Monday 31 October 2016


Title: Cell 7
Author: Kerry Drewery
Genre: YA, Sci-Fi, Dystopian, Thriller
Publisher: Hot Key Books, Bonnier Publishing
Release Date: 22nd September 2016

********Reminds me a little of Canceled: The Story Of America's Least Wanted by Michael D. Britton***********

BLURB from Goodreads
Should she live or die? You decide 

An adored celebrity has been killed. Sixteen-year-old Martha Honeydew was found holding a gun, standing over the body.

Now Justice must prevail.

The general public will decide whether Martha is innocent or guilty by viewing daily episodes of the hugely popular TV showDeath is Justice, the only TV show that gives the power of life and death decisions - all for the price of a phone call.

Martha has admitted to the crime. But is she guilty? Or is reality sometimes more complicated than the images we are shown on TV?


I was initially drawn to the striking cover and then once I read the blurb I knew I had to read the book. In today's society this book could be considered a realistic possibility 

I haven't been making as many notes during reading lately, preferring to "go with the flow" of the book instead. I will say one thought that kept nagging at me as I read the book, that this could one day really happen. The other thing was I did not want to put the book down, and I became really invested in the story and flow of the book. At times i wanted to reach in and shout or even shake one or two of the different characters.

I downloaded an e-arc of this book from Netgalley.
I find the cover really draws you in. The blue eye behind bars that represents Martha's eye as she is in the various cells. There is also the image of the bird reflected in the eye, symobolising freedom. So it makes you ponder whether the person (Martha) will in fact be free once again like the bird is or will she be found guilty. The eye image fits well with the TV program "An Eye For An Eye" that is featured in the book. The byline "Behind Bars. For Your Entertainment" is a catchphrase perfect for the "An Eye For a Eye" daily show, as well as hinting at what you are going to find inside. It is very "Big Brotheresque" to me. I can honestly say this cover really catches your interest and attention on a bookshelf as it caught my eye recently in an Asda Store!
The book begins with the prologue which provides the basis for what else happens in the book. So the story begins with a loud gunshot and then we are inside Martha's head reading her inner dialogue. Martha has a gun in her hand, there's blood pouring from him. Then there's blue lights flashing on and off
The main character of this book is Martha Honeydew, she is a teenager whose father left before she was born, and her mum was killed by a hit and run driver. The "driver" was caught, it was their next door neighbour and friend of the family, Ollie. . . could he really have left Martha's mum to die alone after hitting her with his car? Ollie was sentenced to death row and was executed for the crime, so he must have done it, right? 
Now it's Martha that is on death row. . . . .for shooting a "household name" and a man who gives generously to charity, in fact a man who has given money to improve the very same slum area where Martha lives! So why did Martha do it? 
In this brilliantly created society there are no longer any judges and juries as such. No, now your "trial" is televised and it's the public that vote each day on your guilt or innocence. You have seven days to plead your case, in accordance with what is called the "seven days of justice law" When the perpetraitor is arrested they start off in Cell One, which though pretty grim is the best cell they will stay in during the trial. The Cell's become smaller in size and have smaller and smaller windows. Cell One is all white and light, the small window has white bars, theres white sheets, everywhere she looks is the same white. There's a clock in the room that has a loud tick, tick, tick. It's ticking down the time she has in this cell before being moved to the next at dawn. Martha describes the various rooms as torture in themselves, there's depravation of colour, sight, sound, all designed to unnerve and upset the prisoner held inside.
This case has a lot of attention and high interest for two main reasons. Reason one the victim is Jackson Paige began his life with nothing, living in the slum area of "The Rises" and rose in status by appearing on a relaity TV Show, soon moving to "The Avenues" into a large gated house. He went on to get married and adopted a 6 yr old boy that was orphaned in the Rises. Jackson Paige, a man with a perfect reputation on the surface who everyone loves and cares for. Everyone think they know the man,the one from the TV Show, the one that does all the amazing charity work.
Reason Two is that Martha Honeydew, labelled as the "shooter" and "the teen killer" by the press. Martha will be the first and the youngest person to go through the seven day justice system.
Martha is given counsellor called Eve, though this is more for appearances sake to mollify those who disagree with the new trial system and the fact it is on TV. Eve liveswith her mother and her son Max. Her own partner was sentenced to death and executed by the seven day justice system. Though Eve is totally realistic and knows she has no real power she decides to attempt to really reach out to Martha and see if there is anything she can do to help her despite Martha not wanting help and simply reiterating that she shot JAckson Pierce and is willing to die for her crime.
As evidence is presented on the TV show An Eye For An Eye, the public are encouraged to vote in using the "Votes For All System" to decide Martha's innocence and she will be set free, or her guilt when she will be executed. The show gives the telephone numbers out everyday and they run across the bottom of the TV screen as the show airs and talks to "experts"and the backgrounds of the victim and killer. There is even a text way to vote where the public texts in LIVE or DIE, as well as an online website that charges a £20 registration fee and then "just £5 per vote". So these people voting are spending a lot of money to vote.
The book is told from the point of views of Martha the accused, and point of view from a prospective of a member of the public tuning in to An Eye For An Eye. The similarities of the way the public votes is so like the way people vote in the present day on TV Reality Shows such as Big Brother, and I'm A Celebrity. Yet it is a judicial setting that could be likened to todays Judge Rinder and Judge Judy. 
To say this book is thought provoking is an understatement, you are really drawn in and care about the characters and what will or won't happen to them Martha is a extremely strong principled young woman, who is determined to follow through on a plan she came up with in just a split second. I would compare Martha to a suffragette, prepared to die for the greater cause. Martha is determined no one will know the whole complete truth until after her sentencing and execution. Martha knows how the voting will go. the rich that live in "The Avenues" have the money to vote as many times as they wish. Their feelings will be shock and horror that Jackson Pierce the poor young man that worked to get out of the slums and made something of his life that has repeatedly given to charities has been killed. . murdered by a young, teen girl from the slums who would never amount to anythiing anyway! Whereas the poor from the slums have little money to live on, never mind using it to vote to save her, and why would anyone believe in her innocence. . .  she doesn't want the public to find her innocent, she doesn't want to be freed. . . as that would ruin her plan.
This societies way of trial is not what we practice today "innocent until proven guilty". It depends on your background and crime, but from the moment you are arrested you are degraded and pushed and pulled about, even beaten up. Though any mistreatment of any source is hidden well out of sight of the camera's. 
Did I enjoy the book? I loved it! It is so thought provoking and makes you ask yourself questions, such as how we judge people upon their class and where they live.
Would I recommend the book? Definitely! I could go on and on talking about this book and the issues it brings to mind in comparison to today's reality and society.
Would I want to read another book in this series (IF one is/was available) Oh Yes! I certainly want to read more please!
Would I want to read other titles by Kate Drewery? Yes I enjoyed how the book was written and though told you things as they happened, it also kept back secrets and had some twists and turns to be played out too.

Oh wow! Brilliant! Looking forward to 7 Days in Summer 2017! A book you will discover is mentioned at the end of this one. Can't wait! It's on my 2017 Summer reading list!

Sunday 30 October 2016


Title: A Plague Of Swords
Series: The Traitor Son Cycle
Author: Miles Cameron
Publisher: Gollancz
Release Date: 25th October 2016

BLURB from Goodreads
One enemy has fallen ... a greater one remains ... now it's war The Red Knight withstood the full might of his enemy and won the day. In a victory which will be remembered through the ages, he brought disparate factions together and turned them into allies against a more powerful foe than they had ever seen. Now, he will need his allies more than ever. Because behind one adversary hid another--one with allies of their own--whose goal was never to destroy Alba, but to distract the Kingdom while achieving his true aim. And whatever it is, it's probably not in the Red Knight's interest. With one army defeated, now the Red Knight must fight again--and for every one of his allies there is a corresponding enemy. Spread out in different lands, and on sea, it will all come down to one last gamble. And to whether or not the Red Knight has guessed their foe's true intentions. With each throw of the dice, everything could be lost.



Please click on the covers to be taken to Goodreads

Goodreads places the books that make up your The Traitor Son Cycle Series into the Sci-Fi, Fantasy & Dragons, what genre/genres would you place The Traitor Son Cycle Series into?
I don't really follow Fantasy.  By that I mean it's all one to me; I don't like the sub-genre titels and pay no attention to them.

Is this a genre/genres you enjoy writing and why? Do you also enjoy reading this genre too?
I enjoy writing fantasy and historical fiction.  I've also written thrillers in the mainstream sense.  I like an intricate plot, strong characters and good world building, but that seems to me about the same across genres.

Could you give us an overview of your The Traitor Son Cycle Series? and what your plans for it? ie. How many books will there be in the whole series? Will there be any novella’s as part of the series?
There will be five book in all.  Plague of Swords is the fourth.
Thematically, the books are about a renaissance of thought; they are about what a 'great king' would necessarily be like; they are an attempt to put a new twist on the Arthurian mythos; and, at some base layer, they are an exporation of what it might be like for people with Late Medieval technology to actually fight dragons and wyverns and trolls and suchlike.

Who did the Cover Designs for the series?
Kerem Beyit does the beautiful covers, at least in the UK.

Did you plan out the whole series or do you plan and write as you go along wherever the plot & characters take you in each individual book?
I planned the whole series from the beginning.  That's not to say that characters didn't run off and change things, but as I'm now writing the last book and it's more than half done, I can say with some confidence that the main story arc is intact and will run to the conclusion I imagined 5 years ago.

Do you already know what happens, right up to the last word of the last book in The Traitor Son Cycle series?
Yes and no.  I know how it ends; I know most of the arcs; once in a while a character does something very surprising, for good character reasons.  I have a hierarchy (borrowed from Aristotle';s Poetics) which is; Characters first, then character motivations and actions, which inform plot.  Plot builds from characters...  sometimes they go off the rails :) But for the most part, yes, I know what's going to happen.

How long did it take you to write The Red Knight, from the original idea to finishing writing it? Did it take longer, shorter or about the same time length to write The Fell Sword, The Dread Wyrm and The Plague Of Swords?
It takes me about 6 months to write 250K words. Red Knight was my first Fantasy novel but was, I think, my 23rd novel.  I kind of have my techniques down now :).  All the books take about the same time to write.

Do you have a favourite book from The Traitor Son Cycle Series? If yes, which one and why?
I think my favorite is Fell Sword; maybe Plague of Swords.  It actually takes me a few years to fully take in a book, however weird that sounds.
Dread Wyrm has the best fight scene I've ever written, but Fell Sword did what I wanted it to do; a complex tale to hold readers of the first book but show them that the world was much, much wider than they had imagined.

Is there anything in The Traitor Son Cycle Series so far that you would change now if you could and what would it be?
Yes.  Much as I loved playing with 50 POVs in the first novel, I'd go back and limit myself to ten, now.  There was a point... but too many readers dislike the effort, which I understand.  Mind you, I'd also like to have had the POV of Pavalo Payam (who, in the printed version, appears in an alley in Dread Wyrm) come up in the first and second books... and I can't tell you who I would cut... so...

Friday 28 October 2016


Well as you will already know if you drop by my blog, I have had to slow things down a little due to my own health issues, (Asthma, Menieres Disease, Ehlers Danlos Syndrome Type 3 Hypermobility, Fibromyalgia, IBS, Chronic Fatigue, Chronic Pain etc sadly the list goes on and on and seems to be never ending at the moment as I have some sort of infection that is affecting my ears, sinuses and throat now!), my families health issues and my caring commitments too. So I guess this post is too late to call it an October Release for you to check out, as it's already the 22nd of October. So I will have to call the post a general "A look at October Release".

Title: Nemesis
Series: Nemesis
Author: Anna Banks
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Romance
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

Title: The Black Key
Series: The Lone City
Author: Amy Ewing
Genre: YA, Sci-Fi, Dystopian, Fantasy, Romance
Publisher: HarperTeen

Title: Fear The Drowning Deep
Author: Sarah Glenn Marsh
Genre: YA, Paranormal, Historical
Publisher: Sky Pony Press
Title: Glitter
Author: Aprilynne Pike
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Historical
Publisher: Random House

Title: What Light
Author: Jay Asher
Genre: YA, Contemporary, Romance, Christmas
Publisher: Razorbill

Title: Black Flowers, Black Lies
Author: Yvonne Ventresca
Genre: YA, Paranormal, Contemporary
Publisher: Sky Pony Press

Title: Moon Chosen
Series: Tales of  a New world
Author: P.C. Cast
Genre: YA, Fantasy
Publisher: St Martin's Griffin

Title: Iron Cast
Author: Destiny Soria
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Historical
Publisher: Amulet

Title: Spare and Found Parts
Author: Sarah Maria Griffin
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Sci-Fi
Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Title: Children Of Eden
Author: Joey Graceffa
Genre: YA, Sci-Fi, Dystopia
Publisher: Atria Press

Title: The Moon Was Ours
Author: Anna Marie McLemore
Genre: YA, Fantasy
Publisher: Thomas Dunne, St Martins Press

Title: Replica
Author: Lauren Oliver
Genre: YA, Sci-Fi
Publisher: HarperCollins

Title: A Darkly Beating Heart
Author: Lindsay Smith
Genre: YA, Sci-Fi, Time Travel, Historical
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press

Title: The Twelve Days Of Dash & Lily
Series: Dash & Lily
Author: Rachel Cohn & David Levithan
Genre: YA, Contemporary, Romance, Christmas
Publisher: Knopf

Title: What's A Soulmate?
Author: Lindsey Ouimet
Genre: YA, Fantasy
Publisher: Evernight Teen

Title: The Messenger
Author: Carol Lynch Williams
Genre: YA, Paranormal, Fantasy
Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Title: Strange Truths
Series: Alice England Mysteries
Author: S.D. Wasley
Genre: YA, Mystery
Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press

Title: Saving Red
Author: Sonya Sones
Genre: YA, Contemporary
Publisher: HarperTeen

Title: Unblemished
Author: Unblemished
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Contemporary, Romance
Publisher: Thomas Nelson, HarperCollins

Title: The Rift Uprising
Series: The Rift Uprising
Author: Amy S. Foster
Genre: YA, Sci-Fi, Dystopia
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Goodreads Link

So have YOU read any of these titles or 
do YOU have any October Releases that you think are MUST reads?

Wednesday 26 October 2016


Title: My Junior Year Of Loathing
Series: School Dayz
Author: Jennifer Digiovanni
Publisher: Swoon Romance
Release Date: 25th October 2016

BLURB from Goodreads
Junior year is supposed to be tough. Exams, term papers, homework, college tours, and participation in extra-curricular activities can all add up to non-stop stress. But Melinda Banner has goals to achieve and dreams to make real. This year, she’ll be unstoppable. But even over achievers need a break.

While walking in the woods to take a break from the stress of it all, Melinda meets a boy named Connor. After a few more run-ins, the two settle into an uneasy friendship, if you can even call it that. 

But Connor's closed and mysterious. Whenever Melinda asks too many questions, he suddenly has to go or is no longer interested in talking. When they’re together, she’s torn between wanting him to open up and running away as fast as she can. Still she can't seem to shake her budding interest in him.

Connor has his own way of looking at the world, and his views often conflict with Melinda’s practical nature. Can you like someone and loathe them at the same time? Is he even worth the emotional tug on her heartstrings or distraction from all things Junior year?

And, as if she needs another project right now, Melinda starts to obsess over the abandoned estate she passes on the way to school each day. Between Connor and the old estate, Melinda's beginning to think she's taking on too much.

But Melinda's smart. She finds a way to indulge her interest in the estate and fulfill her obligations. She will uncover the truth behind the aging edifice for an epic article in the school newspaper. 

But when her investigation reveals a connection between Connor and a tragedy long-since forgotten, Melinda has a choice: put off her junior year achievements to save a local landmark and a boy who constantly pushes her away or put them both out of her mind for good and focus on making the grade.


Late-summer humidity beads on my skin as last remnants of daylight dissipate, giving way to a bright silver moon. I drink in the scent of wildflowers along with the hum of voices mixing with a choir of cicadas in the woods behind me. When I turn to continue on, I sense a swift movement in the overgrown brush to my left. A branch snaps.
“Who’s there?” My heart ricochets around my chest. I tense my legs, prepped to run at the first sign of danger while my eyes dart along the bottom of the thicket, hoping to find a small animal. Very small. Preferably not a skunk, though.
Another snap, followed by footsteps.
“Just me,” says a male voice. Someone about my size steps out from behind a wide oak tree, hands raised. I give him the once-over, covertly searching for weapons. Dark hair, faded jeans, ratty gray T-shirt, and lace-up combat-style boots. He takes a step forward. We exchange suspicious glances.
“Thinking about calling the cops?” he asks in a low voice.
“Why? Are you a criminal?”
With a shrug, he turns his attention toward the backyard party. “Huh. Another big bash at the Martins. They hire a ten-piece band just for cocktails.”
I scoff. “Why not hook up an iPod and some speakers?”
A smile appears on his moonlit face. “Wireless speakers don’t have enough juice for a yard that size. Plus, nothing’s better than live music when you’re schmoozing with the rich and famous. Do you come here often?” He grimaces. “Man, that sounded cheesy.”
Admittedly, this is an odd time and place for pickup lines. “Actually, I’m a first-time offender. I’m the new kid on this enormous block, which is more like a small city. My mother married Brian Welsh.”
His expression blanks. “Oh.”
“I live about four houses down.” I point in the general direction. Then I second-guess myself. Should I have given this random guy in the woods so much information? He looks about my age, but all sorts of scary. And from the smell of him, he could use a long, hot shower.
He sticks out his hand. “Welcome to the neighborhood. I’m Connor.”
“Mel.” I keep my hands at my sides.
His arm remains extended. “Nice to meet you.” Our eyes meet and hold. Against my better judgement, I offer my hand, allowing his warm fingers to wrap around mine. A crash of drums, followed by laughter, directs our attention back to the party.

Jennifer DiGiovanni is the author of the School Dayz Series. When she’s not writing or reading, she likes to try new sports and activities from archery to ballroom dancing, with varying degrees of success.