Saturday 24 April 2010

My Second Ever Contest

OK, so I thought it was about time for another contest, especially as I have over 100 followers now. This is something to celebrate!! First prize is a SIGNED UK copy of the Dead Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan. Second prize will be a copy of Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. Beautiful Creatures is an AMAZING book (check out my review here). I have to admit that I haven't read/reviewed The Dead-Tossed Waves yet but I'm going to as soon as I've finished The Forest of Hands and Teeth which is the first book in the series.

I'm going to make it really easy for people to enter. All you have to do is:

1. Follow this blog
2. Comment on one of my book reviews (it doesn't matter which one)
3. Leave a comment below this post with your name, the country where you live and your e mail address

And that's it! As always, this contest is international and the deadline is 12th May. I'll use to choose the winner. Good luck everyone and spread the word!

Win Mistwood and Brightly Woven

Alexandra Bracken (author of Brightly Woven) and Leah Cypess (author of Mistwood) are co-hosting a contest to win a signed copy of their books, together with bookmarks. It's really easy to enter although it doesn't specify whether the contest is international or not. Deadline is 27th April. Click here to enter. Good luck to everyone!

Wednesday 21 April 2010

Upcoming Releases: Cover Art

I've never done this before because I always assume that everyone else finds out things when I do. Well, judging from today's events I now realise that this is not true. Lesson learned, never assume! So, I thought I would share with you some upcoming releases that have some pretty gorgeous cover art.

Crescendo is the sequel to Hush Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick. I have to say that I loved the story of Hush Hush and I thought the cover was amazing! I like this cover too and this is supposed to be Nora on the front. The cover was actually revealed live on 10th April by a chalk artist who brought it to life before our very eyes! If you missed this, click here to see a re-run. Crescendo is released on 14th October, 2010.

Next up we have Torment which is the sequel to Fallen by Lauren Kate and the cover is just as beautiful as the first book in my opinion. I can't believe I still haven't read and reviewed Fallen even though I've wanted to for quite a while now. Look out for this soon folks! I'm sure I will be looking forward to reading this once I've fallen (no pun intended) in love with Fallen. Torment is released on 30th September, 2010.

Linger by Maggie Stiefvater is the sequel to Shiver. I'm sure you've all seen the US cover for Linger (see review here on the blog) but I'm wondering how many of you have seen the UK cover. Well, here it is in all its glory. I know there are some diehard fans of the UK covers and whilst I like it, I'm a colour girl at heart and so the US cover is my favourite. I have to say though I will probably be buying both the US and UK copy for my book collection. Linger is released internationally on 20th July, 2010 however the UK version is released on 5th July, 2010. It makes a nice change for the UK to have the advantage for a change! Go UK!

Last but not least we have Beautiful Darkness which is the sequel to Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. I thought the cover for Beautiful Creatures was stunning and the sequel cover is just as nice in my opinion. I'm really looking forward to this one! Beautiful Darkness is released on 26th October, 2010.

Angel Star Review

I took my review down temporarily as I did not realise that in my description of the book, I had unwittingly posted spoilers. The plot is somewhat complex and I was having trouble coming up with a synopsis. In getting it straight in my own head I posted what I thought the book was about without realising that I was giving almost everything away. I promised from the beginning that I would never intentionally spoil a book for readers and so here is the amended review...

If you know me at all, you will know that I have been absolutely dying (no pun intended) to read this book and thanks to the very lovely Jennifer Murgia, she got me on an ARC tour so I could do just that. I received it and read it the same day. I was not disappointed.

Angel Star tells the story from the eyes of 17 year old Teagan who falls head over heels for the new guy at Carver High, Garreth Adams. After saving her from a near fatal accident, his true identity and purpose for being here is revealed. Several startling discoveries later, Teagan unwittingly becomes the star player in leading a battle to restore balance to heaven and earth.

I instantly loved the premise of this story and I can totally see how easy it would be to fall in love with your guardian angel or vice versa. I mean your guardian angel is supposed to know you inside and out, spend lifetimes with you and love you unconditionally. What better description is there of a soul mate than that?! I really liked the prologue which gave me no clue as to which character was speaking, thus leaving me to come to the inevitable wrong conclusion! Rather than being disappointed by this, I love it when I’m wrong and a book can surprise me.

I’d say this book was plot driven but I found the characters to be enjoyable too. I loved the camaraderie between Teagan and her best friend Claire. I thought the dialogue and interaction between them was very natural and believable. Hadrian is a powerful, alluring and tempting bad boy who reminded me a bit of Damon from the Vampire Diaries. Garreth, what can I say about Garreth? He’s a beautiful angel with a pure soul.

Jennifer has created her own mythology in Angel Star that essentially explains that life is about balance. No yin without yang, no light without dark and no good without evil. It’s an interesting concept although ultimately it means that good cannot triumph over evil and I have a slight problem with that! So, I'm excited to see where Jennifer will go with the story.

Angel star takes you on a journey heavily laden with twists and turns and the ending hints that the story is not over yet. Indeed, Lemniscate (the sequel) is currently in the pipeline.

If I had one criticism about Angel Star, it would be the brief use of text speak within the book. Mostly because I am not a big fan of text speak, I don’t use it and at times I had to guess what it meant! Regardless of this, overall I found the book to be a very enjoyable read and I will be buying my own copy on release day.

Angel Star by Jennifer Murgia is released on 18th May, 2010. Jennifer is active on twitter, facebook and Goodreads. Click here to visit her website.

Linger Review (No Spoilers)

As most of you know, I was EXTREMELY lucky to win an ARC of Linger and I literally jumped up and down screaming when I found out! I got the book and stupidly developed a mental block - I told myself I could not read Linger until I had refreshed my memory and read Shiver again. Thankfully, I have now done this *phew*and have finally written a review for it.

I was scared to read Linger for many reasons – firstly, whilst I had an inkling of where the story might go, I wasn’t sure whether I wanted it to go in that direction, I wasn’t really sure what I was expecting to be honest. Shiver could easily have been a standalone book. I was also scared because Maggie is my favourite YA author and I knew that she would be reading this review. Would I be able to do it justice? Would it match up to Maggie’s writing?

Yes I admit, I was having insecurities about my writing. However, I read a blog post recently about plagiarism (courtesy of Persnickity Snark) and decided that at least my reviews were written from the heart and in my own words. This is MY voice and MY style. I may not use as many fancy big words or literary terms as others but if we all sounded the same, then it would be very boring indeed! So, just like that I got over my fear and I feel tons better for it. Without further ado, here is my review of Linger.

In the words of Jacob from Twilight, “Have you ever had a secret that you couldn’t tell anyone? One that wasn’t yours to share?”. THAT pretty much sums up how I feel about Linger because I desperately want to share it with you guys but I don’t want to spoil it for you either! This makes writing a review very difficult indeed but I’m going to try. Linger follows on from Shiver and we get to see what happens AFTER the happy ending. Sam and Grace continue to develop their relationship and as in any normal relationship, obstacles and challenges come along to test it. Sam and Grace are still fighting to be together but in slightly different ways than in Shiver. Sam is also trying to get used to being in his own skin as a human when ironically Grace never feels more unlike herself.

This time around, we get four protagonists – Grace, Sam, Isabel and Cole. In shiver, we were introduced to several new wolves that were created by Beck (the pack’s leader) to ensure the survival of the wolf pack after Beck leaves humanity behind and changes for the last time. We get to see how they influence the pack through both Sam and Cole’s eyes. Reading from four points of view was admittedly a bit disorientating at first but I soon got used to it and I learnt so much more about the characters by seeing things from their perspective. It definitely gave me a deeper understanding into their psyche.

Another beautifully written book from Maggie, Linger was wonderful. I read it in two sittings as I didn’t want to rush my way through it. Both times it kept me up until 3am though! And yes I did cry at the end (dammit Maggie, you’ve done it again!). The journey was pretty wild and and not quite what I expected. There was lots of tension, lots of drama and all of the romance of the first book. As always, the cover art is gorgeous and definitely fits the spring feel. I'm going to place a bet now on the final cover being gold to represent the feel of Summer and also the Golden Woods which is alluded to in both books.

For all of you people out there who are feeling a bit put out that I got to read it early, know this. I’ve almost done myself a disservice here because now I have to wait that much longer for “FOREVER” which is the final book in the series and is not released until 2011. I can’t wait to read how this is all going to turn out and once you’ve read Linger, you won’t be able to either.

If you are a book blogger and are desperate to read Linger for yourself, please comment on my blog post “Want to read Linger?” so that you have a chance to join my mini ARC tour.

As you know by now, Maggie has her own blog which you can access by clicking here. She is also a prolific internet user and can be found on facebook and Twitter. If you enjoy Maggie's writing, check out the Merry Sister's of Fate which is a group made up of Maggie and her crit partners Tessa Gratton (Blood Magic, 2011) and Brenna Yovanoff (The Replacement, 2010). They publish original short stories every month. Click here to visit the site.

Tuesday 20 April 2010

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 twofold to make up for the fact that I missed last week so without further ado I give you "Sisters Red" by the very humourous Jackson Pearce (who incidently when I first heard the name thought she was a he - DOH!) and "Nightshade" AKA the book I'm desperately trying to win, by the very lovely Andrea Cremer. I was supposed to feature Nightshade last week but life got in the way a bit so it's being featured this week instead.

First up, is "Sisters Red" by Jackson Pearce. Here is the description from Goodreads:

"Scarlett March lives to hunt the Fenris-- the werewolves that took her eye when she was defending her sister Rosie from a brutal attack. Armed with a razor-sharp hatchet and blood-red cloak, Scarlett is an expert at luring and slaying the wolves. She's determined to protect other young girls from a grisly death, and her raging heart will not rest until every single wolf is dead.

Rosie March once felt her bond with her sister was unbreakable. Owing Scarlett her life, Rosie hunts fiercely alongside her. Now Rosie dreams of a life beyond the wolves and finds herself drawn to Silas, a young woodsman who is deadly with an ax-- but loving him means betraying her sister and has the potential to destroy all they've worked for.

Twenty-five-year-old Jackson Pearce delivers a dark, taut fairy tale with heart-pounding action, fierce sisterly love, and a romance that will leave readers breathless".

Great description and the cover art is very striking (red is my favourite colour) AND it's released on 7th June, 2010 which is my birthday! Is that fate or what?! I like a bit of romance so I'm looking forward to this book. You can find out more about Jackson Pearce on her website by clicking here.

Next up we have "Nightshade" by Andrea Cremer. Here is the description from Goodreads.

"While other teenage girls daydream about boys, Calla Tor imagines ripping out her enemies’ throats. And she wouldn’t have it any other way. Calla was born a warrior and on her eighteenth-birthday she’ll become the alpha female of the next generation of Guardian wolves. But Calla’s predestined path veers off course the moment she saves the life of a wayward hiker, a boy her own age. This human boy’s secret will turn the young pack's world upside down and forever alter the outcome of the centuries-old Witches' War that surrounds them all".

Now let me tell you, THIS is my kind of book. I am a total wolf girl at heart and love the premise of this. The cover art is also stunning. I'm still trying to win an ARC of this (I've missed out at least twice now but I keep trying). You can find out more about Andrea Cremer on her website by clicking here.

Monday 19 April 2010


OK, so we're up to week 4 now and this week the prize is NOT a mystery - you can win Everlasting by Angie Frazier which isn't released until June. This just so happens to be my birthday month...not that I'm hinting or anything...but I would love to read this book. I contacted Angie a while ago now and there were no more ARC's available. This is your only chance to read it before it is released.

To find out what you have to do, just click here to visit Heidi's site. The contest ends midnight PST on Friday and yup it's international. Good luck everyone!

Shiver Review

I have to admit that I read Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater in the latter part of last year. I was looking for something to read after the Twilight Saga (we’ve all been there, right?!) and I stumbled across Shiver, which was recommended by a few people on the internet.

I read it and instantly fell in love with it. I laughed and cried in all the right places and basically became Maggie’s biggest fan overnight. Back then, I didn’t have a book blogging site and so there was no need to write a review. Now I do have a book blog and I feel somewhat obligated to write about my favourite book. So much so that I felt the need to go back and re-read the book all over again. Especially in light of the fact that Linger (the sequel to Shiver) is now in my possession. As most of you know, I was EXTREMELY lucky to win an ARC of Linger and I literally jumped up and down screaming when I found out! I got the book and stupidly developed a mental block - I told myself I could not read Linger until I had refreshed my memory and read Shiver again. Unfortunately this has taken longer than I expected due to life getting in the way recently. I think also I was scared to read Linger but I will discuss this when I review the book.

Maggie has a distinct style and ability to draw the reader into the story. Although it’s been months since I read Shiver, as soon as I started reading I was instantly right back there in Grace and Sam’s world. It was like meeting up with an old friend. Thinking back, what I really liked about Shiver was the split point of view as the book tells the story from the two main protagonist’s perspectives - Grace and Sam. Believe it or not, the funny thing is that before I read the book I was thinking that I wanted to read a book from two points of view and suddenly, here it was in front of me. I must be finely attuned to Maggie’s writing ;)

Shiver is most definitely a character driven novel although it has a decent enough plot to carry it forward. I recently read an interview with Maggie where she was talking about Shiver and how it was a character driven novel. When talking about plot, she said in true Maggie style “I mean, what happens in Shiver? NOTHING!" It made me laugh quite a lot and I think she was selling the book a bit short in her self-deprecating way. So, in my own words, this is what Shiver is about...

As a child, Grace was attacked and bitten by wolves only to be ultimately saved by one of them. After this traumatic event, Grace develops an unnatural obsession with the wolves who linger by the edge of the woods at the back of her house. Every winter she watches and waits for them – for one wolf in particular. The one that saved her life that fateful day, years earlier. Only one year, it isn’t a wolf she finds on her doorstep but a boy and he shares the same yellow eyes as her wolf. But it couldn’t be, could it? Shiver is not only the story of the relationship between Grace and Sam but also the relationship the whole town has with the wolves that visit every winter.

Grace and Sam are polar opposites in a way. I actually liked the fact that they are so different from each other but share a connection with the wolves which is what brought them together in the first place. Grace is logical, practical, responsible and pragmatic whereas Sam is sensitive, artsy and lyrical. I love the fact that Maggie intersperses the writing with lyrics that Sam composes on the fly.

I also have to mention that I liked the fact that for a YA novel, there was a sex scene. A lot of YA books shy away from sex but I feel that this is not realistic or representative of teenagers. It would be wrong to generalise but some teenagers do have sex. What I like about Shiver is that it does allude to a sex scene however it is very tastefully done and does not go into detail. Grace and Sam are in love, they want to be together and yes they do use protection. I know Maggie struggled over whether to include this in the book but in the end, she said it wouldn’t feel right NOT to include it.

One of the things I love about Shiver is that whilst it is classified as YA fiction, it has a definite crossover appeal to an older audience. Twilight allowed adults to read the book in public without any shame and I believe Shiver should be added to that list. I suspect that list will steadily grow as the YA market is taking off in a big way right now. Did I also mention that Shiver is going to be made into a movie? I have to confess to having mixed feelings about this fact. Of course I would love to see my favourite YA book on the big screen but I’m terrified the director will butcher it. I’m hoping this is a normal reaction to the news.

I thought the final scene was very cleverly written although I don’t want to give anything away to people who haven’t read the book yet. Just make sure you read with a box of tissues at the ready. This is one of my all time favourite books and I hope you love it as much as I do. A beautiful, extremely well written story that is A MUST READ for anyone out there who loves YA fiction. Phew, I feel ready to start reading Linger now. Review coming soon!

Maggie Stiefvater has her own blog which you can access by clicking here. She is also a prolific internet user and can be found on facebook and Twitter. If you enjoy Maggie's writing, check out the Merry Sister's of Fate which is a group made up of Maggie and her crit partners Tessa Gratton (Blood Magic, 2011) and Brenna Yovanoff (The Replacement, 2010). They publish original short stories every month. Click here to visit the site.

Sunday 18 April 2010

Cleverly Inked Birthday Phenomenon Contest

This is by far, the BIGGEST collection of books being offered in a contest that I have seen! Seriously, you are NOT going to want to miss this! Just click here to visit the site and enter the contest. I cannot possibly list all the prizes here because there are far too many of them! Deadline is 13th May and the contest is international.

Life is overwhelming sometimes...

OK, so I know I've been a little quiet of late and that's because work has been manic and life became a bit overwhelming there for a while. I've also been doing a lot of beta reading and am currently re-reading a book I've already read. All that being said, I feel like I'm starting to get back on track now so look out for reviews of Angel Star by Jennifer Murgia, Shiver and Linger by the goddess Maggie Stiefvater, Heavenly by Jennifer Laurens and Forget-Her-Nots by Amy Brecount White - coming soon to a blog near you (i.e. this one).

Saturday 17 April 2010

Win an ARC of Nightshade

How would you like to win an ARC of Nightshade by Andrea Cremer? I WOULD!!! Just click here to visit Books Obsession and enter. Unfortunately for us Brits, it's US only although if you have a US mailing address, I don't see why you can't enter. Deadline is 3rd May and there will be two lucky winners.

Nightshade is a book I am itching to get my hands on and will be featuring it soon on the blog!

Saturday 10 April 2010

Win a few books

Princess Bookie is having a great contest where she giving away a whole load of ARC's (Advanced Reader Copies) of books that have not even been released yet. Examples include "Everlasting" by Angie Frazier, "Jekel loves Hyde" by Beth Fantaskey and "Rules of Attraction" by Simone Elkeles. From the list of 15 books, you can up to 3 of them just by clicking here to visit the site. You'll have to be quick with this one as it ends tomorrow (11th April) and of course it's international! Good luck to everyone!

Mistwood ARC giveaway!

The very lovely Amy Brecount White (author of Forget-Her-Nots) is giving away an ARC of Mistwood by Leah Cypess. Both authors belong to a group known as "The Tenners" - authors publishing their debut novel in 2010. As if the cover wasn't enough to tempt you, here is the blurb from Goodreads:

"The Shifter is an immortal creature bound by an ancient spell to protect the kings of Samorna. When the realm is peaceful, she retreats to the Mistwood.

But when she is needed she always comes.

Isabel remembers nothing. Nothing before the prince rode into her forest to take her back to the castle. Nothing about who she is supposed to be, or the powers she is supposed to have.

Prince Rokan needs Isabel to be his Shifter. He needs her ability to shift to animal form, to wind, to mist. He needs her lethal speed and superhuman strength. And he needs her loyalty--because without it, she may be his greatest threat.

Isabel knows that her prince is lying to her, but she can't help wanting to protect him from the dangers and intrigues of the court . . . until a deadly truth shatters the bond between them.

Now Isabel faces a choice that threatens her loyalty, her heart . . . and everything she thought she knew."

How awesome does that sound?! I DEFINITELY want to read this and so I'm entering! If you want to enter too, just click here to visit Amy's site. The contest ends on 25th April and it's international.

Friday 9 April 2010

Sea Blue People Win Mystery Books Contest: Week 2

OK, it's that time again only this is week 2 of the mystery books contest. You have to work a bit for this one though and choose 3 out of 6 options to complete in order to be entered for the task. Then leave in the comments what you have done. Click here to see the full set of rules and to enter the contest. Closes midnight (PST) TODAY so get your entries in!! It is of course international. And don't forget, no one knows what the prize is until it's won but it's likely to be an awesome book from one of the tenners or a book that has recently been published. Good luck everyone!

Wednesday 7 April 2010

Massive Book Giveaway!

And they just keep on coming today! This contest is from the very wonderful Steph Bowe who is the author of the upcoming novel "Girl Saves Boy" which is being published in September 2010 (secretly I'm hoping she will send me an ARC*)

So anyway, you can win..
  • Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
  • Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson
  • An Abundance of Katherines by John Green
  • Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
  • Dreaming of Amelia by Jaclyn Moriarty
  • Blue Plate Special by Michelle Kwansey
  • The Monstrumologist by Rick Yancey
  • The Pact by Jodi Picoult
  • World Shaker by Richard Harland
  • Exposure by Mal Peet
  • Sprout by Dale Peck
  • Panama by Shelby Hiatt


  • Every winner will get lots of book swag - bookmarks, postcards, badges, etc...
  • And if you're an aspiring YA author, you'll also get a query critique & first five pages critique of your YA manuscript!
Click here to enter. Contest closes 30th April and it's international. Good luck to everyone!

* I'm not flattering her because I want her to send me an ARC, Steph really is a great person to follow and is always posting extremely helpful writing tips and advice.

Can I Be Your Book Fairy Contest!

That's right, another contest! And you can win some AMAZING ARC's (Advanced Reader Copies) of books like Shade by Jeri Smith Ready (I can't WAIT to read this) as well as many others. Visit the blog by clicking here and fill out the form to enter. Easy peasy. You have until 25th April to enter and it's international! Yipee!!!! Good luck everyone!

Pick Your Publisher Contest

My friends over at The Undercover Book Lover (not really) are having an amazing contest at the moment where you can win books from a particular publisher (you can choose from several). For example, there is Linger by Maggie Stiefvater (Scholastic), Mistwood by Leah Cypress (HarperTeen) and The Unwritten Rule by Elizabeth Scott (Simon & Schuster) to name but a few! All you have to do is visit the site by clicking here and fill out the entry form. Contest closes 22nd April and it's international so what are you waiting for? Good luck!

Thursday 1 April 2010

Want to read LINGER?

OK so as you may or may not know, I was EXTREMELY lucky to get my hands on a Linger Arc not that long ago. And let me tell you something. I’ve never felt so guilty in my entire life. I’m aware that EVERYONE wants to read this and so I feel very fortunate to have it in my possession. I decided when I won it that I would spread the Linger love and so I am going to put my precious ARC into a book tour, just for fellow book bloggers. I’m not entirely sure how I’m going to do this yet so I guess it depends on how many people want to read it. If it’s a low number then great, if it’s a lot more than I was anticipating I might have to draw names out of the hat for a limited amount of spots. I do have to tell you though that my friend Jennzah is first on the list. If you want to participate, here are the rules.

1. You must be a book blogger.

2. You don’t have to follow my blog (but it would be really cool if you wanted to).

3. If you are selected, you can keep the book for ONE WEEK only before you have to send it on to the next person. Obviously, there are exceptions to this rule if it’s a genuine reason.

4. YOU are responsible for the cost of sending it to the next person on the list. DO NOT sign up to this unless you are willing to bear those costs.

5. This is my precious Linger ARC (it has my name inside and everything!) and it means so much to me so I ask that people treat the book with respect.

6. At the end of the tour, the book must be returned to me. Don’t forget people, I know where you live *evil laugh*.

All you have to do to participate is leave me a comment with your name, the country where you live, your blog address and your e mail address. I'll let you know when the tour begins but it will be a lot sooner than the 20th July release date, I can tell you that! So what do you say, are you in?


The awesome Heidi R Kling is having a mystery book contest over on her blog, in fact she is giving away a book a week until Sea is officially released in 9 weeks time. It's exciting because no one (except her of course) knows what the book is until it's won! Find out how to enter by clicking here. You'll have to be quick though because the contest ends tomorrow at midnight PST. And yes, it's international (thank you Heidi!) Good luck everyone!