Guest Post: Clare McFall

What Inspires Me

I talk a lot about finding inspiration for stories when I go out to schools and libraries and Ferryman_RGBtalk to you readers. The key thing I tell them is that inspiration can come from anywhere. Ferryman was inspired by a strange dream and the landscape I had to drive through on my long commute to school every day. Bombmaker was sparked by a Clive Owen film I saw called Children of Men. And Black Cairn Point was inspired by a camping trip my husband took me on. (What about Trespassers? Well… it was inspired by Ferryman! ) My point is, you can get that jolt of inspiration from anywhere and anything and anyone.

Other stories and other writers are definitely a source of inspiration.

One of the writers I admire the most is Malorie Blackman. I’ve talked before about how much I love Noughts & Crosses (Oh Callum, sigh), but that book is actually the start of a four-book series. Across the four books, Malorie Blackman manages to weave in a seamless development in the society the book is set in – where white people are the underclass and black people hold all the wealth and power – until, by the end of the fourth book, you can see real progress towards equality. This theme runs beautifully under four really exciting stories. It’s so clever.

A question I’m asked quite frequently whenever I do writer interviews is what book do you wish you’d written? The answer to that is Crossing the Line by Gillian Philip. It was a finalist in the Scottish Children’s Book Awards in 2010/2011 and I read it when I was taking part in the awards with one of my classes. It didn’t win in the end, but I loved it. The main character is a boy called Nick Geddes and he’s a bit of a bad lad. Not underneath, but no one really gets to see that. Male leads in YA fiction are much less Trespassers_RGBcommon, but what struck me was just how real the main character was – I could see echoes of lots of the boys I taught in his supposed hard-man manner. He was a thug with a heart and I loved him. I wish I’d created him.

Lastly, writers I really admire are those who can create a whole new world for me to enter. I read a lot of fantasy because I like escaping somewhere completely different. The best writers create not just people and places, but rich cultures that make the story seems so believable, I can imagine this world really does exist. The most famous example is J. R. R. Tolkien and The Lord of the Rings, but more recently George R. Martin’s Game of Thrones has come to the fore. I also love The Iron Seas books by Meljean Brooks (adult content alert!) which are steampunk and so cool. Graceling by Kristin Cashore is another good (much more YA!) example. I’d love to have a go at high fantasy – creating my own world – someday, but I worry that I’ll struggle to think outside the box, that our world will be too ingrained in my head. I’m waiting for a really cool idea to strike, then I’m going to have a bash. Because you should always attempt something that scares you – otherwise how would you grow?

ClaireMcFallClaire McFall is a writer and a teacher who lives and works in the Scottish Borders. She is the author of paranormal thriller Black Cairn Point, winner of the inaugural Scottish Teenage Book Prize 2017. Her debut novel Ferryman won a Scottish Children’s Book Award, and was nominated for the Carnegie Medal and shortlisted for the Branford Boase award. Her other books include dystopian thriller Bombmaker. Trespassers, the much-anticipated sequel to Ferryman, will be published on 14th September 2017.

 

Thanks so much to Claire for her fabulous guest post, and check back next week for a review of the stunning Ferryman!

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Release Day Celebration: Queen of Shadows – Sarah J. Maas

Today the wonderful Throne of Glass series is continued with Queen of Shadows, the fourth book in the series.
This has got to be one of my favourite book series’s around at the moment, and if you haven’t had a chance to read book one – Throne of Glass – you can read my review
here.

To celebrate the release of the book, the tour organisers – Rockstar Book Tours – are hosting a giveaway of the first three books in the series, so if Throne of Glass is something you’ve always wanted to read, now is the perfect opportunity. You can enter by clicking here!

Didn’t know Queen of Shadows was being released today? While here’s a bit more about the book, some links to purchase a copy and if that wasn’t enough, a link to read the first five chapters completely free.

Title: QUEEN OF SHADOWS
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Pub. Date: September 1, 2015
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Pages: 656
Find it: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, Goodreads


Sarah J. Maas’s New York Times bestselling Throne of Glass series reaches new heights in this sweeping fourth volume.


Everyone Celaena Sardothien loves has been taken from her. But she’s at last returned to the empire—for vengeance, to rescue her once-glorious kingdom, and to confront the shadows of her past . . .


She will fight for her cousin, a warrior prepared to die just to see her again. She will fight for her friend, a young man trapped in an unspeakable prison. And she will fight for her people, enslaved to a brutal king and awaiting their lost queen’s triumphant return.


Celaena’s epic journey has captured the hearts and imaginations of millions across the globe. This fourth volume will hold readers rapt as Celaena’s story builds to a passionate, agonizing crescendo that might just shatter her world.


Read Chapters 1-5 of QUEEN OF SHADOWS HERE!


About Sarah:

Sarah J. Maas is the author of the New York Times, USA Today, and internationally best selling Throne of Glass series–Sarah1Throne of Glass, Crown of Midnight, and Heir of Fire, and the series’ prequel, The Assassin’s Blade–as well as the New York Times and USA Today best selling A Court of Thorns and Roses. She wrote the first incarnation of the Throne of Glass series when she was just sixteen, and it has now sold in twenty-three languages. Queen of Shadows, the fourth book in the Throne of Glass series, will release worldwide on September 1st, 2015.

A New York native, Sarah currently lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and dog. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Hamilton College in 2008 with a degree in Creative Writing and a minor in Religious Studies.

So if you’ve already purchased Queen of Shadows, I hope you have a wonderful time reading it. Good luck to all those entering the give away, and stay tuned for my review of Queen of Shadows, coming soon!

Blog Tour: Jubilee Manor – Bethany Hagen


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Pub. Date: August 11, 2015
Publisher: Dial Books
Pages: 400

The thrilling conclusion to Landry Park is full of love, betrayal, and murder–perfect for fans of Divergent, The Selection, and Pride and Prejudice.

In Landry Park, Madeline turned her back on her elite family, friends, and estate to help the Rootless. Now, in Jubilee Manor, she struggles to bring the Gentry and the Rootless together. But when Gentry heirs—Madeline’s old friends—are murdered, even she begins to think a Rootless is behind it, putting her at odds with the boy she loves and the very people she is trying to lead. If she can’t figure out who is killing her friends and bring them to justice, a violent war will erupt and even more will die—and Madeline’s name, her estate, and all the bonds she’s forged won’t make any difference.

This conclusion to Landry Park, which VOYA dubbed “Gone with the Wind meets The Hunger Games,” is a richly satisfying, addictive read.


Now read an interview with Landry Park author Bethany Hagen!

1. For those who haven’t read the Landry Park series, can you sum it up for us?

Sure! Landry Park is about a world in the future that looks a lot like the past. After a civil war driven by poverty and economics, America has reordered itself so that the victors of the war and their descendants (the gentry) are able to live a life of extravagance while the losers (the Rootless) are forced to handle the nuclear waste that powers their luxurious lifestyle. The series starts off when Madeline Landry—heiress to the most powerful estate in the country—meets the latest import to her city’s society: Captain David Dana, who is, despite his cute face and big bank account, hiding some very dangerous secrets…

2. Did you always plan to write two Landry Park books, or will there be more?

We did originally plan on more! I sold the series as a trilogy, and I had the series plotted out in a very specific direction. But as I was writing the second book, my editor and I agreed that the original direction wasn’t working any more, and so we decided to go back to the drawing board and restructure the way Madeline’s story ended. And when we did that, we also agreed that stretching the new storyline into a trilogy would make the whole arc seem weaker, and neither of us wanted that. We decided we’d rather have two action-packed books than three so-so ones J

3. Now that Jubilee Manor is due to be released in a few months, what are you working on now?

I am working on editing my next book, which is a science-fiction novel about space stations and hackers and cute boys who forget to put their shirts on sometimes. It’s a standalone book, so it’s not part of the Landry Park universe and there won’t be a sequel.

3. If Landry Park was to be made into a screen adaptation, who would you cast?

Oh, that’s so hard because there are so many amazing actors and actresses out there! I think for Madeline Landry, I would cast someone like Rachel Hurd-Wood or Emily Kinney—someone that initially projects a certain fragility, but underneath it all, there’s fierce strength and intelligence. And casting David is so hard because he really only exists in my mind! But Lucas Till looks a lot like how I picture David in my mind, with the blond hair and the blue eyes.

5. Responses for both Landry Park and Jubilee Manor have been fantastic, how does that make you feel?

It’s so overwhelmingly awesome when readers tell you that they are enjoying something that you’ve worked on for so long! Whenever someone takes the time to reach out and say nice things, I usually end up blushing like mad and also maybe wanting to cry a little bit. Knowing that you gave even just one person a great experience makes up for so many other things!

6. During the editing process, was there anything that got cut that you wish had made the final version of the book?

There was a great scene with Cara where she walks into a room in the middle of the night completely naked and holding a bottle of gin. It was way over the top and took away from some of the things I was trying to illustrate about Cara in Jubilee Manor, but it was so much fun to write and it just felt so Cara, like if any character was going to be naked-gin-bottle-holding, it would be her!

7. What inspired you to mix science fiction with Victorian/high society?

It was a slow process, actually! When I was in college, I worked at this small history museum giving tours, and since it was a small museum, the Gilded Age/Edwardian Era section was right around the corner from the Cold War section. And after looping through the exhibit a million times, the two time periods started to gel a bit in my mind. I started wondering what it would

look like if we had a society like we had in the Edwardian Era but it was all powered by nuclear energy? And the rest, of course, is history!

8. Can you recommend readers a good book you’ve read recently?

Yes! I just finished A Thousand Nights by E.K. Johnston, and it is so beautiful and magical and haunting that I just want to quit writing forever because I’ll never be able to write anything like that!

9. Thank you so much for taking part in the interview, is there anything you’d like to add to finish us off?

No, just that I so appreciate you hosting me and that I hope everyone enjoys the conclusion to the Landry Park series!

Bethany

About Bethany: (photo by Ritu Nanos)

Bethany is a a former librarian living in the Kansas City area with her husband and two children.

Her debut novel Landry Park came out from Dial/Penguin in 2014, and the sequel, Jubilee Manor, will be out August 11, 2015. She is am represented by Mollie Glick of Foundry Media.

Would you like to be in with a chance of winning a paperback copy of Landry Park and an ARC of Jubliee Manor? Click here to enter!
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Feature: Interview with Daniel José Older author of Shadowshaper

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Pub. Date: June 30, 2015
Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books (Scholastic)
Pages: 304
Find It On: Goodreads. Amazon.

Cassandra Clare meets Caribbean legend in SHADOWSHAPER, an action-packed urban fantasy from a bold new talent.

Sierra Santiago was looking forward to a fun summer of making art, hanging out with her friends, and skating around Brooklyn. But then a weird zombie guy crashes the first party of the season. Sierra’s near-comatose abuelo begins to say “No importa” over and over. And when the graffiti murals in Bed-Stuy start to weep…. Well, something stranger than the usual New York mayhem is going on.

Sierra soon discovers a supernatural order called the Shadowshapers, who connect with spirits via paintings, music, and stories. Her grandfather once shared the order’s secrets with an anthropologist, Dr. Jonathan Wick, who turned the Caribbean magic to his own foul ends. Now Wick wants to become the ultimate Shadowshaper by killing all the others, one by one. With the help of her friends and the hot graffiti artist Robbie, Sierra must dodge Wick’s supernatural creations, harness her own Shadowshaping abilities, and save her family’s past, present, and future.

Shadowshaper sounds like such a fascinating book, now read an interview with the author!

1. For those who haven’t read Shadowshaper yet, can you sum it up for us?

When a creepy dead guy shows up at the first party of the summer, Sierra Santiago is forced to unravel a mystery that reaches deep into her own family’s magical legacy and the heart of Brooklyn itself.

2. The idea that spirits can be contacted through paintings and music is a very unusual one, what inspired the idea?

I think there’s a connection between art and spirituality in that both are grasping for things we can’t fully confine with a description. We’re always translating – translating experience to canvas or page, translating emotion to notes and sounds – and in some ways never quite reaching what we want to say, but there’s beauty in the reach, even in the failure. Spirituality is similar – it’s beyond description. We talk a lot about history being present, but what that does that really mean? In Shadowshaper, history is physicalized in the form of these towering shadows, and then even more so when they enter a work of art.

3. With Shadowshaper about to be released in a few weeks, what are you planning to work on next?

Currently amidst a few essays, which always feel like a good way to cleanse my pallet after writing a novel. Then I’ll be jumping back into the third book in the Bone Street Rumba series, which I put down at exactly the halfway point to handle a few other projects.

4. You write predominantly in the urban fantasy genre, what’s your favourite thing about it?

I grew up in a city (Boston) and have lived here in Brooklyn for over ten years and to me, cities come to life, pulse with complexity and history and stories. Especially old cities. So much has happened here, so much is happening now. I love thinking about what new mythologies can speak to this new time.

5. Of all the characters you have ever written, who is your favourite and why?

Goodness what a tough question! Characters can be like children in a way – you hear parents say, I love you all in different ways – I kinda feel like that. Sierra is very close to my heart; I put a lot of myself in her and like me, she loves to draw. Kia Summers is a character I first wrote in Half-Resurrection Blues as a very peripheral part of Carlos, the main character’s world, but she instantly took over the page and I ended up making her a main point of view character in the sequel Midnight Taxi Tango. She’s such a raw and deeply human character to write, it barely feels like writing, just transcribing really. Her and Sierra probably share the top rank.

6. What was the process like for writing Shadowshaper, did it take you long to complete?

This has been the longest, most complex writing process I’ve ever been through. It has been amazing and I’ve learned so much. Shadowshaper is actually my first book; I started it in 2009, before I’d written anything from the Bone Street Rumba series. It went through many edits, got torn apart and put back together many times, was splayed across my office wall in a kind of post-it note collage storyboard for a few years and finally came together into the book it is now. It’s been an amazing journey.

7. What is your favourite book so far of 2015?

The best book I’ve read this year is Kai Ashante Wilson’s The Sorcerer at Wildeeps, a novella coming out soon from Tor.com. If Shakespeare, James Baldwin, George Martin, and Ghostface Killah were to have a baby, it’d be this book. Get it.

8. Thank you so much for taking part in this interview, is there anything you’d like to add to finish us off?

I’m thrilled to have Shadowshaper come out in this exciting time in the YA/MG world. Great authors like Kekla Magoon, Sherri Smith, Jason Reynolds, Tracey Baptiste, Sarah McCarry, Adam Silvera, Sofia Quintero, and many more are pushing the boundaries of the field in ways we haven’t seen before. ¡Pa’lante!

About Daniel:

danieljoseolder1Daniel José Older is the author of the upcoming Young Adult novel Shadowshaper (Arthur A. Levine Books, 2015) and the Bone Street Rumba urban fantasy series, which begins in January 2015 with Half-Resurrection Blues from Penguin’s Roc imprint. Publishers Weekly hailed him as a “rising star of the genre” after the publication of his debut ghost noir collection, Salsa Nocturna. He co-edited the anthology Long Hidden: Speculative Fiction from the Margins of History and guest edited the music issue of Crossed Genres. His short stories and essays have appeared in Tor.com, Salon, BuzzFeed, the New Haven Review, PANK, Apex and Strange Horizons and the anthologies Subversion and Mothership: Tales Of Afrofuturism And Beyond. Daniel’s band Ghost Star gigs regularly around New York and he facilitates workshops on storytelling from an anti-oppressive power analysis. You can find his thoughts on writing, read dispatches from his decade-long career as an NYC paramedic and hear his music at ghoststar.net/ and @djolder on twitter.


As part of this tour run by Rockstar Book Tours, Daniel is kindly giving away three finished copies of Shadowshaper (US only.) Click here to enter! Thank you for checking out my post on the tour and be sure to click the banner below to check out the other tour stops!

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Blog Tour: Spotlight on The Sephra’s Tear – Robyn Bachar

25689256Series: Just One Spell – Book One
Release Date: June 6th 2015
Publisher: Self – Published
Pages: 318
Find It On: Goodreads. Amazon.

Just one spell will change their fates…

Cordelia is a pawn of House Dorchada–a notorious noble family comprised of thieves, assassins and dark wizards. Desperate to avoid their poisonous politics, Cordelia plotted her escape for years, but her carefully laid plans are jeopardized when her father commands her to marry an aged lord of Frostever.

With only a few short months left before her wedding, Cordelia’s salvation hinges on creating a Sephra’s Tear–a forbidden amulet that causes overwhelming lust in its victim. A black market buyer promises a life-changing amount of coin as payment for the Tear, but being caught creating it carries a death sentence.

Two wizards are needed to produce the passion to fuel the erotic spell, so Cordelia recruits the aid of peasant wizard Nathaniel Ravenwood. Nathaniel has long denied his desire for the beautiful Cordelia. As a noblewoman and a Dorchada she is as dangerous to Nathaniel as a viper, but the fortune she offers is a temptation he can’t refuse.

Dealing in dark magic comes with a price, and Cordelia and Nathaniel risk losing their freedom–and their hearts. Their fates depend on the one spell that will free them, or destroy them.

Doesn’t it sound amazing? Now read an excerpt from The Sephra’s Tear below!

Nathaniel’s study was located in the lower levels of the stronghold, carved out of the stone the city was built upon, where the wizards of limited financial means lived and trained. The décor changed with each floor she descended, the layers of artistry and comfort stripped away until the walls and floor were bare gray stone. Like everything in White Harbor, the lines dividing the wealthy and the poor were clear. Cordelia enjoyed the tangible privileges of noble birth, but she knew she wouldn’t have them for much longer. She’d gladly give up silk and perfume for the freedom that wool and sweat would bring her.

When she arrived at Nathaniel’s door she paused and inhaled a deep breath. Cordelia had committed many small larcenies, and a Sephra’s Tear would be the boldest sin she had ever attempted. Cordelia’s hand trembled as she raised it, and she knocked and opened the door when she heard him bid her enter.

Seated at the aged desk dominating the room, Nathaniel glanced up from the book he had been reading. Surprise flickered across his face for a moment before he rose.

“Lady Dorchada. I won’t have your money until the first of next month.”

“Yes, I know.”

“Then to what do I owe this honor?” Though the question was phrased respectfully, his tone was suspicious. She couldn’t blame him—a Dorchada at one’s door was never a harbinger of good news.

Cordelia stepped into the tiny room and let the door shut behind her. He had a desk, a small alchemy table and a stove for heat. There was one other chair, but it was occupied by a tall stack of books. She glanced at it and gave Nathaniel a pointed look. Rounding his desk, he cleared the books away and waved his guest to take a seat.

“Thank you.” The stiff chair was uncomfortable, but Cordelia sat in it primly. “I apologize for the interruption. I will try not to keep you long. I have a new business proposition.”

“You have my attention.” Nathaniel returned to his seat and watched her with a neutral expression. She hesitated as the well-rehearsed speech vanished from her thoughts. Cordelia cleared her throat and tried to phrase her request as politely as possible.

“I need assistance with casting a somewhat difficult spell, and I hope that you may be able to aid me.”

“What sort of spell?” Nathaniel tended to be brusque, and his straightforwardness added to the anxiety tying her stomach into knots.

“One that would require discretion, should you choose to be involved.”

Nathaniel sat back and folded his hands in his lap. “All of our dealings require discretion, my lady. Thus far I’ve been impressed by your caution.”

Cordelia nodded. “Thank you. It is a Sephra’s Tear. A potent Tear.”

The wizard’s dark eyebrows rose to nearly his hairline. He raised his folded hands, covering his mouth to hide his expression. She admired his composure in response to such an unusual request—he probably didn’t often have women arriving unannounced at his door to ask that he make love to them until they both collapsed. Then again, he just might, considering how attractive he was. Nathaniel was older than Cordelia, but not by much. Unbound, his long black hair fell past his shoulders. As with most wizards Nathaniel’s hands were slender, hinting at dexterity instead of strength, and he had high, sharp cheekbones that most of the noble ladies in White Harbor would kill to be graced with. His plain, charcoal robes were well made, but were durable instead of fashionable. Cordelia found his eyes to be his most interesting feature; pale, crystalline blue, Nathaniel’s eyes were mesmerizing, though they were usually filled with suspicion when looking at her.

The Sephra’s Tear is available now, and as part of this tour Robyn is giving away a $25 gift card, which you can enter by clicking here!

Guest Post: A. F. E. Smith – Author of Darkhaven

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Book Boom: Why It’s A Great Time To Be A Reader

Most authors are readers as well as writers. I’ve been obsessed with reading since I was two years old, and even becoming a published author and seeing ‘behind the scenes’ hasn’t changed that. If anything, I love books now even more than I did when I was a child, because I can appreciate how important they are to humanity in general, not just to me. So for the third and final week of my blog tour, I’m focusing less on writing and my own book, and more on reading. And here at The Bibliophile Chronicles, I thought it would be appropriate to talk a little bit about why I think this is such an awesome time in publishing history for readers.

Like many reading addicts, I have a house that’s full of bookcases, and every bookcase is stuffed full of books. They overflow onto the floor, and there are more of them in boxes that I simply haven’t found the space for. Even my toddler’s bedroom contains a full-size bookcase that’s overloaded with children’s books (start ’em young). I love my books. I would never live in a house that didn’t have walls lined with reading material. Yet at the same time, a few years ago it became clear that something would have to change. I was simply running out of space.

And that brings us to reason #1 why it’s a great time to be a reader: ebooks! My husband gave me an e-reader when our first child was a baby, and it was a revelation. I didn’t have to find space for my new books any more. I could carry them with me wherever I went. If I wanted something new to read, I didn’t need to pack the baby up and bundle him off to the store; I could just download the book of my choice. Of course, I didn’t stop reading printed books, because I’ll never stop reading printed books. But as a way to discover a whole raft of new authors at very reasonable prices – and try out books and genres I might never have tried before – and grab the entire back catalogue of an author I fell in love with, without having to worry about where I’d put it … wow. I’ve been reading the vast majority of my books in electronic format ever since.

And of course, the availability of ebooks also leads directly to reason #2, which is the number of
new authors out there to find. Although I’m with a traditional publisher, I read very widely: books from big publishers, books from indie publishers, books from self-published authors. I’ve found amazing books in all three categories. It’s wonderful to have access to all these voices that might not have been heard before, and to be able to read things both within and outside the mainstream. Whatever your interests, and whatever style and genre you prefer, there’s always something new to find.

What moves me more than reading a great story is the fact that books are one of the very few things that can do this. 
Dear books, I love you. I love you more than you will ever know (probably because I keep you in really cramped spaces and flag you so much).
(Taken and submitted by thefirstdream) Of course, that presents the challenge of deciding which books to try when there are so many to choose from – and that’s where reason #3 comes in. Readers have more ways to find out about books than ever before. Instead of relying on a handful of paid critics with very specific opinions and criteria, we can get recommendations from other people like us. Whatever you like, there’s bound to be a blogger out there with similar tastes. And with sites like Goodreads or online stores like Amazon, it’s also possible to get a quick yet thorough impression of whether a book is likely to be of interest to you. I often stand in awe of reviewers and the detail they go into – and it’s rare that I’ll buy a book without reading at least a handful of reviews.

I’m not sure what the future of publishing holds. As a writer, I might be concerned about the driving down of prices and whether anyone will be able to earn a living from writing in the future, given that readers expect their ebooks to be far cheaper than their printed copies. But as a reader, I’m really looking forward to all the new books I’m going to discover in the years ahead. As a reader, I don’t think there’s ever been a better time to love reading!

Darkhaven, Anna’s début book is out now, check it out here!
 

Feature: May Book Haul!

This is very very belated, and I completely forgot that I hadn’t posted it, but here is my round up of books I bought in May!

1. A Court of Thorns and Roses – Sarah J. Maas
2. Harley Quinn: Hot in the City – Amanda Conner
3. Darkhaven – A. F. E. Smith
4. The Lesser Dead – Christopher Buehlman

16096824 1. A Court of Thorns and Roses – Sarah J. Maas

When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin—one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.

As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she’s been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow grows over the faerie lands, and Feyre must find a way to stop it . . . or doom Tamlin—and his world—forever.

I imagine a lot of people have this on their purchase lists this month! As soon as I heard Sarah J. Maas had a new series in the works, I absolutely had to get my paws on it. Throne of Glass is such a fantastic series, and I have high expectations for this one. I’ve seen some mixed reviews online already, so I’m hoping it won’t be a disappointment!

215559732. Harley Quinn: Hot in the City – Amanda Conner

The cyclone ain’t the only roller coaster in Coney Island…

At least, not after Harley Quinn rides into town. When Gotham’s favourite sociopath inherits a building off the famous boardwalk, she feels right at home in the (literal) freakshow. Unfortunately the legion of bounty hunters after the price on her head seem to know it, too.

Who else but Harley Quinn could handle all that Brooklyn’s criminal underbelly has to offer – Russian spies, senior citizen’s, and rival roller derby teams included – and still have time for a double chilli dog or six?

I’m so excited to read this. Harley Quinn is one of my favourite characters from the Batman universe and when I heard she was finally getting her own series, I knew it was going to be just fabulous. I actually bought this volume as well as volume two: Power Outage, so I’m hoping for a weekend of peace and quiet to really enjoy the tongue n cheek humour and fantastic artwork.

3. Darkhaven – A. F. E. Smith

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Ayla Nightshade never wanted to rule Darkhaven. But her half-brother Myrren – true heir to the throne – hasn’t inherited their family gift, forcing her to take his place.

When this gift leads to Ayla being accused of killing her father, Myrren is the only one to believe her innocent. Does something more sinister than the power to shapeshift lie at the heart of the Nightshade family line?

Now on the run, Ayla must fight to clear her name if she is ever to wear the crown she never wanted and be allowed to return to the home she has always loved.

When A. F. E. Smith contacted me about being part of a blog tour for this book, I instantly said yes. It sounds amazing, and has such a glorious cover. I’ve seen a few reviews posted already and they’ve all rated the book very highly. The book is being released through Harper Voyager next month, so stay tuned for a review and a guest post from the author herself!

208934074. The Lesser Dead – Christopher Buehlman

The secret is, vampires are real and I am one.
The secret is, I’m stealing from you what is most truly yours and I’m not sorry—

New York City in 1978 is a dirty, dangerous place to live. And die. Joey Peacock knows this as well as anybody—he has spent the last forty years as an adolescent vampire, perfecting the routine he now enjoys: womanizing in punk clubs and discotheques, feeding by night, and sleeping by day with others of his kind in the macabre labyrinth under the city’s sidewalks.

The subways are his playground and his highway, shuttling him throughout Manhattan to bleed the unsuspecting in the Sheep Meadow of Central Park or in the backseats of Checker cabs, or even those in their own apartments who are too hypnotized by sitcoms to notice him opening their windows. It’s almost too easy.

Until one night he sees them hunting on his beloved subway. The children with the merry eyes. Vampires, like him…or not like him. Whatever they are, whatever their appearance means, the undead in the tunnels of Manhattan are not as safe as they once were.

And neither are the rest of us.

How fabulous does this sound? I read the synopsis on Goodreads and immediately added to my Amazon basket. I loved a good dark and creepy horror, and this sounds like it checks all the boxes. Christopher Buehlman is well known for his well crafted stories, and I’m sure The Lesser Dead will be no exception!

That about concludes the books I bought in May, what about you, what have you been buying? Have you read any of these, what did you think?