Friday Feature: 16 Library Bars in London (Buzzfeed find)

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I know this is a bit of a cheat as far as my usual Friday Features go, but I wanted to post something today despite having no time to write one.

I saw this great post on Buzzfeed and…oh my! How have I not been to any of these bars (probs because they’re too posh, but still)!?

I’m going to make it my mission to visit at least one of these places this year! You can click on the image to view the post.

Have you been to any of these, or have a favourite?

[Image courtesy of Buzzfeed]

This Week In Books 15.04.15

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Welcome to my weekly post, where I sum-up what I’ve been up to in bookland the past week.

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Now: The Girl With All the Gifts ~ M.R Carey // Ice Kissed (The Kanin Chronicles #2) ~ Amanda Hocking

I’m enjoying The Girl with all the Gifts the most so far, but it’s still early days on Ice Kissed.

Then:  Blood Red, Snow White ~ Marcus Sedgwick //Manga Shakespeare: Hamlet ~ Richard Appignanesi (Adaptor), Emma Vieceli (Illustrator)

I’m so pleased that I loved Blood Red, Snow White after being disappointed by Sedgwick’s latest offering, The Ghosts of Heaven. Reading his whole back catalogue is a new mission of mine.

I also read a manga adaptation of Hamlet which I bought and got signed at YALC last summer. Loved it! Both reviews will be up in a week or so.

Next: ???

I know I keep saying it, but Heir of Fire….probably ;)

New on the Wishlist

Linking up with Friday Finds hosted by A Daily Rhythm

The only one I made an official note of this week was Grasshopper Jungle, because I keep forgetting to buy or borrow a copy!
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Sixteen-year-old Austin Szerba interweaves the story of his Polish legacy with the story of how he and his best friend , Robby, brought about the end of humanity and the rise of an army of unstoppable, six-foot tall praying mantises in small-town Iowa.

To make matters worse, Austin’s hormones are totally oblivious; they don’t care that the world is in utter chaos: Austin is in love with his girlfriend, Shann, but remains confused about his sexual orientation. He’s stewing in a self-professed constant state of maximum horniness, directed at both Robby and Shann. Ultimately, it’s up to Austin to save the world and propagate the species in this sci-fright journey of survival, sex, and the complex realities of the human condition.

New on the Shelf

(Linking up with Stacking the Shelves hosted by Tynga’s Reviews) and Friday Finds hosted by A Daily Rhythm.

Purchased: I didn’t buy any books this week – hurrah!!

Netgalley: This week I was approved for Charlie, Presumed Dead by Anne Heltzel.
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In Paris, family and friends gather to mourn the tragic passing of Charlie Price—young, handsome, charming, a world-traveler—who is presumed dead after an explosion. Authorities find only a bloodied jacket, ID’d as Charlie’s. At the funeral, two teens who are perfect strangers, Lena Whitney and Aubrey Boroughs, make another shocking discovery: they have both been dating Charlie, both think Charlie loved them and them alone, and there is a lot they didn’t know about their boyfriend. Over the next week, a mind-bending trip unfolds: first in London—then in Mumbai, Kerala, and Bangkok, the girls go in search of Charlie. Is he still alive? What did their love for him even mean? The truth is out there, but soon it becomes clear that the girls are harboring secrets of their own.

No one knows whom to trust in this thrilling tale of suspense and deception.

I’m Waiting on…

(Linking up with Breaking the Spine)

Alive ~ Chandler Baker
I came across this the other day – love the sound of it!

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Stella Cross’s heart is poisoned.

After years on the transplant waiting list, she’s running out of hope that she’ll ever see her eighteenth birthday. Then, miraculously, Stella receives the transplant she needs to survive.

Determined to embrace everything she came so close to losing, Stella throws herself into her new life. But her recovery is marred by strange side effects: Nightmares. Hallucinations. A recurring pain that flares every day at the exact same moment. Then Stella meets Levi Zin, the new boy on everyone’s radar at her Seattle prep school. Stella has never felt more drawn to anyone in her life, and soon she and Levi are inseparable.

Stella is convinced that Levi is her soul mate. Why else would she literally ache for him when they are apart?

After all, the heart never lies…does it?
Expected publication: June 9th 2015 by Disney-Hyperion

So, that’s my week in books, now how about yours?

If you still do a similar WWW post (or just want to join in, leave your link/answers in the comments, OR why not tweet using #ThisWeekInBooks, and I’ll come and visit!

Top Ten Tuesday: Favourite Book Quotes

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Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish (click the link to visit them) who pick a different topic each week.

The topic for this week is: Top Ten Inspiring Quotes From Books (anything that inspires you, challenges you, makes you think, encourages you, etc).

Ahhh I really love this week’s topic; it was really hard to stick to ten. And I just know there’s so many of my favourites I’ve missed out too, but I didn’t want to pick ones I thought everyone else would so I’ve avoided some of the classics. I’m looking forward to seeing what everyone else has picked!

In no particular order…

1.

I used to think that when I got older, the world would make so much more sense. But you know what? The older I get, the more confusing it is to me. The more complicated it is. Harder. You’d think we’d be getting better at it. But there’s just more and more chaos. The pieces – they’re everywhere. And nobody knows what to do about it. I find myself grasping, Nick. You know that feeling? That feeling when you just want the right thing to fall into the right place, not only because it’s right, but because it would mean that such a thing is still possible? I want to believe that.”

David Levithan & Rachel Cohn, Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist

2. “If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.”

― Haruki Murakami, Norwegian Wood

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4. “A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies, said Jojen. The man who never reads lives only one.”

― George R.R. Martin, A Dance with Dragons

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― A Million Little Pieces

6.

I wanted to tell them that I’d never had a friend, not ever, not a real one. Until Dante. I wanted to tell them that I never knew that people like Dante existed in the world, people who looked at the stars, and knew the mysteries of water, and knew enough to know that birds belonged to the heavens and weren’t meant to be shot down from their graceful flights by mean and stupid boys. I wanted to tell them that he had changed my life and that I would never be the same, not ever. And that somehow it felt like it was Dante who had saved my life and not the other way around. I wanted to tell them that he was the first human being aside from my mother who had ever made me want to talk about the things that scared me. I wanted to tell them so many things and yet I didn’t have the words. So I just stupidly repeated myself. “Dante’s my friend.”

― Benjamin Alire Sáenz, Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

7.

“Never, is an awfully long time.”

― J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan

8. “Choices may be unbelievably hard but they’re never impossible. To say you have no choice is to release yourself from responsibility and that’s not how a person with integrity acts.”

― Patrick Ness, Monsters of Men

9.

“Sometimes, you do things and you do them not because you’re thinking but because you’re feeling. Because you’re feeling too much. And you can’t always control the things you do when you’re feeling too much.”

― Benjamin Alire Sáenz, Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe (I could have probably done all ten from this book <3)

10. “No one bends further than someone made of completely straight lines”

― Will Elliot, The Pilo Family Circus

Almost made the Top Ten…

“It was one of those moments when you wonder whether there is some kind of big misunderstanding and really this is all just a dream or a made-up story, and not the real world like you thought it was.”

― Chris Beckett, Dark Eden

“I like the night. Without the dark, we’d never see the stars.”

― Stephenie Meyer, Twilight (Couldn’t resist!)

What She Left by T.R Richmond (Out next week!)

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Title: What She Left
Author: T.R Richmond
Series: N/A
Edition: Advanced Review Copy, 380 pages
Publication Details: April 23rd 2015 by Michael Joseph
Genre(s): Crime; Thriller
Disclosure? Yep! I received a copy in exchange for an HONEST review.

Goodreads // Purchase

Gone doesn’t mean forgotten.

When Alice Salmon died last year, the ripples were felt in the news, on the internet, and in the hearts of those who knew her best.

But the person who knows her most intimately isn’t family or a friend. Dr Jeremy Cook is an academic whose life has become about piecing together Alice’s existence in all its flawed and truthful reality.

For Cooke, faithfully recreating Alice’s life – through her diaries, emails and anything using her voice – is all-consuming. He does not know how deep his search will take him, or the shocking nature of what he will uncover…

Review

I was really looking forward to a gritty crime thriller after a string of YA reads, and I thought What She Left would be just the thing, but unfortunately it didn’t quite live up my expectations.

Alice Salmon was a good-time girl who liked to party a little too hard. When she’s found dead in the river, no one is quite sure what to believe; suicide, a tragic accident, or something more sinister altogether. What She Left pieces together Alice’s life and repercussions of her death on those that knew her.

The premise of this book is great, and I can see what the author was attempting, but it really didn’t work for me, and I put it all down to the format. We only discover what has happened to Alice through her digital and recorded footprint; her facebook posts, her tweets, email conversations, blog and diary entries, letters, and newspaper articles.

The idea is that Professor Cooke, of whom we’re not quite sure of his true intentions or of his relationship with Alice, is collating all of this information as some kind of experimental research – can we really know someone solely from what she left behind?

It’s an interesting hypothesis, and I was really determined to get to the end and find out what did happen to Alice, but let me tell you, it was such a chore. Using such a huge range of formats made What She Left feel very disjointed to me, and so much of it I just wanted to skip.

Also, I felt like all the letters were completely unbelievable. They made no sense, as the actual content of them seemed like nothing anyone would write to someone else. They tended to rehash whole conversations, and jump from one event to the next telling only half the story of each. It was so frustrating.

I thought the format got in the way of me getting to know the characters too, which considering that the idea was for Alice’s digital footprint to tell us who she was, was quite ironic. Her diary entries told me very little of her actual personality and essence, which made it hard for me to care what had happened to her. But saying that, I did keep on reading, so I guess the author was successful in that respect.

I didn’t hate this book, I just wish the format had worked better. Maybe it’s just not for me, as I’ve seen some good reviews of it already. If you like the idea of a story told through various mediums, then you should give it a go.

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The hardback is available to pre-order from Waterstones now.

Lazy Saturday Review: Hold Me Closer by David Levithan

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Title: Hold Me Closer: The Tiny Cooper Story
Author: David Levithan
Series: Companion to Will Grayson, Will Grayson
Edition: Paperback, 256 pages
Publication Details: March 17th 2015 by Puffin
Genre(s): YA; LGBT
Disclosure? Nope, I bought it

Goodreads // Purchase

Larger-than-life character Tiny Cooper, from the bestselling novel Will Grayson, Will Grayson, finally tells his own story the only way he knows how – as a stupendous musical.

This is the full script of Hold Me Closer, the musical written by and staring Tiny Cooper, from the New York Times bestselling novel Will Grayson, Will Grayson, written by David Levithan and John Green. Filled with humour, pain, and ‘big, lively, belty’ musical numbers, readers will finally learn the full story of Tiny Cooper from his birth and childhood to his quest for love and his infamous eighteen ex-boyfriends.

Review


I loved John Green & David Levithan’s Will Grayson, Will Grayson. It’s a beautiful coming of age story about two different Will Grayson’s who both struggle to be open with people for different reasons, and whose lives intertwine during the makings of the biggest, gayest high school musical in the history of high school musicals.

When I finished reading WG, all I could think was that I wanted to watch (or read) Tiny Cooper’s musical so badly, it was definitely one of my favourite things about the book – and here it is; The story of Tiny Cooper, BFF to Will Grayson, hopeless romantic, and self-proclaimed biggest, gayest, most fabulous human there ever lived!

Hold Me Closer is a funny, adorable, sometimes sad, but always fabulous story of Tiny cooper’s life, written as a musical, the very musical Tiny and Will worked so hard to produce in Will Grayson, Will Grayson. I loved it. The songs were great and funny, and I could picture exactly how it would look on a stage – it totally needs to be a stage show now, right?

It was exactly what I imagined from reading Will Grayson, I only wished it was longer! Hold Me Closer is an extremely quick read and easily devoured in one sitting. I highly recommend reading WG first, but it would probably still be a fun read regardless!

unicorn rating 4

Available now in hardback, paperback and e-book from Waterstones

This Week in Books 08.04.2015

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Welcome to my new Wednesday post, where I sum-up what I’ve been up to in bookland the past week.

I hope you guys had an excellent Easter, and got to enjoy some time off work. I ate too much, drank too much and generally just lazed around with friends…it was great!

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Now: Blood Red, Snow White ~ Marcus Sedgwick.

I’m so glad I finally started this!

Then:  Frostfire ~ Amanda Hocking

I enjoyed my first foray into the kingdom of Trylle but also had some issues with it. My review will be up soon.

I also finished Hold Me Closer by David Levithan which will be this week’s Lazy Saturday Review.

Next: ???

Heir of Fire if I’m in the mood, or Ice Kissed, the second book in the Kanin Chronicles which is an ARC for review.

New on the Wishlist

Linking up with Friday Finds hosted by A Daily Rhythm

I added The Madman’s Daughter by Megan Shepherd to my wishlist this week, after the lovely Amanda gushed about the sequel in her Wednesday post last week.

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Sixteen-year-old Juliet Moreau has built a life for herself in London—working as a maid, attending church on Sundays, and trying not to think about the scandal that ruined her life. After all, no one ever proved the rumors about her father’s gruesome experiments. But when she learns he is alive and continuing his work on a remote tropical island, she is determined to find out if the accusations are true.

Accompanied by her father’s handsome young assistant, Montgomery, and an enigmatic castaway, Edward—both of whom she is deeply drawn to—Juliet travels to the island, only to discover the depths of her father’s madness: He has experimented on animals so that they resemble, speak, and behave as humans. And worse, one of the creatures has turned violent and is killing the island’s inhabitants. Torn between horror and scientific curiosity, Juliet knows she must end her father’s dangerous experiments and escape her jungle prison before it’s too late. Yet as the island falls into chaos, she discovers the extent of her father’s genius—and madness—in her own blood.

Inspired by H. G. Wells’s classic The Island of Dr. Moreau, The Madman’s Daughter is a dark and breathless Gothic thriller about the secrets we’ll do anything to know and the truths we’ll go to any lengths to protect.

New on the Shelf

(Linking up with Stacking the Shelves hosted by Tynga’s Reviews) and Friday Finds hosted by A Daily Rhythm.

Purchased: I didn’t buy any books this week – hurrah!!

Netgalley: This week I was approved for The Quality of Silence by Rosamund Lupton.
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On 24th November Yasmin and her deaf daughter Ruby arrived in Alaska.

Within hours they were driving alone across a frozen wilderness

Where nothing grows

Where no one lives

Where tears freeze

And night will last for another 54 days.

They are looking for Ruby’s father.

Travelling deeper into a silent land.

They still cannot find him.

And someone is watching them in the dark.

I’m Waiting on…

(Linking up with Breaking the Spine)

The Rest of Us Just Live Here ~ Patrick Ness
Ahhhh I got very excited about new Ness this week!! August is too far away!

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What if you weren’t the Chosen One?

What if you’re not the one who’s so often the hero in YA fiction; who’s supposed to fight the zombies, or the soul-eating ghosts, or whatever this new thing is, with the blue lights and the death? What if you were like Mikey? Who just wants to graduate and go to prom and maybe finally work up the courage to ask Henna out before someone goes and blows up the high school. Again. Because sometimes there are problems bigger than this week’s end of the world and sometimes you just have to find the extraordinary in your ordinary life. Even if your best friend might just be the God of mountain lions… Expected publication: August 27th 2015 by Walker Books

So, that’s my week in books, now how about yours?

If you still do a similar WWW post (or just want to join in, leave your link/answers in the comments, OR why not tweet using #ThisWeekInBooks, and I’ll come and visit!

Top Ten Tuesday: You don’t write, you don’t call…where’s the love?

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Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish (click the link to visit them) who pick a different topic each week.

The topic for this week is: Ten characters I’d like to check in with (as in who you’d like to catch up with and see what they’re up to).

**Beware they may be spoilers ahead**

Ari and Dante // Aristotle & Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe: It’s only been a few weeks since I finished this book but I already want an update! Has Dante completely come out, are him and Ari going to live happily ever after??? Ahhhh.

James Frey // A Million Little Pieces/ My Friend Leonard: I’d like to know if James has stayed on the wagon and what he’s up to. I hope he’s found happiness & love!

Katsa, Po and Princess Bitterblue // The Graceling Realm: I don’t need an excuse to catch up with these awesome characters. I just wanna hang with them!

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Jack // Room: I want to know how Jack grew up, what’s he like? What does he remember about his time in the room and how has it affected him?

Gale // The Hunger Games: Let’s face it, Gale is never far from my thoughts. Where you at Gale?

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Claire Graham // Of Scars and Stardust: I loved this book so much. I want to check in on poor Claire and see if she’s still institutionalised!

Everyone from The Darkest Part of the Forest: I loved them all. I’m really hoping that Holly Black will give in and write a sequel to this; I need to know how Hazel, Jack, Ben and the horned boy are!

Tiny Cooper // Will Grayson, Will Grayson / Hold Me Closer: Why isn’t Tiny Cooper my BBF, WHY? I want to know what’s going on in his life! Did he find lasting love???

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Bella, Edward & Jacob (ugh) // Twilight: It kind of goes without saying that I want to check up on this lot. Mainly just to make sure Jacob is behaving. Team Edward til I die. lol.

Winnie and Tuck // Tuck Everlasting: I’d love to know how Winnie and Tuck’s lives played out. Did Winnie ever see Tuck again? Did she live her life differently knowing the secret to immortality? Has Tuck stayed under the radar?

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Friday Feature: Easter Deals (Books, Flowers, Gifts & more)

To celebrate the long Easter weekend, I have some great deals and promos to share with you!

Book Deals

30% off Bestsellers and selected titles half price

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1. The Secret Garden: £8.95
2. The Girl on the Train (hardback): £10.99
3. The Miniaturist: £5.99
4. Go Set a Watchman(hardback/preorder): £9.49 RRP £18.99!!
5. Mr Impossible and the Easter Egg Hunt: £2.99

Plus many more…

Click on the banner to get an extra 10% off at checkout
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Spring Flower Bouquets

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ASDA are offering free delivery (UK) on all bouquets – for any occasion – and Lipsyy Lost & Found readers can also claim an extra £2 off on orders over £25 with code: SPRINGFLOWERS2 or £3 on orders over £30 with code: SPRINGFLOWERS3.

Click on the banner to claim your discount

Days Out & Half Term/ Easter Trips

Asda are also offering 10% off a range of experiences, including some Easter and Half Term Fun… From Sporting Days out, Historic attractions and Animal Experiences to exciting Junior Driving and Segway Thrills.
Click on the banner below and use the code EASTER10 ! before 6 April 2015.

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T&C’s apply. See the website for more info.

Disclosure: I am part of the Waterstones and Asda Gifts affiliate programs. Any purchases will result in me receiving a teeny bit of commission

Happy Easter!

Book Promo: Death Wish by Megan Tayte (includes excerpt)

Welcome to another book promo/spotlight on Lipsyy Lost & Found.

I love the sound of this one; the Devon setting and the beautifully dark cover did it for me!

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About the book

Title: Death Wish
Series: Ceruleans I
Author: Megan Tayte
Editions: e-book/Kindle, 305 pages
Publication Details: February 7th 2015 by Heaven Afire
Genre(s): YA; Paranormal Romance

Goodreads // Amazon UK // Amazon.com // Website

IN SEARCH OF THE MEANING OF DEATH, SHE’LL FIND THE MEANING OF LIFE.

Seventeen-year-old Scarlett Blake is haunted by death. Her estranged sister has made the ultimate dramatic exit. Running away from school, joining a surfing fraternity, partying hard: that sounds like Sienna. But suicide? It makes no sense.

Following in her sister’s footsteps, Scarlett comes to the isolated cove of Twycombe, Devon, with grand plans to uncover the truth. Alone. But she hasn’t reckoned on meeting two boys who are determined to help her. Luke: the blue-eyed surfer who’ll see the real Scarlett, who’ll challenge her, who’ll save her. And Jude: the elusive drifter with a knack for turning up whenever Scarlett’s in need.

As Scarlett’s quest for the truth unravels, so too does her grip on reality as she’s always known it. Because there’s something strange going on in this little cove. A dead magpie circles the skies. A dead deer watches from the undergrowth. Hands glow with light. Warmth. Power.

What transpires is a summer of discovery. Of what it means to conquer fear. To fall in love. To choose life. To choose death.

To believe the impossible.

Meet the Author

deathwish2Once upon a time a little girl told her grandmother that when she grew up she wanted to be a writer. Or a lollipop lady. Or a fairy princess fireman. ‘Write, Megan,’ her grandmother advised. So that’s what she did.

Thirty-odd years later, Megan writes the kinds of books she loves to read: young-adult paranormal romance fiction. Young adult, because it’s the time of life that most embodies freedom and discovery and first love. Paranormal, because she’s always believed that there are more things in heaven and on earth than are dreamt of in our philosophy. And romance, because she’s a misty-eyed dreamer who lives for those ‘life is so breathtakingly beautiful’ moments.

Megan grew up in the Royal County, a hop, skip and a (very long) jump from Windsor Castle, but these days she makes her home in Robin Hood’s county, Nottingham. She lives with her husband, a proud Scot who occasionally kicks back in a kilt; her son, a budding artist with the soul of a paleontologist; and her baby daughter, a keen pan-and-spoon drummer who sings in her sleep. When she’s not writing, you’ll find her walking someplace green, reading by the fire, or creating carnage in the kitchen as she pursues her impossible dream: of baking something edible.

Excerpt

Waves everywhere, swirling, surging, seething – a raging melange of foam and salt and inky water biting at me, pulling at me, thrusting upon me a solitary invitation:

Death.

As I fought to remain on the flimsy polystyrene surfboard that seemed more bucking bronco than wave rider, I thought: That’s how easy it is – you just let go. Just release the grip on this world that in recent months had seemed so much an effort, and sink into the blue, beneath the waves, where chaos and fury turned to quiet and calm. Like she did.

Was drowning as they claim? I wondered. The easiest way to die – peaceful? How would it feel to give up all the dragging myself through the day, all the struggle to evade the aching void inside? A relief?

Another wave rose me up and slammed me down with breathtaking power. Its force stirred me. You could say a lot of things about Scarlett Blake – she’s a loner, she’s a wallflower, she’s a menace in the kitchen – but no way was ‘she’s a quitter’ on the list of character flaws.

‘Screw you!’ I shouted through the spray.

Funny, sounded like someone shouted back. But who else would be out in this tumultuous sea at six a.m. on a summer’s morning? Solitude was the entire point of hauling myself out of bed in the still-dark and picking my way down the cliff path to the beach just in time to see the horizon light up with the first burnt-orange glow of the rising sun. No one to see me make a damn fool of myself on my first surfing attempt.

‘Trying… yourself killed?’

Definitely a voice. Male. Angry.

Scanning the surroundings for the source proved difficult while lying stomach-to-board. On an upward surge I got a glimpse of the Devonshire cliffs that fringed the cove, all dark, jutting rocks topped by bushes of gorse, and then a flash of the beach. On a downward plummet there was nothing but eye-burning, throat-choking seawater.

‘Forward… next wave!’

The voice was closer now. There was an edge to it beyond the anger. Something raw.

My eyes picked out a black form between the waves. Someone on a surfboard, paddling it expertly seaward. I took one hand off the board to push sticky tendrils of hair from my eyes. Rookie mistake.

Turned out holding on one-handed was impossible. The board shot upwards, out of my feeble grip, and then it was just me and Old Man Sea.

Kicking frantically, I tried to keep my head above the surface, but the waves were burying me, one after the other, only a second or two to come up for air before the next one hit. Far away now were thoughts of letting go – I was fighting furiously for life. Never in my seventeen years had I been so desperate. But my legs were tingling with effort, and I knew it was just a matter of time.

When the final wave broke me all I could think was, Sienna. With her name on my lips I inhaled a lungful of water and I sank…

… for all of a second before something grabbed the back of my t-shirt and hauled me upward. Coughing and spluttering, I emerged from the blue and was pulled roughly onto a board, my leg shoved over so that I straddled it. I had the fleeting thought that this board was much sleeker and more substantial looking than the one I’d just lost before my rescuer settled pretty much on top of me and started paddling toward the shore.

With him in command, we crested waves and glided down the other side with apparent ease, though I seemed unable to match the rhythm of our motion and kept taking in great gulps of brine. Over the sound of the waves and the wind and the splash of powerful arms cutting into the water to propel us along, I picked out low, irate grumblings.

‘… idiot tourists… total waste of… all we need… another bloody drama…’

Finally, we reached the shallow waters and he slid off the board and pulled me off to walk to the beach. But my legs didn’t seem willing to respond to basic instructions like ‘walk’ or even ‘stand’ and breathing between wrenching gasps had become a challenge, so he threw an arm around me and half-carried, half-walked me, dragging his board with his spare hand.

Ten steps up the beach he let me down onto the sand.

‘Head down,’ he commanded. ‘Between your legs. Cough it out.’

I did as I was told. Liquid spilled out of me with each retching cough, and the cool air I gulped in burned my throat. I fought the panic, I fought the pain, focusing instead on the shells and stones strewn around. Finally, breathing won out.

‘You okay?’

I was reluctant to look up. For starters, I knew I must look a mess – long hair plastered to my head rat-tail style, face flushed and salt-burned, eyes teary and bloodshot. And then there was the fact that this guy, whoever he was, had just saved my life, and was evidently pretty mad about having had to do so.

‘Hey, you okay?’

I lifted my head slowly. Took in broad thighs clad in black neoprene; hands reaching out, palms raised; a wide, muscular chest; a striking face – rugged, square jaw, full lips, ruddy cheeks, Grecian nose bearing a thin scar across the bridge, thick black lashes framing eyes… oh, his eyes.

I opened my mouth, tried to speak, but I was paralysed by his gaze. All at once I was home in the cottage, tucked up beneath the blue patchwork quilt of my childhood; I was watching my grandmother remove vanilla-scented fairy cakes from her powder-blue Aga; I was running through a meadow of sky-blue forget-me-nots with my sister – free, exhilarated, happy. The memories took my breath away. I felt the familiar burn in my tear ducts.

His eyebrows pulled together and he placed a hand on my trembling knee.

‘Are. You. Okay?’ he said with exaggerated care, as if he were speaking to an elderly lady having a turn at a bus stop.

I blinked, cleared my throat and managed a husky, ‘Yes. Th-thank you.’

Concern melted into exasperation.

‘What’s the deal,’ he demanded, ‘out there on your own, clearly no idea what you’re doing, children’s play surfboard… you got a death wish or something?’

I cringed. I’d known the board was short, but I’d thought it was me-sized – at five foot three, what use was some enormous board?

‘I’m sorry.’

‘You would’ve been sorry if I hadn’t seen you.’

‘I just wanted to get a feel for it. I didn’t realise it was so rough out there.’

‘Rough? That’s not rough. Not even optimum surfing weather. Piece of cake for someone who actually knows how to surf…’ He paused when he saw a tear escape my eye and roll traitorously down my cheek. Furrowed his brow, combed his fingers roughly through dark hair that was drying fast in the breeze.

‘Listen, I didn’t mean to…’

I brushed the tear away furiously. Enough with the vulnerability.

‘Right, well, thank you…’

‘Luke. My name’s Luke.’ The stress lines in his face smoothed out and his lips curved. Like this, smiling and relaxed, his scrutiny was a touch less unsettling. ‘And you are…?’

‘Thank you, Luke, for your, um, help, but I’m sure you’ve better things to do, so I’ll just be…’

Before he could protest, I launched myself to my feet. He instinctively rose with me, and my water-fogged mind registered belatedly that my rescuer was a giant of a guy – my head was at the level of his chest. As I looked up to take in his stature I staggered slightly and he reached out to right me, but I stepped backwards. I didn’t need his kindness.

He looked awkward, unsure of himself, as he towered over me. ‘Hey, will you be okay?’

‘Yes, yes, I’m fine. I’ll just head home.’

‘You live close?’

I pointed vaguely west. ‘Yes, not far.’

‘Up there?’ He looked puzzled, and then interest sparked in his eyes. ‘You mean the Blake place?’

Busted. Of course being vague was pointless. My grandparents’ ramshackle cottage on the western cliff was the only building up there. I made a noncommittal mnnnhnnn noise, but Luke was not to be deterred.

‘But that place has been empty since…’

He was looking at me now with such scrutiny that I took a further step back. I saw the cogs turning in his mind as he took in the classic green Blake eyes and then compared her – short, spiky red hair, eternally crimson lips, tall and impossibly slender – with me – petite and curvy, hair more blond than auburn reaching to the base of my spine and a pallor worthy of a vampire. His eyes widened.

‘Scarlett? Scarlett Blake!’

There was shock in his tone, and then sympathy.

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This Week In Books 01.04.15

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Welcome to my new Wednesday post, where I sum-up what I’ve been up to in bookland the past week.

Woah, last week flew by, and it’s April! When did that happen!? Once again I didn’t get much reading done this week, but I now have two weeks off between jobs so that should all change. Whoop!

Anyway, here’s what I did get up to this past week…

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Now: Hold Me Closer ~ David Levithan.

Tiny Cooper <3 'nuff said.

I’m also reading a sample of Frostfire by Amanda Hocking as I have an advanced copy of book two from Netgalley. I’m intrigued, so I guess I’ll have to buy the whole book. Damn.

Then: What She Left ~ T.R Richmond.

I didn’t get on with the format of this book, but it wasn’t all bad. My review will be up next week sometime.

My review of Rebel Belle went up this week though.

Next: ???

I still have Heir of Fire and Blood Red, Snow White at the top of TBR pile, but who knows!

New on the Wishlist

Linking up with Friday Finds hosted by A Daily Rhythm

There was only one book that I seriously added to my wishlist this week (one too many!), and it’s all Cleo’s fault. I saw The Ladies of the House on her Stacking the Shelves post and it sounds like a great read. It was released last week.

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On a sweltering July day, three people are found dead in a dilapidated house in London’s elegant Primrose Hill. Reading the story in a newspaper as she prepares to leave the country, Marie Gillies has an unshakeable feeling that she is somehow to blame.

How did these three people come to live together, and how did they all die at once? The truth lies in a very different England, in the double life of Marie’s father Arthur, and in the secret world of the ladies of the house . . .

Stylish, enchanting and deliciously atmospheric, this is a tragicomic novel about hidden love, second chances and unlikely companionships, told with wit, verve and lingering power.

New on the Shelf

(Linking up with Stacking the Shelves hosted by Tynga’s Reviews) and Friday Finds hosted by A Daily Rhythm.

Purchased: I wasn’t supposed to buy any books this week, but I made the mistake of going in to a charity shop. I didn’t do too bad though. All I bought was There is no Dog by Meg Rosoff, and three old Dicken’s books to clean up and sell in my etsy store.

thereisnodogMeet your unforgettable protagonist: God, who, as it turns out, is a 19-year-old boy living in the present-day and sharing an apartment with his long-suffering fifty-something personal assistant. Unfortunately for the planet, God is lazy and, frankly, hopeless. He created all of the world’s species in six days because he couldn’t summon the energy to work for longer. He gets Africa and America mixed up. And his beleagured assistant has his work cut out for him when God creates a near-apolcalyptic flood, having fallen asleep without turning the bath off. There is No Dog is a darkly funny novel from one of our most delightfully unpredictable writers.

Review Requests: I’m not supposed to be taking on any more requests at the moment either, but I was sold on this one.

thiscrumblingEngland, 1809. As fashionable Society streams toward London for the start of a new social season, they are unaware of a hidden magical England existing alongside. The Magi cathedrals are temples to the old gods. Reigning on their throne is not poor mad George, but the ailing King Pellinore of the House of Pendragon. But their wars are no less deadly.

The Furys are known for their extraordinary music, their powerful magic, and their historic role as kingmakers. But the Furys have their secrets as well, none so dangerous as the daughter whose Shadow magic spills from her, unchecked. Unless her powers are concealed, she’s not only ruined in Society, but marked as a target for those who would use and abuse her magic.

Persephone Fury is the Dark daughter, the one they hide.

But desperate times call for desperate measures, and a good marriage for this frightening daughter is desperately needed. On the night of her debut, her world comes crumbling down around her when she is abducted from the man she loves by the man she most loathes.

Evil powers circle, calling her to the destiny foretold at the moment of her birth, drawing her to the source of her power, to the one place she can finally be free.

Netgalley: I didn’t request any advanced copies this week (pat on the back)!

Borrowed: I didn’t borrow any books this week either.

I’m Waiting on…

(Linking up with Breaking the Spine)

5 to 1 ~ Holly Bodger
This week I’m waiting on 5 to 1. I was struck by the cover first of all, and then the synopsis – wow! High hopes for this one.
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In the year 2054, after decades of gender selection, India now has a ratio of five boys for every girl, making women an incredibly valuable commodity. Tired of marrying off their daughters to the highest bidder and determined to finally make marriage fair, the women who form the country of Koyanagar have instituted a series of tests so that every boy has the chance to win a wife.

Sudasa, though, doesn’t want to be a wife, and Kiran, a boy forced to compete in the test to become her husband, has other plans as well. As the tests advance, Sudasa and Kiran thwart each other at every turn until they slowly realize that they just might want the same thing.

This beautiful, unique novel is told from alternating points of view-Sudasa’s in verse and Kiran’s in prose-allowing readers to experience both characters’ pain and their brave struggle for hope.
Expected publication: May 12th 2015 by Knopf Books for Young Readers

So, that’s my week in books, now how about yours?

If you still do a similar WWW post (or just want to join in, leave your link/answers in the comments, OR why not tweet using #ThisWeekInBooks, and I’ll come and visit!