31 Oct 2012

Waiting on Wednesday - The Madman's Daughter by Megan Shepherd

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

 

Expected Release Date:   29th January 2013
(Release date obtained from Goodreads)


Goodreads link is here.

London, 1894. Juliet Moreau has built a life for herself—working as a maid, attending church on Sundays, and trying not to think about the scandal that ruined her life. After all, no one ever proved the rumors about her father’s gruesome experiments. But when she learns her father is alive and continuing his work on a remote tropical island, she is determined to find out if the accusations were true.

Juliet is accompanied by the doctor’s handsome young assistant and an enigmatic castaway, who both attract Juliet for very different reasons. They travel to the island only to discover the depths of her father’s madness: he has created animals that have been vivisected to resemble, speak, and behave as humans. Worse, one of the creatures has turned violent and is killing the island’s inhabitants. Juliet knows she must end her father’s dangerous experiments and escape the island, even though her horror is mixed with her own scientific curiosity. As the island falls into chaos, she discovers the extent of her father’s genius—and madness—in her own blood.
Continue reading Waiting on Wednesday - The Madman's Daughter by Megan Shepherd

30 Oct 2012

Book Review: Velveteen by Daniel Marks

Velveteen Monroe is dead. At 16, she was kidnapped and murdered by a madman named Bonesaw. But that’s not the problem.

The problem is she landed in purgatory. And while it’s not a fiery inferno, it’s certainly no heaven. It’s gray, ashen, and crumbling more and more by the day, and everyone has a job to do. Which doesn’t leave Velveteen much time to do anything about what’s really on her mind.

Bonesaw.

Velveteen aches to deliver the bloody punishment her killer deserves. And she’s figured out just how to do it. She’ll haunt him for the rest of his days.

It’ll be brutal... and awesome.

But crossing the divide between the living and the dead has devastating consequences. Velveteen’s obsessive haunting cracks the foundations of purgatory and jeopardizes her very soul. A risk she’s willing to take—except fate has just given her reason to stick around: an unreasonably hot and completely off-limits coworker.

Velveteen can’t help herself when it comes to breaking rules... or getting revenge. And she just might be angry enough to take everyone down with her.


Goodreads Link:   Click here
Release Date:  9th October 2012
Publisher:  Delacort
Source:  Netgalley Review

My Review   (9 out of 10)

First off, I am absolutely loving this cover...  There is something definitely creepy looking about the woman in the picture and after reading the story I can understand why she has that look...  Brilliant...   

I really liked the writing style - a kind of creepy comedic style that I really enjoyed and found easy to get stuck into the story.  I really enjoyed most was the 'world building' in this story, purgatory is definitely somewhere I would not want to be stuck in... I have never read a story that has been based in purgatory before so this was a completely new topic for me.  There was a lot of description in this story was did help me understand more what was going on and how things 'played out' in purgatory.  I have to admit that I would have loved to have seen more of the story of Bonesaw. 

Velvet is an very feisty character.  She is a very head strong character and one that I was definitely wishing would 'come out on top' in the end, despite the fact that she was in purgatory...  In this story there is a little bit of a love interest type thing going on here, I won't say with who or when as I don't want to spoil it for those who have not read it yet. but I enjoyed seeing how that progressed throughout the story. 

This was a really great dark read, with a hint of comedy, that I would recommend, especially to those who like stories with a lot of description and background.    

Best wishes

Debs


Continue reading Book Review: Velveteen by Daniel Marks

29 Oct 2012

Author Interview: Catherine Mesick

Sixteen-year-old Katie Wickliff lives quietly in the small town of Elspeth's Grove, unaware of the troubled past that forced her grandmother to flee Russia with her when Katie was only a child. When people in the town begin to disappear, and Katie's own home is attacked by a terrifying creature, Katie and her grandmother return to Russia to find answers.

Pursuing them is the handsome William – who just might be a vampire. Katie discovers that William is indeed partially a vampire, but he is also one of the Sidh, an ancient clan whose members are gifted with great power – a clan to which Katie's long-deceased mother also belonged.

Soon, Katie discovers that her mother's seemingly natural death was actually murder, and she is forced to confront the question she wants to face the least: Is William her otherworldly protector, or is he the monster who killed her mother eleven years ago?



1. If you could work with any other author, who would it be and why?
Hi Debra! First, please allow me to say thank you for having me on your blog today :) If I could work with any other author, I would love to work with J.K. Rowling of Harry Potter fame. She has such a fertile imagination and such a strong, clear way of delineating characters. Working with her would be amazing.


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

On a typical working day, I can work anywhere from 7 to 10 hours. I'll work a little less if things aren't going well, and I'll work a little more if things are going smoothly. I typically write at my desk in my office while listening to music, or I'll write in the living room with the T.V. on in the background.

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

The hardest part for me is organization :) I tend to write ideas down on scraps of paper, the backs of envelopes, on napkins, etc. Then, when I need the scrap of paper -- or whatever it is -- I can't usually find it right away. So, I do lose some productive time while I'm looking for my notes!

4. When and why did you first start writing?

That's a great question! I'm pretty sure I started writing in elementary school. A teacher had us create little books using wide-ruled green writing paper that we stapled in the center -- and then we used a sheet of construction paper for the cover. I really loved making that first book, and then I kept making them on my own. I remember the first one I wrote was called Christina's Christmas, and it was about a girl who received a kitten for Christmas. I believe I actually wanted a kitten myself at the time.

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

My current book grew out of my love for Russian folktales -- and my love of folktales in general. I have always loved reading the stories that come from other cultures, and I thought it would be wonderful to bring elements from these stories to a new audience -- to bring them forward to a new place and time, so that way they wouldn't be lost.

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

I am definitely a big reader! I have always liked "Golden Age" mysteries, and right now I am currently reading Towards Zero by Agatha Christie.

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

My advice would be to write everyday -- even if it's just a sentence. If things aren't going well on a particular day, you certainly don't have to push yourself. But it's important to keep moving forward. You need to practice writing just like anything else. And you should write about things you like. If you're enjoying your work, then we'll enjoy it too! Thanks again for having me, Debra! This was a lot of fun!
 



Continue reading Author Interview: Catherine Mesick

25 Oct 2012

Book Review: Music from Beyond the Moon by Augusta Trobaugh

She became his soul mate and first love, but can they escape a destiny that was decided before they were born?
In 1920's Florida, an abandoned baby boy grows up under a cloud of mystery, adopted by two strong southern women, who try to protect him from his family's secrets and heartaches. But even their best intentions and deepest devotion can't hide the truth forever. Or soften the fate he must face with the girl he loves.
Augusta Trobaugh's unforgettable novel speaks of loyalty, loss, the difficult choices we make in the name of family, and of courageous hope, each inspired by the fragile and painfully longing music of life, a song that seems to come from beyond the moon. 



Published:  30th April 2012
Publisher:  Bell Bridge Books
Source:  Netgalley Review
Links: Goodreads  /  Amazon.co.uk  /  Amazon.com      

My Review

9 out of 10

This is such a heartbreakingly happy and sad story, sometimes sad and sometimes happy and even both at the same time.  We start of the story with a baby being left by his mother and being 'being adopted' into a southern fishing family  This story, for me, centred around this young boy as he grows up not really knowing who he was and who is mother was.   

With a story like this one that is based in the past (1920s), I have to admit that I do find it hard to get into the story.  Not only am I getting to understand the new story that I am reading but I like to understand life in the era that the story is written.  The background information in this story is brilliant.  I had absolutely no trouble picking up the tone of the era and the start to the story and, for me, this really helped keep my attention into reading on.  

I have to admit that this story was very predictable but the enjoyment of this story, for me, was the journey that Victor makes from being left by his mother as a baby all the way to being a teenager and finding out the truth about his family.  There are also an array of characters which add to the depth of the story.

An absolutely great emotional story that I would highly recommend.

Best wishes

Debs :-)




Continue reading Book Review: Music from Beyond the Moon by Augusta Trobaugh

24 Oct 2012

Author Interview: Libby Floyd

About the Author:
Libby Floyd has been a national on-air television personality for over 15 years with appearances on ShopNBC, Shop-At-Home and The Food Network. She was the youngest ever nominee for the prestigious position of Poet Laureate of South Carolina following the release of her poetry book A Winning Heart. Libby is a graduate of the University of South Carolina and was a contestant in the Miss America and Miss USA programs.
Her latest book is the contemporary romance, Sparkelicious.
Visit Libby on the web at www.LibbyFloyd.com.
Connect with her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/libbyfloyd.
Friend her on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/libby.floyd.31.
Pick up your copy of the deliciously wicked Sparkelicious at Amazon:  Click Here.
Purchase your copy of Sparkelicious at Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/sparkelicious?keyword=sparkelicious&store=ebook.
About the Book:
Laney Montgomery is living the dream – a successful L.A. fashion designer, a fabulous home in the Hollywood Hills and happily married to an English film director. But on a trip back home to South Carolina, she finds herself in the middle of a family crisis, which she’s determined to fix. However, the affections of a handsome, younger man creates havoc in her personal life. With her marriage in serious trouble back in California, Laney is faced with losing it all but maybe that’s the only way for her to find true happiness.


1.       If you could work with any other author, who would it be and why? Probably Danielle Steel because from what I’ve read about her, we have a similar writing style. We both like to write about three books at a time. I’d also like to see her old typewriter that she says she’s used since she started writing!


2.       What would be a typical working day for you? When and where do you write? 
I start writing around noon and write for a few hours and then take an afternoon walk and then sit back down at my computer and start writing again. I write at my kitchen island in a red chair. I also get inspired to write at night. I think whenever I’m inspired, it doesn’t matter what time of day it is, I go for it!



3.       What is the hardest part of the writing for you? Sitting down for hours at a time.
My bum gets a little numb!!!



4.       When and why did you first start writing? 
I think out of boredom! I was born in a small town in South Carolina and there wasn’t much to do so I started writing at a very early age. I actually wrote my first song when I was five and started singing with my sisters in talent competitions. After writing a couple of songs as a child, I started writing poetry and published a book of poetry in college, then I really got serious about songwriting and started writing country/pop songs, which I performed with my band in Los Angeles and Nashville. My lyrics evolved into short stories and then I started writing novels. So, I’ve been writing forever!

5.       How did you come up with the idea for the book ‘Sparkelicious’? SPARKELICIOUS was inspired by one of my trip’s back home to South Carolina. After moving away to New York and then L.A. after college graduation, I returned after several years to discover the sleepy little Southern town of Greenville was now vibrant and alive. I also found that I’d missed so many family events and still hadn’t come to term with my father’s death. He died in 2000 from cancer and this particular trip home was closure for me. I had also missed the Southern charm and humor of the South. When you read my book, you’ll find my fictional characters to be colorful and real. And, after living in L.A. for so many years, I had to relive my life there, so I decided to capture the glamour of Hollywood. My novel showcases several famous locales and venues in my old stomping ground. And of course, Sparkelicious hits on the touchy subject of age and turning 40, which most women find devastating, especially in Hollywood. However, I decided to explore ageism in a positive and uplifting light through Laney Montgomery’s character, who finds that it’s never too late to fall in love with your true passion and your true love. I think that life can be, truly, Sparkelicious! I draw from real life experiences and then my imagine takes over and fills in the rest!


6.       Are you a big reader? If so, what are you reading now? 
No, because I’m too busy writing!


7.       Do you have any advice for other aspiring writers?
Yes, everyone says that they want to write a book but no one’s going to write it for you, but you! It takes discipline, lots of hard work and hours and hours of sitting at your computer and gaining a little weight!!! The best advice I ever got from a friend was, “don’t get it right, get it written!” That inspired me to write the first draft of my book!
Continue reading Author Interview: Libby Floyd

23 Oct 2012

Waiting on Wednesday - Mind Games by Kiersten White

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

 

Expected Release Date:   1st January 2013
(Release date obtained from Goodreads)


Goodreads link is here.

Fia was born with flawless instincts. Her first impulse, her gut feeling, is always exactly right. Her sister, Annie, is blind to the world around her—except when her mind is gripped by strange visions of the future.

Trapped in a school that uses girls with extraordinary powers as tools for corporate espionage, Annie and Fia are forced to choose over and over between using their abilities in twisted, unthinkable ways… or risking each other’s lives by refusing to obey.

In a stunning departure from her New York Times bestselling Paranormalcy trilogy, Kiersten White delivers a slick, edgy, heartstoppingly intense psychological thriller about two sisters determined to protect each other—no matter the cost.
Continue reading Waiting on Wednesday - Mind Games by Kiersten White

Author Interview: Lola Rayne



Title: The Monster Within Blog Tour (Mounting Darkness Series #1)
Author: Lola Rayne
RELEASE DATE: 10/2/12
Genre: Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance/ Erotica
Length: Novella
Available eBook Formats: .pdf, .mobi and .epub
Author Website:
http://lolarayne.wordpress.com/

Book Synopsis:
Sometimes the monster that haunted you as a child truly is real…
All it took was one phone call to bring Nicole Jones’s life crumbling down around her. Now a nightmare she thought she’d left in her past is back, and he’s not exactly bringing her candy and flowers. While fleeing, in a non-terrified fashion, she meets a menacing man in a dark alley. Then promptly passes out at his feet.
Gideon Evans hasn’t exactly been having the best run of luck, but all that changes when a buxom little blonde collapses right in front of him. Or at least he thinks it has. It doesn’t take him long to realize that bombshell is an appropriate description for more than just her looks. Now he’s facing several problems, including a surprising enemy, his own dark past, and a rather inconvenient case of lust.
Can they work together to battle the nightmare that’s chasing them? Or will they succumb to the monster within?


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

This is the question I've most been dreading... because I don't think I could handle collaborating with anyone else which makes me sound like a total jerk. Really I just don't trust myself to be able to give up that much control. I might be a teeny tiny bit of a control freak. And if you just heard laughter, that was my husband...

Which means I'd really like to meet (and gaze in wonderment at) Ilona and Gordon Andrews and Donna and Bree who make up Moira Rogers. Then I would demand they tell me the secret to writing as a co-op.

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

I have a two year old, I have no typical days. If I did though, then I'd stumble out of bed around 6 and stare bleary eyed at my computer until about 7, when I swear because I'm now running late again. I then work at my day job from 7:30 until 4:00. After that I try not to scar my child's emotional well being too much (or pass out... she's very active) until she goes to bed between 7 and 8.

After she goes to bed I get to write... but since my computer is the same one I game on and is right next to our TV and I have the attention span of a chipmunk on cocaine, it usually turns into "HEY LET ME DO ANYTHING OTHER THAN WRITING."

Oh, and sometimes I find that I've curled up with my husband to watch whatever he's watching on engaged in a heated debate about item levels and who has the best loot and now it's midnight and don't I have to get up in the morning?

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

Other than finding the time? Finding the focus and inspiration when I have the time. Nothing is more of a kick in the pants than realizing that all those ideas you had while at work/in the shower/driving/were too lazy to get out of bed are gone now that you've got a blank word document sitting in front of you.

I swear that blinking cursor lives to taunt me.

4. When and why did you first start writing?

In fifth grade I wrote a truly horrible story about a princess named Buttercup. Not that I stole it from the Princess Bride or anything... I remember because I was using literary techniques beyond the fifth grade level apparently and my teacher tried to edit it out for me. Thanks teach!

I stopped for awhile after high school for undisclosed reasons that I'm hoping will give me an air of mystery (but is actually just an embarrassing story trashing someone else that I've since forgiven) and didn't start again until after my kid was born. I was reading a lot and during one particularly horrid book decided that "even I could do better." So I put my money where my mouth is.

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

Well after kick in the pants towards a more smutty style of writing, I started thinking about a plot that would work for... you know... smut. Something that would translate to a 100 page story but would still be compelling and allow for sexy times.

The more I struggled, the worse my ideas were until one day, there was Nicole. The rest, as they say, is history.

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

Big reader might be a bit of an understatement. I read to the point of absurdity. Right now I'm reading "The Iron King" since I loved the "Immortal Rules" and have the first book in the Iron Fey's follow up series. By the time this interview is posted I'll have moved onto some new book. Probably not one of the 400+ in my to-read pile.

I've got a problem

7. Do you have any advice for other aspiring writers?
Just write, all the time, every day. Write nothing. Write everything. Write just to stay in the habit of writing. Find friends that you trust and show them your writing. And most importantly, never give up.

Continue reading Author Interview: Lola Rayne

19 Oct 2012

Author Interview: Howard Shapiro

Author Website - www.howardshapiro.net

Author Goodreads Page - Click here


If you could work with any other author, who would it be and why?
Wow, there are so many... its difficult to come up with just one. But if I had to choose just one it would be Neil Gaiman. His work is a huge influence and I wouldn't have done a graphic novel had it not been for his work.

What would be a typical working day for you? When and where do you write?
Well, I work as the ller for a visual effects studio in Pittsburgh, PA named Animal Inc. so I am there from 9 AM to 7 PM each day and after getting home, helping work and other things around the house I usually get to write starting around midnight and I'll go until around 3:00 AM. I might have a nap in there and then get up and write as well. So, its trying to squeeze it in as best as I can. On weekends I'll try to get in a few hours also.


What is the hardest part of the writing for you?
Basically, just making the time to do it. I wish I could start at 9 or 10 and then write till the middle of the afternoon and then come back to it maybe at night but it doesn't
work that way for me. Still, I think my writing has a certain urgency because I am trying to slot it in mostly in the middle of the night or at the end of the night!

When and why did you first start writing?
When I was a young child I usedto love the Encyclopedia Brown books and comic books also. Mostly Spiderman and Batman, and I would buy them when they came out each month along with packs of baseball or hockey cards from thi variety store near my house, named Ted's Dairy. We had a typewriter back then and I used to try and write my own Encyclopedia Brown books... not too successfully but it was fun and I got the dream then to one day have one of my books published. I wanted to be a sportswriter as I grew up and then I gave that up but writing was always something I enjoyed. I tried my hand at songwriting in high school and then stopped writing completely after college. I picked it up again after watching the movie "Reality Bites" because I hated that movie and thought that I could write a better story then that. After reading about the ease of self publishing I decided to try my hand at that with a kids book, 2005's "Hanukkah Counts Too!" and I haven't stopped since!

How did you come up with the idea for the your book?
The ideas come from many places... usually they come from something that is happening in my life, something that happened in the past or what I observe others going through. I have an idea about the ending and what I want to say, and then fill in the beginning and middle from there. I have lots of influences from music, TV and movies... music and songs are usually a great catalyst because in songwriting you have these big ideas that you have to condense into lines and when you write a book you have the chance to expand on those big ideas and so music and songwriting are a huge influence on my writing and I generate a ton of ideas from sngs that I hear or that I loved when I was younger.
Are you a big reader? If so, what are you reading now?
I am a big reader although I don't have as much time as I would like to read! I take my kids to the public library once or twice a month and I will grab four or five graphic novels or comics collections and read one or two of them before they are due back. I pretty much read just those two genres, graphic novels and comic collections.

Do you have any advice for other aspiring writers?
There are so many things to pass along but the main one is to believe in yourself and your work. This isn't to say that it is perfect, you have to accept constructive criticism and listen to what other say about your work, but you must have an undying belief in the concept and execution of your writing. You also have to aim to be the best, you may not be or write like JD Salinger, but you should try and make your work as good as his. I know that I fail in that regard, but I still aim to make my work as great as I can get it to be. You also have to have a rubber stomach and a very thick skin... you won't last long or you will lose interest or your heart won't be in it if you can't take criticism and rejection. But the one thing I always come back to when I giev presenttations at schools is to truly believe in yourself and your writing... that is the most important trait, to me, to have as a writer.




Continue reading Author Interview: Howard Shapiro

17 Oct 2012

Book Review: Starring Me by Krista McGee

Kara McKormick is told she's auditioning to star in a new teen variety show. But it's what she isn't told that could change her life.

The feisty New Yorker moves to sunny Orlando to participate in a month-long audition, where she'll live with nine other contestants and an eccentric housemother. Kara knows that the show already has a big-time celebrity lined up for the co-host, but she doesn't know who it is.

Chad Beacon quickly rose to fame after winning America's Next Star, but he doesn't want his entire career to be about singing. There is so much more he wants to do-like act. The new variety show sounds like the perfect next step for him, but his parents want him to have a co-star who shares his faith since they'll be spending so much time together.

Acting is high on Kara's priority list. But a relationship with God? Not so much. In fact, she's tried to stay away from anything religious. But God is after Kara's heart and He's put people in her life who are showing her there's far more to Christianity than rules and judgment.

And just when it seems that Kara's going to have to give up her acting dream, God reveals that she may have a starring role after all-in a story so big only He could write it.


Published:   10th July 2012
Publisher:  Thomas Nelson
Source:  Netgalley Review
Links: Goodreads  /  Amazon.co.uk  /  Amazon.com         

My Review

10 out of 10

The first time I read a book written by Krista McGee was at the beginning of this year  (check out my review - click here) and absolutely loved it  It had the great mix of romance and drama.  Starring Me had that same absolutely fantastic mix of romance and drama, I just could not put this book down. 

We start off this story by meeting Chad, pop sensation (ok, so I do admit that when I read about Chad I did picture Justin Bieber in my head).  His parents are his agents and are very strict about keeping Chad grounded, which he is.  They are religious and when Chad agrees to take part in a show, they go on the hunt to find a female co-star.  

Kat is a character that I first met in Krista's first book called First Date and I was so glad to meet her again in this book.  In First Date, the main character is Addy with Kat as the best friend, secondary character.  In Starring Me we have a complete role reversal.  We have Kat as the main character and we see Addy again as the best friend and secondary character.  There are one or two other characters who were in First Date who appear in this second book.  

The competition between the potential female co-stars gets very interesting when the true personalities of all of those who take part come to light.   Great character interaction, whether that is good or bad!  

Religion does play a part in this story but it not overwhelming and that was actually one of the parts of the story that I really enjoyed about this story and would very highly recommend it.

Best wishes

Debs :-)






Continue reading Book Review: Starring Me by Krista McGee

16 Oct 2012

Waiting on Wednesday - City of a Thousand Dolls by Miriam Forster

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

 

Expected Release Date:   5th February 2013
(Release date obtained from Goodreads)


Goodreads link is here.


The girl with no past, and no future, may be the only one who can save their lives.

Nisha was abandoned at the gates of the City of a Thousand Dolls when she was just a child. Now sixteen, she lives on the grounds of the isolated estate, where orphan girls apprentice as musicians, healers, courtesans, and, if the rumors are true, assassins. Nisha makes her way as Matron’s assistant, her closest companions the mysterious cats that trail her shadow. Only when she begins a forbidden flirtation with the city’s handsome young courier does she let herself imagine a life outside the walls. Until one by one, girls around her start to die.

Before she becomes the next victim, Nisha decides to uncover the secrets that surround the girls’ deaths. But by getting involved, Nisha jeopardizes not only her own future in the City of a Thousand Dolls—but her own life
Continue reading Waiting on Wednesday - City of a Thousand Dolls by Miriam Forster

Book Review: Bookends by Jane Green


Catherine Warner and Simon Nelson are best friends: total opposites, always together, and both unlucky in love. Cath is scatterbrained, messy, and–since she had her heart broken a few years back–emotionally closed off. Si is impossibly tidy, bitchy, and desperate for a man of his own. They live in London’s West Hampstead along with their lifelong friends, Josh and Lucy, who are happily married with a devil-spawn child and a terrifying Swedish nanny, Ingrid.

All’s well (sort of) until the sudden arrival of a college friend–the stunningly beautiful Portia, who’s known for breaking hearts. Though they’ve grown up and grown apart from Portia, the four friends welcome her back into the fold. But does Portia have a hidden agenda or is she merely looking to reconnect with old friends? Her reappearance soon unleashes a rollicking series of events that tests the foursome’s friendships to the limit and leaves them wondering if a happy ending is in store.

Fortunately, Cath has plenty to take her mind off Portia’s schemes–like her gutsy decision to leave her job in advertising to fulfill her dream of opening a bookstore. And then there’s James, the sexy real-estate agent who keeps dropping by even after the bookstore deal is done. With his irresistible smile and boyish charm could he be the one to melt Cath’s heart? 


Published:  27th May 2003
Publisher:  Broadway
Source:  Purchased
Goodreads Link:  Click here 

My Review




Continue reading Book Review: Bookends by Jane Green

14 Oct 2012

Book Review: The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

“There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark’s Eve,” Neeve said. “Either you’re his true love . . . or you killed him.”

It is freezing in the churchyard, even before the dead arrive.

Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them—not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her.

His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.

But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more than that. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, who notices many things but says very little.

For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.


Published:  18th September 2012 
Publisher:  Scholastic 
Source:  Review Copy from Publisher
Series:   Book 1, Raven Cycle
Links:  Goodreads  /   Amazon.co.uk  /  Amazon.com       

My Review

7 out of 10

When I first heard about the story and just the simple premise that if the main character kissed her true love he would die, I knew I had to read this book.  I have to admit that this is the first book I have read written by Maggie Stiefvater and I really enjoyed her style of writing.  I have to admit that it did take me a bit of time to get into the story but once I did it was completely worth it. 

I absolutely loved the main character, Blue.  She is a very independent person who has been brought up in a world of clairvoyance.   Blue has a special power that comes in very useful with both her family and her new friends, The Raven Boys.  

What made this story very interesting for me is the hunt that Gansey and the Raven boys are on to try and find the leylines.  I loved the very interesting twist with what they find and what they have to do.  I could not put the book down until I found out what happened next...  

A really great start to a series, I can't wait to find out what happens next.

Best wishes

Debs :-)


Continue reading Book Review: The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

10 Oct 2012

Book Review: Lifesaving for Beginners by Ciara Geraghty

An accident on the motorway. One woman dies. One woman lives. Nothing will ever be the same again. Kat Kavanagh works in Dublin as a technical writer. She has no children and is fond of her man-friend, Thomas. She never thinks about what happened when she was fifteen. That's Kat's story. None of it is true. Milo is ten and lives in Brighton. He's pretty busy trying to keep things together. Lots of stuff is still the same. Like school. Lifesaving class. Library duty with Carla. Cutting worms in two with his bestfriend Damo. But some things are different. Like his mother not being around anymore. And his sister Faith, looking after him. Then Faith finds some of her mother's old papers and discovers a secret she was never meant to know. Suddenly everything changes. As Milo struggles to come to terms with what has happened to his family, Faith is determined to uncover the truth. Kat thinks the truth is overrated. But you can only run so far before your past catches up with you ..


Published:   27th September 2012
Publisher:   Hodder &; Stoughton 
Source:  Review Copy from Publisher
Links:  Goodreads  /  Amazon.co.uk  /  Amazon.com  


My Review
To see the video review, please see the end of this post.

9 out of 10

Now this was a very emotional story to read.  Right from the beginning where we see a car accident  and right up to the ending, which I have to admit that I had figured out what was going to happen but what I enjoyed about this story the most is following the characters stories.

This story is split into two view points; Kat and Milo.  Milo is a child and Kat is a middle aged woman.  There are a lots of twists and turns in this story, comedic in places and there is a lot I do not want to say here as I do not want to spoil the story for you.

I really enjoyed this story, which made me laugh and cry and sometimes both at the same time.  A very emotional read that I just could not put down.



Best wishes

Debs :-)



 


Continue reading Book Review: Lifesaving for Beginners by Ciara Geraghty

9 Oct 2012

Waiting on Wednesday: The Dead and Buried by Kim Harrington

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

 

Expected Release Date:   1st January 2013
(Release date obtained from Goodreads)


Goodreads link is here.





A haunted house, a buried mystery, and a very angry ghost make this one unforgettable thriller.
Jade loves the house she's just moved into with her family. She doesn't even mind being the new girl at the high school: It's a fresh start, and there's that one guy with the dreamy blue eyes. . . .
But then things begin happening. Strange, otherworldly things.
Jade's little brother claims to see a glimmering girl in his room. Jade's jewelry gets moved around, as if by an invisible hand. Kids at school whisper behind her back like they know something she doesn't.
Soon, Jade must face an impossible fact: that her perfect house . . . is haunted.
Haunted by a ghost who's seeking not just vengeance, but the truth. The ghost of a girl who ruled Jade's school -- until her untimely death last year. It's up to Jade to put the pieces together before her own life is at stake. As Jade investigates the mystery, she discovers that her new friends in town have more than a few deep, dark secrets.
But is one of them a murderer?
Continue reading Waiting on Wednesday: The Dead and Buried by Kim Harrington

Author Interview: James Fouche

James Fouche - www.jackhanger.com




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

Chuck Palahniuk or Elmosre Leonard would be interesting options. Both authors apply concision and brevity to their writing styles. Then again, collaborating with any wise experienced author would certainly challenge me to the point of growth.


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

I can only write when I'm open to the scene. In my next book, King of Sorrow, there is one section where I write as a 55-year-old Zimbabwean militant who wakes up in a pool of blood. I have to become this person.

Coffee shops tend to provide me with an abundance of characters and their unique mannerisms. As most writers I'm an observer and a recorder of human emotions.


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

When I'm finished. I have to close the book, and my intense passion for the project has to take a different shape in order for me to promote it. I instantly feel like a salesman instead of an author. I take comfort in knowing that even authors have to eat.


4. When and why did you first start writing?

I began writing at school. I was struggling to pass my languages as subjects, then I realised I could pass by simply writing interesting or captivating essays.



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

I sat playing with a piece of gum one day, and wondered what type of mind would find such a mundane activity interesting. The character of Dave Matters was born. Slowly he grew into a demanding anti-hero with many physical and mental flaws. He became the perfect blunt instrument to upset the apple cart. And he does.


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

Yes. I just finished Truth Extraction by Malcolm Russell, and now I'm busy with Moby Dick, a literary masterpiece which has been on my ever-growing pile of To-Read-Books.


7. Do you have any advice for other aspiring writers?
Advice normally gets passed on from generation to generation. Many quotes from literary geniuses come to mind, but only one quote stand out above the rest as true advice for writers. In the words of legendary Winston Churchill: "Never, never, never give up."



Continue reading Author Interview: James Fouche

7 Oct 2012

6 Oct 2012

Author Interview: J M Gregoire


Lucas was a typical playboy - lots of alcohol and a different girl every night.
One woman brought his emotional walls and the beliefs he used to build them crumbling to the ground.
Now, an unexpected visitor is going to change both their worlds forever.
Burning is the short story lead-in to the upcoming Demon Legacy series by J.M. Gregoire.




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

Hmmm, if you’re talking Big Six authors, that’s a tough question. If we are talking indie authors, Lola Rayne hands down! She’s an amazing author. She also happens to be a friend of mine that I met through writing so it may sound a bit loaded but I swear, her writing is incredible.


QUESTION 2. What would be a typical working day for you? When and where do you write?
I’m up at 6:00am to get my husband’s breakfast cooked and his lunch packed. Once he’s out the door, I get my son ready to go to the nanny’s house. Get myself ready. Open the computer and either work on my book, something to do with my book or something to do with my book blog. On the road by 8:00am at the latest. Drop boy at nanny’s and head to work for 9:00am. Work consists of listening to audio books while I work on various projects and sneaking in some writing here and there. Head out at 5:30pm, pick up boy and head home. Make dinner, get boy to bed and then… The dot dot dot is because what I do from there depends on my husband’s schedule. If he’s at football practice (he plays defense for a semi-pro league), I write. I write a lot. But if he’s home, we spend time together and I wait until he’s sleeping to write some more.


QUESTION 3. What is the hardest part of the writing for you?
Editing. I really hate the editing process with a fiery passion born in the depths of hell. I can write up a storm. I can spew out pages at an ungodly rate. When it comes time to clean them up, I lose all ambition.


QUESTION 4. When and why did you first start writing?
Until I got married, I kept journals. I started at a young age and I wrote in them constantly. It was no uncommon to find me with a journal in my hand in the cafeteria at school. Sometimes I wrote what I felt, other times I wrote what I imagined. When I got married, I chucked the journals and I regret it to this day. They were riddled with what would make great seed stories for tones of novels. As a kid, and even as a young adult, I never thought that I would see the day that I published anything so I tossed them thinking it wasn’t a real big loss. Lesson learned.


QUESTION 5. How did you come up with the idea for your book?
I wrote about the types of things I love to read. I love the dark tales of old religious fiction. Demons and possessions and such. If there is a demon possession movie out there, I have seen it. It fascinates me. It gives me goose bumps. When I started writing my novel, I wanted the readers to get that same feeling I love so much. The ideas for the plot line had been cooking at a slow burn in the back of my brain for years. It was just time to get them out on paper.


QUESTION 6. Are you a big reader? If so, what are you reading now?
I am. I love love love to read. Currently, I am reading iFeel by Marissa Carmel, Ghost Town by Jason Hawes, Boyfriend From Hell by Jamie Quaid, Chosen by Sable Grace, and The Lady Risks All by Stephanie Lauren. I am also listening to the audio books for the Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews. I’m almost finished with Magic Bleeds (#4) and can’t wait to get to #5!!!

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

Well, I am just starting to publish works so I don’t know how much weight my advice holds but here goes… If you are self-publishing, find yourself a small group of people – a few people to read and give general feedback and a few people to actually edit – and stick with them. I made the mistake of asking far too many people for editing and ended up with a “too many cooks in the kitchen” type situation. When you get to the phase of “personal preference” changes I was talking about earlier, the changes people are suggesting will totally contradict each other and it gets very frustrating. Also, always keep in mind that IT IS YOUR WORK. Editing is good if it is sound editing but you will know when someone is trying to rewrite your book their way. It’s not constructive. Everyone has different writing styles. Don’t let someone else’s style take over your book.
Continue reading Author Interview: J M Gregoire

4 Oct 2012

Book Review - Intangible by J Meyers

Twins Sera and Luke Raine have a well-kept secret—she heals with a touch of her hand, he sees the future. All their lives they’ve helped those in need on the sly. They’ve always thought of their abilities as being a gift.

Then Luke has a vision that Sera is killed. That gift they’ve always cherished begins to feel an awful lot like a curse. Because the thing about Luke’s ability? He’s always right. And he can’t do anything about it.


Release Date:  31st Janaury 2012
Source:  Review Copy from Author
Links:  Goodreads  /  Amazon.co.uk  /  Amazon.com    

My Review     8 out of 10

What really drew me into this story was the fact that the main characters were twins who have a well kept secret.  I love love love stories that have secrets in them and I have not, as far as I can remember, read any stories that feature twins.  So that immediately got me intrigued into finding out what this secret was...  When I started reading the book, I was immediately hooked.  We find out that what their special powers and the fact that Luke has a premonition that he does not want to see, about his sister...

There are a few characters that come into this story and I have to admit that it did take me a little while to digest who was what and did what but once I got that I really did not want to stop reading this story.

As this story progresses, you find out more and more about the story. There is a 'prophecy' which involves twins with special powers....  

Although the story, for me, was very predictable, I did enjoy the journey this story too me on..  If you are into paranormal action stories, this is definitely a great one to pick up...

Best wishes

Debs :-)
Continue reading Book Review - Intangible by J Meyers

2 Oct 2012

Waiting on Wednesday: All the Broken Pieces by Cindi Madsen

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

 

Expected Release Date:   11th December 2012
(Release date obtained from Goodreads)


Goodreads link is here.

What if your life wasn’t your own?

Liv comes out of a coma with no memory of her past and two distinct, warring voices inside her head. Nothing, not even her reflection, seems familiar. As she stumbles through her junior year, the voices get louder, insisting she please the popular group while simultaneously despising them. But when Liv starts hanging around with Spencer, whose own mysterious past also has him on the fringe, life feels complete for the first time in, well, as long as she can remember.

Liv knows the details of the car accident that put her in the coma, but as the voices invade her dreams, and her dreams start feeling like memories, she and Spencer seek out answers. Yet the deeper they dig, the less things make sense. Can Liv rebuild the pieces of her broken past, when it means questioning not just who she is, but what she is?
Continue reading Waiting on Wednesday: All the Broken Pieces by Cindi Madsen

1 Oct 2012

Book Review: Twenties Girl by Sophie Kinsella

Lara Lington has always had an overactive imagination, but suddenly that imagination seems to be in overdrive. Normal professional twenty-something young women don’t get visited by ghosts. Or do they?

When the spirit of Lara’s great-aunt Sadie–a feisty, demanding girl with firm ideas about fashion, love, and the right way to dance–mysteriously appears, she has one last request: Lara must find a missing necklace that had been in Sadie’s possession for more than seventy-five years, and Sadie cannot rest without it. Lara, on the other hand, has a number of ongoing distractions. Her best friend and business partner has run off to Goa, her start-up company is floundering, and she’s just been dumped by the “perfect” man.

Sadie, however, could care less.

Lara and Sadie make a hilarious sparring duo, and at first it seems as though they have nothing in common. But as the mission to find Sadie’s necklace leads to intrigue and a new romance for Lara, these very different “twenties” girls learn some surprising truths from each other along the way. 


Published:  21st January 2010
Publisher:  Black Swan
Source:  Purchased
Links:  Amazon  /  Goodreads 

My Review   9 out of 10
For the video review, please see the end of this post.

First off, I have to say that Sophie Kinsella is one of my favourite authors of all time so I had very high hopes for this book and it definitely did not disappoint.  Sophie Kinsella has this type of writing that has a touch of comedic and a splash of romance, which I absolutely love.    At the beginning of this story, we see Lara attending the funeral of her great aunt Sadie, which is where she meets the ghost Sadie and cannot believe her eyes.  

There are a lot of great plots going on in this story.  Firstly, you have the relationship between Lara and Ghost Sadie, which is most of the time really comical.  Lara, having not really spent much time with Sadie when she was living, is having to spend a lot more time than she would have imagined with the Ghost Sadie.  Next up you have the mystery of the dragonfly necklace.  I won't tell you too much about that one as that is a very big part of the story but I have to say that following the story of the necklace until the very end was one of my favourite parts of the story.  You then have Lara who has been left in the lurch by her friend at their job and having to make sure they do not go bust.  Added to that is a possible romance, or two and this is one very full novel.    There was a part in the middle of the book where I did feel that it was dragging a bit and I was waiting for something else to happen but overall I absolutely loved this book...  I won't say too much more but there are some twists and turns in this story that were completely unexpected to me and I loved it...

For all those Sophie Kinsella fans out there who haven't read this book yet, I would highly recommend it.  For all those who have not tried a Sophie Kinsella book yet, try this one and you definitely will not be disappointed...







Best wishes 

Debs


Continue reading Book Review: Twenties Girl by Sophie Kinsella

Author Interview with Kay Marshall Strom


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

I would go back in time and work with Charles Dickens. He was a master at plopping his readers down in the midst of harsh circumstances and having them live his characters’ lives. That’s what I’m aiming for in The Love of Divena.

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

It depends. If I’m under a crushing deadline—which seems to happen too often!—I write almost around the clock. But on a typical non-crush day, first thing in the morning I check my email. After breakfast—and a nice morning soak in the hot tub spa with my husband—I spend several hours on whichever book I’m working on. Or I write blog posts. Or I answer messages from readers and prepare my next project. I am fortunate to have a sunny, welcoming office all my own, filled with books and files and stuffed lambs. I can and do write any time, but I’m most creative in the afternoon and evening. If I’m stuck, I work on the hard place just before I go to bed, because more often than not, I dream out a solution. Then I get up in the middle of the night and write it out before I forget it.

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

The second draft. I love laying out a new book. On the first draft, I feel as though I’m producing the greatest piece of literature imaginable. But then I get to the second draft. It’s so discouraging to go back and reread what I thought was a masterpiece! I always think, Oh, no! I can’t write at all! Everyone is going to find out I’m a fake!

4.       When and why did you first start writing? 

Even when I was a child, I loved to write. My first “book,” written when I was ten years old, was Tommy the Tuna. Two years later I wrote a script for the Mickey Mouse Club and sent it to our local TV station. I got my first rejection slip. At fourteen, I submitted a schmaltzy Christmas story to a contest run by the San Francisco Chronicle and was named a distant runner-up. That must have been a lean writing year! But it wasn’t until after I had my children that I started writing in earnest. Why do I write? Because I can’t not do it.

5.       How did you come up with the idea for the book ‘The Love of Divena’? 

Actually, The Love of Divena is the third and last book in my Blessings in India trilogy, so I’ll step back a bit to answer. I first went to India 12 years ago to gather stories from women who live and serve Christ in the world’s hardest places. I learned that India, with its culture of generations-long bonded servitude, is a major cause of modern day slavery. Especially for Dalits—India’s outcastes formerly known as Untouchables. Several years ago I had the opportunity to travel throughout Ireland with the advance team for the movie Amazing Grace. One team member was from India, and he spoke about this slavery.  On the last day of our time together, he asked me, “Why don’t you write about my people? We need someone to speak for us. Why don’t you write about us?” So the idea for this trilogy wasn’t mine at all. I simply followed up on Sam Paul’s request.

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

Yes! I always have been a reader. Actually, right now I’m reading two not-yet-published books for endorsements. Flight of the Earls is historical fiction, set in Ireland, and A Quilt for Jenna is Amish fiction. Interestingly, both authors are men.

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

Write and write and write some more. Never give up. Everyone gets better and better, no one gets worse and worse.



About the Author:
Kay Marshall Strom is the author of forty published books.  Her writing credits also include numerous magazine articles, short stories, curriculum, stories for children, two prize-winning screenplays, and booklets for writers.  Kay speaks at seminars, retreats, and special events throughout the country.  She and her husband Dan Kline love to travel, and more and more Kay’s writing and speaking take her around the word.
Her latest book is the Christian historical fiction, The Love of Divena.
To find out more about Kay, or for contact information, check her website at www.kaystrom.com.
Visit Kay at Twitter: http://twitter.com/kaysblab
Like Kay at Facebook: Click Here
Pick up your copy of The Love of Divena at Amazon:  Click Here
Pick up your copy of The Love of Divena at the publisher’s website: http://abingdonpress.com/forms/ProductDetail.aspx?pid=7312
About the Book:
In this final book of the Blessings in India trilogy, Divena struggles against an entire culture to proclaim a faith close to her heart while rocking the world of two families.
India 1990. In the final book of the Blessings of India series, Shridula, old and stooped at fifty-nine, makes her painful way to pay homage to the elephant god Ganesh, lord of success and destroyer of evils and obstacles. “Why are we Hindus instead of Christians?” her seventeen-year-old granddaughter Divena asked.
“Because we are Indian,” said Shridula.
So begins a spiritual journey for Divena as she struggles against an entire culture to proclaim a faith close to her heart while rocking the world of two families.

Continue reading Author Interview with Kay Marshall Strom