February 14

DC Super Hero Girls: Wonder Woman at Superhero High – Lisa Yee

Wonder Woman at Super Hero HighThe first book in an exciting new DC Super Hero Girls™ fiction series!

Wonder Woman™ wants to be the best super hero she can be, and that means going to Super Hero High School. But there’s a lot for the teen super hero to get used to at her new school! Save the Day alarms, a room-mate who shares everything on social media . . . not to mention the fact that Wonder Woman has never seen a boy before.

And, on top of all that, it seems like someone doesn’t want the Amazon princess at the school. Who’s been sending Wonder Woman nasty notes? And will they ruin her chances of success at Super Hero High School?

 

My thanks to Sarah at Penguin Random House for my review copy

I have been a fan of comic books since I was a kid and the love of those monthly ongoing adventures has never faded. Now my kids have reached the age that I was at when I started to follow the adventures of Batman, Superman and Spider-man.  Back then we had Christopher Reeve in the Superman movies and not much else beyond any comic book you could find in your local newsagent (and in 1980’s Scotland there were precious few of those!)

These days my kids are spoiled for choice as they can do Teen Titans on the cartoon channels, stream Avengers or DareDevil through Netflix or raid my bookshelves for my DC and Marvel graphic novels. So when I suggested they may enjoy the new DC Super Heroes Girls books they were more than a little excited!

And for good reason – these books are perfectly pitched for readers around 8-11 years of age and make really good use of the DC comic book heroes. In Wonder Woman at Super Hero High we have Wonder Woman as a young girl hitting high school for the first time. The story is pitched at a level akin to the Middle Grade schools which my kids are inhaling on a daily basis at the moment so the Hero angle was a welcome change.

I left the eldest bookworm (10 years old) to read his way through the book on his own.  Once done I grilled him for his thoughts…”really good story. I loved when new characters came in and I knew who they were – and it was weird too that they were at school”.  Worth pointing out that my bookworm is a young lad and this is Super Hero Girls – this may explain the “a bit girly at times” comment too but it didn’t stop him reading and enjoying it (and asking if there were other books in the series).

DC Super Hero Girls - Power UpThere are other books in the DC Super Hero Girls range which may appeal to younger kids too.  My 7 year old (the arty one in the family) had loads of fun with the Sticker Book and Doodle book.

This looks a great collection for kids who have got the superhero bug and with The LEGO Batman Movie in cinema’s at the moment there are bound to be a few more budding comic book fans looking for more stories about their heroes.

Wonder Woman at Super Hero High scored as a bit hit with my kids and got their official seal of approval.

 

Wonder Woman at Super Hero High is published by Puffin and is available now.

You can order books from the DC Super Hero Girls range here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/DC-Super-Hero-Girls-Wonder/dp/014137473X/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1487112754&sr=8-2&keywords=wonder+woman+at+superhero+high

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September 18

Fahrenheit Press 1st Birthday Competition

fahrenheit-pressIn just one year Fahrenheit Press have been challenging the conventional norms of publishing and shaking things up in their own unique way. Oh and they have brought some phenomenal books to the attention of crime fiction lovers. To celebrate their 1st birthday Fahrenheit Press are giving me the chance to find one lucky competition winner who will receive a 2016 subscription to their Book Club – this means you will get a copy of all the books they release this year (a prize of more than 50 books).

So who are Fahrenheit Press and how do you win the books?

Well if I look to Twitter then their bio should give you a good starting point:  “Crime Fiction Publishers. Bad seeds. Debasers. Renegades. Your mother probably warned you about us“.

A quick look to the Fahrenheit website and we get a bit more detail:

Fahrenheit Press are a brand new publishing house founded by international publishing veteran Chris McVeigh.

“We’re intent on doing things differently and we’re building a publishing company that’s heavy on curation and deadly serious about marketing.”

After many years helping the world’s biggest publishers build authors and create best-selling titles we’ve decided the time is right to step out from behind the curtain, set up our own publishing house and do things the way we think they should be done. We definitely won’t be everyone’s cup of tea but that’s just the way we like it. If we’re not ruffling some feathers, we reckon we’re doing something wrong.

 

How are they changing things?  Well they managed to persuade Amazon to list a book with no title, no author and no description – the book was initially marketed on trust. They also managed to persuade Amazon to include a NSFW word in a book blurb (another first).  Their Twitter feed is lined with some very frank exchanges, they share sales figures and for God’s sake never ask Chris about Millport as you risk him sharing too much info.

Right – you want to win some amazing books?

I needed a competition which would sit with the Fahrenheit ethos so decided it should be fun but also reflect their “bad seeds” approach.  So I just need you to answer this – TELL ME HOW YOU BROKE THE RULES…

It can be funny/painful/awkward or inappropriate.  If it is criminal I don’t want to know (remember the fun part of this question).

Comments are enabled on this post – gimme your best shot.  Winner will be notified after the competition closes.

 

 

 

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February 1

COMPETITION You can become a character in Karen Long’s next book

BlogTourSmall

As part of this week’s blog tour for Karen Long’s fantastic thriller THE VAULT – Karen has given me the opportunity to select one lucky competition winner to have their name used as a character within her next book.

I am thrilled to be able to offer a very unique prize and will try to make competition entry as simple and fair as possible by running entries through Rafflecopter.  Follow the simple steps below and GOOD LUCK.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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October 15

Competition – Doctor Who Engines of War

The War Doctor
The War Doctor

Time to give away another book. I have a copy of George Mann’s fantastic Engines of War, a story featuring John Hurt’s War Doctor, which I want to give away to one lucky winner.

I reviewed the book a couple of months ago and thought it was the best Doctor Who novel I had read for a long time. You can read my review in full:   http://grabthisbook.net/?p=180

All you need to do to enter the competition to win a brand new copy of Engines of War is leave a comment below telling me the name of your favourite Doctor Who companion. Simple.

 

Competition will run until Sunday 19th October.

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August 16

Doctor Who Engines of War – George Mann

The War Doctor
The War Doctor

Between 1989 and 2005 I read a lot of Doctor Who novels. For those not familiar with those dates they represent the years that The Doctor was largely absent from our televisions. But he lived on in print and I lapped up those stories. Thanks to the excellent Target Books range I could read the stories of the adventures that had been broadcast on TV between 1963 and 1989. Then along came Virgin Publishing who released a range of books (one per month at their peak) featuring the continuing adventures of the 7th Doctor. These were joined after a couple of years by Past Doctor stories – tales designed to slip in between the stories which had been broadcast on television and featured Doctors 1-6 and their respective travelling companions.

Then in 1996 we got the 8th Doctor TV Movie. Things changed (including the Doctor). BBC Books took back ownership of the Doctor Who stories and began a lengthy run of original novels featuring the 8th Doctor and they also published their own Past Doctor stories too. I would usually buy two Doctor Who books per month – for around 14 years. I have read A LOT of Doctor Who novels.

When the show re-launched on BBC in 2005 the books continued but the addition of 1 small child to our household curtailed the book buying for me.

However, my devotion to the print adventures of our favourite Time Lord puts me in a pretty strong position to assess the latest offering: Engines of War by George Mann.

I am happy to report that it is without doubt one of the best Doctor Who novels I have read. There are lots of things contributing to this and I cannot share them all because <Spoilers>. However, the chance to join The War Doctor is a great start. Throw in a feisty new companion, trips to Gallifrey, Daleks, Timelord political machinations and the unexpected return of some forgotten personalities and there were treats galore for the fans.

The author does a great job of creating the personality of the War Doctor, you can feel the spirit of the character we are so familiar with battling the necessity of the destruction he brings in this unfamiliar guise. Clearly the War Doctor is tormented by the path that he has forced to take and this comes through in Mann’s fast paced story.

To reveal too much of the plot would rob the reader of the chance to enjoy the story unfolding. Suffice to say that I would love to read more of this battle-weary Doctor’s exploits. The new companion (Cinder) was also a great addition to the mix, she and the Doctor enjoy snappy and entertaining dialogue and it is through her eyes we see how the Doctor almost seems to relish his confrontations with those who stand in his path.

Despite this being a War Doctor story we still see a figure determined to do the right thing, protect the innocent and try to bring solutions to lost causes. With little source material available to form a clear image of how the War Doctor could be expected to behave I believe that George Mann has done an admirable job of crafting a hero we can believe in.

The sheer volume of original Doctor Who novels that are available invariably means that some will slip into obscurity. Within both the Virgin and the BBC range of books are tales that lacked any real spark. There were stories which could have featured any characters and the plots were so generic that, aside from calling the main character Doctor, you had no inkling that you were reading about our favourite Gallifreyan. That is why Engines of War stands out – you are never in any doubt of the subject matter and the importance that the story takes in the mythos of Doctor Who adventures. Excellent reading to be had – go grab a copy.

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July 25

Competition – Top Secret Twenty One

Stephanie Plum is back!
Stephanie Plum is back!

The dead ends are turning into dead bodies.

Stephanie Plum is getting desperate. She’s running out of leads in the search for Jimmy Poletti, who was caught selling more than cars out of his New Jersey dealership. Even Joe Morelli, the city’s hottest cop, is struggling to find the criminal wheeler and dealer.

Stephanie’s No. 1 temptation, Ranger, is also struggling. There’s a killer in town with a personal vendetta against him. If Ranger wants to survive, he’ll need Stephanie’s help – and to reveal a piece of his mysterious past.

Death threats, highly trained assassins and highly untrained assassins are all in a day’s work for bounty hunter Stephanie Plum!

 

Competition time – I have been running a competition on Twitter to giveaway a copy of Top Secret Twenty One. However, I want people to come and see my blog pages too  so I will give away a second copy of Janet Evanovich’s new Stephanie Plum novel here on my blog.  To register your entry all you need to do is leave a comment on this post telling me who you would trust most with your Top Secret. Personally, I have a 4 year old who cannot keep a secret for more than 10 seconds so it would be anyone bar him!

I will select a winner on the evening of Sunday 27th July. Sadly this if for UK readers only I am afraid – Good Luck!

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