Category Archives: Feature

Next on My TBR Pile| ALL THE FANTASY

April 30, 2016

It’s been a long time since I did a TBR pile to share with you all, but I feel now is a good time to create and share another with you all. I’ve been on a bit of a fantasy binge of late, and I have no plans in stopping it any time soon, so I figured I’d share the next fantasy books sitting on my TBR pile.

fantasy tbr pile

Yes there are two Throne of Glass novels on there, because I don’t plan on reading a single thing else until I am caught up with the series and then join everyone else for the wait for Empire of Storms.

Snow Like Ashes has been on my radar for a long while, but for some reason I still haven’t gotten round to picking it up for a read! The synopsis sounds fab, so with any luck the book will deliver. The same with Red Queen, I’ve heard it’s a great read, so hopefully I’ll agree.

And I’m super excited for Passenger, so when I saw it on Netgalley I couldn’t resist requesting it, not expecting to be approved for it.

So that’s what’s on my TBR pile, what’s on yours?

 

From Idea to Page|Nick Bryan Guest Post

December 2, 2015

I’m thrilled to be sharing a guest post Nick Bryan has kindly written for me. I hosted Nick Bryan on a Hobson & Choi book tour, and even though I haven’t gotten round to starting the series yet,but I love the premise for The Girl Who Tweeted Wolf (Goodreads Link) and I cannot wait to delve into the series, which seems like it will be witty and full of dark humour. (Hello me in book form…)from idea to page florian klauer

How To Write A Hobson & Choi Book In 50 Easy Steps

I’ve now written three separate books in the Hobson & Choi series, focusing on mismatched detectives John Hobson and Angelina Choi and their attempts to solve crimes for a living in a post-modern satirical-yet-grim London where some kind of corruption can be found literally everywhere.

After three full run-throughs and a decent start at a fourth, I’ve got some kind of a routine on writing these books, so if anyone wants to know how to write their very own H&C novel (or ‘fanfiction’ to give it the technically correct term), here is a easy-to-follow list, which could also double as some kind of Choose Your Own Adventure if you like that sort of thing…

  1. Leave house, go about your business. Try to go about your business in an area of London where you haven’t yet set a book, but don’t worry, you can always just lie and say it happened in a new place.
  2. Keep going until something annoys you. This could be a huge crowd at a shopping centre, an angry dog or, best of all, an annoying phone call/email from a recruitment agency, thus meaning you didn’t really even have to leave the house.
  3. Go and have a drink.
  4. Repeat #3.
  5. Imagine how the observation from #2 could be part of a massive conspiracy that somehow makes money or produces some other benefit. (If you struggle to get into this mindset, there are YouTube channels that might help.)
  6. Repeat #3.
  7. Write a plan or enormous diagram attempting to make your criminal enterprise seem at least vaguely plausible.
  8. Leave it for a few days, wait until sober.
  9. Rewrite your plan so it looks kinda-slightly-plausible.
  10. Try to imagine how someone involved in this plan might actually feel. Repeat #3 if necessary.
  11. If you can’t manage #10, your idea was too OTT. Start again from #1.
  12. Work out the angle at which the person from #10 might come in contact with Hobson and Choi and how investigating it might affect them.
  13. Go and check the last novel to remember where the ongoing character subplots were and what you intended to do next.
  14. Combine #12 and #13 until the two strands intersect coherently with each other. Use a hammer if you have to.
  15. Repeat #14 and #3 until you have the start of an outline.
  16. Find a way to end the book that resolves #12 and makes #13 much worse for everyone. (Or will make it much worse for them in a future book.)
  17. Sit down to start writing the book.
  18. Expect #16 to change several times during the course of the first draft. Repeat #3 when this happens.
  19. #12 and #13 will probably change at least a couple of times too. Repeat #15 if necessary.
  20. Finish first draft. Repeat #3 for a month or so and then return to it.
  21. Book cover designer.
  22. Read all the way through, noting where it stops making sense.
  23. Rewrite all scenes, adding jokes and consistency.
  24. Add Markus the dog back into all the scenes where you forgot he existed.
  25. Read the whole thing out-loud to make the phrasing less clunky. Repeat #3 whenever the boredom starts to physically hurt.
  26. Send to your editor.
  27. Spend a month repeating #1, #2 and #3 for next Hobson & Choi book or working on something else.
  28. Brief cover designer by answering many questions about the book and your preferences. Worry that you have to make up the answer to many of these on the spot.
  29. Get book back from editor. Read notes. Feel sad. Repeat #3.
  30. Re-read notes, write lists of necessary changes, up to and including rewriting the entire ending.
  31. Repeat #23 and #24.
  32. Repeat #22, #23, #24 and #25.
  33. Shake self awake.
  34. Send to proofreader.
  35. Repeat #27.
  36. Get book back. Make suggested changes, which hopefully won’t be too awful.
  37. Receive cover proofs from designer. Give feedback.
  38. Repeat #37 until cover perfect.
  39. Become excited, post pictures on internet, repeat #3.
  40. Convert book into HTML for ebook formats. This isn’t as bad as it sounds.
  41. Put book into print layout, including elimination of all possible widows and orphans. This is far worse than it sounds. Repeat #3 as needed.
  42. Order proof of print book.
  43. Read over ebook for annoying HTML formatting errors.
  44. Get print proof back.
  45. Repeat #39.
  46. Repeat #22, with added joy and attention because this is hopefully the last time. Focus on print formatting problems and final niggling typos.
  47. Repeat #36, with annoying extra stage of needing to make changes in several different files.
  48. Submit final text to various online stores.
  49. Promote on internet.
  50. Repeat #3.

Next on my TBR Pile|A bit of a mish-mash

July 18, 2015

Somehow, I’ve managed to read all the books I mentioned on my first TBR pile a few weeks ago, so I thought I’d put together another mini TBR pile to see if this reading mood continues.

As I’m writing this, I’m 81% of the way through Simon Vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda, which I started earlier this morning, and I am absolutely LOVING it. I allowed myself to get swept away by the hype for this book and I’m so thrilled that it’s as good as I was hoping it would be.

TBR pile 1372015

 

I’m not entirely sure which book I’ll be picking up first, Open Road Summer and My Life Next Door have definitely caught my eye as they’re perfect summertime reads, and it’s hard to resist the lure of Jandy Nelson’s new release, especially as I’ll Give You the Sun has such a beautiful, bright yellow cover. A Thousand Nights isn’t released for a while yet, but it’s sitting on my Kindle and staring at me every time I turn it on! And Skating to Antarctica was recommended to me by my friend Ruth, so I am definitely excited to pick it up myself!

Have you read any of these books? Which one should I go with first?

 

Next on my TBR Pile|A Netgalley Round-Up + 1 Extra!

June 25, 2015

I’m absolutely shocking at posting book hauls, so I thought I’d combine a mini e-review book haul with a little overview of what’s coming up next on my TBR pile.

I’m currently reading Hidden Huntress and really enjoying it – I adored Stolen Songbird, and so far, Hidden Huntress is delivering just as well! I’m close to 30% of the way through so far, and I’m hopeful that I might get it finished by the end of the week (if at all possible, I’m writing this post on Sunday so there is hope…!). I’ve planned out what books I’m planning on picking up straight after, and I’m really looking forward to every single one of them!

Next on my tbr pile

 

Obviously I’m hideously excited to read all of these, but the one I KNOW I’m starting after Hidden Huntress has to be Savage Light by Janeal Falor – I LOVE her Mine series and cannot wait to pick up this one! There’s a nice variety of books, some contemporary, some fantasy, some paranormal, so I should be able to find something to suit my current mood pretty easily.

As always, thanks to the publishers and authors for giving me the opportunity to read and review these books!

Books in the above image: (All links to Goodreads)

Savage Light
Because You’ll Never Meet Me
The Heartbreakers
Extraordinary Means
13 Days of Midnight

What books do you have next on your TBR pile? Or are you a mood reader who chooses their next read right before they start it?

Introducing: The Saturday Six

April 18, 2015

 

I didn’t want to just start posting up this feature without giving a small explanation over what it actually is, instead of just surreptitiously chucking a post up here and there, so I’m proud to introduce to you: The Saturday Six!
TheIt’s quite self-explanatory really. I’m basically choosing 6 things (not just books!) that fit a topic that pop into my mind, these are topics that I wanted to do a discussion post about but found that I didn’t really have a lot to say other than: these are 6 books that fit in this idea, which, let’s face it, isn’t that interesting!

I’m hoping to have a Saturday Six post up every other Saturday, so long as my brain can still keep coming up with topic ideas!

 

Perfect Playlist #20

March 5, 2015

perfect-playlist.png

Perfect Playlist is a feature highlighting some of my recent favourite songs. I’ve come to realise that I don’t talk about music nearly enough on the blog, and I really need to change that, so I figured that sharing some of the music that I’ve been listening to lately would be a good way to do so. This feature is inspired by Listen Up at Rachel Reads.

I’m not ashamed to admit I’m a huge Carrie Underwood fan. Most mornings you’ll see me warbling away to her songs on my drive to work, I love her music, her voice and sometimes I like to pretend I’m an English version of her. (Ignoring the fact that I can’t sing. At all. Hence why I sing in the car.)

Some Hearts

Quitter

Crazy Dreams

Perfect Playlist #19

February 26, 2015

perfect-playlist.png

Perfect Playlist is a feature highlighting some of my recent favourite songs. I’ve come to realise that I don’t talk about music nearly enough on the blog, and I really need to change that, so I figured that sharing some of the music that I’ve been listening to lately would be a good way to do so. This feature is inspired by Listen Up at Rachel Reads.

There’s several pros to having a music-loving boyfriend. One of those has to be the constant music recommendations he gives me, there’s so many that his favourite bands are slowly taking over my starred playlist on Spotify, which keeps us both happy. 3 Doors Down are one such band, one of his favourites actually, so I figured I’d share with you three of my favourite songs of theirs.

3 Doors Down – Away From the Sun

3 Doors Down – Time of My Life

3 Doors Down – When I’m Gone

Perfect Playlist #18

January 29, 2015

perfect-playlist.png

Perfect Playlist is a feature highlighting some of my recent favourite songs. I’ve come to realise that I don’t talk about music nearly enough on the blog, and I really need to change that, so I figured that sharing some of the music that I’ve been listening to lately would be a good way to do so. This feature is inspired by Listen Up at Rachel Reads.

Ed Sheeran is someone who I fell in love with immediately after first listening to his music. His voice has so much emotion in it, and his song-writing skills are exemplary. Both his albums have lived in my car on an almost permanent basis, I love them that much.

U.N.I

Afire Love

Cold Coffee

Perfect Playlist #17

January 22, 2015

perfect-playlist.png

Perfect Playlist is a feature highlighting some of my recent favourite songs. I’ve come to realise that I don’t talk about music nearly enough on the blog, and I really need to change that, so I figured that sharing some of the music that I’ve been listening to lately would be a good way to do so. This feature is inspired by Listen Up at Rachel Reads.

If you’d have asked me when I was 14 who my favourite band were, I’d have told you Jack’s Mannequin without a second thought. I adored this band with everything I had, and I’m still very sore about the fact I won’t ever get to see them perform live.

Spinning

MFEO: Part 1 – Made For Each Other, Part 2 – You Can Breathe

The Lights and Buzz

Hobson & Choi Blog Tour: Internet in Fiction Guest Post

January 21, 2015

hobson and choi banner4

 

I’m thrilled to be taking part in the Blog Tour for Nick Bryan’s Hobson & Choi series, books which I haven’t read yet, but sound absolutely fantastic. I’m going to be sharing with you a guest post by Nick Bryan, and if you stick around until the end of the post, there’s also a giveaway waiting for you to enter as well!

Anyway, enough of me rambling on – here’s Nick Bryan’s fantastic post for you all:

Cyber/Crime Divisions – Internet In Dramatic Fiction

Remember the good old days? When it was so much easier to explain people just wandering off into the woods on their own, no way to contact their friends and family, without having to include the token moment where their mobile phone was smashed/dropped/missing/low on signal?

And then came the internet – not only can we call for help at any time, we also have the bulk of human knowledge at our fingertips. All those messages about the importance of manual research via old books in Buffy The Vampire Slayer are only slightly undermined by knowing, nowadays, Giles would surely put all his occult volumes in a searchable database, saving them all that tedious reading before saving the world.

Yes, they would accidentally unleash about seventy demons during the scanning procedure, but that’s the price you pay for progress. At least they wouldn’t have to worry about breathing in all that dust.

I haven’t even mentioned Twitter yet – not only can we text our Mum to tell her we’re being chased through the undergrowth by a gigantic half-man half-squirrel trying to cheekpouch us like a pile of nuts, we can let all our friends and an army of strangers know at the same time.

If we’re talking crime novels, there’s a raft of tech in that particular area that makes it harder to get away with murder – forensics, DNA tests, constant CCTV. I hear rumours that’s one reason period-set crime novels took off, neatly sidestepping the whole problem.

Personally, I haven’t reached for the meta-time-machine yet. After all, I live in the twenty-first century, I have access to news websites, I’m well aware that there is still badness in the world, meaning there’s still potential for crime stories.

But more to the point – if the internet has achieved anything, it’s reduced the degrees of separation between us and many previously-far-off situations. Yes, it can make us a lot easier to get characters out of stuff, but it also makes it a whole load simpler to get them into it. A simple man in London might end up fighting a giant ant-eater on the streets of Warsaw, just because he saw something strange when googling “help my kitchen has ants and also enormous rats”.

And then before you know it, he’s up to his neck in snout, and then you kill the poor bastard’s 3G connectivity. I live in a major capital city, yet can barely manage decent mobile internet at the café table where I do the bulk of my writing, so it’s not even unrealistic.

It’s fine, guys. We can do it. Focus not on what technology can do for you, but what it can do to you.


Hobson & Choi Series by Nick Bryan
wpid-wp-1417027201089.jpeg The Girl Who Tweeted Wolf (Hobson & Choi #1)
“If we get 400 followers, John Hobson will solve that nasty wolf-murder case for free! Fight the thing himself if he has to! #HobsonVsWolf!”Angelina Choi was only trying to drum up some Twitter followers and make a good impression on her first day interning at John Hobson’s one-man detective agency.

But the campaign went viral and now they have a murder to solve, no money coming in, and an unwilling Hobson faced with battling some enormous beast.

With both follower and body counts rising, can they crack the case without offending everyone or being eaten by a huge dog?

The Girl Who Tweeted Wolf is the first case starring Hobson & Choi, a bickering, mismatched detective duo for 21st century London. This book collects the debut storyline of the hit darkly comic crime web serial, extensively rewritten and improved for this definitive edition.

Goodreads. Amazon.


23568658 Rush Jobs (Hobson & Choi #2)

“Sometimes #crime feels like the Matrix. Or the #patriarchy or #porn. It’s everywhere, even in people you trusted, and there’s so MUCH of it.”

Angelina Choi returns for her second and final week of work experience at John Hobson’s detective agency, ready for anything after their first successful murder solve.

After all that online buzz, they’re in phenomenal demand. Can Hobson & Choi solve a kidnapping, play chicken with corporate crime, beat back gentrification, save a dog from drug dealers and head off violent backlash from their last case?

Or will grim revelations about Hobson’s past leave them floundering in the chaos?

Rush Jobs collects the second major storyline in the Hobson & Choi saga, #1 on Jukepop Serials and #2 in Dark Comedy on Amazon, adding brand new chapters and scenes to the case.

Goodreads. Amazon


About the Author

me-squared Nick Bryan is a London-based writer of genre fiction, usually with some blackly comic twist. As well as the detective saga Hobson & Choi, he is also working on a novel about the real implications of deals with the devil and has stories in several anthologies.

More details on his other work and news on future Hobson & Choi releases can be found on his blog at NickBryan.com or on Twitter as @NickMB. Both are updated with perfect and reasonable regularity.

Subscribe to his mailing list using the form in the sidebar of NickBryan.com to get news first and an all-new free Hobson & Choi short story immediately!

When not reading or writing books, Nick Bryan enjoys racquet sports, comics and a nice white beer.

Website. Twitter. Mailing List.


Tour Schedule

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Monday 19th January
Rain On A Summer’s Afternoon

Tuesday 20th January
Claire Rousseau

Wednesday 21st January
Music, Books and Tea

Thursday 22nd January
Ya Yeah Yeah

Friday 23rd January
A Daydreamer’s Thoughts

Saturday 24th January
Tales of Yesterday

Sunday 25th January
K-Books

Monday 26th January
Nimbus Space

Tuesday 27th January
The Online Novel

Wednesday 28th January
Nyx Book Reviews

Thursday 29th January
Winged Reviews

Friday 30th January
Kirstyes

Saturday 31st January
The Book Moo

Sunday 1st February
Bookish Outsider

Monday 2nd February
Pewter Wolf


There is a tour-wide giveaway throughout the tour as well.

The Prizes
One Signed Paperback Set of the Hobson & Choi Series
Three E-Book Sets of the Hobson & Choi Series

a Rafflecopter giveaway