Saturday 26 January 2013

BLOG TOUR - Allusive Aftershock by Susan Griscom (Review & Giveaway)

Title: Allusive Aftershock 
By: Susan Griscom
Genre: Young Adult Romance
Published by: Amber Glow Books
Release date: December 18, 2012
What happens when a major earthquake changes life as you know it and the boy you thought you hated ends up saving you? Three times!

Courtland Reese is the guy everyone hates and makes fun of because … well, he is weird. He communicates with animals. Strange or interesting, seventeen-year-old Adela Castielle can’t quite figure out, but when he saves her from being trampled by her own horse, she begins to understand him a little better and wants to learn more about him.

But, Max--her best friend/dream guy/someday-to-be-her-husband-only-he-doesn’t-know-it-yet--hates Courtland with a passion. Adela wants to know why, except neither boy is talking. 

When Max leaves her stranded in his parents' wine cave with his worst enemy, Courtland, after what the experts are calling a “megathrust” earthquake, Adela starts to question her loyalty to Max as steamy kisses in a dark damp cellar only fuel her emotions with more conflict. 

But does she really have time to worry about that when fire, destruction and mayhem surround her?


A note from Susan:
I daydream often and sometimes my daydreams interrupt my daydreams. So I write to remember them. If I didn't write, I think my mind would explode from an overload of fantasy and weirdness. To the annoyance of my friends and family, my characters sometimes become a part of my world. During my childhood, I would frequently get in trouble in school for daydreaming. Eventually, my vivid imagination paid off and I had the privilege of writing and co-directing my sixth-grade class play—a dreadful disaster, though not from my writing, of course, I must blame it on the acting.

I love writing about characters living in small quaint towns and tend to lean toward the unusual and spooky.

My paranormal playing field delves into a different milieu, abandoning vampires and werewolves, but not discounting them. Someday I might like to write a novel about vamps and those furry creatures. But for now I like the bizarre mixed with romance. A strong hero or heroine confronted with extraordinary forces of nature, powers and capabilities gets my blood running hot.


Facebook Author Page: 


This was a fantastically realistic portrayal of the effects of earthquakes on a more personal level.  Too often we hear on the news about an area that has been devastated by an earthquake and all the damage that it has caused. But rarely do we actually sit back and think of the people that have been affected. Those that have survived but lost those close to them. Family and friends. This book deals with that. We get to feel the lose and heartbreak that these characters go through. 
Griscom did an excellent job at conveying the sorrow that these characters experience. You feel what they feel, cry with them, laugh with them, love with them. Every emotion is felt to the fullest. I loved watching the characters grow. I especially loved watching the relationship between Adela and Court slowly develop. I loved Court. He's such a sweet and caring person. Adela was likable but I just did not see what she saw in Max. Sure he was hot but he was a complete jerk! I just don't know why she was so in love with him. He showed some change towards the end of the book but still. 
Griscom did a brilliant job at describing the chaos and destruction that the earthquakes have caused. You actually feel like you are there living through it yourself. She perfectly portrays the hardships and struggles the characters experience and how they must try to survive on there own out in the wild with very little food and water, facing the elements. 

If you are looking for a different YA book with plenty of action, heartbreak, and has a very sweet romance at the centre of it, then this is the book for you. 

An explosion burst through the air and I almost jumped out of my skin. I turned toward the noise and stared in horror at the sight of the Arco gas station completely engulfed in flames. The fire immediately spread into a clump of trees between the station and the half-demolished grocery store about six feet from where Max stood.

“Max!” I screamed and leaped up forgetting about the clenching in my stomach.

Max hurried back and grabbed my hand again. We ran, hopping over broken brick, concrete, glass, and wood from collapsed buildings, swerving between and around abandoned cars stopped or smashed along the road. Max never let go of my hand. Trees and buildings consumed in flames glowered around us, the heat almost too much to bear. The scent of gas permeated the air along with the muck of smoke and debris. Water spewed up from a broken fire hydrant, knocked on its side by the delivery truck now perched on top of it and I gasped at the sight of a bloodied man’s head hanging out the window.

I wanted to be home more than anything now. Did we even have a home? Were my mom and dad okay? The twins? What about Big Blue? I fought back tears, trying to convince myself they were all fine and probably wondering where I was. I squeezed my eyes shut to picture my mom pacing the living room, worrying and telling my dad they needed to find me.
All of a sudden, we stopped running. I glanced up to see why and gaped with horror at the road in front of us. The broken asphalt had buckled into a pile about twelve feet high, obstructing our way. The crumbled debris from the buildings on both sides blocked the entire area. With the newly formed abyss in front of us and the out-of-control inferno behind us closing in fast, we were trapped.


** Please purchase the e-book to be eligible for the swag pack. Please enter your receipt number. New purchases only, date must fall between 1-14 and 2-14. If you purchase my book and then win an e-book copy of AA, I will reward you with another book of equal value of your choice. Winners will be chosen on my birthday, February 23rd.

Wednesday 23 January 2013

REVIEW - Touching Smoke (Touch #1) by Airicka Phoenix

Title: Touching Smoke 
Author: Airicka Phoenix
Series: Touch #1
Publisher: Self-published
Published: July 31st 2012
Genre: YA Paranormal/Fantasy
Link: Goodreads / Amazon


Fallon has one. She doesn’t know it, but it will kill her... if she’s caught. 


Isaiah. Her soul mate. Made especially for her. Created especially for her. Designed to be everything she would ever need. But loving him will destroy her. 


Willing to die for her, kill for her, Isaiah must first save her from the monster chasing them — the man that had created them to annihilate the world. 

What would you risk for love?


This book blew me away. It was Can I leave my review at that? No? OK I'll try to elaborate a bit :P

Right from the word go we are thrust into this intense and thrilling story. I really wasn't expecting to love this book as much as I did. I don't know what I was expecting from the book after reading the blurb but certainly not that. So first off I have to mention something. I am a total science geek. I love anything to do with science ( I am addicted to The Big Bang Theory) even if most of the time I haven't a clue what they're talking about. I am especially fascinated by genetics so the geek in me really enjoyed this book in that sense. It was a really interesting and unique story-line and as the story progressed and more facts were revealed I became more and more engrossed.

The characters were really likable  Fallon was a great lead. She's sarcastic, witty, strong-willed, and very determined. Having been on the run with her mother for practically most of her life, her life has been far from normal. And it's about to get a lot less so. When she meets the mysterious Isaiah, her life takes a turn for the bizarre. Isaiah I really liked. He's your typical hot. mysterious, savior that always seems to show up when you need him most. But there is so much more to him than meets the eye. He was a great love interest. I loved the story behind these two's attraction to each other. At first it seems like a horrible case of insta-love (which it kind of is) but it is completely justified and so this is one of the rare occasions where I actually loved the insta-love. It is such a heartbreaking story. 

The story is packed full of action, suspense, originality, heartbreak, loss, love and so much more. It was exciting, emotional and just fantastic. I really don't know what else I can say except for you have to read this book! Ms Phoenix has a real winner on her hands her. Can't wait to see where the story will take us in book two. 

Waiting on Wednesday (#38)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine,
which spotlights upcoming books we can't wait to read.

My WoW for this week is:

Of Beast and Beauty
by Stacey Jay

Goodreads Summary:
In the beginning was the darkness, and in the darkness was a girl, and in the girl was a secret...

In the domed city of Yuan, the blind Princess Isra, a Smooth Skin, is raised to be a human sacrifice whose death will ensure her city’s vitality. In the desert outside Yuan, Gem, a mutant beast, fights to save his people, the Monstrous, from starvation. Neither dreams that together, they could return balance to both their worlds.

Isra wants to help the city’s Banished people, second-class citizens despised for possessing Monstrous traits. But after she enlists the aid of her prisoner, Gem, who has been captured while trying to steal Yuan’s enchanted roses, she begins to care for him, and to question everything she has been brought up to believe.

As secrets are revealed and Isra’s sight, which vanished during her childhood, returned, Isra will have to choose between duty to her people and the beast she has come to love.

My thoughts:
This one sounds really interesting.  A new twist on the Beauty and the Beast tale. Loving the cover as well.

Expected Release Date: July 23rd 2013

What book are you waiting for?


Sunday 20 January 2013

Showcase Sunday (#18)

Showcase Sunday is a new weekly meme hosted by Vicky @ Books Biscuits and Tea. If you'd like to join see HERE for more details.


(Click picture for goodreads page)

Read my review here 

Thank you so much to Dani at Refracted Light! :D

What did you get this week?

Saturday 19 January 2013

Author Interview & Giveaway: Elizabeth Kirke

Today I am super excited to welcome the fabulous Elizabeth Kirke to the blog. 

About the Author:
Elizabeth Kirke wanted to be an author before she even knew what an author was. She used to say that she wanted to be an artist, but that was only because she was too young to write and had to tell stories with pictures instead. She hasn't stopped writing since she learned how. It wasn't long before she dreamed of becoming an author and couldn't be happier now that that dream is a reality.

If she isn't writing...well, let's be honest; if she isn't writing she's probably on Facebook thinking that she should start writing. But, if she isn't writing or on Facebook, she's probably doing something involving books, baking, gardening, or yarn. In an ideal world, she'd be reading and knitting while something from the garden is in the oven. Then again, in an ideal world, she'd have a flock of ducks and a couple of goats.

Like most slightly-nosy, avid readers, Elizabeth can't resist trying to catch a peek at books she sees people reading when out in public to see if she can figure out what it is. While doing just that one day, she realized that it would probably be the coolest-thing-ever if she caught a complete stranger reading one of her books. That's her new dream.


Who or what first inspired you to start writing?

You know, I don't really know. I've been writing for as long as I can remember. I think the desire has always been in me.

What is the best and worst thing about being a writer?

That's a tough one. I'd love to say that the best thing is that I can make my own schedule. But, I work a day job, so I can't! I guess the best thing is just that writing is what I've always wanted to do. I enjoy writing, it makes me happy, and writing is my dream job. So, being able to say I'm a writer IS the best thing about it. As for the worst, at the moment I think the worst is that being a writer doesn't pay the bills. Few writers are that lucky. I hope someday I can make enough off my writing to quit my job and just focus on writing, but who knows. That's a dream too, I suppose.

Describe the More than Magic series in the length of a tweet, 140 characters or less.

And I thought the last question was tough. I feel like it would be cheap to use my tagline, which is "More magic(s), more heart(s), less sparkling."  Let's go with "New Adult urban fantasy about the adventures of a group of different species of magical beings. Told by Jen, a young witch just starting to learn about the world of magic" There we are, exactly 140 characters!

How did the idea for the More than Magic series come to you?

I went into crazy, long-winded depth about this on my blog, but I'll try to sum it up here! Long story short, I created the characters with a very different setting and similar plot. The story just never seemed to come together in a way I was happy with. Years later, I tried (and failed) to write a number of stories set at sea. And then one magical day, I took the characters I had created ages before and threw them onto a ship. From there Semester Aboard just kept writing itself.

What can readers expect in book 2, Snow Bound?

They can expect to see the return of the whole gang - Jen, Thomas, TS, Charlie, Dani, and Mariana! They can also expect a couple of new faces! There's lots of action, lots of snow, and I hope a few laughs. Last, but not least, I think certain readers will be very happy!  And, like Semester Aboard, fun little 'Easter Eggs' for the extra observant readers to look for!

Me: I know I was VERY happy! ;)

Who is your favourite character from the books?

I have to be honest, I love them all! It's hard to really pick a favorite because if I didn't like them, I wouldn't write them! I even love (to hate) my villians.

How many books are planned for the More than Magic series?

You know, I have no idea. There's the two that are out (or about to be out). Then the short stories. I've got a plan for a 3rd, but I'm still tumbling it around and polishing it up. I've also got a different series that I started years ago that has started whispering to me again. If nothing else, I'll probably take a break from More than Magic series and work on that one. But I wouldn't be surprised to see more books from More than Magic in the future.

Me: As I always say, the more the merrier. Especially when it comes to this series :)

You’re releasing a book about Dani’s past. Do you plan to do the same for any of the other characters?

Are you stalking me? =P  I haven't planned to at the moment. Dani's got a rather long, colorful past, that lends itself quite well to an entire book. Many of the other characters and their pasts will be popping up in this one. As for if there will be another short story collection down the's possible. We shall see!

Me: Stalking is such a strong word... :P

Do you have any other projects lined up?

Well, as I said, I've got that other series stewing. That will, for the record, be 'high' fantasy, as opposed to urban fantasy. Think elves and unicorns instead of vampires and cruise ships. I'm currently occupied with the Dani short story collection, I'm shooting to have that available in March. I also have an idea for a children's series and (on the complete other end of the spectrum) an adult romance series. For now, I'm focused on More than Magic.

What do you like to do when you aren't writing?

Usually, I end up telling myself that I should be writing. I knit and crochet, I love baking. I enjoy traveling, of course. I'm a big sports fan. Even though I reference football in the More than Magic books, I'm actually a bigger fan of hockey. I cannot tell you how excited I am that hockey is back this year! That said, football is always on the tv during a game. Sadly, I'm pretty busy between life and writing. A typical week for me is my day job, dinner, an hour (if I'm lucky) to sit and write, and then I spend some time with my husband. Lately we've been marathoning Star Trek: Voyager every night. Then, I do the dishes (he cooks and I clean). And then we go to bed. On weekends (up until this one, sadly) it's been Football all day Sunday out at "our" bar with friends. Saturdays are usually cleaning house and couples-time. Maybe a party. Phew!

What is the one piece of advice you would give to aspiring writers?

I usually say something about writing every day and stretching your abilities. All true. But this time I have a different one. Find a good alpha-reader. We all know what a beta-reader is. You write a book and then they read it. You need an alpha-reader. Send them every five chapters. Send them every chapter if you want! Bounce ideas off of them, talk about characters and plots. Find someone who will find your earliest errors and plotholes in your first draft, someone who will tell you what's confusing and what's awesome. Someone who isn't afraid to correct your typos and tell you when something sucks. But make it someone who can talk about your book with you for as long as you can. A good alpha-reader is incredible to have. (Love to Erin and Sarah!)

Any finally, if you could be any “magic”, what would you be?

I'm slightly torn. I'm inclined to say water elemental, simply because water is totally my thing. I could stare at the ocean (hell, even a lake) for hours. I started swimming like a fish when I was still crawling. I can't get enough of water!  That said, one of the coolest things about being a water elemental would be exploring the ocean, which is something that a witch (with enough skill) could do nearly as easily. And a water elemental wouldn't get the familiar or the ability to use all of the other spells! So, I'm going to have to go with witch!

Me: I would love to be a water elemental! I adore the ocean. But being a witch would also be pretty cool. Would a hybrid of both be possible? :P

Thank you so much to Ms Kirke for doing the interview :) I love love love this series! If you haven't started it yet then you are seriously missing out! 

Semester Aboard (More than Magic #1)
by Elizabeth Kirke

Jen is looking forward to spending an entire summer studying abroad on a cruise ship and she knows the experience will change her life. Then she sees something she wasn't supposed to see, something she can't explain. Jen finds herself thrust into a world she never knew existed and her life will change more than she imagined. That is, if she can survive the dangers lurking on the ship.

Read my review here 

Snow Bound (More than Magic #2)
by Elizabeth Kirke

After learning how to use magic and fighting vampires, anyone would be bored going back to normal college life. As if that wasn’t enough, Jen didn’t realize how hard it would be to tiptoe around her non-magic family and friends. She can’t even talk to her familiar, Rak, without making sure no one else is around! Worst of all, Jen misses the friends she made over the summer. Aside from Rak, they’re the only other magics she knows and she hasn’t seen them in almost five months!

Jen is all too happy to accept an invitation to go skiing with the gang. She gears up for two weeks of snow, magic, and fun. Just when everything seems to be going great, an uninvited guest turns up. Soon the skiers aren’t the only things going downhill. Jen thought that vampires were just about the most dangerous thing the magical world could throw at her. Unfortunately, she’s about to learn that people with no magic at all can be just as deadly ...

Read my review here 

Stalk Links


To spread my love for this series I am going to give away one ecopy of either Semester Aboard or Snow Bound (when it releases) to one lucky person. It will be coming from Smashwords so anyone can enter.

To enter just leave a comment below with your email address and then tell me why you want to read this series if you haven't already or what you loved about Semester Aboard if you have.

Giveaway ends on Monday 21st January


Friday 18 January 2013

REVIEW - Through the Ever Night (Under the Never Sky #2) by Veronica Rossi

Title: Through the Ever Night 
Author: Veronica Rossi
Series: Under the Never Sky #2
Publisher: Atom
Published: January 8th 2013
Genre: YA Dystopian
Link: Goodreads / Amazon
Source: Bought paperback

Aria has struggled to build a life for herself outside Reverie. It hasn't be easy adjusting to life in the wilderness but that struggle has been worth it with Perry by her side. 

But Perry has other challenges. His people are looking to him for answers. Answers about what happened to his nephew and what's happening to their world. And they don't trust the priviledged Aria, one of the enemy, in their midst. 

Soon he'll be forced to chose between the tribe that looks to him for leadership and the girl that looks to him for love.


Holy. Wow. This series just gets better. I think I have found my new favourite series. 

The story picks up right where book 1 left off, with Perry and Aria being reunited after months apart. But it isn't the happiest of reunions. Perry is feeling the strains of being Blood Lord of the Tides. The Aether storms are getting worse and his tribe is looking to him to keep them safe and to provide food for them. They soon begin to question his effectiveness as their leader. He doesn't help the growing tension when he brings Aria to the tribe. Everyone is instantly distrustful and hostile towards her. Aria knows that the best thing to do would be to leave but can she leave Perry? She has her own trouble as she is being blackmailed by Counsel Hess to find the Still Blue. If she doesn't he will hurt Talon. Perry needs to find the Still Blue too but can he desert his tribe in it's greatest time of need? 

This book was action packed from the very beginning. Never a dull moment. I loved every second of it. Exciting and thrilling, I devoured it in no time. I just couldn't put it down. It was perfectly paced. Nothing felt rushed. It was just perfect in every way.

I love love love the romance between Aria and Perry. I think it is fast becoming one of my favourites. The relationship between these two is just so mature and realistic. There is no risking the lives of others just to be with each other. They know what they have to do to survive and this just made me root for them even more. I just want these two to have the happy ever after that they deserve. 
There is also a host of secondary characters that I am becoming to love. The main one being Roar. Ah Roar. You are just the best friend that anyone could have. He becomes a great friend to Aria in this book and I loved watching them grow closer. But oh god how I wanted to just hug him and comfort him at one stage! I nearly cried for him  :( This book is so emotional I was tearing up in so many parts. Rossi is just a fantastic storyteller. I can't praise this book enough. 

A brilliant story with a great ending. It ended nicely with no big nasty cliffhanger but it still leaves you begging for book 3. Why must I wait so long?! Why damn you?! :( *cries*

Thursday 17 January 2013

Review: Independence by Shelly Crane

Title: Independence
Author: Shelly Crane
Series: Significance #4
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Romance.
Date Published: 18th December 2012

Goodreads Description

In the fourth and final installment, Maggie and Caleb must tie up all the loose ends of their lives and make a way to be together completely on their own. With everything that happened with Bish and Maggie's father, she's almost reluctant to move on and move out. And now she must figure out all of this...stuff...with Haddock. But of course, nothing can stay simple for the Jacobsons. Enemies who were thought to be dissolved have decided to not go down so easily. And old flames come calling for more than just Maggie. Caleb is torn between leading his family and personal wants. Maggie is torn between Caleb and being the leader of their people. But neither will let what they need most to be pushed to the wayside. They are determined to make it all work, design a plan toward destiny, and make everything right again for themselves and their family.

And then there's a wedding...

My Review


I loved the Significance series and I am so glad that I came across it. It has been a journey worth taking filled with everything you could want from a story. This is why I am sorry that I have to take away a star from this book.

I am disappointed to give less than five stars to this book. I was really hoping for more from it. This must be the problem. I waited months for the final instalment of the Significance series and in my excitement must have worked it up in my head because I was not as impressed with it as I had hoped.

From the beginning I was disappointed. I loved the other books so much. Only eight chapters in I found at least three notable mistakes one of which being the name of a character and two more were significant events in the lives of the supporting characters.

After I got passed these errors I found myself back in the stride of the story, however, and rather enjoyed it. There were plenty of moments to make the readers laugh, cry and gasp. As with all the other books in the series there are moments that will make your heart race and because of this I will give it four stars.
It lost a star because of its mistakes in the plot, regurgitated ideas and the loose ends left untied.


Beautiful Bastard by Christina Lauren (ARC)

Goodreads Description

An ambitious intern. A perfectionist executive. And a whole lot of name calling. Discover the story that garnered more than two million reads online.

Whip-smart, hardworking, and on her way to an MBA, Chloe Mills has only one problem: her boss, Bennett Ryan. He’s exacting, blunt, inconsiderate—and completely irresistible. A Beautiful Bastard.

Bennett has returned to Chicago from France to take a vital role in his family’s massive media business. He never expected that the assistant who’d been helping him from abroad was the gorgeous, innocently provocative—completely infuriating—creature he now has to see every day. Despite the rumors, he’s never been one for a workplace hookup. But Chloe’s so tempting he’s willing to bend the rules—or outright smash them—if it means he can have her. All over the office.

As their appetites for one another increase to a breaking point, Bennett and Chloe must decide exactly what they’re willing to lose in order to win each other. Originally only available online as The Office by tby789—and garnering over two million reads on fan fiction sites—Beautiful Bastard has been extensively updated for re-release.

My Review


Usually I wouldn't review a book like this on the blog but I'm making an exception for this one. I will warn straight away though that any reader who is not an adult or who can't read scenes of a sexual nature then this is not the book for you, if you have not already figured this out from the title and description above.

I know this has been said in the past by many sources about many books but I have to regurgitate the ever repeated phrase "If you liked Fifty Shades of Grey, then you'll like this" because I genuinely believe it to be true. I, personally, did not like Fifty Shades because of a lot of reasons which are all much better in this book. I cannot help comparing the two because when I first came across Beautiful Bastard (BB) it was described as having "paved the way for Fifty Shades" and "the best Twilight fanfic ever". As a result of this I have been comparing them since I started reading the book.

Upon finishing this book I have noticed that there are more contrasts than similarities. BB is much more tame and does not contain as many BDSM situations as Fifty Shades. In this I think it is better because it can then appeal to a much wider range of readers. The storyline is enjoyable and more realistic and you will not be distracted by constant grammar mistakes or unnecessary sentences.

The only thing that I found unlikable about this book was some traits in the characters themselves. Mr. Ryan's overbearing personality is reminiscent of Edward in Twilight which I'm guessing is intentional but I found rather annoying. Similarly Chloe's inability to say no and to stand up for herself are also hard to handle. However, without these traits the story wouldn't have even begun so this was all necessary in the end.

This book isn't long and will take no time to read but it is neither dragged out nor too short. It is worth the read.


This book is released in February and can be pre-ordered from The Book Depository here.

Hooked by Liz Fichera

Goodreads Description

When Native American Fredricka ‘Fred’ Oday is invited to become the only girl on the school’s golf team, she can’t say no. This is an opportunity to shine, win a scholarship and go to university, something no one in her family has done. 

But Fred’s presence on the team isn’t exactly welcome — especially not to rich golden boy Ryan Berenger, whose best friend was kicked off the team to make a spot for Fred.

But there’s no denying that things are happening between the girl with the killer swing and the boy with the killer smile...


My Review


I received this as an ARC from
This story is one of the few that I have read recently which is exactly as it is described. Fred is the only female member of a boys golf team which on its own can cause some controversy but on top of that she is one of the few students in the school who lives  on the nearby reservation which leaves room for discrimination because of her race and her lack of wealth. Unlike all the boys on the team whose fathers have memberships to golf clubs, Fred's father works at one.
From the beginning of the story Fred is struggling against all odds to win a scholarship and escape the life she is currently living. With problems at home and at school she fights through it all to get a life she deserves but fighting gets tough at times.
Ryan has every reason to hate Fred. She took the spot of his best friend on the golf team without having to even try out. Despite his loyalty to his friend he can't help but acknowledge the strength of  this girl and watching her struggle he becomes fascinated.
Between these two characters fighting for what they want takes courage and a lot of will power. This story has plenty of twists and turns and will probably bring tears to your eyes. It's a nail biting and heart wrenching journey and worth the read.


You can pre-order from Book Depository at this link.