This Month in Books: August 2015

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In August I continued my mission to get back on my feet, blogging and reading wise, and I’m getting there, just about. I concentrated on trying to get my outstanding review requests read, and then the same for Netgalley approvals. Therefore the month was a bit low on reviews, but I now have lots scheduled for this month already 🙂

I also went to Germany for a long (beer-festival-filled) weekend to visit my friend who has just moved back there. It was sooo good. Bamberg is lovely – highly recommend it.

August was also the month where I once again became obsessed with The Great British Bake Off, and I watched so much RuPaul’s Drag Race that I’m not sure how I got any reading done at all. So good!

Anyway, back to the blog round-up…

August 2015 Stats

Total Posts: 13 (-3 from last month)

Books Read: 5 (+ 1)
The Curse of Crow Hollow ~ Billy Coffey
Wonder Light ~ R.R Russell
My Soul Immortal ~ Jen Printy
Memoirs of a Dipper ~ Nell Leyshon
Beneath the Lake ~ Christopher Ransom

The Breakdown:
Genres: YA (1/5); Horror (2/5); Paranormal Romance (1/5); Crime/Thriller (1/5)

Formats/Sources: Advance Copy (2/5); Digital (4/5); Hardback (1/5); Paperback (0/5); Owned (0/5); Borrowed (1/5)

Most Surprising: My Soul Immortal
Most Disappointing: Beneath the Lake
Most Exciting: Memoirs of a Dipper
Most Swoon-worthy: My Soul Immortal
Most Beautifully Written: The Curse of Crow Hollow

Reviews: 3 (-4)

  • Wonder Light by R.R. Russell, 4/5 (View)
  • The Curse of Crow Hollow by Billy Coffey, 3/5 (View)
  • Dinner with a Vampire by Abigail Gibbs, 3/5 (View)

Most Viewed Posts

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Guest Posts, Promos and Other Highlights

  • Vintage Book Shop Update: End of Summer Sale (View Post)
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Awards

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What are you looking forward to this month?

This Week in Books 05.08.15

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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: Wonder Light ~ R.R Russell

I’ve only just started this, but it’s adorable already.

Then: The Curse of Crow Hollow ~ Billy Coffey

I finished this at the weekend, but I’m still not sure how I felt about it! My review will be up next week, hopefully!

Next: ???

It’s back to the review request pile, so the next one will be Prophecy of Stones by Mishka Jenkins.

New on the Shelf

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

Purchased: The only book I bought this week was a pre-order. One of my favourite musicians is Patrick Wolf, and he is releasing his first book of poems and art. Eeeeek can’t wait to get my hands on it!

ghostregionmock_copy_2_grande“I belong, here in the ghost region, all alone on the shore, this changing line between land and sea, between a cease fire and a war”

A new book written by Patrick Wolf, a collection of poems, journal entries and reflections from of the period between Lycanthropy and The Magic Position when Patrick Wolf produced and wrote the album “Wind in the Wires” a decade ago from the age of 21. Recently uncovering many volumes of poetry, streams of consciousness, drawing and prose, Patrick has curated and translated them into a portrait of a time of adventure and misadventure he has entitled “The Ghost Region”. Inspired in form by the freeform of Ferlenghetti’s “A Coney Island of The Mind” and Virginia Woolf’s “The Waves”, this is a beautifully made 93 page perfect bound book. The front cover is one of a series of paintings made near Lands End during a lyric writing retreat in 2003. Within the book are previously unseen drawings and self portraits from this time.

Netgalley: I was approved for The World According to Anna by Jostein Gaarder which was my WoW pick last week. So happy I got approved for this one. More info here.

I’m Waiting On…

(Linking up with Breaking the Spine)

The Poison Artist ~ Jonathan Moore

I can’t remember where I came across this book, but it sounds soooo good! It’s not out until next year though 😦

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A tale of desire, obsession, and deadly mystery, with echoes of Vertigo.

Dr. Caleb Maddox is a San Francisco toxicologist studying the chemical effects of pain. After a bruising breakup with his girlfriend, he is drinking whiskey at the speakeasy House of Shields when a hauntingly seductive woman appears by his side. Emmeline whispers to Caleb over absinthe, gets his blood on her fingers, and then brushes his ear with her lips as she says goodbye. He must find her.

As his search begins, Caleb becomes entangled in a serial murder investigation. The police are fishing men from the bay, and the postmortems are inconclusive. One man vanished from House of Shields the night Caleb met Emmeline. When questioned, Caleb can’t offer any information. But he is secretly helping the city’s medical examiner, an old friend, understand the chemical evidence on the victims’ remains. Caleb’s search for the killer soon entwines with his hunt for Emmeline, and the closer he gets to each, the more dangerous his world becomes.

The Poison Artist is a gripping literary thriller about obsession and damage, about a man unmoored by an unspeakable past and an irresistible woman who offers the ultimate escape. Expected Publication: January 26th 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

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 #TWIB, and I’ll come and visit!

An Over-Due Apology (and what’s coming up)!

It’s confession and apology time here at Lipsyy Lost & Found.

I’ve completely neglected review requests over the past year. I mean, I knew I was really behind, but I recently did some much needed blog admin and went through all my emails since I started blogging and realised just how many requests I accepted and never followed through on.

Authors, I’m sorry. I hereby apologise for being so rubbish!

But, I’m here to make amends. August & September will now be Review Request months.

Here’s what you can expect to see over the next few months…

Wonder Light ~ R.R Russell

I read and reviewed the second book in the Unicorns of the Mist series when I downloaded it from Netgalley, not realising it was book two. After seeing my review, the author asked if I’d like to read the first book to get the full story and of course I accepted but then never got round to reading it. Bad blogger!

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Release Date: 7/05/13 by Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
Date Received: 15/05/2014

Deep in the heart of a mist-shrouded island, an impossible secret is about to be discovered.

Twig is used to feeling unwanted. Sent to live on a pony ranch for “troubled” girls on a misty, haunted island, Twig is about to discover the impossible — someone who needs her.
Jolted awake from a bad dream, Twig follows the desperate whinny of a terrified horse out to the stables. There in the straw is a bleating little scrap of moonbeam. A silver-white filly with cloven hooves and a tiny, spiraling horn.

A baby unicorn.

Now Twig knows what secret is hiding in the island’s mist: the last free unicorn herd. And a mysterious boy named Ben who insists that this impossible creature is now Twig’s to care for. That she needs Twig’s love and protection. Because there’s something out there in the deep, dense shadows that’s hunting for them…

My Soul Immortal ~ Jen Printy

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Release Date: 15/02/14 by Red Adept Publishing, LLC
Date Received: 20/08/2014

An endless love, for an endless price.

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 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.

Grunge, Gods and Graveyards ~ Kimberly G. Giarratano

Kimberly did a wonderful Halloween playlist for me to post as part of last year’s Horror October, and I didn’t return the favour by reviewing her excellently named debut novel. The Shame!

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Release Date: 31/05/14 by Red Adept Publishing, LLC
Date Received: 13/09/2014

Parted by death. Tethered by love.

Lainey Bloom’s high school senior year is a complete disaster. The popular clique, led by mean girl Wynter Woods, bullies her constantly. The principal threatens not to let her graduate with the class of 1997 unless she completes a major research project. And everyone blames her for the death of Wynter’s boyfriend, Danny Obregon.

Danny, a gorgeous musician, stole Lainey’s heart when he stole a kiss at a concert. But a week later, he was run down on a dangerous stretch of road. When he dies in her arms, she fears she’ll never know if he really would have broken up with Wynter to be with her.

Then his ghost shows up, begging her to solve his murder. Horrified by the dismal fate that awaits him if he never crosses over, Lainey seeks the dark truth amidst small town secrets, family strife, and divided loyalties. But every step she takes toward discovering what really happened the night Danny died pulls her further away from the beautiful boy she can never touch again.

Prophecy of Stones ~ Mishka Jenkins

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Release Date: 31/07/14 by Smashwords Edition
Date Received: 18/08/2014

The bond of love can conquer all, but only if it is accepted.

Prophecy states that three champions imbued with the best virtues of the mortal race: heart, strength and soul, will be the ones to save them all from an enemy which threatens to steal the life from their world and those who live upon it.

These three, along with their scribe, his bond mate, and an overly sarcastic oracle, must set off on a journey which will take them through forest, city, swamp and mountain. On this quest they activate the magical stones which charge the only weapon powerful enough to defeat Tildar and his cult of Dwell.

Yet the closer they draw to journey’s end, the more it seems that it is not the evil which will be their downfall, but the fear of a champion unwilling to accept the bond of their destiny.

Prophecy of Stones is a tale of adventure, love and magic.

This Crumbling Pageant ~ Patricia Burroughs

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Release Date: 6/05/14 by Story Spring Publishing
Date Received: 25/05/2015

Get ready to be swept away into a dark fantasy series that combines swashbuckling adventure, heart-pounding romance and plot-twisting suspense in equal measures.

Expect to hear more about Persephone Fury.

A lot more.

England, 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.

By embracing the Shadows.

Persephone is ruthless, devious, and clever, but when confronted with the truth, she must make horrifying choices.

Can she defy destiny and seize her own fate?

Fancy any of these??

Ever Near by Melissa MacVicar

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Title: Ever Near
Author: Melissa MacVicar
Series: Secret Affinity #1
Edition: Paperback, 200 pages
Published: September 2013 by Red Adept Publishing, LLC
Genre(s): YA; Supernatural; Romance
Disclosure? Yep! I received a copy from the publisher/author in exchange for an HONEST review.

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Purchase

Love is ever near. But trouble is never far.

Nantucket Island is haunted, but only sixteen-year-old Jade Irving knows it. Ignoring the disturbing spirits isn’t an option, because one dwells in the enormous historic home she shares with her newly blended family. Jade is finding it more and more difficult to explain away Lacey’s ghostly, anguished tantrums, especially with Charlie, her gorgeous, almost step-brother, living right across the hall.

When a power-hungry ghost hunter tracks down Jade and blackmails her, Jade’s secret teeters on the edge of exposure, and her entire future hangs in the balance. If anyone finds out Jade can talk to ghosts, her life will be forever changed.

Can she save herself, free Lacey, and hang on to her tenuous connection with Charlie? Or will everything she ever wanted slip through her fingers?

I wasn’t sure if I’d enjoy this book as I’ve always found ghost stories a bit hit or miss. Done well and they can be chilling, creepy and utterly compelling, but done badly and they can be completely clichéd and cheesy.

Thankfully, Ever Near fell into the former category, and hit the mark for me.

Protagonist Jade is your regular 16 year-old girl who is having to adjust to separation from her father and her mum’s forthcoming second marriage, resulting in Jade and her mum moving into old mansion Fair Ever, with her soon-to-be step-father and brother.

Considering everything she’s had to adjust to, Jade gets on with her new family just fine – a little too well where her hot step-brother is concerned – but it’s the house that’s the problem. For years, Jade has tried to hide the fact that she sees ghosts, but at Fair Ever there is one very pissed off ghost that’s making it impossible for Jade to keep her secret.

There were a lot of things I liked about Ever Near. I thought MacVicar really nailed the tone throughout the book and Jade felt like a very ‘real’ character making her instantly likeable. I also thought it was written well and the short, sharp chapters really pulled me in and hooked me into the story.

Step-brother Charlie was just the right amount of swoon and I liked the dynamic between the two characters, but I wished they didn’t get together so quickly. One minute Jade was dead against the idea, because ‘it’s wrong’ and the next they were sucking face, but let’s put it down to teenage hormones, yeah?

Initially, I was a bit dubious of Jade’s paranoia about her secret getting out and wondered why she didn’t at least confide in her best friend, but the more this was explored the more I realised that it summed up adolescence pretty well; that need for self-assurance, acceptance and the fear that people might see you as different.

Overall I really enjoyed Ever Near. It is a super-quick, entertaining read with a nice balance of action from the violent ghosts, romance between Jade and Charlie, and coming-of-age issues that everyone can relate to.

unicorn rating 4

Ever Near is available now in paperback and e-book, as is book #2, Ever Lost

Coming Up/ New Releases

It’s been a while since I’ve done a coming up post, so here’s what you can expect to see on Lipsyy Lost & Found in the next month or so.

Suffer The Children – Craig DiLouie

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Genre(s):Horror; Paranormal
Publication Date: May 20th 2014 by Permuted Press

From an acclaimed horror writer, a chilling tale of blood-hungry children who rise from the dead in this innovative spin on apocalyptic vampire fiction.

Suffer the Children presents a terrifying tale of apocalyptic fiction, as readers are introduced to Herod’s Syndrome, a devastating illness that suddenly and swiftly kills all young children across the globe. Soon, they return from the grave…and ask for blood. And with blood, they stop being dead. They continue to remain the children they once were…but only for a short time, as they need more blood to live. The average human body holds ten pints of blood, so the inevitable question for parents everywhere becomes: How far would you go to bring your child back?

Take Back the Skies – Lucy Saxon

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Genre(s): YA; Fantasy; Steampunk
Expected Publication Date: June 5th 2014 by Bloomsbury (UK & ANZ)

Catherine Hunter is the daughter of a senior government official on the island of Anglya. She’s one of the privileged – she has luxurious clothes, plenty to eat, and is protected from the Collections which have ravaged families throughout the land. But Catherine longs to escape the confines of her life, before her dad can marry her off to a government brat and trap her forever.
So Catherine becomes Cat, pretends to be a kid escaping the Collections, and stows away on the skyship Stormdancer. As they leave Anglya behind and brave the storms that fill the skies around the islands of Tellus, Cat’s world becomes more turbulent than she could ever have imagined, and dangerous secrets unravel her old life once and for all . . .

The Apple Tart of Hope – Sarah Moore Fitzgerald

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Genre(s): YA; Contemporary
Expected Publication Date: June 5th 2014 by Orion

Oscar Dunleavy, who used to make the world’s most perfect apple tarts, is missing, presumed dead. No-one seems too surprised, except for Meg, his best friend, and his little brother Stevie. Surrounded by grief and confusion, Meg and Stevie are determined to find out what happened to Oscar, and together they learn about loyalty and friendship and the power of never giving up hope.

The second sensational novel from Irish author, Sarah Moore Fitzgerald, following her debut, BACK TO BLACKBRICK, perfect for fans of Annabel Pitcher and Siobhan Dowd.

Braineater Jones – Stephen Kozeniewski

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Genre(s): Horror
Publication Date: October 14th 2013 by Red Adept Publishing, LLC

Braineater Jones wakes up face down in a swimming pool with no memory of his former life, how he died, or why he’s now a zombie. With a smart-aleck severed head as a partner, Jones descends into the undead ghetto to solve his own murder.

But Jones’s investigation is complicated by his crippling addiction to human flesh. Like all walking corpses, he discovers that only a stiff drink can soothe his cravings. Unfortunately, finding liquor during Prohibition is costly and dangerous. From his Mason jar, the cantankerous Old Man rules the only speakeasy in the city that caters to the postmortem crowd.

As the booze, blood, and clues coagulate, Jones gets closer to discovering the identity of his killer and the secrets behind the city’s stranglehold on liquid spirits. Death couldn’t stop him, but if the liquor dries up, the entire city will be plunged into an orgy of cannibalism.

Cracking this case is a tall order. Braineater Jones won’t get out alive, but if he plays his cards right, he might manage to salvage the last scraps of his humanity.

Burial Rites – Hannah Kent

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Genre(s): Historical Fiction; Mystery
Publication Date: February 27th 2014 by Picador

Set against Iceland’s stark landscape, Hannah Kent brings to vivid life the story of Agnes, who, charged with the brutal murder of her former master, is sent to an isolated farm to await execution.

Horrified at the prospect of housing a convicted murderer, the family at first avoids Agnes. Only Tóti, a priest Agnes has mysteriously chosen to be her spiritual guardian, seeks to understand her. But as Agnes’s death looms, the farmer’s wife and their daughters learn there is another side to the sensational story they’ve heard.

Riveting and rich with lyricism, BURIAL RITES evokes a dramatic existence in a distant time and place, and asks the question, how can one woman hope to endure when her life depends upon the stories told by others?

Have you already read some of these? Let me know what you thought!