Tuesday, 29 May 2012

CHANGING MY WARDROBE by Deb Hanrahan - BLOG TOUR!!




Author: Deb Hanrahan
Available Formats: Paperback & E-book
Source: eARC provided by the author via RABT 
Publish Date: May 26th 2012


*I hereby award this book 5 wings!*

"Lindsey, a high school freshman, views her new school as a place to start over. With the help of her friends, she hopes that a change in her
wardrobe will prompt a change in her image. She has some success until her long-time nemesis, Avery, reminds Lindsey of her place. Without
asking for help from the adults, the main character and her friends struggle to manage the bullying. Despite their efforts, tensions rise, and
people get hurt."

Back cover:
"Incoming freshman, Lindsey Ames, wants to take Italian, and she wants to join the National Honor Society.
She wants a new image, and she wants better clothes.
She wants Avery to stop tormenting her, and she wants Marco to ask her out.
She wants Jocelyn to go away, but she wants Grouper to be happy.
She wants to save Teeny's reputation, but she doesn't want to lose everything.
Will Lindsey find the courage to stand up to her enemies before it's too late?"

*****************
I'm sitting here at my laptop, wondering what on Earth I can say to do this book justice. My hands are still shaking as I try and type - I put this book down over an hour ago and the story is still resonating within me. 
I wasn't the A- student in school, but I was bullied. I didn't know it before picking this book up but this story would end up reminding me of my life back in school and though I didn't come to the same ending, I felt as though it could have been me. It was great to read a story filled with such realism.

My Review:


CHANGING MY WARDROBE is the story of Lindsey, a girl who is about to embark on her freshman year of school. 
She didn't enjoy her old school, Maple, because she never felt like she really fitted in anywhere. Sure, she had her friends. But she wasn't one of the 'popular crowd' - she wouldn't have wanted to be one of them anyway, but it would have been nice to be 'somebody' - What I think Lindsey fails to realise is that she is somebody.


Lindsey is nice, funny, clever. The kind of girl who you'd be proud to call your friend. Her friends Teeny and Grouper think the world of her. 
It's Teeny that suggests that changing her wardrobe might help her feel more like she fits in.  Having always been one of these girls that dresses well, but maybe not all that 'on-trend' - Lindsey needs Teeny's keen eye to help her pick some new outfits.


Teeny manages to convince her to take a pair of her old jeans and turn them into cut-off shorts, pairing it with an old 'Journey' t-shirt of her mom's and a pair of cheetah print ballet flats, Lindsey has her outfit set for her first day as a freshman. She's just hoping that she doesn't attract the attention of Avery, hoping the school is big enough that she doesn't even bump into her.


Avery's the type of girl we all had to put up with at school - or at least from personal experience, there's one in every school. She's pretty and popular - but she's also a mean girl (I couldn't use the word I wanted to here!) - this combination makes her Lindsey's worst nightmare. If only she can stay out of her way...


But no such luck. Avery seems to be everywhere you turn. In the line in the cafeteria, in the halls, even in P.E. Yes, you guessed it, she's the mean girl in P.E who makes fun of those who aren't as good as her. Making snide remarks about your appearance to make herself look good in front of her friends. 


Jocelyn is the weird- kid. Did we all have one of those at school too? Someone we didn't really want to associate ourselves with because although we weren't popular, we also weren't as unpopular as them? Well actually, I wasn't quite like that at school, I tried to make friends with people even if others did think they were weird. But I can understand why Lindsey felt awkward. She didn't want Avery to make her more of a target because of hanging around with the weird girl. Much to my surprise, Jocelyn stood up for Lindsey when Avery tried having a dig during a P.E lesson where they were running laps. 
I won't tell you what she said, you need to read it for yourself. But I can tell you that I cracked up laughing and it endeared me to the girl...!


Now, I guess I ought to mention the love interest, Marco. He had me swooning and feeling hot under the collar. Lindsey met him on her first morning at school and he seemed to make school a little more interesting.
Marco is tall, gorgeous and athletic. He wants to try-out to be part of the swim team. Now I know I'm not a teenager any more, but I have to admit that I was picturing Marco in his swimwear and it was a pretty picture let me tell you!


So, so far we have the story of a young girl - being bullied by the mean girl, and lusted after by the gorgeous boy. So far, so good. I was reminded of my school days. Though not that the handsome stranger ever fancied me, just that I was picked on for not being in with the 'in-crowd'.


The story was so realistic - I was utterly absorbed.


Needless to say, Teeny, Grouper, Lindsey, Marco and yes, you've guessed it, even Jocelyn, start hanging out together all the time. They have movie nights round each others houses, go to the mall, out on date-nights. It's fun and I must admit, I wish I'd had all this growing up.


But it's not all fun and frolicking. Avery is out to cause as much trouble as possible. It doesn't help that her boyfriend Cal is also mean and out for trouble. Together the two of them really are evil.
I can't tell you how, or why. All I can say is, the stunts that get pulled only escalate in their wickedness. I really feel sorry for Teeny when Avery seems hell-bent on getting revenge on her even though she didn't do anything wrong. 


So to the end of the story, without giving too much away. This story had been so tumultuous throughout and it ended with a leaden feeling in my stomach. I had streams of tears pouring ceaselessly down my face. As I put the book down, I thought that eventually I would quit crying. But as I tried to write a status update on Goodreads, it brought it flooding back and the tears would fall afresh. 


CHANGING MY WARDROBE touched my heart and left an imprint on my very soul. It started out as the story of a girl who thought changing her image on the outside might change how people saw her. But ended up being about much more than that. It was a story with such realism that it could have been lived by anyone. Me, you, the girl next door... What happened in Lindsey's life could have happened to anyone at your school, either with or without your knowledge. 
I hope that any teens reading this book may rethink their actions. I think this story was a beautiful and touching way to get across the message about bullying. 
If you read this book and you realise that this could be you, I hope you rethink your decision to keep quiet about it. If you have been or are being bullied, or you know anyone who is, do something about it. Don't let the bullies get you down, speak up before it's too late!


Thank you Deb Hanrahan for such a touching, heart-wrenching story. I'm so glad that I picked this up and agreed to be part of this blog tour. I'm always glad to share my love of a good book - and this was more than good, it was FABULOUS. But also because it gets the message out there. Help stamp out bullying!!






**Disclosure of Material Connection: I am a member of Reading Addiction Blog Tours and a copy of this book was provided to me by
the author. Although payment may have been received by Reading Addiction Blog Tours, no payment was received by me in
exchange for this review. There was no obligation to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are entirely my own and may not
necessarily agree with those of the author, publisher, publicist, or readers of this review. This disclosure is in accordance with the
Federal Trade Commision’s 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning Use of Endorcements and Testimonials in Advertising**






Author Bio:
I live with my husband and three teenagers in the Chicagoland burbs. After graduating from the University of Illinois with
a B.S. in Chemistry, I worked at a nuclear power plant for five years. I then left my career to stay at home with my three
kids.
Seemingly, overnight, I went from being crazy-busy to having way too much time on my hands. With my husband
working long hours and my kids pursuing their own lives, I had to reinvent myself. So, I decided to write that book I
always wanted to write. Changing My Wardrobe is my first novel 
Deb on Facebook
Deb's Blog




Now to announce the winner of the giveaway we held. The lucky winner will receive a signed paperback copy of CMW from Deb herself.


Let's say a big CONGRATULATIONS to our winner, April Alvey!




to one and all who entered! I hope you enjoyed my stop on the blog tour. I sure enjoyed taking part! ;0)





Fifty Shades Characters... My Ultimate Christian Grey.

So it seems that everyone has their 'Christian' - for me it was initially a choice between three. I thought I would share with you my choices and my reasons for why I chose MY ultimate Mr Grey...!





We have Matt Bomer, Alexander Skasgard and Ian Somerhalder.

I look at these gorgeous men and know that any of the three have the look, yes a little playing with their hair and contacts for the right look - but nevertheless, all of them have the possibility. 

So now for who I chose and why...!

My ultimate Christian is... Alexander Skasgard!


Why him? Well, as any of us who watch True Blood will know, he plays the character of Eric Northman so well. He's charismatic, enigmatic, has a salacious grin... He has the kind of quality that says he would play the ideal Dom.. I mean Eric, he is very domineering... So we know that Alex can pull it off!

So why did I choose him over the other two? Well, I looked at Matt Bomer and could see that he has the sex appeal. However, I've only seen him in White Collar and the film In Time... Neither character has that edge that's required for Christian. I just can't see Matt being able to pull it off. 

As for Ian Somerhalder? We know from seeing him in Vampire Diaries that he has that bad-boy charm. He's beautiful, he's kinda scary, he's oh so HOT - but I feel he's missing that certain something. What, I'm not quite sure. I mean he has the capability to pull off being a Dom... but... Ugh I can't explain it!!

My ideal Christian and Ana would be ...


Yes, I know, in this picture Anna Paquin is blonde, and the length and style of Alex's hair is too short... ignore that and see beyond to the qualities the two possess... 
If you watch True Blood, you will know that Alex is the ultimate domineering guy and Anna is the ultimate 'Not-so-Submissive'...

So there you have it, my honest opinion.
I'd love to hear/see yours...


Monday, 28 May 2012

DUPLICITY by Nikki Jefford - Guest Post & Giveaway!



For my review of ENTANGLED (Spellbound Trilogy #1) Please click here!



Author: Nikki Jefford
Publication Date: May 20th 2012

"If Graylee Perez thought sharing a body with her twin sister was bad, dealing with a duplicate of herself is two times worse. Gray the second doesn’t seem to get that Lee’s boyfriend, Raj McKenna, is off limits. Then there’s the problem of Adiran Montez. He expects one of the Grays to be his.

Nearly a year later, the council is onto them for past misdeeds; Lee, along with the rest of the coven, has lost control of her powers; and Gray is being stalked by what looks like the Grim Reaper. 

If they work together, they may stand a chance of setting things right and making it out alive"






Movie Madness Monday: Spellbound the Sequel

I love movies that bend the rules of reality or present a story in a unique light. An early reviewer of Entangled compared the novel to Freaky Friday, which I thought was cool because I loved that movie as a kid (the original with Jodie Foster).
When Graylee Perez wakes up in her sister’s bed and nightgown on her second morning after being resurrected, she wonders, “What if her life was turning into the Bill Murray movie Groundhog Day? At least in Bill Murray’s version he got to be himself every day.”
As I wrote Spellbound two: Duplicity, I kept thinking about Sliding Doors starring Gwyneth Paltrow. When I first heard about the movie showing two different versions of Helen’s life – one based on if she caught her train, the second on if she missed it – I assumed the first half of the movie would be Scenario One and the second half Scenario Two.
But no! The film jumped between the two different Helens and it was brilliant. I loved it!
In Sliding Doors, the two Helen’s have different haircuts, which helps viewers keep them apart. In Duplicity, one character goes by the name Gray, the other Lee. My biggest fear was that the POV switches would be too jumpy.
I rearranged one area of the book in which two suspenseful scenes happen simultaneously. Originally they cut back to the other Gray… leaving one in the middle of a dilemma. Those scenes needed to play out before switching over.

Thank you to Keren, my very first reviewer of this series and the first person to read it for pleasure (re: not a beta reader, family member, or copy editor). I still owe her a paperback copy of Entangled (as one of three wishes I’ve granted her)… and Patrick Dempsey wrapped in a purple bow. I keep my eye out every time I’m in Seattle!

*Keren sneaks in... Yes please Nikki, nice dark purple ribbon... yummy!!*

Enter to win the SPELLBOUND SWAG PACK (International)



·         Evil Eye Amulet and Bracelet: In Duplicity, Gray wears an evil eye pendant, also known as a nazar, to protect herself from a spell that’s causing havoc over the witches and warlocks in her coven. The evil eye (a Turkish amulet) is used for both luck and protection against envy.

·         Two Headed Quarter: Two Grays are better than none and two heads are better than one, especially when flipping over who gets to choose which movie to watch with a trick coin. Adrian returns in Duplicity and opens a magic shop.

·         Entangled bookmark

Enter by filling out the form below: (Ends June 8th 2012)

About Nikki: 
Nikki Jefford is a third generation Alaskan who found paradise in the not-so-tropical San Juan Islands where she is, once more, neighbors with Canada. She has a B.A. in journalism from the University of Alaska Anchorage and was a reporter before returning to her first love: fiction.

After a whirlwind romance in France, Nikki married Sébastien in March 2000. They reside with Cosmo the wonder Westie.



Useful Links:
Nikki's Blog
Nikki on Twitter


To Purchase Duplicity:
BARNES & NOBLE




Thank you Nikki for an interesting Guest Post and a terrific Giveaway. I am really looking forward to the Book Trailer for Enchantment.
For anyone else who wants to see the unveiling of the trailer, head on over to Najla Quamber's blog, 
UNPUTDOWNABLE BOOKS on June 7th! I know I'll be there with bells on! :)

Sunday, 27 May 2012

To Review or Not To Review.... Fifty Shades of Grey

*WARNING* : As most of you will know already, this is about a book that should not be read by a younger audience. I am only marking this with a warning for the benefit of my younger followers and fans.











*I hereby award this trilogy 5 wings!*

This isn't really a 'review' as such - more an outpouring of my feelings on the subject that is Fifty Shades of Grey....

When I first heard about this book, I will be honest, I was not impressed. I have never been the type of person to buy into book hype. In fact, it usually does exactly the opposite for me that it does for most people, it sends me running for the hills. Why? I'm not altogether sure. I'm like it with songs in the charts too, you overplay something and I am going to get sick to death of it and avoid it like the plague.
It's only when the hype surrounding such things eventually quiets that I decide if I am willing to give something a try.

I have always been the kind of girl who buys a book based on 2 key factors (i) An aesthetically pleasing cover (yes, I know I'm shallow - so sue me) (ii) A decent sounding storyline. 
I don't generally buy books or avoid books based on other people's reviews. Yes, I'll read reviews, I'm nosy and like to know what others thought. But at the end of the day, I buy a book because it looks good to ME not to everyone else. I am a believer in forming my own opinion. 

So what was different this time round? Why was I not impressed by what I had heard, to the point of not ever wanting to read this book? And what made me cave in, in the end? Stick with me here and I will tell you...

I had heard of this book due to everyone causing such a stink. I have heard so many differing things that it has lead me to believe that this book is like Marmite. You either love it or you hate it.
I read people's negative reviews and was seriously put off by what I read. As I said before, I usually ignore other people's opinions and form my own - usually differing from their opinion at the end too. 
But it was a few key things that captured my attention and had me turning away in disgust. To name a few of these things: He [Christian Grey] beats her [Ana Steele]. He rapes her. He flogs her stomach whilst she is pregnant. He brutalises her. He does a wide variety of very sick, perverse things to her (that I am not comfortable rehashing here on my blog - but feel free to roam places like Goodreads if you must).

As you might imagine, I was sickened to hear this and resolved that the Fifty Shades trilogy would NEVER enter my house. It wasn't poor reviews, it was the sick and disgusting things I had no reason to want to go near. 

So why did I change my mind? 

2 reasons. Their names are Ann and Laura. My friend Ann had read the trilogy and said she totally loved it. I found myself texting her and saying "Oh please do not tell me you read these books?" To which her response was "Yes I did and I loved them" - I was shocked. How could she love something where the guy we are as a reader meant to 'fall in love with' tortures the girl? So she told me that the things I had heard were all lies. She said she had no idea why people would say such things and that if only I would give it a chance, I would see for myself.

My other friend Laura said that she was in the middle of reading the first book and was loving it. I asked her if she had come across any of the things I had heard about. She too, said no. It wasn't that I didn't trust Ann was telling me the truth, it was just that I needed a second opinion.

My friend in Canada, Ada, sent me a message saying that her aunt had just bought the trilogy and that we should read them together. Until I had confirmation from Ann and Laura, I couldn't agree. I had the books sitting waiting for a giveaway I was planning - I had bought them with it in mind to hold a competition on my blog for them. However, after what I heard from the girls, I decided that I didn't have a right to judge unless I had read them for myself. Who am I to put myself on a pedestal? I can live high up in my ivory tower if I so wish, but am I just being a martyr for no apparent reason? It would seem so, as I was about to find out!

This book is, as we know, an erotic novel. I have utterly no problem with erotica, in fact I rather enjoy it and am reading more and more just recently. I was sitting here aghast at the fact that it was BDSM and sounded like it was going to be very heavy, full-on - all sex and no real storyline. How wrong was I?!

The reasons I thought I would hate this book have come to be the reasons I love it. To each their own. We all have personal preferences in what we like to find in a book and what we would discard after reading merely a few pages. But for me, I ended up loving this book big time. I can't wait to read Fifty Shades Darker, starting tomorrow.

The fact is, there is plenty of sex in this book, not all of it 'vanilla' either. There are some seriously hot scenes that had me sated, yet desiring more almost straight away.
But it isn't just sex. There's a real storyline here. It's something unique and in it's way, quite beautiful.. 

Christian is a guy who has a tailor-fitted mask over the parts of his life that he would rather the outside world didn't see. On the outside he is Christian Grey, CEO of Grey Enterprises holdings, Inc. He's good looking, suave, sophisticated. Every girls dream. Though few could ever truly obtain said dream. But behind closed doors, he has unique lifestyle. He is a Dominant. He wants a woman to be his submissive.

This is where my first issue arose. Not the Dom/Sub thing but the fact that he wanted her to sign a contract and when I read the things it contained, I wanted to find Christian Grey and laugh in his face. To tell him no woman in her right mind would sign such a thing. 
But within a few pages, I could see why Ana would be second-guessing and why her resolve about it would be lessening. 
Christian is a very enigmatic, charming man. He gets under your skin even when you don't want him to. It really was disarming to find that I, myself, was falling for him hook, line and sinker. 

It was at this point that I realised that whatever other people had put in their reviews, I was going to love this entire trilogy. In spite of the alarming things I had heard, I had picked it up, given it a chance and it had won my heart.

Is it a great piece of modern literature? Probably not. But is it worth the read? More than!

I was a little annoyed in the beginning because I felt that the authors vocabulary didn't stretch very far. However, as I got further in, I knew I was committed to seeing this story through whether her vocabulary was extensive or not. As it happens, I felt like it either (a) did get more extensive or (b) I just didn't notice nor care any longer. It's possibly a combination of both.

I decided I couldn't in the end give it any less than a 5 wing rating because I had fallen for the characters, the story and instantly wanted more. 

So all in all, I vow to keep reading books I like the look of and forming my own opinions, not just deciding not to touch them based solely on people's scathing reviews. I should have known better than to do it this time, but I am sure it was a momentary lapse in my judgement. 

Should you read Fifty Shades of Grey? In my opinion, most definitely. Don't be put off by people spouting nonsense. For those of you who still don't want to read it, that's fair enough. I personally think that you'll be missing out - but not everyone likes the same things, else the world wouldn't be as diverse as it is.

Thank you for coming by to read my thoughts.

Laters, baby ;)

(a reference you will only get if you've read the book)


Side note: If you are taken by the need to leave a comment, feel free to do so. However, I implore you not to leave vicious comments because you are on the 'I Hate This Trilogy' bandwagon. I don't mind that your opinion may differ from mine, but no matter how much you argue, I will never concede the point. I loved this book - that's for me to decide - none of what might be said will sway me.
Thank you! x








Tuesday, 22 May 2012

PRESERVATION ON TOUR....


WARNING: This book is not suitable for a younger audience! 

Title: PRESERVATION
Author: Rachael Wade
Publish Date: April 8th 2012




Preservation On Tour!


A sexy, arrogant, playboy professor. A stubborn, independent, aspiring writer. Both masters at the art of sabotage. Let the games begin. Available 4/8 from AMAZON UK, AMAZON US,  Barnes and Noble.




• Song: Little Lion Man
• Artist: Mumford and Sons
• Tour Date: 5/22
• Venue: Simon and Warden Publishing House
• Scene Snapshot: Ryan examines the error of his ways.
• Anthem:  
Weep for yourself, my man,
You'll never be what is in your heart
Weep, little lion man,
You're not as brave as you were at the start
Rate yourself and rake yourself
Take all the courage you have left
Wasted on fixing all the problems that you made in your own head

But it was not your fault but mine
And it was your heart on the line
I really fucked it up this time
Didn't I, my dear?
Didn't I, my dear?

Tremble for yourself, my man,
You know that you have seen this all before
Tremble, little lion man,
You'll never settle any of your scores
Your grace is wasted in your face,
Your boldness stands alone among the wreck
Now learn from your mother or else spend your days biting your own neck

But it was not your fault but mine
And it was your heart on the line
I really fucked it up this time
Didn't I, my dear?




"Fear is sabotage’s sweetest weapon." 

"Kate has no time for meaningless romantic charades, and definitely no time for hot college professors who are full of themselves and smitten with her. Constantly battling eviction notices, tuition she can’t afford, and a sick, dependent mother, the last thing she needs is to be distracted with someone else’s complicated baggage. 

When she stumbles into Ryan Campbell’s creative writing class, he is only “Mr. Campbell” to her, until Ryan finds himself captivated by her writing and she is forced to face their mutual attraction. His cocky know-it-all syndrome is enough to send her running in the other direction, and his posse of female admirers and playboy reputation are enough to squander any odds in her favor. 

But underneath Ryan’s abrasive facade is something to behold, and she can’t stay away for long. Ryan and Kate must decide who they’re willing to become and fight against their former selves if they want to make things work. That’s if academia, vicious vixens, old skeletons, and their own mastery at self-destruction don’t pummel their efforts first."
********************

We've all heard the phrase Love Conquers All. But do we really know what it means to have that kind of love? Some of us are lucky enough to have that kind of love in our lifetime. Some of us will die without ever truly experiencing something so extraordinary. Because it's easy to say "Oh yes, we love each other unconditionally" But do you? Do you really?

Have you ever picked up a book last thing at night, torn between wanting to read for an hour or to go straight to sleep? A word to the wise DO NOT ATTEMPT THAT WITH THIS BOOK. Seriously, I picked this up at 10pm hoping for an hour of reading before bed. Come 2:30am I'm just finished. That's it. Done. Read cover to cover. This book was delicious, I could not put it down. I'm off to bed with tear tracks down my face.
- This was my Goodreads status at 2:30 this morning - 

It's true, I picked this book up last night, fully intending to spend an hour reading it and then go to bed. Little did I know just how much I would get sucked in and not spat back out until 2:30am. 
I read a lot of books. In fact most days, my head is buried in a book. But most of them have a Paranormal element to them. PRESERVATION was a touch outside of my norm, being that it's Adult Contemporary Romance / Realistic Fiction. 
I have to be honest, I wasn't quite sure what to expect. Yes, I've been known to read Erotica. Yes, I read Adult Fiction too. But no two books are the same and thank goodness that's so. We wouldn't want to read the same old, same old. 
Well let me tell you, PRESERVATION blew me out of the water. It was not your typical romance. Girl meets boy, they fall in love. They have hardships, they overcome them, they live happily ever after. No, this was deeper than that. This explored what happens when a man and woman meet, neither of whom want a relationship yet are inexplicably drawn to each other.

Kate Parker is 25 years old. She's a student. Living in a tiny apartment, working all the hours she can, going to school to improve her craft. She wants to write. But the obstacles in her life mean that nothings ever easy for her. Her mother is ill. Her landlord is threatening to evict her if she can't make the rent. 
Kate doesn't want a relationship. She's had it with guys. Plus, juggling all that she is, is there really time for a relationship?

Ryan Campbell is a professor. He had his heart broken by Jamie, his ex fiancée who he caught cheating. So he's going from one casual fling to the next. Getting what he wants from each of them before casting them aside.

Little do they know what is about to happen. What will change their lives and the shape of that to come.

Kate walks into school late. She's ringing wet from the rain and loaded down with bags, having to carry so much to school with her really isn't any fun. But it's all she can do. She does her lessons on a Monday and then goes for a swim. It's her way of de-stressing. So many things are difficult for Kate that this is one of the simple pleasures she enjoys while she can.
Ryan's not at all happy that Kate is always late to his class. Also she's making puddles all over the floor and banging about with that god forsaken bag of hers. A distraction, that's what she is.
So we have Kate, the beautiful, distracting student. Then there's Ryan, the hot professor who's known for his commitment-phobia.
It's the start of the emotional roller coaster of a journey that has you hurtling towards the ground at breakneck speed - not knowing for sure what the outcome will be. 

I can't tell you all the trials and tribulations that Kate and Ryan are about to face. There'd be no point you picking it up for yourself if I sat her and gave you plot points. 

What I can tell you, is this:

There is some inexplicable reason why Kate and Ryan are drawn to each other. It's not a straight forward relationship by any means. There's the good, the bad and the downright ugly. There are tender moments that have you feeling good but there are also moments that are more like a punch to your gut. Things that take the wind right out of your sails. 

They say nothing easy is worth having and nothing worth having is ever easy. Ad Astra Per Aspera - A Rough Road Leads to The Stars. 

In this instance, nothing could be more true. 

There were moments during this story that I laughed out loud. Then there were the times that I cried. Plus a few occasions where I wanted to reach into the book and cause physical harm to both Kate and Ryan. Sometimes I wanted to slap Kate and shake some sense into the girl. But the one truly bad moment, I wanted to reach in and punch Ryan in the face. Not just the face, but you get my point.

I truly didn't expect this book to affect me in the way it did. There are very few books that evoke such an emotional reaction from me.

I know in Kate's position, a lot of women would probably just give up and walk away from Ryan. At first, I thought I would be one of those. But I found myself drawn to him. I knew from the prologue that he'd had his heart broken in one of the worst ways. So I knew that under the façade he presents to the outside world, there was a vulnerable guy. But that doesn't give him a free ticket to do whatever he damn well pleases. Which at times, he thinks it does. 
Whilst this is all true, I do actually like him despite his foibles. Plus the fact is, there's times when it's not just him that's in the wrong.

I finished this book with tears racing each other down my cheeks and laughing out loud at the same time. This is most certainly one of my favourite books. Of that you can be sure.

I love the way Rachael Wade writes. Having read her other books, The Resistance Trilogy, I knew that I liked her writing. One of the things I like most about her is her ability to make you feel like you could be the main character. You're not just an outsider looking in. You're drawn into the story and not spat back out until she says so. 
For me, the best feeling is that of realism. This story isn't a fantasy. An idea of what life could be, if only... No this is a story about love, pain, loss and betrayal. Yes, it's just a story. But you are in no doubt that these things really can happen. 

I know that the song Rachael chose for this stop on the blog tour is Little Lion Man, but I wanted to share my own song choice. A song I couldn't get out of my head. In fact, I lie. There's 2. 


Song: Hate That I Love You
Artist: Rihanna


Song: Gravity
Artist: Sara Bareilles 
I chose this video for those who aren't familiar with the lyrics of this beautiful song.

If you read PRESERVATION for yourself, you may understand the reasons behind my choices.

Seriously, you should go and buy this book. You don't want to miss out.

Thank you Rachael for the advance copy of this beautiful book. I enjoyed it immensely in case you cannot tell. 











Friday, 18 May 2012

What Is Age Appropriate Reading Material For Your Child(ren)?







Okay Guys & Gals, I have a question for you, as the title would suggest. But I won't ask right now. Read my post then, feel free to share your opinion.


So, what did I come across to ask this question? Well....


There's this woman - for the sake of this post, let's call her Emma - and she has an 11 year old daughter - let's call her Nicola. 
Anyway, Emma has no qualms whatsoever with allowing Nicola to read inappropriate materials for her age. Or at least in my honest opinion, they are inappropriate. But who am I to judge? you might ask. Well, we're all entitled to our own opinions, this just happens to be mine.


I know you are sitting there thinking well okay, but what are these things she allows her young daughter to read? So I will tell you.


I couldn't tell you any specific titles of  books because I don't know myself. All I know is that she has no problem with letting Nicola read things containing explicit sex scenes, amongst other things. It was really the fact of the sex scenes that I had the problem with. And now I guess you might be asking why....


Yes, I believe that we all need to learn about sex, but at the right age. Is 11 the right age? I don't honestly profess to know the answer to that. I don't have an 11 year old myself so haven't had to make that decision.  I think it's appropriate to learn about it in school, in Sex Education, when teachers have parents consent to teach that kind of thing. 
Okay so admittedly Sex Ed wasn't the first time I knew what sex was and everything has moved forward since my days in school - But we're not talking about Sex Ed classes here, we're talking about letting your daughter read books that you know are highly explicit.


At that age, I was not allowed to read that kind of thing (and nor would I have wanted to, to be honest) I read things like What Katy Did, The Hobbit,  Black Beauty, they were my summer reads. 


If I had an 11 year old daughter, I'd let her read YA fiction, sure. I know that a lot of YA books allude to the idea of sex, but they do not describe it in any particularly explicit detail. Those kinds of things are what you would expect from Adult Fiction or Erotica. These being the kinds of things I would NOT let my young daughter anywhere near. If she was 18, sure. But come on, the girl's 11 for heavens sake. 


I say, stop letting the girl read whatever the hell she likes, take control of what you allow her to read. 
Okay so she may Google the subject, either alone or with friends and they are curious. Whatever. If that happens, then sit her down and talk to her. But do not hand your 11 year old child a book you know to be Adult Fiction. That just does not sit right with me. And I'll tell you for why. What I learned in Sex Ed was nothing like as explicit as some of those scenes can get. They taught me the basics, fine. I'm all for children being taught the basics when they reach an appropriate age. But leave the rest for her to learn as she grows up. When she's older, let her be the judge of what to read. But for now, be the parent and don't let her read stuff she just isn't ready to know. 


So, I guess what I am asking you guys is this... Would you be comfortable handing your 11 year old daughter or son something that you knew to be of a highly explicit nature? 


**If you are going to answer my question, please be aware that I will leave the comments section open to all who are willing to wade in - whether you agree with my opinion or not, I would love for you to comment. I really want to see what you all have to say.
Having said that, if I find your comments to be abusive toward me for my opinion, then please be aware that your comments will not be responded to and will be deleted. I won't delete comments that are just disagreeing with me - just any that are taken to be offensive**


Thank you for taking the time to read this post whether you comment or not. 







Thursday, 17 May 2012

EVE EDEN vs THE DEVILISH DEMON - Cover Reveal!

I am lucky enough to have been asked by author Suz Korb if I would be part of the cover reveal for this book!
For those of you unfamiliar with the series, here's links to the previous two books on Goodreads. We have EVE EDEN vs THE ZOMBIE HORDE & EVE EDEN vs THE BLOOD SUCKING VAMPIRE


For those of you who already know Suz's work, I'll just get on with it shall I?


Well, without further ado, I bring you.....



Doesn't this just scream girly? 

As we all well know, I love anything with wings and anything girly so this just jumps off the screen at me!
I love how Suz's covers are just like her books; unique, whimsical and full of fun!

COMING SOON TO AN E-READER NEAR YOU!!

So if you haven't already read the first two books, may I suggest you do so now? 
And for those of you that have already, just a little while longer and we'll have book 3 in our hands! :)





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