Cover Reveal: Bryony Pearce – Phoenix Rising


This is not a drill. This is not an April Fool’s joke, this is a full-out cover reveal for Bryony Pearce’s new novel Phoenix Rising. Having loved Bryony’s last book, The Weight of Souls, I was really looking forward to seeing what she wrote next so I was rather excited to receive an advanced review copy for the book along with my official #BansheeCrew tag bracelet. What is this #BansheeCrew thing about you ask? Have a blurb and see what you think.
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Recaps and Upfronts – March and April


I made it! It’s the last day of March and I’ve not collapsed, dropped a cake or lost my voice when I had to be teaching. *breathes sigh of relief* March was a good month. We had a lovely time with Cat and Emma’s birthdays. The girls were spoiled rotten by everyone and Emma had lots of fun at her party, small though it was.  Continue reading »

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Helen Grant – Urban Legends

helengrant-urbanlegendsA group of story-tellers are disappearing one by one.

A young woman is haunted by her past.

A serial killer has one target he is desperate to hunt down.

Veerle is trying to lie low, to live as ‘normal’ a life as she possibly can. But when you’ve thwarted a serial killer, it’s hard to do this. Especially when he wants revenge . . .

Urban Legends is the final instalment in Helen Grant’s Forbidden Spaces trilogy. When I started reading the series I was wondering how her writing would translate to a longer series instead of the standalone stories she’d written so far. It worked quite well, with separate mysteries in each book, but a central story arc that is wrapped up in Urban Legends. Due to the nature of the series and this being the final book, spoilers for the previous books are unavoidable, so you have been warned.  Continue reading »

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Guest Post: Helen Grant on the Improbable Truth

helengrant-urbanlegendsHelen Grant is one of my favourite YA writers. Her work is a mixture of crime, thriller, and supernatural elements coming together in a blend that is uniquely her own. She combines this with interesting settings—small towns in Germany for her first three books and a number of Flemish cities in her trilogy Forbidden Spaces. The trilogy ends with her latest book Urban Legends, for which I’ll post a review tomorrow. To celebrate the publication of Urban Legends, today Helen drops by the blog to talk about the hint of the supernatural that pervades her work and what draws her to write it.

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Daryl Gregory – Harrison Squared

darylgregory-harrisonsquaredHarrison Harrison—H2 to his mom—is a lonely teenager who’s been terrified of the water ever since he was a toddler in California, when a huge sea creature capsized their boat, and his father vanished. One of the “sensitives” who are attuned to the supernatural world, Harrison and his mother have just moved to the worst possible place for a boy like him: Dunnsmouth, a Lovecraftian town perched on rocks above the Atlantic, where strange things go on by night, monsters lurk under the waves, and creepy teachers run the local high school.

On Harrison’s first day at school, his mother, a marine biologist, disappears at sea. Harrison must attempt to solve the mystery of her accident, which puts him in conflict with a strange church, a knife-wielding killer, and the Deep Ones, fish-human hybrids that live in the bay. It will take all his resources—and an unusual host of allies—to defeat the danger and find his mother.

Last year I read a great many rave reviews for Daryl Gregory’s Afterparty and We’re All Completely Fine. I’d also heard Jonathan Strahan mention Harrison Squared as one of his books to look forward to in the coming months, so my interested was already piqued when a review copy arrived. The story sounded really cool, even if I know almost nothing about Lovecraft’s work other than that it’s problematic (to put it mildly) and it features tentacly monsters of the Deep. And while I still don’t feel very motivated to go and read Lovecraft’s work, I enjoyed Gregory’s interpretation of it tremendously and I’ll certainly keep an eye out for his work in the future. What made Harrison Squared so great?  Continue reading »

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Blogger Query – Draumr Kópa

BloggerQueryI’m always excited when I discover another Dutch-speaking blogger, so discovering DraumrKopa‘s Cindy Callens a few years ago was rather cool. I also had the chance to catch up with Cindy, albeit briefly, at World Fantasy two years ago and hopefully I’ll see her again at Nine Worlds later this year. Cindy is not just an interesting blogger, she also has some really interesting hobbies and I was glad she agreed to be a guest in my blogger query series.  Continue reading »

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Guest Post: Rowena Cory Daniells on The Writer’s Temptation to do a ‘Director’s Cut’

rowenacorydaniells-thefalloffairisleI am a little behind on Rowena Cory Daniells’ books. Her last release, 2013’s King Breaker the last book in the King Rolen’s Kin sequence is still waiting to be read and with her latest publication, another 1200+ pages have been added to the Rowena to be read pile. Because her latest book is an omnibus edition of the first trilogy she ever published, The Fall of Fair Isle. So we get three books for the price of one. The re-release of a previous series gives an author the opportunity to make revisions to the text, but is it one they should take advantage of? I mean we all know George Lucas went overboard with Star Wars, but I rather liked the Lord of the Rings Extended editions. I asked Rowena whether she was tempted to tinker with the original texts of the books and whether she was able to resist if she was. Her answer was the following.  Continue reading »

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Kellerman Reread – Time Bomb

Jonathan Kellerman - Time BombYou’re living on borrowed time…

A sniper opens fire on a crowded Californian schoolyard but is killed before any children are harmed. When the sniper’s identity is revealed, a media frenzy erupts. Why would they want to take innocent lives?

Psychologist Alex Delaware is brought in to help the kids cope with the ordeal but is drawn into investigating the motives of the would-be assassin. Alex soon finds himself on a bloody and twisted trail into the world of political extremism from which there may be no way back…

Book five in my Kellerman Reread is also the fifth book in the Alex Delaware series. Time Bomb deals with what looks like a school sniping avant la lettre, but it is anything but. However, the more I read these books written in the Eighties the more I’m shocked by how little some of the issues have changed. Not just in terms of the larger issues such as racism and bigotry regarding sexual orientation, but also in things that I thought were typical of the twenty-first century, things such as privacy concerns due to new technology for example. I  keep coming back to the old adage “The more things change, the more they stay the same.”  Continue reading »

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Nichole Christoff – The Kill Shot [Blog Tour]

nicholechristoff-thekillshotJamie Sinclair’s father has never asked her for a favor in her life. The former two-star general turned senator is more in the habit of giving his only child orders. So when he requests Jamie’s expertise as a security specialist, she can’t refuse—even though it means slamming the brakes on her burgeoning relationship with military police officer Adam Barrett. Just like that, Jamie hops aboard a flight to London with a U.S. State Department courier carrying a diplomatic pouch in an iron grip.

Jamie doesn’t have to wait long to put her unique skills to good use. When she and the courier are jumped by goons outside the Heathrow terminal, Jamie fights them off—but the incident puts her on high alert. Someone’s willing to kill for the contents of the bag. Then a would-be assassin opens fire in crowded Covent Garden, and Jamie is stunned to spot a familiar face: Adam Barrett, who saves her life with a single shot and calmly slips away. Jamie’s head—and her heart—tell her that something is very wrong. But she’s come way too far to turn back now.

In the second Jamie Sinclair novel, The Kill Shot, the reader is reunited with Jamie and Barrett, but interestingly, The Kill Shot is not a straight up crime thriller. In fact, to me Nichole Christoff’s sophomore outing read more like a spy novel. I was surprised by this shift in flavour to the narrative, though the general style of the book is very much the same as its predecessor. Jamie remains a kick-ass heroine and I really enjoyed reading about her next adventure.  Continue reading »

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Blogger Query – Renay

BloggerQueryOne of the bloggers I’ve only discovered in the past year or two who has had a huge influence on how I look at reading, writing, books, and fandom is Renay of Lady Business and the Fangirl Happy Hour podcast. Renay came into SFF fandom from the fanwork-side and as such has a very different and unique view of the SFF community than most. She also looks at culture through a feminist and intersectional lens, which is always interesting. She can also rant like a champ and is very funny! When I rebooted Blogger Query I really wanted to interview Renay, so I was stoked she agreed. I’m even more stoked with the fabulous and in-depth answers she returned. Best go make yourself a hot beverage of choice and sit down because this is a big interview!  Continue reading »

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