Saturday, 19 July 2014

Giveaway (UK ONLY)! Win 4 Signed Sets Of Easy And Breakable By Tammara Webber!


Hi fellow book addicts!  So nice  to catch up with a few of you at YALC - hope you had as brilliant a time as I did!!  But back to the present - I have presents!!  Four of you lucky ducks can win a signed set of Easy and Breakable, courtesy of Penguin!  How can you resist?!  To enter, simply use the Rafflecopter widget below!  
I'm really, really sorry to any international followers, but this is UK only!  It ends Saturday 26th July - just one week from now!!  So enter ASAP for your chance to win!!   Oh, and check out my Giveaway Policy before entering please!

Monday, 30 June 2014

Messenger Of Fear UK Cover Reveal And A Quick Question For Michael Grant!

I was so excited to be asked to take part in the UK cover reveal of Michael Grant's new book Messenger Of Fear!  This book looks awesome - if slightly terrifying!  You can read the first few chapters: here!  But first I present the amazing UK cover for Messenger of Fear!!


I don't know about you guys, but I love it! The perfect amount of beauty and terror, if I say so myself! What do you guys think of it?  Do you prefer it to the USA edition, which you can see: here?  You can see Michael's reaction to the UK cover in the video below!  Let me know your reactions in the comments, too - or tweet them via #MessengerOfFear!



To celebrate the cover reveal, I also got to ask Michael a quick question, via Egmont.  This is the result...
Me: What made you want to write books that are so fantastically terrifying?Michael: My basic inspiration for MESSENGER OF FEAR was that I wanted to write something scary. I realize that’s not a very profound answer, but the truth is I like to have fun with my work. I thought MESSENGER OF FEAR would be fun to write, and I was correct. It’s a kick to write. I have fun doing it. I hope readers have as much fun reading as I do writing.
Well, if Michael's new book is anywhere near as amazing as his previous ones, I am very exciting and just know I'm going to love Messenger of Fear!!

Find out more about Messenger of Fear on Goodreads, tweet your thoughts to #MessengerOfFear@EgmontUK and @EMTeenFiction!  

Thursday, 8 May 2014

Mutant City Blog Tour: Inspiration

I'm a huge, huge Marvel fan and so I was over the moon when I saw Steve Feasey was writing Mutant City - and even more overjoyed that they wanted me for the blog tour!  For those of you who haven't had a chance to get their hands on MC yet (it's out TODAY: buy it now - you won't regret it!!), it's the perfect book for X-Men fans (like me) and I just can't recommend it enough!  But, enough rambling from me.  Steve has done us a post about Mutant City's inspirations - enjoy!!  :D

I’m often asked where I get my ideas from, so here’s the truth - I steal them. Alright, I don’t actually copy anyone’s ideas (plagiarism will only land you up in court surrounded by lawyers), but every book or article or short story I read, every movie or TV show I watch and every console or PC game I play might just be a little kernel of an idea that grows into something much bigger. That’s not really stealing, but sometimes it feels like it.
Mutant City was no different in this regard. I had an idea for a book about a boy with telekinesis – the ability to move matter with one’s mind – but the idea was a bit ‘sketchy’, and certainly not a story. It wasn’t until I thought about the type of books I’d like to write after my Changeling series, I wanted something with a science fiction feel to it, that I knew how the book could work. Two of my great loves when I was growing up were science fiction and fantasy books (I, like lots of fans of these genres, don’t like to lump them together) and I thought it would be great to merge some of my favourite aspects of these two genres to create a post-apocalyptic world in which a ruling elite, with all the power that advanced technology can give, ruthlessly oppresses their mutant neighbours. Into this mix are thrown five children with special mutant powers; powers that the ruthless President of the technocrats wants. Thus, the battle lines for Scorched Earth are drawn.
To pretend that comics like 2000AD, Spiderman and Marvel’s X-Men didn’t have an influence on Mutant City would be foolish. I adored, and still do love, these stories, and some of the most original story ideas ever have originated in the panel-and-bubble comic book format (you only have to look at some of the top-grossing movies of the last ten years to see how appealing these narrative and the ideas behind them are).
Mutant City wasn’t any easy book to write. Some of the ‘bad science’ I had to employ to make the world and the societies in it jarred with me, and I’m already anticipating emails from people keen to point out various scientific anomalies I’ve included. Also, telling the book from multiple viewpoints was hard at times, and restricted my ability to really explore the characters in way I would have liked.

Having said all that, I think it is a good book, with the right mix of world-building and action. I really hope it sparks the imagination of the vast majority of readers, and leaves them wanting more. 

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It's definitely left me wanting more - I can't wait for Mutant City 2!  Thank you so much for stopping by, Steve - I hope you all enjoyed the post!  And that everyone picks up a copy of Mutant City!!  Oh, and take the Mutant City quiz and discover what your Mutant power would be!
I'm having a bit of trouble with Goodreads at the moment, but you can check Mutant City out on Amazon, check out Steve Feasey on his Site and Blog and on Twitter
Mutant City is out today so support the Mutants and pick up a copy now!  #StayMutant!

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Daughters of Time Blog Tour: Adèle Geras on Eleanor of Aquitaine

I am so thrilled to be part of this blog tour - I just want to say that now.  I've been intrigued by Daughters of Time ever since we heard about it at last years' Hot Key-Templar-Piccadilly bloggers brunch and I was so thrilled to have a chance to read it and be a part of this blog tour!  And I'm so pleased to have author Adèle Geras here today!!
Daughters of Time is an anthology by The History Girls; it has thirteen stories of inspirational women throughout time.  It is definitely worth a read - so pick it up ASAP!!
Now, I hope you enjoy the post!! :D


When the idea for what became Daughters of Time first emerged, I was very keen to write about Florence Nightingale. At school, our houses were named after Famous Women: Jane Austen, Sarah Siddons, Elizabeth Fry and Florence Nightingale. I wrote a play about Nightingale's life and her work in the Crimean War for us all to perform. We must have been about twelve at the time and all the things we subsequently learned about that war and what Florence really did and didn't do, came much later. In those days, the image of a kind woman carrying a lamp into the darkness and starting off the education of nurses struck me as most romantic and maybe if there's a follow-up to Daughters of Time, I can write about this unusual (possibly autistic, according to some people) and fascinating person.
Eleanor of Aquitaine
But I had to choose someone else and I had no notion of where to begin. I reckon Elizabeth Fry wouldn't have been a bad choice either....the thing about Daughters of Time is: we were spoiled for choice because there are so many women throughout history who have not been properly appreciated.
Eleanor of Aquitaine, who is the subject of my story, is a figure I think of as immensely glamorous. I studied French at University and the whole troubadour culture was something that appealed to me. When I think of the times Eleanor lived through, it's in very unscholarly terms. I imagine myself in a field of embroidered flowers, with a unicorn and a couple of pretty rabbits dotted around and me of course wearing a pointed hat with a veil hanging from it. I have, as anyone can see, been heavily influenced by Books of Hours, the hangings in the Musée de Cluny of the Lady with the Unicorn, etc etc. Another strong influence was a movie called The Lion in Winter. This starred Peter O'Toole and Katharine Hepburn. She was Eleanor and her performance stayed with me for decades.
Hepburn came into my mind when we were choosing the women about whom we wanted to write. One thing you couldn't say about Eleanor was that her life was lacking in incident. Everything happened to her: love, loss, war, imprisonment, being a queen, being a mother, being an educated woman at a time when women (and most men) could not even read. She was a traveller. A Crusader. She was clearly most attractive to men and more than any of this, she lived to a very ripe old age at a time when most people died young by modern standards.
My friend, the writer Sally Prue, suggested that Eleanor might have a treasure chest filled with souvenirs from this eventful life and I liked the idea so much that I took it and used it as the basis for my tale. Because the intended readers of the book are young people, I have made the young protagonist of my story, The Queen's Treasure, about twelve or so. I wanted her to be as dazzled by Eleanor as I had been when I first heard about her.
I hope everyone who reads the book enjoys the young Juana's adventures.

Adèle Geras

Daughters of Time by The History Girls, edited by Mary Hoffman 
£6.99 Templar Publishing. Out now.

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Thank you so much, Adèle!  I loved your story and post and the anthology as a whole - and I hope everyone else loves them too!!  :D
Everyone, check out Daughters of Time on Goodreads - and check out The History Girls, too: there's loads of awesome authors on this site and so many awesome posts too!  
Check out Adèle Geras' site as well - and her Twitter! :D
Thank you again, Adele!  And everyone, continue with the Daughters of Time Blog Tour by hopping over to Winged Reviews tomorrow for an interview with Katherine Roberts!! :D

Monday, 2 December 2013

After Eden by Helen Douglas

Series: After Eden, Book One
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Format: Paperback
Published: 7th November 2013
Number of Pages: 288
Book: For Review*
Genre: Science-Fiction, Paranormal, Mystery, Romance, Thriller, Suspense, Action-Adventure, YA
Recommended Age: 12+
Contains: Swearing, Alcohol References
No Drug References
Author's Site: Helen Douglas
Author's Twitter: @helenmdouglas

Blurb from Goodreads:

Eden Anfield loves puzzles, so when mysterious new boy Ryan Westland shows up at her school she's hooked. On the face of it, he's a typical American teenager. So why doesn't he recognise pizza? And how come he hasn't heard of Hitler? What puzzles Eden the most, however, is the interest he's taking in her.
As Eden starts to fall in love with Ryan, she begins to unravel his secret. Her breakthrough comes one rainy afternoon when she stumbles across a book in Ryan's bedroom - a biography of her best friend - written over fifty years in the future. Confronting Ryan, she discovers that he is there with one unbelievably important purpose ... and she might just have destroyed his only chance of success.



                                                                   Review:
“Although it seemed impossible, the evidence was staring me in the face…
Ryan Westland was from the future.”    
Ryan Westland shows up at Eden Anfeild's school.  He's gorgeous and American, but seems like a normal teenage boy.
So why doesn't he know things everyone knows?  He doesn't recognise pizza or burgers – he’s never even heard of Hitler.  And, even though all the girls are hanging onto his every word, the only one he seems to pay any real attention to is Eden. 
As a puzzle-lover, Eden is determined to crack all of Ryan's secrets.
She starts to fall for him instead. 
Until she finds a book in his home – a book that was written decades after her time.  A book that is a biography about her best friend.  A book that is impossible.
As the pieces fall into place, Eden is forced to confront Ryan.  The truth... it's life-changing.  Maybe... maybe even world-changing...
After Eden landed on my doorstep in the morning, I began to read (sorry, I couldn’t resist the pun).  I finished it in one sitting – in a matter of hours.  It was seriously freaking addictive.  It was also really not what I was expecting!  It was sweet and exciting and so easy to read.  Younger teens will just love it and gobble it up!  Heck, even older ones will, given the speed I zoomed through it!  It may not have been stunningly unique, but it was good fun.
Ok, Eden...  She was seriously naive.  A bit like Clary - I mean, hello!  Could it be any more obvious that your best mate is into you?  And yet she didn't see it – even after Ryan pointed it out!  Le sigh.  But, other than that, I liked her.  She was sweet and clever and funny and took the news really well.  I liked her sense of humour and her strength.
I really liked Ryan – he was funny and mysterious and sweet.  But his mission dedication was a bit weird.  Yes, I'm here to save everything, but hey!  Cute girl.  Forget the world – let's get my flirt on!  And yet even as I say this...  He was really sweet and I really did like him.  What can I say – apparently, I like time travellers! 
The romance in this was really sweet and quite subtle.  It wasn't The Main Thing, if you know what I mean.  Despite Ryan's tenuous mission dedication, the main point of the book was World Saving.  And I liked that.  I also really liked Ryan and Eden's relationship – it was really sweet and kind of innocent.  It was just really cute!
I loved a whole bunch of the other characters in the book, even if they weren't in it all that much.  Especially Connor – I think I have a thing for surfers.
I liked Eden's voice – it was really quite simple and easy to read.  But the dialogue at times...  I've gotta say, sometimes it felt a bit... forced.  I don't know why...  But other than that I loved Eden's voice – she felt like a real teenager and, being the same age, I could relate to her.  But younger people will relate to her, too, because I've gotta say, I'm not quite as... naive as her, to put it nicely...  Which doesn't make any sense, but still.  Relatable and easy-to-read writing.  Win-win!
Moving on... To the plot, which was pretty much always awesome.  I did see a few of the twists coming but I was hooked nonetheless.  It was so fun and exciting and really quite fast-paced!  
And I loved that After Eden was set in England at the beach.  So few books I read are British – especially sci-fi/time-travel books like this!  I literally did a happy dance when I saw the setting!  But on the topic of time-travel, the book really did make all the sci-fi things seem real.  I like that.  Stupidly farfetched sci-fi books get on my nerves.
All in all, After Eden was a brilliant little book that I loved.  It was sweet and fun and a brilliant escape.  It also didn't end on a horrible cliff-hanger – yes, the ending was a little bit... conveniently predictable, but it was cute and I liked it, so there.  I'm excited for Chasing Stars – I'll be looking forward to my fun beach-y British book next summer!  And for those of you who want a cute, fun, Doctor-Who-ish, addictive, read-in-one-sitting book, you've gotta pick up After Eden.  You won't regret it!

Star Rating:
3¾ Out of 5



Read this book if you liked:
Timedance Series by Susan Waggoner
Unravelling by Elizabeth Norris
Repossession by Sam Hawksmoor


Challenges It's Taking Part In:
Happy Reading
Megan

* This book was received from Bloomsbury in exchange for an honest review

Friday, 22 November 2013

Book Addicted Boys: S.F. Said


I was talking on Twitter to a bunch of awesome bloggers – only one of whom was a boy. We were talking about how few male bloggers there are. And so I thought: Why not create a feature specifically designed to get boys into blogging – and reading? And so Book Addicted Boys was born!
Today we have the amazing SF Said here today, author of the brilliant Phoenix and more.  He's here to talk about space, space stories and beyond!! :D 
Enjoy...

I've always loved space.  As a child growing up in the 1970s, I was addicted to TV shows like Star Trek and Space 1999, and films like Star Wars.  My favourite books were the Star Trek novelizations, but I remember feeling frustrated that there weren't enough children's books about space out there.


I also remember camping in the desert with my dad when I was about ten, and realising for the first time just how many stars there were.  It wasn't a handful, like I was used to seeing in London.  The whole sky was alive with burning points of light!


The idea that each of these stars was a sun, around which were planets like ours… and that there were hundreds of billions of stars in each galaxy, and hundreds of billions of galaxies… it was absolutely mind-blowing to me, and still is.  So perhaps it was inevitable that I'd end up writing a space story of my own one day.


The stars pose the biggest questions imaginable, making us consider our place in the universe, and what it means to be alive in it.  It's fascinating to me that so many early mythologies begin with the stars; it seems there's always some kind of connection between gods and stars.  Themes like that, I think, offer the potential for fiction with all the richness and resonance of ancient myth.


Of course, just being about space doesn't necessarily make a book interesting!  There's certainly been plenty of bad space fiction, like any other genre.  But I don't know anyone who's not interested in stories with memorable characters facing huge choices; gripping stories about love and friendship, life and death; stories full of big ideas and beautiful landscapes...  And I don't know anyone who doesn't want to feel a shiver of wonder when they read a book.


And space stories allow you to do all that in an entertaining way.  Writers like Iain M Banks have shown that it's possible to write space fiction that is intelligent, compassionate and meaningful, while offering a brilliant rollercoaster ride at the same time.  I love stories that have all those elements.  And in Phoenix, I hope I've brought them all together in a way that book-addicted boys and girls alike can enjoy – even those who don't think they're interested in science fiction!



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Thank you so much!  This was an awesome post - I really enjoyed it!
Guys, check out Phoenix on Goodreads.  Also go find S.F.'s Site and Goodreads Page!  :D
Oh and enjoy this awesome Phoenix video!! :D

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SF Said is an award-winning author. He was born in Lebanon in 1967, but has lived in London since he was 2 years old. He wrote his first novel, Varjak Paw (2003), while working as a speechwriter for the Crown Prince of Jordan, and then as an arts journalist and film programmer.
Varjak Paw won the Nestlé Smarties Book Prize for Children's Literature, as well as regional book of the year awards in Gateshead, Stockton and West Sussex. It has since been adapted as a stage play and an opera, and a film version is in development. It has been translated into 12 languages, and UK sales are now over 275,000.
The sequel, The Outlaw Varjak Paw (2005), won the BBC's Blue Peter Book Of The Year, was nominated for the Carnegie Medal, and won the Leicester Teenage Book Of The Year. Varjak Paw is currently featured on the CLPE's recommended reading list for primary schools, and both books are being taught in classrooms around the UK.
SF's third novel, PHOENIX (2013), is an epic space adventure for readers of 9 and up. It is nominated for both the CILIP Carnegie Medal and the Kate Greenaway Medal. Like the Varjak Paw books, it is illustrated by Dave McKean, and published by David Fickling Books.
SF Said is also active in the wider world of literature. He has judged the Whitbread Book Awards (now the Costa Book Awards), and writes widely about children's and young adult fiction. His work has been published in both the Guardian and the Daily Telegraph.

Friday, 8 November 2013

Tinder Blog Tour: Book Extract

I adored Sally Gardner and have since I was really young - she is amazing! And I'm sooo excited to have her here today, reading us an extract from Tinder!  Yay!  I love this book so much!  So... Enjoy!!  :D


Now, I hope you enjoyed the awesome extract! And that you all go and find a copy of Tinder - you won't regret it, seriously!

If this extract hasn't convinced you, though, here's a bit more information...


Tinder by Sally Gardner
Blurb From Goodreads:
A young soldier, a captive princess, witches, wolves and Death walk hand in hand in COSTA AWARD winner Sally Gardner's exquisitely written new novel inspired by the Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale, THE TINDERBOX, illustrated by David Roberts.
Otto Hundebiss is tired of war, but when he defies Death he walks a dangerous path. A half beast half man gives him shoes and dice which will lead him deep into a web of dark magic and mystery. He meets the beautiful Safire - pure of heart and spirit, the scheming Mistress Jabber and the terrifying Lady of the Nail. He learns the powers of the tinderbox and the wolves whose master he becomes. But will all the riches in the world bring him the thing he most desires?
Fairy tales are often the cruellest stories of all; in this exquisite novel Sally Gardner writes about great love and great loss.

Find Sally on her site, Facebook and Twitter!  And head over to Choose YA tomorrow for more Tinder goodness!!
And thank you Sally and Indigo for the extract!!  :D x