The Wrong Train Blog Tour!

Hey guys!

I know I don’t post much over here anymore and that’s because, if you’re not aware, I am a YouTuber over on my channel ProudFangirl which I will link at the end of this post!

Anyway, today’s post is probably one of the most exciting things I have ever done so far! Today is my day on The Wrong Train blog tour- ENJOY!

Image result for the wrong train jeremy de quidt

Imagine you’ve just managed to catch your train and you realise it’s the wrong one – you’d be annoyed of course, but not scared . . . Yet.
Imagine you get off the wrong train at the next station hoping to catch a train going back the way you came but the station is empty. Again you’d be annoyed, but not scared . . . Yet.
Imagine someone comes to the station, someone who starts to tell you stories to help you pass the time, but these aren’t any old stories . . . Scared yet? You will be.

So basically, I read this book on a plane, to America. Trust me, being trapped in a plane with this thriller was one of the scariest things. Sort of had to switch. One short story. One snack. One short story. One snack.

Just a little reward to myself for reading a scary story. Ugh, I’m such a child. Now I’m a fat child.

But anyway, my thoughts. I loved this book, if you couldn’t already tell. Despite the fact that I was grateful to be in such close proximity to my parents for the entire time I read this book for, I felt completely absorbed into this story. I wasn’t on a plane at all. I would be in a back garden. A haunted house. A train station. All because each story was so different and so well written that I was sucked into each story. Terrified to read but compelled to continue.

I cannot pick my favourite story because I think each story is so different that it’s not fair to single out an individual one. I loved each one. Even before I opened the book. I remember getting this book in the post and shoving in my  bag, putting it straight at the top of my list to read at the airport.

Jeremy de Quidt.jpeg

So, before I actually started writing this blog post, I emailed Jeremy De Quidt with a few questions as a little interview thing. What I got back was probably one of the most incredible things I have ever received. Honestly, I’m so blessed I started crying. Take a look: 

Caitlin sat opposite me at the table with the pen in her mouth while she thought. Then she smiled, held up her hand for me to be quiet and she wrote furiously on a piece of paper. When she’d done, she pushed the paper across the table towards me – hand with perfectly painted nails.  

“There you go,” she said. “Five questions.”

“Alrighty,” I said.

I picked the paper up and read the first one out loud.

Do you have any strange writing habits?” I said.

Caitlin nodded, “Yup.”

“You mean like me saying everything out loud as I type it?” I asked.

She shrugged. “Only if you do that,” she said.

“I do,” I said.

She screwed up her face. “Everything you write?”

“Everything,” I said.

She thought about that for a moment.

“Whhhhhyyy?”

(Hard to type how long she stretched out that single word.

“Because how the words sound when they’re read out loud is really important to me. If it doesn’t flow when they’re read out loud, I change them.”

“So, do you do that when you’re writing in cafes and things?”

I shook my head.

“Only ever write at home and on my own.”

“Next one,” she said.

I looked at the paper.

“Your two main characters are nameless,” I read. “Why did you decide to do this?”

My turn to think about it. I’d done that quite deliberately, you see, so I said.

“Because everyone else in the stories gets named. To my mind not naming those two helped make the platform a colder, more unwelcoming place.”

I drifted off for a moment wondering whether it had actually made that difference, then realised that Caitlin was still looking at me.

“Sorry,” I said.

She tapped the paper. Number three.”

“Number three,” I said. “Do you have any scary events that have happened in your life similar to the ones you wrote about?”

I shook my head.

“Nope,” I said. “None of it’s based on things that have happened.” I grinned. “Doesn’t mean they can’t happen though.”

I looked at the paper again.

“Where did you get the…. what’s that word?”, I asked.

She turned the paper round to look at it.

“Inspiration,” she said.

“That never says ‘inspiration’” I said. I turned it back round. “‘Insppiration’ has at least two ‘p’s.”

“It doesn’t,” she said.

I looked at her. Spelling isn’t my strong point, and she seemed very positive.

“You sure?” I said.

“Yes,” she said.

 “…inspiration for your short stories,” I continued. “And why bind them with a bigger one?”

“Well,” I said. “The idea for the linking story came first – not the details of it, but the idea of eight stories being told and there being that twist about the telling of them (which we won’t give away because it would be a spoiler.) That was always my plan. Then, I wrote the eight stories in the order they appear in the book, made them up one by one, and only when they were all done, did I make up the actual linking story.”

“And the inspiration for them?” she insisted.

“Let’s just say I have a very large reservoir of dark ideas. Old ink that I can dip a pen into.”

“Last one,” she said.

I looked at the paper again.

“You sure it’s only one ‘p’?”

“Get on with it,” she said.

“Number 5,” I read out loud. “Do you have any advice for aspiring young authors?”

I thought about this for a long time.

“Well, do you?” she asked.

“Yes, I do. The first is that one idea isn’t ever enough. Make sure you have a whole jar of them before you start, because you’ll be amazed at how quickly you’ll get through them when you start writing. Join them up too, take one idea that you think is an all on its own job, and put it with another idea you think is an all on its own job, and what you’ll end up with will be bigger than both of them.”

“And the second?” Caitlin asked.

“That writing is just playing pretend on paper,” I said. “It’s playing pretend without all the running about. You just need to play pretend – that’s all that a writer does. We do it all the time.”

Then I smiled.

“There you go,” I said. “Five questions. Now you get to buy the coffee.”

She frowned.

“Was that the deal?” She asked.

“Sure was,” I said.

ISN’T THAT ONE OF THE MOST AMAZING THINGS EVER! JEREMY WROTE ME A STORY.

Forever in debt. I owe you coffee.

Highly, highly, recommend this book guys. Best place to read: anywhere close to someone so you don’t get terrified i.e airport.

4.5/5 stars GO BUY ITTTTTT

Book Depository: http://www.bookdepository.com/The-Wrong-Train/9781910200810

Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Wrong-Train-Jeremy-Quidt/dp/1910200816/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1477392709&sr=8-1&keywords=the+wrong+train

If you use my book depository link, it helps me out a bit:  http://www.bookdepository.com/?a_aid=proudfangirl
Find Me:
Business Enquires Email: caitlin.mchale78@outlook.com

An Interview With Marcus Sedgewick!

Hey guys, I am so so lucky to be interviewing the fabulous Marcus Sedgewick here today. I will soon be filming a review of his newest release The Ghosts of Heaven for my YouTube channel which will be linked down below for you guys to check out!
Thank you so much for agreeing to this interview!
Your latest book The Ghosts of Heaven is split into four different sections- this is not the first of your novels to be set like this- why do you choose this format?
I wrote one other book, Midwinterblood, in seven parts. There are lots of reasons why I like doing this kind of thing, not least to challenge myself, and my readers’ expectations of how a book ‘should’ be. With GOH it gave me the chance to look across time and wonder about universal themes throughout history.
 
I noticed this as I have read Midwinterblood too! It really does create a shape to the story, I think! Some parts of TGOH is set in the past and others, in the future. How much research did you do for this and what did you do for this?
There was a lot of research for the 1st, 3rd and 4th parts of the book. The 2nd part (about the witch) mostly drew on things I already was familiar with from previous books. All in all, I spent a long time reading about spirals, archaeology, space travel, linguistics, early 20th century psychiatric hospitals and many other things besides, but I love this – it’s all part of the fun of being a writer.
 
You must have had great fun researching psychiatric hospitals- that sounds fascinating! Each section is so different so it must have taken on a completely different challenge each time! How do you think you have evolved creatively as a writer?
It would take a book to answer that properly, but in brief, I can see that I have changed over the last two decades and that I have become more self aware of how I’m working, what I’m trying to do. That’s not necessarily a good thing – it can be destructive to be too aware of yourself. Each time I have had serious writer’s block (four times in 20 Years) I might very nearly not have gone on writing, but each time I think I have come out with more to offer on the other side. I hope so. 
 
That’s so interesting, I never knew it was destructive to be too aware of what you’re writing… I will apply that to my own. What is the hardest thing about writing for you?
To continue to find new and exciting things to become obsessed enough about to write a new, and exciting (to me) book, when I’ve already written 20 or 30 novels.
 
It must be hard to find a new inspiration each time. What inspired you to become a writer in the first place?
I was not inspired to become a writer really, not by any one thing, or person, I just felt I had to start to do it.
 
So it’s not the angels coming down to inspire you. It’s just you. Finally, do you have any advice for aspiring young writers?
Yes: Enjoy it. Don’t judge yourself. Judge yourself. Take it seriously. Have fun with it.
Thank you so much again to Marcus Sedgewick for agreeing to this interview even though he is incredibly busy. I am so blessed.

An Interview With Anna Michels!

First of all, thank you so much for agreeing to do this interview! You are releasing your debut novel ’26 Kisses ‘ soon. Could you tell us a little about it?
Of course, thanks for having me! 26 Kisses is the story of one girl who decides to take control of a bad situation and makes some mistakes but has a lot of fun in the process. When Veda’s longtime boyfriend dumps her unexpectedly, she decides to move on and up by taking on the ultimate summer romance challenge–kissing one boy for every letter of the alphabet. There are a lot of boys (and a lot of kissing!) in the book, and my favorite part of writing it was dreaming up these insanely awesome kissing scenes.

Sounds amazing! I can’t wait to get my hands on it! How did you come about the idea for this book?
The idea was inspired by a real life story–not my own life, but a friend’s🙂
Great inspiration! Such an interesting friend to have! Can you give us some insight into your main character? Does she relate to you in any way?
Veda and I don’t have too much in common on the surface–I would never have the guts to take on that kind of challenge! But her lack of a car and her shaky relationship with her father are things I have experienced.
It’ll be great to see your inspiration in the book! I don’t think I would have the guts to take on this challenge either! What would you say was the hardest thing about writing- especially as this is your first YA novel?
The hardest thing for me is finding the time to write. My day job demands a lot of time and creative energy, so I generally have to get up early or stay up late to squeeze in an hour or two of writing each day.
That sounds like me with my homework! But don’t tell anyone that… I have literally no time left in my day! Why do you write?
I love creating the world, characters, and events of a book. After it’s written, it almost feels like these things really happened and that the characters really exist, but it all came out of my head. Pretty cool!
That is cool! Must be really awesome to have created such a scandalous story! Would you say you are more of a reader or a writer? Or are you both?!
I’m actually more of an editor! My day job is in editing, and my favorite part of the writing process is revision and making everything come together just right. But I was a reader before I was a writer or an editor, and reading is still my favorite free time activity.
Reading is definitely my favourite activity too! Editing must be such a great job! I don’t want to take up too much of your time so here’s one last question; do you have any tips for aspiring young writers?
My number one tip is to read! Read everything, and read a lot of it. And my number two tip is to write, write a lot, and let yourself get goofy with it. I still have some short stories I wrote in middle school that are totally off the wall (one is about an evil woman named Senorita Futon) that crack me up whenever I run across them. I feel like I’ll never have that kind of wacky creativity again and I wish I had done more with it before I got old and boring.
Thank you so much to Anna Michels for agreeing to this interview! Her debut YA novel 26 Kisses is being released on the 26th of May!

Is This BookTube You Say?!

Well as you can probably guess from the title of this post… Yes, I am starting booktube…

That’s why I’ve been so inactive lately, I’ve been practicing vlogging with my brand new camera. It’s so awkward-I mean, I am a generally excitable person, but stick me in front of a camera and nope. Shut Down.

I think I will keep blogging as well and I’ll definitely link all my vlogs and videos right here for you guys!

What can you expect?

Well, soon I ill be postiing my Febraury Releases Post and updating my Readathons post… I’ll also be reviewing all the books I receive from publishers so look out for a very special one coming soon! Anything else?…

Maybe mini updates like this? Let me know what you guys want!

Now I have to go figure out how to turn my camera on….

Speak to you soon! (hopefully sooner than 19 days…)

 

January Releases!

Okay, I know that it’s already the 10th of January but I still wanted to let all you guys know this month’s releases that I am most excited about! There are only two release dates for these 5 books so the 5th of January and the 28th of January- fab days for book releases I know!

  1. Passenger by Alexandra Bracken.

Release Date: 05/01/16

This book has been on my radar for the past three or four months and the hype that has been building up surrounding this has been phenomenal. It is almost my birthday soon and I am so excited to either receive this book or have enough money to buy it- yes, I have already spent all my Christmas money on books…

Anyway, this book (from what I’ve gathered) is about time travel and New York..? I think… But the main character is a violinist and I think it would be really interested to see how Alexandra Bracken writes musically. This will also be my first book by her and I’ve been eyeing up The Darkest Minds for ages!

passage, n.
i. A brief section of music composed of a series of notes and flourishes.
ii. A journey by water; a voyage.
iii. The transition from one place to another, across space and time.

In one devastating night, violin prodigy Etta Spencer loses everything she knows and loves. Thrust into an unfamiliar world by a stranger with a dangerous agenda, Etta is certain of only one thing: she has traveled not just miles but years from home. And she’s inherited a legacy she knows nothing about from a family whose existence she’s never heard of. Until now.

Nicholas Carter is content with his life at sea, free from the Ironwoods—a powerful family in the colonies—and the servitude he’s known at their hands. But with the arrival of an unusual passenger on his ship comes the insistent pull of the past that he can’t escape and the family that won’t let him go so easily. Now the Ironwoods are searching for a stolen object of untold value, one they believe only Etta, Nicholas’ passenger, can find. In order to protect her, he must ensure she brings it back to them— whether she wants to or not.

Together, Etta and Nicholas embark on a perilous journey across centuries and continents, piecing together clues left behind by the traveler who will do anything to keep the object out of the Ironwoods’ grasp. But as they get closer to the truth of their search, and the deadly game the Ironwoods are play­ing, treacherous forces threaten to sep­arate Etta not only from Nicholas but from her path home . . . forever.

2. Truthwitch by Susan Dennard.

Release Date: 05/01/16

Truthwitch is also a really hyped book for me and ever since I heard  about the concept of two best (girl) friends saving the world. This is probably the first magical fantasy that focuses more on friendship than love and I cannot wait to see how that plays out! The author, Susan Dennard, is best friends with Sarah J. Maas who has quickly become one of my top,top favourite authors so I trust her judgment  when she says  this book is incredible! Another to add to my list for my birthday!

On a continent ruled by three empires, some are born with a “witchery”, a magical skill that sets them apart from others.

In the Witchlands, there are almost as many types of magic as there are ways to get in trouble—as two desperate young women know all too well.

Safiya is a Truthwitch, able to discern truth from lie. It’s a powerful magic that many would kill to have on their side, especially amongst the nobility to which Safi was born. So Safi must keep her gift hidden, lest she be used as a pawn in the struggle between empires.

Iseult, a Threadwitch, can see the invisible ties that bind and entangle the lives around her—but she cannot see the bonds that touch her own heart. Her unlikely friendship with Safi has taken her from life as an outcast into one of reckless adventure, where she is a cool, wary balance to Safi’s hotheaded impulsiveness.

Safi and Iseult just want to be free to live their own lives, but war is coming to the Witchlands. With the help of the cunning Prince Merik (a Windwitch and ship’s captain) and the hindrance of a Bloodwitch bent on revenge, the friends must fight emperors, princes, and mercenaries alike, who will stop at nothing to get their hands on a Truthwitch.

3. Cruel Crown by Victoria Aveyard.

Release Date: 05/01/16

I read Red Queen back in the middle of 2015 and, come on, that ending though! Plot twist! I don’t know if I am necessarily going  to read this book but it just serves as a reminder that Glass Sword is coming! If I feel in the mood for a novella I will definitely pick this one up!

Queen Song
Queen Coriane, first wife of King Tiberias, keeps a secret diary—how else can she ensure that no one at the palace will use her thoughts against her? Coriane recounts her heady courtship with the crown prince, the birth of a new prince, Cal, and the potentially deadly challenges that lay ahead for her in royal life.

Steel Scars
Diana Farley was raised to be strong, but being tasked with planting the seeds of rebellion in Norta is a tougher job than expected. As she travels the land recruiting black market traders, smugglers, and extremists for her first attempt at an attack on the capital, she stumbles upon a connection that may prove to be the key to the entire operation—Mare Barrow.

4. Beautiful Broken Things by Sara Barnard.

Release Date: 28/01/16

I have actually already read this book and I loved it beyond words. I actually could not believe how amazing this book was… I’m still speechless. This would have actually made my top books of the year list but because I decided not to add ARCs to that list. But it was so close! I cannot wait for you guys to read it! I loved the elements of friendship and the way really difficult subjects were handled was absolutely beautiful.

I’ve done a full, no-spoiler review so you guys can go read that if you’re interested!

https://yourbestbookpal.wordpress.com/2015/10/29/beautiful-broken-things-by-sara-barnard-review-no-spoilers/

Best friends Caddy and Rosie are inseparable. Their differences have brought them closer, but as she turns sixteen Caddy begins to wish she could be a bit more like Rosie – confident, funny and interesting. Then Suzanne comes into their lives: beautiful, damaged, exciting and mysterious, and things get a whole lot more complicated. As Suzanne’s past is revealed and her present begins to unravel, Caddy begins to see how much fun a little trouble can be. But the course of both friendship and recovery is rougher than either girl realises, and Caddy is about to learn that downward spirals have a momentum of their own.

5. All The Rage by Courtney Summers.

Release Date: 28/01/16

I actually just finished a copy of this book- Macmillan was lovely enough to send me a copy, so thank you! This book was so poignant, so deep and rich that I just melted into it and became attached to all of the characters. I found this book so beautifully written and yet so heart-breaking that it was difficult to digest… Lots of mixed emotions surrounding this book.

I will do a full, non-spoilery review to express my thoughts!

The sheriff’s son, Kellan Turner, is not the golden boy everyone thinks he is, and Romy Grey knows that for a fact. Because no one wants to believe a girl from the wrong side of town, the truth about him has cost her everything-friends, family, and her community. Branded a liar and bullied relentlessly by a group of kids she used to hang out with, Romy’s only refuge is the diner where she works outside of town. No one knows her name or her past there; she can finally be anonymous. But when a girl with ties to both Romy and Kellan goes missing after a party, and news of him assaulting another girl in a town close by gets out, Romy must decide whether she wants to fight or carry the burden of knowing more girls could get hurt if she doesn’t speak up. Nobody believed her the first time-and they certainly won’t now-but the cost of her silence might be more than she can bear.

And there you have it! There are the top five books I am most excited for this month! Like really, I cannot wait for a few of them… Yep I’m going to go order them now… I hope you guys do too!

Speak to you soon!

 

Life Update #1

I’m sure you guys really don’t want to hear about the boringness of my life but I just wanted to jump in to reassure you guys.

I have not abandoned you!

Life has been so hectic here, what with going back to school and an English exam today and what not so… Yeah. Breathe Cait, breathe.

Anyway, over the weekend, I will be writing a few posts for me to publish next week and maybe this should become a routine so I don’t have to do these updates and bore you.

But anyway, I will be posting about a book I read a very long time ago and still need to review called Thirteen Chairs. My anticipated releases post for January is coming! Along with another book review for We Are All Made of Molecules which I read in one sitting!

So, loads to come and I’m sorry I’ve been so inactive but that will chamge! I’m still getting the hang of this!

Let me know any requests for posts you’d like me to write down in the comments!

Right, back to reading!

Cait x

Winter Biannual Bibliothon!

I don’t even think words could express how excited I am for this readathon! Honestly, all the hosts are so much fun and they are so nice so you should really go and check them out!

Basically, this readathon is about reading as much as you can and having fun with it! It is not a stressful readathon at all and there will be loads of challenges and sprints to make our time so much more fun!

I am balancing this with revision and work but… Who needs sleep?

I thought I’d share with you the reading challenges and my TBR for the readathon!

1. Read the group book: Soundless by Richelle Mead.

So obviously I’m reading Soundless by Richelle Mead… No brainer…
2. Read a book that’s been sitting on your shelf for over a year.

For this one I’m reading The Unbecoming Of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin. I have had this book on my shelf forever and I have been meaning to read it forever so I though, why not?
3. Read a book over 300 pages.

I could pick almost any book on my TBR for this one so I’m really in for a hard time but the one I’ve actually assigned to this challenge is The Selection by Kiera Cass. My best friend bought me the entire box set for Christmas and I am just going to marathon the rest after the readathon! Can’t wait!
4. Read a book from your favourite genre.

I don’t really have a favourite genre so this one was also very difficult to pick but the one I chose for this was To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han. I chose this because, in readthons, my favourite genre is an easy genre so I thought I’d pick that fluffy contemporary that’s been sitting on my shelf forever!
5. Reread your favourite book in a series.

For Christmas, my amazing family gave me the Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone Illustrated Edition! Because of this my favourite Harry Potter book is the first one because it is just so beautiful! I just can’t wait to dive into this, I am so excited!
6. Read a book based on it’s cover.

A couple of weeks ago, the amazing people at Pan Macmillan HQ gave me loads of ARCs that are coming out in 2016 and one of these books was The Thing About Jellyfish by Ali Benjamin. Does that title not sound amazing?!?!? Honestly that’s all I’ve read about the book so far and I am just going to jump right in blind!
7. Read a book that’s been recommended to you more than once.

For this, I picked Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. Oh my God, this book is one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen. My parents just came back from America and bought me the stunning hardback edition from Barnes and Noble… I keep drooling, is that bad?

I doubt I’ll be able to read all of these books for the readathon but if I manage to read three, I will be so proud of myself!

See you at midnight guys!

Happy reading!