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Recaps and Upfronts – October and November

RecapsIt’s November, yet it still feels like early autumn. Even the weather is helping in this regard, Saturday I spent the day running around Amsterdam with Emma and a friend and we didn’t even need to wear our coats. How weird is that? But still, another month has gone by, which means time for another monthly round-up.

I had hoped to catch up on writing my back-logged reviews, but it didn’t exactly work out that way. Regardless, I did manage to write nine reviews, five by female writers, three by male writers and one edited by a female/male duo, so I pulled my parity challenge to myself back in aligment somewhat. I currently have thirteen books waiting to be written up and I’ve decided if I manage to catch up before the end of the year I’ll be happy. I obviously managed to read more books than I thought despite having a really busy month with a week away from home to boot!   Continue reading »

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Let’s Go on a Blind Date!

abclogoOn a Blind Book Date that is. On November 22nd The American Book Center is throwing their first Blind Book Date Party. Last year, they started wrapping up books and setting them up for ‘Blind Dates’ where customers could pick them based on the keywords affixed to the wrapping. I often have a lot of fun trying to guess the titles when Tiemen tweets clues out, but he never wants to tell me whether I’m correct (so mean right?). Anyway to celebrate the fact that the Blind Book Dates have been an amazing success, ABC is throwing a Blind Book Date Party. Continue reading »

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In Your Ear: Genre on the Go – Take Three

InYouEarI cycle to work after I take Emma to school and I cycle home after dropping her off, which comes to about a 40 minute commute. A commute I spend listening to podcasts. Additionally, I have a hard time falling asleep at night and listening to fiction podcasts helps me unwind and actually drop off. So I get through a lot of podcast hours. In 2011 and 2012 I did In your Ear posts, recommending the podcasts I listened to on a regular basis. After skipping it last year, I thought I’d bring it back this year, since I’ve discovered a lot of new podcasts in the past two years! So for those of you unfamiliar with the wonderful world of genre podcasts or those looking or a new listen, I hope you find something of interest below.   Continue reading »

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In The News: City of Stairs Competition

robertjacksonbennett-thecityofstairsTo celebrate the launch of Robert Jackson Bennett’s City of Stairs Jo Fletcher Books is running a competition to win some awesome prizes. From their blog:

To celebrate the launch of City of Stairs we are offering a very special prize.

We have five copies of the book to give away, plus one lucky winner will receive a £100 Red Letter Day experience.*

All you have to do for your chance to win is let us know on our blog, Facebook page or Twitter – with #CityOfStairs – what tangible miraculous object would you create if you were a god of Bulikov? A door which takes you to the past? A knotted cord that brings rain when untied? These are just some of the miracles the gods brought to Bulikov, but what would you add?

Let us know by October 30th for your chance to win.

*Prize will be supplied in a £100 worth of vouchers for Red Letter Days. Full terms and conditions can be found here.

Continue reading »

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Recaps and Upfronts – September and October

RecapsAnd that’s September over and done with. As predicted it was manic and while there was plenty of reading there was frighteningly little reviewing on the blog, even less than expected as we got a phone call that Emma had finally been accepted to a different school closer to home and we needed to arrange everything for her to transfer in a week. Needless to say, my first reaction was PANIC! And then I worked the phones like a pro and got it all arranged, but the accompanying stress melted my brain, so I didn’t actually manage to write any reviews for about two weeks.   Continue reading »

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Meanwhile… On SF Signal and a small update

towerBefore I get to linking to me on SF Signal, a quick update on the blog silence. Emma started her new school on Monday and she’s doing great. She seems to be settling in well; when I went to pick her up from out-of-school care yesterday, she got mad because she didn’t want to go home yet as she still wanted to play outside in the playground. At the same time we’re all still tired as all get out, so I haven’t been up to much other than chores and reading. I’m hoping to start posting reviews again tomorrow if all goes well. So normal service should resume momentarily.

Now for the true meat of this post!   Continue reading »

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Spotty Service Due to Brain Melt

photo credit: :: gw1 :: via photopin cc

photo credit: :: gw1 :: via photopin cc

Just a quick post to say that reviews might be spotty the next week or two (and have been for the past week) as I’m having trouble finding the mental bandwidth to actually write the reviews. With work being busier than usual, Cat deciding to not sleep through the night for the past month, and having had extremely busy weekends the last two weeks, I haven’t really written up much of my reading as I generally feel like my brain’s melted by the end of the work day. Add in the additional curve ball or getting a call this week that Emma can transfer to a school closer to home and having to do all the arranging for that as well and… you get the picture. But as we’ll be adjusting to a new situation and dependent on how Emma copes, I might be a bit scarce for a week or two longer.

The good news is I have interviews and guest posts lined-up and I have been reading loads. So once I get back up to speed, there will be ALL THE REVIEWS!

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Author Query – Tom Pollock

tompollock-ourladyofthestreetsLast month I reviewed Our Lady of the Streets, the final book in Tom Pollock’s the Skyscraper Throne series. It’s no secret its one of my favourite series of the past few years and I was both excited to learn how the story was going to end and sad that I would be saying goodbye to Beth and Pen. After I finished the book I had questions and Tom was lovely enough to answer them. The resulting interview is below. Be warned though, it is a spoiler-heavy interview, so if you haven’t read the series – and if not, why on earth not? – and want to remain unspoiled, best not read on!   Continue reading »

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Recaps and Upfronts – August and September

RecapsAugust was holiday month, as I had the first two weeks off from work. We were supposed to go away for about a week, but due to getting rained out and not coping very well with cramped quarters, we came home after two days. Which was sad, but also meant more reading. We did visit the Arnhem zoo and visited Paleis het Loo, one of the royal palaces, when they had a special Princess day. The girls got to wear princess dresses, make their own crown, and ride in a carriage and had a total blast. But after a rainy two weeks I went back to work and since the school and academic year starts today, everything is back to its usual routine, which is nice in its own way.  Continue reading »

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Corinne Duyvis’ Otherbound Launch Event at ABC Amsterdam

corinneduyvis-otherboundFor the past few months I’ve been talking about Corinne Duyvis’ fabulous debut Otherbound. I’ve reviewed it here on the blog, interviewed Corinne, and burbled on about it on Twitter and Facebook at length. When I learned that she would be doing a book launch in the Netherlands – specifically at The American Book Center’s Treehouse in Amsterdam – I was completely stoked, as it doesn’t happen that often that we get a book event for an English SFF (YA) book in the Netherlands. In fact this will be the first book event I’ll be attending in the Netherlands ever!  Continue reading »

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