Anyone who knows me well, knows I can't handle lack of sleep. I love my bed. I love my sleep. I am unable to function as a normal person without at least seven hours sleep. In fact I've been known to avoid social functions if I've had a lack of sleep because I'm just an irritable pain in the ass and do not wish to inflict the consequences of my lack of sleep on unwitting innocents :-p
Luckily, I tend to sleep well. Not last night. Last night was one of those very rare nights where I fell asleep at the back of midnight, woke up at 2am and couldn't get back to sleep. There was just no helping it. So... I cracked open my kindle and trolled through the 200 odd books on it until I came to a book that I thought would be light-hearted enough to see me through my weird eyes wide-awake issues. I opened Anna and the French Kiss and turns out... awesome read. And today's book recommendation...
Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris - until she meets Etienne St. Clair: perfect, Parisian (and English and American, which makes for a swoon-worthy accent), and utterly irresistible. The only problem is that he's taken, and Anna might be, too, if anything comes of her almost-relationship back home.
As winter melts into spring, will a year of romantic near - misses end with the French kiss Anna - and readers - have long awaited?
My Review *****Awesome Read
I’ll be honest. I wasn’t sure I was the right target audience for Anna and the French Kiss when I first heard about Stephanie Perkins YA novel. I thought maybe it was for a younger YA crowd and I prefer novels directed at older teens+
BUT running up to its release and after, I couldn’t click on a book blog without someone raving about this book. So I bought it for my kindle out of pure curiousity. And well… I’m so glad I did. I read Anna and the French Kiss in one sitting where Stephanie Perkins introduced me to the unbelievably likeable Anna.
Never mind the absolutely wonderful descriptions of Paris (I felt like I was back there once more), Perkins’ characters are what made this novel so special. From the first page I knew I would like Anna. She is so funny and down-to-earth and passionate about things in the way that only someone starting out in life can be. I laughed at Anna’s sense of humour throughout the entire novel and really began to feel like I’d found a friend – I love that when an author manages to make their character THAT real.As for Anna’s friends at SOAP (the American high school she attends in Paris) they were all so wonderfully individual and authentic too. Perkins has a way of building a character from the ground up, giving them an abundance of quirks and habits, and staying true to the personality she creates for them from the first page, that I have to keep reminding myself that they are in fact fiction. Love it. Etienne St. Clair, Anna’s best friend and crush, is a wonderfully complex character and the chemistry between him and Anna was gut-wrenchingly brilliant.
This book had all the humour, drama, dilemmas, reality, passion and romance that a great teen novel should have. It’s pushed its way onto my favourites shelf and Anna has pushed her way to the top five of my favourite YA heroines list. A must read! I already bought myself the companion novel Lola and the Boy Next Door.
Five Massive Massive Stars!
(P.S. For older fans of Anna and the French Kiss I recommend Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire.)
Yup, bought lots of books these last two weeks. Makes me happy :-) Oh at the end of the video when I half-heartedly attempt to show you how many books I have I pause on what is primarily empty space not realising I haven't turned the camera enough. I was trying to show you the second bookshelf at the end of my first bookshelf that is almost crammed to the ceiling with books. I failed.
What I bought
The Iron Knight by Julia Kagawa My Soul to Steal by Rachel Vincent If I Die by Rachel Vincent Carrier of the Mark by Leigh Fallon The Faerie Ring by Kiki Hamilton The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor Half-Blood by Jennifer L. Armentrout Red Glove by Holly Black Blood Rights by Kristen Painter Steampunk (a collection of short stories) by Cassandra Clare, Holly Black etc Dead Rules by Randy Russell A Touch Mortal by Leah Clifford
In the post, on it's way with a soul purpose of making me happy
Dearly Departed by Lia Habel My Blood Approves Books 1-4 in paperback by Amanda Hocking. Yay!
For Day Ten on the Smokeless Fire Blog Tour we're stopping with the awesomesauce blog Two Chicks on Books! Today you can head on over there to find out more about our heroine, Ari with her This or That List as well as enter a giveaway to win an ebook copy of the book!
Click on the button below to journey to today's tour stop...
It's Day Nine in the Smokeless Fire Blog Tour and today we're stopping with the fantabulous blog Moonlight Gleam's Bookshelf (another amazing blog title!). If you want to know a little bit more about one of the book's heroes, Jai, then head on over for his character interview & giveaway.
To journey on over to the tour stop click on the button below...
Their love was meant to be. When Megan Rosenberg moves to Ireland, everything in her life seems to fall into place. After growing up in America, she's surprised to find herself feeling at home in her new school. She connects with a group of friends, and she is instantly drawn to darkly handsome Adam DeRÍs. But Megan is about to discover that her feelings for Adam are tied to a fate that was sealed long ago—and that the passion and power that brought them together could be their ultimate destruction.
My Review ****Great Read!
First off let me say I bought this book on pure cover love. This has to be in my top 5 favourite covers of 2011. It’s sooo beautiful, mystical and in a way kind of dark. There’s always a fear that when you buy a book on cover love alone you end up fairly disappointed. I’m pleased to say I wasn’t in the least.
Carrier of the Mark is one of these lovely books that sucks you in quickly, with its smooth, easy, modern prose, likeable narrator and vivid location. I really think my favourite thing about the novel was how much I really felt as if I had been landed in a small fishing village in Ireland.
As for characters, I enjoyed Megan’s narration, and her interactions with her new friends. I thought the DeRis’ were great characters and found Rian and Fionn particularly compelling and hope to learn more about them. As for the insta-love connection between Megan and Adam, I thought it was done well, and enjoyed the tense chemistry between the two.
Plot-wise, I was happy. I didn’t know where it was going at first but was pleasantly surprised by the supernatural element of Carrier of the Mark. It was as Celtic as the setting and as refreshing as a cool Irish Breeze.
Overall, a great read and I’m looking forward to the next in the series.
We're on Day Eight of the Blog Tour and today we're stopping at the rip-roaringly great blog Avery's Book Nook where you can check out a review of Smokeless Fire (10/10!!!) and enter a giveaway to win an ebook copy of the novel. Head on over there now :-)
The year is 1871, and Tiki has been making a home for herself and her family of orphans in a deserted hideaway adjoining Charing Cross Station in central London. Their only means of survival is by picking pockets. One December night, Tiki steals a ring, and sets off a chain of events that could lead to all-out war with the Fey. For the ring belongs to Queen Victoria, and it binds the rulers of England and the realm of Faerie to peace. With the ring missing, a rebel group of faeries hopes to break the treaty with dark magic and blood—Tiki’s blood. Unbeknownst to Tiki, she is being watched—and protected—by Rieker, a fellow thief who suspects she is involved in the disappearance of the ring. Rieker has secrets of his own, and Tiki is not all that she appears to be. Her very existence haunts Prince Leopold, the Queen’s son, who is driven to know more about the mysterious mark that encircles her wrist. Prince, pauper, and thief—all must work together to secure the treaty…
My Review *****Brilliant Read!
Kiki Hamilton’s The Faerie Ring is an absolutely charming and enchanting read that swept me back into Victorian London into a fantasy world of pure escapism.
A sixteen year old with the weight of the world on her shoulders, Tiki is a fantastic heroine that I was rooting for from the first page. An orphan, Tiki is like a mother and sister to other orphans who live in an abandoned clockworks, and together they hit the streets of London every day to pick pockets in order to survive. Responsibility and her love for her band of pickpockets drive Tiki’s motives, and she is one of the most single-minded and determined protagonists I’ve come across in a long time. Often that single-minded focus to protect those she loves has her making pretty huge mistakes, for instance stealing a ring that brokers the truce between the British Court and the Faerie Courts, but it’s hard to get mad at her when her efforts are born out of such fierce loyalty. The secondary characters in The Faerie Ring are wonderful. Tiki’s pickpockets, Fiona, Shamus, Toots and Clara, are a loveable bunch, and Prince Leopold is adorably bemused and charming. The Faeries, Larkin and Marcus, are incredibly sinister and disturbing - I really appreciated how dark Hamilton made their characters because it added a sense of urgency to the plot. And finally of course there is Reiker, the hero of the novel. Reiker is mysterious, protective, handsome and broken. He’s utterly compelling and probably my favourite character from the entire book. Moreover the chemistry between Tiki and Reiker is palpable and I so enjoyed their interactions and misunderstandings.
The plot itself is clever and refreshing – a surprise in itself considering the ever growing pile of YA books in the faerie genre – and fast-paced. The prose is smooth with a modern, easy flow, cleverly wrapped in dialogue that befits the location and time period. The descriptions of Victorian London are vivid and well-researched and I really did feel as if I had been swept back in time.
A brilliant read that kept me captivated from page one.
That's right folks, Smokeless Fire Blog Tour is back for Day Seven and today we're stopping at the awesomerocks blog Magical Urban Fantasy Reads (Don't you just love the name?!). Today's stop includes a vlog of my top ten YA Heroes as well as a giveaway to win ebook copies of the novel.
Just click on the button below to journey to the tour stop...
It's Midnight here in the UK so it's Sunday already!
Well today the Smokeless Fire Blog Tour is taking a wee rest but will resume tomorrow (Monday, just for those of you confused by my late night post or for those of you in a completely different time zone). For now I've actually found some time, after Smokeless Fire released, to sit down and read a book. Yay! And it was a good 'un.
Seventeen-year-old Braden was born with witch eyes. He has the ability to see the world as it truly is: a blinding explosion of memories, anguish, darkness, and magic. The power enables Braden to see through spells and lies, but it comes at the cost of horrible pain. After a terrifying vision reveals imminent danger for the uncle who raised and instructed him, Braden is lured to Belle Dam, an old city divided by two feuding witch dynasties. Rival family heads Catherine Lansing and Jason Thorpe are desperate to use Braden's powers to unlock Belle Dam's secrets, but Braden refuses to become their sacrificial pawn. His resolve is tested when he learns that Jason is his father—and that Trey, the enigmatic guy he's attracted to, is Catherine's son. To stop an insidious dark magic from consuming the town, Braden must master his gift—even if the effort destroys him.
First let me start off by saying how much I love this cover. I think it's a.m.a.z.i.n.g... but what I loved most about Witch Eyes was that lacking sense of déjà vu. Tracey’s world was completely refreshing and I honestly felt as if I was stepping into undiscovered territory. I had no idea what would happen next.
Scott Tracey really has created an elegant and vivid world of witch craft. Set in the atmospheric and charged town of Belle Dam, Witch Eyes is full of mystery, magic, romance and intrigue. Seventeen year old Braden is our main character and he comes with a wicked sense of humour, abundance of sarcasm and a gift that is truly unique. I fell in love with the language Tracey used to describe Braden’s vision, utterly in awe of the author’s ability to take something so complex and explain it in a way that I understood – better yet, explain it so I could visualize the beauty and magic of his gift. The small war Braden stumbles into in Belle Dam is exceptionally intriguing. I found myself addictively turning the page because I had to know what the hell was going on. There are no clichés, no obvious answers, and the twists and turns in Witch Eyes are exceptionally clever. It’s been a while since a book has kept me on my toes. As well as the fantastic and enigmatic plot (can a plot be enigmatic? Yeah, I’m gonna say this one is), the characters in Witch Eyes are…well…wow. I’m a huge Braden fan. I love when I love the main character this much. Braden is just so compelling. I thought it was awesome how, as the reader, we got to see his vulnerable side - the side of him that is bitter about his dad, loyal to his uncle, stripped bare by his gift, crushing on a hot older guy. But then amazingly we can also see how he must come off to the other characters – very self-contained, defensive, independent, wary. In steps Trey, Braden's love interest. He’s hot, he’s cool, he’s also loyal to the point of being a pain in the ass and as Braden so perceptively points out, he has a bit of hero complex. He’s utterly loveable and I found the two of them together hilarious, electric and entertaining. Even better, the other characters, Jade, Drew, Jason and Catherine, are intriguing in their own ways and I can’t wait to read more about them.
I was hooked from the first page by this riveting young adult paranormal. Cannot wait for Book Two!
We're now on to Day Six in the Smokeless Fire Blog Tour. Today the tour stops with the awesomesauce Jena (who introduced me to the phrase amazeballs! Love that:-p) at the awesomsauce blog Shortie Says. Here you can check out one of the heroes of the novel - Charlie - as well as enter a giveaway to win an ebook copy of the novel. Jena has also very kindly given a review of the novel (Five Stars! Yay!) so you can check that out also.
Click on the Shortie Says button to travel to the tour stop...
That's right folks, Smokeless Fire is OUT NOW, and we are on to Day Five in the Smokeless Fire Blog Tour. To celebrate the release of the novel head on over to the next tour stop where the fantabulous Fiktshun (who was an awesome help putting this tour together so a BIG THANK YOU!) is hosting a review (five stars, yay!) and giveaway. Hop on over to enter to win a signed paperback of Smokeless Fire & swag. Runners up to win ebook copies.
Click on Fiktshun's button and it will take you directly to the stop...
Well Smokeless Fire releases tomorrow - eep! - and today we are on day four of the tour. The tour has stopped at the fantabulous blog The Cait Files where you guys can check out a vlog of my top ten YA heroines and enter a giveaway to win an ebook copy of the novel.
Day Three of the Smokeless Fire Blog Tour is upon us! Today the tour is stopping on the amazing blog The Slowest Bookworm. And yay excitement because today is Smokeless Fire's first official review!!!!! I was so nervous when I popped on over to the stop to have a look but boy was my week made.
Head on over to The Slowest Bookworm by clicking on the banner below, to read a 5 star (yes FIVE!) review for Smokeless Fire and enter for a chance to win an ebook copy of the novel.
It's day two on the Smokeless Fire Blog Tour. Today the tour stops at the fabulous blog Reading Away the Days and readers can get to know the heroine of the novel, Ari, as well as enter to win ebook copies of the book.
It's finally here! Yes, the Smokeless Fire Blog Tour hits the road running. The Blog Tour kicks off today on the awesome blog Mundie Moms where you guys can watch my author video interview and enter a giveaway to win a signed copy of Smokeless Fire and some swag. Two runners up will win an ebook copy of the book.
To head on over to the first blog stop on the tour just click on the Mundie Moms banner below...
With the Smokeless Fire Blog Tour kicking off on the awesome blog Mundie Moms tomorrow I thought I'd post one last teaser before the show hits the road...
" Ari was reacting to the low, deadly growl that rumbled from somewhere over her shoulder. She gulped. Just a dream, just a dream, just a dream. Slowly, hands trembling, Ari turned, placing one foot carefully after the other. Her eyes widened as she turned full circle and faced…
“Holy mother of crap.”
…the thing before her… oh god, oh god, what is it, what is it?! "
I'm a huge fan of Maria V. Snyder and was really happy to hear from amazon that she has a new release coming out in January titled Touch of Power, book one in the Healers series. So off I went onto goodreads to add it and discovered that the US cover blows the UK cover out of the water AND that it's set for release in December in the US. Guess who will be buying the US version from amazon.com. Can you blame me? Look how pretty...
Now check out the UK cover...
There is nothing wrong with it, it fits the style of her other UK covers but I just think the US cover is scrumptious.
Anyhoo, other than lusting over covers I've also been listening to a few new bands for the Fire Spirits series. I discovered two from the soundtrack on the CW series The Secret Circle.
The Naked and Famous
All of This is on the Smokeless Fire soundtrack.
Uh Huh Her
Never the Same is also on the Smokeless Fire Soundtrack
Why you ask am I buying more books when I'm struggling to get through the ones I have? I haven't even finished the Iron Fey series yet... I'm taking ages and it's not because the books aren't awesome - THEY ARE - it's just difficult to find time to do any proper reading lately. Anyhoo, I bought more books because that is the nature of addiction. Here's what I got this week...
Yes, it is true... only 10 days to go until the release of Smokeless Fire. While you wait, here's another little teaser...
"The porch screen had a huge tear in it, there was trash bags on the broken porch steps, the windows provided plenty of privacy with the sheer amount of filth accumulated on them and the mailbox was more of a stick stuck in the yard than a receptacle for mail. Ari felt sorry for the neighbors who must pass the house every day and wish they could just burn the eyesore to the ground. Feeling somewhat sick at having to be there, Ari had to take a minute.
I don't know if you guys remember a while back I read a YA book by indie author Tammy Blackwell and fell head over heels for her writing. That book was Destiny Binds. Scrolling through amazon today I noticed Tammy has given her novel a new look, one that is absolutely fabulous and far more appropriate for the awesomeness of the story. Here's the new cover... what do you think?
Scout Donovan is a girl who believes in rules, logic, and her lifelong love of Charlie Hagan. Alex Cole believes in destiny, magic, and Scout. When Alex introduces Scout to the world of Shifters, men who change into wolves or coyotes during the full moon and Seers, women who can see your most private thoughts and emotions with a mere touch, the knowledge changes everything and everyone Scout thought she knew.
I think it's beautiful and professional and very atmospheric. It fits Scout's story so much more than the original cover.
If you can't remember my review here it is again...
OMG. This self-published novel has completely taken me by surprise. Not only is it well-written, entertaining and somewhat addictive, but it's driven at the helm by a dry-voiced narrator called Scout, who you can't help but love. The characters in Destiny Binds are amazingly well-rounded, the shifter mythology incredibly believable, and the romance one of the best I've read in YA indie. OK, so admittedly there isn't as much action in this novel as other YA paranormal but the dialogue and the characters are so wonderful that I didn't even care. The quality of the actual writing just kept me turning page after page. So did Scout's quick wit.
This book made me laugh and cry, and the ending threw me for a loop. My mouth actually fell open with a silent 'nooooo!'. I cannot wait for the second book in the Timber Wolves series. Literally... cannot wait!
Five Huge Stars!
Remember guys, Destiny Binds is only $0.99 (£0.86) on amazon! Bargain!
I'm doing good at the moment, I hope you guys are too. Suffice to say I'm terrible at talking about anything too personal on my blog. I find it diffcult to discuss personal things in person and have always found writing it all down easier (surprise, surprise ) but even then it's usually kept private. But I really want my readers to know me. My readers are terrific: supportive, encouraging, funny and humbling and I think understanding me can help them understand my work better. I'm just such a private person really (I feel myself dying inside when I see people tweeting about the very private ins and outs of their personal life on Twitter) and I do find it difficult to get the very nitty gritty of me across. The truth is October is not a great month for me and mine. It brings back a loss I have a hard time talking about it, and for some reason, the month of October has been cursed ever since. It's awful because, season wise, I love this time of year. I always get really into Halloween and I love the Fall weather, and that helps make October a better month to get through. This year, I'm hoping October will be awesome. And I'm actually doing really well because I'm so excited about the release of Smokeless Fire. When I'm this excited I tend to get really distracted and procrastinate :-s I started going through old photo albums and that's when I thought 'Hey, here's a quick way for my readers to get insight into me'. Lol. So here are some photos of me through the ages. Sorry it jumps from 7 years old to 15 but I didn't have any of those photos on my laptop. But these ones are funny...
Baby Me. Chubby cheeks, glazed confused expression in the eyes. Not much has changed then...
My First Christmas. I'm teething and...pissed off? I look stubborn as hell. Again, not much has changed. PS. The greeny blue and purple cuddly toy is still in my closet and in the exact same condition. I was awfully protective and careful of my cuddlies :-p
I think I'm about 3 1/2 or 4 here. I look like butter wouldn't melt in my mouth and believe it or not, that was true. I was crippingly shy as a child. Didn't last long.
I'm six years old here. This is me in my primary 2 class (second grade). Ahem... let's not talk about the sweater and trousers.
Ha ha. My mother will kill me when she sees I've posted this. This is me age 7 with my brother, David, age 10. We didn't know it was school photos that day and my mum is mortified by us in it. She says we look like waifs. Lol. I think it's genius.
Me age 15. I've just had my brace put on so I'm having difficulty smiling. I was in so much pain with that bloody thing. I miss that supergirl t-shirt.
I think I'm seventeen here. I'm on my way to an Incubus concert (the second time I'd see them live) with my friends... I don't even know where to begin with the rubber ducky on my head.
Seventeen and all dressed up for my prom (Junior Prom). Believe it or not but I am camera shy... I made my mum stand waaay back. Lol.
I'm eighteen in this photo and a little more comfortable in front of the camera (still not great). This was my prom (Senior Prom). The night was a complete bust but I loved my dress :-)
My nineteenth birthday with my friends, having a cocktail (we only need to be eighteen to get into a bar in the UK). I look absolutely hammered but I'm not. I had just finished a 70hr week in a thankless job I quit a few days later after it put me out of commission healthwise. Yay.The gorgeous girl in the pic next to me is my friend Emma. I hope she doesn't mind I put this up here:-)
This a few months after my nineteenth birthday. I'm standing on the harbour in Benalmadena in Spain. It was my first holiday with my friends. The four of us had an amazing time for two weeks. It was also only my second time abroad. Woohoo!
Me on my 21st birthday in Paris! Me and my awesome friends from uni descended on Paris for a few nights. We stayed in St. Denis in a dodgy premier inn and even though we knew the place looked incredibly shady we weren't entirely aware of just how shady the area was... thank god. There was an amazing patisserie down the street from the inn though.
Halloween, my 22nd year. I'm Valmont from Les Liaisons Dangereuses. And my best mate Kate is Captain Hook. Yeah... we've never really grown up... which is Ironic since Kate was Hook.
2010. I'm 24 here.The year Lunarmorte was originally published. This is from the photographs taken for my author photo. This one was put in the 'Never' pile... apparently it wasn't professional enough or something...
Well... I hope you found my quick life photo album very enlightening. I'd just like to add that I took a break from this post to run an errand and a pigeon crapped on me.