Tuesday, 25 July 2017

PURGE giveaway!


The good folks at Firefly Press are giving away 10 copies of my young adult sci-fi thriller, PURGE, right now on Goodreads! Enter here before 8 August (UK only). 

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.

Monday, 10 July 2017

TIED UP IN YOU by Erin Fletcher - book birthday interview


Today a new book comes out by Erin Fletcher, who is not just one of my favourite authors, but someone I've been friends with online for years, and a genuinely kind and lovely person. 

TIED UP IN YOU is the companion novel to ALL LACED UP, the YA ice skater romance which came out last year from Entangled Teen, and which I absolutely adored. Here's what TIED UP IN YOU is all about:

Everyone says hotshot goalie Luke Jackson is God’s gift to girls, but the only girl he wants is his best friend, Malina Hall. He’s always known how brilliant she is, but now that he’s “accidentally” kissed her, he can’t stop thinking about her...or wanting to kiss her again.
Problem is, things have been a little...awkward since the kiss. Because she likes him, too? Hopefully, but even if she did, their futures—and the ridiculous schedules that come with them—are in the way. And now one of his teammates is showing interest, and the guy has more in common with Malina than Jackson ever will.
As her best friend, Jackson should get out of the way. But if there’s one thing he’s learned from hockey, it’s that you have to go for what you want, even if it means falling flat on your face. And he’s definitely falling for Malina.
Disclaimer: This book contains a hot hockey player who goes after what he wants, a super-hot, super-distracting shirtless workout, and the kind of best friends to lovers romance every girl in the friend zone has dreamed of.

You can order it online: 

Doesn't that sound like something you need to run out and buy RIGHT NOW?? Yes. Yes, it does. 

So while you're waiting for your book to arrive/download, check out this quick interview with the author herself... 

Kat: In TIED UP IN YOU, you bring Malina -- girl who's into STEM -- into your world of ice skater romance. Is STEM something you're into?

Erin: I got my degree in mathematics, so I'm definitely into the "M" part of STEM! Unfortunately I was in school before STEM was a thing (yes, I'm old) so I was never an official part of it. I did have to do a lot of STEM research for this book, which was fun! I learned about astronomy and astrophysics as well as a little about coding.

Kat: As well as Luke Jackson, I love that Lia and Pierce from ALL LACED UP also appear in TIED UP IN YOU. Did you enjoy bringing back those characters? How does writing a companion novel compare to writing a standalone?

Erin: It was so great writing those characters again! I loved being able to show that Pierce and Lia's relationship is (spoiler alert) just as strong as it was at the end of ALL LACED UP! In some ways, writing a companion novel was easy because I already knew the world and some of the characters. But it was also challenging because I had to remember what I wrote in the first book, which I am notoriously terrible at!

Kat: How about an insider scoop: one embarrassing thing Malina and/or Luke would HATE anyone to know about them?

Erin: Luke loves listening to music, especially while working out and passing time traveling with his hockey team, and he definitely has some embarassing songs on his phone... As for Malina, she would hate for anyone to know that she loves scary movies, but still has to cover her eyes at the scary parts.

Kat: Can you say anything about what you're working on next?

Erin: I'm currently revising another contemporary YA manuscript that's most similar to my first book, WHERE YOU'LL FIND ME. It's darker and more intense than my last few books, but I'm loving every second spent working on it. We'll see if it makes it into the world someday!


Sounds brilliant! Can't wait for more Erin books!

Monday, 3 July 2017

June Wrap-Up

I wrote back in April about the bursary I was awarded by Literature Wales to allow me to focus on writing full time for 3 months, and those 3 months have now come to an end. I'm pleased to say it was a hugely productive time; I completed one manuscript, and wrote 9,000 words of another that's been simmering in the back of my brain for a while. Fingers crossed one or both will find a publisher! Thanks so much to Literature Wales for giving me their support and the opportunity of the writers' bursary.

Speaking of my writing, it was wonderful to see my books being talked about a bit online recently; in particular I loved this post about 'What keeps us coming back to the circus?' by Sarah at The Copper Boom, which mentions Blackfin Sky, and this excellent review of Purge by Amy Kitcher. <3

June also marked the halfway point for the Goodreads Reading Challenge, for which I set myself a target of reading 80 books in 2017. As of the end of June, I have just passed 40 books read, which -- by some miracle -- means I'm on track to finish on time. That was helped by a pretty solid reading month during which I inhaled these beauties:

Let's begin with the Netgalley reads, of which there were 3 this month.

FLIGHT OF A STARLING by Lisa Heathfield is about two sisters, Rita and Lo, and their lives within a travelling circus. It's all thrown into chaos when Lo falls in love with a boy who isn't from their world, who she can never be with unless she gives up the only life she knows. There's such a magical quality to Lisa Heathfield's writing and the worlds she builds; even when I knew my heart would be run through the wringer by Flight of a Starling, I couldn't help falling in love with Rita and Lo, their rootless lives with the circus, and the boy whose arrival means everything is about to change. It was a magnificent book, very much alive and pulsing with feeling. 

NO FILTER by Orlagh Collins tells the story of Emerald, who is beginning her summer in Dublin, where she doesn't want to be following a family crisis; and Liam, who is clinging to this summer before setting out on a path he can't escape, no matter how much he wants to. The two have such different lives, it was hard to see at first where they would find common ground, but it didn't take long to see how perfect Liam and Em were together, though of course there are HUGE obstacles trying to keep them apart. No Filter was poignant, heart-warming, and a wonderful summer read. I particularly loved the Irish setting, the voices of the two main characters, and the way social media plays a part in the story. 

A bunch of teens blasted into space as part of a reality TV show? There was no way I could not pick up WASTE OF SPACE by Gina Damico after reading the premise! Waste of Space is such a weird, brilliant satire, and takes some pretty dark twists as the secrets behind the show are revealed through found footage, reports, and phone transcripts. It was very smart, funny, and unlike anything I've read before. I read Hellhole by Gina Damico a few weeks ago, and her style is easily recognisable in Waste of Space, even with the genre switch and different format of the novel. I will definitely be reading more of her backlist, and keeping an eye out for whatever comes next.

So those were my Netgalley reads. I also began a brilliant romance trilogy by Lisa Glass, and read the first 2 this month (or listened to the audiobooks, actually, which were really good). 

BLUE begins with Iris, a 16-year-old Cornish surfer who meets up-and-coming surf star Zeke Francis in a yoga class. Throw in a recent heartbreak, an exciting surf contest, and a whole heap of twists and turns, and you have a brilliant summer read that will make you reach for the next book in the series immediately... as I did. AIR sees Iris and Zeke set off to make their mark in the international surf world while trying to figure out how to be together when they're surrounded by the pressures, challenges, and general chaos of their lives. Both books were seriously, seriously great, and I couldn't resist diving straight into the 3rd instalment right away (to be included in next month's wrap-up!)

Keeping with the summery theme, I listened to the audiobook of Morgan Matson's THE UNEXPECTED EVERYTHING, which was a fun romance between Andie, a politician's daughter, and Clark, a teen author who's battling with writer's block. 

Next I veered into darker territory: Dawn Kurtagich's THE DEAD HOUSE is one of the most original, gripping, and creepy books I have ever read, so when NAIDA -- the follow-up novella -- was released in the UK last month, I snapped it up. If you loved The Dead House as I did, you need to grab Naida. It's a thrilling return to that twisted world, and gives a fascinating insight into what really happened that fateful night at Elmbridge...

FINDING SKY by Joss Stirling has been hanging around on my TBR for a good long while. Sky is the new English girl in an American school; Zed is the bad boy who can somehow hear her thoughts. It took me back to a lot of the tropes that made me fall in love with YA in the first place, and although I feel like these date the book a little bit now (it was published in 2010, so fair enough!) it was still a fun read.

Finally, my adult book for the month was THE POWER by Naomi Alderman. This was an absolute corker -- beginning with the idea that women across the world begin developing a strange ability that allows them to emit an incapacitating (and sometimes lethal) electric charge through touch, and taking some very dark and twisting turns to a gut-wrenching conclusion. It's a brilliant book, with characters I cared about and a plot I didn't see coming. 

And that was it for my June reads, and the 6 month TBR I planned for the first half of 2017. So I needed to plan ahead for my next 6 months' reading, which I did here. I'll add to and change this list a bit as I go along. 

Aside from writing and reading stuff, I also celebrated my 10th wedding anniversary in June, which was a bit special. Ian and I began dating the summer before I started university in Manchester. I think most people thought it was doomed -- I was leaving North Wales, and he worked full time for his family business, so we were heading straight into a long-distance relationship. But somehow it worked. We moved in together when I was 19 and at uni (he sort of sneaked into my halls of residence...) and have now been together for 16 years. I don't get into personal stuff much online, but as a YA author I think it's kind of nice that I can honestly say sometimes a teen romance really does work out for the long haul.

I'll sign off with that, and with a song I've been listening to a lot this month. 

Kat out x