Monday 27 May 2013

I want to read that...

Slayers by C J Hill

From Goodreads: Dragons exist. They’re ferocious. And they’re smart: before they were killed off by slayer-knights, they rendered a select group of eggs dormant so their offspring would survive. Only a handful of people know about this, let alone believe it—these “Slayers” are descended from the original knights and are now a diverse group of teens that includes Tori, a smart but spoiled senator’s daughter who didn’t sign up to save the world.

The dragon eggs have fallen into the wrong hands. The Slayers must work together to stop the eggs from hatching. They will fight; they will fall in love. But will they survive?

I think I got as far as 'Dragons exist' and I was sold!  Plus, how awesome is that cover?  I love it!

Slayers is published (in paperback) August 2013 by Square Fish (US)   Book 2, Friends and Traitors is published in Hardback October 2013

Sunday 26 May 2013

Requiem by Lauren Oliver

For Review: Hodder & Stoughton
Published: 20 March 2013

From Goodreads: Battling against a society in which love has been declared a disease, Lena now finds herself at the centre of a fierce revolution. But the Wilds are no longer the haven they once were as the government seeks to stamp out the rebels. And Lena's emotions are in turmoil following the dramatic return of someone she thought was lost forever...

Told from the alternating viewpoints of Lena and her best friend Hana, Requiem brings the Delirium trilogy to an exhilarating end and showcases Lauren Oliver at the height of her writing powers - emotionally powerful and utterly enthralling.

Considering the end of Pandemonium I was desperate to read this! I had to know what was going to happen - what the implications were for Lena, and of course, I was invested in seeing if they would be able to make a difference.

One of the things I love about these books is Lauren Oliver's writing. I honestly believe she could make a shopping list sound beautiful - she definitely has a way of making you live and breathe what she is writing. I also love that the story isn't *just* about the romance - yes it played a major part for me - but there was also a lot of other characters I was interested in and I wanted to see them make a difference in the world they were forced to live in. Because of this, I did kind of like the ending. I like that it's not defined by who Lena 'chose' - it was more than that. But it does leave things somewhat unfinished. So yes, I would like more. I would be lying if I said I didn't - but I also feel I can fill in those blanks myself and decide how I want the story to continue - and I kind of like that. Still, if Lauren Oliver ever decided to write a fourth book I would so be there...

I can't wait to read whatever Lauren Oliver writes next! I have really enjoyed each book she has written and I am super excited to see where she takes us next.

Friday 24 May 2013

Love Maybe by Heather Hepler

From Goodreads: Just because Piper's birthday is on Valentine's Day does not mean she's a romantic. In fact, after watching her father and then her stepfather leave, she's pretty sure she doesn't believe in love at all. Then her friends concoct a plan to find them all Valentine's dates, and somehow Piper finds herself with the most popular guy in school. But true love never follows a plan, and a string of heartfelt gifts from a secret admirer has Piper wondering if she might be with the wrong guy.

In this heartwarming romance, true love is more than a maybe - and it might be closer than you think.

I really enjoyed Heather Hepler's previous novel The Cupcake Queen when I read it last year so I was looking forward to this - and it's fab! I really enjoyed it.

Piper is such a likable, interesting character. She helps her mother out a lot with her brother and sister (who are seriously awesome - and so cute even though they are little terrors!) - but she has issues with love because not only has her dad left but her step-dad too. Add in Charlie - the boy next door - and a secret admirer - and Piper has to wonder if she believes in love after all.

I loved all the characters in this. As I said above, Piper is great. I loved her family. Jan and her friends are great fun too. I really loved Jan - and was glad she had him. And I adored Charlie!!! Plus I really liked the storyline involving her dad and Beau.   I would have liked even more on that.

I'm looking forward to reading more by this author.

Thursday 23 May 2013

I want to read that...

Racing Savannah by Miranda Kenneally

From Goodreads: Author of Catching Jordan, Miranda Kenneally’s Racing Savannah, about an underprivileged girl training to be a jockey while working in the barn at a high-stakes horse farm whose on-again, off-again relationship with the owner’s son has an upstairs/downstairs effect on race day.

I have really enjoyed all of Miranda Kenneally's books so far so am looking forward to this one!  Plus I really love the cover - the yellow wellies are ace!

For those of you wanting a sneak peek there is an extract on the author's website here

It's published December 2013

Wednesday 22 May 2013

Where You Are by Tammara Webber

For Review: Penguin
Published: 14 March 2013

From Goodreads: Emma, Reid and Graham's story continues in this sequel to Between the Lines, by bestselling author of Easy, Tammara Webber. Emma has pursued her dream - she's trying to live a normal life and attend university. But when a twist of fate means she encounters Graham again in New York, life promises to be anything but ordinary . . .

Having really enjoyed Between the Line I was excited to pick this up and find out what was next for Emma, Graham, Brooke and Reid. I was really pleased to get Graham's POV - I really liked him in Between the Lines and it was really good to get to know him even better.

Despite having Graham and Emma's POV I really did feel as if this was more Reid and Brooke's story. I'm not sure why - and it could just have been me. Maybe it was because we know what Reid and Brooke were up to, whereas Graham and Emma were in the dark? I'm not sure. And it's not a bad thing at all. I think I just went into it expecting more of Graham and Emma rather than a 4 narrative split.

So anyway, Graham and Emma are really sweet. I love them together - and they cope well considering! And I am ashamed to admit this - but I really love Reid too. There is just something about him - I am seriously looking forward to his story!

As for Brooke... well I kind of feel sorry for her to be honest. What she does in this is pretty much unforgivable so I'm interested to see what happens next for her.

Can't wait for Good For You!

Tuesday 21 May 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Favorite Book Covers Of Books I've Read

[Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at Broke and the Bookish]

So I love covers!  I think they really make a difference in whether I pick up a book or not - plus ... well they are pretty!  Here are my favourite covers from books I've read (fairly) recently...

The Waiting Sky by Lara Zielin 
Hourglass by Mira McEntire
Insurgent by Veronica Roth (US cover)

Entangled by Cat Clarke
I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have To Kill You by Ally Carter (UK Cover)
Rules of Attraction by Simon Elkeles (but I actually love all three!)
Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

Long Lankin by Lindsey Barraclough
Amy and Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson (UK cover)
Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer (I LOVE the covers for the whole series!)

What about you?  What are your favourite covers of books you have read?

Monday 20 May 2013

Just for Now by Abbi Glines

For Review: Simon & Schuster
Published: 25 April 2015

From Goodreads: The day Preston Drake figured out that wealthy women paid well for a set of tight abs and a pretty face his life turned around.

The run down rat-infested trailer he had shared with his alcoholic mother and three younger siblings was now only a place he visited to pay the bills and stock the pantry with food.

He no longer worried about his family starving or living without electricity. The money he made entertaining rich older women more than covered his family’s needs and his own. He had it all figured out. Except…

There was this girl.

She was as innocent as he was tainted.

Amanda Hardy wished her knees didn’t get weak when Preston walked into a room. She hated the fact her heart raced when he flashed his smile in her direction. He had a different girl in his bed every night. He was the kind of boy a smart girl ran from. So, why was she coming up with ways to get close to him? Even when it was obvious he wanted to keep her at a distance.

Maybe her heart knew something the world didn’t. Maybe Preston Drake was more than just a pretty face.

I have to admit that Preston wasn't really a character that stood out for me in the previous books - but I did really like Amanda so was keen to read her story. And I found myself really liking Preston.

This time the connection between the two characters felt less like insta-love - having been in the same circle of friends for a while and the fact she'd had a crush on him for ages - so that was nice. Also, I really enjoyed Preston's back story - his brothers and sister and how much he cares about them. Of course, his secret is not good but you are given a good explanation for why he chooses to do it.

Again we get both points of view (brilliant!) and all the previous characters make appearances (also brilliant!) - so all in all I have to say I am really enjoying this series.

Roll on book 5!

Saturday 18 May 2013

The Indigo Spell by Richelle Mead

For Review: Penguin
Published: 12 February 2012

From Goodreads: In the aftermath of a forbidden moment that rocked Sydney to her core, she finds herself struggling to draw the line between her Alchemist teachings and what her heart is urging her to do. Then she meets alluring, rebellious Marcus Finch--a former Alchemist who escaped against all odds, and is now on the run. Marcus wants to teach Sydney the secrets he claims the Alchemists are hiding from her. But as he pushes her to rebel against the people who raised her, Sydney finds that breaking free is harder than she thought. There is an old and mysterious magic rooted deeply within her. And as she searches for an evil magic user targeting powerful young witches, she realizes that her only hope is to embrace her magical blood--or else she might be next.

Populated with new faces as well as familiar ones, the Bloodlines series explores all the friendship, romance, battles, and betrayals that made the #1 New York Times bestselling Vampire Academy series so addictive—this time in a part-vampire, part-human setting where the stakes are even higher and everyone’s out for blood.

I'm really enjoying the Bloodlines series! It is quite different from the Vampire Academy series - more slow paced I think - but I'm finding it equally compelling.

So, we get the aftermath to that 'forbidden moment'. I have to say I was annoyed at Sydney for her reaction - but certain events in this one explain why she might have acted the way she did - and they also have interesting implications for Sydney's behaviour in the future!

I'm also really enjoying the magic in this series! I like that Sydney has that ability - and I'm also very interested to learn more about the Alchemists. I still don't trust them at all. Talking of trust - Marcus is interesting! I'm hoping to see more of him.

There is also a story within the main story arc - girls are being targeted for their magic powers - which is interesting enough and gives Sydney the kick she needs to embrace her magic. Plus it's a good reason for Sydney and Adrian to spend time together!  I'm hoping that in the next book she does that even more.

And yes, I loved the ending...

Can't wait for The Fiery Heart!

Friday 17 May 2013

While it Lasts by Abbi Glines

For Review: Simon & Schuster
Published: 25 April 2013

From Goodreads: Set in the steamy coastal Alabama town of Sea Breeze, an interconnected group of older teens hook up, break up ...and much, much more. Cage York has a free ride to college for baseball - or he did, until he got in trouble for drink-driving. Now he has to give in to his coach's demands and spend his summer baling hay. No hot babes in bikinis waiting to meet a Southern boy to make her vacation complete. Just him and the damned cows. Oh and an uptight, snarky brunette with the biggest blue eyes he's ever seen. Eva Brooks planned out her life step by step when she was eight years old. Not once over the years had she lost sight of her goals. Josh Beasley, her next door neighbour, had been the centre of those goals. He'd been her first boyfriend at seven, her first kiss at ten, her first date at fifteen and her first tragedy at eighteen. The moment she'd received the phone call from Josh's mother saying he'd been killed along with four other soldiers just north of Baghdad, Eva's carefully planned life imploded in the worst way possible. Now she has to deal with the arrogant Cage York and his irritating smile. But as the summer bailing hay rolls by, Cage and Eva learn that what they want (and need) may be something they never saw coming.

So I think it is an understatement to say I was looking forward to reading Cage's story! Having loved him so much in Because of Low (where he possibly stole every scene he was in) - I was really looking forward to a whole book filled with Cage-y-goodness! And yes, I loved it!

So Cage messes up and is sent to a farm to work, where he meets Eva, the farmer's daughter. Straight away there is an intense connection between the two (but I'm not sure if I'd say it is attraction or hatred lol) - but Eva is still coming to terms with the death of her fiancé - so is there room for Cage in her life? And does he want there to be?

I liked Eva. She was different then I thought she'd be - more uptight (but I actually found I liked this - it made her more relatable!) - and it goes without saying that I loved Cage. I was pleased to see Low pop up in this - I really do like the way the stories connect and continue - and there is an obvious set up for the next book in a scene with Preston and Amanda.

Again - this is fun to read, with lots of romance. Yes it is insta-love - but I also find that the characters do find a way to connect properly too (in this case Cage's reaction to hearing about the death of her fiancé and how he treats her after he finds out). I also loved how this one is resolved. And the setting!

So yes, sign me up for Just For Now!

Thursday 16 May 2013

I want to read that...

Spies and Prejudice by Talia Vance

From Goodreads: Fields’ Rule #1: Don’t fall for the enemy.

Berry Fields is not looking for a boyfriend. She’s busy trailing cheaters and liars in her job as a private investigator, collecting evidence of the affairs she’s sure all men commit. And thanks to a pepper spray incident during an eighth grade game of spin the bottle, the guys at her school are not exactly lining up to date her, either.

So when arrogant—and gorgeous—Tanner Halston rolls into town and calls her “nothing amazing,” it’s no loss for Berry. She’ll forget him in no time. She’s more concerned with the questions surfacing about her mother’s death.

But why does Tanner seem to pop up everywhere in her investigation, always getting in her way? Is he trying to stop her from discovering the truth, or protecting her from an unknown threat? And why can’t Berry remember to hate him when he looks into her eyes?

With a playful nod to Jane Austen, Spies and Prejudice will captivate readers as love and espionage collide.

On Amazon this is being described as 'Pride & Prejudice meets Veronica Mars...'  So yes, I'm sold!

It's published 11 June 2013 (US)

Wednesday 15 May 2013

Because of Low by Abbi Glines

For Review: Simon & Schuster
Published: 25 April 2013

From Goodreads: Set in the steamy coastal Alabama town of Sea Breeze, an interconnected group of older teens hook up, break up ...and much, much more. Marcus Hardy had hoped to enjoy a year away at college while he put the summer he'd rather forget behind him. But instead, he's jerked right back his home town of Sea Breeze due to a family crisis. The only bright spot to returning is the hot redhead who sleeps over at his place several times a week. There's just one thing though - she's sleeping in bed with his new roommate, Cage York. Willow "Low" Foster needs a place to live. Running to her best friend Cage's apartment every time her sister kicks her out isn't exactly a long term solution. But Cage has a new roommate and suddenly sleeping over at his apartment isn't such a bad thing. Not when she gets to see those sexy green eyes of Marcus's twinkle when he smiles at her like he wants her there. There's one problem though, Cage is under the disillusion that when he's through sowing his wild oats, he's going to marry Low - an assumption Marcus intends to change. But when his carefully laid plans come crashing down with a revelation he never expected, Marcus will have to choose between Low or his family. Because once the truth comes out ...there's no other choice.

Having already read and loved The Vincent Boys I was very keen to get stuck into her Sea Breeze series - and I loved it! Really easy to read with loads of romance - just my kind of book.

I love the fact that these books are all set in the same place, with the same characters. As this is the second book in the series (after Breathe - which is publishing later in the year) I was concerned I might be starting off in the wrong place - but I shouldn't have worried. The books can easily be read as standalone stories (yes the characters continue but I don't think it ruins anything).

In this story Marcus meets Low - his roommate's friend - and they instantly have a connection. But with Cage thinking he's going to marry Low (eventually!) it causes a little bit of a problem... But that's not the only problem...

I really loved Cage. That was my first thought. Of course, I loved Marcus too - and think he was a better match for Low. I also like the way the story is told from both Marcus and Low's point of view. There is a good twist in the tale too - although I think readers will see it coming - but it's fun waiting for Marcus and Low to catch up.

Really great fun - I read the next two straight after this one I enjoyed it so much (and them too!) Yes, I think they are a bit predictable (but I mean this in a good way!) There is a certain formula that they follow - but I enjoyed that - knowing what I'm going to get going in. Don't change something that works is what I say!

Can't wait for Breathe (I really want to read Sadie and Jax's story!) - and I'm looking forward to reading more of Abbi Glines books in the future.

Tuesday 14 May 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books Dealing With Tough Subjects

Arrrg!  I find it so hard just to choose ten! So... since I guess the idea is to highlight books I decided to just list more.  So here are my top books dealing with tough subjects (in no particular order because that would just finish me off!)

Hold Still by Nina LaCour
Tackles suicide (and depression) and is absolutely stunning. 

The Hate List by Jennifer Brown
Looks at the aftermath of a school shooting from the POV of the shooters girlfriend.  Brilliantly written - I couldn't put it down.

Dear Zoe by Philip Beard
I go on and on about this book but it really is amazing.  Written in the form of a letter to her younger sister who was killed in a hit and run - it is incredibly powerful and raw.  Just brilliant!

Scarred (aka Willow) by 
Deals with self harm and bereavement - it really struck a cord with me. 

What Happens Next by Colleen Clayton
One of my favourite reads last year - it deals with the repercussions of rape and is brilliantly written.  It also has one of my favourite friendship/romances.

Raw Blue by Kirsty Eagar
This also deals with rape and its aftermath - how to move forward.  It exceeded all my expectations when I read it.  And the characterisation is spot on.

Saving Daisy by Phil Earle
Having loved Being Billy I was desperate to read Daisy's story.  This tackles a few issues - all of them head on this and is an amazing story.

Entangled by Cat Clarke
I'd say this tackles the issue of self harm but it's more than that. Just read it!   Bloody amazing!

Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson
This almost destroyed me.  Such a great story and I loved the relationship between the main character and her dad.

Some Girls Are/ Cracked Up to Be / Fall For Anything/ This is Not a Test by Courtney Summers
All of Courtney Summers books tackle tough subjects and have the most amazing characters in them.  I love them all!

You Against Me / Before I Die by Jenny Downham
Both absolutely incredible - Jenny Downham is one of my favourite authors.

Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma
A romance between a brother and sister. Completely broke my heart - I'm still not sure I've recovered.

Just Listen by Sarah Dessen
The first Dessen book I've read and totally brilliant.  It also manages to tackle two tough subjects with equal brilliance.

Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott
Such an uncomfortable read but definitely powerful.

And I'm itching to list more ... but will refrain!

What are your top reads dealing with tough subjects? 

Friday 10 May 2013

Drummer Girl Blog Tour : Q&A and Giveaway

As part of the blog tour for her novel Drummer Girl, Bridget Tyler has stopped by to answer a few question...

Where did you get the idea for Drummer Girl? 

Most of my other work has been in fantasy or science fiction worlds – with Drummer Girl I really wanted to tell the story of a real girl in the real world. I love music and I have years of experience in the entertainment business so it was a natural place for me to look for a challenging, dramatic plot to pit my heroine, Lucy, against. What I discovered was that learning that you have what it takes to be a rock star isn’t all that different than learning you have what it takes to be a fairy princess or a vampire hunter. It’s all about recognizing your special talents and having the courage to use them. Really, that’s the same challenge that faces all of us as we grow up. Do you have the guts to be the very best you? It’s not easy, whether the very best you is a doctor or a teacher or a rock star or a super hero.

I really loved Lucy, Iza, Toni, Robyn and Harper and I enjoyed getting the story from all points of view. Did you have a favourite to write for?

It surprised me, but my favourite POV to write was actually Iza. She’s a lot like I was when I was a teen – too shy for her own good. It was a bit of wish fulfilment for me to give her a crew of awesome (if sometime irresponsible) friends to pull her out of her shell. She also has a really romantic subplot and I’m a sucker for that stuff!

I would so love to read more about these characters! Any chance there will be a sequel?

I’d love to write one! I really fell in love with the Crush girls, so I’d be thrilled to get the chance to tell the rest of their story. Thankfully I think Templar feel the same way, so if the book does well a sequel is very possible.

I loved the setting and music obviously plays a large part in this story. Is music something that is important to you?

Yes! My mother is a piano teacher and an English teacher, so I was surrounded by music and books growing up. For me the two go hand in hand – I can’t write without music.

Did you have a playlist for the book?

Of course! It’s a mishmash of movie soundtracks, 90’s pop and current stuff that’s upbeat and energetic like Kate Nash, The Killers, Imagine Dragons, Miike Snow… the list goes on and on!

I can totally see Drummer Girl as a film or TV series! Who would be your ideal cast?

Well Nicholas Hoult for Trent, no question. He’s exactly the sort of sweet but totally rock and roll type that could play the roll well. Plus he’s super funny. And Nina Dobrev from Vampire Diaries would make a great Harper, though obviously she’d have to go blonde! Vanessa Manaro from Switched at Birth and the Gilmore Girls has always been who I pictured for Lucy (assuming she can do the proper accent, of course)… other than that I’d have to see who fit best with the roles. I really like casting unknown actors, actually. It gives new talent a chance and lets you find the person who best fits the role as written.

What was the publication process like for you?

It’s been both lovely and terrifying – I was very lucky to find a publisher that was super enthusiastic about the book and really understood what it was. Templar have been amazing in guiding me through the process as a first time author. It’s still rather hair-raising (in the best sort of way) to think that words I put together, sitting at home on my laptop, will be in bookstores!

What is your favourite aspect of being a writer? And the most challenging?

I really love the moment when a character comes to life. There’s a very particular point in the process for me when things are suddenly more than the sum of their parts and it feels like my characters are real people with thoughts and feelings of their own that become the story – from then on it’s almost like getting to know new friends, rather than constructing imaginary people, and that’s a pretty amazing feeling. The most challenging aspect is the final stages of a project when you have to go over the text over and over and over again and makes sure all the loose ends are tied up (and all the typos are caught). It can be overwhelming, but seeing the final product is totally worth it!

What’s next for you? Are you working on something at the moment?

I’m finishing up my run as a writer on the 7th season of Burn Notice at the moment, and next up after that is my own pilot, Horizon, which I’ll be producing for USA Networks with Gale Anne Hurd (producer of The Walking Dead and Terminator among many other things) this summer. The show is set during WWII – it’s the story of a young secretary working for the FBI who discovers that her husband’s death in the Pacific Theatre of WWII might have actually been due to aliens, not enemy guns.
Thanks Bridget!  And OMG! I love Burn Notice!!!  Plus Horizon sounds fab!

I also have a giveaway!

It is open to UK entrants and you can win a copy of the brilliant Drummer Girl and a make up set (a few items from the picture above!) Just fill in the form - Good luck:)

This giveaway is now closed.


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