Month: September 2016

Ten Books on My Spring TBR

Posted September 27, 2016 by Hannah in Features, Top Ten Tuesdays / 8 Comments

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It’s Spring!

Well, it is here in Australia. Sorry, Northern Hemisphere, but you guys get Autumn (and winter!), which is probably just as awesome because it means it’s getting cold. Here? It’s getting hot. Ugh. I’m swamped with uni work at the moment, so my posting efforts are a bit lax, but I’m slowly making a dent in my physical review books, and I’ve almost cleared off my Netgalley read list. What?!? I know right. That’ll be the day when I stop requesting Netgalley books (I daren’t even look at my TBR from Edelweiss. Curse pre-approval!).

(this is the cutest gif ever omg they’re books dancing send help)

One of the great things about this time of year is that it seems like all the amazing books are having release day parties. Which, let’s be honest, is detrimental for us readers because we just want all the books and not just for pretty Instagram aesthetics (I digress, that’s one of the reasons why). And let me tell you, there are some amazing books coming out in the next couple of weeks (or have just been released) which makes me so glad it’s almost my birthday and I can justify a book buying binge.

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A Shadow Bright and Burning by Jessica Cluess // Release Date: 20th September 2016

Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Manscalco // Release Date: 20th September 2016

historical  fantasy fiction and jack the ripper! why are these books not in life like yesterday because that’s three of my favourite things.

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Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake // Release Date: 22nd September 2016

look. at. these. beautiful. preciouses. pan mac, what are you doing to my bank balance, honestly.

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This Adventure Ends by Emma Mills // Release Date: 2nd October 2016

icymi, i’m a massive, massive fan of  emma mills’ debut, first and then, which is probably one of my favourite contemporaries of all time, cover and all. look at this masterpiece! those painted swirls. emma mills is definitely on my autobuy list, i’m so excited for a new book to read!

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Nemesis by Anna Banks // Release Date: 4th October 2016

Fear the Drowning Deep by Sarah Glenn Marsh // Release Date: 4th October 2016

strong females, insane fantasy worlds and english seaside villages shrouded in mystery. done, done and done.

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Rose & Thorn (Ash & Bramble #2) by Sara Prineas // Release Date: 18th October 2016

i love fairy tale retellings and i love plots that invlove curses, and i haven’t really read a sleeping beauty one yet so yes, i will read you rose & thorn by god i will.

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Heartless by Marissa Meyer // Release Date: 8th November 2016

This is Our Story by Ashley Elston // Release Date: 15th November 2016

confession: i didn’t like cinder and i haven’t read any of meyer’s other books in the series. but i’m so looking forward to heartless! i’m on the aussie blog tour (yay we get it at the same time as everyone else now) and i have to literally sit on my hands to stop myself from reading it. also, ashley elston is an amazing supsenseful writer and this book is right up my alley.what-books-are-you-excited-about-reading-this-spring%2ffall-let-me-know-in-the-comments

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Ten Pieces of Music That’ll Make You Think You’re In A Fantasy Novel

Posted September 20, 2016 by Hannah in Features, Top Ten Tuesdays / 4 Comments

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Today’s Top Ten Tuesdays prompt was all about audio, and at first I was at a loss because I don’t listen to audiobooks, so the deliberation of what to post hit hard. It’s not that I don’t like audiobooks, it’s just that I can’t concentrate listening to them – I prefer reading by sight, basically. Then the lightbulb went off. Why don’t I share some of my favourite music – music that I’m currently writing a fantasy novel to?

If you’ve ever fallen in love with fantasy novels and wished that there was an epic soundtrack to go with it, chances are the author has already got a playlist, but here’s my favourite tracks that have such a fantasy vibe you’ll be wanting to pick up a sword in no time. And if you want more than the ten (or so, because there were some I couldn’t leave out!) I’ve listed here, I’ve put my Spotify playlist down the bottom for your entertainment.

So pop in your headphones for optimum listening please and enjoy!

The Twelve Towers (Unchartered 4: A Thief’s End) – Henry Jackman

I adore this soundtrack so much! This particular track has that real jungle, caught in the middle of a forest vibe. It’s also the inspiration for the start of my own fantasy novel, especially from the 2:00 mark, where my main character free falls off the back of a dragon. Fun stuff.

For Blood, For Glory, For Honour (Elder Scrolls Original Online Game Soundtrack)  – Jeremy Soule

If this piece doesn’t leave you ready to defend your kingdom from the evil sorcerer who has vowed to destroy everything you hold dear, then I don’t know what you’re doing with your life.

Flying With Mother (How To Train Your Dragon 2) – John Powell

How To Train Your Dragon is full of awesome music, but I love this piece the most. It’s so uplifting, it makes me feel like flying. In my own novel, it’s the music I listen to when writing the scene where my MC takes the King’s Seven, an elite task force of the King’s Guard, out riding their dragons for the first time. 

An Toll Dubh – Runrig

Fun fact: I discovered this track because of Maggie Stiefvater. If that doesn’t give you premise to listen and love it, I don’t know what else to do. She quoted it as a track from The Scorpio Races, which is really the only Stiefvater novel I’ve really enjoyed. This is just…I don’t know how to describe it. It’s utterly beautiful and will leave you with chills. 

Norwegian Pirate (Archangel) – Two Steps From Hell

This is one of my absolute favourite pieces of music from Two Steps From Hell. It’s full of pure heart racing adrenalin. The music is constantly going from crescendo to crescendo, it’s not hard to imagine that you’re battling foes on the water, fighting of pirates (or maybe you are the pirate!). It really conjures up the image of swinging from masts, Pirates of the Caribbean style.

Nero (Archangel) – Two Steps From Hell

If I haven’t convinced you about living the fantasy novel life yet, this one is sure to do it. Nero is pure magic. After reading Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch, I felt like this piece really encompassed Meira and her determination to save her Winter Kingdom. It’s just beautiful.

Heart of Courage (Invincible) – Two Steps From Hell

You’re probably sitting here going, “I’ve heard this!” That’s probably correct, there’s a 99% chance you’ve heard this piece of music, because it’s used in absolutely everything, from ABC News to The Bachelor, Heart of Courage is probably TSFH’s most recognisable piece of music. And why not? It’s insanely amazing.

El Dorado (SkyWorld) – Two Steps From Hell

Fun fact: This was the first Two Steps From Hell song I discovered (and subsequently fell in love with), and I owe it all to Susan Dennard, author of the Something Strange and Deadly series. This is the track that sprung my obsession with orchestral instrumental music and video game soundtracks, and I hope you love it just as much as I do. Definitely a great sword fighting or training scene, for sure.

Dragon Age Inquisition Theme (Dragon Age Inquisition) – Trevor Morris & Lindsey Stirling

I’ve posted two versions here, because I love the Lindsey Stirling video clip, but nothing beats the Trevor Morris original. This score is the whole theme song of my fantasy WIP, it’s just so inspirational. 

Cannon in D Minor (Battlecry) – Two Steps From Hell

If you aren’t listening with two earphones in then stop what you are doing, put them both in and turn your volume up as loud as your ears will allow (just be careful, okay). This score is as badass as they come. If you want to prepare yourself for battle, listen to this. If you can’t imagine yourself fighting your way through the battlefield Jon Snow style, I don’t know if I can help you. I’ll listen to this scene when I’m writing the fight scenes (of which there are many at this stage). 

Flight of the Silverbird (Battlecry) – Two Steps From Hell

If I had to choose a favourite piece of music by TSFH, it would be this. The inspiration behind my fantasy WIP. I don’t really know how to describe this piece of music, except that it is epic af. Just listening to it, my gosh. There is one particular scene in my WIP (that I can’t talk about bc spoilers), but the entire scene is based around this. 

Tarzan in Camp (Tarzan) – David Newman

Last but not least, one of my new favourite tracks is from the 2014 Tarzan. It’s only a short track, but it’s full of energy. My MC is tasked with training an untrainable dragon, and this is the score I listen to when I’m writing that particular scene.

For the full list of my playlist for Fire and Ash, see below!

So there it is – my list of great tracks should you want to pretend you’re in your favourite fantasy novel! Do you have any soundtrack or music score inspiration for me? Let me know in the comments!

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September New Releases Giveaway Hop!

Posted September 15, 2016 by Hannah in Giveaways / 41 Comments

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IT’S SEPTEMBER!

Is it just me, or does it seem like all the amazing books are being released this month? I’m still shattered from Empire of Storms, but there’s Crooked Kingdoms to look forward to in the sequels ring, A Shadow Bright and Burning in the new series corner…amongst all the others! What a wonderful time to be a bookworm.

So you want to win a September new release? Here’s the drill. Fill out the Rafflecopter below, and one (1) winner (INT) will be randomly selected to win any book released in September up to the value of AUD$30 from The Book Depository. To make sure TBD delivers to you, check here. The giveaway closes at 12:00am 1st October 2016, Australian Eastern Time (AEDT). The winner will have 48 hours from being contacted to respond or a new winner will be chosen. All entries will be verified.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Don’t forget to continue on and visit the other blogs for extra chances to win!

And as always…

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Spoilers: The Good, The Bad, & The Downright Ugly

Posted September 3, 2016 by Hannah in And On That Note, Features / 15 Comments

top ten t (1)And On That Note is a sporadic feature discussing everything bookish.

Spoilers. It seems as if even in 2016, the age of the internet, there is no escaping from the horror that is the spoiler, a nasty parasite of a word that can shatter our dreams in an instant. But are spoilers as bad as we make them out to be, why are they so universally hated and what is all the fuss about them?

There are no escaping spoilers nowadays. Unless you live under a rock, pretty much anything with a major fan base will have been subjected to the spoiler curse at some point in its life. And in our little corner of the bookish world, every now and often again, it rears its ugly head.

I remember the first major spoiler I was ever subjected to. It was 2006, I’d just finished my mock exams and we were going over them in English Lit. Heavily detracted from the actual subject, the conversation had turned to Harry Potter, which had been released the week before, when one of the boys in my class loudly exclaimed how sad it was over a character (who I shall not name, considering after all we are talking about spoilers) who had died. I’d yet to read the book, as had half our class, because well, exams. Needless to say we were all pretty mad.

It’s no coincidence I’m talking spoilers when one of 2016’s biggest YA titles, Empire of Storms by Sarah J Maas is days away from it September 6th release. If you’ve been living under that particular rock, you wouldn’t have known that the book has been released weeks early in some parts of the world, and after a YA author popped up on Instagram with a copy (found at a local airport), the book world exploded. Suddenly, people had copies of their own, read the book, and….were not okay.

It seems like in this day and age of technology, we have to tell everybody everything – and I think that’s where the nitty gritty of spoilers, especially in the book community, come about. This constant need to prove ourselves to other people has led to us over sharing everything. There seems to be something about the validation we get when we tell people, “I know something you don’t know, here it is!”

But spoilers are never okay. Blogger of awesomeness, Rachel from The Beauty and the Bookshelf, has a really good thread on Twitter about why spoilers are not good. And I completely agree with her – even the barest hint of a spoiler can ruin the perspective of a book for someone. And no matter how you may feel about something you’ve read or heard, it is not okay to ruin someone else’s experience. No matter what you think. Taking your anger out on someone via social media – on Goodreads, Twitter, Instagram or whatever it is, is not acceptable. We are adults, after all, and we, especially in the book community, are better than that.

On that note, when does a spoiler become obsolete? How long does the spoiler free zone last? I gave up on shielding myself from Game of Throne spoilers for years because they were part of even every day news. But when I finally watched it, I was pleasantly surprised at how much I didn’t know – and maybe because I was in part smart enough to not click on that Buzzfeed article about Jon Snow (even though ugh so tempting!). This weekend was the Melbourne Writer’s Festival, and I heard a lot of people were upset in one particular session when certain books that had been out for a while were being discussed in spoilerish ways. Does the time since publication affect the no spoilers barrier?

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And on the subject of spoilers…no matter how angry you might be, it is never okay to lash out violently at someone, intentionally or not, verbally or not. Being in front of a keyboard gives you no less power than you had before. If you want to rant & rave, do so in a private format, with people are in the know like you. Or write down your feelings on paper and burn it. But don’t ever take it out on other people – especially the authors themselves, no matter how problematic you might think their works are (and trust me, I could write a thesis on this spoiler subject at the moment).

 

So. Spoilers! Yay, or nay? For, or against? What do you deem to be the Spoiler Free Length of Time?

And just remember, if you spoil people…

 

 

 

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