Archive for July, 2013

Crime Fiction Month: August, 2013

Crime Fiction Month 2013 | Books, Biscuits, and Tea

We’re nearing the end of July and it can only mean one thing: Crime Fiction Month is about to kick off!

As you may know, I love crime. It doesn’t matter if it’s an “old-school” cosy mystery, such as Agatha Christie’s or Arthur Conan Doyle’s novels, a twisty police procedural or an adrenaline-drenched, gory thriller, there’s just something about these stories that I can’t seem to resist. Which leads me to today’s announcement.

Starting August 1st, I’m kicking off a month-long event here on Books, Biscuits, and Tea: an entire month devoted to crime fiction and all of its sub-genres. Not only am I bringing you reviews of some of this year’s best crime releases and guest posts by two successful crime writers, but I’m also hosting TWO exciting giveaways, courtesy of Orion Books. And to whet your appetite a little bit, some of the books to be featured are…

Crime Fiction Month 2013 | Books, Biscuits, and Tea

Sounds good?

If you like crime, if it’s something you’ve always wanted to try but never knew where to start or if you’d simply like to win some shiny new books then make sure to stick around and check out my posts in the next few weeks. :)

*waves* See you in August!

Want to Make a Dent in Your Review Pile? ARC August is Here!

ARC August 2013
Some of you have been asking Celine and I about another round of Review Copy Cleanup and while we haven’t planned anything for the next few months, I found a great alternative for you. The ever so lovely Octavia from Read. Sleep. Repeat is organising an event called ARC August which kicks off tomorrow and runs until the very end of August. The aim of the event is to make a dent in your review pile and read as many review copies as you possibly can. Both e-books and physical copies count as long as they were sent to you for review. If it’s something you’d like to take part in, just click here and you’ll be taken to the sign-up page.

My goals

Since I’ve been in a blogging slump for far too long already, my number one aim for ARC August is to get myself together and be a bit more organised from now on. No more procrastinating when it comes to reviews or picking up review books. They just need to be done.

My second goal is to read at least five review books in August. Thank goodness most of the books I’ve read last month have already been reviewed and scheduled to go live in the next few weeks, which should give me plenty of time to spend with reading.

Books to be read and reviewed

ARC August goals, 2013

These are the four physical books that I definitely want to read and my plan is to read at least one (NetGalley) e-book, probably Walk Me Home by Catherine Ryan Hyde. I’m not going to post regular updates here but I’ll let you know how I’m getting on on Twitter and I’ll probably do a wrap-up post at the end of August as well.

Good luck to everyone who’s participating and make sure to leave me a link to your own sign up posts so that I can check out your goals. :)

Showcase Sunday #51

Inspired by Pop Culture Junkie and the Story Siren, the aim of Showcase Sunday is to highlight our newest books or book related swag and to see what everyone else received for review, borrowed from libraries, bought in bookshops and downloaded onto eReaders each week. For more information about how this feature works and how to join in, click here.

Hello everyone and welcome back! How are you? After a veeeery slow week last week I had an insane past couple of days. The great news is, thanks to some of the brilliant crime novels I picked up in the past few weeks, I FINALLY seem to be  getting out of this reading slump which I’ve been suffering from since early June. Huzzah! The bad news is, my reviewing/blogging slump isn’t getting any better. Does anyone have any tips on how to get rid of that? I’ve tried everything and taking a few days off didn’t help either.

In other news, four of my bookish friends and I are organising a European Blogger Meetup for mid-August so if you haven’t seen my post yesterday, make sure to check it out by clicking here. Shameless plug over. :D

Incoming

Showcase

Playing with Fire | Locked In | One by One
Frisky Business | The Thing About Wolves

This week has been insanely exciting in terms of books. You may have seen me tweeting and gushing about one of Chris Carter’s previous books, The Night Stalker, last week so it goes without saying that getting a copy of One by One pretty much made my day. And so did the two Kerry Wilkinson books later this week. I’ve been dying to read Locked In for ages so thanks to Pan Macmillan for sending me a copy along with Kerry’s latest book. Clodagh Murphy’s Frisky Business is slightly different but it sounds hilarious so I’m hoping that it will make me fall in love with chick lit again. And last but not least, The Thing about Wolves was an unsolicited review copy from Tor.

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European Blogger Meetup: Come and join us!

Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Guys, guys, guys! Listen, I have some really exciting news! Me and a few other European bloggers (all of whom I’ve known literally ever since I started this blog and whom I absolutely adore) have been talking and we had a brilliant idea. You know how American bloggers can get together every year at BEA and meet each other but us European folks don’t really have anything remotely similar here? Well, even if we don’t have such events why shouldn’t or couldn’t we make a blogger meetup happen?

So, we’ve decided to take a few days off work and blogging and jet off to Amsterdam, the Netherlands for a European Blogger Meetup/Picnic this summer. Some of us have never been there so it’ll be a great opportunity to explore the city AND meet some awesome bloggers at the same time.

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New Releases: August

New Book Releases | Books, Biscuits, and Tea

Hello everyone! How are you on this sunny July afternoon? Since you seemed to like some of the recommendations I gave you in my New Releases post back in February and since July is slowly coming to an end, I thought I’d bring this feature back to the blog and share with you some of my most anticipated August releases.

 

The Never List by Koethi Zan
Paperback/Hardback, 1 August 2013, Harvill Secker

Add to Goodreads Buy from The Book Depository

 

For years, best friends Sarah and Jennifer kept what they called the “Never List”: a list of actions to be avoided, for safety’s sake, at all costs. But one night, against their best instincts, they accept a cab ride with grave, everlasting consequences. For the next three years, they are held captive with two other girls in a dungeon-like cellar by a connoisseur of sadism.

Ten years later, at thirty-one, Sarah is still struggling to resume a normal life, living as a virtual recluse under a new name, unable to come to grips with the fact that Jennifer didn’t make it out of that cellar. Now, her abductor is up for parole and Sarah can no longer ignore the twisted letters he sends from jail.

Finally, Sarah decides to confront her phobias and the other survivors—who hold their own deep grudges against her. When she goes on a cross-country chase that takes her into the perverse world of BDSM, secret cults, and the arcane study of torture, she begins unraveling a mystery more horrifying than even she could have imagined.

 
American readers may be familiar with this title because technically it’s already out in the US but it’s such a fantastic story I just had to put it on my list. I’ll post a more detailed review on the UK release day but all I can say is… WOW. It was seriously unputdownable and regardless of what everyone else says, I didn’t see the ending coming at all. Brilliant stuff!

 

Burning Air
Winter Damage by Natasha Carthew
Hardback, 1 August 2013, Bloomsbury Children’s

Add to Goodreads Buy from The Book Depository

On a frozen Cornish moor, a fourteen-year-old girl lives in a trailer with her dad and little brother. Ennor’s mother left years ago, when things started to go wrong – and gradually their world has fallen apart. Now her father’s gravely ill, school has closed, and Ennor knows they’re going to take her brother away if things don’t pick up soon. Days before Christmas, when the wind is cold and her dad’s health takes a turn for the worse, Ennor packs a blanket, a map, a saucepan and a gun into her rucksack, and sets off to find her mum and bring her home.

Ennor thinks she knows where she’s going. But this journey will change her life for ever – it becomes a battle for survival, a heartbreaking story of love and friendship, and a fable about not finding what you were looking for, but finding something more important instead…

 
I first saw this book on Twitter when some of the UK bloggers I follow started tweeting about it. You see, I love it when publishers put their thinking caps on and get creative. I mean, who doesn’t? And Bloomsbury did a great job with the publicity campaign for Winter Damage. The parcels they sent out to bloggers came with a copy of the book (obviously), a pair of gloves, hot chocolate, a chocolate bar and tissues (*hint hint*). See Donna’s photo here. Amazing!

Anyway, creativity aside, the book sounds fantastic. Not only that, but the reviews I’ve seen so far were really good. It’s a definite must-have, I’d say.

 

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Review: Lost and Found – Tom Winter

Lost and Found by Tom Winter

Title: Lost and Found
Author: Tom Winter
Publication date: 21 February 2013
Publisher: Corsair (Constable & Robinson)
Format: Hardback
ISBN: 9781472101594
Length: 314 pages
Genre: Contemporary fiction
Age group: Adult
Source: Author
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon | The Book Depository
Rating: 4 / 5

In a nutshell

It started with a letter…

Carol is married to a man she doesn’t love and mother to a daughter she doesn’t understand. Crippled with guilt, she can’t shake the feeling that she has wasted her life. So she puts pen to paper and writes a Letter to the Universe.

Albert is a widowed postman, approaching retirement age, and living with his cat, Gloria, for company. Slowly being pushed out at his place of work, he is forced down to the section of the post office where they sort undeliverable mail. When a series of letters turns up with a smiley face drawn in place of an address, he cannot help reading them.

My thoughts

Lost and Found has been among my most anticipated books of 2013 and I knew I’d have to read it the minute I saw the synopsis. I seem to have a soft spot for bitter-sweet and touching stories and it definitely seemed like one. A few chapters in, however, I realized it is in fact a bit different from what I expected – but not in a bad way. Not at all. I actually found it really hard to put it down and, had it not been for me being ill at the time, I would have probably read it in one day.

The reason why I was taken by surprise, I suppose, is that I expected some sort of a love story or a story of a beautiful friendship. A tear-jerker, basically. I mean, it sounds like one, doesn’t it? And while it is a sweet and occasionally moving book, I would have never predicted how funny it actually is. As odd as it may sound, for me most of the humour came from the protagonist, Carol, who’s been trapped in an unhappy marriage for most of her life and her husband, Bob. Man, they’re a hilarious duo. Bob is one of those guys who don’t have the faintest idea about the fact that their marriage isn’t working or in fact, hasn’t been working for a long time. He lives in denial. On top of that, he acts like a big kid. Which, under normal circumstances, would really annoy me. And of course it’s a sad situation too, isn’t it? Living your life in a monotone way and with someone you shouldn’t have married in the first place. Yet, through Carol’s sarcastic thoughts and comments, somehow it all became entertaining.

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Showcase Sunday #50 – The Big YA Edition

Inspired by Pop Culture Junkie and the Story Siren, the aim of Showcase Sunday is to highlight our newest books or book related swag and to see what everyone else received for review, borrowed from libraries, bought in bookshops and downloaded onto eReaders each week. For more information about how this feature works and how to join in, click here.

Hello everyone! Can you believe it’s our 50th Showcase Sunday post? It’s insane! How are you all? Last week I had a slow and uneventful week with no books to show you but this week was super busy. Or at least as far as books go. Because, as it’s always the case, not only did all the books I’ve been waiting for arrive on the same week, they were actually delivered on the very same day. Whoa. (Apologies to the poor postman who was literally crippled by the weight of my parcels)

Incoming

Showcase Sunday #50

Four New Words for Love | By My Side | The Last Echo | Dead Silence
Mask of Death | The Gallows Curse | The Body Finder | Desires of the Dead
Follow Me Down | This is What Happy Looks Like

Okay, let’s see what we have here. Four New Words for Love by Michael Cannon is a review copy from Freight Books and is actually what I’m reading at the moment. I only started it the other day but I’m hooked already. It’s not going to be released until the 5th of August so my review won’t be posted for a while but it’s been fantastic so far. I can already tell I’m going to love the rest of the story. By My Side by Alice Peterson is an unsolicited review copy from the Quercus team and one I’ll try to squeeze in because it sounds like something I’d enjoy. And the rest of the pile was a giveaway win from Bronagh @ Handwritten Girl and was kindly sent to me by Headline. Yay! Thanks guys!

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