Sunday, 19 November 2017

Weekly Round-Up: Writing and watching


Another busy week, but overall it was fine. I hit 30k for NaNo, and started watching Doctor Who again (on season 6 at the moment, and can we please just talk about how ABSOLUTELY SQUAD GOALS Eleven, Amy, and Rory are???!! Seriously, those three are magic together. I wish they could always be the Doctor and companions). 

Oh, and in other news, I've had to delete my Blog Roll in the sidebar because of space, etc (long story). But I've made a page you can find here where I've listed some of my favourite blogs. I'm still in the process of adding to it. 


Posts of the week: 



Still buddy-reading Heart of the Fae, and this week I also started Nevermoor :)


I am super excited about these books! I've heard so much about Lee Child's (and my Mum is a HUGE fan, so guess who grabbed the book to read it first?) and I'm also ecstatic to finally start The Mortal Instruments series. This is the 10th anniversary edition of City of Bones, so I really feel privileged to be able to start Clare's famous series with this copy <3




Lauryn talks IngramSpark vs Amazon for authors

Uma reviews The City of Brass

Emily talks Classics




I admit I'm not that excited about this sequel, mainly because it's been years since I read Harry Potter and I don't remember ever loving it. But I am excited to see Jude Law in the role of Dumbledore - I never thought I'd actually feel like swooning at the sight of that particular wizard... ;)

Starring Zac Efron, Zendaya, Michelle Williams, Rebecca Ferguson and Hugh Jackson, this movie looks and sounds amazing. 

I am not a horror movie fan, but I love Emily Blunt and John Krasinski (as actors, as a couple) and I can't wait to see how they work together in this film. 

I'm actually not so against this as everyone else seems to be. Depends on who they cast, though. 



Here's another short, unedited excerpt from my NaNo novel: 




How's your week been? What have you watched or read? 

Thursday, 16 November 2017

5 books I'm looking forward to! // part 2


I just HAD to do a part 2. It's kind unfair that there are so amazing books in the world that I haven't read, but at least I can drool over them - even if I can't buy them. Oh, and won't you agree that 2017 has been an amazing year for debuts? There honestly seems to be so many incredible new authors taking the spotlight. It's awesome.



In the land of Sempera, time is extracted from blood and used as payment. Jules Ember and her father were once servants at Everless, the wealthy Gerling family’s estate, but were cast out after of a fateful accident a decade ago. Now, Jules’s father is reaching his last hour, and she will do anything to save him. Desperate to earn time, she arrives at the palace as it prepares for a royal wedding, ready to begin her search into childhood secrets that she once believed to be no more than myths. As she uncovers lost truths, Jules spirals deeper into a past she hardly recognizes, and faces an ancient and dangerous foe who threatens her future and the future of time itself.





Seventeen-year-old Serendipity "Pity" Jones inherited two things from her mother: a pair of six shooters and perfect aim. She's been offered a life of fame and fortune in Cessation, a glittering city where lawlessness is a way of life. But the price she pays for her freedom may be too great.... In this extraordinary debut from Lyndsay Ely, the West is once again wild after a Second Civil War fractures the U.S. into a broken, dangerous land. Pity's struggle against the dark and twisted underbelly of a corrupt city will haunt you long after the final bullet is shot.



Camellia Beauregard is a Belle. In the opulent world of Orléans, Belles are revered, for they control Beauty, and Beauty is a commodity coveted above all else. In Orléans, the people are born gray, they are born damned, and only with the help of a Belle and her talents can they transform and be made beautiful. But it’s not enough for Camellia to be just a Belle. She wants to be the favorite—the Belle chosen by the Queen of Orléans to live in the royal palace, to tend to the royal family and their court, to be recognized as the most talented Belle in the land. But once Camellia and her Belle sisters arrive at court, it becomes clear that being the favorite is not everything she always dreamed it would be. Behind the gilded palace walls live dark secrets, and Camellia soon learns that the very essence of her existence is a lie—that her powers are far greater, and could be more dangerous, than she ever imagined. And when the queen asks Camellia to risk her own life and help the ailing princess by using Belle powers in unintended ways, Camellia now faces an impossible decision. With the future of Orléans and its people at stake, Camellia must decide—save herself and her sisters and the way of the Belles—or resuscitate the princess, risk her own life, and change the ways of her world forever.




Before he was Batman, he was Bruce Wayne. A reckless boy willing to break the rules for a girl who may be his worst enemy. The Nightwalkers are terrorizing Gotham City, and Bruce Wayne is next on their list. One by one, the city's elites are being executed as their mansions' security systems turn against them, trapping them like prey. Meanwhile, Bruce is turning eighteen and about to inherit his family's fortune, not to mention the keys to Wayne Enterprises and all the tech gadgetry his heart could ever desire. But after a run-in with the police, he's forced to do community service at Arkham Asylum, the infamous prison that holds the city's most brutal criminals. Madeleine Wallace is a brilliant killer . . . and Bruce's only hope. In Arkham, Bruce meets Madeleine, a brilliant girl with ties to the Nightwalkers. What is she hiding? And why will she speak only to Bruce? Madeleine is the mystery Bruce must unravel. But is he getting her to divulge her secrets, or is he feeding her the information she needs to bring Gotham City to its knees? Bruce will walk the dark line between trust and betrayal as the Nightwalkers circle closer.



Theodosia was six when her country was invaded and her mother, the Queen of Flame and Fury, was murdered before her eyes. Ten years later, Theo has learned to survive under the relentless abuse of the Kaiser and his court as the ridiculed “Ash Princess.” Pretending to be empty-headed and naive when she's not enduring brutal whippings, she pushes down all other thoughts but one: Keep the Kaiser happy and he will keep you safe. When the Kaiser forces her to execute her last hope of rescue, Theo can't keep her feelings and memories pushed down any longer. She vows revenge, throwing herself into a plot to seduce and murder the Kaiser's warrior son with the help of a group of magically gifted and volatile rebels. But Theo doesn't expect to develop feelings for the Prinz. Or for her rebel allies to challenge her friendship with the one person who's been kind to her throughout the last hopeless decade: her heart's sister, Cress. Cornered into impossible choices and unable to trust even those who are on her side, Theo will have to decide how far she's willing to go to save her people and how much of herself she's willing to sacrifice to become queen.



Are you excited to read any of these books as well? Are there any you've already read - if so, what did you think of them? 

Monday, 13 November 2017

5 books I'm looking forward to! // part 1


Note: This post could also aptly be titled 'Amy's wish list which you should definitely remember when you buy her a book.'
No pressure, but yeah.

Anyway. Some of these books were released months ago, but thanks to my broke situation (spoiler: I'm not thankful), I haven't been able to get my hands on them and read them. As it is, I'm dying of need. They all look so freakin' AMAZING <3

Daughter of immortals. Princess Diana longs to prove herself to her legendary warrior sisters. But when the opportunity finally comes, she throws away her chance at glory and breaks Amazon law—risking exile—to save a mortal. Diana will soon learn that she has rescued no ordinary girl, and that with this single brave act, she may have doomed the world. Daughter of death. Alia Keralis just wanted to escape her overprotective brother with a semester at sea. She doesn’t know she is being hunted by people who think her very existence could spark a world war. When a bomb detonates aboard her ship, Alia is rescued by a mysterious girl of extraordinary strength and forced to confront a horrible truth: Alia is a Warbringer—a direct descendant of the infamous Helen of Troy, fated to bring about an age of bloodshed and misery. Together. Two girls will face an army of enemies—mortal and divine—determined to either destroy or possess the Warbringer. Tested beyond the bounds of their abilities, Diana and Alia must find a way to unleash hidden strengths and forge an unlikely alliance. Because if they have any hope of saving both their worlds, they will have to stand side by side against the tide of war. Goodreads


Jessa Whitworth knew she didn't belong in her ex-boyfriend Caleb's room. But she couldn't deny that she was everywhere--in his photos, his neatly folded T-shirts, even the butterfly necklace in his jeans pocket . . . the one she gave him for safe keeping on that day. His mother asked her to pack up his things--even though she blames Jessa for his accident. How could she say no? And maybe, just maybe, it will help her work through the guilt she feels about their final moments together. But as Jessa begins to box up the pieces of Caleb's life, they trigger memories that make Jessa realize their past relationship may not be exactly as she remembered. And she starts to question whether she really knew Caleb at all. Each fragment of his life reveals a new clue that propels Jessa to search for the truth about Caleb's accident. What really happened on the storm-swept bridge? Goodreads


For the millions who log in every day, Warcross isn’t just a game—it’s a way of life. The obsession started ten years ago and its fan base now spans the globe, some eager to escape from reality and others hoping to make a profit. Struggling to make ends meet, teenage hacker Emika Chen works as a bounty hunter, tracking down players who bet on the game illegally. But the bounty hunting world is a competitive one, and survival has not been easy. Needing to make some quick cash, Emika takes a risk and hacks into the opening game of the international Warcross Championships—only to accidentally glitch herself into the action and become an overnight sensation. Convinced she’s going to be arrested, Emika is shocked when instead she gets a call from the game’s creator, the elusive young billionaire Hideo Tanaka, with an irresistible offer. He needs a spy on the inside of this year’s tournament in order to uncover a security problem . . . and he wants Emika for the job. With no time to lose, Emika’s whisked off to Tokyo and thrust into a world of fame and fortune that she’s only dreamed of. But soon her investigation uncovers a sinister plot, with major consequences for the entire Warcross empire. Goodreads



Eighteen-year-old Xifeng is beautiful. The stars say she is destined for greatness, that she is meant to be Empress of Feng Lu. But only if she embraces the darkness within her. Growing up as a peasant in a forgotten village on the edge of the map, Xifeng longs to fulfill the destiny promised to her by her cruel aunt, the witch Guma, who has read the cards and seen glimmers of Xifeng's majestic future. But is the price of the throne too high? Because in order to achieve greatness, she must spurn the young man who loves her and exploit the callous magic that runs through her veins--sorcery fueled by eating the hearts of the recently killed. For the god who has sent her on this journey will not be satisfied until his power is absolute. Goodreads


Should you ever go back? It has been ten years since Abby Williams left home and scrubbed away all visible evidence of her small town roots. Now working as an environmental lawyer in Chicago, she has a thriving career, a modern apartment, and her pick of meaningless one-night stands. But when a new case takes her back home to Barrens, Indiana, the life Abby painstakingly created begins to crack. Tasked with investigating Optimal Plastics, the town's most high-profile company and economic heart, Abby begins to find strange connections to Barrens’ biggest scandal from more than a decade ago involving the popular Kaycee Mitchell and her closest friends—just before Kaycee disappeared for good. Abby knows the key to solving any case lies in the weak spots, the unanswered questions. But as Abby tries to find out what really happened to Kaycee, she unearths an even more disturbing secret—a ritual called “The Game,” which will threaten the reputations, and lives, of the community and risk exposing a darkness that may consume her. Goodreads


Are you also excited to read these books? Have you already read any of them - if so, what did you think of them? 

Sunday, 12 November 2017

Weekly Round-Up: Writing and writing


After weeks of whiny, depressing life updates, I've decided to spare you this week. But in a nutshell: stressful school, consuming writing, tiny snippets of reading between all that, and behind on blog visiting and blogging. It's been a very busy week, but it's been better than the last few. 


Posts of the week: 



I'm not loving Me Before You, but I am loving Lou's character.
 Heart of the Fae isn't blowing me away either, but it's still good. 





Lauren reviews Bonfire 

Heather shares her NaNoWriMo updates

Aneta takes part in the Blog Tour for Night Realm

Sarah takes part in the #VoicesofYA tag




Such an amazing cast, but the reviews aren't too enthusiastic about the plot...

I'm slightly disappointed with her outfit, but I'm too excited about her taking on the role to care much about what she's wearing. 



Action scenes are my favourite scenes to write, so here's an action scene excerpt from my NaNo novel :) 





Did you have a good week? How's your writing going? What are you currently reading? 

Friday, 10 November 2017

The Blog Squad: Part 28


We are a group of three book bloggers situated on different continents but brought together by our love for books and a penchant for talking about them. We’ve joined our forces to create a collaborative series of posts about book blogging and we hope you’ll enjoy the discussions. 

 A MAGICAL WORLD OF WORDS - AmyNikita 
 BOOKS.BAGS.BURGERS - Uma K 
 BOOK REVIEWS BY DI - Di Hewlett


Does location matter when requesting a print review copy? 


Absolutely. You should always check if you can request a print copy from your most ‘local’ publisher. For example a book published by Sourcebooks in the USA might actually be being published by Hachette Australia in Australia! I think you have more chance of success requesting from your local market however this is not guaranteed and it’s not to say that you WON’T have success requesting from another country.


ABSOLUTELY! Let me explain this with an example I faced recently. I had requested for “Before She Ignites” from Harper Collins Children UK and a couple days later I got a mail from the publicist. The gist of the mail said - “We aren’t publishing ‘Before She Ignites’ here. I would suggest getting in touch with our US counterparts-. She was also the sweetest person and gave me the contact of the US publicist whom I ought to contact.

My conclusion from this is that sometimes some books aren’t published in a country. They’re published elsewhere and only distributed here. Being in India I know for sure that HC India doesn’t publish all the books HC US does so I check and double check every country website before I send in a request email.


Do you have to read an unsolicited ARC? 


You should never feel pressured to read an unsolicited ARC - especially if it’s not even in your normal realm of reading. It’s always nice to try them if you can, but don’t feel pressured to do it. The publisher maybe sent them because they thought it might be something that you would like or perhaps they want more publicity for the book so in this case it would be nice to feature the book in a ‘Stacking the Shelves’ post or a bookmail Instagram.

It’s very different from an ARC that you actually REQUESTED. In that case - you have to read it.

You definitely don’t HAVE to read unsolicited copies. I recently received two from Pan Macmillan India that are not my most favorite genre but since they’re unsolicited I’m just going to pick them up whenever I feel like it. Unsolicited copies, as Di says are extra copies they had. Sometimes I receive old ARCs. Publishers don’t have much use for ARCs after the book has been published so they send it off to bloggers who might enjoy reading it. I received an ARC of Windfall from the publisher recently even though the book has been out for a while.


What is your opinion on selling ARCs? 


No . . . Just NO! ARC copies should NEVER be sold.

Advanced Reader Copies are free, unproofed copies of a new book that are given out by a publisher before the book is printed. Authors ARE NOT PAID for these copies and in fact often have to make an INVESTMENT in ARC copies that are then given out to reviewers, bookstores, magazines, libraries and book bloggers.

It is true that for most titles the ARCs will represent one of the biggest outlays of the marketing budget and they are given away for FREE.

Every book sold makes a difference to the success of that particular book and it’s author and publisher. By selling ARCs you are taking away from that success and the author receives nothing.

One of the best things to do with a physical ARC is to freely give it to another reviewer so that they too have a chance to read and review and continue the buzz about that book.

The more times a person sees a book around, the more likely they are to add it to their TBR.
Running a giveaway can also help get that book onto people’s radar, even if just for a moment so this is also good publicity and I think an acceptable practice for bloggers.

If you don’t want to do either of the above, you could donate the book (but not to a library because if I’m correct they aren’t allowed to use ARCs to lend and they also cannot sell them). You could donate them to a teacher, a prison, books for soldiers or even a shelter or charity that would be able to use the books for people that may not be able to afford their own.

OMG NO!!! They’re exclusive for reviewers and are a part of the marketing plan. When I say that I mean, AUTHORS DON’T GET ANY MONEY FOR ARCs, SOMETIMES THEY IN FACT HAVE TO SPEND ON ARCs. I believe that if you feel you no longer want an ARCs, you could host a giveaway for it on Instagram, your blog or Twitter. I believe on Twitter if you look up the hashtags #booksfortrade or #arcsfortrade you can exchange ARCs with other bloggers. Have blogger friends who you think might like the story? Pass it on! These are all acceptable things you can do with ARCs you no longer want. But please DO NOT SELL IT.

Come check out my answers over at their collab posts!: 




 We hope you’ve enjoyed Part 28 in our series of discussion posts! Please talk to us and let us know YOUR answers below. What do you think of our responses? If you have any specific questions you’d like us to address in the future, please let us know in the comments section below. Stay tuned for next week’s questions!