Sunday, 31 August 2014

Review: The Night has Teeth (The Magdeburg Trilogy #1) by Kat Kruger Synopsis:
There's a darkness that lurks in the City of Light

Seventeen-year-old Connor Lewis is chased by a memory. On his first day of kindergarten he bit a boy hard enough to scar the kid for life. Since then he’s been a social outcast at a New York private school.

Through an unexpected turn of good fortune, he lands a scholarship to study in Paris, where everything starts to look up. On the first day he befriends two military brats, and he may finally get a taste of what it’s like to be a normal teenager.

It doesn’t last.

His host family — an alluring young tattoo artist and her moody, handsome boyfriend — inadvertently introduce him to the underworld of werewolves where there are two types: the born and the bitten. Those born to it take the form of elegant wolves, while the latter are cursed to transform into the half-man, half-beast creatures of horror movies. The bitten rarely survive. Unfortunately, Connor is on the wanted list of a four hundred-year-old bitten human who’s searching for both a cure and a means of wiping out werewolves for good.

Connor’s loyalties are tested as he becomes embroiled in a conflict where werewolves, mad science and teen angst collide.

RATED T - Teen 13 and up: May contain violence, crude humour, suggestive themes and/or strong language.

Alcohol - Reference to alcohol use 
Blood - Depiction of blood
Violence - Includes scenes of violence

***I received the eBook free as a review copy from the author in exchange for an honest review***

The Night has Teeth doesn’t sound much like a light and funny read, but it had a fun atmosphere that kept you turning the pages. I’ll admit the mysteries and suspense helped too… This book managed to have it all: the teen angst, funny banter, intriguing secrets, malicious agendas as well as paranormal beasts.

The characters however easily stole the show. They were all so unique; straying from the stereotypes I’ve had my fair share of in the YA genre. In particular is Arden who I have to admit is not the main protagonist, although you can’t consider him a sidekick either. If Connor called him that… well I don’t think he’d live long enough to see the reaction on his face. The dynamic Connor has with Arden is great to read because of Arden’s sullen character which clashes with Connor’s wit. It’s one of the reasons I’m looking forward to the sequel, where I can expect the events in this book will have a drastic effect.

The different relationships Connor has with the others, made this a much more character-driven story than anything else. I liked the direction of the plot, and there were plenty of twists along the way but the synopsis revealed a bit too much for my taste.

This however didn’t decrease from my enjoyment reading the book, so I can see why it won the 34th Atlantic Writing Competition, and I’d definitely recommend to YA readers who want a very quick read.
Favourite Quotes:
“In retrospect, an all-you-can-eat buffet of raw fish is probably not the best idea, unless you’re a penguin. It was like playing “Find the Tainted Meat,” and after three plates, I won!”

“I feel like I gave you my whole life story.”
She casts me a wry look. “If that’s the whole story, your life is pretty lame.”

“Sometimes there’s no shame in running away from our problems. Especially when your problems have sharp fangs and claws to match.”

“The funniest thing about time is that you don’t ever really notice it until you’re waiting for something to happen.”

“Stars are always aligned; it just depends on where you’re standing.”

Saturday, 30 August 2014

The Zombie Apocalypse Book Tag

I saw this tag going around on Youtube a while ago now after Nathan Hale created it and it looked like loads of fun, which is obviously why Lady Bee over at Let Books Bee changed it so it existed among bloggers as well! The lovely Megan over at Books of Fascination tagged me (make sure to check out her blog) so that's what I'm going to do today.

The rules are pretty simple:
1) Choose 5 books from your shelf
2) For each book there will be 2 questions and you have to turn to a random page for each. The first name you see is the answer to the question.

The books I have chosen to do this tag with are:
1) Sea of Monsters (Percy Jackson and the Olympians #2) by Rick Riordan
2) The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
3) Divergent (Divergent #1) by Veronica Roth
4) Half Bad (Half Bad #1) by Sally Green
5) City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments #3) by Cassandra Clare

Now, I'm going to do it by simply going down the list which of course means my first book is...*drum roll*...Sea of Monsters (Percy Jackson and the Olympians #2) by Rick Riordan!

The first question is: The first person to die? Aaaaannndd the first to die is, Annabeth! I'm not really upset by this one, because with her out of the picture it leaves Percy and me *winks*. In my head he's older anyways so simply don't bring up the fact he's only 12...
Anyways, the second question: The person you trip to get away from the zombies? This is, Chrion! To be honest I don't think it matters all that much, after all he does have 4 legs... I'm sure he's not going to fall flat on his face so he won't die, then everyone's happy :)

The next book is The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, and I'm worried about this one because there's someone *cough*Augustus*cough* that can't die, or turn into a zombie, or anything bad!

Third question is: The first person to turn into a zombie? *flips pages* oh look at that, surprise surprise it's Gus. I obviously spoke too soon, because I don't want him turned into a zombie!! I'm going to go sulk in a corner now...
Fourth question: The person that trips YOU to get away from the zombies? Augustus again! But he's already a zombie, so that doesn't work. *flips pages again* If this is Gus again... No it's Hazel! Well that's fair enough.

The third book is Divergent (Divergent #1) by Veronica Roth

The fifth question is: The idiot of the team? There's a couple to choose from... *flips pages* yet it's going to be none of them, and instead it's Four. Just no.
Sixth question which I hope will be nicer: The "brains" of the team? For goodness sake, this is some messed up stuff! It's Peter, I kid you not. I'm not going to be in the team if Peter of all people is the smartest one.

Let's hope the questions are nicer for the fourth book Half Bad (Half Bad #1) by Sally Green (I haven't held my breath)

Seventh question is: The team's medic? Annalise. No. She couldn't help Nathan what here brothers were being total d**** so she can go and try to heal the zombies getting eaten in the process for all I care.
Moving on is the eighth question: The weapon expert? Is Jessica. She would be no help whatsoever! My team officially sucks. End of story.

Right, the last book City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments #3) by Cassandra Clare, this might be okay, it might save me.

The ninth question: The brawler? FINALLY! One that makes sense *hallelujah*. The brawler is Jace. My brilliant (if dangerously suicidal) Jace :D
And finally the last question: The team captain? If I can't say myself (seems like the only way we'd last more than 5 minutes) it is... Sebastian. *sighs* You know what? I'm done, because I'd be dead.

And that is the zombie apocalypse tag! As you can see it did not got well for me, but it was really dun to do!

So I'm going to tag:
The lovely ladies @ Fangirling Misses
Along with anyone who wants to do the tag! If you leave a link to your post in the comments I'll make sure to check it out and comment back.

Friday, 29 August 2014

Review: Worm Winds of Zanzibar (The Alex Trueman Chronicles #2) by Martin Dukes Synopsis:
Alex Trueman is a boy in danger. His adventures in the strange world of Intersticia were recounted in "Caught in a Moment," the first volume in this trilogy and have brought him to the attention of dark powers amongst the angels. Malcolm, Alex's protector in the angelic realm of Elysium, snatches Alex and his friends away, just in time to prevent him from falling into the clutches of those whose intentions are of the most sinister kind.

In this second volume, Alex finds himself stranded in a different world, a world that resembles nineteenth century East Africa but one that is threatened by a terrible fate. Alex has been told that he has a special power, a power that makes him unique. Caught between the perils of crazed despots and the servants of malevolent angels, menaced by the threat of a cataclysmic natural disaster, Alex must discover the nature of his power before it is too late.

***I received the paperback free as a review copy from the author in exchange for an honest review***

Martin Dukes proved that he could create an interesting new world in his books that still relate to our own with Intersticia: the moment between moments, and he’s gone and done it again! We’ve moved from Intersticia to Zanzibar which is a universe parallel to the Middle Eastern. It’s incredibly well done, and there was no information dropping as he introduced us to a different world. This has often been a make or break aspect for me in previous novels, and the fact that he delivered it so fluently is a clear reflection of his talents as an author.

I found Zanzibar itself fascinating with its ruler Jalil usually referred to as The Sultan. He’s a very important character to the story as would expect, and in a way you see him develop change as much as the characters we knew from the prequel Caught in a Moment.

This of course includes Alex who has once again got himself stuck in a very sticky situation. He’s also managed to drag along Kelly and Henry, who with no previous involvement in any “weird” circumstances deals with it considerably well. So long as you don’t count the way his sharp tongue gets him into more than simple scratches and scrapes.

Kelly on the other hand, well she adapted a bit too well. I was always rooting for her simply because of the way Alex saw her, so I can’t help resent the way she cast him aside so much in favour for some of the other elements of Zanzibar. Unlike the others (particularly Alex) she grew too comfortable with her temporary surroundings. Meanwhile Alex was the voice of reason as he struggled not just with the surroundings but staying alive. Somewhere along the line she forgot this.

There was of course a lot of times where the fact they were different from the locals was made starting clear, and it never ended well. In Alex’s words “If this was ‘safety’, Alex could hardly imagine what ‘peril’ must be like.”

So in the end, with engaging characters and an enthralling plot Worm Winds of Zanzibar is a definite read for people who enjoyed Caught in a Moment. Looking back I see that you probably could start from this book in the series, but to properly appreciate and simply enjoy it to the full extent, you should read the first.
Favourite Quotes:
“You’re something a bit special,” he said. “I mean real special. That’s what the big issue is. But how special? I guess you’ve got to find that out for yourself.”

“He had not actually been hurled to the earth, but by the time Alex had scrambled awkwardly into the saddle the horse was left in no doubt as to who was in charge. It was not Alex.”

“Oh yes, everything’s just fine and dandy,” he said. “I’ll be glad when this lousy nag’s finished killing me and I can get on with being dead.”

“A man must pick his friends with care but his enemies more carefully still.”

“Life is a blink in the eye of eternity, too brief to be wasted, not even a moment of it.”

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Waiting on Wednesday (11)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill of Breaking the Spine, which spotlights the releases we’re eagerly awaiting.

The Jewel by Amy Ewing
Release Date: September 2nd 2014

Goodreads Synopsis:
The Jewel means wealth. The Jewel means beauty. The Jewel means royalty. But for girls like Violet, the Jewel means servitude. Not just any kind of servitude. Violet, born and raised in the Marsh, has been trained as a surrogate for the royalty—because in the Jewel the only thing more important than opulence is offspring.

Purchased at the surrogacy auction by the Duchess of the Lake and greeted with a slap to the face, Violet (now known only as #197) quickly learns of the brutal truths that lie beneath the Jewel’s glittering facade: the cruelty, backstabbing, and hidden violence that have become the royal way of life.

Violet must accept the ugly realities of her existence... and try to stay alive. But then a forbidden romance erupts between Violet and a handsome gentleman hired as a companion to the Duchess’s petulant niece. Though his presence makes life in the Jewel a bit brighter, the consequences of their illicit relationship will cost them both more than they bargained for.

So many people are excited for this book and after reading its synopsis I finally understand why. I probably would have read it anyway regardless, because I love the cover and need it on my shelf!

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Review: Into the Blind by Helen Rena Synopsis:
In a world where everyone is gifted, be it in dancing, lightning-bringing, or death-giving, Ever is born…all-powerful. 

For this gift, she is kidnapped and trafficked at birth. Fifteen years later, Ever still hasn’t seen even a glimmer of her powerful gift. Locked in an abandoned mall in New York City, she’s fighting to survive her captivity, her brutal guards, and the other gifted kids in her cell. She would do anything to escape.

Fox is gifted with time manipulation. Like Ever, he hasn’t come into his gift yet; like Ever, he hates the mall; and like Ever, he longs to be free. But there’s one thing he values above his freedom—it’s Ever’s love…

…yet, when the two make a desperate attempt to escape, this attempt proves so dark and twisted that it just might destroy Ever’s love for Fox.

***I received the eBook free as a review copy from the author in exchange for an honest review***

I still can’t quite get my head around everything that happened because it was so surprising, but what I do understand without a doubt, is that I loved it. It was fast-paced, thrilling, dramatic and unbelievably enjoyable. What really made this book though was the ending… that ending… just wow…

I can’t say what happened because it would be such a major spoiler, but I can say that it had me gaping at the book like a beached goldfish as my mind in denial failed to comprehend. You simply need to read this book, so then you get it and we can rave together!

What’s even better is that it isn’t just this moment which made me love this book, but all the little ones up to it. Many authors can come up with a big twist every now and then, but not all can make you just as interested in the downtime moments and care just as much about the characters when nothing (I say nothing but there was always something going on in this book) is happening to them. Helen Rena is one of the amazing few. So I need more of her work.

As I’ve already mentioned her talent for writing is undeniable, the characters she creates feel incredibly real and easily relatable so the connections you have with them feel just as real. In particular was the main protagonist Ever, she is incredibly brave and you can’t deny she’s been through a lot already but still there is more to come. I loved following her journey of self-discovery; watching her change and develop, and not just in her powers.

It was also interesting seeing how she acted with her friends companions.

In the end, with a story that had intrigued me simply from the synopsis and characters that had me from the get go: Into the Blind is a suspenseful read that I can’t express how much I enjoyed. My only problem is that I need more! It works well as a stand-alone, yes, but I simply want to know what happens next. Instead I’ll just have to re-read another time so I can see it from the different perspective, after all because beggars can’t be choosers.
Favourite Quotes:
“You are too kind to scold me, so I will do it myself: I am a moron.”

“But there are plenty of laws nobody has ever broken. Like gravity, for example. Or morality. Or the law that everyone poops now and then. And besides, it’s insane to build your life on hopes of being an exception to some rule.”

“By the ninety-eighth floor, however, all that stopped entertaining me; on the 112th, not to go crazy, I forced myself to quit wondering if this cursed building had an elevator; and after the 150th, I stopped counting the stupid floors.”

“And then the floor careened under my feet, but not because I couldn’t stand or anything like that. No it was because Ii was laughing–killing one’s enemies was so much fun.”

Monday, 25 August 2014

Review: The Rise of Mallory (Everville #3) by Roy Huff Synopsis:
As the epic journey continues, a victorious Owen Sage stands undefeated against his enemies. His last battle in Everville gave rise to a new insidious evil, Mallory; whose determination to defeat him opens an unexplored Pandora’s box. Owen's search for truth will unveil the mystery and surprising insights surrounding himself and his friends at Easton Falls University. New creatures will be uncovered and the true value of friendship will be tested, as Owen embarks on yet another battle in Everville.

***I received the eBook free as a review copy from the author in exchange for an honest review***

The Rise of Mallory is easily the best book in the series so far, and in my eyes a fitting end to all the character’s story. I understand that there is still 1 (at least) book(s) to be written and published but I love the way that this book was concluded and while it’s unusual for me to stop a series half way through to me it has been concluded in the most satisfying way. Even with minor plotlines still left open.

It wasn’t just the ending that made this the best book, but I finally felt true connections to the characters which was something I’d not realised how much I’d missed. This then helped the pace as well as increasing my interest. There was a also lot less time spent on scheming and more on the results of the plans. Of course there was still a lot, especially with Mallory who played a much bigger part than before.

With him comes disaster for Owen as he faces yet another life-changing decision. To choose between his original goal for which he sacrificed so much, and remembering the beautiful shreds of happiness he found in such a low time; his decision won’t be easy.

They never have been, in this captivating series.
Favourite Quotes:
 “An evil deed can be forgiven. While it may not be forgotten, the deed is not the doer, and we must be willing to forgive, else we risk exposing ourselves to the same evil.”

“In the end, out life is simply the sum of all our consequences from the sum of all our choices.”

“If you trust your instincts, victory will be your reward.”

Review: The City of Worms (Everville #2) by Roy Huff Synopsis:
College freshman Owen Sage has just started to understand the darkness trying to overtake Everville and the earthly realm. With the help of The Keeper and the Fron army, Owen has managed to buy some time, but new problems have already emerged, new secrets need to be revealed, and the race against time to stop Them from conquering both dimensions has only just begun. The Keeper, Owen Sage, and his friends at Easton Falls University must now battle threats from within. To do it, they must reunite with familiar creatures and join forces with new ones as they navigate their journey to the truth that awaits them in Everville.

***I received the eBook free as a review copy from the author in exchange for an honest review***

I’m still under the impression that this series has a lot of potential, but once again I don’t think it met it quite yet.

This book while still focused around Owen, spent a lot of time doing character as well as world development elsewhere. New characters were introduced left right and centre, and I’d only just got a feel for Owen and his friends so it didn’t work for me.

Huff’s writing has always been filled with long and detailed descriptions, this book was no exception, and although it made sure you knew exactly what was going on and where, it made me feel more detached than it has previously and I felt a lot more like a bystander to the story than living it.

Something that I’d consider an impressive feat, was how even with these descriptions he was able to weave a lesson into the story. It’s subtle but the way it comes into play in the plot also makes it powerful. Owen has to make some important choices in this book that can shape a lot more than just his life at that moment, so to teach the importance of all decisions and their outcomes whether they affect only that day or the rest of their lives and who they become is a great thing.
Favourite Quotes:
“The battles that we fight are not against the greater evil or the greater good that exists in the multiverse; those battles have already been decided, like the rise and fall of tides in a great ocean. The real battles are the ones we fight from within. The real battles are the choices we make every day and what we learn from those choices.”

“Despite the great losses that we suffered, it is necessary that we remember what is important, why we move on, and why we live. The goodness that is in each of us, the friends and family that we hold dear, and the love that we have for each other makes all the suffering in the world worth the pain.”

Review: The First Pillar (Everville #1) by Roy Huff Synopsis:
Owen Sage is the emblematic college freshman at Easton Falls University. With all the worries about his first year in college, he was not prepared for what would happen next. His way of life was flipped upside down when he mysteriously crossed into another dimension, into the beautiful land of Everville. His excitement was abruptly halted when he discovered that there was a darkness forged against both the natural world, which he knew well, and the new land which he discovered, Everville. He must devise a plan to save both worlds while joining forces with the race of Fron and The Keepers, whom both harbor hidden secrets he must learn in order to gain power over the evil that dwells in The Other In Between. With a race against time to save both worlds, his short time at Easton Falls did not quite prepare him for the evil, dark forces he must fight in order to conquer The Other In Between.

***I received the eBook free as a review copy from the author in exchange for an honest review***

I have always been a huge fan of fantasy books so I went into Everville eager but also anxious, and in the end, while it wasn’t exactly what I expected it was still enjoyable.

A lot of the book was focused on landscape descriptions over characters, so while I had a very vivid image of the different worlds it took me a while to get into the story by connecting to the characters. This is what I think may stump some types of people when reading this book, especially if they’re looking for a fast-paced action fantasy.

However if you stick with it, and read through the word building it’s well worth it by the time you reach the end. Definitely a promising start to the series, and I’m looking forward to seeing where it goes.
Favourite Quotes:
“If you let reason alone control your choices, you lose the power of intuition. If you let emotion control your choices, you will be a slave to every minor tragedy.”

“I’ve always believed that truth is found by using logic and reason to sort through the facts and eliminate the contradictions. I guess the question then becomes, what do you do when you don’t have all the facts?”

Saturday, 23 August 2014

Blog Tour: Tortured Souls (The Orion Circle #1) by Kimber Leigh Wheaton

 Tortured Souls
The Orion Circle #1

by Kimber Leigh Wheaton

YA Paranormal Romance
June 29. 2014
Sea Dragon Press

Amazon * Goodreads

Sometimes Rest in Peace isn't an option.

Kacie Ramsey sees ghosts—and it's ruining her life. Her mother left, her father blames her, and no matter how hard she tries, she can't keep the ghosts away. Now a new power has emerged. Nightly visions of grisly murders and a relentless predator draw her to the brink of insanity.

When the phantom appears at a party, Kacie's longtime crush, Logan, saves her. He invites her to join the Orion Circle, a group of supernatural hunters with chapters in schools all over the country. Through the Circle, Kacie learns to embrace her spiritual powers, and for the first time in her life she feels in control rather than a victim.

But the Foxblood Demon will not give up so easily. A demented serial killer in life who trapped the souls of the thirteen children he murdered, imprisoning them within the walls of his mansion. Now in death, he plots his return while drawing power from the pure souls of the children. He recognizes something in Kacie he's never seen before—a medium powerful enough to provide a vessel for his tainted soul.

Kacie can't ignore the tortured souls of the children crying out to her every night. With Logan at her side, she will fight the Foxblood Demon. But can they banish this powerful phantom, or will Kacie lose not only her body, but her eternal soul to the monster.

***I received the eBook free as a review copy from the author in exchange for an honest review***

What I loved most about this book was that nothing about it felt forced. The writing was fluent but not to the point where the descriptions are too long or filled with adjectives so it seems “poetic”. The relationships between the characters were strong, and not to the point where immediately after dating they’re willing to sacrifice everything including their lives for their partner.

I’ll admit the beginning was a little fast; you’re immediately dumped into Kacie’s life at the most crucial moments, so from there on out her life has drastically changed. But this worked well for me, because a good beginning is crucial, and if it’s just filler so you get “a feel for the characters” (an author’s excise for not knowing what to write and how to start it) I’ll put it down. If the author can’t come up with something interesting for a start, where’s the hope for the rest of the novel?

Tortured Souls kept the fast pace, so it was very much a quick and light read; perfect for YA fans. Particularly readers who like books that are light with a sweet romance, but still have that threat of danger and darkness that comes from a plot containing so much death. The plot was easy to follow and transgressed smoothly, but not only that, you felt everything you were meant to. Walking through the dark tunnels you felt as anxious as the characters, and listening to some poor ghost’s story you felt just as sympathetic. To feel emotionally involved so quickly is great.

Which is why I was glad Kacie found the elite group, The Orion Circle, when she did. I can’t even imagine what would’ve happened if she had no-one there for her still. The Circle didn’t just provide her with a better understanding of all things supernatural but people who could understand her in a way her family refused to. It’s tragic how much she went through alone, especially so young, but (and forgive me if I sound horrible) it made her a better, and stronger character. She did lose some of this fight once she found Logan, almost passing responsibility onto him for a lot of things, but it leaves room for development which is what I’ve seen a lot of authors do. Doesn’t matter that it can be infuriating at the time, by the end of the novel/series you see how they’ve grown and this does nothing but add to the story.

I know a lot of you will be wondering about Logan, because I’m one to rave about the love interests in books even if comes out as a load of nonsense, but the reason I haven’t mentioned him so much is not because I didn’t like him, he was just too perfect. Everyone has their imperfections which you embrace, but Logan had none. Nada. Zilch. Instead of improving his character it just made him seem surreal and more 2D than good characters should be. He was the perfect boyfriend always there for Kacie, perfect friend, perfect student, perfect member of the circle… I needed the catch.

I’m expecting that a lot of this will be revealed in the next book, so I look forward to when it comes out. It was a great paranormal read that’s for sure, so I’d recommend to any YA fans who love a good ghost/romance story.
Favourite Quotes:
“Gavin is not on my good side right now. Between his flame of the week taking up my bathroom for over an hour and his Spongebob Squarepants marathon with the guys – which just had to include a cereal fight – I’m ready to end his pathetic existence. What four grown guys see in that yellow sponge is beyond me. Maybe it makes them feel smart by comparison.”

“Who are you?” I shout to be heard above the sinister cackling. Someone has been watching too many melodramatic old movie villains.”

“Terror. Stomach clenching, throat closing, silent screaming panic. When you become aware there’ll be no escape – that moment where all hope dies.”

“Sometimes I think fate hates me.”

“I’m a member of an exclusive club at school, the Orion Circle. Perhaps you’ve heard of us?” he asks, cocking his head to the side.
My eyebrows shoot up at his admission, and I stumble a bit on a crack in the sidewalk. He grabs my elbow to steady me. Not trusting my voice to work, I nod in response. Of course I’ve heard of the secretive Orion Circle—everyone has. Speculation as to the nature of the club runs the gamut from academic to secret society.
The moment we enter the park, Kodiak prances in excitement, eager for the wild trails up ahead. This time of morning wildlife sightings are plentiful. Kodiak lunges at a squirrel crossing our path. I make a clicking noise with my tongue, and the dog reverts to his obedient behavior. Pavement gives way to a dirt trail, forcing me to slow my pace due to the uneven footing.
“I think you should come to our meeting this afternoon. I’ll find you later today and give you an invitation.”
His offer blindsides me, and I nod like an idiot, my head bobbing a few too many times. Somehow I manage to smile at him before returning my gaze to the trail. Wow, the Orion Circle and Logan in one day. I feel like I’m floating on a cloud until a rock brings me back to Earth. After stumbling a few steps, Logan’s hand on my arm is the only thing that keeps me from falling.
If I continue to run down this dirt trail, I’m afraid I might fall to my death. It seems I’m having a hard time seeing anything other than an image of Logan’s handsome face. I glance up at him, surprised by the concern etched across his face.
“Are you okay? You didn’t twist your ankle, did you?”
“No, I’m fine, really,” I reply as a hot flush creeps from my neck to my face. “But my mind is a million miles away, and I’m afraid I’ll break a leg on this trail if we keep going.”
“We’ll head back, then,” he says before turning to walk back to the park entrance.
“Thanks for understanding,” I say, relieved we are walking rather than running.
“I only got a glimpse of your vision,” he says in a soft voice. “It was bad. Real bad. Don’t worry, I’ll help you, I promise. I think you’ll feel a lot better after the Orion Circle meeting.”
His words fill me with warmth along with a feeling of contentment. Perhaps this vision isn’t so bad. I mean, it brought me closer to Logan, after all.

1) Hi Kim, thanks for sparing some time for this interview, can you tell us a little about your book Tortured Souls which is the first in The Orion Circle series?
Tortured Souls introduces the Orion Circle, a group of teenage (and adult) paranormal hunters. The Orion Circle series will explore many aspects of the paranormal, including werewolves and vampires. Tortured Souls is about a young physical medium tormented by the spirit of a serial killer and his victims. Main character Kacie Ramsey must learn to embrace rather than hide her power in order to save the trapped souls of the children and banish the evil specter for good. Tortured Souls also introduces the other members of the Orion Circle. Different characters will be featured in the main character role as the series progresses.

2) What was your inspiration for Tortured Souls?
I love the paranormal. It’s been somewhat of an addiction for years. The Orion Circle is my exploration of that love. I started with ghosts in Tortured Souls because they are my favorite. I’ve been reading ghost stories since I was a young girl. To call it an obsession would be fair.

3) Can you talk us through how you get into the right zone for your writing? Any particular music? Or anything you have nearby?
Well, first of all my muse needs to be awake. If she’s sleeping, I may as well find something else to do. I keep my laptop nearby all the time in case inspiration strikes. Once I’m ready to write, I need my playlist (which always inspires me when all else fails), a diet Coke, and that’s about it. Each novel I write has a different playlist. Hard rock tends to be my inspiration for urban fantasy, while Celtic lilts influence my fantasy writing.

4) What’s the best/worst writing advice you’ve ever received?
Best- Never give up. If you love writing—do it. Reading always comes down to personal taste. Some people will love your writing and some will not. Follow your heart.
Worst- A book cannot be written without extensive written plotting and outlining. I know many writers love to plot everything out on paper, but that just isn’t who I am. I will meditate for weeks before starting a novel, plotting it out in my head almost like watching a movie. I spend time getting to know the characters, put them in different scenarios to see how they react. By the time I start writing, I know my characters very well and have a basic idea of the plot line. But I don’t write it down… other than quick notes once in a while to jog my memory.

5) What are some of your favourite movies, and what actors/actresses could you see playing the main characters from your book?
Favorite Movies: Ghostbusters, Transformers, Terminator 2, Men in Black, The Avengers, X-men (all of them), Raiders of the Lost Ark, Moulin Rouge, Star Wars—All six (well maybe not 4).
Nicola Peltz as Kacie
Lucas Till as Logan
Liam James as Daniel
Nathan Kress as Carl
Chloe Grace Moretz as Rebecca
Elizabeth Gillies as Raven

6) How and when did you first realise you loved writing and wanted to be an author? What was the first thing you ever wrote?
I’ve been writing since I was a little girl. I can’t really remember the first thing I wrote… it’s been too long. Most likely it was a fairy tale retelling since I was rather addicted to those when I was a girl. The first thing I really remember writing was a short story about a girl and her dragon in fifth grade. I won a state-wide competition for that story, so it was quite exciting.

7) When can we anticipate the second instalment, and what can we expect for the rest of the series?
I hope to have The Orion Circle #1.5 (Title Pending) released in November. It is an anthology of novellas and short stories featuring the POV of various Orion Circle members. Book #2 will be released in the spring of 2015.

8) Do you have any more projects in the works or can you share some ideas for future ones?
I’m currently working on a YA urban fantasy, Bitter Envy, which is the first in a series. I’m also working on book #1.5 and #3 in the Light Chronicles series. In addition, I already have the plot for the third Orion Circle book ready to go. My imagination works much faster than my brain and fingers.

Quick Questions
Fan fiction yay or nay? Yay
Ebook or paperback? ebook
Tea or coffee? Neither
Zombies or vampires? Vampires

About the Author

Kimber Leigh Wheaton is a bestselling YA/NA author with a soft spot for sweet romance. She is married to her soul mate, has a teenage son, and shares her home with three dogs, four cats, and lots of dragons. No, she doesn’t live on a farm, she just loves animals. Kimber Leigh is addicted to romance, videogames, superheroes, villains, and chocolate—not necessarily in that order. (If she has to choose, she’ll take a chocolate covered superhero!) She currently lives in San Antonio, TX but has been somewhat a rolling stone in life, having resided in several different cities and states.

Website Twitter * Goodreads Author Page

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Thursday, 21 August 2014

I Won a Liebster Award!

I am so excited to announce that Kyla over at Book Buddies PH nominated me for the Leibster Award, and while I was really honoured being the newbie I am I had no clue what it was! So of course I took to Google... I found out that rather than being like an actual award or prize, it is kind of like a chain letter that goes over the internet from blogger to blogger as a way of spreading the word of these new blogs.
I also found out that if you receive a nomination and choose to accept (which not everyone does) it basically means you've won it! Which is where I again thank Kyla.

The award also comes with some rules (that you complete for accepting):
1) Link and thank the blogger who nominated you.
2) Answer the 11 questions they asked.
3) Pick 11 other bloggers with no more than 200 followers to nominate.
4) Ask them 11 questions and let them know you nominated them by commenting on their blog.

Here are my answers to Kyla's 11 questions:
1) What book(s) do you want to be on the screen someday?
A lot of my favourite books already are movies (good or bad, you can figure that out) and others have had the rights sold, so it's a hard choice. However I'd love to see The Dawn of Eden series by Julie Kagawa made into films because they're so awesome there's not a lot they could do wrong... Actually change that, if they stuck to the book there's not a lot they could do wrong.

2) What is your favourite book of all time?
I can never pick just one or even one series, but after finishing City of Heavenly Fire recently I'd have to say The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare.

3) If you could be in a paranormal book, what would you be, werewolf or vampire?
Vampire because they're much more bad-ass; we can just forget about the drinking blood bit, especially since I'm actually vegetarian.

4) Who is your favourite author?
Favourite author belongs to favourite series so Cassandra Clare. Suzanne Collins doesn't have enough books in my eyes to be a favourite author (and I didn't even like Mockingjay).

5) What's the best book(s) you've read this year?
Since I've already mentioned Cassandra Clare's & Julie Kagawa's books I'll go for Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder and The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey.

6) If you could live in a book, what book would it be and why?
I know this is a pretty common answer, but it would have to be the Harry Potter series, because who doesn't want to go to Hogwarts? Then in the summer you'll still be in the wizarding world.

7) Why did you join the blogging community?
I've always loved reading as a whole but when I found the YA genre over a year ago it was like a door opened, and then with it I found all the fandoms and blogging sites. It was immediately something I wanted to be a part of because I didn't have many friends who shared the same interest in books as me, but it took me a while to find the courage to post my thoughts and feelings online. I still haven't had this blog very long but it's been great so far and opened even more doors for me.

8) Describe the last book you read in 3 words and what book was it?
I last read the Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black: absolutely bloody brilliant!

9) Do you fall for fictional guys, if so, can you name at least two of them?
Only like every single book I read...! The classics are obviously Augustus from The Fault in Our Stars, Jace from The Mortal Instruments, and Peeta from The Hunger Games (don't you dare say Gale) and while I love all of these I also love Daemon from The Lux Series and Maxon from The Selection Series. I could name about 100 more so I'll leave it there.

10) What's the best thing about blogging in your experience?
Meeting all the new people whether it's authors, fellow bloggers or fellow avid readers that I wouldn't have met otherwise.

11) What is/are your favourite book blog(s)?
I have a list in the side bar that have a few of my favourites but some that aren't mentioned are Girl in The Woods Reviews and A Book Paradise.

Below are the 11 bloggers I am nominating for The Leibster Award:
Rachel @ A Perfection Called Books
Anna @ Books, Quotes & Dimples
Erin @ The Hardcover Lover
Mikky @ Nocturnal Predators Reviews
Sandee @ Book Ramblings of a Whimsical Reader
Joanne @ Spantalian's Book Reviews
Robin @ Where Books Lead Us
Mercedes @ The YA Craze
Clarissa @ Books Equal Awesomeness 
Naomi @ The Perks of Being a Bookworm
Alexandria @ The Book's Buz

And here are the 11 questions you need to answer:
1) Why did you start blogging?
2) What's your favourite experience related to blogging so far?
3) What is/are your favourite book blog(s)? Excluding Enchanted by YA of course ;)
4) What's your favourite book(s) so far this year?
5) What's your favourite book/series OF ALL TIME?
6) If you were shipwrecked on a desert island which 1 series would you want with you?
7) Any book turn-offs?
8) What do you eat while blogging/reading?
9) If you lived in a book and could have the love interest for yourself with the female protagonist out the way, what book and who would you choose?
10) Is there a character you love to hate in a book?
11) Do you read books more than once?

Since posting I have also been nominated by Emma @ My Husband is Fictional , Priya @ Priya Appleby , Tia @ Read it Now , Nikki @ Love at First Write , Emily @ Follow the Yellow Book Road , Jennie @ A Bookworm Called Jennie, Carina @ My Addiction: Books, Britt @ Books by Britt, Amethyst Bookwyrm Lauren @ Always Me, Gennifer @ Ready, Set, Read! & lastly Busy Brunette @ Busy Brunette's Bookshelf

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Author Interview: Ceinwen Langley

Today I have an interview with the amazing Ceinwen Langley about her book The Edge of the Woods (you can find my review here). So without furthur ado:

1) Hi Ceinwen, thanks for sparing some time for this interview, can you tell us a little about your book Edge of the Woods which is a standalone novel?
Thanks for having me! The Edge of the Woods follows Emma, a seventeen year old girl on the verge of coming of age, which in her village means having to find a husband if she wants any hope of a decent future. The problem there – other than it being completely unfair – is that she’s not an ideal candidate. Her father died when she was little, leaving them no money to live on and forcing her mother to work as a cleaner (very shameful), she’s headstrong and a little too quick to speak up for herself, and she spends time with undesirables. It’s an uphill battle, and there are only two eligible men her age – not enough to go around. 
Meanwhile, Emma has started to dream about a boy in the woods that surround their village. Ignoring the horror stories and rules about the village, dismissing the amount of girls her age who have disappeared into them over the years, she begins to look forward to the dreams as an escape from her increasingly grim future. But there’s some truth to the myths, and Emma is soon presented with a choice: fight for her future, or run from it. 
It’s a coming of age fantasy with a bit of romance, a bit of adventure, and a lot of drama. It’s pretty fun! 

2) Did you consider a sequel for Edge of the Woods or was it always intended a standalone?
I always planned for The Edge of the Woods to be a single story. As much as I love reading series, sometimes I love devoting an afternoon or day to one complete story, which is hard to come by in fantasy, and as my debut novel, I really wanted to ease myself into the world of novel writing and publishing by writing a standalone. 
But that said, I’ve had so many requests for a sequel that I’d be lying if I said I haven’t thought about it! I don’t want to write one for the sake of it, and I’ve moved on to other projects so it’s not on the cards right now, but I do think there’s potential for future story in Emma’s world, and I know which characters I’d follow next. I promise that as soon as I know what they get up to, I’ll start writing. 

3) What was your inspiration for Edge of the Woods?
I wanted to write a fantasy story with a proactive protagonist, where creepy behaviour isn’t rewarded and with an array of interesting female characters.

4) What scenes were your favourite and least favourite to write?
If we’re speaking broadly, pretty much every scene between Emma and Mama and Emma and Mona were really fun to write. But if I have to choose one favourite scene, and it’s a bit of a spoiler so I’ll keep it vague, is when Emma finally gets Very Fed Up, has a bit of a shout, and picks up the fire poker. I spent so much time building up to that moment that writing it was a really wonderful release. 
As for my least favourites, the scenes with Mayor Jones were pretty unpleasant to write. But the scenes I struggled most to write were the scenes in the woods. Just from a technical standpoint, they were really hard to get right. I didn’t know how to portray Emma’s experience, how to portray the creatures close up, how to shine a little more light on Lonesome from Emma’s fairly constrictive first person point of view. I was rewriting those scenes up until the last possible second, but I’m pretty happy with how they finally turned out. 

5) How much of your characters are based on your traits or someone you know personally?
I don’t intentionally base any of my characters on anyone, myself included, but physical and personality traits do end up sneaking in. Mama sleeps a lot like my Dad used to, Mona has a very similar sense of humour to me, Stranger looks a lot like my dog. Actually, the dog thing was on purpose. 

6) Can you talk us through your personal approach to writing a book?
My general process is pretty simple, and really focuses on editing – which is where I feel I do a lot of my best work. So I usually start with a really broad idea of my setting, my main character or two, and the overall theme of the book. Often I’ll know where I want it to end up, and the journey I want my character to have taken, which helps flesh things out later. 
I take these ideas and I throw them into a word document and flesh out the plot, organising what I know happens in the story chronologically and the emotional arc of my character, and then filling in the gaps to figure out what happens in between and what actions or events lead to one another. It’s like a really intricate puzzle, and it’s actually a lot of fun. But then, I really like doing jigsaws. 
For my first draft, I take the plotting document and write out the scenes as I have them, and any others that arise organically from what I’m doing. This is where a lot of side characters are born, and where I start to really get to know my main characters. My first drafts always come in short, often because they’re lacking the smaller but still important character development scenes and breather scenes. But it’s also I tend to really underwrite my first drafts. Unlike a lot of authors who find they right way more than necessary in their first draft and spend the next few cutting down and honing, I only write the bare bones, skipping most of the description and pretty language and keeping any dialogue - just enough for me to understand what the scene is about and what it leads into and what impact it has on my characters. Once that’s done, then I spend the next few drafts going back over it and filling in the details, really developing the characters and ironing out logic gaps and inconsistencies. By about the fourth draft I send it to an editor, and then I make any changes, send it to some beta readers (I do this the opposite way to a lot of people, who send their story to their betas before the editor) and have about five people – including a proper editor – check it for silly errors. By the end of this process I hopefully have a strong, interesting, error free book. But I also really need a month or so off to rest my brain at the end of it!

7) How and when did you first realise you loved writing and wanted to be an author? What was the first thing you ever wrote?
The first thing I ever wrote was a half-page story about an alien invasion. I was six years old and won ten dollars for it. I don’t actually remember ever realising that I loved writing, it’s just something I’ve always done. In high school I wrote stories for friends birthdays, dabbled in fanfiction and filled floppy discs (which thankfully did not survive the ravages of time) with this terrible fantasy epic. I decided I wanted to be a famous author when I was about ten, and always sort of thought I might write a book ‘someday’ as I got older, but I went into film and television writing when I started University and other than one or two short stories didn’t touch the idea of seriously writing and publishing a novel until the middle of last year. Sometimes I wish I’d started earlier, but I think spending a good few years working in television has really helped my storytelling ability and really killed any urge to write purple prose. 

8) Do you have any more projects in the works or can you share some ideas for future ones?
I have many ideas for future novels, and two first drafts currently in the works. One is a YA fantasy/fairytale novella about a girl who has to save her father from a witch. It’s kind of my tribute to stories and films about brave young girls facing magical odds – Alice’s Adventures, Labyrinth, Studio Ghibli and Guillermo Del Toro movies, which have all had a huge influence on me growing up and become an adult – and a writer. The other is the first book in a YA sci-fi/dystopian trilogy, which I’m really excited about.

Quick Questions
Fan fiction yay or nay? Yay! It’s a great way for fans to communicate with each other and spend more time with a world and characters they’ve fallen in love with, and it can be a really great training ground for newer writers. 
Ebook or paperback? I read both, but given the choice I’ll still go paperback. Unless it’s a George R. R. Martin book. I’ve accidentally smacked myself in the head with those too many times when I’m reading in bed. 
Tea or coffee? Tea – green, fruity or herbal
Zombies or vampires?  In books, TV and film, zombies. In real life, probably vampires. I’d never survive any sort of monster encounter, so I figure vampires are a slightly less terrible way to go. the Author
Ceinwen Langley (pronounced Kine-Wen) is an Australian television writer and author. 
Born in a desert town with less than 300 people, one TV channel and nothing to do, Ceinwen learned to entertain herself by reading and making up her own stories. The habit stuck, and she's been trying to make a living out of it ever since. 
Ceinwen has worked in development on several local children's shows, taught and spoken at schools and universities and worked as a storyliner and scriptwriter for long-running soap Neighbours. The Edge of The Woods is her debut novel.