Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Through My Letterbox! 14/01/14

Through My Letterbox is a meme that myself and my mum (from JeanzBookReadNReview) created to showcase the books that we receive and review on our sites. Our meme was inspired by In My Mailbox hosted by The Story Siren & Letterbox Love hosted by Narratively Speaking.

What came Through My Letterbox this week:

We received A Breath Of Frost by Alyxandra Harvey, the first book in The Lovegrove Legacy series, for review from Bloomsbury!

We also received Flame by Amy Kathleen Ryan , the third book in the Sky Chasers series, for review from St Martin's Press! Check out my reviews for the Glow & Spark, the previous two books in the Sky Chasers series!

This week, we received Vengeance by Megan Miranda, the second book in the Fracture series, for review from Bloomsbury! My review of Fracture, the previous book in the series, can be found here!

What books came through your letterbox?!

Monday, 13 January 2014

Promotion: Beginnings by Nina Soden

By Nina Soden

Beginnings is the second book in the Blood Angel series.

Surrounded by a new world where the horror films she grew up watching have become reality Alee finds that the most unlikely characters have become her lifeline. If she thought hunting in the wild and drinking blood was bad, what will she think when she becomes the hunted? 

Newly armed with the knowledge of being half witch and half vampire Alee, the only surviving Dhampir in history, is forced to learn to control a lifetime of magic and vampire powers if she wants to survive.

Available at Amazon.co.uk.

Promotion: Awaken by Nina Soden

By Nina Soden

Awaken is the first book in the Blood Angel series.

The Blood Angel series is set in a world very much like our own, yet Atlanta isn’t just an ordinary city and Alee Moyer isn’t just an ordinary girl. Having barely survived her childhood it will take the death of her father for the truth of her true bloodline to come out. 

Even if it means losing her life, or at least her identity she won’t be able to escape her true destiny as the first surviving Dhampir in history. Surrounded by a new world where the horror films she grew up watching have become reality and the most unlikely characters have become her lifeline, Alee will struggle to find herself and her purpose.

Available at Amazon.co.uk.

Author Interview: Nina Soden

Nina Soden has written Awaken & Beginnings.

1. What is your name and where do you call home?
Nina Soden and I live in the South with my wonderful husband and beautiful children, but I still call California and Michigan home.

2. Do you have a pen name?
Nope... I'm just me.

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?
Beginnings is about Alee, the first surviving Dhampir in history, and is filled with magic and paranormal delights.

4. Do you have plans for a new book? Is this book part of a series?
Beginnings is the 2nd book in the Blood Angel Series. The first book was Awaken. I am currently writing the 3rd book in the series titled Revenge.

5. What or who inspired you to start writing? And how long have you been writing?
I started writing poetry when I was in high school. I won't age myself by saying how long ago that was, but it has been a while. After college I moved on to screenplays and actually finished a couple of short film scripts and one full-length movie script while I was living in Los Angeles. After leaving LA and moving to the South I published a book of poetry and then started writing short stories and finally moved on to the Blood Angel Series. I'm not really sure who inspired me to write. I think it was just a way to express myself creatively. I've always been creative, be it art, theatre, film, writing, anything but singing. With a background in acting and very little opportunity to act out here writing just seemed like the next best thing.

6. Do you gift books to readers for book reviews?
Yes of course. If someone is willing to do a professional - honest - review of my book I'm willing to send them a copy. I just want to make sure that my book is within the genre they enjoy reading.

7. How did you come up with the cover? Who designed the cover of your book?
The cover of Awaken was inspired by a pivotal moment in the lead characters journey and it just spoke to me while I was writing. The cover of Beginnings is more subtle and a little more  symbolic of the change/transformation the lead character is going through. A woman named Julie Csizmadia designed the covers of all three of the books in the Blood Angel Series... she is amazing - creative - and so easy to work with.

8. Which is your favourite cover of all the books you have written?
I have two books published and four covers designed... I really don't know which is my favorite. I love them all so much.

9. Is there anything you would change about your book covers?
No I love them. I think Julie did an amazing job.

10. Do you have a play list in mind for any of your books?  
When I was writing Awaken I listened to a lot of Dave Matthews Band, Jason Mraz, Lady Antebellum, Plumb, and Maroon 5. When I wrote Beginnings I listened to a lot of OneRepublic, Adele, Mat Kearney, and the Zac Brown Band.

11. Did you listen to any particular songs whilst writing your books?
Not really... I just pretty much go with whatever is playing on my iTunes. But, I did listen to a lot of the bands I listed above, among others.

12. Would you have different book covers for different countries?
No. I think the covers I have convey the feeling of my books clear enough for any country.

13. How did you come up with the title for your book?
The titles are just about where in her journey Alee finds herself.

14. Is there anything you would change about your book? And why?
Of course... Both of my books went through many MANY edits, but of course not all of the spelling / grammar errors were caught. Even with a minimum of 5 people working on edits there are still errors. I feel bad about that, and wish I could have caught them all, but I did my best. I have read many books written by very well known authors who have still had errors in spelling and grammar - so I can't feel to bad, but when that pops up in reviews it still bothers me. I don't want my readers to be thinking I'm not good just because there are some errors. I put my heart and soul into my writing and I just really want my readers to see and feel that, and not be focusing on grammar. I'm not perfect by any stretch of the imagination and I've never said I was, but sometimes readers can't see beyond the mistakes and a lot of times people look for them so they have something bad to say in their review. I always try to see the positive instead of the negative and hope my readers can do the same.

15. Do you have a book trailer? And what are your thoughts on book trailers?
I have a very basic book trailer for Awaken that can be found on YouTube. I did it myself and am not a film editor so when I say basic... I mean basic. I like book trailers though. I think they are a great way to appeal to a different audience. I have purchased books solely based on the trailers before and I'd do it again. Especially for self-published authors I think it is important to do whatever you can to get your name out there and your book titles in front of as many people as you can. We don't have a huge publishing firm working for us so we have to do it on our own. Social media outlets, including YouTube, are great ways to be seen.

16. Do you prefer e-books, paperbacks, hardcovers or audiobooks?
I love them all! My books are both in e-book form simply because self-publishing in paperback is so expensive. However, I read e-books and print books. There is just something about the feel of a real book in your hand and the smell of a brand new book. Audio books are great on long car rides - they seem to make a long drive seem so much shorter. I used to listen to audio books during my commute to work and back when I lived in LA and I didn't really mind the traffic. I can remember days when I'd be in traffic for hours, and when I'd finally make it home I'd sit in my car just so I could finish hearing a chapter in the book I was listening to.

17. Are you a self-published / Indie author?
Yes. I self-published with www.booktango.com and they were incredibly easy to work.

18. Have you ever read a book more than once? And if so what was it?
Oh God yes. Back in high school and college I read many of Stephen King's books multiple times. Most recently I read the Twilight series twice, and I think over the years I have read Little Women about 8 or 9 times. There are others but if I had to list them all it would take way to long.

19. Have you ever bought a specific edition of a book because of it’s cover? (For example a UK, US or Canadian version)
No, but I also don't have room to keep a library of books. I have a lot of hard cover copies of Stephen King's books, but other than that I really only keep books if they are part of a series. Other books I read and then pass on. I figure if I enjoy a book maybe someone else will too.

20. What is your opinion of novellas?
I think they're great. Many times they are just the right length to get you involved and invested and they are a wonderful way to read new authors. I have found some really good Indie authors just by reading novellas.

21. Have you ever read a book just based on it’s cover?
YES! Most of the YA novels I've purchased have been because I thought the cover was cool.

22. Has the quality of the cover of a book ever put you off of reading it?
No. I figure some authors don't have the money to spend on cover design - especially self-published authors. For me it is a combination of the cover, the title, and then just how I'm feeling that day. I will read just about anything and enjoy reading just about anything. My parents taught me that when sitting down to eat you have to try something before you can say you don't like it. I take that same theory to books - How can you say you don't like a book or an author if you haven't given it/them a chance? So, I read.

23. What is your favourite film based on a book?
The Harry Potter Movies. They are just so childlike and alive and yet they appeal to adults just as much as to children.

24. What is your favourite book genre at the moment?
Supernatural - YA and Adult

25. What book are you reading at the moment? And in what format?
I am reading the Anita Blake series by Laurell K. Hamilton in paperback. Once I start a series in print I have to finish it in print - I can't stand to have some copies in one format and others in a different format. I just doesn't look right on my bookshelf :)

26. If you could invite any four celebrities (alive or dead) to your dinner party, who would you invite and why?
Wow, great question. The first person I would pick would be Audrey Hepburn because she is my favorite actress of all time. Stephen King because I would love to get inside his mind just for an hour or so. He has haunted my nightmares on many occasions and I think it would be fun to see where his creative ideas come from. William Shakespeare because I do love the theatre, and there is nothing like a well done Shakespeare production. Lastly I think I would pick Anne Rice because in my opinion she really did build a wonderful foundation for Vampire novels. Of course Bram Stoker having written Dracula back in 1897 paved the way but I just feel that Anne Rice opened the door even more to give readers the opportunity to see vampires in a different way and writers the freedom to write their own versions of what they feel vampires are.

27. Do you have any advice for other writers? And what’s the best advice that you have been given when it comes to writing?
The best advice I have been given and can give is this - Chances are if you're a self-published author you aren't going to sell enough to make back what you put into your writing so don't worry about what anyone else thinks, just write what you love and do it for you and no one else. You can't fail if you love what you've written.

28. Do you have any hobbies that aren’t related to reading & writing?
I'm an actress. I do a good deal of community theatre. Actually before I left California I did a number of independent films and some television spots, but those were under my maiden name and many years ago.

29. Where can your readers follow you?

Twitter: @Nina_Soden

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

Monday, 4 November 2013

Burn For Burn by Jenny Han & Siobhan Vivian

ISBN: 9781442440753
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Pages: 358

Postcard-perfect Jar Island is the kind of place where nobody locks their doors at night, where parents can sleep easy, knowing their daughters are tucked away safe and sound in their beds. 

But bad things can happen, even to good girls . . . and sometimes, the only way to make things right is to do something wrong. 

Lillia used to trust boys, but not anymore. Not after what happened this summer. And she’ll do whatever it takes to protect her little sister from the same fate. 

Kat is over the rumours, the insults, the cruel jokes made at her expense. It all goes back to one person - her ex-best friend. Someone needs to teach her a lesson, and, with Lillia and Mary behind her, Kat feels up to the task.

Four years ago, Mary left Jar Island because of a boy. But she’s not the same girl anymore. Now that she’s got friends who have her back, he's going to be in big trouble.

Three very different girls who come together to make things right. Will they go too far?

I absolutely loved reading Burn For Burn by Jenny Han & Siobhan Vivian! Although Burn For Burn is written alternatively from the three perspectives of Kat, Mary and Lillia, it flowed quite well and there never seemed to be a lull in the storyline. I found the high school and the pact elements, which I really enjoyed reading, to be similar to those in Pretty Little Liars by Sara Shepard. I especially liked how the reader learnt about each individual girl's life when they weren't with the other two girls. My favourite character was Kat, because of her stubbornness and her attitude. I love the cover of Burn For Burn as it represents all three of the main characters, Kat, Mary and Lillia, and how secretive they are within the book, as all three are sat close enough together to plot, but looking away from one another to see who is watching them.

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

Sunday, 3 November 2013

November 2013's New Releases!

Myself and my mum (from JeanzBookReadNReview) have decided to use this feature each month to spotlight some books, whether they be "Mainstream" or "Indie", that have caught our eye!

The Naturals 
By Jennifer Lynn Barnes

The Naturals will be released on the 5th of November.

Seventeen year old Cassie is a natural at reading people. Piecing together the tiniest details, she can tell you who you are and what you want. But it’s not a skill that she’s ever taken seriously. That is, until the FBI come knocking: they’ve begun a classified program that uses exceptional teenagers to crack infamous cold cases, and they need Cassie.

What Cassie doesn’t realize is that there’s more at risk than a few unsolved homicides - especially when she’s sent to live with a group of teens whose gifts are as unusual as her own.

Sarcastic, privileged Michael has a knack for reading emotions, which he uses to get inside Cassie’s head - and under her skin. Brooding Dean shares Cassie’s gift for profiling, but keeps her at arm’s length.

Soon, it becomes clear that no one in the Naturals program is what they seem. And when a new killer strikes, danger looms closer than Cassie could ever have imagined. Caught in a lethal game of cat and mouse with a killer, the Naturals are going to have to use all of their gifts just to survive.

By Rachel Caine

Daylighters, the fifteenth book in The Morganville Vampires series, will be released on the 5th of November.

Something drastic has happened in Morganville while Claire and her friends were away. The town looks cleaner and happier than they’ve ever seen it before, but when their incoming group is arrested and separated - vampires from humans - they realize that the changes definitely aren’t for the better.

It seems that an organization called the Daylight Foundation has offered the population of Morganville something they’ve never had: hope of a vampire-free future. And while it sounds like salvation - even for the vampires themselves - the truth is far more sinister and deadly.

Cold Spell
By Jackson Pearce

Cold Spell, the fourth book in the Fairytale Retelling series, will be released on the 5th of November.

Kai and Ginny grew up together - best friends since they could toddle around their building’s rooftop rose garden. Now they’re seventeen, and their relationship has developed into something sweeter, complete with stolen kisses and plans to someday run away together.

But one night, Kai disappears with a mysterious stranger named Mora - a beautiful girl with a dark past and a heart of ice. Refusing to be cast aside, Ginny goes after them and is thrust into a world she never imagined, one filled with monsters and thieves and the idea that love is not enough.

If Ginny and Kai survive the journey, will she still be the girl he loved - and moreover, will she still be the girl who loved him?

By Sean Williams

Twinmaker will be released on the 5th of November.

You can be Improved....

In a near-future world in which technology can transport you anywhere instantly, can a coded note enable you to change your body - to become taller, stronger, more beautiful? Clair is pretty sure the offer is too good to be true. But her best friend, Libby, is determined to give it a try, longing for a new, improved version of herself.

What starts as Libby’s dream turns into Clair’s nightmare when Libby falls foul of a deadly trap. With the help of Jesse, the school freak, and a mysterious - but powerful - stranger called Q, Clair’s attempt to protect Libby leads her to an unimagined world of conspiracies and cover ups. Soon her own life is at risk, and Clair is chased across the world in a desperate race against time.

Curtsies & Conspiracies
By Gail Carriger

Curtsies & Conspiracies, the second book in the Finishing School series, will be released on the 5th of November.

Sophronias first year at Mademoiselle Geraldines Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality has certainly been rousing. For one thing, finishing school is training her to be a spy. 

Now, as she sneaks around the dirigible school, eavesdropping on the teachers quarters and making clandestine climbs to the ships boiler room, she learns that there may be more to a school trip to London than is at first apparent. A conspiracy is afootone with dire implications for both supernaturals and humans. 

Sophronia must rely on her training to discover who is behind the dangerous plot and survive the London Season with a full dance card.

The Lair
By Emily McKay

The Lair, the second book in The Farm series, will be released on the 5th of November.

After making it to a resistance base camp in Utah, Lily learned to survive at all costs. But when a Tick attack decimates the fighters, Lily and her pregnant friend, McKenna, decide to make the hard trek north to Canada - and safety.

Meanwhile, Mel is being taught how to survive by the very vampire that turned her. Living without her sister is hard, but dealing with the fact that her autism was cured by the vampire bite is an even bigger challenge.

But when a monstrous betrayal places Lily in mortal danger, Mel must set out to find her, save her, and begin to unravel the empire of destruction that the Ticks have built.

By Robyn Bavati

Pirouette will be released on the 8th of November.

Adopted as babies by two different families, Simone and Hannah have never known they are identical twins. Simone has been raised as a dancer, but she hates performing. Hannah loves nothing more than dance, but her parents see it as just a hobby. 

When the two girls meet for the first time at the age of fifteen, they decide to swap places to change the role dance plays in their lives. Yet fooling their friends and family is more challenging than either girl expected, and they’re both burdened by the weight of their lies.

Sometimes Never, Sometimes Always
By Elissa Janine Hoole

Sometimes Never, Sometimes Always will be released on the 8th of November.

Cassandra fears rocking the family boat. Instead, she sinks it. Assigned by her English teacher to write a poem that reveals her true self, Cassandra Randall is stuck. Her family's religion is so overbearing, she can NEVER write about who she truly is. So Cass does what any self-respecting high school girl would do: she secretly begins writing a tarot-inspired advice blog. 

When Drew Godfrey, an awkward outcast with unwashed hair, writes to her, the situation spirals into what the school calls "a cyberbullying crisis" and what the church calls "sorcery." Cass wants to be the kind of person who sticks up for the persecuted, who protects the victims the way she tries to protect her brother from the homophobes in her church. But what if she's just another bully? What will it take for her to step up and tell the truth?

Long Live The Queen
By Kate Locke

Long Live The Queen, the third book in The Immortal Empire series, will be released on the 12th of November.

Xandra Vardan thought life would be simpler when she accepted the goblin crown and became their queen, but life has only become more complicated. Everyone - vampires, werewolves and humans - wants the goblins on their side, because whoever has the goblins - wins. 

Queen Victoria wants her head, Alpha wolf Vex wants her heart, and she still doesn't know the identity of the person who wanted her blood. What she does know is that a project from one of the 'secret' aristocrat labs has gotten free and she's the only one who can stop the perfect killing machine - a sixteen year old girl. With human zealots intent on ridding the world of anyone with plagued blood and supernatural politics taking Britain to the verge of civil war, Xandra's finding out that being queen isn't all it's cracked up to be, and if she doesn't do something fast, hers will be the shortest reign in history. 

World After
By Susan Ee

World After, the second book in the Penryn & The End Of Days series, will be released on the 19th of November.

When a group of people capture Penryn's sister Paige, thinking she's a monster, the situation ends in a massacre. Paige disappears. Humans are terrified. Mom is heartbroken.

Penryn drives through the streets of San Francisco looking for Paige. Why are the streets so empty? Where is everybody? Her search leads her into the heart of the angels' secret plans where she catches a glimpse of their motivations, and learns the horrifying extent to which the angels are willing to go.

Meanwhile, Raffe hunts for his wings. Without them, he can't rejoin the angels, can't take his rightful place as one of their leaders. When faced with recapturing his wings or helping Penryn survive, which will he choose?

By Aimee Carter

Pawn will be released on the 26th of November.

For Kitty Doe, it seems like an easy choice. She can either spend her life as a III in misery, looked down upon by the higher ranks and forced to leave the people she loves, or she can become a VII and join the most powerful family in the country. 

If she says yes, Kitty will be Masked - surgically transformed into Lila Hart, the Prime Minister's niece, who died under mysterious circumstances. As a member of the Hart family, she will be famous. She will be adored. And for the first time, she will matter. 

There's only one catch. She must also stop the rebellion that Lila secretly fostered, the same one that got her killed …and one Kitty believes in. Faced with threats, conspiracies and a life that's not her own, she must decide which path to choose - and learn how to become more than a pawn in a twisted game she's only beginning to understand.

By Corrine Jackson

Pushed, the second book in the Sense Thieves series, will be released on the 26th of November.

She didn’t know how far she’d go - until she was pushed.

Remy O’Malley was just learning to harness her uncanny healing power when she discovered the other,darker half of her bloodline. Now she lives trapped between two worlds, uneasy among her fellow
Healers - and relentlessly hunted by the Protectors.

Forced to conceal her dual identity, and the presence of her Protector boyfriend Asher Blackwell, Remy encounters a shadow community of Healers who will put her loyalties to the test.

Pushed to the limit, with the lives of those she loves most on the line, Remy must decide whether to choose sides in a centuries-old war - or make the ultimate sacrifice and go to a place from which she may never return…

Crystal Fire
By Jordan Dane

Crystal Fire, the second book in The Hunted series, will be released on the 26th of November.

A storm is brewing on the streets of LA, one that has intensified since a tragic and deadly confrontation claimed an innocent life.

While Gabriel Stewart trains his army of teen psychics to stop Alexander Reese - the obsessed leader of the Believers - the fanatical church becomes more bent on the annihilation of all Indigo and Crystal children. They're silencing the voices of the telepathic hive, one soul at a time, with frightening experiments cruelly executed on vulnerable minds.

When the Believers torture a mysterious homeless boy, Oliver Blue, they brainwash him into betraying his own. The boy becomes a deadly pawn to take Gabriel down. As the fires of chaos burn around him, Gabe is running out of time. He'll need to confront his past--and the man who made him - before the hope of peace for the future is silenced forever.

Have any of November 2013's New Releases caught your eye?

Click on the images below to check them out on Amazon!