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Guest Post: How To Conquer Your Inner Voice Of Doom

16 Apr 2015

Synopsis

We are living in the age of the image - the perfect image. From the constant bombardment of air-brushed photos, to the dubious lifestyle choices promoted by celebrities and the obsession with social media, young women are under pressure as never before to project a persona of perfection. And this is having a catastrophic effect, with girls as young as seven developing eating disorders and female self-loathing reaching epidemic proportions.

True Face shows you how to resist the pressure from the 'perfection police' and take off the masks you wear to proudly reveal your true self to the world. In chapters dealing with body image, bullying, social media, love, sex and more, Siobhan Curham encourages young women and girls to be honest, dream big, and create lives that are happy and fulfilling. Keep Calm and Carry On is replaced by a new mantra: Forget the Fake and Keep it Real. This book is a breath of fresh air. Perfect for ages 13+ - and for the Girls fan in her 20s/30s too!


Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK
 

How to Conquer Your Inner Voice of Doom by Siobhan Curham

 
‘You’ll never become a writer.’
‘You’re not good enough.’
‘You’re not from the right background.’
‘People from council estates don’t become writers.’
‘You shouldn’t even be at uni. You should be working in a shop.’

When I was a teenager I became plagued by statements like the ones above. So much so that I ended up dropping out of uni and giving up on my writing dream to go and work in a shop. But it wasn’t someone else doing the taunting, it was my own inner voice – or my Inner Voice of Doom as I like to call it.

All of us have an Inner Voice of Doom; that voice inside your head that tells you that you’re just not good enough, clever enough, attractive enough, enough enough.

And if we’re not careful, we can let this voice control our decisions, like I did, and end up in situations, jobs, relationships and lives that leave us unhappy and craving more.

I hated the jobs I did after dropping out of uni. And thankfully, after a few years, I was able to drown out my voice of doom with a much more positive inner voice. One that said things like:
'You have just as much chance of becoming a writer as anyone else.’
‘You are good enough – or at least you might be.’
‘People from council estates can become writers.’
‘Coming from that background gives you a wealth of material to draw upon.’
And in the end, this spurred me on to write my first novel and finally get my first book deal.

The fact is, our Inner Voice of Doom is only trying to protect us.

When I told myself I didn’t have what it takes to become a writer it was because I was so scared of being rejected and told that my work wasn’t good enough.

But not taking the risk left me just as unhappy if not more, than if I had tried and not succeeded.

My book, True Face contains various exercises to help you overcome your Inner Voice of Doom.

Here’s a simple one to get you started…

Jot down some of the favourite things your Inner Voice of Doom likes to say.

Then go through each one, asking: can I absolutely know this to be true?

For example, if you sometimes tell yourself that you’re not attractive enough to get a date, is this absolutely, beyond a shadow of a doubt true?

And when you realise that no, of course it’s not, come up with a positive alternative such as: I am attractive enough to get a date.

Write it down and really let the words sink in.

Start gathering evidence to back up this statement. When I was starting to believe in myself as a writer I found examples of successful writers, such as Jimmy McGovern, who had come from similar backgrounds to mine. I used their careers as proof that it was possible for me to make it too and this helped me massively.

And when I did finally achieve writing success I vowed to myself that I’d never let my Inner Voice of Doom run the show again.

I still have an Inner Voice of Doom and I’m pretty sure I always will, but thankfully I’ve now discovered the mute button.

True Face is all about dreaming boldly and living fearlessly and authentically.

You can find out more over on the website: www.TrueFaceRevolution.com
 


Feature Friday - Interview with Katherine Locke

10 Apr 2015
Feature Friday is a feature on Bookish Treasures that spotlights an author and their latest release. Every Friday I will be featuring an author through either an interview or a guest post. If you are interested in taking part please send me an email.

This week I am featuring Katherine Locke whose debut unique NA novel releases April 13th.

Second Position by Katherine Locke



Synopsis

Four years ago, a car accident ended Zedekiah Harrow’s ballet career and sent Philadelphia Ballet principal dancer Alyona Miller spinning toward the breakdown that suspended her own. What they lost on the side of the road that day can never be replaced, and grief is always harshest under a spotlight...

Now twenty-three, Zed teaches music and theatre at a private school in Washington, D.C. and regularly attends AA meetings to keep the pain at bay. Aly has returned to D.C. to live with her mother while trying to recover from the mental and physical breakdown that forced her to take a leave of absence from the ballet world, and her adoring fans.

When Zed and Aly run into each other in a coffee shop, it’s as if no time has passed at all. But without the buffer and escape of dance—and with so much lust, anger and heartbreak hanging between them—their renewed connection will either allow them to build the together they never had... or destroy the fragile recoveries they've only started to make.


Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK

Interview with Katherine Locke


Why did you decide to become an author?

I’ve always been a writer. I’ve been writing stories for as long as I can remember. But I decided to become an author—that is, a published professional writer—in 2007. That’s when I first realized the impact stories had made on my life and how important they had been to me surviving high school, learning to navigate friendships, imagining, dreaming, learning about different places. I wanted to be a part of that process, to be the creator of something that made life a little easier for someone else. And because I like sharing. I think it’s a fun part of the process of creating art!
How do you balance writing with other things in your life?

I don’t have too many other things to balance right now! I’m lucky that I’m in a time in my life that I can let writing take over a large portion of my free time and still have a social life, still work, still keep my life going. 
What is your favourite thing about being an author?

The broader writing and reading community. My writer friends are some of the best people I know.
What are your favourite books?

Oh, my answer to this changes day by day, I think. But there are a couple of books that always make the list. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle, Feed by Mira Grant, Sula by Toni Morrison, Among Others by Jo Walton, Harry Potter (whole series) by J.K. Rowling, everything Tamora Pierce ever wrote, and Fire by Kristin Cashore.
Are there any books/authors that inspired you to write?

Madeleine L’Engle was hugely influential on me as a writer. I don’t know if her influence comes across so much in my New Adult books, but in my Young Adult books (yet unpublished!), definitely. Mira Grant in her willingness to play with structure. I think she’s a really bold writer and I admire that a lot. 
You have spoken before online about your struggles with anxiety and depression. How does this affect what you write?

This is a great question and I’m so glad someone asked this! I am pretty open with my struggles because I think they’re not uncommon amongst artists, but also not uncommon amongst people across the board. And I wish that I had known more successful adults who talked about anxiety and depression when I was a teenager struggling with it. I think that would have helped enormously.
I have a tendency to let some of my struggles with mental illness bleed onto the page. In Second Position, Aly suffers from anxiety, panic attacks, depression, and is recovering from an eating disorder (different than my own). It was important to me to represent these struggles on the page for the reader who might not read my blog, but needs to know that Aly—like them—struggles some days more than others, but ultimately is fighting for balance and is as worthy of love and stability and happiness as they are.

Describe your book in one sentence.
A former ballet dancer and a ballet dancer on leave struggle against psychological and physical barriers to reclaim their romance and their ballet careers four years after a car accident tore them apart.

Where did you get the idea for Second Position, did anything inspire you to write it?
I worked on this idea for awhile, first as a Young Adult novel that just wasn’t working and I couldn’t figure out why. Then when New Adult became a thing, I realized that it gave me that opportunity to age them up, without losing their immaturity and struggles to deal with the real world.

I rarely talk about this part, but there was a second factor. I started the original story, the YA version in 2009, and put it down for years. I didn’t think about the book and pick it up again until 2013 after a breakup. I wanted to believe in Happily Ever Afters and the possibility of them and so I wrote myself a story. I think that was the best thing I did for myself that year.
What made you decide to write a novel set in the world of Ballet?

I was always interested in writing a book about an elite sport, like ballet, where the athletes train from a very young age and essentially surrender their adolescence to their profession. I wanted to know what happened when I took that away from two characters.
What would you say makes your book unique and worth reading?

Physically disabled hero! Zed is a left leg above the knee amputee. (This isn’t a spoiler. It’s on the first page, I promise!). He’s not an alphahole as the genre has started to call those characters. He’s not always good at being there for Aly, and he doesn’t always know what he’s doing, but he tries. He’s always trying.
Psychologically disabled heroine! Aly struggles with anxiety and recovering from an eating disorder. And authentically. She’s in therapy throughout the book and she has a competent therapist, something you don’t see in fiction too often. He’s my favourite secondary character!

And banter! There’s lots of banter. Tweet me when you get to the “Keep your tutu on” scene.
And because I think that my book is different than other New Adult books out there, in a good way, and adds something to the genre. I love New Adult. I love the promise of it. But I’d also love to see more lyrical, thoughtful, messy loves depicted on the page.

Is there any specific message you wanted to convey in the book?
I hope that readers take away two things:

1.       It’s important to forgive yourself. For the little things, for the big things, for messing up in past relationships, for messing up in this one. I think we’re very good at blaming ourselves for things, and very good for blaming others too. Forgiveness is something you have to teach yourself. It isn’t easy, but I promise it’s worth it.

2.       There are very few destinations in this world. There’s no endgoal or endpoint to love or recovery. You work at both of those every day. And when you need help, there’s help out there. It’s okay to ask. Asking for help is an act of forgiveness.
What are your plans for future books?

The sequel to Second Position is called FINDING CENTER and it’s about Aly and Zed (Second Position does NOT end on a cliffhanger, I promise! Just more Zaly coming your way) too. It comes out in August! Beyond that, I can’t say yet!
Do you have any hobbies and Interests unrelated to books?

Yes! I foster cats and kittens for Philadelphia animal rescues. I’m a lifelong horseback rider (eventing and dressage). I love skiing, hiking, and kayaking. Also if there were Nap Olympics, I would medal.
Would you ever consider putting these (answer to above) into any of your books?

I mighhhttttt be working on a book about horseback riders right now but I can’t guarantee anything comes of it! It’s in the early stages of drafting. And there’s a cat in the YA I’m drafting right now!

FUN STUFF
If you could meet any one author (dead or alive) who would it be and why?

Madeleine L’Engle. She changed my life.
Tell us one interesting fact about yourself.

My left arm is one inch shorter than my right arm. Exactly. (I broke a growth plate in a horseback riding fall when I was 10.)
What is your favourite food?

Mexican food. Specifically, enchiladas. But really, anything Mexican. Oh and fish tacos. I was raised in a town with a huge Mexican migrant population and was utterly spoiled. Nothing tastes as good as food from home.
What is the most adventurous thing you have ever done?

Oh gosh. Um. Most people would say my travels to Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia, and Croatia might count. I got lost on a competitive trail ride one time and rode my poor pony for like six extra miles. Oops.
If you could be any supernatural creature which would you choose?

Does the Loch Ness monster count? If so, I pick Nessie.

Review of Shadow Study

30 Mar 2015

Synopsis

Once, only her own life hung in the balance…

When Yelena was a poison taster, her life was simpler. She survived to become a vital part of the balance of power between rival countries Ixia and Sitia.  Now she uses her magic to keep the peace in both lands—and protect her relationship with Valek. Suddenly, though, dissent is rising. And Valek’s job—and his life—are in danger. As Yelena tries to uncover her enemies, she faces a new challenge: her magic is blocked. And now she must find a way to keep not only herself but all that she holds dear alive.

Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK

Review

The original trilogy with Yelena and Valek is easily up there in my favourite books ever and though I was slightly hesitant about going back to their world this book was absolutely fantastic. There is a brand new storyline and challenges for the characters to face and alongside all the old faces their is also multiple brand new characters.

I think it would be possible to read Shadow Study without having read either of the other two related trilogies (Poison Study, Magic Study, Fire Study, Storm Glass, Sea Glass, Spy Glass) but I would recommend reading them anyway because 1) they are fantastic books 2) Shadow Study will be a ten times better read if you are already emotionally invested in the characters.

This book is told through a number of different POV's so we get to follow several different and yet interlinked storylines. Yelena is trying to discover what has happened to her magic with the help of Leif and a few other old friends whilst Valek is off in Ixia with Ari and Janco attempting to deal with both smugglers and attempts on his life. My favourite element to this book were the flashbacks where we get to see Valek's childhood and how he became the character he is today.

My favourite new character is Onora as I loved her feistiness, grit and passion. She makes for an interesting addition to the duo of Ari and Janco and their banter is certainly one of the best things about the book.

Valek and Yelena are apart for a decent amount of the book but their romance still gets some good page time. They are by far one of my favourite fictional couples, something about them just works, and Shadow Study is great for seeing where they are a few years after we first met them.

There are a lot of mysteries in Shadow Study and with that comes several surprises at the end of the book! Overall I highly recommend this to fans of Fantasy and Fantasy Romance books. Now I just need to buy this in paperback to add to my Maria V. Snyder collection!

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for review consideration, this has not affected my opinions or rating in anyway*

Try it for yourself! Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK

Laura

Review of Chosen Thief

23 Mar 2015

Chosen Thief

Caroline Jules knows death is imminent. She’s only 22, but as an inmate of Death Row in the most secure Mystical jail, what else could her future hold?

Caro has no idea. Her solitary, transient life is about to get flipped on its head when it is revealed that she is the new Prodigy Elemental, and she has responsibilities and ties that she can’t ever escape. Caro is attempting to run from a brutal past, but the Rulers have other plans for this thief’s future.

But the transition from a self-contained existence to life with the other Prodigies, the Kings and Queens, and even the Elders was never going to be easy, and Caro has secrets she’s loath to share. Suddenly she has friends, mentors, lovers – and they all want to know more about her than she is willing to reveal. Can she learn to thrive in the role of a future leader, or will the obligations scare her into disappearing again – this time forever?  

Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK

Review

I love Scarlett Dawn's trademark blend of paranormal elements, romance, and a kick-ass main character. With the majority of New Adult novels being contemporary romances, Scarlett's books both stand out and fill a gap which fulfils the desires of readers such as myself who want a little more intrigue and action alongside the romance in their New Adult reads. Chosen Thief is just as good, if not better than previous books by the author.

Unlike King Hall which has a less than stellar opening chapter, Chosen Thief is fantastic from the get go. We get thrown right in with a prologue introducing us to Caro and setting the scene for the mysterious nature of the rest of the book. For people who loved the first book Lily and the rest make multiple appearances but at the same time you don't need to have read any of the first three books for this one to make sense.

Like with the first Forever Evermore trilogy, the characters are what makes this book as they all have such big personalities. There is a bit of a love triangle sneaking in but I don't want to go into too much detail there as it is best for you to see for yourself. It is good I promise! This book has so many elements that make it unique and so there isn't much to compare it to.

Caro is fantastic, she has a sharp wit and a snarky personality but the best part about her is how she stands up for those she considers family. Though she is very prickly at the start of the book, as you get to know her more the compassion simply shines through. Chosen Thief overflows with too many fantastic secondary characters to name them all individually - Scarlett Dawn understands the importance of giving even minor characters depth and development that will cause you to get emotionally invested in them.

Chosen Thief has fractionally less action and deep storyline than I would have liked as most of the book seems to be setting the scene and introducing the backstory and the characters so that the true action can kick in for book 2. There was still enough tension and plot to keep this book very interesting though and I know from the authors previous books that she does this formula very well so don't let that put you off!

There are still a lot of questions left unanswered at the end of this book (like what exactly did Caro do to end up in jail and what is so damn mysterious about the Spirits!) but I think there is supposed to be two sequels so we have plenty of time to get answers. It just makes me want the next book that much sooner!

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for review consideration, this has not effected my opinions or rating in any way*

Try it for yourself! Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK

 
 
Laura

Review of Here Be Sexist Vampires

12 Mar 2015


Synopsis

Sam Parker is a vampire with a gift so strong and substantial that she is invited to partake in a test for a place in the Grand High Master Vampire’s private army. She finds that not only has the army never included a woman, but it has never included a Svent√© vampire; a breed that is regarded by the super strong Pagori breed and the hypnotically beautiful Keja breed to be too tame and human-like. Most refuse to take her seriously, especially a Pagori commander named Jared who she craves in spite of herself.

The Grand High Master, however, sees her potential and offers her the position of Jared’s co-commander to help train the newest squad in time for the impending attack on his home. Sam has to demonstrate to Jared and the squad of chauvinists why it is incredibly foolish to underestimate a willful, temperamental, borderline-homicidal Svent√© female.

Warning: This novel contains an iron-willed female vampire with an energy whip, a sexist male vampire who is determined to have her, explicit vampy sex, and a romance story with real bite.

Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK

Review

Here Be Sexist Vampires is a stellar paranormal romance.  The heroine is strong, funny, smart, and loyal to those who deserve her loyalty.  She has an unpleasant backstory which includes some rather unsettling elements.  She has to go above and beyond to prove herself but she doesn’t shy away from hard work so she has no trouble proving her worth and putting her doubters in their place.  You’ll notice that she has a bit of a “Mary Sue” element as the story progresses in this book and the two subsequent books but I enjoy it as it is balanced by the various struggles she has to deal with.

The hero is…an ass for a decent portion of the book.  He creates numerous roadblocks for the heroine and, frankly, has to do a lot to redeem himself.  His character is the typical philandering, misogynist that is prevalent in novels these days but his character definitely grows on you.  Especially with the segments from his POV that show the shift in his outlook towards the heroine.  And the heroine is no push-over so don’t worry, she puts him in his place repeatedly and makes him earn the chance to be with her.

The main story line of the book is preparation for a large battle.  As such there is a lot of strategizing and training leading up to it, which gives the novel more substance than a simple paranormal romance.  The heroine was an impressive strategist so it was fun to see her apply it to the various challenges she encounters.  The romance is definitely on the steamy side (seriously, steamy) so it made for an enjoyable read as well.  There were lots of side characters that provided added depth to the story but the standout is the heroine.  She is definitely one of my favorite heroines.

As I am writing this review, I have already devoured the two follow up books that focus on the two main characters from this book.  The subsequent books flesh out the hero more, had major story line developments and were good reads as well, but the first book is the standout in the series.

Try it for yourself!  Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK

Katie

Review of Hero

3 Mar 2015

Synopsis

Alexa Holland’s father was her hero—until her shocking discovery that she and her mother weren't his only family. Ever since, Alexa has worked to turn her life in a different direction and forge her own identity outside of his terrible secrets. But when she meets a man who’s as damaged by her father’s mistakes as she is, Alexa must help him.

Caine Carraway wants nothing to do with Alexa’s efforts at redemption, but it’s not so easy to push her away. Determined to make her hate him, he brings her to the edge of her patience and waits for her to walk away. But his actions only draw them together and, despite the odds, they begin an intense and explosive affair.

Only Caine knows he can never be the white knight that Alexa has always longed for. And when they're on the precipice of danger, he finds he’ll do anything to protect either one of them from being hurt again…

Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK

Review

Hero is a highly enjoyable contemporary romance. I first got introduced to Samantha Young through her Young Adult novels but there is no denying she can also write a great adult romance. From start to finish Hero is emotionally charged and a truly intriguing read.

Our two main characters Alexa and Caine have some awkward history in their families and because of this Caine hates Alexa whilst she feels responsibility for his unfortunate past. Added to this is an instant attraction between them both which leads to some delicious sexual tension.

Alexa is a great character, she is mouthy, snarky and stands up to herself when needed. Whilst some romance heroines can be a bit wimpy and boring, Alexa is one to go full steam ahead after what she wants. Caine has the whole brooding, mysterious millionaire thing going for him which I'm sure most readers will love. Together they are a little bit dysfunctional but only because they are both lying to themselves about what they want and feel.

Whilst Hero does have a few steamy scenes to me the focus of the story was about the growth and romantic development of Alexa and Caine. It is about them both finding a kindred spirit in one another and through that being able to overcome their pasts.

The storyline isn't particularly unique but it is done in a really great way that makes it stand out. Oh and Hero is a standalone which is refreshing to see in a world of seemingly never ending series'! A definite recommend for romance fans.

Try it for yourself! Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK
Laura

February Monthly Wrap Up

1 Mar 2015

On The Blog


This month consisted mainly of my still trying to get into the swing of posting regularly. It has definitely improved from January and I posted several reviews this month alongside a Stacking The Shelves every Saturday/Sunday, several Hot New Releases and some other fun stuff :)

The Most Viewed Posts From February

His Dark Materials Readalong - Announcement
Review of The Fire Sermon
UKYA Extravaganza Blog Tour - Lou Morgan Turns The Tables

Reviews Posted

Four reviews were posted on Bookish Treasures this month.

Becoming Alpha - YA Paranormal Romance - 3.5 Stars
Dark Siren - YA Paranormal Romance - 4 stars
Smokescreen - Contemporary Romance - 5 stars
The Fire Sermon - Dystopia / Fantasy - 5 stars

You can expect even more in March! :D

Personal Things


University has now fully restarted from after Christmas and though it is hectic and hard work at times it is so much fun. We have now started our Children's Writing & Publishing module in which we are working in groups to conceptualise and part produce a picture book and I am loving that so much! I have completely rediscovered my love of picture books. We have also started production & design which is being taught by AMAZING freelance designer Becky Chilcott, she works with top publishers in the UK and has been part of the design team behind covers such as Throne Of Glass, Jacqueline Wilson's books and the new Harry Potter covers! She is an excellent person to be learning from and she is always talking about children's and YA books which is extra fantastic.

The cheerleading competition season has now started for Universities and though our full cheer team hasn't competed yet February saw the debut competition for our two stunt groups and the pom dance team (which I am in) and we left with 3 trophies :) We are now gearing up for a big competition in early April.


February has actually been pretty uneventful :P

Books Read




March TBR


In February I did a terrible job of sticking to what I planned to read so I'm not going to pressure myself too much to read any particular books as I don't think it works for me but at a minimum I would like to read Hero by Samantha Young, Seven Days by Eve Ainsworth, Crow Moon by Anna McKerrow and Love Bomb by Jenny McLachlan.

Feel free to recommend me books to read in March especially as I am feeling uninspired by most of my TBR (I just want Urban Fantasy at the moment!) :(
 
Here's to a hopefully fantastic March!

Stacking The Shelves / Showcase Sunday #60

28 Feb 2015
Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews and Showcase Sunday is Hosted by Books, Biscuits and Tea and they both give bloggers the opportunity to share the books they have received in the past week.
 
I didn't get any paperbacks this week BUT I received some amazing ebooks to review and bought a few also :) It's quite UF heavy as that is what I am really into at the moment but I do still love me some contemporary fiction. As usual if you click on the book cover you will be taken to the Amazon page for that book.

For Review

I was incredibly happy to receive both Chosen Thief and Deep Blue Eternity as they are the next offerings by two FANTASTIC authors. Thank you to both Scarlett Dawn and Natasha Boyd for the review copies :D
 
 
Netgalley

I saw this fab sounding PNR on Netgalley and even though it is about the seventh or eighth book in a series I think it might be possible to read as a standalone so I am going to give it a try!
 

 
Bought

I have been excited about the thought of Lion's Share for a while (and it was fantastic!) whilst Dragon Marked I stumbled across whilst seeking more UF to read (I can't get enough at the moment).
 
 
Freebies
 
I found three fantastic sounding freebies this week and I am pretty sure they are all still free if any grab your eye.
 
 
What do you think of these books? Are there any you have read or plan to read? Feel free to link to your own Stacking The Shelves or similar posts in the comments.

UKYA Extravaganza Blog Tour - Lou Morgan Turns The Tables

26 Feb 2015
Welcome to the next stop on the UKYA Extravaganza blog tour - and we're doing things a little differently in this one, as author Lou Morgan turns the tables and interviews your host, Laura from Bookish Treasures!

No, we haven't lost the plot - not entirely, anyway. But we thought, as we get closer to the UKYA Extravaganza event itself, what better way to celebrate the spirit of the UKYA community than to turn the spotlight on the bloggers who are such an important part of it. Readers, cheerleaders and friends: these guys know their books. So let's find out a little bit more about what makes our host Laura tick…

1. Hi Laura, and thanks for being part of the blog tour! To start off, tell us a little bit about yourself, and about your site. How did you get into blogging?

My journey to blogging started with me discovering how great twitter was as a place to connect with both authors and people who loved books just as much as I did. From their I discovered book bloggers and reviewers and during "Cheer Week" in my first year of University (a week over the Easter holidays when everyone on the cheerleading team would stay at University even though everyone else had gone home to do long practices every day) I had a lot of spare time on my hands and so started reviewing for a site called Readers Favourite.

Getting experience reviewing and having started to develop friendships with bloggers made me want to create my own blog where I could post reviews written how I wanted alongside other posts to help spread the word of books I loved. With some encouragement and help from the lovely Faye @ A Daydreamers Thoughts, Bookish Treasures was born in December 2012.

My blog was set up with intention with it being a YA blog but it also has quite a heavy focus on NA simply as I was a strong supporter of it as the category was finding its feet and growing and so I would get lots of requests for those types of books (I still do but accept much less now). I expect that the types of books featured on Bookish Treasures will always change slightly as my reading habits change but YA is something people will always be able to expect to see as that is one thing I like that never changes. The variety that the category provides means that there is always a book to suit my current tastes.

2. Let's dig into your reading history: what's the first book you can remember reading, and what was your favourite book as a child? I can remember being very attached to books like Gobbolino, The Witch's Cat by Ursula Moray Williams when I was little, and then things like Brian Jacques's Redwall series. I still have my copy of The Dark is Rising, too, which has to be one of my childhood favourites. What about you?

Many of my childhood memories are incredibly hazy but one of my clearest revolves around books. Shortly after starting primary school we were instructed to read out loud to our parents to practice our reading. Much to the despair of my mother I forced her to listen to me read the entirety of Fantastic Mr. Fox over a two hour period as I didn't want to stop only part way through. The next night I brought home George's Marvellous Medicine and she had to deal with listening to me read that also. When the third night saw me bring home The Twits my mum wrote a strongly worded letter for me to take to school about how she's rather I was encouraged to read on my own in the future. I still have that letter in a memory box. It is pretty funny.

Pretty much ever since then I have been just as crazy about books and often get hooked on a particular author. I had a childhood jam packed with activities and yet I still somehow found a lot of time to read. I would always carry around a book to read between ballet class, gymnastics, swimming etc. and would often stay awake long past my bedtime to finish off my current read. I haven't changed much to be honest.

As for my favourite reads, that is something I always struggle with as I read so many fantastic books in my childhood. One that has to be acknowledged is Varjack Paw by UK author S.F. Said as it is one of the only age 8 - 12 books that I still have on my bookshelves as I couldn't bear to get rid of it. I also still have The Confessions Of Georgia Nicholson series by Louise Rennison - those books guided me through my pre-teen and teen years and are just so laugh out loud hilarious.

3. This interview is part of the UKYA Extravaganza blog tour. What do you think defines a UKYA book (apart from the obvious!), and what do you think sets it apart from other YA?

What I love most about UKYA is the culture matching my own so I find it easier to put myself in the characters shoes. I love books by US authors but I often cannot relate to the characters experiences - especially in contemporary fiction. UKYA is always a refreshing change as everything feels more real, I like recognising the locations and slang terms and I LOVE that everything is spelt properly :P

In my experience UKYA is often grittier and battles more serious topics. I think in the UK we are a little more lax than the US about hiding issues such as sex, mental illness etc. from teenagers. I love books that are not afraid to tackle serious issues and think that they are very important for teenagers to read.

I completely agree about the settings and culture: I devoured Point Horror and Sweet Valley High when I was 12 or so, and while I loved them, I always felt a little sad that there was nothing like that set somewhere I recognised. While on the one hand it made everything seem more glamorous and exciting, it also made it harder to identify with the characters' lives.

4. Pick up the book closest to you right now, open it to a random page and tell us the first full sentence written there. (No cheating!)

Mine, by the way, is a collection of F. Scott Fitzgerald's writing, so we get this:

Of course all life is a process of breaking down, but the blows that do the dramatic side of the work - the big sudden blows that come, or seem to come, from outside - the ones you remember and blame things on and, in moments of weakness, tell your friends about, don't show their effect all at once.

Which is cheery, but I rather like it anyway. Yours?

Ok so the first time I sat down to answer the questions I was pinned under a cat (evidence) and so unable to go and get a book. The second time, I was pinned under a cat AGAIN so I sent my mum to grab a book at random from my room. And so having set the scene -
 
"Always keep your sword in the ready position"
 
Just to give this quote context (though it is much funnier without), this is from The Worst Case Scenario Survival Handbook in the chapter How To Win A Sword Fight.
 

5. Why do you think UKYA has developed into such a community? Where would you like to see it go from here? I can't wait to see how it changes and grows over the next year…

I think it helps that the UK is much smaller than other places such as the US and so it is easier for everyone to get to know one another, attend similar events etc. People like Lucy Powrie who runs UKYAchat and Project UKYA have been a major part of developing the community in recent years and also in terms of bloggers many of the top reviewers of UKYA (you can see many of them shortlisted for the UKYA Blogger Awards) are incredibly friendly and welcoming to new people in the community.

My hopes for the future are simply that the community continues to grow whilst simultaneously becoming even more tight knit.

6. What's the last book you finished reading, and what's next on your TBR pile?

I have just finished The Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson (not UKYA sorry!) and I am about to start reading Seven Days by Eve Ainsworth.

The Rithmatist was an unbelievably incredible YA Fantasy novel with in depth and complex world building and from what I have heard about Seven Days it tackles the issue of bullying in a really unique and fascinating way, telling the story from the perspectives of both the bully and the victim.

Seven Days is the first of several UKYA novels at the top of my TBR pile. UK authors appear to be pulling out all the stops to make 2015 the best year of UKYA yet!

Good choices: I've heard some very good things about Seven Days too! I've not long finished reading Wolf Hall (I'm so ahead of the curve I'm a couple of years behind it…) which was incredible, and I'm partway through Mal Peet's Life: An Exploded Diagram. After that, I've been thinking about a re-read of Possession by AS Byatt. It's one of my favourite books, and it's been a while since I read it, but it's been on my mind lately.

7. You're about to be exiled to a deserted tropical island. You have time to grab five things to take with you. I guess mine would be a bag (which I'd fill with books), a notebook and pen, a blanket and a big Crocodile Dundee-ish knife. What are yours, and why?

I always go silly with these questions :P

Solar Panels and a generator so I have access to electricity
A satellite device so I can get onto the internet
My kindle so that I can read books
My laptop so that I can go on twitter, goodreads and my blog
My cats Lily and Neo for companionship

Even if I am on a desert island I need to be able to read and blog!
Thank you Laura, for all your answers! And don't forget to head over to YAYeahYeah tomorrow for the next stop on the tour, with Emma Haughton.
Also don't forget to check out Lou's YA novel Sleepless which is available online and in any bookstore worth its salt!
 
Young, rich and good-looking, Izzy and her friends lead seemingly perfect lives. But exams are looming � and at a school like Clerkenwell, failure is not an option. Luckily, Tigs has a solution. A small pill that will make revision a breeze and help them get the results they need. Desperate to succeed, the group begin taking the study drug. It doesn’t take long before they realize there are far worse things than failing a few exams.
 
Lou Morgan is the author of YA study pill horror Sleepless, part of the Red Eye series from Stripes, as well as two adult urban fantasy novels: Blood and Feathers and Blood and Feathers: Rebellion, both available from Solaris Books. She lives in Bath with her family, and has long submitted to the rule of her two cats.

Hot New Releases: February 11th - 24th

25 Feb 2015
Welcome to Hot New Releases here at Bookish Treasures. The last two weeks have brought several fantastic releases.

We can only include books that we are aware of! If you have an upcoming release please let us know over email, facebook or twitter for the chance to see it included in the weekly round up. We are also always happy to hear about any free or discounted books which we can spread the news of:D

Young Adult

Salt & Stone by Victoria Scott


What would you do to save someone you love?

In Fire & Flood, Tella Holloway faced a dangerous trek through the jungle and across the desert, all to remain a Contender in the Brimstone Bleed for a chance at obtaining the Cure for her brother. She can't quit--she has to win the race, save Cody, and then fight to make sure the race stops before it can claim any more lives. In the next legs of the race, across the ocean and over mountains, Tella will face frostbite, sharks, avalanche, and twisted new rules in the race.

But what if the danger is deeper than that? How do you know who to trust when everyone's keeping secrets? What do you do when the person you'd relied on most suddenly isn't there for support? How do you weigh one life against another?

The race is coming to an end, and Tella is running out of time, resources, and strength. At the start of the race there were one hundred twenty-two Contenders. As Tella and her remaining friends start the final part of the race, just forty-one are left--and only one can win.


Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK

A Wicked Thing by Rhiannon Thomas


Rhiannon Thomas's dazzling debut novel is a spellbinding reimagining of Sleeping Beauty and what happens after happily ever after.

One hundred years after falling asleep, Princess Aurora wakes up to the kiss of a handsome prince and a broken kingdom that has been dreaming of her return. All the books say that she should be living happily ever after. But as Aurora understands all too well, the truth is nothing like the fairy tale.

Her family is long dead. Her "true love" is a kind stranger. And her whole life has been planned out by political foes while she slept.

As Aurora struggles to make sense of her new world, she begins to fear that the curse has left its mark on her, a fiery and dangerous thing that might be as wicked as the witch who once ensnared her. With her wedding day drawing near, Aurora must make the ultimate decision on how to save her kingdom: marry the prince or run.

Rhiannon Thomas weaves together vivid scenes of action, romance, and gorgeous gowns to reveal a richly imagined world … and Sleeping Beauty as she’s never been seen before.


Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK

Unleashed by Sophie Jordan


Unleashed, the romantic, high-stakes sequel to New York Times bestselling author Sophie Jordan's Uninvited, is perfect for fans of James Patterson's Confessions of a Murder Suspect.

Davy has spent the last few months trying to come to terms with the fact that she tested positive for the kill gene HTS (also known as Homicidal Tendency Syndrome). She swore she would not let it change her, and that her DNA did not define her . . . but then she killed a man.

Now on the run, Davy must decide whether she'll be ruled by the kill gene or if she'll follow her heart and fight for her right to live free. But with her own potential for violence lying right beneath the surface, Davy doesn't even know if she can trust herself.


Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK (releases March 26th)

A Darker Shade Of Magic by V.E. Schwaab


Kell is one of the last Travelers—rare magicians who choose a parallel universe to visit.

Grey London is dirty, boring, lacks magic, ruled by mad King George. Red London is where life and magic are revered, and the Maresh Dynasty presides over a flourishing empire. White London is ruled by whoever has murdered their way to the throne. People fight to control magic, and the magic fights back, draining the city to its very bones. Once there was Black London - but no one speaks of that now.

Officially, Kell is the Red Traveler, personal ambassador and adopted Prince of Red London, carrying the monthly correspondences between royals of each London. Unofficially, Kell smuggles for those willing to pay for even a glimpse of a world they’ll never see. This dangerous hobby sets him up for accidental treason. Fleeing into Grey London, Kell runs afoul of Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She robs him, saves him from a dangerous enemy, then forces him to another world for her 'proper adventure'.

But perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, Kell and Lila will first need to stay alive — trickier than they hoped.


Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK

New Adult & Adult

Shadow Study by Maria V. Snyder


Once, only her own life hung in the balance.

Oddly enough, when Yelena was a poison taster, her life was simpler. But she'd survived to become a vital part of the balance of power between rival countries Ixia and Sitia. Now she uses her magic to keep the peace in both lands and protect her relationship with Valek.

Suddenly, though, they are beset on all sides by those vying for power through politics and intrigue. Valek's job - and his life - are in danger. As Yelena tries to uncover the scope of these plots, she faces a new challenge: her magic is blocked. She must keep that a secret - or her enemies will discover just how vulnerable she really is - while searching for who or what is responsible for neutralizing her powers.

Yes, the days of tasting poisons were much simpler. And certainly not as dangerous.

Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK

Lion's Share by Rachel Vincent


Abby Wade has a dangerous secret.

Two months ago, she disobeyed an order, but instead of kicking her out of the Pride, Jace offered her a job. Since then, she’s been battling a completely inappropriate crush on the young, hot Alpha. But when accepting his job offer seems like the only way to keep her skeletons safely in their closet, Abby doesn’t hesitate.

Jace Hammond has a big problem.

A rogue is slaughtering humans in his territory, and he must eliminate the threat before the entire shifter species is exposed. There could not be a worse time for Abby to accept a job he only offered as a boost to her confidence. Abby is smart, beautiful, and resilient—more than enough to distract any man from the mission. Unfortunately, she may just be the worst enforcer ever to hold the title.

As they hunt the killer, Abby’s secret becomes a threat to Jace’s authority and to her own life. But the real danger is the grip she has on his twice-shy heart.


Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK

A Stone In The Sea by A.L. Jackson


He wanted nothing at all…

Until he found she had everything to give…

Sunder lead singer and guitarist Sebastian Stone has everything—fans, fame, and fortune. He also has a heart full of bitterness and a reputation for a short-fused temper. But an outward reputation rarely reveals the true man inside. Facing assault charges after trying to protect his younger brother, Sebastian is sent to Savannah, Georgia to lie low until the dust settles in L.A.

Shea Bentley is beautiful, kind, and hiding from the very lifestyle Sebastian has always embraced.

When the mysterious, tattooed stranger begins hanging out at the bar where she works, Shea is quick to recognize he is nothing but trouble, but she's helpless to the way her body lights up every time his intense gray eyes tangle with hers.

They both soon find themselves drowning in a sea of desire and passion that won’t let them up for air.

Sebastian knows firsthand secrets never die, and he’s not the only one who’s hiding them.

Loving someone always comes with a price. But will it be Shea’s past that costs them everything?

Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK

The Way We Fall by Cassia Leo


Maybe we shouldn’t have fallen so fast and so willingly.

Maybe we shouldn’t have moved in together before we went on our first date.

Maybe we should have given our wounds time to heal before we tore each other to shreds.

Maybe we should have never been together.

Houston has kept a devastating secret from Rory since the day he took her into his home. But the tragic circumstances that brought them together left wounds too deep to heal.

Five years after the breakup, Houston and Rory are thrust together by forces beyond their control. And all the resentments and passion return with more intensity than ever.

Once again, Houston is left with a choice between the truth and the only girl he’s ever loved.

Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK

Collateral Damage by Elizabeth Grace


Now trending.
Hollywood It Girl, Francesca Leon, has just landed the biggest role of her career…one that could clinch an Oscar nomination and open doors. If she’s going to move her career to the next level and work with top directors, she has to nail this part — and keep her sexy, but unreliable leading man from screwing everything up.

Team Calder
Bad boy Calder Fox is the son of Hollywood royalty and fresh out of rehab after his best friend’s death sent him on a downward spiral of drugs and alcohol. While his fans still love him and the paparazzi stalk him, he’s never taken life, or anything about his career, seriously. He may be charming and drop-dead gorgeous, but if he doesn’t stay sober, he could ruin Frankie’s future and expose her long-hidden family secret to the voracious media.

Behind the scenes.
Things heat up during filming and have the potential to become hotter, deeper, and much more real. But can Frankie trust Calder with her secret? Or is he doomed to sabotage his own happiness yet again?
  

Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK

Unseen by Amber Lynn Natusch


Welcome to the Kingdom of Hades, where even its prodigal princess sleeps lightly.

After fighting Soul Stealers in Detroit, Khara hoped to return home to find answers in her father's realm. But the land of the dead offers little information, and far too much tragedy. Now cut off from her brothers, and left only with her dark and unreliable companion Oz, Khara must navigate the centuries-old webs of deceit and betrayal, all while eluding the Underworld's most depraved inhabitant. But she soon finds an unexpected ally in her adopted sister Persephone. Together, they endeavor to right a terrible wrong. And as Khara soon discovers, there's more riding on her success than she ever thought possible.
  

Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK

Are you planning on reading any of these books? Do you have any new release recommendations that I have missed?