Debut Books I Can’t Wait To Read

Debut Books I Can’t Wait To Read. I have never really paid attention to how many books an author has written – unless it’s to work out the order of a series (this is not always as easy as it sounds). I have to admit though I am a little sceptical of very prolific authors… who has the time? But debut authors – awesome, especially if they have a fresh original voice.

Debut Books I Can’t Wait To Read

The Debut Top 10 collage

I love the sound of these books and really hope I can get my hands on them soon. Realistically though, with the sorry state of the South African currency it may be a long, long wait. Unless my fairy godmother suddenly pays attention. (Hint hint!)

What do you think? Are you lucky enough to have read any of these?
Any recommendations?

Please Don’t Tell by Laura Tims

Expected publication: 24 May 2016

Joy killed Adam Gordon—at least, that’s what she thinks. The night of the party is hazy at best. But she knows what Adam did to her twin sister, Grace, and she knows he had to pay for it.

What Joy doesn’t expect is that someone else saw what happened. And one night a note is shoved through her open window, threatening Joy that all will be revealed. Now the anonymous blackmailer starts using Joy to expose the secrets of their placid hometown. And as the demands escalate, Joy must somehow uncover the blackmailer’s identity before Joy is forced to make a terrible choice.

This Raging Light by Estelle Laure

Expected publication: 22 December 2015

Can the best thing happen at the worst time?

Her dad went crazy. Her mom left town. She has bills to pay and a little sister to look after. Now is not the time for level-headed seventeen-year-old Lucille to fall in love. But love—messy, inconvenient love—is what she’s about to experience when she falls for Digby Jones, her best friend’s brother. 

This Is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp

Expected publication: 5  January  2016

10:00 a.m.
The principal of Opportunity, Alabama’s high school finishes her speech, welcoming the entire student body to a new semester and encouraging them to excel and achieve.

10:02 a.m.
The students get up to leave the auditorium for their next class.

10:03
The auditorium doors won’t open.

10:05
Someone starts shooting.

Told over the span of 54 harrowing minutes from four different perspectives, terror reigns as one student’s calculated revenge turns into the ultimate game of survival.

The Girl in the Red Coat by Kate Hamer

Published: 5 March 2015

Carmel has always been different. Carmel’s mother, Beth, newly single, worries about her daughter’s strangeness, especially as she is trying to rebuild a life for the two of them on her own.

When she takes eight-year-old Carmel to a local children’s festival, her worst fear is realised: Carmel disappears. Unable to accept the possibility that her daughter might be gone for good, Beth embarks on a mission to find her.

Meanwhile, Carmel begins an extraordinary and terrifying journey of her own, with a man who believes she is a saviour. 

After the Woods by Kim Savage 

Expected publication: 23 February 2016

One year ago, two best friends, Liv and Julia, were attacked in the woods by a paroled predator. In an attempt to save Liv, Julia was left behind while Liv escaped.

After spending three days in the woods trying to escape her abductor, Julia was rescued. She only remembers what happened in the woods in terrifying flashbacks.

Now, on the eve of the anniversary of the attack, a body is found in the woods. This discovery rips open fresh wounds between the two girls as the truth about Liv’s role in the kidnapping is revealed.

We All Looked Up by Tommy Wallach

Published: 24 March 2015

Before the asteroid we let ourselves be defined by labels:
The athlete, the outcast, the slacker, the overachiever.

But then we all looked up and everything changed.

They said it would be here in two months. That gave us two months to leave our labels behind. Two months to become something bigger than what we’d been, something that would last even after the end.

Two months to really live.

Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly

Expected publication: 5 April 2016 

On the eve of a fateful war, New York socialite Caroline Ferriday has her hands full with her post at the French consulate and a new love on the horizon. But Caroline’s world is forever changed when Hitler’s army invades Poland in September 1939—and then sets its sights on France.

An ocean away from Caroline, Kasia Kuzmerick, a Polish teenager, senses her carefree youth disappearing as she sinks deeper into her role as courier for the underground resistance movement. In a tense atmosphere of watchful eyes and suspect neighbors, one false move can have dire consequences.

For ambitious young German doctor, Herta Oberheuser, an ad for a government medical position seems her ticket out of a desolate life. But, once hired, she finds herself trapped in a male-dominated realm of Nazi secrets and power.

The lives of these three women are set on a collision course when the unthinkable happens and Kasia is sent to Ravensbrück, the notorious female-only Nazi concentration camp.

The Way I Used to Be by Amber Smith

Expected publication: 22 March 2016 

Eden was always good at being good. Starting high school didn’t change who she was. But the night her brother’s best friend rapes her, Eden’s world capsizes.

What was once simple, is now complex. What Eden once loved—who she once loved—she now hates. What she thought she knew to be true, is now lies. Nothing makes sense anymore, and she knows she’s supposed to tell someone what happened but she can’t. So she buries it instead. And she buries the way she used to be.

The Love That Split the World by Emily Henry

Expected publication: 26 January 2016

Natalie Cleary must risk her future and leap blindly into a vast unknown for the chance to build a new world with the boy she loves.

Natalie’s last summer in her small Kentucky hometown is off to a magical start… until she starts seeing the “wrong things.” They’re just momentary glimpses at first—her front door is red instead of its usual green, there’s a pre-school where the garden store should be. But then her whole town disappears for hours, fading away into rolling hills and grazing buffalo, and Nat knows something isn’t right.

That’s when she gets a visit from the kind but mysterious apparition she calls “Grandmother,” who tells her: “You have three months to save him.” The next night, under the stadium lights of the high school football field, she meets a beautiful boy named Beau, and it’s as if time just stops and nothing exists. Nothing, except Natalie and Beau.

Denton Little’s Deathdate by Lance Rubin 

 Published 14 April  2015

Denton Little’s Deathdate takes place in a world exactly like our own except that everyone knows the day on which they will die. For Denton, that’s in just two days—the day of his senior prom.
 
Despite his early deathdate, Denton has always wanted to live a normal life, but his final days are filled with dramatic firsts. First hangover. First sex. First love triangle—as the first sex seems to have happened not with his adoring girlfriend, but with his best friend’s hostile sister. (Though he’s not totally sure—see, first hangover.)

His anxiety builds when he discovers a strange purple rash making its way up his body. Is this what will kill him? And then a strange man shows up at his funeral, claiming to have known Denton’s long-deceased mother, and warning him to beware of suspicious government characters. . . . Suddenly Denton’s life is filled with mysterious questions and precious little time to find the answers.

Top Ten Tuesday reduced

 

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish. It’s a chance to get to know fellow bloggers. This week Theme is Debut Authors.

Halloween – The Scariest Books I’ve Never Read

Halloween
Halloween – The Scariest Books I’ve Never Read

Halloween and scary books go had in hand, at least for most people. In my teens I devoured horror books, with Stephen King’s Pet Sematary topping the list of the scariest books I’ve ever read.

But with my transient reading tastes flowing through fantasy and currently solidifying into contemporary I haven’t opened a horror book for a while.

If I was going to read a scary book this Halloween which one should it be?

Halloween Collage

House  by Frank E. Peretti & Ted Dekker 

Enter House – where you’ll find yourself thrown into a killer’s deadly game in which the only way to win is to lose… and the only way out is in.

The stakes of the game become clear when a tin can is tossed into the house with rules scrawled on it. Rules that only a madman—or worse—could have written. Rules that make no sense yet must be followed.

One game. Seven players. Three rules. Game ends at dawn.

Blood and Salt by Kim Liggett

“When you fall in love, you will carve out your heart and throw it into the deepest ocean. You will be all in—blood and salt.”

These are the last words Ash Larkin hears before her mother returns to the spiritual commune she escaped long ago. But when Ash follows her to Quivira, Kansas, something sinister and ancient waits among the rustling cornstalks of this village lost to time.

House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski

When a young family move into a small home on Ash Tree Lane where they discover something is terribly wrong: their house is bigger on the inside than it is on the outside.

Of course, neither Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Will Navidson nor his companion Karen Green was prepared to face the consequences of that impossibility, until the day their two little children wandered off and their voices eerily began to return another story — of creature darkness, of an ever-growing abyss behind a closet door, and of that unholy growl which soon enough would tear through their walls and consume all their dreams.

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

Four seekers have come to the ugly, abandoned old mansion: Dr. Montague, an occult scholar looking for solid evidence of the psychic phenomenon called haunting; Theodora, his lovely and light-hearted assistant; Eleanor, a lonely, homeless girl well acquainted with poltergeists; and Luke, the adventurous future heir of Hill House.

At first, their stay seems destined to be merely a spooky encounter with inexplicable noises and self-closing doors, but Hill House is gathering its powers and will soon choose one of them to make its own…

The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty

The terror began unobtrusively. Noises in Regan’s room, an odd smell, misplaced furniture, and icy chill. Small annoyances for which Chris MacNeil, Regan’s actress mother, easily found explanations. The changes in eleven-year-old Regan were so gradual, too, that Chris did not recognise for some time how much her daughter’s behaviour had altered. Even when she did, the medical tests which followed shed no light on Regan’s symptoms, which grew more severe and frightening. It was almost as if a different personality had invaded the child.

Desperate, Chris turned from the doctors to Father Damien Karras, a Jesuit priest who was trained as a psychiatrist and had a deep knowledge of such phenomena as satanism and possession. Was it possible that a demonic force was at large? If psychiatry could not help, might exorcism be the answer?

Night Chill by Jeff Gunhus

Jack Tremont moves his family to the quiet mountains of Western Maryland hoping to leave behind a troubled past and restart his life. Instead, he finds himself caught up in a nightmare when his daughter Sarah is targeted by Nate Huckley, a mysterious and horrifying stranger driven by a dark power that will stop at nothing to possess Sarah.

When Sarah goes missing, suspicion falls on Jack and he must uncover the secrets of the small mountain town of Prescott City and face the evil secret hidden there. As he digs further, he learns the conspiracy reaches more deeply than he could have imagined.

Finally, he will have to face the question, What is a father willing to do to save his child? The answer? Anything. Anything at all.

What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? by Henry Farrell

The neighbors all whisper about the two sisters who live on the hill: It’s Blanche Hudson who lives in that house, you know. The Blanche Hudson, who starred in big Hollywood films all those years ago.

Such a shame her career ended so early, all because of that accident. They say it was her sister, Jane, who did it–that she crashed the car because she was drunk. They say that’s why she looks after Blanche now, because of the guilt. That’s what they say, at least.

Brother by Ania Ahlborn

Deep in the heart of Appalachia stands a crooked farmhouse miles from any road. The Morrows keep to themselves, and it’s served them well so far. When girls go missing off the side of the highway, the cops don’t knock on their door. Which is a good thing, seeing as to what’s buried in the Morrows’ backyard.

But nineteen-year-old Michael Morrow isn’t like the rest of his family. He doesn’t take pleasure in the screams that echo through the trees. Michael pines for normalcy, and he’s sure that someday he’ll see the world beyond West Virginia. When he meets Alice, a pretty girl working at a record shop in the small nearby town of Dahlia, he’s immediately smitten. For a moment, he nearly forgets about the monster he’s become. But his brother, Rebel, is all too eager to remind Michael of his place…

The Hand That Feeds by Michael W. Garza

How far will a parent go to keep their child alive?

John and Angela Mason’s lives are brought to a tormenting halt when their ten year old son is reduced to a lifeless shell. John watches his wife slip into madness as his son rises from the dead. He realizes they must escape the terrifying infection in order to survive but how can he choose between the insanity consuming his wife and the undying hunger of his son.

An appetite for death will come in one form or another and it will be left to John to decide on the hand that feeds

Haunted by Chuck Palahniuk

Haunted is a novel made up of stories: twenty-three of the most horrifying, hilarious, mind-blowing, stomach-churning tales you’ll ever encounter.

They are told by the people who have all answered an ad headlined ‘Artists Retreat: Abandon your life for three months’. They are led to believe that here they will leave behind all the distractions of ‘real life’ that are keeping them from creating the masterpiece that is in them.

But ‘here’ turns out to be a cavernous and ornate old theater where they are utterly isolated from the outside world – and where heat and power and, most importantly, food are in increasingly short supply. And the more desperate the circumstances become, the more desperate the stories they tell – and the more devious their machinations to make themselves the hero of the inevitable play/movie/non-fiction blockbuster that will certainly be made from their plight.

Top Ten Tuesday reduced
Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish. It’s a chance to get to know fellow bloggers. This week Theme is Halloween.

Happy Birthday Roald Dahl!

Happy Birthday Roald Dahl!

Happy Birthday RD

Happy Birthday Roald Dahl! I love Dahl’s wacky humour, and as a family we collectively agree that our all time favourite Roald Dahl book is the audio edition of The Giraffe, The Pelly and Me narrated by Hugh Laurie.

It’s an experience nobody should miss so gather your friends and family together for this one – it’s too funny not to share.

RD Audio

 

 

Add to your Shelf
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Celebrating Diversity with South African Books

Celebrating Diversity with South African Books

SA Diversity Ready

I’ve interpreted diversity a little loosely by featuring South African authors, a minority country in the publishing industry. All these books are also set in South Africa.

I hope you’re up to taking a chance by supporting our local authors…

Just a note, the only children’s book in this list is the first one, Herd Boy. Some of the others contain violence that may not be suitable for younger readers.

Herd Boy by Nikki Daly

A children’s picture book written and illustrated by Nikki Daly, a well-loved children’s author/illustrator in South Africa. His books are found in homes and schools across the country. This is his latest publication and one of my favourites. It is an inspiring read which promotes self-esteem as well as highlighting our South African spirit.
Goodreads     Amazon.com     Amazon.co.uk     Book Depository     Loot.co.za

Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela

Non-Fiction. Nelson Mandela’s autobiography. Need I say more? It is a long book, but it’s worth it, the abridged version just doesn’t do it justice. An amazing man and South Africa’s most loved leader.
Goodreads     Amazon.com     Amazon.co.uk     Book Depository     Loot.co.za

If The Cat Fits by Crystal Sharp

Non-Fiction. I loved this laugh-out-loud book which follows the life of a vet’s wife in South Africa and is full of humorous antidotes. Crystal Sharp has running conversations with her pets, something we have in common!

The physical books are already out of print, so if you can get hold of a copy of this, or one of her other books: Dog in My Footprints and In Fool Flight, you are very lucky! Fortunately for everyone else the kindle editions are available.
Goodreads     Amazon.com     Amazon.co.uk

The Elephant Whisperer: My Life with the Herd in the African Wild by Lawrence Anthony

Non-Fiction. These elephants will stay in your heart forever. Previously reviewed here.
Goodreads     Amazon.com     Amazon.co.uk     Book Depository     Loot.co.za

The Smell of Apples by Mark Behr

Fiction. Brutal in its subtlety, a sinister story which has haunted me over the years. This book has won both local and international awards. Recommended age 16+
Goodreads     Amazon.com     Amazon.co.uk     Book Depository     Loot.co.za

Cry, the Beloved Country by Alan Paton

Fiction. Alan Paton is one of our most renowned authors and this book, also adapted into a movie, has been read across the world. It is an excellent portrayal of hope, endurance and above all humanity.
Goodreads     Amazon.com     Amazon.co.uk     Book Depository     Loot.co.za

Postmortem: The Doctor Who Walked Away by Maria Phalime

Non-Fiction. A story that highlights the inadequacies in South Africa’s public health sector and the inner struggle of the individual health professionals.

I met Maria Phalime earlier this year at a conference and was struck by her humble honesty, which was evident during her address to gathering of South African school librarians.  Sharing a table at dinner that night, I experienced her friendliness and down-to-earth personality first hand. I am fortunate to own a personalised signed copy of this book!
Goodreads     Amazon.com     Amazon.co.uk     Book Depository     Loot.co.za

The Madonna of Excelsior by Zakes Mda

Fiction. Well-known author and playwright of contemporary classics,  Zakes Mda’s books and plays are studied in high schools across South Africa.
Goodreads     Amazon.com     Amazon.co.uk     Book Depository     Loot.co.za

Dear Bullet: Or a Letter to My Shooter by Sixolile Mbalo

Non-Fiction. Simply told, this personal account of a young girl who survived unspeakable violence will leave you reeling in shock at the brutality of humanity and the power of forgiveness. Recommended age 16+
Goodreads     Amazon.com     Amazon.co.uk     Book Depository     Loot.co.za

Disgrace by J.M. Coetzee

Fiction. I read this very disturbing book several years ago, and it still haunts me today. Although well acclaimed, award-winning J.M. Coetzee is not one of my favourite authors, mostly because he is not afraid to display humanity with all its flaws, and I am a fan of the happily ever after. But he is undoubtedly an excellent writer and deserves his acclaim. Recommended age 16+
Goodreads     Amazon.com     Amazon.co.uk     Book Depository     Loot.co.za

A bonus: The 11th title on the list is a fantasy graphic novel

Rebirth by Daniel Browde & Josh Ryba (Illustrator)

Graphic novel. Fiction. Included for its beautiful colour illustrations and originality.
Goodreads     Amazon.com     Amazon.co.uk

toptentuesday
Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish. It’s a chance to get to know fellow bloggers. This week’s topic is ‘Ten Books That Celebrate Diversity or Diverse Characters’.

 

Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor – YA Book Review

Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor – YA Book ReviewDreams of Gods crop frame

Once upon a time, there was only darkness. And there were monsters vast as worlds who swam in it.

Dreams of Gods and Monsters is the final book in my favourite trilogy did not disappoint. Once I opened to the first page I was riveted and found any excuse to immerse myself again.

Once upon a time, an angel and a devil pressed their hands to their hearts and started the apocalypse.

The exquisite words of Laini Taylor, a detailed and unpredictable plot, with layer upon layer of depth along with complex and extraordinary characters all combine to make an exceptional story, one that I will carry with me always.

How could you tell if your instincts were just hope in disguise and if your hope was really desperation parading as possibility?

I love the friendship, quirkiness and love between Karou, Zuz and Mik. These are special characters, ones I will keep with me forever.5 Star

Recommended age: 13+

 

Title: Dreams of Gods and Monsters Dreams of Gods & Monsters
Series: Daughter of Smoke and Bone #3
Author: Laini Taylor
Publication Date: 8 April 2014
Publisher: Little, Brown Books
Source: Purchased

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What power can bruise the sky?

Two worlds are poised on the brink of a vicious war. By way of a staggering deception, Karou has taken control of the chimaera’s rebellion and is intent on steering its course away from dead-end vengeance. The future rests on her.
When the brutal angel emperor brings his army to the human world, Karou and Akiva are finally reunited–not in love, but in tentative alliance against their common enemy. It is a twisted version of their long-ago dream, and they begin to hope that it might forge a way forward for their people. And, perhaps, for themselves.
But with even bigger threats on the horizon, are Karou and Akiva strong enough to stand among the gods and monsters?
The New York Times bestselling Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy comes to a stunning conclusion as–from the streets of Rome to the caves of the Kirin and beyond–humans, chimaera, and seraphim strive, love, and die in an epic theater that transcends good and evil, right and wrong, friend and enemy.   — Extract from Goodreads.com

Quotes from Goodreads.com

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