Friday, 29 August 2014

A Dark Inheritance by Chris D'Lacey - Blog Tour!

 Summary

Michael Malone’s life has not been the same since his father
disappeared three years ago. Determined to find him, Michael gets unwittingly drawn into supernatural organisation UNICORNE, who claim to have vital information for his quest. But they want something in return.

Something that is hidden in Michael’s very bones …


Paperback: 288 pages 
Publisher: Chicken House Ltd (7 Aug 2014)

A Dark Inheritance by Chris D'Lacey, out now in paperback (£6.99, Chicken House)




Interview with Amadeus Klimt, a high-profile member of the UNICORNE organisation


Tell me about your name. It’s rather unusual.

Is it?

Yes.

Very well. It is a combination of the middle name of the composer, Mozart, and the second name of the artist Gustav Klimt.

A combination? You didn’t…inherit the name then?

It was given to me by my…father. Is that uncommon?

No, it’s just… You hesitated on the word ‘father’. Why was that?

Let us just say that my upbringing was complex. Shall we move on to something more interesting?

Okay. Basics. You run an organisation called UNICORNE.

No, that is incorrect. I do not run it. I serve the director.

That’s an odd word to use, ‘serve’.

I find it appropriate – for the role I play.

And what would that be?

The business of UNICORNE is to explore what is sometimes called ‘the paranormal’. I believe the common phrase is, ‘Things that go bump in the night’. When an unusual incident occurs, I assign an agent to investigate, then monitor their progress.

To what end?

End? I do not understand this question.


What do you do, Mr Klimt? What is UNICORNE’s purpose?

You do not find the paranormal stimulating?

Of course. What I meant was, when you discover something, what happens next? What do you do with the information?

We record it in a file.

[LAUGHS]. You’re being evasive.

Our work is highly-classified. It would not be appropriate to share our discoveries with…the world at large.

So UNICORNE is a secret organisation?

Yes. And secret organisations, as I am sure you will appreciate, are, by their nature, secretive.

Touché. All right, let’s wind back a little. UNICORNE is an acronym for UNexplained Incidents, Cryptic Occurrences and Relative Non-temporal Events. What does that last part mean exactly?

A relative non-temporal event refers to anything outside the normal spectrum of human experience.

Sorry? Can you clarify that?

Ghostly sightings. Astral projection. Past-life regression. Telekinetic ability. Remote viewing. Our most recent case involved the phenomenon of cellular memory.

That’s when people who’ve received an organ transplant take on the personality of the donor, isn’t it?

Correct.

Can you tell me about it?

No.

You promised me an in-depth interview, Mr Klimt.

Then ask about…my hobbies. I enjoy mathematics and mathematical conundrums. Would you like to know how fast I can solve the Rubik cube?

I’m sure it’s impressive.

It is.

You’re playing games, Mr Klimt. Tell me about the missions – the UFiles I think you call them. Give me something exclusive for my blog. If you want money…?

I want nothing but the price of your secrecy.


You have it. This tape won’t be heard by anyone else.

[PAUSE]

Yes, I believe that will be so. Very well. I will share a UFile with you. My youngest agent, Michael Malone, has just solved an intriguing case. He was sent to find out why a dog was running loose at the edge of a cliff. This led him to a classmate who was having…visitations from a girl called Rafferty Nolan.


Hang on. I’ve read about this. Wasn’t Rafferty Nolan the girl who came off her bike a few years ago, struck her head on a rock and died?

That is the official version of events, yes.

And this Michael kid has discovered…what?

That the death of Rafferty Nolan was not an accident.

Wow. How?

Through the phenomenon of cellular memory. Tell me, is your recording device digital or analogue?

Digital, of course.

Excellent. Would you pass it to me, please?


Why? What for? What are you going to–? Oh, hello, who’s this? I thought this was going to be a one-to-one conversation?

Her name is Chantelle. She is one of my most experienced agents. In a moment, she will look into your eyes and make you forget everything you have heard.


What?

The device, please.

But…?

Thank you. I am constructed from a substance called graphene, which can conduct electrical impulses many times faster than any silicon-based computer. One of the side-effects of my speed of thought is the creation of a highly-polarised magnetic field around me, which can cause interference to digital devices.

Interference? NO! Please don’t wipe the rec–

Book Trailer


Thursday, 28 August 2014

The Seventh Miss Hatfield by Anna Caltabiano

Summary from Goodreads

Rebecca, a 15-year-old American, isn't entirely happy with her life, comfortable though it is. Still, even she knows that she shouldn't talk to strangers. So when her mysterious neighbour Miss Hatfield asked her in for a chat and a drink, Rebecca wasn't entirely sure why she said yes. It was a decision that was to change everything.

For Miss Hatfield is immortal. And now, thanks to a drop of water from the Fountain of Youth, Rebecca is as well. But this gift might be more of a curse, and it comes with a price. Rebecca is beginning to lose her personality, to take on the aspects of her neighbour. She is becoming the next Miss Hatfield.

But before the process goes too far, Rebecca must travel back in time to turn-of-the-century New York and steal a painting, a picture which might provide a clue to the whereabouts of the source of immortality. A clue which must remain hidden from the world. In order to retrieve the painting, Rebecca must infiltrate a wealthy household, learn more about the head of the family, and find an opportunity to escape. Before her journey is through, she will also have - rather reluctantly - fallen in love. But how can she stay with the boy she cares for, when she must return to her own time before her time-travelling has a fatal effect on her body? And would she rather stay and die in love, or leave and live alone?

And who is the mysterious stranger who shadows her from place to place? A hunter for the secret of immortality - or someone who has already found it?


Hardcover, 304 pages
Published July 17th 2014 by Gollancz
 
My Review
 
Anna Caltabiano is a 17 year old author, which I actually found rather surprising. Her writing style is very distinctive and her voice very unique. I loved how easily she whisked me away on an immerse and very thrilling adventure.
 
Miss Hatfield is a big of a strange woman. She moves into a new house and the neighbours are instantly curious but try as they might, she doesn't invite them into her life. Until a little girl called Cynthia comes knocking....
 
Cynthia is tricked into drinking lemonade spiked with a drop from the fountain of youth. Things are quickly turned upside down for Cynthia, who now finds herself immortal with a difficult task on her hands. Miss Hatfield takes her to 16th century New York and sets her off on a mission to retrieve a painting.

I love seeing Cynthia in a totally new environment and the ways in which she had to try and blend in. I think best of all I loved the simmering love story that bubbled along nicely the whole way through the storyline, distracting Cynthia from her task - it really was quite beautifully innocent.

What this book lacked for me personally was detailing. I wanted to know so much more about the origins of the fountain of youth and a bit more of the overall back story. I had a lot of nagging questions...

The Seventh Miss Hatfield is a memorable time traveling adventure full of danger, mystery and a gorgeous love story. The characters are definitely different and I hope we get more time traveling adventures with them in the future. An all round great read.

3.5 / 5 Stars

*Special thanks to Gollancz for the review copy*


Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Waiting on Wednesday #75


 "Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking The Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.
 
This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:

Upside Down (Off the Map #1) by Lia Riley


Summary from Goodreads

If You Never Get Lost, You'll Never Be Found

Twenty-one-year-old Natalia Stolfi is saying good-bye to the past-and turning her life upside down with a trip to the land down under. For the next six months, she'll act like a carefree exchange student, not a girl sinking under the weight of painful memories. Everything is going according to plan until she meets a brooding surfer with hypnotic green eyes and the troubling ability to see straight through her act.

Bran Lockhart is having the worst year on record. After the girl of his dreams turned into a nightmare, he moved back home to Melbourne to piece his life together. Yet no amount of disappointment could blind him to the pretty California girl who gets past all his defenses. He's never wanted anyone the way he wants Talia. But when Bran gets a stark reminder of why he stopped believing in love, he and Talia must decide if what they have is once in a lifetime . . . of if they were meant to live a world apart.


Paperback: 224 pages 
Publisher: Piatkus (26 May 2015)

Why this Book?

Well that first line really got me " If You Never Get Lost, You'll Never Be Found." I think this sounds like a nice romantic tale on the surface but I think it'll have darker more serious notes. Plus Bran Lockhart the brooding surfer with the hypnotic green eyes sounds rather inviting indeed! This is a 2015 title though *sigh*.


What are you 'Waiting On'?

Monday, 25 August 2014

Ruin and Rising (Grisha #3) by Leigh Bardugo

Summary from Goodreads

The capital has fallen.

The Darkling rules Ravka from his shadow throne.

Now the nation's fate rests with a broken Sun Summoner, a disgraced tracker, and the shattered remnants of a once-great magical army.

Deep in an ancient network of tunnels and caverns, a weakened Alina must submit to the dubious protection of the Apparat and the zealots who worship her as a Saint. Yet her plans lie elsewhere, with the hunt for the elusive firebird and the hope that an outlaw prince still survives.

Alina will have to forge new alliances and put aside old rivalries as she and Mal race to find the last of Morozova's amplifiers. But as she begins to unravel the Darkling's secrets, she reveals a past that will forever alter her understanding of the bond they share and the power she wields. The firebird is the one thing that stands between Ravka and destruction—and claiming it could cost Alina the very future she’s fighting for.


Paperback, 368 pages
Published June 19th 2014 by Indigo (first published June 17th 2014) 
 
My Review
 
Gahhh - I loved this! I also hated it...because it was the end *sniff* So, I read it nice and slowly, trying to drag it out as long as possible. I got to the middle and couldn't stop myself any longer - I read fast and I read furious and I loved every awesome second!
 
Admittedly, I wasn't instantly sucked right back into the world again at the start, but that was okay because I got to learn why I love these characters and world all over again. The slow starter very quickly picked up and gripped me so hard that I had problems putting it down.
 
In this storyline we see things coming to an end for Alina as she struggles to face up to the fact that finding and using the last amplifier could leave her as dark and twisted as the Darkling himself. She has no other choice though, pursuing the Firebird is a must. The journey is anything but smooth for Alina and her little band of followers.
 
The shockers kept on shocking and each big revelation rocked me like I was actually living it myself. I really didn't see so much coming...

I think what makes Bardugo such a first-class writer is her fantastic ability to make you love the good and also the bad in all her characters. She makes you appreciate whatever personal brand of awesome that that particular character brings to the table - I loved that. Personally I will always have a soft spot for the Darkling!

That ending *sigh* All I will say is the little note with the blue kefta had me blubbering like a total mess!
 
Ruin and Rising is an epic conclusion to a highly imaginative, deeply immersive and darkly thrilling trilogy. I recommend these books to anyone who will listen and in all honesty I will read anything Leigh Bardugo ever writes in the future. A stunningly beautiful read!
 
5 / 5 Stars
 
*I bought a copy of this book*
 

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Broadchurch by Erin Kelly - Beacon Blog Tour!

Summary from Goodreads

On her first day back at work after maternity leave for her second child, Detective Ellie Miller is upset to learn that she’s been passed over for a promotion in favor of outsider Alec Hardy. He, escaping the spectacular failure of his last case, is having trouble finding his way into this tight-knit community wary of new faces. But professional rivalry aside, both detectives are about to receive some terrible news: 11-year-old Danny Latimer has been found murdered on the beach. For Ellie it's a personal blow; she was good friends with his family and Danny was her son’s best friend. She can’t believe anyone in Broadchurch would ever have harmed him. Alec considers everyone, even Danny’s parents, a suspect in his death. It’s a living nightmare for everyone involved…even before the press arrive and start stirrung up the secrets every town member keeps hidden behind closed doors.

An intimate portrait of a town and the ordinary grievances that have slowly simmered for years before boiling over in an unthinkable crime, this adaptation of the hit television show Broadchurch tells the story of a shattered family, a small town, and the two imperfect detectives trying to bring them answers.


Paperback, 448 pages
Published August 14th 2014 by Sphere
 
My Review
 
Broadchurch is the novelisation of the ITV hit series. Admittedly, I hadn't watched it but had heard great things, so I was very keen to read it. I really wasn't disappointed, Erin Kelly is a glorious writer who's descriptors are so vivid that I could very easily picture everything playing out right in front of my eyes.
 
The characters are stand-out brilliant. DI Alec Hardy is cold, calculating and assesses every situation, his counterpart DS Ellie Miller is warm, blundering in places and fails to assess every situation. They are complete opposites but together they make a great team of light and shade. I especially loved watching Alec's internal struggle and the strange detached manner in which he handles different people and situations.
 
In the small town of Broadchurch, where everybody knows everybody and the crime rate is low, the town is rocked to the core and thrust into the national spotlight when a child is brutally murdered. Local police officer, Ellie Miller is working the case alongside DI Alec Hardy, who is new to the town. Ellie must try to put her feelings to one side and work this case like she isn't familiar with the victim and his family.
 
Alec Hardy also has dark shadows lurking around in his past...that won't stay buried for long in Broadchurch!

The happy little town of Broadchurch is turned upside down by the brutal murder of Danny Latimer. The investigation unearths lots of other hidden little secrets along the way. Everyone is a suspect and nobody knows who to trust.

I suspected everyone at one point or another, but I did manage to suss it out well before the big reveal. I loved all the little twisty turns this story took and also all the little sub-plots that always pushed me in different directions.

Broadchurch is a fantastic novelisation of a T.V. series that I have now after reading watched and thoroughly enjoyed. Delving into the minds of these characters and seeing how they tick was most interesting. I loved seeing the kinks unfold and relationships shatter. Erin Kelly is a wonderful writer and I really can't recommend this enough!
 
4.5 / 5 Stars
 
*With special thanks to the publishers for providing a review copy*


 







You can check out an excerpt here: http://www.thecrimevault.com/ebooks/broadchurch/


About the Author

Erin Kelly was born in London in 1976 and grew up in Essex. She read English at Warwick University and has been working as a journalist since 1998.

She has written for newspapers including the The Sunday Times, The Sunday Telegraph, the Daily Mail and the Express and magazines including Red, Psychologies, Marie Claire, Elle and Cosmopolitan.






Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Waiting on Wednesday #74


 "Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking The Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.
 
This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:

Half Wild by Sally Green


Summary from Goodreads

After finally meeting his elusive father, Marcus, and receiving the three gifts that confirm him as a full adult witch, Nathan is still on the run. He needs to find his friend Gabriel and rescue Annalise, now a prisoner of the powerful Black witch Mercury. Most of all he needs to learn how to control his Gift – a strange, wild new power that threatens to overwhelm him.

Meanwhile, Soul O’Brien has seized control of the Council of White Witches and is expanding his war against Black witches into Europe. In response, an unprecedented alliance has formed between Black and White witches determined to resist him. Drawn into the rebellion by the enigmatic Black witch Van Dal, Nathan finds himself fighting alongside both old friends and old enemies. But can all the rebels be trusted, or is Nathan walking into a trap?


Paperback, 384 pages
Expected publication: March 25th 2015 by Penguin UK
 
Why this Book?
 
I loved Half Bad! It's gorgeous characters, dangerous and highly thrilling plot and fantastically imagined world (whats not to love?)! I just need this follow-up in my life already...is it 2015 yet?! 

What are you 'Waiting On'?