We've all read a book and instantly thought, oh my god this would be amazing on the big screen, I have read so many I would love to see as a TV show or movie. I know in the past some book to movie adaptions haven't been the best. But, I still like to dream that some of these books would be amazing on a screen. Plus, they would have to pick the right people for each character so-
I have a list that includes series and standalones. Let me know in the comments what you would like to see adapted.
The Winner's Trilogy by Marie Rutkoski.
I would love this as a TV show, it would be kind of like Game Of Thrones but for YA fans. Just think about how amazing this series would be on the TV with all the world building and the drama and just so much more!!
The Winner's Curse
The Winner's Crime
The Winner's Kiss
Uprooted by Naomi Novik
This book, this bloody amazing, fantastic book. I would love this as a movie but, I know some things would have to be kept out so they would have enough time to get it all in even though I wouldn't mind if this movie was 5+ hours long. It is one of the best fantasy books I have read. It is only a standalone and I'm so sad about that but it ended perfectly and I just miss the characters. If you haven't picked it up you need too, it will change you and I have re-read it about 6 times now.
The Chronicles Of Ixia by Maria V. Snyder
This is one of the first book series I read when I was younger and it really got me into reading. I'm so surprised it never got picked up for a TV Show. It currently has 6 books in the series but, the original 3 are just still my favourite. One of the best fantasy series out there.
The Potion Diaries Trilogy by Amy Alward
This trilogy is so fun and full of laughs, drama, romance, friendship, magic and so much more! I would like it either as a movie or a TV show as I think it would be great as either and I would love to watch this on the tv. Amy has written such a brilliant trilogy and I miss these characters a lot!
The Potion Diaries
The Potion Diaries: Royal Tour
The Potion Diaries: Going Viral
When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon
If you've read this book you would understand why I want this to be a movie. It would be super adorable and hilarious and have so many different elements within it. It is a YA love story that I really, really enjoyed and would love to see it in the cinema so I can see these characters come to life. Also, the people on the cover should play Dimple & Rishi.
Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu
I don't know if I want this as a TV show or Movie. I kind of think of the way Riverdale is would be perfect for this. A kick-ass feminist book needs to be brought to the big screen. It made me feel empowered when reading it and I'm sure it would do the same to others. I think it would be great as watching these young girls stand up for what they believe in and trying to change the system.
Nemesis by Brendan Reichs
This would make a great tv show. It is a drama filled Sci-Fi book. It had loads of twist and turns I wasn't expecting and, there is a sequel on the way. The premise of the book is what got me hooked in the first place. How does she keep dying on her birthday by the same man and then be alive the next day? And no one knows anything about it but, what are people hiding from her? A ya thriller sci-fi that I thoroughly enjoyed and think would be perfect as a tv show.
Final Girls by Riley Sager
If you follow me on social media you know how much I adore this book. I read it earlier this year and I'm still in shock about the story and where it took me. I think, if this was made like Gone Girl it would be a perfect movie. Or, like Big Little Lies about 7 episodes would also be perfect. So much happens in this book that it will keep you on your toes. I adored this thriller and I still just can't get over how much it gripped me from the very beginning and kept me gripped with all the twists.
One Of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus
A YA thriller that is set around 5 high school students when they all are put in detention but, only 4 come out alive. A story about whodunit and trying to figure out if one of them is lying.
I loved this book. It was the perfect YA mystery story. Had all the right elements. All the characters where different from each other but had this one thing that connected them. A film for this one as I think it would be perfect and I think a TV show might drag it out too much but, then again we would get more out of a TV show and I would love to see this on the screen.
Today I have the lovely Lois on my blog today. Lois is a book blogger and she blogs at Loisreadsbooks. She is so lovely and I highly recommend checking out her blog and following her on Twitter.
Hey everyone, I’m Lois, I am just about to turn 20 and I blog over on Loisreadsbooks. On my blog, you can find a variety of things. I join in on the weekly posts such as Goodreads Monday, Top Ten Tuesday and Top 5 Wednesday. I also post regular book reviews and book tags. Occasionally you will see a post or two that show off a bookish DIY or something bookish that I have spent some time designing. I have been blogging for just over a year now! I am so glad I took the chance and created a book blog. I love blogging so much and can’t imagine stopping anytime soon.
I have loved books ever since I learnt to read. My favourite author from my childhood would have to be Roald Dahl. As a child, I used to read his books repeatedly. Matilda was my favourite Roald Dahl book, I related to her so much with her love for reading and how she spent all her time reading. When I started High School, I seemed to stop reading altogether. I picked up the occasional book but didn’t read as much as I used to. During my final year at High School everyone seemed to be talking about the John Green book The Fault in Our Stars. I decided to pick up a copy of the book and give it a read. This sparked my love for reading again and I have been reading as much as I can ever since. Thank goodness for John Green!
I am a big fan of YA books but I also enjoy reading Adult Fiction books every so often. My favourite genres are contemporary, mystery and dystopian. One genre I am not that much of a fan of is the fantasy genre. I am not too sure why but I cannot seem to get into fantasy stories, even though their covers are incredibly beautiful! My favourite book from the past year is On the Other Side by Carrie Hope Fletcher. After finishing the book, I recommended it to everyone I know that reads as well as spoke about it non-stop on my blog. I was lucky enough to meet Carrie Hope Fletcher at the beginning of September this year and I am still star struck.
Blogging is one of my favourite things to do. Whenever I have a spare couple of hours you will find me on my laptop writing a new blog post. Or, curled up with a notebook writing blog post ideas and to-do lists for the blog. I love being part of a community of people who all share a love for reading and books. Everyone in the book blogging community is lovely and cares deeply about books and promoting books for the author and publisher. There is nothing better in my opinion than reading a book and being able to recommend it to a bunch of book lovers.
I can’t write this without mentioning a few of my favourite bloggers:
· Zuky @ Book Bum – on her blog you can find a bunch of book reviews of mystery books, as well as weekly posts and tags! I have been a fan of her blog for a while and Zuky is such a lovely person!
· Jess @ Beaucoupbooks – on Jess’s blog again you will find a lot of book reviews, weekly posts, tags and fun posts. I have loved Jess’s blog for a long time now and she a wonderful person too!
Thank you so much to Beth for letting me be a guest on her blog! It means a lot and is wonderful to see bloggers helping bloggers! This has been such a fun post to write! I hope you didn’t mind my rambling too much. You can find me on my blog at Loisreadsbooks or via my Twitter @Loisreadsbooks! Happy Reading!
Is it really to early to start talking about books coming out in 2018?!
So many exciting books have been announced for 2018 and usually, I don't want time to go too fast but, I need these books in my life. I have been lucky to receive some proofs of books coming out in 2018 but, these are the books that I need in my life now and I can't wait for them.
What books coming out in 2018 are you excited for?
Of course I want to be like them. They're beautiful as blades forged in some divine fire. They will live forever.
And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest. I hate him more than all the others. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe.
One terrible morning, Jude and her sisters see their parents murdered in front of them. The terrifying assassin abducts all three girls to the world of Faerie, where Jude is installed in the royal court but mocked and tormented by the Faerie royalty for being mortal. As Jude grows older, she realises that she will need to take part in the dangerous deceptions of the fey to ever truly belong.
But the stairway to power is fraught with shadows and betrayal. And looming over all is the infuriating, arrogant and charismatic Prince Cardan . . .
Dramatic and thrilling fantasy blends seamlessly with enthralling storytelling to create a fully realised and seductive world, brimful of magic and romance.
2/1/18 - BUY HERE
Maya Aziz dreams of being a film maker in New York. Her family have other ideas. They want her to be a dutiful daughter who wears gold jewellery and high heels and trains to be a doctor. But jewellery and heels are so uncomfortable . . .
She's also caught between the guy she SHOULD like and the guy she DOES like. But she doesn't want to let Kareem down and things with Phil would never work out anyway. Would they?
Then a suicide bomber who shares her last name strikes in a city hundreds of miles away and everything changes . .
16/1/18 - BUY HERE
The old world is dead. But what will rise from its ashes? A brand-new tale of revolution and betrayal among the stars set in the world of Red Rising. It has been ten years since the events of MORNING STAR and the worlds are still in turmoil. Mustang governs the fledgling Solar Republic as Sovereign, with her partner Darrow serving as ArchPraetor of the military. Darrow conquers Mercury, which forces the Gold loyalist forces back to their last remaining holdout: Venus. Beyond the Asteroid Belt, the Rim Empire rebuilds their worlds in the wake of their rebellion against the former Sovereign and waits for the time to strike at the Core.Darrow will learn that the sins of his past are not forgotten and 'the bill comes at the end'.
16/1/18 - BUY HERE
Six months after the end of Wintersong, Liesl is working toward furthering both her brother's and her own musical careers. Although she is determined to look forward and not behind, life in the world above is not as easy as Liesl had hoped. Her younger brother Josef is cold, distant, and withdrawn, while Liesl can't forget the austere young man she left beneath the earth, and the music he inspired in her.
When troubling signs arise that the barrier between worlds is crumbling, Liesl must return to the Underground to unravel the mystery of life, death, and the Goblin King-who he was, who he is, and who he will be. What will it take to break the old laws once and for all? What is the true meaning of sacrifice when the fate of the world-or the ones Liesl loves-is in her hands?
30/1/18 - BUY HERE
Once, in the desert country of Miraji, there was a Sultan without an heir. The heir had been killed by his own brother, the treacherous Rebel Prince, who was consumed by jealousy and sought the throne for himself. Or so it was said by some. There were others who said that the Rebel Prince was not a traitor but a hero... In the final battle for the throne, Amani must fight for everything she believes in, but with the rebellion in pieces, and the Sultan's armies advancing across the desert plains, who will lead, who will triumph, who will live and who will die?
1/2/18 - BUY HERE
When I was wild, you were steady . . .
Now you are wild - what am I?
Eden McKinley knows she can't count on much in this world, but she can depend on Bonnie, her solid, steady, straight-A best friend. So it's a bit of a surprise when Bonnie runs away with the boyfriend Eden knows nothing about five days before the start of their GCSEs. Especially when the police arrive on her doorstep and Eden finds out that the boyfriend is actually their music teacher, Mr Cohn.
Sworn to secrecy and bound by loyalty, only Eden knows Bonnie's location, and that's the way it has to stay. There's no way she's betraying her best friend. Not even when she's faced with police questioning, suspicious parents and her own growing doubts.
As the days pass and things begin to unravel, Eden is forced to question everything she thought she knew about the world, her best friend and herself.
8/2/18 - BUY HERE
Zelie Adebola remembers when the soil of Orisha hummed with magic. Burners ignited flames, Tiders beckoned waves, and Zelie's Reaper mother summoned forth souls.
But everything changed the night magic disappeared. Under the orders of a ruthless king, maji were targeted and killed, leaving Zelie without a mother and her people without hope.
Now Zelie has one chance to bring back magic and strike against the monarchy. With the help of a rogue princess, Zelie must outwit and outrun the crown prince, who is hell-bent on eradicating magic for good.
Danger lurks in Orisha, where snow leoponaires prowl, and vengeful spirits wait in the waters. Yet the greatest danger may be Zelie herself as she struggles to control her powers - and her growing feelings for an enemy.
8/3/18 - BUY HERE
Izzy O'Neill here! Impoverished orphan, aspiring comedian and Slut Extraordinaire, if the gossip sites are anything to go by . . .
Izzy never expected to be eighteen and internationally reviled. But when explicit photos involving her, a politician's son and a garden bench are published online, the trolls set out to take her apart. Armed with best friend Ajita and a metric ton of nachos, she tries to laugh it off - but as the daily slut-shaming intensifies, she soon learns the way the world treats teenage girls is not okay. It's the Exact Opposite of Okay.
8/3/18 - BUY HERE
Kady, Ezra, Hanna and Nik narrowly escaped with their lives from the attacks on Heimdall station and now find themselves crammed with 2,000 refugees on the container ship, Mao. With the jump station destroyed and their resources scarce, the only option is to return to Kerenza--but who knows what they'll find seven months after the invasion?
Meanwhile, Kady's cousin, Asha, survived the initial BeiTech assault and has joined Kerenza's ragtag underground resistance. When Rhys - an old flame from Asha's past - reappears on Kerenza, the two find themselves on opposite sides of the conflict. With time running out, a final battle will be waged on land and in space, heroes will fall and hearts will be broken.
13/3/18 - BUY HERE
*I am neither monster nor man - yet I am both. I am the Beast. I know why I was cursed; I know the legacy of evil I carry in my tainted blood. So how could she ever love me? My Isabeau. She opened my eyes, my mind and my heart when I was struggling just to be human. And now I might lose her forever. Lose yourself in this gorgeously rich and magical retelling of The Beauty and the Beast that finally lays bare the beast's heart.
3/5/18 - BUY HERE
Beyond the Empire and within it, the threat of war looms ever larger.
The Blood Shrike, Helene Aquilla, is assailed on all sides. Emperor Marcus, haunted by his past, grows increasingly unstable, while the Commandant capitalizes on his madness to bolster her own power. As Helene searches for a way to hold back the approaching darkness, her sister’s life and the lives of all those in the Empire hang in the balance.
Far to the east, Laia of Serra knows the fate of the world lies not in the machinations of the Martial court, but in stopping the Nightbringer. But while hunting for a way to bring him down, Laia faces unexpected threats from those she hoped would aid her, and is drawn into a battle she never thought she’d have to fight.
And in the land between the living and the dead, Elias Veturius has given up his freedom to serve as Soul Catcher. But in doing so, he has vowed himself to an ancient power that will stop at nothing to ensure Elias’s devotion—even at the cost of his humanity.
I know we are only at the start of October but, I am already excited for October and Halloween and books! These are 5 books I cannot wait to pick up in October.
Over a year after her parents sent her away from Hawaii to live with her grandmother in landlocked Nebraska, Makani Young is still adjusting to her new life. She's made a small group of close friends and even flirted with romance, but her past in Hawaii is still hard to forget.
And then . . . one by one the students of her new high school begin to die in a series of gruesome murders. Makani doesn't know who's next on the list. Between this, and a secret scorching relationship with the school weirdo, this school year may turn out to be one to die for . . . literally.
The greatest love story ever told doesn't feature kissing in the snow or racing to airports. It features pain and confusion and hope and wonder and a ban on cheesy cliches. Oh, and zombies...YA star Holly Bourne tackles real love in this hugely funny and poignant novel.
Enter the Wundrous world of Morrigan Crow and Nevermoor - the most fantastical children's debut of the year.Morrigan Crow is cursed. Having been born on Eventide, the unluckiest day of the year, she's blamed for all local misfortunes, from hailstorms to heart attacks - and, worst of all, the curse means that Morrigan is doomed to die at midnight on her eleventh birthday. But as Morrigan awaits her fate, a strange and remarkable man named Jupiter North appears. Chased by black-smoke hounds and shadowy hunters on horseback, he whisks her away to the safety of a secret, magical city called Nevermoor. It's then that Morrigan discovers Jupiter wants her to contend for a place in the city's most prestigious organisation: the Wundrous Society. In order to join, she must compete in four difficult and dangerous trials against hundreds of other children, each boasting an extraordinary talent that sets them apart - an extraordinary talent that Morrigan insists she does not have. To stay in the safety of Nevermoor for good, Morrigan will need to find a way to pass the tests - otherwise she'll have to leave and confront her deadly fate once and for all.
Two girls, one fatal reading . . . because the truth always lies in the cards
Skye's mother believes she has 'the gift' - the opportunity to see the future. Skye however can only see the opportunity to make money - and happily fleeces her gullible classmates into handing over their cash to hear their futures through Skye's wellworn tarot cards. But it's all in a good cause, right? Skye needs to save her hardearned cash to go to New York with her best mate Drew.
Then the local mayor's daughter Paige disappears - and Skye has a tip off about her whereabouts. Skye is uncomfortable about the source and masks the tipoff as a vision she has received. But then events get wildly out of control - Paige is found murdered and Skye is a prime suspect . . .
Welcome to real life 2.0.
Are you ready to play?
There are no screens. There are no controls.
You don't just see and hear it - you taste, smell, and touch it too.
In this new reality there are no rules to follow, no laws to break.
You can indulge your every desire.
Why would you ever want to leave?
Step into Otherworld.
Leave your body behind.
I decided to do something different on my blog. Each week on a Tuesday I will be doing a blogger spotlight. Being supportive of other bloggers is the best thing we can do in this community.
So, please welcome Trisha to my blog today!
Hello, hello hello! I’m Trisha from trishajennreads.
And yes, that’s how you write it, all lowercase, all one word. It started as a Twitter handle when my lovely best friend forced me to join Twitter in 2011. A little while after that, I changed my blog name to match.
I’m from Calgary, Canada and aside from blogging about books and writing, I’ve just started to expand into lifestyle posts as well. I spend my days as a communicator and event planner at a university and am also starting my own freelance editing business, trishajennedits. I hope to one day work from home full time helping authors make their picture books and novels even better. I’m planning on focusing on picture books, and YA, fantasy, and romance novels.
Blog, blog, blog.
I’ve been blogging since 2010, but started to focus on it in 2016. My blog started as a way to track my reading and document my thoughts about the books I read. It has evolved a lot since then, into something that is much prettier and more interesting. Now, I blog because I enjoy discussing books, recommending books, and reviewing books. Basically, I like helping other readers discover the books they might enjoy. And, I love discovering new books and authors too!
My favourite books that I’ve read this year are:
- When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon
- The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Abertalli
- The Hating Game by Sally Thorne
If you can’t tell, I love romantic comedies. These three books are books that I know I will read over and over again (I’ve already read The Hating Game twice this year!).
My two favourite tropes are enemies-to-lovers romance, and a friends-to-lovers romance. This might be one of the reasons why my all-time favourite book is Pride & Prejudice. I love that book so much that my husband proposed with it!
Trisha’s husband proposed by carving a heart in a pink edition of Pride and Prejudice. Go ahead and ask her to tell you the story of how he snuck the book onto her bookshelf and tricked her into picking it up and opening it – she loves telling that story!
Trisha and her husband got married on a lovely autumn day and included pages from Jane Austen novels as paper roses in the bouquet, and pennant banners in the décor.
The book blogging community is so much fun. Everyone is so nice! Thank you so much to Beth for profiling bloggers on your blog and for letting me be a part of it. :)
Some of the lovely bloggers I’ve been able to get to know are Katelyn at Books & Bottles Blog who blogs about book and wine pairings (she’s also on Instagram and I’ve had the pleasure to meet her in person to chat books!) and Kristilyn at Reading In Winter (who is an Alberta girl too!). Another wonderful Canadian blogger is Jessica at Paper Trail Diary, she’s based in the fun city of Toronto and blogs about books and crafts and runs a fun notebook and pen exchange.
Blogging is a social activity!
If you would like to check out my blog, take a stroll over to trishajennreads.com. You can also find me on Facebook at trishajennreads, on Twitter @trishajennreads, on Instagram @trishajennreads, and on Pinterest @trishajennreads. I really like puppies too, so feel free to share puppy memes with me along with your book recommendations!
Fun fact: my blog logo is based on my actual reading glasses. That’s right, at 26 I was prescribed reading glasses because I spend so much time reading books and using my computer (to read and write)
Lorraine lives in Devon, not far from the Atlantic Ocean. She has an Honours degree in English & European Literature and, before writing full-time, had a highly-chequered career which included time in the WRAF; eight years of teaching English to 11-18 year olds (during which time she was Head of VIth form English); experience in various areas of the Business world; MD of her own company organising business events and international conferences around the UK; and, latterly, TEFL (teaching English as a foreign language).
Writing in one form or another has been an integral part of her working life since graduation, from educational curriculums, coursework and reports, to PR and a range of marketing material, to speaker profiles and programmes for international conferences, and various consultancy projects. In any breathing space between these commitments, she has always scribbled – a diary, short stories and multiple ideas for novels which she dreamed of making a reality one day.
Lorraine has always believed in the importance of reading for everyone and, especially, young people. She sees it as an invaluable means of not only increasing knowledge, awareness, imagination and sensitivity but also as a wonderful line of escape to other worlds!
Her interests are, primarily, all animals, wildlife and the natural world, then walking, reiki, Baroque music, and Italy. Oh – and she is, of course, a voracious reader!
1 My debut YA novel
Mary Darling sprang from nowhere. I grew up with strays because my mother fed anything and everything that came to her needing food and love. So I learnt the value of the wildlife and animal world very early and realised how much animals are used, abused and exploited by human beings. This became even clearer as I got older and read about the greed and cruelty of humans towards both the small and our larger, iconic animals in terms of poaching for ivory, trophy hunting, bear bile, the dog meat industry, and practices like bullfighting, use of donkeys in cruel and inhuman ways, animals in circuses and many other forms of cruel entertainment for human enjoyment. Then, when I was teaching, I saw how children young and older reacted to animals, what a difference it made (I even , with the permission of the Headmaster, took my dog into the classroom on one or two occasions and saw the difference it made) and, of course, it has been shown many times that animals have a definite therapeutic value in all sorts of areas of health and social need. Yet they are still not respected but used and abused so much and in so many ways.
I’ve always wanted to write, always scribbled odds and ends, ideas for short stories and novels and then, out of the blue came the idea for a novel about all my favourite ingredients, the importance of animals, the power of magic, healing and other gifts that can be used to change the relationship between animals and humans – and the power of young adults, as the adults of tomorrow, to change the world! But they have to know about the challenge first! And so came Mary because the novel is also about loneliness and the goodness inside people, regardless of their appearance or apparent lack of status in this world that is so concerned with superficiality; and Mary is so lonely and alone at the beginning of the novel – and by the end of it, when she has embarked upon her mission, when love and a completely unexpected and genuine friendship have both taken her by surprise, her life is so different!
So it’s essentially a novel about the importance and value of the animal world and the relationship between human beings and animals. But it’s also about other values: about real friendship, love, loyalty, truth, respect and hope. Oh – and the value of dreams!
I have planned two sequels which continue Mary’s battle to save the animal world from cruelty and extinction but I am waiting to see if they are likely to be wanted . . .
2 What do you love about writing?
The freedom to explore, imagine, create and to live in another world. I particularly love the moment in which the characters spring to life and take over the story, I feel it immediately and just let them have their heads!
3 Who inspires you?
An underdog with courage. Anyone who battles against the odds. Power struggles. Eccentrics.
In terms of writers: Paulo Coelho, Tolkien, C S Lewis, Stephen King, Philip Pullman, Eva Ibbotson, Frances Hardinge.
4 Have you read anything lately you’ve just loved?
Two books, completely different in character, one fiction, one non-fiction: Frances Hardinge – (YA) The Lie Tree. This was the Costa Book of the year in 2015 and I found it completely unputdownable. One of the relatively few books that I was reading in bed, well into the early hours. “Brilliant: dark, thrilling, utterly original, ” says Patrick Ness on the cover and I totally agree. I wish I had written it! So different, such a leap of the imagination. I loved it. Yanis Varoufakis - Adults in the Room. As Finance Minister of Greece, Professor Varoufakis attempted to renegotiate his country’s relationship with the EU and this is a compelling account of what goes on in the European corridors of power. It is a weighty book, dense with layers of meaning and has to be read slowly with care if you don’t want to miss any of the nuances of perception as Professor Varoufakis is an extremely interesting, clever and erudite man. I am not a political person and this is not my usual type of reading for relaxation but it was utterly fascinating. It made my mind work really hard especially in the parts dealing with economics and political analysis as neither is my subject, but I was fascinated by Machiavelli in my Italian subsidiary at university and I believe in stretching the mind, so the accounts of political manipulation and chicanery in this were instructive, extraordinary and yet strangely entertaining.
Mary Darling, L M d'Mello's eponymous protagonist, was abandoned on hospital steps at birth and spent most of her early years living in care. Things start to look up for her when she is adopted by Tom and Susan, a caring couple who lost their own daughter in an accident. Tom and Susan do their best to make Mary happy, however school bullies are making her life wretched, until an expected ally emerges. Mary's life is transformed when she discovers that she has unusual and powerful supernatural abilities that she can use to understand and heal animals. She begins a fight to save the animal world from cruelty and extinction, and as her powers mature throughout the books in the trilogy, she must defeat increasingly dangerous enemies, making discoveries about her own abilities along the way. The book ends with Mary discovering that she is to be an animal ambassador and must take on powerful individuals and organisations around the world. L M d'Mello's debut book explores the importance of animal welfare, a subject that is increasingly highlighted by the media as a result of high-profile individuals, including the Duke of Cambridge and Ricky Gervais, speaking out against trophy hunting and poaching. Mary Darling draws from L M d'Mello's own involvement with animal charities, and will appeal to animal welfare organisations. It will be enjoyed by readers aged 12-16 years.
We both enjoy love stories, but the relationship at the heart of the books we’ve been writing for the last couple of years is one between two siblings. Although both our main character, Merry, and her brother, Leo, have romantic entanglements, it’s their relationship with each other which provides the framework for our trilogy. Through The Witch’s Kiss and The Witch’s Tears Merry and Leo take care of each other, save each other, misunderstand each other, fall out and make up. They argue about boyfriends, share ice-cream and fight bad guys together. In The Witch’s Blood (out next March) they’ll face even more challenges. One thing we can say for sure is that they will want to face those challenges together.
Why do we love writing about siblings so much? Partly it’s because we’ve always been very close. We agree with Jane Austen that there’s something unique about the sibling relationship which isn’t replicated by even the closest friendship: ‘Children of the same family, the same blood, with the same first associations and habits, have some means of enjoyment in their power, which no subsequent connections can supply; and it must be by a long and unnatural estrangement, by a divorce which no subsequent connection can justify, if such a precious remains of the earliest attachments are ever entirely outlived.’ (Mansfield Park)
But partly, it’s wish fulfilment. Much as we love each other, we’ve always wished we had a big brother too, so Leo is really our fantasy sibling. And yes, if we had the technology to create a Leo android, we totally would!
Here are some other fictional brothers we think would be perfect sidekicks for any YA heroine.
Hector Delos (Starcrossed Trilogy, Josephine Angelini)
Hector is ultra-protective of his younger siblings, Jason and Ariadne. Plus, he is super-strong and can breathe underwater, so he would be an excellent big brother if you had to save the world from invasion by giant deep-sea dwelling monsters.
Eomer (The Lord of the Rings, JRR Tolkien)
Eomer comes across as a pretty traditional guy. He probably doesn’t really understand his sister’s terrible fear of being put ‘behind bars, until use and old age accept them’. But he does try to protect Eowyn
from the lecherous Wormtongue, and when he thinks she’s died at the battle of the Pelennor Fields, he’s almost overthrown by grief. Best big brother to ride into battle with.
Edmund (The Chronicles of Narnia, CS Lewis)
Maybe not the obvious choice. But we think Edmund – after his experience with the White Witch, of course – would be a much more understanding big brother than the rather too perfect Peter. He’s quite forgiving of Eustace in The Voyage of The Dawn Treader, and we’d like to think he’d excuse any sisterly bad behaviour in the same way.
Fred and George Weasley (Harry Potter, JK Rowling)
All the Weasley boys are good older brother material – even Percy’s heart is back in the right place by the end of the series. But Fred and George are by far and away the most fun. With the twins around it would be impossible to be sad for long.
Alec Lightwood (The Mortal Instruments, Cassandra Clare)
Like Eomer, Alex would be a good choice if you needed a brother to fight at your side, but he also seems like someone you could discuss boyfriends with (despite his horror whenever he sees Izzy in a compromising position with Simon). Best big brother if your fictional adventure involves destroying demons.
Henry Tilney (Northanger Abbey, Jane Austen)
Henry is amusing, loves reading novels, and he’s happy to go shopping with his sister to help her choose dress fabric. The perfect big brother if you just want to hang out for the day.
Can true love's kiss save the day...?
Electrifying dark magic debut by authors and sisters, Katharine and Elizabeth Corr.
Sixteeen-year-old Meredith is fed-up with her feuding family and feeling invisible at school - not to mention the witch magic that shoots out of her fingernails when she's stressed. Then sweet, sensitive Jack comes into her life and she falls for him hard. The only problem is that he is periodically possessed by a destructive centuries-old curse.
Meredith has lost her heart, but will she also lose her life? Or in true fairytale tradition, can true love's kiss save the day?
Originally from Chicago, Julia Ember now resides in Edinburgh, Scotland. She spends her days working in the book trade and her nights writing teen fantasy novels. Her hobbies include riding horses, starting far too many craft projects, PokemonGo and looking after her city-based menagerie of pets with names from Harry Potter. Luna Lovegood and Sirius Black the cats currently run her life.
Julia is a polyamorous, bisexual writer. She regularly takes part in events for queer teens. A world traveler since childhood, she has now visited more than sixty countries. Her travels inspire the fantasy worlds she creates, though she populates them with magic and monsters.
Julia began her writing career at the age of nine, when her short story about two princesses and their horses won a contest in Touch magazine. In 2016, she published her first novel, Unicorn Tracks, which also focused on two girls and their equines, albeit those with horns. Her second novel, The Seafarer’s Kiss will be released by Interlude Press in May 2017. The book was heavily influenced by Julia’s postgraduate work in Medieval Literature at The University of St. Andrews. It is now responsible for her total obsession with beluga whales.
In August 2017, her third novel and the start of her first series, Tiger's Watch, will come out with Harmony Ink Press. In writing Tiger's Watch, Julia has taken her love of cats to a new level.
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Managing Writing, Chronic Illness and a Full-time Job
When I first suggested this post as a topic, I thought I would write a list of helpful hints and tips. Then I realised I am literally the worst at following my own advice. My personal management style has been more survival than true management. This post is going to be as much about what not to do as advice to follow; one author’s rumination on things she’s tried and how she’s going to do better (maybe).
I started writing with the goal of publication in 2014, after a several year hiatus from creative writing while I was in graduate school. I started working fulltime in early 2015, got my contract for Unicorn Tracks around the same time, and have since then published three books. I’ve suffered from both depression and anxiety since high school, both of which have been cyclical to an extent – striking with a force for a year, then remitting, then striking again. But in graduate school, I was also diagnosed with diabetes. At first, the doctors assumed it was type 2 because I was overweight, despite a long family history of relatives developing type 1 in their thirties. Type 1 affects your immune system. This year, after a series of infections, including shingles in my eyes, chronic joint pain and persistent visual aura migraines, I’ve also been diagnosed with MS.
If I’m honest with myself, my typical work week is about 55 hours. I work full time in the book industry, as a sales manager for a large Edinburgh based distributor. I have fairly typical hours there, 9-5 with occasional trade shows on weekends. In the evenings and weekends, I write, catch up on promotional things and manage my social media accounts. I struggle to be alone without working. When I have plans with others, it’s fairly easy for me to switch off. But when I’m alone, with a computer or a means of working, it’s hard for me to switch off and do something else. Even when I’m tired and I know I should crawl into bed and watch Netflix, when I know I have a lot to do and I’m not making progress my anxiety spikes. I know how unhealthy this is, and yet I can’t stop.
Sometimes, it takes living on the brink of exhaustion to learn your limits. I’ve learned mine this year. Releasing two books, in separate, new series, within the space of a summer, has been too much and has really taken its toll on my mental/physical health. I’ve learned that currently, with the amount I work outside of writing, I can’t realistically handle two launches in four months. When I came back from RTCon in Atlanta, after the launch of The Seafarer’s Kiss, I was ready to take a break. Knowing I couldn’t and reorganising myself to launch The Tiger’s Watch, has been one of the most draining experiences of my life. I think it’s important for authors to be honest that launching a book can take a huge mental toll. The rush and work of edits, the excitement and adrenaline that hit prior to launch, the lull that comes after, dealing with criticism … all of this drains your resources to cope. If you have a chronic illness, this is magnified. If you have deadlines for other projects at the same time, this already high level of stress just increases. I learned this year that I need time to recover after a launch.
I’m now trying to establish better working habits and boundaries for myself. Here is a list of things I’m trying to do, with varying success because often my workaholic brain takes over and I neglect these new rituals:
1) Learn to take actual holidays. In 2016 and 2017, I have used 80% of my holiday days on writing conferences. As an author, when I go to conferences, I go to work and to promote, not to relax. For 2018, my partner and I have already agreed that our big trip will be to Japan. I have allocated 60% of my holiday days to this trip already, and it will be an actual break.
2) Structured social media time. Social media can be a problem for me. On the one hand, I have published with small presses so far, and I know that having an active social media presence is therefore important to the sales of my books. But on the other, I think social media promotions have a diminishing returns factor. You can do too much. One or two teasers are great. People love them. By the time you get to the fifth – are people really paying attention anymore? Have they already pre-ordered the book? I’m trying to be better about allocating myself small windows for Twitter, and being conscious when I’ve probably reached all my followers and have reached the limit of what I can do.
3) Sleep more. I need 9-10 hours of sleep a night. This has increased with my illnesses, to the point where if I get 6-7 hours of sleep for more than one night in a row, I can almost guarantee that I’m going to get sick.
4) Take my medication. This seems like it should be obvious, but I know many writers who choose to come off their antidepressants or anti-anxiety medication because they believe it hampers their creativity. I think that this is true for me to an extent – I don’t have the same wild productivity spirts while medicated because my anxiety isn’t spurring them. However, I am able to make more gradual, consistent progress. If you’re prescribed medication for a condition – take it!
5) Do at least one thing a day for self-care. This could be anything away from my computer, like read a paperback in the bath, go for a walk, take a long country drive. Anything that gets me away from my computer and the temptation to work or go on social media.
6) Work on my internalized ableism. This one is probably the hardest to talk about, but I know that I have a lot of internalized ableism toward myself. I think this is common, and certainly is an experience that my spoonie friends relate to. It’s very hard to overcome the societal stigma that tells you you’re useless if you can’t work. Even if you would never think this about other people, changing your way of thinking about yourself is much more insidious. I am trying to being more mindful and remind myself of things I love about myself, that have nothing to do with success while working.
7) Know what distracts you in times of serious stress. One of my techniques for stress management (and I don’t know how healthy this is tbh, but it works) is obsession diversion. If I’m feeling overwhelmed with promotion and starting to obsess over it, I move onto something I can easily get hooked on. For me, this usually means starting a computer game. I get very easily invested in online worlds and sometimes the only way to distract myself from one social platform is to engage with another.
For those of you who also manage fulltime work with writing and illness, I am curious about how you manage. I think as a community, we can only start to help each other when people become more honest about their struggles. This post has been about mine, and coming to terms with my limits. I wish I had more perfect solutions to offer, but like any approach to wellness, people who claim to have all the answers usually don’t.
After a savage attack drives her from her home, sixteen-year-old Mnemba finds a place in her cousin Tumelo’s successful safari business, where she quickly excels as a guide. Surrounding herself with nature and the mystical animals inhabiting the savannah not only allows Mnemba’s tracking skills to shine, it helps her to hide from the terrible memories that haunt her.
Mnemba is employed to guide Mr. Harving and his daughter, Kara, through the wilderness as they study Unicorns. The young women are drawn to each other, despite that fact that Kara is betrothed. During their research, they discover a conspiracy by a group of poachers to capture the Unicorns and exploit their supernatural strength to build a railway. Together, they must find a way to protect the creatures Kara adores while resisting the love they know they can never indulge.
Having long-wondered what lives beyond the ice shelf, nineteen-year-old mermaid Ersel learns of the life she wants when she rescues and befriends Ragna, a shield-maiden stranded on the mermen’s glacier. But when Ersel’s childhood friend and suitor catches them together, he gives Ersel a choice: say goodbye to Ragna or face justice at the hands of the glacier’s brutal king.
Determined to forge a different fate, Ersel seeks help from Loki. But such deals are never as one expects, and the outcome sees her exiled from the only home and protection she’s known. To save herself from perishing in the barren, underwater wasteland and be reunited with the human she’s come to love, Ersel must try to outsmart the God of Lies.
Sixteen-year-old Tashi has spent their life training as an inhabiter, a soldier who spies and kills using a bonded animal. When the capital falls after a brutal siege, Tashi flees to a remote monastery to hide. But when the invading army turns the monastery into a hospital, Tashi catches the eye of Xian, the regiment’s fearless young commander.
Tashi spies on Xian’s every move. In front of his men, Xian seems dangerous, even sadistic, but Tashi sees a more vulnerable side of the enemy commander – a side that draws them to Xian.
When their spying reveals that everything the inhabiter's academy taught was a lie, Tashi faces a choice: save their country or the boy they've started to love? But while Tashi grapples with the decision, their volatile bonded tiger doesn't question her allegiances. Katala slaughters Xian’s soldiers, leading the enemy to hunt her. But an inhabiter’s bond to their animal is for life – when Katala dies, so will Tashi.
Crossing Borders: Writing The Jungle Pooja Puri
Earlier this year, the UK government announced its decision to end the Dubs Amendment. Like many, I too was disappointed by the verdict. The closure of the Calais refugee camp, more infamously known as ‘The Jungle’, resulted in a large number of young people being displaced onto the streets. The site had been the focus of much debate in recent years and its closure came under intense media scrutiny. The process was distressing to witness. Residents walked away from makeshift homes, belongings in hand. Others clashed with police in a desperate attempt to keep the lives they had created. They had all come here hoping for a second chance. Instead they found themselves moving onto a path of yet more uncertainty.
Such images, of course, are not unique to ‘The Jungle’. The war in Syria has driven countless people from their homes. Many now find themselves in refugee camps in neighbouring countries. Others continue to brave the journey across the sea to Europe in the hope of making a better life for themselves.
I was initially driven to write The Jungle after reading an article about the discovery of a body on the Norwegian coast. A young man had bought himself a wetsuit in the hope of swimming across the Channel. The thought of the courage and desperation involved in making such a decision really stayed with me. I began researching more about the camp. The more I read, the more I realised how young some of its residents were. I saw many harrowing accounts of boys, too young to be called men, attempting to jump a train in order to reach England. One had seen his cousin killed before his eyes. Others were badly injured. And yet each of them spoke of their future with hope. They had come this far, after all. They would try again. They would keep trying.
It was this most human determination which stood out for me whilst writing the story. When ‘The Jungle’ was first created it was little more than a clutch of tents. When it closed in 2016, it had grown into a society complete with shops and food stalls. The residents had endeavoured to create for themselves some semblance of normality. Nothing epitomized this idea more than a photograph of a group of young boys playing football between a cluster of muddied tents. With their futures so uncertain, they had taken control in the only way they could – through a game of football.
Although the camp has now closed, the futures of these young people remain largely unknown. Earlier this year, aid organisations reported that refugees, particularly unaccompanied minors, were returning to Calais. Many have taken to sleeping rough on the streets, yet media coverage has noticeably lessened since the camp’s closure. In our current fast-paced technological climate, it is increasingly easy to become desensitized to the stories we see or hear on media outlets.
That is why, I believe, books are so important. They do not allow us to forget. They do not let us switch to another channel or click away. Instead, they make us confront these realities. They allow us to ask questions. The power of imagination should not be underestimated. It can help us cross borders – to fully understand that those caught up in this terrible situation, young and old alike, are no different to us.
There was a story Jahir used to tell me. About how the first humans were born with wings. Can you imagine what that would be like? To fly anywhere in the world without worrying about having the right papers? Mico has left his family, his home, his future. Setting out in search of a better life, he instead finds himself navigating one of the world's most inhospitable environments - the Jungle. For Mico, just one of many 'unaccompanied children', the Calais refugee camp has a wildness, a brutality all of its own. A melting pot of characters, cultures, and stories, the Jungle often seems like its own strange world. But despite his ambitions to escape, Mico is unable to buy his way out from the 'Ghost Men' - the dangerous men with magic who can cross borders unnoticed. Alone, desperate, and running out of options, the idea of jumping onto a speeding train to the UK begins to feel worryingly appealing. But when Leila arrives at the camp one day, everything starts to change. Outspoken, gutsy, and fearless, she shows Mico that hope and friendship can grow in the most unusual places, and maybe, just maybe, they'll show you the way out as well.
Today I am very excited to have the wonderful Amy Alward on the blog with a guest post. Her new book, The Potion Diaries: Going Viral came out yesterday and, if you haven't started this trilogy yet DO IT! This is the last book and it was absolutely brilliant!
FIVE PLACES I WROTE THE POTION DIARIES: GOING VIRAL
Standing at the top of the active Villaricca volcano in Chile, lava bubbling away at my feet, all I could think was… get me a piece of paper and a pen, so I can write down this experience for my next book!
Of course… I didn’t actually get to write anything while at the top of the volcano – I had to wait until I’d walked (or, in some parts – slid!) down the mountain to get back to town, where my trusty notebook was waiting. The words flew onto the page after that! If you read Going Viral, you’ll be able to guess exactly what chapters I wrote in that café in Pucon…
Travel has always formed a big part of my writing experience – and nowhere is this more evident than in The Potion Diaries: Going Viral. It also means that while travelling, I got to explore some of the world’s greatest coffee shops-turned-offices-from-home! Here are some of the favourite places I wrote Sam Kemi’s adventures:
1) Café de la P, Pucon, Chile
Pucon is the small town at the base of the Villaricca volcano, and the population almost triples during the summer because of all the amazing outdoor activities around! I ordered ‘tea with milk’ at a small café in town while jotting down some of the volcano scenes in Going Viral, and ended up with a peppermint teabag in a bowl of milk froth. Not exactly what I was hoping for, but got some good words down anyway!
2) El Ateneo Grand Splendid bookstore, Argentina
In the running for one of the most beautiful bookstores in the world, El Ateneo is a converted old theatre. An absolutely stunning and inspiring place to write, the coffee shop is situated on the stage. Delicious coffee, surrounded by books, sitting under a spotlight… not sure what could be better!
3) Borges Y Alvarez, El Calafate, Patagonia, Argentina
This ‘libro-bar’ is quite literally a bar inside a library – making it an uber cool place to write a few words. The town is also famous for its waffles and red wine… an odd combination, but it worked.
4) Guantanamera Yacht, Galapagos
If you check out this ‘Day in a Writing Life’ video from WH Smith’s [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2-QUvvuDCys], you can see that I did a fair amount of work while on board a boat in the Galapagos! Not recommended if you get seasick, but I was so inspired to write about weird and wonderful magical creatures after seeing some of the wildlife of the Galapagos
5) Upper Rideau Lake, Ontario, Canada
For me, nothing beats writing by the lake (or fireside, in the winter time!) at my cottage in Canada. It’s peaceful, surrounded by beautiful trees and wildlife, and yet has all the creature comforts I need – including plenty of coffee! The bulk of Going Viral was written here; a place I was able to take a moment, absorb the months of travel, and translate them into the exciting, whirlwind adventures taken by Sam Kemi and her friends.
I hope you enjoyed reading about some of the places that inspired Going Viral – please feel free to get in touch with me on Twitter (@amy_alward) or on Instagram (@amyalward) to find out more about what (and where) I’m writing next :)
When the Princess of Nova accidentally poisons herself with a love potion meant for her crush, she falls crown-over-heels in lovewith her own reflection. Oops. A nationwide hunt is called to find the cure, with competitors travelling the world for the rarest ingredients, deep in magical forests and frozen tundras, facing death at every turn. Enter Samantha Kemi - an ordinary girl with an extraordinary talent. Sam's family were once the most respected alchemists in the kingdom, but they've fallen on hard times, and winning the hunt would save their reputation. But can Sam really compete with the dazzling powers of the ZoroAster megapharma company? Just how close is Sam willing to get to Zain Aster, her dashing former classmate and enemy, in the meantime? And just to add to the pressure, this quest is ALL OVER social media. And the world news. No big deal, then.
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