30 Jul 2014

Book Review / Where There's Smoke by Jodi Picoult

Bestselling author Jodi Picoult is a masterful storyteller, who “writes with a fine touch, a sharp eye for detail, and a firm grasp of the delicacy and complexity of human relationships” (The Boston Globe). Now, in this original short story, available exclusively as an eBook, Picoult introduces Serenity Jones, one of the fascinating characters from her eagerly awaited new novel, Leaving Time.

Even as a child, Serenity Jones knew she possessed unusual psychic gifts. Now, decades later, she’s an acclaimed medium and host of her own widely viewed TV show, where she delivers messages to the living from loved ones who have passed. Lately, though, her efforts to boost ratings and garner fame have compromised her clairvoyant instincts. When Serenity books a young war widow to appear as a guest, the episode quickly unravels, stirring up a troubling controversy. And as she tries to undo the damage—to both her reputation and her show—Serenity finds that pride comes at a high price.

Published:     19th May 2014
Publisher:  Hodder & Stoughton

Author Website:  Click here
Goodreads :  Click here
Series:  Not part of a series but features a character in her upcoming book, Leaving Time
Source:  Bought
Review:   5 out of 5


My Review

What I loved about this story...
It was one of those days where I was on my tablet trawling through Amazon Kindle books to see if there were any interesting free reads that I wanted to get and I found this one.  I nearly fell of my seat when I found it.  I hadn't realised that Jodi Picoult had released this short story and was so excited to read it.  

What I loved about this book is the fact that Jodi has gone back to writing a thriller type story, like she had done with House Rules (which I loved).  I loved the main character Serenity and even though this story is only 41 pages long, by the time I got to the end of the story I had a full picture in my head of this character but I do get the impression that there is much more than meets the eye.  I have to admit that I did picture one or two people that I have seen on actual TV that were similar...

I can't wait to pick up her next novel Leaving Time and I am hoping that this short story is a great introduction into that novel.

What I was not fond of with this story...
I am having really good luck with books so far (and now I have probably jinxed it!) but there wasn't anything I didn't like in this book...

About the Author

Jodi Picoult is the author of twenty-two novels, including the #1 New York Times bestsellers The Storyteller, Lone Wolf, Between the Lines, Sing You Home, House Rules, Handle with Care, Change of Heart, Nineteen Minutes, and My Sister’s Keeper

She lives in New Hampshire with her husband and three children.

Continue reading Book Review / Where There's Smoke by Jodi Picoult

29 Jul 2014

Waiting on Wednesday / Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

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

Expected Release Date: 26th March 2015
(Release date obtained from Goodreads)

Goodreads link is here.

Mare Barrow's world is divided by blood—those with red and those with silver. Mare and her family are lowly Reds, destined to serve the Silver elite whose supernatural abilities make them nearly gods. Mare steals what she can to help her family survive, but when her best friend is conscripted into the army she gambles everything to win his freedom. A twist of fate leads her to the royal palace itself, where, in front of the king and all his nobles, she discovers a power of her own—an ability she didn't know she had. Except . . . her blood is Red.

To hide this impossibility, the king forces her into the role of a lost Silver princess and betroths her to one of his own sons. As Mare is drawn further into the Silver world, she risks her new position to aid the Scarlet Guard—the leaders of a Red rebellion. Her actions put into motion a deadly and violent dance, pitting prince against prince—and Mare against her own heart.

From debut author Victoria Aveyard comes a lush, vivid fantasy series where loyalty and desire can tear you apart and the only certainty is betrayal.
Continue reading Waiting on Wednesday / Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

28 Jul 2014


Author Interview / James Desantis

When Ethan Hamil is struck with both the power of electricity and cancer he has to choose his life choices wisely. 

This is the story about Ethan's journey, to not only help people, but to find out who he really is. Ethan has to balance being the very first hero and battling a deadly disease. 

Now is the time to dive into the life of Sparks.

Goodreads Link - Click Here


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

This might be the hardest question you could ever ask. If we're talking about big time authors, I'd probably ask to work with Stephen King. Since he's a major inspiration for me. However, current upcoming authors I really enjoy reading are Jeff Strand and Stuart Keane and wouldn't mind working with either of them on some good horror stories.

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

I do have two jobs at the moment but in my downtime I do try to get in writing. On days I'm off I sit down on my gaming chair and write away. The other day I clocked in 17,000 words and I felt pretty accomplished. Sometimes I write just a page, but it also makes me feel fulfilled anytime I further build my worlds.

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

Revising. I write so quick that when I go back to fix my mistakes or change things I get annoyed at my little mistakes. I especially have a bad habit of reusing a certain word a lot throughout one project. For my first novel it was “yet” and my new short story I'm releasing on July 25th titled “0-9” I had a tendency of reusing the word “simply” but since changed it. That, and sometimes I slip and mess up on grammar or spelling and it drives me crazy.

4. When and why did you first start writing?

Why? Because I love to build things. I've always tried to create something from nothing. From music to Youtube videos to writing novels. I love to start something and finish it with a bang and let people enjoy it. I started writing at twelve and by fifteen had 3 novels done. Of course I scrapped most of it and only took the idea of “Exterminators Infected” and rewrote it at 23. At 24 I published my first novel. At 25 I have three novels published and three short stories completed, with another being published very soon.

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

For Sparks it was about two things. Cancer runs in my family, and it's a scary fact that out of every three people one person will get it. So I always wondered how I would handle it. Writing Ethan, the main character, had a lot to do with that thought process but also writing the ideas from my father's viewpoint on the disease. My father fought it, twice, and beat it. So I decided to write about it.

The other side of the story is superhero origins story. This is always interesting to me because I feel a lot are similar. I wanted to write something more down to earth. So things don't happen in similar fashion the way you'd probably see big blockbuster hits. I also love electricity and it's my favorite power next to telaporting so it just had to be done!

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

Yes. I love to read. Not the fastest reader but one who loves to read when he could. I just finished The Shining, which I loved. I also finished a short story by Stuart called “The Customer Is Always...” and it was great. I highly recommend that. I'm reading “The Stand” now and also Hillary: A Dog's Tail. So tons of stuff on my plate right now.

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

Just do what you love. Don't try to follow a certain formula. Don't listen to “write this way” things, just do it the way you want. Do you think the big authors became famous because they wrote a book a certain way? They built a story they wanted out of nothing and gave us something to enjoy. You have to do the same, otherwise what's the point of creating a book to begin with?
Continue reading Author Interview / James Desantis

24 Jul 2014

Book Review / Witch Hunt by Ruth Warburton

Below is the description for book 1 in this series.  For a description of this book 2, please click on the Goodreads link in the below post.

London. 1880. In the slums of Spitalfields apprentice blacksmith Luke is facing initiation into the Malleus Maleficorum, the fearsome brotherhood dedicated to hunting and killing witches.

Luke’s final test is to pick a name at random from the Book of Witches, a name he must track down and kill within a month, or face death himself. Luke knows that tonight will change his life forever. But when he picks out sixteen-year-old Rosa Greenwood, Luke has no idea that his task will be harder than he could ever imagine.

Published:     5th June 2014
Publisher:  Hodder
Author Website:  Click here
Goodreads :  Click here
Series:  Book 2, Witch Finder
Source:  Review Copy from Publisher
Review:   5 out of 5

My Review

What I loved about this story....
I am really loving this story so far.  Of course, as this is book 2 in a series there is a lot that I cannot go into in this review without spoiling the story.  In this book we have old characters and new characters both of which are really enjoyable to follow.  I definitely did see myself routing for certain characters in both good and bad ways lol!  

To pick one thing that I am absolutely loving about this series so far is the feel of history to the story.  You can read some books and you wouldn't even realise that you were reading a book that was based in the 1880s.  With this book, I could definitely feel the history in the story and in the air around me when I was reading.  I was completely immersed in this story from start to finish.  LOVED IT!

What I was not fond of with this story...
Being completely honest, there wasn't anything that I didn't like with this book and really could not say a bad thing about this series so far.  I can't wait for the next instalment...

About the Author
(from her website)

I was born and brought up in Sussex on the south coast of England, and I spent most of my childhood in the town of Lewes; a small town with a long history.

I  grew up on a reading diet of my mum’s classics (Wuthering Heights, Jane Eyre), my dad’s sci-fi and fantasy books (A Wizard of Earthsea, Flowers for Algernon) and the Jilly Cooper novels passed around school at break time.

Now I live in North London in a house full of boys, and I work as a publicist in the day, and a writer by night.

I am the author of the Winter Trilogy (A Witch in Winter, A Witch in Love and A Witch Alone) and a new forthcoming series set in Victorian London, which starts with Witch Finder, due out in January 2014.

Continue reading Book Review / Witch Hunt by Ruth Warburton

23 Jul 2014

Book Review / Savage Drift by Emmy Laybourne

Below is the description for book 1 in this trilogy, Monument 14.  For the description for this book 3, please see the Goodread link in the post below

Your mother hollers that you’re going to miss the bus. She can see it coming down the street. You don’t stop and hug her and tell her you love her. You don’t thank her for being a good, kind, patient mother. Of course not—you launch yourself down the stairs and make a run for the corner.Only, if it’s the last time you’ll ever see your mother, you sort of start to wish you’d stopped and did those things. Maybe even missed the bus.But the bus was barreling down our street, so I ran.Fourteen kids. One superstore. A million things that go wrong.

In Emmy Laybourne’s action-packed debut novel, six high school kids (some popular, some not), two eighth graders (one a tech genius), and six little kids trapped together in a chain superstore build a refuge for themselves inside. While outside, a series of escalating disasters, beginning with a monster hailstorm and ending with a chemical weapons spill, seems to be tearing the world—as they know it—apart.

Published:     6th May 2014
Publisher:  Fiewel & Friends
Author Website:  Click here
Goodreads :  Click here
Series:  Book 3, Monument 14)
Source:  Review Copy from Publisher
Review:   4 out of 5


What I loved about this book...

I absolutely love this trilogy.  I have to admit that I don't normally pick up apocalyptic style books as I tend to gravitate more towards paranormal or romance type stories but this trilogy appealed to me and I am so glad that I picked this up.  I have enjoyed each and every book in this trilogy, in its own way. Obviously, there is a lot that I cannot say about this book as it is book 3 in the series, but what I will say is that I enjoyed following the characters, watching the decisions they make and hoping for the best.  I particularly liked the way this book was split into two stories and could see from both sides what was happening at any given time.  

What I was not fond of with this book...
I really enjoyed this book and have to say that there wasn't anything in this book that I didn't like.


Emmy Laybourne is a novelist, writing teacher and former character actress. Emmy has recently finished the final installment to the MONUMENT 14 trilogy: SAVAGE DRIFT, which will be released in May 2014. She is now working on a new YA thriller, SWEET. Emmy lives outside New York City with her husband, two kids and a flock of 5 nifty chickens.

Emmy began her writing career as a playwright. The first play she wrote and performed was called, The Miss Alphabet City Beauty Pageant and Spelling Bee. The New York Post said it, “restores faith in our country’s comedic future.” The Daily News called it, “hilariously clever.”

Her next play, Smorgas-Bourne, landed Emmy a starring role in the Paramount feature film, Superstar, opposite Molly Shannon.

Continue reading Book Review / Savage Drift by Emmy Laybourne

22 Jul 2014

Waiting on Wednesdays / Get Even by Gretchen McNeil

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

Expected Release Date: 16th September 2014
(Release date obtained from Goodreads)

Goodreads link is here.

Follows the secretive exploits of four high school juniors - Kitty, Olivia, Margot and Bree - at an exclusive Catholic prep school.

To all outward appearances, the girls barely know each other. At best, they don't move in the same social circles; at worst, they're overtly hostile.

Margot Mejia – academically ranked number two in her class, Margot is a focused overachiever bound for the Ivy League.

Kitty Wei – captain of the California state and national champion varsity girls' volleyball team, she's been recruited by a dozen colleges and has dreams of winning an Olympic gold medal.

Olivia Hayes – popular star of the drama program, she's been voted "most eligible bachelorette" two years running in the high school yearbook and has an almost lethal combination of beauty and charm.

Bree Deringer – outcast, misfit and the kind of girl you don't want to meet in a dark alley, the stop sign red-haired punk is a constant thorn in the side of teachers and school administrators alike.

Different goals, different friends, different lives, but the girls share a secret no one would ever guess. They are members of Don't Get Mad, a society specializing in seeking revenge for fellow students who have been silently victimized by their peers. Each girl has her own reason for joining the group, her own set of demons to assuage by evening the score for someone else. And though school administration is desperate to find out who is behind the DGM "events", the girls have managed to keep their secret well hidden.

That is until one of their targets – a douchebag senior who took advantage of a drunk underclassman during a house party, videotaped it on his phone, and posted it on YouTube – turns up dead, and DGM is implicated in the murder.

Now the girls don't know who to trust, and as their tenuous alliance begins to crumble, the secrets they've hidden for so long might be their ultimate undoing.
Continue reading Waiting on Wednesdays / Get Even by Gretchen McNeil

17 Jul 2014

Book Review / Don't Even Think about It by Sarah Mlynowski (Fantastic Read!)

Contemporary teen fiction with romance, secrets, scandals, and ESP from the author of Ten Things We Did (And Probably Shouldn't Have).

We weren't always like this. We used to be average New York City high school sophomores. Until our homeroom went for flu shots. We were prepared for some side effects. Maybe a headache. Maybe a sore arm. We definitely didn't expect to get telepathic powers. But suddenly we could hear what everyone was thinking. Our friends. Our parents. Our crushes. Now we all know that Tess is in love with her best friend, Teddy. That Mackenzie cheated on Cooper. That, um, Nurse Carmichael used to be a stripper.

Since we've kept our freakish skill a secret, we can sit next to the class brainiac and ace our tests. We can dump our boyfriends right before they dump us. We know what our friends really think of our jeans, our breath, our new bangs. We always know what's coming. Some of us will thrive. Some of us will crack. None of us will ever be the same.

So stop obsessing about your ex. We're always listening.

Published:     1st May 2014
Publisher:  Orchard Books
Author Website:  Click here
Goodreads :  Click here
Series:  Book 1, Don't Even Think About It
Source:  Review Copy from Publisher
Review:   5 out of 5



What I loved about this story...
I had seen this book around on blogs and BookTube for a while now and had wondered about it.  It sounded like a fun read and one that could be picked up and read on a hot summer day.  I enjoyed this book so much.  It had a great amount of laughter, sadness and comedy mixed in with a bit of a 'they are out to get you' type feeling.  

For me, the best part of this story was when they had the shots and first started to discover what they could do and finding out who else could do the same.  It certainly brought out the best and sometimes the worst in people.  It was entertaining to follow the characters and how they interacted with each other. 

What I was not fond of with this story...
This was such a great fun read, there wasn't anything that I didn't like about it.


Sarah is the author of BRAS & BROOMSTICKS, FROGS & FRENCH KISSES, SPELLS & SLEEPING BAGS and PARTIES & POTIONS—all in the YA ‘Magic in Manhattan’ series, as well as GIMME A CALL and the upcoming TEN THINGS WE DID (AND PROBABLY SHOULDN'T HAVE). Along with Lauren Myracle and E. Lockhart, she also wrote HOW TO BE BAD.

Sarah’s five novels for adults, MILKRUN, FISHBOWL, AS SEEN ON TV, MONKEY BUSINESS and ME VS. ME, were published by Red Dress Ink. She also co-wrote a guide to writing chick lit (SEE JANE WRITE), co-edited two bestselling charity collections (GIRLS' NIGHT IN and GIRLS' NIGHT OUT), and contributed to various anthologies (AMERICAN GIRLS ABOUT TOWN, SIXTEEN: STORIES ABOUT THAT SWEET AND BITTER BIRTHDAY, 21 PROMS, FIRST KISS (THEN TELL), FIREWORKS and VACATIONS FROM HELL).

Sarah's books have been translated into twenty-one languages. Originally from Montreal, she now lives and writes in New York City.

Continue reading Book Review / Don't Even Think about It by Sarah Mlynowski (Fantastic Read!)

16 Jul 2014

Blog Tour: What a Girl Wants by Lindsey Kelk

A summer bestseller from the immensely popular Lindsey Kelk.

Being arrested in your own bedroom is never a good start to the day. Tess Brookes really needs to sort out her back-stabbing flatmate – and her life.

Should she gamble all on the new photography job she’s landed, or snap up the offer from long-time crush and best friend Charlie to start up on their own – in more ways than one? There’s just one small thing she hasn’t mentioned. Or rather, one tall thing. He’s handsome, infuriating and called Nick…

For the first time, Tess has to choose between the life she always dreamed of and a future she never imagined possible. From London to Milan, with high fashion and low behaviour thrown in, she’s going to have to make up her mind what a girl really wants…

Goodreads Link : Click Here
Full review to follow soon...

Author Interview

1.  If you could work with any other author, who would it be and why?
I really, really would love to collaborate on a story but I can never work out who. I’m sure I’d love working with Lucy Robinson or Giovanna Fletcher or Paige Toon or Rowan Coleman because I love their faces, they crease me up and they are super supportive lady writers but if they wouldn’t have me, or the universe decided I had done something right, I’d go crazy and do a chapter for chapter trade off with Michael Cunningham. I love him so much and I hear he’s awesome. So you know, Michael, if you’re not doing anything?

2.  What would be a typical working day for you? When and where do you write?
I’m pretty lucky in that I don’t have that many typical days. I love to travel and being a writer means I can just pick up my laptop and go which is pretty exciting. If I’m at home, I usually wake up about 8.45, answer emails, check Facebook and Twitter and post anything that needs posting then head to the gym. Against all odds, I’ve become a bit of a gym bunny in the last few months and now I get antsy if I can’t run at least every other day. After that I head home, take a shower, eat everything in the house and start writing. If I’m on deadline, I stay there until I fall asleep (or until WWE starts on TV), if I’m not desperately tight for time, I’ll go and meet a friend for dinner or a movie or go and see a band or something. The problem with New York is there are always ten things to do when you should be working!

3.  What is the hardest part of the writing for you?
Getting started is the hardest part. Actually sitting down in front of a blank page is so intimidating and that never changes. I often talk about it with writer friends, I think this is the only job where the longer I do it and the more experienced I become, the more anxious I become. In every other job, you become more confident the longer you do it but here, I just seem to have more and more self-doubt with every book. Hopefully it’ll change one day!

4.  When and why did you first start writing?
I know it sounds crazy but I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. When I was in infant school, I wrote a series of books about a superhero teddybear called Tellina. When I was a teenager, I was always writing and then I did a creative writing dissertation after university, eventually I wound up working as a children’s book editor and then I wrote my first book I Heart New York. It’s something I’ve always done. Writing feels a little bit like my running obsession, I feel weird if I’m not doing it!

5.  How did you come up with the idea for your book?
For the first book, the inspiration was pretty simple, I was bored! Everything was ticking along in my life but I wasn’t especially happy, work, home, boyfriend, all stuck in a bit of a rut. I’d been on holiday to New York with my brother a few months earlier and so I started writing an ‘anywhere but here’ fantasy, six weeks later, I had the first draft of I Heart New York. 

6.  Are you a big reader? If so, what are you reading now? 
I am, I love to read but when I’m writing I find it difficult to concentrate on other people’s books. Plus, I have epic writer envy! I’m reading The Leftovers by Tom Perrotta right now but I’ll have finished it by tonight. I’m totally in love with it, his turn of phrase is beautiful.

Check out Lindsey's You Tube Channel - Click here 

The Romance Festival 2014

Continue reading Blog Tour: What a Girl Wants by Lindsey Kelk

15 Jul 2014

Waiting on Wednesdays / The Doubt Factory by Paolo Bacigalupi

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

Expected Release Date: 14th October 2014
(Release date obtained from Goodreads)

Goodreads link is here.

In this page-turning contemporary thriller, National Book Award Finalist and New York Times bestselling author Paolo Bacigalupi explores the timely issue of how public information is distorted for monetary gain, and how those who exploit it must be stopped.

Everything Alix knows about her life is a lie. At least that's what a mysterious young man who's stalking her keeps saying. But then she begins investigating the disturbing claims he makes against her father. Could her dad really be at the helm of a firm that distorts the truth and covers up wrongdoing by hugely profitable corporations that have allowed innocent victims to die? 

Is it possible that her father is the bad guy, and that the undeniably alluring criminal who calls himself Moses--and his radical band of teen activists--is right? Alix has to make a choice, and time is running out, but can she truly risk everything and blow the whistle on the man who loves her and raised her?
Continue reading Waiting on Wednesdays / The Doubt Factory by Paolo Bacigalupi

14 Jul 2014

Book Review / Shut Out by Kody Keplinger

Most high school sports teams have rivalries with other schools. At Hamilton High, it's a civil war: the football team versus the soccer team. And for her part, Lissa is sick of it. Her quarterback boyfriend, Randy, is always ditching her to go pick a fight with the soccer team or to prank their locker room. And on three separate occasions Randy's car has been egged while he and Lissa were inside, making out. She is done competing with a bunch of sweaty boys for her own boyfriend's attention.

Lissa decides to end the rivalry once and for all: She and the other players' girlfriends go on a hookup strike. The boys won't get any action from them until the football and soccer teams make peace. What they don't count on is a new sort of rivalry: an impossible girls-against-boys showdown that hinges on who will cave to their libidos first. And Lissa never sees her own sexual tension with the leader of the boys, Cash Sterling, coming.

Published:     5th September 2011
Publisher:  Poppy
Author Website:  Click here
Goodreads :  Click here
Series:  Standalone

Source:  Review Copy from Publisher
Review:   10 out of 10


What I loved about this book...
One of the things that I have to come to know and love about anything Kody Keplinger writes is that she has a perfect sense of comedy mixed in with drama.  After reading two of her other books, I was highly anticipating this to be a fun 'beach' read and I couldn't wait to get started.  This book definitely did not disappoint.  It was so much fun following Lissa and her friend go on a hookup strike and seeing what the boys would do about it, whether they would figure it out and what they would do about it if they did.

This book was such a fun read I really could not put it down.  A couple of the characters in this story really stood out for me, Lissa who is the main character who leads the girls into the strike and Chloe who is the side kick best friend that is the complete opposite of Lissa but the mix of personalities balances each other for the best.  You also have other characters that I enjoyed which I won't mention in this review as I don't want to spoil the story.

What I was not fond of with this book...
The only thing that slightly bothered me with this book is the fact that we are talking about High School sex strikes, which at first bothered me as I thought it might be glorifying it in some way, making it seem like its the thing to do, but reading the book this does nothing of the sort.  It actually promotes empowerment, choices and doing what is right for you and not caving into peer pressure, which I fully support 100%.  It also talks about the ages of the characters in this school being 18, which made me worry less that it would be a younger character base. 

Kody Keplinger was born in raised in small-town western Kentucky.

She wrote her first novel, The DUFF (Designated Ugly Fat Friend) during her senior year of high school. She now lives in New York City with her German shepherd, Corey, where she writes full-time and teaches the occasional writing workshop.

When she isn't writing, Kody is probably exploring the city, eating Thai food, or creating a new plan to become Tina Fey's best
Continue reading Book Review / Shut Out by Kody Keplinger

9 Jul 2014

Book Review / Evernight by Claudia Gray

Bianca wants to escape.

She's been uprooted from her small hometown and enrolled at Evernight Academy, an eerie Gothic boarding school where the students are somehow too perfect: smart, sleek, and almost predatory. Bianca knows she doesn't fit in.

Then she meets Lucas. He's not the "Evernight type" either, and he likes it that way. Lucas ignores the rules, stands up to the snobs, and warns Bianca to be careful—even when it comes to caring about him.

"I couldn't stand it if they took it out on you," he tells Bianca, "and eventually they would."

But the connection between Bianca and Lucas can't be denied. Bianca will risk anything to be with Lucas, but dark secrets are fated to tear them apart . . . and to make Bianca question everything she's ever believed.

Published:     10th February 2009
Publisher:  HarperTeen

Author Website:  http://www.claudiagray.com/
Goodreads :  Click here
Series:  Book 1, Evernight
Source:  Bought

Review:   2 out of 5


This was one of those stores that has been on my shelf for absolutely ages.  I have always kept meaning to pick it up but something else came in between me and this series!  One of my goals this year is to read more of what I already own rather than buying and reading new books.  I still buy books but not at the level I have been.  When I made this goal for myself at the beginning of the year, this was one of the series of books that I definitely wanted to get to.  It feels that it has been absolutely ages since I read a vampire book.

What I loved about this story...
What I loved the most was the setting of this story.  I know that there are a lot of paranormal stories that are based on boarding schools and I should be tired of it but I'm still loving it.  For me, there is something mystifying about a boarding school.  Pupils eat, drink, learn and sleep there.  There is literally no escape unless it is a holiday.  With all those people living in such a proximity, it comes as no surprise to me that there should be plenty of secrets hidden beneath closed (and sometimes open) doors.  With this story, there are defiantly a few secrets here and there both with the boarding school and with its temporary residents!  

What I was not fond of with this story...   
Every once and a while a story comes along that you just can't get into.  Not every book is a perfect fit with each and every reader.  Unfortunately, this was one of those stories for me.  I found it hard to connect to the characters and follow their story.  I did finish the book because I was intrigued to find out how the story would go but, for me, I couldn't connect with the characters.  I am definitely intrigued to want to find out what happens next and see if the second book 'sticks to me' better but I am going to put this series down for now to be picked up at another time.  

I don't usually like to end on a negative so I will say that I really did enjoy Claudia Gray's writing style and her world building and I will definitely be looking into other books she has written.  I have on my shelf Fateful by her (which I believe is a Titanic werewolf mix but I could be wrong) which I am very excited to pick up.


Claudia Gray is not my real name. I didn't choose a pseudonym because my real name is unpleasant (it isn't), because I'd always dreamed of calling myself this (I haven't) or even because I'm hiding from the remnants of that international diamond-smuggling cartel I smashed in 2003 (Interpol has taken care of them). In short, I took a pseudonym for no real reason whatsoever. Sometimes this is actually the best reason to do things.

I live in New Orleans. So far, in life, I've been a disc jockey, a lawyer, a journalist and an extremely bad waitress, just to name a few. I especially like to spend time traveling, hiking, reading and listening to music. More than anything else, I enjoy writing.

Continue reading Book Review / Evernight by Claudia Gray

8 Jul 2014

Waiting on Wednesdays / For Real by Alison Cherry

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

Expected Release Date: 9th December 2014
(Release date obtained from Goodreads)

Goodreads link is here.

No parents. No limits. No clue what they're in for.

Shy, cautious Claire has always been in her confident older sister's shadow. While Miranda's life is jam-packed with exciting people and whirlwind adventures, Claire gets her thrills vicariously by watching people live large on reality TV.

When Miranda discovers her boyfriend, Samir, cheating on her just before her college graduation, it's Claire who comes up with the perfect plan. They'll outshine Miranda's fame-obsessed ex while having an amazing summer by competing on Around the World, a race around the globe for a million bucks. Revenge + sisterly bonding = awesome.

But the show has a twist, and Claire is stunned to find herself in the middle of a reality-show romance that may or may not be just for the cameras. This summer could end up being the highlight of her life... or an epic fail forever captured on film. In a world where drama is currency and manipulation is standard, how can you tell what's for real?
Continue reading Waiting on Wednesdays / For Real by Alison Cherry

7 Jul 2014


Author Interview / Chess Desalls

When an ethereal being knocks Calla to the ground near her family’s lakeside cottage, Valcas helps her to escape by traveling to another place and time.  At first, Calla is as intrigued by the otherworldly Valcas as she is by his method of time travel:  an altered pair of sunglasses that enable the wearer to search for anyone or anywhere in the past, present or future.  That is until she suspects that his search for her was no mere coincidence.

With her trust broken, Calla sets off on her own, taking the Travel Glasses with her.  Torn between searching for her estranged father and reuniting with the rest of her family, she tracks down the inventor of the Travel Glasses in hopes of discovering more about Valcas’ past and motivations.  With Valcas hot on her trail, Calla hopes to find what she’s looking for before he catches up.

Chess Desalls recently authored the first installment of the YA time travel series, The Call to Search Everywhen.  She’s a longtime reader of fantasy and sci-fi novels, particularly young adult fiction.  She can’t resist a good fairy tale or fable.  When she’s not writing or reading, she enjoys traveling and trying to stay in tune on her flute.


If you could work with any other author, who would it be and why?
I would choose either Peter S. Beagle or J. K. Rowling because I admire how their stories can be enjoyed by both children and adults.  It’s a real talent to be able to write in a way that attracts and is meaningful to members of both audiences.

What would be a typical working day for you? When and where do you write?
A typical day for me consists of working on book admin and checking out what’s happening on social media sites in the morning.  In the afternoons I like to spend time either fleshing out more of Book 2 of The Call to Search Everywhen or writing flash fiction for my author page at Flash Fiction Magazine.  I feel more creative in the afternoon.

I write all over the place.  Usually I’ll be in my office, living room or at the kitchen table.  However, I can also be found writing in coffee shops, libraries, bowling alleys and pool halls.

What is the hardest part of the writing for you?
Right now, the hardest part is moving forward without constantly going back and reediting.  I didn’t have that problem with my first book.  I seem to be pickier now that I’m writing my second book.

When and why did you first start writing?
I’ve had several different jobs that required analytical writing for businesses.  I didn’t begin writing fiction until roughly five years go.  A friend and I who love reading discovered that we also have the same interest in writing.  We started having weekly “writing chats” to share our ideas and drafts of our work.

How did you come up with the idea for your book?
One morning, both the idea for the story title and the otherworldly time traveler, Valcas, popped into my head.  To counter Valcas, I wanted to create a female lead who was strong and with whom readers could identify.  That's how Calla entered the story.  Calla and I met the other characters together during her journeys through time and space.

Travel Glasses started out as a short story.  Then it turned into a novel.  It wasn’t until I got to the last third of the story that I realized that it would become a series.

Are you a big reader? If so, what are you reading now?
Absolutely!  I am currently reading Stardust by Neil Gaiman, Flatland by Edwin A. Abbott and The Never Ending Story by Michael Ende.

Do you have any advice for other aspiring writers?
Keep writing and getting feedback.  If you don’t want to join a formal writing group, ask your friends if they would be interested in meeting with you weekly to talk about story ideas and share drafts.

Author Links
Website:  www.chessdesalls.com
Blog:  http://chessdesalls.wordpress.com
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/TheCallToSearchEverywhen
Twitter:  @ChessDesalls  https://twitter.com/ChessDesalls
Tumblr:  http://chessdesalls.tumblr.com/
Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/ChessDesalls
Book Links
Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00K6A0964
B&N:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/travel-glasses-chess-desalls/1119448098?ean=2940149263882
Apple iBooks:  https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/travel-glasses/id875592190?mt=11
Goodreads ARC Giveaway:  https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/95074  (This should be live on June 4th.)

Continue reading Author Interview / Chess Desalls

2 Jul 2014

Blog Tour / The Story of You by Katy Regan

Your past will always be part of you but does it have to define your future?
Or can you rewrite the story of you?

Growing up in an idyllic, northern village, Robyn's life was pretty damn near perfect. Then, she turned sixteen and everything exploded: her beloved mother died, and she fell in love for the first time with the hottest boy in school - Joe Sawyer. Then that summer something happened that changed everything. She changed. She had to. 

Seventeen years later, it’s happening all over again: a funeral, an unexpected pregnancy, and Joe back in her life. But although this should be a second chance - a chance to get things right this time, to be happy - Robyn knows, deep down, that she’s going to have confront the terrible events that have shaped her life until now, before she can begin to love and live fully. Is she brave enough?

Exploring themes of guilt, rape, teenage pregnancy, death and dysfunctional families, Katy Regan’s smart, heartbreakingly poignant yet wonderfully funny novel is told with originality, wit and insight that has been so evident in her previous novels.

About the author:

Katy Regan enjoyed a successful career in magazine journalism before leaving to focus on writing novels full time in 2007.

When she's not writing fiction, she continues to freelance as a journalist; writing features for the likes of Stella Magazine, Psychologies and Marie Claire. She is also blogging about her experience of writing her fifth novel on her website: www.katyregan.com. She lives in Hertfordshire with her son Fergus. The Story of You is her fourth novel.

1.  If you could work with any other author, who would it be and why?
There are so many authors I’d love to work with. That would be my dream day -  working with a writer I admire! There are so many, too for different reasons. However, I guess if I had to pick one, it would have to be someone like David Nicholls or Graeme Simsion (author of The Rosie Project) since they are writing the kind of books that are closest to my style or at least what I aspire to and yet they are very, very successful at it - much more successful than me! Hopefully they’d be able to tell me their secrets (!) And reveal some of their thought processes and you know, then we could split the royalties!  

2.  What would be a typical working day for you? When and where do you write?
Typically, I start work after I’ve dropped off my son at school - so by the time I’ve faffed and made a coffee etc, it’s probably 9.45am. I then usually have to pick up my son around 4.30pm on average, as he has clubs after school. I’d love to say that I spent that entire time writing my novel but that would be a lie! There’s so much other stuff involved in the job: publicity of the previous book (The Story of You is out now on ebook, for example, but I’m writing my new one at the same time as doing this blog tour for example) also, writing blogs and features and keeping up with social media as part of that publicity.
There’s often a lot of emails to get through from your editor, marketing team, publicist, agent with various things you have to do, or just conversations that need to be had, especially in the run up to publication. So, the time I actually spend JUST writing my book is probably about three- hours a day. In order to do that with no distractions, I often go to work in the local library where there’s no internet OR I work at my desk, which is in my bedroom at home and switch off my phone, forcing myself to write for 45 minute intervals uninterrupted before I am allowed to look on Facebook or at my emails! I often make up time in the evening. I like to work in the evening, the house is quiet and my brain is empty of the chatter of the day. I can get much more done.

3.  What is the hardest part of the writing for you?
All of it! I find writing incredibly difficult, but if I had to say one specific part, PLOT definitely. Coming up with what actually happens. I don’t find characterization too difficult and I enjoy writing dialogue but coming up with the actual story is so much harder than it looks!

4.  When and why did you first start writing?
Like most writers, I’ve always written stories. As a child, I used to make my own books with strings and paper! Originally, however, I went into journalism. I was features writer at Marie Claire magazine and still write for various magazines and newspapers. I started dabbling in fiction when I was about twenty-eight (so more than ten years ago!) I wrote a column for Marie Claire that ran from 2004-2006. I think that’s when I really found my ‘voice’ and that column was turned into my first novel One Thing Led to Another which came out in 2007. In terms of why I write: for me, it’s to make sense of the world I live in and to explore human nature and relationships. People and relationships are absolutely fascinating!  I love how writing stories helps me to express my view of the world, and that in turn, helps me to understand it and connect with people with makes me feel happy.

5.  How did you come up with the idea for your book?
Like most of my books, it wasn’t really an idea that came to me whole it was made of layers that gradually developed. I knew I wanted there to be letters written to, or by, a younger self that showed a character growing up. I’d read a feature in The Guardian where writers wrote ‘Letters to my 16 yr old self’ and I loved that idea. For ages, I only had the letters idea, I didn’t know why the letters were being written and by who - that took a lot longer to come up with, but that essentially became the actual story.

6.  Are you a big reader? If so, what are you reading now?
I am always reading something but wish I had more time to read - it tends to be in the twenty minutes before I go to sleep or on journeys. At the moment, I am reading WHERE LOVE LIES by Julie Cohen, author of DEAR THING (it’s not out yet. I am lucky enough to get sent proof copies). The writing is really beautiful and sensual - it’s the perfect thing to wind you down and transport you to another world before bed.  I am also part of a book group and about to start Tender is The Night which I am really looking forward to as I’ve never  - for my sins - read it but always wanted to.

7.  Do you have any advice for other aspiring writers?
Turn off the Internet and your mobile phone for a regular amount of time, on regular days and WRITE. It’s like anything: you won’t get better or finish anything unless you actually put the hours and the practice in!

Continue reading Blog Tour / The Story of You by Katy Regan