Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Guest Post - Grace Coleman, Author of Walking Barefoot



Today I am hosting a guest post from Grace Coleman, the author of Walking Barefoot.




My Third-Life Crisis by Grace Coleman


I recently turned thirty. There is something about traversing a decade that makes you question what you're doing. Whilst I'm lucky in the career I've chosen (it has the unusual perk that I can watch TV and claim 'I'm working'); I can't help but feel like 9 hours a day, 5 days a week, 48 weeks a year is a lot of time spent working so that I can 'live' at the weekend. It's not just me who seems to be having an existential crisis: a lot of my friends are considering a change of direction. Creative lovies chucking it in to go Corporate in search of a better pay cheque. Accountants that have been playing it sensible since graduation quitting without a safety net to take up teaching, or join a start up, or just not-do-what-they've-been-doing-everyday.

An article recently published in the Guardian predicted that my generation will have to work into their seventies, maybe eighties, if we’re to have the same standard of retirement as our parents. Fifty more years of this? Of course I will get a mid-race break if I decide to have children, but it still seems like a rough deal when I look at how technologically advanced we're meant to be becoming. Meeting my partner a little over a year ago and the recent addition of my first nephew just exacerbated the problem – time at work is time away from loved ones.

In the quieter moments of life I search myself for answers. Should I take up meditation and wheatgrass? Do I need to spend more time with my parents – even if I can barely manage a weekend in the family home before itching to return to London? Or is this dull, dissatisfied ache just part of my DNA - as much as a sunny disposition might be part of yours? It's out of this internal tussle that the protagonist of my debut novel – Will Balston was born.

The world he inhabits in Walking Barefoot is a futuristic London, ravaged by war, but unlike traditional dystopian fiction it isn't that different from the city you'd find yourself in today. The truth is that when you turn on the news and see disturbed individuals running trucks into crowds, governments passing laws that will take away our privacy and international relationships to rival the Cold war - dystopian fiction can feel like an outdated genre.

The question that I attempt to unpick in my novel, and would like to see more fiction exploring, is how we should navigate the society we've built. I'm not sure our biological hardwiring is meant for the world we're creating – what will the consequence be? In my melancholy moments I chew this particular piece of fat. I'm yet to find any answers. Instead a poem by Philip Larkin springs to mind, and I smile:

To put one brick upon another, Add a third and then a forth, Leaves no time to wonder whether What you do has any worth.
But to sit with bricks around you While the winds of heaven bawl Weighing what you should or can do Leaves no doubt of it at all.







About Walking Barefoot:




Blurb:

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?




 


Author Bio



I'm a thirty year old Londoner who works in the business side of TV. Writing has always been a part of my life but discipline and distraction are an issue.  When not pretending to be an author or TV hotshot, I like country walks, visiting the zoo and sitting in pubs.


www.gracecoleman.co.uk | @grace05087



Friday, 21 April 2017

Review - The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr




Title: The One Memory of Flora Banks
Author: Emily Barr
Pages: 311
Publisher: Penguin
Release date: 12th December 2016

Blurb from Goodreads:
 
Seventeen-year-old Flora Banks has no short-term memory. Her mind resets itself several times a day, and has since the age of ten, when the tumor that was removed from Flora's brain took with it her ability to make new memories. That is, until she kisses Drake, her best friend's boyfriend, the night before he leaves town. Miraculously, this one memory breaks through Flora's fractured mind, and sticks. Flora is convinced that Drake is responsible for restoring her memory and making her whole again. So when an encouraging email from Drake suggests she meet him on the other side of the world, Flora knows with certainty that this is the first step toward reclaiming her life.

With little more than the words "be brave" inked into her skin, and written reminders of who she is and why her memory is so limited, Flora sets off on an impossible journey to Svalbard, Norway, the land of the midnight sun, determined to find Drake. But from the moment she arrives in the arctic, nothing is quite as it seems, and Flora must "be brave" if she is ever to learn the truth about herself, and to make it safely home.








My Review:

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thanks to Penguin Random House UK Children's and NetGalley*




 Flora Banks is a seventeen-year-old girl who has no short-term memory - the result of a tumour that was removed when she was ten.
But then she kisses Drake at his leaving party and remembers it.
Determined that Drake is the key to restoring her memory, a series of events lead to Flora embarking on a journey to Svalbard where Drake has moved.
Can Flora find Drake with only her notebooks and the writing on her hands to help her?
Will Flora's memory be restored?
Can she have a normal life?


I have mixed feelings about The One Memory of Flora Banks.
On the one hand it was interesting to have a protagonist who couldn't remember everything - talk about an unreliable main character.
However, while I did like Flora and felt sorry for her, I found her naivety annoying at times but it was understandable that she would be childlike given the memory loss after the tumour.
There also wasn't much of a plot - not much happened and things took longer to happen because of Flora's memory loss.
While the idea for this book was interesting and unique, I didn't connect with it.


Overall this was an okay read.


 

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Blog Tour + Giveaway - Quanta Rewind (The Shadow Ravens, #4) by Lola Dodge


Find the tour schedule here.



 
Quanta Rewind (The Shadow Ravens #4) by Lola Dodge
Genre: Dystopian Romance
Release Date: April 25th 2017
Ink Monster Publshing

Summary:


With more and more Red Helixes turning up missing or dead, the Shadow Ravens are ready to take their fight to Doctor Nagi himself.


But breaking into Alpha Citadel is no cakewalk, and Quanta isn’t so sure about this whole “teamwork” thing.


If she and the Ravens can’t learn to work together, no amount of rewinding time will save them from the inevitable.


And if the Seligo win, everyone loses.









Buy links: 












Quanta Rewind Excerpt:

“GUYS!” Dex’s voice boomed across the hangar.
I groaned. He had to mess with us now?
“Get over here,” Knight called. “Now.”
Dex would jerk us around, but Knight? Nope.
My brain clicked straight into action mode. “Emergency?”
“Let’s find out.” Tair grabbed his glasses and tugged me to my wobbly feet. Together, we booked it to mission control.
I could tell it was bad from halfway across the hangar, but everyone stood staring at the vid screen in horror instead of arming up. The hangar wasn’t under attack. So what was happening? Tair and I sprinted so fast we were on top of the group before the timeghosts could hint what I’d missed.
“What—” As soon as I spoke, the future twisted. My vision cut to pure blue as timeghosts took over my head, flashing me a thousand death scenes at once. Tair. Cipher. Knight. Devan. Dex. And me.
All falling, screaming, bleeding.
I gripped my temples hard and tried to shake free of the images, but they kept hold, death after death after death. Whatever was set in motion, it wasn’t just the six of us who’d suffer. Oliver. Mona. Lady Eva. Kiri and Aliya. More Shadow Ravens.
Everyone.
Everyone was in danger.
“Quanta.” Tair held me in his arms, and panic rang through his voice. “Quanta.”
I gripped his T-shirt and rebuilt my mental walls. When the timeghosts disappeared, I finally blinked back to the present, where I needed to finish the question I’d started.
I staggered out of Tair’s arms. “What just happened?”
“Eva sent… Just watch.” Knight only stepped away from Cipher long enough to cue up a video file. Then he wrapped her back into his arms, whispering reassurances I didn’t get to hear.
The vid screen stole my breath away.
Doctor Nagi stared dead at us. He wore his dark hair slicked back the same as ever, and his thin lips twisted in the cold, familiar smile that made me want to throw up everything I’d ever eaten.







About the Author


Lola is a compulsive traveler, baker, and procrastinator. She earned her BA in English from Stonehill College and MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University—and hasn’t stopped moving since. When she’s not on the road, Lola spends her time indoors where the sunlight can’t melt her, writing or bingeing on anime and cherry soda. She can be summoned in a ritual involving curry, Hello Kitty idols, and a solid chocolate pentagram.



Author Links:

 













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