Thursday, 28 February 2013

February Wrap-Up.

These Are The Books That I Read This Month:

A Total This Month Of 13 Books.

5/5 Stars: 4 Books (Unmaking Hunter Kennedy, The Golden Lily, The Indigo Spell, Broken Wings)
4.5/5 Stars: 0 Books
4/5 Stars: 6 Books (The Reluctant Earl, Beautiful Creatures, Angel Eyes, A Natural History Of Dragons, Dualed, Farsighted)
3.75/5 Stars: 1 Book (Fall For Me)
3.5/5 Stars: 1 Book (Open Heart)
3/5 Stars: 0 Books
2.5/5 Stars: 1 Book (Shadowhunters And Downworlders)
2/5 Stars: 0 Books
1.5/5 Stars: 0 Books
1/5 Stars: 0 Books
0.5/5 Stars: 0 Books
0/5 Stars: 0 Books

A lot of 5's and 4's in my ratings this month, some great books I just wish that I had gotten around to reading more.

My standout this month was The Indigo Spell (I love me some Sydrian).
I cannot wait for The Fiery Heart.

I hope everyone had a great reading month, and another one in March.

Monday, 25 February 2013

(ARC) Book Review (215): Dualed (Dualed #1) - Elsie Chapman

Dualed (Dualed #1)

Publication: 26th February 2013
Publisher: Random House Books For Young Readers
Pages: 304
Genre: Dystopian
Age Appropriate: Young Adult
You or your Alt? Only one will survive.

The city of Kersh is a safe haven, but the price of safety is high. Everyone has a genetic Alternate—a twin raised by another family—and citizens must prove their worth by eliminating their Alts before their twentieth birthday. Survival means advanced schooling, a good job, marriage—life.

Fifteen-year-old West Grayer has trained as a fighter, preparing for the day when her assignment arrives and she will have one month to hunt down and kill her Alt. But then a tragic misstep shakes West’s confidence. Stricken with grief and guilt, she’s no longer certain that she’s the best version of herself, the version worthy of a future. If she is to have any chance of winning, she must stop running not only from her Alt, but also from love . . . though both have the power to destroy her.

Elsie Chapman's suspenseful YA debut weaves unexpected romance into a novel full of fast-paced action and thought-provoking philosophy. When the story ends, discussions will begin about this future society where every adult is a murderer and every child knows there is another out there who just might be better.
My Thoughts.
Elsie Chapman has created a fresh and exciting new world that will keep you transfixed until the nail-biting end.
I love the concept of this book, the fact that your Alt (twin born to different parents) is the one that will be ordered to kill you, anywhere between the ages of 10-20 you will be visited by someone from The Board (the people in charge of the city) who will then activate the order, and it's kill or be killed, only one will be left standing, you are given a month and if neither one nor the other is dead in that time then you will both be terminated.
Only the Alt that wins is allowed a proper education, job, marriage and kids, the Completes (Alt's that have won) are allowed the best that life can provide.

After a tragedy that affects West considerably she has almost given up on life, and then she gets activated to destroy her Alt, but with the guilt that she's feeling over the tragedy she thinks that maybe she's not the better version of herself, so it's up to Chord (her brother's best-friend) to convince her to fight for her life just like she convinced him to do when he was activated feeling the exact same way.

I'm intrigued to see how this will be carried on as a series, this book ended perfectly so I would have been happy just to have it as a stand-alone novel, so I wonder.

A fast and thrilling read, very enjoyable.

I give this 4/5.

Friday, 22 February 2013

Blog Tour & Guest Post: A Natural History Of Dragons - Marie Brennan, Book Review (214).

A Natural History of Dragons

A Tor Hard Cover
ISBN: 978-0-7653-3196-0
On Sale: February 5, 2013
Available here:

Not a day goes by that the post does not bring me at least one letter from a young person (or sometimes one not so young) who wishes to follow in my footsteps and become a dragon naturalist. Nowadays, of course, the field is quite respectable, with university courses and intellectual societies putting out fat volumes titled Proceedings of some meeting or other. Those interested in respectable things, however, attend my lectures. The ones who write to me invariably want to hear about my adventures: my escape from captivity in the swamps of Mouleen, or my role in the great Battle of Keonga, or (most frequently) my flight to the inhospitable heights of the Mrtyahaima peaks, the only place on earth where the secrets of the ancient world could be unlocked.

Even the most dedicated of letter-writers could not hope to answer all these queries personally. I have therefore accepted the offer from Messrs. Carrigdon & Rudge to publish a series of memoirs, chronicling the more interesting portions of my life. By and large these shall focus on those expeditions which led to the discovery for which I have become so famous, but there shall also be occasional digressions into matters more entertaining, personal, or even (yes) salacious. One benefit of being an old woman now, and moreover one who has been called a "national treasure," is that there are very few who can tell me what I may and may not write.

Beyond this point, therefore, lie foetid swamps, society gossip, disfiguring diseases, familial conflicts, hostile foreigners, and a plenitude of mud. You, dear reader, continue on at your own risk. It is not for the faint of heart -- no more so than the study of dragons itself. But such study offers rewards beyond compare: to stand in a dragon's presence, even for the briefest of moments -- even at the risk of one's life -- is a delight that, once experienced, can never be forgotten. If my humble words convey even a fraction of that wonder, I will rest content.

In this first volume, I will relate to you how my career as a lady adventurer and dragon naturalist began, commencing at the creation of my childhood fascination with all things winged, and for the bulk of its length describing my first foreign expedition, to study the rock-wyrms of Vystrana. Common gossip has made the bare facts well-known, but I warn you, dear reader, that all was not as you have heard.

Isabella, Lady Trent
Casselthwaite, Linshire
11 Iyar, 1895

My Thoughts.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, the memoir aspect, the storyline, the illustrations (though few but very well done) and the way the whole entire book was put together made this a very intriguing book to read through.

What Brennan has created here is a story that will captivate and keep you entranced all the way through till the action packed ending.

I loved the fact that although this book is fiction it's written in the way of a memoir, the life of Isabella a rambunctious and wilful child who discovered her first Dragon at a young age which then started her obsession with discovering the workings  (both inner and outer) of the species.
Starting with her early childhood and working her way through to her early twenties her fascination with Dragons never diminishes and sets her off on an expedition to Drustanev to assist in researching them.
And whilst I did have some trouble in pronouncing a lot of the names and places ( a section at the back of the book dealing with the pronounciations would have been helpful), the world building that occurs throughout with these imaginary places takes you to faraway places a journey that will enchant you.
The illustrations were gorgeous and as I said at the start of my review I definitely would have loved more, they help the imagination more in picturing the Dragons and having an idea of just what the author is describing.

The chapters were another interesting addition to the book, the way that at the start of each  there is a description of sorts on what will occur in the following chapter, I found this was a part of the book I was looking forward too, knowing what's coming but not getting exact detail either.

I hope that this is going to be the first book in a series, I can imagine that Isabella has a huge amount of adventures that she still has to share, I will definitely pick up any further books that may be released of the memoirs of this headstrong and sometimes opinionated heroine.

I give this 4/5.

 A physician had accompanied the hunt, to minister to both the dogs and the men; he arrived shortly after we did. I was not his first patient, though. I heard Jim’s voice moaning from the other side of the small room, but I could not see him through the press of other people.
            “Don’t hurt him,” I said to no one in particular, though rationally I knew the physician must be trying to help him. “Don’t blame him. I made him do it. And he protected me; he got in the way when the wolf-drake attacked.” This I had pieced together after the fact.
            The injuries Jim suffered through his heroic move were one of two things that kept him from being ignominiously sacked. The other -- though I can take little pride in it -- was my tireless defense, insisting that he was not to be blamed for bringing me on the hunt. Now, far too late, my guilt boiled up, and I fear I kept harping on the point long after my father had agreed to keep him on.
            All of that came later, though. Once finished with Jim, the physician came to me, and banished everyone but my father and the now-sleeping Jim out of the hut, for the wound was on my shoulder and it would not be appropriate for others to be there while it was bared. (This I thought foolish, even at the time, for young ladies may wear off-the-shoulder dresses, which show just as much flesh as his ministrations did.)
            I was given brandy to drink, which I had never had before, and its fire nearly made my eyes start out of my head. They made me drink more, though, and after I had enough in me, they poured some over the wounds in my shoulder to cleanse them. This made me cry, but thanks to the brandy I no longer particularly cared that I was crying. By the time the physician began to stitch me up, I was not aware of much at all, except him telling Papa in a low voice, “The claws were sharp, so the flesh is not too ragged. And she’s young and strong. If infection does not threaten, it will heal well.”
            Through lips gone very thick and uncooperative, I tried to mumble something about how I wanted to wear off-the-shoulder dresses, but I do not believe it came out very clearly, and then I was asleep.
Guest Post.
It doesn’t look anything like it at first glance, but this series was actually inspired by a calendar and a Dungeons & Dragons book. The book in question is the Draconomicon, a third edition supplement with information on -- you guessed it -- dragons. Now, although I’m a gamer, I tend to rag on D&D: its books are usually just new prestige classes, feats, spells, and magic items, with a token bit of setting information dropped on top like a spring of limp parsley. (I prefer RPGs for their narrative aspects, not for the crunch of game mechanics.) The Draconomicon, however, is different. Sure, it has mechanics in there, but it also has lots of cool information about the life cycle of dragons, their language, their psychology, and so on. As it happened, when I went browsing through that book for a game, I had a certain calendar on my wall: a Dragonology calendar, a bit of merchandise for the books of the same name. These take the conceit of being scholarly discussions of dragons, talking about different breeds in different parts of the world from the viewpoint of a natural historian. You can probably see where this is going. Actually, I don’t know whether my first thought was a novel. I know that in the space of a month or two, I flip-flopped half a dozen times as to whether I wanted to write a book about a natural historian of dragons, or run a game in which the player-characters were out to study them instead of killing them and taking their stuff (that being the usual mode of a D&D campaign). I played around with the beginning of the book for a little while, just to see how it went, and thirty thousand words fell out of my head; that seemed like a good sign. But that was right around the time that I started on the Onyx Court series, so this project got postponed for a good four years -- four years in which I probably could have run the game, but didn’t. Isabella had staked out that territory in my head, and wasn’t letting go. Besides, the dragons in my head weren’t D&D dragons anymore. The ones in the game system are intelligent creatures, capable of speech and magic; they defy anything like plausible biology, and they live for hundreds of years. The ones in Isabella’s world are animals, like tigers or bears; they may be a bit more complicated than mundane animals, but they’re not the godlike beings of D&D. And I’m trying, in my handwavy fantasy-science way, to make them vaguely plausible on the biological front. But it still all stems from a roleplaying game and a calendar. The imagination, it works in mysterious ways.

Marie Brennan is a former academic with a background in archaeology, anthropology, and folklore, which she now puts to rather cockeyed use in writing fantasy. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. In addition to many short stories and novellas, she is also the author of A Star Shall Fall and With Fate Conspire (both from Tor Books), as well as Warrior, Witch, Midnight Never Come, In Ashes Lie, and Lies and Prophecy. You can find her online at
 Marie Brennan (WebsiteTwitterGoodreads)

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Book Trailer: Clockwork Princess - Cassandra Clare

The Official Book Trailer for The Clockwork Princess (Infernal Devices #3) - Cassandra Clare is here, after watching this I want to read it even more.
I'm Team Will, how about the rest of you?

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Blog Tour & Giveaway: Broken Wings - Shannon Dittemore, Book Review (213).

Welcome to my stop on the Broken Wings blog tour hosted by YA Bound.  Click HERE to see the full blog tour schedule!

Broken Wings (Angel Eyes Trilogy #2)

Publication: 19th February 2013
Publisher: Thomas Nelson Publishers
Pages: 320
Genre: Paranormal
Age Appropriate: Young Adult

Giant angels with metal wings and visible song. A blind demon restored from the pit of darkness. And a girl who has never felt more broken.

Brielle sees the world as it really is: a place where the Celestial exists side by side with human reality. But in the aftermath of a supernatural showdown, her life begins to crumble. Her boyfriend, Jake, is keeping something from her—something important. Her overprotective father has started drinking again. He’s dating a much younger woman who makes Brielle’s skin crawl, and he’s downright hostile toward Jake. Haunting nightmares keep Brielle from sleeping, and flashes of Celestial vision keep her off kilter.

What she doesn’t know is that she’s been targeted. The Prince of Darkness himself has heard of the boy with healing in his hands and of the girl who sees through the Terrestrial Veil. When he plucks the blind demon, Damien, from the fiery chasm and sends him back to Earth with new eyes, the stage is set for a cataclysmic battle of good versus evil.

Then Brielle unearths the truth about her mother’s death and she must question everything she ever thought was true.

Brielle has no choice. She knows evil forces are converging and will soon rain their terror down upon the town of Stratus. She must master the weapons she’s been given. She must fight.

But can she fly with broken wings?
My Thoughts.
I really, really loved the first book in this series Angel Eyes and was more than delighted to be a part of this blog tour.

The visualization that you get whilst reading this book/series through the descriptions is stunning, I love the Angels that have been created here and the whole storyline makes this series one of my favourites in the paranormal genre featuring Angels.

And while this has been released as Christian Fiction which I'm not a particular fan of, this series whilst having God and religion throughout the books it doesn't take away from the storyline but adds to it instead, it helps that Shannon wrote it the way she did which makes it more enjoyable for those whom aren't religious in any sense.

With some extremely likeable characters, (yes Jake and Canaan, I'm talking about you) and our lead heroine Brielle , this book surpassed the debut novel which I didn't expect and because of that it just gave us so much more to anticipate with the third novel Dark Halo (which I love the title of).

I highly recommend everyone pick this book up, but for those of you who haven't read Angel Eyes definitely start with that one first.

I give this 4.5/5.

Book One: Angel Eyes.

Publication: 29th May 2012
Publisher: Thomas Nelson Fiction
Pages: 327
Genre: Paranormal
Age Appropriate: Young Adult

Once you’ve seen, you can’t unsee. Everything changes when you’ve looked at the world through . . .


Brielle’s a ballerina who went to the city to chase her dreams and found tragedy instead. She’s come home to shabby little Stratus, Oregon, to live with her grief and her guilt . . . and the incredible, numbing cold she can’t seem to shake.

Jake’s the new guy at school. The boy next door with burning hands and an unbelievable gift that targets him for corruption.

Something more than fate has brought them together. An evil bigger than both of them lurks in the shadows nearby, hiding in plain sight. Two angels stand guard, unsure what’s going to happen. And a beauty brighter than Jake or Brielle has ever seen is calling them to join the battle in a realm where all human choices start.

A realm that only angels and demons—and Brielle—can perceive.

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About the Author
Shannon Dittemore has an overactive imagination and a passion for truth. Her lifelong journey to combine the two is responsible for a stint at Portland Bible College, performances with local theater companies, and a focus on youth and young adult ministry. The daughter of one preacher and the wife of another, she spends her days imagining things unseen and chasing her two children around their home in Northern California. Angel Eyes is her first novel.

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Cover Reveal & Giveaway: A Need So Insatiable - Cecilia Robert

A Need So Insatiable

Cover art: Najla Qamber at
Genre: Contemporary romance
Book  Release: Winter 2013

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Cecilia Robert lives in Vienna with her two children, has an incurable obsession with books, anything romantic, TV and medieval architecture. When not working in her full time job, catching up with her two children, writing or reading, she can be found, knitting or crocheting, taking photos of old buildings.

Blog Tour: Fall For Me - K.A Last, Guest Post, Giveaway & Book Review (212).

Fall For Me (The Tate Chronicles #1)

Title: Fall For Me (The Tate Chronicles #1)
Author: K. A. Last
Genre: Fantasy/Paranormal Romance
Date of Publication: January 17th 2013
Number of pages: Paperback – 312
Word Count: 71,000
Formats available: eBook and Paperback
Cover Artist: KILA Designs –
Purchase Links:
Amazon eBook
Amazon paperback

“Angels aren’t supposed to fall in love, especially with each other. But for the record, you were worth it.”

Grace Tate is a Protection Angel and Vampire Hunter, and she has always followed the rules. But some rules are made to be broken…

Until now the fight against evil has been simple, and falling in love was never part of the plan. So what happens when it’s beyond Grace’s control, and when she least expects it she falls for the wrong person?

All hell breaks loose, that’s what.

At Hopetown Valley High, not everything is as it seems, and the one person Grace thought was her enemy becomes her most important ally.

Blood will be shed, lives will be lost and friendships will be tested. It all comes down to one decision, and when Grace tries to save all those dear to her, she realises not everyone can be—or wants to be—saved.
My Thoughts.
I'm a huge paranormal genre fan, any kind of supernatural entities and I'm pretty much guaranteed to read it, this time we are focusing in Angels And Vampires.
Grace is a Protection Angel, destined to be reborn into the Tate family over and over to protect them in their jobs as Vampire Hunters, Grace in this lifetime has a twin brother Archer, they are the only two Tate's left in this generation.
One night while patrolling they come across a girl Charlotte, who they realise is a Vampire, but Grace who has the ability to read minds discovers that she has a pure soul and has never ever killed a human being, intrigued they seek her out never realising the huge secret that she is hiding will change both of their lives forever.
Told in alternating perspectives each chapter, the other character sharing their story in the book is Josh, a human who has had a crush on Grace for years, and she for him but being together with a human is forbidden.
Rounding out the cast is Fallen Angel Seth, whom Grace used to be friends with back before he fell and who nowadays spends his days hanging around with Vampires, but there is a story as to why he fell, their story is told in the prologue, also featured are the respective best-friends of said chapter holders Emma and Ryan, their lives will also be impacted in a major way in this book.
I'd be very interested to see where the next book and the rest of the series goes, a good quick read, ready to pique your interest in the lives of the Tate family.
I give this 3.75/5.

Guest Post.
Hi Sarah, and thanks for having me at your blog today. Since today is Valentine’s Day I thought I’d talk about the one thing every girl loves to get from their beloved (apart from flowers). Jewellery!

Throughout Fall For Me, rings play a pretty important part. Grace wears a ring on her right hand as a symbol of her connection and devotion to Heaven. The traditional symbol of eternity lies within it, the never-ending circle that represents union, love and unyielding faith. All the angels in my world are given a ring when they first come into creation and each ring—like each angel—is unique. The rings also play another very important part in the story, but you’ll have to read the book to find out what it is!

Grace actually has two rings in Fall For Me. Her creation ring is a blue sapphire surrounded by flowing curves that look like wings.
And, Josh gives Grace a ring at some stage during the story. It’s also a sapphire and has a sparkling diamond on either side. He has his name engraved on the inside of the band for her.

The other great thing about Valentine’s Day is, of course, kissing! I’d love to share with you Grace and Josh’s first kiss in Fall For Me.

This teaser is from Chapter Fifteen, and from Josh’s point of view.

Grace turned her face up to mine and finally I felt the velvet soft touch of her lips. We both trembled as our bodies intertwined. Grace ran her hands up my neck and curled her fingers into my hair. Nothing else mattered and we were lost in one another. I moved my hands from her waist around to her back then traced the line of her spine up to her wings, ever so gently caressing them. Grace tilted her head back and I placed feather light kisses down her neck to her collar bone then back up the other side.

“You are heaven in the flesh,” I whispered, gazing into her sparkling blue eyes.

Grace smiled and more tears spilled down her cheeks, shimmering in the sunlight like tiny flecks of quartz. I kissed her again, only this time with a hunger so intense I never wanted it to end.

Thank you again for having me today, Sarah. I hope everyone has a wonderful Valentine’s Day.
K x
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About the Author:
K. A. Last was born in Subiaco, Western Australia, and moved to Sydney with her parents and older brother when she was eight. Artistic and creative by nature, she studied Graphic Design and graduated with an Advanced Diploma. After marrying her high school sweetheart, she concentrated on her career before settling into family life. Blessed with a vivid imagination, she began writing to let off creative steam, and fell in love with it. She now resides in a peaceful leafy suburb north of Sydney with her husband, their two children, and a rabbit named Twitch.

Amazon Author Page:

Monday, 11 February 2013

Cover Reveal: Teardrop (Teardrop #1) Lauren Kate

Teardrop (Teardrop #1)

Never, ever cry. . . . Eureka Boudreaux's mother drilled that rule into her daughter years ago. But now her mother is gone, and everywhere Eureka goes he is there: Ander, the tall, pale blond boy who seems to know things he shouldn't, who tells Eureka she is in grave danger, who comes closer to making her cry than anyone has before.

But Ander doesn't know Eureka's darkest secret: ever since her mother drowned in a freak accident, Eureka wishes she were dead, too. She has little left that she cares about, just her oldest friend, Brooks, and a strange inheritance—a locket, a letter, a mysterious stone, and an ancient book no one understands. The book contains a haunting tale about a girl who got her heart broken and cried an entire continent into the sea. Eureka is about to discover that the ancient tale is more than a story, that Ander might be telling the truth . . . and that her life has far darker undercurrents than she ever imagined. From Lauren Kate comes an epic saga of heart-stopping romance, devastating secrets, and dark magic . . . a world where everything you love can be washed away
Expected publication: October 22nd 2013 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers

Sunday, 10 February 2013

(ARC) Book Review (211): The Indigo Spell - Richelle Mead

The Indigo Spell (Bloodlines #3)

Publication: 12th February 2013
Publisher: Penguin Books Australia
Pages: 401
Genre: Paranormal
Age Appropriate: Young Adult
In the aftermath of a forbidden moment that rocked Sydney to her core, she finds herself struggling to draw the line between her Alchemist teachings and what her heart is urging her to do. Then she meets alluring, rebellious Marcus Finch--a former Alchemist who escaped against all odds, and is now on the run. Marcus wants to teach Sydney the secrets he claims the Alchemists are hiding from her. But as he pushes her to rebel against the people who raised her, Sydney finds that breaking free is harder than she thought. There is an old and mysterious magic rooted deeply within her. And as she searches for an evil magic user targeting powerful young witches, she realizes that her only hope is to embrace her magical blood--or else she might be next.

Populated with new faces as well as familiar ones, the Bloodlines series explores all the friendship, romance, battles, and betrayals that made the #1 New York Times bestselling Vampire Academy series so addictive—this time in a part-vampire, part-human setting where the stakes are even higher and everyone’s out for blood.
My Thoughts.
Richelle Mead has got to be one of the most gifted authors around, with her ability to capture your attention and emotions so completely whilst reading one of her books, that you feel a loss once the book comes to an end.
While quite a few authors release subsequent books in a series that aren't up to par with the first book, Mead has the ability of writing books that get better with each new release, she could write a shopping list and I'd probably find it fascinating!
I was so excited to receive an e-galley of this book, I've read every series that Mead has written so to receive an arc of one of her books was very exciting to me, and as always this book was brilliant and had me doing a happy dance, those who've read it already know what I'm talking about.
I love these characters, I'm a HUGE Adrian fan, he's a favourite of mine from the Bloodlines and Vampire Academy series, his one liners have me in stitches, and I can never get enough of his wit.
After the ending we were left with in The Golden Lily I was a bit upset, to be teased the way we were and then to have it taken away from us was cruel, but Richelle after this book all is forgiven. *Smiley Face*.
Sydney's on the search for Marcus Finch, a former Alchemist whom she hopes will help her, Miss Terwillger's sister is going around sucking the youth out of young witches to stay young and Sydney's persuaded to help her find the possible victims beforehand, we have a wedding and some cameos from characters of the Vampire Academy series and of course what we're all reading this series for SYDRIAN (Sydney and Adrian).
I'm not going to say anything else about this book because I don't want to spoil it for anybody, but I strongly suggest that everybody pick this up A.S.A.P, you won't be disappointed.
Another stroke of genius from Richelle, highly recommended.
I give this 5/5.