Friday 31 January 2014

Favorites Giveaway Hop!

Welcome to the Favorites Giveaway Hop, hosted by Stuck In Books! Up for grabs is the chance to win one of my favorite books, you can choose from one of the three titles that I've picked below (a favorite from last year and two of my favorite books so far this year) or if you've read them all/don't like them you can choose a book from one of my favorite genres, fantasy, up to the value of $15 from The Book Depository providing you live in a country that they ship to - check the list here! The hop runs from now through until midnight on February 14th.

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Check out this link for lots more chances to win, thanks for entering and good luck!

Guest Post: Feeding the Muse - Rachel Neumeier

Black Dog by Rachel Neumeier is published on February 4th in the US and February 6th in the UK. I loved Black Dog so when the lovely folks at Strange Chemistry were looking for blog tour participants I jumped at the chance to take part. Without further ado, please welcome Rachel!

Feeding the Muse

Thanks for the invite to The Bookish Outsider – it’s a pleasure to be here!
BLACK DOG is a bit of a departure for me, as you may know – my first contemporary (or contemporary-ish) fantasy, my first paranormal (or paranormal-ish) fantasy.  Even for a semi-established author, it’s hard to break into the urban fantasy/paranormal/werewolf/vampire crowd, and the only reason to try it is because your muse gives you a push you can’t ignore.  
As it happens, I know just when I started reading UF and paranormals.  It was some years ago, when a convention put me on a werewolf panel.  Now, I had nothing in particular against werewolves, but in fact I hadn’t ever read any books featuring werewolves.  None.  After all, I had no shortage of other fantasy novels on my TBR pile, and who can even begin to know where to start in a genre that has blown up so far so fast?  But I didn’t like to tell the convention folks I couldn’t do their panel, so instead I picked up a handful of werewolf stories real quick.
One of those was MOON CALLED by Patricia Briggs.  
I probably don’t have to tell you how I fell in love with Mercy Thompson, and with Bran and Samuel and Adam and the whole world of werewolves.  I read the rest of the series and then branched out:  Ilona Andrews and Kelly Armstrong, Charlaine Harris and JR Ward.  But for me, Mercy Thompson was the first – and I still think that this series is the most consistently outstanding.  You can bet that I’ll be right there when NIGHT BROKEN hits the shelves this year!
So, indirectly – or actually pretty directly – Patricia Briggs is responsible for BLACK DOG.  Because you know how it is, when you fall in love with a series.  You hate to leave those characters, that world, that reality.  So, in my case, I created my own reality and world and characters.  
Of course my world isn’t actually much like the world of the Mercy Thompson series, barring both being contemporary-ish.  And my black dogs aren’t much like Briggs’ werewolves, either.  I kept the “hot-tempered werewolf” trope, but took it a step further by giving my black dogs an actual demonic twist.  I liked the idea of making most werewolves male, but created new reasons for that gender imbalance to occur – I could explain the exact genetics behind my black dogs and the Pure, I worked it all out, though those details did not make it into the book!  I loved the idea of one central authority for werewolves, but handed my Dimilioc a recent crushing Pyrrhic victory to reduce their effective power.  And, of course, I killed off the vampires in the recent backstory.
But Patricia Briggs’ series was the one that acted as a muse, giving me a strong push to write a werewolf story in the first place.

A huge thank you to Rachel for stopping by! I'm ashamed to admit that although I have owned a copy of Moon Called for several years I still haven't read it... I will definitely rectify that - and soon! Look out for my review of Black Dog coming in the next couple of days!

Wednesday 29 January 2014

All That Glows - Ryan Graudin

All That Glows
by Ryan Graudin
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: February 11th 2014
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Emrys—a fiery, red-headed Fae—always embraced her life in the Highlands, far from the city’s draining technology, until she’s sent to London to rejoin the Faery Guard. But this isn’t any normal assignment—she’s sent to guard Prince Richard: Britain’s notorious, partying bad boy and soon-to-be King. The prince’s careless ways and royal blood make him the irresistible for the dark spirits that feed on mortals. Sweet, disheveled, and alive with adventure—Richard is one charge who will put Emrys’s magic and heart to the test.
When an ancient force begins preying on the monarchy, Emrys must hunt through the London’s magical underworld, facing down Banshees, Black Dogs and Green Women to find the one who threatens Richard’s life. In this chaos of dark magic, palace murders and paparazzi, Emrys finds herself facing an impossible choice. For despite all her powers, Emrys has discovered a force that burns brighter than magic: love.

My name is Ryan and I've been writing ever since I grabbed one of my dad's old tax ledgers and created this masterpiece: see image.

My writing has since improved, though my obsession with wolves has remained relatively the same (I even own a wolf-hybrid pup.) My childhood was a happy, sunny thing. I grew up on a steady diet of fairytales, salt-marshes, music and brothers who would re-enact Redwall battles with me in the back yard. I went to an artsy sort of high-school that allowed cello recitals in the hallways and impromptu poetry slams in the cafeteria. It was there I decided that writing was what I wanted to do more than anything.

I'm officially a grownup now (I suppose one must admit that once they turn 26). My diet still includes fairytales, salt-marshes and art, but there are a few new loves thrown in. A big one is travel. Pieces of my heart are scattered like breadcrumbs all over the globe--I've bartered them off for writing inspiration, so I suppose it's a fair trade.

When I'm not cramming my earthly belongings into a backpack and waiting in airport security lines, I'm doing one of the following: Writing YA novels, Photographing weddings with my husband, Making our little white cottage more homey, Playing with my wolf pup, Trying out Korean r├ęcipes, Haunting local coffee shops with my friends.

The UnofficialAddiction Book Fan Club & A Reading Nurse -> Welcome to the Fantastic Flying Book Club!

Between the Pages -> Promo Post
After Dark Rendezvous -> Review + Dream Cast
Jessabella Reads -> Review + Interview

Sarah Elizabeth's Bookshelf -> Review + Favorite Quote
Musings of a Blogder -> Review + Excerpt

Swoony Boys Podcast -> Review + Dream Cast
Book Sp(l)ot Reviews -> Review + Guest Post
Bookish Outsider -> Review

Fictionators -> Review + Excerpt
Addicted 2 Novels -> Review + Favorite Quote
Rampant Readers -> Review

Tressa's Wishful Endings -> Review + Interview
BoundbyWords -> Review + Dream Cast

Some Like It Paranormal -> Review + Excerpt
Book Reviews -> Review + Favorite Quote

Library Of A Book Witch -> Review + Excerpt + Playlist
Young Adult Book Haven -> Review + Guest Post
Book Swoon -> Review

A Reading Nurse & The UnofficialAddiction Book Fan Club
Review & Winners of the February FFBC!!

  • There will be ONE winner
  • You must be 13 or older to enter this giveaway
  • Each day there will be available a #QOD (question of the day) in each participant blog. You can earn more points by answering the answers.
  • For those who don't know how this works, the winners will be those who have participated the most. Meaning, the winners will be those who have more points. No Rafflecopter luck this time, Book Addicts. This is all on you now! If there's a draw, then the odds will decide and this time the Rafflecopter luck would be a major factor deciding if you win or not.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank you to our beloved team for making this event possible.

Waiting On Wednesday #61 - Dark Days

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 -

Dark Days - Kate Ormand
ISBN - 9781628735949
Publisher - Sky Pony Press
Expected release date - June 3rd 2014
Find - Goodreads/BookLikes/Book Depository/AmazonUK/AmazonUS

'The future world has been divided into sectors--each the same as the other. Surrounded by thick steel fences, there is no way in and no way out. Yet a cyborg army penetrates each sector, picking off its citizens one by one, until no one is left. Behind the sectors' thick walls, the citizens wait to die. Few will be chosen to survive what's coming; the rest will be left behind to suffer. A new world has been created, and its rulers are incredibly selective on who will become a citizen. They want only those with important roles in society to help create a more perfect future.

Sixteen-year-old Sia lives in one of the sectors as part of a family that is far too ordinary to be picked to live. According to the digital clock that towers high above her sector, she has only fifteen days to live. Sia has seen the reports and knows a horrific death is in store for her, but she is determined to make the most of her final days. Sia refuses to mourn her short life, instead promising herself that she'll stay strong, despite being suffocated by her depressed mother and her frightened best friend. Just when Sia feels more alone than ever, she meets Mace, a mysterious boy. There is something that draws Sia to him, despite his dangerousness, and together, they join a group of rebels and embark on an epic journey to destroy the new world and its machines, and to put an end to the slaughter of innocent people.'
- Goodreads

I'm so excited about this one! I'm a big fan of Kate's blog and I follow her on Twitter. As well as Dark Days she's also written - as Kate Louise - a picture book about a bulldog called Pierre (due to be published next year) and one about an upside-down fish (due later this year). Apart from loving that gorgeous cover I'm intrigued by the plot and can't wait to get my hands on a copy!

Saturday 25 January 2014

Book Haul #61 - The Birthday Edition!

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly event hosted on Tynga's Reviews and Letterbox Love is a UK edition hosted by Narratively Speaking. Here we can share what new books we've picked up this past week. There are also lots of other 'book haul' memes out there for you to choose from!

Welcome to the Birthday edition of Book Haul! As expected no books received but I did get some pretty notebooks for writing and I got money, some of which I splurged on books as it's a special occasion. Here's what I got!


What Makes This Book So Great - Jo Walton

The Twistrose Key - Tone Almhjell

Dead Jealous - Sharon Jones

Scarlet - A C Gaughen

Gameboard of the Gods - Richelle Mead

My Name Is Rapunzel - KC Hilton
For Review

The Last Werewolf - Glen Duncan

Emilie & the Sky World - Martha Wells

The 57 Lives of Alex Wayfare - M G Buehrlen

The Book of the Crowman - Joseph D'Lacey

Blades of the Old Empire - Anna Kashina

Dead Silent - Sharon Jones

Wednesday 22 January 2014

Waiting On Wednesday #60 - Midnight Thief

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 -

Midnight Thief - Livia Blackburne
ISBN - 9781423176381
Publisher - Disney-Hyperion
Expected release date - July 8th 2014
Find - Goodreads/Book Depository

'Growing up on Forge’s streets has taught Kyra how to stretch a coin. And when that’s not enough, her uncanny ability to scale walls and bypass guards helps her take what she needs.
But when the leader of the Assassins Guild offers Kyra a lucrative job, she hesitates. She knows how to get by on her own, and she’s not sure she wants to play by his rules. But he’s persistent—and darkly attractive—and Kyra can’t quite resist his pull.

Tristam of Brancel is a young Palace knight on a mission. After his best friend is brutally murdered by Demon Riders, a clan of vicious warriors who ride bloodthirsty wildcats, Tristam vows to take them down. But as his investigation deepens, he finds his efforts thwarted by a talented thief, one who sneaks past Palace defenses with uncanny ease.

When a fateful raid throws Kyra and Tristam together, the two enemies realize that their best chance at survival—and vengeance—might be to join forces. And as their loyalties are tested to the breaking point, they learn a startling secret about Kyra’s past that threatens to reshape both their lives.'

In her arresting debut novel, Livia Blackburne creates a captivating world where intrigue prowls around every corner—and danger is a way of life.
- Goodreads

I don't know how I originally heard about this one but it went on my wishlist in October/November last year and I've been waiting ever since! To ease the suffering there is a prequel novella available now, Poison Dance, which I have for review. Anyway, it's fantasy and this year I'm determined to read more fantasy (both Adult and YA) and the synopsis for Midnight Thief intrigues me.

Tuesday 21 January 2014

Top Ten Tuesday #39 - Things On My Reading Wishlist

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the lovely people at The Broke and the Bookish. This week's topic is -

Top Ten Things On My Reading Wishlist 

This was hard! I'll happily read just about anything and if I don't like it I'll move on to the next book. After much racking of brains this is what I came up with, nine things I'd love more of in books and one thing to do with the actual books!

1. More books about books

Books about books or bookish people, why aren't there more? If I see a book involves books in just about any way I immediately pick it up!

2. YA Mysteries/Thrillers

Some of my favorite reads last year were YA mysteries and thrillers. There's something about the way they're written that I find myself drawn to and I'd like more :)

3. Retellings

This will probably be on quite a few lists but I'll go one step further and say I'd like to see more retellings from other characters points of view. Instead of Cinderella, one of the ugly step-sisters or the fairy godmother? Instead of Gerda, how about the Snow Queen? If these already exist please do tell me!

4. Prequels

I know a lot of people don't like these but sometimes it's nice to have an insight into characters before you delve into a book, especially if it sets the scene in more detail!

5. Boarding School

I have always had an obsession with boarding school, probably due to my unhealthy addiction to the Chalet School and Malory Towers books! I love the Night School books by C J Daugherty and even though I didn't think much of the book I loved that Thorn Abbey was set in a boarding school.

6. YA Horror

This could probably tie into number two but I remember being enthralled by all the Point Horror books and Christopher Pike. I'd love to see more YA Horror as it's one of my favorite adult genres, pretty please authors?

7. Fantastical Historical

I love fantasy and I love historical novels so let's put the two together!  I love Grave Mercy and The Gathering Storm but I want to see more fantastical historicals!

8. Parallel Universes

I love this idea. Sadly I cannot bring to mind a single book I've read with this storyline except for When The World Was Flat (and we were in love) which I loved! Recommendations please if you've read anything!

9. Supernatural

Yes, Supernatural. The television show. Wouldn't you love to read books that are like Supernatural, featuring hot brothers and mentors and books of monsters? Think of all the different ideas you get from this, I for one would be queuing up - and it's nothing whatsoever to do with my obsession with Sam & Dean...

10. Special Editions

Not an idea for a book but the actual book itself. I would love to see more special editions of books, pretty editions, which are not only great to read but look good on the shelf. I already have a few a lot but I'd like to see more.

Saturday 18 January 2014

Book Haul #60

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly event hosted on Tynga's Reviews and Letterbox Love is a UK edition hosted by Narratively Speaking. Here we can share what new books we've picked up this past week. There are also lots of other 'book haul' memes out there for you to choose from!

So... This week turned out to be quite bookish, especially for someone who is on a BOOK BUYING BAN! A few books I'd preordered from Book Depository turned up (not that I spent any money because I ordered them last year and paid at the time of ordering so no real money spent!) I sent off a couple of old text books last week to trade in and got a gift certificate in return so I used that to buy some books for my Kindle (still no real money spent!) Last but not least, it was library week and as I'd gone slightly mad on the old requesting I got a huge stack! Definitely no real money spent there and I donated another 25 books which I'll never read again, I don't know why but I'm suddenly finding it a lot easier to part with books at the moment and I'm in desperate need of more storage space for things that aren't books! Here's what I got this week, next week might be a good week too as it's my birthday and I'm at least hoping to get money to feed my book buying addiction as I don't think I'll get any actual books.


Cold Spell | Pyramids | Small Gods

The Bread We Eat In Dreams | Hollow City | Unseemly Education of Anne Merchant

Burn Bright | Angel Arias | Shine Light

Greta & the Goblin King | Partials | Stiltskin

Indexing | The Witch's Daughter

The Vanishing Season

Woman In Black: Angel of Death | The Daylight Gate | The Quickening

Amber | The Memory of Midnight | The Pilgrims

The Midnight Dress | A Beautiful Evil | How To Love

Feast of Souls | The Paladin Prophecy | Dearly Departed

Fever | Sever | The Winter Ghosts

Cruel Summer | Eve | Fire & Ash

Dark Witch | Oliver & the Seawigs
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