22 Oct 2014

Waiting on Wednesday / The Glass Arrow by Kristen Simmons


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly memo that is hosted by Breaking the Spine Blog.

Expected Release Date: 10th February 2015
(Release date obtained from Goodreads)

Goodreads link is here.


The Handmaid’s Tale meets Blood Red Road in Glass Arrow, the story of Aya, who lives with a small group of women on the run from the men who hunt them, men who want to auction off breeding rights to the highest bidder.

In a world where females are scarce and are hunted, then bought and sold at market for their breeding rights, 15-year old Aya has learned how to hide. With a ragtag bunch of other women and girls, she has successfully avoided capture and eked out a nomadic but free existence in the mountains. But when Aya’s luck runs out and she’s caught by a group of businessmen on a hunting expedition, fighting to survive takes on a whole new meaning.

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20 Oct 2014

Book Review / A Temptation of Angels by Michelle Zink

Even angels make mistakes in this page-turning epic romance

When her parents are murdered before her eyes, sixteen-year-old Helen Cartwright finds herself launched into an underground London where a mysterious organization called the Dictata controls the balance of good and evil. Helen learns that she is one of three remaining angelic descendants charged with protecting the world's past, present, and future. 


Unbeknownst to her, she has been trained her whole life to accept this responsibility. Now, as she finds herself torn between the angelic brothers protecting her and the devastatingly handsome childhood friend who wants to destroy her, she must prepare to be brave, to be hunted, and above all to be strong, because temptation will be hard to resist, even for an angel.

Michelle Zink masterfully weaves historical fantasy with paranormal romance to create a gripping tale of love and betrayal.


Published:     20th March 2012
Publisher:  Dial Books
Author Website:  Click here
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand-Alone
Source:  Bought
Review:   5 out of 5


My Review

What I loved about this story...
This is one of those books that I have had on my shelf for ages now, it might have even been since the date of publication!  I can't believe it has taken me so long to read this, I LOVED it!!!  I loved that as soon as open the book and get reading you are straight into the action of the story.  I was completely sucked into this story right from the very first page.  This story has great suspense so combine that with the addiction action in this story, I was just sucked in for the entire story.  The pace of the story was very fast which helped in keeping the momentum - in fact I read this book in one sitting (probably about 2 to 3 hours ish).  There is a bit of romance in this book, which I felt was realistic and had great 'build up'.      
 
What I was not fond of with this story... 
Absolutely nothing!  The only thing I am sad about with this story is the fact that it is a stand alone and not part of a series.  I would have loved to read more about the story and the characters.   

About the Author
(from Author Website)

Michelle Zink lives in New York with her four children. 

Prophecy of the Sisters was her first novel, and was chosen as one of Booklist’s Top Ten Debut Novels of 2009 and as one of the Chicago Public Library’s Best Books for Young Readers. It has also been listed on the New York Public Library’s Stuff for the Teen Age and the Lone Star Reading List.
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19 Oct 2014

Book Review / A Place of Yes by Bethenny Frankel

The New York Times bestselling author of Naturally Thin and The Skinnygirl Dish, Bethenny Frankel takes us on an empowering journey to A PLACE OF YES.


BETHENNY FRANKEL’S no-nonsense, tell-it-like-it-is personality won over countless fans, and made her a nationally bestselling author and the star of her own hit Bravo show Bethenny Getting Married? Now Bethenny opens up and shares the obstacles she overcame and the great success she has enjoyed while discovering how to approach life from “A Place of Yes.” Bethenny’s path was not always clear as she overcame a difficult childhood, failed relationships, entrepreneurial efforts that never quite got off the ground, and lifelong money struggles. To deal with these challenges, Bethenny developed ten rules for pursuing her goals with authenticity and drive, including:

FIND YOUR TRUTH: Dig deep inside and figure out what is authentic for you, not anybody else. 

ACT ON IT: You don’t have to have a master plan. But unless you do something, you’ve done nothing. 

EVERYTHING’S YOUR BUSINESS: Treat every job, person, and experience as if it could lead to your next big opportunity. 

OWN IT: If you do it, say it, think it—then own it. Stand up for yourself and fully acknowledge who you really are. Each rule is illustrated with compelling, sometimes funny, sometimes outrageous examples that are pure Bethenny. It’s easy to say no, to say “I can’t,” to expect the worst, and to doubt yourself. But your life can be better than “not bad” or “good enough.” It can be amazing. And by putting Bethenny’s rules together, you can use them to be more successful, more fulfilled, healthier, and happier than ever before. 

Published:     22nd March 2011
Publisher:  Touchstone
Author Website:  Click here
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand-Alone
Source:  Bought

Review:   4 out of 5

My Review

What I loved about this book...
Its that time of year that I tend to look for a really good inspirational read that boosts me from Summer into the Autumn/Winter months.  I didn't know who Bethenny was before reading this book and hadn't realised that she was a celebrity.  I found this book to be so inspiring both with following Bethenney and her particular story as well as the tips and helpful advice along the way.  I found her to be very upfront and honest and liked the way she got her message across in this book using aspects of her life. 

What I was not fond of with this book...
I really did enjoy this book and got a lot out of it.  I am definitely going to check out any other books/shows that she is in/wrote.  

About the Author
(from Goodreads)

Bethenny Frankel has a knack for making healthy food taste delicious. That knack, which started out as a hobby and was enhanced with formal training, has elevated her to national prominence as a celebrated natural food chef, the creator of the phenomenal new Skinnygirl Margarita, and The New York Times best selling author of Naturally Thin.

Frankel, who calls herself a "health foodie” and attended the National Gourmet Institute for Health and Culinary Arts, focuses on sharing with others her knowledge and passion for healthy living. In addition to her monthly column in Health Magazine, she is regularly featured in national publications from The New York Times to the weekly entertainment magazines. She’s also a sought-after guest on national news and entertainment television, where she brings her expertise and irresistibly candid and funny take not only to food segments but to any conversation about living healthy and living well.

Frankel’s wit, wisdom and humor came to national attention when she was named first runner-up on NBC’s “The Apprentice: Martha Stewart.” Network executives saw a personality they couldn’t ignore and put her center stage weekly on Bravo’s hit series “The Real Housewives of New York,” now in its third season. Though technically not a “wife,” she has emerged as the star of the series, with a huge network of fans, a job as national spokesperson for Pepperidge Farm's Baked Naturals® and Deli Flats(trademark), and her own spin-off series now in production.

Naturally Thin: Unleash Your Skinnygirl and Free Yourself from a Lifetime of Dieting debuted this year on The New York Times Best Sellers list and stayed for an astonishing for 18 consecutive weeks. Frankel’s second book, The Skinnygirl Dish: Easy Recipes for Your Naturally Thin Life will be released January 5, 2010, just in time to support “new year, new me” resolutions with delicious, practical, effective recipes and lifestyle tweaks. Skinnygirl Dish showcases Frankel’s renowned “fix-ology” . . . her ability to take calorie-rich foods and revamp them to create healthier versions without compromising flavor.

Her skill as a fixologist applies to cocktails too . . . she has just this fall launched The Skinnygirl Margarita, a bottled, pre-mixed beverage made with clear tequila, lime juice and only a splash of citrus liqueur, which drastically reduces the calories of the traditional cocktail. All natural and lightly sweetened with agave nectar, it has only 100 calories in a full 4 oz. serving.

As the go-to blogger for all things reality and lifestyle, Frankel wields her pen like a sword, ensuring that readers will get the unvarnished truth along with common sense, expertise and a healthy – always healthy – dose of humor. She is on a mission to democratize healthy living, making information available to everyone she can reach through her appearances, books, columns and blogs.

Frankel lives in Manhattan with her dog Cookie. She will be marrying her other love, Jason Hoppy, this spring and they will welcome their first child in early summer.









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17 Oct 2014

Book Review / 7 Souls by Barnabas Miller and Jordan Orlando

Mary expected her seventeenth birthday to be a blowout to remember, courtesy of her best friends, fellow New York City prepsters Amy and Joon, and her doting boyfriend, Trick.

Instead, the day starts badly and gets worse. After waking up in a mortifying place with a massive, unexplainable hangover, Mary soon discovers that nobody at school is even aware that it's her birthday. As evening approaches, paranoia sets in. Mary just can't shake the feeling that someone is out to get her—and, as it turns out, she's right. Before the night is over, she's been killed in cold blood.


But murder is just the beginning of Mary's ordeal. Her soul gets trapped in a strange limbo, and she must relive the day of her death through the eyes of seven people—each of whom, she finds, had plenty of reasons to hate her. As Mary explores the mysteries of her world, discovering secrets that were hidden in plain sight while she was alive, she clings desperately to the hope that she can solve her own murder, change the past, and—just maybe—save her own life.


With its blend of suspense, horror, fantasy, and realism, 7 Souls is an adrenaline rush of a thriller.


Published:     13th July 2010
Publisher:  Delacorte Books
Author Website:  Barnabas Miller and Jordan Orlando
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand-Alone
Source:  Bought
Review:   5 out of 5  *** Fantastic Read ***


My Review

What I loved about this story...
Where do I start?!  I LOVED this story.  This was another one of those books that I had purchased a while ago, was really excited about reading it but just hadn't got around to it yet.  I am so glad I decided to read it now.  Starting the month of October off with this type of book was perfect.  I was absolutey hooked from the first page and read this book in one sitting (a few hours but still read in one day).    What I loved the most about this story is the mystery.  You have the main character, Mary, who we follow mostly throughout the story and we know that something happens but I liked how the little secrets of the story don't really get revealed until nearer the end of the story.  I especially loved the ending and how there were a few twists that I really was not expecting but explained more.  If you haven't checked out this book yet, you definately need to pick this up and give it a go.  


What I was not fond of with this story... 
Absolutely nothing!

About the Authors

Barnabas Miller has written many books for children and young adults. 

He also composes and produces music for film and network television. 

He lives in New York City with his wife, Heidi; their cat, Ted; and their dog, Zooey.


 ___________________________________________________________

Jordan Orlando sold his first novel before his twenty-first birthday. In addition to writing books, he creates websites and works in graphic design and digital cinema. He lives in New York City.




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16 Oct 2014

Blog Tour (Review) / Humbugs & Heartstrings by Catherine Ferguson

This is a tale about love and friendships, complete with a sprinkling of Christmas magic. Perfect for fans of Jenny Colgan and Lucy Diamond.

Two ex-friends. One Christmas to remember …

Bobbie's boss Carol is a real misery-guts, dedicated to making the lives of everyone around her unhappy in pursuit of every last penny. What makes it worse is that the two women have history: once they were best friends.

When handsome hotelier Charlie steps into the frame the two women go to battle as one sees a romantic future ahead and the other a possible lifeboat for her business. With wonderful warmth and humour, and the odd mince pie fight, the women are forced to confront their shared past, the turbulent present and, most importantly, the potential of the future.


Published:    2nd October 2014
Publisher:  Maze
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand-Alone
Source:  Review Copy from Publisher
Review:   5 out of 5  *** FANTASTIC READ***


My Review

What I loved about this story...
Despite the fact that I was reading a Christmas book in October, I LOVED this story.  You see Bobby at the beginning not having the best time.  Her brother needs an operation, her mother is struggling with money and having to work in a job that is not her dream job with a boss who used to be her best friend but now the boss from hell.     This book has a slight 'A Christmas Carol' feel to it as Bobby has her tea leaves read and she is told that there will be three 'messangers' and throughout the book you find out what that is all about, even though I don't think that this is the main focus of the story.  This story has great elements of comedy, romance and Christmas spirit and a really fun read.  What I loved the most was the character development of the main character, Bobby, throughout the story as we see her really down in her luck at the beginning and we see her progress throughout.   

What I was not fond of with this story... 
Absolutely nothing! I loved this story and definitely one that you should pick up for Christmas!


About the Author
(from Goodreads)

Catherine Ferguson burst onto the writing scene at the age of nine, anonymously penning a weekly magazine for her five-year-old brother (mysteriously titled the ‘Willy’ comic) and fooling him completely by posting it through the letterbox every Thursday.

Catherine’s continuing love of writing saw her study English at Dundee University and spend her twenties writing for various teenage magazines including Jackie and Blue Jeans and meeting pop stars. She worked as Fiction Editor at Patches magazine (little sister to Jackie) before getting serious and becoming a sub-editor on the Dundee Courier & Advertiser. Moving south in her thirties, she set up Surrey Organics, delivering fresh organic produce to people's homes – and this experience provided the inspiration for her first attempt at writing a full-length novel.

Catherine’s first novel HUMBUG AND HEARTSTRINGS is very loosely based on Dickens’ A CHRISTMAS CAROL and is a clever, modern tale about the price of friendship, the cost of enmity, and the value of love. She lives with her son in Northumberland.





 
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15 Oct 2014

Waiting on Wednesday / The Prey by Tom Isbell


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly memo that is hosted by Breaking the Spine Blog.

Expected Release Date: 20th January 2015
(Release date obtained from Goodreads)

Goodreads link is here.

A hot debut trilogy and a riveting story of survival, courage, and romance in a future where creating a master civilization is the only thing prized, no matter the method. After the Omega (the end of the end), 16 year old guys known as LTs discover their overseers are raising them not to be soldiers (lieutenants) as promised, but to be sold as bait because of their Less Than status and hunted for sport. They escape and join forces with a girls’ camp, the Sisters, who have been imprisoned and experimented on for the "good of the Republic," by a government eager to use twins in their dark research. In their plight for freedom, these heroes must find the best in themselves to fight against the worst in their enemies.
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14 Oct 2014

Blog Tour: Echoes of Scotland Street by Samantha Young

As this title is book 5 in a series, below is the description for book 1, On Dublin Street.  For a full description of this book, please CLICK HERE for the Goodreads page...

Jocelyn Butler has been hiding from her past for years. But all her secrets are about to be laid bare…

Four years ago, Jocelyn left her tragic past behind in the States and started over in Scotland, burying her grief, ignoring her demons, and forging ahead without attachments. Her solitary life is working well—until she moves into a new apartment on Dublin Street where she meets a man who shakes her carefully guarded world to its core.

Braden Carmichael is used to getting what he wants, and he’s determined to get Jocelyn into his bed. Knowing how skittish she is about entering a relationship, Braden proposes an arrangement that will satisfy their intense attraction without any strings attached.

But after an intrigued Jocelyn accepts, she realizes that Braden won’t be satisfied with just mind-blowing passion. The stubborn Scotsman is intent on truly knowing her… down to the very soul.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR
(from Goodreads)

Sam
antha Young is a New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author from Stirlingshire, Scotland. She's been nominated for the Goodreads Choice Award 2012 for Best Author and Best Romance for her international bestseller ON DUBLIN STREET. ON DUBLIN STREET is Samantha's first adult contemporary romance series and has sold in twenty-seven countries.

For more info on Samantha's adult fiction visit http://www.ondublinstreet.com

For info on her young adult fiction visit www.samanthayoungbooks.com

INTERVIEW



1.     If you could work with any other author, who would it be and why?

I would have loved the opportunity to work with the late Angela Carter. She was a major inspiration for me, and the most beautiful, strange, lyrical, darkly romantic, fantastical, brilliant feminist writer, and I would have loved to work with her just to get an inkling of how her mind worked. Also, I loved her twist on fairytales and have always wanted to explore my own twist on fairytales, and it would have been amazing to work with the mistress of the genre.

2.     What would be a typical working day for you? When and where do you write?

My typical working day is spending the morning running book errands i.e. post office visits to mail out books and swag. I then answer emails and social media. Break for lunch. The afternoon is spent writing. Break for dinner. And the evening is also spent writing and posting tidbits on social media. I usually write in my office at home, but if I’m feeling restless I’ll take my music, go for a long walk and write in my head, until I can get back to my office to jot it all down.


3.     What is the hardest part of the writing for you?

The hardest part, more often than not, is the beginning of a manuscript. It takes time to get to know my characters and find an easiness in the flow of the narrative. I often find I write the second half of the manuscript much faster than the first half. Equally hard are the days when writer’s block pays a visit. It happens and when it does I know the best thing for me to do is to take a step back from the book until inspiration strikes again. That can be extremely frustrating, especially when I have a deadline looming.

4.     When and why did you first start writing?

I first started writing when I was about seven or eight. My mum bought me The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis and I fell instantly in love. I wanted to replicate the feeling of wonder and possibility it gave me, and so I started writing my own stories as an outlet for this thing called an imagination that C.S. Lewis woke up in me.

5.     How did you come up with the idea for your book?

ECHOES OF SCOTLAND STREET was actually inspired by the song Words As Weapons by Birdy. I knew I was going to write Cole’s story as soon as I wrote him all grown up in FALL FROM INDIA PLACE, and so I was brainstorming in the background of writing FFIP, trying to come up with the perfect heroine for Cole. I came up with Shannon as I listened to Birdy’s song, and realised her story was a perfect counterpoint to Cole’s, and that as much as she was the heroine for him, Cole was THE hero for her.

6.     Are you a big reader? If so, what are you reading now?

I’m a massive book junkie. Before I started writing full time I would read three, four, five books a week. My writing schedule is so hectic I don’t have nearly the same time to read. It’s a good week if I finish one book. At the moment I’m lucky enough to be reading BREAKING THE RULES by Katie McGarry, which comes out in December in the US and January in the UK.

7.     Do you have any advice for other aspiring writers?

Yes, write, write and write some more. It’s the most simple, straightforward advice but it is the best advice I can give. Writing is a skill like any other—you get better with practice. I would suggest writing a few books before deciding to self-publish or submit to an agent. Or at the very least write fifty drafts of your first book!  



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11 Oct 2014

Book Review / Love You Hate You Miss You by Elizabeth Scott

Get this, I'm supposed to be starting a journal about "my journey." Please. I can see it now: Dear Diary, As I'm set adrift on this crazy sea called "life" . . . I don't think so.

It's been seventy-five days. Amy's sick of her parents suddenly taking an interest in her.

And she's really sick of people asking her about Julia. Julia's gone now, and she doesn't want to talk about it. They wouldn't get it, anyway. They wouldn't understand what it feels like to have your best friend ripped away from you.

They wouldn't understand what it feels like to know it's your fault.

Amy's shrink thinks it would help to start a diary. Instead, Amy starts writing letters to Julia.

But as she writes letter after letter, she begins to realize that the past wasn't as perfect as she thought it was—and the present deserves a chance too.


Published:     26th May 2009
Publisher:  Harper Teen
Author Website:  Click here
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand-Alone
Source:  Bought
Review:   5 out of 5  *FANTASTIC READ*


My Review

What I loved about this story...
I don't know why I left it so long to pick up this book.  I had bought this a while ago and its one of those ones that I was really excited to read but for some reason or another I had not really picked up yet.  I am so glad I finally decided to read it, I loved this book.  It is a really great emotional read.

I hadn't realised how emotional this story would be.  Following Amy on her journey of coming to terms with the things that have happened to her was a roller coaster ride to say the least.  I liked how you didn't find out everything about the story all at once, there were definitely a few twists and turns in this story that were very surprising.  

There is an element of romance in this story, not a big part of the story but it features partly.  I liked the way this was handled and it felt real. 

This story deals with some very hard-hitting issues and it was very intense following Amy's story.  The story definitely got a lot deeper than I had been expecting but I enjoyed following the story. 


What I am not fond of with this story... 
Absolutely nothing!

About the Author

Hey there, I'm Elizabeth. I write young adult novels. I live just outside Washington DC with my husband and dog, and am unable to pass a bookstore without stopping and going inside.

All right, and I can't leave without buying at least one book.

Usually two. (Or more!)





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8 Oct 2014

Waiting on Wednesday / The Wrong Side of Right by Jenn Marie Thorne


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly memo that is hosted by Breaking the Spine Blog.

Expected Release Date: 17th March 2015
(Release date obtained from Goodreads)

Goodreads link is here.

Fans of Sarah Dessen and Huntley Fitzpatrick will enjoy this smart debut young adult novel, equal parts My Life Next Door and The Princess Diaries.

Kate Quinn’s mom died unexpectedly last year, leaving Kate grasping. But when the totally unexpected shows up in her living room, Kate must confront another reality she never thought possible—or thought of at all. Moving in with a politically powerful family she never knew she had, joining a presidential campaign in support of a man she barely knows, and falling for a rebellious boy who may not have the purest motives—this is Kate’s new life. But who is Kate? When what she truly believes flies in the face of the campaign’s talking points, Kate must decide. Does she turn to the family she barely knows, the boy she knows but doesn’t necessarily trust, or face a third, even scarier option?

Set against a backdrop of politics and family conflict, this is a story of personal responsibility, delicious, complicated romance, and trying to discover who you are even as everyone tells you who you should be.
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6 Oct 2014

Book Review / The Disenchantments by Nina Lacour

Colby and Bev have a long-standing pact: graduate, hit the road with Bev's band, and then spend the year wandering around Europe. 

But moments after the tour kicks off, Bev makes a shocking announcement: she's abandoning their plans - and Colby - to start college in the fall.

But the show must go on and The Disenchantments weave through the Pacific Northwest, playing in small towns and dingy venues, while roadie- Colby struggles to deal with Bev's already-growing distance and the most important question of all: what's next?

Morris Award–finalist Nina LaCour draws together the beauty and influences of music and art to brilliantly capture a group of friends on the brink of the rest of their lives.


Published:     16th February 2012
Publisher:  Dutton
Author Website:  Click here
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand-Alone
Source:  Bought, Ebook

Review:   4 out of 5

My Review

What I loved about this story...
This is one of those books that I picked up while looking for Kindle ebook sales.  I liked the cover and the description sounded really great.  I am so glad that I decided to pick up this book.  This is such a great summer read (although it is technically Autumn now the weather is still pretty ok here in England).  For me, the best thing about this story are the characters.  I really enjoyed following their own personal journeys throughout this book I felt that, for me, this was the main part of the story and the actual journey they were taking in the van was secondary to that.  I will say that there are a few characters in this book to concentrate on but with the really great easy to read writing style, I had no problem keeping up with them and their stories. 

What I was not fond of with this story... 
There was one character that I didn't particularly warm up to very much until nearer the end of  the story and that was Bev.  Bev is  Colby's best friend and they have a very long standing pact to hit the road.  Nearer the beginning of the story, Bev reveals that she does not want to go on this journey and that she has, in fact, applied to college.  I found that a really annoying aspect to her character - the fact that she had been planning to go travelling but behind Colby's back she was planning something different.  Although we do find out her reasons nearer the end of the story, I still didn't agree with the characters decisions at the beginning. 

About the Author

Nina LaCour grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. 

Her first job was at fourteen in an independent bookstore, and she has since worked in two others. She has tutored and taught in various places, from a juvenile hall to a private college. 

She now teaches English at an independent high school.


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5 Oct 2014

Book Review / Natural Selection by Malinda Lo

Below is the description to book 1 in this series, Adaption.

Reese can’t remember anything from the time between the accident and the day she woke up almost a month later. She only knows one thing: She’s different now.

Across North America, flocks of birds hurl themselves into airplanes, causing at least a dozen to crash. Thousands of people die. Fearing terrorism, the United States government grounds all flights, and millions of travelers are stranded.

Reese and her debate team partner and longtime crush David are in Arizona when it happens. Everyone knows the world will never be the same. On their drive home to San Francisco, along a stretch of empty highway at night in the middle of Nevada, a bird flies into their headlights. The car flips over. When they wake up in a military hospital, the doctor won’t tell them what happened, where they are—or how they’ve been miraculously healed.

Things become even stranger when Reese returns home. San Francisco feels like a different place with police enforcing curfew, hazmat teams collecting dead birds, and a strange presence that seems to be following her. When Reese unexpectedly collides with the beautiful Amber Gray, her search for the truth is forced in an entirely new direction—and threatens to expose a vast global conspiracy that the government has worked for decades to keep secret.


Published:     3rd September 2014
Publisher:  Little Brown
Author Website:  Click here
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Book 1.5, Adaption Series
Source:  Bought
Review:   2 out of 5


My Review

This was a very interesting novella to this series.  I am always cautious when it comes to novellas and side stories as in the past I have read novellas as part of a book series but as it was written nearer the end of the series looking back into the history of the story, it can be very spoilerish.  So, when it comes to novellas I always leave those until I have finished the series and then play 'catch up'. which is what I did with this novella but I really didn't need to.  We follow the story of Amber who is one of the relatively main characters in the duology and we delve into her past and find out more about her and more about where she is from.

This novella was interesting and did add a little bit more to the story but I did feel that there was not a lot of depth to this novella, it just ran through the 'basics' of Amber's past and where she lived.  

I will mention that it is probably best to read this either after book 1 as it does reveal one of the twists you find out in book 1. 

About the Author
(from Goodreads)

Malinda Lo is the author of several young adult novels including the sci-fi thriller Adaptation; the sequel, Inheritance, will be published Sept. 24, 2013. Her first novel, Ash, a retelling of Cinderella with a lesbian twist, was a finalist for the William C. Morris YA Debut Award, the Andre Norton Award, and the Lambda Literary Award. Her novel Huntress was an ALA Best Book for Young Adults and a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award. Malinda is co-founder with Cindy Pon of Diversity in YA (diversityinya.tumblr.com), a project that celebrates diversity in young adult books. Malinda lives in Northern California with her partner and their dog.

 
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4 Oct 2014

Reading Wrap Up / June and July 2014


I am so sorry that this has taken so long to upload.  My reading update for August and September 2014 coming soon.

Best wishes

Debs :-)
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1 Oct 2014

Blog Tour / Death of an Avid Reader by Frances Brody

A lady with a secret

Kate Shackleton's sterling reputation for courageous sleuthing attracts the attention of the venerable Lady Coulton. Hidden in her past is a daughter, born out of wedlock and given up to a different family. Now, Lady Coulton is determined to find her and puts Kate on the case.

A mysterious killing in the library's basement

But as Kate delves deeper into Lady Coulton's past, she soon finds herself thrust into a scandal much closer to home. When the body of the respected Horatio Potter is found in the Leeds Library basement, the quiet literary community is suddenly turned upside down with suspicions, accusations and - much to Kate's surprise - the appearance of a particularly intelligent Capuchin monkey!

The most puzzling case in Kate's sleuthing history yet.


Published:     2nd October 2014
Publisher:  Piatkus
Author Website:  Click here
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Book 6, Kate Shackleton

Source:  Review Copy from Publisher
Review:   4 out of 5


My Review

What I liked about this story...
I was very excited to start this story as this is something completely new to me, cosy crime.  I promised myself this year that I would try new styles of stories and I am really glad that I gave this a go.  With this story, it is more like two stories in one.  Firstly you have the story of Lady Coulton and her long lost daughter and secondly we have a murder mystery.   I really enjoyed the very laid back mystery style of this story, there was definitely a lot of great suspense but the kind of suspense that you can lay back on the sofa and enjoy rather than a highly dramatic edge of your seat suspense. 

What I was not fond of with this story... 
Unfortunately, I had not realised when reading this story that it was book 6 in a series.  Although from looking at the other stories it may not be necessary to read books 1 to 5 before getting to this one I did feel that maybe if I had read the other books I may learned more about Kate Shackleton but I am definitely going to be checking them out. 

About the Author
(from Goodreads)

Frances Brody's highly-praised 1920s mysteries feature clever and elegant Kate Shackleton, First World War widow turned sleuth. 

Missing person? Foul play suspected? Kate's your woman. For good measure, she may bring along ex-policeman, Jim Sykes.

Before turning to crime, Frances wrote for radio, television and theatre, and was nominated for a Time Out Award. 


She published four sagas, winning the HarperCollins Elizabeth Elgin Award in 2006.
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Waiting on Wednesday / A Wicked Thing by Rhiannon Thomas


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly memo that is hosted by Breaking the Spine Blog.

Expected Release Date: 24th February 2015
(Release date obtained from Goodreads)

Goodreads link is here.

A spinning wheel. A prick of a finger. A terrible curse.

One hundred years after falling asleep, Princess Aurora wakes up to the kiss of a handsome prince and a broken kingdom that has been dreaming of her return. All the books say that she should be living happily ever after. But as Aurora understands all too well, the truth is nothing like the fairytale.

Her family is long dead. Her “true love” is a kind stranger. And her whole life has been planned out by political foes while she slept. Everyone expects Aurora to marry her betrothed and restore magic and peace to the kingdom before revolution tears it apart. But after a lifetime spent locked in a tower for her own safety, Aurora longs for the freedom to make her own choices. When she meets a handsome rebel, he tempts her to abandon everything for a different kind of life.

As Aurora struggles to make sense of her new world, she begins to fear that the curse has left its mark on her, a fiery and dangerous thing that might be as wicked as the witch who once ensnared her.

With her wedding day drawing near, Aurora must make the ultimate decision on how to save her kingdom: marry the prince or run.
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28 Sep 2014

Book Review / Inheritance by Malinda Lo

As this is book 2 in this duology, below is the descripton to book 1, Adaption.  Please check out the Goodreads link below if you would like to read the description to Inheritance.

Reese can’t remember anything from the time between the accident and the day she woke up almost a month later. She only knows one thing: She’s different now.

Across North America, flocks of birds hurl themselves into airplanes, causing at least a dozen to crash. Thousands of people die. Fearing terrorism, the United States government grounds all flights, and millions of travelers are stranded.

Reese and her debate team partner and longtime crush David are in Arizona when it happens. Everyone knows the world will never be the same. On their drive home to San Francisco, along a stretch of empty highway at night in the middle of Nevada, a bird flies into their headlights. The car flips over. When they wake up in a military hospital, the doctor won’t tell them what happened, where they are—or how they’ve been miraculously healed.

Things become even stranger when Reese returns home. San Francisco feels like a different place with police enforcing curfew, hazmat teams collecting dead birds, and a strange presence that seems to be following her. When Reese unexpectedly collides with the beautiful Amber Gray, her search for the truth is forced in an entirely new direction—and threatens to expose a vast global conspiracy that the government has worked for decades to keep secret.


Published:     24th September 2014
Publisher:  Little Brown
Author Website:  Click here
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Book 2, Adaption
Source:  Review Copy from Publisher
Review:   3 out of 5


My Review

What I liked about this book...
I picked up this book immediately after reading the first book in this duology Adaption.  After reading Adaption (and really enjoying it) I was so excited to read the next stage in this story.  There are some really good twists in this story, some of which I was expecting but some of which I was not expecting and was very surprised with how the story went.  I have to say that the twists were my favourite aspect of this book.  We have a lot of the same characters in this book as in book 1 so you can pretty much pick up where you left off.  

I really enjoyed the ending to this story.  It was a really great conclusion and I felt that any questions I had were definitely answered. 

What I was not fond of with this book...
For me, the pace of this story was considerably slower than the first book, Adaption.  There were places in this story where if I had put the book down I probably wouldn't have been that inspired to pick it up but I powered through and I am glad that I did.

About the Author
(from Goodreads)


Malinda Lo is the author of several young adult novels including the sci-fi thriller Adaptation; the sequel, Inheritance, will be published Sept. 24, 2013. Her first novel, Ash, a retelling of Cinderella with a lesbian twist, was a finalist for the William C. Morris YA Debut Award, the Andre Norton Award, and the Lambda Literary Award. Her novel Huntress was an ALA Best Book for Young Adults and a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award. Malinda is co-founder with Cindy Pon of Diversity in YA (diversityinya.tumblr.com), a project that celebrates diversity in young adult books. Malinda lives in Northern California with her partner and their dog.
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26 Sep 2014

Author Interview / K T Valentine

Having exhausted all the conventional ways to meet her ‘Mr Right’ (and because now she really is a little bit desperate), single mum Fleur Summers turns to her well-meaning, but eccentric friends and family for help.
From ‘Man Mountain’; an engineer who eats everything in sight and tall dark handsome Tom with big hands but no idea how to use them, to the mysterious and brooding Henry Austin. 
Dispatches from the Dating Zone follows the trials and tribulations of Fleur’s journey as she works her way through a number of eventful blind dates, all in the name of finding true love.
The story focuses on love, friendship, parenthood and dating and is primarily a romantic comedy with a side order of raunchiness thrown in for good measure.

Goodreads Link:  Click here
Release Date:  7th August 2014
INTERVIEW

1. If you could work with any other author, who would it be and why?

What a tough question. The following authors have certainly inspired me; Lisa Jewel, Jane Green and Sophie Kinsella. Reading their books in the early days got me through some very difficult and lonely times. However if I had to pick just one author, there's only one who has made the longest and lasting impression on me and that is Jackie Collins. I can remember being a 17 year old teenager reading one of her books and thinking it was the best thing since sliced bread. Jackie’s books were daring and raunchy, long before
50 Shades of Grey came along, and I found that empowering. I'd like to imagine that working with Jackie would involve drinking lots of cocktails and me listening to the amazing stories I'm sure she's got to tell about her own life.
2. What would be a typical working day for you? When and where do you write?
 

My writing routine is daily and tends to start in the early evening and ends at the point I need my bed. Thankfully, I'm a night owl so I'm at my best at night. I can write literally anywhere and will always have a notepad and pen in my handbag as you never know when inspiration will hit you. When I was going through the process of writing 'Dispatches from the Dating Zone' I'd always drift off to sleep planning the chapter I would write the next evening. 
3. What is the hardest part of the writing for you?
The experience of writing my first novel is one that I will never forget for a number of reasons. It’s my debut novel, so the experience of writing it will always be special to me. However, it was also very hard work at times. As a single mum, working full time and raising my 12-year old (who’s going through a phase of thinking he’s 16) whilst trying to write a full length novel took every ounce of self motivation and energy I had. It also involved countless late nights and zero social life for the majority of the time it took to complete and I'm about to go through it all over again as I've just started work on the sequel!

4. When and why did you first start writing?
Just like most writers, writing has been my passion for as long as I can remember. From short stories as a child to songs performed in school plays. One way or another I’ve always written.
I was 25 years old and in the very early stages of pregnancy when I finally decided to work on my first novel.  However, a third of the way through writing it my life took an unexpected turn. Very much out of the blue and barely a few weeks after giving birth, I found myself facing the road ahead as a single mum and in the process of getting divorced. Needless to say, I didn’t write again for years.

5. How did you come up with the idea for your book?
Along time ago someone told me that some of the best writers are the ones that write about what they know. Whether that was the case or not, it got me thinking about everything I’d been through over the years and how I could draw on it for inspiration.  After turning my life around and spurred on by my family and young son, I finally put pen to paper again and ‘Dispatches from the Dating Zone’ was born. 

6. Are you a big reader? If so, what are you reading now?
I don't read nearly as often as I like and no where near as much as I used to read before I had my son. I've just started JoJo Moyes' The One plus One. I've never read any of her books before and this seemed like a good one to start with.

7. Do you have any advice for other aspiring writers?

Just go for it. Self confidence isn’t one of my strong points and putting my writing out there for people to read and ultimately judge is scary, but the thought of looking back on my life as an old woman wondering ‘what if?’ was the motivation I needed to get myself into gear. At the end of the day, if you have a passion for writing and work hard at it, anything is possible. Look at me.
 
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24 Sep 2014

Book Review / Adaption by Malinda Lo

Reese can’t remember anything from the time between the accident and the day she woke up almost a month later. She only knows one thing: She’s different now.

Across North America, flocks of birds hurl themselves into airplanes, causing at least a dozen to crash. Thousands of people die. Fearing terrorism, the United States government grounds all flights, and millions of travelers are stranded.

Reese and her debate team partner and longtime crush David are in Arizona when it happens. Everyone knows the world will never be the same. On their drive home to San Francisco, along a stretch of empty highway at night in the middle of Nevada, a bird flies into their headlights. The car flips over. When they wake up in a military hospital, the doctor won’t tell them what happened, where they are—or how they’ve been miraculously healed.

Things become even stranger when Reese returns home. San Francisco feels like a different place with police enforcing curfew, hazmat teams collecting dead birds, and a strange presence that seems to be following her. When Reese unexpectedly collides with the beautiful Amber Gray, her search for the truth is forced in an entirely new direction—and threatens to expose a vast global conspiracy that the government has worked for decades to keep secret.


Published:     18th September 2012
Publisher:  Little Brown
Author Website:  Click here
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Book 1,  Adaption
Source:  Review Copy from Publisher
Review:   5 out of 5


My Review

What I loved about this story...
This book was soooooooo good!!!  This is one of those books that has been on my TBR pile for absolutely ages.   I have to be completely honest and say that it was mainly because of the cover that I didn't pick it up earlier than this, its not a very inviting cover.  I am so glad I decided to finally picked this up because I loved this first book so much it actually got a 5 out of 5.....  What I loved the most in this book is guess what....  the romance part of this story (that seems to be a common theme with me at the moment!).  What was new for me (and I had not realised it at the time) was that the main character in this book Reese is torn between her long time crush David and a new girl she meets in this story.  I hadn't realised that the romance for the main character in this book was between a guy and a girl.  This is the first book I have read that has that as a part of the story and I really enjoyed following Reese's journey of discovery and how she dealt with different scenarios.

What I also loved in this story was the X-Files feel to the story that this has.  I have watched the entire TV show X-Files at least twice all the way through so I am definitely a fan and with this story it has the same feel to it as you would get if you were watching an X-Files episode.  Loved that!  There are so many secrets in this story waiting to be discovered and as it is book 1 there is so much more I can't wait to find out!

What I was not fond of with this story...
Absolutely nothing!  Loved this book...

About the Author
(from Goodreads)

Malinda Lo is the author of several young adult novels including the sci-fi thriller Adaptation; the sequel, Inheritance, will be published Sept. 24, 2013. Her first novel, Ash, a retelling of Cinderella with a lesbian twist, was a finalist for the William C. Morris YA Debut Award, the Andre Norton Award, and the Lambda Literary Award. Her novel Huntress was an ALA Best Book for Young Adults and a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award. Malinda is co-founder with Cindy Pon of Diversity in YA (diversityinya.tumblr.com),...more 





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