Saturday, May 30, 2015

Stacking the Shelves

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's reviews to show off the books you've borrowed, bought or been given this week.

I haven't done this for a couple of weeks, so here are my books. The first is an ebook. The other two I got this week in Edinburgh. I told myself "I can't buy more books!" But I was hunting around the charity shops for a new jacket, and found a couple of things I couldn't resist. It's money going to charity so it doesn't count as buying books ;-). All links go to goodreads.

 Leave Your Mark, by Aliza Licht. This one is a bit different for me. It's non-fiction, sort of half advice book, half autobiography of Aliza Licht who is the head of public relations for DKNY. I saw a few promotional excerpts for this one, and since I'm applying for publishing jobs just now, I thought it would be useful to see her advice. I'll be reviewing this one sometime in June I expect.

Clariel by Garth Nix. I love Garth Nix and his 'Old Kingdom' series is one I come back to re-read again and again. Clariel is set many years (a couple of hundred, I think) before the events of Sabriel. I think it might even be set before Touchstone is born, but I can't quite remember. I'm very excited to read this, I'll be getting to it very soon. And the shop had it for just £2 for the hardback! Can you blame me for buying it?

Natural Causes, by James Oswald. This is a crime novel, set in Scotland, written by a Scottish author. And yes, that is Edinburgh on the cover, for the curious. It appeals to me for all of those reasons! It started as a self published novel but he eventually picked up an agent who sold the series to Penguin. He's now also got a fantasy series being released, which I'd love to read too. This is definitely going to be coming on holiday with me this summer, if I don't end up reading it sooner!

Have you read any of these books? What did you get this week?


Friday, May 29, 2015

Feature & follow: Your TBR List

Feature & Follow is a weekly feature hosted by Alison Can Read and Parajunkee's View

It's been a quiet couple of weeks for me, but I'll be back later today with a review of Rainbow Rowell's 'Fangirl'. And remember, you can still enter to win a kindle, or a bundle of ebooks, on the blog here.

This week's question is 'How many books are on your 'To Be Read' list?' To which I can only say: Ha. Hahahahahaha.

In the physical pile of books that I own, I'd say easily 20 that I either haven't started or have only got part way through, probably more than that. On my mental list of books I want to read, and my amazon wishlist, there are many more.
I imagine I'm not alone in being like this, but leave me your links or thoughts in the comments :)


Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Beach Reads

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted at The Broke & The Bookish

*Reminder - win a kindle & bundle of ebooks - enter here*

This week's theme is 'Ten books I plan to have in my beach bag this summer'.
Each year my family goes on holiday to the beach. This is Scotland, so our time on the beach involves sitting on the sand or on some rocks that shelter you from the wind, and reading for ages. Then we go back to the holiday house and keep reading there. For me, the kind of book I read on the beach is one I've been looking forward to having the time to get stuck in to, or it's the first in the series with the rest of the series in my bag to glom through in one week. So here are several books that I own and want to be reading this summer, sometime, with links going to Goodreads:

1) Farlander, by Col Buchanan

2) The Emperor's Blades, by Brian Staveley

3) Ice Forged, by Gail Z. Martin

4) Blood Song, by Anthony Ryan

5) The Shadow of the Apt series by Adrian Tchaikovsky (I've read the first one, and my Dad has the whole rest of the series.)

6) Some books by Elizabeth Moon. (I'm not sure where to start with these, but again, my Dad has loads of them.)

And I think that's plenty to be going on with :-)

Which books are you reading this summer? Feel free to leave me links in the comments!


Sunday, May 24, 2015

Giveaway: *Win a Kindle* & Beyond series by Kit Rocha

Hello! Slow couple of weeks post wise, but today I have a giveaway for you! The next book in the 'Beyond' series by Kit Rocha comes out this week, so to celebrate, the authors are giving away a Kindle & a massive set of ebooks! If that wasn't enough, you could also win an ebook set of the first three books in the sexy dystopian series. Keep reading to find out more :-)

The new book is Beyond Innocence, about Lili, a former sector leader's wife, and Jared, a high class whore who's been on the edge of the O'Kane crowd for a while now. I'll be reviewing this in the next couple of days, but for now here's the blurb:

For years, Jared has existed on the fringes of both Eden society and Dallas O'Kane's Sector Four gang. He travels between these worlds, protected by his money and power--money he earned selling his body, and power that comes from knowing secrets. He's untouchable—until he starts a new life gathering intelligence for the O'Kanes.

Lili Fleming walked out of Sector Five with a gun, the bloodstained clothes on her back, and an icy determination to survive. She finds herself in a world where people live hard and love harder, and nothing's more terrifying than how much the O'Kanes wake her up, make her feel—especially Jared.

Emotion is a risk he can't afford, and a complication she doesn't need. But neither can resist the lust simmering between them, and the sparks that could either melt the ice around both their hearts…or get them killed. Because the only thing more dangerous than loving an O'Kane is loving a spy.

You can read the first two chapters on Kit Rocha's website, here.
Purchase links: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBookstore.

So, on to the giveaway! As I said, you can win the first three books in the series: Beyond Shame, Beyond Control & Beyond Pain. Just leave a comment letting me know how you follow the blog!

Enter by leaving a comment and letting me know how you follow the blog!

To win the Kindle & giant ebook package, use the Rafflecopter button below! (This larger competition runs across multiple blogs, so there will be a smaller chance of winning.) 

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Stacking the Shelves

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's reviews to showcase the books you've received this week. 

I got more books this week that I thought, mostly thanks to the library, so let's get right on to them!

Stormcaller, by Tom Lloyd. I've been considering buying this book for a while, so having found it in the library I'm glad to finally get the chance to read it. 

Squire, by Tamora Pierce (Protector of the Small #3). I've been reading this series recently (check my review for book one) and I'm looking forward to finishing it up this week.


Lady Knight, by Tamora Pierce (Protector of the Small #4).
Spies, by Ernest Volkman. This is a collection of true stories from former spies, which my friend leant to me with a recommendation.
The Name Of The Wind, by Patrick Rothfuss. Kingkiller Chronicles #1. I've actually got this book already and it's one of my favourites, but this is the audiobook, another library find. I love a good audiobook and I'm very happy to be adding this one to the collection. 

Finally, the one I'm most excited about: I received from the authors an ARC of the latest 'Beyond' novel, Beyond Innocence. It comes out on the 20th, so you can expect my review a couple of weeks from now.

Leave your links in the comments!


Friday, May 8, 2015

Feature & Follow: What to Read

Feature & Follow is a weekly meme hosted by Parajunkee & Alison Can Read, as a way to meet new bloggers.

This week they posed the question "How do you decide what to read?"

I think this is an interesting question! Generally if I've just bought a book, I'll start reading it that day, even if I'm already reading something else. If I'm looking for something new from my tbr pile, it's largely dependant on my mood. If I want something lighter, happier, I might go for a historical romance. Steampunk always cheers me up too. If I want my usual, I go for an urban fantasy, I love those. It really does depend on feeling, and which book blurb I think sounds better out of the books I'm deciding between. Sometimes reviews sway me, but the kind of books I'm swayed to buy because of reviews are the kind I'll read straight away!

If you're interested in my reviews, feel free to follow by email, GFC, or on twitter :-)


Thursday, May 7, 2015

Review: The Witch With No Name by Kim Harrison

Title: The Witch With No Name
Author: Kim Harrison
Release date: September 2014
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Series: The Hollows
Genre: Urban Fantasy

Description: Rachel Morgan has come a long way since her early days as an inexperienced bounty hunter. She’s faced vampires and werewolves, banshees, witches, and soul-eating demons. She’s crossed worlds, channelled gods, and accepted her place as a day-walking demon. She’s lost friends and lovers and family, and an old enemy has unexpectedly become something much more.

But power demands responsibility, and world-changers must always pay a price. Rachel knew that this day would come – and now it is here.

To save Ivy’s soul and the rest of the living vampires, to keep the demonic ever-after and our own world from destruction, Rachel Morgan will risk everything . . .

My thoughts: When you read a series over a number of years, there are always mixed feeling as you hold the last one in your hands. I had hopes, expectations, sadness that it would soon be done, and a little fear that it might not be a 'good' ending, tying things up well. Of course, this is Kim Harrison, and after reading this series for the past 10 years or so, I should know I can trust her.

The main conflict of this book is that Cormel, vampire leader of Cincinnati wants Rachel to solve the problem of vampires keeping their souls in their 'second life'. And he wants her to do it NOW. Rachel's learnt to stand up for herself, but Cormel knows her weak points: her friends.

Things quickly escalate, and soon there are elves and demons mixed up in the problem too. There is some lying, some double crossing, and some very cute moments. Even with all the rushing around in the books, Rachel gets some time alone with Trent and their relationship continues to grow and change.  You get to see pretty much all of Rachel's friends and family in this book, including the werewolves, the elf children, Jenks' family...

I don't want to talk too much about the plot, so let me focus instead on the questions I had before starting. Yes, this is a great final book of the series. It wraps up the big issues and it has a story of its own without being a book-long epilogue. There will be other issues for Rachel and her friends after the book finishes, but we don't see them, and I don't think we need to. This series for me has been a perfect example of excellent writing: characters who grow and change in a clear but gradual way over the series; an overarching plot connecting all the books; individual plots distinct to each book; an engaging romance element; well developed secondary characters; and now - a good, rounded off ending.

If for some reason you haven't read this series yet, feel confident that you can go straight from one book to the next with no waiting now, and that there's a good ending. If you've been holding off reading this last one: it's safe, I promise! Go out and buy it now! :)

I give this book, of course, ten out of ten.


Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday: Angry Robot edition

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine

I didn't have anything particular to post about this week, but then I got the Angry Robot newsletter through yesterday. So, here are two of my favourites coming out soon.

Release date: 5th May (USA); 7th May (UK)

Description: The citadel has long been the stronghold of Highkell. All that is about to change because the traitor, Vasic, is marching on the capital. Against her better judgement, Queen Alwenna allows herself to be spirited away by one of the Crown’s most trusted servants, safe from the clutches of the throne’s would-be usurper.
Fleeing across country, she quickly comes to learn that her pampered existence has ill-equipped her for survival away from the comforts of the court. Alwenna must toughen up, and fast, if she is even to make it to a place of safety. But she has an even loftier aim – for after dreaming of her husband’s impending death, Alwenna knows she must turn around and head back to Highkell to save the land she loves, and the husband who adores her, or die in the attempt.
But Vasic the traitor is waiting. And this was all just as he planned.

Release date: June 2015

Description: Would you deal with the devil to save the world?
Street magician Missy Masters inherited more than the usual genetic cocktail from her estranged grandfather – she also got his preternatural control of shadow and his legacy as the vigilante hero, Mr Mystic. Problem is, being a pulp hero takes more than a good fedora and a knack for witty banter, and Missy lacks the one thing Mr. Mystic had: experience. Determined to live up to her birthright, Missy journeys to China to seek the aid of Lung Huang, the ancient master who once guided her grandfather.

Lung Huang isn’t quite as ancient as Missy expected, and she finds herself embroiled in the politics of Lung Huang and his siblings, the nine dragon-guardians of creation. When Lung Di, Lung Huang’s brother and mortal enemy, raises a magical barrier that cuts off China from the rest of the world, it falls to the new Mr Mystic to prove herself by taking down the barrier. But is it too great a task for a lone adventure hero?

Both of these sound really cool to me, as do several of the others coming from Angry Robot this year. I think I'm going to be buying several of them. :-)

Leave me your WoW links in the comments and I'll have a look!