Tuesday 29 April 2014

Book Promo - Dead Girl Walking

a Young Adult Paranormal Adventure
published by Patchwork Press
Dead Girl Walking
Forget everything you know about grim reapers.
Princess Ophelia Dacre sneaks out of the castle to visit her boyfriend in secret. A perfect night cut short when she’s brutally murdered.
Ophelia is given the rare chance to become a grim reaper. She must become Leila Bele, cut ties with her old life, and follow the rules of the reapers. Her greatest adventure begins with death.
“Forget everything you know about grim reapers, Ophelia. Humans have it wrong. It’s easier to believe in angels and demons, than to see what’s right in front of you. Who wants to believe the undead walk among us with beating hearts? It would frighten humans. It would probably send many to their graves faster,” Edon said.

Ruth Silver author photo
About the Author: Ruth Silver is the best-selling author of ABERRANT, a young adult dystopian adventure series published by Patchwork Press and Lazy Day Publishing. Silver attended Northern Illinois University and graduated with a Bachelor's in Communication in the spring of 2005. While in college, she spent much of her free time writing with friends she met online and penning her first novel, Deuces are Wild, which she self-published in 2004. Her love of writing led her on an adventure in 2007 to Melbourne, Australia. Silver enjoys reading, photography, traveling and most of all writing. She loves dystopian, paranormal, and fantasy young adult stories. Ruth has been actively writing since she was a teenager. She currently resides in Plainfield, Illinois.
Website | Twitter | Facebook | Amazon Author Page | Goodreads


Sunday 27 April 2014

Book Blitz - Orenda

ORENDA by Ruth Silver
a Young Adult Fantasy Adventure series
published by Patchwork Press
Orenda Join forces with a parallel universe.

Dark forces, magical creatures, and the world Lil thought she knew collide when a dream transports her to the strange world of Orenda. Stunned and terrified, Lil comes face to face with her doppelganger, Willow, who possesses the ability to travel between the two worlds. Everything Lil knows logically says that Orenda can't exist, but a small clue may be proof that it was more than an ordinary dream. With the threat of her younger sister in danger, Lil crosses dimensions but it may cost her even more than she bargained for.

A sword wielding girl, the eternal suit, and a parallel universe come together in this action-packed Young Adult fantasy adventure that will keep readers of all ages turning the pages. Orenda is the first novel in the Orenda series.


Lil stood firm, sword-in-hand, staring at the beast as it flew directly at her. “How do I kill it?” She raised the sword above her head with two hands.

Hudson glanced at her. “With what we taught you. The dragon is no different than a man.”

“It has wings and is flying at me. I’d say it’s different!”

Ruth Silver author photo

About the Author: Ruth Silver is the best-selling author of ABERRANT, a young adult dystopian adventure series published by Patchwork Press and Lazy Day Publishing, in 2013. Silver attended Northern Illinois University and graduated with a Bachelor's in Communication in the spring of 2005. While in college, she spent much of her free time writing with friends she met online and penning her first novel, Deuces are Wild, which she self-published in 2004. Her favorite class was Creative Writing senior year where she often handed in assignments longer than the professor required, because she loved to write and always wanted to finish her stories. Her love of writing led her on an adventure in 2007 to Melbourne, Australia. Silver enjoys reading, photography, traveling and most of all writing. She loves dystopian and fantasy young adult stories. Ruth has been actively writing since she was a teenager. Upcoming works include Royal Reaper, a young adult series about grim reapers, due for release June 3rd, 2014. She currently resides in Plainfield, Illinois.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Amazon Author Page | Goodreads

Saturday 26 April 2014

Book Review - Eon: Rise of the Dragoney

Title: Eon - Rise of the Dragoneye (also released as 'Two Pearls of Wisdom')
Author: Alison Goodman
Series: Eon (Book 1)
Publisher: David Fickling Books
Release Date: 1 Jan 2010
ISBN-13: 978-1849920018

Twelve-year old Eon has been studying the ancient art of the Dragoneyes for two years. But he is playing a dangerous game: Eon is actually Eona, 16 years old and a girl. Her true identity must remain hidden at all costs: it is forbidden for women to practise the Art, and to be discovered would be punishable by death.

Let down by her injured leg, it seems that Eon is destined to fail in her quest, until a spectacular twist in events catapults her into the opulent but treacherous world of the Imperial court. Without a master to guide her, Eon must learn to harness her unprecedented natural power, while protecting the secret that could cost her everything . . .

My Review
I actually read this when it first came out nearly 5 years ago, long before I started this blog. Book 2 came out 2 years ago and I grabbed it remembering I had read and enjoyed this one. But I so far haven't got round to reading book 2 and so I decided to re-read book 1 before I started the second one.
As it has been so long since I read this I really didn't remember much about it, in fact hardly anything at all so it was almost like coming to it fresh.
Eon is hoping to become a Dragoneye, he has trained hard for it, but the fact that he is practically crippled by his injured hip and leg he doesn't stand much chance, and the fact that he is really 'Eona' a 16 year old girl having to hide her true identity makes it so much harder. However by a twist of fate she is not only selected as a Dragoneye but is chosen by the 'Mirror Dragon', the likes of which haven't been seen for over 500 years. Thrust into a world of power Eona must keep her secret hidden and maintain her life as 'Lord Eon' all whilst learning to control her power.
The ancient world and culture of the Dragoneyes is terrifically built throughout the story and weaves a rich background and setting. It really draws you into the book. Eon is a bit helpless but has an inner fire that you can't help but like her for. She will have you rooting for her in no time.
The villain is your typical bad guy and makes your skin crawl, you can't help but love to hate him and you'll be on the edge of your seat waiting to see what he'll do next and waiting for him to get what's coming to him.
There are a host of supporting characters and they all play their parts spectacularly, the story just lifts off the page. 
I wouldn't say I was completely blown away by the book, I wouldn't shout and scream about it but it was a very enjoyable story and if you like Fantasy I would recommend it to you. I'm looking forward to diving straight into book 2 and finding out what happens to Eona.

My Rating

Friday 25 April 2014

FF (159)

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
Literary Escapism

Have any pets? Tell us or show us

My Answer: I have 3 cats! They are beautiful:

This is my gorgeous Max, we've had him since he was born (we owned his mother, aunty and grandmother, had whole generations!) You can't tell in this photo but he has odd eyes - one is green and one is blue. He is now 13 years old and is a typical grumpy old man but he still purrs like a baby and loves his hugs. Most of his evenings are spent curled up on my lap. 

This is Henry, he is my big boy, super fluffy and really independent. He was an abandoned kitten that we adopted and was so tiny when we got him but he soon grew out. He is really clever and can open doors and knows where the food is. His meow is really high pitched and girly though. He is now 5 years old.
This is our baby - Pixie. She was another abandoned kitten that we took in but she stayed quite small. She is very hyper, this picture was taken in a rare moment of quiet - she got on my bed and grabbed a teddy - too cute not to take a pic. She's quite naughty but so cute you can't be cross with her.

So those are my precious pets. Love them all to bits!

What about you, any pets for me to go 'awww' over? 

Happy hopping and Blogging!



Wednesday 23 April 2014

Guest Blog - Amy Helmes and Kim Askew

Happy Birthday, Shakespeare!: Guest Post by “Twisted Lit” Authors Kim Askew and Amy Helmes

On the Bard’s 450th Birthday: Our 5 Favorite Shakespearean Film Adaptations

It’s been 450 years since Shakespeare’s birth, yet his impact on pop culture shows no sign of diminishing. (Case in point: The books in our Twisted Lit series from Merit Press are modern adaptations of his plays!) As devout fans of Shakespeare, we’ll tune in to just about anything that bears the mark of the Bard. It isn’t easy to narrow it down to just five of our favorites, but here’s our best attempt.

1. Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead, written and directed by Tom Stoppard
Originally conceived as a stage play, R&G probably wins for most creative adaptation. Two minor characters from Hamlet are at the forefront of this darkly hilarious existential look at fate, with Shakespeare’s play co-existing within the movie and driving the plot. (It’s so meta.)

2. Romeo + Juliet, directed by Baz Luhrmann
This modernized 1996 flick starring Leo DiCaprio and Claire Danes is all kinds of crazy brilliant, featuring Shakespeare’s original dialogue alongside a musical number by Mercutio; gun-toting, ultra-stylish gangs; and Paul Rudd as Paris dressed in an astronaut suit. Somehow, it all works.

3. Much Ado About Nothing, directed by Kenneth Branagh
Branagh and his then wife, Emma Thompson, star alongside Kate Beckinsale, and Denzel Washington in this film adaptation, which is near and dear to our hearts. Branagh made some unconventional choices (like giving Keanu Reeves a major role as the villainous Don John), but he wound up with a movie that is incredibly endearing and lovely to look at. Personally, we have always found the treatment of the heroine Hero hard to watch in any production, but if you can ignore the Elizabethan misogyny, we think you’ll love this movie.

4. Romeo and Juliet, directed by Franco Zeffirelli
You may have seen this popular adaptation from 1968 in your high school English class, but if not, you’ll want to put it in your viewing queue. This is a traditional rendering filmed in Italy with period costumes and music. It’s also the first production of the play to use actors closest in age to the characters of Romeo and Juliet; Actor Leonard Whiting (Romeo) was seventeen and actress Olivia Hussey (Juliet), sixteen. To say we love this movie would be an understatement. (Kim even has the vintage movie poster hanging in her bedroom.)

5. Hamlet, directed by Laurence Olivier
As far as we’re concerned it would anathema to have a list of Shakespeare adaptations without including this 1948 black and white film, directed by and starring British Shakespearean actor Laurence Olivier. This was the first non-American film to win Best Picture, and Olivier (41 when the film was released) was the first actor to direct himself to a best actor Academy Award.

And as a bonus, we’re going to go way out in left field and recommend the strange, but entertaining 1982 adaptation of The Tempest directed by Paul Mazursky and starring a pre-Sixteen Candles Molly Ringwald as Miranda.

About Anyone But You
Two Italian restaurants, both alike in dignity, in Chicago’s Little Italy where we lay our scene... After her family’s struggling eatery, Cap’s, falls prey to another of the Monte clan’s vicious and destructive pranks, sixteen-year-old Gigi Caputo finds herself courting danger during a clandestine encounter with Roman Monte, the very boy whose relatives have brought her family such grief. When the daughter and son of these two warring factions fall for each other, their quest to mend this bitter family feud turns out to be a recipe for disaster. Their story is irrevocably linked to the summer of 1933, when two twelve-year-olds, Benny and Nick, hop the turnstile at the Chicago World’s Fair. While enjoying some of the fair’s legendary amusements, Nick has a “love at first sight” encounter with Stella, a young girl who unintentionally causes a lasting rift between the two boyhood pals. Deftly winding its way through past and present day, this modern take on Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet has much to do with hate — but more with love.

About the Authors
Amy Helmes and Kim Askew are the authors of the Shakespeare-inspired YA series Twisted Lit from Merit Press. For Amy and Kim’s own take on Romeo and Juliet, check out their most recent novel, Anyone But You, which USA Today called “heartbreakingly lovely.” For more about the books in their Twisted Lit series, including their spins on The Tempest and Macbeth, check out twistedlitbooks.com. You can also follow them on twitter @kaskew and @amyhelmes.

Anyone But You on Amazon and Goodreads
Tempestuous on Amazon and Goodreads
Exposure on Amazon and Goodreads

Tuesday 22 April 2014

Book Review - Amber

Title: Amber
Author: Julie Sykes
Publisher: Curious Fox
Release Date: 12 Sep 2013
ISBN-13: 978-1782020592

How do you live by the rules if you don’t know what they are?

Amber’s lost her memory. She doesn’t even know her real name. The only clues to her identity are a beautiful amber necklace and a broken mobile phone. She’s determined to learn the truth about her past life, and the secrets she’s hiding, but how many rules will she break along the way?

My Review
I saw a review for this online that said it was absolutely fantastic, and I will admit that I had looked at it a couple of times in the library and was curious so I decided to take the plunge and bring it home to read. 
With the day off on Easter Monday and nothing really planned I got up and picked up my book straight away. About 3 hours later I had finished it with time to spare before lunch. 
The book starts with a girl waking up in hospital with no memory of who she is or where she came from. I liked this because it puts you in her shoes - we discover things about her at the same time as she does, giving us a connection to the character. With only an Amber necklace to identify her she decides to name herself Amber.
I really enjoyed this book, I really wanted to know who Amber was and what happened to her, she is naturally likeable and makes you want to discover more about her. The first half of the story sets her up as a character and what could be a whole new life for her, but you know it is building to something big, and a choice for Amber too, stick with the new life or embrace her old life again.
I will admit, when you discover who Amber is I rolled my eyes, did they have to go down that root. *Spoiler - I mean 'Aliens', are so overdone. * But I kept reading and I am glad I did because it's actually done in a fresh and exciting way and I found myself really enjoying it. I was actually sad when it was finished, I came to really like the characters, not just Amber but the others around her and I wanted to stay in that world a bit longer. 
If you want a compelling read then this is definitely worth picking up.

My Rating

Sunday 20 April 2014

Book Review - Someday, Someday, Maybe

Title: Someday, Someday, Maybe
Author: Lauren Graham
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Release Date: 30 April 2013
ISBN-13: 978-0345532749

Franny Banks is a struggling actress in New York City, with just six months left of the three year deadline she gave herself to succeed. But so far, all she has to show for her efforts is a single line in an ad for ugly Christmas sweaters and a degrading waitressing job. She lives in Brooklyn with two roommates-Jane, her best friend from college, and Dan, a sci-fi writer, who is very definitely not boyfriend material-and is struggling with her feelings for a suspiciously charming guy in her acting class, all while trying to find a hair-product cocktail that actually works.
Meanwhile, she dreams of doing "important" work, but only ever seems to get auditions for dishwashing liquid and peanut butter commercials. It's hard to tell if she'll run out of time or money first, but either way, failure would mean facing the fact that she has absolutely no skills to make it in the real world. Her father wants her to come home and teach, her agent won't call her back, and her classmate Penelope, who seems supportive, might just turn out to be her toughest competition yet.

My Review
I have been a massive fan of the TV show 'The Gilmore Girls' for years and so when I heard that the actress that plays Laurelie Gilmore had written a book I knew I would have to read it. So I put an order in for it at the library and waited it's arrival. It took ages to come in and I had a massive pile of books by then so I admit it's been in my cupboard for a while. But someone else has requested it so as I have a couple of days off for Easter weekend I decided now was the time.
Franny Banks set herself a target - 3 years in New York to become a successful actress, no longer. If she doesn't succeed by then she would move back home. The story starts with 6 months left of her 3 year challenge and all she has to show for her troubles is a commercial for Christmas jumpers. Can she turn everything round in 6 months, and finally catch her break or should she just give up now. Follow Franny as she struggles with casting calls, agents, boyfriends and rival actresses, no one said it would be easy but does everything have to be this hard?
I liked Franny as a character, she was funny, witty and a bit hopeless. A bit clumsy and always seeming to do and say the wrong thing. She has no real idea of how good she is, always putting herself down and fighting along. But no matter how bad things seem to get she still struggles on and refuses to give up. She actually reminded me of myself a bit, apart from the fact I'm not trying to be an actress, hehe.
For a first time novel I was very impressed, it was well written and captivating, I found it hard to put it down and ended up reading it pretty much in one go. I wanted to know what would become of Franny and I felt my heart go out to her, I desperately wanted her to succeed, she had my backing and I wanted to see it through. The only time she irritated me was her choice in men, I was desperate for her to wake up and see the one in front of her and dump the egotistical pig that everyone fawns over.
This story will have you rooting for Franny and you'll be laughing throughout. Every character, no matter how minor plays an important part and really sets the world of the book. I felt like I knew these people.
For a fairly light-hearted, enjoyable read I would recommend this book, it's fun and will have you turning the pages quicker as you absorb every word. I am impressed by Lauren Graham's work and hope she does more in the future.

My Rating

Book Review - Sentient

Title: Sentient
Author: Kenechi Udogu
Series: The Mentalist (book 2)
Publisher: CreateSpace
Release Date: 6 Nov 2013
ISBN-13: 978-1493518692

Mastering her Progressive Empath abilities isn’t going as well as Gemma hoped. In fact, months after finding out what she really is, she still has no clue what this truly means. All she can do is wait to see if any new abilities will eventually manifest. Things aren’t going great with Russ either. Unsure of how to handle her Sentient Link with him, she tries to integrate herself in his busy social life but struggles to adjust to her new circumstances.

When she is plagued by recurring nightmares, Gemma realises things are changing and knows she has to do something, fast. The arrival of two sets of strangers in town, both offering the much needed assistance she needs to unearth her powers, escalates the situation even further. Gemma attempts to decipher whose intentions are genuine, but does she have enough time to figure out who has her best interest at heart?

My Review
I read book 1 in this series in February last year, I will admit that I have had this one on my reader since October but I just haven't had time to get round to it. However I took my e-reader with me on holiday and had a couple of hours in the airport to waste so I flicked open my reader and looked at what I had. This was next in my queue so I dug in. 
As it's been more than a year since I read the first I was worried that I wouldn't remember who any of the characters were or have any idea what was going on, but fortunately I was immediately absorbed by the story and some details started coming back to me. I wasn't confused at all thank goodness.
At only 165 pages this is quite a short story but once again Kenechi has managed to pack quite a lot in to the story that makes it gripping and exciting. We come back to Gemma who is still trying to figure out her powers and what makes her different from other Averters. Her Dad has gone into hiding as he is still being chased and a new girl turns up claiming to be a friend and tutor, but Gemma doesn't know who to trust.
I liked the new girl Laura, and the fact you weren't sure whether to trust her or not keeps you on the edge of your seat, but I liked her and hoped she would turn out good.
I felt drawn back into the world and I didn't want to leave until I knew what would come of the characters. I think this is set for at least one more book as there isn't a real conclusion to this book but there is a major development and I look forward to seeing what comes next. 
The characters are well developed and seem realistic, I could picture myself alongside them in the story. A fun, exciting read that will leave you wanting more.

My Rating

Book Review - Tape

Title: Tape
Author: Steven Camden
Publisher: HarperCollinsChildren'sBooks
Release Date: 30 Jan 2014
ISBN-13: 978-0007511204

Record a voice and it lasts forever…

In 1993, Ryan records a diary on an old tape. He talks about his mother’s death, about his dreams, about his love for a new girl at school who doesn’t even know he exists.

In 2013, Ameliah moves in with her grandmother after her parents die. There, she finds a tape in the spare room. A tape with a boy’s voice on it – a voice she can’t quite hear, but which seems to be speaking to her.
Ryan and Ameliah are connected by more than just a tape.
This is their story.

My Review
I saw a blog post about this book and it looked really interesting, I then saw it advertised elsewhere saying it was a great new release and that it could be the 'next big thing'. I don't normally pick books by that recommendation but it looked good and sounded interesting so I admit I was curious, then my colleague at work requested it and said it was worth a read so I took it off her hands when she was finished.
This book is told from dual narrative - Ryan in 1993 whose mother has died and his dad has remarried bringing him a rather nice step-mother and a terror of a step-brother. He starts to record tapes to his mum as a way of getting over losing her, but then he meets a girl, a girl he likes and this is his story of coping with loss and finding first love. We then have Ameliah in 2003 whose lost both her parents and is now living with her nan, when going through her parents stuff she finds a box of old cassette tapes and starts to listen to them, amongst the music she finds one with a voice on, who seems to be talking to her, but who is he.
Ok, so the big link between the tapes and the people involved is pretty obvious - as soon as I had figured out who was who in the story I worked out the link, but I still wanted to know how they got to where they are now, I wanted to see how their stories played out.
My first reaction to the book was 'I have no idea what is going on', but I kept reading and after about 30 pages I had grasped the basics and started to like the characters and get a grasp on who was who.
I sat and read this in about 2 and a bit hours in one go - I couldn't put it down, partly because I wanted to know how it all turned out, but also because I was slightly worried I would lose track of what was happening if I put it down so I kept going.
This is a fairly sweet story, one where you just get to know the characters and see their story develop, but there isn't much more to it than that. There is no great revelation - well there is the connection between the characters, then the 'mysterious stranger' that turns up, but I figured both of those out pretty immediately so it wasn't a big surprise or anything. 
The synopsis also hints at a 'time-travel' sort of story and for one point in the story about 100 pages in Ameliah and Ryan do seem to communicate but it's over again in a second, there is one last connection to each other at the end but it's very brief and brushed over. 
If you want a book you can sit with and just get to know some characters and have a brief look into their lives then this is perfect, but if you want a really in depth story with development and excitment then I would look for something else.
But I did enjoy this book for what it was, it just wasn't earth shattering. It was sweet, sweet and simple.

My Rating

Book Review - Witch Alone

Title: Witch Alone
Author: Ruth Warburton
Series: The Winter Trilogy (book 3)
Publisher: Hodder Children's Books
Release Date: 7 Feb 2013
ISBN-13: 978-1444904710

Where do you go when your heart has been ripped out?
For Anna there is only one answer; into her past, where the truth about her mother, her power, and her real identity lie hidden.
But as Anna delves deeper into her history, she begins to fear that the truth about what set her mother running may be darker than she ever suspected. With the witches of the world on the brink of war, Seth gone, and her friend Abe wanting more from her than she can possibly give, Anna is in crisis.
As the clouds around her gather, Anna is torn between friends, family and rival tribes of witches and – at the last – between love and magic.

My Review
I was desperate to know how this series would end, something had hooked me in and I couldn't leave until I knew how it was all resolved, so I dived straight into this - the final part of the trilogy.
Seth has left Anna and she is heartbroken, trying to get over him she throws herself into learning how to control her magic and also discover more about her past. It's time to find out the truth about her mother, but where to start. As she starts to dig a trail back people start to get hurt and even killed, what does she have to sacrifice to learn the truth and who is behind it all. And most importantly why do they want her?
This book is the longest of the series so far and it felt it, I would be reading and thinking I had done at least 100 pages but had in reality only read about 30. Something about this book just seemed to drag, there is a lot of build up and back story that slows it down again, but it is padded with action and more exciting events.
I liked Anna a bit more, she has matured and is not afraid to fight back now, she's ready to take her stand and show everyone who's boss, but then at the same time she's a bit more selfish, she rushes in and doesn't think about the consequences of others. Her pining for Seth also irritated me a bit - either do something about it or move on. Harsh judgement maybe but it took up so much of the book - her just missing him and moaning.
As for Seth himself, I liked that he stepped up in this book and I liked him more, his past was explained in a bit more detail and that helped me to connect to his character.
We delve into the whole mystery behind Anna's mother's disappearance and I have to admit I was disappointed with the 'reveal'. After all the buildup you then discover what happened to her in one quick paragraph and then they move on to the next fight scene. I wanted more from Anna and actually a better explanation of what had happened and why. 
The whole thing with Marcus didn't surprise me but I loved how that all ended - I'm not giving anything away here :P
Overall I felt a little let down by the ending, there were some things that I felt could have been explained better, but to be honest it wasn't bad, there was enough to satisfy most of my curiosities I just expected more.

My Rating

Wednesday 16 April 2014

Book Review: Witch In Love

Title: Witch In Love
Author: Ruth Warburton
Series: Winter Trilogy (book 2)
Publisher: Hodder Children's Books
Release Date: 5 July 2012
ISBN-13: 978-1444904703

Anna still finds it hard to believe that Seth loves her and has vowed to suppress her powers, no matter what. But magic—like love—is uncontrollable. It spills out with terrible consequences, and soon, Anna is being hunted. Abe wants Anna to embrace her power, while Seth is pushing Anna to accept that his feelings are real. She finally does, a moment too late. Suddenly, it's like the Salem witch trials all over again: burnings, torture, and faceless judgements. In the face of the ultimate betrayal, who will save her?

My Review
So after reading book 1 I had a lot of things I wanted to know and I was for some reason addicted so I dived straight in to book 2. Overall I have to say I think i enjoyed this book more than the first. It has a really creepy sort of feeling to it, there is something or someone after Anna and they are up to know good, mix that with secrets from her past and darker magic it just had a darker feel and I liked it, the book really set the atmosphere. Anna also seems more realistic in this book, she's developed more and I feel like I know her better and can therefore understand where she's coming from, it was good to see her grow throughout the story.
This book starts off with action and excitement and it carries on throughout the book, keeping you interested and wanting more, I actually felt my heart rate increase a number of times as I held my breath and raced on to know what would happen next. 
I really liked Seth in the first book, but for some reason my suspicions were raised by him but I couldn't put my finger on why. But I kept reading waiting for him to do something that would make me see why I felt that way, it was cleverly done as I had to keep reading to discover his secrets and whilst I didn't get the outcome I expected - it was still very good and I was still shocked.
I'm actually glad I enjoyed this book more, I had my reservations after the first one and wasn't sure if I would want to finish the series. Although I wouldn't say this is the best series ever, it is enjoyable and I do have to read the third book - I need to know how it all ends. There are so many things I want to see resolved.

My Rating

Tuesday 15 April 2014

Book Review - Witch in Winter

Title: Witch In Winter
Author: Ruth Warburton
Series: Winter Trilogy (book 1)
Publisher: Hodder Children's Books
Release Date: 5 Jan 2012
ISBN-13: 978-1444904697

Anna Winterson doesn't know she's a witch and would probably mock you for believing in magic, but after moving to the small town of Winter with her father, she learns more than she ever wanted to about power. When Anna meets Seth, she is smitten, but when she enchants him to love her, she unwittingly amplifies a deadly conflict between two witch clans and splits her own heart in two. She wants to love Seth, to let him love her—but if it is her magic that's controlling his passion, then she is as monstrous as the witch clan who are trying to use her amazing powers for their own gain. When love is tangled up in magic, how do you know what's real?

My Review
I requested this ages ago after seeing some good reviews for it, then I heard it was a trilogy so I waited until all 3 books were out. Then they still sat on my shelf for months. I think I've renewed these books about 20 times at the library, I almost gave them back but every time I tried something would stop me. I knew I wanted to read them so I kept putting them back on my to be read shelf. I was scanning my shelves trying to decide what to read next last week and this jumped out at me so I put it in my bag. I was then out all weekend so it stayed there, but I have been ill this week with Bronchitis and had a 40 minute wait at the doctors so I started to read this and I was instantly hooked. When my name was called I didn't want to put it down. I got home from work today (yes I've still been at work) and sat to read for an hour. Well, 2 and a bit hours later I was still sat there and just finishing it, I just couldn't put it down.
Anna and her father move to Winter leaving her friends and the busy London life behind them. The old creepy house isn't what Anna is used to but she's willing to grin and bear it for the fresh start her Dad is trying hard to get. Starting at a new school at her age is always going to be hard and she makes an instant bad impression on the popular girl. And when she finds an old 'magic book', she tries a spell with some of her new friends, not believing in magic she thinks it can't hurt - right? BUt when the spell works - very well, Anna is in trouble, how can she release him from his obsession, and will she ever be able to believe that his love is real and not a spell. Mix in some magic rivalry and old grudges things start to get messy quickly.
I don't know what it was about this book that made me keep reading, Anna is a great character, she doesn't want to give up or let anyone else take the risks for her but I also found her slightly annoying. There were odd little things that annoyed me a bit, such as the massive fight she has with her dad - once it's over it's never mentioned again, but the things they said would have a backlash. Caroline attacks Anna and warns her to stay away from Seth or she'll regret it but then seems to fade into a background character that is hardly mentioned. And lots of secrets and hints about the witches and their community are hinted at but never fully revealed - I don't know, maybe some of these things will be resolved later in the series. The ending/big fight also seemed very sudden and thrown together a bit to climax the story and make an impressive ending, but even so it was done fairly well.
Despite the niggles I did still find myself enjoying the story and wanting to know what would happen next, it's the sort of book you can't put down but you're not sure why. And yes I do have book 2 next to me ready to read, I just have to know what comes next. This book is seriously addictive. 
If you are looking for a exciting, easy read then this book is for you, definitely worth picking up

My Rating

Monday 14 April 2014

Book Review: Skulduggery Pleasant - Last Stand of Dead Men (Re-Read)

Title: Last Stand of Dead Men
Author: Derek Landy
Series: Skulduggery Pleasant (book 8)
Publisher: Harper Collins Children's Books
Release Date: 29 Aug 2013
ISBN-13: 978-0007489206

War has finally come.
But it's not a war between good and evil, or light and dark – it's a war between Sanctuaries. For too long, the Irish Sanctuary has teetered on the brink of world-ending disaster, and the other Sanctuaries around the world have had enough. Allies turn to enemies, friends turn to foes, and Skulduggery and Valkyrie must team up with the rest of the Dead Men if they're going to have any chance at all of maintaining the balance of power and getting to the root of a vast conspiracy that has been years in the making.
But while this war is only beginning, another war rages within Valkyrie herself. Her own dark side, the insanely powerful being known as Darquesse, is on the verge of rising to the surface. And if Valkyrie slips, even for a moment, then Darquesse will burn the world and everyone in it.

My Review
I read and reviewed this back in September just after it had been released and said that I was really disappointed with it. But I knew it was my own problem, I wasn't in the mood, I didn't have enough time to read it and I hadn't read the earlier books in the series for quite a while so I wasn't entirely sure what was going on at various points. I swore to re-read it sometime and that time has come. 
I started by listening to the rest of the series on spoken word which was awesome. Although the guy who reads the first 2 or 3 is EPICALLY good, he does all the voices and really gets into the story, then it changes to someone else and it wasn't as good, the voice just fell flat. Then someone else takes over and whilst it's not as good as the first he does a pretty decent job. Slightly off topic - but certainly worth a listen to. 
So once I was up to date with the series again and really into it all I grabbed my copy of this book and dived in once more. And I am totally thrilled to say that this time I really enjoyed it. I still ended up reading it in bits (lunch breaks at work etc) but I found myself wanting to get stuck in and read more. It seemed exciting to me again, and yes whilst I knew what was going to happen and who was going to die I still found myself turning pages in anticipation and dread. This time the whole book had a different feel to it, the way SP always used to feel to me, the raw emotion, the excitement, the banter between characters, the destruction and mania. It was all there, everything I remember loving about the series.
I still can't believe we are nearing the end, and I still can't believe some of the characters he killed - how dare he! Derek Landy is playing with our emotions!
I am so glad I gave this book another chance, it's strange how much circumstance and mood can affect the way you enjoy a book.
I am now eagerly awaiting book 9 - the final book! Whose title was released today, and it shall be called "Skulduggery Pleasant: The Dying of the Light". I can't wait - it comes out the day before my birthday too - PERFECT!
Once more the world makes sense - well as much as it ever did. I read the book and loved it, phew!
I'm sorry I ever doubted you Derek.

My Rating

Wednesday 9 April 2014

Author Q&A -Julie Milillo

One Girl.Two Worlds.
Three Questions.

What lies beneath the hidden secret?
Can love rise above the inevitable?
And most importantly, where will her fate lead her?
Amanda Chaste had lived what she considered an average life in New Jersey, looked after and cared for by her grandmother. But when she accidentally meets an enigmatic stranger from out of town, her world is drastically thrown upside down. A hidden secret has been buried in the past and not even Amanda can save herself from her own fate.
Conflicted and tormented within her own flesh, discovering her true identity will prove to be something that will change her life forever.

How far would you fall for answers?

Amanda has accepted her new life and the darkness has become more appealing than ever before because of Mitch.
But when her world is thrown into a drastic downward spiral, she is left questioning everything.
Amanda embarks on a nightmarish adventure and her faith is put to the ultimate test as she journeys onward to discover the true meaning behind family, love and her destiny between good and evil.  

 Author Q&A

1. What made you want to start writing?
I had always been involved in creative writing since I was young. I loved writing poems, lyrics and short stories in my free time or for school.
After a while, I also developed a passion for reading and after having a personal confrontation with one of my favorite authors, it really inspired me to take move forward with an idea I had and thus became The Immortal Sin Trilogy.

2. What are you currently working on?
I am currently working on the third and final installment to The Immortal Sin Trilogy.

3. Who are some of your inspirations?
I have quite of few who I admire and who’s work I love. Some of my inspirations are Elizabeth Chandler, Becca Fitzpatrick, Alexandra Adornetto, Stephanie Evanovich, Nicholas Sparks and the list could go on and on.

4. How did you get the idea for your latest book?
Well, my latest book is connected to the trilogy I have/am writing. The idea for The Immortal Sin Trilogy stems from my love for paranormal and specifically Angels and Demons. After reading so many books about this topic, I wondered what it would be like if an Angel and Demon came together and created something that has never really been considered before. Then my imagination just took off with it while incorporating experiences and emotions that I have experienced firsthand. So, this trilogy is very personal to me.

5. If your latest book was a movie, which actors would you see playing your main characters?
I am a huge movie person so there are many actors I would consider for the parts in my book.  Here are some actors I have considered:
Grey Damon, Taylor Lautner, or Jensen Ackles would be a potential Mitch/Malicious.
Evan Rachel Wood or Lauren Cohan as Amanda Chaste
Amanda Seyfried as Alexia Bellamy
Blythe Danner as Nan (Glory)
Chris Evans as Gregg
Meghan Ory as Ravish
Liam Hemsworth as Luca

6. What is the process of writing a book like?
It requires a lot of time and patience; a lot of analyzing and detailing. It’s best to commit as much as you can to it in order to complete a story that you are trying so delicately to assemble. It’s fun despite the hard work and long hours spent on putting the pieces together because you can let your imagination run wild.

7. Is your latest book going to be part of a series? Or are you looking at something completely new for your next book?
Yes, the latest book I’m working on is the last in my trilogy. I have plenty of new ideas I have been considering for a completely new series. However, I’m definitely sticking to paranormal, without a doubt. Stay tuned!

8. Do you listen to music while you write? If so, what kinds of music? Or do you need quiet?
I find it best to write in silence. It makes it easier for me to concentrate and fully submerse myself into this world I am creating on paper. I use music to give me some inspiration behind the things I write.

9. What is your favorite genre to read/write?
All of the above to read and write.

10. Can we follow you on social media? Do you have a Facebook page and/or Twitter and website?
Anyone can contact me or find more information on the following sites:

Facebook Page:
My blog:
My Website: