Saturday 30 June 2012

Stacking The Shelves (4)

Stacking The Shelves is a weekly event over at 'Tynga's Reviews' which showcases the books we've purchased, borrowed and received in the mail this week.

If you want to find out more about Stacking The Shelves, please visit the official launch page!

Wow that is an awful thumbnail picture!

I know it's been a few weeks but I was waiting to have enough to show you.

Keep Reading. :D 

Friday 29 June 2012

FF (76) & TGIF (59)

Follow Friday is an opportunity to discover and follow other book related blogs! Want to join? Check it out at Parajunkee.

This week's question feature is from
Cayce @ Fighting Dreamer

Q: Birthday Wishes — Blow out the candles and imagine what character could pop out of your cake…who is it and what book are they from??

My Answer: What a strange question! I never really liked the idea of someone jumping out of a cake at me, I seem to be quite jumpy and easily scared anyway so having a person jump out of a cake would traumatize me! I love cake, in fact I believe that cake makes the world go round, where there is cake there is hope! So I wouldn't want that experience ruined by having someone leap out at me.

But for the sake of argument, I will adapt it slightly, If I could have anyone in the world bring me a cake (see what I did there. :D) I would have to say I would like to have Sam from The Wolves of Mercy Falls series (Shiver, Linger, Forever), he is such a sweetie. Of course I know he's already taken and of course there is the whole werewolf issue but we'll ignore that for now. 


This meme is hosted by GReads!

This Friday's Question:

 Best I've Read So Far: We're half way through the year (crazy how time flies!), which top 3 books are the best you've read so far this year?

My Answer: When I saw this question I thought, 'great question', but now I have looked back at what I have read this year and I'm thinking 'oh!' I've read 84 books this year (should be closer to 100 by now but we'll ignore that for the moment!) and most have them have been really good reads. I've got about 8 or 9 of them jumping out at me so picking three will be really hard. But I will stick to it and do this properly.

1. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern - this has to be on my list, I've mentioned it so many times and given it to so many people to read that I couldn't not put it down.




2. A Touch Of Power by Maria V Snyder - I love Snyder's books and this new one is just as fabulous as the others if not more so. It's the start of a new series and I can't wait to find out more. This book brought my excitement for reading to a whole new level. She is just awesome. 

3. The Gathering Dark (aka. Shadow & Bone) by Leigh Bardugo. I recieved an ARC of this and didn't really get that excited about it from the blurb but once I started I couldn't stop! One of the best fantasy books I had read in a long time, kind of a bit of a Dystopian feel to it too. Such an awesome story. I can't wait to see more from Bardugo!

My word that was hard, I think I had about 10 books I was trying to choose from, but there you have it my top 3. I'm still fighting the urge to change one or add one in. :P


Happy Hopping, have a great weekend everyone!!!

Thursday 28 June 2012

Midsummer's Eve Giveaway winner

So the Midsummer's Eve Giveaway Hop has come to an end and I would like to thank all of you who entered.
I had 78 entries in total, so thanks everyone.

So now is the time to announce the winner.

The winner was picked using Random.Org number generator.
The lucky number picked was:
 This means the Winner is  
Janaes has been emailed and has 3 days to respond. Big Congrats and Thanks go to her. 
She has won a book of her choice from the Book Depository

For those of you who didn't win or missed it entirely don't worry there will be another giveaway soon so look out for another chance to win.
Thanks to everyone who entered.
Happy Blogging. :D

Book Promotion: Tale of the Black Mamba

Tale of the Black Mamba is a fast moving, darkly comic novel that challenges the bonds of family loyalty, love and power.
"Sometimes from birth, the darkness in a man's soul is so riddled with spores, all that is left him is to incubate evil. In the same way vultures hover over the bleak remains of dying creatures, greed and cruelty hunch themselves atop the blades of this man's shoulders in anticipation of a feast."

Chicago, 1901 and teen magician Avery Fontaine is about to experience the thrill of a lifetime. Bizarre urging from a gypsy hag lead him to the World's Fair in Buffalo, New York, on a hair-raising adventure in search of a secret treasure buried in a painting. With the help of his cousin Henri Dubois and friend Hattie Estabrook, Avery hovers between The World's Fair and Niagara Falls attempting to decipher the clues. But a harrowing twist of fate soon pits the trio into a frantic race for survival against a devious mastermind also on the hunt for the treasure: Dr. Wu, aka The Black Mamba. A tormented madman, blackmailer, art thief, kidnapper, hypnotist and potential killer all rolled into one rotten guy. It's a summer they'll never forget.

"With a steampunk sensibility and wildly inventive plot, plenty of verbal (as well as actual) fireworks, and an evil mastermind as ruthless as Sax Rohmer's Dr. Fu Manchu, this darkly humorous fantasy is a fabulous confection of a book. Fair warning: teen readers should be prepared to steal it back from the adults in the household."
-      Eileen Kernaghan - Author of Wild Talent: a Novel of the Supernatural

"Lenore Angela combines simple, everyday words to create something exquisitely wonderful."
-      Irene Livingston - Author of Finklehopper Frog

"From the wildly inventive, black-capped, mauve-slippered Dr. Wu to a sumptuous subterranean hideaway and a teetering tightrope rescue above Niagara Falls, this book has all the fun of the 1901 World's Fair: a rollicking good tale brimming with escapades galore."
-      Jacquie Argent - Freelance Editor

Born in Moncton, New Brunswick, Lenore Angela enjoyed a kind of gypsy upbringing, being raised in Toronto, Hamilton, Manitoba and Vancouver. She now resides in B.C.’s Fraser Valley with her husband and overly friendly black lab, Clare.

L.A. has written many short stories and has been published in literary publications such as Pottersfield Portfolio and Matrix Magazine. She was also shortlisted in 'This Magazines' contest, The Great Literary Hunt. Tale of the Black Mamba is her first Young Adult novel.

Rare Rabbits Press
A Division of Rare Rabbits Designs

Monday 25 June 2012

Book Tour - Knee Deep & Review

Knee Deep Summary

Shawn is the guy Ronnie Bird promised her life to at the age of fourteen. He's her soul mate. He's more uptight every day, but it's not his fault. His family life is stressful, and she's adding to it. She just needs to be more understanding, and he'll start to be the boy she fell in love with. She won’t give up on someone she’s loved for so long.
Luke is her best friend, and the guy she hangs with to watch girlie movies in her large blanketopias. He's the guy she can confide in before she even goes to her girlfriends, and the guy who she's playing opposite in Romeo and Juliet. Now her chest flutters every time he gets too close. This is new. Is Ronnie falling for him? Or is Juliet? The lines are getting blurry, but leaving one guy for another is not something that a girl like Ronnie does.
Shawn’s outbursts are starting to give her bruises, and Luke’s heart breaks as Ronnie remains torn. While her thoughts and feelings swirl around the lines between friendship and forever, she’s about to lose them both. 
Knee Deep web site:
Knee Deep Twitter hashtag:

Knee Deep GoodReads page:
Jolene Perry's Bio:
Jolene grew up in Wasilla, Alaska. She graduated from Southern Utah University with a degree in political science and French, which she used to teach math to middle schoolers.
After living in Washington, Utah and Las Vegas, she now resides in Alaska with her husband, and two children. Aside from writing, Jolene sews, plays the guitar, sings when forced, and spends as much time outside as possible.
She is also the author of Night Sky and The Next Door Boys.

The Publisher:
ISBN: 9780983741886
ISBN: 9781476060316
Pages: 240
Release: May 1, 2012

Kindle buy link - $2.99

Nook buy link - $4.95

iBookstore buy link - $4.99
Coming soon

Google buy link - $3.79

Smashwords buy link - $4.99

PDF buy link - $4.95

My Review
This is so not my usual read, I think I almost said no to reading it, but something about it pulled me in and I decided to give it a go. This story is basically about abuse and relationships. No light and fluffy chick lit here, this book deals with some pretty heavy stuff.
Ronnie has known Shawn since she was 12 and she knows it's the forever kind of love. Even when Shawn moved away for a year they stayed in touch and made it work, but now he's back and has changed, but Ronnie is determined to make it work. Luke is her other best friend, the one she is comfortable around, but nothing could ever happen with that, could it?
Thist story has the love triangle thing and you know who she will end up with, but you spend most of the book screaming at her to make her choice and dump the other one.
Domestic violence is a very heavy subject and one that can be hard to handle, by Jolene Perry does a very good job of it, she doesn't dumb it down or preach at her  readers, she makes it feel real and hard-hitting, I really felt for Ronnie, I wanted to help her but knew I couldn't do it, and it was great being able to go on the journey with her.
I liked Ronnie as a character, she was shy yet funny and loyal. Slightly mad and hyper when with her friend Mindy who is great fun. Luke is one of those guys that seem too good to be true, he is smart, funny, sensitive, talented and driven and a bit of a knight in shining armor. The one we all want to end up with, the one we hope will have a happy ending.
I read this in about 2 hours, all in one go and it felt really easy to read and the time flew by. Really does hook you in and sweep you up. 
I don't tend to read these sort of books because I usually read to escape reality and so don't want to deal with issues when I read, but this was very well written and it was real and scary, it was handled brilliantly. 
You look at it and think, if that was me I'd just leave him, not put up with that abuse, but Perry really shows the point of how hard it is to walk away, how people make excuses to stay, how they just can't leave the one they love. Hopefully if there is anyone out there dealing with this sort of thing, then this book will help them realise they are not alone and there is hope. 
A good read and well written. Definitely worth a try. 

My Rating


Sunday 24 June 2012

Book Review - New Girl

Title: New Girl
Author: Paige Harbison 
Publisher: Mira Books
Release Date: 4 May 2012
ISBN-13: 978-1848450639

A contemporary young-adult retelling inspired by the classic 1938 romantic suspense bestseller Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier.
They call me 'New Girl'...
Ever since I arrived at exclusive, prestigious Manderly Academy, that’s who I am. New girl. Unknown. But not unnoticed—because of her.
Becca Normandy—that’s the name on everyone’s lips. The girl whose picture I see everywhere. The girl I can’t compare to. I mean, her going missing is the only reason a spot opened up for me at the academy. And everyone stares at me like it’s my fault.
Except for Max Holloway—the boy whose name shouldn’t be spoken. At least, not by me. Everyone thinks of him as Becca’s boyfriend…but she’s gone, and here I am, replacing her. I wish it were that easy. Sometimes, when I think of Max, I can imagine how Becca’s life was so much better than mine could ever be.
And maybe she’s still out there, waiting to take it back.

My Review
I've never read Paige Harbison before, I'd heard really good things about her first book 'Here Lies Bridget' and it's been on my TBR pile for ages, so when I got this one through I was quite excited. The synopsis sounded quite different and I was intrigued. Not necessarily my usual read but something I could get into. It says it is a modern retelling of 'Rebecca' by Daphne DuMaurier crossed with a hint of 'Gossip Girl', well i've never read either of them so I was coming at it completely fresh.
The book is told from two points of view: the 'New Girl' and 'Becca', the new girl is told in present day and first person. Becca's is like flashbacks and told in third person. This works really well as it helps you keep track of who is 'talking' and what is happening, also a good way of unraveling what happened.
The New Girl is constantly compared to Becca, told she isn't as pretty, as smart, as funny, as good. Nothing she does is on her own merit, it always comes back to Becca, I did start to feel sorry for her, I couldn't imagine having that sort of pressure and nowhere to run to, after all it's a boarding school.
However as the book went on the New Girl began to annoy me, she spent so long arguing that she wasn't replacing Becca or trying to take over that she actually sort of did become like a Becca replacment - she shows interest in Becca's old boyfriend, and the boy she was cheating with, she gets an attitude and even dressses like her. Made me want to shake her and tell her to stop it and just be herself. People would leave her alone more if she tried to fit in maybe even disappear in the crowd a bit but she seems to attract everyone's attention back to her and make things worse.
Some of the characters were irritating and her room-mate was just a psycho. I got quite frustrated with the book.
However the mystery of Becca's disappearance is well woven into the story that you can't help but be hooked, desperate to know what happened to her, and there are a few surprising twists that I didn't expect.
You also find out New Girls name right at the end of the book, and up till that point I hadn't really considered that I hadn't known it, and it made me stop and go 'oh, wow.' she just became the 'new girl', which then emphasized the idea that no one accepted her or wanted to know her. So this was quite clever of the author.
The ending overall was quite satisfying and I was happy with how it all came together.
I'd say if you wanted a lazy day, easy read then this would be ideal, but I would take out from the library.

My Rating

Saturday 23 June 2012

Blog Tour - Soul of the Band

Author K.L. Brady has stopped by today for the Soul Of The Band Blog Tour with a guest post!

How I Got Started Writing & My Best Advice to New Writers

I've been writing since I was about 7 years old. I used to keep diaries, you know the ones with the locks on them. I still keep journals to this day. I always knew I wanted to write but didn't know I wanted to be an author/novelist until very late in life. Once the bug hit, I couldn't stop. Literally. I have all these characters in my head who want out and I have to give them to my notebooks to find peace. I wrote my first book, The Bum Magnet (for adults), in just four months and I was ready for the big time (ha!!). Of course, I wanted what every author wants, you know. I wanted a six-figure multi-book deal. I wanted to be on Oprah and to make my rounds on the morning show circuit. I wanted to blow kisses to my beloved fans. All that stuff. But let me tell you, the publishing industry is nothing if not a sharp dose of stark reality for most authors.

After querying my book to literary agents all over the country and getting rejection after rejection after rejection, doubting myself and my writing ability, listening to people tell me, “You need to put this book in a drawer and start the next one,” I had a come-to-Jesus moment and I had to decide who was I writing for. Was I writing for the publishing industry? Was I writing for other authors? Or was I writing because I loved writing and had a story to share?

I realized I was writing because I love writing and telling stories and making people laugh. I do feel that was God’s plan for me. So, darn the book deal. I decided to publish my book myself. And if ONE reader’s day was brightened or if they were moved by this story, that would mean I was fulfilling my purpose and God’s purpose for my writing, and that has been my focus ever since. My first novel, first self published by yours truly, was acquired by Simon & Schuster in a two-book deal--my first published in 2011 and the second in 2012.

I didn't have as much luck with my young adult novels. An editor first suggested that I try YA and I thought why not? I have tons of stories teens could relate to. My first one, Worst Impressions, was a hilarious retelling of Pride & Prejudice with urban (or really suburban) teens. My only real reason for writing the book is that I love Jane Austen, particularly Pride & Prejudice (one of my favorite books EVER), and I wanted to introduce teens to her in a way that they wouldn't think she was a fuddy duddy old English lady who wrote stories they couldn't relate to. P&P is a very human story filled with situations and emotions people still experience today to some degree--even urban teens. My agent sent that out to some publishing houses and it didn't get picked up so I knew what to do--I published them on my own. So far, it's been getting a lot of great reviews. Jane Austen "snobs" (of which I consider myself one) are usually the harshest critics but it wasn't meant for them. It's meant for teens who've never read P&P in hopes that they will find interest. It's available in paperback and is currently free on all ebook formats. It will be a 3-book series.

Since I was so "successful" with Worst Impressions another story came to me and I decided to write it as a tribute to my mom and aunt, both of whom have passed away. Based on true events but fictionalized to protect the innocent and the guilty :), Soul of the Band deals with a topic that is often ignored in the African-American community--mental illness. We're kind of like Vegas in that what happens in the family, stays in the family. I wanted to address not only the issue of mental illness, but how teens can and do cope with and overcome the ill effects in their lives. The story is meant to entertain, help teens laugh through their pain, and also to tell a compelling, real, story especially for those who have adversities to overcome in their lives. What now looks like a mountain to climb will become a molehill as you grow and slowly put your past behind you. It doesn't have to define your present or dictate your future--you can make the choice, at any point, to change course.

If I could give writers just ONE single piece of advice it would be this: Write your truth! Don't write for trends or to get "sold," because readers can be finicky beings. They may love a genre one minute and despise it the next (can we say chick lit)? But if you write stories that matter to you and that express some version of yourself, you will connect with an audience because honesty in literature never goes out of style. If you can add some humor, even better.

Since I can give more than one piece of advice here is my last: Just write! Stop worrying about outlines and editing and finding a publishing company who will put you on Oprah. No, write your book! The hardest thing about writing your first book will be finishing. No question. After that, editing will suck too. But whatever you do, make sure you have a finished product FIRST! :)

If you'd like to get in touch with me to find out more about my novels, please visit my website at My YA novels can be found on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. My adult novels The Bum Magnet & Got a Right to Be Wrong (both hilarious chick lit titles for 18+) can be found wherever books are sold. Also please visit me on Facebook at KL-Brady and on Twitter @KarlaB27. I always respond to readers inquiries and stalk my book titles on Twitter, so if you mention me, I'll find you.

Thanks so much for having me!

Authors Links:

Friday 22 June 2012

FF (75) & TGIF (58)

Follow Friday is an opportunity to discover and follow other book related blogs! Want to join? Check it out at Parajunkee.

This week's question feature is from
Roxanne @ Books and Blossoms

Q: If you could “unread” a book, which one would it be? Is it because you want to start over and experience it again for the first time? Or because it was THAT bad?

My Answer: oooh, interesting question. I would 'unread' the Harry Potter series so I could read it again for the first time, to enjoy that world all over again, recapture that magic and excitement. It would be awesome! 




This meme is hosted by GReads!

This Friday's Question: 
Authors Are Our Celebrities: Have you ever contacted 
an author you admired? How did that experience go?  If not, which author would you love to have a chat with? 

My Answer: I have met a lot of authors, I've been quite lucky. Either with events at work in the library, or going to events at bookshops. There are still so many more that I would love to meet or talk to. But there was a couple of occasions I want to share with you.

A couple of years ago I emailed 'Kate Constable' author of 'The Chanters Of Tremaris' series. I wanted to let her know how much I enjoyed her books, they were (and still are) some of the best YA fantasy I have read. I didn't expect a reply but I sent it anyway. Imagine how excited I was when she wrote back to me! She was so friendly and appreciative and answered some of my questions. I still have the email and it still makes me smile.


The other was a few years ago too, I read 'Dream Spinner' by Bonnie Dobkin and really enjoyed it, again I emailed her and told her I was a fan but also asked about the ending of the book. It was left slightly open and I wanted to know if there was a second book planned. She replied with thanks and explained that she had written another chapter closing the book but her publishers told her not to include it, they wanted the reader to decide the ending. Well, I would rather have the ending the author envisioned and Bonnie was kind enough to send me the final chapter she wrote. i felt very privaleged. You can find this extract on her website now, but at the time I felt very special.  

It just shows if you make an effort you will get a response. :D

What author experiences have you had?




Happy Hopping, have a great weekend everyone!!!

Thursday 21 June 2012

Guest Post - Amelia Wood

Writing familiar faces: A discussion about YA fan fiction
Do you ever write fan fiction featuring characters from your favorite YA novels? As a devote follower of quite a few YA series, I can claim guilty on that score. Though they were posted under pseudonyms on various sites, I definitely dabbled in fan fictions featuring a number of popular characters from various series. I wrote a few “chapters” of a fan fiction imagining Hermione Granger’s life after Hogwarts as a prominent wizard diplomat who strengthened relations between muggles and magic users through medical breakthroughs in muggle science (it’s a long story). I wrote about short stories about some of my favorite characters in Twilight and the Narnia series. Heck, I’ve even written a few pages of a Hunger Gamesfanfic set at the beginning of the series.
I personally think that there’s no harm to writing a little bit of fan fiction now and then, but you might be surprised at how many popular YA writers are against it. J.K. Rowling, the mastermind of the Harry Potter series beloved by hundreds of millions of people, has famously stated that she opposes the writing of fan fiction. Stephanie Meyer of Twilight fame has adopted a similarly strong stance against fan fiction. To me, it seems like they oppose fan fiction because it alters the original path that the authors had intended for their characters. An author who writes a fanfic where Ron and Hermione never fall in love would be in effect rewriting the Harry Potter series that we all know and love.
There’s a big difference between fan fiction that reimagines the original story and that which continues it. The example I described above with Ron and Hermione would be an example of reimagination, and I can certainly understand how that would make authors upset. In that sense, fan fiction could almost be considered a form of literature piracy.
While I don’t promote fan fiction that tries to rewritea particular YA novel, I don’t see the harm in imagining what happened to characters before or after the main story. Nor do I see the harm in writing about characters that exist in the same universe. If anything, those fan fiction authors would be enriching the world brought forth by the author who wrote the YA novel, not destroying it. What’s to say there’s anything wrong with writing a Harry Potterfanfic that discusses, say, wizards healing people in muggle hospitals as an act of kindness?
The problem is that few people outside of the world of fan fiction realize that most fanfic writers fiction continues the story set forth by the original author. Most fan fiction authors are rabid fans about their source material, and they’ll put great effort into offering new and exciting chapters to the stories of our favorite characters or further exploring worlds that we came to love in original story.
Fan fiction is everywhere and it does a fantastic job of building a community of followers around a movie story. Unless they’re profiting at the original author’s expense, I see no reason why people shouldn’t be allowed to continue to write fanfics. But it will remain controversial as long as there are authors who oppose the style.
What’s your take on fan fiction? Let me know!
Amelia Wood is a blogger and freelance writer who often writes to explain medical billing and coding online. She welcomes your questions and comments at

Wednesday 20 June 2012

Midsummer's Eve Giveaway Hop - June 20th to 26th

Midsummer's Eve Giveaway Hop - June 20th to 26th

 This Giveaway hop is being hosted by 'I Am A Reader, Not A Writer'. This is an awesome blog, stop by and check it out.

Now, to the hop:

What is a giveaway hop?
Simple - Each participating blog hosts a giveaway and then we link up together allowing our followers to hop easily from one giveaway to another.
For followers this means lots of chances to win free books.
For blogs hosting a giveaway it means lots of new visitors.
It's a win-win!
There i currently 200 blogs signed up so that's a lot of prizes to win. :D

So here's my Giveaway -

One (1) person will win their choice of 1 book from the 'Book Depository' up to the value of £10.
Open Internationally as long as TBD ships to you!

Here are the rules: 
1) Competition opens 20th June
2) Competition closes on 26th June Midnight GMT
3) Enter your Name, E-mail and Blog Link in the Linky List Below (email will be hidden, if you don't have a blog just enter your Facebook or Twitter page)
4) You Must be a Follower to enter!
5) One Name will be selected at random from the list.
6) Contest open Internationally

7) Winners will be contacted by e-mail
8) Winners will have 3 days to reply or another winner will be selected.

You MUST fill in the Linky form to be in with a chance to enter. Do NOT put your details in the comments section. 
I don't have time to go through all the comments or add you on the list myself. 
All you need to do is put your name/blog name in the box that says 'Contest Entry', a link to your blog/facebook in the box that says 'Link' and then your email address in the box that says 'Email'

Here are the other blogs taking part:

Enter my Giveaway in the Linky List below: