Saturday, 27 October 2012

Welcome To My Review of ALICE IN ZOMBIELAND by Gena Showalter!


Author: Gena Showalter
Source: ARC copy from MIRAink
Publication Date: October 5th 2012

"She won’t rest until she’s sent every walking corpse back to its grave. Forever.

Had anyone told Alice Bell that her entire life would change course between one heartbeat and the next, she would have laughed. From blissful to tragic, innocent to ruined? Please. But that’s all it took. One heartbeat. A blink, a breath, a second, and everything she knew and loved was gone.

Her father was right. The monsters are real….

To avenge her family, Ali must learn to fight the undead. To survive, she must learn to trust the baddest of the bad boys, Cole Holland. But Cole has secrets of his own, and if Ali isn’t careful, those secrets might just prove to be more dangerous than the zombies….


I wish I could go back and do a thousand things differently.
I'd tell my sister no.
I'd never beg my mother to talk to my dad.
I'd zip my lips and swallow those hateful words.
Or, barring all of that, I'd hug my sister, my mom and my dad one last time.
I'd tell them I love them.
I wish... Yeah, I wish"

*I Hereby Award This Book 5 Wings*

I first heard about this book a few months ago and have been dying for it since. So when I saw MIRAink post a photo of a box of them on Facebook, I knew I had to instantly email for a copy. So I did and they sent me a copy within a week. I was over the moon!

For teenage Alice Bell, life has always been anything except ordinary. Alice and her sister Emma have never know what it would be like to grow up normal. Why? Well the answer to that is their Dad. His behaviour has always been erratic.. some would say crazy! See, the thing about their Dad is, he sees monsters!
Of course when Alice and Emma look out of the windows, there are never any monsters to be seen. But their Dad is determined. He won't let the girls go out after dark. They have a curfew far earlier than their friends. Dad has even trained them in martial arts. Not that Alice ever paid as much attention as she could and maybe thinking back, should have done. 
Little did Alice know at the time that she would rue the day she decided not to pay attention. But more about that later.

Their Dad was always like it for as long as they can remember. He said that the curfew was imposed because the monsters come out of the woodwork after dark and if you were outside and they saw you, well then you had to run like all Hell, for if you didn't - well, that doesn't bear thinking about. 

If anyone had ever told Alice that in just one blink of an eye her world would be turned upside-down and chaos would reign, she would probably have laughed and said that it was chaotic enough so what else could possibly make it worse. Little did she know then what would ensue and how it really would shake up her world beyond belief.

It all started the night Emma has a recital at school. The problem being that it was after curfew. So Emma begs Alice to go and ask their Mom. They both know Dad will refuse outright and once he says no, there's no budging him. But Mom, well she's a softer touch because she believes the girls need to live their lives, so she's more likely to her Alice out.
To both Alice and Emma's astonishment, Emma is allowed to take part in the recital and more than that, BOTH parents will be attending. 

Nobody knew it at the time, but that would be the night that changed life irrevocably. Seems like they should have listened to Dad, the monsters aren't just a figment of his imagination...

Now I can't tell you what event takes place to change life so drastically - you would read this then want to strangle me for the spoiler. So instead of giving it all away....

*presses fast forward button*

Alice has to go to school and it's a daunting prospect after the accident. Truth is, nothing will ever be the way it was meant to be. But the one good thing, the tiny light in the darkness is Kat. 
Kat is the kind of girl who calls a spade a spade. She's genuine, kind, funny, deeply sarcastic and has a tendency to flip the bird even if you so much as look at her funny. *fist pump for the awesomeness that is Kat* She is just the kind of girl that Alice needs in her life and fighting her corner. 

Now you'll have to excuse me a moment... *puts iPod on to play No Air by Jordin Sparks & Chris Brown*

Why did I put that song on? Well the answer is: Cole Holland.
There's a group of lads hanging about in the school corridor, leaning against the lockers, thinking they are cool in the way only high school students can. But one of the boys stands out. He's leaning against the lockers, but not taking part in the raucous goings on of his friends. He has a mop of dark hair underneath his baseball cap. Then there's his eyes... captivating is not the word. 
As Alice looks into this nameless boys eyes, she is drawn into their intensity and into something she just can't understand - all of a sudden his arms are around her, his lips are on hers and they can't get enough of each other.

The connection is broken but Alice can feel him looking at her and can feel her swollen lips that could only have been caused by kissing someone passionately. Only, that was just a daydream. Right? But then, how would she know his name is Cole? How could it have been real? It can't... but oh what a fantasy!

*swoons* At this point in the book I was totally hooked on both the story and on Cole. He had me wanting to know more about him and have more hot and steamy scenes. 
Now, I'm going to skip swooning over Cole (I'll get back to that after I finish typing) and get to the monsters.

It seems Alice and Cole's future's are meant to be entwined. How and why, I won't explain, but they are inextricably linked. They must fight the monsters side by side. 

What are the monsters though? Well we know from the title of the book that they are zombies, but Gena Showalter has taken such a completely different take on them that they are unlike any that I have ever met (or should I say read). Don't go into this book thinking you know everything about zombies because trust me, you don't!

How on earth are they meant to fight them? Will they ever be free of them? There just seems to be more of them coming out of the woodwork all the time.

*seals lips before spoilers come spilling out*

So now we know that Alice should've paid more attention to her Dads ravings about monsters. She should've paid more attention to his self defence classes and learned to fight better. If she had then life might never have taken the turn it did and Alice might have her whole family around.
We also know that it's Alice's job to fight these monsters, to honour her Dad and to stop herself from getting killed. We also know that it's beside Cole Holland's side that she will fight.

But what else do we know? *seals lips again* This is for you to find out for yourself. If I haven't told you enough to make you interested then I guess it just isn't your kind of book. But believe you me, you will be missing out!

I haven't read any other books by Gena Showalter before, but believe me, I will do now. She is an awesome author. The words she weaves paint pictures in your mind, okay so some of those pictures are pretty gruesome but even then, she gets inside your mind and you just can't help but feel connected to the story. You can't help rooting for Alice and Cole, both in fighting monsters and in their relationship. It's hard to explain the pull I felt but it sucked me in and didn't want to let me back out.

I laughed when they laughed, I felt low when they did, I even cried a fair few times. I have to say this book is the most fun I have had in ages. I stayed awake late into the night just to finish it because once I started reading I did not want to stop. I was swept away with both the action and the emotion.

I was actually in hospital a week or so ago when I read this. It was something to take my mind off the pain and keep me entertained. They say there's nothing like a good book to get you through a bad time, well this was a brilliant book and it stopped the boredom of hospital from leaking in. 

Thank you MIRAink for letting me have this ARC. But even bigger thanks to Gena Showalter. Firstly for writing AIZ in the first place and secondly for creating Cole Holland. He was such a perfect mix of bad boy and hot, desirable love interest. I don't know what I am going to do now because I am not looking forward to the year ahead knowing that Cole won't be there. But I guess I'll appreciate him all the more when book 2 is finally published!

Thank you to everyone who came by to read my review today. It would have been written and published sooner, but I had no wi-fi in hospital LOL.



Thursday, 4 October 2012

How To Make Friends And Alienate People...In The Blogosphere!

Hi Guys *waves*

No, I'm not talking about the 2008 film with Simon Pegg and Kirsten Dunst; that was How To LOSE Friends And Alienate People- so pardon my having half borrowed the title - and I apologise if you came here under false pretenses if you thought I wanted to talk about the film.

But anyway, the title was apropos to what I wanted to talk about. What's that? Well go and make a coffee, come back and settle in to read this post.....

.... Coffee made? Sitting pretty? Want me to get on with it? OK!

I have been toying with the idea of writing this post for about the last month. Every time I think I should post it, I get the collywobbles (a feeling of apprehension, that is) - so I put the idea to the wayside and forget about it. That is, until an event comes along and makes me realise I want to write the post that much more. What such event would do that? Well, me hearing on the blogvine (yes I know that's not a word) that people are being... how shall I put it politely?... unkind to each other.
I understand that not everybody is going to get along. We all have traits people don't like so much about us. Such as, I talk too much and I am quite snobby. I don't intentionally look down my nose at other people, I am just..well... wary when first getting to know someone new.

Anyway, I admit to not being infallible. Can you?

The fact is, some people in the blogosphere are being all too unkind, rude, slanderous at times and altogether not very nice. There's things that are said, things that are done to spite other people.
I am relatively new to blogging, next month will be my 1 year blogaversary. So I know what it's like to try and claw your way up to be noticed. But what I did to get by and what others are doing are two very different things!
Me? I started off by following Indie Authors on Twitter and asking if they wanted reviews. From there, it built up so that I had a couple of hundred followers and a lot of those were giving me e-copies of their books in exchange for a fair review. That lead to more followers, more reviews written, I asked Harper Collins if I could review for them, Macmillan came after that, then MIRAink, Spencer Hill Press... but that is beside the point. I made my way albeit precariously at first, and now I have people come to me for reviews. I'm not being up myself and saying that I only review books that I am asked to. No, I still go to authors and publishers and ask for books, of course I do. But what I don't do is take part in weekly memes or things that other bloggers do. I even gave up doing the 'In My Mailbox' meme in case people thought I was being big headed or rubbing their nose in things. I don't care about being the best blogger or having the most ARCs or taking part in the most activities or even taking part in everyone else's giveaways. Why? Because I want to sit back and do my own thing at my own pace. I want to read books, write reviews about them and just share the love of good books with others. But I don't want to take part in the race to become number 1 blogger. Why not? Because I know I'll never make it. There's so many other bloggers that are better than me and if there were medals for it, they would outrank me by far. But I understand my place and I am perfectly happy with it.

What has come to my attention recently is that other people out there aren't as laid back as I am. As a matter of fact, they are bitching and back-stabbing their way along not caring whom they trample on in the process. They want to compete to be number 1 and that is all that matters to them.

When I first started my own blog, I didn't realise that some people in the blogging community people could be so vicious. I know that we are all different people with different opinions and that's what makes bloggers so diverse. We can all read the same book and all have a different interpretation of it. That part is fair enough. But what I don't like to see is people who walk all over others. Even others that they were previously friends with will fall by the way side in their attempt to get the elusive golden trophy and status of number 1 blogger (okay so I lied about the trophy, so if you're one of those attempting to get it, let me tell you IT DOESN'T EXIST)
For example, there's this girl, I won't name her but I will tell you her story. Sort of. For this example let's call her Melissa. Because I don't know any blogger called Melissa so she won't think I'm offending her.

So... Melissa has had a blog for a couple of years. She reads and reviews possibly about 3 or 4 books a week, maybe even more than that. She's a fast reader. She's quite the opinionated little madam (I know I am too) - she doesn't read other bloggers reviews in case they influence her review (fair enough - I don't read others reviews until I have read the book, if it's one I want to read) - but anyway, I digress... The one fact that I don't like about Melissa is that she tramples all over people NO MATTER WHAT. She's all about herself. She's jealous as all Hell if you get an ARC of a book before her - yet she swears blind she's not the jealous sort. And if she gets an ARC ahead of you, oh boy do you know about it because she is the kind of person to rub your nose in the fact that you don't have it yet. Or she'll get a signed book from an author and rub your nose in that.
I've got news for you Melissa, I get signed books and swag a lot of the time. I take a picture and upload it to my Twitter or Facebook account because I am happy I got it. NOT because I want to rub your face in it and say look what I have that you don't. That's the difference between us. YOU are vindictive. I am NOT.


So what I am talking about comes down to etiquette. To blogging DO's and DON'Ts. There are no real rules or guidelines for being a blogger. You are all entitled to your own opinion. That's all fine and dandy. But it's when you start to hurt those around you, that's when it's time to take a step back and realise what you are doing. You're treading on another persons toes to make a fool out of them, but it ends up making a fool of you instead.

I have a few DO's and DON'Ts that I'd like to share with you. I think you'll find they make sense.

DO's

  • Be Kind To Other People
  • Treat Authors And Bloggers With Respect
  • Think About The Consequences Of Your Actions; is it Newton's third law of motion: For Every Action There Is An Equal And Opposite Reaction - that right there is so dang true!!
  • Reach Out To Up & Coming Bloggers; See If You Can Lend A Hand/Give A Little Advice/Help Them Get Started - YOU Were Them Once Upon A Time!!!
  • As My Nan Might Say, Treat Others How You Would Like Them To Treat You - That's How You Make Friends!
DON'Ts

  • Treat Others With Blatant Disrespect
  • Tread All Over Other People's Emotions - Emotions Are Like Eggshells, You Should Tread Carefully
  • Use Other People To Get You Somewhere Then Ditch Them
  • Rub Other People's Noses In Things
  • Bitch And Back-Stab; It's Spiteful, It's Unnecessary And Is The Easiest Way To Alienate People!
  • ABOVE ALL Don't Be A Cut-Throat Bitch!!
If you, like me, now want to stop reading this post (in my case writing it) - it's okay, I'm coming to a conclusion soon... I promise.

I am just concerned that this blogging community that I got into thinking it was a cool way to meet new people across the world is actually just another place where people use you, abuse you and throw you aside like a used tissue (sorry, couldn't think of a replacement for tissue)! I think it's sad that this is the way of the world. I know that we can't all get along and be peace loving hippies. But if only we could just be a little less cut-throat and competitive...! You know what I mean?

So please, if you are reading this and anything I said rings true, think about what it is you are doing and why you would set out to hurt another person.

Thank you for sticking with my blathering this long. I promise I am signing off now. Just please, give a thought for your fellow blogger, your fellow human being! Thank you!!

I love you all for coming by to read my blog and I probably don't tell you all I appreciate you often enough. So if you don't already know it, I am so very grateful to you all. I wouldn't be anywhere without you. I don't want the elusive golden trophy and I promise not to step on you to further my own gains. 





Monday, 1 October 2012

*COVER REVEAL* The Amber Light by Becky Elizabeth Searson!


Hi Guys! *waves*
Nice to see you all here. Now that I have you here, let me reveal this beautiful cover

After 3...1...2...3...

*ta-da*



Title: THE AMBER LIGHT
Publication Date: TBC
Synopsis: TBA

Look at this for a beautiful cover! I haven't read a synopsis and I already want to read it! It's fantastic!!
The cover was designed by Steph's Cover Design, to find her on Facebook, follow this link: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Stephs-Cover-Design-paranormal-fantasy-horror-more/263736647071233?ref=stream

To follow the author on Facebook, click here: https://www.facebook.com/BeckyElizabethSearsonAuthor
To follow her on Twitter, click here: https://twitter.com/BeckyElizabeth3

I hear this is planned to be book one of a trilogy. Let's hope what's inside the book is as good as the outside!

Thanks all for coming by!



Aurora Sky by Nikki Jefford - Cover Reveal!

Hi Guys *waves*
Sorry for the lateness of this cover reveal, I know I promised it on 17th September but I've been poorly and it slipped my mind. But still, better late than never at all....

So without further ado, I bring you.....

*ta-da*


"Her blood is toxic to vampires.

If there is one thing eighteen-year-old Aurora Sky wants, it’s to get off the iceberg she calls home. Being kissed before she graduates wouldn’t hurt either.

Then a near-fatal car wreck changes everything. Secret agents step in and save Aurora’s life in exchange for her services as a vampire hunter. In Alaska. 

Basically she’s a glorified chew toy. All thanks to her rare blood type, which sends a vampire into temporary paralysis right before she has to finish the job… by hand.

Aurora is alienating friends at school while attracting attention from the last person she wants noticing her – the dark prince of temptation himself: Fane Donado. And that can’t lead to anything good"

Sound good to you? Good! Go and out it on your TBR list HERE


Thank you, as always, for coming by my blog.


Welcome To My Stop On The Blog Tour For Rebel Princess by



Caution: complete with sex, suspense and a possible murder! 

Photobucket


Author: Anne M. Strick
Publication Date: September 14th 2010
Source: e-copy provided for review by RABT

"An insider’s first-ever behind-the-scenes scoop on how movies are REALLY made: gritty, grinding, tunnel-vision labor, back-stage intrigue, explosive dramas, parties, and relationships that last a night or a lifetime.
Larger-than-life characters who live life with fervor, while contending with their own inner demons and one another, all in the pressure cooker of a location shoot in the exotic world of Mexico. This romp of a story follows the making of a movie from pre-production through wrap. A hotly passionate love story and a murder elevate the stakes."

Excerpt:

She may havemade the first move then. He may have. They came together with a heat she hadnever known. Beneath the white satin robe whose belt he untied, she stoodnaked; glorius. The coral tips of her full breasts were hard. He caught hisbreath. For a moment his eyes luxuriated in her ripeness; her mouth, herbreasts, her navel, the mound that was already so wet and swollen. She wanted him inside. But still – his teeth on her nipples, his fingers probing herwetness, rolling her clitoris – he made her wait. Made her wait until,writhing, almost out of her mind, all shame gone, all fear gone, she could only beg, “Please. No, please.”
 Hestraddled and entered her and she gasped. Something irrevocable had happened.In her most private secret places, in her center, she was open to this man asnever to anyone before. She moaned, and in mutual frenzy they moved to driving,thrusting, flooding climax.
Thesecond time was slower. Now they had all the time in the world. He ran histongue from beneath her ear to the hollow in her throat, played with it betweenher breasts and beneath them. With his tongue he circled her nipples and teaseddown to her navel, probing in till she shuddered, tonguing down further overher flat stomach to the rich chestnut hair. With his tongue he circled andteased and probed the still-swollen lips below, sucked them, thrust his tongueinto the opening still running with their juices – and brought that tongue intoher mouth so that she, too, could taste the two of them mingled. 

My Review:

Davena De Havilland is the daughter of rich tycoon Rafael De Havilland. She earned herself the nickname 'The Rebel Princess', never doing or saying what people would expect of her. In fact, they've come to expect the unexpected instead.
She's wild, she's impetutous, she does whatever she wants and damn the consequences. An example of her 'act now, think later' attitude would be when she decided to marry Jason Archer. But more about that one later on.
Davena is in charge of producing a new movie, 'Open Season'. It's her first without her father hanging over her shoulder.He's given her the reigns and so she intends to prove to him and to the world that she can and will make this film work. 
With her contingency of 3 separate budgets; 1 to appease her father, 1 for the foreign backers sake and the real one that only she knows, Davena believes she has it all in hand.
With a good cast and crew around her, she feels anything is possible. But, as life generally does, it throws her a curve ball. This time in the form of her ex, Jason Archer. He's been hired to be the new Script Doctor. That was one thing not in Davena's contingency for the making of this film. She didn't realise her past would come back to haunt her but it has. With his gypsy skin and his alluring eyes, he's intoxicating and it makes it hard for her to think. But they need someone with his knowledge, so she agrees to have him on set. 

On location in Mexico, there's a headiness in the air. There's alcohol flowing, there's hair to be let down. After a long hard day on set, the cast and crew need a little something to help them let loose. 
Davena, of course, hosts the party of all parties after a long hard day. The girls arrive in nothing but scraps of material and the boys turn up with their eyes out on stalks and tripping over their own tongues. 
Davena wants this film to go right and she knows that the boys, pretty much like herself, need some down time. She even partakes of the alcohol and the uninhibited dancing - she draws the attention of all the men around her, she can't help being such a beautiful and alluring woman. Even Jason can't help but look at the woman that once upon a time was his wife but is now young, free and single, allowed to do as she pleases. 
Davena is something of a vixen or maybe siren is a better description. she has, as the french would say, a certain 'je ne sais quoi'. 
But beyond the physical attributes and charms she possesses, lies a woman more mixed up than she would have you believe. 
She married Jason in a hurry, never really knew much about him and neither one of them uttered 'those three words'. They parted ways, yet it's never been easy for her to forget about him. He's certainly the kind of guy who leaves a lasting impression.She never forget his beautiful eyes and gypsy skin, the way his skin flet pressed against hers. The way her body came alive with his touch like an electric current. They had a real heady passion. 
It's hard having him here on set. She's currently seeing a guy called Bram, but her mind can't help drifting back to the old days when her and Jason were an item.

But there's more than just Jason and her flashbacks to contend with.

As one might expect in the film industry, there are other people flirting, having affairs under the nose of their spouse. Oh yes, it's all go behind the scenes.
The saying goes, 'it never rains but it pours' and that is completely true. For one thing, Davena's sister Sissley has come to visit. Then there's problems with their mother, Veronique.
Everybody seems to want a piece of Davena. They pull her this way and that. Always needingher for one thing or another.
Though they have their parties and chill out, Davena never really gets any 'me time' to figure out what's really going on or what she wants. But isn't that the way in this life?

But there's one problem that's a bolt out of the blue, something even Davena couldn't plan for. There's a murder and she's implicated in it. What can she do? It seems she was in the house the night [bleep] was murdered. Could it have been [bleep] that did it? She sure as Hell knows it wasn't her. 
So the policeman in charge of investigating the case gets in touch and visits her on set. He has questions and it seems only Davena can provide answers. Or can she? She was asleep at the time of the murder and didn't hear anything.

On top of the murder investigation, there's the fact that not all is going to Davena's plan on set. Her mother is there, there's people having affairs, she really doesn't know what to do about it all. 

The film isn't exactly going as planned either so they need Jason's skills more than she had hoped or planned for. Meaning he has to stay around for longer than she had hoped.

She sees Jason at the parties and on set and she can't help but wonder what would have happened if they had stayed together.

So as you can see, shooting a film has more problems, more twists and turns than you would believe. When you are reading The Rebel Princess, you get a 'fly on the wall' kind of view of everything. The author Anne M. Strick worked on film sets herself so you can imagine that she would have seen this kind of thing first and. Maybe her story is entirely fictional, or maybe it's based on bits of films she's been involved in. Who knows?!

I absolutely loved having an overview of the film world. It makes sense now when you think how Brad and Angelina got together or you know, lots of couples who got together 'on set'. 

I loved this book, hence the 4.5 wing rating. It was very entertaining. I actually felt like I was pulled in and could have been a character on set with them. Of course, I wouldn't have got up to the 'high-jinx' they did, but still, it was like a first hand experience of what really does go on 'behind the scenes'.

Thank you RABT for offering me a part on this tour and thank you Anne for the story.
.

*Disclosure of Material Connection: I am a member of ReadingAddiction Blog Tours and a copy of this book was provided to me by the author.Although payment may have been received by Reading Addiction Blog Tours, nopayment was received by me in exchange for this review. There was no obligationto write a positive review. All opinions expressed are entirely my own and maynot necessarily agree with those of the author, publisher, publicist, orreaders of this review. This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal TradeCommision’s 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning Use of Endorsements andTestimonials in Advertising*


Author Bio:
Anne M.Strick has spent over twenty years in themovie industry. She has worked for Universal, Warners, Paramount and EMI, as aUnit Publicist, Project Coordinator and National Publicity Director, and  with such Hollywood legends as Jack Nicholson, James Earl Jones, SeanPenn, Arnold Schwarzenegger, David Lynch, Sting and Dino De Laurentiis, amongmany others.  She has published theater reviews, articles in ParentsMagazine , Frontier and The Nation, and six books: two novels, two self-helpbooks, one memoir (a best-seller in Italy); and a non-fiction, scholarlycritique of our adversary trial system. (”remarkable”) . Born in Philadelphia,and educated at Bennington College and UCLA, she lives in Los Angeles.



Thank you for coming by for my stop on the tour. I do hope you will continue to follow the rest of the stops!









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