Friday, 5 October 2018

Book Review - Time's Convert

  • Title And Author: Time’s Convert by Deborah Harkness
  • Publisher: Headline
  • Physical, eBook or Audiobook: Physical
  • Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: Gifted by publisher in exchange for an honest review
  • Length: 448 Pages or 15 Hours and 46 Minutes
  • Buy From: Book Depository - Foyles - Waterstones - Audible
Oh boy… this was a long read. 

Not page wise, just time wise. I started this on 28th August, according to my Goodreads. And I finished this on 1st October. So, around five weeks. That’s a long time for me, dear readers, as you well know. Plus, you know I have audiobook the trilogy this is a companion novel of - All Souls or A Discovery of Witches, to give the trilogy its unofficial title - earlier this year. But when I heard this was coming out and it was going to follow two of my favourite secondary characters, Marcus and Phoebe, I knew I had to have it. I had it preordered and everything. 

Then several things happened. First, my preorder of a signed copy got cancelled (Boo!) and then was asked by the lovely Caitlin at Headline if I wanted an advance reader copy. Hell yeah, I replied, and what I got was a beautiful hardback advance reader copy. And, as I was reading this, I managed to get a ticket to a Deborah Harkness event in Waterstones Tottenham Court Road branch on Friday 2nd November (and that sold out fast! I know three other bloggers and vloggers -  - are going as well so this should be fun!)

Marcus is a vampire made in the 18th century during the American Revolution. Over 200 years, he finds himself in love with Phoebe Taylor, a human who has decided to be become a vampire to be with Marcus. 

But her transformation will prove to be challenging. As she is secreted away to get over the first 100 days of being a vampire, Marcus is reliving the past, reliving his journey from the battlefields of American Revolution, the French Revolution and his bloody past, both human and vampires. 

But once they have come to terms with themselves, will they still want to be together? 

So… where do I begin with this…?

Wednesday, 3 October 2018

BBC National Short Story Award & BBC Young Writers Award 2018

You think after last year that I wouldn’t be invited back to watch Front Row after the “Boob at the Beeb” incident (go back to my post last year to read about that!). But nope, I was asked back and  jumped at the chance to go! I mean, stories, awards, wine, sign me up! 

Expect for the wine part. You see, last year, the award ceremory was held at BBC Broadcasting House. This year, it was at the University of Cambridge. In Cambridge. Which meant I had to either drive or train it up. And because I am a little stubborn, I decided to drive, meaning it took around 1 hour and 25 minutes there and the same back. Now, I don’t normally do this is any event.The event has to be special! 

Plus, Cambridge is meant to be stunning, right? 

So, after a surprisingly easy drive up to Cambridge, and trying to find somewhere to park without getting too badly lost (Yes, I got lost and Cambridge is full of bicycles. I have never seen a city with so many bicycle riders!), I slipped into University of Cambridge, trying not to think too hard that this will be the only time I will ever get into a university without the fear of crippling student debt hanging over my head or wondering if I was smart enough to be there. 

Oh yeah, the panic I felt about possibly going to uni when I left college came screaming back (I think I would have done publishing/english or something linked to myths, so classics? WHO LAUGHED!?)

Sunday, 30 September 2018

SURPRISE OTHERWORLD CONTEST!

SURPRISE CONTEST TIME!!! 

I know, it’s rare I do these now but while chatting to the lovely people at Rock The Boat about if I should read Otherearth, the second book in the Otherworld or Last Reality trilogy by Jason Segel and Kirsten Miller (even though I haven’t read Otherworld yet. I know, I keep putting it off for one reason or another - hope to correct this before the year is out!), we got chatting about the series and a few others they publish and I said something along the lines of “I would love to do a contest. Maybe this will be the kick up the behind I need to read this!” and Rock the Boat, seeing that I might need a push went “Ok”. 

So now, I have no excuse now not to read this before the end of the year as I’m doing a contest! 

For those unsure of Otherworld, Otherworld is a game. Expect, it’s not. It’s addictive and will make you want to stay forever and make your dreams come true. Otherworld isn’t a game. It’s the next phase of reality and no one saw it coming. 

It’s an sci-fi thriller (best way to describe it) and am intrigued on what you guys think of this. So, the lovely people at Rock the Boat have given me the chance to give away up to FIVE signed copies. FIVE! And all you have to do it fill in the form below. 

Ok, boring stuff time. This is a UK only contest. Sorry, but this is due to publishing rights. There can only be a max of five winners (In the past, I barely get two or three people enter some of my contest, hence me airing on the side of caution). The contest will end on Sunday (7th October 2018) around midday(ish) and winners will be picked at random via random.org. I will tweet the winners and will email them for their address so Rock The Boat can send the winners their winning copy. 


Now, go forth and enter. I wish you luck and hope the odds and the Company are in your favour! 

Thursday, 27 September 2018

eBook Review - The Snowman

  • Title And Author: The Snowman by Michael Morpurgo (Inspired by the classic by Raymond Briggs
  • Publisher: Puffin
  • Physical, eBook or Audiobook: eBook
  • Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: Gifted by publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an Honest Review
  • Length: 160 Pages
  • Buy From: Book Depository - Foyles - Waterstones
Andrew, we are in September. Why on earth are you reading a Christmas novella? And a retelling of a well known Christmas classic? have you COMPLETELY lost the plot? 

I am imagining you are all thinking this. Don’t say you’re not. I love Christmas. I love Bonfire Night and Halloween (well… in theory, I love Halloween. I love all the myths and legends on Halloween. In pratice… no. I hate it. I will be the one sitting the dark of my house, pretending that no one is home… but that’s a blog post for another day). So, when I saw this on NetGalley, I thought it would be a fun little read for me. A nice break from Time Convert, my current adult read (which I an enjoying, but it’s so weird reading this book when, the other books In the series, I have audiobooked…). Plus, I was curious on how Michael Morpurgo was going to write this, how he was going to tackle this classic. Tackle it head-on, or go into it from a slight angle… 

When James wakes early on Christmas Eve to discover it had snowed overnight, he’s so excited that he goes out and builds a snowman. He spends all day building him and showing him off to his parents and his grandma, who is staying over Christmas. When he goes to bed that night, waiting for Father Christmas, he wonders about his snowman and, when he looks out of the window, he discovers that his snowman has come to life… 

Where do I start with this novella? 

Tuesday, 25 September 2018

2018 BBC Young Writers' Award - EXTRACT ALERT!!!

To celebrate the reveal of the five shortlist for this year's BBC's Young Writers' Award 2018, the lovely PR people from ED PR said "Do you fancy having an extract of one of the short stories?"

I jumped at the chance. Me to discover new writing talent? Bring it on!

Now, with all five short stories being just under 1000 words long each, the extracts are quite short. Around 250 words. So a delicious appetiser!

Now, I was planning to not tell you anything about my extract it as, I want you guys to read it and all the others on other people's blogs!. But I've changed my mind! So, my extract is taken from Footprints in the Far Field by Reyah Martin, a short story that explores a mother's all consuming grief after the lost of a baby, explored by the child who is left behind.

If you're curious to read extracts or all five short stories, keep  your eyes peeled on BBC.co.uk/ywa or follow the #BBCYWA on all the social media!

Now, over to the short extract to wet your appetite!!!

Sunday, 23 September 2018

BBC YOUNG WRITERS’ AWARD 2018 - ShortlIst Press Release

ALERT! ALERT! I have a press release to reveal to you! It's embargoed and everything and can only reveal it now, as BBC Radio 1's Life Hacks revealed it all first! *feels very special and very honoured*

Anyway, I have a press release, revealing the shortlist of the five stories shortlisted for this year's BBC Young Writers' Award 2018! I have read the press release's description of the five shortlisted stories and they all sounds gripping, and the fact that all are under 1000 words and for them to tell the stories with such depth show a untapped talent, which hopefully means we've discovered five new exciting talents and we will be reading more from them in the near future.

Like I have said before, it is an honour to be involved in showing this press release and be involved over the next few weeks.

Right, before I show the press release, quick info dump time. The winner of the BBC Young Writers' Awards (as well as BBC National Short Story Award 2018 and BBC Student Critics Award 2018) will be announced on BBC Radio 4's Front Row in Cambridge on Tuesday 2nd October. The winning story will be on the Life Hacks podcast the following Sunday. Fast turnaround!

And, in case you want more info, check out BBC.co.uk/ywa or follow the hashtag #BBCYWA. Now, over to the press release!


Wednesday, 19 September 2018

The Five Thing About Trixie...

 I am really excited to get into the Halloween spirit (in theory, I love Halloween. In practice... not so much...), so when I was asked if I wanted to be involved in the Halloween Parade blog tour, I jumped at the chance! 

With vibes of the Worst Witch, this follows Trixie Grimble, the newest student of the Monstacademy. With her being the only ordinary girl in the student body full of monsters, Trixie has to get to grips with helping out with the annual Halloween parade. Expect that's when everything starts going wrong. 

Today, I have the author, Matt Beighton, doing a small list of five things you need to know about our lead character, Trixie Grimble. Am going to say nothing more about it, as I don't want to say anything... 

So, thank you Matt for writing this list for the blog tour. I know you are very busy. I, also, want to thank Faye to including me on this tour - thank you Faye. 

Oh, before I go any further and hand you over to Matt, I have to mention something in my best QVC voice. The series is available in both standard and dyslexia-adapted format (YEAH! More books should be adapted for dyslexic readers! As someone who was classed as a borderline dyslexia when very young, this is very important to me!). And, to celebrate Dyslexia Awareness Week (Monday 1st October to Sunday 7th October 2018) and World Dyslexia Awareness Day (Thursday 4th October 2018), Green Monkey Press is giving 15% off any Monstacademy order via their Etsy if you use the code DYSAWARE during that week (1st till 7th October). Go to https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/GreenMonkeyPress 

Ok, with that out of the way, over to Matt with the five things you need to know about Trixie...

Tuesday, 18 September 2018

Audiobook Review - Circe

  • Title And Author: Circe by Madeline Miller
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury
  • Physical, eBook or Audiobook: Audiobook
  • Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: Bought
  • Length: 352 Pages or 12 Hours 8 Minutes
  • Buy From: Book Depository - Foyles - WaterstonesAudible
I’m a sucker for a Greek myth. You can probably see that from the last few weeks of what I’ve reading. But, I’ve had my eye of Circe for a little while and I just wasn’t sure when/how I was going to read this. But after trying to figure out if I should get the pretty Hardback in my local Waterstones/Foyles, I went for audiobook - because why not! 

Circe takes the Circe myth and twists it on its head, to explain who she was before and after that well known myth of her. First daughter to the Titan God, Helios, Circe doesn’t have the looks, the voice, the grace of divinity and is rejected from gods and water nymphs alike. Soon, she turns to mortals for companion. Soon, she falls in love with a mortal and, fearing his death, she does something she doesn’t know she can do: magic.

But when her second unknowing spell backfires in a horrible fashion, Circe tells the truth about what she has done and wrathful Zeus banishes her to the island of Aiaia, throwing her into exile. But rather than being a curse, it might be a blessing to Circe who discovers that she is a witch and slowly learns her craft. It is here that the Fates throw our people into her path: the messager god, Hermes. The craftsman, Daedalus, and his young son. Her sister and her minotaur. The golden fleece, and Odysseus… 

Soon, her independence and her solitary draws the wrath of both god and men alike. To protect herself and the people she holds dear, Circe must make a choice about who she is: god or mortal…?

Where do I start with this audiobook?