Friday, 14 March 2014

Cover Reveal - Collide by Melissa West

Today Melissa West and Entangled Teen are excited to reveal the cover for Collide, the thrilling conclusion to The Taking series releasing in December 2,2014! Check out the gorgeous cover, exclusive excerpt, and enter to win an eARC!



About the book:

Collide by Melissa West (The Taking #3)
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Publication date: December 2, 2014
Military legacy Ari Alexander has survived alien spies, WWIV, and a changing world order. But when the new leader of Earth uses Jackson—the only boy she's ever let herself care about—to get to her, Ari has no choice but 
to surrender. To free Jackson, she agrees to travel to the national bases to train others to fight. 

What she discovers is a land riddled with dying people. Ari has the power to heal by turning the fighters into aliens—half-breeds like her. If she succeeds, together, they have a chance at overthrowing the alien leader, Zeus. But if she fails, everyone she holds dear will be wiped away forever.

Once again, everything Ari’s come to believe is thrown into question. In a world of uncertainty, loyalties are tested, lies are uncovered, and no one can be trusted. If Ari and Jackson have any hope at survival and at preserving a life for the future, they must fight the final war with their eyes wide open.
Find Collide Online:

Exclusive Excerpt:


“Wake up!”

I feel as though someone has pinched my mind, shaken my brain around, and asked it to work again. I try to open my eyes, but they’re heavy and clouded and I begin to worry that maybe they are open. I just can’t see.

“Wake up!”

I flinch at the sound, so close to my ear, yet far away. Or maybe it’s my understanding that’s far.

“Ari. We’re out of time. Wake up!”

My mind flashes into focus, but I don’t open my eyes. I can feel, sense, everything around me. The beeping sounds that alternate in succession. The breathing in and out of the person beside me, yet I can’t make out who the person is. Even if it’s a he or she. But what I can sense is danger, danger so intense that the hairs on my arms are at full attention and the xylem in my body has sparked, causing me to instantly want the person beside me dead. If he or she—it—is dead then I am free to escape, even if I have no idea what or who I am escaping from.

“Fine. Just call this payback.”

I have one second to realize that the person is Cybil, before a gut wrenching pain slices through my left arm. My eyes snap open and she’s in front of me, so pale and rattled that she looks like a ghost of herself. I glance down at my arm to see that Cybil ripped out my IV and is now holding it in her hand like a toy.

“I warned you. Look. This likely triggered an alarm. We have to get out of here. Right now.”

I try to nod, but my body is sluggish and I’m not sure that I’ve moved at all. Cybil loops her arm under my back to help me sit up, and instantly the room begins to move in and out of focus. “What happened to me?”

“They happened. Now move.”

I start to climb off the table I’m on, when Cybil’s eyes round out and her body begins to quake. “Cybil? What is it?” I reach out for her, just as her body collapses to the ground and a metal door behind her slides open. Two men dressed in thick white suits rush in, followed by a shorter man. A man I recognize.

“Hello, Ari. Nice to see you awake,” Kelvin says. Kelvin Lancaster. I remember him from the talks with Earth, how he seemed to be in control, how everyone around him acted uneasy in his presence. Like he was more enemy than friend. I start to respond to him, when I feel a sharp pinch in my arm. I look up to see another white-suited person behind me, syringe in hand. I try to push the person away. I try to open my mouth to scream. But suddenly my lips feel tingly, my arms limp. I focus back on Kelvin, on the grin on his face, and then the world around me disappears, and I’m once again alone in the darkness.
 

About Melissa: 

Melissa West writes young adult and new adult novels for Entangled Teen and Embrace and Penguin/Intermix. She lives outside of Atlanta, GA with her husband and two daughters and spends most of her time writing, reading, or fueling her coffee addiction.

She holds a B.A. in Communication Studies and a M.S. in Graphic Communication, both from Clemson University. Yeah, her blood runs orange.

 Connect with Melissa at www.melissawestauthor.com or on Twitter @MB_West.

Find Melissa Online:

Website | Twitter | Facebook 

Giveaway

 Want to win your very own eARC of Collide?  Enter the Rafflecopter giveaway.  Good luck everyone!
 

Thursday, 6 March 2014

***Review*** And All The Stars by Andrea K Host


And All The Stars by Andrea K Host

Released:  1st October 2012
Publisher: Andrea K Host
Series: No
Format: Digital ARC
Source: Netgalley
Find at:  Goodreads | Amazon UK

Author Site: Andrea K Host

Many thanks to Netgalley and  the Publisher for my review copy, this is in exchange for an honest review.

Goodreads Synopsis:

Come for the apocalypse. Stay for cupcakes. Die for love. 

Madeleine Cost is working to become the youngest person ever to win the Archibald Prize for portraiture. Her elusive cousin Tyler is the perfect subject: androgynous, beautiful, and famous. All she needs to do is pin him down for the sittings. None of her plans factored in the Spires: featureless, impossible, spearing into the hearts of cities across the world - and spraying clouds of sparkling dust into the wind. Is it an alien invasion? Germ warfare? They are questions everyone on Earth would like answered, but Madeleine has a more immediate problem. At Ground Zero of the Sydney Spire, beneath the collapsed ruin of St James Station, she must make it to the surface before she can hope to find out if the world is ending.


My Review

I happen to love love love apocalypse books. Granted the bulk of those I've read have been post apocalyptic, so to read a book that is set during the happenings was a different spin for me.  The blurb had me hooked I loved the line about the apocalypse and cupcakes.  

Even though  I managed to take in all the detail, and believe me there is plenty of detail to the story, I still felt that there was something missing for me.  I did enjoy this book but I didn't love it.  Hence the three stars.  Would it be worth reading?  I would say yes, if you want something a little different in the apocalypse genre then I would say it's worth picking up.  The air of mystery does keep you turning the pages, it makes you wonder what the heck is happening.  I wouldn't say the story is fast paced,  I think I missed that with this book, I do like a story to keep me on the edge of my seat.

I enjoyed the attention to detail and the way it describes what is happening around Madeline.  For someone going through an unknown situation she copes remarkably well.  Would you be able to do the same?  Make you wonder doesn't it.......  I have to say it was nice to see the bonds forged by the characters as they had to navigate the difficult situation.  
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Overall
Made a nice change to have a different angle on the whole apocalypse theme

My Thoughts on the Cover
I do really like this cover, it captures the main element of the story.  I would definitely pick this up in the book store.

Friday, 28 February 2014

***Review*** What Once We Feared by Carrie Ryan


What Once We Feared by Carrie Ryan

Released:  14th May 2013
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Series: Yes, #0.5 in the Forest of Hands and Teeth series
Format: Kindle e-book
Source: Bought
Find at:  Goodreads | Amazon UK

Goodreads Synopsis:

When the zombie apocalypse hits and the dead begin to rise, Jonah and his friends are on a class field trip downtown.  Panicked, they make a split-second decision to seek shelter in the Overlook, an apartment complex built like a fortress on the edge of town.  But as they begin to face the realities of what it will take to survive, they realize that while making the decision of where to run was easy, living out the consequences of that decision may be impossible.  From Carrie Ryan, the New York Times bestselling author of the Forest of Hands and Teeth books, What Once We Feared is an original digital short story about facing a world that is forever changed and in which survival means more than merely escaping the undead.

My Review

Imagine being given a big bar of chocolate, taking one bite and then having someone snatch it away from you.  This is how I felt.  I absolutely adore the Forest of Hands and Teeth series, my friends get so sick of hearing me rave about it.  So when I came across this short story, I didn't think twice about buying it.  But back to the chocolate, even though the bar got snatched away the tiny square tasted lovely.  Just having a taste of this series again was lovely.  I am disappointed the short story was very short, and I felt it very rushed.  Now give me more chocolate Carrie Ryan!!!!!

Back to the story..... it was nice to see another side to this series, it kind of made me wonder how I would cope in these circumstances.  I think I would be the first one to fall prey to the zombies.  Dani at Pen to Paper can vouch for that as my sprint across London trying to catch our train was enough to nearly kill me off.  Had there been zombies chasing us....... maybe I might have run a bit faster, but I certainly wouldn't have dropped my bag with my 14 books in it.  Sadly I may have to have bashed a few zombie brains with it.  I liked the characters in this book, they were a good mixed bunch of teenagers who have to pull through an zombie invasion.   The first part was detailed and exciting the last part almost felt like the author had been called to eat her dinner and had to sign off quickly.  

The question is would I have bough this book knowing how short it was and how rushed it was at the end?  The answer is yes, because I love this series so much even a small taste of chocolate is better than none at all.

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Overview
I love this series, still my favourite but felt this short story was too short and rushed at the end.

My Thoughts on the Cover
Dark and creepy and certainly suits the book.  I would be drawn to this cover! 





***Review*** Gravity by Melissa West


Gravity by Melissa West

Released: 18th December 2012
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Series: Yes, #1 in The Taking series
Source:  Netgalley
Format: Digital ARC
Find at: Goodreads | Amazon UK | Amazon US | The Book Depository

Author Site: Melissa West

Many thanks to Netgalley and  the Publisher for my review copy, this is in exchange for an honest review.


  Goodreads Synopsis:

 In the future, only one rule will matter:

Don’t. Ever. Peek.

Seventeen-year-old Ari Alexander just broke that rule and saw the last person she expected hovering above her bed — arrogant Jackson Locke, the most popular boy in her school. She expects instant execution or some kind of freak alien punishment, but instead, Jackson issues a challenge: help him, or everyone on Earth will die.

Ari knows she should report him, but everything about Jackson makes her question what she’s been taught about his kind. And against her instincts, she’s falling for him. But Ari isn’t just any girl, and Jackson wants more than her attention. She’s a military legacy who’s been trained by her father and exposed to war strategies and societal information no one can know — especially an alien spy, like Jackson. Giving Jackson the information he needs will betray her father and her country, but keeping silent will start a war.




My Review:

This one started off really exciting but somewhere just after quarter of the way through I stared to disconnect with the characters.  Past that point it went off the boil really quickly, which is a real shame as it had such promise.  I feel so gutted actually. I was really looking forward to getting my teeth into this one.

The synopsis sounded just up my street, ticked all the boxed.  But sadly I won't be carrying on with this series as I barely struggled to finish the first book.  And that is not a good sign.  I normally find that book one wows me and book two has a hard time following up.  But I'm not going to even go there.  It took me such a long time to will myself to get through this first book.

I'm afraid I didn't really like the main character Ari and I failed to connect with her.

Sorry Melissa West I didn't like this book.


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Overview
Very disappointed and even more so as it was about aliens, and I love aliens!!

My Thoughts on the Cover
I do love the cover, I would certainly be drawn to this in the book store.  The only thing I think could be improved was the font type and maybe make the writing stand out more.


Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Book Blitz: Unraveled by Julie Daines



Unraveled by Julie Daines

Release date: February 2014 
Publisher: Covenant Communications, Inc. 
Genre: YA Fantasy/Farytale 
ISBN: 9781621086277 
Buy Links: AmazonB&N (audiobook) | Covenant Communications


Synopsis

When sickness swept through Bronwen’s family, it took the life of her father, brother, and sister, and left her permanently crippled. On the stormy eve of her sixteenth birthday, a faerie-witch gifts her a pair of enchanted shoes. Bronwen slips them on and is healed--but only when the shoes are on her feet. Her grace and beauty catches the eye of the king’s son--Urien, a handsome young man who prides himself on having everything perfect. When Rhys, an old acquaintance and Captain of the Guard, recognizes Bronwen, he threatens to tell Urien her secret. Desperate to keep her deformity hidden and not to lose the love of handsome Urien, Bronwen quickly finds herself tangled in a web of lies and deceit.

This or that Question

Beach or Pool? Neither. There’s a reason I’m so white. Give me a forest or mountains.

About Julie Daines: 
Julie Daines was born in Concord, Massachusetts, and was raised in Utah. She spent eighteen months living in London, where she studied and fell in love with English literature, sticky toffee pudding, and the mysterious guy who ran the kebab store around the corner. She loves reading, writing, and watching movies—anything that transports her to another world. She picks Captain Wentworth over Mr. Darcy, firmly believes in second breakfast, and never leaves home without her verveine. Social Media Links: Twitter: | Facebook | Blog  | Book on Goodreads: Unraveled Author on Goodreads

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, 24 February 2014

***Review** Scent of Magic by Maria V Snyder


Scent of Magic by Maria V Snyder

Released: December 2012
Publisher: Mira - Harlequin
Series: Yes, #2 in the Healer series
Source: From Netgalley
Format: Digital ARC
Find at: Goodreads | Amazon UK | The Book Depository

Many thanks to Netgalley and  the Publisher for my review copy, this is in exchange for an honest review.

Goodreads Synopsis:

 Hunted, Killed—Survived?

As the last Healer in the Fifteen Realms, Avry of Kazan is in a unique position: in the minds of her friends and foes alike, she no longer exists. Despite her need to prevent the megalomanical King Tohon from winning control of the Realms, Avry is also determined to find her sister and repair their estrangement. And she must do it alone, as Kerrick, her partner and sole confident, returns to Alga to summon his country into battle.

Though she should be in hiding, Avry will do whatever she can to support Tohon’s opponents. Including infiltrating a holy army, evading magic sniffers, teaching forest skills to soldiers and figuring out how to stop Tohon’s most horrible creations yet; an army of the walking dead—human and animal alike and nearly impossible to defeat.

War is coming and Avry is alone. Unless she figures out how to do the impossible ... again.


 My Review:

As this is the second book in the series I am not going to give and plot lines or spoilers. 
The first book Touch of Power scored pretty high for me, so Scent of Magic had pretty much a heck of a lot to live up to.  I did enjoy it very much, but I have to admit I much preferred the first book.  

I think this is because a lot of book two is basically battle and strategy, whilst this was interesting I did miss the humour that I found in book one.  It is definitely a darker book.  I wanted the characters to develop a bit more too, there are some I find really interesting but they get a bit lost in the story.  I certainly do not dislike the book, I just hope book three lives up to the standard of these two.  The author certainly knows how to build a whole new world, I find the description excellent and can almost feel like I'm in the forest with Kerrick and Avry.

I really like Avry and also have a soft spot for Kerrick, so it will be interesting to see where the story goes for these two.  I love this series and have immediately moved on to book three, Taste of Darkness.  I'm quite sad there are only three books as I do love the characters.  I've only read one other series by Maria V Snyder and that is her Glass series.  The Healer series is by far my favourite and I haven't even read book three yet!
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Overview:

A great addition to the series, lots of battle and strategy in this one.  You do lose a bit of humour and playfulness you had with the "monkeys".

My Thoughts on the Cover:
I do like this cover, it definitely suits the book and I love the colour scheme.

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Guest Post: Melika Dannese Lux

I'm really thrilled to have author Melika Dannese Lux stop by the blog and give an awesome guest post!

Guest Post: Melika Dannese Lux - Genesis of Corcitura

Be honest. You’re wondering what on earth a Corcitura is, right? Well, I’d be more than happy to slake your curiosity! ;) Corcitura is the Romanian word for hybrid. It has no vampiric connotations whatsoever, but before I tell you why I chose this as the name for my new creature, how about a little backstory?

A year before I even got the idea for the Corcitura, I had seen a painting that sent my mind reeling with all the possible implications behind it. The painting was “Oh, what’s that in the hollow?” by Edward Robert Hughes.


 I took one look at that painting and screamed “VAMPIRE!” There’s something so morbidly entrancing and enigmatic about that painting. Is he dead? The sheen of his nearly translucent eyes certainly seems to suggest it. But what if he’s just resting until the moon rises? I only recently found out that he is dead! But back then, I was still in the dark, and so I did what all good storytellers do: I totally ignored the inconvenient facts behind the painting and ran roughshod with my inspiration. Those translucent eyes were never far from my mind and inspired me so much that they found life in the book’s eponymous creature.

 So, why vampires, after all? Out of all the monsters of myth, vampires had always been my favorites. I had always been fascinated by how they could be suave and alluring on the outside (or when the sun wasn’t up), but with the flick of a barbed tongue, turn into slavering, fang-toothed, bloodsucking beasts! The juxtaposition fascinated me, since in original folklore almost all vampires are essentially plagues. Some just know how to mask their true nature better than others.

I knew if I was going to write about vampires, they’d better be different and intriguing, and since I have always been crazy for folklore from different parts of the world, this idea gave me an excuse to explore vampire mythology. It’s fascinating reading, freaky, but fascinating. Up until this point, I had the makings of a novel, but my vampire wasn’t being cooperative at all and just stayed hidden in the background, kicking through my mind until he finally got his act together and distinguished himself enough to set the story in motion. Until then, I had nicknamed him “Our Combo,” since he was going to be a hybrid—created after being bitten by two vampires of differing species. I knew I couldn’t continue calling him by such a McDonald’s Value Meal sounding name forever, so I took the next step in finding out what the word “hybrid” in Romanian was (since Stefan’s family has a long and torturous history deep in the soil of that country). I have Romanian ancestors, so digging into the country’s myths and legends was an added bonus. When I discovered that corcitura meant hybrid, I thought about it, and since I didn’t like any of the names I’d made up in the interim, it eventually stuck.

 One huge thing that was clear in my mind from the outset was to make certain my novel took place before Dracula was even published. Dracula was such a tremendous milestone in vampire literature…and I didn’t want my characters to know about it at all. I wanted to create new myths, new ways of dispatching the creatures of the night, new fears and horrors—all things which would have been greatly hindered by a post-1897 setting. Where would the suspense be if my characters could fall back on what they’d read in Stoker’s novel? When they came up against pointy-toothed demons, I wanted no little lights going off in my characters’ heads, and definitely no saying, “Ah ha! This is exactly like what happened in Dracula! Quick, get some garlic!” I wanted my characters to have absolutely no frame of reference for dealing with the horrible situations they found themselves in, which is why all the action in the novel takes place from 1888 (there is also a very ripping reason for choosing that year, but you’ll have to read the book to find out why ;) through 1895.

 
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