Saturday 29 October 2011

In My Mailbox (114) & (115)

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi @ The Story Siren


Reckoning by Lili St Crow
The Haunting of Charity Delafield by Ian Beck
Tiger's Voyage by Colleen Houck
All These Things I've Done by Gabrielle Zevin

and I went to afternoon tea last Saturday with Maureen Johnson, Will Hill and Robin Jarvis.  A massive thanks to HarperCollins for organising it - it was a fab day:)  The food so sooooo good!  Plus I picked up these goodies:D

Looking For Alaska by John Green
The Woven Path by Robin Jarvis
Summer in the City by Candace Bushnell
Department 19 by Will Hill
Bugsy Malone by Alan Parker
Muse by Rebecca Lim
Slide by Jill Hathaway

Big thanks to everyone who sent books for review:)


Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
Deadly Cool by Gemma Halliday
How to Save a Life by Sara Zarr
A Long, Long Sleep by Anna Sheehan

Hope you all had a great week:)

Friday 28 October 2011

My Soul to Steal: Animated Book Cover!

Mira have a UK exclusive animated cover for My Soul to Steal - honestly, how awesome is this?  I love it - it's such a fab idea:)

Also, Mira have a competition on their facebook page. All you need to do is go to the facebook page, click on either the animated or normal jacket image of My Soul to Steal  and post a comment in the comment box below the picture. MIRA Ink will then select the winners.

Cover to Covet (20)

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 love the way this looks like it could be a poster for a movie! And the books sounds amazing too!  Here's the synopsis:

From Goodreads: Mia Price is a lightning addict. She’s survived countless strikes, but her craving to connect to the energy in storms endangers her life and the lives of those around her.

Los Angeles, where lightning rarely strikes, is one of the few places Mia feels safe from her addiction. But when an earthquake devastates the city, her haven is transformed into a minefield of chaos and danger. The beaches become massive tent cities, populated by millions of homeless. Downtown is a wasteland, where a traveling party moves to a different empty building each night, the attendees drawn to the destruction by a magnetic force they cannot deny. Two warring cults rise to power in the wake of the disaster, and both see Mia as the key to their opposing prophecies. They know she has a connection to the freak electrical storm that caused the quake, and to the worse storm that is yet to come.

Mia wants to trust the enigmatic and alluring Jeremy when he promises to protect her, but he’s hiding a more sinister truth. When the final disaster strikes, Mia must unleash the full horror of her strength to save them all.

It's published March 2012 (UK) and May 2012 (US)

Wednesday 26 October 2011

Ashes by Ilsa J Bick

For Review: Quercus
Published: 29 September 2011

From Goodreads: Alex has run away and is hiking through the wilderness with her dead parents' ashes, about to say goodbye to the life she no longer wants to live. But then the world suddenly changes. An electromagnetic pulse sweeps through the sky zapping every electronic device and killing the vast majority of adults. For those spared, it's a question of who can be trusted and who has changed... Everyone still alive has turned - some for the better (those who acquired a superhuman sense) while others for the worse (those who acquired a taste for human flesh). Desperate to find out what happened and to avoid the zombies that are on the hunt, Alex meets up with Tom - an Army veteran who escaped one war only to find something worse at home - and Ellie, a young girl whose grandfather was killed by the electromagnetic pulse. This improvised family will have to use every ounce of courage they have just to find food, shelter, while fighting off the 'Changed' and those desperate to stay alive. A tense and involving adventure with shocks and sudden plot twists that will keep teen and adult readers gripped.

I have been looking forward to this book since I first read the synopsis. YA horror, dystopian and Zombies? How could I possible resist?  And it's seriously, seriously awesome!

Alex is a fantastic lead - she has a lot to deal with and just seems to get on with in. She's very capable, comes across as someone you can really depend on and I really liked her. Ellie is annoying but in a lovable way and Tom is gorgeous! I really took to him. And I loved the scenes between the three of them - how they really seem to have a genuine connection.

The whole novel is terrifying and just completely gripping - I read the whole thing in one sitting because I couldn't pull myself away. Ilsa J Bick has an interesting style of writing - it's very matter of fact and it doesn't shy away from some of the rather gruesome details! And expect the unexpected! There were twist and turns galore - which I absolutely loved. There is also a bit of a shift about two thirds of the way in - changing the pace slightly by slowing things down and introducing some new (and very interesting) characters. It's just as suspenseful as the first part of the novel, just in a different way.

And, of course, there is the cliffhanger ending! Which, as usual,  made me want to throw the book across the room! But despite making this feel like part one of a larger story I did actually really like the ending. I like being excited to read the next one in the series - I just wish I didn't have such a long wait to find out how all the characters are doing.

Seriously good, addictive and compulsive reading for horror and dystopian fans. I can't wait for the next book to be released!

Tuesday 25 October 2011

My Soul to Keep by Rachel Vincent

From Goodreads: 

Kaylee has one addiction: her very hot, very popular boyfriend, Nash. A banshee like Kaylee, Nash understands her like no one else. Nothing can come between them. Until something does.

Demon's breath. No, not the toothpaste-challenged kind. The Netherworld kind. The kind that really can kill you. Somehow, the super-addictive substance has made its way to the human world. But how? Kaylee and Nash have to cut off the source and protect their friends—one of whom is already hooked. And when the epidemic hits too close to home, Kaylee will have to risk everything to save those she loves.

I freaking love this series! Rachel Vincent always does a great job in keeping the series fresh and exciting while still developing the story and moving it forward.

I adore Kaylee. She's really strong, sassy and she cares enough about everyone to put herself on the line. I also love Nash - but it's evident that something is going on with him. And Tod? Well I am liking him more and more as the series progresses. Again he seems to steal every scene he is in and I loved his reaction when he found out what had happened!

Speaking of what happens - I love how this story is an evolution of events from My Soul to Save. I had a feeling it might happen and as much as it pained me to read - I love that their are consequences. One of the things I admire about Rachel Vincent's writing is that she is not scared to go in a direction that shocks. She does what is right for the story - characters can die, they don't always make the right decisions - and this makes it completely unpredictable and - quite frankly - an amazing journey!

In terms of Kaylee and Nash - I have to say I'm not sure I could move past it. I don't really blame him for what happened - I just think there is a big difference between wishing something had never happened and being about to forgive and move on from it. Kaylee wants things to be the way they were before but that is never going to be the case because it did happen and she needs to decide if she can live with that. I guess we will find out in My Soul to Steal. And I can't wait!

Sunday 23 October 2011

I want to read that...

Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson

From Goodreads: Taylor's family might not be the closest-knit – everyone is a little too busy and overscheduled – but for the most part, they get along fine. Then Taylor's dad gets devastating news that changes everything. Her parents decide that the family will spend the summer together at their old vacation home in the Pocono Mountains.

Crammed into a place much smaller and more rustic than they are used to, they begin to get to know each other again. And Taylor discovers that the people she thought she had left behind haven’t actually gone anywhere. Her former summer best friend is still around, as is her first boyfriend. . . and he's much cuter at seventeen than he was at twelve.

As the summer progresses, the Edwards become more of a family, and closer than they’ve ever been before. But all of them are very aware that they’re battling a ticking clock. Sometimes, though, there is just enough time to get a second chance – with family, with friends, and with love.

I loved Amy and Roger's Epic Detour so I can't wait to read more by the author. And this sound seriously fab!

It's published May 2012 (US) and June 2012 (UK)

Thursday 20 October 2011

Crossed Book Trailer

How excited are you for the release of Crossed by Ally Condie? 

Well I can't wait to get my hands on a copy - I need more Cassia, Ky and Xander!

In the meantime there is a book trailer and you can watch it now exclusively at

Crossed is published 24 November 2011

Wednesday 19 October 2011

I want to read that...

Night School by Christi Daugherty

From Goodreads: Sometimes school is murder.

Allie Sheridan's world is falling apart. She hates her school. Her brother has run away from home. And she's just been arrested.


This time her parents have finally had enough. They cut her off from her friends and send her away to a boarding school for problem teenagers.

But Cimmeria Academy is no ordinary school. Its rules are strangely archaic. It allows no computers or phones. Its students are an odd mixture of the gifted, the tough and the privileged. And then there's the secretive Night School, whose activities other students are forbidden even to watch.

When Allie is attacked one night the incident sets off a chain of events leading to the violent death of a girl at the summer ball. As the school begins to seem like a very dangerous place, Allie must learn who she can trust. And what's really going on at Cimmeria Academy.

This sounds so good! It's been described as 'The Secret History for the YA reader.'

It's published January 2012 by Atom.

Tuesday 18 October 2011

Betrayal by Lee Nichols

For Review: Bloomsbury
Published: 5 September 2011

From Goodreads:  Emma Vaile is the most powerful ghostkeeper in centuries. Which is great for battling the wraith-master Neos and horrible for her social life. Emma knows fellow ghostkeeper Bennett Stern is her soul mate, but when ghostkeepers fall in love, the weaker one loses all power. And until Neos is defeated, Bennett and Emma can't risk it.

When the temptation of being with Emma gets to be too much, Bennett disappears, pursuing a dangerous path to increase his powers. Heartbroken and alone, Emma tries to lose herself in school. But when the Knell, a secret ghostkeeping society, sends two new ghostkeepers to Echo Point—one a snarky teen guy, the other a British scholar—Emma throws herself into training to battle Neos. But as the team grows stronger, so do the ghosts. And worse, one of their own will betray them. One Emma never suspected. . . .

Having really enjoyed Deception I picked up this one as soon as I'd finished the first one.

Now that Emma knows she is a Ghostkeeper and understands what it means she throws herself into her role. This installment is much more action packed than the first and there is still the romance and mystery element to keep me hooked!

The characters really develop in this one too. Emma becomes much stronger - and more accepting of her abilities. Her relationship with Bennett is still a driving force of the story but he was absent too much for my liking. We know why he's not staying near Emma but I really missed their interactions. But when he was present the scenes were awesome!

Some new characters are introduced and I loved them! I also have really taken to Natalie - I really think she is a good friend for Emma. And I loved learning more about Emma's family.

Again the story surprised me. It is completely unpredictable - I had no idea what was going to happen and I couldn't wait to find out. I am so looking forward to the third book - Surrender - when it's published! More please!

Deception by Lee Nichols

For Review: Bloomsbury
Published: 5 September 2011

From Goodreads: When Emma Vaile’s parents go missing while away on a mysterious business trip, she’s left all alone in her creepy old house. But her brother’s very cute best friend, Bennett Stern—Emma’s knight in J. Crew armor—arrives unexpectedly to whisk her away to New England. There, Emma settles into his family’s museum-like mansion and enrolls at an old-fashioned private school. She quickly finds friends in the popular legacy crowd at Thatcher and spends her free time crushing on Bennett.

But the eerie visions she’s been hiding from everyone have gotten worse. Emma has memories of Thatcher that she can’t explain—it’s as if she’s returning home to a place she’s never been. Finally, Emma confides in Bennett and learns she is a ghostkeeper, a person who can communicate with ghosts. Bennett brought Emma to Thatcher to protect her, but now he needs her help tracking an other-worldly murderer.

I was really excited to read this one - I love stories about ghosts! Add in some romance and a mystery and I was pretty much hooked.

I liked Emma straight away. She's been through a lot and has more to face as the story progress but she always manages. Bennett is awesome as the potential love interest - so intense and moody that I can definitely understand why Emma might like him!

I loved all the ghost characters (especially the Rake!) - and watching Emma work out what going on. There are some really surprising moments too - the whole story was very enjoyable to read.  I am thankful I have a copy of the next book in the series - Betrayal - so I could read it straight away! I needed more Bennett and I really wanted to find out more about her family. Great stuff!

Monday 17 October 2011

Cover Wars: Stolen Away by Alyxandra Harvey


While I really like the colours on the US one I am not keen on the girl's face in the corner - I think because it just kind of looks like it floating there!  But the UK one is just so gorgeous!  I love it - especially the way the title and the author's name kind of shines - plus I love the fairy wings!  So it's an easy one for me this time - I prefer the UK cover.

What do you think?

Saturday 15 October 2011

In My Mailbox (113)

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi @ The Story Siren


Torn by Cat Clarke
I had no idea this was coming so major happy dance when I saw it! It sounds AWESOME!

My Soul to Steal by Rachel Vincent
Yay!  I love this series:)

Arcadia Awakens by Kai Meyer
Fins are Forever by Tera Lynn Childs
Don't Call Me Ishmael! by Michael Gerard Bauer
Swim The Fly by Don Calame
Beat the Band by Don Calame
These all sound great and I can't wait to get stuck in!

Footloose by Gareth Moore
Loose, Footloose.  Kicked off my Sunday shoes... I love the original film - really looking forward to reading this:)

Advent by James Treadwell
This sounds really good!  And the proof is gorgeous.

The Name of The Star by Maureen Johnson
Sarah from Feeling Fictional won a competition to go on a Jack the Ripper Tour with Maureen Johnson and kindly took me with her!  It was fab and we were all given a copy of the book and Maureen kindly signed it for me:D

Massive thanks to everyone who sent books for review:)


Keeping the Moon by Sarah Dessen
I still haven't read anything by Sarah Dessen but I think I need to rectify that very soon.

Goddess Boot Camp by Tera Lynn Childs
I love the sound of this series.  And on the basis on Forgive My Fins I want to read everything she's written.

How to Ditch Your Fairy by Justine Larbalestier
This sounds so good and I have heard so many great things.

Playing Hurt by Holly Schindler
I've been wanting to get this one for ages so I'm looking forward to reading it.

Graveminder by Melissa Marr
Total Eclipse by Rachel Caine
Riches by Megan Cole
Yes I made the mistake of entering The Works and thinking I could leave without buying anything!  Maybe one day I will learn...

Hope you all had a great week:)

Friday 14 October 2011

Heart Burn by Anne Cassidy

From Amazon:  Years ago, local bad boy, Tyler Harrington, did a favour for Ashley. Now Tyler has been beaten up and hospitalized, and he's calling that favour in. Ashley must hide an envelope for him, but under no circumstances is she to look inside it When Tyler is abducted, Ashley opens the package. What she finds inside is the key to who is holding Tyler. But somebody else wants the envelope and, as long as Ashley has it, she is in mortal danger.

This is the first book by Anne Cassidy that I have read and I have to say I think I should check out more of her books.

I really liked the relationship between Ashley and Tyler - and how we get to see the past through flashbacks. I liked Tyler straight away and Ashley was very determined - she comes across as a very strong character. And likeable too - I was really rooting for her.

The mystery aspect is slightly predictable but also gripping enough that I read this in one sitting. I really needed to know how it would all turn out - and I have to say I did really like the ending.  I liked that the story isn't just about the situation Ashley finds herself in but that it's also focused on each of the characters and their relationships.

I'm looking forward to checking out more books by Anne Cassidy. I've been recommended Looking For JJ so I think I shall start there.

Thursday 13 October 2011

I want to read that...

Undeadly by Michele Vail

The day I turned 16, my boyfriend-to-be died. I brought him back to life. Then things got a little weird...

Molly Bartolucci wants to blend in, date hottie Rick and keep her zombie-raising abilities on the down-low. Then the god Anubis chooses her to become a reaper-and she accidentally undoes the work of another reaper, Rath.

Within days, she's shipped off to the Nekyia Academy, an elite school that trains the best necromancers in the world. And her personal reaping tutor? Rath. Who seems to hate her guts.

Rath will be watching closely to be sure she completes her first assignment-reaping Rick, the boy who should have died. The boy she still wants to be with.

To make matters worse, students at the academy start turning up catatonic, and accusations fly-against Molly. The only way out of this mess? To go through hell. Literally.

I have really high hopes for this one - I love the sound of it!   Plus the cover is ace:)

It's published February 2012 by Harlequin Teen.

Tuesday 11 October 2011

Glow Blog Tour: Book Trailer

Here is the Book Trailer for Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan

What do you think? I love it - it's beautifully shot and it makes it sound very exciting!

From Goodreads: What if you were bound for a new world, about to pledge your life to someone you'd been promised to since birth, and one unexpected violent attack made survival—not love—the issue?

Out in the murky nebula lurks an unseen enemy: the New Horizon. On its way to populate a distant planet in the wake of Earth's collapse, the ship's crew has been unable to conceive a generation to continue its mission. They need young girls desperately, or their zealous leader's efforts will fail. Onboard their sister ship, the Empyrean, the unsuspecting families don't know an attack is being mounted that could claim the most important among them...

Fifteen-year-old Waverly is part of the first generation to be successfully conceived in deep space; she was born on the Empyrean, and the large farming vessel is all she knows. Her concerns are those of any teenager—until Kieran Alden proposes to her. The handsome captain-to-be has everything Waverly could ever want in a husband, and with the pressure to start having children, everyone is sure he's the best choice. Except for Waverly, who wants more from life than marriage—and is secretly intrigued by the shy, darkly brilliant Seth.

But when the Empyrean faces sudden attack by their assumed allies, they quickly find out that the enemies aren't all from the outside.

Glow is the most riveting series debut since The Hunger Games, and promises to thrill and challenge readers of all ages.

Monday 10 October 2011

Bleeding Hearts by Alyxandra Harvey

For Review:  Bloomsbury
Published: 3 October 2011

From Goodreads: Lucy's cousin Christabel has come to live in Violet Hill, and adjusting to the difference between life in a small mountain town and her home in the city is difficult enough. The strict curfew that Lucy's parents enforce is the worst part. Something really dangerous couldn't possibly happen in this tiny town. But Christabel has noticed some mysterious happenings, and it seems like Lucy, her boyfriend Nicholas and his brother Connor are all in on a secret that Christabel doesn't understand - one that seems deadly serious. Although she won't admit it, Christabel would love to be in on any secret with Connor Drake. But after Christabel is kidnapped by the ruthless Hel-Blar vampires, Lucy and Connor finally fill her in on all the undead drama. Together, they must find a way to stamp out the Hel-Blar for good.

I really enjoy this series and practically devour each new installment.  I know I'm going to have a fun time reading them.

This time we get the story from 3 characters:  Connor, Christabel and Lucy.  I'm so pleased to have Lucy back as a narrator - I absolutely love her!  And her cousin Christabel is a great - plus you can tell she is from the same family!  She has attitude but in a very different way - I loved her obsession with reading and the way she repeats quotes to herself.  Connor is another Drake brother to fall in love with - and although I still think Nicholas is my favourite - I can't help falling for each brother!

The story takes a bit more of a serious turn in this installment - especially where Solange is concerned.  Also, it managed to completely take me by surprise - one thing happened that I did not see coming!  And honestly, that ending?  How on earth will I wait until the next book?  Arrgggggg!

A great series and each book raises the stakes (sorry, couldn't resist!).  I love reading them and can't wait to get my hands on the next one.

Sunday 9 October 2011

In My Mailbox (112)

In My mailbox is hosted by Kristi @ The Story Siren


Silence by Becca Fitzpatrick
Do I really need to say anything about this one?  I love this series and am so please that there will be a fourth book :D

Between by Jessica Warman
A lovely finished copy.  I really enjoyed this one - you can read my review here.

Eve by Anna Carey
Variant by Robison Wells
These both sound brilliant!  I am so excited to get started on them both.

The Snow Merchant by Sam Gayton
I'm loving the sound of this one!  It sounds ace.

Anxious Hearts by Tucker Shaw
Free Thaddeus by John Gosselink
Darth Paper Strikes Back by Tom Angleberger
Bliss by Lauren Myracle
+ a paper voodoo pad & Uglydoll calendar.
These were a lovely surprise - I'm very taken with the Uglydoll calendar - so cute! 

Massive thanks to everyone who sent books for review:)


Blood Wounds by Susan Pfeffer
I love Susan Pfeffer 'Moon' Series and this one looks equally awesome!  And yep, I completely forgot to include this in the picture - d'oh!

Hope you all had a great week:)

Friday 7 October 2011

Between by Jessica Warman

For Review: Egmont.
Published: 3 October 2011

From Goodreads: Only the good die young. Right? Elizabeth Valchar has it all: friends, money, beauty, a cute boyfriend and assured popularity. But on the eve of her eighteenth birthday, she is found drowned next to her parents' boat. Everyone thinks it was a tragic accident - teens drinking on a boat, a misstep leading to a watery death. But Liz is still here after death, and she doesn't know why. There are gaps in her memory. Her only company Alex, a boy killed by a car a year earlier, Liz sets out to piece together her life. But their small coastal town is hiding many secrets - about families, boyfriends and friendship. Plus, Alex hates Liz for being mean when they were alive. Was she as squeaky clean as she thinks she was? Could it be that she herself is hiding the biggest secret of all? Can Liz discover the truth? And if she does, who can she tell? An engrossing, compelling thriller that peels back the layers of small-town life to expose true, ugly, cruel human nature.

This is described as 'A Lovely Bones for teens' - and since I loved The Lovely Bones - it became a must read for me.  And I have to say it completely captured my attention in the opening chapter!

The story is told from Liz's point of view after discovering she has died.  Still here, and not really sure what is happening, she meets Alex - a boy killed the previous year - and together they try to work out how she died.  Was it really an accident or something more sinister?  Not able to remember much about her life she slowly has to relive it to piece it all back together - but will she like what she sees?

I guess you could say Liz is a typicall mean girl - on the surface at least.  Her and her friends are popular, they are mean to other kids for no reason - the usual stuff.  But the more of Liz's life that I relived with her the more I began to like and understand her.  Her life hadn't exactly been easy - and one memory in particular that we experience with her is truly harrowing.  The other characters have back stories too - and we get to understand them a bit more through Liz's observations in the present day and her memories.  It's Josie and Richie who really stand out among her friends.  Richie because of his relationship with Liz and the need to still connect to her in some way.  And Josie because although I never particularly liked her I did feel sorry for her.  You find out early on in the book that everyone in the neighbourhood believes Liz's dad is also Josie's father but no one ever acknowledges it - including Liz and her father.  Liz's dad also really stood  out - he's truly grieving over the death of his daughter and those scenes are especially poignant.

At first I was confused why Liz had gaps in her memory.  Instead of having all of her memories she gets to re-experience them - and piece it all together.  As the story progressed I realised this made so much sense - by reliving each memory Liz is actually experiencing it how it was - it's not tainted by her memories of it.

One aspect of this story that I absolutely adored was the relationship between Liz and Richie.  Neither characters were perfect - both had faults - but together they just made sense and they obviously cared for each other.  Seeing how the two were when they were with each other endeared them to me - and I felt I was seeing their true characters. 

Of course there is also the mystery of how Liz died and I enjoyed trying to work it all out.  Some might spot the clues but I was utterly oblivious - and I loved how it all panned out. But for me it was less about how Liz died and more about Liz's journey - discovering what had happened and facing up to the truth. It really made me think - about the choices we make and those made for us - and about who people really are and how much we actually get to see.

Jessica stopped by yesterday to talk about Liz's running playlist - you can read the post here.

Thursday 6 October 2011

Between Blog Tour: Guest Post

I'm thrilled to be part of  the blog tour for Jessica Warman's Between, and Jessica kindly took the time to write a guest post. So I shall hand you over so she can tell you all about Liz's running playlist...

Liz’s running playlist

One thing that I think is cool about this playlist is that, to me at least, it’s real. Like Liz, I’m a distance runner, and when I was working on BETWEEN I would start every day with a long run in an attempt to get inside her head. During those runs, I listened to all of these songs, and I imagined Liz listening to them, too. Each of them speaks to her emotions in some way; listening to them allowed me to sort of slip into her character and better understand what she was going through in the months leading up to her death. It’s all sort of meta, when you stop to think about it! So here it is – Liz’s playlist, which was also my playlist, and all the songs that helped me to discover her story.

1. Karma Police – Radiohead
2. Viva La Vida – Coldplay
3. I Just Don’t Think I’ll Ever Get Over You – Colin Hay
4. Last Good Day of The Year – Costeau
5. The Killing Moon – Echo and the Bunnymen
6. Over My Head – The Fray
7. Ripple – Grateful Dead
8. Such Great Heights – Iron & Wine
9. Cathedrals – Jump Little Children
10. Everybody’s Changing – Keane
11. The Cave – Mumford and Sons
12. All the Right Moves – OneRepublic
13. Put Your Lights On – Santana
14. Run, Baby Run – Sheryl Crow
15. Superstar – Sonic Youth
16. Guitar and Video Games – Sunny Day Real Estate
17. Save Me – Aimee Mann

Thanks Jessica!

I'll be posting my review for Between tomorrow - so please do stop by for that -  and the next stop on the tour is with Jenny at Wondrous Reads on Monday.

Tuesday 4 October 2011

Giveaway: Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

From Goodreads: Featuring necklaces made of wishes; an underground shop dealing in teeth; magical tattoos; a wishbone on a cord, DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE is a thrilling story about Karou and her secret life as an apprentice to a wishmonger. Karou manages to keep her two lives in balance. On the one hand, she is a seventeen-year-old art student in Prague; on the other, errand-girl to an inhuman creature who deals in wishes and is the closest thing she has to family. Her life is surrounded by mysteries she is desperate to unveil.

Thanks to the lovely peeps at Hodder I have a copy of Laini Taylor's Daughter of Smoke and Bone to giveaway. 

And since I went to a launch party on Monday for it's release - and I lugged the giveaway copy all the way into London with me - it is now a signed copy!

Giveaway is open to everyone.  Closing date is 15th October 2011.  To enter just fill in the form below.  GOOD LUCK:)

This Giveaway is now closed.

Monday 3 October 2011

The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter (Review & Interview)

For Review:  Mira-Ink
Published: 16 September 2011

From Goodreads: It's always been just Kate and her mom—and her mother is dying. Her last wish? To move back to her childhood home. So Kate's going to start at a new school with no friends, no other family and the fear her mother won't live past the fall.
Then she meets Henry. Dark. Tortured. And mesmerizing. He claims to be Hades, god of the Underworld—and if she accepts his bargain, he'll keep her mother alive while Kate tries to pass seven tests.

Kate is sure he's crazy—until she sees him bring a girl back from the dead. Now saving her mother seems crazily possible. If she succeeds, she'll become Henry's future bride, and a goddess.

I really enjoyed this one. I found myself completely swept along with the story and I loved the characters. Especially Henry!

When we first meet Kate she is driving her terminally ill mother back to her hometown. Kate is determined to make the time her mother has left as comfortable as possible. But when she witnesses a man bring a girl back to life with her own eyes he offers her a deal. It turns out he is actually Hades, God of the Underground and he offers to keep her mother alive while she passes seven tests. And if she succeeds she will rule the underground with him as a goddess. And as his wife...

To say I loved Henry is just a little bit of an understatement. Man,  I loved him! And I also loved the way the relationship between him and Kate evolves into something really good. Kate is such a great character too. I liked how she thought of others and how strong she was even if she didn't realise it.

You find out pretty early on that Kate is not the first person to try to pass the seven tests. It would seem that someone wants anyone who tries dead. I have to say I really enjoyed this aspect of the story. I had absolutely no idea who was behind it all and I loved how it was all resolved.  There were a few other revelations too - some of which I had predicted - but also a couple that completely took me by surprise.

The seven test were really cleverly incorporated into the story too. Kate had no idea when she was facing a test and neither do we. So we have no idea until the end whether she has succeeded or not! I was desperate to find out! 

I can't wait for the next book in the series - I am so looking forward to spending more time with these characters.

Aimee Carter also took the time to answer a few of my questions...

The Goddess Test is based around the Greek Myth of Hades and Persephone . Are you a big fan of Greek Mythology?
Yes! I adore Greek mythology. I’ve been devouring various versions of myths since I first learned how to read. I’m by no means an expert, but they never fail to be entertaining.

How many books do you have planned for the series? And can you give us any hints for what's next in store for Kate?
Right now there are three written, and it could either end there or go on, depending on how it all works out. I can’t give too much away, but I will say that Kate finds out exactly what it means to become a god in the next book, and it isn’t what she expects.

What is your favourite aspect of writing? And the most challenging
The storytelling aspect of it is by far my favourite. Outlining a story is a little like figuring out a puzzle to me, and I absolutely love it when I’m in the middle of writing and something new jumps out. The most challenging would probably be the last stages of editing – copyediting, proofreading, that sort. Mostly because I’m a perfectionist, and while some people zoom through their drafts, I read every last word to myself, sometimes over and over again to make sure it all makes sense. It’s extremely tedious and time-consuming.

What is a typical writing day like for you? Are there any 'must-haves' you need before you can sit down to write?
Writing days vary widely on how close the deadline is. I tend to write for a few hours after lunch every day, but on heavy writing days, I will write shortly after getting up, as well as long into the night. All I need is silence or, barring that – I tend to write in public places like bookstores and cafes – an iPod to drown out the conversation around me.

What's next for you? Are you working on a different series as well?
Up next are edits for the third Goddess Test book, which I’m very excited about. And as it happens, I do have a new YA series coming out in the US, the first book of which is called MASKED. The release date for it has been fluid lately, but it looks like right now it’ll be coming out after the third Goddess Test book. I’m always working on something new though, and if you want to keep up to date on what I’m doing, you can always find my page on Facebook or follow me on Twitter (@aimee_carter).
Thanks Aimee! I can't wait for more Henry...

You can find Aimee at her Website, on Facebook and on Twitter.

* Photo taken from author's Website

Sunday 2 October 2011

In My Mailbox (111)

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi @ The Story Siren


Playground by 50 Cent
I hadn't heard anything about this one - it sounds great!

Carrier of the Mark by Leigh Fallon
I LOVE the cover for this and it sounds really, really good!

Beautiful Chaos by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
Hello beautiful book:)  I really love this series so I can't wait to get stuck into this one!

Massive thanks to all the publishers who sent books for review:)


Since my lack of willpower last week I have been trying to be good and not buy too many books.  Most of these are leftover from last week, orders that didn't arrive until this week.  So I have actually been fairly good - even if it doesn't look like it!

Rhymes With Cupid by Anna Humprey
Looks super cute!

Once a Witch by Carolyn MacCullough
Banished by Sophie Littlefield
A friend recommended both of these - she really enjoyed them.  I'm very partial to the covers:)

Paradise by Joanna Nadin
I've been meaning to read something by Joanna Nadin for a while now - I'm always hearing good things.

As I Wake by Elizabeth Scott
This sounds ace!

Touch of Frost by Jennifer Estep
I've been looking forward to this one for ages - and I've been hearing great things about it.

Pure Red by Danielle Joseph
I enjoyed Shrinking Violet so am looking forward to trying this one.

Dark Angel by Eden Maguire
This is one of the reads for a book club I organise at work - sounds good!

Hope you all had a great week!

Saturday 1 October 2011

Author Interview: Jane Cuff

Jane Cuff is the author of W.S: From 'rear-ender' to 'slender' Brenda and It's For Your Own Good. She kindly agreed to answer a few of my questions...
You have written 2 novels - W.S: From 'rear-ender' to 'slender' Brenda and It's For Your Own Good. Can you tell us a bit about them?
W.S is a fictional comedy where the bully becomes the bullied. It's aimed at 9yrs plus, but has a growing teenage and adult following.

Katie is slim, attractive and popular, whilst Brenda the new fat girl is anything but. Brenda instantly becomes the target of Katie's vicious bullying.

Early on in the book, the tables get turned with Katie gaining weight and losing friends, whilst Brenda loses weight and suddenly becomes popular and liked!

In the book I'm able to be ruthlessly funny against the new fat, unpopular Katie as the reader often feels that she's just getting what she dished out, what she deserves!

W.S takes the reader on a journey of laughter and self examination. As we all know deep down, something is only funny when you're not on the receiving end of it.

During the book you meet Katie's mum and dad, which gives you an insight into why she may have behaved the way she did... before the change.

From the feedback I've received so far, it appears that W.S has managed to strike the balance of being a pacey and humorous easy read, that also subtly challenges the reader to think before they speak/act.

It's For Your Own Good (IFYOG) is a comedy thriller exploiting the power and control Health & Safety now seems to have in our every day lives.

It seems now-a-days that most things are being banned due to Health & Safety; for whatever reason.

When I wrote IFYOG I wanted readers, both young and old, to have a good laugh at the everyday effect that Health & Safety can have in our lives, whilst also questioning; 'How far is this all going to go?'
I don't know about you, but I often catch myself thinking through every possible scenario or consequence before I partake in what used to be regarded as everyday risks!

Again, the feedback I've received so far has been better than I could ever have hoped for with children, teachers and parents welcoming a book that is totally different and topically funny.

How did you come up with the ideas for your books?
W.S came about when one of our son's was bullied. It was a very hard time for all of us. One day when leaving one of the many meetings we had with the head teacher, I turned to my husband and said, "Do you think the bully would do it, if he knew how it felt?" From that one question came the concept for W.S. I've used humour to deliver a very hard hitting message, as I believe laughter can more often than not, help people to swallow the truth.

IFYOG was inspired by the increasing 'Big brother' atmosphere that seems to be enveloping our country. I believe we are becoming a nation of frightened and controlled people who are too afraid to... even discouraged to take risks and make informed choices. I wanted to write an action packed book that children would enjoy, but might also say; 'do I want to inherit this way of living.'

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? Is writing a full-time job?
I am married to Nathan, who is a constant source of encouragement and inspiration to me and I'm also the proud mother of two fun filled, lovely boys.

I wish writing was a full time job!! I work two days a week for an aromatherapy firm, whilst the other days I juggle home life and writing.

Did you always want to be a writer?I've always had a vivid imagination and loved telling stories. I started writing a book years ago, but never finished it! Three years ago I listened to a lady called Liz Jackson, who runs her own, very successful business. Liz is blind and won't let anyone tell her what she can or can't achieve. During her speech she asked if anyone of us knew any 'Nearly people'. She said, they go on and on about what they've nearly done!! I sat there and thought, I don't just know nearly people, I am one.' That night I went home and started my first novel, Bloodmix.

What's your favourite aspect of being an author?
Being able to transfer what's going on in my head onto paper, for others to read.

And the most challenging?
Finding the time - balancing everything.

What's a typical writing day like for you? Are they any 'must-haves' before you can sit down to write?
I can easily do a 6hr writing day when the children are at school. I close my front curtains so no one can look through the window and disturb me. I only answer the phone to family (thank goodness for caller I.D).
I must have: A time line of events, notes, my laptop and copious amounts of mint tea!

Which author's did you read during your childhood? Any books that are still a favourite now?
C.S Lewis
EB White
George Orwell
Enid Blyton

I have always and will always love Charlotte's Webb.

What's next for you? Are you working on something at the moment?
Yes, I'm in the middle of my next book which at the moment is going to be called, 'I know how you feel.' However I'm always open to the title changing as the book develops.
Thanks Jane! 

You can purchase Jane's books through Waterstone's and Amazon.

You can find Jane on her Blog , on Twitter and on Facebook


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