Friday, March 6, 2015

Book Shelf: Ever Darkeningby Janeal Falor

Perfection. Goodness. Elimination of evil. It's what seventeen-year-old Kaylyn has trained her entire life to achieve. But no one is prepared for the consequences of her actually defeating all evil people on the planet. Finally successful in her mission, Kaylyn faces an unfamiliar world, full of good people doing good things, in which she no longer has purpose.

When the skies grow dark, and a stranger from another village pleads for her help, her instincts roar to life. It turns out their perfect world isn't exactly what it seems. Kaylyn's new quest, harder than any she's been on before, will rip apart her friendships, her life, and her soul more than any evil man ever managed to.


More info on Goodreads.....


Review:

Ever Darkening is the latest release by Janeal Falor and in a step away from her sensational Mine series is a standalone fantasy tale.

Ever Darkening introduces readers to a world where good versus evil plays a very important part in the lives of those who inhabit it and sees heroine Kaylyn make some tough choices if she ever hopes to protect those she loves. Kaylyn is a Zorpha, a member of group of elite, well trained warriors who are tasked with destroying evil individuals known as Malryx. In fact Kaylyn has been specially chosen to be the one to destroy the last living Malryx and rid the world of evil. However no sooner has Kayln’s blade fallen does it become clear that the balance between good and evil has been tipped dramatically and as strange things begin to occur, Kaylyn and her friends must fight their toughest fight yet as nature rises up in order to protect their fragile reality.

As a real fan of Janeal Falor’s Mine series, Ever Darkening is a hard book for me to review. Did I enjoy the story? Yes. Was it worth reading? Hmmm….yes. Did it blow me away? No. I will say this; Ever Darkening was a really unique tale and I definitely don’t think I’ve ever quite read anything quite like it. I’d describe it as a fantasy tale, but it had a science-fiction aura to it, with some of the names and terms used throughout the story.

The concept Falor explores throughout the story is definitely different from what I’ve seen before. It’s fresh and unique and takes a different approach to the way evil affects everything around it. I think Janeal Falor’s writing was spot on and the pace forward moving, although I found it was somewhat slow at times compared to her other novels.

The heroine Kaylyn was likable, although I found her a bit tedious at times where her feelings for one of her close friends Jorrin was concerned. With Kaylyn’s best friend Marsa in love with Jorrin since she was a child, Kaylyn fights what she feels for Jorrin and refuses to acknowledge it as much she can---something that just needed to be resolved in my eyes sooner than it was.

I loved the action and suspenseful moments during this story that often kept me highly entertained. With nature rising up, Kaylyn and her friends find themselves up against aren’t what you expect; something that makes for an interesting read.

The ending was very much a surprise in some sense and seemed to come on too swiftly for my liking, but although the resolution was not something I saw coming in the beginning I think it seemed fitting for the story and a natural evolution. However, as the novel ends, I really feel there’s more to see thanks to the changes to Kaylyn’s world and would like to see Falor explore the next chapter in Karyn’s life and her new world.

Rating:
Source: Sent for review by the author (Thanks Janeal!)
Format: Kindle ebook
Buy it: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | The Book Depository
My Recommendation: If you're a sci-fi and/or fantasy fan after something different, you may just enjoy this.
Cover: It's simple, but I quite like it.
Will I read sequel/continue with series: I've heard there's a companion novel to Ever Darkening featuring Marsa and I'd actually be quite interested in seeing through her eyes......

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Cover Reveal: The Revolution of Ivy by Amy Engel & Giveaway

I'm thrilled to be participating in the cover reveal for The Revolution of Ivy by Amy Engel, the sequel to Amy Engel's incredible debut novel The Book of Ivy! I ADORED The Book of Ivy--it was a favourite of mine from last year, and I cannot wait to read The Revolution of Ivy!

Ivy Westfall is beyond the fence and she is alone. Abandoned by her family and separated from Bishop Lattimer, Ivy must find a way to survive on her own in a land filled with countless dangers, both human and natural. She has traded a more civilized type of cruelty--forced marriages and murder plots--for the bare-knuckled brutality required to survive outside Westfall's borders.

But there is hope beyond the fence, as well. And when Bishop reappears in Ivy's life, she must decide if returning to Westfall to take a final stand for what she believes is right is worth losing everything she's fought for.



Pre-order:

 
Amy Engel was born in Kansas and after a childhood spent bouncing between countries (Iran, Taiwan) and states (Kansas; California; Missouri; Washingt on, D.C.), she settled in Kansas City, Missouri, where she lives with her husband and two kids. Before devoting herself full-time to motherhood and writing, she was a criminal defense attor ney, which is not quite as exciting as it looks on TV. When she has a free moment, she can usual ly be found reading, running, or shoe shopping. The Book of Ivy is her debut YA novel.

Visit Amy:

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Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Book Shelf: The DUFF: Designated Ugly Fat Friend by Kody Keplinger

Seventeen-year-old Bianca Piper may not be the prettiest girl in her high school, but she has a loyal group of friends, a biting wit, and a spot-on BS detector. She's also way too smart to fall for the charms of man-slut and slimy school hottie Wesley Rush, who calls Bianca the Duff--the designated ugly fat friend--of her crew.

But things aren't so great at home and Bianca, desperate for a distraction, ends up kissing Wesley. Worse, she likes it. Eager for escape, Bianca throws herself into a closeted enemies-with-benefits relationship with him.

Until it all goes horribly awry. It turns out Wesley isn't such a bad listener, and his life is pretty screwed up, too. Suddenly Bianca realizes with absolute horror that she's falling for the guy she thought she hated more than anyone.


More info on Goodreads......



Review:

Kody Keplinger draws her readers into a highly addictive and edgy contemporary read with The Duff: Designated Ugly Fat Friend. A sharp, witty and thought provoking story that explores the body issues, fears and insecurities of todays teenagers alongside a sizzling romance featuring a commendable heroine, The Duff is one of the best books I've read this year!

Seventeen year old Bianca Piper is cynical, sarcastic and somewhat jaded. While her two best friends are happy to go to clubs, party and think about boys Bianca prefers to focus on the more important things in life. She's already had her heart broken once and isn't looking to go for round two. Yet when Bianca's home life begins to unravel she finds herself searching for an escape in the arms of the last person she ever expected; Wesley Rush.


Arrogant, egotistical and a man-whore through and through Wesley is someone Bianca can't stand and is the last person she thought she'd want to spend time with. Especially after he nicknamed her "Duffy". But when a spontaneous kiss with Wesley slides into an enemies-with-benefits type relationship, Bianca finds herself discovering Wesley might not be the jerk she thinks he can be and soon her no-stings-attached agreement with Wesley begins to feel all too real.....

My goodness was this book fun to read! Honestly, I literally read it in one day. I could not put it down. Kody Keplinger manages to write a really entertaining story with The Duff; a romance that manages to explore hard hitting issues relevant to today's teens. There's a perfect balance between snark, humor, friendship and romance with real issues faced and dealt with in this story.

The Duff is certainly entertaining, but it is also an authentic take on teenage relationships and the complexity that comes from the physical relationship between two people, especially in today's society. Keplinger explores how the boundary between emotion and physicality can blur in this adorable romance.

The whole idea of the "Duff" focuses around the concept that within every group of friends there is a Duff; one girl who is slightly less attractive and appealing than her friends, whose simplicity make her friends stand out and seem more attractive to those around her. Standing for the designated, ugly, fat friend, the love interest of our main character Bianca explains the terms when he dubs Bianca the Duff of her friends, but Kody Keplinger does a fantastic job taking this concept and shining some light on it over the course of the book. I was very happy with Bianca's understanding and acceptance of this term and it's implications by the end of this story.

Bianca was an easy heroine to follow. She's loyal, sarcastic and to the point. Though she has natural insecurities, Bianca doesn't give a crap about what people think, something that only becomes more evident when she begins a secret relationship with the hottest guy in her school but refuses to loose her head over him. Though her heart is a whole other story......I think Kody Keplinger did a great job writing a character that was relatable and who you honestly wanted the best for.

The Duff focuses heavily around Bianca's relationship with Wesley. Now this book boarders on the YA/NA line with Bianca and Wesley physical with each other. And often. Though it's not as graphic as some books out there, it's still sexual and should be read with caution....because Bianca and Wesley are HOT! Bianca doesn't like Wesley in the beginning, something Keplinger reminds us of often as Bianca and Wesley bicker and insult each other, but when they're together boy are they sexy. There's is a very primal and physical relationship with their attraction a physical one that develops into something even more beautiful over time.

I thought Bianca and Wesley were sweet. Yes, Wesley was a arrogant jerk sometimes, but he wasn't a bad guy; not really. He actually comes to care for Bianca as their attraction deepens and I loved that he stands up for her as he does and tries to make her feel better for herself. They have a great chemistry and are so cute together!

The Duff really is a fantastic read through and through and with a motion picture in the future for this story, Kody Keplinger has won a new fan with me. I'll look for more of her books and urge anyone who loves their couples with plenty of chemistry, sass and growth to pick up The Duff--you won't regret it!


Rating:

Source: Purchased by me from The Book Depository
Format: Paperback
Buy it: Bookworld | The Nile | The Book Depository | Amazon
My Recommendation: Contemporary fans MUST read this!
Cover: Simple but I like it :)
Will I read sequel/continue with series: This is a stand alone novel but I look forward to reading more books by Kody Keplinger in the future......

Monday, March 2, 2015

Owl Post #53


Inspired by The Story Siren's In My Mailbox, Owl Post allows us bloggers to showcase the books we've bought, won or received throughout the week and is hosted by Brodie over at Eleusinian Mysteries. We all know that the Owl Post is the fastest way to send and receive mail and they
 
Hi guys and welcome to the first Owl Post for March!
 
I was very good last week and didn't buy any books--a rarity for me, but I did get a few for review I'm excited to read :)
 
For Review:
From Simon & Schuster Australia:
- Until the End by Abbi Glines
As a die hard Abbi Glines fan, I especially adore her Sea Breeze series and can't wait to read the final novel. Although it'll be sad seeing the series end!
 
.....Thank you Jen!
__________________________
 
From Murdoch Books:
- Oksa Pollock: The Last Hope by Anne Plichota & Cendrine Wolf
This book was quite unexpected--the first novel I've ever received by Murdoch Books, and more a  Middle Grade novel of sorts, however as someone who is a fan of Percy Jackson and who adores Harry Potter, I'm kinda liking the sound of this and may have to worm it into my reading schedule.
 
....Thanks guys!
_______________________
 
From Bloomsbury Australia:
- The Winner's Crime by Marie Rutkoski
The Winner's Curse was one of my favourite books of last year and I'm sooooo looking forward to reading the sequel. Can't wait to dive in!
 
.....Thanks Sonia!
 
And those are my pretties for this week :D
What did the owls bring you last week?
 
 

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Free Ebooks

Hi guys and welcome to the first day of March!

Can you believe how fast the year is going? I certainly can't! And yet, what better way to kick off another moth than with some freebies.....enjoy!



Did you manage to snag something new?
Even I did this time around :)

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Book Shelf: Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass #2) by Sarah J. Maas

Crowned by Evil.
Bound by Duty.
Divided by Love.


Celaena Sardothien, royal assassin, is the King of Adarlan's deadliest weapon. She must win her freedom through his enemies' blood - but she cannot bear to kill for the crown. And every death Celaena fakes, every lie she tells, put those she loves at risk.

Torn between her two protectors - a captain and a prince - and battling a dark force far greater than the king, Celaena must decide what she will fight for: her liberty, her heart or the fate of a kingdom...


More info from Goodreads.....


Review:

Crown of Midnight is the superb sequel to Sarah J. Maas's riveting debut Throne of Glass and is another sensationally written story of political intrigue, fantasy and romance amongst a war torn backdrop.

Celaena Sardothien is back, deadlier than ever and ready to take back her freedom. Now the Kings Champion after the events of Throne of Glass, Celaena is continuing her journey to discover the truth about what is going on within the Kingdom, delving deep underground into long forgotten tunnels and tombs beneath the palace in search of answers. While serving as the kings assassin, for all her cunning and dare, Celeana is not willing to murder innocent people in the name of the King and instead chooses to fake deaths and tell lies to save those not deserving of the death she brings. Yet, as each lie brings her closer to discovery, dark forces within the palace make it clear that something even more dangerous is going on than Celaena can imagine. And then with the loss of someone she loves, Celaena is forever altered and soon on a mission to make those responsible pay......

Having enjoyed Throne of Glass immensely, it's a bit strange that it's taken me so long to continue on with the series, especially considering I have had both books in the series as well as a complication of all the short stories within the series, The Assassin's Blade, sitting on my shelf for a while now. So in saying that, I am glad I finally decided to delve back into this world.

There's no doubt in my mind that Sarah J. Maas is an extremely talented storyteller. As a debut novel, Throne of Glass made it clear that she was something special as a writer and in Crown of Midnight Maas only goes on to show just what she is capable of. Her world building and eye for detail paints a sensational picture of this fantasy world that completely draws the reader in. Weaving together danger and political intrigue, Maas manages to twist together a story where you never know what will happen next; drawing the reader on an emotionally charged journey where the adrenaline pumps the whole way through.

Told in the third person, Maas allows readers to witness the story unfold through the eyes of her numerous layered characters. Understandably Celaena, Dorian and Chaol are the most focal voices, although others pop up from time to time. Celaena continues to captivate readers with her dual nature and her contradictions; deadly assassin mingles with womanly innocence where Celaena is concerned, although a manner of startling developments within the story shake Celaena's foundation and drastically alter her desires within Crown of Midnight.

I honestly very much enjoy reading about Celaena's journey within this series, but boy does Sarah J. Maas know how to put her characters through the wringer at times. Crown of Midnight really is emotionally charged with Celaena experiencing so much joy, love and betrayal in this novel. Her pain leads her to make some drastic choices and Maas makes her readers feel every one, especially those who have a pertinent for Chaol, as he and Celaena's relationship takes a shocking turn.

Dorian and Chaol continue to stand by Celaena's side, the Crown Prince and the Captian of the Guard, two best friends who both love the same woman. Personally, I adore Chaol and Maas had me wanting to throw the book across the room at times with her developments, but there's no denying some of them make for sensationally emotional reading. As for Dorian, he is proving time and time again why he would make an amazing King should he get the chance and there's no doubt in my mind that should he take power he would change things forever. I can only hope this is something we see from Maas in one of the future novels.

Painful at times, heartbreaking and addictive to behold, Crown of Midnight is an excellent follow up to it's predecessor. Sarah J. Maas knows how to draw readers in and leave them begging for more, and with Crown of Midnight endings with a big discovery, I'm looking forward to beginning the next installment, Heir of Fire next.


Rating:
Source: Sent for review by Bloomsbury Australia (Thank you Sonia!)
Format: Paperback
Buy it: Bookworld | The Nile | The Book Depository | Amazon
My Recommendation: This is a fantastic fantasy series absolutely worth a read.
Cover: This cover is seriously kick-ass and it goes so well with the first!
Will I read sequel/continue with series: Yes

Friday, February 27, 2015

Blog Tour: Avery by Charlotte McConaghy- Interview

Thanks to Random House Australia I'm chatting to Australian author Charlotte McConaghy as part of the blog today for about her recent release Avery, the first novel in her new The Chronicles of Kaya series! I recently had the pleasure of reading Avery for the tour and loved it--be sure to check out my 5 star review which was posted yesterday here. It's one of my favorite books of this year so far....
__________________________________

The people of Kaya die in pairs. When one lover dies, the other does too. So it has been for thousands of years – until Ava.

For although her bondmate, Avery, has been murdered and Ava’s soul has been torn in two, she is the only one who has ever been strong enough to cling to life. Vowing revenge upon the barbarian queen of Pirenti, Ava's plan is interrupted when she is instead captured by the deadly prince of her enemies.

Prince Ambrose has been brought up to kill and hate. But when he takes charge of a strangely captivating Kayan prisoner and is forced to survive with her on a dangerous island, he must reconsider all he holds true . . .

In a violent country like Pirenti, where emotion is scorned as a weakness, can he find the strength to fight for the person he loves . . . even when she’s his vengeful enemy?

Avery is a sweeping, romantic fantasy novel about loss and identity, and finding the courage to love against all odds.  

Add on Goodreads or check out my 5 star review!

Purchase:
Bookworld | The Nile | Kobo | Amazon

 
Hi Charlotte and thanks so much for agreeing to be interviewed on The Rest Is Still Unwritten! I'm super excited to read your latest release Avery and even more excited to chat with you today :)

Lets jump into it, shall we?

For those like myself who have not yet had the chance to read your latest release Avery but certainly plan to, what can we expect heading into the story?
Avery is a romantic, adventurous fantasy novel about loss, second chances, courage and love. It’s set in a world where the people die in pairs – they always have done and always will. But Ava is the first woman to ever survive the death of her mate, and so goes on a dangerous journey of vengeance into enemy lands. She finds something very different – the possibility that maybe love and connection has not been lost from her life after all.

Having read the description of Avery, the idea sounds REALLY interesting. Where did the concept come from?
I actually dreamt the prologue of Avery, and woke up to realise I had to write it down. It was so vivid, it just stuck in my head and quickly turned into the idea for a novel. The aspect of the concept about people dying in pairs was inspired by the stories I had heard of people who spend their whole lives together and then die almost at the same time. When one goes, the other stops holding on and follows. This seemed so sad and beautiful to me, and I started thinking about what it would be like if it was like that for everyone, no matter their age.

How would you describe your heroine Kaya in one sentence? (And here's where I have my blond moment.....boy do I feel silly! Well duh....)
My heroine’s name is actually Ava, and in one sentence I would say she’s: driven to the point of self-destruction, and tough as nails.

Avery has been released with Australian publishing house Random House Australia. What has your experience with Random House been like?
It’s been really great. From day one, they’ve been really supportive of my work, and have taken a chance by publishing a romantic fantasy novel in Australia, where there aren’t many of this genre released. I have a great editor, Lex, a great publicist, Kirsty, and a great publisher, Bev – all of whom are really passionate about telling powerful stories.

I think the cover for Avery is absolutely stunning! Did you have any say in the design?
Well I basically just help to choose between a couple of different options, and when they sent me this one through I immediately loved it, so it was an easy choice.

Do you have a favourite quote from Avery that you might want to share?
Ooh, tricky! Umm… ‘It was like we clawed at love with every ounce of our strength, like we held our breaths for it until no air existed in the world.’ Maybe. They all feel silly to me when taken out of context! Haha

I know most authors tend to think of their books as their babies, but is there a story of yours that holds a special place in your heart over others? And if yes, why?
Yeah, it’s this one, I think. Avery was the first novel I wrote for adults, as an adult myself. It came from a deep place, I guess, and I have a real love of the four main characters.

How about we talk about you now :) What's something we'd be surprised to learn about you? Goodness, that’s hard. Well I have synaesthesia, which means my memory is a bit different to normal memories – it all relates to colour and shape and texture. The only way I remember words or names or numbers is by remembering what colour they are in my head. Not sure if that’s surprising, but it always seems to pique people’s curiosity.

Wow! Certainly piques mine--very interesting! If you would meet anyone, living or dead, real or fiction, who would you want to meet and why?
King Arthur, Queen Guinevere and Sir Lancelot. I’m obsessed with that story!

Ooooh---I love everything Arthurian too! What's next for you? Do you have any more novels in the works that we'd be interested to hear about?
I’m working on finishing the Avery series – books two and three will be released this year. I also have a second series which is published with Pan Macmillan, called The Cure. It’s dystopian sci-fi, set in a future world where emotions have been cured from the population. The first in the series is called ‘Fury’, and is available now, and the second is ‘Melancholy’, which is released in April. I'm really grateful you agreed to answer my questions today.

Congrats on Avery's recent release--I can't wait to read it and lose myself in that amazing sounding story!
Thank you so much! Really glad to have a chat with an avid reader like yourself!

It's been an absolutely pleasure talking with you :)

Charlotte McConaghy grew up with her nose in a book. Her first novel, Arrival, was published at age seventeen, followed by Descent when she was twenty. She soon started her first adult fantasy novel, Avery, the prologue of which came to her in a very vivid dream. Avery launched The Chronicles of Kaya series, and is followed by Thorne – Book Two and Isadora, the third and final in the trilogy. She then published Fury, and Melancholy, the first and second books in a dystopian sci-fi series called The Cure.

Charlotte currently lives in Sydney, and has a Masters in Screenwriting at the Australian Film, Television & Radio School.

Visit Charlotte:


If you missed any of the tour, be sure to check out the tour schedule:
 
Thursday 29 January 2015
Aussie Author Challenge - Interview and Giveaway
 
Saturday 31 January 2015
Book Muster Down Under - Sneak peek
 
Thursday 5 February 2015
Speculating on SpecFic – Review
 
Friday 6 February 2015
Book'd Out – Review
 
Monday 9 February 2015
An Adventure in Words – Review
 
Thursday 12 February 2015
Inside my Words – Review
 
Friday 13 February 2015
Words Read and Written - Review and interview
 
Monday 16 February 2015
Stephanie Gunn blog - Review
 
Tuesday 17 February 2015
A Word Shaker – Review
 
Thursday 19 February 2015
Inside My Words – Interview
 
Tuesday 24 February 2015
Thoughts by Joy – Review
 
Thursday 26 February 2015
The Rest Is Still Unwritten – Review       
 
Friday 27 February 2015
The Rest Is Still Unwritten – Interview