6 Jul 2015

Book Review / The Turning Point by Freya North

Over one short weekend, when Canadian musician Scott Emerson and British children's author Frankie Shaw meet by chance, a profound connection is made. 

Their homes are thousands of miles apart: Frankie and her children live by the coast of North Norfolk while Scott’s roots lie deep in the mountains of British Columbia. Against all advice, they decide to see where this might go.

Over oceans and time zones, they make sacrifices and take risks, discovering along the way new truths about love and family. 

For the first time in a long while, it seems life could be very good. But fate has a tragic twist in store, one that could destroy all that was hoped for.

Poignant, engrossing and moving, The Turning Point is a novel about the importance of seizing happiness and trusting that love will always find a way.

Published:     4th June 2015
Publisher:  Harper Collins
Author Website:  Click here
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand-Alone
Source:  Review Copy from Publisher 

My Review

Wow!!  Freya North is a brand new author to me and I just love it when I find a new author that I instantly love their writing!  I just know I am now going to be purchasing all her books and marathoning them!!!   Normally I split my review into what I liked and what I didn't like.  With this book, I just loved everything!  For me, this book was more about the two main characters (Frankie and Scott).  You have Frankie who is struggling a bit with her writing (she's an author) and raising two kids and then you have Scott who has an older daughter but she suffers from epilepsy.  Both have a lot going on in their lives not to mention the fact that Frankie lives in England and Scott lives in Canada!  I really enjoyed following these two characters and watching how they get to know each other, get to know each other's families and discover what it means to try and be together when they are countries apart.

What I had not been expecting was the twist nearer the end of the story.  I was expecting a twist but not the one that you get when reading this story!  I have to say that it was a twist that actually made me put the book down and take a moment.  I won't go into too much detail about that but the twist was so powerful I had to take a moment before I could continue reading.  I really didn't see that coming at all!!!

What I liked as well about this book was the fact that it was based in England and Canada, both countries I don't seem to come across much in books.  I really liked that aspect.

Obviously this is the only book I have read by Freya North so far (and I will definitely be picking up any more soon!) but if this is anything to go by I can't wait to read what else she has to offer!

About the Author
From Goodreads

Freya North was born on 21 November 1967 in London, England, UK. She gave up a PhD scholarship to write her first novel, Sally. For 4 years she turned deaf ears to parents and friends who pleaded with her to ‘get a proper job’. 

She went on the dole and did a succession of freelance and temping jobs to support “writing days” every now and then. In 1996 she approached one of the UK’s top literary agents, Jonathan Lloyd at Curtis Brown Ltd. Lloyd took her on and put her work up for auction. 5 publishers enter a bidding war for Freya’s books. 

A three-book deal for a six figure sum is the result. Published since 1996 to great acclaim. She lives in London with her family. In 2008 Freya won the Romantic Novel of the Year award by the Romantic Novelists' Association with Pillow Talk.

Author Interview / Duane & Selena Pannell

Years before online dating became a respectable option, two broken and imperfect souls digitally crossed paths as they tried to find their way back to God. 

This fascinating true story, told through journals and emails, will have you smiling from start to finish and shedding a few tears along the way. Engaging and entertaining, it’s the perfect reminder of the power of love, redemption, and hope.

DUANE AND SELENA PANNELL left their roots in Virginia and Alberta and live in northeastern Utah. Duane is a son of the South and a jack of all trades. He has been an aspiring actor, an aspiring stand-up comic and an aspiring evangelist. These aspirations did not lead to careers, but have translated into a very fulfilling life as a husband, father and convert to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Selena was first a barefoot farm girl and later a full-time mom and part-time hospital worker. She became an American citizen in 2010 and shares Duane’s passion of the past 20+ years helping people overcome addictions through 12 Step. They recently completed 3 years serving as Missionary Group Leaders in the LDS Addiction Recovery Program.

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

I picture C.S. Lewis not only as a brilliant author, but as a mentor with whom I would thoroughly enjoy engaging in philosophical discussions. On the flip side, Oscar Wilde would be scandalously interesting and witty. I think I could learn a great deal from both of them.
I could only co-author a book with Selena. She gets the best out of me and I trust her instincts. However, if I were ever privileged to write a screen play with Mel Brooks…
Now I feel shallow choosing two other authors over Duane.
  1. What would be a typical working day for you? When and where do you write?

I doubt my priorities make sense to many other authors, because the writing gets fit in around the man, the boy and our home. A typical day would be teaching our 9 yr. old his lessons and acting as his chauffeur as needed. When all that has been taken care of, my favorite place to write is on the back deck overlooking the valley below the cliff on which our cabin sits. We've got 5 hummingbird feeders I have to fill every 36 hours and they are a wonderful distraction when I can't concentrate one more minute. Having such peace and nature's silence is conducive to a productive writing experience for me.
3000 Miles… is our first book, so writing is still a hobby. I write on the fly. When I have a moment of inspiration, I jot it down in an e-mail and send it to myself. When it was time to put this book together, I poured my whole self into it. We live in a cabin on a cliff overlooking a beautiful valley. I sat down most days with no distractions, totally alone with the story and wrote for hours.
(As you can plainly see, we share a brain and apparently the same answers)

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

Taking myself seriously. I still feel like I'm impersonating an author.
Pacing myself. I have a story in my head and I don’t want to give it up too fast, but I don’t want to draw it out too long. When I have something worthwhile to say, I want to say it just right.
  1. When and why did you first start writing?
I was raised in a household of readers and it was natural to follow suit by the time I was 9 or 10. I became a big fan of words and looked forward to spelling bees and writing assignments in school. It was a challenge to put words together in an interesting way.
I began writing when I was just little. I loved the classics from writers like Charles Dickens and Mark Twain, but I grew up in a family of ‘storytellers’. I noticed when I was young that some people have genuine talent for telling stories, and I wanted to be one of those people.
  1. How did you come up with the idea for your book?
This was Duane's idea all the way. For a man who claims he is not sentimental, the fact that he printed all our correspondence fifteen years ago would suggest otherwise. He actually filled five binders and dug those out when I was at my dying father's bedside in Canada. He would send me several pages at a time to edit and shape into the story he was sure people wanted to read. I'm glad now he was so persistent. It's been such a neat experience to share with him.
All of the correspondence between Selena and me, from when we first met, was packed away in a trunk in our garage. Selena was away in Canada and I was home alone, when I opened one of the binders one night and began reading. It was funny and it was sweet; it was two people getting to know one another and being vulnerable. I began to fall in love with the characters…’specially the girl character. It struck me right away as a story that people would enjoy.
  1. Are you a big reader? If so, what are you reading now?
I usually have more than one book on the go at a time. Right now I'm reading Small Miracles: Extraordinary Coincidences from Everyday Life by Yitta Halberstam & Judith Leventhal and the Artist's Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity by Julia Cameron.
I don’t read a lot of books these days, at least not lately. I tend to read non-fiction. The best book I read this past year was Proof of Heaven by Eben Alexander, M.D.
  1. Do you have any advice for other aspiring writers?
I kept writing aspirations hidden in the back of my mind as something I'd like to do someday, but what I've learned from this experience is that someday is today. There's no right way to do it either, whether it's in an office, at a kitchen table, in the evening after sitting with a dying parent all day, or worked in around one's family routines. Write in a way that the process itself is as satisfying as the final result. Look for opportunities to hone one's skills. The important thing is to write.
I’ve met a lot of aspiring writers over the years and so many of them feel like they have a winning story inside of them, but it’s just beyond reach. So many of them are a little introverted and I believe that imagination can only carry a person so far. You have to experience things and, more important, experience people. You have to share stories and find out what others think and see how others live.

5 Jul 2015

Book Review / Lying out Loud by Kody Keplinger

Kody Keplinger returns to the world of The DUFF in this brand-new companion novel!

Sonny Ardmore is an excellent liar. She lies about her dad being in prison. She lies about her mom kicking her out. And she lies about sneaking into her best friend's house every night because she has nowhere else to go.

Amy Rush might be the only person Sonny shares everything with— secrets, clothes, even a nemesis named Ryder Cross.

Ryder's the new kid at Hamilton High and everything Sonny and Amy can't stand—a prep-school snob. But Ryder has a weakness: Amy. So when Ryder emails Amy asking her out, the friends see it as a prank opportunity not to be missed.

But without meaning to, Sonny ends up talking to Ryder all night online. And to her horror, she realizes that she might actually like him. Only there's one small catch: he thinks he's been talking to Amy. So Sonny comes up with an elaborate scheme to help Ryder realize that she's the girl he's really wanted all along. Can Sonny lie her way to the truth, or will all her lies end up costing her both Ryder and Amy?

Published:     28th April 2015
Publisher:  Hodder
Author Website:  Click here
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand-Alone
Source:  Review Copy from Publisher

My Review

I have to be honest and say that I had mixed emotions about this book.  I absolutely love Kody Keplinger and have read all of her books.  I find her writing to have such a great comedic atmosphere to it I get immediately addicted until the very last page.

Let's start with what I was not fond of with this story.  What I was not keen on was the level of lying.  I understand why the character of Sonny had to lie and after finishing the book realising more about why she did what she did but reading through the book I did feel that the level of lying got to such a level that it actually made me feel uncomfortable.  I understood the situation and why Sonny had 'dug the hole that she was lying it' but had an uneasy feeling when it started to get out of control.

That being said, what I loved about this story were many things.  First off is the comedic aspect of the story, despite the content the entire story felt light hearted and that is why I didn't think too much about what I said above.  I also liked the relationship between Sonny and her best friend Amy.  It seemed like chalk and cheese but somehow it just worked and I enjoyed following them throughout the story.  Also the character relationship between Sonny and Ryder was really interesting and really funny at times to follow.

A lighthearted comedic read about how much trouble one person can get into by lying...  

About the Author
(from Goodreads)

I'm a 19-year-old college student and young adult author. 

My first book, THE DUFF, debuted on September 7, 2010. 

I write books for teenagers and strive to be honest and true-to-life. For more info, check out my website.


4 Jul 2015

My Week in Books / 29th June to 4th July 2015

What a great reading week!  I started off the week with the Novice by Taran Matharu and absolutely loved it!  I was hooked from the first page right to the very last page!  I cannot wait for the next book in this series although I suspect that it might be a while!!  Finishing off the reading week for me was A Gift for Carers and although I am not a carer the description of this book just sounded so uplifting I thought I would give it a go.  What a great book to read/use when you are in need of some life inspiration, life direction and general personal development.  Both of these books I received for review and I was so happy that I had the opportunity to read them as, to be honest, these were not books that I would normally pick up.  It just goes to show that you should always give a book a chance, even when you think you may not like it.  It may turn out to be a favourite!

1 Jul 2015

Book Review / A Gift for Carers by William Long

This book was written following the author's personal struggle with the psychological and physical pressures of caring for his mum. His experiences and research led him to develop a solution which counters the devastating effects of what the medical world refers to as "Caregiver Syndrome." He identifies seven areas that make for a joyful life. This book is packed full of stories that will educate, inform and inspire the reader to create a better life and future. The author's engaging style will ensure that you definitely will not want to put this book down. After reading this book you will enjoy -

• Higher levels of self-esteem
• An improvement in your physical health
• A greater understanding of yourself and others
• A powerful mind-set
• A more optimistic outlook
• The ability to handle change
• The confidence just to be yourself
• Greater focus and a sense of direction
• A general feeling of contentment and wellbeing.

Published:     2nd March 2015
Publisher:  Austin McCauley
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand-Alone

Source:  Review Copy from Publisher

My Review

Although I have to admit I am not a carer I liked the idea of this book and the self-development aspect of it.   It has been a while since I read something non-fiction let alone a self-help style book I thought it would be good to give it a go.  I really enjoyed this.  

What I liked the most was the personal element the author put in using examples from his own life, especially in the beginning when he was describing what happened that led to him writing this book.  I also liked the fact that there were exercises and things to think about along the way which made the whole experience a lot more personal and took me longer to read as I wanted to take in the full experience of what the author intended.    

Even though the title of this book says that it is a 'Gift for Carers' you do not necesssarily have to be a carer to read this book.  If you are looking for a self-help book to help boost your health and wellbeing, definately check this one out. 

Waiting on Wednesday / Hello, Goodbye and Everything by Jennifer E Smith

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

Expected Release Date: 1st September 2015
(Release date obtained from Goodreads)

Goodreads link is here.

On the night before they leave for college, Clare and Aidan only have one thing left to do: figure out whether they should stay together or break up. Over the course of twelve hours, they'll retrace the steps of their relationship, trying to find something in their past that might help them decide what their future should be. The night will lead them to friends and family, familiar landmarks and unexpected places, hard truths and surprising revelations. But as the clock winds down and morning approaches, so does their inevitable goodbye. The question is, will it be goodbye for now or goodbye forever?

This new must-read novel from Jennifer E. Smith, author of The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, explores the difficult choices that must be made when life and love lead in different directions.

30 Jun 2015

29 Jun 2015

Book Review / The Novice by Taran Matharu

When blacksmith apprentice Fletcher discovers that he has the ability to summon demons from another world, he travels to Adept Military Academy. There the gifted are trained in the art of summoning. Fletcher is put through grueling training as a battlemage to fight in the Hominum Empire’s war against orcs. He must tread carefully while training alongside children of powerful nobles. The power hungry, those seeking alliances, and the fear of betrayal surround him. Fletcher finds himself caught in the middle of powerful forces, with only his demon Ignatius for help.

As the pieces on the board maneuver for supremacy, Fletcher must decide where his loyalties lie. The fate of an empire is in his hands. The Novice is the first in a trilogy about Fletcher, his demon Ignatius, and the war against the Orcs.

 Published:     5th May 2015
Publisher:  Hodder
Author Website:  Click here
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Book 1, Summoner Series
Source:  Review Copy from Publisher

My Review

I will elaborate but basically I can summarise this book in one sentence.  I LOVED THIS BOOK!!!

What I loved the most was the world building and the great introduction to characters in this first book.  For me, a great first book does both of those and really gets you sucked into the world and get invested in the characters, wanting them to win and do well.  I was definitely both sucked in and invested in Fletcher.  Although this story was very predictable, I did have a lot of questions that I NEED answering.  I am dying to find out more about Fletcher and his past.  I just know there is something the author is not telling me that I will no doubt find out in the next book(s).

There is a lot of conflict and action in this first book but the one thing that I did notice was that I didn't notice any love interest of any kind.  No relationship drama, old best friend that might become more for Fletcher.  I actually found this to be refreshing considering the majority of the books that I have read recently (and in the past) usually always feature some kind of romance.  I actually liked the fact that there was none of this in the first book.  Without that, I was left to really concentrate on the world and the characters in it.  That's not to say that there will be romance in the series (I hope there will be) but I haven't got a sense of it yet.  There is a suspicion of a possibility but that is all it is, a suspicion.  

Another aspect of this book that I really enjoyed was the comedic side of Fletcher's interaction with his demon.  Normally, I would think of a demon as a pretty horrific character but Fletcher's demon was more like a pet and it was really funny to see the both of them get to know each other and interact with each other.  

What a fantastic book that I would recommend to everyone!  Even if this is not usually your style, give it a go you might just be surprised!

About the Author
(from Goodreads)
Taran was born in London in 1990 and found a passion for reading at a very early age. His love for stories developed into a desire to create his own during early adolescence, beginning his first book at 9 years old.

Straight after graduating with a First Class degree in Business Administration, Taran was keen to explore a new avenue and get inside the publishing world, landing an internship in Digital Sales at Penguin Random House, from June to September 2013.

Thereafter, while taking time off to travel, Taran began to write ‘Summoner’ in November 2013 at the age of 22, taking part in ‘Nanowrimo 2013’.

Thanks to Wattpad.com and updating daily, its popularity dramatically increased, reaching over 3 million reads in less than six months.

After being featured by NBC News, Taran decided to launch his professional writing career and has never looked back.

His SUMMONER trilogy will be published in Spring 2015 by Hodder Children’s in the UK, Australia, New Zealand and British Commonwealth, Feiwel and Friends (Macmillan) in the US and Canada, Heyne in Germany, Crown in Taiwan, Planeta in the Spanish speaking world and Record in Brazil. Book 1 will be published by EKSMO in Russia, Ecliptic in Bulgaria and Alpress in the Czech Republic.

28 Jun 2015

My Two Weeks in Books / 14th to 28th June 2015

What a really great two weeks in books.  Reading has been a bit slow for me lately, but as they say quality over quantity any day!  I started off at the beginning finishing the Starcrossed series, which I was a bit disappointed with so I was in a bit of a book lull..  Then I went on to the Beast which I loved.  It had a lot of action in it and the descriptions was written so beautifully I just could not put this down.  I finished off the two weeks with Pieces of You which was a really heartbreaking read that left me with such an emotional book hangover it has taken me a while to pick up another book.

24 Jun 2015

Waiting on Wednesday / Reawakened by Colleen Houck

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

Expected Release Date: 25th August 2015
(Release date obtained from Goodreads)

Goodreads link is here.

When seventeen-year-old Lilliana Young enters the Metropolitan Museum of Art one morning during spring break, the last thing she expects to find is a live Egyptian prince with godlike powers, who has been reawakened after a thousand years of mummification.

And she really can't imagine being chosen to aid him in an epic quest that will lead them across the globe to find his brothers and complete a grand ceremony that will save mankind.

But fate has taken hold of Lily, and she, along with her sun prince, Amon, must travel to the Valley of the Kings, raise his brothers, and stop an evil, shape-shifting god named Seth from taking over the world.

From New York Times bestselling author Colleen Houck comes an epic adventure about two star-crossed teens who must battle mythical forces and ancient curses on a journey with more twists and turns than the Nile itself.

22 Jun 2015

Book Review / Pieces of You by Ella Harper

I don’t even know how to start this letter.
Something happened. Something terrible . . .

Lucy was always sure of one thing – her future with husband and soulmate Luke. But after eight long, heartbreaking years trying to have a baby, that future is crumbling before her eyes.

 When a terrible accident puts Luke into a coma, Lucy is forced to reassess everything she thought she wanted.

Then a woman arrives with a shocking secret that will force Lucy to make the hardest decision of her life.

As compelling and powerful as Jojo Moyes and Liane Moriarty, Pieces of You is a heart-rending, haunting and ultimately life-affirming novel about a love tested to its limits.

Published:     14th August 2014
Publisher:  Avon
Author Website:  Click here
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand-Alone
Source:  Review Copy from Publisher

My Review

What I loved about this story...
This is such an emotional roller coaster of a book... Happy, sad, funny, heartbreaking...  I actually read this book in one sitting mainly because the story was so engrossing I just couldn't pull myself away from it.  How could so many bad things happen to one person and one family?  With this story I got a great sense of family - sticking together through thick and thin.

This story was split into different time periods.  You have from the moment Lucy and Luke first met and follow their story from the beginning in glimpses and you have present day.

Along with following Lucy and Luke you have different perspectives of the story in the present day.  Obviously you have Lucy and Luke's perspective but you also have a couple of other perspectives and lives to follow, which I won't spoil you with that were interesting to follow and not at all confusing.  For me this story was slow paced which was good considering the subject matter of the story.  I felt that it gave plenty of time to absorb what was happening more that way. 

What I was not fond of with this story...
I did find this story very predictable.  Although there is a twist in this book I was kind of expecting it but that didn't affect the fact that I enjoyed reading this story.


19 Jun 2015

Blog Tour/Author Interview - Gina Henning

A scrumptious pie. A long distance guy. 4th of July fireworks guaranteed.

Lauren Hauser has it all…nearly. With a shiny new job and sparkly new engagement ring on her finger, the only thing she’s missing is her gorgeous new fiancĂ© by her side. Should she be worried? Jack’s kisses are as sizzling as always and, sure, long distance is hard but, she and Jack are solid, right?

Of course the stress of planning a wedding—or not—is nothing compared to the stress of baking an apple pie. Because it’s not just any apple pie that Lauren must bake for the 4th of July contest; it’s her grandmother’s famous, award-winning apple pie! Yet Lauren is determined to make this pie her own and a little apple pie should be no problem for the Hauser clan dessert queen…!

But with her new job taking up so much time, a prize pie to perfect and the growing distance between her and Jack, Lauren begins to wonder if she can really have it all… Only one things for sure, there’ll be fireworks this 4th of July!

Gina Henning currently resides where bluebonnets line the highways in the spring, but she prefers the rock flower anemone from under the sea. Above the ocean's surface Gina likes to dance with her three boys and travel to exotic places like the grocery store with her husband. Her pooch Schatzi is a mix between German Shepherd and possibly pig. One of Gina's favorite pastimes is running. She recently completed her one-and-done marathon. At the end of the day her glass of wine is always half-full.

If you could work with any other author, who would it be and why?
Ooh, this is a great question. But how do I answer it? There are so many writers that I would love to co-author with. I’ve thought it would be fun to exchange chapter for chapter and tell a story between two different points of views, but to choose one in particular. I’m not sure. 
What would be a typical working day for you? When and where do you write?
Most of my writing is done at night when my boys are in bed. If I write during the day, then I go someplace where my boys can play either outside or an indoor play area. There have been a few occasions, where I was working on a deadline and my husband has taken our boys camping so that I can write non-stop.

What is the hardest part of the writing for you?
I think making sure that I’m pushing the story forward and keeping in mind of the conflict. This is always the top concern. While writing, I always focus on the idea of making my readers feel something, whether it be happiness, laughter, maybe even despair, and I especially hope that they swoon.

When and why did you first start writing?
I’ve been writing since I was very young. I began my first book over fifteen years ago, I was working in an office all alone and had quite a bit of downtime. With this “extra” time, I began my first book and let my imagination soar. I plotted out an exciting adventure and with each word, I stepped further into this completely different world. I could smell the ocean air and feel the sun on my skin. In reality, I was crammed into a cluttered space with paint that was peeling from the walls and a not so pleasant musty office smell. But, writing this story took me to paradise.

How did you come up with the idea for your book?
My first published book How to Bake the Perfect Pecan Pie, came about from the idea of traveling by this pecan farm on the way to see my mother. This story of this woman who had to get pecans from this particular farm began to unravel in my mind and I jotted down different aspects of the plot and wrote it out.

Are you a big reader? If so what are you reading now?
Yes, I love to read. I just finished the final installment of Kierney Scott’s Crossing the Line Series, such great books! I’m currently finishing up Blame it on the Fame by Tracie Banister, I have read her other two books Twin Piques and In Need of Therapy and truly enjoyed them both. 
Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
My advice would be to write everyday no matter what, whether it be as simple as a text to a friend and to find a really great critique partner.

Available Here:
Website: http://www.ginahenning.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ginahenningauthor


18 Jun 2015

Book Review / The Beast by Lindsay Mead

Demon possession has swept through Glace's neighboring kingdom, turning humans into hellhounds. These great, fanged wolves are wild, desperate, and hungry. Only the sworn Hunters have kept them back for five long, bloody years.

At the young age of fifteen, Belle LeClair became a Hunter. She no longer remembers how many hounds she's killed, or how many friends she's buried. Still, Belle leads the hunt till a tragedy forces her deep into the dark kingdom. Her heart will be turned, her loyalty tested— and fate will intervene.

Amid a backdrop of Steampunk inventions and a harsh winter landscape, The Beast is a re-imagining of the infamous love between a beauty and a beast.

AUTHOR NOTE: June 22nd release date confirmed! Already available for pre-order on Kindle. Nook and paperback pre-orders coming very soon. -L

Published:     22nd June 2015
Author Website:  Click here
Author's You Tube Channel:  Click here
Author's Vlog Channel: Click here
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Book 1, Hunter Legions
Source:  Review Copy from Author

My Review

What a great book one in the series, I can't wait to read more!  This book is a version of Beauty and the Beast, which just happens to be my most favourite fairytale of all time, so I was so excited when I knew Lindsay was writing this and even more excited when I was able to read the description of the story.  This story definately did not disappoint my expectations; not one bit!  

What I loved the most was the main character Belle.  In most Beauty and the Beast style stories that I have come across, Belle is usually portrayed as a 'delicate' charactre who loves books.  Well, right from the beginning I found out that this Belle has a lot more gumption to her.  Certainly being the Hunter Captain made her someone to definately follow and listen to!  The fact that this story started off with lots of action sucked me into the story straight away and I have to admit that I read this in two sittings (it would have been one sitting if I hadn't have had to have slept in between!).  

This is such a great first book in a series I would highly recommend it, even to those of you who would not normally pick up a fairytale retelling story - this is a great one!


17 Jun 2015

Waiting on Wednesday / Court of Fives by Kate Elliott

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

Expected Release Date: 18th August 2015
(Release date obtained from Goodreads)

Goodreads link is here.

In this imaginative escape into an enthralling new world, World Fantasy Award finalist Kate Elliott begins a new trilogy with her debut young adult novel, weaving an epic story of a girl struggling to do what she loves in a society suffocated by rules of class and privilege.

Jessamy's life is a balance between acting like an upper class Patron and dreaming of the freedom of the Commoners. But at night she can be whomever she wants when she sneaks out to train for The Fives, an intricate, multi-level athletic competition that offers a chance for glory to the kingdom's best competitors. Then Jes meets Kalliarkos, and an unlikely friendship between a girl of mixed race and a Patron boy causes heads to turn. When a scheming lord tears Jes's family apart, she'll have to test Kal's loyalty and risk the vengeance of a powerful clan to save her mother and sisters from certain death.

15 Jun 2015

Author Interview / Aarohi Brar

Imagine a stifling hot day, where the sun doesn't just beat down on your body, but also on your enthusiasm, your spirit. Now, imagine the relief that is brought down by a refreshing shower of cool rain.

All your agitation and distress get washed down the drain in this shower, the same time that your lowered spirits and suppressed laughter come barreling to the surface. That relief, that comfort, that joy, is what Juliet has always felt since she found Max.

Life has dealt her a good card. Max is all she has ever wanted, all she could have ever wanted.

What she has failed to realize is that no rain lasts forever, no matter how refreshing. And when it does, out comes the sun. With a vengeance. Although feeble after the brief period for which it lay low, it immediately resumes it's journey where it ultimately gets to shine hotter than ever.

If there is no rain, there is no relief.
If there is no joy, there is no laughter.

And if there is no Max, there is no Juliet.

So, how is she to go on now that he is not there? Now that the eternity that he promised to love her for has been mercilessly reduced to a bare minimum?

She has lost him. Him, as well her love for the rain.

Now all alone, with just her memories of him, she trudges by, without really being involved in what they call, life.

That is until someone comes knocking on her door. Someone she has never met, but has a history with.

Starting over is never easy, but it is at least a little less difficult than being alone.

Should she act on her impulse and let this stranger in? Or should she close the door in his face, considering the role he has already played in her once bright and thriving life?

1. If you could work with any other author, who would it be and why? 
Ans. If I could, then I would love to work with Sylvain Reynard. Because
a) He's awesome
b) He's awesome
c) He's super freaking awesome

I thought I had found the best story ever written when I read the Gabriel's Inferno Trilogy. But The Florentine series had my heart in my throat the entire time that I was reading The Prince and later, The Raven. If truth be told, I have no idea how many times I re-read The Raven before I had to pry it off my own fingers. It is THAT good. 
I would love to get a chance to work with such a talented writer. I want to see the art, beauty, scriptures and history the way he does.
And now that the cover of The Shadow has been revealed, I can barely stop myself from crossing off the days on my calendar before I'll be able to get my hands on it.

2. What would be a typical working day for you? When and where do you write? 
Ans I usually wake up to the sound of my mother reciting a religious prayer. After a big ass cup of coffee, I get my laptop to the living room to write. I prefer the living room because it has an unobstructed view of the street outside. I can see people walking by, drivers zooming to and fro and the trees standing tall and proud against the harsh sun. I love it!
3. What is the hardest part of the writing for you? 
Ans Has to be the accents. I want to write in a manner where the readers are able to decipher the nationality of a character even without me having to specify that. Perhaps, not having traveled a lot, it is something that doesn't come naturally to me. I need to work on it. The same thing was suggested to me by Susan Wuthrich, an extremely well gifted writer. She read my book and gave a few pointers for improvement. One of them was refining the accents of my characters. 

4. When and why did you first start writing? 
I started writing during December last year. Writing is something I have wanted to do ever since I discovered the joy a book can give. I wanted to write my own stories and have people love them. 

My life wasn't going anywhere close to where I wanted it to go. Nothing offered me solace or comfort or joy. Except books. Except writing. I started by writing small articles and poems. And later went on to write my debut novel.

5. How did you come up with the idea for the book your book? 
Ans.  I was actually in the process of writing a poem when I realized that it could be changed into a short 5000 word story. I was almost finished with it when I decided to let my friends read it before I wrapped it up. They were of the opinion that it had the potential to be a full fledged novel. I took their advice and worked on my characters, their backgrounds, histories etc and turned it into my first self-published book, Pluviophile.
6. Are you a big reader? If so, what are you reading now? 
I am a voracious reader through and through. Even my blog is called Lector Vorax, which is the Latin translation for Voracious Reader.

At the moment, I am reading the first book in the trilogy, 'The Annals of Lusiartha' by R. Ann Humpries. It's called Sedich.
7. Do you have any advice for other aspiring writers?
Ans. Just believe in yourself. Remember that it is your dream. And you can achieve it. Never stop believing that.

Book Review / Goddess by Josephine Angelini (No spoilers)

Below is the description to book 1 in this trilogy so as to avoid spoilers for those who have not read books 1 and 2.

How do you defy destiny?

Helen Hamilton has spent her entire sixteen years trying to hide how different she is—no easy task on an island as small and sheltered as Nantucket. And it's getting harder. Nightmares of a desperate desert journey have Helen waking parched, only to find her sheets damaged by dirt and dust. At school she's haunted by hallucinations of three women weeping tears of blood . . . and when Helen first crosses paths with Lucas Delos, she has no way of knowing they're destined to play the leading roles in a tragedy the Fates insist on repeating throughout history.

As Helen unlocks the secrets of her ancestry, she realizes that some myths are more than just legend. But even demigod powers might not be enough to defy the forces that are both drawing her and Lucas together—and trying to tear them apart.

Published:     23rd May 2013
Publisher:  Macmillan
Author Website:  Click here
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Book 3, Starcrossed Trilogy
Source:  Owned


My Review

I was really sad when I came to reading this book.  Books 1 and 2 were really good reads for me and I was really excited to find out what happens next but unfortunately for me I found the story really slow and the action taking too long to happen that I found as I was reading I was less and less excited about picking this book up and continuing with it.  As I really enjoyed the first two books in this trilogy I kept going (although it did take me a while to get through) until the very last page.  I liked the ending but the process of getting to the end was quite a bit of a struggle for me.   I would have loved to have seen more action and more things going on. 

That being said, I really did enjoy the trilogy in the first two books and also enjoyed the ending of this book so it is worth a try to see whether this might be your thing.  What I am taking away from reading this trilogy is that I loved the author's writing and I will be looking into what else she has written and definitely will be picking them up.

About the Author

Josephine Angelini is a Massachusetts native and the youngest of eight siblings. 

She graduated from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts in theater, with a focus on the classics. 

She now lives in Los Angeles with her husband.

13 Jun 2015

My Week in Books - 8th to 13th June 2015

I was really proud of completing two books this week considering how busy I still am.  These first two books in the Starcrossed trilogy were a little bit on the slow side but I am really enjoying this story.  I am about to start the third and final book Goddess so we'll see what happens next.  I hope it is not as slow paced as the first two - I really need to read some fast paced action.......

GIVEAWAY (CLOSED) - 1 Copy of The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski

Winning what you want may cost you everything you love...

As a general’s daughter in a vast empire that revels in war and enslaves those it conquers, seventeen-year-old Kestrel has two choices: she can join the military or get married. But Kestrel has other intentions.

One day, she is startled to find a kindred spirit in a young slave up for auction. Arin’s eyes seem to defy everything and everyone. Following her instinct, Kestrel buys him—with unexpected consequences. It’s not long before she has to hide her growing love for Arin.

But he, too, has a secret, and Kestrel quickly learns that the price she paid for a fellow human is much higher than she ever could have imagined.

Set in a richly imagined new world, The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski is a story of deadly games where everything is at stake, and the gamble is whether you will keep your head or lose your heart.