This Week in Books 16.11.16 #TWIB #CurrentlyReading

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

Hi guys! Is everyone starting to feel Christmassy? No, just me then! In fact, I’m starting my Festive Thursday posts early this year because I always run out of time to fit it all in. Look out for my first post tomorrow! ūüėČ

Anyhoo, here’s what I’ve been up to this week…

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Now: The Witches of New York ~ Ami McKay

The verdict is still out on this one. It’s OK so far but hasn’t fully captivated me yet!

Then:   The Twelve Days of Dash & Lily ~ Rachel Cohn & David Levithan // The Enchanted ~ Rene Denfeld

I enjoyed the second Dash & Lily book but I didn’t love it a much as I was hoping. my review will be up on Saturday. The Enchanted was really interesting and thought-provoking but I’m not sure how much I enjoyed it. I’m still processing. Hopefully I’ll get my review up soon.¬†

Next: ??? 

I think it has to be  another festive read. I have The Girl Who Saved Christmas by Matt Haig, The Christmas Town by Donna VanLiere, and The Christmas Party by Georgette Heyer all lined up. 

Waiting on Wednesday

(Linking up with Breaking the Spine)

I saw Wintersong on someone else’s WoW last week and oh my! I need it so bad. It could be a bit of a rip off of Labyrinth (one of the best movies of all time) but I’m OK with that!

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Beware the goblin men and the wares they sell.

All her life, nineteen-year-old Liesl has heard tales of the beautiful, mysterious Goblin King. He is the Lord of Mischief, the Ruler Underground, and the muse around which her music is composed.

Yet, as Liesl helps shoulder the burden of running her family’s inn, her dreams of composition and childish fancies about the Goblin King must be set aside in favor of more practical concerns.

But when her sister K√§the is taken by the goblins, Liesl journeys to their realm to rescue her sister and return her to the world above. The Goblin King agrees to let K√§the go‚ÄĒfor a price. The life of a maiden must be given to the land, in accordance with the old laws. A life for a life, he says. Without sacrifice, nothing good can grow. Without death, there can be no rebirth. In exchange for her sister‚Äôs freedom, Liesl offers her hand in marriage to the Goblin King. He accepts.

Down in the Underground, Liesl discovers that the Goblin King still inspires her‚ÄĒmusically, physically, emotionally. Yet even as her talent blossoms, Liesl‚Äôs life is slowly fading away, the price she paid for becoming the Goblin King‚Äôs bride. As the two of them grow closer, they must learn just what it is they are each willing to sacrifice: her life, her music, or the end of the world.

Expected publication: February 7th 2017 by Thomas Dunne

New on the Shelves

(Linking up with Stacking the Shelves)

I went on a bit of a charity shop binge last week, and bought these three books. I’ve already read them but I either borrowed copies off friends and wanted my own copy, or in the case of Divorcing Jack – I had an old edition that didn’t match the series so I had to buy it didn’t I!? #bookgeekproblems.

I was also able to choose some leftover World Book Night & promo books at work as we desperately need the storage space. There were hundreds of them! I was quite restrained and only chose three, though. The rest have been given out to the prisoners, many of whom said they would send them to family and friends as Christmas presents, which I think is nice. 


So that’s my week in books, now why don’t you tell me about yours!?

Leave your answers or the link to your post in the comments and I’ll take a look ūüôā

Book Promo: Redshift Rendezvous by John E. Stith #ReleaseDayParty

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

 

Today I’m celebrating the re-release day of Redshift Rendezvous by acclaimed Sci-Fi author John E. Stith.

Last week I spotlighted some of John’s classic sci-fi titles which have already been re-released & given a makeover. There will be nine in total, some being released in paperback for the first time in ten years.¬†

Today it’s the turn of Redshift Rendezvous…check it out below.¬†

Redshift Rendezvous

 

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ReAnimus Press

244 pages

November 15, 2016

WARNING: Read This Guide Before Boarding the Redshift.

The environment aboard a hyperspace craft is quite safe as long as you are careful. The management reminds you that the speed of light on board this craft is ten meters per second (or about 30 million times slower than what you are used to). This means you will frequently encounter relativistic effects and optical illusions.

Aboard the hyperspace liner Redshift is a relativistic world of slow light and treachery.  The first sign of trouble is the apparent suicide of a passenger.  When the first officer discovers that she was murdered Рhe wants answers.  

Before long, a desperate group of hijackers use the hyperspace liner to plunder a fabled colony – and only one man stands in their way.

Amazon // Goodreads 

Q & A with John E. Stith

You’re re-releasing nine of your novels in just under a year! Can you share what inspired this decision?

Since originally published by Tor Books and Ace Books, most of these books were available in ebook form, but some haven’t been available in paper for more than a decade, so I felt it was time to correct that. ReAnimus Press specializes in bringing back SF that has been unavailable for a while (e.g. Jerry Sohl) and re-releasing works that have been in print all along (e.g. Ben Bova).

You write both sci-fi and mystery – do you have a preference for one over the other?

I love both. Some of my work even blends the two. Deep Quarry features a private eye. The protagonist in Death Tolls is an investigative reporter. Naught for Hire is a futuristic private eye tale, Reckoning Infinity is a space exploration and Manhattan Transfer  deals with a very unusual form of first contactРkidnapping.

Any special research you had to do for these various titles?

I almost always wind up picking projects that require more knowledge than I already have, partly because I enjoy constantly expanding my horizons. Memory Blank necessitated knowing more about Gerard O’Neil-inspired L5 orbital colonies and Death Tolls required media and reporting research. Redshift Rendezvous also required research into relativity because most of the novel takes place aboard a hyperspace craft where the speed of light is ten meters per second. That means relativistic effects like redshift happen when people run. Flipping a light switch causes a room to slowly fill with light.

What fascinates you most about writing?

That it seems almost universal. When I worked in software engineering, people would ask what I did for a living. ¬†I‚Äôd run into some people already in the business, but many of the others had zero interest in the field. When I mention to strangers that I’m a writer, it seems like half the time I find they’ve written stories or want to write, and in many cases, ¬†have sold their work already.

Do you have a favourite author?

Robert Heinlein is really high on my list for several reasons–fun characters, interesting ideas, thoughtful speculation, and pure storytelling power.

How has your education, profession or background helped you in your writing career?

My degree is in physics, and part of what drives my efforts to make my stories convincing, not with quite the nuts and bolts aspects of THE MARTIAN, but closer to the ENDER’S GAME portion of the spectrum.

Can you pinpoint your biggest influence?

My parents. They gave me values and a love of reading that eventually became a love of writing. And my brother, Richard, who is a fountain of love, support and good humour.

Have you received any awards for your work? Book related and not book related?

My work includes a Nebula Award finalist, a Seiun Award finalist, a La Tour Eiffel Science Fiction Book Prize finalist, a Hugo Award Honorable Mention, Colorado Authors’ League Top Hand Award winners, HOMer Award winners, and Science Fiction Book Club selections.

My work has also appeared on the New York Public Library Best Books for Young Adults list, Science Fiction Chronicle’s List of Year’s Best Novels, and the yearly Locus Recommended Reading Lists.

Any organizations you are involved in (in the literary world, or others that you are passionate about?)

I’m a past contracts committee chair for Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America. I’m a past regional VP of Mystery Writers of America. I’m also a member of International Thriller Writers, Colorado Author’s League, and Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers.

Any other new projects on the horizon after these re-releases?

I have a psychological thriller that should be out in 2017. A web series based on Naught for Hire ¬†is in development with Ben Browder to star. Another producer hopes to film a pilot of Manhattan Transfer to use to sell the series. In parallel, a number of audiobooks and short stories are in the pipeline, as well. ‚ÄúSimon Sidekick‚ÄĚ and ‚ÄúOne Giant Step,‚ÄĚ both short stories, should be available in ebook and audio form by July 1, 2016.

The fourth book to be re-released, Memory Blank, will be with us in December with a further three titles expected next year. Many thanks to John, and Sami @ Roger Charlie. 

Top Ten Tuesday: Back to the Movies #TTT #90sMovies

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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.

This week the topic is…¬†All about the movies.¬†

There was quite a few suggestions for the movie theme this week and one of them was 90s movies. I was an 80s baby and a 90s t(w)een so naturally 90s movies are full of childhood nostalgia for me.

So without further ado, here are my top ten 90s movies (that everyone should watch)! In no particular order…

  • The Craft
  • Clueless
  • Scream
  • Home Alone
  • An Interview with a Vampire
  • Speed
  • Pretty Woman
  • 10 Things I Hate about You
  • Edward Scissorhands
  • Terminator 2

 

Bonus Round: Not quite the 90s…

These were staples of my childhood, and I still love to watch them now! Let’s face it, 80s films were also pretty awesome. I’ll have to do a separate post for them at the some point.

  • E.T
  • The Goonies
  • Labyrinth
  • The Karate Kid

What would have made your list?

Saint Death by Marcus Sedgwick #BookReview #DiverseBooks #YA

a1Title: Saint Death
Author: Marcus Sedgewick
Series: N/A
Format: Digital ARC, 272 pages
Publication Details:¬†October 6th 2016 by Orion Children’s Books
Genre(s): YA; Contemporary; Thriller
Disclosure? Yep! I received a free copy in exchange for an HONEST review. 

Goodreads 

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A potent, powerful and timely thriller about migrants, drug lords and gang warfare set on the US/Mexican border by prize-winning novelist, Marcus Sedgwick.

Anapra is one of the poorest neighbourhoods in the Mexican city of Juarez – twenty metres outside town lies a fence – and beyond it – America – the dangerous goal of many a migrant. Faustino is one such trying to escape from the gang he’s been working for. He’s dipped into a pile of dollars he was supposed to be hiding and now he’s on the run. He and his friend, Arturo, have only 36 hours to replace the missing money, or they’re as good as dead. Watching over them is Saint Death. Saint Death (or Santissima Muerte) – she of pure bone and charcoal-black eye, she of absolute loyalty and neutral morality, holy patron to rich and poor, to prostitute and narco-lord, criminal and police-chief. A folk saint, a rebel angel, a sinister guardian.

Review

I’m a big fan of British author Marcus Sedgwick but the last book I read of his,¬†Ghosts of Heaven¬†was a monumental disappointment. I therefore went into this with some trepidation.¬†Saint Death also feels like a bit of a departure for him, although I’m not sure why because he’s nothing if not eclectic.

In this story, Sedgwick returns to the YA genre but takes us to a whole new place Рa slum on the US/Mexico border and immerses us in a  dark, spiritual culture. 

Arturo has learnt how to survive in Anapra. He knows how to collect water in old coke cans and feed himself on scraps. He knows not to look to the men in the big black cars with the neck tattoos in the eye. He knows to never owe anyone anything. 

But, when his best friend- who disappeared a year earlier- returns with his pregnant childhood sweetheart asking for his help, Arturo can’t turn him down. But in helping him, he will be exposed to all the things he’s learnt to stay away from – gambling, guns and drug lords. The only thing he can hope for is that the white lady,¬†Santissima Muerte, AKA Saint Death hears his prayers and grants his wishes of protection.

Gah! I’m very torn by this one. It is a story which sheds light on an enigmatic, often brutal culture, with immigration at the heart of the matter. It is a story which is perhaps even more appropriate today than it was a week ago; portraying an important message that I think is wonderful to see in a YA book.¬†

However, my main issue was that it wasn’t very exciting. It took too long to get to the short-lived thrilling action in which Arturo is locked in a high-stakes (not just money-wise) game of cards with a drug lord in order to save his friend’s life.¬†

It was a quick read, yet the action felt slow and too simple. It was written beautifully, yet it never truly amazed me. It was just one big contradiction in my mind. 

I applaud Marcus Sedgwick for putting diversity at the forefront of another of his YA books, but Saint Death didn’t have the emotional drive that She is Not Invisible did. His writing is beautiful, as always, but there was something lacking here. Maybe the ‘message’ overshadowed fully developed characters and plot!?

The jury is still out for me.

unicorn rating 3

Saint Death is available in hardback or digital versions now. 

Christmas Under a Cranberry Sky by Holly Martin #BookReview #Christmas

a9Title: Christmas Under a Cranberry Sky
Author: Holly Martin
Series: A Town Called Christmas #1
Format: Digital ARC, 332 pages
Publication Details: September 22nd 2016 by Bookouture
Genre(s): Romance; Christmas
Disclosure? Yep! I received a free copy in exchange for an HONEST review. 

Goodreads 

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This year spend a wonderful Christmas on Juniper Island, where love can melt even the iciest of hearts…

Piper Chesterfield lives a glamorous life travelling the world and reviewing the finest hotels. She calls nowhere home, she works alone and that’s how she likes it. For long ago Piper decided that to protect her heart she should lock it away.

So when Piper’s next assignment brings her to the newly opened Stardust Lake Hotel for the festive season, the last person she expects to face is Gabe Whitaker, the man who broke her heart so completely she could never love again.

But Piper isn’t the only one who has been frozen in time by heartbreak. Gabe hasn’t forgotten the golden-eyed girl who disappeared from his world without a trace.

Now fate has reunited them on Juniper island, can the magic of Christmas heal old wounds? And can this enchanting town be the one place Piper can finally call home?

Curl up with this gorgeously romantic tale and let the glistening snow and the roaring fires of Stardust Lake Hotel get you in the festive spirit this Christmas.

Review

I can’t tell you how happy I am that Winter and Christmas is fast approaching. It’s my favourite time of the year and I love everything about it, especially festive reads.¬†

I knew from the moment I saw it that Christmas Under a Cranberry Sky would be my first festive read of the year, and after a very busy Horror October it was just the light, heart-warming story I needed. 

The story centres around Piper, or Pip, a mystery guest who travels the world reviewing hotels and resorts. Her final assignment before taking a sabbatical sends her down memory lane to a remote Shetland island where she once spent a holiday with her best friend Gabe and his family. 

Pip is completely charmed by the winter resort from the off, that is until she realises that Gabe is the owner. We discover their complicated past, and why they haven’t spoken in 12 years, but a reunion in a magical place over Christmas might be just what to two of them need to put the past behind them…maybe!

I loved a lot of things about this book, but especially the setting. For a winter lover like me, Stardust Lake Hotel sounds like Heaven with its glass igloos for watching the Northern Lights, its miniature town called Christmas where the inhabitants sell homemade crafts and food, and of course, the Ice Palace. It’s literally like Holly Martin has taken all of my favourite things about Christmas and put them in this book. It was magical.

I was also intrigued by Pip’s character. She’s a bit of loner with no family or friends but a successful job and passion for photography. I found it interesting that her job was a way of life for her that made it easier to never have to make friends or put down any roots. She didn’t even have a home for ten years, choosing instead to stay in the hotels she was reviewing, even over Christmas.

I thought Gabe was sweet and you could see how the sudden break-up of their relationship and dissolution of their friendship affected them in very different ways. I was rooting for his success with the hotel and with Pip!

It certainly wasn’t a perfect book. I felt like there was a bit too much repetition of Pip and Gabe’s feelings, especially her turning over what had happened in the past again and again. It was also all a little bit too good to be true. Although I read in the author’s notes that the resort is based on a real hotel in Lapland, it didn’t quite fit with my image of Shetland. It was all a bit too perfect and glitzy -like it would have been more suited to Las Vegas than a remote Scottish Island, but that was all part of the fun I guess!

I couldn’t put this book down, and it certainly gave me that lovely warm and fuzzy feeling that I only get from reading festive books like this. The story itself wasn’t all that special, but the setting certainly was. I want to live there, even if it sounded too amazing to be true.¬†

I ordered the second book in the series as soon as I finished this one. Need. More. 

unicorn rating 4

Christmas Under a Cranberry Sky is available now in paperback & ebook, as is book 2, Christmas Under a Starlit Sky. 

This Week in Books 09.11.16 #TWIB #CurrentlyReading

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

Greetings, blog-friends! Here’s what I’ve been up to this week. Better late than never, right?¬†

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Now:  The Twelve Days of Dash & Lily ~ Rachel Cohn & David Levithan // The Enchanted ~ Rene Denfeld

The Twelve Days of Dash & Lily¬†is a quick, light read but I haven’t been swept away by it like I was with the first book. I’m also still going on my ‘lunch time’ (what’s that I hear you cry!?) read,¬†The Enchanted.¬†I managed about 2 pages today. Sigh.¬†

Then:   Christmas Under a Cranberry Sky ~ Holly Martin // The Book of Kringle ~ Derek Valez Partridge // Saint Death ~ Marcus Sedgwick

It’s very rare I finish two whole books in a week, never mind three! But I lost myself in the first festive reads of the season and then moved on to the new Sedgwick. I liked all of these books a lot. I reviewed The Book of Kringle on Monday, and my review of Christmas Under a Cranberry Sky will be up tomorrow. Saint Death was the only (slight) disappointment, probably because I always have such high hopes for his books. ¬†I’ll get my review up by Monday.¬†

Next: ??? 

I think it has to be  The Witches of New York by Ami McKay which I should have read and reviewed abut a month ago. Bad blogger. Sorry, World. 

Waiting on Wednesday

(Linking up with Breaking the Spine)

Once again I’ve chosen this book based on the cover. It immediately got my attention. Sounds great, too!

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Aspiring inventor and magician’s apprentice Felix Carmer III would rather be tinkering with his latest experiments than sawing girls in half on stage, but with Antoine the Amazifier’s show a tomato’s throw away from going under, Carmer is determined to win the cash prize in the biggest magic competition in Skemantis.

When fate throws Carmer across the path of fiery, flightless, one-winged faerie princess Grit (do not call her Grettifrida), they strike a deal. If Carmer will help Grit investigate a string of faerie disappearances, she’ll use her very real magic to give his mechanical illusions a much-needed boost against the competition.

But Carmer and Grit soon discover they‚Äôre not the only duo trying to pair magic with machine ‚Äď and the combination can be deadly.

Expected publication: April 25th 2017 by Algonquin Young Readers

New on the Shelves

(Linking up with Stacking the Shelves)

I’m really not sure about this one but I was so intrigued I had to pre-order it. It arrived earlier this week….

thechemistIn this gripping page-turner, an ex-agent on the run from her former employers must take one more case to clear her name and save her life.

She used to work for the U.S. government, but very few people ever knew that. An expert in her field, she was one of the darkest secrets of an agency so clandestine it doesn’t even have a name. And when they decided she was a liability, they came for her without warning.

Now, she rarely stays in the same place or uses the same name for long. They’ve killed the only other person she trusted, but something she knows still poses a threat. They want her dead, and soon.

When her former handler offers her a way out, she realizes it’s her only chance to erase the giant target on her back. But it means taking one last job for her ex-employers. To her horror, the information she acquires only makes her situation more dangerous.

Resolving to meet the threat head on, she prepares for the toughest fight of her life, but finds herself falling for a man who can only complicate her likelihood of survival. As she sees her choices being rapidly whittled down, she must apply her unique talents in ways she never dreamed of.

In this tautly plotted novel, Meyer creates a fierce and fascinating new heroine with a very specialized skill set. And she shows once again why she’s one of the world’s bestselling authors.

So that’s my week in books, now why don’t you tell me about yours!?

Leave your answers or the link to your post in the comments and I’ll take a look ūüôā

Top Ten Tuesday: Top books recently added to the dreaded TBR pile. #TTT

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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.

This week the topic is…¬†Top ten books recently added to your TBR pile.

Well, this is a nice, easy topic, although I have been buying more books recently so it’ll be hard to choose just 10.

Added from Netgalley:

The Silent Songbird ~ Melanie Dickerson: I shouldn’t have requested this book because I knew I wouldn’t be able to get it read and reviewed by the pub date (today!) but I just couldn’t resist. I really fancy an epic historical YA. The opening line of the synopsis had me instantly…I mean castles = ¬†DONE. “Evangeline longs to be free, to live in the world outside the castle walls. But freedom comes at a cost”

The Girl Who Saved Christmas ~ Matt Haig:¬†You should all know by now that I love Christmas, and festive reads. I’ve wanted to read Matt Haig’s books for ages so this one was also impossible to resist.

The Twelve Days of Dash & Lily ~ Rachel Cohn & David Levithan: I didn’t even know this book was on the cards until I saw it on Netgalley. I loved Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares so I’m thrilled that these authors have got together once again for a sequel. This time, Dash and Lily’s brother have just 12 days until Christmas to cheer Lily up after her grandfather became seriously ill. Can they recapture the magic of Christmas in New York for her?

Shock and Awe ~ Simon Reynolds:¬†This book chronicles the legacy of glam rock from the seventies to today and as such will heavily feature my hero, David Bowie. I don’t often read non-fiction, but I’m really looking forward to this one.

Recently Bought:

The Red Eye Box Set ~ Various: This set of four YA Horror books from Stripes Publishing arrived at the beginning of October. I’ve already read one of the books, Frozen Charlotte and really loved it so I hope the others are as good too.

A Christmas Party ~ Georgette Heyer:¬†I picked this up from a charity shop recently. ‘Tis’ the season for…Murder‘ is the perfect tagline that enticed me.

City of Dark Magic ~ Magnus Flyte: I bought this book in an English bookshop I found in Prague. It sounds amazing.

“Once a city of enormous wealth and culture, Prague was home to emperors, alchemists, astronomers, and, as it‚Äôs whispered, hell portals. When music student Sarah Weston lands a summer job at Prague Castle cataloging Beethoven‚Äôs manuscripts, she has no idea how dangerous her life is about to become. Prague is a threshold, Sarah is warned, and it is steeped in blood.”

Six of Crows ~ Leigh Bardugo:¬†This arrived just this week. I’ve heard nothing but good things about it.

Borrowed:

The Rest of Us Just Live Here ~ Patrick Ness:¬†It’s Ness. I don’t have to say much more. Other than perhaps my shame that I haven’t read it yet.

Koko Takes a Holiday ~ Kieran Shea: I think I can safely say that this will be my first ever Cyberpunk book. It sounds mad, in a good way. My friend Dora enjoyed it and passed it on to me.

Have you read any of these? What should I go for first?