Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Monthly Wrap Up! (October 2012)


This is my first month doing this but I thought it was a great idea for you guys to see what books I read this, if you haven't been able to follow the blog all month...so here it is;

Books I read this month!
My Favorite Mistake Reflected in You (Crossfire, #2) Mystic City (Mystic City, #1) 
My Favourite Mistake: Review / Goodreads / Amazon UK / Amazon US
Reflected In You: Review / GoodreadsAmazon UK / Amazon US
Mystic City: Review / GoodreadsAmazon UK / Amazon US
Gabriel's Inferno: Review / GoodreadsAmazon UK / Amazon US
 Devoured Dinner With a Vampire Elixir (Covenant, #3.5) 
Gabriel's Rapture: Review Goodreads / Amazon UK Amazon US
Devoured: Review Goodreads / Amazon UK / Amazon US
The Dark Heroine: Review / GoodreadsAmazon UK / Amazon US
Who I Kissed The Color of Grace The Perfect Game The Kiss Off 
Who I Kissed: Review to Come Goodreads / Amazon UK Amazon US
The Color of Grace: Review Goodreads / Amazon UK / Amazon US
The Perfect Game: Review Goodreads / Amazon UK / Amazon US
The Kiss Off: Review to Come Goodreads / Amazon UK / Amazon US
 V is for Virgin Serial Hottie Swell Finale (Hush, Hush, #4)
V is for Virgin: Review to come / Goodreads / Not Available on Amazon 
Serial Hottie: Review / Goodreads / Amazon UK / Amazon US
Swell: Review to Come / Goodreads / Amazon UK / Amazon US
Finale: Review to come / Goodreads / Amazon UK / Amazon US
Fated (Fated, #1)So Over You Tempting the Player (Gamble Brothers, #2)
Severed (Fated #2): Review to come / Goodreads: / Not Available on Amazon
So Over You: ReviewGoodreadsAmazon UK / Amazon US
Tempting the Player: Review to come /Goodreads:Amazon UK / Amazon US

My favourite book this month was.............
Finale (Hush, Hush, #4)

Donna Says: How could Finale not be my favourite read for this month? It couldn't so of course, it is! I loved it! It's a fantastic end to a fantastic series! And my review will be live soon. 
What was your favourite read this month?

A Review for Tempting the Player (Gamble Brothers #2) by J. Lynn

Tempting the Player (Gamble Brothers, #2)
Posted by Donna
Release Date: October 23rd, 2012
Finished Date: October 29th, 2012
Publishers: Indulgence
Source: For Review 
Format: Kindle  
Pages: Unknown 
Buy : Amazon UK / Amazon US / Barnes and Noble 

Chad Gamble, all-star pitcher for the Nationals, is one of the best players on—and off—the field. And right now, the notorious bad boy wants Bridget Rodgers. But with her lush curves and snappy comebacks, the feisty redhead is the kind of woman a man wants to settle down with…and that’s the last thing Chad needs.

When the paparazzi catch them in a compromising position, Chad’s manager issues an ultimatum: clean up his act or kiss his multi-million dollar contract goodbye. To save his career, his meddling publicist says he'll have to convince everyone Bridget isn’t just his flavor of the week, but his girlfriend.

Being blackmailed into a fake relationship with Chad Gamble isn’t easy, especially when the sizzling physical attraction between them is undeniable. With a month to go on their arranged pretense, it's going to take every ounce of willpower they have not to fall into bed together...or in love.

The Review: When I first read Tempting the Best Man, when it was released, it was a real eye opener for me because it proves that Jennifer L. Armentrout can write anything and now, I’ve read Tempting the Player – book two in the Gamble brother series, it’s proves that everything that Jennifer comes up with is just pure amazingness.

In Tempting the Player we meet brother number two – Chad – a famous baseball player and quite frankly a player on and off the field with a very bad reputation. Always being in the spotlight isn’t good when he can’t keep his private life out of the newpapers and as a result of that, he’s in a position where he could possibly lose his baseball contract. And this is where Bridget enters his life. 

Bridget – a 27 year old women who works with Chad’s brother’s girlfriend Maddie, has heard of Chad before but she definitely wasn’t prepared be so attracted him when they meet in a club one night. Their attraction is undeniable but Bridget is unsecure about herself and pushes him away. When Bridget is blackmailed into dating Chad to help his reputation – neither Chad nor Bridget is prepared for their relationship – especially one based that's based on lies. Can they really survive it and have a future together? 

Tempting the Player is a fantastic sequel to Tempting the Best Man! Wow does this book sizzle with intense and steamy scenes – one that’s a very addictive read. I really didn’t know if the author could up stage Madison and Chase from the first book but with characters like Chad and Bridget she sure nailed it. I loved these guys even more, their relationship was a hard one – one that dealt with harder issues and it was definitely more emotional. I was wondering where their story could go but boy, I was not prepared for that whirlwind ending….what a shock, but such a joyful moment that really brought tears to my eyes. 

If you’re a fan of Jennifer L.Armentout’s then her adult series really won’t disappoint you and if you haven’t read any of her work – then what are you waiting for? Because you really are missing out! 

Thank you to Indulgence for giving me the opportunity to review this book.

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Blog Tour for Holiday Affair by Annie Seaton; Review and International Giveaway

Holiday Affair
Posted by Jess
Release Date: March 15th, 2012
Finished Date: October 27th, 2012
Publishers: Indulgence
Source: For Review 
Format: Kindle 
Pages: 210
Buy : Amazon UK / Amazon US / 

Staid professor Lissy McIntyre believes that choosing a mate should be based on common sense, not runaway passion. And she would certainly never pick a rolling stone like Nick Richards for long-term love. But a red-hot, tropical romance? Oh, yeah. He’s got a body just made for sinning and his sizzling kisses leave her senseless.

When Nick blows into town, he’s stunned to discover that his no-nonsense new neighbour and co-worker is the same sultry creature he seduced for one night of forbidden island pleasure. He’s unaccustomed to staying in one place for long, but he just can’t seem to keep his hands off the multi-faceted woman. Will Nick break loyal Lissy’s heart or will she be the one woman he simply can’t walk away from?

The Review: Not a bad book in all. It did take me a while to get through, but I think that was mostly down to me not being in a reading mood. 

The story itself is a good one, Lissy meets Nick on the Whitsunday Islands. There they banter back and forth and eventually fall into bed with each other. There is obvious physical attraction between the both of them and Annie Seaton manages to portray this through out the novel with certain looks they give each other  or certain jealousy they hold over each other. 

The story progressed kind of slow for me but again this is possibly due to my reading slump. It has everything you need for a short book, there is love, there is family, there are cute animals, there's a nice old lady, a hot professor called Nick, a head strong albeit, frankly whiny heroine. It has all the ingredients for a great book, but it left me feeling unsatisfied, and I can't really put a finger on what it was. I felt Lissy was a cry baby. The way she treated Nick wasn't always fair to him, however the way Nick treated Lissy wasn't good either. I guess in  a way they mesh together in that sense, but I find books frustrating when the two protagonists are arguing all the time and won't admit their feelings for each other. Eventually they do, but it takes a car accident to make them realise that. 

The book is split between narratives of Lissy and Nick. This I enjoyed, I like having split narratives (providing they aren't too many). I found myself enjoying Nicks narrative far more than Lissy, more down to me finding Lissy annoying and whiny all the time. I always enjoy male narratives, it's always fun to get inside their heads and when it's split with the female narrative as well it always boads well to get a reaction out of the reader when both characters feel the same way but refuse to admit it, or deny it completely. 

I found myself liking a lot of the secondary characters, mostly Nicks family. Nick comes from an Italian family and like myself I found it much easier to relate to him than I did to Lissy with regards to family. When reading the scenes with Nick's family you feel a sense of belonging, and this pretty much happens with Lissy, she's comfortable there which leads everyone to believe that's where she belongs. 

Overall, it's not a completely bad read, I feel it's not one to get you out of a slump (if you're in one). Probably best to read it as a side book or to fill in some spare time. It's only 210 pages so providing you aren't in a slump and you enjoy the book I think it's one to whizz through. 

I would definitely recommend it as a read, I wouldn't rush for it, but definitely give it a go. You may feel differently to me. I am looking forward to hopefully reading more in this. I have a sense that Nick's younger brother Tomas will be making an appearance in a future book.

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Monday, 29 October 2012

A Review for Amarok by Angela Townsend

Amarok
Posted by Guest Reviewer Melanie
Release Date: November 20th, 2012
Finished Date: October 27th, 2012
Publishers: Spencer Hill Press
Source: For Review  
Format: Paperback
Pages: 224
Buy : Amazon UK / Amazon US / The Book Depo

Emma's life has been hell since she moved from sunny California to a remote Alaskan town. Abandoned by her father and living with the guilt of causing her mother's death, she makes a desperate dash for freedom from her abusive stepfather. But when her car skids off the icy road, her planned escape leads to further captivity in a world beyond her imagining. 
Dragged across the tundra by an evil mountain man and his enormous black wolf, she learns that love can be found in the most unexpected places. Amarok, as she's nicknamed the wolf, is a young man from the gold-rush era enslaved by an ancient shaman. Emma's gentle touch and kind heart win his love and devotion. When a vicious madman--trapped in bear form by the same Shaman--attacks the travelers and injures Amarok, Emma must find the strength to face her fears and free the wolf she's come to love. But that means she must face down the evil shaman, a Siberian mammoth hunter from the ice age, and he has no intention of giving up his power to her.

The Review: Amarok was an intriguing story that was nothing like I had expected when I picked the book up, for some reason I was expecting a werewolf story along the lines of Shiver and whilst yes there was a wolf, who had also been a young man – he wasn’t a werewolf at all. This story is steeped in folklore and the beliefs of its Alaskan ancestors, who believed in Shamans and curses, cursed lands, spirit animals and warrior spirits. This story utilises those into the tale of an evil Shaman from the Ice age who lures people onto his cursed lands and imprisons them in animal forms. Amarok/Tok is one such animal having been enslaved for over a century and forced to do the bidding of the Ryan family line, He is resigned to his fate. He knows that the totem around the latest Ryan man’s neck controls him and keeps him enslaved but he’s also aware that if he were to gain the counterpart of that totem, he would be set free – but again, he is resigned to his fate and holds no hope of ever finding it. That is until Emma crashes her step dad’s car in her misguided escape plan, fleeing one abusive man only to end up in the clutches of something much worse - a sadistic wild man and his wolf – who drags her off across the desolate land, heading towards his secluded cabin. Emma wasn’t afraid to die and let her kidnapper know but she hated the way the man treat the wolf. As the journey took days, she starts to bond with the wolf, renaming him Amarok& showing him the first bit of affection he’d had since he was human. They bond so much so that when they are attacked on their journey and Amarok is mortally injured, Emma takes it upon herself to nurse him better – but, when she finds out the only way to cure him is to go up against the evil Shaman who made him that way, then that’s what this fearless young lady is about to do –there is no way she’s going to give up the only thing in her life that means anything to her, even if it means giving her own life in the process.
I liked the characters; it was easy to empathise with both Emma and Tok/Amarok – Emma because of her home situation and the events that made her feel like she had to act a certain way or carry guilt around with her. It’s hardened her, made her put on a tough outer appearance and took her will to live so that when she is taken, she just deals with it, not particularly caring whether she lives or dies. Tok/Amarok because of his situation, but he’s come to terms with his predicament a long time ago and doesn’t really hold any hope for better. When they come together and bond, it sort of gives them hope, starts to bring out good qualities in each of them – giving them both the will to live, to survive- for each other. In the beginning its Tok/Amarok feeling the need to protect Emma but then Emma in turn feels the need to do the same for him and it’s so sweet and has a sort of innocence about it. They are developing feelings for each other without knowing the bigger picture and it was very endearing.
 
I really liked the story line, I like mystical folklore tales and how it was blended into this story. It’s also nice to read something a bit different to the norm and left me wondering how many other stories like this are in existence and whether this is based on an actual tale. It’s interesting about the Shaman and his totem collection, I liked that element of the story but I am still left unclear on the why of it, was it just because he was evil? Has he been beaten? I just wasn’t sure and I also felt we should have learned more about ‘weasel tail’ especially when something happened to him. I did like this though and I liked where it seemed to be heading but I felt like it opened up a lot of questions and answered only a few but I suppose that will keep me interested in a sequel. As far as this goes, it was an interesting start, it’s piqued my curiosity and I would like to see where it goes next.

Saturday, 27 October 2012

A Review for The Dark Glamour (666 Park Avenue #2) by Gabriella Pierce

The Dark Glamour (666 Park Avenue, #2)
Posted by Guest Reviewer Melanie
Release Date: October 18th,2012
Finished Date: October 12th, 2012
Publishers: Canvas
Source: For Review 
Format: Paperback
Pages: 284
Buy : Amazon UK / Amazon US / The Book Depo

Welcome to New York City, where the socialites are witches.

Jane Boyle thought she'd met the man of her dreams. But it's hard to live happily ever after when you realise your new mother-in-law is literally a witch, determined to steal the magical powers you didn't even know you had. When Jane discovers that the man she fell in love with is a mere pawn in her mother-in-laws cunning plan, she flees. Now Jane is alone and on the run, hiding out in Manhattan.

But Jane can't hide forever... One magical Park Avenue makeover later and Jane is ready to settle the score with her witch of a mother-in-law. In her new guise as Ella the Brazilian beauty, Jane meets the devilishly handsome André. The magical blood that teems through her veins draws her inexplicably towards this mysterious man. But is André all he seems? And can Jane make it into the witches' den to overthrow the most evil of witches?

The Review: Following the revelations of book one, Jane’s world comes crashing down around her – newly-wed with no husband after finding out his most darkest secret, on the run from a psychotic mother in law and her family coven intent on using her as a brood mare to keep the family’s powerful heritage going, running scared with no place to go and terrified that involving her friends will be certain death for them - but does this bring Jane to her knees? Well it did…. But then she got tough and started to be pro-active in her quest to get the Doran clan off her back once and for all.

Jane and Malcolm are considered missing, there is a huge media circus surrounding their disappearance and the rumour mills are going wild, all orchestrated by the furious Doran matriarch. Whilst Malcolm leaves town, Jane stays in plain sight, never leaving Manhattan but she can only push her luck so far and with her funds dwindling and unable to get a job for fear of being spotted she is stuck. Fortunately Malcolm has left her a lifeline in the form of a safety deposit box fill with cash and a blue box….. and it’s that blue box’s contents and a misplaced spell that brings some startling information Janes way. This information is huge and it might just be the ticket she needs to get the Doran’s off her & Malcolms’ back, but she needs more information and in order to do so, she must infiltrate the Dorans’ home. Armed with a magical disguise, she is transformed into the beautiful Ella and sets her plan into action and finds and ‘in’ through the gorgeous Andre….. but not all is as it seems, for Jane isn’t the only one keeping secrets and Janes actions are about to have some huge repercussions.

So, I really liked this, especially when 44 pages in we a treat to a massive reveal – one I was hoping for but didn’t think we would get so early in the series – and this reveal became the main focus of the book so I’m afraid I can’t really say much without spoiling it. The storyline starts a few weeks after the ending of book one and flowed really well. The story itself is filled with magic, elaborate plots & schemes, dramatic twists and turns and even some sexy-time that comes together into a very revealing climax that definitely leaves you wanting more. I liked what happened, it addressed a few things I was curious about but also opens up a lot more questions. As I said in book ones review – I wasn’t really into the socialite aspect - but that seems to have been really toned down in this and focussed more on the events which made me enjoy it a lot more so I liked the whole set up this time and really enjoyed where it went and the direction it seems to be going in. I thought Jane had definitely become hardened in this, ruthless even, turning from a sweet young lady into someone willing to do anything to achieve her goal and I thought the turn-around was slightly out of character because she is like that in one respect and in another she is still willing to do anything for Malcolm even though his betrayal – in my eyes- was unforgivable, and I’m not quite ‘getting’ that. I did really enjoy the schemes she came up with - even if they were misguided – but wasn’t impressed with the love interest situation because I don’t feel like her relationship with Malcolm is concluded properly and I’m not keen on the Harris situation either but I can appreciate that it will create more drama for the future. TBH, this does read like a TV show because it’s very entertaining and moreish… I feel like I’ve just finished one series and am now left waiting for the next.
 

Friday, 26 October 2012

Blog Tour for The Tragedy of Knowledge (The Resistance Trilogy #3) by Rachael Wade

The Tragedy of Knowledge (The Resistance Trilogy, #3)
Posted by Guest Reviewer Melanie
Release Date: October 11th, 2012
Finished Date: October 17th, 2012
Publishers: Self-Published
Source: For Review 
Format: Kindle  
Pages: Unknown
Buy : Amazon UK / Amazon US 

The Battle Comes Home.

After arranging a hopeful but risky alliance during their visit to the Amaranthian realm, Camille, Gavin, and the resistance don’t have much time to recover from their failed mission. Forced to create a new strategy to achieve their goal, they embark on a different mission—one that possibly holds the missing key to their quest for victory, and their deadliest one yet.

As they attempt round two to restore peace and freedom for their kind, they must rely on help from the living, the bayous, and beyond to decipher allies from enemies, good magic from bad, and whether the source claiming to lead the way to their destiny can be trusted. Racing against the clock to solve the mystery of their fate, they find the battle has come right to their doorstep, and this time, everyone must pay a price.

The Review: 4.5 stars! The Tragedy of Knowledge was an excellent ending to The Resistance Trilogy, all events have been leading to this breath-taking finale and I really liked where it went…

Following the conclusion of The Gates, Camille, Gavin and their friends start to get the ball moving for the final showdown with Gerard, further building the resistance and also searching for a way to end it all. Camille continues with her training and also continues to have visions whilst her power seems to be growing on other ways too. They are slightly lost after Gerard took away their main source of information; that is until Camille’s visions start leading her into a different direction and they gain valuable knowledge from an unlikely source. After an initial confrontation with Gerard – where he hints that Camille is something more – they are given an ultimatum, a time and a place for the ultimate showdown. So, armed with their new found knowledge and back up from both sides of the gates, they put their plan into action. Unfortunately they aren’t the only ones with a plan and what seemed straight forward … is no longer so. As Camille finds out some awful truths and makes some startling discoveries, things start to become less clear cut….. can she work out the prophecy and end the ‘frozen soul’s’ curse before it’s too late? Or will she die trying?

As I said this is an excellent ending to the trilogy. Camille really came into her own as she became an integral part of the resistance movement, even though Gavin is the spearhead, it ended up where Camille was the epeicentre and all hope lay with her. She rose to the challenge and I’m very impressed with how far her character has come from the doormat victim she was in the beginning. It was great to see her and Gavin have some quality time and be able to just love each other for a while too – I think it was needed amongst all of the upheaval but it also brought it home and made you understand just what was at stake as they ventured into what could be their doom.
The storyline was good, quite slow to begin with that gradually built and built into an action packed showdown filled with magic and multiple enemies and fights. I really liked the way the witchcraft/hoodoo played a big role in this, I enjoyed it in the last book and thought it brought something really good and different to the series – so I loved that it was continued and took a bigger role and even more so that it was linked to the prophecy. I loved how even though their ‘source’ of information was taken from them, that the information was kept coming via another source, a more supernatural source. It was really good to get to the real story of the how and why Amaranth was created, the circumstances surrounding it and Gerard and Samira’s story. But believe me, nothing is as it seems, expect a couple of surprises along the way and plenty of action as the resistance literally fight for their existence. I felt everything was tied up nicely by the end and I was left feeling satisfied….. However, I personally would have liked a different ending – not that I didn’t like it…..but…..well, read it and see if you feel the same. 

Excerpt for The Tragedy of Knowledge by Rachael Wade


***SPOILER ALERT: This excerpt includes spoilers from The Gates, book 2 of the series. If you haven’t read book 2 yet, you can pick it up here.***

 “All right. Look,” he said. “I’m going to come at you again from the same angle—when you’re not expecting it—and I want you to deflect my strike this time. All it takes is one stab of this silver, and you’re instantly slowed down, do you understand? It can mean the difference between living and dying. One strike will make it easier for your attacker to land another strike, and then another. Each one making you weaker. Which means seconds until you’re completely incapacitated. Then they can do whatever the hell they want to you. Think of it as paralyzing venom.”
“Gavin. I got it. We’ve been over this.” I pulled my hair tighter in the ponytail and wrapped it with an elastic tie, positioning myself in front of him again, knees bent, arms up, stance ready.
“Then get it together. I need you focused.”
“Did I mention I really don’t like your bossy side?”
“Did I mention I really hate that you don’t do as you’re told?”
He met my stance with an amused grin, rubbing his hands over his shoulders to push up his sleeves. My gaze caught the movement, zoning in on his defined arms. I swallowed, and managed, “Do as I’m told?”
“Uh huh.” He shuffled closer with slow, easy steps. “Out here, I’m not your husband. I’m not your lover. I’m your trainer. It’s my responsibility to show you how to defend yourself. And it’s your job to listen.”
“I am listening. You just make it difficult … to stay focused.”
“Oh, yeah?” He reached out and brushed a strand of hair from my forehead, letting his fingers trail slowly over my skin while he peered down at me, licking his lips. “Why do I make it difficult for you to stay focused, love? Are you having a hard time keeping up?” Pushing the hair back behind my ear, he leaned in farther, grazing his nose against my cheek, smirking when he heard me exhale a low, shaky breath.
Damn him. “You know why.”
“Do I?” His grin widened.
“You do. And I won’t give you the satisfaction of hearing it come out of my mouth.”
“Cam,” he dragged his lips across my cheekbone to the base of my ear, “I can feel it, too. You don’t have to say it, because I’m in tune with your body like never before. We’re on the same level now. All that pent-up energy, trying to claw its way out of you …” Nipping my earlobe, he let out a low chuckle and skimmed his hand underneath the hem of my shirt, tracing the waistband of my jeans with rough, teasing fingers. My entire body came alive at his touch, blood singing, knees quaking, mouth watering. His scent was divine and his lips called to me like some wicked, elemental magic.
He knew exactly what he was doing. The bastard.
More than willing to play along, I inhaled a sharp breath and reciprocated, dragging my fingers down his torso, then back up, stopping just above his navel. His mouth still near the base of my ear, his breath hitched against my skin at the contact. Encouraged, I headed south again, rubbing and teasing, feeling him grow beneath my fingers, tilting my head to the side to expose my neck. He moaned and grazed his teeth over my shoulder and down to my collarbone, dropping his blade to the ground with a loud thud.
“You make me crazy. Do you know that?” He gripped my hips and pressed me against him. “Do you feel what you do to me?”
“It’s too intense,” I whispered, my voice breathy. I was already panting when he moved to the other side of my neck, nudging my head to tilt it in the opposite direction.
“I warned you. You had a taste back in Amaranth, right after you changed.” He started on the buttons of my shirt.
“But the pull is even harder to fight now. When you touch me … I have no self-restraint. Sometimes I feel like … like I can’t handle all the extra energy. Like I’ll detonate if I don’t act.”
“That’s part of the fun.”
“Gav … we’re in an open field.”
“Hasn’t stopped you yet.” He popped two more buttons. “I know you want me. Just relax and let me make you feel good, baby. That panic lessens when you give it an outlet.”
Shutting my eyes tight, I leaned up on tiptoe and wrapped my arms around his neck to kiss him hard, then released him and slowly sashayed in the other direction, challenging him from underneath coy lashes, the need to run singing in my veins. “Fine. And I know you want me, but you’ll have to catch me first.”
His mouth fell open and his brows raised, a surprised smile pulling at the corner of his lips; he was ready to take the bait. I surged forward into a turbo-charged sprint, clear across the field toward the woods ahead, feeling him feet behind me, fast on my trail. I blew through the edge of the brush and into the thick marsh, lifting off my feet into flight, deeper and deeper into the bayou.


Author Bio: 
Rachael Wade is the Amazon #1 bestselling author of the paranormal romance series, The Resistance Trilogy, and the contemporary romance, Preservation. When she's not writing, she's busy learning French, watching too many movies, and learning how to protect wildlife and stop animal cruelty. Visit her at www.RachaelWade.com and www.LightsOnOutreach.com, or come chat with her on Twitter via @RachaelWade.
Giveaway! 
Amaranth (The Resistance Trilogy, #1) The Gates (The Resistance Trilogy, #2) The Tragedy of Knowledge (The Resistance Trilogy, #3) Rachael Wade
-  For 1 Winner: 
An e-book set of the trilogy, (Amaranth, The Gates, The Tragedy of Knowledge) in the e-format of the reader's choice.
- For 5 winners:
1 signed Preservation bookmark and 1 signed Love and Relativity bookmark. 
- International
- Ends November 3rd
- Fill out the form below

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Thursday, 25 October 2012

Blog Tour for Finale by Becca Fitzpatrick; Guest Post "Writing Romance for Teens"

Finale (Hush, Hush, #4)
Finale (Hush, Hush #4) 
by Becca Fitzpatrick 
Release Date: October 25th, 2012
Publishers: Simon & Schuster UK
Fates unfurl in the gripping conclusion to the New York Times bestselling Hush, Hush saga.

Nora is more certain than ever that she is in love with Patch. Fallen angel or no, he is the one for her. 
Her heritage and destiny may mean they are fated to be enemies, but there is no turning her back on him. 
Now Nora and Patch must gather their strength to face one last, perilous trial. 
Old enemies return, new enemies are made, and a friend's ultimate betrayal threatens the peace Patch and Nora so desperately want. 
The battle lines are drawn—but which sides are they on?
 And in the end, are there some obstacles even love can't conquer?

Writing Romance for Teens 
by Becca Fitzpatrick
Many thanks to Book Passion for Life for being part of the Finale blog tour—I love writing romance and hope my tips below will be helpful to any aspiring authors out there. 
So. I just had the following conversation with my husband:
Me: I've been asked to write a guest post on writing romance for teens. I don't know what to say!

Husband: You do this for a living.
Me: I know that! And you're not being helpful.
Husband: 
Me: I just write what feels natural. There isn't, like, a secret formula.
Husband: Tell them that.
Me: Everyone wants a secret formula. Quick—give me a secret formula!
Husband: 

If there is a secret formula to writing romance, I still haven't figured it out. Instead, I'll tell you how I create romance on the page. It's one of my favorite parts of writing—creating believable chemistry between characters. The following is a list of questions I kept at the back of my mind while writing the Hush, Hush series.  

1. When the hero and heroine meet (especially for the first time), do sparks fly? Do they have some kind of strong physical or emotional reaction to each other, even if that reaction is negative?  
From Hush, Hush: 
I turned slightly, checking out the room behind me. I knew the names of all my classmates...except one. The transfer. Coach never called on him, and he seemed to prefer it that way. He sat slouched one table back, cool black eyes holding a steady gaze forward. Just like always. I didn't for one moment believe he just sat there, day after day, staring into space. He was thinking something, but instinct told me I probably didn't want to know what. 
He set his bio text down on the table and slid into Vee's old chair. 
I smiled. “Hi. I'm Nora.” 
His black eyes sliced into me, and the corners of his mouth tilted up. My heart fumbled a beat and in that pause, a feeling of gloomy darkness seemed to slide like a shadow over me. It vanished in an instant, but I was still staring at him. His smile wasn't friendly. It was a smile that spelled trouble. With a promise. 

2. In what ways do my hero and heroine compliment each other? 
They don't realize it at first, but over the course of the four books, it becomes apparent that only Patch and Nora can lead fallen angels and Nephilim to war. Finale is the merging of Patch and Nora's destinies.  

3. In what ways are they exact opposites? 
Patch is the ultimate bad boy. Nora is straight-laced. Patch is a fallen angel. Nora's heritage is Nephilim.  

4. Do they have the same goal? 
(If the answer is yes, it creates great tension.) In the beginning of Hush, Hush, Nora wants her life to go back to the way it was before she met Patch. And what does Patch want? Well, he wants to take Nora's life. Both characters are ready to fight—hard—for what they want.  

5. What makes the hero the perfect guy for my heroine? 
Patch doesn't want to change Nora. He gives her the perfect balance of independence and protection.  

6. Why can't the hero live without the heroine—why is she the only one for him? 
Patch wants redemption. Nora reminds him of the moral guy he used to be. 

7. How can I show that the hero and heroine want each other, gradually building the tension, before The Big Make-out (Hallelujah!) Scene? 
If you want to know how I did this, read the books!
-Becca

Hush, Hush (Hush, Hush, #1) Crescendo (Hush, Hush, #2) Silence (Hush, Hush, #3) Finale (Hush, Hush, #4)
Becca FitzpatrickAuthor Bio: 
Becca Fitzpatrick grew up reading Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden with a flashlight under the covers. 
She graduated college with a degree in health, which she promptly abandoned for storytelling. When not writing, she's most likely prowling sale racks for reject shoes, running, or watching crime dramas on TV. 
She is the author of the bestselling HUSH, HUSH Saga. HUSH, HUSH and CRESCENDO are in stores everywhere now! SILENCE was released worldwide on October 4, 2011 and FINALE will be released on October 25th, 2012. 

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

A Review for Serial Hottie by Kelly Oram

Serial HottiePosted by Donna
Release Date: June 1st, 2012
Finished Date: October 21st, 2012
Publishers: Bluefields 
Source: For Review 
Format: Kindle 
Pages: 374
Buy : Amazon UK / Amazon US / The Book Depo

Hockey-obsessed tomboy Eleanor Westley has never been the object of a guy's affection before. So when the hottest boy she's ever seen moves in across the street and starts treating her like she's the center of his universe, naturally she's going to be a little skeptical. But everything starts to make sense when girls who look just like Ellie start dying all around the city. Obviously the new guy is the killer, and of course he only likes her because he wants to slice her into tiny pieces. Right? The more Ellie gets to know Seth the more she's convinced he's a psychopathic killer. Problem is, he's the sweetest psychopathic killer she's ever met. Not to mention he's brutally hot. No matter how hard she tries, she can't help but fall for him. Will Ellie find true love, or will her summer of firsts turn out to be a summer of lasts?

The Review: 3.5 stars! 

After reading Kelly Oram’s new upcoming release V is for Virgin – which I really loved, I decided to try another one of her books; Serial Hottie and overall, I'm glad I did because I really enjoyed it.  

Eleanor “Ellie” Westley, is a hockey obsessed teenage girl who has three boys for best friends known as the three J’s. It’s safe to say, Ellie is more of a tom-boy than a girl’s girl but that’s okay with her because she has no plans to date to act like a girl……well that is until her new neighbour moves into the house next door and guess what? He’s a totally hottie!  Soon Ellie finds herself interested in make-up and dressing up and Seth has definitely noticed her. As Ellie and Seth get closer, she starts to notice weird things about him and when a two girls are murdered in her neighbourhood, Ellie thinks she’s found the killer…..Seth!

Serial Hottie is a fun story, one that is full of mystery and laugh out loud moments. I’m not a big fan of mystery novels but Kelly Oram really made me enjoy this book because she really keeps you guessing all the way through as to who is the killer. With all the evidence points to Seth, it was good watching Ellie try to unravel all his secrets because she's also trying to fight her attraction to him too. At one point I even thought I knew who the killer was, but I was pleasantly surprised to find out my guess was actually wrong – by a long shot! It’s not easy to work out who the killer is and I loved that about this book. 

Ellie is a great character – one that’s a little rash but still she’s fun, independent and loveable. I loved her personality, it was great reading about her experiencing kissing, dressing up and hanging out with actual girls but then I loved her tom-boy side too. The girl that’s happy to rough and tumble with the boys in a fight and play hockey.  She was a very well rounded character and she definitely appeals to everyone. I did think she over reacted sometimes but for a girl that’s not experienced a lot of stuff before, I think she handled it pretty well. 

Now Seth, he’s a tough one. I loved him but he came on to Ellie very, very strong. I could see why Ellie had such a hard time to start with because it’s almost creepy. I can understand his problems due to his past and his personality disorder but it was a bit worrying at times. When he was being normal, sweet Seth, I loved him but when he was acting like a stalker, I didn’t like him all that much, but hey, he’s still hot and I did enjoy reading them work-out scenes. 

And the secondary characters were fantastic. I loved the three J’s! I wish we had more time to get to know them. They were the ideal best friends and they were boys too which made is some much fun. Everytime I think of them all I hear is "Westleyyyy!" LOL. I even liked Ellie’s sister too – which was surprising because she and Ellie don’t have the best relationship to start with. 

The storyline itself did drag a little at times but like I said earlier, it’s not predictable so the mystery keeps you turning the pages, so overall, it's a very good YA contemporary read and I can’t wait to read more by this author. 

Thank you to Kelly Oram for giving me the opportunity to review this book. 

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Author Interview with Jessica Shirvington + UK/IRE Giveaway

Embrace
Embrace (Violet Eden Chapters #1)
by Jessica Shirvington
Publishers: Orchard 
It starts with a whisper: "It's time for you to know who you are..."

On her 17th birthday, everything will change for Violet Eden. The boy she loves will betray her. Her enemy will save her. She will have to decide just how much she's willing to sacrifice. 
Dangerously exciting and darkly romantic, EMBRACE is a compelling novel of good and evil, seductive desires and impossible choices. A centuries old war between fallen angels and the protectors of humanity chooses a new fighter. It's a battle Violet doesn't want, but she lives her life by two rules: don't run and don't quit. If angels seek vengeance and humans are the warriors, you could do a lot worse than betting on Violet Eden. 
LINCOLN: He's been Violet's one anchor, her running partner and kickboxing trainer. Only he never told her he's Grigori--part human, part angel--and that he was training her for an ancient battle between Angels and Exiles. 
PHOENIX: No one knows where his loyalties lie, yet he's the only one there to pick up the pieces and protect her after Lincoln's lies. In a world of dark and light, he is all shades of gray. 
Two sides: Angel or Exile.
Two guys: Lincoln or Phoenix.
The wrong choice could cost not only her life, but her eternity... 

Jessica ShirvingtonAuthor Interview with Jessica Shirvington

1) When and why did you begin writing?
   I only began to write seriously when I started the story of Embrace. It's a strange thing, but writing a book didn't ever occur to me - it wasn't until I was near the end of my first draft that I realised what was going on. I'm really grateful it happened this way as I'm sure the task of writing a novel would've been altogether too daunting otherwise. :)

2) What inspired you to write Embrace?
   It started with wanting to write a story about a girl who had a history she was trying to overcome, who was flawed, who made mistakes and had to deal with the consequences, but who was also strong and determined and willing to make the biggest sacrifices. From there I started to research angel mythology and when I discovered the angel hierarchy I knew I wanted to incorporate that along with a world that wasn't black and white, but rather grey and open to interpretation.

3) How did you come up with the title?
   I didn't! My publishers came up with the title of Embrace. I think they came up with Entice too, and then I suggested Emblaze for book 3 and Endless for book 4. Once we decided on the 'E' theme for the titles it was really a matter of suggestion and elimination. I must admit it can be a bit frustrating when searching for the right word, but overall, I love the way it connects the titles and covers.

4) Is there a message in your book that you want readers to grasp?
   No real message. The idea of reading a book and in particular a series, is to go on a journey with the characters. I want readers to enjoy the stories and see that characters can make crazy decisions and big mistakes, but that they can come through the other side strong and capable because of those mistakes. My goal as a writer is to entertain readers, to tell the best story I can. If they take a message away, then great (if it is a good message of course!).

5) Who's your favourite character to write?
   I spend all of my time in Violet's head. My husband jokes that she is the fifth member of our family, and in many ways he is right. I feel like she is with me all the time and I am always considering her reactions to situations (yes...weird!). I had a lot of fun discovering and developing Spence's character in Entice. He is such a fun character and writes himself half of the time. I also have a soft spot for Onyx.

7) Who's the hardest character to write?
   Sometimes I find Lincoln a challenge. Mostly because a lot of his thoughts come through in his actions and he keeps many of his emotions bottled up and then they kind of come to a head. Showing how he is feeling and giving readers insights into his thoughts without putting them out there like a neon sign is a challenge. But it just wouldn't be him otherwise.

Entice (The Violet Eden Chapters #2)8) What's your favourite quote from Embrace? 
   When Violet has to make a huge choice and sacrifice for someone she loves and Griffin, her mentor, explains to her that it must be made completely of her freewill. I feel so much for her at this point, it is a cruel choice to be faced with. Griffin sees this too. He says:

"A terrible freedom.' He smiled mournfully and squeezed my hands.
"Yes." I barely breathed the word. 

That mention of terrible freedom is one that always meant a lot to me because so often in life having a choice can be the hardest thing.

9) How many books will there be in the series?
   To be honest., I'm not 100% sure, but I can fairly confidently say it will be 5 or 6. I'm just starting to map out 5 at the moment and I'll see where it ends up. It is very important to finish the story at the right point - I don't want to drag it out and at the same time don't want to tie it up in some neat little bow that wouldn't be true to the characters. 

10) Can you share a little of your current work with us?
   At the moment, as I said, I'm starting to map out book 5 in the series. I also have a separate stand alone novel that will be coming out in 2013. It's about a girl who lives two lives, effectively repeating each 24 hour period a second time in another world, but no two days are ever the same. She discovers that there might be a way she could have just one life but it would mean doing something very drastic and dangerous. And then she has to consider, if she was able to get her wish and just have one life, which life would she choose?

Author Bio: 
Jessica Shirvington is the author of THE VIOLET EDEN CHAPTERS also known as THE EMBRACE SERIES. An entrepreneur, author, and mother living in Sydney, Australia, Jessica is also a 2011 finalist for Cosmopolitan’s annual Fun, Fearless Female Award. She’s also one of the lucky few who met the love of her life at age seventeen: Matt Shirvington, a former Olympian and current sports broadcaster for FOXTEL and Sky News. Married for almost eleven years with two beautiful daughters, Sienna and Winter, Jessica knows her early age romance and its longevity has definitely contributed to how she tackles relationships in her YA novels. Previously, she founded a coffee distribution company, Stella Imports, in London, and before that was involved in the management of restaurants Fuel Bistro and MG Garage in Sydney. Jessica is now a full-time novelist and living her dream.
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