Top Ten Tuesday: One Hit Wonders?

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

This week the topic is: Top Authors I’ve Only Read One Book From But NEED to Read More

I’m loving this topic! There were so many I could choose from, so I just went for the ones that came to me first.

Emma Carroll: I loved Emma’s debut, Frost Hollow Hall, which was one of the first ARCs I reviewed for this blog. Her second book, The Girl Who Walked on Air was released last month. I’m on a book-buying ban, but NEED!

Audrey Niffenegger: I was pleasantly surprised that The Time Traveller’s Wife lived up to the hype (just don’t watch the film) but I’ve heard mixed reviews about her other books. I still really want to read Her Fearful Symmetry, and Raven Girl though.

Sophie McKenzie: Sophie’s second psychological thriller for adults, Trust in Me, was released last week and was my first experience of her work. I loved it! I can’t believe how many books she has under her belt – including YA – how did I miss that?

Sarah Moore Fitzgerald: I thought The Apple Tart of Hope was a really unique contemporary YA book, so I want to check out Sarah’s first book Black to Blackbrick.

Debbie Macomber: Debbie Macomber has written so many books, including a lot of Christmas-themed ones, so big yay for that. The only one I’ve read is Starry Night, which was set in Alaska, and was great!

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Chris Beckett: I read Dark Eden earlier in the year and was impressed by it. It’s one of those Science Fiction books that makes you think and stays with you. Well it definitely stayed with me. His other books sound pretty interesting too.

Holly Black: I LOVED The Coldest Girl in Coldtown so much, and Holly Black just seems like an awesome human being. I really need to read her other books (I have Doll Parts waiting for me). I’m not counting the books she’s collaborated on like The Spiderwick Chronicles, or Zombies Vs Unicorns, which were also great.

Alan Bradley: My introduction to Alan Bradley was book #6 in the Flavia de Luce books, which was a NetGalley request error by me as I didn’t realise it was a series. But, it so didn’t matter. I absolutely loved it and now I need to read the whole series!

Terra Harmony: Water, the first book in The Akasha series was one of those books that I found fascinating but wasn’t sure how much I enjoyed it. However, every now and again I find myself thinking about it so I think I need to read more.

Kenneth Gregory: I really loved Kenneth Gregory’s debut The Polaris Whisper and thought it was the perfect winter read. I’m waiting for more. MORE PLEASE.

Cherry-loving Wolves, Bloody Knives, and People Made of Magic…

Of Scars and Stardust by Andrea Hannah

arc1
Title: Of Scars and Stardust
Author: Andrea Hannah
Series: N/A
Edition: ARC, 366 pages
Publication Details: October 8th 2014 by Flux
Genre(s): Mystery; Thriller; YA
Disclosure? Yep! I received a copy from the Publisher/Author in exchange for an HONEST review.

Goodreads
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After her little sister mysteriously vanishes, seventeen-year-old Claire Graham has a choice to make: stay snug in her little corner of Manhattan with her dropout boyfriend, or go back to Ohio to face the hometown tragedy she’s been dying to leave behind.

But the memories of that night still haunt her in the city, and as hard as she tries to forget what her psychiatrist calls her “delusions,” Claire can’t seem to escape the wolf’s eyes or the blood-speckled snow. Delusion or reality, Claire knows she has to hold true to the most important promise she’s ever made: to keep Ella safe. She must return to her sleepy hometown in order to find Ella and keep her hallucinations at bay before they strike again. But time is quickly running out, and as Ella’s trail grows fainter, the wolves are becoming startlingly real.

Now Claire must deal with her attraction to Grant, the soft-spoken boy from her past that may hold the secret to solving her sister’s disappearance, while following the clues that Ella left for only her to find. Through a series of cryptic diary entries, Claire must unlock the keys to Ella’s past—and her own—in order to stop another tragedy in the making, while realizing that not all things that are lost are meant to be found.

Woah. This book.

I have a total book hangover from this so please excuse my babbling review.

First of all, I didn’t even read the synopsis of this book before I picked it up. I requested it on the basis of the title and the cover alone, and went into it pretty blind and I’m so glad I did.

Not that I think it would have been any less amazing if I’d heard more about it, but I wasn’t expecting that.

Claire is living an average teenage existence in Ohio, going to bonfire parties where they drink cherry vodka and tell stories about the wolves that stalk the cornfields. Claire’s little sister, Ella is full of creativity and imagination and sees the world through magical eyes like only an eight year old can.

When Ella is asked to leave a party that she followed Claire to, she’s attacked on her way back. Her face will never be the same again, and Claire, now obsessed with the wolves that she believes attacked her is shipped off to New York. The only thing that brings her back to Ohio is when Ella disappears.

Of Scars and Stardust completely blew me away if you can’t tell already. It was a mystery, a psychological thriller, a romance, and it was written so beautifully it made me want to cry.

I loved how Claire saw her sister, and tried to make sense of the world as she saw it. She was terrified, damaged, and often alone, but she never felt like a victim. As the book went on it became clear that not only did Claire not know who to trust, but we as readers are not sure if we can trust her either.

I don’t think I even took a breath during the second half of this book, I was literally on the edge of my seat – which is pretty hard to do when you read in bed. If someone could come and pick my jaw up off the carpet, that would be great.

I loved setting, I loved the characters and I loved the uniqueness of this book, but I don’t want to say much more about it in case I ruin it for others.

What I will say, is that as soon as I finished it, I wanted to start over. Therefore, I give it all of the unicorns. Keep them all. And let them breed.

unicorn rating

Pre-order Of Scars and Stardust now, you won’t regret it!

Friday Feature: Ghostly Guest Posts & Slimy Submissions Wanted!

HorrorOct2014

Brush the cobwebs off your costumes, because Horror October is fast approaching!

After the success of last year’s horror-themed month I’ve already started planning to make this year’s bigger and better. There will be reviews, features, guest posts, and all the blood you can stomach.

If you’d like to get involved, (anything goes – well, almost anything!) leave a comment or email me on:

lipsyylostnfound[at]gmail[dot]com.

Prince of Thorns by Mark Lawrence

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Title: Prince of Thorns
Author: Mark Lawrence
Series: The Broken Empire #1
Edition: Paperback, 399 pages
Publication Details: April 12th 2012 by Harper Voyager
Genre(s): Dark Fantasy; ‘Grimdark’
Disclosure? Nope, I borrowed it from a friend!

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When he was nine, he watched as his mother and brother were killed before him. At thirteen, he led a band of bloodthirsty thugs. By fifteen, he intends to be king…
It’s time for Prince Honorous Jorg Ancrath to return to the castle he turned his back on, to take what’s rightfully his. Since the day he hung pinned on the thorns of a briar patch and watched Count Renar’s men slaughter his mother and young brother, Jorg has been driven to vent his rage. Life and death are no more than a game to him–and he has nothing left to lose. But treachery awaits him in his father’s castle. Treachery and dark magic. No matter how fierce his will, can one young man conquer enemies with power beyond his imagining?

I had such high hopes for this book. Numerous people have told me that I should give Dark Fantasy, or Grimdark – as all the cool kids are calling it – a go. I like action. I like violence and gore, and I’m a fan of Game of Thrones (although I have yet to embark on the books), so it sounds like a match made in Heaven, but unfortunately Prince of Thorns didn’t quite tick all the boxes for me.

Our protagonist is young Prince Jorg, who’s on a mission of debauchery and revenge along with his own band of loyal, marauding brothers. He has two main goals: The throne, and revenge on Count Renar who killed his mother and brother. Both of these goals lead him back to his father’s castle, where he must face the ghosts of his past.

The way in which I was pitched this book was kind of like imagine Joffrey let loose on a kingdom, and I liked the sound of that. We all love to hate characters like Joffrey, right? But I didn’t quite get that with Jorg.

Having a protagonist who rapes and murders for a hobby is always going to be tricky, and a bit of a risk. It’s not even that I always feel like I need to relate to the protagonist, but I need to have some kind of feelings towards them. With Prince of Thorns, it took me too long to find that. I felt like I needed something extra to get myself invested in Jorg’s story. I didn’t even particularly hate him, I just kind of felt sorry for him.

Saying that, I was compelled to keep reading. I liked the flashbacks to Jorg’s earlier life in the castle, and then, once he returned and faced his father, I definitely started getting into the story as I felt I could finally understand him a little. It was here he showed the first signs of fear and vulnerability, and you could finally see him for what he is – a disturbed and scared boy pretending to be a man.

As for the writing and style of this novel, I’m torn. On one hand I loved the epicness of it, but on the other I found it a bit OTT, enough with the metaphors already.

I love the whole medieval-meets-post-apocalyptic world, but at times I found it hard to picture what was going on, probably because it was over-written for my taste, again, the metaphors!

I’m not at all put off by the Grimdark genre though, or by Mark Lawrence. As a debut novel, Prince of Thorns was a ridiculously daring feat, and I look forward to trying his later offerings to compare.

unicorn rating 3

Prince of Thorns is available in paperback from Waterstones now.

Book Promo: My Soul Immortal by Jen Printy

Today I have a great promo post for you, for Jen Printy’s YA Paranormal Romance My Soul Immortal. I’ll be reviewing this in near future, which I look forward to (especially after watching that awesome trailer), but here’s a little teaser in the mean time!

msiTitle: My Soul Immortal
Author: Jen Printy
Series: Fated Eternals #1
Genre(s): Paranormal Romance
Page Count: 310
Format(s): Paperback; Kindle
Published: February 15th 2014 by Red Adept Publishing, LLC
 
Links:
Goodreads
Website

Purchase:
Amazon
B&N

Synopsis

Jack’s immortality is exposed when he prevents a liquor store heist, forcing him to flee to protect his secret—a secret not even he understands. But when he meets eighteen-year-old Leah Winters—a mirror image of his decades-lost love, Lydia—his very soul is laid bare. He begins to question his sanity. Is she real, and if so, what does that mean for Jack and his secret?Jack’s not the only mystery man in town. A stranger named Artagan hints at knowledge Jack is desperate to possess. But can he trust Artagan, or does the dark newcomer harbor deadly secrets of his own?As Jack’s bond with Leah grows, so does the danger to her life. Jack must discover just how much he is willing to risk in order to save the woman he already lost once.

An endless love, for an endless price.

Book Trailer


 

Meet the Author

jen
Since childhood, Jen Printy has been writing. Whether working on stories about a fantasy world or everyday life in Maine, Jen loved losing herself in the worlds she created on paper. The arts in all forms have always been an important part of Jen’s life, a love instilled in her by her father. When Jen isn’t writing, she’s sculpting as a freelance doll artist.

Jen lives with her husband, two daughters, and diva dog Cookie in southern Maine, where she loves spending time friends and family, finding treasures along the seashore, or enjoying a Guinness at her favorite local pub.

What People Are Saying About My Soul Immortal

 
“I loved it!! Every aspect.” – Michaela, Goodreads

My Soul Immortal by Jen Printy is a beautiful tale of love, loss and second chances.”

– Dianne, Goodreads

“I look forward to seeing what new adventures book two will bring.” Pink Fluffy Hearts

WWW Wednesday 10.09.14

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To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

• What are you currently reading? • What did you recently finish reading? • What do you think you’ll read next?

Here’s what I’ve been up to this week:

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Currently Reading: I’m almost done with Shadow Kiss by Richelle Mead. And I’ve just started Of Scars and Stardust by Andrea Hannah which I have high hopes for.

Recently Finished: Last week I finished Prince of Thorns by Mark Lawrence which I’ve only just got round to reviewing. It’ll be up tomorrow. I also finished Trust in Me by Sophie McKenzie which I really liked (and it’s out tomorrow). Click on the link for my review.

Up Next: Probably How I live Now, or Back to Blackbrick , but of course, you never know!

Top Ten Tuesday: Underrated British Authors

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

This week the topic is: Top Ten Underrated Authors or Books in X genre

Woah, this is a tough one. It was taking me a really long time to even chose a genre, so I’m just going for underrated British Authors!

I feel like authors are mainly underrated because of the genres they write in. I like to read a lot of different genres as I’m sure most bloggers do, but I think the average reader is more set in their ways and tend to overlook certain authors for that reason.

That was the basis of my thinking for this list. If it’s not a genre you usually go for, give these authors a go.

TTT

  • Scarlett Thomas – Contemporary with a Sci-Fi twist
  • Derek Landy – Children’s Fiction
  • Darren Shan – Horror; Children’s Fiction
  • Marcus Sedgwick – YA
  • Mark Haddon – Contemporary
  • Kate Morton – Historical/Women’s Fiction
  • Ann Cleaves – Crime Fiction
  • Trisha Ashley – Women’s Fiction
  • Malorie Blackman – YA
  • John Connolly – Known for his Crime series, but check out his YA

Trust in Me by Sophie McKenzie (Out this week!)

trust
Title: Trust in Me
Author: Sophie McKenzie
Series: N/A
Edition: ARC, 464 pages
Publication Details: September 11th 2014 by Simon & Schuster UK
Genre(s): Psychological Thriller
Disclosure? Yep! I received a copy via the publisher/author in exchange for an HONEST review.

Goodreads
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Julia has always been the friend that Livy turns to when life is difficult. United fifteen years ago by grief at the brutal murder of Livy’s sister, Kara, they’ve always told each other everything.

Or so Livy thought.

So when Julia is found dead in her home, Livy cannot come to terms with the news that she chose to end her own life. The Julia that Livy knew was vibrant and vivacious, a far cry from the selfish neurotic that her family seem determined to paint her as.

Troubled by doubt but alone in her suspicions, Livy sets out to prove that Julia was in fact murdered. But little does she realise that digging into her best friend’s private life will cause her to question everything she thought she knew about Julia. And the truth that Livy discovers will tear the very fabric of her own life apart.

Trust in Me was my first Sophie McKenzie read, and the first psychological thriller I’ve read for a while. I totally ate it up.

When Livy finds her vivacious, free-spirited best friend lying dead on her sofa, her life begins to spin out of control. All signs suggest that she’s killed herself, but Livy knew her too well to know for certain that she’d never do a thing like that. Or did she?

Julia’s death not only brings back the horror of Livy’s little sister’s murder years before, but also starts to turn her pre-teen daughter and husband against her. Livy only has Damian – Julia’s boyfriend whom she knows very little about- to turn to, but can she trust him?

It’s been quite a while since I’ve read a book that I just couldn’t put down. As the story unfolds, it’s clear that Kara and Julia’s deaths are related, and all signs are pointing to people close to Livy, or to Damian. Trust in Me was one of those books that I had to stay up reading to find out who the killer was.

McKenzie did an excellent job of creating, and building tension. I felt so sorry for Livy whose life was crumbling down around her and there was nothing she could do about it, and had no one to trust.

There were just enough characters involved to suspect, making it a compelling read.

However, I did feel like the book was too long. Some passages were drawn out, and although I liked getting a complete picture of Livy’s life and past, I found myself skipping ahead sometimes. The pacing was good in parts, in order to build tension, but sometimes I wished McKenzie got to the point a bit quicker.

As for Livy, I liked her for the most part. I felt for her being in such a difficult position, but sometimes I wanted her to pull herself together and stop worrying about what her family thought of her, and just get on with finding out what happened to her best friend.

As the title suggests, this book raised a lot of issues surrounding trust. Will, Livy’s husband had cheated on her years before, but they’d overcome it. Livy trusted him as much as she knew how, but when evidence suggests that not only has Will cheated again, but that he might also be involved with Julia, and her death, understandably, Livy doesn’t know who she can trust.

“I’m not upset that you lied to me, I’m upset that from now on I can’t believe you.”
― Friedrich Nietzsche

I hated that towards the end of this book it was repeatedly thrown in Livy’s face that she didn’t trust Will, but it was never highlighted that Will didn’t trust her either. He was so quick to dismiss Livy’s belief that Julia was murdered, that he made her think she was going mad. Gah! Double standards or what!

For me, Trust in Me, was a great read with only a few flaws. It reminded me a lot of the ITV drama Broadchurch. Much like with that show, at one point I was so confused as to who the killer was, I tried too hard figure it out and ruined it for myself when I did. In this, I figured it out quite a while before the big reveal which was a bit of a disappointment, but I still thoroughly enjoyed it.

Note to self: Stop thinking too much.

unicorn rating 4

Trust in Me is now available to Pre-order from Waterstones.

Something for the Weekend: *Giveaway Klaxon *

No Lazy Saturday Review today, but despair not! Instead, feast your eyes over (and of course, enter) these giveaways from the great people behind World Book Day.

All giveaways end September 30th, and can be entered via the World Book Day website , where you can view the T&Cs. Not affiliated with Lipsyy Lost & Found, unfortunately.

Heir of Fire

wbd1The third novel in the Throne of Glass sequence, from New York Times bestselling author Sarah J. Maas, is packed with more heart-stopping action, devastating drama and swoonsome romance, and introduces some fierce new heroines to love and hate. Perfect for fans of The Hunger Games and Game of Thrones.

Bloomsbury Children’s has five copies of Heir of Fire to give away, signed by Sarah J. Maas!

Violet and the Pearl of the Orient

wbd2Violet Remy-Robinson is a super-sleuth in the making. When the Count and Countess Duplicitous and their ghastly daughter Isabella move in to a neighbouring house, Violet is sure there is something strange about them but she can’t quite put her finger on it. Then her eccentric, but lovely neighbour, Dee Dee Derota, has a precious jewel stolen. Could the new family be to blame? Violet is on the case to uncover the truth… So begins Harriet Whitehorn’s quirky and fun tale with an intriguing detective story at its heart.

Simon and Schuster are giving away 10 copies of Violet and the Pearl of the Orient.

Skulduggery Pleasant

wdb3The War of the Sanctuaries has been won, but it was not without its casualties. Following the loss of Valkyrie Cain, Skulduggery Pleasant must use any and all means to track down and stop Darquesse before she turns the world into a charred, lifeless cinder. And so he draws together a team of soldiers, monster hunters, killers, criminals… and Valkyrie’s own murderous reflection. The war may be over, but the final battle is about to begin. And not everyone gets out of here alive…

To celebrate the final book in the Skulduggery Pleasant series – The Dying of the Light – HarperCollins are giving away 10 Skulduggery Pleasant goody packs.

Dragons at Crumbling Castle

wbd4Aged seventeen, Terry Pratchett began work as a journalist for the Bucks Free Press. As well as covering news articles, he began writing short stories under the pseudonym ‘Uncle Jim’; as he later recalled, ‘Nobody wanted to do the children’s corner so I volunteered. I would do little children’s stories, one-offs and running narratives.’ Published together for the first time with over a hundred full-page black-and-white illustrations from Mark Beech, Dragons at Crumbling Castle is a book to make children laugh and introduce them to the wit and magic of Terry Pratchett.

Publishers Random House are giving away 5 hardback copies of Dragons at Crumbling Castle.

The Impossible Knife of Memory

wbd5Hayley is struggling – struggling to make sure her ex-army dad shows up to work, struggling to avoid her stepmother, struggling to forget the past, struggling not to fall in love with Finn, who really seems to get her. But some memories run too deep, and soon the cracks start to show . . .

Scholastic have three copies of Laurie Halse Anderson’s The Impossible Knife of Memory up for grabs.

Afterworlds

wbd6Darcy writes the words. Lizzie lives them. Darcy Patel has put college and everything else on hold to publish her teen novel, Afterworlds. Arriving in New York with no apartment or friends, she wonders whether she’s made the right decision until she falls in with a crowd of other writers who take her under their wings . . . At the same time, Afterworlds, Darcy’s gripping thriller about Lizzie, a teen who slips into the ‘Afterworld’ to survive a terrorist attack, starts to unfold . . .

Simon & Schuster are giving away 5 copies.

Friday Feature: Book Event Envy

If you thought book festivals were just for the summer, think again!

Here are some upcoming events that I wish I could go to, but for one reason or another, I can not. (Why am I doing this to myself!?)

York Book Fair, York, UK

September 19 & 20

york
From modest beginning with just 20 exhibitors at the White Swan Inn in York in 1974, the York Book Fair has grown into the largest, and many say friendliest, rare, antiquarian & out-of-print book fair in the U.K.

You will find books over 500 years old, to review copies of recently published works, and everything in between. The venue is very easy to reach, there is unlimited free parking, and also a free shuttle bus from the Railway Station to the Fair every 20 minutes.

Why I Wish I Was Going: York is a beautiful city. Beautiful city + antique and review books = uifyasklfioe

For more info, visit the website here.

IcelandNoir, Reykjavik, Iceland

November 20th – 23rd

IcelandnoirlogoSm
Iceland Noir is Iceland’s first festival of crime fiction and was recently listed by UK’s The Guardian newspaper as one of the “best crime-writing festivals around the world.” There’s a great line-up of authors, workshops and a crime walk through the city.

Why I Wish I Was Going: It’s Iceland, obviously. And not only do they do a CRIME WALK, they are do a Northern Lights tour. I am all over this next year!

For more info, visit the website here.

The Times Cheltenham Literary Festival, Cheltenham, UK


October 3rd – 12th

bookit
For ten days every Autumn Cheltenham is transformed into a literary lover’s dream as we welcome over 600 of the world’s finest writers, actors, politicians, poets and leading opinion formers to help us celebrate the joy of the written word. Alongside a programme of nearly 500 debates, interviews and workshops, we also host Book It! our festival within a festival for families and young readers. Where else could you see the Gruffalo rub shoulders with an award-winning novelist, or a Hollywood legend exchange views with political leaders?

Why I Wish I Was Going: I’ve never been to Cheltenham, and I love the sound of Book It, their Young Adult/Family Festival…not sure I can pass as an ACTUAL young adult though 😦

For more info, visit the website here.

Theatre of Shadows, Dublin, Ireland

September 27th

Theatre-of-Shadows-Logo1
From the genius behind Skulduggery Pleasant, Theatre of Shadows is going to be an immersive fan-event like no other! On 27th September 2014 fans lucky enough to get a ticket will be taken on an adventure inside the much-loved world of Derek Landy’s bestselling series. The event is tailor-made by Derek and a crack team of LARP (Live Action Role Playing) specialists. There’ll be role-playing, problem solving and an amazing quest to tackle around the streets of Derek Landy’s magical Dublin. There’ll be an online mystery for the ‘Remote Operatives’ who can’t be in Dublin on the day, and as the story unfolds, Derek Landy will finish his latest Skulduggery short story: The Theatre of Shadows!
This means that your actions in the event and your online activities have a chance of making it into a brand new Skulduggery short story.

Why I Wish I Was Going: Woah. ALL OF IT.

Sign up to the mailing list for Derek Landy & Skulduggery News such as this.

Words & Images taken from Websites provided

At least I made it to YALC UK this year, which was amazing. But next year I will do better. Who’s with me!?

Best get saving now.