Monday 29 February 2016

Bookmarked... #16

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 (now hosted by Kathryn at Book Date) and I have her permission to rename it for my own nefarious reasons...

More great reading over the last 14 days! I don't want to jinx it but I don't think I've had a bad read yet this year and my 5 star reads seem to be happening frequently. Maybe I've found my reading groove? Either that or my non-planning plan of what to read by choosing at random is working...


Currently Reading

Up Next

Saturday 27 February 2016

Book Haul #122, Or The One Where I Gave In And Bought 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!

So yes, as you may have gathered I finally caved and bought books but in my defence it was a bargain too good to refuse... Excuses, excuses but as I'm attempting to work my way through all of Agatha Christie's books it had to be done. I got all five of the Tommy & Tuppence books for less than $10/£7! It was school vacation here and the twins turned six, we made a cake for them again this year and I think it turned out pretty well! They certainly enjoyed it anyway...


Flawed - Cecelia Ahern
Heir To The Sky - Amanda Sun
The Madwoman Upstairs - Catherine Lowell
No One Knows - J T Ellison

From Titan

A Gathering Of Shadows



The Secret Adversary
Partners In Crime
N Or M?
By The Pricking Of My Thumbs
Postern Of Fate

Wednesday 24 February 2016

Waiting On Wednesday #151 - Den Of Wolves

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 -

Den Of Wolves (Blackthorn & Grim #3) - Juliet Marillier 
ISBN - 9780451467034
Publisher - Roc
Release date - November 1 2016
Find - Goodreads | Book Depository

Do not read the synopsis if you haven't read the first two books in the series!

The “powerful and emotionally-charged” fantasy series from the author of the Sevenwaters novels continues, as Blackthorn and Grim face haunting secrets and old adversaries...

Feather bright and feather fine, None shall harm this child of mine...

Healer Blackthorn knows all too well the rules of her bond to the fey: seek no vengeance, help any who ask, do only good. But after the recent ordeal she and her companion, Grim, have suffered, she knows she cannot let go of her quest to bring justice to the man who ruined her life.

Despite her personal struggles, Blackthorn agrees to help the princess of Dalriada in taking care of a troubled young girl who has recently been brought to court, while Grim is sent to the girl’s home at Wolf Glen to aid her wealthy father with a strange task - repairing a broken-down house deep in the woods. It doesn’t take Grim long to realize that everything in Wolf Glen is not as it seems - the place is full of perilous secrets and deadly lies...

Back at Winterfalls, the evil touch of Blackthorn’s sworn enemy reopens old wounds and fuels her long-simmering passion for justice. With danger on two fronts, Blackthorn and Grim are faced with a heartbreaking choice - to stand once again by each other's side or to fight their battles alone...

Not much to say except it's Juliet Marillier, it's book three in a great series and yet again the cover artwork is stunning! 

Wednesday 17 February 2016

Waiting On Wednesday #150 - Foxlowe

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 -

Foxlowe - Eleanor Wasserberg
ISBN - 9780008164089
Publisher - Fourth Estate
Release date - June 2 2016

A chilling, compulsive debut about group mentality, superstition and betrayal – and a utopian commune gone badly wrong.

We were the Family, and Foxlowe was our home.

There was me – my name is Green – and my little sister, Blue. There was October, who we called Toby, and Ellensia, Dylan, Liberty, Pet and Egg. There was Richard, of course, who was one of the Founders. And there was Freya.

We were the Family, but we weren’t just an ordinary family. We were a new, better kind of family.

We didn’t need to go to school, because we had a new, better kind of education. We shared everything. We were close to the ancient way of living and the ancient landscape. We knew the moors, and the standing stones. We celebrated the solstice in the correct way, with honey and fruit and garlands of fresh flowers. We knew the Bad and we knew how to keep it away.

And we had Foxlowe, our home. Where we were free.

There really was no reason for anyone to want to leave.

I have no idea where I found this or whether I saw the cover first or read the synopsis but I fell in love immediately. The cover is stunning, the synopsis sounds crazy and basically I'd just like this now please :)

Monday 15 February 2016

Bookmarked... #15

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 (now hosted by Kathryn at Book Date) and I have her permission to rename it for my own nefarious reasons...

Not quite as much reading time this week but I have read some great books! Yet again I'm kicking myself over taking so long to read a series and yep, that series is The Lunar Chronicles! I'm away this week, school vacation time again, so I could well have finished Cress by now too...


Currently Reading

Saturday 13 February 2016

February New Release Giveaway!

Welcome to the February 2016 New Release Giveaway Hop, hosted by It Starts At Midnight! The hop runs from today through to midnight on February 29 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 February 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!

Book Haul #121, Or The One I Celebrate Not 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!

Halfway through February already! I don't know where the time is going but that does mean I've gone 7 weeks without buying a book and I still can't quite believe it! I decided to celebrate by requesting some fantastic review books so I still had something shiny and new but I didn't hand over any cash. I cheekily requested City of the Lost by Kelley Armstrong and got approved so looking forward to reading that soon. Here's what else I got over the last 2 weeks.

For Review

Wednesday 10 February 2016

Waiting On Wednesday #149 - Warrior Witch

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 -

Warrior Witch (Malediction Trilogy #3) - Danielle L Jensen
ISBN - 9780857664693
Publisher - Angry Robot
Release - May 3 2016

Do not read the synopsis if you haven't read book two of the series!

The thrilling conclusion to the breakout Malediction Trilogy by Goodreads Choice finalist Danielle L. Jensen.

Cécile and Tristan have accomplished the impossible, but their greatest challenge remains: defeating the evil they have unleashed upon the world.

As they scramble for a way to protect the people of the Isle and liberate the trolls from their tyrant king, Cécile and Tristan must battle those who’d see them dead. To win, they will risk everything. And everyone.

But it might not be enough. Both Cécile and Tristan have debts, and they will be forced to pay them at a cost far greater than they had ever imagined.

Having loved the first two books in the series I absolutely cannot wait to see how the Malediction Trilogy concludes. I'm just hoping that there's a happy(ish) ending for everyone involved! 

Tuesday 9 February 2016

Behind Closed Doors - B A Paris

The perfect marriage? Or the perfect lie?

Everyone knows a couple like Jack and Grace. He has looks and wealth, she has charm and elegance. You might not want to like them, but you do.

You’d like to get to know Grace better.

But it’s difficult, because you realize Jack and Grace are never apart.

Some might call this true love. Others might ask why Grace never answers the phone. Or how she can never meet for coffee, even though she doesn't work. How she can cook such elaborate meals but remain so slim. And why there are bars on one of the bedroom windows.

Sometimes, the perfect marriage is the perfect lie.

I read this in one sitting, more or less. I had to put it down to get a train and thanks to travel sickness rearing its ugly head I had to wait to read it until I got home. It's probably just as well. Behind Closed Doors is one of the best books I have read in a while and it frightened the life out of me. Whilst reading it I couldn't settle, I had to keep getting up and walking about while continuing to read as Grace and Jack's story developed. 

Grace and Jack are the perfect couple. They met, fell in love, had a whirlwind romance and got married. Jack accepted that Grace cared for her younger sister which made Grace fall for him even faster. Scratch the surface though and not everything is as it seems. 

Alternating between past and present Behind Closed Doors paints a chilling portrait of domestic abuse, but the psychological kind - not physical, which to me is just as frightening and just as threatening. Using Millie as a means to control her everyone is awed by how amazing Grace is, the perfect hostess, the perfect wife, the perfect sister... She never goes anywhere though, and on the rare occasion she does you can guarantee Jack is not far behind. When a new couple are introduced into their social circle there is a subtle shift in power though. This coincides with Millie's upcoming 18th birthday - the day she will come to live with Grace and Jack. Grace is determined that this is never going to happen so starts to formulate a plan. What happens after that is a rollercoaster of emotions, mostly fear but also small glimmers of hope and the possibility that there might be a future for the sisters after all.

If you looked up fear, disturbed, terrifying and other similar words in the dictionary you would find perfect descriptions of Behind Closed Doors. This is one of the most disturbing books about psychological abuse I've read in recent years and I literally could not put the book down until I had finished it. It was painful to read the way Grace was treated, you could picture yourself in the same situation - locked in a tiny room, estranged from family and friends with nowhere to turn. The situation isn't helped by the irony of the fact that Jack is a prominent barrister specializing in domestic abuse cases! 

This is the author's debut novel and if her first is this brilliant I look forward to reading whatever else she writes. The writing is both gripping and chilling. Jack as a character is one of the most manipulative and deceitful I've ever met, impossible to do do anything but hate and while I didn't like Grace to start with I soon warmed to her and her battle to survive, her willingness to sacrifice everything for Millie was heartbreaking. By the time I got to the last few chapters I was literally walking around whilst reading with my mouth hanging open, I could not sit still because I was terrified about how it was all going to end. All I will say about that is that even just a little faith in other people sometimes has the biggest rewards.

If you are looking for a page turner, a stunning debut, a perfect psychological thriller, then you probably won't get much better than Behind Closed Doors. I certainly won't forget this book for a long time and I already know it's in my list of top ten books for 2016.

Behind Closed Doors - B A Paris
ISBN - 9781848454125
Publisher - Mira
Release date - February 11 2016

Many thanks to Mira (Harlequin UK) via Netgalley for the review copy!

Monday 8 February 2016

Bookmarked... #14

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 (now hosted by Kathryn at Book Date) and I have her permission to rename it for my own nefarious reasons...

I spent last week finishing off the Skulduggery Pleasant series. I'm not going to lie, it was emotional and I'm in absolute awe of Derek Landy. Luckily I have his new book to start, Demon Road, so may well pick that up this week. I'm reading Cinder again... I read it back in April 2014 and despite now owning Scarlet, Cress and Winter, still haven't got round to reading them so that's the goal for February plus it will add to my Retelling Challenge total.


Currently Reading

Saturday 6 February 2016

Blog Tour Review: The Sleeping Prince - Melinda Salisbury

Return to the darkly beautiful world of The Sin Eater's Daughter with a sequel that will leave you awed, terrified . . . and desperate for more.

Ever since her brother Lief disappeared, Errin's life has gone from bad to worse. Not only must she care for her sick mother, she has to scrape together rent money by selling illegal herbal cures. But none of that compares to the threat of the vengeful Sleeping Prince whom the Queen just awoke from his enchanted sleep.

When her village is evacuated as part of the war against the Sleeping Prince, Errin is left desperate and homeless. The only person she can turn to is the mysterious Silas, a young man who buys deadly poisons from Errin, but won't reveal why he needs them. Silas promises to help her, but when he vanishes, Errin must journey across a kingdom on the brink of war to seek another way to save her mother and herself. But what she finds shatters everything she believed about her world, and with the Sleeping Prince drawing nearer, Errin must make a heartbreaking choice that could affect the whole kingdom.

Desperate for more is quite apt! I read The Sleeping Prince in one sitting and now I feel strangely bereft. Having read and enjoyed The Sin Eater's Daughter I wasn't sure what to expect from The Sleeping Prince, I certainly wasn't expecting to love it as much as I did. Rather than being a straight sequel it's a sort of companion/sequel hybrid so much of the action/storyline takes place at the same time as Twylla's story, coming together later in the book and then tying the two together.

We're introduced to new characters, Errin (Lief's sister) and a mysterious hooded stranger named Silas Kolby and of course the Sleeping Prince, Aurek. I found it much easier to warm to these characters than I did Twylla and Lief although I happily admit to being a Merek fan and wanting more of him. Errin is so different to Twylla, she's independent from the start, headstrong, loyal, stubborn and a dozen other things all of which get her into trouble. Silas is, well, Silas. He's nothing like Merek or Lief, he's mysterious and obviously very attached to Errin in ways which are difficult to read. It's so hard to gush about this book without being completely spoilery!!!

I loved the mythology of this book too, it was fascinating to hear more about the story of the Sleeping Prince, Aurek and his sister Aurelia and the origins of his myth. There was alchemy, healing, golems. mystery, romance, action which all created a fantastic second novel by Salisbury. The writing seemed much more mature and so detailed, especially the parts about the alchemists and the religions of the world, about the fairy tales and myths. It all felt so real and the characters were so well developed. I literally could not put the book down until it was finished. 

With The Sleeping Prince we now have a much more solid setting, everything felt so authentic and rose off the page to completely entrance the reader and immerse you in Errin's world. I was for the most part completely spellbound! The only things I hated? There were a couple of events that I can't mention for fear of spoilers but one of them completely broke me. The other thing tied into this and was that ending... What a cliffhanger! I'm now off to stalk Melinda on Twitter and anywhere else she goes to ensure that she is writing my third book :)

Title: The Sleeping Prince (The Sin-Eater’s Daughter #2)
Author: Melinda Salisbury
Release Date: 4th February 2016
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publisher: Scholastic
Format: Paperback and Ebook

About Melinda Salisbury  

When not working on her next novel, Melinda Salisbury is busy reading and traveling, both of which are now more addictions than hobbies.

Follow The Tour

Monday 1st February

Tuesday 2nd February

Wednesday 3rd February

Thursday 4th February

Friday 5th February

Saturday 6th February

Sunday 7th February

Monday 8th February

Tuesday 9th February

Wednesday 10th February

Thursday 11th February

Friday 12th February

Saturday 13th February

Sunday 14th February

Thursday 4 February 2016

The Sin Eater's Daughter - Melinda Salisbury

I am the perfect weapon.
I kill with a single touch.

Twylla is blessed. The Gods have chosen her to marry a prince, and rule the kingdom. But the favour of the Gods has it's price. A deadly poison infuses her skin. Those who anger the queen must die under Twylla's fatal touch.

Only Lief, an outspoken new guard, can see past Twylla's chilling role to the girls she truly is.

Yet in a court as dangerous as the queen's, some truths should not be told...

When I first read about The Sin Eater's Daughter I was hooked, wanted to read it right then. When the cover was released I wanted to read it even more, I pre-ordered a copy which I don't normally do if I have a review copy until I've long since read the book and fallen in love. And then it sat on my shelves, unread but for the first chapter until I got an email asking if I'd like to sign up for the blog tour for the next book in the series, The Sleeping Prince, and the first thing I did was pull this one off the shelf and start reading, again...

Twylla is apparently the living embodiment of the daughter of the gods, possessed with the power to kill at a single touch. Dosed with poison on a regular basis she is used as the kingdom's executioner and everyone lives in fear of her, actively avoiding her lest she should accidentally touch them. Life goes on as usual until her favorite bodyguard falls ill and she is left alone with Lief, a new guard. Engaged to Prince Merek, the evil queen's only child (because every story has to have an evil queen) Twylla soon discovers that things aren't actually as they seem and she is just one pawn in a very large game.

Most of The Sin Eater's Daughter, in my opinion anyway, is laying the ground for what's to come in The Sleeping Prince. I was fascinated by the Lormerian fairy tale about him and by the use of fairy tales in general, this is what kept me reading the book. There's not much action but I can't help but think that a lot of the little details in this one could prove to be important in book two. As for the characters I'm still not sure whether I actually liked any of them very much. Twylla seemed to be quite two dimensional and 'woe is me' a lot, she definitely improved a lot after the discovery of her real situation actually is - trying to say more without being spoilery is difficult! The evil queen was excellent, probably more psychotic than evil actually but then anyone who comes from a background that incestuous, even if they are royalty, probably isn't sane any more.

It was maybe slightly too heavy on the romance for me, I though there was going to be the inevitable love triangle at several points which is usually a big no-no for me so I was ever hopeful that this wasn't going to be the center-point of the story all the way through. It was and it wasn't, although there are two choices in her life she's never 'in love' with them both at the same time and Merek & Lief both seem to want different things from her as well. As I said, there may not be much action but there's plenty of detail - too much for a lot of people I've heard - but this is the sort of fantasy I like, detail orientated and (hopefully) providing a good building block for the books to come. I liked Melinda's writing, it was rich and descriptive and her invented fairy tales were fantastic, I would read a book of those if she was ever to write them! I think what mostly kept The Sin Eater's Daughter at four clocks for me is the fact I don't have to wait to read book two because after that ending, which seemed a little disconnected but still almost cliffhanger-ish, I wouldn't have wanted to wait a year to read The Sleeping Prince!

The Sin Eater's Daughter - Melinda Salisbury 
ISBN - 9781407147635
Publisher - Scholastic 
Release date - February 5 2015

Wednesday 3 February 2016

Waiting On Wednesday #148 - Warlock Holmes

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 -

Warlock Holmes: A Study In Brimstone - G S Denning
ISBN - 9781783299713
Publisher - Titan
Release date - May 17 2016

Sherlock Holmes is an unparalleled genius who uses the gift of deduction and reason to solve the most vexing of crimes.

Warlock Holmes, however, is an idiot. A good man, perhaps; a font of arcane power, certainly. But he’s brilliantly dim. Frankly, he couldn’t deduce his way out of a paper bag. The only thing he has really got going for him are the might of a thousand demons and his stalwart flatmate. Thankfully, Dr. Watson is always there to aid him through the treacherous shoals of Victorian propriety… and save him from a gruesome death every now and again.

An imaginative, irreverent and addictive reimagining of the world’s favourite detective, Warlock Holmes retains the charm, tone and feel of the original stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle while finally giving the flat at 221b Baker Street what it’s been missing for all these years: an alchemy table.

Reimagining six stories, this riotous mash-up is a glorious new take on the ever-popular Sherlock Holmes myth, featuring the vampire Inspector Vladislav Lestrade, the ogre Inspector Torg Grogsson, and Dr. Watson, the true detective at 221b. And Sherlock. A warlock.

I love Sherlock Holmes, a lot. Titan also loves Sherlock, they do a vast array of reimaginings and so on and this is the latest offering. Except it's not Sherlock Holmes this time, it's Warlock Holmes and the great detective is an idiot... I'm intrigued to see what six stories they've chosen and I can't wait to meet the vampire Inspector Lestrade!

Tuesday 2 February 2016

So That Was...#1 - January

I tried to do a monthly roundup of all things Bookish on a regular basis back in 2014 but never really quite got organized! It really would be a huge help doing end-of-year stuff if I had these monthly posts so I'm going to try again. Top rated books, reviews and challenge updates all wrapped up in one neat and tidy bundle - hopefully...


Total Books Read 43

Adult 21
YA 14
Middle Grade 4
Picture Books 4


Hardcover 10
Paperback 20
Kindle 13


Own 12
Library 18
Review 4
Kindle 9


And Then There Were None - Agatha Christie
The Hawley Book Of The Dead - Chrysler Szarlan
Best Of Apex Magazine Volume 1 - Lesley Conner & Jason Sizemore
The Seventh Bride - T Kingfisher

Favorites Of The Month

Challenge Update

Goodreads 43/275

TBR Pile Challenge 5/50

Retelling Challenge 1/26

Books Bought

Monday 1 February 2016

Bookmarked... #13

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 (now hosted by Kathryn at Book Date) and I have her permission to rename it for my own nefarious reasons...

Another couple of weeks of good reading! I've read some outstanding books so far this year, in fact I think I don't think I've ever had this many highly rated books in one month for a long time.Let's hope it continues!  As ever here's what I have finished since last time and what I've started, sticking with not showing what's up next as I'm finding it easier to pick things at random, for now...


Currently Reading

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