Saturday, 31 December 2011

Happy New Year!

To All My Bookish Friends, Old & New. Wishing You All A Happy New Year. May 2012 Be Good To You All. 
Hope To See More Of You All In 2012. Let's Discover New Books Together, Talk About Books Together & Share Our Love Of All Things Literary.

I Really Hope To Keep Discovering New Authors, Bloggers, Reviewers & Make More Friends.

Whatever You Are Doing This New Year, Have A Blast Doing It, I Know I Will!

Thursday, 29 December 2011

Review of HALF-BLOOD by Jennifer L Armentrout.

Title: Half Blood (Covenant #1)
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Published: October 18th 2011
Note: I bought this book myself. I was not asked for a review.

I hereby award this book 5 wings!
(and for the love of the Gods, I wish I could award it more)

Firstly, let me address the cover: I am an absolute purple addict, so this cover struck a chord with me. Not only for the colour though. Also, for the sheer beauty in it's simplicity. It has to be one of my favourite covers of 2011.

Now the book itself:
When I discovered this book through other blogger/reviewer friends on Twitter, I had to look it up and see what all the fuss was about. I will admit, I try not to read too many reviews before buying a book. I usually tend to catch one or two higher rated and one lower rated, just to have a comparison; to see what people loved versus what others disliked.
The general consensus of this book was that it has comparisons to Richelle Mead's Vampire Academy series. For some, the comparison was too much and was what they disliked the most. For others, it didn't bother them so much and they could rate the book purely on it's own merits.

Now, I can honestly say that Vampire Academy is a series that's close to my heart. I will always be in love with Dimitri Belikov, my gorgeous Dimka. He was probably my first fictional true love. I adored that series for many reasons, that I am not here to discuss.

Upon picking up Daimon, the prequel to Half-Blood, I couldn't really make the comparison between it and VA. Yet upon picking up Half-Blood itself, I could see similarities. I won't go into exactly what these are. But I will say this: whilst I see where the similarities lie and how they may have bothered some other readers, for me personally it did not impair my enjoyment of Half-Blood based upon it's own merits.
For me, an avid VA lover, I did not have the problems that seemingly plagued other die-hard fans. Whether this is because I know how to compartmentalise and base my opinion of a book solely on it's own merits and others do not, isn't really for me to say.
So, comparisons or no, I picked up thihs book and fell head over heels in love. From the first word I was absolutely hooked. I was glued to the book every spare minute I had.
I love the fluid way in which Jennifer Armentrout writes. I sometimes find that some authors can be stilted in their writing and jump from place to place without much explanation. But Jennifer's writing is beautiful. It really flows into each part well. You never get left feeling like you don't understand where the story is going.
That is not to say that you see the end coming. Far from it actually. There are twists and turns aplenty.

I can honestly sit here now and say, I do not know what to tell you about the story itself. I feel like I could chatter away forever, but that would mean I give the whole plot away. I know I would never be forgiven for that. By you, or by myself. In my reviews, I always endeavour to tell as little of the plot line as possible, yet get across why I personally loved the book. Well in the case of Half-Blood, that could not be a more difficult feat. I want you as the reader to experience the journey that lies within the covers yourself. Then maybe come back to me and we can talk until our hearts are content. But as for right now, I will keep spoilers to a bare minimum and hopefully leave you feeling like you need to read it for yourself so you know why I had this experience from this book.

From Goodreads:

The Hematoi descend from the unions of gods and mortals, and the children of two Hematoi-pure-bloods-have godlike powers. Children of Hematoi and mortals-well, not so much. Half-bloods only have two options: become trained Sentinels who hunt and kill daimons or become servants in the homes of the pures. Seventeen-year-old Alexandria would rather risk her life fighting than waste it scrubbing toilets, but she may end up slumming it anyway. There are several rules that students at the Covenant must follow. Alex has problems with them all, but especially rule #1:Relationships between pures and halfs are forbidden. Unfortunately, she's crushing hard on the totally hot pure-blood Aiden. But falling for Aiden isn't her biggest problem--staying alive long enough to graduate the Covenant and become a Sentinel is. If she fails in her duty, she faces a future worse than death or slavery: being turned into a daimon, and being hunted by Aiden. And that would kind of suck.

Alexandria is a 17 year old Half-Blood who lives with her mother Rachelle, a Pure. For the last 3 years, they have been cut off from the Covenant. Rachelle took Alex out into the mortal world, never giving her an explanation why.
<Spoilers Not Included>
Now Alex is back at the Covenant and is 3 years behind in her training. Upon her return, she is faced with a dilemma. As a Half, she faces a life of training to become a Guard or indentured servitude. I know which of these I would prefer and so does she.

Alex manages to convince the Dean of the Covenant that she can catch up on all she has missed. Aiden, a Pure, says that he will help train her and get her up to standard. It isn't like a Pure to offer to help a Half in such a way and Alex is shocked at the kindness of his gesture. But Alex doesn't want to train to become a Guard. That is not enough for her. She must become a Sentinel.

So Alex and Aiden begin to train. She must be caught up by the time school starts so that she can attend classes and graduate. It's harder for Alex than maybe she realised. Her body takes a beating and becomes one big bruise.

When Aiden offers to help apply a salve that will help her healing, Alex is shocked at the feelings that stir within her when he applies the salve to the bruises on her back. His fingers gently brush her skin and Alex gets a feeling that if I had been her I would describe it as 'my heart rate speeding up and butterflies in my tummy flying every which way and looking for escape'.
Alex is so shocked at this. Relationships between Halfs and Pures are utterly forbidden. But she's safe there. Aiden doesn't know how she feels and he doesn't feel the same. Does he?

There is one quote within this book, or at least one in particular, that made me melt.

"Alex?" I turned around, figuring he'd changed his mind and was going to order me to see Marcus in the morning and fess up to my bad behaviour. "Yeah ?" He brushed a lock of dark hair off his forehead and flashed that lopsided smile. "I remember you" I scrunched up my face. "What?" The grin increased to a full smile. And... oh, man. He had dimples. The air in my lungs died. "I remember you, too"

I can honestly say, by the end of this book, I was head over heels in love with Aiden. Also, I had a girl crush on Alex. She's feisty, sassy and kick-ass. She isn't the type to sit around moping and feeling sorry for herself. Rather she is the kind that takes the bull by the horns and runs with it. She's my kind of girl and I heart her - big time!

I reached the final word and like a drug addict, I was jonesing for my next fix. I cannot believe I have to wait until April 2012. I need it in my hands now! But I guess I need to be a good and patient little girl. Because good things comes to those who wait. Right? Right!

So off I go to wait til April. If you haven't already bought yourself a copy of Half-Blood, find it at these good retailers:

And while you are there, don't forget to pick up your copy of Daimon (Covenant #0.5)

Thanks for dropping by for my review, be sure to keep popping back for more.

Keren =) xo

Friday, 23 December 2011

Review of SHATTER ME by Tahereh Mafi

I hereby award this book 5 wings!
(If it were possible, I would award it more)
I have started, erased and re-started this review several times now. I know that every book deserves a review, but it's hard to find the right words to do this book justice.
I have not long finished this book, actually, around 15 minutes ago. I have had it glued to my hand on a daily basis, staying up late because I was lost in the world created by Tahereh Mafi.
For me, getting lost in a book is a regular occurence, when the book is a good one. Let me tell you, this one knocked my socks off!
I literally eat, sleep, drink, breathe the written word. Books are my passion, my life. This is for sure one book that I will not forget in a hurry.
I can honestly say that what drew me to this book was the cover. People were talking about it on Twitter and, as I usually do, I had to look it up on Amazon. Boy am I ever glad I did. It sure lived up to the hype.
There is only one slight negative about it so I might as well get it out of the way now and move on to the positive. The cover. It is both a positive and a negative for me personally. The eye-catching, absolutely stunning cover had me salivating. I am a self-confessed book cover magpie. As many people now know, I am a collector of beautiful, shiny covers. So this was the positive.
The negative however, was the fact that it was so beautiful. How is that so, you ask? Well let me explain. The world within the covers is a Dystopian world, controlled by The Reestablishment. There are strict rules and it is a stark environment.
The cover usually conveys something to us of what is inside the book, but to me, this cover didn't do that. The cover suggests happiness - something beautiful. It isn't until I got further into the book that I saw where thie idea for the cover may have come from.

So now you are thinking "Oh my God, this woman just spent ages telling me about the cover. I wish she'd get on with it and tell me more about the story". Well, that is exactly what I intend to do. Now.

"I've been locked up for 264 days.
I have nothing but a small notebook and a broken pen
and the number in my head to keep me company.1 window.
4 walls. 144 square feet of space. 26 letters in an alphabet
I haven't spoken in 264 days of isolation."

These are the words that greet us on the first page. It must be hard being Juliette Farrars. She has been in isolation for 264 days. Meaning she hasn't seen, spoken to or touched another living soul in 264 days. Her mouth is not used to forming the words that comprise of the alphabet she knows yet remains unspoken.
Juliette is trapped in a living hell. She gets a meal of what one can only describe as gruel, once a day. It is too hot to touch straight away. She knows this only too well and has the scars to prove it.
She sits alone in a cell day and night. One window and about 10 square feet of space. Only a thin blanket and a mattress of springs for company. She has a notebook and a pen, that she rations the ink rather than run it dry.

The world outside is crumbling and has little time to pay attention to the needs and wants of a 17 year old girl. Disease has all but ravaged the poulation. Food has become scarce. Crops do not grow. Birds do not fly. Animals are all but extinct.
This is the world The Reestablishment have created. They said that their way was the only hope they had of fixing things.

But it seems that even they are struggling now in the world of their own creation. The survivors are whispering possibilities of war. So now the very same Reestablishment that locked her up are rethinking their decision. Maybe Juliette could be more use to them than they previously thought. Maybe she is just the warrior the world is in need of. A weapon they can control.

I cannot tell you more of the story, for fear of ruining your own journey of discovery. I can only tell you how it made me feel.

There were times when I felt lost in a pit of despair. I felt like tearing my hair out. There were times when I felt trepidation. In fact, this was most times. However, there were also times when I felt that perhaps something good could arise.

I got so lost within the world that Tahereh created, I felt an empathy with Juliette. There was one paragraph that I felt particularly spoke to me on a personal level.

"In the absence of human relationships I formed bonds with paper characters. I lived love and loss through stories threaded in history; I experienced adolescence by association. My world is one interwoven web of words, stringing limb to limb, bone to sinew, thoughts and images all together. I am a being comprised of letters, a character created by sentences, a figment of imagination formed through fiction"

This spoke to me and touched me in a way I have never felt with other books. I feel like I live my life vicariously through the characters on the page. When I am reading a book I enjoy, I tend to feel like I am the female MC. In this case I was Juliette. The things that happened to her, happened to me. When she felt fear, I felt it too. When she felt anger, I felt it too. I was a world of emotions throughout this book. Not many of them good in the beginning. But I am glad to say, there were moments of elation and I felt those too. They were few and far between, but were enough to keep me from feeling like all was bleak and hopeless.

In fact, there was hope. There were even times of happiness. Stolen moments here and there. These were what kept my eyes glued to - and my fingers turning the pages.

This is one of my favourite books of 2011. There is no denying I was desperately upset when it ended. I felt a huge loss. There were no more words for me to devour. I must wait until goodness knows when for another installment. But one thing I do know is that as soon as I hear of the next release, I will be clamouring to get in line for it. Or maybe I'll buy it on Amazon and save myself the hassle of beating someone to death in the local bookshop because they had the audacity to pick up the last copy!

Well done Tahereh on an absolutely stunning debut. Also, well done on capturing my attention and keeping me on tenterhooks for book two. This is not an easy feat, but you did it. And you did it well!

To purchase this fantastic book:
Amazon UK
Amazon US
Barnes & Noble
The Book Depository (free delivery worldwide)

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Review of THE NAME OF THE STAR by Maureen Johnson

Title: The Name of The Star
Author: Maureen Johnson
Source: Review copy from Harper Collins

I hereby award this book 5 wings!

I have always loved things about Jack The Ripper. From documentaries on television, to books about him. I have always been fascinated by how he is one of our most notorious murderers, despite having only killed a small number of people. Some believe he killed 4 women, some think it's 5, some think it's 6. I personally have always thought it was 4. But it isn't the number of women he killed that matters most, it's the way in which he killed them. 

From Wikipedia:
Jack the Ripper
Drawing of a man with a pulled-up collar and pulled-down hat walking alone on a street watched by a group of well-dressed men behind him
"With the Vigilance Committee in the East End: A Suspicious Character" from The Illustrated London News13 October 1888
Background information
Birth nameIdentity unknown
Also known as"The Whitechapel Murderer"
"Leather Apron"
Number of victims:5+?
Span of killings1888–?
CountryUnited Kingdom

"Jack the Ripper" is the best-known name given to an unidentified serial killer who was active in the largely impoverished areas in and around the Whitechapel district of London in 1888. The name originated in a letter, written by someone claiming to be the murderer, that was disseminated in the media. The letter is widely believed to have been a hoax, and may have been written by a journalist in a deliberate attempt to heighten interest in the story. Other nicknames used for the killer at the time were "The Whitechapel Murderer" and "Leather Apron".
Attacks ascribed to the Ripper typically involved female prostitutes from the slums whose throats were cut prior to abdominal mutilations. The removal of internal organs from at least three of the victims led to proposals that their killer possessed anatomical or surgical knowledge. Rumours that the murders were connected intensified in September and October 1888, and letters from a writer or writers purporting to be the murderer were received by media outlets andScotland Yard. The "From Hell" letter, received by George Lusk of the Whitechapel Vigilance Committee, included half of a preserved human kidney, supposedly from one of the victims. Mainly because of the extraordinarily brutal character of the murders, and because of media treatment of the events, the public came increasingly to believe in a single serial killer known as "Jack the Ripper".
Extensive newspaper coverage bestowed widespread and enduring international notoriety on the Ripper. An investigation into a series of brutal killings in Whitechapel up to 1891 was unable to connect all the killings conclusively to the murders of 1888, but the legend of Jack the Ripper solidified. As the murders were never solved, the legends surrounding them became a combination of genuine historical research, folklore, and pseudohistory. The term "ripperology" was coined to describe the study and analysis of the Ripper cases. There are now over one hundred theories about the Ripper's identity, and the murders have inspired multiple works of fiction.

So when I was asked by Rosi at Harper Collins if there were any books I was interested in, The Name Of The Star automatically came to mind. I wanted to see what Maureen Johnson could bring to the table. Let me assure you, I am VERY glad I did.

Maureen Johnson writes a chillingly epic tale. It was not overly gory, yet contained enough that my appetite for gore was satiated. I don't usually care whether a book contains real blood and guts or not. However, this book being based on Jack The Ripper would not have been half so satisfying without it. I mean, if you are going to tell a story about someone ripping internal organs out, you can't really do it without some gore. 
That having been said, it isn't so bad that you wouldn't want your teenage daughter/son to read it. I think it is suitable for anyone around 16+ and would definitely recommend it to a friend's daughter who is around that age. 

So, on to my review:

Aurora Deveaux, or Rory as she prefers to be known, was born and raised in Louisiana, America. Her arrival in England marks a memorable occasion. For Rory, it is the start of her new life. Her parents are in Bristol for work, so Rory finds herself at a boarding school in London. 
The day Rory arrives at school, she discovers that London is in the grips of a copycat killer who is replicating the murders of Jack The Ripper. He kills his first victim in the same way as his first victim back in 1888. Rory has a run in with him one night, but only she can see him. What does that mean? How can they catch him if only Rory can see him?
Rory is scared what this could mean. I mean wouldn't you be?! It's Jack The Ripper. Multiple murders and eviscerations to his name. And only Rory can see him. That has to give a girl the creeps! 

I don't want to be all spoilery and tell you what to expect. However, I can say that there will be twists and turns that if you are anything like me, you won't see coming. I must say, each of which is immensely enjoyable. I found that Maureen Johnson has done a great job of her slant on Rippermania.
In all honesty, when I saw that this was only book 1, I felt that it may not have a proper conclusion. But actually, for me, there were no loose ends. It was all tied up in a pretty- nay bloody- package. I was really glad to find that such a book could fit so well into the YA category. 

I was happy to see that Maureen mentioned The Smiths, one of my favourite bands of all time. It was great to see the lyrics dotted about. I love Morrissey's voice and found that it actually fitted really well within the story. 
This is the first of Maureen's books that I have read. However, now I know I like her style, I will no doubt go out and purchase some more. I cannot wait for the next Shades of London book due for release,  I believe, in October 2012. It's a long time to wait, but due to the fact that this one actually did have an ending and didn't leave us hanging, I feel okay about the fact I have to wait another 10 months. 

All in all I would recommend this book to anyone who likes YA books and is looking for something a little different than vampires, werewolves and the like. Not that I don't love me some vamps, it's just that I like to read something a little different from time to time. 
I stayed up late into the night to finish this because I was too enthralled to put it down. For me, The Name Of The Star will go down in history as one of my favourite books. 

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

More From Harper Collins...!

I had an email from Rosi that said she was posting out SLIDE and DIVERGENT yesterday so keep your fingers crossed for me that they make it by the end of the week. That would make my Christmas all the sweeter!

Here are the covers and links to purchase them:

To Purchase This Book:

To Purchase This Book:

Interview with Caroline Hanson - Author of the Valerie Dearborn Novels

Finally, the moment I have been waiting for has arrived. I received the email from Caroline Hanson containing the answers to my questions. 
If you are new to Caroline's novels, go check them out. 
If you are a long-standing fan, or indeed a newbie to her work, read on for some truly interesting facts!

These are Caroline's beautiful covers. 

To Purchase:
LID: Amazon UK
        Amazon US

LIF: Amazon UK
       Amazon US

Now for the interview I have been waiting to publish:

Firstly, some background information:

Name: Caroline Hanson           
Age: 34
Place of Birth: Sacramento, Ca.
Place of Residence: Sacramento, Ca.
Single/Married: M
Children: 2
Favourite Singer/Band: Depeche Mode (all-time)/ Florence and the Machine (current)
Favourite Food & Drink: Choosing one is wrong…it’s what makes dieting such a killer.
Favourite Author: Laurell K Hamilton/Laura Kinsale/Joss Whedon
Favourite Book: For My Lady’s Heart (Kinsale) or The Killing Dance (Hamilton)
Favourite Quotes: These are all writing quotes that I like. I bastardized the first one and couldn’t find the original source, so go with it. “Destiny is a fate you have not tried hard enough to change.”

I have spent most of the day putting in a comma and the rest of the day taking it out.-- Oscar Wilde

“Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the
end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow.” ---- Mary Anne

*Note: I love Caroline's taste in music - Depeche Mode are the BEST*

  1. Did you always know you wanted to be an author?
 No. I am an only child and I just remember watching soap operas and Star Trek the Next Generation and making up alternative episodes and endings for them. It was a REALLY cool thing to do.

  1. If you couldn't be an author, what would you like to be?
I would own a used bookshop and have a fat cat that wandered around and tried to scratch all the customers.

  1. At what age did you decide to become an author?
 I’ve scrawled things that I thought were deep (but were crap—and short) since I was a teenager. Then I went through phases where I would write a sex scene but couldn’t be bothered to write a story. And that got a little longer over time. And voila! 15 years later here I am! J

  1. Who are your writing influences?
I love Laurell K Hamilton and her ability to describe sensation and have her characters have insanely long conversations about their weird issues. Lately I’ve been re-reading Laura Kinsale because her use of language is beautiful. And Joss Whedon of Buffy fame because he’s so good at making the viewer love the characters and then beating the shit out of them! And I also love JR Ward. She’s got an amazing writing style and she is totally pushing the envelope for the UF genre. I think she’s a good bell-weather as to where the genre is heading. I think people who read UF want things to be extreme. Their emotions and the sex. And she’s doing that. (fans self)

  1. What was the first book you remember reading and how old were you?Tricky. Probably Interview with the Vampire because I can remember what I was listening to at the time—Depeche Mode. And I still remember some random quote about ‘becoming what I became’ which seemed super-deep when I was 12. I also remember A Knight in Shining Armor by Jude Deveraux…and how much the ending pissed me off. Reincarnation blows.

    6. How old were you when you first wrote something you wanted to publish?

    7.Was LOVE IS DARKNESS the first thing you wrote? If not, would you share with us what was?
       I tried to write an episode of buffy when I was 20. I fear it’s in a box somewhere and will someday be unearthed and mocked. It was just terrible.

    8. What was your inspiration behind the Valerie Dearborn series?
    I love Urban Fantasy and finally hit the point where I was sick to death of the tough, leather pants wearing, fighting, super-girl and her ‘wonderful’ super-natural boyfriend. I wanted to write the opposite of that. I feel like the genre has a lot of new blood with the success of Twilight and that’s good, obviously, but it also means there are a lot of authors who have just decided vampires are heroes, which makes no sense to me.

    9. What was your inspiration behind the characters themselves?
Valerie started off as me, emotionally— I grew up in Fresno and wanted out. I went to London at 16 and saw how different it was and I remember thinking I could be anyone I wanted to be and that I would never have to go back. I studied in London and I’m sure she has a lot of my emotional baggage (this might be my cut-rate therapy). Lucas was a mix between Sookie’s Eric, Hamilton’s Jean-Claude, with the build of Robin Soderling, A Swedish tennis player I was slightly obsessed with. (He had a gigantic serve.)

  10. During the writing process, does one characters voice come to the forefront of your mind asking to be written?
The second book wound up with a lot more POV’s then I expected. I loved writing Marion (my villain from the first book) which is probably why she survived. And Lucas has wound up getting a lot more of my time then he has any right to. Lol.

   11. Would you say you easily relate to Val? Are you as sassy as she is?
         Sassy, yes. Also,  I’m scared of my own shadow like she is!

  12. How long did it take to come up with the basic premise for each book, LOVE IS DARKNESS & LOVE IS FEAR?
LID was easier because I wrote it for me with no expectations. I started writing it from the beginning (Jack’s parents getting killed which eventually was taken out) and over the course of several weeks realized I had half a novel, then ¾ and then it was done. And I thought, ‘Holy shit, what do I do now?’ People read it, it was rewritten several times and LIF took longer. LIF was half done at the beginning of last year. I just didn’t have the confidence to write all the sex that I wanted to have happen. Tequila works wonders. Just kidding.

  13. How long did it take to turn that basic premise into the books?
I write from beginning to end. I tend to write a first draft and that’s part of the plotting. I’m happy when the character’s surprise me. LID was easy. LIF was harder and I’m trying to be more precise with book 3. I want to have all the plot worked out before hand. It’s 80% there.

  14. How many drafts of each book were there before the final draft that got published?
A lot. I don’t know. I guess it depends upon what a draft is. If it’s going through from beginning to end and rewriting, maybe 10? But other scenes needed more work so 15. I’ve heard that ‘good writing is rewriting.’ I hope I’m writing good stuff as I do a lot of rewriting. My first drafts are really bad. Funk up the room bad.

  15. Was there ever a character or a scene that you wrote but then edited out?
       Sigh. Yes, that would be Jack’s backstory. It was 60 pages and started with a stroll through an Italian town where he got ice cream, went back to his parent’s hotel, met some vampires and everyone got slaughtered. Eventually. The tone was different than the rest of the book. And it was Val’s story. Starting with Lucas was mandatory in my mind. But to give Jack the first 50 pages of the Valerie Dearborn series just didn’t fit.

  16. Was there anything you edited out but found yourself later replacing?
       Ian! She slept with him and then she didn’t. At the very last-minute it got put back in.

  17. Is there anything you are willing to share with us (non-spoilery, of course) about the future for Val? 
Valerie is going to get a happy ending. It’s just going to take a while! I like angst. I want these characters to be real and I want them to be happy. But being happy isn’t easy. And I really hate when these Alpha men, who are total A-holes end the book Barbequing a steak and smiling because they’ve met the right gal. I just don’t believe it. I throw the book aside and it’s like, ‘yeah, sure.’ I want to believe that change. I love an Alpha Male, but the heroes I remember the most are the one ones who became more over time. Jamie, Angel, Eric, Jean-Claude, Spike, those are the gold-standard in my opinion. 

 18. Are you currently working on anything besides Valerie Dearborn?
 I still have the m/m regency lurking on my hard-drive and a time-travel that is half done. I like regency and erotica and will write for those genres at some point. I would also like to write a Janet Evanovich style series, but the happiness of it is kind of boring to write, so I’m not sure it will get written.

The next book will be out in 2012, hopefully before the summer.

Thank you!

*Note: Thank you Caroline. I am sure your readers will find this information just as fascinating as I did. You are an amazing author. Like I have said before, it won't be long before you are a best-seller and we can all say "We knew Caroline when she started out"*

If you are interested in another book by Caroline, then check out Bewitching The Werewolf:

 To purchase this book:

And the best part is, it's free!!

If you don't already follow Caroline on Twitter, do so here: @Caroline_Hanson

As always, thanks for stopping by my blog. My viewers are always appreciated. If you don't already follow me on Twitter but would like to, do so here: @Gothic_Angel28

Keren xo

Monday, 19 December 2011


That's right folks, the moment you have been waiting for is here. Check it out, I have the gorgeous new cover for SLEEPERS by Megg Jensen.

That's right, I thought it was so stunning, I had to make the picture size 'extra large'!

If you haven't heard of Megg Jensen, or the Swarm Trilogy, read on below for more information and links where you can purchase it.

Sleepers Blurb: 

An adoptee raised in a foreign land, sixteen-year-old Lianne was content with her life as handmaiden to the queen, until a spell cast on her at birth activated. Now she's filled with uncontrollable rage and access to magic she thought had been bled from her people years ago. Even her years of secret training in elite hand-to-hand combat and meditation can’t calm the fires raging inside her. 

Her heart is torn between two boys, the one she’s always loved and the one who always ignored her. But when the kingdom threatens to tear itself apart due to rumors surrounding the queen’s alleged affair, who will Lianne protect and who will she destroy? 

Book One in The Swarm Trilogy

Sounds great doesn't it? I am fortunate enough to have it to review and cannot wait to read it!

Where To Buy It:
Amazon UK
Amazon US

To connect with Megg Jensen, find her at:
Megg's Blog
Megg on Facebook
Megg on Twitter

Thank you all for stopping by. Don't forget to purchase your copy now. I'ts only 99 cents in the US and£1.71 in the UK. Not a huge price to pay for something that looks so good. So go on, treat yourself for Christmas. You know you want to!

Keren xo

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Review of CARRIER OF THE MARK by Leigh Fallon

Title: Carrier Of The Mark
Author: Leigh Fallon
Source: Review Copy from Harper Collins

I hereby award this book 5 wings!

I just finished this book about 5 minutes ago and let me tell you, it left me absolutely breathless.
I am really happy to see that it is part one of a trilogy as it left me deseprate for more.
I was fortunate enough to receive this book from Harper Collins for review, but let me tell you, I would have gladly paid the price tag for it then some.
I really truly feel like I have found one of my favourite books and discovered a new favourite author to add to my list.
I was on Twitter one day and saw that people were talking about Carrier of The Mark, so I went to Amazon to check it out and see what all the fuss was about.
Then when I was contacted by Harper Collins and asked if there were any books I wanted them to send me, this was the first one I picked.
I was so excited when I received it in the post but it had to wait until I had finished the book I was reading at the time.
Finally, I got around to picking it up on Thursday (15th December) and it has hardly left my hand since. I found myself needing to read it like a drug addict needs their next fix. To me, reading is my addiction and it is fueled even more so when I find a fantastic book such a Carrier of The Mark.
The first thing that grabbed my attention about this book was it's setting in Ireland. It is a place I have always envisaged as being magical and breath-taking. Though I have never been, I have always wanted to go. Honestly, Leigh Fallon has depicted it in such a way that now I want to go even more. If only to see where Carrier of The Mark is set.
I feel I can't say too much about the story because it is a journey that you, as the reader, should undertake yourself. From the first word to the last, this was an amazing story. A beautiful, magical journey that will stay with me for a long time after the final word.
I simply cannot wait for the next two installments, yet I know that when I have read the last one, I will still be hungry for more.
The way Leigh Fallon writes is beautiful. She paints a vivid picture that took me beyond the boundaries of what I thought my minds eye was capable of.
Megan Rosenberg grew up in America but now she's moved to Ireland. She sees herself as a non-desript, normal looking girl who hopes to just blend in and not stand out as the "new girl". She hopes that the new uniform she must wear and her fair complexion will help her do just that.
On her first day at her new school, she meets Caitlin  who thankfully shares a few classes with her and makes her feel at ease. She also meets the gorgeous, delectable Adam DeRis. (Sorry that I don't have the required accents for the beautiful names)
Megan seems to fit into life in Ireland as if she had lived there all her life. She seems to get on with everyone she meets. Of course who could not like such a sweet natured girl?!
Things are going well at school and at home. Soon she finds herself alone with Adam Deris and he tells her he likes her. That's right, the hot guy is sweet on her.
I know people say it's a little cliche for the "normal looking girl" to get the hot guy, but I enjoy the way it makes Megan feel to be looked upon in such a way by someone as beautiful as Adam. The way Leigh Fallon writes, it makes me feel a connection to Megan, almost as though I could be her. I felt what she felt. Saw what she saw. It was amazing.
Soon Megan meets Adam's family, again I don't have the accents to do their names justice. His sister, Aine (pronounced Awn-ye, I think)his brother Rian (Ree-in, I think)and their guardian, Fionn (Fee-un?). The Deris family have a secret, they are all Marked Ones, vessels for the elements, Earth, Fire and Water. Because of this, they each have an affinity for that element and have a kind of magic. (I shall explain no further so I don't spoil it).
Upon discovering their secret, Megan isn't half as freaked out as I would have been. She takes it all in her stride and comes to learn that she too has something of a secret. Something she only discovers upon meeting the Deris family and she cannot share with anyone outside of the family.
I cannot share any more with you without blowing it and totally giving the game away. There is so very much more I want to share, but I know that I wouldn't have appreciated being told ahead of time what happened. All I can tell you is, Leigh Fallon wrote a beautiful story and I am so glad she shared it. She created a gorgeous setting within the magical country of Ireland.
I fell in love with the characters. If I had to pick a favourite, other than Megan and Adam, I would probably say Fionn. He has his own story to share and it would be nice to find out more about that in the second book maybe?!
All that is left to say I guess, is that if you don't already have this on your bookshelf at home, you are really missing out on something amazing. Go, buy Carrier of The Mark now. You won't be sorry!

To buy your copy:

To Connect with Leigh on Twitter: @Leigh_Fallon

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Review of SHATTERED SOULS by Mary Lindsey

I hereby award this book 5 wings!

I actually finished reading this last night, but real life got in the way of getting on my laptop and writing my review.
At last, I have the time to tell you about one of my favourite books of 2011.

I first saw Shattered Souls on someone else's blog. It was one of their widgets, saying it was coming soon. The cover absolutely blew me away. It is one of the prettiest covers I have seen in a long time, if not, ever! So I went to Amazon to check out the blurb. What I saw made me desperate for release day to roll around. I have patience for many things, but new book release dates is one of those things that I have little to no patience for.

I saw that Book Depository had 2 copies in stock, this being before release date. But unfortunately, didn't manage to snag one before they went out of stock. However, I did manage to find a seller on Amazon that had it in stock, I placed my order and sat back to wait for delivery.
It arrived on 8th December (release date) and I ripped that package open, impatient to get to the beautiful book that lay beneath.
I was reading something else at the time, so this had to wait. I started reading on 12th December and finished on the 14th.
I swore I would not cry, as I have cried at a good many books recently. However, by the time I was finished, there was not a dry eye in the house. I even told Mary Lindsey on Twitter that at least it ended with a smile, albeit a wet one!

Anyway, enough about that, let's get on with the actual review shall we?!

Lenzi Rose Anderson is pretty much a normal girl. Except, that is, for the voices she hears. She's afraid she is going crazy like her father did. She tries to talk to her boyfriend Zak about it. No one else would understand, they'd all say she was schizophrenic or something. But Zak won't judge her. He'll help her if he can. So she tells him she's hearing these voices. That they scare her because she's afraid she'll end up like her dad. She doesn't know what to do to make them go away.

After a picnic with Zak for her birthday, they go to the cemetery after closing time so that Lenzi can pay a visit to her dad. Zak  has a bottle of Jack Daniels and his guitar. Lenzi too takes her guitar, intending to play a song for her dad. What she doesn't intend for is Zak to get drunk and go to sleep.

It is whilst Zak is flaked out on the bench in the cemetery that Lenzi meets Alden. At first she believes her hallucinations are taking a more corporeal form. He touches her on the shoulder, making her jerk away. She tells him he can't be real and should leave her alone. When she closes her eyes, counts to three, then opens them to find him still standing there, she comes to learn he isn't one of her hallucinations. But she is in for yet another shock when he calls her Rose. She's not told anyone her middle name, and why would he call her by her middle name anyway?!

Alden says her name is Rose and he is her protector. But Lenzi says he must be mistaken. She isn't Rose and why on earth would she need protecting?

Lenzi calls her mom to come get her from the cemetery. She'd rather face a row with her mother than this. She wants to wake Zak and leave. But Alden has other ideas. He wants to prove to Lenzi that she isn't crazy. That yes, she can hear voices, but that doesn't make her crazy.She is a reincarnated Speaker -someone who can talk to lost souls and help them transition. He will prove it to her if only she will let him.
So she tells him he has until her mother gets there to prove it.

Alden tells her that her name is Rose and she died in a storm on September 8th 1900. He even shows her her own grave. Lenzi points out that the date on the grave is 1875 not 1900, but Alden tells her that is from several cycles ago as her body was never found after the storm.

I can't and won't tell you anything more at this point, it would only ruin your own enjoyment of the story.

The story goes to show how Alden believes she is Rose. But Lenzi vehemently denies it. She cannot be Rose. She doesn't have Rose's memories. Surely if she were this other woman, she would remember something, anything, some tiny detail at least? But no, she has nothing!

What ensues is a delightful story where we follow Lenzi along her way to discover if indeed she is this Speaker and Alden is her Protector. I can tell you that along the way she meets some colourful characters. Not necessarily all good guys either. She meets a Malevolent soul who seeks revenge. He feels he was wrong in his life and he wants vengeance - stopping at nothing to get it!
She does meet some good guys though. There's Alden's sweet little sister, Izzy. There's also Race and Maddi, two other protectors. They tell her they knew her as Rose too. But can they convince her of the truth?
The big questions are, will Lenzi recover Rose's memories? Will she become the Speaker that Alden says she is? Will she have any choice in the matter?

Well, you need to read the book for yourself and find out. I can honestly say it is one of my favourite books of 2011. I would recommend it to anyone that loves YA books and is looking for something a little bit different to read. Lenzi and Alden are fabulous characters who spark off each other. Lenzi is quite a sassy smart mouth, but she's also a girl with a heart. Alden is adamant that he will protect her because it's his job, but there is nothing more to their relationship than that. Is he telling the truth? Does he secretly harbour feelings for her?

As I said at the beginning, I swore I would not cry at this book. But I just couldn't help myself. I cried and I laughed. I was even cursing along the way. There was so much I loved about this book that I just can't really express it fully. For me, it ended in a smile, albeit a wet one because I had been crying only moments before.

Well done Mary Lindsey on an amazing novel. I am off to have my Shattered Souls mug made :)

Want to buy the book? Find it here:
Amazon UK (hardback)
Amazon UK (Kindle Edition)
Amazon US (hardcover)
Amazon US (Kindle Edition)
Book Depository (free delivery worldwide)
Barnes and Noble

Want to find Mary on Twitter? You can find her here: @MaryLindsey

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