WWW Wednesdays – 25th April #amreading

I’ve decided to take part in this book tag for a change to try and keep my reading on track. The book meme is hosted by Taking on a World of Words

Three questions; What are you reading? What have you just read? What will you read next?

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What I’m currently reading…

 

I picked up Ninja School Mum during its recent blog tour as I really like the cover and fancied something different to read.

I re-read the first few chapters of Visions of Zarua before starting to submit to agents and decided I should read the whole thing again. If it’s not too big-headed to admit, I still enjoy my own writing and still love the characters.

What I’ve just read…

 

I read an ARC copy of The Sand Scuttler and will be sharing my review in May. In the meantime, I would definitely recommend it to fantasy fans. It’s currently on pre-order.

All the Birds in the Sky is my book group choice and after 294 pages I decided to DNF this book. I just didn’t care enough for the characters and not enough seemed to happen. Once I’ve heard what the others in the reading group have to say, I may change my mind though.

What I will read next…

 

I decided this year that I would commit to finishing a few trilogies. These two in particular I’ve been looking forward to reading.

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Don’t forget to head on over to Taking in the World of Words and check out who else is taking part in this weekly event.

#Tuesdaybookblog #bookreview Ash and Quill by Rachel Caine #Fantasy #YA

This is the first book review I have written this year and what better way to start than with Book 3 in the YA fantasy series The Great Library. Originally thought to be the last book in the trilogy (at least by me) I was delighted to hear that Book 4 is due out later in 2018.

For those of you who don’t know the series, I can highly recommend it. Please see my reviews of Book 1 – Ink and Bone and Book 2 – Paper and Fire.

Here’s the blurb for Book 3 – Ash and Quill

Held prisoner by the Burner forces in Philadelphia, Jess and his friends struggle to stay alive in the face of threats from both sides … but a stunning escape guarantees worse is coming. The Library now means to stop them by any means necessary, and they’ll have to make dangerous allies and difficult choices to stay alive.

They have only two choices: face the might of the Great Library head on, or be erased from life, and the history of the world, for ever.

Win or die.

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My review

Ash and Quill picks up where book two finished, with Jess and the gang captured and transported to Philadelphia. It was interesting to get to know the Burners and there are some explosive moments in store!

It is harder to review books from a series without spoilers, so I just want to say that this is another exciting read, full of action, intrigue, plotting, double-crossing and a touch of romance. I love the interaction between the characters, especially Jess and Morgan, and I just want them to save the world and have their happy ever after. Of course that’s never going to happen until they take down the Great Library who have upped the stakes and will do anything, even commit mass murder to stop them.

As with the other books in the series, this is a fast paced story that drags you along and keeps you interested to the last page.

This is a 5 star read and I cannot wait for book 4.

Goodreads link

Books on my TBR shelf for 2018 #amreading #readingchallenge

At the start of 2017 I wrote a list of the books I planned to read. Unfortunately, I didn’t manage to reach my goal because I spent most of my time editing rather than reading. Looking back at the books I did read in 2017 I noticed I haven’t read as much fantasy as I would like. So in 2018 I hope to immerse myself in the genre.

I decided to record a few of the books I plan to read and hopefully by telling you all, it will inspire me to keep on track. Here goes…

Ash and Quill (The Great Library book 3) – Rachel Caine

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(Book 1 and 2 were my Christmas reads over the last few years and I loved them. I’m 100 pages into book 3 and loving it just as much.)

A Gathering of Shadows (Book 2) A Conjuring of Light (Book 3) – V E Schwab

(I loved book one and chose it as a standout fantasy read for me in 2017. Here’s the post.)

Queen of Fire – Book 3 – Anthony Ryan

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(When I read book 1 – Bloodsong a few years ago I knew I had discovered my new David Gemmell in this author. I enjoyed book 2 almost as much, but for some reason haven’t got around to reading the last book.)

Magic-Born – Crown of Stones book 3 – C L Schneider

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(Crown of Stones is another great series that I can’t wait to finish reading.)

Magisterium books 2, 3 and 4. Holly Black and Cassandra Clare.

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(A brilliant children’s series that my son and I adore. Hopefully the last book will be published in 2018?)

Rhyming Rings – David Gemmell

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(David Gemmell is my all time favourite fantasy author! When I heard this unpublished book was being released in 2017, I snapped up a copy. I’m waiting for the right moment to sit and read this book without any distractions.)

Keepers – Sacha Black

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(I’ve followed Sacha’s blog for quite a while now and have been eager to read her new book, which I won in a blog competition. I’m hoping it’s one I can recommend to my son as well.)

Caraval – Stephanie Garber

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(Some of the reviewers I follow have loved this book and it’s on the strength of their reviews that I bought this. I’m looking forward to checking it out.)

I also have trilogies by Joe Abercrombie and Brandon Sanderson to complete, and it’s about time I started Throne of Glass by Sarah J Mass to see what all the fuss is about. I also hope to read some writing guides early in 2018 including;

111 tips to create your book trailer

111 tips to get book reviews

111 tips to market your book for free (all by Doris-Maria Heilmann)

13 steps to evil by Sacha Black

Fantasy Writing Prompts by Rayne Hall.

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Currently I have 283 book on my To Read shelf on Goodreads, bookshelves full of unread paperbacks, plus the kids have lots of books they’ve been recommending, and I have more books on my kindle and audiobooks to listen to. So once I’ve tackled the above list, I have plenty more books to choose from. Have you got any books that you think I should read in 2018?

What are your reading goals and what’s on your must read list?

Here’s to another year of great books. Happy reading!

My Top 10 reads of 2017 #greatreads #booklove #amreading

I’m surprised to say I beat my reading challenge target on Goodreads. I read 34 books throughout 2017, my target was 30. I read 33 in 2016, so I think I’ve found a good reading level for me, but I might aim a little higher in 2018. I plan to be more organised in my reading next year, finishing a few trilogies I’ve started etc. But I’ll post about that later. Right now, I’d like to share my Top 10 Reads of 2017…

My kids have recommended a few books this year, which have been really addictive. It’s hard to choose between them, so I’ve selected two…

Wolf Brother by Michelle Paver.

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I love wolves, have done since I read Robin Hobb’s Farseer trilogy. This book has emotion, excitement, adventure and friendship. It has been enjoyed by three generations of my family, so don’t let the fact its a children’s book put you off. I haven’t reviewed this book on my blog yet, but it is a 5 star read.

The Iron Trial By Holly Black and Cassandra Clare

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Again I haven’t reviewed this book yet, but it’s an amazing read and my first try of both these authors. I highly recommend this unputdownable 5 star book.

I tried a couple of historical fiction novels this year and I was so impressed with IREX by Carl Rackman, which I read when I was a reviewer on Rosie Amber’s book review team.

IREX by Carl Rackman

This book really draws you into the Victorian era and the mystery elements keeps you intrigued right to the end. I was sad this book had to end at all. Here’s my review.

I also tried Urban Fantasy for the first time and loved…

Eleonore by Faith Rivens

This was another 5 star read, here’s my review. I was really surprised how much I enjoyed changing my usual fantasy genre. I highly recommend this demon hunting, kick-ass heroine’s story.

Two of my stand out fantasy reads in 2017 were…

Uprooted by Naomi Novik

This was my book club choice and I loved it. Here’s the link to my original review. I loved this magical book and I’m jealous of Naomi Novik’s story telling skills.

A Darker Shade of Magic by V E Schwab

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I was taken by surprise by this novel. I loved the characters and can’t wait to read the rest of this series in 2018. I plan to share my review of the series then. It was another 5 star read.

I have listened to a few audiobooks in 2017 and two that really stand out are;

Therapy by Sebastian Fitzek

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The premise of this book really drew me in and I couldn’t stop listening. I may not have been over the moon with the ending, but it was still a great book and a 5 star read. Here’s my review.

The Breakdown by B A Paris

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This book was another addictive listen, with plenty of twists and shocks. You feel as unsure of whom to trust as the main character, Cass, and I loved the ending. A must read, and I hope to share my review of it early in 2018.

I have read a few writing guides this year. Again it was hard to choose between them, but I’ve selected two favourites…

The Writer’s Lexicon by Kathy Steinemann

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This book is a great editing companion. I found it really helpful in helping me focus on over used and redundant words, with plenty of helpful word alternatives. Here’s my review.

Overwhelmed Writer’s Rescue by Colleen M Story

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A great book to help you re-evaluate your life and focus on what matters. There is so much in this book to help you find more time to write. Here’s my review.

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So looking back at my reading in 2017 I’m impressed that I managed to read so many books considering I’ve published my second novel, The Lost Sentinel, edited a third and wrote 40k of another during NaNoWriMo.

I don’t know what 2018 will hold, but I’m looking forward to immersing myself in more fantasy books and following more review blogs to build up my TBR shelf even more.

Happy New Year everyone!

 

Book News! #fantasy #indieauthor #IARTG #ibelieveinbookfairies

My big news is that Visions of Zarua is about to get some publicity via The Book Fairies.

On Tuesday 2nd May 2017 they will be hiding 20 copies in public places and posting about it on twitter and instagram. It follows on from the initiative of Books on the Underground, which I’m sure many of you will be aware of Emma Watson (Harry Potter star) supporting.

The Book Fairies are all over the world, currently 25 countries are involved. Check out their website ibelieveinbookfairies for more information.

So if you’re out and about in the UK on Tuesday 2nd May, keep a look out for this book with a white and green Book Fairies sticker on it;

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I believe this book drop will be nationwide, so who knows who will pick up a copy! Hopefully, lots of book lovers will find Visions of Zarua, take a picture and tweet about it. Then they can take it home to read, before returning it to any public place for another book lover to find. If you find it, let me know what you think. I love hearing from my readers.

Amazon book link – If you’re not lucky enough to find a copy, it’s free to read through Kindle Unlimited.

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My other big news is that I’m almost ready to set up the Amazon pre-order for The Lost Sentinel!

I still have a couple of minor details to work through, but it is almost there and I’m so excited. I hope to reveal the book cover to the world next week.

I’ll also be looking to send ARC’s to book reviewers, but I’ll post more about that once the changes are done.

Here’s a taste of what The Lost Sentinel is about.

The magical island of Kalaya is dying, along with its Sentinel. With the Kalayan people turning their back on magic, can Tei help the exiles find their new Sentinel before it’s too late?

Cover reveal, excerpt and a beta reader’s review will follow in the coming weeks.

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If you’d like to review either The Lost Sentinel or Visions of Zarua please get in touch.

#Tuesdaybookblog Book Tag: The Coffee book tag!

Here’s a great book tag challenge for you to have a go at. I must try it out soon, but in the meantime check out Sissy Lu’s take on the challenge. My book features in her list so I’m feeling rather chuffed!

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So, I went out and I search for a book tag to do because I was bored and making myself some tea because I’ve already had my cut off amount of coffee for the day [Ugh, it’s sad I have to…

Source: Book Tag: The Coffee book tag!

July Read-A-Thon book challenge #booksavvyreaders #somethingolde

Sissy Lu is hosting a July Read-A-Thon over on booksavvyreviews.

The idea is to read 5 books in a month and the theme is the wedding rhyme #somethingolde

My books for this July challenge will be;

Somethingold – ‘Children of Hurin – J R R Tolkien’

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Somethingnew – ‘The Wedding Proposal – Sue Moorcroft’ desperate to read as I’m going to Malta soon.

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Somethingborrowed – ‘The Devil’s Detective – Simon Kurt Unsworth’ Book group’s choice

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Somethingblue – ‘The Blue Ridge Project – Neil Rochford’ Review book for Rosie Amber’s book review team.

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Sixpenceina shoe – ‘Rise of the Sparrows by Sarina Langer’ a paperback I won recently in a blog tour competition, which happens to be the 6th novel on my shelf.

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It’s already day 4 of July and I’ve only just started the challenge. Along with my blog tour, finishing a novel, preparing for the kids to break up from school etc, I may not complete the challenge, but I’ll give it a go.

Why don’t you join us?

#Fridaybookshare – The Crown of Stones: Magic-Price C.L. Schneider #Fantasy

Friday Book Share is created by Shelley Wilson. Check out her site for the rules. Join in and have fun discovering new books to read.

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Another Friday as crept up on me and this week I would like to recommend a book that has been on my Goodreads currently reading shelf since March. As soon as I finish last week’s recommended book Thief’s Magic, I will be starting on this one.

First line of the book.

Bodies pressed in on me from all sides.

Recruit fans by adding the book blurb.

Ian Troy is one of the Shinree, a fallen people with an inherent addiction to magic. Scorned and reviled for the deadly side of their spells, the Shinree are bred as slaves. Their magic is suppressed by drugs and used only as it serves the purposes of the other races. Descended from a long line of soldiers, Ian is conscripted into the Rellan army and made to fight in their longstanding conflict against the ruthless Langorian invaders. The downfall of Rella imminent, Ian goes against orders and turns to the Crown of Stones, an ancient Shinree relic of untold power. Ignorant of its true purpose, Ian uses the crown to end the war, and pays a terrible price. A decade later, still tortured by the aftermath of that day, Ian lives as a bounty hunter in self-imposed exile. Having renounced his magical heritage, he curbs his obsession with a steady stream of wine and regret. He struggles to put it all behind him, until a fateful encounter with a pretty assassin brings Ian’s past crashing into the present. Targeted by a rogue Shinree, and a ruthless old enemy, Ian is forced to use magic again. His deadly addiction is rekindled and his life of isolation is brought to a swift end. With the land he gave up everything to protect once more in jeopardy, and his people’s future at stake, Ian becomes embroiled in a violent race for control of the Crown of Stones. To save the realms and those he cares for, Ian must embrace the thing he fears most: his own power.

Introduce the main character using only three words.

(I have to confess I don’t know him well enough yet to comment)

Delightful design (add the cover image of the book).

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Audience appeal (who would enjoy reading this book?)

Fantasy fans

Your favourite line/scene.

The urgency in her voice tore at me. Aylagar was my Queen. She was my commander and my lover. The ground had settled all across the field. Weary bodies were rising up, raising their weapons to resume the killing. She could be in trouble.

But as I stared at the ring of vibrating, coloured stones in my grip, I knew what I had. And I realised I had no choice but to betray her.

Check it out on Goodreads

Have a great weekend everyone!

Stacking the Shelves 1 – May Summary #Tuesdaybookblog

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This is my first time of joining in the Stacking the Shelves meme tynga’s Reviews. I hope to take part at the end of each month and share all the books I have won, bought and downloaded for free. May has been a good month for books;

I’ve won 4 books in competitions!

Caramel Hearts recipe book – Elizabeth Rose Murray  – ebook

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The Wrong Kind of Clouds – Amanda Fleet – signed paperback

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Rise of the Sparrows – Sarina Langa – Signed paperback

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Eligible – Curtis Sittenfeld – paperback (won via Sun Perks)

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I’ve also had a book buying spree on the kindle over the last week or so.

Hills and Valleys Bk3 Ambeth Chronicles – Helen Jones

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The Runaway Bridesmaid – Daisy James

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Rise of the Sparrows – Sarina Langer (still happy to have won a signed paperback as well!)

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The Sapphire Lengend: Part II – E.L. Tenenbaum (See my review of bk 1 here)

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Wildflowerbay: Part One – Rachel Lucas

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Summer at Rose Island (bk 3) – Holly Martin

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Distress Signals – Catherine Ryan Howard (See her guest post here)

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Mud Maid – Sandra Horn & Karen Popham

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I downloaded a couple of free ebooks

The Cutting Room – Julliane Hoffman

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Flawless – Jan Moran

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There is a perfect mix of fantasy, thrillers and romance in this selection. I still have a big TBR pile and don’t know when I’ll get a chance to read all these fantastic books. But I will review them when I can, so watch this space.

Have you read any of these books, would you recommend any of them? Or has my list inspired you to purchase any new books?