Monday 29 April 2013

Cover Reveal - Strangely Normal

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Title: Strangely Normal

Author: Tess Oliver

Book Description:

A unique summer job lands eighteen-year-old Eden Saxon into a lifestyle completely different than her own.  She becomes a companion for nineteen-year-old Finley King, the daughter of a rock legend. Finley suffers from severe anxiety, and her father fears her being alone. Eden leaves her loving, but wildly dysfunctional, parents and dreary apartment and enters a world where no luxury is overlooked. She instantly adores Finley and her charming, quirky personality. The whole situation has only one flaw– Finley’s older brother, Jude. Jude King is cocky, arrogant and irritating. Unfortunately, he’s also completely irresistible.

Eden realizes she’s underestimated the depth of Finley’s problems, and suddenly her dream job turns out to be a lot more than she’d expected. Eden soon finds herself in over her head . . . and her heart.

About Tess Oliver
Tess Oliver is a teacher and writer who lives in California with her husband, kids, a small pack of pampered dogs, and the recent addition of three ridiculously cute pygmy goats. She loves horses, chocolate and Jane Austen books. She has a BS of Nutrition Science, and a MA in Curriculum and Instruction. She is also an author published by Barron's Educational Publisher.


He placed down his pencil and walked across the floor toward me. The crackling energy I’d felt between us the night before when he’d stood over my bed returned now and grew with hot intensity as the space between us disappeared. I was not the only one noticing the sudden charge in the atmosphere between us. He stopped directly in front of me, and even with loud music bouncing off the walls, I could hear the unnaturally fast rhythm of his breathing.
He hesitated a moment and then his hand came up slowly and brushed the hair off my face. His fingertips had only grazed my cheek, but I felt the sensation of his touch through my entire body. He looked back at me as if he’d smoothed his hands over every inch of my skin. The air between us heated and what had started out as a casual session between an artist and his subject had somehow erupted into something completely different.

Sunday 28 April 2013

Book Review - Ink

Title: Ink
Author: Amanda Sun
Series: The Paper Gods (book 1)
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Release Date: 25 Jun 2013
ISBN-13: 978-0373210718

I looked down at the paper, still touching the tip of my shoe. I reached for it, flipping the page over to look.
Scrawls of ink outlined a drawing of a girl lying on a bench.
A sick feeling started to twist in my stomach, like motion sickness.
And then the girl in the drawing turned her head, and her inky eyes glared straight into mine.

On the heels of a family tragedy, the last thing Katie Greene wants to do is move halfway across the world. Stuck with her aunt in Shizuoka, Japan, Katie feels lost. Alone. She doesn’t know the language, she can barely hold a pair of chopsticks, and she can’t seem to get the hang of taking her shoes off whenever she enters a building.

Then there’s gorgeous but aloof Tomohiro, star of the school’s kendo team. How did he really get the scar on his arm? Katie isn’t prepared for the answer. But when she sees the things he draws start moving, there’s no denying the truth: Tomo has a connection to the ancient gods of Japan, and being near Katie is causing his abilities to spiral out of control. If the wrong people notice, they'll both be targets.
Katie never wanted to move to Japan—now she may not make it out of the country alive.

My Review
I recieved this book from Mira INK publishers - so thanks very much to them. I actually won it in a competition, it came with 2 other books - both of which I was desperate for, this one I hadn't heard much about but at the time I wasn't really bothered. It's been sitting on my pile for about a month. I know the release date isn't for another couple of months but I was on my way out the door the other day and wanted to take a book with me and this happened to be at hand. 
And I have to say I am very glad they sent me this copy, I really enjoyed this book, it's different, fresh and allows you to explore a whole other culture.
Set in Japan, Katie - an english girl has had to move to live with her aunt following her mother's death. Struggling to fit in a new school, a new culture and a whole new country things were never going to be easy. She's started to make friends though and is trying really hard to learn the language but then she meets Tomohiro, he's strange, mysterious and everyone says he's bad news. But Katie is drawn to him and that's when things start to get weird. 
I don't really know much about Japan but I am curious and I love to learn about different cultures, I wouldn't mind visiting Japan one day and this book gives you a real feel for the culture and some of the language. The imagery in the writing too had me visualising some beautiful scenery - especially during the blossom picnic in the park. 
Katie is a very likeable character who I think most of us can relate to, she is an outsider looking in, struggling to fit in - it's a situation a lot of us have been in, but what I really liked about Katie is her bravery, she is determined to fit in, make a good life for herself and she won't step back when things get difficult. She never gives up and even if that leads her to trouble she still drives ahead. 
Her friend Yuki and Tanaka offer a bit of lightness to the story, they are the ones behind her trying to get her to have fun, helping her to fit in and making sure she has friends around her. 
Tomohiro is the tall dark stranger, mysterious and definite bad boy aura, but then you know there is more to him and that he will be a big part of the story. Tomo has a power - whenever he draws the pictures seem to come to life off the page. The Ink holds a magic for him and somehow Katie makes it stronger. But with no idea how powerful the Ink is, or what they can do with it, they are headed for danger.
This story has the romance element running through it, but mainly you focus on the power of the Ink and the legendary history behind it. I was desperate to know more about the legend throughout and what it all meant, I got hooked into the book and didn't want to put it down.
I really liked all the references at the culture and the way it built the world around you. I also loved the Kendo part - the martial art. I take JuJitsu so recognised some of the language and terminology. We don't use sticks in our fighting but there were other similarities. I even started to pick up some of the language. 
I think this will be a big release this year, it's sure to wow it's audience. 
I'm really looking forward to more from Amanda Sun and desperate to know what happens in book 2. Shame it's so far away as technically this book isn't even out yet. 

My Rating

Saturday 27 April 2013

Book Review - Chosen at Nightfall

Title: Chosen at Nightfall
Author: C.C Hunter
Series: Shadow Falls (book 5)
Publisher: St Martin's Griffin
Release Date: 23rd April 2013
ISBN-13: 978-1250012890

When Kylie’s most powerful enemy returns to destroy her once and for all, there’s only one way to stop him—to step into her full powers and make a stunning transformation that will amaze everyone around her. But her journey won’t be complete until she makes one final choice…which guy to love. Should she choose to the werewolf who broke her heart but will give anything to win her back, or the half-fae who ran from their attraction before they had a chance? Everything she’s learned at Shadow Falls has been preparing her for this moment - when her fate will be revealed and her heart claimed forever.
My Review 
This review may contain spoilers from previous books in the series.
Oh my goodness! It's here and I'm so psyched. I'm a huge fan of this series and even a member of C.C Hunter's 'street team' - so I help with promotion, and generally act like a fangirl :D. I was actually supposed to receive the book last month but as life often does, things happened and I never got it, but I was sent an e-copy on release day instead so I didn't have to wait for it.
I downloaded it as soon as possible and got stuck in, totally frustrated when I had to put it down to go to work. This week has been quite hectic and I had to snatch minutes to read so this book, and actually my reading in general ended up being put aside (I wanted to enjoy it fully) I had an evening in last night and got over halfway through, then finished it this evening. I didn't want to put it down at all, When I read this series I get completely absorbed in it and I swear it feels like I'm actually at Shadow Falls. 
This book is once again told from Kylie's perspective, but it's the last one. I was a bit sad knowing it would be her last book but also excited to see what was to come. Kylie feels like a friend, one I don't see very often, but the sort you know will always still be there if you want them. 
Her problems are certainly mounting up, family issues, she's being stalked by another ghost - this one dripping blood and rather menacing and she still hasn't decided which guy to give her heart to. Going into this book I was 100% Team Derek, he was the right one for her I was sure. Lucas was a total a*** and deserved a good punch in the face - I just didn't like him, but within 100 pages of this book I came to really like him and actually started to switch sides. Hunter wrote him so hurt and vulnerable and sorry. He seemed like a lost and injured puppy, and so desperate to get Kylie back, you could practically feel the waves of his love flowing off the page. The small gestures, the wide eyes, the sad apologies, she made him so damn loveable. I couldn't believe I was switching sides, but i did. That's right I am now totally Team Lucas. Wow - they're words I never thought I would type!
All our favourites still feature - Della, Miranda, Steve, Perry, Burnett and Holiday with some other neew members thrown in. 
Kylie must also choose where she wants to ultimately be - with her newly found grandfather and others like her or at Shadow Falls, the only place that has ever felt like home. 
You can really feel Kylie's uncertainty, but also her desire to make everything right - this girl is a fighter and I love her feisty attitude. 
Really, this book was everything I hoped it would be and more, it had romance, action, humour, drama and just general awesomeness. I was hooked throughout every page and desperate to know more.
It also answered a lot of questions from the series and ends really well.
I am sad that this is the end for Kylie's story, but super excited to see what will come with Della as we start to follow her on her journey. 
My Rating

Friday 26 April 2013

FF (119)

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
I’ll Tumble for YA

Q:  Is there a song that reminds you of a book? Or vice versa? What is the song & the book?

 My Answer: I love books that come with playlists from the author at the back. Morganville Vampires by Rachel Caine for example, I have a whole playlist for the songs she recommended.  So in that way yeah. The one I always think of is 'Ghost Town' by Shiny Toy Guns. It's weird and a bit heavier rock thank I usually like but it's cool. I also like 'The Geeks Were Right' by The Faint. 

 But my favourite song that I associate to a book is 'Iridescent' by Linken Park. This fits perfectly to 'The Hunger Games' it basically tells their story, the loss, the devastation, the helplessness. 


Love this weeks question! May find some great music from it too. :D 

Happy Hopping & Blogging. :D

Tuesday 23 April 2013

Book Promo- Nimpentoad

Nimpentoad is a high fantasy early chapter book. Nimpentoad’s shorter length (4,100 words) and stunning artwork resonate with kids who prefer a faster, highly-illustrated alternative to the traditional chapter book. 

The unlikely hero is bright-eyed Nimpentoad, a furry little creature who’s been victimized by the bigger creatures of the ancient forest one too many times. Nimpentoad convinces his fellow Niblings to make a perilous journey to a castle where they hope to find refuge—if they can just evade and outwit the ravenous goblins, trolls, rhinotaurs, and other perils that stand in their way. With teamwork, perseverance, and Nimpentoad’s leadership, the Niblings overcome these menaces and learn important lessons.  

Author Info
Nimpentoad was co-authored by debut authors Henry Herz and his 11- and 13-year old sons, making the story especially interesting to parents. The book has reached as high as #1 in the Kindle Best Sellers large print science fiction & fantasy category. The artwork was a semi-finalist in a Warner Bros. contest judged by art directors from The Hobbit movie, with the book being featured on The Hobbit movie’s website. Nimpentoad has won strong endorsements from published authors and eighty-three 5-star reviews on Amazon.

Twitter: @Nimpentoad

Monday 22 April 2013

Book Review - Return to the Hundred Acre Wood

Title: Return to the Hundred Acre Wood
Author: David Benedictus
Publisher: Egmont Books Ltd
Release Date: 5 Oct 2009
ISBN-13: 978-1405247443

It was eighty years ago, on the publication of "The House at Pooh Corner," when Christopher Robin said good-bye to Winnie-the-Pooh and his friends in the Hundred Acre Wood. Now they are all back in new adventures, for the first time approved by the Trustees of the Pooh Properties. This is a companion volume that truly captures the style of A. A. Milne-a worthy sequel to "The House at Pooh Corner" and "Winnie-the-Pooh."

My Review
I have always loved Winnie the Pooh, the books are full of charm and humour and so sweet. We held a WtP event at our library last weekend and when I was requesting books to promote it, I saw this listed and immediately requested it. i was curious what it would be like and whether it would live up to the original.
This book does carry a certain amount of charm, the illustrations are fabulous and really quite faithful to the original style. The writing was very close, at times it didn't quite read right and I didn't chuckle as much as I wanted to but I did laugh out loud at some points. 
David Benedictus did a very good job with what must have been a very hard task. He had a lot to live up to. A.A Milne has been treasured for so many years, they're some big shoes to fill. 
The actual outline is quite sad for someone like me who has grown up with WtP. The idea is that Christoper Robin has come back for the summer holidays. He's gone away to school and left WtP and friends behind. He enjoys a summer with them, but the closeness and freedom of fun is missing. He is growing up and growing apart from his childhood friends. You can tell he still cares for them and enjoys seeing them, but you can tell he is starting to drift away, and that loss of innocence and fun is quite sad. I know we all go through it but there's just something about reading it, especially between such an iconic pair as Winnie the Pooh and Christopher Robin. That's the sort of magic and pairing you expect to last forever. I think that is the spark missing from this book, which of course doesn't reflect badly on the author at all, it is just the way of life and David handled it brilliantly.

This collection of stories are all sweet and funny, Eeyore is my favourite character to read still, his gloomy pessimism is done just right and makes me laugh. Piglet is still shy and nervous but proves that small can be mighty. And Pooh Bear is his usual charming self, he makes me laugh so much, his little honey addiction is so sweet.

Overall this is a charming collection, done well by the author but just wasn't quite as magical as I expected. 

My Rating

Chosen at Nightfall Release

Tomorrow (Tuesday 23rd April) marks the release of 'Chosen at Nightfall' by C.C Hunter. Book 5 in the 'Shadow Falls' series.
Isn't it pretty!!!!! :D

I am so excited about this book, I am a huge fan of the series and am always desperate for more. I've got an e-copy of the book ready to read and am going to get stuck in as soon as I've finished on my laptop tonight. I feel like it's going to be a late night - I just know I will be hooked in minutes, and won't be able to put it down until I have finished.

Here is a note from C.C. Hunter:
It’s been a long journey of self-discovery for Kylie, and her life has taken some weird turns even I didn’t predict. She learned to talk to ghosts, she fell in love and was betrayed, she fought for her friends, and met her father and his family. She learned her parents made mistakes, but she also learned to accept and love them anyway.  Now, she faces the biggest challenge ever. In order to survive, and to save a loved one, she not only has to accept her powers, but she has to embrace them.

On April 23rd, the wait is over. You will be able to read Chosen at Nightfall for yourself. Who will Kylie choose to give her heart to once and for all? Can she save her friends and keep them safe? And what’s with the appearing and disappearing sword? All those questions and more will be answered. But just to offer you a few more teasers.  In Chosen at Nightfall, Kylie. . .

1.    …nearly kills Lucas twice.

2.    …has another boy become interested in her.

3.    …acquires another stalker.

4.    …is accused of having an affair with an older man.

5.    …has an unwanted guest crawl over a bathroom stall when she’s trying to do what you do in a bathroom.  Talk about bad timing!

6.    …gets kissed by two guys.

7.    …finally makes a choice of which boy she loves.

8.    …is forced to kill someone to save someone she loves

9.    …tells a human that she’s a supernatural.

10. …gets caught buying a pregnancy test.

And to give you a better feel for what’s in store in Chosen at Nightfall, here is the extended version of the video:

Make sure you grab yourself a copy tomorrow!!!