Monday 30 May 2011

Cover to Covet (13)

I LOVE book covers. Love, love love them. So I decided to make it a regular post - each post featuring a cover I love.

I find this cover so pretty! I love the glow and how sparkly it is.  I hope it lives up to it's cover!  Here's the synopsis:

From Goodreads: An epic romance full of mysteries that transcend time—fans of Romeo and Juliet and The Time Traveler’s Wife will rejoice!

Some loves are not made to last . . . Like Romeo and Juliet, Heloise and Abelard were doomed from the start, and their romance was destined to pass into history. Yet when sixteen-year-old Callie Martin discovers a diary hidden within an antique book, their story—and hers—takes on another life. For the diary leads Callie to the brilliant and handsome August, who is just as mysterious as the secret the diary hides. Their attraction is undeniable. As the two hunt down the truth behind the diary—and that of Heloise and Abelard’s ancient romance—their romance becomes all-consuming. But Callie knows it can’t last . . . love never does. Will their love that burns as bright as a shooting star flame out, or will these star-crossed lovers be able to defy history?

It's published December 2011.

Saturday 28 May 2011

In My Mailbox (93)

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi @ The Story Siren


Between Here and Forever by Elizabeth Scott
Elizabeth Scott. Squeeee! 

The Tension of Opposites by Kristina McBride
I've heard some really good things about this one so I'm hoping it will be as good as it sounds.

Wolves, Boys, and Other Things That Might Kill Me by Kristen Chandler
I'm really loving the sound of this one and I adore the title!


Double Cross (Medusa Project) by Sophie McKenzie
Yay!  Love Sophie McKenzie and the first in this series was great.  Can't wait to get reading!

The Queen Must Die by K A S Quinn
This sounds great and it's about time travel which I love.

The Gun by Bali Rai (Finished Copy)
I've started this and it's great so far!

I also attended a launch at Bloomsbury for Alyxandra Harvey's Haunting Violet and received a Goodie Bag which included:

Haunting Violet  - sounds awesome so I can't wait to get stuck in. I love her Drake Chronicles so I'm sure I'll love it.
Lip Balm
Black Nail Varnish

It was a fab event and we got the chance to chat to Alyxandra and ask her questions.  Plus there was cake!    Thanks to Alyxandra and Bloomsbury for such a great day:)

Hope you all had a great week:)

Friday 27 May 2011

I want to read that...

Saving June by Hannah Harrington

From Goodreads: ‘If she’d waited less than two weeks, she’d be June who died in June. But I guess my sister didn’t consider that.’

Harper Scott’s older sister has always been the perfect one so when June takes her own life a week before her high school graduation, sixteen-year-old Harper is devastated. Everyone’s sorry, but no one can explain why.

When her divorcing parents decide to split her sister’s ashes into his-and-her urns, Harper takes matters into her own hands. She’ll steal the ashes and drive cross-country with her best friend, Laney, to the one place June always dreamed of going California.

Enter Jake Tolan. He’s a boy with a bad attitude, a classic-rock obsession and nothing in common with Harper’s sister. But Jake had a connection with June, and when he insists on joining them, Harper’s just desperate enough to let him. With his alternately charming and infuriating demeanour and his belief that music can see you through anything, he might be exactly what she needs.

Except June wasn’t the only one hiding something. Jake’s keeping a secret that has the power to turn Harper’s life upside down again.

This is one of the books listed on the Contemps Challenge and I've looking forward to it for ages. It sounds great!

It will be published November 2011.

Thursday 26 May 2011

We'll Always Have Summer by Jenny Han

For Review: S&S Galley Grab
Published: 26 April 2011

From Goodreads: It's been two years since Conrad told Belly to go with Jeremiah. She and Jeremiah have been inseparable ever since, even attending the same college-- only, their relationship hasn't exactly been the happily ever after Belly had hoped it would be. And when Jeremiah makes the worst mistake a boy can make, Belly is forced to question what she thought was true love. Does she really have a future with Jeremiah? Has she ever gotten over Conrad? It's time for Belly to decide, once and for all, who has her heart forever.

I was so excited to see this on galley grab. I loved both of the previous books in the series and I did not want to wait until next year when this one publishes in the UK to find out what happens. I had to know - who would she choose? And would it be the one I wanted it to be?

The story starts two years after the events of It's Not Summer Without You. Belly is at college - with Jeremiah - and they have been together for the past two years. But Belly learns a shocking truth - something she thought would never happen. Narrated from Belly and Conrad's point of view we get the final instalment in this wonderful series.

So I loved it! I loved every thing about it - it was one of those books where I couldn't wait to get to the end to find out what would happen, but at the same time didn't want it to end. Belly was even more adorable - if that's possible!  I love how she has grown over the course of the series.  Jeremiah is still lovely - but seeing him at university with his friends showed a side to him we didn't see during the summers at Cousins and I'm not sure it was a side I particularly liked.  Conrad was his usual self and having portions of the story narrated from his point of view gave more insight into his character and I think I fell  in love with him just that little bit more!

I can honestly say I am not ready for this to be the last in the series - I don't want to leave these characters just yet. So I will be holding out hope that the author may revisit them at a later date. I know I would be the first in line if that were to happen!

Did Belly end up with the one I hoped she would? I am so not telling! To be honest I think it would be too much of a spoiler if I said whether I was happy with her decision - I think in previous reviews for the series I have made it very clear who I'd like her to end up with - but I will say that despite my own preferences I do think the ending was the right one for the story.

I can't wait to see what Jenny Han writes next. A great end to a fabulous series - if you haven't read them yet then I recommend you check them out.

Wednesday 25 May 2011

Cover Wars: Dearly Departed by Lia Habel


What do you think?

The UK covers makes it obvious it is about zombies whereas the US on gives it a more Gothic feel. I kind of really like both but I think the US one is my favourite as it's pretty! The UK one has a more fun feel though and I love the font they use for the title - it will be interesting to see which cover best matches the tone of the book once I've read it.

From Goodreads: As far as romantic pairings go in the year 2195, you don't get much more unlikely than an upper-class schoolgirl and a poor miner from enemy tribes. Filter in the fact that he's a zombie, and you're definitely talking about star-crossed love.

Dearly, Departed is a cyber-Victorian/steampunk romance that takes place in the shadow of a new ice age. Nora Dearly, a mouthy teenage girl and apparent orphan, leaves school for Christmas - only to be dragged into the night by the living dead. Luckily for her, though, the good ones got to her first. From her reanimated rescuers she learns not only that zombies are roaming the countryside, but that her father is one - and that he's in terrible trouble. She also meets Captain Bram Griswold, a noble, strong, and rather sweet undead boy for whom she starts to fall.

Meanwhile, her best friend, Pamela Roe, is just trying to carry on with life as best she can in the wake of Nora's disappearance - when she ends up killing an evil zombie in self-defense. Pam is galvanized into action, and ends up leading a group of survivors as the city of New London is thronged by the ravenous dead.

Upon hearing of Pamela's plight, Nora and Bram set out to rescue her friends, find her missing father, and maybe just save what's left of the world.

It sounds ace!  It's published Sept 2011 (in the UK) and Oct 2011 (in the US).

Monday 23 May 2011

Vampirates Blog Tour

Simon & Schuster have organised a blog tour for Immortal War by Justin Somper. Here's a video by Justin talking about his latest book and the blog tour:

You can check out the schedule below for all the stops! Hope to see you back here on the 16th!

Monday 6th June -- Chicklish - Extract #1

Tuesday 7th June -- My Favourite Books - An interview with Justin Somper

Wednesday 8th June -- The Crooked Shelf - Guest Post: on Lady Lola Lockwood & The Women of Vampirates

Thursday 9th June -- Feeling Fictional - Animal Antics

Friday 10th June -- The Bookette --Extract #2

Saturday 11th June - Girls Without A Bookshelf - Playlists & The Music of Vampirates

Sunday 12th June - Wondrous Reads - 10 Ways to Know You're Obsessed with Vampirates

Monday 13th June -- Daisy Chain Books - Guest Post: Ending An Era -- Killing Off Vampirates

Tuesday 14th June -- Empire of Books -- Top ten Vampirates characters ever

Wednesday 15th June -- Book Zone For Boys -- Q&A with Justin

Thursday 16th June - I Want To Read That  - WIN! Vampirates swag

Saturday 21 May 2011

In My Mailbox (92)

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi @ The Story Siren


Mad Love by Suzanne Selfors
Tiger's Curse by Colleen Houck
Immortal War by Justin Somper
The Pink Hotel by Anna Stothard
Everfound by Neal Shusterman

Big thanks to Bloomsbury, Simon & Schuster, Hodder and Alma books:)


All Unquiet Things by Anna Jarzab
The Ghost and the Goth by Stacey Kade 
Dead Is Not An Option by Marlene Perez
Bitter End by Jennifer Brown
Moonglass by Jessi Kirby
Blood Red Road by Moira Young
Awaken by Katie Kacvinsky

Hope you all had a great week:)

Friday 20 May 2011

The Captain Jack Sparrow Handbook by Jason Heller

For Review: Quirk books
Published: 5 May 2011

From Goodreads: He’s the most popular pirate in motion picture history—and now The Captain Jack Sparrow Handbook offers his fans an insider’s guide to all the dirty tricks of the buccaneer’s trade! Complete with step-by-step instructions, helpful diagrams, and full-color photography from the Pirates of the Caribbean films, this nautical treasure trove arrrrrrrrrrrticulates such vital and colorful information as:

• How to Sail a Ship
• How to Survive Being Marooned
• How to Break a Curse
• How to Fight Six Angry Men in a Tavern
• How to Recruit a Crew
• How to Cope with Mermaids
• And much, much more!

Arriving just in time for Captain Jack’s long-awaited return in the blockbuster Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, this fiendishly adventurous handbook is essential reading for pirate lovers, Johnny Depp fans, and all-around rogues and rapscallions of all ages.

This is great fun and written in the same style of humour we have come to expect from the films.  It's a book that you can either fully immerse yourself in or one you can dip into at your leisure.  I, however, was most upset that I failed at being a potential Pirate at the first hurdle since I can't swim (which, yes,  I am aware is kind of obvious but never mind!).

The book covers everything you need to be a pirate and will delight anyone wishing they could be one. It looks at how to become a pirate, how to recognise a pirate (follow your nose apparently!), all the possible maritime skills you may need, people skills (with an interesting chapter on disguising your gender), acquiring booty (ooh treasure!), all the mysteries of the deep (eek sea monsters!) and on how to cheat death (very important!)

There are some fun references to the characters in the films and it also has pictures from the movies including a few of a certain Captain Jack Sparrow (aka Johnny Depp) which are very easy on the eye!  Great fun -  I need to go watch the movies again now!

Thursday 19 May 2011

Giveaway: Black Swan Rising

From Goodreads:  When New York City jewelry designer Garet James stumbles into a strange antiques shop in her neighborhood, her life is about to be turned upside down. John Dee, the enigmatic shopkeeper, commissions her to open a vintage silver box for a generous sum of money. Oddly, the symbol of a swan on the box exactly matches the ring given to her by her deceased mother. Garet can’t believe her luck and this eerie coincidence until she opens the box and otherworldly things start happening. . . .

That evening, the precious silver box is stolen. When Garet begins to investigate, she learns that she has been pulled into a prophecy that is hundreds of years old, and opening the box has unleashed an evil force onto the streets of Manhattan and the world at large. Gradually, Garet pieces together her true identity—one that her deceased mother desperately tried to protect her from. Generations of women in Garet’s family, including her beloved mother, suffered and died at the hands of this prevailing evil. Does Garet possess the power to reclaim the box and defeat this devastating force?

On her journey, she will meet the fey folk who walk unnoticed among humans and a sexy vampire who also happens to be a hedge fund manager that she can’t stop thinking about. But the fairies reveal a desire to overpower mere humans and the seductive vampire has the power to steal the life from her body. Whom can Garet trust to guide her? Using her newfound powers and sharp wit, Garet will muster everything she’s got to shut down the evil taking over her friends, family, New York City, and the world.

I have one copy of this to giveaway.

All you need to do is fill in the form below. The giveaway is open to everyone and closes 31 May 2011.

Good Luck:)

This giveaway is now closed.

Wednesday 18 May 2011

Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready

From Goodreads: Best. Birthday. Ever. At least, it was supposed to be. With Logan's band playing a critical gig and Aura's plans for an intimate after-party, Aura knows it will be the most memorable night of her boyfriend's life. She never thought it would be his last.

Logan's sudden death leaves Aura devastated. He's gone.

Well, sort of.

Like everyone born after the Shift, Aura can see and hear ghosts. This mysterious ability has always been annoying, and Aura had wanted nothing more than to figure out why the Shift happened so she can undo it. But not with Logan's violet-hued spirit still hanging around. Because dead Logan is almost as real as ever. Almost.

It doesn't help that Aura's new friend Zachary is so understanding--and so very alive. His support means more to Aura than she cares to admit.

As Aura's relationships with the dead and the living grow ever complicated, so do her feelings for Logan and Zachary. Each holds a piece of Aura's heart...and clues to the secret of the Shift.

I really, really enjoyed this one!

Along with everyone born after the Shift, Aura is able to see and hear ghosts. Not an ability she particularly enjoys. She wants to find out what caused the Shift to see if she can change it. But when her boyfriend suddenly dies she is devastated. But since she can see and hear ghosts she still has Logan in her life. And things only get more complicated Especially when new boy Zachary comes into the picture...

Aura is a great character. I really liked her and enjoyed her narration. Logan is fun and I could see why Aura would be with him. But he does have a bit of an annoying side and sometimes comes across as selfish. I really liked Zach, and I loved that he was Scottish! I could really imagine that accent! He seemed sweet and I thought him and Aura had a lot in common. Perhaps more than her and Logan.

The aftermath of Logan's death was handled really well - the way the characters who could see him grieved in a different way from those who couldn't - felt very realistic. I found this gave the book an emotional grounding which really appealed to me.

I also really liked the idea behind the Shift. There is a mystery to it - one that we discover pieces of alongside Aura. I'm looking forward to unravelling more of the puzzle in future installments of the series. I'm glad I have my copy of Shift to hand because with that ending? I so need to read it right now! 

Tuesday 17 May 2011

Book Trailer of the Month: May

Passion by Lauren Kate

So how many of you are super excited for this one? I love the trailer - the kiss, the rose petals! It makes it all really exciting.

To help fill the void until Passion is released I have some extra material - some of you may have already seen it but for those of you that haven't, here it is:

Daniel’s Journal

Golden, British Columbia
March 21, 1992

Next time, I will have to give her up.
In this life we’re already too far along. Our course is set. Our old disaster looms ahead. My pen quakes as I write these words:
I can’t save her.
It has been one month since she found me at the bookstore. One month since she introduced herself—this time she goes by Lucy, which is so quaint it is beyond sweet—blushing as she tucked her hair behind her ear before she shook my hand. One month of taking that hand in mine each afternoon when she returns home from school.
I have cherished every inch of her. I have savored every pore of her soft skin and filled up too many sketchbooks with her hypnotizing eyes. Nothing is more bittersweet than this month of euphoria. It’s the same with each life’s love.
I’m a fool to savor it. Especially with the end so near.
Ages ago, Gabbe told me not to write this book. And there’s a long list of reasons why she’s right. I’ve been hunted for the things I wrote. Tried for heresy. I’ve gone mortal generations with a price on my head. Of course, right now the only reason that matters to me is this:
If I had never written The Watchers: Myth in Medieval Europe, Lucinda wouldn’t have stumbled across me restocking the shelves at the university library where her sister attends college. She never would have invited me to walk across the campus to meet Vera after class, never worked up the courage in those ten minutes to give me her phone number on the back of a drugstore receipt. We never would have ended up at her parents’ house later that night. Never walked through the drifts of snow on the path behind their cabin, talking for hours, laughing as if we’d known each other for centuries.
We would never have fallen in love.
And she wouldn’t be living her last days.
No. Even here, in these private pages, why do I continue to delude myself?
The truth?
Lucinda would have found me regardless of my stupid book. Just like she always does. She would have tracked me down and followed me and lowered her defenses with a rapidity she never understands. She would still have fallen in love. For the thousandth and the first time in her life.
And why not? It’s not torture for her . . . until the end.
It means it’s up to me to make the change.
Because, as Heaven is my witness, I can’t go on like this. The agony of one more loss will overwhelm me. Drive me mad. Having to watch her walk once more into the blaze of knowing—
I can’t.
Let these pages serve as a record: If it takes seventeen years to purge her from my soul—and I know it will—I’ll do it. The addiction will fade away. The pain of withdrawal has to ease.
Is it even possible? That someday love will loosen its grip on me? Until she’s only a memory, not a drug I have to have? It’s too hard to imagine, and it’s the only option I have left.
If I can do that for her, Lucinda will live a long and healthy life. She’ll do something she’s never done before: She’ll die old. She will love and blossom and find happiness. All these things she’s never known before. All without me.
It’s too late now, but it won’t always be. I have already begun the preparations for our next encounter seventeen years down the road.
How to save her. How to pull away.
Yesterday, I went to a meeting.
There was a flyer on the bus stop at the corner of Grand and Calgary: Twelve Steps to Overcoming Your Addiction. I was strung out and jittery after five hours of not seeing her. Five hours. It was all I could do to wait for her to get home from school so I could take her in my arms and—
Hold back. Because I always have to hold myself back. The moments when I haven’t have been the moments when she died. As soon as I kissed her, as soon as I did what I felt I was made to do, she was taken away from me.
Love. Vanishing. Into thin air.
I know all of this so well, but it has never gotten easier to control.
So I memorized the address on the flyer. I got on the bus and I traveled some distance and I got off. I walked into the dim, low-ceilinged room in the annex of a church. I sat on a hard folding chair in a small circle of grim-faced strangers. When it was my turn, I stood up. I cleared my throat and tried to ignore the burning itch of my wings when I said, Hello, my name is Daniel, and I am an addict.
They nodded and recognized me. They said: Tell us about your greatest high.
The other day. For example. I went further than usual with my drug of choice. A walk in the woods, that’s all. Snow falling, sun burning through the trees, and her. I’ll wager no one has ever felt more alive. It was like I couldn’t get enough. I knew that it could have turned ugly—I knew I was dancing with an overdose. But one tempting kiss was just so beautiful. The truth is, every time is exactly as intoxicating. Every moment surpasses metaphor.
They said: Now describe rock bottom.
Emptiness. Raw and consuming. From the first instant I run out until the instant I get my hands on more. An absolute vacuum ripping through my body, pulling out anything vital I contained. Weight where there should be weightlessness. A withdrawal worse than Hell.
Then they said: So is it worth it?
And I fell silent because it is all there is and no, it isn’t worth it.
And those bastards looked at me as if they got it.
It’s said in some circles that I have delusions of grandeur, but that is not the case. I recognized myself in all those sad souls around me at the meeting. My lost, forlorn expression mirrored each of theirs. Their skin was yellow and they smelled like Hell and their eyes were sunken with a kind of weak surrender. And every one of them was telling me it gets easier.
Not for me.
It wasn’t going to work. They spoke of romance with nostalgia, and in a way, I envy that. But the thing about these meetings is that their motto—their whole one day at a time approach—does not apply to me.
One day at a time for sixty more years is a drop in the bucket compared to what I’m looking at. An eternity of days without the one thing that completes me. A gaping emptiness without compare.
There was also the problem of God.
They said: Let Him restore you to sanity. Turn yourself over to Him.
And their faces—all that blatant disappointment—when I told them, frankly, that this is one trial God just isn’t going to help me through. I knew what they were thinking: In time, with a few more meetings and some straight, sober perspective, I’d surely come around. I wish I could.
On the bright side, I walked out of the meeting understanding one thing more clearly than I ever had before:
My addiction is not killing me. I’m the toxic thing that’s killing her.
I stepped into the shadows behind the church, let my wings slip forth, and opened them wide.
I had never felt so powerless. Even as I flew away, into the snow-white sky, above the blizzard they’d been expecting for days. My wings can’t save me. My nature can’t save me. It’s my soul that has work to do. I must close its heavy door on her.
Next life.
This life, I’ve already gone too far. There’ll be no stopping it now.
It’s beginning to snow again and I must sign off. There’s a skating party at Lucy’s house tonight. Vera invited all her friends, and I promised I would go.
This is it.
I’ll show up. I’ll know what’s coming. And I’ll love her right up until the very last moment. This will be the last Lucinda who ever dies at my hands.
Next time, I will give her up.

Text © 2010 by Tinderbox Books, LLC and Lauren Kate.

Arriane’s Day Out

“Wide load! Coming through!”
Arriane wheeled a large red shopping cart down the housewares aisle of the Savannah Salvation Army thrift store. Her thin arms gripped the handlebar as she heaved the heavy cart forward. She’d already loaded it up with two polka-dotted lamp shades, a sofa’s worth of tacky pillows, nine plastic Halloween lanterns filled with long-expired candy, half a dozen cheap patterned dresses, a few shoe boxes full of bumper stickers, and a pair of neon-colored roller skates. So by this point it was difficult for Arriane, who stood scarcely five feet tall, to see where she was steering.
“Step aside, toots, unless you have no need for your toes. That’s right, I’m talking to you. And your toddler.”
“Arriane,” Roland said calmly. He was one aisle over, flipping through a milk crate crammed with dusty vinyl records. His pin-striped blazer was unbuttoned, showing a Pink Floyd T-shirt underneath. His thick dreadlocks hung down slightly over his dark eyes. “You really know how to keep a low profile, don’t you?”
“Hey!” Arriane sounded wounded as she tried to maneuver her shopping cart in a hairpin turn and wheeled down Roland’s aisle. She stopped in front of him and jabbed an electric-blue-painted fingernail into his chest. “I take my work here seriously, pal. We have a lot of goods to procure in just two days.”
Arriane’s words seemed to remind her of something that filled her with sudden joy. Her pastel blue eyes ignited and a wide grin spread across her face. She gripped Roland’s arm and shook him, causing her long black hair to tumble from its messy bun. It flowed down to her waist and shimmered as she cried, “Two days! Two days! Our Lucy’s coming back to us in two freaking days!”
Roland chuckled. “You’re cute when you’re excited.”
“Then I must be the mayor of Adorableville right now!” Arriane leaned against a rack of old stereo equipment and sighed a happy little sigh. “I live for her arrivals. I mean, not in the same way Daniel does, obviously. But I do feel a certain speck of delight at the prospect of seeing her again.” She rested her head on Roland’s shoulder. “Do you think she’ll have changed?”
Roland was back to flipping through the box of records. Every third or fourth one he tossed into Arriane’s shopping cart. “She’s had a whole other life, Arri. Of course she’ll have changed a little bit.”
Arriane threw down the Sly and the Family Stone album she’d been examining. “But she’ll still be our Lucinda—”
“That does seem to be the pattern,” Roland said, giving Arriane the are-you-crazy look she got from most people—including everyone else at the thrift store—but not usually from Roland. “At least, it’s been that way for the past several thousand years. Why would you even have to ask?”
“Dunno.” Arriane shrugged. “I passed Miss Sophia in the office at Sword and Cross. She was hauling around all these boxes of files, muttering about ‘preparations.’ Like everything had to be perfect or something. I don’t want Luce to show up and be disappointed. Maybe she’ll be different, really different this time. You know how I feel about change.”
She peered into her shopping cart. The tacky pillows she’d thrown into it in case this Luce, like the last Luce, could be cheered up with a raging pillow fight—suddenly, they just looked ugly and childish to Arriane. And the roller skates? When were they ever going to use roller skates at a reform school? What was she thinking? She’d gotten carried away. Again.
Roland tweaked Arriane’s nose. “At the risk of sounding banal, I say just be yourself. Luce will love you. She always does. And if all else fails,” he said, sifting though the booty Arriane had tossed into the cart, “there’s always your secret weapon.” He held up the small plastic bag of drinking straws with paper umbrellas glued onto them. “You should definitely bust out these guys.”
“You’re right. As usual.” Arriane smiled, patting Roland on the head. “I do throw a mean happy hour.” She slung her arm around his waist as the two of them wheeled the heavy cart down the aisle.
As they walked, Roland looked down at the shopping list he’d made on his BlackBerry. “We got the party music. We got the decorations for your room, and the duct tape—”
“How you go through so much duct tape is one of the great mysteries of the universe.”
“Anything else we need here before we go to the gourmet store?”
Arriane wrinkled her nose. “Gourmet store? But . . . Luce likes junk food.”
“Don’t shoot the messenger,” Roland said. “Cam asked me to pick him up some caviar, a pound of figs, a few other things.”
“Caviar? First of all, gag me. Second of all, what would Cam want with caviar? Wait a minute—”
She stopped short in the middle of the aisle, causing another shopper with a cartful of discount Christmas decorations to rear-end them. Arriane let the woman pass, then lowered her voice. “Cam’s not going to try to seduce Luce again, is he?”
Roland went back to pushing the cart. He was excellent at keeping mum when he needed to, and it always pissed Arriane off.
“Roland.” She wedged her black boot under the wheel of the shopping cart to stop it in its tracks. “Need I remind you of the disaster that was 1684? Not to mention the calamity Cam caused in 1515? And I know you remember what happened when he tried to hit on her in the year eleven-twent—”
“You also know I try to stay out of all the drama.”
“Yeah.” Arriane muttered. “And yet you’re always there in the heart of it.”
He rolled his eyes and tried to push past Arriane. She held her ground. “I’m sorry, but courtly Cam is my nightmare. I much prefer him snarling and foaming at the mouth like the devil dog he is.” Arriane panted like a rabid dog for a moment, but when it didn’t get a laugh out of Roland, she crossed her arms over her chest. “And speaking of how utterly horrible your numero uno cohort is over there on the dark side, when are you going to come back to us, Ro?”
Roland didn’t miss a beat. “When I can believe in the cause.”
“Okay, Monsieur Anarchy. So that’s like . . . never?”
“No,” he said, “that’s like, wait and see. We just have to wait and see.”
They were passing the thrift store’s gardening aisle, whose wares included a tangled green hose, a stack of chipped terra-cotta pots, some used doormats, and a generic late-model leaf blower. But it was the large vase of white silk peonies that made both Arriane and Roland stop.
Arriane sighed. She didn’t like to get too sentimental—there were angels like Gabbe to do that—but this was one of those things about Daniel and Luce that always kind of touched her.
At least once in every lifetime, Daniel gave Luce a huge bouquet of flowers. They were always, without fail, white peonies. There must have been a story behind it: Why peonies instead of tulips or gladiolas? Why white instead of red or pink? But even though some of the other angels speculated, Arriane realized that the specifics behind this tradition were not for her to know. She didn’t know from love, other than what she saw in Luce and Daniel, but she enjoyed the ceremony. And the way Luce always seemed more touched by this gesture than by anything else Daniel did.
Arriane and Roland looked at each other. Like they were thinking the same thing.
Or were they?
Why was Roland’s face twitching?
“Don’t buy those for him, Arri.”
“I would never buy those for him,” Arriane said. “They’re fake. It would totally defeat the purpose of the gesture. We have to get real ones, big huge beautiful real ones, in a crystal vase with a ribbon, and then only when the time is right. We never know if it’s going to come quickly or not. It could be weeks, months, before they get to that point—” She froze, eyeing Roland skeptically. “But you know all this. So why would you tell me not to get them? Roland—what do you know?”
“Nothing.” His face twitched again.
“Roland Jebediah Sparks the Third.”
“Nothing.” He put up his hands in supplication.
“Tell me—”
“Nothing to tell.”
“Do you want another Indian wingburn?” she threatened, grabbing on to the back of his neck and feeling around for his shoulder blade.
“Look,” Roland said, flicking her away. “You worry about Luce and I worry about Daniel. That’s the drill, that’s always been the drill—”
“Screw your drill,” she pouted, turning away from him to face a checkout attendant.
Arriane looked genuinely hurt, and if there was one thing Roland couldn’t stand, it was hurting her. He let out a long, deep breath. “Thing is, I just don’t know if Daniel’s going to go for all the same patterns this time around. Maybe he doesn’t want to do the peonies.”
“Why not?” Arriane asked, and Roland started to answer, but her expression changed into something sad. She held up a hand for him to stop. “It’s wearing Daniel out, isn’t it?”
Arriane rarely felt stupid, but she did now, standing in the middle of the thrift store with her cart overflowing with goofy props and practical jokes. It wasn’t that the whole thing was a game to her—but it was different for the rest of them than it was for Daniel.
Arriane had started thinking about when Luce . . . went away each lifetime like her friend was just trucking off to summer camp while Arriane had to stay home. Luce would be back. Things would be boring in the meantime without her, but she would always come back.
But for Daniel—
His heart broke. It must have broken a little more every time. How could he stand it? Maybe, she realized, he couldn’t. And he had been abnormally low in this life. Had Daniel’s punishment finally gotten to a point where it had broken not just his heart, but him?
What if it had? The really sad part was, it wouldn’t matter. Everyone knew that Daniel still had to go on living. Still had to fall in love with Luce. Just like the rest of them still had to watch, gently nudging the lovebirds toward their inevitable climax.
It wasn’t like Daniel could do anything about it, so why not keep up with the good and sweet and loving parts of their story? Why not give Luce the peonies?
“He doesn’t want to love her this time,” Roland finally said.
“That’s blasphemy.”
“That’s Daniel,” they both said at the same time.
“Well, what are we supposed to do?” Arriane asked.
“Stick within our territory. Provide the earthly goods they need when they need them. And you provide the comic relief.”
Arriane shot him a look, but Roland shook his head. “I’m serious.”
“Serious about joking?”
“Serious that you have a role to play.”
He tossed her a pink tutu from the clearance bin near the checkout line. Arriane fingered the thick tulle. She was still thinking about what it might mean for all of them if Daniel really resisted falling for Luce. If he somehow broke the cycle and they didn’t get together. But it gave her a really heavy feeling inside, like her heart was being dragged down to her feet.
In a matter of seconds, Arriane was tugging the tutu up over her jeans and pirouetting through the store. She bounded into a pair of sisters in matching muumuus, crashed into an easel advertising new linens, and nearly took out a display of candlesticks before Roland caught her in his arms. He twirled her around so the tutu flowed out around her tiny waist.
“You’re crazy,” he said.
“You love it,” Arriane responded dizzily.
“You know I do.” He smiled. “Come on, let’s pay for this stuff and get out of here. We have a lot to do before she gets here.”
Arriane nodded. A lot to do to make sure things were as they should be: Luce and Daniel, falling in love. With everyone around them holding out the hope that somehow, someday, she’d live through it.

Text © 2010 by Tinderbox Books, LLC and Lauren Kate.

Saturday 14 May 2011

In My Mailbox (91)

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi @ The Story Siren


Black Swan Rising by Lee Carroll
I really enjoyed this one!  You can read my review here.  Since I already have a copy I'll be running a giveaway for this one.  Look out for that later in the week:)

Passion by Lauren Kate (manuscript)
I really need to catch up with this series!

Behemoth by Scott Westerfeld
This looks interesting. I haven't read Leviathan but I may need to track down a copy!


Born at Midnight by C.C Hunter
I can't wait to get stuck into this one - it looks so good!

When God Was a Rabbit by Sarah Winman
I've been meaning to get myself a copy of this for a while.  It sounds rather good!

Hope you all had a great week:)

Friday 13 May 2011

I want to read that...

Unraveling Isobel by Eileen Cook

From Goodreads: Isobel’s life is falling apart. Her mom just married some guy she met on the internet only three months before, and is moving them to his sprawling, gothic mansion off the coast of nowhere. Goodbye, best friend. Goodbye, social life. Hello, icky new stepfather, crunchy granola town, and unbelievably good-looking, officially off-limits stepbrother.

But on her first night in her new home, Isobel starts to fear that it isn’t only her life that’s unraveling—her sanity might be giving way too. Because either Isobel is losing her mind, just like her artist father did before her, or she’s seeing ghosts.

Either way, Isobel’s fast on her way to being the talk of the town for all the wrong reasons.

I LOVED What Would Emma Do? and I can't wait to read more of her books. This one sound fab! And I really like the cover:)  A bit of a wait though since it's not published until Jan 2012 *cries*

Thursday 12 May 2011

The Medusa Project: The Set Up by Sophie McKenzie

From Goodreads: Fourteen years ago, scientist William Fox implanted four babies with the Medusa gene - a gene for psychic abilities. But Fox died and the babies were hidden away for years.
Now they're teenagers - and unaware that their psychic powers are about to kick in.

Cocky, charismatic Nico thinks his emerging telekinetic abilities will bring him money, power and the girl of his dreams. He's about to find out just how wrong he is...

Another Sophie Mckenzie book that I really enjoyed!  I really like her writing style and find her stories are always great fun to read.

This story focuses on Nico.  It turns out that he was one of four babies who were given the Medusa gene - a gene for psychic abilities.  Once his kicks in he thinks he can use them to impress the girl he really likes.  But it turns out not all is what it seems....

I liked Nico.  He is a tad cocky but he is also likeable.  A bit gullible perhaps but overall I really warmed to him  I also really liked Ketty - I think I liked her the best.  I also liked the relationship between her and Nico.  Dylan and Ed took a bit longer to warm to but I believe each story will be told from each of the character's point of view so that will help bring them more into focus.

I loved all the different psychic abilities.  I always love stories focused on this subject so I had a good feeling I would enjoy this.  Although the plot was a bit predictable at times it didn't spoil the fun at all!  All the action scenes are great - the story fast paced -  this one really sets up the series.  I can't wait to get stuck into the next one.

Wednesday 11 May 2011

Guest Post: Stephen Davies

As part of the Blog Tour for his new book Outlaw, Steve kindly agreed to guest post on I Want To Read That. So, without further ado I shall hand you over...

Not long ago I was in Djibo market watching a dabaranke (magic man) perform. Djibo is a dusty desert town in the north of Burkina Faso, which has been my home these last ten years.

The dabaranke was surrounded by a large crowd, and he was busying himself with doubling their money. He took five hundred African francs, waved it around and handed back a thousand. He took five thousand, blew on it and handed back ten thousand. Cries of 'Allahu Akbar' (God is great) rose from the crowd. They pressed in, eager to hand over their own coins and notes.

Some of the money was doubled, but some of it disappeared into thin air - whenever money disappeared the dabaranke would point an accusing finger at the hapless punter and exclaim, 'Your soul is not strong enough!'

I have met countless warm-hearted, witty and wise people in Burkina Faso over the years. But I have also met my fair share of cynical dabarankes, unjust gendarmes, fake sheikhs, merciless mayors, corrupt councillors and manipulative merchants. Injustice, corruption and exploitation are widespread – and it goes right to the top.

Last month, with revolution already crackling in the African air, Burkinabè men and women decided that enough was enough.

It started when a schoolboy in the south of Burkina Faso was beaten by a policeman and died of his injuries. Students all around the country took to the streets yelling 'Justice! Justice!' Others joined them. A few days later the military joined in, not to suppress the protests but to express their own discontent about unpaid housing allowances. They raided an armoury, got drunk and ransacked the city, shooting into the air, stealing 4x4 vehicles and looting mobile phone shops. What started as a student movement was suddenly a terrifying crime spree.

While all this was going on, my new book, Outlaw, was being printed. And the questions it asks seem all the more pertinent in the light of recent events. Like this: how do you resist injustice without resorting to violence?

Outlaw is set in Burkina Faso and its main character, the Chameleon, is a literary descendent of Robin Hood, The Scarlet Pimpernel, Zorro and {insert-your-own-favourite righter-of-wrongs here}. Here is a sneak preview of Chapter 2: Chameleon meets dabaranke.

The Chameleon stood in the shadows near the back of the crowd. He was eighteen years old and he wore a black cloak with a deep hood. He watched and listened as Sheikh Ahmed Abdullai Keita performed.

The sheikh’s reputation had preceded him. All along the edge of the Sahara Desert, people spoke in awed whispers about the miracle man on the white stallion. Now he had arrived in the border town Mondoro, in the south of Mali, and he was doing what he did best. Miracles.

The sheikh sat on a straw mat in front of the chief ’s hut. He wore purple robes and a white prayer hat embroidered with sequins. Two plaited locks of hair hung down on either side of his face. He had a short
pointed beard.

‘People of Mondoro!’ cried the sheikh. ‘The djinns of the desert and the djinns of the air are here in power. Prepare yourselves for a visitation.’

Ranged in a semicircle around the sheikh stood the villagers, their cheeks slack with wonder. In the last two hours the sheikh had sucked the malaria out of a sick man, made dozens of cola nuts disappear and conjured a disembodied floating head out of thin air. Now he got up and ran through the crowd towards his magnificent stallion. ‘Behold!’ he cried. ‘The djinns of the air are coming to bear me aloft on their warm invisible hands.’

With his hands stretched out on either side the sheikh lifted off the ground and hung there about two feet off the ground. The crowd behind him gasped. There was nervous laughter and cries of ‘Allahu akbar!’ – ‘God is great!’ Some cupped hands over their faces in pious supplication.

At the back of the crowd, the Chameleon narrowed his eyes and drew his cloak around him more tightly. It’s an illusion, he thought to himself. But how does he do it?

The sheikh rose a little further in the air and put his left foot into the nearside stirrup. Then he swung his right leg over the horse’s back, sat down gently and straightened his robe.

‘Allahu akbar!’ The cries rose on the night air.

The sheikh shook his head from side to side so that his locks swung like pendulums. Then he began to laugh – a deep, resonant laugh.

‘The djinns of the desert mock you,’ he said. ‘You think you prosper, but tragedy is near.’

‘What tragedy?’ The question rippled through the crowd.

‘You look at the sky and grin and you say to each other: in a few short weeks the rains will begin and we will sow our seed. Not so, fools! The djinns have hatched a plan. They will withhold the rain you long for. Not a drop of water will fall on Mondoro. Not a single stalk of millet will grow under the sun. Not a single peanut will form in the ground. From every eye, salt water will flow.’

‘Is there nothing we can do?’ asked one man. ‘Perhaps if we give the djinns more cola nuts –’

‘Silence!’ shouted the sheikh. ‘There is only one sacrifice that will appease the djinns of the desert. The sacrifice the djinns demand is this: fifty healthy young goats and fifty healthy young sheep. They must be taken to Senegal and sacrificed in the shallow waters of Lake Soum.’

‘Lake Soum?’ said one. ‘I’ve never even heard of it!’

‘Senegal is hundreds of miles away!’ cried another.

‘I will take pity on you,’ said the sheikh. ‘Have the animals ready by sunrise tomorrow. I will take them to Senegal and perform the sacrifice myself.’

That night the women of Mondoro wept bitterly. Sheikh Ahmed has demanded almost all the animals in the village, they said. What will be left for our children and our children’s children? A handful of old, sick goats and nothing more.

The men were adamant. We are lucky, they said, that the sheikh warned us of the djinns’ intention. It will hurt us to pay what the djinns demand, but we have no choice. We cannot risk a whole year’s harvest. There is no such thing as an easy sacrifice.

The men got their way, and the next morning Sheikh Ahmed Abdullai Keita went on his way with fifty sheep and fifty goats. As soon as he was out of sight of the villagers, he entrusted the animals to one of his servants, ordering him to take the animals to a faraway market and sell them for hard cash.

Crouching behind a nearby acacia bush, the Chameleon observed the whole exchange. He tutted quietly and swore that he would teach this charlatan a lesson.

Thanks Steve!  Outlaw was published 5 May 2011. You can find Steve at his website .

Monday 9 May 2011

Cover Wars: The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson


I love the UK one!  I love the girl and the font they use for the title.  It looks historical and paranormal.  There something quite creepy about the US one - I do like it but I much prefer the UK one.

Here's the synopsis:
From Goodreads: The day Louisiana teenager Rory Deveaux arrives in London marks a memorable occasion. For Rory, it's the start of a new life at a London boarding school. But for many, this will be remembered as the day a series of brutal murders broke out across the city, gruesome crimes mimicking the horrific Jack the Ripper events of more than a century ago.

Soon “Rippermania” takes hold of modern-day London, and the police are left with few leads and no witnesses. Except one. Rory spotted the man police believe to be the prime suspect. But she is the only one who saw him. Even her roommate, who was walking with her at the time, didn't notice the mysterious man. So why can only Rory see him? And more urgently, why has Rory become his next target? In this edge-of-your-seat thriller, full of suspense, humor, and romance, Rory will learn the truth about the secret ghost police of London and discover her own shocking abilities.

Which do you prefer?

Saturday 7 May 2011

In My Mailbox (90)

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi @ The Story Siren

Elixir by Hilary Duff
I'm really liking the new cover for this.

Flawless by Lara Chapman
This sounds ace!  Can't wait to get started.

The Outlaw by Stephen Davies
Adventure and high-speed chases?  I like the sound of this one!

Does Your Face Fit? by Roger Stevens
This was a nice surprise.  My discovery of verse novels has me interested in reading some poetry.

Shift by Jeri Smith-Ready
I still need to read Shade but I've heard such good things about the series.  They sound like my cup of tea:)

The Demon's Surrender by Sarah Rees Brennan
Again this is a series that I haven't read but sounds like something I would love.  Must get started!

Pretty Twisted by Gina Blaxill
A lovely finished copy.  I really like the cover for this one!

Big thanks to the publishers who sent books for review:)

The Line by Teri Hall
I have been wanting to read this since it first came out in hardback!

Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys
I have heard so many wonderful things about this I had to get a copy. 

Boys Don't Cry by Malorie Blackman
My colleague loved this one and has demanded I read it:)  I've been meaning to read it for ages!

Angel Kiss by Laura Jane Cassidy
Looks fab.  Can't wait to get started:)

Bruised by Siobhan Parkinson
I saw this on The Book Addicted Girl and had to get a copy!  It sounds brilliant! Thanks Megan:)

Unearthly by Cynthia Hand
Love the cover!  And am really looking forward to this one.  I've heard great things.

Enclave by Ann Aguirre
Looks ace!  And the fingers on the cover are creepy!

Back When You Were Easier to Love by Emily Wing Smith
Another book for the Contemps Challenge.  Love the cover and the sound of this one.

Hope you all had a great week:)

Friday 6 May 2011

It's Not Summer Without You by Jenny Han

For Review: Puffin
Published: 5 May 2011

From Goodreads: Last year, all of Belly’s dreams came true and the thought of missing a summer in Cousins Beach was inconceivable. But like the rise and fall of the ocean tide, things can change-- just like that. Suddenly the time she's always looked forward to most is something she dreads. And when Jeremiah calls to say Conrad has disappeared, Belly must decide how she will spend this summer: chasing after the boy she loves, or finally letting him go.

I loved the The Summer I Turned Pretty when I read it last year and have been looking forward to reading this ever since.  And I can honestly say I enjoyed every minute of it.

I love Jenny Han's writing and the way she subtly incorporates flashbacks into the story.  It's through these we really get to know the characters.  This time we get the story from Belly and Jeremiah's point of view and that works fabulously.  I loved seeing Belly and Conrad from his point of view - and of course we get to know him better.

I love Belly.  Although she has grown and is more mature she is still the same Belly from the first book.  Again I loved Jeremiah - he's a character that is just really easy to like.  And I love his friendship with Belly and the way they always seem to know what the other is thinking.  Conrad on the other hand is just as complex as he was in the first book - but there is just something about him.  And I have to say that as much as I adore Jeremiah  it's Conrad's scenes that I look forward to.  And the scenes between him and Belly are heart-stoppingly good!

There is more to this than just the Belly-Jeremiah-Conrad dynamic though, and that's what makes it so enjoyable and real.  All the characters are dealing with the aftermath of Susannah's illness and do so in a very honest and believable way.  You really understand what the characters are feeling.

I can't wait to read We'll Always Have Summer.  This is fast becoming on of my favourite series - I love these characters and am truly excited to find out who Belly ends up with.  I know who I want it to be!

Thursday 5 May 2011

I want to read that...

And Then Things Fall Apart by Arlaina Tibensky

From Goodreads:  Keek is not having a good summer. She and her boyfriend have just had their Worst Fight Ever (on the subject of her virginity, nonetheless), she’s been betrayed by a best friend, her parents are splitting up, and her mother is on the other side of the country tending to Keek’s newborn cousin, who may or may not make it home from the hospital. Oh, and Keek’s holed up at her grandmother’s technology-barren house with an abysmal case of the chicken pox. In Keek’s words, “Sofa king annoying.”

With her world collapsing around her, Keek’s only solace comes from rereading Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar and typing on an old electric typewriter. Keek—whose snappy narrative voice is darkly humorous and hysterically blunt—must ultimately decide for herself which relationships to salvage, which to set free, and what it means to fall in love.

Not only do I absolutely adore the cover but this sounds awesome! I can't wait to get my hands on it.

It's published 26 July 2011 by Simon Pulse.

Wednesday 4 May 2011

Divine Freaks by Fiona Dunbar

For Review: Orchard.
Published: 5 May 2011

From Amazon:  "Hey, I'm Kitty Slade. Just your average, normal girl, doing, you know, normal stuff. Got a brother (annoying), a sister (quite annoying) and a grandma (she's awesome).
Oh yeah, and one more thing. I can see dead people."

When a ghost turns up in her biology classroom, only one thing's for sure - Kitty Slade's life is about to get freaky...

This is the first book I have read by Fiona Dunbar and I really enjoyed her writing style.  It's witty and fun - making the book a joy to read.

The story follows Kitty and her new found talent of seeing ghosts.  Unfortunately the first one she sees is during her biology class!  Kind of freaky and somewhat embarrassing since she is the only on who could see him.  Also he won't leave her alone.  It seems he has unfinished business and wants Kitty to help him....

I loved Kitty.  She is very strong minded, which gets her into a tad of trouble, but she's also funny and sweet.  I also really liked Sam and Flossie - and really enjoyed that the 'scooby gang' were her brother and sister.  There was some really great interaction between all three and I love the way they annoy each other!

The mystery aspect is fun and well plotted.  There are snippets of information and clues that have them trying to solve what happened/is happening.  Some things happened a little too easily despite the characters putting themselves in potentially dangerous situations - but since this is aimed more at a tween audience I guess that is somewhat expected.  I did really like the ending and think it sets up the rest of the series.  The opportunities for many more stories feels unlimited and I'm interested to see what what Kitty faces next!

A promising start to what I'm sure will be a fun series!  I'm looking forward to Fire and Roses when it's published later in the year.

Monday 2 May 2011

Cover Wars: Between Shades of Gray

Young Adult / Adult

I can't decide!  I really like the font on the YA version - and the simplicity of the whole design.  The Adult one is quite haunting - combining the image of the girl turned away with the tag line.  I think maybe I'm swaying more toward the YA cover but I really love them both.

Which do you prefer?


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