WWW Wednesday [August 16th 2017] –

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This meme is hosted by Sam over at Taking on a World of Words. All you have to do is answer the following three questions in a post and then put a link to that post in the Comments over at Taking on a World of Words.

The questions are:
1. What are you currently reading?
2. What did you recently finish reading?
3. What do you think you’ll read next?

Currently Reading –  DHEFO2EUAAE0b88
I started A Stranger in the House a couple of days ago but I was in a little slump and didn’t want to read the other day so yeah. It had nothing to do with the book though. I just get into these weird moods where I just don’t want to read and it sucks. But I seem to be over it now. Fingers crossed anyway.

So this book follows Karen, her husband and neighbour/friend. Karen wakes up in hospital with no memory of what happened or how she got there. The police think she was up to something but she’s not sure what to believe. It’s been really good so far. I’m hoping to finish it today.

Recently Finished – 1
I was sent a copy of The Cause of Death at the start of August from HarperCollins New Zealand. It’s been so long since I read a true crime book. I don’t normally read books straight away but this one just seemed to keep calling out to me. It’s set around where I live too so that was a plus.

Anyway, this book has a few cases that Dr. Temple-Camp was a pathologist for, like devil worshippers, drug mules and spontaneous combustion. Oh, and a high-profile case for the area – the Mark Lundy case. That’s been talked about for years and some people still think he’s innocent.

I really enjoyed this book, even though it was about death and murder. I couldn’t put it down. DGv0q-JU0AEVX0E

I also read I Have No Secrets. This book follows Jemma who has cerebral palsy. She relies on her family and carer for everything as she can’t talk or move. Someone in her life tells her this horrible secret and she can’t do anything about it – probably why they told her – but that may be about to change…

I really enjoyed this. I’ll hopefully be posting a review of this soon but I’d definitely recommend picking up a copy.

Reading Next –  12
I’m going to be reading Tell It to the Moon next. I’ve been talking about a giveaway that I’ll be hosting when I post my review so I thought it was about time I actually read the book.

This is the sequel to The Moonlight Dreamers which I read last month and really enjoyed. I haven’t posted my review for that yet though. I’m still really behind with my reviews.

So that’s my week in book. What have you read recently?

– Aimee.

August TBR.

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I know this is a week late but better late than never I guess… I have read two and a bit books this month but only one of them is actually in the TBR pile… One I totally forgot about and the other one I was reading at the time and it slipped my mind.

I’ve read The Crown’s Game by Evelyn Skye and The Student by Iain Ryan. I enjoyed both of them but I did like The Crown’s Game more. I’m currently reading Darien: Empire of Salt by C.F. Iggulden. This is the first book in a new YA fantasy trilogy/series. I’m enjoying this too but I just haven’t been in the mood to read so I’m kind of struggling with it. I don’t think it’s the book though.

Then there’s the books on my TBR that I haven’t gotten to yet. My next read will be I DGLyLltVoAAjiAtHave No Secrets by Penny Joelson. This sounds really good and I can’t wait to pick it up. It will also be my third book for ARC August.

A few of the books on this month’s TBR were also on my July TBR… I have been reading really slowly lately. My new medication makes me nauseous and I just can’t read when I feel like throwing up all the time. But I’m hoping to actually read Godblind, Midnight Jewel and Song of the Current this month.

It’s kind of an ambitious TBR pile considering my reading has been slowing down but whatever. We’ll find out how many I’ll actually get through at the end of the month.

What’s on your TBR for August?

– Aimee.

July Book Haul.

 

Watercolor flower wreath background for beautiful design

I was meant to be on a book buying ban this month. That lasted like three days? I only bought five books but they did cost me a lot of money… Well not a lot but more than I usually pay for books in a month. But I did get a pretty good deal. I’ll talk about that later though. 1

So the first book I got was sent to me from HarperCollins New Zealand. I’d seen this on Booktube I think and thought it sounded like something I’d enjoy.

I think this is about siblings, a brother and sister, competing for the throne? I’m not 100% sure so don’t quote me on that.

This would totally have been a cover buy for me had I not had the opportunity to review it because this cover is gorgeous.

I think I’ve read two books by Charbonneau. So I’m looking forward to reading this.

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The second book I received to review was from Allen and Unwin New Zealand to review. I didn’t realize this was a sequel until it arrived so I won’t be reading it until I have a copy of the first book. Which I haven’t gotten around to buying yet.

I haven’t really read much about this because it is a sequel but I know it’s about mermaids, or a mermaid.. Whatever. I’ll figure it out when I get a copy of Lorelei.

This is another book with a gorgeous cover. And it’s even better in person because the gold scales are holo I think.

The next five books I bought for myself. I went into a local second-hand bookstore and these were sitting on the counter. Apparently they were an unwanted gift and the guy3 took them into the store. I already had the paperback editions of the A Song of Ice and Fire series but I couldn’t just leave them.

So I started talking to the woman in the store about the books and she took $10 off for me and then I was like “okay I’ll take them.” Now I have to sell my other editions.

I have read the series up to A Dance with Dragons twice and I’ve read A Game of Thrones three times. I still want to re-read A Dance with Dragons before the next book comes out. If it ever comes out. So obviously there’s no rush for that re-read.

The next book I got was a surprise from Penguin Random House New Zealand. I’d read 4the synopsis of this but didn’t request it. I do plan on reading this for ARC August though.

So from what I remember of the synopsis a woman is at home making dinner and the next thing she knows she’s waking up in the hospital… The police are saying she was up to no good. Her best friend doesn’t know what to think. Her husband is on her side. But she’s not sure who to believe. I think it sounds pretty good and I’m looking forward to reading it.

I don’t know when I’ll get to it though because I’m in another reading slump at the moment so yay me. I’m reading The Crown’s Game to try to get out of it. 5

Hachette New Zealand sent me a copy of City of Circles to review. This is another book I have on my ARC August TBR.

I think this follows a girl who lost her parents and is trying to find out what happened to them. And something about a circus. But I’m not really sure what.

Fans of Erin Morgenstern will apparently like this. I haven’t read her books though so I’m not sure what to expect. Which I think is good because it won’t let me down.

Okay so this isn’t the kind of book I usually read but it said fans of Jojo Moyes will enjoy 6this and even though I’ve only read two books by her I did enjoy them.

I’m just going to admit that since I read the synopsis a couple of months ago I cannot remember what this is about. But I am looking forward to reading it. It’ll give me a break from the books I usually read, which is always a good thing for me.

I don’t know when I’ll be reading this though. My TBR is a little crazy this month but I’ll hoping that I can get to it soon. There was also something mentioned about keeping the secret once you’ve read the book. Which seems really interesting… 7

Allen and Unwin New Zealand also sent me a copy of Sparrow to review. This was a complete surprise as I didn’t request it. But because it’s by an Australian author I think I’ll give it a chance. One day.

I don’t remember what this is about either. Obviously it has something to do with alligators or crocodiles… I guess I’ll find out whenever I pick it up. I think my mother plans to read it as well. I’m not really sure why… But whatever. I don’t care if she wants to read it first. She probably will get to it before I do.

Hachette New Zealand also sent me a copy of The Taste of Blue Light to review. This isn’t 8out til next month but I do have it on my ARC August TBR. I’ll probably read this at the end of August though.

I think this is about a girl who wakes up from a coma and her dreams, or nightmares, are all in red. I don’t know what that has to do with blue light but I’m sure it’ll make sense when I read the book.

I thought this sounded really interesting when I read the synopsis so I’m looking forward to reading this as well. There’s a note at the start of the book that made it sound really good too but I can’t remember who wrote it.

I can’t remember who sent me a copy of Slave Power. I think it actually came from the author but that’s not who I requested it from…. 9

I did read the synopsis of this but it was so long ago that I don’t remember what the book is about. I know it’s the first in a new series and that it’s meant to have a strong female lead. But that’s all I can remember.

Oh, it’s also by a New Zealand author which is a big reason behind me wanting to read it. I love supporting local authors. I’ve never heard of Raewyn Dawson until I was sent an email about the book.

Anyway, this is on my August TBR, which I will be sharing this weekend.

Bonnier Publishing Australia sent me a copy of And Fire Came Down to review. This is 10the sequel to Resurrection Bay which I read and reviewed a couple of months ago. If you want to read that review you can check it out here.

I really enjoyed Resurrection Bay so I’m excited to read And Fire Came Down. I think Caleb, the main character, is investigating the death of a woman when it leads him back to his hometown again.

I have And Fire Came Down on my August TBR and am hoping to read it soon. But I also have a couple of other books to read first. 11

I received some surprise book mail from Bloomsbury Australia in July. These two were completely unexpected but definitely welcome.

I don’t know when I’ll get to these, hopefully soon, but I have another book from Bloomsbury Australia on my TBR for August. If I can fit one in I’ll definitely will but I’m not sure I will.

I can’t remember what either of these are about but I did like the sound of them when I first read the synopsis.

Walker Books Australia sent me a copy of Tell It to the Moon to review. This is the sequel 12to The Moonlight Dreamers. Which I read recently. I’m not going to talk about Tell It to the Moon because it is a sequel and I don’t want to spoil things for anyone who hasn’t read The Moonlight Dreamers yet.

But The Moonlight Dreamers was so good. It was about four girls, all completely different and from different backgrounds, that come together and not only become friends but better people as well.

I’ve mentioned before that I’ll be holding a giveaway for both books when I post my review of Tell It to the Moon (sometime in August). So if you live in New Zealand or Australia then keep an eye out for that. The books will be sent from Walker Books Australia. 13

The next two books are both from Hachette New Zealand. Friend Request is a mystery/thriller (I don’t know which).

A woman gets a friend request on Facebook from someone she knew in high school. But this friend has book missing for years and people assume she’s dead. So, who’s sent the request? And is this Maria actually dead?

I thought it sounded like something I’d enjoy so I’m looking forward to finding out what’s going on in this book. I do like thrillers so I couldn’t resist requesting this.

I Am Traitor is about an alien invasion and one girl thinks she’s found a way to save 14humanity (I think) but it means trusting the enemy. I’m pretty sure I got that right. But again, don’t quote me on it.

I love alien invasion books. Not that I’ve read a lot of them but out of the ones I have read I enjoyed them.

I can’t wait to see what this alien invasion is about and what exactly is going on. I think this is set in London if I remember correctly. But my memory is shit so I doubt it. I think this is also out in September so I won’t be reading it this month. Unless I can fit it in right at the end. 15

So a couple of months ago I was contacted through my blog about reviewing this book. I don’t normally say yes because it’s always an e-book and I can’t read digital books. But they offered to send me a physical copy of the book.

Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold has adventure, pirates, stolen gold, criminals, ship wrecks and some curses.

I’d never heard of this before I read the email but I am always happy to help out indie authors if I can. This is the first book in a series and is also on my August TBR.

So the last two books I received in July were sent to me from Hardie Grant Australia to review. I totally forgot to take a photo of these so I’ll have to just link to their Goodreads pages.

The first book was I Have No Secrets and I thought this sounded really good. This is on my ARC August TBR so I’ll be reading this soon. The second book was In the Dark Spaces which also sounded really good. I’m hoping to get to this soon too.

So that’s my July book haul. How many books did you get last month?

– Aimee.

Siobhan Curham – Q&A

 

Where did the inspiration for Moonlight Dreamers and Tell it to the Moon come from?
I feel really passionately about encouraging other people to dare to believe in themselves9781406365825 and their dreams – especially young people. I know all too well how hard it can be to pursue a dream and how easy it can be to give up. I gave up on my writing dream when I was twenty and dropped out of university. Coming from a poor background, I didn’t think I had what it took to make it in the middle class world of writing and publishing. I ended up in the worst job ever, working for the complaints department of a frozen food company – where all I got to write were grovelling letters of apology! Thankfully, I managed to overcome my self-doubt and fear and make it as a writer in the end. I wrote The Moonlight Dreamers and Tell it to the Moon to try and encourage the reader to chase their own dreams and not give up, like I did. It’s so lovely when I receive emails from readers telling me that it’s worked and reading about the Moonlight Dreamers and their adventures has given them the confidence to dare to dream.

Did you always dream of becoming a writer?
Pretty much – and it’s all down to my evil parents! When I was little my mum and dad had the crazy notion that TV was bad for a kid’s imagination so my siblings and I weren’t allowed to watch any TV – we didn’t even have a television in the house, and this was back in the day before the internet and mobile phones. So I had a choice – I could either learn to love to read, or die of boredom. So, I learned to love to read and out of that came a love for writing. I dreamed of one day having a shelf full of books that I had written. I’m grateful every day that that dream finally came true.

What were the first steps you took to pursue becoming a writer?
Well, first I went to university to study English Literature and Script-writing but sadly I dropped out after my second year. When I started pursuing my dream again a few years later, I decided to approach it like any other business and start small. So I started writing short stories and articles, which felt a lot less intimidating than writing an entire novel. Once I’d had a few of them published it gave me the confidence to go after the bigger dream of writing a book.

What was it like working with Zoe Sugg?
It was great. I love helping other people with their books – celebrities and non-celebrities.

How has working as a motivational speaker and life coach influenced your writing?
It’s influenced it greatly as pretty much every book I write has the same theme as the 9781406366150work I do as a speaker and coach ie; overcoming fear or adversity and creating a life based around the pursuit of your dreams. I feel very lucky to do this work as it’s so rewarding to help other people achieve their goals.

What do you think are the main challenges that teenage girls face?
Oh, where to begin? I think there are so many challenges facing teenage girls today, way more than when I was a teenager. I think a lot of this is down to the internet – there’s a pressure for teens to attain perfection, both in their lives and physically that’s far greater today. And I think this is combined with the current obsession with celebrity – and their perfectly edited lives. The saddest thing about it is that most of the time the ‘perfection’ teen girls are encouraged to achieve isn’t even possible. The images and celebrity lifestyles are all airbrushed, photo-shopped and highly edited, as are most people’s social media accounts. I think there’s way too much pressure at school too – a topic that I highlight in Tell it to the Moon and Sky’s poem Free to Be. Young adults just aren’t free to be their true selves and I think this is a tragedy.

How important are strong friendships in help over these issues?
I think strong friendships are very important as they can help to counteract the pressure. There’s nothing better than having a friend who loves and accepts you for who you are; someone you can be completely authentic with. This is what I try to celebrate in The Moonlight Dreamers and Tell it to the Moon – the empowering nature of female friendship and creating a sisterhood of your own.

Do you think social media is making things like bullying and body image issues worse?
Yes, most definitely, because there’s no escape from it. Bullying has always happened and people have always had body image issues but it’s magnified by social media and this can be so toxic. What is encouraging is that there seems to be a growing trend towards going on an internet detox – taking yourself offline for certain days of the week or hours of the day. I think this can really help, mental health wise. It’s so healthy to take a break from it all.

Did you have a friendship group like the Moonlight Dreamer when you were growing up?
I didn’t have such a close-knit group when I was growing up but I did have a very best friend, who I met when I was eight and we’re still best friends to this day. We’ve been through thick and thin together – growing up on a council estate, dating trials and tribulations, career hiccups, marriages, divorces and single-parenthood – and she’s like a sister to me. I’m lucky to have many very close female friends now. I call them my soul sisters, and they mean everything to me.

Tell us about your best friends.
My life-long best friend is called Tina. She’s the person I can tell anything to and she gives the best advice – even if I don’t always want to hear it! Another amazing friend of mine is called Sara – I also think of her as my writing guardian angel. She was my editor for my very first book deal and she’s been my main cheer-leader ever since. Writing can be a tough business with a lot of ups and downs and she’s always been there for me. My other best friend is my dad. He’s been my rock throughout my life, always encouraging me to chase my dreams and providing me with his own unique brand of gruff, Irish wisdom.

What is your favourite book?
The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson. She writes so beautifully. It’s like one long poem in novel form and the characters are so colourful and likeable too. She made me want to live in the world of the book.

What authors have influenced your writing?
When I was starting out, and basically teaching myself to write, I was inspired by a writer called Lisa Jewell. I loved the way she made her characters so real – and the settings for her books. They were so rich it was almost as if the location was a character in its own right. This is definitely something I’ve tried to emulate, especially with the settings for The Moonlight Dreamers and Tell it to the Moon. I really wanted the reader to feel as if they were in London or Paris.

Which Moonlight Dreamer is most similar to you?
I think I’m probably a mash-up of Sky and Maali. I’m a writer and a bit of a hippy like Sky, and a hopeless romantic just like Maali! Writing some of her tongue-tied scenes with Ash was like therapy!

Are any of your characters based on real people?
Not really. It’s more like I take interesting elements of real people and mix them up with some fictional traits to create a unique character.

Will there be more books in The Moonlight Dreamers series?
I hope so. I’d love to do one more. But before that, I have another book coming out with Walker next year called Friends Like Us, which tells the story of music-loving teenage carer, Grace, and talented footballer and Syrian refugee, Hafiz. The refugee crisis is something I feel passionately about, ditto the number of young people who are having to care for members of their family. It felt great writing a book which throws a spotlight on these issues – and celebrates the power of friendship, this time between a teen boy and girl.

If you haven’t read The Moonlight Dreamers and like books about friendship, going after your dreams and diverse families then I recommend picking up a copy.

I’ll be reading the sequel, Tell It to the Moon in August and will be holding a giveaway after I’ve read it. So if you live in New Zealand or Australia and are interested in reading these books then keep an eye out for my review of Tell It to the Moon! 🙂

– Aimee.