All posts by Mieneke

Author Query – Jen Williams

jenwilliams-theironghostNext month will see the publication of The Iron Ghost, the follow up to The Copper Promise. Written by Jen Williams, The Copper Promise was oodles of sword and sorcery fun, which I just loved. I’m really looking forward to tucking into this second offering featuring, Wydrin, Sebastian and Frith, but I’m making myself wait until closer to publication. In the mean time, I hope you enjoy this interview with Jen and if its piqued your interest and you haven’t read The Copper Promise yet, go catch up before February 26, when Headline will be publishing The Iron GhostContinue reading »

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Brian Staveley – The Providence of Fire

brianstaveley-theprovidenceoffireWar is coming, secrets multiply and betrayal waits in the wings…

The Annurian Empire’s ruling family must be vigilant, as the conspiracy against them deepens. Having discovered her father’s assassin, Adare flees the Dawn Palace in search of allies. But few trust her, until she seems marked by the people’s goddess in an ordeal of flame.

As Adare struggles to unite Annur, unrest breeds rival armies – then barbarian hordes threaten to invade. And unknown to Adare, her brother Valyn has fallen in with forces mustering at the empire’s borders. The terrible choices they face could make war between them inevitable.

Fighting his own battles is their brother Kaden, rightful heir to the Unhewn Throne, who has infiltrated the Annurian capital with two strange companions. While imperial forces prepare to defend a far-distant front, Kaden’s actions could save the empire, or destroy it.

Last year Brian Staveley’s The Emperor’s Blades was one of the big debut titles of the year. I enjoyed it a lot. I found it a return to traditional epic fantasy, less of the grimdark, but updated to today. It was also a return to a traditional length, and Staveley’s second book is even bigger. Seriously, this hardback will kill a chihuahua when accidentally dropped on them from a height. With The Providence of Fire Staveley has gone bigger and better in all aspects.The book is just a fantastic follow up to a solid debut and I had a fantastic time with it.  Continue reading »

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Author Query – Brian Staveley

brianstaveley-theprovidenceoffireBrian Staveley burst onto the SFF scene last year with his debut epic fantasy novel The Emperor’s Blades. It was a great first novel and one I enjoyed bunches. The second book in the Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne was released earlier this month and I’m currently almost finished with The Providence of Fire. I’ll be reviewing it tomorrow, but suffice it to say that unless Staveley stuffed it up in the final 75 or so pages, the book is even better than The Emperor’s Blades. But before I go back to finishing the book, I get to share an interview with the author with you. I’m pleased I was able to snare Brian Staveley for an Author Query and I hope you enjoy his answers as much as I did.  Continue reading »

By Published Posted in fantasy, interview | 1 Comment

Author Query – Naomi Foyle

naomifoyle-rooksongIn a fortnight Jo Fletcher Books is publishing Rook Song the second book in the Gaia Chronicles. Having had a complicated reaction to her debut Seoul Survivors, I got along far better with the first book in her current series called Astra. I enjoyed this world teetering between utopia and dystopia and Astra was a marvellous protagonist. I’m very much looking forward to Rook Song, which promises to be an exciting read after the conclusion of Astra. Today I get to bring you an interview with Naomi, in which I get to ask her about Astra, Rook Song, the potential pit falls of Gaia Play and what is next on her docket. I hope you enjoy this Author Query and don’t forget to check out Rook Song out on Thursday 5 February.  Continue reading »

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Eve Karlin – City of Liars and Thieves [Blog Tour]

evekarlin-cityofliarsandthievesOn the bustling docks of the Hudson River, Catherine Ring waits with her husband and children for the ship carrying her cousin, Elma Sands. Their Greenwich Street boardinghouse becomes a haven for Elma, who has at last escaped the stifling confines of her small hometown and the shameful circumstances of her birth. But in the summer of 1799, Manhattan remains a teeming cesspool of stagnant swamps and polluted rivers. The city is desperate for clean water as fires wreak devastation and the death toll from yellow fever surges.

Political tensions are rising, too. It’s an election year, and Alexander Hamilton is hungry for power. So is his rival, Aaron Burr, who has announced the formation of the Manhattan Water Company. But their private struggle becomes very public when the body of Elma Sands is found at the bottom of a city well built by Burr’s company.

Resolved to see justice done, Catherine becomes both witness and avenger. She soon finds, however, that the shocking truth behind this trial has nothing to do with guilt or innocence.

City of Liars and Thieves, Eve Karlin’s debut, is a historical novel based on the first recorded murder trial in New York. Just for this fact alone it would have been fascinating, but it is also a snap shot of the run up to one of the most hotly contended Presidential elections in US history, which makes it even more interesting. To be fair, I didn’t know much about either Hamilton or Burr, but I did know about the continual issue with water supply in Manhattan and I was interested to see how they tied into this.  Continue reading »

By Published Posted in historical fiction, mystery, review | 1 Comment

Kellerman Reread: Blood Test

jonathankellerman-bloodtestLittle Woody Swope was gravely ill. Treatment was possible, if painful. But his parents, members of a bizarre sect called the Touchers, threatened to take him out of hospital.

Then Woody was gone. So were the Swopes, leaving their motel suite heavily bloodstained.

Enter Alex Delaware, child psychologist, young, burned out and semi-retire. he and his LA cop friend Milo find a heap of suspects – an aging ex-hippy doctor; a back-country police chief; a male stripper; even Nona, Woody’s sister, a flame-haired Lolita with hate in her eyes and larceny in her soul.

But the truth was more bizarre than even Alex could have imagined… 

Blood Test is the second Alex Delaware book. It’s a far slimmer book than When the Bough Breaks, but the writing is more assured and the story certainly packs a punch. Set about a year after the events in the first book, Alex has recuperated from the broken jaw he sustained and has slowly started to get over the nightmares that haunted him in the aftermath of the events of When the Bough Breaks. He’s also been doing some consulting on the side, even though he’s officially still retired. And it is one of these consulting gigs that gets him involved in the main case of the book.  Continue reading »

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David Duchovny – Holy Cow

davidduchovny-holycowElsie Bovary is a cow and a pretty happy one at that. Until one night, Elsie sneaks out of the pasture and finds herself drawn to the farmhouse. Through the window, she sees the farmer’s family gathered around a bright Box God – and what the Box God reveals about something called an ‘industrial meat farm’ shakes Elsie’s understanding of her world to its core.

The only solution? To escape to a better, safer world. And so a motley crew is formed: Elsie; Shalom, a grumpy pig who’s recently converted to Judaism; and Tom, a suave turkey who can’t fly, but can work an iPhone with his beak. Toting stolen passports and slapdash human disguises, they head for the airport …

Elsie is a wise-cracking, slyly witty narrator; Tom dispenses psychiatric advice in a fake German accent; and Shalom ends up unexpectedly uniting Israelis and Palestinians. David Duchovny’s charismatic creatures point the way toward a mutual understanding and acceptance the world desperately needs.

The author of Holy Cow doesn’t really need an introduction, does he? Especially for all my fellow geeks who grew up on X-Files (Mulder <3’s Scully 4EVA!). But I was rather surprised when I was handed the proof copy for Holy Cow with the comment that David Duchovny had written it. I didn’t even knew he wrote! It turns out that Holy Cow is his debut novel and it is a solid debut. It is also very much a book that either works for you or it doesn’t. It approaches some serious real world issues through a humorous lens and its success will depend on whether you can appreciate Duchovny’s – by way of Elsie’s voice – sense of humour and the stances he takes on the issues he addresses.  Continue reading »

By Published Posted in fantasy, mainstream, review | 2 Comments

Red Eye Double Bill: Frozen Charlotte and Sleepless [Blog Tour]

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redeyeThis month saw the launch of Red Eye, Stripes publishing’s new YA horror line. With Red Eye, Stripes is aiming to give horror a frighteningly contemporary makeover mixing pop culture, violence and technology and reaching a new generation of teen horror readers. The first two books in this line-up are Alex Bell’s Frozen Charlotte and Lou Morgan’s Sleepless. I was very excited for both of these stories, so I’m quite pleased that today as part of the inaugural Red Eye blog tour, I get to bring you a double-bill: reviews for both of these novels. Don’t forget to catch up with the blog tour tomorrow over at Studio ReadsContinue reading »

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Author Query – Genevieve Cogman

genevievecogman-theinvisiblelibraryLast December I reviewed Genevieve Cogman’s debut novel The Invisible Library and I adored it with all my heart. It was such an incredibly fun read and also: Librarian Spies; there wasn’t a chance I wasn’t at least going to like the book. Yet I truly loved it and Cogman has set the bar high in terms of 2015 debuts. The book is officially published tomorrow and to celebrate, today I bring you an interview with Genevieve Cogman, in which we learn more about the Library, about what Cogman’s Librarian name would be, and where Irene and Kai might go in the future. I hope you enjoy the interview and don’t forget to go and pick up your own copy of The Invisible Library, available at a bookseller near you from tomorrow onwards.  Continue reading »

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Freeing Hostage: even series are hybrid these days

manijabrownsmith-strangerLast year I read and reviewed the wonderful Stranger by Rachel Manija Brown and Sherwood Smith. Now this is a book with history. In September of 2011 Brown and Smith opened up about their experiences trying to get an agent to represent them to sell the book that became Stranger. One agent expressed interest in taking the book on, provided they would either turn their gay main character straight or lose his point of view and any reference to his sexual orientation. This sparked a lot of discussion and gave rise to #YesGayYA. Stranger was eventually picked up by Viking in 2012 and was finally released last November. After the groundswell of support in 2011, I would have expected far more of a splash on publication, yet when it finally arrived, it did so relatively silently.  Continue reading »

By Published Posted in article, YA | 1 Comment
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