Tuesday 26 February 2013

Waiting On Wednesday #16 - In The Shadow Of The Blackbirds

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

I've seen my choice this week on lots of WoW posts over the last couple of weeks so it's not just me that can't wait for this one!

In The Shadow Of Blackbirds - Cat Winters
ISBN -  9781419705304
Publisher - Amulet Books
Expected pub. date - April 2 2013

'In 1918, the world seems on the verge of apocalypse. Americans roam the streets in gauze masks to ward off the deadly Spanish influenza, and the government ships young men to the front lines of a brutal war, creating an atmosphere of fear and confusion. Sixteen-year-old Mary Shelley Black watches as desperate mourners flock to séances and spirit photographers for comfort, but she herself has never believed in ghosts. During her bleakest moment, however, she’s forced to rethink her entire way of looking at life and death, for her first love—a boy who died in battle—returns in spirit form. But what does he want from her?

Featuring haunting archival early-twentieth-century photographs, this is a tense, romantic story set in a past that is eerily like our own time.' -

I think this sounds amazing and something that I would love, a bit like Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children in that it uses archival photographs.

What are you waiting for?


Bookish Bits #1

Two bookish things happening here at the Outsider this week! First up I found out I'm going to be very busy on April 23 participating in 

and handing out 20 copies of

Yes, that's right - the amazing The Knife Of Never Letting Go by the equally fantastic Patrick Ness. A friend and I already have a plan of where we'll be handing out my precious copies of Knife and I can't wait to see the looks on people's faces as I've heard some great stories from last year's event!

The other thing probably won't be exciting to anyone but me but I got this

in the mail today from LibraryThing and I've been merrily scanning books onto my LT account all afternoon! I've had an LT account since 2005 but in the last few years very naughtily defected to Goodreads. I decided a couple of weeks ago that since all my books pre-2009 were on LT I really needed to get everything I've bought since on there too. However, the prospect of typing hundreds, possibly even thousands of titles/authors/ISBN's did not appeal so I gave in and bought probably the world's most pointless gadget! It's amused me all afternoon but I think I've given myself a scanning injury as I'm in agony now. Best cure? Hot chocolate and a book!

Monday 25 February 2013

Reading Round-Up #12

It's Monday, What Are You Reading? is hosted by Sheila at Book Journey This is a great way to plan out your reading week and see what others are currently reading as well… you never know where that next “must read” book will come from!

After reading virtually nothing last week because of spending the week with my favorite  three year olds this week I seem to have gone into overdrive! It always helps when library books are due or I'm getting a new selection so probably explains why everything this week is a library book!


Fixing Delilah - Sarah Ockler
 Perfect Chemistry - Simone Elkeles
 Into The Dark - Peter Abrahams
 Someone Else's Life - Katie Dale
 Night School - C J Daugherty
 Night School: Legacy - C J Daugherty
Shattered Dreams - Ellie James

 Hollow Pike - James Dawson
Dark Angels - Katherine Langrish
Up Next

 Flesh And Bone - Jonathan Maberry
 Until I Die - Amy Plum
Obsidian Mirror - Catherine Fisher

I am probably being ambitious, especially as I have 5 days of the 3yo's coming up but at least I'm prepared! What have you been reading?

Saturday 23 February 2013

Stacking The Shelves #4 / In My Mailbox #14

In My Mailbox is a weekly event hosted by Kristi over at The Story Siren.  Stacking the Shelves is a weekly event hosted on Tynga's Reviews.  Here we can share what new books we've picked up this past week.

So, there were no new books for me last week - not really anything bookish as I was too busy running around with a bunch of 2 & 3 year olds and getting to hold an adorable 3 week old baby Edward :) This week however, well... I bought 1 book and then went a bit nuts downloading freebies for my Kindle. In the meantime I'd completely forgotten about it being library week!


Dance Of Shadows - Yelena Black

Kindle - Borrowed

The Woodcutter - Kate Danley

Kindle - Freebies

Cursed - Tara Brown

 Earth - Shauna Granger

 Enchantress - James Mawell

Reckless Magic - Rachel Higginson

Wraith & Shadow Bound - Angel Lawson

Songbird - Angela Fristoe

The Torn Wing - Kiki Hamilton

Library Books

Elijah's Mermaid - Essie Fox
Maggot Moon - Sally Gardner
Hollow Pike - James Dawson
Dark Angels - Katherine Langrish
1Q84 Bks 1 & 2 - Haruki Murakami
1Q84 Bk 3 - Haruki Murakami
The Weird Sisters - Eleanor Brown
Shattered Dreams - Ellie James
Obsidian Mirror - Catherine Fisher
Until I Die - Amy Plum
The Golden Lily - Richelle Mead
Black Spring - Alison Croggon
Flesh & Bone - Jonathan Maberry
Night School - C J Daugherty
Night School: Legacy - C J Daugherty

What did you get this week?

Wednesday 20 February 2013

YA Paranormal Giveaway Hop

Welcome to the YA Paranormal Giveaway Hop hosted by I Am a Reader, Not a Writer and YA Between the Lines running between February 21 & 27. The prize is a YA Paranormal book from the Book Depository as long as they ship to your country.

To give you some ideas, here's some of my favorite YA paranormal books from the last couple of years -

Ruined by Paula Morris
Bad Girls Don't Die by Katie Alender
A Certain Slant Of Light by Laura Whitcomb
Anna Dressed In Blood by Kendare Blake
Dead Beautiful by Yvoone Woon

You can either choose one of my amazing picks or choose one of your own, as long as it's YA paranormal! Just fill out the Rafflecopter and enter as many options as you want.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Go check out all these other blogs taking part for more chances to win, thanks for entering and good luck!

Waiting On Wednesday #15 - Poison

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

My choice this week is -


Poison - Sarah Pinborough
ISBN -  978-0575092976
Publisher - Gollancz
Expected pub. date April 25 2013 

'POISON is a beautifully illustrated retelling of the Snow White story which takes all the elements of the classic fairytale that we love (the handsome prince, the jealous queen, the beautiful girl and, of course, the poisoning) and puts a modern spin on the characters, their motives and their desires. It's fun, contemporary, sexy, and perfect for fans of ONCE UPON A TIME, GRIMM, SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN and more.'

I love Sarah Pinborough's writing and I raced through her 'Dog Faced Gods' trilogy (dystopian horror/crime masterfully done and probably not suitable for anyone under 16, maybe even 18). When I heard she was rewriting fairy tales it was a given that the first one in the series, Poison, jumped on to my 'want it now' list as did Charm and Beauty, both out later this year! Expect to see Charm and Beauty on future WoW's when there are covers available!

What are you waiting for this week?


Sunday 17 February 2013

Random Acts Of Kindness Giveaway Hop!

Welcome to the Random Acts Of Kindness Giveaway hosted by I Am A Reader Not A Writer and Read For Your Future! This is a completely random giveaway so I'm offering your choice of paperback - any genre, adult or YA - up to the value of $12 as long as you live in one of the countries listed here by the Book Depository.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Check out the list below for lots of other blogs to check out, thanks for entering and good luck!

Thursday 14 February 2013

February New Release Giveaway Hop!

Welcome to the February New Release Giveaway Hop hosted by Book Twirps and Refracted Light Reviews! The hop runs from February 15 through to February 31 2013. Up for grabs is any new paperback release this month 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 PAPERBACK release from this month and leave me a comment stating what book you would like (you can change your mind) and a way of getting in touch with you if win (either an email address or Twitter) - following the blog, on Goodreads or Twitter is not compulsory, just nice!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

All these other lovely people are also offering up your choice of new release so check them out and thanks for entering!

Wednesday 13 February 2013

Waiting On Wednesday #14 - The Ocean At The End Of The Lane

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 I've chosen

The Ocean At The End Of The Lane - Neil Gaiman*
ISBN (UK) - 978-1472200310
Publisher - Headline
Expected Date - June 18 2013

'THE OCEAN AT THE END OF THE LANE is a fable that reshapes modern fantasy: moving, terrifying and elegiac - as pure as a dream, as delicate as a butterfly's wing, as dangerous as a knife in the dark, from storytelling genius Neil Gaiman.

It began for our narrator forty years ago when the family lodger stole their car and committed suicide in it, stirring up ancient powers best left undisturbed. Dark creatures from beyond the world are on the loose, and it will take everything our narrator has just to stay alive: there is primal horror here, and menace unleashed - within his family and from the forces that have gathered to destroy it.

His only defence is three women, on a farm at the end of the lane. The youngest of them claims that her duckpond is an ocean. The oldest can remember the Big Bang.' - Goodreads

I absolutely love and adore Neil Gaiman, I bought all of his children's books & picture books last week for my niece & nephew's birthday present (to be kept here of course, so Aunty Nona can read them ;) ) and I try to buy everything by him. This went straight to the top of the 'I want it now' list and I preordered as soon as I could. I hear a nasty rumor too, that he is doing one last signing tour both in the US and the UK , then that's it - no more signings as they've become too big an event! You can guarantee nothing will stop me from being at a signing this year even if I have to travel to the other end of the country!

* This is the US cover, as of yet there appears to be no UK cover.

What are you waiting for this week?

Monday 11 February 2013

Reading Round-Up #11

It's Monday, What Are You Reading? is hosted by Sheila at Book Journey This is a great way to plan out your reading week and see what others are currently reading as well… you never know where that next “must read” book will come from!

Read last week


Up next

I'm probably being a bit optimistic, I'm off to my sister's on Wednesday as niece & nephew turn 3 on Saturday and they're having a party which Aunt Nona has been roped into helping set up! Not much chance to read with a dozen 3 year olds running around...

What have you been reading?

Sunday 10 February 2013

Review: Behind The Curtain by Peter Abrahams

Behind The Curtain - Peter Abrahams (Echo Falls #2)
UK ISBN - 9781406300291
Publisher - Walker Books February 5 2007

'In Echo Falls you never know what's coming next - and everyone has a secret. Things are amiss at 99 Maple Lane: Ingrid's dad's job is in jeopardy, but he won't explain why. Ingrid's brother, Ty, is getting buff -- really buff -- but when Ty starts getting moody, Ingrid wonders if there's more to his physical fitness than lifting weights. Meanwhile, Ingrid's beloved soccer coach is replaced by an icy newcomer named Julia LeCaine, who seems a little too savvy to be in it for the postgame pizza. True to her hero, Sherlock Holmes, Ingrid begins fishing around to find out who's really pulling the strings in Echo Falls. But one morning, while en route to the dreaded MathFest, Ingrid is kidnapped and locked in the trunk of a car. Even if she escapes, will anyone believe her story?

In this sequel to Down the Rabbit Hole a clever young girl learns that mysterious forces are at work in her town -- and exposing them could put her life in jeopardy.'
- Goodreads

I picked up #1 in the Echo Falls series, Down The Rabbit Hole at the end of last year for two reasons - it had an endorsement by Stephen King and it had a great title! I read the whole thing in a couple of days and loved it so much I promptly ordered books #2 & 3 from the library and whilst I enjoyed Rabbit Hole, Behind The Curtain didn't quite hold my attention in the same way.

Thirteen year old Ingrid Levin-Hill is a Sherlock Holmes fan with a dog called Nigel and a perfectly average family - mum, dad and older brother Ty (the prodigy football star). Doing her best to follow in Holmes' footsteps Ingrid likes to solve mysteries with big clues from the newspaper editor and police help from her friend Joey's father, Chief Strade. Her parents are never around to notice what she's doing or that she has a habit of sneaking out in the middle of the night. In Behind The Curtain her beloved Grampy is in trouble, her brother is mysteriously becoming an even better football player & weight lifter and there's a newcomer in town who is her new soccer coach & her dad's new business associate. Obviously, in amongst all this is a mystery to be solved and Ingrid is the best girl for the job!

Discovering a bottle marked 'steroids' and 'Mexico' in her childhood treehouse leads Ingrid to her best friends thuggish older brother and her Grampy has been sent threatening letters from the town council about taxes, two separate mysteries but both about to be solved by Ingrid. Like the first book where she's appearing in Alice In Wonderland, Ingrid is taking part in The Wizard Of Oz (hence the brilliant title) and aside from being forced into taking part in the dreaded MathFest she starts to put all the little clues she's gathered to solve everything, just like Holmes. Along the way she's kidnapped by an unknown driver, hides out in hospital supply cupboards and school janitors offices but is never caught until Chief Strade catches her imitating what happened when she escaped from the kidnapper & is forced to see a psychiatrist by her parents as a result.

Although I loved this as much as book #1 it all felt a little obvious to me, I knew what was coming & guessed who the 'bad guys' were. It just all seemed a little too easy. Peter Abrahams is an amazing writer and I'm looking forward to book #3 Into The Dark but sometimes - for an adult especially - there's not much mystery when there's a huge hint on every other page! For younger readers there were also a couple of incidents with swear words, not a four letter one beginning with F but still swear words. It was a quick fast read, it took me a couple of hours and I'm definitely going to start the next one soon!

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