30 April 2014

WoW #5


Snow Like Ashes
by Sara Raasch



Hardcover: 432 pages
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Language: English
ISBN: 0062286927
 

Sixteen years ago the Kingdom of Winter was conquered and its citizens enslaved, leaving them without magic or a monarch. Now, the Winterians’ only hope for freedom is the eight survivors who managed to escape, and who have been waiting for the opportunity to steal back Winter’s magic and rebuild the kingdom ever since.
Orphaned as an infant during Winter’s defeat, Meira has lived her whole life as a refugee, raised by the Winterians’ general, Sir. Training to be a warrior—and desperately in love with her best friend, and future king, Mather — she would do anything to help her kingdom rise to power again.
So when scouts discover the location of the ancient locket that can restore Winter’s magic, Meira decides to go after it herself. Finally, she’s scaling towers, fighting enemy soldiers, and serving her kingdom just as she’s always dreamed she would. But the mission doesn’t go as planned, and Meira soon finds herself thrust into a world of evil magic and dangerous politics – and ultimately comes to realize that her destiny is not, never has been, her own.

Why I'm waiting...
Do I really have to answer that? Did you not just read that summary? It sounds AMAZING! I'm geeking out over this book right now, it's not out until OCTOBER which is far too far away and I not sure I'm going to make it. Plus look at that cover! Fangirl Mode Activated.


29 April 2014

Echo Boy

Echo Boy by Matt Haig

Rating: 4.5/5

   

Title: Echo Boy
Author: Matt Haig
Publishing Date: April 1st 2014
Publisher: Bodley Head
ISBN: 9781448172504
Provided by:  Random House Children's Publishers UK & Netgalley

Summary (via Goodreads)

Audrey's father taught her that to stay human in the modern world, she had to build a moat around herself; a moat of books and music, philosophy and dreams. A moat that makes Audrey different from the echoes: sophisticated, emotionless machines, built to resemble humans and to work for human masters. Daniel is an echo - but he's not like the others. He feels a connection with Audrey; a feeling Daniel knows he was never designed to have, and cannot explain. And when Audrey is placed in terrible danger, he's determined to save her. The Echo Boy is a powerful story about love, loss and what makes us truly human.


Review

I've read so many sci-fi books that have been haphazardly written and altogether dull that I've come to a point where I shy away from this kind of world. However, I had read so many great reviews for Echo Boy that I though I'd try one last time to get into my sci-fi geek mode. And I'm so glad I did! Echo Boy is, quite frankly, amazing! It's AI meets The Host with a touch of iRobot, it's exciting and thrilling and that ending! But I'm getting ahead of myself... lets start with the plot. 

Audrey moves into her uncle Alex's mansion after the murder of her parents. She is forced to surround herself with the things that killed them, Echos. She has to deal with the grief of loosing them and the book follows her as she discovers the truth behind their deaths. But her preconceived ideas of what makes us human is about the be questioned when she meets a peculiar Echo named Daniel. 

Echo Boy is told from two separate points of view. The first is Audrey Castle, the daughter of an ani-Echo fundamentalist and niece to one of the biggest Echo manufactures - you see the problem? She's a 15 year-old who throughout the story has to deal with the murder of her parents, and stricken with grief has to adapt to the new world around her. There were moments when I wanted to shake her into existence as she almost gives up on the world but Audrey's strength throughout is something to be admired. It takes a special kind of person to make some of the decisions she has to make.

The second point of view is of an Echo named Daniel. Technically he's only a couple of months old but was made to look like a sixteen-year-old boy, with blonde hair and blue eyes. But here's the thing, Daniel wasn't built the same way other Echo's are, he's different. He's more human that the others, and that's a dangerous thing to be. The question is, is it dangerous for him or for the human's surrounding him?

I'm not usually one for multiple points of view, but this is written so effortlessly I couldn't imagine it only have Audrey or Daniels experiences. It needs both characters to tell their stories. 
This book is just.. wow! The story is constantly moving forward and the emotional messages behind the words are intense. This book covers not just what it really means to be human but what it is too love and the actions pride, greed and spite can lead people too. I think a reason I loved this book as much as I did was because the love story - which was very sweet - wasn't the main focus. When reading you knew it was there, you knew it was important but not to the point where the two character's merge into one. They had their own embedded stories that had too be told, and that wasn't over shadowed by an epic love story - which is what happens in a lot of books.

It's a book I would recommend to everyone. Even if you don't usually read sci-fi I'd tell you to give this a go. It has some real grown up issues as well as a lot of guns! Oh did I not mention the action scenes before? They're pretty great!

Echo Boy is gritty at times and sweet at others. You feel for the character's and it's such an easy book to get lost in. Thank you Matt Haig for restoring my faith in science-fiction!


**I received this book as an ARC from Netgalley to read & review. This is a 100% honest review.**



When reading Echo Boy I made so many notes it was ridiculous! So I thought I would share some of my favourite quotes throughout the book. 

"They are the end of humanity. People who sell Echos are selling the end of the human race." 

"I had always been troubled by the way Echos looked; their perfect faces and bodies. It was a perfection that I had found ugly. Beauty was about imperfection because that was what made people special." 

"Maybe that is what growing up was all about. It was about changing your mind. Opening it right up. Admitting to yourself that you were wrong." 

"I cared because I related to her. This girl with no parents and nowhere to truly belong in a hostile world. I cared because I could save her." 

"And maybe being human wasn't even down to DNA in the end. Maybe it was just about the ability to love, when you knew love was irrational."


P.S. I'm trying something new lovelies, I've created a play list of tracks I think fit perfectly with this book. So click play and let us know what you think!

BOOK of the MONTH

by Carrie Lofty 



  

Title: Blue Notes
Author: Carrie Lofty
Publishing Date: May 6th 2014 
Publisher: Gallery Books
ISBN: 1476706891  

Summery - From Back Cover


A piano prodigy on scholarship to a prestigious New Orleans university, Keeley Chambers is finally striking out on her own after a roving life dictated by her criminal parents. Her soulful, brilliant, fiery improvisations tear through her like a storm but are played for an audience of one: herself. However, sinfully handsome Jude Villars refuses to abandon Keeley to her private world and calls her out on her fear of performing in public. The irreverent, seductive billionaire playboy awakens Keeley to the blissful pleasures of letting go as he tempts her into the spotlight of the city's hottest clubs. Yet Jude has secrets of his own and pain that no one but Keeley recognizes. Will revealing themselves as they really are be too great a risk? Or will the truth make their tumultuous connection hotter and more irresistible than ever?


GET YOUR COPY


eBook only $1.99 at Barnes & Noble!!!


Amazon US | Amazon UK | Kobo | Barnes&Noble



**EXCERPT**

 It’s a test. The whole night is a test. How to survive a trial by spontaneous masculine overdrive. Jude Villars—his eyes, his gorgeous face, those built arms, his man in a man’s world way of dressing . . . 
Show him what you can do. 
Take him by surprise. 
I take myself by surprise when I dig my fingers into his broadcloth collar. I drag him closer. The gap between our mouths isn’t big. I could kiss him if I wanted. I want some revenge for being emotionally tossed around. I want to break him into a thousand pieces. 
“You think you’ve got it all figured out,” I say. “You don’t. Not about me.” 
The exhales between us are thick and hot. At least he’s breathing as hard as I am. He chuckles softly. The sound, the secondhand feel of it, ricochets down my chest. I’m tinder catching fire. I can do anything. 
 “I wonder,” he whispers, “have you ever kissed anyone as hard as you want to kiss me right now?” 
I shove him away, but not before his words settle like lava behind my breastbone. I’m both molten and airy, and learning fast what it means to get really turned on. That’s even more shocking than the idea of taking to the stage. No man has ever touched me with such knowing confidence. Brushing his thumb along my lower lip? He knows exactly what he’s doing. 
And I want more. 
He’s already made me angry. Now he’s making me reckless. 
If that means going head to head with me makes him smile all wispy like he did at Adelaide, then bring it on. He’s played with my brain all night. I can at least be memorable. 
He stands when I do. I thought his height was a trick of perspective when he’d towered over the seated jock. No way. He’s a good six feet, but I’m not letting him get away with talking down at the crown of my head. I tilt my chin. “Me and the piano. And you’ll watch.” 
“I won’t be able to take my eyes off you.” 
A thrill zings from head to toe before settling in my fingertips. Itching. Ready. “You better not.”
People hoot when I approach the stage. 
I’m not in court, but neither am I safe in a rehearsal room. 
I’m in a hot, colorful, loud, feverish club in New Orleans. And everyone in here expects to be entertained. 
Can I give them that? 
I shed my linen shirt. The upright piano is in surprisingly good condition. A spotlight turns the shiny brown surface into glass beneath the sun. It also has the welcome effect of blotting out the crowd. 
When I sit on the bench and touch Middle C, I realize the truth of my words. Me and the piano. I pet the key, easing all other thoughts into a distant corner. They simply scatter, becoming air—the air that fills my lungs and gives me strength. 
Straightening my shoulders, my hands in place, I throw one last glance toward the obscured audience. I don’t care what will burst out of my musical id, or what I’ll look like afterward. No future now. Just the here and now and my music and Jude watching.


Dream Cast


"Turn me on, sugar," he says, smoldering and daring. "Just you and the piano."



They may be a little older than the characters in the book but in my opinion I couldn't think of anyone else I'd want to play Keeley & Jude.


Emilia Clarke as Keeley Chambers

&
 Matt Bomer as Jude Villars




CLICK HERE to check out our review of Blue Notes


Of Breakable Things - blitz

OBT-Release-Day-Banner
Welcome to the Release Day Blitz for

Of Breakable Things by A. Lynden Rolland

presented by Month9Books!
Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!





A captivating debut about the fragility of life, love, and perspective.
Alex Ash was born broken. Living with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome is like living on death row, but she is willing to fight for her frail life as long as it includes the boy next door. Chase has always held the pieces of her together, but when he dies tragically, Alex’s unfavorable fate becomes a blessing in disguise.
Faced with a choice, she finds herself in a peculiar world where rooms can absorb emotions and secrets are buried six feet under. Among limitless minds, envious spirits, and soulless banshees, Alex hardly rests in peace
  

Of Breakable Things by A. Lynden Rolland
Publisher: Month9Books
Publication Date: April 29, 2014

Available for Purchase:



About the Author

A. Lynden RollandA. Lynden Rolland was born and raised in Annapolis, Maryland, a picturesque town obsessed with boats and blue crabs. She has always been intrigued by the dramatic and the broken, compiling her eccentric tales of tragic characters in a weathered notebook she began to carry in grade school. She is a sports fanatic, a coffee addict, and a lover of Sauvignon Blanc, thunderstorms and autumn leaves. When she isn’t hunched behind a laptop at her local bookstore, she can be found chasing her two vivacious children. She now resides just outside Annapolis with her husband and young sons.
Connect with the Author: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads


GIVEAWAY


Complete the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win!



28 April 2014

You Make Me - Blitz


Happy Monday my lovelies. Today we've got something exciting for you older readers. You Make Me is Erin McCarthy's new novel and there's is everything you need to know. 

P.S. Don't forget to enter the giveaway! 



  

Title: You Make Me (Blurred Lines #1)
Author: Erin McCarthy 
Publication date: April 21st 2014
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance


Synopsis:

The guy she wants…
Growing up on the coast of Maine with a revolving door of foster siblings, Caitlyn Michaud spent one intense and passionate year falling in love with her foster brother, Heath. Then he left without a word. The betrayal devastated Caitlyn and made her vow to forget the compelling bad boy. But forgetting his sensual touch and their deep all-consuming friendship is easier said than done.
Isn’t the guy she needs…
Determined to move on, in college Caitlyn has risen above her small town impoverished roots and has joined a sorority, reinvented her appearance, and landed the right boyfriend. Pre-law major and frat president, Ethan, is thoughtful and always laughing, and he makes her feel happy, calm. He also gives her the social acceptance she craves.
But the perfect world she tried so hard to attain is ripped apart when Heath appears one night out of nowhere. Caitlyn remembers all the reasons why she loves him, even if they don’t make sense to anyone but her. Out of the military, Heath is as brooding and intense as ever, and he is determined not only to win her back, but to exact revenge on everyone who kept him from her…
And when one love allows her to breathe, but the other feels as essential to her life as air, how does she choose between them?


AUTHOR BIO

USA Today and New York Times Bestselling author Erin McCarthy sold her first book in 2002 and has since written almost fifty novels and novellas in teen fiction, new adult, and adult romance. Erin has a special weakness for New Orleans, tattoos, high-heeled boots, beaches and martinis. She lives in Ohio with her family, two grumpy cats and a socially awkward dog.

GIVEAWAY TIME


One lucky person will win an ebook copy of You Make Me. Open internationally thanks to Xpresso Book Tours. I'll pick the winner on the 15th May, just RT & follow bellow to be in with a chance to win.





**EXCERPT**
I blinked, sure I was wrong.  But I wasn’t.  It was him, with shorter hair and broader shoulders.
“Heath!” I yelled out, overcome with shock and joy that he was there.  Alive.  Not dead in a ditch or in prison.  “Oh, my God!”
Stepping away from Ethan, I squeezed his forearms to indicate it was okay.  Then without thought for the fact that everyone was still staring at me or that I had just gotten engaged sixty seconds earlier, I ran in my high heels the ten feet to Heath hovering in the shadows and threw myself at him.
“Hey, Cat,” he murmured, wrapping his arms around me and pulling me tight against his chest.  His lips buried into my hair.
I sank against him, breathing in deeply.  He smelled the same, earthy and masculine.  He felt different, bigger, more muscular, but his hands were just as I remembered, strong and tender, and his voice was low, casual.  A thousand memories assaulted me all at once, running along the coast, going out on the water in a stolen boat, laughing, talking.  Kissing.
“Oh, God,” I whispered, pulling back to study his face, to cup his cheeks and outline his bottom lip with my thumb.  I couldn’t believe it was real.  He was real.  “You’re alive.  You’re here.”
The corner of his mouth turned up.  “I am.”
“Caitlyn, who is this?” Ethan had come up behind me and his hand landed on the small of my back.
I suddenly realized how close I was to Heath and I jerked back, cheeks flushing with heat.  My hands shook and my voice sounded high-pitched and breathless.  “Ethan!  This is Heath, my…
There was no way I could explain who Heath really was to me.  How much he had meant.  How I thought I wouldn’t survive when he left.  What it meant to have him punch a hole in my perfect world now and walk back into it.
“My brother,” I finished.
As Ethan’s eye’s bulged, Heath gave a soft snort of derision beside me.
“You have a brother?” Ethan asked, sounding completely astonished, as he should.  “I didn’t know you have a brother.”
I did.  A biological one that I no longer spoke to and who I didn’t acknowledge, but Ethan didn’t know that, and I never wanted him to.
“Is that what I am?” Heath asked, sounding both amused and annoyed.  “A brother from another mother, Cat?”
“He’s my foster brother,” I added.  “My family always took in foster kids and some stayed longer than others.  Heath stayed long enough that we got close.”  In a manner of speaking.
“I didn’t know that.  You never mentioned foster siblings.”
Shit.  Ethan was looking at me like he didn’t know me.  But he did.  He knew the me I wanted to be, the me I could be.  I didn’t want to drag him through my past.  But here was Heath.  My past.  And who I had once considered my present and my future.
Speaking of…
“Where the hell have you been?” I asked Heath, my initial excitement turning to frustration as I realized that he had just appeared out of nowhere and hadn’t even bothered to speak to me first.  Let alone any sort of text or other contact.
He shrugged.  “Around.”
Seriously?  I went straight into pissed off.  Four fucking years.  Four years and not a word.  “That’s not an answer.  I thought you were dead!”
“Not dead.  Though I wasn’t aware you would care either way.”
Was he crazy?  Confusion made my breath shallow, my palms sweat.  I had suffered when he left.  I had cried until I threw up.  I had taken off after him, only to walk two miles and realize I had no idea when he’d left or where he was going.  I had stalked him online, never finding anything.  I had stopped eating.  Stopped showering.
And he was going to stand there and act like I hadn’t cared?
“How could you say that?”  My voice shook.
But his eyes just studied me, dark and angry.  “Maybe this isn’t the time or the place to discuss it.”  He took my hand into his.
My frustration faded at his touch.  A deep, intense longing rose up in me.  God, I had missed him.  But he merely turned my hand so that my new engagement ring was visible.
“Congratulations, Cat.”  A mocking smile crossed his face.  His jaw was tense.  He took my hand and gave it to Ethan, who laced his fingers through mine.
“I’m Heath, Cat’s foster brother, like she said,” he told Ethan, and I could hear the edgy irony in his voice.  “It’s nice to meet you.”
“Ethan Walsh.  Nice to meet you, too.  It sounds like you and Caitlyn have a lot of catching up to do.  Maybe tomorrow we can all grab some coffee.”
“Sure.  Sounds delightful.”
That was attitude.  Plain and simple.  My eyes narrowed at Heath and I shook my head slightly in warning.  What the hell was he doing?  Why was he even there?
“I didn’t mean to interrupt a big moment,” he added.  “I’m heading downstairs.”
A million questions were racing through my head, but there was no way to ask them.  Not where we were.  Not with who I was with listening.
Ethan stuck his hand out, because Ethan had good manners.  For a second Heath just stared at it, but then he took it and shook briefly.
I’d never seen him in a suit before.  He looked… dangerous.  Very James Bond.  He was even better looking than I remembered and I had spent a lot of time coaxing his image out of my memory banks.  Especially alone in my bed late at night when I was lonely and my body ached.
“See ya,” he told me casually, before turning and leaving. 



#5Questions


Amazon US | Amazon UK

Author Bio (via Website)


Kendare Blake is an import from South Korea who was raised in the United States by caucasian parents. You know, that old chestnut. She received a Bachelor's degree in Business from Ithaca College and a Master's degree in Writing from Middlesex University in London. She brakes for animals, the largest of which was a deer, which sadly didn't make it, and the smallest for which was a mouse, which did, but it took forever. Amongst her likes are Greek Mythology, rare red meat and veganism. She also enjoys girls who can think with the boys like Ayn Rand, and boys who scare the morality into people, like Bret Easton Ellis.

TWITTER | FACEBOOK | WEBSITE



Title: Anna Dressed in Blood
Author: Kendare Blake
Publication Date: July 5th 2012 (original publication date October 17th 2011)
Publisher: Orchard Books

Cas Lowood has inherited an unusual vocation: He kills the dead.
So did his father before him, until he was gruesomely murdered by a ghost he sought to kill. Now, armed with his father's mysterious and deadly athame, Cas travels the country with his kitchen-witch mother and their spirit-sniffing cat. They follow legends and local lore, destroy the murderous dead, and keep pesky things like the future and friends at bay.
Searching for a ghost the locals call Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas expects the usual: track, hunt, kill. What he finds instead is a girl entangled in curses and rage, a ghost like he's never faced before. She still wears the dress she wore on the day of her brutal murder in 1958: once white, now stained red and dripping with blood. Since her death, Anna has killed any and every person who has dared to step into the deserted Victorian she used to call home.
Yet she spares Cas's life.





1. How did you get into writing?


Through reading, I suppose. I read voraciously as a kid. It just flowed naturally as the next logical step. Plus, teachers make you.

2. When starting a book how much of it comes straight from your imagination and how much is research?


As far as plot, it's 90% imagination and 10% drawing from other sources. I try to make my settings accurate, but I'm also not above twisting them to meet my needs, so I'd say those are 50/50. I don't research overmuch. 

3. Who is your favourite character you have written and why?

I can't pick favourites. I love them all for different reasons. Athena because she's so damn tough and has such a wicked, noble heart. Cassandra because she's a warrior, going through the stuff she does and handling the responsibility that comes with it. Cas because he's a secret sweetheart. Anna because she's a tragedy but not tragic. And all their friends and loves too. Even the villains. Except the Obeahman. He was a dick.

4. Do you go into a book knowing how you want it to end?


Not usually. I thought Anna would end in Lake Superior. I knew how Antigoddess would end because I wanted to nod to the Iliad and end it similarly. Halfway through writing Girl of Nightmares, I suspected which was it would go. But I rarely know when I start. I think Antigoddess is the only one so far. At least of the published ones.

5. What 5 books would you recommend for your readers?


The Red Tree by Caitlin R Kiernan
NOS4A2 by Joe Hill
We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson
IT by Stephen King
The Iliad & The Odyssey by Homer, Translated by Richmond Lattimore. I know that's technically two, but they're so excellent.




If you haven't done so already why not check out our review of Anna Dressed in Blood?