Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Happy Holidays! and Giveaway Winners

This is my last post of the year – and it’s to let you know the winners of the Every series giveaway. 

So without further ado…

Prize pack 1: has been won by Laura

Prize pack 2: has been won by Lisa Fic Talk

Prize pack 3: has been won by asmith y

Congrats to all the winners, thanks to all who entered! (My youngest boys had a ball picking names out of the hat). If you’ve won, please contact me by email at elliemarney[at]gmail[dot]com to send your postage details, and I’ll post out your prizes in the New Year.

Finally - I’m stoked to have made it to the end of such a massive year.  Thanks to all of you who’ve been so supportive, reading here, and sending me emails and messages to say hi – it’s always amazing to hear from you.  I’ll be back in January, but until then I’m signing off: I’ll be out of radio contact while we go on our annual family camping trip.  Best wishes of the season – be it Christmas, Hanukkah, or end-of-year festivities of your own – from me and my family to you and yours.  Happy Holidays!

Lots of love,


Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Meet My Character Blog Hop + Giveaway Prezzies

Hi again, and happy holidays!

Yes, I know – this is the time of year we tend to go a little crazy.  School events, work events, family events, friends events…  All the Events.  In amongst this, I’ve been working with my amazing editors to prepare Every Move for publication.  And we’ve done it!!  I mailed back the final passes today.  There will be final-final passes, and other fiddly bits, but Sophie is putting all the changes and little corrections through now (Sophie – respect), in time to send it off to the printer.  Which means we’ll have a Real Live Book in our hands very early in the new year!

But today I wanted to say hi to crime writer friends, with the Meet My Character blog hop.  This tour was kicked off by the lovely Sandi Wallace, who launched Tell Me Why just recently.  I was invited to participate by Angela Savage, whose most recent book in the addictive Jane Keeney series is The Dying Beach.  Angela is a good friend, a righteous woman, and a great writer – she launched Every Word for me in June, and I was delighted to accept her invite for the blog hop, answering a few questions about Rachel Watts and Every Move.

For the next stop on the blog hop, I’ve invited Nansi Kunze and Candice Fox to join us – they’ll be posting up their answers on their own blogs here and here by Thursday 18 December.

Nansi Kunze is a mate – I’ve interviewed her once already here on the blog.  Nansi grew up surrounded by books in Australia and the UK. After studying languages and ancient history at university, she spent several years teaching overseas-trained doctors how to pronounce rude words and teenagers how to mummify each other, while cultivating a taste for manga and video games in her spare time.  Kill the Music is her third novel, following on the success of her previous two, Mishaps and Dangerously Placed. Nansi lives on a small farm overlooking the Victorian Alps with her husband and son, and is currently hard at work on her next YA book (assuming that ‘hard at work' is synonymous with ‘researching glamorous locations on the internet').

Candice Fox is the middle child of a large, eccentric family from Sydney's western suburbs composed of half-, adopted and pseudo siblings. The daughter of a parole officer and an enthusiastic foster-carer, Candice was constantly in trouble for reading Anne Rice in church and scaring her friends with tales from Australia's wealth of true crime writers.  Bankstown born and bred, she failed to conform to military life in a brief stint as an officer in the Royal Australian Navy at age eighteen. At twenty, she turned her hand to academia, and taught high school through two undergraduate and two postgraduate degrees. Candice lectures in writing at the University of Notre Dame, Sydney, while undertaking a PhD in literary censorship and terrorism. Hades is her first novel – it won the Ned Kelly Award for best debut in 2014. Eden, its sequel, was published in December this year.

Now on with the blog questions!

1/ What is your character’s name?

Rachel Maree Watts

2/ Is your character fictional or historical?

Definitely fictional – although she and I share a deep appreciation for flannie shirts and hot, intelligent men.

3/ When and where is your story set?

Every Move is contemporary – ie. set in the present day – and the characters travel from deepest darkest North Coburg to the Mallee area near Ouyen.  It’s the final book in the Every series; the first book, Every Breath, kicked off Rachel’s adventures in Melbourne, and the second book, Every Word, saw her travel overseas for the first time, to London, where she and her BF, Mycroft, investigated a murder and got into a whole lot of trouble.

4/ What should we know about Rachel?

Rachel grew up on an isolated sheep farm in the Mallee, and being raised a country girl has made her pretty physically tough and enduring.  She has a lot of practical skills – running a pump, driving a ute, shooting a rifle, climbing onto the roof to clean the gutters of dead possums…that sort of thing.  Her personal style runs to jeans, boots and t-shirts/flannies, and she generally ties her brown hair in a knot to keep it out of the way when she’s working.

She’s a fighter.  She’s also incredibly stubborn (what? Another character trait I share?  Certainly not - I’m not like that at all…) and her other defining personality quirk is that she’s fiercely loyal, and has a strong sense of family.

Rachel turned seventeen near the start of the first book, Every Breath.  Another important fact about her: she’s in love, with a certain dark-curly-haired, Sherlock-wannabe called James Mycroft.  Being involved with Mycroft has drawn Rachel into some hair-raising situations - murder, mystery and mayhem, not to mention the disapproval of her parents - but Rachel’s pragmatism and cool head in a crisis have generally seen her through.

5/ What are Rachel’s personal goals?

To keep her family together, and safe from Mycroft’s personal nemesis ‘Mr Wild’.  To recover from the trauma she endured in London – although she’s not sure how to do that.  To work out what’s going on with herself and Mycroft.  To discover who she really is and where she fits in. To pass her Year Twelve exams!

6/ What’s the name of the book, and can we read more about it?

Every Move is the title, and you certainly can!  It’s coming very soon. 

7/ When is it published?

1 March 2015 through Allen and Unwin.

If you haven’t checked them out already, you can catch up with the previous books Every Breath and Every Word here.  Hope you enjoyed this stop on the blog hop, and please do go and check out the other wonderful authors at their stops!

Now – in the spirit of holiday cheer, I’ve decided to give some stuff away.  And here’s the stuff!
Prize 1 is the North American edition of Every Breath

Prize 2 is a two-book set of Every Breath and Every Word

Prize 3 is a hot-off-the-press ARC of Every Word from Tundra (this prize only available to North American/Philippines readers).

If you’d like to win one of these prizes, please comment here on the blog, or on Facebook, @elliemarney on Twitter, or @elliemarney on Instagram.  Tell me what is your personal goal for 2015 (do you want to pass your Year Twelve exams, like Rachel?) and which prize pack you’d like to win.  My son will pick a name out of a hat I’ll choose a winner next week, and let people know before Christmas.  All prizes will be mailed out in January 2015.

That’s all from me for a while, folks.  We’re heading off on our annual family camping trip the day after Christmas, so I won’t be back online until January.  Many thanks for reading, and for keeping me company this year – it’s been a blast!  Lots of love and hopes that you all have a lovely Christmas and holiday season (may you receive many books!), and all the best for the New Year
See you in 2015!

Xx Ellie

Monday, 1 December 2014

Holiday Summer of Reading List Love at the Palais Du Chook

Well, here we are – I only started this blog two years ago, with a post about writing something over the summer holiday break, and we’ve suddenly arrived at the same point again.  Yesterday was the first official day of summer here in Victoria, and it’s promising to be a hot, dry one.  We’ve finished our Palais du Chook (see left), just in time to start keeping up the water to the new crop of baby chicks, and the garden is already starting to brown off.  It seems bizarre that I was whinging about how we couldn’t get the washing dry only a few short months ago – stick around a bit, and you’ll hear me complaining about the heat.

My year of buying only books by female writers is also coming to an end.  I made that first commitment, to buy only books written by women, after writing this post on women and the NYT Bestseller List.  I have to say, it was an easy task I set myself – so easy that I almost forgot I was doing it.  Books by female writers make up the bulk of my reading and buying anyway, so it was no hardship (should I have set myself a more difficult task?). I did a bit of an audit, and figured out I only cheated twice: once when I bought a James Dashner book for my sons that they desperately had to have, and once when I bought Jay Kristoff’s Stormdancer – but that was at the launch of the final Lotus Wars book, Endsinger, so I didn’t feel bad (Jay also writes kick-arse Japanese steampunk female protags, which alleviated any remaining guilt).  Every other book I’ve bought this year has been by a female author.

Which doesn’t mean to say I’ve stopped reading books by men.  No way – I’ve just been getting them all from the library.  And there are definitely a few books by guys that I’m rather keen to get my hands on, so I’m looking forward to being able to buy them.  The Rosie Effect by Graeme Simsion is pretty much the top of my list (although I’m hoping someone will give it to me for Christmas – HINT), and other male-authored books I’m lining up for are Blood of My Blood by Barry Lyga (god yes), Winger by Andrew Smith, The Last Shot by Michael Adams (and the third one comes out early next year! Double happiness!), Foxglove Summer by Ben Aaronovich, and The First Third by Will Kostakis.  I’m hoping to have a very large pile of TBR books to take on our annual camping trip over the New Year.

Now I thought I’d get in early and write up my favourite reads of 2014, because last time I did this it was, like, February already.  Not all of these are new – some were published ages ago and this was the year they called to me.  But anyway, here you go, my favourite reads of the year!

Outlander: Cross Stitch by Diana Gabaldon
Recced to me by loads of people, but most specifically Danielle Binks, and a hearty thank you from me.  I LOVED it.  An historical romance that gender-flips all the tropes? – I am so there.  And the teev series – wow! – reminded me of all the reasons I love Ron Moore.  And we won’t even mention Sam Hueghan…

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
Original, eerie, beautifully written and mysteriously plotted.  I loved the weird photos, which made me think of Carnivale and The Mysteries of Harris Burdick by Chris Van Allsburg, and overall an amazing ride

Wild Awake by Hilary T. Smith
Such a beautiful book.  At the end of it, I felt like my world had been tilted on its axis.

The Incredible Here and Now by Felicity Castagna
This book was up for the 2014 CBCA Book of the Year award, and I’m so glad I wasn’t judging, I would be the most horribly subjective judge, but THIS BOOK.  Just a tiny heartbreaking sliver of Western Sydney in an incredibly crafted package that doesn’t feel crafted, but rather just feels like the most beautiful real life.

The Piper’s Son by Melina Marchetta
GAH.  Just…GAH.  I love Thomas Mackee.  And I love Melina Marchetta.  I have no idea why I haven’t read it before this year but I guess this was just the year I was meant to read it, and this book went off like a lightbulb exploding inside my head.

Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovich
I haven’t laughed so much or been so absorbed while reading a paranormal urban fantasy for a long long time. Incredibly diverse cast, and I just loved the protag’s voice.  Bizarrely plotted, but it’s all part of the fun.

Through the Cracks by Honey Brown
Have I said often enough yet how I’m in love with Honey Brown and want to have her book babies?  No?  This is another searing psychological ride, not so much a thriller, but you have no idea what will happen to the characters, and you don’t want to put the book down until you find out.  Gorgeous writing – just gorgeous.  And dialogue – omg.  I always have a Honey Brown book on my desk, it’s compulsory.  And she has a new one coming out soon!  Woot!

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
I have picked up and put down various Maggie Stiefvater books for the last few years – I don’t know why I kept putting them down, maybe it wasn’t the right time to read them.  But this one – this one I could not put down.  The most awesome character descriptions ever.  I’m already desperate for the next book, The Dream Thieves, and if this is what all of Stiefvater’s work is like, sign me up.

There you go – ta da!  Finally, I’m gonna end the whole Reading List Love thing with a nod at The Book I Have Been Waiting For: I am so very very happy (I cannot even tell you: I am FULL OF SQUEE) that The Shadow Cabinet, the final book in the Shades of London series by Maureen Johnson, is about to be released.  How much am I longing for this book?  SO MUCH.  The only thing that would make me happier right now would be if Holly Black said she was releasing a fourth book in the Curseworkers series (please please say that could potentially happen!!  Holly, I love you and no pressure!!)

Okay, that’s it.  Just a few more parting words before I go about the Every series.

* Every Breath is going great guns in North America and the Philippines.  It was recently featured at The Midnight Garden here (wow!) and also on Jukebooks at theYALSA blog ( double wow!).  All you incredible readers and bloggers and book-buyers and librarians out there, YOU ARE ALL MADE OF AWESOME, and thank you so much!  I’m so very grateful for all your support, and especially huge thanks to Tundra Books for making it happen.  Also, so far as I’m aware, Every Breath will reach UK shores in Spring of 2015.

* Every Word is being prepped for a 2015 release in North America and the Philippines.  Woot!  Right now I’m going through typeset pages to check for last minute things before printing.
If you are keen for an Advance Review Copy of Every Word (and just gaze adoringly at those beautiful ARCs there for a second – aren’t they gorgeous?) then please drop into Instagram and gimme a follow – we’re giving them away to new-follower folks, so sign on up!

* Every Move – omg, we’re nearly at the finish line!  I’m doing final passes this week, and my eds and I are working our butts off to bring this book to print on deadline, which will make an early March 2015 release possible.  Honestly, after the writing and the re-writing and the editing and the copyediting and the proofing and the final passes, I must have read through this book at least a hundred times, so I’m getting tired and my butt is sore from sitting in front of the computer, and I am now also filled with the fizzy, scary nervousness of ‘will people like it?’.  There’s also lots of last minute anxiety about whether it’s going to live up to people’s expectations.  But in my saner moments, I’m pretty confident that you will like it (fingers crossed).  Either way, it’s coming very soon!

So that’s the end.  And I hope you have a wonderful holiday season, wherever you are in the world, and may you get lots of lovely books for Christmas! (and give them in return!)