Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Waiting on Wednesday

"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly event, originally started by Jill at Breaking the Spine , that highlights upcoming book releases everyone is waiting on...hence the title. This week's pick is The Oathbreaker's Shadow by Amy McCulloch. Here's the synopsis:

Fifteen-year-old Raim lives in a world where you tie a knot for every promise that you make. Break that promise and you are scarred for life, and cast out into the desert.

Raim has worn a simple knot around his wrist for as long as he can remember. No one knows where it came from, and which promise of his it symbolises, but he barely thinks about it at all—not since becoming the most promising young fighter ever to train for the elite Yun guard. But on the most important day of his life, when he binds his life to his best friend (and future king) Khareh, the string bursts into flames and sears a dark mark into his skin.

Scarred now as an oath-breaker, Raim has two options: run, or be killed.

A gripping YA action-adventure fantasy, the first part of a planned duology.

I do LOVE the sound of this book and I think the cover is awesomeI love fantasy and I just have a really good feeling about this book and that I'm going to love it.  I can't wait to find out.  The Oathbreaker's Shadow is published on 6th June, 2013 which is the day before my birthday.  I know what I'm asking for then!

Monday, 25 February 2013

Meet Month9Books

Have you heard of Month9Books?  They are an independent publisher who formed in 2011 and are based in the US.  They publish YA, MG and New Adult books - some of which you may have heard of recently such as A Shimmer of Angels by Lissa M. Basso and Two and Twenty Dark Tales, an anthology.

They may be a little fish swimming in a HUGE ocean, but I predict great things from this publisher.  Take a look at some of their upcoming releases and tell me you're not intrigued. I know I am!

To find out more about Month9Books, please click here to visit the website.

Letterbox Love (#42)

As always, Letterbox Love is a weekly feature that I'm hosting on the blog and basically, the idea came out of a discussion with other UK book bloggers about the need to do a weekly meme with more of a British feel to it. Therefore, Letterbox Love was born and the logo was lovingly designed by Dark Readers. Letterbox Love is a way for us to share the books that come through our letterbox, galleys and e books (through our electronic letterbox) and any other bookish goodies that we want to tell you about. Letterbox Love is intended to showcase upcoming books and build up some excitement for them as well as let you know what is available out there. It is not about competing with other bloggers or boasting of any kind (c'mon, we're British and we don't do drama!)

Review Books

Between the Lines by Tammara Webber
This is the first in a New Adult series from Tammara Webber, the author that gave us Easy (an amazing read).  I'm looking forward to seeing what she comes up with next and if it's as good as Easy ;)

Barely Breathing by Rebecca Donovan
This is the second book in a series I still haven't started yet but I must remedy that! Rebecca was of course originally self published before her books got picked up by a major publisher.   In fact, Tammara Webber was too actually. 

Thank You Publishers!!! 

Books Bought

I did buy a cookbook this week entitled Honestly Healthy and besides advocating healthy eating, it's supposed to balance out acid and alkaline foods.  It sounded great and people have lost weight using the book but...I hated all the recipes so it's going back.

Misguided heart by Amanda Bennett (Bought)
This has got to be one of the most risque covers I've seen and who can resist a guy with a nice bum?!  I love the sound of this book and I think/hope it will be a good read.
Hustle Me by Jennifer Foor (Bought)
It sounds like this book has the ultimate bad boy character and more than that, he's actually an arse.  I'm wondering if there's more to him than that and how it will all play out.

The Party by Katie Ashley (Bought)
I loved The Proposition and The Proposal so naturally, I had to get this.  Bear in mind that this book is actually available free on Smashwords but I bought it because I know that Katie is donating the Amazon proceeds to charity. 

Little White Lies by Erin Lawless (Bought)
This is a BRITISH New Adult book which is the main reason I wanted it.  I love the idea that it's set around a wedding and features a group of people that went to university together so it's more like a reunion.  There's tons of material to work with there and I'm looking forward to reading the book. 

Demon at my Door by Michelle A. Valentine (Bought)
This is a New Adult from one of my authors to watch.  I loved Rock the Heart and from reading the synopsis, I knew I would love this too.  I reviewed this last week if you're interested. 

The Pledge by Kimberly Derting (Bought) 
This is one of my favourite YA books and whilst I have the hardback, it was on sale for Kindle and so I thought I would get it.  An amazing book at an amazing price, basically.

The Mammoth Book of Time Travel Romance by Trish Telep (Bought)
I've seen this book before in paperback but at 99p for Kindle, you can't really go wrong and I am a SUCKER for a time travel romance story. 

The Sibylline Oracle by Delia Colvin (Bought)
This book has been described as deeply romantic and I'm immediately intrigued as to whether that's true and if it's cheesy or not.  This is the first in the series.

The Submission of Alistair Ingram by Kelli Maine (Bought)
This novel was originally serialised on the Dolls and Doms website and I've been reading it every week since it started.  I bought the book because I want to know how it ends!!!  

The Deepest Cut by J. A. Templeton (Bought)
This is a mature YA book about an American girl who moves to Scotland and falls in love with a ghost. SOLD. 

I'll Be Here by Autumn Doughton (Free)
I quite like the sound of this but I'm really not sure about a main character called Dustin.  I'll try to keep an open mind though.

The Torn Wing by Kiki Hamilton (Free)
What's weird about this book is that the first is not available for kindle in the UK and now the second book is free for a limited time.  This doesn't make any sense and it seems to me like someone has messed up the marketing there BIG TIME.  Thank fully, I do have a paper copy of the first book which I haven't read yet.  I'd still like the kindle version of course.

Heroes or Greek Fairy Tales for my Children by Charles Kingsley (Free)
I got this for research purposes and I shall say no more about that!

The Mystic Wolves by Belinda Boring (Free)
I keep hearing good things about Belinda's books and whilst I'm not sure if I want to read another book about wolves, it was free so I might just give this a go. 

The Eternity Cure by Julia Kagawa (For Review)
This is of course the sequel to The Immortal Rules (an epic book that I LOVED) and I'm looking forward to seeing what happens next. I'm also a little scared of course, this is Julia Kagawa we're talking about and I know she likes to kill off her characters!

Strangelets by Michelle Gagnon (For Review)
I've had my eye on this book for a while actually and so I was thrilled to find it on Netgalley.  It's a bit of a mystery and I'm officially intrigued. 

I didn't do so well on the ebooks this week but never mind! At least they're not taking up valuable shelf space!  I hope you had a great week for books and apologies for being a day late with this post but I was working.  As always, please share your links below.

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Demon at my Door Review

Gothic outcast Natalie Sugarman bartered her soul for her dying mother’s life sixteen years ago to a boy demon that could stop time. Now, days before her twenty-first birthday, the lifelines on her palms are slowly vanishing, and she knows it’s just a matter of time before Satan’s little helper collects.

Natalie's tried numerous times to kill the demon and regain control of her soul’s destiny, but she always falls short. When she decides to try and gain the element of surprise for her next attempt, Natalie seeks answers about his location from a freaky, glowing-eyed fortuneteller. Creeped out by the psychic’s methods, she bolts from the reading and misses the warning that the demon who stole her soul is always closer than she thinks.

After some strange incidents with her new boyfriend, including a hot, levitating sex session, she realizes he’s the grown-up version of her little nightmare and he’s returned to collect on their deal. Natalie must figure out how to win her soul back from the demon before her lifeline completely disappears and she becomes his forever—even if that means making a deal to damn three other souls to take her place.

Michelle A. Valentine is fast becoming one of my favourite authors to watch.  After reading and subsequently loving Rock the Heart, I fell in love with her writing style and so when I found out that she had written a New Adult paranormal romance?  I WAS ALL OVER IT.  Demon at my Door is her third published novel to date and definitely one that’s worth picking up. You may not think you could fall for a demon but trust me; you definitely can, especially if Michelle has anything to do with it ;)  It goes without saying that as this is a New Adult novel, there are mature themes and scenes containing sexual content.  It’s not too heavy but if you prefer clean reads, this is not the book for you.  For everyone else, you’re going to love it. 

Natalie is the protagonist of the story and a girl fast approaching her twenty first birthday.  When she was five years old, she made a deal with a demon to save her mother’s life and he’s coming back to collect. Only, there’s more to this deal than meets the eye.  I mean, he’s never left anyone alive as long as Natalie before.  The question is, why?  And can she get her soul back from him before he takes it?

There’s so much I love about this story – the humour, the drama, the romance, the tension and especially the characters.  Often in stories we swoon for the bad boy turned good but different.  He is a good guy gone bad, trying to be good and that melts my heart and my panties right off.  I can’t say too much about the plot for fear of ruining it but he’ll do anything to keep Natalie safe, even from himself.  Be still my beating heart.

I have to say at this point that as with most self published books, there are some editing issues and it would be wrong of me to omit this information. However, if you can look past that, you will find a truly entertaining story and one that you can’t put down.

I do believe there is a real gap in the market right now for New Adult paranormal stories and this book fills that gap quite nicely for me.  The only problem now is that I want more.  I’m desperate for a sequel as there’s a lot of material to expand on here and I need to know what happens next.  This could potentially just be the beginning for Rick and Natalie and that my friends, is music to my ears.

Demon at my Door was published on 12th February, 2013.   To find out more about Michelle and her books, please click here.

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Waiting on Wednesday

"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly event, originally started by Jill at Breaking the Spine , that highlights upcoming book releases everyone is waiting on...hence the title. This week's pick is Dark Triumph by Robin LaFevers.  Here's the synopsis:

Sybella arrives at the convent’s doorstep half mad with grief and despair. Those that serve Death are only too happy to offer her refuge—but at a price. Naturally skilled in both the arts of death and seduction, the convent views Sybella as one of their most dangerous weapons.

But those assassin’s skills are little comfort when the convent returns her to a life that nearly drove her mad. Her father’s rage and brutality are terrifying, and her brother’s love is equally monstrous. And while Sybella is a weapon of justice wrought by the god of Death himself, He must give her a reason to live. When she discovers an unexpected ally imprisoned in the dungeons, will a daughter of Death find something other than vengeance to live for?

This heart-pounding sequel to Grave Mercy serves betrayal, treachery, and danger in equal measure, bringing readers back to fifteenth century Brittany and will keep them on the edge of their seats.
I really enjoyed Grave Mercy and this is the hotly anticipated sequel with an equally beautiful cover as the first book.  This sounds like it's Sybella's story although I'm hoping Ismae is still around and I can't wait to find out.
Dark Triumph is published on 2nd April, 2013 in the US and 6th June, 2013 in the UK.  

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Letterbox Love (#41)

As always, Letterbox Love is a weekly feature that I'm hosting on the blog and basically, the idea came out of a discussion with other UK book bloggers about the need to do a weekly meme with more of a British feel to it. Therefore, Letterbox Love was born and the logo was lovingly designed by Dark Readers. Letterbox Love is a way for us to share the books that come through our letterbox, galleys and e books (through our electronic letterbox) and any other bookish goodies that we want to tell you about. Letterbox Love is intended to showcase upcoming books and build up some excitement for them as well as let you know what is available out there. It is not about competing with other bloggers or boasting of any kind (c'mon, we're British and we don't do drama!)

I think you'll be very proud of me this week with regards to book buying, ESPECIALLY my eBook addiction ;)

Review Books

Neferet's Curse by P.C. and Kristin Cast (Unsolicited)
This is apparently number three in the House of Night novella's, a series I have never read and am not sure I have any interest in reading.  For one, I don't have the time available to me to catch up on it!  If you're a huge fan of the series and you want it, let me know and I'll send it to you.

The Hit by Melvin Burgess (Unsolicited) 
I'm not totally sure this is the book for me although I don't doubt that it is interesting.  This is about a new drug that comes out that all the teenagers want to get their hands on but guess what, it ruins lives.  This is not news to me and I don't really find anything interesting about that so don't be surprised if I end up passing this on to someone else.

The Queen is Dead by Kate Locke (Unsolicited)
This is the second book in the series, the first entitled God Save the Queen.  Again, this is steampunk and I haven't read the first book yet.

Etiquette and Espionage by Gail Carriger (Unsolicited)
I've never made any secret that I'm not a huge fan of the idea of steampunk BUT I'm not sure I've actually ever read a steampunk book so I can't really justify that point of view.  Anyway, I've heard a lot of positive things about this book and I love the idea of balancing learning to curtsy and throw a knife at the same time.  I like the contrast of behaving like a lady whilst learning the art of espionage.  I think it sounds interesting and I definitely want to give it a go.
Shards and Ashes by Kelley Armstrong and Melissa Marr (Unsolicited)
This is a dystopian anthology with contributions from nine different authors including Veronica Roth, Beth Revis, Kami Garcia, Margaret Stohl, Rachel Caine, Carrie Ryan, Nancy Holder, Kelley Armstrong and Melissa Marr.  I'm not big on anthologies but I do like the idea of sampling and you never know when the short story might be turned into a bigger book.

Thank You Publishers!!

Books Bought

Sever by Lauren Destefano
I LOVE Lauren's writing with a fierce passion, she just makes it look so bloody effortless.  Naturally, I opted for the US hardback to complete my collection but I'm a bit nervous to read it at the moment, especially when I hear other reviewer's gasps and "Oh my God" comments.  I am looking forward to it though but I want to savour it.  I have a week off coming off.  I'm thinking I'm going to curl up on the sofa on one of those days and read the day away. 


The Collector by Victoria Scott (For Review)
I've been wanting to read this book for the longest time now! You know I love a good demon bad boy (See Personal Demons by Lisa Desrochers for further clarification).  I can't wait to get stuck into this one and I hope that Dante doesn't disappoint ;)

If You Stay by Courtney Cole (Bought)
Love the cover, love the synopsis, love that it features a bad boy.  Fingers crossed that it holds my attention but I've heard people say that they're hooked from the first page.

Every Last Kiss (The Bloodstone Saga) by Courtney Cole (Free)
This is the first book in this paranormal series and what I like about it is that it mentions Egypt and Cleopatra so not your run of the mill vampire/angel/weresolf/Greek God mythology story.  And it was free so even better!  Of course, if I get hooked then I'm going to have to buy the rest. 

The Deepest Cut by J.A. Templeton (Free)
This is a mature YA story with adult themes.  It's a ghost story with a bit of romance and the American family move to Scotland. I thought it sounded like my kind of book and it was free!

Severed by Sarah Alderson (Free)
I do love Sarah Alderson's writing and the fact that she made Severed available for free this Valentine's.  Unfortunately, I have not yet read the first book Fated yet but obviously I will before I tackle this one!

Bedding the Wrong Brother by Virna DePaul (Free)
I love any kind of romance with one girl and two brothers (I don't know why) so immediately, I thought I would like this.  It's a steamy novella as you can probably guess from the title  and again, I do love a little mixup/miscommunication in my stories to get the plot going.  I'm looking forward to this quick read. 

Water (The Akasha Series) by Terra Harmony (Free)
I don't know why but I'm a sucker for elemental stories (featuring Earth, Fire, Air and Water themes) and so I knew I had to get my hands on this book. It's for mature YA readers and I hope I like it so I can carry on with the rest of the series. 
Challenging Zed by Joss Stirling (Free)
This is a short story from the Soulfinders Series which goes back to the first book Finding Sky where we first met Zed and Sky.  I believe it shows us Zed's point of view for the first time and I'm looking forward to that!

So you see, I think I've done really well this week - I've only bought one hardback (although it was a pre-order) and one ebook as the rest were free.  HOORAH!  As money is tight for me at the moment, this is definitely a good thing.

This week I went to see Beautiful Creatures at the cinema and whilst I was a little worried (as I always am when I go and see these YA adaptions on the big screen) you'll be pleased to know that it was excellent and I enjoyed it a lot!  Look out for my review in the next couple of days.  I've started reading a couple of books and had to put them down either because I wasn't in the mood for the particular story and didn't want to ruin the reading experience or because I lost interest (this doesn't happen often and it was a more literary, adult book).  I've decided that I want to catch up on all the series' I've been missing  so I'm re-reading Beautiful Creatures and working my way through those books before reading Sever by Lauren Destefano, Shades of Earth by Beth Revis, Requiem by Lauren Oliver and then the rest of Cassandra Clare's books.  I still can't believe I haven't started the Clockwork Angel books yet!!!  What are you reading this week?  Hope you had a great week for books and please share your links below. 

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Unravel Me Review

it's almost
time for war. 

Juliette has escaped to Omega Point. It is a place for people like her—people with gifts—and it is also the headquarters of the rebel resistance. 

She's finally free from The Reestablishment, free from their plan to use her as a weapon, and free to love Adam. But Juliette will never be free from her lethal touch. 

Or from Warner, who wants Juliette more than she ever thought possible. 

In this exhilarating sequel to Shatter Me, Juliette has to make life-changing decisions between what she wants and what she thinks is right. Decisions that might involve choosing between her heart—and Adam's life. 

How proud of me are you to know that I didn’t immediately turn to the infamous chapter sixty two and start devouring the pages reading? In case you’re wondering what on earth I’m talking about, Tahereh recently released a small selection of spoiler videos and kept referring to sexy times exciting things happening in chapter sixty two. My advice to you is that it is worth the wait so do not be tempted to read it before you’ve read the rest of the story! So, before I say anything else about the book I need to tell you that if you haven’t read Shatter Me (review here) or Destroy Me (review here) then please go no further as you will likely encounter spoilers. And also, get thee to a book seller STAT.

Unravel Me was an awesome read and while it took me a few pages to become re-attuned to Juliette’s voice again, after that I was flying through the book. Juliette is without a filter when she speaks inside her head and pours her heart out on the page. She is at times all over the place but her chaotic mind represents her chaotic state of being and ultimately the chaos of her world. BUT, having said all that, you will see a very slow and deliberate change in her throughout the book and I believe she will come out fighting in the end. Although she’s in love with Adam, she can’t deny her strange attraction to Warner and as she learns more about him, the barriers start breaking down between them. I believe they are kindred souls and recognise something of themselves in each other.

You may remember at the end of Shatter Me that Juliette kissed Warner, grabbed his gun and shot him before her and Adam ran off to claim sanctuary at Omega Point, home of the rebels. Warner survived of course and it was utterly fascinating to be inside his head in Destroy Me which basically made me want to take care of him love him all the more. The only way I can describe Warner is by calling him beautifully broken. That in itself is a crazy description I know, I mean how can something that’s broken be beautiful? But he is. Oh, but he is. He is a complex character who pretty much hides his true self for fear of appearing weak but we know he has an abusive father, a man that I am fascinated by, not because he is an abominable excuse for a human being who is incapable of showing love to his own children, let alone anyone else but for the sheer fact that SOMETHING or SOMEONE has made him the way he is and I’d love to find out more. Novella, anyone?

Speaking of characters, in complete opposition to Warner’s father we have Kenji or the comic relief as I like to call him. I’m so glad Kenji was a part of this book and if it wasn’t for the dire situation they find themselves in, I know he would be a happy-go-lucky kind of guy. In some ways, he already is I suppose.

Unravel Me concentrates on the potential war building up between the rebels and the re-establishment. I don’t want to say too much about the plot but let me tell you that there are plenty of revelations as well as twists and turns you probably didn’t see coming and Tahereh always manages to keep us on our toes. I felt sorry for Adam, Warner and Juliette pretty much ALL the characters in this book as Tahereh puts them through the mill and hangs them out to dry. Well, you know what they say about authors, they love to kill their darlings.

EVENTUALLY I got to chapter sixty two, devoured it slowly read it...and then my brain exploded. I’m not going to ruin it for you but I will say that it was full of ecstasy and agony. Tahereh set my heart aflutter and then tore it out and handed it back to me. I’ve been a huge fan of Warner from the start and my love for him only continues to grow WHICH IS WHY I am absolutely terrified of what’s going to happen in the next book. How can Juliette have a happy ending with both Adam AND Warner? Just please God, don’t make this another Ren/Shay situation like we had in Bloodrose (by Andrea Cremer) because truly, my heart cannot survive something like that again. As desperate as I am to read the next book, it MIGHT actually kill me. It seems strange to long for my potential death.

Unravel Me was published on 5th February, 2013. To find out more about Tahereh Mafi and her books, please click here. There is no book trailer at present for Unravel Me so I thought I’d share the trailer for Destroy Me because really, it’s all about Warner. Enough said.

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Waiting on Wednesday

"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly event, originally started by Jill at Breaking the Spine , that highlights upcoming book releases everyone is waiting on...hence the title. This week's pick is Blurred by Tara Fuller.  Here's the synopsis:

Cash is haunted by things. Hungry, hollow things. They only leave him alone when Anaya, Heaven’s beautiful reaper, is around. Cash has always been good with girls, but Anaya isn’t like the others. She’s dead. And with his deteriorating health, Cash might soon be as well.

Anaya never breaks the rules, but the night of the fire she recognized part of Cash’s soul—and doomed him to something worse than death. Cash’s soul now resides in an expired body, making him a shadow walker—a rare, coveted being that can walk between worlds. A being creatures of the underworld would do anything to get their hands on.

The lines between life and death are blurring, and Anaya and Cash find themselves falling helplessly over the edge. Trapped in a world where the living don’t belong, can Cash make it out alive?

If this seems a tad familar to you, it's because I did a cover reveal for Blurred a couple of weeks ago but I just HAD to feature it in a Waiting on Wednesday post.  I LOVED Inbetween and it was basically one of my favourite reads of 2012 so naturally, I am MEGA excited to read the sequel!  I have a soft spot for Cash and I can't wait to see the sparks fly between him and Anaya.   

Blurred is published on 2nd July, 2013.   

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Dead Romantic Blog Tour

I am ecstatic today to welcome one of my favourite UK authors to the blog and that is C.J. Skuse.  C.J. has written some of my favourite UK books - Rockaholic (review here) and Pretty Bad Things (review here) and her latest book is entitled Dead Romantic.  Just in case you've been living under a rock and haven't heard about the book yet, here's the synopsis:

Camille wants to find the perfect boy, with an athlete's body and a poet's brain. But when she's mocked at a college party, she kows there isn't a boy alive who'll ever measure up. Enter Zoe, her brilliant but strange best friend, who takes biology homework to a whole new level. She can create Camille's dream boy, Frankenstein-stylee. But can she make him love her?

As part of the blog tour, I was given the opportunity to grill C.J. (not literally of course, no one likes a chargrilled C.J.!) about the book amongst other things and here's her answers...

Describe Dead Romantic in three words...

Weird Science 4Girls

CHEAT! Okay, so which character in the book do you think is most like you?

Probably Camille. She is naive, loves dogs, always fancies the wrong guy and is just looking for a reason not to be on a diet.

Sounds like every girl I know *sigh* so who is YOUR perfect guy? If you could make him, what qualities would he have?

Outwardly, I think he’d be an artist of some kind, maybe a graphic artist, with a male gymnast’s body, dark hair and eyes. I made up an acronym some years ago for what kind of guy I’m looking for – Funny, Intelligent, Creative, Tender, Intuitive, Open-minded, Noble, Alluring, Loner. So, in a word, my perfect guy is fictional.

I see what you did there ;) Let's get to the nitty gritty, when I first heard about the book I immediately thought of the 80's movie Weird Science, have you seen it and be honest, did it inspire you?

Hella big yes. It’s probably my third favourite movie of the 80s. Dead Romantic was always meant to be a female version of Weird Science but using real dead boys instead of a computer generated girl. And not only did Weird Science inspire me, but I also drew on, of course, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein which I believe was the first popular literary telling of corpse reanimation. There’s also an H.P. Lovecraft short story called ‘Herbert West: Reanimator’ which I reference in the book and a short story called ‘The Bodysnatcher’ that were big inspirations. My character Louis is named after the author of The Bodysnatcher, Robert Louis Stephenson. Yeah, the ideas presented in Dead Romantic are far from original; I’ve just tried to give them a fresh spin for modern teens.

If Dead Romantic ever got made into a movie, who would you like to see playing the main parts?

Well, I can tell you who I imagined as the characters when I was writing the book. Zoe started off as being an Amanda Palmer-kind of girl, then I saw a picture of Kurt Cobain’s daughter, Frances Bean Cobain, and I said out loud ‘Oh my god, that’s Zoe.’ Camille was based a little on Pandora from Series 3 and 4 of Skins, in as much as she sometimes comes across as a bit ditzy and fluffy but is actually a very good friend and has a great capacity for love. I think the actress who plays her is called Lisa Backwell. Louis was a blank page for ages and ages, until I saw Josh Hutcherson in the movie Detention and I though, yeah, he is very close to the Louis that’s in my head, and Damian is a movable feast really. Some days he is Jack O’Connell (aka Cook from Skins), other days he is Jay from the Inbetweeners, other days Shiloh Fernandez. A mixture of the three of them, that’s Damian.

Josh Hutcherson? I'M SHOCKED (not).  So, speaking of movies, give us a list of MUST SEE eighties movies...

Okay, these are by no means the best movies made in the 80s but they are all my personal favourites.

The Goonies – When I was eight years old, I WAS Mikey Walsh. Without the asthma.

Heathers – I used to have fantasies about a sexy, black-haired guy like J.D roaring up to my school on his motorbike and rescuing me from the people I hated. I was, like, ten years old so looking back I’m quite glad no one did

Ghostbusters – There is a giant marshmallow man in it. And Bill Murray. Best. Things, Ever.

The Outsiders – first movie that ever made me cry. My character Paisley in Pretty Bad Things reminds me of Dallas Winston (played by Matt Dillon) in many ways.

St Elmo’s Fire – The Brat Pack at their second best, after The Outsiders.

Adventures in Babysitting – Girl babysits kids. Girl takes kids into the city. Car gets a puncture. They get chased by crime lords. One of kids gets stabbed. Another hooks up with a prostitute. Another ends up on the edge of a skyscraper. Larks aplenty.

Mannequin – Andrew McCarthy falls in love with the mannequin he made and she comes to life. What’s not to like?

Aliens – Michael Biehn in army fatigues. Enough said.

Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure – Was a bit obsessed with this when I was a kid. I used to dress like Bill and Ted. I also used all my pocket money one week to buy the entire range of Kettle Chips because there’s a scene where Bill’s eating them.

The Breakfast Club – the definite 80s movie. Kids vs Teacher. Love it.

The ‘Burbs – small-minded neighbours think a family of serial killers have moved in to their cul-de-sac. Just as if.

Die Hard – a bus load of international mega evil terrorists with machines guns and bombs outwitted by one man in a vest and no shoes. Sublime.

Grease 2 - *holds hands up* I like it, especially the bowling song ‘We’re Gonna Score Tonight.’ They don’t write ‘em like that anymore. Also, Rex Manning’s in it as a hawt nerd.

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom – The best Indiana Jones movie by far because Data from The Goonies is in it. Eat that, snakes and Nazis.

Overboard – bitchy rich woman falls off her yacht and gets amnesia, gets picked up by poor carpenter she verbally abused who then procedes to make her life a misery. Russell and Hawn at their finest.

Police Academy – I was in love with Mahoney during my pre-pubescence and at school I used to pretend Hightower and Tackleberry were my bodyguards. But I had no idea what the woman was doing in the box until I was about 15.

Pretty in Pink – It shoulda been Ducky. Despite the shoes.

The Princess Bride – perfection in movie form.

Romancing the Stone – In my head, I am Joan Wilder about 98% of the time.

Stand By Me – I named my dog after a character in this movie. THAT’S how much I love it.

The Terminator – Michael Biehn once again annihilating ovaries with his steely stare and hot bulgy arms. And he wears some cool high tops in this movie too. Can’t remember much about the plot though.

I have to say, I've seen EVERY SINGLE ONE of those movies and I love them all.  Yes, even Grease 2 *hangs head in shame*.  So, now that Dead Romantic has been published, tell us what you're working on next?

Erm, not sure at this moment in time. I have several ideas on the boil. It’s just a question of which piece of my soul I next want to send out into the world. I’m very much like Voldemort in that respect.

Thank you C.J. for being on the blog today and entertaining the masses with your answers.  Dead Romantic was published on 4th February, 2013.  I'm going to bug C.J. till the day I day about getting her own website but in the meantime, you can find her lurking on Twitter and Facebook.

Monday, 11 February 2013

Cover Reveal for Faking It

  Image Map
I loved Losing It (review here) and so I'm thrilled to find out that Cora is publishing a companion novel entitled Faking It AKA Cade's story.  Here's the snyopsis:

Mackenzie "Max" Miller has a problem. Her parents have arrived in town for a surprise visit, and if they see her dyed hair, tattoos, and piercings, they just might disown her. Even worse, they're expecting to meet a nice, wholesome boyfriend, not a guy named Mace who has a neck tattoo and plays in a band. All her lies are about to come crashing down around her, but then she meets Cade.

Cade moved to Philadelphia to act and to leave his problems behind in Texas. So far though, he's kept the problems and had very little opportunity to take the stage. When Max approaches him in a coffee shop with a crazy request to pretend to be her boyfriend, he agrees to play the part. But when Cade plays the role a little too well, they're forced to keep the ruse going. And the more they fake the relationship, the more real it begins to feel.

I'm looking forward to reading this and I love the cover!!  What do you think?

Faking It is published on 4th June, 2013. Losing It is published on 28th March, 2013 in the UK.  The digital version is available in the US and the paperback (US) is released on 26th February, 2013.

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Letterbox Love (#40)

As always, Letterbox Love is a weekly feature that I'm hosting on the blog and basically, the idea came out of a discussion with other UK book bloggers about the need to do a weekly meme with more of a British feel to it. Therefore, Letterbox Love was born and the logo was lovingly designed by Dark Readers. Letterbox Love is a way for us to share the books that come through our letterbox, galleys and e books (through our electronic letterbox) and any other bookish goodies that we want to tell you about. Letterbox Love is intended to showcase upcoming books and build up some excitement for them as well as let you know what is available out there. It is not about competing with other bloggers or boasting of any kind (c'mon, we're British and we don't do drama!)

Review Books

Rat Runners by Oisin McGann (Unsolicited)
The synopsis of this has me intrigued and is sounds a lot like a dystopian novel.  I'm not sure of the age range of the intended audience but it sounds a lot like a movie premise. 

Phoenix by Elizabeth Richards (Won)
I really enjoyed Black City (which made me cry) and whilst it didn't end on a cliffhanger as such, it set up the next book quite nicely.  I'm looking forward to finding out what happens next and I'm very grateful to have won an ARC. 

Scarlet by Marissa Meyer
This is the second book in the Lunar Chronicles series (the first book being Cinder).  I actually haven't started this series yet but it definitely intrigues me.  I thought the cover for Cinder was OUTSTANDING. 

Bloodlines, The Golden Lilly and The Indigo Spell by Richelle Mead
I LOVED the Vampire Academy series but I've never gotten round to trying out the spin off series.  Her UK publisher very kindly sent me the first three books to read and review.  

Crown of Dreams by Katherine Roberts (Unsolicited)
This is book three in the Pendragon Legacy series and the cover is just as cute as the first two books (Lance of Truth, Sword of Light).  I haven't started reading them yet but hopefully one day I will give them a shot.  

While the Others Sleep by Tom Becker (Unsolicited)
This is a gripping psychological thriller and sounds CREEPY as hell.  For that reason, I'm not entirely sure that this is my kind of book.

Thank You Publishers!!!

Books Bought

The Madman's Daughter by Megan Shepherd
Set in London, 1894 this is a dark, gothic tale that the internets cannot stop talking about as of late but what interests me about the book is the fact that it's the daughter of a madman's story.  I think this is coming out in the UK soon but I got the US hardback. 
Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi
I have been WAITING and WAITING for this book.  I'm getting better at being patient for books but boy, I cannot wait to read this one.  It's no secret that I'm in love with Warner and I'm excited to dive back into Juliette, Adam and Warner's world.  


Champagne Toast by Melissa Brown (Bought)
I believe this is a New Adult second-chance-at-love kind of story with nothing but great reviews.  I do like this kind of story but I'm already getting a little tired with the trope.  Regardless, I still want to read this.

Rouge by  Leigh Talbert Moore (Bought)
Described as a steamy page turner with a love triangle, sequins and feathers AND set in New Orleans, I thought this sounded interesting.

In Flight by R.K. Lilley (Bought)
I'd heard about this erotica series and I thought it sounded interesting, especially as one of the main characters is a flight attendant in First Class and the other is a billionaire passenger.  I know what you're thinking (YAWN, right?)  Do we NEED another story about a billionaire control freak?  I tend to agree but I still enjoyed the story.  It was a nice price for an enjoyable read.  I couldn't put it down and immediately downloaded the second book. 

Mile High by R.K. Lilley (Bought)
After enjoying the first book, I immediately downloaded the second only to find a MASSIVE price difference which to be honest, pissed me off.  She got me hooked with the first book and because I had to read the next part, I had to pay nearly three times as much as the first to get it.

Ashes and Ice by Rochelle Maya Callen (Bought)
I like the cover for this book and it sounds very mysterious.  I'm still not entirely sure what it's about and I'm a little scared at a reviewer's comment that it has horror elements to it but I'm going to give it a go.

Up To Me by M. Leighton (Bought)
Following on from Down to You, this is book two in the series.  I'm not sure I was overly kind with the last book and I don't know why I'm doing this to myself again but I decided to give this second book a go. 

Nets and Lies by Katie Ashley (Bought)
I'll be honest and say that I probably wouldn't have picked up this book if it wasn't written by Katie Ashley and because of that fact, I'm willing to give it a go.

Callum & Harper by Fisher Amelie (Bought)
I thought I had this but it turns out I don't, but now I do.  This is a story about two orphans who stick together through thick and thin and don't know they're in love with each other.  Presumably until they do. 

Thomas & January by Fisher Amelie (Free) 
This is book two in the same series as the above.  I presume this features two minor characters that were introduced in the first book.

Writing with a Heavy Heart by Denise Jaden (Free)
This is a non fiction book written by Denise Jaden (author of Losing Faith) about dealing with grief. 

Weather Witch by Shannon Delany (Netgalley) 
I love Shannon's writing and I love both the cover and synopsis for this book.  If I'm honest, I'm slightly put off by the fact that it's being marketed as Steampunk (as I don't think I like that genre) but I'm still going to read it with an open mind and trust the writer!

I think I'm going to try hard not to buy as many ebooks next week and perhaps even for the month, we'll see how THAT goes but wish me luck!  I started reading The Archived but put it down as I wasn't in the mood for it and I don't want to spoil it or ruin my opinion of it.  I'm going to start Unravel Me next as I am desperate for some Warner love.  What are you reading this week?  Hope the Book Gods have been kind to you and please leave your links below.  Happy Reading!

Friday, 8 February 2013

Cover Reveal for The Bliss

Have you read Angel Star and Lemniscate by Jennifer Murgia?  Did you know that she had recently written a short novella which acts as a prequel to the whole series?  I am thrilled to reveal the cover to that prequel entitled The Bliss on the blog today and here's the synopsis:

Like his fallen brother Lucifer, Hadrian has been ordered by his fellow angels into a reflective state know as the Bliss.

Having also grown enamored by the same darkness that inhabits human souls, he feels that Lucifer's banishment was too severe.

Forever influenced by that horrific event, Hadrian vows revenge and ventures to Earth to follow him, unwittingly starting an eternal competition for the control of human and angelic souls alike.
In this Angel Star novella, THE BLISS will show how the battle between dark and light truly began.

The Bliss will be available as a digital download from March 18th, 2013.  To find out more about Jennifer and her books, please click here to visit her website. 

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Noah (5th Street #1) Review

Veronica Cruz has been through hell and back. After disconnecting with the world two years ago to be at the side of her dying mother, she’s left alone, unemployed, overweight, and feeling a decade older than her twenty-eight years. When her best friend coaxes her into joining the local gym to ditch her depression and rejuvenate her life, she meets Noah. Assigned to help Veronica lose weight, Noah is everything she expected a young trainer to be—perfectly chiseled, supportive and motivating. Add to that, he’s incredibly sexy. He’s everything she’s ever looked for in a man. What she least expected was for him to fall for her, but he has. There's just one glaring problem: Noah is eight years younger.

Noah Quintanilla has his eye on a boxing title—someday. Down for a few months with an injury, his maintenance-boy pay at 5th Street Gym won't cut it. He’s finally given the opportunity to train. The catch? His trainee is an out-of-shape woman with a free week pass. Taking on the challenge, Noah stumbles into one of the closest friendships he’s ever known, and before he knows it, he’s in love. But Veronica’s not having it—the age difference is too much. Their platonic relationship means having to watch her date other men—something that would make him crazy. Believing he's the man for her, Noah sets out to prove that age is but an illusion, and there's more to him than just a number.

I’ve been on an adult contemporary romance kick lately and I do love me some reasonably priced kindle books!  This is a series that came highly recommended by a friend and I decided to give it a go as I trust her opinion.  I’m so glad I did as I loved the book and pretty much couldn’t put it down.

Veronica (Roni) has taken care of her sick mother for a few years and now that she’s passed away, Roni is alone. Her boyfriend at the time couldn’t deal so he left her, right when she needed him the most.   She lost her social life and pretty much lost herself, gaining about forty pounds in the process.  THANK GOD she still has her best friend Nellie who practically drags her to the 5th Street gym to work out with a personal trainer as it’s time to get her life back on track!  Enter Noah.  He’s been desperate for a chance to prove to the boss that he can train someone and Veronica is probably going to be his biggest challenge. With just the right amount of encouragement and motivation, they become friends but the lines start blurring when she finds out that he’s sleeping at the gym during some stormy weather and invites him to stay with her.  Sparks are flying but there’s one problem...Roni is eight years older than Noah.  What follows is a battle mostly with herself – mind vs. heart but which one is going to win?

I really enjoyed Roni as a character and I can relate to a lot of her decision making.  I do admire her hard work and determination at the gym as I hate going to the gym but perhaps if I had a sexy personal trainer in the form of Noah, I might look forward to going!  

Noah is an orphan and a very mature twenty year old with goals and drive.   He is a boxer and he rides a motorcycle.  He’s damn near perfect but I understand Roni’s reservations and to be perfectly honest, I probably would have done exactly the same things as she does but damn, he is something.
The ending of the book surprised me a little but I can understand the reasons behind particular decisions being made, they just wouldn’t be *MY* decisions.  All in all, I loved the book and am looking forward to carrying on with the rest of the series where Noah’s 5th Street friends all take a turn to step into the spotlight.

Noah was published on 1st March, 2012.  To find out more about Elizabeth Reyes and her books, please click here to visit her website.

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Waiting on Wednesday

"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly event, originally started by Jill at Breaking the Spine , that highlights upcoming book releases everyone is waiting on...hence the title. This week's pick is Star Cursed by Jessica Spotswood.  Here's the synopsis:

With the Brotherhood persecuting witches like never before, a divided Sisterhood desperately needs Cate to come into her Prophesied powers. And after Cate's friend Sachi is arrested for using magic, a war-thirsty Sister offers to help her find answers—if Cate is willing to endanger everyone she loves.

Cate doesn't want to be a weapon, and she doesn't want to involve her friends and Finn in the Sisterhood's schemes. But when Maura and Tess join the Sisterhood, Maura makes it clear that she'll do whatever it takes to lead the witches to victory. Even if it means sacrifices. Even if it means overthrowing Cate. Even if it means all-out war.

In the highly anticipated sequel to Born Wicked, the Cahill Witch Chronicles continue Cate, Maura and Tess's quest to find love, protect family, and explore their magic against all odds in an alternate history of New England.

I Loved Born Wicked and I still remember the heart wrenching ending, so of course I cannot wait to read Star Cursed.  Whilst I do like this cover, I'm always going to be pissed off that it was changed part way through the series.  I realise this is not the fault of the author as they have nothing to do with it but I do wish publishing houses wouldn't do this.  Anyway, I am glad that I get to read this in June as I buy the US hardback and it beats waiting another 6 months for the UK copy :)

Star Cursed is published on 18th June, 2013 in the US with no UK date as of yet (but I'm guessing some time next year).  

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Rock the Heart Review

For the last four years, good girl Laine has regretted breaking up with Noel Falcon. She thought she was sensible when she told him his dreams of being a rock star would get him nowhere, but now that he's a rock god and her career is stagnant, she realizes just how wrong she was. When Noel hires the marketing company where Laine is an intern, she’s forced to see him again. If she wants to land her dream job as executive within the company, she has to win him over and secure his account. Too bad Noel is still pissed at her for breaking his heart.

When Lane’s company flies her to a Black Falcon concert to gain Noel’s attention, emotions run high the moment she sees him and realizes she’s far from over him. But Noel’s countless trysts with groupies and his cocky attitude make Laine believe he isn’t the same guy she once loved—now he seems to only want her body. Then after Laone discloses she needs him to procure a job, Noel proves he’s a changed man by forcing her to go on the road with him in order to get it.

After Laine reluctantly takes Noel up on his offer, she becomes willing to do whatever it takes to keep him satisfied, even if it means succumbing to his seductive ways. Laine soon finds deception is a dangerous game and she’s not the only one playing.

“This next song goes out to the girl who shredded my heart without hesitation back in high school. It's called Ball Busting Bitch, and Laine this one's for you.”

When I read the first chapter for Rock the Heart on Michelle’s blog, I was immediately HOOKED and the quote used above is probably one of my favourite lines EVER in a book.  When I first started reading, it reminded me a lot of Backstage Pass by Olivia Cunning – a rock star bad boy and a girl who has to go on tour with them but thankfully, that’s where the comparison ends as they are both completely different stories.  For one, Laine has a history with Noel.  There were in a relationship four years ago until Laine ended things and told Noel he needed to stop chasing after his dreams and get a real job.  She wanted security; a future with him and for him to go to college with her but Noel had other plans.  I’m glad he did as now he’s the front man for “Black Falcon”, one of the biggest rock bands in the world and I think he only would have ended up resenting Laine if he hadn’t tried to make it.

Laine is an intern for a top PR/Marketing company in NYC and is asked to help with handling an account – a charity founded by none other than Noel Falcon.  Laine ends up going on tour with the band and is tricked into sharing the only real bedroom on the tour bus...with Noel.  It’s only a matter of time people.  The upshot is that they’re still a little crazy about each other and for the first half of the book, the sexual tension is flying off the pages.  Someone needs to invent a way to read under dripping water as a lot of cold showers are needed!!  These two are on a collision course for each other whether fate allows them to know it or not and it makes for an entertaining ride.  

It’s easy to love Noel (isn’t that right LAINE?! *nudge*) as he might be a bad boy with an attitude but he wears his heart on his sleeve and you can’t help feeling for him after he lost Laine.  I don’t feel too sorry for the good looking, rich and successful rock star though ;)  I just think he’s hot.  I totally understand why Laine broke it off but I’m glad that they got a second chance as it was obvious that it wasn’t over...Which reminds me of this scene from The Notebook...

Despite some minor editing issues, I really enjoyed the book and I can’t wait for the next one in the series.  ROCK ON!

Rock the Heart was published on 15th November, 2012.  The sequel entitled Rock the Band is published on 29th January, 2013.  To find out more about Michelle and her books, please click here to visit her website.

Monday, 4 February 2013

Born Wicked UK Blog Tour

I am ecstatic to be the very first stop on the Born Wicked UK Blog Tour and whilst we're a little bit behind the US (it was published there nearly a year ago), it's FINALLY here!  Haven't heard of the book? Here's more information:

Everybody knows Cate Cahill and her sisters are eccentric. Too pretty, too reclusive, and far too educated for their own good. But the truth is even worse: they’re witches. And if their secret is discovered by the priests of the Brotherhood, it would mean an asylum, a prison ship—or an early grave.

Before her mother died, Cate promised to protect her sisters. But with only six months left to choose between marriage and the Sisterhood, she might not be able to keep her word... especially after she finds her mother’s diary, uncovering a secret that could spell her family’s destruction. Desperate to find alternatives to their fate, Cate starts scouring banned books and questioning rebellious new friends, all while juggling tea parties, shocking marriage proposals, and a forbidden romance with the completely unsuitable Finn Belastra.

If what her mother wrote is true, the Cahill girls aren’t safe. Not from the Brotherhood, the Sisterhood—not even from each other.

I read this book back in March, 2012 and let me tell you that I LOVED IT - you can read my review here if you're interested.   As part of the blog tour I have an extract of the book, specifically chapter one so that you can sample the awesomeness for yourselves. I'm also giving away THREE copies of the UK paperback and all you have to do is leave a comment below.  This is for UK readers only I'm afraid and the winners will be chosen at random.  You have until 11th February to enter and good luck! 

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Letterbox Love (#39)

As always, Letterbox Love is a weekly feature that I'm hosting on the blog and basically, the idea came out of a discussion with other UK book bloggers about the need to do a weekly meme with more of a British feel to it. Therefore, Letterbox Love was born and the logo was lovingly designed by Dark Readers. Letterbox Love is a way for us to share the books that come through our letterbox, galleys and e books (through our electronic letterbox) and any other bookish goodies that we want to tell you about. Letterbox Love is intended to showcase upcoming books and build up some excitement for them as well as let you know what is available out there. It is not about competing with other bloggers or boasting of any kind (c'mon, we're British and we don't do drama!)

Review Books

Burn for Burn by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian
I'm really not sure if this is the book for me you know, I have a feeling that I'm going to get really annoyed with these bratty girls, hellbent on revenge.  I'll still give it a go but I wouldn't be surprised if my reaction wasn't altogether positive.

This is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith
I really enjoyed The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, which was the first book of Jennifer's that I read.  I'm really excited to read her latest offering! 
Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion
I'm actually already in the middle of reading my kindle version of this book and I'm really excited about seeing the movie.  I believe this is a giveaway copy so guess what?  I'm going to give it away, look out for it in a contest soon.  

 Fragments by Dan Wells
This is the follow up to Partials which I still haven't read yet!  Again, another manuscript but I really don't mind reading from them in the slightest.  

Mila 2.0 by Debra Driza
I had no idea this was being published in the UK but I'm glad!  I've actually been sent a manuscript version of the book, presumably as they haven't printed ARC's yet or don't have any ARC's left.  I'm looking forward to entering this world and finding out Mila's secret and there is a short digital novella available now which I believe is a prequel.

Thank You Publishers!!!

Books Bought

 Everbound by Brodi Ashton
I LOVED Everneath and with THAT ending, I couldn't wait to find out what happened next and so I read it as soon as it arrived.  It did not disappoint and I have no idea how Brodi can write so much awesome.   

The Archived by Victoria Schwab
I pre-ordered this in the middle of last year which gives you some idea of how much I wanted to read it!  I think the concept is inspired and I'm so intrigued with the story.  I'm currently reading this now.

Boundless by Cynthia Hand
This is the third and final book in this trilogy which I still haven't read yet (MAJOR FAIL) but I've bought all three books so I think that's commitment enough in telling you that I AM going to read them!

Just One Day by Gayle Forman
I was offered a UK copy of this but I really wanted the hardback.  I have a confession to make - I've never read one of Gayle's books before but I respect her as an author (I've read some of her blog posts) and I always hear wonderful things about her books.

Save the Cat by Blake Snyder
Although this is a book about screen writing, a lot of it can be applied to writers too.  I'd heard of the book but it was recommended to me by Shannon Delaney and after realising that I didn't already own it, I decided to rectify that problem.  Now I just have to read it. 


Neverfall by Brodi Ashton
When I found out that Brodi had published a novella written from Cole's point of view, I KNEW I had to get this.  Unfortunately (and for inexplicable reasons) it is not available in the UK (yet) and so I have to do some fancy things on Amazon to get this.  It was fantastic seeing inside his head and I'm sorta starting to root for him.  I always did like the bad boys ;)

Elixir by Jennifer. L Armentrout
I already had a copy of this but I decided to buy a kindle version to go with the other books and it was cheap.  This is one of my favourite novella's ever I think as I LOVED seeing Evil Alex.

Take this Regret by A. L. Jackson (Bought)
This has nothing but five star reviews on Amazon and is a story of love and redemption.  It sounds a little like Forever my Girl (but without the rock star element) and I'm looking forward to reading it. 

Lost to You by A. L. Jackson (Bought)
This is the sequel to the above.

Seduction and Snacks (Chocolate Lovers #1) by Tara Sivec (Bought)
How can you not pick up this book considering what the cover looks like? I want to EAT it!  Sounds interesting and I've heard some good things about it. 

The Charmed by Christine Wenrick (Bought)
This is a paranormal romance about vampires and was a recommendation from Facebook.

Caught Up In Us by Lauren Blakely (Bought)
I love a book of second chances, characters with an established relationship reconnecting after some years have passed, especially if hearts were broken.  This sounds right up my street. 

Whisper by Heather Hildenbrand (Bought)
One of the main reasons I bought this (besides the glowing reviews) was because it features a cherokee Indian character and I'd love to explore more of that side of the world.

Falling for her Fiance by Cindi Madsen (Bought)
Although I've probably read this plot a hundred times, I still can't resist this kind of book.  Two characters have to pretend to be together to suit their own end but real feelings develop. 

The Story of Rachel  (Tales of Pandora) by K.D. Mclean (For Review)
I'm intrigued about this story featuring a love affair with an older man.  I don't know what to make of it yet but I like the humour (it reminds me a little of Alice Clayton).

Dare You To by Katie McGarry (For Review)
I loved Pushing the Limits and this is a galley of the companion novel featuring Beth and Ryan.  I have a feeling that it's going to be just as good, just as swoonworthy as the first book. 

Broken Hart by Ella Fox (Free)
I like the sounds of this as the male character doesn't believe in love and it's a question of whether the female character can break through the barrier.  I want to know WHY she wants to, if she can do it, what's holding him back and will it work out?  Because I need to know the answers to these questions, I'm already hooked in.  

Meant to Be (The Saving Angels book 1) by Tiffany King (Free)
I've seen some mixed reviews for this but I've always liked the idea of meeting people in your dreams and it was free. 

So, that's my week in books.  What are you reading this week?  There have been a couple of blogger events in London this week that sadly, I have been unable to attend but I'm hoping to be kept up to date with what's going on, new book releases etc.  I still haven't joined the John Green bandwagon yet.  I mean yes, he's funny and I respect him but I still need to dive in to one of his books (I've only ever read a short story of his).  I hope you had a great week for books and as always, please leave your links below.

Friday, 1 February 2013

Black Spring Blog Tour

This is the very last stop on the Black Spring Blog Tour and I'm very pleased to welcome Alison Croggon to the blog today to talk about 'Freedom in YA - the pleasures of storytelling' but before all that, have you heard of the book?  Here's the synopsis:

Inspired by Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights, BLACK SPRING re imagines the passionate story in a fantasy 19th century society sustained by wizardry and the vengeance code of vendetta.

Anna spent her childhood with Damek and her volatile foster sister Lina, daughter of the Lord of the village. Lina has magical powers, and in this brutal patriarchal society women with magical powers are put to death as babies. Lina’s father, however, refuses to kill her but when vendetta explodes in their village and Lina’s father dies, their lives are changed forever. Their new guardian Masko sends Anna away and reduces Lina to the status of a servant. Damek—mad with love for Lina—attempts to murder Masko, then vanishes for several years. Anna comes home five years later to find Lina about to marry a pleasant young farmer, and witnesses Damek’s vengeful return and its catastrophic consequences.

Passionate, atmospheric and haunting, BLACK SPRING will stay with readers long after they turn the final page

Take it away Alison...

Freedom in YA – the pleasures of storytelling

For a large part of my writing life, I wasn’t in the least interested in telling stories. I read them voraciously, but I didn’t imagine that I was the kind of writer who wrote them. This was partly because I wrote poems. There are many poems that tell stories, from the Odyssey to Les Murray’s Fredy Neptune, but I am a lyric poet, more interested in what goes on between things than in devising narratives. Or so I thought.

You can imagine my surprise when I found myself writing novels. Having spent most of my adult life focusing on poems that were seldom longer than a page, I suddenly wrote an epic fantasy, a story that was basically two thousand pages long. (Well, not suddenly: it took me nine years to write the Books of Pellinor). And now I’m hooked: I’ve finished two books since then, and have four other half-finished stories on my desktop.

I write for young adults and genre readers in part because you don’t have to apologise for making up stories. I have never been quite sure what YA is, to be honest: there are so many definitions that it gets confusing. It’s truer to say that I write the kind of stories that I like to read, and that in today’s marketplace, that’s considered YA. I make up fantasies, and that’s considered genre.

I love imagining stories and I am fascinated by the architecture of narrative. Where once I made tiny sculptures, I find myself thinking about cathedrals. This discovery of my inner storyteller has been extraordinarily liberating, for many reasons, and it’s enriched my thinking about all the forms of writing that I pursue. But I sometimes wonder why I could only find this freedom in YA writing, and why story telling is so often dismissed as a literary virtue.

Once there wasn’t this thing called genre (there were genres, but they functioned differently) and story telling was a vital part of literature. Through the ages there have always been many kinds of writing, from the lyric poem to the critical essay to the epic tale, but in our time the pleasures of story telling have become laden with value judgments. Some people who consider themselves “serious” readers think that stories are for children or, worse, genre readers. This dismissal of the power and pleasure of story is deeply strange. It’s as if literature is voluntarily throttling itself.

When Howard Jacobson says contemptuously that he never reads genre or when Martin Amis says that writing for children is working at a “lower register”, I mainly feel amazed. Don’t they know the history of their artform? Dostoevsky wrote one of the greatest crime novels ever with Crime and Punishment, but that’s filed under Literature with a capital L, not in the crime section. Milton wrote a brilliant fantasy in Paradise Lost, but that’s called poetry. One of the most exquisite and profound meditations on love and mortality and imagination, Antoine de Saint-ExupĂ©ry’s The Little Prince, was written for children. Jane Austen wrote the archetypal romance novel in Pride and Prejudice.  And so on.

Of course, snobbery can run all ways: I am equally puzzled by people who dismiss “literary” novels out of hand. It seems to me that there are as many ways to write as there are authors, and they all are tools for discovering different truths. And as the Australian poet and playwright Dorothy Hewett once said, it’s all writing.

Thank you to Alison for being on the blog today.  Black Spring was published on 3rd January, 2013 in the UK and WILL BE available in the US in Autumn/Fall of this year.  To find out more about Alison and her books, please click here to visit her website.