Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Faves of 2014 (Non Bookish)


If you've visited the blog before you've certainly realized that it is not only books that I fangirl over. TV, movies, and sometimes music can quickly become obsessions.

I thought it might be fun to share some of my favourite non bookish things from 2014 before the year ends.

TV

Breaking Bad

I binged watched this last Dec/Jan during a holiday marathon. It quickly became one of my favourite shows. Not just of the year, but ever. Walter White and Jesse Pinkman are two characters you will never forget and the question of what happens after still haunts me. Without giving spoilers...you want this one character, in particular, to be okay. You want to think that they found their happiness after the events. The idea that they might not have...soul crushing. This show is insanely well written, even more well acted, and all consuming. Trust the hype, and just watch it already if you haven't.

The Affair

The he said/she said storytelling. The subtle, and sometimes not so subtle, differences in events. The brilliant acting. The amazing writing. Take your pick as there are plenty of reasons this show should already be on your radar.

The show plays with perception and our recollection of events. It asks how much of what we remember is based on how we see ourselves and others instead of on actual facts. The person you love for example will always look better to you than they do to themselves. Are our views of someone accurate? Is it something we're projecting onto them? All of this is tackled against a tightly woven plot that keeps unraveling as the story continues to spiral. The main four characters (Joshua Jackson, Ruth Wilson, Dominic West, and Maura Tierney) are electric and the chemistry between them all is palpable. You'll want to watch them connect with each other, destroy each other, and implode over and over.

Penny Dreadful

Eva Green. Those two words are enough to make watching Penny Dreadful a must. She delivers one of the best performances on television this year. I read somewhere that someone said nobody acted harder in 2014, on television, than Eva Green. I 1000% agree with this sentiment. The later half of the season in particular allows her some great material to work with. It stuns me that she hasn't received any nominations as of yet (hopefully an Emmy is in her future).

The fact that the rest of the cast is also very good, and that the show is well written only adds to it's allure. The show itself looks beautiful and the storyline is captivating. Harry Treadaway deserves a special mention for his role as Victor Frankenstein as well. He makes the iconic character his own, and provides something extra to his storylines as a result.

How To Get Away With Murder

The twisty, incredibly fun hit of the fall season also happens to have some of the most brilliant performances. Viola Davis literally and figuratively strips away the layers she hides behind in one stand out moment. Jack Falahee slays as the self destructive Connor Walsh. Alfred Enoch plays an audience stand in of sorts, and does it fantastically. His "WTF" expressions, and puppy like demeanor only add to his charm. The best thing about this show however is that after it's stunning first half of the season it can, pretty much, go anywhere. The possibilities have me excited and may just determine if this show has staying power.

MOVIE

Gone Girl

The book to movie adaptation of 2014 for me. Rosamund Pike's flawless performance as Amy Dunne steals the movie. Once the mysteries behind her character are revealed Rosamund gets her chance to showcase what she can do, and the effect is breathtaking. Too many details would spoil the movie, but her performance left me with goosebumps.The movie itself is a faithful, well done, impeccably acted, adaptation of one of my favourite novels and I left the theatre extremely pleased.

Jacke Gyllenhaal in Nightcrawler

Chilling, creepy, perfection. Jake Gyllenhaal has be praised for his acting talents numerous times (Brokeback Mountain, anyone?) but his performance as Lou Bloom is beyond words. His transformation is nothing short of awe inspiring. He both repulses and fascinates you as a supremely driven crime scene journalist who will stop at nothing to get ahead in his career.

Boyhood

A movie that is both a look at growing up and the journey that takes us from childhood to the cusp of adulthood and a nostalgic time capsule. The amount of time, and planning that went into creating this story that spanned 12 years is inspiring. It's uplifting, bittersweet, and shows just how similar everyone's experiences really are.

MUSIC

Taylor Swift's 1989

Only one CD mattered to me this year (yes, this makes me lame, whatever) and it was this one. It has pretty much been on repeat since it's release and I am obsessed with Blank Space, and Wildest Dreams. OBSESSED.

Music was definitely the element lacking this year for me? Anything I should check out? Let me know in the comments.

OTHER

Etsy

This website has quickly become a favourite of mine. There are so many cute, and amazing things to buy. If you're part of a fandom, it's basically got you covered. You'll spend way too much time browsing but you'll undoubtedly leave it pining for some items, and with less money! It's going to be something I continue to use in 2015, especially for gifts for people. 

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

2014 Bookish Survey


Jamie, from The Perpetual Page Turner, started this and it's turned into a super fun annual thing. Here are my answers to the BOOKISH SURVEY OF 2014! Thanks for posting again, Jamie!

2014 Reading Stats 

Number Of Books You Read: 122 books
Number of Re-Reads: Zero, actually
Genre You Read The Most From: A mixture, but heavier on the non contemporary

Best in Books 

1. Best Book You Read In 2014? Can I just link to my BEST OF 2014 post?

2. Book You Were Excited About And Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t? 
Mortal Danger by Ann Aguirre

3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read in 2014? Anatomy of a Misfit by Andrea Portes. I did not expect THAT when I picked up this particular book.

4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did) In 2014? Famous In Love by Rebecca Serle (if talking one I've read this year) and Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (if talking not read this year).

5. Best series you started in 2014? Best Sequel of 2014? Best Series Ender of 2014? 

Best series started - The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski
Best Sequel - Heir of Fire by Sarah J Maas (still scarred from that one)
Best Series Ender - The Retribution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2014? Emery Lord, I think.

7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone? None that I can think of.

8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year? Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige and Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins were both one sitting reads for me.

9. Book You Read In 2014 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year? Toss up between Isla and the Happily Ever After and The Vanishing Season by Jodi Lynn Anderson

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2014? The Retribution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin.

11. Most memorable character of 2014? Jude and Noah from I'll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson.

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2014? Either The Vanishing Season by Jodi Lynn Anderson, or We Were Liars by E. Lockhart.

13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2014? Hmmm....I'll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson, maybe.

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2014 to finally read? Pushing The Limits by Katie McGarry. Pretty sure I was the last person to read this book.

15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2014? 

I have four that stood out, and I could put SO many more...

First from Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins....

'I'm...getting there. I', beginning to think that maybe it's okay to be a blank canvas. Maybe it's okay that my future is unknown. And maybe," I say with another smile, "it's okay to be inspired by the people who do know their future." "It goes both ways, you know." I link his icicle fingers through mine. "What does?" "Artists are inspired by blank canvases." My smile groes wider.'

Next from Open Road Summer by Emery Lord....

'His eyes are between gray and blue, and his hair is somewhere between brown and blond, and I am somewhere between hostile and attracted.'

From The Retribution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin.....

"He could never use you. you own him. You should've seen the way he was look at you while you were out." I smile a little "How?" "Like you're the ocean and he's desperate to drown."

Lastly, from Heir of Fire by Sarah J Maas

"....and then I am going to rattle the stars"

There were seriously some great quotes from books this year!

16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2013? 

Shortest - Just One Night by Gayle Forman at 40 pages
Longest - After by Anna Todd at 592 pages

17. Book That Shocked You The Most Anatomy of a Misfit. OUT OF NOWHERE. Possibly We Were Liars as well.

18. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!) Kestrel and Arin from The Winner's Curse, or Dorian and Celaena from the Throne of Glass series.

19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year Jude and Noah from I'll Give You The Sun, or Sloane and Emily from Since You've Been Gone.

20. Favorite Book You Read in 2014 From An Author You’ve Read Previously Brazen by Katherine Longshore or The Vanishing Season from Jodi Lynn Anderson.

21. Best Book You Read In 2014 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure: Open Road Summer by Emery Lord

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2014? Jordan from Famous In Love, and Oscar from I'll Give You The Sun. *swoon*

23. Best 2014 debut you read? Either Open Road Summer by Emery Lord, or Falling Into Place by Amy Zhang.

24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year? Exquisite Captive, and The Fall by Bethany Griffin.

25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read? Morgan Matson's Since You've Been Gone.

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2014? Brazen by Katherine Longshore, and We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

27. Hidden Gem Of The Year? Brazen by Katherine Longshore. Read it, everyone. SO GOOD.

28. Book That Crushed Your Soul? See #26. Both those books crushed me, and I'll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson as well.

29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2014? Toss up between The Unfinished Life by Addison Stone and Love Letters To The Dead. Both had unique narration styles. Love Letters To The Dead is entirely in letter format and The Unfinished Life is a fictional account of one of those true crime shows in novel format.

30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)? All The Rage by Courtney Summers. I liked it, but the anger was real. I had to vent. It was wonderful though.

Your Blogging/Bookish Life 

1. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2014? Attending BEA again and getting to see all the lovely bookish people I've chatted with online in person.

2. Best bookish discover (book related sites, book stores, etc.)? Etsy in general is a hidden gem of bookish delights. You can find so many things. My favourite are art prints of book quotes. It's a bit of a rabbit hole when you start going down though and a complete time drainer, but so worth it.

3. Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year? The only challenge I took part in is the Goodreads challenge and I was able to complete it.

 Looking Ahead 

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2014 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2015? The Kiss of Deception by Mary E Pearson and Marie Lu's The Young Elites

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2015 (non-debut)? Finding Paris by Joy Preble or A Court Of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas.

3. 2015 Debut You Are Most Anticipating? Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard or Anne and Henry by Dawn Ius

4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2015? Truly, Madly, Famously by Rebecca Serle

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2015? Every year I say the same thing and every year I suck. I want to comment on more blogs.

6. A 2015 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone: The Winner's Crime (sequel to The Winner's Curse).

Monday, December 29, 2014

Best of 2014


As the end of one year, and the beginning of another approaches, it's time to reflect. This means all those Best Of lists begin to pop up everywhere, and this blog is no exception.

Here are the top 15 books I've read this year. I couldn't stop at 10. It was impossible. I even cheated a little and included two books in the same series together.

These are in no particular order, that would have been even more impossible.

Each selection links to my review (where available) if you wanted more information.

1 We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

Beautiful writing, and a story that blends together sadness, summer, and a fantastic mystery. The "don't reveal the ending" marketing plan was buzz worthy, and in this case I happen to agree. Knowing the minimal amount about the story going in increases your enjoyment of this story as this is one to experience with the character.

2 The Winner's Curse/The Winner's Crime by Marie Rutkoski

I cheated and included both books under this as I've read both this year. The characters will ensnare you and keep you riveted with every single twist and bump during their journey. A story full of secrets, lies, hidden truths and political intrigue, it's one that keeps you guessing and crushes your heart (in the best way).

3 Half Bad by Sally Green

This story succeeds because of Nathan. His story will stay with you long after you finish the book. The potential for the rest of the series is evident in this first installment and I am excited to continue Nathan's journey and discover more of this rich world Sally Green has created.

4 Love Letters To The Dead Ava Dellaira

Told in letter format, this story offers a unique and satisfying experience. Through letters to deceased celebrities we learn Laurel's story. It's a story that isn't always a happy one. It's a mix of hopeful and heartbreaking and looks at the long road back from grief and forgiveness.

5 Since You've Gone by Morgan Matson

This novel will immediately leave you with the Kelly Clarkson song stuck in your head, and a smile on your face. Filled with a sweet romance, and friendship that has the starring role, and characters you want to be friends with, it's a lighter read that has a lot of depth. You'll want to create your own 'to do' list for your BFF when you turn that final page.

6 Brazen by Katherine Longshore

All of Katherine's novels have an underlying message of finding your voice, and standing up for what you believe in. Something that resonates no matter what year we're in. This story is of finding your own self worth, and embracing it. It's a story that is filled with sharp writing, and the lasting desire to live life with no regrets.

7 Famous In Love by Rebecca Serle

Any fan of Hollywood gossip, CW TV shows, and love triangles will devour this novel and immediately beg for more. It's depth, and characterization however will have you utterly smitten. It's a story of falling in love while everyone watches, of finding yourself while under the spotlight, and adjusting to drastic changes. You may end up being either Team Jordan or Team Rainer, but you'll undoubtedly end up finishing the novel Team Paige.

8 The Vanishing Season by Jodi Lynn Anderson

Jodi's breathtaking writing combined with her ability to create the kind of characters that get under your skin made this one a heartbreaking, crushing read. The mystery of the missing girls is secondary to the destructive relationships between the central characters, and it's aftermath.

9 I'll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson

My first Jandy Nelson book stunned me. I expect this one will pop up on quite a few of these lists and for good reason. Two distinct and unique voices, two unforgettable narrators, and a story that is capable of breaking your heart and mending it all at once. The sibling relationship is the heart of this story, and it's beautifully done. This novel also gave me Oscar, my new book boyfriend.

10 Open Road Summer by Emery Lord

If you ever wondered what it might be like to be BFFs with Taylor Swift, this novel is for you. Underneath the lightness and fun is an insanely enjoyable story. A friendship at it's heart, and a swoon worthy romance make for a quick paced read that is a fave debut for many. There is plenty of emotion packed into this read, and you'll end it being an Emery Lord fan.

11 The Iron Trial by Cassandra Clare and Holly Black

This novel takes fantasy tropes and flips them. You think you know this story, and where it's going only for Holly Black and Cassandra Clare to show you just how wrong that assumption was. It packs a surprising punch, and is perfect for middle grade and young adult fans alike. I cannot wait to see these characters grow and progress over the coarse of this story.

12 Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins

A finale that was more than worth the wait. While I may prefer Etienne to any of the other boys Stephanie Perkins has created, Isla is perhaps my favourite girl. She endeared herself to me immediately, and is perhaps the most like me. A romantic, achingly realistic, beautifully written conclusion to a stellar set of companion novels. Stephanie Perkins may just be the Queen of Contemporary novels (for me she shares the title with Gayle Forman).

13 The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen

The buzz around this one started when Emma Watson signed on to be the main character in the movie adaptation. Kelsea is a protagonist that quickly makes you fall in love with her. The Fetch is an intriguing element to the story and adds an air of mystery. The world building is one of my favourite parts of this story and seeing Kelsea grow and change is the heart of the story.

14 Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige

Danielle Paige takes something beloved and makes it all her own. She twists Oz in fascinating ways all while maintaining the recognizable elements of the classic. The clear and concise set up allows for a tightly woven story that begs to be turned into a CW TV show. Those who want what made The Wizard of Oz so speical will find it here, just twisted beyond belief.

15 Exquisite Captive by Heather Demetrois

Heather Demetrois' writing is often praised (and her 2015 release I'll Meet You There) is already gaining a lot of praise for it's writing). This novel is no exception. Combined with her writing is fantastic world building, and a love triangle that works because it really isn't a love triangle. This novel has magic, wonder, and a fantastic lead character that all equal up to a great read.

I could have easily made it 20, but decided to at least try to limit myself. Have you read any of these books? Did they make your Best Of list? Let me know in the comments.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

New To My Book Closet


It's that time of the week again. Time to show you what bookish goodies made their way into my home and book closet (to be saved from the evil book eating cat monster named Aria). This is inspired by the various "mailbox" posts out there (eg. In My Mailbox by The Story Siren, and Stacking the Shelves by Tynga's Reviews).



Love, Lucy by April Linder (Goodreads)
The Bane Chronicles by Cassandra Clare, Maureen Johnson, Sarah Rees Brennan (Goodreads)
Kiss and Tell by Jacqueline Green (Goodreads)

A huge thank you to Hachette Canada for two of these pretties, and my sister got me a hardcover of The Bane Chronicles for Christmas. It was basically impossible to take a nice picture of it though as it's so shiny.

I also got two book related movies for Christmas. Both are ones I really enjoyed when I saw them in theatres.

If I Stay and The Fault In Our Stars. I am excited to re-watch both!


Happy weekend, and happy reading!

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Weekly Obsessions


The awesome Kelly at KellyVision started posting a weekly post highlighting whatever she happened to be obsessed with that week. I LOVE this idea, so much in fact that I will be doing it myself every Saturday.

The week of Christmas and up until after New Years Day is always quiet. Nothing is really being released or announced, so my obsessions post is really small this time.

TV

The Affair

The season finale of The Affair aired the Sunday before Christmas. The entire season had been brilliant, but the finale kicked it up a few notches. Joshua Jackson owned that episode, and there were many edge of your seat moments to keep you glued to the screen. I cannot wait for season 2 (and it makes a perfect show to marathon during this holiday hiatus).

MOVIE

Wicked (the musical) becoming a movie

This has been in the works for quite a while, but it is rumoured that during the annual Screen Film Summit Universal revealed an adaptation is slated for 2016 release. Hypable has more details if you are interested. I really hope this happens, and have already been dream casting. If this turns out to be accurate, I expect casting news will follow shortly!

What are you obsessed with this week?

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas!


Wishing you all a Merry Christmas! Hope it's filled with wonderful times spent with loved ones, lots of delicious food, and plenty of reading time!



Here is hoping that you found some new books under the tree!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Waiting On Wednesday ....... A Court Of Thorns and Roses


Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

My pick this week is A Court Of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas


Here is the Goodreads synopsis
A thrilling, seductive new series from New York Times bestselling author Sarah J. Maas, blending Beauty and the Beast with faerie lore.

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.
I was sold the moment Beauty and the Beast was brought into this description. I really like the Throne Of Glass series, and have extremely high hopes that this series will be just as captivating. I've heard nothing but amazing things from those who have read it, and it's only increased my need to read this book.

Expected release date - May 5, 2015

Monday, December 22, 2014

The Unfinished Life Of Addison Stone by Adele Griffin



The Unfinished Life Of Addison Stone by Adele Griffin
Release Date - August 12, 2014
Publisher Website - Soho Teen
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages - 256 pages
My Rating - 4/5
**received in exchange for an honest review**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
National Book Award-finalist Adele Griffin tells the fully illustrated story of a brilliant young artist, her mysterious death, and the fandom that won't let her go.

From the moment she stepped foot in NYC, Addison Stone’s subversive street art made her someone to watch, and her violent drowning left her fans and critics craving to know more. I conducted interviews with those who knew her best—including close friends, family, teachers, mentors, art dealers, boyfriends, and critics—and retraced the tumultuous path of Addison's life. I hope I can shed new light on what really happened the night of July 28.
—Adele Griffin
The Unfinished Life Of Addison Stone is a mystery. It's a story of a broken girl, and her equally broken relationships. The story of a brilliant artist whose life ended all too soon. Adele Griffin blends multiple art forms to create what is essentially a novel version of those true crime TV shows. This worked much better than I anticipated, and created an engaging and engrossing read.

At times you'll almost forget that you are reading a fiction novel, which is the entire point of this type of storytelling. The urge to Google Addison Stone and continue the exploration of her life is always present in the back of your mind as you begin to unravel her story. You lose yourself in the story of her life and Addison becomes real. She becomes someone who lived and breathed.

As vibrant as Addison is, the rest of the cast falls short of feeling fully actualized. They are entities who serve only to flush out the enigma that is Addison. The only ones who come close to feeling as developed as Addison are her boyfriends (and potential suspects) Lincoln and Zach. They create the other sides to this volatile triangle, and add even more mystery to the story.

The mystery elements are well done. The mystery of what happened the night of Addison death compels you to keep reading. It keeps your attention and explores many different possibilities which keeps the tension taunt until the very end. Both a gripping potential murder mystery, and a heartbreaking exploration of mental health issues, it never lets the reader stop wondering.

It's a look at a damaged, troubled girls final days. It's just as harrowing, just as sad as you would expect. There are also bright moments of happiness and light that make up Addison's life. The novel adeptly creates a picture of an all too short life lived in extremes, both high and low.

A unique reading experience that felt fully immersive. Adele Griffin has created something where multiple forms of storytelling worked together to create a richer, deeper picture. I am not sure this format would work for every type of novel, but this one felt natural. Those looking for something a little different from their reading experience will enjoy this one.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

New To My Book Closet


It's that time of the week again. Time to show you what bookish goodies made their way into my home and book closet (to be saved from the evil book eating cat monster named Aria). This is inspired by the various "mailbox" posts out there (eg. In My Mailbox by The Story Siren, and Stacking the Shelves by Tynga's Reviews).

My mailbox was super busy this week. Insanely busy. The kind of busy that makes you incredibly thankful for the books you get to read.

First up is a book that resulted in much fangirling, squealing and generally scaring the heck out of my cat after I opened it. I have already read this book, and it is going to be the book for winter 2015 (perhaps even the book of 2015). It's going to be the new hot thing, that's for sure!


Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard (goodreads)

Thank you to Harper Collins Canada for this particular book! So thankful I got to read it!

Next up is a package from Raincoast Books that is from their Spring/Summer Blogger Preview. I was excited to be able to virtually attend, and Raincoast outdid themselves with these amazing swag bags.


The Forgetting by Nicole Maggi (goodreads)
The Truth About Us by Janet Gurtler (goodreads)

Also included was a Fairest poster, and mirror. The mirror is amazing. I also snagged some fun buttons, a lip balm for Katie Finn's Broken Hearts, Fences and Other Things To Mend. Oh, and a bookmark with my name and blog name on it! A big thank you to Melissa at Raincoast for the event and these amazing goodies.

Next up is a book that, surprising nobody, caused me to have a legit meltdown when I had it in my hands.


I Was Here by Gayle Forman (goodreads)

My friend Kelly, from Kellyvision, kindly sent this to me after she had read it. I am itching to start this right now, but have to wait. Hoping to sneak it in over Christmas though! Thanks again, Kelly!

Lastly, I received an amazing Christmas package from my friend Christy, from The Reader Bee. It is filled with all kinds of perfect things! I loved everything.


Along For The Ride by Sarah Dessen (goodreads)
The Kiss of Deception by Mary E Pearson (goodreads)

She also included an adorable ornament that is a blogger with a cat. It's pretty much only missing the glass of wine to be complete. She also sent me a fun wine glass that I fully intend on using this holiday season! Thank you so much, Christy!

Happy weekend, and happy reading!

Friday, December 19, 2014

2015 Most Anticipated ........... Giveaway!



Now that I've teased you with these amazing sounding books for 2015, I thought it was only fair to give you the chance to win a copy!

The winner will get to select any book from the event that they wish. The prize will be shipped when the book is released. Since I will be using Book Depository the giveaway will be international (as long as they ship to your country).

If you missed any of the titles, here is what made my 2015 Most Anticipated list...

1 Tear You Apart by Sarah Cross
2 Vendetta by Catherine Doyle
3 Finding Paris by Joy Preble
4 Damage Done by Amanda Panitch
5 The Witch Hunter by Virgina Boecker
6 Underneath Everything by Marcy Beller Paul
7 Joyride by Anna Banks
8 Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
9 Anne and Henry by Dawn Ius
10 Blood and Salt by Kim Liggett
11 Drowning Is Inevitable by Shalanda Stanley
12 Delicate Monsters by Stephanie Kuehn
13 Never, Never by Brianna Shrum
14 The Monstrous Thing by Mackenzi Lee
15 Proof Of Forever by Lexa Hillyer
16 Truly, Madly, Famously by Rebecca Serle
17 Fans Of The Impossible Life by Kate Scelsa
18 Lock and Mori by Heather Petty

These link to the post if you wanted more details about the book and include an interview with the author in most cases.

Enter using the Rafflecopter below. As always, if you are under the legal age please have parental consent  before entering. Your address will not be stored or shared with anyone and is solely for the purpose of shipping your prize.

Good luck everyone! Happy Holidays!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, December 18, 2014

2015 Most Anticipated ..... Fans Of The Impossible Life



This next book is one that sold me just from the first line of it's synopsis. It seems like a character driven novel that will be amazing.


Kate Scelsa's Fans Of The Impossible Life has a synopsis that truly grabs you. Check it out and you'll be immediately adding it to your 2015 wishlist!
This is the story of a girl, her gay best friend, and the boy in love with both of them.

Mira is a pessimistic, chronic fatigue syndrome-suffering, vintage dress enthusiast who stopped going to her old school when she and her best friend Sebby decided to run away together, just for a little while. Ten months ago they stole her father’s car, set the GPS for Provincetown (“the gayest beach town north of Fire Island”) and set off on a two day adventure with a fateful vow to each other - that life would be different now that they were together. That their friendship would be enough to keep them both safe.

Now Mira’s starting over at Saint Francis Prep, where she promised her parents she would at least try to pretend that she could be normal, not a girl who sometimes can’t get out of bed for days on end, who only feels awake when she’s with Sebby.

Jeremy is the painfully shy art nerd at Mira’s new school who sees Sebby for the first time across the Saint Francis school lawn as if he’s been expecting him - a blond, lanky boy with a mischief glinting in his eyes.

As Jeremy finds himself drawn into Sebby and Mira’s world, he begins to understand the secrets that they hide in order to protect themselves, to keep each other safe from those who don’t understand their quest to live for the impossible. 
That first line, right? *wants*. It intrigues me, and basically made me desperate to read this. I love character driven novels, and they definitely seem to be the driving force for this one.

Kate kindly took the time to spill a few details about this book, and I approve of her choice of ice cream!

1 Describe Fans of The Impossible Life in three words.

Love is complicated.

2 If someone were to make an ice cream flavour in honour of your book, what might be included?

Coffee and chocolate swirl, with some kind of whiskey glaze. And rainbow sprinkles. So it’s more of a sundae, really.

3 Can you share a secret about your book (either it's world, it's characters, or something that helped inspire the story)?

Mira, one of the book’s main characters, shares a hobby with me, which is thrifting. Unlike Mira, who’s been thrifting since middle school, I didn’t start until I was an adult, and I only discovered it when I was touring with the theater company that I performed with for twelve years. Whenever we had time off in whatever city we were in, I would go looking for the closest goodwill or vintage store. I discovered that something about the experience of thrifting was really relaxing for me, and the result was that I often came back from tour with a much heavier suitcase than I Ieft with. Thrifting has helped me define my own style, and both Mira and I use it as a form of personal rebellion and also celebration. She and I agree that some days it can feel hard to love your body unconditionally, so the next best thing you can do is love what you put on it.

4 If you could travel to anywhere, in any time period, when and where would you want travel? 

It’s a toss up between The Dom on St. Mark’s Place in 1966 to see The Velvet Underground play Warhol’s Exploding Plastic Inevitable and 27 rue de Fleurus in Paris in 1930 to hang out in Gertrude Stein’s salon and watch her argue with Hemingway.

5 What three things do you need while revising?

Headphones that allow me to alternate between white noise and very loud music, friends and loved ones who don’t mind endlessly talking about the book with me, and my very large cat who provides psychic guidance and models peace of mind by napping on my arm.

6 If possible, please share the first line of Fans of The Impossible Life. (only answer if not too spoilery).

You have been here before.

Her description of the book (love is complicated) is amazing. It fits the synopsis and makes me want to know these characters, their connections, and see what happens. I need this book.

Fans Of The Impossible Life is set to be released Fall 2015 and no pre-order links are available yet but do keep an eye out for it! You can add it to Goodreads in the meantime.

Be sure to check back later on during the event for a chance to win a copy of Truly, Madly, Famously (or any one of my featured titles!).

You can follow Kate Scelsa on Twitter, visit her official website, and learn more about the book from the publisher website.

This concludes our event! Make sure you enter the giveaway going up tomorrow! Let me know in the comments what you think of this (or any) of the books mentioned!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

2015 Most Anticipated ........ Truly, Madly, Famously



This next book is one that we know almost nothing about. It's a sequel to one of my favourite books of 2014. A book whose title was JUST revealed the other day.


Rebecca Serle's Truly, Madly, Famously is the sequel to Famous In Love. Since it does not have an official synopsis yet I am going to share the synopsis for Famous In Love instead
The romantic story of a girl who gets plucked from obscurity to star in the next major feature film franchise based on a book and the ensuing love triangles she gets entangled in on—-and off screen.

Meet Paige Townsen, Rainer Devon, and Jordan Wilder…

When Paige Townsen, a young unknown, gets cast in the movie adaptation of a blockbuster book series, her life changes practically overnight. Within a month, Paige has traded the quiet streets of her hometown for a crowded movie set on the shores of Maui, and is spending quality time with her co-star Rainer Devon, one of People’s Sexiest Men Alive. But when troubled star Jordan Wilder lands the role of the other point in the movie’s famous love triangle, Paige’s crazy new life gets even crazier.

In this coming-of-age romance inspired by the kind of celeb hookups that get clever nicknames and a million page views, Paige must figure out who she is – and who she wants – while the whole world watches.
I loved the first book, so much. After reading it you'll immediately want more Paige, Jordan and Rainer. Rebecca knows Hollywood, and she gets this triangle exactly right.

Rebecca kindly took the time to spill a few details about the next book for me.

1 What three words describe the sequel?

Fame. Sexy. Lights.

2 Can you reveal anything about the sequel (a location it takes place
for example)?

I can tell you that we will be spending a lot of time in LA, but that we probably haven't seen the last of Maui, either...

3 How would Paige describe Rainer and Jordan at the beginning of the novel?

Without giving too much away I'd say she is very close with one of them and very removed from the other.

4 What three things do you need while revising?

Coffee, coffee, coffee.

5 If you could travel to any place, anytime when and where would you travel?

Edinburgh, Scotland. I wrote a large portion of Famous in Love there and I hope to return for all subsequent books. It's the most creatively inspiring place in the world to me.

An L.A. setting will definitely make this feel even more 'Hollywood' than the first book. I have been dying over the teasers that Rebecca has been posting on her Twitter and this interview has only increased my need to read this book.

Truly, Madly, Famously is set to be released Fall 2015 and no pre-order links are available yet but do keep an eye out for it! You can add it to Goodreads in the meantime.

Be sure to check back later on during the event for a chance to win a copy of Truly, Madly, Famously (or any one of my featured titles!).

You can follow Rebecca Serle on Twitter, visit her official website, and learn more about the book from the publisher website.

Are you a fan of Hollywood romances, and love triangles? Let me know in the comments.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

2015 Most Anticipated - Melissa @ Raincoast Books


Today I have Melissa from Raincoast Books stopping by with her Most Anticipated titles of 2015! Pretty sure there are more than a few you're already excited about.

Most Anticipated 2015

Hi Kathy! Thanks for inviting me to share my 2015 Most Anticipated titles. As you know, since you kindly participated in the event, we just held a Spring Preview about upcoming Spring 2015 titles that we’re most excited about (you can check out some of the ones we’re anticipating with the hashtag #TeensReadFeed. This was a shameless promotion, yes. Oops?). You’d think that preview would prepare me for this, but I’m still not ready. How do you only choose one!? Therefore, I’ve decided that I’m going to talk briefly about a bunch of titles I’m super excited for, instead of going in depth about just one. Sound good? Good.


One of my absolute favourite YA series that I have read so far is The Winner’s Trilogy by Marie Rutkoski.  Plus, after the brutal cliffhanger that The Winner’s Curse ended with, obviously one of my most anticipated titles has to be The Winner’s Crime.  If you haven’t checked out The Winner’s Curse yet, do so now! You won’t regret it. I’ve had the pleasure to already read The Winner’s Crime, and let me say, it was just as gorgeously written as the first. I really love this series, and I highly recommend reading this one!

Fairest by Marissa Meyer is also on my list of Most Anticipated books of 2015.  Originally, when I found out the final installment of The Lunar Chronicles, Winter, was being postponed until November 2015, I was horrified. But then I learned the reason for the delay in publishing Winter is because the wonderfully prolific Marissa Meyer had written a prequel for the series from Levana’s point of view. I’ve had the opportunity to read this, and let me tell you that it’s just as brilliant as you’d expect! 

Another one of my most anticipated books is written by a Canadian! There’s a 
brand new Janet Gurtler book coming out this spring, called The Truth about Us.  We’re such big fans of Janet here at Raincoast, and although I haven’t yet read this one, I’m so excited about it.  It sounds like a great contemporary read, and you can take a look at the description here:

The truth is that Jess knows she screwed up.
She's made mistakes, betrayed her best friend, and now she's paying for it. Her dad is making her spend the whole summer volunteering at the local soup kitchen.

The truth is she wishes she was the care-free party-girl everyone thinks she is.
She pretends it's all fine. That her "perfect" family is fine. But it's not. And no one notices the lie… until she meets Flynn. He's the only one who really sees her. The only one who listens.

The truth is that Jess is falling apart - and no one seems to care.

But Flynn is the definition of "the wrong side of the tracks." When Jess's parents look at him they only see the differences—not how much they need each other. They don't get that the person who shouldn't fit in your world… might just be the one to make you feel like you belong.

If you’ve never read anything by Beth Kephart, you need to rectify that immediately. I love Beth Kephart’s writing, which is why my next most anticipated pick is One Thing Stolen. She has such stunning prose, and I was blown away by the last book of hers I read called Going Over. While I haven’t yet had a chance to read an advance of this one, I’m really looking forward to it. Plus it’s set in Florence. And it has the most interesting premise. So seriously, everyone should try reading this! Not to mention, are you looking at that cover? So gorgeous.

And finally, one of the books I am most looking forward to is a bit of a departure from YA, and fiction for that matter.  The Last Love Song by Tracy Daugherty is a biography on one of my favourite writers, Joan Didion.  (Side note, if you’re looking for a good nonfiction book or collection of essays, read Slouching Towards Bethlehem by Didion. I am in awe of her prose.) I have always been so in love with Joan Didion’s writing, and I am excited to have the opportunity to learn more about her life with this biography. This may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I’m really looking forward to reading this one!

So that’s just a handful of some of my Most Anticipated titles of 2015! It’s so hard to choose, but it had to be done.  Thanks again, Kathy, for the opportunity to talk about some of my most anticipated upcoming books!

I want to think Melissa for taking the time to write up this post. There are some exciting books (and I can confirm the amazingness of The Winner's Crime) coming our way in 2015!

Monday, December 15, 2014

2015 Most Anticipated - From Vikki @ Penguin



Today I have the lovely Vikki from Penguin Canada stopping by to share some of her 2015 Most Anticipated titles. There is a little something for everyone here so I am pretty sure you'll be adding at least one of these to your wish list in the new year.

In the midst of all the 2014 best of lists, I’m already looking ahead to the next year in books and getting excited to share some of my most anticipated reads. First up is ROLLER GIRL. Remember the movie Whip It, in which Ellen Page learns all about life, love and girl power when she joins a roller derby team? Take that premise, make it age appropriate for a 10 year old, and then give it a bright, graphic novel treatment and you have one of my most anticipated middle grade reads of 2015. Middle grade graphic novels with female protagonists are having a moment, given the popularity of Raina Telgemeier’s SMILE, DRAMA, and SISTERs, the GG-award winning THIS ONE SUMMER by Jillian and Mariko Tamaki, and 2014 favourite, EL DEAFO by Cece Bell. ROLLER GIRL is about the time in your life where you realize that maybe you and your best friend have different interests, and that it’s okay to branch out. It’s also about tenacity, female empowerment, and the importance of a good roller derby name. Mine would totally be Alice Munroad-Kill.

I’m also pumped about Susan Juby’s return to contemporary YA fiction. I could not be more exited for THE TRUTH COMMISSION, the very funny, often gut-wrenching story of Nanaimo-based art student Normandy Pale. The story is presented as Norm’s final assignment for creative writing and Juby has a lot of fun with footnotes, illustration, and asides. Fans of Maria Semple’s WHERE’D YOU GO BERNADETTE and E. Lockhart’s THE DISREPUTABLE HISTORY OF FRANKIE LANDAU BANKS will appreciate Juby’s dry sense of humour, vivid characters and deft handling of moral ambiguity.

Fans of breakout fantasy hit THE GLASS SENTENCE by S.E. Grove will be happy to know that the follow-up book, THE GOLDEN SPECIFIC, is just as rich with unique maps, secrets, and adventure as the first book, and those of you who like your historical fiction steamy with a side of feminism will love MAD MISS MIMIC from debut Canadian author Sarah Henstra.

I want to thank Vikki for taking the time to write up this post for me. 

Any Penguin titles you're dying to read in 2015? Let me know in the comments.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

New To My Book Closet


It's that time of the week again. Time to show you what bookish goodies made their way into my home and book closet (to be saved from the evil book eating cat monster named Aria). This is inspired by the various "mailbox" posts out there (eg. In My Mailbox by The Story Siren, and Stacking the Shelves by Tynga's Reviews).

The Ottawa Blogettes had their Christmas party/Secret Santa/general awesomeness this weekend. We also did a secret book exchange (where you wrap up a book so nobody knows what it is, and you each randomly pick one of the packages). Here is what I got...


Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta (goodreads)

The book was brought to our book exchange party by Ciara and I am super excited to read Saving Francesca! I've heard nothing but amazing things.

My secret Santa was Kim (from Pingwing's Bookshelf) and her gift is amazing.

Yes, that is a Beauty and the Beast mug. It is adorable and perfect. And yes, that is a Little Mermaid mirror that says "Go on and kiss the girl" on it. Love! Love! Love!

Happy weekend, and happy reading!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Weekly Obsessions


The awesome Kelly at KellyVision started posting a weekly post highlighting whatever she happened to be obsessed with that week. I LOVE this idea, so much in fact that I will be doing it myself every Saturday.

Quiet week so I have a super small obsessions post this week. There is only one thing I can think to share this week.

OTHER

Book Expo America 2015

I just registered to attend Book Expo America 2015 and I am so excited to be going once again. I cannot wait to meet up with everyone and talk about bookish things! This tends to be when my excitement starts to kick in, and it'll only increase one we are in January.

What are you obsessed with this week?

Friday, December 12, 2014

2015 Most Anticipated ......... Proof Of Forever



My next selection is filled with summer, friendships, and secrets. It's a perfect book to kick off your summer reading and certainly has the potential to be bittersweet.



Just check out this Goodreads synopsis and you'll immediately wish it was June so you could read this by the pool.
BEFORE: It was the perfect summer of first kisses, skinny-dipping, and bonfires by the lake. Joy, Tali, Luce, and Zoe knew their final summer at Camp Okahatchee would come to an end, but they swore they’d stay friends.

AFTER: Now, two years later, their bond has faded along with those memories.

THEN: That is, until the fateful flash of a photo booth camera transports the four of them back in time, to the summer they were fifteen—the summer everything changed.

NOW: The girls must recreate the past in order to return to the present. As they live through their second-chance summer, the mystery behind their lost friendship unravels, and a dark secret threatens to tear the girls apart all over again.

ALWAYS: Summers end. But this one will change them forever.
I love novels about friendships. Add in this secret that could tear them apart and I am sold. I hope the friendship aspect is really strong and that romance is minimal because it's been far too long since I've read one of those.

I got Lexa to share some details about Proof Of Forever, as well as what ingredient would be in an ice cream based off her novel.

1 Describe Proof Of Forever in Twitter format (140 characters or less)

Four estranged friends are given a second chance to make things right, by reliving the summer they were 15... the summer everything changed.

2 If someone were to make an ice cream flavor for your book, what might be included?

Swirls of cotton candy that taste like memories.

3 Can you share a secret about your book (either it's world, it's characters, or something that helped inspire the story)?

Beyond being a friendship story, the book is really about growing up and learning that sometimes the only thing you can actually change is yourself and how you see things.

4 If you could travel to anywhere, in any time period, when and where would you want to travel? 

Perhaps I’d have tea with Chekhov in late 1800s Moscow and talk about his early ideas for The Seagull or some such. I’m not sure we’d really get along. The tea would probably be too smoky and he would pontificate a lot about how the world is going to crap, but then we would drink vodka and chase it with pickles and that would be fun.

5 What three things do you need while revising?

Caffeine, confidence, and a friend to help me see the big picture.

6 If possible, please share the first line of Proof Of Forever.

Just do it.

I want to think Lexa for taking the time to answer these questions for me. If possible, I am looking forward to reading it even more now.

Proof Of Forever is released June 2nd, 2015 but you can pre-order it now


Be sure to check back later on during the event for a chance to win a copy of Finding Paris (or any of my featured titles).

You can follow Lexa Hillyer on Twitter, visit the Paper Lantern Lit website, and learn more about the book from the publisher website.

Where is your favourite place to read in the summer? Let me know in the comments.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

2015 Most Anticipated .... From Suman @ Harper Collins



Today I have the lovely Suman from Harper Collins offering up her choices for books that should be on your radar for 2015. There are definitely some amazing sounding books on this list. 

Okay, so, before I get started I need to say that there are so many amazing books coming out next year that my heart honestly cannot even handle it. My list originally included 25 books, but I figured it was cruel to make you read something that long, especially when so many of you are still studying for exams (ETA: Good Luck!!). I also only included books coming out during the first half of next year because otherwise there would be well over fifty titles, and, again, I'm not cruel.   

So, here we go!

1. Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard (February 10, 2015)

I'm tempted to just leave a bunch of exclamation points here. We're SO excited for this book. Everyone we know is SO excited for this book. 

Mare Barrow's world is divided by blood-those with red and those with silver. Mare's a Red, destined to serve the Silvers, whose supernatural abilities have granted them god-like status. A twist of fate leads Mare to the royal palace, where, she ends up discovering a power of her own-an ability that shouldn't be possible for a Red… 

(!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

Read the first chapter of Red Queen here

2. Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver (March 10, 2015)

A new book by Lauren Oliver! What else do I really need to say? Vanishing Girls follows two sisters whose relationship is altered by a terrible accident, a missing nine-year-old girl, and the shocking connection between the two. My coworkers and I are huge fans of Lauren's previous books and we cannot stop raving about this latest one! It's beautifully written and full of so much suspense, we guarantee you'll be on the edge of your seat the entire time. 
3. Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli (April 7, 2015)

If you follow me on Twitter, you've heard me talk about this book for months. I got to read the manuscript early this year and it's been on my mind ever since. 

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda is an incredibly funny and poignant coming-of-age, coming-out story. When an email falls into the wrong hands, sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier's secret is at risk of being exposed. Now Simon is being blackmailed: if he doesn't help class clown Martin get a date with his crush, he'll tell everyone Simon's secret. Also at risk of being exposed? The privacy of Blue, the boy Simon's been secretly emailing (and definitely falling for).

Read this book, you guys. You won't regret it. 


4. 99 Days by Katie Cotugno (April 21, 2015)

From the author of How to Love, one of our favourite books last year, 99 Days follows Molly Barlow as she faces one long, hot summer-99 days-with the boy whose heart she broke and the boy she broke it for…his brother. As expected, Katie's writing is stunning and the chemistry between her characters is just wow. I stayed up until 3 am reading this one on my laptop and may have fallen asleep at my desk the next morning. Totally worth it. 

5. Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley (April 28, 2015)

Maria Dahvana Headley's debut is an intelligent, multilayered fantasy that follows Aza Ray Boyle, a teenage girl who's caught between two very different worlds, and two destinies. Aza's journey pulls her deep into the question of home, of love, of self, and what it means to find them all. Magonia has impeccable world-building, perfectly alternating POVs, and one of the most original storylines we've ever read. We can't wait for you guys to read it. 

What books are you excited to read? Let me know on Twitter @HCCFrenzy or @suman_says!

-Suman 

A huge thank you to Suman for taking the time to write this up! You can check out more from HCC Frenzy via their website. Any of these titles catch your eye? Let me know in the comments.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

2015 Most Anticipated ..... Lock and Mori



This next book is one that plenty of people will be buzzing about. Sherlock Holmes has had many adaptations, and plenty of liberties have been taken with the character, and the premise in various retellings. This one, however, jumped onto this list not because of anything to do with this take on Sherlock, but rather it's take on Moriarty.


Read this all too brief synopsis and you'll be immediately sold and adding it to your own 'to be read' wishlist for 2015
Debut author Heather Petty's Lock & Mori trilogy, in which a female Moriarty teams up with her classmate Sherlock Holmes to solve a mystery in modern-day London, until the answers lead him too close to all that she's been hiding.
A female Moriarty. A FEMALE MORIARTY! Is it wrong that I want to ship them? I want kissing and angst! I also cannot wait to see what role Watson will take in this adaptation.

Heather Petty took the time to answer some questions about adapting an iconic character, why plain tea would suit her novel, and much more.

1 Describe Lock and Mori in Twitter format (140 characters or less)

LOCK & MORI is a Sherlock Holmes origin story told from the perspective of a 16-year-old, female Moriarty, who lives in modern London.

2 If someone were to make a tea flavour in honour of your book, what might be included?

Depressingly underwhelming answer to a super cute question: PG Tips? Boring, but reliable when you just need tea with milk and your brain is too preoccupied with the problem at hand to give much thought to tea flavors. :)

3 Can you share a secret about your book (either its world, its characters, or something that helped inspire the story)?

I can’t share any secrets yet! But I think I’m always most inspired by gaps in history or folklore and “what if” questions. The idea for this novel came from both. We don’t know a lot about Moriarty from the original stories, which gave me free reign, for the most part, in crafting the character. I also thought it was super interesting that Watson never actually meets Moriarty. He just relays what Sherlock told him as if it were true.

When the main idea for the book finally coalesced for me, I thought, “What if Sherlock lied about Moriarty? What if Sherlock has always known that Moriarty is out there? What if they knew each other before Sherlock met Watson? What if they used to be best friends?”  Obviously the concept morphed even more from there to become what it is in the book, but those were my starting points.

4 Your novel is inspired by Sherlock Holmes. Were you at all nervous about creating something inspired by a beloved classic? 

Definitely! Writing derivative work is always scary, because there is an existing readership/fanbase who probably knows the original material as well, if not better, than I do. That readership and the fans of the various television/movie adaptations all come to anything Sherlock-related with a certain set of expectations, which can be really hard to meet. 

I was really lucky to have a Sherlock super-fan read and do a critique of the book for me when it was in its early stages. When he said he liked the book, I was so incredibly relieved! My literary agent is also a really big Sherlock Holmes fan, so her love of the book gave me a lot of confidence that the story would appeal to people who love the characters.

5 If you could travel to anywhere, in any time period, when and where would you want travel? 

I’d maybe like to sit with Dorothy Parker at the Algonquin Round Table meet-ups in 1920s Manhattan. Jazz Age New York might be really cool.

6 What three things do you need while revising?

Coffee, Swedish Fish, and someone who will listen to me whine. That last one is probably the most important. I’m really lucky to have an amazing group of writers who let me talk through/argue out logic issues and other rough patches while I edit and revise.

7 If possible, please share the first line of Lock & Mori. (Only answer if not too spoilery).

I wore a hat with a feather plume the first time I met Sherlock Holmes.

I love that basic tea is what she selected simply because Sherlock has got too much going on to worry about tea flavours. It totally fits the character. If you are not from England/do not know already PG Tips is a brand of tea there.

I LOVE that this is told from her perspective. The fact that Sherlock fans have read and loved this makes me incredibly excited.

Lock and Mori is set to be released Fall 2015 and no pre-order links are available yet but do keep an eye out for it! You can add it to Goodreads in the meantime.

Be sure to check back later on during the event for a chance to win a copy of Lock and Mori (or any one of my featured titles!).

You can follow Heather Petty on Twitter, visit her official website, and learn more about the book from the publisher website.

Are you a Sherlock fan? Let me know in the comments.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

2015 Most Anticipated ....... This Monstrous Thing



The next selection for This Monstrous Thing, a Frankenstein inspired tale of a brother who uses clockwork to revive his murdered brother. Yup, clockwork. Basically this is going to be amazing.


Read this brief synopsis and you'll be wishing you could read it immediately. Particularly if you're a fan of the classics!
Pitched as a reimagining of Frankenstein set in an industrialized 1818 Geneva, where a teenage mechanic must rediscover the line between man and monster after he uses clockwork to bring his murdered brother back from the dead.
Love that this will mix clockwork with the Frankenstein tale. It really lends itself to this sort of blending and I fully expect it'll be an emotional, slightly unsettling story. You can certainly tell it's taken inspiration from the rich and iconic tale.

Mackenzi Lee took the time to answer some questions about her book, design some tea that is perfect for the season, and share her novel's killer first line.

1 Describe This Monstrous Thing in Twitter format (140 characters or less)

Boy uses clockwork to resurrect his dead brother. Brother comes back monstrous. OH NO PANIC. And it all happens in a steampunked Switzerland
  
2 If someone were to make a tea flavour in honour of your book, what might be included?

The book takes place in December and several key scenes are set in and around Christmas markets, so it would probably be a Christmas-y tasting tea. Apples and oranges and cloves and cinnamon, like wassail. It would smell festive while brewing. The aroma alone would probably make you start caroling.

3 Can you share a secret about your book (either it's world, it's characters, or something that helped inspire the story)?

I visited Geneva, the city where most of the book is set, a few months after I turned in my final manuscript. It was exciting, but also sort of terrifying—what if I got everything wrong?! While I was there, I spent a few hours wandering around the old town, and ended up going to the square where my main character, Alasdair, lives. I was delighted to find that what is actually there is a restaurant called La ClĂ©mence—which is also the name of one of the book’s main characters! It felt like a sign. A Frankensign, as my agent would say.
While in Geneva, I also creeped through a hedge for a better view of the house where Mary Shelley lived while she wrote Frankenstein. But that’s another story.

4 What about the Frankenstein tale inspired you to create This Monstrous Thing?

Oh man, what doesn’t inspire me? Frankenstein is such a fascinating book. It asks so many difficult and complicated questions and doesn’t offer easy answers for any of them. There are no clear heroes or villains, and even the best characters do terrible things. 

Because my initial access point to Frankenstein was a stage version told mostly through the lens of the Creature, I became very interested in the questions it asks about the nature of monstrousness. What makes a monster, and are any of us born to be one thing or another? I was also swept up in the idea of Frankenstein as a science creation myth that was born from the anxieties of an enlightenment age. That got me curious as to what the book might have looked like in an industrial setting. What did a steampunk creation myth look like, and what would make a man monstrous in a mechanical age?

5 If you could travel to anywhere, in any time period, when and where would you want travel? 

This is HARD. Mostly because history is awesome, but also disgusting. Whenever I think of a time period I’d like to go back to, I immediately follow it up with, “But disease and filth and sanitation….and also internet….” I would miss internet.

But if hygiene and wifi were not concerns, I would probably go back to the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893.

6 What three things do you need while revising?

Diet Coke, Diet Coke, and Diet Coke.
I might have a problem.

7 If possible, please share the first line of This Monstrous Thing. (only answer if not too spoilery).

“My brother’s heart was heavy in my hands.”

That opening line, right? Shivers. I cannot wait to read this one. Her tea sounds amazing and is something I would love to drink as the time before Christmas grows short.

This Monstrous Thing is set to be released Fall 2015 and no pre-order links are available yet but do keep an eye out for it! You can add it to Goodreads in the meantime.

Be sure to check back later on during the event for a chance to win a copy of This Monstrous Things (or any one of my featured titles!).

You can follow Mackenzi Lee on Twitter, visit her official website, and learn more about the book from the publisher website.

Do you like retellings of classic tales? Are you a fan of steampunk/clockwork novels? Let me know in the comments.

Monday, December 8, 2014

2015 Most Anticipated ....... Never, Never



The next selection for my 2015 Most Anticipated Event is going to surprise nobody. Featuring a boy who wouldn't grow up, and a certain Captain, this novel was an easy addition to my list.


Read this brief synopsis and you'll be just as intrigued as I am, particularly if you're a huge Peter Pan fanatic.
Brianna Shrum's NEVER NEVER, a retelling that starts when James Hook, the boy who only wanted to grow up, meets Peter Pan, the only boy who didn't, and follows their journey from innocent friends to the fiercest rivals in all of Neverland.
Brianna took the time to answer some questions for me. She's made some amazing sounding ice cream (and that name!!) and tantalizingly teased a darker, more sinister Peter for her story.

1 Describe Never, Never in three words or less.

Three words. Oh man….I’m tempted to just panic and pull a Dumbledore and shout out “Blubber! Oddment! Tweak!” But I won’t. Three words: Dark. Romantic. HOOK.

2 If someone were to make an ice cream flavour for your book, what might be included?

That’s an awesome question. Let’s see. Rum, it would definitely include rum. And probably some sort of multi-flavored stripe of berries running through it (it’s about the only thing kids can eat in Neverland when they’re with Peter). Add in a ribbon of extra, extra dark chocolate, and a smattering of pixie dust. ;) Pixie Rumberry.

3 Can you share a secret about your book (either its world, its characters, or something that helped inspire the story)?

Hmmmm, a secret about a character: So I’ve written 5 manuscripts, 1 before Never, Never, and 3 since. Lots of baddies. But Peter Pan in Never, Never is the character I hate the most, unequivocally. More than ANY other character I’ve ever written or probably will ever write.

And a nice one about the book itself: A portion of my earnings on this book are going to the Greater Ormond Street Children’s Hospital, which is the exact hospital that J.M. Barrie left all his earnings from the original to after he died. So, kind of a fist-bump to Barrie :)

4 Your book draws inspiration from Peter Pan. Can you tell me something that particularly inspired you from the classic tale?

The thing that inspired me the most was definitely this line from J.M. Barrie’s original: “When they [the Lost Boys] seem to be growing up, which is against the rules, Peter thins them out…” I’ve always been fascinated with good and evil and the myriad of shades in between, and when I read that line, I thought, “Holy what? Did Barrie just say…Peter legit MURDERS Lost Boys?” Pan is supposed to be this guy everyone loves, everyone roots for, but in that line, I think Barrie is letting us know that this kid is not all he seems to be. What if someone *cough* James Hook *cough* was drawn into this world of Neverland, and then realized it was not at ALL what he'd expected it to be, but there was nothing he could do about it? And my mind just kind of twisted everything out from there, to create this evil vs. evil world where, yes, Hook is wicked, but Pan brings a new meaning to the word.

5 If you could travel to anywhere, in any time period, when and where would you want travel? 

This question would be more difficult if I wasn’t SUPER into Outlander right now. So I’m gonna go 1700’s Scotland. But I require a Jamie to be there. Can I have a Jamie? (Or at LEAST someone similarly kilted and Scottish accented and swoon-worthy.)

6 What three things do you need while revising?

Arizona Diet Green Tea. (I’m as addicted to it as Hook is to rum.) Some awesome movie soundtrack, preferably without any words (Revised this one to the 2003 Peter Pan soundtrack, Braveheart, and Gladiator.) And Pop Secret homestyle popcorn, baby.

7 If possible, please share the first line of Never, Never. (only answer if not too spoilery).

All children, except one, wish to stay young. James Hook, however, wanted to grow up.

I want to thank Brianna for taking time to answer these. Bonus points for using a Harry Potter reference, and teasing my (not so) inner Peter Pan fangirl to insanity. I cannot wait to get my hands on this. A dark Peter is super intriguing and that first line brings to mind the classic story all too perfectly.

A special mention of the fact that a portion of the sales will go to a children's hospital in honour of J.M. Barrie! That is amazing!

Oh, and I would very much like for PixieRumberry to be a thing, please.

Never, Never is set to be released Fall 2015 and no pre-order links are available yet but do keep an eye out for it!

Be sure to check back later on during the event for a chance to win a copy of Never, Never (or any one of my featured titles!).

You can follow Brianna Shrum on Twitter, visit her official website, and learn more about the book from the publisher website.

Are you a huge Peter Pan fan? If not do you love retellings? Let me know in the comments.

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