Friday, 21 December 2012

Splintered by A.G. Howard

Goodreads Summary : For sixteen years, Alyssa Gardner has lived with the stigma of being descended from Alice Liddell—the real life inspiration for Lewis Carroll’s famed novel, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. But cruel jokes about dormice and tea parties can’t compare to the fact that Alyssa hears the whispers of bugs and flowers... the same quirk which sent her mother to a mental institution years before.

When her mother takes a turn for the worse and the whispers grow too strong for Alyssa to bear, she seeks the origins of their family curse. A set of heirlooms and a moth tied to an unusual website lead Alyssa and her gorgeous best friend / secret crush, Jeb, down the rabbit hole into the real Wonderland, a place more twisted and eerie than Lewis Carroll ever let on.

There, creepy counterparts of the original fairytale crew reveal the purpose for Alyssa’s journey, and unless she fixes the things her great-great-great grandmother Alice put wrong, Wonderland will have her head


My Rating : 5 of 5 stars

My Thoughts : Last year, The Storyteller was published by Amrams/Amulet Books on January 1st from and was enlisted in my all-time favorite shelf. Then one year later again another book from the same publishing house has already shelved in my favorite read of 2013, which is none other than Splintered.

Once in a while, there is a book hit the market and blew the readers away. The same happened with Splintered, which is a brilliant contrast of exciting adventure to a forgotten realm, and heart-warming romance at the same time. If I start praising the book, my words stock wouldn't be sufficient enough to describe my inner feeling.

Damn You Splintered!!!!! You made me speechless.

Splintered is twisted modern tale of Alice In Wonderland where the central stage is taken by Alyssa Gardner, great-great-great granddaughter of Alice Liddell, inspiration for Lewis Carroll’s masterpiece.

“Tearing down the rest of the world won't make you happy. Look inside yourself. Because finding who you were meant to be? What you were put into this world to do? That's what fills the emptiness. It's the only things that can.”

Imprinted with absolute originality and creativity crafted out of author’s own imagination gave a spin to the old classic fantasy and takes us to a wild safari to a brand new Wonderland that darker than ever. I must say I enjoyed every bit of this adventure tour through the rabbit hole along with Alyssa and her childhood crush heart Jeb, and this journey is utterly unforgettable for me.

Alyssa was pretty kick ass “Skater Girl”. She has grown up hearing the whispers of insects and flowers and she fears someday she will end up like her mother, in some mental institution. She was bit quirky and retort quickly to any question. She never ever backs down, which is the best quality I found in her. She was kind of super girl in my eyes with both courage and fun, and an attitude that made me her number one fan.

“I need to get to that tea party and wake up the guests."
Jeb looks at me. "And how are you supposed to do that? Give a magical kiss to the half-baked hatmaker?”


Jeb is the next door boy with all big brother attitude, however during their quest through wonderland his feeling changes for Alyssa, and as they more embark into the deep the romance starts to blooms between them. He is sweet and protective, intriguing and charming always stands by Alyssa’s side as her knight in shining Armour.

“I hate you," I say, the sentiment muffled against his heart, hoping to make it true.
"And I love you," he answers without hesitation, voice resolved and raw as he holds me tighter so I can't break away and react. "A crossroads, my beautiful princess, that was unavoidable—given our situations.”


Now it’s time to talk about my crush. Yes!!!!!! It’s Morpheus. The Splintered version of Caterpillar with the hookah, lots of sparkling eye makeup and a hat. This mysterious and irksome winged netherling just stole my heart (plus he has accent). This utterly seductive darkling holds the key to Alyssa’s past and the only person who can guide Alyssa to bring the balance. His heartbreakingly romantic and around the end of the book, he made my heart ached.

Splintered reminded me of Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland but I must say Splintered is way awesome than the movie. With progress of each page I found myself engulfed in the words and I was literally envisioning the entire book. Splintered is completely enthralling and jaw dropping book. Even if you are not a fan of retelling's or fantasy, I will still recommend you Splintered because I know you are gonna love it.



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Monday, 17 December 2012

Lullaby by Amanda Hocking

Goodreads Summary : Harper only wanted a safe, normal life. But when her younger sister Gemma runs off with a dangerous clique of beautiful girls, Penn, Thea, and Lexi, everything changes. Vowing to get her sister back no matter what the cost, Harper must face dangers unlike any she's ever experienced. Fortunately, she has Daniel by her side, a gorgeous guy who's devoted to helping her find her sister—and who's immune to the girls' dark powers.

While Harper searches for her sister, Gemma struggles to adjust to her new life. Gemma's powers are growing by the day, and the longer she lives with her new "sisters," the harder it is to resist entering their magical world. It's a realm both dark and beautiful, and where she's plagued by strange hungers and unspeakable needs. Just as she's drifting far away from her old life, Harper and Daniel find her...but no one can deny how much she's changed. All she wants is to return to her family and the mortal world, but how can she do that when she's become something else entirely—and will they still love her once they learn the truth?

Prepare to fall under the spell of Lullaby, the second book in the Watersong series from New York Times bestselling author Amanda Hocking


My Rating : 4 of 5 stars


My Thoughts : Lullaby started exactly where Wake left. The story follows the aftermath of Harper's encounter with deadly sirens and failed attempt to rescue her sister Gemma. Now Gemma is one of them, one of those flesh eating famished sea beast. But Harper will not stop until she brings her sister back. And in her quest she is aided by Alex, Gemma's boyfriend and charming Daniel who has somehow magical resistance against Siren's song.

Lullaby was more gripping and hauntingly dangerous, also impossible to put down. .I loved how the story was told the story from both Gemma and Harper’s point of view. Both the sisters fought against odd, Gemma struggles against her siren's nature and guilty consent of preying on innocent people. She was forced to adapt a life she never wanted but she only agreed to it to keep her family safe, on the other hand Harper fought for her sister, she wasn't willing to let her go. Harper was pretty strong in this book, and matured. I loved for her many reason, for her courage, for her bravery, for her love for her family.

Lullaby was scary and creepy in a really good way. The three dangerous and mysterious sirens again beat the crap out me; especially Penn. Penn was unruly and controlling with dark history. She was the other name of devil and I personally felt an uncontrollable rage for her that I wanted to jump inside my laptop and kill her instantly.

Amanda Hocking really well used the siren mythology and gave it her own twist. Her storytelling was addictive and beautiful that I immediately fell under spell of Lullaby. It’s really good thing that each book of the series is coming out within a gap of six months, at least now I don’t have to chew my nails to waiting for the sequels.




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Friday, 14 December 2012

Splintered Blog Tour Tenth Stop: The Spritelings (prize post) by A.G. Howard

On the tenth day of Splintered, we follow a tiny band of glimmering bubbles to a clearing in Wonderland where mushrooms, glassy with ice, loom the size of truck tires. Tiny giggles and voices leak out from the bubbles as they bust … and we realize we’re in the company of sprites. They take their place on a cove of snow-capped firs, dotting the branches like lit candles. It’s a beautiful sight, until they hiss and snarl in a rabid descent from the trees like a glimmering hailstorm.

(caption) Attribution: http://night-rose.deviantart.com/art/little-white-moth-128391444

Before they can pelt our skin, Morpheus appears, a sweep of black wings and licorice-scented smoke. The spritelings fall to the ground at his feet, penitent for their naughty behavior. Playing the part of a gentleman, he sweeps his cape aside and bows. In his hand is a peace offering for us—a sprite captured within a jar. She whimpers, bound within the chains of his blue magic.




About The Book :This stunning debut captures the grotesque madness of a mystical under-land, as well as a girl’s pangs of first love and independence. Alyssa Gardner hears the whispers of bugs and flowers—precisely the affliction that landed her mother in a mental hospital years before. This family curse stretches back to her ancestor Alice Liddell, the real-life inspiration for Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Alyssa might be crazy, but she manages to keep it together. For now.
When her mother’s mental health takes a turn for the worse, Alyssa learns that what she thought was fiction is based in terrifying reality. The real Wonderland is a place far darker and more twisted than Lewis Carroll ever let on. There, Alyssa must pass a series of tests, including draining an ocean of Alice’s tears, waking the slumbering tea party, and subduing a vicious bandersnatch, to fix Alice’s mistakes and save her family. She must also decide whom to trust: Jeb, her gorgeous best friend and secret crush, or the sexy but suspicious Morpheus, her guide through Wonderland, who may have dark motives of his own.

Praise for Splintered:
"Attention to costume and setting render this a visually rich read..."
--Kirkus Review

About The Author : A.G. Howard is most at home when weaving the melancholy and macabre into settings and scenes, twisting the expected into the unexpected. She was inspired to write SPLINTERED while working at a school library. She always wondered what would’ve happened had the subtle creepiness of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland taken center stage, and she hopes her darker and funkier tribute to Carroll will inspire readers to seek out the stories that won her heart as a child.

A.G.’s pastimes are reading, rollerblading, gardening, and family vacations which often include impromptu side trips to 18th century graveyards or condemned schoolhouses to appease her overactive muse.

Her debut YA fantasy, SPLINTERED, a dark Alice in Wonderland spinoff, is slated for release *Fall 2012 by Amulet.

GIVEAWAY GUIDELINES:
To be entered for a chance to win this enchanted glowing jar leave a comment with a possible name for this penitent sprite!
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Our trip to Splintered’s Wonderland has almost come to a close, but first, we must visit Alyssa’s everyday world, because it also has cryptic ties to Lewis Carroll’s tale. So take the weekend off and relax. Then follow us on Monday to the next stop at Jennifer Daiker’s, back to the human realm for some insight into what makes Alyssa a heroine worth rooting for.

Abrams has also provided 12 finished copies of Splintered to be given away along the tour. The giveaway is open to residents of US/CAN. Sorry international folks.

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The blog tour is hosted by http://themodpodgebookshelf.blogspot.com



Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Exclusive Interview with Tina Connolly, author of Ironskin

Me : Welcome to My Blog. It’s an honor to have you here.

Tina : Hi Soumi! Thanks for having me on the blog to talk about Ironskin!

Me : Ironskin is a steampunk retelling of Jane Eyre. How the Bronte’s masterpiece did inspire you into writing Ironskin?

Tina : Ironskin actually grew out of an unpublished short story. I started from an image of a girl standing in an artist's studio at midnight. On the table she finds a mask—a beautiful version of her own face. The story grew from that as I wondered who would make that sort of mask and why—and what would the girl think of it. I was playing with gothic elements by having a governess go to a creepy house, but I was not specifically thinking Jane Eyre when I wrote the short story. Later when I began turning the short story into a novel I started pulling from Jane Eyre more openly. I had always loved Jane Eyre and I really loved working with Bronte's novel.

Me : How come you got the idea of setting the story in a steampunk background of a Great Fey war, was there any specific thoughts in your mind when you wrote Ironskin?

Tina : With Jane, I wanted to show someone who was struggling with the damage she had lived through. All the characters are struggling with the things that have happened in their past, and trying to find ways to keep going, even when the past cannot be left behind. So that was part of how they ended up in a world that was the aftermath of war. And then technology is just different in this world—humans used to trade with fey for clean tech, but no more. So things have crashed, post-war. So the timeline of technology there is necessarily a bit odd, as the humans try to adapt and rebuild.

Me : How Jane and Edward in Ironskin are different from Jane and Edward in Jane Eyre?

Tina : You know, I would say I played with similarities and differences for all the characters in the novel. Sometimes I changed the names to show I was taking that character further afield than the original, and sometimes I used an original character name to hint at a role they might be playing. The most different character is certainly my Helen, but then it's pretty clear she's occupying a different role as Jane's sister.

Me : Other than Jane Eyre, what are your favourite classic novels?

Tina : Probably my all-time favorite is Pride and Prejudice. I love Jane Austen! I'm a big fan of Charlotte Bronte as well, of course. My favorite of her novels is probably Villette. Other favorites include Edith Wharton, Somerset Maugham, and Saki's short stories.

Me : Tell us few words about the second instalment of Ironskin.

Tina : It actually focuses on Jane's sister Helen! Jane is in the novel too, but I wanted to have the chance to see Helen's side of things and watch her come into her own. It's set six months after the end of Ironskin. The city has become a much more dangerous place, particularly for the ironskin. Helen has decided to help Jane with the task Jane starts at the end of Ironskin. But disaster strikes, and Helen finds herself drawn into the dangerous world of the fey in a way she's not expecting.

Me : Are you working on any other project than Ironskin series?

Tina : I have a couple YA novels I was working on right about the time I sold Ironskin. So I've been looking over those lately. One has witches and the other mermaids. They're very different from Ironskin, so it's been fun to have that change of pace. I also have a podcast called Toasted Cake where I read flash (very very short stories) and that's been great fun. I've read some amazing stories by a lot of talented folks this year.

Me : If you have given a chance to be one character from your favourite classic novel (other than Jane Eyre of course), who would it be and why?

Tina : When I was little, I used to spend a LOT of time pondering this! Some of my top answers were: Trot from L. Frank Baum's Oz series (she gets to meet mermaids in one of the books!), Emily from LM Montgomery's Emily books (she becomes a writer! Although her big romance is agony until it finally plays out...) and a whole bunch of different characters from Noel Streatfeild's books, who get to work on stage or in the circus. I particularly like Sorrel from Theatre Shoes.

Me : Thank you Tina, for your time and stopping over my blog for this lovely interview.

Tina : Thank you so much for having me!


Monday, 10 December 2012

What's Left of Me by Kat Zhang

Goodreads Summary :How I Live Now meets His Dark Materials in this stunningly written and intensely moving debut.

Imagine that you have two minds, sharing one body. You and your other self are closer than twins, better than friends. You have known each other forever.

Then imagine that people like you are hated and feared. That the government want to hunt you down and tear out your second soul, separating you from the person you love most in the world.

Now meet Eva and Addie.

They don’t have to imagine


My Rating : 4 of 5 stars


My Thoughts : “Addie was warm and radiant next to me, making up half of us. But I - I was Eva, Eva, Eva, all the way through.”

Eva and Addie, twin souls born in a same body, but with time the weakest soul should have faded away. Eva should have faded away but she remains present. Only Addie knows her existence, whispering in her head. Soon, existence of twin souls, known as the hybrids threatens the country and they were send to an institution, they found other like them, unsettled twin souls.

I was attracted to the exciting premise of the novel that awed me. However initially I had feeling that the book is somehow has same theme as The Host, about two souls living in same body but What’s Left of me proved to a rather original story.

The author beautifully crafted two souls inside one body, how they are affected by each other’s thought, love and anger, disappointment and happiness. Their heart-warming sisterly bond left me speechless.

For long, as the dominant soul, Addie has protected Eva, from being noticed, kept her safe and secret inside Addie’s head. The book was told from Eva’s perspective and her nearly fading life. On one side I felt sorry for her, that she was unable to control her own body. On the other side she was strong, even after she was blamed by Addie for the discovery for their truth; Eva remained calm enough to handle situation. Almost through all her life, Eva spent being unnoticed by her own family who cared for her once and now simply assumed her gone but Eva never gave up. She remained hanging there, inside Addie’s head hoping to live the life again.

“I was caged in our body and caged in his arms and, somehow, the former was the real prison.”

The romance didn't play a major part in this book. It was bit slow at the starting and rushed near the end. Eva’s love interest Ryan was cute though and much more understanding than his dominant soul Devon. They often switched their souls to take control of the body and they triggered the same in Addie and Eva, giving Eva ability to take control.

What’s left of Me is a very creative work of author Kat Zhang. It was kind of a book I haven’t read before and I’m glad now I did. It was well written and thought provoking. I was completely engaged and immerse into the story, like breathing underwater, this book was a whole new experience for me.




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Friday, 7 December 2012

Mystic City by Theo Lawrence

Goodreads Summary : Aria Rose, youngest scion of one of Mystic City's two ruling rival families, finds herself betrothed to Thomas Foster, the son of her parents' sworn enemies. The union of the two will end the generations-long political feud—and unite all those living in the Aeries, the privileged upper reaches of the city, against the banished mystics who dwell below in the Depths. But Aria doesn't remember falling in love with Thomas; in fact, she wakes one day with huge gaps in her memory. And she can't conceive why her parents would have agreed to unite with the Fosters in the first place. Only when Aria meets Hunter, a gorgeous rebel mystic from the Depths, does she start to have glimmers of recollection—and to understand that he holds the key to unlocking her past. The choices she makes can save or doom the city—including herself.

My Rating : 4 of 5 stars


My Thoughts : There have been many books published in recent days as a blend of X-Men in dystopian world. But in case of Mystic City, it was unexpectedly gorgeous. The story was truly gripping and intensely affecting afterwards.

In a distant futuristic tale, where most of the Manhattan resides underwater and the upper city is run by energy drawn from mystics. Aria Rose, daughter of one of the two most powerful family of city, doesn't remember a thing about her past before she overdosed on Stic, a drug mad of mystic energy, or at least it’s what she was told. Now she is engaged to a boy she doesn't remember having feelings for, with flashes of another boy in her memories. The day she met Hunter, a rebel mystic, everything around her changes and she realized he holds the key to her past.
I admit I had very mixed feeling about the book before I started it, and now I feel it was a mind blowing that I finished the book within a 3 hours train journey because I couldn't let it go. The writing was beautiful, vivid and I loved the way the author described a divided Manhattan, mystics those live in Depths of city and the controlling class harvesting on mystic power.

There is a certain kind of attraction flamed between them in a way that is not quite explainable . The romance was described in a cute way, not your boy meets girls and lightning strikes, rather it was something beyond magical. With a rebellion ignited and political turmoil, a love blossoms however it was pretty much predictable that Hunter is the one Aria fell in love with, not Thomas, the boy she is engaged to. It was a dystopian forbidden love between the daughter of the most powerful and controlling man of Manhattan and a rebel mystic whose mother is a worthy opponent in upcoming election.

Both the lead characters are developed well. Aria is desperate to find answers for her memory loss because the story her family fed her was definitely not believable. And Hunter was desperate to keep her safe at any cost. Finally when a moment came, both of them fought against all the odds. It’s needless to say Hunter is one of the fictional boys I recently developed a crush for. What unexpected is Aria because I never thought her to be the tough as she really is, and by her bravery she caught me off guard.

Other than the romance part, the book has many unpredictable things which left me by surprise but I’m not going to disclose then in this review. After finishing the book in a single breath and finally when I exhaled, one word came out of my mouth “Wow….. I’m blown away by Mystic City.”






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Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Exclusive Interview with Elana K. Arnold, Author of Sacred + Sacred giveaway (intl)

Me : Describe Sacred in five words

Elana : A sensual, painful, gratifying journey

Me : Would you like to tell us where did you get the inspiration of writing Sacred?

Elana : My good friend Amy gave me the idea of writing a Young Adult novel, and she told me I should write a book about a superhero. I don’t think Will is exactly what she had in mind, but to me his combination of intellectual curiosity and tender sweetness definitely counts as a superpower!

Me : When you finished writing Sacred, was it exactly the same when you started the book?

Elana : Not exactly, but the core of the book—the fact that it is the story of a girl who is lost and needs help finding her way, but must be an active champion for herself, as well, and can’t rely on anyone (not even a gorgeous, swoon-worthy newcomer) to save her—that stayed true to my vision.

Me : Would like to tell us about your journey to publication?

Elana : This part of my story is pretty dreamy. I finished writing SACRED in October of 2010, and on November 11th, I sent an email to Rubin Pfeffer of East/West Literary Agency including the first three chapters of the book. He wrote back the next morning asking for the whole manuscript, and two days later he offered to represent me. It was a dream come true. We found an editor in a similar fantasy-like way—Francoise Bui at Random House/Delacorte was our first choice. We sent the manuscript to her in January of 2011 and on Valentine’s Day, just three weeks later, Rubin called to tell me that she wanted to buy both SACRED and its sequel SPLENDOR (which will be published next November). For someone like me—a person who’d dreamed of publication for years and years—it was almost unbelievably perfect.

Me : What are your favorite books? Is there any particular book that always inspires you?

Elana : I have so many favorite books! Right now I am especially drawn to other YA writers and have fallen in love with all things John Green, especially THE FAULT IN OUR STARS. Phillip Pullman’s HIS DARK MATERIALS trilogy always inspires me, and I return to it every couple of years. Also, I love the work of novelist/memoirist/essayist Cheryl Strayed. She inspires me as a writer, a woman, and a mother.

Me : Your upcoming novel is Burning which will be released in 2013, tell us about it?

Elana : I love this book, too. It is super hot, but again, a thoughtful book, as well. The whole story unfolds in just a week. Here’s the synopsis:
Ben: Having just graduated from high school, Ben is set to leave Gypsum, Nevada. It's good timing since the gypsum mine that is the lifeblood of the area is closing, shutting the whole town down with it. Ben is lucky: he's headed to San Diego, where he's got a track scholarship at the University of California. But his best friends, Pete and Hog Boy, don't have college to look forward to, so to make them happy, Ben goes with them to check out the hot chick parked on the side of Highway 447.

Lala: She and her Gypsy family earn money by telling fortunes. Some customers choose Tarot cards; others have their palms read. The thousands of people attending the nearby Burning Man festival spend lots of cash--especially as Lala gives uncanny readings. But lately Lala's been questioning whether there might be more to life than her upcoming arranged marriage. And the day she reads Ben's cards is the day that everything changes for her. . . and for him.

Me : I loved Sacred and can’t wait for the sequel. Would you like to share few lines about it?

Elana : Thank you, Soumi! I am so glad you loved SACRED. SPLENDOR, I think, raises the ante for all the characters in interesting and surprising ways. It explores what happens when Will leaves the island as well as Scarlett’s relationships with her parents, her mare, and her best friend Lily. There are some exciting new characters, as well!

Now it's giveaway time. Many thanks to Elana, for this splendid interview and donating a copy of Sacred for giveaway purpose. The Giveaway is opened internationally and will end on 6th January'13. I bet Sacred will make a perfect New Year read for you.

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Monday, 3 December 2012

Echo by Alyson Noel

Goodreads Summary : She inherited a magical destiny—and a mission to stop a powerful family of dark sorcerers. She never expected to fall in love with one of them.

There’s still so much Daire Santos has to learn about being the last Soul Seeker….and about herself. As her magical training becomes more intense, so does her relationship with Dace. But when she learns that his connection to the evil Richter family goes far deeper than she ever imagined, she begins to question if love really can conquer all.

Dace is painfully aware that he wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for the Richters’ dark magic—and now his brother Cade is determined to use his love for Daire against him. Dace is willing to sacrifice anything to protect the girl he loves —including his own life. But will Daire allow it? And what if defeating Cade costs not only his life, but his soul too?



My Rating : 4 of 5 stars


My Thoughts : One line, seven words, twenty seven letters…….
What the hell happened in the end? I mean seriously. I gave Echo just for the mind blowing end and that killing cliffhanger.

I haven’t read Alyson Noel’s Immortal series or other contemporary romance but I can say that she knows how to tell a story with descriptive detailing. Fated had intriguing premises but when somewhere I felt it was dragged up. However in case of Echo, I didn't feel that way, rather I enjoyed the story more than Fated.

In fated Daire learned to be a soul seeker and fought beside her boyfriend Dace against his evil twin Cade, but she has much more to learn and a long way to cross. In Echo, Richters again have caused mayhem in the Lowerworld . Now the Daire must restore the balance of souls and choose between the prophecy at cost of her soul and life, or let Cade march on a destructive way to bring the world down.

Echo is gripping and exciting enough to keep me on my toes with legends, myths and sexy romance. The plot was engaging and the writing again delivers Noel’s gorgeous voice of story weaving. Each of the characters developed more in Echo. Daire became more responsible, courageous and determine, Dace as usual romantic and caring but in many point his emotion weakened him, Cade has grown stronger into evil beyond imagination. We were also introduced to a new character Phyre, who played an important part in this book and I’m expecting to see her in the third installment as well.

I ended up loving Echo more than I thought I would and looking forward to continue with the series with more actions, magic and romance.




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Sunday, 2 December 2012

A Witch in Love by Ruth Warburton

Goodreads Summary :Anna still finds it hard to believe that Seth loves her and has vowed to suppress her powers, no matter what.

But magic – like love – is uncontrollable. It spills out with terrible consequences, and soon, Anna is being hunted.


My Rating : 3.5 of 5 stars


My Thoughts :
I must admit A Witch In Love is surprisingly far better than the first book of this trilogy and more improved one, with better plot line and characterization. The book told the aftermath of Anna’s discovery about her witchy power and a bloody battle in A Witch in Love. In this book, we find out about the true heritage of Anna as she was revealed to be the descendant of the most powerful witch bloodline. Finally there are again consequences and wars between witches and witch hunters in a gripping battle.

As I said earlier that A Witch in Love is far better and improved from A Witch in Winter and proven to be an more interesting read. As usual she was confused about her love for Seth or rather she feared her growing power would hurt Seth at some point. However, Anna was still the same; confused as usual about her love for Seth or rather she feared her growing power would hurt Seth at some point. Last we saw Seth a completely a lovesick boy and here he was portrayed more matured compared to Anna.

A Witch in Winter had a satisfying conclusion that I was literally wondering to know how the second book is going be, Is it going to be the same flat story or something different and now I’m happy that I decided to continue with the series. There was a mystery build up throughout the book about Anna’s mother. Truth about her mother was slowly uncovered bit by bit into pieces and we learn what an amazing woman she was and how far she was willing to go to protect her daughter even if it meant to put a charm on Anna to seal her magic. Anna was wonderment herself, a magical offspring of a witch and a human which indeed made her very unique and an easy target for hunters.

The writing was good as usual but I find many loopholes in the plot that prevented the book from being a good thriller. However, it was exciting till the end and I enjoyed the book. The ending was bit cliffhanger which left question in mind that only can be answered when the last book of this trilogy comes out and I will be waiting for that.



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Saturday, 1 December 2012

Cover Reveal : Retribution by Amy Rachel Thompson


One curse, one exception, one chance at redemption.

Regan Edison has just moved from California, to enter her first year at Georgia Liberty College, the place where jacked up Chevy trucks and hunting are a way of life. On the evening of her first day of school, Regan was walking back to her dorm when she was viciously attacked by three men. Regan was convinced she was going to die that night…

Colter Hayes is a member of the Collectors and the first wrongfully punished soul. Colter and the rest of his team, Finn, Kaiden and Devon, work for the Requiem Council whose job it is to pass judgment onto souls and reincarnate them so that the soul may fix past indiscretions. Agro, an ex-councilman, and his soulless Exiles have other plans. Agro steals souls and hands down his own type of judgment, retribution. He punished those members of the Collectors and has now set his sights on Regan. The Requiem Council dispatches the Collectors to Georgia to work as protectors for Regan. The Collectors must fight to keep Regan safe from Agro and work to earn back their chance at redemption, but when Colter meets Regan his world changes. Everything he thought he knew about his curse is turned upside down and Regan seems to be the cause.

Can the Collectors find out why Regan is being targeted in time to save her from a fate they know all too well?

Add Retribution to your Goodreads. The book will be available January 8th on amazon as an eBook and paperback and eBook on B&N

Author Bio :
Amy Thompson graduated from Randolph-Macon College with her B.S. in Biology. She currently works as a high school teacher and is earning her M.S. in Higher Education from Drexel University. Amy is a first time, self-published author of Retribution, a mature young adult paranormal romance novel that is the first in the Lost Souls series. She lives in southern Virginia with her family and two lazy cats. Amy Thompson is currently working on the next book in the Lost Souls series and continues to be an avid reader of young adult books.

Thursday, 29 November 2012

‘A Day in a Double’s Life’ by Sangu Mandana

The Lost Girl is a book about love, but also about death and how difficult it is for us to let go of the ones we’ve lost. The narrator, Eva, is an echo. A replacement. She’s not supposed to have any interests, attachments or opinions of her own. She’s designed to be exactly like her original, Amarra, and to be able to replace her if anything were to happen to her. Which means she spends her days learning about Amarra’s life instead of getting to live her own.
For me, writing about Eva’s life was difficult and fascinating. I had to wrap my head around a lot of messy things. How do you exist when you’re just an echo of somebody else? And that word, ‘echo’, is pretty significant. Because Eva’s life is really a week behind Amarra’s. Amarra spends a week as normal, then relays what she’s done back to Eva’s guardians at the end of that week, and Eva uses that information as a template for the next week. And on, and on, and on it goes.

Here’s a little peek into what that’s like. This is a day in Eva’s life.

7am
Eva wakes up. It’s probably cold. She checks a list and picks out the same clothes Amarra wore on this day last week. She dresses. She goes out into the kitchen and helps her caretaker, Mina Ma, make breakfast. Eva’s not hungry, but Amarra ate pancakes with maple syrup so Eva has to eat pancakes with maple syrup. But it’s not so bad; Eva likes pancakes. It’s far better than the days Amarra has fried eggs. Eva despises fried eggs.

9am
Erik, one of her guardians, arrives for the day’s lessons. First they check the photo album, where there are photos of everyone Amarra knows or is close to. There’s no one new to study, so they move on. They listen to a disc with a recording of Amarra’s voice, so that Eva can track any changes in accent or vocabulary, and then they read through Amarra’s journal to remind themselves of what she did last week. Eva has to know every detail: what Amarra’s friends said, if there was any news, what happened at school, what her younger brother and sister have been doing. It’s a lot to remember, but Eva has a good memory.

10.30am
They take a break. Erik has a cup of tea with Mina Ma in the kitchen. Eva goes out into the back garden and refills the bird-feeder.

11am
Erik takes on the role of Amarra’s teachers so that Eva can study what Amarra studied at school last week. She uses all the same textbooks and materials, studies the same subjects, and has to complete exactly the same assignments. Today it’s English lit, history, physics and math. She hands in an essay she finished last night.

They stop for lunch. Amarra had ham and cheese sandwiches, so Eva has the same. Then Mina Ma spends half an hour teaching Eva how to cook rice properly. Amarra knows this already. When they’re done, Eva goes back to studying with Erik.

3pm
Another break. Ophelia, one of Eva’s other guardians, turns up. She gives Eva one of her weekly examinations to make sure she’s healthy and that her height, weight and growth match Amarra’s.

4pm
Eva goes back to finish ‘school’ with Erik. Mina Ma and Ophelia sit in a different room, talking about Eva’s progress, Amarra’s life and about the Weavers, Eva’s powerful creators.

6pm
Eva has some time to herself. She’s supposed to use it to read the books Amarra’s been reading, watching the same movies and TV that Amarra’s watched, and generally catching up on anything she may have fallen behind on, but instead she retreats to her room and makes birds out of candlewax.

7pm
Dinner. Erik and Ophelia have stayed to eat, and there’s nothing more to learn or study, so for a little while Eva talks and laughs with them and feels like herself. After dinner, she helps clear up and then goes back to her room to do some of the homework Amarra did last week. She spends about an hour or so on homework. Then she finishes a book she loves. She’s not allowed to do this, because Amarra didn’t like the book and stopped halfway through, but no one stops her.

11pm
She goes to bed. But she doesn’t sleep for a long while.

It’s a strange kind of life to live, isn’t it? As you can probably imagine, it suffocates Eva and she’s not the kind to go quietly. She fights it all the way. And I think you can see that fight even here, on an ordinary day, before Eva chooses to become truly defiant. So there you have it. This is Eva’s tiny, isolated world.

And then everything goes wonky.

Many Thanks to author Sangu Mandana for this awesome and heart melting guest post for my blog. The Lost Girl is one of my most favorite book of this year. Add The Lost Girl to your Goodreads Shelf

About The Author : Sangu Mandanna was four years old when she was chased by an elephant and wrote her first story about it and decided that this was what she wanted to do with her life. Seventeen years later, she read Frankenstein. It sent her into a writing frenzy that became THE LOST GIRL, a novel about death and love and the tie that binds the two together. Sangu now lives in England with her husband and son. Find her online at www.sangumandanna.com

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Ironskin by Tina Connolly

Goodreads Summary : Jane Eliot wears an iron mask.

It’s the only way to contain the fey curse that scars her cheek. The Great War is five years gone, but its scattered victims remain—the ironskin.

When a carefully worded listing appears for a governess to assist with a "delicate situation"—a child born during the Great War—Jane is certain the child is fey-cursed, and that she can help.

Teaching the unruly Dorie to suppress her curse is hard enough; she certainly didn’t expect to fall for the girl’s father, the enigmatic artist Edward Rochart. But her blossoming crush is stifled by her own scars, and by his parade of women. Ugly women, who enter his closed studio...and come out as beautiful as the fey.

Jane knows Rochart cannot love her, just as she knows that she must wear iron for the rest of her life. But what if neither of these things is true? Step by step Jane unlocks the secrets of her new life—and discovers just how far she will go to become whole again.


My Rating : 3.5 of 5 stars

My Thoughts : Expectation went high up when Jane Eyre meets vicious fairy tales in a steampunk background with subtle hints of Beauty and The Beast. But then you slowly feel disappointed when your high expectations died away or at least that’s what happened to me. To be frank, I’m a big fan of Jane Eyre, indeed and read it over and over. So it’s very obvious for that Ironskin was one of my most anticipated read of 201 and I was very curious how the author took her inspiration of Bronte's masterpiece and waved it in her own style.

Jane wears an iron mask to cover her cheek to hide a scar from spreading it; a contagious fey curse resulted from the Great War that ended five years ago but the victims still bear the consequences. Jane was appointed as a teacher to Dorie by her father Edward Rochart, an enigmatic and mysterious man. What Jane never expected was to fall for him. But her secret desire was strangled by her own deformity and Edward’s reputation as womanizer. Edward has his own secret, perhaps a solution to Jane’s deformity but Jane must unlock secrets to her new life and discover a way to get rid of her fey curse also she must save this little girl Dorie, who was also another innocent victim of the fey curse.

“Perhaps I have too much anger of my own to tell. If a man is steeped in bitter anger every day of his life, how then would he notice a small additional fire?"

The book was richly written with gorgeous Victorian dialects, showcasing the author brilliance in literature, also I think the idea behind the story was more than ordinary but though wasn’t executed properly. It could have been little exciting and breath-taking. For the character, Jane was excellent for the lead. She was brave and subtle and very proficient in her own duty. I was amazed to see how she skilfully took care of unruly and disobedient Dorie with love. On the other hand Edward was way too ordinary and no matter how seductive he was described in the story, he actually failed to drug me with his mighty hotness. Also their chemistry was not that intense and divine as it was in original classic, which in turn might disappoint fans of Jane and Edward.

What I liked is how the plot was set in a steampunk background with both magical and fantasy elements in it, it was no doubt a brave attempt and somehow proven to be successful other than those few things I mentioned earlier in this review. However Ironskin is a creative remake of my all-time favourite classic, and I would definitely suggest it to those who love to see some edgy and twisty recreation in gothic tells.




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Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Sacred by Elana K. Arnold

Goodreads Summary : Growing up on Catalina Island, off the California coast, Scarlett Wenderoth has led a fairly isolated life. After her brother dies, her isolation deepens as she withdraws into herself, shutting out her friends and boyfriend. Her parents, shattered by their own sorrow, fail to notice Scarlett's pain and sudden alarming thinness. Scarlett finds pleasure only on her horse, escaping to the heart of the island on long, solitary rides. One day, as she races around a bend, Scarlett is startled by a boy who raises his hand in warning and says one word: "Stop."

The boy—intense, beautiful—is Will Cohen, a newcomer to the island. For reasons he can't or won't explain, he's drawn to Scarlett and feels compelled to keep her safe. To keep her from wasting away. His meddling irritates Scarlett, though she can't deny her attraction to him. As their relationship blossoms into love, Scarlett's body slowly awakens at Will's touch. But just when her grief begins to ebb, she makes a startling discovery about Will, a discovery he's been grappling with himself. A discovery that threatens to force them apart. And if it does, Scarlett fears she will unravel all over again.


My Rating : 4 of 5 stars


My Thoughts : When I started the book, it was slow and smooth, but as I progressed, the Sacred caught me by surprised. I felt very urge to uncover the mysteries that was embedded in pages. I was previously dying to read the book, now I believe I’m lucky to have Sacred to have on my book shelf.
In a beautiful island Catalina, Scarlet was mourning over dead brother, and her life seemed to have stopped, until a new boy Will showed up. Strangely, Will was drawn to Scarlet in a very unexplainable way. Every time Scarlet is in danger, Will saves her. But Will has some secrets to hide, secrets that can cause enough damage in their lives and those damages would be irrecoverable.

Lonely girl and mysterious boy with lot of dangerous secrets; what could be most interesting than that?
I always had a soft corner for broken characters and for me both Scarlet and Will won me by the end, however Scarlet was very depressing at the beginning, but I felt her remorse. Her emotions were expressed in a very intense way, even after one year of her brother’s death she fought with her grief in every second. On the other side the new boy Will was utterly gorgeous and everything was mysterious about him that it made me wonder that I badly wanted to dive inside the book. He was a stalker at first, kind of annoying but later it revealed to be his strange attraction to danger and in this case danger was Scarlet herself. He was kind of guardian angel to her, a protector and a lover.

The book was gorgeously written, and the author’s description of Catalina Island took my breath away. It was vivid and beautifully described that it’s not impossible for readers to visualize every tiny detail. It was slow at the beginning, and then the book picked up speed and never let of it. The more I made progress with the story, the more I found myself engrossed in it. I loved Sacred; it’s a surprisingly brilliant starting of a new series and a wonderful debut.



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Friday, 16 November 2012

Interview with Maureen McGowan + Win a copy of Deviants (int)

Me : What was your inspiration behind Deviants? Would you like to tell us about it?

Maureen : The original story idea for Deviants came from combining two other ideas I was working on after I finished the Twisted Tales. One was a post-apocalyptic story. That idea came to me when the volcano erupted in Iceland, interrupting global travel. What would happen, I wondered, if something like that occured on a more catastrophic scale?


My other idea was actually for an adult urban fantasy series with a strong heroine who never expressed her emotions and was working as a double agent. In that series idea, the main character had two love interests, one a nice guy she had to keep secrets from and the other a scary, dangerous man she could never fully trust.

When I was brainstorming reasons why the heroine was so closed off emotionally and what secrets she was hiding, I realized I’d be better to write her story as a YA novel because the backstory I imagined for her was more interesting to me.

I love that it’s easier to blend genres in YA. Deviants is a post-apocalyptic, supernatural thriller, in a dystopian setting, with a little romance and horror thrown in for good measure. It’s harder to publish a book which crosses that many genre lines in adult fiction.

Me : Your previous work was Twisted Tales series, which were retelling of the fairy tales and Deviants is a post-apocalyptic novel. How much it was different to write Deviants than Twisted Tales?

Maureen : The Twisted Tales books were complicated to write, in that they have multiple routes that double back on each other, so it was hard to keep everything straight! But because I was retelling classic fairy tales, some elements—including the happy endings—were predefined, which gave me some parameters to work within.

The publisher for the Twisted Tales series wanted the books to appeal to younger readers, so I felt as if I had to hold a few things back. Striking a balance between a book that ten year olds could read, but older teens and adults would find entertaining, was a challenge.

When I wrote Deviants, I didn’t hold anything back. Yes, it’s a YA novel, but it’s not kid stuff. I absolutely loved writing it and can’t wait until it’s out in readers’ hands.


Me : What was your favorite scene in Deviants and why?

Maureen : Oh, that’s a hard one. Like picking between children.  One scene that sticks out for me comes later in the book when Glory discovers something that changes her entire perspective on past events, who she is, and her future. Writing that scene was very emotional for me and I hope it will be an emotional scene for readers too.

Me : How many books are there going to be in Dust Chronicles series? Would you like tell us about the sequels?

Maureen : Right now, there are three for sure—Glory’s story is a trilogy. But there may be future stories set in the Dust Chronicles universe. I hope so. But for the ones that are definitely planned: The second book, Compliance will be released on May 21, 2013 and the third Glory (tentative title) will be released in the fall of 2013 or early in 2014.

Compliance and Glory continue the heroine Glory’s story as she faces bigger challenges and obstacles in the effort to protect herself and those she loves.

Me : If you have to survive in a dystopian world like you have described in Deviants, what would be your strategy?

Maureen : Like my heroine, Glory, I’d fight to protect myself and those people I loved. I wouldn’t give up, no matter what the odds.

Me : I loved your Twisted Tales series. Are you planning on writing a third book of the series?

Maureen : Thank you so much! I’d love to write more books in the Twisted Tales series. I have quite a few ideas up my sleeve, but as of yet, there are no definite plans. I’ll keep you posted. 

Me : What are your favorite dystopian novels?

Maureen : I particularly loved The Hunger Games trilogy and Divergent. I had just sent Deviants to my agent when I read Divergent. I’m glad I didn’t read Veronica Roth’s book first. Not that our books have overt similarites—the settings and worlds and characters are all very different—but the books are similar in style and pacing and we even used some of the same language to describe our different worlds. I’ve decided I can’t read Insurgent until I’m finished writing my trilogy.

Me : Would you like to give any tips to the aspiring authors?

Maureen : Keep working on your craft. There aren’t any professions where people can become experts without training, and writing novels is no different. It typically takes a few novels, or several major revisons of a single novel, to learn to write well.

Don’t expect everything to happen overnight. And most of all, don’t give up!

Me : Thank you Maureen to be a guest over my blog. I’m so honored to have you

Maureen : It was my pleasure. Thank you so much for having me!

Readers can find me online at:

Website: www.maureenmcgowan.com
Amazon: www.amazon.com/author/maureenmcgowan
Facebook: www.facebook.com/MaureenMcGowanBooks
Twitter: @MaureenMcGowan


Author Bio :

Maureen McGowan always loved writing fiction, but side-tracked by a persistent

practical side, it took her a few years to channel her energy into novels. After leaving a career in finance and accounting, she hasn't looked back.

Aside from her love of books, she's passionate about films, fine handcrafted objects and shoes.

She lives and writes in Toronto, Canada where she attends the Toronto International Film Festival each year.

Now the giveaway time : I would like to thank author Maureen McGowan for the lovely interview and making the giveaway possible. The giveaway is open internationally as long as TBD ships to your country. The giveaway ends 17th December, and the winner will be notified within 48 hours.

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Thursday, 15 November 2012

Touched by Corrine Jackson

Goodreads Summary : Remy O’Malley heals people with touch—but every injury she cures becomes her own. Living in a household with an abusive stepfather, she has healed untold numbers of broken bones, burns,and bruises. And then one night her stepfather goes too far.

Being sent to live with her estranged father offers a clean start and she is eager to take it. Enter Asher Blackwell. Once a Protector of Healers, Asher sacrificed his senses to become immortal. Only by killing a Healer can a Protector recover their human senses. Falling in love is against the rules between these two enemies. Because Remy has the power to make Protectors human again, and when they find out, they’ll becoming for her—if Asher doesn't kill her first.


Expected publication : November 27th 2012 by Kensington Teen
Format : ARC
Add Touched on Goodreads


My Rating : 4 of 5 stars

My Thoughts : We have read or heard about touch of death kind of story, more or less; as for example Shatter Me or Cursed, where a death is possible with touch of a bare hand. But if you are fooled by the title Touched, then let me tell you it’s definitely not what you think, rather it’s kind of opposite where a life can be saved by a touch.
Touched was unputdownable story of a girl who can mend others wounds, making them of her own. I was immediately intrigued by the plot line which is vivid and detailed, interlaced with few unexpected twist. Sound unique, isn't it?

Remy is a character I would like spend more time with. Not a perfect girl, she is both broken and strong; a fighter spirit that resides in her, courageous to take other’s pain into her. She is smart and resourceful and kind. Most of the book, Remy struggled with her power, to keep it under control and I felt each bit of her emotions, her fight. She just amazed me that much.
Now enters the bad boy on motorbike, Asher with full on attitude and determination to keep Remy safe. I liked him immediately, what a charming fella he is but Remy is too smart to fall for him instantly like I did because she can’t easily be persuade (Go Girl!).

The romance part was also transited well, along with progress of the story. However according to the book Asher and Remy should be enemy but there strange attraction to each other accumulated the spark and propelled more excitement in the story. The relationship between a healer and a protector has been described well; also the idea behind the reason why Remy isn’t an ordinary healer is well executed.

The book was a little lengthy, in my opinion and I felt few things were dragged unnecessarily which made this book a little slow. Overlooking that, I found this book very original and interesting. The book has many wonderful elements that deliver the promises to be an addicting new series.




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Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Gust Post : A Writer Treks Through the Realm of Social Media by Amy Lignor + Giveaway of Glided Wings


The one ‘must have’ for writers in 2012 is the same ‘must have’ for businesses, franchises and everyone else in the world that’s trying to set up a client list, brand their products and their name, and make sales. This is the cool, yet truly confusing world of Social Media.

It wasn’t that long ago when you think about it that writers had to become ‘names’ through mailings and in-person. Nowadays it seems like we never even see writers in person (which helps those of us with a complete and utter fear of saying the wrong thing at the wrong time). Back then, agents and publishers worked together to market and network the writer’s material. But now - especially considering the fact that the ‘big houses’ won’t necessarily even look at your manuscript unless you can show them a certain number of ‘likes’ on your Facebook, Amazon, or blog page - the Internet Superhighway is something that writers spend a lot more time on than actually writing their manuscripts.

Writers have become our own cheerleaders and, thankfully, we picked an industry that offers support. There are so many blogs where advice is given, help, reviews, recommendations - whereas most industries are so cutthroat that, that type of kindness would never happen in their world. So, for that, the writer should be extremely thankful.

Twitter - Facebook - LinkedIn - Goodreads - blogs - review sites, online magazines…everything is waiting out here in cyberspace and there are many avenues that can be taken when it comes to marketing. With the computer you can hold events, giveaways, post interviews, book signing information, book club information - you can become one with your reader - and that’s exactly what writers have to do. Is it harder? You bet. The time it takes does take away time from the actual writing, so there are more all-nighters being pulled across the globe. But the rewards - the fans that truly begin to love your work and send you those reviews and kind comments - make the work absolutely worth it. I know everyone wants that million-dollar contract, but those letters from people just like me who care about the book have just as much value.

One of my favorite ‘paths’ that come with the Social Media world are book clubs. I am always so amazed and humbled when I get a letter from a book club saying my book is what they’re reading and talking about every Tuesday or Thursday night. These are people taking time out to sit back, have fun with their friends, and getting away from the world of work and stress for awhile. And with the millions of books out there in the world, it is always such a great experience to have a group pick one of my stories. They get together and speak about the plot, characters, what they like, what they don’t - it is one of the things that makes writing worthwhile.

So remember, even though it is extremely difficult to fit everything into your day - what with work, kids, writing (believe me, I know) remember that the realm of social media helps. And with time and effort - and the kindness of strangers, of course - it IS possible to make your name into a good, reliable brand.

Until Next Time, Everybody,
Amy


Gilded Wings Summary :The Beloved Angel-Warrior Team from Until Next Time Returns!

When Matt and Emily are sent on their second mission they have no idea how truly dark human nature can become...

Emily never wanted to face humans again. With the heartache that went on down below, she’s still trying to figure out how to save souls that don’t deserve saving. The only one she wants to see again is Jason - the young man she fell in love with who became the soulmate she simply can’t forget...

Matt was trained to protect and defend the souls down below. Longing to feel the heartfelt emotions that come from being human, Matt wants nothing more than to have just one life - one chance - to live and love the girl of his dreams...

The powerful team find themselves in a brand new century, living in the Gilded Age of New York City. Emily takes over the body of Anya, a young Russian girl who arrives on Ellis Island after a hideous tragedy. There she meets up with a strangely familiar young man by the name of Drew Parrish, who helps Anya survive in an unknown world of luxury, snobbery and…obsession.

What Anya’s inner angel doesn’t know is that the soul she loves is also back. This time around Jason goes by the name of Max Carrow. Once a quiet and kind boy, he’s now part of the ‘Four Hundred Club,’ and wants nothing more than to be among the most admired as he climbs the shaky ladder of society’s elite.

As two worlds merge, Emily and Matt struggle under the weight of their “Gilded Wings.” Not only will they have to figure out who they should fight to save, but they must also face a romantic choice that could destroy them both.

Amy Lignor's Bio :
Amy Lignor began her career at Grey House Publishing in northwest Connecticut where she was the Editor-in-Chief of numerous educational and business directories.

Now she is a published author of several works of fiction. The Billy the Kid historical The Heart of a Legend; the thriller, Mind Made; and the adventure novel, Tallent & Lowery 13.

She is also the owner of The Write Companion, a company that offers help and support to writers through a full range of editorial services from proofreading and copyediting to ghostwriting and research. As the daughter of a research librarian, she is also an active book reviewer.

Currently, she lives with her daughter, mother and a rambunctious German Shepherd named Reuben, in the beautiful state of New Mexico.

Now its time for the giveaway

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Glided Wings Goodreads page:

Until Next Time Goodreads page:

The Angel Chronicles web site:

The Angel Chronicles Facebook page:

Amy Lignor's Facebook:

Amy Lignor's Twitter:

Amy Lignor's Website:

Amy Lignor's Blog:

Amy Lignor's GoodReads:

Tribute Books website:

Tribute Books Facebook:

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Gilded Wings: The Angel Chronicles, Book 2 buy links:

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Nook buy link - $4.95

iBookstore buy link - $4.99

Smashwords buy link - $4.99

PDF buy link - $4.95

Until Next Time: The Angel Chronicles, Book 1 buy links:

Kindle buy link - $2.99

Nook buy link - $4.95

iBookstore buy link - $4.99

Smashwords buy link - $4.99

PDF buy link - $4.95

Friday, 9 November 2012

The Lost Girl by Sangu Mandanna

Goodreads Summary : Eva’s life is not her own. She is a creation, an abomination—an echo. Made by the Weavers as a copy of someone else, she is expected to replace a girl named Amarra, her “other”, if she ever died. Eva studies what Amarra does, what she eats, what it’s like to kiss her boyfriend, Ray. So when Amarra is killed in a car crash, Eva should be ready.

But fifteen years of studying never prepared her for this.

Now she must abandon everything she’s ever known—the guardians who raised her, the boy she’s forbidden to love—to move to India and convince the world that Amarra is still alive.

What Eva finds is a grief-stricken family; parents unsure how to handle this echo they thought they wanted; and Ray, who knew every detail, every contour of Amarra. And when Eva is unexpectedly dealt a fatal blow that will change her existence forever, she is forced to choose: Stay and live out her years as a copy or leave and risk it all for the freedom to be an original. To be Eva.

From debut novelist Sangu Mandanna comes the dazzling story of a girl who was always told what she had to be—until she found the strength to decide for herself.


My Rating : 5 of 5 stars

My Thoughts : In a very rare occasion, a though provoking novel appears in market, makes us cry and ache in pain, and then we say “Damn why goodreads has five star rating? Wish I could give it 100 stars.”

The Lost Girl is exactly that kind of book with an extraordinary plot, emotionally touching scene, forbidden love that will slowly cracks you heart. Cloning is a very common topic in Young Adult novel, but what makes The Lost Girl different is the powerful voice of storytelling, no wonder why this managed to flood reader’s eyes.

Eva is a clone, an abomination created as a copy of a girl named Amarra in case someday if she dies Eva will replace her. Eva’s who life has been a reflection of Amarra, studying Amarra’s life and living her own life in shadow of someone else; how Amarra talks, what she likes or even how it feels to kiss her boyfriend Ray. Now when Amarra is dead, Eva must replace her, it’s what she was created for but what about Eva’s feelings or what about the boy Eva loves.

The book delivers tragic story of an every grief sicken family who can’t accept death, story of those who exists without an identity, more of all a meaningful and ethical tale that makes us ponder even after several days of reading. Echoes are creation of weavers, the mysterious organization who holds the power to both bring them to life and snatch the breath out of them if necessary. The Lost Girl is also waves Eva’s disparate attempt to save her very existence, struggles to get her own identity, and the exquisite pain of being forced to love someone else despite of her strong passion for Sean.

"I'd rather spend the rest of my life without seeing you again," he says, “than to watch them destroy you because of me."

Sean, the youngest of Eva’s guardian developed love for Eva to an extent that he was ready to sacrifice himself and his love for Eva’s safety. His love and affection was shown perfectly although I believe Ray, the other boy was a flawed character and I liked the way author developed him. He was blind in love with Amarra that he deliberately hurt Eva, also time by time he regretted his action which brings damaged consequences. Also Eva’s caretaker Mina Ma was a remarkable character who loved Eva like her own daughter and so is Nikhil, Amarra’s bother who sees Eva the way she is, as a person not as a replacement of his dead sister.

“What is this power the dead have over the ones they leave behind? It's strange and beautiful and frightening, this deathless love that human being continue to feel for the ones they've lost.”

Death is the end point of life we all fear to cause. We can’t accept what we have lost, then losing a person we love became our nightmares haunting us for life and we always tries to push through, sometimes we succeed and sometimes we don’t as the death is something that always have the biggest impact on our life. The book successfully crafted our very feeling in words and emotion beyond I can explain.

The Lost Girl blends elements of science fiction into a story profoundly lamented the loss and grief of death. It was well pace and rhythmic, perfectly applicable for not the fans of Never Let Me Go, but also for everyone who seeks for a stunningly beautiful read.



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Thursday, 8 November 2012

"Why South Asia?", A Guest Post on City of Thousand Dolls by Miriam Forster

When Soumi asked me for a guest post on why and how I started writing a book based in South Asia, my mind went a bit blank. To be honest, it kind of happened over a long period, and several rewrites. To say the story pulled me in that direction seems like a weak reason, but it also happens to be quite true.

It started with the Indus River Valley.

Actually, that’s not true. It started with a line from a book about Queen Guinevere, the wife of King Arthur, and one of England’s most enduring legends. It started with the book Memoirs of a Geshia, which I was reading at the time. And it started with my fascination with caste systems. Originally, I wanted to write a book with elements of both Japanese and Indian culture, but the story had other ideas.


I don’t remember why I started researching the Indus Valley civilization, (also called Harappan) although I think it has something to do with the idea of a lost city I was playing with at the time. For a long time, people thought there was some great mystery about the disappearance of the Indus civilization, but now many scholars think they moved south and dispersed.

But once I started looking, I became fascinated with it, with the brick cities and craftsmanship and the advances they had made. It was such a rich period in history, I read everything I could get my hands on about the Harappan culture. I could never find as much information as I wanted, and as far as novels went, I found very few books set in any kind of pre-colonization India.

I felt like that was a sad thing. And before I knew it, there were brick buildings and teak forests in the City of a Thousand Dolls and almost everything that had been purely East Asian in the worldbuilding disappeared.

The other thing that happened was that my husband went to India for a trip and visited several orphanages. He was struck by how many girls there were, far more than boys. The people running the orphanage told him that many of the girls were not orphans, but had been left there by their parents. There were a lot of reasons for that--often it was to protect the girl--but it made me think hard about what happens to girls all over the world when parents cannot afford or do not want them. And so the City of a Thousand Dolls became a safe place for girls.

Over and over again, the story led me back to India. I decided to put in a nomadic tribe of people based on Romani (gypsy) culture. And it was only after I had put them in, that I discovered that there’s evidence that the Romani people actually came from northern India.

So to answer Soumi’s question, I set the story in a South Asian based culture because the story wanted to be there. I aslo fell in love with the richness of pre-colonization India and thought there should be more stories set in that kind of world. I tried to do as much research as I could with lots of different sources. And I learned a lot about how to write a different culture respectfully. (I’m still learning.)
I know that there is more amazing complexity in South Asian culture than I will ever be able to do justice to, but it’s been a wonderful experience and I hope to explore more in further books.

About The Author : Miriam Forster learned to read at the age of five, wrote her first story at the age of seven and has been playing with words ever since. Her debut novel, CITY OF A THOUSAND DOLLS is being published by HarperCollins.

In her daily life, Miriam is a wife, a terrible housekeeper and a dealer of words at the local bookshop. In her internal life, she imagines fight scenes, obsesses about anthropology, nature shows and British television, and reads far too many books.

Miriam is represented by Jennifer Laughran of the Andrea Brown Agency

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Author J.A. Redmerski Talks About: Why Werewolves? + Kindred Giveaway (int)

I’ve always been more intrigued by the werewolf in legend than most other supernatural creatures. I love all the old movies and literature on werewolves and I think that while although they aren’t the sex objects that vampires tend to be, the fact they are so dangerous and unpredictable, makes them more interesting. And I thought to myself: Why can’t a terrifying werewolf also be sexy? And then decided I wanted to do something about that unfortunate stigma.

I admit it – I’ve always been a sucker for bad boys. Guys with power. Infallibly loyal and protective. The guy that no one wants to mess with. The one that oozes danger, but doesn’t flaunt it. Dominant, but loving. Aggressive, but completely and respectively gentle at the same time. (I swear this isn’t a dating profile!) I don’t know any supernatural being better to fit this bill more than a ‘traditional’ werewolf. And that’s the biggest reason why I decided to write a trilogy about werewolves.

But the werewolves in The Darkwoods Trilogy aren’t your typical shape-shifter who turns into a canine-type of ‘werewolf’. Those in Darkwoods are beastly and terrifying, dangerous and unpredictable, yet a human girl can still fall hopelessly in love with one.

I love reading YA books, those that are more geared toward readers 17 and over and have adult crossover potential. That was the kind of werewolf novel that I desperately wanted to fall in love with, and believe me, I searched for a YA book like this and found nothing. The majority of YA werewolf novels on the market today are the shape-shifter kind. Nothing wrong with them; just not something I’ve ever been interested in. So, when I ultimately gave up my search, feeling like I would never find a series with beastly, dangerous werewolves like you see in the Underworld series, that was when I decided I was just going to have to write my own. And make them sexy!

And so The Darkwoods Trilogy was born. THE MAYFAIR MOON is the first in the trilogy and book two, KINDRED was released in July 2012. The third and final installment, THE BALLAD OF ARAMEI, is due to release sometime in November or December.

About The Author : J.A. (Jessica) Redmerski is a Contemporary Fantasy and YA writer - author of THE MAYFAIR MOON and DIRTY EDEN. She's a werewolf & zombie
fanatic, book addict and a happy hermit obsessed with the Universe and AMC's The Walking Dead. She lives in North Little Rock, Arkansas with her three children and a Maltese.

Some authors that inspire Jessica are Neil Gaiman, Cormac McCarthy, Jamie McGuire, Max Brooks, Anne Rice, J.K. Rowling, Richard Matheson, William R. Forstchen, Carrie Ryan and Lisa Smedman.
You can also stalk her at her website jessicaredmerski.com

Now the giveaway time : Jessica was so kind to offer an copy of her latest release Kindred for an international giveaway. The giveaway ends on 4th December.
Also it's open internationally. So, feel free to enter via the Rafflecopter widget below



Add Kindred in your goodreads

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Saturday, 3 November 2012

Phoenix Angel by Amanda Gerry, Christy Hall

Goodreads Summary : Maggie is a normal teenager, trudging her way through senior year with her best friend, Lily. Then a boy named Kyle Spencer came to Idaho Falls, and since then everything has fallen apart. Something mysterious has passed among the three friends. They are developing terrifying abilities--strange powers that separate them from normal people.

Even worse, someone--or something--has taken a deadly interest in them. They never know when they are going to strike, or how to protect themselves, or even who they are. All friends know is that they want one alive and the others they want dead. Which one will Maggie be?


Rebecca's Rating : 4 of 5 stars

Rebecca's Thoughts : I would like to thank the authors for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book! At first I thought it was familiar, but with enough differences to keep me hooked. But in the end I realized that it was actually like nothing I have read before.

It starts out as a normal high school paranormal romance. Strange things start happening to beautiful Maggie. Things she cant explain. Then a hot new guy shows up at school. This is when the guy would usually tell her that he can help her understand whats happening to her. But he doesnt, because this isnt your usual YA PNR. Kyle is as confused as Maggie. After they meet he starts to develop super-human strength and speed. They try to make sense of their new world together, along with Maggie's best friend, Lily.

One of the things I loved most about this book was Maggie. She was like no other heroine I have read. Somehow I could still relate and understand her even though she was a complete bitch. She didnt accept crap from anyone. I have never had trauma in my life like Maggie, but I am extremely emotional and sensitive, so I can understand just needing to keep people out. And I was bullied in school so I admire her and wish that I had had the strength to fight back. The only time that I thought she went to far, was with her plans for the dance. But luckily that didnt turn out as disastrous as I feared.

The book had alternating POVs between Maggie, Kyle, and Lily, but the focus was mostly on Maggie and Kyle for the first half, and the tumultuous romance, the push and pull, and Maggie struggling to get over her bitchiness enough to care about someone again. If this were a contemporary romance, that story alone would have been enough to keep me hooked. But that’s far from all there is to Phoenix Angel.

In the second half of the book, there are still POVs from Maggie, Kyle, and Lily, but the focus switches to Lily, and we add Carter. When Carter meets Lily, he develops powers as well, and now the four friends have to help each other, and avoid the mysterious figures that start appearing. I loved the feeling of the group working together, facing the unknown. As things become more dangerous for them with each passing day, we realize how much we dont know about them. Until the end, when worlds collide and they are forced to face their pasts. They arent all who they seemed and friends and lovers could be torn apart as we are left wanting more.

The writing in this is absolutely amazing. It is beautiful and descriptive. When I first started the book I thought it was pretentious. But that was probably because I got used to the juvenile writing in books I have been reading lately. At first I was stumbling over the big words, but after I got used to it I was loving the imagery and flow. Its hard to believe this is Amanda Gerry and Christy Hall's first book. The only other problem I had was with the cover. It was really confusing and I spent most of the book thinking I might have gotten the wrong book. That it had been put in the wrong binding. The cover makes more sense after reading the second book, but it doesnt suit the first book at all.

Phoenix Angel has elements of contemporary and paranormal romance, as well as parallel-world fantasy. If those sound like the kind of genres you read, I really recommend this book!

Note : Phoenix Angel was reviewed by my very good friend and contributing reviewer Rebecca. I would like to thank her for writing this amazing review on my blog.
Rebecca's goodreads profile : http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/703854-rebecca

Friday, 2 November 2012

Rebel Heart by Moira Young

Goodreads Summary :It seemed so simple: Defeat the Tonton, rescue her kidnapped brother, Lugh, and then order would be restored to Saba’s world. Simplicity, however, has proved to be elusive. Now, Saba and her family travel west, headed for a better life and a longed-for reunion with Jack. But the fight for Lugh’s freedom has unleashed a new power in the dust lands, and a formidable new enemy is on the rise.

What is the truth about Jack? And how far will Saba go to get what she wants? In this much-anticipated follow-up to the riveting Blood Red Road, a fierce heroine finds herself at the crossroads of danger and destiny, betrayal and passion.


My Rating : 4 of 5 stars

My Thoughts : After mind blowing ending of Blood Red Road, which left us with huge cliff-hanger, Rebel heart is not just satisfactory but also blockbuster second installment of Dust Land Trilogy, which again was successful to blew my mind off.

Waiting for Rebel Heart was worth when I was again thrust into the desiccated and deteriorated world of savagery. Each breathe I inhaled and exhaled was full of tension as I made progress with the book. Again the writing was riddled with uneducated and unusual Saba’s voice, but this time the narration was smooth and cooperating unlike the first time I read Blood Red Road.

The book was compelling beyond imagination, with lot of special effects and action scene. With Jack gone, love and nightmares of past had weakened Saba sometimes, making her less aggressive and fierce, however soon we found our old kick ass, headstrong Angel of Death. Her determination to find Jack, and her fighter soul again surprised me as well, but with time she was hasty and erratic that her rush in making illogical decision did irritated me sometime.

“I think of what we might say. Him to me. Me to him. I ain’t no soft girl. I don’t know no soft words. Be with me, Jack. That’s what I’ll say. Burn with me. Shine with me.”

Throughout the book we get picture of Saba’s journey to her reunion with Jack, but we received few glimpses of jack too. The book opened with third person narration of Jack giving subtle hints of his dark past, and I found my finger scorching with curiosities. But unfortunately with slow progression of the story I grew impatient and bored. However towards the end unexpected turns and twists in story caught me off guard.

Along with Saba as the main character, we saw Lugh who was occasional jerk-ass, and other secondary characters, some new, some old. I enjoyed DeMalo as an extraordinary villain, also Tommo, Emmi and Maev played their part very well, and especially Tommo received a great character development. The ending apparently seems happy but let me warn you about the great danger are on his way. The ambiguous conclusion of Rebel Heart is definitely forcing me into further thinking of the third installment.



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