Friday, November 29, 2013

Black Friday Extravaganza



I hope all you Americans had a lovely Thanksgiving, with lots of good food and many things to be thankful for (: Whilst us Aussies don't celebrate this tradition, we do love the Black Friday sales that occur after. So why shouldn't we have something bookish for Black Friday?

The Black Friday Extravaganza features 50 authors and on the blog I'll be spotlighting Cambria Hebert's Masquerade (Heaven & Hell #1)



Synopsis:
"I'm disfigured. Scarred. Ugly.
When I look in the mirror, I see a stranger. When I look over my shoulder, no one's there…
Yet I feel watched. Hunted. Afraid.
And then he tells me I’m beautiful.
He tells me I’m safe.
I believe him.
Until someone tries to kill me.
Secrets abound, danger is near, and still… my heart desires a boy with whiskey-colored eyes and far too many secrets.
Secrets that could cost me my life.
To stay alive I have to look deep, beneath the masks everyone wears, to find the truth.
To find myself."


---

Buy Links

MASQUERADE is currently FREE on Amazon and Smashwords so what are you waiting for?!



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About Cambria Hebert

Cambria Hebert is the author of the young adult paranormal Heven and Hell series, the new adult Death Escorts series, and the new adult Take it Off series. She loves a caramel latte, hates math and is afraid of chickens (yes, chickens). She went to college for a bachelor’s degree, couldn’t pick a major, and ended up with a degree in cosmetology. So rest assured her characters will always have good hair. She currently lives in North Carolina with her husband and children (both human and furry) where she is plotting her next book

Find her at the following places

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Giveaway

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Stacking the Shelves #21: Birthday Edition

I'M BACK! Well I was back a week ago but had to catch up with some other stuff but now I'm OFFICIALLY back to book blogging. Research proposal handed in and exams done and dusted - out of sight, out of mind! For now...

Since my last STS I've gone to quite a few bookish events, gotten a mega haul (I need to stop letting them pile up) AND I TURNED 21 - I actually turned 21 on the 10th of November but exams and all so I didn't get to celebrate until last night. Would you believe that this 21st STS coincides with my 21st birthday? What a coincidence... Scary really. Anyway this STS will include my birthday present (books among other things) and the usual means I have of acquiring books. But I'll also have a recap of some bookish events!

Excuse my face in the photos. You can just ignore it. Just look at the awesome authors kthnx.

October 23 - Sydney Allegiant Book Launch

To celebrate the release of the last book in the Divergent trilogy, HarperCollins Australia hosted the book launch at Dymocks George in Sydney. There was Dauntless cake (cupcakes) and a goody bag with lots of swag inside :) There was also Divergent trivia and I got one of the questions so I won a book pack too! For those of you who have read the book, you'll know it's a tough one. I didn't rate it, and I won't - I really can't give it a rating. All I'll say is, it broke me, I can understand that ending, but it still broke me. If you read the rest of my opinion, I have a review on Goodreads you can see here



Book pack I won:

Thank you HarperCollins Australia for the launch and the book pack <3


November 1 - Meeting Jessica Shirvington and Empower

As part of a small blogger event, Keely (myspinonbooks.blogspot.com) and I, thanks to Kim (twogirlsandanovel.blogspot.com) and Hachette Children's Books Australia, got to meet Jessica Shirvington. Ultimate fangirl because I LOVE Jess and all her books. I've been a fan of hers since 2010 when Embrace, the very first Violet Eden Chapters was released. 3 years later and the final book in the series, Empower was released November 12. I was luckily enough to not only meet Jess, get all my books signed but also get a copy of Empower. I finished it that night and it was FABULOUS. Look out for my review coming soon! Theresa (the children's publicist) also gave us a copy of Shaun Tan's Rules of Summer, a lovely picture book which I gave 4/5 to, check out my review here.

There it is, the completed Violet Eden Chapters!

Jess! :D



All the books I have by Jess signed!
The Violet Eden Chapters (Paranormal Angels) in order:



That cover <3

Thank you Hachette Children's Books Australia for the amazing opportunity to meet Jessica Shirvington and these lovely books <3

November 13 - Meeting Samantha Shannon and Bloomsbury haul

Samantha Shannon visited Australia week beginning November 11! I was invited by Bloomsbury Australia to meet her and ohmygosh it was so amazing. Samantha is gorgeous inside and out - she's humble, so sweet and such a genuinely nice person I was so honoured to meet such a young, talented writer! Sonia (the children's publicist) also gave me a few lovely books to enjoy!

She's so pretty *O* and one of the loveliest authors I've ever meet

Yes, yes did tackle hug Samantha <333


From Sonia:

Thank you Bloomsbury Australia for such an awesome night, getting Samantha out to Aus and the lovely books <3

Unsolicited

Thanks to Simon & Schuster Australia and HarperCollins Australia for these review copies <3 

Galleys
 

Thanks to Spencer Hill Press, Macmillan Children's Publishing Group and CJ Duggan for these eGalleys <3

Requested


Thanks to Hardie Grant Egmont, Allen & Unwin, Simon & Schuster Australia, Random House Australia, HarperCollins Australia and Bloomsbury Australia for these ARCs/review copies <3

E-books Bought



Bought



I have rather OCD tendencies as those of you who know me are familiar with. As such, because the current copies of the Divergent trilogy I own don't match and/or are damaged, I had to get the box set to match. I don't even know if I'll be reading it again after the ending of Allegiant of but whatever you know it looks awesome :D

The Divergent trilogy by Veronica Roth (Dystopia):

Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan (Middle-Grade Fantasy/Mythology):



Birthday Gifts




The awesome my friends got me. Gifts include Chloe perfume, a necklace, Bose earphones, Chanel soap/stuff, awesome tea stuff from T2 (not pictured, from my colleagues) AN IKEA GIFTCARD TO "help with my book fetish" ANDDD...

 Thank you Shirley (http://shiirleyysbookshelf.blogspot.com.au/) and Lana (https://twitter.com/nomnombanana) for In the Shadow of Blackbirds and Ender's Game and to all my lovely friends and colleagues for the gifts <3

Shirley and Lana also went the extra step and made me the most thoughtful card a booklover can ever receive.


LOOK AT ALL THE BOOK BOYFRIENDS OMG. AIDEN, ASH, CHAOL, DIMITRI, ISAIAH <3

If you managed to read your way through that well, kudos to you, have a cookie *gives cookies*

Thank you for all the gifts, birthday wishes and books!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Mini-Review: Rules of Summer by Shaun Tan

Firstly, thanks to Hachette Children's Books Australia for this copy of Rules of Summer <3

Changing it up a little with this review. I pretty much post only YA reviews, but this is one picture book had to review! Shaun Tan is definitely one of my favourite authors and illustrators and his 2013 release, Rules of Summer is a must for everyone.




Date Read: November 20th 2013
Release Date: July 11th 2013
Publisher: Hachette Children's
Source: Review copy via publisher
Genre: Fantasy (Children's picture book)
My rating: 

Synopsis:
"Combining humour and surreal fantasy, Shaun Tan pictures a summer in the lives of two boys. Each spread tells of an event and the lesson learned. By turns, these events become darker and more sinister as the boys push their games further and further."

---

For both the young and old, and everything in between, Tan's picture books are filled with messages that resonate differently with the different age groups that read it. Rules of Summer is no different. Filled with layered messages, each one sentence page holds varying messages depending on how you perceive it. The wild and wonderful illustrations show a different side to the seemingly innocent life lessons for things children (and adults) may get up to during the summer.

I loved the way the story was presented. Tan's meticulous brush strokes show at times haunting images of what happens when you "leave the back door open overnight" or "eat the last olive at party" (the looks people give you!). These colourful depictions are juxtaposed by the simple statements on the left-hand page with their light pencil scribbles on sepia and grey-toned backgrounds. By doing this, plain versus rich, Tan accentuates his gorgeous pictures and never overdoes the images. Such images also allow the reader to interpret his idea the way they want - oh what is that beautiful utopia where I can access all the things I need if only I could remember my password? The similarity I found with Tan's other books was the increasing bleakness the deeper we delved through the book. I love the idea of needing to overcome the dark before we find the light. 


Like his other masterpieces, Tan doesn't disappoint. This is one picture book I will be perusing time and time again for the different messages and hidden things I'll find each time.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Blog Tour: These Broken Stars (Starbound Trilogy #1) by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner


Firstly thanks to Allen & Unwin for this review copy and the blog tour (also thanks to Disney-Hyperion for providing the NetGalley) <3

Eeeeep you guys I am ECSTATIC for this blog tour. I am so excited for you all to read These Broken Stars because it has been one of my favourite books this year, and my #1 debut for 2013. This book touched me in so many ways and it was just stunning. Ok I'll stop now and you can read the rest of my gushing in my review :DDD


Date Read: July 28 to 31 2013
Release Date: November 20th 2013 (Australia)
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Source: Review copy via publisher
Genre: Science-Fiction
My rating: 

Synopsis:
"It's a night like any other on board the Icarus. Then, catastrophe strikes: the massive luxury spaceliner is yanked out of hyperspace and plummets to the nearest planet. Lilac LaRoux and Tarver Merendsen survive. And they seem to be alone.

Lilac is the daughter of the richest man in the universe. Tarver comes from nothing, a young war hero who learned long ago that girls like Lilac are more trouble than they're worth. But with only each other to rely on, Lilac and Tarver must work together, making a tortuous journey across the eerie, deserted terrain to seek help.

Then, against all odds, Lilac and Tarver find a strange blessing in the tragedy that has thrown them into each other's arms. Without the hope of a future together in their own world, they begin to wonder - would they be better off staying in this place forever?

Everything changes when they uncover the truth behind the chilling whispers that haunt their every step. Lilac and Tarver may find a way off this planet. But they won't be the same people who landed on it.

The first in a sweeping science fiction trilogy, These Broken Stars is a timeless love story about hope and survival in the face of unthinkable odds."

---



“Sit tight and hope.”

Just look at that beautiful cover. Seriously, let’s just take a moment to really stop and stare at how gorgeous it is. How the thin font is elegant yet simple, the way it accentuates the gorgeous background. Don’t judge a book by its cover they said. Well you know what? THEY’RE WRONG. As soon as I saw the cover for These Broken Stars last year I knew I had to have it. And when I saw it on NetGalley I was on the edge of my seat everyday as I waited for the verdict from DH. I do admit I was scared to start it; I’d inadvertently fallen in love with the book because of the cover and I mean what if I didn’t like it? I had to love it, I just had to, I told myself… Guess what? Kaufman and Spooner DO NOT disappoint AT ALL. Also, that cover is EXACTLY how the characters are described so WIN!

When Tarver and Lilac, two people from completely different classes crash land onto a seemingly deserted planet, they’re forced into survival mode to find help. From that first moment, I was drawn into their story and their journey across a foreign land.

I hated Lilac immediately. Daddy’s little girl to the extreme, she’s snotty and arrogant. I found her insufferable at the beginning – the way she treated people, the way she acted like she was above everybody else. I loved Lilac immensely. Beneath that cold exterior is a different kind of person, one with amazing strength, a will of iron and a selflessness that nobody can see in the way she protects people. Her voice was done extremely well – she has the assumptions of someone who’s been pampered her whole life but also has a lot of smarts and wit. I adored her growth throughout the book and how she retains her character (especially that sassiness) – I felt like she finally grew into herself by the end.

“He can read this place like I read the tiny shifts in a crowd, the back-and-forth of couples and conversation, society executing its slow revolutions around me like the stars in the heavens. Known. Charted. Familiar.”

Tarver is the complete opposite of Lilac. He’s been away from home for such a long time, he earned his title of Major not through money but by fighting on the front lines of intergalactic battles. I enjoyed his continuous snark, it was just plain awesome and one of his defining characteristics. I loved his protectiveness and gentleman-like behaviour without being chauvinistic – there’s a fine line and he never crossed it (although, he does make many assumptions about Lilac because of her class). The best thing about Tarver though? He wasn’t afraid to just feel. So many guys I read in books hide their emotions – especially grief. I mean I know everybody deals differently but it’s ok to cry when you need to. And Tarver? I hurt so much reading his emotions. It felt so much more significant reading helplessness, fear, anger and grief coming from a guy. It was enlightening to know that despite him being a Major and coming out successful in a way, he still felt hopeless in the face of possible death. Maybe it took a while, but I loved how this boy wasn’t afraid to express his emotions. This beautiful boy, he went through so much and by the end I just felt so exhausted (in a good way) from all the feels!

“And then my treacherous lungs contract, and send me gasping for air no matter how I try to stop.”

Instead of talking about the romance like I usually do, I’m going to talk about characterization. It needs a special mention because the way the characters were developed and written was spectacular in TBS. They each felt so real, so relatable in a world unbeknownst to us – I WAS Tarver as he slowed down his pace for the “brat” in those heels, I WAS Lilac as her aching, blistered feet tried to keep up with the Major’s pace. I was them both as I faced the bleak possibility that there was no help. Tarver’s voice was more snippy and snark whilst Lilac’s flowed with the eloquence of class. Each character was so unique, their voice resonated with me even after I finished.

“It’s hard enough dragging this brat through the woods without her breaking an ankle trying to walk in the dark.”

These Broken Stars has been called “Titanic in space”. And that is exactly how I would describe it to be honest. Why? Because both have love stories of epic proportions. When I say epic proportions I don’t mean TBS was just a love story – on the contrary the romance was in the background compared to the more pressing issue of the Icarus crashing and our two protagonists being stuck on a foreign island. But the way the romance was written was epic. What they went through was epic. The romance developed slowly and it was almost painful in the wait. It was beautiful, lovely and filled me up with so many darn feels I cried.

“I try not to shiver at his touch, at the heat of his palm on the chilled skin exposed by my idiotic dress.”

“Her eyes, like reflecting pools, show me the trees, the leaves, the sky.”


That plot. Dat story. Blew me away. Following these two very different people across a planet was one amazing journey. Having lived in a world of technology where everything is automated, everything adjusted to a human’s needs and wants, being on a planet with no technology is a huge challenge. Battling nature and a planet that seems to have a force of its own, Tarver and Lilac faced so many difficulties that set my blood pumping and heart race. The plot was wonderfully executed, suspenseful from crash, to journey, to ending – I never got bored, and it was filled with many twists and turns that left me absolutely breathless and sobbing for more.

“I cannot turn back because there is no back, only the next step, and the one after, and the one after that.”

One snarky Major. One sassy rich girl. A spaceship crash. A foreign planet. Amazing characterisation. Beautifully written. A romance of epic proportions. A helluva plot. Kaufman and Spooner’s debut shines like the infinite stars in the universe.

“Until all that’s left is us.”




---


Author Links

Amie's website: http://amiekaufman.com/
Meagan's website: http://www.meaganspooner.com/
Amie's Twitter: https://twitter.com/AmieKaufman
Meagan's Twitter: https://twitter.com/MeaganSpooner

Check out the These Broken Stars website: http://www.thesebrokenstars.com/
Want news on Amie and Meagan's latest books? Sign up to their newsletter: http://meaganspooner.us5.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=7d4d8de1795be6151d15ac230&id=8fe91a1c37

Giveaway

Thanks to Allen & Unwin, I have one copy of These Broken Stars up for grabs!

This giveaway is AUSTRALIA ONLY. Winner must reply within 48h of being contacted or another will be selected.


Monday, November 18, 2013

Cover Reveal: Seeking Her (Losing It #3.5) by Cora Carmack

Cover reveal time!

With the success of Kelsey's book Finding It, Cora's got more Kelsey for us! Seeking Her is Jackson and Kelsey's novella and the cover is quite different from her other books this time. And yet I love how the font is the same so you can tell it's the same series :3

SEEKING HER



Synopsis:
"A few months after being honorably discharged from the military, Jackson Hunt is still struggling to adjust back to the real world. He needs to get a job and find a sense of normalcy if he’s going to keep his own demons at bay. The job that falls into his lap, though, is anything but normal.

Bodyguard (and baby-sitter) to spoiled-rich-girl Kelsey Summers isn’t exactly what he’d been looking for, but it’s a chance to travel, to get away from the home that has felt stifling ever since his return. It would be a pretty sweet gig if it weren’t for the fact that Kelsey’s father doesn’t want Kelsey to know she’s being followed. Hunt feels guilty (and a little bit creepy) as he watches her from afar. She’s vibrant and infuriating, exciting and reckless, mysterious and familiar. When he sees her falling into the same patterns that he suffered years ago, he decides it’s time to stop watching and help her instead. But getting to know her is more difficult than he thought, especially because the more he knows her,the more he wants her."

---

Seeking Her will be published January 28th 2014 by William Morrow Impulse

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Cover Reveal: The Assassin's Blade by Sarah J. Maas

It's no surprise that as a Throne of Glass Ambassador I'm a massive fan of Sarah and all her work. So I was ultimate fangirling when I heard all the enovellas in the Throne of Glass world were being collected into one PHYSICAL book *squee*

The novellas will be the ones with Celaena prior to the events of Throne of Glass. I'm now crossing my fingers that there will be a book collecting all the novellas that us Ambassadors revealed as part of the Crown of Midnight promotions. The Assassin and the Captain omg *fans self*

So without further ado

THE ASSASSIN'S BLADE



The Assassin's Blade will be released in March 2014 by Bloomsbury and contains novellas 0.1 - 0.5:
0.1 The Assassin and the Pirate Lord
0.2 The Assassin and the Desert
0.3 The Assassin and the Underworld
0.4 The Assassin and the Empire
0.5 The Assassin and the Healer


Thank you Sonia from Bloomsbury Australia for giving me the opportunity to do this cover reveal (:

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Inactivity

You all might have noticed my significantly sparse posting lately. And the even more significant gaps between the times I've managed to post. No I haven't forgotten my lovely blog and certainly not you either dear readers.

But the uni plague has struck again, and it got me harder than ever before. It's been an extremely tough semester for me working full-time, doing a semester long major group project and now writing a 5000 word research proposal for my other subject (which I just handed in yesterday). My last exam is next Friday so I'll be studying for that in between working! Semester long group projects are probably the most time consuming things EVER. This one was worth 70% of my grade in total. Over the course of about 10 weeks, we had to develop a system in Java - that is code from scratch, design a database from scratch, create a GUI from scratch, link it all up and make sure it works... That includes testing. And every 2 weeks, "iterations", we'd improve and add on to the system. That takes a lot of work... Add on the amount of documentation - meeting minutes, retrospectives (reflecting on the last iteration), iteration plans, and Project Management Plans - that was due every 1-2 weeks as per each iteration update... I sort of died. Yeah... Uni is no fun :(

That's why, other than cover reveals and excerpts I haven't had time to post reviews - writing a review for me takes a long time as those of you who read my blog often know my reviews are quite lengthy and essay-like in style. Fear not dear authors and publishers, I HAVE read your books and I didn't request for the sake of reading, I have ARCs dog-eared with pages that I have quotes I want to use, and my Trello is FILLED with books I've read and need to review, and books I need to read AND review. But this really has to wait until after November 15th.

So I'm extremely sorry for the amount of inactivity >< I WILL TRY HARDER BECAUSE I LOVE MY READERS

Blog Tour: Daughter of Isis (Descendants of Isis #1) by Kelsey Ketch



It's here *twirls* Kelsey Ketch's debut book, Daughter of Isis is here (: My stop today will be an excerpt from the book. To check out the rest of the tour hosted by YA Bound, click here



Synopsis:
“Her mouth parted slightly, waiting for Seth to breathe life into her own body, just like in the story. She wanted him to awaken her senses.”

Their worlds collide in California’s high desert.

The last thing Natara “Natti” Stone wants to do is to start anew at Setemple High School. She wished she had never left London. Yet the brutal murder of her maternal grandmother has made her life very complicated. The only clue related to her murder is an ancient, encrypted necklace Natti discovered after her grandmother’s death. And if trying to adjust to American life is not enough, Natti is being stalked by a mysterious, charming high school senior, Seth O’Keefe, who is annoyingly persistent in his attempts at seduction.

Seth O’Keefe is secretly a member of the Sons of Set, an order that worships the Egyptian god of chaos. Seth’s blessing from Set, his “charm,” never failed, except with one person: Natti Stone. Her ability to elude him infatuates and infuriates him, and he becomes obsessed with the chase. But the closer he gets to her, the more his emotions take a dangerous turn, and he risks breaking one of the most valued covenants of his order. The punishment for which is a fate worse than death.

The adventure this unlikely couple becomes engulfed in could cost them their lives and their souls."

---

Excerpt


“Natti, you need to relax,” Seth finally said.

She froze in her place and looked at him. “Relax! Are you mental? My best friend was drugged!”

Seth stood up from the long, ratty sofa, peeled apart her hands, and took them into his. “You don’t know that for sure.” He brushed his thumbs over her skin in soft, smooth strokes. “Just let the doctors worry about it.”

The calm, soft tingle of his touch seeped through her skin, coursing lightly over her nerves and releasing their tension. Her mind and body began to calm down, making her realize how badly every muscle had been physically shaking. Slowly, layer upon layer of fear and stress simply vanished until she felt nothing at all. She looked up at Seth’s eyes, drawn to their warmth and comfort.

“Okay . . .” Natti spoke, almost breathless. “How do you do that?”

“Do what?” Seth’s voice was seductive as he leaned his forehead against hers. His scent of spice cologne, myrrh, and sandalwood consumed her senses, and his eyes captured her soul.

“This,” she pressed. “The sensations of your touch. I’ve been feeling it all night and even before. Ever since we met. And don’t try to lie. I know you’re doing it, but how?”

Seth smirked at her question, his eyes turning their focus to her hands. “It’s nothing.”

Natti couldn't help smile as more of the tingling sensation slipped over her skin. “Oh, it’s something. What is it?”

His beautiful full lips tempted her with a smile. “You wouldn't believe me if I told you.”

“Try me.”

Silence fell between them while he seemed to think it over, meanwhile massaging her hands with his thumbs and fingers. The pressure, the release, each movement slowly pulling her thoughts and focus onto his hands. “Touch is a magical thing, Natti,” he explained. “It can comfort.” He raised one hand and stroked her cheek, soft and gentle. “It can entice.” His thumb moved along her jaw and applied pressure as it traveled down her neck, causing her to shiver with delight. “And it can hurt. Whatever the intentions, it brings two people together. It makes a certain . . . connection.”

Though there was no heaviness of a lie, she chuckled at his response. “You’re right. I don’t believe you. Touch is just a sense. A tool the human body uses.”

“Yes, and it’s a powerful tool when used the right way.” His honey voice teasing her, tempting her. “Now come sit with me and relax. Wanda will be all right.”
---

Add DAUGHTER OF ISIS to Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17975812-daughter-of-isis?from_search=true

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Daughter-Isis-Descendants-ebook/dp/B00G1506CA/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=&qid=

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/daughter-of-isis-kelsey-ketch/1116884871?ean=9781492300687

Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/books/Daughter-of-Isis/ZGLdYqP2EU-IAtlgjhGLsA
---

About Kelsey Ketch



During her high school years, Kelsey Ketch could always be found tucked away in a little corner of the hall or classroom, writing her fantasy worlds and creating illustrations and maps. Today is no different, except now she’s writing in the break room at her office building or at the tables of the Barnes and Noble CafĂ© in Cary, North Carolina. She is also an avid reader, a part-time book blogger at Ketch’s Book Nook, and lives with her two orange tabbies and awesome and humorous flat-mate.Daughter of Isis is her debut novel.






Find her at the following places
Website: http://kelseyketch.com/
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7104482.Kelsey_Ketch
Twitter: https://twitter.com/kelseyketch
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KelseyKetch#

---

Giveaway

There are TWO giveaways (: One is international, the other is US only

2 E-copies of Daughter of Isis (mobi or epub) + Swag (INT)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

2 Natti Prize Packs (US Only): Signed Paperback Copy of Daughter of Isis, Union Jack Journal, Grey Tabby Cat Beanbag, Eye of Horus Pendant, + Swag

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Cover Reveal: Stone of Destiny (The Danaan Trilogy #2)

The cover for the sequel to Laura Howard's debut (The Forgotten Ones) is here! Check out the cover for Stone of Destiny (hosted by YA Bound)

STONE OF DESTINY



It's so pretty and I love how it matches the cover of book 1. I think I actually like this one more!

Goodreads synopsis:
"Allison thought it was crazy enough when she found out her father, Liam, wasn't entirely human. But now she has to join his magical allies to unravel his former mistress's plans. Aoife wants to keep Allison's parents apart forever.

Despite Allison's efforts to keep Ethan, the only guy she's ever cared about, out of this supernatural mess, fate keeps throwing him back into the mix.

Will Allison be able to find the amulet that holds the enchantment Aoife placed on Liam and destroy it? Are Ethan' s feelings for Allison strong enough to endure the magic of the Tuatha De Danaan?"

---

Stone of Destiny will be released 31st December 2013!

Add STONE OF DESTINY to Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18212395-stone-of-destiny

About Laura Howard

Laura Howard lives in New Hampshire with her husband and four children. Her obsession with books began at the age of 6 when she got her first library card. Nancy Drew, Sweet Valley High and other girly novels were routinely devoured in single sittings. Books took a backseat to diapers when she had her first child. It wasn’t until the release of a little novel called Twilight, 8 years later, that she rediscovered her love of fiction. Soon after, her own characters began to make themselves known. The Forgotten Ones is her first published novel.




Find her at the following places
Blog: http://www.laurahoward78.blogspot.com/
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6653788.Laura_Howard
Twitter: http://twitter.com/laurahoward78 

Friday, November 1, 2013

Sentinel Blog Tour: Apollyon Review


When I first started the Covenant series last year I'll admit I thought the first book was very similar to Vampire Academy. But as the series progressed, I'm happy to say it definitely became its own. The Covenant series is now one of my favourite series of all time and Apollyon my favourite book yet. No doubt Sentinel will beat that. It saddens me that Alex's journey is now coming to an end but at the same time I think she's gone through enough. Just 1 day until Sentinel comes out! If you want to check out the tour, click here.

As part of my stop, I'll be promoting Apollyon, book 4 in the series and the penultimate book. This is a review I previously posted but I hope you enjoy it nonetheless.

Review


Apollyon (Covenant, #4)

Date Read: March 14 - 17 2013
Release Date: April 9th 2013
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press
Source: Paperback
Genre: Paranormal/Fantasy
My rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ (technically there aren't enough stars/hearts in the world for this book)


*This review contains no Apollyon spoilers, but does contain spoilers for the PREVIOUS books*

Synopsis: "Fate isn’t something to mess with… and now, neither is Alex.
Alex has always feared two things: losing herself in the Awakening and being placed on the Elixir. But love has always been stronger than Fate, and Aiden St. Delphi is willing to make war on the gods—and Alex herself—to bring her back.

The gods have killed thousands and could destroy entire cities in their quest to stop Seth from taking Alex’s power and becoming the all-powerful God Killer. But breaking Alex’s connection to Seth isn’t the only problem. There are a few pesky little loopholes in the whole “an Apollyon can’t be killed” theory, and the only person who might know how to stop the destruction has been dead for centuries.

Finding their way past the barriers that guard the Underworld, searching for one soul among countless millions, and then somehow returning will be hard enough. Alex might be able to keep Seth from becoming the God Killer… or she might become the God Killer herself."

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“I was the Apollyon. I wielded control over the four elements and the fifth and the most powerful – akasha.”

There’s no other way to start this review than with… HOLY DAIMON BABIES! Jennifer L. Armentrout has gone above and beyond everything I could have ever expected for a book four...  or any book really. I thought Deity was amazing, it was one of my favourite books of 2012 – but Apollyon? Hands down one of my favourite books EVER! I loved this so much that, despite my huge TBR list, I managed to read Apollyon twice :P

I have never read a series where the books just keep getting better and better. Usually the first book draws me in, the second is further plot and character development, everything happens in the third and the rest are fillers. But Covenant has gotten better and better, the characters are maturing and developing constantly, the plot thickens and yet it doesn’t make things any more complicated or introduce anything drastically new.

Picking up straight where Elixir left off, we see Alex connected to the First and Aiden’s unwavering belief that his and Alex’s love can make it through anything. The first few chapters were especially painful as I read through Alex’s struggle with what Seth was telling her, what Aiden was telling her, and what her locked away feelings were trying to make her feel again. Armentrout writes this in the most convincing manner! I could really feel Alex’s devotion to Seth and her hatred for all those around her. As disgusted as I was by the exchanges between the two Apollyons, I could really see Alex believing everything Seth said. Oh and as much as I tried to like Seth before, I really hate him now.

“Seth’s approval washed over me like I’d just stepped out into the summer sun. I basked in it, like a good little puppy with a full tummy.”

Alexandra Andros. What a character this girl is. Such a strong and resilient heroine. Watching Alex grow over the course of the series has been an amazing and bittersweet journey – she’s endured the death of her best friend, being tortured, killing her own mum, and finding out she possesses the power to kill gods/fuel the God Killer. But still she persevered! Alex has however, always had an impulsive streak and constantly dived into situations without thinking of her actions and their consequences; she would act immaturely and more often than not, her stubbornness would never allow her to admit she was wrong. That all changed in Apollyon. Throughout the book I could see her take a step back each time she wanted to jump into things; she’d hold her tongue when she wanted to rebut – there were moments where I would have snapped a retort back, but despite the cringe worthy embarrassment of being told she was wrong, she accepted it and moved on. Her consideration for others improved drastically and I was just in awe of her emotional, mental and physical strength. To say she kicks daimon butt is an understatement!

“I’ve been riding the Alex-Is-Important train for quite some time… I’ve been a handful. I know that.”

I loved the continuous appearance of the gods throughout Apollyon. I really love reading about Greek mythology so seeing the slight humorous takes on them was extremely enjoyable. Apollo I found to be hilarious with his popping in and out and, playing Wii with Persephone? Count me in! Thanatos is also a new favourite of mine. The development of Alex’s relationship with characters like Marcus, Laadan and Lea were really refreshing. I think they really helped her see another side of herself. Also, I’m extremely curious about Alex’s father now! The appearances of some characters brought on nostalgia and some tears for me. I think I just loved all the secondary characters in general!

“Tall and broad and a head full of honey-coloured hair, the man had the face of an angel.
Oh for the love of gods, I couldn’t catch a freaking break.
Thanatos.”

So… Aiden St. Delphi *swoons*. Where do I even start with this man? This man filled with so much internal turmoil, who’s seen too much for someone his age and yet still has the capacity to love so unconditionally. Reading from his POV in Elixir killed me but seeing the way he is with Alex in Apollyon just had my heart in a whole new frenzy. His absolute faith in her and belief in their love, his willingness to die for her – it never ceased to amaze me. Nobody is perfect, but Aiden? Well he comes close to it. Seeing the sensual side to Aiden was also really amazing. He’s so sweet and tender my heart just clenched at his very touch. Aiden is definitely my number 1 book boyfriend!

“I would never give up on you, Alex. Never.”

“You are my everything.”

Alex and Aiden’s romance *heart stutters*… well let’s just say that, together, the heat they create should have made them spontaneously combust!  I loved reading about their stolen moments together – it made them all the more special and precious. And all the more meaningful with the demise of the world looming above them.

“The kiss deepened, flipping and twisting my insides into a pleasant mess, and it was like the very first time we kissed… He kissed me like he’d never expected to do so again…”

Now the plot. Dayum I was on the edge of my seat the whole time. Alex’s journey in Apollyon was not an easy feat and what she is faced with is more than any 18-year-old should ever face. And woah the build-up to that ending? Spectacular! I totally did not see that coming, I was holding my breath until the very end.

“Part of me died right then, maybe not a physical death, but on some mental, some emotional level I was good as dead.”

Perfectly paced, great character development, amazing heroine supported by the most loving guy and a thrilling plot that could mean the end of the world. I think the only book that can possibly be better than this is Sentinel. Can someone please hand me a time machine so I can fast forward to November 12 and get my hands on the final book?!

 “Paradise is waiting for you in the end.”

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Add APOLLYON to Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/9897164-apollyon

Buy Apollyon on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Apollyon-Covenant-ebook/dp/B00C7RYMW6/ref=sr_1_11?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1382320747&sr=1-11

Buy Apollyon on B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/apollyon-jennifer-l-armentrout/1107030301?ean=9781937053161

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Sentinel Cover and Synopsis


It's a beautiful day for a war.

As the mortal world slowly slips into chaos of the godly kind, Alexandria Andros must overcome a stunning defeat that has left her shaken and in doubt of their ability to end this war once and for all.

And with all the obstacles between Alex and her happily-ever-after with the swoonworthy Aiden St. Delphi, they must now trust a deadly foe as they travel deep into the Underworld to release one of the most dangerous gods of all time.

In the stunning, action-packed climax to the bestselling Covenant series, Alex must face a terrible choice: the destruction of everything and everyone she holds dear… or the end of herself.


About Jennifer L. Armentrout


# 1 New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Jennifer L. Armentrout Lives in West Virginia.
All the rumors you heard about her state aren’t true.

Well, mostly. When she's not hard at work writing, she spends her time, reading, working out, watching zombie movies, and pretending to write.

She is the author of the Covenant Series (Spencer Hill Press), the Lux Series (Entangled Teen), Don't Look Back (Disney/Hyperion) and a yet untitled novel (Disney/Hyperion), and new YA paranormal series with Harlequin Teen.

Jennifer also writes New Adult and Adult romance under the pen name J. Lynn. The Gamble Brothers Series (Tempting the Best Man/Tempting the Player) and Wait for You. Under her pen name, she is published with Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.

Find her at the following places:
Website: http://www.jenniferarmentrout.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/JLArmentrout
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JenniferLArmentrout
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4476934.Jennifer_L_Armentrout

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Giveaway



Spencer Hill Press is giving away a $200 gift card to Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Book Depository or any indie bookstore of the winner's choice to not only stock up on amazing books, but to perhaps buy a Nook HD or Kindle Fire.