Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Waiting On Wednesday #136 - Hex by Thomas Olde Heuvelt

Waiting On Wednesday, where we put the spotlight on upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating, is hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine.

This week's choice is -

Hex - Thomas Olde Heuvelt
ISBN - 9781444793215
Publisher - Hodder & Stoughton
Release date - April 28 2016

The incredible, horrifying thriller from Thomas Olde Heuveult, the Hugo award-winning author of 'The Day The World Turned Upside Down', perfect for fans of Neil Gaiman, Adam Nevill and Stephen King.

Whoever is born here, is doomed to stay until death. Whoever comes to stay, never leaves.

Welcome to Black Spring, the seemingly picturesque Hudson Valley town haunted by the Black Rock Witch, a seventeenth-century woman whose eyes and mouth are sewn shut. Blind and silenced, she walks the streets and enters homes at will. She stands next to children's beds for nights on end. So accustomed to her have the townsfolk become that they often forget she's there. Or what a threat she poses. Because if the stitches are ever cut open, the story goes, the whole town will die.

The curse must not be allowed to spread. The elders of Black Spring have used high-tech surveillance to quarantine the town. Frustrated with being kept in lockdown, the town's teenagers decide to break the strict regulations and go viral with the haunting. But, in so doing, they send the town spiraling into a dark nightmare.

This sounds amazing, a witch with eyes & mouth sewn shut and high tech surveillance! I was completely hooked after seeing the fantastic cover reveal last week and I can't wait to get my hands on a copy. This would be perfect to read over Halloween, curled up with a blanket, hot chocolate and listening to the rain falling outside. I'll definitely be buying this a.s.a.p.!

Sunday, 27 September 2015

Spooky Sunday #1 - When The Lights Went Out

Welcome to the first edition of Spooky Sunday! This week I'm talking about a British horror movie called When The Lights Went Out starring Kate Ashfield from Shaun of the Dead.

Inspired by a true story now known as The Black Monk of Pontefract the movie is set in 1970's North of England when the power strikes were happening and it wasn't unheard of for the power to turn off without any notice. Moving into their dream house Len, Jenny and their daughter Sally soon discover that things are not quite as they seem. Poltergeist activity starts up and seems to be centered around Sally but Len especially tries to brush it off as Sally misbehaving, being mad at them for moving. He and his wife both find out that this is not the case and things obviously escalate until lives are threatened.

The movie is nothing new, there's no groundbreaking new development in film or outstanding special effects, but it is disquieting and watched under the right circumstances will definitely unnerve you. It's worth a watch if you're a fan of horror movies without blood, guts and gore but don't expect too much! At 85 minutes long it's over before it has chance to get started but it is wrapped up by the end, with a neat bow... Or is it?

Directed by Pat Holden (Moon)
Starring Kate Ashfield as Jenny, Steven Waddington as Len and newcomer Tasha Connor as Sally.

An R.I.P. Peril of the Screen review!

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Special Edition Cover Reveal - Trapped In The Bargain Basement

Earlier this year I read and loved Nick Bryan's first two instalments in the Hobson & Choi series, The Girl Who Tweeted Wolf and Rush Jobs. I'm absolutely thrilled to be able to share the cover of book three, Trapped In The Bargain Basement, and not just because it's a quote from me at the top of the cover ;)

Trapped In The Bargain Basement - Hobson & Choi Case 3

“You've heard of conspiracies within conspiracies? I wish conspiracies WOULD hide inside each other, instead of turning up everywhere I go."
Angelina Choi returns for her final day of work experience at the Hobson Agency - is there a job waiting afterwards? Should she walk away for her own good?
While she mulls it over, they're hired by the massive EastVillage shopping centre to investigate a spate of muggings. But do the management know more than they're letting on?
As Hobson and Choi wrestle with commercialised corruption, will Angelina finally squeeze in her first date with Will the Hot Receptionist? Can anything emerge from the smoking crater of Hobson’s love life?
Trapped In The Bargain Basement plunges the grimly comic London crime series to new depths, after climbing to #1 in Dark Comedy on Amazon and breaking records on Jukepop Serials.
Also included: Wuff! - The Markus Tail, a book-only bonus short story. Discover the bone-gnawingly tense origin of H&C’s furriest, friendliest character.

“If you’re looking for a fast paced, funny read, you can’t really go wrong with the adventures of Hobson & Choi.”
“The chemistry between the two main characters is irresistible, and it drives the story forward... If you're tired of the same old private eye story, check this one out.”
"This first instalment in the Hobson and Choi series took me on a twisty turny crime adventure which kept me guessing till the very heart stopping end!"
“I love the characters Hobson and Choi, they're a fantastic duo that really make these books!”
“Hobson and Choi's first case is a gripping read that will have you laughing, tearing up a bit, and unwilling to put it down.”
Nick Bryan  Website | Twitter | Facebook

Waiting On Wednesday #135 - The Girl From Everywhere

Waiting On Wednesday, where we put the spotlight on upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating, is hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine.

This week's choice is -

The Girl From Everywhere - Heidi Heilig
ISBN - 9780062380753
Publisher - Greenwillow
Release date - February 16 2016
Find - Goodreads

Heidi Heilig’s debut teen fantasy sweeps from modern-day New York City to nineteenth-century Hawaii to places of myth and legend. Sixteen-year-old Nix has sailed across the globe and through centuries aboard her time-traveling father’s ship. But when he gambles with her very existence, it all may be about to end. The Girl from Everywhere, the first of two books, will dazzle readers of Sabaa Tahir, Rae Carson, and Rachel Hartman.

Nix’s life began in Honolulu in 1868. Since then she has traveled to mythic Scandinavia, a land from the tales of One Thousand and One Nights, modern-day New York City, and many more places both real and imagined. As long as he has a map, Nix’s father can sail his ship, The Temptation, to any place, any time. But now he’s uncovered the one map he’s always sought - 1868 Honolulu, before Nix’s mother died in childbirth. Nix’s life - her entire existence - is at stake. No one knows what will happen if her father changes the past. It could erase Nix’s future, her dreams, her adventures . . . her connection with the charming Persian thief, Kash, who’s been part of their crew for two years. If Nix helps her father reunite with the love of his life, it will cost her her own.

In The Girl from Everywhere, Heidi Heilig blends fantasy, history, and a modern sensibility with witty, fast-paced dialogue, breathless adventure, and enchanting romance.

A severe case of cover love and the synopsis sounds fantastic!  Imagine being able to sail to any place in any time, regardless of whether it's real or fictional. I'll take that adventure please...

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Top Ten Tuesday #100 - Books On My Fall TBR

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the wonderful gals cover at The Broke & The Bookish. This week's topic is a freebie so I'm going to do one that I missed earlier this year.

Top Ten Books On My Fall TBR

My favorite topic! I don't know why I don't skip the TBR topics as I never end up reading any of the books on the lists I put together. Maybe this one will be different... I do really want to read these books as well, and soon! There are nine on my list this week as I'm still searching for books to go along with my R.I.P. reading. Any suggestions gratefully accepted!

Monday, 21 September 2015

Bookmarked... #8

The return of the (mostly) weekly post letting you all know what I'm reading and have lined up for the week! It's my own version of Sheila at Book Journey's It's Monday What Are You Reading and I have her permission to rename it for my own nefarious reasons :)

Well, I'm still reading what I was reading two weeks ago but have also picked up and/or finished a few other random books! A couple were library books that had to be returned as they had holds on them but mostly I've been picking up books and trying them to see if they hold my attention. This crazy method seems to be working as my reading has improved, especially over the last week.


The Death House

Currently Reading

Up Next, Maybe

Hexed - Kevin Hearne

Hexed (Iron Druid Chronicles #2) - Kevin Hearne
ISBN - 9780345522498
Publisher - Del Rey
Release date - June 7 2011

Atticus O’Sullivan, last of the Druids, doesn’t care much for witches. Still, he’s about to make nice with the local coven by signing a mutually beneficial nonaggression treaty - when suddenly the witch population in modern-day Tempe, Arizona, quadruples overnight. And the new girls are not just bad, they’re badasses with a dark history on the German side of World War II.

With a fallen angel feasting on local high school students, a horde of Bacchants blowing in from Vegas with their special brand of deadly decadence, and a dangerously sexy Celtic goddess of fire vying for his attention, Atticus is having trouble scheduling the witch hunt. But aided by his magical sword, his neighbor’s rocket-propelled grenade launcher, and his vampire attorney, Atticus is ready to sweep the town and show the witchy women they picked the wrong Druid to hex...

I originally picked up the first couple of Iron Druid Chronicles as someone recommended them as an excellent way to fill the gap in between instalments of Jim Butcher's Dresden Files and then let them sit on my TBR  mountain for a couple of years... I read Hounded in July last year and loved it, went out and bought all the available books and promptly moved on to something else. Fast forward to this year and I've just finished my epic re-read/finishing off of the Dresden Files and found Hexed, Hammered and Tricked sitting underneath them. Obviously a sign that it's time to read them!

At the end of Hounded (which I never reviewed but gave 4 stars on Goodreads) Atticus has found himself with his first apprentice in some time and cautiously optimistic about the future. However, Leif (his centuries old vampire lawyer of course) wants him to take on a new quest - to kill Thor! Before he even has time to contemplate this Atticus gets caught up in some witchy business. The coven he's about to sign a peace treaty with are being targeted by an old enemy, one that has Atticus in their sights too.

Joined by the motley assortment of characters we were introduced to in the first book Atticus is soon up to his eyeballs in trouble again. Oberon, (nearly) everyone's favorite Irish Wolfhound, is back with his brilliantly witty (for a dog) commentary, the Widow MacDonagh gets to see more of our druid than an elderly lady probably should and there are goddesses fighting over him each with their own nefarious reasons for wanting Atticus to be dedicated purely to them. We get to know a little bit more about Granuaile and Laksha makes a brief reappearance too.

Hexed is an excellent addition to Hounded, I love Kevin Hearne's writing which makes the story move along nicely without stalling and the fact that mythology is the main theme this really is my perfect sort of book/series. It would be completely unfair to compare the Iron Druid Chronicles to the Dresden Files as they're both so different but I'm glad I listened to my friend's recommendation. I now have two favorite urban fantasy series instead of one and I can't wait to see what happens to Atticus in Hammered.

Iron Druid Chronicles


Sunday, 20 September 2015

Book Haul #115, Or The One With What Seems Like All The Books...

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly event hosted on Tynga's Reviews where we can share what new books we've picked up this past week be they bought, borrowed or downloaded. There are also lots of other 'book haul' memes out there for you to choose from!

I have got to remember to book haul posts on a slightly more regular basis again! This may look like I have all the books in the world - again - but I swear I don't! This is about five weeks worth of books but in my defense in all that time? I only bought three books!!!


Beyond The Page - Quentin Blake
The Next Together - Lauren James
Ruby Slippers, Golden Tears - Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling

Library Books

Europe In Autumn - David Hutchinson
Crazy Love You - Lisa Unger
The Cutting - James Hayman
The Dark Light - Julia Bell
A Game For All The Family - Sophie Hannah
Little Girl Lost - Brian McGilloway
Nelly Dean - Alison Case
Skulduggery Pleasant - Derek Landy
What Remains - Tim Weaver

For Review

The Abyss Surrounds Us - Emily Skrutskie
The Casquette Girls - Alys Arden
City Of Wonders - James A Moore
Dark Heart Of Magic - Jennifer Estep
The House On Cold Hill - Peter James
Mythmaker - Marianne de Pierres
Never Never - Brianna R Shrum
Sleeping Giants - Sylvain Neuvel
The Snow Sister - Emma Carroll
These Shallow Graves - Jennifer Donnelly
When I Was Me - Hilary Freeman
Worlds Of Ink & Shadow - Lena Coakley

Saturday, 19 September 2015

Stuck In A Good Book Giveaway!

Welcome to the Stuck In A Good Book Giveaway Hop, hosted by Stuck in Books and I Am a Reader, Not a Writer! The prize for this giveaway is a book that's so good you're stuck to the pages until it's finished! I've chosen six of the books I have absolutely loved and found impossible to put down this year. If you win you get to choose one of the titles pictured below. The giveaway is open internationally as long as you live in a country that the Book Depository ships to, check out this list to see if your country is there. However, if you don't trust my amazing taste in books you may choose a title yourself up to the value of $12 or if it's a series you may choose a different book in that series. The giveaway is open from now until midnight on September 2015.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Check out all of the other blogs taking part for more chances to win! Thanks for entering and good luck!

Friday, 18 September 2015

Five Children On The Western Front - Kate Saunders

Five Children On The Western Front - Kate Saunders
ISBN -  9780571310951
Publisher - Faber & Faber
Release date - October 2 2014

Have you ever wondered what happened to the Five Children and It characters when the First World War began?

Cyril is off to fight, Anthea is at art college, Robert is a Cambridge scholar and Jane is at high school. The Lamb is the grown up age of 11, and he has a little sister, Edith, in tow. The sand fairy has become a creature of stories ... until he suddenly reappears. The siblings are pleased to have something to take their minds off the war, but this time the Psammead is here for a reason, and his magic might have a more serious purpose.

Before this last adventure ends, all will be changed, and the two younger children will have seen the Great War from every possible viewpoint - factory-workers, soldiers and sailors, nurses and the people left at home, and the war's impact will be felt right at the heart of their family

I have been a huge fan of E. Nesbit and her work since my mother first read Five Children and It to me when I was tiny. I've read the original trilogy countless times so when I heard that there was a continuation of the story being published I was horrified, for want of a better word. I'm not a fan of most of these modern retellings of children's classics that people assume children need because the originals are too old fashioned. Despite my hesitation I bought and have owned Five Children On The Western Front since it was published in late 2014, unread until I picked it up earlier this week needing something to boot me out of the mini slump I seem to have found myself in. It worked!

I'm still not a fan of modern interpretations but Kate Saunders somehow managed to tap into Nesbit's voice perfectly and it was almost impossible to tell at times that this wasn't written by one of the first (and best) authors for children herself.

We've skipped ahead a decade and along with Cyril, Robert, Anthea, Jane and The Lamb (real name Hilary!) the Pemberton family has been joined by Edie, narrator for most of the book. It's now the first world war and Cyril is heading off to fight, Robert is at Cambridge, Anthea is at art school and it's a tumultuous period in history. The Psammead is all but forgotten, becoming a family myth, until he suddenly reappears at the bottom of the garden.

Realizing that he has reappeared for a reason, apparently to repent for all his evil deeds when he was a minor god in ancient times, both the Psammead or Sammy as he comes to be known in Cyril's letters home, and the children (mostly Edie and The Lamb thanks to being the only two left at home) set out to discover just why he's reappeared now. Five Children On The Western Front is a much darker book in terms of both story and tone. with the war hanging over the family personally, Cyril getting ready to fight and Anthea becoming a women's volunteer in the hospital it's a constant reminder that despite magic and wishes and traveling through time & space real life is brutal.

Kate Saunders has written a heartbreaking yet beautiful companion novel, one that I will definitely be revisiting in the future - maybe after reading the original trilogy, although I think having a gap of a few years between reading The Story of the Amulet was beneficial as any obvious differences in voice weren't as clear cut, at least to me. Five Children On The Western Front won the Costa Book Award For Children which was hugely deserved, especially as it made me have a tear in my eye for most of the book.

Further Reading

Five Children & It
The Phoenix & The Carpet
The Story Of The Amulet

Thursday, 17 September 2015

Star Wars: The Imperial Handbook - A Commander's Guide

Star Wars: Imperial Handbook (A Commander's Guide) - Daniel Wallace
ISBN - 9781783293681
Publisher - Titan Books (on behalf of the Dark Side)
Release date - August 7 2015

Set in-world, Star Wars: The Imperial Handbook shares the knowledge of a newly promoted Commander in the Imperial Military, providing a comprehensive overview of the Imperial war machine.

Welcome to the Dark Side, we have cookies! Sorry, I always want to say that...

Star Wars: The Force Awakens is on its way and so naturally there's a need for all things Star Wars catering to both those who are decades long fans and those new to the Saga. Daniel Wallace's Imperial Handbook is one such item.

Beautifully illustrated and well planned this is one of the last remaining copies of the Imperial Handbook given to newly promoted comanders of the Imperial Army. Found after the destruction of the first Death Star this copy though has fallen into the hands of the rebels and given them a huge advantage. Details of just about anything Imperial you can think of make this book a goldmine in the right (or wrong) hands.

From propaganda posters, tips on what to do during free time and tech knowledge of the Death Star (including those all important exhaust ports *nudge nudge*) to battle tactics and uniform detail this is a comprehensive guide to all things Imperial Commander. Solo, Leia, Antilles, Rieekan and of course Skywalker have all found it to be an invaluable source of knowledge if the annotations found scattered throughout the handbook are anything to go by.

A truly stunning guide, of interest to those who favor the Dark or the Light... We have cookies, did I mention that??? 


Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Waiting On Wednesday #134 - Sleeping Giants

Waiting On Wednesday, where we put the spotlight on upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating, is hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine.

This week's choice is -

Sleeping Giants (Themis Files #1) - Sylvain Neuvel 
ISBN - 9781101886694
Publisher - Del Rey
Release date - April 26 2016

World War Z meets The Martian. This inventive first novel will please devoted fans of sci-fi as well as literary readers hoping a smart thriller will sneak up on them.

17 years ago: A girl in South Dakota falls through the earth, then wakes up dozens of feet below ground on the palm of what seems to be a giant metal hand. Today: She is a top-level physicist leading a team of people to understand exactly what that hand is, where it came from, and what it portends for humanity. A swift and spellbinding tale told almost exclusively through transcriptions of interviews conducted by a mysterious and unnamed character, this is a unique debut that describes a hunt for truth, power, and giant body parts.

I love the sound of this! Falling through the earth only to land on a giant hand? Definitely want to know more about that...

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Top Ten Tuesday #99 - Favorite Books So Far This Year

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the wonderful gals cover at The Broke & The Bookish. This week's topic is a freebie so I'm going to do one that I missed earlier this year.

Top Ten Favorite Books So Far This Year

This is a selection of some of my favorite books this year, not necessarily some of the best but definitely books that will make it on to my 'reread' list in years to come. All fiction apart from one!

Monday, 14 September 2015

September New Release Giveaway!

Welcome to the September New Release Giveaway Hop, hosted by It Starts At Midnight and Librarian Lavender! The hop runs from today through to midnight on September 30 2015. 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 September and fill out the rafflecopter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Check out the linky below for all more blogs taking part, thanks for entering and good luck!

Saturday, 12 September 2015

R(eaders) I(mbibing) P(eril) X: Time To Scare Yourself Silly...

Hosted by the lovely ladies over at The Estella Society, the tenth year of R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril runs from September 1 to October 31 and encourages readers to dive in to the spookier side of reading. Got a thriller, mystery, short horror story, or Gothic novel you've been wanting to read? Definitely counts towards R.I.P. The rules are relaxed, as are the expectations (namely, read and have fun). There are a variety of R.I.P. challenges to suit different readers (and/or watchers), and you can read more about all of them at the link above. 
I've been a fan of R.I.P. since it started but I signed up for this last year for the first time (I've always remembered too late before) and failed miserably. This year I'm going for it though, especially as it's been too long since I've read any great horror or indeed watched any great horror movies! The group read this year is also one that's been sitting on my TBR  pile since the day it was published. Definitely time to dust off my copy...

Peril of the Group Read: This is something Carl allowed us to do in partnership with RIP beginning a few years ago. We’re back at it this year with Amanda from Fig and Thistle to read Lauren Owen’s The Quick. The group read officially begins on September 18 (during the Dog Days of Summer Readathon) and ends on October 18 (during the Dewey’s Readathon!). There's a mid-point check-in on October 12. Feel free to use our questions or post on your own! We’ll provide the linky!

 Peril On the Screen: This is for those of us that like to watch suitably scary, eerie, mysterious gothic fare during this time of year. It may be something on the small screen or large. It might be a television show, like Dark Shadows or Midsomer Murders, or your favorite film.

Peril the First: Read four books, any length, that you feel fit (the very broad definitions) of R.I.P. literature. It could be King or Conan Doyle, Penny or Poe, Chandler or Collins, Lovecraft or Leroux…or anyone in between.
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