Wednesday, 23 July 2014

London Film and Comic Con (& YALC) Recap

I was lucky again this year to be able to attend Film & Comic Con. Last year I went to the Winter one, but I was thrilled to be going to the Summer one, firstly because there would be so many actors attending from one of my favourite shows Game of Thrones, but also YALC would be taking place: The UK's first YA Lit Con. I was hoping to attend on Saturday, but wasn't able to, so had to make do with the slowest trains ever on Sunday and on top of that I hadn't purchased my entry ticket. Last year I bought my ticket on the day and was inside Earl's Court within a few minutes, even though the line was pretty long, but when I was checking Twitter on Saturday night, I read about people who had no ticket, waiting for hours and not getting in. So you could say I was a bit worried that I wouldn't get in at all, (doors opened at 9 and I would be arriving on the slowest train ever!). But when I was randomly going through #LFCC tweets on Twitter, I saw that someone had an extra earlybird ticket that they would be selling. This guy was super sweet too, as he went inside and then came back out to meet me, so I could buy his ticket! So I was able to go straight in! 

Queues inside for tickets weren't too bad, being the organised person that I am, I planned my schedule thoroughly, I had a nice mix of a GoT talks, cast meet up, with author panel chats and signings. So before my schedule was about to start, I had an hour or so to walk around and see how things were. This year I ended up going to Comic Con myself, so of course I had to man up a bit and actually talk to the cast myself. I saw Gethin Anthony (Renly Baratheon) from Game of Thrones and quite literally came to a standstill, I do admit to having a little crush on him in the show, but my gosh in real life, I was lost for words. But I took my friend's advice and actually approached his table, he was lovely to chat with and actually thought my name was lovely, I admit that I don't actually remember much of what was said after that! I also got to meet with Finn Jones (Loras Tyrell), Ellie Kendrick (Meera Read), Lena Headey (Cersei Lannister) and see Kristian Nairn (Hodor), Sibel Kekilli, Kate Dickie (Lysa Tully) and Ian Beattie (Meryn Trant). 


So you can imagine I was in Game of Thrones heaven! The panel with the cast was also pretty amazing too, actors Finn, Gethin and Kristian were pretty hilarious. I have included a video of the panel which you can watch below!

The YALC part was also pretty amazing, they had a pretty neat corner just for them. There was also a cool book swap shelf, where you could take your old books and swap them for other books that people had left. They had publishers handing out awesome freebies, a little sitting area, where you could sit back and relax and workshops and authors panels throughout the day.

I was able to attend the I'm too Sexy for this book panel with James Dawson, Cat Clarke, Non Pratt and Beth Reekles. And having not picked up a book by these authors, this panel definitely made me want to. Here's a couple of tidbits from their talk:

Process behind writing love scene:
Beth's sex scene was more romantic, Non tends to write scenes that she likes best first, so scenes such as fight, love and drunk scenes. Cat tends to use Sex as a weapon, and she also keeps a sexy times playlist, which she made from her followers on twitter. She asked what got her followers in the mood and found a lot of people mentioned Prince!

All the authors would not put age ratings on books. 

Cat has been lucky, as she's never had to take a scene out of her book, she thought that a particular line in Undone would have to be taken out.

I also was able to meet Lucy Christopher (whose book Stolen I adored) and Sarra Manning for the second time, she actually remembered my name too! I was also lucky to meet many fantastic bloggers, such as Jess from Jess Hearts Books, (I loved how we bumped into each other so many times), Debbie from Snuggling on the Sofa, Kayleigh from K-Books, Lucy from Queen of Contemporary and Faye from a Daydreamer's Thoughts

Me and Jess.

Me and Lucy Christopher

Overall I had a fantastic time at the London Film & Comic Con this year. I was grateful to have met so many people, but wished I could have met the many more bloggers that I missed out on. But here's to next year or the Winter con if you're going!

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Review: Prototype by M.D. Waters

Prototype (Archetype #2) by M.D. Waters
Publisher: Dutton Adult
Publication date: July 24th 2014
My rating: 5 stars
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository
The stunning debut that began with Archetype— and has readers buzzing—concludes in Prototype, when a woman’s dual pasts lock onto a collision course, threatening her present and future.

Emma looks forward to the day when she can let go of her past—both of them. After more than a year on the run, with clues to her parents’ whereabouts within her grasp, she may finally find a place to settle down. Start a new life. Maybe even create new memories with a new family.

But the past rises to haunt her and to make sure there’s nowhere on the planet she can hide. Declan Burke wants his wife back, and with a little manipulation and a lot of reward money, he’s got the entire world on his side. Except for the one man she dreads confronting the most: Noah Tucker.

Emma returns to face what she’s done but finds that the past isn’t the problem. It’s the present—and the future it represents. Noah has moved on and another woman is raising their daughter.

In the shocking conclusion to M.D. Waters’s spectacular debut, Emma battles for her life and her freedom, tearing down walls and ripping off masks to reveal the truth. She’s decided to play their game and prove she isn’t the woman they thought she was. Even if it means she winds up dead. Or worse, reborn.

*****Spoilers if you haven’t read Archetype*****

Prototype picked up one year and a few months after the end of Archetype (my review) where Emma’s world comes crashing down after a shocking revelation, and instead of staying and watching the pity or mistrust in everyone’s eyes, she ran. The last year has been filled with the trying to find her parents, and staying out of Declan’s grasp. But this all changes when Declan ups the stakes and puts up a high payout for anyone who finds her. His desperate and tireless pursuits forces Emma back into Noah’s hub with the resistance.  To Emma’s great shock, Noah has taken up with Sonya, and Sonya has managed to worm her way into the life that Emma left, acting as mother to her daughter Adrienne, as well. *gag* Emma realizes this is all her fault for leaving, but that doesn’t make it hurt any less.

Rather than focus on her heartache, Emma realizes she must help put an end to the nefarious plans of Declan and Dr. Trivista, not only for her own safety, but for the safety of all women, because Declan will not stop exploiting women or his efforts to get her back. If he does, the first thing he’ll do is wipe her memory again and she’ll be no better than a sex slave to him once again. *shudders*

With Archetype the love triangle didn’t affect me much.  This one was a COMPLETELY different story. In Prototype the love triangle was like a punch to the gut! With having Emma’s POV I felt every hurt she experienced, and it was painful, to me at least. That Sonya was one nasty piece of work, and I pretty much hated her with the heat of a thousand suns! I wasn’t pleased with Noah AT ALL either! Grrr!!! BUT it was evident that he still completely loved Emma, and it was just a matter of time before they came together again. 

“I made the choice to leave him. I cannot blame him for moving on.”
Frowning, he lowers his head, then nods.
“You’re right. You couldn’t blame him.” He looks up through lowered lashes. “If it were true.”

You may wonder why this triangle bothered me more. Here’s my answer: it was worse because we have the POV of the injured party, Emma, whereas we did not have Noah’s side of things in Archetype while she was with Declan. Plus, Noah didn’t think Emma was Emma at the time, lessening the blow for him, and lastly Emma didn’t KNOW she had a relationship with anyone but Declan until her memories started coming back!  So she didn’t cheat on Noah on purpose, because she had no memory of him at the start of Archetype.

With all that said, I still LOVED this story, even more than the first one, but it brought out very intense emotions! Don’t let the idea of the love triangle stop you from reading this riveting story!  With danger, action, and a twist at every turn, you’ll be distracted enough to bear the pain until things are set to right.  I was consumed for two days with this series, reading the books back to back with no time in between and I still think about the story now!  Just writing this review makes me want to read this all over again. This series was action packed, beautiful, intense, heartbreaking and with an epic love story to think about long after turning the last page.

Favorite Quotes:
“There are no words for how much I love you,” he whispers.

“I am his entire universe, and he is every life I have ever lived.”

Connect with M.D. Waters:

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Showcase Sunday: #56

Showcase Sunday is a weekly meme hosted by Vicky at Books, Biscuits and Tea. The aim is to showcase our newest books or book related swag and to see what everyone else received for review, borrowed from libraries, bought in bookshops and downloaded onto eReaders this week.  

Hi all! So the last couple of weeks have been awesome blogging-wise, I received two amazing packages, one from my #ninjabookswap (first photo) and one from my lovely co-blogger Rachel (second photo). Both packages contained books which I can't wait to read, I think I'm going to have a hard time deciding which to read first. And lastly I was able to attend YALC at London Film and Comic Con, I should have my recap post of the event up soon. I was lucky to meet amazing authors, and get copies of The Manifesto on How to Be Interesting and Stolen and also meet many amazing bloggers!

Jasprit's Books:

 (Click cover for Goodreads link)
Breathe, Annie, Breathe  

Miranda Kenneally has always been my go to author, and so I've had her book Breathe, Annie, Breathe for the longest time, I have high hopes for this one, as everyone I seem to know has thoroughly enjoyed this book. And Nick and Siiri have been going on about the Addicted series for ages now, so I finally succumbed and bought a copy!

Over to Rachel and her haul!

Rachel's Books:

(Click on titles for Goodreads link) 

Up at Butternut Lake (The Butternut Lake Trilogy, #1)  The Chocolate Rose (Amour et Chocolat, #3; La Vie en Roses, #1)River Marked (Mercy Thompson, #6) Dragon Bound (Elder Races, #1)

I bought Up At Butternut Lake after Andrea's @The Bookish Babe wonderful review.  I just checked and it's now $1.99 at Amazon and I bought it for much more than that! *sobs* Oh well, what can you do? At least I got a steal of a deal for The Chocolate Rose by Laura Florand after Siiri @ Little Pieces of Imagination tweeted and alerted me it was FREE on Amazon (click HERE for link) so that eased the pain a little. I'm continuing on with the Mercy Thompson series after my husband has blown through the first five books. We were on vacation last week (which is why I've been a bit scarce) and he became hooked. That reinvigorated my enthusiasm for the series and I bought and audio copy of book 6, River Marked.  I'm trying the first of the Elder Races, (Dragon Bound). I hear a lot of praise for the series.

What lovelies did you get this week? Link us up and we'll come check it out!

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Cover Reveal: Conspiracy Girl by Sarah Alderson.


Hi all, today I'm very excited to be taking part in Sarah Alderson's cover reveal for her upcoming YA thriller Conspiracy Girl. So without further ado...

Everybody knows about the Cooper Killings – the Bel Air home invasion that rocked the nation. There was only one survivor - a sixteen year-old girl. And though the killers were caught they walked free. Now eighteen, Nic Preston - the girl who survived - is trying hard to rebuild her life. She’s security conscious to the point of paranoia and her only friend is a French Mastiff bulldog, but she’s making progress. She’s started college in New York and has even begun dating. But then one night her apartment is broken into and the life Nic’s worked so hard to create is shattered in an instant. Finn Carter - hacker, rule breaker, player – is the last person Nic ever wants to see again. He’s the reason her mother’s killers walked free from court. But as the people hunting her close in, Nic has to accept that her best and possibly only chance of staying alive is by keeping close to Finn and learning to trust the person she’s sworn to hate. Fleeing across a snowbound New England, frantically trying to uncover the motive behind the murders, Nic and Finn come to realize the conspiracy is bigger than they could ever have suspected. But the closer they get to the truth and the closer they get to each other, the greater the danger becomes. To survive she has to stay close to him. To keep her safe he has to keep his distance.

So what do you guys think? I really love the colour scheme used on the cover, the neon colour would definitely draw me to this book in a book store. Also look at the pretty font! I just think everything goes so perfectly. Also don't you think that the male model looks a bit like Andrew Garfield? (I definitely wouldn't mind having him on my bookshelf!). The release for this book isn't until the 12th of February 2015! I know so far away, but I have a wonderful little extract to share with you, which is from the opening chapter. 

The apartment is just as I left it - blinds drawn, lights on, bedroom doors shut. Not a cushion out of place. Goz slides to a halt in the middle of the living room and looks around, confused, his head tipping to one side. He sniffs a bit and then pads over towards the kitchen, glancing back at me to see if I’m catching the hint. The security company advised me to get a French Mastiff and while I love Goz, sometimes I wonder at the size of his brain. In comparison to the rest of his body, which looks like it’s been fed steroids, his head is peanut small. 

I shake my head and close the door behind me, drawing the three bolts across it and then resetting the alarm. I check the bolts twice, out of habit, and when I’m done with that little ritual I strip off my jacket, scarf and hat and toss them onto the sofa along with my bag. 

It’s late, I’m tired and all my muscles are aching from the work out I just did. I kick off my boots and head towards the kitchen, which is separated from the living room by a long wooden counter. When I had the architects remodel I told them I wanted as few doorways and walls as possible. No blind spots. Nowhere anyone could hide.

Having spent most of her life in London, Sarah quit her job in the non profit sector in 2009 and took off on a round the world trip with her husband and princess-obsessed daughter on a mission to find a new place to call home. After almost a year spent wandering around India, Singapore, Australia and the US, they settled in Bali where Sarah now spends her days writing and trying to machete open coconuts without severing a limb. 
She finished her first novel Hunting Lila just before they left the UK, wrote the sequel, Losing Lila, on the beach in India, and had signed a two book deal with Simon & Schuster by the time they reached Bali. 
Since then she has published a further four novels and several short stories. Her latest novel The Sound, will be published in the US in May 2014. 
As well as Young Adult fiction, Sarah writes New Adult fiction for Pan Macmillan under the pen name Mila Gray. Her first novel Come Back To Me will be out in summer 2014. Sarah has co-written the Hunting Lila screenplay, an adaptation of her upcoming YA novel Out of Control, and is working on several other books and screenplays (multi-tasking is one of her favorite things).

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Mini-review: Side Effects May Vary by Julie Murphy

Side Effects May Vary by Julie Murphy
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publication date: March 18th 2014
My rating: DNF 

What if you'd been living your life as if you were dying—only to find out that you had your whole future ahead of you? When sixteen-year-old Alice is diagnosed with leukemia, her prognosis is grim. To maximize the time she does have, she vows to spend her final months righting wrongs—however she sees fit. She convinces her friend Harvey, who she knows has always had feelings for her, to help her with a crazy bucket list that's as much about revenge (humiliating her ex-boyfriend and getting back at her archnemesis) as it is about hope (doing something unexpectedly kind for a stranger). But just when Alice's scores are settled, she goes into remission. Now Alice is forced to face the consequences of all that she's said and done, as well as her true feelings for Harvey. But has she caused irreparable damage to the people around her—and to the one person who matters most?

Side Effects May Vary was my second book dealing with cancer in a row (I had read The Fault in our Stars just before). I’d also been on an emotional book binge, so was sort of expecting the same from this book. However this book mostly left me frustrated because of Alice’s character. I thought the then and now chapters may help to change my feelings towards her and actually understand the way she was. And yes I get that she had so much crap to deal with from Celeste and Luke and that they did deserve a lot of what she was planning coming their way, but her treatment of Harvey was too much for me. At the beginning we were treated to Alice’s pov when she’s with Luke, it’s clear that she has feelings for Harvey and I don’t know if it was the cancer which hardened her character and made her wanted to do just what she wanted as she didn’t know if she would to make it, but still that didn’t give her the right to string Harvey along. 

But what makes matters worse is that when she’s told she’s in remission, instead of actually thanking Harvey and sharing her appreciation for being there for her, she starts to ignore Harvey and latches on to another guy right in front of Harvey! And I really did feel for Harvey he was there for Alice when she was at her weakest, he was roped into doing things he wasn’t comfortable with and he’d put his feelings for Alice out there. For her to throw it in his face. But what made me madder was that Harvey still continued to try and do things for Alice in the now! I understood he couldn’t completely shut off his feelings, but I knew Harvey could do so much better. Alice and Harvey’s characters just eventually became too much for me that I couldn’t read anymore. I was curious to find out how things would end, but not enough to continue with this book.

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