Saturday, 23 May 2015

Entangled Teen Blog Tour - Review & Excerpt

Title: Lola Carlyle's 12-Step Romance
Author: Danielle Younge-Ullman
Release Date: May 5, 2015
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Review Copy: From publisher in exchange of honest review
Lola Carlyle is lonely, out of sorts, and in for a boring summer. So when her best friend, Sydney, calls to rave about her stay at a posh Malibu rehab and reveals that the love of Lola’s life, Wade Miller, is being admitted, she knows what she has to do.Never mind that her worst addiction is decaf cappuccino; Lola is going to rehab.

Lola arrives at Sunrise Rehab intent solely on finding Wade, saving him from himself, and—naturally—making him fall in love with her…only to discover she’s actually expected to be an addict. And get treatment. And talk about her issues with her parents, and with herself. Plus she has insane roommates, and an irritatingly attractive mentor, Adam, who’s determined to thwart her at every turn.

Oh, and Sydney? She’s gone.

Turns out, once her pride, her defenses, and her best friend are stripped away, Lola realizes she’s actually got a lot to overcome…if she can open her heart long enough to let it happen.
There are 3 things I taught myself while reading this book.
1) Faking your way into rehab is harder than it looks
2) Going to rehab because of a guy is dumb
3) Taking people who are in rehab to a local attraction probably isn't the smartest thing

Lola is that light fluffy book that I needed to get myself into. While there is some amount of tough stuff being dealt with, it's still a lighter read. Lola has good intentions by going to the rehab facility that her best friend and crush are at. But she quickly figures out that it's not all fun and games. For the most part I liked Lola as a character, but I did find her slightly "My life is coming to an end". Which royally bothered me, but that's a celeb offspring for you. However, as the book progresses Lola does grow up and sees that even if you try to fake it, you may realize that you're in just a bad of need for help as everyone else. The chemistry between everyone felt as natural as one would be in all the circumstances the characters are in. It's not like everyone's going to be singing Kumbaya together when you're in rehab.

Now, for the romance, I enjoyed it. There was no wanting to shake Lola as she figures out where her heart leads. Considering the title of the book, I'm happy to say that this doesn't overpower the rest of the story. Check out this scene of when Lola sees Wade for the first time in the bathroom.

I push harder and then hurl myself inside, shove it closed behind me, and lean backward on it, safe for the moment.
And, as luck would have it…there stands sexy Wade Miller.
The only problem is, sexy Wade is…peeing.
He’s standing at a urinal, peeing.
We haven’t even kissed yet and I’m watching him pee.
Oh my God, kill me.
This is not the first encounter I want to have. I cannot have it. I’ll have to throw myself back out the door and pretend it never happened. I start to move but, crap, it’s too late—our eyes have met in the mirror.
“Uh, hi…” he says, less fazed than you’d expect, considering.
“I am so sorry! I’ll just…” I turn to go.
“No, no, wait,” he says, and I do because there are still voices in the hallway. I stand with my back to the room and close my eyes.
All these years I’ve dreamed of us meeting again, I imagined myself cool, self-possessed, and glamorous—nothing like the awkward kid I used to be. And we’d be on a red carpet, or in a field, or on the cobblestoned streets of Europe.
A bathroom in a teen rehab center falls rather short from a romantic perspective.
Add the fact that he’s peeing and it becomes unspeakable.
I hear a flush, some rustling, water running at the sink, and then the sound of a paper towel dispenser.
“I’m really, really sorry,” I say again, talking straight into the door.
“Hey, I’m the one who’s sorry,” he says.
“You… Why?”
“First girl I’ve been alone with in days and she catches me with my pants down.”
“Oh. Ha ha.” This would be a good time for the long-awaited big earthquake to come and swallow us both up.
“You can turn around, I’m decent.”
“I’m sure you are,” I say, still not turning because maybe I can keep my back to him the entire time and then he won’t recognize me yet (he might not anyway—my being transformed into a totally different person is kind of the point—he’s not supposed to associate me with the old me until he’s at least met, and ideally started to fall for, the new me, at which point I can also begin the rescue mission) and then next time we meet we can start over.
“Come on, now you’re making me feel weird,” he says.
Now I’m making you feel weird? As opposed to when I walked in on you in the bathroom?”
“Well, then, too.”
I turn, putting my back to the door again, ostensibly to keep my distance from him, but also hoping to prevent anyone from coming in.
He’s standing in the middle of the room looking…ridiculously good. I may not be able to breathe enough to manage a conversation with him. Rehab and recent detox notwithstanding, the slightly odiferous orange bathroom, the lighting of which does not do his coloring justice notwithstanding, this guy who was charming and deadly cute a couple of years ago is now dazzling. He’s grown taller, his shoulders have filled out, his face is more chiseled—those are the biological facts, the on-paper differences. Meanwhile the sandy hair and cappuccino-colored eyes are the same. But…what is that saying about the whole being greater than the sum total of its parts? The sum total of Wade and his parts is devastating, is heart-stopping. 

Title: Awakening 
Author: Shannon Duffy 
Release Date: April 7, 2015 
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Review Copy: From publisher in exchange of honest review

A thrilling, futuristic sci-fi novel set in a unique and thought-provoking world, from author Shannon Duffy.

Desiree Six (because she was born on a Friday) believes in everything the Protectorate stands for. She likes the safety and security of having her entire life planned out—her career, her mate, even the date of her death. She doesn't even think to question when Darian, her childhood friend and neighbor, is convicted of murdering his parents. They had seemed like such a loving family. But if he was convicted, then he must have done it.

Then Darian shows up in her room late one night. He has escaped from the Terrorscape—a nightmare machine used to punish all Noncompliants—and needs Desiree's help. What he tells her rocks her world to its core and makes her doubt everything she's ever been told. With this new information, will Desiree and Darian be able to escape the Protectorate before it's too late?

Dystopian books are all the rage nowadays, and this book clearly sets its own marker in that genre. What I liked about this book is that it's a standalone, within the genre that is rare. I feel that this book is a great a way to introduce a new younger reader to the genre that is dystopia.

Desiree was just another sheep that believed everything the government was doing was the right decision. To me, knowing that there's a machine that controls my dreams on a nightly basis would scare the crap off of me, but hey what do I know. Along with the sleep controling, there's also the whole thing that the government gets to decide who you'll marry, when you die and what job you have. All signs that lead to CONTROL FREAKS.

What I liked about this book is the fact that how this all comes to light isn't due to an event revolving around Desiree. The struggle that Desiree goes through to see that their world is really messed up is a good read, The chemistry between Desiree and Darian is one that shifts throughout the book. That being because it's Darian that starts to piece together that something isn't right. I'm glad that this was one book, the pacing felt right, loose ends were tied together and I didn't feel like I was needing more. Definitely would reccommend this book to anyone who loves dystopian, and to those who are new to the genre.

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Gabriel Book Blitz

Title: Gabriel

Author: Nikki Kelly

Series: The Styclar Saga #2 

Publisher: Feiwel and Friends 

Release Date: October 27th 2015


The handsome Angel from Lailah gets center stage in this continuation of Wattpad sensation Nikki Kelly’s romantic and action-packed series about mortals, vampires, and angels.

Gabriel is an Angel Descendant. He's also an ally to a generation of vampires who want to break away from the demon who controls them. His faith in the power of good over evil wavers, however, when he discovers that Lailah, the woman he considers his only true love, may be both angel and demon. Is their love enough to overcome the dark forces who are ready to go to war with Gabriel, the vampire Jonah, and the angel and vampire forces? And can Gabriel compete with Jonah, who is also in love with Lailah?

Once again, Nikki Kelly looks deeply into the heart and soul of good and evil to create a romantic, action-packed reading adventure.


Will we get a peek at Styclar Plena in the current action of the book or are we doomed to just hear about from Gabriel's memories only?
Lol doomed you say?! I can tell you exclusively, here in this interview, that in Book3 we get to go to to third dimension, and the first dimension (Styclar-Plena) in the current action of the book ;)

I need a sneak peak! What's going to happen with Jonah? *waves #TeamJonah flag*
...Now that would be telling ;) You can, however, get a sneak peek through the Gabriel cover reveal blog tour, where I shared 6 excerpts from Book2:

Can you describe this second book in a tweet? (140 characters)
Just when you think you know... you have no idea ;) #TheStyclarSaga #GABRIEL #NoMercy

Best gif that describes Jonah and another for Gabriel?

How much of Jonah will we see in Gabriel?
Plenty, I promise! ;) The second book may be titled GABRIEL, but it is told from Lailah's POV. The reason the book is called GABRIEL is because there is a focus on what becomes of Gabriel's 'soul' if you will. Take my word for it though, Jonah gets plenty of 'screen time' ;)

If you were FORCED (hahahahha) to help Gabriel or Jonah train to be lifeguards, who would you choose?? Obviously they will only be wearing red speedos. ;)
Sadly, I wouldn't be able to help either train to be a lifeguard as my ability in water is non-existant... That said... *has idea!* I could quite easily throw myself in and begin to drown (because that would require no acting on my part what so ever) and then they would have to jump in and save me... In fact, I think that's exactly what we should do, that way we also get to see both of the boys in red speedos.. because #HellsYes !

In 10 words or less, what can we expect from Gabriel?
A definite need to *fist pump and plenty of *face palming!
(Okay, I know that was 11, but it was close!)

What's the ONE thing about the series that you'd like readers to know that they don't know already? : )
There are elements of my own life weaved through the story telling of the entire series. When I say I gave a part of myself to these novels, I wasn't joking!

What inspired you to mix vampires and angels together?
I wanted to tell a story about light and dark, good and evil if you will, and how things are never quite what they seem....To do this for the saga, I borrowed a little here and there from my own belief system, and I was able to create new worlds and beings, but utilize existing belief or myth on which to base them. For example, the two worlds the beings emerged from were based on the concept of Heaven and Hell. I then spun that into something else entirely. I took the myths about vampires and angels etc. and tried to demonstrate how, through storytelling and game of telephone, the idea of what they are has become quite different from the truth – the truth of course being the reality of things in my books! If you want to tell a story about light and dark, preconceived notions and perception, what two better candidates than Gabriel and Jonah, an Angel and a Vampire in which to explore those very themes!

What was the most challenging part of writing Gabriel?
Lailah picks her ship! That was not an easy thing to pen! **eep**

Lailah was such a successful start to this series, people seemed to really love it! Did that make you feel additional pressure to ensure the sequel was just as good?
When people express their love for your story it always adds to the pressure of making sure you get it right, not just for your characters, not just for you, but for the reader. But there will always be instances where the reader doesn't agree with something that happens as the journey progresses, for example which ship makes it out the port! ;) I always keep the readers in mind, but ultimately I have to be true and honest to the characters and their story, even if it means that sometimes people want to throw things at you! So yes, I guess the prospect of twitter bombs being slung my way adds to the pressure!

If you had a chance to re-live your life, what would you have done differently?
Not a single thing. Every shelf I ever stacked, every customer I ever served, every diary I ever organised... in fact, every minute of every day, all the laughs and all the tears led me tohere—and here is the most wonderful place. There is a very fine balance between having ambition and gumption to go out and make your dreams a reality, trying to find the 'good times' if you like, and being able to see and know exactly when you are in them! I'm in them now.

If a celebrity was going to play Gabriel, who would it be and why?
Alex Pettyfer for sure because he's a very talented English actor... yada, yada, yada... Okay people, lets keep it real #LeSwoon .. #NuffSaid

If you had to pick ONE song that either represents you or your books, what song would you pick? (You can totally pick one for you and one for your books if you want!)
For Styclar— Imagine Dragons:Demons For me—Boyzone:Words

Where did Gabriel and jonah come from? Any real life influences?
Gabriel and Jonah both possess qualities form my own bea :) He was a little more like Jonah when I met him (I was 16) and he's a little more like Gabriel now, but when I ask nicely he will still, from time to time, point his collar up ;)

ALSO, What do you love most about Jonah?
He's a bit rough around the edges, but give him a polish and he shines likes a diamond :)

And in case you haven't read Lailah yet. . . . 


Title: Lailah

Author: Nikki Kelly

Series: The Styclar Saga #1 

Publisher: Feiwel and Friends


The girl knows she’s different. She doesn’t age. She has no family. She has visions of a past life, but no clear clues as to what she is, or where she comes from. But there is a face in her dreams – a light that breaks through the darkness. She knows his name is Gabriel.

On her way home from work, the girl encounters an injured stranger whose name is Jonah. Soon, she will understand that Jonah belongs to a generation of Vampires that serve even darker forces. Jonah and the few like him, are fighting with help from an unlikely ally – a rogue Angel, named Gabriel.

In the crossfire between good and evil, love and hate, and life and death, the girl learns her name: Lailah. But when the lines between black and white begin to blur, where in the spectrum will she find her place? And with whom?

Gabriel and Jonah both want to protect her. But Lailah will have to fight her own battle to find out who she truly is.


NIKKI KELLY was born and raised only minutes away from the chocolately scent of Cadbury World in Birmingham, England. Lailah was first launched to Wattpad, an online readers and writers community. Within six months, the novel had over one million reads. Lailah is Nikki’s debut novel, and the first book in The Styclar Saga. She lives in London with her husband and their dogs, Alfie (a pug) and Goose (a Chihuahua).

LAILAH is my debut novel, and first launched in serial form to wattpad, a readers & writers community. Within just 6months, LAILAH had over a million reads and thousands of comments and votes.

Since then, The Styclar Saga has gone on to pick up a traditional deal with Feiwel & Friends, and LAILAH, the first book in the series is due for release on October 7th 2014.

These days I spend my time balancing my amazing job of writing fantasy fiction, with my other, very important role of Chocolate Connoisseur. I like to multitask and do the two together. It makes me happy.

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Monday, 4 May 2015

Forever Julia Blog Tour - Review & Giveaway

Title: Forever Julia
Author: Jodi Carmichael
Release Date: May 1, 2015
Publisher: Great Plains Publishing
Review Copy: From publisher in exchange of honest review
Six months ago, Julia's life was perfect. Then her dad died. Now she lives with her grieving mother and sick grandmother in a puny apartment above their bookstore. After a dark bout of depression, Julia is fragile, and mourns both her father and her old life. But she has one thing to be happy about: Jeremy, the most popular boy at school, has chosen her. Jeremy's love for Julia is passionate, even obsessive. As she grows closer to Jeremy, Julia pushes her disapproving friends and family away. But Jeremy only becomes more controlling and Julia has to decide what lines cannot be crossed.

Someone should have given me a warning when starting this book. Also reading books based in your hometown can be an interesting experience. It was a rough read, I almost cried and definitely wanted to throw the book across the room a few times. When you read about high school relationships they’re either fluffy or downright ugly. I’m sad to say this one was downright ugly.

The story of Julia is a courageous one. She recently lost her dad due to cancer and now with her mother, they run a little bookshop while barely making ends meet. Julia also has the support of her eccentric friend Annika, and her “loving” boyfriend, Jeremy. The story focuses around her unhealthy relationship with Jeremy.

Truthfully, the relationship between Julia and Jeremy isn’t one that makes sense. They come from different social circles, different family backgrounds. In all reality the only connection they have is the fact that they go to the same school. I mean, I know that she tutored him and that’s how their relationship started, but I feel that it’s more of a case of Jeremy taking pity of her and what happened to her. Which, in itself is a sad thought. That’s not how a relationship works.

The flow of the story build up to the Valentine’s Day dance, but it doesn’t start off slow. We’re immediately brought into a bad situation between Julia and Jeremy. Which is rough, but also slightly eye opening. Julia and Jeremy along with some friends are going on a weekend ski trip. During this time, Jeremy makes it obvious that he wants to have sex with her. Claiming he makes her hot and that he needs her. Now after reading this, you immediately discover this is all he wants from her. Now without going into every scene as to him making a move on her. But let’s just leave it at that it happens a lot.

Now, in the synopsis we find out that her grandmother lives with her too. But that in fact doesn’t happen until about halfway through the story. The reason for her for moving in, is in fact that she herself has been diagnosed with cancer. Which is a big shock to Julia because her grandmother is healthy and is a strong woman in her eyes. Who doesn’t look up to their grandparents, I know I do.
Jeremy can be perceived as a romantic guy, but Julia isn’t the right girl for his type of romance. His violent outbursts overweigh the good moments. And as for any girl who’s madly in love, it takes a while for them to see that there’s a real problem with her relationship.

Now for how I felt considering this took place in my city. Because this isn’t a fluffy book, it was a lot harder of a book to swallow. There are times where it was good, especially when visualizing places. But with all that went on with Jeremy and Julia, it was sad because I felt like it was actually happening in front of my eyes, rather than just visualizing it in my head.

This book is a wonderful story of courage, friendship, and love. If you need a read that makes you want a slap in the face, this is a good choice of a book.
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About the Author

JODI CARMICHAEL lives in Winnipeg where she can often be found dancing in the living room with her two wildly imaginative daughters, her patient and supportive husband, and a scruffy Border Terrier named Zoe. Jodi’s previous book for young readers, Spaghetti Is NOT A Finger Food, won numerous awards and has been a multi-week Bestseller.

Links: Website - Twitter - Facebook - Goodreads
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