World Book Night and The Eyre Affair

The Eyre Affair

Today is a day of celebration for booklovers; it is UNESCO International Day of the Book, and also World Book Night 2013. Over the course of today approx. half a million books will be given away free in the UK, by book givers who have volunteered to be part of this amazing event. There will also be many events taking part here and in Ireland and the US to celebrate this day of giving.

The book I am giving away is The Eyre Affair
There is another 1985, somewhere in the could-have-been, where the Crimean war still rages, dodos are regenerated in home-cloning kits and everyone is deeply disappointed by the ending of ‘Jane Eyre’. In this world there are no jet-liners or computers, but there are policemen who can travel across time, a Welsh republic, a great interest in all things literary – and a woman called Thursday Next.
In this utterly original and wonderfully funny first novel, Fforde has created a feisty, loveable heroine and a plot of such richness and ingenuity that it will take your breath away.

Set in a rather surreal version of the UK in the year 1985, everyone loves literature, the Crimean War is still going on, and cloning exists.
Fforde’s hero is called Thursday Next, a woman that polices text, a Spec-Op. Imagine a world where someone can jump into a manuscript and abduct the characters, can hold characters to ransom, or can edit them out of existence. Well that is where Thursday Next comes in, she specialises in any problems that are literature related, and we follow her exploits as she tries to resolve the crimes.
Cleverly scripted, it gives us a fantasy world like no other. The characters come alive, the location, and the allusions to literature are wonderful.
Best of all I laughed out loud as I read it, always a sign of a good read.
The reason I chose this book? Well my husband reads, but not fiction, mostly text books and he was looking for a book to take away, I offered him my personal copy of this one. He read it through from start to finish and immediately went on to read the rest in the series that tells me this is a book that will be enjoyed by someone that does not really pick up a book to read.

I have been involved with WBN since its inception and have found it one of the most rewarding things to do, to go out there and give away books.

I wish WBN every success today, and hope that all of those that are giving, enjoy the experience, and all of those that receive a book today, will feel some of the magic of the written word.

The Cuckoo’s Calling

A brilliant debut mystery in a classic vein: Detective Cormoran Strike investigates a supermodel’s suicide.

After losing his leg to a land mine in Afghanistan, Cormoran Strike is barely scraping by as a private investigator. Strike is down to one client, and creditors are calling. He has also just broken up with his long time girlfriend and is living in his office.

Then John Bristow walks through his door with an amazing story: His sister, the legendary supermodel Lula Landry, known to her friends as the Cuckoo, famously fell to her death a few months earlier. The police ruled it a suicide, but John refuses to believe that. The case plunges Strike into the world of multimillionaire beauties, rock-star boyfriends, and desperate designers, and it introduces him to every variety of pleasure, enticement, seduction, and delusion known to man.

You may think you know detectives, but you’ve never met one quite like Strike. You may think you know about the wealthy and famous, but you’ve never seen them under an investigation like this.

Well written, well paced mystery, with a believable and likeable character in Strike. I am hoping to read more of him in the future. The book takes you on a journey through London as Strike heads towards solving the crime, but the deeper he delves the more he is putting himself also in danger. It is a well thought out plotline, and enjoyable read.


The first book in a breathtaking new series from Beautiful Creaturesco-author Margaret Stohl

Your heart beats only with their permission.
Everything changed on The Day. The day the windows shattered. The day the power stopped. The day Dol’s family dropped dead. The day Earth lost a war it didn’t know it was fighting.
Since then, Dol has lived a simple life in the countryside – safe from the shadow of the Icon and its terrifying power. Hiding from the one truth she can’t avoid.
She’s different. She survived. Why?
When Dol and her best friend, Ro, are captured and taken to the Embassy, off the coast of the sprawling metropolis once known as the City of Angels, they find only more questions. While Ro and fellow hostage Tima rage against their captors, Dol finds herself drawn to Lucas, the Ambassador’s privileged son. But the four teens are more alike than they might think, and the timing of their meeting isn’t a coincidence. It’s a conspiracy.
Within the Icon’s reach, Dol, Ro, Tima, and Lucas discover that their uncontrollable emotions – which they’ve always thought to be their greatest weaknesses – may actually be their greatest strengths.
Bestselling author Margaret Stohl delivers the first book in a heart-pounding series set in a haunting new world where four teens must piece together the mysteries of their pasts – in order to save the future.

A YA dystopian novel by Margaret Stohl of Beautiful creature’s fame. This was without a doubt a book that stands own its own merit, it has no familiarity to any other book in this genre, and it is well thought out, well written and extremely readable.
I really enjoyed this book, it took a little while to relate to the characters, and as yet we still don’t fully understand just how special Dol, Ro, Tima and Lucas are, but that does not matter, because I have been swept along on an adventure that I am saddened has come to an end for now.
The story is told by Dol, and you get that sense of a strong character, with a deep underlying sorrow, but one that will do the right thing for her friends and for her world. Dol and Ro have a close relationship, as does Tima and Lucas, they both seem very much paired off, but by the end of the first book you get a sense that other relationships are beginning to develop.
Fortis is an interesting character and one that there is much to discover about yet, and also Captain Catallus, who I get the impression is going to end up with quite a role in this story, and also Doc
The plot was fast paced and moved along with surprising twists, making the book one that you just did not want to put down. With characters that were believable, that you felt affinity for and an alien invasion that you felt was realistic and did not overwhelm the storyline.
I highly recommend this book, not only to fans of Beautiful creatures and Margaret Stohl, but to anyone that enjoys a good read, fast paced and good plotline.
Please bring the second book out soon.


Hidden is a story told from the first perspective by two characters. The first character is Ebony, home schooled and had never really ventured far from her parents farm. The second character is Jordan, who has spent much of his life in foster care, a tough character.
When these two meet you can feel the instant connection. For Ebony who senses she is not like other kids, but does not push to find out why or how she happens to have these abilities that other kids don’t have. I never really warmed to her character. Jordan was easier to like and you get to find out more about him, maybe making it easier to warm to him.
Other characters of importance, Thane of course and I really enjoyed this character and will be interested to see how his story and also Ebony’s progress.
It’s not the best book I have read, it was a little slow for me, and I had some issues with characters and believing in them, which makes it more difficult to be swept along with the story.

25 Perfect Days

Mark Tullius has written a thought provoking dystopian novel set in the future, that is a chronological collection of first person tales from a interrelated group of characters. Using their stories, the book charts the gradual decline of society, windows onto a fractured way of life, where people are expected to act in inhumane ways towards other members of society just to survive.

It made me think of 1984 and big brother, an excellent read, and thought provoking

The Testing

The testing

The testing by Joelle Charbonneau

The Seven Stages War left much of the planet a charred wasteland. The future belongs to the next generation’s chosen few who must rebuild it. But to enter this elite group, candidates must first pass The Testing—their one chance at a college education and a rewarding career.
Cia Vale is honoured to be chosen as a Testing candidate; eager to prove her worthiness as a University student and future leader of the United Commonwealth. But on the eve of her departure, her father’s advice hints at a darker side to her upcoming studies–trust no one.
But surely she can trust Tomas, her handsome childhood friend who offers an alliance? Tomas, who seems to care more about her with the passing of every gruelling (and deadly) day of the Testing. To survive, Cia must choose: love without truth or life without trust

I read this book over 24 hours; I just could not and did not want to put it down. It is worth reading the free short prelude to this book called the Testing Guide first, as it helps set the story, it also introduces Cia and her family, including her brother Zeen who wanted desperately to be chosen for the Testing and never got a place.
This is the story of sixteen-year-old Malencia Vale, known as Cia. About her coming to adulthood and getting chosen for the Testing, an opportunity for the chosen few to get a place at University, an opportunity to learn and to be a part of the rebuilding of her world, a world destroyed by the seven wars.
Cia along with three others from her hometown of Five Lakes Colony, are chosen to enter the Testing, she is pleased, it is her greatest wish to enter the Testing. Her father is not happy, and talks with her about his experiences of the Testing that he can remember, and of the recurring dreams, suggesting not everything is as it seems. No one remembers their testing, but it appears that whatever they do does not seem to work well as there are flashbacks, remembered, or apparently remembered memories of the Testing, and her father warns her to trust no one, but to rely on her own strengths to get through.
Tomas is also from her Colony and is one of the chosen. I had trouble with how this relationship developed, and I feel it could have been done better, especially at the beginning. I do feel the story line between them developed really well though as the book progressed, and the ending which I will not disclose here, left it open in a way that you really need to read the next book in the series now, just to see how it works and find out more, especially about Tomas.
The whole concept of the Testing and the four stages, where candidates are slowly eliminated, and in some cases die in front of the other candidates in their groups, in some quite chilling ways is cold and calculating. It creates tension in the story and leaves you unsure who is to be trusted. Characters you begin to know, who you feel are going to be part of the long term story are killed off, leaving you with a sense of not knowing who will survive to the end.
I enjoyed Cia’s character because she is strong, down to earth and has an inner strength that helps her to survive. Then we have Tomas, who seems so open and helpful, who says he loves Cia, what is he hiding, something is not right in his character and I cannot wait to find out more.
Michal is an interesting character that I feel we will learn more about in the next book.
I can see the connection to the Hunger Games, no doubt that this was the seed of the idea, I felt the written Testing was to try and make this story different, because once they got outside the whole idea was so similar, including the elimination of other contestants to give them more chance of winning, made it really quite similar in concept. However this dystopian world is one I would defiantly visit again, it is well written, and there is so many unanswered questions that I want to know the answer too.
I can only conclude with I loved this book, and am looking forward to reading the second one, to see how it will be taken forward and developed.


I have been using Scrivener since they released a Window’s version, and find it a great help in getting me to organise and structure my writing. Below is some information about Scrivener courtesy of

Scrivener is a powerful content-generation tool for writers that allow you to concentrate on composing and structuring long and difficult documents. While it gives you complete control of the formatting, its focus is on helping you get to the end of that awkward first draft.
Writing a novel, research paper, script or any long-form text involves more than hammering away at the keys until you’re done. Collecting research, ordering fragmented ideas, shuffling index cards in search of that elusive structure—most writing software is fired up only after much of the hard work is over. Enter Scrivener: a word processor and project management tool that stays with you from that first, unformed idea all the way through to the final draft. Outline and structure your ideas, take notes, view research alongside your writing and compose the constituent pieces of your text in isolation or in context. Scrivener won’t tell you how to write—it just makes all the tools you have scattered around your desk available in one application.
Scrivener puts everything you need for structuring, writing and editing long documents at your fingertips. On the left of the window, the “binder” allows you to navigate between the different parts of your manuscript, your notes, and research materials, with ease. Break your text into pieces as small or large as you want—so you can forget wrestling with one long document. Restructuring your draft is as simple as drag and drop. Select a single document to edit a section of your manuscript in isolation, or use “Scrivenings” mode to work on multiple sections as though they were one: Scrivener makes it easy to switch between focussing on the details and stepping back to get a wider view of your composition.
With access to a powerful underlying text engine, you can add tables, bullet points, images and mark up your text with comments and footnotes. Format as you go using the format bar at the top of the page, or use any font you want for the writing and let Scrivener reformat your manuscript after you’re done—allowing you to concentrate on the words rather than their presentation.
Most word processors approach composing a long-form text the same as typing a letter or flyer—they expect you to start on page one and keep typing until you reach the end. Scrivener lets you work in any order you want and gives you tools for planning and restructuring your writing. In Scrivener, you can enter a synopsis for each document on a virtual index card and then stack and shuffle the cards in the corkboard until you find the most effective sequence. Plan out your work in Scrivener’s outliner and use the synopses you create as prompts while you write. Or just get everything down into a first draft and break it apart later for rearrangement on the outliner or corkboard. Create collections of documents to read and edit related text without affecting its place in the overall draft; label and track connected documents or mark what still needs to be done. Whether you like to plan everything in advance, write first and structure later—or do a bit of both—Scrivener supports the way you work.
No more switching between multiple applications to refer to research files: keep all of your background material—images, PDF files, movies, web pages, sound files—right inside Scrivener. And unlike other programs that only let you view one document at a time, in Scrivener you can split the editor to view research in one pane while composing your text right alongside it in another. Transcribe an interview or conversation, make notes on an image or article, or just refer back to another chapter, all without leaving the document you’re working on.
Scrivener provides all the tools you need to prepare your manuscript for submission or self-publishing. Once you’re ready to go, control everything from how footnotes, headers and footers appear to fine-tuning the formatting of each level of your draft—or keep it simple by choosing from one of Scrivener’s convenient presets. Print a novel using standard manuscript formatting. Export your finished document to a wide variety of file formats, including Microsoft Word, RTF, PDF and HTML—making it easy to share your work with others. Or self-publish by exporting to ePub or Kindle* formats to share your work via iBooks or Amazon, or for reading on any e-reader. (copyright

Visit their website to find out more about this brilliant software.

Department 19 Battle Lines

Department 19 Battle Lines

Book 3 from the talent behind the bestselling hardback YA debut of 2011. Dracula is on the verge of coming into his full power. Department 19 is on the back foot. Ladies and gentlemen: welcome to war. The stakes? Mankind’s very survival…
As the clock ticks remorselessly towards Zero Hour and the return of Dracula, the devastated remnants of Department 19 try to hold back the rising darkness.

Jamie Carpenter is training new recruits, trying to prepare them for a fight that appears increasingly futile. Kate Randall is pouring her grief into trying to plug the Department’s final leaks, as Matt Browning races against time to find a cure for vampirism. And on the other side of the world, Larissa Kinley has found a place she feels at home, yet where she makes a startling discovery.

Uneasy truces are struck, new dangers emerge on all sides, and relationships are pushed to breaking point. And in the midst of it all, Department 19 faces a new and potentially deadly threat, born out of one of the darkest moments of its own long and bloody history.

Zero Hour is coming. And the Battle Lines have been drawn.

This book like the others was amazing, well thought out and keeps you reading, in fact is difficult to put it down. I am sure this is going to be as successful as the other two in the series. This book is really awesome, with action all the way, lots of blood and gore, and vampires that are just becoming too difficult to kill. The Department is trying to pick itself up from the last battle training new recruits and researching why it has become so difficult to defeat the vampires.
The characters feel real, and that makes the story speed along, the descriptive text is amazing, you can feel those vampire teeth and the blood and gore that erupt from their bite.
This was truly an amazing read. I strongly recommend.

Department 19

Department 19

When Jamie Carpenter’s mother is kidnapped by strange creatures, he finds himself dragged into Department 19, the government’s most secret agency.
Fortunately for Jamie, Department 19 can provide the tools he needs to find his mother, and to kill the vampires who want him dead. But unfortunately for everyone, something much older is stirring, something even Department 19 can’t stand up against…
This book opens straight into action and immediately you know that there is going to be a lot going on. It will appeal to boys as well as girls, and has everything, mystery, horror and of course vampires.
Jamie’s world is about to change as he discovers that there is much more to his family then he thought, he learns about Department 19 and the secretive world that goes with it. There are things here that will appeal to many readers; there are the vampires and slayers, the technology, the monsters. Lots of action and quite descriptive gory detail in parts. Looking forward to reading the next one in the series.



Kaila Guidry has always known she is different. When she meets Jordyn Stryker at school, she finds out just how different.

Jordyn was born and raised far from Earth, a star seed, one of six new students sent to Louisiana’s Bush High to learn human ways. But Jordan did not count on meeting a girl like Kaila.

When Kaila is pushed to her limit by high school bullying and cruelty, Jordan awakens her to a new reality—and to love. But to prove herself, Kaila must look the other way as the real purposes of the starseed unfold.

As the horrific plan behind the starseed visit to Earth moves inexorably forward, Kaila and Jordan, caught in an impossible love, must determine where their true loyalties lie.
I found the start a little slow, I like a strong start, it feels like its wasting pages and this could have an effect on keeping readers enthralled to carry on reading. However once the story started to really unwind I enjoyed it. Half human and half Alien, and at a school with others like her, the conflicts between Kaila and Jordan, he raised by aliens her by humans with their very different viewpoints. Yes overall an interesting read.