Thursday, 31 May 2012

120 Follower Giveaway!

So, as of today I have 120 followers on GFC! YAY! Thanks so much! I love you guys! So it's time to share the love with a little giveaway! :) 
Enter to win a book of your choice (up to £7) from the book depository!


Rules
- must be a GFC follower
- must be a least 13 years old
- must have an address that the book depository ships to for free.
- make sure the email address asociated with your entry is one I can contact you on.
- winner has 72 hours to respond to notification email or unfortunately a new winner will be drawn.

Good luck! May the odds be ever in your favour!


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Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Thorn Release Day Party!




Thorn is released today!!!!


Title: Thorn
Author: Intisar Khanani
Genre: YA Fantasy
Princess Alyrra’s strength lies in silence. Scorned by her family, she avoids the court, spending her time with servants. When her marriage is unexpectedly arranged with the prince of a powerful neighboring kingdom, Alyrra feels trapped. As the court celebrates her match, dark rumors spread about the unexplained deaths of the women of her new family. Alyrra begins her journey with mounting trepidation. Betrayed while traveling, she seizes an opportunity to start a life away from court.

Walking away from a prince whom she doesn’t know should have been easy. But from the moment she sets eyes on him, Alyrra realizes that her freedom could cost him his life. Without any magical defense of her own, she is plunged into a lethal game of sorcery and deceit. Now Alyrra must decide whom she can trust and what she’s willing to fight for—before her silence proves fatal.

Author Bio
Intisar Khanani grew up a nomad and traveler. Born in Wisconsin, she has lived in five different states as well as in Jeddah on the coast of the Red Sea. She first remembers seeing snow on a wintry street in Zurich, Switzerland, and vaguely recollects having breakfast with the orangutans at the Singapore Zoo when she was five. She now resides in Cincinnati, Ohio, with her husband and young daughter. Intisar writes grants and develops projects to address community health with the Cincinnati Health Department, which is as close as she can get to saving the world. Her approach to writing fantasy reflects her lifelong passion for stories from different cultures. She is currently writing a trilogy set in the same world as Thorn. This is her first novel.



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WINNER CONFIRMED


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Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Today I am reading...The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa

The Immortal Rules (Blood of Eden, #1) 

Blurb: (from goodreads):
In a future world, Vampires reign. Humans are blood cattle. And one girl will search for the key to save humanity.


Allison Sekemoto survives in the Fringe, the outermost circle of a vampire city. By day, she and her crew scavenge for food. By night, any one of them could be eaten.

Some days, all that drives Allie is her hatred of them. The vampires who keep humans as blood cattle. Until the night Allie herself is attacked—and given the ultimate choice. Die… or become one of the monsters.

Faced with her own mortality, Allie becomes what she despises most. To survive, she must learn the rules of being immortal, including the most important: go long enough without human blood, and you will go mad.

Then Allie is forced to flee into the unknown, outside her city walls. There she joins a ragged band of humans who are seeking a legend—a possible cure to the disease that killed off most of humankind and created the rabids, the mindless creatures who threaten humans and vampires alike.

But it isn’t easy to pass for human. Especially not around Zeke, who might see past the monster inside her. And Allie soon must decide what—and who—is worth dying for.



Finally getting round to it!

 

Don't miss out! This book is only 99p on kindle at amazon.co.uk!

Dime Store Magic by Kelley Armstrong


 
Month 3 of the challenge!
 



Dime Store Magic (Women of the Otherworld, #3)Dime Store Magic by Kelley Armstrong
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

(Source: I own a copy of this book.)
This is book 3 in the ‘women of the otherworld’ series. Apologies; I still haven’t read book 2 so I’m not sure of the timeline between the two books.
Paige is a witch. In fact, since her mother’s death, she is cover leader, not that the other members of the coven allow her to act as such.

Paige currently has custody of a 13-year-old neophyte witch Savanna, following her mother’s disappearance/death. The delivery of a letter petitioning for custody of Savanna is not welcomed, especially not when it comes from the half-demon, Leah, who killed Paige’s mother.

Attending the meeting with Leah and her lawyer, Paige is shocked when she hears that it’s not really Leah petitioning for custody, but Kristof Nast – a powerful sorcerer who is claiming to be Savanna’s father.

Trying to be clever, Paige retaliates by hiring a human lawyer – the human courts will not allow a custody battle of this type without DNA evidence of paternity, something that Kristof cannot do because of this sorcerer DNA.

Paige hasn’t won the battle yet though, and now Leah is playing dirty. A fake black mass is set up in the woods behind Paige’s house, and the police are called in. Suddenly Paige is being accused of murder, and there are wiccans, reporters, and do-gooders camping out on her lawn. Her only saviour is a sorcerer who wants to stick his nose in her private business, and much to her disgust, her own coven are trying to disown her. Between Leah, Nast, the media, and her own coven, Paige has really got her hands full, and with Savanna’s power growing and her full powers blooming, has Paige really got what it takes to protect her from not only her father, but herself?

I never really know what to expect from Kelley Armstrong’s books; they’re always good, but the storyline doesn’t always go in the direction I expect! I haven’t read book 2 so this is the first time I have come across Paige, and to be honest she was a bit annoying and scatter brained in the beginning. She really wasn’t anything like what I would expect a coven leader to be like, and seemed quite immature, which was exactly why the rest of her coven weren’t impressed either!

I found Savanna to be in some respects a typical teen, and she really didn’t seem to understand that her magical powers were more than ‘dime store magic’. Again and again she began conjuring things without a thought to the effect her actions may have, placing Paige in the firing line more than once. She was also strong-headed, and used to getting her own way it seems, although in that respect she acted a lot like Paige.

I have to say that the story was quite slow and dull to begin with, as it mainly focused on the custody petition, lawyers meetings, and other almost mundane stuff, and it wasn’t until over half-way through that the supernatural stuff really came into it. This was probably the biggest failing of the book for me. The series is ‘women of the otherworld, and up until mid-way, the fact that Paige and Savanna were witches had made very little difference to the story.

The ending however was a different story, and was much more focused on the supernatural than the court case. There were some very creepy images that were quite chilling, and a natural end to the story which was probably the best part of the book.
Overall; worth reading as part of the series, but one to borrow rather than buy.
6.5 out of 10.

View all my reviews

Monday, 28 May 2012

Today I am reading...Dime Store Magic by Kelley Armstrong

Dime Store Magic (Women of the Otherworld, #3)

Blurb (from goodreads):
Paige Winterbourne was always either too young or too rebellious to succeed her mother as leader of one of the world's most powerful elite organizations- the American Coven of Witches. Now that she is twenty-three and her mother is dead, the Elders can no longer deny her. But even Paige's wildest antics can't hold a candle to those of her new charge- an orphan who is all too willing to use her budding powers for evil... and evil is all too willing to claim her. For this girl is being pursued by a dark faction of the supernatural underworld. They are a vicious group who will do anything to woo the young, malleable, and extremely powerful neophyte, including commit murder- and frame Paige for the crime. It's an initiation into adulthood, womanhood, and the brutal side of magic that Paige will have to do everything within her power to make sure they both survive.


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Sunday, 27 May 2012

Unwind by Neal Shusterman

Unwind (Unwind, #1)Unwind by Neal Shusterman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

(Source: I borrowed a copy of this book.)
16-year-old Connor is destined to be unwound. What’s that? Well following a pro-life/pro-choice war, the government passed a new law – abortions are illegal, children are protected ‘til age 13, but between the ages of 13 and 18 a child can be ‘unwound’ – taken to pieces and re-used in other people. This means that no child actually dies – their constituent parts live on. Yeah right! Tell that to the poor kids being unwound!

Connor messed up a bit when he was younger, Risa was a ward of the state – and there were budget cuts, and Lev was a tithe (his parents were unwinding him as a way to give back to god/ humanity!).
Irrespective of their reasons for being unwound, all three find themselves on the run, and thrown together through circumstance. Finding themselves in unusual circumstances and strange places along the way, they grow in ways they never would have otherwise, and question what being alive or having a soul is really about. But when it comes to the chop, which is worse; to die, or to be unwound?


Wow! That is one of the first things that comes to mind with this book. I absolutely could not put it down, and when I did put it down I couldn’t stop thinking about it!

The book has an eerie dystopian setting, which is unsettling in the way that the reasons for the changes in society are ultimately understandable! Which is very scary! The idea of unwinding is sickening, whilst at the same time makes a disgusting sort of sense. Why abort a child that you can allow to grow up, and then harvest for parts? Parts that are desperately needed! And what an interesting argument – if all the parts live on, then has the child really died?

There are loads of questions like this posed in the book; with tricky subjects such as life and death, the human soul, and religion all touched upon. It is truly an emotional experience to get an insight into each childs life and viewpoint, and to see how they view the idea of their own unwinding, and ultimately their own death. It is also interesting to see how much each child is willing to fight to preserve their life, and really does make for an absorbing read.

I have to say that at times I did feel physically sick though – especially the chapter where we follow a child through the operation to be unwound (the child is conscious throughout), especially given the fact that we are told that this child is taken to pieces and ultimately redistributed in just 3 hours 19 minutes. How wrong that an entire life can be disassembled into constituent parts and ultimately ended, in such a clinical fashion, in a little over three hours.

Overall, I enjoyed this book, and the ideas that it provoked, (even the sickening ones) and I think anyone with an interest in young-adult, dystopian stories will really enjoy this.
9 out of 10.

View all my reviews

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Heven and Hell Blog Tour - Charade by Cambria Hebert - Review and Guest Post!



The Heven and Hell Blog Tour is finally here!



Charade (Heven and Hell, #2)

Blurb (from goodreads):
Dying at the hands of a psycho was a shock. Having my life returned to me by an angel was incredible. Being named a Supernatural Treasure and being given Sam as my guard was pretty darn awesome. Acquiring a debt for it all—well, I should have seen it coming.

Now here we are, fighting demons from Hell, caring for a boy that I just don’t trust, and traveling to faraway places to return a treasure to its rightful place. Nothing is as it seems. Everyone wears a mask; everyone puts on a charade. It’s up to us to separate the truth from the lies and reality from fiction. A hard task when my new reality involves fallen angels, witches and dragons… and did I mention Hell?

Anchoring me down through it all is Sam. Sam, who must face tragedies of his own and is put to the test again and again.

If we fail in our task, life as we know it—life as you know it—will end. Forever.





My rating: 5 of 5 stars

(Source: Purchased from amazon for only £1.92!)
This is book 2 in the ‘Heven and Hell’ series. **Warning** unavoidable spoilers for book 1 ‘Masquerade’.
So charade starts off where ‘Masquerade’ left off. Heven is now a supernatural treasure. She’s guarding the treasure map (scroll) and trying to avoid demons, whilst working at the ice-cream parlor and trying to spend time with Sam. Sam is still working multiple jobs whilst trying to look after Heven and his brother Logan, and things are still strained between Heven and her Mom, best friend Kimber, and Kimber’s boyfriend Cole.
Unfortunately for poor Heven, she keeps being attacked by Demons, and she’s still hasn’t got permission to go on the trip to Italy that she desperately needs to go on to return the scroll to the catacombs in Rome.

As if she hasn’t got enough to deal with with the demon attacks and the scroll, there are plenty of other surprises in store for Heven, with shocking revelations about Cole, Logan’s increasingly strange behaviour toward her, and her mother’s new boyfriend!

Add a fallen angel to the mix, a seriously hacked-off best friend, and a demon invading her head and Heven’s life is a seriously bumpy ride! Can she get the scroll back to where it belongs though? Why are so many people behaving so strangely towards her? And what sacrifices will need to be made for the greater good?


Wow! There is just so much going on in this book it’s difficult to know where to start!

Poor Heven is having a tough time of it, although she seems to be coping better with the removal of scars than she was. Sam is torn in two trying to look after both Heven and Logan, and Logan’s strange behaviour is beginning to concern him.

I really felt for Heven in this book, as she was trying so hard to be nice to people who really weren’t nice to her, and struggling to cope with some very strange behaviour from people. She was also strong enough to carry on no matter what the odds, whilst trying to help other people too.
I really didn’t like Logan. I thought he was shifty, and didn’t like the way he tried to come between Sam and Heven. I also disliked Heven’s mom and the way she was being nice to Heven again just because the scars were gone. I really can’t say how much Heven’s mom’s behaviour towards Heven annoys me. She should be supporting her daughter, not shipping her off to church camp!

I thought Sam’s voice was lost a little at times cause when I was reading his point of view I kept thinking that I was reading Heven’s point of view which confused me a little. Not sure why this was, but it just seemed like Heven’s character was bleeding into his a little, although this is probably to be expected a bit anyway because of the mind-bond between them anyway.

I was really surprised at the revelations (don’t want to give too much away) about Cole and Kimber, I really didn’t see them coming! Although I actually liked the one about Cole – I thought it really added to the story!

There were also some great lines in Charade, this being my favourite: "If you cannot breathe, I will breathe for you. If your heart will not beat, mine will beat harder. If you do not live, neither will I."
(Sam to Heven) I just Loved this line!

I have to say that I loved Charade right from the beginning. As soon as I started reading, Cambria’s wonderful writing style just put me right back into Heven and Sam’s little world, and I was entranced! To be honest I made this book last as long as possible just cause I didn’t want to finish it! I can’t wait for the next book ‘Tirade’!

Overall this was a book with and interesting storyline, plenty of twists and turns, shocking revelations, and sweet romance. Highly recommended to anyone who likes young-adult fiction.
9 out of 10.
(Book length: 8105 kindle locations.)

View all my reviews


Guest Post by Cambria Hebert!


I am so happy to be here today for the Heven and Hell Blog Tour in celebration for the release of the newest Heven and Hell novel: Charade. 
A lot goes into a book. A lot of words, a lot of typing… a lot of a writer muttering in crazed sentences asking people if random odd things make sense. There is editing, a characterization, planning and formatting and publishing. 
Some day’s it seems endless. Not all of it is fun. But some of it is. J One of the best things about writing a book (besides the writing) is the cover. Giving a book a “face”, a “look”… an identity is really fun and exciting. I love trying to think up designs that will represent the story and maybe incorporate as many aspects of the characters and plot that I can. I think covers should be eye catching, intriguing and moving. 
Of course, I can daydream up covers all day long but the truth is I am not a designer. I know what I like but I don’t always know how to make it look that way. LOL. That is why I have a very talented cover designer: Regina Wamba who is the owner of Mae I Design. You can check out her great work at http://www.maeidesign.com. I did work with Regina to tell her what I was imagining and she put those dreams onto paper.
For the Masquerade cover we knew what we wanted but couldn’t find an image that wasn’t buried beneath copyrights (copyrights are sticky little things) so Regina got a model and arranged a photo shoot then she took those photos and edited them and turned them into the cover. I think it’s gorgeous and really represents the book.
The Charade cover… that was an easy yet a hard cover. It was hard because there were several covers that I had to choose between and they were all SO good. For the Charade cover we also used a model and Regina took the photos and transformed them into all the good choices I had to choose between. Lol.
For today’s Heven and Hell Charade Tour post I thought I would show you some of the covers that I had to choose between!!! You can see how hard of a decision I had to make and I will also tell you why I chose the cover I did. AND I will also show you the Before and After of a photo of Sam so you can see the kind of work that Regina does to photos. J
For the Charade cover I had 3 options to choose from:


Those are the three cover options I had for Charade. They are all awesome as you can see. So Why did I pick the third option? Well, I thought that in the first option that Sam looked a little too much like a vampire, LOL. He’s really kind of flawless looking, perfect. Sam isn’t flawless or perfect and he definitely isn’t a vampire. I wanted something a little rougher. 

The second option is awesome. I had a hard time not choosing this one and I don’t really know why I didn’t choose it other than I wanted to see more of Sam’s face. But I like this one so much I used it one a bookmark. Lol.

The third option is the one I chose. I chose it because I like the warm tone of his skin and I thought it went well next to the warm tones in the Masquerade cover. I like the way half his face is shaded like Heven’s on the Masquerade cover and I like the way you can see his scruffy jaw line. It gives the cover the “roughness” that imagine Sam having. I like the flames on the title choice because it looks a little more “manly” than the circles and it also lends a little brightness to the dark. And let’s be honest, he looks hot. (well, gheesh, someone had to say it.)

To give you an idea what kind of editing Regina (my cover designer) does let me show you a Before and After picture. Below is a picture of Sam. The one on the left is the unedited photo. The one on the right is the edited one. P.S. I think they are both good. LOL.

 

Pretty cool, huh?
So that is some of the behind the scenes cover work that went on in the making of the cover of Charade. A HUGE shout out to Regina Wamba who uses her magic wand to create such awesome designs.

So what about you? What do you think makes a great cover?

 Cambria              


Cambria Hebert is the author of the Heven and Hell series. She has an irrational fear of chickens, loves werewolves and thinks that math is human torture. You can find her sipping a latte or hot tea and typing away at her keyboard, writing what the voices in her head tell her too.
You can get her books where all books are sold: