Tuesday, 1 November 2016

October Wrap-Up!

Happy post-Halloween!

October was a cracking month. I had 2 events - the Firefly YA event down in Cardiff, and YAShot in Uxbridge - both of which I wrote about (with pics) over the past couple of weeks. I also took part in the Fall YA Scavenger Hunt with over 90 YA authors from around the world, and it was lots of fun. 

And of course it was Halloween, which normally just involves some spooky reading while I wait to leap out at unsuspecting trick-or-treaters, but this year I was invited to my friend Dawn's house for a bit of a party. Fancy dress was required, of course, so I smeared on my best skeleton face and went as Death, as you do. That's me on the right, holding the cat. Please note how freaky my eyes look - they always do that in photos, much like a... well, a cat.

I managed to squeeze in a few small adventures between events and writing: one to Chirk Castle, and one which was a bit of a ramble and took me to an abandoned asylum and a pretty riverbank. These are my favourite pics from the two:

A photo posted by Kat Ellis (@katelliswrites) on

Reading-wise, I had 4 books to read by the authors I was on panels with at the Firefly event and YAShot, one sci-fi I read to finish off my SF binge for the year (aside from one book I'm currently listening to on audio, which will be in next month's wrap-up), one friend's new release, and 2 spooky Halloween reads. Not too shabby, eh? These were the books I finished this month.

Let's start with the pre-event reads, shall we?

First, I read WHITE PETALS by Maria Grace, which is a contemporary YA with just a hint of magic from Firefly Press (my UK publisher, who've been winning lots of awards lately). Let me start by saying that this book is absolutely hilarious, but also a very touching story about a girl who ends up in a children's home after her father dies and her mother suffers a mental breakdown. I really, really recommend this book if you like moving stories which have an uplifting mood and message.

For the sci-fi panel at YAShot, I read THE NEXT TOGETHER and THE LAST BEGINNING by Lauren James, which are 2 really fun time travel romance stories with plenty of laughs and time-bending adventures. I flew through this duology, and can absolutely see why so many readers love them. Next up was PHOENIX by SF Said, which is a riveting and vast story about a boy with the power of a star inside him, searching the galaxy for his long-lost father.

Finishing off my sci-fi binge, I grabbed SLATED by Teri Terry from my TBR (it's been there awhile, I'm ashamed to say) - this was a fast-paced and gripping thriller about teens having their memories wiped after committing crimes. I was interested to see if there was much crossover with my new book, PURGE, as I saw some similarity in the themes, but I'm pleased (relieved) to say they tread very different turf. So basically you should read both, is what I'm saying.

ALL LACED UP by Erin Fletcher is a book I've really been looking forward to as I'm a huge fan of Erin's books, and this one blew my socks off! (Blew my skates off?) Set in the world of professional skating (ice hockey and figure skating in this case) ALU kicks off a new romance series that looks to be choc-full of adorable characters, swooniness, and really fun stories. I cannot wait for the next instalment!

Finally, I managed to squeeze in 2 Halloween reads. The first was MONSTER by CJ Skuse (one of my fave authors, who made my year by giving me a wonderful blurb for BREAKER when it came out) which is a really fun, spooky, actiony thriller about a boarding school with its own urban legend about a killer beast hunting in the school grounds, and a group of girls who are snowed in at school over the Christmas break. Then I finally read THE COLDEST GIRL IN COLDTOWN by Holly Black, which has been sitting on my TBR shelf for yonks, and was pretty wonderful - a dark, gothic story about a girl trapped inside a decadent sort of prison for vampires and vamp-infected humans. It made me think of a YA Anne Rice novel, and I really enjoyed it.

And it was great to see some of my books included in Halloween reading list posts like this one by The Scribblers and this one by Kendra Leighton. Seeing them makes my shrivelled heart swell with joy.

Incidentally, I'm only 6 books from hitting my Goodreads Challenge goal of 75 books read in 2016, so I should complete that this month. Aside from reading, though, I will mainly be focused on finishing the novel I'm working on. It is almost finished, and I think it is looking ok, but I just need to really nail this sucker down before I get distracted by newer, shinier book ideas. So I won't be doing NaNoWriMo again this year, but I will be trying to beat the clock and get this novel looking ship-shape and pretty by the end of the month. (There, it's in writing, so I'm accountable.)

I haven't posted what I've been listening to in a while, so here are my latest music obsessions. No doubt these will end up on playlists for some future novel... Hope you enjoy.

Kat out x