Book Club: Spotlight on Macmillan Children’s Books

November 17, 2016 in Book Club, Bookish Posts, Closed Giveaways, Publisher Spotlight

Welcome to the first in my publisher spotlight series! So many publishers were incredibly generous in helping us set up our Book Club for the young people of the island, and so I want to say thank you by shining a spotlight on the publishers, some of their recent and future releases!

macmillan-childrens

Today we turn the spotlight to the wonderful people over at Macmillan Children’s Books. Macmillan are the publishers of Julia Donaldson’s books. Julia has been so supportive and vocal on the issue of the loss of our school librarians. She’s helped to bring the matter onto the national stage, and I know as a community we are so grateful to her. So Macmillan Children’s Books seems a great place to start!

First of all, I HAVE to draw your attention to Heartless by Marissa Meyer.

heartless-mcb

I’m a huge fan of her Lunar Chronicles series so I was so excited when I heard that Macmillan would be publishing this in the UK next year. Marissa Meyer is known for her exquisite fairytale retellings and in Heartless she ventures into Wonderland to look at the Queen of Hearts. More specifically, Marissa tells us the story of Catherine Pinkerton, a sweet girl who loves to bake, who will ultimately become the terrifying Queen of Hearts! I’ve been lucky enough to read an Advance Reader Copy of this book and I can tell you that it’s fantastic. In fact, I will be reviewing it on the blog soon. Heartless is out in the UK on the 9th February 2017 and it’s definitely a book to add to your 2017 Wish List!

Continuing with the retelling theme, Macmillan will be publishing E. K. Johnston’s next book Kingdom of Sleep next month.

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You may be familiar with E. K. Johnston for her book A Thousand Nights which was a retelling of Arabian Nights. This time, Johnston has drawn inspiration from Sleeping Beauty to tell the tale of a princess who must break a curse to save her people. Mark the 15th December 2016 in your diaries for this one.

Another book currently on my TBR which I hope to review soon is Welcome to Nowhere by multi-award-winning author Elizabeth Laird.

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It is the story of 12 year old Omar and his family who are forced to flee their home in Syria in search of safety. I don’t know much more, but I suspect this will be a very important and timely read. It’s out on 12th January 2017.

What about some books you can get your hands on right now?

The Thing About Jellyfish by Ali Benjamin hit the shelves in September and with a 4.02 star average on Goodreads it’s safe to say this another book that I want to read soon!

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It’s one of the book in our Book Club collection and I’m really looking forward to hearing what the group think about it. Suzy’s best friend Franny drowns one summer at the beach, and Suzy struggles to comes to terms with it. She becomes convinced that her strong swimmer best friend actually died of a rare jellyfish sting and crafts a plan to prove her theory.

Finally, if fantasy is more of your thing, Macmillan have published the first book in a new series from Kendare Blake, Three Dark Crowns.

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One of the Book Club girls is reading this right now and I cannot wait to find out her thoughts on it! The synopsis sounds brilliant!

In every generation on the island of Fennbirn, a set of triplets is born: three queens, all equal heirs to the crown and each possessor of a coveted magic. Mirabella is a fierce elemental, able to spark hungry flames or vicious storms at the snap of her fingers. Katharine is a poisoner, one who can ingest the deadliest poisons without so much as a stomach-ache. Arsinoe, a naturalist, is said to have the ability to bloom the reddest rose and control the fiercest of beasts.

But becoming the Queen Crowned isn’t solely a matter of royal birth. Each sister has to fight for it. And it’s not just a game of win or lose . . . it’s life or death. The night the sisters turn sixteen, the battle begins.

The last queen standing gets the crown.

So there we have it, 5 new and upcoming releases from Macmillan Children’s Books to keep you busy over the next few months! Once again, we’d like to thank Macmillan Children’s Books for their generosity and support – it means the world to us!

giveaway

BUT WAIT! Before you go, I’m giving you the chance to win a copy of one of these books. I’ll be purchasing / pre-ordering a paperback copy of the winner’s choice myself, however on this occasion the giveaway is open to UK only (sorry international friends, there will be an international giveaway later this week).

To enter, simply use the rafflecopter entry form below

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

I’d love to hear your recommendations from Macmillan!

Have you read any of these books? We’d love to hear your thoughts.

 

Giveaway: Win A Book From Your Wishlist

November 3, 2016 in Bookish Posts, Closed Giveaways

I’ve been a little quiet lately. I have lots to blog about but getting body & brain to cooperate is proving a challenge. I’m working on it though! In the meantime, there have been some fantastic book releases lately (with many more soon to come), so I thought I’d give you the chance to win a book from your wishlist.

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The winner will get to select a book of their choice (up to the value of £10), including pre-orders. What will you choose? To enter, simply use the rafflecopter form below.

The giveaway is OPEN INTERNATIONALLY as long as The Book Depository ships to your location for free (check here).

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck!

Armchair BEA Day 4: Fictional Worlds + *Giveaway*

May 14, 2016 in Armchair BEA, Bookish Posts, Closed Giveaways

Day four? How did that happen? Today we are talking all about fictional worlds.

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We all know that sometimes, the worlds we love in fiction can be dangerous. Which fictional worlds would you want to live in? Which worlds do you never want to dive into? Which worlds are you content to stay behind the glass, so to speak, rather than wishing to dive through the page? And once you get there, what would you do?

I love a good fictional world. A novel where the world-building is so good you can almost feel it, taste it. You become absorbed in the cultures of the fictional world, the way of life, the politics, the magic, the danger, the customs. Sometimes when I visit a new world I’m just completely in awe of the author.   So let’s take a wee rundown of some of my favourite fictional worlds.

The Way of Kings

Brandon Sanderson’s world, Roshar, in The Stormlight Archive series is absolutely breathtaking. He is one of those authors that leaves me in awe. The level of detail in this world is incredible, and yet not overwhelming. From weapons to the history, from flora and fauna to social rankings – Roshar has it all.

Would I want to live there? No, I’d never survive!

Hobbit

Obviously, I can’t talk about fictional worlds and not mention JRR Tolkien’s Middle Earth. It’s just the most incredible world, with so much detail and variety. It’s stunning.

Would I want to live there?  I could totally live The Shire or Rivendell (during peacetime of course).

GoT

Another glaringly obviously addition to this list but Westeros and the surrounding territories is one of my favourite worlds to get lost in. I’ve read the series through twice and I *so* want to read it again but I’m determined to wait for a publication date for Winds of Winter (yes, I know, I’ll probably be old and grey by then!)

Would I want to live there? Erm… yes and no. Yes because, dragons (as long as they were on my side) and no, because, well, that place is lethal!

Shadow and Bone

Leigh Bardugo’s Ravka in which both The Grisha Trilogy and the Six of Crows duology are set. I believe that Bardugo drew inspiration from Russia for this world. As with the other worlds in this list, I can completely visualise it, smell it, taste it, feel it. Her world building is beautiful, her characters are amazing and I cannot say enough good things about these series.

Would I want to live there? No, I’d definitely die in The Fold.

ACOTAR

A world where human lands and Fae lands are separated by a magical wall. The Fae lands are split into courts – Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter, Day, Night and Dawn, with each court being ruled by a High Lord. I love this world, the whole concept of it. A Spring court where it is perpetually Spring, just sounds so appealing to me. Sarah J. Maas never fails to immerse me fully in her worlds.

Would I want to live there? I’d love to live somewhere where it’s constantly Spring, but knowing the danger that lurks in this world, I think I’ll just stick to being an outsider looking in.

Ok, so I promised myself I wouldn’t exceed five. I honestly could go on all day. I did do a Top Ten Tuesday with my favourite worlds last year some time so if you want to check that out, click here.

There are times I become so absorbed in a world that when I put the book down and return to reality I can’t stop thinking about it. I find myself thinking in terms of that world. Does this make sense? Does anyone else do that too?

ABEA 16 Giveaway

To celebrate fictional worlds, and Armchair BEA in general, I’m hosting a wee giveaway.  You could win a fantasy book of your choice, up to the value of £10 (pre-orders included). This giveaway is OPEN INTERNATIONALLY as long as The Book Depository ships to your location.

To enter just use the rafflecopter entry form below. You can do as many as the entries as you so wish and some are available daily.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck!

I’m not sure if I’ll manage to join in tomorrow, so just in case, I wanted to say thank you to you all for stopping by this week! A huge thank you also to the Armchair BEA organisers who have, once again, done a fantastic job.

If you want to join in with Armchair BEA check out this post for all the details on today’s discussions, twitter party and Instagram challenge.

Room on DVD + *TWO Giveaways*

May 8, 2016 in Bookish Posts, Closed Giveaways, Entertainment

Way back in 2011 I read Room by Emma Donoghue and it’s a book that I still think about today. Sadly, I didn’t actually review it at the time and my copy has vanished… I suspect I loaned it to someone <insert angry face>. Anyway, I was very intrigued when I heard it was to be made into a film, although I must admit I was somewhat nervous too, some book-to-film adaptations just don’t work for me.

Since I didn’t make it to the cinema to see the film, STUDIOCANAL very kindly sent me an advanced copy of the DVD so that I could share my thoughts with you (keep reading for a giveaway too!)

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So what it’s about?

Room tells the extraordinary story of Jack (Jacob Tremblay), a spirited 5-year-old who is looked after by his loving and devoted mother (Brie Larson). Like any good mother, Ma dedicates herself to keeping Jack happy and safe, nurturing him with warmth and love and doing typical things like playing games and telling stories. Their life, however, is anything but typical – they are trapped – confined to a 10-by-10-foot space that Ma has euphemistically named Room. Ma has created a whole universe for Jack within Room, and she will stop at nothing to ensure that, even in this treacherous environment, Jack is able to live a complete and fulfilling life. But as Jack’s curiosity about their situation grows, and Ma’s resilience reaches its breaking point, they enact a risky plan to escape, ultimately bringing them face-to-face with what may turn out to be the scariest thing yet: the real world.

One of the things that I particularly liked about the book was that it was told from Jack’s perspective and I must admit I did wonder if this would translate as well into film, but it absolutely did. I’m sure this is largely down to the fact that Emma Donoghue herself wrote the screenplay, adapting it from her novel. We see the innocence in Jack, who believes that Room is the entire world. We also see his Ma as he does, through the innocent eyes of a 5-year-old. However, as viewers we are simultaneously aware of the horrendous situation he and his Ma are in.

It’s no surprise that Brie Larson won ‘Best Actress’ Academy Award, BAFTA & Golden Globe for her portrayal of Ma. Her performance is flawless. As for Jacob Tremblay who plays Jack, I thought he was fantastic too.

Generally, I’m someone who leans towards books rather than films, but Room has given me more hope for book-to-film adaptations. It’s a powerful film that will tug at your heart, but it will undoubtedly make you smile too.

Room Giveaway

 

**GIVEAWAY ONE**

Room is out on DVD and Blu-Ray tomorrow, Monday 9th May 2016. However, STUDIOCANAL has been kind enough to provide me with a copy of Room on DVD to give away to one lucky winner.  I’m afraid this giveaway is open to the UK ONLY (sorry international friends, but make sure you check out Giveaway 2 below).

a Rafflecopter giveaway

  **GIVEAWAY TWO** BUT as I want to share the love of this story I’m also giving away a paperback copy of Room which is OPEN INTERNATIONALLY! a Rafflecopter giveaway

If you’re in the UK you can, of course, enter both giveaways.

Good luck!

Thank you to STUDIOCANAL for providing me with an early copy of Room on DVD, and for providing the prize for this giveaway. I am providing the paperback copy of Room at my own expense.

Review & Giveaway: Homecoming

March 30, 2016 in Book Reviews, Closed Giveaways, General fiction

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review & Giveaway: HomecomingHomecoming by Tanya Bullock
Published by Blackbird Digital on 1st April 2016
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 86
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
Goodreads
four-half-stars

Rosie and Tom belong together.
For too long, war and its devastating aftermath have kept them apart.
Now that Tom has finally returned home, Rosie hopes that they will be able to put the past behind them.
But when a mysterious sequence of events unfolds, their love is put to the test once more.
With a shocking secret hanging heavily over their relationship...
With circumstances conspiring against them at every turn...
Rosie and Tom find themselves caught up in the biggest battle of their lives.
Will their demons ultimately consume them?
Or will love conquer all in the end?

Blackbird Digital Books sent me an email a few weeks ago asking if I would be interested in reading Homecoming, a novella that they described as “quite possibly the strangest romance ever told”. Well, obviously I was intrigued so I leapt at the chance to read it.

Let me say, they were right! It’s the strangest romance I’ve ever read, but in the best possible way. It’s beautiful, emotional and thought-provoking.

There’s absolutely no way I can describe this novella without spoiling it for you. What I will say though is despite being just 86 pages long this book surprised me numerous times! I went from thinking I was reading about one thing to actually reading about something very different.

Are you intrigued? You should be! This novella put me through so many emotions. It made me think and to be quite honest, I am still thinking about the subject matter days later.

Blackbird Digital Books have very kindly given me three e-copies of this thought-provoking novella to give away so that you guys can also experience this emotional, surprising story.

To be in with a chance of winning just enter via the rafflecopter form below. There will be 3 winners, each winning one e-copy of Homecoming. You can do as many of the entries as you wish. This giveaway is open internationally.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck!

Thank you to Blackbird Digital Books for providing the prizes for this giveaway.
four-half-stars