Tuesday, 29 October 2013

ARC Review ~ Teardrop (Teardrop #1) by Lauren Kate

eARC received via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

Release Date: 22nd October 2013

Publisher: Random House UK

Description:
Never, ever cry...

Seventeen-year-old Eureka won't let anyone close enough to feel her pain. After her mother was killed in a freak accident, the things she used to love hold no meaning. She wants to escape, but one thing holds her back: Ander, the boy who is everywhere she goes, whose turquoise eyes are like the ocean.

And then Eureka uncovers an ancient tale of romance and heartbreak, about a girl who cried an entire continent into the sea. Suddenly her mother's death and Ander's appearance seem connected, and her life takes on dark undercurrents that don't make sense.

Can everything you love be washed away?

My Opinion

So when I was trying to think about what to say in this review my mind kept returning to the similarities in Fallen. I didn't really want to end up comparing them as they are a separate series and I wanted to give this book a chance rather than judge it on Lauren Kate's previous work, however now that I've read it I just can't help but find a lot of similarities. 

Lauren Kate's Fallen series lost more of my interest as the series went on, I loved the first book but by the end I was reading just to see how it ended and that's what I ended up doing with Teardrop. It started off well and I loved the idea of Atlantis, Eureka not being able to cry and romance. In fact I loved the prologue, it really hooked me and I loved it was from Ander's point of view. Now looking back I wish the whole book had been like that. 

Of course there were aspects I liked. The cover is beautiful and only made me want to read the book more. As well as this the book does have its fast-pace and engaging moments. It fell a little flat in the middle for me but the start and the ending were the redeeming qualities to this book. There was some good action and although a lot of the storyline was predictable towards the end it does make me want to read on and leaves you with the promise of more action and drama. 

The main thing that I didn't like about Teardrop was Eureka. She was a bit bland, naive and because of that it made her a bit annoying and I couldn't really connect with her. It seemed to take her a while to figure things out and for that it was frustrating. As well as this she didn't seem to have much of a personality  I wanted her to be strong like when she was around the twins. When they were involved she came into her own but after that she reverted straight back to her old ways.

Overall I think the premise of Altantis is interesting and although parts of the book were predictable or slow there were enough factors that enabled me to enjoy this book. For me, I think it is going to be the next book that makes or breaks the series for me as I liked the way it ended and what it promised to come. 


Saturday, 26 October 2013

Review ~ Fallen (After #1) by Traci L. Slatton

FallenPaperback received from the author in exchange for an honest review

Release Date: 12th July 2011

Publisher: Parvati Press

Description:

As chaos descends on a crippled Earth, survivors are tormented by strange psychic gifts. In this time of apocalyptic despair, love is put to the test. One woman with mysterious healing power guides eight children to safety. Charismatic Arthur offers her a haven. Slowly Emma falls for him. But at the moment of their sweetest love, his devastating secret is revealed, and they are lost to each other.



My Opinion

It was the premise that caught my attention with this book. I liked the idea of the Mist as it wasn't going to be the standard paranormal novel. It also had strange powers, the promise of romance and a dystopian theme so obviously it sounded like my kind of book. However, having finished the book I feel a little let down as the book didn't live up to what I thought it would be.

The book started off really well and did catch my attention. It set everything up nicely and portrayed Emma as a strong determined female lead. It was also tense and introduced the subject of the Mist well. It showed how deadly it was and it also hit upon a mother's love for their child. However I felt that as the book went on this atmosphere was lost. Emma stayed strong throughout though which was good but I couldn't connect with her. I wanted more thoughts, to see inside her mind and get her opinion, especially as this book is written in 1st person.

For me there was just too much text and not enough speech - and the speech that was there felt very stiff. It made the book very slow to read and dense so I found myself skimming sections, especially nearer the end. I felt that there was a lot of unnecessary description that didn't really add anything to the story and there were parts that were underdeveloped which I wanted to know more about. For example the whole paranormal aspect is never really explained very well. We get a little idea about the mist but have to wait until the penultimate chapter for it to be revealed, which was frustrating. Also the abilities created by the mist weren't really developed well for me. Emma had a healing ability but I didn't understand how it worked and why she couldn't heal herself or certain condition and I wasn't keen that the author made the character unwilling to learn as for me it felt like an easy way of not having to come up with the back story. I wanted to know the limits of the ability, how they were created and what triggered it. It needed to be more developed. 

As well as this I didn't really understand the setting.  I think it was in Paris (can't be sure though). Slatton created such a diverse range of nationalities in her cast of characters that it became slightly unrealistic as it just didn't seem to fit with the location. It was hard to keep up with who was who and then it led to questions to why were they in Paris to begin with when the Mist hit - something that wasn't really explained.

My biggest issue with the book though was the relationship. The description implies a "sweet" romance but it just felt wrong to me. The first time Arthur appears, Emma basically gets him to look after her and the children by offering sex. After that Arthur seemed to force himself upon Emma and she some how went from being reluctant to pleased by it within a matter of seconds. It was unrealistic and kind of creepy. I couldn't see how she would fall for him after stuff like that and it didn't make him likable. 

Overall, although there is something I can't put my finger on that kept me reading. However, Fallen was just too slow for me to engage with it. For me it needed to be broken up a lot more with speech or shorter sentences to change the pace every now and then. It also needed more development in terms of the paranormal aspect. The premise has potential and I think with work it could be an interesting book however for me I feel slightly indifferent and that it was just an average read right now.


Monday, 21 October 2013

Review ~ The Trouble with Mojitos by Romy Sommer

The Trouble with MojitoseARC received via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

Release Date: 17th October 2013

Publisher: HarperImpulse

Description:
Turquoise blue waters. Sandy white beaches. Mojitos... Film location scout Kenzie Cole has found herself in paradise. Working in the Caribbean for a week is just what she needs to escape the long line of exes in her closet. Though the last thing she expects is to be picked up at the resort bar by a disgraced former Prince!

Luckily for Kenzie, exile is suiting the man formerly known as Prince Fredrik very well. And it’s not long before his rugged, pirate charm is proving hard to resist.

But Rik’s been spending his time in paradise exorcising demons of his own and he has danger written all over him. If Kenzie was sensible she’d run a mile instead of lose herself to lust - although, they do say sometimes you have to get lost before you can be found....

My Opinion

Well this book just has me stumped. On one hand it was a nice, sweet book but on the other I feel it was lacking something and that is what's bugging me - I can't put my finger on it what was missing. I did enjoy it but I had this empty feeling once I'd finished it, I was slightly confused (I'll explain why in a bit) so I decided to sleep on my review and see if I could figure out why this book has stumped me.

Firstly, I love the setting in this book. I would love to live in the Caribbean and so imaging the authors world was like a dream come true for the few hours it took me to read The Trouble with Mojitos. I also liked the fact that Kenzie and Rik were exploring islands that had been left untouched for years, it made a nice change from touristy sites and romantic getaways in places like Paris. 

As well as this the author definitely managed to cram a lot of history into the small amount of pages. I liked how Rik's history was dragged out from the book and although there are a lot of obvious hints as to why he is in the situation he's in, I liked that we had to wait to get a confirmation on our assumption. I would have liked a bit more detail on what actually happened with all of Kenzies other 'bad guys' as well though. I felt her back ground was a bit underdeveloped and rushed, with a story about one guy coming out right towards the end.

For me the book started and ended well but the middle fell flats slightly as the pace slowed down. I think is where the main issue appeared for me. I just felt really detached from the characters and didn't engage with their story. I found it all a little predictable and although the romance was sweet, I didn't find it passionate. For me I wanted more playful flirting and teasing from Rik's side as the build up to the romance is my favourite part normally. He said he was going to be able to make her beg for him by the end, but he never really did a lot to follow through on that in my opinion. I just wanted more.

I did like the ending though and I was glad the book picked back up when Kenzie returned to Europe. At least Rik had a bit more fight in him. However the epilogue just didn't make sense. It was like I had walked into a totally different book and because there was no mention of rings at all in the previous chapters I was just the confused so although the book redeemed itself it then crashed back down on the last few pages and rather than a happily ever after ending I was left frowning as I tried to remember if I could have missed something.

Overall The Trouble with Mojitos is a sweet read that did keep me turning pages. It was quick at had a lot of detail in certain aspects but not in others. It was enjoyable but personally I feel it lacked the wow factor which is maybe why I feel indifferent to it - it needed more of a build up in the romance. If you like quickly sweet reads though you may want to check it out, it's by no means a bad book - I just didn't connect.





Sunday, 20 October 2013

ARC Review ~ The Edge of Always by J. A. Redmerski + Excerpt

The Edge of Always (The Edge of Never, #2)eARC received via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

Release Date: 7th November 2013

Publisher: HarperCollins UK

Description:
The hotly anticipated sequel to the bestselling New Adult novel, THE EDGE OF NEVER – a New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestseller

Camryn Bennett and Andrew Parrish wanted a life less ordinary – and together, against the world, it’s only getting better. But out of the blue, their perfect life together is rocked by tragedy…

Struggling to cope with a different future, Andrew soon realises that Camryn is hiding a world of pain. Desperate to bring her back to life, Andrew is sure that if they can get out on the road again, everything will fall into place. If only he can convince Camryn that their love is worth fighting for…

My Opinion

It was receiving an email from HaperCollins with an invitation to review this book in advance that gave me the much needed to kick to start The Edge of Never and if you've read my review of that then I loved it so much I couldn't wait to start The Edge of Always. In fact I started this book an hour after finishing the first and I'm so thankful I was able to get an advanced copy - this book didn't disappoint!

The Edge of Always is just as good as the first. I was a little worried with how the author was going to continue the series due to the way she left The Edge of Always but I was thankful that Camryn and Andrew didn't loose any of the carefree spirit and rebellion against conforming to societies wishes. Personally I felt the start was incredibly predictable and there for I spent the first few chapters waiting for something to happen rather than just read the book. I was turning pages and just hoping I was wrong - I wasn't - and therefore it was a little slow to get into. 

However the writing soon picked up and I was once again thrown into the romance that Camryn and Andrew share and the relationship I have come to adore. I didn't find The Edge of Always as emotional as the first book but for me it was more on the sweet side. Maybe that was because it was written more from Andrew's point of view and therefore it was about him trying to help Camryn - I don't know - but at least it didn't make me cry this time! I still felt for the characters and connected with them however I just didn't feel so emotional which I think was a nice change of pace from The Edge of Never.

Once again, I love the message of not conforming and the desire to travel. I could relate to it well, having my on list of countries I want to visit. The whole section on the road and travelling I loved and it was great to see Andrew return to his normal self. I just loved the carefree attitude and spontaneity the characters had, it was unique and original for me.

Finally I just love the romance between the two. The love they feel for each other is believable with becoming one of those sickly romances that is full of cliches. I like how the trust each other enough and neither of them was ever possessive or jealous. It was a nice change.

Overall The Edge of Always is a brilliant sequel to The Edge of Always and the author did a great job of following up on their story. I also liked the ending - it rounded things off nicely. If you haven't read The Edge of Never yet, go out and buy it before the Edge of Always is released! You won't be disappointed so don't make the mistake I did of putting off reading it. They are beautifully written and full of emotion.


You can pre-order The Edge of Always here: Amazon and because I am on HarperCollins' mailing list I have an extract to run alongside my review so enjoy!

***WARING***
If you haven't read The Edge of Never yet do not read on as the extract contains spoilers to the ending of the first book!

Excerpt:

Friday, 18 October 2013

Review ~ The Edge of Never by J. A. Redmerski

The Edge of Never (The Edge of Never, #1)ebook received via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

Release Date: November 15th 2012

Publisher: Harper Collins

Description:
Twenty-year-old Camryn Bennett had always been one to think out-of-the-box, who knew she wanted something more in life than following the same repetitive patterns and growing old with the same repetitive life story. And she thought that her life was going in the right direction until everything fell apart.

Determined not to dwell on the negative and push forward, Camryn is set to move in with her best friend and plans to start a new job. But after an unexpected night at the hottest club in downtown North Carolina, she makes the ultimate decision to leave the only life she’s ever known, far behind.

With a purse, a cell phone and a small bag with a few necessities, Camryn, with absolutely no direction or purpose boards a Greyhound bus alone and sets out to find herself. What she finds is a guy named Andrew Parrish, someone not so very different from her and who harbors his own dark secrets. But Camryn swore never to let down her walls again. And she vowed never to fall in love.

But with Andrew, Camryn finds herself doing a lot of things she never thought she’d do. He shows her what it’s really like to live out-of-the-box and to give in to her deepest, darkest desires. On their sporadic road-trip he becomes the center of her exciting and daring new life, pulling love and lust and emotion out of her in ways she never imagined possible. But will Andrew’s dark secret push them inseparably together, or tear them completely apart?

Due to sexual content and language, this book is recommended for 17+ – Adult Contemporary Women’s – New Adult Fiction

My Opinion

Wow, talk about an emotional roller coaster! This book went from light-hearted flirting, playful teasing and a hot romance to flipping and turning into a dramatic, torturous ending that made me cry. I'm still shocked by how many different emotions it brought out of me as I write this now and I've had nearly two days to try and digest this amazing read.

I think the main reason I got so emotional with this book was because of the characters - I just fell in love with them and their story. They were believable, easy to relate to and made me both smile, laugh and cry. I could sympathise with them and connect really well which is what made this book so different from a lot of New Adult books I've read - I actually cared what happened to them!

I also loved the fact that they weren't perfect. They had bad mouth (brilliant), a playful and witty sense of humour and they weren't afraid to challenge each other. Camryn was a bit more reserved and held back with what she thought but I loved how Andrew brought out her confidence and she developed. As well as this I could just tell I was going to enjoy this book when they first met. Camryn was not automatically swept of her feet and was stand-off-ish with him which just made me laugh.

Another thing I really liked about this book was the message about not conforming with society and doing whatever you want that brings you happiness rather than those around you. I could relate well to the message and thought it was a nice change to see characters who actually wanted to follow their own desires. I don't know why but I really like the line "Coincidence is just the conformist term for fate." I think for me it summed up the message that Camryn and Andrew were choosing their own path.

I did see the ending coming a few chapters before the reveal was made, which made it a bit predictable. However saying that it still made me cry, especially Andrew's letter. Oh my God, my eyes just teared up which is something that doesn't happen often. The book just did a one-eighty and my emotions couldn't cope - it was just great and mind boggling.

Overall I can't believe I waited so long to read this. It has been sat on my Kindle for months and having forgotten the blurb that initially interested me I put it off as the cover always looked slightly depressing to me. How wrong was I? I wish I had started it sooner but at least I don't have to wait for the sequel now (which I started earlier today)! I would highly recommend this book.


Saturday, 12 October 2013

ARC Review ~ Secrets of a Chalet Girl by Lorraine Wilson

Secrets of a Chalet GirleARC received via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

Expected Release Date: October 24th 2013

Publisher: Harper Impulse (HarperCollins UK)

ISBN: 9780007544073

Description:

Set in the exclusive Swiss ski resort of Verbier, the winter playground of the rich and famous, Secrets of a Chalet Girl is the second book in Lorraine Wilson’s fabulous Ski Season series.





My Opinion

When Lorraine Wilson emailed me to tell me Secrets of a Chalet Girl was up on NetGalley I headed straight over to request it and was so happy when it appeared in my approved list. After loving the first novella Confessions of a Chalet Girl I couldn't wait to read the sequel and it was a perfect gloomy-day read that I could snuggle up by a fire with. Secrets of a Chalet Girl was a quick, fast-paced read that I finished in an hour. It kept me turning pages and I couldn't put it down. 

The author definitely doesn't hang around with the writing. Diving straight into the story at Holly's Hen Party, it picks up with the girls playing truth or dare which set the mood for the book well - especially when dares are rapidly directed towards guys. It caught my interest straight away, making me wonder which direction the book was going to head in. However, a shy girl coming off the back of some bad ordeals, sexy guy and pushy friend gave me some idea.

One word I can think of to describe this book is playful. I liked the teasing and games, it was flirty and engaging. I would say this book was milder than Confessions of a Chalet Girl and wasn't as steamy in the romance section but I liked that as it made it different so it didn't feel like I was reading the same book all over again. The romance between Flora and Zac was sweet and although they both have their own problems I liked how the author didn't dwell on the negatives too much. The characters wanted to be better and more confident and I liked that they were trying to change themselves from the start. Unlike a lot of NA the ordeals were a motivation to change rather than constantly making the character whine.

Secrets of a Chalet Girl is a very quick read and once again I was surprised by how much the author managed to cram into the novella. The characters had a background and a past, we also got to see some of Zac's. As well as this there was the developing romance, a little about the future and a wedding. There was a lot of story in the small amount of pages but I still find myself wanting it to be longer as I enjoy Lorraine's writing!

I also love the setting of this series. Now, I would rather be on a beach any day but there is something about snow and ski slopes that intrigues me, especially in romance books. I don't know what it is about the snow but I just like imagining winter wonderlands. It also makes it the book a perfect autumnal/winter read during the evening.

Overall I really enjoyed Secrets of a Chalet Girl. It was playful, hot and made me smile. It was an easy read that, once again, was written beautifully and I didn't want it to end. I can't wait to see what Lorraine Wilson releases next!




Friday, 11 October 2013

ARC Review ~ Crash into You (Pushing the Limits #3) by Katie McGarry

Crash into You (Pushing the Limits, #3)eARC received via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

Release Date: 26th November 2013

Publisher: Harlequin Teen (MIRA Ink)

Description:
The girl with straight As, designer clothes and the perfect life-that's who people expect Rachel Young to be. So the private-school junior keeps secrets from her wealthy parents and overbearing brothers...and she's just added two more to the list. One involves racing strangers down dark country roads in her Mustang GT. The other? Seventeen-year-old Isaiah Walker-a guy she has no business even talking to. But when the foster kid with the tattoos and intense gray eyes comes to her rescue, she can't get him out of her mind.

Isaiah has secrets, too. About where he lives, and how he really feels about Rachel. The last thing he needs is to get tangled up with a rich girl who wants to slum it on the south side for kicks-no matter how angelic she might look.

But when their shared love of street racing puts both their lives in jeopardy, they have six weeks to come up with a way out. Six weeks to discover just how far they'll go to save each other.



My Opinion

I was highly anticipating this book since I finished Dare You To so I couldn't wait to read it when it showed up on NetGalley. This book has everything I have come to expect from Katie McGarry and it definitely didn't disappoint.

Crash into You was an excitingly good read. I will admit it took me a few chapters to get into as I was slightly confused as to who Rachel and all her brothers were. Then when the book switched point of view I was trying remember who Isaiah was from Dare You To. It took me until about chapter 4 to get into the book but after that it kept me hooked all the way to the end.

After my initial confusion about Rachel was cleared up, the book moved at a fast pace and I loved the plot. The author had clearly done her research with the car aspect of the novel and I thought it was original how the girl took was the one to like speed and racing. In fact, I liked the whole theme of the cars, drag racing and mechanics - it was a nice change from the typical rich-girl-attitude. One thing I loved was the element of danger the cars brought to the book but also how they were used as a coping and escape mechanism for the characters, for me it was believable.

As well as this I enjoyed the romance part of the book. I think I enjoyed the concept of Dare You Too more (daring each other to do things) but Rachel and Isaiah were still great to read about and watch develop. I think Isaiah character was created brilliantly with just the right amount of protectiveness and love for Rachel. He didn't come across as overpowering which was great as it meant I could actually like him - there's nothing worse than an overprotective, possessive guy to ruin a story. The moments between the two were sweet and had ome funny moments. Some of it may have not been too realistic but I don't care, I was engaged by the romance and wanted things to end happily.

The only negative I have about this book is Rachel's character sometimes. I loved it when she was with Isaiah as she became this strong, confident female lead, however when she was on her own or with her brothers for me her emotions seemed to drag on a bit and she became whiny and self-deprecating. I could understand why due to her family situation and I liked how she grew out of it slowly but I would rather her have been strong throughout the entire book.

Overall I really enjoyed Crash into You. It was fast-paced, exciting and thrilling read that I couldn't put down. I love Kaite McGarry's writing and although I'm not sure what she's going to do for West's story in the next book I will be looking forward to it. I would highly recommend this series!




Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Book Tour ~ Godspeed by February Grace

Godspeed
Godspeed 
YA/Steampunk/Romance 
204 pages 
Publisher: Booktrope Editions (18 Jun 2013) 
Language: English 
ISBN-10: 1620151499 
ISBN-13: 978-1620151495 



"What is a heart if not the ultimate clockwork?"
Abigail’s young life was saved by the kindness of strangers: Schuyler Algernon, the man who found her collapsed on cold city streets, and Quinn Godspeed, the doctor who risked everything by breaking the law to keep her fragile heart beating.

As the truth about what she’s become and her feelings for her saviour overtake her, Abigail is forced to ask what constitutes life, living, and what dark secrets are contained within Godspeed’s past and the walls of Schuyler’s house. 



About the Author
February Grace is a writer, artist, and poet who lives in Southeastern Michigan. She sings in key, plays by ear, and is more than mildly obsessed with colours, clocks, and meteor showers. GODSPEED is her debut novel.

Twitter: @FebruaryGrace
Facebook: www.facebook.com/FebruaryGrace
Blog: http://www.februarywriter.blogspot.co.uk/

Guest Post ~ The GODSPEED Dream Cast by February Grace


If I had my absolute pick of actors to play the characters portrayed in my Steampunk/Romance novel, GODSPEED, the following actors would definitely be my first choices…
As Doctor Quinn Godspeed: Ewan McGregor

There is actually no one else I have ever been able to imagine in the role of Godspeed himself since the beginning, other than Ewan McGregor.
When I was first getting to know Quinn at the beginning of the writing process, I thought of McGregor (a favorite of mine already) and looked up some photographs of him. I saw one black and white photo with his hair spiked, and with the lighting it almost looked silver instead of blond- and that was it. That was my visual for Quinn, in my head, from then on.
I have had a couple of other possibilities occur to me since, but none that fit the man as I imagine him as well as McGregor does. 

As Schuyler Algernon: Dan Stevens (Of Downton Abbey fame)

I had a blank in my mind for the longest time when it came to ‘casting’ Schuyler. He was such a bold and commanding presence, he seemed to dictate his own existence to me without need of a physical representative to hold his place in my mind and heart. It was only after watching Stevens closely in the role of Matthew Crawley I thought that, given the right wardrobe and hairstyle, he could definitely carry off the role with distinction.
As an alternate I have just recently considered that Arthur Darvill (Rory from Doctor Who) could make an AMAZING Schuyler, though his features are different than Schuyler is described in the story. I absolutely adore Darvill and I think that he could make a very poignant, heartbreaking Schuyler.
As Abigail Courage: Zoe Boyle (Known best for her role as Lavinia Swire on Downton Abbey) When I was tasked awhile back for coming up with a ‘dream cast’ for the first time, I had a very difficult time deciding on an actress that would suit the role of Abigail, our heroine.
Then suddenly a memory of Boyle as Lavinia came to mind, and that was it: I could see it so clearly. She is so lovely, delicate, and carried herself with such quiet dignity in that role on Downton that it is very easy for me to see her as Abigail. 
I can clearly imagine her starting off frail and close to death (she played that part very well on television as Lavinia) but then finding her voice and asserting herself later on in the story as she recovered and became more certain of herself and her feelings for Quinn. 
Boyle would make an absolutely splendid Abigail.
As Pennington Renfrew: Niall Horan
First: please don’t laugh! Yes, I do mean THAT Niall Horan, from the world famous boy band One Direction.
As the mom of a teenage girl 1D has been on my radar for a long while now, and when I saw Horan I thought immediately that he fit the bill as far as I imagined Penn looking. Now I have no idea if the lad can act, but being that my knowledge of actors around that age is extremely limited (being a Mom I don’t keep up much with who is big with the kids these days— probably not as much as I should!) he is who I picture in the role.
When I think of Penn, I think of Niall. And as a companion to his character, Marielle, I see…

As Marielle: Rose Leslie
Leslie is yet another actor that I am familiar with because of Downton Abbey (where she played the role of ladies’ maid Gwen) but she really is just how I pictured Marielle. 

Her red hair and fair skin, as well as the spirited way she carried herself in the role as Gwen were enough to convince me that she would make an absolutely smashing Marielle.
As Madame Weatherall: Audra McDonald
Beautiful, incredible, multi-talented star of stage and screen…Audra McDonald, was the one and only actress that I imagined playing the role of Jib’s gorgeous, elegant, brilliant mother (and heiress to an airship fortune to boot) Madame Weatherall. 
When I started writing her character, I began with a description of a hat that I saw in a catalog (which I now own, it was given to me as a birthday gift by a dear friend after I finished the book.) 
I imagined the hat first, then her tilting up her head so I could see the face beneath, and there, from the beginning, was Ms. McDonald’s flawless face. I have never even tried to imagine anyone else in the role in my mind, because she is such an absolutely perfect fit.

As J. Robeson Weatherall: LeVar Burton

What is there to say? LeVar Burton would be the perfect Magistrate Weatherall. He could command the respect and portray the depth of this secondary, yet ultimately very important character, to perfection.

If you’ve already read GODSPEED you will note two major omissions from my dream cast…list. Two VERY important characters. Why is that?
Because even after all this time, I still have absolutely no idea who should be cast in the roles! Perhaps you can help me out with that in your comments! 
If you have any idea who would make a good Jib (AKA Jon Weatherall) or Lilibet, please, drop me a line and give me your input! I would love to know how you see them.
So there you have it, my GODSPEED dream cast. I hope that you will enjoy imagining your own faces upon the characters, as well, as you read the book. After all, every reader will, and should— if I did my job correctly— make the characters their own.

The giveaway 
1 x $20/£10 Amazon Gift Card 
3 x ecopies of Godspeed 


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, 7 October 2013

Book Tour ~ Hers To Choose by Patricia Knight - Excerpt and Giveaway



Author Bio: Patricia A. Knight is the pen name for an eternal romantic who lives in Dallas, Texas surrounded by her horses, dogs and the best man on the face of the earth – oh yeah, and the most enormous bullfrogs you will ever see. Word to the wise: don’t swim in the pool after dark.

I love to hear from my readers and can be reached at http://www.trollriverpub.com/ or http://www.patriciaaknight.com . Or send me an email at patriciaknight190@gmail.com . Check out my latest “Hunk of the Day,” book releases, contests and other fun stuff on my face book page: https://www.facebook.com/patricia.knight.71619


Connect With Patricia Knight:


Genre - Fantasy Romance
Publisher - Troll River Publishing
Release Date – 7/15/2013


Book Description:

Mentally scarred from her years as prisoner to the off-world invaders, Lady Sophillia Glorianna DeLorion, doubts she can be a fit sexual partner for any man – even one whose passionate green eyes make her remember what it is to desire.

Commander of the Queen’s Royal Guard, Eric DeStroia had grown up watching the corrosive, soul-killing effects of arranged, aristocratic marriage and vowed to remain alone. But under his hardened military exterior, Eric has a kind heart. When the second Tetriarch suggests he marry a noble woman rescued from the enemy, Eric reconsiders, consoling himself with visions of sheltering a wounded dove under his mighty arm. Instead, he discovers a fierce falcon that refuses to stoop to his lure.

In the aftermath of their resounding defeat, a survivor from the enemy camp plotted a return to Verdantia to exact retribution. His first objective is the recapture of Lady Sophillia DeLorion. She had been unreachable until she went to the Oshtesh. Now, only Eric DeStroia stands in his way.

Amazon

Excerpt Two:

At dusk the next day, Sophi’s flight filtered into Sh’r Un Kree from the surrounding hillsides.

As they gathered in the designated courtyard, she made a small adjustment to Brio’s bridle.

“Are these the legendary wasteland horses we lowlanders hear stories about?” Commander

DeStroia’s deep voice caught her attention. I didn’t hear his approach. Taught stealth by my

brother, no doubt.

“Yes.” She followed his gaze as he examined her flight’s small, hardy mounts and the equally

small, hardy women astride them. “Petrina—she has a fiery temper to match her red hair, but

she is my right hand. The brunette beside her is Adonia, our medica. Her knowledge of herbs

is indispensable and this is Rhea, our best tracker. Layna, Eudora and Maeve complete our

flight. Their precision in hitting their targets is uncanny. We don’t look like much, but we will

not burden you, Commander. We are quite self-sufficient.”

 “I never imagined otherwise, Lady DeLorion.”

She stiffened. “I do not use my courtesy title. I am no longer that person. I prefer ‘Flight

Leader’.”

His eyes examined her but he nodded agreeably. “Flight Leader. We will leave upon the halfhour. Take position beside me at the front. Your flight can muster behind you.”

“No. It is not our way. We will ride the ridges and shadowed places in twos and threes. We

will be there but you will not see us.”

His eyes narrowed. “I don’t like it. I cannot protect you if I cannot see you.”

“I do not ask your permission, Commander. I am in far less danger with my flight than with

you who lack experience in the desert wilds. I knew you were coming hours before you

arrived. Sound carries great distances in the wastelands—and the dust! Your numbers hang a

sign in the desert air, ‘attention—riders approach’.”

She swirled her robes away from her legs and vaulted onto her gelding. A whistled birdcall

caught her archers’ attention. “We flank Commander DeStroia. Ride out.”

Sophi felt the Commander’s eyes on her as she and her flight faded into the desert night.

* * *

When Sophi and her women had faded from sight, Eric strode into the stable yard where

his four rides of the Queen’s Royal Guard assembled, preparing for the order to mount.

Frustration chewed on his temper. I was prepared for a shy, withdrawn woman, not this—

Valkyrie. It is difficult to “escort” a woman when you don’t know where she is, when she

doesn’t want or need an escort in the first place.

“Queen’s Guard! Prepare to mount! Mount!” he barked, swinging up onto his horse. “Rides!

By twos. Form up!” Cavalrymen paired off and formed orderly lines, broken every eight

riders by a colorful pennant bearing the insignia of their unit.

 “Queen’s Guard! At the walk! March!” Eric ordered.

As his horse’s long stride swung through the arches of the village wall, his second-incommand rode up to him.

“Commander?”

“Captain.”

“Do we leave without Lady DeLorion?”

“No.” Eric fumed in silence.

“Commander?”

“What!”

The man cleared his throat nervously. “Where is Lady DeLorion?”

“Good question, Captain Biron. If you see her, let me know.”



Sunday, 6 October 2013

Review ~ Deeper by Blue Ashcroft

DeepereARC received via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

Release Date: August 3rd 2013

Publisher: Self-published

Description:
Rain Wilson isn’t ever going to love again.

It’s a promise she made the day her boyfriend died in a water park accident, one she still blames herself for. Now she’s a senior lifeguard in a new town with a new pool and she’s just going to keep her head down and everyone safe.

Until a mysterious guy follows her into the waves at the pre-season bonfire and kisses her senseless. It’s just one mistake, and Rain is determined to put it behind her, until the dark haired, blue eyed hottie turns out to be her new co-supervisor Knight Mcallister.

Knight is hot, tatted, and carrying baggage of his own. He’s not happy about having Rain for a co-supervisor, and he’s even less happy about his attraction to her.

But between lifeguard drama, hot underwater kisses, and a growing attraction between them that can’t be stopped, Knight and Rain are being pulled deeper into their pasts, and realizing that sometimes too much broken can make a relationship impossible.

Then again sometimes it’s the broken parts of us that fit together best.

My Opinion

Deeper was a quick easy read that moved at a fast pace and kept me hooked throughout the entire book. I didn't really want to stop reading last night but eventually sleep won and I had to read the last forty per cent today. It's the type of book I can imagine this book being a great summer read though.

One thing I liked was the life guard aspect of the book. Rather than have a bunch of teens on a summer break, Blue Ashcroft described them all at work which was a nice change from the norm. It also helped make the seriousness of Rain and Knight's jobs believable. As well as this, the trauma they had both been through was not only believable but dealt with sensitively. I felt their emotions were real yet is was nice to see their development as you keep reading.

Another thing I liked was the romance. Although I would class this book as more YA than NA and there isn't any sex and the description is quite tame it was still enjoyable to read. Knight and Rain's personalities complimented each other's well and I loved it when they would be teasing or joking around with each other. It felt natural and easy. The conversations flowed well which helped engage me in their romance. I did feel how they met was a little strange and unbelievable but by the end I didn't really care that Knight started off slightly creepy. By the end he was sweet, caring and a good guy.

The only thing I can think of to criticize in this book is sometimes I felt the emotions took priority over the story and therefore became slightly repetitive. There was a lot of description/inner thoughts from Rain and Knight about their ordeals and how it was impacting their relationship and for me it got a little too much, especially when there were a few paragraphs repeating the same thing, only phrased slightly differently. Personally I would have liked less of that and maybe more depth to the description and story.

Overall Deeper is a good, quick read. It isn't too heavy in the trauma department as it is broken up with Rain and Knight's relationship. It keeps you engaged and I would recommend it to anyone who likes romances.

  

Saturday, 5 October 2013

Review ~ Untraceable by S. R. Johannes

Untraceable (Nature of Grace, #1)Copy received via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

Release Date: 29th 2011

Publisher: Coleman & Stott

Description:
16-year-old Grace has lived in the Smokies all her life, patrolling with her forest ranger father who taught her about wildlife, tracking, and wilderness survival. 

When her dad goes missing on a routine patrol, Grace refuses to believe he’s dead and fights the town authorities, tribal officials, and nature to find him.

One day, while out tracking clues, Grace is rescued from danger by Mo, a hot guy with an intoxicating accent and a secret. As her feelings between him and her ex-boyfriend get muddled, Grace travels deep into the wilderness to escape and find her father. 

Along the way, Grace learns terrible secrets that sever relationships and lives. Soon she’s enmeshed in a web of conspiracy, deception, and murder. And it’s going to take a lot more than a compass and a motorcycle (named Lucifer) for this kick-butting heroine to save everything she loves.

My Opinion

Ok wow, where do I start with this book... On one had I was really gripped by it, especially at the start but on the other I am extremely frustrated by it. This description intrigued me into requesting this book but this book definitely took a different turn to what I was expecting.

Anyway, I'll start with the good points. First of all the start really hooked me. I really enjoyed  the mystery and suspense created. I also liked how Grace was portrayed as a strong, determined, kick-ass character that was able to fend for herself. I liked how driven she was to discover the truth no matter what others said. Her judgment wasn't swayed and I admired the author for sticking to that. Normally, I find it common for authors to make their characters doubt themselves and their belief. Grace didn't do that which was good. Moreover, I liked her dry sense of humor.

As well as this I liked the romance sections, they were a nice break from the heavy emotions and trauma in Grace's life. I liked that it enabled the reader to see a different side of her - a more relaxed side. The book also moved at a fast pace so kept my interest well.

One thing I liked and found original was that the chapters were named "survival skills" and had a message underneath each one. I enjoyed them and they also set up the theme for a chapter - it was just a unique thing for me.

Right...so now on to the negatives. For me it was the first half of that book that was great but the second half really let it down. It felt like the author involved too many people, too many problems and plot strands that it all got too much for her to keep track of by the end. For me the ending was ridiculous, every time something happened I just kept thinking "really another one?" and then you read on another chapter and it just got worse. I couldn't keep up with who was alive or dead - it was just stupid. 

For me the author went off the plot of a daughter finding her dad too much and it became more about an animal cruelty message. No matter how much I'm against animal cruelty and agree with her message, I don't want to read about their treatment in graphic detail. I wasn't prepared for it and in the end I skimmed those sections as I hate it.

Another thing that I just found made the book unrealistic was the continuity errors. Grace would go into the woods in daylight and 20 minutes later she was pulling out a torch because it was so dark. It just didn't make sense! Also, for someone who grew up and was taught all about the woods, Grace never seemed to be that knowledgeable about anything. Besides a few basic things like keeping up wind to avoid being tracked, Grace seemed to have no common sense and just kept making mistake after mistake which I just couldn't believe. I mean who lights a fire when they are trying to stay hidden?! Also Grace was uncoordinated so it just made it lack believabiltiy even more.

The final thing that really annoyed me while reading this was the British side of things. I don't know why but when Americans write about British characters they always resort to this stereotypical demeanor that is like it has been ripped from Mary Poppins. WE DON'T SPEAK LIKE THAT, SO STOP IT!!!! "Smashing," "Crumbs," "Bloody" are not words you will hear coming out of a fifty year old's mouth let alone a 17 year old English teen. It was so false and everything about the English sections really wound me up. Every time Mo came up some comment was made about his accent or the difference in country. We aren't another species, it doesn't need repeating over and over again. Everything about the whole British section needs re-writing for me to not only modernise the language but to also correct some of the terms as some of the things Mo says are not things people in the UK will say. 

Overall the first half of Untraceable is really good and I think it has potential. There are some issues that need correcting for me, the British thing being one of them but none the less it was an interesting read that did sustain my interest.


Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Review ~ Fallen by Stacy Claflin

FalleneARC received from the author exchange for an honest review

Release Date: September 2013

Description:
Samantha Erikson is a vampire with one mission: to rule the world. She’s spent decades winning over the world’s most feared vampire, Vince Moretti. Just when everything is going according to plan, he sidetracks her with the assignment of pretending to be a high school student in a small town.

It’s humiliating enough going from stilettos to sneakers, but Samantha must also follow the most boring person alive: the teenage girl who stands between her and the throne. When she has had all she can take, she finds a fun distraction: an attractive football player who isn't scared of vampires. There's one problem. Against her better judgment, she falls in love with him. Now she must decide between the mortal she adores and a place of power in the vampire world. If she tries to have both, she could lose everything.

My Opinion

Fallen was a quick, easy read that was a nice addition to Stacy Claflin's series. Having read and reviewed the first two books and enjoying them greatly, I was interested to see what the author did with the prequel, especially because it is written from Samantha's point of view. It definitely had a different feel from the other books in the series and I really enjoyed reading about Samantha.

My favourite thing about this novella was definitely Samantha's personality. She had this no nonsense demeanor about her and although she was taking orders from Vince, it felt like she was her own person. She also had a great wit and there were some sections where I could feel myself smiling at her attitude. As well as that I liked how the author set the book before Deception, it gave extra information that was nice to read about.

The novella moved at a quick pace but Stacy crammed a lot into the small amount of pages. It keeps you hooked and gives just the right amount of detail to make it an interesting and engaging novella. I think it helped that I had prior knowledge to the series as there wasn't much background information but that is to be expected. I'd recommend reading at least the first book before the prequel but it's not necessary to follow the story, which takes place before the first book.

Overall Fallen was an entertaining read that was a great addition to the series. I would definitely recommend taking a look at Stacy's work if you like vampires. Also Fallen is free so go get it now!


4.5



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