Friday, 30 November 2012

Blog tour: Stalk Me by Jillian Dodd

Hello everyone, today I’m pleased to be part of the AToMR blog tour for Stalk Me by Jillian Dodd. Today I have Jillian sharing a post with us about what inspired Stalk Me. But first here’s a bit about the book.

Stalk Me by Jillian Dodd
Publication date: September 1st 2012.
Gossip girl meets Hollywood in this new series by Jillian Dodd
Keatyn has everything she ever dreamed of. Her life is following the script she wrote for the perfect high school experience. She’s popular, goes to the best parties, dates the hottest guy, and sits at the most coveted lunch table.
She’s just not sure she wants it anymore.
Because really, things aren’t all that perfect.
Her best friend is threatening to tell everyone her perfect relationship is a scam.
Her perfect boyfriend gets drunk at every party they go to.
It’s exhausting always trying to look and act perfect.
And deep down, she isn’t sure if she has any true friends.
To add to the drama, her movie star mom has a creepy stalker.
A hot, mysterious man keeps flirting with her and telling her they should make a movie together.
And she’s crushing on an adorable surfer. Dating him would mean committing social suicide.
So she writes a new script. One where all the pieces of her life will come together in perfect harmony.
But little does she know, there's someone who will do anything to make sure that doesn’t happen.

What Inspired STALK ME
Guest Post by Jillian Dodd

I love series. I love getting to know characters and then going through their life with them. When I read a series, I feel like I’m getting back together with my friends.

I wanted to write a long series. I knew I wanted the majority of it set in boarding school. How I got to this series was a long processs. At first, my thought was to have Keatyn decide she wanted to get away from the pressures of her old school. That she would choose to go there and that she would choose to lie about who her mom was. She wanted to make true friends. But that was kind of boring and the first time things got tough, she would’ve said screw it and went back home. So then I needed a reason to make her stay. That’s when the stalker storyline came into it. I needed bigger stakes to drive the series. But really, it’s always been about her and a certain boy. It’s really their love story. About figuring out who you are. About how sometimes fate does intervene in your life. Like if you believe in all that stuff. True Love. Fairy Tales. I think we all want to believe in that. Keatyn lives an extravagent lifestyle, but she is the same inside as we all are. She wants people to like her. She wants to be loved. And she wants the dream guy. The guy she’s destined to be with forever.

Jillian Dodd grew up on a farm in Nebraska, where she developed a love for Midwestern boys and Nebraska football. She has drank from a keg in a cornfield, attended the University of Nebraska, got to pass her candle, and did have a boy ask her to marry him in a bar. She met her own prince in college, and they have two amazing children, a Maltese named Sugar Bear, and two Labrador puppies named Camber Lacy and Cali Lucy.
She is the author of the That Boy Trilogy and The Keatyn Chronicles Series.

Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts Jillian! I’m always intrigued about how authors get their ideas for writing their books in the first place.

The Stalk Me tour is currently running from the 26th of November to December the 1st. Make sure you stop by and check all the other tour stops here. They will have fab reviews and guest posts going on. Stalk Me will be on special offer whilst this tour is going on, you can grab yourself a copy here for $0.99! So make sure you get yourself a copy before December 2nd. Also the second book in the Keatyn Chronicles Kiss Me was released on November 28th, so now you have the perfect excuse to get the first book.

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Review and Giveaway: Unmaking Hunter Kennedy by Anne Eliot

Unmaking Hunter Kennedy

  Unmaking Hunter Kennedy by Anne Eliot
  Publisher: Butterfly Books
  Publication date: October 17th 2012
  My rating: 4 stars

 After a car accident--an event he considers a prank gone bad--pop star, Hunter Kennedy is forced to hide out with his aunt in small-town Colorado. He’s supposed to rest, heal his scars and attend high school in disguise until the press dies down. But he only wants to get back to work.

Worse, the girl who’s been assigned to make him over into a geek is a major geek herself. Vere Roth is a chattering pixie, a blushing tornado and a complete social disaster. He’s never met a girl who’s never-been-kissed, believes in romance and thinks Hunter’s a 'nice' guy.

Funny thing is...Hunter is nice around Vere because she’s his first real friend. He also can’t seem to stop sharing his secrets or keep her out of his heart. Knowing he’d never deserve a girl as sweet as Vere, he resigns himself to the friend zone, and helps his new bestie with her own makeover.

She tortures him daily for ridiculous guy advice on how to snag her life-long crush. A guy Hunter thinks is totally wrong for Vere, and sadly, one who has taken note of Vere’s transformation.

When Vere asks her best friend for some kissing advice, Hunter can’t resist...

And that’s when things get out of control...

High School Romance, first love, sweet romance.

Aww…just so flipping cute and beyond adorable!  When a gorgeous god-of-a-rock-star falls for a spazzy, adorkable girl, you have all the makings for an utterly sweet romance! 

Hunter Kennedy has just finished a six-week stay at a mental health facility after a night of vandalism, drinking, and pill popping.  He also cut himself but according to Hunter, he was never serious about taking his own life.  Things just spiraled out of control during a desperate bid to piss his mother off, and get her attention.   Well, he has her attention now and it’s bought him all kinds of down time in the little Podunk town of Monument, Colorado.  He’s to stay with his aunt under disguise, and attend high school with the Roth children, Charlie and Vere, the only ones in on the deception.  Hunter is horrified at the thought but plays along, thinking the sooner he makes his mom happy, the sooner she’ll let him get back to his real life.  So he plays along, even embracing the uber dork disguise.  What he doesn’t count on is the total relief of anonymity or his fascination with ultra-spaz-extraordinaire: Vere.

Hunter’s dork get-up may be a disguise but Vere’s is the real-deal.  Add to that is the fact that she goes completely mental when faced with any male, especially Curtis, her long-time crush.  Surprisingly, Vere is not that intimidated by Hunter and soon they strike up a friendship.   Vere makes the success of Hunter’s disguise her personal mission, schooling him in all things awkward to complete and perfect the image.   In exchange, Hunter agrees to help Vere get over her extreme shyness around the opposite sex, and come up with a plan to win Curtis, once and for all.   

You see where this is going, right?  So beyond cute!  At first I found Vere to be very naïve, and sort of over the top with her crazy reactions to Curtis, but that quickly changed as I read on and totally fell for her.  This girl was Queen Spaz, but in an entirely endearing way.   She was a breath of fresh air and the perfect friend for Hunter.  Hunter was ultra hot and famous, but he wasn’t impressed with his persona.  I liked that he was so over the mindless adoration he received from fan-girls.  The idea of him falling for a normal girl was completely believable when you got to know him because of that.  Most people believe it would be amazing to be idolized and desired like that, but this story really showed how unappealing the reality would be. 

I love it when opposites of the social spectrum are forced together and the sparks fly!  The magnetic pull between these two was obvious throughout the story, and made for a heck of a build-up!  Here’s a tempting quote:

He laughed low and ran a finger along the top of her mouth.  His touch sent shivers of sparkles down the back of her neck. “You have heart shaped lips in a heart shaped face.  Has anyone ever told you?  This one—this top lip alone—could drive a guy out of his mind?”


Such a cute love story that the “vanilla queen” in me was completely satisfied when I came to the final page!  I loved Almost by Anne Eliot so I was so excited to pick this up.  I'm happy to report that Unmaking Hunter Kennedy does NOT  disappoint.  On a side note, isn’t that cover just to die for?!! Perfect for the story.  

The awesome Anne Eliot has generously offered a SIGNED copy of Unmaking Hunter Kennedy to one lucky reader!!  The giveaway is INTERNATIONAL. Just scroll down and fill out the rafflecopter below.  The only requirement is that you follow the blog.

Bio: I write full time, and I'm all about fate, destiny, and how it feels to fall in love. My favorite thing to write is a first kiss. 

I've worked as an online marketer and develper for, FOX TV, and UNM Engineering. I love to teach writing workshops and work with adults, kids and teens who enjoy learning about 'story' and who want to write or learn about story structure and the craft of writing.

I'm blessed with an Italian-Canadian mom and an Irish-American dad. This means my summers are full of huge family reunions, food, yelling and too much travel. When not pining for Tim Horton's to open in Colorado, I ponder Joseph Campbell. His work has inspired me to study story structure and how emotion within a story can move people through time and across cultures. Emotion is the key to everything. I owe JC for keeping me on a journey through world mythologies, folk tales, and the collective unconsciousness while I search for my own bliss in stories.

I'm a member SCBWI, RWA and Pikes Peak Writers. I'm so proud of these hard working writer's groups!

 Website    Facebook     Twitter

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Review: Quintana of Charyn by Melina Marchetta

Quintana of Charyn (Lumatere Chronicles, #3)

  Quintana of Charyn by Melina Marchetta
  Publisher: Viking Australia
  Publication date: September 26th 2012
  My rating: 5 stars

 There's a babe in my belly that whispers the valley, Froi. I follow the whispers and come to the road . . .

Separated from the girl he loves and has sworn to protect, Froi must travel through Charyn to search for Quintana, the mother of Charyn's unborn king, and protect her against those who will do anything to gain power. But what happens when loyalty to family and country conflict? When the forces marshalled in Charyn's war gather and threaten to involve the whole of the land, including Lumatere, only Froi can set things right, with the help of those he loves.

My heart was filled with joy, and did a happy dance at the end of this story!  Quintana of Charyn was AMAZING!  I knew it would be, but I’m still stunned at how much I loved this story!  There are just no words adequate enough.   Still, I have to say, I’m sad to let this series go. 

For those of you who read Froi, you know we were left with so many things up in the air.  Quintana and Froi’s fates were unknown.  And after witnessing Phaedra and Lucian’s love creep up and grow right before our eyes, we were left with such a cruel situation at the end of Froi!! I was rooting for them the whole time, anxious to get back to their story each time the story switched focus.  They are my favorite couple in the series.  But I was invested in every relationship.  There are so many beloved characters, and with Melina’s gifted writing, she made me care about EACH and EVERY ONE!  I was even concerned about the traitors and their outcomes.      

Quintana had its share of revelations, plot twists, and action packed scenes that were filled with danger.  I was biting the sides of my cheeks in nervous anticipation!  But where Melina shines is in creating characters and relationships that are so compelling, you’re riveted to the pages to see what happens next.   My heart would shatter from cold brutality, and then would warm back up with immense kindness, love or fierce protection shown by someone completely unexpected.

What never ceased to surprise me were the bits of clever and subtle humor that’s laced throughout.  I’d be chuckling one minute, and crying the next.  The things that would come out of Quintana’s mouth were priceless!  When she outed Phaedra to Perri and Tesadora, I was laughing and cringing at the same time.  I loved the exchange between Lucian and Perri when Lucian supposedly wanted a peaceful and quite walk down to the valley.  I think one more word, and Perri might have cut Lucian’s tongue out!  I could go on and on.  You just need to read this for yourself!

If you haven’t picked up this series, I highly recommend that you do.  Melina Marchetta is one of my all-time favorite writers, and this does not disappoint.  I only hope that she plans on writing more books but I’m scared because I haven’t heard of anything in the works.

Favorite Quotes:

“Do you love me?” he asked instead. “Because if you don’t, I’d wait until you did. I’d wait weeks and months and years.”

“Bathe?” The Princess stared at Cora, all savage teeth. “If you place my head under water, I’ll-“
“Yes, yes.  You’ll slice us from ear to ear.”  Cora said, dismissively.  “We’ve heard it before.  Up you get.”

“Is that how you feel about your Mont?”
“I don’t want to talk about him,” Phaedra said quietly.
“He’s very handsome.”
Phaedra had to agree and, glancing at Quintana, she thought that perhaps the Princess wasn’t so bad after all.
“It’s a pity about his swiving, though.”

“Why are you smiling?”---
“Because today, I think I’m leaning on the side of wonder.”

Monday, 26 November 2012

Review: Shadowfever by Karen Marie Moning

Shadowfever (Fever, #5)

  Shadowfever by Karen Marie Moning
  Publisher: Delacorte Press/Brilliance Audio
  Publication date: January 18th 2011
  My rating: 5 stars

 “Evil is a completely different creature, Mac. Evil is bad that believes it’s good.”

MacKayla Lane was just a child when she and her sister, Alina, were given up for adoption and banished from Ireland forever.

Twenty years later, Alina is dead and Mac has returned to the country that expelled them to hunt her sister’s murderer. But after discovering that she descends from a bloodline both gifted and cursed, Mac is plunged into a secret history: an ancient conflict between humans and immortals who have lived concealed among us for thousands of years.

What follows is a shocking chain of events with devastating consequences, and now Mac struggles to cope with grief while continuing her mission to acquire and control the Sinsar Dubh—a book of dark, forbidden magic scribed by the mythical Unseelie King, containing the power to create and destroy worlds.

In an epic battle between humans and Fae, the hunter becomes the hunted when the Sinsar Dubh turns on Mac and begins mowing a deadly path through those she loves.
Who can she turn to? Who can she trust? Who is the woman haunting her dreams? More important, who is Mac herself and what is the destiny she glimpses in the black and crimson designs of an ancient tarot card?

From the luxury of the Lord Master’s penthouse to the sordid depths of an Unseelie nightclub, from the erotic bed of her lover to the terrifying bed of the Unseelie King, Mac’s journey will force her to face the truth of her exile, and to make a choice that will either save the world . . . or destroy it.

I must apologize in advance, because you’re about to read mostly gushing and my experience reading this more than a summary of this story. 

I’m so glad I picked up The Fever series and I’m really sad that this is the last book for Jericho and Mac.  Well, at least for several years.  The story got better and more addictive with each book.  Shadowfever was COMPLETELY addicting.  This series was AMAZING and I now see why there are so many devoted fans.  I’m one of the obsessed now.   This review is for the unabridged audio version, which I highly recommend! 

I had been listening to Dreamfever (book 4) on the way to work and finished.   What an ending!  But it wasn’t until I popped in the first CD of Shadowfever that I realized what had actually happened at the end of Dreamfever and I almost had a heart attack!  I had to go into work and as I was walking in, I purchased the Kindle version on my phone so I could sneak peeks during breaks, because I was so tortured!  When I got home I speed read/skimmed the rest of the book just to make sure everything was going to turn out okay.  Once I climbed off the ledge, I was able to relax and then listen to the rest without worries.   

Shadowfever is a LONG book.  Approximately 688 pages, but I loved each and every one of them.  I loved feisty and self-confident Mac, and with each book we make new discoveries about her identity and her powers.  We see her grow from Mac 1.0: innocent, sheltered, lover of all things pink and glittery, to Mac 2.0:  strong, powerful, and ready to take on any challenge.  Jericho Barrons was larger than life and everything you could want in an oh-so-delicious, dark hero.  Their relationship is, of course, my favorite part of this series, and it starts off on shaky ground when Shadowfever begins.  They repair, bit by bit, opening up, and pulling each other in closer and closer with every interaction.  They have off-the-charts chemistry:

The moment I laid eyes on you, I knew you were trouble."
"I wanted to drag you between the shelves, f%&k you senseless, and send you home."
"If you'd done that, I never would have left."
"You're still here anyway."
"You don't have to sound so sour about it."
"You're upsetting my entire existence."
"Fine, I'll leave."
"Try and I'll chain you up.”   

There were gripping plot twists that surprised, saddened, and enraged me. We finally find out who killed Alina, and it was a shocker.  We get answers about the book, who originally let it out, why Barrons wants it, what he is, and who the Unseelie King is.  I was happy with the way things ended and tied up, but apparently after three books revolving around Dani, we get more with Mac and Barrons. 

Like I said before, I listened to this on audio CDs while I commuted back and forth to work.  I had to try and restrict myself to just listening to it then, but when the holiday came, I could no longer resist and finished Shadowfever listening on my computer while following along on my Kindle.  I feel like the audio increased my pleasure immensely. The narrator switched mid series, and at first there was a woman doing all of the voices.  The last two books are narrated by a male and female, and while it took me a bit to get used to the switch in Mac’s voice, Jericho’s voice was amazing, deep, sexy, and oh-so-perfect!    

See, I told you pretty much just gushing.  All I can say is, if you haven’t read this series, go now!

Favorite Quote:

“He pulls me around and kisses me."You're Mac," he says. "And I'm Jericho. And nothing else matters. Never will. You exist in a place that is beyond all rules for me. Do you understand that?"  I do.  Jericho Barrons just told me he loves me.”

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Showcase Sunday #15

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.

Hello lovelies, I hope you’ve all had a great week so far! The weather here in the UK has been abysmal. With it getting darker quicker now too, there’s nothing I enjoy more than rushing home from work and curling up with a good book. These two weeks have been truly epic in terms of my book haul, so many pretties; it’s hard deciding which book to start with first. 

The Off Season by Catherine Gilbert Murdock
Meant to Be by Lauren Morrill
My Life in Black and White by Natasha Friend
Shadows by Paula Weston
Things I Can't Forget by Miranda Kenneally
Pretty Bad Things by C.J Skuse (audiobook)
Rockoholic by C.J Skuse (audiobook)
No and Me by Delphine De Vigan
First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Finale by Becca Fitzpatrick
A Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling

A big thank you to Miranda Kenneally and Orion Books/Indigo

The Mad Scientist's Daughter by Cassandra Rose Clarke
Greta and the Goblin King by Chloe Jacobs
Taken by Erin Bowman
Flawed by Kate Avelynn
The Nightmare Affair by Mindee Arnett

A big thank you to Angry Robot, Entangled Teen, Harper Collins and Tor/Forge.

I had a nice library haul this week, they’ve been getting some great books in lately, and I’m usually quick to pounce on them request-wise with the amount of lurking I do on their online library catalogue. Rowling’s A Casual Vacancy and Fitzpatrick’s Finale; two books I was unsure of but have decided to give them a try. I was delighted to find a copy of No and Me, after reading Maja and Leanne’s fabulous reviews.

Meant to Be I had pre-ordered months ago, I can never resist a pretty cover and after reading the blurb I knew I had to get a copy, it sounds so adorable! I had to order The Off Season, after devouring Dairy Queen with Leanne and Keertana. I think it’s a book which will definitely keep my spirits cheery through this miserable weather. And a big thank you to Donna from Book Passion For Life who sent me My Life in Black and White for my birthday.

Now review-wise I’ve been quite good with trying to keep my requesting finger in check. I received some really great review books this week that I can’t wait to get started on. I finished Flawed and loved it, gosh its one heck of a disturbing book, but I couldn’t put it down. I also started Things I can’t Forget which I’m absolutely loving!

Over to Rachel to see her awesome book haul!

For review:

Hooked by Liz Fichera
He's Gone by Deb Caletti
The Trouble with Lucy by L.J Young
How My Summer Went Up in Flames by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski
A Conspiracy of Alchemists by Liesel Schwarz
Undercover Professor by December Gephart
The Tragedy Paper by Elizabeth LaBan 

Thank you to Harlequin Teen, Random House, Penguin Books Australia, Simon Pulse, Del Rey, Carina Press, Knopf Books for Young Readers, Netgalley and Edelweiss!  


Fingerprints of You by Kristen-Paige-Madonia & Terry Rebera
Stolen by Lucy Christopher
Charade by Nyrae Dawn
Inhale by Kendall Grey
Lips Touch Three Times by Laini Taylor

Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter
Breathe by Sarah Crossnan
Can You Keep a Secret? by Sophie Kinsella

What a pleasant surprise to come home to my gift of AWESOME from Jasprit! I got three books, Christmas ornaments, post-it-notes (every reader needs those!), and CHOCOLATE!! Well, I don’t know about you, but I can’t think of a more perfect gift! Thank you so much, Jasprit!

Well, I guess I had a killer couple of weeks, and I now just need to SAY NO! I really don’t know what got into me with the requesting, but now I won’t be able to eat, sleep or do anything else but read!  I’m really excited about The Trouble With Lucy, looks like another Aussie gem. Also, The Tragedy Papers, I hope it’s not a heartbreaking read.  I’ve already read and loved Charade: my review, and it’s a steal of a deal on Amazon for .99 cents!  Inhale was free on Amazon, so I snatched that up, too.  I bought Stolen after reading the amazing reviews from Sam @Realm of Fiction and Leanne @The Reclusive Reader, you ladies are killing my reading pile!  And I bought Fingerprints of You after seeing it in Mandee’s from Vegan YA Nerds Showcase Sunday.  It was sooo pretty, I had a serious case of: must-buy-because-of-cover!  I bought Lips Touch: Three Times at the Laini Taylor signing because the illustrations are so completely gorgeous (see photos) I couldn’t resist! 

Wow Rachel and I will definitely be busy over the next few weeks with so many books to get through! Do you have a book haul for this week? Link us up, we'd love to see the pretties you received.
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