Monday, 31 December 2012

Night School: Legacy (Trailer & Blog Tour Details)

Looks brilliant, right? Well I have read it and can confirm it`s awesome!!!

Here is more information about the book:

From Goodreads: In the last year, Allie's survived three arrests, two breakups and one family breakdown. The only bright point has been her new life at Cimmeria Academy. It's the one place she's felt she belongs. And the fact that it's brought the dreamy Carter West into her life hasn't hurt...But far from being a safe haven, the cloistered walls of Cimmeria are proving more dangerous than Allie could've imagined. The students, and faculty, are under threat and Allie's family - from her mysterious grandma to her runaway brother - are at the centre of the storm. Allie is going to have to choose between protecting her family and trusting her friends. But secrets have a way of ripping even the strongest relationships apart...

I`ll also be part of the blog tour next week (3 Jan) so stop by for that!  Plus the tour is running an awesome competition - check below for the details:

Do you have what it takes to face the Night School challenge?

To celebrate the publication of CJ Daugherty’s new book Legacy, she is offering fans of Night School the chance to join Allie and her friends in becoming members of the secret student group Night School. In order to prove you’ve got what it takes to join the highly competitive Night School you will have to distinguish the 14 skills every Night School member should have which will be hidden across the 14 blogs taking part in the tour.

Everyone who successfully completes the challenge will become a Night School member for life and will receive the Night School membership charter and Night School members’ badge as proof of membership, but, because intelligence and speed are two of the most important Night School skills, we will be rewarding those of you who are able to collect and enter the 14 skills in the fastest time. The first ten entrants to correctly enter the 14 skills will win an exclusive members only goodie bag, including: personalised copies of both Legacy and Night School as well as a Night School members material badge which can be sewn onto a book bag or school blazer and a place on an exclusive Google Hangouts chat with CJ Daugherty herself!

Night School Challenge Rules:

1.Visit 14 book blogs between 3rd – 10th January
2.Locate and collect 14 Night School Skill words
3.Return to the Night School Members page to enter your collected skills by 13th January
4.The entry form will be live from January 10th and will close at mid night on January 13th
5.If you successfully complete the challenge you will become a Night School member for life – when this happens you will receive a membership charter and Night School members badge to download
6.The first ten people to receive Night School membership will be rewarded for their speed with an exclusive Night School goodie bag and a place on a Google hangouts chat with CJ Daugherty!

For more information, visit the members page on CJ Daugherty’s website here

Sunday, 30 December 2012

UKYABB Secret Santa

This year Lynsey from Narratively Speaking organised a UK, YA Secret Santa - and since I love all things YA I decided to take part.

Here's what I was sent:

* Insurgent Collectors Edition US Hardback (!!!!!!!!)  I really wanted this so I was super pleased when I unwrapped it!
* A bookmark - I am Dauntless (how awesome is that?)

Thanks Lynsey for organising it and massive thanks to my Secret Santa (aka Casey!)- you both rock:)

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Film casting the Irresistible boys (Irresistible Blog Tour)

Today we have Liz Bankes, who has stopped by to talk about who she'd cast as the male leads in her novel Irresistible. I shall pass you over...
Film casting the Irresistible boys

It's been a bit of a chore doing this book – I mean, I just had to spend an evening searching for pictures of hot men to play Jamie and Dan in my imaginary film-casting. HOW AWFUL.

Sexy, rich and bored, Jamie hangs around his parents’ castle causing trouble, especially for Mia.

So this guy was in Harry Potter. HOW DID I MISS THIS? So if you google him there are plenty of pictures of him in shirts, dressed up all posh and Jamie-like, but I accidentally typed ‘shirtless’ instead. 

So he has the right look for Jamie, but I’d need to know if he is good at being blunt and sarcastic and for that I’d have to meet him. So if we could arrange that please?

Funny, lovely Dan is brightening up Mia’s summer as they work together in the restaurant of Radleigh Castle.

McFly are lovely. I feel a bit like they are my friends, which they could be if you count ‘people I talk to in my head and follow on Twitter’ as friends. Dan is funny, optimistic and loves life. I could see him in McFly. As for which one he looks most like, you’ll have to read it and decide for yourself!
Thanks Liz!
Irresistible is available to buy now as an ebook and will be published in paperback April 2013.
Don't forget to check out the rest of the tour!  The next stop is over at Stepping Out of The Page tomorrow.

Friday, 14 December 2012

Sneak Peek: Prodigy by Marie Lu

For all of you super excited to read the sequel to Marie Lu's brilliant Legend, here is the first chapter of Prodigy!

Prodigy First Chapter

Prodigy is published 29 January 2013.  In the meantime I shall leave you with the book and game trailers - enjoy!

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Live Through This by Mindi Scott

From Goodreads: From the outside, Coley Sterling’s life seems pretty normal . . . whatever that means. It’s not perfect—her best friend is seriously mad at her and her dance team captains keep giving her a hard time—but Coley’s adorable, sweet crush Reece helps distract her. Plus, she has a great family to fall back on—with a mom and stepdad who would stop at nothing to keep her siblings and her happy.

But Coley has a lot of secrets. She won’t admit—not even to herself—that her almost-perfect life is her own carefully-crafted façade. That for years she’s been burying the shame and guilt over a relationship that crossed the line. Now that Coley has the chance at her first real boyfriend, a decade’s worth of lies are on the verge of unraveling.

In this unforgettable powerhouse of a novel, Mindi Scott offers an absorbing, layered glimpse into the life of an everygirl living a nightmare that no one would suspect.

I don’t think it’s a spoiler to say this book deals with abuse – there is a very touching post on the author’s website detailing her reasons for writing the novel – and I found it to be a very honest and intelligent portrayal. I’m sure there are many readers who could be experiencing something similar and this goes a long way in showing how it’s not as black and white as people often believe it to be.

I really love Mindi Scott’s writing style and how quickly I get into the mind of her characters. Straight away, I found myself in Coley’s world – as uncomfortable as that was. You get to feel her confusion, how repulsed she is with herself, how embed the need to hide what is happening to her is, how much she blames herself and, at the same time, how much she does care and love the person doing this to her.

I admit I had a very clear idea in my mind after the opening chapter who I thought Coley was referring to – but I quickly started to feel a very strong sense of unease once I realized I had been mistaken. I don’t want to go into too much detail here because I think that might be too much of a spoiler – but I thought this aspect was cleverly done. What I also loved about this is that Mindi Scott shows how this situation is not clean cut. There is no violence, no movie style monster of pure evil – but it doesn’t change the fact that Coley is a victim here. She doesn’t ask for what happens to her and she is not responsible for it either. You can see how desperately Coley wants to believe it doesn’t happen – that it’s just a nightmare and not real – and she holds on to that.

I really loved Reece and the sweet relationship that builds between the two of them. I also adored Noah too – they have such a great friendship and he just cracked me up. The storyline involving Alejandra was good – was Coley punishing herself or blaming Alejandra for not seeing the truth? I think it was a clever way of showing that what was happening to Coley was beginning to affect other areas of her life – she was finding it harder to pretend it wasn’t happening.

I have to admit I felt like I needed a bit more at the end. In terms of Coley’s secret I felt the story ended on a positive note, but at the same time I wanted to follow that thread and see it unfold. I would definitely like to know what happened next – just to have a little bit more closure.

Having now read and loved both this and her previous novel Freefall I am really excited to see what Mindi Scott writes next!


Monday, 5 November 2012

Kiss Off Blog Tour (Review, Info and Giveaway Link)

For Review: Sarah Billington
Published: May 2012


When sixteen year old Poppy Douglas writes a song about her ex-boyfriend Cam and ex-friend Nikki, she has no idea that her heartbreak is about to go global.

A local band picks up her song from Youtube and soon she's along for the ride with her own fanbase as they blow up on the local club scene and hit the international charts. Though it turns out leaving Cam behind isn't as easy as she had hoped.

Tangled in a web of unfinished homework, ill-considered sexting and a new lead-singer boyfriend, Poppy has a choice to make between the ex that inspired it all and the rock God whose poster lines the inside of half the lockers at school. But as she struggles to keep her emotional dirty laundry private, she learns that the truth can be hard to find when your life is in the headlines.

I really loved this – it’s sweet, funny and I adored the romance! Perfect for fans of Audrey, Wait by Robin Benway or Awkward by Marni Bates – I wholeheartedly enjoyed it!

I loved Poppy and her friends. All three of them shine in the story – the sensible Vanya and the slightly mad Mads – you could see how the three of them are such great friends. And I loved both Cam and Ty – I liked that the author doesn’t make Poppy’s choice an obvious one!

Plus the story is seriously funny in places. Poo Bum’s first appearance is absolutely hysterical, as is Poppy’s dads reaction to her thinking she’s being cheated on! The family dynamic is awesome – I loved it! They tease each other but obviously love each other to death too.

The romance is awesome as well. Although I would have liked to have gotten to know Ty a bit more I did really (really) like him. I also liked Cam too - he seemed sweet (and you come to realise that he might not be the bad guy after all). Ty’s story, and Poppy brush with fame makes me even more convinced I would hate it! I did love Ty’s ‘grand gesture’ though (*swoons*) And, of course, I loved the ending (I squeed a little) and it made me extra excited for the next book. I can’t wait to catch up with these characters.

Seriously good fun!


You can Add The Kiss Off to your TBR list on Goodreads!  And here is information on the sequel!


The money's in! Poppy's royalties for penning the accidental hit song The Kiss Off that shot her boyfriend's band to super-stardom are in and she knows EXACTLY what she's doing with it.

THE KISS OFF 2 will include:

A road trip with an unexpected passenger.
The realization too late that she doesn't actually like camping.
A concussion.
Accidental topless swimming.
Paparazzi punch ups.
A news-worthy (yet totally false) love triangle.
Obsessed fan girls.
A stalker.
And an overwhelming request from someone super-famous.

THE KISS OFF 2 is coming 2013.

Add The Kiss Off 2 to your TBR list on Goodreads!

And here is some information on the author, Sarah Billington:


Sarah Billington is an Australian writer and editor who likes to write stories with love, laughs, suspense and zombies. Sometimes all in the same story. Her favouritest thing to write about are those horrendously awkward moments that come with being a teenager. Or a human being. Sarah was extremely accident-prone and klutzy as a kid and teen, so her cup runneth over with experiences of horrendously awkward moments to draw from in her writing. Thankfully, she has grown out of her klutziness. Mostly. She is, however, still an embarrassment.

She loves a variety of random things, which include Swing Dancing, Ice Hockey, Roller Derby and is a bit obsessive about paranormal investigation shows and channel E!.

You can find Sarah online at the following links:


Official Website
Official Blog

Fancy buying yourself a copy? 


Amazon US
Amazon UK
Omnilit – The Kiss Off ebook only
Barnes & Noble
Book Depository – The Kiss Off paperback only
Fishpond – The Kiss Off paperback only

And there is a giveaway on Goodreads!  Just click on the link below to enter :)


Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Kiss Off by Sarah Billington

The Kiss Off

by Sarah Billington

Giveaway ends December 07, 2012.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Cover Wars: Crewel Blog Tour

As part of the blog tour for the UK release of Crewel, Gennifer Albin has stopped by to participate in Cover Wars for her US and UK covers. Before I hand you over to Gennifer here is the synopsis for Crewel:

From Goodreads: Incapable. Awkward. Artless.

That’s what the other girls whisper behind her back. But sixteen year-old Adelice Lewys has a secret: she wants to fail.

Gifted with the ability to weave time with matter, she’s exactly what the Guild is looking for, and in the world of Arras, being chosen as a Spinster is everything a girl could want. It means privilege, eternal beauty, and being something other than a secretary. It also means the power to embroider the very fabric of life. But if controlling what people eat, where they live and how many children they have is the price of having it all, Adelice isn’t interested.

Not that her feelings matter, because she slipped and wove a moment at testing, and they’re coming for her—tonight.

Now she has one hour to eat her mom’s overcooked pot roast. One hour to listen to her sister’s academy gossip and laugh at her Dad’s stupid jokes. One hour to pretend everything’s okay. And one hour to escape.

Because once you become a Spinster, there’s no turning back.

I shall now pass you over to Gennifer...

U.S. Cover

My first thought when I saw it was “oh, pretty!” It wasn’t like anything I’d imagined for the book, and I had my reservations about it. Was it too girly? What would the subsequent covers look like? I can’t claim to have much part in its creation; however, I did suggest a font change, which is how we got a cool futuristic font with such a lovely flourish.

U.K. Cover

My first thought was “wow, that’s different than the U.S. Cover!” I immediately liked it, and I liked that they had a plan for subsequent covers. My only suggestion was that the girl had a bit more make-up on.

Both the covers depict the story well while having a totally different vibe. I love that both feature striking red lips, because that’s such a Spinster symbol in my mind.

So far I’m batting 2 for 2 on covers, in my opinion. It will definitely be interesting to see what other foreign territories come up with. I really can’t choose between the two because they both represent the book, and I love how different they each feel.

Thanks Gennifer! I really like both covers too - and I think they are definitely very different. I love the colours on the US one and the way you don't see the person straight away (or at least I didn't!) In contrast I like how bold the UK one is - I like the font used for the title, and the swirly lines!

What do you think? Do you have a strong preference for the US or UK cover?

Crewel is available to buy now, and the blog tour continues tomorrow over at Narratively Speaking.

Friday, 26 October 2012

Shadows Blog Tour: Win a Post-Apocalyptic Survival Pack!

Thanks to the wonderful people at Quercus, I have an extra special competition for you! To celebrate the release of Shadows - the second book in Ilsa J Bick's fantastic series - you have the chance to win a Post-Apocalyptic survival pack. And since the Mayan Prophecy predicts the end of the world is coming on the 21st December 2012 you just might need one...

Here's what you can win:

Shadows Blog Tour Competition

The competition is open to UK entrants only and the closing date is the 1st November 2012.
Just fill in the form below. Good Luck:D

This competition has now closed.

Thursday, 25 October 2012

My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick

From Goodreads: A gorgeous debut about family, friendship, first romance, and how to be true to one person you love without betraying another

“One thing my mother never knew, and would disapprove of most of all, was that I watched the Garretts. All the time.”

The Garretts are everything the Reeds are not. Loud, numerous, messy, affectionate. And every day from her balcony perch, seventeen-year-old Samantha Reed wishes she was one of them . . . until one summer evening, Jase Garrett climbs her terrace and changes everything. As the two fall fiercely in love, Jase's family makes Samantha one of their own. Then in an instant, the bottom drops out of her world and she is suddenly faced with an impossible decision. Which perfect family will save her? Or is it time she saved herself?

A dreamy summer read, full of characters who stay with you long after the story is over.

I had been looking forward to this one since I first read the synopsis and saw that lovely cover! So I had very high expectations for it and it definitely lived up to them!

I loved the Garrett family! Absolutely adored them – the way they are with each other. And how much did I adore George? He is just too cute! But I think the Garrett’s just really bring home what Samantha has missing in her life – it may look like she has a lot but I’m not sure it’s what really counts.

The romance that builds between Sam and Jase is brilliantly done – I loved all of it. How good they seem together, how sweet Jase is with her (yay for the nice guy!) and the way she just seems to fit into the Garrett’s lives. Plus I loved the storyline involving her friend’s brother Tim – and the friendship they develop. I got so lost in these aspects of the story I completely forgot about the ‘Then in an instant, the bottom drops out of her world and she is suddenly faced with an impossible decision’ part of the story!

I think it’s going to be this aspect of the story that may divide readers. Some, I think,  may hate it, but I loved it! Was it too much of a coincidence? Perhaps, but it definitely puts Sam in an impossible situation. I have no idea what I would have done in her place. Actually, I think I know what I would have wanted to do, but whether I’d have the courage to do it is the difficult question.

I felt really sorry for Jase and his family but again they show how strong they really are – and I love the way they looked out for Sam. I think she makes the right choice in the end, and I don’t blame her for not being able to make an instant decision – that would have been too unrealistic for me.

Overall, I loved this! It’s a stunning debut and Huntley Fitzpatrick is now in my list of authors to watch!

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Time Between Us by Tamara Ireland Stone

For Review: Random House
Published: 25 October 2012

From Goodreads: Anna and Bennett were never supposed to meet: she lives in 1995 Chicago and he lives in 2012 San Francisco. But Bennett has the unique ability to travel through time and space, which brings him into Anna’s life, and with him a new world of adventure and possibility.

As their relationship deepens, the two face the reality that time may knock Bennett back to where he belongs, even as a devastating crisis throws everything they believe into question. Against a ticking clock, Anna and Bennett are forced to ask themselves how far they can push the bounds of fate, what consequences they can bear in order to stay together, and whether their love can stand the test of time.

Fresh, exciting, and deeply romantic, Time Between Us is a stunning, spellbinding debut from an extraordinary new voice in YA fiction.

Publicised as a teen Time Travelers Wife I knew I had to read this! And while the comparison is spot on, Time Between Us still feels fresh and unique in its own right. I really enjoyed it.

I really liked both Anna and Bennett and enjoyed how their relationship builds. I thought it was really romantic, but in a realistic way. They are connected somehow – even if they don’t understand yet why! I also really liked the friendship between Anna and Emma – and I can understand why she felt the need to try and change things for her but am worried she affected Emma’s life in a negative way by doing so. I liked this storyline and how it questions if Anna and Bennett have the right to decide what is best for someone.  I thought the author took the time travel aspect and made it her own. By giving Bennett limits to his abilities and in making him concerned about the moral consequences to what he is doing, it really made this one interesting!

The storyline involving Bennet’s sister annoyed me slightly – in regard to how it was resolved – it was such an important part of why Bennett was in Anna’s time and it just seemed to be wrapped up with hardly any explanation at all. I needed more there I think.

I did really like the ending though! The comparisons to Time Traveler’s Wife left me a bit worried! And I love that this is a standalone – no major cliffhanger in sight!

A brilliant debut – I will definitely be picking up Tamara Ireland Stone’s next novel.

Monday, 22 October 2012

I want to read that...

The Lucy Variations by Sara Zarr

From Goodreads: Lucy Beck-Moreau once had a promising future as a concert pianist. The right people knew her name, her performances were booked months in advance, and her future seemed certain.

That was all before she turned fourteen.

Now, at sixteen, it's over. A death, and a betrayal, led her to walk away. That leaves her talented ten-year-old brother, Gus, to shoulder the full weight of the Beck-Moreau family expectations. Then Gus gets a new piano teacher who is young, kind, and interested in helping Lucy rekindle her love of piano -- on her own terms. But when you're used to performing for sold-out audiences and world-famous critics, can you ever learn to play just for yourself?

National Book Award finalist Sara Zarr takes readers inside the exclusive world of privileged San Francisco families, top junior music competitions, and intense mentorships. The Lucy Variations is a story of one girl's struggle to reclaim her love of music and herself. It's about finding joy again, even when things don't go according to plan. Because life isn't a performance, and everyone deserves the chance to make a few mistakes along the way.

I really enjoy Sara Zarr's books so I am really looking forward to this one.  It's published May 2013.

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Revived by Cat Patrick

For Review: Electric Monkey
Published: 2 July 2012

From Goodreads:  As romantic as intense as "Before I Fall". Revived is unmissable.

The world fades to nothing, and before I have the chance to think another thought...I'm dead.

My name is Daisy West and my whole life is a lie. I'm part of a programme to test a drug called Revive - a drug that brings people back from the dead. I have died five times. I've been Revived five times. With each revival comes a new name, a new town...a new life. But this time, I won't let myself die. This time, I've found a love that I can't let go of. This time, I'm going to make my life my own.

I really fell in love with Forgotten when I read it last year, so I was looking forward to reading Cat Patrick’s next novel. There is just something very addictive about her books!

What I love most about Cat Patrick’s writing is her characters and the relationships they form. While I did really enjoy the concept of this book (government conspiracy, secrets and so on) I connected more to Daisy’s need for a proper friendship. I loved the relationship she had with Audrey and Matt. He is rather swoon-worthy and the friendship that develops between them all comes across as genuine and real. I loved everything about that storyline and how it connects perfectly with Daisy and her issues with Revive. How it makes her question everything she thinks she knows.

I also really enjoyed the relationship she has with Mason– it feels from the start as if they really care about each other. More father and daughter than someone posing as her parent. And I loved her friend Megan - it's nice to see she has managed to stay connected to someone.

Overall this was really exciting - full of drama, tension and relationships that will stay with me long after I finished reading – I am seriously looking forward to seeing what she writes next!

Friday, 19 October 2012

Decked With Holly by Marni Bates

From Goodreads: Holly Dayton is about to go way out of her comfort zone. . .

Spending Christmas vacation on a cruise with her two cousins from hell isn't Holly's idea of a good time. And when in a moment of seasick-fueled desperation she lurches into an open suite--she's greeted with an eyeful of pepper spray. The culprit? A gorgeous guy calling himself Nick. But when Holly goes to make her exit, she gets the shock of her life: a corridor crammed with screaming teenage fans. Because Nick just happens to be Dominic Wyatt, drummer for ReadySet--one of the hottest bands in America.

Suddenly rumors are swirling, and Holly's face is captured on countless phones and plastered all over the Internet. But the band can't risk a scandal destroying their family-friendly image, so Dominic convinces Holly to be his fake girlfriend--just for two weeks. How bad could it be to be fauxmantically involved with one of the cutest rockstars on the planet? Holly's about to find out. . .

I couldn’t wait to read this one! I loved Awkward so as soon as I realised this was set in the same world and featured Dominic (from ReadySet) I wanted to read it so bad! And it’s just as awesome as Awkward!

This time we get a dual narrative – with both Holly and Dominic (aka Nick) telling the story. As usual I loved this format and Marni Bates nails both voices – they are totally distinct and I instantly knew who was narrating. And both characters are seriously funny (sometimes without meaning to be!)

So, yes! I love Marni Bates! It’s official – she reminds me of Meg Cabot – feel good stories, laugh out loud moments – just really, really good fun. And the romance is great too.

Was the setting realistic? I don’t think that’s the point – it’s sweet, fun and how many people day dream of meeting a celebrity and have them fall in love with them? Plus I thought the motivations given for both Holly and Nick to enter into their ‘fauxmance’ were solid. Especially Holly, because honestly, her cousins and Aunt were HORRIBLE so I could see how having a ‘Rock Star Boyfirend’ might make her feel a little better about herself. One thing that did annoy me though, was that both her Grandpa and Nick, let her Aunt and Cousins be as mean as they were. Did they not see how much it hurt Holly’s feelings? I could forgive Nick since he might not have felt it his place, but I just didn’t see why her grandpa would sit there and let her Aunt say all those things.

I loved her friend Jen! Loved Mackenze and Corey’s cameo and the rest of ReadySet were just a brilliant as I remembered from Awkward. I seriously can’t wait for Marni Bates’ next book Invisible when it’s published next year This time it’s Jane’s story and it sounds fabulous.

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Book Trailer: Crewel

Here's the info behind the trailer:

Over the summer The Spark ran a competition to find a young singer-songwriter, band or musician to create an original soundtrack to the official Crewel book trailer. The standard of entries was very high, but one track really stood out. The lyrics of fourteen year-old Roisin's O'Hagan's haunting song 'It's a Lie' allude to the themes of the book in a really intriguing way, and the music itself stays with you – everyone will be singing it to themselves for weeks!

You can watch the official trailer, created by artist Carolina Melis, here [and above] and become a fan of The Spark in order to download the track for free here

There is also a Blog Tour for Crewel starting today - check the banner below for details:

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Cover Wars: From What I Remember


According to Amazon this is the UK cover!  What do you guys think?  I've got to say I officially love them both - and am not sure I could decide between them.  Although, the US one does have a cute dog on it...

Which do you prefer?

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Guest Post: Betrayal Blog Tour

Gregg Olson has stopped by today as part of his UK Blog Tour to talk about the inspiration behind his novel Betrayal. Before I hand you over, here's a little info about Gregg:

Gregg Olsen has a huge readership in the US and beyond and has been compared to Joseph Wambaugh and James Patterson. He is the author of eight true crime books including Cruel Deception and Starvation Heights. His fiction includes Heart of Ice, and Closer than Blood which charted on both the New York Times and USA Todaybestseller lists on publication. The Bone Box was number one on the US’s list of best-selling e books on publication in April. He also contributed a short story to Killer Year, an anthology edited by Lee Child.

Betrayal is the second book in his YA,  Empty Coffin Series.

I shall now hand you over to Gregg...

Foxy Knoxy taught me a lesson and shaped the storyline of Betrayal, the second volume in the Empty Coffin series.

You know who I’m talking about, don’t you?

The Amanda Knox story captivated me from the minute I first learned of it. The story of a girl who’d purportedly did the unthinkable resonated with me for a number reasons. I’m the father of young women and I could imagine my girls going off to study abroad and being caught up in something terrible. I’m from Seattle and so is Amanda.

And, probably more than any other reason, I am a true crime writer.

I have to admit that as the story was presented by the international media (“Foxy Knoxy”) it seemed to have all the things that make people want to know more. That’s the litmus test for any true crime tale. Readers simply have an insatiable need for information about the central figure.

To put it more directly, people want the dirt.

I fell into that. I viewed Amanda as a kind of scurrilous tramp who surely must have stabbed Meredith Kercher to death that night in Perugia. She was cold and uncaring as they come. Remember how she cuddled up to Raffaele Sollecito at the crime scene? How she did a cartwheel while waiting to be questioned? How she’d written about her sexual escapades like it was a first draft of Fifty Shades of Play?

As the story went on and as more details came to light, it became clear that while Amanda might be a tacky person, a sleazy girl, a b**** even, she might not have been a killer after all. In fact, as we would learn later – long after – she might not even have been a slut, or anything of the sort.

Amanda Knox might have just been a girl in the wrong place at the right time.

The media and my bias shaped how I viewed her. I regret that. I think a lot of people do. That’s not to say we know what happened the night Meredith was brutally killed. But because of the mix of media circus and poor police work, we probably won’t ever know.

I used a little of the Knox story in Betrayal. It isn’t a carbon copy of what occurred in Perugia, of course. My story takes place in Port Gamble, Washington, USA. My victim is a foreign exchange student from London named Olivia Grant. She’s not the one dragged through the media mud, however. You’ll have to read the book to see who that is, and the outcome.

It’s a mystery, right?

So, I’m afraid, is the truth when it comes to the identity of who killed Meredith Kercher.
Thanks Gregg!

You can find out more about the Empty Coffin Series by vising - including a trailer and a sneak peek at the first few chapters of Betrayal!

The next stop on the tour is tomorrow over at Daisy Chain Book Reviews.

Betrayal is available to buy now.

Monday, 15 October 2012

This Is So Not Happening by Kieran Scott

For Review: Simon & Schuster
Published: August 2012

From Goodreads: After their long summer apart, Ally and Jake were hoping for a drama free senior year. Instead they are faced with a turn of events that threaten to tear them apart...for good.

It turns out that Chloe is pregnant and says that Jake is the father. Hammond is pissed at his best friend, but mostly can't believe that Ally would stay with Jake. But Ally is tired of being apart from Jake and is willing to make it work. But that is easier said than done when Jake starts blowing Ally off to go to doctor's appointments with Chloe and Ally joins the school play and meets a new cute guy.

As graduation approaches, new secrets come out and Ally realises maybe Jake isn't the guy she thought he was. After everything they've been through can Ally and Jake get out of Orchard Hill with their relationship in tact?

I got really addicted to Ally and Jake’s story when I read She’s So Dead to Us and He’s So Not Worth It last year.  Considering how the last book ended – I couldn’t wait to see how things turned out for two of my favourite characters.

The story picks up pretty much where we left it at the end of He’s So Not Worth It. The revelation of Chloe’s pregnancy obviously has a big impact on both Jake and Ally and I was pleased to see they were trying to stay together.

I was pleased that Jake ‘manned’ up and took on the responsibilty of being the father. Granted, there were a few hints placed in the second book that made me wonder if he was actually the father but he really would have gone down in my estimations if he'd handled the situation differently. He really did try to be there for Chloe despite the negative implications that would have for his relationship with Ally. And I was pleased to see Ally support Jake. It would have been really easy for her just to walk away – but she doesn’t and I have to give her kudos for that.

Of course not everything is what it seems and I kind of felt that Jake was given a really hard time once the truth came out. I thought his reaction was understandable, but at the same time could see why Ally would feel the way she does too. I was glad that it wasn’t instantly happy ever after – but of course I loved how it all ended!

One thing that did make me a bit uncomfortable was that I was never completely convinced that Chloe’s choice was actually her decision – I sometimes felt it was what she was told to do by her parents – and I wanted to know that it was her decision. Other than that – this was the perfect ending to a highly enjoyable series! I love Kieran Scott’s books.


Sunday, 14 October 2012

My Month in Books: September

I decided rather than do a weekly post I wanted to create a monthly feature that combines the books I receive with a look back on the month. A post to talk about everything that has happened book wise - so any books I receive for review or buy, any bookish events I attend, what I've read, reviewed and so on.

So this is My Month in Books for September

My September Highlights:

The Dark Heroine by Abigail Gibbs - I wasn't sure what to expect when I picked this one up but was really surprised by it. Plus I love the fact it is UK based!

Ordinary Magic by Caitlen Rubino-Bradway - just magical (pun intended!) This is a gem of a book - really exciting and I can't wait to recommend it to lots of people :D

Speechless by Hannah Harrington - I adored Saving June and I loved this one too!  I just love the characters she creates! And Sam is seriously swoon-worthy!

Awkward by Marni Bates - This is sooooo much fun.  A laugh out loud, feel-good read!  I'm really looking forward to reading more by Marni Bates *waits impatiently for copy of Decked With Holly to arrive*

Reviewed in September:

Sweet Venom by Tera Lynn Childs
Sister Missing by Sophie McKenzie
Missing Me by Sophie McKenzie
Ordinary Magic by Caitlen Rubino-Bradway
The Dark Heroine by Abigail Gibbs
The Pack: Retribution by LM Preston


Jana Oliver Evening:

I got the chance to meet Jana Oliver! Being a MASSIVE fan of her Demon Trapper series (and, of course, Beck!!!) I was just a tad excited! It was a brilliant evening and Jana is lovely. Plus she gave us this fab goodie bad (which has some extras so there will be a giveaway on the blog soon:))

Massive thanks to Macmillan for organising the event:)

Leigh Bardugo Event:

I was also invited to Waterstones in Piccadilly to meet the rather lovely Leigh Bardugo. She read from her book The Gathering Dark (aka Shadow and Bone), and we got to ask questions as well as mingle afterwards. Massive thank to Orion and Waterstones for organising such a brilliant event:)  And to Sarah @ Feeling Fictional for extending the invite:D

And here are my books for September:


Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver (I missed this from the photo)
The Dark Heroine by Abigail Gibbs
Overnight Sensation by Hal Eisenberg
Betrayal by Gregg Olsen (I'm part of a Blog Tour for this - check out the banner on my sidebar for more information)
Pretty Little Liars: Ruthless by Sara Shepard
What's Left of Me by Kat Zhang
Heart Shaped Bruise by Tanya Byrne
Falling to Ash Karen Mahoney
And Actually... by Denise Deegan (LOVED this one!)
The Edge of Nowhere by Elizabeth George
Checkmate by Malorie Blackman
Double Cross by Malorie Blackman
Blink Once by Cylin Busby
Mystic City by Theo Lawrence
Lance of Truth by Katherine Roberts
A Reckless Magick by Stephanie Burgis (this looked so good I treated myself to the first two in the series!)
Flesh and Bone by Jonathan Maberry
Devil's Bargain by Rachel Caine
Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter

Thanks to all the publishers that sent books for review:D


Embers & Echoes by Karsten Knight
Dangerous Boy by Mandy Hubbard
Confessions of an Angry Girl by Louise Rozett
Speechless by Hannah Harrington (I really loved this one!)
Arabesque by Colin Mulhern
Entice by Jessica Shirvington
City of Souls by Cassandra Clare
Enshadowed by Kelly Creagh
Outpost by Ann Aguirre
Word Nerd by Susin Nielson
Inbetween by Tara Fuller
How to Rock Braces and Glasses by Meg Haston
Iron Legends by Julie Kagawa
Sweet Shadows by Tera Lynn Childs
Cursed by Jennifer L Armentrout
Burnout by Adrienne Maria Vrettos
Dead is a Killer Tune by Marlene Perez
Not That Kind of Girl by Siobhan Vivian
The Last Little Blue Envelope by Maureen Johnson
Cold Kiss by Amy Garvey
A Most Improper Magick by Stephanie Burgis
A Tangle of Magicks by Stephanie Burgis
Empress of the World by Sara Ryan
Cinder by Marissa Meyer
The Gathering Dark by Leigh Bardugo (Signed Copy)
Sweet 16 by Kate Brian
Lucky T by Kate Brian
Fake Boyfriend by Kate Brian
The Virginity Club by Kate Brian
Legacies by Mercedes Lackey and Rosemary Edghill

So yes, I really need to get reading!   Any recommendations on where I should start?

Hope you all had a great month for books:D

Friday, 12 October 2012

Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire

For Review: Simon & Schuster
Published: 14 August 2012

From Goodreads: The new Abby Abernathy is a good girl. She doesn’t drink or swear, and she has the appropriate percentage of cardigans in her wardrobe. Abby believes she has enough distance between her and the darkness of her past, but when she arrives at college with her best friend, her path to a new beginning is quickly challenged by Eastern University's Walking One-Night Stand.

Travis Maddox, lean, cut, and covered in tattoos, is exactly what Abby needs—and wants—to avoid. He spends his nights winning money in a floating fight ring, and his days as the ultimate college campus charmer. Intrigued by Abby’s resistance to his appeal, Travis tricks her into his daily life with a simple bet. If he loses, he must remain abstinent for a month. If Abby loses, she must live in Travis’s apartment for the same amount of time. Either way, Travis has no idea that he has met his match.

I had seen so many reviews for this – both really good and really bad - but as soon as I tried the first couple of chapters I knew I would love it!

Travis is definitely a flawed character. He’s angry, he punches first thinks later, he doesn’t *do* relationships but there is just something about him. A vulnerability perhaps that we get to see through Abby’s narration that meant I couldn’t help but love him. Having read many reviews before even picking this up, I know many readers had issues with his behaviour – some seeing it as a red flag for an abusive relationship – but I didn’t see what they saw. Yes, he does things that I found uncomfortable at times but I never felt he would hurt Abby. If anything, he seemed more likely to hurt himself,   Okay, so if someone acted like Travis in real life? Yes,  I would probably run in the other direction – I mean he does have some anger issues (I’m not sure in real life he could get away with punching as many people with no consequences!) But in book form? Well, then I say hell yes!  Mostly because it’s incredibly interesting getting to see a different side to a character like that.  I think Shep and the rest of his family ground his character somewhat – they obviously adore him and I think that made it easier to believe he was someone worth caring about.

Abby too is flawed. She seemed unable to admit to herself what she wanted. At times it felt as if she was manipulating Travis to manipulate her – the whole staying with him for a month bet (she obviously wanted to be there as much as he wanted her there!) and the whole Thanksgiving thing – she knew what he was doing but I got the impression she wanted the same as him. She just seemed to constantly need an excuse in order to do what she wanted to really do! Of course, once you learn about her past this puts it into a context and it’s easier to understand her motivations. She still made me crazy though - they both did - and I could have banged their heads together to knock some sense into the two of them. I mean, Travis might as well have been walking around with ‘I really like you’ tattooed on his forehead it was so obvious! And as for him being a ‘bad boy’ you get the sense he’s probably a saint in comparison to some of the people Abby grew up around.

I think the title of the book perfectly sums this one up. The relationship probably shouldn’t work, but it does. I loved the two of them – flaws and all – and can’t wait for Walking Disaster. Travis’s POV? Yes please! In the meantime, I will be continuing my new, strange habit, of googling guys with arm tattoos….

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Book Trailers: What's Left of Me, Out of Reach and Defiance

What's Left of Me by Kat Zhang and Defiance by C J Redwine are available to buy now. Out of Reach by Carrie Arcos is published 16 October 2012 by Simon Pulse (US)

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

And Actually... by Denise Deegan

For Review: Hachette Books Ireland
Published: 3 September 2012

From Goodreads: When I moved to Strandbrook College, I met Alex and Sarah. They treated me like I was normal. A human being. They actually liked me - though it took a while for me to trust that. I've never told them about my life before I met them. That shame can stay in the past. Weird thing is, they think I'm the strong one. The one with all the answers. The guru. When I'm offered a part on a TV show, they think it's all my dreams come true. And it is. Except that it'll bring me face-to-face with someone from my past - and memories I've kept buried. But I've changed. And I'm sure Rebecca has too. Whatever happens, there's no way I'm going to let my past destroy my future.

I adore the first two books in Denise Deegan’s Butterfly Series so I pretty much read this the moment it arrived! I was really looking forward to getting the story from Rachel’s point of view and discovering more about her. I have to say I was very intrigued about Rachel’s past!

The story picks up two weeks after the events of And For Your Information and I was really keen to see how Alex was coping with Maggie, how Sarah was doing and just generally catch up with these characters lives.

I really liked Rachel in the first two books and loved her here. We definitely get to see a different side to her I think, one she has kept hidden. I love her relationship with Mark – they obviously adore each other and I really enjoyed their scenes together. But I can also understand why she could misinterpret his feeling towards her later on. I loved the ending though!

While I suppose it could be argued that it’s a bit of a coincidence for Rebecca to be on the same TV Show as Rachel, I thought it worked as a great catalyst to bring everything Rachel has tried to put behind her back into her life. I was horrified by what she went through and the impact it still has on her (and her family). But it does happen - and it happens to a lot of people - and this story has a great message for anyone going through something similar or knows someone in a similar situation. And I really loved Maisie – and how thoughtful she is with Rachel and how much she helps her.

The other aspect of the story I really loved was Jack. I didn’t realise Rachel had a twin brother – was this something I missed in the first two books? I thought it was sad how they were kind of forced apart – this obviously had an impact on them both. But I loved how close they were – how close the whole family was.

Of course, we also catch up with Alex and Sarah. Although obviously struggling, I was glad to see Sarah at least trying to get on with her life. And I was really pleased for Alex! I really hope this is not the last we see of these characters. I love the world and am really invested in all the character’s lives. I don’t know if there are any more books planned but I would certainly love to read many, many more. I’d love to see if Alex and Maggie's father make a go of it, to see Sarah fall in love again, to see if Rachel manages to achieve the acting career she desires and I would LOVE to catch up with David from the first book. Although I’m really happy with how things have turned out for Alex, I really did love David and would like to see what he’s done with his life since we saw him last.

This is an absolute gem of a series!

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Trailer: Breathe by Sarah Crossan

Breathe is published 11 October 2012. You can also check out a blog tour that is happening this week - information is below and you can also visit the Bloomsbury website for more information.

• Monday 8th October

• Tuesday 9th October

• Wednesday 10th October

• Thursday 11th October

• Friday 12th October

• Monday 15th October

• Tuesday 16th October

• Wednesday 17th October

• Thursday 18th October

• Friday 19th October

I want to read that...

The Art of Wishing by Lindsay Ribar

From Goodreads: He can grant her wishes, but only she can save his life.

Margo McKenna has a plan of attack for everything, from landing the lead in her high school musical to dealing with her increasingly absent parents. But when she finds herself in possession of a genie's ring and the opportunity to make three wishes, she doesn't know what to do. Especially since Oliver--not blue-skinned, not bottle-dwelling, but a genie nonetheless--can see more than what she's willing to show him. With one peek into her mind, he can see the wishes that even Margo herself doesn't know she wants.

But Oliver comes with more than just mind-reading abilities, a flair for magic, and the prettiest eyes Margo's ever seen. Someone from his past is hunting him--someone bent on killing him, along with all the other genies in the world, for the sake of honor. And as Margo soon discovers, it will take more than three wishes to save him.

A whole lot more.

I really liking the sound of this. Plus the cover is cute!

It's published March 2013

Monday, 8 October 2012

Awkward by Marni Bates

From Goodreads: Mackenzie Wellesley has spent her life avoiding the spotlight. At Smith High, she's the awkward junior people only notice when they need help with homework. Until she sends a burly football player flying with her massive backpack and makes a disastrous - not to mention unwelcome - attempt at CPR. Before the day is out, the whole fiasco explodes on YouTube. And then the strangest thing happens. Suddenly, Mackenzie is an Internet sensation, with four million hits and counting. Sucked into a whirlwind of rock stars, paparazzi, and free designer clothes, she even catches the eye of the most popular guy at school. And that's when life gets really interesting...

This is just as hilarious as it sounds! Honestly, the whole YouTube incident is so funny I almost cried laughing – you can see how this (and Mackenzie) would become an overnight sensation.

I loved Mackenzie. How awkward she is - but how smart and kind she is as well. And I adored her friends Corey and Jane. Jane is the sensible, slightly quiet one and Corey is just awesome! I’m sure many will argue he’s a bit of a clique but I absolutely adored him. I wish I could have a friend like him! I also really liked Mackenzie’s family – especially her brother Derek! His reaction’s to Mackenzie’s overnight stardom is brilliant (both hilarious and endearing at the same time!) and her mother is great as a parent that actually trusts her child! Her dad though, well that’s a different story. I can’t imagine what that would feel like – to just have someone leave like that.

Of course, I loved Logan. And I kind of got the impression Mackenzie caught his eye before the whole YouTube overnight fame thing – but that could just be me. Either way I loved it – how they interact, how it becomes obvious he likes her but she just doesn’t see it. And the party scene? When she really starts babbling – loved it!

I loved ReadySet too – how awesome are they? Plus I loved that they are just down to earth guys that are happy to hang with some teenagers similar to their own age. Realistic? Why not? I can’t believe all famous people are horrible...right?

I can’t wait to get my hands on Decked With Holly – the next book set in this world and concentrating on Dominic from ReadySet-  hopefully there will be some Mackenzie & co updates!

Hilarious, and seriously great fun to read! Loved it!

Sunday, 30 September 2012

My Month in Books: August

I decided rather than do a weekly IMM I wanted to create a monthly post that combines the books I receive with a look back on the month. A post to talk about everything that has happened book wise - so any books I receive for review or buy, any bookish events I attend, what I've read, reviewed and so on.

I'm still playing catchup with these posts so here is my Month in Books for August.

Read in August:

I am still on my Contemp kick (will it even end?)  So anyway, my highlights were:

52 Reasons to Hate my Father by Jessica Brody - so so good!  I'm really loving Jessica Brody's books! Also, a proof copy of Unremembered was sent to the bookshop I work in and I LOVED it. It's not out until March 2013 so a bit of a wait but definitely mark it on your wish list!

Easy by Tammara Webber - this was recommended to me by Kerrie @ Read and Repeat and I really loved it!  I'm pleased to hear that Penguin has picked it up and are publishing it in January 2013.

Raw Blue by Kirsty Eagar - I had heard so many great things about this book I started to wonder if it could ever live up to my expectations for it, but it really did.  A brilliant book!

You can see (if you so desire!) everything I read in August here.

Reviewed in August:

Blood Moon by Alyxandra Harvey
Love at Second Sight by Cathy Hopkins
Forbidden by Jana Oliver
Forgiven by Janna Oliver
Foretold by Jana Oliver
Pushing The Limits by Katie McGarry
Debutantes by Cora Harrison
Losing Lila by Sarah Aldersen

No events for me this month! But I think I made up for it in books...:D Here are my books for August:  (again a few may be missing from the photos as a result of my major need for more space and having to box up some books:))

For Review:

Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire
Endlessly by Kiersten White
Revived by Cat Patrick
When You Were Older by Catherine Hyde park
Runemark by Joanne Harris
Breathe by Sarah Crossan
Shadows by Isla J Bick
The Citys Son by Tom Pollock
Unsticky by Sara Manning
Ordinary Magic by Caitlen Rubino-Bradway
This is So Not Happening by Kieran Scott
Zombies Don't Cry by Rusty Fischer
The Wolf Princess by Cathryn Constable
Street Duty by Christopher Ould
Darkness Falls by Cate Tiernan
Rage Within by Jeyn Roberts
Wolf Pack by Melissa de la Cruz
Defiance by C J Redwine
Scramasax by Kevin Crossley-Holland
Crewel by Gennifer Albin
Missing Me by Sophie Mckenzie
Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan

A massive thanks to everyone who sent books for review:D


Wicked Jealousy by Robin Palmer
Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry
All You Desire by Kirsten Miller
My Invisible Boyfriend by Suise Day
The Terrible Thing That Happened to Barnaby Brocket by John Boyne
Raw Blue by Kirsty Eagar
Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman (love the updated covers)
Knife Edge by Malorie Blackman
Survive by Alex Morrel
The Twice-Lived Summer of Bluebell Jones by Suise Day
When She Woke by Hillary Jordan
Welcome,  Caller, This is Chloe by Shelley Coriell (I read this a while back and really wanted a finished copy)
The List by Siobhan Vivian
Glitch by Heather Anastasiu
Easy by Tammara Webber (Loved this!)
Bound to You by Christopher Pike
The Waiting Sky by Lara Zielin (This was really good! I really want to read more by her)
Hav3n by Tom Easton (reading this right now and loving it!)
Girl Heart Boy by Ali Cronin
Onyx by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Biting Cold by Chloe Neill
Princess Ben by Catherine Gilbert Murdock(I found this in a charity shop!)
Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard
Sign Language by Amy Ackley
Unfed by Kirsty McKay
Deep Water by Jo Cotterill

... so another ridiculously large book buying month for me, and (worryingly) I fear September may be worse. I have loads of pre-orders (eek!)    Time to get reading I think...

Hope you all had a great month for books:D


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