My Forthcoming Spring releases


Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme where every Tuesday we look at a particular topic for discussion and use various (or more to the point ten) bookish examples to demonstrate that particular topic.  Top Ten Tuesday (created and hosted by  The Broke and Bookish) is now being hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl and future week’s topics can be found here.  This week’s topic is :

Books On My Spring TBR

This is a nice easy topic – I just need to go to my upcoming readlist which is as follows:



1. The Sisters Mederos by Patrice Sarath

Two sisters fight with manners, magic, and mayhem to reclaim their family’s name, in this captivating historical fantasy adventure.

House Mederos was once the wealthiest merchant family in Port Saint Frey. Now the family is disgraced, impoverished, and humbled by the powerful Merchants Guild. Daughters Yvienne and Tesara Mederos are determined to uncover who was behind their family’s downfall and get revenge. But Tesara has a secret – could it have been her wild magic that caused the storm that destroyed the family’s merchant fleet? The sisters’ schemes quickly get out of hand – gambling is one thing, but robbing people is another…

Together the sisters must trust each other to keep their secrets and save their family.

Due for publication – 3rd April

2. One Way by SJ Morden

ONE WAY opens at the dawn of a new era – one in which we’re ready to colonise Mars. But the contract to build the first ever Martian base has been won by the lowest bidder, so they need to cut a lot of corners. The first thing to go is the automatic construction… the next thing they’ll have to deal with is the eight astronauts they’ll sent up to build it, when there aren’t supposed to be any at all.

Frank – father, architect, murderer – is recruited for the mission with the promise of a better life, along with seven of his most notorious fellow inmates. As his crew sets to work, the accidents mount up, and Frank begins to suspect they might not be accidents at all. As the list of suspects grows shorter, it’s up to Frank to uncover the terrible truth before it’s too late.


Due for publication – 10th April

3. Noir by Christopher Moore

noir.jpgSan Francisco. Summer, 1947. A dame walks into a saloon . . .

It’s not every afternoon that an enigmatic, comely blonde named Stilton (like the cheese) walks into the scruffy gin joint where Sammy “Two Toes” Tiffin tends bar. It’s love at first sight, but before Sammy can make his move, an Air Force general named Remy arrives with some urgent business. ’Cause when you need something done, Sammy is the guy to go to; he’s got the connections on the street.

Meanwhile, a suspicious flying object has been spotted up the Pacific coast in Washington State near Mount Rainer, followed by a mysterious plane crash in a distant patch of desert in New Mexico that goes by the name Roswell. But the real weirdness is happening on the streets of the City by the Bay.

When one of Sammy’s schemes goes south and the Cheese mysteriously vanishes, Sammy is forced to contend with his own dark secrets—and more than a few strange goings on—if he wants to find his girl.

Due for publication – 17th April

4. The Underwater Ballroom Society Edited by Stephanie Burgis and Tiffany Trent

An anthology of sparkling adult f/sf stories featuring underwater ballrooms of one sort or another, from a 30s ballroom to a Martian hotel to a grand rock ‘n roll ball held in the heart of Faery itself. Edited by Stephanie Burgis and Tiffany Trent.


Due for publication – April 30th

5. The Beast’s Heart by Leif Shallcross

A sumptuously magical, brand new take on a tale as old as time—read the Beast’s side of the story at long last.

I am neither monster nor man—yet I am both.

I am the Beast.

The day I was cursed to this wretched existence was the day I was saved—although it did not feel so at the time.

My redemption sprung from contemptible roots; I am not proud of what I did the day her father happened upon my crumbling, isolated chateau. But if loneliness breeds desperation then I was desperate indeed, and I did what I felt I must. My shameful behaviour was unjustly rewarded.

My Isabeau. She opened my eyes, my mind and my heart; she taught me how to be human again.

And now I might lose her forever.


Due for publication – 3rd May

6. The Poppy War by R F Kuang

the poppyWhen Rin aced the Keju—the Empire-wide test to find the most talented youth to learn at the Academies—it was a shock to everyone: to the test officials, who couldn’t believe a war orphan from Rooster Province could pass without cheating; to Rin’s guardians, who believed they’d finally be able to marry her off and further their criminal enterprise; and to Rin herself, who realized she was finally free of the servitude and despair that had made up her daily existence. That she got into Sinegard—the most elite military school in Nikan—was even more surprising.

But surprises aren’t always good.

Because being a dark-skinned peasant girl from the south is not an easy thing at Sinegard. Targeted from the outset by rival classmates for her color, poverty, and gender, Rin discovers she possesses a lethal, unearthly power—an aptitude for the nearly-mythical art of shamanism. Exploring the depths of her gift with the help of a seemingly insane teacher and psychoactive substances, Rin learns that gods long thought dead are very much alive—and that mastering control over those powers could mean more than just surviving school.

For while the Nikara Empire is at peace, the Federation of Mugen still lurks across a narrow sea. The militarily advanced Federation occupied Nikan for decades after the First Poppy War, and only barely lost the continent in the Second. And while most of the people are complacent to go about their lives, a few are aware that a Third Poppy War is just a spark away . . .

Rin’s shamanic powers may be the only way to save her people. But as she finds out more about the god that has chosen her, the vengeful Phoenix, she fears that winning the war may cost her humanity . . . and that it may already be too late.

Due for publication – 15th May

7. By Fire Above by Robyn Bennis

byfire.jpg“All’s fair in love and war,” according to airship captain Josette Dupre, until her hometown becomes occupied by the enemy and her mother a prisoner of war. Then it becomes, “Nothing’s fair except bombing those Vins to high hell.”

Before she can rescue her town, however, Josette must maneuver her way through the nest of overstuffed vipers that make up the nation’s military and royal leaders in order to drum up support. The foppish and mostly tolerated crew member Lord Bernat steps in to advise her, along with his very attractive older brother.

Between noble scheming, under-trained recruits, and supply shortages, Josette and the crew of the Mistral figure out a way to return to Durum―only to discover that when the homefront turns into the frontlines, things are more dangerous than they seem.

Due for publication – 15th May

oddling8. The Oddling Prince by Nancy Springer

In the ancient moors of Scotland, the king of Calidon lies on his deathbed, cursed by a ring that cannot be removed from his finger. When a mysterious fey stranger appears to save the king, he also carries a secret that could tear the royal family apart.

The kingdom’s only hope will lie with two young men raised worlds apart. Aric is the beloved heir to the throne of Calidon; Albaric is clearly of noble origin yet strangely out of place.

The Oddling Prince is a tale of brothers whose love and loyalty to each other is such that it defies impending warfare, sundering seas, fated hatred, and the very course of time itself. In her long-awaited new fantasy novel, Nancy Springer (the Books of Isle series) explores the darkness of the human heart as well as its unceasing capacity for love.

Due for publication – 15th May

9. Grey Sister by Mark Lawrence

In Mystic Class Nona Grey begins to learn the secrets of the universe. But so often even the deepest truths just make our choices harder. Before she leaves the Convent of Sweet Mercy Nona must choose her path and take the red of a Martial Sister, the grey of a Sister of Discretion, the blue of a Mystic Sister or the simple black of a Bride of the Ancestor and a life of prayer and service.

All that stands between her and these choices are the pride of a thwarted assassin, the ambition of a would-be empress wielding the Inquisition like a blade, and the vengeance of the empire’s richest lord.

As the world narrows around her, and her enemies attack her through the system she has sworn to, Nona must find her own path despite the competing pull of friendship, revenge, ambition, and loyalty.

And in all this only one thing is certain.
There will be blood.


Due for publication – 3rd April/17th May

10. Cross Her Heart by Sarah Pinboroughcross her heart

Cross my heart and hope to die…

Promises only last if you trust each other, but what if one of you is hiding something? A secret no one could ever guess. Someone is living a lie. Is it Lisa? Maybe it’s her daughter, Ava. Or could it be her best friend, Marilyn?

Cross Her Heart publishes 17th May 2018. You’ll just have to wait to find out…

The explosive new thriller from Sarah Pinborough, author of the Sunday Times Bestselling novel Behind Her Eyes

– 17th May


Which books are on your Spring TBR??




Planetfall (Planetfall #1) by Emma Newman

Posted On 19 March 2018

Filed under Book Reviews

Comments Dropped 10 responses

planetfallPlanetfall is a book that I’m late to the party of which seems to be a recurring theme for me lately.  But, late or not, I can say that I’m very glad I eventually arrived- I may have missed the speeches and the gift unwrapping but I managed to arrive in time for the cake.  And wow, what a cake.  It’s got multiple layers, the filling is character rich and the cherry on top of all of this is the emotional impact that the story delivered.  To be honest this book hit me with all the feelings, which was as extraordinary as it was unexpected and certainly not something I anticipated.

The story takes place on a far away planet where a small colony of people seem to have finally established themselves a lifestyle that on the face of things seems perfect.  A utopia.  Their knowledge and creativity has taken them forward in leaps and bounds and they live in a self sustaining community that is environmentally friendly and has a low carbon footprint.  But.  Of course there’s a but.  Below the surface the little community is built on a foundation of lies, lies that are finally threatening to break through the surface in the most dramatic way.

Renata Ghali (Ren) is the main protagonist of the piece and as the story starts she is called to a situation by the Ringmaster of the community to help with a possible problem.  A lone traveller is approaching the colony.  How he’s managed to survive by himself is a mystery in itself but also the fact that this stranger could reveal secrets about the community and the deceits that help to prop up their world is the real fear.  Basically this stranger bears an uncanny resemblance to Suh-Mi – the person with the original vision about the planet and the one who created such strength of faith that people were prepared to brave the unknown to follow her.  Suh-Mi has been, well, not really missing, absent, for many years.  She is believed to be communing with God and each year she sends the residents a message through a seed pod within the walls of ‘God City’ – an alien structure that sits next to the colony and is something of an enigma to them all even now.

So, briefly.  The sci-fi in the book is really pretty cool.  I’m not really going to explain it in great detail, the people live in pods that are printed (using 3D printers).  They’re covered in moss and have highly technical functions all connected to the technological advances of the time (you’ll have to forgive me but I couldn’t help but picture hobbit holes!).  3D printers help to maintain the lifestyle of the colony and a constant cycle of recycling to help reprint more necessities.  It’s only very briefly explored.  Basically, the people have lived here for many years and there way of life is now established.  It’s not the main focus of the story, just like the space travel also isn’t involved.  It’s only relevance is in the everyday lives of the people within the community.  I like this.  It’s an established place, Newman doesn’t try to explain nor does she over simplify – it just is what it is.

Then we have the community themselves and this for me is the winning element of the story because you can take a bunch of people off the planet earth in search of bliss but basically they’re still people, warts and all.  That’s the beauty of this book.  It’s character driven and the characters are flawed, not always likable but understandable.  You also have to bear in mind that this is a small, close knit community.  It feels like everyone is living on top of each other and to an extent they are.  It’s the sort of small community where fear lives with the residents daily and anything that threatens their lifestyle could be the tipping point for the ‘mob’ to break out, pitchforks, torches and all.

The other winning element to this story is the mystery. Which is two fold – in fact threefold.  There’s the mystery of what happened when everyone originally arrived on the planet.  Only Ren and the ‘Ringmaster’ know of this secret and it’s becoming more and more difficult to keep under wraps.  On top of that Ren seems to have other secrets of her own and the pressure of keeping so many things hidden is beginning to take its toll and finally there’s the mystery of the lone stranger.  What is he planning?  Is he friend or foe?

Underlying all of this is a really powerful look at mental health issues which escalate in a very dramatic way.  Ren herself is suffering from a condition that she’s managed to keep hidden but her own paranoia, her almost ‘teetering on the edge of a panic attack’ and her privacy and self driven loneliness are all there for people to see.  On a regular basis though people just don’t take the time to look.  It takes the arrival of a stranger to drum up new tensions and act as a catalyst for exposure.  And, wow, when that eventually happens it really does pack a punch.  Oh Ren!  I wanted to help her, I wanted to shout at the rest of the community to leave her alone.  I just so felt for her.  Such a powerfully written scene.

The only criticism I really have is the ending.  It felt a little bit rushed and almost, well, it didn’t feel like the rest of the story.  I can’t really describe why.  And, I’m not entirely sure that I understand what really happened – or if I’m totally happy with it.

In spite of that one blip – and I can genuinely say it hasn’t spoiled the book for me at all – I thoroughly enjoyed this and was totally absorbed.  I can’t wait to read more.

My thanks to the publisher for a review copy received through Netgalley.  The above is my own opinion.




Weekly Wrap Up : 18/03/18

Posted On 18 March 2018

Filed under Book Reviews

Comments Dropped 18 responses

It only seems like five minutes ago since I wrote my last weekly wrap up post and here I am again.  This week for some reasons we’ve started watching Breaking Bad again – simply because we never completed the series – lets see if we make it to the end this time.  Also, I’ve read two books this week and made good progress on a couple of others.

Books read:

  1. Planetfall by Emma Newman
  2. Looking Glass by Andrew Mayne

Next Week’s Reads:

  1. The Bitter Twins by Jen Williams – I’ve read 65%
  2. Sufficiently Advanced Magic by Andrew Rowe – approx 20% read
  3. Feeder by Patrick Weekes

Upcoming reviews:

  1. Starborn by Lucy Hounsom
  2. Envy of Angels by Matt Wallace
  3. The Chrysalids by John Wyndham (Vintage Sci Fi book)
  4. Master Assassins by Robert VS Redick
  5. Planetfall by Emma Newman
  6. Looking Glass by Andrew Mayne

I’d love to know what you’re reading this week.

Friday Firsts: Planetfall by Emma Newman


Friday Firsts is a new meme that runs every Friday over on Tenacious Reader. The idea is to feature the first few sentences/paragraphs of your current book and try and outline your first impressions as a result. This is a quick and easy way to share a snippet of information about your current read and to perhaps tempt others.   This Friday I’m reading :  Planetfall by Emma Newman


planetfallEvery time I come down here I think about my mother.  I don’t want to: it just happens.  My brain has decided it’s a critical subroutine that must be executed when the correct variables are in place: (which time = predawn) + (when physical location = beneath the colony) + (when physical act = opening the door to the Masher) run “unpleasant memory of mother #345.”

My hand is pushing the door open and I’m back at my old lab and she’s following me in, her heels clicking on the tiled floor.  I’ve prepped the equipment to run one hour before her arrival so there’s something to show straightaway.  She never was a patient woman.

“Is that a printer?” she asked, and I nodded.  It started then – I know it now that I’m looking back – that tightening of my gut as I dared to hope I might impress her. 

“Yeah.” I smiled.

She didn’t.  “Like the one I have at home?”


“What’s it printing?”

“My latest work.”

She went up to the plasglass and peered through, seeing nothing but a few millimeters of tissue.  She turned to me with her nose slightly wrinkled. “What is is printing?”

“A new pancreas,” I said.  “For Dad.”

“Oh.”  She’d hoped I was making something she could hang up in the hallway of her inert home.  “I didn’t realise you were involved in this sort of thing.  I’ve seen it on the new.”

And that was the moment I knew I’d been stupid to hope for anything.

My First Impressions

Well, there’s not really much given away here is there?  It’s a memory, although clearly of a future that is more advanced than ours – if you can print out a pancreas – or is that already possible??!?!  I think my immediate fear was on reading the little algebraic type problem in brackets I wondered if this was going to maybe be a little bit more problematic than I hoped (in terms of going over my rather simple head).  However, it’s not working out like that so far so we’ll see and I must confess that on typing out this quote and rereading it for accuracy I completely understand what it means but in the immediate furore of starting a new book and rushing through the first few pages it did fly over my head.  Silly, I realise.  Anyway, so far so good.

What you reading this Friday??  What are your first impressions??

*The above excerpt was taken from an advanced reader copy and it is possible that the final version may have further changes.

Friday Face Off: ‘I got no strings to hold me down’


Here we are again with the Friday Face Off meme created by Books by Proxy .   This is a great opportunity to feature some of your favourite book covers.  The rules are fairly simple each week, following a predetermined theme (list below) choose a book, compare a couple of the different covers available for that particular book and choose your favourite.   Future week’s themes are listed below. This week’s theme:

‘I got no strings to hold me down’ – a cover featuring a doll or puppet

This week I had one specific book in mind and thankfully it had two covers so thank goodness for that – I suspect there will be some excellent books (not to mention possibly creepy) this week  My book is a read that I thoroughly enjoyed and definitely falls into the dark and creepy bracket: The Motion of Puppets by Keith Donohue

The cover on the right is the one I’m familiar with and it certainly is dramatic.  But, I have to go for :


Which is your favourite?

Next week – a cover featuring a tower

Future themes:

23rd March – “When she was a child, the witch locked her away in a tower that had neither doors nor stairs.” – a cover featuring a Tower

30th March – ‘A little soil to make it grow’ – a cover featuring seeds/spores

6th April –  “After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one’s own relations.” – a cover featuring a family

13th April – ‘lawns and rocks and heather and different sorts of trees, lay spread out below them, the river winding through it’ –  a cover featuring a panorama

20th April – Where there’s fire there’s… – a cover featuring smoke

27th April – ‘Those darling byegone times… with their delicious fortresses, and their dear old dungeons, and their delightful places of torture’ – a cover that is positively mediaeval 

4th May-  ‘A Hand without a hand? A bad jape, sister.’ – a cover featuring a hand/hands

11th May – ‘Dinosaurs eat man. Woman inherits the earth’ – a cover featuring a dinosaur/s

18th May – ‘Let’s talk of graves, of worms, and epitaphs;’ – a cover featuring a gravestone

25th May – Trip trap, trip trap, trip trap – a cover featuring footsteps

1st June – clinging and invasive – a cover featuring creeping vines

8th June – Raining Cats and Dogs – a cover featuring a stormy sky

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