Saturday, June 29, 2013

Book Shelf: Dare You To (Pushing the Limits #2) by Katie McGarry

If anyone knew the truth about Beth Risk's home life, they'd send her mother to jail and seventeen-year-old Beth who knows where. So she protects her mom at all costs. Until the day her uncle swoops in and forces Beth to choose between her mom's freedom and her own happiness. That's how Beth finds herself living with an aunt who doesn't want her and going to a school that doesn't understand her. At all. Except for the one guy who shouldn't get her, but does....

Ryan Stone is the town golden boy, a popular baseball star jock-with secrets he can't tell anyone. Not even the friends he shares everything with, including the constant dares to do crazy things. The craziest? Asking out the Skater girl who couldn't be less interested in him.

But what begins as a dare becomes an intense attraction neither Ryan nor Beth expected. Suddenly, the boy with the flawless image risks his dreams-and his life-for the girl he loves, and the girl who won't let anyone get too close is daring herself to want it all....

More info on Goodreads....


Dare You To is the sensational follow up to Kate McGarry’s debut novel Pushing The Limits and is as good as, if not better than its predecessor. Filled with nothing but pure emotion, desire and harsh, raw characters, Dare You To will made you feel and feel everything!

Kate McGarry is a literacy genius! Plain and simple. With a talent for creating real, believable characters that are easy to empathize with and with a talent for creating storylines that draw you in and never let you go, my goodness does this woman know how to break my heart!

It’s a beautiful thing to read a book like Dare You To. And a very rare thing too. In a time where one YA book flows into the next and storylines seem so similar, there’s something so spectacular about discovering a book, and series, that can rip you apart in its emotion. From start to finish, Beth’s story made me bleed. That’s the only way to describe it. Thanks in part to Pushing The Limit, I felt I already knew what kind of life Beth had, but as the events of this Dare You To unfolded, it became clear that things were worse than I expected.

Kate McGarry ripped every possible emotion from as I read this book. Told in dual POV, McGarry details the lives of Beth Risk and Ryan Stone, the skater girl and golden boy. Two very unexpected young lovers who connect so deeply, that every moment of their story held me captivated—in fact, I tore through the book in less than a day. One of the shining aspects of this book for me is that Kate McGarry in no way shys away from the harsh critical aspects of Beth’s life. She explores the impacts drugs can have on the relationship between mother and daughter, where the roles are reversed and the one meant to be doing the protecting is in need of protection themselves. When a sad individual needs their child to protect them, and deal with the beatings/and consequenses, simply because they aren’t strong eough to deal with it themselves. This is real. This is something I don’t doubt people deal with every day and McGarry makes you face it in Dare You To. And she makes you see.

As with the previous book, the characters in Dare You To were perfect. They were real and believable and incredible to read about. McGarry has created a great cast of characters in this series, all so different, all so flawed and yet that work together. Each one from Beth and Ryan to their friends Noah, Isaiah, Chris, Logan and Lacy, to the parental figures of Beth’s uncle Scott and Ryans mum and dad….they gave the book an authenticity that it really needed.

As the male lead Ryan is a fantastic character. He’s got a real personality, unlike many golden boys of YA literature and he’s actually quite strong in himself. He obviously has his issues, but together with Beth he begins to deal with them as he falls for the rough-around-the-edges skater girl who’s so much for than she seems. And speaking of…..

Beth. Beth Risk. Stop me if I’m wrong, but to me, Beth is one of the most incredibly portrayed characters I’ve read about. Ever. Beth is broken. That’s the only way I can put it. It’s very rare to come across a character so incredibly broken, and yet is unconditionally real. I know girls like Beth. I’ve never been one, but I’ve seen them. Girls from broken homes, where alcoholism and drugs run rampant. Girls who are labeled because of the bad choices they’ve made regarding boys and relationships….all in an effect to be loved. And feel loved. Yes. I liked Beth. Yes. I felt for her. Yes… heart bled for this girl as I read Dare You To. Kate McGarry has done a beautiful thing in writing Beth. Writing someone so flawed and afraid, and rightly so. The pain of a life lived like Bath could break anyone, so that’s way seeing things begin to slowly get better; seeing Beth start to trust, and love, felt so rewarding.

And as for Beth and Ryan together, well….I’ll be honest, when I heard that Beth wasn’t going to be paired with Isaiah, I was a little bit surprised. And disappointed. But you know what? After reading this book…I get it. I get it. I completely understand why McGarry wrote the series the way she did. Isaiah was…is Beth’s best friend, and they have a very deep connection. He was always there for her; the one she turned to when life was hard. He may have helped make the pain go away from a while, but he never fixed it. Being with him didn’t make the pain go away for Beth. Only Ryan, as surprising as it sounds, could do that. The love he had for her and the way he felt about her was the only thing that could make her feel worthy, that could make her feel good enough.

In all honestly I’m not sure my review does this book justice. Dare You To is perfect. It really is. There’s so much raw emotion and pain that litters the pages, and yet as the story unfolds and Kate McGarry allows her characters to find strength and happiness in one another, this book couldn’t be more of a pleasure to read.

Dare You To is an incredible deep, emotional read, yet fun and romantic too. The chemistry between the main characters burns and the story is electric. This is one contemporary romance you’ll regret missing out on. Trust me…..

Source: Sent for review by HarlequinTEEN Australia (Thank you Polina!)
Format: Paperback ARC
Buy it: Booktopia | The Nile | The Book Depository | Amazon
My Recommendation: Read it! This is a sensational read and if you like contemporary, then this is for you!
Cover: It's pretty awesome.
Will I read sequel/continue with series: YES!!!!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Book Shelf: Unraveling (Unraveling, #1) by Elizabeth Norris


Leaving the beach, seventeen-year-old Janelle Tenner is hit head on by a pickup truck.

And killed.

Then Ben Michaels, resident stoner, is leaning over her. And even though it isn’t possible, she knows Ben somehow brought her back to life…

Meanwhile, Janelle’s father, a special agent for the FBI, starts working on a case that seems strangely connected to Ben. Digging in his files, Janelle finds a mysterious device – one that seems to be counting down to something that will happen in 23 days and 10 hours time.

That something? It might just be the end of the world. And if Janelle wants to stop it, she’s going to need to uncover Ben’s secrets – and keep from falling in love with him in the process…

More info on Goodreads.....


Unravelling by Elizabeth Norris takes mystery to a whole new level as this exciting sci-fi novel takes you on a mystifying adventure that will have you eagerly turning the pages and anticipating what will happen next!

Janelle Tenner was dead. Until loner Ben Michaels brings her back to life. Then things start getting really strange…..I must say it’s been quite a while since I’ve read a novel like Unravelling. Author Elizabeth Norris weaves a complex tale of the paranormal kind in this story; one that has you on the edge of your seat and scratching your head for the majority of the time, wondering just what is going on.

I very much found myself enjoying Unravelling. There’s so many fantastic elements to it that all blend so perfectly together. With a bunch of mysterious and gruesome deaths, strange occurrences and an unidentified countdown, this book really nails its twists and turns.

Norris’s writing does her story justice and the characters are likable. As we watch our main character Janelle stumble her way through trying to save the world, finding love and ultimately herself along the way, I imagined Janelle as quite the mini-detective. Considering her father is an FBI agent, Janelle quickly thrusts herself into the heart of the mysterious goings on in her town, and as she connects each piece together bit by bit, it was really hard not to like this stubborn, strong heroine.

I liked all the other characters in the book too. Ben, Elijah and Reid prove to be of interesting origins and Alex proves to be a great confidant and best friend to Janelle. Struz is funny as her dad’s partner; someone who is like a big brother/second father with his childlike, yet occasionally serious personality and Janelle’s little brother Jared is a cutie in his own way too. Admittedly, I did enjoy the romance between Janelle and Ben (how could I not?) however it does come on relatively fast considering everything that’s going on. Then again, I suppose from Ben’s POV that’s really not the case.

Elisabeth Norris doesn’t shy away from complexity in this book, intermingling her storylines. There’s a number of shockers in this book too; including characters going bye, bye fairly quickly and revelations you don’t expect. I did feel that the ending was kinda abrupt. It seemed to me that there were so many things happening in a short, rushed, period of time and then the book was over. I understand things build to a climax and then end, but with so much going on around the world I would have liked a bit more of a solid ending from Norris.

And yet with this chapter of the story coming to a close, I’m really excited to see what’s going to happen in the next book. It’s going to be interesting see the consequences of so many things that happened in Unravelling and I look forward to seeing what happens next!

Source: I bought.
Format: Paperback
Buy it: Booktopia | The Nile | The Book Depository | Amazon
My Recommendation: Fans of a good sci-fi mystery will enjoy this--think X-Files meets Heroes!
Cover: I kinda prefer the rockin' US one. This one's alright, but it doesn't catch me like the US version.
Will I read sequel/continue with series: Yes....when I find the time :)

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Blog Tour: Zombie, Incorporated by Jill Elaine Hughes- Guest Post & GIVEAWAY!

Welcome to the Book Blitz for Zombie, Incorporated by Jill Elaine Hughes! Today I'm sharing with you a guest post from author Jill Elaine Hughes as well as a giveaway for an ecopy of Zombie, Incorporated!

Twilight. With zombies.

Eighteen-year-old Katie Allred is socially awkward and unpopular at school. The only child of parents who had her right out of high school, Katie is herself about to leave the nest, even though she hardly feels ready.

Katie’s new after-school job at the Zimble Box Corporation draws her into the complex social strata of high school cliques and backstabbing friends in ways she never imagined. Katie soon discovers there’s something very strange about the “in” crowd at school---and about her employer, too. Shortly after starting her new job, the Contagion breaks out, plunging her town and the entire nation into chaos as zombie shadow forces come out into the open, ravaging the streets. Katie goes into hiding and her parents disappear, along with almost everyone else she knows.

But Katie soon discovers she has special powers that help her survive. She’s a Beacon, someone with the innate ability to help zombies produce children. It’s a power her employer — and what little remains of the U.S. government — both want to exploit for their own ends. Not only that, it runs in her family---which has a secret past Katie never knew about until now.

Enter Agent Morehouse of the FBI Special Zombie Control Unit. A reformed zombie working undercover, he suppresses his urge to eat human flesh in order to serve and save humanity. But Agent Morehouse can’t help but be attracted to a Beacon like Katie, and she to him. Even as they fight zombies the world over, they must fight their intense attraction to each other, hoping to keep Katie from suffering Agent Morehouse’s terrible zombie fate.

Add Zombie, Incorporated on Goodreads!

Amazon | Barnes & Nobles

Guest Post:
The book started out as a short story. My now-former literary agent was putting together a Zombie Romance anthology to shop with major publishers. Zombie Romance in itself is weird---when was the last time you wanted to make out with a zombie? I thought hard about the concept and wrote a short piece that eventually became ZOMBIE, INCORPORATED’s final chapter. But the short story didn’t fit with the ones from other authors so it didn’t make the anthology cut, even though the anthology sold to St. Martin’s Press. I still wanted to do more work in the world I created though. After I parted ways with the former literary agent who asked me to write it, my new agent encouraged me to expand the idea into three chapters and a book proposal, so I did. That book proposal also went nowhere, since the setting for the story involved an 18-year-old girl who was embarking on her first job in the adult world---not the norm for the zombie genre, but it is the norm for the emerging New Adult genre. But I just couldn’t let the idea go, so I wrote what is now the first installment in a planned three-book series.

I completed the manuscript and my literary representation still showed little to no interest in a New Adult zombie series. But I know readers are demanding New Adult paranormal books even if publishers aren’t putting them out, so I just went the self-publishing route instead of waiting for publishers to catch up with readers. The worldbuilding and character development for this series is substantial, and Book One ends on a cliffhanger as the heroine’s zombie romantic interest finally makes his first appearance.

It’s ironic---I couldn’t get editors or my own literary agents to read the book because it was so outside the zombie norm (it’s a New Adult psychological thriller!), but reader response has been fantastic. Readers love the book and are demanding more, more, more! My agent is now very interested, and has even asked a New York Times bestselling author (I’ll announce who it is later) to do a cover blurb for me. Goes to show that a good book will always find an audience, no matter how different it is!

Author Jill Elaine Hughes in her own words!
I'm an independent author of New Adult (mature YA, 18-26) fiction as well as a full-time freelance journalist based in Chicago. I've contributed to the Chicago Tribune, Washington Post, Chicago Reader and many magazines as a journalist over the past 15 years. And like most New Adult fiction authors these days, I've gone the self-publishing route for my work since most publishers haven't caught up to the readership trends in this emerging shelf category. My writing is usually laced with humor and also often has sexual and/or dystopian elements.

Visit Jill:
Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook

-I have one (1) ecopy of Zombie, Incorporated to give away. To enter simply comment on this post with a way to contact you :) Giveaway ends July 8th!

There's also two fantastic tour wide giveaways going on, so feel free to check them out too!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, June 24, 2013

Monday Madness Giveaway- June 2013!

Welcome to the June edition of Monday Madness! On the last Monday of every month I'll be giving away a copy of the book I was most mad about. I've read some good books this month, but my favorite is by far Reboot by Amy Tintera! So to celebrate it, I'm giving away a copy!

Five years ago, Wren Connolly was shot three times in the chest. After 178 minutes she came back as a Reboot: stronger, faster, able to heal, and less emotional. The longer Reboots are dead, the less human they are when they return. Wren 178 is the deadliest Reboot in the Republic of Texas. Now seventeen years old, she serves as a soldier for HARC (Human Advancement and Repopulation Corporation).

Wren’s favorite part of the job is training new Reboots, but her latest newbie is the worst she’s ever seen. As a 22, Callum Reyes is practically human. His reflexes are too slow, he’s always asking questions, and his ever-present smile is freaking her out. Yet there’s something about him she can’t ignore. When Callum refuses to follow an order, Wren is given one last chance to get him in line—or she’ll have to eliminate him. Wren has never disobeyed before and knows if she does, she’ll be eliminated, too. But she has also never felt as alive as she does around Callum.

The perfect soldier is done taking orders.

- You MUST be a follower to enter--that's my only condition :)
- Giveaway is INTERNATIONAL and open to everyone considering the Book Depo ships to you!
- Giveaway runs from June 24th (today) until July 8th (two weeks)
- To enter simply fill out the form below (Yeah, I know. I'm old school, LOL)
- Extra entries are available but in no way necessarily.
+1 Let me know what you think of Reboot! Are you looking forward to reading ?
+1 For Tweeting, Facebooking or Sharing :D

Fill Out This Form To Enter!


Giveaway Winners!


The winner of my Monday Madness Giveaway for May is......
Nadine A

....Congrats again Nadine!

The winner of my Best Book Ever stop is.....
Ashley Rogers
......Congrats again Ashley!
Both ladies have been emailed and have replied! Hope you enjoy your books!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Keeping Her by Cora Carmack Preview!

If it wasn't made clear by my recent Monday Madness Giveaway, I'm quite a Cora Carmack fan. Loved Losing It and loved Faking It, so I'm excited to share with you an exclusive preview from Keeping Her, a novella featuring Bliss and Garrick--in Garrick's POV! Enjoy!

Garrick Taylor and Bliss Edwards managed to find their happily-ever-after despite a rather.....ahem....complicated start. By comparison, meeting the parents should be an absolute breeze, right?

But from the moment the pair lands in London, new snags just keep cropping up: a disapproving mother-in-law-to-be, more than one (mostly) minor mishap, and the realization that perhaps they aren't quite as ready for their future as they thought.

As it turns out, the only thing harder than finding love is keeping it.

Cora Carmack will be joining Jay Crownover for a Goodreads chat on 26th of June and there will also be hosting a FAKING IT book club on Cora’s facebook page on the 27th of June from 3-4 p.m, so please add that to your calendars!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Blog Tour: The Queen of the Realm of Faerie by by Heidi Garrett-Excerpt & GIVEAWAY!

Welcome to The Queen of the Realm of Faerie Book Blitz presented by Xpresso Book Tours!

This tour celebrates the release of the 3rd book in the series The Dragon Carnivale, as well as True Love's First Kiss, the complication of the first 3 books in the series. To celebrate the release of The Dragon Carnivale, I have a fantastic excerpt to share as well as a giveaway for an ecopy of True Love's First Kiss and a silicone bracelet!

Melia kicked her legs hard.

An invisible wall blocked her every effort.

She sensed what was happening: the ancient door between the worlds was closing. She felt with her fingers for a seam, a crack, any open sliver, but all she could think of was Tatou. Had her friend made it through?

She opened her eyes; the river water had become something more like wind. It pushed her eyes shut. She opened her mouth and choked on a gust. If she didn’t push through to the other side…

Her frantic fingers found an edge. She shoved with the heel of her hand. Her head and neck passed through before a weight slammed into her chest. Immobile, she kicked harder.

She pulled up on her arms. Pressure caught one of her wrists. Frantic, she yanked with all her strength. The bracelet on her left hand burst; the individual pearls scattered between the worlds, lost to her forever.

Melia heaved. Her legs remained trapped. She found a plane with her palms. She pressed down. The door wanted to close; she focused her mind. She imagine fluttering through an archway. Resistance scraped her thighs, her knees, her shins.

When it slammed her toes, she screamed.
Discover the books!

In the Enchanted World, true love’s first kiss is magic.

Nandana’s Mark, Book 1: When two half-faeries—Melia and her younger sister—are cursed under dreadful circumstances, true love’s first kiss is the remedy.

The Flower of Isbelline, Book 2: Nothing but true love’s first kiss can save Melia’s younger sister from blind ambition and ruin.

The Dragon Carnivale, Book 3: Melia must choose the freedom she cherishes or true love’s first kiss—and a relationship that promises to secure her place in the Whole.

The Queen of the Realm of Faerie is a fairy tale fantasy series that bridges the Mortal and Enchanted worlds. The main character, Melia, is an eighteen-year-old half-faerie, half-mortal. She lives in Illialei, a country in the Enchanted World, with her two sisters and their mother. Melia’s father has been exiled to the Mortal World, and her best friend is a pixie.

When the story opens in the first book, Melia is troubled by her dark moon visions, gossip she overhears about her parents at the local market, and the trauma of living among full-blooded faeries with wings—she doesn’t have any.

As the series unfolds, the historic and mystical forces that shape Melia’s life are revealed. Each step of her journey—to find the place where she belongs—alters her perceptions about herself, deepens her relationships with others, and enlarges her world view.

True Love’s First Kiss is a compilation of the first three books in this ongoing series.

Add on Goodreads!

Author Bio:
Heidi Garrett is the author of The Queen of the Realm of Faerie series. Her personal message to all her readers is:

Once upon a time, you lived in an enchanted world, too…

May you always see the magic in your life.

The Queen of the Realm of Faerie includes many strong female characters within an intricate fantasy land. It is also a fairy tale fantasy.

The first book, Nandana’s Mark, is one of those free ebooks; the second book, The Flower of Isbelline, is now available; and the third book, The Dragon Carnivale, will be released in June 2013.

Heidi's hope is that when you read her books, you will rediscover the enchantment in your own life.

She currently resides in Eastern Washington State with her husband and their two cats. So far, she loves the snow. Being from the South, she finds it very magical.

Visit Heidi:
Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook
As previously, I have an ecopy of True Love's First Kiss to give away as well as an awesome bracelet to one of my followers. To enter, simply comment on this post with a way to contact you. It's that simple!

- Giveaway is international and will run from June 22nd (today) until July 6th (two weeks).
- Good-luck to all who enters!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Book Shelf: The Vincent Brothers (The Vincent Boys, #2) by Abbi Glines

Getting a boy to fall head-over-heels in love with you isn’t easy. Especially when he’s been in love with your cousin for as long as you can remember.

Lana has lived her life in her cousin’s shadow. Ashton always made perfect grades, had tons of friends, and looks model-perfect. And she’s always had Sawyer Vincent—the only boy Lana’s ever wanted—wrapped around her finger. But now things are different. Lana has a chance to make Sawyer see her, and she’s taking it. If only he’d get over Ashton—because Lana is sick of second-best.

Sawyer’s heart is broken. He’s lost his best girl to his best friend. And then Lana comes to town. Ashton’s cousin has always been sweet and soft-spoken, but now she’s drop-dead gorgeous as well. Sawyer doesn’t know if Lana can heal his broken heart, but spending time with her might at least make Ashton jealous.

What starts as a carefree fling becomes a lusty game of seduction. Sawyer and Lana may have different motives, but their scintillating hookups are the same kind of steamy. . .

More info on Goodreads.....


The Vincent Brothers is Abbi Glines's sizzling follow up to The Vincent Boys and really is as deliciously addictive as the first book!

Honestly, I wasn't completely sure if this series would be for me before I read it. Considering I'm only just venturing into the NA genre, I thought this series may possibly go over my head....Boy, was I wrong! I've become quite a fan of this series.

Abbi Glines's writing is picturesque and seductive and just filled with fantastic, flawed individuals with great personalities and even better stories! The Vincent Brothers tells the story of Lana and Sawyer and after the conclusion of The Vincent Boys and the state it left Sawyer, I really have been looking forward to reading this book; to finally discover what lay in store for Sawyer.

And Abbi Glines sure didn't disappoint! From the opening chapter, The Vincent Brothers was a fantastic read. Taking us right into the beginning of Sawyer and Lana's passionate and often difficult relationship, this book had my attention the entire way through--really, I read it in a day. I was even sneak reading at work--something I don't often do!

I was really surprised by the personality shift in Sawyer in The Vincent Brothers. Gone was the nice, dependable Sawyer. In his place was a harder, alpha male; someone hurting and lashing out that those he cared about and acting very unlike himself. Someone still fighting to get over the betrayal he suffered at the hands of his best friend, and cousin/brother Beau and his girlfriend Ashton. Admittedly, I felt like Sawyer acted like a real jerk at times in this novel, but I have to praise Glines for the way she explored his character.

Sawyer suffered real pain when he was hurt by those he loved the most in the last book and I think Glines portrayed a really authentic realization of his actions in this one. They felt real and while I didn't agree with them on occasion, I could see why Sawyer lashed out as he did and I think this made it even more memorable and worth wild seeing him fall for Lana and slowly move on as he experienced real desire and emotion for the first time with another girl that wasn't Ash.

That being said, I think Lana really was the best match for Sawyer. Lana was a sweetie, but she was also very fragile in a way that helped Sawyer get in touch with the good guy that resided within him. I felt for Lana in this book I did. Her family was messed up and I thought it was sad that she had never really been first for anyone before. Seeing her come into her own, while making mistakes and making the wrong decisions was a nice experience.

Together, Lana and Sawyer really were perfect. Unlike with Beau in the previous book, Sawyer was actually inexperienced in the sex department and I enjoyed the way Glines delved into Lana and Sawyer's discovering of passion and lust for the first time. Lana was innocent, but she knew what she wanted [Sawyer] whereas Sawyer was unprepared to want Lana the way he did; yearning for her in an intense way he never had Ashton. I liked how Glines had them discover one another and grow from one another--it really was sweet.

Alright, I have to say it....the ending of this book was so cliche and sugary sweet that it really was absolutely perfect! Considering what these four individuals have been through over the course of two books, Abbi Glines couldn't have written the ending of this book any better. I really felt as those we had closure at the end of The Vincent Boys, in the best possible way, and although I'm very sad to see the series end, I'm very pleased with how it did none-the-less.

Rich in passion and romance and flaunting some yummy characters who will just captivate you from start to finish, The Vincent Boys is one NA series you do not want to miss!

Source: Sent for review by Hot Key Books (Thank you so much Sandra!)
Format: Paperback
Buy it: Booktopia | The Nile | The Book Depository | Amazon
My Recommendation: Fans of NA don't want to miss this series!
Cover: I LOVE this cover! Those Vincent sexy.
Will I read sequel/continue with series: This is the end of this series by Abbi Glines, but I definitely plan on reading more by her in the future.....

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Book Shelf: Venom (Secrets of the Eternal Rose #1) by Fiona Paul

Beauty, romance, murder... A novel as stunning and seductive as Renaissance Venice itself.

Cassandra Caravello is part of Venice′s wealthy elite. Her world is one of fabulous gowns, society parties and privilege, yet she longs for something more. While her fiancé is away studying in Paris, she has a chance meeting with an artist called Falco. He is attractive, audacious...and highly unsuitable.

When Cass stumbles upon the body of a murdered woman - with a bloody X carved across her heart - she′s drawn into a dangerous world of secret societies, courtesans and killers. Falco is quick to offer his assistance, but then another body is found and Cass starts receiving death threats... Is Falco more involved than she imagined? And will she be able to stay true to her fiancé, or succumb to her uncontrollable feelings for someone she′s not even sure she can trust?

More info from Goodreads.....


Venom is an intensely intriguing debut by Fiona Paul that mixes murder with romance in a thrilling mystery tale where passions rage and no one is as they seem!

I’m not ordinarily the biggest fan of historical fiction. I’ve read a few I’ve enjoyed and other not so much, so I was hesitant when starting Venom. Yet, I had high expectations heading into this book thanks to the fantastic description and beautiful cover… I’m happy to say that Venom not only lived up to my expectations, but exceeded them!

A riveting tale of murder and love, Venom is a beautifully written debut by author Fiona Paul. Paul’s writing is riveting; stunning in its beauty and detail. Set in the exquisite city of Venice, the luscious setting is gorgeously described and detailed. It’s impossible not to become swept up in the rich world of Venice in the hay day, get lost in the canals, art and the flourish that is this world.

Paul has told the story perfectly; the plotline is mysterious and consuming and you strive to understand what is going on as our heroine Cassandra journeys into the dark underworld of Venice and harsh situations all in an attempt to discover what is going on with the missing maids and courtesans, learning to live and beginning to find herself on the way.

This story feels authentic, with characters and situations right out of this time where inhibitions are hidden and those of high society do not mix with those of the lower society. I quite liked those I met throughout the story.

Cassandra was exactly what I expected. Repressed and proper, a true young woman of this time, but someone who had secrets and held a hidden fire within herself. As she took risks and learned to live I really found myself cheering for her. Keeping the company of men and journeying unchaperoned all paled in comparison to the dangers she risked as she ventured into secret moments of passion and romance. I enjoyed seeing her discover love and passion for the first time; seeing her let go and only feel. Regardless of their differences, Falco made her feel.

I quite liked Falco. He was feisty and free; with a good nature and truly was a good match for Cassandra. The two of them may have seemed like an unlikely pair and may have been experiencing a doomed romance with their different social standing her Cass’s engagement but they felt so good. What they had was passionate and true and it was beautiful seeing Cass experience the feelings of first love and what Falco brought about in her.

Paul writes confliction well throughout this book. Cass is conflicted over what she feels and what she knows to be correct. With what she wants over what others want for her. However, Fiona Paul does a good job of leaving you as the reader conflicted too. Especially where Cassandra’s two suitors are concerned. Everything Cass feels for Falco is beautiful and deep, but her fiancé Luka proves to be a fantastic character and man too. He’s kind and brave and obviously adores her. In a world where Falco never existed, it’d be so, so easy to imagine they could potentially have something beautiful together if Cass let it.

Venom proves to be a fantastic debut in every aspect. It’s thrilling and mysterious, but also lends itself to the fact that there is something more, something bigger going on in the city of Venice. As the murder comes to light, their intentions will make sense, but you as the reader also come to realize that there is a lot Cass hasn’t learnt yet, a lot that you just know Fiona Paul is going to explore in the next book and as her Secrets Of The Eternal Rose series progresses.

Featuring a beautiful setting and passionate romance, Venom is one debut you will not want to miss!

Source: Sent for review by Harper Collins Australia (Thank you guys!)
Format: Paperback
Buy it: Booktopia | The Nile | The Book Depository | Amazon
My Recommendation: Reading a bit like a tale by Cassandra Clare or Libba Bray, this book will thrill fans of a good mystery
Cover: I love our Aussie one--it's quite striking.
Will I read sequel/continue with series: Yes! I'm very eager for more!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Blog Tour: Edge of Truth by Natasha Hanova-Excerpt and Giveaway!

Welcome to the blog tour for Edge of Truth by Natasha Hanova presented by Xpresso Book Tours!

Today I have a brilliant excerpt as well as a tour-wide giveaway to share with you. Enjoy!

The sweeping red glow across the sidewalk sent shards of panic through Rena. Fear glued her feet to the ground even though the Syn would round the building any second.

“Rena,” Nevan whispered. “Can’t get to the ladder without you. Otherwise, I’d grab your stubborn butt and haul you up there myself.”

“We should hide under something, not on top, out in the open.”

He let out a quick breath. “Don’t you feel the heat coming off this building? It’ll disguise our body signatures. Trust me.”

Those two words carried so much weight. Now wasn’t the time to debate options. She placed her palm on his shoulder and a foot in his hand.

He straightened, his other hand clasped around her ankle. “Now, step on my shoulders and reach up to the ladder.”

Breathing through an open mouth, she followed his directions, stretching as high as she could. “I can’t reach. Not even close.”

“We don’t have much time.”

The red beam skittered across the sidewalk and grass a few yards away, edging ever closer to the building. Grotesque images of human experimentation flashed through her mind.

“Lil’ Mama, d’you hear me? Step on my hands. I’ll boost you up.”

His fingers crackled under her weight; the unpleasant sensation made her cringe. She almost lost her balance. His arms trembled as he grunted and boosted her straight up. She glided her hand along the control house wall for support. The concrete felt warm and the rough texture scraped her palms. When she reached the bottom rung, she put all her weight into pulling it down. The metal screeched in protest as the ladder released. The base of it hit the ground with a loud thump. Rena glanced over her shoulder in time to see a set of Syns round the building.

“Climb!” The urgency in his voice spiked her with adrenaline, propelling her to shift her full weight to the ladder.

Below her, Nevan’s foot hit the bottom rung, but it was too late.

“Halt!” said one of the Syns.

Rena scurried down the ladder between Nevan’s arms and ducked under them to jump off. “Hide around the building,” she whispered to him.

She didn’t wait to see if he complied. With her head tilted down to hide her face and her ID ring behind her back, she walked toward the machines. She wanted to tackle them, but had to maintain the appearance of someone experiencing remorse or else they might stun her. She followed the pound of their footsteps through the ground and allowed the fear of getting caught to roil through her. Her soles tingled for a moment, then her calves clenched so hard, she stumbled and fell. The pain moved into her legs and across her back as she hunched on the ground. She whimpered, but refused to release her power.

The Syns stopped in front of her.

Rena risked rolling forward on the other side of them and forced them to turn their back to the control house. Still crouched, she spun to face them.

“Citizen, please stand and identify yourself.”

“Identify this!” Rena reached out, one hand on each Syn, and imagined every ounce of her fear jolting from her hands and into them. She envisioned billions of tiny tremors ripping apart their internal circuitry. After a loud pop, sparks rained down on her and she jumped to her feet. The backpack caused her to lose her balance and she stumbled. The Syns twitched as tendrils of smoke curled from their nostrils. Rena covered her nose against the stench of burning plastic.

“Rena,” Nevan said. “We gotta hide.”

She peered at him between the Syns. Somehow, he’d snuck close enough for her to see the shock on his face. She slipped between the machines. “We should run.”

He grabbed her hand and pulled her toward the white building, once again. “Nowhere else to go. No time to argue.”

When they reached the control house, she climbed the ladder. Her limbs felt weak from exertion. Every thud of Nevan’s feet against the rungs thundered through the metal as he followed. The ladder folded up after he reached the fire escape landing. They dashed up three, four stairs at a time.

At the top flat, Nevan covered Rena’s mouth. He pinned her against the building with his body while pointing down through the vertical slats of the steel railing at another set of Syns below. She gasped. Thankfully, his hand muffled the sound. The Syns approached the ones Rena had short-circuited. Her breaths came in shallow pants. What if they figured out what had happened?

Seven feet stood between them and the rooftop. No ladder in sight and her powers depleted. Moisture blurred Rena’s vision. Nevan put one finger to his lips in a silent “shh” as he removed the other hand from her mouth. He pointed up to the roof then tapped his shoulders. She nodded, not arguing this time.

He turned around, and with his feet shoulder-width apart twisted, as if to see her face. In quick succession, he tapped his right thigh, left thigh, right shoulder, left shoulder. She nodded and he placed his hands on his knees to brace himself, ready for her to climb up his back. She glanced at the new Syns. With their back to the control house, they opened the skulls of the fried ones. She knew they planned to run some sort of diagnostics and prayed there was nothing left for them to trace.

With her hands on Nevan’s shoulders, Rena stepped onto his right thigh and then left. Sweat dampened the back of her shirt and slicked her palms. She wiped them on her pants before she grabbed Nevan’s lifted hands for balance and stepped onto his shoulders. He let out a quiet breath as he pushed to a standing position and pressed her shins against the back of his head. From the vantage point, Rena saw another set of Syns approach. How long until they scanned the control house?

Nevan angled toward the building. She hooked her hand over the ledge and hauled herself up, using his hands for extra support. The concrete scraped her chest and stomach as she crawled over the top and rolled onto the roof. In a split second, she was on her feet and reaching for him.

He was too far away....

Edge of Truth

Citizens who report to work on time, obey the Overlord’s laws, and stay off the Synbot’s radar, live long lives.

Long, dull, monotonous lives. It’s not a bad plan for someone with a hidden, emotion-based ability to trigger earthquakes. In a world pitted against her, sixteen-year-old Rena Moon strives for a life beyond working herself to death at the factory. Seeing an alternative, she risks selling relics from the forbidden lands at Market. It becomes the worst decision she ever made. Someone kidnaps her best friend in exchange for the one thing that would end her oppression.

Driven by loyalty, Rena and seventeen-year-old Nevan Jelani, soulful composer, green thumb extraordinaire, and the secret love of her life, plot to rescue her friend and reclaim her salvage. Still, the thought lingers whether Nevan is a true hero or another thief waiting for his chance at her loot. Events spin wildly, deepening Rena’s suspicions and pushing her limit of control. With more than her chance for freedom at stake, she must decide if she’s willing to kill to protect what’s precious to her. For once, the Overlord isn’t holding all the power, but can Rena live with being reduced to what she’s trying so hard to escape?

Add on Goodreads or Purchase!

Meet Natasha Havona!
Natasha Hanova is an award-winning author of young adult and adult dark fantasy/paranormal fiction. Her short stories are published in Undead Tales 2, October Nightmares and Dreams, and Once Upon a Christmas. She is a member of Novel Clique, YALitChat, and an Affiliate member of the Oklahoma Writer’s Federation, Inc. She lives in Kansas with her wonderful husband, twin boys, and daughter.

Visit Natasha:
Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday #41

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking The Spine where you can spotlight an upcoming release that you're eagerly anticipating.

This week I'm waiting on.....

Wild Cards by Simone Elkeles
Releases on: September 24th 2013

After getting kicked out of boarding school, bad boy Derek Fitzpatrick has no choice but to live with his ditzy stepmother while his military dad is deployed. Things quickly go from bad to worse when he finds out she plans to move them back to her childhood home in Illinois. Derek’s counting the days before he can be on his own, and the last thing he needs is to get involved with someone else’s family drama.

Ashtyn Parker knows one thing for certain--people you care about leave without a backward glance. A football scholarship would finally give her the chance to leave. So she pours everything into winning a state championship, until her boyfriend and star quarterback betrays them all by joining their rival team. Ashtyn needs a new game plan, but it requires trusting Derek—someone she barely knows, someone born to break the rules. Is she willing to put her heart on the line to try and win it all?

Add it on Goodreads!
What can I say? I'm a Simone Elkeles fan. I loved her Perfect Chemistry books and I've been looking forward to the next great read from her. Wild Cards looks like it could be it!

What do you think? Will you be adding this to your TBR list?

Monday, June 10, 2013

Blog Tour: Reboot by Amy Tintera-Interview and GIVEAWAY!

Welcome to the Australian Blog Tour for Reboot by Amy Tintera thanks to the incredible guys over at Allen & Unwin!

I'm so very excited to share with you guys today my interview with Amy as well as a giveaway for 3 paperback copies of Reboot for Australian residents only (sorry international followers!).

Hopefully, you've all had a chance to check out my review of Reboot from yesterday but if not feel free to check it out---Reboot is a fantastic new edition to the dystopian genre!

Interview with Amy Tintera!
Hello Amy! Thank you SO MUCH for taking the time to answer some of my questions. I'm really excited to have the chance to talk with you, having just recently finished Reboot. It was a fantastic - one of my favorites so far this year - so I'm eager to learn more about what's going on inside your head.

But enough from me, let's get to the questions....

1. Congratulation on the release of your debut novel - you must be so excited! How does it feel knowing your book has just hit the shelves?
Thank you! It feels great. It’s really nice to have the book out there in the world, so people can read it!

2. If you had to sum up Reboot in one sentence, what would it be?
In a post-apocalyptic Texas, teenagers Reboot after death and are forced into slavery by the humans.

3. The concept of the actual Reboots within Reboot is so fresh and different from what's in a lot of dystopian fiction nowadays, where did this idea come from?
I got the idea for Wren first. She was in my head, telling me she’d been dead for 178 minutes, and I built the idea of Reboots around her. I wanted to write something from the perspective of characters who were considered “scary” and “bad.”

4. Wren is such a kick-ass female lead. Can you tell us about where you took the inspiration for her character?
I’ve always loved kick-ass characters like Buffy or Starbuck (from Battlestar Galactica), so I wanted to write one of my own. I particularly wanted to write a character who didn’t express her emotions well, so she had decided she no longer had any. I think women in particular are expected to show their emotions in a certain way, so I decided to write a character who did it “wrong.”

5. If you knew you were about to become a Reboot, what would you rather be, a 178 (with all the speed, healing abilities and strength that comes with it) or a 22 (someone still very human) and why?
Tough question! I think I’d want to be a 22. The Under-sixties are generally the happier characters in the book (even though some terrible stuff happens to them!), and I’d like to still have friends and laugh occasionally.

6. Taking into consideration the film rights for Reboot have already been optioned (*squee*) what actress and actor would you love to be cast at Wren and Callum?
Everyone asks me, but I have no answer! I’ve never had a particular actor in mind for either part. If it gets made into a movie I’d love if someone I didn’t expect just came in and totally blew us away.

7. What's your writing process like? What goes into a typical day or writing for you?
I usually run errands in the morning and write in the afternoon or evening. But sometimes I get excited about what I’m working on and start first thing in the morning! I have a pretty relaxed schedule. In terms of the actual writing, I usually just dive right in with a vague idea of plot. I’m not much of a planner.

8. Are you a big reader yourself? And if yes, what would we find if we had a look at your bookshelf?
I’m definitely a big reader! I read mostly YA, with some romance sprinkled in. Recently, I read BELLE EPOQUE, by Elizabeth Ross, which is an amazing YA historical. Right now I’m reading DARE YOU TO by Katie McGarry, who is one of my favorite YA contemporary romance authors.

9. Glad to meet another Katie McGarry fan--her books are glorious! If you could meet any one person, living or dead, alive or fiction, who would you want to meet and why?
I have no idea! Maybe J.K. Rowling. I’d love to talk to her about how she plotted the Harry Potter novels, and what her struggles were.

10. Obviously there are people out there who are yet to read Reboot, but is there anything you want to tell us about what we're in store for in book two? Pretty please?
I can’t so much, but I will say that book two picks up right where book one left off, and there is just as much action and romance in the sequel!

Before you go....
6 Quick Questions:

1. Favourite band? Mumford and Sons.
2. Winter or Summer? Summer!
3. Singing or Dancing? Dancing.
4. Lucky number? 3.
5. Favourite food? Potatoes.
6. Cats or Dogs? Dogs.

Thank you again Amy for answering my questions! I'm super excited for people to read Reboot and am already looking forward to the next book!

Visit Amy Tintera:
Blog | Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook
Five years ago, Wren Connolly was shot three times in the chest. After 178 minutes she came back as a Reboot: stronger, faster, able to heal, and less emotional. The longer Reboots are dead, the less human they are when they return. Wren 178 is the deadliest Reboot in the Republic of Texas. Now seventeen years old, she serves as a soldier for HARC (Human Advancement and Repopulation Corporation).

Wren’s favorite part of the job is training new Reboots, but her latest newbie is the worst she’s ever seen. As a 22, Callum Reyes is practically human. His reflexes are too slow, he’s always asking questions, and his ever-present smile is freaking her out. Yet there’s something about him she can’t ignore. When Callum refuses to follow an order, Wren is given one last chance to get him in line—or she’ll have to eliminate him. Wren has never disobeyed before and knows if she does, she’ll be eliminated, too. But she has also never felt as alive as she does around Callum.

The perfect soldier is done taking orders.....

Add Reboot on Goodreads!

Reboot is available now in all good bookshops and online where books are sold!

As I mentioned in the beginning of my post, I have 3 copies of Reboot to give away thanks to Allen & Unwin which is really exciting because Reboot really was BRILLIANT and I'm happy to share it with my followers! To enter simply comment below with a way to contact you letting me know what you think of Reboot. It's that easy!

- Giveaway will run from June 10th (today) until June 24th (two weeks!) and winners will be chosen using
- Australian residents only!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Book Shelf: Reboot (Reboot #1) by Amy Tintera

Five years ago, Wren Connolly was shot three times in the chest. After 178 minutes she came back as a Reboot: stronger, faster, able to heal, and less emotional. The longer Reboots are dead, the less human they are when they return. Wren 178 is the deadliest Reboot in the Republic of Texas. Now seventeen years old, she serves as a soldier for HARC (Human Advancement and Repopulation Corporation).

Wren’s favorite part of the job is training new Reboots, but her latest newbie is the worst she’s ever seen. As a 22, Callum Reyes is practically human. His reflexes are too slow, he’s always asking questions, and his ever-present smile is freaking her out. Yet there’s something about him she can’t ignore. When Callum refuses to follow an order, Wren is given one last chance to get him in line—or she’ll have to eliminate him. Wren has never disobeyed before and knows if she does, she’ll be eliminated, too. But she has also never felt as alive as she does around Callum.

The perfect soldier is done taking orders.

More info from Goodreads.....


Reboot, Amy Tinera's debut novel is an addictive dystopian read that will captivate you with it's fast paced plot, delicious action and perfect romance and will have you eagerly flipping pages, completely lost in the story!

I have to say I was very impressed with Reboot. Very, very impressed. Not only did it meet all the expectations I had going into the book, it by far exceeded them! I'll definitely be adding this book to my favorite dystopian reads of all time--up with the likes of The Hunger Games and Divergent! Reboot is just that good!

In Reboot, debut author Amy Tinera introduces us to a world where young people often become infected with a disease that causes them to die and then "re-boot" some time later, waking up altered and with new abilities they didn't have before. Enhanced speed, healing abilities and the changing of their emotions makes them very different than they were before. Not every person is guaranteed to re-boot after death, nor is it something that is looked forward to.

In a world so devastated by disease and poverty, the Reboots, as they are known, are segregated and locked up, trained to be soldiers by the government and medical facilities that run the US and the state of Texas where this book takes place. This is a really harsh and sad society and it's impossible not to become lost in the hardened world that it is. The normal humans that inhabit it as very easily living their lives as normal, but the way that Amy Tinera details this world, I couldn't help but get chills over the prospect of living like this.

With flawless writing, Amy Tintera introduces us to some very awesome characters in Reboot. There's a great dynamic to be read about with the training that takes place throughout Reboot as well as a very interesting state of mind the Reboots have. Considering that the longer you stay dead, the more altered you are when you finally wake, I really enjoyed seeing the two different types of Reboots-the Over Sixties and Under Sixties. Those over were more callous and stronger, while those Under were softer, more human. This was really clever on Tintera's part as an author--I can without a doubt say this was something I had never seen before and I loved that!

Speaking of characters, Wren Connelly was just plain out amazing! Honestly, I love this girl. Amy Tintera has done a fantastic job creating a main character like Wren. As a 178, Wren is the deadliest Reboot ever, having been dead the longest. Considering the longer dead the stronger the Reboot, logic states that Wren should be the strongest and the fastest and the one with the least emotions and in that she is.....but she also isn't. Tintera gives Wren real personality in this book. In essence, she's everything she's expected to be as a Reboot--unemotional, controlled, a killing machine, but all it takes is one lower numbered Reboot to spark something in Wren that allows her to suddenly feel emotions she hadn't felt in a long time and quite possibly has never before. This happens and suddenly you can't help but love Wren even more as she begins to care and actually experience the small things in life that matter like friendship and humor. And this is what Wren experiences when she meets Callum, 22. This is what makes her want to change and fight for something more.

As far as I'm concerned, Callum was just perfect in my eyes! It was so refreshing to find a character like him in this book. I adored the fact that Amy Tintera didn't go for the typical, in control, alpha male lead we're so used to seeing, in Reboot. Instead, Callum was a softer kind of character, a gentler one. He was the inexperienced one, the weak one, the one not sure if he could be a killer and yet he was still such a powerful character none-the-less. His quiet strength and his never ending smile and good nature in the midst of it all was such a read thing to read about--it really enhanced some great parts of the book.

I could never speak about Reboot and not mention the fantastic relationship that develops between Wren and Callum. From trainer and trainee, to friend and friend to something so much more, these two had such a great dynamic. They really brought out the best in each other and I think Tintera balanced out both of their personalities through each other. Considering they had great chemistry and trusted one another, their romance was really sweet and I was addicted to it from the very moment they met; knowing something had to happen there at some point.

With so many fantastic and exciting moments during Reboot, I really have no idea where Amy Tintera plans to take the series next. Featuring a not quite cliffhanger ending that has me eager for the next book regardless and desperate for more of these characters, I highly recommend adding Reboot to your TBR pile--this is a brilliant addition to the dystopian genre!

Source: Sent for review by Allen & Unwin (Thank you Lara!!)
Format: Paperback
Buy it: Booktopia | The Nile | The Book Depository | Amazon
My Recommendation: Looking for the next great dystopian? Well stop looking--here it is!
Cover: I love our Aussie cover, I really do. The colors, the look--it's perfect.
Will I read sequel/continue with series: YES!

Love the sound of Reboot? Stop back in tomorrow for the Australian Blog Tour featuring an interview and giveaway with Amy Tintera!