Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Firefly YA panel at Waterstones Cardiff


Last Saturday I joined 4 other Firefly YA authors - Rhian Ivory (THE BOY WHO DREW THE FUTURE), Maria Grace (WHITE PETALS), Sarah Govett (THE TERRITORY Series), and Ruth Morgan (ALIEN RAIN) - for a fab panel discussion of our books and all things YA. The panel was chaired by brilliant vlogger Sarah Churchill (you should definitely subscribe to her Youtube channel and follow her on Twitter), and I had such a great time!

L-R: Sarah Churchill, me, Sarah Govett, Rhian Ivory
L-R: me, Sarah Govett, Rhian Ivory, Maria Grace

L-R: Maria Grace & Ruth Morgan
If you live in or around Cardiff but weren't able to make it to the event, there are loads of signed books in the Waterstones shop for you to grab. Here I am signing copies of PURGE.

Afterwards we went out for a few drinks and a catch-up, as you do.

L-R: Megan Farr (Publicist with Firefly Press), Penny Thomas (Publisher with Firefly Press), Rhian Ivory, me
Me and Maria Grace and a mojito (just out of shot)
If you missed me in Cardiff and want to hear me talk about PURGE and other things, I'll be at YAShot in Uxbridge on 22nd October (tickets here) on a panel with SF Said and Lauren James - hope to see you there!

Kat out x

Monday, 10 October 2016

ALL LACED UP by Erin Fletcher - Book Birthday Interview!

Today is a happy, happy day! It always is when a new book comes out from one of my very favourite authors, Erin Fletcher. ALL LACED UP is released today from Entangled, so you should definitely grab yourself a copy.

In the meantime, I had a few burning questions for Erin about her fab new romance, and she was kind enough to answer - check out the interview below.

Everyone loves hockey superstar Pierce Miller. Everyone except Lia Bailey.

When the two are forced to teach a skating class to save the rink, Lia’s not sure she’ll survive the pressure of Nationals and Pierce’s ego. Not only can’t he remember her name, he signed her bottle of water like she was one of his groupies. Ugh.

But if there’s one thing Lia knows better than figure skating, it’s hockey. Hoping to take his ego down a notch—or seven—she logs into his team website under an anonymous name to give him pointers on his less-than-stellar playing.

Turns out, Pierce isn’t arrogant at all. And they have a lot in common. Too bad he’s falling for the anonymous girl online. No matter how much fun they’re starting to have in real life, she’s afraid he’s going to choose fake-Lia over the real one…

Disclaimer: This book contains a swoony hockey player (and his equally swoony friends!), one-too-many social media accounts, kisses that’ll melt ice, and a secret identity that might not be so secret after all…

Add All Laced Up on Goodreads

Book Birthday Interview

Kat: I'm a huge fan of your writing and cannot wait to get stuck into this one! For those who are new to your books, can you finish this sentence? "ALL LACED UP will appeal to readers who love...."

Erin: ...The Cutting Edge! That movie seems to come up anytime a romance between a figure skater and a hockey player is involved, but for good reason. It's a classic!

Kat: As a person who is balance-challenged even on dry land, I love reading about those who have mastered the ice. What inspired you to write an ice skater romance?

Erin: I was inspired by my own experiences as a figure skater. Though I never reached the elite level that Lia reaches, I did skate from about middle school through college. I was even on my university's synchronized skating team! (Yes, it's a thing. Yes, it's like synchronized swimming, except the water is frozen.) It was so much fun reliving those experiences while writing Lia's story!

Kat: Who could you picture playing Lia and Pierce in the movie version of ALL LACED UP?

Erin: That's a tough question because the actor and actress need skating skills! Actually, I picture figure skaters and hockey players playing the parts instead. Maybe a young version of Sara Hughes for Lia and a young Sidney Crosby for Pierce.

Kat: As an author who I know is super keen on music, do you make playlists for your books? Care to share a couple of songs that you feel connect to ALL LACED UP?

Erin: Even though I love music, I don't typically make playlists for my books. I do have a few songs that connect to Lia and Pierce, though!

One of Lia's programs is set to this song. Her favorite part is the contrast at the end when her final spin speeds up as the piano notes slow to a close.

Since ALL LACED UP is set in the metro-Detroit area, this feels like a song Pierce and his teammates would play to get pumped up before a game.

In order to pass the time on long bus rides, Pierce and his teammates make ridiculous videos of themselves singing along to pop songs. I can picture the team singing along to this in awesomely terrible falsetto.

Kat: I couldn't help noticing that ALL LACED UP is listed as 'Breakaway #1' on Goodreads.... Does this mean there will be more ice rink romance skating our way?? (See what I did there?) What can you tell us about it?

Erin: Ha! Love it. And good eye...that is exactly what it means! Keep an eye out for Pierce's teammate Luke Jackson. Jackson is getting his own book and romance! Of course, there will be plenty of appearances from Pierce and Lia in Breakaway #2!

Kat: Thanks Erin! Can't wait for Jackson's story :-)

Erin is a young adult author from North Carolina. She is a morning person who does most of her writing before sunrise, while drinking excessive quantities of coffee. She believes flip-flops qualify as year-round footwear, and would spend every day at the beach if she could. She has a bachelor's degree in mathematics, which is almost never useful when writing books.

Follow Erin on Twitter
Check out
Erin's blog
Take a peek at Erin's website

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

YA Scavenger Hunt - Fall 2016!

THE HUNT IS NOW OVER! Two thumbs up to all who entered, but it's too late now if you didn't...

Welcome, YA Scavenger Hunters! I'm Kat Ellis, your hostess for this leg of the hunt, and proud member of the RED TEAM.

This bi-annual event was first organised by author Colleen Houck as a way to give readers a chance to gain access to exclusive bonus material from their favourite authors...and a chance to win some awesome prizes! 

In this hunt, you not only get access to exclusive content from each author, you also get a clue to move forward in the hunt. Add up the clues on each blog, and you can enter for our prize--one lucky winner will receive one book from each author on the hunt in my team! But play fast: this contest (and all the exclusive bonus material) will only be online until noon pacific time on 9th October! If you'd like to find out more about the hunt, see links to all the authors participating, and see the full list of prizes up for grabs, go to the YA Scavenger Hunt page.


Directions: Below, you'll notice that I've hidden my favourite number. Collect the favourite numbers of all the authors on the red team, and then add them up (don't worry, you can use a calculator!). 

Entry Form: Once you've added up all the numbers, make sure you fill out the form here to officially qualify for the grand prize. Only entries that have the correct number will qualify.

Rules: Open internationally, anyone below the age of 18 should have a parent or guardian's permission to enter. To be eligible for the grand prize, you must submit the completed entry form by 9th October, at noon Pacific Time. Entries sent without the correct number or without contact information will not be considered. 


Somewhere on the hunt you will find some cool bonus content connected to my new book, PURGE -  but not here! You will need to keep looking through the other red team blogs to find it.


Today I'm hosting Cylin Busby, author of THE STRANGER GAME, which releases this month from HarperCollins.

When Nico's older sister, Sarah, mysteriously disappears, her family is devastated. After four years, everyone assumes Sarah is dead. Then, suddenly, she's back--but she's not the same Sarah she was before. In fact, Nico isn't sure this girl is Sarah at all...

Now read an excerpt of the book!

I knew my sister was dead. I felt it in my body, as if my bones could tell me the truth. They were, after all, her bones too. The same parents had created us, we carried the same DNA, the stuff that makes us who we are. I even looked like her; a little twin, a few years younger. And both of us were images of mom, or how she was in her high school yearbook, with long blond hair and hazel eyes.
When I looked in the mirror, I didn’t just see my own face but hers too, the one from the MISSING poster we had put up all over Mapleview four years ago -- the one on the news, in newspapers across the country. Now that my braces were off I could even smile like her, the way she had in our last family photo. The smile of a girl who was head cheerleader. Who had an older boyfriend. Who had secrets.
            I wanted so much to believe she was alive, to cling to hope like Mom. I tried. I let myself imagine that Sarah might walk through the door any day. At night, that hope failed me. In my nightmares, I saw all the terrible things that happen to girls like Sarah. When I woke, the vivid images still in my mind, my heart racing, I would lie in bed and watch the lights from the occasional car move over my ceiling and walls and think about the people in those cars. Where were they going? Where had they been, out so late? What were their lives like, lives without the giant gaping hole that is left when someone in your family goes missing?
I tried picture Sarah now, how she might look: older, her hair longer or shorter, her skin tanned golden like it had been the last time I saw her. As the days ticked by, the volume of her absence increased. Weeks turned into months and then into years. I knew the truth, even if I could never speak of it to anyone. I knew the darkened bedroom next to mine would always be empty, the door always shut, because this time Sarah wasn’t coming back.  


Cylin Busby is a best selling, award winning author of fiction and nonfiction books for young readers, numerous magazine articles and short stories. She lives in Los Angeles with her family.

Find out more about Cylin on her website and wikipedia page, and follow her on Twitter @cylinbusby.


Have you noticed there are 6 teams in the YA Scavenger Hunt this time? 6 is a great number, don't you think...?

Now continue to the next stop on the YA Scavenger hunt...

Monday, 3 October 2016

September Wrap-Up!

Welcome to Autumn.

September was, as expected, an exciting month. PURGE - my 3rd novel - was published by Firefly Press. This book is like the song of my nerdy little heart, and it's incredible to see it finally out there in the world. If you read it, please leave a review (especially on Amazon) - they mean others are more likely to see/buy the book, and then I won't starve.

I have a couple of events coming up in October where I'll get to talk about sci-fi and books generally, so my reading in September was mostly geared towards that. Here's what I read:

Let's start with the non-sci-fi: first I read THE LIE TREE by Frances Hardinge, which was a carry-over book from August, and well worth the wait! It's about a clergyman's daughter who discovers her father's research into anthropology has led him to a plant which feeds on lies, and a scandal which marks his death as a probable suicide. I'm not a huge fan of historical novels generally, but this book was so very intriguing and atmospheric I was gutted when it ended.

Then there was MARTYN PIG by Kevin Brooks, about a boy trying to figure out what to do when his father dies unexpectedly, and digging himself into a deeper and deeper hole; the only other book of his I've read so far is THE BUNKER DIARY, and this was also excellent, and a swift, voicy read.

Sci-fi-wise, I finished the Starbound trilogy by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner with THEIR FRACTURED LIGHT, which I thoroughly enjoyed and was a great conclusion to the saga. Things finally came to a head between the aliens known as the Whispers and the head of La Roux Industries, with all the main characters from the series playing a part in the action. And because I listened to the audio version (as I do with a lot of books), I want to add that I've decided that one of the narrators of THEIR FRACTURED LIGHT - Macleod Andrews - is officially my favourite YA audiobook narrator. His characters are so distinct and engaging, I get absolutely wrapped up in any audiobook he reads. So, there you go.

I also read Virginia Bergin's THE RAIN and THE STORM duology, which had great voice and a gripping story about Ruby - an English girl fighting to survive in a world where the rain has become toxic. I found it totally compulsive, and I loved Ruby.

Next up was ECHO BOY by Matt Haig, which has been on my TBR for over a year, and I was glad to finally read it. It had some really interesting ideas about the nature of humanity and how advances in technology don't necessarily equal a step forward in our evolution.

Finally I read ILLUMINAE by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff, just in time to hanker after the sequel, which comes out soon (next month, I think?) A spacey thriller, with plenty of banter and a believable romance that twisted my heart at times, I got swept up in this book right from the start. Unsurprisingly (because it has one of the same authors) it had a very similar vibe and format to the Starbound trilogy, which is no bad thing as I loved those books. I'll be grabbing GEMINA very, very soon.

I have yet to read SF Said's PHOENIX and Lauren James' THE LAST BEGINNING, but I now have copies of both so will be blazing through them before our panel at YAShot on 22nd October!

Adventure-wise, I got out and about a bit in September. I also started posting short videos of some of the places I visit on Instagram - do follow me there, and check out the #katellisadventures tag if you just want to see the videos. But my pictures are cool too, so... y'know. Follow me.

Anyway, here are a couple of pics from my adventures.

A photo posted by Kat Ellis (@katelliswrites) on

A photo posted by Kat Ellis (@katelliswrites) on

Apart from that, I was busy writing (I know - it doesn't seem like it, does it?) But I'm now really close to finishing what I hope will be my next book, so we'll see how that goes in October.

I hope you had a great September! I'll be posting again for the YA Scavenger Hunt on Tuesday, so keep an eye out for that if you want to be in with a chance of winning a ton of books, including PURGE.

Kat out x

Friday, 30 September 2016

New events coming up!

Hello! Tis the last day of September, which means summer is pretty much a distant memory now (I'm still not ready for it to be over...) but it also means that there are lots of Octobery events coming up where you can see me!

First of all, there's the Firefly Day event at Cardiff Waterstones on 8th October. It's absolutely free, and there are events for younger readers happening there earlier in the day if you want to catch those too.

Next, I'll be talking about PURGE and all things sci-fi on a panel with Lauren James and SF Said at YAShot, Uxbridge, on 22nd October. You'll need tickets for that, which you can grab here: TICKETAROOS.

Finally, I'll be taking part in the YA Scavenger Hunt again this autumn/fall, so if you'd like to be in with a chance of winning a copy of PURGE and loooooooads of other YA novels, check out how to enter the hunt here: YASH. I'm on the RED TEAM this time, which pleases me.

That's it for now! I'll be posting my September wrap up over the next few days, as well as some pre-Halloween fun stuff...

Kat out x

Thursday, 8 September 2016

PURGE is here!

Here it is - my beautiful little sci-fi thriller is officially out in the world! I really hope you love Mason and Noah's story as much as I do - and if you do, please do leave a review on Amazon etc. They help a HUGE amount (thank you thank you thank you!)

Mason and Noah exist in different worlds, but their lives are about to collide.

Mason has a habit of getting into trouble. He's been kicked out of every place he's ever lived in. Moving to the cult-like community of Alteria is definitely a last resort, even if it's better than braving the wastelands outside. But following their strict rules is a hundred times harder when Mason meets Eden, who has a wicked streak to match his own. Caught with contraband, Eden is forced into a programme to purge her bad behaviour. But Mason has seen what happens to people who get purged, and knows he will lose Eden if he can’t help her find a way out.

Out in the wastelands, Noah has no memory of what happened before he was abandoned in a war zone. All he wants is to know who he is, and if he can trust the strangers who rescued him from the rubble.

With lies surrounding them on all sides, Mason and Noah must piece together the truth if they want to escape. Failure is not an option when it means being purged from existence.

Where you can buy PURGE:

Book Depository

For now...


Kat x

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

August Wrap-Up!

Sooooo, I almost forgot (did forget) to write my August wrap-up - probably because it flew by so quickly. As I'd hoped, it was a great month to catch up on reading; a good one as far as my writing went, and I squeezed in a few decent adventures as well.

And a lot of what kept me busy in August was to do with getting the word out about my new book, PURGE, which comes out tomorrow! I know, right? That's SOON. If you haven't heard a peep about it and want to see what it's about, you can check it out on Goodreads, or from any of these online vendors (or your local library/bookshop from tomorrow, heh heh.)

Book Depository

I got my very own finished copies a few days ago, and they are gooooooorgeous!

A photo posted by Kat Ellis (@katelliswrites) on

Adventure-wise, I had my annual visit to the circus with my sister, niece, and nephew, which of course brought on all kinds of Blackfin Sky nostalgia. 

A photo posted by Kat Ellis (@katelliswrites) on

It's so strange (in a good way) to think that 4 years ago, I was sitting in the stands and mulling over what to do with my then-work-in-progress which had the beginnings of a mystery, but no end. The circus gave me what I needed to finish Sky's story, and every year I get to go back to the place where it all came together. *Happy sigh* Not sure where I'd go to nostalge about Breaker, which is all about the killins'.

I also visited a Roman bath house dating back to around 120AD, which was pretty cool.

A photo posted by Kat Ellis (@katelliswrites) on

Okay, so August was actually an excellent reading month. Here are the 8 books I read:

2 were post-YALC binges - Michael Grant's excellent nanotech thriller BZRK and Malorie Blackman's gripping and heartbreaking NOUGHTS AND CROSSES

Another 3 were audiobook bargains, and all pretty decent: IN BETWEEN by Jenny B. Jones (the first Christian YA I've ever read, weirdly enough, and very funny and cute), OFF TO BE THE WIZARD by Scott Meyer, which was also funny if you ignore the fact that it's an absolute bro-fest, and Michelle Muto's THE HAUNTING SEASON, which was like a creepier, sort-of-NA version of ASYLUM by Madeleine Roux.

Then, because it was UKYA month (celebrated only by me, I think...) I made sure to read plenty of UKYAs. So as well as NOUGHTS & CROSSES, I also read - and swooned over - VENDETTA by Catherine Doyle, the ghostly MINTY by Christina Banach, and FIRE COLOUR ONE by Jenny Valentine, which I still can't describe but absolutely loved. It's a short book, but the characters are amazing and if you've hummed and hawed over it like I did for a while, please pick it up - it's excellent, I promise. 

So that's it for my August wrap-up.... I'll be posting again tomorrow to celebrate Purge being a real book that's out in the world!

For now, 

Kat out x

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

July Wrap-Up!

July saw me turn in my final final final revisions for my 3rd book, PURGE, which will be out in September. This book is a really special one for me, so I'm ten times more nervous/excited for people to read it. Mason, the main character in the novel, is the first character who ever sprang to life in my head. PURGE (at least an earlier incarnation of it) was the first novel I ever finished, and it was also the one that helped me sign with my agent, the amazing Molly Ker Hawn. And it's the second book of mine to be published by the brilliant team at Firefly Press, who just won the prestigious Branford Boase award. Exciting, right??

If you've liked either of my other books, or just like sci-fi with a dose of romance, please, please do check it out. I'll just leave the links for Goodreads/online retailers right....here:

Book Depository
Firefly Press
Guardian Bookshop


July was an exciting month in the YA book community, because Dawn Kurtagich's second novel - THE CREEPER MAN - came out in the UK (yay!), and because the UK's only YA lit-focused convention, YALC, was held down in London. I wasn't able to make it this year (boo!) but there were copies of BLACKFIN SKY and samplers of PURGE there in my stead, and I still decided to theme some of my July reading around the authors who were on the YALC programme.

Here's what I read:

So, from the YALC line-up I read BREATHE by Sarah Crossan, which tied in with my never-ending sci-fi binge, and was a great dystopian adventure; THE RAVEN BOYS by Maggie Stiefvater which... well, I love reading stories that use Welsh mythology/history, but there were some problematic uses of it in this book that didn't sit right with me; and AM I NORMAL YET? by Holly Bourne, which was an absolute joy to read, and I'll be grabbing the next in the Spinster series very soon.

I read the very weird and wonderful BONE GAP by Laura Ruby, which has rightly won all kinds of accolades. I listened to 3 audiobooks while out on my walking adventures - these were OUTLANDER by Diana Gabaldon and STORM FRONT by Jim Butcher, which I'll admit I got because they were on sale, but I ended up really enjoying both; and THIS SHATTERED WORLD, which is the second in the trilogy by Aimee Kaufman and Meagan Spooner, and a great follow up to THESE BROKEN STARS.

Want to see my fave walking adventure pic from my Instagram? Sure you do.

A photo posted by Kat Ellis (@katelliswrites) on

I also went to see the new Ghostbusters movie, which was bloody wonderful - absolutely everything you'd want in a Ghostbusters movie - funny, plenty of action, and 4 great leads. I highly recommend it if you haven't already seen it. I'm looking forward to seeing the new Star Trek film soon, and Suicide Squad, which looks ace. I've become a bit obsessed with one of the songs from the soundtrack of the latter - check it out here, if you fancy:

So, that was my July! In August, I'll be focusing mainly on reading UKYA books, so I'll have a few more YALC authors in that line-up, too. Writing-wise, I'll be working on (hopefully finishing!) my new YA manuscript, and getting things ready for PURGE's launch.

Now back to the writing cave I shuffle...

Kat out x

Thursday, 14 July 2016

Happy Birthday to The Creeper Man!

If you follow me on Twitter (@el_kat) you will have seen me raving about Dawn Kurtagich's new book, THE CREEPER MAN, which releases today in the UK (it's out in September in the US under the title: AND THE TREES CREPT IN). Honestly, if you're any kind of horror fan, you need to read this book immediately. It terrified me -- in the best possible way!

Want to know more? Check out the book trailer. It's awesome.

You can buy it now from your local/indie vendor, or online from Amazon UK or The Book Depository etc.

In the US? Preorder now: Amazon US

Happy reading!

Kat out x

Monday, 11 July 2016

Reading schedule: July - December

Hello! Remember way back in January when I set myself the goal of reading 75 books this year? Remember that OVERLY AMBITIOUS goal? Well, I just finished my 40th book of the year (yay!) which brings me more or less on target. 

I had a plan for what to read in January - June, and didn't stick to it rigidly, but having the plan helped keep me on track, I think. Now we're into July, and this post I wrote for Author Allsorts on how to tackle your TBR reminded me that I hadn't updated my plan for July - December. So I did. Here it is:

July – As YALC is on later this month, I want to catch up on books I own by some of the authors appearing there (even though I'm no longer going, *sob*). This will include BZRK and FRONT LINES by Michael Grant (I’m a huge fan of his), THE RAVEN BOYS by Maggie Stiefvater, and a whole stack of books by Cat Clarke. I also had BREATHE by Sarah Crossan and AM I NORMAL YET? by Holly Bourne on the list this month and have read them already - both excellent. 

August – I have tons of books by UK authors still sitting on my shelf to get me through this UKYA month. Top of my list are NOUGHTS& CROSSES by Malorie Blackman, THE LIE TREE by Frances Hardinge (I know, I can’t believe I haven’t read it yet either), ALEX AS WELL by Alyssa Brugman, and IN ANOTHER LIFE by Laura Jarratt.

September – In prep for my sci-fi panel with Lauren James and S. F. Said at YAShot in October where I’ll be talking about my new YA sci-fi, PURGE, I’ll be reading Lauren & S. F.’s books (THE NEXT TOGETHER and PHOENIX in particular), and any other sci-fi books I have left in my TBR pile by then! At the moment this looks like SLATED by Teri Terry, iBOY by Kevin Brooks, and WHAT’S LEFT OF MEby Kat Zhang.

October – The month of Halloween requires some spooky, creepy reading, yes? So this month I will be reading BEWARE THE WILD by Natalie C Parker, SISTERS RED by Jackson Pearce, LEGEND by Marie Lu, BAD BONES by Graham Marks, THE WICKED WE HAVE DONE by Sarah Harian, and THE COLDEST GIRL IN COLD TOWN by Holly Black. And maybe for a dose of weird I’ll read GRASSHOPPER JUNGLE by Andrew Smith.

November – With the nights drawing in and the weather generally pretty miserable, I usually like to binge on contemps and romance at this time of year. I have THE DISTANCE FROM A TO Z by Natalie Blitt, Jeff Zentner’s THE SERPENT KING,GOLDEN BOY by Abigail Tarttelin, LOOKING FOR ALIBRANDI by Melina Marchetta,I’LL GIVE YOU THE SUN and THE SKY IS EVERYWHERE by Jandy Nelson, ALL THE BRIGHT PLACES by Jennifer Niven, and TORN by Cat Clarke. I also plan on having Jaye Robin Brown’s GEORGIA PEACHES AND OTHER FORBIDDEN FRUIT by then, as I’ve heard it’s amazing.

December – This is the perfect time to read wintry, snowy books, and for me this will look like AFTER THE SNOW by S. D. Crockett, DASH & LILY’S BOOK OF DARES by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan, and THE SMELL OF OTHER PEOPLE’SHOUSES by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock.

If you want to track my progress with my Goodreads Challenge for this year, you can do that here

For now, I'd better get on with the next book!

Kat out x