Archive for the ‘Bookish Bits’ Category:

Cooper Bartholomew is Dead Australian Blog Tour

 

Hello! And welcome to the first stop on the Australian Cooper Bartholomew is Dead Blog Tour! Thanks to the lovely people at Allen & Unwin, we have a special treat for you today – a first chapter extract of Cooper Bartholomew is Dead!

 

Cooper Bartholomew is Dead

Synopsis: Cooper Bartholomew’s body is found at the foot of a cliff. 

Suicide.

That’s the official finding, that’s what everyone believes. 
Cooper’s girlfriend, Libby, has her doubts. They’d been 
happy, in love. Why would he take his own life?

As Libby searches for answers, and probes more deeply
into what really happened the day Cooper died, she and
her friends unravel a web of deception and betrayal. 
Are those friends – and enemies – what they seem? 
Who is hiding a dangerous secret? And will the truth set them all free? 

A gripping new novel from the author of Beautiful Malice and Sweet Damage.

 

Goodreads: Add it to your reading list

 

Author Bio

Rebecca James was born in Sydney in 1970. She spent her early twenties working as a waitress, her late twenties teaching English in Indonesia and Japan, and most of her thirties having babies and working as a kitchen designer. Her first novel, Beautiful Malice, was an international publishing sensation, selling in 52 countries. This was followed by Sweet Damage, published in Australia in 2013.

Published in October, Cooper Bartholomew is Dead is a thrilling novel that delves into the psychology of a group of friends and old enemies.

Rebecca now lives in Canberra with her partner and their four sons.

Visit Rebecca online at her website and follow @Rebecca_James_ on Twitter.  You can also find out more about Rebecca and Cooper Bartholomew is Dead at Allen & Unwin’s website.

 

Cooper Bartholomew is Dead Excerpt

NOW

-

 

I never imagined I would die like this.

The fall from the cliff is sudden and shocking, the plunge towards the earth terrifying. There’s no pain when I hit the ground. Pain is there to warn you when something is wrong, there’s no point to it when nothing is right.

I’m briefly aware of certain things – the impossible twisted angles of my arms and legs. Blood pooling beneath my head.

I think of Mum.

And Libby . . . Her warmth, her eyes, her body. Thoughts that would make me smile if I was able, memories that would make me fight for life if I could.

It hurts like hell to imagine her pain and confusion.

Then I remember how I got here in the first place, the combination of events that led to this. The secrets and the lies.

I’m filled with a futile desire to do something. Find Libby. Tell her the truth.

 

-

 

1

Libby

I’m asleep, dreaming, when someone knocks on my bedroom door. In my drowsy confusion I assume that it’s Cooper, but it’s my mother who pushes the door open and comes to sit on the edge of my bed. I blink, rub my eyes, and notice with a shock that Mum’s eyes are full of tears.

I sit up, immediately awake.

‘What is it? What’s wrong?’

‘Oh, Libby, darling,’ she says.

I wait, heart pounding. I can’t imagine what has made her look so devastated.

‘Oh, sweetheart, I’m so sorry,’ she says, taking my hand. ‘It’s Cooper. He’s gone. He’s gone. Last night he . . . He’s dead.’

Cooper? Dead?

I push my blankets off and stand up. I find my phone and check the screen. There are two new messages from Cooper. I was so exhausted last night I went to bed early and must have fallen asleep immediately. I hadn’t heard a thing

He sent the first message at eleven.

Still awake? Can I come over? x

The second came an hour later, just before midnight.

Libs? You there?

I try to call him but it goes straight to voicemail. I toss my phone on the bed.

‘I’m going to see him,’ I say. ‘Find out what’s going on.’

Mum stands up and puts her hands on my shoulders. She speaks slowly, her voice breaking. I watch her with a fascinated detachment.

‘You can’t. Cooper is gone. He’s dead, sweetheart. You can’t speak to him.’

‘Let me go,’ I say, pulling away. I go to the mirror and pull my hair back from my face and lift it into a ponytail. I’m about to take my pyjamas off when I see my mother’s reflection in the mirror. I notice the very careful way she’s watching me, the sad look in her eyes, and the meaning of her words finally sinks in.

‘No,’ I say. Just that. My legs feel suddenly boneless, too weak to keep me up. I sink to the floor and put my head in my hands. It takes a few moments before I understand that the noise I can hear – a low animal moan, a dreadful wail of despair – is coming from me.

Mum sits on the floor beside me, wraps her arm around my back, pulls my head against her shoulder. We sit there, rocking, for a very long time.

 

-

2

Sebastian

He’s eating breakfast when the landline rings. In the quiet of the kitchen the noise seems harsh, overly loud, insistent, and he knows that it’s going to be bad news. It’s too early for social calls. His father is at work and his mother’s in the shower, so he puts his spoon down, walks reluctantly to the side table.

He picks up the phone. Toby Richardson tells him in a broken voice that Cooper is dead.

‘Some surfer found him this morning down on the rocks. They’re saying it was suicide. My mum was working up at the hospital when they brought him in. They’re actually saying he jumped off Bradley’s Edge.’ Toby sounds suddenly outraged, angry. ‘Like, deliberately.’

Sebastian leans against the wall for a moment, covers his mouth with the back of his hand. He looks out towards Mount Timbi and Bradley’s Edge and an image of Cooper’s shattered body flashes into his mind: blood and bone, sharp rocks, torn flesh. Cooper’s broken, still face. He shivers, wrapping his arms around himself. For a moment he feels as though all the oxygen has been sucked from the atmosphere and replaced with something toxic. He swallows, chokes on nothing, gasps for air.

‘You okay? Seb? Mate?’

He takes a breath, straightens up, pulls himself together.

‘I’m fine,’ he says. His voice is controlled, formal. ‘Thanks for letting me know.’

‘Hold on a minute. Don’t hang up. Seb . . .?’

It’s clear that Toby wants to stay on the line, expects something from him. He’s assuming that they might comfort each other. Cry together. Talk it through.

But Sebastian can’t, won’t. All he can do is say thank you again before he disconnects and drops the handset back into its base. In the safety of his bedroom, he closes the door, pulls the blinds down and lets himself cry. He feels broken, hollow, as though someone has blown a hole through his middle where his soul used to be.

 

-

 

3

Claire

Claire is barely out of bed when Sebastian calls. His voice is thick – she can tell he’s been crying. She wonders if he’s taken something.

Then he tells her – he says that Cooper was found at the bottom of Bradley’s Edge. Shock grips her in a vicious fist. Squeezes tight, making her stomach heave and her head spin. She collapses to the floor, dropping her phone and cracking her elbow on the coffee table. Bree rushes over to help. Tells Seb to call back later.

‘He’s dead,’ Claire says. ‘I can’t believe it. I can’t fucking believe it.’

‘Who?’ Bree crouches down beside her. ‘Claire? Who’s dead?’

Claire tells her what she knows, and they sit for a while in shock. They hold hands and cry, stare at each other with wide, horrified eyes. After a while Bree gets up and makes coffee, and they drink in silence. The coffee tastes like mud, and if Claire had the energy she’d get up and make them something stronger, more soothing. But she’s too shattered to move.

‘You should go back to bed,’ Bree says. ‘You look like absolute shit.’

Claire’s happy to be told what to do. She lets Bree lead her to her bedroom and waits passively as Bree pulls back the bedclothes. It’s a relief to sink into the musky comfort of doona, sheets and pillows.

It’s only when Bree has left the room and she’s alone that Claire dares to let herself think, to allow her memories of last night to surface.

She was so wasted that her mental images are hazy and unclear. She remembers the first part of the night – drinking vodka in the afternoon, listening to music, dancing drunkenly around the lounge room – but everything else is a blur.

She looks across at the pile of discarded clothes in the corner of her room. Black boots, skinny jeans, her favourite sequinned top. She must have gone somewhere. Done something. She wouldn’t wear that top around the house. She closes her eyes, strains to remember, and is rewarded with a sudden clear flashback: at some stage of the night she’d called a cab, staggered down the staircase, waited outside.

Where had she gone? Where?

Sebastian’s. She sees herself knocking on his door. Going inside. The two of them drinking straight whisky. Claire hates whisky, but that didn’t stop her – she can taste the sour fire of it, recall the way it made her gasp. They shared a line of speed. Maybe two. They both got wasted.

But there’s more. Something bad happened. Something that left her miserable and crying.

She lies back and gazes at the ceiling as the next memory starts to form. It emerges slowly, fragmented and disjointed, like an old film cut up and reassembled out of order. But it’s enough to create a vague picture, more than enough to make her heart beat faster and her body sweat.

She was in the car with Cooper. Both of them angry. A nasty fight. Tears and shouting. She remembers pushing him. Pushing him again. Pushing him hard.

She starts crying, letting the tears slide down her temples, into her hairline.

They fought. She pushed him.

And now Cooper is dead.

 

 

Cooper Bartholomew is Dead Australian Blog Tour

There are some more special treats in store for you during the Australian Blog Tour of Cooper Bartholomew is Dead, including a review, Q&A, sneak peak under the cover and maybe even a giveaway :) Be sure to check out all the stops.

The next stop is tomorrow (Tuesday 2 September) at  Happy Indulgence!

 

Thanks to Allen & Unwin for providing this excerpt for Cooper Bartholomew is Dead!

Please remember to have a look at the other stops for the Australian Cooper Bartholomew is Dead Blog Tour.

We Were Liars Australian Blog Tour + Giveaway!

 

Hello! And welcome to Book Nerd Reviews’ stop on the Australian We Were Liars Blog Tour!  Last week I posted my review for this phenomenal book, and today we are holding a a Q&A with E. Lockhart, as well as an awesome giveaway for We Were Liars! We have not 1, but 3 copies of this hauntingly beautiful book to give away!

 

Synopsis: A beautiful and distinguished family. A private island.

A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy.

A group of four friends – the Liars – whose friendship turns destructive.

A revolution. An accident. A secret.

Lies upon lies.

True love.

The truth.

We Were Liars is a modern, sophisticated suspense that will leave you reeling.

Read it.

And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE.

Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Goodreads: Add it to your reading list
Purchase: Click here to purchase

 

Author Bio

Emily Lockhart is the author of eight YA novels including The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks, a Michael L. Printz Award Honor Book, a finalist for the National Book Award, and recipient of the Cybils Award for best young adult novel. She has a doctorate in English Literature from Columbia University and has taught composition, literature and creative writing. Her books have been translated into ten languages.

Visit Emily online at emilylockhart.com and follow @elockhart on Twitter.  You can also visit the We Were Liars website or find out more about Emily and We Were Liars at Allen & Unwin’s website.

 

 

 

Q&A with Emily Lockhart

If you could describe We Were Liars in three words, what would they be?
Three words: I won’t tell.

What inspired you to write We Were Liars?
Private islands. Broken hearts. First loves. Family secrets. King Lear. Wuthering Heights. Fairy tales.

Why did you write We Were Liars with such an unreliable narrator?
Cadence, my heroine, is just telling the truth as best she knows it.

There are a lot of complex personalities in We Were Liars, are there any characters, or character traits, that you relate to?
Cadence Sinclair Eastman falls in love with a boy, Gat Patil, who is an outsider to her highly privileged family.  I relate to Gat a lot – though I am obviously not an Indian-American teenage male. He is passionate and political, a reader – and he’s in the complicated position of having one foot in each of two very different worlds. I often had that, growing up. I was brought up in a commune and went to prep school, was Jewish and Christian, had parents who divorced early and lived in different cities – lots of split identities.

Is there anything you like, dislike, admire or envy about any of the characters personalities?
Cadence is remarkably brave and also open-hearted, despite her many other faults.

Were you a liar growing up? And did this influence the story, or the characters, at all?
No. I am a truth-teller to a fault and sometimes hurt people’s feelings that way.

What inspired you to write the fairy tale stories within We Were Liars?
The fairy tales are Cadence’s way of telling truths about her family that she cannot speak any other way.  I own many fairy tale collections and have read them over and over.

Other than those that mentioned in We Were Liars, what books would we find on Cady’s and Gat’s bookshelf?
Gat would probably have some James Baldwin, Nadine Gordimer, Arundhati Roy, Jhumpa Lahiri.  Political writings and political literary fiction. Cadence would have Philip Pullman’s recent retellings of the Grimm fairy tales, plus Evelyn Waugh and Edith Wharton, which she’d read to make sense of her privileged world.

And finally, what is your motto?
Read widely.

 

Giveaway Details

Thanks to Allen & Unwin, you have a chance to win 1 of 3 copies of We Were Liars!!!

This giveaway is for Australian residents only, and will be sent directly to the winner from Allen & Unwin. The giveaway starts now and will run through to 8th September, when a winner will be picked via the Rafflecopter widget below! Everyone gets a free entry and you will get more entries if you share about the giveaway or follow us. Best of luck! x

a Rafflecopter giveaway
 

I would like to thank E. Lockhart for stopping by Book Nerd Reviews on her Australian blog tour for We Were Liars and to Allen & Unwin for hosting this wonderful giveaway!

 

Freaky Friday Books

Hi everyone! Today is Friday the 13th – so whether or not you believe that today is an unlucky day, it cannot be denied that it is a good day to have a look at spooky books :)

Below is a list of some of our favourite “darker” books, and links go to The Book Depository. Prices are based in US dollars and based on current availability and prices on The Book Depository. They ship worldwide with free postage too! If you would rather shop than succumb to superstition, just click on the title and it will direct you to that edition on The Book Depository.

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children – Ransom Riggs

Hardcover version is $16.63 (paperback available)

A horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children who once lived here were more than just peculiar.

Anna Dressed in Blood – Kendare Blake

Hardcover version is $16.67 (paperback available)

Armed with his father’s mysterious and deadly dagger, Cas travels the country with his kitchen-witch mother and their spirit-sniffing cat. Together they follow legends and local folklore, trying to keep up with the murderous dead – keeping annoying things like the future and friends at bay.

.

The Forest of Hands and Teeth – Carrie Ryan

Paperback version (pictured) is $11.15. Other versions available

Surrounded by death one girl must learn what it is to live. Moving, scary, stunning.

 

Ashes – Ilsa J. Bick

Paperback version (pictured) is $14.16. Other versions available

A cataclysmic event. A dramatically changed world. A zombie army. Can three kids really survive… and who can they trust?

 

 

Warm Bodies – Isaac Marion

Paperback version (pictured) is $11.22. Other versions available

‘R’ is a zombie. He has no name, no memories, and no pulse, but he has dreams. He is a little different from his fellow Dead. Amongst the ruins of an abandoned city, R meets a girl. Her name is Julie and she is the opposite of everything he knows – warm and bright and very much alive, she is a blast of colour in a dreary grey landscape.

 

The Replacement – Brenna Yovanoff

Paperback version (pictured) is $10.31. Other versions available

Mackie Doyle is a Replacement–left in the crib of a human baby 16 years ago. Mackie would give anything to live among the humans, but when a baby goes missing, Mackie is drawn into the underworld known as Mayhem.

 

Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea – April Genevieve Tucholke

Hardcover version is $16.99 (paperback available)

Violet is in love with River, a mysterious seventeen-year-old stranger renting the guest house behind the rotting seaside mansion where Violet lives, but when eerie, grim events begin to happen, Violet recalls her grandmother’s frequent warnings about the devil and wonders if River is evil.

Something Strange and Deadly – Susan Dennard

Hardcover version is $16.21(paperback available)

In an alternate nineteenth-century Philadelphia, Eleanor Fitt sets out to rescue her brother, who seems to have been captured by an evil necromancer in control of an army of Undead.

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown – Holly Black

Hardcover version is $19.16 (paperback available)

Living in a world of walled cities where quarantined monsters and humans endure dangerous predatory existences, Tana, one of three survivors of a horrifying massacre, safeguards their lives by visiting the evil heart of her city.

 

Stay safe on this Friday the 13th! Don’t walk under ladders, avoid black cats, don’t break any mirrors… our recommendation is to stay at home and curl up with a good book!

Interview with Colleen Hoover & Griffin Peterson – Author & Musican of Maybe Someday

As you may well know, Colleen Hoover is one of my favourite authors. And I am super excited about her upcoming novel Maybe Someday!

Maybe Someday is an exciting collaboration between Colleen Hoover, and musician Griffin Peterson. The combination of storytelling through words and lyrics. A novel and a soundtrack! The combination of Colleen’s words and Griffin’s music will surely make a unique and wonderful reading experience!

Synopsis: From #1 New York Times bestselling author Colleen Hoover, a passionate tale of friendship, betrayal, and romance—and the enchanting music that inspires one young woman to put her life back together.

At twenty-two years old, aspiring musician Sydney Blake has a great life: She’s in college, working a steady job, in love with her wonderful boyfriend, Hunter, and rooming with her good friend, Tori. But everything changes when she discovers Hunter cheating on her with Tori—and she is left trying to decide what to do next.

Sydney becomes captivated by her mysterious neighbor, Ridge Lawson. She can’t take her eyes off him or stop listening to the daily guitar playing he does out on his balcony. She can feel the harmony and vibrations in his music. And there’s something about Sydney that Ridge can’t ignore, either: He seems to have finally found his muse. When their inevitable encounter happens, they soon find themselves needing each other in more ways than one…

Recently, I was fortune enough to be able to interview Colleen Hoover and Griffin Peterson and ask them some questions about Maybe Someday.

Interview with Colleen Hoover:

Maybe Someday is a unique concept in today’s market – how did you come up with the idea of incorporating music into a novel?
The response to me including lyrics from the Avett Brothers in Slammed was overwhelmingly positive, so I thought about doing the same thing but having it be original lyrics written by the characters. Then I thought, why not actually make the music?

Was it easier or harder than you originally thought to incorporate music and lyrics into a novel?
It had it’s challenging moments, but Griffin’s work ethic definitely made it easier.

Griffin obviously helped with the lyrical storyline of Maybe Someday, but did he assist you (directly or indirectly) in the development of the storyline or the characters?
Griffin wrote all of the music and lyrics after Maybe Someday was mostly complete. He would read scenes from the book first, getting a feel for what the characters were going through, then he would put the music together.

Holder and Will are definitely swoonworthy – how does Ridge compare to these much loved male characters?
Well, all of my characters are like my babies. I absolutely adore Ridge. I hope you all feel the same.

Your books are classified as New Adult, but NA seems to be a generally broad term. The Slammed series is loved and appropriate for by both NA and YA readers, whereas Hopeless does have some more mature themes. Where does Maybe Someday fall in to the New Adult category? 
I guess it probably falls in between Slammed and Hopeless. The characters are in their 20’s, and yes, they do adult things. However, the content is not as emotionally sensitive as at that in Hopeless. It’s difficult for me to say whether or not a teenager should be able to read it. If it were my teenager, I would probably let them, but all parents are different. If a parent isn’t sure, they should just read the book first and then decide :)

You have written a variety of personality types, are there any characters, or character traits, that you relate to?
Not really. My books would be boring if my characters were like me. Haha, but really, I think I pull from other people I know more than I pull from myself.

Is there anything you like, dislike, admire or envy about any of the characters personalities?
Definitely! I can’t say much because I don’t want to give any of the story away, but I really like Ridge and Sydney. I think we’d be friends.

What was your favourite part about writing Maybe Someday?
I had a little bit of difficulty writing Maybe Someday. I felt a lot of pressure for the book to be good, so I kept re-writing the ending, thinking it wasn’t good enough. I think my favorite part was probably collaborating with Griffin. It was new and exciting for me.

If you could describe Maybe Someday in 3 words, what would they be?
Heart-wrenching, lyrical, and unexpected.

If we could look, what books would we find on Sydney’s and Ridge’s bookshelf?
Ridge: Titles by Kurt Vonnegut, Stephen King, Dave Barry, and David Sedaris.
Sydney: Nothing, because her books were all left at Tori’s apartment.

 

Interview with Griffin Peterson:

As a music artist, what appealed to you about working with Colleen on Maybe Someday?
I thought the concept was incredibly unique and I definitely didn’t want to pass up the opportunity to be involved!

What was your favourite part about working on Maybe Someday?
I think it was figuring out how the music was going to fit with the book, and seeing how the lyrics really captured the emotions of Sydney and Ridge. There are circumstances that prevent them from being able to express their emotions to each other, and the songs are a way for them to get through to each other.

Where there any character traits or situations that you could relate to in the characters in Maybe Someday? Did that make it easier or harder to write lyrics for them?
Definitely. I think anyone can relate to being in a position where they have feelings they don’t know how to express. It made it a lot easier to write the lyrics for them, because I already use music to express how I’m feeling. I think all musicians do.

Musically, did you find this project a rewarding experience?
Absolutely! Anything that involves making music is a rewarding experience for me.

If we could look at their personal music collections, what would we find on Sydney’s and Ridge’s iPod?
Erick Baker, Damien Rice, Ed Sheeran, John Mayer, Matt Corby, Griffin Peterson, Dave Barnes, and her guilty pleasure: One Direction. Oh, and Sounds of Cedar, of course :)

 

More about Maybe Someday, Colleen Hoover and Griffin Peterson:

The novel and full soundtrack are available on March 18, 2014!

The Maybe Someday soundtrack is available now through iTunes!!!

Visit the Maybe Someday website! Here you will find more information about Colleen and Griffin, and you will also be able to see bonus features and purchase or pre-order the music from this amazing soundtrack.

Watch the below clip to see Colleen and Griffin talk about Maybe Someday:

 

Don’t forget that our International March Giveaway includes Maybe Someday, so be sure to enter for your chance to win! Also, thanks to Simon & Schuster Australia, we will also be running an Australian only giveaway for Maybe Someday soon – so keep your eyes open for that amazing giveaway!

 

A huge thank you to both Colleen and Griffin for taking time out of their busy schedule to talk with us!

Christmas Boxsets – Harry Potter Edition

Tis the season the be jolly! Well, tis the season to go shopping anyway. And Melissa and I believe the best type of shopping is book-shopping, so we wanted to share with you some of the amazing boxsets that are available. In our first Christmas Boxsets post we promised you a Harry Potter boxset post, so here they are… all the complete Harry Potter boxsets available.

Prices are based in US dollars and based on current availability and prices on The Book Depository. They ship worldwide with free postage too! If you would like further information on one (or all) of these boxsets, just click on the title and it will direct you to that edition on The Book Depository.

Special Edition Harry Potter Paperback Box Set

Hardcover version (pictured) is $92.26

The perfect gift for collectors and new readers alike, we now present a breathtaking special edition boxed set of J. K. Rowling’s seven bestselling Harry Potter books! The box itself is beautifully designed with new artwork by Kazu Kibuishi, and the books create a gorgeous, magical vista when the spines are lined up together.

Harry Potter Boxed Set: The Complete Collection (Adult Paperback)

Paperback version (pictured) is $73.49

J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter novels are now available in these spectacular new editions, with beautifully designed jackets by renowned woodcut artist Andrew Davidson. This stylish boxed set includes all seven novels and is perfect for Harry Potter novices and collectors alike.

.

Harry Potter Classic Hardback Boxed Set (Hardback) 

Hardcover version (pictured) is $165.80

Contains all seven Harry Potter titles – “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone”, “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets”, “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban”, “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire”, “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix”, “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” and “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows”.

Harry Potter Special Edition Boxed Set (Hardback) 

Hardback version (pictured) is $210.78

Contains all seven Harry Potter titles. A fabulous opportunity to own all seven Harry Potter titles in a fantastic boxed set

gothic romance.

Harry Potter Paperback Boxed Set: Books #1-7

Hardback version (pictured) is $79.34

J.K. Rowling seven bestselling Harry Potter books are available in a stunning paperback boxed set!

 

Harry Potter Hardback Boxed Set

Hardcover version (pictured) is $134.97

The first opportunity to own all seven Harry Potter titles in hardback in the latest ‘Signature’ edition livery. All encased in a smart gift box. The books will have stylish marker ribbons and decorated endpapers.

 

Harry Potter Paperback Boxed Set (Paperback)

Paperback version (pictured) is $73.49

A fantastic boxed set incorporating the complete set of Harry Potter titles. This is the perfect opportunity to own all seven “Harry Potter” titles in the latest ‘Signature’ edition livery. All are encased in a smart gift box.

Harry Potter Classic Hardback Boxed Set by JK Rowling

Hardcover version (pictured) is $140.23

Contains all seven Harry Potter titles – “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone”, “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets”, “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban”, “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire”, “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix”, “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” and “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows”.

Harry Potter Adult Paperback Boxed Set by JK Rowling

Paperback version (pictured) is $86.03

A boxed set, including the titles “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone”, “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets”, “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban”, “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire”, “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix”, “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” and “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows”.

Harry Potter Classic Hardback Boxed Set: Books #1-7

Hardcover version (pictured) is $193.12

HARRY POTTER BOXED SET 1-7 includes the seven phenomenal Harry Potter hardcover books. These books are housed in a limited edition, collectible trunk-like box with sturdy handles and privacy lock. HARRY POTTER BOXED SET 1-7 includes the seven phenomenal Harry Potter hardcover books by best selling author J. K. Rowling. These books are housed in a limited edition, collectible trunk-like box with sturdy handles and privacy lock. Bonus decorative stickers are included in each boxed set.

So many wonderful Harry Potter boxsets to choose from! I want them all :)

Melissa and I will be posting more christmas boxsets shortly – everything from vampires to dragons are coming your way soon!

Christmas Boxsets

It’s coming towards that time of year where we start thinking about Christmas and gifting. Recently I’ve been seeing some beautiful box sets become available (and I may have one for myself – Merry Christmas to me! haha) and I thought I’d share some of these finds with you. You can either drop hints to your family and friends, or if you have bookish friends, you might think about some of these sets for others.

Prices are based in US dollars and based on current availability and prices on The Book Depository. They ship worldwide with free postage too, yay!!

Divergent Trilogy by Veronica Roth

Hardcover version (pictured) is $52.37
Paperback version is $39.44

For the first time, all three volumes of Roth’s #1 “New York Times”bestselling Divergent trilogy are available together in a collectible box set. In addition to the three hardcover editions, the box set contains a bonus 48-page booklet, “The World of Veronica Roth’s Divergent, ” which includes an author Q&A, playlists, quizzes, and more.

Legend Trilogy Boxset by Marie Lu

Hardcover version (pictured) is $49.70

The complete collection of Marie Lu’s bestselling Legend trilogy: ‘Legend,’ ‘Prodigy,’ and ‘Champion.’ Additional bonus material also included: Marie Lu’s ‘Life Before Legend,’ original short stories offering a sneak peek at the lives of Day and June before they met.

The Hunger Games Trilogy Boxset by Suzanne Collins

Hardcover version (pictured) is $49.15
Paperback version (available here) is $33.98

The extraordinary, ground breaking New York Times bestsellers The Hunger Games and Catching Fire, along with the third book in The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins, Mockingjay, are available for the first time ever in a beautiful boxset edition. Stunning, gripping, and powerful. The trilogy is now complete!

The Beautiful Creatures Complete Paperback Collection by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

Paperback version (pictured) is $41.96

“There were no surprises in Gatlin County. At least, that’s what I thought. Turns out, I couldn’t have been more wrong. “Ethan Wate used to think of Gatlin, the small Southern town he had always called home, as a place where nothing ever changed. Then he met mysterious newcomer Lena Duchannes, who revealed a secret world where a curse has marked Lena’s family of powerful Supernaturals for generations. Mysterious, suspenseful, and romantic, “Beautiful Creatures, Beautiful Darkness,” “Beautiful Chaos,” and “Beautiful Redemption “introduce a secret world hidden in plain sight. A world where impossible, magical, life-altering events happen. Sometimes life-ending. This stunning paperback set makes the perfect gift for fans of this bestselling Southern gothic romance.

Scott Pilgrim’s Precious Little Boxset by Bryan Lee O’Malley

Paperback version (pictured) is $58.65

Looking for the perfect entry point into the world of Scott Pilgrim? Well, this is it, buddy! All six volumes of Bryan Lee O’Malley’s epic tale of a slacker’s quest to win the heart of the girl of his dreams by defeating her seven evil ex-boyfriends! All together in a beautiful new slipcase! It also includes an exclusive poster featuring an all-new full color piece by Bryan Lee O’Malley!

The Iron Fey Boxed Set by Julie Kagawa

Paperback version (pictured) is $38.49

Available for the first time: the complete “New York Times” bestselling IRON FEY saga–THE IRON KING, THE IRON QUEEN, THE IRON DAUGHTER and THE IRON KNIGHT–in a single breathtaking boxed set.

Shiver Hardcover Trilogy Boxset by Maggie Steifvater

Hardcover version (pictured) is $48.30

Shiver Sam’s not just a normal boy – he has a secret. During the summer he walks and talks as a human, but when the cold comes, he runs with his pack as a wolf. Grace has spent years watching the wolves in the woods behind her house – but never dreamed that she would fall in love with one of them. Now that they’ve found each other, the clock ticks down on what could be Grace and Sam’s only summer together. Linger Can Grace and Sam last? Each will have to fight to stay together whether it means a reckoning with his werewolf past for Sam, or for Grace, facing a future that is less and less certain. Enter Cole, a new wolf who is wrestling with his own demons, embracing the life of a wolf while denying the ties of being human. For Grace, Sam, and Cole, life is harrowing and euphoric, enticing and alarming. As their world falls apart, love is what lingers. But can it be enough? Forever For Grace, Sam, and Cole, the story continues – only now, the stakes are even higher than before. Wolves are being hunted. Lives are being threatened. It’s becoming harder and harder to hold on to one another. In the conclusion to Maggie Stiefvater’s bestselling, breathtaking trilogy, love is the question – and the answer.

The Maze Runner Trilogy by James Dashner

Paperback version (pictured) is $28.30

The Maze Runner trilogy boxed set contains the paperback editions of James Dashner’s” New York Times” bestselling series. “The Maze Runner,” “The Scorch Trials,” and “The Death Cure” are action-packed, edge-of-your-seat, dystopian adventures for readers young and old. And now they are available together as the perfect gift.

Harry Potter Classic Hardback Boxed Set by JK Rowling

Hardcover version (pictured) is $140.23

Contains all seven Harry Potter titles – “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone”, “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets”, “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban”, “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire”, “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix”, “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” and “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows”.

Harry Potter Adult Paperback Boxed Set by JK Rowling

Paperback version (pictured) is $86.03

 A boxed set, including the titles “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone”, “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets”, “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban”, “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire”, “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix”, “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” and “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows”.

Kristy and I will post another of these just on the Harry Potter boxsets closer to Christmas because there are HEAPS to chose from and it’s really a post in it’s own right!

Happy shopping (or hinting to others!) to you all though! I just ordered my Scott Pilgrim boxset and thinking about the Divergent and Legend boxsets (to have them all matching!).

Interview with Michael Adams – Author of The Last Girl

Hey everyone!!

If you regularly visit, you’ll have seen my review a couple of weeks ago of  The Last Girl by Michael Adams. This week, I was fortune enough to be able to interview Michael Adams and ask him some questions about The Last Girl.

Firstly, I love your idea of an apocalypse bought on by us as humans turning on each other instead of your stock standard apocalypse bought on by zombies, aliens or act of nature. What made you think of this?

Firstly, thank you very much! The idea of global telepathy came in a flash when I was in a restaurant in New York in 2008. There was a couple at another table who didn’t say a thing to each other all night. That made me to wonder what’d happen if suddenly everything they weren’t saying came flooding out of their minds. Then I wondered what the restaurant – and then the city and the country and the world – would look like ten seconds after everyone could read everyone else’s minds. I figured if it was a sudden event it’d destroy the world because there’d be such widespread fear and confusion and panic. I imagined it’d be pretty hard to fly a 747 or operate a nuclear power plant with your mind broadcasting all your secrets – and receiving a million other people’s inner-most thoughts.

It’s scary to think about how dependent we have become on social media, and The Last Girl takes this to the next level where people are hearing everyone else’s thoughts. There were some really poignant moments in this book that made me think about how we turn on each other a lot on the internet as it is. Is there a bigger message in your novel that you want readers to understand?

I hope readers enjoy the book as an action adventure that convincingly puts them into the boots of my main character, Danby, as she tries to survive the end of the world. That’s my primary aim.

As for themes, I guess the idea of apocalypse coming from within ourselves reflects that almost all of our troubles arise because we don’t think and act in accordance with what we supposedly believe is in our own best interests and in the best interests for us as a species.

War, poverty, disease, sexism, racism, hunger, injustice, corruption, pollution: if we got our heads right, we could end most of them. But we don’t because we’re not perfect and we don’t always think pure and selfless thoughts. Far from it. So I liked the idea that the exposure of those hypocrisies becomes the apocalyptic detonator.

The Internet has vast potential for good but it’s also a medium for people to express a lot of very negative stuff, ranging from the simply stupid to the deeply terrifying. People behave differently online. I don’t know whether anonymity allows them to be worse than normal – or whether it allows them to express their true selves. I mean, can you believe that Veronica Roth is getting death threats over Allegiant? Seriously, people.

As much as social media has the power to unite it can also distance us from each other and create these strange little reclusive mental spaces where all sorts of craziness can fester with minimal criticism.

But the big question is where will it go from here? Telepathic communication is actually likely to happen in the next twenty years or so with the development of brain-computer interface technology. What will that be like when our perception of reality comes with digital distractions inside our heads? Thoughts from friends and strangers streaming in, everything we see augmented by factoids, advice and ads and offers and invites and recommendations? That’s weird enough but what about when trolls or bullies decide to bombard your brain? They say the Internet now is where the industrial revolution was in 1850. So we ain’t seen nothing yet. The Last Girl riffs on that.

Any ideas on what the cause of The Snap was?

The Last Girl’s told in the first person so there’s no way for Danby to know for sure what caused it. All sources of official authority are as helpless as everyone else and, anyway, the media and Internet are destroyed within hours. But Danby is a clever cookie who’s always theorising about things. I like her best guess: that constant connectivity led to humanity becoming telepathic suddenly rather than evolving the ability over thousands or millions of years. It’s like prehistoric people discovering fire in the morning – and splitting the atom in the afternoon. Not something we’re ready to handle.

Like yourself, I am a huge horror movie fan, and I especially love apocalyptic themes in movies and books – and I know I am not alone! Why do you think we like hypothesising on the apocalypse so much?

I think most stories arise from “What if” questions. Apocalyptic scenarios wrap a million of these together in one sprawling and exciting package where the stakes are as high as they get. What we’re plunged into is not just the ultimate battle for survival but also a scenario that challenges every established idea you have of who you are and what makes life meaningful. Your family? They’re zombies! Your school or workplace? Rubble! Friends? Dead or scattered! Fresh water and food? Good luck with that! Judicial system? Welcome to the law of the jungle, baby! God? How could s/he do this to us?!

It’s frightening but there’s also a freedom that goes with all of that. Parents, teachers, bosses – they’re no longer telling you what to do. You can walk in the middle of the road, take what you want from the shopping mall. It’s a fantasy that liberates us from our everyday lives.

Apocalyptic stories also let us to indulge the fantasy that we’re exceptional. Most people die – but we survive… if only vicariously though the main characters. And we get to test ourselves against their choices as the story progresses. Would I take the car? Hole up in the basement? Head for the mountains? Apocalyptic stories also let us fantasise about what comes next – how we become part of the new world order… or resist it.

Speaking of apocalyptic theories, I know you’re the type of man with a plan – Zombie apocalypse has hit, and they’re coming after us. What do you do?

I live in the Blue Mountains: small population, helluva lot of wilderness. I’d grab the family, food and first aid and get as far from people as possible. Once I’d MacGuyered up one hundred possum snares, cleared a few acres of land and planted crops and set up all sorts of spiky anti-zombie traps, I’d try to view it as a chance to catch up on reading all those big books I’ve been meaning to get to for years now.

Our protagonist Danby is a resilient, independent, smart-witted, likeable character. When thinking of this novel initially, what was the thought process in relation to making the lead character a female instead of a male, and how difficult was it for you to write from the perspective of a teenage girl?

The first scene I thought of was Christmas morning, dysfunctional family, everybody trying to put on their best faces – and a cynical teenage girl trying to deal with the lot of them when – bam! – the telepathy starts. Writing from the perspective of a teenage girl presented a challenge and an opportunity: while I could draw on universal emotions she could never have my adult male voice. I couldn’t fall back only on what I knew. I’d have to make her up, let her dictate where her story went. I do have vivid memories of my teenage emotional life so I drew on those feelings. I also recalled the teenage girls I knew then, listened to teenagers conversations around me on the train and tried to place myself into Danby’s head and heart. She was a combination of recollection, observation and imagination.

What do you find to be the hardest thing about writing?

Finding the time. I have a full-time job, do a lot of freelance work, have a partner and child and family and friends. My curse – and blessing – is a ridiculously long daily train commute that I can use to write. That said: the dream is to write full time fiction full time.

You make reference of George Orwell’s 1984 in this novel. Who is your favourite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

1984 was a teenage favourite – which is one of the reasons I gave it to Danby and her friends to read. As for favourite authors, I have a lot. Stephen King spins great yarns with terrific characters. Kurt Vonnegut’s all about the spin-out concept served up with smart humour. Jonathan Franzen’s delivers gorgeously funny language and big ideas of who we are now. Vladimir Nabokov makes words his beautiful playground puzzle. Others who come to mind include Michael Connelly, Philip K. Dick, Chuck Palahniuk. I adored Gillian Flynn’s books recently, too. I take different things from different books and authors. The last three books I read were Aussie debuts: The Rosie Project, by Graeme Simsion; Every Breath, by Ellie Marney; and just_a_girl by Kirsten Krauth. All very different but they all did the thing that counts the most: swept me up and made me savour each page while wanting to get to the next one so I could find out what happened.

Can you tell us when the sequel, The Last Shot is going to be released?

It’s out in March next year. It picks up right where The Last Girl leaves off. I like to think of it as my Empire Strikes Back. The trick will be to make the third book, The Last Shot, be a little more satisfying than Return Of The Jedi. No Ewoks, promise.

Michael AdamsAbout Michael Adams:

Michael Adams has been a restaurant dishwasher, television host, ice-cream scooper, toilet scrubber, magazine journalist, ecohouse lab rat, film reviewer, social media curator, telemarketing jerk, reality TV scribe and B-movie zombie. This one time, he watched bad movies at the rate of one per day for an entire year and wrote a book about the traumatic experience, which is called Showgirls, Teen Wolves and Astro Zombies. Michael lives in the Blue Mountains, NSW, with his partner, daughter, one dog, two cats and an average of three supersized spiders. The Last Girl is his first novel.

 

 

Huge thank you to both Allen & Unwin Australia for arranging this interview and for Michael for taking the time to talk with us!

Bookish Bits

Welcome to Bookish Bits! What is it exactly? It was hard for me to summarise, it’s more something you need to see to understand. But I liken it to the bits and pieces that make up the book. The mood board of the book itself if you will. Sometimes I go into books having no idea what they’re about. I plan on doing these images every now and then with books I am reading – they give a snapshot as to what you can expect in this book at a glance. It gives you a feeling about what to expect.

This week, for my first Bookish Bits installment, I am presenting to you – In The Shadow of Blackbirds by Cat Winters, my current read. It is dark and creepy – set in the 1920’s where an influenza outbreak is killing people left right and centre. On top of that, there’s a war going on, and there’s mass hysteria with people wanting spirtiual photography done trying to reach out to loved ones that have passed away. If you’ve read this book, then the below mind map should remind you of the book! Otherwise, this is what you can expect! My review will be posted tomorrow!