Monday, 23 June 2014

Lisa's Summer Reads Blog Tour 2014- Will Macmillan Jones

Summer Reads Blog Tour - Week Four, Welcome Will Macmillian Jones!


Reblogged from lisawiedmeier.com. This summer she's hosting a fantastic summer reads blog tour, where authors get to share their favourite reads! So you might just find your next favourite book. She's also hosting a fab giveaway with some awesome prizes, so enter to win (link at the bottom of the post).

Well, week four of the Summer Reads Blog Tour brings us a dear friend and fellow author, Will Macmillian Jones. Will's the comedic act in our group with his dry sense of humor, I can't help but smile when I read his posts or chat away in a lively conversation. Will Macmillan Jones lives in Wales, a lovely green, verdant land with a rich cultural heritage. He does his best to support this heritage by drinking the local beer and shouting loud encouragement whenever International Rugby is on the TV. A fifty something lover of blues, rock and jazz he has just fulfilled a lifetime ambition by filling an entire wall of his home office with (full) bookcases. His major comic fantasy series, released by Safkhet Publishing, can be found at: www.thebannedunderground.com and information on his other work and stuff in general at : www.willmacmillanjones.com
Links:
Here are some of Will's favorite reads:

Will's bookshelf: summer-reads-blog-2014

A Long Way Down
5 of 5 stars
tagged: summer-reads-blog-2014
The Weirdstone of Brisingamen
5 of 5 stars
tagged: summer-reads-blog-2014
The Iron Hand of Mars
5 of 5 stars
This was the first of the Falco series I came across in a bookshop, and bought it on impulse. Subsequently I've invested in all the series, but this is still perhaps my favourite. Davis' descriptions of the Ancient World are vivid and ...
tagged: summer-reads-blog-2014


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Monday, 16 June 2014

Lisa's Summer Reads Blog Tour 2014- Carrie

Summer Reads Blog Tour - Week Three
Welcome Carrie Fetzer!


Reblogged from lisawiedmeier.com. This summer she's hosting a fantastic summer reads blog tour, where authors get to share their favourite reads! So you might just find your next favourite book. She's also hosting a fab giveaway with some awesome prizes, so enter to win (link at the bottom of the post).

This week it's our beloved Carrie's turn to share her favorite reads with you. I can't tell you how grateful I am to have her come into my life and support me the way she has. Last November, I half jokingly put it out on the page that I needed a page administrator, and our lovely Carrie messaged me! Not only did she volunteer, but she's run with it wholeheartedly. She's done an amazing job with keeping the conversation going, and filled a huge gap for me when I needed it most. This was supposed to just be a temporary position, but Carrie wanted to stay on! The best part of having her admin my page? She's become a dear friend in the process. I'm lucky to have her come into my life, thankful for all she's done and continues to do. We love you Carrie!

Don't forget to enter the giveaway at the bottom of the page too!


Hey all, it's Carrie. I'm so excited to take part in the Summer Reads Blog Tour. I love reading, it's a passion, and after finding the Timeless Series, which wasn't easy by the way because I didn't have a kindle at the time, I knew I was hooked on Lisa's work. If you think you've got CATTS bad (chronic addiction to timeless series), then I'm in the final stages that Sam posted about here! Anyway... I'm a music addict, love animals, and adore spending time with my girls and husband when I'm not working at Curves. So enough about me, listed below are the five books that I'd recommend for this summers reads. Enjoy!!

Carrie's bookshelf: summer-reads-blog-2014

Forsaken
5 of 5 stars
If you are looking for a good Young Adult fantacy novel this would be it. It is an easy read and keeps you intrigued. It's a good light read.
tagged: summer-reads-blog-2014
Hush, Hush
5 of 5 stars
tagged: liked-series and summer-reads-blog-2014
Fallen
4 of 5 stars
tagged: summer-reads-blog-2014
The Perfect Game
5 of 5 stars
tagged: summer-reads-blog-2014
The Hobbit
5 of 5 stars
tagged: summer-reads-blog-2014

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Monday, 9 June 2014

Chocolate Bar Challenge

The Chocolate Bar Challenge is a blog tour in which participants choose up to eight of their favourite books and then pick the perfect chocolate to go with each of them. As I can never say no to chocolate, I was tagged by the brilliant A.F.E. Smith to indulge. Her first fantasy novel, Darkhaven, is due to be released this August. Having had the privilege of reading her draft work, you're going to be in for a real treat.

Speaking of treats, let's dig into the yumminess!

1. Sabriel

As I've mentioned this book multiple times in previous posts, you might have guessed I quite like it! This was the first YA fantasy I ever read, recommended by a friend, and I've never been able to read anything else since. The concepts were refreshing- none of that Chosen One crap, a non-orphaned FEMALE lead, a unique magic system, the beautiful Old Kingdom and Garth Nix's fun writing style make Sabriel a timeless classic for me.

We don't talk about the abhorrent sequels, though I am interested to see what Clariel will read like...

So what better chocolate to represent than the good old Cadbury's Dairy Milk? Tried and tested, it's a familiar comfort (tastes even better when you come back to England from holiday and want some real chocolate!).



2. The Gift (The Naming)



I've had a strong aversion to high fantasy for a long while, if only because of the stagnant settings, complete lack of world progression, boring storylines and black and white morality systems. However, I saw this book sitting in the library and something about it just said 'go on, try me'.

I'm so glad I did! This is certainly no Lord of the Rings knock-off. Again, if you know anything of Alison Croggon, she's certainly not going to sit back and the let the gender stereotypes have free reign. Our protagonist is female, and while she *is* a Chosen One (kinda), the story diverges enough to make it a thoroughly enjoyable tale. The magic system of the Bards is interesting, too, and the morality of the characters, both major and minor, is refreshingly complex and grey.

For this book, I'm going for Cadbury's Dream. Why? Because at first glance you think it's just another white chocolate brand, probably no different from the rest, and then you eat it and find yourself oh so totally wrong!


3. Faerie Wars



This book is an amazing blend of science fantasy. While I'm still not a fan of having a normal human boy as the protagonist (Pyrgus is a lot more interesting and dynamic than Henry), Faerie Wars is a great introduction to a fun series. There's magic, political intrigue, espionage, modern technology, old technology, and it all combines into a fantastic blend of action, adventure and animal rights (I'm not even kidding :P).

This book would go best with Galaxy Cookie Crumble. It combines just the right amount of cookie and chocolate, and results in a great balanced taste.



4. Dragonfly



This is a bit of a guilty pleasure for me. It was the first fantasy romance I tried, and while I love Golding's other work (like Darcie Lock and the Companions Quartet), I was a little sceptical that this would be any good, that the romance would obliterate the plot.

Thankfully I was wrong. Although the set-up isn't the most original (it's romance, I forgive that :P), the characters are well drawn and the setting and plot is immersive. Golding's writing also shines through, making this a thoroughly enjoyable read.

What else can I choose for this book but Lindt's Lindor Milk chocolate? This is pure indulgence chocolate that I can eat by the gallons, and I know it's bad for me (especially as I have diabetes in the family), but I just can't help myself...
5. Eon: Dragoneye Reborn


This was my second foray into Chinese historical fantasy (the first was also very enjoyable). Eon tells the story of, well, Eon, who's training to be a Dragoneye- someone who can wield the powers of the Zodiac Dragons. However Eon is a cripple, and also hides another secret that could be the undoing of the kingdom.

I enjoyed the characters in this book immensely, as well as all the gender roles that are played around with, and the dark political intrigue was mysterious without being boring (looking at you, Golem's Eye and Ptolemy's Gate).

For this book I'm going to go with Bounty. It's a little exotic, but has just enough of that familiar chocolate taste so you're not stranded too far from what you like.



6. Mines of the Minotaur (The Companions Quartet)



Is it cheating to have two books by the same author? But they're vastly different from each other. While Dragonfly was a fantasy romance, the Companions books are much more action-based fantasy. Following Connie as she becomes the newest member of the Society for the Protection of Mythical Creatures, we see how mythical beasts have been living in our world in secret, and the humans who are their lifelong companions who share special bonds with them.

I loved these books so much I've even done fanfiction, but Mines of the Minotaur is my favourite. It gave great character conflict and more dynamic use of Connie's powers, and a pretty epic fight at the end.

This book for me has to go with Smarties. They're plentiful and colourful, like the mythical creatures in the book, and once you start you just can't stop til the tube is empty.


7. The Princess and the Captain

This was a hidden gem. I found it sitting in a bargain shop, and the cover and blurb caught my attention. It's actually a translation of a French author's work, but it reads perfectly fine in English, too. This follows the tale of two characters, Orpheus and Malva, from completely opposite ends of the social spectrum. Of course their stories intertwine, and what follows is a great sea-faring adventure.

I think a Freddo bar best encapsulates this novel. Cheap and cheerful, but made from quality and it doesn't make it any less as tasty.



8. Slaves of the Mastery



I LOVE this book. My favourite out of the Wind on Fire trilogy (and written by the man who wrote the script for the film Gladiator, too). I adored the concept of the Mastery, where people are made to work in what they feel they're best at, leading to a very organised and highly functioning society. The characters are at their best, as are the intriguing subplots, world-building and inter-character relationships. Can't recommend this enough!

This book is pure luxury, so I had to choose Ferrero Rocher. You just can't resist, and the variety of flavours means you're never wanting for anything, either.



So, who wants to be tagged to spread the word of chocolate? Let me know in the comments below.

Lisa's Summer Reads Blog Tour 2014- Sam Dogra

Hey everyone, this week it's my turn to feature in Lisa's Summer Reads Blog 2014! This summer, Lisa will be showcasing the top 5 favourite books of various authors, in the hopes of sharing hidden gems for new readers to get into.

See the original post here.


So you should all know me here! By day I'm a doctor, running around taking blood samples, saving lives and getting grilled by consultants. When I'm not on duty, I'm also the author of The Chronicles of Azaria Series.



It's a YA Fantasy Romance with a slight twist. The first two books, The Binding and The Parting, are available on Amazon and Smashwords. If you're looking for something outside the paranormal genre, I'd definitely recommend it (but I would say that, I wrote it!).

You can find out more about the series, including character artwork, book previews and more, by clicking on the following links:


Now, enough about me, here are my top five reads! As you might have guessed, I love fantasy, particularly Young Adult (YA). But what do I look for in a good book?

Well, it's got to have memorable, well rounded characters. I want characters I like, but who aren't perfect, and who are really put through their paces to earn their happy ending. The story's got to be strong, too, with decent world-building and plot, and of course clear, succinct and flowing writing is the icing on the cake.

See if these books catch your fancy as they did mine!

Sam's bookshelf: summer-reads-blog-2014

The Binding Stone
5 of 5 stars
This book blew me away! It's been a long time since a story has had me this gripped, so well done to the author. STORY: We enter the life of the Djinni Leela, tricked into slavery along with her fellow Djinn by a man she loved. Now, awa...
tagged: love-these-books and summer-reads-blog-2014
Thorn
4 of 5 stars
The synopsis of this book attracted me, and I wasn't disappointed with what I found. At first I was put off by the fact it was written in present tense, but you soon get used to it. Thorn is a well-written, character-driven fantasy that...
tagged: love-these-books and summer-reads-blog-2014
Bardo
4 of 5 stars
I first read this in its early stages, and found it amusing then. Having read the whole thing, I can honestly say it's just as good. The story follows Nikki and her trials after an accident as she has to race against time to gather her ...
tagged: love-these-books and summer-reads-blog-2014
House of Silver Magic
4 of 5 stars
I was attracted to this book by its blurb and was in for a pleasant surprise. House of Silver Magic is an enchanting read, with delightful characters, strong plot and intriguing world building elements. STORY: We follow the tale of the ...
tagged: love-these-books and summer-reads-blog-2014
The Spirit Keeper
4 of 5 stars
I was slightly apprehensive about this title as the last book I read with native american themes was terrible.  Thankfully this book was no disappointment! Well written with charming characters and a generally strong narrative, I'm glad ...
tagged: summer-reads-blog-2014

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