N.D. Gomes – Dear Charlie

ndgomes-dearcharlieEngland, 1996.
Death should never meet the young. But it did. Thanks to my brother, death made fourteen new friends that day. Maybe even fifteen, if you count Charlie.

At sixteen, Sam Macmillan is supposed to be thinking about girls, homework and his upcoming application to music college, not picking up the pieces after the school shooting that his brother Charlie committed. Yet as Sam desperately tries to hang on to the memories he has of his brother, the media storm surrounding their family threatens to destroy everything. And Sam has to question all he thought he knew about life, death, right and wrong.

School shootings are a sad phenomenon of our time and have been the subject of numerous YA novels in the past years. I’ve read two of those, Matthew Quick’s Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock and Marieke Nijkamp’s This is Where It Ends. Both are gripping, emotional novels, each dealing with different points of view on the matter. Quick’s book is written from the point of view of the shooter, while Nijkamp’s novel shows us differing perspectives of teens involved in a school shooting. Dear Charlie takes a very different tack, though its story is equally compelling and emotional. N.D. Gomes focuses her novel on the aftermath of a school shooting and what happens to the family of the culprit.  Read More …

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Author Query – Jamison Stone

stone-runeoftheapprentice-6x9-cv-ft_hiresJamison Stone’s Rune of the Apprentice sounds like a book I’d very much enjoy  — and I one day plan to — but since I’m already terribly behind on my reading, I asked Jamison whether he’d be willing to answer some questions about the book and his writing. Luckily, he said yes, so here we are. Hopefully you’ll enjoy his answers as much as I did and check out Rune of the Apprentice!

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Let’s start with the basics. Who is Jamison Stone? 

Hello everyone! I was born in Massachusetts and raised throughout New England on a healthy diet of magic, martial arts, and meditation. I live with my loving wife and wolf, but expect to have our pack grow soon. When I am not getting distracted by video games, I am the director of Apotheosis Studios. Rune of the Apprentice is my first novel, however, there are more on the way.  Read More …

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Guest Review: Lois McMaster Bujold – The Warrior’s Apprentice

Wiebe is back with another review and this time he is tackling a classic!

loismcmasterbujold-thewarriorsapprenticeMiles Vorkosigan’s physical infirmities have destroyed his lifelong dream. After flunking the physical and being dropped from the Barrarayan military academy, he takes what he thinks will be a pleasure trip. However, Miles has a towering talent for leadership-and for chaos-and he and his companions soon run afoul of spacegoing mercenaries. One thing leads to another until miles, now a self-appointed admiral with an alias, finds himself leading his mercenaries on an impossible mission. If he can’t be an officer in the Barrarayan military, perhaps miles will make a very good space pirate.

There is still one problem, however. Miles is a member of the Barrarayan aristocracy, and the law of his home planet forbids members of that class from having their own armed forces…and breaking that law carries a death sentence. 

My wife, the Fantastical Librarian, suggested Lois McMaster Bujold’s The Warrior’s Apprentice to me when we were shopping in the Forbidden Planet in London. Read More …

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Barbara Barnett – The Apothecary’s Curse

barabrabarnett-theapothecaryscurseIn Victorian London, the fates of physician Simon Bell and apothecary Gaelan Erceldoune entwine when Simon gives his wife an elixir created by Gaelan from an ancient manuscript. Meant to cure her cancer, it kills her. Suicidal, Simon swallows the remainder—only to find he cannot die.

Five years later, hearing rumors of a Bedlam inmate with regenerative powers like his own, Simon is shocked to discover it’s Gaelan. The two men conceal their immortality, but the only hope of reversing their condition rests with Gaelan’s missing manuscript.

When modern-day pharmaceutical company Transdiff Genomics unearths diaries describing the torture of Bedlam inmates, the company’s scientists suspect a link between Gaelan and an unnamed inmate. Gaelan and Genomics geneticist Anne Shawe are powerfully drawn to each other, and her family connection to his manuscript leads to a stunning revelation. Will it bring ruin or redemption?

The Apothecary’s Curse is Barbara Barnett’s debut novel. When I read the synopsis for it, I was immediately intrigued, as it reminded me a little of Deb Harkness’ A Discovery of Witches, because of the mixture of alchemy and the past and current timelines. Once read, The Apothecary’s Curse turned out to be quite different, but an equally fabulous read. I loved the book; its characters and its theme captured my heart and of course I couldn’t resist the fact that one of the mysteries at its heart is an ancient manuscript.  Read More …

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Author Query – Barbara Barnett

barabrabarnett-theapothecaryscurseI’m really excited about today’s interview. I read Barbara Barnett’s The Apothecary’s Curse last month and I loved it. (Look for a review of the book tomorrow!) So I was happy to be able to ask Barbara some questions about her debut novel. I got to ask her about alchemy, research and her love of everything Holmes. I hope you enjoy Barbara’s answers and check out The Apothecary’s Curse.

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Let’s start with the basics. Who is Barbara Barnett? 

Thank you so much for the opportunity to speak to you and your readers!!  Read More …

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Author Query – Ruth Downie + Giveaway

Cover Image Vita BrevisHistorical crime fiction is my jam — well one of them — and while I mostly read books set later in history, I have a soft spot for books with a Roman setting. Ruth Downie’s Medicus series featuring Gaius Ruso is one that I wasn’t familiar with, but given that Vita Brevis is the seventh book in the series, I’ve got some catching up to look forward to. Today, I’m happy to be part of the Vita Brevis blog tour with an interview with Ruth and a giveaway for a copy of the book. I hope you enjoy Ruth’s answers as much as I did and do check out the other stops on the blog tour.   Read More …

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Guest Review: Jack Campbell – Lost Fleet: Dauntless

jackcampbell-lostfleetdauntlessToday’s review is a guest review. Wiebe has caught the review bug and has started writing up some reviews for A Fantastical Librarian. For those of you not familiar with his name, Wiebe is my husband, who also loves SFF and watches a lot of anime. And he’s got opinions. So sometimes he just needs to write them out in a review, which I happily co-opt for the blog. Today he reviews Jack Campbell’s Dauntless, the fist in the Lost Fleet series.  Read More …

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Big Book Bonanza 2016

bbbcatalogueLast week I was invited to attend the Big Book Bonanza, an event co-hosted by Van Ditmar Boekenimport, a big, Dutch book supplier, and Harper Collins UK and US. It was the first time I’ve attended such an event here in the Netherlands, as usually UK/US publishers don’t give these sorts of presentations in The Netherlands and if they do, they don’t invite bloggers. However, Van Ditmar and HarperCollins are looking to change this which is why yours truly was invited.  Read More …

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Henry L. Herz – Little Red Cuttlefish

henrylherz-littleredcuttlefishLittle Red is off to deliver a fresh basket of crab cakes to Grandma Cuttlefish. Everything goes swimmingly . . .at first. While Little Red might be safe from any big, bad wolves, she has to look out for something even more dangerous: the hungry tiger shark!

Luckily, this cuttlefish is anything but cuddly, and Little Red has a few tricks hidden up her tentacles. She’ll camouflage, squirt ink clouds, and use her quick reflexes to outwit that pesky shark and deliver her crab cakes unharmed. After all—she doesn’t want to miss dessert!

Little Red Cuttlefish is the second book out from Henry L. Herz this month. This time it’s a retelling of Little Red Riding Hood, but one with a twist. I really enjoyed the fact that Little Red didn’t need rescuing, but did the rescuing herself. The colourful, bright illustrations by Kate Gotfredson capture the story beautifully and also give little readers plenty of interesting elements to search out. My favourite thing was the little clownfish that was hiding in each page and having my girls try and spot him.  Read More …

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Author Query – S.C. Flynn

childrenofthedifferentweb150Earlier this month I reviewed S.C. Flynn’s debut Children of the Different, which I really enjoyed. Today I am part of S.C.’s blog tour for the book with an Author Query. Thanks to S.C. for dropping by and I hope you enjoy the interview.

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Let’s start with the basics. Who is S.C. Flynn?

I am an Australian/British/Irish/Italian reader and obsessive reviser. I was born in a small town in South West Western Australia, but I have lived in Europe for more than twenty years. First the United Kingdom, then Italy and currently Ireland, the home of my ancestors. That has been a great experience, but also difficult and lonely at times.  Read More …

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