Showing posts from November, 2012

Updates, Challenges and Stacks of Books

Just a quick update on some of the reading challenges I set myself this year. I am approaching my target of reading 100 books this year and I still have a month and a bit to go so I'm quite happy about that. However I failed miserably with my Summer reading challenge as I was distracted by buying far too many new books and by receiving an unprecedented amount of books for review. If you have asked me to review a book and still haven't seen a review posted, I am truly sorry, I have been completely swamped but I will do my best to review everything I have been sent as soon as I can. Here is a glimpse at just some of the books I have been sent and haven't got around to yet.

Some great Irish Titles I shall be reading/reviewing soon
A.B. Wells Housewife with a Half-life (
Mary McCarthy After the Rain (Poolbeg)
Donal Ryan The Spinning Heart (Doubleday Ireland/Lilliput Press)
The Istanbul Puzzle Laurence O'Bryan (Avon) (not pictured)

Some Fab Literary titles


Author Interview with Helen Moorhouse

Helen Moorhouse

Did you always want to write?Always. As a child I was surrounded by books, learned to read at a very early age and as soon as I was gripped by the power of storytelling and the fun of words, it's all that I wanted to do.
2. What was your favourite book as a child? I devoured books as a child and I've been thinking long and hard about this question – Five Children and It is up there, as are the Chalet School and Mallory Towers books, and The Chronicles of Narnia was the best present I got for my tenth birthday but I think the favourite is The Faraway Tree stories by Enid Blyton – I have a copy of them ready and waiting to read to my own children when they're old enough, in fact. I adored the idea of all the little houses on the way up the tree, the different lands at the top of the magical cloud – the possibilities of adventure were just too exciting!
3.When/where/how do you find the time to write?( do you have a separate writing desk or room?) I currently …

The Dark Water

The Dark Water By Helen Moorhouse
Helen Moorhouse is fast becoming one of my absolute favourite authors, having spooked the living daylights out of me last May (2011) with The Dead Summer she has returned on top form with another shiver-fest in The Dark Water.  The new book continues the story of Martha Armstrong who is now living in Edinburgh with her new partner Will. I was so excited to learn that Scotland was the setting for this new adventure and Helen gets the gothic, romantic, misty atmosphere exactly right. Gabriel McKenzie; psychic medium and now television star needs Will and Martha’s help because something or someone is haunting him. Despite a rift between old friends; Will and Gabriel, all three must unite to investigate a ghostly presence at the beautiful but remote DubhglasCastle. However whatever is haunting the beautiful old castle does not want to go quietly and threatens them all. The novel builds to a thrilling atmospheric climax which will have you cowering under the…


Defiance By C.J. Redwine
Defiance is a fast paced and well written debut from an author who will be one to watch in the future. A daring combination of Fantasy, Dystopia and Sci-Fi featuring great characters and set in a grim future where women are chattels and life is cheap. Rachel is a headstrong young woman whose father has trained her to survive and to fight, even though in this new world women are bought and sold and are not allowed out alone. Logan has been appointed her protector now that her father is missing and the responsibility weighs heavily on the young apprentice. The citadel in which they live is ruled by a cruel dictator who is keeping secrets from the people he claims to protect. Outside the walls a frightening monster stalks the forest hunting humans but it is to the forest the intrepid young pair must go in search of Rachel’s father and a package he has hidden. A great well plotted adventure which will appeal to fans of Graceling and the Hunger Games.

Dead Dogs

Dead Dogs By Joe Murphy
A brilliant portrait of the casual cruelty of teenagers and the intense cruelty of one boy in particular; Dead Dogs is a fantastic examination of a young man’s spiral into madness. Joe Murphy is an acute observer of the social and emotional concerns of teens today, including a razor sharp dissection of “popular girl” Jenny “You like to keep these two around you because they’re not as good-looking as you. You always want everyone to look just at you. If people aren’t looking at you, you disappear.” This is a dark novel which encapsulates some of the bleakness of growing up in post Celtic Tiger Ireland; the ghost estates, the drugs, crime and casual violence. With this novel Joe Murphy proves that he is versatile as well as talented. Last year he conquered historical fiction with 1798: Tomorrow the Barrow we’ll Cross and in Dead Dogs he takes on the psychological crime novel and proves that he is a name to watch in Irish writing. 
Joe is pictured above at the launch …

The Demon Notebook

The Demon Notebook By Erika McGann
The Demon Notebook is a first novel for young Irish author Erika McGann and it’s aimed squarely at girls aged 9 and upwards. The book taps into the current craze for ghostly stories and it is a well plotted adventure with scares, thrills, friendship and laughs. The story has a similar feel to Emily Mason’s Ghost Detectives and will appeal to fans of that title. Grace, Jenny, Adie, Una and Rachel dabble in Witchcraft  with no real success, but they soon learn a lesson about messing with magic when they accidently unleash a demon from beneath their school and all the spells in their notebook start to come true. It’s spooky, scary and great fun. Erika grew up in Drogheda and used her old school, St Oliver’s as the model for the school in the book. Erika visited Waterstones in Drogheda to sign copies of her book; she is pictured above with my eldest daughter Chloe and her friends.

Grave Mercy

Grave Mercy By Robin La Fevers
Ismae is a Daughter of Death, a trained assassin and tough as nails. She is a wonderful creation and the description of the island convent where the assassins are trained as poisoners, fighters and weapons experts was fascinating in fact I wished this section of the novel had been longer. As interesting as the political intrigue and machinations of the medieval Breton court were, I felt the story sagged a little in the middle. Nonetheless it soon got back on thrilling form towards the end and the author tantalised us with the possibility of a follow up instalment. Robin La Fevers has obviously done extensive research and worked hard to create a genuine historical feel and this was a truly fantastic and unusual blend of fantasy, history and the paranormal. I await the second volume with anticipation.