Tuesday, 28 February 2012

In My Mailbox W/C 27th February 2012.


On Monday:

After the first consignment of ARCs got lost en route, I was only too happy when my copy finally arrived in the post on Monday morning :)



I fell in love with this cover in the instant I saw it. The model Marta is stunning looking. And the red really pops. I am lucky to have this shiny book 8 days before release date. Yay! :)




On my Kindle from Net Galley, I received:



On Tuesday:
On my Kindle from Net Galley, I received:


INTERRUPTED by Rachel Coker


On Wednesday:

I fell in love with the cover for this! It looks gorgeous on my bookshelf.

On Thursday:
In My Email: 

My ARC of this was in my email and I am about to start reading it as soon as I log off the computer.
I can't wait for this because I know I love the way Lucy Swing writes.
If you want to know what I thought, pop back on 19th March when I kick of the Feathermore Blog Tour!

On Saturday:
In My Email:

My ARC of PUNISHED by Kira Saito
Yay!! Super happy to have this in my inbox!!

Review of A WITCH IN WINTER by Ruth Warburton


Author: Ruth Warburton
Publication Date: 5th January 2012.
Publisher: Hodder Children's Books

I hereby give this book 5 wings!

Firstly, let me say I absolutely love this cover. The colour is striking and makes it stand out on the shelf. The model is beautiful and I just love the way the whole thing comes together. 

But whilst it was the cover that drew me in, it was the stunning story within that kept my attention.

A WITCH IN WINTER was simply sublime. It was a fast-paced, well-written, wonderful story. Very fluid in it's motion. I picked it up at 12 noon yesterday and was finished within the day. I was just so hooked I found it impossible to put down.

In all honesty, I have that many books to read that I actually asked my 5 year old son to pick one for me. When he picked this, I had been wanting to read it for a while anyway, so I was only too pleased to sit down and settle in. What I didn't expect was to get so carried away by it that I would lose track of time. Suddenly 3 hours had passed in the blink of an eye. It felt like the writing was almost hypnotic. 
Ruth Warburton is definitely an author to look out for in the future. She knows just how to press all my buttons and pack a punch into her story.

This is a line from the blurb that I just loved so much - 
"Although a perfect fit for the paranormal romance genre, A WITCH IN WINTER avoids fangs, excessive body hair and submissive female leads, and tells the heart-wrenching story of a couple meant to be together, but being forced apart"

It really sums things up and I couldn't have said it any better!

This was the story of Anna Winterson. A sweet girl who never believed in magic. Until now.
When Anna's father is made redundant, they are left with no choice but to move. The bills are adding up, the pressure on her father to get a job and pay those bills is mounting. So they move to a house in the small town of Winter. Wicker House. Or as some of the locals call it 'Witch's House'.

Forced to move school mid-year, to live in a house she thinks is dilapidated, to go to a school where she knows no-one, Anna's life couldn't get any more complicated. Or could it?

When Anna has a couple of girls from school round one night, they look through a book that her dad uncovered whilst doing up the house. This book is full of odd words and weird writing. It's mostly burnt. Yet something the girls discover inside makes things get a whole lot more complicated for Anna. Unbeknownst to her at the time, she has 'bewitched' Seth - the gorgeous boy at school who is dating Caroline.

At this point, I can't tell you more. That's for you to find out. But I can tell you, this story is quirky, fast-paced and full of intrigue. There's so much packed into such a short space. So many things happen to Anna that you wonder if the girl is cursed. Poor Anna goes through so much. It's a roller coaster ride for her and her emotions.

If I could live inside any book and be friends with any characters, I would chose A WITCH IN WINTER. I totally heart me some Seth. But I also found I have a mini girl-crush on Anna. She is so sweet and so good. I just love her!

I was after reading something different. This book was it. It was a truly magical, marvellous journey. There were ups and downs, twists and turns. Things that I wouldn't have thought would happen, but they did. I am so eager to read A WITCH IN LOVE when it comes out in July and then A WITCH ALONE (I'm not sure when that one comes out). 

This was the start to what I am sure will be a really beautiful trilogy. I just really hope things work out well for all concerned in the end. I know there will be more ups and downs ahead. I really wouldn't want it to be an easy journey. If it was, it would feel like it was missing something. But though there's bound to be rubber waters and they're bound to take some falls, I know that with Ruth Warburton at the tiller, it'll all work out right in the end.
(even if we have to suffer a little along the way)

I will admit that there were moments of pure joy during this book, but there were also tears too. I didn't even realise I was crying until I felt hot wet tears run in rivulets down my cheeks. But in the end, I was left smiling.

All that's left to say, I guess, is thanks to Ruth for creating some amazing characters. I can honestly say I loved them all. Even the baddies. because they were all written so well. I wish I had my very own Emmaline. Though she starts out as someone I would gladly slap, she ends up someone I would want in my life come hell or high water. She isn't a fair-weather friend, she's got the makings of the best kind of friend a girl could have.
Thanks also for the kind of story that sticks with you. A story that leaves you feeling at once sated yet crying out for more. 

To buy A WITCH IN WINTER for yourself:

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Review of THE NIGHT SHE DISAPPEARED by April Henry


Author: April Henry
Source: ARC from Macmillan, provided by Net Galley.
Expected Publication Date: 10th April 2012.

I hereby give this book 4.5 wings!
As always, a little cover appreciation is top of my list. I like this cover because it stands out as something a bit different. It was a slightly edgy feel to it and that was what caught my eye, leading me to read the blurb and susequently request this book.
As many of you will already know, I have been lucky enough to be auto-approved by Macmillan for any of their books I would like to review via Net Galley.
Whilst browsing their list, I came across THE NIGHT SHE DISAPPEARED. It struck me as different from anything I have previously read and sounded really interesting.
I started reading it a couple of days ago and have just put it down. So I thought I would write my review whilst the story is still fresh in my head.
I found this story to be really interesting, well-written and a definite page-turner.
I enjoyed the way it was written from different people's points of view. That is something I have experienced a few times before but in this instance, I feel April Henry has done it more freely and with more fluidity than I have encountered before.
Whilst reading it, I felt like I was in an episode of Criminal Minds, which I just happen to love. Not the way it was from different POV's but the fact that it was about kidnap. Something I have not come across in this form before reading this.

THE NIGHT SHE DISAPPEARED is about Kayla Cutler, a young girl working for Pete's Pizza when she gets kidnapped.
A customer phones Pete's and orders 3 'meat monster' pizza's and asks if 'the girl driving the mini' is delivering that night.
The girl he is asking about is Gabie. But it's Kayla that makes the delivery.
We go on to find out from the different characters what happened that night.
Drew was working that night and was the one who took the phone call. Gabie was not working that night because Kayla asked her to swap shifts.

I enjoyed finding out from the different perspectives what happened. But I felt that it meant that I couldn't connect with the characters because I didn't spend long enough seeing things through their eyes. However, by the halfway point, that wasn't necessarily true.
I found that actually, I could connect with Gabie. She felt bad because it was meant to have been her.
With Drew, it was slightly easier to connect as I felt we spent more time seeing it through his eyes.
I felt a connection with Kayla too as we get to see it as she sees being locked up in the room where she was taken. So all in all, at halfway through, I could see how things connected and was enjoying it a lot.
Not to say I hadn't enjoyed it up to then. It was a good story from the beginning. But for me, I love to read a good book where I get drawn in and feel like I could be the main character.
That didn't happen for me in this instance - but that didn't mean it wasn't an enjoyable read.
The basic premise was a good one and I think it was executed well.
I knew all along it wasn't the guy they suspected. Something just didn't add up. I found myself wanting to scream at the police officer. To shake him and make him realise he was blindly leading the investigation in the wrong direction.
I was pleased with how this book ended. It was wrapped up really well. I won't tell you how it ends, obviously. But I will say that it left me smiling.
I will be sure to look for future books from April Henry. I look forward to seeing what she does next.
Thank you to Net Galley and to Macmillan for providing this ARC. And thank you to April Henry who encouraged me on Twitter to pick up THE NIGHT SHE DISAPPEARED when I was questioning what I should read next! :)



Thursday, 23 February 2012

BLOODY VALENTINE by Lucy Swing

MOVE OVER TWILIGHT, THERE'S A NEW BOOK IN TOWN!



Would you just look at this cover? Did I make it large enough?... Yeah, I did!! I absolutely love, love, love this cover and NO it's not just because I am friends with Lucy. No, I am saying this as a long-standing, self-confessed cover-magpie. It speaks to me!


Now, I read BLOODY VALENTINE as both a sort of beta-reader in the early stages of it and as part of the Death By Chocolate Blog Tour that I was part of. However, this is a slightly longer version and I cannot wait to dive in!!


To see my short review for this as part of the DBC tour, click here

Add Bloody Valentine to GR here
Connect with Lucy on TwitterFacebook and Blog




Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Mini-Review of THE GATES by Rachael Wade

Now folks, I am scheduled on THE GATES BLOG TOUR for 21st of April and I don't want to make you guys read the same thing twice. So, I thought I'd write a sort of mini-review.



Title: THE GATES
Author: Rachael Wade
Source: ARC from the author.
Expected Publish Date: 25th April 2012.

I hereby give this book 5 wings!

Firstly, as with AMARANTH, I loved the look of this cover, but I didn't really get the symbolism until I read the story. As with the story itself, the cover is a little darker this time. I love it! 

I am supposed to be only writing a mini-review here, I know, but I just loved this book so much I fear my mouth (or I suppose, fingers) will run away with me.
THE GATES was a slightly darker book. Though AMARANTH touched on issues such as abuse, THE GATES was darker in it's action. I can't give too much away, you need to read it yourself and form your own opinion.
For me, Rachael Wade has done it again. She has written another brilliant book that I fell head over heels in love with. 
I was crying around mid-way through. I told myself I wouldn't cry but my eyes went and betrayed me.
This book, though darker, was still full of bright spots. Gavin Devereaux is just simply delicious and I love the interaction between him and Camille. Though fraught with it's ups and downs, their relationship is as strong and battle ready as it possibly can be. Which is good because Rachael through in a kicker in the form of the nasty little wretch called Scarlet. I won't tell you who she is or why I hate but oh boy, do I hate her!!!

There's shocks and twists in store for the characters and indeed for you the reader. For me, THE GATES is the perfect mixture between happiness and joy, sadness and loss. There was action to keep me on the edge of my seat and to make me stay up until way past my bedtime because I couldn't put it down. I am actually exhausted because of late nights. That's just how good this book was. I don't mind being so worn out. Though I do feel as though I owe myself an extra-long sleep now!

Come back on April 21st to see my full review. 


To Connect with Rachael, click her name at the top of the post to follow her on Twitter.
Or to follow her blog, enter competitions etc, find her at: RachaelWade.com
I believe she still has a competition running that you can enter to win an ARC of The Gates. This is open for another 12 days. 


If you haven't managed to read AMARANTH (book 1 in The Resistance Trilogy), see the railer here:




I don't know when one will be available for THE GATES. I will post it when I do know.


For my review of AMARANTH, click here

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Get Well Soon Chele!

This post is dedicated to my ToA - Michele Swindle (Book Review Blogger over at A Belle's Tales)


Folks, I first met Chele through Twitter when she entered one of my Blog Giveaways for a signed Rachel Vincent postcard. Well the good news was, she won one of the postcards. But the better news was, she became my friend.
We are so alike it's untrue. We just have this spooky 'psychic' connection. And that connection is definitely long distance as she is a Southern Gal living in Texas, USA. Whereas, as we know, I am from the UK.


We started talking regularly and realised we have a lot in common. The one thing we are most passionate about (other than our kids) is books! 


Anyway, long story short, I sent her a parcel with a ring in it. It's a gorgeous silver ring that you can swap the crystal in it depending on your mood or what colour you are wearing that day.
Chele sent me a parcel in return, full of delicious sweets. Sour Jolly Ranchers and Hershey's Caramel Kisses. Plus some other lovely bits and bobs.
Anyway, now we are firm friends. She listens to me when I need to rant. I get a lot of jealousy from someone over my book reviewing. (but that's another story). And any time I need to have a cry, I know I can email Chele and she will give me the shoulder I need to cry on and sometimes the kick up the bum I need.


SO... the point of this post is coming, I promise, bear with me.....


For medical reasons I am not at liberty to divulge, Chele is having to take a break from the computer, so cannot get to blog as often as she was. Her amazing daughter, Mackenzie, has done a guest review on there for her and it was AWESOME. So I am hoping that people will still drop by her blog even though she's not around as much.
She still emails me when she can, she's a sneaky little madam. I am awaiting a parcel she is yet to send because she keeps adding things to it - I pity Mike (her hubby) when she tells him he needs to post it! Bahaha!


So, I just wanted to say:

And I always think of this song when I think of you Chele. I was even playing it as I wrote this post. Here's my song to you:




Also, this song (my inner child picked this one)




Thus endeth my mammoth post in honour of my beautiful friend Chele.


I heart you gal. BIG time. I really REALLY REALLY love you!! xoxoxoxoxo 


Please folks, wish her well soon!


Thanks!


Keren xoxo

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Valentines Giveaway Winners Announced.....



First of all, thank you to all who entered. Unfortunately, there can only be 1 winner per giveaway. For the DESTINED by Jessie Harrell giveaway, there were so many beautiful comments left that I had to write names down on pieces of paper, screw them up and get my 5 year old son to pick 1 at random.


Here are the winners names:




DESTINED by Jessie Harrell was won by G. DONALD CRIBBS.


Well done! That was a beautiful poem. Your wife must've loved it! :)
I will be in touch via email and get Destined posted off to you!



and


THE DESTINY SERIES by Nancy Straight were won by: AMY FOURNIER
chosen by RAFFLECOPTER.

Well done Amy. I will be in touch with you momentarily and the 3 books will be posted out to you.
If I am right, you will be the second person to own the whole trilogy in paperback form. Me being the only other person to own them. (so far at least!) :D



To both of you and
for entering!
 
 
Once again, a huge thank you goes to all who entered. Please come back again in future for more awesome giveaways.


Keren xo

















Thursday, 16 February 2012

THE BROKEN DESTINY by Carlyle Labuschagne

I just wanted to share a book I am very excited for, coming soon. I love the beautiful cover and I am on the edge of my seat waiting for my copy from Carlyle.


Without further ado, here it is: 



"She will become what she hates
to save the ones she loves"

Her Destiny is to Rise against the fall that threatens to take her soul.
Her soul is the Key to unlocking a secret weapon.
But to know her soul she has to hate it first, 

and then come back from that. 
Her Destiny starts with Betrayal.

The Broken Destiny 
Book One


Below are two trailers for your enjoyment:

The Character Trailer:


and 

The Book Trailer:



Does this or does this not look stunning?

To add it to your Goodreads TBR List, click here

To connect with Carlyle: Follow her blog & Follow on Twitter





Review of ENTANGLED by Nikki Jefford




Title: ENTANGLED
Author: Nikki Jefford
Source: ARC from the author for review
Expected Publication Date: 22nd February 2012.

I hereby give award this book 5 wings!

Firstly, I want to say I absolutely LOVE this cover. It's so beautiful. I was snooping around Twitter and came across a post asking for people's opinions on 2 possible covers for this book. I liked both of them, but am particularly pleased that Nikki went with this one. 

Even though I voted for this cover, I didn't know what this story was about. But I did know that I was about to read the Death By Chocolate anthology which contained a short story by Nikki by the name of Spellbound. I knew that this would be my chance to experience some of Nikki's work. Little did I know that Spellbound was actually Entangled in short-story form. 

Click here for my review of Spellbound. Or read on for my review of ENTANGLED.

Description From The Author's Blog

About:


Twin witches Graylee and Charlene Perez agree on one rule: No dating warlocks.

Not so easy when a certain rogue warlock is convinced you belong together and will use anything, including magic, to try and impress Gray.

When Charlene’s boyfriend dumps her, she threatens to kill either herself or the girl who stole Blake.

Somehow, Gray ends up dead.

A Resurrection Spell Gone Wrong

Two months after dying, Gray wakes up in Charlene’s body.

As the daughter of a witch, can anyone blame her mother for attempting to bring her back to life? Only now Gray’s stuck sharing her sister’s body 50/50 in 24 hour shifts.

The race is on for Gray to find a way back into her body before Charlene purges her from existence. 
Raj McKenna is rumored to meddle in the black arts, not to mention he’s after Gray’s invisibility spell and worse – her heart. But Raj might be the only one powerful enough to save Gray from fading away forever.

I read SPELLBOUND and said how wonderful it would be if it was a full length novel or even a series. So imagine how wonderful it was to find that actually, it's going to be a trilogy. I was over the moon!

I don't want to give away too much of the story but I can tell you it is a MUST-READ. If like me, you enjoy a good YA book and have a thing for books about magic, this book is definitely for you.
I said in my review that SPELLBOUND was spell-binding. Well that is even more true of ENTANGLED.

It's the story of twin sister witches Graylee and Charlene Perez. As is my experience of twins, they may look the same, but they have completely different personalities. Graylee is feisty, fun, and I love her. Whereas Charlene is self-obsessed, self-opinionated, not the kind of person I would be friends with. As long as nothing gets in her way, she's okay. But if you get in her way, you will know about it. Unfortunately for Graylee she is on the wrong end of learning this lesson the hard way. 

Gray didn't even actually do anything wrong. I can't tell you how it is that she ends up in such a precarious position because I would spoil the story for you. But I can say that even though it wasn't Charlene's intention for what happened to happen to her sister, she certainly didn't do anything to make up for what she did. 

Okay so we know I didn't like Charlene. but I do like the way she was written. Nikki has created some wonderful characters. Whether they be good-guys, bad-guys or neither, I love the way they all came to life within this magical story. 

I am really fighting with myself as to what to write here. I really want to tell you at length what made this story fantastic for me but I know I can't. It's for you to experience for yourself.


To me, ENTANGLED is a story of magic, love, rivalry, jealousy, and a betrayal of the worst kind.

In my honest opinion, you need to go and buy ENTANGLED and let yourself be taken away on a magical journey that has ups, downs and twists of fate thrown in there for good measure.

For me, Nikki's writing style is one that I have fallen in love with. I adored her right from SPELLBOUND and I can tell you now, I am a fan for life. Her words have a way of drawing you in and not letting you go, even after the end of the book. You are left pondering what on earth will possibly happen in books 2 &3.

I for one cannot wait for DUPLICITY which will be available in April 2012.

To find out more about ENTANGLED, DUPLICITY AND ENCHANTMENT, click on the link at the top for Nikki's own blog. 
To connect with Nikki on Twitter, click the link after Author underneath the book cover.


Much love and thanks must be given to Nikki for allowing me to be her first real reader, beyond beta-readers etc. Also for mentioning me in the acknowledgements. It's authors like Nikki that make my reviewing really worthwhile.

Many Thanks to you for dropping by to read my review. I hope you will go and buy this book and support this wonderful Indie Author.


I will leave you with the book trailer to enjoy:





To purchase ENTANGLED for yourself, click one of these links:


The Boy With The Cuckoo-Clock Heart

I bought this book yesterday on Amazon and I am hoping it will be here by tomorrow. But I wanted to share the video I found on You-Tube. It's in French but is subtitled in English. I watched it twice, once to see the video and once to read the subtitles because I found I couldn't quite do both at once and give it my full attention.
However, now I have watched the clip, I am even more psyched to get the book! :D


Without further ado, here's the clip: 




If after watching that, you want to buy this book




Purchase it here: 




Add it to Goodreads here


It is also being made into a film as far as I can tell, check it out for yourself on IMDb


And don't forget to come back for my review soon! :D


*goes away whistling* "Shut Up My Heart, I don't recognise you"

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

In My Mailbox... W/C 13th February 2012


On Wednesday:


I have seen a few differing opinions of this cover but I must say I LOVE it!!
Covers don't have to be glamorous, glitzy and outlandish. Sometimes they can be haunting, edgy and still hit the spot. That's this cover to a T!


I adore this cover. It's not only beautiful to look at but also feels silky smooth to the touch. FANTASTIC! The story itself sounds captivating. Only time will tell ;)

and in my email:

I won this book from the author!!


I had this book in my wishlist but now I don't have to buy it as I won a copy! WOOT! :)
I love this cover. So very pretty. I can't wait to dive between the pages! :)


On Friday:

This is a dinky sized little book and I love the way it looks. I have heard good things about it so I am eager to read it.

On Saturday:

SIGNED AN APPLE FOR ZOE SWAG
Big thanks to Tom for sending me this. He knows I love the cover and now it's going in it's place in my signed author scrapbook.


I got 2 SIGNED copies of this. 1 for myself and 1 for my Valentines Giveaway.

plus:


I also got 2 SIGNED copies of this. 1 for myself and 1 for my Valentines Giveaway.
Big love to Nancy, my queen, for sending me these beautiful books!

In My Email:

I was lucky enough to get an ARC of this. I am so glad Rachael sent it to me! :)

That concludes my week. But I think I can safely say, it was a fruitful week!
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