Thursday, 28 February 2013

Cover Reveal: Wait for You

Hey guys!  Today I'm super excited to be part of the reveal for the cover of Wait for You, Jennifer L. Armentrout's latest novel!  Some of you may have seen it already, but leave your thoughts below!  (For the record?  I LOVE.)

What do early readers have to say about WAIT FOR YOU?

J. Lynn creates a wonderful cast of characters that will make you laugh, swoon, and cry. Cam stole my heart.” – Cora Carmack, NYTimes and USA TODAY Bestselling Author of LOSING IT

“For the love of all that is Cameron without a shirt on! Wait for You will have you laughing out loud, fanning yourself and anxiously waiting to know what will happen next.” – Molly McAdams, NYTimes and USA TODAY Bestselling Author of FROM ASHES and TAKING CHANCES

I don't think I have ever read a NA Contemporary novel with as much depth as this one. It really moved me and by the end I was just speechless over how inspirational and uplifting it was as well as being sexy and cute and funny and emotional.” - K Books

Wait For You is uniquely different from anything else J. Lynn's written but it might possibly be her best work yet.” – Jenuine Cupcakes

For all of you in love with Aiden and Daemon, PREPARE YOURSELVES! Your heart will have to expand a little more for Cam.” Total Bookaholic

For the love of all things CAM, this book deserves more than 5 stars.” – Mundie Moms

I cannot even begin to explain how much I adored this perfectly crafted contemporary.” – Shortie Says 

Excited? Ready to see the cover for WAIT FOR YOU?

Some things are worth waiting for…

Traveling thousands of miles from home to enter college is the only way nineteen-year-old Avery Morgansten can escape what happened at the Halloween party five years ago—an event that forever changed her life. All she needs to do is make it to her classes on time, make sure the bracelet on her left wrist stays in place, not draw any attention to herself, and maybe—please God—make a few friends, because surely that would be a nice change of pace. The one thing she didn’t need and never planned on was capturing the attention of the one guy who could shatter the precarious future she’s building for herself.

Some things are worth experiencing…

Cameron Hamilton is six feet and three inches of swoon-worthy hotness, complete with a pair of striking blue eyes and a remarkable ability to make her want things she believed were irrevocably stolen from her. She knows she needs to stay away from him, but Cam is freaking everywhere, with his charm, his witty banter, and that damn dimple that’s just so… so lickable. Getting involved with him is dangerous, but when ignoring the simmering tension that sparks whenever they are around each other becomes impossible, he brings out a side of her she never knew existed.

Some things should never be kept quiet…

But when Avery starts receiving threatening emails and phone calls forcing her to face a past she wants silenced, she’s has no other choice but to acknowledge that someone is refusing to allow her to let go of that night when everything changed. When the devastating truth comes out, will she resurface this time with one less scar? And can Cam be there to help her or will he be dragged down with her?

And some things are worth fighting for…

WAIT FOR YOU is available now!

 J. Lynn, also known as Jennifer L. Armentrout, is the USA TODAY Bestselling author of the adult romance Gamble Brothers’ series, the young adult Lux Series and award winning Covenant Series. She pretty much writes everything—contemporary, paranormal, and fantasy. All of her books have one thing in common no matter the name or genre: kissing… and stuff. When she’s not busy writing, which is never, she’s usually hanging out with dog Loki, watching reruns of The Walking Dead, or procrastinating on the Internet. You can find out more about Jennifer by visiting the following websites:



Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Blog Tour: Review & Excerpt: The Murmurings

Title: The Murmurings
Author: Carly Anne West
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Released: 5th March 2013
Rating: 3 of 5 stars

The Murmurings is a book that, as soon as you so much as glance at it, promises good things.  It puts into your mind images of yourself biting your nails, gripping the book/Kindle with white fingers, torn between wanting to turn away because of how creepy it is and that innate need to keep on reading.  While it didn't entirely live up to that impression, this was a decent read nevertheless.

Sophie is haunted after the death of her sister, Nell.  Everyone assumes that she committed suicide, unable to bear the supposed voices that she can hear but no-one else can't.  Except Sophie.  At first she tries to ignore it, even begins to think that she's going crazy.  But soon she learns that the doctors at the mental facility Nell was staying at aren't ordinary doctors, and that there's a reason for why she can hear these voices.  Why she can see shadows and distortions in the mirror.  And the more she finds out, the more her own life is in danger.

The novel gets off to a good start, immersing you immediately in Sophie's world.  I found myself intrigued as to what these murmurings were and how both Nell and Sophie were able to hear them. I'd seen references to Seers and Takers in other reviews, so naturally this made me even more curious.  The term 'Seer' was pretty self-explanatory, but 'Taker'?  I read eagerly, wanting to have my questions answered.  And when I did get them, I was, for the most part, satisfied.  Of course I was also waiting to be creeped out, and this was one of the big things that disappointed me.  The more sinister scenes come in the second half of the book, and naturally while reading them I was questioning myself for wanting to read a creepy book so badly.  But those scenes didn't last very long, and soon I'd be back to feeling slightly disconnected from the writing.  At the same time, though, a mental hospital does feature quite heavily in the book, and I always feel slightly uncomfortable reading about them.  They're eerie places, and let me tell you, doctors can be very scary people. I'd hate to be on the wrong side of one.

Because of that, and because of the fact that she misses her sister and also has to deal with these freaky whispers in her ear, and because of the other fact that her mother is essentially useless and her aunt focused only on her mother, I did feel sorry for Sophie.  She has a lot to deal with, and The Murmurings is another example of how harming people can be.  It especially frustrated me that her mother and Aunt Becca made exactly the same mistake as with Nell, apparently having learned nothing.  Having said that, however, I wasn't able to entirely connect with Sophie.  You'd think that knowing her ability to hear the murmurings, something that no-one else knows, would go a long way towards letting you get to really know her.  But I found myself wishing to know more about her, to see layers to her.  I wanted her to be a more thoughtful character rather than simply pushing boundaries beyond their limit when she knew that doing so would only end badly.  My inability to connect extended to the romance as well.  This was perhaps the thing that irked me most.  Evan made a couple of appearances and suddenly he's all Sophie can think about.  She gets nervous when she's near him.  Why does she like him?  Why does he like her?  More questions, no answers.  It ended slightly better than it started, but I still wasn't convinced.

Despite the negativity that seems to have come through here, The Murmurings was actually a good read.  Granted, I would have loved a bigger dose of creepiness and the chance to really connect to what I was reading, but there was some feeling drawn from me.  The concept behind the book is certainly different, and I'd recommend you read this at least for that that alone.  Regardless of all the issues, it's definitely worth sticking with.

I step towards the second set of doors, wondering if maybe they're on their own automatic sensor.  But nothing happens.  I tense with the memory of the thing I saw in this reflection when I came to retrieve Nell's box of things.
    'Hello!' I yell to the window, eager to get in and out as soon as possible.
    My plan is loose, but I've told myself it's enough.  I just need to say that I want to see Kenny, tell him I'm sorry for upsetting him last time.  After the way he clocked me, they're probably so afraid of getting sued that I'll get a couple minutes with him.
    I just need to ask him about Deb.  I need to know if she's really here.  If I can confirm that she's not in any immediate danger, then I'll wait until Evan gets back from all-star camp, and we can figure out what to do together.  He'll be pissed, but when he finds out Deb's here, I know he'll understand why I had to do it.  But first I have to get those minutes alone with Kenny - asking him about Deb is another story.
    'Hey, can someone let me in?  Hey!'
    Still nothing.  The glass contains the volume of my voice, as if I'm a bug trapped in a jar.  'Is anybody th-?'
    Before I can finish, the doors part.
    I glance back at the admitting window.  It's as empty as it was before.
    I brush a chill from my arm and tell myself that the door must be on some sort of sensor in the evening.  Probably some sort of budget cut to keep from having to pay an orderly to sit there during non-visiting hours.
    But when I step into the lobby, I'm alone.  From the reception desk to the recreation room where I'd had my incomprehensible conversation with Kenny, it is empty and still.  I take a couple of tentative steps towards the reception counter, half expecting some cranky, white-smocked orderly to pop up from behind the desk jack-in-the-box style.  But as I stand on my toes to peer over the desk's ledge, I see nothing but boxes of Xerox paper and piles of dusty manila files, each marked with a patient number.
    I look behind me again.  A single tower of Legos sits in the middle of the rec room table.  It is made entirely of green blocks.  All I'd wanted was some private time to talk with Kenny.  But I hadn't counted on this silence.  It doesn't seem right.   Everything seems off.
    'Hel...hello?' I say in a tone hovering just above a whisper.  Pathetic.  I try again.
    'I need to talk to someone,' I say in a voice I hope is more assertive than how I feel.  But the way it trembles from my lips tells me I came up short.
    All of a sudden, getting answers out of Kenny is the last thing I want.
    The urge to get out of here is palpable.  I've felt afraid before, and I've known when it's my own chicken-shit attitude that's trying to get me to run.  But this is different.  Almost primal.
    I glance once more towards the recreation area before deciding to leave.  I'll just have to find out if Deb is MM some other way.
    I step towards the doors and wait for them to open the way they did for my entry, but they stay sealed like two tightly pressed lips, refusing to let me out.  I duck around the corner.  I say as I go to push the red button, 'I'll let myself out.'
    Something sharp pinches the back of my thigh.  I stop dead.

Monday, 25 February 2013

Blog Tour: Promo: Legacy of the Clockwork Key

Title: Legacy of the Clockwork Key (Secret Order of Modern Amusementists #1)
Author: Kristin Bailey
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Released: 5th March 2013

When a fire consumes Meg’s home, killing her parents and destroying both her fortune and her future, all she has left is the tarnished pocket watch she rescued from the ashes. But this is no ordinary timepiece. The clock turns out to be a mechanical key—a key that only Meg can use—that unlocks a series of deadly secrets and intricate clues that Meg is compelled to follow.

Meg has uncovered evidence of an elite secret society and a dangerous invention that some will stop at nothing to protect—and that Meg alone can destroy. Together with the handsome stable hand she barely knows but hopes she can trust, Meg is swept into a hidden world of deception, betrayal, and revenge. The clockwork key has unlocked her destiny in this captivating start to a trilogy.

Favourite Quote
'He leaned in close to my neck.  "I need you," he whispered so close to my ear.  "I want you."  Pulling back, he peered deeply into my eyes.  "Please say you'll have me, too.  We can find a way."
My heart fluttered, then burst like fireworks on the fifth of November.  "I love you, Will."

Friday, 22 February 2013

Blog Tour: Review & Guest Post: Recalled

Title: Recalled (Death Escorts #1)
Author: Cambria Hebert
Publisher: Self-published
Released: 15th February 2013
Rating: 4 of 5 stars

Ladies and gentleman (though I think generally ladies?), friends and followers, I present to first successful reaper book.

What do I mean by that, you ask? reaper book that I've read has been particularly enjoyable.  Until now.  Cambria Hebert brings to the readership something new, a world in which Death Escorts and Ghost Escorts exist, all working under the formidable rule of the Grim Reaper - or, as he prefers to be known, G.R.  Dex is a guy living on the streets until one night, he saves a waitress from getting hit by a bus and in the process gets hit by it himself and dies.  Waking up to find himself the newest Death Escort, he's offered everything - money, food, even a house and car - if he'll agree to kill specific Targets and bringing the bodies back to G.R.  Between the chance to live a life so different to his old one, and the alternative being a place worse than hell, it's not long before he agrees.  His first Target is Piper, the waitress he saved.  And at first it's fine.  But as time goes on, he begins to question whether he can really kill people...especially the girl he's falling in love with.

Hebert captures your attention as soon as you start reading.  I was able to get acquainted with the characters and their personalities immediately, and in a way that was different and enjoyable to read.  There isn't a massive amount of wordbuilding in this, but what there is is enough to appreciate  the new life that Dex is now living and the kind of world he's part of.  The idea of Escorts is certainly a new one, and the Grim Reaper was actually slightly creepy, mostly through the contrast between how he first comes across to people and his real personality.  He's very ruthless and not prone to giving chances.  I did take issue with the alternating POVs, however.  I felt they switched back and forth far too quickly, and there were times where I'd barely settled into one POV before I was back in the other.

Dex is a very conflicted character.  He spends a lot of time with this internal struggle going on, trying to go ahead with killing Piper but then his conscience and his heart countering that.  On the one hand I questioned his decisions and his attitude, but then on the other it's impossible to deny that his life on the streets has toughened him.  We learn a bit about his life before then, though not much; I would have liked to see more.  At the same time, however, it's clear that he didn't have a happy childhood, and his refusal to look back at that time emphasises that and also shows just how much he's closed himself off from people and emotion.  It was sweet to see him slowly open up to Piper and even just to see how difficult it was for him to go through with this, how much he really cared for her.  Piper herself was a gloriously tough heroine, continually fighting for herself and not once giving up.  She's brave and understanding, traits also seen in her best friend Frankie.  Frankie's bubbly, supportive nature made me like her quickly.

I haven't read Cambria Hebert's Heven and Hell series, but it was the praise that I'd heard for it that made me want to read Recalled.  I can see now why the author is so popular.  Recalled offers a new take on the world of grim reapers, with characters it's not hard to root for.  I definitely can't wait wait to see where the story is taken in the sequel.

Guest Post: Random Questions
Do you ever ask people random questions just to hear their answers?  I do sometimes.  One of my favorite questions is: If you were going to be stranded on a deserted island, what 5 things would you bring?
It's a really fun question, I think.  I guess because I am a nosy type of person.  LOL.  Meaning, I like to know all these weird things about people because one: it's informative, and two:  it's hilarious!!
Today I am going to give you a list of things I would bring with me.  See if any of my choices match up with yours!
Now, about my answer: I'm going to list 5 things like the question asks, but can we please just skip the whole "my family" answer??  LOL.  Now, that isn't because I wouldn't bring them, because I totally would.  It's my default answer.  It's my obvious answer.  I feel practically obligated to list them as number one.  But that is NO fun!  I mean sure, it would be totally fun to be stranded on an island with my husband and I couldn't think of a better person to be stuck with but I didn't say people in the question, now, did I??  LOL.  So...if you could all do me a favour and NOT think I am a heartless meanie for not saying my family because the way I see it my family is a given anyway. ☺
So now that I have given a disclaimer, lol, let's get to my list!
#1 Eye Cream.

Specifically, Clinique's All About Eyes Rich. Yes, there is an All About Eyes, but I must have the All About Eyes RICH.  There's a difference, people, don't let the sales girl tell you different.  LOL. I use this faithfully, twice a day and have for almost 5 years...I think it's probably my favourite type of beauty product..  It is pricey but a little goes a long way...and I tried the cheaper eye creams from Walmart (there is nothing wrong with beauty products from Walmart, I use them, just not the eye cream) but I have really sensitive skin and I literally had burn marks on my eyes.  Ouch.
So why eye cream??  There's gonna be a lot of sun on this Island...I don't want to get wrinkles.  A girl needs to stay hydrated.  LOL.

   #2 A Barista.

Like you didn't know I was going to list this.   And yeah, yeah, I didn't list people but this isn't a's a MAGICIAN.  A coffee wizard.   A sanity keeper...a MUST HAVE.  I need to have my Starbucks and being on an Island is no different.  If I didn't have a barista to make me the coffee concoction of my choice, then I would be one grouchy lady.  Maybe he will even deliver it to me with a little tropical umbrella.  Very appropriate, yes??
And of course this barista will bring along his own stock to keep me in coffee...forever. ☺
 #3 My iPhone.

Seriously, I can't live without this.  I can honestly say that I would be so lost without it.  I use that thing for everything.  It is clutched in my hand at all times like a life line.  My case literally has indentations on the side from where I clutch it.  LOL.  Plus, what a handy little gadget to bring!  I would have music all the time, books, access to email, the internet and if I got bored on this little island I can call someone to rescue me...and give them the directions from the GPS on how to find me.
I know.  I'm like MacGyver.  Of course, my iPhone will be super powered and NEVER run out of battery.
#4 A werewolf.

LOL!!!  Yes, I said it.  Before you roll your eyes think about how practical this choice would be!!  If I had a werewolf, I would never get cold, I wouldn't have to hunt for my own food, I would always have a nice pillow, none of the island's wild wildebeasts or natives would mess with me, and I would have someone with brute strength to build me a nice little house.  Sounds good to me.
Note: If I couldn't find a werewolf, I would just bring a really big blanket instead and then count on my MacGyver ways to get some food. ☺
#5 Luna Protein Bars

Lemon Zest flavor only.  Yeah, I'm picky.  They have a few other flavors I like but this is my absolute fav.  I eat these ALL the time.  Since I am not a big meat eater at all...and I have a feeling my werewolf will be catching a lot of whatever the heck is running around on the island, I figure I need these. ☺  Gotta get that protein.  I can just count on my werewolf to climb the trees and get me some fruit and get in the ocean to catch me some fish (then he can proceed to cook it over a fire and make it look edible meaning: NO eyeballs, scales or tails that I have to see - bleck, maybe I will stick to the bars and the milk in my coffee (skim of course!) as my only sources of protein).
So those are my 5 items that I would bring if I were to be stranded on an island!  What about you?
Wow, it looks like Cambria has it all figured out!  I gotta wonder, though...would one of the iPhone's superpowers be to have reception?  All the movies show phones but no signal, but since Cambria's won't lose battery, I guess it could also pick up a signal. ;)
As for what I would take,'s a good question.  I guess my Kindle, because it has loads of books on there.  A writing kit, because it could include pens, pencils and paper, all as one (aren't I clever? ;D).  My iPod, for the music.  If there was some kind of magical tea-maker, where tea could be made out of thin air, I'd totally take that.  Because seriously.  Life is not life without tea. Tea makes the world go round, people, whatever you say.  And finally...*thinks*...*thinks some more*...*thinks still more*...No, I got nothing.  That's it.  Those things are all I'd want to take.
Your turn!  What would you take with you?   Let us know in the comments!
(Wait!  I thought of something!  Um...*looks around desperately, then gives up, shoulders slumped.  Thinks, and then smiles* Oh well.  I guess it shows I don't need a lot to be happy.  I'd be fine in my solitude. :P  (But if I did think of something, it would be totally cool.))

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Waiting on Wednesday (#24)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly feauture hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine thaat spotlights upcoming releases we can't wait to get our hands on.  Here's mine for this week!

Title: The Beautiful and the Cursed (The Dispossessed #1)
Author: Page Morgan
Publisher: Random House (Delacorte)
Released: 14th May 2013

After a bizarre accident, Ingrid Waverly is forced to leave London with her mother and younger sister, Gabby, trading a world full of fancy dresses and society events for the unfamiliar city of Paris.

In Paris there are no grand balls or glittering parties, and, disturbingly, the house Ingrid’s twin brother, Grayson, found for them isn’t a house at all. It’s an abandoned abbey, its roof lined with stone gargoyles that could almost be mistaken for living, breathing creatures.

And Grayson has gone missing.

No one seems to know of his whereabouts but Luc, a devastatingly handsome servant at their new home.

Ingrid is sure her twin isn’t dead—she can feel it deep in her soul—but she knows he’s in grave danger. It will be up to her and Gabby to navigate the twisted path to Grayson, a path that will lead Ingrid on a discovery of dark secrets and otherworldly truths. And she’ll learn that once they are uncovered, they can never again be buried.

First of all, *cough* cover love *cough; clears throat* Sorry about that.  Now where was I?  Something about the cover, you say?  No, I think you're mistaken  We're not supposed to judge books by their covers, and I can't tell you how many disappointments I've had, thinking a book will live up to its cover.  No, what I was going to say was, gargoyles.  London.   Paris.   Gargoyles. *grabby hands*



OK, fine.  I was totally staring at that cover.  Happy?  Now you stop staring, and let me know what you're waiting on! :P

Monday, 18 February 2013

Cover Reveal: Revelations

Hey guys!  I can't tell you how excited I am to be part of the reveal for the second book in J.A Souders' Elysium Chronicles, Revelations.  I found out about it totally last minute and was lucky enough to grab one of the last few spots left.  But I know you don't want to hear me rambling on, so I'll just leave you to stare at the cover. ;)  Enjoy!
Title: Revelations (Elysium Chronicles #2)
Author: J.A Souders
Publisher: Tor Teen

Released: November 5, 2013
Blurb to come!
About Renegade Elysium Chronicles (Book 1)

Since the age of three, sixteen-year-old Evelyn Winters has been trained to be Daughter of the People in the underwater utopia known as Elysium. Selected from hundreds of children for her ideal genes, all her life she’s thought that everything was perfect; her world. Her people. The Law.

But when Gavin Hunter, a Surface Dweller, accidentally stumbles into their secluded little world, she’s forced to come to a startling realization: everything she knows is a lie.

Her memories have been altered.

Her mind and body aren’t under her own control.

And the person she knows as Mother is a monster.

Together with Gavin she plans her escape, only to learn that her own mind is a ticking time bomb... and Mother has one last secret that will destroy them all.

About A Dark Grave: Elysium Chronicles (Book 0.5)

An Elysium Chronicles short story: the beginning.

There is only one place forbidden to the people of Gavin's village; the island just off the shore, rumored to be haunted. Cursed.

All who venture to the island disappear.

But Gavin doesn't believe in such things. He is a hunter; since his father's death, he is the only one who can provide for the family. Silly rumors of ghosts aren't going to stop him from crossing the dark waters to the island in search of fresh game...


About J.A. Souders:
J.A. Souders was born in the heartland with an overactive imagination and an overabundance of curiosity that was always getting her into trouble. She first began writing at the age of 13, when she moved to Florida and not only befriended the monsters under the bed, but created worlds for them to play together.
Because she never grew up, she decided she’d put her imaginary friends to work and started writing. She still lives in the land of sunshine and palm trees with her husband and their two children.
Where you can find J.A.
J.A is hosting a giveaway of a signed hard copy of Renegade, an e-copy of A Dark Grave (for those that don't have it, of course) and signed copies of Article 5 and Breaking Point by Kristen Simmons. (US/CAN)

INTERNATIONAL entrants can win e-copies of Renegade, Article 5 and Breaking Point.

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Review: The Name of the Star

Title: The Name of the Star (Shades of London #1)
Author: Maureen Johnson
Publisher: HarperCollins
Released: 29th September 2011
Rating: 4 of 5 stars

Jack the Ripper is one of those topics I really wish they'd cover in the History syllabus for school.  Instead it's 20th century this, and 20th century that.  Even at A level - which, for all you non-British, non-TNofS readers, are the two years of excrutiating study we have before university, in which we study four and then three subjects respectively, of our own choosing - the syllabus for the vast majority of the time is an unimaginative, repetitive look at 20th century European and USA history, just in loads more detail.  So when I saw that Maureen Johnson had chosen to set her story around Jack the Ripper, and in my home city of London, I instantly knew I had to read it.  And, I am delighted to say, it did not disappoint.

Rory Deveaux moves from Louisiana to London to study at Wexford Academy.  The same day she arrives, the first in a string of copycat murders takes place.  Someone has killed a woman in exactly the same way that Jack the Ripper murdered his first victim.  As the murders continue, with the murderer leaving absolutely no trace of themselves despite all the CCTV cameras, London becomes more and more afraid, the media more and more frantic.  Rory herself gets swept into a world she didn't even know existed.  And it all starts with her seeing a strange man that no-one else can see.  It's not long before it's her turn to be a target of the new Ripper.

It's clear that Johnson knows her stuff, right from the beginning.  The information given to us in terms of the Ripper cases is clear and detailed.  The whole nature of these crimes is completely dark and horrific, and I'm glad that the author didn't shy away from that.  The pacing of the first half was somewhat slow, but after a while I actually didn't mind, instead enjoying learning about the boarding school Rory's at and how she settles in.  The second half was engaging with its plot developments.  Rory herself is just hilarious.  Seriously.  I really didn't expect this book to be so funny, and yet there were parts where I just had to laugh at Rory's take on things.  To begin with, it was amusing to see how shocked she was at the culture difference between here and America, to have to learn different phrases and grow used to the cold and never-ending rain.  I still can't believe that Blu-Tack doesn't exist in America.  It's just so weird to think about.  And the Underground.  Oh my God.  Rory got so excited about tubes and the Underground, you'd think she was Arthur Weasley.  She also had loads of anecdotes from her life in America that she referred to.  Rory was independent, down-to-earth and generally really likeable.

I mentioned plot developments.  I love the different ideas that Johnson has brought together here.  You can tell she had a clear image of what she wanted in this story, and it all came together nicely.  The take on Jack the Ripper here is not one you're going to find elsewhere.  All the characters generally had their own voice, and I liked how there weren't any stereotypes.  What I didn't quite understand, however, was the romance.  There was no insta-love, there was no love triangle, but...the romance itself was barely there.  The way it was introduced wasn't exactly obvious, and I didn't understand why Rory and her guy of choice were together.  I mean, they're both likeable characters, but I didn't get their relationship.  The love interest himself is also slightly weird, and I couldn't really see how Rory was so comfortable with it, at least without asking him about it.  You'll see what I mean if you read it.  Having said that, though, there was something about him that I liked. And for some reason he sounded unbearably cute when he quoted those Spice Girls lyrics. I'm weird, I know.

This being the first book by Maureen Johnson that I've read, I'm sufficiently impressed.  Romance aside, this is a well-rounded novel with an intriguing plotline.  I appreciated the development of the secondary characters, Alistair and Jazza being particular favourites, and reading from Rory's perspective was truly wonderful.  The ending isn't a cliffhanger, but it's definitely a brilliant opening for the sequel - which, luckily for me, I have and will hopefully be starting relatively soon.  I highly recommend this to those of you who haven't read it yet.

Friday, 15 February 2013

Spotlight & Excerpt: A Shade of Vampire

Hey guys!  Today I bring to you a bit about A Shade of Vampire, with an excerpt kindly given by the author.  I've actually read just a little bit further than the excerpt here and between that and the reviews, this is another book added to my never-ending TBR.  Enjoy! :)

Title: A Shade of Vampire
Author: Bella Forrest
Publisher: Self-published
Released: 14th December 2012

On the evening of Sofia Claremont's seventeenth birthday, she is sucked into a nightmare from which she cannot wake.
A quiet evening walk along a beach brings her face to face with a dangerous pale creature that craves much more than her blood.

She is kidnapped to an island where the sun is eternally forbidden to shine.
An island uncharted by any map and ruled by the most powerful vampire coven on the planet. She wakes here as a slave, a captive in chains.

Sofia's life takes a thrilling and terrifying turn when she is the one selected out of hundreds of girls to join the harem of Derek Novak, the dark royal Prince.

Despite his addiction to power and obsessive thirst for her blood, Sofia soon realizes that the safest place on the island is within his quarters, and she must do all within her power to win him over if she is to survive even one more night.

Will she succeed? ...or is she destined to the same fate that all other girls have met at the hands of the Novaks?

I’d been meandering along the shore for about an hour when I suddenly sensed that I wasn’t alone. Someone was approaching me from behind. My heart leapt. I was so sure it was Ben, that when a stranger showed up beside me, I couldn’t hide my disappointment.
He must have noticed, because a smirk formed on his lips. “Were you expecting someone else, love?”
I eyed him suspiciously, remembering how many times my father had told me not to talk to strangers. I looked him over, taking in his appearance. My eyes widened. I couldn’t find words to describe how fine a man he was. He was almost beautiful. The first thing I took notice of was how his blue eyes were about three shades brighter than any I’d ever seen before. It was such a stark contrast to his pale – almost white – skin and dark hair. Standing beside me, he was easily more than half a foot taller. His height, broad shoulders and lean build reminded me of Ben, but he had a presence that was far more imposing than my best friend’s.
My gaze settled on his face.
I realized that he was inspecting me just as closely as I was him. His eyes on me suddenly made me feel uncomfortably vulnerable. I gave my father’s advice a second thought, but quickly canceled out all notions of heeding to his counsel when I reminded myself that he stopped caring a long time ago.
I straightened to my full height and mustered all the courage I had to keep myself from running away from this stranger.
Big mistake.
The confident smirk didn’t leave his face for even a moment.
“Like what you see?”
“A bit full of yourself, aren’t you?” I scoffed, annoyed by his audacity.
He stepped forward, closer to me, and leaned his head toward mine.
“Don’t I have the right to be?”
He knew he looked good and wasn’t about to act like he didn’t.
“Whatever,” was my oh-so-brilliant comeback.
My shoulders sagged with defeat as I took a step back, unsettled by how close he was now. I rolled my eyes and did a one-eighty, not quite in the mood to play whatever game this stranger was proposing.
I would soon realize that I was about to play his game whether I liked it or not.
He grabbed my arm and turned my body to face him. This motion alone made every single internal alarm I had within me go off in a frenzy.
This man was danger and I knew it. I tried to wriggle away from his touch, but I was no match for his strength.
“Tell me your name,” he commanded.
I was about to refuse, but was horrified to find myself blurting out my name in response.
“Sofia Claremont.”
As soon as I revealed my name, his eyes lit up with a kind of sinister approval. Then he reached for my face and traced his thumb over my jaw line.
“Hello, Sofia Claremont. You’re one stupid girl for taking a walk alone at this time of night. You never know what kind of evil a pretty little thing like you could happen to come by.”
I found myself wondering exactly what kind of evil he was. But I was suddenly overcome by the sensations that were surrounding me. My senses took in everything at once. I heard the waves, felt the sand, smelled the ocean salt, tasted the flavor of cherry and saw the stranger’s manic appearance as he stuck a needle to my neck. The effect was instant. I was barely able to gasp, much less scream. I went from sensing everything to sensing absolutely nothing.
My last conscious thought was that I may never see Ben again. 
Author Bio:
I've been telling stories pretty much since I could talk. Instead of having my parents read me bed-time stories, I would prefer to share with them my own made up tales.
As I grew older, I developed a passion for the fantasy genre.
I’m an avid reader and a hopeless Potterhead.
If you sign up for personal email updates from me here: ,
you'll be the first to hear about my new releases.

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Cover Reveal: Drowning In You

Hey guys!  Today I'm super excited to be part of the cover reveal for Rebecca Berto's Drowning in You!  Without further ado, here it is!
Author: Rebecca Berto
Publisher: Self-published
Released: April 12, 2013

Secretly crushing

Crushed by a tragedy

Charlee May’s been crushing on Dexter Hollingworth since she was fifteen. Five years later, a horrific skiing disaster at Mason’s Ski Lift Resort leaves her millionaire dad critically injured and her mom dead at the hands of Dexter operating the lifts. Charlee is suddenly the sole caretaker for her little brother while their world falls apart.

Dexter couldn’t be more different from Charlee. He’s tattooed, avoids exclusive relationships and his Dad has a fair share of illegal dealings. With Dexter’s reputation, almost everyone believes he planned the Mason’s skiing disaster.

And after all these years he’s still crushing on Charlee May, the girl who’s too good for him.
When this cruel twist of fate ties Charlee’s family and Dexter’s reputation together, Charlee and Dexter wonder if their feelings are reciprocated, while Dexter discovers his dad is trying to steal the May’s millionaire fortune.
But like an addiction, one look, one touch, one taste—they’re hooked no matter the consequences.  
About the Author
Rebecca Berto writes stories that are a bit sexy, and straddle the line between Literary and Tear Your Heart Out. She gets a thrill when her readers are emotional reading her stories, and gets even more of a kick when they tell her so. She’s strangely imaginative, spends too much time on her computer, and is certifiably crazy when she works on her fiction.

Rebecca Berto lives in Melbourne, Australia with her boyfriend and their doggy.

Rebecca Berto | Facebook | Twitter

Without even having read the book I get the impression that this is a very fitting cover.  Normally I adore colour in a cover, but I love the black and white here, the font used, and the red in contrast to the white.  What about you?  Is this something you'd pick up?  Leave your thoughts below!

Monday, 11 February 2013

Review: Warm Bodies

Title: Warm Bodies
Author: Isaac Marion
Publisher: Vintage
Released: 28th October 2010
Rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

It's no secret that I am a massive fan of zombie books.  I love them.  Seriously.  And then to find out that there's a book in the point of view of one??  Hell, yes.   Where is this book and why don't I have it now?  And then I got it.  And then I read it.  And then oh.  My.  God.  This book is amazing.  Isaac Marion truly astounded me in the direction he took this book.

R doesn't remember anything of his past life.  As a zombie, all his memories have long since faded away and even his name is non-existent; all he can remember is that it may have started with an 'R'.  His days are spent killing people for food, and in between that not really doing much of anything.  Unlike the other zombies, however, he doesn't enjoy killing people.  He prefers instead to listen to the likes of Frank Sinatra, and ride the escalators when the electricity comes on in the airport a lot of them are living in.  But when a group of them go out in search of food one day, he sees her.  Julie.  For some reason she stands out to him, and he's reluctant to harm her.  Eating the brain of the guy she loved, R experiences some unusually vivid memories and his feelings for Julie gradually intensify.

Normally when I write a review, I have the book here with me.  Unfortunately it had to go back to the library, otherwise I would have shared a couple of quotes with you that showed the kind of dry humour Warm Bodies is full of.  I loved the opening especially for this aspect, the way zombie life was depicted.  It was amusing to see how casually R described things like the way the zombies stood around and groaned a lot, and what they ate and how.  The way in which Marion has intertwined humour with the more gruesome is wonderfully expert.  The idea of R occasionally eating a piece of Perry's - the guy Julie used to be with - cerebrum is somewhat disturbing actually thinking about, but in the book it doesn't necessarily come across this way. The zombie world created here is completely different to anything else you might find in this genre.  You have Boneys, zombies who are purely skeleton and particularly sinister, and fleshies.   I think the name speaks for itself.  And the ending of the book is one you absolutely would never have guessed.

Reading from R's perspective was incredible.  It was funny, it was serious, it was complex.  It's weird to say, but as a zombie he was very likeable.  He was still trying to hold onto some semblance of humanity.  His mind doesn't work as one might think it does, and viewing Perry's memories and thoughts through him was an exceptionally interesting experience.  The romance between R and Julie is also very endearing.  Just the thought of a human and a zombie in a relationship seems fairly absurd, not to mention perhaps a little cringe-worthy, but actually it really works here.  I loved seeing Julie come to accept him and open up to him more and more.  As a character, she herself was also very likeable.  Julie's tough and independent, and you can't help but feel for the way she's lost the people closest to her - and I don't mean physically.  Yes, Perry died, but even beyond that, both her dad and Perry changed a lot because of their experiences, leaving Julie trying to fight on her own.

Warm Bodies is more complex than I can really explain to you, and there's a significant amount I can't reveal because of spoilers.  But Isaac Marion has come up with a truly unique world and storyline.  I think in a way the ending could have been wrapped up to make it a stand-alone, but nevertheless I'm looking forward to the sequel.  I loved seeing all the elements of zombie life that R described, from marriage and family life - that part kind of bewildered me in terms of his actual experience - to eating and just generally passing the time.  After reading this and watching the trailer, which I found hilarious, I desperately want to go and see the movie at some point, which hopefully I will.  If you haven't read this yet, you need to grab yourself a copy ASAP.

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Cover Reveal: Shooting Scars

Title: Shooting Scars (The Artists Trilogy #2)
Author: Karina Halle
Released: May 2013
Publisher: Metal Blonde Books
A second chance at first love.

There are a few things worth risking everything for - even your life. For Camden McQueen, this is one of them.

Shooting Scars is the second book in The Artists Trilogy and is told from the dual POV of Camden and Ellie.
Author Bio
The daughter of a Norwegian Viking and a Finnish Moomin, Karina Halle grew up in Vancouver, Canada with trolls and eternal darkness on the brain. This soon turned into a love of all things that go bump in the night and a rather sadistic appreciation for freaking people out. Like many of the flawed characters she writes, Karina never knew where to find herself and has dabbled in acting, make-up artistry, film production, screenwriting, photography, travel writing and music journalism. She eventually found herself in the pages of the very novels she wrote (if only she had looked there to begin with).

Karina holds a screenwriting degree from Vancouver Film School and a Bachelor of Journalism from TRU. Her travel writing, music reviews/interviews and photography have appeared in publications such as Consequence of Sound, Mxdwn and GoNomad Travel Guides. She currently lives on an island on the coast of British Columbia where she's preparing for the zombie apocalypse.

Friday, 1 February 2013

A Letter to Juliette (Unravel Me)

Hey guys.  I loved this book so much that I wanted to write, if not a different type of review, a different type of response than usual to make it stand out from all my other five stars.  I was kind of nervous about putting this up here, so let me know what you think. :)

Dear Juliette,

Hello.  You're probably wondering who I am, why I'm writing to you.  Well...I'm a friend.   An invisible spectator (not in a creepy way, I promise).  And as for why this letter, well, friends give their opinions, right?  So this is me, giving my opinions.  And my support.  And my love.

The first thing is, I'm here for you.  I want good things for you.  I'm here, cheering you on from the sidelines.  I can see and feel how broken you are.  I can see all the thoughts whirring around in your head and the pain and loneliness radiating from you is just heartbreaking.  Admittedly there have been a few times where I wanted you to get it together - you chose to be at Omega Point, you knew you were supposed to be focusing on training rather than moping - but thinking about it, it's completely understandable.  Not even your own parents accepted you.  Parents suck sometimes.  And it's not even your fault about what happened with that little boy, or for your power in general.  But in leaving you and putting you in that cell, you never got to experience love.  You were forced to be left with nothing but guilt and grief, and even now you can't bear the weight of your abilities.  You don't know how to be open; you can't see how you can be close to anyone.  But you know what?  I love you anyway.  When you choose to, you can kick butt.  And I feel so badly for you that I just want to hug you.  Oh, calm down.  I can at least send you air hugs.  *air hugs*  You're a good person, Juliette.

I'm not the only one who loves you, of course.  There's Adam. *sighs dreamily*  I swear, if you're not careful, I'm totally going to steal him from you.  I mean, we've never actually met, you know, face to face, but I hear good things about him.  He has my heart already.  But you probably don't want to know that.  Um...oh yeah.  What I wanted to say is, I'm sorry about this latest brick that life's just thrown at you.  I was as shocked as you were to hear know.  (Sorry I'm speaking so vaguely, it's just that I'm aware this letter isn't private.)  But the chemistry between you guys is so intense.  I love seeing you two together; you make an amazing couple.  This business with Warner, on the other hand, I don't approve of.  I know, I know.  It's not your fault, it's Ms Mafi's.  But you guys speak to each other, so you can tell her that from me.  And you can also tell her that if she insists on trying to deflect attention from Adam, as far as I'm concerned, she'll have to try a lot harder.  I love Warner, really I do.  How could I not after everything he's been through and everything he says?  But at the moment I'm still firmly Team Adam.

I love the way you write as well.  You and Ms Mafi.  Your writing breaks boundaries.  You both took one glance at the rules of writing we all seem to hold so dear, and you let your pens tell the world what you thought of them.  You conjure up such powerful images and thoughts, and I just want to keep on reading your words forever.  It inspires me to go back to writing myself.   Short stories from when I was younger sit in a folder, and now and then I create a random scene.  But perhaps I don't write as often as I should.  Reading the sentences you've strung together gives me an incredibly stunning new perspective on thoughts, feelings, the way you see the world.  Everything you see, Juliette, I'm able to see through your eyes, exactly the way you see it.  And I hope that one day, you will see yourself through my eyes.

I know life seems more or less impossible for you right now and you feel alone.  But I'm here, rooting for you, even though you can't see me.   And there are loads of others.  So many friends you don't even know about.  All of us can see this journey that you're on, and we want you to have your happy ending.  So good luck.  With everything.

Take care,

PS - you're so lucky.  You even get to be friends with Kenji.  Totally jealous of you, girl.

A massive thank you to Jasprit for letting me borrow her copy.