Wednesday 29 August 2012

Win a Signed Copy of Hav3n by Tom Easton

From Andersen Press: It starts with a cough, a few aches and pains and a weird spot on the back of your neck. It is HAV3N, the worst disease the world has ever seen.

With friends and loved ones dying in their thousands, the villagers of picture-postcard village Great Sheen are convinced this is more than just media hype. Their entire existence is under serious threat. So they barricade themselves in - and the infected out.

Seventeen-year Josh, his sister Martha and their two friends survive the onslaught of HAV3N, along with only seventy-eight other villagers. But they now face a very different future. One in which they could be the only living teenagers in the world . . .

Sounds great, right?  I'm reading it right now and am really enjoying it.  I love the concept (and it's set near to when I work so bonus!)  There are some wonderfully gruesome bits in it (like the opening chapter!) and so far it's been balanced with some lighter moments making it very interesting reading!

I have a signed copy to giveaway.  All you need to do is fill in the form below.  It's open to everyone and the closing date is 6 September 2012.  Good Luck:D

This giveaway is now closed.

Tuesday 28 August 2012

Girl Heart Boy: Vlog #9

As always, you can get involved and comment over on the Girl Heart Boy You Tube Channel.

Girl Heart Boy: No Such Thing As Forever is available to buy now.

Girl Heart Boy: Vlog #8

As always, you can get involved and comment over on the Girl Heart Boy You Tube Channel.

Girl Heart Boy: No Such Thing As Forever is available to buy now.

Monday 27 August 2012

Losing Lila by Sarah Alderson

For Review: Simon & Schuster
Published: 2 August 2012

From Goodreads: Alex and Lila are on the run, desperately trying to stay one step ahead of the Unit, which is somehow tracking their every move. While Alex is determined to keep Lila safe and her ability secret at any cost, Lila's only thought is of finding a way back to California so she can rescue her brother and mother from the military base where they're being held. Struggling to control both her growing power and her deepening feelings for Alex, Lila decides the time has finally come to stop running and start fighting. Together with Alex, Demos, and the others she's come to think of as family, Lila plans not only to save her brother and mum, but also to completely destroy the Unit and everything it stands for. But the plan requires Lila to return to California alone, and to make friends with the enemy - and in doing so, she risks losing everything: Alex, her family… even her life.

I adored Hunting Lila when I read it last year – so I was seriously excited to get my hands on its sequel.  Was I nervous it wouldn't live up to my expectations for it? Yes, but I shouldn't have been! I really enjoyed it!

The story picks up from where we left Lila and Alex – on the run. The opening sequence is like a scene out of an action movie! Seriously good and very exciting. It’s one of the things I love about Sarah Alderson as an author – she’s equally talented at writing the romantic, quieter scenes as she is the WOAH! OMG! ones.

The story really progresses in this one – and I have to say it comes to a satisfying conclusion. There are some awesome revelations (which I wasn’t expecting) and the ending concludes the series, but leaves it open enough that there could be more if the author wished to return to it. (I would certainly love to read more of Alex!!!)

So yes, I can’t finish this review without mentioning Alex. Is it possible that he is even hotter than I remembered?  Because… well... damn he's hot!! Although I think if I were Lila I may have spontaneously combusted at the strength of his resolve…

A great series and highly recommended. I can’t wait to read Sarah Alderson's next book!


Thursday 16 August 2012

I want to read that...

Infinite Sky by Chelsea Flood

From Goodreads: Iris Dancy’s free-spirited mum has left for Tunisia, her dad’s rarely sober and her brother’s determined to fight anyone with a pair of fists.

When a family of travellers move into the overgrown paddock overnight, her dad looks set to finally lose it. Gypsies are parasites he says, but Iris is intrigued. As her dad plans to evict the travelling family, Iris makes friends with their teenage son. Trick Deran is a bare knuckle boxer who says he’s done with fighting, but is he telling the truth?

When tools go missing from the shed, the travellers are the first suspects. Iris’s brother, Sam, warns her to stay away from Trick; he’s dangerous, but Iris can no longer blindly follow her brother’s advice. He’s got secrets of his own, and she’s not he sure can be trusted himself.

INFINITE SKY is a family story about betrayal and loyalty, and love.

I'm loving the sound of this!   I'm slightly worried it's going to be a one where I need a box of tissues on standby though...

It's published February 2013

Wednesday 15 August 2012

Pushing the Limits Blog Tour (Review and Beth Interview)

For Review:  Mira Ink
Published: 3 August 2012

From Goodreads: No one knows what happened the night Echo Emerson went from popular girl with jock boyfriend to gossiped-about outsider with "freaky" scars on her arms. Even Echo can't remember the whole truth of that horrible night. All she knows is that she wants everything to go back to normal.But when Noah Hutchins, the smoking-hot, girl-using loner in the black leather jacket, explodes into her life with his tough attitude and surprising understanding, Echo's world shifts in ways she could never have imagined. They should have nothing in common. And with the secrets they both keep, being together is pretty much impossible.

Yet the crazy attraction between them refuses to go away. And Echo has to ask herself just how far they can push the limits and what she'll risk for the one guy who might teach her how to love again.

This is hands down my favourite read so far this year - I absolutely loved it!

The story is a dual narrative (which many of you will know I love) and it works brilliantly here.  Not only does Katie McGarry give a distinct voice to each character but they both have an equal weight in the story.  I was just as invested in Noah, and what was happening in his life, as I was Echo's.

I loved both characters from the beginning.  Echo's story is something of a mystery that needs unravelling over the course of the novel and I enjoyed every minute of Echo trying to remember what had happened and coming to terms with it.  She's also having to come to terms with the death of her brother as well as everything else and her grief for him is palpable.  You really get the impression that he was her life line.

At first I though I was going to hate her father - but as the story unfolds you just see someone trying to make sense of what has happened and his guilt over the fact it happened. I really loved him by the end of the book.

Noah is referred to as the 'bad boy' but in different circumstances he would have been in the same circle of friends as Echo.  There is a lot of anger in him (understandably) and I couldn't help but think his brother's foster parents were just making things worse.  As for Isaiah and Beth - I adored them.  They were obviously family to each other and as secondary characters they really stood out.  I'm not surprised that Beth will be getting her own story - I can't wait to read it!

I also loved Mrs Collins and how she deals with Echo and Noah.  She really does come across as someone who cares and someone who has the skills to actually help.

As for the relationship that develops between Echo and Noah?  Well, what can I say?  It it absolutely awesome!  Gentle, a real connection, everything you want in a romance, but believable too.  It definitely gives all of my favourite romances a run for their money.  I just loved it!

I have been describing Pushing the Limits as the potential love child of Simone Elkeles Perfect Chemistry and Courtney Summers' Cracked Up to Be and I stand by it.  I has everything I loved about those books and more.  I don't know what else to say - except please read it.  It's seriously good!

And here is the character interview with Beth...

Hi Beth! Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

I’m a Junior in high school, soon to be a senior. I work at the dollar store a couple of blocks from my aunt’s house. I split living between my aunt and my mom. My mom doesn’t have the best taste in men. There are times I have to cut out quick and lay low at my aunt’s place so one of mom’s psychopaths of the week doesn’t beat the crap out of me.

You seem very close to Noah and Isaiah - what are they like? And who are you closest to?

Noah and Isaiah are the closest thing I’ve ever had to brothers. I trust them, which says a lot.

Noah, I guess, would be the leader of our sad parade of misfits. He’s always calling the shots; making decisions. He can be bossy as hell. Sometimes it’s annoying, but he does it because he cares.

I’m closest to Isaiah. We’ve known each other since we were fourteen and my aunt took him in as a foster kid. Isaiah is easy going, yet not. Don’t let him fool you. He may be all relaxed back in his seat looking like he doesn’t have a care in the world, but his mind is going—twenty-four seven. He knows everything about cars, possibly a little too much.

I don’t know what to say about him…he’s my best friend.

You haven't had the easiest of upbringings. If there was anything you could say to the people who have treated you badly what would it be?

That they can rot in hell. And that’s a special shout out to the string of reject boyfriends my mom’s dated.

What would you say your best quality is? And your worse?

Well hell…can we talk about Isaiah and Noah again? I don’t know. My best quality? I can take care of myself. I know how to pack up and move on a moment’s notice. I’ve had practice in it all my life.

My worse? I’m sure you can talk to anyone at school and they’d give you a laundry list. I do a lot of stupid stuff at times and I regret it after I do it…but sometimes life is what it is, you know?

What do you think people would be surprised to learn about you?

That I’m smart. No, I’m not all honor student, but I have a brain and it works properly. Someday, I’m going to be more than all of this.
Thanks Beth!  I can't wait to read your story when it's released!

Make sure you check out the whole of the blog tour - all the blog stops are listed below (and links will take you to the blog tour post):

And if that's isn't enough to convince you to read it - check out the wonderful trailer:

Pushing the Limits is available to buy now.

Tuesday 14 August 2012

Girl Heart Boy: Vlog #7

Here is Sarah's latest Vlog:

As always, you can get involved and comment over on the Girl Heart Boy You Tube Channel.

Girl Heart Boy: No Such Thing As Forever is available to buy now.

Sunday 12 August 2012

Debutantes by Cora Harrison

For Review: Macmillan
Published: 2 August 2012

From Goodreads: It’s 1923 and London is a whirl of jazz, dancing and parties. Violet, Daisy, Poppy and Rose Derrington are desperate to be part of it, but stuck in an enormous crumbling house in the country, with no money and no fashionable dresses, the excitement seems a lifetime away.

Luckily the girls each have a plan for escaping their humdrum country life: Rose wants to be a novelist, Poppy a jazz musician and Daisy a famous film director. Violet, however, has only one ambition: to become the perfect Debutante, so that she can go to London and catch the eye of Prince George, the most eligible bachelor in the country.

But a house as big and old as Beech Grove Manor hides many secrets, and Daisy is about to uncover one so huge it could ruin all their plans—ruin everything—forever.

I really enjoyed the 1920's setting - Cora Harrison does a great job of bringing it all alive. And I loved the sisters too - their dynamic kind of reminded me of Little Women.

The mystery element to this was really good and I really enjoyed it! While some may work it out before I did, I was surprised at the revelations - I'm very interested to see what happens next and what it means for the sisters. I'm assuming the series will concentrate on a different sister, so I'm looking forward to that.

I have to admit I was a bit disappointed the story was written in third person - I much prefer first person so this is probably just a preference on my part - but since this story was still told from Daisy's perspective I just felt that I would have connected that little bit more. But I still got a really good feel for all the different sisters. I loved Daisy, Poppy and Rose (loved her headlines!) were great too, but it took me most of the book to warm to Violet. She came across as too self absorbed for my liking at first. I loved Justin though and was so please at the end!

An enjoyable historical story that will transport you back in time to the 1920's. I'm looking forward to catching up with the four sisters when the next book is released.

Debutantes Blog Tour: Rose Character Profile

As part of the blog tour for Cora Harrison's new novel, Debutantes, she has stopped by to share Rose's character profile...

Rose Derrington is the youngest of the four Derrington girls. She is the only one of them who was not born in India. By the time of her birth, Michael Derrington’s father had died and he was now Earl of Derrington so Rose was born in the magnificent old house, Beech Grove Manor in 1911 and so she is twelve in ‘The Debutantes’. Her mother died when she was four years old so she was brought up by Great-Aunt Lizzie, a very strict old lady who has never moved out of the Victorian Age, either as regards her clothing or her attitudes.

Great-Aunt Lizzie fancies herself as a teacher and in any case the family are too poor now to afford a governess for Rose, so she spends hours in the schoolroom, at the top of the huge house, with Great-Aunt Lizzie teaching her. Rose is a genius for everything regarding English literature and writing. She devours books and knows most of the classics off by heart and she writes wonderful stories. Unfortunately, she is poor at mathematics and this causes Great-Aunt Lizzie to say that Rose must spend long hours at maths and she didn’t bother much with other subjects.

Daisy worries about Rose. She knows that her youngest sister is the cleverest of the family and she wonders whether any money that might come from her film-making should be devoted to paying school fees for Rose rather than buying dresses for Violet’s debutante season.

Rose has a wonderful sense of humour and she continually mocks herself up with her witty remarks and invented newspaper headlines – Delicate Child Force-fed Milk by Brutal Relations: Earl’s Mansion Hides Broken Heart, she murmurs at table when told to drink up her milk.

Rose is not strong and her father worries about her health as Rose’s mother died of tuberculosis and, in those days, it was supposed to be a disease that was inherited. Rose is very thin and she gets lots of colds and coughs so the damp, cold house is very bad for her. (I, as an author, plan to do something about Rose’s health in book 2 of the ‘Debutantes’. I think that the house at Beech Grove Manor and the damp climate of England is not good for her.)

Ambition: To be a writer and a journalist.

Favourite occupation: Writing stories and making scrap books of people from the fashionable world, such as Prince George, and scrap books of lurid headlines, cut from newspapers.

Favourite sport: Like her sisters, she loves riding and she loves drag hunting where the hounds follow a trail of aniseed and the riders follow the hounds. Great fun, rushing through woods, jumping over hedges and splashing through rivers until eventually the hounds find the bag filled with strong-smelling aniseed and sometimes a few treats.
Thanks Cora!

Debutantes is available to buy now. My review should be up later today:)

Don't forget to check out the rest of the tour - the next stop is tomorrow with Jenny @ Wondrous Reads.

Wednesday 8 August 2012

Girl Heart Boy: Vlog #6

Here is Sarah's latest vlog:

So what is your idea of the perfect date?  Don't forget you can get involved and comment over on the Girl Heart Boy You Tube Channel

The first book in the Girl Heart Boy series (No Such Thing as Forever) is available to buy now.

Tuesday 7 August 2012

The Spiral Horizon Blog Tour (How to Write Guest Post)

As part of the blog tour for The Spiral Horizon, the 6th book in the Bad Tuesdays Series, Benjamin J. Myers’s kindly stop by to talk about writing...

How to write

By the age of twenty eight I’d written three novels and each of them had been rejected so many times, I could have produced a guide on how not to write. Over the next eleven years, three children arrived in quick succession and I built a practice as a barrister specializing in serious crime. I took a break from writing novels but I thought about how to write. I thought about it a lot. Throughout my school, university, the army and now, as a barrister, writing has been a constant drive. It takes more than an Everest of rejections to stop that.

I started writing The Bad Tuesdays sequence in 2006 and it was accepted the following year by the first publisher I sent it to, Orion Children’s Books. You can imagine the euphoria. It had been a long wait. The first book in the sequence, Twisted Symmetry, was published in 2009 and this August, sees the publication of the sixth and final book The Spiral Horizon. Behind all the weird science and strange creatures there has been a lot of thought: thought about how to write the story I’ve wanted to tell, and thought about the skill of writing. If you’ve already got a bag of talent, that’s a great start, but there are ways in which you can build your skill. Here are my suggestions, hard earned through experiences – the good , the bad and the ugly.

1. Read. Read lots. Read well and read widely. Think about what you’re reading and why it works, or why it doesn’t. Reading is the writer’s base camp, the place from where you start and where you’ll find most of the equipment you need. Other people’s writing is where you’ll discover the possibilities of language and the limitless expression of ideas. Whilst the inspiration for The Bad Tuesdays lies in films like ‘Alien’ and The Matrix’, comic art and music rather than books, finding the language to convert these ideas into stories owes a lot to reading of writers who show how rolling imagination and hard reality can be conveyed in words, writers like Mervyn Peake and Ted Hughes.

2. Write for a reader. This is so important but it took me a long time to appreciate. Don’t lose sight of this rule, whatever you do. Writing only for yourself may be hugely satisfying, but its therapy. If you want to be a published writer, write for yourself by all means but make sure you are writing for others too. When I embarked upon The Bad Tuesdays, I had my own teenage children in mind, and their friends. Writing for a reader, or a type of reader will keep your writing focused (on what the reader wants) and will make it more attractive to publishers, who naturally will want to see that what you write appeals to more than an audience of one.

3. Plan your story. At the very least, give it a beginning, a middle and an end. It makes such a difference knowing where you’re going.

4. Keep at it. Writing takes time so make time. It’s no good writing when the mood takes you, or when you have a spare couple of hours. If writing matters to you, your life has to know that and so does everybody else. Writing regularly makes books happen. And don’t be spooked by a blank page. You sit down, you pick up a pen (or keyboard), your fingers start to work and you put down words. Inspiration is great when the rush hits, but you’re in charge. Just get the words down. You can always cross it out and start again if you’re not satisfied.

5. Cross it out and start again if you’re not satisfied. Don’t settle for almost getting it right. If what you’ve written hasn’t hit the spot, it isn’t good enough. Being critical, being ready to strike out a word, a passage, a page, a chapter gives you huge power over your own work. It will also make it very much better.

There’s more I could say, but for me, just getting these things right made a massive difference. Just keep writing, believe in yourself and your stories, and keep reading. If you love reading good books, you’re well on the way to writing them.
Thanks Benjamin!

THE BAD TUESDAYS 6: THE SPIRAL HORIZON is published by Orion Children’s Books at £6.99 paperback, £4.49 eBook.

Saturday 4 August 2012

Foretold by Jana Oliver

For Review: Macmillan
Published: 2 August 2012

From Goodreads:  Stand by as Riley prepares to kick some serious demon butt for the last time in this thrilling, dramatic and sexy conclusion to The Demon Trappers series.

Riley’s always known that Beck had a chequered history, but she’s not prepared for what it actually means to be in love with a guy with this many dark secrets. Now that he’s finally admitted to himself that he’s in love with her too, there’s no more hiding the truth about his past. And as it turns out, fending off a demon apocalypse is nothing compared to what’s to come...

When I read Forgiven I said the books in this series get better and better with each instalment. And Foretold just confirmed it for me - I absolutely loved it! It's my favourite of the series - everything I hoped it would be and more.

I devoured this book the moment it arrived. I physically could not stop myself from reading it - it is just so good! Everything just comes together in this one - all the things that have happened come together to make perfect sense in the end. Really, really clever and compelling reading!

I also loved that we really got to see Beck in this one. His home life - what living with his mother must have been like. Why Paul would have meant as much to him as he did. And yes, I got a tad panicked in the middle and right at the end. Okay, so I may have had a bit of a heart attack at one point - since I'm never sure what direction the author will take the story I wasn't certain that things would be alright in the end. So yes, worrisome! But exciting!

A brilliant ending to what is one of my favourite series. I can't wait to see what Jana Oliver writes next and I know I will be first in the queue to read it.

Jana Oliver’s Bookshelves (Foretold Blog Tour)

As part of the blog tour for the final book in the Demon Trappers Series - Foretold - Jana Oliver has stopped by to show us her bookshelves...


Since most of my latest books are on my iPad (via the Nook library) I decided to show you my digital bookshelves.

[Bookshelf #1]

When I’m not reading fiction, I’m usually researching London or Chicago. In the case of the first two books, LONDON UNDER and LONDON: THE BIOGRAPHY) those are classic examples of the types of books I enjoy when I’m doing heavy duty research. From there we move into my collection of Ilona Andrews’ books. Ilona (along with her co-author and husband Gordon) write both urban fantasy (the Kate Daniels Series) and paranormal romance (The Edge Series). I’m totally hooked on these folks as their world-building and characterization is phenomenal. Their latest effort (GUNMETAL MAGIC) just came out and I’ve already read it.

The next three books I haven’t read yet, but I will. In particular, the steampunk book looks fun. RANDOM REALITIES is an excellent short story collection by Melanie Fletcher, an author with a wicked sharp mind. I switch over to historical mystery with CHASING THE DEVIL’S TAIL by David Fulmer. Set in early twentieth century New Orleans, the book is full of jazz and murder. One of my all time faves is next: NEVERWHERE by Neil Gaiman. I’ve reread it countless times.

[Bookshelf #2]

Recently I’ve been conducting research into fairy tales so that’s why I have Brothers Grimm and FAIRY TALE RITUALS. Kim Harrison was one of my first urban fantasy authors and recently I’ve fallen in love with the Iron Druid Series by Kevin Hearne. Again, just to mix things up, THIEFTAKER by D. B. Jackson is a blend of historical and urban fantasy. I really enjoyed that book and will be rereading it in the future.

Now we get into my shelf of US Demon Trappers books and my Time Rovers Series. I have them on my iPad in case I need to do readings and I don’t have a paper copy with me. And I admit, every now and then I go back and read them.

[Bookshelf #3]

The final bookcase has a couple of my books, a fantasy novel I haven’t read yet and then Anne Perry’s THE SHIFTING TIDE. Anne is one of the grand dames of English murder mysteries and I enjoy her books because they’re set in gritty Victorian London. THE SOURCE OF MAGIC is a delightful paranormal romance written by Cate Rowan and COVEN is by Tony Ruggerio, both friends of mine. Another friend’s novel (SHINE) is a young adult paranormal romance, part of a very readable trilogy by Jeri Smith Ready. And finally, 500 WAYS TO BE A BETTER WRITER by Chuck Wendig. It’s not politically correct in the least, but it’s got terrific advice for both new and established authors.

So as you see, I’m an omnivore when it comes to books. If it intrigues me, I’ll read it. If I fall in love with the author, I buy all their books.
Thanks Jana!  I really need to read something by Neil Gaiman - everyone keeps telling me how great they are!

You can read my reviews of the series so far here.  (The link also takes you to an interview with Beck!)   My review for Foretold will be posting later today - but in the meantime,  I think I can safely say this was my favourite in the series!

Make sure you check out the rest of the tour - the next stop is tomorrow at Reading a Little Bit of Everything.

Forgiven by Jana Oliver

From Goodreads: Riley Blackthorne. Kicking hell’s ass one demon at a time...

Riley has made a bargain with Heaven, and now they've come to collect.

Lucifer's finest are ruling the streets and it seems that Armageddon might be even closer than Riley imagined. But with her soul and her heart in play it's all she can do to keep herself alive, let alone save the world. Riley's not afraid of kicking some major demon butt, but when it comes to a battle between Heaven and Hell, she might need a little help...

Honestly, this series just keeps getting better and better.   I loved it!

As I have said in previous reviews the world building and mythology is absolutely brilliant - so much planning must have gone into it! It's really exciting - so many different things are going on and not all of them turn out the way I expected them to! You've got to love it when an author can completely surprise you.

I felt sorry for Riley in this one. She really doesn't know which way to go - who she should trust, what the best decision is.    And of course, what is happening with her dad must be utterly heartbreaking. I love how her relationship with Beck develops in this one - it definitely holds promise for the ending I want in Foretold!

There are some really great action scenes in this one too. I love the way Jana Oliver is talented at both these and the more 'quiet' scenes. She is also really great at pacing these stories - once you pick them up you really can't put them down!

Of course, I can't review this without saying how much I love Beck...   I am, however, a bit concerned over his secret and what it will be. I'm really looking forward to Foretold to find out and see how this all ends. I have the feeling it's going to be epic!

Forbidden by Jana Oliver

For Review: Macmillan
Published: August 2011

From Goodreads: Riley Blackthorne is beginning to learn that there are worse things than death by demon. And love is just one of them...

Seventeen-year-old Riley has about had it up to here. After the devastating battle at the Tabernacle, trappers are dead and injured, her boyfriend Simon is gravely injured, and now her beloved late father’s been illegally poached from his grave by a very powerful necromancer. As if that’s not enough, there's Ori, one sizzling hot freelance demon hunter who’s made himself Riley’s unofficial body guard, and Beck, a super over-protective “friend” who acts more like a grouchy granddad. With all the hassles, Riley’s almost ready to leave Atlanta altogether.

But as Atlanta’s demon count increases, the Vatican finally sends its own Demon Hunters to take care of the city’s “little” problem, and pandemonium breaks loose. Only Riley knows that she might be the center of Hell’s attention: an extremely powerful Grade 5 demon is stalking her, and her luck can't last forever...

I really enjoyed the first book in this series so I was looking forward to this one. And more Beck? Yes, please:D

The story picks up right where we left it in Forsaken. Everyone want to know how the demons got through the wards put in place to protect them, Riley's father is out there somewhere and she is desperate to find him and Simon is not the same person he was in Forsaken! Add to this a truck load of demon hunters and things have just got interesting...

I really do love the world Jana Oliver has created - it's intelligent, believable and just slightly terrifying! The story is so unpredictable - I just have no idea what direction the author is planning on taking it and that is brilliant!

I also love the characters. Riley is just plain awesome - so determined and head strong. She's good at standing up for herself when she needs to but there is enough vulnerability about her to ground her and make her someone easy to relate to. Of course, I love Beck. I think that goes without saying!  As for Simon ... well I thought he needed a good slap. But I think it fits in with the story that what he went through might cause a crisis of faith. Still, I think Riley deserves better. And Ori is as intriguing as ever - and that's all I'm going to say about that!

I can't wait to read the next book in the series - if you haven't read it yet please do. It is seriously good!

Friday 3 August 2012

Love at Second Sight Blog Tour

I'm really excited to be part of the blog tour for Love at Second Sight, and Cathy has kindly stopped by to talk about her imaginary movie casting for Love at Second Sight...

To imagine who I’d choose to play the characters from my new book, Love At Second Sight. What a great task! I think every writer hopes that their books will be made into movies but so often when they are, the writers has no say in who plays the parts. So great, even though it’s only a fantasy, these would be my choices.


* Jo: for me this would have to be Kristen Stewart. Even though she might be a bit old to play the part of a 17 year old now – she has the right look, attractive but not in too obvious a way and she has an intelligent face like there’s loads going on beneath the surface.

* Effy: Miley Cyrus because she’s open, confident, bubbly, and full of energy like Effy.

* Tash: Lily Cole, she’s got the right colouring for Tash with her Titan red hair, plus she has a dreamy, romantic look about her. She’d be perfect for the third girl.


* Finn: Zac Efron. An obvious cutie who know he’s a babe magnet.

* Ben: Logan Lerman. He’s cute too but looks as if there’s more going on beyond the good looks.

* Owen: Asher Book. Friendly, open and perfect for the boy next door type.

You can google them to see who they are if you don’t already know but it’s probably best to read the book first to get the characters in your own mind’s eye then you make your own choice of who you’d cast.

Let me know, be fun to compare our casting lists.
Thanks Cathy!  I love your choices! Especially Lily Cole as Tash - she's perfect!

I picked  Chace Cawford as Finn (he's kind of effortlessly goodlooking).  But I have to admit I think I prefer Zac Efron!  I thought Adam Brody as Owen (kind of friendly, goodlooking but slightly geeky...) and I love Logan Lerman for Ben! I was also thinking maybe a dark haired Josh Hutcherson?

For the girls I have to agree with Lily Cole as Tash - she's perfect.  For Jo I picked (a younger) Alexis Bledel (she's really pretty/beautiful but in a very natural way) and for Effy I thought (again a younger) Emma Stone (there is something fun and confident about her). 

You can read my review of Love at Second Sight in the post below.

And make sure you check out the rest of the tour.  The next stop is tomorrow over at The Sweet Bookshelf.

Love at Second Sight by Cathy Hopkins

For Review: Simon & Schuster
Published: 2 August 2012

From Goodreads: Unlucky in love Jo is dragged along to see a clairvoyant by her two coupled-up best friends, and is told that there's only one boy for her. The trouble is, the last time she saw him was in a past life, when she worked as a governess to his younger brother. The clairvoyant tells her that as she is back in this life, so is he, and she must find him if she is ever to know true happiness and love.

Jo doesn't believe a word of it - but then a series of events begin to change her mind. Could her one true love really be out there? In her quest to find the One, she visits psychics and cemeteries - but will she even be able to recognize her soul-mate when she finds him? Or is she destined to continue looking for love for all of time?

I really loved the concept of this book. The whole idea of reincarnation, and finding a true soul mate is obviously romantic, but it also provides a very interesting backdrop to a romance! I loved all the back story and finding out about Henrietta.

I loved the way Jo is extremely sceptical at first, and slowly starts to think there might just be something to it. It makes it much more believable - and I loved investigating her past life with her.

Boy wise I knew who I wanted it to be and who I didn't! I'm afraid Finn didn't really do it for me but I did love both Ben and Owen. Of course, as soon as I found out how Ben remembered Jo I was kind of smitten...

Sweet, intriguing and romantic this is a great read! I really need to try more of Cathy Hopkins books.

Thursday 2 August 2012

The Pack [New Cover Reveal]

The Pack by LM Preston - Cover Reveal.

Here is the lovely new cover for The Pack. With The Pack-Retribution (Book 2) coming out in print this September, 2012, the cover for the first book was updated to match and I love it. I think they have done a brilliant job making it eye-catching and keeping it in tone with the story.

Here is the synopsis:

Description: Shamira is considered an outcast by most, but little do they know that she is on a mission. Kids on Mars are disappearing, but Shamira decides to use the criminals most unlikely weapons against them the very kids of which they have captured. In order to succeed, she is forced to trust another, something she is afraid to do. However, Valens, her connection to the underworld of her enemy, proves to be a useful ally. Time is slipping, and so is her control on the power that resides within her. But in order to save her brother's life, she is willing to risk it all.

Praise for THE PACK

- I was most impressed by the author's world building abilities. Mars felt real right from the beginning. I gave it to one of my sons to read. He did tell me that "the fighting moves were interesting" and he thought "her sword and weapons were cool.".~By Kristien Howell

- A treasure for scifi readers ~ Midwest Reviews

- This sci-fi for YA jets along, full of action and humor and pathos and even a bit of romance. ~Darby Karchut


“Well, I guess you can take care of yourself,” Valens said. “I’m impressed.” He came up behind Shamira while she bent down and removed the truth tick from Lenny’s neck. She crushed the tick in her hands and placed it in a pouch on her belt.

“What do you want?” she asked sharply while she walked past him to Lenny’s flunky.

“I want what you want—answers. I’ve been tracking this guy for weeks, trying to find out about my younger sister, who was taken over a month ago,” he said. She could tell from his voice that he was confident and sincere. He was also a bit older, and Shamira noticed the newness in the deepness of his voice, as if he was still getting used to his grownup man-voice.

“Where are your parents? Why aren’t they doing this for you?” she asked. Then, she pulled off the hook knives that held the metal web in place, and the victim fell loudly to the ground with a cold thud. “If your sister has gone missing, why aren’t your parents doing something about it instead of just you?”

“I’m pretty sure they’re dead. My dad was a member of the Security Force Elite on Sector One. One day when I came home, I found my mom cut down dead in our living room. My father and sister were nowhere to be found. I know he would have killed anyone who harmed either of them. He and my sister were just gone,” he said and walked cautiously toward her.

“Back up. I don’t like people close, so keep your distance.” She squeezed the metal ball, and the web retracted back inside. Squeezing it locked, she slid it into the pocket of her belt. “Well, look, I have to go. Just… just stay away from me, okay?” Shamira turned away from him and ran at top speed to her motorcycle.

Sounds good right?  You can read my review for it here.

Want to purchase The Pack? Here are the links:

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Books A Million:

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The Pack-Retribution (Book 2) available for review via, comes out in print this September, 2012.

Wednesday 1 August 2012

Blood Moon by Alyxandra Harvey

For Review: Bloomsbury
Published: 5 July 2012

From Goodreads: "I can still smell his blood, Lucy. I can smell it everywhere. It's in the grass, in the air, on me. I'm not safe."

When the vampire tribes convene for the rare Blood Moon ceremonies, Solange Drake is plunged into a battle with her feral nature. The Drake brothers have been raised knowing they had to protect their younger sister at all cost. But forbidden magic and a mysterious stranger have put all of them in terrible danger.
Nicholas is going to have to make a difficult choice: between his girlfriend, Lucy, and his little sister, Solange - blood or love?

It's official: I love this series!

This time the story is narrated by Solange, Nicholas and Lucy - and I love getting the multiple points of view. One thing I will say is that Alyxandra Harvey excels at giving each character a unique voice - I knew instantly who was narrating. And how much do I love Lucy? She really is my favourite character! And Nicholas of course. Actually, I kind of love all the Drakes...Hmm...

The story picks up straight away from the events in Bleeding Hearts - which is good because of that cliff-hanger. This time the story is focused on Solange and what is happening to her. Major creepy if you ask me - and the whole storyline with Nicholas? I was only just (and still am) slightly panicked!  You get some answers by the end but more questions too.  I can't wait to see where Alyxandra Harvey takes this story. Yet again there is a major cliff-hanger making it a guarantee I will pick up the next book in the series as soon as I get my grubby hands on it.  I really can't wait!

There is a short story included at the end that fans of the series will love.  I will devour anything set in this world!  Really, really good - if you haven't tried this series yet I recommend you do. It is great fun!


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