Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Waiting On Wednesday #167 - The Bear And The Nightingale

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 Bear And The Nightingale - Katherine Arden
ISBN - 9781101885932
Publisher - Del Rey
Release date - January 17 2017

A young woman’s family is threatened by forces both real and fantastical in this debut novel inspired by Russian fairy tales.

In a village at the edge of the wilderness of northern Russia, where the winds blow cold and the snow falls many months of the year, a stranger with piercing blue eyes presents a new father with a gift - a precious jewel on a delicate chain, intended for his young daughter. Uncertain of its meaning, Pytor hides the gift away and Vasya grows up a wild, willful girl, to the chagrin of her family. But when mysterious forces threaten the happiness of their village, Vasya discovers that, armed only with the necklace, she may be the only one who can keep the darkness at bay.

How much do I want to read this?! It has a lot to live up to though as it's been compared to Uprooted, The Night Circus and to Neil Gaiman's work. I absolutely adore Russian fairy tales so I'm sure to love it even if the hype isn't quite met...

Saturday, 16 July 2016

Book Haul #128, Or The One Where I Nearly Succeeded...

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!

Two weeks today I'll hopefully be sitting in a writing workshop at ComicCon and fingers crossed won't have spent all my money on Funko Pops! I've been really good this week, the only books I bought were these gorgeous new British Fashion Designer Editions of Beatrix Potter stories for the 150th anniversary. If you follow me on Instagram you'll have already seen my photos and how beautiful they really are. In review titles I finally got my hands on The Women In The Walls by Amy Lukavics and the new Natalie Richards which sounds far creepier than her previous novels...


The Tale Of Squirrel Nutkin (designed by Preen)
The Tale Of Mrs Tiggy-Winkle (designed by Orla Kiely)


Thursday, 14 July 2016

July New Release Giveaway!

Welcome to the July 2016 New Release Giveaway Hop, hosted by It Starts At Midnight! The hop runs from today through to midnight on July 31 2016. 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 July 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, 13 July 2016

Waiting On Wednesday #166 - Chasing Embers

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 -

Chasing Embers - James Bennett
ISBN - 9780316390699
Publisher -Orbit
Release date - September 6 2016
Find - Goodreads 

Behind every myth, there's a spark of truth...

There's nothing special about Ben Garston. He's just a guy with an attitude in a beat-up leather jacket, drowning his sorrows in a downtown bar. Or so he'd have you believe.

What Ben Garston can't let you know is that he was once known as Red Ben. That the world of myth and legend isn't just a fantasy, as we've been led to believe. And he certainly can't let you know the secret of what's hiding just beneath his skin...

But not even Ben knows what kind of hell is about to break loose. A centuries-old rivalry has just resurfaced, and the delicate balance between his world and ours is about to be shattered.

Oooh, could it be he's a dragon??? Can't wait to get my hands on this one! 

PS. Sorry not sorry about another dragon book for Waiting On Wednesday... 

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Top Ten Tuesday #115 - (Not Very Interesting) Facts About Me...

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the fabulous girls cover at The Broke & The Bookish. This week's topic is -

Ten Facts About Me

I very rarely talk about anything personal on this blog so here are 10 facts about me  that readers of the Outsider may or may not know. I warn you now, there are no startling revelations!

  1. I collect espresso cups and tea cups & saucers. I never use them as most are too pretty to put coffee or tea in but still, my collection is expanding!
  2. I also collect Funko Pops! This is not a unique thing, I suspect hundreds (if not thousands) of bloggers do as well. My collection has grown in size from 3 two years ago to 56 as of yesterday...
  3. If anything is owl or fox related I have to have it. Seriously! I have totes, socks, pens, journals, mugs and a million other things all with owls and/or foxes on. I'm considering starting to collect sheep-related things thanks to my little blog sheep :)
  4. I'm one of those annoying people that learnt to read before I was three. My mama was a huge reader and encouraged me daily. I thank her every day for teaching me.
  5. My beloved mama died at the end of 2012, she had pancreatic cancer and passed away just 7 weeks after diagnosis.
  6. I have Rheumatoid Arthritis. It's not osteoarthritis (although I have that too) but a disease of the auto-immune system. I have had my left knee joint replaced and both my hips.
  7. I have 2 sisters, all 3 of us have red hair!
  8. I have 4 nephews and 2 nieces, the oldest is 29 and the youngest is 6.
  9. I'm a bookseller, the best job (apart from a librarian) for a bookworm.
  10. I collect horde multiple editions of my favorite books. Pride & Prejudice, Wuthering Heights, The Secret Garden, Alice In Wonderland and Jane Eyre are my biggest collections!
  11. Bonus Fact - I have a tattoo that I got the day I turned 21. I love that I have a tattoo but I really wish I chose something different...

Sunday, 10 July 2016

Book Haul #127, Or The One Where I'm Definitely Not Meant To Be Buying 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!

Three weeks today ComicCon will be all but over and hopefully I won't have run out of money! I've been saving since my vacation to France but a large chunk of that is for my hotel. I really don't want to go book buying mad this year but there are a couple of books I'm keeping my fingers crossed for and of course I'll be checking out the Funko Pops! I nearly got away with a book free week but had to buy the Collectors Edition of The BFG with never-seen-before illustrations from Quentin Blake and then I had to pick up a copy of the latest Wells & Wong Mystery by Robin Stevens. Review books wise I was good, just three titles...



Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Waiting On Wednesday #165 - The Dragon's Price

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 Dragon's Price (Transference #1) - Bethany Wiggins
ISBN - 9780399549816
Publisher - Crown Books For Young Readers
Release date - February 21 2017
Find - Goodreads

Fans of Julie Kagawa’s Talon and Renee Ahdieh’s The Wrath and the Dawn will devour this action-packed fantasy adventure about a girl who chooses to surrender herself to a deadly dragon rather than marry an enemy prince.

When two warring kingdoms unified against a deadly menace laying waste to both their lands, they had to make a choice: vow to marry their heirs to one another, or forfeit their lives to the dragon.

Centuries later, everyone expects the sheltered princess Sorrowlynn to choose the barbarian prince over the fire-breathing beast - everyone, that is, except Sorrow, who is determined to control her own destiny or die trying.

As she is lowered into the dragon’s chamber, she assumes her life is over until Golmarr, the young prince she just spurned, follows her with the hopes of being her hero and slaying the dragon. But the dragon has a different plan. . . .

If the dragon wins, it will be freed from the spell that has bound it to the cave for centuries. If Sorrow or Golmarr vanquish the dragon, the victor will gain its treasure and escape the cave beneath the mountain. But what exactly is the dragon hiding?

There are no safe havens for Sorrow or Golmarr - not even with each other - and the stakes couldn’t be higher as they risk everything to protect their kingdom.

A girl who chooses a dragon over a prince? Yes please! An idiot prince who follows said princess into the dragon's lair? This ought to be fun! But overall, dragons...

Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Top Ten Tuesday #114 - Books We Enjoyed That Have Under 2000 Ratings On Goodreads

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the fabulous girls cover at The Broke & The Bookish. This week's topic is -

Top Ten Books We Enjoyed That Have Under 2000 Ratings On Goodreads

Wow, this was fun! What a great idea to do it using Goodreads! I was quite surprised by the results, especially as all the picture books that are listed on my Goodreads account courtesy of Em & Fred came up too. I started by listing books with under 2000 ratings but after going through 4 pages of books I realised that that number was far too high and decided to go for books with 1000 or fewer ratings. That still threw up an awful lot of books but I've somehow narrowed them down to less than 100 books!

Here are some of my most underrated reads according to Goodreads...


A British thriller I borrowed from the library on impulse.


I borrowed this through Kindle Unlimited, it's a 'magic vs. technology' fantasy which was okay.


Required reading for every teen here's my review...


I love Ali Shaw's writing so I'm flabbergasted by the low rating number!


How does this book only have 650 ratings?!? Here's my review!


This had to be one of the quirkiest books I've ever read, a must for anyone who likes fairy tales and books.


What? I can't believe this beautiful book has only been rated 66 times. Read it and I defy you not to have at least a tear in your eye by the end.


A fantastic YA thriller by the author of Poison Boy this was a complete page turner!


I really expected this to have a much higher number. I saw people talking about it everywhere!


 I'm a huge fan of Oscar de Muriel's series featuring Frey and McGray, if you enjoy crime historical thrillers with a hint of woo woo then definitely read them!


This is another one that I'm really shocked by. I've seen this mentioned in so many places I can't believe it only has 305 ratings...


A hugely enjoyable thriller/mystery I loved this book, here's my review!


This really does surprise me, especially as it won the Costa Book Award 2014 and was nominated for a Carnegie award. Here's my review!

Monday, 4 July 2016

The Transference Engine - Julia Verne St John

Madame Magdala has settled comfortably into her new life in London, as the proprietress of the Book View Café, a coffee shop and extensive library. Her silent partner is Ada Lovelace, who will one day become the world’s first computer programmer - but who now is simply the young woman for whom Madame Magdala was a nursery maid.

Ten years ago, Ada’s father, Lord Bryon, was known as a great writer. But few knew of his powers as a necromancer. Upon his death, his devoted followers tried to repair the Transference Engine - a device that would allow Byron’s soul to claim the body of its choice. Magadala, along with Mary Godwin - a.k.a. Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley - had to stop them.

While the original Transference Engine was destroyed, they were unsure whether they truly stopped Bryon and his followers. Together, they fled to safety in London, and built new futures for themselves.

Now, Magdala and Mary care for the Book View Café’s community, leading fashion, following gossip, and reading the latest periodicals. But when members of the café’s community mysteriously disappear, and rumors of a threat of royal assassination grow, Magdala finds herself with new mysteries to solve. The more she learns, the clearer it becomes that this is the same mystery returned - the Transference Engine is back with a vengeance.

As soon as I read the synopsis for The Transference Engine I knew I had to read it! Victorian Steampunk, Byron & Shelley, a mechanical library in a coffee shop - all things that I love, especially together in a book! Julia Verne St John is probably better known to most as Irene Radford and here's where the only problem I had with the book comes into play - more on that later though.

The book kicks off with our intrepid heroine being interviewed under another name by the widow of the late poet Lord Byron. Thanks to an invention known as the Transference Engine Byron is not actually dead, nor is his good friend Percy Shelley. He is after a body and what could be better than that of his young daughter Augusta Ada Byron, better known as Ada Lovelace. Thanks to previous adventures with Mary Godwin and others Miss Elise Vollans (better known as Madame Magdala for almost the entirety of the book) is quite possibly the best person to be entrusted as Ada's governess/protectoress and forms a close relationship with her.

Fast forward several years and Madame Magdala is now the proprietor of the Book View Cafe, Ada is newly married and Victoria is about to ascend to the British throne. Not only serving coffee and pastries the Book View Cafe is also home to quite possibly the first steam powered library, most of which is hidden away and patrons have to ask to borrow from a huge selection of esoteric texts. But there's trouble afoot, is it an assassination attempt on Victoria or something more sinister? Using her street urchin informants, a police inspector with dubious policing techniques, a priest and various assorted other characters it's up to Madame Magdala to get to the heart of the problem and stop whatever catastrophe is looming.

The Transference Engine is a great Victorian steampunk mystery with steam powered libraries, great balloons floating over London shooting mysterious beams of light, necromancy and two of Britain's finest poets recast as the bad guys. I thoroughly enjoyed it and read it in one afternoon, easy to do when you're on a train and have nothing else to do! It's a fairly interesting take on the steampunk genre and having read quite a few of the author's books under her Irene Radford name I knew I enjoyed her writing.

 Apart from a bit of a slow start The Transference Engine is a great read and I loved the characters but here is the one problem with the book. I was constantly flipping back through the pages thinking I'd missed something, especially when it came to references to the destroyed Transference Engine itself. Very confusing but the answer lies in Steampunk Voyages, written as Irene Radford, and where Madame Magdala's previous adventures actually start. I've just bought Steampunk Voyages (book buying ban? Pfft, don't know anything about that...) so I'm looking forward to reading her earlier adventures and I sincerely hope that the Book View Cafe becomes a series as I loved the world Julia Verne St John has created and would quite happily read more!

The Transference Engine - Julia Verne St. John
ISBN - 9780756409531
Publisher - DAW Books
Release date - July 5 2016

Huge thanks to DAW Books for providing me with a review copy! 

Saturday, 2 July 2016

Book Haul #126, Or The One Where I Realise I Haven't Posted A Book Haul Since March...

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!

So, looking back through my posts I haven't posted a haul since March. Ooops? Instead of bombarding you with all the books I've received over the last 3 months here's what I got over the last week. I have to say I've been pretty good, I've only bought a handful of books and until last weekend had avoided Netgalley and Edelweiss! Thanks to DAW Books, Rebellion Publishing and Tachyon for these copies!

For Review

The new novel from the author of The Last Unicorn, can't wait to read this!

Sherlock Holmes versus the Cenobites from Hellraiser? Yes please! Favorite detective and favorite movie...

Victorian Steampunk, books and coffee? Sold! Review coming next week and, hopefully, a guest post from the author!
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