Happy Release Day!! Bodies In Motion

Breaking radio silence to wish the Twinny One, Liana Brooks, a happy release day 🙂

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Selena Caryll lost everything in the war: her ship, her crew, her family. The only thing keeping her going is the hope that somehow the feuding, ground-bound settlers and the fuelless space fleet can set aside their differences. But getting the politically-fractured fleet moving again is more than she can manage alone. For now, she has to settle for working undercover with the planetary police force.

When someone tries to reignite conflict between the planet-siders and the fleet, there’s only one person who has the rank and ability to help Selena protect the fleet: Titan Sciarra, Fleet Guardian—the one man she’s tried hardest to avoid since the war destroyed her life.

In a world where the stagnant weight of tradition can be as deadly as any knife, the only way to survive is to keep moving.

 

Behind The Title: Newton’s First Law of Motion states “A body in motion will stay in motion until acted on by an outside force”. We usually think of this in terms of physics, physical objects, and friction but it applies to choices and lives too. Often a person will set their course and stay on it unless acted on by something external force, even if the destination is catastrophic. For Selena Caryll her course is a downward spiral, she’s lost everything and has no future to look forward to. For Titan Sciarra his life was headed for an early death until he was shot down in the war, the subsequent injuries and his absence from the battle lines allowed him to change direction.

In a world where two stagnant cultures are on a collision course with mutual destruction it will take something extraordinary to change the world. And what’s more extraordinary than love?

 

For readers who enjoyed the Time and Shadows series, what does BODIES IN MOTION offer? The Time and Shadow series (The Day Before, Convergence Point, Decoherence) with Sam and Mac was SF-lite. Clones and the multiverse, but less high-tech space exploration. Still, it shares a theme of choices with BODIES IN MOTION. Sam realized she was an einselected node and that even her smallest choices affected the fate of the multiverse. In BODIES everything is post-war, people are dealing with the trauma of having lost people they loved, of having killed people they once considered friends, and there’s no one in Selena’s age group who wasn’t effected. They didn’t get to opt out of the war. When a society is that fragile, every choice matters. Every word, every action, every inaction has a long-term consequence. This is only the start of the series so we don’t get to see everything yet, but you get to see the start.

 

For readers who enjoyed the Heroes and Villains series, what does BODIES IN MOTION offer?

One of the big draws of the Heroes and Villains series is the super powers. Being able to fly, or use telekinesis, or manipulate emotions were all part of Dr. Charm’s family’s charm. It’s fun to see ordinary people using powers most of us don’t have. In BODIES IN MOTION science allows anyone to have it (with some notable exceptions) and we get to see what a world full of superheroes looks like. What makes you special when everyone is superpowered and able to teleport?

And while BODIES IN MOTION isn’t as intentionally comedic as EVEN VILLAINS FALL IN LOVE there is the same sense of warm humor and family that you get from the Heroes and Villains books. Plus: happy endings! Who doesn’t love a happily ever after?

 

You really like choices as a theme, don’t you? I do! I think one of the biggest lies people believe is that their choices and actions don’t matter. And maybe some of them don’t. Maybe the color of your shirt or whether or not you wear make-up won’t have a long-term consequence. But how you treat other people, how you interact with them, that always has life-long consequences.  When you look at the patterns of history you can often pinpoint the one rash decision that brought a culture tumbling down. Even on an individual scale, from day-to-day, choices matter. And sometimes you don’t know what the right choice is, you just have to choose and hope for the best. But, yes, I love this as a literary theme. I love exploring what happens when one person makes a choice that changes everything.

 

This is a really fantastic novel, you guys. Mystery, murder, intrigue, cool science, flirting and adorable relationships… And you can try before you buy for free – Liana’s been serialising the draft version of the novel over at her blog all season 🙂 Check it out today!

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My Best Books of 2016

At some point I want to do a quick wrap-up of 2016 (good points, anyway, I think we’ve all had enough of the bad points) and sketch out some things you can expect in 2017, but today I was looking at my list of books I’ve read this year and I realised that some of them I really truly have not crowed about enough. I read some really excellent books this year. You clearly need to read them too! 😀 So, my best books of 2016 – with the clarification that these are books I read in 2016, not books that were published in 2016. The list is kind of long, so I’ve split it up by age/genre to make it a bit more manageable! Links are to Amazon for ease of blurb access.

My Favourite Middle Grade Books of 2016

Pip Bartlett’s Guide To Magical Creatures ~ Jackson Pearce & Maggie Stiefvater
This is a super cute middle grade mystery with glorious world-building and not a wasted word. A genuinely delightful, whimsical story. I’ve already pre-ordered the second book.
My Seventh Grade Life In Tights ~ Brooks Benjamin
I tweeted the author after reading this to say that this was the most tightly plotted book I’d read in a while. A heartful and glorious contemporary middle grade about a boy who just wants to dance. Love it. Tight plotting, great voice.

My Favourite Young Adult Books of 2016

The Raven Boys ~ Maggie Stiefvater
This is a yearly reread of one of my all-time favourites. As ever, Stiefvater’s characters are rich and real, her world is magnetising, and her prose lush and dreamy. Private school boys + public school girl, all with Issues, seek dead Welsh king in back-country Virginia. Everyone is a little bit in love with everyone else.
Saving Francesca ~ Melina Marchetta (Link to Book Depository because Amazon only has the grotesquely white-washed reprint cover)
Another reread. One of my fav YAs as an actual YA person growing up. Francesca is part of the first female cohort in a previously all-boys school. Dealing with that, the issues of her extended Italian family, and her mother’s depression provide obvious conflict. Glorious, authentic voice, fun characters. Felt slightly dated on this reread, but I still recommend and love it.
These Broken Stars ~ Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner
##$(*%&$$%)**&*!!)*!!!! LOVE this series. This is epic YA sci-fi romance at its absolute superlative. This installment is wilderness fic, and you can tell the authors have actually done research. Events are authentic, voices is great, plot is gripping, and the romance is perfectly steamy. (Sweet on-page, clear indication of off-page developments.)
This Shattered World ~ Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner
Another fantastic installment, featuring some A+ worldbuilding, a POC female main lead, and another story that reeled me right in DESPITE the fact that it’s from the perspective of new characters. I was disappointed about that initially, but the reasons for it become clear and the same fast-paced, page-turning plotting and A++ command of voice reel you in regardless.
Their Fractured Light ~ Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner
Conclusion to the series, again from different perspectives, but again just as richly nuanced and well justified. The over-arching mystery deepens, the good guys team up, things go boom, people go smooch. This series is just perfect, perfect YA sci-fi romance. Love it.

My Favourite Adult (Genre) Books of 2016

Clean Sweep ~ Ilona Andrews
A great new series from the Ilona Andrews team. Urban fantasy with hints of science fiction, sassy dialogue, alpha males, women who know how to handle them, great magic, family mystery–just a great book all round.
Sweep in Peace ~ Ilona Andrews
Awesome second installment in the series, introducing some fabulous new characters and really upping the ante as far as both the stakes and the mystery are concerned. I am SERIOUSLY looking forward to getting my copy of book 3 in the mail in the next few weeks. You can read this whole series for free on Ilona Andrews’ website if you’re keen, but I don’t like screen reading, so I’m eagerly awaiting the post…
Limelight ~ Krista Ball
A fantastic, well-plotted, authentic contemporary romance, featuring a female lead with mental illness (severe panic attacks brought on by social anxiety) who falls for a superstar (and super hot) actor. Great dynamic between the two, good sense of voice, realistic plotting and conflicts–a great romance.

My Favourite Adult (Lit Fic) Books of 2016

A Beautiful Life ~ Michael Futcher and Helen Howard
A play I had to read for school, which I promptly fell in love with. Set partially in Canberra, Australia, in the Iran embassy, and partially in Iran during the main character’s past there, this play deals sensitively with the idea of migrants, refugees, politics and culpability. Just gloriously plotted; watching the story unfold and the mystery slow reveal is immensely satisfying and deeply thought-provoking.
Jasper Jones ~ Craig Silvey
A fab Australian novel about growing up, losing your innocence, and doing the right thing even when the whole town/system is against you. Don’t let the relaxed, talky pace of the first few pages deceive you: there’s a Big Deal coming, and when it does, it lands with a thud. A glorious exploration of morality, sexism and being a hero that’s extremely easy to read. It’s kind of like a contemporary Australian To Kill A Mockingbird, and there are a lot of intertextual references there to support that.

My Favourite Writing Books of 2016

Rise of the Machines: Human Authors In A Digital World ~ Kristen Lamb
If you’re a writer and you’re not signed up to Kristen’s newsletter, I suggest you get on that now 😉 She has fab advice to dispense and does so with intelligence, wit, humour and candor. This is one smart lady and you can’t afford not to hear what she has to say, especially about using blogs and social media effectively to build your brand.

My Favourite General Non-Fiction Books of 2016

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up ~ Marie Kondo
If you’re a practical soul like my mother, the idea of a book on how to tidy might seem somewhat absurd to you. But if, like me, you’re a somewhat whimsical soul at heart, you’ll appreciate this lovely take on how to effectively declutter your home without breaking your heart in the process.
Big Magic ~ Elizabeth Gilbert
Gilbert herself is an author (see, e.g., Eat, Pray, Love), so her book on creativity is naturally slanted towards writing, but it’s equally applicable to any other kind of creative. It’s sweet and romantic and whimsical, and I whole-heartedly loved it. There are parts of it that are totally unscientific, but if you can buy the Pratchettian idea that “[i]nspirations sleet through the universe continuously. Their destination, as if they cared, is the right mind in the right place at the right time.” (Pratchett, Men at Arms), then you’ll appreciate this entirely inspirational take on the creative process, and how to honour it in your life.

 

Have you read any of these? Leave a comment and let me know what you thought! Or, if you haven’t read any of them, leave a comment and let us know what *your* best books of 2016 were! 🙂