Walking Barefoot by Grace Coleman

Today it is my pleasure to introduce you to Walking Barefoot by Grace Coleman. Aside from my review, info on the author and the book you can also download a free copy of Walking Barefoot on Smashwords. Only today…for 24 hours!

*To claim your free copy of Walking Barefoot simply visit Smashwords on the 25th of April and enter the discount code FR64E at check out. There are no limits to the number of downloads but hurry, this code will only be active for 24 hours!*

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/715754

About the Author

About the author: Walking Barefoot is Grace Coleman’s debut novel. It began 6 years ago in a Byron Bay basement and had significant re-sculpturing after a Curtis Brown novel writing course in 2013. When not pretending to be an author, Grace Coleman is TV Scheduler who lives and works in London.

Visit gracecoleman.co.uk/

About the book

Set in a futuristic London in a world ravaged by war, Walking Barefoot explores the life of Will, past and present. The cocksure eighteen year old who goes travelling in a bid to find himself. The city living adult who struggles to be happy despite his well paid job, upper quadrant apartment and sexy girlfriend. When nightmares begin to haunt his sleeping and waking life Will is unsure whether he is suffering from the illness that killed his father or being led by unseen forces to uncover a city-wide conspiracy. As his paranoia heightens he must ask himself – is he willing to lose himself to find the truth?

Review

Imagine being able to transport yourself to the place of your dreams in the blink of an eye. A bit like time-travel without the whole time-space continuum aspect of it all. In a world full of constructed reality and a life lived nearly entirely inside glass walls, it is no wonder some people try to live vicariously through others and any means possible.

Will has decided to do the equivalent of a gap year before settling down to the dreary business of life. He is fascinated by the places and countries his father once visited.

Continents, countries and towns that are virtually non-existent in the history books, the minds and memories of people. Places slowly deteriorating, decaying and disappearing from sight and mind. Will wants to walk in his father’s footsteps. To smell the fresh air and to experience new worlds.

Years later, as his career is ascending into the higher echelon, his mental health starts to deteriorate. At first he thinks it is just stress and pressure, but then Will starts to question things. What is reality and what is fantasy?

You know what they say, it’s not paranoia if they are really out to get you. Will is convinced that there is something untoward going on. He is determined to get to the bottom of things, except he isn’t entirely convinced that his fears and hallucinations aren’t just an indication of mental health issues.

Coleman has created a world built on dreams within conceptual hallucinations. It is a futuristic story with a very subtle dystopian undertone. Think Matrix with a side-order of end of the world angst and a tiny slice of horror. Although the author brings the story to a conclusion, I do think a sequel could be a possibility, then again that may just be wishful thinking on my part.

Buy Walking Barefoot at Amazon UK or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.

Giveaway

*To claim your free copy of Walking Barefoot simply visit Smashwords on the 25 April and enter the discount code FR64E at check out. There are no limits to the number of downloads but hurry, this code will only be active for 24 hours!*

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/715754

Blog-Tour: Winter Halo by Keri Arthur

Today is my turn on the Blog-Tour for Winter Halo by Keri Arthur. It is the second book in the Outcast series. (The first is City of Light). Enjoy the fantastic Q&A with Keri Arthur and my review!

About the author

Keri Arthur is the New York Times bestselling author of the Outcast series, including City of Light, as well as the Souls of Fire, Dark Angels, and Riley Jenson Guardian series. She has written more than thirty books and has been nominated in the Best Contemporary Paranormal category of the Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Awards and has won a Romantic Times Career Achievement Award for urban fantasy.

About the book

From the New York Times bestselling author of the Souls of Fire novels comes the second in the futuristic fantasy series that will make you want to keep the lights on…

When the bombs that stopped the species war tore holes in the veil between worlds, they allowed entry to the Others. Now, a hundred years later, humans and shifters alike live in artificially lit cities designed to keep the darkness at bay…. The humanoid supersoldiers known as the déchet were almost eradicated by the war. Ever since, Tiger has tried to live her life in peace in hiding. But in the wake of her discovery that Central City’s children are being kidnapped and experimented on, Tiger’s conscience won’t let her look the other way. The key to saving them lies within the walls of a pharmaceutical company called Winter Halo. But as she learns more about the facility, Tiger’s mission is derailed by a complication: Winter Halo’s female security guards are being systematically attacked by an unknown force.  Now Tiger must summon all her gifts to stop those responsible for both atrocities—no matter the cost to herself.

Q&A

Before we get down to business (i.e. talking about your book) I would like to ask a set of questions I call ‘Breaking the Ice.’ (readers love to get to know all about their favourite authors)

The last book you read? (Inquisitive bookworms want to know) Anne Gracie’s The Summer Bride. I waited so long for Daisy’s story, and I loved it!

The last movie you watched, which you felt left a mark (in your heart, soul, wallet…you name it) I recently watched Spectre on Blu-ray, and was ever so glad I missed it at the movies! I couldn’t believe how bland/blah it was. I’m a huge James Bond fan, but in this, Daniel Craig wasn’t even trying.

Are you more of a Game of Thrones or Outlander, a movie night or sitcom kind of  gal? (Combinations are possible) I haven’t watched either Game of Thrones or Outlander, and have no intentions of ever watching the former. I do, however, love Westworld. I’m also a huge lifestyle program fan (mostly British–Great British Bake-off, Escape to the Country, Location Location, etc). I also love the Aussie versions of those shows.

Which famous person (dead, alive, barely kicking) would you most like to meet? I’d love to have met Dick Francis, because he is one of my all time favourite authors. And for one out of left field, I would love to have met John Constable, and have him teach me how to paint just like him.

Something you treat yourself to, now and again? (Cream éclairs, doughnuts and chocolate totally count) Shoes. Totally shoes. I have something of a fetish for them  😀

All of the above questions are actually a pretty elaborate pysch evaluation disguised as random questions. Have no fear here come the real ones. Let’s talk about Winter Halo.

I really enjoyed the mixture of genres in Winter Halo, a dystopian tale with sci-fi elements and a portion of urban fantasy. Was mixing the genres something you set out to do or did the ideas evolve as you were writing? I’ve never been a planner when it comes to my writing. I usually set out with a vague idea and the story and setting develop from there. That’s what I love about writing–the discovery of where it’s going!

Was it your intention to get both the readers and even the characters to question the humanity of the genetically modified dechets or to be more specific questioning Tiger’s humanity? That developed as the story developed. In truth, what does make us human? Is it as simple as the nature of our birth? Is it higher brain capacity, the ability to think and feel? Or is it something more indefinable? Why are we considered human, and yet the great apes, who share something like 98% of our DNA, are not? I’m not sure The Outcast Series answers these questions, but I’d like to think it at least gets those who read it thinking about things like acceptance and tolerance. We really need a lot more people thinking about those in the current clime.

Staying with that line of questioning, Tiger was created with a specific purpose in mind, and although she acts as programmed she is also capable of acting independently. Is her initial programming the reason why she was engineered the reason some characters don’t trust her or is it because she doesn’t conform to their preconceived ideas of the dechet? Most humans and shifters only ever had contact with the soldier dechets. Very few people outside the Humanoid Development Program ever knew about the existence of dechets such as Tiger, who was developed as a lure–a seductress designed to infiltrate shifter encampments and steal battle information. The other characters views are tainted by their experiences with the soldiers; they’re having to battle ingrained beliefs about what dechets are with the reality Tiger presents to them.

Tiger carries around an extreme amount of guilt about the ghosts (children). She seems to blame herself for their deaths. Is that why she is willing to go the extra mile to try and save the living children? Yes. She’d been assigned as the children’s guardian while waiting reassignment, and she believes she failed in that duty, even though she almost died trying to save them. It’s that guilt that drives her to save Penny and Jonas, and keeps her involved in not only the quest to find the rest of the missing children, but to stop those who want to give the vampires and wraiths light immunity.

Tiger and her relationship to sex is quite an intriguing aspect of the story. Tiger uses sex to obtain information and achieve her goals. Her relationship with it is very calculated. Will we see her experience sex in a different way when and if she finally does have intercourse because she wants to and not because she has to? I really can’t answer this question, because it would step into spoiler territory!

Will we be seeing/reading more about Tiger? If the answer is yes (hopefully) will it be soon (no pressure *laugh*)? I’ve planned the Outcast Series as three books, so yes, there will be more of Tiger after Winter Halo. The third book is tentatively called The Black Tide, but I’m not sure when it’ll be out yet. Hopefully by the end of 2017 or beginning of 2018.

Thank you for answering all of my questions, especially the odd ones! You’re welcome–and the odd ones were fun!

Review

Despite being a successful award winning author I don’t believe Keri Arthur really gets the recognition or attention she deserves for her writing. Regardless of the genre, sub-genre or the topic, Arthur always gives her readers a run for their money.

Winter Halo, which is the second book in the Outcast series, is a perfect example of her ability to flow seamlessly from one genre to the other within the same story. It’s a dystopian extravaganza with sci-fi elements and an urban fantasy flair.

It is set in a world of genetically enhanced soldiers, shifters, ghosts, vampires and perhaps a few humans. Tiger is determined to save a small group of children, who have been kidnapped with the intent of committing unimaginable atrocities.

Watch this space for the Tiger and Jonas saga, because it is definitely coming. The sexual tension between the two of them is like a volcano set to erupt. No pun intended. Okay that’s a lie it’s totally intended. Jonas can’t help but be drawn to the feisty dechet, perhaps because she is the complete opposite of what he thinks she should be like.

Instead of hard cold reasoning there is a strong compassionate vein, and her ability to communicate with ghosts makes her seem more humane instead of like the genetically enhanced soldier she actually is.

One of the more fascinating aspects of Tiger is the way she compartmentalizes her actions, emotions and choices. Her sexual activities are sorted into boxes labelled ‘a means to an end.’ All business all the time. Maybe it is time she did it for herself and for the pleasure instead.

I am looking forward to the third part in this series, especially a possible Tiger and Jonas relationship. Winter Halo is an action driven read with creative ideas, intricate world-building and plenty of potential for further development.

It was, as always with a Keri Arthur book, a read I would recommend.

Buy Winter Halo at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.

Readers from the US and Canada also have the fantastic opportunity to take part in a giveaway for City of Light and Winter Halo by Keri Arthur by retweeting the giveaway on Twitter. Or just comment below. (Winner will be notified at the end of the tour) Good Luck!

Starting today! Blog-Tour for Winter Halo by Keri Arthur

I am super excited to be part of the Blog-Tour for Winter Halo by Keri Arthur. It is the second book in the Outcast series. On the 30th I will be featuring a fantastic Q&A by Keri Arthur and my review of Winter Halo.

Hope to see you here on the 30th of November for my review of Winter Halo!

Buy Winter Halo at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.

Moon Chosen by P.C. Cast

moon-chosenThe beginning is a little vague on specifics or rather too specific on the dystopian world building, but with no info to go on. It takes a while to be able to see through the maze of branches and groups of new world people, and comprehend the plot.

All I can say is, stick with it. A few chapters in it starts to make a lot more sense and becomes quite an interesting read.

Moon Chosen is set in a world after technology and long after the destruction of society as we know it now. The surviving humans have split into different groups with their own newly built structures and rules. Unfortunately they all view each other as mortal enemies. The Tree people hunt and enslave the Earth Walkers and the Skin Eaters aren’t fussy they will kill and eat anyone.

Mari is a hybrid of two groups, a fact her mother keeps well hidden, because it also means she will be accepted by neither if they discover the truth.

The book is filled with the magic pulled from natural resources, such as the sun, the moon and the earth. The only thing left to rely on when all else has dwindled to to dust and ruin.

There are some tough scenes, which put the book towards the older end of YA for me. Gang rape puts it more in the sub-genre of NA, as far as I am concerned.

The epilogue seems to introduce a further story in the series with a character who just stumbles in towards the end. The emphasis appears to be on single characters and their animal counterparts, which is a shame. I do think the story Cast has built up in Moon Chosen is vast enough to be developed further without throwing in random mate selections whether they be human or not. More dystopian world and less urban fantasy methinks.

Buy Moon Chosen at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.

The Thousandth Floor by Katherine McGee

the-thousandth-floorIt was actually quite amusing, because I had to keep reminding myself of the beginning and where the story was supposed to be heading. It starts off with a dramatic fall, suicide, accident or death and ends the same way. There is so much drama in the middle that it just slipped my mind completely.

It’s a pity the premise is more of Gossip Girl scenario, because McGee has some really interesting ideas. The towers and the caste structure are worth exploring in more depth. Then there is the Nadia the quant, both this and the futuristic communication in combination with the world-building is quite fascinating.

What it comes down to in the end is rich people vs poor people and the ex-rich who want to be rich again, because they hate being poor. Oh and girlfriend and boyfriend trouble. Nothing too complex. Again, such a contradiction in the mixture of ideas. A bit like creating a complex void structure and then filling it completely with candy floss.

Even in the future the young still seek a high and spend all their time worrying about their love lives. So much for advanced technology and spectacular development. I shouldn’t be surprised by the fact humans will always be shallow entities no matter how many centuries into the future.

Buy The Thousandth Floor at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.

The Crown by Keira Cass

The CrownThis is part #5 of The Selection series and again I have to say I can totally understand why the series is popular with younger readers.

I’m not sure how it gets away with the YA sub-genre title though, because for me it is written in a middle-grade way. The whole style, vibe and even the names of the characters. Making them up as she goes along and just adding random letters together.

It’s infantile and something I would expect from a newbie. Oh hey Mr Blobby its Mr Coddly. It’s detrimental to the story.  I have said this before though about this particular author and her writing in this series.

In this book Eadlyn has to step up to the plate and become the ruler she will eventually become anyway. She does try to connect to the people, bless her little heart. Of course being a dab hand at politics and communication is in direct contradiction to the selection going on for her future spouse.

The few that are left are dropping like flies, so the final choice is just around the corner. Watch out for the underdog sneaking through the royal bushes is all I’m going to say.

The premise is more or less the Bachelorette or Bachelor with younger contestants, better clothes and cheesier dialogue. The Crown isn’t on par with the beginning of the series, so perhaps it’s time to lay it to bed. It may just have run its course.

Buy The Crown at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.

Insurgent by Veronica Roth

insurgentAs I have mentioned before I am a little late to the series, despite having the books in the house for ages. I must say I have enjoyed the read then again I am a sucker for dystopian settings.

This is the second part in the Divergent series. You can definitely see the influence this series has had on other books and vice versa. Also the obvious parallels to the Hunger Games (HG was released first). It’s an eclectic mixture of dystopian and sci-fi.

I believe the two series have given YA dystopian literature a huge platform, whilst inspiring many other authors to bend the boundaries of this particular genre.

The Tris in this book is a bit of an emotional wreck. A wet blanket who acts without thinking and spends a lot of time doubting her choices. Gone is the strong sense of survival from the first book.

In my review of the first part I mentioned how I felt the compulsory love match took away from the interesting dystopian plot. In this book their relationship is a wee bit on the rocky side.In fact Four does not seem to understand her at all.Their attitudes and decisions are incompatible, although one could argue that Four has just been really good at hiding his real intentions.

It is a typical in between book. A lot of information to fill in the blanks and set up the last book. The first sets up the story, the second gives us an overall view on the situation and the last one is the culmination of the revolution.

Definitely a series both younger and older readers will enjoy

Buy Insurgent at Amazon UK or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.

Read Divergent, the first in the Divergent Trilogy series by Veronica Roth.