Monday, 21 July 2014

Stella by Helen Eve

ISBN: 9781250048172
Publisher: Macmillan
Pages: 368

Being popular is all that matters.

Seventeen year old Stella Hamilton is the star blazing at the heart of Temperley High. Leader of the maliciously exclusive elite, she is envied and lusted after in equal measure. And in the Hamilton tradition, she is in the final stage of a six year campaign to achieve her destiny: love with her equally popular male equivalent, and a triumphant election to Head Girl.

Caitlin Clarke has lived a quietly conformist life in New York City – until, with the collapse of her parents’ marriage, she’s sent across the Atlantic for a strict English boarding school education. As soon as she arrives at Temperley, she learns that the only important rules are the unwritten ones. The upper echelons of her new society are marked not by neat dresses and Kate Middleton hair, but by skinny jeans, cigarettes and scars.  It's a world of the beautiful and the dangerous, and acceptance means staying on the right side of the most beautiful and dangerous of them all.

As Caitlin’s popularity grows, she discovers that not everyone is happy under Stella’s rule – that it might finally be time for a new order among the Stars and the civilians. Fighting the system, however, means Caitlin must tread the same dark path as Stella, where absolute power and absolute destruction are only a breath away . . .

I received an ARC of Stella by Helen Eve for review from Macmillan, which I really enjoyed reading! 
Stella by Helen Eve seemed a bit similar to the films Mean Girls and Wild Child at first, but as the book progressed it began to remind me more and more of Sara Shepard's Pretty Little Liars. At some points Helen Eve's Stella became quite dark and odd. 
This book is told alternately from two perspectives, Stella's & Caitlin's. Stella, who the book mainly focuses on, is the "Queen Bee"at Temperley High boarding school, whilst Caitlin is the new girl. 
Stella is part of the "Stars" and her current boyfriend (and ex-boyfriend) are part of the "Stripes". The "Stars" and the "Stripes" were a play on the fact that Caitlin is from America and the American flag is sometimes referred to in terms of stars and stripes.
I didn't really have a favourite character, as all of the main characters at one point or another tended to change their minds and loyalties with the weather.
Although, I like the mass market cover of Stella and think that it represents the story within well, I still prefer my ARC cover. The ARC cover of Stella is quite simplistic but it places more emphasis on the byline, "Being popular is all that matters", which appears to be the underlying theme throughout Stella for all the main characters.
Overall, even though I enjoyed reading Stella by Helen Eve and would probably read another book by her, I wouldn't necessarily widely recommend this book. It was a bit of an acquired taste really, however I would recommend it to those who enjoyed reading books like Torn by Cat Clarke and This Is Not Forgiveness by Celia Rees.


Available at Amazon.com & Amazon.co.uk.

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Promotion: The Prophecy Of Arcadia by M.H. Soars

The Prophecy Of Arcadia
By M.H.Soars

Being a teenager is tough, especially when you have to pretend to be something you’re not, and you’re in love with someone you shouldn’t. 115 years ago, a small planet called Arcadia was invaded by a vicious alien race and nearly destroyed. Cut off from their resources, the Arcadians turned to Earth for help. A group of Arcadian explorers discovered a Prophecy that claimed their salvation lay in the hands of two children from Earth. To ensure their safety, the Arcadian Council sent their most gifted youngsters to Earth to act as protectors. Samantha is one of them.

To succeed in her mission she must learn to control her Arcadian powers and keep her true identity from her best friend, and the girl she swore to protect, Alexia. But Samantha will soon realize that nothing is as it seems. Someone is trying to prevent the Prophecy from taking place and the prophecy boy hasn't been found yet. There is also a new drug circulating at school that is turning students into freakishly strong menaces.


Available at Amazon.com & Amazon.co.uk.

Author Interview: M. H. Soars

M. H. Soars has written The Prophecy Of Arcadia.

1. What is your name and where do you call home?
My name is Michelle and I'm from the United States.

2. Do you have a pen name?
Yes, M. H. Soars

3. What is the name of your most recent book and if you had to sum it up in 20 or less words, what would you say?
The Prophecy of Arcadia and here is the hook: Would you sacrifice friendship and love in order to save your planet?

4. Do you have plans for a new book? Is this book part of a series?
Yes, I just finished writing the prequel of The Prophecy of Arcadia and I'm in the middle of editing right now. I'm also working on the sequel.

5. What or who inspired you to start writing? And how long have you been writing?
I've always thought being a writer was a cool job to have but I didn't think I could be an author. I think I got inspired by the whole do-it-yourself indie movement. So yeah, all the pioneers of the movement inspired me.

6. Do you gift books to readers for book reviews?
I do send review copies to bloggers.

7. How did you come up with the cover? Who designed the cover of your book?
I designed the cover. I wanted to use some cool picture of space and I think I managed that.

8. Which is your favourite cover of all the books you have written?
I just have one book published, so yeah, that's my favorite cover right now. 

9. Do you have a playlist in mind for any of your books?  
Yes, I do. You can check out the playlist for The Prophecy of Arcadia here: bit.ly/1tUI2Lo

10. Do you have a “Dreamcast” in mind for any of your books?
Well, I was inspired by two very famous male models when writing Matthew and Julian's description so I can't think of the ideal actors to play them. But for Ethan and Alexia, I would cast Douglas Booth and AnnaSophia Robb.


11. Have you ever read a book more than once? And if so what was it?
Yes. The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley and that's no small feat considering the book has almost 1000 pages. I've also read the entire Twilight Saga twice and Vampire Academy.

12. What is your opinion of novellas?
I love them.

13. Have you ever read a book just based on its cover?
Yes, who hasn't?

14. Has the quality of the cover of a book ever put you off of reading it?
Yes.

15. What is your favourite film based on a book?
The entire Lord of the Rings Trilogy. The movies were way better than the books in my opinion.

16. What is your favourite book genre at the moment?
Anything YA.

17. Where can your readers follow you?


Twitter: @mhsoars





Thankyou so much for taking the time to do this interview and allowing us a glimpse into your writing world!

Friday, 18 July 2014

Promotion: The Carbon Diaries 2015 by Saci Lloyd

The Carbon Diaries 2015
By Saci Lloyd

It's January 1st, 2015, and the UK is the first nation to introduce carbon dioxide rationing, in a drastic bid to combat climate change. 

As her family spirals out of control, Laura Brown chronicles the first year of rationing with scathing abandon. Will her mother become one with her inner wolf? Will her sister give up her weekends in Ibiza? Does her father love the pig more than her? Can her band The Dirty Angels make it big? And will Ravi Datta ever notice her? 

In these dark days, Laura deals with the issues that really matter: love, floods and pigs. The Carbon Diaries 2015 is one girl's drastic bid to stay sane in a world unravelling at the seams.

Available at Amazon.com & Amazon.co.uk.

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Touch Of Power by Maria V. Snyder

ISBN: 9781848450929
Publisher: Harlequin Mira
Pages: 390

The world lies in tatters. Her touch is the only salvation.

Laying hands upon the injured and dying, Avry of Kazan assumes their wounds and diseases into herself. But rather than being honoured for her skills, she is hunted. Healers like Avry are accused of spreading the plague that has decimated the Territories, leaving the survivors in a state of chaos.

Stressed and tired from hiding, Avry is abducted by a band of rogues who, shockingly, value her gift above the golden bounty offered for her capture. Their leader an enigmatic captor-protector with powers of his own is unequivocal in his demands: Avry must heal a plague-stricken prince, the leader of a campaign against her people.

As they traverse the daunting Nine Mountains, beset by mercenaries and magical dangers, Avry must decide who is worth healing and what is worth dying for.

I received an ARC copy of Touch Of Power by Maria V. Snyder for review for Harlequin Mira via Netgalley, which I loved reading! 
At times Touch Of Power reminded me of Trudi Canavan's The Novice series, because of the current Healer's guild within it, and the magic user's school from before the plague in Touch Of Power.
My favourite character was Avry, the main character who is a magic user with one of the rarest abilities - the ability to heal herself and others. I liked reading about Avry, as she is quite determined and stubborn, whilst also still being caring. 
I really enjoyed reading about the Peace Lilies and Death Lilies, which are depicted with Avry on one of the alternative front covers of Touch Of Power. I also enjoyed reading about the ten different types of magic, (Life, Death, Rock, Earth, Water, Air, Fire, Moon, Sun and Forest), and how each individuals magic manifested differently. 
I love both covers of Touch Of Power, as they both represent the story within well, whilst still being quite subtle! I would definitely recommend reading Touch Of Power by Maria V. Snyder, especially for fans of Trudi Canavan and Sarah J. Maas!


Available at Amazon.com & Amazon.co.uk.

Monday, 14 July 2014

Promotion: In A Right State by Ben Ellis

In A Right State
By Ben Ellis

Your information is being sold. And guess who's paying for it?

It's 2066, and living in a country where big corporations are constantly undressing you with their spies isn't much fun for Duncan. He remembers the days when information was protected, not sold to the highest bidder. When his illegal organic vegetable trade is discovered at the bottom of his garden in the town of Wigthorn, the tomatoes really hit the fan.

Amy works for Pharmara, the biggest pharmaceutical company in the UK, analysing user data. Yes, it's as boring as it sounds but she believes a little corporate access to personal information is a small price to pay to live in a post-tax, post-carbon, post-poverty world.

After all, if you've got nothing to hide, you've got nothing to fear ... right?

Poppy lives in Shaded Vale, a town rich enough to stay off the radar. Her father has some big plans to shake up the industrial power balance.

Thrown together by circumstance, Duncan, Amy and Poppy become tangled in a dangerous quest for truth with Pharmara Security hot on their heels.


Available at Amazon.com & Amazon.co.uk.

Author Interview: Ben Ellis

Ben Ellis has written In A Right State.

1. What is your name and where do you call home?
Ben Ellis. I live in Worthing on the South Coast of England.

2. Do you have a pen name?
No.

3. What is the name of your most recent book and if you had to sum it up in 20 or less words, what would you say?
'In A Right State' - It's a near-future adult dystopian/satire set on the South Coast of England.

4. What or who inspired you to start writing? And how long have you been writing?
I've always been creative but started writing fiction about 10 years ago. I started by doing an evening course in creative writing.

5. Do you gift books to readers for book reviews?
I gift books to book bloggers.

6. How did you come up with the cover? Who designed the cover of your book?
It's a scene from the book and was designed by a good friend of mine, Emery Greer.

7. Did you listen to any particular songs whilst writing your books?
Yeah, I've posted some of the playlists I listen to whilst I'm writing here - http://www.b3n3llis.com/?s=playlist - mainly downtempo/house music.
8. How did you come up with the title for your book?
The original title for the first five drafts was 'Railroaded' but my editor and a beta reader said it wasn't quite right, and reluctantly, I agreed with them. It was too antiquated plus there are no trains or railways in the story so it could be confusing. I spent months thinking of a new one. 'In A Right State' just popped up but I liked it almost immediately as it referred to things being in a mess and also the country moving to the right, politically. I've never read it but I've always liked the double-meaning of the title from his book, 'The State We're In' by Will Hutton - http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-State-Were-In-Overcome/dp/0099366819

9. Do you have a book trailer? And what are your thoughts on book trailers?
No but I did think about doing one. I like them if they're well done and not just powerpoint presentations. I didn't think I could do one justice with the very minimal budget I've got to promote my debut novel.

10. Do you prefer e-books, paperbacks, hardcovers or audiobooks?
I prefer paper books reading outside and ebooks in bed. I've never listened to an audiobook.

11. Are you a self-published / Indie author?
Self-published.

12. Have you ever read a book more than once? And if so what was it?
No I haven't but I would like to read 'I, Robot' and 'Sophie's World' again as they are two influential books in my life.
13. What is your opinion of novellas?
I like them...I've written one which is a prequel to my 2nd novel, yet to be published. I've read a couple which have been good. They're a good option to dip your toes into a genre or writer you've never read before without committing to a 300,000 word magnum opus.

14. Have you ever read a book just based on it’s cover?
I must've done but looking through my bookshelf I'm not sure I have. I think all my choices come from reading reviews, recommendations and the blurb. I've bought loads of albums just based on the cover.

15. Has the quality of the cover of a book ever put you off of reading it?
Yes.

16. What books have made it onto your wishlist recently? And why?
To Rise Again at a Decent Hour by Joshua Ferris - http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00H7O87H0/
I saw a good review in a Sunday newspaper so added it to my wish list.

17. What book are you reading at the moment? And in what format?
'Fearsome Dreamer' by Laure Eve, in hardback.


18. Do you have any advice for other writers?And what’s the best advice that you have been given when it comes to writing?
Keep going, forget about word count. Momentum is everything.
Ignore the editor in the back of your mind constantly sowing seeds of doubt during the first draft. The first draft is crap. The second draft is where the fun starts.

19. Do you have any hobbies that aren’t related to reading & writing?
Swimming, running, football, tennis, web development, listening to music, eating out.

20. Where can your readers follow you?






Thankyou so much for taking the time to do this interview and allowing us a glimpse into your writing world!