Thursday, 11 May 2017

May New Release Giveaway!

Welcome to the May 2017 New Release Giveaway Hop, hosted by It Starts At Midnight! The hop runs from today through to midnight on May 31st, 2017. Up for grabs is any new release this month up to the value of $22 from the Book Depository as long as they deliver to your country - find the list of countries here

All you have to do is choose any new release published in May and fill out the rafflecopter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Check out the linky for lots of other chances to win, thanks for entering and good luck!

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Waiting On Wednesday #186 - The Memory Trees

Can't Wait Wednesday is a new weekly meme hosted here to spotlight and talk about the books we're excited about that we have yet to read. Generally, they're books that have yet to be released as well. It's based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine
This week's choice is -

The Memory Trees - Kali Wallace 
ISBN - 9780062366238
Publisher - Katherine Tegen Books
Release date - October 10th, 2017

The Memory Trees is a dark magical realism novel about a mysterious family legacy, a centuries-old feud, and a tragic loss that resurfaces when sixteen-year-old Sorrow returns to her mother’s family orchard for the summer.

Sorrow Lovegood’s life has been shaped by the stories of the women who came before her: brave, resilient women who settled long ago on a mercurial apple orchard in Vermont. The land has been passed down through generations, and Sorrow and her family take pride in its strange history. Their offbeat habits may be ridiculed by other townspeople - especially their neighbors, the Abrams family - but for the first eight years of her life, the orchard is Sorrow’s whole world.

Then one winter night everything changes. Sorrow’s sister Patience is tragically killed. Their mother suffers a mental breakdown. Sorrow is sent to live with her dad in Miami, away from the only home she’s ever known.

Now sixteen, Sorrow’s memories of her life in Vermont are maddeningly hazy; even the details of her sister’s death are unclear. She returns to the orchard for the summer, determined to learn more about her troubled childhood and the family she left eight years ago. Why has her mother kept her distance over the years? What actually happened the night Patience died? Is the orchard trying to tell her something, or is she just imagining things?

Magical realism and trees? Two of the things guaranteed to make me interested in a book, along with that rather lovely cover... Bit of a cheat on this one as I now have an ARC which I'm hoping to get to soon!

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Can't Wait Wednesday #185 - The Waking Land

Can't Wait Wednesday is a new weekly meme hosted here to spotlight and talk about the books we're excited about that we have yet to read. Generally, they're books that have yet to be released as well. It's based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine
This week's choice is -

The Waking Land - Callie Bates
ISBN - 9781473638723
Publisher - Hodder & Stoughton
Release date - June 27th, 2017

It's been fourteen years since King Antoine took Elanna hostage. Fourteen years since her father's rebellion failed. Fourteen years spent being raised by the man who condemned her people to misery. A man she's come to love as a father.

Now 20, Elanna is about to be taken prisoner once again... but this time by her father's mysterious right-hand man.

Her father wants to reignite his rebellion, this time using Elanna as figurehead. He will tell his followers she is the legendary Wildegarde reborn, a sorceress who could make the very earth tremble.

But what no one knows is that magic really does flow through Elanna's veins. Now she must decide which side she's on, and whether she'll use her powers for mercy... or revenge.

A bold and gorgeous fantasy featuring a brilliant heroine on the cusp of womanhood, The Waking Land is the first of a trilogy that will delight fans of The Red Queen, Six of Crows, and Court of Thorns and Roses.

I was initially drawn to this because of the striking US cover and then I saw this oh so pretty UK cover. Then I read the author's description of her inspiration - neolithic monuments, land stewardship, royal hostages, and poisonous fungi. Sold! I'm ignoring the bit that says 'for fans of...' because that way lies disappointment!


Monday, 1 May 2017

#BoutOfBooks 19 SignUp

Yes, it's that time again so this is me signing up for what I think is my 13th Bout of Books. I kind of glossed over the last two and the one before that gave up about halfway through but I'm feeling good about reading after a great Dewey #readathon at the weekend! Go here to join the bookish fun for yourself!

As for what I'm reading? I shall carry on with the pile I made for the #readathon but add a couple of review titles that I'm desperate to read!

Let me know if you're joining in too, I'd love to hear about what you might read!

Sunday, 30 April 2017

What I Did In The Readathon...

Time for a change this year! Rather than constantly updating on here I thought I'd post photos on Instagram throughout the #readathon and do a round-up post here. Imagine my delight when I discovered there was going to be an Instagram #readathon too!

So that was my #readathon all perfectly set up for me in advance... Let's see what actually happened!

Hour 1 - Hour 5

Reading, lots of reading and all the IG prompts. Gail Carriger liked my picture of Soulless and left a comment (about forgetting the #readathon was on, but still, squee!!!) and I was pretty pleased with my progress.

Hours 6 & 7

Stopped for dinner, both the making and the eating of, so no reading.

Hour 8 - Hour 10

More reading but no prompts as surprise! The internet connection was down. This happens every time I do the Dewey #readathon and I'm starting to think I'm jinxed.

Hour 11 - Hour 21

This mainly consisted of reading for a bit, dozing off and waking to look at the time. Repeat a dozen times and that's how I spent those hours.

Hour 22 - Hour 24

Consisted of reading and breakfast and more reading.

And now it's all over until October when I hope I can join in the whole day again!

Closing Survey

1. Which hour was most daunting for you? All of them...
2. Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a reader engaged for next time? Anything shortish and/or graphic novels
3. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next season? Nope, loved it as usual!
4. What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon? The Instagram challenge, please keep this!!!
5. How many books did you read? 6
6. What were the names of the books you read? Swashbuckle Lil & the Jewel Thief, The Secret Of Nightingale Wood, Soulless, The Watcher, Thursdays with the Crown, Fridays with the Wizard. I also read a couple of short stories from Fearsome Magics
7. Which book did you enjoy most? The Secret of Nightingale Wood
8. Which did you enjoy least? The Watcher
9. How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time? Sign me up please! And always as a reader, although I'd be quite happy to do something on Instagram...

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

GuestPost: If I Were A Fictional Character - Andy Briggs

I'm very excited to welcome Andy Briggs back to the Outsider today as part of the blog tour for the third instalment in the Inventory series, Black Knight. Rather aptly for a third book this is Andy's third guest post on the blog. His first was on fictional inspirations, his second was on how to write a sci-fi world, and today he's talking about his favorite fictional characters. I have to say, I agree with his final choice... A huge thanks to both Andy and Scholastic for getting to read the next heart-stopping adventure of Dev and his gang!

If I were a fictional character I would be…

If I could body-swap with any fictional character, who would it be?

Well, I think we should be treating this experiment as if we’re buying a new car. Let’s explore the car dealership, a second-hand dealership, of course. I intend to take them for a test drive.

Luke Skywalker – the young Jedi from the original series (not the old duffer in the new ones!). This should be a good test drive, after all he gets to blow up a Death Star, Imperial Walkers and run around a swamp. But ultimately, Skywalker has some serious family issues and – face it – he’s not as cool as his dad. Plus, all that moping around on a desert farm… I think it’s time to switch bodies…

After having a few minutes awesome fun being Darth Vader, I quickly flitted onward as I thought he maybe wasn’t setting quite the right tone for a distinguished blog such as this…

After a hop-skip-and-a-jump I’m experiencing Harry Potter. He’s not quite as glamorous as you may think. There’s a terrible smell of sweaty shoes in the cupboard and Hogwarts catering is failing several basic health and safety standards. I guess JK was forced to edit those details out. Onwards.

I took a wrong turn in the quantum time tunnel and, after a little excitement as Young Bond, decided Old Bond was definitely having all the fun. After all that fooling around in speedboats and supercars, it was time for another skin ‘n’ bones excursion…

This time I thought I’d take a spin through the trees as Tarzan. Yup, it’s a lot of fun, although the smell of gorilla poop is all invasive and those splinters in the feet are a nightmare. I considered dropping in on Dev, my main character in the Inventory… but I thought perhaps not. After all, I know what an uncomfortable ride he’s in for. At the end of the day my final full-body test drive was an easy decision to make and one, I think, we can agree on --

Spiderman. I would be Spiderman and, let’s face it, who wouldn’t?

About The Author

Andy Briggs is a screenwriter, producer and author of the, and Tarzan series. Andy has worked on film development for Paramount and Warner Bros, as well as working with Marvel Comics legend Stan Lee and producer Robert Evans. With a strong social media following, Andy tours the UK regularly, doing festival, school, and library events.
Website | Twitter

Follow The Tour

The Inventory: Black Knight - Andy Briggs

Dev and his friends are back with more mind-bending tech in this third installment of the Inventory series. 

The World Consortium is recruiting more agents to defend the most advanced technology the world isn't ready for, and it's up to Dev, Lottie, and Mase to train them up for action. But will they be ready before Shadow Helix's next strike? And has Dev uncovered all the secrets of his past, or is there more to know about his special abilities?

We're back in the World Consortium with Dev, Lottie, Mason, along with some new arrivals to face the next battle with Shadow Helix. Say what you like about reading YA or middle-grade fiction, the Inventory series have been better than a lot of the adult 'tech' thrillers I've read over the years - and not because it's in a more simple form. 

Each installment has improved on the last so reading Black Knight was a huge treat but I was concerned about the addition of extra characters to the gang. I worried needlessly because Wan Soo, Riya, and Aaron were great and added an extra layer to the dynamics between Lot, Dev, and Mason. Dev and his friends are in charge of training the new recruits and this does not always go as smoothly as Uncle Charles (Parker, head of the World Consortium) would like. There's more than a little friction, especially when Mason starts mooning over the new girl and one of the new boys doesn't seem to have a good word to say about anything, except for dropping veiled hints about the fact there may be a mole in their midst...

Not only do they have to contend with Shadow Helix it appears there may be a new player in town, called the Company Of Merchant Adventurers who appear at every location the children go to on their mission to retrieve more of the technology stolen from the warehouse. There's also a mystery man who claims to have amnesia, a mysterious entity known as Black Knight and a flashback to the 1800's which I loved!

Black Knight has all the great elements from the first two books and then more heaped on top. I think the relationship between Dev, Mason, and Lot is exactly as it should be and their bond is even stronger despite Mason going gaga over Riya. The action is non-stop from the first page to the last page, the tech in this one was amazing and personally, I'd like to get my hands on some of it! There's also a space battle which I shan't say anything about so as not to spoil too much of the plot but this was by far the best trip into space I've read about, especially as we're reminded of Dev's fear of heights...

The book ends on a cliffhanger but for once I'm happy about this as it confirms (hopefully) that the gang will be back for more adventures and I would love to get to know more about the Company of Merchant Adventurers. In the meantime, all three books are going on the keeper shelf for the twins to read, even though it might be a couple of years before they're ready for them!

The Inventory: Black Knight - Andy Briggs
ISBN - 9781407162065
Publisher - Scholastic UK
Release date - April 6th, 2017

Thanks again to both Andy and Scholastic for the chance to read Black Knight and don't forget to check out my review of book one, Iron Fist, here.
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