Saturday, 30 August 2014

Book Review - The Queen of The Tearling by Erika Johansen

The Queen of The Tearling
By: Erika Johansen
Series: The Queen of the Tearling #1
Publication date: 8th July 2014
Publisher: Harper (US)
Page Count: 448 (paperback) / 448 (hardback)
Genres: Fantasy, Adult
Source: Purchased

Rating: 7.5
On her nineteenth birthday, Princess Kelsea Raleigh Glynn, raised in exile, sets out on a perilous journey back to the castle of her birth to ascend her rightful throne. Plain and serious, a girl who loves books and learning, Kelsea bears little resemblance to her mother, the vain and frivolous Queen Elyssa. But though she may be inexperienced and sheltered, Kelsea is not defenseless: Around her neck hangs the Tearling sapphire, a jewel of immense magical power; and accompanying her is the Queen’s Guard, a cadre of brave knights led by the enigmatic and dedicated Lazarus. Kelsea will need them all to survive a cabal of enemies who will use every weapon—from crimson-caped assassins to the darkest blood magic—to prevent her from wearing the crown.

Despite her royal blood, Kelsea feels like nothing so much as an insecure girl, a child called upon to lead a people and a kingdom about which she knows almost nothing. But what she discovers in the capital will change everything, confronting her with horrors she never imagined. An act of singular daring will throw Kelsea’s kingdom into tumult, unleashing the vengeance of the tyrannical ruler of neighboring Mortmesne: the Red Queen, a sorceress possessed of the darkest magic. Now Kelsea will begin to discover whom among the servants, aristocracy, and her own guard she can trust.

But the quest to save her kingdom and meet her destiny has only just begun—a wondrous journey of self-discovery and a trial by fire that will make her a legend…if she can survive.

The Queen of the Tearling introduces readers to a world as fully imagined and terrifying as that of The Hunger Games, with characters as vivid and intriguing as those of The Game of Thrones, and a wholly original heroine. Combining thrilling action and twisting plot turns, it is a magnificent debut from the talented Erika Johansen.

The Queen of The Tearling is one of my current favorite high fantasy books. Initially, I was hesitant to read this and did not have much expectations due to the mixed reviews on Goodreads. However, after reading it, I realized that I personally really enjoyed it. I am as such now anxiously awaiting the next book :)

Basically the Queen of the Tearling is about this 18-ish year old Queen who has been living where it is safe so that she can't be killed. There, she has foster parents who teach her how to be strong, and intelligent, etc. One day, a group of guards come and bring her back to her kingdom to reclaim her throne. The story is about her journey as Queen for the first few days and her actions and decisions which causes the main antagonist of the book AKA another Queen to probably get angry. Throughout the book, she learns how to be Queen and how to face the people who want to kill her and how to trust the people around her, but also not to let everyone judge her by her age, because she is Queen of the Tearling.

However, the Queen of the Tearling does not have much action in the first book because it is more about the story building. It introduces the entire world very detailedly and beautifully and leaves you wanting so much more from the world. As a lover of High Fantasy, I am really excited for how this book will continue because oh my gosh I need the rest of the series already.

What I am Loving:
Firstly, I adore the Mace. He is this super strong, really cool person who is the head of the Queen's guard. In the beginning he is just really secretive and stuff but as the story goes along we get to know him better and I got to love him. I have a feeling he has some secrets or something, some kind of story which makes me really excited because I love his character.

Secondly, I think Kelsea (the main character) is just really kickass. If you have been reading my reviews, you would know that I find most female main characters whiny and needy butttt not for Kelsea. Nope. Kelsea is probably one of the coolest and most intelligent female character I have ever read about. She doesn't take crap from anyone. She handles everything pretty well. She makes her own decisions. I just. Love her.

Thirdly, as I have mentioned, the world building. The world building is beautiful and wonderful. It leaves you wanting more, much much more from the world building. I just want to read the next book just so I can know more about the world.

What I am Unsure Of:
The thing I am most unsure of is the romance in the book. Basically there wasn't much of it. Like not even 10% of the book is romance. I went in thinking for some reason that there would be much romance or at least a sufficient amount of it but turns out there wasn't. I was a little disappointed because of it. But at least we meet whom I think is Kelsea's potential love interest. At the same time, I was pretty okay with the fact that there wasn't much focus on the romance because I think that this book wouldn't have been as great this way. Oh well.

Next, plot progress. This book focuses more on the world building and stuff so I think it was the reason there wasn't as much action and adventure. However, once again I'm not complaining much about it because I love the story building although the book really needs to pick up and quickly, otherwise the series will turn from good to bad.

Final Verdict:

Overall, I am really satisfied with this book. I cannot wait for the book because of the above reasons. I know that there are certain things I am unsure of but i feel that it was necessary for the book because it IS the first book of a high fantasy series. Therefore I would really like to read the next book of the series and I fully recommend this book to everyone.

*All pictures and graphics do not belong to me. I take no credit at any of it.
** All opinions are mine and are in no way influenced by anyone or anything.

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Release Day Launch - Iron Pendulum by Megan Curd

Iron Pendulum RDL Banner Final

We are thrilled to bring you the Release Day Launch for Megan Curd's IRON PENDULUM! IRON PENDULUM is Young Adult Steampunk Fantasy and the second book in Megan's The Periodic Series!!

Iron Pendulum high res Cover 

Cover designed by Mae I Design

Iron Pendulum
#1 of the Periodic Series
by Megan Curd
Publication date: 28th August 2014

Synopsis via Goodreads:
A month ago, Avery thought the world ended outside Dome Four. Thought she was one of the few of her kind. Thought the war that brought the human race to the brink of extinction was over. But a month can change everything. After fighting to escape a tyranny she didn't even know existed, Avery has had to come to grips with all the secrets she's uncovered. But more secrets continue to come to light, revealing how little of her world she truly knew. When evidence starts to show that Dome Four might be under siege, Avery knows what she must do. Returning to the dome she longed to escape is a challenge for Avery, but now she knows there’s corruption lurking in the shadows. A massive steam shortage leaves half the dome without power, and people are falling ill. Dying. And they’re blaming Avery. A month can change everything. One more month could kill everyone. The clock is ticking.  

Author photoAbout the Author:
Megan Curd is a graduate of Northwestern College in St. Paul, Minnesota. While having always enjoyed reading any books she could get her hands on, Megan didn’t begin writing until a friend encouraged her to do so while in college. When not writing, Megan enjoys spending time with her family and friends. Photography, traveling and snowboarding are hobbies she loves, and she doesn’t turn down the opportunity to play xBox with her brother and friends when it presents itself. Megan currently resides in Ohio with her husband and son, where she is trying to convert them into Buckeye fans.    

|Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Author Goodreads


Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Waiting on Wednesday #13 - The Young Elites by Marie Lu

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted on Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection by me is:

The Young Elites

The Young Elites #1

Author: Marie Lu

Publication Date: 16th September 2014

Publisher: Putnam Juvenile

Page Count: 368 Pages

Summary from Goodreads: 

I am tired of being used, hurt, and cast aside.

Adelina Amouteru is a survivor of the blood fever. A decade ago, the deadly illness swept through her nation. Most of the infected perished, while many of the children who survived were left with strange markings. Adelina’s black hair turned silver, her lashes went pale, and now she has only a jagged scar where her left eye once was. Her cruel father believes she is a malfetto, an abomination, ruining their family’s good name and standing in the way of their fortune. But some of the fever’s survivors are rumored to possess more than just scars—they are believed to have mysterious and powerful gifts, and though their identities remain secret, they have come to be called the Young Elites.

Teren Santoro works for the king. As Leader of the Inquisition Axis, it is his job to seek out the Young Elites, to destroy them before they destroy the nation. He believes the Young Elites to be dangerous and vengeful, but it’s Teren who may possess the darkest secret of all.

Enzo Valenciano is a member of the Dagger Society. This secret sect of Young Elites seeks out others like them before the Inquisition Axis can. But when the Daggers find Adelina, they discover someone with powers like they’ve never seen.
Adelina wants to believe Enzo is on her side, and that Teren is the true enemy. But the lives of these three will collide in unexpected ways, as each fights a very different and personal battle. But of one thing they are all certain: Adelina has abilities that shouldn’t belong in this world. A vengeful blackness in her heart. And a desire to destroy all who dare to cross her.

It is my turn to use. My turn to hurt.

My Thoughts regarding this book:

Marie Lu's new series. What's not to love about it? :)

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Release Day Launch - Reluctantly Royal by Nichole Chase

RR RDL Banner

We are beyond excited about the Release Day Launch of Nichole Chase's RELUCTANTLY ROYAL!! RELUCTANTLY ROYAL is a New Adult contemporary romance novel being published by HarperCollins Avon imprint and is the third book in Nichole Chase’s Suddenly Series. We love the swoony romance in these books and this one delivers in spades!

  Reluctantly Royal final cover 

Reluctantly Royal
by Nichole Chase

Purchase: Amazon ** Barnes & Noble ** IndieBound ** Kobo ** iBooks

Synopsis via Goodreads:
Maxwell Jameson Trevor, prince of Lilaria, hates his royal role. Despising the limelight, he takes solace in his art studio and steers clear of any drama. But when one of the newly discovered royals passes away, Maxwell's brother Alex asks him to break the news to the old man's granddaughter. Though he hates to be the bearer of doom and gloom, he doesn't want the poor girl to find out from the tabloids. For Maxwell knows all too well how devastating that could be. Coming from a broken home and modest background, newly ordained Lady Meredith Thysmer has seized her chance to make a better life for herself and her son. She's not afraid to use her best assets to get what she wants. But when the unpretentious yet devastatingly handsome Max delivers his news, her plans for the future come crashing to a halt. In the challenging days ahead, Max's compassion, humor, and steadfast loyalty to Meredith and her son win her over. She quickly finds herself doing something she swore would never happen again: falling in love. And yet Maxwell still refuses to completely drop his guard. Somehow Meredith's got to find a way to seduce this reluctant royal. 

RR Teaser 1 

As I turned to leave the room, my eyes fell on a sketch pad and I couldn’t help myself. Sitting back down in the chair I flipped it open and smiled at the drawings inside. Marty had promise for such a young kid. Turning to a blank page, I glanced around and searched for a pencil. Charcoal would be best, but pencil would do. I started with the lines of his forehead, the curve of his impish nose, the roundness of his cheeks. I was lost in the sketch, enjoying the shadows, the tenderness in his expression, working to capture that moment of utter innocence. “That’s beautiful.” Her voice was soft. I looked up from what I was doing, not surprised that she had snuck up on me. When I’m lost in a project, the world disappears; the only thing I’m aware of are the layers of the project I’m working on. “He’s a good subject.” I turned back to the paper and finished up the shading of the blanket. “Only because he’s asleep and not moving.” Her quiet laugh sent shivers over my body. “That does help.” I smiled up at her. “But it’s the contrast. The contrast of him awake versus him asleep. He looks so young right now, so innocent.” “What do you mean?” She leaned closer to look at the picture. “He’s so mature, quick-witted.” I whispered the words. “But here he is, looking like the child he is.” “His teachers say that,” she said. “That he’s quick to pick things up.” “I’d say so.” I turned and handed her the sketch pad. “I hope you don’t mind that I drew him. The light and shadows were too perfect to resist.” Sort of like her right now. The way the moonlight glinted in her eyes and shone along her hair. Her perfect features would make any artist ache to draw them. Her pixie nose, the heavy eyelashes, the curve of her body hinted at by the oversized sweater she had wrapped around herself. It made my palms itch. Partly because I just wanted to touch her, to see if she would taste as sweet as she looked in that moment. “Thank you for keeping him entertained.” She stood up. “Can I keep this?” “Of course.” I stood up and stretched. Her eyes swept over my chest and then back up to my face. Maybe I wasn’t the only one tempted to touch. I hated to admit it, but I had a flare of pride. “I enjoyed hanging out with him.” I was surprised to realize I meant it. I never would have thought spending time with a six-year-old would have been enjoyable. “Looks like he did too.” She moved away from the door and I followed her into the hallway. “Did you get everything settled?” “I think so.” She frowned. “What’s wrong?” Her expression worried me. “Granddad would have hated a large ceremony.” She sighed and headed for the stairs. “But I guess that as a duke there are some things that have to happen.” “I don’t blame your grandfather.” I followed behind her. “I would want a small ceremony, not to be made into a production.” “I’m starting to think you don’t like any type of production.” She looked at me over shoulder. “Not really, no.” I wasn’t going to lie. “I don’t like being the focus, being the center of attention. It makes me uncomfortable.” I wasn’t going to lie, but I hadn’t intended to tell her so much about me. “And yet you agreed to help me with my grandfather’s funeral.” She turned to me at the bottom of the stairs and set the sketch pad on a table. “Why?” I stared at her for a minute, enjoying the way her eyes looked up at me, the tilt of her chin, the way her hair cascaded around her shoulders. “I don’t know.” Unable to help myself, I reached out and touched her cheek with my fingers. Her pupils dilated and she inhaled softly. With one thumb I traced the dip under her plump bottom lip. Her hand reached up to trace my jaw and she took a step closer to me. “You should be running from me as fast as you can.” She whispered the words. “I’m everything you don’t want.” “I’m not so sure.” “I live for the spotlight, it’s my food.” Her eyes were half lidded as she edged closer to my mouth. “And you’ve seen my family. I’m trouble, Max.” Did I care? I wasn’t sure I was capable of making a real decision as her smell wrapped around my senses. The only thing I knew was that I wanted to taste her, to touch her, to press her against my body. To hear her say my name again. Dipping my head, I grazed her lips with mine and I was lost. On a sigh, she leaned into me and wrapped her hands around my neck. Tilting her head back, I brought my mouth to hers carefully, softly, tasting. I wanted to deepen the kiss, to hear her moan, to feel the way her body could wrap around mine, but I kept it soft, sweet, and simple. She was in such a hard place, she needed to be protected, treasured by someone. And right now, I was that person. 

RR Teaser 2    

About the Author:
Author Photo
Nichole Chase is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Suddenly Royal, Flukes, The Dark Betrayal Trilogy, and several short stories. She is also the instructor of Say What? a dialogue class at the Romance Academy. Nichole lives in Georgia with her husband, energetic daughter, superhero dog, Sulcata tortoise, and two cats. When not writing, you may find her reading, painting, crafting, or chasing her daughter around the house while making monster noises.    

Author Links: 

Website ** Twitter ** Facebook ** Author Goodreads

Monday, 25 August 2014

Book Blitz - Dead Girl Walking by Ruth Silver

Welcome to Ruth Silver's Dead Girl Walking promo tour hosted by Itching for Books.

20749515Genre: YA Paranormal
Release date: April 25th 2014
Series: Royal Reaper #1
Publisher: Patchwork Press
Purchase: Amazon | B&N

Synopsis via Goodreads:

Princess Ophelia Dacre sneaks out of the castle to visit her boyfriend in secret. A perfect night cut short when she’s brutally murdered.

Ophelia is given the rare chance to become a grim reaper. She must become Leila Bele, cut ties with her old life, and follow the rules of the reapers. Her greatest adventure begins with death.

About the Author
Ruth  Silver
Ruth Silver is the best-selling author of Aberrant. The Young Adult/New Adult Romantic Dystopian Adventure, Aberrant is the first in a trilogy, released April 17th, 2013. Silver first began writing poetry as a teenager and reading heaps of fan fiction in her free time. She attended Northern Illinois University in 2001 and graduated with a Bachelor’s in Communication. While in college she spent much of her free time writing with friends she met online and penning her first novel, Deuces are Wild, which she self-published in 2004. Her favorite class was Creative Writing senior year where she often handed in assignments longer than the professor required because she loved to write and always wanted to finish her stories. Her love of writing, led her on an adventure in 2007 to Melbourne, Australia. Silver enjoys reading YA/NA novels and sharing her favorite books with other readers. She also enjoys photography, traveling and of most of all writing.



Casmerelda, The Black Plague, and How a World was Born 

I began with an idea for a story. Isn’t that normally how books are written? I loved the series Dead Like Me on Showtime. It was on from 2003 to 2004. Way too short a lifespan for a fabulous show. So I got to thinking, I haven’t read any books about grim reapers and certainly not any that were geared to a teen audience, quirky, and different. That was the thing about Dead Like Me, it was different. It was humorous, light-hearted, had a love story mixed in, and had characters you were rooting for the entire way through. 

As I was beginning to let my story take shape, I wanted something that went beyond reapers and pushed the boundaries into something fantastical. A mix of paranormal and fantasy. The princess idea was born. 

I didn’t want my main character, Princess Ophelia to solely be a princess from our current land, there had to be more. So, the initial plot took place in the 1400’s, specifically 1346 when the Black Plague spread along the Silk Road. What better way to kill off massive amounts of people than let a virulent disease do it? 

Complication: There were no monarchies (no princesses) where the story was taking place. At least not in that time period. Which obviously made things difficult. Either pull the novel away from historical fantasy or get the facts right. 

I tugged with the idea of how to make it historically accurate, and then decided the language would have to match. I didn’t like the sound of, “You're going to kill my beau.” I preferred it read “boyfriend.” That was just one instance, there were several language issues and I strongly felt the story would be better set in a fantasy world that parallels our history. Casmerelda was born.


“Listen, kid, I don’t care what you believe in. It’s not for me to say what’s true and untrue, real or unreal. My assignment was you. You get to be one of us, if you want it. Otherwise, you move on, life is over, kaput.” 
Ophelia backed away from the stranger. For the first time, she realized she didn’t feel cold and wasn’t shivering. Is this what being dead was like? “One of you?” 
“A grim reaper.” He held out his hand to properly introduce himself. “Edon Montgomery, head reaper and old soul.”

Friday, 22 August 2014

Book Review - Ruin & Rising by Leigh Bardugo

Ruin and Rising
By: Leigh Bardugo
Series: The Grisha #3
Publication date: 17th June 2014
Publisher: Henry Holt & Co (US)
Page Count: 417 (hardback)
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Source: Won from giveaway. Special thanks to Fierce Reads.

Rating: 7
The capital has fallen.

The Darkling rules Ravka from his shadow throne.

Now the nation's fate rests with a broken Sun Summoner, a disgraced tracker, and the shattered remnants of a once-great magical army.

Deep in an ancient network of tunnels and caverns, a weakened Alina must submit to the dubious protection of the Apparat and the zealots who worship her as a Saint. Yet her plans lie elsewhere, with the hunt for the elusive firebird and the hope that an outlaw prince still survives.

Alina will have to forge new alliances and put aside old rivalries as she and Mal race to find the last of Morozova's amplifiers. But as she begins to unravel the Darkling's secrets, she reveals a past that will forever alter her understanding of the bond they share and the power she wields. The firebird is the one thing that stands between Ravka and destruction—and claiming it could cost Alina the very future she’s fighting for.

Before you read on, do check out My Shadow and Bone review (book 1 of the Grisha trilogy).

Firstly before I begin, I would like to thank Fierce Reads for hosting the giveaway and for sending me a beautiful signed copy of this book. I really truly enjoyed it! Thank you so much!

Ruin and Rising is the final book of the Grisha trilogy. It was also the book that truly made me love the Grisha trilogy. R&R is basically about Alina's journey to gain the final amplify in order to become as strong as the Darkling, her final fight against the Darkling and the aftermath of it. It continues after the ending of the 2nd book and speaks of Alina's journey to find the firebird, the last amplifier. After a long journey and a huge twist, she goes to find the Darkling for the final battle.

I was really surprised with what happened to Mal. But that was the moment that I truly fell in love with him as a character. Throughout the series, we don't really see much of HIM and the romance between him and Alina and I wasn't too into him as a character. However, after what he did when he found out that he was the last ---------, I was so proud of him for what he was willing to do. Afterwards, I was rooting for him all the way:)

Lastly, Nikolai. Oh my baby. Oh my poor baby. I was crying when the Darkling did what he did to you. I love you. You are the prince of my heart. You are perfection. Literally.

What I am Loving:
My favorite part of the book was the ending. I absolutely loved the fact that Leigh Bardugo made the ending very put together and complete. It wasn't rushed. It filled all the loopholes and made sure all characters were accounted for. And of course at the end, she gave us readers an ending that felt true to the book - a perfect ending to a wonderful trilogy.

Here's my favorite line in the book, which is also the last line in the book:
"They had an ordinary life, full of ordinary things - if love can ever be called that."

What I am Unsure Of:
On the whole, I was very satisfied with the book so I have nothing much to say for this section. As seen in my ratings, this book was an 7 to me, so it was really really great. 

Final Verdict:
I absolutely adored Ruin and Rising. I am so grateful that the book blogger community introduced me to this book and made me read it. Thank you once again to Fierce Reads for the book of course. This book is unlike anything I have ever read before with the whole alternate universe russian fantasy adventure romance thing. This is the one book that I have been waiting for since ever. Seriously. Just read it. It's so worth it. I mean it will RUIN you with grief of the series ending but you will end up RISING from your adoration to this trilogy. ;)

*All pictures and graphics do not belong to me. I take no credit at any of it.
** All opinions are mine and are in no way influenced by anyone or anything.

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Waiting on Wednesday #12 - Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted on Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection by me is:


Author: Scott Westerfeld

Publication Date: 23rd September 2014

Publisher: Simon Pulse

Page Count: 608 Pages

Summary from Goodreads: 

Darcy Patel has put college and everything else on hold to publish her teen novel, Afterworlds. Arriving in New York with no apartment or friends she wonders whether she's made the right decision until she falls in with a crowd of other seasoned and fledgling writers who take her under their wings…

Told in alternating chapters is Darcy's novel, a suspenseful thriller about Lizzie, a teen who slips into the 'Afterworld' to survive a terrorist attack. But the Afterworld is a place between the living and the dead and as Lizzie drifts between our world and that of the Afterworld, she discovers that many unsolved - and terrifying - stories need to be reconciled. And when a new threat resurfaces, Lizzie learns her special gifts may not be enough to protect those she loves and cares about most.

I have never read a Scott Westerfeld book but I've heard great stuff about it. Also, this book seems really interesting and there's a lot of hype about it so I can't wait to read it:)

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Top Ten Tuesday #2 - Top Ten Books People Have Been Telling You That You Must Read

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish

Each week there will be a new Top Ten list that one of the bloggers at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcomed to join. All you have to do is link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND add your name to the Linky widget so that everyone can check out other bloggers lists! If you don't have a blog, just post your answers as a comment. Have fun with it! It's a fun way to get to know your fellow bloggers.
This week's top ten theme is:
 Top Ten Books People Have Been Telling You That You Must Read
Whether because they think it's a "you" book or it's just been generally recommended so often

  1. Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas
  2. Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare
  3. The House of Hades by Rick Riordan
  4. These Broken Stars by Meagan Spooner and Amie Kaufman
  5. Looking For Alaska by John Green
  6. Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira
  7. The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson
  8. The Demon King by Cinda Williams
  9. The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
  10. Sabriel by Garth Nix
What are some books you want to read? Do comment down below and let me know! :)

Monday, 18 August 2014

Release Day Blitz - Shameless by Nina Lemay

IFB will host the release day blitz for Nina Lemay's Shameless. See details below:

by Nina Lemay
Publication date: 18th August 2014
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance
-- recommended for mature readers--

Purchase: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Smash Word

Synopsis via Goodreads:
Girls like me don’t get happy endings.

I know what I am. At worst a cliché, at best a cautionary tale. I put an international border between me and my past, only to wind up working in a low-end titty bar. Even my excuse is as lame as it gets: I’m paying for college, getting my art degree from Montreal’s most prestigious school. Although some days it becomes confusing: am I just a student who moonlights as a stripper, or a stripper who masquerades as a student?

But the inevitable happens and my two lives collide. And now there’s one other person who knows both the quiet, antisocial Hannah and the sensual, shameless Alicia. One person who keeps my secret.

He’s beautiful, he’s sophisticated. He comes from the other side of life, the one where I’m not wanted or accepted. But he calls me la petite Américaine, and his hot, hot hands on my skin promise me things I long ago gave up on.

The problem? He teaches my Classic Photography class.

This is a standalone novel, no series, no cliffhanger.

Guest Post:

Thank you so much for helping me launch SHAMELESS into the world. Being a writer, especially an indie debut author, is often lonely and occasionally scary. All the support I’ve had with SHAMELESS just blew me away. You guys are amazing!

SHAMELESS is set in Montreal. Why Montreal, you ask? Montreal was the perfect setting for many reasons.

First… well, I’ve never read a New Adult novel set in Montreal. Actually, I haven’t read that many novels set in Montreal at all. It’s always a big city in the US, New York or LA or Chicago, and when the story needs a touch of exoticism, New Orleans. So I said to myself, how is Montreal worse than New Orleans? At least here we actually speak French, you know?

Montreal is a Canadian city, kind of on the small side (give or take 2 million people) and yes, it speaks French. French is the only official language of the province of Quebec, but in the heart of Montreal you can usually get by in English too. Montreal is known for a kind of libertine attitude and what we call joie de vivre—you gotta, when it’s freezing nine months of the year. I took this picture in the middle of April, after I woke up to a surprise snowstorm (surprise!).

Good music (Montreal is home to the giant outdoor Jazz Festival and several others throughout the summer), good food (and I don’t just mean poutine) and good nightlife is what it’s known for. It also has a sort of European feel to it. This is from when I lived on the Plateau, aka the French-speaking hipster neighborhood par excellence:

Coffee shop on the Plateau:

In the downtown core, the area is more English and more touristy. And I didn’t exaggerate: there really are strip clubs all along Ste-Catherine, the main shopping street of downtown Montreal. Here’s one right above a teen clothing store!

Quebec City, where Hannah and Emmanuel go for the long weekend, is one of the oldest settlements in North America and the provincial capital. About three hours by car to the north of Montreal, Ville de Quebec has the look and feel of a majestic European city.

I went to university with many people who moved across the continent to go to school here, and I always admired (and was kind of envious of) the courage it takes. So when I wrote Hannah, a girl who’s desperate to escape her high school years no matter the cost, I thought, what better place to run away to than Montreal?

About the Author:

Nina LemayNina Lemay is a YA writer by day and author of sinfully twisted New Adult…well, also by day. She loves all things dark and edgy and never tires of tormenting her characters. While Nina is a fan of all things scary, Gothic, and fantastic, she doesn’t shy away from a gritty contemporary romance when the muse strikes. She lives in Montreal, a city that never fails to inspire, with her partner and her dog.

Author Links: Website ** Twitter **

Saturday, 16 August 2014

Book Review - Shadow &; Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Shadow and Bone 
By: Leigh Bardugo
Series: The Grisha #1
Publication date: 5th June 2012
Publisher: Indigo (UK) / Henry Holt & Co (US)
Page Count: 308 (paperback) / 358 (hardback)
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Source: Purchased

Rating: 6.5
The Shadow Fold, a swathe of impenetrable darkness, crawling with monsters that feast on human flesh, is slowly destroying the once-great nation of Ravka.

Alina, a pale, lonely orphan, discovers a unique power that thrusts her into the lavish world of the kingdom’s magical elite—the Grisha. Could she be the key to unravelling the dark fabric of the Shadow Fold and setting Ravka free?

The Darkling, a creature of seductive charm and terrifying power, leader of the Grisha. If Alina is to fulfill her destiny, she must discover how to unlock her gift and face up to her dangerous attraction to him.

But what of Mal, Alina’s childhood best friend? As Alina contemplates her dazzling new future, why can’t she ever quite forget him?

Glorious. Epic. Irresistible. Romance.


Honesty time. I bought the UK edition of the book when it was first published and thought it was bad because I didn't understand it. You must understand that I was really young back then so ha. Then, in recent years, I was so close to giving it away before I joined the book community and realized this was a Leigh Bardugo book which everyone was raving about. I have just finished the whole trilogy and boy am I happy I kept that book.

The book begins with a starting that is quite intriguing. It starts with a back to the past kind of prologue thing before zooming in to the main character many years later. Basically the first book focuses more on the world building and stuff. There are so many new words that Leigh Bardugo added which made the world even more realistic and interesting. The world had this Russian-ish kind of world with magic and good and evil and stuff. It was also sort of medieval-ish when people used fires and carriages and stuff like that in their daily live. Their clothes and houses and social hierarchy was also very different from the modern world and even other societies of the medieval ages.

The book is basically about Alina's journey into the world of the Grisha and how she learns more about the good and evil of the world and how she can help her country. The main character is this girl, Alina, who is an orphan. She discovers that she has this unique power that can save everyone from this 'impenetrable darkness' called the Shadow Fold - which is destroying the great country they live in. Basically many people have died when crossing the Fold (they cross it because the Fold is like in the middle of the country), so many people would love for the Fold to be gone and Alina has the power to possible do this. Or at least the people believe that and the Darkling makes her believe that too. So she is brought to this special academy place for people like her who also have powers AKA the Grisha. Now the Darkling is this supposedly seductive person who is 'nice' but who turns out to be 'not so nice', if you know what I mean. He makes Alina get attracted to him but in the end, he isn't who he says he is and he has ulterior motives. Lastly, there is Mal, who does not really play much of a role in this book, but he's supposed to be the love interest and he's just really cool. (he plays a much bigger role in the future books) Also, my favorite character appears in the 2nd book so just FYI if you read the book, read on!

What I am Loving:
My favorite part of the book was the story building. I really enjoyed reading about the culture, the rules of the world and the whole Russian setting concept thing. I also thought that the plot was worth of continuing so I decided to start on the next book.

I also absolutely love the way Leigh ends the book. Her 'After' sections are THE BEST. My favorite line is always the first and last sentence though. 

Here's the first sentence:
"The boy and the girl stand at the railing of the ship, a true ship that rolls and rocks on the heaving back of the True Sea."

Here's the last sentence:
"They are orphans again, with no true home but each other and whatever life they can make together on the other side of the sea."

What I am Unsure Of:
I was unsure of what I feel about the characters and the main love plot. All the characters in the book didn't really pull me in at first and I only felt meh about them. Also, I mean I knew that Mal and Alina WOULD end up together but I wasn't sure if I would ship them because of how the first book went. The first book as mentioned was a little too slow for my liking. There wasn't much romance which I felt was key because this book does focus on romance to a certain extent. However, we see a lack of interaction between Mal and Alina and even when they were together, or either one thought of the other, it just felt superficial. Therefore, I wasn't sure if I would like or ship this pairing because of the first book.

Final Verdict:
I decided to read on in the end because I was really curious to see how the story unfolds and what the rules and limitations of this world are. I really wanted to see the characters grow and develop. I think mostly because the idea, the plot, the setting was so great, it drove me to start reading the 2nd and 3rd book. Of which I have to mention have made me feel so satisfied for this series.

I would fully recommend this book because it is the start of the trilogy and I really enjoyed the climax of the series and the ending! I will be posting my Ruin and Rising review soon! Do look out for them! :)

*All pictures and graphics do not belong to me. I take no credit at any of it.
** All opinions are mine and are in no way influenced by anyone or anything.

Friday, 15 August 2014

Book Blitz - Channel20Something by Amy Patrick

20Something #1
by Amy Patrick
Publication date: 12th August 2014

Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | All Romance | 

Synopsis via Goodreads:
From award-winning author and two-time GOLDEN HEART® finalist Amy Patrick comes a New Adult contemporary series about twenty-somethings entering the world of TV broadcasting, where what happens behind the scenes is the real news. 

22-year-old Heidi Haynes is almost one year into her “real life”. She has her first reporting job, her first apartment, and a comfortable relationship with her college sweetheart. But for some reason she’s not as eager to talk about walking down the aisle as he is.

Heidi secretly longs for big cities, big-market breaking news, and real independence from her way-too-close-by helicopter parents. Problem is, the last time she left the security of home for new places and new people, things didn’t go so well. Disastrously, in fact, and she came running back to a local college and a “safe” boyfriend.

Aric Serrano is definitely not safe. 

He’s six-feet-four-inches of missing-Hemsworth-brother-hotness and plans to stay in small-market-Southern-Hell just long enough to grab a cup of coffee and put together a kick-ass “escape tape”. He’ll serve his one-year contract, then he’s taking off for a higher rung on the TV sports ladder—alone—the way he likes it. Then he meets his new co-anchor.

Heidi would be so much more comfortable if she could simply ignore Aric. He’s just her type—the type she’s so careful to avoid these days. But that becomes impossible when she's forced to work closely with him on the weekend newscast. Now the attraction between them is growing even faster than the ratings, and what happens behind the scenes is the real news.

About the Author:

Amy is a two-time Golden Heart finalist (2013 and 2014) who writes Young Adult fiction as Amy DeLuca and New Adult romance as Amy Patrick.  She lives in Rhode Island with her husband and two sons and actually craves the heat and humidity of Mississippi, where she grew up. She's been a professional singer and news anchor and currently narrates audio books as well as working as a station host for a Boston TV station.

Author Links: Website ** Twitter **