Friday 31 March 2017

Q & A with Christopher Fowler for Wild Chamber Blog Tour

Bryant & May - Wild Chamber: (Bryant & May 14)Our story begins at the end of an investigation, as the members of London's Peculiar Crimes Unit race to catch a killer near London Bridge Station in the rain, not realising that they’re about to cause a bizarre accident just yards away from the crime scene. And it will have repercussions for them all…
One year later, in an exclusive London crescent, a woman walks her dog – but she’s being watched. When she’s found dead, the Peculiar Crimes Unit is called in to investigate. Why? Because the method of death is odd, the gardens are locked, the killer had no way in - or out - and the dog has disappeared.
So a typical case for Bryant & May. But the hows and whys of the murder are not the only mysteries surrounding the dead woman - there's a missing husband and a lost nanny to puzzle over too. And it seems very like that the killer is preparing to strike again.
As Arthur Bryant delves in to the history of London’s ‘wild chambers’ - its extraordinary parks and gardens, John May and the rest of the team seem to have caused a national scandal. If no-one is safe then all of London’s open spaces must be closed…
With the PCU placed under house arrest, only Arthur Bryant remains at liberty – but can a hallucinating old codger catch the criminal and save the unit before it’s too late?

1) Tell us about your book - Wild Chamber?
It’s about an impossible murder in a locked park, and through it Bryant & May uncover the strange secret history of London’s green spaces.

2) Who are some of your favourite authors?
Where to start? I have 120 books still to read on my Kindle at the moment, but let’s start with Dickens, EM Forster, Alexander Baron, Virginia Woolf, JG Ballard, lots of modern crime writers like Val McDermid, Lee Child, Ann Cleeves.

3) What inspires you?
Researching weird historical facts and talking to people, then coupling the human stories with the ones I’ve discovered.

4) What is it about mysteries that intrigues you as a writer?
They’re puzzle-boxes, but the best ones are more than just good fun – they make a point about society.

5) What is your writing process like?
Get up, go to my study, start work, try to avoid bad things in fridge, stop for lunch, get involved in disastrous displacement activity, go to theatre/cinema/pub, then repeat. Through weekends too!

6) What do you like to do when you're not writing?
I travel as much as I can – about to go dog-sledding to the North Pole, then off to somewhere hot. I have trouble staying still, but always have my laptop on me.

7) Do you have a favourite character to write about?
Bryant & May feel like they’ve been with me forever now, and are second nature.

8) Which scene did you find most challenging to write in Wild Chamber?
The one with a famous figure from British history. It took a LOT of research to write just the one short scene.

9) Do you know exactly how the plot is going to unfold before you start writing or does it develop as you write?
I have no idea. They say writers are either map-makers or gardeners. The former plan everything, the latter just chuck seeds about.

10) What are you working on now?
The next Bryant & May novel, ‘Hall Of Mirrors’, ‘The Book of Forgotten Authors’, out from Quercus in October, and a new stand-alone thriller.

Thank you very much to Christopher Fowler for taking the time to answer our questions! And don't forget to check out the other stops on the tour as well. I'll be posting my review for Wild Chamber in April so keep an eye out for that!!

You can also find us on Goodreads (Ann and Clare), Facebook and Instagram to keep up with what we are reading.

Friday Reads 31st March 2017

Friday 56 is hosted at Freda's Voice and Book Beginnings is hosted by Rose City Reader. The idea is to share a sentence or so from the first page and the 56th page of the book you are currently reading!

Bad BloodThirteen Reasons Why
Book Beginning:
"Black smoke scalds my lungs." - Bad Blood
Friday 56:
"So many things could have gone so horribly wrong." - Thirteen Reasons Why
I am actually reading two books at the moment! Bad Blood is one I know next to nothing about. It appealed to me because of the title and cover and then I learned it was set in Scotland and as my Mum is Scottish that almost always appeals as well. So I am intrigued. And then I am doing a re-read of Th1rteen R3asons Why with Vera @ Regal Critiques. This is one of my favourite books of all time and I am very much looking forward to the Netflix adaptation!  
These are very short quotes this week but I like them both. The beginning from Bad Blood is very abrupt and immediately makes me want to know more. Whilst the 56 from Thirteen Reasons is so sadly apt. Because, of course, so many things did go horribly wrong.

You can also find us on Goodreads (Ann and Clare), Facebook and Instagram to keep up with what we are reading. 

Thursday 30 March 2017

Conquering Kingdoms Book Tag

You know when you're like waaaaay too late for a book tag but you kinda want to do it anyway? Cause this is that. I love the Falling Kingdoms series so I thought it would be fun to try this!

1) In Mytica there are constant betrayals and you can't trust anyone! Which book character would you trust to be your sidekick on this adventure?
I'm gonna go with Nemesis from the Diabolic. I chose her as my sister in the last tag I did as well but I can have no imagination if I want!! Plus I just really want Nemesis in my life somewhere? 

2) You will come across many who want you dead in Mytica, so you need to be ready to fight! What kind of warrior are you?
Not. Not a warrior. In true Slytherin fashion I would poison my enemies. And you know, kill them with diplomacy and manipulations. I'd be really good at that side of things but if you gave me a sword I'd probably just fall over from the weight or something?

3) What fantasy world would you like to conquer?
OK so this is an odd and nonsensical answer but - Game of Thrones. I want the Iron Throne. I don't know why cause goodness knows that thing needs a whole lot of cushions before it could become the sort of seat I'd use but I guess I just want all the power.

4) Which fictional character would you like to rule by your side?
Sansa Stark. She is the fictional love of my life. I get so anxious in Game of Thrones because she keeps getting hurt and it makes me sad/mad!! But I do think she would be quite a good and sometimes ruthless but generally fair Queen. If I have to share my power I guess she is my choice! 

5) Who would you throw in the dungeon?
Ooh.... Erm... So apparently I am very murderous because everyone I think of for this I just end up saying "but the next question says I can kill them". So I need someone I hate but not really, really hate. I'm gonna go with Gale from The Hunger Games because he annoys the heck out of me and who says I even have to feed my prisoners right?

6) Who gets stabbed in the back?
Russell from A List of Cages. Also Ramsay Bolton. Also Umbridge. 

This whole tag apparently brought out my "power hungry tyrant" side - so that's a little worrying? I'm really torn on the whole idea of living in a fantasy world anyway because - cool clothes, magic, amazing creatures but they're generally super sexist and filled with war and also completely lacking in the internet and plumbing? So...? I think I'll stick here even if that means I never get to be Queen. Damn.

You can also find us on Goodreads (Ann and Clare), Facebook and Instagram to keep up with what we are reading.

Wednesday 29 March 2017

Wednesday Catch-Up 29th March 2017

Every Wednesday we are linking up with WWW Wednesday. WWW Wednesday is hosted at Taking on a World of Words and asks 3 questions: What are you currently reading?, What did you recently finish reading? What do you think you'll read next? You can click any of the images to go to the Goodreads page for that book!

Currently Reading:

The Dragon's Price (Transference, #1)
I am not really currently reading The Dragon's Price but I am just about to start it (I swear - it has a bookmark in it and everything) so I am counting it! It has dragons?! I want dragons. So....? Honestly this just sounds like my kinda book. Dragons. 

Recently Finished:

Angels of MusicThe Alchemists of Loom (Loom Saga, #1)Devil in Spring (The Ravenels, #3)A List of CagesDating Sarah Cooper
Angels of Music was a fun read, I definitely enjoyed the whole Charlies Angels crossed with Phantom of the Opera angle. I do kind of wish they had been novellas rather than a novel just because of the pacing of the book as a whole. I then had a whole string of 5 star books. I honestly don't think I've had this many new favourite in a row - ever? The Alchemists of Loom was incredible. We get a bisexusal heroine in a fantasy novel (which I really, really need more of please - feeling kinda unrepresented over here) and the world building was fast but immersive - the characters were ones I fell in love with either immediately or over the course of the book (looking at you Cvareh) it was just great. Devil in Spring being Lisa Kleypas was, of course, wonderful. But I was surprised to find that this is basically my favourite Historical Romance ever. Or at least that I've read so far - Kleypas seems to be getting better with each book so I can only imagine her next will top even this. But the couple were adorable, the plot was actually exciting and again, loved all the characters. A List of Cages was heartbreaking. I'm not fully able to put my thoughts into words but Vera @ Regal Critiques expressed it really well in the review that made me first want to read this book and you should probably read that review instead because my thoughts are mostly just incoherent screams? And finally we had Dating Sarah Cooper which was a novel with a gay MC and a bi love interest and I just fell in love with it. If you enjoyed Faking It you would probably enjoy this (although I think this is better). Can the 5 star books continue?? I really hope so cause I am loving this whole perfect reading experience thing.

Planning to Read Next:

Bad BloodProof of LiesStrange the Dreamer (Strange the Dreamer, #1)
Next out of the TBR jar was Bad Blood which is one I know very little about. My main thought was that I freaking love the cover? And also that Bad Blood is a Taylor Swift song and I love it? And yes, I did spend actual money on a book because the cover was pretty and the title reminded me of a song! Proof of Lies is one I am really, really excited for actually. The setting sounds incredible, it's a mystery, I've heard great things. And then... finally. Strange the Dreamer. I can't believe I actually own this. It is such a beautiful edition (follow us on Instagram because I know for a fact we will have photos of this up soon) it's got blue sprayed pages and its signed and it has Laini Taylors artwork in it!!!???? So pretty.

You can also find us on Goodreads (Ann and Clare), Facebook and Instagram to keep up with what we are reading.

Tuesday 28 March 2017

Cover Reveal: Blood Rose by Danielle Rose

Blood Rose (Blood Series #1)
by Danielle Rose
Genre: Urban fantasy, New Adult, Paranormal Romance
Release date: June 21, 2017
Publisher: OfTomes Publishing
Cover art by Gwenn Danae of Upon A Day Dreamer
Published by OfTomes Publishing, the Blood Books trilogy follows the harrowing  journey of Avah Taylor, a mortal witch in the midst of a centuries-old war against the immortal vampire species. Avah’s intense journey is fueled by blood, jealousy, betrayal, murder and revenge.
Book Synopsis
There’s no wrath like that of a witch scorned.
As one of the only spirit users in her coven, Avah has been chosen to wield The Power, the ultimate weapon against the immortal vampire species witches have been at war with for centuries. 
But on the night of her birth rite, Avah’s coven is attacked. Forced to seek refuge among the very beings she’s sworn to kill, Avah vows revenge on those who took her former life from her.
As Avah slowly transitions into a life of blood and war, she realizes everything she’s been told is a lie.
Pre-order Links
Danielle’s Bio
Danielle Rose holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from the University of Southern Maine. Currently residing in the Midwest, where she spends her days dreaming of warmer temperatures, when she’s not writing, she enjoys pretending she lives in California, spending an embarrassing amount of time at Hobby Lobby, and binge-watching Netflix. Visit Danielle on the Web:
Social Links

Monday 27 March 2017

The Book Life Tag

As a reader so much of my life revolves around books - so why not imagine a world in which fictional characters and worlds really exist and have significance to you? Note - I adore my real family and absolutely would not want to replace them.

Who Would Be Your Father?
Poison Study (Study, #1)
Valek from Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder. Clearly the wrong age but I feel like he'd make such a good father with the right balance of protectiveness and encouraging me to protect myself. 

Who Would Be Your Mother?
The Edge of Everything
The mother from The Edge of Everything by Jeff Giles because I loved her. She was so great. And its so rare to find good parent figures in books - which I am really noticing now that I've had to name some?

Who Would Be Your Sister?
The Diabolic (The Diabolic, #1)
Nemesis from The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid. Because she is a badass sister. Sidonia is actually a fair bit like me and Nemesis was a great sister to her so I feel like it would be a good fit!

Who Would Be Your Brother?
Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1)
Kaz from Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo. I am building one heck of a terrifying family here. But yeah - he actually reminded me a lot of my brother when I was reading. And I just love him a lot.

Who/What Would Be Your Pet?
OMG. Um... dragons? Dragons. I want dragons.

Where Would You Live?
I think I want to live in this world but with magic. Fantasy worlds always seem so terrifying (and often very historical in terms of feminism and such) so I kinda want to stay here and just have a magical life.

Where Would You Go to School?
Hogwarts. Are there other fictional schools? OK, just to name something that isn't Hogwarts I will go with St. Clares (Enid Blyton) because I loved those books as a kid and would have killed to have those midnight feasts and camaraderie.

What Would Be Your Fictional Job?
The Invisible Library (The Invisible Library, #1)
Ooh I want to be a librarian. And I know librarian is a real job but I mean like the ones in The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman. I want that.

Who Would Be Your Best Friend?
The Female of the Species
I want Alex from The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis. As wonderful and strong and protective as she is I kept wanting to take care of her and mother her. 

Who Would Be Your Significant Other?
The Alchemists of Loom (Loom Saga, #1)
Ari from The Alchemists of Loom. Its so freaking hard to narrow this down out of all the fictional characters ever but I just finished reading it (and loving it) so Ari was already in my mind. 

You can also find us on Goodreads (Ann and Clare), Facebook and Instagram to keep up with what we are reading.

Sunday 26 March 2017

Sunday Post 26th March 2017

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted at Caffeinated Book Reviewer, it's a chance to post a recap on the past week, show the books we have received and share what we plan for the coming week. Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews and the aim is to show our newest books and to see what everyone else received for review, borrowed from libraries, bought in bookshops or downloaded on to their e-reader. As always you can click on any of the pictures to be taken to the Goodreads page for that book if you're interested in finding out more about it or click the title to go to the review.

Films of the Week:

This week I watched Keeping Up with the Joneses and Mr Right which are two action comedies - I'd actually seen the latter before and just fancied a rewatch but I did quite enjoy the first as well. Gal Gadot is always great. 
I also watched Deidra & Laney Rob a Train because I always love crime and heists in films. And it was a great film. Really fun but with amazing and memorable characters and pretty much all the acting (especially from the main characters) was really good. I just wish we could have a sequel.
The Love Actually Reunion happened. Not a movie obviously since it was only like 5 minutes long but I actually loved it. I was a little worried about it ruining the ending but it felt right. And it definitely reaffirmed my belief that Hugh Grant is the best Prime Minister the UK has ever had.
And Beauty and the Beast was MAGICAL! Beauty and the Beast is my favourite Disney film - mostly cause I love Belle so much. And I really feel like the live action movie captured the characters well and honoured the original whilst also bringing in new songs and little touches that made it exciting and unique. I already want to rewatch it!

Last Week on the Blog:

Books We Got This Week:

Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy (Gallagher Girls, #2)Don't Judge a Girl by Her Cover (Gallagher Girls, #3)Only the Good Spy Young (Gallagher Girls, #4)Out of Sight, Out of Time (Gallagher Girls, #5)United We Spy (Gallagher Girls, #6)
Cross My Heart & Hope to Spy/Don't Judge A Girl By Her Cover/Only the Good Spy Young/Out of Sight, Out of Time/United We Spy by Ally Carter: Clare bought me these because I've been saying how much I wanted to continue the series! 

The Bengal BridegiftDating Sarah CooperThis is Devin JonesKitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold (Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency, #1)
The Bengal Bridegift by Anne Cleeland: I read and loved two of Cleeland's other books previously so decided to grab this on Kindle. 
Dating Sarah Cooper by Siera Maley: This is described as a bit like Faking It but better. Which intrigues me a lot.
This Is Devin Jones by Kristen Conrad: I mean this just sounds super exciting and fun. I can't wait to read it.
Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold by Iain Reading: I'm super intrigued by this series and the whole series is on Kindle Unlimited so if I enjoy it I can binge read the series!
The Beast of London (Book 1 of the Mina Murray series)Contagion (Dark Matter, #1)He Said/She SaidWhy I Loathe Sterling Lane
The Beast of London by L.D. Goffigan: The author very kindly offered me a review copy of this and I was very interested in it. It's about Mina Murray who is one of those characters I always want to read alternative versions of and just sounds really exciting. 
Contagion by Teri Terry: Received via Netgalley. I am hoping for great things from this. I've only previously read Slated by Teri Terry but I really enjoyed that.
He Said/She Said by Erin Kelly: Received a copy from the publisher for review. This sounds super twisty and intriguing! 
Why I Loathe Sterling Lane by Ingrid Paulson: Received via Netgalley, I'm super excited for this one. It seems like a good Spring/Summer read so hopefully I'll get to it soon.
Under Rose-Tainted SkiesTill DeathBlood Rose Rebellion (Blood Rose Rebellion, #1)Proof of Lies
Under Rose Tainted Skies by Louise Gornall: So many things about this intrigue me - first of all I have severe anxiety so I'm always drawn to any book that deals with that, secondly Vera @ Regal Critiques recommended this to me and I usually love what she recommends and finally - the UK editions of this cover come in three different shades of pink. And apparently cover variations always draw me in as well?
Till Death by Jennifer L. Armentrout: I love Jennifer's writing generally and I am super in the mood for thrillers at the moment (I honestly don't know why) so I can't wait to read this!
Blood Rose Rebellion by Rosalyn Eves: I am excited for this one although I have read mixed reviews! 
Proof of Lies by Diana Rodriguez Wallach: So, so, so excited for this! I need it to be amazing!
Bad BloodA Crown of Wishes (The Star-Touched Queen, #2)The Bone Witch (The Bone Witch, #1)Strange the Dreamer (Strange the Dreamer, #1)
Bad Blood by Demitria Lunetta: Total cover buy but I am excited for it! It looks so, so good! 
A Crown of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi: I liked (didn't love) the first book but I have high hopes for this one as I am intrigued by the characters and have loved the few snippets that I've seen.
The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco: My pre-order for this took forever to arrive (this was released on the 7th but didn't arrive until yesterday - what is Amazon Prime even doing?) but it's here now! And I am excited for it! Necromancy is always fun. To read about. Not in reality probably.
Strange The Dreamer by Laini Taylor: Guys! GUYS! This book is so beautiful. I think after it arrived I spent a good five minutes just staring at it and stroking the cover. The UK first edition has sprayed blue pages, it's signed and it has artwork by Laini on the inside pages. 

Reading Update:

I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You (Gallagher Girls, #1)Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy (Gallagher Girls, #2)Don't Judge a Girl by Her Cover (Gallagher Girls, #3)Only the Good Spy Young (Gallagher Girls, #4)
Out of Sight, Out of Time (Gallagher Girls, #5)United We Spy (Gallagher Girls, #6)Frostblood (Frostblood Saga, #1)
I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You/Cross My Heart & Hope to Spy/Don't Judge A Girl By Her Cover/Only the Good Spy Young/Out of Sight, Out of Time/United We Spy by Ally Carter: 5 stars, The first book was a re-read but then I read the rest of the series and loved them! I read through them in only a couple of days because they are really addictive.
Frostblood by Elly Blake: 5 stars, I can't wait for the sequel! I loved Ruby and Arcus!

Blood Tide (Paula Maguire, #5)The Valiant (The Valiant, #1)Starfall (Starflight, #2)New York, Actually (From Manhattan with Love, #4)
Blood Tide by Claire McGowan: 4.5 stars, Super enthralling mystery with amazing and relatable characters. I can't wait for more. 
The Valiant by Lesley Livingston: 3.5 stars, I didn't love this as much as I wanted to. But I did like Fallon and I am intrigued enough to want to read the sequel. I also loved seeing historical characters (like Cleopatra and Caesar - both of whom I love) because I miss studying Classics. 
Starfall by Melissa Landers: 4 stars, This was a fun sequel/companion novel to Starflight but I do think I enjoyed the first book more. I'm not sure if this is the last we see of these characters (I really hope not) but it was a good read.
New York, Actually by Sarah Morgan: 4 stars, I really enjoyed this. It was strange not already being familiar with the characters (with each previous book in the series - except the first - we already knew the MCs) but I liked getting to know them and I am definitely looking forward to the next book.
Can't Buy ForeverDone Dirt CheapAngels of Music
Can't Buy Forever by Susan Laffoon: 1.5 stars, I just could not get into the writing of this. I did like Odessa a bit and her friend Elise was interesting but I just struggled with it.
Done Dirt Cheap by Sarah Nicole Lemon: 5 stars, I absolutely sped through this one. I finished it in one sitting and adored the characters. This is one I will definitely be re-reading in the future!
Angels of Music by Kim Newman: 3 stars, I did enjoy this but I also struggled to motivate myself to read it? I feel so conflicted. It felt a little like a series of short stories rather than one novel in itself which probably contributed to the pace feeling a little off.

Next Week on the Blog:

  • Cover Characteristic: UFO
  • Top Ten Authors I'm Dying to Meet
  • Wednesday Catch-Up
  • Top 5 Future Classics
  • Fairy Loot Unboxing
  • Friday Reads
  • Blog Tour: Close to Me by Amanda Reynolds

You can also find us on Goodreads (Ann and Clare), Facebook and Instagram to keep up with what we are reading.