Saturday, 4 February 2017

January Wrap-up!

Helloooooo! February already, you say? That means - in case you missed it - you only have about 2 weeks left to enter my BREAKER giveaway. Go here to enter - it's open internationally, and ends on 20th Feb. Good luck!

What else happened this month? Well, I have now finished the full draft of the book I've been working on for TWO DAMNED YEARS (woohoo!) and am in the process of revising and polishing that sucker. I'm hoping it'll be done and off to beta readers within a week.

As I've been going full throttle with the writing, I haven't had too many adventures, but there were a couple. I visited Gladstone's Library in Hawarden, which is an absolutely gorgeous place to go and be surrounded by books and bookish people. It's a purpose-built residential library (the only one in the UK, I believe) and I have signed up to become a reader there so I can go and write amid the leatherbound brilliance.

A photo posted by Kat Ellis (@katelliswrites) on

I've also been out walking a little bit - not as much as I should have, and as my pal Jani has reminded me to revive my Fitbit, I'll be doing that in the coming days. In the meantime, I found this junkyard with its own droid.

A photo posted by Kat Ellis (@katelliswrites) on

I had some exciting book post from wonderful author and human Cecilia Vinesse, whose book SEVEN DAYS OF YOU comes out in March. It's a glorious, heart-rending romance set in Tokyo, and you should definitely pre-order it if you like nice things. 

In other reading, I squeezed in 6 books in January. These were they:

The first was AFTER THE SNOW by SD Crockett, and the last of the 3 snowy reads I chose before Christmas. I absolutely loved this snow-plagued survival story about a boy whose family are dragged away by the military, leaving him to fend for himself in the wilds of Wales. 

Next up was a Netgalley review read - THE ONE MEMORY OF FLORA BANKS by Emily Barr. This was a really interesting, unique book, and I enjoyed it a lot. Flora has a condition where she hasn't been able to form/keep any new memories since she was 10. Now 16, she finds herself alone for the first time, and sets off on an adventure to find the boy whose kiss is the only new thing she has remembered in 6 years. Flora is a main character I wasn't entirely sure I was going to like from the first few chapters (she is in many ways still 10 years old, due to her memory loss, and not very considerate of others' feelings) but she absolutely grew on me until I was swept away with her on her adventures. And that's what I feel this story is - it's an adventure story, not a love story as the description might lead you to believe - and it's all the better for it. There were plenty of twists and turns and emotional daggers to keep me on the edge of my seat, and it all came together for a satisfying, frost-bitten finale.

I've been looking forward to GEMINA (book 2 in the Illuminae Files) by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff, and this was just as good as the first in the trilogy, picking up the story at the besieged Hypatia jump station with 2 new central characters to root for as they battle marauders and their growing feelings for each other. I'm not sure when the 3rd in the trilogy comes out, but I'll be grabbing it as soon as it does. 

REALITY BOY by AS King has been hanging around on my audiobook TBR for a good while now, and I finally got around to listening to it this month... and I wish I hadn't waited so long. I loved this story about Gerald aka 'The Crapper' - a sixteen-year-old whose early childhood played out in front of the nation on a Supernanny-esque reality TV show, and it has left a whole spectrum of mental scars on him. In turns hilarious and heartbreaking, this book had a belting voice even as it dealt with some uncomfortable stuff.   

Speaking of great voice, I also listened to WHEN MR DOG BITES, about a boy with Tourette's syndrome who finds out he is going to die in a few months, and the shenanigans he gets up to trying to check off everything on his bucket list. 

The last one I read/listened to was Fonda Lee's wonderful sporty sci-fi ZEROBOXER, about a fighter named Carr Luka who is trying to battle the odds and make a name for himself in the world of competitive zero-gravity boxing. As an aside, the narrator of the audiobook has the deepest, smoothest voice I've ever heard, which was rather pleasant. I've just downloaded EXO, Lee's new book, which I was thrilled to discover is narrated by Macleod Andrews, my all-time fave audio narrator. Looking forward to that one!

It's been a while since I've shared what music I'm listening to, so here are a couple of tracks that have been keeping me happy while I inhabit my writing cave.

So that was my January. I'll post a reading planner for the coming 6 months in a little while, and I might have news of another giveaway or two coming up soon as well. For now...

Kat out x

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