Liz Currently Loves…..The Furies / The Amber Fury by Natalie Haynes.

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U.S. Publication Date: August 26th 2014 from St Martins Press.

UK  – Available now from Corvus.

Thank you to the author and to St Martins Press for the netgalley review copy.

When Alex Morris loses her fiancé in dreadful circumstances, she moves from London to Edinburgh to make a break with the past. Alex takes a job at a Pupil Referral Unit, which accepts the students excluded from other schools in the city. These are troubled, difficult kids and Alex is terrified of what she’s taken on.

First of all, I am not entirely sure myself why this particular novel captured my imagination the way it did – but it really really did.

The premise or rather construction of the story is not entirely new, but the way Natalie Haynes tells us the tale is imaginative, captivating and utterly engaging . We start the book knowing that a tragedy has occurred but not the details nor the specific players – as things unfold using diary entries, real time action and past flashbacks, it is compelling stuff.

Alex has suffered a terrible loss and wants to try and make a whole new life – when in an effort to engage some of the more difficult students at the Pupil Referral Unit where she teaches she decides to get them interesting in the Greek Tragedies, in her pain she is oblivious to the emotional affects these stories are having on them..

This is full of what I call “Gorgeous prose” where the story flows along taking you with it – Alex is a terrifically drawn character, grieving, angry and not really sure what to do with the rest of her life….she captures the hearts of some of the more intense and troubled students – but not necessarily in a good way.

Admittedly I do not know the source material very well – a situation I intend to rectify – but reading this it is actually quite amazing to see how relevant those dramatic and often horrific stories are to the emotions and thought processes of modern times…the themes of fate versus free will, vengeance versus forgiveness are weaved subtly into the plot and it is wonderful to behold.

Excellent read that did truly get to the heart of me – and a heads up, if you are lucky enough to have a copy with the added bonus of a short essay from Ms Haynes as an afterword talking about why the Greek Tragedies are perfect in conjunction with todays teenagers then make sure you give that a read when you are done.

Highly Recommended.

Find out more here: http://www.nataliehaynes.com/

Purchase Information:

Amazon.Com. http://www.amazon.com/The-Furies-Novel-Natalie-Haynes/dp/1250048001/ref=tmm_hrd_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1406720949&sr=1-1

Amazon UK http://www.amazon.co.uk/Amber-Fury-Natalie-Haynes/dp/1782392750/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1406723488&sr=1-1&keywords=the+furies+natalie+haynes

Happy Reading Folks!

6 Months Later….What HAVE you been reading?

A Mountain Climbing with Booksof Books….

…you guys have all been reading for the last 6 months, and a couple of days ago I stupidly, erm I mean with great interest, asked you all to pick just ONE book, the one that stayed with you, your favourite read of the last little while…

I asked Twitter and Facebook, Booklikes and people in my real life, tell me that one. I had a terrific response, leading to an animated and exhilerating discussion and the results were very interesting. Everyone (mostly) had a different choice. We had a wide range of genre, a wide range of authors, a lot of debate and some rash promises from me about mentioning every single choice made (a promise I intend to keep incidentally, but over several blogposts or this one would be a novel in and of itself) All in all there were 65 separate titles chosen as “the read” of the last six months and when I do this again, which I will, at the end of the year, I’m hoping to ask an even wider audience by requesting retweets and basically working a bit harder at it than I did this time – hey, look I was INTERESTED but there are books to be read!

So lets start small and build on this. Before I start though, inspired by the “Not Booker” prize run by the Guardian I am considering doing a kind  Twitter Readers Choice award, using this list as a (very) long list and whittling it down by some means as yet unimagined – so DO tell me what you think of that idea, either by commenting or tweeting over the next few weeks and if people are interested I shall put some actual brain power into it. The prize incidentally, will be, as my good friend Janet  put it, Kudos not Cash.

Right…here we go then…Lets take a look.

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Today I am going to tell you some things that struck me about the choices and also list the first 20 books for you to have a look at. They are not broken down, I am simply giving them out in the order they were given to me. Or at least the order I wrote them down…Oh wordy Liz basically “In no particular order”. In a couple of days I shall write another post and give you some more. And lets discuss. Hey if we do the prize idea you are going to have to argue the merits of your choice over the next persons…fun fun fun!

First thing that I noticed: Not very many of the choices were Non Fiction. Which made me ponder, is it that we do not read much Non Fiction or is it just that most of the respondants do not, or at least have not in the last few months? I myself read very little Non Fiction but I tend to enjoy it when I do. So thoughts on that would be great!

The next thing that I spotted was that the majority of titles chosen are from women writers – which really helps me as I have an article coming up on the blog about some of the great women writers out there today…and also I think is interesting in terms of the many discussions I’ve seen lately about attitudes to women in writing. I think it shows that the READERS at least don’t really pay much attention to these things and certainly don’t dismiss a novel on the basis of the gender of the author. Although of course, the whole “girly cover art” debate is interesting, I think its the publishers who need to look at that rather than the readers – the readers seem an intelligent lot. Im sure we can debate that and I will ask for opinions on that when the “Women in Writing” article goes live.

Next. There are  only three books that received more than one vote, and only one author who had more than one title in the mix. That was interesting, I thought that perhaps there would be a “stand out” book, but nope. So that bodes well for the standard of literature out there at the moment, which is terrific news! If you want to know – the books with more than one vote were these…

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And the author with more than one title was THIS author with these three…

 

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So thats 6 down 14 to go for today. Well as its my blog this was MY choice.

 

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And here are some more in no particular order…

 

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So there we have it. The first 20 titles for your perusal and thoughts.

In a few days I shall talk about the genre break down of the choices I was given a little bit and see if there is a pattern.

 

Hope you have enjoyed this little foray into the reading minds of others!

 

Happy Reading Folks!

 

 

Liz Currently Loves…..This is the Water by Yannick Murphy

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Publication Date: 31st July 2014 from Headline.

Thank you to the author and publisher for the review copy via Bookbridgr.

This is a novel about a woman. About a mother. About a marriage.
About a murder.
In the brightly lit public pool the killer swims and watches. Amongst the mothers cheering on their swim team daughters is Annie. Watching her two girls race, she’s thinking of other things. Her husband’s emotional distance. Her lost brother. The man she’s drawn to.

This was an absolutely superb read – definitely one of the most evocative and compelling novels I have read lately – with a quirky and unusual style which gives it an excellent edge over any other fiction you may be reading right now and one that drew me into the emotional complexity of the story almost immediately. I say almost, because like me, it may take you a chapter or two to get with the flow – but trust me, once it kicks in it is utterly compelling and without doubt highly imaginative and intriguing.

Centred around a swim team and their parents this is a character driven, fascinating story which is mostly told through the thoughts and experiences of individual players as events unfold around them. Annie takes the main stage, a mother of two daughters and she is one of the most tightly drawn and engaging characters you are likely to meet this year. In the background, always, is the water, soothing, whispering, a non human observer of all…

I loved the ambience of this – Yannick Murphy pushes the boundaries of fiction here in an extremely captivating way, giving a terrific insight into the people involved with some exceptional writing. Taking a much done tale – that of an unseen murderer stalking a community – and giving it a curious twist of circumstance, this is the type of book that makes you sit up and realise that there are still ways to innovate when it comes to the art of storytelling.

As the action unfolded, very gently, subtle in its complexity yet always always captivating, I was completely and utterly immersed into many worlds in one. The intricacy of family, the heat of competition, the heart of darkness, the ramifications of decisions we make – many threads running through an incredible and completely riveting tale. Unexpectedly scintillating.

An ingenious novel, ground breaking, contemporary fiction at its best, I cannot recommend this highly enough.

Find out more here: http://www.yannickmurphy.com/

Pre-Order Information: http://www.amazon.co.uk/This-Water-Yannick-Murphy/dp/1472210905/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1406370584&sr=1-1&keywords=this+is+the+water

Happy Reading Folks!

 

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Liz Currently Loves….Fall from Grace by Tim Weaver.

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Publication Date: 14th August 2014 from Penguin.

Thank you for the advance copy via netgalley.

When Leonard Franks and his wife Ellie leave the clamor of London for a dream retirement on the seclusion of Dartmoor, everything seems perfect. But then the dream shatters. Late on a January afternoon, only two years into their new life, Leonard leaves the house to fetch firewood – and never returns. Nine months later, he’s still missing.
With the police investigation dead in the water, Ellie and her family turn to David Raker. Raker tracks down missing people for a living. He knows how they think. But nothing can prepare him for what he’s about to find.

So here we are then, outing no 5 for David Raker and I have to say this is most definitely one of my favourite series. I’ve found every single one more addictive than the last (even though I read books 1 and 2 in the wrong order!) and I pretty much read this instalment in two sittings. It is definitely all Mr Weaver’s fault that I am bleary eyed and sleepy this morning…

This time David is caught up in the vortex of a complicated and far reaching case when he is asked to track down Leonard Franks – retired Police officer – who disappeared seemingly into thin air one day out on Dartmoor. What he finds is a web of deception going back years, one which may strike much closer to home than he would like. Add to that his attempts to solidify his relationship with newly found family and still coming to terms with the aftermath of previous events, you will barely be able to put this one down.

I’m enamoured of the atmosphere created in these novels – Dark, often claustrophobic, occasionally extremely creepy, David Raker carries the souls of the lost with him and that never fails to add an extra frisson to the reading experience. The character development over the course of the series has been superb and yet any one could be read as a standalone story – not an easy accomplishment.

Once again as well we have intelligent and realistic plotting, a terrific flow to the whole thing which immerses you right into David’s world and holds you there – with many genuinely surprising moments along the way. Incidentally, Mr Weaver gets an entry into my hall of fame for this one – only the 4th book to do so – because he completely got me with a bit of a twist and turn that I hadnt even considered. Doesnt happen to me very often so when it does I am delighted. And the ending….well anyone who reads this series and is a fan of a certain other recurring character, will be absolutely desperate to find out when Book 6 may arrive. Sigh. Chronic Impatience.

It is actually quite difficult when reviewing a series that you love and that is consistently wonderful to find new things to say, I’m fairly sure I repeat myself when talking about the David Raker books but heck, I don’t care. When they ARE all so extraordinarily well written and fabulous I see absolutely nothing wrong with saying so over and over again. Well Written. Fabulous. There you go!

If you havent started yet “Chasing the Dead” is where you need to go. If you have then I  can tell you that you are in for a real treat with this one. For all the reasons I’ve stated above and then some. Don’t miss it.

Find out more here: http://www.timweaverbooks.com/

You can follow Tim on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/TimWeaverBooks

Pre-Order information: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Fall-From-Grace-David-Raker/dp/1405913460/ref=pd_sim_b_3?ie=UTF8&refRID=17T5W1M76K6HA8W22ZCF

Happy Reading Folks!

 

What does Summer Reading mean to you?

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So I was thinking about what I might talk about in today’s post and the lovely Liz Nugent (author of Unravelling Oliver, a fantastic book for any time of the year) suggested Summer Reading. I mean what is that exactly? We see it all the time “Beach reads” and its time for “Summer Reads” as if that means something completely different to anything you would pick up the rest of the year round.

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It seemed to be a day for it yesterday, earlier in the day Matt Haig (author of The Humans and we all know how much I love THAT one) was asking “What are your biggies this year” when it comes to Summer reads. I gave two books in response – Only Ever Yours (Louise O Neill) and We Are Completely Beside Ourselves (Karen Joy Fowler) – but I realised later that I had quoted these two simply because they were the ones that immediately sprang to mind when I was thinking about the great books I’ve read LATELY. Not because it was Summer…

 

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My reading habits do not change over the year. I can’t say I notice a plethora of books coming out around Summer that are significantly in one genre or that there is suddenly a difference in cover art to reflect the season – so what exactly ARE Summer Reads. Perhaps, like in the movies, it is the time for the “Blockbusters” -  the literary version of the latest superhero movie or the latest thriller – but as a reader I think that passes me by. Yes I like to read the “biggies” – at the moment I’m deep into “Broken Monsters” by Lauren Beukes which is one of Richard and Judy’s picks of the Summer, but I read the big releases year round. Are there more of them in the Summer? Perhaps. Its all in the marketing I guess….

 

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So I posed the question to myself. What does Summer reading mean to YOU. I think the closest I came was considering those novels that I have in my hands but choose not to read immediately – but to pack in my suitcase and take away with me on my holiday. Surely then, I hear you ask, those would be called “Holiday Reads”. Yes. True. Perhaps Beach reading is easier to clarify – for me, the book I take to the beach has to be an easy read, preferably not a tome as I have to carry it in my bag, although in the world of the Kindle and E-reader that is not so much of a problem – and one that doesnt need much brain power but is fun and engaging. Hey I’ve cracked it! But no, wait, last year on the beach I read Stephen King’s “The Stand” (again) which is both a tome and needs a certain concentration level to enjoy. So thats not it…

 

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So it seems that for me, Summer Reading is simply defined as books I read while it is Summer. Which could really be anything. Publishers and publicists like to tag books “The read of the Summer” and that actually works on me it has to be said. I’ll take a close look at those and see what takes my fancy. In the end though, a readers “book of the summer” is subjective and based on the type of novel they read year round. I imagine that is so anyway – or am I wrong? Do people head out of their comfort zones for the Summer? Try a new country try an entirely different type of book? Its an interesting concept.  Hey what about this one?

 

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So my apologies but I can’t really answer the question logically. With that in mind I’d like to pose two questions to anyone reading this article today.

1) What does Summer Reading mean to you?

2) Which book do YOU think will end up being “The read of the Summer”?

Do comment or tweet me @Lizzy11268 with your thoughts. And in the meantime, whatever you choose to read this Summer – ENJOY!

Happy Reading Folks!

 

Liz Currently Loves…..Face Off. Brilliant idea. More please!

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Publication Date: Available now from Sphere.

Thank you to all concerned for the review copy.

In an unprecedented collaboration, twenty-three of the world’s bestselling and critically acclaimed thriller writers have paired their series characterssuch as Harry Bosch, Jack Reacher, and Lincoln Rhyme in an eleven-story anthology curated by the International Thriller Writers (ITW).

I’ve had this book for a while, and I have been savouring it by reading one of the stories every now and then instead of in one big chunk – now I’ve finally completed the lot and boy was that a brilliant brilliant reading experience.

For a start some of my favourite characters are in here meeting some of my other favourite characters – I mean really, could it get any better? Then admittedly there are some characters in here whose books I have not read, which gave the whole thing a magnificent twist for me and oh boy has my”  to be read” list just exploded again. So the answer to my previous question is no, it could not have been any better.

I really don’t know where to start to be honest – there is so much to love here and so many different aspects to it that its hard for me to pin down any one thing to talk about. I can’t even pick a favourite story  – although it has to be said when Jack Reacher (Lee Child)  faced off against Nick Heller (Joseph Finder) my heart was jumping -  because they are all so magnificently done. Then you have F Paul Wilson’s Repairman Jack alongside Heather Graham’s Michael Quinn which was terrific and the battle of the legal eagles when Paul Madriani (Steve Martini)  met Alexandra Cooper (Linda Fairstein) and right there I would have been completely satisfied. But there’s more….

Harry Bosh is around, Rebus, Grace, Warren, Rhyme and Davenport (not necessarily together, hey lets not give everything away!) all mashed up  in an unprecedented and superb collection of short stories that has something for everyone. Each one well plotted, intelligent and intriguing, there was not a single story, even when it included unknown people, that I didnt adore.

Do you love your series characters? Have you ever wished that one could interact with another? Of COURSE you do and have, all us avid and addicted readers have a touch of that going on. If so then this one is for you without a doubt. Get yourself a copy and settle down to enter a familiar yet unfamiliar world – you won’t regret it. Like the best chocolate cake you ever had.

Purchase Information: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Face-Off-David-Baldacci/dp/0751554928/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1405941573&sr=1-1&keywords=face+off+david+baldacci

Happy Reading Folks!

 

 

 

The Life Cycle of The Rain – Book Blog Tour with Virginia Bergin.

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So a while ago I read “The Rain” by Virginia Bergin and BOY did I love that book with its feisty yet often annoying heroine and its brilliant premise. So I’m very pleased to be joining the blog tour, The Life Cycle of the Rain – hope you enjoy my stop!

 

THE LIFE CYCLE OF THE RAIN

We all remember learning about the water cycle at school don’t we? How the sun heats the water, and the water evaporates and… blah blah blah. The Water Cycle was never a topic that set our school books on fire BUT maybe if Ruby Morris had paid more attention to her Geography teacher then she’d know exactly which clouds might kill her! So we’re here to educate you, because don’t forget, just one drop will kill you. From the writing process to publication, join us for a blog tour with a difference, as we learn about a FAR more interesting cycle – The Life Cycle of The Rain by Virginia Bergin.

 

1.            The sun heats the ocean i.e. Virginia Bergin gets an excellent idea

2.            Prevailing winds pick up the manuscript and deliver it to the Agent Louise Lamont

3.            Pressure (also known as excitement) begins to build within the publishing cloud of Macmillan with Editor Rachel Petty

4.            Virginia Bergin is as high as a cirrocumulus cloud as her book begins to form

5.            Storm clouds gather over Frankfurt and Bologna

6.            A downpour of marketing and publicity support

7.            Take shelter in your local bookshop – Totnes Bookshop

I am hosting Step 5 – Storm clouds gather over Frankfurt and Bologna. So over to Cathryn Gregory – Rights manager at Macmillan Children’s Books.

The Life Cycle of THE RAIN – Storm clouds gather over Frankfurt and Bologna

 

I don’t know if any of you have ever visited a trade fair, like say for instance a Children’s Book Fair, but they are often held in huge soulless exhibition centres with no windows. Of course, there are pretty pictures of books, and beautiful illustrations decorating the stands, but spend too long in there and one begins to wonder what is going on in the outside world…

 

“Is the sun still shining out there or (you can see where I’m going with this!) have the dark storm clouds that had begun to appear on the horizon take over the sky and MAYBE KILLER RAIN HAS FALLEN AND KILLED EVERYONE ON EARTH APART FROM THE CHILDREN’S BOOK WORLD AND I HAVE TO BE THE SAVIOUR OF EVERYONE”

 

See? Spending too long at a trade fair can send a Rights Manager MAD.

 

But at Frankfurt Book Fair, October 2013, thoughts weren’t on the weather outside but on the storm brewing inside the venue. A storm of excitement caused by a book by as yet unknown author Virginia Bergin. The German publishers were already in on the frenzy, having come in with a pre-empt the day after receiving the manuscript. Apparently most of the editors stayed up all night texting each other while reading it! Our scouts (the people who let the foreign publishers know about any new and exciting books) at Frankfurt warned us of the storm ahead, telling us how they had to keep running for cover in total alarm whenever it clouded over with interest. The French and the US donned their galoshes and bought the book straight out of Frankfurt in a whirl of excitement.

 

The pressure continued to build around THE RAIN, with foreign publishers requesting waterproof editions to read to see them through the wet winter months (that may be a slight exaggeration, but hey, I see a theme and I run with it). And then… drip, drip, drop little April showers! At Bologna Children’s Book Fair in the Spring of 2014, we finally had a finished edited manuscript to show off and Ruby Morris’ story continues to spark excitement around the world, with the most recent publishers to buy it being the Turkish (who of course are famous for their grey and drizzly rainy weather).

 

Now that the finished copies are in, and look amazing, we’ll be sending them out to our foreign customers and publishers who have yet to discover THE RAIN and we’re confident that this will prompt them in to action – as well as have them reaching for the bin bags and sticky tape!

 

Watch out world, #TheRainIsComing

Thank you so much Cathryn!

About the Author:

Virginia Bergin grew up in Abingdon, Oxfordshire and went on to study psychology, but ruined her own career when, dabbling in fine art at Central Saint Martins, she rediscovered creative writing. Since then she has written poetry, short stories, film and TV scripts. Most recently she has been working in online education, creating interactive courses for The Open University. She currently lives in Bristol and is writing the sequel to THE RAIN.

Want to follow the tour? Next up http://redheatherduff.blogspot.co.uk/ so head over and see whats next…

 

Happy Reading Folks!

Liz Currently Loves (a LOT!) ….Smilers Fair by Rebecca Levene.

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Publication Date: 31st July from Hodder and Staughton.

Thank you to the author and publisher for the Review copy.

Yron the moon god died, but now he’s reborn in the false king’s son. His human father wanted to kill him, but his mother sacrificed her life to save him. He’ll return one day to claim his birthright. He’ll change your life.
He’ll change everything.
Smiler’s Fair: the great moving carnival where any pleasure can be had, if you’re willing to pay the price. They say all paths cross at Smiler’s Fair. They say it’ll change your life. For five people, Smiler’s Fair will change everything.

Before I talk about this one I have a little secret to tell you. I mostly dislike Epic Fantasy. You are looking at the girl who detested the  Game of Thrones novels (too much death, not clever anymore just irritating) who after several attempts gave up on Lord of the Rings as endlessly dull and although I read a lot of it trying to find the love, it doesnt happen often. I was however highly intrigued by this one when the lovely peeps over at Hodderscape told me I’d love it. They know what they are talking about and the blurb did make me go “ooh” so I thought..well..maybe this time. Anyway a happy reading dance of joy ensued and the rest as they say…is history.

This is a magnificent sprawling tale, set in a beautifully built world that has something for everyone. No really, something for everyone. A bit of love, a bit of life, some magic, some mayhem…a touch of irony and a whole plethora of superbly drawn characters for you to love, hate, root for and want to throw off a cliff. There are different landscapes to explore, a fantastic mythology to unravel, its pretty much a Road Trip in book form that will take you on an exciting and fun filled journey of discovery. Simply stunning.

From the opening pages, where you will find an emotionally compelling act of motherly love, to the meeting of the characters you will come to know well, you will be immediately hooked into this strange and remarkable place…and once you enter Smilers Fair all bets are off. All roads lead there, with a subtle twist of penmanship Rebecca Levene will take you by the hand and show you the way. Often surprising, always compelling and with a fabulous writing style that invokes a real sense and feeling for all that is going on, I have absolutely no problem in saying this is the best novel of its kind I have read in years. Perhaps ever.

I could talk a bit more about the plot – but I would truly hate to destroy the magic for the next reader. There is a lot going on, all of it relevant to the heart of the story, and this is most definitely a perfect Part One. A complete and well rounded tale, setting up what and who you need to know in order to take the next steps – in fact that is the ONLY downside of this book for me, its going to be a long long wait until I can get back on that road. Sigh. Still there was that happy reading dance…

I love to read. I loved reading this. These are the stories that remind us why we reading addicts devour book after book – because sometimes you get one like Smilers Fair. An adventure to have without leaving your chair, one that absorbs you, takes over your life for a while and lets you live elsewhere, somewhere unimaginable until there it is. Right in your living room. Awesomesauce!

Read it. Live it. Love it.

Follow Rebecca on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/BexLevene

Exclusive to Goldsboro Books, Signed & Numbered First Edition http://www.goldsborobooks.com/books/smilers-fair—exclusive-limited-edition-4076.html

Amazon Pre-Order Information http://www.amazon.co.uk/Smilers-Fair-Hollow-Rebecca-Levene/dp/1444753681/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1405547981&sr=1-1&keywords=smilers+fair

Happy Reading Folks!

 

 

Return of the Loving Dead Blog Tour. Guest Post from Araminta Star Matthews

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Bio: Araminta Star Matthews is coauthor of Horror High School: Return of the Loving Dead along with Stan Swanson. Published by Curiosity Quills Press, Return of the Loving Dead is the first book in a new series about zombies, teen romance, best friends, the mystical occult, and the nature of true love.

 

A Practitioner’s Guide to Resurrecting Your Best Friend’s Boyfriend

By Araminta Star Matthews

 

Okay, so Amber Vanderkamp isn’t always the best friend I want her to be. When I came out as bisexual, she made a few snide remarks about how I “can’t pick a team,” but I set her, ur, straight about that. When I change my hair color every week, sometimes she tells me I resemble one of those Troll dolls or a muppet from a public access station, or something. And when I pursue my dreams and learn Klingon or Elfish or take lessons in Wicca and spellcasting, she sometimes tells me I’m weird, but at the end of the day, she’s totally my sister, you know? She’s there for me, and I’m there for her no matter what. It’s just how it works. Sometimes your sister picks on you, but she’s still your sister, right? That’s how things are with me and Amber, without a doubt.

So when her boyfriend, the love of her life, Zach, got bitten by Donny Fenner and turned into a cast member of a Romero film, I was right there to hold her hair out of her face while she horked into a recycling bin in the hospital’s quarantine lobby. And when she decided to become his primary caretaker because his parents are self-absorbed enema nozzles who believe that Zach’s life is over now that’s he’s all living impaired–and, well, they’re kind of right– I was right there with Amber, injecting him with syringes full of Mortiphalin, feeding him raw hamburger on a stick (even though I’m totally vegetarian), and even teaching him to catch a Frisbee in the back yard.

And then I got the idea that maybe all my spellcasting work could really pay off. I started practicing on frogs from the science lab. I mean, I didn’t, like, Frankenstein frog parts from the biology frog morgue, or anything, but I may have had a few little twinges of success in those early experiments. After all, my love spell worked, and I am studying with some of the most powerful, world-wise witches from Romania, the owners of Ogham’s Obscurities. Why shouldn’t I be able to resurrect a Living Impaired Loved One?

Sure, my first few attempts weren’t met with standing ovations of success, or anything, but who’s to say it’s not just a long-lasting spell? Like, a time-release spell that will work in kind of spurts over the next, maybe, year or so? It’s not like the fire I set did any damage to his skin, or anything, even if his hair did smell like burnt sausage and wet dog for a week.

And besides, maybe I have some untapped potential, you know? Maybe, just maybe, my witchcraft powers are just waiting to reveal themselves to all my friends and fans. My time is coming. This story may be all about Amber, but I’ve got my own story, you know? She’s not the only one who gets to be the star on the center of the stage. I think I might be next, and then, who knows? Maybe I’ll cure this living impaired situation, and after that? Well, I’m sure there are other big bad monsters out there. Zombies turned out to be real. What else might be lurking in the shadows for us to find?

Find out more:

 

Being in love with a zombie bites, but that won’t stop true love. Horror High School: Return of the Loving Dead is like no zombie book you’ve ever read. Meet Amber Vanderkamp, senior at Stephen E. King High School. Amber is poised for class valedictorian when she graduates this year and has her sights set on the New York Center for the Performing Arts for college. Everything is wonderful in Amber’s world. She always gets the lead in her high school’s plays and is counting on the lead role in the school’s upcoming production of Romeo and Juliet to get a college scholarship for theater That is until her well-ordered world is thrown into chaos when her boyfriend, Zach Williams, dies and comes back as a zombie. But she simply can’t turn her back on the love of her life, can she? How does she deal with the pressure? And will she remain committed to the boy she once considered her soul mate and future husband? Especially when her mother (with secrets of her own) is encouraging her to wait and experience more of the world. And her flighty best friend, Jasmine, is acting even more peculiar ever since Zach has become a member of the undead club. Add in the class bullies, Caleb and Darla, who seem to be doing everything in their power to ruin Amber’s life and Zach’s existence, and all of the elements are present for a page-turning romp through a world where zombies, or “living impaired loved ones,” are a part of everyday life.

 

About the Authors:

 

Araminta Star Matthews is an author, educator, and instructional designer in Central Maine. Born a ginger to a pair of geek parents (one, a lover of all things Stephen King, the other a tabletop gamer and Tolkein-fan), Araminta has always been a bit of an odd duck. Her books typically feature strong, young women who are brilliant, clever, funny, and weird.  Her books include Blind Hunger, Write of the Living Dead, Before Black Mask, Before Weird Tales, and The Warehouse. Her notable shorter works include “Bark of the Covenant,” in One Night Stands, “The All-Consuming Hunger of Love” in Dark Moon Digest, “Under My Skin” in Zombies Need Love, Too, and “Every Time a Bell Rings,” in Slices of Flesh.  She lives in Central Maine with her miraculous dogs, Devo the whippet and Crivens the Jack-Chi, and her partner, Abner Goodwin.

Find Araminta Star Matthews Online:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon

 

Stan Swanson is a Bram Stoker award finalist and author of eight books including Forever Zombie (a collection of short stories), Write of the Living Dead (a highly-praised writing guide written with Araminta Star Matthews and Rachel Lee) and Return of the Scream Queen (co-authored with Michael McCarty and Linnea Quigley). He is also editor/publisher for Dark Moon Books and Dark Moon Digest. Upcoming titles include Horror High School: Return of the Loving Dead (the first book in a young adult horror series co-written with Araminta Star Matthews), Dead Sparrows (a collection of apocalyptic poetry) and The Methlands (a horror novel co-written with award-winning author Joe McKinney).

Find Stan Swanson Online:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon

 

 

Liz Currently Loves….The Child Eater by Rachel Pollack

Child_Eater_Animated_Cover           22070198

Clickety Click ^^

Publication Date: Available now from Jo Fletcher Books.

 

Thank you to the author and publisher for the review copy.

 

On Earth, the Wisdom family has always striven to be more normal than normal. But Simon Wisdom, the youngest child, is far from normal: he can see the souls of the dead. And now the ghosts of children are begging him to help them, as they face something worse than death. The only problem is, he doesn’t know how.
In a far-away land of magic and legends, Matyas has dragged himself up from the gutter and inveigled his way into the Wizards’ college. In time, he will become more powerful than all of them – but will his quest blind him to the needs of others? For Matyas can also hear the children crying.
But neither can save the children alone, for the child eater is preying on two worlds…

A terrific fantasy tale for young adults, The Child Eater is intelligently constructed, magically written and as addictive as chocolate cake. With cream and sprinkles.

There are some dark themes running through the narrative, but it also has a wonderful spiritual feel to the whole thing that keeps you immersed into the magic even in the darker moments – as we follow Matyas, living in a world very different to our own, who is bound and determined to become a master wizard and fly, his journey is one of wonder and a sprinkling of horror.  In our world Jack and Simon Wisdom struggle with the loss of Simon’s mother and with the strange occurrences that surround Simon. These two boys are connected in ways that they will never know and only together can they defeat The Child Eater – a creature who was born in myth and is surrounded by mystery.

Rachel Pollack has created a rich vein of mythology and magic, woven a web of enchanting and evocative storytelling and given her characters heart and soul, which makes the whole reading experience one of contemplation along  with the  pure adrenalin rush that comes from a novel that you sink into during the time you are there. Matyas and Simon are both very real, in their emotions, their thought processes and their individuality – Matyas walks a fine line between honour and selfishness and Simon has to find a way to accept who he is whilst not destroying his family. It is emotive stuff at times but always always fascinating and unpredictable.

For me this is the type of storytelling that is perfect for around the campfire – toasting marshmallows and jumping at shadows – and also perfect for the new generation of readers and their parents, a wonderful tale, flush with illusion and reality and overall I would highly recommend it for lovers of Fantasy everywhere.

Don’t miss out!

Find out more here: http://www.rachelpollack.com/

Follow Rachel on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/RachelPollack1

Purchase Information: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Child-Eater-Rachel-Pollack/dp/1848663226/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1405420253&sr=1-1&keywords=The+child+eater

Happy Reading Folks!