Wednesday 30 April 2014

Waiting On Wednesday #74 - City of Stairs

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 -

 City of Stairs - Robert Jackson Bennett
ISBN - 9780804137171
Publisher - Broadway Books
Expected release date - September 9th 2014
Find - Goodreads/Book Depository

A densely atmospheric and intrigue-filled fantasy novel of living spies, dead gods, buried histories, and a mysterious, ever-changing city-from one of America's most acclaimed young SF writers.

'Years ago, the city of Bulikov wielded the powers of the Gods to conquer the world. But after its divine protectors were mysteriously killed, the conqueror has become the conquered; the city's proud history has been erased and censored, progress has left it behind, and it is just another colonial outpost of the world's new geopolitical power. Into this musty, backward city steps Shara Divani. Officially, the quiet mousy woman is just another lowly diplomat sent by Bulikov's oppressors. Unofficially, Shara is one of her country's most accomplished spymasters-dispatched to investigate the brutal murder of a seemingly harmless historian. As Shara pursues the mystery through the ever-shifting physical and political geography of the city, she begins to suspect that the beings who once protected Bulikov may not be as dead as they seem-and that her own abilities might be touched by the divine as well.'
- Goodreads

I'm not quite sure how I came across this one but the cover pulled me in closely followed by the story. I'll definitely be looking out for this in September!

Tuesday 29 April 2014

Top Ten Tuesday #51 - Top Ten Books If You Like Grimm & Once Upon A Time!

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

Top Ten Books If You Like X television show/movie/comic/play etc.

So, as it's Fairy Tale Fortnight over on the Book Rat and A Backwards Story I thought I would choose books to read if you like Grimm and/or Once Upon A Time! Actually, I probably would have chosen them even if it wasn't FTF! Here's my idea of just a few of the authors who have written fairy tale retellings that you need to read :)

Sarah Pinborough

Marissa Meyer

Carolyn Turgeon

Kate Forsyth

Juliet Marillier

Kate Danley

Adam Gidwitz

Alethea Kontis

Robin McKinley

Anne Ursu

Sunday 27 April 2014

Dewey Read-a-thon! And So It Ends...

So, we come to the end of another Dewey Read-a-thon and it was a strange one for me. No challenges, no socializing but plenty of reading - to the point that I finished four books! The reason? My internet decided to turn itself off last night about nine hours in. I'm posting this from the train where I can get better access than home at the moment!

Here's what I read!

And I nearly finished

I'm pleased with my reading and that I managed to stay awake until 2am  but I'm so annoyed I didn't get to join in a bit more :( Better luck next time!

Saturday 26 April 2014

Dewey Read-a-thon! And so it starts...

Less than an hour to go before the latest Dewey 24 hour Read-a-thon kicks off and I still haven't really decided what I'm reading, help! ETA. - 23 minutes to go and I've picked three books, progress!

Books To Read

Cinder - Marissa Meyer

Poison - Sarah Pinborough

The Holders - Julianna Scott

Hang Wire - Adam Christopher

The Other Life - Susanne Winnacker


A bag of Cadbury Mini Eggs which I've had hidden in a safe place since before Easter so nobody would eat them! Plus I'll probably make toast at some point and eat fruit.

Hour 0 - Kick Off!

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?

 Sunny Somerset in the UK

2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?

I'll fill this one out later as I still haven't decided what to read, never mind which one I'm looking forward to the most!

3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?

Cadbury Mini Eggs!

4) Tell us a little something about yourself!

Ummm, I'm an insomniac and night owl - except when I try to deliberately stay up all night. I'm doubly crazy for taking part as I'm traveling tomorrow for the last two to three hours of the read-a-thon!

5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? If this is your first read-a-thon, what are you most looking forward to?

One thing I'll do different? Stay awake! I can't believe how much I slept last time, I was thoroughly ashamed of myself...

Book Haul #74

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!

And another restrained week on the buying front! Could it be my book ban has decided to start enforcing itself ? Just one book bought and one Kindle book, unbelievable! I finally got my copy of Unwrapped Sky, with the UK cover but I'm still wondering whether I should have bought the US edition. Review books on the other hand... I was really, really lucky this week so huge thanks to Titan, Tor and Angry Robot/Strange Chemistry for so many amazing titles! I can't wait to read all of them but super excited about The Blasted Lands, Hot Lead, Cold Iron and The Dark Blood of Poppies :)


Unwrapped Sky

From Titan

Hot lead, Cold Iron | The Dark Blood of Poppies | Thornlost

Netgalley - Angry Robot/ Strange Chemistry/Tor

The Blasted Lands | The Buried Life | The Shadow Master

Some Fine Day | Child of a Hidden Sea

Friday 25 April 2014

Dewey's Readathon April 2014

Yes, it's Read-a-thon time again! It starts tomorrow, at 5am Pacific Time/8am Eastern Time/1pm British Summer Time. There's still time to join in the fun, you can still sign up to take part, here, if you feel the need to stay up for 24 hours reading! I'm hoping to do better than last year when I think I fell asleep really early for a change (my insomniac night owl tendencies vanish when I want to stay up all night!), not only trying to stay awake all night but I will also be doing the last three hours of the read-a-thon on the train...

I still haven't decided what I'm reading but what I do know is that I'll be doing a half physical book/half e-book read-a-thon so I'm not carrying more books than I need to, better make sure my Kindle Fire is completely charged before I leave! I'll probably be updating mostly on Twitter @BookishOutsider but also here on the blog every six hours or so.

Will try and add at least the first book I'm reading here before the big start!

Cover Reveal & Giveaway: Shadows Fall Away - Kit Forbes
 Welcome to the Cover Reveal for
Shadows Fall Away by Kit Forbes
presented by Month9Books!
Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!

Mark Stewart is one incident away from becoming a juvenile delinquent, and his parents have had enough. They ship Mark off to London England to stay with his eccentric aunt Agatha who is obsessed with all things Jack the Ripper. After a strange twist of luck, Mark is struck by lightning, and he wakes to find himself in 1888 Victorian London.
His interest in a string of murders Scotland Yard has yet to solve make him a likely suspect. After all, why would a young boy like Mark know so much about the murders? Could he be the ripper they’ve been searching for? Convinced the only way to get back home is to solve the murders, Mark dives headfirst into uncovering the truth.
Mark’s only distraction comes in the form of the beautiful Genie Trembly, a girl who is totally out of his league and who may have already caught the attention of the infamous ripper. To save her, he’ll endanger both their lives, and risk being trapped in the past forever.

add to goodreads
Publication date: September 23, 2014
Publisher: Month9Books, LLC.
Author: Kit Forbes
Kit Forbes has been a lover of books, history, and all things paranormal for as long as she can remember. She lives in Western Pennsylvania with her youngest daughter and an assortment of cats who give new meaning to the world bizarre.
Connect with the Author:  Website | Twitter Facebook | Goodreads
Complete the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win!
Giveaway Information

  • One (1) ebook copy of Shadows Fall Away and a $10 Amazon Gift Card.
  • Open Internationally
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday 23 April 2014

Waiting On Wednesday #73 - Bloody Mary Special!

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 a double bill of want! You wait forever for a book featuring Bloody Mary, quite possibly one of my favorite legends, and then two come along at once. One book is from the UK and the other is from the US, one is out in June and the other in September. I'll be getting both, purely for research purposes of course...

Say Her Name - James Dawson
ISBN - 9781471402449
Publisher - Hot Key Books
Expected release date - June 5th 2014
Find - Goodreads/Book Depository

'Roberta 'Bobbie' Rowe is not the kind of person who believes in ghosts. A Halloween dare at her ridiculously spooky boarding school is no big deal, especially when her best friend Naya and cute local boy Caine agree to join in too. They are ordered to summon the legendary ghost of 'Bloody Mary': say her name five times in front of a candlelit mirror, and she shall appear... But, surprise surprise, nothing happens. Or does it?

Next morning, Bobbie finds a message on her bathroom mirror... five days... but what does it mean? And who left it there? Things get increasingly weird and more terrifying for Bobbie and Naya, until it becomes all too clear that Bloody Mary was indeed called from the afterlife that night, and she is definitely not a friendly ghost. Bobbie, Naya and Caine are now in a race against time before their five days are up and Mary comes for them, as she has come for countless others before...'

A truly spine-chilling yet witty horror from shortlisted 'Queen of Teen' author James Dawson. - Goodreads

Mary: The Summoning - Hillary Monahan
ISBN - 9781423185192
Publisher - Disney-Hyperion
Expected release date - September 2nd 2014
Find - Goodreads/Book Depository

'There is a right way and a wrong way to summon her.

Jess had done the research. Success requires precision: a dark room, a mirror, a candle, salt, and four teenage girls. Each of them - Jess, Shauna, Kitty, and Anna - must link hands, follow the rules... and never let go.

A thrilling fear spins around the room the first time Jess calls her name: "Bloody Mary. Bloody Mary. BLOODY MARY." A ripple of terror follows when a shadowy silhouette emerges through the fog, a spectre trapped behind the mirror.

Once is not enough, though - at least not for Jess. Mary is called again. And again. But when their summoning circle is broken, Bloody Mary slips through the glass with a taste for revenge on her lips. As the girls struggle to escape Mary's wrath, loyalties are questioned, friendships are torn apart, and lives are forever altered.

A haunting trail of clues leads Shauna on a desperate search to uncover the legacy of Mary Worth. What she finds will change everything, but will it be enough to stop Mary - and Jess - before it's too late?'
- Goodreads

Tuesday 22 April 2014

Review & Giveaway: The Looking Glass by Jessica Arnold
Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for the super creepy, twisted The Looking Glass by Jessica Arnold! Click the banner above to follow the tour, read interviews, guest posts and other reviews of this retelling of the Alice In Wonderland story!

Find the diary, break the curse, step through The Looking Glass!

Fifteen-year-old Alice Montgomery wakes up in the lobby of the B&B where she has been vacationing with her family to a startling discovery: no one can see or hear her. The cheap desk lights have been replaced with gas lamps and the linoleum floor with hardwood and rich Oriental carpeting. Someone has replaced the artwork with eerie paintings of Elizabeth Blackwell, the insane actress and rumored witch who killed herself at the hotel in the 1880s. Alice watches from behind the looking glass where she is haunted by Elizabeth Blackwell. Trapped in the 19th-century version of the hotel, Alice must figure out a way to break Elizabeth’s curse—with the help of Elizabeth's old diary and Tony, the son of a ghost hunter who is investigating the haunted B&B—before she becomes the inn's next victim.

The Looking Glass - Jessica Arnold
ISBN -9781939765901
Publisher - Month9Books
Release date - April 15th 2014


Alice In Wonderland has a soft spot in my heart, it's the only book I remember my great-grandmother reading me before she died! I love re-tellings and when I came across the synopsis for The Looking Glass I knew I had to read it. Our main character is Alice Montgomery and she's staying in a haunted hotel with her parents, on vacation. Whilst she might have the more famous Alice's name and there are numerous mentions of mirrors, rabbit holes and other assorted 'Alice-ism's' The Looking Glass is more of an ode to the Gothic mystery novel with Alice as the inspiration.

The hotel that Alice and her family is staying in was once the home of Elizabeth Blackwell and her family. A talented actress, she descended into madness after being jilted by a possible con-man, taking her father and sister along for the ride. Obsessed by a witch hiding in her mirror Elizabeth finds some books containing spells & other information on prolonging your life by taking the souls of others. Fast forward to the present day and Alice finds herself firmly lodged in the spirit side of the hotel, frantically looking through the mirror whilst trying to work out how to escape from the limbo she finds herself in and finding the means to break the curse placed on the house by Elizabeth.

I can quite honestly say I loved everything about The Looking Glass except for one thing - the case of insta-love between Alice and Tony, the son of a ghost hunter who is staying in the hotel hoping to catch a glimpse of something ghost-like. This was the only part of the story that felt under-developed and unbelievable, the fact that Alice could communicate with Tony while stuck in the house would lead to true love between two teenagers a short period of time later did not ring true and so slightly spoiled the book for me, dropping from 'up all night' to 'stay up late' instead. I can understand them developing feelings for each other as time went on but as the time period of the book, Alice's part anyway, was only over a few days the relationship felt too rushed for me, to be as intense as it appeared to be by the end of the book. 

Everything else was fantastic though. Between a peculiar little girl appearing on the wrong side of the mirror taunting Alice, Elizabeth's discovery of the blood stained journals, the race to find a way to break the curse placed on the house and Alice escaping from it herself lead to a great story. I love this sort of Gothic mystery with ghosts, witches, hidden attics and curses. Combine all those elements together with the dual story of Alice & Elizabeth and you get a compelling read, one which was hard to put down. In my opinion it's almost a wholly original take on the Wonderland story and the story is wrapped up in one book, a very rare thing these days although I'd quite happily read a prequel about the original witch! If you're a fan of anything vaguely Gothic and/or inspired by Alice then make sure pick up a copy of The Looking Glass, you won't regret it.
About the Author

Jessica Arnold writes YA, codes e-books, and is currently a graduate student in publishing at Emerson College in Boston. She spends most of her time in class or work or slogging through the homework swamp. If she has a spare moment, she’s always up for a round of Boggle. Given the opportunity, Jessica will pontificate at length on the virtues of the serial comma, when and where to use an en dash, and why the semicolon is the best punctuation mark pretty much ever.

Giveaway (INT) 

Winner will be drawn on May 9th!

Four (4) winners will receive an e-book copy of The Looking Glass by Jessica Arnold (INT) ·         

One (1) winner will receive an e-book copy of The Looking Glass by Jessica Arnold AND a $10 Amazon Gift Card or B&N Gift Card – Winner’s Choice (INT)

  a Rafflecopter giveaway

Top Ten Tuesday #50 - Characters Who X

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

Top Ten Characters Who X (annoy me, are the popular kids, are bookish, would be my bff, that stole my heart, etc.)

I've gone with characters who are some of my favorites despite not being either the main character or an obvious choice, because I think they each have qualities that would make an excellent (best) friend - if that makes any sense...

Blog Design by Imagination Designs all images from the G'nite Sweetheart kit by Vera Lim Design