Tuesday, 30 October 2012

The Glimpse by Claire Merle

ISBN: 9780571280537
Publisher: Faber & Faber
Pages: 411

Raised on Lies
Transformed by Love
Bound to Destiny?

In a near future, society is segregated according to whether people are genetically disposed to mental illness. 17-year-old Ana has been living the privileged life of a Pure due to an error in her DNA test. When the authorities find out, she faces banishment from her safe Community, a fate only thwarted by the fact that she has already been promised to Pure-boy Jasper Taurell.

Jasper is from a rich and influential family and despite Ana’s condition, wants to be with her. The authorities grant Ana a tentative reprieve. If she is joined to Jasper before her 18th birthday, she may stay in the Community until her illness manifests. But if Jasper changes his mind, she will be cast out among the Crazies. As Ana’s joining ceremony and her birthday loom closer, she dares to hope she will be saved from the horror of the City and live a ‘normal’ life. But then Jasper disappears.

I received an ARC copy of The Glimpse for review from Faber & Faber, but initially, because of the vast amount of negative reviews, I delayed reading it. When I did eventually start reading The Glimpse, I was disappointed. It was a mixture of Pure by Julianna Baggott and Delirium by Lauren Oliver, but without the much needed finesse. I didn’t really have a favourite character, mainly due to the lack of character descriptions. I was more than halfway through The Glimpse before I discovered what Ana, the main character, actually looked like! Even though the cover of The Glimpse is pretty, I aren’t too keen on it, as to be quite honest, having read the book I can’t see the connection between the cover image and the actual story.

Available at Amazon.co.uk.

Monday, 29 October 2012

Author Interview: Ilana Waters

Ilana Waters has written The Adventures Of Stanley Delacourt.

1. What is your name and where do you call home?
My name’s Ilana Waters, and I call New Jersey, USA home. I am also at home in coffee shops, libraries, and bookstores . . . at least until they kick me out. 

2. What is the name of your most recent book and if you had to sum it up in 20 or less words, what would you say?
My most recent book is called The Adventures of Stanley Delacourt: Book I of Hartlandia. In 20 words or less: A middle-grade medieval combination of librarians, apothecaries, knights, fairies, witches, dark magic, and other stuff of fantasy!

3. Do you have plans for a new book? Is this book part of a series?
I have plans for many, many, many new books! The Adventures of Stanley Delacourt is the first of a trilogy. I also have a short story and a novella coming out that are set in the same world.

4. What or who inspired you to start writing? And how long have you been writing?
I’ve wanted to be writer since I was six years old. My first grade teacher said I was good at writing, so I figured that’s what I should do (this really tells you something about the power of labels). I didn’t take writing seriously as a career until a couple of years ago. I figured it was now or never. I chose “now.”

5. Do you gift books to readers for book reviews?
If they have a blog where they review books, then yes. Otherwise, I’m afraid I can’t afford to give free books out as often as I’d like. 

6. How did you come up with the title for your book?
Well, my story’s about a boy named Stanley Delacourt, firstly. He must leave his tiny village in order to go on adventures, thwart a magical villain, and pretty much save the kingdom of Hartlandia. I wanted to get most of that in title, and I think I succeeded. For details, you’ll just have to read the book. ;-)  

7. Do you prefer e-books, paperbacks, hardcovers or audiobooks?
I like different formats for different reasons. Hard copies of books for home, e-books for being out and about. I don’t think one format is better than the other. I have yet to experience audiobooks, but I should probably get on that. I could be missing out!

8. Has the quality of the cover of a book ever put you off of reading it?
Sadly, yes. For better or worse, we really do judge a book by its cover. It’s not just aesthetics—you should be able to tell certain things by looking at the cover. Things like genre, age group, level of action/violence/romance, etc. If you can’t, the cover probably isn’t doing its job.

9. What is your favourite book genre at the moment?
I’ve been reading a lot of what I write, which is YA and MG fantasy. MG is following YA, I think, in that it’s really blossoming as a genre. I wish we’d had more books like this when I was a kid.

10. Do you have any hobbies that aren’t related to reading & writing?
Can I include procrastinating? Oh wait—that is related to writing. Shoot. Um, nevermind then!  >.<

11. Where can your readers follow you?

I can be cyber-stalked at these locations:

Thankyou so much for taking the time to do this interview and allowing us a glimpse into your writing world!

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Promotion: Colonization by Aubrie Dionne

By Aubrie Dionne

Colonization is the first book in the Paradise Reclaimed series.

Andromeda has spent all seventeen years of her life aboard a deep space transport vessel destined for a paradise planet. Her safe cocoon is about to break open as Paradise 21 looms only one month away, and she must take the aptitude tests to determine her role on the new world and her computer assigned lifemate. As a great-granddaughter of the Commander of the ship, she wants to live up to her family name. But, her forbidden love for her childhood friend, Sirius, distracts her and she fails the tests. The results place her in a menial role in the new colony and pair her with Corvus, “the oaf”.

But when Andromeda steps foot on Paradise 21, her predestined future is the least of her worries. Alien ghosts from a failed colonization warn her of a deadly threat to her colony. And when Sirius’s ship crashes on the far ridge in an attempt to investigate, she journeys to rescue him with Corvus. 

Andromeda now must convince the authorities of the imminent danger to keep her protect her new home. What she didn’t expect was a battle of her own feelings for Sirius and Corvus. 

Can she save the colony and discover her true love?

Available at Amazon.co.uk.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Promotion: Tales From A Tiny Thai Table by Matthew Turner

Tales From A Tiny Thai Table
By Matthew Turner

The night before the morning after. Can this small Thai restaurant be the setting to a monumental moment in four peoples lives?

Each person has their own story and an entire life ahead of them. But is something about to happen that will change their lives forever? These four young twenty-something’s aren’t aware, but their futures hang in the balance. 

Tales From A Tiny Thai Table is a short prequel to Beyond Parallel, the debut novel from Matthew Turner. It’s here where Bella and Clark begin their adventure. The following 5,000-words redefines everything.

This coming-of-age tale is where it all begins. A single what if moment occurs, and with it, two worlds collide. Can a tiny Thai table be the key to two young futures? Will you spot the innocent what if moment?

Available at SmashwordsAmazon.co.uk.

Monday, 15 October 2012

Promotion: Reaper's Return by Ren Cummins

Reaper's Return
By Ren Cummins

Reaper's Return is the first book in the Chronicles of Aesirium.

In the exiled community of Oldtown-Against-the-Wall, people have lived in fear from not only the monstrous creatures that plague their streets each night, but from the legendary Reapers, whose children's tales describe as powerful mystical beings capable of drawing away one's very soul while they lay sleeping. 

Reaper's Return follows the story of the twelve-year-old orphan girl Romany as she is drawn into the murky history of Oldtown, and she learns not only that the Reapers may be less myth and more real; but that her own destiny may be directly tied to them as well.

With her friends Kari and Cousins, Rom finds herself rapidly drawn into a mystery that is tied to the origins of Oldtown, and must risk everything to find her way home, even past death itself. 

Available at Amazon.co.uk.

Author Interview: Ren Cummins

Ren Cummins has written Reaper's Return.

1. What is your name and where do you call home?
My name is Ren Cummins, and I live in the Pacific Northwest, just outside of Seattle.

2. Do you have a pen name?
I do write other projects under other names, but this is my actual name, and it's what I use for my more mainstream books.

3. What is the name of your most recent book and if you had to sum it up in 20 or less words, what would you say?
The most recent book I've wrapped up was "The Crook and the Blade", the 6th and final book in the Chronicles of Aesirium series - it's a 6 book young adult sci-fi fantasy book (with a hint of steampunk) about a young girl who discovers that she's a Reaper - an angel of death.

4. Do you have plans for a new book? Is this book part of a series?
"The Crook and the Blade" wraps up the bulk of this story - but I've also been doing some short stories about some of the other characters you meet along the way through the six main books, as well as events that go on afterwards. I'm also planning on returning to that world to tell a couple other large stories that spun off from these books, but that will probably be for a 2014 release.

Also, I have another series I'll be working on through early 2013 - a different genre, set in the world of today, only with gods and goddesses fighting for real estate. It's been a lot of fun already and I've only just gotten into the book. Good times.

5. What or who inspired you to start writing? And how long have you been writing?
I've been writing as long as I could form sentences on paper - I'd originally wanted to go into comic books, but I didn't have enough of a passion for drawing - but I'm hoping one day to bring that back around and write some good graphic novels. I also took a detour into music for about 15 years, and put out a couple of albums, but stopped after my daughter was born. I didn't quite know what to do with myself creatively until my wife challenged me to write out one of the stories I'd had bouncing around in my brain, and once I started that, I just couldn't stop.

6. Do you gift books to readers for book reviews?
I do, on occasion, yes. Since I don't work directly with a large publishing company, I don't have access to the large marketing machines they employ. But grassroots campaigns are delightful. Plus, I do really enjoy the stories, and I'm happy to give people an opportunity to read them.

7. How did you come up with the cover? Who designed the cover of your book?
The covers on the books are actually the third iteration, and the one I'm happiest with so far. I designed the cover for book one, and did some technical trade with Jen Ashton - a friend and fellow author - who did the covers for the other five books.

8. Which is your favourite cover of all the books you have written?
I think the last one, "The Crook and the Blade" is my favorite. It's a simple motif - a blue butterfly on a black background - but it's a metaphor that comes into play several times throughout the story. I don't want to spoil it, though, so you'll have to read it and see for yourself. ;)

9. Is there anything you would change about your book covers?
Not now, no. The original covers had more to do with creating a mood or a touch of the steampunk elements that provide the backdrop for the stories, but they weren't as clean or polished as the newest ones are. But who knows, in four years I'll probably just change them again. I'm weird like that.

10. Would you have different book covers for different countries?
I think that's a smart plan - different visuals have different meanings in different cultures, and I may not be the best judge of exactly how one image or design may play to people in one country versus the next. But I tried to go with some universally accessible images on these covers. They seem to be working, though - the sales on the books went up by almost 40% when the new covers went live.

11. How did you come up with the title for your book?
The first book I wrote in the series actually ended up being the second book - "The Morrow Stone". When I began writing it four years ago, it was called "The Twilight Gatherers", after the old name for the Reapers - but then the Twilight books and movies exploded and I needed to shift the books' presentation so that they wouldn't be confused with the Stephenie Meyer series. There is an old artifact that becomes a central quest for the main characters, called a Morrow Stone. When I opened myself to the reality of changing the books' names, the idea of calling that second book "The Morrow Stone" seemed a natural choice. But then when I went back and wrote what became the first book, I chose "Reaper's Return" as a reference to the time in which the book begins, where the reapers have all vanished and none have been seen in a generation. And of course, with a set up like that, you know they have to come back. 

12. Is there anything you would change about your book? And why?
That's one of the things I love most about being entirely self-published. I get to be the final say in how the books are, even after I publish them. I'd originally had a series of prefaces written in the style of one of the secondary characters, but after several months I re-read them and discovered they really didn't add anything to the books, and were just taking up space. So with the launch of the new covers, I chopped them out. Very easy, quite simple.

13. Do you have a book trailer? And what are your thoughts on book trailers?
I don't have one at this time - mostly just due to being so busy. I've been approached by a few people to do one, though, so I'm hopeful things will accommodate our busy schedules.

14. What is your opinion on ARCs?
I think they're a very good idea - just like having movie companies show their films a week or so early so that critics can be ready with their reviews. From a purely marketing perspective, people generally like to have their expectations set for them, like to know what they can look forward to. Or, you know, not, as the case may be.

15. Do you prefer e-books, paperbacks, hardcovers or audiobooks?
I prefer all of them :)  But seriously, it fully depends on my mood. I don't get to listen to audiobooks as much as I might like, simply because I usually listen to podcasts when I'm in my car (big shout outs to the Nerdist and Kevin Smith!). If I had a long summer afternoon to just sip some tea or lemonade and read a book, I'd take a paper copy - hardcover or paperback. But most of the time I have for reading is in the evening or on long trips, and for those, nothing can beat an ebook copy. I like that I have some 100+ books on a digital device smaller than even ONE of my books, letting me read whatever I'm in the mood for. But make no mistake, on the bookshelf right behind me are copies of my books as well, pretty and shiny and ready to be read. Overall, I love that there are choices. That's what thrills me to be a writer in this generation.

16. Are you a self-published / Indie author?
Self-published, yes. But I also help form a polite cabal among a few other authors I know, called Talaria Press (www.talariapress.com). Our main priority is to put out books, but also to help educate people in just how easy it is to get your work out there.

17. Have you ever read a book more than once? And if so what was it?
It was probably one of those "Choose your own adventures" books, to be honest. And the replayability of those books is pretty legendary. But aside from that, it would have been The Hobbit by Tolkein. That book still enchants me to this day. So excited to see the new movies Peter Jackson is doing. Again, how great is that to live in a generation where we're seeing all these fantasies read about in our childhood jumping right up onto the screen. Though, I suppose there's the downside of that, in that it becomes far too little an exercise on imagination when the movies are all put up in 3D in high definition sound. 

18. Have you ever read a book just based on it’s cover?
I really try not to judge books by their covers - I know it's more of a metaphor than actual advice, but to be honest, a cover will only make me pick the book up. If I'm not engaged by page 3, then the book usually goes back on the shelf. I don't have as much time to just sit and read as I would prefer, so I like to have my time spent reading books I know I'll enjoy.

19. Has the quality of the cover of a book ever put you off of reading it?
Oddly enough, no. There have been several times - like reading the Robert Jordan "Wheel of Time" books, where I'd turn back to the cover art and think "really? That's the picture they chose for this? I thought he had a beard in that scene." or whatever. I don't like covers that try to convince me the book is full of action - I like the ones that just present a mood or an image and make you think "wow, I wonder what that's about??"

20. What is your favourite film based on a book?
I really loved the Hunger Games - I thought they did an amazing job of capturing the mood of that book - they provided a perfect example of how good a movie can be when the studio heads don't meddle with the production. But I would have to say the Lord of the Rings movies are my all time, hands down, movies that made me shocked and amazed to see what could come from books that for so long were said to be impossible to film. That's as close to a perfect series as I've seen on the screen, and I'm confident in my beliefs that it'll be hard to surpass. Though, as we have 3 more coming, I suppose we'll see.
21. What is your favourite book genre at the moment?
I've been enjoying the steampunk books lately - they're very fresh and enthusiastic, and it's not very often that such a niche genre can say that. But my newest books have been the more autobiographical "Geek Grown Up" books - I've got books by Chris Hardwick, Wil Wheaton and Kevin Smith on my kindle right now, and they're surprisingly relevant to our DIY culture. But I also still read my share of comic books - they're much easier for me to digest in my current schedule. The Ultimate Spiderman comics have been really enjoyable, but Mark Millar has had some very good creator-owned titles lately that I've really gotten into.

22. What books have made it onto your wishlist recently? And why?
I don't do wishlists anymore. My Kindle has been groaning under the weight of all the books I've picked up. I'm definitely an impulse shopper when it comes to books. But I've made a conscious decision to try and do a little catching up.

23. What book are you reading at the moment? And in what format?
Aside from the ones I mentioned before, I'm trying to wrap up book five of the Song of Ice and Fire books by George R R Martin. Knowing that book 6 isn't out yet isn't encouraging me to hurry up, however. Come on, George! We're waiting!

24. If you could invite any four celebrities (alive or dead) to your dinner party, who would you invite and why?
I've dreamed about this, in fact, but my list changes all time - I mean, it can't just be who *I* want to talk to, I want to make sure all four of them would enjoy the conversations with each other, as well. As it stands presently, I'd have to go with Neil Gaiman, Sting, John Lennon and Bruce Lee. Now that would be an awesome dinner party.

25. Do you have any advice for other writers? And what’s the best advice that you have been given when it comes to writing?
Write. Write, write, write. Then let people read it. Let them help you edit it. But always know what your goal is, and be specific. It's impossible to be successful if you don't even know what finish line you're racing for. 

26. Do you have any hobbies that aren’t related to reading & writing?
Music is one of the main ones, still. Still play the piano and drums when I can, but now the big thing is watching my daughter start to take lessons - she's learning the tenor saxophone, and it's just great to see her starting out.

27. Where can your readers follow you?

Twitter: @rencummins

Thankyou so much for taking the time to do this interview and allowing us a glimpse into your writing world!

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Promotion: She Wulf by Sheryl Steines

She Wulf
By Sheryl Steines

He came through the centuries to find her, the girl who could save them all. Annie Pearce runs through the streets of the city, chasing a demon, the likes she has never seen before. As she works to find out where the demon came from, the Wizard Guard encounters something even more bizarre. A tenth century Viking.

When Annie gets sucked into the past, she must struggle with the knowledge of the prophecy that tells of her destiny. The one she must fulfill if she is to return home. What happens in the past will change the world.

Available at Amazon.co.uk.

Promotion: The Day Of First Sun by Sheryl Steines

The Day Of First Sun
By Sheryl Steines

The Day Of First Sun is the first book in the Annie Loves Cham series.

When Princess Amelie of Amborix is murdered by magical means, Annie Pearce and Bobby “Cham” Chamsky of the Wizard’s Guard are called in by the FBI. Their job is to help solve the crime while keeping the non-magical world from discovering the existence of the Wizard Council.

During their investigation, Annie and Cham discover that Princess Amelie’s death is connected to a series of other crimes in the Chicago area. A larger plot involving, a vampire, a rogue wizard and an army of soul-less zombies is revealed, but can Annie and Cham discover who is responsible before The Day of First Sun?

Available at Amazon.co.uk.

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Intuition by J. Meyers

ISBN: 9781465964786
Publisher: Self / Indie
Pages: -

Luke and his twin sister Sera have unusual abilities. Hers is a gift - she can heal with a touch of her hand. His is a curse - he can see the future but he can’t do anything about it.

On a hike up the mountain, Luke has a vision unlike any other - one that leaves him terrified. Knowing that it will come true - and that he must do everything in his power to stop it - leaves his own future uncertain.

Intuition, book 0.5 in the Intangible series, is a free prequel to Intangible (which I received for review, from the author herself). Although I enjoyed reading Intuition, it felt as though it was just a sampler of Intangible rather than a separate book; also, sadly the language used was quite simplistic and didn’t really correspond with the storyline of Intuition. Due to it being such a short book, (only about forty kindle pages / screens, if that!), I found that I didn’t have a favourite character as such. I am not too keen on the cover of Intuition, as I would have preferred that it had matched more with the cover of Intangible.

Available at Amazon.co.uk.

Friday, 12 October 2012

Promotion: Stitch by Samantha Durante

By Samantha Durante

Still struggling to find her footing after the sudden death of her parents, the last thing college freshman Alessa has the strength to deal with is the inexplicable visceral pull drawing her to a handsome ghostly presence. In between grappling with exams and sorority soirees - and disturbing recurring dreams of being captive in a futuristic prison hell - Alessa is determined to unravel the mystery of the apparition who leaves her breathless. But the terrifying secret she uncovers will find her groping desperately through her nightmares for answers.

Because what Alessa hasn't figured out yet is that she's not really a student, the object of her obsession is no ghost, and her sneaking suspicions that something sinister is lurking behind the walls of her university's idyllic campus are only just scratching the surface...

Available at Amazon.co.uk.

Author Interview: Samantha Durante

Samantha Durante has written Stitch.

1. What is your name and where do you call home?
Samantha Durante, New York City.

2. Do you have a pen name?
Not at the moment, but I suppose I will soon – I just got married in September and I’m changing my name to Samantha Durante-Banerjee.  It’s quite a mouthful!  So I think I’m going to stick with Samantha Durante for my books.  :-)

3. What is the name of your most recent book and if you had to sum it up in 20 or less words, what would you say?
Stitch.  It’s a dystopian novel wrapped in a paranormal-romance’s clothing, so nothing is as it first seems.

4. Do you have plans for a new book? Is this book part of a series?
Yes, Stitch is part one of a trilogy.  The sequel, Shudder, will be available next year.

5. What or who inspired you to start writing? And how long have you been writing?
I’ve always written for fun my whole life – I’m not sure what first inspired me, but it’s what I’ve always loved to do.  However, Stitch is my very first book, so I’ve only been an author for a few months now!  I started writing professionally about two years ago, doing business writing for my own company, and before that I was in software engineering.

6. How did you come up with the cover? Who designed the cover of your book?
I wanted the cover to reflect that this story is more than just the paranormal romance it initially presents itself as, but I wasn’t sure exactly how to do that.  I turned to Damon at Damonza.com for help, and he came up with this great sci-fi feel for the cover that I thought was modern and fresh and just loved. 

7. Is there anything you would change about your book covers?
Nope!  I love this cover just the way it is.

8. Would you have different book covers for different countries?
I always found that REALLY confusing with the Harry Potter books, so no, if it’s up to me (and at this point it is, because I’m self-published!) it will have the same cover everywhere.

9. How did you come up with the title for your book?
I wanted something that was short and sweet and easy to remember, and the ‘stitch’ is such an essential part of the story (once you hit the twist you’ll know what I’m talking about) that it was a no-brainer.  I also liked that the word ‘stitch’ references other things that are symbolic of elements of the story, like the pain you get with a stitch in your side or how a stitch pulls the pieces so that everything finally comes together.

10. Is there anything you would change about your book? And why?
Yes, absolutely.  I wish I’d included more action earlier in the book.  The first half builds a lot of tension and there are a lot of details which I think help the reader to understand the characters and their world better, but the book really gets exciting and fun after the twist is revealed, so I wish I’d been able to bring more of that in sooner.

11. Do you prefer e-books, paperbacks, hardcovers or audiobooks?
Nothing beats the feel of a paperback for me.  Hardcovers are too unwieldy and I’m not a big fan of audiobooks since I can picture things better by reading them rather than listening.  And I certainly read a ton of e-books and appreciate the convenience (I would not have been able to bring 10 books on my honeymoon otherwise!), but I just love that new book smell and unfortunately my Kindle has not yet been able to replicate that.  Maybe someday!

12. Are you a self-published / Indie author?
Yes I am!

13. Have you ever read a book more than once? And if so what was it?
Oh, all the time.  I’ve read Pride and Prejudice probably 16 times.  I read the entire Harry Potter series at least 4 times.  I reread all of Twilight at least twice.  I have no qualms about rereading something I loved – it’s like visiting an old friend or a place from your childhood, very comforting.

14. Have you ever read a book just based on it’s cover?
Maybe not just on the cover, but as much as I hate to admit it, the cover ALWAYS plays a big part for me.

15. Has the quality of the cover of a book ever put you off of reading it?
Yeah, definitely.  If the cover doesn’t look professional, I have to assume that the writing and editing isn’t very professional either.  Which I know isn’t fair, but it’s the truth of how my decisions are made.

16. What is your favourite book genre at the moment?
I’m loving anything YA, particularly romantic sci-fi/fantasy.

17. Do you have any advice for other writers? And what’s the best advice that you have been given when it comes to writing?
My advice is that you don’t need a groundbreaking, never-before-seen idea.  You just need an idea you’re excited about it.  If you’d like to read this story and it doesn’t exist, write it!  Chances are other people will want to read it to.

18. Where can your readers follow you?

Facebook book page: www.facebook.com/stitchtrilogy

Thankyou so much for taking the time to do this interview and allowing us a glimpse into your writing world!

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Promotion: Sapphire Blue by Kerstin Gier

Sapphire Blue
By Kerstin Gier

Gwen’s life has been a rollercoaster since she discovered she was the Ruby, the final member of the secret time-traveling Circle of Twelve. In between searching through history for the other time-travelers and asking for a bit of their blood (gross!), she’s been trying to figure out what all the mysteries and prophecies surrounding the Circle really mean.

At least Gwen has plenty of help. Her best friend Lesley follows every lead diligently on the Internet. James the ghost teaches Gwen how to fit in at an eighteenth century party. And Xemerius, the gargoyle demon who has been following Gwen since he caught her kissing Gideon in a church, offers advice on everything. Oh, yes. And of course there is Gideon, the Diamond. One minute he’s very warm indeed; the next he’s freezing cold. Gwen’s not sure what’s going on there, but she’s pretty much destined to find out.

Available at Amazon.co.uk.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Promotion: Born by Tara Brown

By Tara Brown

She wasn't born into this world.

Ten years ago when the world ended she ran for her life. 

Five weeks ago the world she'd hidden from came knocking on the door of her secluded cabin. 

Ten days ago she found salvation hiding amongst the dead.

Yesterday she went back for the living. 

Tomorrow she plans on starting a war.

Available at Amazon.co.uk.

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Speechless by Hannah Harrington

ISBN: 9781921796579
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Pages: 268

Saying she’s sorry just isn’t enough . . .

Everyone knows that Chelsea Knot can't keep a secret

Until now. Because the last secret she shared turned her into a social outcast—and nearly got someone killed.

Now Chelsea has taken a vow of silence—to learn to keep her mouth shut, and to stop hurting anyone else. And if she thinks keeping secrets is hard, not speaking up when she's ignored, ridiculed and even attacked is worse.

But there's strength in silence, and in the new friends who are, shockingly, coming her way—people she never noticed before; a boy she might even fall for. If only her new friends can forgive what she's done. If only she can forgive herself.

I received Speechless by Hannah Harrington for review from Netgalley, which I thoroughly enjoyed reading! I found Speechless to be a bit like Pretty Little Liars, because of the classic high school cliques, back-stabbing and gossiping, mixed seamlessly with serious issues such as prejudice. Although I enjoyed reading this book, I didn’t really have a favourite character as the main character Chelsea, (who probably would have been my first choice for my favourite character), was quite selfish and naive - however I found that this was necessary for the story to flow properly. I really like the cover of Speechless, mainly because of its simplicity, but also because it represents the story inside without giving to anything away that isn’t within the blurb!

Available at Amazon.co.uk.

Monday, 1 October 2012

Rachel's Reflections: Blog Design

Lately, as you have probably seen, I have been changing my blog design quite a bit. I loved the colours that I had chosen, but I just couldn’t decide on one style that I really liked, that I thought truly suited both myself and my blog.

Apart from my original blog button, which was kindly made for me by Patti Roberts, author of the Paradox series, I have done a lot of the design elements for my own blog such as: my header, my background and gadgets, using scrapbooking sites or programs and by either “Google-ing” any Html questions I have had or by asking a fellow blogger.

Whilst I was designing (and re-designing) my blog, I had been looking at fellow bloggers’ sites and was amazed by how many weren’t actually designed by the owner/owners of the blog itself.

This got me thinking about what others thought of my blog and my mum’s blog, JeanzBookReadNReview, which I also design.

In my opinion, I have my own unique reviewing style, so why shouldn’t I have my own unique blog style as well?

What do you think?

“Personally, I prefer that bloggers do their own designs, or have lots of input into their design. As shouldn’t your blog design reflect you and how you feel about reading books? Your blog design is the first thing that sells your blog, be it to fellow bloggers, readers, authors, publicists and publishers too.
 I will readily admit I do NOT actually do my own design, my daughter Rachel does it for me. I give her ideas of what I’d and she takes it from there, with me approving or declining at each stage.
 My first blog button back when I started out in August 2011 was designed by my now great author friend, Patti Roberts. I love that button, which is why I have kept it as part of my blog and then added different elements to my blog. I would hope that my blog gives a ‘fun, happy, great to drop-by’ feel which I have represented with fluffy white clouds. (Let’s face it when we bloggers read, our heads are kind of ‘in the clouds’ LOL) Then I wanted a ‘character’ so we found an owl and made it cute by adding a bow sticking with my chosen colours.” ~ JeanzBookReadNReview