Thursday, 8 June 2017

Book Promo - The Warrior In The Mist

Title: The Warrior in the Mist
Subtitle: The invaders are coming. The battle is about to begin.
Imprint: Shrine Bell
ISBN: 978-1-911342-38-0
Rights: World
Publication: 7 September 2017
Edition: First
Author: Ruth Eastham
Classification: Adventure stories (Children’s/Teenage) (YFC); Fantasy and magical realism (Children’s/Teenage) (YFH); Horror and ghost stories, chillers (Children’s/Teenage) (YFD)
Size: 198mm x 129mm
Extent: 216 pages
Cover: Paperback
Retail price: £6.99

Their bodies flickered strangely – transparent, blueish, as if they were made of flames. With a jolt, he realised that they were fading.
Time was running out.
Who are the phantom girls? What do they want with Aidan?
Aidan’s village is under siege. A fracking company has moved on to the land. Once drilling is complete, the paddocks looked after by Aidan’s family will be gone, along with his home and the horse he loves. Aidan and his best friends Emmi and Jon have one last hope.
Legend has it that the warrior queen Boudicca is buried close by. If only they can find the tomb … prove this is the site of her last great battle against Roman invaders …
As the mists of time separating ancient history from present day swirl and fade, Aidan must face a deadly enemy. He must fight to uncover the truth of the ghostly sisters, before it is too late.

The Warrior in the Mist is the latest novel from Ruth Eastham; award winning author of The Memory Cage and The Messenger Bird.

• From the award-winning author of The Memory Cage – shortlisted for the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize, and winner of the Inspiration Book Award.
• A thrilling combination of adventure, fantasy, emotion and history in one enthralling story.
• Published by Shine Bell, imprint of multi-award-winning publisher Vertebrate Publishing

Ruth Eastham is an award-winning British author. Her debut novel, The Memory Cage, was shortlisted for the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize and won the Inspiration Book Award. Teachers voted it best story in the UK Literacy Association Book Award, and it won and was shortlisted for many other regional prizes. The Memory Cage was also nominated for the prestigious Carnegie Medal.
Her second book, The Messenger Bird, won and was shortlisted for many local authority book prizes and its Enigma Code themes made it a featured book at the famous Bletchley Park.
Ruth is a popular speaker in schools, in the UK and abroad, fascinating children with the real life mysteries and dramas behind these and her other books: Arrowhead, The Jaguar Trials and, her latest novel, The Warrior in the Mist.
Ruth has lived in New Zealand, Australia and Italy and has two daughters. 
Find out more:

Friday, 24 March 2017

Book Promo - Through the Ashes

Through the Ashes (The Division: Book Two)
By Connie L. Smith
ISBN: 978-1-945910-09-8

The war has begun. The battle’s unfolding. And victory feels so distant…
The Essenced had prepared and trained, but never imagined the true horror of watching demons tearing through the Division to invade the realm. Every claw is horrific—every snarl disgusting—and the responsibility of keeping that vile terror from expanding beyond the battlefield’s borders rests in the teenagers’ hands. They thought they were ready for that challenge…
But then their confidence is shaken when a deadly new weapon emerges from the enemy’s arsenal, and well-kept secrets from the Essenced’s angelic superiors begin to surface.
In the midst of the carnage, can the teens find the strength within themselves, and among themselves, to grasp victory in blood-tainted hands?

Excerpt #1:
Rightfully interpreting the sudden urgency of her hold, he soothingly traced his hands up her back and through her hair. “I’m not going anywhere.”
After pinching her eyes closed against her fears, AJ reopened them and pulled back to give him a hard, unblinking stare. “You’d better survive this war, Julius. If not, I’m gonna get Clint to yell at you. I’ll write an angry speech and everything.”
He smirked at her words, even chuckled. “Yeah, I didn’t think you’d let something as tiny as death get in the way of arguing with me.”
“I’m serious,” she insisted with a glare that contradicted the smile hinting on her lips.
“I know you’re serious, and saying how heartbroken you’d be if I died would be much too normal to fit into your ‘you better survive’ lecture.” He shrugged lightheartedly. “Truthfully, I’d have been a little disappointed had you chosen that angle.”
She kept the harsh expression, but had to keep wrestling back her grin.
“And you might as well go ahead and smile.” He tapped the right edge of her mouth with his index finger. “I can see it practically begging to spill out.”
Finally caving, she let her smile blossom, but rolled her eyes in mock irritation. “I’m still serious. You better survive.”
“I’ll survive if you will,” he softly told her while his right hand trailed over her brow, down her cheek, and to her neck.
With a hum of agreement, she collapsed against his chest and hugged him with all the strength she could spare.
Tugging her closer, he gave her a whole new wave of strength to dip into.

Excerpt #2:
“Yeah,” Travis spoke up. “What’s the big strategy here?” He confidently held his hands out to either side of him. “This can’t be the whole plan. We killed hundreds of demons, and now we’re waiting for hundreds more to show up. Then we’ll kill them and wait for more. And we’ll keep doing that until the Division’s so huge that humans and demons alike can walk from one realm to the other without any real effort at all. This strategy doesn’t have an end, so either there’s more or it’s pointless.”
Paige frowned at the Incubus-Essenced warrior. “That was my point.”
Travis nodded. “And it was a good one. How about we get it answered?”
After silently debating how much he should tell the soldiers, Nicholai uncomfortably cleared his throat and settled more of his weight on his desk. “There’s more to the plan,” he hesitantly offered.
Travis shrugged. “Then what is it?”
“I’m afraid I don’t know all of the details as of yet,” Nicholai confessed.
“Could you give us the ones you do have?” Johnny asked with a new cigarette shamelessly dangling from his lips. “Our neighborhood pervert has a point here.” He tipped his chin toward Travis in what he meant to be a quick motion, but what he saw with that glance had him doing a double-take to glare at the Incubus-Essenced pack leader. “Hey! Stop staring at my girl!”
With his own shrug that seemed to embody the phrase, “I can’t help it,” Travis reluctantly brought his stare back to Nicholai. “We’re putting trust in you here. We’re fighting, and we’re winning for the most part. Don’t you think we deserve the same trust? Shouldn’t we know what’s going on?”
…Nicholai’s gaze never wavered, but it grew more serious with each second. “The Tomes.”

Excerpt #3:

“I hear, at the facility, you were barely capable of communicating.”
“That’s because I was,” Shane admitted. “Even when I was there for Nicholai’s debriefing after the battle, I was unfocused. Not as much as I’d been in the past, but more than I am here because this,” he tipped his chin toward the Division, “was nowhere near me. You said yourself that my protective instincts have a place now to channel themselves, so I don’t have to be so spacey all the time.”
“Yes, I did, and I meant it.” After a quiet moment where the angel watched the alpha pensively, he shrugged and looked away. “I suppose I didn’t fully appreciate the difference in mindsets. Complete preoccupation to boredom is quite a transition.”
“Not a hard one to make when we’re stuck in Catoosa for days without even a 3DS or a book.”
Stephan absorbed Shane’s comments, and a feeling of unease rose within him when he pondered the implications lying somewhere beneath the actual words. Bored? A Syragh-Essenced in these circumstances? Granted, he hadn’t seen an actual Syragh in millennia, but as memory served, they never tired of their purpose. In fact, on occasion, the creatures’ impulses made them some of the most annoying beings in the universe. One could only be forced to pause walking so a helpful entity could remove a banana peel from his path so many times before the consideration became taxing. And they’d always done those kinds of things with giant smiles.
But then again, these soldiers had been human a great while longer than they’d been Essenced. Perhaps the boredom and monotonous outlook could be explained as lingering human characteristics within the pack. Stephan sincerely hoped the reasoning could be so logically addressed. Otherwise…
I’ll not even think it, the angel silently decided.

About the Author:
Connie L. Smith spends a decent amount of time with her mind wandering in fictional places. She reads too much, likes to bake, and might forever be sad that she doesn’t have fairy wings. And that she can’t swing dance. Much of her preferred music is severely outdated, and as an adult she’s kind of obsessed with Power Rangers. She has her BA from Northern Kentucky University in Speech Communication and History (she doesn’t totally get the connection either), and her MA in English and Creative Writing.


Friday, 17 March 2017

Book Promo - Luminous Spirits

Luminous Spirits Release, Giveaway, and Promo
Promoting a Sequel without Spoilers

Thanks for hosting me! It’s been way too long since my young adult, urban fantasy, Shadow Eyes was first released in 2012 by Musa Publishing! Now, finally, after 5 years, I’m releasing the sequel, Luminous Spirits. I am super excited to finally release the next installment in the Shadow Eyes Series and get it out there! I apologize to anyone who read the first version of Shadow Eyes five years ago and who had to wait that long for the sequel. This book is dedicated to you. J

(Everyone, don’t forget to enter the rafflecopter below for a chance to win a print copy of Luminous Spirits or Shadow Eyes – your choice! Also, Shadow Eyes is on sale for just 99 cents until 3/24!)

I HATE spoilers. As a teacher, it is super annoying when my students read ahead and then blab about the ending or some critical part in the story we haven’t reached yet. It takes the fun away. It ruins that moment whenever we do finally reach it. The shock factor is lost. The big aha epiphany is gone. There’s nothing to wait anxiously for anymore.

Going into promoting the sequel for Shadow Eyes, one of the most frustrating things about trying to promote and post about Luminous Spirits is trying to avoid spoilers about the first book in the series, Shadow Eyes. It may not be that hard for other series if they don’t have major twists and reveals at the end of the first book. But for Shadow Eyes, I feel like I’m playing taboo where I have to carefully watch what I say and constantly backtrack to avoid saying something revealing.

Shadow Eyes has SO MANY big surprises and reveals at the end that I don’t want to spoil. So many things change by the end that influence the action in the sequel, so I can’t just carry on and talk about Iris the same way as I did in the synopsis of Shadow Eyes. It doesn’t all apply now. But most readers don’t know that. The vast majority of readers who will see these promotions won’t have read the first one yet, and they may not want to if they realize I’ve given everything away for them already. I even have to be careful of names since just saying certain names will give away things that you may not realize until you start reading Shadow Eyes.

Still, I need to give enough information to make it seem interesting and give them an idea of what it’s about. I don’t want my synopsis, for example, to be like those early movie trailers where you go away not even knowing what the plot is.

So…in conclusion, I love that Shadow Eyes ends with a bang of huge reveals. But that bang sure as heck is making it difficult to promote its sequel, Luminous Spirits.

Check out my synopsis for Luminous Spirits below and see if you think I was able to balance vague with interesting.

Old habits die hard. Old enemies, even harder.

Iris must now perfect her newfound abilities in order to help her shadow-oppressed family and friends, but more importantly, she must prepare for an impending fight with her most hated adversary. After the arrival of a new mean girl who seems to have history with Iris’s boyfriend, Iris quickly figures out that she is anything but the typical mean girl. She not only creates havoc and conflict among Iris and her friends, but her presence also means that Iris’s inevitable confrontation with her enemy may, in fact, be closer than she thought.

If Iris can figure out why the new girl is there and what her enemy is planning, she’ll at least be one step ahead of their game. But will she be ready when the time comes to face her biggest challenge yet? Or will they succeed in tearing Iris apart before she even has the chance?

Author Bio
Dusty Crabtree loves a good story, but she also loves young people. These two loves are evident in all parts of her life. She has been a high school English teacher since 2006 and a creative writing teacher since 2014. She's also been a youth sponsor at her local church for as long as she’s been teaching. She feels very blessed with the amazing opportunities she has to develop meaningful relationships with teens on a daily basis. With her love of reading in the mix, becoming an author of young adult books was just a natural development of those two passions in her life. She lives with her husband, Clayton, in Yukon, Oklahoma, where they often serve their community as foster parents.

Check out Dusty’s blog at
Follow her on twitter at
Follow her on Instagram – dustycrabtree12
Check out Luminous Spirits on Goodreads –
View the book trailer for SE –
View the Book trailer for LS -
Buy Luminous Spirits on Amazon (eBook or print) –

Rafflecopter Code: a Rafflecopter giveaway

Rafflecopter Link -

Saturday, 11 March 2017

Book Promo - Here Be Witches


All Ellie Morgan wants is to be with her one true love, Henry. But she’s caught in the middle of a BATTLE as old as SNOWDON itself. A battle between GOOD and EVIL.
A WITCHES’ SPELL, cast high on the mountain, has sped up time and made matters MUCH WORSE. The dragons are awake; mythical creatures and evil ghosts have risen. And nearly all of them want Ellie DEAD.
Thank heavens for loyal friend George, disloyal bestie Rhi, and mysterious stranger, Davey. Armed with Granny Jones’s potions, Ellie and her companions must set out on a journey to REVERSE THE SPELL, stop the EVIL White Dragon and find Henry.
As an eternal winter tightens its grip on Snowdon, Ellie and her friends have just THREE DAYS to SURVIVE and complete their quest.

Author Bio

Sarah Mussi is an award-winning author of children’s and young adults’ fiction. Her first novel, The Door of No Return, won the Glen Dimplex Children’s Book Award and was shortlisted for the Branford Boase Award. Her second novel, The Last of the Warrior Kings, was shortlisted for the Lewisham Book Award, inspired a London Walk, and is used as a textbook in Lewisham schools. Her thriller, Siege, was nominated for the CILIP Carnegie Medal (2014) and won the BBUKYA award for contemporary YA fiction. Her thriller, Riot, was longlisted for The Amazing Book Award amongst many others and won The Lancashire Schools Award. In 2015, Hodder Children’s Books published her novel, Bomb, followed shortly after by Here Be Dragons, the first book in the Snowdonia Chronicles trilogy, published by Vertebrate Publishing. Here Be Witches is the second title in the trilogy. Sarah was born and raised in the Cotswolds, attended Pate’s Grammar School for Girls, and graduated with a BA in Fine Art from Winchester School of Art and an MA from the Royal College of Art. She spent over fifteen years in West Africa as a teacher and now lives in London where she is the current Chair of CWISL (Children’s Writers and Illustrators in South London). Sarah splits her time between writing, visiting schools as an author and promoting creative writing for children. Sarah also teaches English in a Lewisham School.

Book link


Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Book Promo - Ignite

Inline image 2

In the ruins of dystopian London, the Empire rules through fear and fire. “Everyone knew about ‘The Flames’ and how much trouble they had caused the Empire. They were the only rebel group anyone knew of that had lasted longer than a few months without getting caught, leaving candles behind whenever they snatched somebody out of the Empire’s grasp. To get involved with people like them is stupid. So stupid.”
Ever since her parents were murdered by the empire’s agents, Jacks has been living on the street as a pickpocket trying to keep away from trouble. When she accidentally witnesses the rebel group ‘The Flames’ in the middle of an operation she is unwillingly swept up into their world, and has to decide if she’s going to go back to looking after herself or join the rebellion and help them fight for the people of London Ruins.
She knows that getting involved was stupid, but does she really have a choice?

Author Bio
Danielle Rogland began writing Ignite at the age of 17, and finished at age 21. She is now 25 and lives in Seattle, Washington, where she earned her English degree from Seattle Pacific University, and works in marketing and freelance writing while working on her second novel. She grew up near Portland, Oregon, and was always one of those kids who carried around giant books like The Lord of the Rings to read during recess. She can currently be found frequenting comic conventions, pestering her three younger siblings, or hiding out in her home and posting things on social media. You can follow her on twitter @daniellerogland or facebook @danielleroglandauthor. 


Saturday, 25 February 2017

Book Review - Head Over Heels

Title: Head Over Heels
Author: Holly Smale
Series: Geek Girl (Book 5)
Publisher: Harper Collins Children's Books
Release Date: 28 July 2016
ISBN-13: 978-0007574650

Harriet Manners knows almost every fact there is.

She knows duck-billed platypuses don’t have stomachs.
She knows that fourteen squirrels were once detained as spies.
She knows only one flag in the world features a building.

And for once, Harriet knows exactly how her life should go. She’s got it ALL planned out. So when love is in the air, Harriet is determined to Make Things Happen!
If only everyone else would stick to the script…

Has GEEK GIRL overstepped the mark, and is following the rules going to break hearts all over again?

My Review
I have always been a fan of the Geek Girl books and usually read them as soon as they came out, this one has been on my shelf for quite a few months but I never had time to pick it up. However last week I was going out somewhere and I knew I would be sitting around waiting for a while so I popped this in my bag to help me pass the time. I knew I needed a light easy read that wouldn't take me too long to get through and this seemed to be the perfect choice. 
Harriet is the ultimate Geek, she knows so many pieces of information and facts that she shares with people whether they want to know or not, but things are looking up for her, she's found a group of friends who love her and she's got plans. Everything is organised but not everyone is up for following her plans and soon she is starting to lose her way a bit. Then she gets offered some more modelling jobs, can she get through these successfully or will they turn out to be disasters like in the past. This time there is more at stake and Harriet has to decide what she really wants.
I've always found Harriet quite charming but slightly annoying in a loveable way but I will admit she started to annoy me a bit in this book, she was just so naive and gullible, she was like a whirlwind just blustering through and not noticing anything that was going on around her. She had one view and nothing else registered with her. Made me want to shake her and yell 'wake up' in her face a bit. I no longer found it endearing but actually just annoying. That isn't to say I didn't enjoy the book because overall I did and by the end of the book I was liking Harriet a lot more again. But then that does show that she is growing and developing as a character. 
I loved the involvement of Tabitha and her crazy Grandma Bunty, they are fab characters and I love Jasper, hope we see more of him.
The next book in the series will be the last and I will be sad that the series is over, but I can't wait to find out what catastrophes Harriet gets into next.
These books are lighthearted and fun and make for a nice refreshing change from all those dark, serious books out there. Geek Girl is full of charm and laughter and always a pleasure to read.

My Rating

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Book Promo - Through the Ashes

Through the Ashes (The Division: Book Two)
By Connie L. Smith
ISBN: 978-1-945910-09-8

The war has begun. The battle’s unfolding. And victory feels so distant…
The Essenced had prepared and trained, but never imagined the true horror of watching demons tearing through the Division to invade the realm. Every claw is horrific—every snarl disgusting—and the responsibility of keeping that vile terror from expanding beyond the battlefield’s borders rests in the teenagers’ hands. They thought they were ready for that challenge…
But then their confidence is shaken when a deadly new weapon emerges from the enemy’s arsenal, and well-kept secrets from the Essenced’s angelic superiors begin to surface.
In the midst of the carnage, can the teens find the strength within themselves, and among themselves, to grasp victory in blood-tainted hands?"

About the Author:
Connie L. Smith spends a decent amount of time with her mind wandering in fictional places. She reads too much, likes to bake, and might forever be sad that she doesn’t have fairy wings. And that she can’t swing dance. Much of her preferred music is severely outdated, and as an adult she’s kind of obsessed with Power Rangers. She has her BA from Northern Kentucky University in Speech Communication and History (she doesn’t totally get the connection either), and her MA in English and Creative Writing.


Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Book Review - Angel's Game

Title: The Angel's Game
Author: Carlos Ruiz Zafon
Series: Cemetery of Forgotten Books (2)
  • Publisher: Orion; Unabridged edition 
  • Release Date: 1 June 2009
  • ISBN-13: 978-1409105282

In an abandoned mansion at the heart of Barcelona, a young man - David Martin - makes his living by writing sensationalist novels under a pseudonym. The survivor of a troubled childhood, he has taken refuge in the world of books, and spends his nights spinning baroque tales about the city's underworld. But perhaps his dark imaginings are not as strange as they seem, for in a locked room deep within the house letters hinting at the mysterious death of the previous owner. Like a slow poison, the history of the place seeps into his bones as he struggles with an impossible love.
Then David receives the offer of a lifetime: he is to write a book with the power to change hearts and minds. In return, he will receive a fortune, perhaps more. But as David begins the work, he realises that there is a connection between this haunting book and the shadows that surround his home...

My Review
After reading Shadow of the Wind I was desperate for more, i love Zafon's writing style and I was hungry to get back into the world he had created. I found the Spoken word edition in the library and popped it in my car to listen to as I go about my daily drives.
This book is set a few years before Shadow but you still get a few characters you will recognize, Sempere snr and his son Daniel. This book mainly follows David Martin, a young man, a novelist and a bit of a loner. He finds comfort in his creepy old house, but even the house holds secrets that may come back to haunt him. David receives an offer to write a book for a mysterious older man, but once he has agreed strange events start to happen and David wonders what exactly he has got himself into.
The book is full of mystery and intrigue and exciting action. I found I didn't enjoy it as much as the first, it was harder to get into and I wasn't sure where it was going but the more I listened to it the more involved I became. It seems a lot darker than the first one but held me captivated and wanting to know more. 
If you have read and enjoyed the first one I would definitely recommend reading this one, it takes you back into the world you know and I have to say that Zafon is a true master at creating worlds, the visualisation is incredible, I could picture every setting, every character, every event in my head as I listened to it. He really is a master storyteller, and I've just found the third book in the series, so as soon as I can I will be diving into that one. I just can't get enough!

My Rating

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Book Promo - Day of Ice

DAY OF ICE the second installment from a new series by author Andrew Lane. These books are an exciting YA re-imagining of the characters from the original Robinson Crusoe.

Andrew Lane has written some thirty-odd books, ranging from fiction to non-fiction and from science fiction novels based on popular TV series to adult crime novels. He has also written nearly 30  short stories which have been published in various magazines and anthologies. His best known work to date is the highly successful Young Sherlock Holmes series of YA novels, of which eight have currently been published.

TITLE: Day of Ice: A Crusoe Adventure

AUTHOR: Andrew Lane

US RELEASE DATE: February 21, 2017 (Hardcover at Barnes & Noble)

AGE RANGE: 12 - 17 Years

SYNOPSIS: Months after their rescue by the government agency Segment W, Robinson Crusoe and his friend Friday have proven their skills as secret agents. They’re now climbing the ranks of this exclusive group of spies who reports directly to the Crown. Suddenly, in the dead of winter, Friday is shocked to see her father, who once tried to kill her, walking the streets of London. She tries to elicit the help of Segment W, but they are preoccupied with the continued investigation into an organization that staged a kidnapping of the king’s daughter. What will she do? As Friday’s past comes back to haunt her, she, Crusoe, and Daniel Defoe must uncover the mystical Circle of XIII’s sinister plans to recruit new members into the society using dangerous and magical means. How does her father fit into all of this? Will they be able to escape unscathed?

Day of Ice is the second installment of a series that thrusts a young Robinson Crusoe into a new world of espionage, intrigue, and peril.

Saturday, 28 January 2017

Book Promo - If I Fix You

Title: If I Fix You
Author: Abigail Johnson
Readers of Sarah Dessen, Cammie McGovern and Morgan Matson will adore this thought-provoking, complex and romantic contemporary novel from debut author Abigail Johnson, about finding the strength to put yourself back together when everything you know has fallen apart.

When sixteen-year-old Jill Whitaker’s mom walks out—with a sticky note as a goodbye—only Jill knows the real reason she’s gone. But how can she tell her father? Jill can hardly believe the truth herself.

Suddenly, the girl who likes to fix things—cars, relationships, romances, people—is all broken up. Used to be, her best friend, tall, blond and hot flirt Sean Addison, could make her smile in seconds. But not anymore. They don’t even talk.

With nothing making sense, Jill tries to pick up the pieces of her life. But when a new guy moves in next door, intense, seriously cute, but with scars—on the inside and out—that he thinks don’t show, Jill finds herself trying to make things better for Daniel. But over one long, hot Arizona summer, she realizes she can’t fix anyone’s life until she fixes her own. And she knows just where to start . . . 

“IF I FIX YOU is a heart-rending story about life not being what you hoped for ... and being okay anyway...This is the perfect book to hand to anyone who feels alone or broken. Or, more likely, both.” - Aprilynne Pike, #1 New York Times Bestselling Author

"A whole-hearted page turner." - Huntley Fitzpatrick (Author of The Boy Most Likely To)

"I know readers are going to LOVE this book as much as I did.  A feisty and strong heroine to root for, and a love interest who is dreamy and complicated in all the right ways.  What a fabulous debut by a great new writer to watch!" - Cammie McGovern (Author of Say What You Will)

"Broken boys and broken cars and broken hearts. I loved this combination of things that need fixing. Heartfelt and romantic! Read it!" -Kasie West (Author of The Fill-In Boyfriend)

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Book Review - Shadow of the Wind

Title: Shadow of the Wind
Author: Carlos Ruiz Zafon
Series: Cemetery of Forgotten Books (Book 1)
Publisher: Phoenix Press
Release Date: 5th October 2005
ISBN13: 9780753820254

Hidden in the heart of the old city of Barcelona is the 'cemetery of lost books', a labyrinthine library of obscure and forgotten titles that have long gone out of print. To this library, a man brings his 10-year-old son Daniel one cold morning in 1945. Daniel is allowed to choose one book from the shelves and pulls out 'La Sombra del Viento' by Julian Carax.
But as he grows up, several people seem inordinately interested in his find. Then, one night, as he is wandering the old streets once more, Daniel is approached by a figure who reminds him of a character from La Sombra del Viento, a character who turns out to be the devil. This man is tracking down every last copy of Carax's work in order to burn them. What begins as a case of literary curiosity turns into a race to find out the truth behind the life and death of Julian Carax and to save those he left behind. A page-turning exploration of obsession in literature and love, and the places that obsession can lead.

My Review
I had seen this book a lot coming in and out of the library, it seemed very popular and many people told me how enjoyable it was. Even my supervisor at work had read it and told me I would like it. As I usually read YA this was a bit different from my normal pick but I decided to give it a go. However I don't have as much time to read at the moment whilst doing my University course so I requested the Spoken Word edition of the book and listened to the CD's in my car. The narrator had a wonderful voice and I found him very easy to listen to. I got straight into the story and found myself finding reasons to go out in my car just so I could listen to a little bit more. 
Daniel is taken to the cemetary of lost books by his father when he turns ten and is told he can choose a book. He selects a book by Julian Carax and takes it home, but as the years pass he hears that someone is looking for the book, someone wants it and will do anything to get it. Drawn into the mystery of the past behind the book and Carax himself, Daniel finds himself in a strange situation and followed by strange shadows and forgotten rumours. Can he figure it out before it is too late?
I found the book truly fascinating and absolutely magical, it's the sort of story that sweeps you up and takes you on a journey before bringing you back to reality. But even then it stays with you, the characters become like friends and I just wanted to know as much as I could. The storytelling is just incredible and I could not get enough. The world is woven around you and the mystery takes over. It is one of the best books I have ever read and I would definitely visit it again. I will also be looking out for other books by Ruiz Zafon, he is an amazing storyteller.

My Rating

Friday, 20 January 2017

Book Review - Carry On

Title: Carry On
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Publisher: Macmillan
Release Date: 25 Feb. 2016
ISBN-13: 978-1447266945

Simon Snow just wants to relax and savour his last year at the Watford School of Magicks, but no one will let him. His girlfriend broke up with him, his best friend is a pest and his mentor keeps trying to hide him away in the mountains where maybe he'll be safe. Simon can't even enjoy the fact that his room-mate and longtime nemesis is missing, because he can't stop worrying about the evil git. Plus there are ghosts. And vampires. And actual evil things trying to shut Simon down. When you're the most powerful magician the world has ever known, you never get to relax and savour anything.
Based on the characters Simon and Baz who featured in Rainbow Rowell's bestselling Fangirl, Carry On is a ghost story, a love story, a mystery and a melodrama. It has just as much kissing and talking as you'd expect from a Rainbow Rowell story - but far, far more monsters.

My Review
I am a fan of Rainbow Rowell so when I saw another release from her I knew I had to read it. However I heard mixed reviews from people and my friend at work told me I might not like it as in a way it is taking the mick out of Harry Potter. Being a massive Potterhead I was apprehensive but I decided to give it a go anyway.
Simon Snow is our 'hero', he is the chosen one, the most powerful wizard of the time but he's not sure who the real enemy is or what he is meant to do. His best friend is a genius but is also rather annoying and his roommate is definitely an evil vampire, who happens to have gone missing over the summer. Simon isn't sure why but Baz's disappearance causes him real concern, little does he know that bigger events will be unfolding. 
I did find it hard to get into and i really had to make myself persevere, there are a lot of parallels with Harry Potter and I found it quite sarcastic and hard to believe. I found Simon himself to be very whiny and rather irritating. The further I got into the book the more i began to enjoy it and I will admit I wanted to know what would happen in the end. It took me quite a while to read though and I was satisfied to finish it but not sure I would want to read it again. I'm glad I read it but it's not my favourite novel by her. Overall just left me feeling a bit deflated. 

My Rating

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Book Review - One

Title: One
Author: Sarah Crossan
Publisher: Bloomsbury Childrens
Release Date: 2 Jun. 2016
ISBN-13: 978-1408827215

Grace and Tippi don't like being stared and sneered at, but they're used to it. They're conjoined twins - united in blood and bone.
What they want is to be looked at in turn, like they truly are two people. They want real friends. And what about love?
But a heart-wrenching decision lies ahead for Tippi and Grace. One that could change their lives more than they ever asked for...
This moving and beautifully crafted novel about identity, sisterhood and love ultimately asks one question: what does it mean to want and have a soulmate?

My Review
I saw this on the shelf at work and was immediately intrigued, i liked the cover design and I have read Sarah Crossan's Breathe series so knew I loved her style. Reading the back of the book I was drawn in, I don't know much about conjoined twins but this sounded interesting. 
I got stuck in quite quickly and found myself unable to put the book down. The book is written in broken sentences and odd snippets but it adds a charm and dramatic feel to the book and within a couple of pages I was reading it as normally as ever, you get into the rhythm. Straight away I wanted to know more about Grace and Tippi and what their lives involved, I laughed with them, cried with them and saw them grow and change as individuals as well as a pair. 
Sarah Crossan has a real gift of writing emotion and making you fall in love with her characters. I felt like I really got to know the girls and I was rooting for their success and happiness. I read the book in one sitting in just a few hours, it sucks you in and won't let you go. 
I  really enjoyed it and wanted so much more, then we hit the ending. I hate to admit it but i was so disappointed with the ending. It's not that it didn't turn out the way I hoped, not every story works out the way you want, that's life, but it just came across as really rushed and I wanted more. I wanted to see the consequences, read the aftermath, know more about what came next. It just seemed rather cut off. Left me feeling really disappointed.

My Rating

Book Review - Miss Mabel's School for Girls

Title: Miss Mabel's School for Girls
Author: Katie Cross
Series: The Network Series (Book 1)
Publisher: Antebellum Publishing
ISBN-13: 978-0991531905

Never underestimate the power of a determined witch.
Letum Wood is a forest of fog and deadfall, home to the quietly famous Miss Mabel’s School for Girls, a place where young witches learn the art of magic.
Sixteen-year-old Bianca Monroe has inherited a deadly curse. Determined to break free before it kills her, she enrolls in the respected school to confront the cunning witch who cast the curse: Miss Mabel.
Bianca finds herself faced with dark magic she didn’t expect, with lessons more dangerous than she could have ever imagined. Will Bianca have the courage to save herself from the curse, or will Miss Mabel’s sinister plan be too powerful?  

My Review
I received an ebook copy of this book in exchange for an honest review, first I am sorry for how long it has taken me to get round to this. I first received it about 2 and a half years ago but just never got round to starting it. But I am determined to get back into running this blog regularly and catching up with my old review books. 
I wish I had started it earlier because I really enjoyed the book and am already trying to get hold of the next book!
Bianca wishes to study at Miss Mabel's School, it's where all the best witches go to train, but she has another motive too, Bianca has a secret hanging over her and only Miss Mabel can help. 
I loved the setting in the Letnum wood and the school itself. The writing is very descriptive, I could picture the classrooms, hallways and dormitories. The characters too have great personalities and really come to life on the page. But the description isn't overdone and it isn't boring at all, it's woven within the story and creates the places and people in your mind. 
I read the first half quite quickly and then was desperate to find time to finish. I was hooked, I had to know what would happen to Bianca and just how far Miss Mabel would push her power. I enjoyed seeing the events unfold and I loved Bianca's quirky and weird friends. 
The ending is quite a bit of a cliffhanger and will leave you desperate for more. 
Thoroughly enjoyable and well worth a read. 

My Rating