Wednesday, 10 January 2018

My Bookish Year 2017 - July to December

This is where my year went downhill... I had an amazing month in July, I read some great books and I went to ComicCon & YALC for the fourth year in a row, and I met HODOR!!! Then in August disaster struck, my knee gave out and ever since I've been waiting for surgery, stuck in the house apart from hospital appointments, x-rays, and blood tests. That's enough of the miserables though, here are some of my favorite reads from July to December, click on the pics to get to reviews or Goodreads for more info.

https://bookishoutsider.blogspot.com/2017/07/sweet-little-lies-caz-frears.html

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34826946-blackwing

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29502206-pantomime
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/31936826-the-chalk-man

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/14061957-ruin-and-rising
https://bookishoutsider.blogspot.com/2017/09/arrowood-mick-finlay.html

https://bookishoutsider.blogspot.com/2017/09/cuckoo-song-frances-hardinge.html
https://bookishoutsider.blogspot.com/2017/10/death-in-stars-frances-brody.html

https://bookishoutsider.blogspot.com/2017/10/curse-of-werewolf-boy-chris-priestley.html
https://bookishoutsider.blogspot.com/2017/11/little-fires-everywhere-celeste-ng.html

https://bookishoutsider.blogspot.com/2017/11/the-perfect-victim-corrie-jackson.html
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35429280-the-legend-of-podkin-one-ear

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34992381-the-explorer


Monday, 8 January 2018

Bout of Books 21


Well, I'm not starting 2018 in the organized way I would like. I completely forgot about signing up for Bout of Books 21 so I'm doing it now, partly into day 1 of reading!

"The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda Shofner and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week-long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, January 8th and runs through Sunday, January 14th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optionalFor all Bout of Books 21 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog." - From the Bout of Books team.

I've just started a new book so will count that as the 1st book of the challenge and I'll be posting on Instagram mostly, with short updates on here (when I remember...)

Progress


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Wednesday, 3 January 2018

My Bookish Year 2017 - January to June

Started well but ended badly... I'd like to forget about 2017 from August onwards but I can't. I didn't go to any bookish events from January to June as I was determined to save for ComicCon and YALC, and I was trying to make sure that I read a lot of books from my own shelves. Neither worked out as well as I hoped but never mind. Here are my favorites of the first half of the year, and, hopefully, followed shortly by July through to December! Some are titles I've reviewed on the blog, you can find them by clicking on the book picture, and others will link to Goodreads.

http://bookishoutsider.blogspot.com/2017/01/the-dry-jane-harper.html
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34809389-the-bird-tribunal
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1260721.Marianne_Dreams

http://bookishoutsider.blogspot.com/2017/03/following-ophelia-sophia-bennett.html

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18627404-into-the-trees

http://bookishoutsider.blogspot.com/2017/03/harper-and-night-forest-cerrie-burnell.html

http://bookishoutsider.blogspot.com/2017/03/summary-justice-john-fairfax.html

http://bookishoutsider.blogspot.com/2017/04/dream-magic-joshua-khan.html

http://bookishoutsider.blogspot.com/2017/04/the-inventory-black-knight-andy-briggs.html
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32713449-sealskin

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32735550-who-let-the-gods-out
http://bookishoutsider.blogspot.com/2017/06/the-mayfly-james-hazel.html

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/14061955-siege-and-storm?

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Guest Post: Do's And Don't's Of Crime Writing - G J Minett


Today on the Outsider it's a pleasure to welcome G. J. Minett, whose latest book is Anything For Her, an amazing follow-up to The Hidden Legacy and Lie In Wait. My review of Anything For Her can be found here, and huge thanks to G. J. Minett, Emily Burns & Bonnier Zaffre for including me on the tour! Enjoy reading reading G. J.'s post on what you should and shouldn't do in crime writing.

Dos and Don’ts of crime writing

DO keep a healthy balance between plot and character. It’s so easy to get carried away with the storyline but readers need to see the development of a central character they can believe in and care about. They don’t want cardboard cut-outs or cartoon sketches.
DON’T make the central character a paragon of virtue. Readers like to identify with someone who is flawed, maybe unreliable or even dangerous, as long as the redeeming features outweigh the negatives.
DO make sure you come up with an opening that grabs the reader’s attention. Most people have a ‘to be read list’ that is spiralling out of control and not everyone sees every book through to the end.
DON’T confuse pace with breakneck speed. Pace is a variable, not a constant. If every scene ends with a cliffhanger and the hero wriggles out of seemingly impossible situations every 30 pages or so, the overkill will alienate the reader. Remember: pace can be measured and considered, allowing everyone a chance to take a deep breath and prepare for the next onslaught.
DO treat your readers with a bit of respect. If they are prepared to devote several days to reading what you’ve produced, there’s a duty of care and you need to avoid huge coincidences or Deus ex Machina interventions that could have been avoided with a little more imagination and effort.
DON’T agonise for too long over the quality of what you’ve written on any given day. Get it down on paper – you can always improve on what’s there at a later date. It’s when there’s nothing there to work on that you have a problem.
DO showcase your skills. Everything you picked up on writing courses and in workshops is just as relevant in a crime novel as in any other genre and readers are perfectly capable of appreciating quality writing wherever they find it.
DON’T go out of your way to imitate. Find your own style and work at it from novel to novel. If you are too anxious to copy others you’ll inevitably lose out in any comparison. Make your own writing the yardstick.
DO think hard about your locations. Some readers derive considerable pleasure from a setting they know well and the demands of plotlines and word counts can sometimes prevent writers from giving the story the detailed backdrop it might need.
DON’T info dump. It’s so tempting, when you’ve researched something in great depth, to want to demonstrate what you’ve picked up but the aim of the research is to provide a backdrop, not dominate the page.
DO provide a twist or two to keep the readers on their toes. A real surprise at the end is particularly effective as it’s what the readers will take away with them. Be careful not to overdo it though – by definition, these twists are out of the ordinary and the difference between the unexpected and the utterly implausible can be wafer thin.
DON’T kid yourself that there’s a substitute for sitting down in front of the laptop and writing. There’s not. There are distractions aplenty and you can try to justify them in the name of research or downtime or networking but what gets the novel written is sheer hard graft and a bit of inspiration. Sit down, shut the door and WRITE.

Having said all that, I do most of the don’ts – and fail to do most of the dos – at least 50% of the time. All part of the fun of being a writer.

Anything For Her - G. J. Minett
Publisher - Bonnier Zaffre
Release Date - November 30th, 2017

About The Author

Graham was born in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire and lived there for 18 years before studying for a degree in Modern and Medieval Languages at Churchill College, Cambridge.

He taught for several years, first in Cheltenham and then in West Sussex before opting to go part-time and start an MA in Creative Writing at the University of Chichester. Completing the course in 2008, he gained a distinction for the dissertation under the guidance of novelist, Alison MacLeod and almost immediately won the Segora Short Story Competition with ‘On the Way Out’.

Other awards soon followed, most notably his success in the 2010 Chapter One novel competition with what would eventually become the opening pages of his debut novel. He was signed up by Peter Buckman of the Ampersand Agency, who managed to secure a two-book deal with twenty7, the digital-first adult fiction imprint of Bonnier Publishing.

WebsiteTwitter | Facebook



Thursday, 23 November 2017

The Perfect Victim - Corrie Jackson


Husband, friend, colleague . . . killer?

Charlie and Emily Swift are the Instagram-perfect couple: gorgeous, successful and in love. But then Charlie is named as the prime suspect in a gruesome murder and Emily's world falls apart.

Desperate for answers, she turns to Charlie's troubled best friend, London Herald journalist, Sophie Kent. Sophie knows police have the wrong man - she trusts Charlie with her life.

Then Charlie flees.

Sophie puts her reputation on the line to clear his name. But as she's drawn deeper into Charlie and Emily's unravelling marriage, she realises that there is nothing perfect about the Swifts.

As she begins to question Charlie's innocence, something happens that blows the investigation - and their friendship - apart.

Now Sophie isn't just fighting for justice, she's fighting for her life.


After the brilliance of Breaking Dead Sophie Kent is back and this time the truth is much closer to home than she wants to believe. Sophie is at a crime scene, a drowning, and discovers the victim was somehow connected to one of her best friends, the Herald's Business Editor Charlie Swift. When it's established that the victim is Sabrina Hobbs, a prominent lawyer, and she didn't drown, she was murdered. Sophie links Sabrina to Charlie, at first in a business way, but then she discovers that the two may have been intimately involved. Only she can't ask Charlie because he has disappeared and everyone's thoughts about him start to turn to a darker possibility. Is Charlie Swift a murderer? Sophie doesn't want to believe this, especially as Charlie is newly married to Emily after tragically losing his first wife, in a drowning accident... Do Charlie and Emily really have the Instagram perfect life that Emily insists they have? Or is the perfect victim right under everybody's noses? 

Sophie once again is struggling in her personal life. Still obsessing over her brother's death she will grab at anything that may lead to information so when it turns out that there may be a link between Charlie, her brother and a religious group called Christ Clan, she leaps in with both feet again. DCI Durand makes a welcome return but unfortunately for Sophie, the man in charge of Charlie's case holds a personal grudge against her because of a connection to events in Breaking Dead. We get to see the story from Emily's point of view too, the state of her marriage in the weeks leading up to the murder and the disappearance, and her state of mind.

As with Breaking Dead, I was hooked from the very first page. There seems to be an awful lot going on and more than one plot strand but Corrie Jackson weaves them together skillfully over the course of the story and by the end, having stumbled through more twists and turns than the first book, she leads you to a most unexpected conclusion, which most people won't even have thought about. Given that Charlie works at a newspaper it was fascinating to see how everybody initially thought completely incapable of any wrongdoing, even infidelity, but as time passed and Charlie stayed missing, even the most loyal of friends and colleagues can start to have their doubts. The crumbling relationship between the missing Charlie and his colleagues as they struggle to accept that they may have a murderer in their midst and that it's up to them to unmask the facts to convict him if it is indeed true was extremely well written and great to see other people's opinion of him.

The Perfect Victim doesn't let up from start to finish, there's an energy about Corrie Jackson's writing that compels you to keep turning the pages and her characters are completely engaging, although not always likable, which makes them all the more human. It's a fantastic sequel to Breaking Dead and I have only one request. Sophie Kent book three, please!!!



The Perfect Victim - Corrie Jackson
ISBN - 9781785761829
Publisher - Bonnier Zaffre
Release Date - November 16th, 2017

About The Author

Corrie Jackson has been a journalist for fifteen years. During that time she has worked at Harper’s Bazaar, the Daily Mail, Grazia, and Glamour.

Website | Twitter | Facebook







Don't forget to check out all the other participants on the blog tour, for links check out Bonnier Zaffre's Twitter feed!



Huge thanks to Bonnier Zaffre and Netgalley for my copy of the book!
 
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