Sunday, July 31, 2011

ABSBH - Giveaway!

*ABSBH - August Blowout Summer Blog Hop  - see Blog Post


Hey folks,

Head on over to See it or Read it




to celebrate the first week of the August Blow Out Summer Blog Hop. Easing readers into the Hop, See it or Read it are hosting a giveaway running from Mon 1st to Thurs 4th. Enter for the chance to win an ebook copy of Moon Spell and two ebook copies of Blood Will Tell, as well as other literary goodies from my fellow participants. Winners will be announced Saturday. Don't forget there is a pretty little Vote Moon Spell button on my side bar that has a two-fold -  decorates your blog and shows yours truly support :-)



Sam x

Friday, July 29, 2011

Grab the Button!

Hey guys!

My advocate blogger, Jaskirat over  at See It or Read It, has created this awesome Vote Moon Spell button for the August's Blowout Summer Blog Hop. I squeed when I saw it, it's so pretty :-)
If you'd like to help rally the support, grab the button for your blog.




Sam x

Thursday, July 28, 2011

August's Blowout Summer Blog Hop

Hey guys,

I'm pleased to announce that I will be participating along with five other fellow fabulous indie authors in August's Blowout Summer Blog Hop hosted by See It or Read It Blog. Over the course of the month of August the blog will hold fantastic giveaways (including 5 ebook copies of each of my 6 published works), writing contests, trivia contests and lots of other fun stuff. Most importantly the Blog Hop is about you guys choosing your favourite book. Each author has put one of our novels forward for nomination and, along with an advocate blogger, we will be promoting our novel and jazzing you guys up to vote for us! I'll be represented by the blog host themselves. Every Sunday a voting day will be held.
So the book I've put forward for nomination is Moon Spell: Part One in the Tale of Lunarmorte.

Here are the five awesome books Moon Spell is up against...

 Crossroads by Mary Ting
 Doorway of the Triquetra by Lenore Wolfe
 Immortal Embrace by Charlotte Blackwell
 Paradox by Patti Roberts
The Superiors by Lena Hillbrand












So for the next few weeks Jaskirat from See It or Read It and I will be tweeting, facebooking and blogging to encourage my lovely awesome readers to...

VOTE MOON SPELL!!


Click on the banner below to read through the Blowout Schedule...



Stay tuned.



Sam x

Personal Demons

Another Book Recommendation... today it's...

Personal Demons (Personal Demons #1)
by Lisa Desrochers

Amazon paperback £8.09

Book Description

Frannie Cavanaugh is a good Catholic girl with a bit of a wicked streak. She has spent years keeping everyone at a distance---even her closest friends---and it seems as if her senior year is going to be more of the same . . . until Luc Cain enrolls in her class. No one knows where he came from, but Frannie can’t seem to stay away from him.

What she doesn’t know is that Luc is on a mission. He’s been sent from Hell itself to claim Frannie’s soul. It should be easy---all he has to do is get her to sin, and Luc is as tempting as they come. Frannie doesn’t stand a chance. But he has to work fast, because if the infernals are after her, the celestials can’t be far behind. And sure enough, it’s not long before the angel Gabriel shows up, willing to do anything to keep Luc from getting what he came for. It isn’t long before they find themselves fighting for more than just Frannie’s soul.

But if Luc fails, there will be Hell to pay . . . for all of them.


My Review
*****Awesome Read

Oh my spluttering God. Who is this Lisa Desrochers and where did she come from? And why oh why did everyone else know about her genius before I did? You’d quite rightly assume that I am absolutely in love with Personal Demons. Not only was the old skool ‘demon and angel on your shoulders’ concept absolutely, perfectly executed, but the main characters were utterly captivating.

Written in easy, modern prose with healthy helpings of vivid and beautiful imagery throughout, Personal Demons drew me in from the first sentence. The story is told from two perspectives – Luc and Frannie’s. The plot itself builds in an entertaining crescendo as Luc and Gabe fight over Frannie’s soul, finding themselves pulled deeper into her world than they ever expected to be; swimming murky and emotional waters because of her. From there the story arc grows more complicated as the mystery of Frannie unfolds and we’re introduced to more of Heaven and Hell’s minions (does Heaven have ‘minions’?) and the grander plot.

As for the characterisation, Desrochers characters have made their way on to my top shelf with the likes of Rose and Dimka (VA), Katniss and Peeta (HG), Claire and Shane (MV), Clary and Jace (MI). First let’s take a look at Luc since the story opens with his narrative. Ah I’m in love. Luc is brilliantly three dimensional; he’s cocky, arrogant, too sexy for his own good, hilarious, idiotic, and a demon with a bad case of the humanity flu - I can’t help but love the bad boy with a vulnerable side.
Although we don’t get a chance to be inside Gabe’s head, I still found myself crushing on him. He’s an angel with a sense of humour, and he’s got the protective hot best-friend-who-could-be-more thing down pat.
And then there is Frannie. How can you not love Frannie? She’s mighty complex but that’s what I found so brilliant. A tragic past, a guarded heart, a no-nonsense attitude, untapped supernatural powers and a Black belt in Judo make for a compelling heroine. Best of all… the chemistry between the characters is sizzling (in Luc’s case quite literally).

Suffice to say I devoured this book with the ferociousness of a hell hound. Personal Demons is edgy (this YA is aimed at more mature teens), action-packed, suspenseful and chock full of sinfully delicious romance.

Cannot wait to get my hands on the sequel Original Sin!

Five Massive Massive Stars!



Sam x

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Teaser - Blood Past

Blood Past (Warriors of Ankh #2)

Release Date: August 19th 2011

Teaser...

"His arm shot out, a blur of movement Eden would have hastily jumped back from before yesterday. Now she stepped into the punch and grabbed his wrist, rolling it as she twisted his arm. Noah winced as she pushed him to his knees, putting pressure on his upper arm as she pulled the arm upwards, poised to break it. She did it in seconds, as much of a blur as his attack had been."









Sam x

Monday, July 25, 2011

Daimon: A Prequel to Half-Blood

I'm not really a fan of the 0.5 novellas and prequels but since I can barely navigate around a book blog without bumping into Half-Blood by Jennifer L. Armentrout, I felt myself weakening to the temptation of its prequel Daimon. My Book Recommendation for Monday...

Daimon (Covenant #0.5)
by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Amazon Kindle - £0.86

Book Description

For three years, Alexandria has lived among mortals—pretending to be like them and trying to forget the duty she'd been trained to fulfill as a child of a mortal and a demigod. At seventeen, she's pretty much accepted that she's a freak by mortal standards... and that she'll never be prepared for that duty.

According to her mother, that’s a good thing.

But as every descendant of the gods knows, Fate has a way of rearing her ugly head. A horrifying attack forces Alex to flee Miami and try to find her way back to the very place her mother had warned her she should never return—the Covenant. Every step that brings her closer to safety is one more step toward death… because she's being hunted by the very creatures she'd once trained to kill.

The daimons have found her.



My Review
*****Awesome Read

AAAHHHHHH! Wow. Colour me extremely impatient now! Talk about the ultimate teaser. Daimon is an awesome prequel to the highly anticipated Half-Blood and I now join the ranks of those highly anticipating its release. Why is it soooo far away? OK, I know it's not that far away but after reading Daimon and getting to know the incredibly likeable, snarky,kick-ass and relateable heroine, Alex; and being pulled under and automatically addicted to Jennifer L. Armentrout's supernatural lore, it may as well be set for release in 2020 for all the impatience it's aroused in me.
I can already tell that Half-Blood is set to be a favourite of 2011 for me. I'm not going to say 'I hope I'm not disappointed' because I already know I won't be. This kind of writing and this kind of world are just exactly what I want out of a YA novel.

Oooh super excited now.

Five Massive Massive Stars



Here's the cover art and book description for the novel, Half-Blood...

Half-Blood (Covenant #1)
By Jennifer L. Armentrout

Release Date: October 18th 2011 by Spencer Hill Press

Book Description

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.


I'm also loving the covers from this series. They stand out from other YA novels.
Cannot wait for this release!



Sam x

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Q&A With Me!

Hey guys!

So... got any questions that you'd love to ask me about my books or writing in general? If so head on over to the blog SEE IT OR READ IT where you can contact them to leave any questions you have for me as part of the August Blowout Summer Blog Hop I'm participating in!

Click on the banner!



And ask away!




Sam x

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Fantasy Cast Picks: Warriors of Ankh

Well picking a fantasy cast for Warriors of Ankh was a little more difficult than the Tale of Lunarmorte but I've finally managed to rustle up two actors that could play Eden and Noah.

Eden Winslow

She's not your typical heroine if only because she's one of the boogie men (women). Eden is a soul eater;  dark creature who, yes, you've guessed it, is supposed to eat human souls. Note the word 'supposed'. Eden's a little different from her twisted kin. Doesn't mean she ain't got some SERIOUS attitude.

Astrid Berges-Frisby a.k.a Eden Winslow
Astrid starred in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. Still haven't seen that movie yet so don't know what Astrid's acting style is like but I thought this photograph of her had Eden's attitude. I photoshopped her dark eyes out though (Eden's are the strange pale grey of the soul eater). It was tough finding a young actress for Eden. Hmm.







Noah Valois

He looks about eighteen but in reality he's kicking seventy. Noah is an immortal Warrior of Ankh, sent in to determine whether Eden can be redeemed or should be taken out like every other soul eater. Despite living through the fifties, Noah is a modern guy big on duty and destiny. Eden turns everything upside down for him.

Steven R McQueen a.k.a Noah Valois


Steven is one of the stars of the hit show The Vampire Diaries and although I can't see the resemblance to his wonderful grandaddy he got good looks from him. He's hot! Despite Noah having blonde hair and violet eyes, there is something about Steven that just fits the bill.












Phew! That was tough but I'm quite happy with these two :-)




UPDATE


The cast overhaul has nothing to do with the previous selection for my fantasy cast picks for Eden and Noah from the Warriors of Ankh series being sucky. It's just that I found someone who is exactly as I imagined Noah and then when I thought about it I realized that Eden wasn't quite right either. So... here's my new picks...


Chris Zylka as Noah Valois. He has Noah's blonde good looks with that slightly surfer-ishness that I always imagined Noah to have (even though Noah can't surf for sh..shhhh). Chris is currently playing Jake Armstrong in the tv series The Secret Circle. He's hot!























Elizabeth Gillies as Eden Winslow (MacDouglas).
I haven't actually seen her acting chops but there's something about this picture of Zoey that reminds me of Eden. I changed her eye colour but other than that she seems to have Eden's attitude (from the pic anyhoo).


























Sam x

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Review: A Beautiful Dark

A Beautiful Dark
by Jocelyn Davies

Release Date: August 27th 2011 by Harper Collins

Received from netgalley as an e-arc for review

Book Description

Skye never questioned the story of her life. Her Aunt Jo adopted her after the death of her parents when she was just a child, and together they flip through memories the way some people flip through photo albums.

She never questioned if the stories were true.

Until the night of her 17th birthday, when the arrival of two strangers intrudes on her cozy life. Polar opposites, like fire and ice, Asher is dark and wild, while Devin is fair, cold, and aloof. Skye has no idea what they want—only that their presence coincides with the beginning of some shockingly strange events. Events that Skye, if she dares to think it, might be responsible for causing.

High up in the mountains of Boulder, Colorado, Skye finds herself caught in the middle of an ancient battle, one that began untold millennia ago. Torn between unpredictable Asher, whom she loves, and the infuriating Devin, who she can’t stay away from, her fate is murky as a starless night. And as the secrets of her true identity are revealed, Skye realizes that her destiny may reside in the Heavens—or somewhere darker.
(Taken from Goodreads.)


My Review

5 out of 5 Stars

When Skye Parker was six years old she was in a car crash that killed her parents. It was a tragedy that continues to colour and shape her world despite her loving Aunt Jo and best friends, Cassie, Dan and Ian. But Skye has no idea how much of her past is a mystery until two boys, Asher and Devin, who couldn’t be more different from one another, arrive in town to not only shake up everything Skye has ever thought she knew about herself and the world in general, but also to shake up her much guarded heart.

AMAZING. I absolutely loved A Beautiful Dark from the first moment I heard about it. First I loved the poetic title, then I loved the cover art, and then I loved Jocelyn Davies' writing. A Beautiful Dark is such a smooth read I found myself becoming so addicted to the story that I just didn’t want to put it down. What is so special about the novel is how utterly intriguing it is. The reader knows from the first chapter that there is something supernatural afoot but the unravelling of what that supernatural element is, is far more well-developed than many others in this genre, and the need to discover what the hell is really going on is completely absorbing. I might have been slow on the uptake with this one but I was kind of surprised when the paranormal element was revealed. It’s been done before. A lot. BUT it hasn’t been done like this before. I loved Davies injection of an edgy and refreshing mythology to this particular plot device. Moreover, the otherworldly and sometimes sinister atmosphere Davies creates is set beautifully against the vivid backdrop of Boulder, Colorado. The easy and stunning storytelling and first person narrative moves A Beautiful Dark along at a brisk pace, with an abundance of mystery, brilliant characterisation and action.

Speaking of characterisation I am definitely a fan of Skye. She has a tragic past, has known heartbreak, and it has made her somewhat guarded… soooo she wasn’t exactly falling at Asher and Devin’s feet and I have to say I enjoyed that change of pace very much. Moreover, when she discovers the truth about everything she reacts with a genuine sense of shock that was both realistic and refreshing considering many YA heroines swoop past these momentous discoveries with an unbelievable amount of acceptance.
There’s just something about Skye that makes her incredibly likeable. She’s a good friend, she's smart, she’s strong and independent, but not so very nice things have happened to her and we the reader get that all important glimpse into what makes her vulnerable and thus what makes her so relatable to us. I also appreciated Davies’ handling of the romance. For romance fans there is enough to satisfy but I enjoyed its natural development and how throughout the entire novel Skye is constantly questioning the things that need to be questioned and how both of the heroes remain enigmatic in a way that doesn’t frustrate but only lures you on in the hope of finding out more.

I think my mouth was left hanging open at the end of A Beautiful Dark. Just as we discover how cool Skye really is the reader is sucker-punched and left wanting sooo much more. Correction. NEEDING to know so much more.

There has to be a sequel right??!!


Sam x
 

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Teaser Tuesday: Blood Past #2

Hey guys, I'm hard at work with Blood Past. I'm shooting for an end of August release date but would really love to publish it before then so fingers crossed. I'm calling on all my writing powers and all the power of Red Bull to get it done :-)
To tide you over, here's a teaser...

Blood Past (Warriors of Ankh #2)

Teaser

"His body hummed with the euphoria of it all, and he smiled as he reached out to place two fingers against her neck. No pulse. She was still warm though. He ran his hands down her body one last time, a ringmaster memorising the latest addition to his dead menagerie."









Sam x

Monday, July 18, 2011

Review: Misfit

Misfit
by Jon Skovron

Release Date: August 1st 2011 by Amulet

Received by netgalley as an e-arc for review

Book Description

Jael Thompson has never really fit in. She’s changed schools too many times to count. The only family she’s ever known is her father, a bitter ex-priest who never lets her date and insists she attend the strictest Catholic school in Seattle. And her mother—well, she was a five thousand year old demon. That doesn’t exactly help.

But on her sixteenth birthday, her father gives her a present that brings about some unexpected changes. Some of the changes, like strange and wonderful powers and the cute skater boy with a knack for science, are awesome. But others, like the homicidal demon seeking revenge on her family? Not so much.

Steeped in mythology, this is an epic tale of a heroine who balances old world with new, science with magic, and the terrifying depths of the underworld with the ordinary halls of high school. (Taken from Goodreads).


My Review

5 out of 5 Stars

Jael’s father has moved her from country to country, state to state, city to city. Now that they’ve been living in northwest Seattle for two years Jael worries that any day now he’s going to pack up their bags and take them somewhere new. When Jael turns sixteen, she discovers the mystery behind all the moving. Jael is half-demon, a being feared by the creatures of Hell, and subsequently enemy NO.1 But knowing the truth is freeing for Jael, and whether her father believes it or not, she’s not afraid of the demons out for her blood. In fact, she’d like to stay and fight.

OK, I absolutely love Jon Skovron’s Misfit. It starts off a little slow, but 10-15% into the novel it really picks up. And doesn’t let go. The demon mythology is so well thought out, so clever, dark, humorous, and definitely one of the best plot devices I’ve read in YA for a while. The story switches from present to past as the heroine, Jael, delves into the memories of the people around her. These moments, these memories are utterly mesmerising. From the first memory of her mother and father meeting, to their demon hunting, to the twisted tangles Jael finds in the souls of the supporting characters, I was enthralled. Skovron’s plot, weaved between the past and the present, is just as entertaining when we are in the present with Jael as she trains in her new found abilities. Jael’s training and her abilities are vividly described and wonderfully imaginative. She is one cool paranormal. Moreover, just as intriguing as the past told through character memories, is the plot written in present tense, in which Jael ducks and dives and takes on one of the Grand Dukes of Hell, Belial. It’s thrilling, suspenseful and action-packed. All the best adjectives for a YA paranormal :-)

As for characterisation… wow. Jael herself grows so much over the course of the novel. She’s a very unassuming character, frustrated with her father and all the mystery, but otherwise pretty laid back. When she discovers her heritage and begins to train, the reader discovers how truly brave and loyal Jael is, and by the end of the novel she stands proudly among the ranks of YA’s kick-ass heroines.
Another refreshing element to Skovron’s novel was the romance between Jael and Rob. It was so authentic and by that I mean they acted like actual teenagers. Rob is a charming character. He’s a laid-back, intelligent skater boy with a mind that’s wide open. The romance is just a sub-plot and doesn’t take over the storyline; in fact it’s just another layer to the wonderful subtlety that is Skovron’s writing. I’ll also add that the demons, the Grand Dukes of hell, are all amazingly colourful, twisted and violent. Jael’s mother is an amazingly intriguing character and I loved when we were sucked back into the past with her. Skovron moulds his mythology around existing history and religions in such a clever way that I found myself curling into my kindle with happiness – I’m a sucker for using real history/mythology and giving it a paranormal explanation, and the author does this exceptionally well.
Lastly my favourite character is Jael’s demon uncle, Dagon. He’s exactly how you imagine a demon to look. He’s old skool. And he’s hilarious, and I just loved every minute he was on the page.

Misfit is written in smooth, modern prose. The writing is stunningly vivid with smart dialogue and beautiful imagery.

One word: Awesome. Three more words: I want more.




Sam x

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Review: Where Demons Fear to Tread

Where Demons Fear to Tread
By Stephanie Chong

Received by Netgalley as an e-arc for review.
Release Date: August 23rd 2011 by Mira

Book Description

Fledging guardian angel and yoga teacher Serena St. Clair dares to enter Devil’s Paradise nightclub on a mission—to retrieve the wayward Hollywood “It Boy” she’s assigned to protect. But she’s ambushed by the club’s owner, arch demon Julian Ascher. The most powerful demonic entity in Los Angeles, Julian is handsome as sin, a master of temptation who loves nothing more than corrupting pleasure-seeking humans. He won’t release the lost soul Serena is supposed to guard. Unless she accepts his dangerous wager.…

After the disastrous way his human life ended, Julian vowed that no woman would get the better of him again. Yet this sexy-sweet angel, smelling of fresh ocean air and happiness, triggers centuries-old feelings. Now, their high-stakes game of seduction, where angels fall from grace and where demons fear to tread, will lead them either to an eternity in hell…or a deliciously hot heaven. (Taken from Goodreads.)


My Review

3 out of 5 Stars

Serena’s death was one of sacrifice; as such she was sent back to earth as a guardian angel, a plebeian of the divine hierarchy. Julian is an Archdemon, one of the youngest, a demon only accountable to Lucifer himself. Nick is Serena’s assignee, the human she’s supposed to be guarding, but Nick’s a Hollywood actor who likes to party, and in particular likes to party at Julian’s nightclub where all manner of sin exists. When Julian meets Serena as she’s trying to save Nick from himself he becomes instantly obsessed with the idea of making her fall. And Serena is determined to resist the demon despite his many attractions. What neither of them realise is that their meeting was not an accident, and that the higher powers aren’t quite ready to give up on the Archdemon.
Where Demons Fear to Tread is a fun, supernatural read. It doesn’t get buried under by too much religion and I liked Chong’s hierarchy of the demons, it was pretty cool and macabre. The end sequences of the book have more of the angel/demon mythology in it and it was really well-written with vivid imagery and great history. Despite Serena being an angel she isn’t a goody-goody Mary Sue. She’s a good person and self-sacrificing but she also gets PO-ed like everyone else and she doesn’t give into Julian very easily. Julian is a typical Alpha male character but Chong slowly develops his story so his decisions and actions make sense. In truth I found the character of Nick spoiled and whiny and I guess that’s why Serena was an angel because she never gave up on him while many people would have let him get on with it after the hundredth time of trying to rescue his ungrateful ass. I actually really enjoyed the secondary character of Luciana more than anyone. She’s seriously twisted and very dark, but we get a glimpse into her history, enough to intrigue, and since the book left you with her I suspect there is more to come from this pure evil villain.
Overall a good read. There is some action and suspense, but mostly towards the end of the novel, so I would say this is firmly in the paranormal romance category more than anything else.



Sam x

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2

So today the long awaited day arrived; the day I ventured out with the sole purpose of sitting down in a dark room to enjoy the final film in the epic Harry Potter franchise.
My mum and I are fans. In fact we were those ‘awful’ people who became Harry movie fans before we read the books. I’ll add another travesty to that and admit that I actually only read the books two years ago. Thus began my awe and admiration for the wonder that is J.K. Rowling.  Thankfully the movie adaptations have been dazzling homages to Rowling’s stunning story, with a British cast to die for! Alan Rickman, Gary Oldman, Robbie Coltrane, Julie Walters, Maggie Smith, Ralph Fiennes, Helena Bonham Carter to name but a few. Talk about a draw. Is it any wonder mum and I were eagerly anticipating the final showdown? An eager anticipation  that was mixed with a bittersweet sense of loss. This was it. The end.
So in order to commemorate this momentous occasion, we booked tickets to our favourite cinema in Edinburgh, where you can book a comfy leather sofa to sit and enjoy the movie. Only thing is… this cinema is not only a train journey away but another 30 minute walk uphill once you get off the train. And in typical Scottish Summer fashion, the weather couldn’t make up its mind whether it wanted to piss of rain or suffocate us with a jungle-like humidity. Like all things Scottish, the weather has a twisted sense of humour, and decided to do both L
Once we finally arrived at the cinema we were somewhat nonplussed by our reception. Let me stop here and explain that we spent just under £10.00 a ticket for our sofa booking. That’s roughly $16.00 a ticket. As we handed our two tickets over to the usher she said, ‘We’re quite busy so we’re just asking everyone to squish in together.’ Mum and I turned sharply to one another with a shared look of horror. Wait a minute, wait a minute… we had just paid £8.00 each to get the train through to the city, another £7.00 on a cab to take us to the cinema and there was a possibility that the wonderfully expensive sofa we had booked would have to be shared with a sweaty stranger in this humidity?! Suffice to say the ushers were lucky mum and I found a, what can only have been a custom-made leather sofa for elves, in the so-called ‘GOLD’ section of the cinema, otherwise they would have been subjected to my rarely given ‘It’s the humidity!’ speech in which I politely but clearly told them there was no way in hell I was sharing my much coveted, pricy sofa with some other numbnut for last Harry Potter movie.  I'm usually a laid-back person but getting between me and my Harry Potter experience? Eh I wouldnae if I were you.
So there we were in our elf built leather sofa and the lights went down and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 began.  The final movie is the perfect cinematic experience. From the atmospheric sombre first sequences where the audience are thrown headfirst into the gravity of the situation by the sharp camera work, mature and mesmerising acting from Radcliffe and the equally hypnotising goblin, Griphook, played by the brilliant Warwick Davis. The lack of soundtrack in this scene was pure genius; sent goosebumps up my arms so it did. From then on I was taken on an adventure of epic proportions, with special effects that still managed to astound me after all these years (I actually uttered ‘aw that’s really cool’ quite a few times); acting of such commitment and quality I laughed, I held my breath (like through the whole damn thing!) and was brought to actual physical tears… which was in no way embarrassing, considering the little ten year old girl next to me didn’t even so much as sniffle! Unfortunately my cinematic experience was hampered by the fact that the cinema decided to put the heating on (during a humid July day!!!!) and also by the fact that I am in possession of perhaps the smallest bladder ever created. Not only could I not get out to get to the bathroom because of where we were seated, I also didn’t want to miss anything.  Uh-huh… I was in some major pain by the end of the movie. But I wouldn’t endure pain for just any film.
An unbelievable film journey and one that I’m sad to see come to an end. But then that’s what dvd’s are for right J
Today was just a reminder of the novels and the awesomeness that is J.K. Rowling. The amount of excruciating, hair-tearing, planning, development, intelligence and imagination that went into those novels is appreciated by all her fans, and most especially by fellow writers who understand just the enormity of what Rowling has achieved. I am forever a fan.
After all that mum and I arrived back home in one piece. Almost. We got off the train and the heavens opened, lashing unearthly rain with the force of a bull whip. Lightning lanced across the skies and as we waited on a cab we argued over whether our umbrella was made of metal or not. I argued that it was and insisted that if she was going to keep the damn thing up she remain ten paces away from me. My desertion of her didn’t really hit home until the lightning struck again and she practically threw the umbrella to the ground. I smiled smugly. See. Even if you’re not one hundred percent sure, when lightning is involved, it’s always best to err on the side of caution.
My clothes are soaked, I’m wearing a towel turban and bemoaning my lack of air conditioning, but I’m alive and carrying with me memories of one of the best movies EVER.


Sam x

Blood Will Tell Giveaway Winners!

Hey folks,

Thanks to everyone who entered the giveaway to win a copy of Blood Will Tell, book one in the Warriors of Ankh series. Without further ado, the winners are...

First Prize Winner (paperback edition)

ANA JORDAN

First Runner up (Ebook edition)

SHELLEY BUNNELL

Second Runner up (Ebook edition)

JENNIFER ALSTON

Congratulations guys! The winners have already been emailed and have 48 hours to respond :-)

The question I asked on the giveaway was Who is your favourite anti-hero in fiction (literature or other media)? And why?

You guys gave some great answers. My personal favourite was...

PRESIDENT SNOW from the Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. I thought that was a brilliant choice.

Here's a list of your other favourite anti-heroes...

Snape from The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling
Morganna Le Fay from Arthurian mythology
Niall from the Wicked Lovely series by Melissa Marr
Captain Jack Sparrow from film franchise Pirates of the Carribbean (loved this!)
Dracula from Bram Stoker's Dracula
Cam from the Fallen Series by Lauren Kate
McGill from Neal Schusterman’s Everlost
Puck from the Iron Knight by Julie Kagawa

Thanks to everyone who entered! You've got great taste in anti-heroes! Now I'm off to watch one of them in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 2! Cannot wait!


Sam x



Thursday, July 14, 2011

Blood Past (WOA#2) Blurb & Trailer

Hey folks,

The blurb is now up for Blood Past (Warriors of Ankh#2). I'm posting it below along with the book trailer for Blood Past. I still haven't decided on a definite date for release. It will be August I just don't have a date yet but as soon as I have a better idea I will let you know :-)

Blood Past (Warriors of Ankh #2)

Book Description

With nowhere left to turn, Eden has decided put all her trust in Cyrus and his promise of her redemption.
Travelling to Scotland to find her mother’s bloodline, Eden finds herself embroiled in the politics and training of the Scottish Warriors of Neith. It is a world where some stand with open arms ready to welcome her as family, while others keep a wary distance, conspiring against her. Their feelings toward Eden only grow more convoluted when Teagan resumes his pursuit of her, threatening the lives of her new friends.
With a complicated love life, two over protective guardians, a Neith Councilman who hates her, a cousin who just won’t give up, and a rebel Neith still determined to destroy her, Eden’s new life as a warrior couldn’t be anymore difficult…
…Yup, life is such a bitch.
So is Eden when you don’t play nice.


Blood Past Book Trailer





The soundtrack song is Half of Something Else by The Airborne Toxic Event.

Sam x

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

TOL Giveaway Winners!

Hi guys,

Well The Tale of Lunarmorte giveaway has come to an end and the winners are...

First Prize: Signed paperback copies of the trilogy

KRYSTAL LARSON

Second Prize: paperback copies sent direct from amazon

GENIE KARL

Congratulations guys! The winners have been emailed and have 48 hours to respond.

On the giveaway form I asked you guys the question: If you could be any heroine in fiction (literature or other media), who would you be? And Why?

I got some awesome answers and here is who you chose as your favourite heroine!

Rose Hathaway from the Vampire Academy novels by Richelle Mead

Rose won by a good margin and I have to say I'm agreeing with you. She's one of my favourite heroines too.

In joint second place was...


Elizabeth Bennett from Jane Austen's Pride & Prejudice

and



Caia Ribeiro from The Tale of Lunarmorte by ME!

I loved that Elizabeth Bennett was your second choice, awesome heroine and really one of the first of her kind in literature. As for Caia well thanks guys, I think she's pretty awesome too :-)

In joint third place...


Katniss Everdeen from the Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

and


Clary from the Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare

and


Cat Crawford from the Night Huntress series by Jeaniene Frost

I have to admit Katniss Everdeen would probably be my number one heroine but you guys put her pretty close to the top spot. I also thought Clary was an excellent choice; I love the Mortal Instruments series and I think Clary's a brilliant teen voice. Cat Crawford was a surprise for me but I absolutely love that you voted her third because I'm a big Cat fan (and Bones of course:-p). Good work guys!

The rest of your picks were all chosen by just one person but I've put them in order of my favourites:

  • Jaeden Rodriguez from the Tale of Lunarmorte by me – hey, I have to choose my own characters :-p
  • Yelena – Poison Study series by Maria V.Snyder
  • Riley from Hollowland by Amanda Hocking - I don't know if this was meant to be Ripley the lion or Remy the main character but Hollowland has its fair share of overwhelming feminine power so nice choice anyhow!
  • Evie from Paranormalcy by Kiersten White
  • Clare from Morganville series by Rachel Caine
  • Lucy from Drake Chronicles by Alyxandra Harvey
  • Mercy Thompson from the Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs
  • Zara from the Need series by Carrie Jones
  • Minerva McGonagall from Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling
  • Jane Eyre from Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
  • Bella from Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
These ones I haven’t read so I can’t comment…
  • Kate from the Goddess Test by Aimee Carter
  • Brighid from ‘Brighid’s Quest’ by PC Cast
  • Kaylee from Soul Screamers by Rachel Vincent
  • Temperance Brennan from Bones
  • Amelia Sachs from Lincoln Rhyme series by Jeffrey Deaver
  • Stephen Laundrey from How to be Popular by Meg Cabot
  • Weetzie Bat from Weetzie Bat by Francesca Lia Block
  • Max from Maximum Ride Series by James Patterson
  • Dru from Strange Angels series by Lilith Saintcrow

So what did you guys think? Did your favourite heroine make it into the picks?
A lot of my favourites did so clearly you and I are on the same page :-p


Sam x




Monday, July 11, 2011

Drip Drop Teardrop

Hey guys,

I've changed the cover art for Drip Drop Teadrop, a Novella. Perhaps the monochromatic graphic novelish original cover was a little too subtle. I like having fun with cover art and so I've updated the novella with something glamorous. I think it's eyecatching and contemporary, so hopefully everyone else likes it too! Once the paperback is formatted with the new cover art I will hold a giveaway for a few winners to receive a copy of the novella. For more info on Drip Drop, just head on up to its page.




Sam x

Last Chance Monday

Today's the last chance to enter the giveaway for The Tale of Lunarmorte trilogy. Just head on up to the current giveaways page for the details and the form. Winners will be announced tomorrow.

Good Luck!


Cheers

Sam x

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Recommending ain't Reviewing

So yesterday I posted my IMM and told you all that I'd joined netgalley. I'm realising joining netgalley may have been an epic mistake :-(
I love books and I thought 'hey, I'm always recommending books so why not get some cool free ones and review them'. Lol. I've been stressing all week so perhaps I wasn't thinking straight, cos' now I'm just stressing even more. I do somehow miraculously squeeze in time to read a couple of books a week but writing and book blogging is just taking on too much. I do recommend the books I love on my blog and I make sure to recommend other indie novels I've enjoyed but I think that's as far as I should take it. Actually sitting down and reading a book with the target to review it, is not only ruining the reading pleasure for me but I'm not very good at it. I can't sit and write a completely unbiased review because all I'm thinking about is how much hard work went into writing that novel and where do I get off critiquing it?! I hate giving negative reviews, I never do! But I also can't lie if there was something particular about a book that I didn't get - usually I just don't mention it, but surely being a reviewer means being honest because you're encouraging or discouraging someone to spend money on a certain novel? So yes... I'm going to review the books I downloaded off netgalley but after that I'm returning to book recommendations only.
I think it's great for authors to recommend each others work but reviewing is another thing entirely. I totally did not think netgalley through...

Lol, anyhoo  that's my little spiel over. I might not be around so much over the next few days because the internet has become really distracting and I need to get my head down if I want Warriors of Ankh to be released on schedule :-s

Sam x

Saturday, July 09, 2011

IMM - Pressies

Lol, this is still my author blog but since I read so darn much it might as well be a book blog too... like it isn't already, right?




Books I received this week...

The Mephisto Covenant by Trinity Faegan: From Netgalley for review
Tris & Izzy by Mette Ivie Harrison: From Netgalley for review
Blood (Mercian #1) by K. J. Wignall: From Netgalley for review
Seers by Heather Frost: From Netgalley for Review
Eve by Anna Carey: From Fiktshun (Thank you!)
Ultraviolet by R.J. Anderson: From mum (thanks mum!)
Hereafter by Tara Hudson: From mum (again cheers mum:-))


Sam x

My New Muse - The Airborne Toxic Event

The Airborne Toxic Event have become my new muse and obsession. I downloaded their first album a few years back and liked it but their new album 'All at Once' is just mega-awesome. It's quickly joined Biffy Clyro as an epic soundtrack for the Warriors of Ankh series. This is my favourite song off the album. You should check them out if you haven't already done so. I think if you're an Arcade Fire fan you'll like these guys :-)





Sam x

Review: The Mephisto Covenant

The Mephisto Covenant (The Mephisto Covenant #1)
by Trinity Faegan

Release Date: 27th September 2011
Kindle ARC received by Netgalley for review.

Book Description

Sasha is desperate to find out who murdered her father. When getting the answer means pledging her soul to Eryx, she unlocks a secret that puts her in grave danger—Sasha is Anabo, a daughter of Eve, and Eryx’s biggest threat.

A son of Hell, immortal, and bound to Earth forever, Jax looks for redemption in the Mephisto Covenant—God’s promise he will find peace in the love of an Anabo. After a thousand years, he’s finally found the girl he’s been searching for: Sasha.

With the threat of Eryx looming, Jax has to keep Sasha safe and win her over. But can he? Will Sasha love him and give up her mortal life? (Taken from Goodreads).


So here’s the situation:

Sasha is Anabo. A pure, divine soul who does not succumb to hateful emotions; she knows only compassion, kindness and love. Jax is Mephisto. As the son of Mephistopheles and the Anabo Elektra, he and his brothers are children of Hell (Mephistopheles – collector of Damned souls) but have the possibility of light within them (Elektra – Anabo). Jax’s eldest brother Eryx is pure evil, however, and spends his immortality collecting souls so that one day he’ll have more souls than Lucifer has and will be able to take over Hell. God and Lucifer believe in free will; humans make their choices in life and those choices determine where they end up in the afterlife –Heaven or Hell. However, Eryx is so evil he doesn’t believe in free will and plans to coerce humans to wickedness if he becomes Lord of Hell; that will throw everything out of balance. Sooo… Jax and his other brothers spend their days hunting down the humans who have sold their souls to Eryx and trapping them in Hell on Earth where Eryx can’t get to their souls. Sasha doesn’t know about any of this. She’s just a kid looking to find out how her father died, so when she stumbles upon a secret society run by Eryx promising her answers, she ends up stumbling into this scary reality where she is an Anabo. An Anabo is the one female who will not run from the Mephisto; the one female actually capable of loving them. And if she does love one of them she will become half Anabo, half Mephisto and bear children who will be Mephisto, thus strengthening their position in the war against Eryx. Suffice to say Eryx would like to see her dead. Jax on the other hand is convinced she’s meant for him.

My Review:

4 / 5 stars

The Mephisto Covenant started off strong. Trinity Faegan writes in an easy, modern prose and the book begins right in the action. There’s no build up, it’s just wham bam you’re straight into the story. Sometimes this works, sometimes it doesn’t. In this case it worked, and I found myself really eager to find out more about Sasha and Faegan’s mythology. Somewhere after the first few chapters I felt the story take a little bit of a dip. Everything was so manic – from dialogue to plot devices. I’m pleased to say the ‘manic-ness’ dissipated half way in and the last half of the novel was far stronger than the first. The mythology in The Mephisto Covenant is really clever and manages to take one of the oldest tales ever and give it a refreshing and unique twist. There were moments when the mythology was laid out perfectly and was easy to soak up as the story unfolded, and there were other moments where it felt a little like information overload (see earlier manic) and I had to go back and read it again. Once the writing and story settled into itself the actual plot was really great. It was solid and cohesive; there was always something happening and there was plenty of action too.

My favourite character I think has to be a secondary one, and that was Phoenix, Jax’s brother. He wasn’t in it overly much but when he was he was just really quite funny and dry-witted and seemed to stand out for me. This novel also brought me to the definite conclusion that characters who are good and nice with not even the slightest edge or darkness to them are boring and two dimensional. It seemed from the first couple of chapters that Sasha was a determined, possibly feisty character, but then the stuff about her being Anabo was introduced bringing the reader to the realisation that Sasha is too good to be relatable - but perhaps that was the point. I was pleased, however, when she began making out with Jax and he began ‘infecting’ her with his Mephisto. Suddenly she was able to feel all kinds of crappy stuff like anger and jealousy and hatred, and she got interesting! Lol. By the end of the book she becomes a really likeable character (because she’s more relatable) and even has a moment or two of kick-assness going on.
The irony in the cast of characters is that Jax, a son of Hell, is probably the most trustworthy. Faegan doesn’t exactly highlight the best of people in this novel, since a large percentage of them succumb to wickedness. This will drive some readers crazy but I actually thought it was pretty brave. Faegan isn’t a writer who shies away from the darker stuff and she definitely doesn’t conform to the genre. There are no fluffy bunnies or butterfly kisses in The Mephisto Covenant; everything is very heavy and passionate and full of drama.

I will also note that some word choice in the novel is graphic. It doesn’t bother me, I don’t mind my YA dipped in sauce, but there are sexual situations in the book and unlike most YA, The Mephisto Covenant doesn’t shy away from laying it out straight for you rather than hiding it behind floweriness and sensuality. As I say, that didn’t actually bother me, especially because it wasn’t gratuitous and was actually relevant to the plotline, but it should be noted that this is a novel for mature teens+.

Conclusion:

Overall a really entertaining read with some cool mythology and a sharper voice than others in its genre.




Sam x

Friday, July 08, 2011

Fantasy Cast Trailer

I've pulled the pics together and created a cast book trailer for The Tale of Lunarmorte. The soundtrack song is Daniel - Bats for Lashes. When this song came out a few years ago it was while I was in the editing stages of the first book in the Lunarmorte trilogy. I loved the feel of the song and it really grabbed my imagination - some really cool scenes from the novels were written after listening to Daniel. But what really grabbed me about the song is a specific lyric... Now I may have misinterpreted the lyrics because my brain was all about the novel at the time but I'm pretty sure it goes... 'And in the golden blue Caia took me to the darkest place she knew.' I was like whoa! This song has a Caia in it! Lol. The song in the cast trailer starts at this point in the song... maybe you guys will hear something different, but I refuse now to hear anything but that line, and I always think of my trilogy and my characters when I hear this song.






Sam x

Thursday, July 07, 2011

My Cast Picks: Lunarmorte Characters



I often get asked in interviews which actors I would like to see cast in the roles of the Lunarmorte characters if it ever by some miracle made it to the big screen. I've also noticed other authors such as Rachel Vincent and Keary Taylor offering up their choices on their blogs. So I thought I'd give it a go. It was a lot harder than I thought it'd be...
Caia Ribeiro

Caia is the heroine of the Tale of Lunarmorte, a reserved blonde who has to turn into a bad-ass in order to take down her enemies. After watching this young actress in action (and super happy to see her take the lead role in the movie adaptation of The Hunger Games) I thought... now she might just be fab as Cy.


Actress Jennifer Lawrence a.k.a Caia Ribeiro
I watched Jennifer in the movie Winter's Bone and she blew me away. She's got Caia's colouring (except for the eyes - Caia's are green not blue) and I think she'd make a wicked heroine in any movie, which I'm sure she will as Katniss in The Hunger Games.

Jaeden Rodriguez

Jaeden is Caia's best friend. She a sunny, bubbly kind of girl until she comes face to face with horror. With all the shocks Jaeden takes it's no surprise she develops into a snarky, kick-ass hunter with a chip on her shoulder.



Actress Nina Dobrev a.k.a. Jaeden Rodriguez.
Nina already has the paranormal heroine market cornered as Elena Gilbert in The Vampire Diaries. However, she's just how I imagined Jaeden to look (again except for the eyes, Jaeden's are blue not brown), and we know she can play the nice, fiesty girl (Elena) and the wicked, snarky bitch (Katherine). I think she'd be awesome as the gorgeous Jaeden.


Alexa  

She's gorgeous, she's powerful and she's a total wolfy bitch. Alexa craves social power and has proven she'll do what it takes to get what she wants. However, life gets in the way, forcing Alexa to shed her superficial fur and try on a real wolf suit in battle.


Actress Marie Avgeropoulos a.k.a Alexa. I admit to not really knowing the standard of this young actress' acting chops but when i saw her picture I was like 'whoa... that's so Alexa'.
















Laila

Laila is a young, mysterious Scandinavian girl on the wrong side of the war - she's a Midnight. But as soon as Caia meets her, she knows there is something pure and special about Laila and she quickly makes it her mission to protect her. Mysterious, sweet, 'butter wouldn't melt in her mouth' nice, Laila is the more complex of the girls as she also comes along with a hefty amount of bravery and determination.

Actress Dakota Fanning a.k.a Laila. Dakota has proved her acting skills from a very young age. She can play it serene, moody and down right creepy. I'm going for the serene with this one. Plus she has Laila's colouring and willowy frame.















Rose Bronson

She's that girl. Older, curvier, completely gorgeous; she's Lucien's ex-girlfriend. We hate her on principle. Not to mention that she's a manipulative shrew.


 Actress Elena Satine a.k.a. Rose Bronson. Again I haven't seen Elena's acting but as soon as I saw this striking red-head with her gorgeous hair and moody eyes... I automatically thought 'definitely Rose'.















Now for the boys!

Lucien LĂ­der

Lucien is the Alpha of Caia's pack. He's that older guy you can't help but crush on. Luckily for Caia the gods and two pushy fathers have made it impossible to avoid a romantic fate with Lucien. Sure he can be obnoxious and overbearing, but he's also loyal, brave and a caring Alpha. Not to mention he's Haaawwwtt!

Actor Taylor Kitsch a.k.a. Lucien. There's only one pic of Lucien because Taylor doesn't really look like this in his other photographs. But this one shot of him is as close to Lucien as I've been able to find.
















Ryder Alexander

Ryder is a relief from the brooding Lucien. He's funny, charming and sexy as all hell. A total pop-culture nut, Ryder can come off a little goofy but he's got the brains and the brawn to make it work for him. He might also be the only one capable of getting through to the stubborn Jaeden Rodriguez when she shuts everyone else out.



Actor Ian Harding (Pretty Little Liars) and Actor Taylor Kinney (The Vampire Diaries)

OK, so I had difficulty choosing a Ryder. I couldn't decide between the sexy but approachable Ian Harding or the seriously hot and brawny Taylor Kinney? I decided that since this wasn't real there was no harm in putting both their pics up!

Sebastian Trey

Loveable Sebastian is Jaeden's best friend. In Caia's opinion, he's quite possibly the most beautiful boy she's ever seen with his lionesque colouring and grace. Sebastian is loyal, fun and a great listener but it's hard for the teenager to compete for Caia's affections when the Alpha is standing in his way.

Actor Chace Crawford a.k.a Sebastian.
I'd prefer to have been able to find a younger actor but Chace is the youngest I could find with Sebastian's colouring. He's a gorgeous pretty boy with a lovely gravelly voice. In looks, he's an almost perfect Sebastian.












Malek

Mal is Alexa's younger brother, although you wouldn't know it since he's so freakin' tall and brawny. Intimidation is Mal's best friend. Except for the wolf part, Mal's a typical sixteen year old guy with only one thing on his mind... that is until real life comes knocking and knocks him on his ass.

Actor Michael Trevino a.k.a Malek. Michael plays werewolf Tyler Lockwood in The Vampire Diaries so this wouldn't be much of a stretch for him. He's got Mal's build and arrogant swagger, but he can also be an alright guy when he wants to be.















Vilhelm

Vilhelm is a young Scandinavian warlock who is willing to sacrifice a lot for the love of his life Laila. He doesn't care if she's green, blue, Midnight or Daylight. He would do whatever it takes to protect her and befriends Caia in their shared mission to do so.


Actor Alexander Ludwig a.k.a. Vilhelm. Haven't seen this kid in action but his German colouring can pass for Scandinavian. He has Vil's boyish looks, blonde hair and piercing blue eyes. Plus, I think him and Dakota would look pretty cute together.














And finally....

Reuben

He's a vamp with secrets. He befriends Jaeden and helps turn her into a hunter, and after that kind of lurks around from here to there. Somehow he manages to piss off everyone at some point, but you just can't help but like this vampyre! Not to mention he's the ultimate bad-ass.


Actor Tyler Blackburn a.k.a Reuben. All he needs is a lip ring and this guy's got Reuben written all over him. No wonder Ryder gets pissed off when Reuben's sniffing around Jaeden.














Well that's what I had in mind, what about you? Did you picture someone completely different?


Sam x