Posts Tagged ‘Paranormal’

Netgalley November: Week Two Round Up

netgalleynovember3Personal Target: To read and review eight net galley titles and improve my approved/feedback rating

Number of books read this week: 3

Running total of books read: 5

Netgalley Approved-Feedback: 54.7%

Currently Reading: Crossing by Stacey Wallace Benefiel

Feedback: My Approved-Feedback percentage would have been much higher but I was approved for four new books this week.I know, I know! but I was posting my feedback and I just happened to look at the the newly available and most popular titles and they were just too good to pass up!

On the positive side the fact that I am being approved for titles after a bit of a drought shows how much this challenge has already helped!

If I manage to complete my original target, before the end of the month, I will go on to read from this list of recently approved titles:

The Edge Of Always (The Edge Of Never 2 )by J.A. Redmerski
Witch Finder by Ruth Warburton
Doubting Abbey by Samantha Tonge
Unleashing Mr Darcy by Teri Wilson

As usual click on the TBR title to be taken to the appropriate Goodreads page.

Time After Time by Tamara Ireland Stone
time after timeCalling Anna and Bennett’s romance long distance is an understatement: she’s from 1995 Chicago and he’s a time traveler from 2012 San Francisco. The two of them never should have met, but they did. They fell in love, even though they knew they shouldn’t. And they found a way to stay together, against all odds.
It’s not a perfect arrangement, though, with Bennett unable to stay in the past for more than brief visits, skipping out on big chunks of his present in order to be with Anna in hers. They each are confident that they’ll find a way to make things work…until Bennett witnesses a single event he never should have seen (and certainly never expected to). Will the decisions he makes from that point on cement a future he doesn’t want?
Told from Bennett’s point of view, Time After Time will satisfy readers looking for a fresh, exciting, and beautifully-written love story, both those who are eager to find out what’s next for Time Between Us’s Anna and Bennett and those discovering their story for the first time.

Time After Time is the sequel to the excellent Time Between Us. The first book was told from Anna’s first person perspective as she meets the mysterious Bennett in 1995 and uncovers his secrets. In Time After Time we are gifted with Bennett’s perspective as he navigates and attempts to reconcile the two halves of his life in contemporary San Francisco and 90’s Chicago.

While Time After Time is a time travel book (my third this month!)it had a very contemporary feel. Bennett’s gift is the tool the author uses to allow the unlikely couple to meet and to develop the tension within their relationship, however I felt that this fantasy element was much less important compared to the couples individual character developments over the duology. Both Anna and Bennett struggle with issues related to identity, self belief and faith in their relationship. For Anna the lesson was about being true to her ambitions and not being defined by her relationships.

When we met Bennett in Time Between Us is was already very familiar with his extraordinary gift and how he could use it to enhance the lives of the people he loves. Over the course of the two books he explores the impact that seemly small actions can have on people’s lives and he develops a confidence in his instincts and opinions but with an added maturity and humility.

Verdict: A sweet romantic read I can envision myself returning to time and time again

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Sci-Fi, Paranormal and Contemporary Prize Pack

Complete the Rafflecopter form below for your chance to win five YA books, including an uncorrected proof!

Click on the book title to learn more.

photo-9YA Sci-Fi, Paranormal and Contemporary Prize Pack:
An Uncorrected Proof (ARC) of All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill (Donated by Bloomsbury)
A paperback copy of Breathe by Sarah Crossan(Donated by Bloomsbury)
A paperback copy of The Blood Keeper (The Blood Journals 2) by Tessa Gratton
(Donated by Random House Children’s Publishing)
A paperback copy of The Dead Girls Detective Agency by Suzy Cox
(Donated by Much-In-Little)
A hardback copy of The Taming Of The Tights by Louise Rennison
(Donated by HarperCollins Children’s Books)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Carnegie and Greenaway: In Darkness

Nick Lake

in darknessListen. You’re the voices in the dark so the world can’t all be gone. There must be people left.
I’m going to tell you how I got here and how I got this bullet in my arm. I’m going to tell you about my sister who was taken from me by the gangsters.
Maybe, maybe if I tell you my story then you’ll understand me better and the things I’ve done. Maybe you’ll forgive me…. Maybe she will.
Alone and in darkness, trapped in the rubble after the Hatian earthquake, one terrified teenager holds on to life.

Told in the voices of a black slave from Haiti’s past and a gangster teenager from Haiti’s near past, ‘In Darkness’ walks us through two of the most important parts of Haiti’s history, in a very personal way. We have the story of Toussaint, an illiterate slave who becomes literate during a Voudon ceremony and then leads the slaves to their freedom. We also follow Shorty, a teenager who has grown up in the slums. The story starts in Shorty’s voice, just after the Haitian earthquake that destroyed the country. Shorty was in hospital with a gunshot wound and is now trapped under the rubble. In alternating chapters they tell their story until we get to the point where their stories combine.

I will hold my hands up and say that I wasn’t sure about ‘In Darkness’. In spite of some absolutely fantastic reviews I just didn’t know what to expect from it. It’s one of those books that seem very ‘worthy’ (and yes it is) and on the hole that tends to put me off (bad librarian!). I’ve read in other books that it’s not a book that you enjoy and that is completely right. It is however a book that evokes a lot of emotion. Incredibly dark, sometimes disturbing the book does include a lot of violence. But the story is about very violent places and times and is therefore fitting and never feels gratuitous. Because of this some librarians have questioned its place on the shortlist as they have doubts about giving the book to Year 7’s to read. Whilst I understand their doubts I don’t think that this book could have been written any other way, yet the writing and the characterisation means that it deserves its place. I think that children of their age tend to self censor when it comes to their reading and will either skirt over the bits they can’t cope with or leave the book unread. Despite the darkness present in the book it does end with a glimmer of hope.

As said above I can’t say that I enjoyed ‘In Darkness’, it’s not that type of book, but I do feel that I gained something in reading it. I know very little about Haiti and its history and the historian in me was interested in learning about its past. A lack of knowledge also meant that I could enjoy the story instead of thinking about how accurate it was. This is a book that also concentrates on relationships between people, between Mother and Son, Father and Son, between gang member and between siblings. This gives the book a human element that is one of its greatest strengths. It makes the focus of the book become the human cost of the events concentrating on the injustices of the times.

Another interesting factor of the book is the way it deals with the Voodoo practices of the characters. There is a such a matter of factness about it the it is obvious that this is just the beliefs of the characters. Whether there is any truth to the power of voodoo is left to the reader.

Although this is an incredibly strong book I’m not sure that it is likely to win Carnegie. I think that it probably lacks the wider appeal that the winner should have.

Verdict: Dark, violent and sometimes unsettling but still a very interesting read.

Reviewed by Alison

Publisher: Bloomsbury
Publication Date: January 2013
Format: Paperback
Pages: 352
Genre: Historical, Supernatural
Age: YA
Reviewer: Alison
Source: Borrowed
Challenge: Debut Author
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Lucifer Blog Tour: To Publish Is To Bleed

Yesterday we got to know awesome debut author Annabell Cadiz ( read the interview here). Today we ask that you sit back and relax with a cup of tea while Annabell shares the wisdom she gained during her journey to self publication.

luciferHave you ever wondered what could be hiding in the shadows?
Well, for eighteen-year-old Zahara Faraday, she doesn’t have to wonder. You see she comes from a lineage of Light Witches, those who have chosen to help protect and serve between the supernatural world and the human world. The only problem is Zahara, like her father Solomon, is as human as a human being can be whereas her mother, Mia, and her Aunt Catalina, were born as Light Witches. As a family they hunt down rogue supernaturals—creatures who harm humans or who have committed an act against their kingdom.
Zahara’s hunting skills are usually kept dormant since her parents would prefer she live life as a normal human girl without knowledge of the supernatural world. She plans on doing just that—except when she finds a couple being attacked by fairies, she has no choice but to step in. Before she can return to pretending to be blissfully ignorant, Zahara encounters a problem she isn’t the least equip to handle: Bryan Hamilton, the good looking new co-worker she has to help train. In a heartbeat, her best friend, Becca King, has set her up on a double date with herself and her new crush, Rekesh Saint-Louis, who happens to be the most powerful leader of the biggest Imago Coven in South Florida –supernatural creatures with the ability to control water . . . and suck out human souls.
Zahara has no time to focus on how she’s going to explain her double date with her best friend and the enemy they have a tentative truce with to her parents because soon one of the members of Mia and Catalina’s coven is found murdered with a strange tattoo of a snake with wings carved into his arm.
Zahara is then thrown into a whirlwind battle with an angel determined to have revenge against God, an Imago coven she doesn’t think they should trust, and slew of dream-eating fairies and powerful Nephilims, hybrid children of angels and humans, more than happy to rip her to shreds.
Normal just got a deadlier definition.

To Publish is To Bleed!
Ernest Hemingway once said, “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed,” while that is true for writing, the same could be said for publishing. Or well, it FEELS like sitting down and bleeding all your sanity out!
My journey to self-publishing was, thankfully, less like bleeding out my sanity and more like beating my head against a wall. I knew the basics about self-publishing but I had never ACTUALLY applied them since I had yet to publish a book, so the journey was filled with both HIALRIOUS and stupid mistakes, and was a DEFINITE learning experience.

My journey to publishing began when I was sixteen years old. I decided to write a book and in my naive mind, I thought that was all it would take. Write a book. Find someone who likes it enough to publish. Done.

Yeah, not so much.

Not only did I discover I needed an editor ASAP but I needed an entirely different book. I didn’t really focus on writing till years later when the FALLEN ANGELS SERIES kicked in, then SONS OF OLD TRILGY was born.
Through those years I learned how to be a better writer and how to create an ACTUAL plot with DEPTH, and I learned how to understand the ins and outs of publishing.

So here are some tips to up and coming authors to save you from making the same ridiculous (and comical) mistakes.
Enjoy!

Tips to Self-Publishing

Editor Is Your Best Friend (Even When He/She Sounds Like the Enemy): Every great author needs a support team and one of the main players on your team is your editor. Your editor is a third set of EXPERIENCED eyes and will not only become your confidant, but a trusted friend. Do the research. Make sure the person you choose to work with has done work either as a freelance editor or established editor in the past. Ask for references, history, and pricing. Find someone you vibe with well. You can use sites like The Association of Authors’ Representative, Preditors & Editors, and Writer Beware to help you.

The Curse of the Ugly Cover: Now, we all know the first element that will attract a reader to your book is the cover. As much as we’d love the old adage “Don’t judge a book by its cover” to be true, in the publication world, it just doesn’t work, and frankly, an ugly cover can be an extreme turn off. Once that book is published, you’re going to have to live with that cover, so make sure it’s one you REALLY love. AND make sure to look over every detail of the cover before officially announcing it to the world. When my cover was officially done and I did a Cover Reveal Tour, none of the reviewers, my best friends, myself or even my cover designer, Kim (from Hot Damn Designs) realized that the word TRILOGY was spelled TRIOLOGY! Thankfully, it was an easy mistake to fix and it was caught before the book was published *Whew* Some designers you may want to check out Hot Damn Designs, Dara England and Carol Green, WordSuger Designs, and Graphic Fantastic.

Converting From Hell: Formatting a book is HARD work, at least for those of us who do not speak computer beyond the basics. I was blessed that my best friend’s husband knows how to format Word Doc into the various ebook formats. But I know it won’t be so easy for everyone, so I suggest learning exactly what formats you want to convert your book into and what formats work for which site (i.e. Epub for Barnes and Noble, Epub for Amazon). Also, DO NOT PUBLISH YOUR WORD DOC DIRECTLY! Amazon and BN will tell you that you can just upload your book as Word Doc and they’ll convert it for you, which they will, BUT the conversion won’t come out so nice looking. Spaces will be off. Formatting will look weird. Paragraphs may not be indented probably. You don’t want to wind up with crappy formatted conversion because readers will get annoyed and will only be able to focus on the formatting instead of the story. Some great sites that can help you with conversion: Kinde Expert and Write Into Print.

Publish Here, Publish There, Publish Everywhere!: In case you were like me and didn’t know where the hex on Amazon and Barnes and Noble you’re supposed to go in order to publish your book, let me make it easier for you 😉

Amazon: No, you do not just go on your regular Amazon account to publish your book. Travel over to Kindle Direct Publishing. The steps will be explained for you and they are really simple. (Also, make sure in the section where it says “Contributors” that you put in YOUR NAME then click on the scroll bar and select AUTHOR or when you submit your book for publication on Amazon, it won’t go live. Yeah, I made that mistake. TWICE. *slaps forehead*) Amazon takes up to 12 hrs to publish your book in English and 48 hrs to publish your book in various other languages, so make sure to submit your book the day before your desired publication date! A great video that helps to explain Kindle Direct Publishing well is How to Upload Your Book on Amazon’s DTP (Kindle Marketplace). Also, once you finish publishing your book, head on over to Author Central and set up an author page for yourself 😉

Barnes and Noble: Again, you don’t head to your regular Barnes and Noble page that you use to buy books. Head on over to Pub It where the steps are explained to you the same way they are on Amazon. And again, remember in the Contributor section to do the same as with Amazon!! Barnes and Noble will give you a phone number you’ll need to call so they can check that your name and social security number are correct before they can send your book to be published live on their site. Barnes and Noble can take between 24 to 72 hrs to publish your book live so make sure to submit your book earlier than your desired publication date.
Other sites you may want to publish on: Smashwords (If you use Smashwords though, they will convert your book for you into various ebook versions). Kobo (in order to publish with them you will need to first attain an ISBN number).

Cover Tour, Launch Tour, Blog Tour? Speak English, Will You?!: There are a variety of ways an author can promote his or her book both before publication and after. It’s always great to set up interest for your book as early as possible and here are some ways you can do that.

Cover Reveal Tour: Before your book comes out, you can start getting word out there by setting up a virtual tour, otherwise known as a blog tour, that will reveal the cover of your book. The cover reveal will include not only the image of the cover, but also the synopsis of the book, mini bio about the author and links as to where the author can be located. It’s a fun and simple way to get people interested in your up and coming book. You will have to research out reviewers and request if they would like to sign up to participate in your cover reveal tour. This tour can go from one to two weeks long.

Launch Day Tour: This would be a blog tour that takes place on the day of publication for your book. You will have to set this up a few weeks in advance so every reviewer that chooses to participate can have all the info on time and so you can get a good amount of participating reviewers. Every post would include the cover of your book, the synopsis, author bio and links, and you may also want to include an excerpt (can be a scene from your book or half a chapter or a full on chapter) from your book. Or character profiles or a character interview. Something fun to go along with the promo of your book and give people an inside glimpse into what your book is either about or the characters.

Launch Tour: This would be like the Launch Day Tour but instead of just one day, this would last from one week to two weeks long.

Blog Tour: A blog tour is a lot more work and a lot of fun. It’s like setting up a book tour in the outside world except instead of stopping by bookstores for signings, you stop by reviewers blogs. This tour would include book reviews, interviews, guest posts and giveaways. This tour can last from two weeks to a month, so you will to set this tour up at least a month before the time period you want it to run. Usually between ten to twenty-five reviewers participate in the tour and they get to decide how they participate (i.e. review your book or conduct an interview with you or a character interview with a character from your book or give you a topic to write a post about to be featured on the reviewer’s site) With every type of post the cover image, the synopsis, the author bio and links will also be included.

Who the Author Are You??: A reader will become interested in not just your book but the author who created that book. You’re taken more seriously the better you establish yourself for your readership. Create a website or a blog or both (Weebly and WordPress are both FREE sites that allow you to set up a website for yourself). Write about your books, your writing journey, tips you may have, your everyday life. Let readers get to know you a bit so they can feel a connection with you. Create an account on a social media site like Twitter or Facebook. Twitter is a great place to network with fellow authors, editors, and publishers. Facebook lets you create an author page. Pinterest is a fun site to post images of stuff that can represent you and your book. Set up a Goodreads account. Goodreads is one of the biggest sites for readers and reviewers. It’s a great place to get know your readership and connect with them. They also have an Author’s Program you can sign up for. Having an online presence is a NECESSITY when you are publishing period, but even more so, when you’re self-publishing in your own work.

I hope these tips help you in along your publishing journey! =) You can also stop by TeamNerd Reviews to request having a blog tour set up for you *wink*

AnnabelleAnnabell Cadiz was born in the sweltering heat of South Florida. She was raised surrounded by Puerto Rican chefs and band of siblings that weren’t all related to her. A self-proclaimed nerd and book-a-holic (her room does hold much evidence to prove her claims are justifiable), she created TeamNerd Reviews to showcase her EXTREME love for novels where, along with her best friend, Bridget Strahin, she hosts book reviews, interviews, giveaways, Indie Shoutouts and much more. She also blog tour services for authors. She also had the pleasure of being published in three separate issue of Suspense Magazine. She also adores Cinnamon Teddy Grahams, has an addiction to Minute Maid Orange juice, and is a proud Jesus Freak. Lucifer is Annabell’s debut novel and the first book in the Sons of Old Trilogy.

You can find out more about Annabell and her work by visiting her website, Goodreads author page, Pinterest account, Facebook page,and her fabulous book blog. Alternatively, you can converse with her on twitter.

Lucifer, the first book in Annabell’s Son’s Of Old Trilogy, is available to buy now from Barnes and Noble, amazon.com and amazon.co.uk.

lucifer swag packENTER FOR A CHANCE TO WIN THE FABTASTIC SWAG PACK!
In honor of the two main female leads in LUCIFER, Zahara and Becca, Annabell created a fun swag pack for ONE very lucky winner!
Win a specially made makeup kit by E.L.F along with one DVD copy of the movie Sixteen Candles, a fuschia metallic manicure set, a Girl Power Superwoman wristband, a LOVE IS A BATTLEFIELD silver necklace, a silver bracelet with handcuff & key charms, Honey Sweetheart lotion (that smells INCREDIBLE!), two toned lip bloom (that is SUPER cute!), and gray colored cheetah printed socks that are SOOOO adorables and an ecopy of LUCIFER!
ANNNND if that wasn’t enough,FIVE other lucky winners will win a FREE ecopy of LUCIFER!
TWICE a week on MONDAYS & FRIDAYS a new clue from LUCIFER will be posted up. Enter the new clue inside the Rafflecopter every time a new one is posted and get more chances to win!
Stop by the BLOG TOUR page(here) to enter!

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Lucifer Blog Tour: Interview With Annabelle Cadiz

We are very excited to be hosting not one, but two spots on Annabell Cadiz’s blog tour for her debut novel Lucifer (book one in the Sons Of Old trilogy). Today is devoted to getting to know a little more about Annabell and her recently released paranormal novel.

AnnabelleAnnabell Cadiz was born in the sweltering heat of South Florida. She was raised surrounded by Puerto Rican chefs and band of siblings that weren’t all related to her. A self-proclaimed nerd and book-a-holic (her room does hold much evidence to prove her claims are justifiable), she created TeamNerd Reviews to showcase her EXTREME love for novels where, along with her best friend, Bridget Strahin, she hosts book reviews, interviews, giveaways, Indie Shoutouts and much more. She also blog tour services for authors. She also had the pleasure of being published in three separate issue of Suspense Magazine. She also adores Cinnamon Teddy Grahams, has an addiction to Minute Maid Orange juice, and is a proud Jesus Freak. Lucifer is Annabell’s debut novel and the first book in the Sons of Old Trilogy.
You can find out more about Annabell and her work by visiting her website, Goodreads author page, Pinterest account, Facebook page,and her fabulous book blog. Alternatively, you can converse with her on twitter.

What do you do when you are not writing?
When I’m not writing, you’ll find me hanging out with my crazy Puerto Rican family or hanging out with my girlfriends. Having movie night with the girls or having creative chats where we discuss creative projects we’re working on or thinking about doing. Or you’ll find me yelling from the stands at my nephew’s soccer practices and games. Or stalking the shelves at the library and piling my arms full of books. I also love bike riding.

What inspired you to become a writer?
I started writing when I was sixteen. I had decided if Stephen King could write a book so could I. The arrogance (and ignorance) of youth *hehe* The job to writing a book and publication I knew absolutely nothing about so that was a fun and tough learning experience. I was inspired to become a writer because I adore storytelling. I like how a story can haunt you or tempt or teach you. There’s a power and beauty to storytelling and I love it!

What was your inspiration for LUCIFER?
LUCIFER was inspired through the series that follows the SONS OF OLD TRILOGY, the FALLEN ANGELS SERIES. I had never really thought about writing a prequel trilogy or series of any kind, but the idea came to me when I got stuck trying to figure out what direction I wanted to move in with the FALLEN ANGELS SERIES. I started wondering about how Lucifer could come to have a child with a human woman. How would he convince a woman to fall in love with him? Would he care if she really loved him or would he just kidnapped some random girl and force her to have his child? Would he somehow fall in love with the human girl? Could loving that girl change him? I had wanted to explore Lucifer’s path to creating war with Heaven that happens in the FALLEN ANGELS SERIES thus the SONS OF OLD TRILOGY was born.

Tell us about your book:
LUCIFER follows Zahara Faraday and her family. Where Zahara and her father, Solomon, are all human, her mother, Mia, and her aunt, Catalina, are Light Witches. They hunt down rogue supernaturals—supernatural creatures who are up to no good (i.e. stealing human memories, drinking human blood, possessing humans) and return them to the Supernatural Kingdom they belong to. Everything is going as normal (well, as normal as normal can get for a family half made up of Light Witches with powers who hunt down dangerous supernaturals), when Zahara and her family find themselves under attack by an unknown enemy determined to use them in his quest for revenge against Heaven. There are memory-stealing fairies, blood drinking rogue Imagoes (supernatural creatures who can steal a human’s soul and drink human blood), powerful fallen angels and Nephilim (hybrid children of angels and humans), and battles to survive. There are tons of hawt guys and kick-butt beautiful ladies. There are flirt fighting romances, kidnapping, and murder. All juicy things to check out if you’re a fan of the urban fantasy, supernatural, and paranormal genres 😉

Are any elements of your book based on real life experiences/people?
There are few elements to LUCIFER that are inspired from real life.

The family dynamic between Zahara and her parents as well as Becca and her parents. Zahara and Becca are really close to their parents and their parents are extremely overprotective of them. They really respect their parents and are very open with them. I have the same type of relationship with my parents and my family. I grew up in a HUGE family and everyone is really close and involved in each other’s business. There really isn’t much privacy =P I’m really close to both my mom and dad. My parents are my best friend and I have a really close relationship with my older brother. My family does everything together. We don’t really like going anywhere alone. It’s not that we never do, it’s just we prefer having someone tag along. When you grow up in a family as big as mine, its normal to always have someone around.

I also grew up in a Christian family. Zahara and Becca do as well. I share the same values as they do. You don’t go out with a guy without first building a friendship with him and introducing him to your parents. He has to ask for their permission. It’s a matter of respect for both the girl and the parents. Its old school thinking but it was the way I was raised.

Zahara’s character was inspired by both myself and my mother and grandmother. The strength she possesses, how stubborn and strong-willed she is, how once she makes her judgement on something it’s really difficult to change her mind—I’m just like that *smiles sheepishly* Becca’s character was inspired by my two best friends Bridget and Eve. Becca is bubbly and sarcastic and optimistic. My two best buds are very much like that in many ways.

What books have inspired you?
There are many books that I have loved that have inspired me as a writer! Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde, A Separate Peace by John Knowles, The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, The House of Usher by Edgar Allan Poe, The Stand by Stephen King. All really great reads =)

What was the last book you recommended to a friend?
The last book I recommended was actually to my niece. I bought her a copy of Beautiful Creatures and she fell in love with it 😉

What/Who inspired you as a reader?
My mom is my biggest inspiration as a reader. She taught me how to read really young and loves reading herself. She has a collection of books all her own and made sure I grew up with a love for stories.

Just For Fun!

Paper, Audio or eBook?
I haven’t really listened to many audio books. I do read ebooks and enjoy them but I will always prefer hardcover copies of books. There’s just a special type of magic with a book made out of paper and ink. It’s like hugging an old friend you’ve missed *hehe*

If LUCIFER was made in to a film which actor(s), past or present, do you envision in the lead role(s)

Zahara Faraday (Kick-Butt Heroine)—I was thinking actress Saoirse Ronan would be a good fit. If you saw her in the movie Hana, you would understand why 😉 She was awesome in that movie and in The Lovely Bones.

Becca King (Best Friend & Awesome Sidekick) –Originally I had thought Zoe Kravtitz would make a good fit for Becca but I was iffy about it. My best friend Eve told me about Logan Browning and she fits Becca much better.

Bryan Hamilton (Hawt Male Lead) –I love Freddie Storma! And not because he’s easy on the eyes *wink* He’s an actual good actor and has such a sweet and humble demeanour (at least from what I can tell by interviews =P)

Rekesh Saint-Louis (Hawt Leader of a Powerful Imago Coven)—Bryton James has a really good Rekesh vibe and I like his acting. He seems really laid back and charming.

If your book had a soundtrack which artists would feature on it?
ABSOULTELY must have Family Force 5! LOOOVE THEM!! The Civil Wars, Paper Tongues, Flyleaf, Matchbox 20.

Slippers or barefoot?
Slippers! I HATE walking around barefoot. I don’t like my feet being dirty. It just bothers me like crazy!

Email or postcard?
I LOVE handwritten stuff. Notes, letters, post-it notes. There’s something very beautiful and loving about giving or receiving a handwritten letter or note. There’s a romanticism aspect to it and an intimacy of love you can’t really get through an email. (Can you tell I’m a romantic? lol)

luciferWell, for eighteen-year-old Zahara Faraday, she doesn’t have to wonder. You see she comes from a lineage of Light Witches, those who have chosen to help protect and serve between the supernatural world and the human world. The only problem is Zahara, like her father Solomon, is as human as a human being can be whereas her mother, Mia, and her Aunt Catalina, were born as Light Witches. As a family they hunt down rogue supernaturals—creatures who harm humans or who have committed an act against their kingdom.
Zahara’s hunting skills are usually kept dormant since her parents would prefer she live life as a normal human girl without knowledge of the supernatural world. She plans on doing just that—except when she finds a couple being attacked by fairies, she has no choice but to step in. Before she can return to pretending to be blissfully ignorant, Zahara encounters a problem she isn’t the least equip to handle: Bryan Hamilton, the good looking new co-worker she has to help train. In a heartbeat, her best friend, Becca King, has set her up on a double date with herself and her new crush, Rekesh Saint-Louis, who happens to be the most powerful leader of the biggest Imago Coven in South Florida –supernatural creatures with the ability to control water . . . and suck out human souls.
Zahara has no time to focus on how she’s going to explain her double date with her best friend and the enemy they have a tentative truce with to her parents because soon one of the members of Mia and Catalina’s coven is found murdered with a strange tattoo of a snake with wings carved into his arm.
Zahara is then thrown into a whirlwind battle with an angel determined to have revenge against God, an Imago coven she doesn’t think they should trust, and slew of dream-eating fairies and powerful Nephilims, hybrid children of angels and humans, more than happy to rip her to shreds.
Normal just got a deadlier definition.

Lucifer, the first book in Annabell’s Son’s Of Old Trilogy, is available to buy now from Barnes and Noble, amazon.com and amazon.co.uk.

lucifer swag packENTER FOR A CHANCE TO WIN THE FABTASTIC SWAG PACK!
In honor of the two main female leads in LUCIFER, Zahara and Becca, Annabell created a fun swag pack for ONE very lucky winner!
Win a specially made makeup kit by E.L.F along with one DVD copy of the movie Sixteen Candles, a fuschia metallic manicure set, a Girl Power Superwoman wristband, a LOVE IS A BATTLEFIELD silver necklace, a silver bracelet with handcuff & key charms, Honey Sweetheart lotion (that smells INCREDIBLE!), two toned lip bloom (that is SUPER cute!), and gray colored cheetah printed socks that are SOOOO adorables and an ecopy of LUCIFER!
ANNNND if that wasn’t enough,FIVE other lucky winners will win a FREE ecopy of LUCIFER!
TWICE a week on MONDAYS & FRIDAYS a new clue from LUCIFER will be posted up. Enter the new clue inside the Rafflecopter every time a new one is posted and get more chances to win!
Stop by the BLOG TOUR page(here) to enter!

Don’t forget to stop by tomorrow as Annabell shares the benefit of her experience of self publication.

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Hidden Among Us

Katy Moran

hidden among usWhen Lissy meets a mysterious and strangely beautiful boy on her way to Hopesay Edge, she is deeply unsettled by their encounter.
She discovers that they boy, Larkspur, is a member of the Hidden, an ancient group of elven people, whose secrets lie buried at Hopesay Reach. Before long, Lissy and her brother Rafe find themselves caught by a powerful magic and fighting to escape a bargain that can never be broken.

Cloistered and wrapped in cotton wool by Miriam, her over protective mother, Lissy embarks on her first act of rebellion. Rather than wait for her mother to collect her she decides to take the train alone to Hopesay Reach, the home of her eccentric uncle and the place she was born.

Lissy experiences warm feelings of triumph at the success of her step towards independence, until she is forced to get off at an unfamiliar station. Dark and deserted in the middle of nowhere, the station boasts just one other patron; a stunningly beautiful, boy. A stranger, who sparks feelings of recognition within her and disappears moments after whispering her name.

The next time she meets the gorgeous but mysterious Larkspur she feels compelled to take his hand, following him into the nearby woods to a gathering of beautiful revelers. He takes hold of her and they begin to dance…

I might have misled you into thinking that Hidden Among Us is Lissy’s story. In fact Lissy shares the first person narration with three other characters. Her protective but emotionally distant older brother Rafe is attempting to unravel the secrets, which have confused and frustrated him his entire life. Joe begrudgingly gets caught up in the drama at Hopesay Reach by virtue of his fathers developing relationship with Miriam and his innate sense of honour.

Although a much smaller contribution, I really loved Miriam’s input in to the story. Simultaneously providing us with the background and history of her family’s interactions with the Hidden, while also keeping us ever aware of the current, time sensitive situation. It was refreshing to read a paranormal book where the parents were fully aware of the developing situation and not conveniently absent or lied to throughout.

If you are expecting a tale of glitter and of wishes bestowed by be-winged godmothers you will be horrified (but definitely not disappointed)to discover the true nature of the “good folk”… This immortal elfin race, might be stunningly beautiful, but their beauty is very much skin deep. These truth twisting, iron avoiding, bargain making, kidnappers of babies have their own agenda and are definitely advocates of the bigger picture.

While the book’s cover hints at the atmospheric story within, I was definitely not expecting fast paced action, evasive driving techniques, daring roof top escapes and the unwelcomed attentions of a sinister, underground organisation.

The Hidden have be described in the blurb as a group of Elven people. At first I couldn’t understand why, when all other clues point to it, they weren’t simply described as Fey or Faeries. Having read the book I now understand that to label the book as such (a paranormal book with faeries) could potentially put off a large number of readers who, if they gave themselves the opportunity to, would absolutely adore this action filled fantasy.

Verdict: The twists and turns of Hidden Among Us, indicates that author, Katy Moran may have spent a little time with the elven herself! I will definitely be picking up a copy of the sequel.

Reviewed by Caroline

Publisher: Walker
Publication Date: March 2013
Format: ARC
Pages: 304
Genre: Paranormal
Age: YA
Reviewer: Caroline
Source: Provided by publisher
Challenge: British book
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Sister Assassin

Kiersten White
sister assassinShe never chose her deadly gift but now she’s forced to use it. How far would you go to protect the only family you have left?
Annie is beset by fleeting strange visions and a guilty conscience. Blind and orphaned, she struggles to care for her feisty younger sister Fia, but things look up when both sisters are offered a place at Kessler School for Exceptional Girls.
Born with flawless intuition, Fia immediately knows that something’s wrong, but bites her tongue… until it’s too late. For Fia is the perfect weapon to carry out criminal plans and there are those at Kessler who will do anything to ensure her co-operation.
With Annie trapped in Kessler’s sinister clutches, instincts keep Fia from killing an innocent guy and everything unravels. Is manipulative James the key to the sisters’ freedom or an even darker prison? And how can Fia atone for the blood on her hands?

Well I’ve got to give to give it to Kiersten White, Sister Assassin is a fast paced, rollercoaster of a supernatural book and what’s more it’s actually original! Annie and Fia are sisters, when their parents die they are sent to live with an Aunt that doesn’t really want them. Hearing that Annie has visions of the future the Kessler School offers Annie a place, originally there was no place for Fia, until the school works out that Fia has perfect instincts and as such can be more valuable than Annie could ever have been.

Sister Assassin is a very, very easy read. It’s one of those books that draws you in and before you know it hours have passed and you are staring at the last page. Told from the point of view of both Fia and Annie and jumping around on the timeline did leave a little confused occasionally. It is however made very clear who is speaking and when at the beginning of chapters, I’m terrible for not reading these though so any confusion is probably my fault. That the story didn’t follow a chronological timeline did mean that the tension was racketed up a notch. It meant that you found out crucial details slowly, some surprising, some not. But it really added to the need to keep on reading. Also in some ways it kind of makes sense to do it this way when one of the main characters can see into the future anyway. On the whole Fia and Annie voices were different enough that it meant it was easy to tell between the two.

The characterization in this book was fantastic. All of the characters were flawed and had aspects of their personality that were utterly unlikeable, but they also had redeemable features. My favourite was Fia, strong but undeniably broken. Committing unimaginable acts in order to protect her sister, I couldn’t help but like her. I also quite liked James, who is supposed to be a fairly dark character. But then that was one thing that I liked about the book, that characters could be dark and do horrible things but somehow be one of the good guys. For me this reflects the complexities of life and those various shades of grey that lie between good and evil.

One very strong theme throughout the book is the lengths that people will go to to protect the people that they love. This is seen mainly in the case of Fia and Annie where both are prepared to sacrifice a lot for the other. You do also see it in a number of minor characters as well. In fact it is in this willingness to protect that we see the redeemable features of some of the characters.

This book very much sets up a series, but is fairly unusual in that it reaches a good enough conclusion to be read as a standalone book. This was a big plus point for me. I love reading series, but get frustrated with cliffhangers and having to wait. This was a happy medium.

Verdict: Original and fast paced. A sure fire winner.

Reviewed by Alison

Publisher: Harper Collins Children’s
Publication Date: February 2013
Format: Paperback
Pages: 302
Genre: Paranormal, Mystery
Age: YA
Reviewer: Alison
Source: Provided by publisher
Challenge: None
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Incubus

Carol Goodman

‘This is where all stories start, on the edge of a dark wood…’
Ever since moving to Fairwick to take up a teaching post at the local college, Callie has been having vivid, erotic dreams about a man made out of moonlight and shadows. Dreams she begins to fear as well as anticipate…
She learns that her home – a Victorian cottage at the edge of a wood she bought on a whim – is supposedly haunted. And then her new – and rather strange – colleagues tell her a local legend about an incubus demon with a human past who was enchanted by a fairy queen…

Should be noted that I obtained this book from Netgalley under the title of ‘The Demon Lover’ by Juliet Dark, a pen name of Carol Goodman.

Callie lost her parents at a very young age, sent to live with her cold distant Grandmother she finds solace in an ‘imaginary’ prince who tells her folktales at night. Fast forward a number of years, Callie is now a lecturer in folk law, she has an interview with a small university in the back of beyond. She knows the job could spell professional suicide yet she is drawn to the place, and then she finds the old house by the woods…..

Both the covers for this book are quite deceptive with both appearing to be trying to appeal to the YA market. In fact I bought it for the school library and quickly had to move it to the Sixth Form and Staff library. It is definitely a more adult book and is everything that you would expect from a paranormal romance novel.

This is a rare foray into books for adults for me, and despite the above I was aware that this was for adults when I picked it up. It did make a very welcome change and I have gone on to read the second book in the series since. It has everything that I love in a book. Supernatural and gothic themes, setting described so well that you can picture them and very strong believable characters. It was a book that reminded me strongly of ‘A Discovery of Witches’ by Deborah Harkness and ‘The Witching Hour’ by Anne Rice and I would thoroughly recommend this to anyone who enjoyed these books. Witchcraft, gothic houses and family secrets are all themes that run through each book.

The supernatural has been done to death in recent years. I liked that the mythology of it all was original in this book, something that is hard to do with the proliferation of books lately. I dearly love anything to do with the fey so their inclusion was very welcome.

Callie was a very strong central character, but this wasn’t to the expense of other characters in the book. As a reader you got to know them all. This was through Callie, as the book is told from her perspective, but she was on the whole quite perceptive and even when she wasn’t the plot strongly pointed out how you should feel about a character. There was a ‘twist’ at the end of the book that I found fairly obvious. But I did get the impression that this was done on purpose by the author; that the reader should know what was likely to happen, even if the main characters didn’t. There was also a second twist that I saw coming a mile off which wasn’t perhaps meant to be quite so obvious. I have a feeling that it was my hopelessly romantic side that wanted the result, rather than me actually being able to predict.

A very strong feature of this book is the setting. The town, the house, university buildings and the woods nearly become a character all of their own. They are described in such detail that it is almost cinematic. In many way the old house, with it’s history and eccentricities becomes a character outside of its description.

Overall I really did want to carry on reading and was quite disappointed when the book finished and quickly moved onto the next book. I can’t wait for the third to come out. It has also made me investigate the author further and I will be reading more of her other books. I now have a taste for books for ‘grown-ups’ which will make a nice change.

Verdict: Wonderful characters, amazing setting and great mythology. A really enjoyable read.

Reviewed by Alison

Publisher: Ebury Press
Publication Date: July 2011
Format: Paperback
Pages: 480
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Supernatural, Urban Fantasy
Age: Adult
Reviewer: Alison
Source: Netgalley
Challenge: None
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The Raven Boys

Maggie Stiefvater and Will Patton (Narrator)
There are only two reasons a nonseer would see a spirit on St. Mark’s Eve,” Neeve said. “Either you’re his true love… or you killed him.”
It is freezing in the churchyard, even before the dead arrive. Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them – not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her. His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.
But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He has it all – family money, good looks, devoted friends – but he’s looking for much more than that. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, who notices many things but says very little.
For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.
From Maggie Stiefvater, the best-selling and acclaimed author of the Shiver trilogy and The Scorpio Races, comes a spellbinding new series where the inevitability of death and the nature of love lead us to a place we’ve never been before.

It’s not easy growing up the only non-psychic in a house of seers. While she isn’t envious of her family’s ability to predict peoples futures, including their deaths, Blue can’t help but wish that her ability was more interesting than magnifying the gifts of others, that for once she could experience something “other”, or discover something no one else has before.

All too soon, Blue gets her wish. For the first time, Blue sees a spirit on the corpse road. This can mean only one thing, that the boy will die within twelve months, and that the young man is her true love. It appears that the prophecy Blue has heard all her life is about to come to fruition. If Blue kisses her true love, he will die.

If the concepts of true love seemed almost abstract to Blue before, it seems impossible now. Impossible that she would fall in love with a Raven Boy, a student of the elitist private school, Aglionby Academy. Her first impressions of Gansey certainly don’t contradict her long held belief that Raven Boys are Bastards. Two things conspire against Blue and her perceptions. The first is her attraction to Gansey’s friend Adam who, with his frayed sweater and matching Henrietta accent, is like no other Raven boy she has met before. The second is Gansey’s, much loved journal, it’s leather cover softened with use and the collage like content of cuttings, notes and doodles, charting Gansey’s extraordinary search for Glendower. It inspires feelings of adventure and discovery and calls to an innate desire within Blue.

Blue decides to use the knowledge she has gained from her unusual background and help Gansey, Adam, Ronan and Noah with their search. It becomes obvious that the search for Glendower is as much her quest as theirs and very quickly she is established as part of the group, that instead of being a fifth wheel, she is the missing point in their pentacle. ,

Although The Raven Boy’s is paranormal mystery and adventure, I never felt as though I was chasing the ending, racing to the end to get to the big reveal, the “who dun It” like with mysteries I’ve read in the past. It’s not that I wasn’t compulsively turning pages (or in this case listening to just one more chapter!), to reach the conclusion and uncover the mystery, but rather like Gansey’s painstaking scrapbooking, I was simply savoring each new development and delighting in each step along the journey and before I knew it we’d reached the destination.

Like Blue’s mother Stiefvater was the master tarot reader, laying her cards down in a very precise and intricate formation, allowing you to absorb the meaning of each card before, placing the next. Stiefvater’s plotting was so precisely and subtly done that when a plot twist was revealed, a totally unexpected one at that, instead of reacting with surprise or disbelief, I found myself thinking, “why of course, that makes complete sense”.

While reading Stiefvater’s previous novels, I have often felt compelled to re-read sections aloud, savouring the sound of her beautiful dialog and stunning descriptive narrative. When the time came to select my next audiobook, The Raven Boys was a natural choice. I could think of no better treat than having Maggie’s words read aloud to me. I thoroughly enjoyed Will Patton’s performance. His slightly accented, laid back voice suited the book perfectly.

It’s no secret that I have adored all of Maggie’s work to date. Each book has surprised me, surpassing it’s predecessor with its inventiveness and originality while still maintaining a distinctly Maggie style. With her ability to speculate on fantastical worlds, create and maintain tension, craft beautifully tender emotive scenes and her deliciously poetic prose. Maggie is one of my favorite authors and one of the few authors who’s work I happily preorder (in hardback), before the synopsis has even been released.

Verdict: Reaching the end of The Raven Boys, and what has got to be the best final line in a book (trust Ronan to have the parting shot), I found myself smiling gleefully with the anticipation for not only book two but for the entire Raven Cycle.

Reviewed by Caroline

My review of Maggie Stiefvater’s The Scorpio Races can be found here, while my opinion of Forever can be found here.

Publisher: Scholastic/Audible.com
Publication Date: September 2012
Format: Audiobook (unabridged)
Length: 11hrs 9mins
Genre: Speculative Fiction
Age: YA
Reviewer: Caroline
Source: Own Copy
Challenge: None
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Undeadly

Michele Vail

The day I turned 16, my boyfriend-to-be died. I brought him back to life. Then things got a little weird…
Molly Bartolucci wants to blend in, date hottie Rick and keep her zombie-raising abilities on the down-low. Then the god Anubis chooses her to become a reaper-and she accidentally undoes the work of another reaper, Rath. Within days, she’s shipped off to the Nekyia Academy, an elite school that trains the best necromancers in the world. And her personal reaping tutor? Rath. Who seems to hate her guts.
Rath will be watching closely to be sure she completes her first assignment-reaping Rick, the boy who should have died. The boy she still wants to be with. To make matters worse, students at the academy start turning up catatonic, and accusations fly-against Molly. The only way out of this mess? To go through hell. Literally

In Molly’s world the beliefs of the ancient Egyptians are not so ancient. Following the betrayal of some of his reapers and the earth shattering war in the underworld which followed, the god Anubis took the five magical powers reserved for reapers and gifted them to five prominent and noble families. Each power, associated with a different part of the soul, allowing them to control a different element of the dead. Over the generations, the bloodlines have become diluted and the ability’s of these Necromancers wide spread.

Molly’s ability, to create and control zombies, is the most common. A gift she shares with her sister and at least three other people in her school. Rather than make her special, all these gifts ensure is that she spends her evenings and weekends working at her fathers Zombie emporium, where for a price anyone can cheat death and have their relative immortalized as a zombie.

Undeadly is told from Molly’s first person perspective, interspersed with diary entries, essays and quotes from “famous necromancing” texts. I initially found it difficult to connect with Molly, her use of teen speak, slang and abbreviations really grated on my nerves and as an old biddy in her thirties, I found myself re-reading passages in order to “translate” what was being said. However within a few chapters I managed to connect with the rhythm of her voice to the extent that I found myself giggling along in places.

I really enjoyed the ancient Egyptian mythology that Vail used as the foundation of the world building in Undeadly. It was an original and interesting addition to the YA paranormal genre

Undeadly didn’t live up to my expectations, inspired by a somewhat misleading blurb. I envisioned an antagonistic relationship between Molly and Rath, who’s strong emotions could either lead to passion or something more sinister – ultimately Molly’s interactions with her reaping tutor received very little page time. The blub prophesied that Molly would have to “go through hell” to correct her mistakes, but the reckoning when it came was a very small proportion of the book and anti climatic.

Undeadly was a fast read, exceptionally so, to the extent that I found myself checking Goodreads to confirm that the book really was 272 pages long, as it felt much shorter. I can’t help feeling that the book could have been and should have been longer, that the author could have made much more of the character interactions, the strange goings on at Nekyia, and the repercussions of Molly’s interference with Rick.

While I suspect that the author will explore the repercussions of Molly’s actions and Molly and Rath’s connection in future installments of the Reaper diary’s, she certainly ends the book with an almighty cliffhanger, I find myself unsatisfied. Undeadly felt unfinished, almost like reading part one of a novel not the completed first book in a series.

Verdict: Undeadly didn’t quiet live up to my expectations but was different enough for me to consider reading the, yet to be published, sequel.

Reviewed by Caroline

Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publication Date: November 2012
Format: eARC
Pages: 272
Genre: Paranormal
Age: YA
Reviewer: Caroline
Source: Netgalley
Challenge: Debut Author
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