Thursday, 30 June 2011

Book Review and GIVEAWAY: Raven’s Kiss by Toni LoTempio


Raven Grace was a college senior with ambitions of a career in law enforcement when she met the demon Aega, whose bite turned her from mortal to Shapeshifter. Now a member of the Recovery Organization, Raven keeps the peace between humans and errant Hellhounds, trolls, wizards and the like while trying to track down Aega and bring him to justice. After a particularly dicey encounter one night with a Hellhound, she goes to the aid of a girl who’s been attacked and near death—and is amazed to find Aega’s bite mark on the girl’s arm. Determined to get to the bottom of this, she revisits the victim’s apartment and there discovers her closet is a portal to a parallel universe, where people she knows lead vastly different lives. She also gets a glimpse of the Recovery Captain there—a six foot, redheaded Scotsman named Finn McPhee, whose sexy accent and even sexier bod sets her senses aflame. Seeking answers, Finn takes Raven to the magickal underworld, where an ancient fae informs them the demon’s quest is rooted in Scottish mythology and magick. As they delve deeper into legend, the truth comes to light—Aega is only a pawn, subservient to another, darker demon…a being who knows the truth about Raven’s heritage, and who orchestrated her return to this parallel universe for the ultimate showdown. Now, Finn and Raven find their passion for one another must take a backseat to Raven’s battle with a dark force who won’t be satisfied until he’s claimed her soul for his very own…

Initially it took me a little while to get into the story as it does start off quite slow, setting the scene and introducing all the characters, it also took me a little while to get to grips with who was who. However, after all of that I really enjoyed the story and I loved the idea of having a parallel universe that was only slightly different to the one Raven was currently living in. The demon (who Raven is trying to capture and bring to justice) is capable of crossing back and forth to either dimension, but it is far more complicated for a human, but as luck would have it Raven was in the right place at the right time.

When Raven crosses over she finds Finn, a hunky Scottish man who is also tracking the same crimes in his world. I really enjoyed the chemistry between Raven and Finn, which developed and was heightened by the constant danger of the demon. I both loved and hated that Finn was Scottish, mostly because I am Scottish myself so I found that there were quite a few flaws in his stereotype and what he said, it just didn’t all fit together perfectly. However, having said that there are definitely not enough red haired, burly Scottish men with an endearing sensitive side and a body to drool over as the main leads in romance novels. He was certainly an interesting character.

I really enjoyed Raven’s Kiss and although the book wasn’t perfect, it was well written and polished. I also really liked a lot of the minor characters (as well as the main ones), and I did love that some characters had completely different personalities from one world to the next, which made the cast that Toni had created even more interesting. This is well and truly a romance first with loads of extra sub plots all intertwined to keep you glued to the page, the one thing I will say is that this wasn’t as steamy a read as you might expect from the cover.

With this type of book you can often guess the ending as well as the middle and beginning of the story, however, there are definitely a few surprises in Raven’s Kiss to keep you reading until the very ending. The end was done really well and everything was wrapped up, but there was certainly scope left for a sequel. I would happily recommend this book, it was an easy and entertaining read. I will definitely be looking out for more of Toni LoTempio’s work in the future.


6/10 

Genre – Adult, Paranormal Romance
Published - Indie (April 2011)
E-book (under a £1)
I received a copy of ‘Raven’s Kiss’ by Toni LoTempio in exchange for an honest review.



I also had the chance to quiz Toni LoTempio a bit about her life and writing - if you are interested you will find the interview HERE


I am also lucky enough to be offering a chance to win an e-copy of Raven’s Kiss – All you have to do is fill out a quick form that can be found HERE

Monday, 27 June 2011

Monday Round-up

Last week I finished reading (titles linked to Goodreads)


Dark Parties by Sara Grant














Raven's Kiss by Toni LoTempio














The Strain by Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan














(Reviews to follow shortly)


Currently reading


California Dreamers by Belinda Jones




















Interviews


Last week on the blog I also had a chance to Interview the very lovely and talented Clodagh Murphy, author of The Disengagement Ring and Girl in a Spin - you can see the interview HERE




Giveaways currently running


Win one of three copies of Girl in a Spin by Clodagh Murphy (UK only) - Entry form is HERE


Win an e-book of Raven's Kiss by Toni LoTempio (open internationally) - Entry form is HERE

Saturday, 25 June 2011

New to my shelves this week - IMM

I haven't done a IMM post for a couple of weeks, mainly because I've been trying not to buy any more books until I finish reading some of the books that I am dying to read, which are already patiently waiting in my TBR pile. 


However, this week I ended up buying quite a few books as well as receiving a couple for review that I am excited about reading. 




For Review (linked to Goodreads)


The Baby of Belleville by Anne Marsella
California Dreamers by Belinda Jones


I bought (linked to Goodreads)


The single girls to-do list by Lindsey Kelk
Girl on the run by Jane Costello
Something borrowed by Emily Griffin
Water for elephants by Sara Gruen
Game of thrones by George Martin
Nerd to well by Simon Pegg

Friday, 24 June 2011

Clodagh Murphy - Interview and giveaway!

I was thrilled when I got the chance to interview one of my favourite authors - Clodagh Murphy. Clodagh writes the most fantastic romantic comedy fiction and both her novels to date - The disengagement ring and Girl in a spin have been absolute favourites of mine. 






I have loved both of your books, The Disengagement Ring and Girl in a spin – Did you always want to write chick lit?


Thank you so much! When I was younger I wrote what would be classed as 'literary' fiction. I wanted to be the next Edna O'Brien. I wrote poems and the beginnings of novels, but mostly I wrote short stories, and the first thing I ever had published was a short story in a national newspaper. Then I discovered Jilly Cooper and I decided that was the sort of book I wanted to write. The chick lit label wasn't around in those days. When I started writing chick lit I felt I'd really found my niche – what I feel I'm best at and also what I enjoy writing most. I love writing comedy and was thrilled to discover I could make people laugh.


Chick lit can be quite a controversial term, what do you think? Do you prefer to classify your work as something else?


The chick lit term doesn't bother me per se. Chick lit has a lot of detractors, but it also has a lot of loyal, devoted fans. If it makes it easier for people to find the kind of books they like, it's a useful label. However, I prefer to classify what I write as romantic comedy, because the term 'chick lit' is now used to describe pretty much any commercial women's fiction – which might or might not be romantic comedy.


Can you tell us a bit about your typical writing schedule?


Er ... I wish I could because that would mean I have one. I'm not a very disciplined person. I work full-time and I'm a night owl, so I mostly write in the evenings and can stay up writing late into the night.


When I have a writing day it looks something like this: write a bit, check email, chat on Twitter, look up Amazon, do exhaustive internet research for one sentence of book, eat something, update Facebook status, check NovelRank, eat something, comment on others' Facebook status, send emails, write a bit, self-Google, eat something, check website mail ... it's a pretty hectic schedule. I do fit in the occasional game of Spider Solitaire in the midst of all that.


Do you have a favourite place to write?


My absolute favourite place to write is on a balcony somewhere warm and sunny. I do most of my writing at my desk at home, but I find a change of location can really get the creative juices flowing. I think it helps a lot not being surrounded by the daily routine of your life.


Are you more of a plotter or a panster?


I'm definitely a pantser. I've tried to plot because I think it would be lovely not having to worry about where the next chapter's coming from, but it just doesn't work for me. I need to start writing for things to happen, and I love when something pops up that takes me by surprise.






And finally, would you like to tell us a little bit about what you are currently working on?


Yes! I'm in the middle of writing book three at the moment and I'm really excited about it. It's about Romy, a property developer, who last Halloween had sex with a guy dressed as Darth Vader. Now she has a baby and no idea who the father is. She's at a bit of a standstill when her ex-boyfriend, Kit comes back into her life when he's forced to move home due to the recession. He enlists her help in renovating a house he's inherited, and shakes things up in all sorts of ways. It's sexy and funny (I hope!) and of course there's a gorgeous hero who I'm madly in love with.


~***~

Thank you Clodagh for the wonderful answers!


I am also hugely delighted to offer a chance to win a copy of 'Girl in a spin' (again thanks to Clodagh). I have three copies up for grabs and all you have to do to be in with a chance of winning is fill out this FORM. Best of luck! (will end 22nd July - open to UK only)




Jenny Hannigan might be a good-time party girl but all she secretly craves is a life of domestic bliss and solid respectability -- worlds away from her troubled upbringing back home in Ireland. So when she crashes into the arms of Richard Allam -- the young, handsome, recently separated politician hotly tipped to lead his party to victory in the upcoming election -- she thinks she's found exactly what she is looking for. But Jenny isn't exactly politician's-wife material so Richard recruits the intensely private, charismatic publicist Dev Tennant to 'spin' Jenny to the Party ...and the public. As the election gathers momentum, it turns out that Jenny has more than one skeleton in her closet and Dev is working overtime to try to keep them there. And suddenly Jenny isn't sure what she wants anymore ...




http://www.clodaghmurphy.com/

It's FRIDAY!







In light of the Summer Solstice. Also known as Midsummer...let's talk about fairies. What is your favorite fairy tale or story that revolves around the fae?


I really liked the tale of sleeping beauty or beauty in the beast when I was younger. As of yet I haven't really started reading all that many novels revolving around the fae - but I do really want to start the Iron Fae series by Julie Kagawa as I have read some great reviews about it.

Meghan Chase has a secret destiny; one she could never have imagined. Something has always felt slightly off in Meghan's life, ever since her father disappeared before her eyes when she was six. She has never quite fit in at school or at home. When a dark stranger begins watching her from afar, and her prankster best friend becomes strangely protective of her, Meghan senses that everything she's known is about to change. But she could never have guessed the truth - that she is the daughter of a mythical faery king and is a pawn in a deadly war. Now Meghan will learn just how far she'll go to save someone she cares about, to stop a mysterious evil no faery creature dare face; and to find love with a young prince who might rather see her dead than let her touch his icy heart.







Where is your ideal place to take a summer vacation & get lost in a book?

I am so much in the mood for a holiday that anywhere hot and sunny would be ideal for me! I like going on holiday to read my book and relax in the sun but only sometimes, I also like an activity filled trip away - it all really depends on the type of destination. One of my all time favourite places to go are the Canary Islands, I've loved all my trips to Tenerife and Lanzarote. 

However, since we bought our very first house last year we've been spending pretty much all our money on getting it done up and perfect so it might just be more back garden reading for me - but it's not all that bad I do have a lovely garden or at least I will when I get it all finished (even if I do say so myself :))




~***~


Don't forget to enter my giveaway's that are currently running:-


Raven's Kiss by Toni LoTempio (Open internationally!) -find the form HERE
AND
Girl in a spin by Clodagh Murphy (UK only) - find the form HERE

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Waiting on Wednesday - 8

This week I am excited to be waiting on - Cracks by Caroline Green 
I’m shaking all over. My brain feels like a computer whose hard drive is full. I can’t take any more weirdness – I haven’t got room in my head. I look around the kitchen and I know something is different but I can’t put my
finger on it.

Cal’s discovering that his life is not as ordinary as he thought. That’s scary. Particularly when it seems he’s the very last to know. He needs to find out the
truth -but, with lies, danger and deceit on all sides, is there anyone he can trust?


Cracks will be released in February 2012





Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Teaser Tuesday - 12


Ever wished you could make-over your life?

Make-up artist Stella is an expert at helping other people change their images, but when it comes to transforming herself, she doesn't even know where to start.

So when her new friend, glamorous Hollywood actress Marina Ray, summons her a movie set in California, Stella can't resist the chance to start afresh - it is the land of sunshine and opportunity after all!
But are they really friends or does Marina have an ulterior motive? What is the secret that both women are hiding about the nautical (but nice) men in their lives? And what will it take to really make both of their California dreams come true?

In a Pacific Coast journey that takes in Los Angeles, the world's most romantic ranch and California's very own castle in the sky - this story of friendship, long-distance love, kissing (and making up) is the perfect escapist read.

For this teaser I actually picked the first two sentences from chapter 1, I do really love a great first sentence and this one definitely made me want to read on. 
Every morning, before I even open my eyes, I make the same wish: please let this be the day that something happens.
I no longer wish for specific things, like a lottery win or an unexpected transfer to Rio de Janeiro, and I wouldn't feel right about wishing for my best friend to move back from Spain, because she relocated for amor and finds herself very well suited to the siesta lifestyle.

Saturday, 18 June 2011

Blog tour - Interview and International Giveaway! Raven's Kiss by Toni LoTempio


1)   I would like to welcome Toni LoTempio to my blog for today's stop along the way, I was lucky enough to get the opportunity to quiz her about her life and writing...




What inspired you to write this story?

Well, I’ve always been a big fan of the concept of parallel time, ever since I saw it on DARK SHADOWS years ago – and even though I do love vampires, I wanted to do something entirely different. I thought the idea of shapeshifting would be cool, and I also liked the idea of a hero with tremendous mental powers. I researched Scottish mythology and I knew I wanted to put some of that in there, too – I found it fascinating. The character of Raven just seemed to come naturally – I guess my forte is snarky strong women. LOL

2)     Who was your favourite character to write and why?

Definitely Raven. I always try to put a little bit of myself into each of my female characters. Raven’s a lot like me – tough on the outside, but inside she’s as soft as a marshmellow – thing is, she’s so bitter about being turned it takes a while to crack through her tough exterior, but once you do…it’s worth it. My alltime favourite character to write, though, is a girl from a work that hasn’t been published (at least not yet) Autumn Hathaway. A mortal who works with supernaturals and she’s a closet Nancy Drew herself !

Can you tell us a bit about your typical writing schedule?

Well, unfortunately I must hold down a full time job to pay the bills, plus I suffer from a back problem – can’t sit too long in one spot – so my writing time is a bit limited by that. I try to write for at least two hours on Saturday afternoon and between 4-6 hours on Sunday, and on some weeknights if I’m really into it, I’ll put in an hour or two. I sit down, fire up the CD player, pull my cat Rocco on my lap (Rocco’s a writer too – he has his own blog www.catsbooksmorecats.blogspot.com LOL) and away we go.


Do you have a favourite place to write?

I have a desk/computer setup in my den, surrounded by bookcases holding all my favourites – lots of classics – Little Women and Gone with the Wind – as well as my Janet Evanovich’s, Rita Mae Browns and let’s not forget my COMPLETE Nancy Drew collection. There are also plenty of research materials on hand

Are you more of a plotter or a panster?

I try to be a plotter, but more often than not the finished product looks nothing like the original outline J but I have to have some direction. In the beginning I tried just writing “off the cuff” – that didn’t work out too well. The stories and the characters were just all over the place, so now I do a sketch and character outline before I start anything.

And finally, would you like to tell us a little bit about what you are currently writing?

I’m currently re-writing a paranormal mystery that almost sold to NAL 3 years ago – then it was titled SOAPSUDS, SEX AND SILVER BULLETS – and I’m not quite sure what I’m going to do with it yet. I’m still hunting for another agent and I have two other manuscripts out with some right now. The outcome of the agent hunt will determine if those get self-pubbed or not. But in the meantime, I do have plans to self-publish another YA paranormal, with a DARK SHADOWS tie-in, about a girl who can turn back time; that will be out closer to the Dark Shadows movie debut (May 2012). But never fear – I have novella sequels planned for both Raven and Morgan Hawkes (my heroine from NO REST FOR THE WICCA) that will come out later in the year – I just have to decide if I’m going to combine them into one book or leave them separate.




I am also really excited to be offering an e-book copy of Raven's kiss to one lucky, lucky winner! :)
You have till the end of the tour to enter (from the 18th June - 5th July) and the giveaway is open INTERNATIONALLY (e-book will be sent from author) - all you have to do is be a follower and fill out the form below.

Entry FORM

Raven's Kiss by Toni LoTempio


Raven Grace was a college senior with ambitions of a career in law enforcement when she met the demon Aega, whose bite turned her from mortal to Shapeshifter. Now a member of the Recovery Organization, Raven keeps the peace between humans and errant Hellhounds, trolls, wizards and the like while trying to track down Aega and bring him to justice. After a particularly dicey encounter one night with a Hellhound, she goes to the aid of a girl who’s been attacked and near death—and is amazed to find Aega’s bite mark on the girl’s arm. Determined to get to the bottom of this, she revisits the victim’s apartment and there discovers her closet is a portal to a parallel universe, where people she knows lead vastly different lives. She also gets a glimpse of the Recovery Captain there—a six foot, redheaded Scotsman named Finn McPhee, whose sexy accent and even sexier bod sets her senses aflame. Seeking answers, Finn takes Raven to the magickal underworld, where an ancient fae informs them the demon’s quest is rooted in Scottish mythology and magick. As they delve deeper into legend, the truth comes to light—Aega is only a pawn, subservient to another, darker demon…a being who knows the truth about Raven’s heritage, and who orchestrated her return to this parallel universe for the ultimate showdown. Now, Finn and Raven find their passion for one another must take a backseat to Raven’s battle with a dark force who won’t be satisfied until he’s claimed her soul for his very own…


You can buy the book - @Amazon.co.uk or @Amazon.com


The next stop on this tour is June 19 – My Neurotic Book Affair http://myneuroticbookaffair.blogspot.com please stop by and say Hello!



Friday, 17 June 2011

Follow Friday - Genre Wars!

Q. Genre Wars! What's your favorite genre and which book in that genre made it your favorite?

I honestly do not now what my favourite genre is, it changes on an almost daily basis. 



I do always love chick lit - and one of my all time favourites is The Disengagement Ring by Clodagh Murphy


You can find my review HERE if you are interested. 
I have also been really enjoying the Dystopian trend of late and I loved 'The Third' by Abel Keogh as well as Delirium by Lauren Oliver.

Delirium review - HERE
&
The Third review - HERE
(if you would like to take a look - No pressure :))

So does anyone have a more specific answer than mine? 

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Book Review: Replay by Keira Lea

Kelsee Lewis has a new school, a prima donna best friend, and one week to write a hit play. Throw in a self-obsessed mom and an absent executive dad, and it’s no wonder she has panic attacks—complete with time-warp special effects. When Kelsee meets comic book maven Quinn, she realizes the attacks give her the ability to rewind time.

Replaying life seems like the best way to erase mistakes. But will second chances leave Kelsee flailing in the orchestra pit alone?


When I read the synopsis for this I was interestingly intrigued, and although the story did take quite a while to get started, towards the end of Replay I just couldn’t put it down until I found out what had happened. 


Something that I really liked about this novel was in the incorporation of chapter titles that matched the main characters ambitions to be a playwright. Which to some extent Kelsee already was, as a large part of the story revolved around the play - 'Predator's ball' - that was written for the school end of year performance. Each chapter was introduced like how a play would read with a small snippet about the location and characters involved in the upcoming scene/act or in this case chapter.

Kelsee was a really likable character she did have a tendency to be a bit of a brat at times, but on the whole I liked her. I found that her ‘powers’ were sometimes quite confusing because they didn’t seem to be consistent, or they continual developed before I had gotten to grips with each stage. Kelsee could slow time, freeze time, fast forward time as well as the ability to make completely different time lines that could alter everything and everyone in her life. At times I wanted a bit more information on her powers and why they just suddenly started, but they certainly made for some exciting consequences.

Replay was a very well written and interesting idea for a YA novel that brought something slightly different to a bit of a saturated paranormal market. Although I don’t think that this book was perfect I am still going to be interested to see what Keira Lea is going to do next. The ending of Replay has definitely left a lot of scope for a sequel, which I believe she is currently working on.

 

– 7/10 



If you missed it yesterday, I got the opportunity to ask Keira some questions about her writing and Replay, you can see her fab answers HERE.


Genre – YA, supernatural, time-manipulation
Published - Indie (April 2011)
E-book (under a £1)
I received a copy of ‘Replay’ by Keira Lea in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Blog Tour and Interview - Replay by Keira Lea





I'm really excited to be the first stop in the Blog tour for the YA novel - Replay by Keira Lea.


I was lucky enough to get the oppurtunity to ask Keira a few questions -


What inspired you to write this story? 

For the first draft of Replay, I wrote about a girl who has a mystery illness. Critique partners liked my main character's voice, but I could tell the story bored them. I started over with a new mystery illness: the ability to manipulate time.

The concept of time travel as a physical condition inspired me. One well-known example of this is The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger. When I adapted the idea for Replay, I explored what it would be like to try to control an extraordinary ability like this while surviving the first year in a new high school.

Who was your favourite character to write and why?

I loved writing my main character Kelsee. She's geeky, precocious, and a little sarcastic. She also has some doubts about her abilities. As a reader, I identify with characters who aren't too perfect or stereotyped. I hope readers will find Kelsee and the other characters in Replay genuine.

Can you tell us a bit about your typical writing schedule?

I'm a late-night and weekend writer. My obsessive nature drives me to write almost every day of the week. My compulsive nature demands that I follow the same ritual for every writing session. It involves consuming dark chocolate, watching TV on the Internet, and posting ridiculous tweets. I don't think I'm alone in this.

Do you have a favourite place to write?


My bed is a magical land of writing bliss. I've tried writing in my home office, but staring at the treadmill next to my desk makes me feel guilty. I've tried writing in my favorite chair in the living room, but I gaze at the sky through my tall windows. I've even tried writing in a bookstore, but by the time I buy a hot cocoa and unpack my laptop, I have to visit the restroom. I come out to find someone else sitting in my chair, drinking my cocoa, and reading the private files on my computer. Oh, wait, that's what happens in my bedroom.

Are you more of a plotter or a panster? 


I used to be a plotter, but I'm turning into a pantser. The word pantser sounds hip and a bit scandalous. Plotter just sounds devious.

Characters always come to me first. As their personalities and situations form in my mind, the events of the story or novel become clear. I used to write a detailed outline based on the events, but I felt obligated to follow it. I tried too hard to stuff my story into the structure. Now, I make notes about the events without putting them in a strict order. I use Scrivener to stay organized without stifling my creativity. As ideas come and go, I move them around my virtual desktop on Scrivener.

And finally, would you like to tell us a little bit about what you are currently writing?

I'm a hyper writer, so I tend to work on several ideas at the same time. One of the novels I'm developing is a sequel to Replay. The top secret codename is Echo. Doesn't it feel great to be in the know?



~***~

Kelsee Lewis has a new school, a prima donna best friend, and one week to write a hit play. Throw in a self-obsessed mom and an absent executive dad, and it’s no wonder she has panic attacks—complete with time-warp special effects. When Kelsee meets comic book maven Quinn, she realizes the attacks give her the ability to rewind time. 

Replaying life seems like the best way to erase mistakes. But will second chances leave Kelsee flailing in the orchestra pit alone?


Keira Lea released her debut novel in April 2011. She is a devoted fan of the TV show FRINGE, a card-carrying member of the Apple cult, and a mother to two human children and three feline ones. She is working on a sequel to Replay.


You can buy the book - @Amazon.co.uk or @Amazon.com

If you want a chance to win Replay and a few other prizes, check out some blogs along the tour and make sure you stop at the final tour date to get the most swag. 

The next stop on the tour - June 16 – takes you to vvb32 Reads 


Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Teaser Tuesday # 11


Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.Button courtesy of 'That's Swell'.


At the moment I decided I wanted a change from the sort of books that I have been reading lately and get myself engrossed in a good and scary horror.


The Strain by Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan


At New York's JFK Airpot and arriving Boeing 777 taxiing along a runway suddenly stops dead. All the shades have been drawn, all communication channels have mysteriously gone quiet. Dr. Eph Goodweather, head of a CDC rapid-response team investigating biological threats, boards the darkened plane ... and what he finds makes his blood run cold. 

A terrifying contagion has come to the unsuspecting city, an unstoppable plague that will spread like an all-consuming wildfire - lethal, merciless, hungry ... vampiric.

And in a pawnshop in Spanish Harlem an aged Holocaust survivor knows that the war he has been dreading his entire life is finally here...



My Teaser: - 
He spun around in the bathroom to make certain that he was alone. He shook his head hard. The sound was like that when you put seashells to your ears, only, instead of hearing an echo of the ocean, he heard the moaning of souls in limbo. 
So far I am about halfway through the book and it has been good, it's been creepy, building the tension and story slowly - just the sort of horror that I like.

Same blog just a new look

Thanks to the wonderful Lori at 'Use your imagination designs' I have a beautiful new blog design! That I absolutely love. 

I now have my very own button!! Please feel free to grab it, I would be more than thrilled :)



As well as some fab new rating pics -



 As well as lots of other great details! So what do you think? I couldn't be happier with how it turned out. 

Friday, 10 June 2011

Book Review: Angel Burn by L. A. Weatherly

Willow knows she’s different from other girls, and not just because she loves tinkering with cars. Willow has a gift. She can look into the future and know people’s dreams and hopes, their sorrows and regrets, just by touching them. She has no idea where this power comes from. But the assassin, Alex, does. Gorgeous, mysterious Alex knows more about Willow than Willow herself. He knows that her powers link to dark and dangerous forces, and that he’s one of the few humans left who can fight them. When Alex finds himself falling in love with his sworn enemy, he discovers that nothing is as it seems, least of all good and evil. In the first book in an action-packed, romantic trilogy, L.A. Weatherly sends readers on a thrill-ride of a road trip - and depicts the human race at the brink of a future as catastrophic as it is deceptively beautiful.

They’re out for your soul . . . and they don’t have heaven in mind.


“The only good Angel is a dead Angel” – But is just isn’t as simple as that!
I don’t generally read too many books about Angels, it just isn’t something that I find particularly fascinating. However, this book isn’t really about Guardian Angels or the sort of Angels that you often find in religious settings, but in this case the Angels are more like an evil alien race that have left their own world in order to conquer ours. Angel Killers have sprung up to help save the world but it appears to be a losing battle as the Angel’s have set up their own organisation – The church of Angel’s and the world seems to love them with only a few knowing their true nature.



Insta-love (where characters fall madly and deeply in love with each other after only a short time) is a popular theme in a lot of YA fiction and sometimes it works brilliantly and sometimes for me if just falls a bit flat. Sadly, in my opinion Angel Burn fell into the latter category. There were entire chapters that seemed dedicated to telling us how beautiful Willow was and how handsome Alex was, and how they were just destined to be together and life couldn’t go on without the other. Personally, I don’t mind insta-love when it is part of the story, but in Angel Burn the story just seemed to stop so that the insta-love could be described in repetitive detail for quite a few hundred if not thousands of words.



Having said that there were a lot of things that I did really like about this book, I really liked the idea of an invading alien race creeping into our world – it reminded me of horror films I loved when I was younger. However, this is not a horror story, more like a love story with some action thrown in for good measure.


This book was first released here in the UK (with the cover below and the title of ‘Angel’) and then recently in the US (with the cover at the top). These covers are both really different and I do like them both, but I might favour the new US design. Do you have a favourite?

Although I didn’t entirely love this book I am looking forward to reading the next instalment to see where the story goes. It ended with quite a cliff hanger and I do want to know what the fate of the world is going to be I just hope that the next book doesn’t drone on about Willow and Alex’s deep and rather boring love for one another at the expense of a great story.


The trilogy continues in Angel Fire (released later this year) and ends with Angel Fever (released 2012)



Genre – YA, Angels
Published by Usborne Publishing (Sept 2010)
Paperback – 506 pages (£6.99) 
I received a copy of ‘Angel Burn’ by L. A. Weatherly in exchange for an honest review.



6/10

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Book Review: Keeping the dead by Tess Gerritsen


HE HIDES 

When an ancient mummy is discovered in the basement of a museum in downtown Boston, excitement starts to mount. Under the glare of a media frenzy, the mummy is taken to hospital for a CT scan. Forensic pathologist Maura Isles is invited to attend.

HE KILLS

As the CT scan proceeds everyone in the room leans in – and gasps in horror as an image of a bullet is revealed. Maura declares it a possible homicide, and calls in detective Jane Rizzoli.

HE KEEPS
When the preserved body of a second victim is found, and then a third, it becomes clear that taking lives is not enough for this terrifying killer. And that unless Rizzoli and Isles can find and stop him, he will soon be adding yet another chilling piece to his monstrous collection.


After reading the synopsis in the book shop I knew that this was going to be a book that I would be buying right there and then. From the very first sentence of 'Keeping the dead' I was hooked. 


He is coming for me.

I feel it in my bones. I sniff it in the air, as recognisable as the scent of hot sand and savoury spices and the sweat of a hundred men toiling in the sun. These are the smells of Egypt's western desert, and they are still vivid to me, although that country is nearly half a globe away from the dark bedroom where I now lie.


Unusually, this book doesn't focus on the two main characters of the series -  Maura Isles and Jane Rizzoli, but instead throws the limelight on a young archaeologist named Josephine Pulcillo. I did wonder if that would hinder my enjoyment of the story, but I actually really liked Josephine. She was initially quite a mysterious main character and it isn’t until later in the book that you get to completely understand her background, but she is smart, stubborn and strong minded – everything that I like in a female lead.

I have read quite a few of these books now (in the Rizzoli and Isles series) and for one reason or another I have read them all out of order, which has made a difference, but not as much as it would with some series. Mostly because the majority of the books read pretty well as standalone novels. Personally, I didn’t have any problems keeping up with the characters and their backgrounds, but on occasion I did suspect that I would have gotten more from this novel if I had read all the previous ones in order. Since reading ‘Keeping the dead’ I have also went out and bought some of the even earlier ones in the series and I can’t wait to get started on them. Generally, I don’t tend to read a series out of order and I would suggest reading this one in order, but it isn’t entirely necessary to understand what is going on.

Overall, I really enjoy Tess Gerritsen’s writing style, this wasn’t a long book but it didn’t feel overly short either, especially considering how much was packed into it. I also found the style of short snappy chapters really helped to keep the book soaring along and I always wanted to read just one more chapter before bedtime. Right from the start I was gripped by this book and I would highly recommend it, Tess Gerritsen is definitely now one of my favourite authors.

GREAT – 9/10

Book 1 – The surgeon
Book 2 – The apprentice
Book 3 – The sinner
Book 4 – Body Double
Book 5 – Vanish
Book 6 – The Mephisto club
Book 7 – Keeping the dead
Book 8 – The killing place
Book 9 – (Not yet released) The silent girl



Genre – Adult, Crime
Published by Bantam (Sept 2008)
Paperback – 432 pages (£6.99)

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Teaser Tuesday # 10





Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.Button courtesy of 'That's Swell'.



Angel Burn (Angel Trilogy #1) by L. A. Weatherly


Willow knows she’s different from other girls, and not just because she loves tinkering with cars. Willow has a gift. She can look into the future and know people’s dreams and hopes, their sorrows and regrets, just by touching them. She has no idea where this power comes from. But the assassin, Alex, does. Gorgeous, mysterious Alex knows more about Willow than Willow herself. He knows that her powers link to dark and dangerous forces, and that he’s one of the few humans left who can fight them. When Alex finds himself falling in love with his sworn enemy, he discovers that nothing is as it seems, least of all good and evil. In the first book in an action-packed, romantic trilogy, L..A. Weatherly sends readers on a thrill-ride of a road trip - and depicts the human race at the brink of a future as catastrophic as it is deceptively beautiful.

They’re out for your soul . . . and they don’t have heaven in mind.

My Teaser this week : -

But then, as we started to cross the concrete forecourt to the garage, a feeling of foreboding gripped me and I stopped short. "Wait a minute," I said, touching Alex's arm.


 
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