Blog Tour + Giveaway: October Daye series – Seanan McGuire

seanan mcguire blog tour

I was lucky enough to be asked to participate in a celebratory pre-release tour for the latest installment in the bestselling October Daye series by Seanan McGuire. I reviewed book 10,  Once Broken Faith, last week, and you can read my glowing review here.

Suffice to say, I don’t take part in blog tours unless I can wholeheartedly recommend the authors work, so consider this my full endorsement!

Each stop of the tour focuses on one of the books in the series – my precious is book 6, Ashes of Honor.

Synopsis:

ashes of honourIt’s been almost a year since October “Toby” Daye averted a war, gave up a county, and suffered personal losses that have left her wishing for a good day’s sleep. She’s tried to focus on her responsibilities—training Quentin, upholding her position as Sylvester’s knight, and paying the bills—but she can’t help feeling like her world is crumbling around her, and her increasingly reckless behavior is beginning to worry even her staunchest supporters.

To make matters worse, Toby’s just been asked to find another missing child…only this time it’s the changeling daughter of her fellow knight, Etienne, who didn’t even know he was a father until the girl went missing. Her name is Chelsea. She’s a teleporter, like her father. She’s also the kind of changeling the old stories warn about, the ones with all the strength and none of the control. She’s opening doors that were never meant to be opened, releasing dangers that were sealed away centuries before—and there’s a good chance she could destroy Faerie if she isn’t stopped.

Now Toby must find Chelsea before time runs out, racing against an unknown deadline and through unknown worlds as she and her allies try to avert disaster. But danger is also stirring in the Court of Cats, and Tybalt may need Toby’s help with the biggest challenge he’s ever faced.

Toby thought the last year was bad. She has no idea.

Top 5 Scenes from Ashes of Honor

WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD

Otherwise known as the book in which my ship finally sets sail, most gloriously, into the – well, not sunset, but the Shadow Roads, maybe? Ha.

Instead of doing a traditional recap, I thought I’d highlight some of my favourite scenes from the book.

1. Toby + Tybalt

“You handed me a hope chest in a dark alley. You took my heart as collateral, and you’ve never returned it.”

The long-simmering tensions between them finally come to a head, but it’s been a long rocky road to get to this point – different species, and duties to the realm, not to mention ex-lovers, misconceptions and general obstacles in the course of love. But there are heartfelt declarations combined with the snarky and banter that we all know and love – a recipe for happy shippers everywhere.

“Oh, October. Toby. My Toby.” He pulled one hand from mine, reaching up to tuck my hair behind my ear. His fingers were shaking. That was what I focused on, more than anything else. His fingers were shaking. “Do you think I’m cruel enough to do that to you?”

I sniffled. “No,” I admitted.

“Thank Oberon,” he said, and pulled me close, and kissed me.

2. Toby + Bridget

“It’s lovely,” I said, taking an involuntary half step back. “Really, though. I don’t like to handle other people’s cookware.” 

“That’s the best you can manage? That’s your bright, bold lie?” 

“Look, lady, I don’t know about you, but I’ve never had somebody corner me on a dark street and try to hand me a frying pan before,” I snapped.

Initially a comic meeting of note, Toby and Bridget have more in common than they might think – both mothers of changeling children who have been under threat; both prepared to go to the ends of the earth to protect the ones they love. But the frying pan had me chuckling despite the seriousness of the situation.

3. Tybalt + Raj

April frowned, irritation evident.

“I did not consent to your presence,” she said peevishly. “Please depart, and attempt your political assassination on someone else’s property.”

There’s nothing I love more than a healthy father-son relationship, or in this case, a complicated sort-of uncle-nephew relationship. Raj, Tybalt’s heir, is put in an impossible position by his biological father, and Tybalt handles it with typical feline grace. Yay for found family! Yay for thwarted assassination attempts!

4. Toby + Quentin

“Being a King sort of sucks,” I said.
Quentin wrinkled his nose, “So does your outfit.” 
“Blood is in this season.”

Again, I adore the mentor-mentee relationship between Quentin and Toby. She tries to protect him from the worst of the faerie world while still conscious that he needs the eduction and real-world training, and Quentin in turn is utterly devoted to his knight, while still having moments of standard teenage behaviour.

5. Toby + The Luidaeg

The Luidaeg has such a fascinating backstory, which is revealed in bits and pieces throughout the series. She’s like Toby’s incredibly scary fairy godmother, albeit one with many secrets, and who always charges a price.

“It’s good to see you, too.”
“Uh-huh.” She went stomping towards the kitchen. “I’m making some fucking tea.”

GIVEAWAY TIME!

Stand the chance to win an epic prize pack, which includes all 10 October Daye novels signed by Seanan McGuire, a Seanan McGuire tote bag and a map of the Kingdom of the Westlands signed by Seanan McGuire and artist Priscilla Spencer! (If I could enter, I totally would!)

It’s a rafflecopter giveaway, which you can enter HERE. 

If you’d like to stand the chance to win a copy of book 6, Ashes of Honor, send an email with your mailing address to fullybookedreviews[at]gmail.com. Open to US/Canada only.

Once Broken Faith, book 10 in the series, releases 6th September 2016.

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Review: Kindred Spirits – Rainbow Rowell

kindred spiritsEverybody likes everything these days. The whole world is a nerd.’
‘Are you mad because other people like Star Wars? Are you mad because people like me like Star Wars?’
‘Maybe.’

If you broke Elena’s heart, Star Wars would spill out. So when she decides to queue outside her local cinema to see the new movie, she’s expecting a celebration with crowds of people who love Han, Luke and Leia just as much as she does. What she’s not expecting is to be last in a line of only three people; to have to pee into a collectible Star Wars soda cup behind a dumpster or to meet that unlikely someone who just might truly understand the way she feels. Kindred Spirits is an engaging short story by Rainbow Rowell, author of the bestselling Eleanor & Park, Fangirl and Carry On, and is part of a handful of selected short reads specially produced for World Book Day. 

Rating: 3.5/5

Short but sweet, much as was to be expected. I don’t want to go into too much detail, since this is a short story, but it took a brief look at the collective belonging of fan culture and fandom, as well as poking fun at some of the associated gender stereotypes that permeate. And, of course, it’s a celebration of generations of Star Wards fans, both old and new. Finally, I adore the author’s sense of humour, so I’ve included a couple of quotes that made me chortle.

“Is this the first time you’ve peed around another human being?”
“Around a guy,” she shouted, “yes!”
“I didn’t ask for this!” Gabe shouted back.

“I’ve yet to determine whether you’re a fake geek boy,” she said.

BURN!

“Come on, Elena,” Troy said. “We’re hoping you’ll get coffee again.”
“Because I’m a woman?”
“No. Because you probably have to pee,” Gabe said.

GIVEAWAY TIME

I bought an extra copy of the book, and I’m willing to post it internationally (barring, like, the Arctic), so if you’d like to win a copy, you can enter the rafflecopter giveaway!

click on this nice mountain scenery to enter

 

BLOG TOUR: The Uninvited – Cat Winters

the uninvited

I read a digital ARC of this book back in January when it first became available for request, and when I saw there was going to be a blog tour to promote The Uninvited, I knew I had to jump onboard – because this book is utterly fabulous.

From the award-winning author of In the Shadow of Blackbirds comes a stunning new novel—a masterfully crafted story of love, loss, and second chances. Set during the fear and panic of the Great Influenza of 1918, The Uninvited is part gothic ghost-story, part psychological thriller, perfect for those who loved The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield or The Vanishing by Wendy Webb.

Twenty-five year old Ivy Rowan rises from her bed after being struck by the flu, only to discover the world has been torn apart in just a few short days.

But Ivy’s life-long gift—or curse—remains. For she sees the uninvited ones—ghosts of loved ones who appear to her, unasked, unwelcomed, for they always herald impending death. On that October evening in 1918 she sees the spirit of her grandmother, rocking in her mother’s chair. An hour later, she learns her younger brother and father have killed a young German out of retaliation for the death of Ivy’s older brother Billy in the Great War.

Horrified, she leaves home, to discover the flu has caused utter panic and the rules governing society have broken down. Ivy is drawn into this new world of jazz, passion, and freedom, where people live for the day, because they could be stricken by nightfall. But as her ‘uninvited guests’ begin to appear to her more often, she knows her life will be torn apart once more, but Ivy has no inkling of the other-worldly revelations about to unfold.

the uninvited quote

Review Extract:

I posted my review up shortly after I read the book in the beginning of the year, and while I won’t repost the entire thing here, I did think it was yet another winner from the wonderful Cat Winters.

A recurrent theme throughout all Cat Winter’s novels is the role and growing emancipation of women in rather restricted eras. Here, we have women working ceaselessly for the Red Cross, driving ambulances, transporting patients, and generally taking on duties previously undertaken by men.

While this book is categorised as adult, it didn’t feel massively different from her YA novels – and this isn’t a criticism – it means that if you’ve enjoyed the author’s previous work, you will adore The Uninvited.

Also, major plot twist that I didn’t see coming. Major kudos to the author for creating a book that incorporates the uglier parts of history while still creating a fascinating, bittersweet novel with admirable female leads, a little bit of humour, and a romance that you can’t help but root for, even with the giant obstacles in their way.

Giveaway Time:

As part of the blog tour, we’re giving away two print copies of The Uninvited! While I can’t embed the widget on my blog, you can CLICK HERE to enter the Rafflecopter competition. Good luck!

The Details:

The book was released on 11 August, so it’s available to purchase now! If you’d like to read an extract of The Uninvited, you can do so here.

Finally, you can connect with the author on Twitter, Facebook or Goodreads.

the uninvited quote

Giveaway: The Dream Thieves – Maggie Stiefvater

It’s a new month, and time for a new giveaway! This time it’s a paperback copy of The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater. You can take a look at my review here.

Dream-Thieves-Cover

  • The giveaway will run from Monday 2nd Feb to Thursday 12th Feb
  • The giveaway is open internationally
  • You must be comfortable giving me your address so that I can post the prize to you
  • The winner will be notified by email, and will have 48 hours to respond. After that, a new winner will be chosen.
  • The giveaway will be hosted by Rafflecopter
  • No giveaway blogs

WINE & BEER

Giveaway: Heir of Fire – Sarah J Maas

My last order from the book depository ended up duplicated, for some reason, and the lovely folks there said that I could keep the books and do with them what I will.

So, to celebrate the launch of my new blog, I’ve decided to give away one copy of Heir of Fire by Sarah J Maas – the UK paperback edition. (The rest of the books I’ll give away at a later date!)

heir of fire

  • The giveaway will run from Monday 5th Jan to Thursday 15th Jan
  • The giveaway is open internationally
  • You must be comfortable giving me your address so that I can post the prize to you
  • The winner will be notified by email, and will have 48 hours to respond. After that, a new winner will be chosen.

Good luck!

[Wordpress is lame and won’t let me embed the widget.]

Click here for the Rafflecopter giveaway