Friday, 29 May 2015

The Bedtime Book Tag

It’s been a a long while since I did a tag, so I thought why not? This is the Bedtime Book Tag which Ellen @ Random Smiles tagged me to do - make sure to check out her blog!

Book that kept you up all night reading
I tend to fall asleep late and then wake up late too, so it’s not rare for a book to keep me up. The last was The Bane Chronicles by Cassandra Clare because while I’d planned to read only one story a day that didn’t happen, and it turned into over 6 in one sitting. Not the best idea at 2 in the morning! No regrets.

18621200Book that made you scared to go to sleep
I don’t get easily scared, whether it’s from books or movies, but I did decide to read Say her Name by James Dawson at midnight on halloween last year which was really creepy... and fun!

Book that made you go to sleep
Since I read so late, I have a bad habit of falling asleep unless the book keeps my interest at its highest possible peak. The Bargaining by Carly Anne West was not one of those and I fell asleep on at least 2 different occasions, with my kindle still on and dead by morning. That was a sign it would be a non-finisher.

Book that left you tossing and turning all night in anticipation of its release
Another Cassandra Clare book: City of Heavenly Fire, because while I pre-ordered, it took over 2 months before I finally picked it up. I was simply terrified to be disappointed. Needless to say, I shouldn’t have worried.

Book that has your dream boyfriend
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins with my bae Peeta Mellark. As my first book boyfriend he will always have a place in my heart #TeemPeeta

Book that would be your worst nightmare to live in
Rather than say The Hunger Games again, I’m going to choose The 100 by Kass Morgan because I wouldn’t want to live on a ship, and let’s be honest I’d probably find myself as one of the 100 going to the ground at which point I’d be the first do die…

17838475Book that reminds you of the night time
The Taking by Kimberly Derting which has a beautiful cover of the night sky with stars. I’m excited to read this.

Book that had a nightmarish cliffhanger
The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan. Enough said. I actually have a whole post on cliffhangers inspired by this in the works.

Book that you actually dreamed about
Parts of books tend to work their way into my dreams but it’s harder to notice. However when I was younger I often dreamed of being a wizard/witch like in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J. K. Rowling. I still wish I could have gone to Hogwarts.
Book monster that you would not want to find under your bed
I may not get scared from books or movies but in real life I’m a wimp. So just about any monster from the Harry Potter series I couldn’t handle. Especially the basilisk *shudders* I do actually remember having a dream about that! The snake was different but still in the Chamber of Secrets. You can probably tell I didn’t live.

Right, I’m off to sleep now, but first I tag:
The lovely ladies @ Fangirling Misses
Laura @ Blue Eye Books
Morrighan @ Elysian Fields
Megan & Catherine @ Books of Fascination
Cari & Hayley @ My Addiction: Books

Along with everyone who wants to do it!

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Blogoversary & Giveaway!

I have not posted in what feels like foooorever (which is in fact only 2 weeks) but rather than naming all the boring reasons it's time for a giveaway! That's much more appealing right?

Today marks my blog's first anniversary, which is kind of weird to say because I can't decide if it feels like I've been doing it for years or only just started... In some regards I'm still a newbie figuring everything out (it was a very proud moment recently when I figured out how to use gifs). Other times when I look at the review index and how many posts I've released it brings back memories.
Needless to say the time has flown by!

Some of the things I've done in the last year through the blog:
  • Posted 232 times
  • Made 285 amazing follower friends
  • Discovered some brilliant books I'll never forget and otherwise might not have known about
  • Had the opportunity to promote some great books and authors, encouraging others to read them
  • Become a part of social media to which I'm addicted (particularly instagram where I now have 2 accounts!)
  • Gone to my first book convention/signing in London (YALC) which was completely crazy and amazing
  • Met - both online and in person - some amazing people who share the same love of books I have
Here's to another great year!
Most popular posts:

Before I have details on the giveaway I want to say one last thing - THANK YOU! To everyone who has followed, commented and viewed my blog <3
Now it's giveaway time!
     As my blog's tag line is "Living in a different fantasy, paranormal, mythical, sci-fi, or dystopian world every day" a thought struck me - why not give a book away from each genre? And then I had another thought - what about 2?!
     Therefore, today there will be 5 winners receiving 2 books each meaning there is a total of 10 books up for grabs.
     To enter simply follow the rafflecopter at the bottom of the post. UK ONLY - international shipping is too expensive, but I will have another on the way :)
     You can see the books listed below:

Fantasy                             Paranormal                Mythical
Finale by Becca Fitzpatrick,  Asylum by Madeleine    Fury by Elizabeth Miles,
Torment by Lauren Kate,                   Roux,                 The Iron Traitor by
                                         Anna Dressed in Blood                Julie Kagawa,
                                                by Kendare Blake,

Sci-fi                                                 Dystopian
The Knife of Never Letting Go by         The Scorch Trials by James Dashner
                           Patrick Ness,          The Death Cure by James Dashner
The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey.

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Guest Post: Nicole Luiken

Today I have a very interesting guest post where you can get more of an insight into the lovely author Nicole Luiken's writing career and something I'm even more excited about which you can see in the last line, but you'll have to read on! So without further ado...

Muddled and Mixed-up

Can I make a confession? I’m feeling a little mixed-up right now. Because of the way publishing schedules work I’m actually writing book three of Otherselves at the same time that book one is just being released.
It’s very odd, really. When I was writing Through Fire & Sea I pretty much focused on it exclusively for a year—plotting it out, writing the first draft, rewriting it (I do simultaneous 2nd and 3rd drafts), sending it out to Beta readers, tweaking it, etc. I obsessed about it. Then, once I submitted it to the publisher, I had to mentally let it go.
I refreshed myself by working on a totally different project. Then, even though book one hadn’t yet sold, I wrote book two in the series. Why? Two reasons. 1/ I’m not a terribly fast writer and I wanted to get a jump on book two so that hopefully publication dates wouldn’t be as far apart. 2/ Once book one was published, I knew all the world-building etc would become frozen and unchangeable. Writing book two at this stage gave me an opportunity to tweak book one for continuity.
While Through Fire & Sea went through the acceptance and editorial process at Entangled Teen, I finished writing book two. And then I started on book three (tentatively titled In Truth & Ashes). I’m currently halfway through the first draft.
So I’m starting to get reviews and reader response on book one, Beta reader notes on book two, and I’m writing book three. Is it any wonder I’m feeling a little muddled?
Book two, (tentatively titled Amid Wind & Stone), features two more otherselves, Dorotea and Audrey. While we see some of Leah and a little bit of Holly, it’s primarily Dorotea and Audrey’s story. In book three the main character is Belinda, the otherself from the True World, but there’s also a major plotline with Leah and Fire World.
That’s right: Leah is finally getting her happy ending!

About Through Fire & Sea Synopsis:
Mirror mirror, hear my call…

In the Fire world, seventeen-year-old Leah is the illegitimate daughter of one of the realm's most powerful lords. She's hot-blooded—able to communicate with the tempestuous volcano gods that either bless a civilization or destroy it. But then Leah discovers she's a Caller, gifted with the unique—and dangerous—ability to “call” her Otherselves in mirror worlds. And her father will do anything to use her powers for his own purposes.

In the Water world, Holly nearly drowns when she sees—and interacts with—Leah, a mirror image of herself. She’s rescued by Ryan, a boy from school with a secret he’d die to protect. Little do they know, his Otherself is the son of a powerful volcano god at war in the Fire world…and he’s about to fall.

As Leah and Holly's lives intersect, the Fire and Water worlds descend into darkness. The only way to protect the mirror worlds is to break every rule they've ever known. If they don’t, the evil seeping through the mirrors will destroy everything—and everyone—they love...

About the Author:
Nicole Luiken wrote her first book at age 13 and never stopped. She is the author of nine published books for young adults, including Violet Eyes and its sequels Silver Eyes and Angels Eyes, Frost, Unlocking the Doors, The Catalyst, Escape to the Overworld, Dreamfire and the sequel Dreamline. She also has an adult thriller, Running on Instinct, under the name N.M. Luiken and a fantasy romance series, Gate to Kandrith and Soul of Kandrith. Nicole lives with her family in Edmonton, AB. It is physically impossible for her to go more than three days in a row without writing.

Saturday, 9 May 2015

Review: The Calling (Gateway Series #1) by Louise G. White Synopsis:
On the run and hiding from ‘the suits’, Carolyn’s life is far from straightforward. After her mother and brother go missing in a most extraordinary way, (through a hole to another world which appears in the kitchen wall!), she is determined to track them down and bring them home. But life is never that easy! Rescued and protected by a group of unusual and like minded ‘people’, Carolyn hones her magic and fighting skills. Whilst answering a ‘call’ to retrieve a human from another world she’s faced with a quick decision and ends up bringing a demon back with her. Little did she know what effect this demon would have on her. As each day passes her strengths grow and her magic develops to assist her in her quest to track down her family, but there are decisions to make that will affect the rest of her life.

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

This book never lost my interest, even with outside distractions and my current reading slump (that is now over!) I found myself enjoying it immensely and so invested in the story that time passed without me realising and I could look up to find the sky dark, hours after I’d picked it up!

Everything including pace and relationships moved incredibly fast: one of my immediate worries was the relationship between Carolyn and Note feeling like insta-love because looking at timings it was - no doubt about that - but before you run off, hear me out, because I’m always the first to turn away from a book when that’s mentioned, and in this case not only did it work plotwise (there’s an explanation) but I never got frustrated and actually liked it!

Carolyn was such an interesting main character to follow. Developed faultlessly her personality jumped from the pages. Of course at times the endless amount of problems got to her and mistakes were made, but I loved how she recovered, particularly when it involved the help of a certain snake demon called Note… He was so damn adorable and hilarious, even when he didn’t necessarily try/realise making it impossible to keep a grin off my face.

Every single character had something fascinating about them which I couldn’t get enough of. There’s always one exception though and I have a feeling Mel is going to cause more problems than she’s worth in the sequel; which by the way I’m simply dying to get my hands on!

The Calling is a thrilling debut from an author I’m excited to read more from, to which I recommend to all lovers of YA fantasy.
Favourite Quotes:
“The destroyer is...'" Ethan wondered at the next word, expecting 'horrific, 'mad', or even 'a bitch'... Not forgetting that she did try to kill him, of course.
"Glorious," he concluded to Ethan's surprise.”

“How odd that she could take comfort in a demon whilst trying to retain her grip on humanity.”

“He should know how she felt about him, that she accepted him for everything he was. Her earlier discomfort about his true appearance, the awareness of lines drawn, all faded to insignificance. The two of them together was how they were meant to be.”

“Dark days stretched before the now, and Ethan didn’t want to contemplate the possibility of the death and destruction, the finale that could well lie ahead.”

Thursday, 7 May 2015

Review: Rogue (Talon #2) by Julie Kagawa Synopsis:
Ember Hill left the dragon organization Talon to take her chances with rebel dragon Cobalt and his crew of rogues. But Ember can't forget the sacrifice made for her by the human boy who could have killed her—Garret Xavier Sebastian, a soldier of the dragonslaying Order of St. George, the boy who saved her from a Talon assassin, knowing that by doing so, he'd signed his own death warrant. 

Determined to save Garret from execution, Ember must convince Cobalt to help her break into the Order's headquarters. With assassins after them and Ember's own brother helping Talon with the hunt, the rogues find an unexpected ally in Garret and a new perspective on the underground battle between Talon and St. George. 

A reckoning is brewing and the secrets hidden by both sides are shocking and deadly. Soon Ember must decide: Should she retreat to fight another day…or start an all-out war?

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

After flying through this book I’m now sitting here tapping the laptop keys absently trying to sort out my thoughts, other than the one recurring word it seems to come back to – epic!

Rogue is a brilliant follow up to Talon, picking up right where it left off with Ember being stubborn, Garret adorable, Riley moody and Wes hilarious (he felt like such an underrated character before but in this book we see much more of his story which was really interesting). Along with several new characters, including a certain purple dragon who even though is my favourite colour I have no love for; you’ll understand once you read this. Which you should. Now.

Among the many things that stood out to me in this book, something which had me sat on the edge of my seat were the action sequences; after all it’s not every day you come across intense dragon fight scenes, done exceptionally well no less! As I’ve said before, Julie Kagawa can do no wrong.

Even the love triangle, while unnecessarily dramatic at times, didn’t detract from my enjoyment of the story and I loved how unclear the end result will be. It’s pretty clear who Ember should be with, but who she will end up with could be a whole new story. Hell, with the way Kagawa manages to surprise her readers Ember might decide the two boys fighting over her are insufficient and go with Wes! Okay I take that back, no way. But you get my point (I hope!)

Everything that happens in Rogue is made to test the characters, as they have to make even harder decisions with lasting impressions. The carefree summer from Talon is over: this is where loyalties are tested and not everyone will come out unscathed when truths are revealed.
Favourite Quotes:
“Oh you know, a little burned, a little sore. Nearly died a couple times. The usual.”

“A flame that burns twice as bright lasts half as long.”
“You remind me of that flame Firebrand,” Riley murmured. “You burn so hot, and so bright, you set everything around you on fire. Just be careful that the people around you don’t get singed,” he said in a low voice. “Or that you don’t burn too hot, too quickly. The brightest flames are usually the ones that are extinguished first.”

“I am in love with a dragon.
Let the Order condemn me, I mused, perhaps my first truly rebellious thought in a lifetime. Let them call me a traitor and hunt me down. For thirteen years, I had followed commands, livid by the rigid code of St. George, become their perfect soldier, only to discover the  Order I’d dedicated my life to was wrong. Everything I thought I’d knew was a lie. The only real thing was the girl in my arms.”

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Blog Tour & Excerpt: Rise of the Nephilim (Fire and Flood #1) by N.J. Paige

Goodreads Synopsis:
“Soon they will all be dead. And it will be because I have failed them.”
     Before she was Nephilim, a progeny of the Fallen, she was just a girl from Brewster, New York. A freak of nature. The strange. The different. The other. But then she received the calling to find her true home and take her rightful place in the subterranean world of Babylon. There she would learn that she was the last hope for the survival of Humanity. And she would be forced to choose between the world where she found nothing but pain and rejection, and the world where she was accepted and revered. Rise of The Nephilim: Fire And Blood eBook: N. J. Paige: Kindle Store

About the Author:
N. J. Paige lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and two children. Her favorite motto is “Life is but a journey best taken one step at a time.” And she enjoys hiking in her local forest, where she gets inspiration from Tree-Sprites and other woodland creatures. Twitter * Website

Damn it! They never had a chance!  
Her face grimaced as those words ran through her mind; her breath short and fleeting as the thirst for revenge surged through her.
She gripped her hand even tighter around her sword and pulled it from the tree.
Strangely, she took some comfort in the screams of terror, screams, which still surrounded them, for it was a sign, though stabbing at the heart, that not all humans in the city had fallen and hope had not been lost.
Soon, they will all be dead. And it will be because I have failed them.
She thought about her own human family meeting the same fate―that it would not be long before Arcadium and his army reached the threshold of Brewster.
Her eyes glowed in horror through a veil of tears, clouding her vision while she stared at the mangled mess of body parts―human, Nephilim, and Epoch alike, arranged in some freakish mélange of death art.
"Their deaths will not be in vain, not so long as I still breathe, and the last drop of human blood still flows through my Nephilim veins,” she declared.
“Sister, be careful of your words,” whispered Silla―her Nephilim sister―reminding her of the dangers of showing favor of humans over Nephilim. After all, she was now Nephilim, a natural enemy to humanity. And anything else would have been a betrayal to the Dominion of the fallen.

Doesn't that sound awesome! I can't wait to read this - my review will be coming as soon as I do.

Sunday, 3 May 2015

Review: Talon (Talon #1) by Julie Kagawa Synopsis:
Long ago, dragons were hunted to near extinction by the Order of St. George, a legendary society of dragon slayers. Hiding in human form and growing their numbers in secret, the dragons of Talon have become strong and cunning, and they're positioned to take over the world with humans none the wiser.

Ember and Dante Hill are the only sister and brother known to dragonkind. Trained to infiltrate society, Ember wants to live the teen experience and enjoy a summer of freedom before taking her destined place in Talon. But destiny is a matter of perspective, and a rogue dragon will soon challenge everything Ember has been taught. As Ember struggles to accept her future, she and her brother are hunted by the Order of St. George.

Soldier Garret Xavier Sebastian has a mission to seek and destroy all dragons, and Talon's newest recruits in particular. But he cannot kill unless he is certain he has found his prey: and nothing is certain about Ember Hill. Faced with Ember's bravery, confidence and all-too-human desires, Garret begins to question everything that the Order has ingrained in him: and what he might be willing to give up to find the truth about dragons.

Julie Kagawa’s writing is magic. Not only can she effortlessly transport you into someone else’s life, but in this book she does it multiple times with changes of POV. There was no doubt in my mind who was talking and I also loved each character just as much as the next – always a plus!

The story revolves around Ember, a feisty dragonnell restricted by rules, looking only to be free of them. I really felt for her struggle meaning when she was upset, so was the reader and when she was happy, I couldn’t stop grinning like a fool. Her enthusiasm for life was contagious and made me want to abandon the homework staring at me from across the room and go jump in the ocean!

My favourite character however was Garrett. Oh Garrett… I love him. To see the strong, emotionless solider start to experience new feelings and come into himself was a joy to read. It also led to some hilarious moments which I wasn’t expecting.

Then there’s Riley, but to be honest he’s too much of an obstacle in Garrett and Ember’s relationship for me to care all that much about him; even though he’s a great character in his own right. They have enough on their plates as is, what with the “go against the beliefs you were raised with and die” thing – a key theme.

Overall, this book combines everything I could have hoped for: action, swoonworthy romance, family relationships (but that’s a whole other thing I won’t get into for fear of spoilers) and dragons! Julie Kagawa can do no wrong, and Talon proved this by being one of my favourite books so far this year.
Favourite Quotes:
“Rnesh karr slithis," I hissed back, which was Draconic for eat your own tail, the dragon version of go screw yourself. No extra translation needed.”

“Can't anyone ever start a fight without all the posturing and cheesy Bond-villain threats? It's not that hard. Here, let me demonstrate." And he smashed a fist into Colin's nose.” 

“Kissing her in the ocean and feeling my entire world stop. Wishing I could be normal, if only to be with her. Because she hadn't just taught me how to surf and shoot zombies and to scream while plunging down a roller-coaster drop. She had shown me how to live.”