Posts Tagged ‘Amy Plum’

My Kindle Romance: Novellas

I think that it is fair to say that I have a teeny tiny book addiction *hides To Be Read pile and credit card statements.* But my addiction doesn’t stop at stock piling books in case of a zombie apocalypse. Oh no, my reading habits also border on excess.

It is not uncommon for me, once hooked by a story, to read a book in a single sitting. I’m not so much a fast reader as a persistent one, and I’d rather be sleep deprived due to reading, than tossing and turning in bed wondering what is going to happen next. Because I recognize my own weaknesses, and my occasional premeditated decision to read a book in its entirety, and I also need to get some sleep, I love reading novellas.

The other fantastic things about novella is how they can either give you a taste, for a writers style, or a particular genre, or provide additional content to an already beloved fictional world.

Not to mention that they are cheap, most of the novellas I’ve bought have been less than a pound, and many authors provide novellas as examples of their work, or as extra content, for free.

Below are a selection of novellas I have enjoyed recently.

Submerging yourself in a genre.

A Riverting AffairA Riverting Affair:
Beauty and the Clockwork Beast-Lily Lang
Rose Verney wants to fulfill her father’s dying request: to complete construction of the teleportation device he designed. Knowing just who can help her succeed, she seeks out Sebastian Cavendish, her father’s brilliant former student. Sebastian hasn’t left his home since he returned from the Civil War. He’s a broken man, his prosthetics a reminder of the terrible destruction his inventions brought to the battlefield. He wants nothing to do with Rose and her father’s masterpiece, but when she barges into his abandoned lab and begins construction, it’s everything he can do to resist getting involved. Especially when she charms her way into his monstrous heart.
Demon Express-Candace Havens
Professor Maisy Clark, professional demon hunter, is on the trail of an evil scientist responsible for the deaths of hundreds. Julian is worse than the monsters he creates, but he’s also obsessed with Maisy and willing to kill anyone who gets too close to her. Just when she thinks she has Julian cornered, the sexy Marshall Jake Calloway insists the investigation is his, and everything goes to hell. Maisy came to Texas to corner the scientist whose macabre experiments have taken so many lives, and Calloway is just another distraction she doesn’t need. Julian is her responsibility, one she’s not about to share. Even if Calloway can help, Julian will know Maisy is falling for the Marshall, and she’s not willing to risk his life. The
Clockwork Bride-Patricia Elmer
When engineer Aida Mulvaney attends a masquerade ball at the home of a staunch Luddite earl with a personal vendetta against her father’s company, she doesn’t expect to end the night married to the earl’s son Julian Capshaw, a brilliant engineer in his own right. The marriage will allow both of them to pursue their love of science, without interfering parents and ridiculous social stigmas. Though they escape to the Continent to start new lives, Julian’s father will have none of his heir’s disobedience. Before long, a marriage begun for the sake of convenience becomes a union of passion, but will it survive the machinations of an earl determined to destroy everything they love?

What first attracted me to the genre of Steampunk is the uniquely beautiful esthetic, that wonderful combination of historical elements, corsets and top hats, combined with fantastical technologies and modern scientific thinking.

Although only a small collection, of three novellas, A Riveting Affair gives a fantastic taste of Steampunk romance. This eclectic anthology features a fairytale retelling, a more traditional feeling historical romance and a paranormal romance, with blimps, steam engines and teleportation devices, in locations as varied as New York, London and Texas, all wrapped up in a copper wire and mahogany package.

While I enjoyed all three tales, I was particularly fond of Demon Express. The kick arse, monster hunting heroine, a Stetson wearing hero, and a detailed and intriguing back-story, had me craving a full-length novel. I will certainly be checking out the authors back catalogues for such.

Verdict: A tasty plate of Steampunk treats.

Copy provided by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Revisiting beloved worlds.

die for herDie For Her- Amy Plum
Set in the romantic and death-defying world of the international bestselling Die for Me trilogy, this digital original novella follows Jules, a brooding, immortal French artist who has fallen in love with his best friend’s girlfriend.
Jules Marchenoir is a revenant-an undead being whose fate forces him to sacrifice himself over and over again to save human lives. He’s spent the better part of the last century flirting his way through Paris, but when he met Kate Mercier, the heroine from Amy Plum’s Die for Me trilogy, he knew his afterlife had changed forever and he had found the love of his life. Until Kate fell for his best friend, Vincent. Now Jules is faced with an impossible decision: choosing between his loyal friend and a love truly worth dying for.

For fans like myself, the desire to reread the series prior to the final installment is strong, however the means are lacking (the TBR pile is teetering). While the publication sits between book 2 (Until I Die) and, the highly anticipated, finale of Amy Plum’s Revenant’s trilogy, If I should Die (Oh my gosh I CAN’T WAIT!!!!), It is in actual fact a fabulous little recap of the events from the very beginning of the series.

We get to delve even deeper in the romance of our favorite French couple, learning more about the strength of Vincent’s feelings for Kate, and discovering just how and when Vincent feel in love from the outside perspective of the man who knows him best, Jules, his best friend and fellow revenant.

Last, but in no way’s least, we are treated to an enlightening look at mind of gorgeous, too many women, too little time, Jules Marchenoir. We learn more about his strength of character, his loyal friend ship and the depth of his feelings belied by his flirtatious exterior. I was certainly fooled by his fun front and I look forward to a point in the future where I can reread the series with this added perspective.

Verdict: While only a sixty-page novella, this little look at the revenant world is a mini revelation.

Discovering new authors

sleeping hansomeSleeping Handsome-Jean Haus
Paige should have never agreed to do her best friend’s project. Reading to a boy in a coma is just plain creepy, but her English teacher somehow thinks her acting skills make it the perfect community service match. But when she finds the boy’s journal hidden among his books, things turn from creepy to interesting.

This predictably sweet, but satisfying novella was the perfect between novels palate cleanser.
Though Zach’s painfully candid diary entries, Paige comes to learn as much about her own self-absorbed and shallow nature, as she does the silent young man lying supine beside her.

Verdict: A feel good, hug of a novella, with a surprising amount of character development. The perfect bedtime story.

Posted by Caroline

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Love Books Will Travel: Foyles Creative Voices

What: Book talk and Signing

Who: C J Daughterty
Sarah Grant
Amy Plum
Ruth Warburton

Where: Foyles
Charing Cross Rd

When:Thursday 3rd of May 2012

Why: The First of Foyles new Creative Voices events, showcasing the work of fabulous YA authors.

C.J. Daugherty‘s debut Night School is the first book in her new YA mystery series:

Allie Sheridan’s world is falling apart. She hates her school. Her brother has run away from home. And she’s just been arrested.This time her parents have finally had enough. They cut her off from her friends and send her away to a boarding school for problem teenagers.But Cimmeria Academy is no ordinary school. Its rules are strangely archaic. It allows no computers or phones. Its students are an odd mixture of the gifted, the tough and the privileged. And then there’s the secretive Night School, whose activities other students are forbidden even to watch. When Allie is attacked one night the incident sets off a chain of events leading to the violent death of a girl at the summer ball. As the school begins to seem like a very dangerous place, Allie must learn who she can trust. And what’s really going on at Cimmeria Academy.

Opening with the orgy that isn’t Sarah Grant Dark Parties certainly captures the attention:
Sixteen-year-old Neva has been trapped since birth. She was born and raised under the Protectosphere, in an isolated nation ruled by fear, lies, and xenophobia. A shield “protects” them from the outside world, but also locks the citizens inside. But there’s nothing left on the outside, ever since the world collapsed from violent warfare. Or so the government says… Neva and her best friend Sanna believe the government is lying and stage a “dark party” to recruit members for their underground rebellion. But as Neva begins to uncover the truth, she realizes she must question everything she’s ever known, including the people she loves the most

Until I Die is the second instalment in Amy Plum‘s Revenants trilogy and the follow up to her awesome 2011 debut Die For Me:
Kate and Vincent have overcome the odds and at last they are together in Paris, the city of lights and love.As their romance deepens there’s one question they can’t ignore: How are they supposed to be together if Vincent can’t resist sacrificing himself to save others? Although Vincent promises that he’ll do whatever it takes to lead a normal life with Kate, will that mean letting innocent people die? When a new and surprising enemy reveals itself, Kate realizes that even more may be at stake—and that Vincent’s immortality is in jeopardy.
In Die for Me, Amy Plum created a captivating paranormal mythology with immortal revenants and a lush Paris setting. Until I Die is poised to thrill readers with more heart-pounding suspense, spellbinding romance, and a cliff-hanger ending that will leave them desperate for the third and final novel in the series

This 2012 debut from Ruth Warburton had me hiding behind my pillow.
Anna Winterson doesn’t know she’s a witch and would probably mock you for believing in magic, but after moving to the small town of Winter with her father, she learns more than she ever wanted to about power. When Anna meets Seth, she is smitten, but when she enchants him to love her, she unwittingly amplifies a deadly conflict between two witch clans and splits her own heart in two. She wants to love Seth, to let him love her – but if it is her magic that’s controlling his passion, then she is as monstrous as the witch clan who are trying to use her amazing powers for their own gain.

Sarah Grant

If you follow book blogs you will have some idea of the epic nature of most book bloggers “To Be Read” (TBR) piles. My husband honestly believes that I have a problem and doesn’t understand why I would need more than one unread book, let alone a whole shelf of them! bless him 🙂 If  you happen to be on my side of the compulsive book buyers spectrum you will understand that while I had only read Amy Plum’s 2011 debut I did in fact own, albeit unread, the three other debuts featured here.

I must confess to a great deal of squealing and excitement as I booked myself on to this inaugural Creative Voices event.


My non-book obsessed friends politely nodded, as I  bounced in my chair exclaiming that there would be not one, not two but four awesome YA authors, four of them, FOUR! These un-bookish friends are awesome, but can generally only tolerate about five minutes of book talk before their eyes glaze over. Fear not, I know exactly where to turn in situations such as these, where to find my people, I logged on to twitter!

There my excitement turned to delight as I realised that not only was I going to meet, FOUR fabulous YA authors, I was also going to meet up with some amazing bloggers and catch up with some twitter friends “in the real world”.

C.J.Daugherty and Ruth Warburton

Being the eager beavers that we are, Laura (Sister Spooky: Book Fangirl ) Leanne (District YA), Casey (Dark Readers),Vivienne (Serendipity Viv), Lucy  (Choose YA), Raimy (Readaraptor) and myself  arrived early for the event. A combination of  book chat, M&M taste testing and author seat warming ensured that the hour flew by and before we knew it, we were all fawning from the front row!

Amy Plum

Each of the authors read excerpts from their books before answering the audiences questions. The discussion included the inspiration behind their works, their personal paths to publication, the writing processes and whether writing put food on their tables and roofs over their heads. It was interesting to learn that all of the authors wrote their debuts while holding down “normal” jobs and that Ruth Warburton and Sarah Grant continue to maintain careers (part time) in addition to their writing.

You can read Amy Plum’s account of the evening here!

Following the group discussion everyone had the opportunity to meet with each of the authors and have their books signed.

The Pretties

Verdict: The event was as brilliant as I had anticipated. I caught up with like minded friends and met some amazing women who’s passion for writing and enthusiasm for YA shone bright and clear.

I have subsequently rearranged my TBR pile, prioritising all of  this signed gorgeousness to the top of my personal book mountain.

If you enjoy reading our Love Books Will Travel event reports you really should check out some of these awesome events for yourself. Click here to view Foyles upcoming events and here to see what Waterstone’s has to offer in your area. Don’t forget to check with your library for local bookish events.

Post by Caroline

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