Monday, 20 October 2014

Book Spotlight - The Gathering Darkness

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The Gathering Darkness, by Lisa Collicutt

Genre: young-adult, paranormal-romance

Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press

Re-released: September 22, 2014

Cover Art by Eugene Teplitsky

Find The Gathering Darkness Online:

Goodreads | Amazon US | Amazon UK

About The Gathering Darkness:

They say “third time’s the charm,” and for sixteen-year-old Brooke Day, they had better be right. She’s been here before, twice in fact, and so has the darkness awaiting her return.

When Brooke is forced to leave Boston for the village of Deadwich, she thinks her life is over. New friends become estranged—downright evil. But worse, recurring nightmares become reality.

Enter Marcus Knight; he’s popular, hot, and the only person Brooke can trust.

Not to mention, they’ve shared the same nightmares.

With the discovery of an ancient Celtic amulet, Brooke and Marcus unravel the secrets of

her past, revealing the path to her future.

As the equinox approaches, darkness and light merge for the first time in a century. Soul-mates reunite. Magic awakens.


About Lisa Collicutt:

Lisa likes to write dark and twisted tales of magic and romance. She has a passion for Young Adult and New Adult Paranormal Romance. When she’s not conjuring tales about witches, demons, and other magical beings, she can be found leathered and bound to the back of her husband’s Harley, touring her homeland of Nova Scotia, Canada.
Enter Lisa’s imagination where realism ends and fantasy begins. But heed these warnings … it’s dark, it’s magical, you may experience tingles.


Find Lisa Collicutt Online:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads


Thursday, 16 October 2014

Book Review - Reborn

Title: Reborn
Author: C.C Hunter
Series: Shadowfalls: After Dark (Book 1)
Publisher: St Martin's Griffin
Release Date: 13 Jun 2014
ISBN-13: 978-1250047458

Synopsis
Return to the beloved world of Shadow Falls, a camp that teaches supernatural teens to harness their powers—and where a vampire named Della will discover who she’s meant to be.

For Della Tsang, Shadow Falls isn't just a camp: it's home. As a vampire who's never fit in with her human family, it's the one place she can truly be herself. But when a mysterious new guy arrives at camp, Della’s whole world is thrown into turmoil. Chase is a vampire with secrets, who knows more than he’s telling. But the more time she spends with him, the more she begins to trust this attractive stranger—and feel drawn to him. But romance is the last thing she wants—as she keeps telling Steve, the hunky shapeshifter who won’t stop trying to win her heart. And if Della isn't careful, he just might succeed.  When a new case puts everyone she cares about in danger, Della’s determined to do everything she can to save them . . . even if it means teaming up with Steve and Chase, who leave her more confused than ever. With their lives on the line, will Della and her friends survive—with their hearts intact?


My Review
I have been a massive fan of C.C Hunter and the world of Shadow Falls since I dived into the very first book (Born at Midnight) and I am always waiting for the next book, I want to go back to that world, back to her writing, back to my friends. So of course when I heard that 'Shadowfalls: After Dark' would be released as a spin off series I was so excited, when the first series finished I was so upset, I wasn't ready to say goodbye and now I don't have to.
The first series mainly followed Kylie and now this series follows her awesome vampire friend Della, which means that Kylie, Miranda, Holiday etc all still feature. I have all my friends back and camp is in session!

I always loved Della, she is feisty and totally kick-a**, she won't take any rubbish from anyone and she isn't afraid to speak her mind or show you her fist! But as we get to know her you see that there is so much more to her than that and you start to discover where some of the anger comes from. She seems so much more human as the series progresses and now this new series gives us an even deeper insight and I loved it. If anything, I admire Della even more. 
She did annoy me a little bit, constantly pushing Steve away and trying to convince herself she doesn't need him, I wanted to tell her to just jump into his arms, why waste time. But then again I can understand why she did it, I know what it's like to be afraid to be hurt.

Things are getting exciting in Shadow Falls, there is a new guy in camp, a super fast, super strong vampire with secrets, and Della isn't sure if she should trust him, then rumours of a rogue vampire turns up and Della wants to help with the case. She's not afraid to get stuck in and prove herself.

This book is full of mystery, action, adventure and humorous wit, I read it quite quickly and immediately wanted more, luckily book 2 is out at the end of this month, so bring it on Della!

My Rating
 
   

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Spooktacular Giveaway Hop


5th Annual Spooktacular Giveaway Hop

October 15th to 31st

 

This hop is run by Kathy at 'I Am A Reader, Not A Writer'

 

The prize on offer is your choice of one of these books from the Book Depository:

- Through the Zombie Glass by Gena Showalter

- Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy 

- The Fury by Alexander Gordon Smith  

 

To enter fill in the Rafflecopter below, Giveaway is International:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 



Book Promo & Guest Post - The Girl Who Came Back To Life

Publisher: Create Space  (April 16, 2014)
ISBN: 978-1497532731
Category: Fantasy, Magic, Fairytale
Tour Date: October, 2014
Available in: Print & ebook, 180 Pages


Synopsis
“When you die, your spirit wakes in the north, in the City of the Dead. There, you wander the cold until one of your living loved ones finds you, says “Goodbye,” and Sends you to the next world.
After her parents die, 12-year-old Sophie refuses to release their spirits. Instead, she resolves to travel to the City of the Dead to bring her mother and father’s spirits back home with her.
Taking the long pilgrimage north with her gruff & distant grandmother—by train, by foot, by boat; over ruined mountains and plains and oceans—Sophie struggles to return what death stole from her. Yet the journey offers her many hard, unexpected lessons—what to hold on to, when to let go, and who she must truly bring back to life.”

Craig Staufenberg is a writer and filmmaker living in NYC.
Website: http://craigstaufenberg.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/YouMakeArtDumb
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com
/YouMakeArtDumb
Google+: https://plus.google.com
/108490376831859338288/posts

Buy ‘The Girl Who Came Back To Life’:
Amazon Barnes & Noble Book Depository

 

Guest Post:
Where does the inspiration for a story come from? In particular, where did the inspiration for my most recent story—The Girl Who Came Back to Life—come from?

The answer to both is the same— I don’t know.

I’m not playing up the “aloof, mysterious author” angle here. I really don’t know where the inspiration for this story came from, nor do I know where the inspiration for ANYTHING I’ve written came from. I’m envious of those people who read an article in the newspaper and transform it into a book. They have a clear answer to this question.

And yet, even with no clue where my inspiration comes from, I can tell you what helped me receive that inspiration— music.

I know, I know… that’s vague and obnoxious. I’ll explain further.

Before I write a story, I first sit down and find some music for it. Sometimes I’m ambitious and work out a proper soundtrack and assemble a bunch of different songs that fit the mood of the piece. But usually I just find the one right song, or the one right band, or the one right album, and then I listen to it constantly— early in the morning as I walk to the coffee shop where I’m going to write, while I’m writing, and throughout the rest of the day and night, as I let the story wander abound inside me.

Now, with all this repetition I’m not trying to get the song stuck in my head. I’m trying to get it stuck in my heart. As I said: I look for music with the same emotional tone as the piece I’m writing, so when I listen to that music over and over again, I am able to:

1.  Sink into the piece’s emotional world easier than if I sat by myself and tried to will the feelings into being.
2.  Stay in that emotional world as I write.
3.  Keep those feelings active in the background as I go about the rest of my non-writing day. (This helps with all that daydreaming about the story that’s so essential.)

I’m sure there are complicated theories about why music works so well facilitating all this emotional stuff. In fact, here’s one— in film they say music carries the emotion of the film. OK, you got me… That wasn’t really a “complicated theory” but rather corroborating evidence. I’d rather leave it up to other people to find the scientific explanation for why music is so good at evoking emotions. Though when they do, I probably won’t read it, or give it much mind. Those theories change every couple years, and I’m not so interested in things that change quite so quickly.

Instead, I mostly just care about what works. And when it comes to finding “inspiration”, listening to the right music works for me, every time.

(For those wondering… while writing The Girl Who Came Back to Life I primarily listened to the band The Naked and the Famous. Mostly “Passive Me Aggressive You”, but also “In Rolling Waves” towards the end of the process.)

Excerpt:

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CHAPTER 20
LESSONS OF
LOSS

Sophie proved a quick study and, under her grandmother’s expert
guidance, she took to the cards swiftly. She played constantly, learning
new skills during those long, slow days, and sharpening her tactics
during those quiet moments at night when the moon poured in through the
cabin’s open windows and provided enough silver to illuminate a silent game
with whichever woman found sleep elusive.

When the train stopped, Sophie began to divide her time between playing
cards and running circuits. Those runs now sustained themselves without her,
the children finding their legs on their own. A few of the men began to join
the running children, immediately taking those light jogs too seriously and
soon devolving them into races, after which the winner exalted and the loser
sulked in shame.

The children mimicked the men and began to hold their own races among
themselves. After her many runs, and with her fiery heart bursting through her
legs, Sophie ran far too fast for any of the children to catch her and she joined
the men’s competitions instead. She offered a true challenge to the grown men,
and the threat of being outrun by small and scrawny Sophie goaded the boastful
men into believing their petty races meant something resembling life and death.
The men heightened their competitions and they began to bet on their
races, though only small amounts, as no one had much of anything to wager, aside from pride. When a man occasionally bet too much his women scolded
the winner and retrieved their family’s losses.

The train’s women understood wagering better than the men. They
gambled at their cards from the start, though always with small sums. Sophie
didn’t understand the parity of this sort of wagering, and she occasionally
pushed too far and won too much, excited by her skills and unaware of the
discomfort it caused her circle of card players. When Sophie won too much,
her grandmother told her to spend her newfound wealth on food to share with
the others, to keep the peace among the women.

During these games the old woman taught her more and more about the
subtleties of wagering, the way even a small bet dramatically changed the
game. She showed her granddaughter the delusions people paint over their
own eyes to avoid the devastation of loss, of all loss, of any loss, especially
those small hits that wound the pride more than the purse. The old woman
taught Sophie how to keep her face straight, how to eliminate the tics and tells
threatening to give away her true intentions, and to never wager anything she
wasn’t prepared to lose.

Sophie learned the cards so quickly and so deeply that those lazy matches
turned into bouts between grandmother and granddaughter. By late spring,
the other women split the games in two: one ruled by the old woman, the
other by Sophie.
  
CHAPTER 21
THEIR TRUE
HEARTS

As the sun hung longer in the sky with each passing day, the farmland
rose into higher hills and the looming mountains pulled Sophie’s
train closer and closer.

During their card games, the train’s women discussed how they would pass
through the mountains. They said walking from one side of those peaks to the
other was too difficult to consider. The mountain’s paths wound and cut too hard,
and the mountain’s towns and base towns stood too far apart. The only ones who
walked the mountains were the roving bands of the truly lost, those with no other
means, and those whose buses broke down without hope of repair.

The women admitted those buses, as uncertain and unpredictable as they
were, offered the best chance at crossing the mountains quickly. They resigned
themselves to the reality that they might have to wait days, if not weeks, to
find an open space on one of those puttering, wavering carriages, a delay that
was clearly preferable to crossing the mountains by foot.

The closer they got to the mountains, the more the women appeared
troubled, anxious and concerned over their chances of making it to the other
side in one piece.

They bolstered their resolve by speaking of the loved ones they were
traveling to Send, laying down their memories like a thick balm over the talk
of the hardships they all knew stretched ahead.

Some of the women spoke of lost husbands, others of friends and family.
Some spoke of their parents and others of children half gone from this world,
waiting in the north to finish their journey to the next. Each of the women
spoke of their passed loved ones intimately, as if they had just seen the dead the
other day. When they spoke of Sending, they spoke as if their pilgrimage was
just another in a long line of favors they provided their loved ones, conducted
more from necessity than love.

The old woman said little during those discussions. Sophie remained silent.
She never said a word of her desire to bring her parents back to life. She felt
unwilling to lose the warmth of the camaraderie she found on the train. As
the conversations floated over her card games, she buried, deeper and deeper
in her heart, her desires to regain what had been. To stay close with those
women, Sophie pretended she was traveling north to release her parents and
Send them to the next world. If the other passengers doubted her intentions,
or if they had their own desire to return the dead to life, they hid their hearts
as thoroughly and as skillfully as Sophie shrouded her own.

 

Follow the Tour:

Teddy Rose Book Reviews Sept 30 Giveaway  
The News in Books Oct. 1 Review & Guest Post
Pinky’s Favorite Reads Oct. 2 Excerpt
Cassandra M’s Place Oct. 3 Review & Giveaway  
Mom With A Kindle Oct. 3 Interview & Excerpt  
100 Pages A Day Oct  5 Review & Excerpt
Christy’s Cozy Corners Oct 6 Review & Giveaway  
Wall-to-wall books Oct. 7 Review
I’m A Voracious Reader Oct. 8 Review
The Rest Is Still Unwritten Oct. 10 Guest Post & Excerpt
Sweet Southern Home Oct 13 Review  
Becky’s Barmy Book Blog  Oct  14 Guest Post & Excerpt
Geeks in High School Oct 15 Review
I Feel So Unnecessary Oct 16 Review  
Rockin’ Book Reviews Oct. 17 Review, Interview, & Excerpt  
The YA Lit Chick Oct. 20 Review
Lady in Read Oct. 21 Review  
LetsTalkAboutBooks Oct. 22 Review  
Falling Books Oct 24 Interview & Giveaway
Deal Sharing Aunt Oct. 27 Review, Interview, & Excerpt
What U Talking Bout Willis? Oct 29 Review & Excerpt  
Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers Oct 31 Review
The Librarian Fatale Nov. 3 Review  
Giveaways & Glitter Nov. 4 Review & Giveaway  
A Dream Within A Dream Nov 5 Review & Giveaway
JBronder Book Reviews Nov 6 Review
Manic Mama of 3 Nov. 7 Review & Excerpt
 
Cici’s Theories Nov 10 Review, Guest Post, & Giveaway
I Can Has Books? Nov 12 Review


Friday, 10 October 2014

FF (181)


Follow Friday is an opportunity to discover and follow other book related blogs! Want to join? Check it out at Parajunkee or Alison Can Read
This week's question feature is Living on Borrowed Days 

Book Merchandise – show off some of your stuff – posters, t-shirts. Whatever you got!
– Suggested by Becky’s Barmy Book Blog (oooh me! :D)


My Answer:

My Shadow Falls t-shirt and bookmarks which I love, also have one for the new spin off series but that is currently in the laundry as I wore it yesterday. My mockingjay Hunger Games t-shirt. A poster for the new Harry Potter cover designs.  my Skulduggery Pleasant wristbands and various bookmarks (a small few from my collection). 
Love to see what you've all got.

Happy Hopping and Blogging!

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Book Review - Landline

Title: Landline
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Publisher: Orion
Release Date: 3 July 2014
ISBN-13: 978-1409154914

Synopsis
Georgie McCool knows her marriage is in trouble. That it’s been in trouble for a long time. She still loves her husband, Neal, and Neal still loves her, deeply — but that almost seems besides the point now.

Maybe that was always besides the point.

Two days before they’re supposed to visit Neal’s family in Omaha for Christmas, Georgie tells Neal that she can’t go. She’s a TV writer, and something’s come up on her show; she has to stay in Los Angeles. She knows that Neal will be upset with her — Neal is always a little upset with Georgie — but she doesn’t expect to him to pack up the kids and go home without her.

When her husband and the kids leave for the airport, Georgie wonders if she’s finally done it. If she’s ruined everything.

That night, Georgie discovers a way to communicate with Neal in the past. It’s not time travel, not exactly, but she feels like she’s been given an opportunity to fix her marriage before it starts . . .

Is that what she’s supposed to do?

Or would Georgie and Neal be better off if their marriage never happened?

 
My Review
I would definitely call myself a fan of Rainbow Rowell, I adored 'Fangirl' and really enjoyed 'Eleanor & Park', so when my colleague offered me this book I jumped at the chance. She had just finished reading it, but I hadn't actually heard of it before, I wasn't aware of the new release so was thrilled she passed it onto me.
Georgie has a job she loves, writing scripts for TV comedies and she has a husband she loves with 2 terrific daughters, but her husband has never been comfortable with her career and all the parties and publicity, so when Georgie lands a very important meeting for a new TV show over Christmas he decides to leave without her. He packs up the children and flies to Omaha to his parents, leaving Georgie behind and wondering if it's all over.
Not wanting to be home alone Georgie ends up back at ehr mothers house and finds an old yellow dial phone in the cupboard, she plugs it in and tries to call her husband to put things right, but the phone dials the past and she ends up talking to him from before they were married, when they were having another fight. 
Georgie takes this time to fix any problems she might have before it all starts, but what if changing the past, alters the present. What if she convinces him to leave and they never get married or have kids. Is she supposed to stop it all, would his life be better, or is this her chance to fix it for the better.

I liked the concept behind this book, I thought it was really clever. I'm always hesitant with things that deal with the arc of time and altering the past as it can be a very tricky subject to get right, but at no point was I confused or annoyed, I whole-heartedly enjoyed the book.
I found myself really empathising with both Georgie and her husband and I wanted them to pull through. I could relate to some of Georgie's problems and think she dealt with them very well. Rowell has written her as very likeable but still quite flawed - human really. And it makes it easy to connect with her, she has her moments of strength but also her utter breakdowns and I liked seeing how she coped with it and responded to those around her.
I think her husband was a bit of an arse not calling her back, and more or less avoiding her for the week, that was cold. I know he was angry and hurt but i think he took that a little bit too far, but I can also see why it was written that way and it made for a truly fantastic ending. 
I basically read this in one day, I couldn't put it down. I had to know what would happen and if there were consequences to her using the phone, and I have to say it was all wrapped up and explained very well and I honestly loved this book.
It was magical, and heart warming, a read that will make you smile and restore your faith in true love.

My Rating
  

Book Review - Earthquake

Title: Earthquake
Author: Aprilynne Pike
Series: Earthbound (book 2)
Publisher: Harper Collins Children's Books
Release Date: 31 July 2014
ISBN-13: 978-0007553068

Synopsis
Tavia Michaels is an Earthbound - a fallen goddess with the power to remake the Earth or destroy it. The Reduciata, a rival faction of Earthbounds, has created a virus that is wiping out swathes of the planet. But before Tavia can act on this discovery, she is captured and imprisoned. Huddled in a cell with her eternal lover, Logan, she loses track of the days until they are mysteriously rescued...For Tavia isn't like other Earthbound. As her powers awaken, her centuries-long relationship with Logan is threatened, and when Benson - the best friend who's always stood by her - returns Tavia must again face a terrible choice between those she loves. Can Tavia stop the destruction of Earth and uncover the ultimate truth about the Earthbound before it's too late?

My Review
I quite enjoyed book 1, and it left me wanting answers to my questions so I ordered book 2, realising it hasn't actually been out that long. I had to wait for it to come in at the library for me, and I found myself checking for it. Then I got the perfect chance to read it, I had to take my car in to be serviced last week and with a 2 and a half hour wait ahead of me, I settled into the waiting room and started to read. 
I managed to get about three quarters of the way through the book in that time. And I found myself forgetting about the uncomfortable chairs and the long wait as I got absorbed into the book.
Tavia has found her other half, but he doesn't remember their past yet, she must convince him of their link before the bad guys get to them, but when she is too late Tavia has even more problems to conquer. 
I don't want to give too much away, but there is a serious love triangle in this book - Tavia has fallen for Benson and he is back, but she is destined to be with Logan and you can't deny hundreds of years of connections. Love triangles tend to annoy me in most books but this was different somehow and I found myself trying to choose sides. Although to be perfectly honest I kind of hoped she wouldn't pick either of them in the end and just concentrate on what she should be doing - finding a cure before the whole world is destroyed.
It was good to find out more about the history behind the Earthbounds and the Reduciata, it made a lot of things much clearer and it was a very interesting concept. 
To be honest I think book 2 was better than the first, I found myself reading faster, wanting to know what would happen, trying to figure out who was a traitor, etc. 
There are still a few bits that annoyed me - Tavia is quite self involved and tends to overthink a lot, which ends up with a lot of her running off and crying. I understand things are hard and this is a bad situation, but come on. I kept hoping she would toughen up or at least turn to those around her for help but she just pushed them away too. 
But it didn't put me off too much and I ended up really enjoying this book, annoyingly it doesn't wrap up and leaves me on another cliffhanger, and this time I have nearly a year to wait for the next one! grrr.

My Rating
    

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Book Tour - Legally Undead


Genre: Urban Fantasy
ISBN: 978-0692211496
Book Length: 278 pages
Publisher: World Weaver Press


Synopsis
A reluctant vampire hunter, stalking New York City as only a scorned bride can.

Elle Dupree has her life all figured out: first a wedding, then her Ph.D., then swank faculty parties where she’ll serve wine and cheese and introduce people to her husband the lawyer.

But those plans disintegrate when she walks in on a vampire draining the blood from her fiancé Greg. Horrified, she screams and runs--not away from the vampire, but toward it, brandishing a wooden letter opener.

As she slams the improvised stake into the vampire’s heart, a team of black-clad men bursts into the apartment. Turning around to face them, Elle discovers that Greg’s body is gone—and her perfect life falls apart.

Buy Links





Universal Kindle Link: http://bookShow.me/B00KKV44BK

Contact Links

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MargoBondCollin  @MargoBondCollin
Goodreads Author Page: http://www.goodreads.com/vampirarchy

You Yube link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_XRDeparqVE


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Margo Bond Collins is the author of a number of novels, including Waking Up Dead, Fairy, Texas, and Legally Undead. She lives in Texas with her husband, their daughter, and several spoiled pets. She teaches college-level English courses online, though writing fiction is her first love. She enjoys reading urban fantasy and paranormal fiction of any genre and spends most of her free time daydreaming about vampires, ghosts, zombies, werewolves, and other monsters.


Excerpt:

The worst thing about vampires is that they're dead. That whole wanting to suck your blood business runs a close second, but for sheer creepiness, it's the dead bit that gets me every time. They're up and walking around and talking and sucking blood, but they're dead. And then there's the whole terminology problem--how can you kill something that's already dead? It's just wrong.
I was twenty-four the first time I . . . destroyed? dispatched? . . . a vampire. That's when I found out that all the books and movies are wrong. When you stick a wooden stake into their hearts, vampires don't disintegrate into dust. They don't explode. They don't spew blood everywhere. They just look surprised, groan, and collapse into a pile of corpse. But at least they lie still then, like corpses are supposed to.
Since that first kill (I might as well use the word--there really isn’t a better one), I've discovered that only if you're lucky do vampires look surprised before they groan and fall down. If you're unlucky and miss the heart, they look angry. And then they fight.
There are the other usual ways to kill vampires, of course, but these other ways can get a bit complicated. Vampires are notoriously difficult to trick into sunlight. They have an uncanny ability to sense when there's any sunlight within miles of them, and they're awfully good at hiding from it. Holy water doesn't kill them; it just distracts them for a while, and then they get that angry look again. And it takes a pretty big blade to cut off someone's head--even an already dead someone--and carrying a great big knife around New York City, even the Bronx, is a sure way to get arrested. Nope, pointy sticks are the best way to go, all the way around.
My own pointy stick is actually more of a little knife with wood inlay on the blade--the metal makes it slide in easier. I had the knife specially made by an old Italian guy in just about the only ratty part of Westchester, north of the city. I tried to order one off the internet, but it turns out that while it’s easy to find wood-inlay handles, the blades themselves tend to be metal. Fat lot those people know.
But I wasn’t thinking any of this when I pulled the knife out of the body on the ground. I was thinking something more along the lines of “Oh, bloody hell. Not again.”