Thursday, 28 February 2013

Untimed by Andy Gavin Blog Tour - Review + Giveaway


Untimed by Andy Gavin

UntimedTitle: Untimed

Series: N/A

Author: Andy Gavin

Published: 17th December 2012 by Mascherato

Source: ARC copy from the author for an honest review



Synopsis:

Charlie’s the kind of boy that no one notices. Hell, even his own mother can’t remember his name. And girls? The invisible man gets more dates.

As if that weren’t enough, when a mysterious clockwork man tries to kill him in modern day Philadelphia, and they tumble through a hole into 1725 London, Charlie realizes even the laws of time don’t take him seriously.

Still, this isn’t all bad. In fact, there’s this girl, another time traveler, who not only remembers his name, but might even like him! Unfortunately, Yvaine carries more than her share of baggage: like a baby boy and at least two ex-boyfriends! One’s famous, the other’s murderous, and Charlie doesn’t know who is the bigger problem.

When one kills the other — and the other is nineteen year-old Ben Franklin — things get really crazy. Can their relationship survive? Can the future? Charlie and Yvaine are time travelers, they can fix this — theoretically — but the rules are complicated and the stakes are history as we know it.

And there's one more wrinkle: he can only travel into the past, and she can only travel into the future!



Book Links
Amazon

Goodreads




My Review

I haven't read many time-travel novels (off the top off my head I can't actually think of any but I'm sure there's at least one I've read.. somewhere along the line..)  anyway, the idea of this book sounded very intriguing and I've always thought it would be cool to time-travel!

Charlie has gone through life unnoticed except by his father and aunt. He has notes all around the house with his name on them just so his own mother won't forget it. One day he's attacked by a clockwork man who he follows into a portal that leads London 1725. It's in London he meets Yvaine, another time-traveller around Charlie's age who is his only hope of getting home. Except Yvaine has things tying her to that time, that she'll have a hell of a time giving up.

I really liked the individuality of all the characters. I thought Yvaine was very fun though I didn't agree with all her actions, and Charlie was also a strong, smart character that I really enjoyed getting to know. Another of my favourite characters would be Charlie's aunt. Her time-travelling was fun (albeit risky) and she had a really great personality that I immediately warmed too.

I really enjoyed how the actual time-travelling worked. I thought the girls-going-forwards, boys-going-backwards idea was fun and throwing the clockwork men in as time-police-gone-wrong was also a great idea. I loved the craziness of it all and how real the writing was. Even though it wasn't a factual book, it dabbled in real facts/histories and Andy Gavin didn't try to lighten the gritty, gruesome past.

I liked this book. I thought the story idea was great and I really liked the ideas/rules for the time-travellers. I thought that some of what happened was a little too sexual for the quite-young characters, but I understand that age meant different things in different times, so I didn't let it bug me too much. I loved all the images placed throughout the book (I'm not sure if they're in the official version, but I adored them!) and I learnt a few history facts which was rather cool!

3.5/5 Whales





Author Bio - Andy Gavin

Andy Gavin is a serial creative, polymath, novelist, entrepreneur, computer programmer, author, foodie, and video game creator. He co-founded video game developer Naughty Dog and co-created Crash Bandicoot and Jak & Daxter. He started numerous companies, has been lead programmer on video games that have sold more than forty million copies, and has written two novels including The Darkening Dream, a dark historical fantasy that puts the bite back in vampires.


Author Links



Giveaway


$25 Amazon Gift Card
Signed Copy of Crash Bandicoot (US)
Signed Copy of Jak & Daxter (US)

-International & US
-Ends 1st March 2013

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Waiting on Wednesday [21]

Hosted by Breaking the Spine


Quicksilver
(Ultraviolet #2)
by R. J. Anderson
Expected Publication: 2nd May 2013

From Goodreads:

Back in her hometown, Tori Beaugrand had everything a teenaged girl could want—popularity, money, beauty. But she also had a secret. A secret that could change her life in an instant, or destroy it.


Now she’s left everything from her old life behind, including her real name and Alison, the one friend who truly understood her. She can’t escape who and what she is. But if she wants to have anything like a normal life, she has to blend in and hide her unusual... talents.

Plans change when the enigmatic Sebastian Faraday reappears and gives Tori some bad news: she hasn’t escaped her past. In fact, she’s attracted new interest in the form of an obsessed ex-cop turned investigator for a genetics lab.

She has one last shot at getting her enemies off her trail and winning the security and independence she’s always longed for. But saving herself will take every ounce of Tori’s incredible electronics and engineering skills—and even then, she may need to sacrifice more than she could possibly imagine if she wants to be free.


I liked the first book in the series (shall have to re-read it before this book comes out!) and would like to read more as I was still left with so many questions at the end.

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

A Shade of Vampire by Bella Forrest - Spotlight + Excerpt + This or That


A Shade of Vampire by Bella Forrest
Publication Date: 14th December 2012

On the evening of Sofia Claremont's seventeenth birthday, she is sucked into a nightmare from which she cannot wake.
A quiet evening walk along a beach brings her face to face with a dangerous pale creature that craves much more than her blood.
She is kidnapped to an island where the sun is eternally forbidden to shine.
An island uncharted by any map and ruled by the most powerful vampire coven on the planet. She wakes here as a slave, a captive in chains. Sofia's life takes a thrilling and terrifying turn when she is the one selected out of hundreds of girls to join the harem of Derek Novak, the dark royal Prince.
Despite his addiction to power and obsessive thirst for her blood, Sofia soon realizes that the safest place on the island is within his quarters, and she must do all within her power to win him over if she is to survive even one more night.
Will she succeed? ...or is she destined to the same fate that all other girls have met at the hands of the Novaks?

Book Links

Excerpt

I’d been meandering along the shore for about an hour when I suddenly sensed that I wasn’t alone. Someone was approaching me from behind. My heart leapt. I was so sure it was Ben, that when a stranger showed up beside me, I couldn’t hide my disappointment.
He must have noticed, because a smirk formed on his lips. “Were you expecting someone else, love?”
I eyed him suspiciously, remembering how many times my father had told me not to talk to strangers. I looked him over, taking in his appearance. My eyes widened. I couldn’t find words to describe how fine a man he was. He was almost beautiful. The first thing I took notice of was how his blue eyes were about three shades brighter than any I’d ever seen before. It was such a stark contrast to his pale – almost white – skin and dark hair. Standing beside me, he was easily more than half a foot taller. His height, broad shoulders and lean build reminded me of Ben, but he had a presence that was far more imposing than my best friend’s.
My gaze settled on his face.
I realized that he was inspecting me just as closely as I was him. His eyes on me suddenly made me feel uncomfortably vulnerable. I gave my father’s advice a second thought, but quickly canceled out all notions of heeding to his counsel when I reminded myself that he stopped caring a long time ago.
I straightened to my full height and mustered all the courage I had to keep myself from running away from this stranger.
Big mistake.
The confident smirk didn’t leave his face for even a moment.
“Like what you see?”
“A bit full of yourself, aren’t you?” I scoffed, annoyed by his audacity.
He stepped forward, closer to me, and leaned his head toward mine.
“Don’t I have the right to be?”
He knew he looked good and wasn’t about to act like he didn’t.
“Whatever,” was my oh-so-brilliant comeback.
My shoulders sagged with defeat as I took a step back, unsettled by how close he was now. I rolled my eyes and did a one-eighty, not quite in the mood to play whatever game this stranger was proposing.
I would soon realize that I was about to play his game whether I liked it or not.
He grabbed my arm and turned my body to face him. This motion alone made every single internal alarm I had within me go off in a frenzy.
This man was danger and I knew it. I tried to wriggle away from his touch, but I was no match for his strength.
“Tell me your name,” he commanded.
I was about to refuse, but was horrified to find myself blurting out my name in response.
“Sofia Claremont.”
As soon as I revealed my name, his eyes lit up with a kind of sinister approval. Then he reached for my face and traced his thumb over my jaw line.
“Hello, Sofia Claremont. You’re one stupid girl for taking a walk alone at this time of night. You never know what kind of evil a pretty little thing like you could happen to come by.”
I found myself wondering exactly what kind of evil he was. But I was suddenly overcome by the sensations that were surrounding me. My senses took in everything at once. I heard the waves, felt the sand, smelled the ocean salt, tasted the flavor of cherry and saw the stranger’s manic appearance as he stuck a needle to my neck. The effect was instant. I was barely able to gasp, much less scream. I went from sensing everything to sensing absolutely nothing.
My last conscious thought was that I may never see Ben again.


Author Bio - Bella Forrest

I've been telling stories pretty much since I could talk. Instead of having my parents read me bed-time stories, I would prefer to share with them my own made up tales.
As I grew older, I developed a passion for the fantasy genre.
I’m an avid reader and a hopeless Potterhead.
If you sign up for personal email updates from me here: www.forrestbooks.com , you'll be the first to hear about my new releases.

Author Links
This or That Interview
with Bella Forrest

The Past or Future?
Future! 

Pen or Pencil?
Pen. 

Outdoors or Indoors?
That depends on the weather! But generally I prefer outdoors. 

Chocolate or Vanilla?
I'm in the mood for vanilla. 

Comedies or Dramas?
Comedies. 

Physical Books or E-Books?
Physical books. 

Dinner or Dessert?
Dinner. 

The Beginning of a Story or The End?
The end.

Top Ten Tuesday [16]

Top Ten Authors on my Auto-Buy List!

 


Richelle Mead
Philip Pullman
Jack Heath
Katie McGarry
Rachel Harris













Ally Carter
Julie Kagawa












Kat Zhang
Isobelle Carmody
Anthony Horowitz

Monday, 25 February 2013

Frost Fire by Olivia Rivers Blog Tour - Review + Giveaway


Frost Fire (Tortured Elements #1) by Olivia Rivers

Title: Frost Fire

Series: Tortured Elements #1

Author: Olivia Rivers

Published: 20th November 2012 by Red Sparrow Press

Source: Copy from the author for an honest review



Synopsis:


“Magic is just like love, Allai. It won’t wait for permission before it destroys you.”



Like sand in an hourglass, Allai’s future is dwindling away. She’s spent her entire life fighting the Mages who threaten humanity, and dreams of someday eradicating magic. But all it takes is an anonymous phone call for the truth to spill out: Allai is the one thing she despises most. 



She’s a Mage. 



Though ancient law mandates Allai’s death, she still has one last chance of survival. His name is Drake Rhaize, and he swears he can lead Allai to a sanctuary for Mages. Allai hasn’t seen Drake in years, but she remembers him as the Demon boy who used to hold her close and softly whisper that he’d keep her safe. But Drake has changed since then: He’s now suspected of murder, and has been out-casted for betraying his own kind. 



While Allai doesn’t trust Drake, she has no choice but to put her life in his hands and hope he can get her to safety. Because Allai’s father has hired a pack of Demons to bring her back to him, dead or alive–and Demons never stop the hunt.  


Book Links
Amazon - Barnes & Noble




My Review

I have been reading a lot of paranormal YA recently and most of it has been fairly average. Frost Fire was written by a girl around my age (which I think is absolutely incredible and I aspire to be like that!) and it is the best paranormal book I've read in a long time!


The book follows Allai, and to a lesser - but still awesome - extent, Drake. Allai is 'human' and was left alone and unknown in a small part of the demon world (not a different world just the hidden, paranormal side of the world). She's adopted/taken in by a powerful demon but when it's discovered she is a mage she is completely rejected by almost everyone, even the man she called her father.

This book had quite a lot of emotions in it, good and bad, and I really enjoyed it. I loved Drake and Allai's relationship and how Drake was so understanding of Allai's feelings. It wasn't insta-love which is something I've been reading a lot of lately which I found great and really refreshing! I had fun reading their scenes.

I loved the depth of the characters. It wasn't your average 'these guys are good, these guys are bad' characters, everyone had mixtures of both. All the characters had a darker element to them, they are demons after all, but most had a balance of good and just like humans, their emotions and actions could fall to either side.

This book was really impressive. It was a great idea with fairly original concepts and the love/feelings were natural and very well written. I'm excited for more of this series!


4/5 Whales



Giveaway


One e-copy of Frost Fire by Olivia Rivers (ePub, Mobi or PDF)

-International
-Ends 12th March 2013

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, 24 February 2013

The Ugly Stepsister Strikes Back by Sariah Wilson Blog Tour - Spotlight + Giveaway


The Ugly Stepsister Strikes Back by Sariah Wilson


Title: The Ugly Stepsister Strikes Back

Series: N/A

Author:  Sariah Wilson

Published: 15th August 2012

Publisher: Fire & Ice Books


Synopsis:


Everyone knows how all those fairy tales go. The princess gets beautiful, nabs her prince, falls instantly in love, lives happily ever after and leaves her evil stepsisters in the dust.

But what happens when you’re the ugly stepsister and your obnoxiously perfect—read pretty, smart, and, worst of all, sickeningly nice—stepsister is dating the charming, tall, devastatingly handsome guy you’ve had a thing for since you were nine years old?

Quirky, artistic and snarky Mattie Lowe does not lead a charmed life. Her mother is constantly belittling her on Skype. Mercedes, the school mean girl, has made it her personal mission to torment Mattie. But worst of all? Her stepsister Ella is the most beautiful, popular girl in school and is dating Mattie’s secret longtime crush, Jake Kingston.

Tired of being left out and done with waiting for her own stupid fairy godmother to show up, Mattie decides to change her life. She’ll start by running for senior class president against wildly popular Jake.

Ella can keep her Prince Annoying. Mattie’s going to rule the school.

And no one, not even a cute and suddenly flirty Jake, is going to stop her.



Praise for The Ugly Stepsister Strikes Back

“My top pick of 2012 YA… This book is just. plain. fun.”
~Jordan McCollum, author of Saints & Spies and I, Spy

“Sariah Wilson's new book, The Ugly Stepsister Strikes Back, is hilarious…What follows is a story of fun and romance with some good non-preachy life lessons thrown in.  The voice in the main character, Mattie, makes the whole thing.  I thought it was definitely a book I'd recommend to anyone with teenagers or who just want to read a good teen romance.”
~Julie Coulter Bellon, author of All Fall Down and All’s Fair

“Sariah [Wilson] has written one of the funniest stories I've read in such a long, long time. I literally couldn't put it down. Yes, my poor Kindle's battery died and I was attached to a short power cord, contorted in a very uncomfortable position while I read to the end…. Sariah Wilson captured the back-biting, insecure, hormone-driven, clique-riddled high school atmosphere so perfectly you'd think she never grew up. I dare you not to laugh as you read this witty and oh, so, romantic story.”
~Debra Erfert of Windows into Writing

“Sariah Wilson writes like the best of/most popular YA teen fiction/teen romance authors - Sarah Dessen, Jennifer Echols, Susanne Collins, Cassandra Clare.  She sucks you in and never lets you go.  I finished the ~194 novel in one night because I just couldn't go to sleep without knowing the ending!  I hope that Sariah comes out with more novels, I know I'll be re-reading this one all the time!  She's extremely talented and needs to be talked about.  I highly recommend The Ugly Stepsister Strikes Back! to anyone (over the age of 12) who wants a YA novel that's a real modern-day fairy tale.”
~Hilary at Novel d’Tales

“This was such an entertaining story! I shouldn't have started reading it so late in the evening, because I didn't want to put it down to go to sleep…This is a book I can see myself reading several times. It's a fast, clean read with great characters, and I highly recommend it.”
~Andrea of Literary Time Out

The book is wonderful.  It’s quirky and fun.  The story makes you laugh and you fall in love with the characters right from the beginning…This is a well-written book.  It is one that will make you smile and sigh as you remember your first love.  And it has a moral…be yourself, believe in yourself and maybe, just maybe, your fairytale will come true.  Pick up this book.”
~Ana of The Book Hookup



Book Links
Amazon



Author Bio - Sariah Wilson

Sariah Wilson has never jumped out of an airplane, never climbed Mt. Everest, and is not a former CIA operative. She has, however, been madly, passionately in love with her soulmate and is a fervent believer in happily ever afters—which is why she writes romance. The Ugly Stepsister Strikes Back is her fourth happily ever after novel. She grew up in southern California, graduated from Brigham Young University (go Cougars!) with a semi-useless degree in history, and is the oldest of nine (yes, nine) children. She currently lives with the aforementioned soulmate and their four children in Utah, along with three tiger barb fish, a cat named Tiger, and a recently departed hamster that is buried in the backyard (and has nothing at all to do with tigers).


Author Links




Giveaway

One winner will receive a $25 Amazon Giftcard or Paypal Cash.

-International
-Ends 10th March 2013

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer http://iamareadernotawriter.blogspot.com and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Catch the rest of the TOUR HERE

Judging a Book by It's Cover [13]


So I've been running this for a while and I've been constantly changing it, but now I've decided what I'm doing and I'd love for you guys to join me! There are heaps of different memes about, I do quite a few of them here like Waiting on Wednesday and Stacking the Shelves, etc.. but I also wanted to do something that was my own and that's how this came about. I don't actually judge a book solely on it's cover, I've read many a bad book with a gorgeous cover and many great books with very plain, boring covers, so I'm not a total cover snob, but I do appreciate a nice cover. This is just a simple, fun post showcasing some of the covers we love and what we love about them! If you want to join in just create your own post and leave a link to it in the comments below!


Cinder
(The Lunar Chronicles #1)
by Marissa Meyer
Publication Date: 3rd Jan 2012


Why it Caught My Eye:
I have a deep, undying love for fairytales and at a first glance, with the title and the red, glass slipper, you get a definite 'Cinderella' vibe. I also love the colourings (the deeper, blueish tones with that splash of red in the middle) and the font used for the title. It's a very pretty cover!

Favourite Feature:
The glass slipper. It's red which really stands out from the rest of the cover, and you can see the foot through it which looks really, really, amazingly cool!

What I Guessed About the Book:
Well I guessed that it would follow the Cinderella story line but whether loosely or closely I wasn't sure. The red slipper is obviously different to the original but it looks absolutely gorgeous and red is a strong colour which makes me think of a strong, brave, ferocious heroine.
At first I thought the silver shadows in her legs were bones but on closer inspection I realised they were gears, cogs and other bits of metal, so obviously this girl is not quite, or not entirely human.
I know a lot of you have read this book so I what I'm saying is probably a bit 'well, duh' but I only just bought this book and haven't gotten around to reading it yet, so all these discoveries are new and exciting!

Saturday, 23 February 2013

Stacking the Shelves [17]

Hosted by Tynga's Reviews
Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews about sharing the books you've added to your shelves in the past week, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in a physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks. Click on the book titles to take you to their goodreads page.



WON:



   

Heist Society (Heist Society #1) by Ally Carter - paperback from Date A Book
Uncommon Criminals (Heist Society #2) by Ally Carter - paperback from Date A Book


BOUGHT:



Torn (Trylle #2) by Amanda Hocking - paperback from TBD

Friday, 22 February 2013

First Frost by Liz DeJesus Blog Tour - Review




First Frost by Liz DeJesus

Title: First Frost

Series: N/A

Author:  Liz DeJesus

Published: 22nd June 2012 by Musa Publishing

Source: Copy from the author for an honest review



Synopsis:


Fairytales aren’t real…yeah…that’s exactly what Bianca thought. She was wrong.

For generations, the Frost family has run the Museum of Magical and Rare Artifacts, handing down guardianship from mother to daughter, always keeping their secrets to “family only.”

Gathered within museum’s walls is a collection dedicated to the Grimm fairy tales and to the rare items the family has acquired: Cinderella’s glass slipper, Snow White’s poisoned apple, the evil queen’s magic mirror, Sleeping Beauty’s enchanted spinning wheel…

Seventeen-year-old Bianca Frost wants none of it, dreaming instead of a career in art or photography or…well, anything except working in the family’s museum. She knows the items in the glass display cases are fakes because, of course, magic doesn’t really exist.

She’s about to find out how wrong she is.







My Review

First Frost centres around one of my favourite things: Fairytales. So many great stories have stemmed from these simple tales which makes them all the cooler in my opinion. I love how many different versions of them there are and how one story can be told in so many ways. First Frost is about our world,here, and another world where the fairytales did take place all those years ago.

The main hero of our tale is Bianca Frost is a descendant of one of the most well-known fairytales around. She and her mother work in a family-owned museum dedicated to fairytale relics; from The Evil Queen's Mirror, to Rapunzel's Hair. It's a new, fun concept and I really enjoyed the stories.

The characters were good but they could've been developed a lot more and I think I would've preferred a 'wiser' vibe of sorts. To me the characters were all just a little on the childish side. I loved Bianca's parents story and how their love was portrayed as pure and true.

The book felt a bit rushed in places, like there weren't enough pages in the book so everything had to happen at super-speed. It was good and I really liked the story but I would've preferred a bit more detail and less going on. Maybe if the story was stretched into a couple of books so that some parts could've been more developed.

I liked the new take on the fairytale items and the overall fairytale feel to the story. I really like the idea of having a fairytale world that's stories have slowly been leaked into ours. I would've liked more story but I still really enjoyed what I read.


3.5/5 Whales




Follow the rest of the TOUR

18th Feb: Book Excerpt @ http://we-do-write.blogspot.co.uk/
              Interview @ http://www.theindieshop.blogspot.co.uk/

19th Feb: Review @ http://www.wovenmyst.com/


21st Feb: Guest Post: Why I write YA @ http://yareviewsandnews.blogspot.co.uk/

                Review @ http://www.justinevandale.blogspot.ca/

23rd Feb: Guest Post & Giveaway http://readingawaythedays.blogspot.co.uk/
               Review @ http://www.mydevotionalthoughts.com/

24th Feb: Review @ http://tessmw.blogspot.co.uk/