Thursday, 30 August 2012

Guest Post: Shift By Raine Thomas

Welcome to this stop on the Shift Blog Tour. The lovely Raine Thomas has put together a guest post where she intereviews her main character Sophia.
First here's more about the book!

Series: Firstborn #2
Release Date: 24th August 2012
Format: ebook
Synopsis: Having the ability to shapeshift, Sophia is familiar with change. But even she feels the rising tension in her homeland.

A shadowy male and deadly beast reside in their midst. The births of the newest Kynzesti loom. Hostile Mercesti continue to hunt for the Elder Scroll, and a traumatized female is too afraid to use her abilities to stop them.

Topping off Sophia’s stress is Quincy, the male she’s convinced can’t stand her. She rues the loss of their friendship, but can’t figure out how to move past it. She’ll soon learn, however, that mending that rift bears more significance than she ever imagined.

The search for the Elder Scroll takes on unexpected urgency, and Sophia finds herself in a race across the mainland. To stop the Mercesti led by Eirik, she and her companions must get past their differences and unite against them. If they don’t, Eirik will acquire the immense power he seeks, and two of the beings Sophia loves most will die.

Interview with Sophia from SHIFT by Raine Thomas

Today we have an opportunity to get to know Sophia, the female protagonist of Shift. She took some time out of her busy schedule to answer a few questions for us. Please make her feel welcome!
R:Thanks for chatting with us today, Sophia.
S:Sure. I do have to warn you, though, that I’ve got to keep this short.

R:We understand. There’s a lot happening on the Estilorian plane, right?
S: You could say that. If I don’t get back, one seriously evil Mercesti willassumethe powers of an elder. We’ll all be in trouble then.
R:You’re talking about Eirik. Are you involved in the effort to stop him, then?
S:Right smack in the middle of it.

R:Wow! I’ll bet your ability to shapeshift will come in handy.
S:We can only hope. I’ll do whatever I can to protect Ariana and Tate.
R:They’ll certainly be on the front lines, won’t they? I’m sure they appreciate your help, just as we appreciate you stopping by. Before you go, let’s do a few rapid-fire questions to help everyone get to know you better.
S:Okay. Shoot.

R:Cats or dogs?
S:I mostly shift into cats.
R:Fly or swim?
S:If I’m in the form of a bird, fly. Otherwise, swim.
R:Chocolate or vanilla?

R:Books or movies?
S:What are movies?

R:Oh, right. Sorry! Blonds or brunettes?
S:I’m partial to blonds.
R:Any blond in particular?
S:I think we’re done here.

R:Oh, well…I had to try! Thanks again for stopping by, Sophia. I’m sure you’ve given folks plenty of reasons to check out your story in Shift.
About Raine:
Raine Thomas is the author of the exciting and original series of YA fantasy/romance novels about the Estilorian plane. She became truly passionate about writing when one of her stories took an Honorable Mention in a fourth-grade writing competition (who would have thought a story about a dancing spider would garner so much attention?). Carrying that passion with her, she earned her bachelor’s degree in English with a focus in Creative Writing from Georgia State University, then her master’s degree in Humanities from Central Michigan University.
Residing in Orlando, Florida, Raine is a hopeless romantic with a background in the fields of mental health and wedding planning…two areas that intersect far more than one would think. Her years working with children and adolescents with emotional and behavioral challenges inspired her to create young protagonists who overcome their own conflicts. When she isn’t writing or glued to e-mail or social networking sites, Raine can usually be found vacationing with her husband and daughter on one of Florida’s beautiful beaches or crossing the border to visit with her Canadian friends and relatives.

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (#13)

Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

My chosen upcoming release is:
The Nightmare Affair
Release Date: 5th March 2013
Publisher: Tor (US)
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 352
Synopsis: 16-year-old Dusty Everhart breaks into houses late at night, but not because she’s a criminal. No, she’s a Nightmare. Literally. Dusty is a magical being who feeds on human dreams.

Being the only Nightmare at Arkwell Academy, a boarding school for magickind, and living in the shadow of her mother’s infamy is hard enough. But when Dusty sneaks into Eli Booker’s house, things get a whole lot more complicated. He’s hot, which means sitting on his chest and invading his dreams couldn’t get much more embarrassing. But it does. Eli is dreaming of a murder. The setting is Arkwell.

And then it comes true.

Now the Dusty has to follow the clues--both within Eli’s dreams and out of them--to stop the killer before more people turn up dead. And before the killer learns what she’s up to and marks her as the next target.
I freaking love this cover and the book itself sounds awesome! Purple is also my favourite colour! I will be reading this!
What's your "Waiting On Wednesday" pick this week?
Want to participate? Grab the logo, post your own WoW entry on your blog, and leave your link at Breaking the Spine.

Monday, 27 August 2012

Tomorrow When the War Began By John Marsden

Tomorrow When the War Began
Series: Tomorrow #1
Release Date: 1993 originally, This edition 2011
Publisher: Quercus
Format: Paperback
Pages: 284
Synopsis: When Ellie and her friends go camping, they have no idea they're leaving their old lives behind forever. Despite a less-than-tragic food shortage and a secret crush or two, everything goes as planned. But a week later, they return home to find their houses empty and their pets starving. Something has gone wrong--horribly wrong. Before long, they realize the country has been invaded, and the entire town has been captured--including their families and all their friends. Ellie and the other survivors face an impossible decision: They can flee for the mountains or surrender. Or they can fight.
Review: I recently saw the film of this book and I loved it so I wanted to see what happened next. I borrowed the first two books from my library and dug in. One thing I can say is the idea behind this book is very unique and very interesting. It's something that really makes the reader think, after all this could really happen, how scary is that? The only problem I had with the book was, that as I had already seen the film I knew pretty much everything that happened, so there were no surprises. Nevertheless it's a very enjoyable read that opens your eyes to the outside world and it even prepares you to take care of yourself if this happen to you. It shows what's important for survival and what's not despite how hard it may be to let things go. I loved this book, just thinking about it makes my heart gush, it's one of those book that makes your body come alive just thinking about it. It's like an electric current running through your veins, that's how eager and how much I loved this book.
Tomorrow When the War Began follows a group of teenagers who decide to go camping in the holidays. Only when their camping down in the place called Hell, their country is invaded. After a week they come back up and see that their world has changed for good. All of their families have disappeared and all the houses are abandoned. They all panic until Homer decides they need to gather supplies and try and figure out what's going on. They do not want to be caught too. The group realise there may be somethings they can do to slow down the invasion so they put their heads together to make plans, but the most important thing is that they all survive.
I love the group of characters in this book, they are all so different and real. I like watching their relationships develop as they get to know each other, after all they're the only people who are still free. I love Ellie's character, she's tough and down to earth. She always over thinks things but at the same time, she really struggles with her thoughts after she ends up killing someone. They begin to take her over but she knows she needs to pull through and be strong for the others. She's one of their leaders. Homer, is like a brother to Ellie, they're next door neighbours. They've grown up together and they both take on the role of leaders. Homer is the clown, he's always in trouble and he knows how to disrupt things. Fi, is the town girl, she's never had to get dirty in her life. We watch her begin to adapt to the outside world and learn lots of new things. She isn't stuck up though, she's actually really nice and kind. Lee, is a passionate musician and also a deep thinker. He becomes Ellie's love interest. There's Corrie, Ellie's best friend and her boyfriend Kevin. Then there's Robyn who I also really liked. She's very religious but she's just as strong as the others or even more so. I loved seeing this different side to her. Oh and Chris, he likes drink and drugs but he helps out when needed.
This book is full of action and adventure, it's always keeping you at the edge of your seat but at the same time it makes you really think. It has a great plot and great characters, there isn't much that could be improved. I just loved this book! The horror these teenagers feel when they see what has happened to their home town is fantastically done. We see them struggle with so many emotions, and each handles the situation differently. It's a brilliant book that makes the reader think and it shows how teenagers are willing to help their home country. We're not all lazy. I like the message this book brings across and shows the strength and intelligence a group of teenagers can have. I've already started book 2 and I'm really enjoying it!

Sunday, 26 August 2012

Letterbox Love (#16)

Letterbox Love is a new weekly meme hosted by narratively speaking. The UK book bloggers have joined together and made a British version of IMM, and here it is. I'm proud to be a UK book blogger so this seemed like an excellent new meme to participate in.
For some reasome we didn't get post for two days this week, so I probably didn't get all my parcels. Therefore this is a small haul but the books in it look amazing and i can't wait to dig in!
Here's what I got this week:
The book links will take you to the book's Goodreads page.
Huge Thanks to Big Book Little Book for these! What's even cooler is they are all signed!
Won/ For Review:
Thanks to Bluewater Waterstones for this!
Thank you Quercus for this!
I've already read this and freaking lovved it, i will link to my review in the wrap up!
Here's the weekly wrap up:
Blog Tour + Excerpt: Earth Girl By Janet Edwards
Blog Tour + Excerpt: At What Cost By J. Andersen
I would love to see what you received this week, please leave your links in the comments!

Friday, 24 August 2012

Beautiful Disaster By Jamie McGuire

Beautiful Disaster
Series: Beautiful #1
Release Date: 14th August 2012
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Format: Paperback
Pages: 432
Synopsis: The new Abby Abernathy is a good girl. She doesn’t drink or swear, and she has the appropriate percentage of cardigans in her wardrobe. Abby believes she has enough distance between her and the darkness of her past, but when she arrives at college with her best friend, her path to a new beginning is quickly challenged by Eastern University's Walking One-Night Stand.

Travis Maddox, lean, cut, and covered in tattoos, is exactly what Abby needs—and wants—to avoid. He spends his nights winning money in a floating fight ring, and his days as the ultimate college campus charmer. Intrigued by Abby’s resistance to his appeal, Travis tricks her into his daily life with a simple bet. If he loses, he must remain abstinent for a month. If Abby loses, she must live in Travis’s apartment for the same amount of time. Either way, Travis has no idea that he has met his match.
Review: Oh my gosh, this book! This book is brilliant, amazing, wonderful, fantastic and all the other good words to describe a book. This book is something else entirely, it's in a world of it own. Nothing can compare to this, at least nothing I've read so far. This book is addictive, I found myself engrossed with the story and I didn't want to put it down. The book called to me whenever I left it, my hands were always itching to grip the book and dig into the story once again. The emotional impact this book has was incredible. I have so many emotions towards this book but there just aren't any words to describe how much I loved this book. It is already one of my favourites and I want to revisit the characters again already!
Beautiful Disaster follows Abby as she starts at university trying to run from her past. Only Abby and her best friend America know the truth and she isn't going to let anyone else know. That is until she stumbles into Travis, who does pretty much all the things Abby has run from. They have a chemistry which is explosive. Abby knows she can't fall for a guy like that but she can't control her feelings. Travis realises that Abby is different, she's not one of the girls who throw themselves at him, instead she makes it very clear he won't get into her panties. So the two become friends and Travis begins to change, he gives up his bad boy rock and roll ways. Everyone notices the effect Abby has on Travis but the two won't admit their feelings for one another. When Travis wins a bet and Abby has to live with him for a month, things begin to get out of hand. Their chemistry sizzles and they make each other very happy but they also argue like a married couple. Abby knows it won't last, in the end the inevitable will happen, and she will have to leave and run all over again. But will things be different this time, can the pair work this out or will they remain a beautiful disaster?
I freaking loved these characters, they were all so real! I mean even the secondary characters were well fleshed out. I would love to meet them in real life and see the chemistry Abby and Travis have with my own eyes. Gah, they are so perfect together! Anyway lets talk about them individually. At first we were meant to see Abby as an innocent girl running from her past but we soon realised that there is so much more to her than that! She is stubborn and can easily take care of herself, she knows what's best for her and what's not. She's an independent women who is trying to make a new life for herself. It was great watching her battle her choices and seeing if she would follow her head or her heart. We saw the pain that she'd been through and it makes it easier to relate and see why she does the things she does. Some things she does in the novel may seem selfish to some readers but when you understand what she's been through you realise she is doing what she has to do to stop herself falling back into the small hole she'd just climbed out from.
Travis is a typical bad boy, he smokes, drinks fights and uses girls. He's very stubborn and unpredictable, he has a real bad temper that he can't keep under control. His life has fallen into a pattern, drink, smoke and use girls for sex. That is until he meets Abby, he sees something different in her. She doesn't want him like other girls do and that changes him. He sees that there's something in Abby that's different and he wants that. When he's around Abby he becomes a sweet guy who cares so much about her. Yes he made some really stupid decisions but he soon realised his mistake and he would do anything to make sure Abby was by his side.
Their relationship was brilliant. They bought out each others good side and sometimes each others bad sides. That's the reality of relationships, you know the other person as well as you know yourself and together they see the whole package. Abby knows about Travis' old ways but she doesn't let her cloud her judgement of him when he changes for her. Similarly Travis loves Abby so much, he doesn't care about who she is or more importantly who her father is. Gah, My heart is practically bursting just thinking about the two of them together, can I go and read the book again now? I getting withdrawal symptoms from the characters. I really liked America and Shepley too but I won't bore you anymore with details.
Oh and the ending, it was freaking amazing! I just want to jump around with a big stupid grin on my face! It was just Perfect!
Beautiful Disaster is a beautiful and emotional story about the reality of love. It shows us that the journey isn't always easy but if you truly love each other you can get through anything. I loved this book and I can't recommend it enough. Please read this! You won't be disappointed!

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Waiting On Wednesday (#12)

Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

My chosen upcoming release is:

The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls
Release Date: 28th August 2012
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 352

Synopsis: At the Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls, you will definitely learn your lesson. A dark, timeless, and heartfelt novel for fans of Coraline and The Mysterious Benedict Society.Victoria hates nonsense. There is no need for it when your life is perfect. The only smudge on her pristine life is her best friend Lawrence. He is a disaster—lazy and dreamy, shirt always untucked, obsessed with his silly piano. Victoria often wonders why she ever bothered being his friend. (Lawrence does too.)

But then Lawrence goes missing. And he’s not the only one. Victoria soon discovers that The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls is not what it appears to be. Kids go in but come out…different. Or they don’t’ come out at all.

If anyone can sort this out, it’s Victoria—even if it means getting a little messy.

This sounds really interesting and it's out in a week so it seemed like a great pick!

What's your "Waiting On Wednesday" pick this week?
Want to participate? Grab the logo, post your own WoW entry on your blog, and leave your link at Breaking the Spine.

Monday, 20 August 2012

Blog Tour + Excerpt: At What Cost By J. Andersen

Welcome to the first stop on the At What Cost Blog Tour! Below you will find an extract from chapter 1 and links to find out more about this awesome book!

At What Cost
Release Date: 13th June 2012
Publisher: Astraea Press
Format: ebook
Pages: 225

Synopsis: During her junior year, sixteen-year-old Maggie Reynolds expected to shop for prom dresses not maternity clothes. Now, instead of studying for the SATs, she’s reading, What to Expect When You’re Expecting. Maggie’s ‘Mother Dearest’ lives in fear that Maggie will somehow taint the family name, so Maggie can’t turn to her for help. Meanwhile, her father is oblivious to anything but his 9-9 job. And her boyfriend, Justin? She’s pretty sure he’ll stay by her side.

While Maggie wrestles with her options, Justin offers a solution: abortion. It would solve all her problems quickly, easily, and effectively. And her parents would never know, which means they won’t throw her out and cut her off like they’d always threatened if she got herself knocked up. Now Maggie must decide which choice she can live with: abortion or teenage motherhood. Either way, it’ll be a tough road to travel.

The Excerpt: Maggie pulled out her calendar, and flipped past July and August, which were filled with her work schedule and penciled-in date nights with Justin. “No,” she whispered, turning to the month of September. “No, no, no, no, no.” The blood drained from her face, and she sucked in a deep breath, trying not to pass out.
“No, it can’t be,” she whispered again. Count again.
“Mags, what’s wrong?” Lauren Weaver, her best friend, leaned over from her seat with a look of concern on her face.
Maggie glanced at Lauren, and shooed her away with her hand. She flicked her eyes back to her calendar, flipped to the month of August and counted the days from the little ”X” she’d made at the beginning of the month.
Lauren interrupted her deep concentration. “Maggie,” she whispered, smacking her gum.
A bead of sweat trickled down Maggie’s hairline. Finally, she looked straight at her friend, whose eyes squinted in confusion.
“What’s wrong?”
“Oh, nothing.” Slapping her notebook closed, she packed up her books long before class was over. “Nothing, I’m fine.”
But she wasn’t. “Ms. O’Donnell, I’m not feeling well,” she said as she gathered her books and dashed to the nearest bathroom down the hall, where she locked herself in the handicapped stall and sat on the toilet trying to suck in a full breath. It wasn’t possible. The calendar she’d just used moments before stared at her from the top of her pile of books, but she ignored it for a while longer, choosing instead to read the graffiti on the walls. Jenna & Cade 4ever. Mr. Brackenrich bites! Not very creative. Staring at the puffy lettering scratched on the wall, her vision grew fuzzy until her brain pulled her into the present again.
She had probably counted wrong. Yeah, that was it. Grabbing the little book, she looked for the mark telling her what day she’d started last month. Twenty-eight, twenty-nine, thirty…forty-one…forty-one...forty-one.
Numbness spread through her limbs and mind as she sat on the toilet. Her arms slack at her side, she didn’t have the strength even to close the notebook, which still lay open on her lap. She was late. Two weeks late. She’d been late before, but only a couple of days, never two weeks. Forty-one days. No, that couldn’t be right. One more time. Count one more time. But it was no use. All six times, she came up with the same number. She was late. Late enough to be—
Without warning, her stomach heaved, and the acid rose.


Buy the book here:

Find more about the author and book here:

Be sure to check out the rest of the tour on the following dates:

Tour Schedule
20th August: Book Excerpt here
20th August: A Guest Post via
22nd August: Promo post via
24th August: Review via
25th August: Interview via
26th August: Giveaway via
26th August: Character Profile via

Thanks for stopping by! 

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Blog Tour + Excerpt: Earth Girl By Janet Edwards

I was so excited to be asked to take part in the blog tour for the brilliant debut novel, Earth Girl By Janet Edwards. If you haven't already, check out my review here. This book is a MUST read. It is fantastic! If I haven't persuaded you already check out the excerpt below and then decide!

First here's more about the book:

Earth Girl
Release Date:
16th August 2012
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Format: Paperback
Pages: 358 (In the review copy)

Synopsis: 2788. Only the handicapped live on Earth. While everyone else portals between worlds, 18-year-old Jarra is among the one in a thousand people born with an immune system that cannot survive on other planets. Sent to Earth at birth to save her life, she has been abandoned by her parents. She can’t travel to other worlds, but she can watch their vids, and she knows all the jokes they make. She’s an ‘ape’, a ‘throwback’, but this is one ape girl who won’t give in.

Jarra invents a fake background for herself – as a normal child of Military parents – and joins a class of norms that is on Earth to excavate the ruins of the old cities. When an ancient skyscraper collapses, burying another research team, Jarra’s role in their rescue puts her in the spotlight. No hiding at back of class now. To make life more complicated, she finds herself falling in love with one of her classmates – a norm from another planet. Somehow, she has to keep the deception going.

A freak solar storm strikes the atmosphere, and the class is ordered to portal off-world for safety – no problem for a real child of military parents, but fatal for Jarra. The storm is so bad that the crews of the orbiting solar arrays have to escape to planet below: the first landing from space in 600 years. And one is on collision course with their shelter.

Now onto the Excerpt:

‘This is the good bit,’ said Fian, leaning forward and watching eagerly. ‘It happens just about every episode.’
Stalea appeared to lose patience totally, grabbed her lover, threw him across the jungle clearing and pinned him to the ground.
I blinked and realized something. ‘I remind you of her because of the throwing him around!’
Fian nodded.
‘I don’t do it very often,’ I defended myself.
‘Stalea does,’ said Fian, ‘and I’m a nice contract boy from Delta who gets a bit powered at the thought of a beautiful girl throwing him across the room, pinning him down and . . .’
I watched Stalea and her lover demonstrating the unfinished ‘and’ part of the sentence. The credits rolled and the vid ended just as things were getting really interesting.
I looked at Fian, and burst out laughing. ‘Throwing men across the room . . .’
He grinned back at me. ‘Aliens ripping off the hero’s clothes . . .’
‘True.’ I stood up and collected my pillow. ‘I’d better say good night. We’ll be working the site again tomorrow.’
‘Yes, you may have more lives to save so you’d better get your sleep.’ Fian opened the door. ‘I enjoyed Defenders, so thank you.’
Stalea wasn’t that bad either, so thank you too.’
As I went out, I could see Fian was watching for me to pause and give him the opening for a kiss, or maybe he was hoping I’d throw him across the room and leap on him. Either way, he was out of luck. I walked down the corridor to my own room and I didn’t look back.
Fian was great. He loved history. He could laugh at himself instead of sulk the way Cathan had always done. He even looked a bit like Arrack San Domex. Fian was the man of my dreams, but he was a norm and I was only an ape. He liked JMK, not me, and JMK didn’t even exist. When he found out the truth, he was going to hate me.

Doesn't it sound great! I loved this part of the book! Now do you see why you need to read this book! If you only read one book this year, choose Earth Girl!

About the Author:

Janet Edwards grew up in prosaic England, but also shared the lives of amazing people in fantastic worlds. She explored the past, the future, the paranormal, the alternate Earths, and the worlds beyond the fields we know or hidden in the shadows of our own reality. Her guides were books written by authors, some still famous and some already forgotten. Those authors have hundreds of individual names, but they have one title in common. They were all Expert Dreamers.

After growing bored with work involving tedious technical facts, Janet made a break for freedom through a magical wardrobe and is now training as an Apprentice Dreamer. She has a husband, a son, a lot of books, and an aversion to housework.

Chat to Janet Edwards on Twitter. She is also on Facebook.

Huge thanks to both Janet Edwards and Harper Voyager for letting me take part in the tour!

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Letterbox Love (#15)

Letterbox Love is a new weekly meme hosted by narratively speaking. The UK book bloggers have joined together and made a British version of IMM, and here it is. I'm proud to be a UK book blogger so this seemed like an excellent new meme to participate in.

For some reasome we didn't get post for two days this week, so I probably didn't get all my parcels. Therefore this is a small haul but the books in it look amazing and i can't wait to dig in!

Here's what I got this week:
The book links will take you to the book's Goodreads page.

This is a signed edition and i also got a matching bookmark!

For Review:
Thanks to Harper Voyager for this, it sounds brilliant!

I'm amazed at how huge this is! The cover is gorgeous! Thank you Atom books!

Here's the weekly wrap up:
Waiting on Wednesday: Falling to Ash By Karen Mahoney

I would love to see what you received this week, please leave your links in the comments!

Friday, 17 August 2012

A Measure Of Disorder Blog Tour: Promo Post!

Welcome to this stop on the Measure of Disorder Blog Tour! I hope you enjoy this promo post!

A Measure Of Disorder
Series: Mother Earth #1
Release Date: 30th April 2010

Synopsis: High school will be a breeze for Jenni Kershaw -- if she lives long enough to enroll, that is.
Jenni's ordinary, eighth grade life becomes a thing of the past when her science class goes on a field trip. Armed with only their notebooks, MP3 players, and wits, Jenni and her classmates are unknowingly transported to another world.

There they encounter amazing creatures, some of which think a kid shish kebab would be a tasty treat. But they soon find the greatest dangers they face may come from themselves ...
Follow Jenni and her class on their extraordinary adventures in their fight to discover who -- and what -- they really are.

Praise for A Measure of Disorder, Book One of the Mother-Earth Series

"...I was hooked! I could hardly put this book down. ... It is WELL written, well thought out, and the whole concept is completely insane. Which makes for one great fantasy book."-- Austin, from

"A Measure of Disorder by Alan Tucker is a wonderful foray into fantasy and imagination"-- Tracy, from Midwest Book Review

"...the plot really kept me hooked and I flew through the last hundred pages. I just had to know what was going to happen next."-- Aimee, from A Book Dork blog

"As I neared the end of the book, I found myself reading ravenously to find out what happened. I'd love to give more details, but this is really a book that you just need to read to appreciate."-- Jessica, from A Hopelessly Devoted Bibliophile's Book Blog

About the Author

Alan Tucker, author of A Measure of Disorder and A Cure for Chaos, is a dad, a graphic designer, and a soccer coach. Mostly in that order. He's had a lifelong adoration of books, beginning with Encyclopedia Brown, progressing through Alan Dean Foster's Flinx, and continuing on with the likes of Jim Butcher, Rachel Caine and Naomi Novik, to name a few.

"I wanted to write a book that I'd enjoy reading. One that I hoped my kids would enjoy too!"

Visit the main website at for more information about the books. View maps, watch trailers, see reviews and much more!


Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Waiting On Wednesday (#11)

Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

My chosen upcoming release is:

Falling to Ash
Series: Moth #1
Release Date: 27th September 2012
Publisher: Corgi
Format: Paperback
Pages: 304

Synopsis: You can’t choose your family... living or dead.

Trapped between two very different worlds, newly made vampire Moth is struggling to find her place in either. Not only does she have to answer to her strict Irish-Catholic Dad, but her over-protective maker, Theo, is intent on making her the star attraction in his powerful Boston vampire clan. Moth will have to pull off the double-act of the century to please both of them...

Adding to her problems is the dangerously attractive Jason Murdoch, a trainee vampire hunter who loves to play cat and mouse in his spare time (Jace = cat; Moth = mouse). But when the teenagers of Boston’s wealthiest families start to disappear, it forces Moth and Jace into an uneasy truce. Will they be able to solve the mystery behind the disappearances—before someone winds up undead?

At the Foyles summer Scream Event, Karen read an extract from this and it sounds so good!

What's your "Waiting On Wednesday" pick this week?
Want to participate? Grab the logo, post your own WoW entry on your blog, and leave your link at Breaking the Spine.

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Girl, Interrupted By Susanna Kaysen

Girl, Interrupted
Release Date: 18th May 1993
Publisher: Virago
Format: Paperback
Pages: 168

Synopsis: In 1967, after a session with a psychiatrist she'd never seen before, eighteen-year-old Susanna Kaysen was put in a taxi and sent to McLean Hospital. She spent most of the next two years on the ward for teenage girls in a psychiatric hospital as renowned for its famous clientele -- Sylvia Plath, Robert Lowell, James Taylor and Ray Charles.

Review: This is another book that has left such an impact on me. For one I suffer from a mental illness so I can relate to Susanna in the book. Girl, Interrupted is a memoir of Susanna Kaysen when at the age of 18 was placed into a psychiatric hospital. Two years she spent inside recovering from her mental illness. Two years she was safe and free inside from the outside world. Mental illness changes you, it's a journey and it's a very hard one. We watch Susanna struggle and get worse before she gets better. Others aren't as fortunate. Some mental illnesses stay with you forever.

After being place on a ward with fellow teenage girls and mental health suffers. She begins to get to know them and each are unique. Each suffer from a different illness. Susanna has a personality disorder, Lisa is a sociopath, Cynthia is a depressive, and Georgina and Polly are schizophrenic. We get an inside look at each of these illnesses and how they affect people.

For me what's scary is that, if I had been born 20 or so years before, I would have been placed in a mental health hospital. That is a scary thought. From Girl, Interrupted we get to see the kinder side of Mental hospitals. Still it's a scary prospect from Susanna we learn that it is tough and hard. The workers and outside world look down on you, we are not mad. We are just ill. It's an illness just like anything else. What really struck me was how accurate Susanna wrote about how people react when people realise you are mentally ill. Even 10 years after this book has been published some things like this are the same. Susanna talks about how they react and the horror when they realise that if she is mad, how different is the other person. Are they nearing the edge of insanity? Also how people act that mental illness is contagious, it is not. It hurts the person more when you shy away, it makes them feel worse. You are just doing more damage. You will make the person think they are worse then they really are. Simple things like this can change someone for the worse.

We saw the inside workings of a mental health hospital and it was really interesting. Yes, there is some shocking ways they used to treat people but also get to see how the girls lived their daily lives. We watched them get checked every five minutes and how they always had to be accompanied when they went out. We saw how the patients reacted to the workers and vise versa. The patients became friends and they knew how each other thought and how they acted. I liked watching each patient interact with one another and really despite the illness they are just normal teenage girls.

I found Susanna very relatable and the novel was both full of wisdom and humour. We get to see how she was before and after the hospital and really it did help her. This book has helped me personally and had an impact. It shows that you are not alone, there are others suffering the same way you are. I loved this book, it was great. It had humour and wisdom but most of all reality. It is a memoir after all. Another thing i loved was how Susanna managed to get all the records from her file from the hospital. It just adds something more to the book and it's really interesting. This book is one of many I've bought on Mental Illness and it's one I will keep to refer to for a long while. I will leave you with a quote that really jumped out at me.

“Are you crazy? It’s a common phrase, I know. But it means something particular to me: the tunnels, the security screens, the plastic forks, the shimmering, ever-shifting borderline that like all boundaries beckons and asks to be crossed. I do not want to cross it again” (159).

Monday, 13 August 2012

House Of Night: New UK Covers Revealed!

I am a huge fan of this series and was slightly worried when I found out the covers would be changed for the entire series. Alas the first three books, and the upcoming release Hidden new covers have all been revealed on the Atom website. I have to say I like how they are bright and colourful where as the previous colours were dark and gloomy. I personally think these covers are gorgeous! The first three books released with new covers will be out on the hardback release day for Hidden. 16th October!

Here are all the new covers in their glory:

Also Here's the Hidden Cover:

What do you think of the new design? I will keep you posted on when the next redesigns are revealed!

Black Heart Blue By Louisa Reid

Black Heart Blue
Release Date: 10th May 2012
Publisher: Penguin
Format: Paperback
Pages: 274

Synopsis: 'They tried to make me go to my sister's funeral today. In the end I had to give in ... I'd been walking in her shadow for sixteen years and I liked its cool darkness. It was a good place to hide.'

Rebecca's twin sister Hephzibah was beautiful and daring. She was the one who always wanted more. The one who wouldn't listen. Now she's gone, Rebecca is alone.

While there were two of them, they stayed silent about their home life. But Rebecca, who knows the truth about how her twin died, suddenly finds herself keeping too many secrets. Hephzibah dreamt of escape, but failed. Could Rebecca be the one to find freedom?

Original and unforgettable, Black Heart Blue is not just Rebecca and Hephzibah's story. It's a story about all of us: a story about the lies we want to believe, the truth we sometimes can't, and having the courage to discover the difference.

Review: I won this book earlier this year but I've only just got around to reading this. This book is a heartbreaking story about truth and the reality of peoples lives. It teaches us many lessons, one of the most important is that you should never judge someone because you don't know what goes on at home behind closed doors. People who seem normal could be living through hell at home and they don't need you adding to their misery. The two girls in this story were locked away by their father and abused, only recently have they been allowed to go to college but still they are on a tight leash. The girls have to learn how to act normal and it's here you see how much of a monster their parents are to make them like this. It should never happen. People shouldn't have children if they are not ready to look after them. We see neglect and abuse in this story but the best thing is we see the girls coming into their own and in the end standing up for themselves. In a way it's very inspiring to see Rebecca pick herself up and start anew, that would take a lot of guts but she did it. I'm sure there have been real people who have done this too, and all I can say is they are inspirational. Starting anew from scratch, despite their past, they give it a go. I want you to realise how emotional this journey was and even now I'm realising that this book hit me more than I initially thought. Despite the dark themes it's probably one of my best books this year. The book is just so real and fleshed out, in a way it's scary how real it is. Nevertheless it's that which pulls you into the story and doesn't let you go. There's times you want to stop reading or look away but the story is just too good. You have to know what happens next.

Black Heart Blue follows twins Hephzibah and Rebecca. The story is told from two point of views. As the story takes place after Hephzibahs death we get Rebecca's point of view after and Hephzibahs view before she died. This worked really well, we got to see the story unfold and find out the secrets that Rebecca kept hidden. It was brilliantly told, the author Louisa Reid really has a way with words. I think I will read everything else she writes, she has left such a big impression on me.

The story starts the day of Hephzibahs funeral when Rebecca is forced to go. For the first time she is all alone and has to step out of her sisters shadow. Rebecca was born with Treacher Collins Syndrome, so she is used to all the stares but that doesn't make it any easier. Rebecca tries to live her life as normally as she can but that isn't possible with a father like hers. Soon he stops her from attending college and she is forced to work in the vicarage all day and at night if he is angry he will come for her. We watch her suffer daily and things soon get worse. From Rebecca's point of view we get to see the last few weeks of her life and how they play out. It truly is heartbreaking to watch these events unfold. The girls who have been hidden all their life do not know the consequences of things in the real world. It's hard just writing this review, remembering all the pain the girls went through and how their lives left them unprepared for reality and the real world.

Hephzibah was the less serious twin, she was determined to get out before they killed her. She wanted to enjoy life and meet boys not be stuck in the vicarage all day. She knew how to work her mother and her father went soft on her but too many times she allowed her sister to take the punch. Rebecca because of her syndrome was according to her father the work of the devil and he punished her frequently. She was quiet and never screamed, she was scared. So so scared. She had nightmares and she wouldn't even tell her sister what they were about. Despite what happens to Hephzibah I think Rebecca got put through much worse. It Hephzibahs innocents and her parents ignorance that led to her death. Rebecca had secrets of her own some even worse than her sisters. It makes me sick just thinking about some of them.

This book was engrossing, you just couldn't pull away. The main themes are dark and horrible but you root for Rebecca the whole way and hope she stays safe. This book really does open your eyes to the world and things you can't see. It makes you think twice about everything. You question life and what you know. This book will impact you in many ways, you won't ever forget it. If you think you are prepared to read this book, I really do suggest it. It shows the horrors of life but also the strength of an individual. That in itself is worth reading. Black Heart Blue is one book that will remain with me for a long while. The lessons learnt in this book will help the reader too. It's full of wisdom but most of the all the strength. The novel was so real that I don't want to let it go. I don't want to finish this review, I still have so much more to say but I will let you discover more on your own.