Monday, 29 April 2013

*Cover Reveal* HOPE'S REIGN by Selina Fenech

Hi Guys & Girls *waves*
I am here to bring you the most gorgeous cover in YA fiction I have come across (well at least since book one, Memory's Wake)
Seriously, look at it's 3D glory... Stunning or what?
Hope's Reign
Selina Fenech
YA Fantasy
Book Two in Memory's Wake Trilogy
Date Published: May 10, 2013

Summary:

Everything is slipping away from Memory. The bond of friendship between her, Eloryn, Roen, and Will, that was formed while running for their lives is tearing. In a world that doesn’t feel like home, with a mind filled with nothing but questions, Memory struggles to be true to herself… whoever that is. When her past self starts haunting her, she knows her sanity could be the next thing she will lose.


Selina Fenech


Born in 1981 to Australian and Maltese parents, Selina lives in Australia with her husband, an unnamed cat. During her life Selina has found ancient Roman treasure, survived cancer, had knights joust at her wedding, been mugged for doughnuts, made a living as a visual artist, and shared her imaginary worlds in paintings and now in her novels.



Contact Links
Website | Twitter | Facebook


Not only aesthetically pleasing, it sounds brilliant too. Now, I personally haven't read Memory's Wake yet, though I do have it on my groaning bookshelf. I will be ordering Hope's Reign as soon as I can though because I simply have to own something that is as beautiful as this (it's the book cover magpie in me).

Thank you for all coming by for the Cover Reveal. I hope to see you again soon!


Thursday, 25 April 2013

Review of In Another Life by Jo Cattell


Author: Jo Cattell
Publication Date: April 25th 2013
Source: Review copy provided by the author

"Sixteen year old, Annie Kane was dumped by her last boyfriend. It took a long time for her to agree with her friends and find somebody new.
When Jim Osborn, the class clown shows up with his best friend, Annie realizes that there’s is something different about his friend, but she can’t figure out what.
Nate Cruz wasn’t like anyone she’d ever known. He’s funny and down to earth, but he also suffers with low self esteem from being in and out of the hospital.
After Jim tries to force himself on her at a party, Anne finally sees him as he really is and decides to end it.
She and Nate become best friends. Then, a kiss changes it all.
With Nate, she sees what love really means. She learns how wonderful life can be. And how at anytime, things can change without warning.
If she’d stayed in her safe, little world, Annie would have missed her chance at love. But because of an irresistible attraction for a boy, she just couldn’t forget? She finds out what she’s really made of and what’s it’s like— living in another life."

*I Hereby Award This Book 5 Wings*

I have to say in all honesty that I don't know how to begin this review. This book was one of the most emotional books I have ever read.
It may come as a surprise to some of you but not to others that I adore everything that Jo Cattell writes, and everything she writes makes me cry - well, In Another Life was no exception. I cried from nearly the first page and read much of the book with tears in my eyes.

This story is based on a true story and knowing that is probably one of the major factors behind my tears. Everything that happened, well most things, actually happened in real life and that made it all the harder for me to keep my emotions in check.

A lot of you who have read my reviews before know that if I am moved by a book, I will have a good cry. But this book brought out the sobbing baby in me. It wasn't until the end that I cried as hard as I have ever cried in my life. So that's your warning to have a whole box of tissues ready before you open this book.

Anne is a good girl. she deserves to be treated like a Queen or at the very least a Princess, by any man in her life. But that's not the case when she meets Jim. Her friends think she needs a boyfriend and so encourage her to go out on a date with him - I read the first date scene and it was at that moment in time that I knew that Jim was NOT the right person for our wonderful Anne.
Through Jim, she meets his best friend, Nate. He's everything that Jim isn't. He's good looking in a kind of nerdy way [and I love nerdy]. He's good and kind. He makes her laugh. Trouble is, he's Jim's best friend, so Anne shouldn't see him in the way she does. She shouldn't look forward to time spent with Jim just because she gets to see Nate.
Upon dumping Jim [which is totally the right thing to do] she gives Nate a hug goodbye, feeling that she won't see him again because of how things have ended up. But she couldn't be more wrong.
She didn't know it at the time but Nate liked her all along. He wanted to hit Jim for some of the things he said and did to Anne. He knows she deserves so much better.

So Anne and Nate start seeing each other. He has to admit to her that he is poorly and needs dialysis. He really needs a kidney transplant but the waiting list is long and he doesn't know if or when he's likely to get one.
Anne doesn't let this bother her. She does things for him and treats him well. She treats him with the same respect he treats her, which is how a real relationship should be. They are such an adorable couple.
Anne's best friend Monica and her boyfriend Joe really think that Nate is good for her. They all plan days on the beach and Joe's family have a place they can all head off to for a short getaway.
The relationship blossoms and you can see the two really love each other. It's like they are two halves of the same whole - soul mates.

One day, good news comes, they've found a kidney for Nate. They couldn't be more excited. He's been so poorly for so long that it's a big deal that they've managed to find him a match.

[Spoiler Carefully Extracted]


Anne and Nate get by day to day knowing that he is so poorly, but she looks after him the way anyone who loves someone would. They are a young couple in love and you couldn't want anything other than a Happily Ever After for them.
Nate's Mom and Dad like Anne, the only person who seems to have something against her is his sister. She seems to think that the moment his health takes a decline, Anne will leave him. Little does she know, she couldn't be more wrong.

In life, you are lucky if you find 'the one' and if you do, it's a once in a lifetime thing. If you've ever felt true love, it's an all consuming thing that means come Hell or high water, you would do anything for the one you love. You would walk from one end of the Earth to the other, walk over hot coals, move mountains, all things that sound like cliches - but if you think they're cliches, then maybe that's because you've never been in love. You may think you have, but in my opinion, you haven't.
I know that this couple in real life, would have done all those things for each other. They were young, yes, but also so in love - a love like which, some people in life may never be lucky enough to experience.

This book was an all-consuming thing for me. From the moment I picked it up until the moment I put it down, I was right there alongside them, feeling everything they went through.
I know that Jo pours her heart and soul into each book she writes and this book felt like something extra too. It was like she was telling us a secret, something she'd kept inside for the last 25 years.

There is a song that sprung to mind when I was reading this book, "If Tomorrow Never Comes" by Garth Brooks [though the video is for the Ronan Keating version because I can't find Garth on YouTube.



Jo Cattell is an amazing author and I defy anyone to think differently. She writes from the heart and gives each book her all. You feel like you're on a roller coaster, with the ups and downs and loop-the-loops. But it becomes your favourite roller coaster and you don't want to get off.

I am proud to be able to call Jo my friend, though just because we are friends, doesn't mean I'll leave her books great reviews. I am an impartial reviewer and will rate her books just as honestly as I would an author that wasn't my friend.
Make no mistake, Jo and I didn't know each other until I got into reviewing and when she sent me her manuscript for a WIP entitled 'Summer Rain' - which went on to become a book known as 'When Angels Fall' - I was only too happy to read and review it. It was after that when we became friends. It's hard in the reviewing world and I guess the world of an author, not to become friends with someone you share a passion with.  But I am proud to be her friend and wouldn't have it any other way.

Thank you Jo for letting me read this amazing book. I can't wait to see what you write next.

Thank you to all of you who came by to read my review today. I hope to see you all again soon.



Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Review of Girls & Monsters and Interview with the author Anne Michaud




Author: Anne Michaud
Publication Date: April 30th 2013
Source: eARC provided by the publisher via Net Galley for review

This dark but uplifting collection of five Young Adult novellas includes:

Death Song: Liz is in love with Joe, but the monster of the lake has other plans for them.

Black Dog: Scarlet is engaged in a struggle for her sanity, but according to the voice in her head, she may be too late.

A Blue Story: When Katherine's beloved dog goes missing, she fears her strange new neighbor might be involved.

Dust Bunnies: Christiane faces her childhood arachnophobia and ends up confronting even greater fears in this test of sisterhood.

We Left at Night: Brooke and her family must abandon their home and their lives to make it out of a disease-plagued town overrun by zombies.

Girls & Monsters is for everyone who has ever been brave enough to confront their childhood fears...and lived to tell about it

*I Hereby Award This Book 5 Wings!*


This anthology is comprised of 5 very different short stories about girls and their various monsters. I've decided to give this book an overall review rather than separately for each story because they are too short to try and sum up in a few sentences that won't spoil them for you the reader. I will, however, insert my Goodreads status updates...

Death Song: "Death Song was a good, dark and atmospheric tale about a killer mermaid. Would be nice to see this turned into a longer story!"

Black Dog: "Black Dog: A nerve-wracking, nail-biting, chilling story of a girl who self harms. It made the hairs on the back if my neck stand on end!"

A Blue Story:  "Just read A Blue Story; sad story about neighbourhood pets going missing. Katherine's dog, Sweet Sally, being the latest one in a long line. Bittersweet ending!"

Dust Bunnies: "Just finished Dust Bunnies; Fact - I HATE spiders. But this story, though it involved a giant spider, was intriguing, funny and would make an awesome full length novel."

We Left At Night: "Just finished We Left At Night. Best book in the anthology. I love zombies and Anne Michaud writes them well!"

The truth be known, I enjoyed every book but the 3 that really stood out for me were Death Song , Dust Bunnies and We Left At Night. I would love them to be turned into full-length novels. They were just so spooky and atmospheric. 
Having never read anything by Anne Michaud, I am pleased to learn that she has a very smooth style of writing. Each novelette is something you can really sink your teeth into. They are all fast-paced page-turners.
I could have finished the entire book in one sitting if it weren't for the fact that I started reading it so late at night. However, I found that once I sat down the next morning, I could not tear my eyes away from the pages.
The fact is, all of the stories are about young girls and their various monsters. In Death Song, it's a killer mermaid, Black dog is pretty self explanatory, the monster is a black dog. A Blue Story isn't a monster you might find under your bed, rather someone who is pet-napping neighbourhood pets. Dust Bunnies isn't what it says on the tin, rather it's a large spider by the name of Bunny. The last book, We Left At Night is about zombies.

I liked each one of them in turn for various reasons and because of my enjoyment of them all, I felt the anthology warranted a 5 wing rating.


I think if I had to pick a favourite, it would be We Left At Night. I like zombies, and luckily for me, Anne Michaud writes them well. It was the kind of story that had you teetering on the edge of your seat, biting your fingernails, and waiting for that moment when it all comes crashing down around the main characters ears; all typical horror movie style reactions. For me, this is why it was the most enjoyable story. I love a good nail-biting session.


I am very pleased to have been able to read this book ahead of it's release and so I am very grateful to both the publisher and to Net Galley for supplying me with the eARC.

Most of all, I am thankful for Anne Michaud getting in touch and asking me if I wanted to review her book. I am lucky enough to be putting together an interview with her too.

I hope you will all be purchasing your copy on April 30th. Feel free to come back and tell me what you think of it.


For now, here's the interview...




Firstly, I would like to ask you some background details, if that’s okay?

Name: Anne Michaud
Age: 25 forever
D.O.B: February 14th
Place of Birth: Montreal
Place of Residence: Tiny town on the south shore of Montreal
Marital Status: single lady
Children?: never!!
Favourite Food & Drink: white wine, pasta and cheese
Favourite Holiday Destination: somewhere by the raging sea
Favourite Music: The Cure, and 90s industrial, 80s goth, old folk, something with dark soul, too.
Favourite Book: L'écume des jours, Boris Vian
Favourite Author: Neil Gaiman
Favourite Quote(s): “The more I see of the world, the less inclined I am to think well of it.”
Elizabeth Bennett, Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen

How old were you when you decided you wanted to be an author? 
After my master's degree in screenwriting, on a set shooting my third short film, I realized I preferred the writing part of the process instead of dealing with neurotics and their problems. I've never looked back from it.

Who inspired you to become an author? 
No one, really. I just wrote down stories and shaped them into something I would like to read myself.

What kind of books do you like to read? 
Mostly young adult, but with a very dark edge. Don't give me frills and romance, I want action and despair with a good twist.

What made you decide to write the things you do? 
Everyone says 'write what you love', so I just do.

If you couldn’t be an author, what would you most like to be? 
I'm pretty good at interior design, so for sure I'd be telling people what to do with their homes. This and something in psychology, I think  -to mold minds. Mouahahaha!

What inspired the anthology ‘Girls & Monsters’? 
I had a bunch of short stories passed by anthologies and magazines, so I've edited and worked them into novellas, strengthening their weaker parts and making them darker. Then I noticed two major themes in my stories: girls and monsters, so I had found my title, too.

What was the inspiration behind each novella in the anthology? 
Death Song started with a dream where a creepy creature visited me in a bathroom, so I started from there; Black Dog is reminiscent of my first time living in London, arriving in a foreign city and staying at a youth hostel; A Blue Story was written for an anthology that never saw the day; Dust Bunnies was inspired by Lullaby by The Cure and is also an homage to Christiane F., a young Berliner prostituting herself for heroin; And the first act of We Left at Night was another dream I had, which left a deep impression on me.

Have you always wanted to write horror books?
Not horror per say, more like any good story with a super dark edge – that's my kind of thing. Any genre, but uber dark.

Do you see yourself writing in any other genres in the future? 
I already am, finishing another collection of novellas with a soft sci-fi theme and editing a literary war drama. I'd never stop myself at any genre – writing is like eating: you need different types of food to taste new things.

What was the first thing you wrote? Was it also the first thing you got published?
Yes, actually! Visitors was my first short story that got accepted in the first magazine I sent it to! This is where I got the publishing bug, really.

Are you a full-time author or do you have a ‘day-job’? 
Well, I'm not 'there' yet, so yes, I do transcription from home, which saves me loads of wasted commute time to write, instead.

If you’re not an author full-time, is that your goal, to become one? Or are you happy to have a job and write at the same time? 
Oh no, I really want to write full-time. It is my number one goal, and has been for a while.

How do you like to spend your days?
I write a little, go walk Poe (my rescue Japanese spaniel), eat, work the day job, write, eat, read, go to bed. My life is pretty simple, which suits me just fine.

Do you listen to music when you write (and if so what kind?) or do you find it a distraction?
I cannot write without music!! Actually, I choose the music depending on the mood I try to create in my story. Ironically, although The Cure has been with me every step of my life, I cannot write listening to them. Too beautiful, too breathtaking, I lose track of my thoughts when I listen to them.
* I love The Cure myself - Lullaby and Love Song have o be 2 of my faves*

What other books have you got in the pipelines?
Is there anything you can share with us about a current ‘work in progress’? Well, Girls & Aliens is almost done, my French novella about Hiroshima is going on the slate, next. Then, it's Girls & Ghosts and in the fall, Killer Girl, my YA thriller.

What do you think the future holds for you?
I hope more books. Always more books.

Which do you aspire to most: a huge book deal, a movie or TV series made from your books or something entirely different?
A movie, but something done with little money and a lot of heart – you know the type of project actors don't get their usual fee because they believe in the story so much? That kinda thing.

If a series was to be made for TV around ‘Girls & Monsters’, who would you like to see playing the characters (in an ideal world where we all get exactly what we want)
Wow, that's a toughie. I'm in awe of Jennifer Lawrence (I mean, have you seen Winter's Bone??!!), so she could play any of the girls and I'd be happy with it. Oh, and Gary Oldman – put him somewhere, anywhere. I just love him so.
*I so love Gary Oldman, I mean come on, Sirius Black? Phwoar*
Thank you for taking time out of your busy day to answer my questions! It’s great to get to know more about you.



Author Bio:



She who likes dark things never grew up. She never stopped listening to gothic, industrial and alternative bands like when she was fifteen. She always loved to read horror and dystopia and fantasy, where doom and gloom drip from the pages.

She, who was supposed to make films, decided to write short stories, novelettes and novels instead. She, who’s had her films listed on festival programs, has been printed in a dozen anthologies and magazines since.

She who likes dark things prefers night to day, rain to sun, and reading to anything else.



She tweets @annecmichaud



Giveaway!! Softcover copy + The Monster Collection Skellies, 5 pieces handcrafted by the author: <a href="http://www.darkfuse.com/contact/view.php?id=10891" title="GIRLS & MONSTERS Giveaway">GIRLS & MONSTERS Giveaway</a>

** Giveaway link for people on Wordpress: http://www.darkfuse.com/contact/view.php?id=10891"

The winner will be announced during the LIVE CHAT on release day, April 30th at 9PM east http://www.darkfuse.com/events.html




Thank you for coming by for my review. I hope to see you all here again soon!




Saturday, 20 April 2013

Review of Apollyon by Jennifer L. Armentrout


Title: APOLLYON
Publication Date: April 9th 2013
Source: ARC provided by Spencer Hill Press for review

"Fate isn’t something to mess with… and now, neither is Alex.

Alex has always feared two things: losing herself in the Awakening and being placed on the Elixir. But love has always been stronger than Fate, and Aiden St. Delphi is willing to make war on the gods—and Alex herself—to bring her back.

The gods have killed thousands and could destroy entire cities in their quest to stop Seth from taking Alex’s power and becoming the all-powerful God Killer. But breaking Alex’s connection to Seth isn’t the only problem. There are a few pesky little loopholes in the whole “an Apollyon can’t be killed” theory, and the only person who might know how to stop the destruction has been dead for centuries.

Finding their way past the barriers that guard the Underworld, searching for one soul among countless millions, and then somehow returning will be hard enough. Alex might be able to keep Seth from becoming the God Killer… or she might become the God Killer herself."

*I Hereby Award This Book 5 Wings!*

First of all, let me tell you, I have no idea how to write a review for this book. This book is the BEST Covenant novel, and possibly the best book of 2013 so far. There aren't really enough words to sum up how I felt and I don't feel I could articulate them well enough if there were. Jennifer L. Armentrout always writes books that blow me away and Apollyon was no different. Well it was, it blew me away even more than the others. 
*stalls, thinking of words to describe this amount of awesomeness* 
I could talk all day about how much this book rocks, but I'd probably end up spoiling it for you and I don't want to do that. If you haven't read any of the Covenant novels, may I suggest you pick them all up and read them AT ONCE. You don't know what you are missing. From the crazy characters she creates, to the setting, these books are amazing. You get sucked in in an instant and you endure a roller coaster ride with exceptional twists and turns. You think you're starting to get to grips with things but then Jennifer throws a spanner in the works - she had you fooled for a while, then she turned the tables and what you thought you knew is no longer.

Apollyon is the book I have been most looking forward to out of the series, though now it is replaced by Sentinel, the final novel. I can't wait until January 2014, it's too far away. 

So, do I give you a quick summary of what happens? I'm really not sure what to do here because in my reviews, I usually give a brief summary of the book and then my feelings on it. But I feel if I do that here, I'm going to end up talking forever and giving away all the important moments that you need to experience for yourself. 
I think it's suffice to say, this book is the most shocking, the biggest roller coaster of them all. I was happy, I was sad, I cried, I wanted to punch Seth or strangle him until his oesophagus disintegrated. 
That brings me to a good point actually, Seth. Some readers love him and are on 'Team Seth' - which by the way I don't understand how that's possible - and some readers hate him; I'm totally on 'Team Hate Seth'. He's a dumbass jerk. Why? Well if you've read the novels up to this point, you'll have a good idea why I say this. But if you haven't, well let me lay it down for you. In the beginning, I thought Seth was quite sweet, he seemed kind, compassionate, genuine. I even played for 'Team Seth' for about 5 minutes. But then the façade seemed to crack and we saw the Seth who uses Alex. Back when he asked her to 'see where they went' he seemed genuine, but then although he hadn't agreed to be exclusive with her, he cheated on her. Which I feel was totally out of order. He uses Alex to get what he wants and never tells her the full truth. He might only see it as lying by omission but I see it as bare faced lies. He knows things and he should share them with Alex because those things affect her life too, but he doesn't. What he doesn't seem to think of is that when Alex awakens, she will have the knowledge of all the Apollyons that went before her. He doesn't seem to know that he's hurting Alex. This is when we think Seth could be good. But then he goes and shows another side of himself which I class as full on evil - then you're stuck not knowing who the 'real' Seth is because he's the boy who cried wolf - you never know when to believe him any more. He could be a good guy that got swept away with his 'God Complex' and the thought of becoming the God Killer, having that kind of power can warp you. I like to think that in end, we will see that he was just being used and the power made him crazy for a while - in the end, I want him to be a good guy who was just misled.

Anyway, enough about Seth. I'm 'Team Aiden' - although there was about 5 minutes where I thought he was a bit of a fool. But then I came to realise why he had been acting the way he was and I quickly forgave him and was back on the Team Aiden wagon.
I am so in love with Aiden it's untrue. He's one of my biggest fictional crushes. In Apollyon, the way he stands and fights for Alex, even when she has her 'Evil Alex' period, makes me realise what a good, kind, compassionate man he is and he would do anything for the woman he loves.
I loved reading his novella, Elixir. It made me see just what lengths he would go to for the woman he is madly in love with. He really would go to the end of the Earth and back if that's what he needed to do. That's what you want in a love interest in a story. You want him to cherish the woman and not necessarily put her on a pedestal but worship her enough to do what needs to be done, even when what needs to be done isn't particularly a nice thing.

So, have I rambled enough? Probably! Should I say more? I don't know. Jennifer has created the perfect characters, whether good guy or bad. She knows just what to do to press every emotional button I have. There is this perfect balance that she achieves and I am in awe of that fact. As an Indie Author myself, if I could aspire to be any author, it would come down to a select few and Jennifer would be amongst them.

I am really excited to see how everything ends in Sentinel. It's probably the one book I am most looking forward to reading. I know it will be an action packed, fast-paced, thrill of a ride. All I can say is, bring it on Jen. I can't wait to see what's in store to make the series go out with a bang!

Thank you Spencer Hill Press for being awesome and sending me an ARC of this brilliant book. 
Thank you Jennifer for creating the Covenant series. I am glad I took a chance on a book with a pretty cover when I first saw Daimon on Amazon. I had no clue what I was letting myself in for, but I love the results.

Thank you to everyone who came by to read my review today. I hope to see you all again soon.





Monday, 15 April 2013

*Cover Reveal* GREENWOOD TREE by B Lloyd



‘Well, what do all mysteries have?' said Aunt Isobel. 'Money, mistresses, and murder.’

1783 – and Lichfield society is enthralled by the arrival of dashing ex-officer Orville; he charms his way into the salons, grand houses and even a great inheritance from extrovert Sir Morton. 

1927 – and detective writer Julia Warren returns to her home in Lichfield to work on her next novel. Initially she hopes to find plot material from the past and set it in the present. Aunt Isobel, while making preparations for the annual midsummer ball, has managed to root out an old journal from 1783 which might prove a source of inspiration. Once Julia starts reading her ancestor’s journal she becomes absorbed in solving the mystery surrounding officer Orville. Detective fever takes over, and she moves from reality to legend as events from the past seem set to re-enact themselves in the present, and she finds herself unravelling more than just the one mystery. Who was Orville? Who was the agent, Oddman, set to spy on him? And who is helpful Mr Grenall ? 

Pagan gods don’t walk away just because you stop looking at them. The Gronny Patch sleeps. Perhaps it dreams. Or perhaps not …

A complex, multi-layered story unlike any other, full of whimsy, horror, and mystery, shifting between the centuries and from source to source, until all the threads are finally drawn together by the imperturbable Miss Warren.



Author Bio:

A Bustle attached to a keyboard, occasionally to be seen floating on a canal ...
After studying Early Music in Italy followed by a brief career in concert performance, the Bustle exchanged vocal parts for less vocal arts i.e. a Diploma from the Accademia di Belle Arti di Venezia.
Her inky mess, both graphic and verbal, can be found in various regions of the Web, and appendaged to good people's works (for no visible reason that she can understand).
At present exploring the mysteries of Northumberland, although if there is a place she could call true home, it would be Venice…while the fields of Waterloo hold a certain resonance for her as well…
More here :
http://about.me/B.Lloyd
& here :
http://lloydanon.wordpress.com
For those who enjoy Twittery:
Do drop by
@AuthorsAnon
as she enjoys a chat
(Warning: Please expect occasional bouts of nonsense)

Author links :

On About me :  http://about.me/B.Lloyd
(contains blog, web, social media links)
On Twitter: @AuthorsAnon
Pre-order page on the publisher’s website : http://www.greycellspress.co.uk/pre-order-our-titles/






Sunday, 14 April 2013

Welcome To My Stop On The Blog Tour For SECURITY by Mandy Baggot



Title: SECURITY
Author: Mandy Baggot
Publication Date: April 4th 2013
Source: Review copy provided by RABT

"Autumn Raine is a pop vocalist at the very top of her game. She’s a style icon, the paparazzi’s darling and everyone wants to be her friend. But when her safety is threatened, her whole life starts to unravel.
Enter Nathan Regan, an ex-elite soldier who is assigned to protect her. He’s a good man doing bad things but what drives him? Passion? Madness? Or grief? Demons from his past are threatening to consume him. Can he win the fight alone or will he have to admit he needs help?
As the threat deepens, Autumn starts to find out who she really needs in her life. Is there still room for personal assistant Janey or rapper boyfriend Rockweiler? When everyone around her is feeding her lies, how does she work out the truth? Does her record producer know more than he’s letting on? What is her mother, the British Foreign Secretary’s involvement in the situation? And can Autumn put her faith in a forty-something Jamaican woman who handles an automatic weapon as expertly as she cooks?
Eluding kidnap and trying to stay alive, can Autumn find the strength to be the person she longs to be? And can two people, poles apart, forge something strong enough to survive anything?"


*I Hereby Award This Book 5 Wings*

"Over here Autumn... Strike a pose..." ... "This way Autumn..." "Which designer are you wearing tonight Autumn?.."... Cameras flashing, paparazzi shouting, posing on the red carpet of posh hotels, press releases,album debuts, the rumour mill... All these things are standard day to day occurrences for sensational singer Autumn Raine. 
Her mother decides she needs to boost her security... *Enter Mr Nathan Regan*
Being the diva she is, Autumn refuses to have this unkempt looking, cheap suit wearing...man as her security.
If you don't wear Dolce & Gabbana or Roberto Cavalli or some other well known designer, then Autumn won't even look at you twice. She wouldn't be seen dead with someone who wears a cheap "off the rack" suit. You need to have these things tailor fitted and the cost needs to be in the high thousands. Image is EVERYTHING to Autumn. 
All her life, singing has been her passion and she's good at what she does. So good that she is paid extremely well and would think nothing of spending $5,000 on one dress, only be seen in it once and then leave it to gather dust in her wardrobe. 
But Nathan Regan, he's wearing a cheap, badly fitted suit. He smells of cheap cologne. He's got goodness knows how many days worth of stubble on his face. There's no way she's letting him besmirch her image and name by being seen within 100 yards of her. But her mother has other ideas. Nathan is MI5, well, technically Sector 7 actually. He's well trained in his job. Looks aren't anything to him. As long as he does his job, what does it matter what he looks like?

Nathan is assigned to Autumn no matter how little she likes it. But she doesn't have to like it, her mother just wants her safe. She's about to set off for America and attend the IMA's (music awards), she needs extra security and Nathan is it.

Autumn is nothing if not stubborn. So she might have to put up with Nathan working for her, but she doesn't have to make his job an easy one. She's a diva after all.

What ensues is one of the most fast-paced, entertaining stories I've read so far this year.

Everything goes belly up for Autumn. There's a plot by terrorists to kidnap her. But why? No-one knows... Or do they? 

Nathan must work hard to keep her safe. He takes her to a safe house and she is in for a surprise in the shape of Tawanda. She's a larger than life, Jamaican lady. Not only does she serve up a feast, she knows how to fire a gun. Trust me, you've never met a character quite like her.

The wardrobe in the safe house is full of clothes, but nothing like Autumn would normally wear. There are dresses but none of them are designer. They're all cheap cotton shift dresses. But needs must. After all, she only had the Audrey Dupont suit that she had been wearing when Nathan took her there. But the suit has seen better days so she throws it in the bin and reluctantly finds something in the wardrobe that she can wear.

When Nathan has a shower and a shave and comes out wearing linen trousers and a simple top, Autumn can't help but start to see him in a different light. Behind that beard he had, there's actually quite a handsome face. The clothes he wears may not cost thousands of pounds or dollars, but they fit him well and he makes them look good.

How is it that the more time she spends in his company, the more Autumn is attracted to this annoying bodyguard? 

Nathan is quiet and withdrawn. As a bodyguard, he's good at his job, but as a man? he's seriously lacking in the conversational skills department. He's shut off, but Autumn can't figure out why. She sees a tattoo on his arm, the name 'Marie'. But who is this Marie? Is Nathan married? He won't answer her questions and there's no point asking Tawanda because she says "It's Mr Nathan's business to tell you what he wants you to know, child."

So Autumn is in this safe house, being made to eat more calories than she's ever eaten in her life, and this time she's not allowed to binge and then discreetly make her way to the bathroom afterwards. Nathan knows that she's had problems with food. He knows she makes a show of "looking like she's eating - but in reality not really consuming much of what's on her plate". He also knows she suffers from OCD and has to count everything, and I mean EVERYthing.

Nathan tells Autumn to get on the phone to her PA Janey and tell her she must organize a last minute party in her honour. She needs to get everyone together in one room. He believes that he can control the kidnap attempt if everyone is in one room and Autumn is glued to his side. But all doesn't go to plan. Why? I can't tell you.

Janey organizes the last minute party, telling everyone that Autumn has a new song to debut before the IMA's. In reality, Autumn has 24 hours to come up with a song "off the cuff" and Nathan has also told her that she must announce her new boyfriend. For a moment, she can't figure out what he means. Then the penny drops. He wants her to tell everyone that her and Nathan are an item. Why? She doesn't really know. But she is starting to learn to trust Nathan and will do what he says. After all, she acts in front of the cameras all the time, she can make them believe anything she wants them to.
But when they get out of the car to attend the event, Nathan kisses her and something in her responds to this handsome man holding her close and drawing her in with his kiss.

I won't tell you what happens at the party, that's for you to discover when you buy the book for yourself.
But what I can say is that there are shocks in store and twists and turns that you don't see until they smack you in the face. 

After the first kidnap attempt fails, Nathan knows that it's only a matter of time before they try again. They need to be ready for whatever comes their way. 

Living at the safe house with Nathan, Autumn starts to discover feelings she didn't know existed. It's a very different world to which she is accustomed. But being here with Nathan and Tawanda, eating regular meals and sitting outside looking out over the water, Autumn can begin to imagine another life for herself. 

Is Autumn Raine really the pop diva and media sweetheart that we first met? Is she nothing but an empty-headed, shallow little girl? Or is she much deeper when you scratch the surface? Is she adapting to a different way of life?

SECURITY is a story of drama, tantrums, kidnap plots and much much more. The budding romance that unfurls is the sweetest, deepest kind. There's more to Autumn and there's more to Nathan than anyone would first think. Nathan may be a man with his secrets, but he has his reasons. There's good reason for him to have built a fortress around his heart. But can Autumn start to burrow under that fortress? Can she make him believe in life, in love, in himself? 

This story packs a a mean punch. Just when you think it couldn't get any deeper, boy does it! There are trials and tribulations that both main characters must face. For Autumn, she needs to discover if she can be anything but a rich, snobby, shallow little girl. For Nathan, he needs to discover if he can begin to let down the walls around his heart. But in doing so, can he do his job? Can he protect Autumn from the terrorists?
One thing we know is, he would defend her to his last breath. But is that due to duty or thanks to Autumn teaching him how to love?

The 3 characters in this book that you will be guaranteed to love are Autumn, Nathan and Tawanda. Each for different reasons. Autumn, because she's not all she seems on the outside. Nathan, because he's swoonworthy and you can't help but fall for him. Tawanda, because she is so vivacious, tenacious and oh so very funny. Plus, if you don't like her, the lady knows her way around a rifle.

When RABT first asked me if I wanted to be on the tour for this book, I knew I had to say yes. I love Mandy Baggot. She is an uber-talented author and anything she writes is worth reading. So when I downloaded the book and started reading, I wasn't surprised that I got swept away by the story within.
I felt like I could connect with all the characters (except for Autumn's mother - you'll find out why). I fell in love with Nathan (in case you hadn't guessed) and I had a blast reading about their journey together.

Mandy Baggot always manages to write books that seize you and drag you under. But that's okay because you want to be dragged into the middle of the story. You want to exist within the world of her characters. Amidst all that goes on, there's an underlying story of courage to overcome your anxieties. To conquer your demons and to fight for what you want in this life. 

I wish there was a sequel to Security because the only bad thing about this book was the fact that it had to end. This journey was a tumultuous, emotionally charged roller coaster. One that you haven't seen the blueprints for so you don't know when to expect the sharp turns or the loop-the-loops. My heart was broken with the impact of this story-line. At around 80-85% of the way through, I started to cry and it was like someone had turned a tap on. One minute I was sitting quietly reading my book, the next, I couldn't see for the tears blurring my vision. Once the initial cascade had passed, I wiped furiously at my eyes with a tissue and kept reading. I didn't stop crying until the last word on the last page. Some will say this is because I am over-emotional. But I'll tell you the truth; I only cry at books that deeply move me. Security is one of those. I think I'll contact Mandy about buying a signed copy because it's one of those books that you just have to own in paperback (I only have a Kindle copy).

I am eternally grateful to RABT for the tour invite. But more so to Mandy for creating this world in which I got lost and didn't want to find my way back out. Oh how I wish Nathan Regan was more than merely the product of Mandy's imagination. We all need a Nathan in our lives.

Thank you to everyone who came by for the tour stop today. I hope you will continue to follow the tour, maybe even go back to the stops before me. Let's spread the love for this wonderful book as far as our bookish community possibly can.


While I still have your attention, here's a little Guest Post from Mandy herself:

Starting out as a writer – 5 things you should know and do

  You know everyone says they have a book in them. But do you know how many writers are actually active and out there? There are millions, yes millions of writers creating stories every single day. Choosing writing as profession isn’t easy. There is a lot of competition and if you want to go down the traditional route be prepared for knock backs. There are millions of others all carrying the same dream.
 
Be yourself. Read widely but don’t copy style. Find your uniqueness. Do you enjoy writing descriptive passages? Are you a King or Queen of dialogue? You need to write what comes from your heart otherwise it won’t bond together properly. A passionate voice is key.
 
Ask for help and advice. We all become better writers by accepting critiques from peers. Join a reader/writer community and test drive your manuscript. Ask for honest opinions because in the long run these will help you most.
 
Unless you are a bit of a phenomenon you aren’t going to hit the Amazon bestseller charts at the first attempt or even the second or the...do you see where I’m going with this? Be prepared for lots and lots of hard work not just on polishing your novel but on letting people know it’s there. Embrace social media, work hard and it will pay off but don’t expect to be at E L James status overnight.
 
Keep writing and never lost heart. It’s your novel, they are your characters and you are the best person to write their story. There will be knock backs, dashed hopes and lots of ‘almost’ moments. Suck in every one of them and remember the feeling. When you get that contract or when copies start flying off the virtual shelves it will all be worthwhile. A real writer will always write regardless of commercial success. Sometimes we all get too wrapped up in this. Don’t forget to enjoy the story – that’s how we all got started!


April 4 - Reading Addiction Blog Tours - Meet and Greet
April 6 - Andi's Book Reviews - Review/Interview
April 7 - Tiffany Talks Books - Review
April 8 - Taking it One Page at a Time - Review/Guest Post
April 10 - T's Bookish Moments - Review
April 11 - Looks, Cooks, and Books - Review
April 12 - The Serial Reader - Review
April 14 - Gothic Angel Book Reviews - Review/Guest Post
April 15 - My Cozie Corner - Review
April 16 - Turners Antics - Review/Guest Post
April 17 - Bean Counting Mommy - Review/Guest Post
April 19 - Musings of a Blodger - Review/Interview
April 20 - Jersey Girl Book Reviews - Review/Guest Post
April 22 - Author Ever Leigh - Review
April 23 -For The Love of Reading  - Review
April 24 - Flirting With Romance - Review
April 25 - My Reading Addiction - Review
April 26 - Lets Get Booked - Review
April 27 - 
April 28 - 
April 29 -Queen of All She Reads - Review/Guest Post
April 30 - Army Wife's Reviews - Review
May 1 - Busy Mom Book Reviews - Review
May 2 - RABT Reviews - Review

Author Bio:
Mandy Baggot is a self-confessed Twitter addict who likes to sing on You Tube. She regularly guests on book blogs and is a featured author on the innovative website loveahappyending.com. She is also a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association.
Mandy lives near Salisbury, Wiltshire, UK with her husband and two daughters.

Website 
Twitter Handle: @mandybaggot
Facebook 
Publisher Author Page






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