Wednesday 25 July 2012

Review Copy Clean-Up ( August )

It has become quite clear to me that I need some help getting through my review copies!! So I am so excited that Celine at Nyx Book Reviews and Vicky from Books, Biscuits and Tea have decided to host a Review Copy Cleanup in August! It's just what I need! Eek!!
The Guidelines
  • The challenge runs from 1 to 31 August
  • To sign up, just fill in the Mister Linky below. Link to your sign up post directly please! The Linky is the same for both our blogs, so you only have to sign up once
  • The sign up is open until 15 August 2012
  • When you post your sign up post on your blog, either include the challenge button with your post or link it back to this article so that people know where to sign up. Thank you!
  • Every book you received for review counts towards the challenge, both ebooks and hard copies, including all genres and lengths
  • You don't need to follow the two hosts in order to be able to sign up for the event (although it's appreciated)
  • Feel free to use the #RCCleanup hashtag on Twitter for your RCC related tweets or join in the Twitter party at and meet lots of awesome bloggers (:
  • The dates of the readathons and Twitter parties will be announced closer to the RCC

Want to join in the fun???
Click here and sign up!

I will post a list of review copies I will be reading closer to the time...which, OMG, is next week!!!!!

Tuesday 24 July 2012

Review: Four in the Morning by Christi Goddard

Title: Four in the Morning
Author: Christi Goddard
Publisher: Immortal Ink Publishing
Pub Date: May 2012
ISBN: 9780985081843
Genre: YA Fantasy
Source: From the publisher in exchange for an honest review

SYNOPSIS ( Taken from Goodreads )

Kathleen Hayson thinks her biggest problem is her mother. The only runner up—her mouth. With a wit sharper than her mother's perfectly manicured nails, her clever remarks create more problems than they solve.

But it's not her clever remarks landing her knee-deep in trouble. This time, Josh Colby is to blame. Kathleen's former childhood friend has become the school's most stuck up jerk. Before, she'd have told him to piss off and write his own stupid letter to the town slut/minister's daughter. Now Kathleen's escalating problems at home force her to reevaluate how flexible her principles are. She agrees to write the controversial letter Josh has requested.

Enter Rigel, a smartass magical creature who invades her room one night, promising he has come to help. When a boy Kathleen hates turns up dead and her mother goes missing, the letter becomes a key piece of police evidence—implicating Kathleen. As she fights her way out of a web of lies, the trust she has in those closest to her shatters. In the end, she's pushed to a terrible choice: who lives, and who else dies.


I wasn't quiet sure what to make of this book. Christi Goddard is a wonderful storyteller, and I enjoyed her writing style but the story as a whole was a little strange. It was unique in so many ways, which kept me reading, but I just can't help feeling like there should have been more to it.

I initially liked Kathleen for her quick wit and sarcasm but after a while she just became annoying and precocious. Yes, she's had a hard life with a more-absent-than-not father, a control freak mother, and having to live in the shadow of her beautiful, charming sister, but some of the things she did, and the way she treated people, especially her friends, made me dislike her. At one point she even insulted herself in the process of ridiculing everyone else.

Some of the events in Kathleen's life were brutal, and I would hate to see anyone suffer the way she did, so naturally there were times when my heart ached for her. I just wish I could have warmed to her a bit more.

At first glance Josh Colby seems like a real jerk, he doesn't particularly care about Kathleen and his only interest in her is so she can help him get into another girl's pants. But then something happens and his interest shifts to her. I wasn't sure what his intentions were so I gave him the benefit of the doubt, but then he became stalkerish and after a particular phonecall, I ruled him out as being a good guy.

Aka, on the other hand was wonderful the entire time. He was the typical good guy, a friend you can rely on in any situation. He really deserved a medal for putting up with Kathleen. He was just so genuine and I was aghast when she chose to believe Rigel over Aka. For all her quick wit and smarts, I thought Kathleen would have known better - her best friend or the magical creature that appeared so suddenly...hmm...

When the truth about Rigel is revealed I was thrown for a loop. I was not expecting it at all. The explanation for his appearance seemed a little odd. It wasn't too farfetched, but it just didn't fit into the rest of the story. It felt like a bit of an afterthought.

For the most part, this book flowed well. There were times when it lagged in pace, and then there were times when it was so rushed, I felt like I had missed something. The latter refers to the ending, when the answer to all the strange happenings jumps into focus and then the story is over.

I had such high expectations with this story but in the end it failed to impress me. I wish I could have loved it more, but as I have learnt, not every book is for every reader...


Thank you to Immortal Ink Publishing for giving me the opportunity to read and review Four in the Morning.

Monday 23 July 2012

National Parents' Day: Adam Mansbach on Seriously, Just Go To Sleep

In honor of National Parents’ Day this Sunday, July 22, Open Road Media is taking a moment to celebrate story time and the read-aloud books that make this parenting ritual so magical. Each day leading up to the holiday, an Open Road Media author will share his or her favorite story time books.

Check out what Adam Mansbach has to say about Seriously, Just Go To Sleep, on Open Road Media's Blog. Also stand a chance to WIN a copy of his book!!

About the Author:

Adam Mansbach's recent novel, The End of the Jews (Spiegel & Grau) won the California Book Award. Named a Best Book of 2008 by the San Francisco Chronicle, it has been called "extraordinary" by the Los Angeles Times, "beautifully portrayed" by the New York Times Book Review and "intense, painful and poignant" by the Boston Globe, and translated into five languages. Mansbach’s previous novel, the bestselling Angry Black White Boy (Crown), is taught at more than sixty colleges, universities and high schools. A satire about race, whiteness and hip-hop, it was a San Francisco Chronicle Best Book of 2005, and the recipient of an Honorable Citation from the Gustavus Myers Outstanding Book Awards and a PEN/Faulkner Writers in the Schools grant. A theatrical version played for three sold-out months at Intersection for the Arts in San Francisco, and was named the Best New Play of 2008 by the San Francisco Chronicle and the San Francisco Examiner.
Mansbach is an inaugural recipient of the Future Aesthetics Artist Regrant (FAAR), funded by the Ford Foundation. The grant recognizes artists whose work "innovates beyond that which is already applauded in the present" and is intended to "usher in the next generation of artists who reshape the artistic landscape." He currently serves as the 2009–2010 New Voices Professor of Fiction at Rutgers University. Mansbach's previous books include the novel Shackling Water (Doubleday, 2002), the poetry collection genius b-boy cynics getting weeded in the garden of delights (Subway & Elevated, 2002), and A Fictional History of the United States With Huge Chunks Missing (Akashic, 2006), an anthology of original short stories which he co-edited with T Cooper. His fiction and essays have appeared in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times Book Review, The Boston Globe, The Believer, The San Francisco Chronicle Magazine, JazzTimes, Wax Poetics,Poets & Writers, Vibe, The Best Music Writing 2004 (DeCapo), Total Chaos: The Art and Aesthetics of Hip Hop (Basic Civitas, 2006), The Speech: Race and Barack Obama's 'A More Perfect Union' (Bloomsbury), Born to Use Mics (Basic Civitas) and elsewhere. The founding editor of the pioneering '90s hip hop journal Elementary – called "the best thing ever published on hip hop" by cultural critic Michael Eric Dyson – and a former Artistic Consultant to Columbia University's Center for Jazz Studies, Mansbach is considered one of the leading theorists and scholars of hip-hop culture and aesthetics. A dynamic public speaker, he has been featured by media ranging from NPR to HBO to CSPAN, and is a frequent guest speaker on college campuses across the country.

Check out Adam's Facebook Fan Page, and connect with him on Facebook and his Website.

Seriously, Just Go to Sleep By Ricardo Cortés, Adam Mansbach

The children’s version of the #1 New York Times bestselling classic

Seriously, Just Go to Sleep is the G-rated, child-friendly version of the book every parent has been talking about. Go the F*** to Sleep, the picture book for adults, became a cultural sensation by striking a universal chord for parents. Now, Adam Mansbach and Ricardo Cortés reunite with Seriously, Just Go to Sleep, inviting the children themselves in on the joke.

Of course, kids are well aware of how difficult they can be at bedtime. With Mansbach's new child-appropriate narrative, kids will recognize their tactics, giggle at their own mischievousness, and empathize with their parents’ struggles—a perspective most children’s books don’t capture. Most importantly, it provides a common ground for children and their parents to talk about one of their most stressful daily rituals.

This fresh rendition includes Cortés’s updated illustrations, with a cameo appearance by Samuel L. Jackson, who narrated the audio book version of Go the F*** to Sleep.

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Sunday 22 July 2012

National Parents' Day: Richard Kirshenbaum's Story Time Favorites

In honor of National Parents’ Day this Sunday, July 22, Open Road Media is taking a moment to celebrate story time and the read-aloud books that make this parenting ritual so magical. Each day leading up to the holiday, an Open Road Media author will share his or her favorite story time books.

Hop on over to Open Road Media's Blog to find out what some of Richard Kirshenbaum's story time favorites were.

About the Author:

Whether he is helping to invent brands like Kenneth Cole, Coach, and Snapple or reinvent brands like Target, Jergens, Moët & Chandon, NetJets, Wendy’s and Avon, Richard Kirshenbaum has been successfully listening to his clients, creating a seamless creative process and creating truly new ideas throughout his entire career. And that has included everything from inventing fruit advertising by putting tiny Snapple stickers on fresh mangos, to creating the Hennessy Martini and hiring actors to order it in bars, to stenciling thought-provoking ads on sidewalks for a lingerie company.
Richard’s first breakthrough in the branding business was naming Internet provider Prodigy while at J. Walter Thompson and was the first creative person Donny Deutsch hired at Deutsch. Richard’s forward vision has helped invent and continues to redefine advertising in America and understand how to get brands into popular culture.
This dedication to breakthrough advertising has led to Richard being included in Crain’s “40 Under 40” and placed #2 on the list of Top 100 Entrepreneurs of the US for the Young Entrepreneurs’ Organization Award. He was also elected to the Board of Directors of the prestigious One Club for Art and Copy. All in addition to lecturing at Harvard Business School and regularly appearing in such media outlets as The New York Times, Wired, ABC, 20/20, MTV and CNBC. In 2003, Richard was named to the Advertising Hall of Fame and won the prestigious Jack Avrett award for public service.
Richard’s diverse interests include penning plays that have been produced by David Mamet’s Atlantic Theater Company, and co-authoring the book Under the Radar, Talking to Today’s Cynical Consumer with his partner, Jon Bond. His latest book “Closing the Deal,” a relationship help book for women, has been published in nine languages.
Richard is married to Dana and has three children, Lucas, Talia, and Georgia Rose.

Find Richard on Facebook and Twitter.

MadBoy: Beyond Mad Men: Tales From the Mad, Mad World of Advertising
By Richard Kirshenbaum

A thrilling and irreverent memoir about the transformation of the advertising business from the 1980s to today

Richard Kirshenbaum was born to sell. Raised in a family of Long Island strivers, this future advertising titan was just a few years old when his grandfather first taught him that a Cadillac is more than a car, and that if you can’t have a Trinitron you might as well not watch TV. He had no connections when he came to Madison Avenue, but he possessed an outrageous sense of humor that would make him a millionaire.

In 1987, at the age of twenty-six, Richard put his savings on the line to launch his own agency with partner Jonathan Bond, and within a year, had transformed it from a no-name firm into the go-to house for cutting-edge work. Kirshenbaum and Bond pioneered guerilla marketing by purchasing ad space on fruit, spray-painting slogans on the sidewalk, and hiring actors to order the Hennessy martini in nightclubs. They were the bad boys of Madison Avenue—a firm where a skateboarding employee once bowled over an important client—but backed up their madness with results.

Packed with business insight, marketing wisdom, and a cast of characters ranging from Princess Diana to Ed McMahon, this memoir is as bold, as breathtaking, and as delightful as Richard himself.

Get your copy today:

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National Parents' Day: Mark Salzman's Story Time Favorites

In honor of National Parents’ Day this Sunday, July 22, Open Road Media is taking a moment to celebrate story time and the read-aloud books that make this parenting ritual so magical. Each day leading up to the holiday, an Open Road Media author will share his or her favorite story time books.

Stop over at Open Roan Media's Blog to find out what some of Mark Salzman's story time favorites were. Also check out some of Open Road's Staff favorites!
About the Author:

Mark Salzman is an award-winning novelist and nonfiction author who has written on a variety of subjects, from a graceful novel about a Carmelite nun’s ecstatic visions and crisis of faith to a compelling memoir about growing up a misfit in a Connecticut suburb—clearly displaying a range that transcends genre.
As a boy, all Salzman ever wanted was to be a kung fu master, but it was his proficiency on the cello that facilitated his acceptance to Yale University at age sixteen. He soon changed his major to Chinese language and philosophy, which took him to mainland China where he taught English for two years and studied martial arts. He never gave up music, though, and Salzman’s cello playing appears on the soundtrack to several films, including the Academy Award–winning documentary Breathing Lessons: The Life and Work of Mark O’Brien. He has also played with Yo-Yo Ma and pianist Emanuel Ax at Lincoln Center. Salzman’s unusual combination of talents—as both a well-known author and a concert-proficient cellist—led to a feature profile about him in The New Yorker magazine. He was also recently presented with the Algonquin West Hollywood Literary Award.
A number of Mark Salzman’s books have been chosen for “book in common” reading programs by more than a few schools and universities for their elegance, humor, and portrayal of our shared humanity. His first memoir, Iron and Silk, inspired by his years in China, was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in nonfiction and received the Christopher Award. His book True Notebooks is a fascinating look at his experiences as a writing teacher at Los Angeles Central Juvenile Hall, a lockup for violent teenage offenders. Salzman is also the author of the memoir Lost in Place: Growing Up Absurd in Suburbia, and the novels The Laughing Sutra, The Soloist, and Lying Awake. Common to each of his works is a theme of how people struggle to reach an ideal but often fall short, and the quiet change that takes place in facing the discouragement and the possibility of never achieving their goal. Salzman writes with gut-wrenching honesty and unalloyed warmth, combined with a sharp sense of humor. His latest work is the memoir The Man in the Empty Boat.

The Man in the Empty Boat By Mark Salzman

From the author of Iron & Silk comes a moving memoir of love and family, loss and spiritual yearning

Anxiety has always been part of Mark Salzman’s life: He was born into a family as nervous as rabbits, people with extra angst coded into their genes. As a young man he found solace through martial arts, meditation, tai chi, and rigorous writing schedules, but as he approaches midlife, he confronts a year of catastrophe. First, Salzman suffers a crippling case of writer’s block; then a sudden family tragedy throws his life into chaos. Overwhelmed by terrifying panic attacks, the author begins a search for equanimity that ultimately leads to an epiphany from a most unexpected source.

The Man in the Empty Boat is a witty and touching account of a skeptic’s spiritual quest, a story of one man’s journey to find peace as a father, a writer, and an individual.

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Saturday 21 July 2012

National Parents' Day: Dori Hillestad Butler's Story Time Favorites

In honor of National Parents’ Day this Sunday, July 22, Open Road Media is taking a moment to celebrate story time and the read-aloud books that make this parenting ritual so magical. Each day leading up to the holiday, an Open Road Media author will share his or her favorite story time books.

Today on Open Road Media's Blog, Dori Hillestad Butler is discussing her story time favorites.

About the Author:

Dori Hillestad Butler is owned by a big black dog named Mouse. He’s a registered therapy dog who enjoys reading with children in Coralville, Iowa, where he lives with Dori and her family. To learn more about Dori, her dog, and her other books for children, visit her website:

Jeremy Tageau’s inspiration for Buddy was his golden Labrador, Jesse. Jeremy lives in Cleveland, Ohio, with his wife, Nicole, and their three children.

Dan Crisp has been illustrating children’s books and greeting cards for nearly twenty years. He lives in England.
Check out Dori on her blog.

The Case of the Lost Boy The Buddy Files, Book 1 of 6 By Dori Hillestad Butler

The Edgar Award–winning first book in Dori Hillestad Butler's Buddy Files series

King’s family is missing, and he’s been put in the P-O-U-N-D. Why doesn’t his beloved human, Kayla, come to get him?
When King is adopted by Connor and his mom, things get more confusing. The new family calls him Buddy!
Then Connor disappears!
Buddy (aka King) has some big problems to solve. Mystery fans and dog lovers will be swept up in Dori Butler’s entertaining story about a smart, funny, loyal dog . . . and left eager for Buddy’s next adventure.

The Case of the Mixed-Up Mutts The Buddy Files, Book 2 of 6 By Dori Hillestad Butler
Buddy has been adopted from the P-O-U-N-D by Connor and his mom, but he’s still searching for his first family and his beloved Kayla. What has happened to them?

He hopes to solve that mystery soon, but right now he’s got another urgent case—two dogs, Muffin and Jazzy, have been switched! How can Buddy get poor Muffin and Jazzy back to their real owners?

Readers will cheer as Buddy solves the second case in Dori Butler's The Buddy Files, and eagerly await the next adventure of this famous dog detective.

The Case of the Missing Family The Buddy Files, Book 3 of 6 By Dori Hillestad Butler

Buddy has settled in with his adopted family, but he’s never given up on finding his beloved human, Kayla, and his first family.

One night he sees people taking things out of Kayla’s old house and loading them into a van. What’s up? In the middle of the night Buddy decides to make a daring move, leaving everything to find Kayla.

Dori Butler’s third chapter book in The Buddy Files will delight the many fans of this smart, funny, loyal dog.

The Case of the Fire Alarm The Buddy Files, Book 4 of 6 By Dori Hillestad Butler

Buddy is starting his work as a therapy dog at Four Lakes Elementary School, where Connor attends and Mom is the principal.

On his very first day, he accidentally knocks down a little kid on the playground, convincing the first grade teacher that school is no place for a dog.

Then the fire alarm goes off. The school is evacuated but there’s no fire . . . it’s a false alarm. Who could have set it?

The Case of the Library Monster The Buddy Files, Book 5 of 6 By Dori Hillestad Butler

One of Buddy’s jobs as a therapy dog is to read books with kids in the school library! One day he hears a noise in the bookshelves.

He tries to get closer—and comes face to face with a creature that has a blue tongue! What is it? And how did it get in the school?

Dori Butler’s fifth book in The Buddy Files series is full of mystery, fun, and adventure.

The Case of the School Ghost The Buddy Files, Book 6 of 6 By Dori Hillestad Butler

Buddy’s a lucky dog. He gets to go to the fourth grade sleepover at school with Connor! He’s hoping to find out more about the old legend of Agatha, the school ghost.

But the sleepover has plenty of other strange things going on, too: mysterious packages, secret notes, and whispers from a ghostly voice! Who—or what—is haunting Four Lakes Elementary?

The sixth book in the award-winning series The Buddy Files by Dori Butler delivers chills and thrills.

Get your copies of this amazing series:

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Thursday 19 July 2012

National Parents' Day: Susan Morse's Story Time Favorites

In honor of National Parents’ Day this Sunday, July 22, Open Road Media is taking a moment to celebrate story time and the read-aloud books that make this parenting ritual so magical. Each day leading up to the holiday, an Open Road Media author will share his or her favorite story time books.

Stop over at Open Road Media's Blog to find out why A.A.Mine was Susan Morse's favorite childhood read.
About the Author:

Other than two years in Ireland in the sixties and a stint at a Newport Rhode Island boarding school during my teens, I spent most of my childhood in Philadelphia, where I was born in 1959. I majored in theatre and French at Williams College and then moved to New York, planning to become a wildly sought-after actress specializing in the classics. This got me as far as an off-off-off theatre in the Bowery, where I played Lady Macbeth for six heady weekends. (Most nights our cast outnumbered the audience, which worked well because it made my sleepwalking scene particularly spooky.)
I met my husband David in 1981 across the bar I was tending near his apartment in Hell’s Kitchen. It may have been foolish, but I agreed to go on a date almost immediately, which, due to conflicting schedules, meant I had to see him in a play (this turned out to be sort of convenient, as it gave me a chance to figure out his last name by checking the playbill). Not long after his first entrance, I decided it would be best to marry him as quickly as possible.
I studied Meisner technique at the William Esper Studio, and we then moved to Los Angeles for David’s work. Over a six-year period I managed to build up a bit of a resume – small movies, television, and plays. I was George C. Scott’s daughter on Mr. President, Colleen Dewhurst and Candice Bergen’s sparring partner on Murphy Brown, Peter Riegert’s one-night stand on The Twilight Zone, and somebody’s dead lesbian lover in an episode of Hotel. I ran a program on the side teaching horseback riding to disadvantaged kids, and I became a member of a theatre company, Circle Rep West. After we had our daughter and twin sons, things got complicated: Roused in the night by the Northridge earthquake in 1994, we found we had to leave our ruined house for good. So, within weeks, we landed back East in Philadelphia. Because I had always loved to read, I stopped acting and began editing books, freelance.
A few years ago my elderly mother got sick and we had some outrageous adventures trying to get her stabilized. It was stressful. I emailed nightly update rants to my siblings, and it turned out they were entertaining in a warped sort of way. A sister told me I had a book, and so I began to collect notes in earnest, becoming more and more amazed at the classic arc that unfolded. It wasn’t just that my mother decided to drop everything at one point and become an Orthodox Christian nun. We had a damsel in distress (actually two, if you count me), a villain, a chivalrous knight, a whole background cast of those bumbling peripheral characters you get in Shakespeare and Chekhov, and even a stunning deus ex machina twist at the end. All I had to do was carry around a notebook, convince my mother her rectal cancer nightmare was worth sharing with the masses, and try to come up with a catchy title: The Habit.

Check out Susan on facebook and twitter

The Habit By Susan Morse

There is an unmistakable gleam in Ma’s eye, and her absolute composure both appalls me and rips my heart from its root. I burst into tears. The gauntlet is thrown.

From the time she was conceived, Susan Morse was her mother’s “special” child. For Susan, special translated into becoming her incorrigible mother’s frazzled caretaker, a role that continued into adulthood. Now she finds herself as part of the sandwich generation, responsible for a woman whose eighty-five years have been single-mindedly devoted to identifying The Answer To Everything. And, this week’s Answer looks like it may be the real thing.

Susan’s mother is becoming a nun.

Mother Brigid is opinionated and discerning (Don’t call them trash cans. They’re scrap baskets!), feisty and dogmatic (Stop signs and No Parking zones are installed by bureaucratic pencil pushers with nothing better to do), a brilliant artist (truly, a saving grace), and predictably unpredictable, recently demonstrated by her decision to convert to Orthodox Christianity and join its holy order. Dressed in full nun regalia, she might be mistaken for a Taliban bigwig. But just as Mother Brigid makes her debut at church, a debilitating accident puts her in a rehab center hours from Susan’s home, where Susan’s already up to her neck juggling three teenagers, hot flashes, a dog, two cats, and a husband whose work pulls him away from the family for months at a time. Now Susan gets to find out if it’s less exhausting to be at her mother’s beck and call from one hundred miles away or one hundred feet. And she’s beginning to suspect that the things she always thought she knew about her mother were only the tip of a wonderfully singular iceberg.

In this fresh, funny, utterly irresistible memoir, Susan Morse offers readers a look at a mother-daughter relationship that is both universal and unique. For anyone who’s wondered how they made it through their childhood with their sanity intact, for every multitasking woman coping simultaneously with parents and children, for those of us who love our parents come hell or high water (because we just can’t help it), Susan Morse’s story is surprising, reassuring, and laugh-out-loud funny. A beguiling journey of love, forbearance, and self-discovery, The Habit introduces two unforgettable women you’ll be glad to know—from a safe distance.

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National Parents' Day: Anna Perera's Story Time Favorites

In honor of National Parents’ Day this Sunday, July 22, Open Road Media is taking a moment to celebrate story time and the read-aloud books that make this parenting ritual so magical. Each day leading up to the holiday, an Open Road Media author will share his or her favorite story time books.

Hop on over to Open Road Media's Blog to find out more about Guantanamo Boy author Anna Perera's story time favorites.

About the author:

Anna Perera was born in London to a Buddhist father and Catholic mother and grew up twenty miles away with her head planted firmly in a book. Everyone knows books are a wonderful way to enjoy and escape this world and discover just about anything, and for Anna one of the saddest things in her life is the fact there's never enough time in the day to read all the stuff she wants. Once she started writing, she realized you could expand the universe and stretch time just by allowing the words to arrive and although she didn't get published for a while, she got there in the end. As you can see. . . .

Anna spent a few years teaching English in London secondary schools, and more time running a unit for adolescent boys who'd been excluded from mainstream school, but yes, you guessed it, she spent the rest of the time reading.

She also loves hot air balloons, preferably those gliding over the Valley of the Kings in Egypt, or the South Downs in Hampshire. As well as walking and cuddling the family's golden labrador, there's nothing like listening to heartfelt music, plus riding horses that run like the wind. (Though not at the same time, naturally). She admires every kind of explorer, people who are passionate about their subject, and those with the guts to stand up for what they believe.

Check out Anna on her website, twitter and facebook.

Guantanamo Boy By Anna Perera

Innocent until proven guilty? Not here, you’re not.

He's fifteen. He's hasn't done anything wrong. It was supposed to be just a trip to visit his mum's family in Pakistan. But for Khalid Ahmed, it was the beginning of a living nightmare. He's kidnapped—then taken to a place thousands of miles from his home in the UK. A place where torture and terror are the daily routine. A place he may never be allowed to leave … A place called Guantanamo Bay.

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Wednesday 18 July 2012

Rotten Apple Reads: Teaser Tuesday #5 -Deity by J.L. Armentrout + An Awesome Giveaway!!

Rotten Apple Reads: Teaser Tuesday #5 -Deity by J.L. Armentrout:                   

Check out Rotten Apple Reads for a chance to win a Paper/Hard Back copy of Obsidion, Onyx and a Pre-Order of Deity by Jennifer L Armentrout!!

Rotten Apple Reads

Wednesday 11 July 2012

Review: Death Makes the Cut by Janice Hamrick

Title: Death Makes the Cut
Author: Janice Hamrick
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Imprint: Minotaur Books
Pub Date: July 17, 2012
ISBN: 9781250005540
Genre: Mystery / Suspense Thriller
Source: Netgalley

SYNOPSIS ( Taken from Goodreads )

The first bell of the new school year hasn’t even rung, and Texas high school teacher Jocelyn Shore is already at the scene of a murder. Friend and fellow teacher Fred Argus has been found dead on campus, and it isn’t long before the annoying, albeit attractive, Austin police detective Colin Gallagher uncovers evidence that Fred might have been selling drugs to students. Shocked by her loss as well as the insinuation that Fred was a dealer who got what he deserved, Jocelyn starts asking the kinds of questions guaranteed to set fellow teachers, administrators, and parents on edge.

With the school serving as the setting for a big-time director’s latest film, her investigation could hardly have come at a worse time. Jocelyn, however, finds clearing her friend’s name far more important than the needs of a pesky movie crew and doesn’t care who knows it. But it’s only when she’s attacked while on set that she realizes someone is determined to make sure the secrets hidden by Fred’s death remain hidden no matter what the cost.

Humor, romance, and murder abound in Janice Hamrick’s follow-up to her Minotaur Books/Mystery Writers of America First Crime Novel Award--winning debut, Death on Tour, and make Death Makes the Cut a charming addition to this outstanding new series.


This book was a quick, easy read, with an exciting murder mystery which kept me on my toes. Jocelyn Shore’s life turns upside-down the minute Fred Argus is found dead in the school tennis shed. After a rumor starts that Fred’s murder was the result of a drug deal gone wrong, Jocelyn makes it her mission to clear his name. This only leads to more trouble as she is thrown into a twisted web of lies, blackmail and embezzlement.
The story could have very easily become predictable but it didn’t. I was kept guessing every second of the way and I could never quite pinpoint who the perpetrator was. Each suspect was creepy in their own way, and they all seemed to have the means and motives for wanting Fred dead. When Jocelyn falls victim to a brutal crime, she wonders if it’s just coincidence or is it related in any way to Fred’s death, and if so, why has the killer’s attention turned to her? Could it have something to do with the note Fred left for her, or is her snooping causing more trouble than she expected?
I really enjoyed playing private investigator alongside Jocelyn. She is such a fun character. She’s witty and smart, and doesn’t hate herself in any particular way, which seems to be a trait of most characters these days. The only time she every really puts herself down is when comparing herself to Kyla, her cousin and BFF. Speaking of Kyla, she is just as fun a character as Jocelyn. The banter between the two was so real and I could almost imagine sitting right next to them as they spoke about men, guns and alcohol. Although Kyla can be a bit self-centered and rude at times, especially when she and Jocelyn are likened to each other, I still thought she was a wonderful friend in times of need.
On top of everything else Jocelyn has to deal with, she is forced to battle the feelings she develops for the gorgeous, "knight in shining armor" detective Colin Gallagher while still trying to figure out her long distance relationship with Alan Stratton. All I can say it that I’m Team Colin all the way.
This book is filled with many light-hearted moments which lifted the somber mood of something as serious as death, and I often found myself snickering. All in all this was an excellent read, very different from what I’m used to but a wonderful change.
It gets...

Thank you to St. Martin's Press for giving me the opportunity to read and review Death Makes to Cut.

If you'd like to connect with Janice check her out on her website, facebook and twitter.

Wednesday 4 July 2012

Stocking My Kindle

Hello everyone!

I went on a bit of a eBook shopping spree recently, stocking up on 8 new books, and it's all thanks to Novel Publicity!! I won a $50 Amazon giftcard after joining the Moa Whirlwind Tour!! Yay!!

So, what did I get....

Fifty Shades of Grey, Fifty Shdea Darker & Fifty Shades Freed by E.L.James

The first thing I bought was the Fifty Shades trilogy. There has been so much hype about this series - some good, some bad - and I have been dying to read these books so I can see, for myself, what all the pandemonium is about!!

Other books I bought!

I've always wanted to read this series, so I got The Vincent Boys and The Vincent Brothers!

The Vincent Brothers (The Vincent Boys #2) by Abbi Glines
The Vincent Boys by Abbi Glines

I can't wait to read Half Black Soul by H.D.Gordon! Blood Warrior was fantastic! Yay, so excited :)
Half Black Soul ( The Alexa Montgomery Sags #2) by H.D.Gordon

I have to be honest, I don't even really know what this book is about! LOL! I've seen it on a few other book sites and blogs, and there is just something about the cover that speaks to me...I just had to have it!

Easy by Tammara Webber

This book sounds amazing! I love anything with werewolves!

Moonspell by Samantha Young

Thanks again to Novel Publicity! You guys ROCK!
If you're a blogger and would like to join one of their tours please click on the Novel Publicity badge at the top of this post :)

Monday 2 July 2012

Review: Memoir of a Mermaid by Adrianna Stepiano

Title: Memoir of a Mermaid
Subtitle: When, at last, he found me
Author: Adrianna Stepiano
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance
Source: From the author for an honest review

SYNOPSIS ( Taken from Goodreads )

Seraphin Shedd can’t seem to escape the murky vision of her father’s death. She’s always felt like his death was a result of her defiant actions. When she meets Joseph Merrick, the nephew of her beloved teacher, her life begins to unravel. When Joseph opens her eyes to the impossible, her trust begins to waver. Is his interest in her purely for personal gain or will he prove to be a loyal friend? Follow along as Seraphin uncovers her true identity as well as discovers the evil surrounding her father’s death.

If you love mermaids, this is the young adult fantasy novel for you. See the raging sea through Seraphin’s eyes and struggle to make sense of the impossible. This isn’t an ordinary mermaid story, the mystery is as deep as the ocean. You’ll find intrigue and romance, as well as a dash of humor and action.

Caution: Memoir of a Mermaid has been known to cause “up all night reading” and “can’t put down syndrome”. You may find yourself addicted to the tension between Joseph and Seraphin. Due to the fact that this book is all you’ll be able to think about, do not begin reading the night before an important meeting or a final exam. The story will literally be swimming around in your head.

Excerpt: “Looking back, sometimes things are better off unknown. Sometimes the truth hurts more than a lie and being naive is a blessing in disguise. From that moment on, it was going to be difficult to distinguish between being protected and being lied to.”


Memoir of a Mermaid reminded me of why I love YA Paranormal Romances so much. It delivered everything I love about the genre and so much more. Reading it, I felt the excited giddiness rising inside me as the story developed and there was no way I could stop myself from loving the characters. Well, most of them anyway.

This is the second mermaid novel that I’ve read and I love the uniqueness that comes with the myth. As with any other paranormal being, authors are free to put their own spin on the legend that surrounds these creatures. Ms. Stepiano does a brilliant job of weaving a magical tale while always keeping her readers on their toes. What could have very easily become a predictable plot didn’t. There were many twists and turns that often had me wondering if certain characters could be trusted or not.

This book is filled with romance but I loved that it wasn’t rushed. We see hints of it and there’s no denying the chemistry between certain characters, but it ebbs and flows like the tide until they can no longer ignore their feelings – and this makes for many wonderful scenes throughout the book. I especially enjoyed the moment shared between Seraphin and Joseph in the cabin after they go looking for the relics and disaster strikes (Sorry, can’t say more than that). For me that was the ultimate sign that they were meant to be together because they connected in such a beautiful way.

What I also really loved about this book was how real it was – besides mermaids and a few other interesting creatures. The relationship between Seraphin and Joseph had its ups and downs, and not just because there was some evil force out to get them, but because normal human behaviour and emotions got in the way. Seraphin often followed her head instead of her heart, believing it was the right thing to do – even if it meant having to let go of Joseph. He made his fair share of mistakes and at times was really arrogant and self-centred, but he made up for his shortcomings, and I hoped against all hope that Seraphin would see this and for once listen to her heart. But again Ms. Stepiano didn’t make the journey to love an easy one for her characters, although I was happy for the glimmer of hope that ended this book on a high note.

I cannot wait to read the second book to see what further adventures lie in wait for Seraphin and Joseph.

This book deserves nothing less than...

Thank you to Adrianna for giving me the opportunity to read and review her book! It was amazing.
For more information about the author and the book check out the Memoir of a Mermaid website.

And as an added bonus (for those of you who haven't already seen it) here is the book trailer for Memoir of a Mermaid!! Enjoy!!

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