Late April Wrap-Up/ May TBR

So I realised to day that it is in fact May…I have been so busy with applications and other things recently that the new month just took me completely unawares and so I am well behind on my blogging schedule. So this is just an incredibly quick post of all the books I read in April and the books I hope to read in May.

April Wrap-Up

I read 14 books in April. They are:

ARCs

The Cold Burn of Magic by Jennifer Estep- see my review here

Cold Burn Magic

The Fangirls Guide to the Galaxy by Sam Maggs- see my review here

fangirls guide to galaxy

Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon- Review to be posted closer to publication

Free Books for Review

The Selection by Keira Cass- Review to be posted tomorrow

Books I Own

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green- See my Review Here

Fault in our stars

The Other Side of Envy by C.L. Stone

other side of envy

Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

Simon Homo Sapiens

Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion

warm bodies

These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman

These Broken Stars

Books From The Library

The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka

metamorphosis

Tales of the Otherworld by Kelly Armstrong

Everything Beautiful by Simmone Howell

Carpe Corpus by Rachel Caine

Lord of Misrule by Rachel Caine

May TBR

In May the books I need to read for review are

Citadel of the Sky by Chrysoula Tzavelas

The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald

reader broken wheel

The Duff by Kody Keplinger

Fire & Chasm by Chelsea M. Campbell

TBR Tin

I didn’t get a chance to read Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor in April so I am going to roll this book over to the May TBR Tin.

dreams of gods and monsters

May looks like it is going to be an incredibly busy month for me. This week I am going to Cork in Ireland to visit University College Cork as I found out on Friday that I was accepted to study an MA in Creative Writing! Yay!

At the end of May I am going to Dubai in UAE to see my best friend get married. I am really excited as I have never been to Dubai! I plan on posting full updates of all my travels when I get back!

All this travelling will either provide me with ample time for reading or cut into my reading time so much that I don’t get any done! It will definitely be one extreme or the other!

So what is on your May TBR? Have you read any of the books I have featured here? Have you been to a wedding in Dubai or to Cork University? Comment down below and link me up to your blog, I will do some blog travelling this month as well!

Much booky love,
E. St. C
xxx

 

ARC Review: The Fangirls Guide to the Galaxy by Sam Maggs

fangirls guide to galaxy

 

Expected publication date: 12th May

Author: Sam Maggs

Publisher: Quirk Books

Disclaimer: I received a free ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This has in no way affected my review.

From Goodreads

Fanfic, cosplay, cons, books, memes, podcasts, vlogs, OTPs and RPGs and MMOs and more—it’s never been a better time to be a girl geek. The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy is the ultimate handbook for ladies living the nerdy life, a fun and feminist take on the often male-dominated world of geekdom. With delightful illustrations and an unabashed love for all the in(ternet)s and outs of geek culture, this book is packed with tips, playthroughs, and cheat codes for everything from starting an online fan community to planning a convention visit to supporting fellow female geeks in the wild.

My review

Bah, this book, it has me feeling so conflicted! It kind of felt like one of those lists “10 signs you are a girl geek” designed to make you feel oh-so-special and unique and just amazing in every way. You know the ones? So, because I am a human being, I really enjoyed reading it. I felt all the way through, “hell yeah, that is me! I am a total Potterhead/Whovian/Browncoat/Insert Other fandom Here”. That isn’t to say there weren’t really good parts to this book. So, as we are all *such fans* of these lists, here ya go! I made you a special one!

(I actually really like lists! Lists of the best books of the year, lists of why I like/dislike a book, lists of books with awesome covers featuring girls in dresses, I just hate the ego filling lists that you get all over Facebook. For an amazing blog post on this, have a look at this post by Jenna Moreci, a truly amazing writer who has first hand experience of these lists!)

Things I Liked About This Book

1. I liked the Geek Girl Feminism chapter. All of it. Especially when she says that as women, we should be supporting one another, not putting each other down to claw our way to the top of the geekery pile. Go sister!

2. I liked the interviews with the creators/writers/other geekgirl stars. Very interesting and honest.

3. I liked the packing list for conventions. I am yet to go to a convention, I am saving up to go to one next summer, but I found this useful!

4. I liked the list of comic books/ books/ TV series etc. featuring bad-ass women or written by bad-ass women, as some of them I hadn’t heard of and intend to buy.

5. The language was easy to read and approachable. I laughed out loud several times.

6. I loved the encyclopedia of useful fangirl links and places to go at the end of the book. I joined the International Geek Girl Pen Pal Club (IGGPPC) because of this list, which is one of the most amazing places for geek girls to hang out on the Internet. Also, Pen Pals! So much fun to write an actual letter!

Things I Didn’t Like About This Book.

1. The description of the fandoms. I know I am a Potterhead, you know how? Because I fangirl about Harry Potter! This section felt like a mix of one of those ego-filling lists I talked about earlier and a “How to become a geek girl because they are so cool now” book. The reason I like fangirling over things, is because I really enjoyed the TV programme/Book series/Comic Book to begin with. I didn’t start watching Doctor Who just so I could become a Whovian. The only good part of this list was the starting points for some of the comic books and TV series, as there are several series I quite fancy reading/watching and wasn’t sure where to start. But at the same time…Google. So maybe this isn’t a good enough reason.

2. The way this book was so blinking focused on the US. Hey, we have cool things going on in Europe too! And I am sure other continents were screaming the same thing. Where is our list of amazing conventions?

3. The assumption that most of towns would have a geeky meeting place such as a comic book store etc. Maybe I just live in a really backward-geek place, but I think I would have to drive and hour and a half to find my local comic book store.

Things I was neutral about.

1. Descriptions of Facebook/Twitter and how to use them. Come on, we are in 2015! Who doesn’t know what they are?

2. I felt this book could have just been a bit MORE! More detail, more fandoms, more universal. But, at the same time. I enjoyed it, so…

I am going to give this book three stars, because it was pretty funny and an enjoyable read. Also it had six things I like and only three things I didn’t like.

Threestars

I recommend it for people who want to get into more series, who want to find some great links for fangirls on the internet and younger people or people who are new to fandoms. It is good for a light read, most of it not to be taken too seriously. Apart from the feminist bit. That should definitely be taken seriously!

Have you read this book? What did you think?

Link me up below if you have!

Booky love
E. St. C
xxx

Stock-Up Sunday on a Monday!

stock up sunday

Stock up Sunday is a weekly post where I showcase the books I have added to my eclectic bookshelf that week! Credit goes back to the Stacking the Shelves weekly meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews.

This week I have been so busy with masters applications I feel I have sort of neglected my blog! Oops! So here is a late Stock up Sunday!

From the Library

Soulless by Gail Carriger

Print
Print

Changeless by Gail Carriger

Blameless by Gail Carriger

Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka

metamorphosis

Ulysses by James Joyce

From the shops

Alice in Zombieland

Alice in Zombieland

The Maze Runner Series

The maze runner

Ross Poldark by Winston Graham

Demelza by Winston Graham

Borrowed from Friends

Mrs Moneypenny’s Careers Advice for Ambitious Women

careers advice ambitious women

That’s all folks! I promise I will be more faithful and better behaved in my blogging habits!

Booky love
E. St. C
xxx

 

“Waiting on” Wednesday: The Wrath and The Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

Waiting on Wednesday

“Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted over at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

wrath and dawn

Release date: May 12th

From Goodreads

Every dawn brings horror to a different family in a land ruled by a killer. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, takes a new bride each night only to have her executed at sunrise. So it is a suspicious surprise when sixteen-year-old Shahrzad volunteers to marry Khalid. But she does so with a clever plan to stay alive and exact revenge on the Caliph for the murder of her best friend and countless other girls. Shazi’s wit and will, indeed, get her through to the dawn that no others have seen, but with a catch . . . she’s falling in love with the very boy who killed her dearest friend.

She discovers that the murderous boy-king is not all that he seems and neither are the deaths of so many girls. Shazi is determined to uncover the reason for the murders and to break the cycle once and for all.

Why I am waiting anxiously…

This is inspired by One Thousand and One Nights which has always fascinated me. I am excited to see which direction this story takes and I have really got in to “fairytale retellings” recently.

Also, what a pretty cover! I think this will definitely be a book I want a physical copy of!

Add The Wrath and The Dawn to your TBR list on Goodreads

What is your waiting on Wednesday? Link me up below and I will come and check it out.

Is The Wrath and The Dawn on your TBR list?

Much booky love,
E. St. C.
xxx

 

Review: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Fault in our stars

From Goodreads

Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten.

My Review

I do not want to watch the film. I think it would spoil the utter perfection that is this book. It is 1.23 am, my eyes are swollen, my skin is blotchy and I am in love with Augustus Waters, Hazel Grace and John Green.

This is the reason I am glad I don’t give five stars to all of my books, I keep them for the really special ones!

Go, read this book. Don’t do what I did and let it sit on your shelf unread because you didn’t trust the hype. The hype is totally undeserved- this book isn’t about two kids with cancer who fall in love. This is a book about two teens who fall in love, find the lack of meaning in their lives, get pretty angry at the universe, get pretty philosophical towards the universe and then break your heart. See? Much, much worse! And far better!

Fivestars

Update: One day later and I still can’t stop thinking about Hazel and Augustus. I have a major book hangover, I can’t read anything else!

“Waiting on” Wednesday: A Court of Thorns and Roses

Waiting on Wednesday

“Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted over at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

court of thorns

A court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
Expected publication: May 5th 2015

Synopsis from Goodreads

When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin—one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.
As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she’s been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow grows over the faerie lands, and Feyre must find a way to stop it . . . or doom Tamlin—and his world—forever.

Why I am waiting anxiously…

As demonstrated in Throne of Glass Sarah J. Maas really knows how to build an amazing fantasy world. I am also looking forward to another strong female main character.

I think the synopsis sounds like it will be really fairy-taleish and I do love a happy ending!

I have also heard that the romance in this book is more New Adult than Young Adult but it still has that really compelling story-telling of Young Adult, so I am really excited to see if this is true. If it is, I think this book will definitely be finding a place on my eclectic bookshelves!

Add this book to your TBR on Goodreads

What is your WoW this week?

Are you excited for A Court of Thorns and Roses?

Booky Love,
E. St. C
xxx

For all the Harry Potter fans!

Next week I am going to Norfolk for a “Harry Potter Movie Marathon and Fangirl Weekend” with my University friends Izzie and Jolie. I am really excited so to celebrate I thought I would share this amazing Uptown Funk parody by KFaceTV. Seriously, if you are a HP fan, you HAVE to watch this! These guys are so awesome and this is sure to make you smile.

Have an awesome Harry Potter day!

Much love
E. St. C
xxx

ARC Review: Cold Burn of Magic

Cold Burn Magic

Review format: ARC on my Kindle

Expected publication: April 28th 2015 by K-Teen

Disclaimer: I received a free ARC from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This has in no way affected my review.

From Goodreads

There Be Monsters Here. . .

It’s not as great as you’d think, living in a tourist town that’s known as “the most magical place in America.” Same boring high school, just twice as many monsters under the bridges and rival Families killing each other for power.

I try to keep out of it. I’ve got my mom’s bloodiron sword and my slightly illegal home in the basement of the municipal library. And a couple of Talents I try to keep quiet, including very light fingers and a way with a lock pick.

But then some nasty characters bring their Family feud into my friend’s pawn shop, and I have to make a call–get involved, or watch a cute guy die because I didn’t. I guess I made the wrong choice, because now I’m stuck putting everything on the line for Devon Sinclair. My mom was murdered because of the Families, and it looks like I’m going to end up just like her. .

My Review

Well, let me start by saying that I made the big mistake of starting this book at 9pm and promptly lost all respect for the following morning. When I finished it at three in the morning, I lay there for another hour saying to myself “Oh my goodness. OH MY GOODNESS!”. Why? Because this book is awesome, that’s why! Jennifer Estep has done it again, in so many ways!  Here is a list!

  1. The Main Character. Jennifer Estep always manages to create really kick ass, strong, independent female characters, one of the many reasons I love her. However, in Lila Merriweather, Jennifer has surpassed herself. I loved Lila so much, I made a list within this list with all the reasons.
    • She is bad-ass. Seriously, even when she isn’t brandishing her sword, she has this belt that hides three throwing stars which she uses like a pro. 
    • She lives in a library. Can I say jealous? All the books she has at her fingertips? Admittedly it is in the abandoned basement, but it is still in the library!
    • She has pretty much been taking care of herself since her mother died when Lila was thirteen. I call that independent and capable!
    • She gets hired as a bodyguard for a boy! Go Jennifer, switching stereotypes! 
    • She totally owns a sexist pig at one point during the book. I can’t reveal due to spoilers, but honestly, I loved her even more after that. We all need to stand up for our sisters more! 
  2. The love interest Devon. He is capable, strong and handsome but he doesn’t try to always protect Lila. he understands how awesome she is and was totally ok with asking her for help! Plus he is genuinely a nice guy! Finally, a YA love interest who doesn’t act like a total meanie for the first half of the book before being “magically transformed into a nice person” by the heroine. Also, there is no insta-love here! Jennifer makes these characters work for their feelings, which I love because when they finally start to fall for each other I get all the butterflies.
  3. The plot. I already told you I stayed up to read this book, and the plot was a huge part of this. I have to admit that I knew pretty early on that I didn’t like one particular person that turned out to be bad, but I had no idea I was meant to not like him! It was pretty subtle- I thought it was just me being difficult! The plot was exciting and fast-paced but it still showed you the normal bits of the world Lila lives in (which is totally not normal!).
  4. The monsters. I love how the monsters in this are actually scary and bad.
  5. The other characters. I already absolutely love Felix, I want him as my friend! And Jennifer Estep hasn’t held back with her baddies either. The evil people are really evil!  Yay! I mean, you still get that they are human and everything, but the things they do are really bad. Mean people are Mean! 
  6. The town. I am going to admit, when I first started the book, I wasn’t really sure abut the whole tourist and magic town thing, but as the book went on and I understood the world more, I really liked this aspect.
  7. The way Lila admits when she is wrong. There is no forced arguing or tension here because one character is just being annoyingly obstinate. You know the way I mean, when you are sitting there screaming, “Just explain you stupid girl!”. Well, Lila is like you or me, she actually talks to people! Refreshing!
  8. Oscar the pixie. Is it weird that Oscar kinda reminded my of Vic from the Mythos Academy series? I don’t know why!  Oscar was really good to have around to provide a respite from all the sword slashing and family drama. Also he made Lila’s bed for her, which I could totally get used to!
  9. Lila’s obsession with bacon. And food in general. Although this did make me want to cook bacon at 1am. But I love how Jennifer actually makes her characters do things we all have to do, like eat, shower and exercise. I always wonder if you can’t see this happening how on earth characters survive when a book follows them through non-stop action for a week. Plus I guess I just like to see the normal side of characters, especially when they live in fantastical worlds.
  10. The fact that this is a series. Which means that there will be a second book. Which I KNOW will definitely find a place on my eclectic bookshelf!

So in conclusion? I am going to give this book

fourstars

FOUR STARS- really liked it, this is definitely going to find a place on my eclectic shelves, go and buy this book!

I would recommend this book to fans of Young Adult who like strong lead females and lots of action.

Add this book to your TBR on Goodreads.

Find this book on Amazon (UK) or Amazon.com (US) to preorder.

If you liked this review, want to read this book or just generally want to gush about how much you love Jennifer Estep’s books, leave a comment below!

Much Booky Love
E. St. C.
xxx

“Waiting On” Wednesday: Winter by Marissa Meyer

Waiting on Wednesday

“Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted over at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

Expected Publication: November 10th 2015

Publisher: Feiwel and Friends

winter

OMG OMG OMG The release date! Why?? I can’t wait that long! Aah. Here is the synopsis from Goodreads

Here is the stunning conclusion to the national bestselling Lunar Chronicles, inspired by Snow White.

When Princess Winter was thirteen, the rumor around the Lunar court was that her glamour would soon be even more breathtaking than that of her stepmother, Queen Levana. In a fit of jealousy, Levana disfigured Winter. Four years later, Winter has sworn off the use of her glamour altogether. Despite her scars, Winter’s natural beauty, her grace, and her gentleness are winning admiration from the Lunar people that no amount of mind-control could achieve.

Winter despises her stepmother, but has never dreamed of standing up to her. That is, until she realizes that she may be the only one with the power to confront the queen.

Can Cinder, Prince Kai, Scarlet, Wolf, Cress, Thorne, Princess Winter, and the palace guard Jacin find their happily ever afters? Fans will LOVE this amazing conclusion to the series.

Why I am Waiting Anxiously

  1. BECAUSE THE LUNAR CHRONICLES ARE AWESOME!!
  2. And this one is based on Snow White- cool!
  3. Also we have actually already met Princess Winter and she seems really crazy, but in a goodhearted way.
  4. This is apparently going to be the biggest book. Which means more time in the amazing Lunar Chronicle world! (Can it really be 800 pages?)
  5. The cover- The apple is glowing people!
  6. The actual feels at the end of Cress.
  7. (Spoiler-click blurred lines to reveal!) Cinder got her Prince back at the end of Cress!
  8. Wolf+Scarlet (hopefully) together again <3 <3
  9. This excerpt from the USA Today cover reveal.
  10. But mostly, I am waiting anxiously because THIS IS THE LAST BOOK! Which means I will be sad, because it is the last book, but I will also know what happens! I really want Cinder and co. to win, which I expect they will, because, c’mon, this is a fairy tale retelling! But I don’t understand how Marissa Meyer is going to play this one! They are in ‘le situation impossible’. I am so excited!

Add to your TBR pile on Goodreads.

Link me to your WoW posts and comment if you are also waiting anxiously for Winter!!

Booky love
E. St. C.
xxx

Friday Feelings: Advertising Your Book to Bloggers

Friday Feelings

Friday Feelings is a weekly post where I will be having my say about the latest news, books and other related things! This week, I am going to be having a rant about Empty Follows. As always, what follows is my opinion! However, this week, I think there is pretty useful advice in there too!

Screen Shot 2015-04-04 at 00.40.27

I log on to my email account and am greeted with forty new emails every morning. About ten of these emails are notifications from Twitter. I find this is a really useful way of keeping track of which blog posts and tweets are garnering attention in the Twittersphere. However, when I open Twitter, my follower count has only gone up by two or three people during the night. Why is this? An annoying thing I like to call EMPTY FOLLOWS!

What is an empty follow?

An empty follow is where a person follows and then unfollows a person on Twitter to gain their attention, normally in order to sell something. Authors in particular seem to give me empty follows, possibly due to the fact that my Twitter account is directly linked to my book review blog. So why is this a bad thing?

If you are following me on Twitter purely to get me to read your book and then review it, prepare to be disappointed. Just look at my TBR list on Goodreads. It has almost two hundred books at the moment. Why should I go out and buy your book over all the other books I really want to read. Furthermore, why should I create space in my already hectic reading schedule to read your book? I blog because I love to read. This means that most of my spare money will be going towards the books I am eagerly anticipating, and believe me, there are plenty. In fact, I participate in a weekly meme which highlights the books we are waiting to be released.

Let me give you a hint, one follow on Twitter is not going to be enough to pique my interest in your book. In fact, it could even turn me away from your book. How? Well, I have had one particular author who has followed me twenty times on Twitter! The first time, I checked out his profile and I actually thought his book looked interesting. I might have picked it up if I had seen it at my library. By the twentieth time I deleted the notification with a growl.

Don’t you like authors though?

Don’t get me wrong, I adore finding new authors to read, and I am honestly not a mean blogger. In fact I think I give quite nice reviews- even if a book isn’t entirely to my taste, I generally recommend it to people who might like it. What I don’t appreciate is an author trying to sell me a book in order for me to undertake the hard work of publicising it. Why should I make more effort than you to sell your book?

So how might I persuade you to buy my book in order to review it?

It is really quite simple…talk to me! I don’t expect huge conversations, a few favourites, retweets and replies on Twitter will do. Connect with me. Maybe even check out the blog on which I post my reviews and comment on a few of my posts which I have worked so hard on. I am far more likely to pick up your book if I think you post funny original comments, or even mediocre ones. The point is, you have made the connection.

I think this advice is especially tailored towards debut authors. Most serial authors have a loyal following who will help them advertise their book. Most of my empty follows come from debut authors or self published authors, who are doing most of their publicising themselves.

But it takes up so much time writing replies and clicking on blog links!

I understand completely, you want as many people to see your book as possible. However, if you follow one hundred bloggers in a day, I would be surprised if one or two of those bought your book and read it. On the other hand, if you connected with thirty, probably five or six will buy your book. After all, most bloggers are proud of their blogs, they have spent hours on the design and content, so if you stroke their ego, they will think kindly of you!

What if they refuse to buy my book?

Have you thought about sending them a free copy of your book? I know this might seem like a backward way of selling books, but if you can persuade a blogger with a loyal following to review your book, and then post that review on Amazon, Goodreads or any other site your book has a page on, more people are likely to buy it. I buy lots of books because bloggers I follow and respect have raved about a book. Also, a well known blogger commenting on a book on Goodreads has an authority and following which, as a first time novelist, is far more likely to sell books than the comments of your friends and families!

When I say a free copy, you don’t have to send them a finished paperback! I have read and reviewed books in PDF format before! My review criteria is based on my enjoyment of the story. You could always attach a picture of the cover if you want a review of that too? (I tend to only comment on a cover if it is especially pretty!)

You must remember that in asking a blogger to buy your book in order to review it, you are asking them to not buy another book they have been wanting to buy as soon as they get the money. Not many book bloggers make enough money from their blogs to afford a book. And all book bloggers love reading, which means they all have books they really want to buy. Your book would have to be REALLY special for me to not buy the next, say, C.L. Stone book. Speaking of C.L. Stone…

Are there other reasons asking book bloggers for reviews could be good?

YES! If a book blogger loves you book, they are very likely to become your biggest fangirl/boy. This means they will be shouting about future releases, featuring your book on Twitter and possibly setting up chats on book forums. Bloggers love the internet, and they love talking about their latest finds. A loyal following of book bloggers is just as valuable as one good review in a magazine or paper. You have a band of people who patrol the internet shouting your name! Honestly, C.L. Stone even has her own tag on my blog- I love her books that much.

Is there anything I should do before approaching a blogger about my book?

YES! Read their blog. If possible, comment on it! Even if you just like their review style or have read a book they reviewed, comment. You are creating a connection!

You should also read their review policy, probably before you waste time with anything else. This is especially important if you are a self published or “indie” author. This is because lots of bloggers won’t accept any books to review from indie-authors, although other blogs only review indie authors. The review policy might also mention genres the blogger reads and if they are accepting titles for review at that time. Ignoring the review policy and sending your book anyway will result in it just being thrown in the bin! These bloggers are busy people! (Personally, I welcome indie authors! See my Review Policy)

Finally, write them an email! Make it good, after all, this blogger will be performing a service for you! You wouldn’t write to a newspaper on a scrap of paper or not bother to use spell check! However unintentional on the bloggers part, you will be judged on this initial correspondence! If you can’t write a one page letter, how did you write a book? Try and personalise this letter, if the blogger is fun, make it fun, if the blogger is serious, tone it down a bit. Try to show that you have done your research, maybe mention how much you like their review style or that a particular review made you really want to buy a book. Make it short, snappy and to the point. No more than three paragraphs.

Isn’t all this a bit too much work for one blogger who may or may not review my book?

Yes! You are right. This is far too much work. Much better to let that book sit in your garage or on Amazon where it will only ever be bought by friends and family! NO! You have spent months on your project, your baby, now do your best to get it seen! In one day you could connect with twenty bloggers that you think are right for your book. Say five of those review that book, the important thing to remember is that BLOGGERS FOLLOW OTHER BLOGGERS! And when they also buy your book and review it, more bloggers will see that review. A good review, written well, can set off a chain reaction. That is why it is important to choose your bloggers wisely!

Once you are a famous author you will probably have a publicist to do all this for you. You might already have one! But often, for debut authors, they will share a publicist with twenty other authors so will end up doing a lot of marketing themselves. Unfortunately, being an author these days is about more than just being able to write well. There are lots of really good books out there which are unread just because other authors were louder or better known. Sorry! But you can do this, especially once you have read this post and know the do’s and don’t’s!

This also means that book blogs are even more important for you. Book bloggers review your book for FREE!! They are generally people who love books and their passion shows in their reviews. Lots of them will attach themselves to new authors and will be your biggest cheerleader for future books as well. Treat them nicely and you will be rewarded!

So what should I look for in a blogger?

Well firstly, look at their followers. This may be more obvious on some blogs, others you may not be able to tell. But even if a blog doesn’t have a huge following, don’t discard it yet!

Next, look at their reviews. Are their reviews well thought out? Do they also post their reviews on Amazon and Goodreads? It is pointless sending your book to a reviewer who can barely write. If their review is littered with spelling mistakes and grammatical errors, however much they rave about your book, who will take it seriously?

Also, look at their bad reviews. You should be able to find these by searching for their one or two star reviews. Are these reviews fair or do they slam an author, and their book, parents, dog, cat and goldfish? Of course, you hope your book will garner a good review but you cannot be sure, so if they post a bad review, you want it to be constructive and positive. Maybe they recommend it for a different audience, or give a specific reason why they don’t like it, such as a hatred for love triangles. This means readers who adore love triangles will still pick up your book. So, to summarise, you want specific criticism.

Finally, look at their other activity. Do they participate in weekly memes with other bloggers? (A meme is a feature hosted by a blog in which other bloggers all write a similar article and then link up with each other. A popular one is “Waiting on” Wednesday hosted over at Breaking the Spine . More info in glossary below.) Why is this important? Well, if I post a list on my blog that features your book and then link it up to one of these memes, lots of other bloggers will then click on that link and read about your book. Extra advertisement! Lots of books have ended up on my To-Be-Read (TBR) list due to other blogger’s Waiting on Wednesday posts! I take part in three memes per week, so there is a fair chance a book I have just read will end up on one of them!

Anything else?

Yes! If you are an indie author, you may not be able to persuade bigger bloggers to read your book just yet. Lots of these bloggers will have publishing houses like Penguin and Harper sending them free ARCs of the most anticipated books of the year. So search for smaller bloggers who are active and on the up and up! There are new book blogs being started all the time, and some of these bloggers might be huge in a few years. If you can persuade them that you are their next favourite author, it could be the ultimate long term investment.

BOOKTUBE

Finally, there is another brand of book bloggers called Booktubers. These are the cool kids on the block, the ones who stand in front of a camera and rave about their new books and then post the video on Youtube. Booktubers often have followers in the thousands and are not to be ignored! To find them? Go to youtube and type in Booktube into the search engine. Some well known ones are Little Book Owl, ABookUtopia and Jesse the Reader.

I don’t understand the terminology I found on a blog!

Fair enough! Us bloggers are a weird bunch! However, there are a few terms and acronyms you should really know to persuade those bloggers you are down with the lingo!

TBR – To Be Read! This means the books a reader has lined up to be read! This could be books they own and haven’t read yet, or books they want to buy.

ARC– Advance Reader Copy – A copy of the book that is sent out to reviewers and professional readers for review before publication. This helps create buzz around the book in the weeks leading up to the release. This copy often is not in the finished format, is uncorrected and may not have a cover.

Book haul – The books a blogger has recently bought, borrowed or been given. If you give a blogger a copy of your book, they may well feature it in their book haul!

Wrap-up – A post that summarises all the books a blogger read that month. Again, another chance for your book to be featured.

Memes/Weekly Features/BlogHops – In blog-speak, this is an idea that is spread from blog to blog. This surfaces in the book blogging world as a feature which is hosted on a site, that lots and lots of other book bloggers do their own version of on their own blogs. They then post links on the host site so other bloggers can see what they wrote on that same topic! It is a way for bloggers to connect to each other and share booky love! Bookshelf Fantasies have a very useful Meme Directory which lists most of the booky memes that exist!

So I hope this helps you! The main things to remember is to Connect, Ask Nicely and don’t Empty Follow! 

Much Booky Love
E. St. C.
xxx

April TBR!

Lots and lots of exciting reads this month! Plus a new feature…the TBR Tin! yay!

Library Books

I need to read these in the next three weeks as I don’t think i can renew them any more 🙁

Dune by Frank Herbert

Dune

This is a sci-fi fantasy book that I really feel I should have read. Classic Sci-Fi… I don’t actually know what this is about. It is in the future. Yep, thats it, that is all I know! It look fun! The library copy has a cover which is quite pretty, it has these two blue moons.

Omens by Kelley Armstrong

omens

I really like Kelley Armstrong. She has written some really good books. Fantasy, fantastical, amazingness. Hopefully this book will live up to that.

After Moonrise by P.C. Cast and Gena Showalter

after moonrise

This book.. I am not sure! Its about a detective agency.. I don’t know! I will find out! The cover is quite cool!

Half Blood by Jennifer L. Armentrout

half-blood

I am really excited to read this because I really like Jennifer’s writing style normally. The only thing is I think this is a forbidden love story, I don’t really do well with forbidden love! Why can’t we all just fall in love with nice people who we are meant to be with…haha I know, it doesn’t work like that. But I am hoping, hoping that this will prove me wrong on the whole forbidden love thing.

So those are all the library books I have to read but of course I will probably pick some more up during my weekly visits to the library so they might get added on.

Books I Own

All of these I have already started and need to finish.

Us by David Nicholls

Us

I started this book right at the beginning of March because I was going to see David Nicholls talk at the Bath Literature festival. I started it but it got put aside due to other reading committments so this month this is going to be finished, because it is good so far. Also I expect it is going to make me cry! His books normally do! The feels!

The Help by Katherine Stockett

the help

I started this book and I made it to chapter six. I don’t know why I never got any furthur. I saw the film, and the writing is really good, but this is happening this month. I am finishing it!

Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman

neverwhere

This is a really good book, and this is the one I am actually reading at the moment. Also this counts towards my blog 2015 reading challenge as it is a book that used to be a TV series and then was novelised, so that is good because I don’t know where I would have found another one of those!

ARCs

The ones I really need to read this month are:

Cold Burn of Magic by Jennifer Estep

Cold Burn Magic

This comes out on the 28th April. I am really excited about this book because I really like Jennifer Estep’s writing. I love the Mythos Academy series. The main character, she seems just as kick ass as Jennifer’s main characters normally are. I have high expectations!

The Fangirls Guide to the Galaxy by Sam Banks

fangirls guide to galaxy

This book comes out on May 12th. From what I can gather this is a how-to fangirl book which is awesome because I am such a fangirl. I love fangirling over things. So good!

Which brings us to the TBR tin! Whoo!

TBR TIN 

TBR TIN

This is something new I am doing this month. Basically I have this amazing tin that says TBR tin on it filled with loads of pieces of paper that have all the books I own and haven’t read on. Every month I am going to pick out a pice of paper and read the book because I own so many books and other reading committments are stopping me from reading them. I am going to put those aside and read one book from the tin every month.

TBR TIN OPen

This month, I am reading a pink book, which means it is the end of a series that I started and never finished.

TBR April

Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor

dreams of gods and monsters

I read the first book from this series and adored it and raved and ranted about it, and the when the second one came out i consumed it in like, a day. Somehow I completely missed the release of this book though and so I finally picked it up the other day, but still haven’t got round to reading it, so I am really excited that this is my TBR book of the month from my TBR tin!

 

March Wrap-Up

Wow, so I am typing this post whilst watching Pretty Woman ( I had forgotten how amazing it was?)…so it is taking me a long time to type!!

It has been a busy month! I have read 10 books! This means I am well on my way to meeting my Goodreads Challenge of 70 books in 2015! So here they are!

Library Books

Grave Surprise

grave surprise

An Ice Cold Grave

ice cold grave

These two books are book 2 and 3 in the series and I was so happy when I finished book three because a love story that has been hinted at throughout the books has finally happened! Yay!

The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong

summoning

I loved this book and I definitely want to read the rest of this series! The ending was such a wtf moment! I am ordering in the rest of the series to my library branch!

Men of the Otherworld by Kelley Armstrong

men of otherworld

Ugh, the title of this book! It sucks! But the book is really good I promise! It is all about the Danvers family before Clay met Elena from the Bitten series. 

Physical Books I Own

Deadly Class by Rick Remender, Wesley Craig and Lee Loughridge

Deadly class

This is a graphic novel about a school for assassins! So cool! I want to be an assassin. Well, I don’t, but I love reading about them! V. Political book!

Soulless, the Manga Volume 1 by Gail Carriger

Soulless

After finishing this I really wanted to read the novels, and to my surprise, my local library has them! So I have ordered the first one so I can collect that next week!

Notes from the Teenage Underground by Simmone Howell

Notes from Teenage Underground

I read this book after reading Girl Defective by Simmone Howell. She has such an incredibly detached way of writing that really draws you in to the story, I love it!

The Bane Chronicles

Bane Chronicles

Aah Magnus Bane, I love you! Even more so now I have finished this book! Thank you Cassandra Clare for creating such awesomeness in a character! Also, that cover! I love the cats eyes!

Cress by Marissa Meyer

Cress

Aaah, I finally finished this book! I have been reading this book for about two months and I reached the last three chapters and stopped reading because I knew what was going to happen and I knew it would break my heart. I finally finished it on March 31st and what I thought was going t happen, didn’t…! Oops! I wasted all that time when I could have been reading this awesomeness! Oh well, now I can reread! As always, Marissa Meyer has flawlessly immersed a fairy tale story into a futuristic world in a way guaranteed to make you squirm, laugh and squeal!

All Fall Down by Ally Carter

All Fall Down final cover

This was a book that I had preordered and I read it almost as soon as it hit my doormat. Then i put off posting a reviews for a whole month because I was so caught up I couldn’t function. I had to reread the ending a few times because it felt vaguely like a dream, so I don’t know if I loved it or hated it. I want to read the next in the series though so I guess that is a good sign?

It also came with a cute little mascara, which is awesome sauce because I always manage to lose my mascara. Seriously, I think they grow legs and just walk off??

So that is all from March! Link me to your March wrap-up and I will come and check it out! If you have read any of these books, or want to read any of these books or even if you just like the covers, comment below!

Much booky love
E. St. C.
xxx

BOOK HAUL: March 31st 2015

Book Haul

I have been bad again! Bah, when you see these books, you will understand!

Bought

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

Miss Peregrine

Warm Bodies

warm bodies

These Broken Stars

These Broken Stars

The Poet’s Manual and Rhyming Dictionary by Frances Stillman

The Ode Less Travelled by Stephen Fry

ode less travelled

Writing Poems by Peter Sansom

From the Library

The Discworld Graphic Novels

Discworld Graphic Novels

Dune by Frank Herbert

Dune

Half-Blood by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Omens by Kelley Armstrong

From Friends

Cider with Roadies by Stuart Maconey

cider with roadies

I borrowed this one from my Dad. Thanks Dad!

Coastliners by Joanne Harris

coastliners

My brother in law’s parents lent me this book. Thanks Glyn and Stef!

ARCs and eGalleys

Thirteen Days of Midnight by Leo Hunt

Thirteen Days of Midnight

When Luke Manchett’s estranged father dies suddenly, he leaves his son a dark inheritance. Luke has been left in charge of his father’s ghost collection: eight restless spirits. They want revenge for their long enslavement, and in the absence of the father, they’re more than happy to take his son. It isn’t fair, but you try and reason with the vengeful dead.

Expected publication: July 2nd 2015 by Orchard Books

Cold Burn of Magic by Jennifer Estep

Cold Burn Magic

There Be Monsters Here. . .
    It’s not as great as you’d think, living in a tourist town that’s known as “the most magical place in America.” Same boring high school, just twice as many monsters under the bridges and rival Families killing each other for power.
    I try to keep out of it. I’ve got my mom’s bloodiron sword and my slightly illegal home in the basement of the municipal library. And a couple of Talents I try to keep quiet, including very light fingers and a way with a lock pick.
   But then some nasty characters bring their Family feud into my friend’s pawn shop, and I have to make a call–get involved, or watch a cute guy die because I didn’t. I guess I made the wrong choice, because now I’m stuck putting everything on the line for Devon Sinclair. My mom was murdered because of the Families, and it looks like I’m going to end up just like her. .

Expected publication: April 28th 2015 by Kensington Books

Thanks NetGalley and the Publishers for these ARCs!

So, link me up to your Book Hauls and I will come and check them out! Have you read any of these books? Or do you want to read any of them? Comment below!

I am off to do some reading now!

Booky love,
E. St. C
xxx

 

 

 

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books Recently Added to My TBR List

toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish starring a particular theme.

This week’s topic is all about books we have added to our To-Be-Read list recently. I actually just went straight to Goodreads and picked out the last ten I added, and I was pleasantly surprised!

1. Cold Burn of Magic by Jennifer Estep

Cold Burn Magic

I have really enjoyed Jennifer Estep’s other series so when I heard there was going to be a new one I added it straight to my TBR list. I am really lucky though as NetGalley has given me a copy to review! Yay! No more waiting!

2. The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton

Miniaturist

I picked this up in a ‘buy one get one half price’ deal at a service station, so I added it to my TBR list when I got home.

3. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Gone Girl

This was the other half of the ‘buy one get one free’ deal and it is one of those books I have been meaning to read for a long time, but never actually bought it…now I have no excuses!

4. The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer

House of the Scorpion

I read the first few chapters of this book on PulseIt and now I really want to read the rest!

5. These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

These Broken Stars

This was a book I found when watching one of Little Book Owl‘s vlogs and I have heard so many good things, I finally bought it! Yay! See my Book Haul.

Here is a description from Goodreads

Luxury spaceliner Icarus suddenly plummets from hyperspace into the nearest planet. Lilac LaRoux and Tarver Merendsen survive — alone. Lilac is the daughter of the richest man in the universe. Tarver comes from nothing, a cynical war hero. Both journey across the eerie deserted terrain for help. Everything changes when they uncover the truth.

6. Illuminae

This is another one I found thanks to Little Book Owl, it doesn’t have a cover yet but it sounds really good!

The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.

Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping, high-octane trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.

7. Blood Song by Rhiannon Hart

Blood Song

This one intrigued me, read this description…

When her sister becomes betrothed to a prince in a northern nation, Zeraphina’s only consolations are that her loyal animal companions are by her side – and that her burning hunger to travel north is finally being sated.
Already her black hair and pale eyes mark her out as different, but now Zeraphina must be even more careful to keep her secret safe. Craving blood is not considered normal behaviour for anyone, let alone a princess. So when the king’s advisor, Rodden, seems to know more about her condition than she does, Zeraphina is determined to find out more.

Ok, I thought, Vampire. But apparently not! I want to understand!

8. The Discworld Graphic Novels

Discworld Graphic Novels

I love the Discworld novels, i have been working my way through them for about five years. I found this in my local library last week and knew I had to pick it up!

9. Dune by Frank Herbert

Dune

Another library book, one of those I feel as a lover of fantasy I should have read long ago!

10. Laminar Flow by Timothy H. Cook

Laminar Flow

The title drew me to this book, as I worked with my head in a laminar flow for a year. Then I read the description and knew I had to add it to my TBR list!

What does being a doctor really feel like? What is it like to get called out in the middle of the night to care for a desperately ill patient, to be the one everyone depends on? Bob Gilsen knows only too well. And what does a fifteenth century physician, who gets called out in the middle of the night in winter, possibly have to offer his patient? This is the beginning of The Book of Drachma, a novel of medicine, murder, fantasy, and self-discovery, set in two times and places.

And a bonus- The Only Friends You Need by Flic Everett

Only Friends you need

Yeh, I know, I said only ten, but this is a self published book by Flic Everett who taught a creative writing workshop at the Bath Literature festival, so I really wanted to feature it again…

Six Friends. Six very different people. Laura, Maggie, Della, Chris, Matt and Susie have been friends for years. They know each other inside out- and they don’t need anyone else.

This funny, insightful novel explores what true friendship really means and whether it’s possible to remain friends forever- even when your own happiness is at risk.

Friday Feelings: The Clean Reader Debate

Friday Feelings

Friday Feelings is a weekly post where I will be having my say about the latest news, books and other related things!

This week, I am going to be having a rant about Clean Reader.

First, A DISCLAIMER: PLEASE DO NOT READ THIS POST IF YOU ARE UNDER 18, EASILY OFFENDED BY SWEAR WORDS OR ADULT THEMES. Thanks!

Update: DISCLAIMER 2: I AM NOT ADVOCATING THE USE OF SWEARING IN BOOKS. I AM MERELY STANDING UP FOR AUTHOR’S RIGHTS AND THEY HAVE A RIGHT TO SWEAR IN THEIR BOOKS AND NOT HAVE IT CHANGED.

In case you don’t know, Clean Reader is an app developed by an American couple to wipe profanities from books after their teenage daughter expressed dismay over some cuss words in a book she read. The tagline is “Read Books. Not Profanity”!

From the Clean Reader website: “Clean Reader prevents swear words in books from being displayed on your screen. You decide how clean your books should appear and Clean Reader does the rest.”

Basically, you can choose how clean you want your book to be, from Clean, Cleaner and Squeaky Clean.

You have to buy the book from the Clean Reader store.

Jennifer Porter from Romance Novel News has published a list of the words deemed to be unsuitable and what their substitutes are. So I thought it would be fun to write a completely clean story using these words, and show you how the Clean Reader app works. Enjoy!

If you understand this story, well done! If not, check out the key underneath.

Richard breeds his Whippets

Richard, known to his friends as GROIN, had finally done it. His prize WITCH had successfully given birth to six beautiful puppies. Everyone in his house was happy, even his normally disdainful BOTTOM cat, but that might have been due to the cream he had joyously poured into its dish that morning.As he told his wife, even when “the cat had ANGRY all over the floor” in the afternoon, he hadn’t cared. That night, he went out with his friends to celebrate. He smoked a joint for the first time in his life, which he knew wasn’t sensible, but he was in such a good mood, he didn’t care if he went to HECK.

Ok, so you are probably confused. This key might help you out! These are the actual words Clean Reader suggests for replacement. (There are a lot more than this, for a more comprehensive list, click here.)

Key

Dick-Groin
Bitch- Witch
Pussy- Bottom
Pissed- Angry
Hell- Heck

Ok, so some of these words were unneeded to tell the story. However, the last line, where Richard smokes a joint, this is something you probably do not want you or your child to read if you are so easily suggestible that reading something in a book will make you do it in real life.

My point is, language is actually a pretty good indicator of the type of content you might find in a book. If there is swearing, there is probably going to be other adult content. If you are using Clean Reader as a way to control what your children are reading, maybe you should be worried about the other content in that book?

Besides that, this is completely unfair on the author. You are, in essence, changing an authors work, but it is still under their name. If we took this to extremes, I could change a piece of writing in which an author talks about rape, and make it seem like they are advocating rape, and still sell it under their name! This is in fact illegal. This is called the Right of False Attribution.

Secondly, if I am an author and I have released a book in which one particular character swears a lot, I could be using this to show that the character isn’t a very nice person. (I admit, this would be a pretty lazy way, but it is one way in which I could do this.) Say this character changes in the end and becomes a saint. Clean Reader then sells my book with all the swear words changed to “less offensive alternatives”. Reader X reads this book and publishes a review as follows.

“Eleanor St Clair has not convinced me that Joe Blogs is all that bad. He doesn’t seem to do much that makes me think he is bad, so his change for the good in the end isn’t that miraculous.”

Maybe my book completely deserved this review. (It probably did if I was so lazy as to show Joe Blogs’ evilness entirely through swearing!) But maybe my book didn’t deserve this review. Because at the end of the day, the reader is reviewing a completely different piece of work that is unrepresentative of what I sent into the world. More to the point, maybe the message I was sending out with this book- swearing is evil- is completely lost and my work doesn’t reflect this at all. This is also against my moral rights– namely my Right to Integrity. 

It doesn’t end there. Here is a list. I love lists. Clean Reader will hate this one.

  1. The app literally just searches for words and replaces them. It doesn’t take context into account. (See my story above).
  2. Authors cannot opt out of having their books sold through Clean Reader.
  3. It generalises. For example, three words for the female reproductive parts- pussy, vagina and another beginning with C (Which I really don’t want to write on here as it grosses me out a bit- see, AUTHOR’S CHOICE!) – are all changed to bottom. PLEASE! Vagina is a medical term! I really hope these people are not learning anatomy from their reading, because if a boyfriend tried to push his penis up my BOTTOM I would be very angry! But he would, according to Clean Reader, actually be trying to push his GROIN up my BOTTOM. Anatomically impossible? On a serious note, I really don’t think this is a healthy statement for female sexuality. Or male.
  4. Discrimination. Please, changing Bitch to Witch? That is discriminatory towards Wiccans.
  5. The slippery slope. If we start by allowing an app to edit out bad language, where does it stop? Editing out anything it finds offensive, such as rape, murder or sexism? Sure, I find these things offensive, but ignoring them doesn’t mean they are not happening. We have the right to offend! Taking these things out of books is actually really offensive towards people who have suffered these things. Also, people could then start editing out personal prejudices, such as religions, sexualities or political beliefs. What happens when this technology moves beyond books into We need to stop it now!

UPDATE: Statement from Clean Reader: “…many authors do not want their books being sold in connection with Clean Reader. We have therefore taken immediate action to remove all books from our catalogue. Any books our users have already purchased will still be available in their in-app library within Clean Reader…”

Ok, so Clean Reader aren’t selling books, but their app is still editing work…

Have I convinced you yet? If not, can I allow the number one critic of Clean Reader to help me out? Ladies and Gentlemen, may I present, Joanne Harris, author of Chocolat.

 

cleanreader

 

If I have convinced you, maybe you would be good enough to click on this link and sign a petition to Google, Apple, inktera and pagefoundry.com to take this app out of their stores! Thanks!

Booky love!
E. St. C.

 

“Waiting on” Wednesday: The Other Side of Envy by C.L. Stone

Waiting on Wednesday

“Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted over at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

Yay! I can finally feature The Other Side of Envy on my WoW post! IT HAS A COVEEEER!!

Release date: April 28th 2015

other side of envy

From Goodreads

Sang Sorenson dreams of what life might be like for her in the Academy, but joining isn’t as easy as simply writing an exam or passing an interview. She’ll need to pull the team together to get them on her side in order for it to work, which is harder than it sounds. The boys will do anything to protect her, which, for some, means keeping her out.

But that’s not all that’s going on in Sang’s complicated life. After a shocking revelation, Gabriel Coleman splinters himself off from everyone, avoiding not just his Academy team, but even going so far as to avoid Sang. Desperate to bring him back and get him on her side, Sang digs deep into his past to try to discover a way to reach out to him.

His truth is riddled with tragic events, but with the help of Kota, Victor, Silas, Nathan, Luke and North, she might be able to reach out to him before envy and despair drag him too far down to be saved.

The Academy, Deeply Bonded

Why I am waiting anxiously…

To be honest, I have been waiting for this book since I read the last one in the series, House of Korba. Then, when I found out it was going to be Gabriel’s book, I freaked! Gabriel is probably my favourite academy boy.

I already pressed the magical green button to preorder!! If you don’t know why preordering is important, click here!

If you haven’y read any of the Academy books, the first one is free on Amazon and it is called Introductions.

What is your “Waiting on” Wednesday this week? Link me up in the comments and I will be sure to come check it out!

Booky love,
E. St. C.
xxx

 

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Books from Our Childhood Years That We Would Like To Revisit

toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish starring a particular theme.

This week’s theme is “Ten books from our childhood/teen years that we would like to revisit”. I decided to concentrate on my childhood years as my teen years are not that far behind me! So here are the books I loved as a child and I hope I will read to my children, or at least my sisters children!

1. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl (or any of the Roald Dahl books, that man was a genius!)

charlie chocolate factory

2. We’re Going on a Bear Hunt

WE'RE GOING bear huntYou have to read this book in THE voice! Also, if you like it, you should read the poem called Chocolate Cake, also by Michael Rosen. I used to love this poem as a child!

3. Where the Wild Things Are

wild things

4. The Mousehole Cat

mousehole cat

The summer before I went to University I went on holiday to Cornwall and begged my parents to go to Mousehole. It looks just like it does in the books, well worth a visit! (Also, it is pronounced “mowzul”).

5. Winnie the Witch

Winnie the witch

Winnie lived in her black house with her cat, Wilbur. He was black too. And that is how the trouble began. Everything in Winnie’s house is black – the carpet, the chairs, the bed and the sheets, the pictures on the walls, and even the bathtub! And of course her cat, Wilbur, is black too – all except for his bright-green eyes. Whenever poor Wilbur closes his eyes and tries to take a catnap, Winnie stumbles right over him. Or accidentally sits on top of him. Until one day, when Winnie gets a brilliant idea. What if Wilbur were a different colour?

This book- Amazing!

6. Wombat Stew

Wombat Stew

7. Burglar Bill

Burglar Bill

8. Topsy and Tim

Topsy and Tim

Topsy and Tim were there for every major life event. I had two Goldfish I called Topsy and Tim, but Topsy ate Tim, so we bought another Tim, which Topsy also ate. this carried on for a while until Topsy was so huge, she lived on her own…

9. Harry Potter

Harry Potter

I was eight when I first read Harry Potter and I really really hoped a letter would come for me on my eleventh birthday. I am sorry to say it didn’t 🙁

10. A friend for Rachel

a friend for rachel

So, I was not brought up under any particular religion, but this is quite a religious book. However, it is beautifully written, with vivid characters I fell in love with. I really wanted pet mice after reading this book!

So that is the end of my Top Ten Childhood Books! When I look back at them I really worry about what sort of messages I was recieving…if I was a wild thing and tried to eat my mother I would go on an adventure, I should dye my house lots of different colours (not my cat), how to make Wombat Stew, and how to rob a baby…

Luckily, I seem to have turned out all right…sort of…

Link me up to your Top Ten Tuesday and let me know in the comments below if you read any of these books as children!

Booky Love,
E. St. C.
xxx

 

 

Exciting News: Eclipse, Ghost Bird Cover Reveal and New Blog!

Hi!

Yay, you found my new blog! Welcome!

First of all, how many of you saw the eclipse today? The views from Bath in the UK were pretty amazing! Here are some pictures!

eclipseThe cloud cover was just right to take pictures!

Secondly, I am really excited to say that C.L. Stone has released a cover for The Other Side Of Envy. Here you go!

other side of envy

She has also released the description and oh my goodness! This sounds sooo good!!

Sang Sorenson dreams of what life might be like for her in the Academy, but joining isn’t as easy as simply writing an exam or passing an interview. She’ll need to pull the team together to get them on her side in order for it to work, which is harder than it sounds. The boys will do anything to protect her, which, for some, means keeping her out.

But that’s not all that’s going on in Sang’s complicated life. After a shocking revelation, Gabriel Coleman splinters himself off from everyone, avoiding not just his Academy team, but even going so far as to avoid Sang. Desperate to bring him back and get him on her side, Sang digs deep into his past to try to discover a way to reach out to him.

His truth is riddled with tragic events, but with the help of Kota, Victor, Silas, Nathan, Luke and North, she might be able to reach out to him before envy and despair drag him too far down to be saved.

The Academy, Deeply Bonded 

Yay! I already pressed the special green button that means it will arrive on my Kindle on the 28th April! 

Screen Shot 2015-01-29 at 12.06.09Yep! It is available to preorder now! Please do this, for reasons why, click here!

If you haven’t read any of the academy books, really, go, now, and do it! Here is a link to the first one on Amazon UK and Amazon US, and it is currently free!

Ok, so if you are reading this, you have found my new blog!  I really hope you will all like it! This new blog might look a little different but the reviews will be the same! So from Monday, if you go to my old site, you will be greeted with a friendly link that will transfer you here! On Monday all content from the old blog will have moved here.

Much booky love,
E St. C
xxx

Bath Literature Festival- Thursday round up and World Book Day

thursday round up

Thursday at Bath Literature Festival fell on International Book Day, and I immersed myself in the world of character building at the first event of the day I attended, “Giving Characters a Voice”.

giving characters a voice

Bath Spa University lecturer Anna Freeman, author of the novel The Fair Fight ran the workshop and gave us all some great exercises to work on, including exercises in dialogue and turning our own experiences into fictional events. I feel that one thing I have learned this week, both from Anna and David Nicholls, is that dialogue is a powerful tool that can be used to tell readers things without actually having to tell them. I am actively watching films and TV programmes and trying to work out how they fit the dialogue together. I have also been reading Us by David Nicholls and working out all the meaning behind each piece of dialogue. Reading it in this way has shown me that no dialogue is included if it doesn’t serve the story in some way, even if it isn’t obvious at first.

After the workshop I attended a talk by Emma Bridgewater about her book, “Toast & Marmalade”. You probably know Emma Bridgewater by her amazing pottery. My boyfriend always drank out of her “Men at Work” mug and his mum had lots of her mugs, so they remind me of him. Emma founded the company in 1985 after being unable to find a nice cup and saucer as a present for her mother. I asked her if she ever had any back up plan if the company didn’t work out, and she told me she didn’t. If it hadn’t worked she would have had to pack it in and get a job to pay off the loan. If you have a back up plan that is too easy to achieve, when the going gets tough, as it inevitably will at some point, it would just be too easy to walk away. Emma Bridgewater

I also felt that Emma Bridgewater was a real inspiration. She was completely entrepreneurial and went to work every day while her husband stayed at home with her children, which she said was the one of the hardest things. As a (sort of) grown up girl whose mother went back to work after I was born, I felt that although Emma had missed sports days and events in her children’s life, she had probably given her daughters a powerful sense that they could do whatever they wanted to and empowered them like I feel my mother has, and I told her this. She added a lovely message to my copy of her (really good) book when she signed it!

Getting back on the train to go home I think my bag weighed twice as much as it did when I arrived due to all the books I had bought, but I also felt that a week of immersing myself into a group of people who were struggling with the same things that I was struggling with, and learning about those who had gained success from their struggles had inspired me to write some really great stuff for my novel. I definitely recommend attending a literature festival and I will be looking for lots more!

Bath Literature Festival – Tuesday Round-Up

2015-03-04 10.29.50

I am currently in Bath for the literature festival which is really exciting. Yesterday I had the best day. In the daytime I went to a workshop called “How to Promote your Self Published Book” run by Flic Everett, author of ‘The only friends you need’.

2015-03-04 10.08.50

First of all Flic talked to us about the importance of a good title. It should be catchy, interesting but still tell the reader what the book is about. She gave examples of many famous books, all of which have titles that are one or two words long, such as Jane Eyre, 1984, Emma and Wuthering Heights.

Next, we looked at book covers. For this, it was really important that we knew what genre our book would fit into so we split up into groups and described our books to others in the group. There were two writers in my group who had already self-published books. One novel was aimed at 7-9 years olds and the other writer had written two literary novels set in Bath (The promotional material is shown in the picture below). There was a writer who had planned his novel out and another writer who was at the very beginning of starting her novel, so we had a really good mix!

We decided that my novel was a Young Adult so it would need a bold cover that stood out and was modern. Flic suggested that we looked at other books in the same genre to get ideas for our cover. You also need to make sure you leave lots of room for the title, so that it doesn’t look like the title and picture are ‘competing’ for space.

2015-03-04 10.22.13
The promotional material for two of the authors in my group at the workshop.

Next we had to come up with an “Elevator Pitch” which is where you describe your novel in the time it would take to ride on an ‘elevator’ from the ground floor to the top floor of a building. I found this exercise much more difficult than I expected as there are so many underlying themes to my book, so I think if I was to self publish I need to pick one theme to market and commit to that.

2015-03-04 10.56.01
Some of the things I was given by people in the workshop, including a novel and an audiobook to review.

Finally we talked about marketing your book, which is where I came into my element! We talked about how to use Twitter, Facebook and…book bloggers! I got the chance to talk to the whole group about how a book blogger will feel about being asked to review a book (which is, most of the time, really honoured!), review policies, connecting on Facebook by starting conversations as opposed to “empty follows” and what to expect from a book bloggers review. This meant that loads of people came up to me afterwards to have a chat and I made loads of really useful contacts. I was even given a novel and a short story audio book to review!

Overall the entire workshop was great and I realised how friendly, supportive and welcoming the writing community are.

In the evening, my lovely sister (from http://electric-daisy.co.uk) and I went to see a question and answer session with David Nicholls, author of Starter for Ten, The Understudy and One Day. He was there to talk about his new book Us (which I am halfway through, and let me tell you, it is GOOOD!)

Viv Groskop, the Artistic Director of Bath Literature Festival, was asking the questions and she asked some really interesting (and difficult) questions such as “Would your books be described as chick-lit if you were called Davina?” to which David agreed that many women writers are not given the acclaim they deserve. However, he did stress how unhealthy he thought it was when writers analysed how good their own writing was in comparison to these other authors and stated that he hadn’t thought about it too much.

At the end we were given the opportunity to get our books signed and ask David a question. I asked whether he thought his screenwriting experience had helped when writing dialogues in his novels. He described how both screenwriting and watching films have helped him and that often when writing dialogue you can cut the beginning and ending out. Characters in films tend to be far more instant and abrupt and when writing dialogue in novels, using this method can really help keep it short and interesting. I vowed to go home and watch lots of films to understand how the dialogue works. Any excuse eh?

2015-03-03 20.53.15 david nicholls signature
Me with my signed book!

After the talk we went to the Canary Gin Bar to have a cocktail before heading home. The view over the Abbey was amazing with the full moon behind it.

2015-03-03 20.56.22  2015-03-03 20.55.06

Overall I had a brilliant day and I am thoroughly looking forward to tomorrow when I shall be attending the workshop “Giving Characters a Voice”.

Top Ten Tuesday

toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish starring a particular theme.

This week’s theme is “all time favourite books from the last three years”. I took this to mean books published in the last three years…because otherwise it was just too hard!

1. Girl Defective

Girl Defective

2. Clockwork Princess

clockwork princess

3. We Were Liars

we were liars

4. Scarlet

Scarlet

5. Where Things Come Back

where things come back cover

6. Since You’ve Been Gone

since you've been gon

7. A Discovery of Witches

a discovery of witches

8. Opal

opal

9. The Avery Shaw experiment

Avery Shaw

10. The Program

The program

Book Haul March 1st

Yay! Second hand books! I went to visit my grandparents this week in Clevedon and there is a lovely community bookshop there that sells most of its fiction for £2 a book. My mum treated me to five, so I am having to expand my TBR shelves yet again!

Second hand Goodies

The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd

I read this book about five years ago and really wanted to read it again when I saw the film recently starring Dakota Fanning but it was missing, so I was pleased to see it second hand.

The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

shadow of the wind

This is a book my Mum recommended to me. I read the back cover and I am intrigued! Here is the description from Goodreads

Barcelona, 1945: A city slowly heals in the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War, and Daniel, an antiquarian book dealer’s son who mourns the loss of his mother, finds solace in a mysterious book entitled The Shadow of the Wind, by one Julián Carax. But when he sets out to find the author’s other works, he makes a shocking discovery: someone has been systematically destroying every copy of every book Carax has written. In fact, Daniel may have the last of Carax’s books in existence. Soon Daniel’s seemingly innocent quest opens a door into one of Barcelona’s darkest secrets–an epic story of murder, madness, and doomed love.

This book was originally published in Spanish so I am really pleased as it will count towards my 2015 reading challenge.

The Watcher in the Shadows by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

By the same author as the book above, my Mum actually bought this book but I look forward to reading it when she is done!

Narcopolis by Jeet Thayil

narcopolis

Shuklaji Street, in Old Bombay. In Rashid’s opium room the air is thick and potent. A beautiful young woman leans to hold a long-stemmed pipe over a flame, her hair falling across her dark eyes. Around her, men sprawl and mutter in the gloom, each one drifting with his own tide. Here, people say that you introduce only your worst enemy to opium.

Okay, I have to admit, I picked this book up because of its cover. I then saw it had been longlisted for the man booker prize in 2012. I read the inside cover. I read the prologue. When I reached chapter two I realised I probably ought to buy it. I am so looking forward to starting chapter two! It has moved right to the top of my TBR pile!

Timoleon Vieta Come Home by Dan Rhodes

Rhodes_3

I hear this book is like Marmite, you love it or you hate it. The storyline has really appealed to me though. I read the first page and the writing was beautiful. So I really hope I will love it.

I was also recommended a book by my Dad by an author who I have never read anything by, much to my shame! Tony Parsons’ Man and Boy is a book my dad really enjoyed so I am determined to try this soon.

Books that arrived in the post

Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman

Yeh, I know, I should have read this years ago! Neil Gaiman is fantasy staple and I am a bit embarrassed I have never read Neverwhere, but I now own it, so one step closer!

Us by David Nicholls

Us

I loved One Day. I loved the Understudy. I loved Starter for Ten. So I knew I needed to read Us. I was waiting for it to come out in paperback, because, to be honest, I really can’t afford to keep buying hardbacks. However, this week, David Nicholls is speaking at Bath literature Festival and I have the best sister in the world who bought me tickets, so I had to buy Us and read it. This is the back cover description.

‘I was looking forward to us growing old together. Me and you, growing old and dying together.’
‘Douglas, who in their right mind would look forward to that?’

Douglas Petersen understands his wife’s need to ‘rediscover herself’ now that their son is leaving home.
He just thought they’d be doing their rediscovering together.
So when Connie announces that she will be leaving, too, he resolves to make their last family holiday into the trip of a lifetime: one that will draw the three of them closer, and win the respect of his son. One that will make Connie fall in love with him all over again.
The hotels are booked, the tickets bought, the itinerary planned and printed.
What could possibly go wrong?

Does anyone else get the feeling this is going to be another tear jerker?

Manga

Soulless by Gail Carriger (Author), Rem(Illustrator). (The Parasol Protectorate Manga)

Soulless

This is the first time I have ever read the manga based on a book before the original book. I hope this makes me want to read these books! The drawings are really beautiful from the little I have seen and the concept sounds really interesting. This was recommended to me by Goodreads as I enjoyed the Infernal Devices manga.

Deadly Class by Rick Remender (Writer), Wesley Craig (Illustrator), Lee Loughridge (Illustrator) 

Deadly class

This description!

It’s 1987. Marcus Lopez hates school. His grades suck. He has no money. The jocks are hassling his friends. He can’t focus in class, thanks to his mind constantly drifting to the stunning girl in the front row and the Dag Nasty show he has tickets to. But the jocks are the children of Joseph Stalin’s top assassin, the teachers are members of an ancient league of assassins, the class he’s failing is “Dismemberment 101,” and his crush, a member of the most notorious crime syndicate in Japan, has a double-digit body count.

Welcome to the most brutal high school on Earth, where the world’s top crime families send the next generation of assassins to be trained. Murder is an art. Killing is a craft. At King’s Dominion High School for the Deadly Arts, the dagger in your back isn’t always metaphorical, nor is your fellow classmates’ poison.

Eep! I am very excited to get into this! It sounds like a world I can lose myself in!

That’s all folks!

Link me to your book hauls!

Much Booky Love,

E.St.C

 

Books for Break Ups

Break ups suck. They really do. Books are normally the thing I turn to when going through anything bad, challenging, different, crazy or good. Basically, the answer is always books. Books have a wealth of advice and knowledge hidden inside them that we can take whenever we want to. We can learn from the lifetime of mistakes of others and, sometimes, books hold the advice that can help us turn a corner. However, break ups come in many forms, so we need lots of different types of books to help us. That is why I have created this…

Complete Guide to Break Up Books. (or Relationship Trouble Reading)

Books for when you need a cry…

Sometimes, a break up comes so completely out of nowhere, and we need a little kick-start to come out of our shock and have a good cry. Tears are good! They don’t even have to be books about relationships, in fact, sometimes it is better if they are not.

The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne

boy striped pj

This book is set in a Nazi Concentration camp, so you know it isn’t going to end well. You could also try The Book Thief, same time, same tears, but about a girl who loves books! Cry, now!

Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson

second chance summer

Her Dad has cancer and she has one last summer with her family together, in a place where she made mistakes as a child and then ran from. Unfortunately for Taylor, this is one summer she can’t run from. Cue the wailing.

One Day by Davis Nicholls

one day

Two people meet. This book looks at the same day they met, for the next twenty years. David Nicholls is a master of tears. I wept.

Marley and Me by John Grogan

So if you don’t think you can handle human death and suffering, how about we chuck in an animal? Books with animals, fail safe for starting the waterworks. No matter how great this book is, the ending gets me, every darn time. Animal death= bawl your heart out.

Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson

bridge to terabithia

A trip down memory lane. this children’s book was probably the first book I ever read where one of the characters dies. And she was my age! And she was just so awesome! Even thinking about this is making me shed a tear! I so wanted to be Leslie! Poor Jesse!

Books with a love more doomed than yours ever was…

So you are done with crying? Now we can find some relationships that were even more doomed than yours.

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

Back to the classics. This is a love story that was so messed up, I truly hope you can’t compare!

The Fault in our Stars by John Green

The fault in star

Aah, I know, I said we were done with crying, but come on, this was the most doomed love story to grace our shelves in this century! And a little more crying won’t hurt…

The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman (His Dark Materials series)

A love story so tragic that people actually gather at a bench in Oxford every year to mark the literary tragedy of Will and Lyra, separated by, well, different worlds. All very tragic.

City of Ashes (The Mortal Instruments Book 2) by Cassandra Clare

city of ashes

No love more doomed than that between a boy and a girl who find out they are brother and sister…well, if you need hope when you finish, just keep reading the series. It gets better for Clary and Jace. Which brings us to…

Books to make you believe in Love again…

The Ghost Bird Series by C.L.Stone

These books are so cute, they make you remember the innocence of love, first kisses, sweet boys and a girl who needs the love of these boys to rebuild herself. Well worth a read, especially as the first one is free!

The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare

The prequel to the Mortal Instruments, this is a story that shows true love wins the day…in the end. If you wait a few hundred years or so.

The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

Cinder

A futuristic retelling of our favourite childhood fairytales, who doesn’t love a happily ever after?

The Succubus Series by Richelle Mead (Or Georgina Kincaid series)

A series for a more mature audience, sassy, sexy and intelligent, georgina Kincaid literally goes to hell to argue a contract that will separate her from her love for all eternity. True love man. But, get this, she does all this, and doesn’t even know if her true love will take her back after she betrayed him over, and over, and over. She just wants him to be free. Even if she has to accept a relationship with her might never happen. Which leads to…

Books to read when you need some acceptance

Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson

since you've been gon

Read this, and then make yourself a list. Make a great big list of all the things you were too scared to do, or too relationship-ped to do, or just didn’t think were important enough. Seriously. Everything. Even if that is to run a race, or learn how to box, or even climb a mountain and blow bubbles off the top of it. Which, contrary to many of my friends opinions, is not that blimming weird. Now go, live your list and be free!

Dead Ever After by Charlaine Harris

dead ever after

Okay, so the title doesn’t sound all that hopeful I agree, but Charlaine is really good at writing about the real stuff in life. She gets it. Not all relationships are destined to last forever, and… that’s okay, because, as the last paragraph of this books says, you will survive, in or out of a relationship.

“I thought Sam and I would be together, maybe by Christmas, maybe for always. I couldn’t imagine a future without him. But I also knew that if he turned away from me at this moment, somehow I would survive that, and I would find a way to flourish like the yard that still bloomed and grew around my family home.
I’m Sookie Stackhouse. I belong here.”

So find your inner strength, get out there and blossom. You didn’t need a relationship to live your amazing life anyway!

Much booky love,

E. St. C.

Book Haul: 20/02

Wow, so this is probably going to be the last book haul in a little while, as I probably shouldn’t even have bought these books, but I was kind of having a bad week last week so I went a little crazy!! Oops!

Anyway, here you go!

Notes from the Teenage Underground by Simmone Howell

Notes from Teenage Underground
I bought this after thoroughly enjoying Girl Defective by the same author!

The Shadowhunters Codex by Cassandra Clare and Joshua Lewis

The shadowhunters codex

The Bane Chronicles (finally!) by Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan and Maureen Johnson

Bane Chronicles
I have been meaning to get this for so long I am really glad I bought it now. I am hoping this lives up to expectations as I LOVE Magnus Bane (from the mortal instruments/infernal devices in case you didn’t know!)!

Finally some graphic novels/manga I am super excited about! (I included the amazon links so you can go check them out!)

Clockwork Princess: The Mortal Instruments Prequel: Volume 3 of The Infernal Devices Manga

Clockwork princess

Frostbite: A Vampire Academy Graphic Novel (Vampire Academy Graphic Novels )

frostbite graphic novel

 

That’s all folks! Have any of you had any book hauls recently? Or a bad week? Or read any of these books? I am also really getting into manga and graphic novels recently…thinking I should start reviewing these too…what do you think?

Booky Love
E. St. C
xxx

Book Haul: 09/02

I was having a particularly bad day, so I bought books. I do this a lot when I am having a bad day. I am not sure why, but I think that maybe somewhere inside that book might be a phrase that will help me out of my funk.

The Book of You by Claire Kendal

The Book of You

Black Dog Summer by Miranda Sherry

BlackDogSummer

The Beggar and the Hare by Tuomas Kyrö

Beggar and hare

Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healey.

Elizabeth is Missing

I am especially excited about this last book as it is about a woman with dementia, written from her point of view. I have been caring for my grandmother who has dementia in the last year, and I have started writing a short novel based on some of my experiences. I think this novel is a very unique take on the story and the illness.