the text

One thing that drives me absolutely batsheep crazy is when an author has such narrow margins that it looks like they thought you were allowed to write on every possible space on the page. To read what’s in the bound margin, you have to break the spin, then the words go all the way from about a quarter inch or less at the top (he looks at another book on his shelf) all the way down to the very last row of the page. For my brain, its unreadable. There’s no place for my fingers, there’s no framing of the text.

This is done to reduce printing costs, and again, I’d rather make a bit less money but provide a much better reader experience than save myself 4 pages and ticked off a reader.

Apr 16, 2015 - Book Tour, Giveaways    No Comments

The Yellow Hoods Series:

As the Yellow Hoods series starts, we see a pastoral world on the brink of a great change. Steam-based and other technologies are emerging, hence the genre “Emergent Steam Punk”. But this is written in the tradition of hard science fiction– you will find no gratuitous gears here. In the series, Adam Dreece masterfully weaves together familiar elements from fairy tales with realistic characters, bringing them to life. Here we meet the Nikolas Klaus: a kind of fusion of Santa Claus and Nikola Tesla and his granddaughter, young Tee who evokes Little Red Riding Hood but with the force of personality of a Katniss (Hunger Games) or Buffy (aka the Vampire Slayer). You may laugh and you may cry, but I guarantee you will enjoy the ride.

 

 

Click through for more information, and a giveaway!

Title: Along Came a Wolf (Book 1)

Series: The Yellow Hoods

Author: Adam Dreece

Publication Date: April 14, 2014 

 Someone is on the hunt for the steam engine plans, and believes that master inventor, Nikolas Klaus, has them. Thought dead by most, and forgotten by many, the quiet grandfather has been living for years in the sleepy mountain town of Minette, keeping his inventions mostly to himself and watching his granddaughter grow up.

Twelve-year-old Tee, and her two best friends, Elly and Richy, come together as the heroic Yellow Hoods in the face of life threatening danger. Whose side are the Cochon brothers on, and will they tip the balance? Will Nikolas’ ties to one of the secret societies cost him Tee’s life?   

Title: Breadcrumb Trail (Book 2)

Series: The Yellow Hoods

Author: Adam Dreece

Publication Date: August 18, 2014 

 In an act of desperation, inventor Maxwell Watt sends his teenage son to Nikolas Klaus with the secret plans for his steam engine. The Fare, a nefarious secret society, learns of the game-changing invention and accelerate their timeline to neutralize Klaus and reclaim control over the kingdoms.

While wars spark to the south, children in Mineau have started to go missing–again. Captain Archambault suspects the return of the Ginger Lady. With the help of the Yellow Hoods and their friends, the search is on to find the missing children before it is too late.

What is the secret that ties the Yellow Hoods to the Ginger Lady? Who are the Red Hoods really?   

Title: All the King’s Men (Book 3)

Series: The Yellow Hoods

Author: Adam Dreece

Publication Date: April 15th 2015

More than a hundred years ago, a king declared that all geniuses, scientists and inventors were abominations, save for those willing to become his Conventioneers. His edict spread like wildfire through the kingdoms, and drove the hunted into the arms of the secret societies, the Tub and the Fare.

Decades later, having taken control of the remains of the crushed Fare, a young Marcus Pieman follows up on rumors of a homeless, teenage Abominator in his city. When the scared Nikolas Klaus looked up at Marcus for the first time, a tremendous bond was forged.

A betrayal leads Tee to a showdown with her greatest foe. Who breaks and who lays bleeding in the middle of nowhere?

And Mounira learns the truth about the once great inventor, Christophe Creangle.

YOU CAN FIND & PURCHASE ALL BOOKS IN THE SERIES HERE:

Goodreads | Amazon | The Yellow Hoods Store | Author Website

Book 1 – Along Came A Wolf: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon.ca | B&N
Book 2 – Breadcrumb Trail: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon.ca | B&N

Book 3 – All The King’s Men: Goodreads | Amazon

Author Bio:

Adam Dreece burst onto the young adult fiction scene in 2014. His debut novel, Along Came a Wolf, hit the shelves in April, launching what is now the bestselling series The Yellow Hoods. Book Two, Breadcrumb Trail, quickly followed in September, locking in Dreece’s status as a force to be reckoned with. Now Book Three, All the King’s-Men, is about to be released and is expected to take its place on the Amazon and Calgary Herald Best Seller Lists, alongside its predecessors.

For twenty-five years Adam had written stories and set them aside, including a memoir covering his battle with terrible scar pain and then being hit with severe asthma. He’d always given the priority and focus to his technical career. In January 2015, he became a full time author.

Adam’s a devoted husband and father of three great kids. Though driven, he ensures there is always time for his family, fans, and fellow authors. With his tween daughter as his muse and the first to hear the rough drafts, it’s no surprise that he’s a huge proponent of strong female characters, something very clear in The Yellow Hoods.

 

Author Links:

Twitter | Website | Facebook

GIVEAWAY

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This tour was organised by

Good Tales Book Tours.

Mar 21, 2015 - Uncategorized    No Comments

April 2015 Read-A-Thon SIGN UP!

April 2015 Read-A-Thon SIGN UP!

Today I’m delighted to be part of a cover reveal AND giveaway blog tour organised by Good Tales Book Tours for D.B. Nielsen’s Seed, which is book 1 in the Keepers of Genesis series. 

The book:

A powerful, hidden artefact is unearthed in modern day Iraq and, with its discovery, an ancient conflict is reignited. Seventeen-year-old Sage Woods, the daughter of an eminent archaeologist working at the British Museum recently relocated from Australia, uncovers the artefact’s disturbing secret and is placed in terrible danger. Unwittingly, she has stumbled into an invisible war between two primordial dynasties of a supernatural order – a war in which she has a fateful role to play in a race to control the power of the SEED.
Embroiled in a quest that takes her from the British Museum to the Louvre to the Vatican Secret Archives, Sage realises that her blossoming romance with the mysterious, alluring St. John Rivers is inextricably tied to the artefact. Up until now, St. John has managed to keep his true identity hidden, but Sage is determined to delve deeper to uncover his dark secret and his connection to the SEED. It is a decision that will have a devastating effect on humankind…

The author:

db nielsen was born in British Hong Kong and immigrated to Australia in childhood. db likes to travel the world with family; dividing time between residing in Sydney and visits to the cathedrals, crypts and museums the world over, doing research for new projects. The author is a university lecturer in Linguistics and Semiotics, and continues to teach English Literature and Language whilst writing fiction.

And, most importantly, an excerpt and the giveaway! The giveaway closes at the end of the week, so get clicking!

I was fully awake now and frozen to the mattress. I could taste the fear in my mouth and even though I wanted to scream, no sound would come.
And then something slithered inside the room.
I knew it came from inside my room because the hotel prided itself on every room being soundproof. I began to tremble and wondered whether I was capable of moving my limbs to reach out and turn on the lights – and, if I did turn on the lights, would I really want to face what was out there.
Time seemed to stretch into eternity, mocking my capacity to think or react. There was a predator in my room and I was the prey.

For a chance to win a copy of Seed, click here for the Rafflecopter widget. The giveaway runs until the end of the week, and there are plenty of chances to win! 

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