Friday 24 October 2014

FF (182)

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 Little Book Pixie

Characters, sometimes our favorites, die during books. If you’d get to choose, who would you bring back? via Howling for Books 

My Answer: I would definitely say Ghastly from the Skulduggery Pleasant books, he was such a great character and he had real heart too. I loved his sarcastic humour and bluntness but also his sweet and caring side. I was so sad when he was killed.

Of course there are other obvious answers like Dobby from Harry Potter, and even Sirius - I cried buckets when both of them went. Imagine what Harry's life would have been like if he could have moved in with Sirius - a proper family.  ;'(

Happy Hopping and Blogging!

Book Review - City of Ember

Title: City of Ember
Author: Jeanne DuPrau
Series: Book of Ember (book 1)
Publisher: Corgi Childrens
Release Date: 6 Jan 2005
ISBN-13: 978-0552552387

Many hundreds of years ago, the city of Ember was created by the Builders to contain everything needed for human survival. It worked - but now the storerooms are almost out of food, crops are blighted, corruption is spreading through the city and worst of all - the lights are failing. Soon Ember could be engulfed by darkness-But when two children, Lina and Doon, discover fragments of an ancient parchment, they begin to wonder if there could be a way out of Ember. Can they decipher the words from long ago and find a new future for everyone? Will the people of Ember listen to them?

My Review
I have had this book on my shelf for absolutely ages, I found it in my local discount bookshop and thought it was worth a try. I knew there was a movie too and it sounded good so I picked it up. I actually ended up watching the film sometime last year and rather enjoyed it although there were a few things that didn't quite add up- a few plot holes, but overall it was enjoyable. But still I didn't read the book. Then last week my mum saw the DVD on my shelf and asked if we could watch it, I didn't enjoy it as much the second time but still thought it was a fairly good story, so I decided it was time to dig the book out. 
I kind of wish I hadn't, maybe if I had read the book first or even left it a bit longer after seeing the movie I might have enjoyed it more, but as it was I found the book very slow. It starts off pretty much identical to the film and I got straight into the story, but it went downhill from there. 
The world is set up well and is very well described, Jeanne DePrau has a was with imagery but the story itself was just lacking for me.
I kept waiting for a bit of excitement, something to get my heart pounding and the story moving, but it was just Lena trying to solve the mystery of the paper she found, and she certainly struggles with that. 
Although only 269 pages it seemed longer and yet there didn't seem to be that much content. I know there is a second book and I am slightly curious as to what becomes of them all I don't think I will be reading it. I just wasn't overly inspired by it. 
Who knows, maybe the film influenced me and I would have enjoyed this book better if I didn't have that version in my head, but as it was I have to say, although it's a very rare confession from me, but the movie was better.

My Rating


Thursday 23 October 2014

Book Review - Sleep No More

Title: Sleep No More
Author: Aprilynne Pike
Series: Charlotte Westing Chronicles (Book 1)
Publisher: Harper Teen
Release Date: 29th April 2014
ISBN13: 9780061999031

Charlotte Westing has a gift. She is an Oracle and has the ability to tell the future. But it doesn't do her much good. Instead of using their miraculous power, modern-day Oracles are told to fight their visions—to refrain from interfering. And Charlotte knows the price of breaking the rules. She sees it every day in her wheelchair-bound mother and the absence of her father. But when a premonition of a classmate's death is too strong for her to ignore, Charlotte is forced to make an impossible decision: continue following the rules or risk everything—even her sanity—to stop the serial killer who is stalking her town. 

My Review
This is definitely not my normal type of book, I wouldn't usually ever pick this sort of book off the shelf, but as it is Aprilynne Pike I wanted to give it a go as I love her books. 
Charlotte is an oracle, she can see the future in visions. She has no control over them but she always tries to resist them. Her aunt has been training her since she was 6, do not let them come, do not close your eyes. But as the visions get stronger Charlotte finds it harders to fight them off, so when she sees a vision of a classmate being killed, she has to decide whether to ignore it like she's been taught or try to change it.
This book is very well written and very quickly draws you in, I wanted to know more. I was so intrigued, the beginning really makes you wonder what is happening and then sets up the world of the story very well. 
Although a litle bit creepy and gory in places which would usually have me slamming the book shut and running away, I was so invested in the story that I couldn't stop reading and I had to know more.
I sat down with this book with the intention of reading for about an hour before I got on with my housework, but 3 hours later I was still sat there just finishing the book.
Aprilynne Pike has a real way with words and is a fabulous storyteller. I am definitely a fan of her work and will be looking out for the next book by her. 
This is the perfect read for this time of year, spooky and make your blood run cold but still totally addictive.

My Rating

Monday 20 October 2014

Book Spotlight - The Gathering Darkness

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

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

“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.

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.)



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.

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!