The Clockwork Carnival Needs You!

You may or may not have seen me talking about running a steampunk feature in the summer. I posted about it here, and I’ve been talking about it on Twitter from time to time also. We seemed to settle on ‘Clockwork Summer’ for the title, though suddenly Clockwork Carnival came to me when looking at all the exciting things I already have lined up, plus alliteration and bright colours are always good. And I’ve settled on August for the month. I haven’t yet decided whether it will run for 1, 2, 3 or 4 weeks but it will begin 5th August! I’m in the process now of working out how many reviews I will have, how many posts, how many guests and so on to see how long the feature will need to run for.

I am no longer accepting review requests for the feature. Very sorry if you’ve only just heard about it but I’ve had a fair bit of interest so there just won’t be time to fit any more books into my own reading schedule. However, I do still need guests! Whether you’re an author or a person with an interest in the steampunk movement, I’d be overjoyed to have you!

What I Need
  • Posts – we’re talking.. origins of steampunk, steampunk fashion, steampunk in gaming, the future of steampunk, and anything else along these lines that might be an interesting read!
  • Reviews – you will need to check with me first to make sure we don’t double up, but if it contains steampunk, it’s welcome in the Clockwork Carnival. All I ask is that the review doesn’t get snarky or contain too much swearing, we don’t do that here.
  • Author interviews – I currently have 3 authors confirmed for interviews and there’s plenty of space for more. The questions will be focused a little on steampunk and a little bit on yourselves.
  • Top Steampunk Books – I’m interested to hear from steampunk enthusiasts from all over, whether you write, promote, or read steampunk, I want to know what your top 5 steampunk books are. If you feel you haven’t read enough but are still able to put together your top 5, you’ve read enough. The end goal of this will be to compile a list of ‘essential’ steampunk reading for people wanting to know where to start or where to fill in the gaps.
  • Giveaways – So far have a few things confirmed which is absolutely fantastic but if you have something you’d like to offer, feel free. We can pair it up with your post/review or perhaps add it to the main giveaway of The Clockwork Carnival.
  • Unique ideas – There is always something I inevitably haven’t thought of and I am open to ideas! Remember, the more unique, the more you stand out.

I think I’ve covered everything. The plan is to have an international ‘grand’ giveaway running throughout the feature, at the moment it will likely be one winner to choose a steampunk book of their choice from Book Depository, Fishpond, or wherever, but this can always be subject to change if anything comes along. Throughout there will be posts talking about the different aspects of steampunk as a cultural movement, and of course, as a literary genre. There will be reviews and little giveaways throughout, as well as authors stopping by and perhaps even a publicist or two. It’s going to be amazing.

The best thing about The Clockwork Carnival being the second of these features (the first can be found here) I have run is that I know what I’m doing a little more. Last time, there was some amazing guest content and participation from you guys but I put too much on my head. This time I’d like to have all content ready before the feature goes live to reduce any stress on my part and avoid waiting on content during the feature, during which time I don’t know whether it’s coming or not. I’d like everything to be 100% on 5th August and ready to roll. Of course, if you do contribute any content, I will also be linking to your website and/or book so you will get a little something back from this as well.

If you’d like to get involved, please send me an email! Let me know what you’d like to do and we’ll get it sorted out. And you’re welcome to contribute as much as you like! The Clockwork Carnival is going to be a lot of fun, guys. Even if you don’t have anything to contribute (and that’s fine too, we’re all busy people) I really hope you’ll join me in checking out what the feature has to offer. You’re likely to learn new things and expand your wishlist! See you there!

PS. Please spread the word – I’d hate for anybody to miss out!

Top Ten Books I’ve Read So Far In 2013

I’ve only read 18 books so far so it will be pretty easy to choose my top ten so far, the only difficult part is putting them in order because there are so many wonderful books to mention. I shan’t count Storm of Swords as I’m currently reading it though it would likely be at the top.

1. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern was a Christmas gift from Hanna in 2011. It’s the UK hardback and I’ve always been in love with it. Then the Fantasy Faction book club chose it as a monthly read so finally I picked it up and wow. This is a magical, gorgeous, amazing book and if you haven’t read it yet, go do so. I’m kicking myself for not reading it sooner.

2. The Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson is the Brandonbot’s new young adult fantasy set in a kind of steampunk alternate world in which the United States are in fact a series of islands, the JoSeun empire (China and so on) conquered Europe, and magic exists in the form of Rithmatists, who draw chalk on the ground which comes to life. It follows a 16 year old boy who longs to be a Rithmatist but isn’t and it.. it is amazing. Seriously. Definitely feels like a Harry Potter for the new generation. I’ll be reviewing it for Clockwork Summer.

3. A Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin I had to borrow from the library because my edition has teeny tiny text. This is book two of the series and is pretty wonderful.

4. Me Before You by Jojo Moyes absolutely wowed me during my chick lit reading mood. So, it’s more contemporary than chick lit, don’t for a second think this book is light and fluffy. It deals with big issues such as euthanasia and turning your life around and it had me in tears. I’d borrowed it from the library but Dan, the lovely guy he is, bought me a copy because I will definitely be rereading this one.

5. The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson is the best book I’ve ever read in which nothing much happens. There’s so much world-building and character development and we’re introduced to the history and magic of this world and it’s just so epic, but I wasn’t bored for even a second despite it sitting at over 1,000 pages long. I recommend you ignore the page count and give it a read because this is going to be a fantastic series and I can’t wait for the release of book two later this year!

6. The Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin came through from Gollancz Geeks and I pretty much devoured it. It’s dark and gothic and immersive and I loved every second of it. Its’ sequel, Dance of the Red Death, is out now and in fact if you come back on the 28th I’ll have an interview with Bethany as part of the UK blog tour!

7. A Passionate Love Affair With a Total Stranger by Lucy Robinson was sent to me for review back in.. January, I suspect? I wasn’t in the chick lit mood around the time so I decided to wait for the mood to strike and it took a while but I made sure I read this one when it did and it was, in fact, better than her first one. Funny and romantic, that’s what you can expect from the lovely Lucy Robinson.

8. The Clockwork Bluebird by Ravven is a retelling of an old children’s story which has been.. well.. Ravvenised. Throwing together the classic idea of children go on a grand adventure to fairy land and throw in a bit of steampunk and you have a wonderful little novel which will also be featured in Clockwork Summer.

9. Billy and Me by Giovanna Fletcher was another I read during my chick lit mood and it was a great read. Giovanna’s debut chucks away the cliché of girl in bad relationship meets guy, gets new and more fulfilling job and eventually ends up with new and nicer guy by simply telling us about Billy and the main character’s relationship and her life. It was sweet and a little heartbreaking, I loved it.

10. The Liberty Tree by Suzanne Harrington shattered my reading slump and introduced me to a new love of memoirs and contemporary fiction. It’s enticing and funny and sad all at once and is a very important book to me in 2013 so it deserves a spot on this list.

Which of these have you read? Do you agree with me? What are the best books you’ve read so far this year?

Incoming: The Slightly More Eclectic Edition

Well okay, so the incoming hasn’t shown signs of slowing down just yet but give me a couple of weeks and we’ll be back to normal. I really do have to sort out my books now though, very much running out of space. It’s going to be a big job. Gulp.

Personally I haven’t had the best week. Depression’s been poking me in the proverbial ribs and so I just haven’t had the energy to read or write much. However a lovely friend bought me some WoW gametime and I reinstalled Rift now it’s gone free-to-play (I’m talking about MMO gaming, sorry non gaming peeps) and so these are nice little escapes in the meantime. I also finally watched Kung Fu Panda 2 which was amazing and my favourite bit was when they jumped in the Chinese dragon costume. :D I tried to find a wallpaper of it for my phone but instead found a cute dinosaur that squeaks when you poke it. Amazing!

Physical Pile

Me and Mr Jones arrived first, I won this one from Shaz’s Book Blog. I picked up the bottom four in a local charity shop. I’m not sure if you can see the stickers but Stormrider and Sepulchre were 10p each, Hero in the Shadows is a part of the Gemmel series I’m hoping to start on at some point and was £1 and Mary & Elizabeth I’ve had on my radar since its’ release a couple of years ago and was also £1. Traitors Gate was also a charity shop find, and Among Thieves was from the car boot sale I went to on Thursday which I wrote out a blog post about and for some reason didn’t post.

The rest are review copies. Devil’s Due is the follow up to one I reviewed last year and I requested this one a few weeks ago, excited that it’s finally here. About A Girl should be the last of the requested chick lits but when I get back to them will be one of the first I get reading. When I was offered River of Stars I got too excited to say no, I actually spent a good half an hour squeeing happily to myself before I replied to the email and they added in Under Heaven too when I said I’d be reading that first! Even more exciting. I haven’t read any of Guy’s stuff yet so can’t wait. And then yesterday, The Trader of Saigon and The Brooklyn Girls turned up. The former is about ladies in post-war Vietnam and might perhaps be an interesting read (though I’m not entirely sure who it came from as there’s no press release or anything), but the latter.. I’m just not sure. It’s the first new adult to come through my door and as has been discussed on Twitter many times is not a marketing scheme I’m interested in. Will make sure it gets a good home when I do my tidy up.

EBooks For Review & Bought

The Assassin and the Pirate Lord  The Assassin and the Desert The Assassin and the Underworld The Assassin and the Empire The Old Magic of Christmas by Linda Raedisch

I’ve been meaning to buy the Throne of Glass novellas since I read Throne of Glass so while I had a little money I snapped them up before I could forget again because one can never get enough Throne of Glass. And The Old Magic of Christmas is a NetGalley read I requested a while back because it interests me. It’s all about the history and folklore of the Yuletide season.

And the Freebies

Blood of the Fey by Alessa Ellefson The Tiny Wife by Andrew Kaufman Uptown Girl by Holly Kinsella The Viscount and the Witch by Michael J. Sullivan The Bow Wow Club by Nicola May

I’m quite happy with these freebies! Two were on my wishlist already, and one comes from a highly recommended author. Blood of the Fey seems to deal with Arthurian something-or-other and fae folk and fantasy. Thanks muchly to Ellie Bookworm for tweeting about The Tiny Wife! I had the hard copy on my wishlist but not the ebook so would have missed this one otherwise. I won’t lie but the name Kinsella caught my eye with Uptown Girl (and raise your hands, who has the song in their head now?) but apparently she’s no relation, and I haven’t seen great reviews buuut it was free. The Viscount and the Witch seems to be a short story set in the new Riyria series, I still need to read the first series but had to grab this when I saw it. And I’ve seen many good reviews of The Bow Wow Club so that was a lovely find.

Anything here you’ve read and loved or picked up recently? Any of them particularly catch your eye? Do you have the number for a freebie addicts help center? Let me know in the comments!

Love is a Secret by Sophie King Giveaway!

Hey guys! I have a week long giveaway for a Kindle copy of Love is a Secret by Sophie King for you. This is a chick lit you may have missed so pay attention and pop your answers in the Rafflecopter for your chance to win. And that’s it! No hoops, just a good book with a simple competition. Good luck, and hope you like the sound of Love is a Secret! Do spread the word if you think you know anybody who’d enjoy it too. :)

Love is a Secret by Sophie King

Love is a Secret is about four very different people who meet online through What Mums Know, a new website for mums. But none of them is quite who they seem, and little do they realise that when they start to share relationship and parenting secrets, their lives will never be the same again. Here’s some more information about the main characters:

Caroline is finding it difficult to trust her husband Roger. Can a marriage really survive an affair? Then a chance meeting makes her wonder if it’s time for a fresh start…

Susan is struggling to bring up her disabled daughter Tabitha on her own, and dreams of a better life for them both. But just when it seems things can’t get any worse, aknock at the door changes everything.

Mark is learning how to be a single dad while his wife Hilary is away. But as he wrestles with the secrets he is keeping from his family, he’s blissfully unaware of thesecrets they’re keeping from him.

Lisa is looking forward to the birth of her child. Will a new baby help her get over the past? Whatever that is…

Sometimes you have to keep a secret from the one you love - and sometimes you have to keep the one you love a secret.

Love is a secret is an updated version of Sophie’s much loved novel Mums@Home, which now has a new title for this revised 2013 edition.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Top Ten Books At The Top Of My Summer TBR List

This is a difficult topic for me as I’m constantly changing my TBR lists! I mean last week I was all about the chick lit, now I don’t really care for it at all and want to stick to my beloved fantasy. But likely that will change again soon. It’s mad, I tell you. So. Rather than a bunch of Summery books, here are 10 books I am hoping to get to soon.

1. The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch – My god people keep telling me off for having not read this book. Did you know it was a must read? Because I did and still haven’t gotten around to it. Hopefully soon..

2. A Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin – I’m determined to read the books before the tv show.. at the moment I’ve read one book per year this show has been on tv, and now I’d like to read this so I can watch series three. Then the other two in the series as well.

3. The Mammoth Book of Steampunk – Aaaand steampunk feature reading. This is the anthology of choice for Clockwork Summer, and there were many to choose from, but I already own this one so that’s a bonus.

4. Rescue or, Royer Goldhawk’s Remarkable Journal by Amy Leigh Strickland – An indie steampunk fantasy that was sent to me for review in Clockwork Summer and I’m looking forward to seeing what’s involved.

5. The Alchemy of Stone by Ekaterina Sedia – Had this one for a while, I hear Ekaterina Sedia is a phenomenal author so I shall start with the one I own and simultaneously add another review to Clockwork Summer.

6. Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker – One for the Richard and Judy challenge. I’m not sure right now how active I’ll be in the challenge after all but I’d like to still try to get around to reading this one as it features just enough quirk.

7. Never Mind the Botox: Meredith by Joanna & Penny – I’ve read one book in this series and I love what they’re trying to do. Chick lit based around ladies in high profile careers, each book in the series focuses on four different women involved in a plastic surgery case. I forget exactly what’s going on but I love it. So here’s another in that series.

8. One Hundred Names by Cecelia Ahern – One that came through for review. I think this one was unsolicited, I actually can’t remember at this point but it is a book I really want to read and it sounds like a really good read so, in the pile it goes.

9. The Runaway Princess by Hester Browne – Well Kev loves it, so what more do I need? Honestly, for review, and thinking about it.. sounds a little like Pretty Woman without the prostitution? I literally just finished watching that movie for the first time!

10. Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas – My Kindle file from NetGalley was messed up but at some point this Summer I’m really hoping to get a hold of this novel as I adored book one something silly. More fantasy!!

 

Well those are my top ten but there are many others. If only it could have been a top 30! What are some of the books on your Summer TBR list? Gonna tell me off for not starting any of the above yet? Planning to catch up or relax over the Summer months?

Incoming: The Return of the Lion King (Quilt)

And this week is the polar opposite to last week in which I was opening myself up to more chick lit: I suddenly got back into a fantasy mood and realised I had way too much chick lit. When will I learn, guys?

Physical Pile

This week came the last trickle of the chick lit requests and a couple other surprises. Dan bought me my own copy of Me Before You when I wouldn’t shut up about it ♥. Second Last Woman in England was unsolicited but sounds quite interesting, it’s set during our Queen’s coronation and I believe it’s about a woman going up for execution at the same kind of time. The Peter Jones books, well I accepted How to Eat Loads a few weeks back as I am on a diet and I’m curious to see what these two have to say, he included How to Do Everything as well. The rest are the chick lits, all books I really want to read, just need to satiate my fantasy craving first, but I think I’ll start with Midsummer Magic, a book greatly influenced by Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Another one I should really mention this week: I GOT A NEW PHONE! You may notice from the quality of the picture. My dad still has my contract bill, so when he asked if I wanted an iphone (we’re on Virgin so can’t get iphones, I did explain this to him) I jumped at the chance. It’s a HTC Desire X and is already amazingly helpful, plus Candy Crush is bloody addictive isn’t it?

Ebooks For Review

The Returned by Jason Mott The French For Love by Fiona Valpy Fade by A.K. Morgen Rescue or, Royer Goldhawk's Remarkable Journal by Amy Leigh Strickland

See? I’m getting better. :) The Returned I saw in one of NetGalley’s newsletters and it sounded fantastic so I went and requested.. it appears to be on NetGalley with one of the publishers I have auto accept with so here it is. I assume Harlequin. There’s a French show on Channel 4 at the moment with the same name and a very very similar premise which is unrelated. Very odd coincedence.. However! There is an adaptation of the book in production with ABC and some big names so that’s a cause for excitement. The French For Love came from Bookoutre earlier in the week, a chick lit set in France. Sounds lovely! Fade is one I’d been accepted for months ago on NetGalley from Curiosity Quills but for some reason never downloaded it, I don’t think they have a ‘send to Kindle’ button. I said as much in my feedback and they sent a Kindle copy over. And Rescue is one for ‘Clockwork Summer’ of which I’ll have details for very soon!

And Freebies

Lipstick and Lies by Debby Viggiano The First (a prequel) by Jason Mott Kindred by Erica Stevens Go Publish Yourself by Katie Salidas Heimskringla, Or The Chronicle Of The Kings Of Norway by Snorri Sturluson Cupidity by Holly Hepburn

I didn’t look too hard this week because last week frightened me! :P Cupidity I am counting as a review copy technically, but it was a freebie and I think it might still be for today.

Anything here you’ve read and loved or picked up recently? Any of them particularly catch your eye? Do you have the number for a freebie addicts help center? Let me know in the comments!

Incoming: Agh!

This week, I have been opening myself up to more books in the chick lit/rom com/women’s fiction/contemporary categories. I’ve been getting myself out there a bit more and have come back with a pile I’m dying to get started on. I find I read these books much faster than anything else I read so I’m confident I’ll have reviews for you soon!

Physical Pile

The bottom five on the left were from the library. Hex Hall I’d actually cancelled the reserve but it still arrived so I’ll see if I can fit it in. I’m sure I was bullied into picking up Ten Years On? :P Diana Chamberlain’s books are the first two in a trilogy, the third I had for review. And of course Light Between Oceans is for the Richard and Judy challenge.

The rest are review books. Well.. The Naughty Girls Book Club was won from a Goodreads giveaway (yes, apparently it is possible), but the rest are review books and I’m excited by all! Dance of the Red Death, of course, the follow up from Masque of the Red Death which I adored. I love David Mitchell (the comedian, not the author, though now the comedian is also an author which throws the whole thing into disarray) so I was over the moon to receive a copy of his biography-memoir which I won’t lie, Dan has pinched. And I’ve heard amazing things about Wendy Wallace so I’m looking forward to reading one of hers. The books to the right all arrived on Saturday. In fact, this delivery is the reason I titled this post, “Agh!” because I was a little frightened at first. However, they will all be wonderful and I can’t wait to get started. Where to begin?!

Ebooks For Review

Bella Summer Takes a Chance by Michele Gorman The Impaler's Revenge by Ioana Visan Raven's Fire by John Gubbins The Runaway Wife by Rowan Coleman The Clockwork Bluebird by Ravven The Humans by Matt Haig Grounded by G.P. Ching Love is a Secret by Sophie King

Ookay.. this section is a little larger than I expected. But in my defence, this is more or less the last of the NetGalley/Edelweiss lot for a while and I’m only accepting ebooks from authors that I know I will try to squeeze in because my pile is getting quite silly. So this section will be quieting down a lot. :)

Particularly excited to read Bella Summer Takes a Chance, The Runaway Wife, The Clockwork Bluebird (which I am reading now), and Love is a Secret.

And Freebies

No Such Thing as Immortality by Sarah Tranter The Perfect Audition by Kate Forster Touched by A.J. Aalto Lady Audley's Secret by M.E. Braddon 24 Bones by Michael F. Stewart Tegan's Blood by L.H. Cosway Cornerstone by Kelly Walker Practical Mischief by D.D. Scott The Dark Victorian: Risen by Elizabeth Watasin Summer Storm by Elizabeth Baxter The Call of Agon by Dean F. Wilson Déjà Vu by Ian Hocking Game, Set, Match by Nana Malone The Ghost of Josiah Grimshaw by Suzy Turner Stitch by Samantha Durante Before the Devil Knows You're Dead by J.L. Murray Blood for Wolves by Nicole Taft Stirred With Love by Marcie Steele The Hole in the Middle by Kate Hilton

This section, however, is.. well.. that’s quite a lot, but freebies are my guilty pleasure. A lot of these books are only free for a limited time so I always snap up freebies that catch my eye in some way. I might not get around to reading them, but then again I might. They don’t cost me anything, they’re perfectly legal to boot, and if I get around to them – plus! They make the Why Buy the Cow? challenge much more interesting, after all. Yes, I’m a little embarrassed. :/

Anything here you’ve read and loved or picked up recently? Any of them particularly catch your eye? Do you have the number for a freebie addicts help center? Let me know in the comments!

Summer of Love: Chick Lit & Romantic Comedy

Fans of British chick lit & romantic comedy: Win a haul of books just in time for your summer holidays from some of the UK’s best-loved and best-selling authors! 

5 winners + 25 books = a Summer of Love

To celebrate the launch of Notting Hill Press, five lucky winners will each choose five personally inscribed and signed eBooks from the Notting Hill Press authors – there are 50 best-selling and award-winning books to choose from. To enter, go to Amazon (the giveaway is open to US or UK residents)1 and:

  • Kick off your summer reading by buying any TWO eBooks listed below between now and June 13th.
  • Click the “Share This Item” button on the Amazon Thank You page after purchase to tweet/facebook about each book (if you use Facebook and/or twitter).
  • Enter to win by posting a comment over on the Notting Hill Press Facebook page telling us which two eBooks you bought. If you don’t use Facebook, you can enter the competition by adding your comment at the bottom of this post instead. Winners will be chosen randomly from all the comments (here and on Facebook) on June 14th.
  • “Like” the Notting Hill Press Facebook page to get freebies, discounts and sneak peeks at the authors’ books before they’re published! And if you’re on twitter, follow @nottinghillPR

Choose any two of the eBooks below for your chance to win, and don’t forget to check back here or on Facebook on June 14th to see if you’ve won!

The links below are to Amazon.co.uk2. Readers in the US can find the books on http://www.Amazon.com. If you can’t see any books, please consider disabling your ad-blocker for this page or pausing it. I often find mine plays havoc with Amazon-linked images.

[Read more...]


  1. This is an Amazon eBook giveaway, open to US and UK entries. It will run from June 3rd through June 13th. The five winners will be randomly selected and announced on June 14th on the facebook page and Notting Hill Press blog. Winners can choose any 5 books from the participating authors - here’s the list. The links above are to Amazon UK. The same books are available on Amazon US. 

  2. These links will give a little back to my Amazon associates account. 

Incoming: In Which I Head to the Library and a Charity Shop

It’s almost time to go without internet for a few days. Eek! Hold me. Maybe some of these lovelies will keep me company?

Physical Pile

The bottom three are library reserves I picked up on Wednesday. I finished Me Before You yesterday and loved it so that shall will be returned this week when I pick up more reserves this week *twitch*. Definitely need a copy of this on my shelf. The Rithmatist and Her Mother’s Shadow were sent over for review *cheer* and apparently Her Mother’s Shadow is part 3 of a trilogy so I’ve reserved books 1 and 2 in the library. The Truth of All Things I won in a giveaway but really sorry, I’ve forgotten the blog name! But the book sounds great, it’s a Witch Trial plot set in the late 1800′s I believe. Those last three I found in the local Cancer Research shop. Two of them are the reason I only have 4p in my bank account, the other was bought with Dan’s card. But I’m over the moon! I’m after the Shopaholic series in these cover styles because I just like them so much more. I’m always on the look out for Marian Keyes titles and Hanna got me intrigued by Blue Bloods. And they’re all in fantastic condition. *cheer*

Ebooks for Review
The Birr Elixir by Jo Sparkes Your Room or Mine? by Charlotte Phillips Gameboard of the Gods by Richelle Mead Charming by L.E. Briggs & S.E. Steinbrenner Back Story by David Mitchell Swimming at Night (aka The Sea Sisters) by Lucy Clarke Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas

Much calmer week on this front! The Birr Elixir and Charming were sent over for review by their lovely authors. The rest are NetGalleys that caught my eye. Your Room or Mine? is a Harper Impulse title. I love David Mitchell, and in fact have the physical copy on its’ way so expect that in a Showcase Sunday in a couple of weeks time. Swimming at Night is the US title for The Sea Sisters, one of the Richard and Judy books, thanks to Vicky for letting me know about this one! And Crown of Midnight I have been impatiently waiting for since last June. So that one deserves a SQUEE!

E-Giveaways

The Nameless Dwarf: Complete Chronicles by D.P. Prior Elfhunter by C.S. Marks

So it turns out my Facebook or something is still linked up to the hotmail email address that I don’t really use any more because when Hanna sent an email to that email address, I thought it was worth checking for others and I found a lot of other emails in that inbox, including these two lovelies which I won from Momma Says Read a little while ago! Good thing I checked. They both sound great!

Freebies

Legally Wed by Ciara O'Neill Kept by Elle Field Windigo Soul by Robert Brumm Jr. Enchantress by James Maxwell Miracle at the Museum of Broken Hearts by Talli Roland Shadow of a Dead Star by Michael Shean Caged in Darkness: Special Edition by J.D. Stroube To Be With You by Opal Mellon Forecast by Jane Tara Shoe Strings by Christy Hayes

You know me, I love my freebies, and I regularly check various places for any that sound like great reads. I even check a little excerpt before I accept considering how littered with freebies my poor Kindle is now. So all of the above have been approved by Hannah. They all sound like fab reads, seriously. Hoping I get on with Why Buy The Cow? soon.

Anything here you’ve read and loved or picked up recently as well? Any of them particularly catch your eye? Let me know in the comments!

And They Lived Happily Ever After: May 2013 Roundup

May is over and now we’re entering June. Good for many reasons: the start of Summer, the end of a bad month for many, Dan’s birthday is this month, the Richard and Judy challenge begins.. many reasons! But May wasn’t all bad for me. I got a lot done with the blog and started a diet. Woo! Looking back on my May goals, I can say I was successful and not. I wanted to get through some review books but I decided against joining the respective challenges and either way really struggled to start on a few egalleys, though I have a handful I’m really excited to read so maybe this month that will change. I still have never finished an egalley.. I just struggle to enjoy the Kindle, I guess. I did read quite a bit though, starting on a new rule of having to put down the laptop and read at 8pm until I need a break or sleep. Some nights I’ve lost track of time or been in a slump and not done this, others it has been very successful. So that’s a keeper! I didn’t keep up on my reader as well as I was doing but I haven’t given up I just keep getting sidetracked by life and good books – you know how it is. I started up the Mount TBR page for my review books. I still need to add the older ones but it’s getting there. The blog even had a mini-makeover when my sidebars broke one day. Thanks to the lovely Ravven, there’s now a new linkback button featuring our lovely resident dragon!

Posts

Well looking back over May’s posts, the blog was vaguely taken over by Bout of Books, guest posts and memes. I didn’t do even one discussion post! Oh dear. Saying that, the only ‘memes’ I’ve started back up on are Showcase Sunday because I love looking at what everybody’s been picking up! And Top Ten Tuesday because when given a topic I have answers for, they can be a lot of fun. Nothing that’s just there for the hits, it’s all about the fun.

01/05/13 – And They Lived Happily Ever After: April 2013 Roundup – monthly roundup
04/05/13 – Do You Remember Discovering Steampunk? – feature introduction
05/05/13 – Bout of Books 7.0: The Goals
07/05/13 – Top Ten Books When You Need Something Light & Fun – Top Ten
09/05/13 – Random Reads! May 2013 – note: I didn’t get around to it
12/05/13 – Bout of Books 7.0: Monday Updates
13/05/13 – Book of Books 7.0: Book Spine Poetry Challenge
14/05/13 – Book of Books 7.0: Tuesday Updates
15/05/13 – Book of Books 7.0: Wednesday Updates
16/05/13 – Book of Books 7.0: Thursday Updates
16/05/13 – Book of Books 7.0: Create a Cover Challenge
16/05/13 – The Importance of Horror From a Young Age – guest post, horror
17/05/13 – Book of Books 7.0: Friday Updates
17/05/13 – Friday Fun Times – link love
18/05/13 - Book of Books 7.0: Saturday Updates
19/05/13 - Book of Books 7.0: Sunday Updates
19/05/13 – ‘Scuse The Mess.. – update
20/05/13 - Book of Books 7.0: Wrap Up – wrap up, vlog
21/05/13 – Top Ten Favourite Book Covers of Books I’ve Read – Top Ten, covers
25/05/13 – [Guest] Are Men Obselete? – guest post, premise
26/05/13 – Incoming! A Return to Showcase Sunday – incoming
28/05/13 – Jason S. Walters Explores Down Syndrome in Fiction – guest post, science fiction, Down syndrome
30/05/13 – Reading and Other Troubles Overcome – Goodbye May! – updates, ramble

Reviews

I still have quite an insane backlog of reviews, though I have offered a couple of the older ones (it was looking unlikely I might use them here) as guest reviews. But yes. Seven new reviews on the blog in the month of May isn’t half bad, and there’s quite a variety!

03/05/13 – Fairy Metal Thunder by J.L. Bryan – Fun YA fairy fantasy with music
06/05/13 – The Wish List by Jane Costello – Chick lit
10/05/13 – The Black Company by Glen Cook – Epic fantasy
15/05/13 – Before I Wake by Rachel Vincent – Soul Screamers #6, YA paranormal romance
24/05/13 – The Queen’s Secret by Victoria Lamb – Historical fiction, Tudor
27/05/13 – Billy and Me by Giovanna Fletcher – Chick lit
31/05/13 – The Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin – YA gothic dystopia

What I’ve Been Reading

Currently: Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
Finished: The Queen’s Secret by Victoria Lamb – The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern – More Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops by Jen Campbell – Billy and Me by Giovanna Fletcher - The Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin – Fall of Night by Rachel Caine

     

This month has been one amazing book after the other, with several others being put indefinitely ‘on hold’, sadly. I’m almost finished with Me Before You and it is making me want to do things with my life. It’s got me dreaming and thinking about what I really want to do. I’m most definitely in a chick lit/contemporary mood right now, so there’ll be lots of that for at least the next week or two.

Plans For June

So I guess June will be about creating more discussion posts and continuing on with the reviews. I would love to be a bit better at scheduling but that’s not going to happen. Hopefully I will at least schedule a couple of things for this week while I’m without internet, though. And of course, keep visiting peeps’ blogs and joining in! Fun times. Ooh, plus I joined a couple of challenges so I shall be looking into getting on with those. Check them out!

Richard and Judy Summer Book Club 2013

Adult Dystopia Challenge

I’ve been thinking a lot about life, as well. I really would like a job in a library, though I’d settle for a bookshop. I want to write books that make people smile. I want to lose this weight, which I am working on. I want to feel like I’m living, you know? Maybe when I’ve got a steady job I could look into starting an open book club as all of the ones around here are pretty exclusive. And I’ve never wanted one before, but I think I want a tattoo. Something pretty or literary, or both, on my foot. Would be hidden by socks in work but in Summer would be quite nice.

Summer is here! Did you have a good May? What are your plans for June? Any reads you’re particularly looking forward to? Mini-breaks? Let us know in the comments!

Incoming! A Return to Showcase Sunday

I haven’t done an incoming post in so long. I did say I wasn’t going to bother any more but I love looking at everybody’s incoming and I missed being a part of the sharing. Even if my freebie gathering and NetGalley habit can get a bit embarrassing.. But it’s all for a good cause, right?! I like joining up with Vicky‘s version of the Sunday incoming posts so here’s my ‘Showcase Sunday’.

Physical Pile

Bitten was from a swap on Read It Swap It. Since finding out they were televising it in Canadia I’ve been dying to reread it and get on with the series but I love it so much I wanted my own copy as I originally read a library copy. Alex Woods I was going to buy myself as it was £3.85 in Asda but my darling brother-in-law to be insisted on buying it for me. Very excited to start on this one – come on already June! (It’s one of the Richard and Judy readsAngelfall I did not expect to get. Unsolicited review copy from Hodder, but not unwelcome. I already have an unread copy of this so I guess this is a nudge to get reading it already. Sweetness of Forgetting I bought a while ago but wanted the US edition for that gorgeous cover art so it took a little longer to arrive. And Tudor the Family Story, my first non-fiction ARC. I requested this one a week or so ago because it sounds very awesome and it turned up yesterday. Don’t panic about the size, it has quite big text.

Ebooks For Review

Review books from authors, Edelweiss and NetGalley.. mostly NetGalley..

Into the Spiral by Erin Danzer Rook by J.C. Andrijeski Shield by J.C. Andrijeski Dollface by Renee Rosen The Necromancer's House by Christopher Buehlman A Legacy of Light by Daniel Arenson Outcast by Adrienne Kress Follow the White Rabbit by Kellie Sheridan The Wrong Girl by C.J. Archer Blood of the Kind by Bruce Blake A Study in Silks by Emma Jane Holloway Dark Child by Adina West Mismatch by Nana Malone Doll Bones by Holly Black The Wishing Thread by Lisa Van Allen A Clockwork Heart by Liesel Schwarz Night Boat by Alan Spence

Into the Spiral was from Erin Danzer, Rook and Shield from J.C. Andrijeski, Dollface and The Necromancer’s House from Edelweiss, the rest from NetGalley. I browsed through recent Sci-Fi/Fantasy and then Romance for Chick Lit. Not sure where to start but there are some great looking titles here!

And Freebies

Nyx by D.M. Livingston The Fallen Star by Jessica Sorensen

Nyx was added to my indie wishlist (which I regularly check for freebie promotions) after seeing it on Celine‘s blog. The Fallen Star I spotted in one of the top 100 free lists on Amazon. I would have browsed a few more but I decided to leave it and look another time. I’ve definitely had more overwhelming freebie weeks.

Anything here you’ve read and loved or picked up recently as well? Any of them particularly catch your eye? Let me know in the comments!