Thursday, 29 June 2017

Reading Schedule: July - December 2017

This is my reading schedule for the second half of 2017; my goal for the year is to read 80 books (at time of writing, I've read 39 so far this year.)

Where there's a theme to my reading, I've made a note of that. I have also marked any titles which are new releases that month, or which I have received for review from Netgalley (and these all release the following month). Per my pledge at the beginning of the year, I'll aim to read at least one adult book per month, and the rest are YA.


A couple of pre-YALC titles here...

SLEEPER by Mackenzie Cadenhead (Netgalley)
TIED UP IN YOU by Erin Fletcher (New release)
RIDE by Lisa Glass
FAHRENHEIT 451 by Ray Bradbury (Adult)
TORN by Cat Clarke

(Actually read: Sleeper, Tied Up In You, Ride, Fahrenheit 451, Torn, False Hearts)


Mostly summery reads this month...

ORANGEBOY by Patrice Lawrence
WHEN I CAST YOUR SHADOW by Sarah Porter (Netgalley)
ODD & TRUE by Cat Winters (Netgalley)
THINGS A BRIGHT GIRL CAN DO by Sally Nicholls (Netgalley)
DAUGHTER OF THE BURNING CITY by Amanda Foody (Netgalley)
THE BREAK by Marian Keyes (Adult, Netgalley)

(Actually read: Hold Back the Stars, I'll Give You the Sun, Severed, Things a Bright Girl Can Do, When I Am Through With You...)


THE HANGING GIRL by Eileen Cook (Netgalley)
MONSTER by Michael Grant (Netgalley)
LOCKWOOD & Co.: THE EMPTY GRAVE by Jonathan Stroud (New release - last in series)
HOPE by Rhian Ivory (New release)
ARCHANGEL'S VIPER by Nalini Singh (New release - Adult)
NOAH CAN'T EVEN by Simon James Green


Spooky/scary reads, of course!

NOT YET DARK by Simon P. Clark (New release)
THE WICKED WE HAVE DONE by Sarah Harian (Adult)
FLESH AND BLOOD by Simon Cheshire
BAD BONES by Graham Marks
THE CALL by Peadar O'Guilin
THE WITCH OF SALT & STORM by Kendall Kulper
SHOW STOPPER by Hayley Barker
HAUNT ME by Liz Kessler (Netgalley)


It's my birthday this month, so I'll mostly read whatever takes my fancy from the TBR shelf (or whatever I'm given!)

DARKFEVER by Karen Marie Moning (Adult)
IN ANOTHER LIFE by Laura Jarratt


Will I have anything festive to add to this month's list? Who can say...

SILVER SILENCE by Nalini Singh (New release - Adult)
THE TRUTH AND LIES OF ELLA BLACK by Emily Barr (Netgalley)
NICE TRY, JANE SINNER by Lianne Oelke (Netgalley)

I'll update this list as I get more to add to it.

Monday, 26 June 2017

BREAKER - a Goodreads giveaway


A very quick post to say there's a Goodreads giveaway happening right now (ends 29 June) where you can enter to win one of 3 copies of my YA serial killer thriller, BREAKER.

Enter HERE.

Good luck!

Kat out x

Monday, 19 June 2017


An auction is being held to raise money for those affected by the devastating Grenfell Tower fire in London. Several authors and publishing industry professionals have donated items to the auction, which includes a PURGE swag pack and a query & first 50 page manuscript critique by me. To bid on any of the items, check out the auction site.

Please bid for an item if you can, and share the link to the auction so we can raise as much money as possible. All proceeds will go to the British Red Cross to provide support where it is most needed. The auction ends Tuesday 27 June.

Thank you supporting this effort in whatever way you can!


The Authors for Grenfell auction fundraiser is now closed, and I have just seen it announced that the current total raised has reached £165k. It was humbling to see the generosity of bidders in the auction, and I'm so glad I could play even a tiny part in helping to raise funds for the tenants of Grenfell Tower. I'm also immensely proud of my agent, Molly Ker Hawn, who was one of the organisers of the fundraiser -- she has the kindest heart, and always turns that kindness into positive action.

Kat x

Friday, 2 June 2017

May Wrap-up!

It's halfway through the year. Who ever thought we'd make it this far?? *Laughs weakly*

May was a good one in writing terms: it brought me to midway through my Literature Wales Writer's Bursary-funded 3 months, during which time I've finished one MS and written a decent chunk of another -- about 10k so far -- which is looking like it's going to be a quirky romantic suspense. We'll see how that pans out (my books tend to veer off into dark places). But I submitted my midterm report for the bursary, so now I have one more month to go, and I'm determined to make it as productive as humanly possible. I'd like to have at least half a first draft of this new MS by then. Hold me to it, folks.

I also went on a writing retreat last month to a farmhouse deep in the countryside around Welshpool with 3 fab writer ladies: Dawn Kurtagich, the wonderful horror author who organises these things, Tatum Flynn, who writes hilarious MG novels and creates amazing art, and Jenn Faughnan, who writes fantasy and is a digital marketing whizz. And Auri the dog, of course.

(L-R: me, Tatum Flynn, Dawn Kurtagich, Auri, and Jenn Faughnan)

Many words were written on the retreat, but we did also squeeze in a trip to the magnificent Powys Castle. Dawn got the staff to tell us ghost stories connected to the place, and they even showed us a secret staircase.

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But what did I read last month? Take a look.

I'll begin with the 2 books I got via the good fellows at NetGalley. First up, ONE OF US IS LYING by Karen McManus begins with 5 seemingly unconnected teens going into detention - but only 4 of them will leave the room alive. Which one of them is a killer? This is such a great YA thriller - a dark mystery with interesting characters who play on common high school tropes and become more and more intriguing as the plot unfolds. There were plenty of twists along the way, and a fast-paced, taut finale that was totally satisfying. I'll definitely be keeping an eye out for McManus's next book.

Next was WHEN DIMPLE MET RISHI by Sandhya Menon, which I've heard lots of reviewers raving about online, so was really looking forward to reading. It's a cute romance, with 2 differently geeky protagonists in a coder summer camp setting. There was a lot to like about it - the arranged marriage set up; Dimple, who is more interested in coding than having a boyfriend; Rishi, with his hidden artistic talents, and their really lovely family dynamics on both sides. And I have to also mention the cover, which is absolutely gorgeous - easily one of my favourites of 2017 so far. I'm not sure quite why it's pitched as a rom com - it was definitely a romance for me - but it's one to pick up if you're looking for a fun summer read.

Thanks to NetGalley for those! Also thanks to Hotkey Books, who sent me an early copy of Hayley Long's latest book - THE NEAREST FARAWAY PLACE. I've read a couple of Hayley's older books, and I love her writing - and this new book just blew me away. It tells the story of 2 brothers - Dylan and Griff - dealing with the aftermath of a terrible tragedy, each having to carve a new path, and reflecting on the many roads travelled across the world on their way to Aberystwyth in Wales, and their new home & family. I absolutely adored it, and even did a little cry at a couple of parts. Definite thumbs up.

The next 2 YAs were both audiobooks I listened to while out on my walking adventures. HELLHOLE by Gina Damico (read by Macleod Andrews) is a horror comedy about a boy who accidentally summons a devil, then decides he might as well make a deal to try to save his sick mother's life -- ignoring the fact that devilish agreements generally come with a sting in the tail. It was a really fun story, excellently read by Mr Andrews (I'm an audiofan of his), and I'm very much looking forward to reading Damico's next book, WASTE OF SPACE, which comes out in July. 

CELL 7 by Kerry Drewery (read by Rosie Jones) is a brilliant dystopian thriller about a girl on death row for killing a beloved celebrity, awaiting the public vote which will decide whether she lives or dies. Having waited awhile to get stuck into CELL 7, I'm now very glad I only have to wait a couple of weeks to grab the sequel. It was an absolute belter! It has flavours of Noughts & Crosses and The Hunger Games, a brilliantly real central cast, and a gripping story. I listened to the audio version, and highly recommend it - especially if you're looking for great UKYA audiobooks. 

In keeping with my promise to read at least one adult book per month, I actually caught up with that target by reading 2 in May. The first was an audiobook -- SLEEPING GIANTS by Sylvain Neuvel (read by Andy Secombe, Eric Meyers, and Laurel Lefkow) which was a really compelling sci-fi about a group of scientists trying to figure out the origin and purpose of an enormous metal figure found buried in locations scattered across the globe. 

Last of this month's reads was ARCHANGEL'S HEART by Nalini Singh. This is the latest in my favourite series by my favourite author, and continues Elena and Raphael's story as the archangelic Cadre face a new threat in the wake of rogue archangel Lijuan's disappearance. Honestly, I love this series with a fierceness, and I'm so glad Singh writes as quickly as she does, so I only have to wait a few months for the next instalment. 

I'll wrap up with a couple of my favourite adventure pics taken in May.

A post shared by Kat Ellis (@katelliswrites) on

You probably wouldn't guess how I had to parkour my way through dense woods to get this shot.

A post shared by Kat Ellis (@katelliswrites) on

Some Normans I found hanging out near Rhuddlan Castle. 

Now I'll leave you with a couple of tunes I've been listening to as I write. They're good writing fuel, I tell you.


Kat out x