Monday, 30 December 2013

Book Review (290): After Eden (After Eden #1) - Helen Douglas

After Eden (After Eden #1)

Publication: 1st January 2014
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Pages: 288
Genre: Science-Fiction/Time-Travel
Age Appropriate: Young Adult
Read the Prologue and the first chapter here.
Eden Anfield loves puzzles, so when mysterious new boy Ryan Westland shows up at her school she's hooked. On the face of it, he's a typical American teenager. So why doesn't he recognise pizza? And how come he hasn't heard of Hitler? What puzzles Eden the most, however, is the interest he's taking in her. 

As Eden starts to fall in love with Ryan, she begins to unravel his secret. Her breakthrough comes one rainy afternoon when she stumbles across a book in Ryan's bedroom - a biography of her best friend - written over fifty years in the future. Confronting Ryan, she discovers that he is there with one unbelievably important purpose ... and she might just have destroyed his only chance of success.
My Thoughts.
After Eden is the first book in the After Eden series by Helen Douglas.
This book is very reminiscent of Twilight, actually very much so, the similarities are astounding, almost the same kind of storyline with a few tweaks here and there to not make it an exact copy, but when you're as big a fan as I am (Twilight is my favourite series) you will definitely notice.
That's not to say that's it's a bad book, on the contrary I did actually enjoy it and finished it in a matter of hours, and I will carry on with the rest of the series although I do feel this book could have been a stand-alone, I don't think you really need to carry on the story when it all seemed to be wrapped up in After Eden.
One difference in this book is the focus on time-travel and astronomy, and the way that one person can make a difference to the fate of any one thing, good or bad.
Thumbs-up for the concept, it was different from what's around at the moment and I quite enjoyed the characters as well, I liked Eden and Ryan as a couple, they fit well together and I was invested in them and had my fingers crossed that it would all work out for them, I also was a fan of the supporting characters, especially Connor and Megan.
If you like a bit of time-travel mixed with a bit of astronomy then pick this up, actually you don't really need to be a fan particularly of any of those things, it's a quick, enjoyable read.
I look forward to the second book.
I give this 3.5/5 stars.

I was born in a small beach town in Cornwall, much like the fictional town of Perran that appears in After Eden. As a child I enjoyed reading, building dens and writing stories of my own. My teenage years were centred around the beach. Summer days were spent swimming and body-boarding. Summer nights meant beach parties with bonfires and barbecues. When it rained, which it did a lot, I read lots of books and dreamed of being a writer.
After leaving school, I lived in many different places including London, California, New York and New Jersey. I’m now back in Cornwall where I live midway between the woods and the beach. When the sky is clear, I can usually be found walking in the woods, hanging out at the beach or looking at the stars.  When the sea mist rolls in or it’s raining, I spend my time reading books, writing and dreaming up my next story.


Book Highlight & Giveaway: The Forgotten Ones - Laura Howard

Title: The Forgotten Ones
Author: Laura Howard
Genre: New Adult Fantasy
Series: The Danaan Trilogy #1
Published: April 28, 2013

Allison O'Malley's plan is to go to grad school so she can get a good job and take care of her schizophrenic mother. She has carefully closed herself off from everything else, including a relationship with Ethan, who she's been in love with for as long as she can remember.

What is definitely not part of the plan is the return of her long-lost father, who claims he can bring Allison's mother back from the dark place her mind has gone. Allison doesn't trust her father, so why would she believe his stories about a long forgotten Irish people, the Tuatha de Danaan? But truths have a way of revealing themselves. Secrets will eventually surface. And Allison must learn to set aside her plan and work with her father if there is even a small chance it could restore her mother's sanity.

Laura Howard lives in New Hampshire with her husband and four children. Her obsession with books began at the age of 6 when she got her first library card. Nancy Drew, Sweet Valley High and other girly novels were routinely devoured in single sittings. Books took a backseat to diapers when she had her first child. It wasn’t until the release of a little novel called Twilight, 8 years later, that she rediscovered her love of fiction. Soon after, her own characters began to make themselves known. The Forgotten Ones is her first published novel.

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Sunday, 29 December 2013

(ARC) Book Review (289): Uninvited (Uninvited #1) - Sophie Jordan

Uninvited (Uninvited #1)

Sophie Jordan took her adolescent daydreaming one step further and penned her first historical romance in the back of her high school Spanish class. This passion led her to pursue a degree in English and History.

A brief stint in law school taught her that case law was not nearly as interesting as literature - teaching English seemed the natural recourse. After several years teaching high school students to love Antigone, Sophie resigned with the birth of her first child and decided it was time to pursue the long-held dream of writing.

In less than three years, her first book, Once Upon A Wedding Night, a 2006 Romantic Times Reviewers' Choice Nominee for Best First Historical, hit book shelves. Her second novel, Too Wicked To Tame, released in March 2007 with a bang, landing on the USA Today Bestseller's List.

Saturday, 28 December 2013

(ARC) Book Review (288): Her Dark Curiosity (The Madman's Daughter #2) - Megan Shepherd

Her Dark Curiosity (The Madman's Daughter #2)

Publication: 28th January 2014
Publisher: Balzer+Bray
Pages: 368
Genre: Historical Fiction/Fantasy
Age Appropriate: Young Adult
To defeat the darkness, she must first embrace it.

Months have passed since Juliet Moreau returned to civilization after escaping her father's island—and the secrets she left behind. Now, back in London once more, she is rebuilding the life she once knew and trying to forget Dr. Moreau’s horrific legacy—though someone, or something, hasn’t forgotten her.

As people close to Juliet fall victim one by one to a murderer who leaves a macabre calling card of three clawlike slashes, Juliet fears one of her father’s creations may have also escaped the island. She is determined to find the killer before Scotland Yard does, though it means awakening sides of herself she had thought long banished, and facing loves from her past she never expected to see again.

As Juliet strives to stop a killer while searching for a serum to cure her own worsening illness, she finds herself once more in the midst of a world of scandal and danger. Her heart torn in two, past bubbling to the surface, life threatened by an obsessive killer—Juliet will be lucky to escape alive.

With inspiration from Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, this is a tantalizing mystery about the hidden natures of those we love and how far we’ll go to save them from themselves.
My Thoughts.
Her Dark Curiosity is the second book in The Madman's Daughter trilogy by Megan Shepherd.
Megan has crafted an extremely amazing sequel that easily surpasses her debut novel, and sets the stage to what should be an epic conclusion to this fantastic series.
Everything about this book is well done, from the astoundingly beautiful cover to the engrossing writing, the well-written characters and the carefully thought out and developed plot that will keep you entertained the whole way through.
This won't be a long review, I say that because I don't want to give away any spoilers and in discussing this book I'm afraid I'll do just that, there's just so much I want to write about that happened in this story, but I want people to read this book themselves and discover everything without any warnings beforehand, and trust me, it's all good!
The book opens after the conclusion of the last one, Juliet is back in London, secretly trying to find a cure for her condition now that her drugs aren't working that well anymore, there have been murders occurring by a serial killer nicknamed the "Wolf Of Whitechapel", these murders are all linked and once Juliet figures out just what that is, she then discovers just who it is, it seems someone/something has followed her from the island to London, and the one thing they're after is Juliet!
I can't praise this book enough, it's just fabulous and the fact that it's loosely based on the 'Dr Jekyll And Mr Hyde' story adds another layer to the tale.
For those of you who like books featuring: action/adventure and suspense all put together in a historical setting then this is the series for you.
I'm highly anticipating the third and final book in this series, I'm desperate to know how this will all end.
I give this 5/5 stars.

I’ve been many things, like a professional exchange student, park ranger in Montana, and LOST enthusiast, but what I am now is a writer.
I think it’s fair to say I was born into it. I grew up in the mountains of North Carolina, raised behind the counter of my parents’ independent bookstore, Highland Books in Brevard. Ah, so many free books. But I never thought being a writer could be a real career. After college I thought I’d end up as a foreign service officer somewhere dashing and exotic, like Canada. I studied French, Spanish, German, and Russian and still speak a few of those. Then I joined the Peace Corps and spent two years in Senegal, where I learned a few more languages I’ll never speak again and lived in a mud hut with no electricity or running water. You can probably imagine how that experience went, but if you’re curious, here are the dirty details
It wasn't until a chance aquaintance read something I wrote and said, "have you ever considered being a writer?" that something clicked and I realized it was possible. My husband encouraged me, and I quickly fell head-over-heels in love with writing and children's literature in particular. I started out writing articles, which have appeared in Faces, Appleseeds, and Calliope magazines, and stories for younger children. I soon realized I wasn’t sweet enough to write fiction for that age and found myself writing young adult literature instead, which doesn’t require nearly as many tender moments and includes a lot more cursing.
When I'm not writing, I can usually be found horseback riding, day dreaming at coffee shops, or hiking in the beautiful mountains of Western North Carolina. I love to hear from readers, so please drop me a line!

Sunday, 22 December 2013

(ARC) Book Review (287): Up From The Grave (Night Huntress #7) - Jeaniene Frost

Up From the Grave (Night Huntress #7)

Up From The Grave is the seventh and final book in the Night Huntress series by Jeaniene Frost.
They say that all good things must come to an end, unfortunately for us fans of these books. that means this series that has given us such enjoyment and pleasure in their eagerly anticipated releases has reached it's final swan song.
I hate knowing that this is the last Cat and Bones book, knowing that no more will I read about one of my all-time favorite fictional couples, it makes me feel really sad, I had such a sense of loss after reading this, that when I closed the book it felt like the end of an era, one that I wished had never come.
But I will say one thing, Frost definitely saved the best for last and has let this series go out with a bang and features one of, actually probably THE biggest shock twist in the whole series!
I don't want to give too much away but this book has so much action, right from the get-go, this plus the awesome storyline which helps wrap-up the Cat and Bones saga was perfect, as was the epilogue down to the very last page.
Featuring appearances from all of the characters we've grown to love throughout all of the books, you won't be disappointed, no matter how bittersweet reading this finale is.
What I'm going to do without my Cat and Bones fix every year is beyond me, but these books will definitely be re-read at some point, I can't stay away that long.
I highly recommend that people pick this book up, or for those that have yet to even read the first book, get thee to a bookstore pronto, and I'll sit here feeling jealous of all those people discovering the Night Huntress series for the first time.
A fantastic ending to one of the greatest series ever written.
I give this 5/5 stars.

Jeaniene Frost is the New York Times, USA Today, and international bestselling author of the Night Huntress series, the Night Prince series, and the upcoming Broken Destiny series.  To date, foreign rights for her novels have sold to twenty different countries. Jeaniene lives in North Carolina with her husband Matthew, who long ago accepted that she rarely cooks and always sleeps in on the weekends. Aside from writing, Jeaniene enjoys reading, poetry, watching movies with her husband, exploring old cemeteries, spelunking and traveling – by car. Airplanes, children, and cook books frighten her. 

Cover Reveal: A Need So Insatiable - Cecilia Robert

Title: A Need So Insatiable (Hearts #1)
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance
Release Date : February 2014

Book blurb:
“I’ve never bowed or kneeled for anyone,” Rafael says. “Never thought I would.” Then he drops to his knees. He slides his arms around my waist, tugging me closer and bows his head.
“You own me, Sophie.” He looks up, his dark eyes hitting me with enough force to snatch the breath from my lungs. “You’ve owned me from the moment I walked into your life in that music room. Then I saw you slipping out the window like the wolves were after you and I knew I wanted you in my life. You’ve wrapped yourself in my heart and mind. I can’t get you out. I don’t want to.” 

Sophie Fisher’s life is on fire and it’s not her breathtaking voice lighting it, but the trail of debts her father left behind after he passed away a few months ago. If she’s not ducking around corners or slipping out of windows to escape the debt collectors and a slew of characters sent from hell, she’s dealing with her rebellious fifteen-year-old sister, Lilli, who is still coming to terms with their father’s death. And as if that’s not enough, Rafael Van Rees bursts into her life—literally—bringing with him a life the public had no idea of,  memories  and feelings of a past long forgotten.

Rafael Van Rees, Maestro extraordinaire, has always prided himself as a man in control of his destiny, music and women. As far as he is concerned his past is a black cloud in a distance, until he meets Sophie and soon his world spins out of control in more ways than one. He knows that the darkest  sins and secrets eventually do reveal themselves, and fighting not only for his life, but also his heart is a necessity, rather than a choice. When it comes to Sophie, he will stop at nothing to protect her from his past. Even if it kills him.

Photography and models:  Kelsey Keeton of K Keeton Designs
Cover Design: Najla of Najla Qambar Designs

I write YA, NA and Adult. My motto: Passion rules. I enjoy writing stories about people finding love in the most unexpected places, coupled with adventurous journeys, whether it's urban, fantasy, sci-fi, contemporary or paranormal romance. There's always a happy ever after, no matter how long it takes to get there. When I'm not working in my full time job, I don my supermom cape, or in most cases find myself trapped between the pages of a book in search for a hero who'll make me swoon with just a look or a word. My favourite form of therapy is knitting. Best. Therapy. Ever.

Monday, 16 December 2013

(ARC) Book Review (286): Avalon (Avalon #1) - Mindee Arnett

Avalon (Avalon #1)

Publication: 21st January 2014
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Pages: 432
Genre: Science-Fiction
Age Appropriate: Young Adult
A ragtag group of teenage mercenaries who crew the spaceship Avalon stumble upon a conspiracy that could threaten the entire galaxy in this fascinating and fast-paced sci-fi adventure from author Mindee Arnett.

Of the various star systems that make up the Confederation, most lie thousands of light-years from First Earth-and out here, no one is free. The agencies that govern the Confederation are as corrupt as the crime bosses who patrol it, and power is held by anyone with enough greed and ruthlessness to claim it. That power is derived from one thing: metatech, the devices that allow people to travel great distances faster than the speed of light.

Jeth Seagrave and his crew of teenage mercenaries have survived in this world by stealing unsecured metatech, and they're damn good at it. Jeth doesn't care about the politics or the law; all he cares about is earning enough money to buy back his parents' ship, Avalon, from his crime-boss employer and getting himself and his sister, Lizzie, the heck out of Dodge. But when Jeth finds himself in possession of information that both the crime bosses and the government are willing to kill for, he is going to have to ask himself how far he'll go to get the freedom he's wanted for so long.

Avalon is the perfect fit for teens new to sci-fi as well as seasoned sci-fi readers looking for more books in the YA space-and a great match for fans of Joss Whedon's cult hit show Firefly.
My Thoughts.
Avalon is the the first book in the Avalon series by Mindee Arnett.
Science-Fiction is far from being one of my favorite genre's, however when it's done right like it is in this book, I can't seem to tear my eyes away from the pages until I'm finished.
Mindee has created such an fantastically, intriguing world with this series that it's so easy to lose track of time, so absorbed I was, with the world-building and extremely well-written story.
Jeth along with his sister Lizzie and his crew of teenage mercenaries, work for crime lord Hammer Dafoe, stealing whatever he wants stolen and getting paid when successful, Jeth saves his money to buy back his deceased parents spaceship Avalon, which his Uncle lost whilst gambling.
It's after being sent to a job in the Belgrave (space's version of the Bermuda Triangle) to find a missing ship, when things really start to go wrong, and it's through this job that he'll finally discover the truth about his parents and why they were executed.
Can Jeth finally find freedom away from Hammer, not just for himself but for his crew too whom he thinks of as family.
Full of action and adventure, there's never a dull moment, so jump on board and grab yourself a copy, you wont be sorry!
I give this 5/5 stars.

Mindee Arnett lives on a horse farm in Ohio with her husband, two kids, a couple of dogs, and an inappropriate number of cats. She’s addicted to jumping horses and telling tales of magic, the macabre, and outer space. She has far more dreams than nightmares.

Book Blast & Giveaway: Kiss Of Fire - Rebecca Ethington

Joclyn Despain has been marred by a brand on her skin. She doesn't know why the mark appeared on her neck, but she doesn't want anyone to see it, including her best friend Ryland, who knows everything else about her. The scar is the reason she hides herself behind baggy clothes, and won't let the idea of kissing Ryland enter her mind, no matter how much she wants to.

The scar is the reason she is being hunted.

If only she knew that she was.

If only she had known that the cursed stone her estranged father sent for her 16th birthday would trigger a change in her. Now, she is being stalked by a tall blonde man, and is miraculously throwing her high school bully ten feet in the air.

Joclyn attempts to find some answers and the courage to follow her heart. When Ryland finds her scar; only he knows what it means, and who will kill her because of it.

“Loved the world, the concept, all of the characters (good and bad), and just everything about this story! On to the next one!” -Jena, Shortie Says

“I loved this book from the very first lines… I think it will be hard to move on to another story for a while." -Steele Reviews

“It’s amazing and left me at the edge of my seat through the night as I read.” - Zach’s YA Reviews

On sale now for $.99!

Can also be found on Barnes & Noble

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Rebecca Ethington is a story teller and author from Salt Lake City, Utah. She has been telling stories since she was small. First, with writing crude scripts, and then in stage with years of theatrical performances. Rebecca’s first stint into the world of literary writing, The Imdalind Series, was released in October 2012 and since its release each book has been found in several top 100 lists on Amazon. Rebecca is a mother to two, and wife to her best friend of 14 years. Her days are spent writing, running, and enjoying life with her crazy family.

Website † Facebook † Twitter † GoodReads

Sunday, 15 December 2013

(ARC) Book Review (285): Evertrue (Everneath #3) - Brodi Ashton

Evertrue (Everneath #3)

Publication: 21st January 2014
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Pages: 368
Genre: Paranormal/Mythology
Age Appropriate: Young Adult
Now that Nikki has rescued Jack, all she wants is to be with him and graduate high school. But Cole tricked Nikki into feeding off him, and she’s begun the process of turning into an Everliving herself... which means she must feed on a Forfeit soon — or die.

Terrified for her survival, Nikki and Jack begin a desperate attempt to reverse the process using any means possible. Even Cole, who they expected to fight them at every turn, has become an unlikely ally — but how long can it last? Nikki needs to feed on Cole to survive, Cole needs Nikki to gain the throne in the Everneath, Jack needs Nikki because she is everything to him — and together, they must travel back to the Underworld to undo Nikki’s fate and make her mortal once more. But Cole isn’t the only one with plans for Nikki: the Queen has not forgotten Nikki’s treachery, and she wants her destroyed for good. Will Nikki be forced to spend eternity in the Underworld, or does she have what it takes to bring down the Everneath once and for all?

In this stunning conclusion to the Everneath trilogy, Brodi Ashton evokes the resiliency of the human spirit and the indomitable power of true love.
My Thoughts.
Evertrue is the the third and final book in the Everneath trilogy by Brodi Ashton.
What a bittersweet but ultimately fantastic ending to this brilliant series, kudos to Brodi Ashton for a great finale.
One thing that you should know about me, I hate reading the last book in a series!
Let me explain, my theory no matter how insane it sounds, it's that if I don't read the last book then the series never ends, I don't end up in tears if it doesn't end the way I want it too, or someone dies, or that the heroine chooses the wrong guy, and I have so many series I need to finish but I will get there eventually I hope.
I was of course a bit hesitant to pick this up, I never wanted it too end!
There was really only one of two ways that this series could have gone, and while I did anticipate the ending here, it in no way made it less gut-wrenching, and there were tears, which I never expected but were well deserved.
The shock ending of the last book Everbound had me desperate for a copy of this book, so when I received a copy for review I may have squealed a tiny bit (okay a lot)!
So we discover that Nikki is becoming an Everliving just like Cole, thanks to his avoidance of explaining to her the process of becoming the one thing she despises, so there is only one way to fix it, she's going to destroy the Everneath once and for all!
With the help of the recently returned Jack and even Cole (there is a reason for his assistance, trust me he would never do it willingly), they venture down to the Everneath to defeat the Queen and put an end to it all forever.
Filled with action and suspense this is one book you're gonna want to get your hands on A.S.A.P, it is that good!
So as sad as I am that there will be no more books released in this series, I look forward to whatever Brodi has planned for next, she is definitely an instant buy author for me, and I eagerly await her next release.
Highly recommended, I can't praise it enough, be sure to pick up a copy, and let yourself become absorbed in this world of Brodi's making.
I give this a big 5/5 stars.

Because of two parents who were Greek myth geeks, I grew up thinking the latest fashion trends were inspired by Aphrodite, and a good conversational opener was, “So, which mythological character do you most resemble?” Despite these social shortcomings, I found a great husband who’s always my first reader. We live in Utah with our two young boys, who still have no idea why I'm at the computer all the time.

I received a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism from the University of Utah and a Master’s degree in International Relations from the London School of Economics.