Top Ten Tuesday: You gonna write it, I’m gonna buy it! #TTT

icon4-tttTop 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 Of Your Auto-buy Authors (no matter the genre or what it’s about…you’ll buy it from these authors!).

I actually don’t have that many auto-buy authors because I get books from so many different places – friends, Netgalley, etc. Even some of my favourite authors like Patrick Ness I don’t actually own many books by…terrible really!

Here are the few that I do count as Auto-buy authors…

Scarlett Thomas: I still haven’t got round to buying her latest novel, The Seed Collectors, though!

Marcus Sedgwick: I don’t own ALL of Sedgwick’s books, but I’m getting there!

Colin Bateman: I love both of his series, Mystery Man and the Dan Starkey novels. The only ones of his I haven’t tried yet are his kids books.

James Frey: I haven’t read any of the Pittacus Lore books, but I will buy any of Frey’s other books!

Marissa Meyer: OK so she’s only written the one series so far, but I love everything about her books and will now buy everything she writes.

Darren Shan: With the exception of his books aimed at the younger audience such as the Zom-B series, I’ll pretty much buy all of Shan’s books.

Top Ten Tuesday: Holiday Reads

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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 Books I Plan To Have In My Beach Bag This Summer or Ten Books I Think Make Great Beach Reads.

I’m actually going on holiday next week (whoooop) to Mallorca, Spain and plan on doing a lot of reading on the beach. So here are the books I plan on taking, and the rest I hope to read over the summer.

Click on the images for Goodreads

1. The Almost King ~ Lucy Saxon

This is my next ARC review deadline which I’ll probably be late on. I plan on finishing it and writing up a quick review while I’m away.

almostkingAleks Vasin is the youngest of four brothers, each with his path mapped out. But Aleks doesn’t want to work in his father’s shop and live with his family in a village in the westernmost corner of Siberene. And when he hears his parents fretting about money, he decides to save them the cost of his keep and leave.

First he heads south – though everyone tells him not to – to Rudavin, headquarters of the kingsguard, and he signs up for the army, little knowing what brutality it entails. After only a few weeks, Aleks realizes that this garrison is full of liars and thieves; he’s signed away four years of his life to a commander who steals his money and a captain who’s already hurt Aleks’s beloved horse. This is not a noble destiny.

After a brutal beating, Aleks escapes, hoping to find safety and a new life somewhere in the north. And there, this deserter finds love, adventure, and a skyship in which he might just prove himself a hero after all – if he can evade the soldiers who seek to capture him.

Prepare for another sweeping adventure in this second book in a unique six-book series. Each book is set in a different land within the Tellus world, with repeating characters and related, nonlinear storylines that combine to create a one-of-a-kind, addictive reading experience.

2. Cruel Summer ~ James Dawson

I bought this especially for my holiday. I’ve been wanting to read James Dawson’s work for ages – this will be my first!

cruelsummerA year after Janey’s suicide, her friends reunite at a remote Spanish villa, desperate to put the past behind them. However, an unwelcome guest arrives claiming to have evidence that Janey was murdered. When she is found floating in the pool, it becomes clear one of them is a killer. Only one thing is for certain, surviving this holiday is going to be murder…

A compelling and psychological thriller – with a dash of romance.

3. The Bones of You ~ Debbie Howells

I have an ARC of this book which is released at the end of June. I’m hoping to get a head-start on it while I’m away.

bonesofyouWhen Kate receives a phone call with news that Rosie Anderson is missing, she’s stunned and disturbed. Rosie is eighteen, the same age as Kate’s daughter, and a beautiful, quiet, and kind young woman. Though the locals are optimistic—girls like Rosie don’t get into real trouble—Kate’s sense of foreboding is confirmed when Rosie is found fatally beaten and stabbed.

Who would kill the perfect daughter, from the perfect family? Yet the more Kate entwines herself with the Andersons—graceful mother Jo, renowned journalist father Neal, watchful younger sister Delphine—the more she is convinced that not everything is as it seems. Anonymous notes arrive, urging Kate to unravel the tangled threads of Rosie’s life and death, though she has no idea where they will lead.

Weaving flashbacks from Rosie’s perspective into a tautly plotted narrative, The Bones of You is a gripping, haunting novel of sacrifices and lies, desperation and love.

4. Beneath the Lake ~ Christopher Ransom

Again, this is another ARC I’m hoping to get a head-start on. This one isn’t due out until September. I really enjoyed Ransom’s debut The Birthing House, but his later books were a bit of a disappointment. I hope this one is a return to form. He has great potential as a horror writer!

beneaththelakeThirty Years Ago…

On a camping trip by a remote lake, the Mercer family enjoyed the vacation of a lifetime – until a violent tragedy forced them to make a decision that would haunt them for ever.

This Summer…

When the younger Mercers learn their father is dying, the family reunites at the lake, seeking a second chance to put their lives back together. But something is waiting . . .

Four Days of Hell…

Also arriving at the lake are estranged son Raymond Mercer and an alluring stranger, Megan, both ignorant of the family’s secrets. Within hours, they are all trapped in a relentless nightmare and fighting for their lives.

Some places are better left. Some secrets are better forgotten. Some people are better dead.

5. Fearless ~ Devon Hartford

I’ve had a copy of this for well over a year. I figure it would be a good trashy beach read…

fearlessAfter moving from stuffy Washington D.C. to laid back San Diego, Samantha Smith hopes to shed her troubled past and reinvent herself as a freshman at San Diego University.

Her parents are pressuring her to major in Accounting, because it’s the safe thing to do. But Samantha really wants to try something more adventurous, and secretly dreams of ditching the business major to study Art instead.

When she crosses paths with a handsome tattoo-clad bad boy, her life is turned upside down, and Samantha finds herself with more adventure than she ever dreamed possible.

7. The Ring of Morgana ~ Donna Hosie

I finally got round to buying a copy of this. I love modern day Arthurian books!

ringofmorganaSixteen-year-old Mila Roth wants to be normal. It’s a phrase that has been drilled into her by her mother since she was born.

But Mila Roth is anything but normal. For sixteen years her parents have hidden a secret from her. For Mila was born one thousand years ago in the land of Logres, and far from being a math teacher and a housewife, Mila’s parents are the awakened King Arthur and Gorian druid queen, Morgana.

Two worlds, one thousand years apart. And those worlds are about to collide.

The spirit of the malevolent Lady of the Lake has been contained for sixteen years in the fabled Ring of Morgana. When the ring curses Mila’s younger sister, Lilly, the Roth family has no choice but to return Mila to the land of her birth as they face a battle against time itself.

Accompanied by her best friend, Rustin, Mila will have to decide whether to defy those she loves in order to save her sister. Should she trust the Gorian druids and the mysterious Melehan? What is the true cost to Mila’s heart as she strives to master the purple flame? And why have her mother and father denied the truth of her origins for so long?

For she alone has the combined power of royalty and druid magic within her.

And now only Mila can save Lilly and Logres.

In this brand new series, Donna Hosie revisits Logres with THE CHILDREN OF CAMELOT.

9. Deer in Headlights ~ Staci Hart

This is another one that I’ve had for way over a year but not yet picked up. I think this would make a good summer read though so I’m hoping to finally get round to it this summer.

deerinheadlightsAphrodite never loses, not when it comes to love.

Immortality has its perks and its downsides. Boredom, for one, is unavoidable, but instead of playing parcheesi, the gods devised a game that uses humans as pawns. Remember Shakespeare? That was Apollo. Bonnie and Clyde? Aphrodite versus Ares.

Aphrodite is on deck once again, and she’ll defend her domain of love as she works to get the humans together before the clock runs out, while her opponent tries to keep them apart.

Game one is against Apollo, and Aphrodite knows she has her work cut out for her when he chooses Dean, a brooding rock star man-whore who believes women can’t be trusted. Aphrodite decides on Lex, a perfect match for Dean, even though her heart is guarded, locked away tight. She’d never let anyone in. Not ever. Of course, she hasn’t met Dean.

But there’s always more at stake than just the game when you’ve lived for thousands of years. The Olympians are the original dysfunctional family, surviving eons of love and lust, betrayal and lies, as friends and enemies, through feuds and wars. From Ares, the douchebag, who’s forever trying to start a fight and get Aphrodite into bed, to Persephone, her best friend, who she can always count on for a healthy helping of bacon on a bad day, the gods will take you on a lighthearted trip as they mess with humans, laugh and fight, lose love and gain power.

9. In Your Face ~ Scarlett Thomas

I love a good light-hearted crime caper in the summer months, and this one is by one of my favourite authors. I finally found a second-hand copy a couple of weeks ago.

inyourfaceLily has received a phone call from Jess who has written a feature on three women who were victims of stalking-and on the day of publication, all three woman were found dead. Lily arrives to find Jess missing and has left behind a mysterious trail of clues.

In Your Face is the second instalment of acclaimed British author, Scarlett Thomas’ Lily Pascale mystery series.

10. There is no Dog ~ Meg Rosoff

I’ve already decided that this will be my plane read, and the only print book I’m going to take on holiday. I just can’t not take one, Kindle or no Kindle!

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.

What books are you planning on reading this summer?

This Week in Books 22.04.15

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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: Ice Kissed (The Kanin Chronicles #2) ~ Amanda Hocking

I’m still reading Ice Kissed, and I’m still not sure how much I like it…

Then:  The Girl With All the Gifts ~ M.R Carey

I really liked this, much more than I thought I would. My review won’t be up for a week or two though.

Next: ???

It HAS to be Heir of Fire….this time. LOL.

New on the Wishlist

Linking up with Friday Finds hosted by A Daily Rhythm

I added Dream a Little Dream by Kerstin Gier to my wishlist after spotting it on the wonderful Darcy’s Book Blog. I fell in love with the cover straight away. It was released last week.
dreamalittle

Mysterious doors with lizard-head knobs. Talking stone statues. A crazy girl with a hatchet. Yep, Liv’s dreams have been pretty weird lately. Especially this one where she’s in a graveyard at night, watching four boys perform dark magic rituals.

The really weird thing is that Liv recognizes the boys in her dream. They’re classmates from her new school in London, the school where’s she’s starting over because her mom has moved them to a new country (again). But they seem to know things about her in real life that they couldn’t possibly know, which is mystifying. Then again, Liv could never resist a good mystery. . . .

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 bought some more beautiful vintage books this weekend at a local carboot sale. Some amazing finds! Watch this space, I’ll be sure to post when they go live in the shop.

Netgalley: This week I downloaded Twisted Dark Vol 1 by Neil Gibson in a bid to read more graphic novels. And I was approved for The Bones of You by Debbie Howells.

twisteddark
The first volume in Neil Gibson’s acclaimed series of twisted tales. This 200 page book contains 12 individual and unique stories which are all related. The stories vary from 10 year old girls to Colombian drug lords and everything in between. It is left to the reader to find the connections between the stories – some connections are immediately clear whilst other connection only become clear in later volumes. This series is designed for re-reading. The author describes the genre as psychological thriller, but the books contains horror, dark (at times demented) stories incorporating every human emotion, illegal activity, and brutal reality. Using various illustrators allows each story and character to develop their own form. Twisted Dark has been embraced by the comic book world receiving critical acclaim and a cult following.

bonesofyouI have a gardener’s inherent belief in the natural order of things. Soft‑petalled flowers that go to seed. The resolute passage of the seasons. Swallows that fly thousands of miles to follow the eternal summer.

Children who don’t die before their parents.

When Kate receives a phone call with news that Rosie Anderson is missing, she’s stunned and disturbed. Rosie is eighteen, the same age as Kate’s daughter, and a beautiful, quiet, and kind young woman. Though the locals are optimistic—girls like Rosie don’t get into real trouble—Kate’s sense of foreboding is confirmed when Rosie is found fatally beaten and stabbed.

Who would kill the perfect daughter, from the perfect family? Yet the more Kate entwines herself with the Andersons—graceful mother Jo, renowned journalist father Neal, watchful younger sister Delphine—the more she is convinced that not everything is as it seems. Anonymous notes arrive, urging Kate to unravel the tangled threads of Rosie’s life and death, though she has no idea where they will lead.

Weaving flashbacks from Rosie’s perspective into a tautly plotted narrative, The Bones of You is a gripping, haunting novel of sacrifices and lies, desperation and love.

I’m Waiting on…

(Linking up with Breaking the Spine)

The Seed Collectors ~ Scarlett Thomas
I only found out about this when I was looking into my favourite authors for yesterday’s TTT post. Eeeeeek I’m very excited that Scarlett Thomas has a new book out, and it sounds very different to her others.

seedcollectors
THREE GENERATIONS. TWO SECRETS. ONE FAMILY TREE.

Aunt Oleander is dead. In the Garden of England her extended family gather to remember her, to tell stories and to rekindle old memories. To each of her nearest and dearest Oleander has left a precious seed pod. But along with it comes a family secret that could open the hardest of hearts but also break the closest ties…
Expected publication: July 2nd 2015 by Canongate

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 Authors!

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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 ALL TIME Favorite Authors

Seriously guys, why are you doing this to us!!?? Choosing ten favourite authors is just mean! But after much deliberation, I have chosen my ten. I can not put them in order though. That’s just too hard.

Click on the author pictures to view their Goodreads page, and book titles link to reviews or related posts.

Scarlett Thomas:

authors1Scarlett Thomas has taught English Literature at the University of Kent since 2004, and has previously taught at Dartmouth Community College, South East Essex College and the University of East London. She reviews books for the Literary Review, the Independent on Sunday, and Scotland on Sunday. She has written seven novels, including The End of Mr. Y and PopCo.

Books Read: Bright Young Things; Going Out; Dead Clever; PopCo; The End of Mr Y; Our Tragic Universe

Marcus Sedgwick:

authors2Marcus Sedgwick was born in Kent, England. Marcus is a British author and illustrator as well as a musician. He is the author of several books, including Witch Hill and The Book of Dead Days, both of which were nominated for the Edgar Allan Poe Award.

Books Read: My Swordhand is Singing; White Crow; The Book of Dead Days; She is Not Invisible; Blood Red, Snow White; Dark Satanic Mills; The Ghosts of Heaven

Darren Shan

authors3Darren Shan (born July 2, 1972 in London, England) is the pen name of the Irish author Darren O’Shaughnessy, as well as the name of the protagonist of his book series The Saga of Darren Shan, also known as The Cirque Du Freak Series in the United States. He is the author of The Demonata series, as well as some stand-alone books, and a series of books for adults under the alternative name of D.B. Shan.

Books Read: The Saga of Darren Shan 1-12; The Birth of a Killer; The City Trilogy (Procession of the Dead, Hell’s Horizon, City of Snakes); Lady of the Shades; Zom-B

James Frey

authors4James Frey is the author of A Million Little Pieces and My Friend Leonard. After battling with alcohol addiction and spending time in rehab, he wrote A Million Little Pieces which was published in 2003 in America and the following year in the UK to critical acclaim. He wrote the sequel, My Friend Leonard about life after rehab, which was published in 2005 in the US and the year after in the UK. He is also one of the authors that share the pseudonym Pittacus Lore, author of the Lorien Legacies.

Books Read: A Million Little Pieces; My Friend Leonard; Bright Shiny Morning; The Final Testament of the Holy Bible; Endgame

David Levithan

authors5David Levithan (born 1972) is an American children’s book editor and award-winning author. He published his first YA book, Boy Meets Boy, in 2003. Levithan is also the founding editor of PUSH, a Young Adult imprint of Scholastic Press.

Books Read: Will Grayson, Will Grayson; Hold Me Closer; Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist; Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares

Marissa Meyer

authors6Marissa Meyer lives in Tacoma, Washington, with her fiancé and two cats. In addition to her slight obsession with books and writing, she’s big on road-tripping, wine-tasting, and hunting for antiques. Meyer is represented by Jill Grinberg. CINDER, the first book in the Lunar Chronicles is a futuristic re-envisioning of Cinderella in which Cinder is a cyborg mechanic

Books Read: The Lunar Chronicles (Cinder; Scarlet; Cress)

Colin Bateman

authors7Colin Bateman was a journalist in Northern Ireland before becoming a full-time writer. His first novel, Divorcing Jack, won the Betty Trask Prize, and all his novels have been critically acclaimed. He wrote the screenplays for the feature films of Divorcing Jack, Crossmaheart and Wild About Harry. He lives in Northern Ireland with his family.

Books Read: Mystery Man (Mystery Man; The Day of the Jack Russell; Dr Yes; The Prisoner of Brenda); Dan Starkey (Divorcing Jack; Shooting Sean); Murphy’s Law; Empire State

Kurt Vonnegut

authors8Kurt Vonnegut, Junior was an American novelist, satirist, and most recently, graphic artist. He was recognized as New York State Author for 2001-2003.

He was born in Indianapolis, later the setting for many of his novels. He attended Cornell University from 1941 to 1943, where he wrote a column for the student newspaper, the Cornell Daily Sun. Vonnegut trained as a chemist and worked as a journalist before joining the U.S. Army and serving in World War II. His experiences as an advance scout in the Battle of the Bulge, and in particular his witnessing of the bombing of Dresden, Germany whilst a prisoner of war, would inform much of his work. This event would also form the core of his most famous work, Slaughterhouse-Five, the book which would make him a millionaire. This acerbic 200-page book is what most people mean when they describe a work as “Vonnegutian” in scope.

Books Read: Slaughterhouse-Five; Timequake; Breakfast of Champions

Derek Landy

authors9Derek Landy is an Irish writer and screenwriter. In addition to the bestselling children’s/YA series of Skulduggery Pleasant books, a supernatural mystery series starring Skulduggery Pleasant, a skeleton detective, and Valkyrie Cain, a young female magician, he has written two screenplays that have been made into films: the IFTA award winning “Dead Bodies” and the IFTA nominated “Boy Eats Girl”. Landy himself was nominated for an IFTA for Best Script.

Books Read: Skulduggery Pleasant 1-7; The Maleficent Seven

Patrick Ness

authors10Patrick Ness, an award-winning novelist, has written for England’s Radio 4 and Sunday Telegraph and is a literary critic for The Guardian. He has written many books, including the Chaos Walking Trilogy, The Crash of Hennington, Topics About Which I Know Nothing, and A Monster Calls.

He has won numerous awards, including the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize, the Booktrust Teenage Prize, and the Costa Children’s Book Award. Born in Virginia, he currently lives in London.

Books Read: The Chaos Walking Trilogy (The Knife of Never Letting Go, The Ask and the Answer; Monsters of Men); A Monster Calls

I’m pleasantly surprised how many British and Irish writers I have on my list, it was totally unintentional.

Looking forward to seeing who everyone else has chosen. Feel free to leave your link.

Top Ten Tuesday: Character Names

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Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish (Click the image to visit them). This week the theme is Top Ten Character Names.

This is a weird one for me. At first I completely drew a blank. Do Character names really have much impact on me? And then I realised how easily bad character names annoy me, (I could do a great Top Ten bad Character Names!) so I realised that they must mean something!

Here’s what I came up with.

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  1. Tristran Thorn, Stardust: Tristan is my all time favourite name which stems from Tristan & Iseult and also The Patrick Wolf song. Although officially Gaiman’s character is called Tristran, I still say Tristan in my head. Either way, the name Tristran Thorn is perfect for that character. Perfect!
  2. Abra Stone, Doctor Sleep: Abra was my favourite character in Doctor Sleep. It’s a strange name but it works. And I loved that her email address went Cadabra@…pretty cool.
  3. Celaena Sardothien, Throne of Glass: I think Celaena’s name is pretty much perfect. It sounds kick-ass and pretty at the same time. Exactly how a beautiful yet deadly assassin should sound.
  4. Katsa, Graceling: Same as above really, Katsa just suits her. It’s unique and ballsy.
  5. Lestat De Lioncourt, The Vampire Chronicles: Lestat? That is all.
  6. tttPicMonkey Collage2

  7. Barbie, Under the Dome: Dale Barbara is an Iraq vet turned short-order cook with a penchant for doing the right thing, even though he clearly has his secrets. I love that his nickname  Barbie stuck, because it just doesn’t suit him at first, but somehow it’s perfect. It really warmed me to him.
  8. Stargirl, Stargirl: Stargirl is everything you would think a character called that would be. ‘From the day she arrives at quiet Mica High in a burst of color and sound, hallways hum “Stargirl.”’
  9. Ariel Manto, The End of Mr Y: Ariel is just one of those characters I always remember. It’s a simple name, but I like saying it.
  10. Princess Bitterblue, Bitterblue: Another one from The Graceling Trilogy, as far as princess names go, this one is pretty cool.
  11. Christian Grey, Fifty Shades of Grey: Whether you’re a fan of this or not, Christian Grey is now a household name. The mere mention of it sends ladies everywhere into a frenzy!